Monday, 31 August 2015

In The Land of Morse & Lewis

My little play on the title of a Caravan album - "In The Land of Grey & Pink" - is to have a look at crimes in the tv murder capital of England: Oxford.   The home of Inspector Morse & Inspector Lewis, despite it`s nearly three dozen colleges, has a rich criminal history.  A notorious city for drugs in the 60`s and 70`s, where undercover cop Martyn Pritchard started his career and kicked off Operation Julie, fraudster Robert Maxwell lived there.  Actually, close to where I used to stay with friends, 3 times in 1988 and once in 1992.  I stayed  in the St. Clements area, where this murder I am about to present, occurred.  There is also the question of whether an innocent man was executed wholly on circumstantial evidence, and that six witnesses stated they saw the victim alive, well after the time Police believed the murder took place.  The victim was widow Anne Kempson, in her mid to late 50`s.  Mrs Kempson was to have gone to stay with friends in London, but failed to show.  Her brother, Albert Reynolds was contacted, and he went to her home to check if she was still there.  It was the beginning of August 1931.

    Albert climbed in through a window, and to his horror, found his sister battered and stabbed to death.  The time of death was estimated to have been at the latest, due to the fact that a deliveryman tried to make a delivery at that time but received no answer.  Police enquiries found that a door to door salesman had been around the immediate area, and a business card was found in Mrs Kempson`s house.  The salesman was Henry Seymour, but was not at the address on the card.  He was later traced to Brighton, where he was arrested.  Police had been given a description of a man whom had bought a hammer and chisel.  Seymour fitted the description.  Seymour had visited a couple, the Andrews`, and told of being robbed of his money whilst swimming.  They lent him some money and off he went but later returned saying he had missed his bus.  They put him up for the night.  He had a parcel which, Mrs Andrews, contained a new hammer and chisel.  She read that a hammer and probably a chisel was used to kill Mrs Kempson, she phoned Police.  They also received a call from a hotel manager in Aylesbury, who had taken a hammer from a guest in lieu of a bill.  He said it had been washed and it`s labels removed.  The guest was Henry Seymour.  He was arrested and charged with murder.

    The case against Seymour was entirely circumstantial but trouble was brewing with the statements of six witnesses who saw her alive and well hours later.  Three had known her for many years.  Surely this was evidence of innocence.  Yet a jury took less than 40 minutes to convict him.  Seymour`s movements were verified except a gap of some hours on the morning of the murder.  He was said to have been evasive with answers under cross-examination.  At his appeal, the witnesses were dismissed as simply getting the day wrong!!!!  A business card and the purchase of a hammer and chisel had sealed his fate.  Yet, if the hammer was washed, and it was brand new, was he washing blood off it?  What about the chisel? Was there any trace evidence on it?  Had it been cleaned?  Or was it as spotless as when he bought it?  He was hanged at Oxford Prison on December 10th 1931.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Double Murder at Gravesend

Back in the days of Capital Punishment, it was unheard of for somebody to walk into the offices of a national newspaper and confess, not only to one murder but two!  That was precisely the shock for crime reporter Tom Tullet of the Daily Mirror.  It was the morning of September 11th 1961, when Edwin Sims, 28, from Gravesend, was ushered into his office.  When asked what he wanted to tell him, Sims calmly told him he had murdered two teenagers on Denton Marshes, and simply wanted to tell somebody.  He then produced items he said he had stolen from his victims; a handbag, wallet and two watches.  Tullet called in a colleague to keep an eye on him and went and consulted an editor, who promptly called the Police.  He also had something wrapped in newspaper.  He told Tullet they were body parts!  He said he had a shotgun and two knives.  The victims, Lilian Edmeades and Malcolm Johnson, both aged 16.  He held them at gunpoint, made them lie down, tied their hands behind their backs, marched them across the marshes, then made them lie down again.  He tied their ankles to their hands (Hogtied!), strangled the Malcolm first, then Lilian.

    At this point, two detectives arrived,DI Clifford LLoyd and DS Reg Newdick.  The Di opened the package to find two severed breasts!  At that moment, a mutilated body of a girl was found by a young boy in a water filled dyke.  The Police quickly established that it was Lilian whom had been reported missing some hours earlier.  A boy was also reported missing; Malcolm.  Police divers searched the dyke and found the body of Malcolm.  Sims was charged with two counts of murder. One charge was a Capital offence, so Sims could face execution.  Death was ascertained as by strangulation.  Sims admitted using a length of cord to kill them.  He claimed that it was a sudden impulse.  He admitted that he mutilated Lilian by severing her breasts and also said that he tried to mutilate her further.  He was very nonchalant in court, not seemingly affected by the possible consequences.

    Medical evidence given in his defence stated that he had a mental abnormality.  Sims told doctors that he was blackmailed into committing homosexual acts at 13, had sxual relatons with a much older woman at 16, used prostitutes, was a habitual masturbator from the age of 13.  Then his thoughts turned to fantasies of sadistic sex and violence.  He had his nipples pierced, his penis, and loved the fantasy of pain.  On himself and others.  He studied sadomasochism and it`s history, and fantasised about every kind of perversion, resulting in a horrific double murder.  Experts were in no doubt that Sims was a sexual psychopath.  He was cleared of both charges of murder but guilty of Manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.  The Judge jailed him for 21 years.  Sims was transferred to Broadmoor in 1963, then transferred to Ashworth, by Liverpool.  He remained there until 1990 where he died aged 57.  He remained incarcerated much longer than the Judge sentenced him, but nobody, in particular the Johnson and Edmeades families, would have cared less.  No doubt many wished he would have gotten the rope.(except the liberals, lefties, whingers, etc)  But his actions were known to some.  He had attacked a former girlfriend twice, but the girls` parents felt sorry for Sims as his father was dying from cancer, so refrained from contacting Police.  Lilian and Malcolm were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  And paid such a terrible price.


