Monday, 31 March 2014

The Murder of Sally McGrath

  A brutal murder was solved after 30 years, and also proved was the assailants roles in a number of other sex attacks.  This was the murder in 1979 of 22 year old Sally McGrath, and the subsequent conviction 3 decades later of former soldier and predator Paul Taylor, a man suspected of the crimes back then. The story began on July 11th 1979, when Sally, who lived in Fowler Street, Peterborough, was seen in Cathedral Square at 2.45pm, where she told friends she was going to the Church Street Unemployment Office.  She was never seen alive again.  A huge search was set up by Police, operating from Thorpe Wood Police Station.  The size of the investigation was shown by more than 3000 people being interviewed and the taking of at least 10,000 statements.  This produced a suspect, Paul Taylor, but there was insufficient evidence against him.

    It was on 1st March 1980 that Gamekeeper Keith Dickenson made a grim discovery, whilst out hunting rabbits.  He found a very badly decomposed body in woodland known as Wild Boar Spinney, that was close to Castor and Ailsworth, a couple of miles outside Peterborough.  A post mortem revealed it to be Sally.  She had suffered blunt force trauma to the head.  The pathologist estimated that she had lain in the woods for three to six months.  Again, no progress could be made.  30 years later, Paul Taylor was charged with the murder of Sally, plus a number of other sex attacks, including 3 counts of rape, plus one count each of sexual assault and indecent assault.  He was charged on 9th October 2011, and appeared before Peterborough magistrates, the next day. 

    He had moved to Fareham in Hampshire, where he ran a fish & chip shop with his wife. These charges were the result of a painstaking 3 year investigation & cold case review of this crime and seven other sex attacks.  On 4th December 2012, Taylor was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to a minimum of 18 years.  In court, through his lawyer, Taylor claimed the sex attacks were either consensual or just plain lies.  The lawyer also read out some statements from people who knew Sally, making references to drug taking, and not being very security conscious when hitch-hiking.  What was this meant to convey?  That she was a victim waiting to happen?  It was her own fault?  A young woman was brutally murdered and that is very much wrong.  Full stop!  I hope the bastard dies in jail.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Eastbound Strangler

This is another one of the lesser known serial killers.  This person killed four women and very strategically placed them on the outskirts of Atlantic City, New Jersey.  They were found in November 2006, dumped face down in a drainage ditch.  Each one of them was placed 60 feet apart.  Was this the killer`s attempt to set the Police in a certain frame of mind, conjuring up images of them attempting to fathom out some deep psychological reason for his actions.  The ditch was close to the Golden Key Motel in the Egg Harbour Township area.  It was believed that they had all been strangled.

    The victims were 42 year old Barbara Breidor, a prostitute working the streets to pay for her crack addiction.  She vanished in October 2006.  The second victim was 20 year old Molly Dilts, who was seen just days before she too vanished.  It is not known if she was a prostitute. Next was Kim Raffo, a 35 year old erotic dancer and now prostitute, like Barbara, hustling for tricks to support her drug addiction.  The fourth victim was 22 year old Tracy Ann Roberts.  She was seen just before the bodies were discovered, as she had been hospitalised with a blow to her throat from a man who wanted to become her pimp.  With many of these women, they hustle to support their addiction to substances that obviously do not harm.  Also, some are forced onto the streets by ponces and parasites who only see only dollar signs.

    A couple of men did emerge as suspects but neither had any evidence to support it.  The first was 41 year old Terry Olsen.  He lived rent free in the Golden Key Motel, in return for handling all repairs and maintenance in the motel.  He was reported by his girlfriend after they had a violent domestic dispute.  When Police investigated, they found that Olsen had secret cameras set up, and had filmed his girlfriends` daughter undressing.  But he was cleared of any involvement in the murders, as there was no DNA or anything to connect him.  The second person of interest was Elderd Burchell, a man who apparently revelled in calling himself "The Riverman" - possibly to make people think he might be the Green River Killer, whom at that time was still at large.  A prostitute named Denise Hill named him to Police as a suspect, but they ruled him out for the same reasons as Olsen.  A link to the Long Island Serial Killings was mooted at one point but this has, too, been ruled out.  The murders remain unsolved.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Mob - What Do You Believe?

This is a quick look at something I generally avoid, and that is the Mafia.  Does anybody believe that they were behind the assassination of JFK?  When this chestnut rears its head on screen, the finger is usually pointed at New Orleans Mob boss Carlos Marcello, with Florida`s Santo Trafficante involved as well.  "Evidence" of the involvement of Marcello comes down to the "he said...." evidence.  What I cannot fathom out is why a Mob boss, certainly as not as powerful as the five New York bosses, Buffalo, Chicago, would decide to hit the most powerful man in the world without it being sanctioned by the Commission?  After all, if this emerged, then all Law Enforcement would have been ordered to hit back very severely, which would hamper their money making, and make life difficult for them.  It is these annoying details that convince me that any talk of Marcello taking credit, is a simple exercise in exploiting a situation for your own gain.  A common device for criminals.

    The other bugbear is that old trollop J. Edgar Hoover.  What is amazing is that photos were alleged to exist showing Hoover in uncompromising situations with men, and wearing ladies clothes.  Yet, after all these years, no photo seems to have emerged.  Of course, some Mob men claimed it was true.  Jimmy Fratianno was one.  Where is this proof?  It has to be somewhere.  Again, it could be exploiting a rumour to explain why Hoover did nothing against them for years.  Could the answer be much simpler?  Was it that Hoover simply could not accept that a nationwide crime syndicate existed in the country where he was the top cop?  Being in total denial to the truth?  A book was written claiming that Hoover worked hand in glove with the Mob, giving tasks to secret operatives answerable only to him, to carry out mob hits.  Do dirty work for them, etc.  Judging by the tone of the voice of Hoover, in this book, it seems inconceivable that a man who declared war on the underworld, would be THE most compliant lap dog to criminals.  We do know that later on, he was paranoid about reds under the beds.  What is the truth about Hoover?  Maybe somebody will show the proof.  If it exists.

The Murder of Lucy Royle

Lucy Royle was just 21 years old, living in Davyhulme in Manchester, and enjoying life. She received a call on her cell phone, and went to a rendezvous with a former boyfriend.  She was not to know that she was about to be brutally murdered.  She was found by a dog walker near Trafford Centre.  Her injuries were horrific.  She had suffered massive head trauma, and if that was not bad enough, she had been stabbed 18 times in the back.  It did not take Police long to arrest twin brothers Joseph Coburn & Gary Joyson, aged 22.  They had been adopted with one of the brothers taking that family name.  Joyson`s girlfriend, Louise Calvert, 21 was also arrested.  

    Coburn pleaded guilty to her murder, with the other two cleared of murder but found guilty of perverting justice, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit actual bodily harm.  Joyson received six years, Calvert four.  They claimed they did not know that Coburn intended to kill Lucy in April 2003.  She was battered with a concrete block, and then stabbed.  The attack took place in a Lovers Lane, near Old Barton Road.  The call had been made by Calvert & Joyson.  Coburn had been out of jail for just ONE day when he committed murder.  The Judge commented that Coburn "lost it" after his demand for sex was rejected.  Previously, Lucy had been a prosecution witness in an armed robbery case that saw Coburn spend 18 months in prison.  No doubt some excuses would be made by the "ugg, glug, gurgle, snarl" brigade over what she had done to her, following her actions but that is somebody standing up for what is right.  Something that is remarkably lacking these days.  Coburn received 14 years for his crime.

The Springfield Three

This mysterious disappearance of a mother and daughter, and a friend of the daughter, twenty two years on, still baffles Law Enforcement.  The ladies in question were Sherrill Levitt, aged 47 (D.O.B. 1st November 1944), her daughter, Suzanne Streeter, 9th March 1973, and Stacy McCall 23rd April 1974.  The search started for them on June 6th 1992 in the town of Springfield in Missouri.  Only the day before, on the 6th, both Suzie & Stacy had graduated from school, Kickapoo High School.  They were celebrating at a graduation party, then they left.  They were going onto the home of another friend but the house was very crowded, so they decided to go to Suzie`s home.  At one point, they were seen in Battlefield, Missouri.  They reached the home of Suzie`s mother, Sherrill, and that was the last that was seen of them.

    When relatives and friends could not reach them, they alerted the Police.  Meanwhile, these people went over to the home of hairdresser Sherrill to check it out.  When police arrived, they could see no signs of a struggle or violence.  Personal belongings of the women, purses, jewels, cars, clothing, was still there.  It was twelve hours after Stacy was last seen when her concerned parents phoned Police.  From what they were able to piece together, the last time Sherrill was contacted was when she spoke to a friend about a painting job on a chest of drawers.  The time was 11.15pm.

    The plot thickened when a man called Robert Craig Cox, told journalists that the women had been murdered and that their bodies would never be found.  He claimed that he had been in Springfield the night they vanished, and he had been spending the night with his girlfriend.  This brought immediate attention from the Police, in which Cox suddenly changed his story, that he had been at the home of his parents all night.  They confirmed this to Police.  Was this an attempt to bring some notoriety to himself or was it just a sick stunt?  Cox does not have a good record.  he was a kidnapper and robber, and a suspect for a homicide in Florida.  He was convicted of this crime but had it overturned on appeal.

