Tracie Andrews, born 9th April 1969, a former model and at the time of the crime, a barmaid, who was soon to be married to a young twenty-five year old father, Lee Raymond Dean Harvey. A relationship that was later described as ‘troubled’ by policemen, who on multiple occasions, had to deal with the couple in domestic disputes.
The evening of December 1st, 1996, a motorist came across a white Ford Escort and beside it was a woman cradling her fiancé, whom had been butchered. He had been stabbed thirty times and his throat slashed. The Times had reported that ‘he died in the arms of his fiancée‘.
Only two days passed before Tracie appeared on a news conference, due to her being a former model, she was used to being in front of the camera and being centre of attention, so of course, she looked comfortable. She cried, with a black eye and a small cut on her face as she spoke about the events of that evening. According to Tracie, they had an ‘ordinary night out‘, the couple had gone to Marlbrook Public House, Bromsgrove for a few drinks.
After their drinks, they got in the car to head home in Alvechurch, Worcestershire. Lee had noticed a run down Ford Sierra, and overtook it. Before long, the Ford Sierra was soon on their tail, taunting the couple and flashing their lights, turning it in a high speed race. With their apartment coming up, Lee slowed down to a stop. Lee and the man driving the Ford Sierra got out their cars and had a heated argument. When the driver went back to his car, the passenger got out and attacked Lee. Tracie got out of the car and “told him to F off and he called me a slut and punched me. When I got back up, he was walking back to the car.” The man she described as having ‘starey eyes‘ was driven away in the Ford Sierra.
She said she didn’t realise how bad her fiancés wounds were, until the motorist pulled up with a flashlight. “I tried to think of everything I could do, I put my coat over him, I tried to stop the bleeding and comfort him“. There was no doubt that the story of the events that night were horrific, but the story was in no way original. Seven months earlier, on the M25 a man was stabbed to death after having an argument with another driver, almost a week after that, a passenger man in car, going down a London Street, was shot to death. Both of these cases were said to be results of ‘road rage‘.
The next day after her emotional news conference, Tracie was admitted to hospital after reports stated that she had collapsed from stress, but it was later revealed that the real reason she was admitted, was because she had tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills. She had a five year old daughter, but wrote a suicide note saying that she had nothing left to live for and that she wanted to be with Lee, and that she couldn’t go on without him. When she was released from hospital, a few days later, December 7th, she was arrested, then taken back to hospital when she collapsed, where she remained in custody.
Whilst in custody, police carried on with their investigation, they searched the small home the coupled lived in, with their two daughters from past relationships. They interviewed 650 motorists, they needed to find the run-down, beaten up Ford Sierra. Whilst in search for the car, they brought police dogs to the crime scene, and on 19th December, Tracie was charged with murder.
When they looked into the evidence, it all came back to her. Lee had a clump of her hair in his clenched fist, she told the police that the attack happened in front of the car, but the blood they found behind the car as well. When they looked into Tracie more, they found that she had a history of violent behaviour. Witnesses who saw the couple together would state that they saw them arguing all the time, in the street. Lee was seen leaving a few times, but he always came back. And on that night, the couple was seen arguing in that pub. Tracie however, with all the evidence building against her, stuck by her side of the story, she even asked for witnesses to come forward to help her.
It was 30th June, 1997, at Birmingham Crown Court, that her murder trial began. The prosecution said that the argument at the pub must have continued on the way home, at some point the argument got so heated that Lee had to stop the car and they both stepped put to have it out with one another properly. This was when Tracie, with a swiss army knife, stabbed him in the face, neck, shoulder, back, chest and head.
Two different witnesses went to the trial, stating that they had seen the white Ford Escort driving along, with no Ford Sierra in sight, and no car following them. The motorist that I mentioned earlier went to the trial too, he said that Tracie had lied, he didn’t see her cradling her husband like she told the media. In fact, Tracie was standing beside the car, covered in blood. She was not attending to her dying fiancé as she claimed she was. A former police detective, who had also come across the crime scene that night, said that Tracie was a suspect from the start, and not just because she was his spouse.
At the scene of the crime, she was unable to give the make, colour of the car, or the licence plate. However when the police arrived at the scene a little while later, she had every bit of detail to give them. Not only that, but the blood that was on her clothes, the pattern of the blood was that of an attack, and not a pattern of her cradling her dying fiancé. It was reported that the murder weapon was disposed by her during her constant visits to the hospital toilets.
A policeman, whose name I’m not sure, testified in court that there had been a time on 19th October, 1996 that he was called to the couple’s residence, where he had to stop Tracie from hitting her fiancé. A few weeks later, witnesses saw Tracie punching and biting Lee in a nightclub. Every time something like this happened, Lee never retaliated, he always tried to calm her down and protect himself.
The defence tried to say that Lee was possibly killed for a bad drug deal gone wrong, that they had followed Tracie and Lee out of the pub that evening, and they put blame on the police for stopping to look for the Ford Sierra a few days after the murder. The defence then went on to say that the couple “found the glamour in each other” and mentioned that even after his death, she still wore her engagement ring, and that she was “committed to him“.
With witnesses telling stories of the abuse, it was acknowledged in court that the couple had ‘hard times’, and blamed it on an abortion that Tracie had. She even told the court that having a baby in a relationship like that wasn’t a good idea, because they were already strained financially. It was said in court that due to the abortion, Tracie had put on some weight and Lee made comments about it, he later said sorry and offered to pay for breast surgery.
They made Lee sound like an immature and jealous man, who had trouble accepting the former models past relationships and that he had hit Tracie ‘once or twice‘.
Tracie took the stand and denied ever having an argument in the pub on that night and when questions came about hr hair being in Lee’s hand, she said she didn’t know how it got there but that her hair falls out easily, all the time. The defence team tried hard to convince the jury that the motorist in the Ford Sierra was to blame, saying it was racially motivated. Lee was dark-skinned and according to Tracie, the killer called him a “p*** bastard“.
The jury started their deliberations on 27th July, 1997 and it was reported that Tracie and her family went and had drinks in a family members garden, pre-celebrating. However, Tracie was celebrating for nothing, two days later on the 29th, the jury found her guilty of murdering Lee. She was sentenced to life imprisonment with the recommendation of fourteen year minimum.
After failing an appeal in October 1998, in April 1999, she wrote to a friend of hers, confessing to killing her fiancé. This letter told a different story to the one that she had told. In this letter, she explained that they had got into an argument in the pub, about her ex partner, the father of her daughter. She said that the argument got so bad that she asked Lee to pull over, and when he did, she said she was going to walk home, and that she did. When she walked down the road, she came to his car, he had pulled over ahead and waited for her. She then wrote that he told her to get back into the car and she refused, telling him that they were over. He got mad, accusing her of sleeping around, so she taunted him by telling him all about her ex lover. Apparently Lee got so mad that he pulled out a knife, grabbing her by the hair and apparently said “Let’s see if Andy wants to see you with a fucked up face”.
Struggling, she claimed that she managed to get him to the floor by kneeing him, they fought on the floor before Tracie picked up the knife. The letter stated:
“I must have stabbed him. Then he stood still and shouted, “You fucking bitch“, then hit me so hard I fell again. I got up halfway and all I can remember is seeing red. I just went mad. Everything went like slow motion. I was shaking and had lost all control, all the abuse I had suffered and all the nasty things that had been thrown in my face, the way he openly admitted to hating my relationship with my daughter and the fact that he had held the knife to me and was going to either slash my face or stab me, had just come to a head. I have never in my whole life lost control like I did this night.”
The letter then went on to say about how she tried to cover her tracks, and so miserably failed to do so. She admitted that the knife had been flushed down the toilet at the hospital. She admitted that she wanted to tell the truth after her failed suicide attempt but, in the letter she wrote, “My family, Lee’s family, were going through a nightmare. How could I be the one to say ‘This is what happened – Lee was either going to slash my face or stab me, but I got the knife and it was me who killed him’. Please God tell me, how do you ever come to terms with something like this?”
This letter was not seen so much as a confession, but as an excuse, trying to say that she killed in self-defence, which no one believed. Whilst incarcerated, she became good friends with a lady named Jane Andrews, convicted of stabbing her boyfriend to death in 2001. If you want a post about her, let me know in the comments.
It was reported in 2006 that Tracie was hoping to be released and was planning to marry. She had been known to have many same sex relationships whilst in prison, but stopped when she met her new fiancé. Home Office denied rumours that she was being released, but she was moved to Send Prison in Woking, Surrey.
One of the prison guards told journalists, “Andrews has moved to this prison and admitted to the murder, which has surprised a lot of people. Although she has accepted her guilt, nobody really believes that she feels remorse. She sees this as her first step on the way to parole. Andrews is manipulative and devious. Officers believe she will say or do anything to get out of jail.”
Whilst incarcerated, she had changed her name to Tia Carter. Then in 2009, she underwent surgery to correct a class III occlusion, which was a surgery to stop her bottom jaw from protruding over her top jaw. This operation happened before she was released and there was a lot of controversy over this, but also because it was paid for by the NHS.
In July 2011, Tracie, now Tia was released. She done this to have full anonymity, which had been denied and has been restricted from going within twenty-five miles of Lee’s family or their houses.
Lee’s mother, Maureen counted down the days that Tracie would be released, she and her husband Ray, tried endlessly to get Tracie’s minimum sentenced extended, telling politicians that life should mean life, but it fell on deaf ears. On the day of Tracie’s release, Maureen spent the day at her son’s gravestone.
“I go every week to talk to Lee, sometimes I tell him off for every being involved with that woman,sometimes I just stand there and cry” It hurts her beyond words that her son’s life has ended and Tracie is a free woman, to walk the Earth without any remorse for what she had done. She believes that Tracie has the attitude that she has done her time, her slate is now clean.
Twenty-five years after killing her fiancé Lee Raymond Dean Harvey, Tracie married Phil Goldsworthy. It was said that they met when they worked at the same pub together, her a barmaid, and him a bouncer.
Tracie may have changed her name many times, now known as Jenna Stephens. She may have done some time in prison, got married. But she will always be the woman who killed her fiancé and tried to cover her tracks. She will always be a woman, capable of killing again.
It was May 17, 1968, when Wilbur Riddle found a woman in the woods, wrapped in some tent fabric, thirteen miles north of Georgetown, Kentucky.
Riddle was a water well-driller and when he turned up for work at a drill site, there was a note from his boss to wait for him before he started drilling. He waited around for a little while, but started wandering a little to waste some time, when he saw some workers a little in the distance. They were working on replacing the glass insulators, he knew they could be worth some money, so he went on the search for some they had left behind, he planned on painting and selling them.
