SEPTEMBER 2019, ELIZABETH, NJ - Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy rejected a request to test DNA on the clothing of a murder victim by the name of Jeanette De Palma. She dismissed it because private investigator Ed Salzano filed the lawsuit, and the judge ruled he had no legal relationship to the dead girl. So far this is the last on a long list of attempts to find her killer that went nowhere.
Jeanette's story started long ago in 1972.
It was not until July 1895, that the atrocities committed by H. H. Holmes under the roof of the ramshackle building at the corner of Wallace and 63rd Streets came to light. By then Holmes had been gone from the building for a year and a half.
November, 1924, Fred Dean a well-liked rancher was found murdered in his bed. His head was bashed in and his throat slit with a razor. There were two other persons in the house. His wife and daughter who slept downstairs. What came to light during the trial where his wife defended herself of a murder charge held the country spellbound for several months.
In June 1934 in Brighton, England a steamer trunk was found in King's Cross railway station. It contained a woman's torso and legs. The arms and head were missing. Scotland Yard reached out to the public in trying to identify the victim. In the United States, Agnes C. Tufverson, 43, had married a former Czech officer six months before. She disappeared, and the last heard from her was when she visited London. Her family wondered if it was her body that had been found.
Vere Goold was born October 2, 1853 into a wealthy, Irish family. When he was 26 years old he became the first Irish tennis champion. His early success in sports faded and by 1883 he turned to alcohol and opium. However it took a turn for the worse when he met Marie Giraudin, a French, twice-widowed dressmaker.
John Schmidt was born in 1855 in Horweiler, Germany. He immigrated to the United States in the last years of the 19th century. He took advantage of this and changed his surname, and became known as Johann Otto Hoch after the murder of one of his first victims. He then went on to marry several different women. Without benefit of a divorce from his previous bride (unless he had poisoned them) he would marry a new woman, swindle her out of money, and if she were lucky he would just leave instead of killing them with a dose of arsenic. Then he would start the process all over again.
On August 26, 1979, a family hunting for arrowheads inside the Civil Defense Caves in Dubois, Idaho found a torso stuffed inside a burlap bag. It was clothed in a white shirt with blue stripes and a red sweater It remained unidentified until January 2020.
March 2009, Harold Crowder, died at age 83. He was the last one left alive of the foursome and fearsome Los Angeles Police Department’s “Hat Squad” assigned to the Robbery Detail during the late 1940s into the 60s. They were distinguished by the trademark white fedoras and tailored suits they all wore. The only exemption was changing the hats to straw ones for the summer months.
Chicago, October 1922.
Joseph Klimek’s guardian angels were working overtime on his behalf. They may have dropped the ball when he married his wife Tillie, but they used his brother to assist. Suspicions and a visit to the doctor proved what he feared, his brother was being poisoned.
The Roaring Twenties are remembered for speakeasies hidden in remote locations or the basement of a building. Slim flappers shimmy while drinking illegal hooch; perhaps you think of gangland killings as the criminal side of Prohibition but there were other dark deeds being committed, even against the innocent.
One day later after Anna Furlong was found murdered in her South Side room, six blocks away at 251 Armour Ave, two small boys came across something wrapped and frozen inside four towels. It was the victim's head with her mouth cut from ear to ear. The skull was crushed.
Summer in Miami is hot, humid and for two teenagers, deadly. Albert Brust was a 44-year-old building inspector employed by Dade County. He fantasized torturing other human beings, and one day he decided he wanted to make his dreams a reality.
Over a hundred and fifty years ago a carpet-bag with grisly contents was discovered on Waterloo Bridge in London. Who it was and who left it there remains a mystery till this day.
Shooter's Hill is the highest point in South London. The area was in use since the Roman times. In 1838, skeletons and roman coins were unearthed in the area belonging to Roman soldiers. The road that runs from Dover to London traverses Shooter's Hill, and it was a favorite place for highwaymen to rob the unwary traveler. It comes as no surprise that it has its fair share of ghost stories, including a white lady.
Wayne Nance was a truck driver that hailed from Missoula, Montana. As a teenager he displayed disturbing behavior such as using hot coathangers to brand himself with occult symbols since he was a self-described satanist. In hindsight these were all clues that he never outgrew aberrant behavior just learned how to disguise them.
In January 2018, a man convicted of murder, a crime committed in 1973, was denied parole; he was 86 years old. That in of itself is not unusual, however the nature of the relationship that developed between him and one of his victims engendered a book and movie during the 1980s. The story also details how a deeply disturbed and dangerous individual can masquerade and manipulate members of society that have no idea they are staring evil in the face.
In July of 2018, Brad Jackson, 65, was found brutally murdered inside the business he managed. Pankaj Bhasin, 34, who is accused of killing Jackson, claimed that he had stabbed the man because he thought that Jackson was a werewolf.
Over 40 years ago today, Amy Billig, 17, was last seen hitchhiking on Main Highway in Coconut Grove, Florida. She was thumbing a ride to her father's office to get money from him, and she had plans to meet her friends later that day. Neither her father, her friends or as matter of fact anybody ever saw Amy after this moment in time.
The thrill-hungry populace of the Roaring 20s got a whopping plateful of it with every sordid detail that was covered by the newspapers about the discontented housewife turned murderer Ruth Snyder and her lover Judd Gray.
Most families resist the possibility that one of their members is not only a murderer, but a serial sexual sadist killer linked to one of the most infamous, unsolved murders of the 20th century. For the Hodel family it was something acknowledged as the truth of who their patriarch, George Hill Hodel was. Dr. George Hodel died in 1999 at the age of 91.
The bodies of two children were found buried in the back yard of their father's home. The father until recently played Santa at a Walmart in South Georgia.
In 2014, Samuel Little, 74, was convicted of the murders of three women in Los Angeles. DNA had linked him to cold cases committed between 1987 to 1989. He received three life sentences. Authorities suspected he had probably committed other murders, however he had been reticent about confessing to any, until now.
A hundred and twenty years ago today, London was not done with horrible murders. It had been barely ten years since Jack the Ripper had terrorized Whitechapel.
On October 29, 2018 renovations were being carried out in the Vatican close to the Villa Borghese. Builders were restoring a floor in the janitor's lodge. Considering the age of the buildings and the grounds, this type of work is commonplace, but not what was found which was a human skeleton.
Loretta Lynn Chaisson Lewis was 28 years old when she was found dead on May 20, 2005. The scene was a canal in rural Jeff Davis parish in Louisiana, and she was seen alive only 72 hours before.
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