Friday, January 27, 2012

America's Lesser Known And Forgotten Killers


            The term Serial Killer is widely believed to have been coined either by FBI agent Robert Ressler or by Dr. Robert D. Keppel in the 1970s. The popular phrase emerged largely in part due to the well-publicized crimes of Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz in the middle years of that decade. Many noted serial killers come from dysfunctional backgrounds. Frequently they were physically, sexually, or psychologically abused as children and there is often a correlation between their childhood abuse and their crimes. Serial killers are specifically motivated by a variety of psychological urges, primarily power and sexual compulsion.
Medical and FBI Expert Profilers define a serial killer as a person who kills three or more people in three or more separate events. There is an emotional cooling-off period in between the homicides that can stretch over a period of time. This cooling-off period may last days, weeks, months, or even years. It is believed that many serial killers suffer from antisocial personality disorders and not psychosis, and they appear to be quite normal and often charming. According to Doctor Hervey Cleckley, this is a state of adaptation called the "mask of sanity." There is sometimes a sexual element to the murders. The murders may have been completed/attempted in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common, for example occupation, race, sex, etc.
      They often have feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, sometimes owing to humiliation and abuse in childhood and/or the pressures of poverty and low socioeconomic status in adulthood, and their crimes compensate for this and provide a sense of potency and often revenge, by giving them a feeling of power, both at the time of the actual killing and afterwards. The knowledge that their actions terrify entire communities and often baffle police adds to this sense of power. This motivational aspect separates them from contract killers and other multiple murderers who are motivated by profit. For example, in Scotland during the 1820s, William Burke and William Hare murdered people in what became known as the "Case of the Body Snatchers." They would not count as serial killers by most criminologists' definitions, however, because their motive was primarily economic.
      Another recent theory about the compulsion of serial killer propounded by Helen Morrison state that serial killers are not a result of sexual abuse, inadequacy or socioeconomic status but are rather the result of retarded emotional development. Serial Killers can be gauged at having the emotional development of an infant of less than 100 days, of course, this varies between individuals. The low level of emotional development, arguably, causes serial killers to have fractured or disparate personalities - that is they are not a whole person. Low emotional development also explains some common traits among serial killers such as enjoying holding soft materials against their mouths (being the primary sensory organ of infants) which was observed in Robert Macek, John Wayne Gacy and others - the material often being women’s panties because of the materials softness.
      The Helen Morrison theory also suggests that a serial killer has not developed basic levels of emotional control and that, as a result, a serial killer does not have "feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, sometimes owing to humiliation and abuse" which draw them to killing, rather, the act of killing is actually a kind of experimentation which is uninhibited due to the subjects low or non-existent level of sympathy/empathy with the victims. It is arguable that serial killers are in fact trying to understand their own existence by inflicting pain, killing and experimenting with victims’ dead bodies. This also explains some of the macabre practices of serial killers such as Ed Gein, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer and others.
      The element of fantasy in a serial killer's development is extremely important. They often begin fantasizing about murder during or even before adolescence. Their fantasy lives are very rich and they daydream compulsively about domination, submission, and murder, usually with very specific elements to the fantasy that will eventually be apparent in their real crimes. Others enjoy reading stories or seeing photographs in magazines featuring rape, torture and murder. In some cases, however, these traits are not present. Some serial killers display one or more of what are known as the "MacDonald triad" of warning signs in childhood. These are:
·    Fire starting, or arson invariably for the thrill of destroying things, for gaining attention, or for making the perpetrator feel more powerful.
·    Cruelty to animals, Many children may be cruel to animals, such as pulling the legs off spiders, but future serial killers often kill larger animals, like dogs and cats, and frequently for their solitary enjoyment rather than to impress peers.
·      Bed wetting beyond the age when children normally grow out of such behavior.
      When caught and tried in a court of law in the United States, some serial killers will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. In most U.S. jurisdictions, the legal definition of insanity is still generally based upon the classic common law "right or wrong" test delineated by an English court in the 1843 M'Naghten case. The M'Naghten rule, as it is generally known in the legal profession, hinges upon whether the defendant knows the difference between right and wrong at the time of the offense. With some serial killers, extensive premeditation, combined with lack of any obvious delusions or hallucinations that would hinder the defendant's ability to elude detection after committing multiple murders, make this defense extremely difficult and almost uniformly unsuccessful in achieving a not guilty verdict. However, it does allow the defense to introduce evidence about the killer's background that would normally be deemed inadmissible (for example, a history of having been abused as a child), in hopes that some sympathy from the jury will spare the client a death sentence.
      Serial killers have been featured in many novels, movies, songs, comic books, true crime, video games, and other media. Films such as The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, and the Halloween series, have featured serial killers as villains, antiheroes, and even protagonists. Fictional serial killers such as Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Michael Myers, and Dexter Morgan have become some of the most famous, popular characters in modern popular culture. Serial killer memorabilia and serial killer lore is a subculture revolving around the legacies of various infamous and notorious serial killers. While memorabilia is generally confined to the paintings, writings, and poems of infamous killers, a market has expanded in recent years with serial killer encyclopedias, trading cards, and action figures. Some of the best known articles of serial killer memorabilia include the clown paintings of John Wayne Gacy and the poetry of Jack Unterweger.

A significant number of serial killers will show certain aspects of both organized and disorganized types, although usually the characteristics of one type will dominate. Some killers descend from being organized into disorganized behavior as their killings continue. They will carry out careful and methodical murders at the start, but become careless and impulsive as their compulsion takes over their lives. Regardless, the FBI generally categorizes serial killers into the two different types.
      Organized types are usually of high intelligence, have an above average IQ (105-120 range), and plan their crimes quite methodically, usually abducting victims, killing them in one place and disposing of them in another. They will often lure the victims with ploys appealing to their sense of sympathy. For example, Ted Bundy would put his arm in a fake plaster cast and ask women to help him carry something to his car, where he would beat them unconscious with a metal bar (ie. a crowbar), and spirit them away. Others specifically target prostitutes, who are likely to voluntarily go with a serial killer posing as a customer. They maintain a high degree of control over the crime scene, and usually have a solid knowledge of forensic science that enables them to cover their tracks, such as by burying the body or weighting it down and sinking it in a river. They follow their crimes in the media carefully and often take pride in their actions, as if it were a grand project. 
      The organized killer is usually socially adequate and has friends and lovers, often even a spouse and children. They are the type who, when captured, are most likely to be described by acquaintances as kind and unlikely to hurt anyone. Some serial killers go to lengths to make their crimes difficult to discover, such as falsifying suicide notes, setting up others to take the blame for their crimes, and faking gang warfare. The case of Harold Shipman, an English family doctor, is slightly unusual in that his social position and occupation was such that he was able to portray victims as having died of natural causes; between 1971 and 1998 he killed at least 250, and possibly well over 400, of his own mostly elderly patients – and until very near the end of his killings it was not even suspected that any crimes had been committed.
      Disorganized types are often of low intelligence, have a below average IQ (80-95), and commit their crimes impulsively. Whereas the organized killer will specifically set out to hunt a victim, the disorganized will murder someone when the opportunity arises, rarely bothering to dispose of the body but instead just leaving it at the same place in which they found the victim. They usually carry out "blitz" attacks, leaping out and attacking their victims without warning, and will typically perform whatever rituals they feel compelled to carry out (e.g., necrophilia, mutilation, cannibalism, etc.) once the victim is dead. They rarely bother to cover their tracks but may still evade capture for some time because of a level of cunning that compels them to keep on the move. 

      They are often socially inadequate with few friends, and they may have a history of mental problems and be regarded by acquaintances as eccentric or even "a bit creepy." They have little insight into their crimes and may even block out memories of committing the murders. Arguably the medical profession attracts the most serial killers: doctors are the prevailing group, closely followed by nurses.
Visionary --- Contrary to popular opinion, serial killers are rarely insane or motivated by hallucinations and/or voices in their heads. Many claim to be, usually as a way of trying to get acquitted by reason of insanity. There are, however, a few genuine cases of serial killers that were compelled by such delusions. Herbert Mullin killed 13 people after voices told him that murder was necessary to prevent California from suffering an earthquake. Mullin went to great pains to point out that California did indeed avoid an earthquake during his murder spree. Ed Gein claimed that by eating the corpses of women who looked like his deceased mother, he could preserve his mother's soul inside his body.
He killed two women who bore passing resemblance to his mother, eating one and being apprehended while in the process of preparing the second woman's body for consumption. He also used the flesh of exhumed female corpses to fashion a "woman suit" (as well as various other household adornments, such as curtains and lampshades) for himself so that he could "become" his mother. After his arrest he was placed in a mental institution for the rest of his life. David Berkowitz claimed that his neighbor's dog had forced him to kill after it had been possessed by a demon.
Missionary --- So-called missionary killers believe that their acts are justified on the basis that they are getting rid of a certain type of person (often prostitutes or members of a certain ethnicity), and thus doing society a favor. Gary Ridgway and Aileen Wuornos are often described as missionary killers. In Wuornos' case, the victims were not prostitutes, but their patrons. John Bodkin Adams, meanwhile, was a British fundamentalist Christian and a member of the Plymouth Brethren. His rich, non-Christian victims were killed partly in order to redistribute their wealth to people Adams considered more “deserving.” Missionary killers differ from other types of serial killer in that their motive is generally non-sexual
Hedonistic --- This type kills for the sheer pleasure of it, although what aspect they enjoy varies. Yang Xinhai's post-capture statement is typical of such killers' attitudes: "When I killed people I had a desire sexual excitement. This inspired me to kill more. I don't care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern.” Some killers may enjoy the actual "chase" of hunting down a victim more than anything, while others may be primarily motivated by the act of torturing and abusing the victim while they are alive. Yet others, like Jeffrey Dahmer, may kill the victim quickly, and then indulge in necrophilia or cannibalism with the body. Usually there is a strong sexual aspect to the crimes, even if it may not be immediately obvious; some killers obtain a surge of excitement that is not necessarily sexual, such as David Berkowitz, who got a thrill out of shooting young couples in cars at random and then running away without ever physically touching the victims.
Gain Motivated --- Most criminals who commit multiple murders for material ends (such as Mafia hit men) are not classed as serial killers, because they are motivated by economic gain rather than psychopathological compulsion. There is a fine line separating such killers, however. For example, Marcel Petiot, who operated in Nazi-occupied France, could be classified as a serial killer. He posed as a member of the French Resistance and lured wealthy Jewish people to his home, claiming he could smuggle them out of the country. Instead he murdered them and stole their belongings, killing 63 people before he was finally caught. Although Petiot's primary motivation was materialistic, few would deny that a man willing to kill dozens of people simply to acquire a few dozen suitcases of clothes and jewelry was a violent sociopath.
Power and Control --- This is the most common serial killer. Their main objective for killing is to gain and exert power over their victim. Such killers are sometimes abused as children, leaving them with feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy as adults. Often they indulge in rituals that are linked, often very specifically, to forms of abuse they suffered themselves. Many power/control-motivated killers sexually abuse their victims, but they differ from hedonistic killers in that rape is not motivated by lust but as simply another form of dominating the victim.
      Whatever the trait or genetic gene that may pre-disposes a person to become a serial killer it is clear that there is no social, economic, sexual orientation or moral discrimination in this group. These killers are from every walk of life right down to teenagers. This book will portray some of the lessor known and or publicized serial killers and their victims. Nonetheless, their acts against other human beings is no less tragic or horrendous then of those more notorious killers like the Ted Bundy’s or Jeffrey Dahmer’s of the world…