It was beside Highway Interstate 75, along a dirt road. He picked up a couple of the glass insulators and he noticed a rather large green bag, badly hidden in some bushes. With a curious mind, he headed over to the bag and tugged at the thin cord that was wrapped around it. The bag was a canvas bag, one that you would put your tent in. He tried to tug at the cord, he kicked it lightly with his foot and the bag rolled down the hill. Riddle’s curiosity only peaked, he strolled down the hill towards the bag, he pulled out the fabric and as soon as he did, he ran back to his truck to a phone box. There was a foul smell, one he knew meant bad news, one that would stick in his nose for hours, and his memory forever.
He got to a phone box and called the police, Scott County Sheriff, Bobby Vance answered his panicked call. When he arrived at the scene, with his Deputy, Jimmy Williams and the Deputy Coroner, Kenneth Grant, Riddle led them to the bag.
When Vance bent down to look at the contents of the bag, he gagged and called over to his deputy to “come here and smell this“, when he did he told his sheriff that where was “only one smell in the world like that” and that was “the stench of rotting human flesh“.
The thin cord that was wrapped around the bag was cut, they opened it up to reveal a naked, decomposing body of a young woman. She had her right hand clenched but not so much into a fist, but as though she had tried to claw her way out of the material she had been wrapped in. It was a sight they would never forget, her eyes had rotted away and her skin was pock-marked from deterioration. The body was soon taken away by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington.
Kenneth Grant started his work and examination on the corpse. An hours later, state police and Detective Edward L Cornett arrived at the hospital. Grant greeted them before telling them what he had found out after doing a preliminary autopsy, “The victim was a white female, sixteen to nineteen years, five feet one inch, tall eight stone. She had short, reddish-brown hair and no identifying marks or scars.“
At the time of the autopsy, no fingerprints could be taken due to the stage of decomposition the body was in. However, he did cut off one of the girl’s fingers and give it to Cornett to be soaked in chemicals for a week. He said that this would give them a print, and after a week, he was right, they had a print to work from.
With the girl however still unidentified, Kentucky’s media named her the ‘Tent Girl’, and that name stuck. They badly wanted to identify the poor girl, there were many attempts, but none of them were successful.
Another coroner, Frank Cleveland was called in to do the final autopsy, he found no trace of poison or toxic material in her body, her skull had some slight discolouration but there was no clear signs of the cause of her death. They assumed to may have been knocked unconscious with a blow to the head, then stuffed in the bag only to die from suffocation. She hadn’t been shot and she wasn’t pregnant. They estimated that she had been dead for around two to three weeks.
Harrold Musser was a patrolman with the Covington Police Department and he was also a talented artist, and had often been called to be a sketch artists on previous cases. He spent days looking at the pictures taking of ‘Tent girl’ from her autopsy and crime scene picture. His results portrayed a pretty young girl, with short hair and a rather obvious flaw between her front teeth.
This portrait sketch was put into newspapers statewide to further attempt to identify the poor girl, instead of calling her ‘Tent Girl’ because no one deserved to be known as John Doe, Jane Doe or ‘Tent Girl’. Leads after leads came up and police spent hours every day searching through letters and following up on leads, but all leads were ruled out due to differences in height, weight, age and dental structure.
One lead did look particularly promising, a girl had been reported missing from Pasadena, Maryland and her name was Dorris Ditmar. Whilst police were checking out this promising lead, they found a trucker who told them he had seen a pair of hitchhikers on U.S. 25, which was near where the body had been found. He said that it was raining that night and the man and woman were wearing clothes too light for the weather, which is why he remembered them.
A retired, heavy equipment operator called the police a couple of hours after they spoke to the trucker, and this operator was able to confirm the man’s story. The retiree had actually picked up the two hitchhikers on April 14th, he too mentioned that they weren’t dressed for the weather, and as he drove them South, the couple kept arguing before he finally told them to get out. He last saw them hitchhiking North towards Georgetown. But Dorris Ditmar returned home, safe and sound. So that lead had come to an abrupt end.
However, one lead came to them on June 7th, 1968, Detective Sergeant Miller phoned Lieutenant Roberts and said, “I think I’ve got the name of your Tent Girl“. Roberts had been searching for a missing fifteen year old and he stated “there was a strong resemblance between her and the Tent Girl“.
This missing girl was Debbie Krane, she was last seen getting into a blue Chevrolet Corvair, with her seventeen year old friend on March 3rd, 1968. Her friends twenty-one year old brother Floyd was with them. The details on the girl more or less matched, so it was worth looking into.
Miller requested that they brought Debbie’s parents down to the station to make an identification on the sketch they had. They had to be sure, due to some of the details matching and some of them not.
Whilst that was being organised, detectives sent off the canvas bag, the rope that was tied around the bag and the small white towel like material that was found over her shoulders, to the FBI’s Washington laboratory for examination. They obtained Debbie’s dental records which were similar to ‘Tent Girls’ teeth. When Debbie’s mother was shown the sketch, she almost fainted with how similar it was to her Debbie.
Debbie’s mother and aunt travelled down to Georgetown on 13th June, they had spent two hours trying to identify the girls remains, but sadly, the body was so badly decomposed, that they couldn’t make a positive identification, because of the decomposition, she couldn’t say wether it was or wasn’t her daughter. They looked back into the hitchhiking couple, it was believed that Debbie had gotten herself involved with other young people using narcotics, they wanted to find out if that young woman could have been Debbie – if she was murdered by her boyfriend after being kicked out of the retired man’s vehicle.
Soon after looking into that lead, police got an anonymous phone call by a man saying, “Debbie Krane ain’t that Tent Girl, you want to find her, go to Bradford, Pennsylvania. She’s alive as you are.” And with that, he abruptly hung up.
Miller made the trip to Bradford, Pennsylvania in search of Debbie, and was successful. She was living with her boyfriend, who had told her they would find somewhere to live if they left together. They made the single journey to Bradford, with no stopping in Kentucky. The couple were both taken back home, and the search for the identification of ‘Tent Girl’ continued. Not only that, but the results came back from the FBI laboratory, from the evidence they send and it all came back with nothing to go by. All the material was common, and widely distributed.
Then in Pennsylvania, a girl was found dead which had striking similarities in which Tent Girl was found. Her name was Candace Clothier, she was a sixteen year old girl who was reported missing from her home in Philadelphia at 8:30PM on Saturday 9th March, 1968. Hundreds of people joined the search, but it was three fishermen that found her naked body. She washed up on a small island in the creek, she was wrapped up in a bag, which was tied – just like Tent Girl.
Police Chief of Northampton, Pennsylvania, Anthony Fergione was on the case and he couldn’t believe the similarity between the two cases. He was so invested when he heard about it, that he cancelled the rest of his vacation and drove back to Kentucky with his wife. He was determined to find out who the killer was. He went to meet Cornett and they compared the cases. “Autopsy findings were the same in both cases-no identifiable cause of death; both bodies showed a slight discolouration of the skin covering the skull in the same spot on the right side; both corpses were wrapped in canvas bags, tied with rope from top to bottom, and the feet tucked under the torso.” Both of the bodies had been dumped away from the main roads and were not found for weeks.
Fergione was so sure that the killer of both Candace and ‘Tent Girl’ had to be from Pennsylvania. He took the sketch of Tent Girl with him to Pennsylvania and checked it with the State’s missing girls, but there wasn’t any match.
Cornett was in his office in Frankfort on August 4th, when he got a phone call. “I know who’s the Tent Girl you’ve been looking for. She’s a young kid that disappeared from Covington in late April“. Just as abruptly as the previous phone call about Debbie Krane ended, so did this one. Cornett wasted no time, he got in touch with the police department in Covington and asked them to give him a list of girl’s that had gone missing in April. They found the teenager, she was alive and doing perfectly well. She had just moved home from Covington because of some family issues that had been going on.
Another sketch of ‘Tent Girl’ was drawn and dispatched out with minor changes such as; a slightly fuller face, less smiling, and lowered cheekbones. New leads came in but yet again, all leads were ruled out due to physical discrepencies. The case had reached the publication ‘Master Detective’ who wrote about the case in their magazine, trying to get more people to see it so she could be identified. They were all in hopes that the readers would know something, anything.
Sadly, with how badly ‘tent girls’ body was decomposed, they were unable to retrieve anymore evidence than they already had, so they buried her. She had no gravestone, until local residents donated their money to get her one. The poor girl didn’t deserve to be buried, only to be forgotten.
Twenty years later, the man who found her body, Wilbur Riddle had retired and moved away. He had a seventeen year old daughter, one day she brought home her boyfriend Todd Matthews, Riddle got speaking about ‘Tent Girl’ and even showed Todd a copy of ‘Master Detective’ that he had saved. They couldn’t stop talking about her, how she had a mom and a dad, she could have been married, had kids. Riddle and Matthews were so invested in the conversation, that they decided to look into it more, to see if they could find any additional information. If they could finally find out her identity.
Matthews married Riddle’s daughter, but there was a strain on the marriage because he became obsessed with ‘Tent Girl’ case. He was looking through all the old newspaper clippings, looked into the information and evidence that had been publicised. The notes from the FBI lab stated that the white towel like material on the body was a baby’s nappy, which made Matthew believe that she could have been older than what the police originally thought, she could have had kids like he had discussed with his father-in-law years earlier.
Matthews wrote to the authorities about his theory of her age and the reasoning behind it, but didn’t hear anything back. He then wrote to the coroner to dig up her body and do another exam on her pelvic to see if she had ever given birth. But again, he didn’t hear anything back.
The case became a huge part of Matthew’s life, he would think about every minute of the day, he had even begun sleepwalking. He finally decided to make the long trip to ‘Tent Girls’ gravestone, he sat there to pay his respects before going to speak to the undertaker that had dealt with her and he spoke to the local newspaper to find that there were no new discoveries or developments.
He didn’t give up though. In 1992, new technology was discussed. The internet. Matthew’s knew this could help him in his search, he saved up his money so that he could buy a computer. At this point, Matthew’s and his wife had a little boy, who complained that his Dad was always at the computer. Matthew’s put a picture of ‘Tent Girl’ by his computer so that he would stay motivated. He was searching constantly on missing person’s websites.
He had been obsessed with the case for ten years, he wasn’t spending enough time with his family, he was always hunched over his computer. He made his own website dedicated to her. But no amount of e-mails would give him additional information.
One night, in his pyjama’s, his wife and son in bed asleep. He was hunched over his computer, searching on more missing person’s websites, about to give up and go to bed to sleep, he saw three words that instantly woke him up. “Lexington… 1967…Missing”.
