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Welcome to HistoricalCrimeDetective.com where you will discover forgotten crimes and forgotten criminals lost to history. You will not find high profile cases that have been rehashed and retold ad infinitum to ad nauseam. If you want to send me a comment, old crime tip, submit a story, or exchange links with a related website, please Contact Me Here. - Please follow this historical true crime blog on Facebook, or subscribe to our Email Alerts for new story updates and receive FIVE TRUE CRIME eBOOKSs for FREE!

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Mug Shot Monday! William T. Horton, 1946-2011

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! William T. Horton, 1946-2011

William-Tyson-Horton-Collage

William Tyson Horton was a serial rapist and child molester from Oklahoma City who operated between 1970 and 2010. The unique aspects of his life of crime is that between 1970 and 1983, Horton repeatedly was able to wiggle out of many serious rape and molestation charges against him by lenient judges and high priced attorneys. Born in 1946, Horton was the only son of wealthy father who owned the local Ford dealership, as well as an amateur baseball team in Texas. Between 1963 and 1969, Horton stacked up dozens of very serious traffic violations for which he was never punished because his father, one observer speculated, was on the city’s Safety Board which promoted safe driving practices. By 1970, however, his license is suspended for 90 days. During that time, Horton discovers his real passion for sex crimes when he burglarizes a neighbor’s apartment, makes an obscene phone call to another woman, then chloroforms and rapes another woman.

Between 1970 and 1983, Horton solicits prostitutes, commits more rapes, assaults, and molestations. In one incident, he cuts a prostitutes throat with a knife, who, fortunately, survives her wounds. For that crime, he is arrested, charged, and held accountable in court in 1983. Before he can be sentenced, however, Horton flees with the bail bondswoman who posted his bond. He is captured a few months later in Kansas City, Missouri, where police found a pair of boy’s underwear in his room. He also fits the description, Kansas City police reported, of the man responsible for committing numerous rapes in the area. While Horton was on the run, the judge in his trial sentenced him in absentia to sixty years in prison.

He serves 27 and gets out in 2010. He moves into what is called a “safe community” for registered sex offenders and quickly resumes his practices of picking up and assaulting prostitutes. A famous OKC video vigilante who records local men picking up prostitutes and posts the videos on his website, JohnTV.com, posted video stills of Horton cruising for prostitutes and one of them getting into his car. The “Video Vigilante” also reported that several girls informed him that Horton had picked up several prostitutes, duct taped them, and raped them at knife point.

But things had changed since Horton was able to wiggle out of punishment in the 1960s and 70s and he was arrested a few days later on four complaints of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, two complaints of kidnapping and two complaints of forcible sodomy.

According to JohnTV, Horton was looking for young children to have sex with before he was arrested. “…several Oklahoma City street prostitutes were claiming that Horton was violently attacking women and offering others cash if they could introduce him to drug addicts with young children he could then pay to have sex with.”

Horton died in 2011 while in custody awaiting court action in his case.

A summary of his life of crime can be read here: “To Best Meet The Needs of Justice” : : William Tyson Horton (1946-2011)

You can read about his 2010 arrest here: Man arrested in kidnappings, sexual assaults in Oklahoma City,

And a very interesting article from JohnTV.com here: Man suspected of attacking and raping several OKC prostitutes arrested; Previously identified by JohnTV

His death reported here: OKC street prostitute rapist dies in jail awaiting trial

Estimated Reading Time: 45 to 60 minutes.

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Mug Shot Monday! James Carhart, 1975

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! James Carhart, 1975

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James-Carhart

On the night of March 28, 1975, James Carhart, a former Army Sharpshooter from the 101st Airborne Division, “went berserk” and used his rifle to pick-off two police officers from the window of his third floor duplex in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Officers William Wurst and Donald Aleshire, died as they exited their patrol car. A third officer, John Holmes, was paralyzed by wounds he received that night and died in 1992 from complications caused by his injuries.

After he shot the three officers, Carhart was able to keep 300 policemen at bay for three hours until he was finally taken into custody. Inside his parent’s third-floor apartment, officers found twenty guns and plenty of ammunition.

During his trial held in 1977, Carhart said he was Jesus Christ and he killed the officers because they had persecuted him in his former life. Carhart is still alive and serving his time at the Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Winslow Township.