    One suspect emerged in the eyes of some and that was Gerald Carnahan, a Springfield businessman.  He was convicted through DNA evidence of a cold case murder in December 2010.  In 1985, he abducted, raped and murdered 20 year old Jackie Johns in Nixa, Missouri.  He had previously been jailed for two years for the attempted of 18 year old Heather Starkey, and four years for arson and burglary.  He was a free man in 1992, which could put him in the frame for this triple abduction.  However, he is not considered a suspect by the authorities.  They have investigated more than 5000 leads, to no avail.  One tip led to a known user of ground radar, which can locate anomalies in concrete, going over a section of a multi story car park, and locating three anomalies.  He said two are side by side and the other lengthways at the top of the two.  But authorities are not convinced this is enough to justify them digging up the floor of this carpark. The expert who uses this device helped locate bodies after the 911 attacks.  He believes it is three bodies.  Is this where they are?

Friday, 28 March 2014

Lisa Rene - An Innocent Victim

This horrific tale was the result of two men, who ripped off drug pushers for $5,000 worth of marijuana but were not prepared for what was to follow.  Their actions resulted in their young sister being abducted, gang raped, beaten and then buried alive.  Lisa Rene was just 16, and doing good for herself with her education, and was staying with family in Arlington, Texas.  It was September 1994.  Unbeknown to her, two of her family had ripped off some pushers from Pine Bluff And El Dorado, in Arkansas.  They were not going to let this pass and five of them travelled to Arlington, looking for revenge.  Bruce Webster, Orlando Hall, Demetrius Hall, Steven Beckley & Marvin Holloway, kept watch on the house where the brothers lived.  When they were out, they tried to break in whilst Lisa was there alone.  Their initial attempt failed, so the terrified girl called Police.  They smashed their way in with a baseball bat, and snatched the girl.  All this was heard by police.  What they did to her was truly sickening.

    They drove off, and whilst on the move, Webster & Orlando Hall took turns to rape her.  They made various stops, before travelling into Arkansas, and taking a motel room.  Here, the assaults continued, where it was decided to "get rid of her".  Webster & Hall left to dig a grave in Byrd lake Park, where they intended to take their victim, but could not locate it.  The next day, they took her out again, where this time they found it, and lisa was beaten over the head with a shovel, then buried.  a Post mortem found soil in her lungs.  She was still alive when they buried her.

    Police were already hunting them, though the brothers initially REFUSED to help the Police.  Obviously, an innocent 16 year old family member was not that important to them.  The subsequent capture of them all, was down to the FBI`s Evidence Recovery Team, who meticulously preserved evidence at the crime scene, that was later used in court, and the co-operation between different forces.  The FBI came into it because Lisa was taken across state lines.  Of the five, Bruce Webster & Orlando Hall received the death penalty.  Many years later, one of the brothers was jailed for drug offences which showed that when it comes to drugs, some people just do not give a fuck.  Nothing or NOBODY is as important as drugs.  Young Lisa had to find out in the most despicable manner.

Cesar Barone - Multiple Killer

Cesar Barone was a quadruple killer who terrorised Portland in Oregon in the early 1990`s.  He targeted women of varying ages, raping, strangling and shooting at least two of them.  His final victim died from a heart attack during his assault on her.  Barone struck in April 1991, when he raped and strangled 61 year old Margaret Schmidt.  Barone then kept a low profile for at least 18 months but habits die hard.  In October 1992, midwife Martha Bryant was driving home from her job at Tuality Hospital in Hillsboro, when somebody fired a number of shots into her car.  Barone then forced his way into her car where he sexually assaulted her.  However, this was not enough for him, as he dragged her from her car and callously shot her in the head.

    Now Barone stepped up his attacks. In Portland, he attacked Chantee Woodman, 23, subjecting her to a savage beating, following up with a sexual assault, and then he cold bloodedly shot her in the head.  Her body was found dumped by U.S.26, near Vernonia.  His next victim was 51 year old Betty Williams.  He attacked her in her apartment and started sexually assaulting her, but Miss Williams suffered a fatal heart attack during the ordeal.  Police quickly arrested him and were able to link him to the four murders.  For the assault on miss Williams, he received 89 years but received the death sentence for the other three.

    Barone, before and since, did have a great record when it came to women.  At the age of 19, he was suspected of the rape and murder of a 71 year old neighbour.  She had been strangled.  He had not long served two years in Juvenile Detention, for an assault on the same woman.  Whilst currently incarcerated, he has attacked a female Corrections Officer, and once jailed in Florida, he shared a cell with that great lover and protector of women, Ted Bundy.  makes you wonder what they spent their time talking about?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Unsolved Murder of Janice Weston

This savage murder of a young successful Conveyancing Solicitor, has been given a couple of cold case reviews over the years, but still no resolution is in sight.  Janice Weston, aged 36, was on her way to her and her husbands` country house in Clopton, Northamptonshire.  Her very badly beaten body was found in a roadside ditch by the Northbound Carriageway of the A1, near Huntingdon, at the Brampton Hut Roundabout.  She had been attacked with a very heavy object.  A massive hunt by Police saw them interview 5000 people and take 12,000 statements.  Later, her blood spattered car was found in Camden, North London.  Her husband who was away on business in France at the time, returned to England to find himself being extensively grilled by the Police.

    Mr Weston spent in total, 55 hours being questioned by Police, but no action was taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and eventually the case ran cold.  One man who police sought had allegedly changed the tyre on Miss Weston`s car, but no trace of him was ever found.  It was in 1992, that a convicted killer told police he had dumped the body in Grafham Water.  A meticulous search of the area produced absolutely no corroboration that this ever happened, and was dismissed.  A man known as "Charles Fowler" was also sought, but this man, too, has never been traced.  Police announced another cold case review of this crime in 2013, along with five other unsolved murders, but it seems that this has again hit a brick wall.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Christopher Wilder - Serial Killer

This deceased killer was a cut above many serial killers, in that he was a wealthy (like the butcher of Cleveland in the 30`s) and was a racing driver.  But unfortunately for a number of young women, he had a sick penchant for killing them.  He was tracked across numerous states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, California & New York.  It was here that it is believed that he shot and killed 33 year old Beth Dodge.  He then fled to New Hampshire where two state troopers tried to arrest the 39 year old Australian, after he tried to abduct Carol Hilbert, a young woman from Massachusetts.  When they cornered him, he took his own life by firing into his own body, bullets did pass through him into one of the officers trying to arrest him.  He survived his wounds and returned to duty.

    Christopher Bernard Wilder was born in Sydney on March 13th 1945, to an Australian mother and American father. In his late teens, Wilder was convicted of participating in a gang rape and put on probation(!)  He married in 1968 but his wife left him after just one week!  He decided to emigrate to the USa in 1969, settling in Florida, and making a small fortune in real estate.  He then developed a taste for photography, which was how he lured his victims to their deaths.  He also had an avid interest in the novel "The Collector" by John Fowles, about a man who abducts and imprisons a young woman.  A film starred Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar.  Wilder was now sexually assaulting young girls and women but bizarrely, he received no jail time.

    Wilder had become the most wanted man in America, after a number of young women were abducted, raped and tortured, with four being murdered.  The victims of this psycho included Terry Walden, 23, Suzanne Logan, Teresa Ferguson, 21, and Dawnette Wilt, 16.  Others include Rosario Gonzalez, Wilder`s former girlfriend, Liz Kenyon.  Both victims have never been found.  Linda Grover, 19, Sheryl Bonaventura, 18 and Michelle Korfman, 17, are the other known victims.  It is not known just exactly how many victims he had, but one disappearance of a girl in 1984, has been linked to him.  This did not emerge for 17 years as the remains of the victim were in storage, listed as a jane doe.  The case was reopened by famed Medical Examiner Jan Garavaglia, whose team conducted a cold case review, and positively identified the remains as Colleen Emily Orsborn, who vanished in Daytona Beach, Florida, in March 1984, and giving closure to her family after 17 years missing.  Wilder will not be missed.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Murder of Ella Staunton

This is a murder case I came across in a true crime magazine, which are great sources of information to post, although I did stop buying them about five years ago, due to finances.  However, they are coming back.  This case goes back to Liverpool in 1946, in which Police were keeping observation on a salon, run by Mrs Staunton, but suspected of being a brothel.  Six years before, she and a friend were suspected of running a brothel but the lady partner was killed in an air raid, so the investigation was dropped.  Forward six years and Police received information that the Gents Manicure salon Mrs Staunton ran, was simply a brothel.  Two detectives kept it under surveillance.  A man was seen entering the salon, then they heard a commotion.  Believing she was being attacked, they banged on the door but received no answer.  They rang the salon from the railway station opposite, but the line was engaged.  Crossing the road back to the salon, a man emerge, shutting the door behind him.  They stopped him.  Asking for identification, he produced his name, Tom Hendren, from Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, directly across the River Mersey.  They banged on the door again but received no answer.  Hendren told them that she had a client in there so she would not be answering immediately.