The post was written by a woman named Rosemary Westbrook, she posted an old picture of her sister, stating that she had gone missing. “My sister Barbara has been missing from our family since the latter part of 1967. She has brown hair, brown eyes, is around five feet two inches tall, and was last seen in the Lexington, Kentucky, area. If you have any information, please contact me at the address posted.” Before he did anything else, he ran to his bedroom to wake up his wife, shouting that he had found her, before rushing back to his computer.
He sent Rosemary a message, she told him that her sister was twenty-four years old and was in fact a mother of a daughter when she went missing in December, 1967. She was working in a restaurant in Lexington, she the wife to a carnival worker named George Earl Taylor. Her family hadn’t reported her missing, because they had no idea. Another sister said she had reported her missing from Florida but her husband told her family, that she had run off with another man.
With the new information, Matthews got back in touch with authorities, hoping that this time, they would respond back to him. They were slow to reply, but he was successful in having the girls body exhumed to do further DNA tests. Taking DNA from Rosemary and teeth or cheeks of ‘Tent Girl’ came back positive. ‘Tent Girl’ had to be Barbara Ann Hackman-Taylor. She had finally been identified!
Barbara’s gravestone finally got a new headstone for her grave, this one had her name on, finally. Authorities wanted to get in touch with her husband, to get some answers, to find out who had killed her. But unfortunately, he had died of cancer in October, 1987.
‘Tent Girl’ had been identified thirty years after she was found dead, wrapped up in a canvas bag, bound by cords. There was the big possibility that her husband had killed her, telling her family that she had left him for another man to cover up his crime. But the person(s) responsible for this crime, was never found.
The Candace Clothier case was officially closed in 2010, when new information led investigators to the answers, they believed were true. They believe that the Clothier and ‘Tent Girl’ case was related, somehow. But with this knowledge, that didn’t seem true anymore.
In 2005, a woman contacted the police telling them that the canvas bag that Clothier was found in, was hers. Her husband had asked to borrow it from her, he took it outside to a waiting car and disappeared for hours. On that night, March 9th, 1968, Candace left her home around 8:00PM to walk to a trolley bus. But a car pulled over and she accepted the ride, it was to be believed that she knew at least one of the men, so didn’t feel unsafe accepting the ride.
She was then driven to a “deserted area off Decatur Road near Northeast Philadelphia Airport, where youths often gathered.” When they were there, it’s unknown wether she was against her will or not, but she was injected with an illegal drug, and the dosage was lethal. One of the men identified in the car had a history of forcefully injecting people and animals with drugs. The drugs was most likely a way of making it easier to have sex with Candace, but weather it was an accident or not, the dosage caused her to have an overdose, which killed her.
The men carried her body to the car, where they drove to another man’s house, the woman’s husband who borrowed the canvas bag. They stuffed her in the bag and was dropped into the creek. The men have been identified, but names aren’t made public due to the fact that they are all dead and cannot defend themselves.
It’s still unknown as to how Barbara died, or killed. Who did it? Was it her husband? He didn’t report her missing. He told the family she had run away with another man. Who was this man she had apparently ran away with? Did he murder her?
The murder is unsolved, but her name was identified.
There is panic and terror every Halloween, parents scared that their children’s candy could be poisoned. The ‘Candy Man’ is why.
Halloween, 1974 was a cold and wet night,
but that didn’t stop kids from going trick or treating. In Deer Park, Houston,
Texas, the O’Bryan family was out at friends for dinner in Pasadena. Once
dinner was eaten, the kids wanted to go out for some trick or treating. Ronald
O’Bryan, an optician and father of two, Elizabeth and Timothy, offered to take
His friend Jim Bates went along with him
and his two children with his own two children, they only went around the
neighborhood, but this didn’t seem to bother the children, they were happy
either way. Jim would stand on the pathway whilst Ronald walked up to the doors
with the children.
They came to a house at 4112 Donerail, the
lights were all switched off, but they knocked on the door anyway. There wasn’t
an answer, so it was presumed the residents were either not home, or hiding
from trick or treaters. They ran along to the next house, leaving Ronald to
catch up. He said that the door had opened up and a hairy man’s arm appeared
out holding pixy stix. He didn’t think much of it, other than it being a little
weird, and headed over to where the kids were. He handed out the pixy stix to
his children, Jim’s children and a ten-year-old boy Ronald recognised from
They carried on until the rain got a little
too much and forced them to give up and head home. Timothy was excited to see
what sweets he was given, he took off his Planet of Apes mask, looking through
his sweets and asked his dad if he could have one before going to bed. Ronald
agreed to only one, letting his daughter pick one too. Elizabeth picked what
she wanted and Timothy picked a massive 22-inch pixy stix, which is essentially
just sweet and sour sugar.
Timothy had trouble opening the pixy stix,
it had been sealed up with a staple, so Ronald helped him out, removing the
staple and telling his son to tilt his head back. Timothy did as he was told,
he tilted his head back and started eating the sugary sweet, but with that kind
of sweet, it tends to get stuck. Mostly due to it being clumpy or wet. Ronald
helped him out again, squeezing the straw to release the powder into Timothy’s
Timothy complained that the sweet tasted
funny, his dad offered him a glass of Kool-Aid to wash away the bad taste, and
Timothy continued to eat the remainder of the sweet. With the sweet gone, it
was time to go to bed. But minutes after being tucked into bed, Timothy started
vomiting, crying in pain, convulsing, and then he passed out in his dad’s arms.
On the way to the hospital in the ambulance, Timothy sadly died.
When an autopsy was done on Timothy, they
found enough cyanide in his body to kill to adults; they figured that the pixy
stix he had eaten before bed had been heavily laced. Pathologists examined the
pixy stix he had eaten and confirmed this. Elizabeth was found in the morning
with the pixy stix with her, she was unable to open the sweet due to the
staple. This was the case for a few children in the neighborhood.
To stop any more deaths from happening,
police went around the neighborhoods, confiscating all the sweets before the
children had a real chance to open and eat any of them. They noticed that there were only pixy stix
that were sealed with staples, meaning that the person responsible had only
poisoned those sweets.
Police asked Ronald to accompany them to
the neighborhood in hope that he would point out the house he got the pixy stix
from. However Ronald claimed that he just couldn’t remember what house it was.
This was suspicious to the police, knowing from what he told them, they stayed
in the area and was out for less than an hour due to the rain. He also stated
that he never saw the man’s face, just his hairy arm handing the sweets from
the barely open door.
A few days later, police decided to try
again. Only this time, they were a lot firmer with Ronald; this helped jog his
memory and was instantly able to point his finger at the house
responsible. When they knocked on, a
woman answered, she told them her husband was at work. So of course, the police
turned up there, they arrested the man whilst he was at work, in front of his
When in questioning, police found out that
the man they had arrested had a pretty solid alibi. He was at work, his wife
and daughter were at home but turned the lights off early because they had run
out of sweets to hand out. The man’s colleagues and boss was able to confirm
his alibi that he was at work that night.
Ronald gave an emotional eulogy at his
son’s funeral. He was apparently angry with family members because they didn’t
stay up on the day of Timothy’s funeral. He had written a song about Jesus and
Timothy joining the lord in heaven. He apparently became annoyed and angry at
family who didn’t stay up to watch his song being performed and broadcasted on
the TV. When police heard this, they found it really odd.
The day after Timothy’s funeral, police
discovered that Ronald had a history of false insurance claims. With his
information, they also found out that he was in a substantial amount of debt,
but the strange thing was that he was telling people that he was going to be
coming into money by the end of the year.
Monday 4th November, police got
a phone call from a Galena Park insurance agent, who told them about how Ronald
had paid to have $20,000 life insurance policies on both of his children on 3rd
It was also reported that Ronald was taking
a class and asked people in the class how much poison was needed to kill
certain types of animals and where he could buy potassium cyanide.
Investigators also found out that on the morning after his son’s death, he
called his insurers about a payout.
With all this going against Ronald, police
were granted a warrant to search the house and found a pair of scissors with
plastic residue attached, which was similar to what had been found on the
cyanide laced sweets. This gave them every reason to arrest Ronald and take him
in for questioning.
When his case went to trial, Ronald entered
a non guilty plea, his defense blamed the laced sweets on an untraceable man of
whom didn’t seem to exist. However, his family, co-workers and friends all took
the stand and testified against him. His wife claimed that she had no idea
about the amount of debt he was in or that he put more money on their
children’s life insurance policies.
June 3rd, 1975, after forty-six
minutes of deliberating, jury went back to the court and gave the guilty
verdict for one charge of capital murder and four counts of attempted murder,
due to him handing out the sweets to more than just his son. A mere hour after
his verdict, it was decided that he would be executed by the electric chair.
March 31st, 1984, Ronald was
instead executed by lethal injection and was buried at Forest Park East
Cemetery in Webster, Texas.
His final statement was as follows;
What is about to transpire in a few moments is wrong! However, we as human beings do make mistakes and errors. This execution is one of those wrongs yet doesn’t mean our whole system of justice is wrong. Therefore, I would forgive all who have taken part in any way in my death. Also, to anyone I have offended in any way during my 39 years, I pray and ask your forgiveness, just as I forgive anyone who offended me in any way. And I pray and ask God’s forgiveness for all of us respectively as human beings. To my loved ones, I extend my undying love. To those close to me, know in your hearts I love you one and all. God bless you all and may God’s best blessings be always yours.
Taylor Van Diest was eighteen years old and lived in Armstrong, British Columbia, she left her home on Halloween 2011, dressed as a zombie to go to her friends house at 6PM for some trick-a-treating. Her walk to her friends consisted of walking beside small railway track in a small farming town. She wasn’t expecting it to get dark so soon and the road she was walking down was dark and secluded. With no one else with her, and no one around, she text one of her friends “being creeped”. That was the last communication that Taylor ever made.
It was believed that moments later, she was brutally attacked and left for dead in some bushes. Two witnesses said they had heard screams that night, in the direction of the crime scene. A woman named Delphine Burylo said that was actually outside her home, checking on the pumpkins she had carved for decoration when she heard two screams. “The first one sounded more distraught then the secondone”.
Natasha Bellows a cleaner at the nearby school was visiting Burylo and heard the screams. She said it sounded like a scream you do when someone scares you “really bad”.
She was found three hours after the brutal attack, laying face down and barely alive in the bushes, she was rushed straight to hospital with her family and friends soon after her in their cars but unfortunately, Taylor never regained consciousness and died hours after reaching the hospital.
Dr. John Stefanelli came do conduct the autopsy of the teenager, three days after she was murdered. He said she died from “multiple blunt force trauma” to the head. He said there were a total of six blows to the head, bad enough that they tore her scalp and fractured her skull. But it didn’t end there, he also said that Taylor had been strangled and that she had evidence on her to show that she resisted, she fought back. He couldn’t determine through the autopsy in what order the injuries occurred, whether she was strangled first or after the blows to the head, but when she was strangled, she was conscious and fighting to stay alive.
