August 21, 2000 - John Eric Armstrong - District Judge Maria Luisa Oxholm ruled during a preliminary hearing that John Eric Armstrong should be tried in the strangling deaths of three prostitutes from the Detroit area. He already has been ordered to stand trial in two other killings. Robert Mitchell, Armstrong's attorney, previewed his likely defense by contending that confessions authorities say Armstrong made were coerced. "These statements are suspect," Mitchell told the Detroit Free Press. "We're going to fight them... I do not think they are voluntary."
August 21, 2000 - Samuel Sidyno - The Pretoria High Court admitted as evidence a confession made by alleged Capital Park serial killer Samuel Sidyno to police. Sidyno has pleaded not guilty to murdering two women and five boys between November 1998 and January last year. He also denied guilt on two charges of rape and two of robbery.
Judge Johan van der Westhuizen was presented with notes of a statement, made during a "pointing-out" to the police, despite claims by Sidyno that police had assaulted him and forced him to make the statement. Sidyno claimed earlier this week the police had murdered the victims and that he "could have been the eighth body". He claimed some 15 policemen had taken turns to hit and kick him, but could not point out any of his alleged attackers and could not explain why a photograph taken of him after the pointing-out showed no signs of the alleged assault.
Superintendent M H van Rooyen testified that Sidyno had voluntarily pointed out six murder scenes on a hill in Capital Park behind the Pretoria Zoo where he claimed to have killed and left the bodies of his victims. The skull of one of the bodies was discovered under a bush during the pointing-out, but only after Sidyno lifted the branches with which the decomposed body was covered.
August 18, 2000 - Possible Romanian Serial Killer - Police in the northwestern Romanian city of Baia Mare suspect there is a serial killer targeting the city's homeless. Since July seven bodies have been found. The last three were found the banks of the Sasar River, but police are not sure how the bodies wound up there, police spokeswoman Lt. Voinita Acris said. According to detectives the victims were likely killed when they were asleep, with six having their heads crushed by a hard object. The seventh victim had sand in his lungs, suggesting drowing, according to preliminary investigations. The first body was found behind a gasoline station in July. Police discovered three more corpses in August, before the most recent find.
August 20, 2000 - Possible Butler County Serial Killer - Butler County Sheriff Harold Don Gabbard said that eviudence points to a a serial killer being responsible for the deaths of three women in the 1970s and 1980s. The victims, Nancy Ann Theobold, 18, Victoria May Hincher, 24, and Tammy Lynn King, 22 were sexually assaulted, strangled, and were all killed in the same time of the year ‹ mid-October to mid-November. "There are a lot of similarities in the three cases," Gabbard said at a press conference in Hamilton about the reopening of the cases. "It tells me they were probably the acts of a serial killer." Sheriff Gabbard hopes that new forensic technology might point to a killer.
In all cases, authorities have hair, fibers and matter from beneath the victims' fingernails that could be tested for DNA evidence to help identify the killers, the sheriff said. Investigators said they have a suspect in mind and plan to question him, but he declined to identify him. This same person is a suspect in other murders in Hamilton and Butler counties between 1977 and 1982, said Lt. Greg Blankenship of the sheriff's department. He did not specify which cases.
The body of Victoria May Hincher, 24, of Roselawn, was found on Oct. 31, 1976, off New London Road in Ross Township. Nancy Ann Theobold, of Clifton Heights, was found on December 28, 1977, in a creek bed off Beckett Road near Rialto Road in Butler County's Union Township. The University of Cincinnati student had been missing since November 16. She was last seen leaving a Clifton Heights restaurant to walk home. Tammy Lynn King, of Price Hill, was found on November 13, 1982, in a wooded area off Dunwoody Road in Reily Township. She had been missing since leaving her apartment on October 25.
August 18, 2000 - Japanese Suicide Sect - Japanese police found the decomposing bodies of five siblings who appear to have starved themselves to death in a bizarre religious act in their home in Sennan, just south of Osaka. Police officers forced their way into the house after a call from a worried relative. Their uncle Takao Wakasa, 66, and his sister Akiko, 64, the mother of the five victims, were found alive but suffering from severe malnourishment. The uncle had allegedly been "devinely instructed" that the family not to eat or drink in order to attain religious enlightenment.
Akiko was quoted saying her children, aged 27 to 41, had not eaten anything between mid June and mid July when they died. "Takao is a master. He commanded we should neither eat nor drink at all to attain higher religious achievement," she told police. Police said the bodies were lying on futons in two rooms. They are believed to have died between two and six weeks ago. The bodies were covered with maggots and flies, a police official said. "We immediately knew from the strong odour that somebody must be dead. The stench was unbelievable."
Neighbours said they had seen the family performing strange religious ceremonies and the mother had told them that God was working through her. The family had dug four circular holes seven feet deep in the garden, which the mother said were to "allow God to breathe". Neighbors saw the family place tree branches in the holes and prayed. They also scattered salt in front of the house every morning and stuck pieces of garlic on bamboo sticks.
August 17, 2000 - Peter Kenneth Lundin - A former Haywood County resident who spent much of the 1990s in a North Carolina jail for strangling his mother is now accused of the triple murder of a woman and her two sons in Denmark. Peter Kenneth Lundin, 29, is being held on suspicion of murder in the ax-murder deaths of Marianne Pedersen, 36; Brian, 12; and Dennis, 10. Lundin's father, Ole, is also in jail, accused of stealing property from the Pedersen home. The crime has sent shock waves across the small northern European country and spawned a near frenzy in the Danish media. "It is a big story in Denmark because you don't see people being killed like this," said Janni Petersen, who works for Nordic Film, a documentary production company based in Copenhagen. "I think people are angry at the States - how come we had to receive such a monster? " Lundin, in addition to being a Danish citizen, also married a Danish woman who saw him on a television broadcast produced by Nordic Film during his time in jail in this country.
Danish police believe Pedersen - who operated a Copenhagen brothel where Lundin reportedly worked as a bodyguard and handyman - and her sons were hacked to death in June in their home in a Copenhagen suburb. The bodies still have not been found. Police discovered some body fragments in the home and have searched through tons of trash attempting to find more, according to Danish news reports. Lundin made headlines in Western North Carolina in 1991 after his mother's body was found wrapped in plastic bags on the Outer Banks. Ole Lundin would later plead guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to two years in prison. Testimony at Peter Lundin's trial showed he had strangled his mother using his hands after his mother, who allegedly had been drinking heavily, tried to cut his hair with a pair of scissors.
August 16, 2000 - Stuart Alexander - Sausage factory rampager Stuart Alexander told an Alameda County judge that his mother is holding his finances hostage, interfering with his efforts to hire a private attorney. Alexander also accused his mother of wrongfully selling off his assets. His mother, Shirley Eckhardt, said she was trying to raise funds for her son's defense. Alexander is acused of killing three meat inspectors at his sausage factory during a health inspection.
August 16, 2000 - Andy James Ortiz - A 26-year-old man who was arrested in for allegedly strangling and sexually assaulting a woman three years ago has been named the prime suspect in two similar murders in the same area. Andy James "Jaime" Ortiz was charged in Fort Worth, Texas, with killing 20-year-old Brenda Salazar in her apartment on Memorial Day 1997, and is now suspected of strangling and sexually assaulting 13-year-old Krystal Minjarez last month and 15-year-old Armida Garcia in August 1997, police Lt. Alvin Allcon said.
Ortiz was arrested shortly after Garcia's death three years ago because he was seen talking to her at her home 45 minutes before she was found slain, but he was released because of insufficient evidence. That arrest, however, and evidence police obtained from Ortiz at the time, led to him being charged with killing Salazar.
The case against Ortiz began to come together last month after homicide Detective Curt Brannan started investigating the strangulation and sexual assault of Minjarez, whose body was found July 21 beside a local lake. Before the girl disappeared, she told friends she was on her way to visit a man named Jaime, which is Ortiz's nickname. Brannan suspected the Jaime who the girl was headed to see might have been Ortiz, and the detective noticed similarities between this homicide and Salazar's death three years earlier.
