Monday, 30 September 2013

Dave Reichert - Green River Cop

One of the main cops involved in the hunt for Gary Ridgway and always subsequently pops up in documentaries on the case, is Dave Reichert, who was there right from the start.  Whilst at the scene of one of the earliest victims found in the Green River, he went down a grassy slope and stumbled over another body.  He was never able to catch the killer but he did interview him many years later, when DNA evidence led to him.

    David George Reichert was born in Detroit Lakes in Minnesota on August 29th 1950, and in 1951 his family moved to Washington State, settling first in Renton, then in Kent, in King County.  He attended Kent Meridian High School and graduated in 1968, then went to Concordia Lutheran College, in Portland in Oregon, gaining an AA in Social Work in 1970.  He then joined the Air Force Reserve serving active duty spells until 1976.  He joined the King County Sheriffs Department in 1972, and rose through the ranks, through the years he had become Commander of a SWAT unit, a bomb disposal unit, a hostage negotiation unit and even Internal Affairs.  He joined the Green River team at the start, but failed to catch the killer.  He believed taxi driver Melvyn Foster was the killer at first, because Foster tried to put himself at the centre of the investigation, probably thinking "I am the key to this case" but basically showing an ego problem.

    In 1997, he was elected Sheriff of King County and re-elected in 2001.  He interviewed Gary Ridgway, and a clip from this interview showed Reichert leaning close in to Ridgway, and Ridgway leaning as far back as he can.  He showed fear as Reichert leaned towards him but he had no fear strangling all his victims!  Married with three children, Reichert went into politics after retiring from the Police and was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican.

    There were many protests by women's` groups that the Police did not care about the Green River killer because the victims were prostitutes, but this was untrue as not only Reichert, Fae Brooks, Matt Haney, Sue Peters, Randy Mullinax, and many others, put in extraordinary amounts of time into trying to catch Ridgway, that even threatened their home life.  Yes, there are cops like that but not all.  Many give their all to the investigations, but surprisingly, many negative comments about the victims actually came from townspeople!  Not surprisingly, these never raise their heads into the public domain.  It is ALWAYS the cops.  The media does have a lot to answer for.

In Memoriam of victims of Gary Ridgway

One thing that is missing in writing about crimes and criminals, and that is the victims.  So, I will do some "In Memoriam" posts of victims of killers and serial killers.  Today I kick off with three short bios of three of the many victims of Green River killer, Gary Leon Ridgway.  First off, we have Gisele Lovvorn, born in California on February 26th 1965, and she was an exceptional and gifted youngster who was an enthusiastic reader and had an IQ of 145, which can put her in the genius category.  However, she suffered at school, thinking that she was an outsider, and she was later frequently bullied.  I get the impression that she was an individual rather than a follower, and this does put people into difficult and awkward situations, simply because they are not a toady or "yes" person.  She decided to ditch school and travelled around the country following her favourite band, The Grateful Dead.  Nothing wrong in that, being a "Dead Head".  It was believed that it was during this period that she fell into prostitution, and it was on 17th June 1982, she disappeared from the Pacific Highway South.  Two months later, her remains were discovered in woods close to the SeaTac Airport.  Ridgway confessed to killing her in 2003.

     Carrie Ann Rois was born on February 15th 1968 but did not have a solid, stable family life, with her mother and father divorcing, and her mother remarrying twice.  She claimed that her second stepfather had molested her, and moved in with her father but that did not go well.  She ended up in and out of homes, but eventually just walked out of one and never went back. She did keep in contact with her mother and did get along very well, but she ended up working the "Strip", an area of the Pacific Highway South that was notorious for prostitutes, where she plied for tricks with her friend.  She vanished sometime between 31st May and June 15th from near the Pacific Highway South.  Her remains were found near Star lake Road on March 10th 1985. Ridgway admitted to her murder.

    Debra Bonner aged 22, was an early victim of Gary Ridgway.  She was one of the victims actually found in the Green River, and Detective Dave Reichert was one of the Police officers on the scene. Debra was born in either 1959 or 1960 and grew up in Tacoma, where she had two siblings.  She dropped out of high school but wanted to join the Navy, and even studied hard to get her GED`s, but things never go as planned for many people.  She was desperately trying to get her life back on track, and even frequently phoned home to keep in contact with her family. She told her mother that she had problems with an abusive boyfriend.  She left a motel to go and hustle on the Strip, and vanished on July 25th 1982, and then was found in the Green River on August 12th 1982.  Ridgway later admitted her murder.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Jay Dobyns -"Jaybird"

Jay Dobyns is a well known former undercover officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms - ATF - whom has worked on high intensity investigations into every aspect of the criminal underworld.  He has worked against the Aryan Brotherhood, the Mob, and most famously, against the Hells Angels.  But his huge efforts eventually led nowhere as he fell out with his superiors over protection for himself and his family, saying that they had left them vulnerable.  Dobyns has since launched a civil lawsuit against his former employers.

    Jay Anthony Dobyns was born on 24th July 1961, in Hammond, Indiana, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona.  He attended Sahuaro High School and then University of Arizona where he became a football star, and excelled in numerous sports.  He graduated in 1985 with a BS in Public Administration, and then played in the Canadian Football League and then in the US Football League.  He decided to go for Law Enforcement and managed to gain entry to the prestigious ATF.  Just after graduating from the Academy, he had to serve a warrant on a criminal who had just been released from prison, but the felon was armed and forced Dobyns into the drivers seat, screaming at him to drive.  Officers surrounded the car with guns drawn.  Dobyns pulled the key from the ignition and dropped it, so the felon shot him in the back with the bullet exiting from his chest area.  The officers shot the gunman dead, then the stricken Dobyns was rushed to hospital, where a skilled surgeon saved his life.

    Dobyns refused to accept a disability payoff and gradually worked his way back into the front line.  He then took part in dozens and dozens of undercover operations, some of them very dangerous and high profile.  He was undercover in Los Angeles during the rioting following the infamous Rodney King assault by LAPD officers, he was at Waco, Columbine and the Oklahoma bombing.  His dedication to duty led to him receiving many awards for valor, bravery and excellence.  His biggest job was soon to come.

    In 2002, a deadly brawl broke out in a casino in Laughlin, Nevada, between the Hells Angels and their deadly rivals, the Mongols.  Three were left dead, and many injured, so a decision was made to make a move on the Hells Angels.  He then became "Jaybird" and for two years, he slowly made inroads with the Skull Valley chapter of the Angels, eventually saying he was "patched in" as a full patch member, something Sonny Barger and the Skull Valley chapter deny.  Numerous arrests followed, including the killers of Cynthia Garcia, a woman whom had been persuaded to go to a "party" at an Angels clubhouse.  Dobyns staged a "murder" of a Mongol, in reality a cop in "colours" of the Mongols, and had photos of the body presented to the Angels.  However, internal disputes within the ATF resulted in a number of defendants facing severely reduced and even dismissed, charges.  Now Dobyns had to receive protection as he and his family received death threats from organisations he had worked against.

    Soon, all protection had been removed and in 2008, his house burned down with his family barely escaping.  Dobyns fought to have his protection re-instated but his former bosses refused to budge.  Dobyns decided to become a federal whistleblower and told of the total lack of protection and help the government agencies refused to give undercover operatives, and launched a lawsuit against the government.  He now runs his own business but has to be vigilant at all times.  In a documentary, Angels tell of how they were never fooled by him and his officers, but you must think that rival clubs must have laughed at the photo of Barger with other bikers.  All were undercover cops!  Jay Dobyns, in an email response to a question of mine, said that it amused him as to how they were never fooled, LONG AFTER the event.  Of course they cannot say that yes, we were taken in, can they?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Robert Hansen - Serial Killer

Robert Christian Hansen operated as a serial killer in Alaska for twelve years before a 17 year old prostitute named Cindy Paulson was found running near naked down a road, handcuffed, and helped by a truck driver.  Police questioned her alleged kidnapper, local baker Robert Hansen, but Police met a mild and very well liked local man and dismissed Paulson`s claims.  But she was to re-emerge and help convict him.

