Murdered musicians

lennon_and_chapman

The picture above is of John Lennon and Mark Chapman.Lennon (signing a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman several hours before Chapman murdered him.On 8 December 1980, Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City.

Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono.

lennons_by_jack_mitchell

Although John Lennon was the most famous musician to be murdered, he was not the only one. There were dozens other musicians whose lives were brutally ended, below are just a few of them.

Peter Tosh

tosh_bushf

On 11 September 1987, just after Tosh had returned to his home in Jamaica, a three-man gang came to his house on motorcycles and demanded money. Tosh replied that he did not have any with him but the gang did not believe him. They stayed at his residence for several hours and tortured him in an attempt to extort money from Tosh. During this time, Tosh’s associates came to his house to greet him because of his return to Jamaica. As people arrived, the gunmen became more and more frustrated, especially the chief thug, Dennis “Leppo” Lobban, a man whom Tosh had previously befriended and tried to help find work after a long jail sentence.

dennis-leppo

Tosh said he did not have any money in the house, after which Lobban put a gun to Tosh’s head and shot once, killing him. The other gunmen began shooting, wounding several other people and also killing herbalist Wilton “Doc” Brown and disc jockey Jeff “Free I” Dixon who had worked for the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC).Tosh’s “long time companion” Andrea Marlene Brown, his drummer Carlton “Santa” Davis, musician Michael Robinson and Jeff “Free I” Dixon’s wife, Yvonne were wounded during the robbery.

According to Police Commissioner Herman Ricketts, Dennis “Leppo” Lobban surrendered and two other men were interrogated but not publicly named Lobban went on to plead innocent during his trial, telling the court he had been drinking with friends. The trial was held in a closed court due to the involvement of illegal firearms. Lobban was ultimately found guilty by a jury of eight women and four men and sentenced to death by hanging.His sentence was commuted in 1995 and Lobban remains in jail. Another suspect was acquitted due to insufficient evidence.The other two gunmen were never identified by name.

Mia Zapata

mia-zapata-head

Mia Katherine Zapata (August 25, 1965 – July 7, 1993) was the lead singer for the Seattle punk band The Gits.After gaining praise in the nascent grunge rock scene, Zapata was murdered in 1993 during the recording of The Gits second album. The crime went unsolved for a decade before her killer, Jesus Mezquia, was tried, convicted and sentenced to 37 years in prison.

At around 2:00 a.m. on July 7, 1993, Zapata left the Comet Tavern in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle. She stayed at a studio space in the basement of an apartment building located a block away, and briefly visited a friend who lived on the second floor. This was the last time she was seen alive. She may have walked a few blocks west, north to a friend’s apartment, or may have decided to take the long walk south to her home.

She was beaten, strangled, and raped in the Central District of Seattle. It is believed she encountered her attacker shortly after 2:15 a.m. Her body was not initially identified, as she had no identification on her when she was found.

According to the cable television show Forensic files, a man two blocks from the Comet Tavern heard a scream around 3:00 a.m. A woman discovered her body in the street at around 3:30 a.m., near the intersection of 24th Avenue South and South Washington Street in the Central District. According to the medical examiner, if she had not been strangled she would have died from the internal injuries suffered from the beating. An autopsy found evidence of a struggle in which Zapata suffered blunt impact to her abdomen and a lacerated liver, according to court documents.

Zapata is interred at Cave Hill Cemetery in her hometown of Louisville. The Seattle music community, including its most famous bands – Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden – helped raise $70,000 to hire a private investigator for three years.

The funds dried up without any major breaks in the case, but the investigator, Leigh Hearon, continued to investigate on her own time. In 1998, after five years of investigation, Seattle police Detective Dale Tallman said: “We’re no closer to solving the case than we were right after the murder”

In 2003, Florida fisherman Jesus Mezquia, who had come from Cuba in 1980 in the Mariel boatlift,was arrested in connection with Zapata’s murder. DNA evidence was used to tie him to the murder and charges were brought against him.

Dimebag Darrell

dimebag

Darrell Lance Abbott (August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004), also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. He was considered to be one of the driving forces behind groove metal.

Abbott was shot and killed by a gunman while on stage during a performance with Damageplan on December 8, 2004, at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.

On December 8, 2004, Abbott was murdered onstage while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. Moments into the band’s set, 25-year-old former Marine Nathan Gale, using a 9 mm Beretta 92FS pistol, shot Abbott three times in the head, killing him instantly. Ironically this murder was 24 years to the date of John Lennon’s murder.

Marvin Gaye

marvin_gaye_1973

At around 12:38 p.m.  on April 1, 1984, while Gaye was in his bedroom, his father Marvin Gay Sr. shot Gaye in the heart and then in his left shoulder, the latter shot taken at point-blank range.

 

Minutes earlier, the two men had been involved in a physical altercation after Gaye intervened in an argument between his parents. The first shot proved to be fatal. Gaye was pronounced dead at 1:01 p.m. after his body arrived at California Hospital Medical Center.

After Gaye’s funeral, his body was cremated at Forest Lawn Memorial Park at the Hollywood Hills; his ashes were later scattered into the Pacific Ocean. Initially charged with first-degree murder, Gay Sr.’s charges dropped to voluntary manslaughter following a diagnosis of a brain tumor Marvin Gay Sr. was later sentenced to a suspended six-year sentence and probation. He died at a nursing home in 1998.

Tupac Shakur

1000509261001_2050821238001_bio-biography-tupac-shakur-sf

On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur attended the Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson boxing match with Suge Knight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

tyson_vs_seldon

After leaving the match, one of Knight’s associates spotted Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, an alleged Crips gang member from Compton, California, in the MGM Grand lobby. Earlier that year, Anderson and a group of Crips had robbed a member of Death Row’s entourage in a Foot Locker store. Knight’s associate told Shakur, who attacked Anderson. Shakur’s entourage, as well as Knight and his followers, assisted in assaulting Anderson. The fight was captured on the hotel’s video surveillance. After the brawl, Shakur went with Knight to Death Row-owned Club 662 (now known as restaurant/club Seven). Shakur rode in Knight’s 1996 black BMW 750iL sedan as part of a larger convoy, which included many in Shakur’s entourage.

At 11:00–11:05 p.m., they were halted on Las Vegas Boulevard by Metro bicycle police for playing the car stereo too loudly and not having license plates, which were found in the trunk of Knight’s car; the party was released a few minutes later without being ticketed.At 11:10 p.m., while they were stopped at a red light at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in front of the Maxim Hotel, a vehicle occupied by two women pulled up on their left side. Shakur, who was standing up through the sunroof, exchanged words with the women and invited them to Club 662. At 11:15 p.m., a white, four-door, late-model Cadillac with an unknown number of occupants pulled up to the sedan’s right side, rolled down a window, and rapidly fired gunshots at Shakur. He was hit four times, twice in the chest, once in the arm, and once in the thigh.One of the bullets went into Shakur’s right lung.Knight was hit in the head by fragmentation. The bodyguard, Frank Alexander, stated that, when he was about to ride along with the rapper in Knight’s car, Shakur asked him to drive the car of Shakur’s fiancée, Kidada Jones, instead, in case they needed additional vehicles for the drive from Club 662 to the hotel.

6365ee98f9fbbc132e811d185ab001e9_400x400

After arriving at the scene, police and paramedics took Knight and a wounded Shakur to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Chris Carroll, the first Las Vegas police officer to arrive on the scene, heard Shakur’s last words, “fuck you”. Carroll reports that he refused to say another word to him or another officer.According to an interview with the music video director Gobi, while at the hospital, Shakur received news from a Death Row marketing employee that the shooters had called the record company and threatened Shakur.Gobi informed the Las Vegas police but said that the police claimed to be understaffed. No attackers came. At the hospital, Shakur was heavily sedated, was placed on life-support machines, and was ultimately put under a barbiturate-induced coma after repeatedly trying to get out of the bed.While in the intensive-care unit, on the afternoon of Friday, September 13, 1996, Shakur died from internal bleeding; doctors attempted to revive him but could not stop the hemorrhaging.His mother, Afeni, made the decision to tell the doctors to stop.He was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m.  The official causes of death were noted as respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds.

