Sunday, 31 May 2015

"Go Ahead Punk, Make My Day!"

No, this is not about dear old Clint (actually 85 today!) but it is rather fitting for a victim of crime to shoot dead the violent thug who brutally raped her.  He threatened to come back and attack her again if she reported the assault.  The victim did and so within a week he smashed his way into her home.  This time she was ready.  The story begins in October 2008 in Cape Girardeau in Missouri.  The victim, a 57 year old nurse, heard glass being broken in a basement window.  She tried to make an escape through her front door, but when she opened it, a man was stood there.  He violently stuck her then manhandled her into her bedroom.  He said he would return to "get her" if she went to the Police.  Despite the threat, she reported the assault and was able to give a good description of the man.  Police stepped up patrols in the area but the victim was taking no chances.  Her doors and windows had extra locks fitted and her landlord gave her a shotgun, for protection.  She was to need it.

    Six days later, on31st October 2008, he kept to his promise and returned.  Just after midnight, she heard a car door shut and so she called the Police. They raced to the scene, searched the area and checked her security.  Nothing was amiss.  However, the victim could not sleep and a couple of hours later, all the electricity in the house went off.  The rapist had broken in through the same window as before and found the fuse box.  She stood near to the basement door with the shotgun armed and ready.  Suddenly, the door was kicked open and a man emerged.  Without hesitation, she let one barrel go.  Then, she turned and ran out of her home to a neighbour who immediately called the Police.  They arrived in less than a minute, to see a man staggering away, so they overpowered him and cuffed him, then took him to a hospital.  He died hours later.  He was identified as 46 year old Ron Preyer, a married man with eight children.  An ex-marine with an appalling history of violence and sexual violence.  The authorities did not charge the woman with any offence because under state law, she was justified in using lethal force when her home was invaded.  No doubt the professional whingers and bleeding hearts would think that what right did she have in preventing this thug from raping her again and probably murdering her, but then again, in their world, since when does a victim come before the assailant?

Friday, 29 May 2015

Manchester`s Corpse Filled Canals

It is hard to think that the waterways of Greater Manchester have been filled with the bodies of more than sixty people in just over six years.  Has Manchester got it's own serial killer who likes to see the victims in the water?  Is there something untoward going on?. The Police firmly say no.  They say that all have been seriously examined and see nothing suspicious in the deaths.  A clue was that the areas where the bodies were found were near to pubs and clubs.  So, are drinkers in Greater Manchester getting too pissed and inadvertently falling into the canals and drowning?  Or is there a serial killer prowling the streets and having a right old time with the Police saying that there are no crimes being committed?  Professor Craig Jackson, a Psychologist, believes they cannot all be accidents.  And he dismisses the theory of suicide.  Canals are not the deepest waters for a preplanned drowning, and he says the victims would have to seriously weigh themselves down in order to carry it through effectively.

    A senior Police Officer stated that investigations and Coroner's inquests have shown nothing suspicious in most cases.  He cites alcohol, poor lighting, safety barriers, and such as contributing factors.  Some individuals have been charged in relation to that particular enquiry.  An area of the Rochdale Canal, Lock 85, is an area known as a gay haunt and six men have been found drowned in eighteen months.  Is there a killer of gays stalking Lock 85?  Local opinion has the view that somebody picks up these men and then shoves them into the canal.  Professor David Wilson, a man whose opinions upset Police, has said that Police never like to admit a serial killer is on the loose, as it makes them look slow to act.  Could a number be explained as criminal acts, and the majority are down to simple bad luck?  Maybe, maybe not.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Albert Dyer - Child Killer

We know that profiling came to the fore with the Thomas Harris novels (and subsequent films) "Silence of the Lambs" & "Red Dragon."  But it has reared it`s head occasionally, going as far back as the "Jack the Ripper" murders - a doctor drew up a profile of what he believed the killer was like - and famously, in the hunt for the mad bomber George Metetsky.  But it did come up before the mad bomber case, in the late 1930`s.  This was courtesy of Psychiatrist Dr Joseph de River.  He was called in by Eugene Williams, Chief of Investigation for the D.A.`s Office to give an indication of what sort of perpetrator they were looking for.  Three very young girls had been brutally murdered in the town of Inglewood, California.  It was late in June 1937 that Jeanette Stephens, aged eight, and sisters Melba Everett, aged nine and Madeline, seven, went missing from Centinela Park.  Over a couple of days, huge search parties scoured the areas around Inglewood, but the grim discovery was made by a small team scouts searching Baldwin Hills, a couple of miles away.  All the children had been strangled with rope around their necks.  Sexual assault was also suspected.  When everybody had been alerted and the searchers gathered near the crime scene, one man seemed to act a little strangely.  He shouted at people who were smoking, to show "some respect for the deceased" and then went to the crime scene, demanding to help remove the bodies.  His name was Albert Dyer aged 32.

    Numerous investigators were drafted in to assist in the hunt for the killer as there was outrage in the town and talk of lynching the killer when his identity was known.  Eugene Williams consulted Dr de River, hoping for a profile of whoever was responsible.  He had viewed the crime scene, studied all the crime scene photographs, attended the morgue and then retired to make an assessment.  His profile read; one man, paedophile, early 20`s, been arrested before annoying children, a very curious sadist, thorough and now possibly remorseful.  May be religious, spectacular and had planned his killings.  He believed the girls knew their killer.  Nobody had seen them with anybody.  Police had no clues at all.  They hit a wall.  Then, as many cases through the years have proved, the killer injects himself into the investigation.  Dyer had taken to keeping a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the case.  He had told his wife that it was a dedication to the victims.  He also told her that he knew them through working as a school crossing guide.

    Days after the girls were found, Dyer went into the Police Station saying he had been told they wanted to speak to him.  Lieutenant Sanderson told him that they routinely spoke to everybody who knew them.  Dyer gave an alibi of his movements and then left.  He was being observed by Dr de River.  The Doctor told Chief Williams that Dyer was the man. The Chief said he was wrong as Dyer`s alibi checked out.  Dr de River insisted that they were to be 100% certain before they ruled him out.  Rechecking his alibi, it was soon found to be inconsistent and was so arrested.  He was transferred to a major jail to avoid a lynch mob that had formed.  His interrogation revealed more inconsistencies, but he continually denied murder.  The detectives threatened to take him back to Inglewood and explain to the mob why his alibi was now completely falling to pieces.  Fearing being lynched, he confessed.  His motive was sexual.  He even raped the dead body of one victim.  Tried and convicted, he was sentenced to death.  He retracted his confession and his defence tried to state he was mentally incompetent.  One juror held out for acquittal, but was told that the Judge believed Dyer was guilty, so he voted for conviction.  The Los Angeles Times made a scathing attack on Dyer, declaring he should die for his crime.  Dyer was hanged at San Quentin on September 16th 1938.  One more killer hung after Dyer, then the prison switched to using the Gas Chamber.