Taylor had cuts and bruises on her hands, broken fingers which showed that she had held her arms up to protect herself, which were struck by whatever weapon the killer had used. With the injuries that Taylor had, Stefanelli concluded that it was a heavy object, and he said it could have been a metal flashlight. He also said that there was a metal pole under her had at the scene, and some of the injuries could be linked with that, or at least in a way in which she could have possibly fallen back and hit her head on the pipe. One thing they knew for sure, Taylor in her attempt at fighting for her life, scratched her attacker which led there to be skin cells underneath her fingernails, a direct DNA to her attacker.
That attacker was twenty-five year old Matthew Foerster, who fled the province after the murder, but five months later with the help of the DNA under Taylor’s fingernails, Matthew was arrested in a motel room in Ontario. In a taped interview with police, Matthew admitted that he went to Armstrong looking for sex. He saw Taylor walking down a secluded road beside a railway and began following her with the intention of having sex with her.
The trial began in March 2014, which led to more information being found out about Matthew. In 2004, when he was eighteen, he sneaked into a home in Cherryville and came across a young woman who resided there. He slammed her head up against the wall and told her that he wanted her, she started to scream and he promptly left, leaving her to believe she was going to pass out from the knock on the head.
In 2005, Matthew went to a Kelowna escort agency called The Garden of Eden. Whilst there, he grabbed a sex worker by her hair and held a knife to her throat whilst she performed a sex act on him. He then bound and raped her, this was reported to police and DNA was collected, this was how Matthew was linked to the DNA under Tyler’s fingernails. Matthew served six years for these cases.
The prosecution claimed that Matthew went to Armstrong looking for sex as he stated and when he saw Tyler alone in a dark and secluded area, he followed with her the intention of raping her. When she started to scream, he hit her over the head with something heavy like a metal flashlight, then strangled her only to leave her in the bushes to die whilst he ran away.
His defence said that he wasn’t intending to rape her at all, he was hoping for consensual sex but when she resisted, he pushed her and she fell to the ground and hit her head on the metal pipe that was found at the crime scene. But due to his admittance for causing the injuries, saying that he hit her with a flashlight and then strangled him with both his shoelaces and his hand. The jury only ha one question to answer , not was he guilty or not, but what charge he should get; murder in the first-degree or manslaughter.
In May 2004, the jury found him guilty of first degree murder, a conviction that carries an automatic life sentence. The judge ruled that he would have to spend seventeen years in prison before he would be eligible for parole. This means that Matthew wouldn’t be able to apply for parole until April 4th, 2029.
It didn’t stop there either, Matthew’s sixty year old father was also arrested in relation to the murder and charged as an accessory to murder after the fact due to some of the evidence the police found, showing that he had lied for his son. After his son’s conviction, his father, Stephen Foerster was sentenced to three years. Evidence showed that three months after the murder, Stephen left his job and paid for a driving licence, social insurance number and a bank card for his son. When police spoke to Stephen about the whereabouts of his son, he told them he was away working on an oil rig, when he knew the truth that he was hiding out in Ontario.
Stephen and his son, Matthew kept in contact on disposable phones to actively avoid being traced and tracked, the police recorded that whilst in their communication Stephen told his son not to come home due to the police surveillance and that he needed to lay low.
October 4th, 2012, 911 operators answered a disturbing call. A seventeen year old boy, casually and calmly told the operator “I just killed my mom and my sister”. When asked how, he told her he “shot them with a 22 revolver”.
Jake Evans and his family lived in Aledo, Texas, in a gated community, he was a former student at Aledo High School but was soon home-schooled by his Mother. He was apparently close with his family and when the operator asked what made him so angry with his Mom and sister he replied saying, “It’s weird, I wasn’t even really angry with them. It just kind of happened. I’ve been kind of planning on killing her for a while now.“
The operator then asked who he was talking about, his Mom, sister or just anybody? His chilling response was “just pretty much anybody“. He didn’t like people’s attitudes with everyone being “verbally rude to each other“, then he went on to mention his family saying, “My family…I know it’s selfish to say, but to me, they were suffocating me in a way. You know, I’m pretty – I guess – evil…whatever”.
The operator asks if his mom and sister were in their beds, and this was when he described exactly what happened.
“I don’t know. This is going to really mess me up in the future. I told my sister that my mom needed her. She was in her room, and she came out of her room, and I shot her. And she rolled down the stairs and I shot her again. And then I went down and I shot my mom maybe three or four times, but I’ll never forget this. My sister, she came downstairs and she was screaming and I was telling her that I’m sorry but just to hold still – that, you know, I was just going to make it go away. But she kept on freaking out, but she finally fell down and I shot her in the head about, probably, three or four times.”
Evans was arrested outside of his house and was sent to a state mental hospital, he was classed as incompetent to stand trial. But after some time in the hospital, in 2015 he was deemed fit to stand trial. He was sentenced to forty-five years in prison, but his two years in hospital awaiting trial was taking off the term. His living family wanted a lesser sentence for Jake, but said forty-five years was fair. They also said,
His dad was out in Washington D.C at the time and his two other sisters were out. Whilst on the phone to the operator, he told her that he didn’t want any of his families seeing him, he didn’t want any visits from his family. He went on to say that he hated “the feeling of killing someone”, he was worried that he was going to psychologically fucked up and the nightmares he would have due to what he had done. The operator handled the call perfectly, and talked him through handing himself in calmly and slowly walking out of his house to the police.
Jake was sent to a state mental hospital to await his trial, being deemed as being incompetent to stand trial. However in 2015, he was classed as being fit to stand. He pled guilty for the murder of both his mom and sister. He was sentenced to forty-five years but the two years he was at the hospital was taken off from his term. His living family members wanted a lesser sentence for Jake, but said that forty-five years was fair. They also wrote in a letter to be addressed to the court: “None of us want Jake and our family to be subjected to a capital murder trial, which we feel would not be in his and our family’s best interest, we wish to close this chapter of our lives in order to continue healing as a family.”
A couple of hours after he committed the crime, he wrote a confession.
“I had just got home from the allergist and having lync when I started watching Rob Zombie’s Halloween. In the movie a 12 year old boy murders his stepfather, sister and his sister’s boyfriend. It was the third time this week that I watched it. While watching it I was amazed at how at ease the boy was during the murders and how little remorse he had afterwards. I was thinking to myself that it would be the same for me when I kill someone. After I watched the movie I put it back in the case and threw it in the trashcan so people wouldn’t think that it influenced me in any way. After that I went outside to hit gold balls into the yard for about an hour. I went inside around 5:30PM and just sat in the living room thinking about how I was going to kill my family. My plan was to kill my sister and my mom in the house and then go over to my grandparents and kill my oldest sister Emily and my two grand parents. Then I was going to wait until morning and kill my other sister Audrey because she was visiting from college. After I got up from the couch it was between 6 and 6:30. My grandma called my mom to ask if I wanted to go to the cleaner with her. I went and while we were in town we got dinner. We made a quick stop at the post office and then she dropped me off at my house. I took my dinner to the pool house and watched Family Guy for a little bit. I went back into the house and saw that my mom and sister was watching the debate. I went outside again to swing freely with my golf club. Around 4:00PM I went upstairs in my house to watch Family Guy. About 10 minutes later my sister came upstairs and asked if I wanted to watch a movie. I said no because earlier that day at my allergist appointment she made racist comments about a black guy that was mowing the grass saying, “Ha that black guy looks like a monkey.” In the past Mallory had always said racist comments like that and would make fun of homeless people. I scolded her for what she said and told her that she was becoming white trash. We continued arguing in the doctors office and when we got back in the car I told her to look up the word lynching and to see f she still had the same opinion about black people. She then said that she would never be apart of lynching but is still a racist. I then said that she makes me sick and called her a racist bitch. An that evening after I told her I didn’t want to watch a movie she went to her room and I went downstairs to my parents closit and I got my dad’s blue foldable knife. I went back upstairs and keeping pacing back and forth imagining killing Mallory. Thoughts of causing her pain kept entering my mind and were bothering me. But then I’d think about the times she hurt my feelings or pissed me off. So finally around 9:30 I knocked on her door and asked if she wanted to watch Waterboy. She said yes and sat on the couch beside the sofa I was on. I told her that I was going to the art room to get a pin. When I was in the art room I stood there again imagining killing Mallory. After 30 minutes I finally went in the room and sat on the sofa with the knife in my pocket. I sat for 5 minutes and then playfully threw a pillow at Mallory. We started having a pillow fight in the room. After a while I thought to myself that if I were to kill my mom and Mallory I wouldn’t want them to feel anything. So I decided to kill them both the 22. revolver that I stole from my grandma. I told Mallory that I needed to go downstairs for a little bit. After I saw that my mom was in the study I went to my closit and picked up the pistol. I set it on the bed and was nervously opening the cylinder over and over again. I then spent probably over an hour walking nervously around the house thinking how life will never be the same and how I would never see them again around. 11:15 I went upstairs with the pistol and stood there for about 5 minutes. I knocked on the door and told Mallory that mom needed her. She came out and out of the corner of her eye she saw me pointing the gun at her. She thought I was joking and told me that I was freaking her out. I shot her in the back and then the head. I ran down to the study and shot my mom 3 times. In shock I ran to my room and was screaming at the top of my lungs that I am really messed up and that I killed my mom and sister. 45 I emptied the shells on my bed. I heard noizes and realized that Mallory was still alive. While I loaded the gun back up I was shouting that I was sorry and then I ran as fast as I could to kill her. I then made sure my mom was dead and shot her again in the head. After the shooting I walked outside for a few minutes and then came back inside. Very shocked and scared I placed the gun on the kitchen counter and walked into the living room to dial 911. When I look at people, especially teenagers, I see them as being very cruel to one another emotionally. It seems that their favorit hobby is picking on someone else. The people who are racist, bullies, and who are full of themselves are the really evil ones. And it amazes me that these three qualities are extremely common today. I was very sad because I felt like my own family were becoming the people I hate. I know now though that I’m done with killing. It’s the most dreadful and terrifying think I will ever experience. And that what happened last night will haunt me forever.”
Evans was charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder. His attorney tried to get the judge to drop the capital murder charge, which the judge denied, however he did accept a bond of $750,000. Evan’s dad told the judge that he would not bail his son out of jail.
Some people disputed that watching violent films had an impact on Jake Evans’s heinous crime and that his crime indicated a deeper problem.
My opinion? I think Jake Evan’s was a disturbed individual and this had nothing to do with the films he was watching. I’ve watched horror and slasher films my whole life essentially, and I haven’t killed anyone, or been close to killing someone. Thousands of people watch the same films as Evan’s did without the same results. Was this a problem with the movies he watched or was this a problem with the person himself? I know my answer, but what’s yours?