August 16, 2000 - Glenn and Justin Helzer & Dawn Goodman - Detectives investigating five gruesome slayings in Concord and Marin County are now looking for a man who was caught on a surveillance video camera at a Petaluma bank a day after two of the victims were last seen alive. "The person is not ... considered a suspect at this time," Concord police Lt. Paul Crain said as he pointed to a grainy photo of the man Tuesday. "He is someone we would like to identify, locate and interview." The man, described as 35 to 45 years old with short dark hair and medium build, may be associated with one or more people involved in the murders.
Police believe the Stinemans were killed in a $100,000 extortion attempt, and that Bishop, Villarin and Gamble may have been murdered to cover up the crime. The Stinemans' former stock broker Glenn Helzer, 30; his brother, Justin Helzer, 28; and Dawn Godman, 26, all of Concord, are the lead suspects, according to police. Investigators have not established any direct link between the mysterious figure in the surveillance camera and the suspects, Crain said. The man entered Washington Mutual Bank in Petaluma at about 5:25 p.m. on July 31, the day after the Stinemans were last seen alive.
August 16, 2000 - John Eric Armstrong - In preliminary hearings a woman testified that John Eric Armstrong told her he hated prostitutes and tried to choke her to death after they had sex. The victim, Avon Skinner, testified that she passed out and Armstrong left her for dead on the side of the road. Armstrong's lawyer, Robert Mitchell, said there was maybe "strange sexual prowess," but "certainly, there's no intent to kill." Detective James Hines read a signed confession by Armstrong, taken after his arrest in April. In the statement, Armstrong said he didn't know why he killed the women. "It just happens," the statement said.
August 15, 2000 - Human Remains in Chili - Children playing on a forest road near Chili found a pile of human bones and two skulls hidden under a car hood in an illegal dump. "The bones appear to be partially burned," Rio Arriba sheriff's Detective Johnny Vigil said Monday. "We don't know too much." The human remains have been retrieved by the state Office of the Medical Investigator in an effort to determine their identity and the cause of death. Chili is a small village northwest of Española on U.S. 84 near the confluence of Rio Chama and Rio Ojo Caliente. Five children, all 11 or 12 years old, were playing on the forest road; they wanted to shoot their slingshots against a car hood in an area used as an unpermitted dump, Vigil said. When they lifted the car hood, they found the bones underneath.
August 16, 2000 - Samuel Sidyno - A DNA expert has positively linked alleged Capital Park serial killer Samuel Sidyno to the scene where the body of one of his alleged victims was discovered near the Pretoria zoo more than a year ago. Sidyno has denied guilt in the Pretoria High Court on seven murder charges, two of rape and two of robbery charges. It is alleged that he raped and killed two women and murdered five boys between November 1998 and January 1999. Forensic expert Superintendent Karin Botha testified that a DNA sample taken from Sidyno was an almost perfect match for a semen sample, taken from a T-shirt thrown over the body of Paulinah Ledwaba, one of his alleged victims. Sidyno's blood and semen, mixed with Ledwaba's blood, was also found on a piece of tissue paper near her body.
Forensic pathologist Hendrik Scholtz, who performed an autopsy on Ledwaba's body, said her death was caused by strangulation. She had bruises around her neck and had probably been strangled with something like a piece of clothing. It appeared from abrasions on Ledwaba's body that she had been moved after her death. Ledwaba's body was, in a similar fashion to the six other bodies alleged to be those of Sidyno's victims, found lying prone, covered with branches and with her shoes placed neatly next to her.
Ledwaba's sister, Eunice, testified that she had last seen her sister on 2 January, wearing a pair of blue jeans. She identified the jeans which Sidyno was wearing during his arrest as her sister's. Scholtz, who also examined the bodies of the boys - three of whom were never identified - said a strange feature in some of the cases was that the underpants had been removed, but the trousers replaced and zipped up. The bodies were all between three weeks and three months old when found and were mostly severely decomposed. In one case, the skull was no longer attached to the body and in another, wild animals had started eating the body, Scholtz said.
August 15, 2000 - John E. Robinson Sr. - A tentative agreement could reunite a girl, whose mother allegedly was murdered by John E. Robinson Sr., with a man presumed to be her biological father. In the deal brokered Monday by Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, the couple rearing the child born as Tiffany Lynn Stasi -- she is nearly 16 now -- consented to a plan that could have her talking to Carl Stasi early this fall. As part of the bargain, Stasi will undergo a blood test to confirm he is the biological father. He married the girl's mother, Lisa Stasi, about a month before the girl was born and was listed on her birth certificate as the father. Stasi initiated the request to communicate with the girl. State laws typically assign the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood to the husband of a child's mother, often even when DNA points to someone else. Stasi's attorney said his client agreed to the test to speed his reunion, rather than go to court and risk a judge handing off the girl to a third party. "He just wants to see his daughter," said Kirksville, Mo., lawyer Seth Shumaker.
Both sides will consult psychologists to determine how to get the teen-ager together with Stasi without causing her emotional trauma. The two would then correspond by letter and e-mail, Shumaker said. If that went well, they would speak on the telephone and eventually meet face to face. Stasi has not seen his daughter since she was an infant. He married the former Lisa Elledge, then a 19-year-old high school drop-out, in August 1984. She gave birth to Tiffany in September. By late December the couple's marriage was falling apart. Lisa checked in at a Kansas City battered women's shelter, where she stayed for a short time. In January 1985, by the accounts of several people at the time, she accepted an offer from Robinson for free lodging in Overland Park and job training. She was reported missing Jan. 11 and has not been seen by friends or relatives since.
Morrison recently amended charges against Robinson, counting Lisa Stasi dead and making her the sixth woman that Robinson is charged with killing. Two other women who disappeared after crossing paths with Robinson in the 1980s also are missing, but he has not been charged in their deaths.
August 14, 2000 - Familicide in Japan - A teen-ager in southwestern Japan was arrested on suspicion of stabbing three members of a neighbor's family to death in their beds. The 15-year-old high school student is accused of breaking into Kazumasa Iwasaki's home and using a four-inch knife to slash the farmer and his family before they could call police. Three others members of the family were wounded, one critically, in the attack in the farmhouse in the rural community of Otsu, about 500 miles southwest of Tokyo.
The teen, whose name was not released because of his age, told police who arrested him that he was upset because the family wrongly accused him of peeping into their bathroom, police spokesman Shuichi Tomiya said. The boy accused of the knife attack said he wanted to kill the entire family and burn down their house because they had snubbed him since accusing him of peeping, police spokesman Seiya Isozaki said. Iwasaki's 66-year-old wife, 41-year old daughter and 13-year-old grandson were dead when police arrived. The farmer was in critical condition with multiple stab wounds. His 16-year-old granddaughter and 11-year-old grandson were seriously wounded.
August 14, 2000 - The Monster of Florence - A tour promoter in Florence was kidnapped and "brutally tortured" for four days by his former girlfriend and her new lover to make him "confess" that he was the feared Monster of Florence. Detective Michele Giuttari said that Chiara Maggi, 26, and Massimo Marrazzo, 26, were charged with kidnapping, extortion and attempted murder for holding their victim, a 34-year-old man named Sandro, in a garage turned into a torture chamber. Maggi, a shop assistant, told police that she feared her former boyfriend was a psychopath who, from the age of 13, had either committed or helped to commit the last few murders attributed to the Monster of Florence.
It is believed that Pietro Pacciani, a farm labourer, along with a gang of drunken old men, were responsible for the Monster killings. Pacciani was convicted of the killing spree in the mid nineties but the conviction was overturned on appeal. Pacciani died of a heart attack days before the start of his new trial. Three of his elderly friends have also been charged with the killings. Authorities believe Pacciani did not commit the murders alone. According to prosecutors a "man of refined intelligence", perhaps a surgeon, may have directed the killings or taken part in them.