    Was  Dyer guilty?  No doubt in my mind - there I go with my "trouble stirring guesswork!" - but Dr de River was correct on a number of points.  Dyer planned it.  When the girls headed for the hills, he kept ahead and out of sight.  He admitted praying for forgiveness after killing them.  His actions at the crime scene were what Freud called "Undoing," actions done to alleviate the gravity of the crime, a display of remorse.  Plus, he knew the girls, they knew him.  Clothesline matching the murder weapons were found at his home, and under one of the bodies was a chemists bag belonging to the store where Dyer had made recent purchases.  Case closed?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Executed At Gloucester Prison

Gloucester Prison was one of seven jails earmarked for closure by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, which saw the final closure on 31st March 2013, after it was first opened in 1792.  The jail was a Category B prison which did hold some infamous names, such as Fred West on remand, and the Solicitor Herbert Armstrong, hanged for murdering his wife, and the wrongly convicted Stefan Kisko, infamously fitted up by the Police for child murder.  But 104 men and women were executed there between 1800 and 1939.  There were in total, seven women hanged; Elizabeth Amplett hanged for murder on August 13th 1810.  Dinah Riddiford was next on September 7th 1816 for burglary.  Third to go was Ann Tye on 4th May 1818 for murder.  Next came Rebecca Worlock on 16th August 1820 for murder.  Then on 31st August 1833, the recipient was Charlotte Long, convicted of Arson and dispatched by Tom Taylor.  Harriet Tarver was next on April 9th 1836 for murder, with all subsequent prisoners hanged for murder, she was hanged by William Calcraft.  The final woman to hang was Ann Berry on January 12th 1874, along with Charlie Butt and Edwin Bailey.  The executioner was Robert Armstrong.

    Way back in the "good ole days" there were many multiple hangings. Twos & threes were commonplace.  Some prisons could conduct mass hangings in one go.  Lancaster Prison once hanged all the members of one family, between nine & eleven, including all the children, with all standing on a lengthy platform.  Reportedly they were all singing until the board was tripped.  But April 18th seemed to be an excellent for hanging.  On that day in 1801, five men were dealt with, then on the same day 1818, six men went.  The last multiple was that of Butt, Bailey & Berry.  Capital crimes included theft of; cloth, sheep, horse, cow, along with forgery, arson, robbery, rape, burglary, attempted murder & finally, murder.  Hangmen that "worked" at Gloucester were Tom Taylor, Sam Burrows,Sam Haywood, William Calcraft, Robert Armstrong, William Marwood, James Berry, James Billington, William Billington, John Ellis & Tom Pierrepoint.  The last execution was that of Ralph Smith, on June 7th 1939, carried out by Tom Pierrepoint. Herbert Armstrong was executed on May 31st 1922 by John Ellis.  This was made into a TV dramatisation entitled "Dandelion Dead" with Michael Kitchen as Armstrong.  Solicitor Martin Beales, who lived in the Armstrong house, many decades later, is convinced that Armstrong was innocent and wrote a book entitled "The Hay Poisoner" supporting his claim, and that the dramatisation was very inaccurate in it`s portrayal of the facts. Read it and judge for yourselves.

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.  

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Women Serving Long Sentences

The thought of women doing life without parole seems abhorrent to some people in this country. We have had to put up with apologists for the Myra Hindley, and they will keep popping up for Rose West & Joanna Dennehy, and no doubt for Claire Nichols, who is doing a minimum of 32 years for the sadistic prolonged torture and murder of her vulnerable and gentle husband, assisted by her brother and another man.  I go with the old adage of "Cannot do the sentence, do not commit the crime!"  But you do not get waves of sympathy for convicted women in the United States.  There are many who are doing life without parole. Indeed, you get that in California for I believe, three consecutive felony convictions -the "three strikes" policy.

    One woman whom has been in for around forty years, due to refusing parole, is Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme.  She was jailed for the altercation right by President Ford in the mid 70`s.  Just another publicity shot for egomaniac Manson.  Why has she refused?  Is it because she is on her own out there and all the young and impressionable middle class kids with nothing better to do with their time, are no longer around?  Could it be that many have eventually got it through their thick skulls that they were all manipulated by a former PIMP! - exploiter of women! - who wanted to do something and found the mugs to do it for him?  I have no doubt he would not have succeeded with young people from a run down ghetto.  I believe she stays inside because she can`t do much outside on her own for her master.  Pathetic.  The true death of the sixties along with Altamont.

    Another long term prisoner was Ruth Brown, a black woman, originally sentenced to the chair in Sing Sing Prison in New York.  What got her into Death Row was the murder of a man called Eli Huston in a Speakeasy in New York`s Harlem district in May 1931.  But Ruth, 24, had her sentence commuted by State Governor Franklin. D. Roosevelt, to life without parole.  Ruth was paroled nineteen years later in 1950 by Governor Tom Dewey, but went back to prison of her own volition, declining to apply for parole ever again.  She died aged 77, around 1984/85 in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.  Ruth had spent nearly fifty years behind bars, longer than any other female in the prison system of New York State.

The Executioners

There would be no doubt in my mind that if the death penalty was reintroduced in the UK, there would be a deluge of applications for the job.  I have voiced this opinion to various people and a general view was that most would be applying for no other reason than for the power and the public knowledge that they are the executioner.  The household name in the UK was that of Albert Pierrepoint, following in the footsteps of his father and uncle, Henry & Tom.  The other family of hangmen were the Billingtons.  James Billington was assisted on numerous occasions by his sons, William, John & Tom.  James Billington then passed away and his sons carried on as assistants and even as the "Number One."  But in the United States, their executioners are not so well known.  The best known hangman was Philip Hanna, thought of as their equivalent to Albert Pierrepoint.  The best known "Electrocutioner" was Robert Elliott, who dispatched over 500 condemned people.  But what effect did it have on them?

    One man who spoke out about his role was that of Dr Allen Ault, who was the Prisons Commissioner for the State of Georgia.  It was he who threw the switch that electrocuted prisoners in the chair.  It became a job he did not like, and it was not a job he applied for.  Dr Ault had fought in the Korean War in the early 1950`s, had qualified as a Psychologist, and joined the prison service in a hope to rehabilitate the prisoners.  Over the years he achieved outstanding results, which did not go unnoticed by the authorities.  He was promoted to Prisons Commissioner, but it also entailed throwing the switch for the chair.  He executed five men but it became too much for him and in 1995, he resigned his post and left the Prison Service.  He now holds the position of Dean at the College of Justice & Safety at the Eastern Kentucky University.  Dr Ault was honest enough to admit the pressures of being the man who ended a life, was simply too much for him.  It is known that even guards can throw the switch.  It was said to have been a woman who threw the switch on Ted Bundy.  The ultimate female revenge?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Killing of John Close.

Another case from County Armagh in the 1930`s.  This concerned the stabbing death of ten year old John Close in Killicomaine, Portadown.  The Close family lived in a gatehouse of a country estate but it was on 22nd September 1934, that John left the home to play.  Soon, he was rushing into the house, covered in blood.  He had a number of stab wounds in his chest and neck.  His parents had him rushed to the nearest hospital but tragically, young John died four hours later.  But he was able to name his attacker.  It was Henry Murray, a 20 year old worker on the estate.  He was arrested by Police who found on him a knife.  He was seen by other employees as being with John.  Murray went on trial at Derry Assizes a few months later.  The court heard that Murray was mentally retarded and was often seen playing with young children.  This particular day, Murray just started stabbing John, and then inexplicably, started digging a grave.  Then he ran away. 