Shakur’s body was cremated the next day. Some of his ashes were later mixed with marijuana and smoked by members of the Outlawz.

outlawz_original_members

George Harrison

bi41pl63

One of John Lennon’s fellow Beatles nearly got killed on Dec. 30, 1999.At approximately 3:30AM, Michael Abram,

_584344_attacker150a 33-year old native of Liverpool, avoided security by scaling the fence of Harrison’s Friar Park estate near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire and entered the mansion by throwing a statue through a window, which woke up the sleeping Harrisons.
George confronted Abram, who was screaming at the spiritual Beatle with a knife in his hand. The 56-year old Harrison ran at Abram to try to tackle and disarm him. The attempt was unsuccessful, and George was stabbed repeatedly in the chest.

Meanwhile, Harrison’s wife, Olivia, whose mother was staying with the Harrisons at the time, struck Abram with a lamp, causing him to drop the knife. Abram then went after Olivia by trying to strangle her with the lamp’s cord, but she was able to escape.

harrison-attacked

Police arrived after 15 minutes and arrested Abram. Paramedics stopped Harrison’s bleeding and took him to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a punctured lung. According to the hospital’s medical director, some of the wounds were very close to major arteries, which would have been fatal if they had been hit.

The investigation determined that this was not a simple burglary gone wrong, but a planned attack on Harrison. The prosecutor said that Abram “believed that The Beatles were witches who flew around on broomsticks. Subsequently, George Harrison possessed him and that he had been sent on a mission by God to kill him. He saw George as a sorcerer and a devil.

George Harrison survived the attack but died in 2001, aged 58, from lung cancer.

 

Advertisements

Harry Dobkin-Blitz Murderer

dobkin

One can imaging that the Blitz must have been a terrifying time in Great Britain, but it also must have been a time where people ceased the opportunity amidst the chaos to do things they usually wouldn’t dare to do for the fear of being caught. Harry Dobkin was one of these folks.

Harry Dobkin was born in London in 1901. After leaving school he worked in the cloth trade. Dobkin married Rachel Dubinski in 1920.

rachel_dobkin

A child was born but the marriage did not last and the couple separated and in 1923 Rachel Dobkin applied for maintenance. Over the next few years Dobkin served several periods in prison as a result of her complaints about his non-payment of maintenance.

Dobkin had a variety of different jobs including that of a tailor, ship’s steward and cook. Soon after the outbreak of the Second World WarDobkin found work as a fire-watcher to a firm of solicitors in London.

During the Blitz Dobkin realized that so many people were killed in air raids that it was impossible for the police to investigate every death. Victims were buried quickly and very few post mortems were carried out. In April 1941 Dodkin murdered his wife and buried her under the ruin of Vauxhall Baptist Chapel, hoping she would be discovered as an air raid victim.

On July the 17th 1942 a workman who was helping to demolish the badly bomb-damaged Vauxhall Baptist Chapel in Vauxhall Road, Kennington (now Kennington Lane), prised up a stone slab and found beneath it a mummified body.

The immediate assumption was that the remains were either of an air raid victim or had come from the old burial ground underneath the church, which had ceased to be used some fifty years before. When the church had been bombed on the 15th of October 1940 more than a hundred people had been killed in the conflagration and the area around the chapel had been the target of a number of Luftwaffe raids between that time and March of 1943

Nor was it the first body that the workers had come upon while demolishing the chapel. Nevertheless, routine was followed, and the police were called in, arriving in the persons of Detective Inspectors Hatton and Keeling, the bones being removed to Southwark Mortuary for examination by pathologist Dr Keith Simpson.

4619875228_338x254

Simpson immediately suspected foul play. In trying to raise the bones, the skull had become detached and Simpson realized that the head had already been cut from the body. In addition to this, the limbs had been severed at the elbows and knees, flesh had been removed from the face, the lower jaw was missing and the bones were partially burnt. An obvious attempt had been made to disguise the identity of the corpse.

Dr Simpson obtained the permission of the coroner to take the remains back to his laboratory at Guy’s Hospital for a more detailed inspection.

220px-Cedric_Keith_Simpson_CBE

Returning to the crypt of the church in a vain attempt to find the missing limbs, Simpson noticed a yellowish deposit in the earth, subsequently analysed as slaked lime. This had been used to suppress the smell of putrefaction, but it also had the effect of preventing maggots from destroying the body.

Examining the throat and voice box, Simpson detected a blood clot, strongly indicating death due to strangulation. The next task was to discover the identity of the victim. The body was that of a woman aged between forty and fifty, with dark greying hair, was five feet one inch tall, and had suffered from a fibroid tumour.

Time of death was estimated at between twelve and fifteen months prior to discovery. Meanwhile the police had been checking the lists of missing persons, and noted that fifteen months previously Mrs Rachel Dobkin, estranged wife of Harry Dobkin, the fire watcher at the firm of solicitors next door to the Baptist Chapel at 302 Vauxhall Road, had disappeared.

An interview with her sister elicited the information that she was about the right age, with dark greying hair, was about five feet one tall, and had a fibroid tumour. She also gave police the name of Mrs Dobkin’s dentist, Barnett Kopkin of Stoke Newington, who kept meticulous records and was able to describe exactly the residual roots and fillings in her mouth. They matched the upper jaw of the skull.

Finally, Miss Mary Newman, the head of the Photography Department at Guy’s, super- imposed a photograph of the skull on to a photograph of Rachel Dobkin, a technique first used six years earlier in the Buck Ruxton case.

Isabella1

The fit was uncanny. The bones found in the crypt were the mortal remains of Mrs Rachel Dobkin.

Rachel Dubinski had married Harry Dobkin in September 1920, through the traditional Jewish custom of a marriage broker. Within three days they had separated, but unhappily nine months later a baby boy was born. In 1923 Mrs Dobkin obtained a maintenance order obliging her husband to pay for the upkeep of their child. Dobkin was always a spasmodic payer, and over the years had been imprisoned several times for defaulting. In addition, Mrs Dobkin had unsuccessfully summonsed him four times for assault.

However, it must be said in mitigation of Dobkin’s actions that she habitually pestered him in the street to get her money, and it should be remembered that she was still demanding cash in 1941 when the ‘child’ was twenty years old and hardly a dependant. Dobkin was to hint later that she was also blackmailing him over some undisclosed indiscretion at work.

On Good Friday, the 11th of April 1941, Dobkin and his wife had met in a cafe in Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, near to where he lived in Navarino Road, Dalston, E8. They left at 6.30 and she was never seen alive again, though he claimed that she had boarded a No.22 bus to visit her mother. Next day Rachel’s sister reported her missing to the police, implicating Harry Dobkin in the process. Because of the priorities of war, Dobkin was not interviewed about the disappearance until April the 16th.

On the night of the 14th a small fire had broken out in the ruined cellar of the Baptist Church. This was peculiar, because there had been no air raids and the blaze was only noticed at 3.23am by a passing policeman. When the fire brigade arrived Harry Dobkin was there, pretending to put it out. He told the constable that the fire had started at 1.30am and that he hadn’t bothered to inform the authorities because there was little danger of the fire spreading. There was a serious air raid on the next night, so the incident was quickly forgotten. Dobkin was interviewed twice more about his wife’s disappearance and a description and photograph were circulated by the police but no further action was taken.

On the 26th of August 1942, Dobkin was interviewed for the first time by Chief Inspector Hat ton, and escorted to the church cellar, where he vehemently denied any involvement in his wife’s death. He was then arrested for her murder.

