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|Bizarre Cases of the missing and murdered|| Rating:
|Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2018 09:40 pm||
Update on a case I covered previously:
After having phenotyping done with Parabon last year, the Carlsbad (CA) Police and San Diego County District Attorney's office have announced that they have identified a suspect in the murder of special-needs victim Jodine Serrin in 2007. They did not find the suspect in available databases, but they did find relatives leading them to identify deceased transient David Mabrito. It turns out Oceanside (CA) Police did have a sample of his DNA, but it had not been processed because he died shortly after it was taken. They used the sample to get a match.
This is the case where the parents walked in and found the suspect in bed with their daughter. They left the room to give them privacy, not realizing that their daughter had already been murdered. The suspect escaped while they waited.
This one includes the Parabon picture and parents' comment:
|Posted: Sun Nov 25th, 2018 08:52 am||
On Jan. 28, 2012, the partial skeletal remains of a little girl were found in the woods behind a mobile home park in Opelika, according to Police Capt. Shane Healey. The child, of African heritage, likely died between 2011 and 2012. Authorities determined Opelika Jane was between 4 and 7 years old. She was likely "abused and malnourished" before her death leading authorities to believe she was murdered. Her height, weight and eye color could not be determined from the remains but the FBI Victims Identification Project created a facial reconstruction that shows what she may have looked like. She has not been buried, Healey said. "Her remains are still being analyzed by forensic scientists for clues," he said.
In 2016, investigators received a tip including photographs taken during Vacation Bible School at Greater Peace Church in 2011. The pictures show the unidentified little girl who bears a strong resemblance to Jane Doe; however all attempts to identify the girl in the photos have failed so far and investigation is pending. She had a visible deformity with her left eye and may have been blind in that eye. All attempts to identify her through church and school records were unsuccessful.
In November 2015, an Indonesian man named Rudi Efendi murdered a man he suspected had raped his wife. Afterward, he cut off the man’s penis and took it home for his wife to cook. He and his wife ate the cooked penis.
Efendi had married his wife that September, only to discover she was not a virgin as he had previously thought. His wife claimed she used to be a virgin . . . until she was raped by the man, who worked as a driver, a week earlier. Efendi told his wife to call the driver for a meeting.
The driver honored the meeting but met Efendi instead of his wife. Efendi stabbed him to death before cutting off his penis and setting the man’s vehicle on fire. Efendi claimed he ate the penis to cure himself of the heartbreak caused by the rape. However, he denied his wife’s involvement and insisted that he acted alone. Police insisted the wife was an accomplice.
|Posted: Sat Dec 8th, 2018 11:27 am||
In 2017, 36-year-old Kristoffer Thomas Craft of Leonard, Texas, crashed his truck as he drank and made phone calls while driving. With him in the truck was his seven-year-old son, Colton Craft, who was seated in the front seat and was not wearing a seat belt. Craft crawled out of the wreckage. However, what happened next was unprecedented.
Instead of rescuing his son, who was still stuck inside the truck, Craft proceeded to rescue his cans of beer that had spilled on the road. He also stopped witnesses from helping Colton or calling 911 and tried to flee the scene. Craft was charged with felony murder after Colton died of his injuries.
During Craft’s trial, it was revealed that he had previously crashed his truck while drinking and driving. The officer who responded to the accident told the court he found almost 100 beer cans around the vehicle. It was obvious that Craft was trying to clear the accident scene so that police would not know he was drinking and driving.
However, Craft denied killing his son and had his lawyers convince the judge and jury that the incident was second-degree manslaughter and not murder. Craft received an 18-year sentence for manslaughter
The unknown victim was struck by a drunk driver while hitchhiking on I-59 just north of Highway 49 on the ramp to I-59 northbound in Hattiesburg on December 1, 1998. The driver left the scene and was later apprehended.
Prior to losing consciousness, the victim told responding paramedics that his name was Steve Hex (Hicks) and that he was from West Virginia.
He passed away on May 1, 2002 from complications that were the result of the hit and run accident.
|Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2018 06:09 am||
Oakey "Al" Albert Kite, Jr. was, by all accounts, a warm and friendly individual who had bounced around the United States (and even lived in Algeria for a time) working as an accountant / payroll professional. In 1998, 47-year-old Al moved to Aurora, CO for work (again as an accountant / payroll professional). The Denver area was a good fit for Al as he loved the outdoors (biking, hiking, skiing). He purchased a large town-home with the hopes of renting out the downstairs/basement area to tenants to provide extra income. Al settled into Colorado nicely: he had found some nice tenants to live with him; he had met and started dating a woman named Linda; and of course, he enjoyed Colorado's many outdoor-friendly attractions.
However, by 2004, Al would fall victim to a brutal and senseless murder that would leave many in the Aurora area (and really many who hear about this) traumatized and desperate for answers. At the start of 2004, Al's longtime tenants had moved out and his downstairs / basement space had become vacant once more. In an attempt to find a new tenant, Al listed a post in the local newspaper. A man who called himself Robert Cooper (not his real name) responded to the ad, and this would be the person to torture, brutalize, and viciously murder poor Al Kite. Cooper claimed that he had been reloacted to the area for his job at Wells Fargo. However, it would later be determined that no one matching Coopers name and description had ever worked for Wells Fargo; nor did any one working for Wells Fargo transfer into the area at that time. Al, of course not knowing any of that, thought the man seemed fine enough to rent to, so he offered him the downstairs area. Cooper signed the appropriate paperwork and even paid a deposit. Although the stranger's money was good, it was later determined that all of the essential information on the paper work had been falsified. Cooper's one request was that he asked Al to help him with a piece of furniture: a heavy recliner chair. This chair, it is believed, would ultimately be the chair that Al would be tortured and die upon. Al, being a nice guy, of course obliged to help the man. However, first Al needed to take his girlfriend to the airport, as she had planned a weekend get-away trip with some friends.