      Whereas serial murder involves the killing of several victims over a period of time, MASS MURDER involves the killing of several victims at one time and in one place. A typical mass murder would involve someone going into a restaurant and shooting to death everyone in the store. Mass murder should also be distinguished from spree murder, which involves several victims but not all in one place. In either case, the usual number of victims to meet the definition should be at least three.
      Mass murder has, in fact, been around longer historically and in more societies than serial murder. Little is known about it, however, since in comparison to serial killers who are usually apprehended, sent to prison, and can be interviewed, the mass murderer usually ends up taking their own life or is killed by police ("suicide by cop"). About the only way to study mass murder is by conducting "psychological autopsies" or speculating about similarities between cases. Community reaction is also different. As opposed to serial killers that instill lingering horror and lasting interest, society tends to get briefly shocked by mass murder and then returns to normal. In addition, victim selection elements are usually absent in mass murder (distinguishing it from genocide). Victims just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
      Workplace violence has some of the characteristics of mass murder in that the offender is usually seen as some crazy, disgruntled employee ("snapping"; "going postal"). In many cases, the grudge is against the organization or bureaucracy.
Disciple --- This type follows the commands of a charismatic leader, like the followers of Charles Manson. They fall under the "spell" of the leader, and desire nothing more than to please their leader. Victim selection is usually random or has some symbolic meaning known only to the leader. Spatial mobility is a possibility, but usually the murders are committed fairly near the location of the leader. Weapons of choice are usually hand weapons, but poison, nerve gas, biologicals, and other weapons of mass destruction are also possible. Rarely is the disciple dispatched on a suicide mission, as the whole point is to live to strike again. Gang initiation and cult loyalty killings fall into this category.
Annihilator ---This type exhibits the most mental problems and typically launches into a burst of violence against those who share his home. Usually, it's the oldest male child in the family who exhibits some early warning signs of bizarre behavior. They then kill everyone in the family at one time, even the family pet. They often commit suicide afterwards or are shot to death once police arrive. They may lie in wait for when more family members are expected to visit, or they may travel some distance to kill relatives who live away. Strangers are usually spared as victims of this attacker. Whatever reasons they have for their behavior is unknown.
Disgruntled Employee --- This type is often a former employee or someone about to lose their job. They are sometimes on medical or mental disability leave. They appear to enter and move around the workplace with a target in mind, but they almost always kill randomly and indiscriminately as they wander about. Often, this type has been a long-term employee, but it can be a new employee too. It's believed they are lashing out at some perceived unfairness, although lax management can be just as much involved as strict management.
Pseudocommando ---This type is usually a stockpiler of guns, assault rifles, grenades, and other exotic weapons. Their attack is usually the result of careful planning and a desire to lash out against the world which is "not right" in some way. Victims are usually selected at random, and this type of offender may be quite geographically mobile. It's believed that something about the social world these offenders inhabit may be criminogenic, but gun collecting in itself is not to be construed as any warning sign.
Set And Run Killer --- This type appears to be motivated by a desire to "go down in infamy" because they will, for example, claim to have a bomb or explosive device attached to themselves and blow themselves up and as many people with them in a crowded location. They are called set-and-run killers because it has been discovered that their true intent, most of the time, is not suicide, but to set or plant the device somewhere on a timer and then be removed (run) from the scene when the explosion goes off. They have some similarities to the serial arsonist in this regard. Another variation is product tampering. This type of offender may inject or insert poison into products on the shelves of grocery stores, although the motivation in this case could be a grudge against some company's product.
      There's not much that can be done to protect society completely from mass murder. Many of the motivations are unclear, and there's tremendous controversy over what constitutes the proper "warning signs". Prevention as well as police response tactics are areas and issues that deserve greater consideration. More often than not, mass murderers tend to target particular victims to avenge perceived injustices. There are also, of course, random and indiscriminate patterns. In almost all cases, innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire. The more random the pattern, the more likely the perceived injustice is small and insignificant.
      The following information compiled on each individual murderer is derived from researching of media, court and other records available in the public domain. In most cases, the details and reasoning behind their acts of savagery are far more bizarre then even the cases of infamous killers such as Ted Bundy, Charles Manson and even Jeffrey Dahmer. At the same time, while reading about the men, women and children in these chapters and the brutality of their acts, we must also remember the victims who were killed. And the pain and suffering that all of the victims have endured.
Research, development and storyline was only made possible through True TV's Crime Library, Serial Killer Central,, Wikipedia, FBI records and numerous news media and police agencies files across the United States. Thanks to everyone!!....
Jack Swint, Copyright 2011
West Virginia News
Twitter: @WVNewsOnline

                  Chapter One        Chapter Two      Chapter Three          Chapter Four 

Chapter One...I Killed Twenty Or More People

(100+) H.H. Holmes was born Herman Webster Mudgett, Dr. Holmes started his criminal career as a medical student by stealing corpses from the University of Michigan. He used the corpses to collect insurance money from policies taken out under fictitious names. When he moved to Chicago he started a drugstore empire from which he made a fortune. He built a hundred-room mansion complete with gas chambers, trap doors, acid vats, lime pits, fake walls and secret entrances. During the 1893 World's Fair he rented rooms to visitors. He then killed most of his lodgers and continued his insurance fraud scheme. He also lured women to his "torture castle" with the promise of marriage. Instead, he would force them to sign over their savings, then throw them down an elevator shaft and gas them to death. In the basement of the castle he dismembered and skinned his prey and experimented with their corpses.
      When police grew suspicious about H.H's activities, he torched the castle and fled. In the burnt hulk of the building, authorities found the remains of over two hundred people. H.H. was caught when one of his insurance schemes was unraveled by Pinkerton detectives. He was hanged on May 7, 1896, after one of the first sensational crime trials in America. Not only was Herman the first American serial killer he was also, according to author Scheckter, the first "celebrity psycho." Although he never had the historical presence of his contemporary Jack the Ripper, he did leave behind an impressive trail of blood unequaled for almost eighty years.
(21+) Carl Panzram was a remorseless, vicious killer, a child rapist, and a man with no soul. Born in rural Minnesota in 1891, he began a life-long odyssey of crime and murder at the age of eight. By the time he was eleven, his family sent him off to a reform school as part of a plea bargain on a burglary charge. Repeatedly sodomized and physically tortured during his two years at the juvenile home, his emotional problems grew progressively worse. As a teenager, he enjoyed setting fires so he could watch buildings burn and often-fantasized about committing mass murder. After he raped and murdered a 12-year-old boy in 1922, he joyfully recalled the killing: “His brains were coming out of his ears when I left him. I am not sorry. My conscious doesn’t bother me. I sleep sound and have sweet dreams.”
      Panzram, one of America’s most ferocious, unrepentant serial killers was nurtured by years of torture, beatings and sexual abuse both in and out of prison, He evolved into a man who was meanness personified. He hated everyone, including himself. “I was so full of hate that there was no room in me for such feelings as love, pity, kindness or honor or decency,” he said, “my only regret is that I wasn’t born dead or not at all.” He lived a nomadic existence, committing crimes in Europe, Scotland, the United States, and South America where he admitted killing six men in a day in Africa and fed their bodies to hungry crocodiles. He spent most of his chaotic life in prisons where archaic methods of repression included physical tortures that were reminiscent of medieval times.
      But when he was on the loose, Panzram murdered, raped and burned his way across the country in a mission of destruction that was unlike anything law enforcement had ever seen before. To explain his debauchery, he said his parents “were ignorant, and through their improper teachings and improper environment, I was gradually led into the wrong way of living.” But it was the prisons that Panzram hated most. Throughout his life, he was trapped in a hopeless cycle of incarceration, crime and jail. Dr. Karl Menninger once described Panzram as a man “faced with the problem of evil in himself and in the rest of us. I have always carried him in my mind as the logical product of our prison system.”
      On the day of his execution in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in 1930, he ran happily up the gallows steps, spit in the executioner’s face and yelled: “Hurry up you bastard, I could kill ten men while you’re fooling around!” This was the life of a man who was “too evil to live.” He was a true savage, a man who hated human beings. He made no apologies for what he was and placed the blame for his deviance squarely on the doorstep of society’s institutions. There is no need to exaggerate or expand on the life and crimes of Carl Panzram. The truth is enough.
(30+) Gerard John Schaefer was a Martin County, Florida, deputy sheriff, though convicted in 1973 of only two mutilation murders, is believed to be responsible for at least thirty killings. A sadistic sex-beast by nature, Schaefer would lure young women off the roads with the help of his badge to torture, mutilate and murder. He enjoyed tying his victims to trees and leaving them there while he went to work as a police officer. Teeth, jewelry identification papers from several missing young women were found in a closet in his mother's house in Ft. Lauderdale. When he was convicted for first degree murder of two teen-aged girls, Schaefer's wife divorced him and promptly married his defense attorney. Not the resentful type, Gerard gave the lovebirds his blessing and retained the attorney to continue handling his appeals. Curiously, he was later tried for plotting to kill them both and enjoyed sending them death threats regularly.
      Schaefer was also a part-time novelist, penning a lurid collection of tales of sexualized violence called "Killer Fiction" -- available from Feral House -- that was published in 1989 by Sondra London, an old high school sweetheart, who subsequently "shackled up" with Danny Rolling, another sadistic killer awaiting execution in Florida.
      On December 3, 1995, Gerard was found dead in his cell at the Florida State Prison in Starke. He had been stabbed 42 times about the head and neck, and slashed across his throat. His sister, Sarah Schaefer, claimed that her brother was murdered by his jailhouse buddy, cannibal killer Ottis Toole, because of information he had obtained on the murder of Adam Walsh, the 6-year-old Hollywood, Florida, boy whose abduction and murder led to the passing of new legislation nationwide regarding missing children. Ottis once claimed he killed young Adam but later recanted. Prison authorities believe Gerard's death was linked to his activities as a jailhouse lawyer. However, confessed double-slayer Vincent Rivera is currently facing trial for murdering Schaefer, allegedly because Schaefer used the last of the hot drinking water on the tier.
(40+) Born in 1935 to a dirt-poor Polish mother, Richard “Iceman” Kuklinski grew up to be a wealthy husband, father, professional hitman, car thief, and got involved in every type of organized crime imaginable. He may not fall in the category for the label of serial killer, but he is noteworthy for sheer brutality and cunning. He is a completely sane man, and all the more frightening because of that.
It all started when he bludgeoned a neighborhood bully to death at fourteen. For months afterward he was terrified and oftentimes physically ill, sure he would be arrested for the crime. That day never came, though, and Richard gained confidence in himself, creating the inflated ego that would stay with him throughout his 'career'. A man possessed of a brilliant mind, Richard soon sank himself into the world of organized crime. He was a hitman at times, and after his arrest said that he only killed to support his family.
      This statement was as far from the truth as one could get. While driving on the highway one night, he was cut off by a young man. Experiencing a hellacious case of Road Rage, Kuklinski ran the boy off the road, beat him, ran over the body several times, and left him lying in the ditch. That incident was one of many. If anything good can be said of this man, who was referred to by his business partners as the 'one man army' and the 'devil himself', he was very protective of his family. A colleague showed up at his home during a barbecue, which was a BIG mistake, and weeks later turned up dead. Linked to around one hundred killings, Richard was into poisons, especially cyanide. For fun he would fill a nasal spray bottle with cyanide, and, while walking down the street, sneeze into a handkerchief. While doing so, he would spray the cyanide into the face of a passerby, killing them almost instantly.
      Richard earned the name 'Iceman' for his clever disposal of one body. Kuklinski murdered a pharmacist and kept his body frozen for two years. After those two years passed, the victim's body was found alongside the highway, still partially frozen. The coroner said that if the body had been thawed completely before dumping it, it would have been impossible to determine when the man died. Following his arrest, police searched for a deep freeze or some other freezer large enough to store the body of a grown man for two years. No deep freeze was found in either his home or the secret garage space he rented for 'business transactions'. The source he bought cyanide from was, ironically, an ice-cream truck driver. The freezer inside the truck was the only place large enough to fit a human body. For two full years, Richard's poison purveyor/ice cream truck-driving buddy may have had to reach around a body to find the Popsicle’s. When asked if the ice cream freezer held the pharmacist's remains, Kuklinski only smiles.
      He also murdered a man he was doing business with in the rented garage space. Once the man had died, Richard stuffed him into a 55-gallon drum, filled the drum with cement, and left it outside the victim's favorite hotdog stand. Every day thereafter Richard would visit the hotdog stand, and while he ate would find amusement by looking at the metal drum on the sidewalk, pleased with his cleverness. Eventually the owners of the hotdog stand had the drum removed from their property, and police assume it was taken to a landfill with all the other garbage. To this day, the body has never been recovered. In 1986 the police caught up with Kuklinski by employing an undercover cop to pose as a 'customer' needing a hitman, some cocaine, etc. Incarcerated in New Jersey, Richard will not be eligible for parole until his one hundred and eleventh birthday.
(34+) Donald Harvey was the most prolific killer nurse of the trade. He was born in Butler County, Ohio, in 1952. Shortly after his birth, Harvey's parents relocated to Booneville, Kentucky, a small community nestled away on the eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. In an August 14, 1987, interview with Cincinnati Post reporter Nadine Louthan, Harvey's mother, Goldie Harvey, recalled that her son was brought up in a loving family environment. "My son has always been a good boy," she said. Martha D. Turner, who was principal of the elementary school Harvey attended for eight years, backed up McKinney's comments in her own interview with the Cincinnati Post:
      "Donnie was a very special child to me," she said. He was always clean and well dressed with his hair trimmed. He was a happy child, very sociable and well liked by the other children. He was a handsome boy with big brown eyes and dark curly hair he always had a smile for me. There was never any indication of any abnormality."
      Years later he would return home to Kentucky to visit his father who was sick. Taking a job at a local hospital would trigger something that would cause Harvey to begin his killing spree. During an evening shift, just months after starting at the hospital, Donald Harvey committed his first murder. Years later, in a 1997 interview with Cincinnati Post reporter Dan Horn, Harvey described it: When he walked into a private room to check on a stroke victim, the patient rubbed feces in his face. Harvey became angry and lost all control. "The next thing I knew, I'd smothered him," he said. “It was like it was the last straw. I just lost it. I went in to help the man and he wants to rub that in my face.” Following the murder, Harvey cleaned up the patient and hopped into the shower before notifying the nurses.
      In September 1975, Harvey moved back to Cincinnati, Ohio. Within weeks he got a job working night shift at the Cincinnati VA Medical Hospital. Harvey's duties varied and he performed several different tasks, depending on where he was needed at the time. He worked as a nursing assistant, housekeeping aide, cardiac-catheterization technician and autopsy assistant. Harvey had found his niche and wasted little time in starting where he had left off. Since he worked at night, he had very little supervision and unlimited access to virtually all areas of the hospital. Over the next 10 years, Harvey murdered at least 15 patients while working at the hospital.