    Since leaving school, Murray had been through a procession of menial jobs, but could not keep any of them due to his mental health.  It was inevitable that he would be deemed insane, which he subsequently was, and he was sent to a secure asylum.  But over in England, there were examples of people deemed insane by Psychiatrists but these diagnoses were over-ruled by opinions of ordinary prison doctors.  So maybe Murray was lucky not to have killed in England.  Whatever, the Close family had to live with the death of their ten year old son.

The Murder of Minnie Reid

This story goes back to 1932 in Derryanne in County Armagh.  It was on August 3rd that some local children made a grisly discovery;  they came across the body of 23 year old Minnie Reid with her throat slashed.  The Police made a search of the immediate vicinity and discovered a bloody razor.  She had been seen alive a week previously, and soon Police had a suspect.  Harold Courtney, a 23 year old lorry driver from Dungannon, had known Minnie for a few years and had blood found on his clothes.  He had no alibi for his movements.  Courtney denied that he and Minnie, a domestic servant, had been an item.  But he now found himself on trial at Downpatrick Assizes four months later.  It was alleged in court that Minnie found herself pregnant and that the accused now wanted nothing to do with her and had gotten engaged to another young woman.

    Now, Courtney changed his story, admitting that he had met up with Minnie and she took her own life, after it was apparent he no longer wanted her.  The trial ended in a hung jury, unable to reach a verdict, so he went on trial again at Armagh Assizes in March 1933, and after a trial lasting five days, he was convicted and sentenced to death.  He was executed at Crumlin Road jail in Belfast on 7th April 1933 by Tom Pierrepoint, assisted by Albert.  The Prosecution Medical Examiner believed that it was murder, but two other noted doctors believed it was suicide but could not come up with an explanation as to why the razor lay fourteen feet away from Minnie`s body, and a glove had been forced into the open wound.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Mysterious Death of Patricia Viola

This missing persons case from 2001 became an unexplained death in 2012 when DNA from two children were finally matched to small remains that had been discovered in 2002.  The remains were identified as those of 42 year old Patricia Marie Viola, whom had mysteriously vanished on February 13th 2001.  Pat Viola, who had married Jim Viola in St Joseph`s Church in Bogota, New Jersey, in 1968, worked in the library at E. Roy Bixby Elemental School.  She returned home around midday, made a telephone call to her mother, and then reset the house alarm.  Then she seemingly vanished from the face of the earth.  The family put in a missing person`s report, and when Police checked out the house, they come across some unsettling details.  She had seemingly left, but not taken her purse. keys, ID, money, credit cards, and most importantly, her medication.  She took it for Epilepsy.

    There was no sight or sound of her for a decade.  Human remains had been discovered on Rockaway Beach on July 27th 2002.  There was not much in remains but the family had given DNA samples in the hope of a match through her children.  But there was no word from authorities, so in April 2011, the family submitted DNA again, and this time, a match was made in 2012. She was buried in Hackensack Cemetery, but all her remains fitted in a box of shoebox size.  Not a very dignified end for Patricia Viola, but at least the family has some kind of closure.  But what happened to her way back in February 2001?  The family will probably never know.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Hanging Moratorium

There was an 18 month break in Capital Punishment in the UK between 1955 and 1957.  Some say the case of Ruth Ellis was one of the major factors that saw the suspension.  Others believe it was the Derek Bentley case.  Looking at the two cases, it is the Bentley case that certainly gave cause for major concern.  Admittedly not the killer of PC Sidney Miles, was under arrest, and on top of that, had the mental age of a child.  He was also unfortunate not to have the family connections that Ronald True had.  But in reality, debates in Parliament about Capital Punishment and calls for its abolition, had started in the late 1940`s.  Murder trials carried on as usual and guilty verdicts were routinely handed the death penalty.  But during the suspension, convicted persons were then reprieved and given prison sentences.  Compared to modern times, the time served in prison was ridiculously short.

    Fifty people were condemned to death during the suspension, with three women amongst them;  Anne Drinkall, Freda Rumbold & Maureen Hanrahan. Anne & Maureen`s executions were scheduled for Strangeways in Manchester, whilst Freda would have hanged in Holloway, where Ruth Ellis was hanged by Albert Pierrepoint.  The one big name condemned was that of Philip Ellul, convicted of the gangland murder of Tommy Smithson in 1956, a trial that featured in newspapers throughout the land.  The Death Penalty was reintroduced after June 1957, but now came under the 1957 Homicide Act, which made Capital Murder fall under five categories.  But scouring through newspaper archives, you will find examples that, for some reason, did not fall into the five categories, whilst others did.  In 1958, in two trials at the Old Bailey, two child killers pleaded guilty, whereas before, they would never have.  "It`s okay fellers, you won`t swing now. Put your hands up to it!"  

    But it all ended in 1965, then officially in 1969, but whilst all condemned cells and execution chambers were stripped of all equipment and refurbished, there was one kept, "just in case" and that is at Wandsworth Prison in London.  It is officially a storeroom but every couple of years, it was cleared out, and the trapdoor mechanism tested.  At present, I do not know if this procedure is still carried out.  Hanging is still carried out in the USA but only on the odd occasions.  Since the reintroduction in 1976, three have hanged; the most notable was child killer Wesley Dodd, who requested it.  I remember working when it was announced on the news spot on the radio that Dodd had just been hanged.  Sobering.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Execution of Walter Storey

February 11th 2015, saw the state of Missouri execute 47 year old Walter Storey for the hideous and brutal murder of Jill Frey.  What was the reason for the murder of 36 year old special needs teacher Jill?  She was at home in bed when Storey broke into her apartment near St Louis in February 1990.  He was looking for money, not for drugs - a rarity! - but for booze. Storey relentlessly attacked her as she lay in bed, inflicting six broken ribs, numerous head and face injuries, stabbed in the abdomen and then, to finish off, she had her throat slashed.  Down to the spine.  He then ransacked her home for valuables, then took her car.  He returned to the crime scene the following day, in an attempt to remove any traces of his presence.  But he missed something;  a palm print of his in Jill's blood that was on some furniture.

    He was questioned by Police and gave conflicting accounts and so found himself charged with Capital Murder.  In court, he claimed that he was forced into the apartment by a huge man, who then proceeded to murder Jill because he believed Jill was Storey`s mother.  He went on to claim that this big man had been hired by the father of his estranged wife. He was sentenced to death, and spent 24 years on Death Row.  With the ongoing arguments over the use of the chemicals in lethal injections, Storey`s lawyers argued that the use of Pentobarbital, coupled with the secrecy laws regarding where the chemical is purchased, could cause an inhumane execution.  The US Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 in favour of the execution, and so on February 11th 2015, Storey met his maker.  He spoke of love for the world in his final statement, and everybody on it.  He did not display the slightest ounce when he broke into Jill's home and so brutally ended her life.  Just for a bit of booze.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Death Of a "Good Time Girl"

This little tale harks back to the era of Prohibition and how one young woman went from nothing to a luxury lifestyle before falling victim to murder.  This "good time girl" was Louise Lawson, who grew up in a small Texas town, Walnut Springs.  She excelled in music, and dreamed of the big time.  When she reached 18, she took off to Broadway to realise her dreams.  But, as so often, the reality was so much different.  Six years later, she got a little work as an extra for D.W.Griffith and then appearing in Ziegfeld`s Follies.  But this did not provide any riches, so she learned other ways to make money.  It was 1921 and the era of he speakeasy was up and running.  Louise found that "entertaining" wealthy clients with "private" shows brought her substantial money.  Now she was banking hundreds of dollars every week, and had even acquired shares in a transit company.  

