Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Unsolved Bradford Murders PT1

There was a major spread this week in the local paper about there being 30 unsolved murders in the whole Bradford district over the last 40 years.  These are subjected to periodical reviews by West Yorkshire`s Major Review Team, and with the advances in forensics, here is hoping the perpetrators will be brought to justice.  I will present four cases on this first posting.  The first case is that of Parvez Akhtar.  The 25 year old  owner of a restaurant, the Mehraan Restaurant, situated in Duckworth lane, in the Girlington district, was found in the back of his car.  A young boy saw him sprawled on the rear seat, in Fairbank Road, Girlington.  Mr Akhtar had his throat slashed and had also been strangled.  This was on 12th January 1986.  He had earlier that day been taking staff home.

    The second unsolved murder is that of 46 year old James Adams.  On 26th May 1981, he was stabbed 22 times in a public toilet.  The assailant wore spectacles and left a trail of his own blood for a mile.  The toilets were situated off Carlisle Road, and Mr Adams was on his way home after working as a barman at the New Beehive pub in Westgate.  Hopefully, there was preservation of some of the killer`s blood, as somebody capable of that level of violence, would surely be in and out of trouble and hopefully his DNA is somewhere in the system.  Also, would it not arouse suspicion in people if a bespectacled man had a nasty wound, probably to his hand, and leaving such a trail of blood, after the murder?  This would leave to speculation that he has been shielded.

    Next is the murder of Mohammed Basharat.  This seems such a senseless act for what may have been a road rage incident.  It was on 20th October 2001, when a  man burst into the offices of Little Horton Taxis, shooting Mr Basharat twice in the head.  The 33 year old from the Heaton area died instantly.  The hooded killer then made a speedy exit.  Then it was ten years down the line that information was given to Police about a man serving a long jail sentence in the USA, in 2011, but as of the present, no more is known.

     The last case is that of postman Michael Towler, 57.  He was murdered in a savage assault in his home in August 1992, in Horton Bank Top.  He was stabbed in what was described as a frenzied attack.  By the following year, the Police had interviewed over 900 people and taken over 200 statements.  However, they have not been able to gather enough evidence to make any arrests for the murder.  As always, if anybody should know anything, then just pick up the phone and call it in.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dustin Lee Honken - Multiple Killer

This man currently resides on Iowa`s Death Row for the savage murder of two men, a woman and her two small children.  What was the root cause of this problem?  Yes, you guessed it; drugs.  Not being drugged up but the manufacture and selling of it.  Honken was convicted, alongside his girlfriend, Angela Johnson, and both were given the ultimate penalty.  Naturally, Honken was snarling at the Judge, that he was innocent, never harmed anybody, he (the judge) had a death penalty agenda, Prosecutors were clowns, etc, etc.  A jailhouse informant conned Johnson into providing maps as to where the bodies were, and these led Police straight to the graves.  You cannot get more convincing proof than that.  

    Honken was a manufacturer and distributor of Methamphetamine, originally from his home town of Tempe in Arizona, but now operating around Mason City in Iowa.  Honken was arrested in March 1993, along with partner, Tim Cutkomp, for distributing Meth, and was facing federal charges.  He had two pushers working for him who now were Government informants - Greg Nicholson & Terry Degeus.  Nicholson testified against Honken before a Grand Jury.  Honken`s girlfriend, Angela Johnson applied for a gun permit in July 1993, which she was granted, and then purchased a firearm.
Greg Nicholson, his girlfriend Lori Duncan,31, her two daughters, Amber, 10 and Kandace, 6, were reported missing on July 26th.  The other witness, Terry Degeus, vanished on 5th November 1993.  When the trial of Honken came around, as the witnesses could not be located, the case was dismissed in March 1995.

    Just under a year later, Federal, State & local cops, executed a warrant on Honken`s home in Mason City, and discovered a Meth lab.  Faced with conspiracy to manufacture & distribute, Honken`s partner, Tim Cutkomp, made a deal with prosecutors.  In return for a four & half year sentence, he told all about the drug operation and implicated Honken & Johnson in the five disappearances.  In February 1998, Honken received 27 years jail.  Whilst Johnson was in jail, she confided to another inmate, Robert McNeese, about the murders.  He offered to do what he could for her but he deceived her, using the information to his own advantage.  It was now October 2000.  Johnson had drawn two maps where she said the bodies had been buried.  McNeese handed them to authorities, and they located the graves.  Nicholson, Duncan & the two children were found in a wooded area of Cerro Gordo County Road, west of Mason City.  The body of Degeus was located one mile west of Burchinal, in a farmfield.  All the victims had been shot.

    In July & August of 2001, indictments for first degree murder were passed on Honken & Johnson, with the prosecutors pressing for the Death Penalty.  Two jail witnesses went against them.  One was a man with a long criminal record called Ron McIntosh, the other was notorious lawyer, Fred Tokars.  According to Tokars, Honken could not stop bragging, wanting to look like a big shot, and told him how they killed the five.  The fact that two were children obviously did not perturb Honken, and despite the sort of men testifying for the prosecution, they did have enough evidence to convict the two.  Namely, the two maps Johnson drew, which led Police right to the graves.  Any sympathy for them?  None at all.

Unsolved Bradford Attacks

These unsolved attacks on three women in the 1970`s are under investigation by retired cop Chris Clark, as possibly being carried out by notorious serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.  The incidents occurred between January 1976 and November 1978, right in the KNOWN timeline of attacks perpetrated by Sutcliffe.  The three women attacked luckily managed to survive, and two gave descriptions comparable to Sutcliffe.  My belief is that he is a good or prime suspect for these crimes.  Mr Clark looks at methods of attack and weapons, and obviously, victimology.  What were these attacks? 

    The first occurred in the Queensbury district in January 1976.  18 year old Rosemary Stead was making her way home from work, walking down a snicket, situated off Halifax Road.  It was there where she was bludgeoned with a blunt weapon, causing her to consciousness.  She awoke to find herself in a pool of blood, and somehow managed to make her way home.  She was rushed to hospital, but Police never traced her attacker.  I believe Sutcliffe was an opportunist attacker, and used anything to hand.  When he used his hammer and screwdriver, he was out actively hunting victims, but my opinion is he improvised when opportunities suddenly arose.  Otherwise Rosemary would certainly have gone the way of the deceased victims.  The murder of Carol Wilkinson is another example of an opportunity.

    The second attack occurred in the Listerhills area, in August 1976, where Maureen Hogan, 39, was stabbed and left in a shop doorway.  She had been out to the Europa Club and then went to the Pentagon Club.  She left the Pentagon just after 1.30am and was found slumped in a doorway at 5.40am by a milkman.  She survived her wounds, but again, the assailant was never traced.  There was no blunt force trauma, but if the wounds were knife wounds and not from possibly a screwdriver, this could rule out Sutcliffe, but then again, it could have been an improvised attack.

    The third incident was when a woman, 18, was grabbed by a man but she valiantly struggled with him and managed to find a nearby brick and threw it at him, causing him to flee.  She gave a description matching Sutcliffe.  This happened in November 1978.  Again, this would have been an opportunist attack, as he would not have grabbed her if he had his hammer.  As for the woman fighting him and then throwing a brick at him, this would I believe, match Sutcliffe, as basically, he was a coward, and probably did not expect a woman to fight him off.  I think Chris Clark is off the mark on some unsolved murders but at least he is not afraid to give his views, even if it opens a very nasty can of worms.  Keep it up Mr Clark.

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Murder of Kathleen Marie Smith

A murder from 1984 is solved twenty four years later, with the jailing of the assailant in 2008, but was it "beyond a reasonable doubt?"  The evidence given in court, from what I have researched, would have made me seriously think that the burden of proof was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but then again, I could be wrong.  Kathleen Marie Smith was bludgeoned to death in her condo, which was situated a mile west of Arizona State University.  It was believed that she may have been suffocated.  What made this difficult to prove, was that her killer had poured petrol over her and then set her alight.  The evidence given about the assailant fleeing the condo raises questions.

    Lisa Steedman, 14, whom was with her grandmother, Ina Weisbaum, saw a man running, almost knocking her grandmother down.  They told Police he had left a shoe imprint in a flowerbed.  They also repeated this to prosecutors and defending lawyers.  Ina Weisbaum told an attorney in 1989, which he recorded, saying it was a large footprint.( she passed away a few years later)  The jury never heard this tape.  Police arrested Robert Ortloff but he was alibied by his girlfriend Jennifer Wade.  The footprint was four sizes bigger than Ortloff`s. The case went cold.