      He kept a precise diary of his crimes and took notes on each victim, detailing how he murdered them -- pressing a plastic bag and wet towel over the mouth and nose; sprinkling rat poison in a patient's dessert; adding arsenic and cyanide to orange juice; injecting cyanide into an intravenous tube; injecting cyanide into a patient's buttocks. All the while Harvey was committing his crimes, he was refining his techniques by studying medical journals for underlying hints on how to conceal his crimes.
      When he was not offing his patients, Donny enjoyed hanging out in the morgue and studying tissue samples. An amateur Satanist, he would joke with the hospital staff about "getting rid of patients." Little did they know, it was no joke. Harvey murdered with abandon from the early seventies to 1987 when he was finally caught. He claimed that his killings were "mercy" killings even though he sometimes chose horrible substances to bring on death. He also did not limit his work to those hospitalized. He killed a neighbor out of spite by lacing her drink with hepatitis. He would also poison his male lover and then nurse him back to health to win his affection. On another occasion he poisoned his lover's family, killing the mother.
      Over the years, he amassed an astounding 30 pounds of cyanide, which he had slowly pilfered from the hospital and kept at home for safekeeping. Typically, Harvey would mix a vial of cyanide or arsenic at home and then bring it to work. When no one was around, he would slip the mixture into his victim's food, or pour it directly into his or her gastric tube. Donald Harvey is serving four consecutive life sentences in Ohio.
(200) Donald “PeeWee” Gaskins was a true American serial killer, possibly connected to over 200 murders. Born in Prospect, Florence County, South Carolina, Gaskins spent most of his youth in and out of reform school and later prison. Gaskins' small, slight build (5'4" tall, hence his nickname) made him a target for physical and sexual abuse in prison. He eventually killed a highly regarded prisoner while the man was defecating, transforming him into a jailhouse legend for the rest of his stay.
In 1969, after being released from prison, Gaskins got back to killing at an alarming rate. He made a distinction between people he found while driving around the roadways of the American South that he killed for pleasure, and people he was familiar with that he killed for specific reasons. Gaskins also had a thriving business fencing stolen cars. He operated his fencing business out of several properties around the Carolinas, where he murdered most of his victims. His other favorite hunting grounds were the coastal highways, where every six weeks, he went hunting to quell his feelings of "bothersome-ness."
      His total number of victims might well have been over 200, but law enforcement sources found it impossible to verify all of his claims. In his autobiography, Final Truth, Gaskins wrote that he had "a special mind" that gave him "permission to kill." Gaskins first victims were his niece and her friend who he beat to death in Sumter, South Carolina in 1970 after they argued about the girls' drug use. On December 4, 1975, Gaskins led police to land he owned in Prospect, where police dug up numerous bodies of Gaskins' victims. Gaskins killed children and at least one baby. He crushed their necks, cut their throats, stabbed, poisoned, and drowned them, beat them to death with his fists, and shot them execution style.
      Before 1976, Gaskins was on death row, but his sentences were commuted to life in prison when the South Carolina General Assembly's 1974 death sentence ruling was changed to meet the United States Supreme Court guidelines for the death penalty in other states. In the early 1980s, Gaskins was named the "Meanest Man in America" for killing another inmate while in maximum security, a crime for which he was sentenced to death. While in prison, Gaskins was hired by Tony Cimo to kill Rudolph Tyner. Tyner was on death row for killing Bill and Myrtie Moon, Cimo's parents, with a 12-gauge shotgun in the store they owned in the Burgess community. Gaskins first attempts at killing Tyner involved sprinkling poison on his food that only made him sick to his stomach. Then Gaskins rigged a device similar to a portable radio and told Tyner this would allow them to talk between cells. When Tyner followed Gaskins instructions to hold it to his ear and plug it in, it exploded and killed Tyner.
      PeeWee Gaskins was tried for the murder of Rudolph Tyner and sentenced to death. Gaskins was executed on September 6, 1991 at 1:10 a.m. He was the fourth person to die by electrocution after the death penalty was reinstated in South Carolina in 1977.
(41) Gerald Stano Born in Daytona Beach in 1951, Gerald tallied a body count of 41 as a result of his deep resentment towards a world of “bitches.” A former short order cook, this misogynist killer truly enjoyed the act of killing. He did it with glee and impunity. His decade-long crime spree began in 1969 and spanned across three states -- Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His victims of choice were generally prostitutes, runaways and hitchhiking teen-agers. Unlike most other serial killers, he never raped his victims -- instead he submitted them to slow, painful deaths. As one of the investigating officers pointed out, "He thinks about three things: stereo systems, cars, and killing women." Stano was arrested 1978 and charged with the December 1973, murder of Cathy Lee Scharf, a 17-year-old hitchhiker from Port Orange, Florida.
      Stano confessed picking up the teen-ager while she was hitchhiking on U.S. 1 in Port Orange and choking her repeatedly over several hours. After finally killing the girl, he dumped her body in a drainage ditch, cleaned up and went roller-skating. Hunters found her decomposed body at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville on January 19, 1974. In 1983 Stano was convicted and sentenced to the electric chair. He also was condemned for the murders of Susan Bickrest, 24, and Cathy Muldoon, 23, in Volusia County. He got life sentences for six other slayings.
      After 25 years of appeals, Gerald was executed at 7:00 AM, March 23, 1998. For his last meal, Stano ordered a Delmonico steak, baked potato with sour cream and bacon bits some French bread with butter and a tossed salad topped with blue cheese dressing. He finished the meal with half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream and two liters of Dr. Pepper. Stano was the first death row inmate to die in Florida's 75-year-old, oak chair since the March 25, 1997 flaming execution of Pedro Medina. After a foot-long flame leaped from the head of Medina -- the second malfunction by the chair within seven years -- State authorities imposed a one-year moratorium on electrocutions. Investigators eventually determined the malfunction was caused by the executioners' failure to properly apply electrically conducting sponges in the chair's headpiece. With a heavily backed-up execution schedule and coming elections, the state's Senate voted unanimously to reinstate electrocution and scheduled four within an eight-day period.
      The first was Stano. The unrepentant killer made no final statement and stared straight ahead as he was strapped in. Following his death -- which, unlike in previous executions, no smoke or flames came shooting out of his head -- his attorneys distributed a written statement in which he thanked his friends and supporters: "Know that I love you all and cherish your love. Thanks for staying with me when people ridiculed you... I am innocent."
(87) Cuban born Julio Gonzalez came to the United States in the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Ten years later, in a fit of jealousy, he killed eighty-seven partiers. Outraged at his ex-girlfriend, Lydia Feliciano, who was dancing with someone else, Julio bought a buck's worth of gasoline and torched the Bronx's Happy Land Social Club killing nearly everyone inside. Only six survived. As luck would have it, one of them was lucky Lydia, his ex-girlfriend. Julio was sentenced 25 years to life.
Outside the club on Southern Boulevard, pedestrians heard the muffled screams coming from the second floor. Ruben Vallardarez was writhing in agony in the street, still smoldering from his leap to life, the only one to escape from the second floor. The fire department was already notified. It received the alarm at 3:41 AM. Within three minutes, fire apparatus from Ladder Company 58 arrived at the scene. When firefighters first drove on the block, they had no idea of the magnitude of the fire. It was very quiet inside Happy Land. “There were no screams. There was no sound at all,” a firefighter later told the N.Y. Post. As the firefighters applied water to the hallway, on the steps they saw several bodies. They entered into the darkness and began to pull out several victims. Soon, the numbers multiplied. The rescuers found a total of 19 bodies. As bad as it was, they thought, at least, it was over. Bronx firefighters are accustomed to the dead.
      Other firemen then began to climb the steps and up to the second floor. As they entered the darkened room, the floor felt strange under their feet. They tripped over piles of clothes and unknown bundles. But slowly, the horrible truth dawned upon them: they were walking and crawling on bodies. Everywhere the firemen aimed their flashlights; they saw bodies piled upon bodies. “What we saw was not unlike the after battle scene of any war movie. Only this was real,” said Firefighter Craig Buccieri, Ladder Co. 33, assigned to relief duty at the club
      Once the fire was extinguished and the club ventilated of smoke, the reality began to emerge. “As the smoke lifted, the magnitude of the tragedy was uncovered, so enormous, it was hard to fathom,” reported Deputy Chief Kenneth Cerreta, Division 7. The victims were dressed in party clothes or their Saturday night best. They lay on the floor, entwined with each other, some holding hands or grasping their throats. One man still held a fire extinguisher in his hands. Many had their arms outstretched as if to reach for the door. A scene so horrible, it shook the most hardened firefighter to the core. “The worst! The worst!” mumbled one fireman. The people seemed frozen in some grotesque parody. It had the sense of the surreal, like some Nazi gas chamber. Assistant Chief Frank Nastro was on the 2nd floor of Happy Land: “The scene was paralyzing. We stood there numbed. No one spoke. There were 69 bodies spread about this 24x50-foot area. They all could have been sleeping.”
      For the men of the New York City Fire Department who worked the fire, they would never forget the horrors of that night. Special units were sent out to all firehouses whose members worked the Happy Land scene to help with the lingering emotional stress. Psychological counseling was made available to all rescue crews who were present. It’s not easy to look at, pick up, touch and feel 87 dead bodies. Lt. Richard J. Bittles of Ladder Co. 58, First Alarm Unit describes the men at the fire: “In their eyes was the hollow and distant look of men who could not believe what had occurred”
      As the true dimensions of the tragedy emerged, city officials flocked to the scene en masse. Mayor David Dinkins arrived quickly and surveyed the incredible carnage. First Deputy Mayor Norman Siegel said, “It was shocking. None of the bodies I saw showed signs of burns” Police Commisoner Lee Brown, Fire Commissioner Carlos Rivera, 1st Deputy Commissioner Ray Kelly, Chief of Detective Joseph Borelli and a virtual army of reporters and photographers arrived at East Tremont and Southern Boulevard. Already the question of accountability was raised. It was common knowledge that Happy Land was one of hundreds of illegal social clubs that existed in the city.
      An immediate inquiry into the city’s role was begun. Even as the bodies of the victims lay on Southern Boulevard, clerks at City Hall were digging through official records, code violations and inspection logs. The question of why Happy Land was allowed to exist had to be answered. It was the worst fire in New York City since the notorious Triangle Shirt factory, which, by a strange coincidence, occurred March 25, 1911, exactly 79 years ago on the same day as Happy Land. And like the Bronx blaze, nearly all the victims were young immigrants. At least 146 people died in that tragedy which eventually inspired many reforms in the fire code and safety laws of New York City. It was soon discovered that Happy Land was ordered closed by the city for building code violations in November 1988. The club was cited for no fire exits, alarms or sprinkler system. Follow-up was supposed to be conducted by the Fire Department but it was unknown exactly what had transpired. Politicians, as is their manner, promised investigations and revelations. But for eighty-seven immigrants, it doesn’t matter which bureaucrat failed in his responsibilities.
(45) Andrew Kehoe was the first mad bomber on U.S. soil, on May 18, 1927; Andy blew up a school in Bath, Michigan, killing 45 people, 37 of them children. After detonating explosives he planted under the school, the “maniac bomber” who also was a school board member and treasurer and farmer, then blew up his pickup truck, killing himself and the Bath School superintendent. “I don't remember hearing any noise, but I remember flying in the air and seeing things fly between me and the sun,” remembers AdaBelle McGonigal, then 11 and in the fifth grade. “But I don't ever remember falling.” AdaBelle's ear was nearly torn off in the blast that killed 38 of her classmates. Seven adults also died that day.
      It was a beautiful spring day in Bath, Michigan, so very much in contrast with what was about to happen. In the morning, Kehoe made a brief trip to the town post office where he mailed a rather large package containing the finance history of the school board. Also included in the papers was a long and detailed explanation concerning a twenty-two cent discrepancy in Kehoe’s own books. Such was his manner. It was an indication of his insanity that Kehoe would debate a twenty-two cent shortage when he was minutes away from committing mass murder.
      At about 8:00 AM, the children began to arrive at the consolidated school for the day’s classes as they had for so many other mornings. They pushed and shoved their way through the hallways, calling to each other, dropping books and pencils onto the floors, hurrying to class, thinking of ways to explain why they couldn’t do their homework or pass the end terms, their minds firmly fixed on the summer vacation that loomed just ahead. They had no way of knowing that just inches beneath their feet, over 1,000 pounds of dynamite waited patiently for a tiny electric current to begin an explosive chain reaction which would change their lives forever.
      Then about 8:30 that morning, Mrs. Blanche Harte, a 6th grade teacher instructed her pupils in a second-floor classroom. Willa and George Hall, brother and sister sat in another class opening their books for the day’s assignment. Robert Bromund, 12, sat in his fifth grade dreaming of baseball. His sister, Amelia, 11, was in Mrs. Harte’s class. Robert Cochran, 9, was in the third grade and recently told his father he wanted to be a doctor. Willa Marie, 11 and her brother, George, 9, packed up their books as they prepared for the summer recess. All three of the Nickols sisters, Ruth, Ottelia and Emma were attending their final classes of the school term. Stanley Hart, 10, and his brothers and sisters, Robert, Percy, Iola and Vivian went about their duties in different classrooms. Miss Eva Gubbins, another 6th grade teacher was just sitting down to grade student papers. And Cleo Clayton, 8 years old, gazed out a first floor window, into the fields of grass and meadows where he played many times before, oblivious to a particularly cruel fate to which he would soon be victim.
      Meanwhile, about two miles from the school, Kehoe had completed final preparations on his farm. At approximately 8:45 AM, he detonated the firebombs at his home. The entire place exploded into flames, sending debris far into the sky, some of which eventually landed on a farm across the road. The neighbors, hearing the explosion, ran to Kehoe’s farm to render assistance. As they sprinted down his driveway, Kehoe was already behind the wheel of his pickup truck. “Boys,” he said,” you are my friends. You better get out of here. You better go down to the school.” Within minutes, the Kehoe farm was fully engulfed in flames. Neighbors, not knowing what had actually happened, rushed to the scene to help.

