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True Crime Books by Jason Lucky Morrow

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New Book: Memphis Vice, 1863: An Untold Story of the Civil War

Home | New Books | New Book: Memphis Vice, 1863: An Untold Story of the Civil War


Not all crime books are about murder or serial killers. Some of the most intriguing ones are about other subjects like gambling, Ocean 11 type heists, bank robbers, con men, spies, and other non-violent crimes.

And there is also prostitution. Veteran historical true crime writer, Tobin Buhk, author of eight books including the popular, True Crime in the Civil War, has just written a new book about the world’s second oldest profession–with a twist. His new book is about prostitution in Memphis during the civil war and it’s fascinating look at guilty pleasure type subject matter from an era in which we know very little about the sex lives, purchased or otherwise, of the common man, as well as the higher-ups.

Memphis-Vice-1863-Tobin-Buhk

—Free with Kindle Unlimited, or $2.99 for Kindle.—

Here is a fascinating synopsis from the author.

A long time ago, in a place not so far away, a battle raged. This conflict didn’t make it into the history books, and your history teacher never told you about it (or he likely would have been sent to the principal’s office). It didn’t occur on a battlefield peopled with men in blue and gray.

It took place on the mean streets of Memphis during the turbulent, third year of the Civil War, when the city’s demimonde controlled the vice world’s commerce. They spread joy to the boys in blue who were headed to an uncertain future…and venereal disease, which posed a clear threat to the army. Billy Yank already had a hard time fighting the tenacious rebel army, but now he had to do it with a burning sensation between his legs.

Something had to be done, so the Memphis provost marshal declared war on the prostitutes by closing the brothels, threatening to exile them upriver.

But business was so good, many of them didn’t listen, which led to a clandestine game of pussycat and mouse between the prostitutes and the provost marshal detectives.

Enter William M. Cherry, a married father of four from Illinois. Left with a debilitating and painful injury following the battle of Shiloh, Cherry went back into action by going undercover in the brothels to gather evidence for the provost marshal. Except Cherry, who liked to tip the bottle, slipped a little too deep under the covers of Kate Stoner’s brothel, which made for an interesting scene when Cherry and his straight-laced partner raided the place.

The result was a highly unusual and embarrassing trial during which all of the key players appeared in front of a military commission who had the dubious task of figuring out who had been naughty and who had been nice.

 

If you have Kindle Unlimited, the book is free. If not, the Kindle version is only $2.99.

Unfortunately, there are no Nook or epub versions available. The author is currently working on the print version, which could be out later this year.

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Mug Shot Monday! Azel D. Galbraith, 1904

Home | Uncategorized | Mug Shot Monday! Azel D. Galbraith, 1904


 Azel-D-GalbraithAzel D. Galbraith

Between the years of 1898 and 1904, Azel D. Galbraith was working his way up the ladder in Colorado’s mining industry as a bookkeeper and manager. He was held in high esteem and his name occasionally appeared in Colorado newspapers. Although he was married with a young son, his success went to his head and he began to think he was entitled to more. As the business manager of a mine in Russell Gulch in Gilpin County, he traveled often to Denver and on one occasion in 1902, he met Mrs. Lottie Russell, a single woman despite her prefix (honorific). The two began a wild love affair and to enhance his sexual pleasure, or to ease his guilt, Galbraith also began drinking heavily for the first time in his life.

Predictably, the affair turned into an expensive one as Galbraith spent his life savings to keep his lover happy with new dresses, jewelry, dining out in Denver’s best restaurants, tickets to the best shows in town, as well as expensive trips back east.

When his savings ran out, Galbraith began embezzling money from his company. In early March 1904, he was fired by his employer, AJ Richards, who owned the Topeka Mine in Russell Gulch, a now abandoned mining town with an ironic name. Before or immediately after he was fired, Galbraith stole a large number of blank company checks.

[Note: The house in which he murdered his wife and son is still standing and is said to be haunted by a local team of “paranormal investigators.”]

Rather than tell his wife, Galbraith pretended he was still employed at the mine for several days until he could figure out his next move. On the morning of March 9, he and his wife were lying in bed together discussing their future. With no knowledge her husband had been fired, Mrs. Jennie Galbraith chatted freely about various personal objectives she had for their son and the family. Around nine o’clock, Galbraith distracted his wife and when she turned away from him, he shot her in the head with a .32 caliber pistol.

Galbraith placed his wife back in the bed and covered her up as if she were sleeping. He then went outside and called for his six-year-old son. Donald, who was playing nearby with some other children, obeyed his father and ran home. Galbraith then persuaded him to lie down between him and his mother on the bed so they could talk. While pointing at the window, Galbraith remarked “Look at that little bird.” When Donald turned to look, Galbraith shot him in the head.

Galbraith arranged the bodies of his dead wife and son by folding their arms across their chests and crossing their legs at the ankles. He then pulled the quilt over their heads and left for Denver.

For the next month, Galbraith stayed in Denver, visiting his lover as often as he could. He also began drinking heavily and whenever he was low on funds, he would cash one of the company checks. During his time there, he burned through $1,000, the 2016 equivalent of $24,000.

On April 8, he was apprehended by two Denver detectives who had a warrant for his arrest for theft from his former employer. The next day, authorities in Russell Gulch searched his home and found the bodies of his wife and son exactly where he had left them thirty-one days earlier.