Child Rapist Receives Heavy Sentence

Looking at recent local cases, this is one that stands out, in regards to the fact that a Judge gave a predator a substantial sentence.  Arshad Mahmood, 47, from Shipley, just outside Bradford, received twenty years for rape, perverting justice, unlawful sexual activity with a child, taking indecent photos of a child, sexual activity with a girl with a mental disorder, and sexual activity with another girl.   This whole disturbing episode only came to light after the girl told staff at her school about what had happened.  They immediately called Police, where the girl told them more when interviewed.  The young girl had severe learning difficulties, so was extremely vulnerable, and not able to fully comprehend what she told them and what she had endured.  Mahmood was arrested in March 2013, but a trial in February fell apart when it was revealed that Mahmood had persuaded a victim to change her story.  This resulted in the charge of perverting the course of justice.

    Police seized his computer, and not surprisingly, found that Mahmood had been a prolific viewer of pornographic images.  He had viewed nearly two and a thousand images, and had looked at just over an incredible twenty one thousand pornographic sites.  In court, he claimed that the girl was a liar.  Later he accepted his guilt and said he would comply by everything the court appointed.  The Judge, showing good sense, gave him a total of twenty years for his crimes.  He imposed conditions on Mahmood that he was to go on the Sex Offenders Register for life, and an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, to protect children in the future.  How about chemical castration as well?

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Murder of Yvonne Falkner

This murder case goes back to 1963, which displayed elements of sadism.  The victim was killed by a boyfriend of her employee, for which he claimed having no memory of committing.  The employee, Mary Halliday, worked as a live-in maid for Yvonne Falkner and her family in Stanmore, London.  There was one golden rule for any people working as domestic staff; there were to be no members of the opposite sex in staff bedrooms, at any time.  Mary had a boyfriend, Gunner Derek Anthony Aarons, a soldier, born September 29th 1938.  One night, Mary decided she wanted her man that night, and managed to quietly get him into her bedroom and he stayed the night.  The following night, it was September 3rd, she decided on a repeat performance.  Both were the worse for drink, but she smuggled him into her bed once again.  When she awoke in the morning, Aarons was not there.  He had vanished.  She got up and started to get herself ready for the day's duties.  Her world was about to crumble.

    Mary found Yvonne Falkner in the bathroom, dead.  She was nude, had been strangled with her own bra and a stocking, but most shockingly, she had very severe bite wounds to her face and throat.  Her jewellry had been taken, along with the contents of her handbag.  It did not take Police long to arrest Derek Aarons.  In his defence, he claimed he could not remember very much from that night, apart from being in Mary's bedroom and then being in Mrs Falkner`s bedroom, with her jewellry in his hands.  Medical testimony given suggested that Aarons had a mental abnormality and was also a psychopath.  He was convicted of Manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.  Normally, this would result in a transfer to a secure mental facility but the Judge decided that his illness was not sufficient enough to receive a sentence in Broadmoor.  He instead, jailed him for life.  Aarons died in Wakefield Prison, known as "Monster Mansion" in 1973.

    Biting is a clear sign that the offender has a degree of sadism within themselves.  Did Aarons have an alcoholic blackout?  He managed to empty her purse and go through her jewellry.  Why did he savagely bite her?  Was it extreme sexual sadism he enjoyed?  Was it to exert power over the victim?  After all, what woman would be turned on by having lumps bitten out of her face and neck?  (Darn it, there I go again with my "Trouble stirring guesswork!)  Aarons got what he deserved and can no longer tear shreds out of some unfortunate woman`s face.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Tales From The Wirral PT2

Racking my brains for more stories from my old neck of the woods, I remembered a case from around 1972, and involved a Norwegian sailor.  When ships docked at Ellesmere Port, decades ago, the ship`s crews usually had a bit of money to spend and a number of pubs would do a roaring trade.  This particular sailor had travelled to a very small area outside Little Sutton known as Hooton.  There was only one pub there, but events turned extremely nasty when this man was discovered lying in a lane.  He had been very seriously beaten, and had to be rushed to hospital and straight into the Operating Theatre.  Police deduced that he was trying to get a taxi back to his ship.  Every taxi driver in the town was questioned.  That included my father, who had his own taxi business.  I remember a couple of men in overcoats and hats visiting my home; detectives.  But my father knew nothing about what happened or even heard any gossip amongst local drivers.  I cannot remember if the sailor survived, unfortunately.  It was featured in a local crime programme very much like Shaw Taylor`s "Police Five" series.

    Heading back up to Birkenhead, one of my elder brothers` told a tale of a branch of a shop he worked in, up the Wirral in Birkenhead.  A boss was in the store when a huge docker walked in, picked up a crate of beer, and started to walk out with it.  The boss sprang into action and locked the door.  "You're not going anywhere with that without paying for it"  The response of the docker was to boot the door open, shattering all the glass in it and walking out with the beer.  The boss followed him out and stood in shock.  His car which was parked outside, was surrounded by three or four men, all handling hammers and bars, and tapping his car, intimidatingly.  He let him go.  He could not argue with a small group of men carrying weapons.

    Tales of football in Birkenhead back in the 70`s are folklore.  Substitute sport for sheer violence and you get the picture.  One guy I know, Mark told one story.  "I was goalkeeper for a team and three of the other team came over to me to tell me that I was going to have a bad back, picking the ball out of the net!  I kept a clean sheet but was punched twice in the face, going up for a cross.  As soon as the final whistle blew, I ran like hell for my car!"  Another guy, George, told this one.  "A young lad was dribbling rings around this defender, who finally snapped and screamed at the lad "The next time you do that I'm going to break your fucking legs!"  The poor kid was absolutely terrified!"  The best story came from my eldest brother, about a big, hefty guy called Kenny.  In one game, the opposing team were calling him a big fairy, and after the game, to get out of the field, there was a gate.  Kenny stood in front of the gate, rolled up his sleeves and offered to fight the entire team and their supporters, one after the other.  Naturally, nobody had the courage to face him, one on one.  In another, he was getting the usual flack, big tart, big fairy, etc.  He made the referee stop the game, shouted for the opposing team and especially the extremely vocal supporters, to form a queue and he would fight them all, one by one.  "We'll see just who the tart and fairy is!"   Not surprisingly, everybody turned mute and were not looking for trouble.  These are some of the stories from the Naked City.  Or putting it straight, stories from the legendary days of the Birkenhead football leagues.