    She had a regular "client" Gerhardt Dahl, a top executive in the New York transit company she had shares in.  Her home was very opulent, full of the finest furniture and ornaments.  On the morning of February 8th 1924, two men called at her apartment and were heard discussing a bootleg delivery.  Louise was found tied up with a cloth stuffed in her mouth and then tape wrapped her mouth, causing her to suffocate.  A substantial amount of jewellry was missing.  Dahl insisted there was nothing improper in his dealings with Louise and stated he did not give her money.  She had been regularly banking $500 a week.  Dahl also stated he had no idea where she acquired her money.  The case remains unsolved.

Murder in Venezuela

This country in South America is notorious for one reason; it is on the route used by cocaine smugglers.  Yet it has notoriety not generally known about.   It has been labelled as having the fifth highest murder rate in the world, with it`s capital Caracas said to have the third highest murder rate.  The country is said to average 70 murders a day, and around 25,000 murders in 2013.  But on the brutal side, around 85% of all homicides go unsolved.  This case features a British man Henry Berry, who along with his wife,Monica Spear, were murdered by one of the many gangs that proliferate the roads in the countryside.  The Berry family had lived in Venezuela for thirty years, the father being a professor of maths at a University.  In 2000, Henry was shot and wounded in a carjacking, and left the country for some years, but returned in 2006.  Two years later, he married Monica, who was a Miss Venezuela.  They had a daughter but four years later, they separated but remained close friends. It was in January 2014 that Monica returned to Venezuela from her home in Miami, with their daughter, to have a tour of the country.  Trouble struck on a motorway between Puerto Cabello and Valencia, when their car tyres blew.  They had hit a trap set up by gangs to stop vehicles and rob the occupants.

    Henry Berry, 39, managed to spot a recovery truck and flagged it down.  The car was winced onto the truck when suddenly, a group of people arrived from nowhere.  A number of men and one woman.  The Berry family quickly got into their car on the truck and locked all the doors.  The truck driver and his associate ran, managing to get to a telephone.  But the gang surrounded the truck and opened fire, riddling the car with bullets, killing Henry and Monica. The daughter was grazed by a bullet.  When Police arrived, the child was taken to hospital, where all the grandparents were now heading.  The murders of a British citizen and a top beauty queen sparked big headlines and pressure on the Police.  Within days, seven people had been arrested.  The woman had Monica`s camera - damning evidence.  Later that year, in September 2014, a man of 19, received 26 years, two others aged 18 & 21 both received 24 years.  Seven other suspects were awaiting trial.  With so much unsolved homicide in the country, killing uncooperative victims meant nothing.  Horrific.

Criminology & Other Aspects

I have wondered if readers have had thoughts of what angle I come from, in regards to the criminal sphere.  My first interests in crime were sparked by a book I bought just after leaving school, way back in 1976.  This book was "The Profession of Violence" about the Krays.  Then I started taking a greater interest in newspaper reports about crime and getting true crime books from the local library in Ellesmere Port - my hometown.  Then, over the years, In have built up a large library of true crime, though nothing to rival what Jeremy Beadle had.  Could I take the knowledge I was accumulating to greater things?  No, I could not, because I never gained the qualifications needed to get into higher education.  There you go, my lack of education obviously shows to some people.  Years later, I moved to Bradford, which, quite frankly, has a much better crime base than E.P.  But before I moved, I did get onto some criminology courses, gaining some credits.

    The courses were quite interesting, and did get known for my opinions.  I did a presentation on serial killer Carl Panzram, executed at Leavenworth in 1930.  One woman covered the A6 murder and asked for any opinions.  I certainly gave mine.  Suppression of damaging statements, tampering with vital evidence.  Read the definitive book by Bob Woffinden and you will see what I mean.  The defence relied on despicable law abiding members of the public, whilst the prosecution relied on criminals & informers, all paragons of truth and honesty.  After a couple of minutes, I told her I`ll shut up.  The tutor asked me what I thought about his guilt. My response was simple "Fitted up all the way to the gallows!"  One guy, Jason, taught problem kids, and was a brilliant presenter, and I have always tried to remember some of his presenting skills.

    Since moving to Bradford and started blogging a few years back, I have made contacts all over the world.  I did try to see if I could get onto Criminology at the Uni as a mature student but as ever, qualifications let me down.  The Uni official I initially dealt with, was shown all the work I had done and thought I would have been a great foil for a tutor.  It does not matter if you know a subject, you need the grades.  Authors have told me that I do not need any PhD, I should just concentrate on what I am doing.  No, I cannot write long, fancy theories, and I do not use words like "verbose" or "procrastination" I just put things simply.  There is one thing that I have learned and that theories or explanations are not written in stone.  Plus, people going into Criminology can learn a great deal about real life by living in Canterbury, Holmwood or West Bowling.  I have worked these areas and know what it is really like.  David Wilson, Professor at Birmingham Uni, has a simple approach, not liked by Police or newspapers, because he does not a "Criminal Minds" mindset; that everything is textbook.  He does not write long winded psychobabble like Dick Hobbs.  I once "read" a book by him and most of it went over my head - oh dear, what a thick bastard I am, again belying my "lack" of education - but, over time, things change in all walks of life.  If I was asked why certain people on these estates do not work, I would put it simply; "lazy bastards who do not want to get out of bed and earn a living, the world owes them everything, and if they are not given it, then they have the right to go out and thieve it.  Plus, they should be allowed to go out and cause whatever mayhem they want."  Not a theory that would be accepted but then again, that is the difference between theory and actually being amongst it.  Where I live, there has been murders, drug deaths, shootings, burglaries, car thefts, benefit fraud(quite a bit), marriage scamsters, extreme violence, including women being tortured, incidents many young budding criminologists at University would have no experience of.  

    When I give an opinion, that is simply what it is.  Everybody has an opinion, a take on a situation.  Anybody who says they do not is an out and out liar.  Are opinions wrong?  well, somebody in a crime magazine offered the opinion that Oscar Pistorius was guilty of murder.  Will this person be reminded of the verdict?  Not a chance!  There you go, dear readers, a little bit about myself.  Ciao!

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Unsolved Murder of Lloyd Simpson

Time to get back on the unsolved murder trail and today, it concerns the shooting death of 26 year old Lloyd Simpson on November 7th 1983.  He was found by his father, shot in the head and stomach at his flat in Shaftesbury Court, Shaftesbury Street, in Shoreditch, London.  Lloyd worked in the family waste paper business, and the grim discovery was made after he failed to turn in for work.  A Police theory was that Lloyd, who dabbled in the second hand car trade, was killed gangland style, over his involvement, a theory strongly disputed by his father.  A year later, Police made a fresh appeal for information through the BBC programme Crimewatch UK.  Another theory was that Lloyd was killed by people involved in illegal dogfighting - Lloyd had an American Pit Bull Terrier - and this theory was advanced after it was alleged that Lloyd had a number of books dealing with dogfighting.  As ever, if anybody reading this knows something, then please pass it on to Police.  All unsolved murders deserve to be resolved.