That would leave only Al and Robert Cooper alone at the home for the weekend.
On Friday, May 22, 2004, after dropping his girlfriend off at the airport for a trip she had already planned, Al returned home, and as promised, helped Robert Cooper with the large recliner. Unbeknownst to Al at the time, each cumbersome step down the stairs was slowly sealing his grisly fate.
It is believed that Cooper struck and subdued Al after he helped him get the recliner into the basement. Cooper then bound Al by the wrists and ankles and set him in a chair -- possibly even the recliner chair that he had just moments ago struggled to help Cooper carry down the stairs. After binding Al, Cooper went upstairs to fetch knives from Al's kitchen. Cooper then slowly tortured poor Al over several hours with Al's own kitchen knives. That night, Cooper stayed upstairs, sleeping in Al's bed; eating Al's food; showering and using the restroom in Al's bathroom. Then, he slipped off into the night (either on Saturday or Sunday) vanishing like a ghost or the grim reaper he had become.
By Monday, when Al didn't show up to work -- and when no one could reach him -- Al's sister (who lived out of state) asked police to do a welfare check on him. When police arrived, they found the greusome scene. His death has been described as "cruel, prolonged, and terrible," but other than that, few details have emerged as to the extent of Al's torture. However, if multiple knives were used to kill the poor man, any one's darkest imagination can clearly fill in the details as to how a person would go about torturing another person if one were so inclined.
Apparently, Al gave up his pin number to his debit card (probably very early on) to his killer. After killing Al, Cooper drove Al's truck to an ATM and withdrew some money (but not all) out of Al's checking account. Cooper was captured on surveillance video on the ATM camera; however, he obscured most of his face by wearing a ski mask -- only his eyes, parts of his uppper-cheeks, and the bridge of his long nose are visible, which can be seen here. Cooper later abandoned Al's truck and left the ATM receipts on the seat of the truck. Cooper would also dispose of Al's credit cards and cell phone at different spots around the Denver area.
Given that Robert Cooper did not take all of Al's money from his bank account, and given that Cooper left plenty of fingerprints and possibly DNA behind at the crime scene, and given that this was not necessarily a sexual crime, and furthermore given that Cooper knew that he would be caught on camera, police have surmised that "Robert Cooper" is/was likely a very methodical serial killer -- and that this wasn't his first kill.
Police also gleaned some very interesting things regarding the killer and his interactions with various people in the community. Firstly, Al was not the first person Robert tried to rent a room from.
Robert Cooper used a "burner phone" to look up rental properties in the Denver area. He purchased the phone at a store near the University of Colorado Medical School. He had visited and tried to rent from at least three different properties. On all of the application forms for renting, his information was completely false, but most were addresses on the Univesrity of Colorado Medical School campus. Also worth noting: a couple of the room-to-rent type properties that Cooper visited were only posted at the University of Coloarado library.
One woman reportedly refused him a room to rent, because she thought that something was "off" (if only Oakey had that feeling). Different renters claimed to have noticed different things about the man: one noted that he walked with a limp; another one didn't notice any limp. One noticed that he spoke with an accent, specficially a Romanian accent.
As to others who interacted with Robert Cooper, two people in particular give interesting stories. One is Linda, Al's girlfriend. Before she left on her trip, she recalled hearing Robert in Al's home. Linda was in the bathroom , and she heard Al tell Cooper that he wanted to introduce him to his girlfriend; however, when Linda came out into the living room, the man quickly retreated from the doorstep citing some excuse as to why he could not stay even a second to meet Linda. Luckily, Linda caught a glimpse of him as Cooper left: she described him as being in his 40s with dark, wavy hair, nicely-dressed, and of average height and build.
Another strange encounter: One of Al's neighbors reported meeting Cooper -- or at least attempting to meet him. The neighbor called out to the man, but Cooper "snubbed" him and avoided any interaction with the neighbor.
“Does she need an ambulance?” asked the 911 dispatcher. “No, she’s a nurse. She says to call an ambulance for the guy. He may be dead," responded the voice on the other end.
In 2006, ER nurse Susan Kuhnhausen (later Susan Walter) divorced Mike Kuhnhausen, her husband of 17 years. Walters endured years of mental and emotional abuse by her husband. She finally gained the courage to end the marriage and kicked Kuhnhausen out of their home.
Shortly after the marriage ended, Mr. Kuhnhausen was laid off from his janitorial job. With few options left, he decided he wanted their second home for himself. He knew Walters wouldn't easily give up the home and conspired a plan to have her murdered.
Mike responded by hiring a hit man to kill her. He paid Edward Haffey $50,000 for the hit.
Kuhnhausen had met Edward Haffey at work. Haffey, a convicted murderer with a lengthy criminal history, agreed to kill Walters in exchange for $50,000.
On the evening of the attack, Walters arrived home from work and immediately noticed her bedroom was abnormally dark. Within moments Haffey appeared and lunged at her with a hammer.
The first blow hit Walters in the temple. She fought back.
For almost 15 minutes the two grappled. Walters was able to restrain the man multiple times and each time attempted to get information about who had hired him. Each time, he continued to viciously attack her with the hammer.
Eventually, she was able to restrain and strangle the man to death.
Mike Kuhnhausen was charged with solicitation of aggravated murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In 2008, Susan Walters won a $1 million civil court case against her estranged husband.
