Featured

Unexplained Cases: O.J Simpson Murder trial

This is the post excerpt.

Advertisements

The Trial of O.J Simpson: An innocent man or a failed system? 

The double homicide of Nicole Brown Smith and her friend Ron Goldman shocked the world over 20 years ago, and with the recent introduction of shows such American crime story: The people Vs O.J Simpson (Watch here) and Kardashian: The man who saved O.J. Simpson (watch here) the most talked about case of the 90’s found its way back into the limelight. However even after 23 years people still found themselves asking the very same question this time around, did O.J. Simpson murder his ex-wife Nicole Brown Smith and her friend Ron Goldman? Or was he simply an innocent black man framed by a hate fueled system? 

This post will discuss the facts of one of the most publized trials in criminal history, as-well as some suspicsion circumstances that have left people unable to choice a side since the day ‘The Juice” was taken to court.

simpson-slayings
O.J. Simpson and Ex-wife Nicole Brown Smith

A brief history of the marriage of O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Smith

O.J and Nicole met when Nicole was just aged 18 years, and in 1985 the pair married and had two children together. After 7 years the marriage ended in divorce.

Nicole repeatly assussed O.J of domestic abuse, with the police called to their home in a Brentwood total of 9 times before an action was taken against O.J. Nicole claimed that O.J had once thrown her out of a moving car and batten her several times but that police never took action across him due to his fame as 'The Juice". As a result Nicole and her sister took photos of her abused body after an attack carried out by O.J and locked them away should 'the truth' ever need to come out.

Images of the photo’s taken by Nicole and her sister can be found here

The night of the murders of Nicole Brown smith and Ron Goldman:

The facts/ Witness timeline  

On 12th June 1994, Nicole Brown Smith, after threats from ex-husband OJ Simpson, had put her home, in the south-side of Brentwood, up for sale. She was moving on to the next part of her life, a life without involvement of OJ.

akita-inu-800At 10:55pm on 12th June 1994, Steven Schwab, or ‘the dog witness’ as he came to be known, whilst on his usual walking route, happened to pass Nicole Smiths home, and stubble upon a rather distressed Akita. Schwab recalled that he had simply walked past the dog at first, but the dog followed him all the way back to his home. After speaking with his neighbour, Sukru Boztepe, Schwab agreed that the dog should stay at Boztepe’s home till the morning.

However it seemed like the dog had other ideas…

Boztepe stated that the dog became even more restless, appearing to desperately want to leave their home, and so at he and his wife decided to take the Akita for a walk. They allowed for the dog to lead them, but they did not expect what it would lead them too.. The bodies of Nicole Brown Smith and Ronald Goldman. 

Both the Boztepe, his wife, and officers that attended the scene of the crime claimed it was “something straight out of a horror movie” (Back when horror movies were actually horrifying). Ron had clearly been ‘brutally attacked’, whilst Nicole lay in a puddle of her own blood, ‘basically decapitated’. They were believed to have died around 10:15pm.

Nicole’s children, Sydney and Justin, were both asleep inside the house where Nicole’s body was found. The room’s were still candle lit and the bathtub was full, it seemed as though it would be a normal evening in for Nicole that night. Her friend, Ronald, was reportedly there that night dropping glasses off that her mother had left behind at a resturant where he was employed.

The involvement of O.J Simpson/OJ’s timeline

At 10:25pm a Limo driver, Allan Park,  arrived at O.J’s home ‘Rockingham’ to take O.J to the airport. Park claims there was no sign of O.J ready and waiting to go when he arrived, even though his flight was scheduled for 11:45pm (Kind of like went your mum says be ready for 7pm and she’s still in her rollers at 8pm)

At 10:30pm O.J’s friend (and ex-Nanny employed by Nicole) ‘Kato’ who was staying at O.J’s guest house at the time, claimed to hear 3 loud bangs as though someone had jumped over the fence in an attempt to get onto the property.

Between 10:40pm-10:50pm Limo driver Park stated that he buzzed O.J several times with no answer.

At 11:00pm Park claims to have seen a figure, matching O.J’s description, entering O.J’s home then at 11:05pm he buzzed O.J’s intercom again, with O.J finally answering, claiming he had overslept and had not heard the intercom.

Later detective Ron Philips rang O.J to inform him of the death of Nicole, due to the fact he was the father of her children. O.J's first response to hearing the words "Nicole has died" was not "How did she die?" but rather "Who killed her?"Up until this point no mention of a murder had taken place, not to any of Nicole's or Ron's family or to the media so with the fact that O.J jumped straight to the words "who" and "killed" doesn't sit right with alot of people, and one of the key starters in the theory that O.J already knew the answer.

The day of O.J’s arrest/The famous Bronco chase

Upon returning to his Rockingham home, O.J was famously handcuffed in his back garden, in full view of camera’s and taken it for questioning. Many argue that, before any official evidence had been taken, this was the second sign of OJ’s guilt, with his facial expressions whilst being handcuffed appearing put out as oppose to upset.

Was O.J Simpson memly an easy target?

Later O.J’s defence team would argue that the sudden rush to get O.J in handcuffs as soon as he returned showed that the LAPD were quick and unrash when finding someone to blame for the murders. The easier to target to pick up they argued?: An innocent black man.

O.J Facial expressions during his arrest seemed off to some
O.J Facial expressions during his arrest seemed off to some

After 3 hours of questioning O.J was realised with no charge, but after 4 days on 17th June 1994 O.J was charged with two courts of murder for the persons of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Smith.

What followed next would make for one of the most viewed news footage of the 90’s.

The infamous Bronco chase

O.J’s newly appointed Lawyer (after replacing O.J’s original lawyer), Robert Shapiro struck a deal with the LAPD allowing for O.J to self surrender, giving him a few hours to sort a few ‘stuff’ out (Such as the famous Louis Vutton bag which will later be discussed). However when it was time for O.J to turn himself in he refused, making him a declared fugitive and leading to the infamous car chase.

After appealing for witnesses for information as to where about of O.J Simpson it was reported to the LAPD that O.J was in the passage seat of a white Bronco which was driven by his friend Al Cowlings. Cowlings refused to pull the car over stating that O.J had a gun to his own head and was suicidal, leading police to allow for a low-speed car chase that lasted for over 60 miles.

Some surprising facts about the Bronco Chase

  • The Brunco chase was one of the most viewed television pieces in history and came in sixth place for “most impactful televised moment of the last 50 years”
  • Due to O.J’s fame as an NFL player not only was the chase procosted on basically every news channel but also took prime air time on major sports channels, resulting in the NBA finials being procasted on a small screen at the corner of the coverage of the chase.
  • Domino’s pizza reported record high sells levels due to the chase being live on television no body wanted to miss the big event, vice president of Domino’s Tim Mclntyre said that during the time the chase was being procast it was like ‘Superbowl Sunday’

The Phone call and O.J’s suicide note

During the chase Cowlings phoned the LAPD and told them to slow the cars down and move any traffic off the side of the road to try and calm O.J down, tracking the number Cowlings had called on homicide detective Tom Lange requested to speak to O.J via a phone call, O.J accepted. The audio of the phone call was later realised and can be listened to here.

One part it particular that made people question O.J’s involvement in the case was the following piece of audio:

  • Detective Lange: “Nobody’s gonna get hurt”

  • O.J Simpson: “I’m the only one who deserves to get hurt”

  • Detective Lange: “No you do not deserve that”

  • O.J Simpson: “I’m gonna get hurt, all I did was love Nicole, all I did was love her” 

The statement “I’m the only one who deserves to get hurt” suggests O.J felt a form of guilt and a need to be punished for the something.

Rather than turn himself over to the law, O.J decided to take matters into his own hand, leaving behind a suicide note at the home of friend and later Lawyer Robert Kardashian. Some believers of O.J’s guilt argue that O.J was not considering suicide because of the pain he felt for the loss of Nicole but rather to avoid the public scandal and shame of having the inteme details of his abuse towards Nicole confirmed by the trial.

The suicide note however, was possibly an attempt at distracting the LAPD from his whereabouts, as following a search of his car, police found: stage makeup, a fake mustras, OJ’s passport and a gun. Suggesting OJ had plans to flew the country.

The ‘Dream Team’: The Defence

On 25th June 1994, Robert Shapiro, or ‘Bob’ as he would be known on this day, called together a meeting involving America’s top Lawyers;

  1. Robert Kardashian 

Arguably the most heard of name on this list, Kardashian was a lifelong friend of O.J’s and had been with him since his first arrest, but did not officially become part of his legal team till encouraged by Shapiro.

oj_dream_team
O.J Simpson’s ‘Dream Team’

2. F. Lee Bailey 

Bailey’s was the man responsible for one of the key turning events in this case, the cross-examination of LAPD Investigator, Mark Fuhrman.

3. Peter Neufeld 

Neufeld is best known for his discrediting of the blood trail between Nicole’s body and O.J’s car.

4. Carl Douglas 

Considered one of Johnnie Cochrans top lawyer.

Johnnie Cochran was not present at this meeting, and did not become involved in O.J’s legal team until personally asked by O.J himself. However he had spoken publicly on national television about O.J’s innocent.

Through the trail of O.J Simpson, this defence team would become known by both criminal law and the media as ‘the dream team’.

Guilty or not Guilty? The dream Team vs Marcia Clark

After several months of preparation, with various jury members being added and removed, and key witnesses selling their accounts to the media, the trail of O.J Simpson finally began on 24th January 1995, 7 months after Ronald and Nicole’s deaths.

The Trail of O.J Simpson was also the first recorded criminal trial to air on US television, making it a landmark case in terms of the relationship between criminal justice and the media.

Now let’s get into the real part, the suspects…

Suspect 1: 

O.J Simpson 

oj-simpson

Given the title of this blog post, and all of the above, its pretty obvious that O.J Simpson would be top of this list. Bare with me though, because there’s some pretty wild theories/suspects to follow…

Why O.J was guilty

The Timeline:

Nicole and Ronald were believed to have been killed at around 10:15pm, with eyewitness’s (Is the term ‘eye witnesses correct her, when they only saw not heard?) claiming this was when Nicole’s dog began to bark. The prosecution claimed this timing would have given O.J enough time to commit the murders, clean himself up, and return back to his home in time for the Limo Driver, Park, to witness him at 11:00pm. 

It is worth noting however, the O.J ‘provided’ an alibi for his location at this time, claiming him and houseguest Kato had driven to McDonald’s at 10:10pm. Take what you want from that I guess… 

DNA Evidence: 

*Keep in mind that this case took place in 1995, and there was still much doubt about how effective DNA Analysis was*
  • The Glove

Found at the scene of the crime, by LAPD investigator Fuhrman, was a bloody glove. The glove had on it blood stains from three different sources; Ronald Goldman, Nicole Brown and O.J Simpson.

The glove found at the scene of Nicole and Ron’s murders also matched one found later at O.J Simpsons home, next to where Kato had heard three loud bangs. Both gloves had traces of Ronald Goldmans, Nicole Browns and O.J Simpson’s blood.

Prosecutor, Clark, presented to the court a recipe found within Nicole’s home, for a pair of gloves that matched the one’s found at the crime scene and O.J’s house. Whilst Kris Jenner claimed she was with Nicole when she purchased the gloves in question.