    Hansen was born on 15th February 1939 in Esherville, Iowa, but had difficulties with  domineering father.  He was quiet, a loner who was bullied at school due to his severe stutter.  As he got older, Hansen excelled at hunting, and this became his favourite past-time.  1957 saw him join the U.S.Army Reserve, in which he served for one year before being discharged.  He then became an assistant drill instructor at a Police Academy in Pocahontas, Iowa.  It was during this period that he met a younger woman and they married in 1960.  But Hansen was convicted in December 1963 for an arson attack on a bus garage and served  just over half of a 3 year sentence.  His wife divorced him whilst he was incarcerated in Anamosa State Penitentiary, but he remarried after release and in 1967 he moved to Anchorage, where he had two children and set up a business as a baker.  His hunting prowess made him a local star.  He was jailed again in 1977 for theft where he was diagnosed as bi-polar. 

    June 13th 1977, Cindy Paulson was found running scared by a truck driver, and initially dismissed by Police.  She said that Hansen paid her $200 for oral sex, held at gunpoint, taken to a place owned by Hansen where she was raped & tortured.  He then intended to fly her out to a place he had in the wilderness, in his Piper Super Cub.  Whilst he was preparing his plane, that was when Cindy took her chance, and despite a short chase, she came upon the truck driver.  Hansen was a mild and likeable man and so Police did not continue and the case went cold.

    Detective Glenn Flothe, an officer with Alaska State Troopers, was dealing with the discovery of three bodies in the Anchorage - Matanuska - Susitania Valley.  The first was found on the Eklutna Road so she was named "Annie" but her true identity was never established.  Then, later on that same year, the body of Joanna Messina was found.  The following year, the remains of Sherry Morrow were found.  Glenn Flothe decided to seek help from the FBI and a top profiler gave them a profile that included the fact that he may have a speech impediment or disability.  Hansen was found to fit the profile perfectly.  October 27th 1983, Police searched Hansen`s properties and found articles belonging to some of the victims.  Hansen eventually confessed to all the crimes he had committed, more than 30 assaults, rapes and murders, starting in 1971.  Police had found a map of the wilderness with crosses marked on them.  Many later were found to be grave sites.  His death toll is thought to be between 17 & 21 though Hansen denied some murders.  He is eventually charged with four murders, the kidnap and rape of Cindy Paulson and sentenced to 461 years and is currently in Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, Alaska.

    How Hansen killed his victims was by hunting them, ala "The Most Dangerous Game".  He brought them to the wilderness, released them, then stalked them and shot them dead.  One detractor said "How does a crime scene reveal a man with a stutter?"  Well, the profiler did not specify he had a stutter but possibly, or some other disability.  Why?  Common sense says that he is displaying total power & control over his victims, something a man with a vocal disability would have difficulty accomplishing because he would have difficulty expressing threatening words.  BUT ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!  The early victims of Hansen were girls in their late teens but later became prostitutes and strippers and topless dancers.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

David Cook - Double Murderer

This brutal killer is another member of that unique band of prisoners serving whole life sentences that journalist Mary Riddle has sympathy for.  Families of both of Cook`s victims will never share that view that dangerous felons should be given a possibility of a chance of parole.  Cook brutally murdered two people in the same manner, and although he gave himself up both times - something that the apologists would point out - he killed both times with deliberation.

    He first made a name for himself as an extremely violent criminal with a couple of robberies at people`s homes, tying up the victims, then using violence.  He was captured and sent to prison.  Whilst in there, he received a letter from sunday school teacher and christian Beryl Maynard, writing to some inmates jut so they have contact with someone, even if only through letters.  But Cook took it one step further and when released, went to meet her.  Mr Maynard was unsure about this but he never realised what a pathological liar Cook was, and over time, he felt totally relaxed around Cook.  But in 1987, he returned to his Reading home to find his wife dead.  When the Police looked at Cook and started searching for him, he went and gave himself up.  Beryl Maynard had been strangled with the cord from a dressing gown.  He was charged, convicted and jailed for life.

    But, as happens in the UK, twenty one years later, he was deemed fit for release and was located in Rhymney, in South Wales.  Again, as happens in the UK, where he was moved to an area and the community kept in the dark about the violent and murderous past of Cook.  He befriended an old and kind hearted, 64 year old Len Hill.  One day, Len Hill went missing and people searched for him, Police searched for him and then made a gruesome discovery.  Len was found murdered in the next door home of David Cook.  Again, the MO of Cook was at work; tying up and then strangulation.  He then left the area.  A nationwide alert was put out for Cook who upon hearing, telephoned Police to tell them where they could find him.  Cook was arrested and charged with murder for a second time.  He claimed that he snapped after elderly Mr Hill made sexual advances to him, but this was shown to be nothing but lies.  He was convicted and told that he will never be released.  Many people on forums believed that if life meant life or murderers were executed, victims like Len Hill would still be alive.

    Apologists for the most heinous of criminals and killers, to them I say, Would they like to tell Jeremy Bamber that he is line to a huge inheritance but they are before him and then invite him to stay with them?  Would they insist Peter Moore stays in a hostel of solely gay men?  Would they help Sutcliffe do some DIY, buy him a hammer and screwdriver and hand them to him and make sure their backs are to him?  Send their teenage daughters to live with Rose West?  We know what answer they would give.  Don`t we!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Christopher Dimeo - Cold Blooded Killer

Dimeo is doing life without parole for three completely unnecessary murders committed during the robbing of jewelry stores.  This short spree, along with girlfriend Nicole Pearce, was committed for no other reason than to fuel their drug addictions.  Dimeo & Pearce were junkies - heroin addicts - and needed at least $600 a day to hand over to pushers.  They left California and drove all the way across the States to New York in a car they had stolen that belonged to a family member.

    Dimeo was the son of junkies, and when his mother remarried, he did not get along with his stepfather.  He taught his stepson to shoot animals, and later he became very cold when doing so.  It was no big deal; this was evident when he slaughtered three people years later.  He met up with Nicole Pearce, and before long, they were both addicts, and robbed from their families to pat for their addiction.  In 2001, Dimeo was convicted of attempting to rob a Best Buy store in Long Island.  Things turned extremely ugly when Dimeo robbed a jewelry store in Glen Head, New York State, when December 21st 2004.  Dimeo cold bloodedly gunned down Tom Renison, snatched trays of jewelry and vanished.  He had robbed two stores beforehand, and in one, he aimed a gun at a woman assistant and seemed to have pulled the trigger but the gun jammed.  Very fortunately for the woman.  As is the norm, the money they received from fences for the jewelry, was only a fraction of their worth, and did not last the couple long.

    Nicole Pearce cased the stores for Dimeo, checking out security, cctv, where the most expensive items were, and what the staff were like.  Would they challenge him during the robbery?  It was on February 5th 2005 that they held up J&J Jewels in Post Road, Fairfield, in Connecticut.  Dimeo went in and held up Tim & Kim Donnelly in their shop.  He shot them both dead.  He later claimed Tim Donnelly struggled with him.  They fled to Atlantic City after fencing their haul, checking into a motel, and carrying on doing drugs.  Police questioned Dimeo`s mother who gave them a cell number.  They in turn, put this into the hands of the US Marshalls, who had the necessary technology to track where the phone was.  They traced it to Atlantic City, so a heavily armed squad moved in to arrest them.  Nicole Pearce actually walked into the cops, when they entered the building and was quickly arrested.  They then phoned Dimeo and ordered him to come out.  They were ready for a shootout, but surprisingly, Dimeo surrendered without incident, and later admitted to a cop that he was scared to face that many cops.  He had no problem aiming a firearm at shop assistants & managers and pulling the trigger.

