Tuesday, 4 November 2014

"The Beast of Coatesville"

Last night I came across this notorious Pennsylvania murder that occurred in the 1930`s and thought that this case should be posted as it plainly shows that there are many people who kill just for the hell of it, and is not the result of films, games, internet, Chucky, etc.  The victim was sixteen year old Helen Moyer, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, whilst a young man was searching for a young girl to rape and kill.  Yes, that`s right.  Rape and kill.  This was pre-empted.  The killer, 20 year old Alexander Meyer, set off in a green truck to look for his victim.  It was the afternoon of February 11th 1937.  He was driving along a country road near Coatesville, Pennsylvania, when he spotted girls emerging from a local school.  He thought there were too many people about (witnesses!) so he carried on past.  Up ahead, he saw a girl on her own.   She would do.

    Meyer swerved the truck into her, knocking her down and then passing over her.  He leapt out and picked up the gravely injured girl, then put her into the back of the truck and drove off.  Meyer drove to an abandoned farmhouse, sure in the knowledge that he would not be disturbed. He stripped the girl, then he raped her.  Later he was to claim that she had died, so he dumped her body down a well.  Then Meyer went home and ate a hearty meal, completely oblivious to what he had just done.  Two days later, he returned with two sticks of dynamite, in order to destroy the well and completely cover the body.  She had already been reported missing.  Police found her shoes and schoolbooks by the spot where Meyer had hit her with his truck.  They also found glass fragments from a headlight.  Was it a hit and run?  And where was Helen?

    Two witnesses contacted Police.  One had seen a green truck hit a telegraph pole, back up and hit another, then speed off.  Then a friend and neighbour of Helen`s told of accepting a lift from a young man in a green truck.  But the man stopped in a lane and tried to strip her.  She fought him off and escaped from the truck, running to a nearby house.  Green paint was found on the telegraph poles, so Police started checking all Ford trucks in the county, and they hit paydirt when they found one belonging to Meyer, which was green and damaged.  He fitted the description given by the girl who was given a lift.  He was arrested and questioned but denied everything.  Confronted with the eye witness testimonies, the damage to his truck and green paint at the crime scene, he admitted that he had knocked Helen down by accident.  Later, he confessed all about raping and killing her, then led Police to the well.  Her body was not a pretty sight.  Charged with murder, Meyer was convicted and went to the chair in April 1937.

    Police delved into the background of Meyer and found that he had been in a juvenile reformatory, for shooting at two girls with a rifle.  He was from a well off family in Downington, 12 miles away from the abduction site.  He was regarded as sadistic, immune to pain, and had a psychopathic inferiority complex.  Despite whatever mental issues Meyer had, he made a conscious decision to abduct, rape and then murder a schoolgirl.  It was planned and thought out.  He also had somewhere to take his victim.  He deserved what he got.