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|Bizarre Cases of the missing and murdered|| Rating:
|Posted: Sun Mar 17th, 2019 07:51 am||
9/11 Conspiracy in song...
The Marin County Courthouse incident.
17 year old Jonathan Jackson smuggled three guns into the courthouse and kidnapped judge Harold Haley, freeing three other prisoners involved in the trial. The idea was to secure the release of his incarcerated brother. He took several hostages, who he tied with piano wire. He also duct-taped his shotgun to the judges' head. They made it to a van and started to go to a radio station where they were going to tell the public about the disgraceful prison conditions. But the cops opened fire on the car and killed the kidnappers. The judge took a shotgun blast to the face at some stage.
After her husband's death, Rosa Wurtzer and her children lived in poverty. She tried to make a living via dressmaking and other jobs, and was supported by the county with $15 a month since June 1899, as well as the charity of her neighbours. The financial difficulties obviously preyed on her mind and she feared that her family would end as white slaves.
According to Wurtzer's court testimony the idea of murdering her children came to her on the evening of February 23, having been inspired by a book she had been reading. Around 5:30 p.m. that day she threw her son George down a thirty feet deep well near her home, followed by the twins Joseph and Mary. Henry Hagerman, the town marshal, who passed by after she had thrown down the first two children, did not notice anything unusual at the time. Wurtzer's daughter Rosa was last seen alive at 6:30 p.m. when she went to the home of the neighbouring marshal and asked for a bucket of water
When five of her children were in the well the 38-year-old herself jumped down and then persuaded her eldest daughter Rosa to follow them, by telling her that they should leave this wicked world and join their father in heaven. According to Wurtzer all the children were still alive at that time and pleaded for their lives, when she proceeded to drown them, though the coroner came to the conclusion that the children had been strangled before they were thrown down the well and that the necks of five of them were broken.
After killing her children Wurtzer attempted to drown herself by standing on her head, and when failing to do so unsuccessfully tried to hang herself with the well rope. She was discovered by Hagerman at 1 p.m. the following afternoon when she called out for him, whereupon she and the dead children were recovered from the well. She was then confined in a room in her house until the arrival of the coroner.
At 9 p.m. the same night Wurtzer asked her guards to leave her alone, so she could sleep. In the minutes of the guards' absence she escaped through a window and went to the home of Peter Jacobs, where she broke a window and scared the occupants. Afterwards she went to the residence of the Koester family, where she asked to be let in, and grappled with Mrs. Koester as soon as she opened the door. Wurtzer was forthwith overpowered by Mr. Koester and his brother and escorted back to her home.
Wurtzer was summoned before the superior court on February 25, where she confessed and stated that she was not sorry for the murders, because her children were "now in heaven, safe out of this wicked world." Two physicians who examined her came to the conclusion that she was insane and suffered from religious melancholia. She was sent to the Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake the same afternoon.
Shortly before his death Wurtzer's husband Joseph told a fellow traveller that she was without a doubt crazy, and the day prior to the murders she threw away a bucket of skimmed milk she had been given by a neighbour, thinking that it was poisoned.
|Posted: Sat Mar 23rd, 2019 06:27 am||
An extra marital affair went on for eight years, and ended with an attempted murder. 16 years later a body was found dismembered in a river. Some think that the bad blood from the stormy break up may have lead to murder. An intriguing cold case from the 1930s-40s.
On Jan. 16, 1992 15-year-old Debra "Debbie" Grabher left her home around 6:30 a.m to go to West High School where she attends. She lived in Salt Lake City, Utah with her mother and mother's partner in a duplex.
The next day police were called when a witness saw a white transient looking man with long hair and a long green and thick army coat pushing a shopping cart with a large number of blankets obvious wrapping something in a grocery cart. The victim was brought to 743 W. South Temple. The man then removed the blanket pile to a pile of debris in an open field and covered it. The suspect left on foot.
Unwrapping it inside Debbie's body was found. Her cause of death is unreleased. She had to have been kidnaped and killed close to home as her body was found. There were no reports of a struggle or anything suggesting a big fight or anything.
Two blankets that wrapped her one was pink and one was green. The pink one seemed to be a bedspread. The green one seemed to have not been used as a blanket and may be used as a rug. It had cigarette burns, grease, and was extremely dirty with the bottom cut off.
The man left a footprint in the ice and snow at the scene. He was wearing a pair of brand new Outback boots.
Debbie's life didn't involve trouble or drugs. There was a house behind her families though had questionable characters coming in and out. It had been raided due to illegal activity happening there. Incidents of drugs, assaults and other illegal activity happened at the home.
|Posted: Sat Mar 30th, 2019 01:04 pm||
|From late July to early August 1942, a full division of Japanese soldiers tried to force a difficult crossing in New Guinea’s rugged central highlands. They were opposed by a few companies of Australian regulars, who managed to not only halt the advance, but to drive it back from the mountain pass. When the Australians searched the abandoned Japanese camp for signs of prisoners they had lost earlier in the fighting, what they found shocked them to their core.