   Pearce quickly co-operated, saying that she cased the robberies but did not stay in the getaway car on the Fairfield robbery, preferring to go back to the motel.  She then dropped the bombshell that Dimeo`s mother put him up to the robbery in which Tom Renison was murdered, and even phoned him whilst he was in there to hurry up!  The mother was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years.  Pearce received twenty.  Dimeo received life without parole.  In 2011, he was put on trial for the murder of Tim & Kim Donnelly.  The DA sought the death penalty for Dimeo.  Pearce gave evidence that was videoed, as she was in hospital suffering from terminal cervix cancer.  Dimeo was convicted but his lawyers did a good job in getting him LWP.  He apologised to the Donnelly family, but that is usually self serving.  He had no hesitation in shooting them nine times.  Yet here he was pleading for his own life to be spared.  Was it drugs that caused Dimeo & Pearce to become what they did?  Heroin did not cause Dimeo to cold bloodedly execute three people, when he had no reason to, it is something inside.  There is something missing when people turn into ruthless killers, and I do not accept reasons spat out "Their childhood, their upbringing" blah, blah, blah.  People can have the most appalling childhoods yet many can rise above it.  I believe it comes down to the mental make up of the individual.

Gangland - The Hidden Valley Kings

This neighbourhood gang operates in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Their neighbourhood lies between Sugar Creek Road, North Tryon Street &  Interstate 85.  The gang was first formed in the 1980`s by a former member of the Vice Lords, and was known at first, as the Kings, but gradually their influence spread through the area, so they took the name of the neighbourhood, Hidden Valley and became the HVK.  Their criminal activities covered the usual sphere, drugs, firearms, prostitution, robbery and murder.  They wore the colour green to symbolise their mob, and some grew their hair and had it turned into dreadlocks.  Again, a visual look to identify themselves.  They did accept some other gangs as allies but did clash on occasions with a Bloods group and some MS-13.

    They showed how ruthless they were when in November 2005, a rival drug pusher refused to pay a "street tax" to the HVK, so it was decided to take him out.  It resulted in a shootout at a mall but the intended target managed to escape.  They next laid an ambush at a motel but again, he escaped.  But now they gave chase in cars, and both parties shot at each other racing through the streets.  The target crashed and ran off into a neighbourhood but they still gave chase and managed to corner him.  He was mercilessly cut down with an AK-47.  This public outrage forced the Charlotte- Meckleburg  Police into action, and so a special unit was formed with the sole intention of bringing them down.  Over a two year period, they gathered intelligence, evidence, cultivated informants, and eventually, a huge crackdown resulted in around two dozen arrests, including leaders on numerous and serious charges.  After this, the gang laid low, not doing things openly and slowly worked their way back into a position of power & fear.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

In For A Nasty Shock

There have been a proliferation of books by former and current soccer hooligans and their "firms" as they are known as.  Many of them have identifying names, such as Cardiff`s Soul Crew, West Ham`s Inter City Firm(ICF), Birmingham`s Zulus.  Leeds have the Inter City Crew(ICC) and Bradford have "The Ointment", and there has been intense rivalry between these close clubs and also Huddersfield.  The big moment for "The Ointment" in regards to the Leeds firm, came in 1986, when they clashed in a cup match at Odsal Stadium.  This Rugby stadium was being used by Bradford City following the terrible fire the year before that claimed 56 lives.  What went down that day?

    Many of the Bradford firm were gathered at the Red Ginn pub in West Bowling, about a mile or so away from the ground, when the landlord of the Red Ginn received a call from one of the top men of the ICC, asking what strength the local team had.  The landlord told the caller "You are in for a nasty shock".  When the Leeds firm arrived , from Ripley Street to the main road from the city centre, Manchester Road, there was carnage as fighting broke out all along Manchester Road.  The mighty Leeds firm did indeed get "a nasty shock" as they were run off.  This ruckus still lives on in many who took part, but it takes a bit of understanding as to why many men want to get involved in such violence.  I asked one former top man of "The Ointment" what was it that appealed to them?  He said that it was all like minded people who simply like to have a big punch up.  Many skirmishes are pre-arranged and some get to know men from other firms and friendships do form.  I did ask this man whom he thought was the top soccer firm and without hesitation, he said West Ham.  He also added that every firm has come unstuck at some point, though some firms like to boast that they have never been turned over.  My source says that most of the "hooligan" books are pretty honest, but not all.  It has never been my thing, and I do admit I am not a fighter, but I do like to know about motivations behind events.  

Friday, 20 September 2013

Charles "Tex" Watson - Infamous Murderer

This is a look at the last of the four people originally given death sentences, along with their puppet master Charles Manson, for seven horrific murders in August 1969.  Manson, Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel & Leslie Van Houten were the main players in the crimes that shook the world.  It appears that Watson took the lead in the murders, and the girls followed suit.  As with the others, Watson did not come from a broken home, an abusive family, a ghetto or deprived neighbourhood, but from comfortable family backgrounds.  Yet, they were able to commit heinous crimes against people they did not know, and do it without question when ordered to by Manson.  

    Watson was born in Dallas, Texas, on 2nd December 1949, and was the youngest of three children.  He was an Honor Student, a good athlete and worked as an editor on the school magazine.  It was in September 1964 that Watson went to Denton, Texas, where he attended North Texas State and joined a fraternity.  Watson found employment as a baggage handler with Braniff Airlines in January 1967.  He used perks of the job such as free air tickets to visit a frat friend in Los Angeles, where he became interested in the counter culture of the time, and the psychedelic scene.  Inevitably, he started selling weed and LSD, and was arrested twice.  It was at this time that he met Manson, and went off to join him at Spahn Ranch, venturing into Los Angeles frequently to peddle drugs and bring in money.  It was March 1969 when Watson stayed permanently at Spahn Ranch where Manson was constantly preaching about a race war and he wanted to bring it about.

    Watson took part in both murder scenes, but Watson disputes the claim that Manson went into the home of the La Biancas and tied them up.  He claimed that Manson looked through the windows and then ordered them to go in and kill the La Biancas.  Watson fled to Texas after the murders on 2nd October 1969 but was arrested on 30th November, and for nine months battled against extradition to California.   When he was eventually extradited, he suddenly took a mental downturn, not talking and losing a great deal of weight.   He was sent to a state hospital for a 90 day evaluation and at the end he was deemed as mentally fit, and faced trial in early 1971.  Like the others, he was convicted and condemned but this was commuted to life.

    1975 saw Watson take the well chosen route that many notorious criminals have done and that was religion.  He became a born again christian and is part of a religious website.  He also believes that God has forgiven him for his crimes, but does not say how he came by this.  Back then there were no emails, cell phones, though there were letters, landline phones and fax machines.  In 1979, he married Kristin Svege and fathered four children through conjugal visits.  They divorced in 2003.  Watson gained a BS in Business Management in 2009, but has been denied parole 14 times, the last in 2011.  He was the leading player when they went into the Tate and La Bianca homes.  Seven people slaughtered for no reason only because of the delusions of a manipulative little bastard, who did not want to get HIS hands dirty.  He should stay in until he dies.