Plane Blown Out Of The Sky

When watching either CI or ID on satellite, it is astonishing just how many murders are committed by family wanting to get their hands on the deceased's life insurance money.  One man decided to get his hands on his mothers`but how was he to eliminate her?  Simple.  The plane she was on flying to Alaska, he would blow it out of the sky!!  Daisie King had been visiting her son, Jack Graham, and his wife, in Colorado.  She was now leaving to visit a daughter in Alaska, but on November 1st 1955, United Airlines flight 629, left Stapleton Airport in Denver, then exploded soon after take off.  The wreckage was spread over a very wide area, requiring the National Guard being brought in to protect the scene.  Graham had taken out the policy whilst his mother was visiting him but she never counter signed it, rendering it invalid.

    Meticulous examination of debris found explosive materials in remains of luggage belonging to Daisie King.  He confessed to Police when questioned that he put the explosives in her luggage without her knowledge.  The fact that 44 people were murdered by his act, did not bother him in the slightest.  All he wanted was everybody to know he had had a hard childhood!  He went on trial for the murder of 44 people in April 1956 - the first ever to be televised - but now he withdrew his confession.  But it did him no good.  The jury convicted him in just over an hour and he was sentenced to death.  The sentence was carried out at Colorado State Penitentiary at Canon City on January 11th 1957 in the gas chamber.

TV Cop With A very Bloody Past

This not  about Columbo or Kojak or any of our favourite TV cops but a very popular European cop "Inspector Derrick"  played by German actor Horst Tappert.  He tracked his quarry by relentlessly talking to them and eventually getting a confession.  Nothing like Columbo, Morse or Poirot, such as going everywhere and talking to the various characters, and discovering clues, he simply honed in on his suspects.  Exceedingly popular across the European continent, he told his life story telling of how he was a simple stretcher bearer during WW2.  He died at the age of 85 in 2008.  But later, his reputation was severely tarnished by a chance find by a historian.  Researching a book about the German-Russian conflict, the historian found a box of untouched documents, photographs and other military paraphernalia.

     Examining the photographs, he soon recognised one of the young soldiers.  It was Horst Tappert.  The photo destroyed his claim that he was only a stretcher bearer.  He was in the uniform of the Waffen SS, one of the most notorious battalions that ever served in WW2.  This battalion was also known as the Death`s Head.  Horst Tappert was discovered to have served in the 3rd Panzer Division, one of the most brutal.  They gave partisans and Jews a fair trial - a bullet to the back of the head!  This division had an appalling reputation for rape, crucifixion and body mutilation.  Tappert was captured by the Americans and when released after the war, he did various jobs for years until he was spotted by a producer and given the role of Inspector Derrick.  It took the public by surprise and the reruns of the show were quickly pulled.  The only blood seen in the show were on his hands.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Janet Brown - Victim of a Greedy Grasping Bastard

In an earlier post, I made a point about degenerate gamblers who will kill in order to get their hands on the money of others so they can get into the casino or bookies.  I also derided the plethora of gambling and bingo sites on the tv, building up the hopes of people desperate to win something to help their lives.  The urge to give it a try is understandable.  After all, most people are not premiership footballers, obscenely paid film stars, bankers or businessmen who operate through offshore companies in order to avoid paying tax.  One person replied to say that gambling should be fun and entertaining.  He has a point.  My point was about those who went severely beyond that.  Then there are the bastards who will kill in order to have a luxurious lifestyle.  Donald Graham is one of these bastards.  One glance at a picture of him with two big gold chains around his neck, sums him up.  It should be a rope, with him stood on a trapdoor.

    Janet Brown was a 45 year old property developer who would just up and go for lengthy holidays, but in June 2005, she supposedly went abroad and was not missed for five years.  Her elderly parents received cards from abroad saying she was staying on the continent to work.  Janet`s mother died in 2007 and her father, the following year.  But it was a building society that set the ball rolling when it reported to Police that there were suddenly large withdrawals from Janet`s father`s account.There was no missing person`s report and nobody had seen Janet but Police started an extensive search and dug up land by her home in Lowgate, Hexham, in Northumberland.  Their enquiries continued over a long period of time and in 2013, Donald Graham and a woman were arrested and charged with her murder.  They came to trial in Newcastle in May 2014.  The jury heard that Janet had been in a long term relationship who claimed his wife was dying and that when she died, they could marry.  Janet bought herself a wedding dress.  Then Graham, 60, met another woman.  Graham had a love of expensive sports cars, and it was alleged in court that he persuaded Janet to put £300,000 into his bank account.  Janet was ready to travel abroad in June 2005, and it seemed she never returned to the UK.  Within two months, he had purchased a house for his new girlfriend.  Vehicles owned by Janet, a Porsche and a Land Rover were allegedly sold by Graham.  It was also stated by prosecution that £285,000 had been taken from her father`s account, with Graham treating himself to a Ferrari, Range Rover and a Porsche.

    Questioned in court, the woman said she thought Graham was a millionaire, who lavished money on her.  She also admitted writing out a will in the name of Mr Brown, saying that Graham assured her that it was all above board with permission from both Janet and her father.  She said Graham dictated to her what to write.  Graham was convicted of murder, despite no body being found, and sentenced to a minimum of 32 years.  The woman faces a retrial after the jury failed to agree on a verdict.  No doubt, as the years go on, the professional whingers and apologists will cry for this greedy bastards` release, while forgetting that Janet remains missing.  Since when do victims matter to these shitehawks?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

"Just A Thought"

Watching a documentary about deadly women here in the UK, it showed a recreation of the Kate Webster case from the late 1800`s.    Kate Webster came to England from the "Good ole Emerald Isle" but found herself in jail for various offences, in London.  When released, she conned her way into being a housekeeper for a wealthy woman named Julia Thomas.  Over time, Kate hatched her plot and murdered Miss Thomas, carrying her head around in a bag, and boiling her skin to produce fat which sold to people as "dripping."  She was arrested, charged with the murder of Miss Thomas and hanged.  I wondered just when a film about the case will be made by Hollywood, in which events will be changed to suit the anti-British stand Hollywood has.  An innocent girl from the Emerald Isle treated like the lowest skivvy by a despot Brit, who was forced to make a stand against the oppressive Brit high society.  Of course there are plenty who will believe that bullshit.

    Here is another point I would like to correct.  There is a trio of books about the Hudson family from Bradford, written by one of them.  Reading them, it is obvious they are what are called factions; a mixture of fact & fiction.  Not anything new.  Former FBI agent Bill Roemer wrote a book about the mob - a war between the Outfit(Chicago) and the Bonnano Family.  He states he uses guesswork on what people may have said, based on reports, dealings with the principals involved and their personalities.  In other words, a faction.  One of these three books is about Charlie Hudson, a name I became familiar with.  He has been deceased for a number of years.  But it is claimed that in December 1954, Hudson, along with a man named Darley, were asked to work as minders for a party from London named Kray.....

