Hi everyone. I felt the need to explain why posts have been a little sporadic at True Crime Reader.
I am head down into writing my second book, which will have more of an international crime flavour.
My first book Murder in Suburbia is going well and I’m getting lots of feedback from readers. Thanks to everyone for the support.
Writing books is HARD. I’m finding is harder to write my second now that i know how much work and research goes into it. I had absolutely NO idea (which was probably a good thing) when I embarked on writing Murder in Suburbia.
I’ll get back into regular posts asap. In the meantime, please keep in touch and let me know what books you are reading at the moment!
Missing in America – There are over 87,000 adults and children listed as missing in the United States and most of these cases receive no media coverage. Read more. (HuffPost Live, November 9, 2013)
Karen Williams cold case- In Australia, South Australian detectives have mad an arrest in the 23-year-old mystery of 16-year-old Karen Michelle Williams’s disappearance and presumed murder. On November u, 2013, police charged 42-year-old Nikola Novakovich with murder. He was the last person to see Karen alive and had been interviewed numerous times over the years. Police are currently searching for Karen’s remains in Coober Pedy, where she was last seen. Read more. (News.com.au, November 8, 2012)
Siberian serial killer Mikhail Popkov- A former policeman known as a ‘perfect husband and father’ led a secret life as serial killer who murdered at least two dozen women in Siberia. Read more. (Dailymail.co.uk, November 7, 2013)
Hunt for French Riviera Serial Killer - A hunt for a serial killer is underway after the skeletal remains of four people, including a skull with ‘Death to paedophiles’ written across it, were found off the French coast. Read more. (Dailymail.co.uk, November 8, 2013)
Young detective turns mass killer- English writer and journalist David Thomas writes the true story of a talented German detective who catches a serial killer in Wartime Berlin, but then goes on to become a Nazi war criminal. The book is called Ostland. Read more. (chichester.co.uk, November 8, 2013)
There are currently around 1000 unidentified bodies on police files. Some of these bodies date back 50 years.
This is so sad and baffling. How is it that people can go missing and NO ONE tries to find out what happened? I understand that many of these bodies will be people from Europe or other countries but still, how does this happen?
The website UK Missing Persons Bureau gives details of these bodies but despite it being “live” for seven months, there have been no new leads on any of the cases.
- The widow of an Atlanta police officer, who was killed on duty, died this week. The 1980 murder of officer Alfred Johnson remains unsolved. Sadly, his widow Mildred did not live to see his killer be brought to justice. (Source: myfoxatlanta.com)
- Chicago newspaperman and true crime author Edward W. Baumann died on November 6. (Source: chicagotribune.com)
- The family of a British girl, who went missing in Germany in 1981, will march on Downing Street to raise awareness of the family’s plight to find Katrice Lee, who was two years old when she disappeared. (Source: portsmouth.co.uk)
Los Angeles Police have turned to social media juggernaut Facebook to identify more potential victims of the city’s serial killer dubbed the “Grim Sleeper”.
The LAPD posted its first appeal on the dedicated Facebook page on October 18 with photographs of yet-unidentified women whose photos were found among thousands in the possession of serial murder suspect Lonnie David Franklin Jr. Franklin (pictured below) was arrested in July 2010 and is accused of killing women ranging from ages 14 to 36 between August 1985 and January 2007.
The photographs were taken between 1976 and 2010.
Police dubbed the killer the “Grim Sleeper” because of the long gaps – often years – in between murders.
- West Australian jury visits the perth hotel where a New Zealand man, Andy Marshall, died as part of a trial to decide whether he was murdered.
- Queensland man Gerard Baden-Clay appears in court charged with the murder of his wife, Allison. This case is certain to be one of the most watched in Australia.
- Scottish police bosses will spend £400,000 hiring ex-police to investigate cold cases.
- French police reopen case of 1990 murder of British student Joanna Parrish. Ms Parrish’s parents believe Michel Fourniret, a 69-year-old former forest ranger convicted of the murder and rape of seven girls and young women in France and Belgium in 2008, was responsible for their daughter’s death.
One of Chicago’s most infamous killers has died in prison, aged 83 on March 5.
William Heirens was arrested in 1946 and confessed to the murders of three females, including a six-year-old.
Heirens, then-17, was dubbed the “Lipstick Killer” after investigators found a message on a mirror with lipstick at one of the women’s homes that read: “For heaven’s sake, catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself.”
FBI profiler Rober K Ressler writes about Heirens and delves into a criminal profile of the teen killer in his book Whoever Fights Monsters.
Crime news links that I’ve found interesting this past week:
- A 42-year-old man, Lesley Camilleri has been charged with murder of Melbourne teen Prudence Bird, who went missing in 1992. The disappearance of Prue Bird has been one of Victoria’s most baffling unsolved crimes. (Source: News.com.au)
- An appeal for the truth about what happened to her little brother has been published in a London, Canada newspaper. Frankie Jensen, 9 disappeared on his way to school in 1968. His body was found two months later. Frankie’s big sister Bente Jensen is now 60 and wants to know what happened. Bente believes Frankie was the victim of a serial killer. (Source: London Free Press)
- Irish families cling to hope missing loved ones will turn up. There is criticism in this article that the Garda (Irish Police) have not done enough to investigate missing persons cases.
A selection of Crime news articles and blog posts that I have found interesting this past week:
Van Der Sloot sentenced to 28 years
- The prime suspect in the death of Alabama student Natalee Holloway, Joran Van der Sloot, sentenced to 28 years in Peru for murder of 21-year-old student. Natalee Holloway was officially declared dead this week too.