RIP Ann Rule

A few weeks ago saw the passing of one of the most respected true crime writers of them all; Ann Rule.  She died at the age of 83.  Ann was most remembered for the fact that she worked alongside one Ted Bundy.  They worked in a rape crisis centre - though a very strange choice for what he was up to - and remembered Theodore as being a caring listener, and was able to get victims to talk at length about their ordeals.  Probably got a buzz from it!  After it emerged about his murder spree, Ann could not believe that the highly intelligent and charming young man could have been such a cold blooded killer.  She wrote a book about him entitled "The Stranger Beside Me" that firmly established her as an author.

    In her life, she authored more than seventeen books, and had well over one thousand articles published covering serial murders, women killers and sexual homicide.  Ann was a former Police Officer, so had grounding in investigative techniques.  Ann had lectured to numerous Police departments on all aspects of homicide, and was involved in helping set up VICAP, Violent Criminal Apprehension Program used by the FBI.  Another tremendous book by Ann was about Gary Ridgway, "Green River, Running Red."  She gave a voice to the dozens of victims of Ridgway, making them more than merely bodies found by Police.  She lived in Seattle, Washington State, a former hunting ground of Teddy.  She will be sadly missed.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Confidential - Muck Raking Magazine

Think of muck raking and you will think of the "News of the World" but there was once a magazine that ran for a few years in the fifties that really put the NOTW to shame.  That was "Confidential," a magazine about Hollywood that was completely independent from the studios.  The difference was, Confidential, dealt with sleaze, innuendo, scandals and out and out lies.  It could never have run in the UK due to our heavy duty libel laws.  In the USA, they had the First Amendment, a right to free speech or opinion.  This magazine actually held the stars in a state of fear, wondering what indiscretions may be revealed.

    Confidential began in December 1952, as the brainchild of a New York sleazy magazine publisher named Robert Harrison.  What was scary for the stars and the studios, was that Confidential obtained all their information from the bottom level of Hollywood; drivers, studio hands, barmen, local reporters.  They also had a Private Investigator working for them.  Fred Otash, a former Los Angeles cop with an extremely notorious reputation.  He was the Mister Fix-It for the magazine.  If somebody wanted a good fee for a "scoop" Otash sorted it. If a deal had to be struck in order to keep a story buried, he thrashed out the deal.  If somebody needed beating up or needing some bones breaking, Otash "took care of business" as a certain bike club would say.  On a long ago documentary about Confidential, a deal was made by a studio to keep buried revelations about one Rock Hudson, and another actor was offered up as sacrifice.  A woman interviewed said that it was amazing it was kept hidden, considering Hudson picked up men from street corners.

    Otash was not the only intimidating figure working for Confidential.  His "colleagues" looked like a gathering of heavy villains or equally heavy cops.  Some were permanently armed!  But after a number of years terrorising Hollywood, one man decided to take a stand.  Robert Mitchum.  He sued Confidential over a story that he stripped naked at Charles Laughton`s home, smeared himself in ketchum and said that he was a hamburger.  The reality was claimed to have been very much raunchier,and too obscene even for Confidential.  Mitchum was said to have taken the action after bowing from family pressure.  The suit ran for considerable time and ultimately, Mitchum lost.  The magazine tried to get dirt on Mitchum to use against him, which actually was considerable but not pursued.  His actor brother, John,  was approached for information but tried to string them along.  He found himself facing Otash and his buddies, who really terrified him.  They probably would have been comfortable around Albert Anastasia!  He took his family away from Hollywood for a while.

    Despite the loss, other stars began doing the unthinkable; they started suing Confidential.  And they started winning in the courts.  One by one, it seemed that the men behind began receiving karma.  They were dying.  Editor Howard Rushmore shot his wife dead whilst in a taxi in New York, then ate a bullet himself.  Gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger.  The magazine folded in 1957 and so ended a Hollywood nightmare.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Richard Farley - Rejected Man Who Turned To Slaughter

There are innumerous stories of men and women who react explosively to the rejection of a perceived lover.  For some reason, they take it to the extreme; stalking, threats, violence and then finally, murder.  It is hard for individuals to accept that you cannot make somebody like you.  Something in their psyche tells them they can.  Richard Farley was such a man.  His descent into obsession began in 1984, when he was employed at Electromagnetic Systems Labs in California.  An attractive woman named Laura Black was working there also.  Farley tried to acquire her affections but she was not interested in the 36 year old.  He could not accept it.  He began stalking her, he used to wait outside her home and was sending Laura threatening letters.  This campaign of harassment carried on for two years.  Then his stalking took a very sinister turn; he threatened to kill her if she would not date him.

    Farley had managed to get his hands on her set of keys, and had copies made of them all.  Then he left the duplicates in her car, letting her know that he now had access to her home.  Farley was dismissed from his job for this but it still did not stop him.  Laura moved house a number of times, repeatedly changed her home phone number, but she still could not shake off this obsessive man.  Finally, she had to resort to getting a restraining order against him, but we all know these papers are only fit for the bathroom.  Farley had an extensive collection of guns (No surprises there!) and in February 1988, his anger boiled over.  He took some of his legally held arsenal into ESL and began firing at random.  He cold bloodedly murdered seven people but he did not manage to kill the target of his rage; Laura.  She escaped his rampage with a shoulder wound.  We have seen in other mass shootings, Hungerford, Dunblane, Columbine, Virginia Tech, that once their "mission" is ended, they usually put one in their own heads.  Farley did not.  He surrendered to the Police, but he received a just sentence; death.  Will he be missed?  I doubt it.