    It is claimed that they were to go to Blackpool, as Charlie Kray had a fight at the Winter Gardens.  But things went severely wrong with an alleged decapitation of a hand and a kneecapping by shooter.  What is wrong is that Charlie Kray never fought in Blackpool, and his career ended three years before in 1951, after a bad beating at the hands of an up and coming fighter, Lew Lazar.  His fight record and all details are readily available on the Web.    Plus, in 1954, the Krays were not even in the big time, they were just a gang of tearaways.  Their first big show was at the Epsom Races in 1955 when they accompanied Jack Spot.  Did the following incident involving muscle from Manchester, trying to hurt Hudson, but failing, actually happen?  It may have but Charlie Kray did not fight in Blackpool in 1954.  That is a fact.  Books from former villains are full grandiose claims that do not stand up to scrutiny and pure common sense.  But the world is full of people who hate facts and cannot stand it.  This book features a number of names I recognise through much research I have done.  Hudson is also said to have run girls.  That makes you a pimp.  Full stop.  Whoever the person is, does not make it different.  I have two of the three books and think they are interesting.  Plus, the author, Julie Shaw deserves full marks for getting three books published by a top publisher and also has an agent.  Here I say "Well done."

Judge Judy

Judge Judy is a very popular show that has run for a number of years, and despite it just being a small claims court, it shows how many people can have a twisted sense of right and wrong.  One such case featured a claim about damage done to a shed from an air rifle or BB gun.  The family admitted they gave their ten year old son a bb gun when he was just eight years old.  This Judy branded "moronic" and said she would have disowned any of her children who would have done a similar action.  Then she branded the mother a liar after she started telling a different story to the one she swore to in the depositions.  She denied lying.  Judy told she was because she was now saying something different.  Again, she denied lying!  Then claimed she supervised her son when he had the bb gun.  Judy asked her if she was stood beside or behind him.  She said no, she was in another part of the house.  Judy retorted how could she supervise somebody when they are in another part of the house?  This woman insisted she WAS supervising him, even though she was elsewhere!!!

    Now the father was questioned.   He insisted the holes in the shed were not from the bb gun and had an expert witness to prove it.  Up stepped another son who looked no older than fourteen!!!  She immediately told the boy to sit down.  The father insisted he WAS an "expert witness" because he had been firing bb guns for some years.  Judy, quite logically, asked how many criminal trials this "expert" had been called to give his "expert" testimony.  The father said none.  Judy said he was Not an expert.  The father insisted he was.  They lost the case but still could not accept the outcome, saying the complainant was wrong.  To me, it looks like these kids can do whatever and the parents will excuse any actions of them, because no matter what, THEY ARE RIGHT!!!!!

The Murder of Gavin O`Connor

There is a solid history of criminal wrongdoing throughout Ireland so I think it is about time to present cases from the Emerald Isle.   This case is from 2011, when on June 4th, Gavin had parked his car and was having a sleep after attending a music festival.  He got a shock to find himself awoken by his car driving off, with a strange young man at the wheel.  This was 22 year old Conor McClelland.  The driver stopped at a small village called Lisdoonan, and started beating Gavin over the head with a couple of rocks.  Gavin fought his way out of the car and began to run.  McClelland chased after him in the car and deliberately ran him down.  He thought that injuries from the car hitting him would cover the head injuries he inflicted with rocks.

    Gavin was found at 5.30am lying in the road and rushed to a hospital in Drogheda.  Police quickly arrested McClelland, who admitted assaulting Gavin but denied his murder.  He said that he had been to the festival, and had a great deal to drink.  He came across Gavin`s car with him asleep in it so he grabbed his opportunity to drive off with him still asleep.  He thought it would be "fun."  He went on trial in February 2014 in Monaghan and was found guilty and sentenced to life.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Murder of PC George Gutteridge

It has been taken as read that the two men convicted and hanged for the murder of PC George Gutteridge, were the actual culprits.  However, one researcher and author, Robin O`Dell, has the opinion that one of the executed men WAS guilty but the Police framed an innocent man, all the way to the gallows.  After all, a Police Officer had been murdered, and so the culprit or somebody else, has to pay.  The murder of the officer also brought a massive breakthrough in forensics, with the introduction of the comparison microscope for bullet analysis, courtesy of firearms expert, Robert Churchill.

    Events began on September 27th 1927, when a postal worker found the body of PC Gutteridge, lying in a country lane near to Stapleford Abbots, in Essex.  He had been shot a number of times.  He had received a shot through both of his eyes.  Immediately, Scotland Yard were called in and put in charge of the murder hunt were Chief Inspector Berrett, assisted by Sergeant Robson.  Tyre marks were found in the lane, along with blood from the stricken officer.  Reports came in of the theft of a vehicle belonging to a doctor.  Looking up potential suspects, a name did surface as a possibility.  That of Frederick Browne, a car thief with prison time behind him.  So now the search was on for Browne.  It took Police four months to track him to a garage in Clapham.  He was arrested in the garage office, after bringing a stolen vehicle there.  Now he was said to have made very incriminating remarks about they being lucky that he as not in his car or he would have shot them.  Amazing that when Police confront somebody, they have a compulsion to say the most damaging remarks guaranteed to help a jury convict them.  They did it with Hanratty, and with Christopher Craig.  In this country, it is known as verballing.

    A search of the car produced two firearms plus a search of his home yielded two more.  The doctor`s car had been found with blood on it plus a spent cartridge case.  The guns were handed to Churchill who proved one was the murder weapon.  Browne was charged with murder.  Berrett and Robson now looked at his associates and came up with William Kennedy, who did time with Browne in Dartmoor Prison.  The search was now on for Kennedy. He was traced to Liverpool, where he had just married.  When Police moved in, the suspect then attempted to SHOOT the Police, but failed after he left the safety catch on.  Taken to London, Kennedy then proceeded to make the most astonishingly detailed confession, which Berrett said Kennedy made voluntarily and without any questions or prompting from them.  He put the blame firmly on Browne.  On trial at the Old Bailey, they were convicted and sentenced to death.  Browne was hanged at Pentonville and Kennedy at Wandsworth on 31st May 1928.

    Robin O`Dell wrote a book on the case "The Long Drop" in which he states that a witness told Police of two men by the doctor`s house the night the car was stolen.  Despite the distance they were away from him, one description loosely fitted Kennedy but the other did not match Browne.  Browne had an alibi that he was in his flat with his wife, a fact confirmed by his landlady.  But this was never raised at the trial by Browne.  Was it due to some perverted "Code of Honour" of keeping your mouth shut at all costs? Even if it means your death?  Frankie Fraser once said "If you are facing the drop and you know who the killer is, you keep quiet and get topped!"  Mighty big of him!  This is the only possible instance of this "code" I have ever come across.  O`Dell questions the remarkable statement made "voluntarily" by Kennedy.  A statement that conveniently answered all the questions.  He believes Kennedy committed the murder alone.  But it asks the question "Who was the second man seen by the witness  if it was not Browne, and the other was Kennedy?  Also Berrett and Robson were huge and physically imposing men.  Was some threats made to get a statement?  after all, a Policeman had been murdered.  So was Browne innocent? Or was he guilty along with Kennedy?  They worked together before their arrest so the discovery of the guns in the car could be explained away.  Or were they working in union?