Carhart’s crime is not forgotten in Mount Holly where it is still a painful memory for many who live there.

Additional Reading:

“State Moving 1975 Sniper To Ancora, 1989

“25th Anniversary Of A Tragedy A Vietnam Vet-turned-sniper Left 2 Dead, 1 Disabled, Many Reeling, 2000″

“Mount Holly cop killer from 1975 to remain institutionalized, 2014″

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Lottery Ends, Winner Announced, 02/07/2015

Home | Crime Book Lottery | Lottery Ends, Winner Announced, 02/07/2015

Congratulations go to Deborah Schmaltz, and Colleen Myers, who came the closest to the random.org selected number of 531. Their guesses of 527 and 501 were the closest without going over. See the screenshot below for the winning number.

They both win one paperback copy of “Famous Crimes the World Forgot.”

There will be another Crime Book Lottery later this month. Thank you to everyone who played and better luck next time.

random-org-02-06-2015

 

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Mug Shot Monday! Frank Shaffer, Anti-War Protester, 1918

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! Frank Shaffer, Anti-War Protester, 1918

Frank-Shaffer - Anti War Protester, 1918,

Frank Shaffer

In 1918, while US forces were fighting in Europe, Frank Shaffer, 42, was arrested for mailing the anti-war book, The Final Mystery, through the United States postal service. For this, he was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. He was first sentenced to two and one-half years in federal prison but this was later reduced to one year. He began serving his time in 1920 and was released after nine months.

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Sword and Scale True Crime Podcast Episode 36

Home | Podcast Interview | Sword and Scale True Crime Podcast Episode 36

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The Sword and Scale True Crime Podcast is the most professionally produced true crime podcast out there. Sword and Scale founder and presenter, Mike Boudet, has long been a friend to HCD.

This week, Episode 36, Mike and I explore the case of Savage Killer Timothy McCorquodale, 1974, which I wrote and posted on the HCD blog last August.

“Timothy Wesley McCorquodale had a rage in him that was uncontrollable. Like a loose cannon he could go off at any minute, unleashing mayhem an any poor unsuspecting soul that happened to cross him. The horror he would subject 17-year-old Donna Marie Dixon to in 1974, is unfathomable to this day.” – SwordAndScale

You can listen to this story by clicking on the link. After you are done, you can browse and check out his many other excellent stories and podcasts.

http://swordandscale.com/

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Mug Shot Monday! Serial Killer James Turner

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! Serial Killer James Turner

 

James-Turner

Serial Killer James Turner

James Turner is a previously unrecognized serial killer linked to the murders and accidental deaths of ten friends, coworkers, and family members in which he was the beneficiary of their life insurance policies. He was active for a twenty-one year period between 1954 and 1975, when he was arrested on January 22 for the machete murder of his twenty-year-old brother-in-law, Dwight Dees, near Rochester, New York. He was indicted on February 27 in Monroe County Court and pleaded not guilty on March 3.

After he pleaded not guilty, the James Turner story disappears from the newspapers. After March 3, 1975, it just stops. A search of Google Books and several crime encyclopedias also turned up nothing.

It is possible, and this is conjecture, that he accepted a plea deal to avoid taking his chances with a trial. Or, he committed suicide while in custody. I am only presenting possibilities and not asserting anything as factual.

The surprising aspect to me is that James Turner appears to be a serial killer who has slipped through the cracks of contemporary writers who specialize and compile information about serial killers. However, I haven’t read every serial killer book. There is a serial killer database for academic types, but it is off limits to non-members. I only found out about him while reading a 1975 crime magazine, which also did not provide any information past his March 1975 arraignment.

Victims

Sometime in June 1964, a coworker of Turner’s from the Nabisco plant in Rochester disappeared and was never found. John Louis Brown’s $5,000 life insurance policy named Turner as the beneficiary. It is unclear if Turner collected on this policy since Brown’s body was never found.

On November 19, 1968, Frank Scialdone, eighteen-year-old coworker of Turner’s at the General Motors plant in Rochester, was found murdered. The boy’s family members reported that James Turner was going to co-sign a car loan for Scialdone, who was set to buy a life insurance policy to cover the loan in case he died. However, Scialdone was found with a bullet hole in the back of his head before he could take out the policy. On the day he was killed, relatives say he had $400 on him which he was going to use towards the purchase of the car.

