Suspected serial killer admits to slaying 3 boys
15 Apr 2011
Ten years after the murder of a nine-year-old child in Germany, police said Friday a man had confessed to killing him and two other boys and was suspected of further murders in France and the Netherlands. The 40-year-old German, who has worked as a youth leader and had already been questioned in the case four years ago, admitted to killing a nine-year-old boy called Dennis in 2001, as well as two other boys aged eight and 11 in the nine years before. He also confessed to sexually abusing "several" minors.
After he was arrested on Wednesday the unnamed serial murder suspect told investigators in the northern city of Hamburg that he drove one of his victims to Denmark and buried his body in a sand dune on a beach.
Authorities in Verden, northern Germany told reporters he may have also killed an 11-year-old French boy, Jonathan Coulom, who disappeared from a camp in western France in April 2004 and whose body was recovered six weeks later. He is also a prime suspect in the death of another boy, 11-year-old Nicky Verstappen, in 1998 in the Netherlands, although he has denied involvement in either case.
"We want to determine whether we are aware of all of this man's deeds or whether he may have committed other crimes," the head of the regional police investigation unit spearheading the case, Karsten Lemke, said.
The unit was established to hunt the killer of Dennis, who vanished during a school field trip on September 5, 2001. Mushroom pickers discovered his body about 40 kilometres away two weeks later, but the killer's trail had long gone cold. But earlier this year, a witness who saw a television programme about the case recalled seeing a station wagon parked on a forest path at about 4:30 am in early September 2001 with a boy who resembled Dennis in the back seat and a man in the front, investigators said. The witness, who was a soldier at the time, was training for a marathon before he had to report for duty that day. The brawny, bespectacled man in the car, who looked to be in his early 30s, matched a description police had received of the suspect from sex abuse victims.
Between 1992 and 2004, five boys were killed in the same way in Germany, France and the Netherlands while at least 40 children were sexually molested in the same regions during that period, according to media reports. Police had long suspected the murderer to be a serial killer living in Germany.
Texas authorities 'find up to 30 dismembered bodies' in mass grave The FBI was on Tuesday night investigating claims that at least 20 dismembered bodies, some belonging to children, were buried in a mass grave in the grounds of a house in rural Texas.
7 Jun 2011
Police received a tip-off that “between 25 and 30” corpses were buried at the property, between the tiny towns of Hardin and Daisetta, about 55 miles north-east of Houston, local reports said. Officers were said to have discovered traces of blood on their arrival and found reason to apply for a search warrant, according to radio and television news in Liberty County.
Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, two national TV networks said last night they had confirmed “many bodies” had been discovered. CNN said at least 20 were found. But the situation was thrown into confusion when the county sheriff's department, which was initially said to have told local media that it had found bodies, then withdrew the claim. A department official said in a press conference that there was "no evidence of deceased persons" yet, despite the widespread reports to the contrary.
About 15 police vehicles from the department were said to be on the scene last night, and at least one sniffer dog was examining the grounds. A 16-year-old girl next door was reported to have said that the occupant of the property moved out a week ago. Agents from the regional FBI office were called in to investigate, said a spokesman, Kim Barkhausen. A spokesman for the Liberty County sheriff’s office told The Daily Telegraph: “We have no comment to make, sir”.
Hardin is home to under 800 people, while Daisetta has little more than 1,000 residents, according to recent records.
Family man admits five murders in stunning 'cold case' revelation
17 Jun 2011
Police investigating a classic ‘cold case’ have arrested a family man at his north German home for the murder of a teenager more than 20 years ago – only to have him admit to being a serial killer with five young women on his conscience. The now 64-year-old man was identified by a saliva sample he had given detectives during their 1984 investigation of the murder of Gabriele Stender.
More than 150 men in the Segeberg area near Kiel, volunteered last year to give samples to help the hunt for her killer as police wanted to use modern DNA identification techniques to make a last attempt to find the man responsible.
Little did the detectives realise when they arrested the family man who had lived a quiet life for decades that they were dealing with a serial killer. He admitted killing 18-year-old Gabriele Stender, saying he had picked her up as she hitch-hiked to a disco, then raped and strangled her with her own scarf.
Then he told detectives he had also killed four other young women in northern Germany between 1969 and 1972. They said on Friday they had no doubt he was telling the truth about the two 16-year-olds and the two 22-year-olds he said he had also killed. They said his attacks always followed the same pattern - he would watch a young woman from his car, follow and then suddenly attack her, before killing her. Further details will not be released to protect the investigation.