Kuhnhausen died in prison of prostate cancer 6 months prior to his release date.
|Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2018 08:01 am||
On Christmas morning 2004, Roland Berstecher went to his mother's apartment and found her bruised, bloodied body, naked from the waist down, stuffed halfway under a stove.
According to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Alexandria Berstecher was electrocuted by wires under the stove. She had numerous bruises on her body, and when the stove was removed, bloody hand prints streaked the wall behind it.
Roland Berstecher said Groton Town police brought him to the police station soon after he found his dead mother and grilled him for more than eight hours, at times demanding a confession. The week after the death, a police department dispatcher said the death was ruled a suicide. In December 2005 a Groton Town detective told the group the death would likely be ruled an accident."
This took place one town over from where I live and has not been mentioned in the news or local paper since 2007. The police stated that the case remains open but suspended after they exhausted all leads and interviewed all possible witnesses. Because Alexandria's death is still listed as "undetermined" and was never officially ruled a homicide it isn't listed on any of CT's unsolved crime websites. If anyone can find any further information please share!
Here's what we know:
Roland Berstecher moved his 89 year old mother, Alexandria, into Poquonnock Village Apartments in 1993. A widowed Navy wife, she suffered from arthritis and glaucoma. The 97-unit apartment building is less than five miles from her son's Phillips Avenue home.
Roland took his mother grocery shopping every week and drove her to the bank monthly to get a money order for her rent. Alexandria kept a written log of the visits and the daily calls she received from her son and his partner of 21 years, Joann Degenhart. The only time she talked about suicide was that “she'd kill herself if Roland stopped coming to see her,” a friend told police. “She talked about him all the time. She was also constantly stating that she had given Roland money,” the woman said of Alexandria, who lived off Social Security and her late husband's Navy pension.
Roland was a cosigner on his mother's checks and helped manage her finances. His mother suffered from arthritis, anxiety, high blood pressure and heartburn and had been diagnosed with colon cancer two years before.
At the time of Alexandria's death there were two registered sex offenders living on her floor. Alexandria lived in apartment 307. A quick search on the CT sex offender registry shows that there is currently a registered sex offender living in Apartment 301. He was 67 at the time of the murder and was convicted of 1st degree sexual assault 14 years earlier, in 1990. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post his name here, but a quick search of the address should show you (1039 Poquonnock Road, Groton CT). So far I haven't had any luck finding the details of his rape conviction but I'd be interested to see if they are similar in any way to this case.
According to Roland, his mother didn't join them for Christmas Eve dinner because her arthritis made it difficult for her to use their bathroom, which is located upstairs. The police say that Roland told them that he lied to his mother and told her that he had to work on Christmas Eve and that Joann didn't want her coming over because she could be “unsociable” and often banged into things because of her glaucoma.
Roland states that the last time he spoke to his mother was by phone at 3PM on Christmas Eve. He says that he had dinner with Joann, her son Edward and his girlfriend Jennifer and that afterwards they watched two movies before going to bed.
Alexandria's downstairs neighbor reported hearing loud banging sounds coming from Alexandria's apartment that night. She said that she had heard loud noises above her before but never to that extent and that they usually took place on the weekends after midnight. She says that she considered calling the police but after banging on the ceiling with a broom the noises stopped.
At about 12:10 p.m. on Christmas Day Roland went to bring his mother lasanga and Christmas presents. He rang the downstairs buzzer but there was no answer so he entered the lobby using a spare key.
Alexandria did not respond to knocks on her locked door and Roland did not have a key for that door. As he grew more concerned he banged harder, attracting the attention of a neighbor who knew him. She volunteered to get the superintendent to unlock the apartment.
The usually tidy apartment was a mess. Her small dog was in there alone and Alexandria's bed was unmade. Two chairs and her walker lay on their sides.
Roland entered to find his mother's legs and lower torso sticking out from where the stove drawer had been. A button-down cardigan covered her top half, but she wore no pants or underwear. She was bloodied, bruised and had a broken rib.
Berstecher called Joann, a nurse, and told the superintendent to call 911. He then took a washcloth from the bathroom to cover his mother's genitals. Police arrived within minutes and taped off the scene.
Swabs taken from Alexandria's body found no seminal fluid or other evidence of rape or physical assault. The apartment complex was equipped with security cameras, but there were no VHS tapes inside. A canvass of the apartment building produced no further clues and fingerprints taken from the scene were little help to investigators. The chairs in the apartment appeared tipped over, with no visible marks on the chairs or walls that would indicate they had been thrown violently.
The white Hotpoint stove was found to be in perfect working order except that someone had removed its lower drawer, unplugged the stove, and removed the electrical cover for the outlet, exposing the electrical contacts.
There were other strange signs — hair stuck to her elbows, bruises on her right arms, legs and left hand, as well as numerous cuts and abrasions. Her doctor told police that at her age, she would bruise easily. Hair found on her elbow did not prove to be significant to the investigation. Blood found in the apartment and bruises and scratch marks, he said, could be from the spasms she would have had during the electrocution.
A $359 money order for rent was missing from her apartment. Roland says that police never asked the family if any items were missing but that a large potted cactus was gone.
According to Roland he was identified as the main suspect and feels that as a result the police didn't fully pursue other potential leads. Alexandria's neighbors expressed anger and frustration over the lack of information given to them surrounding her death and whether or not they are at risk. Some of them told police that the superintendent had a drinking and gambling problem and that he had come through their locked doors unannounced, sometimes in the middle of the night.
So what do you think happened to Alexandria?
If it was a murder staged to look like a suicide or accident, why leave her half naked?