Galbraith was interrogated and at first, denied any involvement. Eventually, he faltered and confessed, claiming he killed them because he had lost his job, and wanted to save them from a life of poverty. He said he was going to kill himself too, but lost the nerve, and hadn’t completed his task, yet.

After they grilled him some more, Galbraith told them the real reason he killed his family: he wanted to be with Lottie Russell.

Galbraith was taken to the county seat, Central City, and held in the local jail for trial. When he arrived, twenty armed deputies had to surround the building to prevent a lynch mob from killing him. Although he pled guilty, Galbraith was given a jury trial which began on June 15, and ended thirty-six hours later. After forty minutes of deliberation, the jury found him guilty of first degree murder and recommended the death penalty. On July 7, the judge pronounced sentence with a death date set for October 16, to be carried in the Colorado State Prison in Canon City.

However, two days before he was to be executed, he was granted a thirty day reprieve. Over the next six months, he received three more reprieves as the state considered its capital punishment laws. It had been eight years since the state had carried out an execution, and the laws needed to be dusted off and re-examined. After various legal considerations by the state supreme court, his final date was set for March 6, 1905, at 8:00 p.m.

In his final hours, Galbraith ate a light dinner, and then dressed himself in a new black suit, with white shirt and black tie. After the death warrant was read, he was asked if he would like a drink of whisky.

“No more of that for me,” he answered. “That is what put me where I am.”

Standing before Colorado’s hanging platform[1], with his ankles, knees and wrists bound, he stood quietly as a Presbyterian minister prayed for his soul. When the word, “Amen,” came, he responded with a simple “Good-bye,” and then the black hood was placed over his head. He was lifted on to the weight sensitive platform and ninety seconds later, he was jerked five feet into the air, and then fell back three feet, breaking his neck. His body twitched two times, and was then motionless as his body swayed back and forth, eventually coming to a stop. He remained there for ten minutes before they cut him down, placed him in a coffin and buried him on nearby Woodpecker Hill, which is the name for the prisoner section of Greenwood Pioneer Cemetery, a public cemetery for Canon City residents.

According to the proprietor of the Facebook page, Cemeteries of Colorado, the prisoner section is separate from the area for civilian graves. All prisoners executed by the state, whose bodies went unclaimed by family members, are buried in the prisoner section. As you can see from these photos shared by Cemeteries of Colorado, their graves are marked by an aluminum plate on a steel post. Most of the plates are covered in rust. Beneath that rust, most of them read only: “CSP Inmate.” A small number of them contain the prisoner’s name. Here is a story about the cemetery in the Denver Post website. In one of their photos, you can see the name Louis Monge. I’ll be posting about him later on.

Woodpecker Hill Photo Gallery, courtesy of Cemeteries of Colorado.

Rusted aluminum markers on steel posts identify the grave sites of prisoners executed long ago at the Colorado State Prison in Canon City.
"CSP Inmate" is how most of the markers are labeled. The man buried here is nameless and forgotten.
A barren landscape is the final resting place for executed prisoners, and those who died while serving out their sentences.
The prison can be seen from the cemetery.
A pitiful reminder of a life wasted.

P.S. If someone ever gets the chance, please search the April 1904 editions of the Rocky Mountain News or Denver Post to see if there is a sketch or image of Lottie Russell. I would really like to include her image with this story.

 

[1] It operated by counterweights that sent the body upward, dislocating the vertebrae, followed by a sharp drop which snapped the neck. It was dubbed “the automatic suicide machine.”

The Seaside Murders: 4 Females from 3 Generations in 1 Family, 1977

Home | Feature Stories, Short Feature Story | The Seaside Murders: 4 Females from 3 Generations in 1 Family, 1977


Four females slaughtered to protect underage love affair.

 

Seaside-Murders-1977

A 1978 crime magazine article highlights the gravity of the crime with a bold headline.

On the morning of August 11, 1977, a Seaside, California, police officer kicked down the door to a small duplex and found four females spanning three generations of the Smith family dead from too many stab wounds to count.

Looking into the kitchen, he could see Josephine Smith, the white-haired grandmother, lying dead next to her twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Suzanne Harris, who was lying dead next to her six-year-old daughter, Rachel Harris. In the bedroom, Renee Ferguson, another fifteen-year-old Smith family granddaughter and niece to Suzanne, was found dead, lying across the bed with her hands tied behind her back.

All four females had not been seen since attending church on Tuesday night, August 9. After the service, Grandma Smith promised the Assembly of God Church pastor they would return the following evening for his evangelical seminar. They never came. It wasn’t like Grandma Smith not to appear when she said she would. He thought about checking on them, but his attention was directed elsewhere.

That Wednesday morning, both Suzanne Harris and Renee Ferguson were supposed to be at work; Suzanne at an electrical firm, and Renee to her summer job she had gotten through the youth job corp. Neither one of them showed-up and Suzanne’s car remained under the carport, exactly where it had been parked the night before.