In May 1969, the partially decapitated body of William Bradwell was found bobbing in the Genesse River. Shortly before his death, the twenty-three-year-old GM employee named Turner as the beneficiary of his $5,000 life insurance policy. In that case, it was confirmed that Turner actually collected on the policy.

On December 2, 1969, Lewis McDowell, 29, was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage. He was listed as a suicide. Shortly before his death, he changed the beneficiary on a company life insurance to coworker, Jim Turner.

In July of 1971, GM employee Horace Everett changed the beneficiary on his $9,000 life insurance policy from his wife’s name to James Turner. Mrs. Everett would later tell newspaper reporters that during those summer months, her husband and Turner held many secret meetings at their home. She didn’t know what he was up to, but realized it must be bad and begged her husband to back of whatever plan he and Turner had concocted.

“I told Horace that whatever they were up to, it was wrong,” his wife said. “I told him it was wrong because of the children. But he said that’s why he was in it, whatever it was. He said he loved the children and wanted to make life easier for them.”

Everett refused to back down and told his wife that he would be meeting with Turner the following day and they would soon be rich. He never came home that night and his body was found the next day behind an abandoned factory.

“A terrycloth towel was wrapped around his head, and, when it was removed, police discovered that the right half of his skull had been blown apart with a shotgun,” wrote Joseph Koenig in a June 1975 issue of Inside Detective. He left behind three small children and a fourth who was born two months after he died.

With their suspicions raised, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company refused to pay James Turner after their investigation revealed that the change in beneficiary was “improperly and fraudulently procured.” Everett’s wife received $6,750 as the co-beneficiary as well as an additional $4,500 from an accidental death clause.

Although insurance investigators and police looked upon him with suspicion, Turner had the audacity to sue the life insurance company and fight with Everett’s widow in court. However, by 1973, he dropped the lawsuit when too many uncomfortable questions were being raised about the death of Horace Everett and his possible motive and connection in the case.

One month before Everett’s murder, Turner moved his family into a two-story, three bedroom Colonial house that was built to his specifications in a new subdivision. He and his wife decorated the $40,000 home ($233,000 in 2014) with new furniture.

During his court battle with the insurance company, Turner’s brother-in-law, Dwight Dees, moved into the home and attended community college. During the fall of 1974, Dwight mysteriously resumed the premium payments on a $50,000 life insurance policy he had previously dropped when his education expenses became too great.

On January 21, 1975, a borrowed car Dwight was driving that night was found nose-down at the bottom of a twenty-foot embankment. Inside, lawmen found Dwight’s body with his head nearly decapitated. While searching the area, investigators located a blood trail which led to several large pools of blood behind an old barn several hundred feet away. It was obvious to them that someone nearly cut off the boy’s head behind the barn and then dragged the body back to the car in order to make it look like an accident.

The investigation quickly led police to James Turner who was arrested on suspicion of murder the following day. Following his arrest, an insurance agent saw the news on television and called police to report that their suspect had 50,000 reasons to kill his wife’s youngest brother. A few days later, police located a machete which Turner had used to hack away at the young man’s neck.

An all-out investigation by police soon uncovered the insurance connections between Turner and the deaths of Brown, Scialdone, Bradwell, and McDowell. When it came to Horace Everett, Turner was already the number one suspect, although police couldn’t prove it.

When authorities dug a little deeper, they learned that Turner collected $2,500 on two life insurance policies after his sister suffocated to death during a tragic fire in her apartment on April 14, 1963. At the time, her brother James lived with her, but was not at home when the fire started. He filed to collect her benefits the day after she died. The files from that death showed Turner had called the insurance agent several days before the fire to cancel his own polices, and to double check that his sister’s policies were still active. Also, at that time, Turner worked in a hospital where police speculated he may have stolen pills that he used to drug his sister before he set the fire and left.

Turner and his family were originally from Florida and when police looked into his time there, they learned from family members that another sister of his was murdered near Plant City in 1954. When Rochester investigators asked Florida police to check their records, however, they could no files on the twenty-year-old murder.

