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|Bizarre Cases of the missing and murdered|| Rating:
|Posted: Sat Aug 18th, 2018 07:24 am||
Parents hovered over their children. Catholic schoolboys had become central characters in a real-life whodunit that stretched from Philadelphia to Phoenixville. It felt like everyone was a suspect.
More than four decades ago, 11-year-old Terry Bowers was stabbed to death while on a Boy Scout camping trip in Chester County.
Terry had been on a camping trip with Troop 275 from Darby's Blessed Virgin Mary parish. On April 24, 1970, the two dozen boys and six instructors had traveled to St. Basil the Great church, about 30 miles away in Chester County's East Pikeland Township, where they camped on an open field on church grounds — about 200 yards from the church buildings.
In the early hours of April 26, 1970, Terry was stabbed about four or five times while in his sleeping bag, according to news reports. Police at the time said they believed the weapon was a "Boy Scout knife or an ordinary pocket knife with a three-inch blade," the Inquirer reported.
Terry's sister, Maureen, who was 12 when Terry was killed, told the Daily News in 2012: "How did this happen? How does a boy get stabbed to death on the grounds of a Catholic church on a Boy Scout trip and nobody hears anything. The poor little guy came home in a body bag."
Numerous theories have abounded about who killed Terry. After the stabbing, Boy Scouts in Darby Borough were hooked up to polygraph machines and interrogated, the Daily News reported. Crime-scene investigators drained the pond outside St. Basil and swept the church's property with metal detectors.
Leads turned to dead ends.
A former scout and convicted rapist, Lawrence Wakely, who served time in state prison, once confessed to killing Terry in retaliation for being kicked out of the Boy Scouts. Wakely, according to documents, was a scout in Spring City, Chester County, around 1958 to 1960. But according to a state police investigator, who has since retired, Wakely had mental issues and did not know answers about the case that only the killer would have known, the Daily News reported. He was dismissed as a suspect.
A man found dead in unusual circumstances last month after expressing fear he was the target of a witch's curse died of heart failure, medical examiners reported yesterday.
The death of Christopher Case, 35, had drawn wide interest because he had told friends he feared he was under a witch's curse. The cause of death was acute myocarditis, said Rich Garner, a medical investigator with the King County Medical Examiner's office.
Officers found Case's clothed body April 18 in the waterless tub of his apartment in the 1300 block of North 152nd Avenue in North King County after they were asked to check on him by a woman friend in Fayetteville, N.C.
The woman, whose name was not disclosed, said Case, a former radio broadcaster in Raleigh, N.C., told her in phone calls that he was afraid a witch in San Francisco had put a curse on him.
The Fayetteville woman said Case told her the witch had cast a spell on him because he would not return her affections, according to King County police.
"There was no sign of a crime, no sign of violence, robbery or foul play," Garner said.
About 10 burned-down candles and crucifixes were found by investigating officers in Case's apartment, and lines of salt had been poured along the base of the apartment walls.
Another Fayetteville woman, Sammye Souder, a psychic and a teacher who was a friend of Case, said he expressed his fear to her in several phone calls a few days before his body was found.
Souder said Case was stable and healthy and did not believe in witchcraft. She said she advised him to get help.
|Posted: Sun Aug 19th, 2018 06:43 pm||
|I bet it was one of the other boy scouts that did it.
|Posted: Thu Aug 30th, 2018 04:21 pm||
This is one of those cases I never expected to see resolved!
“After 25 years a coroner using new DNA technology has identified the body of a man who was discovered crucified at the bottom of the Hawkesbury River in NSW. True Crime Australia's Charles Miranda has told Sky News known gambler Max Tancevski left his Sydney house in 1993 on a betting spree but has no known links to the underworld, despite investigations pursuing the possibility at the time he went missing. Mr Miranda says police still have no idea who committed the murder, but the information has been passed on to the cold case homicide squad to investigate further.”
|Posted: Sat Sep 1st, 2018 09:41 am||
On December 13, 1977, the Purple Aces, the men’s basketball team at the University of Evansville, were headed to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for a game. Shortly after takeoff, their twin-engine plane lost control and crashed in a nearby field. All 29 people aboard died.
Twenty-five died immediately on impact. Three people died later at the crash scene, and one individual died at the hospital. The whole team was gone . . . except for one player. Freshman David Furr had survived because he had not traveled with the team due to an ankle injury.
Some may call him lucky, but it didn’t last long. Two weeks after the crash, David Furr and his brother were killed after getting hit by a drunk driver. His death meant that all members of the Purple Aces basketball team had passed away by the end of 1977.
Curtis Pishon, 40, was working as a security guard for Venture Corporation in Seabrook when he disappeared during the early-morning hours of July 5, 2000.
Shortly before he went missing, Pishon's car caught fire.
"A few things happened that night," Chief Michael Gallagher said. "One was that Mr. Pishon's car was caught on fire. No. 2, which we discovered later, was that there were vending machines and a change machine that was broken into using a forklift that was on the property."
At about 3:20 a.m. July 5, Pishon's supervisor checked on him at his guard shack.