      As Kehoe quickly drove away, another tremendous explosion, much bigger than the first, occurred in the distance. The sound was heard for at least ten miles. The Bath Consolidated School had been blown up. O.H. Buck, who responded to the Kehoe farm to render aid, heard the massive explosion at the school. “I began to feel as though the world was coming to an end,” he later told reporters. In Lansing and East Lansing, the police and fire departments were notified immediately.
      Before the dust from the school explosion had even hit the ground, townspeople were digging through the rubble. M.J. Ellsworth, Kehoe’s next door neighbor, was one of the first rescuers to arrive: “we could hear the children screaming and moaning at the school. It seemed as if our car would hardly run. It was a ride that none of us will ever forget” When they arrived at the school, they were stunned by what they saw. Fully half the building, the northwest wing, was gone. The walls were destroyed and the roof lay on the ground. Under it, the bodies of children lay. Little arms and legs stuck out from the ruins. Faces, covered with blood and dust, peered through broken windows and debris. Miss Sterling, a teacher on the second floor, told the press: “Without warning this terrible explosion came. I saw the bodies of my children hurled against the walls or through the windows.”
      Frantic mothers ran screaming to the scene for almost every adult in town had at least one child enrolled at the school. The sobbing of trapped children could be heard as some mothers fought with rescuers to pull their children out from the wreckage. The magnitude of the blast was enormous; those who came to the school imagined and expected the worst. Men worked feverishly digging into the mountain of rubble where little children were screaming in terror.
      Less than 30 minutes after the school explosion, Kehoe pulled up in his pickup truck. No one knew that he had loaded the back of his vehicle with dynamite and pieces of metal junk. He got out of his car and saw School Superintendent Emory Huyck in the distance. Kehoe called him over to his car. As he approached, Kehoe pulled a rifle from the front seat, aimed at the dynamite and fired. Another powerful explosion rocked the helpless village. A huge column of flame erupted into the sky and sideways down the street. Shrapnel shot out in all directions, through the trees, windows and homes striking down everything in its path. Emory Huyck and Postmaster Glen Smith were killed. Kehoe was almost obliterated. Glen Smith lay dying on the ground.
(39) Jack Gilbert Graham was just a petty criminal, and he was always annoyed by his doting mother. In 1955, when she came to visit him in Denver, Jack gave her a Christmas present to take back home with her on the plane. The present, fourteen pounds of dynamite with a timer in a box, blew up shortly after takeoff. Forty-one people were killed. But it made him feel freer than he had ever felt before. It also got him the gas chamber on January 11, 1957.
According to FBI reports here are the specifics of Jack’s case. At 6:52 p.m. on November 1, 1955 United airlines Flight 629, a DC-6B with forty-four persons aboard, took off from Stapleton Airport, Denver, Colorado, bound for Portland, Oregon. Eleven minutes later, the thirty-nine passengers, including an infant and five crew members, were dead -- killed instantly when the luxurious airliner crashed on a sugar beet farm near Longmont, Colorado. Upon learning of the disaster, an official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately offered the services of the Bureau's Identification Division in identifying the victims of the tragedy. Fingerprint experts were dispatched from Washington, D.C., by plane, arriving at the scene of the crash on November 2.
      It was learned that the tail section of the plane had been cleanly severed from the rest of the plane as though cut with a knife and had fallen with only minor damage at a point approximately one and one-half miles from the place where the engines and nose section of the plane had also hit the ground in an almost whole condition. Wreckage from the middle section of the plane was widely scattered over, and behind, the intervening area between the tail and forward sections. During the period between November 2 and November 7, a minute and detailed examination of all parts of the wreckage was also made by engineers of United Air Lines, the Douglas Aircraft Corporation, and other private manufacturing concerns, but no possible cause of an explosion due to malfunction of any part of the plane was located by the examiners.
      On November 7, 1955, the Chief of Investigations of the Civil Aeronautics Board officially stated that there were indications of sabotage. Between November 2 and November 5, 1955, four teams of interviewers, each consisting of Civil Aeronautics Board and United Air Lines officials or employees, had interviewed approximately 200 individual occupants of a 140-square-mile area surrounding the scene of the crash. Information furnished by 37 of these persons was considered of possible value and was reduced to signed statements. These statements were made available to the FBI upon initiation of the active investigation, and a complete review disclosed that an initial explosion had occurred while the plane was operating in an apparently routine manner.
      The explosion appeared to have been of tremendous force, causing fiery streamers to fall from the plane. A flare, which was normal equipment carried on the plane, had separated from the plane, ignited, and descended slowly to earth. A second explosion, probable of one or more fuel tanks, had occurred when the engines and forward compartment of the plane struck the ground. An additional witness, a control tower operator at Stapleton Airport, later said that he had observed the flash of light and the flare at exactly 7:03 p.m. Civil Aeronautics Board officials placed the location of the explosion at approximately eight miles east of Longmont, Colorado, and at a calculated altitude of 10,800 feet above sea level or 5,782 feet above the terrain.
      In order to properly organize and record the recovery of the wreckage and possible evidence, a surveyor had been hired to plot and mark a "base line" through the scene of the crash and in the approximate direction of the line of flight. Perpendicular lines had then been established at intervals of 1,000 feet on the base line, extending 1,000 feet from the base line. This divided the entire area into 1,000-square-foot plats or grids. A complete and exhaustive search of the area was then conducted, and as each piece of wreckage or material was recovered and removed, it was marked for identification and the location in which it was found was measured and recorded in relation to the boundaries of the plat.
      All recovered wreckage from the central portion of the plane, as well as all baggage, cargo, and personal effects, was taken to a large warehouse at Stapleton Airport and placed under guard. All mail was turned over to postal inspectors at the time of recovery, but was made available by the inspectors for further examination where desired. At the warehouse, a full-size "mock-up" of the central section of the plane was made of wood and wire netting and all parts of the plane were wired to the "mock-up" in their proper places, as in the assembly of a giant jigsaw puzzle. Upon completion of the "mock-up" assembly, the chairman of the Structure Investigating Committee of the Civil Aeronautics Board and a Douglas Aircraft Corporation engineer agreed that an explosion had occurred at station 718 in the rear cargo pit, designated as cargo pit number four. This point of explosion was further pinpointed as being almost directly across the cargo compartment from the cargo-loading door.
      During the terrain and wreckage search, five small fragments of sheet metal were found which could not in any way be identified with parts of the plane or known contents of the cargo. The fragments appeared to be badly burned and scarred and to be coated with a gray soot-like deposit that might normally be associated with residue from an explosion. One side of one of the fragments was red in color and bore the blue letters "HO." Although it was not known at this time that these fragments were significant, an extensive effort was made to identify them in the belief that they might have come from a destructive device of some nature. The fragment bearing the letters "HO" was eventually identified as a portion of the metal side of a six-volt battery of the type later determined to have been used as the detonating device of the bomb which had brought death to the forty-four persons aboard the plane.
      An examination of fragments and pieces of wreckage recovered from the crash scene by the FBI Laboratory revealed them to possess foreign deposits ranging in color from white to very dark gray. These deposits were found to consist mainly of sodium carbonate, although nitrate and sulfur compounds were present. FBI Laboratory technicians advised that available dynamite consist of nitroglycerin with varying amounts of sodium nitrate, sulfur, and other materials. The only solid residue to be expected from the explosion of available dynamite is a mixture of sodium carbonate, sodium nitrate, and sulfur-bearing compounds. The initial summary of this information indicating the probable use of dynamite was first furnished to the Denver Office by the FBI Laboratory on November 13, 1955.
      As the investigation progressed, efforts were pursued to develop complete background data on each of the forty-four individual victims, as well as any possible motive that anyone might have had for commission of homicide against them. Similar investigations were initiated on all persons who had originally held reservations for the flight but had canceled them shortly before the flight or failed to report for the flight at any of the stops made earlier. All offices conducting background investigations of the passengers were requested to obtain descriptions of the luggage they carried, as well as the probable contents of the luggage, in order that the material recovered could be identified with the individual victims. The purpose of requesting this information was so that by a process of elimination the owners of the luggage that was most severely damaged, or coated with the foreign residue, could be determined.
      A considerable quantity of personal effects of passenger victim Daisie E. King was recovered form the wreckage and closely examined by the Agents. This material included a number of personal letters, newspaper clippings about her family, a personalized checkbook, $1,000 in traveler's checks, an address list, and two keys and a receipt for safety deposit boxes rented by Mrs. King. These articles revealed considerable information about the background of Mrs. King. One of the newspaper clippings reflected that her son, Jack Gilbert Graham, had been charged with forgery by the Denver County District Attorney and had been placed on the local "most wanted" list by that office in 1951. From the fact that most of these personal effects of Mrs. King were found on or near her body, it was apparent that she had been carrying them in her personal handbags at the time of the crash rather than in her luggage. Despite careful searching, practically none of the contents of Mrs. King's luggage was recovered, and only small bits of the suitcases believed to belong to her were found.
      Immediate effort to determine the identity of passengers on which large amounts of trip insurance had been obtained revealed that six passengers had a maximum of $62,500 of such insurance; four had $50,000; two had $37,500; one had $35,000; two had $12,500; and two had $6,250. Because of a holiday weekend, however, a complete check of all companies writing such insurance was not possible at once, and among policies located later were three on the life of Daisie E. King. During a thorough search of the home of Jack Gilbert Graham on November 13, 1955, a duplicate travel insurance policy on the life of his mother, Mrs. King, in the amount of $37,500, was found hidden in a small cedar chest in a bedroom of the Graham home. The original of this policy, with designated beneficiary as Jack G. Graham, was later located and made available by the insuring company, as well as two additional policies, each in the amount of $6,250, on the life of Mrs. King, with designated beneficiaries being her daughter and her one living sister.
      Graham was questioned specifically regarding the reported ammunition and Christmas gift which his mother took with her on her trip. The information Graham furnished concerning the ammunition was substantially the same as he had previously provided. The information about the Christmas present was not in accord with the information his wife had furnished. Graham stated he had intended to purchase a tool set for his mother; however, upon learning that the type he had intended to buy was not suitable for the purpose for which it was to be used, he had never bought it. In explanation to his wife's statements, he said it was possible that his wife was under the impression that he had actually purchased the tools.
      Graham was then questioned in detail as to his activities upon his arrival at the Denver Municipal Airport on November 1, 1955, and he furnished substantially the same information as before. He could offer no explanation as to why he had mailed to himself a trip insurance policy taken out by his mother at the airport, making him the beneficiary, other than the fact that he had mailed two similar policies of which his sister and aunt were the beneficiaries. He said he believed that he had put these insurance policies in a trash can at the airport, inasmuch as he had not yet received the policy which he had mailed to himself. He volunteered that upon his mother's leaving on the plane, he and his wife and son had entered the airport coffee shop to have dinner. According to Graham, after they had started to eat he became ill and went to the men's rest room for a short period. He believed his illness was due to his excitement about his mother's leaving and, further, he said, the food at the coffee shop was poor.
      As the FBI further investigated they noted that on November 19, 1955, a store manager at Kremmling, Colorado recalled selling twenty or twenty-five sticks of dynamite and two electric blasting caps to an individual during October of 1955. This store manager believed that Graham was identical with the individual to whom he had sold the dynamite and caps. On November 21, 1955, the manager identified Graham from a line-up as being identical with the individual who had purchased the dynamite and blasting caps from him during October.
      Also, of considerable interest in the investigation of this case was the story of Jack Graham's background as related by his half sister. She stated that she had never at any time in recent years felt at ease with Graham; he was sullen; she knew him to have "pent-up violence" and she simply did not like to be around him. She said that in the past he had related things which he thought funny but which she considered violent and warped. For example, when he was residing with her and her husband in Alaska, he had been employed as a dragline operator for the CAA and on one occasion had told them that he had experienced some difficulty in loosening a bolt from some equipment, so he obtained some dynamite and blew off the bolt.