Friday, 8 May 2015

Elvira Barney Case

There has, in the past, been some high profile murder trials at the Old Bailey in the 1920`s & 30`s.  The most famous was the trial of Edith Thompson & Fred Bywaters, in which Edith was convicted on her morals and a judge, said to have been biased towards her because she betrayed her middle class husband and had an affair with a working class young man.  Class bias was still rife, exemplified in the cases of Henry Jacoby(executed) and Ronald True(reprieved).  Another was the acquittal of a French woman, supposedly a society woman but in fact a former prostitute, over the shooting death of her high society Egyptian husband.  A defence rife with racism and homophobia, courtesy of Edward Marshall Hall.  Another was the charge of murder against Elvira Dolores Barney, for the fatal shooting of her lover Michael Scott Stephen.  

    It was May 1932, and in the ultra trendy London area, Knightsbridge, and 27 year old Elvira was separated from her husband, but found solace in the arms of Michael Stephen, but it was an affair fraught with tension.  After one row, witnesses reported that Elvira fired a gun from her apartment window at Stephen.  But it was at 4am on May 31st 1932, that Elvira called her doctor saying that a terrible accident had occurred. He arrived to find Michael Stephen dead at the top of the stairs.  Stephen had a bullet wound to the chest.  The doctor immediately summoned the Police.  Enquiries revealed that they came home a little drunk and started arguing, which awoke the neighbours.  They said they heard Elvira scream "Get out! I`ll shoot you!"  Stephen was then heard to say that he was leaving, then suddenly, a shot rang out.  Stephen was then shouting "What have you done?"  Then she was heard screaming "Chicken! Chicken!  Come back to me.  I will do anything for you"

    Questioned by Police, she said that Stephen told her he as leaving her but she then threatened to commit suicide with a gun she kept in the room.  Then she said Stephen snatched the gun up to stop her, so she fought to get it of him and it went off, fatally wounding him.  The trial at the Old Bailey was seen as a day out for the upper classes to see one of their own on trial and possibly facing execution.  Her barrister argued that the gun could have gone off accidentally and gave a demonstration of quickly pulling the trigger, supporting his contention.  A firearms expert stated the gun needed considerable pressure to fire it.   The jury decided to acquit, with Elvira fainting on the pronouncement of "Not Guilty!"  She later moved to Paris and was found dead in her hotel room on December 25th 1936.  A curious claim was that the Barrister at her trial was seen after the trial with a clearly bruised trigger finger.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Jim Gordon - Guilty of Matricide

Everybody will know one of the greatest songs ever recorded, "Layla" by Derek & the Dominos.  The greatest track of the career of Eric Clapton.  But how many know that the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon, co-wrote the track with Clapton, and indeed, played the piano coda, at the end.  What is not known is that in 1984, Gordon was charged with murdering his mother.  He repeatedly beat her over the head, and then stabbed her to death.  Gordon, 38, claimed that he kept hearing voices in his head and the voice belonged to his mother.  His defence was one of insanity but this was rejected by the Judge.  He was sent to a secure mental hospital.  He later said he used to receive cards from Clapton but this stopped after a couple of years.

    Jim Gordon was one of the top session drummers on the West Coast of the U.S. supporting many top names including John Lennon & George Harrison.  He was with Delaney & Bonnie when Clapton joined them for a tour.  He then formed the Dominos with Gordon, Carl Radle (who later on died from a heroin overdose) and Bobby Whitlock.

Cop-Killer Dies in Chair As Cops Cheer

It is not very often that members of Law Enforcement gather en masse outside of a jail whilst an execution was taking place.  But this happened outside Starke Maximum Security Prison on January 30th 1985 when James Raulerson went to the chair.  Raulerson had spent ten years on Death Row, using every legal wrangle his lawyers could, to avoid the inevitable.  Raulerson, 33, had robbed a restaurant in Jacksonville but two Police Officers came upon the robbery. The resulting shootout left rookie cop Michael Stewart dead.  His partner, Jim English, managed to avoid injury.

    Numerous cops gathered outside the prison and started cheering as the hum of the generator began.  A short time later, an ambulance carrying the body of Raulerson, left the jail, and all the cops stood in a line, and started cheering and clapping as the ambulance drove by.  Undoubtedly, many people were appalled by this behaviour but is it understandable that every day, they put their lives on the line to ensure people can go about their daily lives, free from assault, murder or rape, at the hands of twisted felons do not care the slightest about the maimed and dead they leave in their path?  Another cop killer who went to the chair was James Hutchins, who was executed by lethal injection on March 16th 1984 in North Carolina.  He murdered three Police Officers.  Cops complained that Hutchins died far too easily, unlike their colleagues.

Killer Dies In The Chair

Flicking through true crime magazines, you come across obscure cases, and one recent feature covered the entire list of executed people in the U.S. since the death penalty was reintroduced in 1976.  Famously, the first one was in Utah, and the case of Gary Gilmore. Executed on January 17th 1977 by firing squad, it set the ball rolling.  This post is about a man who went to the chair in Florida on May 29th 1985.  The culprit was Marvin Francois aged 39.  He was condemned to death for the murder of six people.  This was not a serial killer case but a spree killing.

    Francois was hired as a hitman by a drug pusher to eliminate some competition - oh what loyalty! - and the former junkie killed the rival.  But his mask was not totally secure and it exposed some of his face.  Fearing he could be recognised, he killed five other people on the scene. He was captured and convicted and sentenced to death.  He became the 44th person to be executed at this point.  The only woman to be executed up to this point was Velma Barfield, who received a lethal injection on November 2nd 1984.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Ricky Lee Green - Serial Killer

This is another case of a serial killer that never made in the S.K. stratosphere of the known names.  But this one, Ricky Green, the authorities made sure he was never free to kill again.  He was executed by lethal injection on October 9th 1997, at the Texas execution place, Huntsville.  Green remorselessly killed four people, commenting on his arrest that "they were the dregs of society."  Then what the fuck was he?  Born in December 1960, Green was a one-eyed radiator repairman, but his first kill was 28 year old Steven Fefferman, who worked for a Fort Worth television station as an advertising executive.  Mr Fefferman as repeatedly stabbed and then castrated.  They had had sex at he home of Fefferman.  When arrested and charged, Green confessed to a further three killings.

    His victims wee 16 year old Jeff Davis, who like Fefferman, was repeatedly stabbed and castrated.  His other two victims were 27 year old Sandra bailey and 28 year old Betty Jo Monroe.  As he was on the gurney, Green told the families of the victims that his execution was just another killing and did not solve anything. his family and friends were now being punished by the state.  But this fucker had no hesitation in destroying others lives and of their families.  Typical selfish bastard.  at least he is now out of the way.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

"Three Steps To Heaven"

This is not a posting about the late rocker Eddie Cochran, but he did play an important part in the lives of the two protagonists of this story; Barry Charles Smallman & Jean Ann Harrison.  Barry was a labourer by day, and a singer in a local band at night.  Jean worked in a carpet factory.  August 1960 saw Jean move from her parents home in Broseley, Shropshire, to an aunts` home in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.  She danced the night away at dancehalls in Wolverhampton with friends but that soon finished when she acquired a boyfriend.  Barry Smallman.  She was 17, he 19.  But being in a band, Barry had the attentions of a number of young ladies, which embarrassed him.  When he had no alcohol inside him.  With a drink or two, this changed.  Jean was jealous of the attention other girls paid him.  He usually started a gig with "C`mon Everybody" by Cochran, and sang "Three Steps To Heaven" gazing at Jean.  It was her favourite song.  After a show, they would make for a small copse near their homes where they would make love.