"Around 3:45, it was noticed that he was missing from his position, and two cars were seen driving away at a high rate of speed leaving the factory," Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati said.
Pishon served in the Army and was a retired police officer. He retired from the Concord Police Department after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a diagnosis that crushed him, family members said.
Pishon's cigarettes, lighter and lunch were in his guard shack, and his apartment was untouched. His credit card and bank activity stopped.
His body has never been found. The family had Pishon legally declared dead in 2008.
As of 2015, the family had offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of Pishon's body and the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for his death.
|Posted: Sat Sep 8th, 2018 11:24 pm||
On August 24, 1989 a police officer was stopped by a citizen in Anchorage, Alaska who told him about a man running down the road completely naked. As the officer arrived in the area of the McDonald's restaurant on Mt. View Drive, he saw the man running through the parking lot, then climb up a center flagpole all the way to the top. The nude man looked around as if he was surveying the area. The officer called up to him, but did not get a response. A witness said he shimmied up the flagpole "like a squirrel" then once on top he seemed to have a conversation with the eagle topper. He next spread his arms and kicked off as if to try to fly. He landed on his face as a result.
The police were never able to find his clothing or figure out from where he came. Fingerprints were sent out to all states, FBI and Canada with negative results. The autopsy showed no drugs in his system. A theory is that he may have jumped ship near Anchorage.
In September 1989 the John Doe was buried in a simple wooden coffin covered in gray felt at Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. "John Doe 1989-1989," the grave marker reads
New Orleans police have opened an investigation into the disappearance of a 3-year-old child following an Algiers house fire in 1984.
Remona Brown, who went missing on March 6, 1984, had just escaped a house fire that killed two of her brothers when she was last seen by her family.
The NOPD released an image of what Brown is believed to resemble in the present day at age 37. Brown was one of several siblings to escape from a fire in the 2600 block of Memorial Park Drive the day she went missing, according to her sister, who was 8 years old at the time.
Brown walked away from the scene, her sister said. At that point a vehicle occupied by a man and a woman stopped and asked the children if they needed assistance. The pair offered to watch Brown, her sister said, and Brown entered the vehicle.
The vehicle left the scene, and Brown has not been heard from since. A search of the home and the immediate area after Brown's disappearance didn't yield any results, according to the report from New Orleans police.
A WWL-TV investigative report identified the sister as Simona Brown, who filed a missing persons report this week.
Police did not open a missing person case at the time of Remona's disappearance, although investigators told the family they could open one, but that was never done, according to the report.
|Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2018 04:37 pm||
In May 2008, a film crew was shadowing police and expecting to see a routine call on the M6 Motorway in London. Instead, the crew of the reality show “Motorway Cops” was stunned by the bizarre situation that would play out before their cameras when they arrived to see two women, Sabina and Ursula Eriksson, dashing into oncoming traffic.
The Swedish twins had reunited only hours before the strange event. From the moment they were together they started behaving strangely, and embarked on a spontaneous trip to Liverpool. The sisters were kicked off a tour bus when they refused to check their bags and began acting suspiciously. It was then that they decided to take a shortcut across the busy freeway.
CCTV cameras capture the images of Sabina and Ursula creeping into the frame, hopping over the guard rail and running into the road without hesitation. Panic and chaos ensue as cars attempt to swerve out of the way to avoid the women; however, the sisters were unable to escape the fenders of the speeding cars.
Police and paramedics soon came and as they assessed the situation, it became progressively worse. As police stood with the twins on the side of the road, Ursula suddenly dashed back out into traffic as an officer tried his best to stop her. She managed to get out of his grip and was struck by a car. She suffered serious injuries to her legs.
Seconds later, Sabina followed in her sister’s footsteps and darted out into traffic too. Her body slammed into an oncoming car, rolled up the hood and flung into the air before smashing back onto the ground with a thud. The sound of screeching tires and screams rang in the wind as Sabina got right back up, rushed to the center median, and jumped back out into traffic again.
Surprisingly, both twins survived the incident and were taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation—but not without putting up a fight. The duo fought police and paramedics, insisting someone was trying to take their organs, and shouted at the individuals who were trying to help them.
Doctors couldn’t explain why the twins persistently ran into oncoming traffic, but some believed Sabina and Ursula had experienced a shared psychosis. The psychological disorder begins in the mind of one individual whose delusions are transmitted into another person.
Following the shared psychotic episode, Ursula was hospitalized in a mental facility for three months. Sabina on the other hand, was released back into society shortly after. Within hours of her release, she would murder a man.
Sabina was strolling down the street, still experiencing delusions, when she encountered two men. One of the men, Glenn Hollinshead, felt sorry for Sabina and wanted to help. He invited her to stay at his place, and even aided her in her search for her sister. The following day, Sabina stabbed Hollinshead five times and killed him.
The mentally unfit woman fled the scene with a hammer, and began striking herself in the head with it. Paramedics chased Sabina through the neighborhood and watched in horror as she leapt from a bridge. Miraculously, she survived the fall and was hospitalized.
Immediately following her hospitalization, she was charged with murder. She was sentenced to five years in prison. Hollinshead’s brother Gary blamed police for failing his brother by releasing Sabina out into society so quickly.
