Better they come a knockin' to say they think their might be a body in the garden rather than me doing some gardening and rakin' up a leg or an arm. I'd have myself an Eastender "Trina's Tree" moment! lol!
Yorkshire Ripper Will Never Be Released
July 17, 2010
Sky News Online
Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe will never be released, the High Court in London has ruled. The decision follows an application by the serial killer to have a minimum term set which would have given him the chance of parole. Announcing the court's decision, Mr Justice Mitting said: "This was a campaign of murder which terrorised the population of a large part of Yorkshire for several years. The only explanation for it, on the jury's verdict, was anger, hatred and obsession. Apart from a terrorist outrage, it is difficult to conceive of circumstances in which one man could account for so many victims. Those circumstances alone make it appropriate to set a whole life term."
Victims: (l to r) Vera Millward, Jayne MacDonald, Josephine Whittaker
Mr Justice Mitting said he had read statements by relatives of six of Sutcliffe's murder victims. "They are each moving accounts of the great loss and widespread and permanent harm to the living caused by six of his crimes."
Now known as Peter Coonan, 63-year-old former lorry driver Sutcliffe, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was convicted at the Old Bailey in 1981. He received 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. A judge recommended that he serve a minimum of 30 years. His name was not on a Home Office list, published in 2006, of 35 murderers serving "whole life" sentences. He was given no formal minimum term - which is the least a prisoner must serve before becoming eligible to apply for release on parole. He is currently being held in Broadmoor top security psychiatric hospital after being transferred from prison in 1984 suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Dr Kevin Murray, the psychiatrist who has been in charge of Sutcliffe's care since 2001, said in a 2006 report that he now posed a "low risk of reoffending".
Crowds outside court in Dewsbury after Sutcliffe's arrest
It was on July 5, 1975, just 11 months after his marriage, that he took a hammer and made his first attack on a woman. Sutcliffe is said to have believed he was on a "mission from God" to kill prostitutes - although not all of his victims were sex workers. He was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper because he mutilated their bodies using a hammer, a sharpened screwdriver and a knife. He spent nearly all of his years in custody at Broadmoor after being diagnosed as mentally ill. But he refused treatment until 1993 when the Mental Health Commission ruled it should be given forcibly.
In setting his tariff, the High Court in London is thought to have taken account of a number of factors. These include the gravity of his crimes, whether or not he has made "exceptional" progress in custody, and representations from his victims or their families. Even if the High Court had ruled in his favour, he would only have been freed if the authorities considered he no longer posed a danger to the public. The court had the power to set a definite number of years which Sutcliffe had to serve before he could have been eligible for parole.
My Hunt for the L.A. Serial Killer
by Christine Pelisek
Christine Pelisek met a source at the coroner’s office, who gave her a hint that a serial killer might be on the prowl. Here she reveals her four-year hunt for a suspect in the slaying of dozens of women in Southern California.
My hunt for the serial killer began inside the crumbling, formaldehyde-reeking office of the Los Angeles County Coroner. I had gone to the battered building on Mission Road many times before. But that day, in January 2006, was stranger than usual: my skin tingled and a light sweat broke out on my forehead as my source at the coroner’s office told me that his office was quietly launching a task force to investigate whether more than three dozen murders in the Los Angeles area were connected.
I knew I had stumbled onto something that no one else had reported: a serial killer on the loose in Southern California. My hunch, it seemed, had been right—a serial killer was on the loose in Los Angeles, still lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike again. For the next four years, I became, in effect, a detective—an easy transition, given my love for crime shows that had begun as a kid, watching reruns of 'Columbo.'
What I didn’t imagine that January day, however, was the strange twists and turns the story would take before a suspect in the Grim Sleeper case was finally arrested on July 7 this year.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that detectives had started combing through many more cold case files, on the suspicion that the Grim Sleeper may have been responsible for even more murders than initially thought. But let’s start at the beginning, which was the hush-hush list of 38 dead women, many of them dumped in dumpsters and along parkways and alleyways, a list I eventually cajoled from my source at the coroner’s office.