August 14, 2000 - Mexican Exorcism - Seven Mexicans died of carbon monoxide poisoning during an exorcism after the room in which they were holding the rite filled with fumes from a burning charcoal fire. National Formato 21 radio said self-styled "witch" Teodoro Martinez was ridding a 15-year-old boy of evil spirits in the town of Tetla, in the central state of Tlaxcala, when the mass poisoning ocurred. It is unclear if the boy was exorcized of his demons and/or survived the deadly ritual.
August 14, 2000 - Catholic God Spirit Cult - According to cult leader Alfredo Obsioma, 16 members of the Catholic God Spirit cult died in a shootout with Philippine police because they were "sinners" and their bulletproof amulets had stopped working. The confrontation with police started when authorities tried to arrest a cultist for attempted murder. Police fired at the group when members, hoping to be protected by their amulets, charged at them waving knives and homemade guns. "They were emboldened by the idea that bullets would not harm them. They were mistaken," Obsioma said.
August 12, 2000 - Monica Diaz & Michael Naranjo - Sixteen-year-old Monica Diaz and her 17-year-old boyfriend Michael Naranjo pleaded not guilty to the stabbing attack of her adoptive father and three siblings in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pico Rivera. Diaz and Naranjo have been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. During the hearing the patricidial teen never looked at her wheelchair-bound mother, Sylvia Flores, who was injured in the rampage. Flores adopted Diaz, her niece, as a toddler after her parents died in a car crash.
August 12, 2000 - David Threinen - Canadian serial child killer David Threinen is scheduled to appear before the National Parole Board to seek his release from prison. Threinen, 52, is serving a life sentence for kidnapping and killing four Saskatoon children in the summer of 1975. After his arrest Threinen waived his right to a preliminary hearing and pled guilty to the murders. "He stated to the courts that he was scared of himself, afraid he couldn't stop himself," said Ken Wagner, the former deputy chief of the Saskatoon police.
August 12, 2000 - Glenn & Justin Helzer and Dawn Godman - A ninth duffel bag with clothing was found in a Delta waterway 15 miles from where seven other bags with body parts of at least three people had surfaced. Authorities are unsure if this bag is connected to the Stineman-Bishop murder case. So far, investigators have linked five victims to what they have described as an extortion scheme gone awry. Two of the dismembered victims found in the duffel bags were identified by dental records as Annette Stineman, 78, and Selena Bishop, 22. The third dismembered victim was identified earlier this week as Ivan Stineman, 85.
The killings are believed to have followed an attempt to extort $100,000 from the Stinemans. The couple was last seen alive July 30. On August 3, one day after Selena Bishop, the girlfriend of one of the suspects in the case, was reported missing, Bishop's mother, Jennifer Villarin, 45, and her friend Joseph Gamble, 54, were shot dead in Bishop's apartment in Marin County. Sacramento authorities have identified Selena's boyfriend Glenn Taylor Helzer, 30, his brother Justin Alan Helzer, 28, and Justin's girlfriend, Dawn Godman, 26, as suspects in the five slayings. The trio was arrested on drug charges by officers serving a search warrant in the case of the missing Stinemans. Investigators theorize Bishop may have been involved in the scam, but may have gotten cold feet once the Stineman's were killed. Police believe she disclosed the situation to her mother, leading to the murder of Villarin and Gamble.
August 11, 2000 - Possible Fort Lauredale Serial Killer - Over the last two months two suitcases with the bodies of two dead prostitutes have been found on the roads of Florida's Broward County. Both victims had a history of prostitution and cocaine use, both were heavily tattooed, and both were beaten to death. Over the past 3 1/2 years, eight other Broward women believed to be involved in prostitution have been found dead throughout the Fort Lauredale area, their bodies disposed of in dumpsters, along busy highways, and in an appliance box.
Detectives, who have not said if they are looking for a serial killer, are puzzled by the intention of the killer or killers who seems to want authorities to discover the victims as quickly as possible. One of the victims found in a duffel bag was left a few steps from the Broward County medical examiner's office. "It's like the guy wanted them to find her," said a Broward detective who did not want to be named. "That's his calling card. It's like, here she is, catch me if you can."
August 11, 2000 - Glenn & Justin Helzer and Dawn Godman - According to friends Selena Bishop was banking large sums of money for her alleged assassin and getting a 20 percent cut for it. Former stockbroker Glenn Taylor Helzer, who was romantically involved with Selena, is suspected, along with his brother and a female accomplice, of killing and dismembering Selena and an elderly Concord couple, and then shooting to death two others. The dismembered bodies of Bishop, 22, and Ivan and Annette Stineman, 85 and 78, were found inside seven athletic bags floating on the Mokelumne River in Sacramento County. The bodies had been cut into small pieces and mixed together. Bishop's mother, Jennifer Villarin, 45, and her mother's friend, James Gamble, 54, were then shot to death.
Friends close to Bishop said she opened a bank account at California Federal in San Anselmo for her 30-year-old boyfriend, and possibly at three or four other banks in the area. Then she deposited at least $25,000 of Helzer's money and received a $5,000 commission for it. Helzer, according to a lifelong friend of Bishop's who asked not to be identified, told his girlfriend that he was going to inherit between $100,000 and $125,000. He said he wanted the checks to be written in Bishop's name so that his wife -- whom Helzer was in the process of divorcing -- wouldn't get any of the money.
Police believe Helzer and his 28-year-old brother Justin used a high finance ruse to be invited into the couple's two-story house the evening of July 30. Once inside, the two men forced the elderly couple to write them two checks totaling $100,000. The checks were later cashed but authorities haven't been able to track them. Bishop, or someone using her name, allegedly called a Bay Area bank to ask about cashing the checks.
August 11, 2000 - George Kent Wallace - Former truck driver George Kent Wallace, 59, was executed by lethal injection for the deaths of two Arkansas teens. Wallace pleaded guilty in the deaths of William Von Eric Domer, 15, of Fort Smith, Ark., and Mark Anthony McLaughlin, 14, of Van Buren, Ark. The teens' bodies were discovered in 1987 and 1990 in the same pond just across the state line in Oklahoma. Wallace also confessed to killing two men in North Carolina - Jeffrey Lee Foster in 1976 and Thomas Stewart Reed in 1982.
Wallace indicated he would meet with authorities about the death of 12-year-old Alonzo Don Cade of Fort Smith, but later decided against it. The boy's body was found in 1990 in a pond. Wallace was arrested after an 18-year-old supermarket employee managed to escape after being stabbed in the back and arm. The man, now 28, told police Wallace had said he was a police officer and was arresting him. He said Wallace put him in handcuffs and leg irons, then drove him to a pond and attacked him. He managed to escape by leaping into the car and driving away.
August 11, 2000 - Randy Kraft - Eleven years after an Orange County jury convicted Randy Kraft of murdering 16 people, the California Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in what officials described as an important advance in the effort to execute the notorious serial killer. The justices unanimously rejected Kraft's claims that he received an unfair trial, saying he should die for his decade-long murder spree that is believed to have netted up to 42 victims. The so-called "Score Card Killer" strangled his victims after drugging and sexually assaulting them, spawning Orange County's longest and costliest murder case.
August 10, 2000 - Glenn & Justin Helzer and Dawn Godman - Authorities said that the human remains found in several small gym bags in the Mokelumne River in Sacramento County are those of an elderly Concord couple and the 22-year-old daughter of the famed blues guitarist Elvin Bishop. The Sacramento County coroner identified Ivan Stineman, 85, through fingerprints. Preliminary tests indicate the other remains are those of Stineman's 78-year-old wife, Annette, and 22-year-old Selena Bishop. All three victims died from blunt force injuries.
The gruesome discoveries capped a mystery that has leaped from rural West Marin County, where Bishop's mother and her companion were found shot to death in a Woodacre apartment, to a brew pub in Berkeley, where Bishop vanished from view, to suburban Concord, where the Stinemans disappeared. Detectives believe that two brothers, Glenn Helzer, 30, and Justin Helzer, 28, and their roommate Dawn Godman, 26, were involved in an extorsion scheme that went wrong leading to the five murders. The suspects were arrested during an early-morning raid at their Saddlewood Court home. Marin County sheriff's officials said they were searching the house in connection with Bishop's disappearance and the slayings of Villarin and Gamble. But while investigators were combing the house for clues in that case, they discovered evidence linking the Helzers and Godman to the Stinemans.