On the 4th February 2003, in
Kennewick, Washington, Sofia was playing in her bedroom with her brother
between 8:15 and 9:15 p.m. Her fifth birthday was the very next day. She left
the bedroom where she was playing with her brother and told her Mother, Maria
Juarez, that she was going to the shop, which was five blocks away from their
Her Grandmother’s boyfriend Jose Lopez
Torres was meant to go with Sofia, so Maria gave her four-year-old daughter a
dollar to spend with the assumption that she was going to catch a ride with
Jose. However, that wasn’t the case.
Sofia didn’t get in the car with Jose, and he left without her. No one saw Sofia leave the house and when Jose got back home from the shop at 9:45 p.m. he told the family that Sofia hadn’t gone with him. This instantly panicked Maria, who phoned the police and alerted them about her daughter’s disappearance.
The little girls disappearance was treated as abduction immediately and an amber alert was issued. This was then cancelled after she wasn’t located within the first thirty-six hours. But the police still believed that she had been abducted
The police got in contact with Sofia’s dad
and they said he cooperated and was ruled out as a suspect. Which made is
plausible by the fact that he had never actually met Sofia. The police also
ruled out Jose as a suspect.
A ten-year-old member of Sofia’s family who
lived in her home said that he saw Sofia walking down the driveway at about the
time she went missing. He said that she wasn’t alone, he saw her with a man
dressed in a black sweatshirt, black pants and black shoes. His sighting
however, was never confirmed.
One week had passed since the little girl
went missing and police announced they had an interest in a thirty-five year
old neighbor of Sofia’s. Kevin L. Ireland, who had a record for minor sex
crimes. He had allegedly made a suspicious comment about Sofia’s disappearance
on the phone to someone.
He took a polygraph about Sofia and her
disappearance and the police served a warrant to search his house. They were
interested in not only his house, but his car too. It was a white Ford Tempo
panel van. A similar van was spotted a few blocks from Sofia’s home at around
the time she went missing.
The police arrested Ireland on a traffic
warrant, unrelated to Sofia’s case, and whilst in jail, he was charged with
telephone harassment in relation to the comments that he had made about Sofia’s
case. He was considered a person of interest, but he wasn’t a strong suspect in
In May 2003, police announced that they
were still looking for the van, but they were also looking for a mid-nineties
model full-sized faded orange van with a license plate, which had a double J in
The owner or at least the driver of the van
was a white male with a thick blond beard, between 35-40 years old. There was a
witness that recalled seeing the van in the area, around about the same time
Sofia went missing. Whether the van is connected to the case or not, the police
are still unsure.
Extensive searches had produced little to nothing of value towards the case. People who helped in the search found a pair of overalls in Columbia Park and a pair of little girl’s shoes at Fishhook Park, but neither of them belonged to Sofia. Nothing else was ever located.
Police were going house to house, asking
questions, doing searches. They came across a woman’s home at 109 E. 14th
Ave. The police won’t say what, but something prompted them to get a Benton
County judge to authorize a search of the house. The woman agreed to talk at
first, but then changed her mind, saying she was instructed not to talk.
The police went to a Burbank home at 641
Ringhoff Loop Road, which was occupied by a woman named Katie Vargas. Police
haven’t confirmed it, but apparently three of the families homes that they had
searched, all believed to be related to Jeremy Vargas Sagastegui, who was a
confessed triple murderer from Kennewick. He was lethally injected in October
1998 and Vargas was apparently his Mother.
The court had sealed all documentation of
the searches, Washington law allows search warrants to be issued and then
sealed if there is a concern by police that making the documents public could
jeopardize the investigation.
It had been six weeks since Sofia went missing and Maria; Sofia’s Mother was giving up hope that she would ever see her daughter again. Then fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, who had been missing for nine months and held at knifepoint from Salt Lake City, came home, and this gave Maria some hope.
Investigators from the Benton County
coroner’s office and a forensic anthropologist from the King County Medical
Examiner’s Office, joined detectives and police from Kennewick in a search of a
farm near Prosser. They were searching for five year old Sofia, who was the
first child in Washington state that had been issued an amber alert.
Police didn’t state why they went to a 43-acre farm north of Prosser in Benton County. But there were sources that said an informant held on a drug investigation told them that Sofia’s body could be found in a silage area behind homes on that property. Police let five cadaver dogs search the site. The forensic anthropologist joined the search and scooped up some of the first from the silage area, and then the detectives carefully raked the dirt.
They searched the area for eight hours and said they had found no evidence, but gave hope saying that it didn’t mean there wasn’t any there, they may have just not found it yet. They spent a total of eight days searching, but came up with no evidence.
People described Sofia as being loving and
vivacious. She loved playing with her Barbie dolls and putting makeup on. Her
favorite food was hamburgers from Burger King. Her Mother, Maria said that she
was shy and would never have gone with a stranger without making a fuss. Maria
believed Sofia’s kidnapper(s) were someone Sofia would have known and trusted.
The search didn’t stay in Washington, it
was extended to Mexico and the case got a fair amount of media coverage, but
Sofia remains missing and her case is yet to be solved.
Sofia’s Mother, Maria died of natural
causes in January 2009 at the young age of twenty-six. Some say it was grief
that killed her in the end. Sofia has been missing for sixteen years and her
Mother died no knowing what happened to her daughter.
If you think you know the whereabouts of Sofia Juarez, please contact the Kennewick Police Department: 1-509-585-4208 or 1-509-628-0333 California Department of Justice at 1-800-22-FIND or (916) 210-3119
May 1999, fourteen year old, whose name has been changed to Melody, walked into Tsim Sha Tsui police station in Hong Kong, telling them that a young woman’s ghost was haunting her. Police wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation, but seeing how terrified and upset the young girl was, they listened, and were horrified by the story and details she gave.
Fan Man-yee had a troubled life, her family abandoned her when she was a child, so she was raised in Ma Tau Wai girl’s home. During that time, she came across drugs and by the time she was a teenager, she was a drug addict and soon turned to prostitution to pay for her drug habit. She got herself into a life of petty crime along with her drug addiction and prostitution.
Fan got herself a job as a dancer at
Empress Karaoke nightclub and in May 1996 she met her husband, a drug addict.
She moved in with him and two years later, she gave birth to their son. It’s
reported that neighbors would often complain about being woken up by the sounds
of domestic abuse.
In 1997, Fan was working as a prostitute at
Romance Villa, a Kowloon brothel. A man named Chan Man-lok, he was a
thirty-four year old socialite and was a regular client of Fan’s. He would
often pay her to have long sex sessions and ice binges together.
Ice, also known as ‘Crystal Meth’, ‘Crank’ and Methamphetamine can come in several different forms – tablets, powder or crystals. According to former users, when you smoke meth, you don’t feel disorientated like you would on heroin, ecstasy or cocaine. The effects are subtle, your energy increases, you feel stronger, you can converse better and before long, you feel sober. But you feel better than ever.
During one of these binges together, Fan stole Chan’s wallet, which contained $4,000. This was her biggest mistake. To pay Chan back, she gave him her earnings from prostitution, which amounted to the money she took and an extra $10,000 on top. But the loan shark wanted more for ‘interest’.
Chan was a drug lord and a member of the
triads, an organized crime syndicate in Hong Kong. On March 17, 1999, Chan
ordered two members of the triad, Leung Shing-Cho and Leung Wai-Lun – also
known as ‘gangster’ to abdupt Fan Man-yee from her home.
They took her to Chan’s apartment on
Granville Road in Hong Kong. The apartment had five bedrooms and was decorated
in Hello Kitty products, such as bed sheets, curtains, stuffed toys. The plan
was to make her work as a prostitute and take all of her earnings until the
debt she owed, was paid. But Chan was never satisfied and kept increasing the
However the plan didn’t go how they
expected, instead of making her work, they got their frustrations out on her.
They beat her and subjected her to sadistic torture. She couldn’t work whilst
she was beaten and bruised. The three triads were always getting high on ice
and torturing Fan was too much fun for them.
Leung Wai-Lun started dating a thirteen year old, who joined in from time to time, torturing Fan, who was being held against her will. She would burn and hit her when the others did. This girl would be the fourteen year old, Melody that went to the police, crying about being haunted.
The kitchen in the apartment became the torturer’s favorite place to find anything they could to torture and inflict pain on Fan. They used everything they had. Setting drinking straws alight, holding Fan down and dripping the melting plastic onto the soles of her feet until they blistered. When they got bored of doing it like that, they went and burnt her feet and hit them with sticks. Chilli oil was used to pour into her wounds, oyster sauce was thrown in her face, she was made to drink oil. They used water pipes and metal bars to beat her. They even made Fan smile and laugh, pretending to be happy when they beat her so that it would be more fun. “It was a game they played. If she didn’t pretend to be happy they would beat her harder. They told her to smile while they burnt her. It was a fun atmosphere.”
They would even urinate on her face or directly into her mouth and then beating her if she spat it out. The thirteen year old once defecated in a box “for a laugh” and forced Fan Man-yee to eat it. They would wrap electrical wires around her and hang her from a hook in the ceiling and beat her with iron bars and leave her to hang there overnight.
They would leave her to drift in and out of consciousness on the floor or tied up with the electrical wires, whilst the group played video games or watched TV. Melody said “She was broken and playing with her wasn’t so much fun after that. But we carried on anyway. There wasn’t anything else to do.”
A month of sadistic torture had passed; Melody woke up one morning and found Fan dead. They had left her passed out on the bathroom floor for days. The men spoke in front of Melody about what to do with her body but they couldn’t agree on a solution, so they left her laying dead on the bathroom floor whilst they went and played video games in an arcade nearby. “Then we came back and fell asleep” Melody said in court, they slept whilst Fan’s body lay cold.
The next day, Chan was high on ice, telling his men to gather around “Now she must be destroyed” he apparently told them. The next ten hours, the men lifted Fan’s body and placed her into the bathtub, using a saw, they dismembered her body. Chan cut off her head whilst the others stripped the flesh from her body and bagged it, placing it in the fridge.
Melody was woken up by Chan with a plastic bag that contained Fan’s intestines, he instructed her to put them in some hot water to stop them from smelling. Leung Shing-Cho started cooking the head when he called Melody over, he told her to take a look and when she said she was too scared to look, he told her to “pretend you’re watching a television”. She went over to look and said that he was right, it looked like something you would see in a film.
During this ten-hour operation to get rid of the body, the group got hungry so they started to cook some noodles on one hob, whilst Fan’s head was boiling on another. They used the same spoon to stir both the pots. After eating lunch, they returned to the head which was now boiled down to just a skull. It was then that they decided to hide the skill inside of a giant Hello Kitty mermaid toy.