O.J also had a cut hand the day the police arrested him. 

Pay attention as the gloves will come to play an important role… 

  •   The Hat

Found at the scene of Nicole and Ron’s murders was a wooly hat, which when examined by DNA Analysis, had fiber’s/hairs on which matched Nicole Brown, Ronald Goldman’s and O.J Simpson’s DNA.

  • Blood Evidence

Upon inspection of O.J’s Rockingham home, investigators found a sock covered in Nicole’s blood. O.J’s shoe size matched with the bloody footprint left outside Nicole’s home.

Nicole Brown’s blood was found in O.J’s driveway, car and bedroom.

Spousal Abuse:

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, O.J had a history of abusing Nicole throughout their marriage. The police were called a total of 9 times to their home before any action was taken, and in 1989 O.J was found guilty of spousal abuse.

Photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts from Nicole’s friends and family confirm O.J’s abuse. Evidence of O.J’s violent past.

The book:

It psychically hurts me that I even have to type this next part

In 2006, O.J Simpson realised a book titled “If I did it”, explaining how, if he had done it, he would have gotten away with it. 

I’m not one for swearing, but ffs is all I have to say about that.

Why O.J was not guilty

As many of you will know, somehow, someway, for some reason, O.J Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Dismissed evidence 

O.J’s defence team, ‘the Dream Team’, with Neufild playing a key part of this, managed to convince the Jury that the DNA evidence was inaccurate, due to its handling by the LAPD.

Neufild claimed evidence had not been bagged properly and had been overheated. He also raised concerns over the fact investigator, Philip Vannatter, had kept evidence in his car overnight. This lead to the Dream Team suggesting the crime scene at Nicole’s home had been contaminated with.

During the trail, the prosecution repeatedly said they did not want O.J Simpson to try the gloves found at the scene of  crime on, as they had been frozen or unfrozen several times throughout the investigation, meaning the size was likely to have changed.

However, the defence had other ideas. 

O.J’s defence team had O.J try on the gloves, and sure enough the gloves did not fit him. Leading to the famous line:

oj
O.J Simpson, smiling whilst trying on ‘the gloves’

“If the gloves do not fit, you must acquit”

An innocent black man

Johnnie Cochran was famous for his Black rights speeches, and a strong believer in institutional racism within the LAPD. Many believe Cochran was approached by Shaprio to help use this theory in favour of O.J’s innocence.

Evidence of institutional racism can be seen within the 1992 battering of Rodney King, a black man battered by LAPD police, whom were not charged with any accounts of assault.

Investigator Fuhrman was the driving focus of racism claims made by the Dream Team. 

The defence claimed Futhrman was a known racist, and during the trial, tapes recorded by a female journalist during an earlier interview with Futhrman were played to the Jury. The tapes shown Futhrman using racist wording more than 40 times, and there was rumours of him being a practising neo-nazi.

The idea that Fuhrman was a clear racist is important, as he alone found the key piece of evidence: the bloody glove. It was with this that the defence appealed to the Jury, made up of 8 black people, 1 hispanic person, 1 white person and 2 people of mixed race, that O.J had been set up by a racism, hate fuelled system. 

*It is worth noting that as a result of the trial, Robert Kardshian broke off his friendship with O.J Simpson, claiming the blood evidence left him uneasy*

o.J and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

CTE is a condition known to effect a large amount of ex-footballers, an occupation in which O.J Simpson filled.

CTE symptoms include:

  • Memory Loss
  • Impaired Judgement
  • Impluse control
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Suicidality

These symptoms create an odd twist on the O.J Simpson case, as impaired judgement and impulse control would perhaps provide a motive, whilst depression and suicdiality would explain the suicide note left behind by O.J.

Suspect 2:

Jason Simpson

jason-simpson

Jason Simpson was the son of O.J Simpson (in case the name didn’t give that away). In William Dear’s book “O.J IS INNOCENT AND I CAN PROVE IT”, Dear suggests that diary entrances by Jason, discussing “using a knife to get rid of the bad parts of his life” (Ronald and Nicole were both stabbed to death) show he was guilty of Nicole’s murder.

Jason had also been arrested only a few weeks prior for attacking his boss with a knife.

However there was no DNA evidence to suggest Jason was ever anywhere near Nicole around the time of her murder.

Suspect 3:

Glen Rogers 

ap_glen_rogers_dm_121120_wg-293x300

Glen Rogers was a convicted serial killer, who’s brother, Clay Rogers, claims that whilst on death row, Glen confessed to him that he had murdered Nicole Brown Smith and Ronald Goldman.

If this is true however, many theorise that O.J Simpson had hired Glen Rogers to frighten Nicole, after she had recently decided to “get him out her life”.

Suspect 4:

An Aryan Cult 

cr9xtumxgae7omu

Within the book “BLOOD OATH: THE CONSPIRACY TO MURDER NICOLE BROWN-SIMPSON” claims that a nero-nazi run cult, with help from Fuhrman, had murdered Nicole in attempt to frame O.J. O.J Simpson was a famous black man, and if he was discredited, perhaps he would come to represent all those from the black community?

This one seems a little far fetched for me, I don’t know.

 

A Finishing Note 

Although O.J Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown-Smith after just 4 hours following the trail, he was later found guilty of their wrongful deaths, and ordered to pay $33.5 million to their families, this money has still not been paid in full.

Whether you believe O.J Simpson’s innocence or not, the fact remains that two innocent friends lost their lives, as a result of someones actions, someone who has never been brought to justice.

Nicole suffered through many years of abuse from O.J, and as she was finally ready to move on to the next part of her life, it was taken away from her. She left behind two young children.

In Memory of Nicole Brown-Smith, and Ronald Goldman

image

Useful Links:

The People Vs O.J Simpson”– An account by Jeffrey Toobin of the O.J Simpson Trial

“If I did it” A book written and realised by O.J Simpson surrounding Nicole Brown-Smith and Ronald Goldman’s deaths

O.J in court– Video Footage of O.J Simpson trying on ‘the gloves’

“His murder trial ruined my life” Marcia Clark reflects on O.J Simpson’s not guilty verdict, 21 years later

O.J Simpson Trial: Where are they now?: A look at the key figures involved in the O.J Simpson trial

 

The exorcism of Emily Rose: Leufier goes to court

We all remember this film don’t we? Whether you were 9 years old watching it past bedtime (unforgettably this was me), or an adult (like an adult adult) The exorcism of Emily Rose is a movie every true horror fan should have, and would have seen, and if not, why in the hell (punny) you wasting time reading this? Go watch it gal.

BUT did you not Emily Rose was in-fact a real women? Sure her name wasn’t Emily Rose,  nor did she actually win an MTV award, but Anneliese Michel, a young girl from Germany, did really undergo over 67 exorcisms and even created the first legal case against the devil himself (an impressive CV), inspiring the 2005 horror classic.

So have a peaked your interest? Do you want to know how one girl was supposedly possessed by six demons at once (No not like that, dirty) or are you currently in the bathroom reading this on your phone? Whatever the reason, you’re here now so why not stay and take a peek… exorcism-of-emily-rose-3 (1)

The girl before ‘Judas’

Born in Klingenberg, Germany, Anneliese Michel was 23 year old student whom had lived her life as a devout Catholic, however, in September 1968, aged just 16 years old, Anneliese experienced her first ‘paranormal’ episode’.

2-Anneliese-Michel-903x1200
Anneliese Michel, a 23 year old student

During this episode Anneliese stated that she had slip into unconsciousness, during which she felt a heavy weight pressing down on her chest, as if she was being pinned to her bed.  Now for those of you who have experienced sleep paralysis you will understand the fear this young girl will have felt during this, however this was merely the start for Anneliese Michel.

Almost a year later, in August 1969, Anneliese experienced a similar episode and so her mother took her to the family Doctor, Dr. Vogt and a Neurologist, Dr. Luthy. Both doctors examined Anneliese, even conducting several brain scans, but found nothing wrong with her. They therefore came to the conclusion (always a good thing to hear when visiting the doctors) that she was suffering from forms of seizures.

Over the next three years Aneeliese would go on to have two more ‘seizures’ as they were now referred to, and was perscribed two separate forms of medication (now pay attention to this part because it’ll come up later, and there will be a pop quiz) Anticonvulsant and Dilantin. On both occasions further brain scans were carried out, but once again doctors found nothing out of the normal in there.

The Paws, with Claws

In May 1973 things began to get even weirder in the Michel household. Anneliese, and her sisters reportedly started hearing knocking sounds, whilst Anneliese would hear a voice on repeat that would “condemn her to hell”

Anneliese-Michel-1043012
A strong Catholic upbringing

Annaliese mother also claims that on one occasion she witnessed her stating at a figure of the ‘Virgin’? Mary with:

“Eyes turned black, jet black, and her hands appeared to have turned into claws, with paws”.

Odd?

In September 1973, whilst visiting Dr. Luthy, Annaliese stated that whilst she had ‘seizures’ she would see six demon like faces appear to her, and that she felt:

“As-though the devil himself was in side her”

I don’t know why but I honestly read that in like a southern american accent? By the grace of God… 

She reported also that she would often sense an odour that smelled of ‘burned feces’, a smell that her family would also claim they too smelt when around her (Tad offensive?).

According to Mrs. Michel when Anneliese told Dr. Luthy this information he advised them to seek the help of a jesuit .  A claim Dr. Luthy always denied. Following this however the family looked for help in religious official, Father Alt.

In November 1973, five years after her first ‘seizure’, Anneliese was reviewed by a Psychiatrist who diagnosed her as “neurotic with possible epilepsy”, following this another Neurologist found she had “epileptic patterns”. Anneliese was taken off any previous medication and switched to Tegretola much stronger drug.

The Spiders and the Fly’s 

Two years following Annaliese’s switch to Tegretol, in July 1975, things in the Michel household began to somewhat resemble a I’m a celebrity, get me out of here! episode. 

Anneliese would reportedly get a maximum of three hours sleep each night, and according to her sisters she would stay up all night like repeating the same prayers over and over. She began eating fly’s and spiders from under the floorboards, and even ‘lifted her own urine off the ground’ (Kind of like me after six hours in POPWORLD).

Anneliese also started to destroy all religious symbols in her home, snapping crucifix’s in half and ruining the holy bible. Her family claims that at this point Anneliese was showing signs of “Superhuman Strength”, examples include on one occasion where she broke an apple in half using her bare hands, and “throwing her sister across the room as-if she was a rag doll”. 

anneliese-michel-family-2
The Michel Family

The Exorcism arrives

In 1975, seven years after Anneliese’s first ‘paranormal episode’, she was visited by a catholic priest named Father Rodewyk. Rodewyk was “Certain Anneliese was possessed by a demon of sorts” (helpful) and after some argument, he had the first exorcism rights on Anneliese approved by the church. On 24th September 1975, aged just 22 years old, Anneliese underwent an exorcism, ‘preformed’ on her by a priest named Father Renz. 

Father Renz allowed some of the exorcism’s to be recorded, and a total of 42 clips were created. These recordings can be found here. Readers/viewers should note these clips are haunting, and I personally do not advice listening to them before bed. 

