Identifying evil

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What a tremendous feeling it must have been to accuse and identify  those who committed awful crimes, without the fear of retaliation. Probably it wasn’t even out of revenge but with a feeling of getting justice done.

On the other side how panicking it must have been for those criminals when the finger was pointed at them.Unfortunately we know that the majority of them still got away with no or lenient sentences.

The above picture depicts a liberated Russian inmate pointing an identifying and accusing finger at a Nazi guard who was especially cruel towards the prisoners in Buchenwald camp.There’s something really fascinating about this picture. We can only see so much of the prisoner’s expression here, but that finger means so much. Days, maybe even hours earlier, that prisoner might have been afraid to cross paths with or even make eye contact with this man.

A survivor drags a former concentration camp guard by the hair while American troops look on at the newly liberated Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp.

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Concentration Camp prisoner holding German at bayonet point after liberation of his camp.How tempted he must have been to just pull the trigger.

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Former inmates of Dachau Concentration Camp moments away from executing an SS guard with a shovel.

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A freed prisoner fights a German soldier who was recently captured by the U.S soldiers at the dachau concentration camp, the Americans are watching the fight continue.

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German soldiers react to footage of concentration camps, 1945.I wonder did they identify themselves and their mates in the footage, or what the crimes they committed,and did they care?

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Another view of this scene that was taken from the back of the theater.

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Criminal Songs

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On this day in 1974 the Bob Marley song “I shot the Sheriff” performed by Eric Clapton reached Number 1 in the Billboard 100.

Throughout the decades there have been many songs that were about crime or criminal behaviour, this is just a quick overview of some of these Criminal Songs.

Crime and murder have been the subject of popular recorded music since the invention of the phonograph. “Stagolee,” also known and performed as “Stagger Lee,” was one of the 20th century’s first hits. The lyrics, in which the theft of a Stetson hat leads to the death of a self-professed family man, were based on an actual murder that occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1894 or 1895.

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Over the years, versions of the song have been recorded by hundreds of artists, including, more recently, the Grateful Dead and Nick Cave.

Derek Bentley was convicted and hanged for the murder of Police Constable Sidney Miles in London in 1952. But Bentley did not fire the shot that killed Miles. His underage accomplice Christopher Craig did. Bentley shouted the ambiguous phrase “let him have it, Chris” to his coconspirator, which was part of the reason his death sentence has been highly contested.

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Elvis Costello brings his customary literate vitriol to the case on “Let Him Dangle” from his late ‘80s smash, Spike, and takes down capital punishment in the process.

Johnny Cash recorded  “Mr. Garfield”  recounting the assassination of President Garfield by Charles Guiteau in 1881 for his epic 1965 concept album Johnny Cash Sings the Ballads of the True West. Instead of recounting the grisly details of the murder, Cash focuses his attention on the strife of the nation as it comes to grips with its fallen leader.

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“Strange Fruit” was originated as a poem written by American writer, teacher and songwriter Abel Meeropol, under his pseudonym Lewis Allan, as a protest against lynchings.

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In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, inspired by Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem under the title “Bitter Fruit” in 1937 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine.Though Meeropol had asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set “Strange Fruit” to music himself.

“Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds”  by Alabama 3 is a rarity on this list, as it features guest vocals from the criminal himself. In 1963, Reynolds carried out The Great Train Robbery, which at the time was Britain’s largest robbery ever.

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While Reynolds was on the run following the incident, folk musician Nigel Denver immortalized the rogue in the song “Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds.” Reynolds eventually served 25 years in prison, and the song saw resurrection via the Alabama 3 a few decades after his release. In a strange twist, the Alabama 3 claims Reynolds’ son, Nick, among its members, a fact that led to a controversial appearance by Reynolds on the track.

 

 

 

World’s most dangerous criminals-Well not really.

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In this blog mug shots of extremely dangerous criminals, well not really. They are actually pictures of celebrities after they were arrested for relatively minor offences. Some I expected but others were a surprise to me like the mug shot above of Larry King arrested in Miami, Florida on charges of grand larceny after stealing $5,000 from a business partner. December 20, 1971.

Bill Gates

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Arrested for driving without a license and failing to stop at a stop sign. December 13, 1977.

Steve McQueen

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Arrested for arrest for drunk driving and speeding on in Anchorage, Alaska. June 22, 1972.

Jimi Hendrix

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Arrested for narcotics possession at Toronto International Airport. May 3, 1969.

Jane Fonda

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Arrested for drug smuggling and kicking a policeman during the scuffle at an airport in Cleveland, Ohio. November 3, 1970.

However, the actress/antiwar activist was only carrying vitamins, not illegal drugs, and insists that she was targeted by the Nixon White House because of her anti-establishment political convictions.