    The two detectives waited, then rang the salon again, but still the line was engaged.  They decided to enter the salon, where they found the body of Ella Staunton.  She had head trauma and electrical flex wire wrapped around her neck.  A post mortem revealed she had been stabbed.  Officers were dispatched to Birkenhead, to Roe Street, but they learned that Hendren had not been seen more than a week.  Enquiries brought information from a taxi driver, that he took a man fitting Hendren`s description to Huyton, but stopped off at a clothing shop to purchase a raincoat, in Wavertree.  He used clothing coupons bearing the name of the victim.  He phoned a sibling who lived in North Wales, from a phone box in St. Helens.  The phone was later taken away by police for fingerprinting.  Then a report came in about an extremely nervous man wanting train times to Leeds.  Police found papers belonging to Hendren behind a toilet.  A warning was sent to Salford Police to be on the lookout for him, as he had a former girlfriend living there.  It was here, he was arrested.

    He immediately confessed to it, saying that he asked for a loan and she refused, so he attacked her.  He went on trial on June 27th 1946 at Liverpool Assizes.  His defence was one of insanity, citing his wartime experiences, particularly in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion, where it was said he had to pile bodies together and burn them.  His behaviour became odd and he attempted suicide, a criminal offence for which he served a short prison sentence.  The prosecution countered this, by citing his buying a big coat, to cover some bloodstains that wee on his coat.  Prison doctors who examined him stated they found no mental illness.  Hendren was convicted and was executed on July 17th 1946 at Walton Prison by Albert Pierrepoint.

The Colonial Parkway Killer

This is another of the unknown and unsolved serial killer cases that proliferate the USA.  Yet, multiple murder is a extremely serious and heinous crime but some cases just do not attract the national media attention as one of the "name" cases.  This series of grisly murders happened over a three year period in the state of Virginia.  Each of the four double murders, were of young couples, in the same vein of most of the Zodiac killings.  No, I do not believe the Zodiac had switched his base.  This is somebody preying on young people.  The first victims were a gay couple, Cathleen Thomas 27, and Rebecca Dowski, 21.  They were discovered in the back of their vehicle, a Honda Civic, that had been sent down an embankment, by a jogger.  This was by the York River, a few miles away from Williamsburg in Virginia.  The Police discovered that they had been bound, strangled and then had their throats cut.  Their possessions, along with money, were still in the car.  This ruled out robbery as a motive.  Their bodies had also had diesel fuel poured over them but obviously, the killer decided not to burn them.  The date was October 12th 1986.

    The killer then had a rather long "cooling off period" - personally, I no longer believe that serial killers have cooling off periods, I believe they kill because quite simply, they want to - because it was not until September the following year, that the bodies of David Knobling, 20, & Robin Edwards, 14, were found in the Ragged island Wildlife Refuge, in Isle of Wight County, near Smithfield, Virginia.  The young girl had her bra used as a ligature upon herself.  They had last been seen on September 19th 1987.  Police discovered David`s vehicle, two days later.  Keys in the ignition, his wallet there, radio on, pointing to the obvious conclusion that they must have been taken to their murder spot by gunpoint.

    The following year, on April 9th 1988, another young couple were reported missing.  Richard Call, 20 & Cassandra Hailey, 18, have never been found.  Their car, a Toyota Celica, was discovered in Colonial Parkway, with clothing inside, including underwear, suggesting that they had been interrupted by the killer.  The last known victims were Daniel Lauer, 21 & Anna Phelps, 18, who were reported missing on September 5th 1989.  It was in October 1989, that their remains were discovered by a hunter, close to Interstate 64, between Richmond & Williamsburg.  This sadistic killer remains at large, with suspicions about the killer being a cop.  This would put any victims at ease because of the uniform & badge.  They would have no idea what was awaiting them.  But then again, it could have been somebody "that did not look the type."  Whatever, he had gotten away with multiple murder.  So far.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

"The Last Gangster"

This memoir from a sixties london villain, Charlie Richardson, is actually doing soundly in the bestselling charts, unlike many of the other criminal memoirs.  This genre is now a dying breed, as many publishers are no longer interested in selective recollections of old villains.  Plus some have come out that are complete fiction.  But in the minds of these people, their tomes are bestsellers, showing just how much their adoring public love them.  Right.  However, the book about Richardson, who died last year, did receive a critical savaging in Private Eye.  Of course you can quote sales figures and say "what about that then?"  But the truth is, these books do cater to basically the lowest common denominator.  The comment in P.E. is that men are not great fiction readers and buyers but will buy a different kind of fiction.  Seems a reasonable argument in my book, though I have bought a great deal of these books, new & second hand.  There, I put my hands up.  Guilty m`lud.  However, I have long moved away from this.

    Truth is always hard to obtain from a criminal; they were never caught fair and square.  They were always fitted up, because they were far too clever for the cops.  Never lost a fight and were always big players in the criminal world.  The cops who fitted them up were worse than the bent ones who took money from them.  They tend to think that they controlled bent cops, rather than having to bribe them to stop them putting them away.  Who was controlling who then?  In the film "Charlie" starring Luke Goss & Leslie Grantham, the film, in my view, is an apology for Richardson and his associates, which at the end, spells out the criminal records of the men who turned on them.  There is a surveillance photo of one of the men given a beating by them.  He is wearing dark glasses but you can easily see a swollen face.  In a documentary on them, one of the others still stands by his testimony.  This was Benny Coulson.  Yes, big bad Benny and the others stitched up cuddly Charlie, Eddie, Frankie and the rest.  One former gang member, John Bradbury, long living in South Africa, says that they did torture people and he took part in it.

    Richardson claimed that he had no need to torture as he could give them a deadly stare.  You could to people who could not stand up for themselves or were minor villains with no heavy backup.  Not everybody caves in to intimidation;  it can only go so far.  When it looks like somebody is not going to stand for something, whether they are villains or ordinary people, their only recourse is to threaten their wives & children - Cor blimey guv, we never do things like that - or get the bent cops on the payroll to take care of them.  Who is the grass now?  There was a villain operating around West Yorkshire from the 50`s to the 70`s, a streetfighter and heavy villain.  He always carried a gun.  If he was honest, would he have said "If anybody tried to stop me, I would have plugged the fucker!"  No, it would have been, "I shot him by accident.  it was not meant to happen"  Then why carry a firearm?  One man who knew him, and himself was a tough nut, said of him, "I did not like him because he always carried a gun!"  Honesty is hard to come by from criminals.  I once tried to write the memoirs of a local criminal who claimed that it would be the most honest ever written.  It was full of lies, immersing himself into other peoples escapades, playing down his character, but thankfully it never appeared in print, and gave me a very harsh lesson in what these people are like.  

Monday, 17 March 2014

Stephen Peter Morin - How Many Did He Kill?

Morin was a serial killer executed for three known murders but he has been linked to as many as 54!  If this is only half true, then it shows that Morin was a travelling killer, stopping off in a town or city for a few days, then hurriedly moving on.  One person whom has said that Morin wormed his way in with his mother, has stated this; all before the 3 murders he was known to have committed.  Morin waived his appeals after being convicted of the 1981 Capital Murder of Carrie Marie Scott, asking to be put to death.  The State of Texas duly obliged.  Morin is not one of those widely known multiple killers.  He was born on 19th February 1951, and is believed to have drifted around the country.  It is not known when or why he started killing.

    What is known is that he murdered Miss Scott, 21, outside a San Antonio restaurant.  He claimed she would not shut up and his gun went off.  Yeah right.  After killing her, he stole her car, making that a capital crime.  He then abducted a woman called Margaret Palm, but her persistence in talking to him, resulted in her being freed.  After his arrest, he was charged with murdering Carrie Scott, Janna Bruce in Corpus Christi, and later, Sheila Whalen of Golden, Colorado.  He decided to plead guilty to the capital charge, and later waived his appeals against his Death Sentence.  On March 13th 1985, the State of Texas executed Morin by lethal injection, only the 6th to die by that method after Texas dropped the chair.  Morin had been a heavy drug user for years, so it took technicians 40 minutes to find a usable vein.  Something for the apologists to cry about.  Looking into the background of Morin, Police believed he was possibly responsible for the murders of 7 men & 47 women.

    During his time on death row, Morin, like others, turned to God, Karla Faye Tucker is another that springs to mind, but that is mightily convenient when they are facing execution.  Of course it would impress certain people but the 6th Commandment meant nothing to them before God "came into their lives"  Yes, I am very cynical about religion, and the people who go overboard about it.  I do understand that people embrace it as a comforting part of their lives, and that they do not let it dictate their lives, but unfortunately, too many twist what is set in stone, to suit whatever bile and hatred they spew.  Personally, I think black magic is total bollocks!