Within the recordings, the following conversation can be heard between Father Renz and ‘Anneliese’: 

Father Renz: “Why are you here?”

‘Anneliese’: *Growls*

‘Anneliese: “I have the right to be in this woman, I will carry this brat so long, until she croaks, this dumb ass bitch!”

‘Anneliese’: *A demon like scream*

‘Anneliese’: “For us there is no coming back! Never! For all Eternity!” 

Father Renz: “Say your name”

‘Anneliese’: “I, Judas, …and Nero…, and Cain, and Hitler! ….That is five of us”

Father Renz: “Who is the sixth?” 

‘Anneliese’: “We lied about him…”

I don’t know about you guys but it seems odd to me that Judas and Hitler would someone end up in an exorcism together?..

Further to this recording Anneliese also named Valentin Fieishcmann, an excommunicated priest, as one of her processors. Father Alt found this aspect especially odd, as Anneliese “would have no way of knowing about Fieishcmann”. Knowledge of hidden truths is a key element amongst procession according to the catholic church. 

The 67th Exorcism

By May 1976 Anneliese was at her lowest point. She would self-harm by smashing her head against walls, and at one point her family had to tie her down to prevent this. Anneliese at this point refused to eat anything claiming she was:

“Not permitted to eat”

Although Anneliese now weighted under 80 LBS, her “superhuman strength” had grown much stronger. On 30th June 1976 Anneliese refused a doctors visit and had the exorcism rights preformed on her for the 67th time, only this time the only words she uttered were:

“Please, Absolution…”

The Michel family had know placed on faith of Anneliese’s recovery into the exorcisms of Father Renz, however, Anneliese Michel tragically passed away on 1st July 1976, having died from starvation and weighing only 68 LBS at the time.

anneliese3
Anneliese and Friends

The Legal Case of Lucifer

In 1978, following Anneliese tragic passing, her parents Mr. and Mrs. Michel and the two priests whom she had place all hope upon, Father Renz and Father Alt were taken to court accused of ‘negligence’. Below I’ll outline both the defences, and the prosecutions arguments in court:

The position of the defence

As expected, the defence argued from a religious point that Anneliese Michel had been possessed by ‘demons’ and submitted the tape recordings taken during the 67 exorcisms preformed as official evidence. However, although never stated officially, most of the court did not take the tapes seriously and believed them to be fake.

From a non-religious stand point however, the defence argued that Anneliese out of her own free will was permitted to deny any medial treatment offered. It is arguably understandable that Anneliese would have denied medial treatment as, as well all know, medical treatment in the 70s wasn’t the best and could have included tranquilizing and electroshock therapy.

hqdefault
Anneliese and Mother during her last years of life.

Eyewitness Thea Hein, a family friend, stated before the court that before Anneliese’s death she had ‘begged’ to not be given any form of medial attention.

It is important to note that towards the end of Anneliese’s life, Father Alt did seek medial attention. On 30th May, Father Alt brought Anneliese to see Dr. Richard Roth, however Dr. Roth claims that he only agreed to see Anneliese out of “interest” and not as a medial professional. Evidence submitted to the court however shows Dr. Roth stating:

“There is no injection against the devil”

The Autopsy

Despite several doctors diagnosing Anneliese Michel with suffering from  ‘seizures’, an autopsy preformed on Anneliese found her brain was Perfectly healthy with no size of damage that could cause seizures.  Further to this, the autopsy also revealed that no ulcers were found in Anneliese’s stomach, something common amongst those who have suffered from starvation.

The position of the prosecution

The prosecution argued that Anneliese had suffered from psychosis and was not of sound enough mind to protect herself, a job had family had failed to do on her part.

The prosecution completely denied possession as a factor within Anneliese’s death, and submitted evidence suggesting Father Alt showed signs of schizophrenia. Arguably if this were the case this would have played into the ‘fantasy’ of the exorcism rights?

Further to this, the prosecution argued that Anneliese’s medication had successfully suppressed her seizures, but that this suppression had lead to:

“A delusional psychosis associated with epilepsy”

This psychosis, when mixed with the endless exorcisms preformed on Anneliese, had caused her to act and believe that she was processed. To back this up, the prosecution gave eyewitness accounts stating that “Anneliese would often act normal inbetween exorcisms”. BUT Anneliese’s view that “the devil was inside her” predates any medication she was given.

The final vote

In the end, the court ruled in favour of the prosecution, with all four defendants sentenced to six months in prison and a suspension (for Father Renz and Father Alt) of up-to three years and payment for all court costs. The final court statement read:

“Anneliese Michel was unable to make decisions for herself and should have been forced to submit to medial care”

A mental illness or a mental possession?

After researching this case I can say that my heart goes out to Annelise Michel, being a similar age to her I feel sorrow for the future she lost.

I can’t help but wonder though, if the young girl was really actually possessed?, or if she was suffering from a form of mental illness, which if she had lived in today’s age she would have (hopefully) received help for.

I guess the fault here is that her family trusted their guts and sadly put their faith in the wrong people, something which we have all been guilty of. 

If you found this blog post interesting and want to do some more of your own result, below is a list of sources I used when attempting to find the truth of Anneliese Michel…:

“God told us to exorcise my daughter’s demons, I don’t regret her death”- A newspaper article regarding Anneliese’s mother’s views on the exorcisms 

‘True Evil: The tragic life of Anneliese Michel’- A blog post about the years leading up-to Anneliese’s death 

The Exorcism of Emily Rose Trailer– A movie loosely based on the exorcisms of Anneliese Michel 

2-Anneliese-Michel-903x1200
In Memory of Anneliese Michel

 

 

 

Dangerous horror games: Halloween edition

Previous game: Dolly Hide and Seek

*Warning*

The games that will listed throughout these posts have come from the internet, I personally have never tried them none ever will I. I do not know the results of these games so please play at your own risk and in a safe environment.

DO NOT play these games with anyone in the who does not wish to take part in the game or is unaware that the game is in happening.

The Elevator game: A lift to another world

wp-1491161454989

For some of us the pressures of this world can be overwhelming, deadlines, exams, work… it kind of makes you wish you could leave it all behind for a few hours. Well with this game you can, but be careful because a few might just turn into a few centuries...

For fans of the conspiracy theories that surround the death of tourist Elisa Lam this game may sound familiar.

Will you take the risk and enter the Elevator? Be careful not to get trapped..

Players:

1

Requirements:

1 Elevator, that goes at least 10 floors high.

How to play:

Firstly make sure the lift you have chosen to get into is completely empty and on the 1st floor, the game won’t work otherwise.

  1. Press the button for the 4th floor.
  2. When the elevator reaches the 4th floor do not get out. Remain in the elevator and press the button for the 2nd floor.
  3. When you reach the 2nd floor do not get out, press the button for the 6th floor.
  4. When you reach the 6th floor press the button to go back down to the 2nd floor.
  5. When you reach the 2nd floor again press the button for the 10th floor.
  6. When you reach the 10th floor press the button to take you down to the 5th floor.
  7. When you arrive on the 5th floor a young woman may enter the Elevator. Be sure to not look or speak to her, she is from the otherworld and can trap you there.
  8. Press the button for the 1st floor.
  9. The elevator should then begin to travel up towards the 10th floor rather than going down to the 1st. If this happens the game is working, if it simply goes down to the 1st floor make sure to get out on the 1st floor straight away. Dont look back and dont speak until you’re out.
  10. Once you reach the 10th floor you may stay within the elevator or you may chose to get out and explore. If you choose to leave the elevator ignore any attempts from the young woman to get you to stay, do not speak to her, do not look at her.

You will know that you have reached the ‘otherworld’ because you will be completely alone there.

The return trip

If you remained in the elevator during the game:

  1. Press the button for the 1st floor. Keep pressing until the elevator starts to travel down.
  2. Exit as soon as the door open, do not look back, do not speak to anyone until you are out of the building.

If you went exploring:

  1. Make sure the elevator you get into is the same one you left.
  2. Press the buttons in the same order you did in steps 2-8. You should finish on the 5th floor. 
  3. Once at the 5th floor press the button for the 1st floor. The elevator will begin to travel up to the 10th floor, press any button to stop the elevator reaching the 10th floor. Do not allow the elevator to reach the 10th floor. 
  4. When you reach the 1st floor check your surroundings before departing the elevator, if even one thing seems off do not get out. Repeat the steps 2-8 until you feel safe.

Important warnings

  • Once you reach the other world you can check to see if you’re really there by looking out of the window, the only thing you will see is a red light in the distance. 
  • DO NOT leave the building until the game is over
  • DO NOT speak to the woman
  • If at any point you pass out during the game you will likely wake up at home. Make sure to check your surroundings. 

Previous game: Dollys hide and seek 

Dangerous horror games: Halloween edition

Next game: The Elevator to another world

*Warning*

The games that will be listed throughout these posts have come from the internet, I personally have never tried them none ever will I. I do not know the results of these games so please play at your own risk and in a safe environment.

DO NOT play these games with anyone in the who does not wish to take part in the game or is unaware that the game is in happening.

Dolly’s hide and seek

talking-doll

Every wondered what it’d be like to have the chance to play hide and seek with a haunted doll? No me neither. I mean we’ve all had that chilling feeling around dolls haven’t we? That feeling of being watched through those tiny eyes?

Kind of makes you just want to lock the doll away and hide doesn’t it? Only with this game hiding might not be the best idea..

Players

1

Requirements

  • A stuffed doll with Arms and Legs
  • 1 pair of nail clippers
  • A sack of uncooked rice (Rice is known to attach lifeforms)
  • Red thread
  • A sewing needle
  • A knife
  • A bathtub
  • 1 cup of salt water
  • A television
  • A good hiding space
  • Incense

How to play

Stage one 

  1. Using the knife, cut open the doll and remove any stuffing.
  2. Replace the stuffing with uncooked rice.
  3. Cut off a piece of your fingernail and place it inside the doll with the rice.
  4. Using the sewing needle and red thread, stitch the doll closed.
  5. Without snipping the thread, take the remaining length, wrap it around the doll, and tie off the ends.
  6. Fill the bathtub.
  7. Select your hiding place and purify it with incense.
  8. Set up the television in the same room.
  9. Place the cup of salt water and the knife inside the hiding place.
  10. Name the doll (Avoid using your own name or the name of someone you know)

Stage 2 

  1. Start the game at exactly 3am.
  2. Repeat the following phrase to the doll three times: “[Your Name] is the first it.”
  3. Go to the bathroom and place the doll in the bathtub and leave it there.
  4. Turn out all the lights in your house.
  5. Go to your hiding place and switch on the television.
  6. Close your eyes and count to ten.
  7. When you have finished counting, open your eyes, grab your knife and return to the bathroom.
  8. Remove the doll from the bathtub and say the following phrase to it, “I have found you, [Doll’s Name]”
  9. Use your knife to cut the red thread binding the doll.
  10. Say the following phrase to the doll, “You are the next it, [Doll’s Name]”
  11. return the doll to the bathtub.
  12. Quickly return to your hiding place. Remain as silent.