Mick Jagger

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Arrested along with Rolling Stones bandmate Keith Richards for attacking a paparazzo and obstructing a police officer who intervened in Warwick, Rhode Island. July 18, 1972.

Frank Sinatra

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Arrested in Hackensack, New Jersey on charges of adultery and seduction for “carrying on with a married woman.” November 26, 1938.

Jim Morrison

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Several years before he became the frontman of The Doors, Morrison was arrested in Tallahassee, Florida and charged with petty larceny, public intoxication, disturbing the peace, and resisting arrest after drunkenly stealing a cop’s helmet and then not going quietly once he was caught. September 28, 1963.

Martin Luther King Jr.

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Arrested for his role in the boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama. February 24, 1956.

Johnny Cash

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Arrested in El Paso, Texas for carrying hundreds of pep pills and tranquilizers in his luggage across the border as he returned from a trip to Juarez, Mexico. October 4, 1965.

Rosa Parks

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Arrested for her role in the boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama. February 22, 1956

David Bowie

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Arrested after a performance in Rochester, New York along with three other people (including fellow musician Iggy Pop) for marijuana possession. March 25, 1976.

The charges soon disappeared, but Bowie never performed in Rochester again.

Kurt Cobain

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Arrested in Aberdeen, Washington for trespassing onto the roof of an abandoned warehouse while intoxicated. May 25, 1986

Sketches of Crime

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Sketch artists were and are often used in court cases, especially in those were no media is allowed.

Below are some examples of court sketches from some very famous cases.

All White Jury Frees Klan Members,By Howard Brodie

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Civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo was shot and killed on March 25, 1965, as she drove African American civil rights marcher Leroy Moton in her car from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama. Four Ku Klux Klan members, Eugene Thomas, William Eaton, Collie Leroy Wilkins, Jr., and Thomas Rowe, Jr., were arrested and tried. Artist Howard Brodie drew the all-white, all-male jury that served at one of the multiple trials. While Rowe, an FBI informant, received immunity for his testimony, Thomas, Eaton and Wilkins, were acquitted in state trials. On December 3, 1965, the three men received ten-year sentences on a federal charge of conspiracy to deprive Liuzzo of her civil rights. As a result of Liuzzo’s death, President Johnson petitioned Congress to increase the scope of the Federal Conspiracy Act of 1870 to include the death of civil rights workers. Her death also helped raise support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act, Pub. L. 89-110.

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 Law Suits against Cigarette Manufacturers,By Marilyn Church

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Donald J. Cohn of Webster & Sheffield, a cigarette manufacturer’s counsel, is shown speaking to the jury in Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 683 F.Supp. 1487 (1988), in U.S. District Court D in New Jersey. Presiding Judge H. Lee Sarokin agreed with the defendants that affixing to their product the Surgeon General’s warning that cigarette smoking is dangerous to one’s health fulfilled the minimum requirement for cigarette manufacturers and that the plaintiff’s lawyers could not argue based on the advertiser’s implications that lower nicotine content is safer. Rose Cipollone had died but her family argued it up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Cipollones lost their case, but the justices ruled during litigation that smokers might have other grounds to pursue claims against cigarette manufacturers under state laws.

O. J. Simpson  Civil Trial,by Bill Robles

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Unlike his well-publicized criminal trial, which was broadcast on television, O.J. Simpson’s civil trial was a quieter affair. Bill Robles drew the former football star during the civil court case on a day in which several witnesses elaborated on his late ex-wife’s attempts to end his stalking. When Simpson was ordered to pay $33.5 million to the families of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, he claimed to be broke and so they received comparatively little.

Larry Flynt vs Jerry Falwell,By Aggie Kenny

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Publisher Larry Flynt provoked a lawsuit for damages for satirizing televangelist Jerry Falwell in a fake Campari ad in Hustler magazine. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously agreed in Hustler v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), that a parody, which no reasonable person expected to be true, was protected free speech. The justices also stated that upholding the lower courts’ decisions would put all political satire at risk. Alan Isaacman defended Flynt before eight justices, as Justice Anthony Kennedy recused himself. Flynt (in a wheelchair) is isolated due to an outburst during a previous Supreme Court appearance in another libel case.

Helter Skelter,By Bill Robles

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In the more than nine months that Charles Manson was on trial for the murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, he grew increasingly agitated. On October 5, 1970, he quickly leaped from the defense table, pencil in hand, preparing to stab Justice Charles H. Older. Bill Robles captured Manson’s frenzied energy, which seemingly required all the might of the burly bailiff to restrain him. The pencil, still in motion, flies through the air toward the judge. By all accounts, Older did not even flinch. Walter Cronkite led off CBS Evening News that night with Robles’s drawing.