Because the bodies were found throughout Southern California, I began calling each of the several law enforcement agencies that operate in the area, and finally I stumbled upon a detective who gave me a detailed description of one of the victims, a 14-year old prostitute, named Princess Berthomieux, whose body was discovered strangled and beaten in an alley in Inglewood on March 19, 2002.
This was a key break because the detective revealed that this murder had been linked, through DNA tests, to another cold case—the murder of Valerie McCorvey in 2003. The detective also revealed that those two cases had been matched, using posthumous DNA testing and ballistics, to nine unsolved cases in the 1980s.
I then learned another crucial fact: detectives at the elite Robbery-Homicide unit at the Los Angeles Police Department—who only handle politically sensitive, top-shelf cases involving celebrities, politicians, cop killers, and crimes expected to generate headline—had quietly been investigating the links between these killings.
In a 2008 front page story for the LA Weekly, where I work as a reporter, I wrote about the existence of the secret task force investigating a number of killings that went as far back as 1985, beginning with the murder of cocktail waitress Debra Jackson. After the 1980s murders, the killer had apparently taken a 13-year hiatus before resuming his bloody assaults again in 2002, confining his bloody deeds almost exclusively to poor, black neighborhoods.
His last known victim was the beautiful 25-year-old Janecia Peters, who was left in a dumpster near Western Avenue on January 1, 2007. And in May 2008, police confirmed that male DNA evidence, later shown to be saliva left near Peters' body, matched DNA from the 2002 Berthomieux murder.
My editor and I came up with the name “Grim Sleeper” in a nod to his mysterious and long break from killing, (rejecting some pretty bad nicknames, such as “Ripper van Winkle.”) A few days after my story was published, the LAPD held its first press conference to acknowledge that a serial killer was afoot, finally asking for the public’s help in apprehending him. Bernard Parks, a City Councilman, helped get the approval for a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Grim Sleeper. Parks, a former LAPD chief, was furious that police officials had never bothered to inform him that a serial killer was on the loose in his own district.
He was not the only one who was angry. I tracked down several family members of the girls and women who had died in the 1980s. None had been interviewed by journalists, and—more disturbingly—none had been told by police that their daughters were suspected victims of a serial killer. For years, they had lived in the dark about the mounting body of evidence against the Grim Sleeper.
I clearly recall their sad and surprised faces when they spoke about their lost daughters and sisters, their anguish just as strong as it had been twenty-some years ago. But because of the public pressure and anger, the LAPD eventually met with members of the victims' families, arranging several town hall meetings and sponsoring a prayer vigil with church groups.
Most importantly in terms of solving the killings, California Attorney General Jerry Brown in the fall of 2008 finally gave the green light to test the DNA of prisoners in California prisons, so that a relative of the Grim Sleeper might be found. But the “familial DNA” test failed to turn up any matches.
There were many other blind alleys along the way, times when both detectives on the case, and I, suspected the wrong man. Many nights, I couldn’t sleep—not for fear that the Grim Sleeper would come after me. But the murders were getting to me, as were the psychics and morbid crime gadflies.
Then, a few months ago, at a press conference to unveil a new billboard showing a composite sketch of the killer, the supervisor of the Grim Sleeper Task Force, Dennis Kilcoyne, told me police was conducting another “familial DNA” test. He was cautiously optimistic that a DNA match might be found.
I was on vacation in Canada when the LAPD started to shadow an unassuming man named Lonnie David Franklin Jr., who lived near Western Avenue, the epicenter of the killings. A week earlier, the LAPD had been notified by the California Department of Justice crime lab that Franklin’s son, arrested in 2009 on a weapons charge and swabbed for his DNA, was a ‘familial DNA” match to the Grim Sleeper.
Franklin was arrested as he walked out of his mint green home he shared with his wife of 30 years.
It turned out that the suspected killer was in the midst of the LAPD. He was a one-time mechanic who had worked at one of the LAPD police stations in the early 80’s. He allegedly graduated to stealing cars and household appliances.
The first call I made after I heard the news was to Laverne Peters, the mother of Janecia Peters, who had been killed in 2007 not far from the Franklin house. Our first conversation had been two years earlier and, when I reached her, she told me that, moments earlier, she had been thinking about her daughter, wondering if the police would ever solve her murder.