Stage 3 

  1. Take a large mouthful of salt water. Do not swallow it; hold it in your mouth. Keep the cup containing the rest of the salt water in your hand.
  2. Emerge from your hiding place and begin looking for the doll. The doll may not necessarily be in the bathroom where you left it.
  3. When you find the doll, pour the remaining salt water in the cup over it. Expectorate the salt water in your mouth over the doll as well.
  4. Repeat the following phrase to the doll three times: “I win”

Ending the game

Once the game has been completed, allow the doll to dry, then burn it and discard the remains.

Important warnings 

During the course of the game do not attempt to do any of the following:

  • Turn on the lights.
  • Lock any doors.
  • Make unnecessary noise.
  • Leave your house.

Do not play the game with anyone who is unaware the game is happening present in the house.

If the television starts to act up it is a sign that something has entered your house. 

The game must be completed once started. DO NOT attempt to leave the game.

The New Orleans Axe-man: The dark side of the music man

For over 300 years New Orleans has been overrun with stories of witches, voodoo, dark magic and things that generally just go bump in the night. And with the introduction of TV shows such as The originals [Watch here] and American horror story: Coven [Watch here] it looks like New Orleans won’t be losing its magical reputation anytime soon.

Even though Magic is apparently what puts New Orleans on the map, it has a surprising history of unsolved mysteries, one of which is the case of New Orleans very own Boggyman, who many know as ‘The Axe-man of New Orleans”. 

But just who was the man who terrorised an entire state in just a single year? and why did these crimes stop just as soon as they started? Well you’re about to learn an interesting side of the New Orleans crime scene, so lets take a look into the real life case of the Axe-man of New Orleans…

tumblr_mwfpn3tbVe1r0tytoo1_400

The original Axe-Mans background

Between the years 1918-1919 a serial killer, later known as the Axe-man, would be behind the attacks on 12 men and woman and the killings of a further 6.

The Axe-man would appear to only attack of a nighttime whilst his victims were sleeping and, as if that wasn’t creepy enough, he would only ever use items found in his victims household as the murder weapons. This is where the name “The Axe-Man” comes from (so pro tip: Don’t leave an Axe laying around in your home).

The first known attack

On 23rd May 1918 Catherine Maggio and her husband Joseph Maggio were both hit at by an axe several times and later had their throats slit with a shaving razor (Serious Sweeney Todd realness vibes there).

Their bodies would later be found by Josephs two brothers who lived in the same house as them. Both brothers deny hearing anything unusual during the attack and claim nothing was taken from the house hold. This seems a little off to me, that they wouldn’t have heard anything during an attack that brutal?

Both bodies were found in a graphic state; with Joseph suffering injuries all over his body and Catherine being found and quote: “Basically decapitated”.

All that was found at the scene of the crime during police investigation was a bloody axe that belonged to the Maggio’s and Catherine’s and Josephs murders were never solved.

The attacks continue

On 27th June 1918, one month after the first Axe-man attacks, Anna Lowe and Louis Besumer were attacked.

The following morning, on 28th June 1918, they were discovered by a local baker making his morning rounds (How lovely does this town sound I mean a baker delivering breed right to your door? I mean if you overlook all the killing…) 

the-terrible-axeman-of-new-orleans-art-1
Art work taken from the graphic novel ‘The terrible Axe-man of New Orleans’

What is shocking about the Axe-mans second attack is that Louis would actually fully survive the attack and Anna went on to live a further 7 weeks after being repeatedly injured. 

Before her death Anna would tell the police that:

“We were attacked by a large white male with a hatchet axe whilst we were slept”

Just like the first attack the bottom panel of their back door was knocked through and a bloody axe was left at the scene.

The unborn child

On 5th August 1918 the Axe-man would attack once more, the victim being a woman named Mrs. Ed Schneider. 

Mrs Ed Schneider was 9 months pregnant at the time of the Axe-mans attack and was found by her husband an hour after the attack. Mrs Ed Schneider would not only survive the attack herself but the following week went onto deliver her baby (hats off to her).

Again the only odd thing found at the scene of the crime was the fact that the Schneider’s axe was missing from their garden shed. 

Who next?

On 10th August 1918, just 5 days after his previous attack, the Axe-man of New Orleans attacked and killed an 80 year old man named Joseph Romano (Jesus this man has no guilt, first a pregnant woman now an elderly man? I’m not saying there’s a right type of person to kill but my god). 

Joseph was found by his two nieces who heard a loud bang come from upstairs. When they rushed up to check on Joseph they saw a man who they described as: Dark, tall and heavy set, leaning over him.

The media takes over

Obviously the New Orleans press had a filed day over this new unknown serial killer. One paper reported that:

“Armed men are keeping watch over their sleeping families while the police are seeing to solve the mysteries of the Axe attack”

“Extra police are being put to work daily”

Pehapes this was the reason that an axe murder wouldn’t be reported for another 7 months? or was the killer just claiming some of his holiday pay?

What once was shall always be

On 10th March 1919 Rose Cortimiglia and Charles Cortimiglia were attacked in their own home and the Axe-man begin his killings once again.

Rose awoke to see her husband fighting the Axe-man off, however Charles was hit

axe3
List of the New Orleans Axe-mans victims

repeatedly during the fight and became unconscious. The Axe-man then moved on to attack Rose and her two month old daughter Mary Cortimiglia.

Both Charles and Rose recovered from the Axe-mans attack but their daughter Mary tragically died at their home.

Again the Axe owned by the Cortimiglia’s was missing, suggesting that the Axe-man had used it as a murder weapon.

The letters to the press

So here we go again, this unexplainably (excuse the pun) happens every time we have a serial killer that are yet to be caught, anyways;

On 15th March 1919, The Times Picayune (a New Orleans paper) received a letter from someone claiming to be the Axe-man and the man behind the recent killings. The letter is quoted as saying:

“Hell, March 13th 1919”

“Esteemed Mortal: They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether, which surrounds your Earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit, and a fell demon from hottest Hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axe-man”

Further down in the letter the Axe-man goes onto to threaten New Orleans police:

“They have been so utterly stupid so as to assume not only me, but his satanic Majesty”

“But tell them to beware, let them not try to discover what I am for it were better that they never were born than for them to incur the wrath of the Axeman”

I like the way he claimed in his first letter that he was above the status of the Axe-man but he is now literally a few lines down referring to himself as the Axe-man?

The letter then goes onto address the people of New Orleans:

“Undoubtedly you Orleanians think of me as a most horrible murderer, which I am, but I could be much worse if I wanted to”

“At will I could slay thousands of your citizens for I am in close relationship with the angel of death”

Great tinder bio 

The next part of the letter is what I find most disturbing…

“Now, to be exact at 12:15 o’clock (Earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I’m going to pass over New Orleans, in my infinite mercy, I’m going to make a little proposition to the people, here it is:

I am very fond of Jazz Music and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose house a Jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone as a Jazz band going, well then so much the better for the people”

“One thing is for certain, is that those who do not Jazz it on Tuesday night (If there be any) will get the axe.”

Creepy right? I feel like it would be a completely different situation if the Axe-man existed today, every house has to have Taylor Swifts “fearless” on repeat everynight?  

Believe it or not the Axe-mans letter actually seemed to work. Nearly every household in

axemans-jazz
“Don’t scare me papa”

New Orleans that night played Jazz records and those who did’nt have access to a record player stayed in a local pub all night. A song was even created for the night titled “Don’t scare me papa” which you can listen to [here]

On that night not one person was killed.

The Devil strikes again

On 10th August 1919 a man named Steve Boca awoke to find a man with an Axe standing at the end of his bed. The Axe-man attacked Steve just as he awoke and left.

Steve mangered to walk all the way to his friends house and seek help. Steve would survive the Axe-mans attack (He’s not very good at this whole killing thing really is he? 6 out of 18)

In September 1919 a teenage girl named Cyril Amon was attacked by a man with an Axe who had climbed through her window, once again at night.

The circus comes to town

On 27th October 1919 (The day after my birthday oo) Esther (My middle name oo) and Mike Pepitone were attacked.

At around 1am Esther awoke to the sound of her husband screaming, she ran into his bedroom to find not one but two men attacking him. Mike was hit a total of 18 times and died two hours later.

Esther could not give a discribtion of the men as they flew the scene of the crime as soon as they heard her.

The murder weapon used against Mike was a bolt that was typically used to screw down circus tents, it just so happened to be that there was a circus in town just down the road from where the Pepitones lived. Maybe the Axe-man picked it up on his way?

The attack on Esther and Mike Pepitone would be the last known attack of the New Orleans Axe man. 

The suspects

With it being nearly 100 years since the Axe-man of New Orleans finally ended his killing spree there has still never been a formal close to this case. That doesn’t mean that attempts and theories weren’t created to try and answer the question “Just who was the New Orleans Axe-man?”

Theory 1 

Not all the murders were carried out by the Axe-man

mafia
Members of the Italian Mafia, 1920

Many theories on the Internet seem to suggest that the last killing of Mike Pepitone was not actually carried out by the New Orleans Axe-man, but by the Italian Mafia. 

It is believed that the Mafia set out to harm Mike Pepitone Sr family due to him killing a man, their first target was his eldest son Mike Jr Pepitone.

It is also suggested that the attacks on Louis Besumer and Anne Lowe were not acts of the Axe-man and Louis Besumer was actually arrested and charged with the murder of Anne Lowe.

When investigating the murder of Anne Lowe police found that Louis had been writing letters back and fourth in Russian. Before passing away Anne Lowe told police that it was her partner who had attacked her, because she had found out that he was a Nazi spy. The police found Louis to be guilty of being a Nazi spy and the murderer of Anne Lowe. 

However Louis Besumer was later acquitted of all charges, due to the similar aspects of the murder with the works of the Axe-man.

Theory/suspect 2

Joseph Mumfre

After Esther and Mike Pepitone were attacked Esther Pepitone survived the attack but Mike did not. After Mikes death Esther moved to Los Angeles and remarried to a man named Angelo Albano. 

Exactly two years after Mike Pepitones death Esther’s second husband Angelo went missing and was never to be seen again.

Esther recalled that before they had married Angelo had ended business with his partner named Joseph Mumfre. 

On 5th December 1921, two months aftet Angelo had gone missing, Joseph showed up at Esthers home in Los Angeles. He demanded $500 (Alot of money back in 1921) and the jewellery Esther was wearing at the time.

He threatened Esther with the words:

“I will kill you the same way that I killed your husband”

Instead of giving into his requests Esther shoot and killed Joseph Mumfre, right there on her doorstep (#Femalepower).

When begin arrested for shooting Joseph Mumfre, Esther claimed that he was in fact the man she had seen running away from her first husbands body, that he was actually the Axe-man. 

The LAPD noted that there was several forms of evidence linking Joseph and Mike together and linking Joseph to the murder:

  • The LAPD found through investigation that Joseph ran a black mailing gang in New Orleans, the original site of the Axe-Murder
  • The gang run by Joseph only targeted Italians 
  • Almost all of the Axe-mans victims were Italian
  • For 10 years prior to his death Joseph was in and out of prison and his time outside of prison also happened to be the exact times the Axe-man would kill. 

Theory 3

Supernatural creations

show_art_ParanormalWitness_S5

Some theories actually suggest that there is an aspect of supernatural present in the case of the New Orleans Axe-man.