'It’s what we do in our family': Teenage relative of serial killer Ivan Milat admits murdering friend, 17, with an axe
24th October 2011
A teenage relative of Australian serial killer Ivan Milat boasted to friends about having murdered a 17-year-old boy with an axe. Referring to Milat, known as the Backpacker Murderer, the boy said: 'You know me, you know my family... I did what they do.' Shocking documents before a children's court near Sydney revealed that the boy told friends the day after the murder: 'I killed somebody last night. At one stage, the axe got stuck, so I had to kick the back of his head to get it loose.' According to the papers the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also told friends that he was going to murder someone on the night of the killing, but they thought he was joking.
Victim David Auchterlonie, the teenager and two other friends drove to Belanglo Forest, south-west of Sydney, on a night in November last year. It was David's birthday. He had just turned 17. Belanglo Forest is where Milat dumped the bodies of his seven backpacking victims between 1989 and 1992. Two of them were British girls. According to the papers before Campbelltown Children's Court, David's brutal cold-blooded murder and about 15 minutes of dialogue were captured on a video recording on one of the teenager's mobile phones.The video shows the victim rolling a marijuana cigarette in the front seat when the teenager, who is standing by the boot, calls out to him. David gets out of the car and a double-edged axe is swung into his torso.
The teenager says to him: 'From what I've heard, you're the one who's going around telling people about the money that I stole from my mum's house.' 'I swear to God, I haven't,' David replies. The accused says: 'Shut the f**k up' before directing David to lie on the ground face down and to stay still. For a further ten minutes, he threatens the victim and urges him to confess to spreading rumours. 'You move, I chop your head off, ' he says. According to court documents, the phone then records the sound of an axe hitting the victim.
The police statement said: 'Whilst the victim was lying with his head on the ground, the accused swung back the axe and hit the deceased in the back of the head, where the axe remained lodged in the deceased's skull. 'The deceased died instantly, and the sound of the air leaving his body is also captured on the recording.' The documents state that the teenager pulled the axe out of David's head by dragging him across the road. He and another boy then covered the body with branches before all three left the forest in the vehicle.
The accused teenager, who appeared via audio-visual link, showed no emotion as his lawyer entered his guilty plea. He will be sentenced in the Supreme Court in Sydney on December 2. Relatives of David Auchterlonie have called for a life sentence with the order 'never to be released'.
HIV-positive man 'infected hundreds' after setting out to pass on virus to as many as possible
31st December 2011
An HIV-positive man has potentially infected thousands of people - by having unprotected sex so he could spread the disease. David Dean Smith, 51, turned himself in to a Michigan police station last week - after claiming to have slept with 3,000 men and women over several years. A detective investigating the case said: 'He says he intentionally attempted to spread the disease to kill people. His latest fantasy is strangling a woman and having sex with her dead body.'
It is unclear when Smith was diagnosed with HIV, but he claims to have known full well what he was doing when he had unprotected sex with many partners over the past few years. While he claims that there may be thousands of victims, so far he has only been arraigned and charged with two counts of AIDS-sexual penetration with an uninformed partner.
Neither of the two victims that police are aware of have been identified, but one has spoken to reporters in an effort to help other women realize if they may be infected. She said that once she was tested, she immediately knew it was Smith who infected her. The two met through a Yahoo! Personals listing and, in speaking with MSNBC, she called him a 'sociopath' and 'a predator'.
Though the scope of his destructive path is still unknown, that woman said that she and Smith got together in 2008. She claims he texted her as he was headed to the police station, saying 'Turning myself into the law, my life is over. Take care. Always love you'. She was not fooled by the niceties, however. 'It's something he should have done years ago,' she told MSNBC. 'He shouldn't get a pat on the head for what he did.'
In her previous conversations with Smith, he lead her to believe that he had a vast sexual past, claiming that he had had sex with up to 3,000 people, including men and women. 'He hits drifters. He hits people who are young. He hits young women, and from what I understand, he hits men, too.'
According to his Facebook profile, Smith graduated from Harry Hill high school in Lansing, Michigan in 1978. He then went on to study at the online for-profit University of Pheonix. His frequent and positive posts about the successes of his band do not reflect the supposed inner turmoil that he was going through.
He was court-appointed to a mental health facility because of recent suicide attempts, and their records allege that he is 'sexually aroused by causing pain to females. In Michigan, sexual penetration with HIV is considered a felony and he will be tried accordingly.
What a fucking maniac - here's his FB profile... CLICK
She poisoned 21 people including her own mother, children and husbands. So why has no-one heard of Britain's FIRST serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton?
Professor Of Criminology At Birmingham University
5th February 2012
I pull up outside a house in the Durham mining village of West Auckland to find an anonymous-looking place: a slim, three-storey family home distinguished from its neighbours only by its pretty, blue-grey paint. There are no clues as to its gruesome past. Even its original house number has been changed, perhaps from fear that the evil that was perpetrated here could pass down through successive generations of residents. This is the home in which Britain’s first serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton, claimed her final victim. It is the house in which she was arrested and then taken away to be incarcerated, before eventually being executed at Durham Jail in March 1873.