    It has now emerged that Morin has been linked to 30 murders, not 54.  Wild speculation always follows when a serial killer has been caught, and the body count is usually high.  Thanks to Andy for this correction.

The Freeway Phantom

This unsolved serial murder case dates back to the early 1970`s, in which six young girls and women lost their lives to a predator.  Suspects did emerge but nothing ever panned out.  It remains open as a cold case but one detective who took over the case in the late 80`s believes his suspect is the killer, but that person died a number of years ago, so he will never get to know if he was right.  This murder series started in Washington DC on 25th April 1971, when 13 year old Carol Spinks went to a store just over half a mile away from her home, just over the border into Maryland.  She never returned home.  Six days later, her body was found on a grass embankment by the Northbound section of Interstate 295, 500 yards from Suitland Parkway.  She had been strangled.  The next victim was Darlenia Johnson, 16, was en route to a job at a recreational centre.  11 days later, her body was found dumped in virtually the exact same spot as Carol Spinks.  She too, had been strangled.

    July 8th showed that this maniac drew no distinction on how young his victims were.  Her name was Brenda Crockett, aged just 10.  This was different to the other two, in that Brenda phoned home, where the call was answered by her 7 year old sister.  She said she thought she was in Virginia, and she had been taken by a white man.  She added she would be on he way home in a cab, then hung up.  Shortly afterwards, she rang again, this time it was answered by her mother`s boyfriend.  Brenda repeated what she had earlier said to her sister, and then said she was alone in a house with a white man.  The boyfriend demanded that she put this man on the phone.  He heard heavy footsteps then it rang off.  Some hours later, a hitchhiker came across her body by Route 50, again near to I-295, just inside Prince George County in Maryland.  She had been raped and strangled.  A scarf was wound tightly around her neck.  Police believed that she was forced to say the things she did, in order to buy him time to do whatever he wanted.  Later, a witness came forward, saying that they had seen Darlenia Johnson, on the day she disappeared, in an old black car, driven by a black man.

    The killer struck again on 1st October `71, when 12 year old Nenomoshia Yates went to buy some provisions from a Safeway store in Northeast Washington DC.  She too never made it home, being raped and strangled.  Her body was left close to Pennsylvania Avenue in Prince George County.  By now, the media had dubbed the killer "The Freeway Phantom".  Over a month later, on 15th November, he claimed his next victim, 18 year old Brenda Woodward.  She was on her way by bus to her Maryland Avenue home.  Six hours later, a cop on patrol discovered her body on a grass area near to an access ramp to Route 202.  She was covered with a coat.  She had been stabbed and strangled.  A note was discovered in the pocket of the coat, from the killer.  It read "This is tantamount to my insensititivity(!) to people especially women. I will admit the others when you catch me if you can"  It was believed that he forced Brenda to write it.

    His last known victim was Diane Williams, 17, who was off to visit her boyfriend on September 5th 1972.  Diane, a pupil at Ballou High School, was dumped by I-295.  During the long investigations, a suspect emerged; a member of a gang known as the "Green Vega Gang" who were abducting and raping young girls and women.  Some of them were in jail, when one hoped to cut a deal and implicate another member of the gang as the actual killer.  He gave details that Police had not released, so they thought that they were finally on to the killer.  Then an election loomed, and one of the candidates openly spoke about a suspect in jail, being offered up by another inmate.  The talker immediately clammed up and denied ever saying anything.  This lead has apparently been discarded since, although it is possible he heard details that were being spoken about on the streets.  Another suspect emerged, Robert Elwood Askins, a man with a record of murder stretching back to 1938.  Askins has since died, but one cop believes he is the killer, but cannot prove it.  The case is still open, but many files have been lost or destroyed, leaving a cop who took over the case in 2004, digging up files wherever he could find some.  A good number of cops have felt bad they could not locate the killer, as victims families lashed out saying that because they were black, the cops did not try enough.  That can be true with some, but certainly not, with all.  IF it was Askins, he has gotten away with a series of murders, but the question will always be why?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

"I Don't Like Mondays"

We all know this line from Sir Bob Geldof's famous song about this high school shooting, but compared to the other more notorious slaughters at school, this remains largely forgotten.  Brenda Spencer, 16 at the time, decided to open fire with a .22 rifle at pupils and staff at the school across the road from her home.  This incident started on January 29th 1979 in San Carlos, in San Diego, California.  She started firing at pupils at the Grover Cleveland Elementary School, wounding 8 youngsters but killing the School Principal as he tried to get pupils under cover.  The school`s caretaker was shot dead as he tried to rescue the Principal.  Police arrived on the scene quickly, and one officer was hit in the neck, severely wounding him.  A tense standoff lasted for several hours.  A reporter managed to get Spencer to answer the telephone to talk, and when asked why, she was said to have replied "I don't like mondays!"  Later she said she did not remember saying it.  Policenegoiators tried to talk her out of the house, in which she told them that the people she shot were easy targets, and that she would come out shooting.  In other words, a death by cops scenario.  Eventually she surrendered.  What is the whole story to this tale?

    Brenda Spencer was born on 3rd April 1962 to Wallace & Dot Spencer.  She had two other siblings.  The parents divorced with all the kids staying with their father.  They lived in total poverty.  For reasons unknown, the father bought Brenda a .22 rifle and ammunition.  This is what she used to murder and spread mayhem.  She was just 5`2" tall, very thin, red hair, but showed absolutely no interest in school, and told people that she would like to shoot a cop and "do something big to get on TV"  After she was arrested, tests were done on her to see if she had been drinking or taking drugs.  Nothing was detected.  She was tried as an adult and convicted of two murders and assault with a deadly weapon, for the 8 woundings.  She was sentenced to 25 years to life.  She has been denied parole four times.  The first time she said that she hoped the cops would shoot her and that she had been taking alcohol and drugs at the time.  Tests done at the time, disproved this.  In 2001, she then claimed that her father physically and sexually abused her.  Yet for years she made no mention of this.  She was last denied parole in 2009 and her next application will be in 2019.

    What about the family background?  In a documentary, Dot Spencer blamed her ex-husband for all that had gone on, yet there was no explanation as to why all three children stayed with their father.  The living conditions were bizarre and totally inappropriate, but they stayed with their father.  When told by the interviewer that Brenda accused him of sexually abusing her, he looked astonished and denied it, saying that he would take a polygraph to prove it.  That impressed me.  Polygraphs are not conclusive and not admissible in court but they can give a good indication of truth.  perhaps she did it just to "brighten up" her dull life.  Life is what YOU make it.

Gambling - Of Course It Does Not destroy Lives

Considering just how much we are bombarded on TV with adverts for gambling, whether it is for bingo, bookmakers, online casinos, it makes me wonder how many people get sucked into the promises made by them.  Then before they know it, they owe thousands and despair at how they are going to be out of debt.  As Cliff Brumby said in "Get Carter" " People put money in(his gaming machines) I take it out"  Just about sums it up.  But there are those who will murder in order to get money to pay off their debts.  These are usually regarded as gambling addicts.  I prefer to think of  them as degenerate gamblers. (Joe Pesci in Casino)  Two examples of these degenerate gamblers resorting to killing to rob, are Garry Harding, who murdered Annie Eels and Samantha Tapper, and Rakesh Bhayani who murdered Carole Waugh.  His partner in crime, Nicholas Kutner, was cleared of murder but found guilty of perverting justice.

    Harding committed his double murder in a Shrewsbury massage parlour, covered in an earlier post, but Bhayani & Kutner's`efforts enabled them to ruthlessly plunder the bank accounts of Miss Waugh, displaying how greed can consume somebody.  A person is murdered and two men go out on lavish spending sprees with the victims money!  They truly displayed what Miss Waugh meant to them.  The body of Miss Waugh was eventually discovered in a lock up garage, in New Malden, South West London.  She was in the boot of a VW Golf.  A Pathologist had to use dental records to identify her as she was very badly decomposed.  Miss Waugh had been stabbed.  Over the course of the investigation, a number of men and women were in Police custody.  The women had been paid to impersonate Miss Waugh, and Police accepted that they never knew she had been murdered.  Bhayani & Kutner went on trial at the Old Bailey on 11th October 2013, for murder, fraud and perverting justice.

   Both men were professional con-men, and these type of people are constantly lying, as Bhayani proved in court.  He claimed that Miss Waugh, a wealthy single woman, agreed to help him in an insurance and bank scam that would net them hundreds of thousands of pounds.  Why would she do this?  She was not desperate for money, unlike the two accused.  By Bhayani`s account, Miss Waugh and Kutner were alone in her flat when she died, implying that Kutner was responsible.  He admitted concealing her body, cramming it into a large holdall bag.  Then they went out and plundered her bank accounts, assets, even renting out her expensive flat to unsuspecting clients.  Convicted of murder, Bhayani received a minimum of 27 years.  Kutner was cleared of murder but guilty of perverting justice, receiving 13 years.