    Now it was 1986, and a US soldier received a mail bomb.  It was quickly traced to Ortloff, who was said to have sent it to the soldier because he was trying to romance his girlfriend, Jennifer Wade.  She gave evidence against him in two trials.  The first resulted in a hung jury, but he was convicted in the second trial, netting him a 50 year sentence.  Now fast forward to 2008, and prosecutor Noel Levy has Ortloff on trial for the murder of Kathleen.  Lisa Steedman has now stated that the man fleeing the condo did NOT step into the flowerbed, despite her and her grandmothers` statements years before.  Evidence was given by jailed lawyer Fred Tokars, a notoriously corrupt criminal, who arranged the murder of his wife, saying that Ortloff told him about it, thinking the statute of limitations would have run out.  Evidence was also given by another lawyer friend of Tokars, Alan Bell.

    Now Jennifer Wade changed her story, saying that she lied to Police about the whereabouts of Ortloff, to protect him.  The motives put forward by the Prosecution for Kathleen`s murder was a $125,000 life insurance policy which Ortloff hoped to claim, and that Kathleen was going to have him charged with stealing $7000 from a joint business account they had set up in order to open a Subway branch.  Her family believe he is the killer but thought he over-reacted to the theft claim, and carried out an evil act.  Does anybody have an opinion on this?  Let me know.

The Murder 0f Marie Wilks

This still unsolved murder was a notorious case that garnered national headlines.  What made it sickening was that the victim, Marie Wilks, 22, was seven months pregnant.  She was beaten and had her throat cut.  The man convicted of the crime, was released six years later, after it was discovered that Police had withheld evidence from the defence, and that there was no proper evidence linking him to the crime.  The case was supposed to have gone under a forensic review in 2008, hoping that advances in forensic technology may provide clues to the killer.

    Mrs Wilks was driving home to her family home after visiting her husband at a Territorial Army Camp.  The date was 18th June 1988.  She inadvertently found herself going onto the M50 motorway, where her car broke down.  With her was her 11 year old sister, and her 13 month old baby.  She had to walk some distance along the hard shoulder to an emergency phone, and was dealing with the operator when she stopped talking.  Her young sister eventually got out of the car, picking up the baby and then walked along the hard shoulder to look for her.  What is astonishing is that the sight of a very young girl carrying a baby along the motorway, did not cause any concern for the hundreds of drivers who passed her!  She was picked up by Police.  A search was organised using men, dogs and a helicopter, when the body was found.  Police issued a photofit of a blonde or light haired man seen nearby.  One person thought it resembled Edward Owen Browning, a nightclub bouncer.  

    Eddie Browning was arrested on 25th June at a social club in Pentre.  Three days later he was put on an ID parade, and the next day charged with the murder of Mrs Wilks.  He went on trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court on 3rd October 1989, and convicted on 10th November.  He said he had travelled up to Scotland and did not use the M50.  He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.  Naturally, the national media reported him as "The terror of the valleys."  Well, many doormen have extremely violent reputations, and do carry it over into their private lives.  But does this make them killers?  It was reported that Brownings` wife was also seven months pregnant at the time.  Eddie Browning lodged an appeal that was rejected in May 1991.  But exactly three years later, it was allowed and he was released, receiving more than £600,000 in compensation.  The appeal was allowed because Police had not given full disclosure of evidence.  Four days before Browning was arrested, a Police Inspector, Peter Clarke was said to have remembered details from being on that motorway at the time, under hypnosis.  The details did not match the car owned by Browning.  His car was a Renault Hatchback, with plastic bumpers and registration number C754VAD.  Inspector Clarke said it was a silver grey, non-metallic saloon, chrome bumpers and registration C856HFK.  Certainly no match there.  The case fell apart at the Court of Appeal.

    Some years later, a man claimed that Browning had "confessed" to him that he had committed the murder.  That particular man was facing a charge at the time of attacking Browning with an iron bar.  Saying "he told me he did it" is not proof.  There is no corroboration or evidence to support it, and as he was facing a charge......

    Twenty eight years on, this case is still unresolved.  Will it get continued rolling reviews which cold cases get?  Hopefully, some day, the family of Mrs Wilks get closure.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Murder of Sally Anne Bowman

This was a case that grabbed the national headlines, and the aftermath MAY uncover a serial killer, though this as of yet, is unconfirmed.  What is now known, is that the killer was a serial sex offender.  Sally Bowman, born 11th September 1987, had just previously celebrated her 18th birthday, but had the awful tragedy of coming across the path of a predator.  Sally was found in Croydon on 25th September 2005.  She had been  robbed and stabbed.  She had also been raped.  Her handbag and some of her clothes were missing.  The immediate suspect was her boyfriend, Lewis Sproston, as he had admitted that they had been arguing, but four days later, DNA testing cleared this young man of this terrible crime.  But the DNA database the following year, brought up a match to a chef named Mark Dixie, who worked at The Olde Six Bells pub in Horley, Surrey.

    What threw up the name of Dixie was that he was arrested after a fight, during the viewing of an England game in Crawley.  He was charged with the murder of Sally Anne.  His defence was that he had been drinking and taking drugs, then went out to get Cocaine, when he came upon the already dead Sally Anne.  Then he claimed he raped her body, which accounted for his DNA being there. His DNA also matched a sexual assault in 2001, in which he was said to have masturbated in front of a woman in a telephone box.  The Jury did not believe him and convicted him.  He was sentenced to a minimum of 34 years in prison.  During the trial at The Old Bailey in 2008, a Thai woman gave evidence of being attacked by a burglar, in her home in Western Australia.  Dixie lived in Australia from 1993 to 1999, when he was deported.  She was raped and stabbed.  Dixie was not yet been charged with this offence but the DNA on her clothes, matches Dixie.  He is also suspected of being the Claremont Serial Killer in Western Australia, as he was reportedly in the area at the time of the murders.  This, as yet, is unconfirmed.

    Sally Anne had attended the BRIT School of Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon, and in January 2005, had signed up with the Pulse Model Management.  Then in April, she attended the Swatch Alternative Fashion Week, and was one of the fortunate models selected by designers to model their products.  Then she has the misfortune to come face to face with a deviate.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Duane Weber - Was He D.B.Cooper?

One of the greatest mysteries in U.S. history was the hijacking of a plane by a man who called himself Dan Cooper.  A communication mix-up by the media renamed him D.B.Cooper.  What he did was to successfully extort a ransom from the authorities and then parachute from the plane after it took off again.  He has never been found.  It has led to numerous books, theories, documentaries, suspects, but nothing solid has emerged.  It all began on 12th November 1971, on a Boeing 727, belonging to Northwest Orient Airlines, flying from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle, Washington.  A flight Attendant had her attention drawn by a passenger, who showed her what appeared to be a bomb.  She informed the Captain, Bill Scott, who radioed ahead.  This immediately brought in the FBI.  The ransom demand was for $200,000.  He allowed the plane to land at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, where he allowed the other passengers and some of the crew off.  He wanted the plane to be refueled.  The ransom was delivered to the plane.  He now gave orders of what direction, height and speed, to fly at.  This gave the impression he may have worked in the industry.

    They took off and the speed was very slow, needing Bill Scott`s piloting skills to make sure it stayed up.  A fighter plane followed at a distance.  Flight Attendant Tina Mucklow was told by Cooper to go to the cockpit and stay there.  She joined Scott, co-pilot Rataczak, and Flight Engineer Anderson.  Just before she shut the door, she saw Cooper putting on a parachute.  He had four delivered with the ransom.  Then an indicator signalled the aft stairwell was being lowered.  Scott managed to land his plane with it down.  Cooper was gone.  Immediately search teams scoured the huge area that the plane crossed after the stairwell was lowered.  He was thought to have landed in the area of the Columbia River.  There was no trace of anything. No body, no parachute, clothing, etc.  He had vanished into folklore.

    Fast forward to 1995, and a dying man named Duane Weber, told his wife that he was in fact Dan Cooper.  She did not recognise the name until some friends told her about the hijacking.  She went into her local library and found a book on the case.  She was shocked to see notations in it, in her husbands` hand writing.  She now said she understood why her husband talked in his sleep of "jumping of a plane" and that a knee injury he had, was because of a parachute jump.  He was a chain smoker and drank Bourbon, like Cooper.  But so do many others.  they once took a trip to the Columbia River area, with Weber going for a solitary walk in the Tina Bar area.  Four months later, a young boy found some bundles of money in the soil by the river.  This was positively identified as being part of the ransom money.  After the deathbed confession, Weber was investigated very closely by the FBI and eliminated as a suspect in 1998.  There were none of his prints on the plane.  What they did find out was that between 1945 & 1968, Weber had been jailed six times for offences such as fraud and burglary.  Was he Cooper?  Probably just said that to give the authorities a bit of a runaround.  Who knows?

"Crime Has Fallen"

With the latest batch of manipulated statistics showing just how much crime has allegedly fallen in this country, anybody must think that with the guidance of Government, the efforts of Police and the courts are gradually reducing the peoples` fears.  I beg to differ.  Yesterday, on my delivery round, two of my customers, old age pensioners, had gone to the supermarket.  Upon their return home, they were confronted with their door being kicked in and their home trashed.  Sickening.  Yet, it was in a built up area, with people always around.  The problem is people "do not want to get involved" but all it takes is a call to Police.  And what if the bastards are caught?  No doubt, there will be the wanker social worker giving the same old excuses, "broken home, marginalised, no prospects, etc"  Total bullshit.  Nothing makes you do something like that.  It is simple criminality, plain and simple.  