Few have heard of the so-called ‘Black Widow’ killer who posed as a wife, widow, mother, friend and nurse to murder perhaps as many as 21 victims, living off her husbands before eventually claiming their estates. Two decades before Jack the Ripper would terrorise the streets of Whitechapel in London, Mary Ann Cotton had already become a killing machine, perhaps murdering as many as eight of her own children, seven stepchildren, her mother, three husbands, a lover – and an inconvenient friend.
Even crime aficionados, those familiar with such names as Shipman, Nilsen, Sutcliffe and West, know little or nothing of her. She has been largely erased from history and remains today only a half-remembered local curiosity even in her native North East. There is certainly no walking tour retracing her murderous progress through County Durham, nor sad monuments erected to honour the memories of her victims. A woman who should have been a criminal icon has been reduced to little more than a chilling bedtime story and a Northern nursery rhyme: ‘Sing, sing, oh, what can I sing? Mary Ann Cotton is tied up with string. Where, where? Up in the air, sellin’ black puddens a penny a pair.’
A single book marked the centenary of her execution. As one of Britain’s leading criminologists and a former prison governor, I would like to know why. I have worked on police investigations and with many serial killers. Yet even to me, the life and terrible work of Mary Ann Cotton were largely a mystery. And so throughout the spring and summer last year, I spent time in the North East researching a new book on this woman who travelled from one pit village to another leaving only gravestones behind her and who, in doing so, gained real, if loathsome, historical importance.
Here is not just the first British serial killer – someone who has killed more than three people in a period greater than 30 days – but the first to exploit and abuse the anonymity of a new industrial age. My search began in the Home Office archives at Kew, South-West London, in the autumn of 2010. I found the usual records that measure the criminal careers of Victorian prisoners: her age, an occasional glimpse of what life had been like before prison, details of Mary Ann’s court appearances, and some letters from the governor of Durham Jail before her execution.
The property, centre left, where Mary Ann cotton was living when she was arrested in 1873
But these frustratingly formal scraps of biographical detail were hardly enough to explain what had caused Mary Ann to behave as she did, or to explain why she had all but disappeared. There was, however, another valuable resource: scores of local newspapers and fragments of documents and artefacts in local archives and museums. Victorian journalists had been adept at sketching in – and exaggerating – some of Mary Ann’s biographical background. There was also a crude ‘murderabilia’ market ensuring that some, at least, of Mary Ann’s correspondence had survived.
What is beyond dispute in an otherwise tangled search is that she was born Mary Ann Robson in 1832 at Low Moorsley, a small village near the town of Hetton-le-Hole. It would have been a hard upbringing. Her father Michael is recorded as a ‘pitman’, which meant that he worked in the local coal mines. Soon after her arrival, they moved to East Rainton, and then to the pit village of Murton. This constant shifting from place to place was normal for the time and for the region. Colliery contracts lasted no more than one year, and when their time was up, the miners and engineers went looking for more lucrative work. The mines drew in thousands of strangers from other parts of Britain, all eager to sell their labour, so adding to the sense of rootlessness.
Mary Ann’s father was killed in early 1842, when she was aged nine, apparently plummeting down a shaft while repairing a pulley wheel at the Murton Colliery. Mary Ann would have been instructed to find work and marry, which she did on July 18, 1852, becoming the wife of colliery worker William Mowbray. First seeking their fortunes in Cornwall – another region where miners could find work – the Mowbrays returned to the North East in 1860, and this, so far as we know, is where the killing began. Her motives will always remain a matter of conjecture, but a strong pattern emerged: Mary Ann would find a man with an income, live with him until it became inconvenient, and then murder him. Numerous children – no one knows how many – were dispatched with the same callousness.
Her choice of poison was arsenic, favoured by murderers down the centuries for largely pragmatic reasons. First, it dissolves in a hot liquid, a cup of tea, for example, so is easy to administer. Second, it was readily available. Although by this stage, the authorities had started regulating the sale of arsenic, a high concentration could still be obtained in a substance known as ‘soft soap’, a household disinfectant. There was a third reason, too: as Mary Ann well knew, the symptoms of arsenic poisoning were vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration. A busy and unsuspecting doctor was always more likely to diagnose this cluster of symptoms as gastroenteritis – especially in patients who were poor and undernourished – than to suspect murder. According to death and burial certificates, all her victims had died of gastric ailments.