August 9, 2000 - Kendall Francois - Poughkeepsie serial killer Kendall Francois was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of eight local prostitutes. To avoid the death penalty Francois, 29, confessed to all eight murders, saying that he had solicited the women for sex and then strangled them. Dutchess County Court Judge Thomas J. Dolan told Francois that he had caused anguish to an entire community with his "unspeakable violence." Francois, who has tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, was also handed eight consecutive sentences of 25 years to life for murder and another of 1 1/3 to four years for attempted assault on the woman who escaped from his clutches and led police to his arrest. Initially, Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said he would seek the death penalty, but in June he accepted a plea bargain in part because of the victims' families who wanted closure and a guarantee that Francois would die in prison.
August 9, 2000 - Vincent Johnson - In just 16 hours, police were able to bring the Williamsburg serial killer suspect Vincent Johnson from single-syllable answers to a full-blown murder confession. When he finally cracked, Johnson, a 31- year-old homeless crack addict, let loose with a flood of details about his broken childhood, his marriage, the murder of Patricia Sullivan, his final victim, and how the face of his mom who abandoned him when he was young appeared in front of him before each kill.
"We smoked her crack, then we had sex, then I smoked my crack. The thoughts of my childhood and foster care and mom came into my mind," Johnson said. "I was someone different. I wasn't the same person. I didn't see strangling her as doing something wrong at the time. I didn't realize what I had done until after the crack had wore off an hour later." He then admitted killing three other women. By the end of his confession he admitted killing five women: Sullivan, Rhonda Tucker, Joanne Feliciano, Vivian Caraballo and Laura Nusser. "I don't remember faces," he said. "I did approximately three others. I did everything I'm accused of."
The 5-foot, 3-inch, 130-pound Johnson told cops Nusser was his first victim, who he killed after having sex. He then wrote out a short apology to Nusser's husband and daughter, and pleaded for help. "I'm sorry I did it," he wrote. "I hope this brings closure. I need help." Cops initially thought Caraballo, killed August. 26, 1999, was the strangler's first victim. DNA from her corpse, as well as DNA from Tucker and Feliciano, matched a DNA sample obtained from Johnson's spit. Johnson still hasn't admitting killing Katrina Niles, the sixth woman whom cops believe was part of his alleged yearlong strangulation spree.
August 6, 2000 - Gerald Patrick Lewis - Serial killer Gerald Patrick Lewis, who has been already sentenced to death in Alabama for murdering one woman, pleaded guilty to the slaying of another from Massachusetts and was sentenced to life without parole. "When he was not incarcerated, he was actively seeking females to abduct and murder. He need never see the light of day again," said Jo Beth Murphree, an assistant district attorney. Lewis, 35, pleaded guilty in the strangling and stabbing death of Kathleen Bracken, 32, of Swampscott, Massachusetts. Her body was found at a motel in April 1998. Lewis previously was sentenced to death in the 1998 rape and slaying of Misty McGugin, 21, of Saraland, whose remains were found in woods near Loxley. The case is on appeal.
Prosecutors said Lewis has admitted killing Patricia Grimes, 22, of Douglas County, Georgia. Grimes disappeared in 1992 while she was eight months pregnant. Her remains were found on a wooded creek bank a year later, but authorities could not identify her until Lewis confessed. In several recorded statements, Lewis confessed to killing Bracken, McGugin and Grimes, plus another woman in Georgia and two in Massachusetts in the 1980s and early '90s.
August 6, 2000 - Vincent Johnson - New York police arrested Vincent Johnson, 31, who they believe is the feared Brooklyn Strangler. Johnson, a homeless crack addict, was arrested on the Williamsburg Bridge as he returned from Manhattan. Police had been stalking the suspect for three days while waiting for the results of a DNA test. Police said that when Johnson was initially brought in for questioning he refused to provide a DNA sample. But one of the detectives who brought him in remembered that he had spat on the street outside. The detective had warned him, as they went into the station house, that he should not spit inside, and Johnson explained that he had tuberculosis. When Johnson refused to give a DNA sample the detective went to the parking lot and scraped the suspect's spit for testing. Once the sample was matched to the saliva found in three victims, authorities put an APB for his arrest.
Johnson was fingered by another homeless man hanging around the Williamsburg Bridge. "You ought to talk to this guy, because he told me he liked to tie up girls when he had sex," a source quoted the tipster as saying. Originally investigators suspected the tipster of being the strangler, but a DNA test cleared him of any wrongdoing. The man also tracked down the killer and called police when he spotted him on the bridge. The homeless man who aided the police said in an interview yesterday that he had known Mr. Johnson for about three months and frequently smoked crack with him. "He'd point out girls all the time and say, 'I want that girl,' " said the homeless man. "He'd gesture with his hands, and say how we could take them up the hill, tie the girls' arms behind their backs, duct-tape their mouths so they wouldn't scream" and have sex with them. The man, who is from Brooklyn and recently served a prison term for a drug offense, said he once talked with Johnson about how there were a lot of police officers in an area near Marcy Avenue, where one of the victims was found.
August 3, 2000 - Possible Budapest Prostitute Killer - Budapest Police have set up a special team of 15 investigators to find the killer or killers responsible for the deaths of four prostitutes this summer. The team said it did not know conclusively whether the killings were the work of a single killer or different killers, although all the victims were middle-aged call girls who were stabbed to death. "The traces left at the three crime scenes are being analyzed and following that, the experts can state whether the murders are the work of one serial killer or are unrelated cases," said a Budapest Police (BRFK) spokesman. investigators have confirmed that all four of the victims were prostitutes who offered their services through newspaper ads and served their customers in rented flats.
August 3, 2000 - Michael Carneal - Lawyers for the teen-killer Michael Carneal reportedly offered $42 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the victims' parents. In 1997 Carneal killed three girls at Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, when he fired into a morning prayer circle. Carneal, now 16, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder and attempted murder and is serving a life sentence. The families sued school officials and several students, saying they could have prevented the killings. The judge, however, dropped all defendants except Carneal. It is uncertain if and how the families will be able to collect any money from the incarcerated teen. Carneal has no assets and his family's insurance company, Kentucky Farm Bureau, said in court that it is not liable for his actions.
August 2, 2000 - Ronald Taylor - A Pittsburg judge ruled that a man accused of killing three people and wounding two others in a shooting spree in two fast-food restaurants is competent to stand trial. Ronald Taylor, 39, had little response when the judge asked him if he understood the charges against him, including homicide, arson and hate crimes.
July 29, 2000 - Possible Swaziland Serial Killer - Police in Swaziland believe they could be hunting a serial killer after the bodies of five people including an Indian businessman were found buried at an abandoned homestead in the tiny southern African kingdom. "We suspect more bodies may be discovered, and police are continuing to dig at the home," said Assistant Superintendent Leckinah Magagula of the Royal Swaziland Police Force. He added that police had identified a man and two of his children amongst the dead, but did not know the who the remaining two victims were. Magagula said police were investigating the possibility that these and other deaths and disappearances were the work of a serial killer. He said a suspect had been identified, but not arrested. "At least two identified people were found murdered in the area last year, and there have been several reports of missing persons in that area," he said.
July 29, 2000 - Geoffrey Griffin - DNA evidence has linked a suspect in custody to at least three of six recent murders in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. Geoffrey Griffin, 29, already in custody and charged with the murder of Angela Jones, has now been linked to two more victims, Beverly Burns and Julia Veal. The decomposed bodies of Burns and Veal were discovered on June 22 and June 27, after Griffin was arrested June 17. No other victims have been found since. Police also are awaiting results of DNA tests on the other three victims. Results are expected to take about two weeks.