      As a further example, she recalled that since the United Air Lines plane crash, Graham had stated to her and his wife, Gloria, as if it were a joke, "Can't you just see those shotgun shells going off in the plane every which way and the pilots, passengers and `Grandma' jumping around."
      The State of Colorado charged Graham with the murder of his mother. His pleas were "innocent" and "innocent by reason of insanity, before, during and after the alleged commission of the crime." The court accepted only the pleas, "innocent" and "innocent by reason of insanity at the time of the alleged crime."
      Jack also made a formal confession of the crimes against his mother and others on the plane. He said his confession of the murder of the people on the plane was quite true. He said that after he had decided definitely to murder his mother he had bought a timer and some dynamite and fashioned a homemade bomb. He had assembled the bomb, and while his mother was busy with last-minute details of her trip, he had slipped it into her old battered suitcase and fastened the suitcase with some extra webbing for security. They had then left for the airport. His wife and children had gone along to see grandmother off. Graham had dropped his mother and family off at the door to the terminal before taking the car to the parking lot. Before removing the suitcase from the car, he had set the timer on the bomb. He had next taken his mother's luggage to the weighing counter for weighing before it was placed on the plane.
      In his statements to both the FBI and later during a psychological examination he admitted that “realized that there were about fifty or sixty people carried on a DCB, but the number of people to be killed made no difference to me; it could have been a thousand. When their time comes, there is nothing they can do about it.” Graham said it was a great relief to tell the doctor about it because he had been quite conscience stricken.
      On May 5, 1956, after being out of the courtroom for deliberation for sixty-nine minutes, the jury found Graham guilty of murder in the first degree and recommended the penalty of death. Two of Graham's attorneys filed a motion for a new trial. On May 15, 1956, the judge denied the motion. At this time Graham took the stand and said that he did not wish a new trial nor did he want his case reviewed by the State Supreme Court; his attorneys had filed this motion without his permission or consent.
(25) Juan Corona was born in 1934 and arrived in Yuba City, California in the 1950s as a Mexican migrant worker. By the early 1970s, he'd moved up the pecking order and was a labor contractor; he hired laborers to pick fruit on behalf of local farmers (for minimal pay) around the Yuba area. Long before Corona’s series of homicides, as far back as 1956, he’d been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia. However, no one suspected the disturbing depths of his true mental condition. Though outwardly a macho man with a wife and children, Corona was a predatory homosexual and a brutal sadist. His murder victims were all male and all were sexually assaulted before being killed.
      At least one other member of the Corona Family had a history of sexually motivated violence; in 1970, Juan’s half-brother Natividad, who owned the “Guadalajara” cafe in nearby Maryville, had molested and beaten a young man in the washroom at his place of business. The victim was discovered bleeding by other customers; when he sued Natividad for $250,000.00. The pervert fled back to Mexico. As a labor contractor, Corona personally recruited migrant workers and housed the men in a barracks-like building on the Sullivan ranch. These men were, for the most part, elderly alcoholics, social dropouts, and misfits - the kind of people who would not ordinarily be missed if they vanished. In early May 1971, Corona apparently started to single out individual workers for sex and death. But it’s likely that his career as a homosexual rapist began much earlier. His job and his twisted inclinations gave him ample opportunities to prey on vulnerable men; his position and their lack of social standing would have ensured that the police were not informed.
      On May 19, a Japanese fruit farmer noticed a large hole seven feet long and three and a half feet deep that had been scooped out of his land in a peach orchard. The next night he went to the same spot and saw that the earth had been packed back into the hole. He called the police who dug into what was a fresh grave. Inside of it was Kenneth Whitacre, a vagrant who had homosexual pornography in his back pocket. He had been sexually assaulted and then stabbed to death - somebody had chopped his head open with a machete. Another farmer noticed what appeared to be a freshly dug grave on his land and police began digging again; this time finding an elderly man - Charles Fleming, known to be a drifter. More graves in this area yielded more men, all of them sodomized, stabbed (one was shot) and mutilated viciously about the head with a machete. The killer had followed a similar pattern in every case; each of the victims bore a deep puncture to the chest followed by two slashes across the back of the head in the shape of a cross. All had been buried face up, arms stretched above their heads, shirts pulled up over their faces. Some had their lower garments lewdly pulled down.
      In one grave police found the body of Melford Sample and a meat market receipt made out to "Juan V. Corona." The bodies kept turning up - including that of John Henry Jackson, an elderly worker who had been seen some weeks earlier riding in the back of Corona's pickup truck. The police kept digging until June 4, 1971, unearthing twenty-five bodies, along with more receipts that had the name of Juan Corona on them. Corona was arrested and charged with murder. He pleaded not guilty, but his defense lawyers, who maintained that his half-brother had done the murders, had an uphill battle against the overpowering evidence of bodies, receipts and eyewitnesses who had seen the murdered workers with Corona shortly before they disappeared.
      There was speculation that Corona and another man committed the murders, but no other suspect was ever found, let alone arrested. Psychiatrists ventured many theories about Corona, one claiming that as the spring deepened and the fruit ripened, Corona's madness increased until the climate drove him into a frenzy of murder and mutilation so that he was compelled to kill someone each day to satisfy his blood lust. The availability of victims increased as warmer weather set in and scores of migrant workers drifted into the Marysville -Yuba City area.
      In several instances, the prosecution at Corona's trial proved that Corona had planned his murders in advance - digging graves days before he had any victims to put into them. Added to this was the presence of two bloodstained knives, a machete, a pistol and blood-caked clothes in his home...along with an equally damning ledger in which Corona had officiously listed the names of seven his victims and the dates of their murders. Corona simply had to stop his truck at any roadside and take his pick from a steady stream of nomadic workers - men who would generally grab the chance to make some money. He would work his chosen targets a few days then, when it was time to pay them, the burly, 200-pound Corona would strike; they were sexually molested, murdered and buried.
      The jury in the Corona case deliberated for forty-five hours and then brought in a verdict of Guilty' in the case of each of the twenty-five murdered men. In January 1973, Judge Richard E. Patton sentenced Corona to twenty-five life terms to run consecutively with no hope of parole. In 1978 an appeals court upheld a petition by Corona - he claimed that his original legal team had been incompetent. They had not put forward Schizophrenia as a mitigating factor or pleaded insanity. Corona was granted a new trial. Whilst awaiting this process, he was attacked in prison by three other inmates and slashed with a razor thirty-two times, losing his sight in one eye. In 1982, his second trial confirmed all twenty-five guilty verdicts.
      Some observers have theorized that he might have killed prior to 1971. Corona's early years in Mexico are obscure and not well documented, so we'll never know what he did before he hit the road as a migrant worker. Whilst it’s entirely possible that the Californian countryside still contains bodies and dark secrets, several factors tend to suggest that his 1971 killing spree was an explosion of long-suppressed urges, rather than the tail-end of a lengthy career in homicide. He was extremely careless in the manner used to dispose of his victims. Holes were dug and left empty for some time - perhaps he thought that this was a clever way of cutting down on the danger of discovery when he was in possession of a corpse? In reality, the ruse only aroused the curiosity of farmers who were naturally interested in unauthorized activities on their land. The victims' bodies were buried along with a lot of evidence that could only point towards Juan Corona. He made no attempt to dispose of incriminating weapons, clothing or even a list with victims' names and dates of death.
      It seems more credible that he graduated to rape/murder after enjoying a very long period of rape and battery without even coming close to being caught. There came a point when beating and violating a helpless person no longer thrilled enough. His need to dominate and express unbridled power over others sought out a higher, bloodier level. The ultimate expression of power over another person is to deprive him of life. Corona had never needed to be particularly careful or resourceful in the past; this attitude stayed with him when he extended his activities and began to kill the men he raped.
(22+) Earl Nelson was a bible-quoting drifter who killed mostly landladies of boarding houses. After killing them he stuffed them under his bed before going to sleep. Dubbed the "Dark Strangler" and later "Gorilla Murderer" for his large, powerful hands. He is known to have committed twenty-two murders and was suspected of at least three more. He was captured and hanged in Canada on January 13, 1928. As he stood with the noose on his neck he told spectators "I stand innocent before God and man. I forgive those who have wronged me and ask forgiveness of those I have injured. God have mercy!"
(23) Larry Eyler was a native of Crawfordsville, Indiana, born December 21, 1952; Eyler was the youngest of four children born to parents who divorced while he was young. Dropping out of high school in his senior year, he worked odd jobs for a couple of years before earning his GED. Sporadic enrollment in college between 1974 and '78 left Eyler without a degree, and he finally pulled up stakes, making the move to Chicago. Unknown to friends and relatives, Larry Eyler was a young man at war within himself, struggling to cope with homosexual tendencies that simultaneously fascinated and repelled him. Like John Gacy and a host of others, he would learn to take his sex where he could find it, forcefully, and then eliminate the evidence his abiding shame of.