The trial of Harry Dobkin opened at the Old Bailey on the 17th of November 1942, with Mr Justice Wrottesley presiding and Mr L.A. Byrne prosecuting. Dobkin’s counsel, Mr F.H. Lawton, spent most of his efforts trying vainly to challenge the identification evidence. The prisoner’s appearance in the witness box left the jury unimpressed, and it took them only twenty minutes to arrive at a verdict of guilty.

Before his execution Dobkin confessed to his wife’s murder, claiming that she was always pestering him for money and he wanted to be rid of her for good. On the 7th of January, 1943, Harry Dobkin was hanged behind the walls of Wandsworth Prison.

3689160597_77a601d947

Allied Gangster-American WWII deserters

article-0-1A0CB3C7000005DC-867_634x514

The Army is a reflection of society, it has different layers and characters.It has clergy men, Physicians, Nurses, Police and even teachers. But like the wider society it also has members whose intentions are less honorable. Even those who are considered the good guys and the liberators.

Paris 1944, and French citizens are cowering in their homes and businesses, fearful of the soldiers who will show no mercy, who will steal, assault, rape and murder without compunction.

But it’s not Nazis that they are afraid of, it’s former American GIs… deserters, who roamed the streets in highly organised gangs.

It’s a fascinating and little known fact that in the weeks and months following the liberation of Paris, the city was hit by a wave of crime and violence like something out of Prohibition era America.

While the Allies fought against Hitler’s forces in Europe, law enforcers fought against the criminals who threatened that victory. Men who had abandoned the ‘greater good’ in favour of self-interest, black-market profits and the lure of the cafes and brothels of Paris: deserters.

article-2332814-1A0AB8B0000005DC-180_634x415

Highly organised, armed to the teeth and merciless, these deserters used their US uniforms as another tool of their trade along with the vast arrays of stolen weapons, forged passes and hijacked vehicles they had at their disposal.Between June 1944 and April 1945 the US army’s Criminal Investigation Department handled a total of 7,912 cases. Forty per cent involved misappropriation of US supplies.

USA_-_Army_CID_Badge

Greater yet was the proportion of crimes of violence – rape, murder, manslaughter and assault which accounted for 44 per cent of the force’s workload. The remaining 12 per cent were crimes such as robbery, housebreaking and riot.

Up to 50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted during World War II, and in a new book, The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II, Charles Glass lifts the lid on one of the most violent and shameless episodes in American military history.

20130406_bkp502

Charles Glass had long harboured an interest in the subject. But it was only truly ignited by a chance meeting with Steve Weiss – decorated combat veteran of the US 36th Infantry Division and former deserter.

article-2332814-1A0AB8B9000005DC-808_306x423

They met for coffee and Weiss asked Glass what he was working on. Glass recalls: ‘I told him it was a book on American and British deserters in the Second World War and asked if he knew anything about it.

‘He answered, “I was a deserter.”‘

This once idealistic boy from Brooklyn who enlisted at 17, had fought on the beachhead at Anzio and through the perilous Ardennes forest, he was one of the very few regular American soldiers to fight with the Resistance in 1944. And he had deserted.

His story was,  both secret and emblematic of a group of men, wreathed together under a banner of shame that branded them cowards. Yet the truth was far more complex.

Many were afraid. They had reached a point beyond which they could not endure and chosen disgrace over the grave. Some recounted waking, as if from a dream, to find their bodies had led them away from the battelfield.

Others, like Weiss, fought until their faith in their immediate commanders disappeared. Was it a form of madness or a dawning lucidity that led them to desert?

50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted during World War II.Yet only one was executed for it, Eddie Slovik. He was, until that point, by his own assessment the unluckiest man alive.

 

Of the 49 Americans sentenced to death for desertion during the Second World War he was the only one whose appeal for commutation was rejected. His greatest sin, as Glass tells it, was his timing.

His appeal came in January 1945 just as the German counter-offensive, the Battle of the Bulge, was at its peak. Allied forces were near breaking point. It was not, Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight Eisenhower decided, time to risk seeming to condone desertion.

Slovik was shot for his crime on the morning of 31 January 1945.

He was dispatched in the remote French village of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines and the truth concealed even from his wife, Antoinette.

She was informed that her husband had died in the European Theatre of Operations.

slovik-wedding-x

Private Alfred T Whitehead’s was a very different story.

Private Alfred T Whitehead, a farm boy from Tennessee, His story reveals an interesting insight into the actions of one particular type of deserter.

Whitehead fought at Normandy and claims to have stormed the beaches on the D-Day landings and been in continuous combat up to December 30. In the process he earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, Combat Infantry Badge and Distinguished Unit Citation.

whitehead

After suffering an illness, he was invalided out to Paris. Upon his recovery, Whithead was sent to the 94th Reinforcement Battalion, a replacement depot in Fontainebleau.

Bored by is new posting, he deserted and quickly moved into life as a criminal in the Paris underworld – and into one of the many gangs of ex-soldiers terrorizing Paris.

Led by an ex-paratrooper sergeant, raids were planned like military operations. Whitehead later admitted, ‘we stole trucks, sold whatever they carried, and used the trucks to rob warehouses of the goods in them.’

The gang used combat tactics, hijacked goods, attacking civilians and military targets indiscriminately. They robbed crates of alcohol, hijacked jeeps and raided private houses. They stole petrol, cigarettes, liquor and weapons.  And there seemed to be nobody able to stop them as their crime wave even spread into neighbouring Belgium

Such was their ‘success’ that Whithead estimated that after just six months his own share of the plunder ran to an astonishing $100,000.Whitehead’s luck eventually ran out and he was captured, court martialled and
dishonourably discharged, serving time at the Delta Disciplinary Training Barracks in the south of France and, when repatriated to the States, in federal penitentiaries in New Jersey before his release.

Many years later he had that ‘dishonourable discharge,’ turned into a General one on rather disingenuous legal grounds.

In peacetime appearances mattered more to Whitehead than they ever had in war.

Back then, he admitted: ‘I never knew what tomorrow would hold, so I took every day as it came. War does strange things to people, especially their morality.’

Those ‘strange things’ rather than the false extremes of courage and cowardice are the truths set out in this account of the War and its deserters.

 

Karl Hulten and Elizabeth Jones-The Cleft Chin Murder

The cleft chin murder was a killing which occurred as part of a string of crimes during 1944, and was mentioned in George Orwell’s essay “Decline of the English Murder”.

DeclineOfTheEnglishMurder

It became known as the “cleft chin murder” because the murder victim, a taxi driver, had a cleft chin.

The culprits were Karl Hulten, a Swedish-born deserter from the U.S Army, and Elizabeth Jones, an eighteen-year-old waitress.

Jones later said she dreamed of “doing something exciting,” and fantasized about being a stripper. At the time, Hulten described himself as an officer and as a Chicago gangster, both of which were false.

Karl Hulten was born in Sweden in 1922. His family emigrated to the United States and grew up in Massachusetts. After leaving school he worked as a grocery clerk, driver and mechanic.After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hulten joined the United States Army. He was trained as a paratrooper and in 1944 he was sent to England to take part in the D-Day invasion of Europe. Hulten did not like the idea and deserted, taking with him a large military truck.

On 3rd October 1944, Hulten met Elizabeth Jones, a eighteen-year-old Welsh striptease dancer. On their first date they ended up using Hulten’s truck to knock a young girl from her bike and stealing her handbag. The following day they gave a lift to a woman carrying two heavy suitcases. After stopping the car Hulten attacked the woman with an iron bar and then dumped her body in a river.

On 6th October the couple hailed a hire car on Hammersmith Broadway. When they reached a deserted stretch of road they asked the taxi driver ,George Edward Heath,to stop.

george-edward-heath

Hulten then shot the driver in the head and stole his money and car. The following day they spent the money at White City dog track.