Later that Wednesday night, a friend of Renee’s mother asked a neighbor acquainted with the family to check on them the following morning when he went to work. At 5:30 a.m. that Thursday, August 11, no one answered the front door, but as he was walking away, he noticed a light on in the bedroom, peered through the window, and saw Renee face down on a blood-soaked bed with her hands tied behind her back. Approximately ten minutes later, the officer was kicking down the door to the worst crime scene of his career.

duplex-seaside-murdersInside the home, detectives found a house of human slaughter that looked like something out a low-budget, teenage slasher film—the kind targeted for young people eager for an emotional thrill.

An autopsy later showed that each victim had been stabbed between nineteen and forty-five times. The wounds were made with a knife so long that almost all of them would have been fatal. Even with three victims lying clustered together on a linoleum kitchen floor, every surface inside the small residence seemed untouched by gore.

josephine-smith

Grandmother Josephine Smith

“I walked in and saw blood all over and the officer told me to get out,” the neighbor later told reporters. “I don’t ever want to see anything like that ever again. It about made me sick.”

They may have found a lot of blood, but it was what they didn’t find that would cause the investigation to last far longer than anyone in the community could stomach.

The windows and door were not broken.

There didn’t appear to be a struggle inside the home.

None of the victims were sexually assaulted.

Nothing valuable was taken from the home or from any of the victims.

In short, there were no clues, no suspects, and no motive.

But what they did have was a hell of a lot of blood. And down in that blood, they would later find foot prints that were only visible in a crime scene photograph. After careful study, they concluded there was one large shoe print, and another print, not as big, maybe a bare foot, but it was small. Who did that belong to? Rachel?

3victims

Although inexperienced with investigating a house full of dead women, murdered by some movie theater monster with an unseen-face, a long-knife, and a short-temper, the Seaside police force used every resource available to them. Their investigation was thorough and professional. They did what they were supposed to do. They interviewed everybody that knew the family. Twice. They interviewed 500 people before it was over. They searched for clues within a wide radius of the area. They investigated every tip and lead that came into a special hotline. They sent out bulletins and called in reinforcements from the state Bureau of Investigation.

But when the crime wasn’t solved fast enough, the fear of Seaside residents turned to anger and resentment against their own police force. Serving a community of just 23,000 people, they thought the force was too small for the kind of mass-murder that should have happened somewhere else.

After the bodies were discovered, they organized citizen brigades to patrol the streets on foot. Volunteers with CB radios cruised the back roads all-night in their vehicles, talking to each other in official sounding language about all clear this and suspicious looking that.

At the end of three weeks, they grew tired of playing cops and movie monster killers. Without a suspect in custody, the family members complained to the mayor and the media. Then, the media started asking loaded questions about the investigation being led by just three detectives on the Seaside police force.

The lack of trust by the public got so bad that the California Department of Justice had to investigate the investigation. Released on September 19, their evaluation asserted the performance of Seaside detectives “is complete and being conducted competently.” It further stated that no involvement by the state DOJ was necessary.

In short, the local police were doing their job and just needed a break in the case.

The break in the case came from a nineteen-year-old girl who called into a hotline to give them the name of the fourteen-year-old girlfriend of the killer. Well, his new fourteen-year-old girlfriend. She was calling about getting that girl arrested, and was genuinely surprised when they weren’t hip to who the killer was.

She had to tell them: his name was Harold Arnold Bicknell. Except, she didn’t say it in a normal way, she spit it out of her mouth with the contrived shock and sarcasm feral teenagers are known for.

“And who is Harold Bicknell?” the detective asked the caller.

“You don’t even know that? I thought you said you were a detective investigating those murders.”

Harold Bicknell was the nineteen-year-old grandson of Grandma Smith; nephew of Suzanne; cousin to both Rachel and Renee; the Harold Arnold Bicknell who sang in the church choir and volunteered for the citizen patrol for one day; the same Harold Bicknell who joined the Nay two days after the murder. And the same Harold Bicknell who had a fourteen-year-old girlfriend that replaced the girl that was on the telephone, who was really calling to get her in trouble, not Harold.

The movie that had ended as a teenager slasher film began as a teenage romance with a love-triangle as the plot.

The detective who took the call investigated Harold Arnold Bicknell by questioning his friends. Those who knew something, talked.

Bicknell-Arrest

Bicknell is escorted off the plane that brought him back to Monterrey County.

On October 26, Bicknell was arrested at the San Diego Naval Training Center and brought back to Monterrey County. He later made a partial confession to the crime on tape. His fourteen-year-old girlfriend, Terri Marie Milligan, was also arrested and charged as a juvenile for her involvement in the murders. In late November, another young girl, fifteen-year-old Karen Kirby, was arrested and charged with murder. The district attorney’s office was hush-hush on Milligan and Kirby’s exact involvement. All that was known about Kirby was that she was a friend to victim Renee and her sister Rayleen. She was also an acquaintance of Bicknell and Milligan, but didn’t know them that well.

In February, investigators revealed they had a surprise witness who was in the duplex on the night of the murders. Not only were Milligan and Kirby there during the slaughter, but so was Rayleen Ferguson, Renee’s sister. After the murders, she had tried to block it all out, and had not come forward to investigators and the district attorney until November. Shortly after she told them what happened that night, Karen Kirby was arrested.

During a court hearing in February 1975, Rayleen testified she was standing outside the kitchen when the attack started after Renee and Bicknell began arguing, according to an Associated Press report.