On October 9, 1994 a teen looking for a knife in an outhouse pit at Allison Lake Provincial Park, north of Princeton, made a tragic discovery.
He found a black garbage bag that had the bodies of two baby girls inside. Police said the twins were still attached to their umbilical cords and placenta.
“The autopsy confirmed that the pair were alive and healthy when they were left, and would have weighed in at around 6 lbs. each,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk in a media release.
“The infants were breathing when born and both would have survived if proper care had been provided following the birth.”
Police said officials looked through B.C. medical records for twin pregnancies but never found the girls’ mother.
RCMP said that could mean the woman didn’t receive medical care in the province for her pregnancy and may have been from another country or another part of Canada.
“It has never been determined if the newborns’ mother was involved in their death or whether she may have been a victim herself,” Moskaluk said.
“Someone is culpable for the two deaths and for 23 years now we have lacked the information to establish the evidence to make someone accountable for the infants’ deaths.”
Initial news reports indicated police were looking for two individuals – one described as heavily pregnant, 18-20 years old, 5’ 3” tall, and blond. A man in her company was described as a 20-year-old Caucasian with blond hair and a slim build.
That couple had been seen at Aspen Grove five days before the bodies were discovered, driving a white car with round taillights, that had boxes covered by a blue tarp in the backseat.
The police investigation extended across British Columbia, but an exhaustive review of medical records turned up no twin pregnancy that could have accounted for the babies.
The babies were ultimately buried in the Princeton Cemetery.
|Posted: Sat Sep 22nd, 2018 10:32 am||
In one of Knoxville's most horrific crimes, Channon Christian, 21, and boyfriend Christopher Newsom, 23, were carjacked, kidnapped, raped and slain in January 2007. Five suspects were identified. One was tried federally as an accessory. Four others were tried in Knox County Criminal Court.
Chipman Street resident Lemaricus Davidson was broke and angry. His girlfriend, Daphne Sutton, had left him. He had no car and no way to earn money.
"Selling dope, that's what I do," Davidson would later tell law enforcement.
Law enforcers knew, however, that Davidson was not simply a drug dealer. He was on parole for carjacking and, in the days leading up to the abduction of Christian and Newsom, was suspected in a series of robberies.
In the days before the couple's abduction, Davidson's brother Letalvis Cobbins came to Knoxville from Kentucky to stay with him. He brought along friend George Thomas and girlfriend Vanessa Coleman.
None of the three had jobs, money or vehicles. Cobbins and Thomas were homeless. Coleman had a salt-of-the-earth family to turn to for help but chose not to.
Davidson grew increasingly angry over what he viewed as the freeloading of his brother and his guests. He turned that anger on Sutton. She left him on Jan. 5, 2007.
A day later, Davidson had concocted a plan to solve all his woes. He, with help from Cobbins and a buddy, Eric Boyd, would carjack someone. Cobbins insisted that he wasn't happy with the idea.
Christian and Newsom disappeared Jan. 6, 2007, from the Washington Ridge apartment complex where Christian's best friend lived.
Hours later, Newsom's body was found alongside railroad tracks near Chipman Street in East Knoxville. He had been raped with an object and then shot three times. The final shot was delivered execution style.
He had been gagged with a sock stuffed in his mouth. His ankles were bound with his own belt. His hands were secured behind his back. His face was wrapped in a bandanna. His head was covered with a sweatshirt tied around his neck with shoestrings.
Forensic evidence showed that he had been raped in the final hours of his life. He was forced to walk barefoot to the railroad tracks that ran parallel to Chipman Street and shot in the neck and back. As Newsom lay paralyzed on the ground, the muzzle of a .22-caliber gun was placed against his covered head and fired. His body would later be wrapped up in a comforter, doused in gasoline and set afire.
Christian, meanwhile, was tied up inside the Chipman Street house of Davidson, a stranger to her. She was repeatedly raped orally, vaginally and rectally. At some point, she was savagely attacked in her genital region, either kicked or beaten with an object.
She suffered two blows to the head and was dragged into the carpeted living room of Davidson's Chipman Street home. Bleach was sprayed down her throat, an apparent effort to destroy DNA evidence.
She was hogtied with strips of fabric from a bedding set. Still alive, her body was encased in black garbage bags and her head wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag. Christian was then stuffed inside a trash can and left to die, slowly suffocating.
See link for trial info and aftermath. Too much info to C+P
On March 31, 2005, an elderly man was shopping at a thrift store in San Angelo when he suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack. Identification showed that his name was “Roger Smith.”
However, it turned out that his ID was fake and that he had lived in Texas under three other false identities over the years. Amazingly, the man had deliberately smoothed off and done damage to his own fingerprints.
Since fingerprint identification could not be made, this man was suspected of hiding some sort of criminal history. At one point, facial recognition experts believed that he might be the wanted Australian fugitive Elmer Crawford, who vanished after murdering his wife and three children in 1970.