Why did the loud noises stop as soon as the neighbor banged on the ceiling with a broom? If the noises were from a struggle, wouldn't knowing that her neighbors could hear her make Alexandria struggle even harder?
If she was wearing a cardigan that implies that this didn't take place late at night, so when do you think she was murdered?
Lastly, how do you get someone under the stove and successfully electrocute them without electrocuting yourself?
April 18 2015
"It was four days before Christmas. As the story would soon be told in news accounts, he made a stop on a dirt road off Georgia 82 and an old TV console caught his eye.
He walked over to inspect the find.
Inside, there was the black steel suitcase sloppily sealed with cement. Curious, the man pried it open. The girl had been wrapped in a blanket, stuffed in a gym bag and placed in the tiny steel tomb.
The trucker cried like a child.
Speaking with the Associated Press a few days later, then-Ware County Sheriff Herbert Bond said the state crime lab determined the child had been dead for a month or two. Thought to be about 3, she was 2-foot-9 and weighed maybe 30 pounds.
She didn’t seem to have been shot or stabbed, Bond said at the time."
"The investigator saw how well the child was made up, how pretty she looked. He thought about how long it must’ve taken. Somehow, in spite of the decomposition and the lack of dignity in how she was left with the trash, Herrin said he couldn’t help but think someone loved her."
A logging truck driver who stepped into the woods, near an isolated garbage dump in Ware County, Georgia, to relieve himself discovered the girl's body when he became curious about an old television console laying nearby. The console broke open when he kicked it over - revealing a black metal suitcase hidden inside. The body was placed in a gym bag, then in a cement-filled metal suitcase. The suitcase was wrapped with silver duct tape, encased in a plastic sheet and hidden inside the television console nailed shut with plywood.
An autopsy was inconclusive because of the decomposition of her body. Investigators also don't know if she might have been alive when sealed inside the suitcase.
|Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 05:43 am||
The kidnapper of a 10 year old girl has sent a total of 7 letters in the first of which he wrote 'the kidnapping went well and my goal is to get her pregnant the earliest possible'
Anais Marcelli 10 disappeared at 6 in the evening on her way home from school in Mulhouse France on January 14 1991. Her body was found in Col de Bussang three months later.
Anais lived with her mother Martine and her companion Jean Luc, a butcher. After the Christmas holidays she told her mother that she would walk home from school alone, since it was only 300 meters. They lived in a flat on the second floor. On the ground floor was the office of her grandfather Bernard Riedweg, Martine’s stepdad.
On that day Martine returned from work at 6 in the evening. Jean Luc was already there. By 6.20pm she got worried and decided to take the dog and go look for Anais on the route she was usually taking returning from school thinking that Anais might have forgotten her homework at school. She also informed Patrick Marcelli, the father of the child with whom she was separated. Anais was nowhere to be found and a criminal investigation for abduction was opened on January 19.
On February 24 an anonymous message was left on Martine’s answering machine from someone demanding ransom.
On March 27 a typewritten letter was received addressed to ‘Pupils of CM2’ of the Nordfeld School that Anais attended and read:
‘I send you this letter to give you news of your little Anais. She is in perfect health. She is very sweet and submissive. I like her a lot and I spend many wonderful moments in her company. My goal is to get her pregnant the earliest possible. I will get there fast enough and after she is twelve and a half I will give her back to you perhaps.’
On April 21 a hiker discovered the body of Anais on the Vosges hillside. Her remains were laid on a retaining wall and partially covered with stones. She was dressed but did have any boots, anorak and her schoolbag was missing. The autopsy concluded that she died of asphyxiation but she had not been sexually abused. Also she died on the day she went missing. The body was not decomposed but it was preserved by the snow, even though it was damaged by animals.
The fact that the schoolgirl was found without any shoes and coat led investigators to believe that Anais did return to her house from school on the day she went missing. She was also known to take off her coat if she got into a car of a person familiar to her, so the investigation turned to those closer to her.
On October 15 a re-enactment was organized and disturbing contradictions came out for the alibi that her grandfather had between 6-8.05pm on the day she went missing. Martine claimed that she was touched by him during her teenage years and in a search at his house naked photos of Martine were found.
On November 12 1992 an anonymous letter was sent to journalist Patrick Meney, claiming the kidnapping and murder of Anais as well as the kidnapping of another child near Troyes in 1974. Police found the woman who was indeed kidnapped when she was a child but managed to escape.
In total 7 letters were received by TV presenters and journalists, all attributed to the same person, by experts.
On December 1996, her grandfather Bernard Riedweg was placed into custody but was released in July 1997.
In 2001 Michael Stockx, a Belgian truck driver was in prison in Belgium for the rapes and murders of three children. A cell mate alerted authorities that Stockx claimed he had killed a girl in Mulhouse. The investigation into Anais’ murder was reopened but before police talked to Stockx, he died in an accidental fire inside his cell in September 2001. Later he was cleared of the possibility of been the murderer.
The investigation looked into other killers as well: Erancis Deaulm, Christian Van Geloven, Michel Fourniret, Jean-Pierre Treiber and Mark Dutroux.
Patrick Marcelli is determined to find the killer of his daughter with the help of his lawyer. In 2015 the investigation was re-opened.
One of the detectives on the Zodiac case admitted to faking evidence that the Zodiac was involved in another murder.
While serving time in Georgia for bank robbery, Marion Pruett testified against another inmate in the slaying of his cellmate. Pruett was released in 1979 and placed in the federal witness protection program. He would go on to kill at least 5 people. Once he was caught, he claimed he had also killed his cellmate and framed the man he testified against.
|Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2019 07:45 am||
|A woman is raped. When she waves down help, the man who comes to her aide rapes her too:
A man has been charged with rape after a 14-year-old girl was attacked twice on the same night.