“I heard screaming,” she said, adding that she saw knives swinging and blood and was then struck on the back on the head and knocked unconscious.

She said she woke up the next morning in Miss Kirby’s bedroom and told Miss Kirby she had had a bad dream.

“She said, ‘I don’t want to hear about it,’” Ferguson told the judge.

Ferguson also testified she once tried to tell Bicknell about the dream and he agreed and said, “Yes, it does seem like a dream.”

 

WITH RAYLEEN TESTIFYING AGAINST BICKNELL, and his confession on tape, it was a trial that should have ended in days, not three weeks. Harold, who had pleaded not guilty, said he could not recall killing anybody, and disavowed his taped confession.

Testifying on his own behalf, he said he went over there late that night to confront his cousin Renee. She was going to spill the beans to his long-time girlfriend, the girl who called the detective, about his groping and grunting with his underage girlfriend.

Bicknell-May24-1978

Bicknell is escorted back to the courtroom to hear the verdict.

From the witness stand, Bicknell, talking in the third-person because he had several personalities, stated that he killed for the noblest reason of all.

“When I look back, I see that he was fighting to protect love,” one of his personalities declared in court. Apparently, it was one of the good personalities, because that one didn’t like the cold-blooded, stab four members of his family over one-hundred times personality.

“When I see how much damage I wrought, I abhor that man,” the high school dropout said with some dramatic flair.

Then, although he couldn’t recall killing anyone when he first began to testify, one of his personalities later confessed to jurors that he killed the three younger females. He thoroughly denied killing Grandma, and blamed Kirby and Milligan. He would never have killed Grandma, it had to have been the other girls, he said repeatedly.

The jury also abhorred the short young man who had wrought so many lives. He was found guilty on April 21. One month later, he was ordered to serve four life sentences—to run concurrently: which really meant one life sentence; which didn’t really mean his entire life because life without parole wasn’t an option until the 1980s; and because it was the 1970s, when prison sentences were ridiculously lenient, his four consecutive life sentences meant that he would be eligible for parole in seven years.

Fortunately, the California Board of Parole Hearings didn’t believe in lenient sentences for lovesick mass-murderers. Harold Arnold Bicknell is still serving his life sentence at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. He is fifty-eight-years-old.

In June 1975, Terri Milligan was convicted in juvenile court of three counts of first-degree murder, and one count of second degree murder. Karen Kirby was convicted of being an accessory, but found not guilty of murder. Just like their involvement in the murders that night, their sentences were not made public.

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Photo Gallery of NYC Murder Victims, 1915-1920

Home | Rediscovered Crime News | Photo Gallery of NYC Murder Victims, 1915-1920


Warning: Gallery contains very graphic photos.

The New York City Department of Records has a great collection of photographs related to all things early 20th Century New York City.

Among their different categories are photographs related to crime, criminals, criminal identification, and most interesting of all, Murder—as in dead bodies. During the early 20th Century, it was standard procedure for a NYC police photographer to set up a tripod camera over the top of a murdered victim, with the lens pointing down. This had a strange effect rarely seen in homicide photographs and the viewer feels an uneasy connection to the victim’s last moment alive.

The photographs in this collection are from 1915 to 1920. There is little to no information to that accompanies each image and therefore, we have no context for understanding what happened in the photograph, other than what we see.

However, if you look to the left sidebar, you might find a date which you can then attempt to match with newspaper stories from digital archive collections of NYC  papers like the Library of Congress Chronicling America Archive.

For example, the photograph below is from a double homicide dated June 17, 1915. A story I found in the New York Evening World contains information that matches the photograph, but it is not a double homicide. What you’re looking at is a photograph that tells a bizarre story of murder and suicide between an admirer and a woman who recently married a man who knew nothing about his new wife’s friend.

NYC-Murder-Photos

NYC-murder-suicide

A .pdf copy of the original newspaper story about this murder-suicide can be downloaded/read by clicking on the image below.

NYEW

All of these photographs are graphic, many of them are disturbing, and some of them are just revolting.

Photo Gallery of NYC Murder Victims, 1915-1920

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FBI Hunts Serial-Killer in 40 Year-Old Cold Case
12 Killed, 45 Rapes, 3 Nicknames for him

Home | Recent News | FBI Hunts Serial-Killer in 40 Year-Old Cold Case
12 Killed, 45 Rapes, 3 Nicknames for him



.

Do You Recognize this Face as it Looked in the late 1970s?
Golden-State-Serial-Killer-Original-Night-Stalker

Listen to the Killer’s Voice on Recording
(Audio Recording of Victim Statements at Bottom of Post).

 

Press Release: 06/15/16

Although four decades have passed since a prolific serial rapist and murderer terrorized California communities from Sacramento to Orange County, the FBI and local law enforcement announced a national publicity campaign today—and a significant reward—in the hopes of locating the suspect and finally bringing him to justice.

Between 1976 and 1986, the violent and elusive individual known as the East Area Rapist, and later as the Original Night Stalker and the Golden State Killer, committed 12 homicides, 45 rapes, and more than 120 residential burglaries in multiple California communities. His victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 and included women home alone, women at home with their children, and husbands and wives.

At a press conference today in Sacramento, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer along with a nationwide multimedia campaign to once again bring the case to the public’s attention.