This was when the haunting began for Melody;
she was convinced that Fan was haunting her from beyond the grave for what she
had done. She had enough of the ‘haunting’, which the police said was either
result of her guilt or the drugs she was on, she confessed to the police and
told them everything. When they were looking further into the teenager’s story,
they came across everything. Chan and his two associates were charged with
manslaughter instead of murder, due to the possibility that Fan died from the
drug intake. They were sentenced to life anyhow, except Melody. Because she
gave them a confession and told them everything, standing in court telling
every detail, she was given immunity.
That is my ambition, to have killed more people — more helpless people — than any man or woman who has ever lived.
On August 17th, 1854 a woman
called Honora Kelley was born in Boston. Her parents Bridget Kelley and Peter
Kelley were Irish immigrants. Nora (as
Honora was known) was the youngest of three daughters.
Nora lost her Mother to tuberculosis when she was an infant and her Father was a known alcoholic. He was often abusive, eccentric and most people who knew him, knew him as ‘Kelley the Crack’ for being a ‘crackpot’. He was a tailor and suffered with mental health issues. He was soon confined to an asylum after he was found in his shop, trying to stitch his eyelids together. Nora and her sisters briefly lived with their Grandmother until she gave them over to a local orphanage.
The Boston Female Asylum was the orphanage the sisters were sent to, which was founded in 1803 by a woman named Hannah Stillman, a wife of a Reverend, Samuel Stillman. It was an asylum that claimed to be “for the care of indigent girls” and to “receive, protect and instruct female orphans until the age of ten years old, when they are placed in respectable families”.
A man named Abner Toppan and his wife legally adopted Nora in 1859 when she was only five years old. There weren’t any records about Nora’s sisters, but people who claimed they knew her sister Delia, said that she became a sex worker. Her sister Nellie who was too old to go into an orphanage, was apparently sent to an asylum, like their Father had been. Abner’s wife Ann Toppan didn’t like the Irish and she made Nora aware of this. It was Ann’s decision to change Nora’s name to ‘Jane’.
When Ann sent Jane to school, she didn’t make friends easily and was known to make up stories about her family. She would tell teachers about what the students were getting up to and also told them the students had done what Jane had actually done. But she excelled at her schoolwork and was known to be quite bright.
When her time with the Toppan’s came to and end, she decided to stay on. When Ann passed away in the 1870’s, Jane worked for her foster sister, Elizabeth. Jane got engaged to a man and planned to move away with him, but stayed on working when she found out her fiancé was playing away with another woman. Which resulted in Jane attempting to commit suicide twice.
In 1880, Jane signed up as a student nurse
at a Cambridge Hospital. She, unlike in school, was able to make loads of
friends. They nicknamed her ‘Jolly Jane’. Being a student nurse was hard, the
hours were long, the patients could be challenging. But she thrived on the
opportunity to reinvent herself, to change her life for the better.
She got close with her patients and often
spoke about how she had her favourites. The friends she made with colleagues
were sometimes a little disturbed by Jane and how obsessed she became with
autopsies. At one point, Jane was dismissed from her residency when two patients
mysteriously died whilst in her care. What she had been doing was experimenting
with morphine and atropine with her patients, changing their doses to see what
it would do.
In 1889, Jane started working at
Massachusetts General Hospital. She claimed that she had killed more patients
here before she was fired a year later. After a short period, she returned to
Cambridge Hospital but it didn’t take long until she was dismissed due to
giving out opiates.
In 1895, Jane was at Wendell Street in Cambridge. An erderly couple called Israel and Lovey Dunham walked by and Jane decided that Israel was “feeble and fussy”, so she killed him. It was seen as a heart attack and two years later, she finished the couple off by killing his wife, Lovey. Jane believed there “wasn’t much point in keeping old people alive”.
August 1899, Jane went on holiday to a rented cottage in Cape Cod. She had been going there for several years, but this time she took Elizabeth, her foster sister along with her. Jane hated Elizabeth, she was a symbol of Jane’s childhood torment from Anne Toppan. Anne had told Jane she wasn’t the real Toppan, Elizabeth was and Jane hated Elizabeth for that.
Elizabeth’s husband Oramel got a telegraph a few days after they left for Cape Cod, telling him that his wife was very ill. He made his way to Cape Cod to look after his wife, but he was too late. His wife was in a coma, the doctor told him it was a result of an apoplectic stroke. Elizabeth never woke from the coma, and Jane attended her funeral.
Jane has become good friends with a matron of St John’s Theological School at Cambridge, Elmyra Connors. Myra suffered with peritonitis, an infection via the blood or rupture of an abdominal organ. Her infection got worse when she asked Jane to come and nurse her. At her funeral, Jane spoke to Myra’s boss about how Myra was going to leave her job and request that Jane replaced her, and right there, he offered Jane the job. A year after being employed, she was asked to resign due to lack of experience in management.
Upset that she lost her job, she returned to Cape Cod where she had killed her sister, the cottage belonged to Alden and Mattie Davis. They liked Jane, who had been a good customer of theirs since 1896. In 1900, Jane asked for an extension due to not being able to pay her rent, but she didn’t end up paying at all. This was when Mattie Davis travelled to Boston, to confront Jane in person. Jane was living with Melvin and Eliza Beedle, of whom she had tried to poison, but hadn’t given them enough. They became ill, with what seemed like food poisoning and then regained their health. Mattie showed up to confront Jane, who offered her a glass of water that she had laced with morphine, when she became ill, Jane ‘nursed’ her. She topped her up with morphine injections, which caused her to go into a coma. When the doctor arrived, Jane told him that Mattie was a diabetic and ate cake, and the doctor didn’t suspect anything.
July 4th, 1901, Mattie Davis died. Jane even took the body to Davis’ home in Cataumet, Massachusetts for burial. Her death was ruled as heart failure. Mattie’s husband Alden hired Jane to be the families’ private nurse.
Jane tormented the family by setting random fires and blaming it on some stranger she had seen “skulking about”. However, it wasn’t long before she grew bored and the opportunity brought itself to her. Annie was grief stricken after her Mother’s death, and went to Jane for consolation. Jane told Mary (their other daughter) that she had seen Annie with arsenic in the shed. Then Jane used the arsenic to kill her. Her death was recorded as heart disease. Two weeks later, Alden passed away from ‘grief’ or so it was reported, but it was at the hands of Jane and her morphine. Not taking any chances, she then killed Mary, which meant that the whole family was dead.
Mary’s husband couldn’t get his head around what had happened, he refused to believe that the deaths of his entire family-in-law in the space of six weeks were by natural causes. He was in such disbelief that he demanded an autopsy on his late wife. Jane, of course tried her hardest to stop an autopsy from being done, but the police, upon looking at the records of all the deaths, suspecting foul play.
Mary’s father-in-law was no other than Captain Paul Gibbs, he too, didn’t think that the deaths of the entire Davis family were natural causes. He looked into everything and knew that Jane was suspicious. A doctor by the name of Ira Cushing was on holiday in the area, and he had seen Alden the day before he died, and he too, found it weird that he died from grief.
Ira and Paul got together and tried to get
to the bottom of it all. They contacted the governor of Cuba and was introduced
to Leonard Wood. He was a US military governor of Cuba at the time, he had
studied medicine and was a surgeon in the military before going into the
officer corps. With Teddy Roosevelt, they formed the famous ‘Rough Riders’ to
fight in the war.
Leonard was on holiday in Cape Cod when he
had a visit from an old family friend, Paul Gibbs. Without question Leonard got
an investigation on the way. Whilst this was happening, Jane went to visit her
brother-in-law, Reverend Oramel. Whilst she was there, she killed his sister
with morphine, then used morphine on Oramel to make him sick. She nursed him
back to health, she tried it on with him and when he rejected her, she took an
overdose of morphine. With her knowledge, she knew that the dose wouldn’t kill
her, but it did send her to hospital.
Discharged from the hospital, Jane went to visit a friend named Sarah Nichols. The result of the autopsy came back, they found lethal doses of morphine. The police went to arrest Jane, but Jane had already fled to Amherst, New Hampshire, to visit her friend Sarah Nichols. Luckily for Sarah a few weeks after she arrived, in October 1901, police found Jane and arrested her. When questioned, Jane admitting to poisoning the Davis family, but also eleven other victims. It was only when she was with her lawyer, that she told the truth, with there being thirty-one total victims.
Jane was declared insane by the court and sent to the state asylum for life at Taunton, Massachusetts. She died in Taunton Insane Hospital, August 1938, when she was eighty-four years old. The staff at the hospital said she was “a quiet old lady”, but other staff remembered how she would smile at them and ask them to go into her room with her as she would say “get some morphine, dearie” and “and we’ll go out in the ward. You and I will have a lot of fun seeing them die.”
Victims that Toppan named in court are; Israel Dunham: Patient, died May 26, 1895. Aged 83 Lovely Dunham: Patient, died September 19, 1897. Aged 87 Elizabeth Brigham: Foster sister, died August 29, 1899. Aged 70 Mary McNear: Patient, died December 28, 1899. Aged 70 Florence Calkins: Housekeeper for Elizabeth, died January 15, 1900. Aged 45 William Ingraham: Patient, died January 27, 1900. Aged 70 Sarah (Myra) Connors: Patient, died February 11, 1900. Aged 48 Mattie Davis: Wife of Alden, died July 4, 1901. Aged 62 Genevieve Gordon (Annie): Daughter of Alden & Mattie, died July 31, 1901. Alden Davis: Husband of Mattie, died August 8, 1901. Aged 64 Mary (Minnie) Gibbs: Daughter of Alden & Mattie, died August 13, 1901. Aged 40 Edna Bannister: Sister-in-law of Elizabeth, died August 26, 1901. Aged 77
I’m going to start by talking about the events that lead to his arrest, and then I’ll get into the his backstory. Get your beverage of choice and some snacks.
This blog is about ‘The Gray Man‘, also known as ‘The Werewolf of Wisteria‘, ‘The Brooklyn Vampire‘, ‘Moon Maniac‘ and ‘The Bogey Man‘.
On July 11th 1924, 8 year old Beatrice Kiel was
sat alone on her parents farm when a middle aged man approached her, asking if
she wanted to help him find some rhubarb with the reward of some money. She got
up and went with him until her Mother came out of the house and chased the man
away. The man did return and tried to sleep on the Kiel farm until Beatrice’s
dad Hans forced the man to leave.