Jones now told Hulten she would like a fur coat. On 8th October they parked the stolen Taxi car outside Berkeley Hotel while they waited for a woman to emerge wearing a fur coat. Eventually Jones chose a white ermine coat worn by a woman leaving the hotel. Hulten attacked the woman but before he could get the coat a policeman arrived on the scene. Hulten managed to escape and drive off in his car. However, the following morning, Hulten was arrested as he got into the stolen Taxi car.

There was great public interest in the case of the GI gangster and his striptease dancer. The public was deeply shocked by the degree of violence the couple had used during their crime spree and it came as no surprise when both Karl Hulten and Elizabeth Jones were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Hulten was executed at Pentonville Prison. on 8th March 1945 but Jones was reprieved at the last moment and was released in May 1954. Her subsequent fate is unknown.

19_big

 

Marcel Petiot-“Doctor Satan”

Docteur Petiot.preview

Nazi-occupied Paris was a terrible place to be in the waning days of World War Two, with Jews, Resistance fighters and ordinary citizens all hoping to escape. Disappearances became so common they often weren’t followed up.

And one man used the lawlessness for his own terrible purposes, killing perhaps as many as 60 people.

Marcel Petiot, (born Jan. 17, 1897, Auxerre, France—died May 26, 1946, Paris) French serial killer who preyed on Jewish refugees attempting to flee France during the Nazi occupation.

Petiot was unusually intelligent as a child but exhibited severe behavioral problems in school and was expelled several times before completing his education. At age 17 he was arrested for mail theft but was released after a judge determined that he was mentally unfit to stand trial. In 1917, while serving in the French army during World War I, he was tried for stealing army blankets but found not guilty by reason of insanity. Despite his mental state, he was returned to the front, where he suffered a mental breakdown. He was eventually discharged for abnormal behaviour, for which some of his examiners said he should be institutionalized.

By 1916, the young Frenchman had volunteered for the French Army in the First World War.

In the Second Battle of the Aisne, he was wounded and gassed, and exhibited more symptoms of mental breakdown.

1024px-Soupir_(Aisne)_nach_den_April-Angriffen_1917

He was sent to various rest homes, where he was arrested for stealing army blankets, morphine, and other army supplies, as well as wallets, photographs, and letters; he was jailed in Orléans. In a psychiatric hospital in Fleury-les-Aubrais, he was again diagnosed with various mental illnesses but was returned to the front in June 1918. He was transferred three weeks later after he allegedly injured his own foot with a grenade, but was attached to a new regiment in September. A new diagnosis was enough to get him discharged with a disability pension.

Petiot-as-a-young-doctor. (1)

Despite his history of instability, Petiot then enrolled in school and eventually obtained a medical degree in 1921. He established a practice in the town of Villeneuve, where he became a popular figure.

In 1926, Petiot struck up an affair with Louise Delaveau, the daughter of one of his patients. Delaveau vanished not long after the affair began. While Petiot was never officially implicated in the disappearance, Delaveau may have been his first victim; neighbors said they saw Petiot loading a trunk into his car around the time the girl disappeared. Also in 1926 he was elected mayor but was suspended for four months in 1930 after being convicted of fraud. Later one of his patients was murdered, and another patient (who had accused Petiot of the crime) also died mysteriously. Again removed as mayor in 1931, he soon won election as a local councillor, though he lost his council seat after being convicted of stealing electric power from Villeneuve. In 1933 he moved to Paris, where he enjoyed a good reputation as a doctor and continued to commit various crimes.

After the 1940 German defeat of France, French citizens were drafted for forced labor in Germany. Petiot provided false medical disability certificates to people who were drafted. He also treated the illnesses of workers who had returned. In July 1942, he was convicted of overprescribing narcotics, even though two addicts who would have testified against him had disappeared.He was fined 2,400 francs

Petiot’s most lucrative activity during the Occupation was his false escape route. Under the codename “Dr. Eugène”, Petiot pretended to have a means of getting people wanted by the Germans or the Vichy government to safety outside France. Petiot claimed that he could arrange a passage to Argentina or elsewhere in South America through Portugal, for a price of 25,000 francs per person. Three accomplices, Raoul Fourrier, Edmond Pintard, and René-Gustave Nézondet, directed victims to “Dr. Eugène”, including Jews, Resistance fighters, and ordinary criminals. Once victims were in his control, Petiot told them that Argentine officials required all entrants to the country to be inoculated against disease, and with this excuse injected them with cyanide. He then took all their valuables and disposed of the bodies.

At first, Petiot dumped the bodies in the Seine, but he later destroyed the bodies by submerging them in quicklime or by incinerating them. In 1941, Petiot bought a house at 21 Rue le Sueur.

Rue-le-Sueur

Petiot failed to keep a low profile. The Gestapo eventually found out about him and, by April 1943, they had heard all about this “route” for the escape of wanted persons, which they assumed was part of the Resistance. Gestapo agent Robert Jodkum forced prisoner Yvan Dreyfus to approach the supposed network, but Dreyfus simply vanished. A later informer successfully infiltrated the operation, and the Gestapo arrested Fourrier, Pintard, and Nézondet. Under torture, they confessed that “Dr. Eugène” was Marcel Petiot. Nézondet was later released, but three others spent eight months in prison, suspected of helping Jews to escape. Even under torture, they did not identify any other members of the Resistance because they knew of none. The Gestapo released the three men in January 1944.

According to his own account, Petiot worked with the French Resistance during the occupation. He planted booby traps, developed weapons that could kill without leaving forensic evidence, and met with high-ranking Allied commanders. While the veracity of these claims remains largely unsubstantiated, Petiot was cited as a source many years later by Colonel John F. Grombach, the former head of the independent espionage agency known as “The Pond”

image

.In March 1944, neighbors complained of a foul stench coming from Petiot’s home in Rue Le Sueur, and of noxious smoke billowing from his chimney. Authorities were summoned. When they searched the premises, they found the remains of numerous victims including, reportedly, charred human remnants smoldering in the fireplace.

The extensive coverage of the Petiot affair soon escalated into a full-blown media circus. Newspapers dubbed the doctor the Butcher of Paris, Scalper of the Etoile, the monster of rue Le Sueur, the Demonic Ogre, and Doctor Satan. One of the first and more popular sobriquets was the Modern Bluebeard. […] Later, other names would be proposed for the murder suspect, from the Underground Assassin to the Werewolf of Paris.

The fervent media coverage extended internationally, the same source reports, and “In Switzerland, Belgium, and Scandinavia, the Petiot affair dominated headlines on a daily basis.”

 

Petiot evaded capture for a short while by adopting an alias and growing out his beard.During the intervening seven months, Petiot hid with friends, claiming that the Gestapo wanted him because he had killed Germans and informers. He eventually moved in with a patient, Georges Redouté, let his beard grow, and adopted various aliases.During the liberation of Paris in 1944, Petiot adopted the name “Henri Valeri” and joined the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) in the uprising. He became a captain in charge of counterespionage and prisoner interrogations.

When the newspaper Resistance published an article about Petiot, his defense attorney from the 1942 narcotics case received a letter in which his fugitive client claimed that the published allegations were mere lies. This gave police a hint that Petiot was still in Paris. The search began anew – with “Henri Valeri” among those who were drafted to find him. Finally, on 31 October, Petiot was recognized at a Paris Métro station, and arrested. Among his possessions were a pistol, 31,700 francs, and 50 sets of identity documents.

Abesses_entrance_1

Petiot was imprisoned in La Santé Prison. He claimed that he was innocent and that he had killed only enemies of France. He said that he had discovered the pile of bodies in 21 Rue le Sueur in February 1944, but had assumed that they were collaborators killed by members of his Resistance “network”.