    Bhayani had a very long career of fraud and deception, even remortgaging family members homes without their knowledge.  He would rob and destroy anybody just so he get money to gamble.  His criminal record stretched to 14 court appearances, charged with nearly one hundred offences.  Kutner was a silver spoon child, adopted by a very wealthy family, so no doubt believed he deserved a high flying lifestyle at anybody`s cost.  He was involved in scams buying and selling expensive wines, in a career consisting of 13 court appearances, also for nearly one hundred offences.  Their counsels argued that they were conmen, not violent men.  Yet Miss Waugh was violently murdered, and she stood in the way of what they wanted; money.

    So what of Carole Waugh?  She was 49 years old, single, daughter of a colliery electrician in County Durham, worked as a civil servant, worked for an oil company in Libya.  Family believed she made her money as a successful businesswoman, even her former boss said he did not believe she was involved in anything sordid.  Yet she bought a two bedroomed flat in the Marylebone area of London, an exclusive area, for £650,000!  Police did uncover evidence that she advertised herself as an escort on the Internet, possibly even as a high class prostitute, although this was never proven.  It would certainly explain the wealth and assets she had, acquired by working at this for a good few years, but the truly sad part of this story is that Carole Waugh was a desperately lonely woman, and using the Internet to meet people can be dangerous, as some cases have shown.  She met two conmen whose only passion was for money at any cost.  Sad. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

Andrew Six - Serial Killer

This man was labelled a serial killer 16 years after his execution, after a DNA cold case review put him firmly in the frame for a triple murder 30 years before.  It was in 1987 that Andrew Wessel Six aged 22, and Donald Eugene Petary, 49, went to a home in Ottumwa in Iowa to supposedly buy a truck.  What they did instead was to subject the family to a truly horrifying experience.  Going out on a test run in the truck with Janet Allen, they tied her up.  When they returned to the Allen home, where Don Allen was also bound.  Six then carried out a sickening sexual attack on 17 year old Christine Allen.  A plan was hatched to abduct the family, but the father and daughter managed to escape.  Janet Allen had her throat slashed, a gruesome injury that required 50 stitches.  But this twisted pair sank even lower when they abducted 12 year old Kathy Allen, who was mentally handicapped.

    They crossed state lines to go into Missouri, an act that brought in the FBI.  The poor girl was sexually assaulted by Andrew Six, had her throat slashed and her body dumped near to Highway 63.  They made their way to Texas but a widespread bulletin from the FBI yielded results very quickly, with the duo being arrested in Texas.  They told agents where they had left the body, and took them to it.  They were put on trial in Missouri, which has the Death Penalty, and as it was a kidnapping across state lines and murder, this became a capital crime.  Iowa is one of about 15 states that no longer has the Death penalty. They were both convicted and condemned to death.  Six received his just rewards on August 20th 1997.  Donald Petary escaped the gurney, dying from cancer in 1998.

    A cold case review of the triple murders of Sarah Link aged 41, her son, 20 year old Justin Hook, and Justin`s girlfriend, 19 year old Tina Lade.  Six was a suspect in this crime but Police had no evidence to charge him and DNA techniques were only in the development stage.  This triple homicide took place in April 1984.  All three had suffered blunt force trauma.  Clothing kept in cold storage yielded the DNA of Six in 2014, clearing up a 30 year old mystery, and that the perpetrator had got his just desserts.  Who can say that DNA has not been the greatest breakthrough in fighting crime?

Mark Brandon Read - "Legend or King Bullshitter"

It was in October 2013 that saw the death of a man feted in Australia as a "celebrity criminal" and also regarded as a bullshit merchant, inventing tales and even immersing himself in other peoples` crimes.  This man was Mark Brandon Read aka "Chopper", a man who penned 15 books of true life adventures and novels - some would say they were the same thing - and had a film made about him starring Eric Bana.  He was used in commercials, promotional adverts and anything that kept his face and name in the public eye.  In a number of his books, the promotional blurb boasted that Read was responsible for 19 murders - How does a mass killer like that walk around free? - but it has come out that Read has only, by his own admission, killed four times.  Such grandiose boasting places everything that came from his lips as probable bullshit.  The Melbourne Police are said to be looking into his claims of four murders.  They said that they have nothing on file about suspicions of him being a murderer.

    Read was born in Melbourne in 1954 to a mother who was a 7th Day Adventist and an Army man father.  He showed behavioural problems that saw him in and out of childrens homes, and psychiatric hospitals.  He gravitated to crime whilst still a teenager, robbing massage parlours before finding that drug pushers were far more profitable.  He also targeted other criminals using bolt cutters and a blow torch to torture them into giving up their illicit gains.  These type of criminals in Australia are known as "Standover Men".  Over here, for a long time, they were known as "Thieves Ponces" - the best known were the Krays - but now it`s the term "Taxmen".  To me, they are still ponces.  He was jailed in 1973 for attempting to kidnap a judge in order to get a friend released from prison.  In Pentridge Prison, he and a couple of associates became known as "The Overcoat Gang" wearing long coats to conceal weapons in an ongoing war with other criminals.  He asked a friend to slice his ears off, as a protest about authorities refusal to move him to another prison.  He was also repeatedly stabbed in the abdomen, then a couple of years after this, a triple killer slit his stomach open.

     He then had short spells on the outside before he was back behind bars.  As usual, he had methods of forcing people to hand over money to him, a cigar held to a stick of gelignite for example, showing just what a hero he was to the public.  He started his writing career thanks to journalist John Silvester who persuaded him to write of his experiences.  Then started his climb to "celebrity".  He claimed that his first murder was that of Painters & Dockers Union boss Des Costello in the beginning of the 70`s.  There had been waterfront wars between dockers and others in Melbourne, stretching back to the 50`s.(They made London & Liverpool dockers look like sweethearts)  Read says he was just 17 years old at the time.  Another was that of a drug pusher that he shot "In self defence" and was acquitted.  He also claimed to have murdered Sid Collins, president of an Outlaws MC chapter.  He received 6 years for GBH!  Despite killing an Outlaw, there were no reprisals, which surely would not have gone down well in the USA, or were this lot not able to come up to the mark? 

    So what is the legacy of Read?  Some writers and journalists see him as a bullshitter.  Criminals have said that he immersed himself into other peoples` crimes, simply to boost his ego and credibility.  He has admitted embroidering some of his stories.  The question is, how much?  If you read his books, every criminal in Oz is a complete wanker compared to him and some of his buddies.  Abe Saffron, Neddy Smith, the Morans, the Pierces & Pettingills, Chris Flannery, Graeme Jensen, Mick Gatto, Graham Kinniburgh.  All infamous Oz villains.  All of them obviously unable to walk under the same sun as Read.  Oz has lost it`s only criminal superstar.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Anthony Bellchambers - Double Murderer

This case caused a furore with the family and friends of Linda Dolan, murdered by her boyfriend Tony Bellchambers, after it emerged he was already a convicted killer.  He murdered 40 year old mother of two Linda in 2003, in Hermitage Road in Upper Norwood, then he gassed himself in Biggin Hill, in a car.  Linda`s family had great concerns for her as she told them of the violence she was suffering at the hands of electrician Bellchambers.  Police were called out several times after Bellchambers assaulted her, but eventually, the violence of Bellchambers - 57 -went too far.  Then later, the shocking details of his past life emerged, bringing calls from Linda`s family for the law to be changed over convicted killers and when they are released.

    The first shocking piece of news was that Bellchambers had been a Policeman, until he carried out an armed robbery at a hostel, earning him a stretch in prison.  After release, he took up trade as an electrician, but it was what happened in 1984.  He was given a life sentence for organising a murder.  He discovered that his wife was having an affair with printer Norman Cleary aged 33.  This enraged him enough to plan on how to get his wife back; he offered the ex-wife of Cleary, 38 year old Mary, £1000 to have sex with her former husband, then tell his wife her boyfriend was bed hopping.  Mary completely refused saying it was disgusting.  Bellchambers decided that the only solution was to have Mr Cleary killed.  Through a third party, £10,000 was paid to 54 year old Lawrence Shirey, to carry out the murder.

    In order to establish an alibi, Bellchambers was drinking in a pub with friends on the night in question.  Shirey attacked Mr Cleary in his flat in Islington, beating him savagely over the head.  Mr Cleary lived for three weeks before succumbing to his extensive injuries.  After leaving, Shirey drove past the pub Bellchambers was in, giving two long blasts on the horn as a signal that the grisly deed was done.  But in all the best laid plans, it all fell apart and the two were arrested and charged, and convicted at the Old Bailey.  Bellchambers was considered fit for release sixteen years later in 2000.  Three years later Linda Dolan fell victim to his violence.

The Lady In The Lake Mystery

This would read like a Raymond Chandler novel but for the fact that it happened in one of the remotest regions of England; Cumbria.  A French student named Veronique Marre had vanished from the area the previous summer.  It was in December 1983 that the discovery by a member of a sub-aqua club diving in the deepest lake in England, Lake Wastwater, in Cumbria, of a large hessian sack.  He reported his find to police saying that it may contain a body.  It was in March of 1984, that Police frogmen did an extensive search of the area reported by the diver.  By sheer luck, they found the sack more than one hundred feet from the shore and more than 100 feet down.  In parts, the lake depth drops to more than two hundred and fifty feet, so they were extremely fortunate.