Three days later, during the night of July 14th 1924, eight year old Francis McDonnell was playing on his front porch in Charlton Woods area of Staten Island. His mom was sitting nearby and feeding her baby daughter. When she looked up she saw a gaunt old man with grey hair and a grey moustache acting a little strange, mumbling to himself and constantly clenching and unclenching his fists. When he walked past their house, he tipped his hat in her direction and continued down the road and out of sight. Several hours later someone else noticed an old man with the same description watching a group of boys, including Francis playing football. In a few minutes the boys noticed that the man had vanished, and so had their friend Francis.
A neighbour of Francis said that he saw a boy that looked like Francis and an old man walk into the woods, when the parents went searching for their son, they found him under some branches. He had been stripped down, beaten badly and strangled with his own suspenders. He was actually beaten so badly that the police doubted the man who did it was the elderly man people were reporting. Francis’s dad was a police officer, so over two hundred plain clothed police joined him in helping him find the man responsible.
His Mom told the police “He came shuffling down the street, mumbling to himself, making queer motions with his hands. I’ll never forget those hands. I shuddered when I looked at them, how they opened and shut, opened and shut, opened and shut. I saw him look toward Francis and the others. I saw his thick grey hair, his drooping grey moustache. Everything about him seemed faded and grey.” Despite the manhunt, there was no trace of the man known as ‘Grey Man’.
On February 11th, 1927, 3 year old Billy Beaton and his twelve year old brother were playing in an apartment in Brooklyn with 4 year old Billy Gaffney. When the twelve-year-old left for the apartment, the younger boys went missing. Beaton was soon found on the apartments roof, when he was asked what happened to Gaffney, he said “the bogeyman took him”. Peter Kudzinowski was a suspect in Billy’s murder – it was found out afterwards that he was in fact a serial killer.
The police believed that Billy had just wandered off into some of the empty buildings, some were factories – or maybe he had fallen into the canal nearby. Volunteers joined the search but despite their best efforts there was no sign of Billy. Eventually, someone questioned Beaton again. When asked again he repeated that the bogey man had taken Gaffney. He was then asked to describe the “bogey man”. He said he was a slender old man who had grey hair and a grey moustache. But the police failed to make any connection with this grey man and the grey man who was involved in an abduction a few years previously with Francis.
On 25th May 1928, there was an AD in the New York World that read, “Young man, 18, wishes position in country. Edward Budd, 406 West 15th Street” and three days later, the AD was answered by an elderly man, he said his name was Frank Howard and that he was a farmer. He told the family that his wife had left him with their six children and now he needed help with the farm. Edward had his friend Willie with him, and Frank offered him a position too. They accepted the offer and Frank said he would be back a few days later to bring them to the farm with him.
Frank didn’t turn up when he said he would, but they did get a telegram from him apologising and set a new date. When Frank arrived back at the house on 3rd June, he came with gifts – strawberries and cheese, products from his farm. Edward was not home so his Mom Delia invited him in for dinner to wait for her son and his friend. Frank asked if they had thrown his telegram away, and when they said it was on the mantlepiece, he got up from the sofa and put it in his pocket. He talked endlessly about his farm and the family admired Frank for his obvious hard work. As they sat down to eat, straight from church, Edwards little sister, Grace came into the dining room and greeted Frank.
Now Grace was ten years old, but Frank could not keep his eyes off her, he made comments about how she was going to be a heartbreaker one day. He then went on to see “how good of a counter” Grace was and took out a bunch of money which impressed the Budd family. He gave her some of the money to buy herself some sweets and as she went out, Edward and Willie walked in. At this point Frank got to his feet and explained that his sister unexpectedly invited him to his niece’s birthday party to which he had to go to. He said he would come back after the party that day and take the young boys with him to the farm. As he was walking out, he turned to ask Delia and Albert if they thought their daughter Grace would like to attend the party with him. He gave them the address of the party and assured them that she was in safe hands. Delia walked them outside and watched the old man and her ten year old daughter walk down the street and round the corner out of sight – the last time she would ever see her daughter.
Delia and Albert Budd were ridden with panic – their 10 year
old was at a party with an old man they barely knew and it was coming onto 11pm
and she wasn’t home yet. They tried to remain somewhat calm and assumed that
maybe the party went on a little later than expected and they were spending the
night at Frank’s sisters house. But by the morning, there was still no sign of
Frank or Grace. Albert Budd didn’t waste anymore time and went to Frank’s
sisters address himself, but no address existed. He still wanted to believe
that Frank was simply mistaken when he gave them the address – but he wasn’t
going to take the risk. He sent Edward to the police station so he could put in
a missing person’s report, a short time later four detectives arrived at the
Budd’s house and they were concerned right from the beginning.
After the parents were interviewed, the detectives
dispatched to make thorough searches of all the local rooming houses. They then
took Edward and Willie down to the local police station to look at mug shots. Two
more detectives were assigned to the case because they realised just how
serious this missing case was. One of those detectives checked out names and
addresses at the Motor Vehicle Bureau to see if there was a match for anyone by
the name of Frank Howard. The other went about tracing the message sent by
Frank to Eddie through the Western Union. This was when the abduction of Grace
Budd made the newspapers.
From all the investigations the detectives did, they could
not track down a Frank Howard or the farm he claimed he owned in Farmingdale,
Long Island. They couldn’t even find anything that belonged to him or anyone
that fit the description. The man that called himself Frank Howard, didn’t seem
to exist. The search for Grace Budd was even more vital now, and everything
that Frank had told the Budd family – none of it was true.
Whilst looking into everything, they took Delia and Albert
to the police station to look at mug shots just like they did with Edward and
Willie, these mug shots were of known rogues and child molesters, but they
didn’t recognise any of the people in the pictures. Days turned into weeks,
weeks into months and they still found no trace of Grace. They only thing they
knew was that Frank Howard had covered his tracks extremely well. Albert Budd
remembered that Frank went as far to take back the telegram he had sent to the
Budd’s house, saying he was going to complain to the Western Union as it was
addressed wrong. The detectives got onto the Western Union and asked them to
check all copies, to see if they could find the one that Frank had sent. Three clerks
that worked for Western Union put in over fifteen hours searching until they
finally found the telegram that Frank had sent and the only clue, they got from
it was that it was sent from an office in East Harlem.
They wanted to send officers to check every single home in
that area, but knew it was going to be physically impossible, it would take too
long and too many man hours, they weren’t sure if Frank would still be in that
area anymore. Instead they went on a different slim chance – the pot of cheese
and strawberries that Frank gifted to the Budd family, if they hadn’t come from
his farm, he had to have bought them from somewhere. After searching the East
Harlem area, they found the two stores and had themselves a lead. The peddler
who sold him the strawberries described Frank in detail but couldn’t remember
anything else, and that was the end of that lead.
Without wanting to give up so easily, they made sure all the
newspapers had details of Grace and Frank on the front page every day, they
printed out flyers and distributed them around and they were able to gather up
loads of tips and leads. The same with every other case, they got some
sightings that were a dud but were genuinely honest and then some were people
calling up and giving them false hope for a bit of fun.
September 5th 1930, two years after Grace went
missing, a 66-year old Superintendent Charles Edward Pope was arrested as a
suspect for Grace’s murder, his ex-wife called in the tip saying he fit the
description and that he phoned her one day to meet up, when she did, he met her
with a little girl. He spent 108 days in jail between his arrest and his trial
which was on December 22nd 1930 and was found not guilty.
It seemed to be a hopeless case, none of these tips were
leads and the man they had as their main suspect wasn’t guilty.
Warden J.S. Blitch was a prison warden in Florida, he had
seen one of the flyers, he got in touch with the police and told them he
thought he recognised the man but he knew him as conman Albert E. Corthell. He
has been released from prison in 1926 for embezzlement. He was in his late
fifties, small, slight, grey haired, quick witted and real smooth talker. He
would often passed himself off as a medical practitioner. In the course of his
many scams Corthell would hire young girls to pose as his children. The more
Blitch thought about it the more he convinced himself that Corthell was Frank
Howard. He opened his prison file and looked at the prisoner’s photograph again
before sending his statement and the photograph to the New York City Police
Commissioner, Joseph A. Warren.
At the same time, another man called William L. Vetter also had
an interesting story to tell the police. Vetter was the assistant
superintendent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in
Brooklyn. His story was that a couple of days before the Budd kidnapping, he
was approached by a man who matched the description of Frank Howard. The man
was interested in adopting a six year old girl. There was something about him
that just didn’t feel right, so Vetter set up a second interview with him. But
this time the grey haired man never turned up. He was invited to the police
headquarters and asked to go through a number of possible suspects. He picked
one out. It was the photograph of the con man Albert Corthell that they had
just received from Warden Blitch.
In November 1934, seven years later, the Budd family
received an anonymous letter. Ellen was illiterate and wasn’t about to read, so
she passed the letter to her son Edward to read out.
“My Dear Mrs. Budd,In 1894, a friend of mine shipped as a deck hand on the steamer Tacoma, Capt. John Davis. They sailed from San Francisco to Hong Kong, China. On arriving there, he and two others went ashore and got drunk. When they returned, the boat was gone. At that time, there was a famine in China. Meat of any kind was 1-3 dollars a pound. So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold for food in order to keep others from starving. A boy or girl under 14 was not safe in the street. You could go in any shop and ask for steak, chops, or stew meat. Part of the naked body of a boy or girl would be brought out and just what you wanted cut from it. A boy or girl’s behind, which is the sweetest part of the body and is sold as veal cutlets, brings the highest price. John stayed there so long that he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y., he stole two boys — one 7, one 11. He took them to his home, stripped them naked, and tied them up in a closet, and then burned everything they had on. Several times every day and night he spanked them — tortured them — to make their meat good and tender. First, he killed the 11-year-old boy, because he had the fattest ass and of course the most meat on it. Every part of his body was cooked and eaten except the head, bones, and guts. He was roasted in the oven (all of his ass), boiled, broiled, fried, and stewed. The little boy was next, and he went the same way. At that time, I was living at 409 E. 100 St. He told me so often how good human flesh was, and I made up my mind to taste it. On June 3, 1928, I called on you at 406 W. 15 St. and brought you pot cheese and strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat on my lap and kissed me. I made up my mind to eat her. On the pretense of taking her to a party, you said yes, she could go. I took her to an empty house in Westchester I had already picked out. When we got there, I told her to remain outside. She picked wildflowers. I went upstairs and stripped all my clothes off. I knew if I did not I would get her blood on them. When all was ready, I went to the window and called her. Then I hid in the closet until she was in the room. When she saw me all naked she began to cry and tried to run down the stairs. I grabbed her and she said she would tell her mamma. First, I stripped her naked. How she did kick, bite, and scratch. I choked her to death, then cut her in small pieces so I could take the meat to my rooms, cook, and eat it. How sweet and tender her little ass was roasted in the oven. It took me 9 days to eat her entire body. I did not fuck her, though I could have if I wished. She died a virgin.”