Family members also told police about two other Florida relatives who died in what were then believed to be accidents. But now, they weren’t so sure.

When police interviewed neighbors and coworkers, they learned Jim Turner was an extremely hard working man who was friendly and considerate with everyone who lived on his street. He would use his snow blower to clear the sidewalks for neighbors, who were unable to clear it themselves. They also recalled he was a strict father who cared deeply about the welfare of his children and never drank heavily or chased other women. He usually went to bed early so he could wake up early to work long hours.

After Turner pleaded not guilty, the judge ordered him held without bail. No further information on his case exists. I imagine more could be found by searching the microfilm of local newspapers at the Rochester Public Library, but with no dates to search under, it would be a tedious process that would require the researcher to read every single newspaper for the remainder of 1975. Further information might be obtained from police or prison records, and possibly, FBI records.

Here is a link to one of the few articles available about James Turner.

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Book Review for Famous Crimes the World Forgot

Home | Uncategorized | Book Review for Famous Crimes the World Forgot

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Here is a really nice review from author Blaine Pardoe, a long-time friend of HCD, about my last book, Famous Crimes the World Forgot.

https://blainepardoe.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/review-famous-crimes-the-world-forgot-volume-i/

Blaine recently (last year or so) published two great true crime books himself via History Press. You can find them on their website or on Amazon. The Murder of Maggie Hume: Cold Case in Battle Creek, and, Murder in Battle Creek: The Mysterious Death of Daisy Zick

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Dr. Richard Brumfield, 1921

Home | Short Feature Story | Dr. Richard Brumfield, 1921

 

Murderer Dr Richard Brumfield,

Dr. Richard Brumfield

In 1921, Dr. Richard Brumfield was a dentist with a respectable practice in the small town of Roseburg, Oregon. He had moved there several years before from Chicago where he attended dental school. Prior to his becoming a dentist, he was a school principal in Indiana. With his many years of education and refined way of speaking, Dr. Brumfield stood out in the small community with an agrarian economy.

On July 13 of that year, Dr. Brumfield hired laborer Dennis Russell to dynamite some tree stumps on his farm. He then drove his car to Russell’s shack, picked him up, drove out of town, and murdered the poor man by shooting him three times. With the body still in the car, he drove a few miles further west to a steep hill near Melrose, Oregon, and staged a car accident in which the body of Dennis Russell and Brumfield’s car were set on fire. Dr. Brumfield then fled to Alberta, Canada, leaving his wife behind to collect on his $30,000 life insurance.

Insurance scams were apparently Brumfield’s favorite method of making a big score. Twice, already, his house had burned down and he collected on the insurance in both cases. But when county investigators looked at the supposed body of Dr. Brumfield, there were some identifying features which seemed to match Dennis Russell who had recently disappeared.

“Russell didn’t amount to much. He was a bachelor and lived alone in a shack. He tended a few sheep and far as anybody knew, he had no kin. He was shiftless, sullen and sickly. Society would not miss him if he died,” wrote one observer in 1921.

It took authorities nearly one full week of examination and questioning witnesses to declare the body was that of Dennis Russell, and not Dr. Brumfield. Among the different methods used to distinguish between the two was the fact that the corpse was not wearing underwear when discovered. Brumfield always wore underwear, Russell did not.

Brumfield was tracked down to Canada a month later and hauled back to Oregon for trial. The murder, and his scheme to collect on his own life insurance, was declared the most sensational crime in Pacific Coast history at that time.

The dentist never confessed and said he could not remember his crime, and did not believe that he could have ever done such a thing. He was tried, convicted, and sentence to hang. After he lost his appeal, he tried to commit suicide by cutting himself with a dental plate. Later, on September 13, 1922, he was found dead in his prison cell where he had used the bed sheet to hang himself from his bunk.

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Mug Shot Monday! Anton Wood, 1892

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! Anton Wood, 1892

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Anton-Wood

Anton Wood, 11 year-old psychopath almost hanged for murder, age in photo estimated 17-20.

In November of 1892, young Joseph Smith was hunting with Anton Wood, 11, on the Wood family ranch near Denver when he was shot in the back and killed by Wood. When Anton was arrested, he immediately confessed and told authorities he shot Smith because he envied the boy’s gold watch and chain.