However, DNA testing ruled out this possibility. Until he can be identified, the man will simply be known as “San Angelo John Doe
|Posted: Sun Sep 30th, 2018 02:29 pm||
Jill (Russell) Cahill was a mom who dedicated her life to her young children. She was a landscape artist. A sister. A daughter. And a victim of domestic violence. Abused at the hands of her husband, Jeff Cahill. It was a torturous time for the City of Tonawanda native living the Skaneateles area. Once Jill found strength to leave her abusive husband, things turned even more violent.
In April of 1998 – Cahill was beaten by her husband, James "Jeff" Cahill, with a baseball bat in front of their children at their Skaneateles home. Jill's older sister Debbie Jaeger remembers hearing the gruesome details of the April beating . "She was out to the mudroom to the backyard when he hit her for the first time with the baseball bat. He then dragged her into the kitchen and hit the her five, six or seven times altogether." The family prayed for her survival, but did not know what to expect because the injuries were so severe Debbie Jaeger said, "her head was swollen like a pumpkin. A fractured eye sockets, broken arm from defense wounds. She took numerous blows to the head." It was a terrible beating, but Jill, so strong, survived. She was slowly recovering in the hospital.
Then, tragically, six months later, while out on bail, Jeff Cahill put on a wig and a phony janitor uniform and walked into University Hospital in Syracuse armed with cyanide. He entered his estranged wife Jill's room and forced the poison into her mouth, killing her.
Cahill was sentenced to 25 years to life for second-degree murder and 12 to 25 years for first degree assault in the murder of his wife Jill Cahill in October 1998. He will be eligible for parole in 2036.
A man who claimed in a controversial documentary that he was U.S. Special Forces soldier lost during the Vietnam War is an imposter, according to the missing soldier’s family, which cited DNA test results.
In “Unclaimed,” Dang Tan Ngoc alleged he was Army Sgt. 1st Class John Hartley Robertson, who went missing following a helicopter crash over Laos in 1968. The film, which premiered in the U.S. last year at the annual GI Film Festival, evoked impassioned responses from all sides of the POW/MIA issue.
Directed by Emmy Award winner Michael Jorgensen, it followed the journey of Vietnam veteran Tom Faunce as he looked into Ngoc’s claims and laid out an intriguing circumstantial case that he could be Robertson, despite government denials.
At the time of the documentary, friends and members of Robertson’s family were convinced he was the missing GI. But, it was not to be.
“We have received the results of the [nuclear] DNA test, and sadly there was NOT a match,” Robertson’s niece, Cyndi Hanna, wrote on her GoFundMe webpage that raised money for the test. “This is very disappointing.”
Hanna could not be reached for comment, but wrote that an Alabama-based forensics laboratory compared a recent sample from Robertson’s nephew with a blood stain collected from Ngoc.
Gail Metcalf, daughter of Robertson’s sole surviving sister, Jean Robertson-Holley, who was featured during an emotional reunion with Ngoc in the film, thanked Faunce and others for bringing Ngoc to their attention, something they have accused the government of neglecting to do. The family members reiterated that they believe the man is an American and will continue to seek his U.S. family.
“Regardless of DNA test results, my family does believe the man we’ve met is an American, a strong likelihood bolstered by the oxygen isotope analysis performed on his tooth” Metcalf wrote in a statement on behalf of her mother.
“As my mother has said, we only want to do right by my Uncle John, and if that means exploring the possibility that the U.S. government has made a mistake or that the man claiming to be my uncle is actually another lost American and doesn’t know who he is, we intend to seek the truth on our own terms.”
She said the family would not speak publicly again.
During filming for “Unclaimed,” Ngoc had a tooth removed and provided it to Faunce and the filmmaking team. The tooth was analyzed by Lesley Chesson, senior scientist at Salt Lake City’s IsoForensics Inc., which stated it is “very likely” that Ngoc grew up in America.
Tooth enamel stores a chemical record of childhood living environment, such as local climate and geology. This can be analyzed and matched against factors in different regions around the world.
However, there is a margin of error, and certain characteristics of the analysis matched other places, from the Scandinavian peninsula to the Tibetan plateau.
The controversy surrounding Robertson began during a 2008 humanitarian mission when Vietnam veteran Tom Faunce heard about a man claiming to be Robertson. Tormented by his own memories of the war and plagued by survivor’s guilt, Faunce made it his mission to investigate. He formed a team and returned to Vietnam to meet with Ngoc, who bore a striking resemblance to Robertson.
Robertson was last seen on May 20, 1968, aboard a Vietnamese Air Force H-34 helicopter that came under heavy enemy ground fire, according to a Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office statement released earlier this year. The helicopter struck a row of trees, exploded into flames and crashed. American servicemembers who witnessed the crash reported there were no survivors, but Robertson’s body was never found.
In several meetings with Faunce, Ngoc — who is forgetful and can’t speak English — told an interpreter he recalled jumping from a helicopter before it crashed and being taken prisoner. He showed Faunce serious scars he said were proof that he had been involved in the crash. After four or five years, he was put to work in the fields where a local nurse helped him escape and start over under a false identity. They later married and had children.
|Posted: Fri Oct 5th, 2018 06:31 pm||
Two stories this week:
The first covers 3 babies that were found dead over the course of almost 2 decades in the waters of Minnesota. The babies were born alive and healthy. A DNA test was done on the Baby Does and the results provided a surprising twist on the case.