Jack Unterweger - European Serial Killer

Jack Unterweger is an example of a dangerous individual pulling the wool over the eyes of people who only want to believe in the best of people, regardless of what they have committed.  Too many liberals, bleeding hearts, and quite simply, mugs, who want to believe the garbage spewing from the mouths of killers.  Unterweger became a kind of media star, but all the gullible eventually had to eat humble pie, when it emerged what their "golden boy" had actually committed.  Jack Unterweger was born in Vienna, after WW2, where his father was an unknown US soldier, and his mother was a barmaid.  Like many children, Unterweger was raised by a grandmother, but as he grew up, he was involved in crime. Burglary, robbery, theft, fraud, etc.  It was in the beginning of the 1970`s, when he was 24, that he murdered for the first time.  Unterweger was a charmer and a confident talker, and was easily able to draw people in.  His sentence for the murder was life, but later reduced to 15 years, where he put his time into writing and wrote a book about his life and time in prison.

    The book, "Purgatory, or The life in Prison" became a bestseller, had a film made about it, garnered rave reviews from left wing supporters, and their ilk.  Psychiatrists believed he was a changed and rehabilitated man.  What they did not know or probably even consider, that his book was like many criminal autobiographies, self serving, full of lies, exaggerations, etc.  Rehabilitated this man was not.  All this manipulation helped him win a sympathetic parole board and a release in 1990.  He used his freedom to carry on his campaign of "rehabilitation" by appearing on European tv chat shows.  He had no difficulty in having women throwing themselves at him and people hanging on to his every word.  All bullshit.  Now, women were being found in woods around Vienna.  They had been brutally sexually assaulted, bound, then strangled.  Unterweger then visited Los Angeles, under the guise of studying American prostitutes.  Three turned up dead.  In the same fashion of the Austrian victims.  Eventually, Unterweger was arrested for murder in Austria, and found himself back in jail.  His supporters were dumbstruck.  How could they all have been taken in by this sexual sadist?  Simple!  They believed because they wanted to.  He was convicted of eleven murders, but in jail, he decided to get out.  He hanged himself.  I wonder how many of these morons there are in this country who believe in the innocence of mass killers?

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Fred Coe - Serial Rapist

Fred Coe is one of those many incarcerated people who insist they are innocent, despite all the evidence stacked up against them.  (When you read biographies of British criminals, they all insisted they were fitted up)  But what were the circumstances that drove this man to commit dozens of rapes?  Was it his overbearing mother who regarded him as very special?  That he grew up believing that no matter how much in the wrong he was, it did not matter because his mother saw no wrong in his acts?  Therefore, if mother said it was right to do what he wanted, it would be ingrained in his psyche? ( Here I go again with my trouble stirring guesswork.  No worries dear readers, this is for the benefit of a certain supercilious twat)   Think of Marie Barone in "Everybody Loves Raymond" only more extreme.  There are pointers in his early life that raise red flags.

    Coe was born in 1947 in Spokane in Washington State.  His father was the Managing Editor of a major local paper, so his family had status in the city.  But his mother had an obsession about her appearance and those of her family.  She convinced her son and daughter that they needed cosmetic surgery, despite the fact that none of them needed any.  All were attractive people.  But Fred grew up altering his exam results, by breaking into his teachers desks and giving himself top marks.  He acquired the gift of the gab, by talking his way out of trouble when it was discovered what he was doing.  When he married, he carried on with the same philosophy that whatever was done, was right, basically because he said so.  The word "No" was obviously not in his vocabulary.  He sponged from his family for years, but developed delusions of grandeur about his supposed great abilities as a writer or salesman.

    Coe started his series of sexual attacks in 1978, in the South Hill area of the city.  He went on to commit possibly as many as forty rapes, or even more, but it took Police quite some time to convict him.  His family wielded influence n the town.  His mother would say anything for him.  But it all ended in tears for her in August 1981, when he was sentenced to seventy five years in prison.  His mother was so outraged that her perfect son could be labelled a multiple rapist and on top of that, be jailed!  How dare they!!  So she decided to take it out on the Judge and managed to hire a hitman.  Unfortunately for her, it turned out to be an undercover cop.  She went down too.  When somebody is never told "no", when do they ever know when to stop, what is right and wrong?  No inbuilt brakes on actions?  At least women in Spokane have been spared his sexual violence, though it would raise the question about whether in his mind, would murder have been justified?   

Friday, 14 August 2015

"Sorry Officer, But I Was Looking The Other Way!"

We have all seen US tv series where the local Corporation or rich man runs everything, including the Police and the courts.  It is surprising that in real life, it does happen.  I remember watching a documentary, "Harlan County, USA" that dealt with the 1973 Kentucky miners strike.  We witnessed how the company brought in strikebreakers, who were in reality, hired guns.  Local Police stood by and did nothing when strikers were threatened with death by gun toting thugs.  It was pretty clear that when the company said jump, the local cops screamed "How High?"  One man was shot dead by the leader of the thugs, and was actually filmed firing his gun from a vehicle as he drove past.  What did the cowards in uniform do?  Absolutely nothing!  The strikers had to petition a judge for an arrest warrant for murder against the shooter, but the "Chief" of Police, point blank refused to arrest him.  Too frightened of upsetting the company bosses.  But the shooter was arrested.  After the strikers literally had to force him to act.  What was tv fare, was in fact, reality, in front of my eyes.