Many people believed that the Axe-man is a supernatural being that can slip through tiny entrances (such as under doors) and become the large figure of a man who looms over his victims bed.

Is this pehapes why Joseph’s two brothers never heard any sound during his murder?

Some believe that the New Orleans Axe-man was inspired by this supernatural create and began copying him in ways.

Despite these theories and many other suggestions being put forward over the last 98 years no one has ever been charged with the murders and attacks carried out by the New Orleans Axe-man.

It is very much likely that the original Axe-man is now no longer with us, however it is also very likely that there wasn’t just one Axe-man, but rather a series of copycat killers. 

Not matter who the Axe-man truly is it is important to note that many people died at his hands or where left scarred for life with the traumatic events he had put them through. Including a new born baby Mary Cortimiglia, and many lost their husbands, wives, sisters and friends during the Axe-mans year of terror. 

In memory of the New Orlean’s Axe-man victims. 

hqdefault (1)

Further sources:

For those who enjoyed this months post on the New Orleans Axe-man and want to learn more about the real life case featured on AHS: Coven here are alist of sources I used during my research:

Does this 1919 photograph appear to show the New Orleans Axe-man?- A Creepypasta article detailing a photograph taken of a New Orleans street that may contain the Axe-man himself

Who’ll be next?- A blog post explaining theories put forward about who the New Orleans Axe man could be

New Orleans Q+A A buzzfeed unsolved post-video explaining theories fans of the show have put forward about the New Orleans Axe-man.

The zodiac killer: The man behind Ted cruise  

Now I’m sure you’ve heard of the classic rhyme that quite possibly lead to the suspect in one of the biggest murder cases in the world being found? The one that goes a little like this:

Roses are red, Michael Jackson sang thriller… Ted cruise is the zodiac killer?

No? Well it turns out that this is actually a real theory, in-fact this theory is so real it lead to 38% of Florida Voters voting against having Ted Cruz run for the republican candidate in the most recent election.

giphy (4)
President Donald Trump eating pizza from the crust down

Because you know who wants a menacing serial killers as their president? Not Florida, you go Florida. 

In all honesty though is having a man that eats pizza like this really any better? (Example A to the left)

Now i’m not saying that the 38% of Florida voters are wrong but… the likelyhood is that Ted Cruz is just not the zodiac killer, (mainly because the zodiac killer first killed in 1968 and Ted Cruz wasn’t born till 1970, but that’s a whole other theory) and so before you continue to read this blog post on who exactly the zodiac killer might be I politely ask you to completely remove the name Ted Cruz and all his involvement with the zodiac killer out of your head (I see you wondering, stop that)

Now let’s get into the real theory of just who the zodiac killer is, but before one start I have one last thing..

1455915773-cruz-zodiac
Side by side of Ted Cruz and the zodiac killer

Just what is a zodiac killer?

During the late 60’s and early 70’s a killer who would later be self-named ‘the zodiac killer’ created an extreme state of fear and endangerment in North California, killing a minimum of 5 people and claiming to have killed up to 37 other people.

The first known movements of the Zodiac Killer

On 20th December 1968 at a empty car-park in Vallejo, California, David Faraday, aged 17 and Betty Jensen, aged 16, were shot at whilst sitting in their car, (this very event inspired the classic horror movie scenes of teens alone in a car-park for many years to come).

Police arrived at the scene of the crime to find that Betty was lying dead on the floor around 30 feet away from the car (suggesting she attempted to escape the killer) but David was found to have survived the attack, however he would later die on the way to the hospital. Due to the fact that this was the first murder in the chain no-body knew that the shooting of David and Betty was the work of a serial killer, let alone the work of the Zodiac. And so the Zodiac killer had moved his first chess piece in the game of life and death.

The series begins

On 4th July (The day we very kindly let America rule themselves, and look how that turned out) 1969, in blue rock springs park, the zodiac killer shot at Darlene Ferrin, aged 22 and Michael Mageau, aged 19, making them his second known targets.

At around 12am Darlene and Michael were sat in a parked car just a few minutes away from the scene of the first murder, again they were alone in an empty car park when the zodiac approached them with a flashlight, a few seconds later he opened fire on the couple. The zodiac killer then walked away but for some unknown reason turned back around and shot at them both again. Both Darlene and Michael were found alive but Darlene would later die from her injuries.

6666627013557330084
Young victims Darlene Ferran and Michael mageau

When later interviewed by police Michael gave a discription of what he saw the killer to look like:

  • 26-30 year old Male
  • White
  • 5’8
  • Stocky
  • 200 LBS +
  • Light curly brown hair
  • Rounded face

Now keep this description in mind for later on in the post 

The unknown phone call

Within an hour after finding Darlene and Michael a phone call was put through to the police from a man claiming to by the shooter  of the couple and the previous couple the year before, the man didn’t go by the name ‘The zodiac killer’ yet.

The Letters by a killer

I don't know what it is about serial killers and letters to the press but according to my last two blog posts apparently its a thing. Like maybe they have to pass a certain number of anonymous letters on to get their brownie badge in serial murder? Do US news-outlets have a special address just for these letters? I don't know but it seems a pretty unrealistic action for someone wanting to remain unfound, but it obviously works otherwise their story wouldn't be getting featured on an 'Unsolved mysteries' blog.

On 1st August 1969, nearly one month after the zodiacs second shooting, the San Francisco chronicle, The San Francisco examiner and the Vallejo times (the local town newspaper) all received hand written letters from someone claiming to be the the killer behind the recent teen murders.

Within the letters very specific details about the crimes were given along side the quote:

“I shall state some facts that only I + the police know”

This was to show that it was deferentially the killer who was the author of these letters and not someone looking for a get rich quick scam.

0NfJq8S018RHDa3Lh
‘Zodiac mark’

The letters were signed with a mark rather than a name, a circle with a cross that would later become known as the sign of the zodiac killer.

Zodiac codes

Also included in the letters were three different codes that the killer requested be published in all three newsletters or else he would kill again. The killer claimed that if the codes were somehow cracked they would revel his identity.

340-symbol-cypher-code
Copy of one of the Zodiac codes

On the 4th August another letter was sent to all three news letters. The letter started with the opening:

“This is the zodiac speaking”

This was in fact the first time the killer had referred to himself as ‘the zodiac’.

On 8th August 1969 the code was cracked by a couple, who interpreted the code as followed:

“I like killing because it is so much fun, it is more fun than killing wild game in the forest because man is the most dangerous animal of all to kill. Something gives me the most thrilling experience, it is even better than getting your rocks off with a girl. The best part of it is that when I die I will be reborn in paradise and those who I have killed will become my slaves”

I will not give you my name because you will try to slow down or stop my collecting of slaves for the afterlife”

“Killing is better than getting my rocks off” comes in close second of “things worst than having a serial killer as your president”. 

The Lake Berryessa murders

on 27th September 1969 in Napa, California, a young couple named Cecelia Shepard, aged 22 years, and Bryan Hartnell, aged 20 years were attacked and stabbed by the zodiac killer whilst out at Lake Berryessa.

The couple were enjoying a picnic by the lakes edge when Cecelia noticed a man hiding

Lake_Berryessa_Suspect_Police_Sketch (1)
Zodiac Killer police sketch

behind a tree and watching the couple. After several minutes the man came out from the tree and started walking towards them. The man was described as wearing an executioner style mask, along with a zodiac killer symbol on his chest (But like this might just be me but at that point I would have gotten the hell out of there). The zodiac then preceded to tie both Cecelia and Bryan up and stab them several times.

Cecelia would later die from her injuries but Bryan, despite being stabbed 6 times in the back, lived. Bryan once recovered was able to describe the man who attacked both him and Cecelia as:

  • Big boned
  • 225-250 LBS
  • 5’8-6
  • Dark brown hair (that he had seen through the eye holes in the mask

The message upon the car

When the police came to inspect the scene of the crime, they found a handwritten message on the side of Bryan’s car. The note contained the dates of all three of the previous murders and was signed with the zodiac symbol once again. The words “by knife” were in bold below the attack on Cecelia and Bryan. 

The killer taxi

On 11th October 1969 at 10pm in San Francisco a taxi driver named Paul Stine was shot in the back of the head by someone sitting in the passenger seat of his taxi.

Once the gun shot was fired a young girl, along with several other witnesses heard the nose and went to inspect what had happened. The girl claims to have looked out of her window and saw a man whiping down the taxi and walking away. The young girl phoned the police and descibed the man as:

  • White male
  • 25-30 years old
  • 5’8-5’9
  • Big built
  • Brown hair
  • Glasses

As you can see this very clearly matches the previous discriptions of the zodiac killer. 

The wrong man

A little after the attack on the taxi driver a nearby police car received a call explaining what he happened and set off to the scene of the crime. However on the way to the crime scene the police pulled over and incorrectly arreasted an African-American male on susption of being the zodiac killer.

Now I've said it once, and ill say it again, the police force in the US isn't exactly the most on point police force but this just tips the ice berk. How and why would you arrest an African-American man when serveral different wittnesses had repeatly stated that the man believed to be the zodiac killer was white? 

Not only did officers Donald Fouke and Eric Zelms wrongly identity the African-American male, but they would come across the suspected zodiac killer and allow him to walk free.  

Whilst driving Fouke and Zelms came across a man who they described as:

  • White
  • 175 LBS
  • 5’10
  • 35-40 years old
  • Reddish hair
  • Glasses

This as you will notice is very similar to the other deciptions given by wittnesses. However because Fouk and Zelms were told to be aware of an African-American man they simply didnt flag up the possible zodiac killer that was right infront of them. Later the Zodiac killer would mention the two officers in his open letter, making it very very likely that the white man that Fouk and Zelms saw was infact the zodiac killer.

The bloody fingerprint

When conducting their search of the taxi belonging to Paul Stine police found a bloody fingerprint that was thought to be a match to the zodiac killer. However in one of his handwritten letters the zodiac states that he left behind fake clues to throw the police off. To me this is starting to sound like some sort of game to the zodiac killer, like he knows he can never actually be found, I mean he literally murdered someone in broad day light?

The letter for a taxi driver

shirt
Piece of Stines blood stained shirt

Two days after the murder of taxi driver Paul Stine the San Francisco Chronicle recieved yet another letter from the zodiac killer, only this time he claimed responsibility for the killing of ‘the cab driver’.

Attached to the letter was a piece of Stine’s blood stained shirt. To further add to this the letter included the words:

“School children make nice targets. I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the front tire and pick off all the kiddies as they come bouning out”

Further down in the same letter the zodiac placed digrams of bombs he had designed that could be used on buses.

My name is ‘blank’

On 20th April 1970, two years after the zodiac’s first known killing, the San Francisco chroncile recieved a letter which started off with a the words “My name is blank” and a cipher (Cipher=code) attached. The zodiac carried on sending letters for a further year but would for some reason stop in 1971. Then 3 years later in 1974 the zodiac sent his very last letter.

In the final letter the zodiac claims to have killed up to 37 more people in the past 3 years. Then as-if this guy/gal couldnt get anymore weird, they oddly include a review on the movie ‘The exorcist” quoting:

“I think the exorcist was the best saterical comdy I have ever seen”

18 years on

In 2002, 18 years after the zodiac’s last letter, the LA police were able to gain a genetic profile from a stamp left on one of the zodiacs letters. The profile was found to me unable to identity one single person but did help in ruling out certain genetic groups.