The we look at the case of a bank manager who found a ransom note on her bank's door. Despite the warnings on the letter, she contacted the police. She later suffered a horrific fate and the police believe the would-be bank robbers are behind it. However, this investigation is turned on its head when a grandmother brings new information to the authorities.
|Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2018 07:04 pm||
|Here's a fresh one from this weekend:
Residents in an apartment block awoke to find a note had been stuck to their door using several knives.
The piece of A4 paper - bearing an "illegible" message scrawled in an unknown language - was found in David Place, St Helier, Jersey.
A picture shows three blades driven through the note, with a fourth plunged into the door itself.
Police said it was unclear who the message was for, but there was no history of threats on the building.
Let's hope it's a Halloween prank and not the start of something heinous!
Assistant US Attorney Jonathan Luna was found stabbed 36 times. His hands were slashed & his scrotum & throat was slashed. Nevertheless, the FBI theorized he committed suicide.
On December 3, 2003, Jonathan Luna was putting together the plea deal for Poindexter and Smith. Why he left his office at 11:38 PM is never actually explained, but he did leave his eyeglasses and phone before leaving the garage. This is crucial because Luna needed his glasses
Jonathan Luna’s final journey saw him arrive in Newark, DE where he pulled $200 from an ATM at 1 AM. He drove through New Jersey afterwards. A bloodstained toll ticket showed him arriving in Pennsylvania just past 4 AM. The blood on the ticket showed that Luna had been injured prior to when his body was found
DISCOVERY OF LUNA
The hour between when he arrived and when his body was found in Denver, PA is mired in mystery. At 5:30 AM, a Sensenig & Weaver Well Drilling employee found Jonathan Luna’s Honda Accord over a creek with the engine still running. There was blood on the front, the passenger’s seat on the driver’s side, and driver’s side door.
Luna had sustained 36 stab wounds with his own penknife. The pathologist, Dr. Gary Kirchner, said that his hands had been “shredded” and that his scrotum and throat had both been slashed. After the brutal attack, Luna drowned to death in the creek. Inside the car investigators found that the purchased toll tickets had blood smeared on them. Additionally, the puddle of blood in the back seat and footwell indicated that Luna hadn’t been driving the car, but somebody else. Inside the car was an unidentified fingerprint in the blood as well as blood from an unidentified source.
Dr. Barry Walp, at the time the Lancaster County coroner, found that it was a homicide by drowning. However, in an investigation of the scene, police eventually found what they believed to be the murder weapon—Luna’s pocket knife.
Going back to the missing $36,000 from 2002, one theory was that Jonathan Luna was stressed by his debt and committed suicide. The coroner that took over after Dr. Walp, Dr. G. Gary Kirchner, was rumored to have been pushed towards marking the death as a suicide. Since he didn’t, Luna’s death remains an open investigation almost 14 years later.
On November 6, 1987, a teenage boy stole a Corvette from a dealership in Clearwater, Florida and then stole a tank of gas from a local gas station. The police caught up with him soon thereafter, and the boy led them on a high speed chase down I-75, exceeding 120 mph.
Unfortunately the inevitable happened. He crashed through a guardrail, crossed the median, and hit a semi truck head-on. The gas tank ignited and anything that could have been used to identify him perished in the flames with him. Needless to say, his body was burned beyond recognition.
Witnesses at the gas station described the boy as white, between 16 and 18 years old, having Italian features, a slender build, and dark, medium-length hair. He stood between 5’9 and 6’1.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children put together a composite of what he might have looked like. However investigators concede that since the boy’s skull was shattered into fragments, there’s no way to know how accurate the composite is.
|Posted: Sat Oct 20th, 2018 01:16 pm||
MOUNT PLEASANT, MI — In 2012 24-year-old Rebekah Gay was murdered by a neighbor who served as a pastor at a nearby church, John D. White.
Police believe White attacked Rebekah Gay in the hallway of her mobile home early in the morning on Oct. 31, 2012, using a rubber mallet to hit her several times on the head and tightening a zip-tie around her neck to stop her breathing.
Police have said Gay's son, who was 3 at the time, was home during the attack and that White cared for the boy before delivering him to his father after dressing him in his Halloween costume.
White was arrested later on Oct. 31 on charges of first-degree murder and open murder after police say he confessed to killing Gay. He told police he had fantasized about killing the woman and having sex with her dead body for weeks before and admitted, according to court records, to watching pornography that depicted acts of necrophilia.
White also told police where he disposed of the body and other evidence in the case, which deputies reported finding where White told them to look.
White had served as a pastor at nearby Christ Community Fellowship, located on Gilmore Road.
A 55-year-old White pleaded guiltyin Isabella County Trial Court in March 2013 to killing Gay inside her mobile home on Coldwater Road in Broomfield Township. Weeks later, a judge sentenced White to 56 years in prison.
In August, White, then 56 years old, was found hanging in his cellinside the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia. He was pronounced dead from self-inflicted asphyxiation; an apparent suicide.