Laverne was in a state of shock. We had waited for so long, often wondering if this day would ever come. Her reaction summed up exactly how I felt. “It is so unbelievable, I almost have a headache,” she said. “He was right under their noses all the time.”
US couple held as serial killing suspects in Panama paradise
• Bodybuilder William Holbert 'confesses to seven murders'
• Wife Laura Reese asks for lawyer after fleeing Bocas del Toro
1 August 2010
For American expatriates, Bocas del Toro seemed the ideal retreat: an archipelago of white sand beaches, coconut palms and guesthouses off Panama's Caribbean coast. It was relaxed, friendly and sunny. Then people started to disappear. It was a fluid community, people always coming and going, so there was no immediate alarm. Why worry? The only danger in this tranquil haven, it seemed, was the tap water.
But there was another menace: the cheerful husband and wife who ran a hostel were, it is alleged, serial killers who murdered up to nine people for their property and money. William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese were in a jail in Panama City today suspected of conning and killing seven fellow US expatriates and two Panamanians in cold blood. The man known to neighbours as "Wild Bill" has confessed to murdering seven people, said Angel Calderon, a prosecuting attorney. "He has told us how many people he killed, why he killed them, how he killed them and where he buried them."
Posing as wealthy entrepreneurs, the couple allegedly befriended residents before shooting them in the head, burying them and taking over their homes and businesses. "He picked out his victims after making their acquaintance," Calderon told reporters. "Knowing that nobody would ask about them, he got rid of them." President Ricardo Martinelli called it "one of the first cases of serial murders" in the central American country.
The tale has shades of The Talented Mr Ripley, the novel – and later film starring Matt Damon – about an expatriate killer, except that Holbert reportedly started out with bodybuilding, steroids, white supremacy and a fascination with Adolf Hitler.
The case broke when authorities found the bodies of Cheryl Lynn Hughes, a hostel owner from Missouri, and Bo Icelar, a retired gallery owner from New Mexico, in shallow graves. Suspicion turned to Holbert and Reese, who had lived in the archipelago under the aliases William Adolfo Cortez and Jane Cortez. They had supposedly bought Hughes's hostel and Icelar's house just before the disappearances.
Authorities have also linked the couple to the disappearance three years ago of Mike Brown, his wife and young son. Brown was wanted on drug charges and living under an assumed name, Calderon said. "Seeing that he had a lot of money and bank accounts, [Holbert] shot him in the head." The other two suspected victims were Panamanian workers.
Nicaraguan soldiers held the couple last Thursday as they attempted to enter the country illegally from Costa Rica. They were extradited in shackles and greeted in Panama City with a tumult of television cameras and questions. Before disappearing into a cell, Holbert, 30, appearing upbeat, told a local TV channel: "The people of Panama are very friendly, and I like living here." Asked about the deaths, he laughed and said: "I need to speak to them [the authorities]about that. I just want to say, thanks for the trip." His wife reportedly said nothing beyond asking for a lawyer and US consular help. Both suspects were due to be given psychological evaluations.
Seven years ago Holbert was married with three children and running a landscaping business in North Carolina. The marriage failed, he filed for bankruptcy and stopped paying child support. He reportedly started bodybuilding and taking steroids, which made him more aggressive, and developed a fascination with the TV gangster Tony Soprano. He also acquired white supremacy tattoos and sold memorabilia with swastikas.
Holbert briefly managed a gym, where he met his next wife, Reese, and impressed the boss despite stealing $25,000. "If only he could have focused himself, he had a brilliant mind," Kevin Hoover, who did not press charges, told the Associated Press. Holbert then sold a $200,000 coastal home and a car he didn't own. He used aliases and eluded authorities in six states, once escaping in an off-road, high-speed chase in Wyoming, and landing a spot on America's Most Wanted.
Ariel Barria, a spokesman for Panama's police, said the fugitive was cooperative and greeted everyone when brought into custody. "He appeared very friendly, like a film artist who is greeting his fans."