“Regardless of the amount of time that has passed,” said Sgt. Paul Belli, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department detective assigned to the case, “the sheriff’s department never gave up on the investigation. This person ruined a great number of lives, and he should be held accountable.”

During the time he was operating in Sacramento, between 1976 and 1978, the East Area Rapist struck fear and anxiety into the community. “Everyone was afraid,” said Special Agent Marcus Knutson, who was born and raised in Sacramento and now heads the FBI’s portion of the investigation. “We had people sleeping with shotguns, we had people purchasing dogs. People were concerned, and they had a right to be. This guy was terrorizing the community. He did horrible things.”

If he is still alive, the killer would now be approximately 60 to 75 years old. He is described as a white male, close to six feet tall, with blond or light brown hair and an athletic build. He may have an interest or training in military or law enforcement techniques, and he was proficient with firearms.

Detectives have DNA from multiple crime scenes that can positively link—or eliminate—suspects. This will allow investigators to easily rule out innocent parties with a simple, non-invasive DNA test.

“Just like any homicide investigation,” Belli said, “our lifelines are people who give us information. It all boils down to people helping.” He added that the $50,000 reward could motivate someone to come forward. “It may push somebody over the edge who knows something. It could provide us with that one tip we need.”

Photo Gallery (opens in new window)

Investigators are urging the public to provide law enforcement with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem. If someone knows a person in the right age range who lived in the area at the time and who seemed suspicious or who may have had some involvement, “we can determine where they are living,” Belli said. For those who come forward, he added, “we are very discreet about privacy and confidentiality.”

It is known that the East Area Rapist took things from crime scenes—coins and jewelry in particular. The public is asked to be mindful of that. “We know that our guy took items,” Knutson said. “So if for some reason people—whether their family member is deceased or they’re cleaning out a storage unit—come across a weird collection of items such as women’s ID’s, rings, earrings—anything that’s out of the ordinary—it could be significant.” (Audio: Phone Recording of East Area Rapist)

In addition to supplying the reward money, the FBI is assisting local investigators by following leads all over the country, Knutson said, ruling out suspects based on DNA tests and other evidence. When the crimes were committed, DNA testing was not available, nor was other technology such as cell phones, neighborhood surveillance cameras, or, in many areas, the 911 emergency call system.

Burglaries and rapes began occurring in the eastern district of Sacramento County—hence the name East Area Rapist—in the summer of 1976. The subject ransacked homes and took coins, jewelry, and identification. Neighborhood burglaries were often followed by clusters of sexual assaults. Then, on February 2, 1978, Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, were on an evening walk with their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood when they were chased down and murdered.

Ray Biondi, a retired Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department detective, investigated the double homicide, which was quickly linked to the East Area Rapist. “This threw a whole different light on the rape series,” said Biondi, who spent 17 years as a homicide detective and investigated hundreds of murders.

One of his few regrets about retirement, Biondi said recently, “was leaving the cases I didn’t solve.” What strikes him about the Maggiore murders and the East Area Rapist is how the subject has managed to elude capture. “It is mind-boggling that he committed so many crimes without a slip up,” the veteran detective said. And yet, one of Biondi’s first homicide cases decades ago was recently solved through DNA evidence. So it is entirely possible, he said, that the East Area Rapist can be brought to justice. “That would elate me.”

After his crimes in the Sacramento area, the subject continued primarily in the East Bay Area of Northern California, where his activity escalated into rapes and homicides along the California coast. He would attack couples, tie up both victims, rape the female, and then murder them. After July 1981, no associated incidents are known until 1986, when an 18-year-old woman was raped and murdered in Irvine, California—the last known crime associated with the subject.

Knutson, too, believes that capturing the East Area Rapist is still possible. “Sometimes it’s just one call that makes a difference,” he said. “If we get that one call and we are able to compare DNA and say, ‘Yes, it’s him,’ then we have him. But it starts with that one call, and that’s why we are seeking the public’s assistance.”

Being a Sacramento native makes this case even more meaningful for Knutson. “This is my home,” he said. “This is where I’m from. The fact that he did his crimes here I take personally, and I’m proud that I’m able to work with the local sheriffs’ offices to investigate this case and try to get this guy in custody.”

We need your help. Individuals with information are urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Information may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov.

Surviving the East Area Rapist

She went to sleep that night at home in her bed, and her world was normal. She woke up in the middle of the night with a man’s hand over her mouth. She tried to fight back and run, but he hit her, stuffed a sock in her mouth, blindfolded her, tied her hands and feet. “He put me back in bed and said, ‘If you move, I’m going to kill you.”

Although she feared for her life during that terrifying night decades ago, the woman survived the East Area Rapist’s sexual assault. She and another survivor have come forward to talk about the attacks, how it changed their lives, about revenge and forgiveness, and how they support law enforcement’s continuing efforts to capture this violent individual.

Listen to their stories:

Transcript

Transcript

We need your help. Individuals with information are urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Information may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov.

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Mug Shot Monday! Nannie Hutchinson & son, Charles, 1903

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! Nannie Hutchinson & son, Charles, 1903


Nannie & Charles Hutchinson, Mother & Son Murderers in Rural Nebraska, 1903

On November 1, 1903, Eli Feasel disappeared from his farm south west of Bostwick, Nebraska, about 15 miles east of Red Cloud. His housekeeper, Nannie Hutchinson, said he went to visit his son in Kansas City. Feasel’s brother, Thomas, grew suspicious when inquiries found no trace of Eli. Investigation led to the arrest of the housekeeper and her 21-year old son Charles. With little evidence that a crime had been committed, they were released after their hearing.