    Another way of looking at this cowardice on the parts of Law Enforcement, was in the town of Skidmore, which is situated in Northwest Missouri.  A man was allowed to run amok and commit whatever crimes he wanted, to hide behind a lawyer who bent & twisted the law to suit his client, intimidate townspeople.  The cops and the courts had no spine when it came to this urban terrorist.  That brilliant actor Brian Dennehy, played this man in the film "Killing In A Small Town."  His name was Ken McElroy.  McElroy hailed from a very large family, and indulged in any type of crime that crossed his path.  Rustling, rape, arson, theft, assault, and on top of that, he was a paedophile.  He loved to have sex with very young girls, and married at least six young girls.  He had a total of ten children with these girls.  (They were an age where here you would have to go into prison segregation!)  The parents of one girl, who was only THIRTEEN, objected but McElroy subjected them to savage intimidation, forcing their "consent."  Alas, state laws did not permit a wife to testify against her husband.

    If somebody displeased McElroy, the intimidation would begin with himself, his wife, and grown up daughters, would all drive cars slowly past the "offenders" home, time and again.  McElroy would brandish a rifle.  Complaints to the Police would be rendered useless by the lawyer McElroy paid.  He simply terrorised the town.  Then the downfall came.  Two of his daughters went into a local store.  One picked up candy but neglected to pay for it.  The store owner shouted at her to stop.  The other took the sweets and threw them back at the owner and left.  Another daughter shouted at the owner that nobody accused any of them of theft.  McElroy fired a sawn off shotgun at the store owner, wounding him.  As always, nothing was done by the Police.  Some townspeople had had enough of McElroy and his brood and the spineless attitude of Police.  It was July 10th 1981.  McElroy drove into town, sat in his car, when several shots rang out.  McElroy slumped over dead.  When Police started questioning the people that where there when the shots - from several guns - were fired, nobody saw a thing.  They were preoccupied when it all happened, or looking in the opposite direction.  The case remains unsolved.  Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Thoughts From The Dark Side PT4 - "The Two Susans Murders"

The Two Susans` murders were committed on the exact same date a couple of years apart, in the same district in St Paul, Minnesota.  Was it a coincidence worthy of an episode of "Criminal Minds?"  Not so, according to a man I have named "The Chameleon", A multiple killer incarcerated for life in the USA.  All communications are carried out through a third party.  This is his opinion on the two unsolved murders of Sue Peterson & Sue Rheineck.

    "The two Susans  murders?  Interesting.  I really hate how the Police jump at serial killer connections, instead of treating each case as an isolated event.  There are no coincidences for murder.  It all happens for a reason.  Connection?  DATE!  What we have is a copycat murder.  Probably a kid that read all about the first one and decided to copy.  Throw a twist into it by duplicating it his way.  The victims tell me that it is a kid - maybe 18 to 22 years old.  He knows the victim.  Has had a crush on her for a long time.  Went to school with her and has watched/stalked her.

    The fact that the first victim was named Susan only made/helped him to make up his mind what to do.  Rape & murder?  Tied to a tree?  He had time to talk to her, to enjoy himself with her.  An alley is so cold.  (The first murder) A quick death and run away.  Probably raped in the guy's car and dumped in the alley.  These are two different murders with only a few common things to tie the cases together, to look like they could have been done by the same person.  Same time of the year?  It is conceivable that they would be wearing the same type of clothes."

    So he has the opinion that  the second murder was committed by somebody who decided he wanted to kill, and carried it out on the same date, two years later, and letting cops come up with a theory worthy of a tv episode or film, to have search for one killer, not two!  Quite possible.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Pernell Jefferson - Obsessive Stalker

One of the pitfalls of being rejected in love, is that the rejected can turn into an obsessive stalker, whose loss of reality can turn extremely murderous.  Pernell Jefferson was a man who turned into a very dangerous stalker, not because he was rejected from the outset. It was the women in his life could no longer take the extreme controlling nature, jealousy and possessiveness, he openly displayed.  The reason for this young, strong and star sportsmen going off the rails was because he abused anabolic steroids.  Despite his excellent physique, he was not satisfied and used steroids to bulk himself up.  But the downside was that he became violent, and so his girlfriend left him, taking their young son with her.  He had a couple of girlfriends but they too, left him.  For the same reason as others: his violent, controlling and abusive behaviour.  But he unable to cope with more rejections,he subjected one of them to a terrifying stalking campaign, resulting in him abducting and raping her.

    Jefferson did not face any charges over these crimes, and was asked to try out for a pro- football team.  However, he had to stop taking steroids as it was fiercely frowned upon the team.  No longer having the drug in his system changed his character and temperament.  He became depressive which resulted in him not making the pro-ball league.  He soon hitched up with another woman, but after a time, she left for exactly the same reasons every woman left him; violence, control and abuse.  He went into a rage when he heard she had met another man.  He issued what becomes a standard threat when it comes to obsessive former partners who cannot let go; "If I cannot have you, then nobody will!"  He took to stalking her, and locating her wherever she moved away to.  It was in 1989, that Jefferson abducted and murdered her, then buried her.  He employed the help of a friend in the burial, which became a bad mistake. The friend was guilt ridden over what he had helped Jefferson do, that he told all to the Police.  The body was eventually located and identified through teeth examination.  

    Jefferson received a life sentence for his crime, and once in jail, he was unable to clear his system of all traces of steroids and settled down and became a very well behaved inmate.  He later started classes in the jail on controlling aggression and anger, amongst the other inmates.  His violence was a perfect example of "Roid Rage" a warning of what a person can turn into, pumping himself full of these drugs.  And the only reason is vanity!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Todd Garton - Murderous Fantasist

We all meet in our lives somebody that is an out and out liar or putting it eloquently, a bullshitter.  This person puts themselves at the centre of whatever goes on in their locale, embellishes stories and gives the impression that nothing goes on without their knowledge.  You can usually expect them to come up with "witnesses" who are prepared to agree with anything the bullshitter speaks of.  Todd Garton was such a man.  Yet, what makes this bullshit merchant and con man stand out, was that he succeeded in making a couple of other people believe that they were part of a special "squad" known as "The Company", hinting that it was part of the CIA, and that he easily convinced them to commit murder.