From the firsthand account of Australian Corporal Bill Hedges,
“The Japanese had cannibalised our wounded and dead soldiers…We found them with meat stripped off their legs and half-cooked meat in the Japanese dishes…I was heartily disgusted and disappointed to see my good friend lying there, with the flesh stripped off his arms and legs; his uniform torn off him…We found dumps with rice and a lot of tinned food. So they weren’t starving and having to eat flesh because they were hungry.”
This wasn’t a one-off event. Several firsthand accounts attest to Japanese officers, sometimes very senior ones, participating in ritualized cannibalism. An Indian captive, held for the duration of the war in a series of Japanese POW camps, later attested to what he saw when an American pilot was captured. According to Havilar Changdi Ram:
“About half an hour from the time of the forced landing, the Kempeitai beheaded the pilot. I saw this from behind a tree and watched some of the Japanese cut the flesh from his arms, legs, hips, and buttocks and carry it back to their quarters. I was so shocked at the scene and I followed the Japanese just to see what they would do with the flesh. They cut it in small pieces and fried it. Later that evening, a very senior Japanese officer, of the rank of Major-General, addressed a large number of officers. At the conclusion of his speech, a piece of fried flesh was given to all present, who ate it on the spot.”
Furthermore we have this document captured during the war and authenticated in 1946 by the battalion commander, Major Matoba himself, regarding the treatment of eight American naval aviators captured in 1944. Incidentally, the ninth aviator – and the only man to survive the mission – was future President George H.W. Bush, who was lucky enough to be picked up by a nearby submarine before he could be captured:
In 1971, a woman named Alta Highsmith placed a newspaper advertisement seeking a babysitter for her one year-old daughter, Melissa. An older woman who said her name was Ruth Johnson responded to the ad and was hired sight unseen. She arrived as scheduled to pick up Melissa from the apartment the child and her mother shared with a roommate, but she did not return at the end of the day. Neither Melissa not the babysitter, whose name was likely not "Ruth Johnson", has been seen again.
|Posted: Thu Apr 11th, 2019 09:04 pm||
18-year-old Josh Maddux went for a walk on May 8th, 2008. He vanished.
In August 2015, less than a mile from Josh's home, Chuck Murphy was demolishing his old wood cabin to make way for a property development. The cabin hadn’t been used in years and inside was damp, the stuffy space smelt badly of rot. As they tore down the chimney, they made a grim discovery. Crammed inside the brickwork lay the mummified body of Joshua Maddux.
The Maddux family were stunned when the news of the discovery of Josh’s body was delivered. His sister Kate said:
“The situation doesn’t make any sense at all. We were really expecting him to be anywhere else in the world and he was actually very close. The only thing we can figure is he was being an 18-year-old kid, checking out a cabin — it had already been abandoned for a long time — and a horrible accident happened.”
Al Born, the Teller County coroner undertook an autopsy and found no evidence of any drugs in Josh’s system.
“It was not an instant death. How he died is only a matter of speculation, but we know he did not starved to death because that takes many weeks. So then you go down the chain and you have dehydration, which can take just a few days and the other thing would be hypothermia, which could take a day or two. We have no evidence to say which one came first.”
Eventually, on the 28th September 2015, after failing to find any rational cause, Born made a ruling of “Accidental Death”. Born suggested that Josh had climbed down the chimney and become lodged in the brickwork. He concluded the most likely cause of death was Hypothermia, as the temperature around the time of his disappearance had dropped to -6 Celsius at it’s coldest. Chuck Murphy, however, found this conclusion to be far from satisfactory.
Immediately following the ruling, Chuck questioned the Coroner’s conclusion of accidental death. Born had stated that Josh’s position in the chimney “appeared to have been a voluntary act in order to gain access”, however when he heard that, Chuck made a testimony stating that this would, in fact, have been impossible. The chimney had been built twenty years previous and during its construction, had been fitted with a steel rebar, a large, thick wire mesh hung from steel hooks used to keep animals and debris from becoming lodged inside the chimney or from entering the cabin itself. Murphy spoke openly about the rebar, stating that:
It was not only the rebar that caused doubt however, there were, in fact, several other pieces of information which failed to make any sense to Murphy and had led him to doubt the coroner’s report. The dots just weren’t connecting.
There was, for one thing, the mysterious shifting of a large wooden breakfast bar that had been torn from a wall in the kitchen and dragged over to block the Chimney from inside the cabin. This fact was probably the very reason that Chuck himself had not noticed anything unusual about the chimney in the first place. However, the question remained that if the Breakfast bar had been torn from the wall, then who had done it and why?
Josh’s body had also been found in a fetal position, with his legs above his head, and disjointed from his torso. In order to have gotten into such a position, he would have had to have entered the chimney head first. This was a fairly unusual position and Born had earlier commented that he thought it would have taken two people to position him in such a way.