    One point that I find that showed how delusional Manson became, was that it was said that he wanted the motorcycle gangs to act as his footsoldiers when the race war ended and he and his followers were going to emerge to take over.  Does anybody seriously think for one minute that Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger would take orders from a little pip squeak?  No, they would have simply buried him and his acolytes in the desert.  Other outlaw motorcycle clubs of the time would have done the same.  Yet the Straight Satans MC that hung around the family, do not seem to have had the mettle of other clubs.  For example, it was said that some of them were scared of Manson and his clan.  Would any self respecting outlaw biker have thought that?  Where were his brothers to back him up if he felt threatened?  Why did they not just walk in and take over?  Tell Manson they are in charge and the women are there for THEIR pleasure. Apparently they could not.  Not much of an OMG me thinks. 

    One former family member, Barbara Hoyt said that Watson slavishly carried out Manson`s orders and without question, but former FBI profiler John Douglas believes that Manson orchestrated the murders as a power move, to keep control and stop Watson emerging as a possible new leader.  What do you think?


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Patricia Krenwinkel - Infamous Murderer

Patricia Diane krenwinkel is the third of the women that were originally sentenced to death for the horrific murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Stephen Parent & Voytek Frykowski, then the following night, Leno & Rosemary La Bianca in 1969.  The sentences were commuted to life imprisonment, where they all, including Manson & Watson, still remain.

   Krenwinkel was born in Los Angeles on 3rd December 1947 to an insurance salesman and a housewife.  She suffered from low self esteem, and was bullied at University High School and then Westchester High School, both in Los Angeles.  Her parents divorced in the mid 60`s but she stayed with her father until she graduated from Westchester School.  She taught Roman Catholic religious instruction, and then decided to become a nun, and attended Jesuit College in Alabama, but dropped out after one term.  She went to California and stayed with her half sister in Manhattan Beach, and found a job as a processing clerk.  It was in Manhattan Beach, that she was to meet the man who would change many lives forever; Manson.

    Manson had with him two young women, Lynette Fromme and Mary Brunner, the first of the "Manson Girls".  Later , she said that she had sex with Manson the first night, and that he said she was beautiful.  This was something new to Krenwinkel as she never received compliments and so she became enraptured with him, becoming a devoted follower. She went off with the trio in a school bus that Manson had and travelled around for eighteen months, before settling at Spahn Ranch, in California.  Krenwinkel looked after the children born to the "Family" women, but this caring nature meant nothing on two nights in August 1969, when she participated in both murder sprees.  Soon after, Police raided the ranch but it over stolen car parts, and a number were arrested, but the warrant was not correct and so they were all released.  Some family members drifted off, upset over the Police raid, their thought of involvement in the murders - most had no idea of what had gone on - and talk of ranch hand Don "Shorty" Shea being murdered.  Manson moved his clan to Barker Ranch near Death Valley, which was raided again by Police.  Krenwinkel was bailed by her father.  She moved to Alabama after being ordered to go by Manson and wait for a call to return.  The call never happened as arrests went down for the seven murders in Los Angeles.

    Krenwinkel originally fought extradition to California but in February 1970, she decided to go to California and was returned for trial.  She showed her devotion to Manson by she and the others shaving their heads and having crosses written on their foreheads as he did.  Sentenced to death, hers and all condemned, had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.  She went to the California Institute for Women in Corona.  During her sentence, Krenwinkel taught other inmates, gained a Bsc in Human Services, worked in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other activities.  She has been denied parole 13 times, the last time in 2011, and her next will be in 2018.  Following the death of Susan Atkins, Krenwinkel is now the longest serving woman in California`s Penal System.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Leslie Van Houten - Infamous Murderer

This look at another one of the people commanded to kill by that "hero" of the sixties counter culture, Manson, shows that she was less culpable than Watson, Atkins & Krenwinkel, in that she participated in only one set of murders, whereas the others took part in both.  This does not diminish in any way the horrific murders she participated in.  She helped murder Leno & Rosemary La Bianca, and she has been in jail since, despite two retrials later in the seventies.

    Leslie Louise Van Houten was born on 23rd August 1949.  Details of her early life are sketchy.  It was in the summer of 1968 that in San Francisco that she met Catherine Share & Bobby Beausoleil.  He would later be convicted for the murder of Gary Hinman.   These two spoke of the small man with a guitar that had an outlook on life that was so appealing to them.  Later, Van Houten met Manson and was immediately drawn to his philosophies and laid back approach to life, so she joined up with his fledgling "Family" in September 1968 and went out to Spahn Ranch in the California desert.   Manson showed no interest in her, which left her needing to prove herself to everybody.

    August 9th, and Manson took Van Houten, Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, Steve Grogan & Linda Kasaban to Waverly Drive in Los Feliz.  Watson and Manson went into the house forcing the La Biancas at gunpoint to be tied up, then this "hero" went outside and commanded Atkins, Van Houten, Grogan & Krenwinkel to join Watson inside and kill the occupants.  They did willingly.  After the slaughter, Van Houten cleaned up where there may have been fingerprints, changed clothes, taking some belonging to their victim, Rosemary La Bianca, then helped herself to some food.  Watson had later gone to Texas, where he was arrested and fought extradition.  Van Houten was put on trial in Los Angeles along with Manson, Krenwinkel, & Atkins.  She was convicted and sentenced to death.  This was revoked to life imprisonment when executions wee halted in California.  During the trial, she was unruly, showed no remorse and laughed when the gruesome evidence of the murders were shown.

    Van Houten won a retrial in 1977 because her original lawyer, Ronald Hughes disappeared.  He is thought to have been killed by members of the "Family" but it has never been proved.  Her second trial ended in a stalemate, but the third reaffirmed the guilty verdict.  She was again sentenced to life.  She has applied for parole twenty times but has been continuously knocked back.  Her next application will be in 2018.  Verdict?  She willingly slaughtered two people just to please a little megalomaniac  who, like the big man he was, came out of the house to get his acolytes to do his dirty work.  Watson later said that Manson ordered him to make sure all of them "Got their hands dirty"  What a hero!  As the saying goes, "You do the crime, you do the time!"

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Gangland - The Tiny Rascals

Who would think that the killing fields of Pol Pot in Cambodia would breed an extremely violent nationwide gang in the United States?  Yet this is what happened.  People fleeing the genocide in Cambodia were settling in California, but found themselves under attack from other Asian and black gangs, so they formed a gang in Long Beach, for protection.  Initially, members had to be Cambodian, but over time, other Asians, and even Afro-American & Caucasians were accepted.  The gang has two sections; the Grey Rags & the Blue Rags.  The gang slowly spread across the US and now reputedly has 10,000 plus members.

    Their sphere of criminality covers all the usual bases; drugs, murder, burglary, extortion, home invasions, violence.  They do have female members, but members who quit, often are murdered or nearly beaten to death.  To counter their activities, the authorities have taken to deporting them back to their countries of origin, but this creates problems in their own countries.  They carry on recruiting and it has been said that a great many of prison inmates in Cambodia, have been deported from the US.   Yet more areas under the control of street gangs, not traditional criminals.  This shows the huge changes in crime and culture over the last four decades that now shape crime in the US.  Is the Mafia as all-powerful as it once was?  We all know the answer to that.

Susan Atkins - Infamous Murderer

Susan Denise Atkins has gone down in history as one of the most heinous mass murderers of modern times.  She took part in eight murders that shocked the world; the Sharon Tate and the La Bianca Murders.  Sharon Tate and four others, including celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, were slaughtered in August 1969 at the home of eight months pregnant Sharon Tate that she shared with husband, director Roman Polanski.  The next night, wealthy couple The La Biancas, were slaughtered in their home.  The culprits were Atkins, Charles Watson, Patricia Krenwinkle, Leslie Van Houten and accompanying them, Linda Kasabian.