Serial Killer Suspect Held By FBI Officers
August 12, 2010
Sky News Online
US police have arrested a man in connection with 20 racist murders and stabbings in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio. The suspect was caught after the FBI were called in to help with the investigation. He was arrested at Atlanta airport trying to board a plane bound for Israel.
Five men have been murdered in Michigan and a further 15 attacked in the three states. Police had released a sketch of the suspect and over 500 people contacted them with information. One of those tips led officials to Beecher, Michigan, where the suspect is believed to have worked in a party store.
The last attack was on Saturday in Ohio, when a minister was stabbed outside his church while smoking a cigarette. In several cases victims were attacked by the man after he got out of his car and asked them for directions. He then stabbed them repeatedly in the stomach. In other instances, the man asked for help with his car before attacking his victim.
Officers in Virginia said the attacks were racially motivated, although police in Michigan would not comment on the matter. All but two of the 20 victims were black.
Trying to board a plane to Israel - that's not really a surprise considering the racist nature of that entity and the significant amount of hardcore Nazis there.
Berlin 'cannibal' restaurant calls for diners to donate body parts for menu A website advertising a new restaurant in Germany has called for humans to donate body parts for the menu causing outrage.
27 Aug 2010
The online campaign by Flime in Berlin has called for diners to "donate any part of their body" as well as looking for an "open-minded surgeon". However, politicians have condemned the restaurant for being a tasteless PR stunt according to Der Spiegel.
So far the location of the restaurant, if there is one, has not been disclosed. "Members" willing to participate in the cannibal "Wari-culture" of the restaurant are asked to fill out a form. It includes questions about medical fitness, Body Mass Index, how often one exercises and even if the donor is pregnant.
The restaurant claims to be inspired by the "compassionate cannibalism" of the Brazilian Waricaca tribe. The website explains: "We see feasting as a spiritual act, in which the spirit and strength of the consumed creature is given to the guests."
Michael Braun, vice chairman of Berlin's Christian Democrats told Bild newspaper that he had received emails complaining about the restaurant. He said: "I am assuming it is a misguided joke. But it is disgusting. In particular because a resident of Berlin was murdered by a cannibal not too long ago." It is thought that he was referring to self-styled cannibal Armin Meiwes who was sentenced to life in 2006 after killing and eating a fellow Berliner who volunteered for the task.
Bernd Jurgen Brandes, a computer technician, volunteered to be eaten by Meiwes in 2001. The cannibal chopped off Brandes' penis and ate it after cooking it in garlic, salt and pepper. He continued to eat the corpse over the next few months. By the time he was arrested Meiwes had eaten around 44lb of flesh.
Bones Found In Serial Killer's Dumping Ground
August 30, 2010
Police in Australia are trying to identify bones found in an area where Ivan Milat, one of the country's most notorious serial killers, used to bury his victims. The skeletal remains, which included a skull, are believed to be human but forensic scientists are performing tests to determine their origin. The discovery was made by a group of trail bike riders in the Belanglo State Forest in New South Wales.
Milat killed, mutilated and buried seven victims during a killing spree in the mid 1990s. He preyed on backpackers, and two of those he killed were young British hitchhikers Caroline Clarke and Joanne Walters. He was eventually caught and convicted because of evidence from another British backpacker, Paul Onions, who managed to escape from him.
There has been speculation there may have been other victims besides the bodies which had already been found. But Acting Superintendent Evan Quarmby would not comment on whether the latest discovery would lead to Milat being interviewed in prison. "We are not drawing any conclusions with any missing persons or past investigations," he said, but said the bones had been there "for a little while", in an area which had not previously been searched. At this stage they appear to be human remains."
Milat is serving life in a maximum security prison, but has been involved in a series of bizarre incidents over the years, including cutting off his little finger and putting it in an envelope addressed to a judge who had refused an inquiry into his conviction. He also swallowed razor blades and part of a toilet.