There was also one final question that lingered with Chuck and it concerned no small detail. When Josh’s body had been found, he had removed all of his clothing, he had been found wearing only a thin thermal shirt. This would already strike one as unusual, however, his clothes had actually been found inside the cabin, folded up next to the fireplace. This, the fact hadn’t escaped Born however, he was well aware of the clothing and remarked about them:
“This one really taxed our brains. We found his clothing just outside the firebox. He only had on a thermal t-shirt. We don’t know why he took his clothes off, took his shoes and socks off, and why he went outside, climbed on the roof and went down the chimney. It was not linear thinking.”
Murphy remained convinced that the death of Joshua Maddux had been no accident. As it happened, Al Born had mentioned that several calls had been made to both the police and Coroners office, suggesting leads and naming suspects that had bragged of killing Josh.
There was one main suspect, though he remained unnamed, he was now spending time in a Texas jail and had previous time in Seattle and Portland prisons with a long list of violent criminal behaviour. The tips had told Born of how he was, apparently the last man to have been seen with Josh, but Born could not place him at the crime scene. When speaking of the man, he said:
“They can’t give me times and specifics and we can’t generate stuff that goes back seven years.”
He also doubted that the man would have been able to have positioned Josh in the chimney in such a position alone.
In a parking lot in North Austin, Texas, on July 14, 2015, Grant Thompson was discovered in a state of cardiac arrest. An employee of a pet-store with a lifelong love of animals, Thompson was found with multiple bites from a monocle cobra that he had taken from the store. The young man showed no typical defensive wounds that are common in snake attacks, nor any indication he had pulled away from the striking cobra.
The venom of a monocle cobra causes full body paralysis, then cessation of the lungs’ ability to function, within just 30 minutes. The cobra escaped the car from a door Thompson had left open for that purpose, but rescue workers still had to contend with a viper, and numerous tarantulas inside the vehicle. The cobra was found dead on a nearby street days later, after being run over by a car. The young man had driven more than 70 miles (110 km) from his home before stopping in the parking lot, where he removed the snakes and tarantulas from their cages and enacted his plan.
|Posted: Sun Apr 14th, 2019 06:00 pm||
The Phantom of Heilbronn, often alternatively referred to as the "Woman Without a Face", was a hypothesized unknown female serial killer whose existence was inferred from DNA evidence found at numerous crime scenes in Austria, France and Germany from 1993 to 2009. The six murders among these included that of police officer Michèle Kiesewetter, in Heilbronn, Germany on 25 April 2007.
The only connection between the crimes was DNA, which as of March 2009 had been recovered from 40 crime scenes, ranging from murders to burglaries. In late March 2009, investigators concluded that the "Phantom" criminal did not exist, and the DNA recovered at the crime scenes had already been present on the cotton swabs used for collecting DNA samples; they belonged to a woman who worked at the factory where they were made.
In 1986, the United Way attempted to break the world record for balloon launches, by releasing 1.5 million balloons in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
Volunteers worked for hours filling balloons with helium under a giant net. When the net was released, the balloons rose to the sky. The massive balloon cloud blossomed over the city, almost like an explosion of color. It was supposed to be a triumphant publicity stunt, but unfortunately, it was about to go terribly wrong. A storm was moving in from the Great Lakes that day, and the winds pushed the balloons back down over the city. With nowhere to go, the sky was filled with an impenetrable cloud of balloons.
The crew of the coast guard search and rescue helicopter said they felt like they were flying through an asteroid field. Tragically, two people died when Coast Guard helicopters were unable to reach their overturned boat. They simply couldn't fly in the skies filled with 1.5 million balloons. When they finally got off the ground, they were searching for the heads of the drowning victims, but couldn’t tell the difference between them and the balloons that covered the surface of the water. The whole event was supposed to be a fundraiser for charity, but ended up costing the city millions in lawsuits, and created cleanup headaches for weeks.
|Posted: Sat Apr 20th, 2019 01:06 pm||
Three Wisconsin brothers repeatedly assaulted younger sister for years, according to police, and the children’s father reportedly shrugged it off and did nothing to intervene.
TMJ 4 reports that three brothers, identified in a criminal complaint as James Keene, 29, Elijah Keene, 27, and Josiah Keene, 20, are facing several “sexual assault of a child” charges. The brothers’ father, Brian Keene, 62, faces neglect and failure to act on sexual abuse of a child charges.
According to the criminal complaint, Elijah Keene admitted to police he “was addicted” and sexually assaulted his three younger sisters in their South Milwaukee home for around six years. The victims are now between the ages of 10 to 19.
Brian Keene allegedly admitted that he knew something was going on, but shrugged it off to his sons having “raging hormones.” He then asked the officer if he sons were being arrested, and said he relied on them for income.