It seems she also played the role of the grieving wife and mother to perfection, making it all the more difficult to be precise about the number of people she may have killed. I’ve pieced together the trail of deaths associated with Mary Ann, and it starts with her first family. She bore William Mowbray, her first husband, at least four children, three of whom died young. William died in January 1865, leaving Mary Ann to enjoy the £35 payout from British and Prudential Insurance, equivalent then to six months’ salary. The total of murdered Mowbray children might have been greater still as, according to Mary Ann’s own testimony, she had earlier given birth to four children while the family was in the West Country. She used the insurance payout to move to Seaham Harbour, a port village in County Durham, so that she could be close to a lover called Joseph Nattrass.
Throughout her 20-year career of murder, wherever Nattrass went, she followed. He, too, would eventually become a victim. The insurance money also allowed her to embark on a career in nursing at Sunderland Infirmary – a deadly choice of occupation. There she met George Ward, an engineer who was a patient in the hospital, and who became her second husband in August 1865. He died little more than a year later in October 1866 leaving Mary Ann a second insurance payout.
Mary Ann Cotton was hanged in 1873 at Durham Jail after she was accused of killing 21 people
Now a widow with just one living child from her marriage to Mowbray, Mary Ann was the perfect candidate for housekeeper to the newly widowed James Robinson, a shipwright at the Pallion yard on the River Wear in Sunderland. She took the job in November 1866 only for him to see his baby die a few weeks later. Robinson turned to Mary Ann for comfort and yet again she became pregnant. But then her own mother fell sick. Mary Ann went to help – only for her mother to die nine days after Mary Ann returned home. Then Mary Ann’s daughter Isabella, who had been living with her grandmother, was brought back to the Robinson household at Pallion. She soon died too, as did two more of Robinson’s children, all three infants being buried in the last two weeks of April 1867.
Four months later, Robinson married Mary Ann, becoming her third husband. Their child, Mary Isabella, was born that November but died in March 1868. Robinson himself had a lucky escape. He was intrigued as to why she had wanted his life insured for a significant sum. He discovered that she had a secret debt of £60; that she’d stolen more than £50 that she should have banked on his behalf; and that she had forced his older children to pawn household valuables for her. He threw her out. Mary Ann was desperate and, as newspaper reporters later suggested, was reduced to living on the streets. But yet again she found a man: her friend Margaret Cotton introduced her to her brother Frederick, a pitman and recent widower living in Walbottle, Northumberland.
Margaret was looking after Frederick and his two children, but she died from an undetermined stomach ailment in March 1870, leaving the coast clear for Mary Ann. She and Frederick married bigamously in September and a son Robert was born in 1871. Frederick Cotton died in December of that year. Insurance, needless to say, had been taken out on his life and those of his sons. Now Joseph Nattrass, her long-term lover, moved in as her lodger. However, she also found work as a nurse to an excise officer called John Quick-Manning, who was recovering from smallpox. As was her habit, she swiftly became pregnant by him (their daughter Margaret was born in prison while Mary Ann awaited execution) but, of course, she was still encumbered by her children from her third marriage. One of her stepsons died in March 1872 and her own son Robert soon after. Shortly after revising his will in her favour, Nattrass became sick and died in April.
The incompetence and heavy workload of local physicians, the poor nutrition of the urban working class, and imperfect record-keeping all helped the killings to go unchallenged. Meanwhile, Mary Ann’s experience as a nurse gave her perfect access – and she undoubtedly relished monitoring the painful, protracted deaths of her victims.
The court documents from her murder trial suggest an element of real sadism at work. Mary Ann’s neighbour Jane Hedley was one of those who witnessed the excruciating death of Nattrass. Under oath, she told Durham Crown Court: ‘I was very friendly with the Prisoner. I assisted . . . during the time of the illness. I saw him have fits, he was very twisted up and seemed in great agony. He twisted his toes and his hands and worked them all ways. He drew his legs quite up.’ She describes how he ‘threw himself about’ and how his murderess – presumably in the guise of caring for him – was obliged to restrain him with force. It is clear from Jane Hedley’s account that, by this stage at least, Mary Ann had the confidence to kill right under the noses of the doctors.
It is hard not to believe that there was some element of enjoyment at the control she exercised – that she was, in other words, a psychopath. I believe she would have enjoyed holding down Nattrass as he died writhing in agony. There is no doubt, too, that greed was a powerful motive as, husband by husband, she climbed the social ladder of a newly mobile society (in which, for the first time, ordinary people had life insurance).
In a previous, agricultural era, Mary Ann Cotton’s activities would have been watched, reported upon and controlled by her neighbours and their informal surveillance. Only in the age of water power and steam were people free to leave their agricultural past behind them and shift restlessly from one settlement to another. In so doing, they could become whoever and whatever they wanted to be – even a serial killer.