The suspects

So now with over 49 years worth of investigating lets take a look at the portial suspects the LA police department have found over the years:

Suspect 1:

Arthur Leigh Allen

images

The theory that Allen could be the zodiac killer was put forward first by Robert Graysmith and this very theory was in fact the one that inspired the 2007 film Zodiac (which i’m sure die hard Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo fans will have seen). After 10 years of personal research Graysmith wrote two books on the possible zodiac killer, which will be included down below.

On the day of the third zodiac killing at Lake Berrynessa in 1969 Allen told his family he was going scuba diving that day at the very same Lake Berrynessa. Later that day he returned home covered in blood and a bloody knife left behind in his car (remember the young couple were tired and stabbed repeatedly).

In 1971, two years after the Lake Berrynessa attack, a friend of Allens named Don Cheney stated that Allen refereed to himself as ‘the zodiac’ before the killer had even mentioned it. Cheney swears that Allen mentioned to him a number of occasions that he was planning to hunt people with a gun and a flashlight (Don seriously? End the friendship, call the police??) 

Due to new evidence coming forward the police interviewed Allen a second time. In this second interview Allen would state that:

“His favourite book is the most dangerous game”

The dangerous game is actually a book about a man who hunted humans and a book that was mentioned in the zodiac’s first letter.

During the interview Allen was seen to be wearing a watch with the exact symbol the zodiac killer had previously used.

The police then went on to search Allen’s home and found some really doddy stuff:

  • Bloody Knifes
  • Dead animals kept in the freezer
  • sexual devices 

However no evidence linking Allen directly to the zodiac murders was found.

In 1974 Allen was arrested for Child abuse and spent 3 years in prison. Could this possibly explain why no more zodiac letters were written after 1974? 

In 1987 an inmate who had spent time with Allen during his prison years states that Allen admitted to him that he was the one who had killed the taxi driver Paul Stines.

In 1991 local detective George Bawart interviewed Michael Mageau, the man who had lived from the second zodiac attack. Most importantly Mageau saw the zodiac without his mask on. When Bawart showed Mageau a line up of photos of possible zodiac kilelr Mageau picked out the man who shot him, it was Allen. 

After this police decide to search Allen’s home again to try and find some link between him and the zodiac. This time they did find:

  • Plans for bombs
  • finished bombs
  • Tapes about the zodiac killer 

They take him in for yet another interview and Allen says he knows nothing. What is odd here is that the zodiac often talked about bombs and sent in plans for bombs that matched Allens.

In 1992 Allen passed away from a heart attack. 

Suspect 2

Earl Van Best Jr

earl

The theory that Earl Van Best Jr was the real zodiac killer was put forward by his own son Gary Stewart in which he discusses his theory in his book ‘The most dangerous animal of all’

Stewart’s first warning sign was the likeness between Van Best and the police sketch released of the zodiac killer.

14-zodiac-killer.w710.h473
Image of Van Best next to Police artist sketch

Stewart noted that the name Earl Van Best Jr contained the same number of letters as the zodiac had written in the ‘My name is blank’ letter.

Furthermore Stewart hired a handwriting expert to look over the zodiacs letters and compare them with his farthers handwriting. The expert came to the result that he was ‘99.9% certain that the handwriting on both letters came from the same person’.

However it is important to note that the handwriting that the expert compared came from Van Best’s marriage licence, which is typically signed by the priest present and so may not have been Van Best’s actual handwriting.

Suspect 3

Lawrence Kane Kaye l-cane

The theory that Lawrence Kane Kaye was the man behind the zodiac killings came from retired police officer Harvey Hines.

In 1962 Kaye was in a car crash that resulted in a brain injury that effected his behaviour and doctors working with Kaye quoted that he was:

“Losing the ablity to control self-gratification”

Furthermore to this the name ‘Kane’ can be seen in the My name is letter.

The second victim, Darlene, had a sister who stated that Kaye had stalked and harrashed Darlene in the weeks leading up to her death.

Kaye lived just a 5 minute walk away from the location in which the taxi driver Paul Stine had picked up his killer. Police officers working on the case also state that Kaye has been placed at several of the locations in which the killings took place.

In 1970 Kaye moved to south lake tahoe were another zodiac killer was believed to be attacked. A woman named Donna Lass, who worked at the same hotel as Kaye, disappeared and was never found. This again places Kaye at the scene of a zodiac attack.

This however was not the only involvement Kaye had with a zodiac victim.

In March 1970 on highway 132 a woman named Kathleen Johns and her baby were tricked into riding in a car with the zodiac killer himself. Once she entered the car the zodiac told Johns he was going to kill her and her child. Johns jumped out of the car and ran away from the zodiac killer with her baby. This is a confirmed zodiac case due to the zodiac quoting in one of his letters:

“Now I have a little list, starting with the woman with the baby that I gave a rather interesting ride too”

When shown a line up of possible attackers, Johns went straight to Kaye, after having face time with the actual zodiac killer.

The man never found

So it has now been 49 years since the first known zodiac killing of Betty Jensen and in that time many theory’s have been put forward. Could Arthur Leigh Allen be the man behind these brutal attacks? or was he just a crazed zodiac fan? What about Lawrence Kane Kaye, was he the 1970’s joker or was he just a man in the wrong place at the wrong time? 

Whoever the killer may be we can hopefully believe that he has either ‘finished his collecting of slaves’ or his collecting was ended by nature. It is important to remember that this man/woman did kill many people, who could have been someones family member or friend, and created a state of fear throughout the US. No one man should ever have that power but sadly the likelihood is that this will forever stay an unsolved mystery. 

Interesting sources: 

If you enjoyed this post about the zodiac killer then you might enjoy some of the following resources I came across during my research or mentioned throughout the post:

6359417675848954311928865305_IMG_3082

The oddly perfect disappearance of D.B. Cooper

Supernatural or Super agents?

So I’m guessing that if you’re recently just opened up a link to this page then you’re here for one of two reasons:

  • You’re either a very sleep deprived person who’s awake at 3am scrolling through ‘that part of the internet’
  • or
  • You’re here to learn about one of the famous unsolved cases taken on by the FBI, that involved both the hijacking of a plane, robbery of government money and a person who by all accounts vanished from existence, the case of D.B Cooper.

whatever your reason for being here is, you’re here now so you might as-well stay a while, and maybe even read on..

giphy (2)

The hijacking of the D.B. Cooper air-plane

On 24th November 1971 a man booked onto a flight on northwest orient airlines under the name ‘Dan Cooper’ to Seattle, Washington. Once on board the flight fellow passages described as Cooper as being around middle age, wearing a smart business suite, a black overcoat and a black tie (so typical 1950’s gangster really, nothing unusual there?) Cooper was also noted to be carrying a brief case and a large paper bag. Cooper took the seat of 18C.

The first warning note

At 3:00pm just after the plane had taken off, Cooper handed a handwritten note to the air-hostess (now correct me if i’m wrong in the comments below but the correct term is air-hostess right? or flight assistant?) Obviously trying to get on with her job the air-hostess simply put the note in her pocket, but Cooper then quoted to her:

“Miss you better look at that note, I have a bomb”

Cooper told the air-hostess to sit next to him and opened his brief case to show her what would appear to be a bomb. Cooper then asked the air-hostess to write down the following requests and take them to the caption:

“I want $200000 by 5pm, in cash and all made up of $20 notes. I want the cash put in a backpack with two back parachutes and two front parachutes. When we land a want a fuel truck ready to refuel the plane. No funny stuff or I’ll do the job”

Now what strikes me as odd right away is the request to have the money all in $20 bills? Surely that would just be inconvenient for Cooper?

The flight landed at its destination of Seattle and Cooper allowed the passengers off the plane in exchange for the parachutes and money he had requested.

The hijacking of the D.B Cooper flight Part 2

Cooper requested that he could keep some of the crew members on bored and had the plane begin a flight to Mexico city, adding the request that the plane stayed below 10000 feet, this information will later become interesting.

About half way through the flight Cooper put on a dark pair of blackout glasses. These particular glasses would become a famous trademark of D.B Cooper as they were later drawn by a police artist in an attempt to find the hijacker and so forever a sign of a mysterious agent. Along side this Cooper removed a clip on tie he was wearing, which would later lead to some form of DNA evidence being found.

3-26-db-cooper
Police artist’s sketch of what is believed to be ‘Dan Cooper’

At 8pm when the plane was nearing Reno, Nevada, just over half way through its journey, Cooper jumped out of very back door with the money and two of the parachutes.

One thing worth noting here is that although Cooper had set the plane on course for Mexico city, the pilot of the flight told the FBI that he had personally chosen the route in which the flight would take. This meant that because Cooper jumped out half way through the flight he quite possibly had no clue where he was going to land.

Despite this Dan Cooper was never to be seen again, even after 46 years. 

The endless search for ‘Dan Cooper’: The Norjak effect

After successfully hijacking a private airlines plane and stealing $200000 from the government Dan Cooper had realistically gotten away with the perfect crime, but for every perfect crime there is, there is some form, be it strong or not, of FBI investigation under way.

Fun Fact:
The investigate for the man who claimed to be Dan Cooper was named 
Norjak which stood for northwest hijacking

The first step the FBI took was for once the most logical one as they searched the hijacked plane. On bored the plane the FBI found that Cooper had removed his clip on tie. Now this to me is the first disappointing thing about the now almost perfect crime for the following two reasons:

  1. Firstly, why would someone who up until this point appeared to have every detail under control leave something behind that could clearly have DNA evidence all over it?
  2. Why would someone dressed as cool and hipster as Dan Cooper appeared to be have a clip on tie, can a grown man not tie his own tie? Did he not attend a public high school?

The interest in $20 bills

The second move the FBI took was to realise the serial numbers of the $20 bills handed over to Cooper, this meant that the FBI could trace the bills whenever they were flagged up. One small problem with this however was that as we all know, money goes fast, (especially on tequila Thursday’s) travelling between tens of people in possibly one day and lets be real who actually checks the serial numbers on these things?

Unbelievably however in 1980, 9 years after Cooper had escaped, a young boy came across rotting package just like the one Cooper was discibed as having during the hijacking. Within the package were $20 bills adding upto $5,800 that marched the serial numbers realised by the FBI.

The bag was found by the boy on a beach in Tina Bar. One theory put forward by the conspiracy theory community is that when Cooper jumped from the plane the bag fell into the Washougal River and travelled down  to the Tina Bar.

CX001_013-00003
The Washougal river, where the stolen money stayed for nine years

To me it seems odd that only $5,800 would be left behind in the bag if it had fallen into the river. It seems odd to be that there would be a random $5,800 left in the bag anyway really? and $5,800 seems like a perfect number? 