    Another local concern this week was the problem of prostitution.  Many will have seen the TV series "Band of Gold" about some prostitutes working in the Lumb Lane area of Bradford.  The reality is that nearly all streetwalkers are not as lovely as Cathy Tyson, but it did have some good points.  The villainous pimp was Asian, a portrayal that did not go down well, locally.  The truth is, most pimps around here, are not the traditional West Indians, but Asians.  A simple fact.  The women were moved on from Lumb Lane to Thornton Road, where three were slaughtered by Stephen Griffiths, but complaints were being lodged about them moving back to Lumb Lane.  There were reports of gangs of vigilantes forcing the women to move.  Gangs of citizens fed up?  No, they were gangs of young men.  Why does it need mobs of young men?  Is it so they can act tough?  On women?  Most of these women do what they do because of one thing; drugs.  They have to get money to hand to the pushers.  Why are these heroes not out confronting the pushers, the pimps?  My belief is that one, they do not have the guts, and two, they probably look up to the pushers because they have money.  That is the big problem with prostitution.  Drugs.  Yet, we do not see the outrage about that, only the women selling themselves.  A fact to remember is that prostitution has been around for centuries in cities and towns.  In around 1870, there were nearly 170 brothels operating throughout the entire Bradford area.  This is not something new.  

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Death of Percy Toplis

The tale of this individual had right wing press screaming in outrage at the portrayal of British soldiers in World War One.  A case of "We do not do this because we are British!"  The outrage centred around a mutiny by the a large section of the British Army, that was denied by the Government for 60 years, just before the battle at Passchendaele.  The subsequent TV drama had them screaming of left wing bias.  It was also claimed that this individual was one of the leaders of the mutiny.  So who was this danger to the country?

    Francis Percy Toplis was born in South Normanton, Derbyshire, on August 20th 1896, but spent most of his time being raised by his grandparents.  At school, it seemed that he was a bully, and not surprisingly, at the age of 11, he was birched for obtaining clothes by deception.  He left school at 13, becoming a Blacksmith`s Apprentice.  He was not a good time keeper and so drifted around Scotland, where he found himself in jail for days, at Dumfries for fare dodging on the railways.  He went back home, and received two years jail for the attempted rape of a girl in Mansfield.  He was 15.  He was released in 1914.  With the Great War raging on, he enlisted in 1915, serving in the RAMC, the medical core, as a stretcher bearer.  He found himself at Loos and then Gallipoli, contracting dysentery.  He was then put to work in a munitions factory for a short time, then was posted to Salonika and then to Egypt, where he caught Malaria, then after that, he was posted to Bombay.  Later he returned to his home village dressed as an officer.  He was to make a regular habit of posing as officers and also deserting, a crime punished by firing squad.

    Toplis deserted whilst in Blackpool in 1918, then found himself jailed for two years for fraud, being released in 1920.  He then had the nerve to re-enlist under his own name, joining the RASC, and was stationed at Bulford Camp.  His criminal streak remained as he quickly immersed himself in the Black Market, selling clothes, petrol, forged papers, etc.  He went AWOL again in April 1920.  Nearby, in Andover, a taxi driver named Sidney Spicer was found shot dead.  An inquest was held in a nearby barn, and the jury returned a charge of "wilful murder" against Toplis.  He hightailed it to London, then on to South Wales, as ever, posing as an officer.  He then made his way right up to Scotland, and it was in Tomintoul, a farmer spotted smoke coming from a gatekeepers small home, so alerted Police. He and a constable approached, but were shot at by Toplis, wounding them both.  He then escaped by bicycle to Aberdeen, then caught a train to Carlisle.

    It was now June 6th, and a PC Fulton stopped and spoke to a man dressed in army clothes in Cumberland.  Satisfied with his answers, he let him go.  Back at his station, he checked circulating orders and realised the man he let go was Toplis.  He hurried back to arrest him but Toplis fired shots at him, making him retreat.  Then Inspector Ritchie and Sgt Bertram arrived, armed.  Accompanying them, was the Norman De Courcy-Parry Jr, son of the Chief Constable.  He was riding a large motorcycle.  The officers then disguised their uniforms - one of the puzzles of the incident.  De Courcy-Parry was carrying a firearm.  Versions vary as to what happened, but Toplis was shot dead.  He was buried in an unmarked grave in Beacon Edge Cemetery in Penrith.

    So what was the controversy about?  It was claimed that Toplis was involved in the mutiny at Etaples in 1917, but his army records put him elsewhere when the mutiny occurred.  But Toplis had an urge to keep deserting, and it MAY be possible he found himself at Etaples, but this has been said to be false.  What upset the right wing press and even the Daily Mirror, was what good old British soldiers were said to have done.  A book was published in 1978 by Fairley & Allison about the mutiny and Toplis.  Military Police shot a soldier dead and this caused the troops to mutiny.  Some MPs were said to have been killed, but this was one of the "Inaccuracies".  Brutal treatment was dished out by MPs & NCO`s but the good old British Tommy running rampage would not kill any MPs.  Women were depicted as being raped by soldiers.  It was said that no women were raped - another falsehood - but Fairley & Allison spoke to surviving soldiers who said different.  No doubt they invented these old soldiers or the soldiers were out & out liars.  The TV drama depicted the Police chasing Toplis in a car, standing and firing from the running boards.  Fairley & Allison claimed they hid and then ambushed him.  The four claimed in an inquest that they fired in self defence. When the book came out in 1978, the only person still alive was De Courcy-Parry, who on TV remarkably gave a completely different account of the incident.  He claimed that Toplis took his own life.  The Daily Mirror chose to ignore this point.  Then why did the four lie through their teeth at the inquest?  Why did they need to lie if he committed suicide?  It was said that De Courcy-Parry threw his gun into Lake Ulverston.  Why?  Changing stories usually means truth is a stranger.  So just whose version is the truth?  Did they kill Toplis in self defence?  Was he ambushed?  Did he commit suicide?  Fairley & Allison believe the Police were given orders that he was not to be taken alive, to keep the story of the mutiny quiet.  The facts may be very mundane and not out of the ordinary, but being British does not make us any better than anybody else.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Stalked - The Amanda Oliver Story

This story is about Amanda Oliver and the relentless stalking of her by her obsessive ex-husband.  Amanda was born and grew up in Iowa, and later in life, she hooked up with a former old flame, Steven Beach.  The romance was great and they decided to get married.  They soon had a child but then his behaviour dramatically changed.  He went out drinking whenever he wanted, going off wherever he wanted, which naturally, would lead to arguments.  Now he was being verbally and physically abusive.  He was very controlling.  She suffered violence at his hands, including a broken jaw.  Finally, she threw him out and started divorce proceedings.  Now Beach started stalking her, constantly outside her home for hours, just staring.  Worried about the safety of her child, she started to leave the youngster with family and friends. Police, as usual, said, "he has not broken any laws......"

    One day, she came home to find her home burglarised with everything strewn around.  She called Police who found evidence of Steven Beach. He was jailed for ten days(!) for breaking and entering.  He now stepped up his stalking.  She awoke one night to find him sitting at the edge of her bed, wielding a knife!  Rather than panic, she talked to him for two terrifying hours before he got up and left. This time, he was arrested and jailed for two years under stalking laws.  Amanda moved out of state, to Wisconsin, where she met a man and they finally set up home together, starting their own family.  But her new life was shattered, when a car kept driving up and down her street.  It was Steven Beach.  He had tracked her down.  Again, he intensified his stalking.  Her new partner, however, had done some research and discovered that he had been convicted for lewd misconduct with a minor and was on a sex offenders register.  They also discovered he had moved into their neighbourhood.  Contacting Police, he was found to have violated his parole conditions by not informing authorities of his move and was jailed for 30 days.  But, this seems to have worked as she no longer suffers his stalking.  There are people who are not so lucky.  More than 3 million people are stalked every year in the States, it is unknown what the figure is in this country.

Stalked - The Colleen Doran Story

Stalking is a crime that for decades has never been taken seriously by the Police or authorities.  Many states in the USA now have anti-stalking laws, but I remember the only time it was ever brought up in this country, was before the 1997 General Election.  The usual response being that as they had done nothing, there was little they could do.  A response that would undoubtedly put big grins on the faces of the civil & human rights fucknuts.  Somebody who obsessively stalks another is disturbed & DANGEROUS!  If the stalked responded with drastic measures, they will be the ones taken away by the "protectors of the public."