If modern life had allowed her to become the ‘monster in human shape’ later described by the Newcastle Chronicle, it also provided the means of her eventual detection. She had poisoned her seven-year-old stepson Charles Edward Cotton in the summer of 1872, apparently to clear the way for yet another new relationship, this time with Quick-Manning. Following a hasty post-mortem conducted on a kitchen table, the inquest returned a verdict of death by natural causes.
But this was not enough for the police, the newspapers and the new discipline of forensic science, all of which played a part in uncovering her past. It was journalists, thriving on local gossip, who first prompted the investigations, soon exposing the tally of dead husbands, lost children, and the tell-tale signs of arsenic poisoning. And the police – still a comparatively new force in provincial life – were moved to act.
Mary Ann's Possible and Probably Victims
In 1873, Mary Ann Cotton was arrested, tried and hanged for the murder of the seven-year-old Charles Edward Cotton. Some of the child’s remains were exhumed from the garden of Dr Kilburn, the local GP, who had presumably buried them there because he harboured doubts about the death. Samples were taken and, using methods that were for the time revolutionary, the presence of arsenic was detected by Dr Thomas Scattergood at Leeds School of Medicine. Mary Ann’s trial at Durham Crown Court lasted three days, and after being found guilty she was executed in Durham Jail on March 24, 1873, by hangman William Calcraft. Even the way she met her end proved sensational.
From her prison cell, Mary Ann wrote letter after letter to newspapers protesting her innocence. Further sympathy was generated when she gave birth in prison to the child of Quick-Manning and when the baby girl was taken from her before the execution. Then the hanging itself was horribly botched. The drop below the trap door was too short. Mary Ann was left jerking on the end of the rope and Calcraft was obliged to press down upon her to finish the job.
Her desperate self-promotion and the terrible manner of her execution ensured a strangely sympathetic hearing in her final months and the immediate aftermath, and this has helped confuse our understanding of a woman who by any standards was a quite relentless killer. Had she not been arrested, I am confident there would have been many more victims. What little historical analysis she has received has often been quite naive, citing her as an example of the hardships endured by women, or even suggesting that she had been the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Perhaps this is why, today, some in the North East think of her only as ‘a kindly old lady’ from some dim and distant past. Geography and the methods that she chose to kill have contributed, too. Her crimes were not committed in one of the great cities, nor was she the kind of killer who left ripped or broken bodies on the street. My search for her ended at Durham Prison, its flags flying in the wind and its new modern mission statement proudly on display. I asked to be shown the original gate through which Mary Ann would have entered prior to her appointment with the hangman so I could contemplate what, precisely, Mary Ann means in the modern world.
A prison officer told me that no one ever escapes from Durham Prison. Not even Mary Ann, who remains – despite the odd bit of local lore in the villages of County Durham – long dead and buried in the prison’s grounds. Murder Grew With Her: On The Trail Of Mary Ann Cotton, Britain’s First Serial Killer, by Professor David Wilson, will be published later this year.
'Speed Freak Killer' reveals more burial sites of murder victims
19 February 2012
Serial killer Wesley Shermantine has claimed that he knows of even more sites where the bodies of murder victims were buried in an extraordinary letter to a California television station. Shermantine, one of the so-called 'Speed Freak Killers', told CBS-13 that two burial sites used by his accomplice Loren Herzog have not yet been discovered. The letter, sent from Death Row, also contained a lengthy complaint about Shermantine's media portrayal and about the behaviour of his sister - and it ends, 'Have a nice day.'
The bizarre letter was sent to the station's Koula Gianulias at the end of a week when a search team found 1,000 bone fragments at a site previously named by Shermantine as the location of some of his and Herzog's victims. He said the reason he had not revealed the other two sites was because he hasn't been paid $33,000 promised by bounty hunter Leonard Padilla. Mr Padilla, who recognised Shermantine's handwriting in the letter, says he's working to establish a trust account before paying.
Shermantine began the letter by claiming that reports about him in the media were '90% lies', and repeating the assertion that Herzog, not Shermantine, was responsible for the deaths of up to 20 murder victims. He then complained that he had been taken to hospital following a warning from his sister Barbara Jackson that he could be suicidal - Shermantine said: 'Her concern is about 13 years too late.' The letter concluded: 'If you want to tell the truthful story you've got to offer me something. I've learned nothing's free any more in capitalism [sic] America,' with an invitation for Ms Gianulias to visit him in San Quentin prison.
Grim work: San Joaquin Sheriff detectives Paul Hoskins, left, and Lindsay Smith sift for human remains that were excavated from an abandoned cattle ranch near Linden, California
Wesley Shermantine (left) and Loren Herzog were dubbed the 'Speed Freak Killers' after their 1999 arrest for a methamphetamine-fueled killing spree - Herzog hanged himself last month after finding out Shermantine was going to reveal the location of their burial sites
All week crews have been sifting through mounds of dirt after information was provided by Shermantine revealing the location of his long-lost victims. Investigators have expanded the search after authorities determined they have probably come to the bottom of the first well on the ranch about 12 miles outside of Stockton, San Joaquin Sheriff's Department spokesman Les Garcia said on Wednesday. Officials said about 1,000 bone fragments were found buried on Calaveras County property once owned by Shermantine's family. Mr Garcia could not provide any new numbers on how many bones or possible victims have been found.