Wood’s first trial ended in a hung jury when the jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision on the boy’s sanity.

During his second trial, however, he was found guilty of second-degree murder on March 24, 1893 and sentenced to life in prison. His insanity defense was supported by testimony from a doctor who concluded that because Anton drank coffee, as a boy, it likely lowered his “mental constitution,” leading to his insanity.

The following article details Anton Wood’s reaction over hearing the guilty verdict.

DENVER, COLO, special: Anton Wood, the 11-year-old murderer of Joseph Smith, was convicted of murder in the second degree. The Jury was out sixteen hours and little Anton came near being sent to the gallows. The stubbornness of one juryman saved him. When the verdict was read in court, Anton wept. He thought the verdict mean hanging for him, and he expressed his regret for not murdering Smith’s two companions that were with him on the day that Smith was killed.

Little Anton looked viciously at Alexander Pecker, the principal witness against him, and said: “If I had plugged that [obscenity] nobody would knew nothing about the thing at all.” The lad was then taken to the sheriff’s office, and the first thing that attracted his attention was the rogues’ gallery. He called the sheriff over, and, pointing to the photographs of the dead body of a desperado dangling from a telegraph pole, said: “I suppose that’s what you going to do with me? Well, I’ll fool you.”

The sheriff assured the lad that he would be only confined in jail. This satisfied him. The idea of getting enough to eat and having no work to do tickled him.

“In the West,” The Farmer’s Leader, Canton, South Dakota, March 31, 1893, page two.

He may have been wrong about having no work to do. Another source reported that Wood was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor.

On January 23, 1900, Wood and three other convicts escaped from the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City after one of the men, Thomas Reynolds, stabbed to death a captain of the guards. The four men split up into two groups, and Wood and his accomplice, Kid Wallace, were captured two days later. Reynolds was captured one day after Wallace and Wood. When a posse was leading Reynolds back to the prison, an angry mob followed and snatched Reynolds when he was just outside prison walls.

Reynolds, who knew what was coming, told his captors: “If they start to make trouble for me up there, just put a bullet through me. I don’t want to be hanged.”

Nobody put a bullet through him and the mob lynched him instead. The fourth man in the escape, Bill Wagoner, was rumored to have been lynched but this went unconfirmed by newspapers from that era.

 

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Mug Shot Monday: Nathan Jerry Ellis, 1956-1986

Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday: Nathan Jerry Ellis, 1956-1986

 

Nathan-Jerry-Ellis

This unfortunate face belongs to Nathan Jerry Ellis, killer and rapist.

In 1956, Ellis and another man were convicted for the murder of Victor Quick in Custer County, Oklahoma. He was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder. He appealed, received a new trial, and was re-sentenced to serve sixty-years for manslaughter. In a time of long prison sentenced and early paroles, sixty years in his case actually meant eleven years. He was paroled in 1967 but was back in prison two months later for violating the terms of his release. While he was out, he had racked up several minor alcohol offenses and then tried to molest a fifteen-year-old girl.

He was given a second chance for parole in March 1974. This time, he was able to stay out of prison for two years but was returned again for parole violation after he was convicted of a simple assault charge and other minor offenses.

Ellis got another chance for parole in 1979. During his parole hearing, which was called to consider Ellis’s request to attend to his ailing mother, the forty-nine-year-old was cautioned about drinking. Ellis responded with a promise that this was the last time they would ever see him and stated: “I feel 21 years is sufficient time to do on this crime.”

The parole board agreed and he was released.

On July 12, 1985, Ellis broke his promise to the parole board when he was arrested for driving under the influence. He was not sent back to prison and instead, the fifty-six-year-old was arrested the following May for first-degree rape. In that case, he duped a mentally-incompetent woman into going to a motel with him where he raped her with a sexual-aid device. A jury found him guilty and recommended a sentence of 300 years.

The photo above appears to be from his 1958 retrial.

Photo Credit: [Photograph 2012.201.B0357.0256], Photograph, March 24, 1971; (http://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc215226/ : accessed January 05, 2015), Oklahoma Historical Society, The Gateway to Oklahoma History, http://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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