    Colleen Doran was born in 1964 in Virginia, and from a young age, showed talent for artwork.  After she left school, she started showing her artwork around, at exhibitions, conventions, and this brought her to the attention of DC Comics and Marvel.  At 20, she was given her own strip and gradually acquired a fanbase.  She received the usual fan mail but one stood out from a named Walter Rose, calling her his angel.  She then started receiving letters constantly from him , then packages and phone calls. Artwork depicting her as his.  Her father worked in bomb disposal so he took care of the packages, not taking any chances.  This went on for years.  Then the publishing houses she worked for started receiving calls stating that Colleen only obtained her jobs by using sex as a bargaining tool.  She had to keep reassuring editors that she did not know who he was and that it was all untrue.  Calls to cops responded with "he has not done anything so we cannot act".

    Colleen was asked by her bosses to attend comic book conventions which filled her with fear, as she had no idea what he looked like.  The first convention was in New York, so she took her closest friend with her.  A man stood in the background, staring at her.  They both knew instinctively it was him.  She described as looking like somebody who has never left the basement.  She was harassed at other conventions by different people, which she believed was orchestrated by Rose.  At a convention in Florida, she went with her mother, who checked to see if she could obtain a firearm for protection.  She could not.  But, she could buy a taser.  At the convention, he was there but with a little old looking woman.  His mother.  She thought that this was a Norman Bates situation, and did everything to keep an audience around her and them at bay.  Finally, they ran out of options and the woman went up to Colleen saying that her son would never harm her.  Her mother pointed the taser at them and told them to go.  Security saw the commotion and removed them from the building, but could not arrest them as they had not actually committed a crime.

    Later, Colleen received a phone call from one of her bosses.  It seemed that Rose was an obsessive comic collector and hoarder, with the home completely filled.  Deemed a fire hazard, it was checked out by authorities, and Rose was actually taken away and put into a psychiatric hospital.  After a decade, her ordeal was finally over, but laws need to be passed everywhere that puts a stop to these individuals.  In the end it comes down to, "If I cannot have them, then nobody will have them!"  In simple terms, they will kill the object of their obsessions.  People have to die before anything is done.  John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, Rebecca Schaeffer, Madonna, Versace and many more have been the targets of deranged people, some were killed, most not.  However, that threat is always there.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Murder of Bob Wignall

It beggars belief that a common thread in domestic murders, particularly in the USA, is that when one person decides that they no longer want to be with their spouse, they decide to murder them.  Why is it that they just cannot pack up and go?  What is so difficult about moving out?  Why is murder "the only option?"  Usually, a nice life insurance policy is awaiting, and these dumbos never realise that that is one area the Police will investigate.  Just over twenty years ago, there was such a scenario in the Midlands.  Sandra Wignall, had lost her second husband in 1985.  She met Bob Wignall through dog walking and they hit it off.  It was 1990.  They tied the knot on Christmas Eve 1991.  Bob suffered badly with asthma, so always needed an inhaler with him.  Yet, just NINE DAYS after the wedding, she decided she wanted out.  Apparently, her doting husband was "not exciting enough" and she started seeing an old flame called Terry Bewley.

    Bewley met her in 1989, but never gave any commitments.  He was working at that time as a chauffeur, and they used to use the back seat for liaisons.  He also had a very dark past.  In 1971, he killed credit collector Lillian Shapero in a robbery and served ten years in prison.  This was long before the courts decided to get tough with killers.  It was September 5th of the following year of their marriage that Wignall put her plan into operation.  She lured her husband into Sayes Woods in Addlestone - ironically where they met - on the pretext of seeing foxes.  She then started to give oral sex to Bob Wignall.  Then Bewley and another man, Harold Moult came up and attacked him, stabbing him to death.  The next part of the plan was to lead Police to believe he was attacked by three men but she managed to escape.  She gave very thoroughly detailed descriptions which aroused suspicion.  People then came forward to say she talked of wanting out of her marriage.

    They were arrested and Moult confessed all.  The trio were charged with murder.  Sandra Wignall, 48, received 15 years.  She was released in 2006.  Double killer Bewley, 43,  received twenty years and was released in 2012.  Moult, 42,  received ten years but he died in prison.   

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Unsolved Murders of Janine Downes, Yvonne Coley & Valerie Brown

They say that life never imitates art, and as the depiction of prostitution in films - Pretty Woman being a prime example - is nothing like the reality.  This line of work puts them in constant danger from the freaks that infest society, and every so often, a killer puts up a ring of fear.  Sutcliffe, Wright, Griffiths, to name but a few.  In the mid 1980's a possible serial killer was stalking the streets of Birmingham.  This post lists three of the four that may be attributed to the same man.  Janine Downes was a 22 year old mother of three, who came from a broken home, in and out of care homes and finally found herself plying for punters in Birmingham`s red light area.  This case has been the subject of a cold case review in the last couple of years.  Janine was last seen at the beginning of February 1991, when her body was discovered on the 2nd, concealed in a hedge, on the A464, East of Shifnal.  Some of her clothes were missing as she was found wearing a blouse, bra & socks.  She had been sexually assaulted, strangled and very badly beaten.  She had extensive head wounds.  It was said that she was favoured by deviant punters, as she was small in height and stature, making her look like a young girl.  This is not an uncommon desire amongst men.

    The second murder is that of 28 year old Yvonne Coley who was found near the Cocks Moor Woods Golf Course in Kings Heath on 25th May 1984.  Yvonne, who hailed from Bordesley Green in  Birmingham, also worked the red light area.  She was semi naked, and had been strangled with her own bra.  The third murder is of 22 year old Valerie Brown.  She was found on 8th December 1983, in Alderhanger Lane, at Wythall.  Her body, like Yvonne`s, was concealed in a hedge.  She had been beaten to death.  Theories ran that the second and third murders may have been committed by a pimp, and other theories have put forward convicted killers Alun Kyte & Phillip Smith.   As of now, all three remain unsolved.  As ever, if anybody knows something, they should report it immediately.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Alun Kyte - Is He A Serial Killer?

This man was handed two life sentences at Nottingham Crown Court for two murders and a detailed examination of this man`s life has led to speculation that he may be a serial killer, with a body count comparable or higher than Sutcliffe.  This man is Alun Kyte, born on July 7th 1964 in Tittensor in Stoke-on-Trent, and grew up in the Rickerscote area of Staffordshire.  As a youngster he suffered from chronic asthma which made him a sickly child.  His mother & sisters doted on him.  As he got older, he took to travelling all over the country, staying in hostels & B&B`s.  He was to tell people that he was looking for work.  Police now believe he was searching out victims from far and wide.  As has been shown in the USA, travelling offenders are much more difficult to trace.  They believe that most of his victims were prostitutes.

    A woman named Betty Wilson was driving to work and she saw a Ford Sierra parked on the grass.  The driver was pulling a trilby down over his face, but a woman in the passenger seat, dressed in a black dress, sat staring ahead, eyes open but not moving.  She carried on her journey not knowing what to make of it.  The woman turned out to be 20 year old prostitute Sammo Paull.  She had been strangled.  She had last been seen alive in December 1993.  Then it was in March 1994, Tracy Turner was found naked, and dumped in a country lane.  She had been seen at 12.41am at the Hilton Park Service Station, on the M6, near Staffordshire.  Police were made aware of reports of a man claiming to be a reporter looking into local murders and asking if the victims used the Service Station.

    Police finally had their man in December 1997 when a woman fled from his home and after being raped and sodomised.  They grabbed him as he was leaving two hours later.  At Bristol Crown Court, he was jailed for 8 years.  A routine DNA sample flagged him up as the killer of Tracy Turner, and not long after, he was charged with the murder of Sammo Paull.  Later, a former prostitute from Balsall Heath in Birmingham, told how Kyte approached her and offered £40 for sex.  She got in his Austin Maestro and parked in an unlit carpark of Moseley Hall Hospital.  He held a knife to her throat, demanded her purse and that she strip.  She pleaded with him not to hurt her as she was three months pregnant.  For some reason, he stopped, told her to get out and threw her clothes after her.

    Police have started checking his background and whereabouts to see if he may be responsible for at least six or more other unsolved murders.  He was dubbed "The Midlands Ripper" the word "Ripper" now being generally applied to multiple killers here in the UK.

The Unsolved Murder of Becky Hall

This cold case has just undergone a review with an appeal from Bradford Police for any fresh information.  19 year old Becky was found naked and very badly beaten in an alleyway, behind a car park in Thornton Street, right in the heart of the red light district.  Becky had turned to prostitution in order to fund her addiction to heroin.  Police said that she had been subjected to a brutal and sustained beating.  She left her residence in Elizabeth Street in the Little Horton district and presumably headed for Thornton Road, to tout for business.  It was 10pm on Good Friday April 13th 2001.  She was found two weeks later, leading to speculation she had been held somewhere.