The finding of the money would eventually lead to nothing however as the FBI conducted a full search of the surrounding beaches and find no more of the original $20 bills (should have kept the money kid) 

The press letters

In 1972, one year after D.B Cooper had hijacked the plane, letters were sent to serval newspaper outlets across the US, including the likes of the new York times and Washington post. Along side the newspapers copies of the letters were sent directly to the FBI. The letters were sent every few weeks and would always be related to one of the following subjects:

  1. The author would claim to be ‘Dan Cooper’ and confess to the hijacking and the theft of government money
  2. A eulogy written for a recently deceased Dan Cooper 
  3. The author would claim to be the brother of Dan Cooper 

Eventually in November of the same year two men named Donald Murphy and William Lewis were arrested over claims that they were the authors of the D.B Cooper letters.  They would later be charged with extortion for impersonating Dan Cooper and trying to sell ‘their’ story for quick cash (So if there’s any desperiate students reading this I’m not encouraging you to pretend to be Jack the ripper, but…)

Fun Fact:
The initials D.B have no relation to the original case. The FBI isn't sure 
where they came from and how they became attached to the case.

The endless investigation

Within the first five years of the original FBI investigation over 796 suspects from all across the US were looked into, with only 24 ever being investigated further. The investigation moved forward and the FBI were running out of suspects, and time.

It is important to note that although the FBI didn’t have mountains of evidence against D.B Cooper the evidence they did infact have was very strong. The forscintic artists portat of Cooper is supposely very accurate, as it was taken from the accounts of two flight attendants who spent two whole hours with him and were later interviewed seperatly. In the account the flight assesstants decibed Cooper as being:

DBCooper
Artists portrait of the suspected D.B Cooper
  •  5’10-6 foot 
  •  170-180 LSB
  •  Early to mid 40s 
  •  Brown eyes 

People whom saw Cooper when on the ground gave nearly the very same description.

Running out of time

Originally the charge put against D.B Cooper was air piracy, which had a limit of 5 years, meaning that as time went on the FBI would no longer be able to charge Cooper on any accounts. It was later decided that if Cooper should ever be found (and at this point it was looking like a big if) charges of breaking the HOBS act would be brought against him. The HOBS act was a charge relating to violent theft and had no stature of limitations, meaning that if by some chance Cooper was still alive (spoiler alert) he would be charged with the crime, even though the FBI has closed the Norjack Case.

So who exactly was D.B Cooper, or who exactly is D.B Cooper?

Suspect 1:

Richard McCoy

tumblr_inline_mmrjap5egQ1qz4rgp

Richard McCoys involement in the D.B Cooper case first became popular through the book “D.B Cooper: The real McCoy” (available here)  written by former FBI agents Russell Calame and Bernie Rhodes.

In April 1972, five months after the D.B Cooper hijacking, Richard McCoy was arrested for hijacking a plane. When examining the heist conducted by McCoy, Calame and Rhodes noticed some oddly similar aspects to the heist conducted by Cooper. The former FBI agents noted that:

  1. In both cases Cooper and McCoy both hijacked a Boeing 727, the same make of plane.
  2. Both Cooper and McCoy parachuted from the rear end of the plane.
  3. Both Cooper and McCoy requested four parachutes.
  4. Both men handed notes to the air-hostess claiming to have a bomb, with both the notes using the line “No funny stuff” 
  5. Both remained unusually claim during the hijacking

Another fact from both crimes that Calame and Rhodes found linked the two together, and to McCoy, was the fact that both crimes took place during the term breaks of Brigham Young University, where McCoy was a student. 

Calame and and Rhodes stated that members of McCoy’s family identified an object that was found on bored the D.B Cooper flight after the Hijacking. What is odd about this is that that particular object was never publicly announced, so there was no way for the McCoy family to have known it was on bored both flights.

Yet despite Calame and Rhodes attempts to charge McCoy with the D.B Cooper hijacking the FBI ruled McCoy out completely, mainly due to the fact he did not match the forsenic artists portrait of Cooper (see image above). Nevertheless McCoy was charged with the hijacking of a plane and sentenced to 45 years in prison, he would later die from gun shot wounds fired at him during his escape attempt.

Suspect 2:

Duane Weber

duane-weber-1977-pink-w-sunglasses

On his death bed a man named Duane Weber claimed to be the famous D.B Cooper. Upon his death bed his wife Jo quoted him as saying:

“I have a secret to tell you, I am Dan Cooper”

Later his wife Jo became keen to uncover the truth about who Dan Cooper was. She recalled that during their marriage Weber would often have nightmares of leaving finger prints behind on a plane, and that he had previously told her that his bad knee was due to an injury he had when jumping out of a plane (Sorry Jo but did you not find that slightly odd?). 

Panorama
Side by Side image of ‘D.B Cooper’ and a young Duane Weber

Alongside this Jo discovered that her husband Duane Weber had had another identity of ‘John Collins’. During the FBI’s original investigation one of their main suspects was a man named John Collins, whom had checked into a hotel near the airport where the hijacked plane took off from the night before the hijacking. 

The final piece of evidence Jo put forward as to why she believes her husband, Duane Weber, really was Dan Cooper was the fact that he kept an old northwest orient airlines ticket on him, and never told anyone why (Maybe he just kept it around for scarp booking days?)

Suspect 3:

Kenneth Christiansen

7074782_f260

Kenneth Christiansen was first put forward as a suspect in the D.B Cooper search by his brother Lyne Christiansen after seeing an episode of ‘unsolved mysteries’ based on the D.B Cooper hijacking [Watch here] and became convenced that his brother was in fact the real Dan Cooper.

Kenneth was a flight purser for northwest orient airlines, the same airlines that owned the plane D.B Cooper hijacked, which supports one conspicy theory that suggests the hijacking was an inside job. This also meant he would have known the security and workings of the airlines and use this against them. 

Shortly after the crime took place Lyne states that Kenneth recently came into a lot of money somehow and bought a new house.

Another supporter of the idea of Kenneth Christiansen being the real D.B Cooper is the author of the book “SKYJACK: The hunt for D.B Cooper” [available here] Geoffrey Grey. Grey collected several forms of evidence against Kenneth Christiansen but one particualr that stands out is that when he showed a photo of Kenneth to the flight assistant who spent 2 hours on bored the plane with ‘Dan Cooper’ she agreed that out of all the suspects she had been shown Kenneth was the closest to Dan Cooper.

Yet oddly once again the FBI completely ruled out Kenneth Christiansen on the basicis that he didn’t match the descpition given by the flight assistant, the very air assistant who had just stated that Kenneth was the closest match yet? To me that seems like a bit of mix up? or cover up?

However this was not the only reason the FBI discredited Kenneth as a suspect. Kenneth was a qualified paratrooper just after WWII, and the FBI strongly believed that Dan Cooper was not an experienced jumper. This will later be discussed in the theory section of this post.

Suspect 4 

Lynne Cooper

Lynn Cooper is the latest suspect for the impersonator of D.B Cooper and was brought forward by his niece, Marla Cooper in 2009.

When she was eight years old in 1971, Marla claims that early Thanksgiving morning (the day after the hijacking) her uncles Lynn Doyle and Dewey Doyle arrived at her Nan’s house in Oregan, with Lynn being seen to be hurt and bloody and unable to get out of the car.

She quotes that once in the house her two uncles talked about hijacking an air-plane and that “their money troubles were over”

A Settle Bureau’s public information officer also told a journalist that the idea of Lynn Cooper actually being D.B Cooper is the most promising yet. 

 

Did Dan Cooper ever become D.B Cooper?

Now one thing we know for certain in the case of D.B Cooper, is that Dan Cooper was never seen again after jumping from his hijacked plane. With all the strong evidence and witnesses the FBI had it seems wrong that they would never find this man again, even after 46 years. Could it be possible that there was never any Dan Cooper for the FBI to find? That the man who had jumped from the plane that night had not infact surviced the fall? One theory put forward by special Agent Larry Carr suggests so.

Carr is quoted as saying the following when taking over the case in 2007:
“We originally thought Cooper was an experienced Jumper, Perhaps even a paratrooper. We conculuded after a few years that this was simply not true”
To support his theory that Dan Cooper was not an experienced jumper Carr pointed out certain details that didn’t make sense from the case:

 

Cooper jumped carrying two parachutes, however, only one of them was a functioning chute. The other was a training chute that was sewn shut.

Furthermore, the shoot that was functional was a military chute that was not deemed steerable.

They had given him basically unusable para-shoots. 

After reviewing these details Carr also noted serval other aspects that seemed ‘off’ and quoted the following:

“No experienced parachutist would have jumped in the pitch black night, in the rain, with a 200 mile an hour wind in his face, wearing loafers and a trench coat,” 

This doesn’t seem to suggest that Dan Cooper died in the fall, only that he was not an experienced jumper however there are certain reasons put forward by Carr as to why a non-experienced Jumper would not survive the fall:
Cooper had jumped into a wooded area at night, and due to a cloud cover at 5,000 feet there would have been no visibility of the ground. Meaning Cooper would have no clue if he was about to hit a tree or rocks.
However this theory is not fully supported as no body or even blood on the tree, was ever found of Dan Cooper, and so can’t be proven in anyway.

The open closed case

Now there are many, many, many more theories as to just who the real D.B Cooper might actually have been, with theories ranging from the above to others suggesting that Cooper may have even been a woman. Yet still after 46 years the case remains unsolved and Dan Cooper for all we know may be sitting next to you on the bus right now…

The case was officially closed by the FBI in 2016 after 45 years of investigating, but the FBI are still in fact open to hearing leads that may help solve just who D.B Cooper is. 

So maybe the lesson here is that if you really did commit the perfect crime, you’d never actually be able to take credit for it, and is that worth $20,0000? Dan Cooper appears to think so (apparently social media likes don’t mean anything to this man)

and if you’re reading this D.B Cooper I have one question: Have you never heard of ‘How to tie a tie’ YouTube tutorials? 

giphy (3)

 

Further reads:

If this case interested you at all and you want to know a little more here are some useful sources I came across in my research:

Unsolved Mysteries with Dennis Farina: The episode of Unsolved Mysteries based on D.B Cooper, and the very one Lyne Christiansen happened upon!

SKYJACK: The hunt for D. B. Cooper: A book by Geoffrey Grey are who the real D.B Cooper could be

Suspects in the DB Cooper Skyjacking: A blog post by Bruce A Smith on a list of suspects put forward in Nijack

Elizabeth Short: The real American Horror story

It’s no secret that the thriller television series American Horror story has left many of us gasping at our screens during, what I lightly call, the brutal and gory murder scenes. However what many of you who are just now reading this may not know is that certain events that take place during the shows 6 seasons are in fact based upon actual real life crimes. Whilst Murphy uses the classic “based on true events” gig to draw viewers in, the story lines are often short lived and left behind, one particular example of this is the character of Elizabeth Short, otherwise known as ‘The Black Dahlia’.

The Black Dahlia was a deceased woman who’s body was found with a smile permanently cut upon her face and her body perfectly split in half, in fact it was too perfectly. Taken in by the old Hollywood glamour appeal of the case I decided to do further research and find out just exactly who the Black Dahlia was, and why after over 70 years no one person has ever been officially charged with the murder of Elizabeth Short. In this post I will discuss the question: Just how is it that the infamous case of the ‘Black Dahlia’ remains to this day the longest unsolved case in Los Angeles criminal history? 