The police took the letter as evidence and began
investigating. In the letter, it said that there was famine in Honk Kong which couldn’t
be verified. The part of the letter that concerned Grace Budd’s murder was
found to be accurate, but in this letter it was said that anonymous had eaten
Grace’s body, which they wasn’t able to confirm or deny.
The letter came in an envelope which had a small emblem with the letters “N.Y.P.C.B.A” on which stood for “New York Private Chauffeur’s Benevolent Association”. When they went to check it out, a janitor that worked their told the police that he had taken some of the stationary home with him and left it at the rooming house at 200 East 52nd Street when he moved out.
The police spoke to the landlady at the rooming house that
said a man named Albert Fish checked out of that room a few days earlier but
his son sent him money and Albert had asked the landlady to hold the cheque for
him. William F. King was the chief investigator on the case and he decided to
wait outside the room when Albert Fish returned for his cheque.
Fish volunteered to go to the station for questioning but
then he took out a razor blade and attempted to attack King who managed to
disarm him and take him to the station. Fish didn’t bother denying murdering
Grace but told them when he went to the house, her brother Edward was his
initial victim, but that very day he met Grace, she was going to be his victim.
He confessed to everything. He told them he lead Grace to a place called
Wisteria Cottage and left her outside of the empty house, picking wild flowers.
He went inside and got naked before calling her upstairs, she screamed and
tried to run when Albert grabbed her and strangled her to death.
The police needed to find Grace’s body, so they went to Wisteria Cottage with Albert Fish, who showed no emotion what so ever – everything he had told the police appeared to be true. They got a statement from Fish that same day and on that night, he was interrogated, people wanted to know why he would kill Grace, his response was that it was “a sort of blood thirst” and it overwhelmed him. He said that once it was done, he was overcome with sadness and even said, “I would have given my life within a half-hour after I done it to restore it to her.”
This was when Albert Fish confessed to the murders of Francis McDonnell and Billy Gaffney, even writing a letter to the Gaffney family.
“I brought him to the Riker Ave. dumps. There is a house that stands alone, not far from where I took him….I took the boy there. Stripped him naked and tied his hands and feet and gagged him with a piece of dirty rag I picked out of the dump. Then I burned his clothes. Threw his shoes in the dump. Then I walked back and took the trolley to 59 St. at 2 A.M. and walked from there home. Next day about 2 P.M., I took tools, a good heavy cat-of-nine tails. Home made. Short handle. Cut one of my belts in half, slit these halves in six strips about 8 inches long. I whipped his bare behind till the blood ran from his legs. I cut off his ears — nose –slit his mouth from ear to ear. Gouged out his eyes. He was dead then. I stuck the knife in his belly and held my mouth to his body and drank his blood. I picked up four old potato sacks and gathered a pile of stones. Then I cut him up. I had a grip with me. I put his nose, ears and a few slices of his belly in the grip. Then I cut him through the middle of his body. Just below the belly button. Then through his legs about 2 inches below his behind. I put this in my grip with a lot of paper. I cut off the head — feet — arms– hands and the legs below the knee. This I put in sacks weighed with stones, tied the ends and threw them into the pools of slimy water you will see all along the road going to North Beach. I came home with my meat. I had the front of his body I liked best. His monkey and pee wees and a nice little fat behind to roast in the oven and eat. I made a stew out of his ears — nose — pieces of his face and belly. I put onions, carrots, turnips, celery, salt and pepper. It was good. Then I split the cheeks of his behind open, cut off his monkey and pee wees and washed them first. I put strips of bacon on each cheek of his behind and put them in the oven. Then I picked 4 onions and when the meat had roasted about 1/4 hour, I poured about a pint of water over it for gravy and put in the onions. At frequent intervals I basted his behind with a wooden spoon. So the meat would be nice and juicy. In about 2 hours, it was nice and brown, cooked through. I never ate any roast turkey that tasted half as good as his sweet fat little behind did. I ate every bit of the meat in about four days. His little monkey was a sweet as a nut, but his pee-wees I could not chew. Threw them in the toilet.”
The capture of Albert Fish was on the front page of the newspapers and on his trial day, Albert and Edward Budd had to be escorted inside when Albert saw Fish, he lunged forward and grabbed him by the neck screaming at him, calling him a son of a bitch and if he knew who he was. Fish simply replied, “Yes you’re Mr.Budd” and Albert shouted at him again saying that he was the man that came into his home and took away his little girl away.
Albert Fish’s trial for the murder of Grace Budd began on March 11, 1935. The trial lasted for 10 days. Fish pleaded insanity, and claimed to have heard voices from God telling him to kill children. During two days of testimony, the defence explained Fish’s obsession with religion, it was said that Fish believed that “sacrificing” a boy would be penance for his own sins and that even if the act itself was wrong, angels would prevent it if God didn’t approve. Edward Budd was the intended victim, but he turned out to be larger than expected so he settled on Grace. Although he knew Grace was female, he saw her as a boy. The defence said that due to Fish’s background, he was insane.
Albert Fish was born Hamilton Howard Fish on May 19th
1870 and when he was born his dad, Randall Fish was already seventy-five years
old and his Mom, Ellen Fish was thirty-two years old, so there was a good forty
three years age difference between his parents.
There wasn’t a whole bunch of information about Ellen Fish,
but his dad, Randall was a riverboat captain before he became a fertilizer
manufacturer but when Hamilton was only five years old in 1875, his Dad died
from a heart attack.
Now Hamilton wasn’t an only child, he had three older living
siblings; Walter, Annie and Edwin. So when Randall passed away, Ellen found it
really hard to cope with her children on her and with the grief and stress, she
began hallucinating. Because of this, she took Hamilton to Saint John’s
Orphanage in Washington, D.C.
This is where his name changed, due to being called “Ham & Eggs”, he asked that people called him Albert after his dead brother.
It was at Saint John’s Orphanage that Albert began to be treated horrifically. In fact he was later quoted saying, “That place ruined my mind.” It was in this orphanage that Albert experienced brutal beatings and I mean brutal. He was also witnessing the other kids in the orphanage being beaten too. Soon enough Albert had gotten so used to the pain that he started to like it, to the point of being sexually aroused by these beatings.
In 1880, Ellen – Albert’s Mom, got herself a crusty job in
the Government and was able to take Albert out of the orphanage and back home
with her, this made him ten years old. Which meant he spent five years of his
life in an abusive orphanage, where he was beaten almost daily.
When Albert was twelve years old, he got into a relationship
with a telegraph boy, I couldn’t find his name though. But he introduced Albert
into drinking urine and eating faeces. Nice… It wasn’t long after this that
Albert started visiting public baths to watch all the boys undress, and he made
this a weekend thing, so he would go almost every weekend.
Skipping ahead some years, to 1890 when he was twenty,
Albert moved to New York and to make money, he became a prostitute and this is
where he began molesting young boys. He continued with the sex work up until
his Mom Ellen arranged a marriage between himself and a woman named Anna Mary
Hoffman who was nine years younger than he was. This is when he changed jobs to
become a house painter, him and Anna went on to have six children together.
That didn’t mean he stopped molesting young boys however.
A male lover of his took him to a waxworks museum and Albert
became pretty much obsessed with sexual mutilation from that point.
In 1910, Albert was working on a house in Delaware where he met nineteen year old Thomas Kedden and started a sadomasochistic relationship with him. Albert later confessed that Thomas was “intellectually disabled” and after ten days of their relationship, he took Thomas to an old farm house and tortured him for two whole weeks. His original plan was to kill him, cut him up and take him home but due to the hot weather he didn’t want to draw attention to himself and instead, tied Thomas up and cut off his genitals. He poured peroxide over the wound, wrapped it in a Vaseline covered handkerchief, placed ten dollars beside him and then kissed him goodbye. He never knew what happened to Thomas and didn’t much care for finding out either.
In January 1917, Anna left Albert for another man, which
left Albert a single parent and this was when he began hearing voices, much
like what happened to his own Mom. It was about this time that Albert began
self-harming, he would embed needles into his groin and stomach to the point
that he wasn’t able to get them back out. He would insert wool doused in
lighter fluid into his anus and set it alight and he would so hit himself with
a nail studded paddle – which he would get his children and their friends hit
him with too. It wasn’t ever known if he ever abused his children.
He became obsessed with the idea of cannibalism when he
started eating raw meat and serving it to his children.
In 1919 he stabbed a mentally handicapped boy. He then began
torturing, multilating and murdering young boys with a meat cleaver, butcher
knife and a small handsaw. That’s when he saw little Beatrice Kiel on her farm,
and thankfully forced to leave without the little girl.
1924 Fish was suffering with psychosis and felt that God was
telling him to sexually mutilate young boys. That’s when he saw the AD in the
paper and contacted the Budd family.
None of the jurors doubted that he was insane, but felt he should be executed anyway. They said he was sane and guilty, and the judge ordered the death sentence. Fish arrived at prison in March 1935, and was executed on January 16, 1936, in the electric chair at Sing Sing. He entered the chamber at 11:06 p.m. and was pronounced dead three minutes later. He was buried in the Sing Sing Prison Cemetery. Fish is said to have helped the executioner position the electrodes on his body. His last words were reportedly, “I don’t even know why I’m here.”
He was executed for the murders of all; Francis McDonnel, Aged 8, July 15th 1924 Billy Gaffney, age 4, February 11, 1927 Grace Budd, age 10, June 3, 1928
And was suspected of killing; Emma Richardson, age 5, October 3, 1926 Yetta Abramowitz, age 12, 1927 Robin Jane Liu, age 6, May 2, 1931 Mary Ellen O’Connor, age 16, February 15, 1932 Benjamin Collings, age 17, December 15, 1932
That’s it. I’ve been engrossed in Albert Fish since I first heard about him many years ago, I knew he had to be my first post! I found it so bizarre and interesting!
Let me know down below if you’ve heard about this case before, and what you thought about it!
I’m so awkward and introverted, so this might be the most awkward post I’ll have to ever make.
That’s me. Becky the twenty-something from Birmingham, Uk.
What’s the point of this blog?
I have been practically obsessed and intrigued by serial killers since I can remember. I’m not sure where the fascination stems from; could it be the amount of horror films and documentaries I watch? Most likely. The pure violence? Sure. How about the knowledge that you never know who is a killer? Probably.
I was going to do YouTube videos, being in front of a camera isn’t my thing. So here, I have resorted to writing a blog, with all my serial killer & true crime knowledge.
I would love to hear your thoughts too! If you like my posts, please let me know! If you want me to talk about a specific person(s), missing persons, cases, then let me know that too!