     The body was well preserved, thought to be because of the very cold temperature of the lake.  Discovered with the body were two rings, one being a gold wedding ring with an inscription "Margaret 15-11-63 Peter".  An examination of the body revealed that it was a female, aged between 30-40, plump, short dark hair and 5ft 5ins tall.  One theory from Police was that she was dumped into the lake from a small plane.  But that would surely require two men, one to pilot and the other to push the body out.  How about a rowing boat?  This would surely have to be carried out after dark, but it could be managed by one man.  Another theory was that the victim could have been dumped in there as long ago as 1976.

    UPDATE The body was identified as Margaret Hogg, an air stewardess who had married pilot Peter Hogg, nearly twenty years her senior.  Margaret Hogg had a three year affair with a Banker named Graham Ryan, and flaunted it in her husbands` face.  One day, she was said to have attacked him, punching and kicking him, so he grabbed around the neck and squeezed, killing her.  He wrapped the body in a carpet, tied a slab of concrete to it and dumped it in the lake. Police had an identification by friends as Adipocere had set in, preserving much of the body.  Peter Hogg was a prime suspect initially but when arrested, he denied anything to do with it.  Later he confessed, and received 4 years for manslaughter, perjury and obstructing a coroner.  The body of Veronique Marre was found in April 1984, up on a mountain, at the bottom of a cliff, the cause of death unknown.  Thank you to Sid Law for this update.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Death of Hilda Murrel PT2

Further to my post on this case, I had the opportunity to read a most revealing book by her nephew Robert Greene, a man who worked in Naval Intelligence, but not, as reported in some quarters as serving on the submarine that sank the Argentine Cruiser the General Belgrano, during the Falklands War, or even commanding it.  Mr Greene reveals all what is known about the case and the behaviour of the Police over the case.  Mr Greene gives his opinions on who was involved in the abduction and murder of his aunt.  I would like to post a couple of my thoughts.

    Mr Greene spoke about phone tapping, mail interception, and obvious secret surveillance, along with intimidation of people who refused to the follow the line of thought that was being given to them by authorities.  I agree that the spooks (MI5) would be the people behind this, but I do not think they were responsible for the abduction and murder of Miss Murrel.  There were far too many people seen out and about the immediate vicinity, and the same cars kept being seen by witnesses.  This would be too shoddy and tenth rate for security services, so my belief is that probably some were people working for the nuclear industry, with one or two bottom of the barrel "security" firms brought in.  These would be protected by the spooks as far as they could but if the shit hit the fan, they would, in the immortal words of Mission Impossible, "Disavow any knowledge of their actions".

    Mr Greene spoke of attacks on people who supported him.  One woman was actually assaulted a couple of times and even raped!  This smacks of a "security" company staffed by criminals.  Remember, in a programme, TV reporter Roger Cook told of a security company operated by a convicted sex offender.  So it is certainly possible that a rogue firm was brought in.  How would a thug react to being given a green light to do whatever he wanted?  He would think he was in a sweet shop!  He is basically licenced to act like 007.  Licenced to kill.  Some facts to remember about the case; numerous witnesses saw her car being driven by a big broad shouldered man aged 25 - 40.  Miss Murrel was found in a wooded area that had already been searched by a man checking out trees that were going to be cut down.  The "explanation" for him not seeing a body right in front of him was that he was too busy looking up at the trees!  Believe that and you believe in Santa Claus!!!  A man was convicted years later for the murder.  He was just 16 at the time, 5ft tall and scrawny, and unable to drive any vehicle.  All those witnesses obviously were wrong in their observations.  How could they put ten to twenty years on him, greatly increase his height and build, and transform him into a driver?  There are cases that simply will never die; the A6 murder, Derek Bentley, Stephen Lawrence, and others.  This is one as well.  Good luck to Mr Greene in getting to the truth.

Heather Stephenson-Snell - Deluded Killer

No matter how well educated or qualified a person can be, they can still carry out acts that defy logic.  They can even commit crimes that go against their teaching or training.  Heather Stephenson-Snell is a great point in question.  She was a trained Psychotherapist, yet, for all her training, that went straight out of the window when she became a spurned woman in 2004.  She became a stalker and then a killer.  But her victim was a person in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The story began when 46 year old Stephenson advertised for a dog sitter, whilst she ran her clinic.  Her advert was answered by 44 year old Adrian Sinclair.  They became lovers but as quickly, Adrian Sinclair, decided against continuing.  Stephenson did not think he was suitable for her dog requirements, as she left for a trip to New York.  The relationship ended and Mr Sinclair started seeing Diane Lomax aged 38.  This drove her to try to sabotage their relationship.

    Police started receiving messages that the pair were paedophiles.  The couple also received threatening phone calls, death threats, and threats to burn their homes down.  Unbeknown to them, Stephenson began getting shooting lessons, and meticulously planning the assassination of Diane Lomax.  She planned escape routes, and kept Miss Lomax`s home under surveillance.  A nice little hobby for somebody supposedly trained to help people.  It was on Halloween that Stephenson put her plan into action.  Wearing a white cloak and a "Scream" mask, she started banging on the door of Miss Lomax.  Stephenson was carrying a sawn off shotgun.  Luckily for Miss Lomax, she could see this figure through a peephole and knew it was and so kept the door locked.  The racket brought out a neighbour to investigate the noise, 43 year old Robert Wilkie.  Stephenson shot him at point blank range, then escaped.  Mr Wilkie died.  Police quickly arrived, and a call was put out.  Stephenson was stopped on the M62 motorway driving into Yorkshire, as she was driving very slowly.  A search of the car produced the weapon and she was under arrest.  She was convicted of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 22 years.

    One point that a number of newspapers got wrong was that Stephenson had formed her own all-girl motorcycle gang, and that it was referred to as a woman`s chapter of the Hells Angels.  Well, quite frankly, that is never going to happen, and for decades in Britain, any unruly bikers have been referred to as HA.  For starters, there are only 17 HA chapters in England & Wales, mostly down south, with only two in the north of England; Manchester & Tyne & Wear.  These 17 clubs are officially chartered by the mother chapter in the USA, Oakland, and the name and trademark is very rigidly protected around the world.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Blackout Ripper

This latter day "Ripper" committed four murders and two attempted murders in just a week in early 1942.  This assailant earned his monicker due to it being blackout conditions in London, and some mutilations he carried out on his victims.  The first victim was 42 year old teacher Evelyn Margaret Hamilton.  Her body was found in an air raid shelter on February 9th.  She had been strangled, and the possible motive was robbery.  The next day, February 10th, prostitute Evelyn Oakley, 35, was found in a Soho flat.  She was nude and had been strangled.  Other injuries were plain to see.  Her throat had been slashed and a tin opener had been used to mutilate her body after death.  She had also been raped.  The tin opener was found with bloody prints on it.  Legendary Scotland Yard detective Ted Greeno, was leading the hunt.  It was discovered that the killer was left handed.

    The next victim was Margaret Frances Lowe, mother of a 14 year old daughter and a prostitute.  She was found nude, had been cut with a razor blade and knife, and had a stocking tightly bound around her neck.  The wounds were determined to be post mortem.  The next attack was on February 14th, the victim being Doris Jounannet, aged 32.  She was found murdered in a flat in Sussex Gardens in Paddington.  She too, had been strangled and mutilated.  Witnesses had earlier seen her with a man in uniform.

    Police appealed to prostitutes to come forward with anything about any clients that worried them.  The natural mistrust of Police was still in evidence with the streetwalkers but newspaper reports of what the victims had suffered, persuaded two to come forward.  Margaret Heywood told of a polite man she had met and went for a meal and drink with him in a hangout for prostitutes.  When they left, he attempted to drag her into a doorway and then tried to strangle her.  Luckily for her, a delivery man was nearby and heard her screams.  The assailant ran off as the delivery man approached.  He had dropped a gas mask with a serial number on it.  Next to speak to Police was prostitute Cathleen Mulcahy.  She took a prospective client to her flat in Southwark Street.  As she undressed, he attacked her and attempted to strangle her.  But she fought back and he fled.  He had left behind a military belt with a serial number on it.

The numbers were traced to Gordon Cummins, but he claimed to have been in his billet at the time of the attacks.  Greeno discovered, however, that other men would sign people back into their barracks in return for cigarettes or booze.  A search of his locker revealed items he had stolen from his victims.  He was found to be left handed, and his fingerprints matched those on the tin opener.  He was arrested and charged with murder.  He was convicted and sentenced to death.  He was executed at Wandsworth Jail on June 25th 1942 by Albert Pierrepoint.  Why he went on a murder spree is unclear.  Was it hatred of women?  He was married and initially tried to convince his wife that he was innocent or may have not been in his right mind, possibly to spare her from the thought that she had married a madman.  That rules that out.  Did he commit them during blackouts?  Well, that is mighty convenient to have blackouts at the time you are committing multiple murders!  Who will ever know the true reason.  After his execution, it emerged that a body that had been found in October 1941, that of a Mrs Church, which had prints of Cummins all over her body.  Did he commit others one would think?