    Susan Atkins was born in San Gabriel, California on 7th May 1948 to parents Edward & Jeanette Atkins.  She had two brothers.   Reputedly, both parents were alcoholics.  They settled in San Jose, where at Leigh High School, Atkins achieved average grades.  Her mother died in 1963 fro cancer, and from then it was a series of moves and the break up of her family.  When she went to Los Banos High School, her grades went downhill, so she sought independence and lived with various friends and relatives.  It was at the home of one of these friends that she met a man called Charles Manson.  He called her Sadie Mae Glutz or "Sexy Sadie".  The house was raided by Police so she found herself homeless.  But her new friend Charlie said he should join the bus he and others had to travel about, so she went along and they settled at a disused film set at a place called Spahn Ranch.  She gave birth to a child she had by Bruce White.  Manson called him Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. 

    After the Tate/La Bianca & Gary Hinman murders, and her conviction, she automatically lost parental rights, but her surviving family refused to have anything to do with the child, so it was put up for adoption and Atkins never saw her child again.  At first, she fully co-operated with authorities but later retracted her confessions and so faced the death penalty.  Herself, Manson, Watson, Krenwinkle & Van Houten received death sentences, but later, all such sentences were repealed throughout the country and substituted for life imprisonment.  Later, she claimed that followers of Manson threatened to kill her and her child if she did not recant.  She later pled guilty to the murder of Gary Hinman, but insisted she did not know that a robbery or murder was going to happen.  She wrote her memoirs in 1977 entitled "Child of Satan, Child of God" where she contradicted this claim.

    As happens in such cases, she became a "Born Again Christian" and married twice in prison.  First in 1981, then in 1987, when she married James Whitehouse, a Harvard Law School graduate, who later represented Atkins at her parole hearings in 2000 & 2005.  At these hearings, families of the victims spoke out against granting her parole.  It was in April 2008 that she was diagnosed with possible brain cancer and not given long to live.  She applied for parole on compassionate grounds, but again, remaining relatives spoke against.  Surprisingly, main prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi supported her application, one reason being that it would take the cost of her medical care, off the prison system.  However, other prosecutors involved, objected and even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger objected.  Finally, it was denied on September 2nd 2009, and she died two days later.  It was her eighteenth application for parole.

    What do I think?  She participated in eight murders.  She showed absolutely no mercy to the victims, and in the trial, displayed absolutely no remorse.  You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Gangland - Zoe Pound

Gangland in the USA has changed dramatically over the last four decades, in that traditional organised crime - The Mafia - does not have the powerful grip on the Underworld that it once had.  Now the power has shifted to the street gangs throughout the US, and these gangs comprise of street corner juveniles and young men.  One gang that made an extremely violent impact in Miami and Florida, was Zoe Pound.  This gang sprang up in a deprived area of immigrants from that home of voodoo, Haiti, and became known as "Little Haiti".

    This gang was involved in drug trafficking, armed robbery, carjacking, extortion and murder.  Police found that the gang had sprung up in the late 1980`s and let nothing stand in their way.  Over the last decade Police maintained a relentless drive against them, that it was supposed that the gang had been destroyed.  As it always turns out, the gangsters simply upped and moved away, spreading their brand of terror in other cities.  Some of them returned to Haiti, and some moved to the Bahamas and surrounding areas of the Caribbean, simply carrying on where they had left off.  A quick look at one of the extremely dangerous gangs that now proliferate the US.

The Great Defenders - Sir Patrick Hastings

Another of the Great Public Defenders was Sir Patrick Hastings, whose rise to prominence included a stint as the Attorney General for England & Wales.  His famous cases included "The Hooded Man" (John Williams), The Savidge Inquiry, in which a respected man was accused of public indecency with a woman, The Royal Mail case, Elvira Barney, and Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists.

    Patrick Gardiner Hastings was born on 17th March 1880, and he attended the famous and exclusive Charterhouse Private School until 1896, where his family mover to Europe.  Hastings developed a skill for horse riding and shooting which led him to being accepted into the Suffolk Imperial Yeomanry at the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa.  Later he returned to the UK where he worked as an engineer in Wales before moving to London and settling in the Middle Temple as a Law student in November 1901.  He qualified as a Barrister in June 1904.  His first major case was that of John Williams, charged with the murder of Police Inspector Arthur Walls in Eastbourne in 1912.  There were unsettling aspects of the case but Hastings was unable to save Williams.

    It was in 1919 that Hastings was now a fully qualified King`s Council(KC) that meant he was able to lead in any case for prosecution or defence. 1922 saw Hastings be elected Member of Parliament for Wallsend, and within two years was appointed Attorney General under the new Labour Government, but he inadvertently caused the downfall of the government when he authorised the "Campbell Case" which led to a political storm and the Government fell.  He resigned his post and as an MP and returned to working as a barrister.  Hastings disliked working on capital murder cases but it was in 1932 that he was approached by Sir John Mullins to defend his daughter Elvira Barney on a capital charge of murdering her lover in their Knightsbridge home.  Her lover was shot but Barney insisted it was an accident.  He took the brief after being persuaded by his wife, due to the fact that Elvira had the same governess as their children.

    Hastings cross-examined the Home Office pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury at the committal proceedings at a magistrates court but naturally such a charge usually goes to trial.  There followed a three day trial at the Old Bailey in which Hastings displayed his skills.  A firearms expert, Robert Churchill - first made a name in the case of John Williams - stated that the trigger of the gun required a heavy pull, ruling out an accidental squeeze of the trigger.  Hastings picked up the gun and repeatedly pulled the trigger, showing to the Jury that it appeared it did not.  A witness described Barney as being seen wielding her gun with her left hand.  Hastings had the gun placed in front of Barney when she went into the witness box, then after a pause told her to pick it up.  She did instantly with her right hand.  His closing speech was described later by the Judge, Mr Justice Humphreys, as one of the finest he had ever heard.  Elvira Barney was acquitted.  It has been claimed that after the trial, Hastings had a heavily bruised finger from pulling the trigger!

    Hastings continued working as a barrister but late in the 1940`s he suffered a couple of strokes that severely restricted him and he died on26th February 1952.

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Great Defenders - Sir Edward Marshall Hall

I wish to cover a couple of the great legal defenders Britain had in the first half of the twentieth century and the first in line was the man dubbed "The Great Defender" - Sir Edward Marshall Hall.  He was a formidable orator in the courtroom, but it has been said that he used his personality, flamboyance and oratory skills because he was not a truly great legal brain, but some of his defences really contradict this theme.

    He was born on September 16th 1858 in Brighton, and later attended the prestigious Rugby School and then St. Johns College, in Cambridge, studying for his Law Degree.  But at the end of his fourth year, he decided to tale a "gap year" spending time in both Paris and Australia before returning to Cambridge to finish his studies.  In 1882, he married Ethel Moon, but the marriage was not a happy one and they separated in 1889.  A scandal broke when it was discovered that Ethel had been made pregnant by a lover, and she went for an abortion which went tragically wrong and she died.  The lover, the abortionist and several other people were tried for murder.  Hall must have felt some responsibility for Ethel because he became an impassioned defender of women who had suffered at the hands of men.  His most infamous case years later was to bare this out.  He remarried, to Henriette Kroeger and they had one daughter, Elna.

    It was in the twentieth century that Hall came into his own as a barrister.  In 1901, he unsuccessfully defended Herbert Bennett for the Yarmouth Beach Murder.  In 1907, came the Camden Town murder and the defending of Robert Wood for the murder of Emily Dimmock.  Wood was acquitted.  He was offered the brief to defend Dr Crippen but was unhappy with the defence that Crippen wanted to present and so declined it.  In 1912 came the case of Frederick Seddon charged with poisoning Eliza Barrow.  Hall argued against the medical findings but Seddon insisted on going into the witness box, against his advice, and his performance in the witness box went against him and he was executed.  Hall believed that if he had sat in the dock, he would have been acquitted.