Vegetarian activists dupe media with 'cannibal eatery' hoax
2 Sep 10
Vegetarian activists exposed their hoax on the German media on Thursday, revealing a new Berlin restaurant supposedly looking for human 'donors' was a public relations stunt to highlight the human cost of eating meat. The VEBU vegetarian association caused a sensation last week by placing advertisements in for a 'cannibal eatery' going by the name “Flimé” hoping to cater to people wanting to snack on their fellow man.
Besides requesting potential donors of body parts to undergo a medical examination and become members, the macabre restaurant said it was looking for an “open-minded” surgeon willing to extract select cuts. The ads also referred to serving "Wari" food, a reference to the Waricaca tribe in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, which once practised cannibalism.
Both the German and international media fell for the hoax, reporting on the oddball ad campaign. But on Thursday VEBU announced that “Flimé” was actually an abbreviation for Fleisch isst Menschen, or “meat eats humans.” “Whether it’s world hunger, climate change, water shortage, deforestation, animal disease or lifestyle diseases – all of these huge global problems are caused by or intensified by our meat consumption,” the group's spokesman Sebastian Zösch said.
VEBU’s campaign was designed to draw attention to the issues connected to meat consumption, he said, adding that every 3.6 seconds a human dies of starvation while the majority of the world’s grain goes to feeding livestock. The organisation’s formerly mysterious restaurant website, which now reveals the true nature of the campaign, compared eating meat to “consuming people.”
“Those who don't want to harm people with their diet should abandon eating meat altogether and adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle,” the site said.
'Sadistic' flesh-eating killer locked up for 21 years over sex deaths of two women
17th September 2010
A 'sadistic' Broadmoor patient was locked up for a minimum of 21 years today after pleading guilty to killing two women more than 12 years ago and attacking two others for sexual kicks. Graham Fisher, 37, admitted the manslaughter of Clare Letchford, 40, and widow Beryl O'Connor, 75, on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The two vulnerable women were discovered strangled and burned in their flats less than 100 yards apart in Hastings, East Sussex, in January 1998.
At Lewes Crown Court, Fisher was given the indeterminate prison sentence after he admitted attempting to murder and trying to rape a student on a train in the same month as the killings. Fisher also pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of another vulnerable woman in her early 40s at her home in Bromley, South-East London, in 1991.
He confessed to the offences while being held at the high-security psychiatric hospital two years ago after saying he found it hard to live with his crimes, the court heard. Prosecutors said Fisher targeted lonely women, some of whom he knew, to satisfy what one psychiatrist described as a 'sexually sadistic' aspect to his personality.
He told investigators, after confessing to the rapes, that he gained a thrill from seeing his victim frightened. He said: 'She looked really scared but this really turned me on even more.' Fisher, deemed to have a severe and enduring complex personality disorder, also admitted cutting a piece of flesh from the arm of Ms Letchford and eating it.
Police were unable to retrieve forensic evidence from any of the crimes Fisher committed. They only came to light years later after he developed a sense of regret and confessed to officials at high-security hospital Broadmoor in Crowthorne, Berkshire, in 2008. He was transferred there under the Mental Health Act part-way through serving a five-year jail term for indecently assaulting two Spanish students at knifepoint in Eastbourne in May 1998.
Beryl O'Conner, 75, (left) and Clare Letchford, 40, were attacked in their homes in 1998. Graham Fisher, 37, has been sentenced to 21 years for their deaths, admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility
Shaven-headed Fisher told a doctor that he felt it necessary to confess to his earlier crimes 'because it's so hard to live with it in my head'. In the weeks and months after the killings, police had questioned Fisher about them but during one interview he was deemed unfit to be interrogated and on a later occasion he declined to answer questions. Prosecutor Richard Barton told the court there was insufficient evidence at the time to charge him over the deaths and he was released by officers.
As part of his confessions in 2008, Fisher also claimed responsibility for crimes where there was insufficient evidence and where no complaints had been made, Mr Barton added. His admission to the killings came ten years after his former neighbours Ms O'Connor and Ms Letchford were found strangled and burned in their flats in January 1998.