Friday, 7 March 2014

The Real Yorkshire Ripper Saga

This tale is about a man from the Republic of Ireland whom has been claiming for many years that Peter Sutcliffe was merely a copycat killer and that the real killer was a man from the ROI named Billy Tracey.  This man is Noel O'Gara, and he published a book about it in ROI, free from libel laws of Britain, and has come very unstuck with some of his claims.  I agree that Sutcliffe may not have committed all 13 known murders, but I believe he has done most of them, plus many more attacks.  That is my opinion, which is not fact but speculation.  He believes that Joan Harrison, murdered in Preston in 1975, was a victim of Tracey.  DNA proved in 2011 that the killer was a man named Smith who died in 2008.  No doubt this is a case of cops stitching up a dead man because the whole saga is a very bad can of worms.  

    Another case is that the hoax tape sent to police which sent them in a totally wrong direction, letting the real killer go free.  Years after, Chief Superintendent Chris Gregg, gave the envelopes the letters were sent in, a final analysis for DNA, as techniques had vastly improved.  They got a match on the database, which threw up John Humble, a man from Wearside, matching the accent on the tape.  A dialect expert even managed to pinpoint the area the man came from.  Humble was convicted and jailed for 8 years.  Mr O'Gara then claimed that Chris Gregg had stitched up Humble.  Another plot by the dastardly Police trying their best to cover up for the real killer, no doubt. Mr O'Gara claimed that the tape was sent by Tracey, who apparently was a master of dialects!  Humble has since admitted sending the letters and the tape.  The claim of a stitch up cost Mr O'Gara £50,000 plus costs in a libel suit brought by Chris Gregg.

    Looking at various forums, I was surprised to see Mr O`Gara`s name in the defence of Ronald Castree, the man convicted in 2007 of the 1975 sex murder of young Lesley Molseed, on the moors.  You can actually see the murder spot from the M62 as you drive past Windy Hill, towards Huddersfield.  He claims that Lesley was murdered by Sutcliffe.  Advances in DNA testing on her clothes brought a hit on the database; Ronald Castree.  I don`t know about you but has it struck(sorry) anybody that Sutcliffe had a predilection for young girls?  Castree did.  He was swabbed for a sex attack that no charges were brought.  His former wife spoke out about a sick obsession with schoolgirls, his son spoke about the violence he constantly dished out to the family.  Of course, they could have been briefed by the plod before cameras rolled.  Do you believe that? I certainly don`t.

    Topping it all off, how did this start?  To quote from his book generally, Police were looking for a bearded, stocky man.  A psychological profile of the man was given, which instantly made him realise who they were looking for.  So Billy Tracey is the only bearded, stocky man with these twisted traits.  Right.  He must be the most unique man in the entire British Isles!  The Sutcliffe saga will always run because my belief is that it is bigger than the original investigation, but that is my opinion.  I almost did run into Mr O`Gara one day.  He had arranged to meet a guy in Bradford Library, who asked at the desk if he had arrived.  I had a quick word with this man then left, then seeing a well dressed man go up to this man inside. Mr O`Gara does have some good points, in that they very quickly scaled down the investigation, but I think the finding of the hammer and screwdriver clinched it.  We remember seeing Ronald Gregory & Oldfield with big grins on their faces, but the sad fact is, he was local, as surviving victims said he had a local accent, perfectly fitted photofits, had connections to the £5 note found on Jean Jordan, was constantly seen in red light areas, and not just Bradford`s.  Sorry Mr O`Gara but we will have to agree to disagree if you read this.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Marsha Spicer & Michelle Ricci - Victims of Twisted Couple

What compels somebody to decide to sadistically torture and murder people?  Everybody and their uncle(including me!) will give our views on this subject.  It is becoming so commonplace that these people are going off it on drugs, that it no longer comes as a surprise.  Yes, that`s right.  The substances that, according to the fucknuts, do not do any harm.  Well, yet again, we come across a twisted couple who embarked on a savage course whilst digesting methamphetamine like it is going out of fashion.  As I have stated before, the legalisation fucknuts would not want these two near their homes, or especially, having their hands on the females of the house.  Oh no, how despicable.  My god, they would be forced to complain to the fuzz, the pigs, the man.  Oh the irony there.....

     Marsha Spicer aged 41 was the first victim.  She was one of those with meth problems and so could easily be manipulated by her killers.  "You do as we say, you get free meth"  Michelle Ricci, 36, fell into the same trap.  Willing to put up with all kinds of indignities, solely for the substances that do not harm anybody.  They also had to endure being filmed, but not realising that they were being lined up to be murdered.  This sick couple were Ricky Davis, 40, & Dena Dolores Riley, 38.  Davis was released from Bonne Terre prison in Missouri, on 25th May 2005, after serving nearly 18 years for rape.  He tried to claim that it was consensual and nothing should be read into the fact that he held a knife to the throat of the victim!  Davis grew up in Kansas City, and by the age of 13, was a chronic delinquent, spending much time in reform & juvenile halls.  Naturally, he gravitated to adult prisons.  He claimed to have found religion whilst inside - pause for laughter - which obviously helped in his parole application.

    Gaining his freedom, Davis actually obeyed strictly all the rules of his parole for nine months.  Nine months!  But he was developing an obsession with Asphyxiation, dominance & sadism during sex.  He wanted to strangle a woman during sex!!!  Whilst being a good boy, he trawled the Internet for websites that catered for his twisted fantasies.  His partner in crime was Dena Dolores Riley, 38, who grew up in Kansas City.  She married just weeks after graduating from Hickman Hills High School in 1985 and had three children.  Marriage and family life eventually bored her, so she started going with other men and taking drugs, something her husband could not tolerate.  He sued for divorce and was granted custody of the children.  This suited her fine.  Later she had a fourth child by another man.

    Now a woman by the name of Lorie Dunfield came into the picture.  Davis asked her to join him in having threesomes with other women, killing them, then disposing of the bodies.  Naturally, this freaked her out and she fled.  But Dena Riley didn`t.  Davis had found his partner.  A fisherman found the nude body of a woman near a creek outside Bates City in Missouri, on 15th May 2006.  She had been raped, beaten and strangled.  It was Marsha Spicer.  Upon hearing of the find, Lorie, who had known Marsha, reported the encounter with Davis to the Police.  Lafayette County Sheriff & Independence Police officers, went to their address in Truman Road.  They discovered a camera, paraphernalia on sadomasochistic sex and marijuana - violating his parole.  Incredibly, Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh told them to get out of the house whilst he applied for a warrant.  Officers had to watch as they drove away.  It took two visits to a judge to get the warrant.  Back at the house, a video showed the torture and murder of Marsha, then another tape was discovered showing the same result to another woman.  A still from the video was publicised in order to get identification.  This was seen by Sherry Ballew, who recognised her daughter, Michelle Ricci.  Both women had had problems with meth.

    Davis & Riley went on the run, going to St. Louis, Illinois, Perryville Missouri, kansas City, then into Kansas.  There they stopped off at the home of Davis` sister.  They went out with his sister, husband and small child.  They persuaded them to let them bring the child home later.  The child was sexually assaulted.  At first, they were going to kill her, then decided to let her live.  Topping themselves up with drugs, they drove around and got lost.  Davis actually rang 911, asking for directions so they could return the child, then were going to commit suicide by overdose.  A cop kept him talking whilst Police units raced to where they were heading.  Davis fell asleep and run the vehicle off the road.  They were apprehended.  The young girl required surgery after the assault.  In custody, they admitted killing Michelle, dumping her body, then returning to it to set it alight with fuel.  They told cops where it was.  Thankfully, they are off the streets for good.

Carol Wilkinson. Was She A Ripper Victim?

Recent speculation has emerged that Peter Sutcliffe may have committed many more attacks than has previously thought.  The shit hit the fan with retired cop Chris Clark announcing that Sutcliffe may be linked to 17 other homicides around the country.  Naturally, this provoked anger from local Police.  But think about it.  Lorry drivers travel around the country, they get about.  Is it logical to assume that he would not attack some woman if the opportunity presented itself, because he is not in the north?  One case Mr Clark has looked at, is the October 1977 murder of Carol Wilkinson, for which Anthony Steel spent 20 years in prison before his conviction was overturned in 2003.  What happened to Carol?

    Carol Wilkinson lived on the Ravenscliffe Estate in Bradford, and was walking to work at a nearby bakery, in October of 1977.  20 year old Carol never made it.  She was found near the bakery, battered.  A paving stone was the weapon,and Carol was put on a life support machine, which was switched off 3 days later.  It was now murder.  Cops ruled it out as a Ripper killing, due to 3 reasons. Different weapon, time of day and victimology.  Let us have a look at them.  Wrong type of weapon.  How about opportunity?  Improvising.  A brick is as good a weapon as a hammer.  Time of day.  It was early in the morning.  So what.  Does a killer rigidly stick to an MO, ala "Criminal Minds?"  Victimology.  Carol was not a prostitute.  Did it matter?  She was a handy victim.  These do not prove Sutcliffe was the attacker but reports have emerged that Sutcliffe knew the estate, with some people alleged to have chased him from the estate. Seven hours before, Sutcliffe had returned to attack the body of Jean Jordan in Manchester.  Did he go on the prowl before going to work, scouting out a potential victim?  Possibly.  The case ran cold until 18 months later, when a man appeared on the Police radar.