The first well, which was filled in by the owner in the mid to late 1980s, is being cleared so that a camera could be lowered into it. Cadaver dogs from Santa Clara County will be brought in today to detect if there are human remains left in the dirt cleared out, Mr Garcia said. The search has already had a significant amount of success, as the bodies of two murder victims were found earlier this week.
The remains of two women- Chevelle 'Chevy' Wheeler disappeared while skipping school in 1985 aged 16, and Cyndi Vanderheiden, a 25-year-old last seen in front of her Linden home in 1998- were found during the search, giving their families some closure. Dental records identified remains found Thursday in Calaveras County as those of 25-year-old Ms Vanderheiden, who disappeared. Another set of remains were found Friday in the same area, and the parents of the missing 16-year-old girl have said authorities told them that Shermantine said their daughter was buried in that spot decades ago. The new bones and skulls that were discovered along with clothes, a purse and jewellery leads authorities to believe that there may be 10 or more victims.
Meanwhile, 65 calls have been made to a hotline set up by authorities for people who believe their loved ones might be among the victims of Shermantine and Herzog. Shermantine has said many more remains could be found at the well, where digging resumed on Wednesday after being hampered by rain.
Earlier this year, Shermantine wrote to a local paper saying that Herzog was behind the abduction of Michaela Garecht, a 9-year-old was was snatched from the street in 1988. He said that he would lead police to the spot where the pair used to bury their victims, but she is still missing. Shermantine is on death row after he was convicted in 2001 of four murders. Investigators said the boyhood friends were suspected in as many as 20 murders as a result of a meth-fueled crime spree.
Herzog was convicted of three murders and sentenced to 77 years to life in prison. Herzog's sentence was reduced to 14 years after an appeals court tossed out his first-degree murder convictions because his confession had been illegally obtained. Herzog was paroled in 2010 to a trailer outside the High Desert State Prison in Susanville.
He killed himself in January outside that trailer after learning Shermantine was disclosing the victims' locations. He is making the disclosures after Sacramento bounty hunter Leonard Padilla promised to pay him $33,000. He said he hopes to collect on rewards being offered by the state of California for information about several missing persons suspected of being victims of Herzog and Shermantine.
Torture killer Colin Ireland dies in Wakefield Prison
21 February 2012
A former soldier jailed for life for torturing five gay men to death has died at Wakefield jail, the Prison Service has said. Colin Ireland, 57, was given a whole-life tariff in 1993 for the murders. Ireland was told he would never be released after admitting the murders of the men he met in London pubs. A Prison Service spokeswoman said it was presumed he had died from natural causes in the healthcare centre of the prison on Tuesday morning.
Known as the "gay slayer", Ireland reportedly posed as a homosexual to be taken to each of his victims' homes, where he tortured and murdered them after making a New Year's resolution in 1993 to become a serial killer. Ireland, who terrorised London's gay community, was caught later the same year when CCTV footage showed him with his last victim.
The Prison Service spokeswoman said the death would be investigated by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. The spokeswoman said: "Colin Ireland died in HMP Wakefield's healthcare centre today at 9.20am. He is presumed to have died from natural causes; a post-mortem will follow. As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."
In May 2007, a report by the independent Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Group found that the Metropolitan Police inquiry into the murders was "hampered by a lack of knowledge of the gay scene in London and the special culture of S&M bondage".
Three arrested for killing two women and cooking their flesh into pastries
Chris Parsons and Rick Dewsbury
13th April 2012
Three Brazilian cannibals cooked their victims and turned them into pastries in a real-life version of the Sweeney Todd, police revealed today. Karate expert Jorge Beltrao Negromonte, his wife Isabel Pires, 51, and his mistress Bruna da Silva, 25, lured the women to their house with the promise of work as a nanny.
The sick trio then killed their victims and used the flesh to make stuffed pastries known as empanadas that they sold to neighbors in Pernambuco in the northeastern part of the country, police said. Details of the horrific crimes emerged last week after officers came across a 50-page book belonging to da Silveira, which included drawings, and details of cannibalism.
Alexandra Falcao, 20, is thought to have been one of the trio's victims, after disappearing near their house
Police have found two bodies in the garden of a house belonging to the group. They believe the bodies found could be those of Alexandra Falcao, 20, and Gisele da Silva, 30, who were reported missing in the area recently. The two women were reportedly seen near the house of the suspects shortly before they disappeared.