July 29, 2000 - Charles Roache & Christopher Lippard - In the trial of Charles Roache and Christopher Lippard the jury found the two accused guilty of killing all five members of the Phillips family on September 30, 1999. Roache and Lippard were on the run after killing someone else the night before and needed a car and money when they showed up at the Phillips home where they killed Cora and Earl Phillips and took their truck. They then wrecked the truck and returned to the house where they killed the Phillipses' son Eddie, his wife, Mitzi, and daughter Katie, 14, who were returning from a night of festivity at the county fair. The two spree killers were sentenced to life in prison.
July 28, 2000 - Snowtown Bank Vault Killings - The trial for the accused of the Snowtown bank vault killings, one of Australia's most notorious serial killing case, was delayed for another month. Four men have been charged with murder after the discovery of ten bodies in a disused bank vault at Snowtown in May 1999. The delay in the proceeding stems from the slow progress in obtaining the government funding for the trial. The magistrate, David Gurry, agreed to delay the hearing until December 11, when the first witnesses will be heard. James Spiridon Vlassakis, 20, is charged with five counts of murder, while Robert Joe Wagner, 28, John Justin Bunting, 33, and Mark Ray Haydon, 41, are each charged with 10 counts of murder.
July 28, 2000 - John Robinson Jr. - Prosecutors added a sixth murder charge against John Edward Robinson Sr. for the murder of Lisa Stasi more than 15 years ago. Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison also revealed that her baby daughter ‹ whose mother disappeared in January 1985 at age 19 ‹ is believed to be living in the Midwest with an adoptive family, who may have unwittingly adopted her illegally. The mother, Lisa Stasi, was last seen on Jan. 10, 1985, near Interstate 435 in Overland Park, a Kansas City suburb. Although her body has not been found, prosecutors said Stasi was seen with Robinson around the time of her disappearance. Robinson was also charged with aggravated interference with parental custody for setting up the adoption of Stasi¹s daughter.
In a bizarre twist to an already bizarre tale police confirmed that a baby girl who disappeared 15 years ago when her mother was murdered by Slavemaster John Robinson is alive and well and has been raised by acquaintances of the suspected serial killer. The girl, now a 15-year-old high-school student, was raised by a midwestern family who did not know anything was amiss when they signed what they thought were adoption papers in 1985, paid what they thought were adoption fees, and took the baby girl from Robinson.
July 28, 2000 - Craig Godineaux & John Taylor - One of the suspects of the Wendy's massacre in Queens told the cops he didn't wear a mask during the robbery that left five dead and two wounded because "nobody was going to be left." The suspect, Craig Godineaux, also allegedly told cops that he put a coat on victim Anita Smith to keep her warm in the basement freezer before she was murdered on May 24.
July 28, 2000 - Ugandan Doomsday Cult - Police announced that most of the hundreds of the people who died at the hands of the Ugandan doomsday cult had been poisoned rather than strangled as it was first reported. "The bodies which were found buried in the pits, had been poisoned, Police pathologists have told us. But we have not got the detailed reports from forensic experts of the type of poisoning because we have not yet paid to get the results. Those that were strangled were few," Police spokesman Asuman Mugenyi told AFP. The final death toll in the cult killings has now settled at 778, Mugenyi added. Earlier reports suggested that most of the members of the Movement were strangled to death, a theory lent credence by the presence of twists of banana fibre around the necks of many victims. But now it seems they were poisoned.
July 28, 2000 - Wayne Adam Ford - Truck-driving serial killer Wayne Adam Ford, 38, of Arcata was indicted by the San Bernardino County grand jury for the murder of at least one woman in a move designed to expedite his trial. Ford came to national prominence in 1998 when he walked into the Humboldt County sheriff's station with a severed breast in his pocket and confessed to killing four women. The victims were found in San Bernardino, Kern, San Joaquin and Humboldt counties.
July 28, 2000 - Possible London Serial Killer - Police fear that three young women who have vanished from the streets of London may have been abducted and murdered by a serial killer. Scotland Yard detectives are working on the case believe a man or a couple may be responsible for the disappearances. Officers are linking the case of Iwona Kaminska, 20, a petite Polish student who vanished in Hammersmith two weeks ago, with the disappearences of two other women: Lola Shenkoya, 27, who dissapeared seven months ago, and Elizabeth Chau, 19, who dissapeared eight months before that. A police source said: "It is either a very clever man who is able to forcibly remove them from the street without anybody seeing or it was well planned to make sure nobody could witness it. Or it could have been done by subterfuge. Maybe there was a female involved so they may have gone voluntarily." There are similar intervals between each disappearance and each has been within a few miles of each other. All three women were petite, of similar age and from ethnic minority backgrounds: Miss Chau was born in this country to Vietnamese parents, and Miss Shenkoya was Nigerian.
July 28, 2000 - Cary Stayner - The federal trial of a motel handyman accused of killing a Yosemite National Park naturalist will be moved out of Fresno and postponed six months to give the defense more time to prepare. U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii delayed the trial of Cary Stayner, accused of killing 26-year-old Joie Armstrong a year ago, from October 17 to April 10. Ishii granted a change of venue but did not decide where the trial will be held. Stayner, 38, faces the death penalty if convicted. The trial is being held in federal court because Armstrong was killed in a national park. Stayner also faces a second trial in state court for the February 1999 deaths of Carole Sund, her daughter Juli and their family friend Silvina Pelosso of Argentina.
July 28, 2000 - Sandi D. Nieves - Infanticidal mom Sandi D. Nieves was convicted of four counts of murder with special circumstances, one count of attempted murder and one count of arson for the arson deaths of her four daughters. Special circumstances allow the prosecution to seek the death penalty.
July 28, 2000 - Monica Diaz & Michael Naranjo - Police in Los Angeles arrested a 16-year-old girl and her 17-year-old boyfriend for the massacre of her adoptive father Richard Flores and three siblings in the middle class neighborhood of Pico Rivera. "We find when investigating these crimes that history tells us you start looking in close and you work out," Captain Frank Merriman said, explaining why Los Angeles County homicide detectives looked for a suspect among the four surviving family members. Investigators said they were still trying to determine what motivated the pair of suspects, although neighbors had said there was friction between the boyfriend and the girl's father.
Sheriff's officials said the girl, identified by friends and neighbors as Monica Diaz, had raised the suspicion of detectives with her account of the night of the attack. Forensic evidence, including blood and fingerprints, also tied her to the slayings, authorities said. The teenager had said she hid in a bathroom after hearing a stranger's steps in the house. Diaz and her sister Laura, who are nieces of Richard and Sylvia Flores, were adopted by the family more than a decade ago after their mother died in a car accident.
The boyfriend was identified by friends and relatives as Michael Naranjo who, along with Diaz, had just completed his junior year at El Rancho High. One friend said Diaz wanted to go away for the weekend with her boyfriend, but her father had said no. Another friend said he heard Richard Flores complaining about Naranjo's appearance. The 17-year-old dressed in Goth-style clothing and sometimes wore a black trench coat.
July 27, 2000 - Virtual Reality Bubbles - A psychology expert told the annual convention of National District Attorneys Association that teenagers who have gone on murderous rampages at American schools lived in "virtual reality bubbles" that conditioned them to kill. "The kids who do this, they develop what I call a bubble," said retired Army Lt. Col. David Grossman. "They never experienced real death. They never experienced real suffering. All they've got to go on are TV, movies and video games." Grossman said that as such killers plotted their revenge for imagined injustices, nobody - parents, teachers or anyone else - confronted them and popped their bubble.
July 27, 2000 - Terry Arnold - Convicted killer Terry Arnold, already a prime suspect in the deaths of three young women in Western Canada, is now suspected of being responsible for several more murders in the United States. Arnold, 38, is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years for the 1987 killing of Christine Marie Browne, 16, near Kelowna. The FBI believes he may have been involved in the deaths of several young women in Florida in the 1980s and is looking at unsolved cases in Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, New York and Mexico.