    Garton came from a family in Northern California, and from a very young age, he talked himself up at every opportunity, making grandiose claims of adventures, accomplishments and everything else.  Comparisons would be Walter Mitty (USA) Billy Liar (UK) & Dave Courtney(UK).  He managed to convince friends that he had been a mercenary working for the IRA as a sniper!  HE was no older than fifteen!!  Then at sixteen he had committed two murders.  One past-time Garton actually did do well at, and that was music - he played bass in a band that played around Northern California and Oregon.  But as he got older, he harboured fantasies about being an assassin with "The Company."  He would walk about with a friend, Norman Daniels, and shoot cats, to show that he was a real gunman.  The boss of "The Company" was Colonel Sean, from Langley.  Who resided at Langley but the CIA!

    Garton now brought in another gullible dupe, Dale Gordon, and told them that whatever killings they carried out, they were justified.  He married at twenty one, to a girl, Carole Holman, but at the same time was having a relationship with a girl who had been following his band.  After seven years of marriage to Carole, he wanted to get back together with this girl.  There was another problem; Carole was eight months pregnant.  He convinced Daniels & Gordon that his wife was actually an evil woman working for the IRA and she needed to be killed to prevent her killing others.  He promised payment for them carrying out the hit.  Garton had actually taken out a substantial insurance policy on his wife.  Dale Gordon shot  Carole to death on May 16th 1998.  But he was consumed by guilt and remorse, and confessed all to Police.  Gordon, Garton, Daniels and the girl, Lynn Noyes, were arrested, charged and convicted of murder.  As the mastermind and manipulator of the crime, Garton received the death penalty.  

    Incredible as it would seem, you can receive vitriolic abuse from supporters of these conmen, as they obviously cannot stand the thought of their heroes being liars.  That they are taking them for stupid mugs.  That they should realise that whatever comes from the mouths of these people, it is the truth, no matter how absurd and improbable.  A lie is the truth!

Alma Rattenbury & George Stoner

In years gone by, there have been love triangles that have resulted in the deaths of the the spouse in the way, and in a number of cases, the execution of others in the play.  The most famous was Edith Thompson and Fred Bywaters, he executed for killing Percy Thompson, and Edith, basically executed for her morals.  She not only took a much younger lover, but he was also lower class!  Charlotte Bryant was hanged for killing her husband, as she cavorted with a younger man.  Then there was Alma Rattenbury and George Stoner.  This case started in Bournemouth in 1935, in Manor Park Road.  Francis Rattenbury was a successful Architect, but he was also very much older than his wife, Alma.  He 67, she 38.  The trouble was their chauffeur & handyman, George Stoner aged 18.  There was also a companion & helper, Irene Riggs.

    When sparks between Alma & George started flying, he exercised his vigour more in the bedroom than at his job.  Alma even took him on shopping expeditions to London than ran for days.  He was spoiled with expensive clothes and repaid her with passionate nights in the Royal Palace Hotel in Kensington.  But the affair went to Stoner`s head, in which he made demands, and displayed jealousy that his lover slept at night in the marital bed, not his.  Alma was supposed to have tried to persuade Stoner that her husband was simply no match for him sexually, and that he drank a lot.  Stoner soon put an end to the debate with a mallet to the head of his rival.  This put them both in the dock at the Old Bailey.  She tried to take the blame for him, he for her.  The Jury decided that she was innocent and he guilty.  Stoner was sentenced to death.  Alma went down to a stream by Christchurch, a place she and Stoner used to go to, and repeatedly plunged a knife into herself, dying.  She took this line of action believing she would meet Stoner in heaven.  But shortly after her suicide, Stoner was reprieved!  He went on to live out his life near Bournemouth.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Bender Family

    Murderous families are peppered throughout history with various reasons for their rampages.  The Barkers were gangsters, as they ran amok through the American mid-west in the 1930`s.  Scotland boasted probably the most notorious; Sawney Bean and his brood, who lived in caves, and killed and cannibalised any unfortunates that they came upon.  They existed in the 1600`s and were all wiped out by the military when they were discovered.  Labette County in Southeast Kansas had the Benders.  A family of four who set up home there in 1870.  They consisted of  John Bender aged around 60, his wife (name unknown) was about ten years younger, John Bender Junior, 27, and a woman named Kate, thought to have been aged around 24.  Young John was thought to have been Mrs Bender`s son through an earlier marriage.  Kate passed herself off as a medium that could contact the deceased and also to be a physician of sorts, that could cure people of deafness, blindness and other ailments.  The family home was a shack was situated near a couple of major routes for travellers.

   They set up their home as a stopping off spot for travellers, offering food, drink and even a bed for the night.  Sometimes Kate occupied it with a gentleman.  But one day, a man disappeared and his brother traced his movements, and came upon the Bender residence.  He came back some weeks later with a posse but the Benders convinced them they knew nothing.  Later, the man returned to the shack to find the Benders gone.  Then he spotted what looked like graves.  With help brought, he uncovered eleven bodies, including that of his brother.  What was thought to have happened is that the victim sat with his/her backs to a curtain, whilst being spoken to by Kate.  Then one of the men would strike the victim over the head with a large hammer, drag them into the curtained off part, steal whatever they had in possessions, strip the bodies, throw them through a trap door then later bury them outside.  If they were not dead through the blow, then their throats were cut.  A posse was set up to search the neighbouring Oklahoma territories, and it was said that they captured the Benders, gave them summary justice and divided up the monies they had on them, regarding it as a form of reward.  Yet, not everybody believed they had been caught and killed.  Search parties, for years still scoured the territories for proof of their demise but none was found.  In 1889, two women were brought from Detroit, with the claim that they were Mrs Bender & Kate, but nothing was ever proven.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Baby Farmers

If you research British history, you will find that we had serial killers going back a couple of hundred years but many would be surprised at the amount of serial killers that were women.  Most of these killers were the "Baby Farmers," women who took infants from women who could not or did not want to, nurture them.  For a fee, they would take them on, saying they would take care of their well being.  Nothing was further from the truth.  These women would either sell them on to other people, and there, any concern about them evaporated, or they would kill them.  Many were found in rivers, canals or other waterways, strangled, manually or with cords, or poisoned.  Some women put their little victims into cloth bags, which were weighted with bricks, then thrown into the water.  Some simply threw the bodies in.  The practice was far more widespread in England than in Scotland, and in 1868, the British Medical Journal reported that getting rid of unwanted or burdenous children was very simple, provided the parents had the fee.  It was thought that hundreds of baby farmers plied this sick trade during the nineteenth century. 