A former friend of White's, Frederick Nicholl of Augusta, Michigan, said he believes the Isabella County slaying is not the first time White killed.
Nicholl pointed to the Kalamazoo County killing of Vicki Wall, White's mistress, in 1994.
"I knew that he was guilty," Nicholl said.
White and Nicholl met in 1984 after both serving in the U.S. Navy. Both worked as long-haul truckers in the late 1980s and early 1990s and spent hours together riding in truck cabs, Nicholl said.
Around the time of Wall's disappearance in 1994, Nicholl said, White talked to him and another friend about suicide to spare his family the pain and embarrassment of another trial.
White had been convicted in 1981 of assault with intent to murder, in the stabbing of a 17-year-old woman in Calhoun County.
John White sentencingJohn D. White enters the courtroom of Isabella County Chief Circuit Judge Paul H. Chamberlain on Thursday, April 18, 2013, for his sentencing in the murder of Rebekah Gay. White, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Oct. 31 homicide of Gay at her home on Coldwater in Broomfield Township near Mount Pleasant, was sentenced to a minimum term of 56 years in prison.Jeff Schrier | MLive.com
"He said it would be maybe a week or so, then his wife would have suicide letters she would hand out that would explain everything," Nicholl said.
The next night, he said, he spotted White riding his bicycle down the side of the road and his friend told him he was on his way to kill himself. Nicholl said when he arrived at White's home to check on his family, the man's wife asked if her husband was already dead and said she suspected he had killed someone.
A forensic pathologist could not determine the cause of the 26-year-old woman's death because of the badly decomposed state of the body when it was found. White eventually pleaded no contest to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, for which he served about 12 years in prison.
During the sentencing hearing in the Isabella County case, Gay's mother spoke. Sally Gay asked why White was twice let out of prison after committing "heinous crimes" against women.
"I stand here today to be the voice of Rebekah because she no longer has a voice," Gay said.
Rebekah Gay was "the heart and soul" of the family, Sally Gay said, and she was ready to start her own family with boyfriend Aaron Quinn, who had planned to give her a diamond ring on the night of her murder.
While visiting a secluded Clay County cemetery in rural Kentucky in 2009, Jerry Weaver, his wife, and their young daughter came across a deceased male dangling from a tree with a rope tied around his neck. The victim had been gagged. His wrists, feet, and eyes had been duct-taped, and he only wore a pair of socks. The word “Fed” was scrawled on his chest, and an identification tag was duct-taped to the side of his neck.
His identity was later confirmed as 51-year-old Bill Sparkman who worked part-time for the United States Census Bureau. Investigators were horrified at the grotesque nature of the crime, yet they were puzzled by the lack of evidence of a struggle.
Sparkman’s body showed no signs of defensive wounds or trauma, his toxicology results were negative, and his knees were less than 15 centimeters (6 in) from the ground. There was no DNA, other than his own, on the rope or the rag in his mouth.
After further investigation, state police, the FBI, the medical examiner’s office, and the Clay County coroner ruled that the cause of death was a suicide. Sparkman, who had survived a bout of cancer, had recently confided to a friend that he believed that the cancer had returned and would be fatal. After Sparkman’s death, the medical examiner determined that Sparkman’s cancer had not returned.
Investigators concluded that Sparkman staged the ghastly scene before killing himself to preserve for his son $600,000 in benefits from two life insurance policies. The benefits would only be paid if he died of an accident or murder but not natural causes or suicide.
In the end, his dreadful scheme proved futile as no insurance payment was issued.
|Posted: Sat Oct 27th, 2018 09:19 am||
A previously unassuming family man, Michael Taylor lived in England with his wife and five children. By all accounts, this was a happy 1970s nuclear family. All of that changed when Mr. Taylor joined a mysterious church known as the “Christian Fellowship Group,” led by a charming and beautiful 21-year-old named Marie Robinson. Marie and Michael soon began spending inordinate amounts of time together, and even leading church services where they would speak in tongues and “exorcise” congregation members.
Christine Taylor accused her husband of having an affair with Marie, due to his absences. This all culminated in a 24-hour exorcism after which the priests, exhausted and terrified, claimed to have removed all but the demons of “insanity, anger, and murder” from the man’s body.
Not two hours later, possibly overtaken by these demons, possibly not, he violently and brutally murdered his wife and their dog. Christine’s eyes and tongue were ripped out. Michael was found on the street naked and covered in blood. He was eventually sent to Broadmoor Hospital and has since spent time in and out of psychiatric wards and the court system.
On October 27, 2007, 38-year old Joel Lovelien and his fiancée, Heather Eastling, went to a Halloween party at the Broken Drum Lounge and Casino in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Joel dressed up as a hockey player and wore the green jersey for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. At around 11:30 PM, Joel received a call on his cell phone and stepped outside to answer it. A few minutes later, Joel returned to the bar and told Heather that he was going back outside to check on someone who had been left behind by a bus. Shortly thereafter, Joel’s body was discovered in the parking lot. He was seriously beaten and suffered a massive head injury and died from choking on his own blood. The only piece of evidence was a yellow paw in the parking lot with blood on it.