    Two years ago, with the ever increasing advances in DNA & forensic techniques, it was hoped that something could have been found on her clothes, found nearby.  The cop in charge, Max McLean, thought that the killer may have been a regular client or that somebody suspects another person.  He appealed for people to come forward and give her family closure.  Serial killer Stephen Griffiths has been approached by Police but has refused to answer any questions.  Two other past incidents are still being investigated.  These are the January 1992 disappearance of Yvonne Fitt, later found bound and gagged in a shallow grave and the 2000 disappearance of Gemma Simpson, 23.  Both were last seen in Bradford.  As ever, if anybody knows anything, they should contact Police regardless of who the person is.  Let us hope these can be resolved.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

"You Will Have To Miss The Races"

This is one of those cases where bare faced cheek actually did NOT work.  The person who thought he would wriggle out of his charge was burglar and drug addict Barry Slaven.  This persistent offender - 68 previous offences - had burgled a house whilst its occupants were away and ransacked it for £7000 worth of goods.  He left plenty of evidence so Police were on to him very quickly.  He was arrested at his girlfriends home, where he tried to hide in a wardrobe!  Of course, Police would never think of looking in there.  At his home address, Police recovered stolen property and a burglars` toolkit.

    Slaven, from Undercliffe in Bradford, said that because his family thought he was making good progress - which is why he smashed his way into the house in order to rob it - they had booked him a holiday in the Isle of Man, to watch the TT races.  His family told the court that he was a volunteer drug worker, and had a part time job - obviously not paying enough to pay for drugs - but the Judge, Mr Jonathan Durham Hall, was not playing soft.  He rightly said that the backlash for letting a persistent offender off, from the general public and local media on him, was not worth it.  He sentenced him to three years, less time served and the discount for pleading guilty, and told him that he will have to miss the races.  Well done Mr Hall.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Execution of Jessie Bishop

David Ballard was a 22 year old man celebrating his wedding when he entered into actions that cost him his life.  It was 1977.  He left his wedding reception at El Morocco Casino in Las Vegas, when it was being robbed by gunman Jessie Bishop and tackled him.  Bishop just shot him dead without hesitation.  Bishop was quickly apprehended by Police and put on trial for capital murder.  The State of Nevada had reinstated the death penalty, and two had already met their fate; one Gary Gilmore, then John Spenkelink.  Bishop was convicted and sentenced to death.  Bishop then waived all his appeals, and let justice run its course.  It ended on October 22nd 1979, in Carson City, Nevada.  Bishop, it was said, was "tough as nails" right to the end, as he was strapped into the Gas Chamber.  He smiled as the pellets were dropped into the acid, producing the lethal gas, and minutes later, pronounced dead.  After this, Nevada did away with the Gas Chamber, replacing it with Lethal Injection.

    So who was Jessie Bishop?  He was born 1st March 1933, and spent a total of twenty years in prison for various offences.  Whilst on Death Row, he claimed to have killed 18 people.  Most of them, he said, were over drugs.  It is not known if there is any substance to this claim.  It happens a lot when killers face a whole life stretch behind bars, or face execution.  It is either their last boasts, or try to use it to keep the execution chamber at bay, like Bundy.

Arthur Frederick Goode - Sick Child Killer

This was one of those cases that inspire revulsion equally for the crimes, but with some, for the punishment.  Arthur Frederick Goode was a remorseless child killer, who as a last request before his execution, made a truly revolting one.  Critics of the death penalty would cite that he was not in control of his mental faculties.  Goode was borderline retarded.  Not so retarded with what he told cops who arrested him.  Not so retarded with his taunting of the families of his victims.  Not so retarded when he smirkingly made his last request.  Goode was a danger to children since he was a teenager, yet his parents bailed him out every time.

    Goode was born in Hyattsville, Maryland on 28th March 1954, but what triggered his behaviour seems to be unknown.  He gained attention as a teenager, for making sexual advances to young boys.  This made him a notorious character in his neighbourhood.  He was arrested three times for indecent assault on young boys but his parents bailed him out each time.  By march 1975, he had been arrested for sexual assault on a 9 year old boy.  Yet again, his parents bailed him out.  They paid $25,000.  Then whilst on bail, he molested a boy of 11 but part of the deal was that he voluntarily became a patient at Spring Grove State Hospital.  The term was "voluntary" which naturally he walked away from after some time, travelling to Florida, where his parents had moved to.   He also received 5 years probation.  A bench warrant was issued for him but it would seem that this dangerous paedophile was not dangerous in the eyes of Police, as nobody bothered to apprehend him.  This was to have very tragic circumstances for two families.

    Goode approached a young boy at a school bus stop on March 5th 1976, in Fort Myers.  Jason Verdow, 9, was tricked by Goode into going into nearby woods to search for something.  There he strangled the boy.  Goode was subsequently questioned twice by Police, but not arrested.  He made his way back to the Spring Grove Hospital but only stayed for a couple of minutes, then fled.  He believed the staff were contacting Police.  Another rational conscious decision.  He then persuaded a ten year old boy, Billy Arthe to go with and visit Washington DC.  For the next ten days, they slept in cheap motels.  Then on March 20th, they came upon 11 year old Kenny Dawson, and persuaded him to accompany them to Tysons Corner, in Virginia.  There he took him into woods, forced him to strip, then strangled him with a belt.  Billy Arthe looked on terrified.  In Falls Church, a woman recognised Billy from a photograph that had been issued and called cops.

    As he was being taken away, Goods told Police "You cannot do anything to me.  I`m sick"   Yes, quite a rational thing to say, and already paving the way for a defence.  A jury in Maryland did not agree with him and he was given a life sentence for the murder of Kenny Dawson.  Extradited to Florida, he was convicted of the murder of Jason Verdow and sentenced to death.  From Death Row, he taunted the families, boasting of his crimes.  Asked for a last request, he said he wanted sex with a little boy!!!!  On 5th April 1984, they strapped this waste of sperm into the chair and gave him a shock.   Goode had a sort of obsession with child actor Ricky Schroeder, so was his murders his way of "killing" Ricky?  Who knows?  

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Disappearance of Heather Danyelle Teague

This missing person case has opened up a can of worms, after a suspect took his own life when cops were going to question him.  This led to rampant speculation that this suspect was the assailant.  Why take your own life?  Was it because of guilt?  Avoiding justice?  But then a second suspect surfaced.  A man with a track record.  The girl who has vanished is Heather Danyelle Teague aged 23.  She was sunbathing on Newburgh Beach in Spottsville, Henderson County in Kentucky, on August 26th 1995 and has never been seen since.

     Heather was born on 25th April 1972, and loved going to sunbathe.  She went to Newburgh Beach, and at 12.45pm a witness saw a man approach Heather with a gun.  He was viewing this through a telescope from across the Ohio River - Was he viewing Heather? - when a bushy bearded man about 6 feet in height and 210 - 230 pounds, with no shirt on , possibly wearing a wig, a mosquito net on him and carrying a gun, grabbed Heather by the hair.  She was dragged into nearby woods.  He notified Police.  They later found part of her bathing suit near to the site of her abduction.  Six months prior, in February, Marvin Dill was stopped by Police on a traffic violation.  His red & white Ford Bronco had guns, duct tape, gloves and rope in it.  Then in August, after Heather`s disappearance, tips to cops led them to go to question Dill.  A red & white Ford Bronco was reported as being parked next to Heather`s car.  Dill heard about this, sent his wife out of the home and then shot himself.  A Grand Jury was convened to ascertain if enough evidence was there to categorically link Dill to the disappearance.  His wife refused to testify, citing the Fifth Amendment, against self-incrimination.  A very strange decision.  What could she possibly be hiding?

    Then a second suspect emerged; one Christopher Below, who was later convicted for the 1991 death of Kathern Fetzer, for 11-18 years.  He pled guilty to attempted involuntary manslaughter.  He is similar in appearance to Dill.  The witness however, was adamant in his identification of Dill as the man he observed.  Miss Fetzer has never been found.  Below is also the suspect in the disappearances of Mary Kutso, Shaylene Farrell & Kristina Porco.  Authorities have no evidence linking Below to Heather.  Point that does stand out is that Heather, Kathern, Mary, Shaylene & Kristina have never been found.  So who was responsible for the disappearance of Heather Teague?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Pawel Tuchlin - Gdansk Serial Killer

This man was one of the Iron Curtain serial killers we never heard about, a man who confessed to nine murders and eleven attempted murders.  Why he did these crimes is not known, but they did have a bizarre element to them.Tuchlin was born on April 28th 1946 in Mount, located at Kos'cierzyna, Poland.  His parents Bernard & Monica abused him as a child but, like Miewes, not a lot is known about his early life.  He ran away from home at 18, got married, was convicted for petty theft, got divorced, then remarried, having two children.  One thing that did emerge was that Tuchlin liked sexual exhibitionism, but again, details as to why are scarce.  His victims ages ranged from 19 to 53.