The Brazillian cannibals belonged to a sect that preached 'the purification of the world and the reduction of its population', Insp Wesley Fernandes in the city of Garanhuns said. Fernandes said the three were arrested last Wednesday and had confessed to the crimes. He added that they planned ot kill three women each year.
They allegedly already had plans for murdering a woman living in the nearby city of Lagoa do Ouro. The three are said to have lured women to their house by promising them a job as a nanny. They were tracked down after one of the arrested women used a credit card belonging to a victim who disappeared last month.
Neighbours of the trio set fire to the house where the bodies were found on Thursday, according to Brazilian media. Police Commissioner Wesley Fernandes said the trio were planning to kill another woman in a nearby town, and feel there could be more victims.
In his confession, Gilles maintained the first assaults on children occurred between spring 1432 and spring 1433. The first murders occurred at Champtocé-sur-Loire; however, no account of these murders survives. Shortly after, Gilles moved to Machecoul where, as the record of his confession states, he killed, or ordered to be killed, a great but uncertain number of children after he sodomized them. Forty bodies were discovered in Machecoul in 1437.
The first documented case of child-snatching and murder concerns a boy of 12 called Jeudon, an apprentice to the furrier Guillaume Hilairet. Gilles de Rais' cousins, Gilles de Sillé and Roger de Briqueville, asked the furrier to lend them the boy to take a message to Machecoul, and, when Jeudon did not return, the two noblemen told the inquiring furrier that they were ignorant of the boy's whereabouts and suggested he had been carried off by thieves at Tiffauges to be made into a page. In Gilles de Rais' trial, the events were testified to by Hillairet and his wife, Jean Jeudon and his wife, and five others from Machecoul.
Serial killer and aide netted
April 25, 2012
KARACHI – Together with his aide, a serial killer, who abducted and raped four women before slaughtering them, was arrested in a raid on Patel Para area on Tuesday. Identified as Muhammad Rafiq, a rickshaw driver by profession, the slayer also confessed to having murdered a six-year-old child. Besides, a woman was recovered from his captivity.
According to DSP Qaiser Ali Shah, Rafiq along with his aide, namely Iqbal, used to target women passengers travelling alone on his vehicle, besides stalking girls at the Quaid’s mausoleum. “They butchered them and dumped their bodies in different areas after assaulting them sexually,” added the policeman. Although the two criminals confessed to their crime, the police were clueless about the actual motive behind this inhuman act and attributed the intention of the homicide to “mental instability”.
Rafiq, who belonged to Sukkur City, was arrested within the precincts of the Soldier Bazaar Police Station after his location was tracked down through the cell phone of one of his victims, Naasreen, which he was keeping with him. His aide was not present there at the time of the raid.
Over the past three months, three sack-packed chopped bodies of women were found from MA Jinnah Road, Guru Mandir and Soldier Bazaar area. DSP Qaiser Shah said the accused and his accomplice at first mowed down Nasreen, a Muslim convert, who had five children. The recovery of her complete body took three days, from March 10 to March 12. Another woman was victimised by them on April 10. It also took three days to recover all her body parts. However, her identity has not yet been ascertained.
On the subject of sociopathy (of which serial killers are a fringe element), those interested in the subject may like to read The Sociopath Next Door. I listened to the audio book while driving today (it was a long drive) and it was fascinating.
Chinese 'serial killer' farmer suspected of killing 17 people A 56-year-old farmer has been arrested for murder in a southern Chinese village where 17 people, almost all teenagers, have vanished in recent years.
Malcolm Moore, Beijing
24 May 2012
When children started disappearing in Nanmen village, near the Chinese city of Kunming, their distraught parents believed they had been kidnapped to work in illegal brick factories. No one thought, according to the parents of one missing teenager, that Zhang Yongming, a quiet, chess-playing, farmer who lived in a wooden shack on the edge of the village, might be responsible.
But on May 9, police investigating the disappearance of Han Yao, a 19-year-old boy, found his bank and telephone calling cards inside Zhang's home. They arrested the farmer shortly afterwards. The teenager had gone missing in April, and was last seen near a large cold storage unit a few hundred yards from Mr Zhang's house. As his family asked around the village of a few thousand people, they discovered that at least eight other youths had gone missing in exactly the same area in the last five years, six of whom vanished in the last 15 months.
Now there are suspicions that Mr Zhang may be linked to as many as 17 deaths. As the families of the missing children gathered outside his house earlier this month, they witnessed policemen removing several green plastic bags of evidence, including one that appeared to contain at least one bone.