Mr Barton said Ms Letchford's father, Frank Letchford, made his usual Sunday visit to his daughter's rented flat in Cornwallis Gardens, Hastings, where she lived alone, on January 18 1998. In the evening, hours after he had left without anything out of the ordinary happening, neighbours reported seeing smoke belching from her basement flat. Found lying on her back, flammable material had been placed on her and there was evidence of non-fatal compression of her neck, Mr Barton said.
He went on: 'Despite exhaustive police inquiries at the time of the murder of Clare Letchford, it wasn't until 2008 that Graham Fisher confessed to it. Sadly Frank Letchford died before then and was not to know that someone had admitted causing the death of his daughter.'
Days after Ms Letchford's killing, Fisher tried to murder and attempted to rape a 19-year-old Czech student on board the 13.11 Hastings to London Charing Cross service on January 25 1998. Mr Barton said he tricked his way into the lavatory after seeing her walk in before launching a violent attack on her, rendering her unconscious. As a result of being strangled, she suffered a stroke, was left in a coma for three days and her injuries leave a lasting impact to this day, Mr Barton added.
The day after the attack on the student, Ms O'Connor was killed in her top-floor flat in Holmesdale Gardens, Hastings, close to Ms Letchford's home. Neighbour heard an alarm sound and saw smoke coming from Ms O'Connor's flat. When fire crews arrived, they found Ms O'Connor's body behind a closed door in her spare room with lit newspapers stacked around her. A post-mortem examination found she died from smoke inhalation. She had bruising around her neck and face, indicating some form of manual strangulation.
Fisher also confessed to raping a woman he knew at her home in Bromley, south-east London, on two separate occasions in 1991, Mr Barton said. After forcing his way into her home, he raped her in her hallway and in her living room, saying later that a 'strong surge of anger' made him do it.
Two years after the rapes, Fisher moved to the Isle of Wight in 1993. A year later he received a two-year prison sentence for assault and false imprisonment after he tied up his ex-partner and tried to strangle her, as well as burning her son on his genitals. After being freed from prison in 1995, he moved to Kent and lived an itinerant lifestyle around Maidstone and Gravesend before moving to Hastings where the killings took place.
Dr Philip Joseph, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, told the court that Fisher had a 'sexually sadistic aspect to his personality' and that a lot of his rage stemmed from an unhappy childhood. The court also heard that Fisher had since shown remorse for his crimes and had wanted to bring some form of closure to the victims' families.
After the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles, of Sussex Police's major crime branch, said: 'This was a long and complex investigation, which was first re-examined in 2007. A review of the case followed and it was during this period that Fisher's admissions in Broadmoor began. The six offences to which Fisher pleaded guilty demonstrate the extreme danger he poses to the public. His offences have wrecked the lives of many individuals and families'.
A map of the USA's highways could prove to be the link the FBI needs in solving hundreds of murders. That's because they are examining what they are calling "a distinctive type of criminal," specifically, "a serial killer operating along the nation's highways," according to USA Today.
There have been at least 459 killings "at the hands of highway serial killers, FBI statistics show." What investigators are working to determine are how many suspects they are looking for, but they know that there is a commonality in cases reported in 48 of the 50 states where the victim has been disposed along the highway.
California ranks second out of the 48 for the number of victims found along the state's highways, at 37 (Texas is first, with 38). Average motorists, however, don't need to panic about falling into the hands of a brutal serial killer while making the trek up the I-5 from L.A. to Sacramento; the victims are often prostitutes who frequent truck stops, and who are taken across state lines during the course of the crime. "Authorities say they have 200 suspects; almost all are long-haul truck drivers."
Florida, Texas and California are in the lead - I wonder why that is when there's hardly any in New Mexico?
Because there are hardly any people in New Mexico!! Seriously, I think it is because there are large transient populations in those states. Everyone is from somewhere else and people come down because they came on vacation once and liked it and then they find out that you actually have to work and go back to where ever they came from. We also have alot of people that only live here during the winter (and is probably true to a certain extent in TX and CA too), so it is pretty easy to hide here...
I was just gonna write that those states have a lot of transients. It's warm, and there are a lot of people that don't really have a home and they are many times mentally ill, drunks, or both. It's the effin' crazy killers you want to stay away from....lol!
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