Police were alerted to the abuse on April 8, when someone sent a tip regarding a suspicious vehicle at the home. According to Fox 6, an officer arrived and spoke with a female, 19, who claimed the home was “unsafe.” Afterward, the officer went inside to take statements from the children in the home.
Upon walking into the home, the officer noticed a filthy mess throughout the residence. The children’s clothing had a bad smell, as if they hadn’t bathed or washed their clothes in quite some time.
The children told the officer that the “house was very dirty, they were not going to school, there were holes in the walls and floors and they used space heaters because there was no heat,” the complaint read.
The officer took the children to the police station for official statements, where authorities learned about the sexual abuse.
The victims told police that all three brothers brought them to the basement on multiple occasions. The brothers forced the girls to perform sexual acts on them, the complaint read.
In 1982, Woo Bum-kon launched a massive killing spree. Woo went village to village shooting/grenading people (outside and in their houses) & took 3 hostages. At one point he killed a family of 12 after being invited for dinner. After killing 56 people and injuring 35, he blew himself up with a grenade as the police closed in on him.
|Posted: Sat Apr 27th, 2019 12:09 pm||
KINGS COUNTY, Calif. -- Convicted murderer Jaime Osuna was arraigned on new murder charges on Thursday.
He's accused of killing his cellmate at Corcoran State Prison last month, in a particularly grisly fashion.
"This is probably the most unusual and gruesome case that I've had in my career," said Kings County Assistant District Attorney Phil Esbenshade.
He says Osuna decapitated Luis Romero, and then proceeded to sever several of his body parts, including an eye and a finger.
He's also accused of cutting out part of a lung.
Romero bled to death and was found by prison staff during a morning security check.
"There was a weapon located inside the cell," Esbenshade said. "It looked like it had been manufactured from some sort of razor that may have been issued. It had some string around it so that's the only weapon that was located inside the cell."
Osuna killed and tortured a Bakersfield woman in 2011.
Osuna is also facing gassing charges, filed earlier this year.
Prosecutors say he threw blood at a correctional officer from some type of carton.
Osuna will be back in court in late June for a preliminary hearing setting.
Romero had been incarcerated since 1992.
The residents of Babbling Book Drive in Saginaw, Texas, often noticed two people who roamed the streets alone. One was 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher, a friendly little girl who loved Veggie Tales and the colour purple.1 She was much too young to be outside alone but she could often be spotted on her purple bicycle in pursuit of finding friends.
“Alanna was a gregarious child, known to many neighbours. She was also known to walk the neighbourhood alone, calling on friends to play,” recalled a neighbour. She lived at home with her mother, her father, and her mother’s other boyfriend. They were in a polyamorous relationship and co-parenting Gallagher and her siblings. While the family were mostly well-liked, the fact that they allowed their young daughter to play alone unsupervised raised many questions from neighbours.
The other person who roamed the same neighbourhood was 17-year-old Tyler Lane Holder who lived several doors away. Former classmates and friends of Holder would describe him as a “socially awkward” teenager who often joked about rape and made people feel uneasy.2 “He was the kid that you were always really nice to because you didn’t know if he was going to come shoot up the school,” recalled Mikayla Dawson, one of his classmates. Much like Gallagher, Holder could also frequently be spotted wandering the streets alone.
On the 1st of July, 2013, their paths collided.
On that fateful afternoon, Gallagher had been on her usual pursuit of finding somebody to play with. At around 2PM, she knocked on a neighbour’s door and asked if she could play with their grandson. “She just loves my grandson. She really wanted to play,” recalled the neighbour. The grandson, however, was going to the mall with his grandmother and couldn’t play with Gallagher. She said she would wait for him to get back and continued to wait outside their house. This was the last time she was never seen alive.
Gallagher hadn’t even been reported missing when a couple of boys found her body at Roundrock Drive and Cindy Lane, just a few short miles from her home, at around 7PM that evening. She was partially naked and wrapped up in a grey tarp and a brown leather belt. Plastic bags were wrapped around her head with duct tape around her neck. Her hands and feet had been bound with duct tape and she had been stuffed inside a black trash bag. She had been raped and then suffocated. Her body showed signs of head and face trauma as well as abrasions and bruising on parts of her body including fingertip injuries to her lower abdomen. Her autopsy concluded that at some point either before or after her murder, Gallagher had been immersed in water, potentially to wash away any evidence. Nevertheless, sperm and other DNA was retrieved from the crime scene.3
The body remained unidentified until later on that night when Gallagher was finally reported missing. It was 9:15PM when her mother flagged down a police car to inform them her daughter was gone. Despite this, Holder was reportedly telling people that the body that had been found was Gallagher. As police and neighbours gathered on Gallagher’s street, Holder was acting suspiciously. He was spotted pacing up and down the street. His peculiar behaviour arose suspicions amongst neighbours and police and a search warrant was issued for his home. Several items were removed from the home and Holder provided a DNA swab. Days later, the DNA test came back as match to that found at the crime scene. In addition, his DNA was found on a belt buckle found at the crime scene and dog hair found inside the plastic bag matched dog hair found inside Holder’s home. Police also retrieved trash bags from his home which matched the trash bag Gallagher was found in.4
When the DNA match was made, police rushed to Holder’s home with an arrest warrant. As they approached the door, Holder said he wasn’t going to speak to them before he produced a handgun from behind him and opened fire on the officers. He shot Arlington Police Detective Charles Lodatto in the groin before being tackled to the ground by another officer. During the scuffle, Holder received a gunshot wound to the head before being apprehended. The officers had hoped Holder would surrender peacefully which is why they didn’t think it be necessary to use a SWAT team to serve the arrest warrant. Both Lodatto and Holder were rushed to hospital where they made a full recovery.