      On March 22, 1982, Jay Reynolds was found, stabbed to death on the outskirts of Lexington, Kentucky. Nine months later, on October 3, 14-year-old Delvoyd Baker was strangled, his body dumped on the roadside north of Indianapolis. Steven Crockett, 19, was the victim on October 23, stabbed 32 times with four wounds in the head, discarded outside Lowell, Indiana. The killer moved into Illinois on November 6, leaving Robert Foley in a field northwest of Joliet. Police were slow to see the pattern forming, unaware that they had already spoken with one survivor. Drugged and beaten near Lowell, Indiana, on November 4, 21-year-old Craig Townsend had escaped from the hospital before detectives completed their investigation of the unprovoked assault.

      The transient slayer celebrated Christmas 1982 by dumping 25-year-old John Johnson's body in a field outside Belshaw, Indiana. Three days later, it was a double-header, with 21-year-old John Roach discovered near Belleville, and the trussed-up body of Steven Agan, a Terre Haute native, discarded north of Newport, Indiana. The grim toll continued to rise through the spring of 1983, with most of the action shifting to Illinois. By July 2, the body count stood at twelve, with the latter victims mutilated after death, a few disemboweled. Ralph Calise made unlucky thirteen on August 31, dumped in a field near Lake Forest, Illinois. He had been dead less than twelve hours when he was discovered, bound with clothesline and surgical tape, stabbed 17 times, his pants pulled down around his ankles.

      On September 30, 1983, an Indiana highway patrolman spotted a pickup truck parked along Interstate 65, with two men moving toward a nearby stand of trees. One appeared to be bound, and the officer went to investigate, identifying Larry Eyler as the owner of the truck. His young companion accused Eyler of making homosexual propositions, then asking permission to tie him up. A search of the pickup revealed surgical tape, nylon clothesline, and a hunting knife stained with human blood. Forensics experts noted that the blood type matched Ralph Calise's, while tire tracks and imprints of Eyler's boots made a fair match with tracks from the field where Calise was discovered. While the investigation continued, with Eyler still at liberty, the murders likewise kept pace. On October 4, 1983, 14-year-old Derrick Hansen was found dismembered, near Kenosha, Wisconsin. Eleven days later, a young "John Doe" was discovered near Rensselaer, Indiana.

      October 18 yielded four bodies in Newton County, dumped together at an abandoned farm; one victim had been decapitated, and all had their pants pulled down, indicating sexual motives in the slayings. Another "John Doe" was recovered on December 5, near Effingham, Illinois, and the body-count jumped again, two days later, when Richard Wayne and an unidentified male were found dead near Indianapolis. By this time, police had focused their full attention on Larry Eyler. Craig Townsend had been traced to Chicago, after fleeing the Indiana hospital, and he grudgingly identified photographs of Eyler. Another survivor chimed in with similar testimony, but investigators wanted their man for homicide, and the circumstantial case was still incomplete.

      Facing constant surveillance in Chicago, Eyler filed a civil suit against the Lake County sheriff's office, accusing officers of mounting a "psychological warfare" campaign to unhinge his mind. His claim for half a million dollars was denied, and as he left the courtroom, Eyler was arrested for the Ralph Calise murder, held in lieu of $1 million bond. Police were jubilant until a pretrial hearing, on February 5, 1984, led to exclusion of all the evidence recovered from Eyler's truck.
      Released on bail, the killer went about his business while investigators scrambled to salvage their failing case. On May 7, 1984, 22-year-old David Block was found murdered near Zion, Illinois, his wounds conforming to the pattern of his predecessors. Police got a break three months later, on August 21, when a janitor's skittish dog led his master to examine Eyler's garbage, in Chicago. Police were swiftly summoned to claim the remains of Danny Bridges, 15, a homosexual hustler whose dismembered body had been neatly bagged for disposal. Eyler's arrogance had finally undone him. Experts noted that the Bridges mutilations were a carbon copy of the Derrick Hansen case, outside Kenosha, in October 1983. Convicted of the Bridges slaying on July 9, 1986, Eyler was sentenced to die. But before the sentence could be carried out, Eyler died of AIDS on March 6, 1994. His deathbed confession to 20 murders claimed that an accomplice to some of the killings is still at large. Police investigations are continuing.
      (44+) U.S. Air employee David Burke was not having a typical work day on December 7, 1987, Two weeks prior; Burke had been placed on unpaid leave, awaiting the outcome of an investigation into whether he had stolen $68.00 from a drink fund set up by Flight Attendants. The date of Burke's appearance before the Board of Appeals at USAir was today. In the hearing, Burke admitted to the act and pleaded for leniency, citing his family's well being. Despite telling the members of the committee that he was “regrettably sorry,” and that his “children would have no one to support them,” Burke's pleas for his job went unheard, and he was summarily dismissed by his supervisor, Raymond Thompson. As Burke left his office after the hearing, Thompson's secretary wished him to “have a nice day.” Burke paused, turned around, and replied “I intend on having a very good day.”

      Burke then purchased a ticket on Pacific Southwest Airlines flight 1771, a daily non-stop along PSA's “Pacific Highway” between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This flight was also taken by Burke's supervisor, Raymond Thompson, every day on his commute home from the USAir Headquarters at LAX. Using his USAir employee credentials, which had not been seized and were later found at the crash site, David Burke bypassed security at Los Angeles International Airport and stepped aboard the BAe-146 aircraft, armed with a loaded 44-magnum pistol. Upon entering the aircraft, Burke scrawled a note onto an airsickness bag that read:
“It's kind of ironical, isn't it? I asked for leniency for my family, remember? Well, I got none, and now you'll get none.”
As the aircraft reached its cruising altitude of 29,000 feet, Burke calmly vacated his chair and made his way to the lavatory, dropping the air-sickness bag in his supervisor's lap as he passed. Moments later, he emerged with the handgun, and immediately shot Thompson. The sound of the gunshot is picked up on the cockpit voice recorder, and seconds later the sound of the cockpit door opening is heard. A female, presumed to be a Flight Attendant, advises the cockpit crew that “we have a problem.” The Captain replies with “what kind of problem?” Burke then appears at the cockpit door and announces “I'm the problem,” simultaneously firing two more shots that fatally injure both pilots.