    One of the most infamous in Scotland was Jessie King, the "Stockbridge Baby Farmer."  She was known to have killed three children, and in 1888, she and her lover,Tom Pearson, were arrested for infanticide. At the High Court in Edinburgh, she declared that Pearson knew nothing about what she was doing, and so he was released.  Spared facing the noose, he then turned on his lover and gave evidence against her.  Jessie King became the last woman to be executed In Edinburgh.  Down over the border in England, there were seven women executed  between 1870 & 1907.  These were Margaret Waters aged 35.  She was hanged at Brixton Prison in 1870.  Annie Took, aged 44, from Exeter, who worked as a needlewoman.  She was hanged in 1879.  Then there was Amelia Elizabeth Dyer, 57, who threw her victims into the Thames at Reading.  They were in weighted bags.  She even told Police that they could tell who she killed by the tape she used.  She had worked for the Salvation Army but her charitable disposition did not extend to infants.  She was hanged at Newgate on June 10th 1896.

    Ada Chard-Williams was 24 when she stood on the scaffold.  She went on trial for murdering 21 month old Selina Jones.  She offered to take on the child for a fee, but the mother did not have the full fee.  She took the address of the new "parents" but when she later returned with the rest of the fee, the couple and the child were gone.  Then a baby was washed up in the Thames at Battersea.  It was September 1899.  The child was identified as Selina Jones.  Police now hunted addresses where the couple had lived but they had vanished.  Then the Police received a letter from none other than Ada Chard-Williams.  She admitted to being a baby farmer but claimed the child had been passed on to somebody else.  She and her husband were traced and arrested.  Evidence in their home linked them to Selina.  They stood trial for murder.  William Chard-Williams was acquitted, but Ada was convicted and sentenced to death.  She was hanged at Newgate by James Billington on March 6th 1900.  She was the second execution in the 20th century.  The first hanging was also a woman, Louisa Masset, also hanged at Newgate by James Billington.

    Then came a double hanging, and the only double hanging of women in the 20th century.  This was the case of 29 year old Amelia Sach, a red headed midwife that came from East Finchley.  Her accomplice was 54 year old Annie Walters.  They were charged with the murder of one three month old boy.  They were the first women to be executed at Holloway Prison and the men responsible for the task were again, William Billington, assisted by Henry Pierrepoint, on February 3rd 1903.  They were thought to have carried out at least 20 child murders. The other women executed at Holloway were Edith Thompson, Styllou Christofi, and most famously, Ruth Ellis.

    The last known baby farmer execution was that of 44 year old Rhoda Willis, who also used the name Leslie James.  She did her activities in Cardiff, but her trouble was, she was a heavy drinker.  She had taken in two babies but could not cope with both, so one was left on the doorstep of a Salvation Army house in Cardiff, with a note pleading for the baby to be cared for.  But the baby was not immediately found and later died from effects of cold weather.  The other newly born infant was found dead by Rhoda`s bed after she came in from a bout of drinking.  She denied murdering the baby but was charged, tried and convicted.  She was hanged at Cardiff Prison on August 14th 1907, by the now leading hangman, Henry Pierrepoint, assisted by his brother, Tom.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Daniel Conahan - The Hog Trail Killings

Daniel Conahan currently resides on Death Row, and if it is true that he was responsible for half of the murders he is suspected of, then he deserves to be where he is.  Like Michael Lupo, Conahan targeted males, a general trend for homosexual killers.  And gays are said to have an in-built vicious streak; Conahan certainly proved it.  Conahan was born May 11th 1954 in Charlotte County, Florida, then his family moved to Punta Gorda in Florida.  As a teenager, Conahan confessed to his parents that he was homosexual, an admission that appalled them.  Their response was to send him to see a Psychiatrist.  (As if you could ever be "cured" of a sexual orientation!!)  After graduating from Miami Norland High School in 1973, Conahan signed up for the Armed Forces and Joined the Navy, being stationed at Great Lakes in Illinois.  But his homosexuality kept rearing its head and in 1978, he was nearly court-martialled for solicitation, but this did not curtail him.  Months later, he was given a discharge after being involved in numerous fights, all due to his homosexuality.

    He moved to Chicago after being discharged and remained there for thirteen years before moving back to Punta Gorda and staying with his parents.  He trained for a job in medicine and in 1995, he qualified as a Practice Nurse.  But huge trouble was arising.  On February 1st 1994, a mutilated corpse of a man was found, with rope burns and the body had had it`s genitals cut off.  Police were unable to identify it.  The next body turned up on January 1st 1996.  A dog in North Port, Florida, had brought home a human skull.  A search of the area revealed the rest of the remains of a man.  This too, looked as if the genitals had been removed.  The skeleton remained a John Doe.  Then another body surfaced on March 7th 1996, but it was another three years before it was identified as John Melaragno.  Now the bodies were emerging quicker.  April 17th 1996, another skull was discovered, and shortly, the rest of the skeleton.  But cops received another shock;  they found a body of a man who had been raped, murdered and mutilated only days before.  He was identified as Richard Montgomery.  The other remains were identified as Ken Smith.