In Canada Arnold is suspected of the 1981 murder of Barbara Stoppel, 16, in Winnipeg. In the 1980s Arnold worked for a carnival that travelled across North America. One of the stops was in Winnipeg the summer Stoppel was killed. He is also the main suspect in the 1987 death of Calgary teen Denise Lapierre and the 1988 murder of Roberta Marie Ferguson, last seen getting into a car near Chilliwack, B.C. Arnold lived near Stoppel's workplace at the time of her death. The suspected serial killer also lived a block away from Lapierre when she was murdered and was seen with Browne days before her death. Psychologists described Arnold as an "impulsive and a pathological liar" with "poor behavioural controls, a lack of empathy and remorse," and "a psychopath who relies on deceit."
July 26, 2000 - Satoru Hashimoto - The Tokyo District Court sentenced AUM Shinrikyo cult member Satoru Hashimoto to death by hanging for his role in the 1994 poison gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. Hashimoto, 33, was found guilty of helping with the construction of the cult's poison gas factory near the base of Mount Fuji and releasing the deadly sarin gas from a van outside the homes of some judges in Matsumoto who were hearing a case against the Aum. Seven people died in the attack. Hashimoto was also found guilty of participating in the murders of a lawyer who was conducting a case against the cult as well as his wife and baby. With most of its former leaders behind bars the cult has changed its name to Aleph -- the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet -- and claims that it is now a benign religious organization.
July 26, 2000 - Michael Carneal - As in several other cases of faked heroism, Ben Strong, a high-school senior who was reportedly the hero who disarmed Michael Carneal during his shooting rampage in West Paducah, Kentucky, has now acknowledged to have taken no role in stopping the 14-year-old killer. For days following the shooting Strong was a regular on national television where he was portrayed as an inspirational symbol of courage and hope by Reverend Jerry Falwell and many others. Young Ben's heroism has come into doubt as new information about the shooting have emerge in a civil lawsuit filed by the victim's families against the shooter, several stiudents and school officials. "Sometimes," he said in an interview, "people get the wrong idea." He also conceded that he had not taken the gun away from Michael Carneal as he previously suggested and that he might not have convinced him to stop shooting.
Strong previously claimed to have been the leader of the prayer group targeted by Carneal, which has now also been disproved. Strong ended two brief interviews recently by saying that he was not comfortable talking about the subject any longer. But he was accepting the idea that the story of what happened the day of the shooting might be different from the one that is widely known. "Truth is truth," he said very quietly. "That's a good thing."
July 24, 2000 - Four Dead in Pico Rivera - More than 1,000 people packed a church in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pico Rivera to remember a father and his three children who were stabbed to death in their home. Absent from the service was the wife and mother of the victims, who remained hospitalized with stab wounds. Three other children who survived the attack were among the mourners. Police still have no suspects.
July 24, 2000 - Familicide in South Wales - A man in South Wales allegedly bludgeoned his wife and four children to death before killing himself. Police officers found the six bodies in the house in an affluent suburb of Barry, South Wales, after friends and family raised concerns that they had not been any of the family members for 11 days. Authorities believe Robert Mochrie, the father, killed his wife Catherine and their four children, James, 18, Sian, 16, Luke 14, and 10yearold Bethan. Police said that five of the bodies in the house had been subjected to blunt force injuries and the sixth, only identified as a man, was an apparent suicide.
July 22, 2000 - Angel Maturino Resendiz - Although Angel Maturino Resendiz said he would not challenge his death sentence, his lawyers seem to be taking the first steps in appealing his sentence. Defense attorney Robert Morrow asked for a new trial on the grounds that the apellate deadlines robbed his client of effective legal counsel. State District Judge Susan Brown promptly denied the motion. Maturnino Resendez, who seems to thoroughly enjoy the spotlight, recently told law-enforcement officers in Florida that he was responsible for two slayings there -- the deaths of 16-year-old Illinois runaway Wendy Von Huben and her boyfriend, Jesse Howell, 19.
July 22, 2000 - John Eric Armstrong - Suspected serial killing former Navy sailor John Eric Armstrong was ordered to stand trial for the first of five murders of Detroit-area prostitutes. Armstrong, 26, told the Dearborn Heights District Court that he was "guilty, sorry and angry" for strangling Wendy Jordan on January 2. Armstrong told Detroit Police he had sex with the 39-year-old prostitute near downtown Detroit, then killed her and dumped her body into the Rouge River. Armstrong's attorney, Robert Mitchell, said his client's confession is suspect, adding that he will provide witnesses who will testify they saw Jordan alive after Armstrong told police he had killed her. "He's been force-fed the facts," Mitchell said.
July 21, 2000 - Adolph James Rodea - Broward County prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge against serial killer Adolph James Rodea for a 1979 murder they believe he may have committed. Rode, who later changed his name to Cesar Barone, is already serving a life sentence and has a pending death sentence in Oregon for four murders and three sexual assaults. Broward homicide prosecutor Chuck Morton said the decision to drop the murder charge against Rode here was made because of the weakness of the evidence against him in the 1979 case and the fact he is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison in Oregon. Rode gained a certain notoriety when he was featured in the recent Benetton ad campaign spotlighting Death Row inmates. He also briefly shared a prison cell with serial killer Ted Bundy in Starke.
Rode, 39, was accused of strangling retired schoolteacher Alice Stock, 73, who lived across the street from him in Fort Lauderdale's southwest section. Four years earlier, Rode served a two-month juvenile sentence for breaking into Stock's home and trying to rape her at knifepoint. Rode, who was 19 at the time of Stock's killing, had long been a suspect in the murder but was not indicted until six years ago because of the lack of evidence. Six months after Stock's death, Rode was charged with trying to kill his 70-year-old grandmother by choking her and beating her with a rolling pin to steal $10. A jury acquitted him after his grandmother had trouble with her testimony. Eventually, Rode moved to the Pacific Coast, changed his name and tried to start a new life as a cabinetmaker, Army Ranger and nursing assistant. But Rode continued killing until he was arrested on burglary, theft and rape charges in 1993.
July 21, 2000 - Robert Lee Yates - Spokane County prosecutor Steve Tucker, planning his case against alleged serial killer, Robert Lee Yates, asked the state prosecutors group to propose a change to the state legislature that would not force prosecutors to prove the murders were part of a common scheme or plan in order to ask for the death penalty. Tuckers proposed change in the law would eliminate that requirement and make multiple murders automatic death penalty cases.
July 21, 2000 - Zane Floyd - A jury in Las Vegas recommended that Zane Floyd, a former Marine who prosecutors said was living out revenge fantasies when he gunned down four supermarket employees, should be sentenced to death. The same jury found Floyd, 24, guilty of four counts of first-degree murder July 13. He also was convicted of the attempted murder of a fifth supermarket employee and of raping and kidnapping an escort service dancer just before last year's aupermarket rampage. Formal sentencing was scheduled August 31.
July 20, 2000 - Robert Lee Yates - The Rotary Club 21 of Spokane donated $1,000 to the family of serial killings defendant Robert L. Yates. Donations totaling nearly $7,000 have trickled in since his April 18 arrest. The family, who was forced out of their home in an upper-middle class neighborhood on Spokane's South Hill, has had to deal with several unanticipated expenses while having no new income. One has to wonder where were these generous donators when Yates was hunting down street women with impunity and investigators were running out of money.
July 20, 2000 - Four Dead in Pico Rivera - Four members of a family were found stabbed to death in their home and another was hospitalized with wounds in the middle-class Los Angeles neighborhood of Pico Rivera. The victims were Richard Flores, 42, his daughter Sylvia, 13, and his sons Richard, 17, and Matthew, 10. His wife, Angela, 39, was hospitalized with knife wounds to her chest. Three teen-age girls also in the house were unharmed. Police were called when one of the daughters woke and found her wounded mother covered in blood who uurged her to call 911. On the way to the hospital, the wounded woman provided deputies a description of a young man in his 20s, clean shaven and wearing a white tank-top and blue bandanna.