You can watch American Horror story seasons 1-5 here

ahs

The Real unsolved case of the Black Dahlia

The finding of the body

On 15th January 1947 the body of a 22 year old women named Elizabeth Shorts was discovered in the suburbs of south Los Angeles by a local woman named Betty Bersinger.

Whilst on walking along the sidewalk of the 3800 Norton Block in the early hours of the morning Bersinger noticed a pale figure laying in a patch of weeds, originally believing it to be an abandoned store mannequin Bersinger felt the urge to take a closer look. Upon approaching the figure Bersinger stated that she was hit with an horridus smell, she then believed something to be wrong and approached for closer inspiration. It was here that she discovered that the figure was not in fact a mannequin that her eyes had first lead her to believe, but the unclothed body of a deceased young woman.

article-2272640-174FCEE2000005DC-291_634x772
Elizabeth Short had moved to Hollywood, Los Angeles, to achieve her dream of becoming an actress.

Officers Frank Perkins and Will Fitzgerald from the LAPD were the first to be called to the scene of the crime and upon approaching the scene Perkins is known to have said that the body of young woman, later to be known as Elizabeth Short A.K.A the Black Dahlia, was one of the most brutal and dis-formed he had seen in criminal history.

There are several unusual aspects of the way the body was left that draw strong media attention to the case, leading it to be one of the most talked about criminal cases in not only the 1940’s media, but discussions between conspiracy theorists way into the late 00s. It was not the actual finding of the body that was out of the ordinary but rather the way in which it was placed:

  • The body was cut perfectly in half, being separated by the waist

  • The body was almost completely drained of blood 

  • Elizabeth’s face had been cut towards her mouth from her ears, which many of you may know, left an ever present smile. 

  • There was no blood on the ground, showing that the body had been moved there after Elizabeth had been killed 

  • The body was left completely unclothed 

The body being almost completely drained of blood explains why the Black Dahlia was first mistaken for a mannequin as it would have left Elizabeth with an extremely pale complex. One other interesting fact about the case is that officers Perkins and Fitzgerald, along with several other LAPD investigators, agreed that the Black Dahlia’s body had been cut using surgical precision as no trauma to Elizabeth’s internal organs or bones was ever found.

The open letter

On 24th January 1947, 9 days after Shorts body was discovered, a letter was received by LA news paper the Los Angeles examiner. The letter was written in a haunting fashion using cut outs from old magazines and newspaper (kind of like what you see in 80s crime movies). The content of the letter read as followed:

"Los Angeles examiner and other Los Angeles papers, 
here is Dahlia's belongings, letter to follow" 

As stated in the letter attached were Elizabeth’s personal belongings, including a social security card, birth certificate, personal photographs and an address book with several pages missing. Perhaps these missing pages contained details about Elizabeth’s Killer, hence them not seeing the light of day?black-dahlia-elizabeth-short-letters

What was interesting about the letter was the authors choice to use the name ‘Dahlia’ when it was clear he/she knew Elizabeth’s true name. Perhaps this shows that the killer did not view Elizabeth as a real person but rather their way of gaining fame, as the name ‘Black Dahlia’ was created by the press. The letter and Elizabeth’s belongings also had gasoline rubbed on them to remove the fingerprints. This suggests that the author was no stranger to the world of forensic science with clear knowledge of how the game worked. It had previously been suggested that the killer was a man/woman of science due to the surgical manner the body was dismembered.

After the first letter was received many more were sent to the Los Angeles examiner, but this time they were hand written. The final letter to be received read:

note2bs
“Turning in Wednesday, had my fun with the police”- Black Dahlia avenger

The last movements of Elizabeth Short

Just before moving to LA to achieve her dreams of being an actress Elizabeth spent time in San Diego with a man named Robert Manley. As a favour to Elizabeth, Manley drove her down to LA and helped her check into the Biltmore Hotel. Most reports come to the conclusion that this was the last place Short was to be seen alive.

In today’s pop culture age the Biltmore Hotel is known to be one of the most haunted sites in downtown LA. Many guests staying at the hotel travel there just to see the supposed ghost of the Black Dahlia. The Black Dahlia can reportedly be seen walking along the first floor in a long black dress (category is:) she has also been spotted walking along the teeth and eleventh floor, for those of you wishing to catch a sight of her.

Other reports suggest that once Elizabeth had settled in she headed down to crown grill bar and that this was actually the last place she was seen alive.

Interesting suspects

There are many suggestions as to who it might be who murdered Elizabeth Short and created one of the most talked about cases in our crime obsessed culture, however I came across some suggestions in my research that appeared to stand out. I wont claim that these men and women are guilty but instead ill show you the evidence and let you decide that for yourself.

Suspect one:

George Hodel 

suspect-dr-george-hill-hodel

George Hodel was a doctor who ran a venereal disease clinic in LA. It was George’s son Steve Hodel, who after 17 years as a detective in the LAPD, accused his farther of being the Black Dahlia killer. Steve Hodel stated that there was always something a little ‘off’ about his father, now that may seem a form of nit picking but as we know from previous cases sometimes a gut instinct is the strongest form of evidence. Steve claims that his father even had a secret room in their house that no-one, including himself, was allowed to enter. The theory put forward by George’s son Steve goes as followed:

George Hodel was a professional medially trained surgeon which would suggest that Hodel would be capable of disembowelling Elizabeth in the surgical manner in which she was.

George also had 11 different children to 5 different women. It was reported by the press at the time that Elizabeth Short had had sexual relations with various different men in order to climb her way up the career ladder. Some theories suggested that his George had gotten Elizabeth pregnant but no longer had the time or energy to deal with anymore children and so forced Elizabeth to allow him to preform an abortion on her, which eventually went wrong and ended up killing both mother and child (For fans of the show American Horror Story this one might sound familiar). 

Steve Hodel also found pictures of a woman who appeared to be Elizabeth Short in his fathers house. Upon discovering the images Steve took asked a forensic artist to indentify if the woman in the images was in fact Elizabeth Short.

nintchdbpict000000054709
Image found in Hodel’s photo album.

 The artist stated that there was an 85% chance the images were not her. However in 2014 a different forensic artist used facial regnoision techology to come to the conclusion that the woman in the images had a 95% chance of being Elizabeth. Why would George have images of a woman who apprentality didn’t have many friends in LA?

George Hodel was also accursed by his own daughter of sexually assaulting her. When doing my research many theories seem to suggest that George had tried to assault Elizabeth as-well, but that Elizabeth tried to fight back, leading to George taking an even more violent turn and killing Elizabeth. It is however important to note that George was found not-guilty in the case against his daughter. 

During the actual investigation of the Black Dahlia in 1947 police did actually suspect George Hodel of being somehow involved in her murder and so planted listening devices in his home. When listening back to the tapes the LAPD heard George quote the following:

“Supposing I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn’t prove it now. They can’t talk to my secretary anymore because she’s dead.”

Now to me that doesn’t scream innocence, plus his secretary was never actually found dead, but rather only ever reported missing? (Note the question mark as a sign of my confusion)

George was also taped saying the following:

“This is the best payoff I’ve seen between the law enforcement agencies, and I’d like to get a connection made in the DA’s office”.

At the time of the investigation (and maybe even a few years later, for those believers of O.J Simpsons innocence) the LAPD was known for its corruption. Perhaps the ‘payoff’ George was referring to was the one that he himself had actually given to the LAPD, as for them to suddenly drop the case out of no where seems very off to me. Especially considering that Steve Hodel later found the Black Dahlias case file in which a female witness had stated that George and Elizabeth ‘knew each other well. Further more a sudden payoff by George to the LAPD would explain why all psychical evidence from the case went missing? (Again, a question mark is inserted at the end to suggest shadness).

Evidence appeared to mount up against George Hodel in 1947 however clearly it was never enough. This is perhaps what drove Georges son Steve to carry on investigating the death of the Black Dahlia and in 2012 Steve Hodel returned to his childhood home where he had lived with his father. Steve took with him a police dog in order to dig up any evidence that might have been hidden, and although no physical evidence was found Steve did find something more unnerving; the police dog indicated the scent of human remains. Soil samples were also taken from the garden of Georges former home and they too tested positive for human remains. Although these remains couldn’t have been the Black Dahlias because she wasn’t buried it does show that George may have experienced an involvement in murder once before.

It appears that evidence strongly points towards George Hodel as the Black Dahlia murderer, however all this evidence is merely ‘probable’ and so not conclusion was ever come to with regards to the involvement of George Hodel in Elizabeth’s life, and possibly even death.

Suspect 2:

Joseph Dumais 

Joseph Dumais was an army officer who claimed to have been completely out of it drunk with Elizabeth in San Francisco a few days before her body was found. When asked by the LAPD if he had killed Elizabeth he said ‘yes’. Some evidence suggests that he was actually on duty during the time of Elizabeth’s death and so could not have killed her.

Suspect 3:

The Cleveland torso murderer

The cleveland torso murder’s were a chain of killings that happened between 1935-1938. During the Cleveland Torso murder’s 12 people were murdered in a airy similar way to the way Elizabeth’s body was found. Although the murders happened more than 10 years before Elizabeth’s death many people believe that in someway they are connected. Is it possible that the Black Dahlia killer was inspired by the Torso Murderer and was some form of a copycat killer?  

Maybe by adding a smile to Elizabeth’s face after her death was the killers way of leaving his own mark?

Suspect 4:

The Georgettee Bauerdorf murderer 

georgette1

In 1945 a woman named Georgette Bauerdorf was found dead face down in a bathtub. Author of the book severed: the true story of the Black Dahlia, John Gilmore found several similar aspects between the murder’s of Georgette Bauredorf and Elizabeth Short and believed that Georgette’s killer was one in the same as Elizabeth’s killer.

I won’t go into too much detail on this theory as I plan to do a blog post on the conspiracy theories surrounding Georgette Bauerdorf’s murder, however you find copies of Gilmore’s book ‘Severed: the true story of the Black Dahlia’ here. 

The endless cold case

Sadly even after more than 70 years Elizabeth Shorts killer has never been brought to justice. The likelihood now is that after years of cruel games and guilt the killer has passed away, as just to be able to carry the weight of Elizabeth’s body the killer would have had to have been a fully grown adult, making them nearly 100 years old. Although many, many suspects were put forward sadly the forensic science of the 40s and the lack of police concern appeared to have failed Elizabeth, and so the chances are that the case of the Black Dahlia will forever remain Los Angeles oldest cold case.

Although the Black Dahlia has inspired many books, television shows, movies and even this blog post it is important to note that the real woman behind it all, Elizabeth Short, had a life that was ended far too soon. Elizabeth had moved to Hollywood to achieve her dreams and maybe the lesson here is a classic one, that you never know what will happen tomorrow so always make the most of what life gives you. 

For those of you interested in finding out more about the conspiracy theories surrounding the Black Dahlia here is a list of video’s, movies and books that were inspired by the case:

The Black Dahlia (2006) Movie trailer 

The Black Dahlia: Case reopened Documentary 

“I know who killed the Black Dahlia, my own father” Newspaper report on the findings of Steve Hodel 

The chilling Mystery of the Black Dahlia: A short video by Buzzfeed unsolved 

Elizabeth-Short-photo-credit-www.fanpop-2 (1)
In memory of Elizabeth Short