As it soon became known, Holder had lured Gallagher to his home when his mother was out at work. Once inside, he sexually tortured the youngster before strangling her to death with his belt and some plastic bags.5 Alanna Gallagher’s funeral was conducted at Calvary Lutheran Church in Richland Hills and she was subsequently buried at Greenwood Cemetery.
Due to his young age, Holder avoided the death penalty. In 2012, the Supreme Court declared that life sentences without parole were unconstitutional for defendants under 18. Holder pleaded guilty to a murder charge and was sentenced to life in prison. He also pleaded guilty to an attempted capital murder charge for shooting the officer and received a 40 year sentence. Holder must serve at least 50 years before getting a chance at parole. During his trial, Gallagher’s mother, Laura Gallagher, gave a victim impact statement: “It does not bring her back to us. No matter how much suffering you undergo in prison, it won’t be as much as all the people who knew and loved Alanna have been and will continue to be suffering. I hope you remember this and that you live with shame for what you have done, every day that you live, every day that Alanna is gone from us
|Posted: Sat May 4th, 2019 01:30 pm||
In October 1927, the circus came to Roanoke, Virginia. It was a vast affair. There were four locomotives, 100 railcars, 1,600 people, five rings, six stages, elephants and high-wire acts. Among the attractions arriving in town were two albino African-American men called George and Willie Muse, famous across the United States as Eko and Iko, the sheepheaded cannibals from Ecuador. But the Muse brothers weren’t from Ecuador: on that day, as their train pulled up, George and Willie were coming home.
Eko and Iko were, writes Roanoke-based journalist Beth Macy in her new book about the brothers’ extraordinary lives, perfect freakshow acts to captivate white punters jaded by the usual fare of bearded ladies, tattooed men, giants and dwarves. Circusgoers were used to seeing black men posing as wild men in cages, where they would pretend to subsist on raw meat and bit the heads off chickens and snakes. Eko and Iko offered something different, if no less racist. “They were unique,” writes Macy. “They were good musicians. And they dressed in finery with red sashes and tuxedos – the outfit topped off by that explosive, anachronistic hair. They were far more interesting than they were grotesque.”
Circusgoers would pay the equivalent of $30 in today’s money to be photographed with Eko and Iko.
But throughout their circus careers, George and Willie were often billed as things they were not. They were not only cannibals from Ecuador, but Monkey Men and Ministers from Dahomey. At one point newspapers gleefully reported the nonsense that John Ringling had found the two brothers floating off the coast of Madagascar. Their act was even given a racist, pseudo-scientific spin when they were presented as Darwin’s missing link between humans and apes.
In reality, George and Willie were two men from Virginia who, even as small children, had toiled from dawn to dusk in tobacco fields near their home in Truevine, Franklin County, walking rows of plants looking for bugs and squashing them between their fingers. Until, that is, the day in 1899 when George, six, and Willie, nine, were spotted by a “freak hunter” called James Herman “Candy” Shelton.
The story told in Truevine is that he offered them candy as they worked in the fields and then kidnapped them. For years after their abduction, Shelton acted as the brothers’ manager as they toured the US in a series of circuses, using the money they earned to pay for their board, lodging and clothes, but never letting them have their wages. They were not seen again by their parents, Harriett and Cabell Muse, until autumn 1927.
When the circus came to Roanoke in October 1927, the brothers were being billed as something even stranger than Ecuadorian savages. “Are they ambassadors from Mars?” asked the poster of the brothers hanging outside the sideshow. According to the story, Eko and Iko had been spotted in 1923 climbing from a hole near the wreckage of their spaceship in the Mojave desert. The idea that these supposed Martians would be playing popular tunes in a tent in Virginia didn’t make a lick of sense, but that didn’t deter the crowds.
At Roanoke fairgrounds on that autumn day, George on mandolin and Willie on guitar were playing It’s a Long Way to Tipperary when one of the brothers noted something unusual – a black woman had managed to elbow her way to the front of the mostly white crowd. “There’s our dear old mother,” said George. “Look, Willie, she is not dead.” They laid down their instruments and rushed to hug the woman they had not seen for at least 13 years. George and Willie had been told that their mother was dead by Candy Shelton in order that they give up any dreams of going home.