But the police found that Petiot had no friends in any of the major Resistance groups. Some of the Resistance groups he spoke of had never existed, and there was no proof of any of his claimed exploits. Prosecutors eventually charged him with at least 27 murders for profit. Their estimate of his gains ran to 200 million francs.

Petiot went on trial on 19 March 1946, facing 135 criminal charges. René Floriot acted for the defense, against a team consisting in state prosecutors and twelve civil lawyers hired by relatives of Petiot’s victims. Petiot taunted the prosecuting lawyers, and claimed that various victims had been collaborators or double agents, or that vanished people were alive and well in South America under new names.

He admitted to killing just nineteen of the twenty-seven victims found in his house, and claimed that they were Germans and collaborators – part of a total of 63 “enemies” killed. Floriot attempted to portray Petiot as a Resistance hero, but the judges and jurors were unimpressed. Petiot was convicted of 26 counts of murder, and sentenced to death.It was estimated that he netted 200 million francs from his ill-gotten gains

On 25 May, Petiot was beheaded, after a stay of a few days due to a problem in the release mechanism of the guillotine.

Gordon Cummins-The Blackout Ripper

b14b7bd7bc785782d66ed9fa226f8a3e

Wartime is the perfect opportunity for killers to apply their ‘trade’, when a body is found the authorities will automatically assume that it is just another victim of war, at least that is what John Cummins must have thought when he copied Jack the ripper in February 1942. But unlike Jack the Ripper Cummins just wasn’t that clever.

Gordon Frederick Cummins (1914 – 25 June 1942), known as the Blackout Killer and the Blackout Ripper, was an English serial killer who murdered four women in London in 1942. The Ripper tag came from similarities with the Jack the Ripper murders, as both killers mutilated their victims.

Gordon Frederick Cummins was allegedly the ilegimate son of a titled member of the peerage. His claims of noble birth led others to call him “The Count”. He married a theatre producer’s secretary in 1936. When World War II began in September 1939, he enlisted in the R.A.F

From the start of that conflict, the streets and buildings of London were kept dark as a precaution against aerial bombing by the Luftwaffe. Street lamps were not lit; the windows of houses, shops, offices and factories were painted over, shuttered or screened off with thick curtains. Showing even a chink of light could lead to an appearance in court and a heavy fine. As bombs fell upon the capital, Londoners took refuge in cellars, underground train stations and public air raid shelters. In a period of six days in February 1942, in the midst of a darkened, blitzed city, Cummins (then 28 years old) murdered four women and attacked two others. Three of his victims were mutilated after death. The newspapers dubbed him “The Blackout Ripper”

BLACK

Cummins had volunteered to retrain for aircrew duties and had been posted to RAF ACRC (Aircrew Reception Centre) Regents Park, London. There, serving members of the RAF and new recruits were assessed for training. This intake ran from 2 to 25 February when trainees were posted to ITW (Initial Training Wing) at home for three months ground training before commencing flying training, or to Blackpool prior to going overseas for training. At the time of his arrest, Cummins had neither a previous criminal record nor a known history of violence.

Over six days in February 1942, Cummins took advantage of London’s night-time blackout conditions to murder four women and attempt to murder two others. He mutilated the bodies of three of his victims.

Evelyn Hamilton
scan0154_s

On Sunday 9 February 1942, the body of 40-year-old pharmacist Evelyn Hamilton was discovered in an air raid shelter in Montagu Place in Marylebone. She had been strangled and her handbag stolen.

Evelyn Oatley

On Monday 10 February, the naked body of 35-year-old Evelyn Oatley (also known as Nita Ward) was discovered in her flat on Wardour Street. As well as having been strangled, her throat had been cut and she had also been sexually mutilated with a can opener.Fingerprints found on the can opener confirmed earlier suspicions that the strangler was left-handed.

Margaret Lowe

On Tuesday 11 February, a 43-year-old prostitute, Margaret Florence Lowe (also known as Pearl), was murdered in her flat in Gosfield Street, Marylebone. She had been strangled with a silk stocking and her body mutilated with a variety of implements including a razor blade, a knife and a candlestick. The pathologist, Bernard Spilsbury, after seeing her injuries commented that they were “quite dreadful” and that the murderer was “a savage sexual maniac”.

Doris Jouannet

On Wednesday 12 February 1942, 32-year-old Doris Jouannet (also known as Doris Robson) was murdered in the ground floor flat that she shared with her husband. She had been strangled with a scarf and her naked body sexually mutilated. It was at this point the newspapers began to describe the killer as the Blackout Ripper, in reference to the similarities with Jack the Ripper.

Greta Hayward

On Friday 14 February 1942, Greta Hayward was attacked in a doorway near Piccadilly Circus by a man in RAF uniform whose sexual advances she had previously rejected. She managed to escape as her attacker was interrupted by the arrival of a delivery boy making his rounds. The attacker then ran off.

Mrs. Mulcahy

Not to be deterred, he shortly picked up another prostitute, Mrs Mulcahy, in Regent Street. He gave her £5 while they went by taxi to her flat in Paddington. When they got there she started to remove her clothes. According to Mrs Mulcahy, ‘a strange look came over his face.’ Cummins grabbed her by the throat and squeezed. Mrs M, who had kept her boots on because of the cold, kicked him in the shins, making him release her. Cummins recovered his composure, gave her another £5, and left. He left his belt behind this time.

When Cummins had been disturbed by the delivery boy during the attack on Greta Hayward, he left behind his RAF–issued gas mask case. The gas mask container had the service number 525987 on the side, identifying it as belonging to Cummins.

press_cutting_about_british_serial_killer_gordon_frederick_cummins_april_1942_4546375

 

On 16th February, the police arrested Gordon Frederick Cummins in the St. John’s Wood district. His fingerprints matched those on the bloody tin opener and a search of his quarters turned up several items that belonged to his victims.

On 27th April, Gordon Cummins was tried for the murder of Evelyn Oatley at the Old Bailey (before Mr Justice Asquith). He was charged with only one murder – presumably so that the authorities could immediately charge him with any of the other 3 homicides in the unlikely event of an acquittal in the Oatley case. The Prosecution was handled by Mr G.B. McClure; Cummins was represented by Mr J. Flowers. The trial lasted only a single day and the jury took a mere 35 minutes to find Cummins guilty of the murder of Evelyn Oatley. He was sentenced to death by hanging.

Lord Chief Justice Humphreys dismissed Cummings’ appeal and confirmed the sentence. On 25th June, “The Blackout Ripper” was executed at London’s Wandsworth Prison; an air raid was in progress over the city as he was led to the gallows.

Wandsworth-Prison

Vere St.Ledger Goold -Irish Wimbledon finalist and murderer.

Since Wimbledon is at full swing at the moment I thought it only appropriate to have a story about a Wimbledon semi finalist.

Vere Thomas “St. Leger” Goold (2 October 1853– 8 September 1909) was an Irish tennis player. He quickly faded from the game and ended his life in prison convicted of murder and premature death, by suicide.

Vere‘ST Leger’ Goold shares two distinctive titles: He was the first Irishman to make it to the semi finals of Wimbledon. He is also the only Wimbledon finalist ever to be convicted of murder.

Goold was the fifth son of a magistrate in Co Waterford, his grandfather was a baronet and his grandmother was a daughter of the Earl of Kenmare. He became interested in lawn tennis and quickly ascended the ranks of the Irish Tennis League, winning the Irish Open in 1879 at the age of 25. The first prize was £20, a hefty sum back then.

Goold then went on to compete in the third ever Wimbledon tournament. He was the favourite to win because of his splendid backhand. Goold dispatched his opponents handily, leading him to his place in the finals that year.

1879winbledon

However he was beaten by the Reverend John Thorneycroft Hartley, who had to rush back from giving a church sermon to reach the grounds on time.

rev

Historians suggest that part of the reason for Goold’s loss was that he was suffering from a “roaring” hangover.