      Several seconds later, the CVR picks up increasing windscreen noise as the airplane pitches down and begins to accelerate. A final gunshot is heard as Burke fatally shoots himself. Airspeed continues to build until 13,000 feet, when traveling at a velocity of 1.2 xs Mach, the aircraft breaks apart and the Flight Recorders cease functioning. All 44 passengers and crew aboard PSA Flight 1771 died as the aircraft crashed into a Farmer's field in the Santa Ana Hills. The accident spelled the end of Pacific Southwest Airlines, which in April of the following year was absorbed into USAir. A federal law was passed which required “immediate seizure of all airline employee credentials” upon termination from an airline position. Most importantly, however, the Federal Aviation Administration adapted policy to require that all members of any airline flight crew, including the Captain, be subjected to the same security measures as are the passengers.
(23+) George Hennard, of Belton Texas, was angry with women in the months leading up to October 16th 1991. He once explained in a letter he wrote earlier that fall to a young woman with whom he was evidently infatuated. “I have found the best and worst in women there (Texas). You and your sister are the one side. Then the abundance of evil women that make up the worst on the other side.... I will no matter what prevail over the female vipers in those two rinky-dink towns in Texas. I will prevail in the bitter end.”
Hennard's bitter end came at Luby's cafeteria in nearby Killeen Texas. During lunch hour that afternoon in October 1991, Hennard drove his pickup truck through one of the cafeteria windows and opened fire on the crowded diners. Within fifteen minutes, he and his GLOCK 17 and Ruger P89 had “prevailed” over 23 men and women whose ages ranged from 30 to 75. An additional 20 customers were wounded before Hennard was shot several times by police, then took his own life in the rear seating area of the restaurant. In the years after the massacre gun advocates urged Texas lawmakers to pass a “concealed carry” law, which they claimed would have enabled.
      Luby's patrons to defend themselves against George Hennard. Although Governor Ann Richards had vetoed just such a bill during her term in office, George W. Bush promised in his gubernatorial campaign of 1994 to support the passage of concealed carry. True to his word, on 26 May 1995, Governor Bush signed into law a provision that enabled licensed residents of Texas to bring concealed handguns virtually anywhere.

      By the testimony of several people who knew him, Hennard believed the 1976 Steely Dan song "Don't Take Me Alive" had special relevance to his life:
Can you hear the evil crowd
The lies and the laughter
I hear my inside
The mechanized hum of another world
Where no sun is shining
No red light flashing
Here in this darkness
I know what I've done
I know all at once who I am
      The Luby's restaurant in Killeen, Texas, closed in 2000. Over 125 other Luby's restaurants, where no reported shootings have occurred, remain open to all who seek -- according to the Luby's website that read “delicious home-style food, value pricing, and outstanding customer service.” For reasons that are perhaps understandable, the company prefers not to mention or discuss George Hennard.
(31+) Jane Toppan was born in Boston as Nora Kelly in 1854. When she was still an infant her mother died and her tailor father was institutionalized for trying to stitch his eyelids shut. After a brief stint in an orphanage, Nora was adopted by the Toppan family and changed her name to Jane. From then on she led a very normal life until, as a young woman, she was jilted by her fiancee, had a nervous breakdown and unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide.
Although she excelled as a student in Nursing School, she raised some eyebrows with her morbid curiosity for autopsies. Eventually she was unceremoniously dismissed after two patients died mysteriously under her care. Not the passive type, Jane forged her nursing degree and went out looking for a job as a private nurse. Jane was a considered a kind and sensitive nurse who regularly took care of the sick and elderly for Boston's best families. However, most of her patients and their families died mysteriously after ingesting some of her "special" potions. Over two decades, Jane blazed through the homes of New England society with her trusty morphine cocktails to the tune of a least 31 deaths.
      America's premiere female "Angel of Death," Jane's deadly trail unraveled in the summer of 1901 when all four members of the Davis family dropped dead. Suspicious of the kindly nurse who had treated them, the husband of the fourth victim ordered the Massachusetts State Police to perform an autopsy on his wife. Authorities confirmed that a lethal dose of morphine and atropine killed his wife. Jane fled Boston and was finally arrested in Amherst on October 29, 1901. In custody Jane confessed to 31 kills. It is believed her true bodycount is somewhere between 70 to 100 deaths. In her 1902 trial, doctors said Jane was "born with a weak mental condition." In true serial killer madness, Jane declared in court, "That is my ambition. To have killed more people -- more helpless people -- than any man or woman who has ever lived." Having fulfilled her wish, she was found insane and sent to the state asylum in Tauton, Massachusetts where she died in August 1938, at the ripe age of 84.
      Although she was remembered by the hospital staff as a "quiet old lady," she still had murderous fantasies permeating her brain. Orderlies remember how she would say, "Get some morphine, dearie, and we'll go out in the ward. You and I will have a lot of fun seeing them die."
(21) According to unemployed security guard, James Oliver Huberty, he had only one friend in the world, his dog Shep. On July 18, 1984, he donned camouflage pants, told his wife "Society had its chance. I'm going hunting. Hunting humans," Huberty will forever be remembered for one of the most shocking acts of violence in American history. On July 18th, 1984 he tried to get help for his anger and called a mental health center for an appointment.
When the clinic didn't call him back he then walked a quarter of a mile from his house to the busy McDonald's restaurant where shortly before 4pm he opened fire with three semi-automatic weapons killing 21 people and injuring 19 more, the youngest six months and the oldest 74. An off-duty police officer driving by moments after the shooting noticed three boys lying in the grass, two dead and one pretending to be dead so that Huberty would not come out and kill him. Pinned inside the restaurant by police, Huberty was ordered to surrender his weapons and step outside but did nothing and was then shot in the head by a sniper stationed on the roof across the street.
      On September 26th, 1984 the city demolished the McDonald's promising never again to build any kind of restaurant in that spot again. Instead, it became the campus of a local college and out front is a memorial to Huberty's victims that consists of 21 hexagonal granite pillars ranging in height from one to six feet which represent each of the people killed that day plus a plaque that bears their names.
      It is thought that Huberty's motive was revenge against those he perceived to be responsible for his unemployment which was the predominate Mexican population of the border city of San Ysidro. He chose a McDonald's Restaurant that was frequented almost exclusively by customers of Mexican descent. He also chose a time when the restaurant was most crowded with families and their children. The killing spree was merciless and methodical. With a rapid-fire assault rifle, Huberty aimed it with lethal accuracy at the children and while chasing them out into the street. One child was blown off his bike as he attempted to escape.
(27) Dean Corll was born on Christmas Eve, 1939, to Mary Robinson and Arnold Edwin Corll. Dean was moved to Houston when he was eleven following the breakdown of his parents' marriage. He was regarded as a good student at school and well behaved, although a heart condition kept him out of physical education.
Corll was drafted into the military in 1964, where it is thought he first realized he was homosexual, but he was given a military discharge the following year so that he could help his mother run her candy business. This led to him being given the nickname "the Candy Man" by the media when his crimes were eventually uncovered. He eventually took over the business and invited local children round to the store for free candy. A number of local people commented that it was not normal that Corll always seemed to hang around with youngsters, in particular teenaged boys. However, no one made the connection with the rash of missing youths that indicated Corll's more deadly activities in the coming years.
      At approximately 3 a.m. on August 8, 1973, Henley, then aged 17 went to Dean Corll's house to accompanied by a boy named Tim Kerley, who was supposed to be the next victim. Also with them was Rhonda Williams, 15, who was Henley's girlfriend. Brooks was not present at the time. Corll was furious that Henley had brought a girl along, but eventually he calmed down and the four of them settled down with a little drinking. Soon Henley, Kerley and Williams all passed out and awoke to find themselves tied up and Corll waving a .22-caliber pistol around, angrily threatening to kill them all. Henley calmed Corll, and the older man eventually put down the gun and released Henley. Corll then insisted that, while he would rape and kill Kerley, Henley would do likewise to Rhonda Williams. Henley refused and soon a row broke out between him and Corll. It ended when Henley grabbed the pistol and shot Corll six times, killing him instantly.
      After releasing the other two youngsters, Henley called the police. While they all waited outside the house, Henley told Kerley that "I could have gotten $200 for you", this apparently being the fee he was paid by Corll to recruit victims. In custody, Henley explained that he and Brooks had helped procure boys for Corll, who had raped and murdered them. Police were a little skeptical at first, as they assumed they were just dealing with the one homicide — of Corll — as a result of a drug-fuelled row that had turned deadly. Henley was quite insistent, however, and police soon accepted that there was something to his claims, especially when they found a torture board at Corll's house, consisting of a large wooden board with handcuffs in each corner. There were also a number of dildos and lengths of rope, as well as an ominous looking wooden crate with what appeared to be airholes.
      Later that day, accompanied by his father, Brooks presented himself at the police station, and he was promptly questioned concerning the allegations made by Henley. The police went to the boat shed in Southwest Houston, which Corll had rented for several years, where Henley said that bodies of most of the victims could be found. They began digging through the soft earth and soon uncovered the body of a teenaged boy. They continued excavating, and the remains of more dead boys were uncovered, several wrapped in plastic. Some had been shot, others strangled, the ligature still wrapped tightly around their necks. Some had been castrated. Their pubic hairs were plucked out one at a time. Objects were inserted into their rectums, and glass rods were shoved into their urethras and smashed. Genitals were removed, and all had been sodomized. Eventually, 17 corpses were uncovered at the shed. Following Henley's directions, police excavated a number of other locations, including Crystal Beach, located along the Boliver Pennisula, in nearby eastern Galveston county.
      The remains of 10 more bodies were uncovered, making a total of 27 victims. Henley insisted that there were three more bodies yet to be found, but these were never located. At the time it was the worst case of serial murder (in terms of number of victims) in the United States, exceeding the 25 murders attributed to Juan Corona from California. The Houston Mass Murders, as they became known, hit the headlines all over the world, and even the Pope commented on the atrocious nature of the crimes and offered sympathy to relatives of those who had died. Families of the victims — including two who had lost two sons each to Corll — were highly critical of the Houston Police Department, which had been so quick to list the missing boys as runaways and not worthy of investigation.
      (30+) Micajah & Wiley Harpe began a murdering spree two centuries ago stretching from the Cumberland Gap in westernmost Virginia to Cave-in-Rock and Potts Spring in southeastern Illinois. During the next nine months the murderers killed at least 40 men, women and children on the frontier until a posse caught up with the killers and took the leader's head on Aug. 24, 1799. Known as the brothers Micajah and Wiley Harpe, the two started out life as first cousins William and Joshua Harpe both natives of Scotland who emigrated as young children with their parents, two brothers, who settled in Orange Co., North Carolina. In addition to their other aliases, frontier historians simply remembered them as Big and Little Harpe.
      James Hall, a Philadelphia native and judge in Shawneetown during the 1820s, wrote the first histories about the characters. His introduction from his 1828 "Letters from the West" serves best for the story:

      "Many years ago, two men, named Harpe, appeared in Kentucky, spreading death and terror wherever they went. Little else was known of them but that they passed for brothers, and came from the borders of Virginia. They had three women with them, who were treated as wives, and several children, with whom they traversed the mountainous and thinly settled parts of Virginia into Kentucky marking their course with blood. Their history is wonderful, as well from the number and variety, as the incredible atrocity of their adventures…"
      The nine-month spree began in the early Tennessee State capital of Knoxville. The Harpes and two of their women arrived there sometime between the summer of 1795 and the spring of 1797. They lived on a farm eight miles west of the village on Beaver Creek until late 1798, when a neighbor rightfully accused the Harpes of stealing his horses. The Harpes ran off, but the neighbors eventually caught up with them and the horses. As they made their way back to the capital, the Harpes escaped. For a while the neighbors pursued but eventually gave up.