Khurram Rahi, 27, from Smethwick, will appear at Birmingham magistrates court on Monday over the first alleged incident at Witton station in the city.
A 34-year-old man who was also arrested on Saturday was released while inquiries continued, British Transport Police said.
The teenager was attacked in a secluded part of the station, near the Aston Villa football ground, between 8pm on Tuesday and 2am the following morning.
Shortly afterwards, the girl walked out of the station and flagged down a passing vehicle to ask for help, but was raped a second time after getting into the car with another man.
Detectives are searching for a suspect, described as a thick-set Asian man about 1.68 metres (5ft 6in) tall with large biceps, in connection with the second attack.
DCI Tony Fitzpatrick said: “This case has gained national interest and I am pleased we are now in a position to charge a man in connection.
“I would once again like to thank the public and the media for their help in sharing this appeal.
“However, we still have a suspect outstanding for the offence in the vehicle. I would urge anyone who may have any information regarding this attack to get in touch as soon as possible.
“The second assault happened at approximately 2am close to Witton station. The victim flagged down a vehicle for help, a man then raped her.”
An infamous activist is killed as part of a robbery. The thieves end up having their loot stolen from a storage unit.
Madalyn Murray O'Hair was an American activist supporting atheism and separation of church and state. In 1963 she founded American Atheists and served as its president to 1986, after which her son Jon Garth Murray succeeded her. She created the first issues of American Atheist Magazine.
On August 27, 1995, O'Hair, her son Garth Murray, and granddaughter Robin Murray O'Hair disappeared from their home and office. A typewritten note was attached to the locked office door, saying "The Murray O'Hair family has been called out of town on an emergency basis. We do not know how long we will be gone at the time of the writing of this memo." When police entered O'Hair's home, it looked as they had left suddenly. The trio said in phone calls that they were on "business" in San Antonio, Texas. Garth Murray ordered US$600,000 worth of gold coins from a San Antonio jeweler, but took delivery of only $500,000 worth of coins.
Until September 27, American Atheists employees received several phone calls from Robin and Jon, but neither explained why they had left or when they would return; employees reported that their voices sounded strained and disturbed. After September 28, no further communication came from any of the three. American Atheists was facing serious financial problems because of the withdrawal of funds, and membership dwindled in the face of an apparent scandal. There was speculation that the trio may have disappeared to conceal assets or avoid creditors.
Ultimately, the investigation focused on David Roland Waters, an ex-felon with a violent history, who had worked for American Atheists. He had pleaded guilty earlier that year to stealing $54,000 from the organization. Shortly after his theft was discovered, O'Hair had published an article in the American Atheists newsletter exposing the theft and previous crimes. O'Hair claimed that, at age 17, Waters had killed another teenager. Waters had been sentenced to prison for eight years.
Federal agents for the FBI and the IRS, along with the police, concluded that Waters and his accomplices had kidnapped all three Murray/O'Hair family members, forced them to withdraw the missing funds, gone on several shopping sprees with their money and credit cards, and killed and dismembered all three people. Waters' accomplices were Gary Paul Karr and Danny Fry. A few days after O'Hair and her family were killed, Waters and Karr killed Fry. His body was found on a riverbed with the head and hands missing. It was not identified for three and a half years.
After a three-week trial, Karr was found guilty of conspiracy to commit extortion, traveling interstate to commit violent acts, money laundering, and interstate transportation of stolen property, all charges related to the O'Hair case. He was acquitted of charges of conspiring to kidnap, because the authorities had not yet located the bodies of the O'Hairs.
In January 2001, after his conviction and imprisonment, Waters told the federal agents that the O'Hairs were buried on a Texas ranch, and subsequently led them to the bodies. When law enforcement excavated there, they discovered that the legs of the three people had been cut off with a saw. The remains had such extensive mutilation and decomposition that officials had to identify them through dental records, DNA testing and, in Madalyn O'Hair's case, records of a prosthetic hip from Brackenridge Hospital in Austin (the product number identified her body). The head and hands of Danny Fry were also found at the site.
Waters and his girlfriend had put the gold coins extorted from the O'Hairs in an unsecured storage locker rented by the girlfriend. It had only a cheap Master padlock. Waters had taken some coins and partied for a few days with Gary Karr and his former wife. When he returned to the locker, he discovered that the remaining gold coins (American eagles, Maple Leafs, and Krugerrands) had been stolen. A group of thieves from San Antonio operating in that area had gained keys to the type of lock used by the girlfriend. In the course of their activities, the thieves had come across the locker, used a key, and found a suitcase full of gold coins. They returned to San Antonio, and with the help of friends, converted the gold coins to cash. The friends were taken to Las Vegas for a weekend. All but one coin, given as a pendant gift to an aunt, were spent by these thieves. That last coin was recovered by the FBI after a Memorial Day 1999 public appeal.
A 2017 Netflix original movie, The Most Hated Woman in America, is a loose dramatization of O'Hair's life. It focuses on the abductions and killings of O'Hair and two family members in 1995.
|Posted: Sun Jan 20th, 2019 11:28 am||
|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanase_Seromba Father Athanase Seromba.
During the Rwandan genocide, Father Seromba told around 2,000 Tutsis that they could take refuge from the violence inside the church he operated. On April 6, 1994, when 2,000 of the Tutsis gathered inside, Seromba ordered the Church to be bulldozed with the Tutsis inside. After the Church was flattened, Father Seromba and his henchmen shot the remaining survivors.