    This man was Anthony Steel, a young man from Ravenscliffe.  He allegedly confessed to it but later retracted it.  At Leeds Crown Court, this made no difference and he was jailed for life, protesting his innocence.  Calls over the years to review the case and conviction did not move things along, even with the Rough Justice TV show questioning aspects of the case.  Finally, in 2003, Mr Steel had his conviction quashed, an apology from the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, and compensation of £100,000.  Mr Steel died in 2007, aged just 52.  Rough Justice revealed inaccuracies in his "confession" and psychological tests revealed that he was of low intelligence, vulnerable highly suggestible.  Before he died, Mr Steel told a filmmaker that he was relentlessly questioned- "You did it, we can prove it, etc" He claims that he was assaulted by officers, and repeatedly told him "Sign this, you'll go home, get bail, etc" and that they wrote out the confession and browbeat him into signing it.  This was before the days of PACE (Police & Criminal Evidence Act) but in some cases these days, that act apparently does not come into it, depending on the cops involved.

    The case bore similarities to the murder of Yvonne Pearson in 1978, which was originally ruled out as a Ripper murder, but later included.  Again, in this case, did Sutcliffe improvise?  Not using a hammer meant that he did not actively seek a victim because he did not have his tools but a potential victim did materialise, so he used what heavy weapon he could lay his hands on.  It also explains the lack of stab wounds.  That is if it was Sutcliffe.  Chris Clark has opened a nasty can of worms that I believe some Police wish would just go away.  Here, two victims need the truth, the families of Carol Wilkinson and Tony Steel.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Daytona Beach Killer

As serial killings, there are  a great many we simply do not hear about because they do not have the media buzz about like Bundy, Dahmer, Ridgway, etc but these killers have one big advantage over their compatriots, in that they are still free or they have died knowing that they have gotten away with multiple murder.  One such case that I came across was that of the Daytona Beach Killer.  He is believed to be responsible for four murders, in that the similarity of the attacks, then a matching of DNA and ballistics, led Daytona cops to realise that they had a serial killer on the loose.  These murders spanned a two year period, from December 2005 to December 2007.

    The first victim was Laquetta Gunther, a 45 year old woman, claimed to have been a prostitute.  She was found in an alley on December 26th 2005, with a gunshot to the back of her head.  Police recovered DNA from the scene, but had very little to go on.  Then on January 14th 2006, 34 year old Julie Green was found shot in the back of her head.  She too, was thought to have been a prostitute.  There was no DNA found but there were tyre tracks found, thought to have been a 2003 make by Taurus or Sable.  The killer struck again on February 24th 2006, when 35 year old Iwana Patton was found on a dirt road.  She too had been shot but not in the back of the head, as it appeared she struggled with her assailant.  A shell casing recovered at the scene showed the weapon to be a .40 Smith & Wesson Sigma Series VE.  DNA and bullets linked all three murders.

    Then there was a long break from anymore killings, until the body of Stacey Charlene Gage was found on 2nd January 2008.  Police believe the 30 year old was murdered on 11th December 2007.  She was not a prostitute but a woman with drug problems, so it is logical to assume she may have decided to try prostituting in order to get drug money.  She ran into the wrong man.  A prostitute was found dead in October 2006, and was at first, thought to have been strangled but an autopsy was inconclusive.  Local Police Chief Michael Chitwood said that it was possible she did not die by foul play, which leaves it open to further investigation. 

    Two other murders possibly linked to this serial killer are that of Regan Kendall, whose dismembered remains were found between Osceola parkway & Boggy Creek Road - the dismembering is a different MO to the four - and Kelly Lanthorne, found dead at the South Orange Blossom Trail in Orange County.  Here`s hoping the killer(s) of these women is apprehended and punished.

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Disappearance of Kara Kopetsky

This teenager disappeared in May of 2007 with the finger of suspicion pointing firmly at her former boyfriend but with no evidence linking him to her disappearance, he has not been charged with any offence.  He has been jailed for drug offences afterwards.  The nightmare began for Kara`s mother Rhonda Beckford and her stepfather Jim Beckford on 4th May 2007, when 17 year old Kara went off to school in the town of Belton in Missouri.  She had asked her mother to clean her work uniform for when she came home from school, and had forgotten a book, so her mother said she would drop it in at the school.  Jim Beckford arrived home in the afternoon and Kara`s work uniform was still there.  Kara usually arrived home at around 2.30pm, but was not there.  He rang her cellphone but it went straight to email.  He phoned her workplace - Popeye`s Chicken - but she had not arrived there.  She was very punctual.  He phoned her mother and told her what was happening.  At 5pm they called the Police but they treated it as a runaway.

    The family explained that she was not a runaway, her money, clothes & Ipod were still there.  They also told them that she had a problem with her ex-boyfriend, in that he tried to abduct her but she jumped from his car and was in the process of taking out a restraining order against him.  Her family and friends searched the area extensively but there was no trace of her.  It was to take another disappearance for the Police to take events seriously.  On June 2nd, 18 year old Kelsey Smith from Overland Park, vanished. Police response was swift, simply because her father was a cop.  The disappearance of a cop`s daughter brought national media attention, which also brought the disappearance of Kara to the fore.  But it needed this to have Kara`s case taken seriously.  Four days later, the body of Kelsey was found and her killer quickly apprehended.  Edwin Hall was later convicted and jailed for life without parole.

    Cctv footage showed Kara leaving school in the morning as she sometimes skipped some lessons.  As she was 17, the school viewed her as an adult and did not feel compelled to contact her parents.  Her phone records revealed that she had received a call from her former boyfriend that lasted 20 minutes.  She was due to be in court on the 10th in regards to the restraining order she was seeking.  He has since been jailed for four years for drug offences and people who knew him told of an aggressive temper he had.  Police said that everything was circumstantial and could not arrest him without direct proof.  According to one person, this boyfriend has boasted of feeding people to pigs but was it just a boast or is there something to it?  The family and friends keep her memory alive with appeal pages on Facebook, websites, memorial walks, in the hope that one day she will be found.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Murder of Christine Elkins

This is a case of dogged and determined Law Enforcement people simply not letting go, finding the body of Christine Elkins and putting away her killers.  The men doggedly pursuing the case where ATF agent Michael Schmitz, ATF Special Agent Mark James, Supervisory Agent Duane Nichols and Maryville cop Randy Strong.  The case started out with SA James wanting to build a case against local thief and thug Tony Emery, who had then decided to distribute Methamphetamine, using violence and intimidation to corner the meth market in Northeast Missouri.  The ATF caught a break when a former pusher for Emery, 32 year old Christine Elkins, decided to turn informer against Emery, and his cousin, Herb "Tug" Emery.  She had peddled meth for Emery for 18 months.  Emery had heard that cops had been around to see Christine Elkins, so with his cousin and a friend, Bobby Miller, they planned to kill her, wrap her in a rug and dispose of her in a barrel filled with cement.

    At her home, Christine was bludgeoned to death, wrapped in a rug, placed in the boot of her car and it was driven away, never to be seen.  Not for years.  Law enforcement searched extensively for the missing Christine, and the break came when Herb Emery mentioned to an associate that they had disposed of a body.  This associate, unknown to Emery, was in fact a Federal Informant, who duly passed on this information.  They realised he had discussed the murder of Christine Elkins.  Ten months after her disappearance, Tony Emery received 9 years for drug offences in Colorado  During this time, searches were made of possible dump sites, such as rivers, gravel pits, etc but as the years passed, nothing was found.

    Mike Schmitz did a cold case review, along with Maryville detective Randy Strong.  But parole time was nearing for Tony Emery, so pressure was put on.  Enough circumstantial evidence was gathered to charge Herb Emery with her murder.  He decided to turn State's Evidence.  Meanwhile, a witness had been located who had told Tony Emery how to get rid of a car, by dumping it in the Missouri River.  A specialist search team called Necrosearch did a survey of the river, currents, depths and calculated the best place to look.  They then located an incredible 11 cars in the Missouri River.  Ten were duly dragged out but were not the car belonging to Christine.  The last car was checked by a diver who was able to remove the licence plate.  It was Christine`s.  She had been found.  Her body was wrapped in a rug in the boot.  An unforgettable image was that of Randy Strong holding the number plate aloft in the divers` boat.

    Tony Emery went on trial for murder.  Herb Emery gave evidence for the Prosecution.  He received 22 years, but his cousin received Life Without Parole, a fitting end to this hardened killer and thug.  The case is an outstanding example of cops simply not giving up.