      Rather than hiding, that same night the Harpes returned to a "rowdy groggery" operated by a man named Hughes a few miles west of Knoxville. The Harpes had frequented the establishment before and knew the operator. Inside they found a man named Johnson for whom they were looking. He may have been the man who enlightened Harpes' neighbors about the horses' whereabouts. Why him will never be known. The Harpes took and killed him. Some days later a passerby found his body floating in the Holstein River, ripped open and filled with stones — a trademark of what would become a Harpe victim.
      The Harpes got away with that murder, in part because authorities believed the establishments owner and his brothers-in-law who were present that night had something to do with it. Meanwhile, the Harpes traveled eastward toward the Cumberland Gap to meet up with their wives. While traveling the Wilderness Road they killed twice more, the first time a pair of Marylander travelers named Paca and Bates. The second time occurred on Dec. 13, with a young Virginian named Langford, a man foolish enough to travel the wilderness alone and show off his silver coin in too many inns.
      Like Johnson, they failed to dispose of the body well enough and passing drovers discovered it a couple of days later. Almost immediately the nearby innkeeper recognized the body and figured out the culprits. A posse gathered and the chase began. On Christmas Day, 1799, they caught the Harpes and imprisoned them in Stanford, Kentucky. A preliminary hearing on Jan. 4, found enough evidence for a trial and ordered that the prisoners be taken to the district court at Danville, Kentucky.
      For the next two months the Harpes plotted their escape which came on March 16. They left the women in the jail for practical reasons — all three were pregnant. By the time the district court freed the women in April, all three had given birth, each child two months apart in age. After their escape the Harpes continued their murderous spree. In late March or early April they killed a man near the future site of Edmonton followed by another murder on the Barren River eight miles below Bowling Green. On April 10, they killed the 13-year-old son of Colonel Daniel Trabue who lived three miles west of present Columbia, Kentucky. Ironically, posse members chasing the Harpes were at Trabue's house urging him to join the chase then they discovered Trabue's son missing and believed him abducted by the Harpes.
      From the Trabue home, the Harpes continued towards Cave-in-Rock by way of Red Banks (now Henderson, Kentucky.), Diamond Island and Potts Spring in Illinois. Meanwhile the Danville court acquitted one of the Harpe women, forced a mistrial on the second and convicted a third during trials on April 15. The judge offered a new trial to the one woman convicted and the attorney general decided four days later not to re-try her. With their freedom once again theirs, the women left the jail and headed for Cave-in-Rock where a messenger had told them to meet their men. On April 22, the governor of Kentucky issued a $300 reward for the capture of the Harpes.
      During this time, the extent of all outlaws in the western portion of Kentucky, especially in the Ohio River counties from the Green River on down, spurred the local militias into action. Under a Captain Young, they drove the outlaws out of Mercer County, then crossed the Green into Henderson County where they killed 12 or 13 outlaws and pushed the rest downriver. They continued their law and order sweep until they reached the Tradewater River and Flin's Ferry at its mouth. Cave-in-Rock lay just beyond and Captain. Mason's pirates prepared for the attack that never came. Instead the pirates welcomed fleeing outlaws and the Harpes seeking refuge.
      Historians believe the Harpes spent less than a month in Illinois, but long enough for three or four murders. The first took place on their way to the cave. Hall wrote that in the 1820s, there were still persons in Shawneetown who could point out the spot on the Potts' Plantation near the mouth of the Saline River where the Harpes "shot two or three persons in cold blood by the fire where they had camped." Hall did not say where on Potts' Plantation the men had camped, but a likely place would have been Potts' Spring, the same spring where the legendary Billy Potts killed his victims. The spring lies near the base of a south-facing bluff halfway on the trail between Flin's Ferry and the salt works near Equality.
      Upon reaching the cave the Harpes joined the pirates in the trade of their craft, attacking heavily laden flatboats traveling downriver with goods. After one such attack the pirates threw an impromptu celebration inside the cave. Seeing only survivor alive to tell the tale of the attack the Harpes developed a fiendish idea for entertainment. With the others drunk in their revelry the Harpes took the survivor up to the top of the cliff. They stripped him naked, tied him to a horse, blindfolded the horse and ran it off the cliff.
      "Suddenly, the outlaws in the cave became aware of terrified screams, hoof beats, and the clatter of dislodged rocks. They ran out of the cave, they could see the horse's neck extended, its legs galloping frantically against the thin air, and tied to its back the naked, screaming prisoner, stark horror on his face. In an instant horse and man were dashed against the rocks," wrote W. D. Snively Jr. in his book "Satan's Ferryman."
      The scene proved to the pirates that the Harpes had to go. They ordered them to leave and take their women and children. After that night in May 1799, the Harpes reign of terror quieted down for a while — or at least for a few weeks. By mid July they began their final race toward death. In quick succession they killed a farmer named Bradbury about 25 miles west of Knoxville and another man named Hardin about three miles downstream from that city. On July 22 they murdered the young son of Chesley Coffey on Black Oak Ridge eight miles northwest of Knoxville. Two days later they struck William Ballard, also a few miles away from Knoxville. On July 29, they came across James and Robert Brassel on the road near Brassel's Knob. Pretending to be posse members looking for the Harpes, the Harpes turned against the Brassels, accusing them of being the notorious outlaws. Robert escaped and went for help. With him gone, the Harpes beat James to death.
      As they headed toward Kentucky they killed another man, John Tully around the beginning of August in what is now Clinton County, Kentucky. Then, in almost daily attacks, the Harpes murdered John Graves and his son and finally the families and servants of two Trisword brothers who were encamped on the trail about eight miles from modern-day Adairville, Kentucky. Also during this period they killed a young black boy going to a mill and a young white girl. A few miles northeast of Russellville, Kentucky, Big Harpe even killed one of his own children, or his brother's child. At Russellville the Harpes threw their various pursuers off the track tempting to them travel a false trail southward back into Tennessee.
      Instead, the Harpes continued northward to Henderson County. During the first or second week of August they found a cabin on Canoe Creek about eight miles south of Henderson and rented it. A failed attack on a neighbor aroused suspicion, but a week of surveillance on the Harpe cabin failed to convince the locals of the renters' true identities as the Harpes.
      While spies watched the Harpe men at the cabin, the Harpe women traveled elsewhere in the area collecting supplies and old debts. After a week of surveillance, the spies give up the job on Aug. 20. The following day, the Harpes left to meet their wives at a rendezvous. While riding good horses that morning, they met up with James Tompkins, a local resident. Tompkins had not met the men before and believed their tale of being itinerant preachers. The local man invited them home for the midday supper where Big Harpe presided over with a more than adequate meal blessing. Ironically, during the conversation, Tompkins admitted that he had no more powder for his gun. In a show of charity Big Harpe poured a teacup full from his powder horn. Three days later that powder would be used to shoot Big Harpe in the back as he tried to escape.
      Leaving Tompkins' place in peace, the Harpes traveled on to the house of Silas McBee, a local justice of the peace, but because of McBee's aggressive guard dogs, decided against an attack. Instead they traveled to the home of an acquaintance, Moses Stegall. Moses wasn't home, but his wife offered them a bed to sleep in as long as they didn't mind a third man, Maj. William Love, who had arrived earlier. They accepted, but later that night murdered Love, Mrs. Stegall and the Stegall's four-month-old baby boy. In the morning they burned down the house hoping to attract the attention of McBee. The smoke attracted McBee and a number of others. By the next morning the posse grew to include seven local residents, including Stegall. All day they followed the Harpes' trail. At night they camped and started again the next morning, Aug. 24, on the trail.
      While chasing the Harpes they discovered two more victims of the men killed a few days before. They soon found the Harpes' camp with only Little Harpe's wife present. She pointed the way Big Harpe and the other two women went. About two miles away, they caught up with Big Harpe and called for his surrender. Instead, he sped away leaving the women. Four of the posse members shot at Harpe, one hit him in the leg. John Leiper missed and then borrowed Tompkins gun for a second shot. Leiper then spurred his horse forward to catch up with Big Harpe. Knowing that there hadn't been enough time for Leiper to reload his weapon, Harpe turned and took careful aim at Leiper. Then, using Tompkins' gun containing the powder given him by Harpe just days before, Leiper fired his second round towards Harpe, entering his backbone and damaging the spinal cord.
      Harpe continued riding down the trail losing more blood every minute. The posse caught up with him and pulled him from his horse without resistance. Begging for water, Leiper took one of Harpe's shoes and filled it full of water for him. Harpe confessing his sins pulled Stegall over the edge. He took Harpe's own butcher knife and slowly cut off the outlaw's head. Placed in a saddlebag, the posse eventually put it in a tree where the road from Henderson forked in two directions, one to Marion and Eddyville and the other to Madisonville and Russellville. For years, the intersection took the name Harpe's Head.
      The Harpe reign of terror had ended — almost. Little Harpe escaped and eventually rejoined Capt. Mason's band of river pirates at Cave-in-Rock. Four years later, Little Harpe and a fellow pirate named May turned on Mason and took his head in for the reward money. Presenting the head and a tall tale explaining how they did it, they took the reward money and started to leave. Just then, someone arrived in the crowd, a victim of an earlier flatboat attack, and recognized Harpe and May as outlaws. Authorities immediately arrested them, but they soon escaped. On the run again, a posse caught up with them and brought them to justice where they were tried, sentenced, hung. And just for good measure, had their heads cut off and placed high on stakes along the Natchez Road as a warning to other outlaws.
(28+) Patrick W. Kearney is the top ranked Californian freeway killer. An exceptionally neat and organized murderer, Pat left his dismembered victims neatly wrapped in trash bags along the Californian highways. Kearney and his live-in lover, David D. Hill, both army veterans, lived in a meticulously clean bachelor pad in Redondo Beach from where they started their homicidal escapades.
On July 13, 1977, the electronic engineer for the Los Angeles Hughes Aircraft Co. was indicted on three counts of murder by a Riverside, California grand jury. Charges against his roommate and best friend, David Hill, were dropped because of lack of evidence. Patrick Kearney was being investigated in connection with at least twenty-eight murders of gay men.
Hill and Kearney turned themselves in on July 1, pointing to a wanted poster with their pictures announcing: "We're them." Most of the information about the murders came from Kearneys statements to police. Bodies of many of the victims were found in plastic garbage bags along highways from south Los Angeles to the border of Mexico, and several of the bodies had been dismembered after being shot. Kearney was indicted for the slayings of three men, aged 21, 24, and 17.

      The first victim was found in April 1975, with five more bodies turning up by the end of 1976. All the victims were nude, shot in the head with a small caliber gun, and dumped along the highway. Most were transient young men who frequented the gay crusing areas and hangouts in and around Hollywood and Los Angeles. At Hill and Kearneys Redondo Beach house investigators found a hacksaw with blood stains matching one of the victims, as well as hair and carpet samples that were found on the victims. Kearney and Hill had fled to Mexico, but surrendered when persuaded by relatives.
      On December 21, 1977, Kearney plead guilty to three murders and was sentenced to life imprisonment by Superior Court Judge John Hews. On February 21, 1978, Kearney plead guilty before judge Dickran Tevrizzian Jr. to eighteen slayings of men and boys in exchange for a promise from the prosecution that he would not be given the death penalty. Kearney also provided details of the related killings of another eleven gay men, bringing the total to thirty-two victims. Kearney is currently serving his sentence at Calipatria State Prison in California.

      The "Trash Bag Murders," as they were known, started in 1975 and ended on July 5, 1977, when the couple walked into the Sheriff's Information Center in Riverside, saw a wanted poster of themselves and surrendered. Hill was subsequently released for lack of evidence. Kearney shouldered the guilt and confessed that killing "excited him and gave him a feeling of dominance."

                Introduction       Chapter Two        Chapter Three         Chapter Four