Goold’s star faded after that. He reached the final of the first open tournament held in Cheltenham and lost in a closely fought match. He then failed to defend his Irish title in 1880, losing out in the challenge round.

Goold continued to play until 1883. His only other noteworthy win was in 1881 in an unofficial Irish–English international doubles game.As Goold’s career went downhill, he became a degenerate, wasting his money on drink and opium.

He moved to London, where a local journalist would later write of him: “Those who knew him described him as a man of perfect breeding and of courtly, charming manner, cultured and generous. He was wont when coming home late from the club or the theatre to collect stray cats and to bring them to share his supper.

He married a French dressmaker, Marie Giraudin, who, according to the London Times, had wed a man against her parents’ wishes but then left him and fled to England. There she met and married a captain in the English army — her first husband having died in the meantime — but was made a widow for a second time when the captain died and, sinking into penury, she was forced to sell her jewels. It was around this time, in London, that she met Goold. After marrying, the couple were reported to have taken a large and furnished house in London’s West End where they held lavish parties and “lived extravagantly”.

marie-goold

Early in 1902 the pair ran into serious financial problems. They fell into arrears on the rent and when the landlord called to the house he found it had been cleaned out, but not in a good way — the furniture had been sold.

From London, the Goolds fled to Canada, where Marie resumed her business in Montreal. The shop prospered but the profits were squandered on gambling , a foreshadow of the troubles to come — and on poor investments. They then shuttled between Montreal and Liverpool ,where Goold set up a laundry business. By then, the couple had re-invented themselves as “Sir Vere and Lady Goold”.

Vere, meanwhile, plotted a scheme to break the bank of the casino in Monte Carlo.

download

It had been done only a very few times in the past,once by an English actress who was said to have entranced Oscar Wilde,and Goold was determined that he would turn his fortunes around. A friend had advised him of a secret system of winning, which, he said, was “infallible”.

The Irishman and his French wife introduced themselves as ‘Sir’ and ‘Lady’, despite the fact that the baronetcy had not passed to him but to his older brother who was living in Australia.

According to the Irish Times, “They mixed with the best society and were frequently seen at the tables in the casino.” Goold himself was “quiet, unassuming and soft spoken” while his wife was invariably depicted as a domineering battleaxe. They were “on visiting terms with people of note in the resort and were always well dressed and paid their bills regularly”. Their niece, Isabelle, who stayed with them, was “one of the belles of the season” and had English doctors pursuing her across ballrooms.

While they lost all of their money at the roulette tables, the Goolds found their meal ticket, the Danish Emma Levin. She was the widow of a Stockholm broker and already had a hanger-on named Madame Castellazi. The Goolds borrowed £40 from Mrs Levin. They soon lost all of that money too.

After the couple got into a public fight with Madame Castellazi, Madame Levin decided to leave Monte Carlo to avoid the publicity. She came to see the Goolds’ villa to ask them for the money that they owed.

It appears a fight ensued. When the police later came to the villa, after Madame Castellazi reported Mrs Levin missing, there were blood stains all over the walls, the ceiling and the furniture. There was also a dagger and a butcher’s knife with blood on them.

However the Goolds and Mrs Levin were nowhere to be found. The Goolds had caught the train from Monte Carlo to Marseilles. They left a large suitcase and handbag at the station, with instructions that they be forwarded to London.

download (1)

A porter noticed the nasty smell and blood seeping from the luggage. When he opened the suitcase was horrified to discover the remains of Mrs Levin. The head was found in Mrs Goold’s hat-box and the legs in the other bag.

marie-goold-3

The Goolds were promptly arrested and clapped in separate prison cells. Vere was heard to morosely remark that he regretted that he hadn’t already committed suicide. He would later write incomprehensible notes to Isabelle, who now had to make her way in life alone, her marriageability tainted by association.

News of the crimes spread like cholera across Europe, there were frequent reports in the Irish Times and to the United States.

 

The feverish press interest brought a world of pressure on the investigating police force. “The Monte Carlo Trunk Murder”, as it became known, provided fresh morsels of intrigue on an almost daily basis. When interrogated, the Goolds seem to first have claimed that a man named Burker (or possibly Barker) had killed Ms Levin in their suite while they were absent, and they had merely dismembered her body to prevent a scandal taking place in their temporary home.

Their accounts didn’t match, however. The French police decided to let the prisoners stew or “cook” for a few more days. Vere was by then suffering from “profound depression” and had attacked a guard, while his wife had come under intensified suspicion as it was noticed that she had bruises on her arms and legs ,possibly caused in a physical struggle.

Worn down by inquisition, Vere now seemed prepared to take the blame. He confessed that Emma Levin had visited the suite to borrow money from him and, when he refused, they had a bitter argument and, addled by drink and rage, he stabbed her.

Marie, who was thought to keep both her husband and niece on the shortest of leashes, said that she had witnessed part of this altercation but ” … naturally I thought it better to leave them alone while they discussed the transaction. Suddenly I heard piercing cries and the sounds of a struggle”. When she had returned to the room she said she fainted but quickly recovered consciousness and came up with the idea that the body should be cut up. Vere was too drunk to do any such thing so they dumped their dead widow in the bath until the next morning at which point he took a saw to the dowager’s neck and limbs.

marie-goold-press-1

The trial in Monte Carlo lasted three days and there were 30 witnesses. It was dubbed ‘The Trunk Murder’.

Although Vere Goold confessed, the jury thought it more likely that Marie Goold was guilty. It came out in the trial that her two previous husbands had died in suspicious circumstances. They also felt that Marie had Vere so henpecked that he would not have murdered someone without her order. The papers labelled her “Lady MacBeth Reborn”.

A criminal profiler showed Goold’s flawed character. He argued that because his mother died when he was 17 and his father had died the year of the Wimbledon final, he had been without moral guidance. He was also a degenerate and morally incapable of making decisions due to his alcoholism and drug abuse.

The advocate general viewed Mr Goold as a “contemptuous pity, as a drink and drug-debauched creature.

Mrs Goold was sentenced to death but this was eventually reduced to life imprisonment because the Monegasque government didn’t have a guillotine or an executioner. She died of typhoid fever in jail in 1914.

Vere Goold was sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island in French Guinea. According to reports he had nightmares of his own legs being cut off and suffered severe withdrawal from whisky and opium. He died by suicide in 1909, aged 55.

8021-004-3AB853E2

.

Paul Ogorzow -WW2 Serial Killer

Paul Ogorzow

This is something that always intrigued me. How many serial killers were there during WWII and got away with it because they joined the various death squads? Where they could kill authorized by the Nazi regime, and indeed the regimes of the other axis nations.

And what differentiated those who were captured and brought to justice to those who killed indiscriminately in the name of the Nazi party? The answer would probably the Nazi ideology,although idiocy would probably be a more accurate description.

One of the WW2 serial killes was Paul Ogorzow.

Paul Ogorzow (29 September 1912 – 26 July 1941), also known as the S-Bahn Murderer, was a German serial killer and rapist who operated in Nazi-era Berlin during the height of World War II. Ogorzow was employed by Deutsche Reichsbahn, working for the commuter rail system in Berlin, the S-Bahn.

Ogorzow gained infamy by using the routine wartime blackouts, that took place as a result of the Allied bombing of Berlin, to more easily prey upon his victims. He was responsible for the murders of eight women during a nine-month-period from 4 October 1940 to 3 July 1941. Following his apprehension by the Kriminalpolizei (Kripo), Orgozow was executed by guillotine at Plötzensee prison in July 1941.

Paul Ogorzow was born on 29 September 1912 in the village of Muntowen, East Prussia, in what was then the German Empire (now: Muntowo, Poland).

He was the illegitimate child of a farm worker, Marie Saga. Her father later filled out his new grandson’s birth certificate, marking it with three crosses and the child’s birth name: Paul Saga.