Authorities said the victims were apparently asleep when an intruder slipped in. Deputy Carlos Lopez said there didn't appear to be forced entry, and that no scenario had been ruled out. Dogs were brought in to try to pick up a scent trail. Blood stains indicated the father struggled, Lopez said. The killings occurred during a heat spell and neighbors worrying about how the attack was carried out wondered if the killer had taken advantage of windows left open at night.
July 20, 2000 - Doctor Harold Shipman - Britain's High Court overturned a government decision to hold a private inquiry into 15 murders by serial-killing doctor Harold Shipman. The court outlined powerful arguments in favour of an open inquiry -- preferred by the victim's families -- into how the doctor managed to escape detection for so long. The Manchester family doctor was convicted in January of killing 15 elderly patients with lethal injections of heroin. Police suspect he may have killed up to 192 people over 20 years.
Relatives were told by Lord Justice Kennedy and Mr. Justice Jackson that Alan Milburn, the Health Secretary, had acted unlawfully in deciding the inquiry should sit in private. Ann Alexander, the solicitor representing the families, said that all the court could do was to "make the Secretary of State re-think" but the judges had given "the clearest possible indication that that is what they think he should do".
July 20, 2000 - Gregg Francis Braun - A man who killed five people during a 1989 spree across four states was executed by injection in McCallaster, Oklahoma, for murdering a 31-year-old woman in her parents' floral shop. Gregg Francis Braun, 39, received the death penalty for shooting and killing Gwendolyn Sue Miller, 31, in Ardmore. Braun apologized repeatedly before his death, naming his victims one by one.
"I'm sorry I murdered you... I'm sorry I took your lives," he said. He apologized to the victims' families, also naming them one by one, and to his own family, whom he requested not attend. "What I did was unforgivable, but I ask you to forgive me," he said. "Save me, Mother Mary, from the eternal damnation I deserve." Before the execution, Miller's husband, Dusty, said: "I can't forgive him tonight. Maybe I can sometime down the line."
Three days before Mrs. Miller's slaying, Braun, a 28-year-old college graduate with a degree in criminal justice went to a Garden City, Kansas, convenience store to rob it. He killed the clerk out of fear she could identify him and went to another store and killed another employee. On July 20, 1989, Braun shot E.P. "Pete" Spurrier while robbing a Pampa, Texas, photo development store. He killed Geraldine Valdez three days later at a Springer, N.M., convenience store, telling a deputy "it wasn't as good as shooting craps in Vegas, but it was all right." Braun received life sentences for the murders in Kansas, New Mexico and Texas.
July 19, 2000 - Robert Lee Yates - Pierce County prosecutors charged Robert Lee Yates with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the December 1997 slaying of Melinda Mercer and the September 1998 killing of Connie LaFontaine Ellis. In charging papers filed in Pierce County, prosecutors said Mercer, 24, was shot in the head twice. Her nude body was found in Tacoma with four plastic grocery bags tied over her head - the serial killer's "signature." Furthermore DNA from semen found on Mercer's body matched DNA from a blood sample provided by Yates. Like Mercer, Ellis was shot in the head and had plastic grocery bags tied over her head. Because of the decomposition of the body, no DNA analysis could be performed.
July 19, 2000 - Jesus Delpino - Convicted double murderer Jesus Delpino has reportedly undergone a religious conversion at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City, north of Tampa, and confessed to taking part in a double murder in Key West. Delpino, 40, allegedly told authorities that in 1981 he and a travelling companion murdered his 14- year-old runaway girlfriend and her mother who came looking for her. Acording to police spokeswoman Cynthia Edwards the born-again convict said he shot the mother after she discovered her 14-year-old, drug-overdosed daughter clinging to life in a house he was renting with another man. However Delpino said his friend was the one that killed the young girl. Police in Key West, following instructions from Delpino, have begun digging the back yard of the house he rented 18 years ago. Delpino presently serving consecutive life sentences for two murders and the attempted murder in Miami-Dade on May 7, 1982. He was also charged a year earlier with carrying a concealed weapon and burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, but later escaped from jail.
July 19, 2000 - John E. Robinson Sr. - Attorneys for suspected serial killer John E. Robinson Sr. have asked that his Kansas preliminary hearing be closed to the public and the media. In one of a dozen motions filed in the Johnson County District Court, defense lawyers said they expect intense media coverage, which would make it impossible for Robinson to receive a fair trial. The hearing is scheduled for October 2.
July 18, 2000 - Angel J. Jerez - A retired Miami-Dade bus driver went of a shooting rampage killing his wife and adult stepdaughter. Then, Angel J. Jerez, 79, called his son at his ex-wife's and told him what he had done. When the son went to see whether it was true, Jerez went to his ex-wife's house and killed her. Jerez then drove to a Masonic lodge where he had been a member more than 20 years and killed himself with a gunshot to the chest in the upstairs bathroom. The three victims were: Dolores Garcia Jerez, 73, who married Jerez twice and divorced him twice, in 1992 and '97. Ana Maria Jerez, 71, who married him in 1998, and daughter Ana Teresita Sanguily, 39, who was visiting from Downey, California.
"There were numerous calls to relatives starting in the early hours of the morning. He was saying he was going to kill all his family, and that he was going to jump off the building after he killed them," said police spokesman Rudy Espinosa. Relatives from Miami and Downey called the police and asked them to go to the apartment where Jerez, who used to be a policeman in Cuba, and his wife lived. "We were asked to check on the well-being of the wife and stepdaughter," spokeswoman Nelda Fonticiella said. When police got there they found the two women dead in a bed.
July 18, 2000 - Zhong Weiyang, Zhang Eryang, Liu Guangyuan & Ding Shanyang - Despite protests by European governments and relatives of the victims, Chinese authorites said there would be no leniency for four men facing execution for the slaughter of a German family. "Their methods were especially cruel and their plot particularly vile. So there is no legal basis for leniency," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao. "To do otherwise would have been a disservice to the cause of protecting the safety of civilian lives and property, as well as protecting the security and legal interests of foreigners in China."
Zhong Weiyang, Zhang Eryang, Liu Guangyuan and Ding Shanyang were sentenced to death for hacking to death the deputy general manager of Daimler-Benz automobiles and his family last April in the eastern city of Nanjing. During the bungled home-invasion robbery the men stabbed Jurgen Pfrang repeatedly with heavy knives. Then they hunted down and murdered his 39-year-old wife, Petra, the couple's daughter Sandra Melanie, 14, and son Thorsten Oliver, 12.
July 18, 2000 - Michael Swango - Globe-trotting "Dr. Death" Michael Swango pleaded innocent to charges that he killed three patients at a Long Island hospital in 1993. Swango, 45, was charged in a nine-count indictment with three murders at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Northport. The indictment also alleges Swango was responsible for the death of a 19-year-old woman and the non-fatal poisoning of another patient at the Ohio State University Medical Center in 1984.
No stranger to murder charges, Swango has previously spent 30 months in jail and lost his medical license in 1985 for the non-fatal poisoning of six co-workers in Quincy, Illinois. He was later sentenced to prison for lying about his criminal record on an application for a medical residency job at a veterans' hospital. Last week, days before Swango was about to complete his 42-month prison sentence , federal prosecutors filed a nine-count indictment charging him with fatally poisoning George Siano, 60; Aldo Serini, 60; and Thomas Sammarco, 73, who were patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport, L.I., in 1993. Authorities believe Swango may have killed as many as 35 patients over the last two decades on two continents: 15 patients in the U.S. and 20 in Zimbawe.
July 17, 2000 - AUM Shrinrikyo - Two members of a Japanese AUM cult -- Toru Toyoda, 32, and Kenichi Hirose, 36 -- were sentenced to death for murder and attempted murder for the 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo underground. A third man, Shigeo Sugimoto, 41 who drove a getaway car, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Tokyo District Court Judge Manabu Yamazaki said the former cult members deserved the death penalty for their role in releasing sarin nerve gas in an incident that killed 12 and injured thousands. The two men had admitted to the charges but argued in court that their minds had been controlled by cult leader Shoko Asahara, saying he masterminded the attack.