    His first attack was an attempted murder in the autumn of 1975.  He would rush up behind lone woman and strike them over the head.  Whilst they lay on the floor, he would insert a couple of fingers into the victim's genitals, and then masturbate with his other hand!  The attacks continued , with him claiming his first murder on 9th November 1979.  He carried on attacking lone women, killing and severely injuring them.  He attacked a twenty year old woman on 18th January 1983, but she survived and gave the Police their first solid clue; a sketch of him.  His last known victim he attacked on 6th May 1983.  Police closed in on him and he was arrested on 31st May.  Tuchlin confessed to all the crimes, and put on trial.  The court sentenced him to death.  His sentence was upheld by the Polish Supreme Court, and the State Court could have granted clemency but they did not.  Tuchlin was hanged at a detention Centre in Gdansk on 25th May 1987.

Armin Miewes - The German Cannibal

Despite how long the Internet has been up and running, it still never ceases to amaze me just what sites people devise, the content and the fact that people are sucked in.  One such website was "The Cannibal Cafe" which catered for the obvious, and a German named Armin Miewes advertised for somebody he could kill and then consume!!  The twisted thing is that he got some replies from apparently willing victims, who later backed out.  But one man made it clear he was willing.  Bernd Brandes from Berlin.

    Armin Miewes was born in Essen on 1st December 1961, but not much is known about his early life.  When he had his own home, he put his advert on the Internet.  He asked for a well built man aged 18-30 to be slaughtered and eaten.  Brandes duly met up with Miewes, on March 9th 2001, who had a video camera setup to record the whole horrific event.  First thing Miewes did was - men get ready to squirm - to cut his penis off and both attempted to eat it!!!  Both could not manage it, so Miewes started a fry up with vegetables and some wine.  He had killed the Berlin Engineer by first plying him with sleeping pills and schnapps, then killed him and hung him from a meat hook, and started stripping the corpse.  To the fry up he added some body fat, but it ended burnt, so he chopped it up and fed some to his dog.

    He put much of the body parts in his freezer, and ate them over a ten month period.  His downfall came when a student saw another advert for victims and descriptions of what he had done to Brandes.  Police raided his home in December 2002 and found he still had body parts of Brandes.  The video camera was seized along with tapes.  The whole episode was on tape.  Put on trial, he was sentenced to just 8 years for manslaughter, but the prosecution appealed and a retrial was held.  This time he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.  A psychologist believed he was capable for repeating his offence if released. In May 2006, he was sentenced.

Ian Stanton - Another Drug Smuggler Bites The Dust

Yet another Liverpool drug smuggler and his team have been taken down and shipped off to jail.  This time it was the National Crime Agency that had Stanton under close surveillance and foiled his attempt to distribute £71 million worth of cocaine.  They discovered the haul stored in a container at Tilbury Docks in London, hidden amongst beef from Argentina.  Craftily, they replaced the haul, stashed in 16 bags, with bricks.  The container was then hoisted onto a lorry and driven all the way up north, to Wigan.  The NCA watched as an associate removed two bags then discarded them as he realised the contents were not drugs.

    Stanton and his associates had a meeting at Aintree Retail Park, where it was expressed that extreme physical and sexual violence was to be meted out to anybody who might know anything.  This was covertly watched by NCA officers.  Stanton, 43, was later arrested in Rotterdam, in Holland, and extradited back to the UK.  At Liverpool Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import narcotics and received 12 years.  His associates, Tony Short, 40, from Lancashire, received 22 years, the heaviest sentence. James Mossman, 38, from Liverpool received 7 years 4 months.  Gary keating, from Stockbridge Village, received 8 years.  Finally,Francis Oakford was jailed for 4 years 9 months for conspiracy to blackmail.

    The list of Merseyside "Mr Bigs" involved in drugs, that have gone down, include Warren, Haase, Hibbs-Turner, and now Stanton.  It has taken a very long time but my opinion is that during the 60`s & 70`s, and even into the 80`s, the drug problem was never truly taken seriously by the Home Office or the Police hierarchy.  Certainly since the 90`s they have done.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Murder of Edith McElroy

This is a tale of a girl turning rebel and running with the wrong crowd.  The sort of warnings many thousands of parents have warned their children about, but for many things can turn out very bad, and for some, deadly.  Edith McElroy was such a girl.  The Louisiana teenager hooked with a biker named Archie "Possum" West, not something her father and stepmother were happy about.  She went mainly riding with him and his little gang of buddies for some years but then decided to marry him.   However, things are never bright and shiny when you mix with bikers, as women do not come before their club, buddies or bikes.  One place they frequented was a garage run by a man named Mike Brown.  

    Archie West was arrested on a number of warrants and jailed, and so Edith turned up at a house where his buddies Ricky Brown & Mike Burnett were and had a number of drinks with them.  But the alcohol loosened her tongue and she said she was responsible for West being in jail.  They turned on her, beating her, stripping her and throwing her into the boot of a car.  They took her to a swamp, tied a weight around her neck and threw her in.  She kept getting up and out, so Burnett told Brown that they have to finish her off or they are done for.  He says he reluctantly helped Burnett, whilst he held her under the water.  Then they left.

    Two fishermen found her body and alerted Police.  Eventually she was identified as 23 year old Edith McElroy.  Her parents told of the people she hung around with but they played dumb, not knowing anything.  The case ran cold for two decades.  In 2001, Mike Brown was facing a heavy sentence in jail, so he informed authorities that Ricky Brown admitted to him that he & Burnett had killed a girl in 1980.   The cops originally on the case had since retired so one cop looked over the files and evidence but could not locate either Brown or Burnett.  He received a call some years later from the ex-wife of Ricky Brown, saying that he told all the details, saying it gave him nightmares.  He was later traced and arrested.  He was charged with 2nd degree murder.  Viki Brown & Mike Brown gave evidence, and in 2012 he was found guilty and sentenced to life.

Kerry Lyn Dalton - Death Row Inmate

This woman has been residing on California's Death Row for nearly twenty years, convicted for her leading role in the brutal and savage murder of Irene Louise May in 1988.   Irene`s body has never been found and the prosecution relied on the evidence of a woman who was there, and whom had cut a deal to get a reduced sentence.  Also, the fact that a man, Mark Lee Thompkins, who participated and it was said, gave the final wound that ended Irene`s life, stuck his hands up to the charge.  This enabled him to avoid the death penalty.  The factor that set this episode off, was that both Dalton and Irene were meth heads; addicted to methamphetamine, a drug that turns people into the worst monsters there is.

    Irene asked to stay in the trailer Dalton lived in, and they both just drugged away.  At one point, Dalton was jailed and when she came out, it was claimed that some of her jewelry was missing and obviously Irene May has sold it for meth money.  Then it was claimed she brought her friend Thompkins and a woman, Sheryl Ann Baker, to teach her a lesson.  Irene was tied to a chair, beaten, given electric shocks, injected with battery acid, and stabbed numerous times.  Thompkins was said to have delivered the lethal stab.  Her body has never been found. It was in the early 90`s that Police searched the trailer home but found nothing.  Well, it was a few years later, and even rabid druggies can clean up a crime scene.  They had plenty of time.  Arrests were made and Baker cut a deal, telling the full horrific story.  She was found guilty of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life.  She has a good chance of parole. Thompkins pled guilty to 1st degree murder and received 25 years to life.  He has a chance to get out.  Dalton received the Death Penalty.

    Dalton has her supporters that believe she is innocent, but Baker & Thompkins stuck their hands up to their roles in this case.  Dalton has requested letters from people whilst she awaits her execution.  You would not believe what she was convicted of if you read what she says about herself.  No mention of the rampant meth habit.  She seems a happy-go-lucky free spirit.  If you want to believe her.  Yes, a spell on Death Row certainly changes the perception of how you want people to view you.  Look at Karla Faye Tucker as an example.  No sympathy from me.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Dr Michael Stone - "Most Evil"

This is one man who has made it his mission to study the lives and actions of sadistic killers, serial killers, spree killers and anybody convicted of heinous crimes.  He is a Forensic Psychiatrist at Columbia University, and has devised a scale from one to twenty two.  The higher the score, the more evil and diabolical the individual is.  He examines the backgrounds, the actual crimes, and afterwards, concluding where an individual stands on his scale.  He hosts a documentary series "Most Evil" which also shows various research projects carried out by other scientists on patients, hoping to discover why people act in certain ways.

    Dr Stone also conducts interviews with so many of these killers, and sometimes he gets a nasty reaction from the interviewee.  He has hit on a sore spot.  One was a vicious child killer, who said he would end the interview if he kept asking about the murders he committed.  He claims he is innocent and was framed by the police.  Another was Cindy Hendy, the woman who helped David Parker Ray abduct and torture women because it gave him a sexual thrill.  Dr Stone asked why a much younger woman would be around a much older man.  Was it a father thing?  She went mad at this.  He asked if she liked much older men.  She threatened to walk out if he asked one more question like that.