    Police started getting breaks when witnesses came forward and spoke about a man called Daniel Conahan.  One of them, Stan Burden, had made a complaint to Police in Fort Myers after Conahan had tied him to a tree and tried to strangle him.  Cops searched the home of Conahan and found evidence linking him to the attacks on Stan Burden & Richard Montgomery.  In Lee County, Conahan was charged with the attempted murder of Stan Burden on July 3rd 1996.  He was charged with the murder of Richard Montgomery in February 1997.  The attempted murder charge was dropped.  Conahan was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1999.  But more bodies kept turning up.  Another skeleton was discovered on May 22nd 1997 in Charlotte County. This was identified as Bill Patten who had disappeared in 1995. Then a body was found in 2000, two in 2001 and another in 2002.  Then in March 2007, eight skulls and remains were found, with two identified as men who had disappeared in 1995. The manner of deaths were said to be very similar.

    Some of those who survived were drifters who Conahan would give a lift to, then offer them money if they would let him take certain photos of them.  Being in need of money, they agreed.  Conahan would tie them to trees and take photos but would move in and use a knife.  A number of the remains had signs of genital mutilation.  Some escaped, possibly a dozen or more, did not.  Why did he do it?  Self hate?  Sadism? Only one man knows, and he is on Death Row.

Monday, 3 August 2015

David Gore - Serial Killer

David Alan Gore received a lethal injection on April 12th 2012, after being convicted for the murder of 17 year old Lynn Elliot in July 1983.  Gore did have an accomplice in crime, his cousin Fred Waterfield.  He escaped execution but received multiple life sentences.  Their downfall came when Lynn and a 14 year old friend were hitchhiking to Wabasso Beach, which lies north of Vero Beach, when they accepted a lift from Gore.  The girls were then driven to a house owned by Gore`s parents.  They raped both girls.  Lynn managed to escape, running naked through some trees but was spotted by Gore, who stopped her and dragged her back to the house, and then brutally shot her twice in the head.  Waterfield apparently left before the shots were fired.  But a young boy had witnessed what had happened and had summoned Police.  Gore was captured and the other girl was released.  Waterfield was later arrested.

    During questioning, Gore admitted other rapes and murders.  His other victims were three young girls and two women.  Gore led Police to the bodies of four of them.  The victims were 35 year old Judy Daley;  Gore had disabled her car, then waited for her to look for help.  She had been bathing alone on a beach.  He offered her a lift, then raped and murdered her, then dismembered her body, leaving some remains in one place and the rest, tossed into a canal.  This occurred in July 1981.  He led Police to where he left her remains.  Then a mother & daughter disappeared in 1983.  Hsiong Huang Ling, 48, and 17 year old Ying Hua Ling.  They were raped, murdered and put in steel drums.  Gore then buried the drums at the Orange Grove that he worked at.  Then another two young girls vanished; Barbara Byer & Angelica Lavallee, both aged 14, in May 1983.  They were raped, murdered and then dismembered.

    Yet, Gore had been caught in the act a couple of years before.  A woman going to her noticed a man trying to hide in the rear, but luckily a Police Officer was nearby.  He brought the intruder out at gunpoint.  It was David Gore, and he had a gun on him.  Gore was sentenced to 5 years but was released after 18 months!!  Just after he was released, he started his campaign of rape & murder.  This time he went to Death Row and paid the price in 2012.  Unbelievably, there was a claim by a "psychic" that he helped break the case.  How could he have, when it was the young lad who witnessed Lynn`s attempted escape and called the cops?  People will do anything for publicity and I do not have any time for these people.  They prey on the vulnerable and bereaved, and like to think of themselves as crime fighters!  Right!!!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Angela Sanford & "The Witchcraft Murder"

Mention the Wicca religion to most people, and they will think it is some form of witchcraft, or that it is a Pagan religion, will instantly believe it uses human sacrifice as part of it.  You may even conjure up images like "The Wicker Man" - though most men would probably think of the naked girls dancing around the fire!  In reality, it is an ancient  religion that worships the natural order of the Earth - my younger brother & sister follow it - and it probably made the heights of absurdity in the Rachel Nickell murder.  The actual killer, Robert Napper, was not a Pagan but the prime suspect for over a decade, Colin Stagg, was.  Knowing what kind of crap the tabloid press throw out to the public, it took on more sinister implications than was actual fact.  But there was a murder committed by someone claiming to be a witch, but it happened in the United States.  Angela Sanford claimed to be a follower of Wicca, and authorities believe the murder she was convicted of, was a sacrifice.  Followers of Wicca have spoken out that sacrifice or violence is not part of their religion.

    The participants in this drama were Angela Sanford, 30, & Joel Leyva, 52.  It was in March 2010 when they met up and went out to the desert outside Albuquerque, in New Mexico, to celebrate Beltane, an event in the Wicca religion.  Later on, a hiker come across a woman crouching behind a boulder, clad only in underwear.  She begged the man to call Police.  When the Police arrived, she told them that the man who was with her, had tried to rape her and she was forced to stab him in self defence.  But when Police surveyed the crime scene, they did not believe it happened the way she said.  Her clothes were neatly folded and the victim, Joel Leyva, had multiple stab wounds.  She claimed that she needed to relieve herself and that Leyva insisted on watching, and then pounced on her.  She said that she persuaded him to calm down by stripping down, then grabbing a knife and stabbing him three times.

    Police did not believe her and she was charged with murder.  She cut a deal and pleaded to 2nd degree murder and received 20 years.  In an interview with Forensic Psychiatrist Dr Michael Stone, she refused to say why her clothes were neatly folded when Leyva was supposed to have attacked her and she removed clothes in order to calm him.  Leyva was stabbed more than 11 times, yet she said she struck only three times.  She had no answer for the excess of knife wounds, save the "I must have blacked out" explanation.  Police believe it was premeditated and it could have been a "sacrifice" though Wicca followers have stated this has no place in their religion.  The only explanation then, is that she simply wanted to kill.  The only person who truly knows is Angela Sanford.