    During the hostilities of World War 1, he had to defend serial killer George Smith, later dubbed "The Brides in the Bath Murderer" but it was pathologist Bernard Spilsbury that clearly won the case for the prosecution, arranging for a notorious demonstration in the court of how he believed Smith drowned three wives in the bath. Smith was hanged. After hostilities, he was involved in the "Green Bicycle Murder" defending Ronald Light at Leicester in 1919 for the murder of Bella Wright.  His closing argument won the day, and Light lived on until 1975.  1920 saw him defending Solicitor Harold Greenwood for poisoning his wife, at Carmarthen Assizes.  He won Greenwood an acquittal that Gerald Sparrow, later a well known judge,said Hall`s closing argument was the finest ever heard in a court.

    It was 1923 that brought Hall`s most infamous case; The Murder at The Savoy.  He was defending Marguerite Fahmy, the wife of Egyptian Prince, Fahmy Bey.  Hall depicted Bey as a foreigner inflicting his peculiar sexual habits on a white woman, and that she had to defend herself.  Today, it would be acknowledged as a totally racial slur on the victim, a deliberate destroying of his character but it worked .  Marguerite Fahmy was acquitted.

    Outside of the Bar, Hall dabbled in politics and represented Southport as a Unionist MP from 1900 - 1906.  Hall died from pneumonia in 1928.

UPDATE:  Sources can be wrong so a reassessment of Marshall Hall`s offering of the brief concerning Dr Crippen is here.  According to the memoirs of Hall`s clerk, Bowker "Behind the Bar" (1947) Solicitor Arthur Newton called at Hall`s chambers whilst he was absent, offering the brief but the fee would not be paid until after the trial so "certain arrangements could be made."  Bowker turned it down.  Upon his return, Hall agreed with the decision of Bowker.  He later deduced the fee would be paid, depending on the sale of the story.   Thank you to S.B.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Marty Johnstone - "Mr Asia"

This was a case that made worldwide headlines due to the fact that it was all tied in to an international drug smuggling operation.  In 1979, a group of divers were diving in a quarry at Eccleston Delph, near Chorley in Lancashire, when they came across a body that had caught on a ledge.  If it had not caught on the ledge, it would have sunk to a depth out of reach to the mainly amateur divers.

    I remember seeing a picture of the face of the corpse in the newspapers in a hope of somebody recognising the deceased.  The hands had been chopped off to hinder identification, and an attempt was made to disfigure the face to hinder dental identification.  He was later identified as New Zealander Marty Johnstone.  He was born Christopher Martin Johnstone in 1951 in Auckland and attended Takapuna Grammar School.  He was dubbed "Mr Asia" by Auckland Star reporter Pat Booth, after a series of articles.  It was in October 1979, Johnstone was lured to the UK on the pretext of a major drug buy going off in Scotland, but he only got as far as Lancashire when Johnstone was murdered by Andy Maher, on the orders of Terrence John Clark, a major figure in the drug organisation.

    Maher, Clark and some others were arrested and put on trial for murder at Lancaster Castle, and convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.  Clark died in prison on the Isle of Wight from a heart attack, a few years later.  This episode was featured in the Australian crime series "Underbelly".  There was also a drama reconstruction of the case some years ago featuring Victor Maguire - Jack from comedy series "Bread"

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Cambridge Rapist

This is another case I remember from the seventies of how yet another sexual predator terrorised a city world famous for it`s colleges and universities.  This was the man dubbed "The Cambridge Rapist" and he held the university city in a iron grip of fear.  In all, the perpetrator Peter Samuel Cook, had nine victims to his tally.  He usually broke into flats and bedsits of single young women, initially, he claimed, "to rob but decided to stay and rape".  He gained access dressed as a woman, and ended up wearing a leather mask with rapist written on it.  He then cycled away wearing a blonde wig down back alleys so he eluded Police.

    His first attack took place on October 18th 1974 in Springfield Road.  His victim was a twenty year old woman who was confronted by an intruder whilst she only had a bath towel around her.  He then struck again on November 1st in Abbey Road.  Then his next attack was in Homerton College on November 13th, and then on December 8th in Owlstone Road.  He struck again on December 15th in Huntingdon Road.  His victim was 20 years old.  The previous tenant had fought off a masked intruder.  Then it was into the new year and February 13th when he attacked a woman in Marshall Road.  He kept out of circulation until May 6th when struck again in Pye Terrace.  Then he committed gross indecency on a woman in Owlstone Croft on June 8th but as he was cycling away wearing a blonde wig, he was apprehended by an alert constable.

    In 1975, at Norwich Crown Court, he was given two life sentences, yet, incredibly, there were people who campaigned for his release or transfer to an open prison in 1995!  The sickening crimes never matters to these retards, they only want to cry for the scumbags of this Earth.  But a campaign led by local MP Ann Campbell successfully managed to keep him in prison, and Home Office minister Michael Forsyth said that Cook would only be considered for release if there was absolutely no danger to the public.  But on January 9th 2004, Cook died in Winchester Prison from natural causes.  No doubt his victims rejoiced that the scumbag was off this Earth, and rightly so.

Malcolm Fairley - The Fox

Back in the summer of 1984, a triangular area of England comprising of Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable & Tring, bordering three counties; Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire, was the stalking ground for a truly twisted burglar and rapist that became known as "The Fox".  This nickname was due to his ability to escape through wooded areas, leaving the Police helpless.  The panic that ensued saw many locals set up armed night patrols.  The Police had to draft in huge reinforcements in the hunt.  But in the end, it came down to persistent Police enquiries and sharp eyed coppers that brought "gentle" Malcolm Fairley to justice, but not before he left a terrifying catalogue of crimes.

    It all began in April 1984 when a 74 year old woman was awakened in her bed by a man, in her home in Linslade, Leighton Buzzard.  She was indecently assaulted but she resisted him and he fled.  Then on 10th May, he struck again when he broke into a house in Cheddington, stole money, a shotgun and cartridges.  But he decided to wait for the occupant to come home.  He arrived to find himself confronted by a masked man wielding a shotgun.  He tied him up and then settled down to watch some porn videos before indecently assaulting the man.  After leaving, he buried the gun, then committed another three burglaries.

    In the village of Tring, he burgled a house but the occupants were out.  He helped himself to clothes, another shotgun, flicked through photographs, then decided to settle down and wait for the occupants to return.  Again, he watched videos, whilst cutting dressing gown cords for binding.  He also cut the telephone wires.  The couple arrived home at 1.30am but the intruder fled.  But he was not finished.  He broke into another house where the owners were in bed.  The man awoke to see a masked man so he screamed at the intruder and a shot rang out, hitting him in the hand.  He fled but four days later, he struck again.  This time, a family of four were the victims.  He tied up the husband and indecently assaulted his wife.  He objected to this so the intruder hit him with the gun, then he raped the woman.

    Then on 17th August, he committed more burglaries in Edlesborough, then hit a house with three young people in it; a girl of 18, her brother, 17 and her 21 year old boyfriend.  The men were tied up, the girl tied up and put on a bed.  Then the gunman disappeared for a drink, came back and raped her.  Then he raped her again.  He then left and committed more burglaries around the Milton Keynes area.  Then this dangerous man went up to his native north east  and went to the tiny village of Brampton-en-le-Morthen, where he broke into a bungalow and tied up the couple.  The husband was threatened with a gun, his wife indecently assaulted and then raped.  Now, the intruder was showing awareness of forensics as he cut a patch out of the mattress so no semen stains could be found.  He left the house, got into his car and reversed into bushes.  Paint flecks were transferred to the bush.  He then travelled to Peterlee where he carried out a further two burglaries.  Then it was a journey to Milton Keynes where he carried out eleven more crimes, there and around Leighton Buzzard.