    There was a fly in the ointment.  Barry`s mother.  She did not like the girls who chased after her son. His father had died in WW2, so he was raised solely by his mother.  One day, he announced that he was engaged to a girl after just three days.  She soon put a stop to it. Her complaints were that Barry was ok..... until he had a drink, and that girls were the cause of any bother he ended up in.   It was October19th when she met Barry at the Fox Hotel, where he was doing a show.  After the show, they made their customary way to Grove Wood for sex.   However, Jean never returned home.  Her concerned aunt went to Barry`s home and spoke to his mother, who asked her son if he had seen Jean.  His response was "No" so she carried on her search.  Days later, she learned that she had left the pub with Barry.  She immediately went to the Police.

    Barry was working on a building site near to Telford, where he was questioned by Police.  Barry denied even knowing her.  Soon, he burst into tears and said they went to Grove Wood for sex, then they parted.  Police upped the ante and he confessed that he had strangled her.  A search was made of Grove Wood and her body was found.  The post mortem revealed that there was no sexual assault, that it was consensual.  Her blouse was undone, her bra pulled down and her panties removed.  There was no tearing of her clothes.  She had been strangled, had bite marks on her neck and breasts, with some blood on her face.  The Pathologist concluded that it was not from violence but from rough sex.  He appeared at the local Magistrates Court on November 8th.  Pleading Not Guilty to murder, Barry sat through a five hour hearing, part of which was held in private.  He was committed for trial at Shropshire Crown Court on November 25th 1960.  It was here that he changed his plea to guilty.  He was sentenced to life, and was released in 1974.  His defence was that Jean was taunting him during sex and asking him to choke her whilst he was doing it.  Auto-eroticism.  But there is only his word for it.  And would such a deviant act been known amongst young girls from the sticks back in 1960?  Where and from whom could she have learned about such things?  They had just had the trial about Lady Chatterley`s Lover and that was considered sordid by the authorities of the time.  Let us look at the facts.  He was raised by his mother, who disliked most of the girls who took an interest in him.  She ended his engagement to a girl, although after three days is a bit ridiculous.  My belief is that she had such a hold over his behaviour that he needed drink inside him to bring out possibly repressed thoughts and desires.  When sober, girls embarrassed him. Why?  Was it because mother simply would not approve.  It makes me think of Marie Barone, the over bearing and interfering mother in the sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond."  But then again, I could be completely wrong.

Benjamin Atkins - Detroit Serial Killer

Here is yet another story from the underbelly of the U.S. Motor City; Detroit.  This concerns a serial killer that I only came across through an episode of "Most Evil."  This killer was Benjamin Atkins, who claimed eleven victims, with one extremely lucky to survive.  He killed most of his victims in the Highland Park area of the city, whilst he killed three women on the same night in different rooms of a motel.  All his victims were prostitutes, they being throwaway victims for killers and that they were not truly missed.  His killing spree ran from December 1991 to August 1992.

    He first struck in October of 1991 when he raped, sodomised and attempted to strangle 35 year old Darlene Saunders in Highland Park, but she miraculously survived.  Most of his victims to follow were to suffer sodomy at his hands.  To me and many, a disgusting and deviant form of behaviour.  But 30 year old Debbie Friday, was not so fortunate on December 14th 1991 in Highland Park.  She was raped, sodomised and strangled.  Atkins was now on his way.  Two weeks later on 30th December, his next victim was Bertha Mason aged 26.  She was raped, sodomised and strangled in Detroit.  Atkins took a respite for a couple of days and struck again on 3rd January 1992.  Pat George, 36, was found in  Detroit, raped, sodomised and strangled.  The Police knew they had a serial killer on the loose.

    It was towards the end of January, 25th, that he claimed his next victim.  This time it was 39 year old Victoria Truelove.  She had endured the Atkins barbarity of rape, sodomy and strangulation.  Her body was dumped in an empty building, exactly the same as all his previous victims. February 17th brought a killing frenzy.  34 year old Valerie Chalk was raped, strangled and sodomised in a motel.  Later,Juanita Hardy, 23, was raped and strangled in another room.  Then a woman, who was never identified, was raped and strangled in yet another room.  By now, Atkins had killed eight women.

    Atkins now stayed below the radar until he struck again on April 9th.  His victim was 38 year old Brenda Mitchell.  She was raped and strangled in Highland Park.  Six days later, Atkins murdered 43 year old Victoria Beasley-Brown in Highland Park on April 15th.  Then it was 40 year old Joanna O`Rourke.  She fell victim to Atkins on June 15th in Highland Park.  She was raped and strangled.  The final known victim was 22 year old Ocinena Waymer.  She was found in Highland park, beaten, raped, sodomised and strangled, on August 21st 1992.  But this was his final act as he was finally apprehended by Police, and he was convicted and received eleven life sentences.  However, he died in prison on September 17th 1997 aged 29, from a HIV infection.  The blame for his rampage was put on the fact that he hated prostitutes because his mother was one and he frequently had to watch as she entertained clients.  There was the claim that he had been severely sexually abused at the age of ten.  But what was it that made him explode in 1991?  Plus, it raises the question; What else had he done before his known killing spree?  The only person who can answer is Atkins and he is dead.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Quasand Lewis - Detroit Kingpin

Quasand Daniell Lewis is another one of those American big city crime kingpins that never makes an international name.  Yet the tentacles of his crime empire stretched much further than Detroit.  He has been linked to at least a dozen murders. Yet there is not the slightest evidence that can tie him to any one of them, such is the layer of insulation he has given himself.  Also it is clear evidence of his ability to use his brain.  Many openly boast or cannot keep quiet about what they have done, inviting somebody to cut a deal with prosecutors if caught.  Lewis used his girlfriend as his right-hand man, and her brother, as a main operator for him.  She was said by authorities to have been far tougher than her brother, and was fiercely loyal to Lews.

    Lewis traded in Marijuana, reasoning that if caught by the Federal authorities, he would not receive as severe a sentence if he was involved in Heroin or Cocaine.  Again, another example of somebody not letting greed rule his head.  Painstaking surveillance work by authorities led to repeated seizures of millions of dollars of drug money.  A natural way of hitting and starting to destabilise criminal organisations.  Money is the lifeblood.  Eventually, arrests were made on charges of criminal conspiracies.  Lewis accepted his arrest, telling his lawyer that he had a good run.  He pleaded to the charges, receiving a sentence of 18 years.  His lady received 12 and her brother a similar sentence.  Upon sentencing, which interrupted a civil case with men sweating over piles of folders of evidence and obviously fearing a stretch in jail, he was given a chance to speak by the Judge who had actually presided over the Lewis trial.  He thanked the prosecution, federal agents and the judge for being fair to him, said he loved his lawyer and was now ready to do his time.  He is eligible for parole in around ten years time.  Actions that you would never hear from nearly all villains, as they are all innocent, far too clever for the cops - or even Sherlock Holmes! - and so had to be fitted up.  A different type of dangerous criminal.