In 1924, the now 12-year-old Saga was adopted by Johann Ogorzow, a farmer in Havelland. He eventually took Ogorzow’s surname as his own and relocated to the town of Nauen near Berlin. He initially worked as a laborer on his adoptive father’s farm and later found employment with a steel foundry in Brandenburg-an-der-Havel

Ogorzow joined the Nazi Party in 1931, at the age of 18, and became a member of its paramilitary branch, the Sturmabteilung (SA), the following year. After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Ogorzow rose modestly in the Party ranks. By the time of his capture, Ogorzow held the position of Scharführer (squad leader) in the SA.

In 1934, Ogorzow was hired as a platelayer by the Deutsche Reichsbahn (National Railroad). He steadily worked his way up through the organization, eventually working as an assistant signalman at Rummelsburg railway station in the eastern suburbs of Berlin, close to Karlshorst. This was the area where most of his crimes later occurred.

Bahnhof_Berlin-Rummelsburg_(S-Bahn)_Zugang_N

Beginning in August 1939, while he and his family were residing in Karlshorst, Ogorzow embarked on a violent series of sexual assaults, randomly attacking, brutalizing and then raping dozens of women in and around Berlin’s Friedrichsfelde district. At that time, the neighborhood that was populated mostly by solitary housewives, whose husbands had been called up to serve in the war. It was these vulnerable women who initially served as Ogorzow’s primary source of rape victims.

The Berlin police documented 31 separate cases of rape and other sexual assaults that occurred in the area, all of which were later connected to Ogorzow. During his attacks, Ogorzow either choked his victims, threatened them with a knife, or bludgeoned them with a blunt object. In their statements, all the victims mentioned their attacker wore a railway worker’s uniform.

Paul-Ogorzow-Uniforme

Ogorzow also first began attempting to murder some of his victims during this time. His initial efforts, however, met with little success. Between August 1939 and July 1940, Ogorzow attacked and stabbed three different women, all of whom later went on to recover and serve as witnesses against him.

The citizens of Berlin in 1940 were living with rationing, nightly blackouts, and the first regular Allied bombing raids.

 

To add to their plight, the bodies of women who had suffered horrific abuse began to appear. Gerda Ditter’s body appeared in October, strangled and stabbed to death. In November, another young woman was thrown from a moving train. And on December 4, two more bodies were found, thrown from a moving train. One woman survived, the other didn’t.

On December 22, the body of Elisabeth Bungener was found with a fractured skull close to the railroad tracks. A week later, the body of another woman who suffered a fractured skull was found near the tracks. Another body was found in January 1941. After that, the killer disappeared for five weeks. Then on February 11 Johanna Voigt’s body was discovered, also with a fractured skull. The final victim, Frieda Koziol, was found five months later in July.

While the infamous S-Bahn Murderer was on his rampage, he was being pursued by the Kriminalpolizei (aka ‘Kripo’), Berlin’s serious crime unit. But they had a tough job finding the killer

Their biggest antagonist wasn’t the S-Bahn murderer, but the blackout. The killer’s victims weren’t the only bodies that appeared around the railroad tracks; in fact, in December of 1940 alone there were 28 deaths attributed to accidents on the railway. These were direct results of the blackout—people were hit by trains either when crossing tracks or when they accidentally stepped off train platforms. In addition, the blackouts had sparked a crime wave in Berlin, distracting from the investigation and adding to the body count as well.

Besides the blackout, the investigators were hampered by the Nazi regime. The government did not want word of the killings to cause fear among the general populace, and so they tamped down on reporting. This deprived the investigation of any tips from the general public.

Other hindrances to the investigation came from biases that shaped the investigator’s outlook. There was a tendency to trust people in uniform who held an official position. Paul Ogorzow worked for German Railways, and his uniform proved as a kind of shield.

A bigger bias though was the racial prejudices the Nazis became infamous for. Some believed the killer had to be a Jew, because large numbers of Jews worked on German Railways. Others thought it might be a British Agent attempting to sow fear in the capital. Given the Nazi’s tendency toward bizarre espionage, it at least seemed plausible. Another theory was that the killer was one of the thousands of foreign workers who were brought to Berlin to fill the need for labor. Given the large numbers of foreigners in the city, this seemed plausible.

That is, until a serious look at German Railway employees netted one name again and again. Paul Ogorzow was known among his coworkers for his hatred of women and his slacker tendencies—he had a habit of wandering off during his shifts. If it were not for his coworker’s suspicions, the Kripo may not have looked at him at all, because he was a married man with two children. Not to mention, he was a Nazi party member.

Ogorzow was brought in and subjected to intense questioning. He eventually cracked and confessed to eight murders and several assaults. His weapon of choice seemed to be a length of lead cable. In a bizarre attempt to save himself, he claimed that a Jewish doctor’s treatment for gonorrhea had awakened his murderous urges. The Kripo didn’t buy it, nor did the government. It seems that Ogorzow’s Nazi allegiance cloud not save him. He was executed by guillotine.

Charles Harrelson- Woody Harrelson’s Father and contract killer.

Harrelson_Charles

If you think this is a bizarre title wait until you read the full story

­

When Woody Harrelson was cast as a psychotic spree killer in Oliver Stone’s film Natural Born Killers, many people were surprised. Since Harrelson was known for playing the innocent, good-natured Woody Boyd on Cheers, it was hard to visualize him as a murderer. It turns out, however, that murder is a major part of Woody Harrelson’s real-life family background.NBKillaz

Charles Harrelson was born on July 23, 1938, in Huntsville, Texas, the son of Alma Lee (née Sparks) and Voyde Harrelson. He was married to Nancy Hillman Harrelson, Jo Ann Harrelson, Diane Lou Oswald and Gina Adelle Foster. Harrelson worked as an encyclopedia salesman in California and as a professional gambler. In 1960, he was convicted of armed robbery.

Harrelson’s son, Woody Harrelson (born July 23, 1961), became a well-known television and film actor. According to Woody, his father disappeared from the family’s home in Houston in 1968, leaving his wife Diane to raise Woody and his two brothers. Woody lost track of his father until 1981, when news broke of Harrelson’s arrest for the murder of Judge Wood. During an interview in November 1988, Woody revealed that he visited his father regularly in federal prison, though he still harbored mixed feelings for him, saying “my father is one of the most articulate, well-read, charming people I’ve ever known. Still, I’m just now gauging whether he merits my loyalty or friendship. I look at him as someone who could be a friend more than someone who was a father

Defended by Percy Foreman, Harrelson was tried for the 1968 murder of Alan Harry Berg (no relation to the Denver talk radio DJ Alan Berg, later murdered by white supremacists) On September 22, 1970, he was acquitted by a jury in Angleton, Texas.The murder is chronicled in the acclaimed memoir Run Brother Run by the victim’s brother, David Berg.

­
Prior to the Wood murder, Harrelson was tried for the 1968 murder-for-hire killing of Sam Degelia, Jr., a resident of Hearne, Texas. Harrelson was paid $2000 for the murder of Degelia, a grain dealer and father of four who was killed in McAllen, Texas. His first trial ended with a deadlocked jury,although Pete Scamardo was also tried in the case, found guilty of being an accomplice to the murder, and sentenced to seven years probation.Harrelson was retried in 1973, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.In 1978, after serving 5 years, he was released early for good behavior.

Shortly after Harrelson was paroled in 1978, he was implicated in another murder. On May 29, 1979, U.S. District Judge John H. Wood, Jr. was shot dead in the parking lot outside his San Antonio, Texas, townhouse.

wood

Harrelson was convicted of killing Judge Wood after being hired by drug dealer Jamiel Chagra of El Paso. Wood — nicknamed “Maximum John” because of his reputation for handing down long sentences for drug offenses — was originally scheduled to have Chagra appear before him on the day of his murder, but the trial had been delayed.