Montana teacher found dead
A popular Montana teacher, whose disappearance sparked a search with more that 1200 volunteers, was found dead on January 13. Two men have been charged over the death of Sherry Arnold. Police are investigating a number of theories on Arnold’s disappearance and death, including that she was the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Missing persons list contains murder victims whose bodies have still to be found
New South Wales Police homicide squad say they are investigating many missing persons cases. This article also includes a gallery of crimes that haunt the state of NSW.
I thought I knew about most serial killers and multiple murderers but this week I discovered mass murders from the 1970s, which haunt a city and countless families to this day.
In 1973, Dean Corll was found shot to death in Houston – information from the young men who shot the former candy salesman to death led police to the mutilated bodies of 27 boys. This was, at the time, the largest multiple murder in United States history. These young teens simply vanished. They were from loving homes and going about normal daily life when they disappeared.
Corll (also known as The Candy Man) had young accomplices – David Brooks and Wayne Henley – who killed Corll, led police to the horrific discovery of the victims and are both serving life sentences for their part in the crimes. (Henley and Brooks helped lure victims to Corll and were both abused by him too.)
Author Skip Hollandsworth wrote an amazing longform article in April 2011 on the crimes for Texas Monthly called The Lost Boys. (To acess the full article sign up for the Texas Monthly site) It is truly one of the best pieces of journalism I have read. the anchor of Hollandsworth’s article is the elderly mother of one of the boys murdered by Corll. I say much more except that the heartbreak and halted lives of the families of the victims is sensitively conveyed.
Sharon Derrick, a forensic anthropologist at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences was working to identify bodies from the murders. (Here’s a good article that explains her work and dedication.)
There’s also the dedicated work by author Barbara Gibson, managing editor of Texascrimenews.com, who has researched and reported on the Houston mass murders for a number of years and discovered two misidentified victims of Corll.
Corll was a serial killer but back when he was killing, the term “serial killer” was not well known, nor was criminal profiling. Police wrote the boys off as runaways, despite the information from their families.
Some interesting crime and justice news from the around the world:
No leads in Rotorua missing persons cases - New Zealand Police launched the Missing Persons website last August which featured profiles of current and historic missing people. (The Daily Post, September 24, 2011)
British crime drama Prime Suspect gets American treatment – Maria Bello, Aidan Quinn and Brían F. O’Byrne star in NBC’s Prime Suspect and the show has a decidedly Irish feel with the two male leads of Irish extraction and Maria Bello’s Jane Tennsion-inspired character Jane Timoney being Irish-American.
Queensland Police have charged a man with the murder of missing Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe.
The accused, 41, has also been charged with deprivation of liberty, child stealing, indecent treatment of child under 16 and interference with a corpse.
In a press conference held this evening, Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett praised the dedication of the officers who have investigated the case since the schoolboy went missing in 2003.
Deputy Commissioner Barnett said police would now search an area of bushland in the hope of locating the teenager’s body.
Daniel was abducted on December 7, 2003 while waiting for a bus in Woombye, Queensland.
Since Daniel’s abduction, his parents Bruce and Denise have worked tirelessly to find their son and raise awareness through the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to teaching personal safety to the young and vulnerable as well as assisting victims of crime.
Elaine Doyle, 16, was killed on 1 June 1986. She had been strangled and sexually assaulted. A reconstruction of the teen’s last movements was shown on BBC’s Crimewatch and police said it generated more than 50 calls.
- America’s Most Wanted has been changed from a weekly format to quarterly specials, prompting its host John Walsh to ponder its future. John Walsh, whose son Adam was abducted and murdered in 1981, has become a high profile and tireless campaigner for tougher crime laws. He helped to form the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and in 1988 he started producing and hosting “Most Wanted.”
- Northern Irish detectives close to a breakthrough in the 1988 murder of a German backpacker. Police are also examining whether more than one person was involved in the killing of 18-year-old Inga Maria Hauser and that fresh leads received from the public at the end of last year have given life to the investigation.
Roomate faces hate crime charges (NY Times, April 20, 2011) – This story is incredibly tragic. the roommate of Tyler Clementi who killed himself in September, has been indicted on hate-crime charges in using a webcam to stream Mr. Clementi’s romantic encounter with another man on the Internet in the days before the suicide. It is so sad that the internet is used as a vehicle for humiliation and to invade privacy, with these shocking consequences.
Aussie film on Snowtown murders selected for showing at Cannes (pedestrian.tv, April 19, 2011). The Snowtown murders, also known as “The Bodies in Barrels” murders, rank among Australia most gruesome. The murders of 11 people in the South Australian town happened between 1992 and 1999. The film is set for release in Australian cinemas in May.
Police find remains in search for missing girl (The Australian, April 22, 2011) The remains are believed to be those of missing 6-year-old Mt Druitt girl Keisha Abrahams. Her mother and stepfather were charged over her murder today.
In what is one of the most intriguing, infamous and sad Australian cases in recent times, Sydney woman Keli Lane was sentenced this week to 18 years jail for murdering her newborn daughter Tegan in 1996. Baby Tegan has never been found despite Lane’s consistent line that she handed over her second-born child (Lane adopted out baby one and three and her fourth child is nine years old) to its father, who has also never been located.
Lane was sentenced on April 15 to 18 years with a non-parole period of 13 years and 5 months, making her eligible for parole in 2023.
Here are some links to really thorough, interesting articles about Keli Lane including this Sydney Morning Herald one about how Lane’s sentence was determined.