Whatever the truth of how George and Willie became Eko and Iko, certainly the brothers had been trafficked for at least 13 years when they were reunited with their mother. And on that autumn day, Harriett wanted payback. She was, clearly, an extraordinary woman: three days after she faced down the circus proprietors and city cops in that sideshow tent and reclaimed her sons, she started legal proceedings against the Ringling Brothers and Shelton. The brothers had been, her lawyer argued, held against their will, and turned into slaves. In a settlement, the circus agreed to pay back wages and, later, the kidnapper-turned-manager Shelton was dispatched to sweeten the deal: if the brothers returned to the circus, not only would a portion of their salary be paid to their parents, but their other brother Tom would be hired to work as a roustabout.
Back in the US, the Eko and Iko act proved lucrative for years, keeping them in work until the late 50s. Their father, depicted throughout Truevine as a dangerous spendthrift and wastrel, was murdered by a husband who found him in bed with his wife. Meanwhile, Harriett repeatedly used the law to ensure that her sons got paid, that the circuses they worked for informed her of their whereabouts, and that some of their earnings came to her. She used the money she saved that way to buy land in Franklin County, where she hoped she would see her boys later live. That was not to be: she died aged 68 in 1942. But the nest egg saved from her sons’ wages went towards buying a house in Roanoke where George and Willie lived in retirement, cared for by other women in their family.
At his trial in Jackson County, the lead investigator, chief deputy Ross Mellinger of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, told jurors that Ben Taylor was watching pornography and listening to music at around the same time he allegedly raped and murdered the infant.
Cell Phone records displayed at the court showed that the 33-year-old had searched for pornography from 2:52 am to 3:17 am on October 3, 2016, before his girlfriend at the time, Amanda Adkins, woke up alone in bed. Her boyfriend (Taylor) and infant daughter were both missing. A subsequent search of the house led to her finding him kneeling over a lifeless Emmaleigh. She testified in court that she had found him "shirtless with his pants unbuttoned and leaning over her naked, injured daughter." Emmaleigh covered in blood and unresponsive.
Mellinger said Taylor had subsequently made a nine-second call to a contact listed as "Home" at 4:54 am, which is before police responded to Adkins' 911 call and arrived at his residence a little while later. The infant regained a pulse in the ambulance but died in the Charleston Hospital two days later.
|Posted: Sun May 12th, 2019 06:04 am||
For Virginia L. Hayden, small talk frequently took a turn toward the macabre.
The cherubic-looking grandmother, measuring just over 5 feet tall with her hair in loose white curls, once started expounding on the best way to dispose of a human body, her daughter, Carolyn Cooksey, told police. Seemingly unprompted, she explained that pigs would eat every part of a corpse except for the skull. Her grandson, Michael Harris, also recalled receiving a similar lecture, except that he had been told that pigs would eat everything but the hair.
Getting rid of bodies was a topic that frequently came up while they were watching television in York County, Pennsylvania, he told investigators. She taught him you had to stab a corpse before placing it in water; otherwise, it would float. Another time, she informed him that if someone was using nitroglycerin oral spray to treat a heart condition, you could give them more than the recommended dosage and it would look as though they had a heart attack.
The comments didn’t alarm Harris, who told police that his grandmother “was cool to talk to.” But authorities believe that Hayden’s apparent interest in gruesome topics was concealing something more sinister: the murder of her third husband, Thomas Hayden, 62, who vanished in 2011.
Police arrested Virginia Hayden on Monday, linking her husband’s disappearance to the grisly mystery of a scalp that was found in a plastic bag by the side of the road seven years earlier. The 67-year-old was arraigned the same day on criminal homicide charges and 64 additional counts that include forgery, theft, conspiracy and tampering with public records, PennLive reported. Authorities allege that she received nearly $117,000 in Social Security benefits intended for her husband that were deposited into a joint account, and forged his signature on a deed transfer that allowed her to sell their home after he went missing.
“We can only take us where the facts lead us,” Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel told WHP-TV. “And in this case, they lead us to Virginia.”
Seven years earlier, a man walking down a narrow country road that runs alongside a rushing creek in Dover Township, Pennsylvania, had made a nightmarish discovery. A human scalp, with hair that appeared to be tied in a ponytail, had been placed in a plastic, vacuum-sealed FoodSaver bag, the kind usually used for storing leftovers. Also tucked inside was a piece of a bloody bedsheet.
Police sent the gory remains off to the state crime lab, but no DNA match popped up in the universal database, and the trail ran cold. For more than five years, no one had any idea who the scalp belonged to, or how they might have died.
Then, in January 2017, authorities got a phone call.