After the genocide was stopped, Father Seromba fled Rwanda with the aid of a network of sympathetic clergymen. He continued to practice as a priest for the Catholic Church under a false name in a church near Florence, Italy. He went unnoticed until 2002, when he was uncovered by investigators working with the International Tribunal for Rwanda. The Chief Prosecutor for the tribunal claimed the Vatican had fought Father Seromba’s extradition to face his trial. The Vatican told the prosecutor that Father Seromba was “doing good works in Italy.”
The Russians were way ahead of us on the "Bird Box Challenge":
On October 20, 1986, 87 passengers and 7 crew members took off from Yekaterinburg headed to Grozny via Samara (which was called Kuybyshev at the time). When coming in for a landing, Captain Alexander Kliuyev made a deadly bet with the First Officer, insisting that he planned to land the Tu-134-A aircraft with no visual contact with the ground. Two minutes before landing at 3:48 p.m. at an altitude of 1,300 feet, Kliuyev ordered the flight engineer to pull the curtains over the cockpit windscreen, boasting that he would have no problem landing the plane using instruments only.
A dumb and deadly decision to continue the approach
Alarms were going off but the pilot ignored them. The air traffic controller suggested he utilize and use an NDB approach. An NDB approach is a non-precision approach that lacks vertical guidance. A proximity warning was issued at an altitude of around 200 feet and the ATC suggested that he go around. But Kliuyev disagreed and continued his fateful approach. The plane was grossly unstable and touched down way too fast. The aircraft flipped upside down after over running the runway and burst into flames.
Because of the captain’s overconfidence and petulant refusal to listen to others’ suggestions, 63 people died at the time of the accident and seven more died in the hospital later. Kliuyev was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was released after only 6 years. Co-pilot Gennady Zhirnov did his best to save the passengers but wound up dying of a heart attack on the way to the hospital.
Soviet officials discovered at the trial that Klyuyev tried to make the blind landing to test his ability as a pilot and win a bet. He appeared cool and composed during the trial even though the Soviet media blamed the tragic crash on his overblown sense of self-assurance. A report issued at the time found that Klyuyev broke every rule on his blind landing. The chain of events that led to the crash could have been broken but no one spoke up, leading to the tragic deaths of so many innocent lives.
|Posted: Tue Jan 29th, 2019 02:42 pm||
12-year-old Jan Broberg was abducted by a neighbor and family friend, Robert Berchtold, in 1974; then again, at the age of 13, in 1976. Before and in-between the two abductions, Berchtold was allowed to sleep in Jan's bed, and engaged in extramarital liaisons with each of Jan's parents.
For the uninitiated: 12-year-old Jan Broberg was abducted by a neighbor and family friend, Robert Berchtold (known to Jan and most of her family as 'B') from her home in Pocatello, Idaho in 1974; then again, at the age of 13, in 1976. The first time around, Broberg took the girl to Mexico for weeks, where he brainwashed her into believing she was an alien, and that she needed to conceive a child with him by the date of her 16th birthday in order to save the residents of her home planet from some kind of apocalyptic cataclysm. She was only brought home after Berchtold tried to extort the girl's parents into agreeing to sign papers that would allow the two to legally marry.
Once they returned to the states, Berchtold was arrested... then released, after blackmailing the Brobergs into not only refusing to testify against him, but signing legal affidavits claiming they'd actually given him permission to leave the country with their daughter. He was able to do this because he'd secretly engaged in extramarital liaisons with both of Jan's parents, and essentially threatened to reveal each partner's infidelities to the other.
Before taking Jan the first time, Berchtold talked his way into being allowed to sleep in Jan's bed with her by claiming he was being treated for abuse he'd suffered as a child, and that being allowed to sleep in the young girl's bed was part of his 'therapy.' After that first abduction, he engaged in an eight-month affair with Jan's mother, which he later used to try and force the couple into a separation.
Berchtold abducted Jan again in 1976, secretly enrolling her in a Catholic girls' school in California, where he visited her on weekends, posing as her father (Berchtold was living in Utah at the time); she was gone, I believe, for over 100 days this time. Once Jan was found and returned home, Berchtold was arrested, put on trial for kidnapping and other charges... and ultimately sentenced to 45 days in jail, of which he served ten.
Decades later, Jan and her mother would write a book about the family's experiences; a now-elderly Berchtold was arrested after turning up at several book signings and other public events, in violation of a lifetime restraining order. He was convicted and given a date to report back for sentencing, but committed suicide before that date could arrive.
In 2006, 24 year old Shonda Stansbury was last seen visibly beaten and battered before she disappeared in North Carolina. Days after her sudden disappearance, someone reported to 911 that they saw Shonda being chased by two men near the woods. Shonda was naked, bloodied, and screaming for help.
On December 9, 2006, 24-year-old Shonda Stansbury, a mother of three, arrived to at a Waffle House, her sister’s workplace, at approximately 6 AM in the vicinity of Interstate 95 and Highway 158 in Weldon, North Carolina. Shonda was visibly battered — bruises covered her face and legs, and there was a swollen knot on her temple.
Shonda hitched a ride with a regular customer and requested that they take her to West Side Trailer Court in Roanoke Rapids. Shonda temporarily resided in the trailer court with some of her friends. Once Shonda was dropped of at her destination, she was never heard from again.
Concerned, Shonda’s mother, Gloria, filed a missing persons report at the local police station on December 14 at approximately 10:15 AM. As advised, Shonda would contact Gloria on a daily basis and it was uncharacteristic of her to neglect doing so. Since Shonda was an avid substance abuser, the police initially suspected that Shonda voluntarily disappeared.