Police sent out a plea for a man seen at the bar wearing a yellow sweatshirt, which was made up to look like a lion costume, thereby explaining the presence of the paw. Within two days, a 23-year old nursing student named Travis Stay came forward. He verified being at the Broken Drum on the night of Joel’s death, but had become so intoxicated that there was a one-hour time period where he could not remember anything. Travis claimed he recalled being punched by a man dressed like a hunter in the parking lot before blacking out and the next thing he remembered was arriving at his apartment in a taxi. When he was questioned, Travis had bruises on his face and cuts on his hands, but was certain he had not harmed anyone. He willingly turned over his shoes, which had blood on them, and allowed police to search his apartment, where they found a yellow sweatshirt with blood on it in the trash. While the blood on Travis’ shoes belonged to him, DNA testing revealed that the blood on the sweatshirt belonged to Joel Lovelien. He was subsequently charged with Joel’s murder.
At trial, Travis’ defense team maintained that since he was only five-foot-nine and 160 pounds and Joel was six-foot-four and 240 pounds, Travis was not capable of beating him to death, particularly since Joel had no offensive wounds on his hands. They acknowledged that Travis was likely in the parking lot when Joel was killed, but pointed toward other suspects as being responsible. Travis had arrived at the Broken Drum on a party bus containing 40-50 people in Halloween costumes, who chartered the bus to chauffeur them around the town on an all-night pub crawl. After Travis pulled one of the costumed partiers, James Wavra (who was dressed as a hunter), to the ground in the parking lot, he was punched out and told he wasn’t allowed back on the bus. The prosecution’s theory was that Joel went over to help Travis, who was so enraged about being punched out that he took out his aggression on Joel and beat him to death.
The party bus was gone by the time police arrived at the Broken Drum, but they were able to track down some of the partiers through descriptions of their costumes. The organizer of the party bus was Bryce Larson, who was dressed as a cowboy. When approached by police at another bar, Larson was very uncooperative and aggressive and allegedly mentioned Joel’s green hockey jersey before he was even told what happened. Police also tracked down another partier named Jon Deziel, who was dressed as a clown. He appeared to be crying, his hands were shaking and was heard saying: “I guess things got out of hand tonight”. The investigations into Larson and Deziel came to a halt once Travis Stay showed up on the radar.
At trial, Travis’ defence team put all their focus on the party bus, alleging that Larson and two of his friends, Mitchell Dahlen and Josh Deziel (Jon Deziel’s brother), planned to teach Travis a lesson for his attack on James Wavra. When Joel attempted to intervene, the trio wound up beating Joel to death, causing his blood to spill on Travis’s clothing. Larson admitted that they did go after Travis in the parking lot before Joel intervened, but the two sides only had a friendly conversation before they hopped on the bus and left the scene. However, the defence produced surveillance footage from inside the Broken Drum that night, which showed Jon Deziel (distinctly dressed as a clown) exiting the bar three-and-a-half minutes after Joel went outside for the final time. Since Deziel was established as being on the party bus when it left the scene, this meant the bus was still parked there for several minutes while Joel was outside, leaving ample time for him to be beaten up by Larson and his friends.
The prosecution also produced a witness from that night named Steve Raasakka, who claimed that while walking home from the Broken Drum, he was followed by Travis, who subsequently took a failed swing at Raasakka and fell to the ground. However, the defence used this incident to their advantage, stating that if Travis was so drunk that he fell over while attempting to punch James Wavra and Steve Raasakka, how would he have been capable of beating Joel Lovelien to death? In the end, after deliberating for six hours, the jury thought there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit Travis. However, the prosecution and the police continued to maintain that they got the right man all along. They’ve pretty much established that the investigation into Joel’s murder is now closed and they will not be pursuing any other suspects.
|Posted: Mon Nov 5th, 2018 11:39 am||
The New Orleans Police Department is intensifying its scrutiny of a man who oversaw the force's child-abuse investigations before he was unmasked as a pedophile
Police confirmed Thursday that a detective specializing in cold homicide cases is revisiting the mysterious death of a 17-year-old boy named Edward Wells, whose corpse was discovered in the Mississippi River in 1982.
At the time, the case was handled by child-abuse investigator Stanley Carl Burkhardt, who publicly theorized that the teen had been murdered while selling sex to a man.
Years after Wells' death, Burkhardt was exposed as a child molester, and two of his alleged victims now say that Burkhardt showed a photo to them that they believe was the teen's body.
Both victims, now adults, have contacted police in recent weeks to file formal abuse complaints — kicking off an investigation into Burkhardt by the NOPD that appears to be expanding in its scope even as it remains unclear what, in particular, investigators may be probing.
Vic “V.J.” Groomer, 54, one of the two alleged victims of Burkhardt, has now also decided for the first time to publicly tell his story of being sexually abused at the hands of the former police detective when Groomer was about 8.
In the early 1970s, he said, Burkhardt moved into an apartment complex managed by Groomer's parents, and the abuse began shortly afterwards.