Kim Via, Thomas Hayden’s daughter, had been unsuccessfully trying to regain contact with her father, whom she had been estranged from since 2005. Each time she tried calling him, the criminal complaint states, her stepmother answered the phone and told her that her father didn’t want to talk to her. Eventually, Via became suspicious, and asked police to do a welfare check.
As authorities began investigating, they quickly realized that Via wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard from Thomas Hayden in a long time. At the apartment where his daughter thought he was living, they found Virginia Hayden’s granddaughter, who told them that he had never lived there, and she hadn’t seen him in seven years. Further interviews with family and friends revealed that no one could recall seeing or hearing from him since some point in the fall of 2011.
A former next-door neighbor said Thomas had just “up and disappeared,” and that Virginia had explained his absence by saying that he had died after traveling to Mexico for treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS. Similarly, the man who had bought the Haydens’ old condo in Dover Township in 2014 remembered Virginia telling him that her husband was dead.
The former neighbor also offered a sinister possibility: She and her son-in-law had noticed that Virginia had doubled the size of the condo’s patio by having a concrete slab poured in her backyard. Maybe, the two had joked, Thomas was buried underneath it.
Police searched the property with cadaver-detecting dogs, and found nothing, the York Daily Record reported. But they did find other reasons to be suspicious.
When questioned about her husband’s absence in January 2017, Virginia repeated the story about how Thomas had traveled to Mexico to seek medical treatment for ALS, saying that he had been inspired by a commercial he saw on television. She claimed that he had left one night in 2011, and the last time that she heard from him was sometime that year, when he called her from a blocked number. She didn’t know where he was, she said, and had been telling people he was dead because it was less embarrassing than admitting he had left her.
But when investigators reviewed Thomas’s medical records, they found that he had never been diagnosed with ALS. A doctor had been treating him for chronic pain, but after years of routinely going to his appointments, he had abruptly stopped showing up after September 2011. Virginia had called and canceled two of his appointments that were supposed to take place the following month, telling the office that he was no longer living in the area, police wrote in a criminal complaint. In October 2011, not long after his last visit, she bought a .357 caliber handgun.
It wasn’t the only thing about her account that didn’t add up. In interviews with police, she changed her story about whether Thomas had been alone when he left their home, and was unable to explain the discrepancy. Furthermore, the Daily Record reported, officials with the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that neither of the Haydens had ever been to Mexico. If Thomas Hayden had tried to leave, he likely wouldn’t have gotten far. After getting a warrant to search her apartment, police found that Virginia had his driver’s license, passport and Social Security card stashed away in a lockbox.
She also had a FoodSaver vacuum-sealing device. Officials got DNA samples from Hayden’s two brothers, and sent them out for testing. Months later, a crime lab confirmed with overwhelming certainty that the scalp in the plastic bag had belonged to a sibling of theirs.
Police turned their attention to the couple’s condo, which Virginia had sold for $135,000 in November 2014. The deed seemed to indicate that in November 2013, Thomas had sold the house to her for $1. If true, that would have meant that the transaction took place two years after the last time that anyone could remember seeing him.
But a handwriting expert who reviewed Thomas’s signature on the deed transfer concluded that it had been forged - by his wife. The notary listed on the document was her daughter, Connie Pender, who was arrested separately and pleaded guilty to tampering with public records and conspiracy charges, according to the Daily Record.
In July 2017, police pushed Virginia to tell them where her husband was. “Maybe you ought to check the grave of my second husband for him,” she replied. Thomas Hayden had been her third husband: Her first hung himself after they divorced, and her second died of a heart attack, the Daily Record reported. Taking her at her word, officials paid a visit to her second husband’s grave in Maryland, but found no signs of wrongdoing.
As police continued to zero in on her, Virginia Hayden sat for an interview with the Daily Record in December 2017 and insisted that she was innocent. Flatly denying that she killed her husband, she claimed that she had no idea where he was, and that he had been abusive toward her. She declined to provide any further details about the alleged abuse.
“You’ve never been married to a man that scares you so bad that the day he decides to leave, you pray to God he doesn’t come back,” she told the paper. “You pray to God he forgets about you.”
Though Thomas Hayden’s body still hasn’t been found, a doctor who examined his scalp found enough evidence to conclude that the 62-year-old had “died from a violent death at the hands of another individual.” That individual, authorities believe, was his wife.
Hayden, who does not yet have a lawyer, is being held without bail in advance of a May 10 hearing. Confronted with the evidence that her husband had been killed, she reportedly told investigators that she would write “whatever you want me to write” in a confession, but made it clear that she was doing so under duress and only because her daughter and stepdaughter thought she was responsible.
“So be happy,” she said, according to PennLive. “I give in. So leave me alone. So there it is. That’s my confession.”
La Sante Prison, in the east of the Montparnasse district of Paris, is one of the most infamous prisons in France, and its location puts it right inside the city limits. Since the prison went into use in 1867, there have been three escapes in total. In 1927, one man got out via a false order of release, and in 1978, a man was killed trying to escape. The real story of a daring escape from the prison came in 1986, when Michel Vaujour managed to escape with the help of his wife, Nadine.