    Police had linked the crimes in the "triangle" with those in the north east and came up with a description of a man between 20 & 30, 5`8", 140 -150 pounds, athletic with a north east accent.  The paint flecks were analysed and was determined to be of harvest yellow used by car manufacturer British Leyland, so began the arduous task of tracing cars of that colour.  Two detectives travelled to Oseney Crescent in Kentish Town in London.  They found the owner working on his car.  They noticed the paint scratches.  The owner had a second car in which they found some overalls with a leg cut off.  It turned out to have been used as his mask.  His name was Malcolm Fairley, a 32 year old labourer.  Fairley admitted all his crimes and his only regret was being caught.  He was given six life sentences, but it seems that he was released around 2012.  His excuse for his crimes was being "influenced by pornography" which sparked the usual outcry from moral crusader Mary Whitehouse.  He was very organised and very calm when he committed these crimes, such as sitting and watching TV until the homeowners returned home.  The cutting of binds, frequently tying up his victims before indecently assaulting and raping them, shows his mindset.  He openly confessed yet regrets only being arrested.  What does that tell you about him?  He did not care a toss about what he put his victims through yet a parole board must have been impressed with his "progress".  Personally, I believe he should have been chemically castrated and given a whole life term but we cannot be seen to be "inhuman".  Fairley was inhuman to his victims but since when does their suffering count?

Monday, 9 September 2013

Cutting A Deal

Further to my last post, I would like to make a point about cutting deals with the authorities.  Erik Jensen received LWP because a friend cut a deal for a reduced charge and found his role in the crime beefed up.  I wonder if he thought it up or the cops did?  Over this side of the pond, this sort of deal is now known as a supergrass deal, and in the last seven years or so, the Police have cut over 175 supergrass deals.   It does not matter if the person knows the details or not, in cases that can be remedied in time for the trial.

    A case that happened here a few years back, a particularly brutal murder, in which all the participants were caught and convicted, four receiving more than thirty years.  However, one of the arrested decided to roll over and become a prosecution witness.  Panorama, a BBC home affairs programme, showed a part of an interview with supergrass Sonny Stewart, whom it seemed just could not get his facts straight, and one of the jailed - he received the heaviest sentence - is fighting his conviction, saying Stewart put him in it just to get his deal.  Stewart would have received 18 years but received only 7.  18 months in protective custody meant he could be out in 18 months time.  Such a sweet deal!

    Another notorious case of a supergrass deal involved Darren Nichols and the Range Rover Murders.  Three drug dealers and thugs, Tony Tucker, Pat Tate & Craig Rolfe were found shotgunned to death in a Range Rover in Essex.  Eventually, Police arrested a man called Darren Nichols, who was already an active Police informer.  Tracing cell phone calls, put him in the vicinity of the murders at the time it was thought they were committed.  They charged him with murder.  Nichols decided to "tell all" but gave numerous different reasons for the murders before settling on one.  Also, his claims of what was supposed to have happened, allegedly did not match some of the evidence at the crime scene. Another disturbing episode is the vast amounts of time a detective spent talking to Nichols off tape, in his cell.  These visits were logged as "welfare checks" yet one "welfare check" took 7 hours 43 minutes to complete.  Everybody has come to their own conclusions on this episode!  The only evidence that convicted Mick Steele & Jack Whomes was the word of Darren Nichols.  Barrister Helena Kennedy stated that the jury did not hear that Nichols had a book, documentary and film deal arranged before the trial began!  The book, written by Tony Thompson for Nichols, has Nichols portraying himself as a criminal bigshot and others are just wankers.  Thompson has supposedly admitted to embellishing parts to make it more interesting.  However, the two convicted men, their appeals have been thrown out, as Nichols must be a man of truth and honesty.  An interesting point made by their barrister was that Nichols claimed he lived in fear of Steele & Whomes but just could not stay away from them.  He also, as an active informer, had around eight months to grass up the men he was "in fear of". Will the truth ever out?

Teenagers Who Kill

I came across a couple of cases that involved teenagers who kill their parents and receive life without parole in Colorado.  The first involved Jacob Indy, who shot his mother and step-father.  He claimed that he suffered years of mental and sexual abuse at the hands of his step-father.  His claims were backed by his elder brother who left home when he was old enough, to escape the abuse.  When asked if his mother knew, he replied that he believed she knew but ignored it.

    It was thought that they, as growing up, they were two model children who replied in talking to others with "Yes, Sir" and "No, Ma,am".  That was an immediate red flag in my book, meaning that to reply like that is not manners but an overbearing parent acting like a drill sergeant.  The prosecutor dismissed all defence testimony as a ploy to get the accused acquitted of murder.  Even outsiders evidence was part of a ploy!  Jacob Indy was convicted and automatically sentenced to life without parole, as laid down by state law.   Jacob lashed out at his abusers but in the end he had to pay, harsh as the law must seem.

    Next came a case in Colorado in which not only did the killer receive LWP but his buddy also received LWP despite not participating in the murder.  He did not know what was going down, but another person with him, cut a deal with the cops that saw change in the role the buddy supposedly played.  Nathan Ybanez was dominated by an overbearing mother who tried to control everything he did.  One night, with buddy Erik Jensen and a lad called Brett.  Nathan went into his home, when his mother called Erik into the house.  As he entered, Nathan smashed his mother over the head with a blunt object, killing her.  Erik Jensen did not know how to cope with the situation, but eventually all three rolled the body into a blanket and dumped it.  Soon, all three were arrested and charged with first degree murder, but Brett decided to cut a deal for a reduced charge, but now Erik Jensen was a participant in the murder.  Nathan always maintains Erik took no part in the murder and had no knowledge of what he was going to do.  He should be punished for disposing of the body, but obviously he had to say the right story in court to get his plea bargain.

    Next along came Trevor Jones who shot his best buddy Matt Foley whilst selling him a gun.  The gun went off accidentally, Jones claimed.  Foleys` parents were understandably outraged and unforgiving towards Jones, but despite the parents saying their son was a good lad, heavily into sports and doing well for himself, what was he doing trying to buy a gun? Apparently, his cousin asked him to purchase a gun for him.  Why did his cousin need a gun?  Why did he need Matt Foley to buy it for him?  Jones claimed that intended to scam his "best friend" to keep the gun and money.  Did they struggle with the gun and it went off, or did he cold-bloodedly kill him?  Only Jones knows the truth, and he is doing LWP which he deserves, in my view.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Crime Novels

Continuing on my theme of crime novels, the first to really open a can of worms was "The Strange Affair" written by former cop Bernard Toms.  This was about a detective obsessed with putting away a notorious crime family, and his resorting to blackmail to enlist the help of a PC to help him frame them.  What was obvious was that it was based on notorious cop Harry Challenor and Toms used his knowledge to strip away the bullshit was common in police fiction.  They swore, they fitted up, they would do anything to get a conviction.  The book was released in 1967 and filmed a year later with Michael York and Jeremy Kemp.  The villains in this film broke new ground; they were nasty, they were involved in drugs, they killed, and there was no "Cor blimey guvnor!"

    An interesting novel from 1968 was Sitting Target, filmed in 1972 with Oliver Reed about a violent thug who breaks out of prison to kill his wife.  This villain had no qualms about raping and killing.  1968 also brought us "The Burden of Proof" by James Barlow, filmed in 1971 as "Villain" with Richard Burton.  Extreme violence, blackmail, armed robbery, murder!  Not a trace of "Cor blimey".  1970 saw the emergence of a book called "Jack`s Return Home" about a villain leaving London to go back up to the north of England to investigate his brothers` death.  He has run-ins with local villains plus the men he works for.  This resulted in the best British crime film of them all, "Get Carter" starring Michael Caine.  The bodies piled up as Carter kills anybody involved in his brothers` murder.  Women too.  Just goes to show that villains do not care about the "We do not harm women and children" bollocks they like to spout.