The following spring, a Mr. Stanley began farming Eli Feasel’s place. While working in a field, he found what appeared to be a newly opened grave. Upon close examination, authorities discovered a human hand, some hair from a man’s head, part of a coat with an empty whisky bottle in the pocket and other pieces of clothing.

Authorities believed Charles Hutchinson had seen Mr. Stanley plowing the field where the grave was later discovered. Charles began to act suspicious. On May 6, he rented a buggy. He said was going to assist in taking the rig to Starke Ranch at Amboy, about 5 miles east. The next morning, Charles returned the rig to the livery stable in Red Cloud and paid the usual fee to Amboy. The team of horses used by Charles appeared to have had a longer drive than a trip to Amboy. Stable workers also noticed a terrible stench emanating from the rented buggy and cushions. They paid little attention to it until Mr. Stanley discovered the open grave on the Eli Feasel’s place.

With the new evidence, authorities quickly rearrested Charles and his mother Nannie. Authorities believed that on the night Charles rented the buggy, he and his mother returned to the site where they had hidden Feasel’s body in order to move the remains. The Hutchinson’s had left tell-tale clues behind them; footprints of a man and woman corresponding to their shoe sizes.

At trial, mother and son were found guilty of second-degree murder.

Story: Nebraska State Historical Society

You can read more about the Hutchinson via a Google News Archive digital copy of The Superior Express, (Nebraska). Page One and Page Five.

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New Book, Ted Bundy: A Visual Timeline

Home | New Books | New Book, Ted Bundy: A Visual Timeline


TedBundy-A-Visual-TimelineTed Bundy: A Visual Timeline is aimed at students of psychology, criminology and neuroscience who are interested in trying to further their understanding of psychopathy in general and Ted Bundy in particular. The book gathers together all the available important information on Ted’s life and lays it out on a visual timeline in exhaustive detail. Every image has been carefully researched so that its position on the timeline is as accurate as possible. Every fact has been triple checked and researched so that the reader does not have to consult other sources to verify its veracity.

In essence, this book is a one-stop-shop on Ted Bundy. But it is also more than that. It presents, for the first time, a thoroughly researched and substantiated neurobehavioral model of Ted. The model enables the reader to assimulate the myriad facts presented in the book in a cohesive manner. Whether the reader ultimately agrees or disagrees with the model, one thing is for sure: this book is by far the most detailed and exhaustive exploration of Ted Bundy to date. No other book comes close in terms of accuracy and authenticity.

About the Author: Dr. Rob Dielenberg was born in Melbourne. He played in rock baRob Dielenberg Authornds until his mid- 20s, then earned a BA (Psychology) and Ph.D. (Neuroscience) from the University of Sydney. In between his degrees he did a year of clinical psychology, a year of TAFE sciences, and a 2-year  ction writing course. He retired as a post-doctoral fellow and went freelance in 2005. For the last decade he has diversi ed into areas such as neuroanthropology and criminology. He is also a co-director of Motion Mensura which develops tracking software and UAVs for high resolution mapping. He is married without children. His hobbies are tennis and cross-country mountain bicycle riding. He currently resides in Newcastle, Australia.

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New Book: Murder & Mayhem in Boston

Home | New Books | New Book: Murder & Mayhem in Boston


Murder & Mayhem in Boston: Historic Crimes in the Hub,” a new book by Christopher Daley, contains nine riveting chapters exposing the dark underbelly of Boston.  Daley chronicles the history of murder in Boston from the mid-nineteenth century up until the 1970’s.  Most of the cases are unknown today but in their time, they were sensational news items, some of which were of national and international fame.

The chapters contained in the book are:Murder-Mayhem-Boston

  • The Prostitute & the Somnambulist,
  • Monster in the Woods,
  • the Boston Barrel Butchery,
  • the Boston Skull Cracker,
  • Sadistic Youth,
  • the Unrelenting Cop,
  • Death Comes to Prince Street,
  • Dismembered, and
  • The Giggler.

Murder & Mayhem in Boston” is written in an easy to read manner, with many period photographs accompanied by the modern photography of Catherine Reusch Daley, the author’s wife and professional photographer.  Many of the sites still exist today and Daley provides maps and exact addresses for those that want to take it further and actually visit some of the crime scenes.

About the Author: Christopher Daley has been lecturing in New England for over twenty-five years on historical topics of interest at libraries, historical societies, schools and many different clubs and organizations. He holds a BA in political science and an MAT in history from Bridgewater State University. He was formerly the president of the historical society and chairman of the historical commission in Pembroke, Massachusetts, and was a docent and chairman of the educational outreach program at the John Alden Historical Site in Duxbury, Massachusetts. He is currently a history teacher in the Silver Lake Regional School System in Kingston, Massachusetts. He resides in Wareham, Massachusetts, on the shores of Buzzards Bay with his wife, photographer Catherine Reusch Daley; their two dogs, Grady and Lincoln; and three cats, Bo, Chloe and Penelope.