Groomer opted to share his story shortly after another man, Richard Windmann, told The Advocate that he had been sexually abused by Burkhardt in his adolescence. Windmann also has filed a complaint with the NOPD about the abuse.
Windmann has declined to discuss the particulars of his complaint to the NOPD with The Advocate, saying he doesn’t want to interfere with the investigation. But he and Groomer shared one eerily similar recollection: Both said they were shown photos of the dead bodies of children Burkhardt claimed were murdered.
In one email to The Advocate, Windmann described Burkhardt showing him a photo specifically of a decomposed corpse that the police officer said was of a French Quarter “hustler” named “Eddie” who had been “fished out … of the Mississippi River” — a description that fits Wells' case.
Whenever Windmann said he was reluctant to do a favor that Burkhardt wanted, the cop would threateningly ask him, “Do you want to end up like Eddie?”
At one point, Windmann said, Burkhardt claimed responsibility for Wells' death. Windmann conceded the possibility that was just an empty boast, but he said he was frightened.
Wells’ body was recovered on May 9, 1982, and Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard’s office determined he had “probably drowned” after an autopsy revealed no signs of foul play, according to a Times-Picayune article published months later.
But Burkhardt — a sex crimes detective at the time — had his own theory about what happened, reporter Walt Philbin wrote in a story published on Aug. 5 of that year. Burkhardt believed Wells had been murdered.
Two reasons he cited to Philbin: the “dangerous lifestyle Wells maintained,” exchanging sex for money from older men in the French Quarter, and the fact that the teen didn’t have a list of his clients’ names on him when his body was recovered.
“Maybe Eddie got into the wrong car with the wrong guy,” Philbin quoted Burkhardt as saying. The cop also described trying to convince Wells to leave hustling behind when their paths crossed while Burkhardt was on the job.
In 1952, Keith Parkins was just two years old when he disappeared from his grandfather’s ranch in Ritter, Oregon. The family searched for him for several hours across multiple miles of terrain, and yet they couldn’t find him. The next day, Keith was finally found alive but unconscious. He was lying face down in the snow, and it is truly shocking that he survived the night. He was 13 kilometers (8 mi) away from his family’s ranch. His clothing was ripped, and he had removed his jacket.
In the Missing 411 documentary, Les Stroud, also known as the “Survivor Man,” reenacted the walk that Keith would have made in 1952. Little Keith would have had to pull off 19 hours of nonstop walking and climbing in order for him to get to the location where he was found. Theorists find it very hard to believe that the two-year-old boy could have made this journey on his own. They postulate that he was possibly abducted. During the documentary, Keith is interviewed, but he does not remember all of the details of that night
|Posted: Sat Nov 10th, 2018 05:41 pm||
In the spring of 1985, three little girls - Bernisa, Gloria, and baby Alicia - watched Jorge Walter Nuñez murder their mother, Nilsa Padilla. He beat her to death, then dismembered her body, stuffed her torso into a green trash bag, and threw her into the sea. Her body parts, and the body parts of a man - dismembered in what investigators deemed the same fashion - washed up along beaches in Miami throughout the first weeks of April that year. She wouldn't be identified until 2013, when Gloria finally convinced a detective she was telling the truth about seeing her father murder her mother. The man whose body parts washed up with Nilsa's remains unidentified. Police believe Nuñez killed him, too, around the same time. The man was white and/or Hispanic, 20-40 years old, had a crude tattoo with the initials "L.R." on his right shoulder, a previously sutured large scar on his back, and a wide gap in his front teeth, one of which was chipped. He was around 5'7" and 145lb.
Bernisa and Gloria would be terrorized by Nuñez for years, but they survived. They were taken from Nuñez in 1989, changed their last names, and escaped while he was jailed for their abuse. Thanks to them, we know what happened to their mother and little sister.
This is how the sisters remember the last time they saw Alicia:
Only a few weeks after their mother's death - so, around April or May of 1985 - Nuñez drove to a trailer park in Miami to pick up a welfare check. Here, for an imagined slight, Nuñez hit 2-year-old Alicia and she went limp. He left their U-Haul with her slung over his shoulder, claiming he was going for help. Bernisa and Gloria never saw Alicia again. Alicia Padilla-Guzman was born on July 4th, 1982. Today, she would be 36 years old. She is of Puerto Rican and Peruvian descent. She had black hair and brown eyes.
In January 1987, teenagers Annie and Jessica Andrews heard loud knocking sounds coming from their bedroom walls. They also found blood-red writing on the walls: “I’m back. Find me if you can.” The girls had recently lost their mother and believed there was a spirit trying to make contact. When the girl’s father found a young boy standing in the house wearing a dress belonging to his deceased wife and holding a hatchet, he chased him from the house. Police later found a crawl space in the house and that the “ghost” was 17-year-old Daniel LaPlante.
Following a short sentence in a juvenile detention center, La Plante was released, and he turned his attention to a different family. On December 1, 1987, he assaulted and shot 33-year-old Priscilla Gustafson and then drowned her children, seven-year-old Abigail and five-year-old William, in their family home in Townsend, Massachusetts. He was sentenced to life behind bars for his horrendous, deplorable actions.
|Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2018 06:57 pm||
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