Harrelson was apprehended with the aid of an anonymous tip and a tape recording of a conversation that occurred during a visit from Joe Chagra to his brother Jamiel Chagra in prison. Harrelson claimed at trial that he did not kill Judge Wood, but merely took credit for it so he could claim a large payment from Chagra.

Harrelson was sentenced to two life terms based largely on Chagra’s conversation with his brother from prison. Both Harrelson and Joe Chagra were implicated in the assassination, and Chagra received a ten-year sentence. Jamiel Chagra was acquitted of the murder when his brother Joe refused to testify against him. Chagra was represented by future mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, then a public defender. In a plea bargain, Jamiel Chagra admitted to his role in the murder of Judge Wood and to the attempted murder of a U.S. Attorney. Jo Ann Harrelson was also convicted of conspiracy and perjury.

In 2003, Chagra recanted his previous statements, and stated that someone other than Harrelson had in fact shot Judge Wood. His son, Woody, then attempted to have his father’s conviction overturned in order to secure a new trial, though without success.Chagra died in July 2008 of cancer.

In September 1980, Harrelson surrendered to police after a six-hour standoff in which he was reportedly “high on cocaine”. During the standoff, he threatened suicide and stated that he had killed Judge Wood and President John F. Kennedy.In a television interview after his arrest, Harrelson said: “At the same time I said I had killed the judge, I said I had killed Kennedy, which might give you an idea to the state of my mind at the time.” He said that the statements made during the standoff were “an effort to elongate my life.”

CharlesVHarrelson-tramp

Joseph Chagra later testified during Harrelson’s trial that Harrelson claimed to have shot Kennedy and drew maps to show where he was hiding during the assassination. Chagra said that he did not believe Harrelson’s claim, and the AP reported that the FBI “apparently discounted any involvement by Harrelson in the Kennedy assassination.”According to Jim Marrs in 1989’s Crossfire, Harrelson is believed to be the youngest and tallest of the “three tramps” by many conspiracy theorists.Marrs stated that Harrelson was involved “with criminals connected to intelligence agencies and the military” and suggested that he was connected to Jack Ruby through Russell Douglas Matthews, a third party with links to organized crime who was known to both Harrelson and Ruby. Lois Gibson, a well-known forensic artist, matched photographs of Harrelson to the photographs of the youngest-looking of the three “tramps”

The JFK link doesn’t stop there. The Actor Bill Paxton who was in one episode of Frasier(a spin off series off Cheers, in which Woody Harrelson starred with Kelsey Grammer) had been at a JFK event on the 22 November 1963, the day JFK was shot.

Below is a picture of that event. Bill Paxton is the little boy sitting on the shoulders of a man presumably his Father.

bill

 

On a side note but also a connection with Woody Harrelson, The sister of Kelsey Grammer, ,co star of Cheers and star of Frasier,was murdered and raped by a spree killer. The type if killer Woody played in Natural Born Killers, that is as far as the connection goes though.

On July 4, 1995, Harrelson and two other inmates, Gary Settle and Michael Rivers, attempted to escape from the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary using a makeshift rope. A warning shot was fired at them from the prison’s tower, and the trio surrendered.Harrelson was subsequently transferred to Supermax prison ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado. In a letter to a friend, Harrelson wrote that he enjoyed his life inside the maximum security facility, writing that “there are not enough hours in a day for my needs as a matter of fact… The silence is wonderful.”

He was found unresponsive in his cell on March 15, 2007, having died of a heart attack; and an autopsy showed he had severe coronary artery disease.His Federal Bureau of Prisons Register number was 02582-016.

IJje Wijkstra and Durk Tabak, 2 shady characters.

The Netherlands is generally known as a peaceful country with relatively little crime and especially the 2 most Northern provinces Friesland and Groningen, which are both rural areas would not be known for brutal crimes and yet 2 of the most notorious crimes in the country took place there. As far as my memory serves me one of the crimes is the 1st recorded mass murders in the country.

 

IIje Wijkstra

Wijkstra-4-2

For all the non Dutch speakers, don’t even attempt to pronounce the name. For all the non Frisians and Groningers, the same applies.

He was born on the 4th of July 1885 in Doezum(Groningen) as the youngest of 7 children, which was actually an average size family in those days.

After primary school IJje started an apprenticeship as a bricklayer, aside from that he would also go poaching with his father. He certainly knew how to handle a gun.

In 1928 he started an affair with Aaltje Wobbes, the wife of his friend Hendrik Wobbes, who was in jail for theft at the time.It is rumored that Aaltje had a great influence on IJje, after they have spent 2 weeks together in Aaltjes house, the pair decided that it was best they move into IJje’s place and leave Aaltje’s 6 children behind.

Because of the abandoning of the children, a judge ordered to apprehend Aaltje en bring her in for questioning.On the 18th of January 1929,two communal policemen (Aldert Meijer and Mient van der Molen) and 2 state policemen (Herman Hoving en Jan Werkman) were sent to arrest her.

IJje was aware of the arrest order and waited for the police to come with his rifle.220px-Saginaw-M1

It was -18 Celcius that day. IJje shot all 4 police officers and got injured himself,albeit just lightly.

After the murders  he burned the house and took Aaltje to his nephew.

iije

IJje tried to escape to the City of Groningen but on his way to the hospital he wass caught.

In April 1929 IJje was convicted to life by a court in Groningen  but after an appeal in Leeuwarden (the capital of Fiesland)  the sentence was reduced to 20 years.

In 1941 he was transferred from the states prison in Leeuwarden to an asylum for the mentally disabled in Eindhoven, why this was, is unclear but the Germans had invaded the Netherlands at that stage and they probably  had a different agenda, IJje died in the asylum in 1941 due to tuberculosis . I suspect the Nazi’s may have conducted some experiments on him.

In 1980 a movie was made of that fateful day in 1929, called “Het teken van het beest” the English title is “the Mark of the beast”

teken

Below a picture of the graves of the 2 states police officers.

220px-090321_Graven_slachtoffers_IJe_Wijkstra_Esserveld_Groningen_NL

Durk Tabak.

300px-Tabak-60

As a kid I heard this name and his story being mentioned a lot in my family, probably because there is a possibility I am related to him.

Durk was born on Wednesday 10 December 1902 in Harkema, Achtkarspelen, he was a son of Johannes Johannes Tabak and Antje Minnes Folkerstma.

Durk died on Friday 16 September 1949 in Surhuizum, Achtkarspelen, age 46.

He was a good friend of IJje Wijkstra. This is something I couldn’t understand until recently. Durk was living in Friesland and IJje was a resident of the province of Groningen. Even though the Netherlands is a small country at the start of the 20th century, in a rural area with little to no cars and even less public transport, the distance to me seemed substantial.

Apparently Durk taught IJje to play the accordeon.

300px-Tabak-60-1

However when I looked closer at a map recently , I noticed that Harkema was at the very east of Friesland and Doezum was at the very west of Groningen, in fact the 2 places are so close that the distance can be done by foot.

Anyway  Durk Tabak was a double  murderer and a musician. In 1930, Tabak was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he had stabbed the 29 year Jan van der Meulen to death in a café in Drachten.

Durk Tabak was a draughtsman by trade , but was also a gifted accordeon player..A few years after being released, he shot his mistress Grietje Groenland-Hayema in Augustinusga. After this horrific deed, he committed suicide by shooting himself through the head.

Because he had been an exemplary prisoner he could have been released in 1943 but because of the German occupation and of fear he would be drafted into the German army, Durk opted to remain in  prison.

Durk died on Friday 16 September 1949 in Surhuizum, Achtkarspelen, aged 46. He shot himself after killing his mistress Grietje Groenland-Hayema.

Durk is also one of the main characters in the movies “the Mark of the beast”