In addition to the gassing charges, Toyoda was accused of attempting to kill then-Tokyo Governor Yukio Aoshima by mailing a package bomb to the Tokyo government office. The package exploded when Aoshima's secretary opened it, blowing off all the fingers on his left hand. Between 1994 and 1995, Toyoda, Hirose and Asahara also planned to manufacture 1,000 automatic rifles modelled on the Russian-made AK-47 and succeeded in producing one at an AUM facility.
July 17, 2000 - Angel Maturino Resendiz - Convicted serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz was given immunity before confessing to murdering two people in Marion County, Florida. Maturino Resendiz, 39, was given immunity in exchange for information leading to the discovery of skeletal remains believed to be one of his victims, 16-year-old Wendy Von Huben. The teen-age girl had been missing for three years. The Mexican drifter told the detectives that he strangled her eight hours after killing her traveling companion, Jesse Howell, 19.
Howell was found slain March 23, 1997, near railroad tracks running through Belleview, a north-central Florida town about halfway between Tampa and Jacksonville. Maturino Resendiz gave detectives new details that led a search team to skeletal remains believed to be those of Von Huben, a runaway from Woodstock, Illinois. According to the convicted serial killer he killed the yung couple because they were anti-Christian. The probable remains of Von Huben were found about 15 miles south of where Howell was found. The remains were wrapped in a blanket and camouflage jacket, about 100 yards from railroad tracks. Maturino Resendiz now has confessed to slaying 11 people in four states -- Florida, Texas, Illinois and Kentucky. All were killed at or near railroad tracks.
The Mexican drifter became the prime suspect in the Florida slayings early this year after Owens sent him a letter inquiring about Howell's death and Von Huben's disappearance. In a return letter, Resendiz said he killed a man and teen-age girl and gave investigators information about the slayings.
July 16, 2000 - Zane Floyd - A former Marine was convicted of gunning down four grocery store employees in Las Vegas. The jury took a little more than two hours to find Zane Floyd, 24, guilty of first-degree murder. Floyd also was convicted of the attempted murder of a fifth employee at the Albertson's market, and of raping and kidnapping an escort service dancer at his home before the 1999 attack. The dancer testified that Floyd assaulted her after telling her she was part of his "sick little fantasy."
July 14, 2000 - Branch Davidians - A jury decided today that the government does not bear responsibility for the deaths of 80 Branch Davidians during the cult's 1993 standoff with federal agents. A federal judge will take the ruling into account before delivering the verdict himself sometime later. The five jurors deliberated for just 2* hours in the $675 million wrongful-death lawsuit filed by surviving Branch Davidians and relatives of those who were killed in the standoff.
July 14, 2000 - Ugandan Death Cult - In Kampala, police spokesman Assuman Mugenyi said tthe number of deaths linked to the cult had been revised downward to 778 from 978 because 330 people - not 530 as had been reported - died in Kanungu. The bodies of 448 other victims were found buried in cellars or in the yards of compounds belonging to or rented by cult leaders in other villages and outside Kampala. Mugenyi said police could not exhume all the bodies and have suspended their search. But he said pathologists were still examining victims' remains.
July 13, 2000 - Donte Johnson - Convicted four-time killer Donte Johnson's hopes of avoiding the death penalty were dashed this when District Judge Jeffrey Sobel denied a defense motion for a new trial based on alleged juror misconduct. Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder in Nevada for an August 1998 residential robbery that ended in the deaths of four young men. However, the jurors could not reach a unanimous decision as to whether Johnson deserved the death penalty. According to Nevada law, if a jury cannot decide on handing out the death penalty, then a three-judge panel is supposed to determine the fate of the convict. After the panel decided on the death penalty Johnson's attorneys attacked the constitutionality of such panels. Deputy Special Public Defender Dayvid Figler filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that during discussions with the jurors after the trial, two jurors mentioned that the TV news had erroneously reported that a woman juror was the one who couldn't decide on Johnson's sentence.
July 12, 2000 - Robert Lee Yates - Spokane County sheriff's detectives searched two lockers used by serial killer suspect Robert Lee Yates Jr. when he performed helicopter flights at Fort Lewis near Tacoma. Investigators did not say what evidence, if any, was found. Richard Fasy, Yates' lawyer, said the search was expedited with Yates' consent. "It's my expectation that nothing of evidentiary value was found in the lockers," Fasy said.
July 7, 2000 - Killers on the Loose - Today is the release date of my book in the UK. "Killers on the Loose" is a worldwide look at unsolved cases of serial murder. Those familiar with this web site will recognize several cases in the book that have been featured here in The Morgue and in more detail in the Killers at Large section. Still, there is plenty new information in the book itself. If you want to be the first one in your block to own a copy, you can purchase it right now at www.amazon.co.uk.
July 7, 2000 - Killers on the Loose - Here's an interview that came out in Scotland's Daily Record in conjunction with the release of Killers on the Loose. Thanks to Gary ralston for writing such a great piece.
July 6, 2000 - Juan Pablo Alcala - A man outside Guatemala City shot and killed a security guard, his pregnant wife, and three young children after the guard refused to accept a bribe to cover up the theft of two motorcycles. Juan Pablo Alcala, 39, allegedly tried to bribe 37-year-old Marcelino Chuy at his rural home outside the colonial tourist town of Antigua. Alcala then opened fire when Chuy refused to take the money. Among the dead were Chuy's 29-year-old wife, Maria Luisa Monory, who was eight months pregnant, and their children aged 4, 6 and 18 months. A fourth child, a boy whose age was not released, is said to be in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds. Alcala was charged with five counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
July 5, 2000 - Suspected Roseland Killer - Another body has been found in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago's South Side bringing the grim total to six murdered women in the area over the last two month. All six victims have been black women involved in "high-risk" lifestyles found dead from stab wounds and blows to the head in abandoned buildings. Police have charged one man with one of the slayings and are awaiting DNA results to determine if he could be linked to any of the other killings. Geoffrey Griffin was arrested June 16 and charged with killing 32-year-old Angela Jones. Griffin, at the time of his arrest, was on parole for aggravated battery after trying to burn a woman's eyes with a cigarette lighter after he had sex with her.
Last year authorities announced they were looking for at least four different predators active in the city's South Side. The resulting manhunt netted two serial killers, Ronald Macon and Andre Crawford, who preyed on drug-addicted street women. Two other serial killers preying on crack addicts have been arrested in the same area within the last four years. As of now police are weary of linking any of the new murders to their suspect. With so may sexual predators active in the same area there have been three instances in which one suspect confessed to a killing that was later linked genetically to another suspect. Understandably, they want to avoid any further embarrassment.
July 5, 2000 - John E. Robinson Jr. - Suspected S&M cyber-freak serial killer John Robinson allegedly agreed to pay an associate $50,000 to recruit women for an elite escort service. "I told them I was just a young guy that was a male dancer at the time. The man, who wants to remain anonymous, said he recruited women in topless clubs and gave them Robinson's phone number. One of the recruits was Paula Godfrey who disappeared once she got in touch with Robinson. The man said Godfrey was a good friend of his and he now blames himself for her disappearance. He also claimed that Robinson threatened to kill him when he tried to collect his referral money. Since then, 15 years ago, he severed all ties with the alleged Slavemaster.
July 5, 2000 - Lazarus Mazikane & Kaizer Motshegwa - Two men appeared in a South African court in connection with the murders of 51 people in the Nasrec industrial district in Southern Johannesburg and the Soweto township. Lazarus Mazikane and Kaizer Motshegwa, both 27, were already in custody on unrelated charges when police announced their astonishing body count. "There are 53 cases, of which 51 of the victims were killed," police director Henriette Bester told Reuters. "Of the 51 murder victims, 32 were female, all of whom were raped. Seventeen of the victims were children between the ages of five and eight of whom 11 were girls."
May-June 2000 - Morgue Archives - Previous entries to the Morgue Archives.