    Dr Stone has put a number at level 22 - Arthur Shawcross, Ridgway, Parker Ray, Chikatilo, Dahmer, Gacy, etc.  Bundy rated a couple of notches down, at 19 or 20.  Rod Ferrell, Manson, and his killers, all rated at 15. Some rate very low.  It is a very interesting series.  Dr Stone adopts an attitude of not showing any reactions to what he is told, keeps a calm voice and lets the person state their case, even if he does not believe it.  He tells us his conclusions after the interviews.  Essential viewing for budding and armchair psychiatrists.

Richard Trenton Chase - "The Sacramento Vampire"

There have been a very small group of so-called vampires that have included John Haigh, the Acid Bath Murderer, Rod Ferrell, from Florida, and the back in the 30`s, the Dusseldorf Vampire in Germany.  This particular man did not claim to be one - Haigh claimed he was for an insanity plea and probably for shock effect as well - but he acted like one due to the severe delusions he was having.  Chase was born in Santa Clara County in California in 23rd May 1950, where it was said he was abused by his mother.  He started displaying bizarre behaviour by the age of ten and as an adolescent he developed a severe case of hypochondria, thinking he was suffering many outlandish illnesses and symptoms.  He finally left home, convinced that his mother was attempting to poison him.  He shared an apartment with some people but his behaviour was getting more and more bizarre.  He was perpetually consuming alcohol, weed, and given his deteriorating mental state, LSD.   Most definitely not the best thing to be taking.

    His roommates were freaked out by him and they asked him to leave but he refused.  They chose to leave instead.   Chase then started killing animals, bringing them back to his apartment, eating their innards and drinking their blood.  He believed that if he carried on like this, it would prevent his heart from shrinking!  In 1975, he was committed to a mental institution, after he was found injecting the blood of rabbits into his veins.  In hospital, blood was found smeared around his mouth, which was discovered to be from birds.  After being subjected to psychotropic drugs, he was, in a move reminiscent of the British Government's attitude to the mentally ill in the 1980`s, deemed safe to be released back into the general public in 1976.  He had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.  People were to suffer horrifically for this cavalier approach to Chase`s mental state.  He was released under the supervision of his mother, who slowly weaned him off his medication.

    A warning shot about his state occurred in 1977 when he was arrested in Nevada, where he was found covered in blood.  The vehicle he was driving, had a bucket of blood in it.  This turned out to be animal blood.  It was at the end of 1977, December 29th, that he drove past 51 year old Ambrose Griffin and shot him dead.  Two weeks later, he was trying doors and windows.  If they were locked, then obviously he was not welcome.  But if they were open....  One couple returning couple surprised him in their home.  He fled but not before he pissed and shat on their bed and clothes.  January 23rd 1978, he walked into the home of Teresa Wallin, who was pregnant. Chase shot her, raped her, stabbed her, removed organs from her body and drank her blood.  If this was not enough, he went outside, gathered up dogshit and forced it down the throat of the victim.  Four days later, on the 27th, he entered the home of 38 year old Evelyn Miroth.  Her friend Danny Meredith was there. He shot them both dead.  Then he turned his attentions to the children in the house.  Her 6 year old son, Jason was shot dead.  Then he turned to 22 month old nephew David Ferreira, sparing no quarter.  He then went back to the body of Evelyn, raped and cannibalized her.  A young boy who knocked on the door, startled Chase who fled in Evelyn`s car.  He also took the body of the baby.  Police quickly on the scene found a house of horrors, exactly like four days earlier.  They found perfect finger and foot prints in the blood.  He was quickly apprehended.

    On trial for six murders, the only defence to save him from the death penalty was an insanity defence.  One point the defence used was that Chase believed he needed to drink blood to stay alive.  The jury would not hear of it, and he was convicted and sentenced to death.  In prison, he told psychiatrists that he was being stalked and hounded by nazis & ufos.  He committed suicide in December 1980, after secretly saving up his medication tablets and taking an overdose.  Good riddance.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Gunn Brothers

To many people, the land of Robin Hood, Little John & Will Scarlet being labelled the one time "gun capital of Britain" would be ludicrous.  This should apply to London, Liverpool, Glasgow & Manchester, but Nottingham?  Surely some huge mistake.  Sadly it was not.  Two brothers from the Bestwood estate, Colin & David Gunn, showed just how violent, organised crime is everywhere.  They were born in 1965 (David) & 1967(Colin) on the Bestwood estate, where by the early 90`s they were making a bit of a reputation for themselves with thefts, burglaries, stolen goods, and naturally, violence.

    By 1997, they had upped the ante by getting immersed in the drugs world and spread their tentacles to include extortion, robbery, loan sharking, fraud and ringing of cars.  It is claimed that Colin Gunn amassed a multi-million pound fortune.  A blip in their activities occurred in November 1998, when David Gunn received a prison sentence of 4 years 9 months for grievous bodily harm and threats to kill a man called keith Copeland, after a fight outside a pub.   Colin Gunn put his extensive knowledge of the underworld to use by becoming a registered police informer!  He supplied top notch information that was designed to take his rivals off the streets.  Pretty much what many drug pushers do now.

     It was August 2003, and a friend of the Gunns, 22 year old Marvyn Bradshaw was shot dead.  However, it was believed that the wrong man had been killed, and the actual target was alleged to have been the Gunns` nephew, Jamie Gunn.  The triggerman, Michael O`Brien was arrested and charged with murder, and was jailed for life.  Whilst in the court, O`Brien taunted both the family of the victim and Colin Gunn himself.  A year later, John & Joan Stirland were shot dead, in the village of Trusthorpe.  Colin Gunn, Michael McNee & John Russell for jailed for 35 years for conspiracy to murder.  Joan Stirland was the mother of O`Brien.  After the trial, rioting broke out on the Bestwood by supporters of the Gunns.  Colin Gunn was shipped off to Long lartin prison in Leicester, then transferred to high security Belmarsh prison in South London.  It is feared by authorities that escape is his only thought.

    David Gunn was jailed for supplying amphetamine, and another man involved in the Bradshaw murder, Gary Salmon, received a life sentence.  Newspaper reports claimed that Gunn had fifty gun-toting henchmen at his beck and call, and it moved Nottingham into the realms of a gangland city.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Peter Stockley - Hero or Villain?

Peter Stockley is a familiar name in Liverpool that draws opinions from both sides.  Some see him as a former hardman who has turned vigilante against the tide of violent crime in the city, and there are those who see him as having his own agenda.  This man from Kirkdale in Liverpool, worked first as a doorman and so would have been involved in many violent confrontations with scallies and criminals.  He eventually ran his own club called the QT, but did have many run-ins with protection racketeers, and he was lucky to have avoided running into a man strategically placed with a sawn-off shotgun. He revealed this during a Granada Reports TV special on big time crime in Liverpool.  Others featured included burly doorman Eddie Bean, and the doyen of criminal lawyers in Liverpool, Rex Makin.

    Peter Stockley did serve a seven year prison sentence for shooting at a car that allegedly tried to run him down.  Some years later, he received six years for manslaughter after taking a gun off somebody and during the ensuing argument, it went off and killed the other person.  He was described in the national newspapers as being "The hardman of Liverpool`s gangland!"  Some say that this was an accident but there are others that have disagreed. Later he ran a rough pub in Huyton called The Eagle & Child.  One person described him to me as a "real hard fucker!"  The sort you need to be when you run a rough pub.

    Now he runs a community centre in Dovecot and actually goes out touring the streets, hoping to stop any trouble.  He did receive a severe beating at the hands of six assailants, some using knuckledusters, over a dispute 20 years ago.  Mr Stockley was 65 at the time, but still able to handle himself.  Peter Stockley has written four manuscripts with the first now available as an ebook, telling of his earlier life and the villains he found himself around.  As I said earlier, there are people who do not see him as a sort of local hero, but do they put themselves in the firing line like he has, especially at his age?

    Two things sprang to mind over what I have written.  First, Albert Donoghue, who turned on the Krays after they gallantly expected him to take the rap for the murder of Frank Mitchell, was severely beaten up some years ago.  No doubt the assailant(s) had to wait until he was older and infirmer before doing so. Second, in my home town of Ellesmere Port, the pub The Wheatsheaf(Now a Wetherspoons), was a pub I avoided.  It was full of troublemakers, dickheads who became big men with lots of alcohol in them and a gang behind them, and had an atmosphere that reeked of trouble.  Then, on the two occasions it was managed by one Terry "Bomber" Swan, it changed.  Why?  Because Bomber was a real hard man and everybody was shit scared of him!  Just thought I would drop these in as afterthought.  