Visit website http://daleyhistory.com/ for more information on the book and lectures!

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New Book: Murder in the Name of Love: The Phil Kennamer Trial

Home | New Books | New Book: Murder in the Name of Love: The Phil Kennamer Trial


Every major city has that one true crime story that supersedes all others. In Tulsa, where I live now, the most legendary crime of all was the murder of John Gorrell Jr, the college age son of a beloved local doctor, by Philip Kennamer, the brash, arrogant, highly intelligent but mentally unstable son of a federal judge. I wrote a book about that crime that was published last May. As far as I know, it was the first time in eighty-years a book had ever been published about the case. I heard from others that many books on it were started, but none were ever finished.

Today, I am happy to announce that a new book about this legendary case has recently been published by my pal, Jim Freese. This time, the author has an inside angle to the story: he is the grandson of Virginia Wilcox, the young lady who was at the center of it all in 1934.

Jim Freese has been wanting to write this story for a very long time, he once told me, and I am glad he accomplished his dream and wrote this book. I know it was not only important to Jim and his family, but it is also an important contribution to the history of Tulsa, as well as Oklahoma.

With two books on the subject, both he and are sure it will only raise the level of interest in this fascinating true crime saga. Congratulations to the author on a job well-done.

Book Summary:

Murder-in-the-Name-of-LovejpgIn Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the Great Depression, a young Phil Kennamer, the son of a prominent federal court judge, is lovesick for Virginia Wilcox, the teenage daughter of an oil millionaire. Phil is obsessed and will do anything to win her heart. But she is not interested.

Phil learns of a plot to kidnap Virginia for ransom. He feels compelled to protect her and her family from harm. He intervenes with an unconventional plan to stop it. But the intervention goes awry. John Gorrell, the conspirator and son of a well known Tulsa physician, is killed in a wealthy neighborhood on Thanksgiving evening in 1934. The murder stuns the city. Phil confesses to the killing but declares it was in self-defense. Days later, Phil’s friend, Sidney Born, is dead with a bullet to the head. Was his death a suicide? Or was it Gorrell’s gang looking for revenge? Regardless, a key witness has been silenced. And Sidney’s death sends the residents into a state of panic. Who will die next?

A true story of a forgotten crime that made national headlines, Murder in the Name of Love: The Phil Kennamer Trial is full of intrigue and drama as Phil’s attorneys battle to save his life. But will the jury believe that this teenager is a hero or see him as a cold-blooded murderer?

Available on Amazon.

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Steven T. Judy, Indiana’s Most Hated Killer, 1979

Home | Short Feature Story | Steven T. Judy, Indiana’s Most Hated Killer, 1979


Many years after he murdered three young children just so he could rape and kill their mother in 1979, Steven T. Judy, a diagnosed sexual psychopath, was the most hated man in Indiana. Although I kept this feature story short, it could have been five-times longer and still just as fascinating. A book written in 1981 called Burn, Judy Burn, was recently released for Kindle and epub readers and sells for 3.99. A link to both versions is posted below. More images related to this crime can be found through Google Images.

Story by Jason Lucky Morrow

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victim-terry-chasteen

Terry Chasteen, murdered at 23

On Saturday, April 28, 1979, the naked body of twenty-three-year-old Terry Chasteen was found strangled along White Lick Creek, near State Road 67 and Mooresville in Morgan County Indiana. Not far from her, were the naked bodies of her three young children, Misty, 5, Mark, 4 and Steven, 3.

Terry’s hands and feet were bound by material torn from her clothing. Her slacks covered her head and a scarf was wrapped around her throat. An autopsy would later reveal the children were forcibly drowned, their heads pushed into the shallow water until they died.

The death of a divorced, single-mother and her three-children shocked the quiet, Midwestern-minded residents of Indiana. Within a day of their discovery, numerous witnesses came forward to report they saw a read and gray truck decked out for construction work, near the area where the bodies were found on Saturday morning. Getting into the truck, one witness said, was a blonde-haired man.

This was enough information to lead them to a young, Indianapolis man with blonde hair and a violent criminal record named Steven Judy. The twenty-two-year-old denied having anything to do with the murder of the Chasteens, but investigators were positive he was their guy.

Steven-JudyAs they would soon discover, Judy had the kind-of past that told them they were on the right track. When he was just thirteen-years-old, Judy posed as a Boy Scout and forced his way into the home of an Indianapolis woman. He then raped her and tried to kill her with a pocket-knife but the blade broke before he could finish. Finding a hatchet, Judy fractured her skull and cutting off one of her fingers as she tried to block the blows.

He was later caught and sentenced to six months in a juvenile detention center. From there, he was sent to a mental hospital where he confined from October 1970 to January 1973. While receiving treatment, Judy was diagnosed as “sexual psychopath.”

Instead of sending him home, Judy was put into the foster care system and sent to live with Robert and Mary Carr. Although they had children of their own, they were told nothing about his past.

Judy went right back to his life of crime. Between 1975 and his arrest in 1979, for one reason or another, he was in jail or prison forty-four out of forty-eight months. Although the allotted time doesn’t fit, Judy

Judy would later recount his criminal career saying “he had been involved in approximately two hundred shoplifting incidents, a like number of burglaries, twenty to fifty robberies, approximately twenty-four car thefts, and from twelve to sixteen rapes.”