"I know Zhang. Not a single person in the village doubted him until now," said Li Yudong, 42, whose 12-year-old son Hanxiong went missing on May 1, 2007. "Zhang never spoke to anyone, not even the people who lived next to him. We used to see him every day but we never paid any attention to him. Now, like everyone else, I think he may be responsible for my son's disappearance. We are all worried in the village, and the children are being escorted to and from school these days."
Mr Li said he had been working on the farm on the day his son had disappeared, and was surprised not to find him at home for lunch. When he did not return by 5pm, he reported the case to the police. "We searched for him for months. We thought he must have been sent to work in a sweatshop or brick kiln. We spent all of our savings, some 80,000 yuan (£8,000) searching for him".
The local police has now admitted that Mr Zhang was sentenced to life for murder in 1978, in a case where he had dismembered his victim. However, he was released in 1997. Then, last December, he was found trying to strangle a 17-year-old, Zhang Jianyuan, with a belt outside his house. At the time, the villagers called the police, but Zhang laughed off the episode, saying that he was just fooling with the boy.
"We reported to the police that Zhang had tried to strangle this boy, but they simply told us he was mentally ill," said Xie Shunsheng, 39, whose 16 year-old boy Haijun went missing in January 2011. "We are now going to the police station everyday, but they are not releasing any news, so we have no idea how the investigation is going," he added.
A special team has been sent from the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing to carry out the investigation, while the local police chief, Da Qiming, and another police official Zhao Huiyun, have been dismissed for failing to act on so many disappearances. The police declined to comment on the case. Cai Wen, 40, whose 17-year-old boy Cai Yunwei went missing in February, said the entire village was tensed for the findings of the investigation. "People are nervous. We are begging the government to find our son for us."
Although China has a relatively low rate of violent crime, it has seen a spate of serial killings in recent years. In January, 13,000 police officers and two helicopters were deployed to search for Zeng Kaigui, a former People's Liberation Army soldier, after he shot dead his latest victim in the city of Nanjing. Zeng is suspected of killing six people in a rash of armed robberies since 2004, and has yet to be caught.
I searched for info and found this link (with a gruesome photo of body parts) which suggests he chopped up the bodies and sold the meat...
Moors murderer Ian Brady admitted to hospital after suffering a seizure
3 Jul 2012
The 74-year-old, who is detained at the secure psychiatric Ashworth Hospital in Liverpool, was transferred to Fazakerly Hospital in the city after becoming 'acutely ill' yesterday. He is currently undergoing a series of tests and is expected to be kept in for observation for at least 24 hours. A spokesman for Ashworth Hospital said it was too early to comment on his condition, but said two members of staff from the unit would remain in his single room at all times, while two others would be situated outside the room during his stay.
Brady was convicted of the murders of three children in 1966 alongside his then girlfriend Myra Hindley. The pair lured children and teenagers to their deaths, torturing them before burying their bodies on Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester. The crimes shocked the nation and in 1987 they confessed to two further murders.
Brady has been detained at Ashworth hospital since 1985 while Hindley died in 2002, aged 60, after suffering a chest infection and suspected heart attack. He began refusing food 12-years ago in a bid to starve himself to death but as he is sectioned under the Mental Health Act the authorities are compelled to keep him alive. He is currently force fed twice daily by a tube inserted in his nose.
On Monday he was due to attend a public mental health review tribunal in which he was to apply for a transfer to an ordinary Scottish prison where the authorities would not be permitted to force feed him. He was due to give evidence via videolink to a hearing at which the press and around 80 members of the public were to attend. It is not clear whether the hearing will still go ahead.
Brady has spent the last 25 years at the high-security Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside. A spokesman for the hospital said: "Ian Brady, a patient at Ashworth Hospital, has been admitted to a general hospital after becoming acutely physically unwell on the ward. "He is undergoing a series of tests and as a precaution he will be kept in. Ian Brady, 74, is in a single room and will be accompanied in that room at all times by two nurses from Ashworth Hospital. Two other members of Ashworth Hospital staff will also be on duty outside his room throughout his stay in the general hospital. It is too soon to provide a comment about his condition."
Yesterday, the solicitor acting on behalf of the mother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett said she would not be attending the mental health tribunal as it would be "too traumatic" for her. Last December, Winnie Johnson, 78, said she hoped to come "face to face with her son's killer after a judge ruled Brady's tribunal would be held in public. But her solicitor, John Ainley, senior partner at North Ainley Halliwell, said Mrs Johnson was currently in hospital and not well enough to attend.
Brady, who was born in Glasgow, wants to be transferred to a Scottish prison and be allowed to die. The mental health hearing, due to be held on July 9, could be a rare chance to see the Moors Murderer in public. It is only the second time that such a hearing has been held in public. The tribunal is due to take place at the hospital and be relayed to the Civil Justice Centre in Manchester, where the public will be able to observe the proceedings, Judge Robert Atherton ruled.
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