This wasn’t one of those “back the van up to the prison wall” kind of escapes, either—it involved a helicopter. While Michael was serving a lengthy term for murder and armed robbery, Nadine Vaujour began to take flying lessons under a false name. She then took a helicopter and flew it over the prison, where Michael managed to make it to a roof and cling to the skid as the helicopter flew away. He remained a free man until a gunshot to the head during a robbery months later sent him back for the next 27 years.
|Posted: Sat May 18th, 2019 05:46 am||
On November 20, 1960, a little girl playing by a creek near Pikeville, Kentucky, made a grisly discovery. Five men burned beyond recognition sat in a car. The car had gone off the road and stopped with the front in the creek. There had been no impact; the car had just rolled to a stop. There was no gas in the tank. Though the outside of the car looked undamaged, the interior of the vehicle was incinerated, and police initially suspected foul play for simple reasons: The men were all upright in their seats and showed no signs of having struggled to escape the fire. In addition, metal detectors suggested possible pellets or bullets in the chest areas of the men, and there was blood on the ground near the car.
But the autopsies showed that the metal had dripped from the ceiling of the vehicle as it started to melt and that the men had high levels of carbon monoxide in their bodies, meaning they were alive and breathing when the fire started. It was determined that it was the carbon monoxide that, ultimately, killed the men. For lack of a better theory, police decided that the fire had started at the front of the vehicle and moved back, but it was never stated how this odd fire started. Nor was it explained why five men in a burning vehicle would calmly drive a car off a road, nor where the blood on the ground came from, nor why the five men, alive and breathing, would calmly sit still as they burned to death.
In 1985, 27-year old Linda Sherman lived in Vinita Park, Missouri with her 28-year old husband, Don Sherman, and their nine-year old daughter, Patty. The couple originally got married when they were in high school after Linda became pregnant. They would experience a tumultuous marriage as Don was known for being jealous, controlling and abusive. On multiple occasions, Linda took Patty and moved out and threatened Don with divorce, but the couple would always reconcile. On April 11, Linda told her family she had finally made the decision to end the marriage for good and officially filed for divorce, but she elected to remain in the house with Don until he was served divorce papers. At 2:16 AM on April 22, Linda signed out after her night shift ended at the U.S. Government Records Center. When she arrived home, Don claimed that they got into an argument because he suspected Linda was having an affair with a co-worker. Don said he went to bed at 4:00 AM while Linda went to sleep on the couch. Later that morning, Patty woke up and Don took her to school even though Linda was usually the one who drove her. Patty would claim that as she was leaving the house, she saw Linda lying on the couch with her back turned. Patty recalled seeing no movements from her mother, who did not even get up to say goodbye to her before she left.
Don would claim that he returned home at 6:00 PM that and was surprised to see that Linda was still there. Since she was running late for work, Linda quickly drove away. However, she never showed up for her shift and did not return home. Don figured she had run off with another man, so he did not report Linda missing until April 24 until her sister and brother-in-law, Fran and Sam Miller, insisted he go to the police. Two days later, the Millers would find Linda’s abandoned vehicle in the short-term parking garage at Lambert International Airport. However, there was no listing for Linda’s name on any of the recent outgoing flights and her family did not believe she would have abandoned her daughter. Don would later tell police that he saw Linda in the passenger’s seat of a van being driven by an unidentified male a few days after she originally went missing. When he called out to her, Linda ducked out of sight before the van drove off. The co-worker whom Don accused Linda of having an affair with was investigated by police, but he had a solid alibi and was ruled out as a suspect. Years later, Don filed a cross-petition for a divorce on the grounds that Linda had abandoned him and their daughter, but since she could not be found, a judge dismissed the divorce filing in June 1989.
On June 28, 1990, a skull was found in the bushes outside the Casa Gallardo restaurant in Bridgeton. It belonged to an adult female, but since the skull could not be identified, it was kept inside the county morgue’s evidence room. On September 6, 1991, the Vinita Park Police Department received an unsealed envelope containing a flier for the Casa Gallardo restaurant. The flier had a message stamped on it in purple ink: “THE BRIDGETON POLICE HAVE L. SHERMAN’S SKULL”. On the basis of this anonymous note, dental records were used to identify the skull as belonging to Linda. It turned out Casa Gallardo was Don’s favourite restaurant, as he hung out at their bar multiple times per week. He believed someone had intentionally left Linda’s skull outside the restaurant to send him a message. However, investigators theorized that Don was hoping to get remarried, but since he had no luck divorcing Linda, he retrieved her skull and leave it a public place, so she would be declared legally dead. Don denied these allegations and while he did get remarried in 1994, he passed away in 2015. The rest of Linda’s remains have never been found and her case is still unsolved
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