[Although some of these crimes were confirmed, it’s hard to say how much of his claim is true when it comes from a narcissistic, sexual psychopath. He lied often, and likely exaggerated his criminal career to increase his status. Furthermore, he was easily captured after the Chasteen family slaughter, and doesn’t seem bright enough to have gotten away with as many crimes as he claimed. Just my personal opinion, not stating as fact. – JLM]

On the morning of her murder, Terry was on her way to work at a supermarket, and was taking the children to a baby-sitter. Sometime before 6:00 a.m., Judy passed Terry’s car on Interstate 465. He then drove alongside, indicated there was something wrong with her tire and motioned for her to pull over. When she pulled over, Judy pretended to help her, then got under the hood of her car and removed the coil wire. When the car wouldn’t start, Judy offered to give Terry and her three children a ride.

Court documents described what happened next.

“Judy then drove the victims to the location of the killings and pulled his truck off the road. He testified that he directed them on foot toward the creek, and that he sent the children down the path ahead of Terry and him. Judy testified that he then raped Terry Chasteen and bound her hands and feet and gagged her. When Terry cried out, the children ran back up the path to them. Judy stated that the children stood around him and yelled. At that point, he strangled Terry Chasteen and murdered the children and removed their clothes which were later found downstream.”

Judy’s arrest triggered an emotion-laden outcry and media circus that would last for the next two years. Judy eventually confessed to the murders but at trial, he pleaded insanity. The jury found he was sane at the time of the murders and was guilty.

When the trial moved into the punishment phase, Judy initiated a self-led, fast-track course towards his own execution. He instructed his attorneys any evidence of mitigating factors. Then, he threatened the judge and the jury and promised to kill again unless they sentenced him to death.

“I honestly want you to give me the death penalty because one day I may get out,” he said to the trial judge. “If you don’t want another death hanging over your head, I think that’s the only thing you can do.”

Then, he threatened each member of the jury one-by-one, beginning with the foreman. “I know where you live,” he told the man, “and I know you have a daughter.”

The jury of nine men and three women obliged him. All of Indiana hated Steven Judy and if there was ever a case in the state’s history that merited the death penalty, this was it.

According to Bette Nunn who wrote a book about the case called Burn Judy, Burn[epub here] her synopsis describes a narcissist who not only enjoyed the attention he received for committing one of worst crimes in the state’s history, but also by how he was able to keep the media attention going.

Twenty-three-year-old Steven T. Judy gloried in being “the star” of television. He loved hearing the sound of his own voice on radio. His name was splashed in dynamite headlines on the front pages of newspapers across the state of Indiana and it thrilled him — he clung to every word. When he walked, he threw his head back and pranced, like the grand stud of the stable. His deep-set blue eyes danced from side-to-side, making sure everyone’s attention was on him.

To achieve his stardom, Judy committed the worst crime Morgan County, Indiana, had ever known. He beat, raped and strangled to death a young mother, and then drowned her three small children. When he was apprehended, reporters and TV news crews began following him around like he was the second coming of John Dillinger, a man Judy was said to have idolized and historically the state’s most notorious criminal. But even Dillinger, the bank robbing 1930s FBI public enemy No. 1, was never accused of such heinous crimes.

Judy was able to halt his automatic appeal and his march toward the electric chair continued. There were no delays, no court-filings, no last-minute stays of execution, no decades on death row.

It took just two years.

His Monday, March 9, 1981, execution date came quickly and in the days leading up to it, made news around across the country. He was famous, and the case became one that was more about him then it was the victims. He was even quoted as saying he had no regrets for murdering a young mother and her children during a press conference held on March 6.

During his last day, he spent time with his attorney and foster parents with whom he made wise-cracks and jokes about his death. At one point, his foster-father later said, Judy broke down and cried. Otherwise, he was hyped-up and made an impulsive decision to call one of his ex-girlfriends that he hadn’t seen in five or six years. Prison officials tracked her down in Texas and the two spoke by phone.

More than sixty reporters and cameramen were there to cover the execution. Judy would be the first man in Indiana since 1961, and since the state reinstated the death penalty following the United States Supreme Court’s suspension and reinstatement of the death penalty.

Judy’s manic state ended when he was given an injection of ten milligrams of valium. Just after midnight, Judy was strapped into the electric chair and as the curtain to the witness box was opening, officials placed the black cloth across his face. There were no last words. When Judy was hit with 2,300 volts, his body stiffened and smoke came from the cap on his head. He was declared dead at 12:12 a.m. He was twenty-four-years-old.

The day after his death, his foster mother told newspapers she was going to sue the state of Indiana who failed to inform them that Judy almost killed a woman when he was thirteen-years-old.

“We were only told that he accosted a woman and had a nervous breakdown,” Mary Carr said. “We feel the juvenile authorities at (the mental hospital) jeopardized our safety; they jeopardized the entire society by putting Steve in our home without making us fully aware of his past and without recommending psychiatric treatment.”

Today, if still alive, Terry Chasteen would be fifty-nine-years-old. Her children would be: Misty, 41, Mark, 40, and Steven, 39.

More images related to this crime, including some of the murder scene, Terry’s bound feet, and the family in happier times can be found through Google Images.

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