David Hibbs-Turner - Crime Boss

Liverpool has been awash since the 60`s with names such as Roy Adams, Tommy Comerford, Charlie Siega, Terry O`Neill, Billy Grimwood, Fitzgibbons, Ungi, Palmer, Showers, Duresses, Campbells, Warren, The She Club, The Crow`s Nest, and many more.  Most of these were villains, some were real hard nut doormen, and this tradition of the city continuing to be a major underworld city, has been carried on by a man named David Hibbs-Turner.  He ran a drugs syndicate that made him and his associates very wealthy, but this ended with being convicted of ordering the murder of a rival, Michael Wright.  Along with other offences, David Hibbs-Turner received a very heavy sentence of a minimum of 37 years, with twelve other members of his criminal enterprise receiving sentences of between 8 to 15 years.

    This has been another extremely successful  operation by Merseyside Police, which ran a covert surveillance and intelligence gathering operation that ran from September 2004 to February 2007.  This came about through tip-offs from members of the community, which may be turning the tide against big time villains and their drug dealings,  As Charlie Siega once said "fear only runs so far".  The Police managed to seize over £4 million worth of narcotics, but were realistic enough to know that this was just a very small amount.  Turner and his associates acquired Vauxhall Combi Vans that had been adapted with secret compartments to bring back drugs from the European hotspots such as Spain & Amsterdam.

    Once the drugs were safely in Liverpool, addresses in exclusive areas were used to cut and dilute the drugs for passing on to the streets of the North West and beyond.  Police raided a home of Fazakarley man Hibbs-Turner and discovered over £160,000 in a closet under the stairs.  He did not bother going to court to try and get it back.  An example of how much money he was raking in, was shown by him owning other properties plus one in Marbella.  On another raid in the city centre, drugs worth an estimated £2 million were seized.  Not only that, but a machine gun fitted with a silencer was found.  Forensic tests revealed that it was allegedly used in another six shooting incidents. No doubt the vacuum created by his arrest has already been filled.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Murder of Ian Grant

This is an unsolved case that has been reopened after more than 15 years, after a breakthrough in forensics was revealed, and people were finally coming forward to speak to Police.  As this is apparently ongoing, I can only state facts of the case going back to the initial enquiry.  24 year old Ian Grant was a doorman, from Cherry Hinton, in Cambridgeshire, who had left his home in Speedwell Close at around 8pm.  The date was November 14th 1995.  Just after midnight, his body was found on waste ground close to the Fulbourn Hospital in Cherry Hinton.  He had been shot in the head, and it was believed that this was an underworld execution.  Two weeks previously, his girlfriend Samantha Kerslake, had her car set ablaze outside their home.

    She made an emotional appeal on TV for anybody who knows anything, to come forward.  This did not produce any leads, and it was believed that a climate of fear existed.  Later, two men stood trial at Norwich Crown Court, charged with conspiracy to murder but were both acquitted.  It was revealed that Mr Grant was in the process of setting up his own security company, and it was believed that this was the factor behind the killing.  There were bitter rivalries between security companies in the 80`s & 90`s over the running of nightclub doors, throughout the UK.  The reason for this was drugs.  You control the doors, you control the pushers going in. Many criminals have made substantial amounts from this.  A good solid door firm preventing certain persons from getting into clubs, hurts the pockets and so this has resulted in killings, gang warfare et al.  Was Mr Grant an obstacle in the way?  Police said in 2013 that the climate of fear seemed to be lifting, as laws were being passed that rigidly controlled licences being given to door firms, with vetting, criminal record checks, and regular spot checks by authorities.  

Graham Backhouse - Killer

Graham Backhouse was revealed to be a calculating killer who would even go to the lengths of attempting to murder his wife in order to clear his debts.   It was in April 1984, that 40 year old Margaret Backhouse got into her Volvo car to do some errands.  When she turned the ignition, there was an explosion that badly damaged her legs and buttock areas.  Her husband, 44 year old Graham Backhouse, claimed he was the victim of a hate campaign, and shortly afterwards, a note was found pinned to a gate with the message "You're next!"  Police immediately placed a 24 hour guard on his farm at Horton, near Chipping Sodbury.  He later requested the guard be removed after a panic button was installed at their home.

    The panic button was activated just after it was set up, with Police racing to Widdenhill Farm.  There they found a neighbour, Colyn Bedale-Taylor, lying with a fatal shotgun wound to his chest.  Clutched in his hand was a stanley knife.  Backhouse was found in another room, bleeding from wounds to his face and body.  He said that Mr Bedale-Taylor had come to his house, claiming that he was to do some repairs on some furniture.  Backhouse told him that there was no repairs necessary, and at that point, Mr Bedale attacked him, saying he was responsible for the death of his son in a car crash, a couple of years earlier.  He also allegedly told Backhouse that he planted the car bomb.  After being slashed with the knife, he escaped to grab his shotgun and had no choice but to shoot him.

    When the forensics experts arrived and went over the crime scene, Mr Bedale had blood on his hands, which would not have gotten there if he was wielding a knife.  They also determined that the slash wounds were self-inflicted.  They examined the background and finances of Backhouse and discovere he was heavily in debt.  His wife, Margaret, had a £50,000 life insurance policy in which Backhouse had doubled not so long ago.  He was arrested and charged with murdering Colyn Bedale-Taylor and the attempted murder of his wife.  He was convicted on February 19th 1985 and given two life sentences.

Monday, 7 April 2014

"You Could Not Make It Up"

Every so often you will hear something on the TV or radio that will defy belief.  This week gone, that serial killer Levi Bellfield was awarded £4,500 compensation by the authorities, because he received a smacking in prison.  No doubt the families of his victims, one of whom was young Millie Dowler, would have spat blood in disgust at this betrayal of the victims.  It is very ironical that Bellfield cried foul after being hit, despite the fact he was used his huge bulk to bully and intimidate people whilst working as a wheel clamper.  Some would say that is the typical bully.  Run and cry when somebody gives you a taste of your own medicine.

    You could not make it up when it has now come out that records were never kept about notorious child killer Ian Huntley.  He and Maxine Carr moved around frequently, because he was facing rape and sexual assault allegations.  Because the parents did not want to put their children through an ordeal of having to stand up in court and probably have their characters dragged through the mud and assassinated, no charges were proffered.  Incredibly, no records were kept, otherwise two young girls would be alive today.  The age range of his victims ran from 10 to 15.  Whilst living in Norfolk, a man stopped Huntley beating Carr, but she was angry with the man for doing so.  The reason would be because her screams alerted this man, no doubt she was going to pay for it, later, in private.  This does no hide the fact that she should have given him up, straight away.

    What about that most infamous of women killers, Hindley?  She spent a couple of decades manipulating people into believing her bollocks about not committing any murders, then admitting she did, hatching plans to get out of jail.  I find it very troubling that her supporters felt "betrayal" when she finally confessed to all the murders.  Amazing how people can be taken in by a woman who willingly lured those children to their deaths.  She had all the chances not to do it, but no, she did it.  Not, as the story goes, to please Brady, but simply because she was as twisted as him.  Brady has never made excuses for what he is, but she had.  You can look at some killer couples and see something very plain.  Brady never killed until he met her.  Rapist Paul Bernardo never killed until he met Karla Homolka.  Alvin Neeley never killed until he met his wife, Judith.  Does this say something?  Yep, it sure does.

Candice DeLong - FBI Profiler

Miss DeLong belongs to that extremely small band of female profilers in the FBI, working alongside the likes of Mary O`Toole ( Clarice Starling was based on her) and Dayle Hinman.  Candice was one of four siblings - she had three brothers - and her first career move was qualifying as a psychiatric nurse and working for nearly ten years in that service.  She had married at 19 but the marriage did not last, and she raised her one and only son as a single parent.  She opted for a career change by hoping to get into the FBI, having listened to stories about Eliot Ness, from her father. Later, she learned that her father was in a Chicago speakeasy when it was raided by Ness and his men, and then became an informant for Ness.

    As with all female recruits to the Bureau, she had to fight the rampant sexism and barriers being put up in front of them by officers that were simply dinosaurs.  She won a lot of respect for her arrests and dedication, helping catch the Unabomber, terrorists (The Puerto Rican FALN) serial rapists & killers.  Her hard work paid off when she won acceptance to the fledgling Behavioural Sciences Unit, learning from their distinguished tutors, John Douglas, Roy Hazelwood & Robert Ressler.  It is a far cry from the supersonic speed at piecing together a profile and solving the case for the thick local cops as portrayed in "Criminal Minds".  

    Candice now she has retired from the Bureau, does consultancy on the TV series "Deadly Women" in which she reviews all the known evidence on the cases shown and offers her opinions.  What is refreshing, is that she pulls no punches in her evaluations.  Imagine what it would be like if it was Dr Phil giving opinions!  If she believes a woman is a sociopath, or an out & out bitch, she says so.  She does no excuse any behaviour, as many of these documentaries go on about how much of a troubled and turbulent childhood these killers had.  Big deal!  Many people suffer horrendous childhoods in one form or another, but that has not made them psychotic or turn into serial killers.  We need more plain talking people on these shows, like Candice DeLong.