That same day, a woman contacted 911 at approximately 11:28 PM to report that she saw two men chasing a blonde woman, who she believed was Shonda, behind a convenience store near the woods off Highway 158. However, the caller hung up before the dispatcher could ask her for her name and other information. Investigators eventually traced the call to a cell tower and located the caller days later.
The caller claimed that the woman she believed to be Shonda was stark naked, had blood dripping from her mouth, and was screaming for help. The caller explained to the police that she was too frightened to intervene at the time and didn’t call 911 until she got home because she didn’t want to stop. The caller knew Shonda personally and had recognized her. It’s unknown if she had known if Shonda had been reported missing, but given that Shonda was reported missing the same day the sighting occurred, its likely that she had no knowledge of Shonda’s sudden disappearance.
The witness described the two men as African Americans. The first man was between the ages of 28 and 32, stood approximately 5’8 in height, had large, muscular arms and a stocky build, and was dark-complected. He was allegedly wearing denim jeans, a white t-shirt, and a baseball cap. It’s likely that he may have been bald. The other man was described as light-complected, stood approximately 5’6 in height, had a medium build, and dreadlocked hair. He was allegedly wearing Timberland boots, jeans with patches on them, and a brown/light brown oversized button down shirt.
As a result, investigators changed their stance, and started to investigate Shonda’s sudden disappearance more closely. Investigators scoured over the surrounding area where she was allegedly last seen, but the area was undisturbed. Investigators questioned customers and employees at the convenience store, but nobody had seen or heard anything.
In January of 2008, over a year after her disappearance, several more people came forward and reported that they saw Shonda in Wilson County, approximately 60 miles away from Roanoke Rapids. Some people claimed to have even confronted the woman, but Shonda never contacted her family as they allegedly had told her to do. Administrative Officer Andy Jackson said, “We are gravely concerned something serious might have happened to her. Though there were sightings, no law enforcement officer has made contact and her family has not heard from her in over a year.” Detectives were sent to search for Shonda in Wilson County, but again failed to locate any trace of her.
Investigators were especially concerned when records indicated that Shonda has not used her Social Security number nor has she sought public assistance. Captain Andy Jackson of the Roanoke Police Department said, “What bothers us is we have contacted agencies who can check on whether a Social Security number has been used across the United States, used for welfare or in search of lawful employment. Her number has not been used since she was missing. That raises a red flag.” Captain Jackson then expressed another concern, saying, “In high crime areas you are more likely to run into the police. A police officer would have made contact. She is in (missing person and other law enforcement data banks) as missing or endangered.”
Captain Jackson and Shonda’s family don’t believe that she disappeared voluntarily. Every day up until her disappearance, Shonda contacted Gloria regularly, even during the worser periods in her life. Shonda was also described as wholly devoted to her three children, and the family doesn’t believe that she would ever deliberately abandon them.
Shonda’s case remains open. Foul play is suspected.
|Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2019 03:50 pm||
In a case with echoes of the Fritzl family horror in Austria, Ondrej Mauerova was partially skinned in the closet in a cellar at his home in Kurim near Brno, in the Czech Republic, according to reports.
The abuse – involving members of a religious cult – was uncovered by chance last May when a neighbour's television baby monitor picked up graphic pictures of what was happening next door.
Ondrej and his nine-year-old brother Jakub were locked and chained in the cellar for months by their mother Klara, 31.
He was caged, beaten and gagged to stop him screaming, according to reports.
Mauerova had the monitor installed so that she could watch the abuse from her kitchen but the images were picked up by a neighbour who used an identical system to monitor a newborn baby, the regional court in Brno has heard.
Police were called and the two boys as well as what appeared to be a 13-year-old girl were freed.
But the girl later turned out to have been one of the alleged abusers, 34-year-old Barbora Skrlova.
She subsequently fled to Norway before being brought back to the Czech Republic earlier this year.
Mauerova has admitted abusing her children but she said she had been manipulated by Skrlova and her own sister Katerina.
WEST CHESTER —
On his final afternoon, George Gibson left work early, without explanation.
Within a few hours, someone shot the Procter & Gamble researcher nine times in his West Chester home. The killer, who apparently broke in through a rear basement window, also killed Gibson’s two pet Bernese Mountain dogs, Hugo and Capella.
“We believe he received a phone call at his work that made him leave early,” said Det. Doug Farris, the latest to investigate the nearly 13-year-old cold case.
Gibson, 47, was shot to death June 22, 2000. His wife Paige Smith, also a Procter & Gamble researcher at the time, was in upstate New York on a business trip that day.
Gibson is hardly the typical murder victim, Farris said, noting that “he did not have a high-risk lifestyle.”
Gibson graduated from Brown University, then received his degree in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University. After practicing in Vermont, he went to Cornell University, where he received a doctorate in pathology. While at Cornell, he met Smith, who was pursuing her doctorate in veterinary clinical nutrition there.
The couple moved from New York to the Cincinnati area about two years before the murder. Gibson worked at P&G’s Ross facility and Smith at the Mason branch.
Smith and Gibson’s sister, Judy, who lives in New York and did not want her last name used, both said that Gibson was a generous man, an animal lover and a pillar of the family. He helped people, was involved with his church and the Boy Scouts, even though he and Smith did not have children.
Gibson’s last day was a Thursday. Smith saw him before going to work. After work, she flew to Norwich, NY. Gibson was seen leaving work about 3:40 p.m., then seen arriving home around 5:20 p.m.
Smith became concerned after she could not reach Gibson by phone and, the next day, asked a neighbor to check on him. P&G employees had called police after Gibson did not arrive at work, and officers arrived just as the neighbors were about to enter the home. About 12:30, police found his body on the first floor of the home at 7165 Tylersville Road.
