Monday, 25 May 2015

Melvin David Rees - Maryland Multiple Killer

This was a very disturbing case from the USA in the late 1950`s that took a couple of years to solve due to the transient nature of the man convicted.  The killing spree began on June 26th 1957 in Annapolis, Maryland, where Margaret Harold was in a car with a date parked up in a lover`s lane.  Suddenly, a car stopped alongside theirs, and the driver got out, pointed a gun at margaret and shot her fatally.  Her terrified date got out of the car and fled.  He returned with the Police but the killer had long fled.  But a hideous discovery was made.  The killer had raped the body of Margaret.  The case remained unsolved for a couple of years.  Then a slaughter of a family occurred in Virginia on January 11th 1959 in Apple Grove.  The car of the Jackson family was found abandoned but there were no sign of the family of four.  Then on March 4th, the bodies of the father, Carroll Jackson, and his daughter, Janet were discovered near Fredericksburg.  Mr Jackson had been shot in the head and 18 month old Janet had been suffocated.  A fortnight later, the bodies of Mildred Jackson and her five year old daughter, Susan, were discovered near Annapolis.  They had suffered sexual assault and then beaten to death.

    Police received an anonymous letter stating that the Jackson murders were  committed by a Jazz musician named Melvin David Rees, who had been at University in Maryland when the killings occurred but now he was out travelling on the road and was being extremely difficult to locate.  Then in 1960, the mysterious latter writer contacted Police again.  The Police were informed that Rees was in West Memphis,Arkansas, working in a music shop.  Rees was arrested and positively identified by the boyfriend of Margaret Harold.  He was subsequently convicted of Margaret`s murder and jailed for life.  The murders of the Jackson family in Virginia, earned Rees a death sentence but this was later changed to life in 1972.  Rees died in 1995 in jail, but he is thought to have been involved in a number of unsolved murders in Maryland during the latter part of the 50`s.