Leakin Park in Baltimore is where missing people or those suspected to be victims of violence are looked for. Why? Because since the 1940s, sixty-eight bodies of murdered men, women and children, many times mutilated have been dumped in the woods or along the roads running through the park.
They were all under 10, and their mutilated bodies were found in an overgrown section of Baltimore’s Leakin Park in April, 1968.
Larry, 9, and Matt Jefferson, 5, Louis Hill, 10, and 10-year-old Lester Watson were murdered by janitor Reginald Vernon Oates, 18, who was found carrying a bag containing the genitalia of three of his young victims.
When police examined the bodies, they also found that one boy had been decapitated, his little hands cut off, and another had had his throat cut.
Oates was committed to a mental institution in 1968, where he has been since. He continues to petition the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for release.
The four little boys were the second group of bodies found in what has become known as a mass dumping ground of murdered victims in the state of Maryland.
To the naked eye, Baltimore’s Leakin Park — which adjoins Gwynns Falls Park — is a 1216-acre expanse of greenery, shadowed by romantic woodland and a natural forest largely untouched by humans.
Families visit the park to ride steam engines and ponies, and participate in kids’ rides.
Yet, its beauty has been marred by death and crime since the first body was discovered in 1948. Richard Truman was 13 years old when he was accidentally shot and killed by 15-year-old Robert Clayton Wright, who panicked and stashed the teen’s body in Leakin Park, unwittingly starting a horrific trend which has seen the discovery of 68 bodies (that have been accounted for).
Another famous case included the murder of 20-year-old Eugene Leroy Anderson, a Black Panther party sympathiser, whose skeleton — still clothed — was found by police on October 27, 1969.
According to Baltimore’s City Paper, Anderson was kidnapped tortured by Black Panther members — a nationalist and socialist organisation made up of black community members formed as a response to police brutality — after they suspected him of being an FBI informer. His eyes were gauged out, alcohol was rubbed on his body and he was beaten and scratched for two days before being killed. Although police sought and charged many members of the Baltimore Black Panther branch, no one served time for his murder.
Another body dumped in Leakin Park was Hae Min Lee a Korean-American high school senior at Woodlawn High School, who disappeared on January 13, 1999. Her body was found four weeks later in a shallow grave, the victim of murder by manual strangulation. Adnan Masud Syed her Pakistani, ex-boyfriend, was convicted in February 2000 of first-degree murder and given a life sentence plus 30 years.
Hiker and trail maintenance worker at the park, Ellen Worthing, was so fascinated by the park’s history that she complied a list of all the known victims, setting up a website featuring the stories of some of the more horrific cases.
Ellen Worthing said that at first, she didn’t believe all the stories. “I didn’t exactly believe all the stories that were provided to me — I thought some of them were telling tales.” She started frequenting the local library and “looking up all the stories that had been told to me, and I found out they were all true. I started to make a list, got more and more into it, and the project took off from there.”
Since the discovery of Hae Min Lee, 20 bodies have been found at the park. The last was that of 23-year-old Antoine Ellis, who was shot multiple times in the head before dying in hospital on November 23, 2012.
Source - NewsCOM
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by Marlene Pardo Pellicer