Gibson was shot seven times in the head, once in the neck and once in the chest. The killer fired at least five more shots at the dogs. One was found in the basement near the broken window. The other was found on the main floor.
Farris said that it appeared that someone sat Gibson down, had a talk with him, then executed him. He described the crime as “very personal.”
Nothing was missing from the home, though some things had been moved around, Farris said.
There were no suspects, and no known reason for Gibson’s slaying. But police found that Gibson had a secret life after a woman came forward and told them that she had met Gibson through a dating phone service. Police now believe Gibson had contact with several people through the service, Farris said.
Asked about the phone service, Smith said “I guess it’s possible,” but added that it didn’t sound like him. His sister said she found it nearly impossible and described Gibson as “very straight laced” and the couple as extremely close.
“We always said George and Paige together, like it was one word,” she said. “He and Paige had a very tight marriage. It seems unlikely to me.”
The two speculated that Gibson could have been the victim of a botched hit, in which a killer went to the wrong house, or that his generosity could have gotten him in trouble. On at least one occasion, Gibson helped a female acquaintance leave an abusive partner, they said.
“I could see him trying to help someone who was in trouble,” the sister said.
But Farris said that evidence found at the scene points more closely to the dating service, though he declined to say what that evidence was.
|Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2019 06:47 am||
|Per request, we start this week with a little levity before we go dark once more...
Malaysian police were left red-faced after a man who abandoned the theft of a $280,000 Porsche for lack of fuel attempted the crime a second time and drove the sportscar out of a police station, local media said.
The suspect had first attempted the theft on Monday at a luxury car showroom in northern Penang state, local papers said. Dressed smartly in a suit and tie, he asked for the car keys and promptly sped off, smashing through the glass windows.
The car was later found abandoned a short distance away, its fuel tank empty.
The New Straits Times said the man kept the keys and returned with a canister of petrol to a local police station where the car had been towed. He drove off with the Porsche, ditching it later after he discovered roadblocks had been set up to stop him.
Police were hunting for the suspect, the paper said.
In 1979, Bill Comeans was a freshman in high school. What should have been an exciting new chapter in his life was marred by a series of threatening letters left for him ("You were warned") and for some of his friends ("Bill has three months to live, make the best of it")
One day he in September, he was assaulted by two men who knocked him off his bike, covered his head with a plastic bag and strangled him. He survived and his parents reported the attack to police.
Bill was again assaulted and strangled in October, this time he was choked with a rope and left for dead by the side of the road, but he recovered and staggered home to his parents who again contacted police and took Bill to the hospital because of the rope burns on his neck, scratches on his face and appearance of his face.
In January of 1980 he was taken from in front of his home and found dead. He'd been strangled then left face down in a snowy ditch two blocks from his house not 30 minutes after he disappeared. His father found him just a block from their home in Columbus, Ohio, strangled by his own scarf. He was not dead yet, but passed away at a local hospital that very same night.
After he died the letters resumed and his neighbors were targeted but that letter writer, who did not murder Bill, was apprehended.
Comeans murder remains a cold case. His family has a twitter account in his name to try and keep the public interest up in hopes of a new lead forming.
The Wyoming State Penitentiary's All Stars were a faint and short-lived meteor across America's baseball sky in the early years of the 20th century. Surely, however, there was never a team quite like them. To a man they were murderers and rapists, all of them sentenced to death. Back in 1911 in the US, death sentences were normally carried out within a few months, without the 10- or 20-year-long appeal process that is the norm now. The All Stars survived, for a while at least, thanks to a simple arrangement with their prison's baseball-obsessed warden, whose creation they were. Keep winning, Felix Alston made clear to his players, and he would ensure they received stays of execution.
|Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2019 12:11 pm||
J.P. Getty was the billionaire founder of the Getty Oil Company. In July 1973, his 16-year-old grandson John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in Rome. The captors demanded a ransom of $17 million and phoned his mother, Gail, to say: “Get it from London.”
J.P. Getty, who was based in the UK, refused by saying: “If I pay one penny now, then I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren.”
Gail received a letter from her son that read:
"I have fallen into the hands of kidnappers. Don’t let me be killed. Arrange things so that the police don’t intervene. You must absolutely not take this thing as a joke. Try and get in contact with the kidnappers in the manner and the way they tell you. Don’t let the public know about the negotiations if you don’t want me killed."
Three months later, John Paul’s ear was mailed to a Rome newspaper. Eventually, his father, John Paul II, negotiated a ransom payment of about $3 million, to which J.P. contributed $2.2 million (the tax-deductible maximum). The rest was made up of a loan, which J.P. gave to his son—at 4 percent interest.
After his release, John Paul III tried to phone his grandfather to thank him. J.P. Getty refused the call.
In 1995, a woman named Joyce Goodener was brutally stabbed, beaten with a cinder block, and set on. Despite some initial leads, the case ultimately went cold. Fast-forward to 2012. Inmate James Washington clutched his chest and felt his heart giving up. As lay in agony in his hospital bed, he beckoned the nearby prison guard closer and made a bona fide deathbed confession: "I have to get something off my conscience and you need to hear this. I killed someone. I beat her to death." Then James Washington closed his eyes and ... didn't die. Which was great news, as it made him able to attend an upcoming murder trial -- his own.
Washington had long been a suspect in the Goodener murder case, but there just wasn't enough evidence for an arrest. But a confession heard by a government official was plenty. Of course, the defense tried to play it off as some bizarre hallucination induced by the meds he was on at the time, but the medical team told the judge that Mr. Washington had been completely lucid while confessing. After a three-day trial, Washington was found guilty and slapped with an automatic life sentence.
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