    A couple of novels came out along the lines of Newman by a man named Frank Cockain, The Inside out Man, about a tough convict blackmailed into becoming an informant & The Draughtsman, about a geek who turned out to be a brilliant planner of robberies.  Both featured a hard drinking, nasty cop called Jack Thrower.  When people complain about such depictions, I recall an article in the Daily Mirror in the late 70`s/early 80`s by journalist Bel Mooney who spoke of meeting a northern detective who was proud of his punch-ups and his payoffs  and said he would not think twice about beating up a young kid, just for the hell of it.  A really nice man!

G.F.Newman - The Man Whose Tales Were Too Bad To Be True

A long tradition on British television was the image of PC George Dixon reassuring the public that they could rely on the Police to protect them and put the bad guys away.  Alas, that image started changing in the sixties, where some novels cut out the image of Dixon of Dock Green/ Z Cars/ Softly Softly and went for the jugular.  The most notorious was G.F.Newman, writer of the most trail blazing crime drama of them all, Law & Order, who was said by one writer, as "Too bad to be true".  In 1970, Newman released his first novel and created a great but corrupt cop, Terry Sneed in "Sir, You Bastard".  Sneed quickly rose from a PC to a Detective Inspector, by any method possible; violence, bribery, fitting up, intimidation, blackmail.  Critics were horrified about this portrayal of the world famous British Police Officer, but Newman took his pointers from the Policemen who were his friends and used methods that they told him about.  Newman said one of them turned their backs on him.

    Newman then did a further three novels featuring Sneed; You Nice Bastard, You Flash Bastard(Or The Price) & To Set A Thief.  He was asked to do a crime drama featuring the four sides to the criminal justice system, tied to a central story.  This was cops, villains, lawyers and prison. This resulted in the BBC drama series "Law & Order" that had questions raised in Parliament, clean up TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse screaming for everybody involved, BBC, Newman, actors, production staff, to be charged with treason.  It first aired in 1978, then again, two years later.  Then the BBC promised the Metropolitan Police that they will never show it again!

    Newman then went into a series of novels that covered various topics;  3 Professional Ladies(Prostitution), The Player & The Guest(Snooker Hustler) Billy (Child Battering) The Nations Health(The NHS) The Guvnor(The Flying Squad) Charlie & Joanna(Child Abuse) The List (Hoover & the FBI) The Men With the Guns(Kennedy Assassination) The Split(South Africa) The Testing Ground(Based on the Stalker Enquiry).  He is also the man behind the successful Law series "Judge John Deed".  Some of his works have been made into one-offs "Billy" "The Testing Ground" and one that featured cops trying to kill somebody.  Grab some of his books, they are worthwhile.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Ed Kemper - The Co-Ed Killer

Edmund Kemper murdered ten people in his life, including his mother and grandparents.  Kemper shot, strangled and dismembered his victims.  His father vanished when he was four years old, and despite having two sisters, his mother took her rage out on him.  His punishments included being locked in a cellar for months on end.  During these isolations, he enjoyed tearing the heads and limbs off his sisters` dolls, and he fantasised about doing it for real, in particular, to his mother.

    In 1964, when Kemper was 14, he was sent to live with his grandparents, but they had n time for him and eventually, Kemper brandished a shotgun and killed them both.  He was locked up in a secure hospital, and over time, he was trusted to help in tests on patients, and built up a knowledge of psychiatric tests and evaluations, thus he knew the answers to the tests he was himself later given.  He had now acquired an IQ rating of 136.  He so impressed the hospital with his knowledge and behaviour that he was released in 1969.  Kemper had also grown to a huge size, 6` 9" and weighed around three hundred pounds.  He went back to living with his mother and she resumed her mental abuse of him, insulting, berating, blaming.  One day, he stormed out of the home after another argument, he picked up two young female hitchhikers, shot them, then took them back to his home where he dismembered them.

    Kemper kept some body parts, allegedly for consumption but most parts were scattered along the coastline.  Four more young co-eds met this fate.  Then one day, he decided that the source of his anger, his mother, was going to die.  He strangled her in her bedroom, decapitated her, then called a close friend of hers to the house.  When she arrived, he killed her too.  Kemper then gave himself up to the Police and confessed to all. Kemper used to frequent cop bars and amiably chat to them, finding out if there was any activity over the missing girls.  He received seven life sentences.

    FBI profiler Robert Ressler visited Kemper in prison to talk to him and participate in the Bureau`s programme on knowing traits of killers for the BSU.  But Kemper showed his intelligence in a frightening way.  Ressler wanted to exit the room but no guard came when he rang the bell.  Kemper grinned and told him that no guard would be around for about half an hour.  He had made careful mental notes of the coming and going of staff.  He told Ressler that in the time he had, he could twist his head off, and that he had no chance.  Ressler calmly talked for about forty minutes of why would Kemper want to kill him.  Eventually, a guard came, much to the relief of Ressler.  Kemper grinned and said that he would not have killed him, he just wanted to see how Ressler would handle the situation.  Seriously scary guy!

Levi Bellfield - Did He Commit Other Murders?

Bellfield has been convicted of three murders, one of his victims being a schoolgirl, a case that attracted national notoriety.  His Mo was smashing in the heads of his victims with a hammer in a surprise attack.  A former friend told of how he was left for dead by Bellfield, but managed to survive a savage beating with a blunt object, and a woman was attacked at night, in the street and savagely beaten but survived.

   Bellfield had a long history of violence and worked as a doorman, then later, as a wheel clamper, using his intimidating size to frighten members of the public.  His former long time girlfriend told Prof. David Wilson that Bellfield had a pathological hatred of blonde women, and that he constantly went on that blondes should be killed.  She herself, lived in fear of Bellfield and suffered years of violence at his hands.  David Wilson posed the question; "Has Bellfield been responsible for other murders?"  He asked a student of his to research any unsolved murders that had similar traits that Bellfield displayed.  The student came up with two.  One was the notorious Russell murders for which Michael Stone has been twice convicted.  Despite the conviction, it was thought that there were similarities that should be looked at.

    The Russells suffered a blitz attack from a man following them in a car.  The mother and a daughter, Lin & Megan Russell died but the other daughter, Josie, incredibly survived the most appalling injuries.  Stone, a mental patient had told his psychiatrist that he harboured feelings of attacking people.  The doctor informed the Police.  After the attack, the young girl said the attacker had short spiky hair.  Stone, apparently had a crew-cut.  Prof. Wilson said that the assailant spent time with his victims, according to the girls` story.  That does not sound like the actions of a man going through a psychotic episode.  Interestingly, the girl said the car was a red car.  In a documentary re-enactment, the car was white!  Was this the colour of Stone`s car?  Bellfield had spiky hair AND drove a red car.  Stone was convicted on the so-called "cell mate confession" by an inmate called Daly.  Since then, another inmate said that Daly admitted making it up so he could wrangle an early release.  Another aspect was the evidence of another inmate claiming Stone said something during an alleged scuffle.  The inmate named Thompson later withdrew his statement and nobody seems to want to mention this.

    The other murder looked at, was that of Melanie Hall, whose remains were not discovered for years.  Melanie disappeared from a Bath nightclub.  Her skull had been smashed in.  She was young & blonde, fitting the victimology that Bellfield liked.  Bellfield was also very familiar with the area because he regularly made trips to nearby Bristol to acquire drugs, according to his former girlfriend.  Another suggestion was that her murder was carried out by a man on the say-so of serial rapist and killer John Canaan.  The Bellfield theory has more substance to it, in my view, but only Bellfield knows the truth behind these two crimes.  Did he or did he not?