Trial of Michael Jackson,By Bill Robles

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In 2005, Michael Jackson faced trial in Santa Monica, California, on charges of molesting a teenager. He was found not guilty. After the trial Jackson said, “I haven’t been betrayed or deceived by children. Adults have let me down.” Artist Bill Robles found drawing at the trial a challenge—he endured the “Melville diet” named after Judge Rodney Melville who scheduled only three ten-minute breaks and no lunch. Robles had barely enough time to meet the network news truck to film his drawings before returning inside to draw again.

Son of Sam,By Joseph Papin

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David Berkowitz had terrorized New York City for a year, killing and injuring young couples out late at night and sending letters from the “Son of Sam” to New York Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin before he was captured. Appearing in court on May 22, 1978, for sentencing, Berkowitz exploded in the courtroom, shouting, “I’ll kill them all,” as guards escorted him out. The judge delayed his sentencing until June 12, when he was much calmer. Rather than face a jury trial, Berkowitz pled guilty. Joseph Papin’s drawing, which captured the criminal’s anguished mental breakdown so vividly, appeared on the cover of the New York Daily News.

Cold cases of the WWII era

Not all murders committed during 1939 and 1945 were war related. Just because there was a war going on didn’t mean that the ‘regular’ criminals’ stopped their efforts. In fact the war would often give them a cover, so much so that some of these cases were never solved.

The Ora Murray case

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Near dawn on the morning of July 27, 1943, the son of a caretaker at the Fox Hills Golf Course was startled by the loud barking of a dog, Pete, an Airedale belonging to one of the groundsmen.

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The boy went to investigate, thinking that Pete had cornered a gopher. When he found Pete, the dog was standing near the semi-nude  mutilated body of a woman. The boy called the Sheriff’s Department.

LASD Inspector Penprase arrived at the murder scene, which was about 100 yards from the clubhouse. Penprase told reporters that it was evident that the victim, soon identified as Mrs. Ora Murray, had been fierce in defense of her life despite the fact that she was recovering from three broken ribs.

Most of her undergarments had been ripped away, and her dress was in tatters. Under Murray’s body was a flattened gardenia corsage wrapped with tinsel. The press called the case The Gardenia Murder.

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According to Inspector Penprase, it appeared that Murray had been strangled to death. Ora had last been seen alive at 11 pm. the night before her slaying with a man named Paul.  While the search for Paul continued, Ora’s sister, Mrs. Latona Leinnan  was located. She told cops that she and Ora had gone to a public dance together. It was at the dance that Ora met a man who suggested the three of them go out for a drive. Leinnan asked the man if he’d stop by her house first so her husband could join them and make it a foursome.  When they reached Latona’s home her husband wasn’t in the mood to go out, so Ora left with the stranger.

The mystery man, Paul, was described by Latona as about 30, 135 pounds, and five feet eight inches tall. He had black hair and he was wearing a dark, double-breasted suit.  He was driving a 1942 Buick convertible coupe with a three inch silver stripe painted around the body.

About one week following the discovery of her body, LASD detectives received a phone call from a woman who said that she’d been jilted by a man named Grant Wyatt Terry — and he matched the description of the mystery man, Paul.

Terry’s spurned lover, Miss Jeannette J. Walser, told a tale of a whirlwind courtship by the possible slayer and his disappearance with a $300 diamond ring and $700 in cash. Jeanette had given Terry the cash and jewelry shortly before they were to be married.

Jeanette told Inspector Penprase that she had met Terry at a cocktail lounge on July 17, and he proposed marriage to her two days later! He told her he was an attorney for the Feds and was assigned to various Army camps, then he borrowed her car for “an important trip to San Diego”.  Walser’s car matched the description of the one driven by “Paul”. Ora’s sister Latona was shown a photo of Terry, and she identified him as Paul.

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Finally in March 1944 the man known as Paul, with whom Ora had gone on her last car ride, was seized in New York by the FBI. His name wasn’t Paul, and his name wasn’t Terry (as he had told Jeanette, his heartbroken fiancee), his real name was Roger Lewis Gardner.He was never tried for the murder for the jury did not think he was a killer, a con man yes, but not a killer.

The Georgette Bauerdorf case

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Georgette Bauerdorf was a young socialite with a grand future—until 1944, when her life was cut short in the dead of the night.

Born to an oil tycoon in New York City in 1924, Georgette lived a life of privilege. She and her older sister attended a convent school on Long Island, where they were trained in goodness and propriety. When the girls’ mother died in 1935, the Bauerdorf siblings and their father moved to California, where Georgette was once again enrolled in a school that befit her place in society—alumnus of the Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles included Shirley Temple and Myrna Loy.

Upon graduation in 1941, young Georgette moved to West Hollywood to pursue an acting career. By the age of 20, she found work at the Los Angeles Times in the Women’s Service Bureau and at the Hollywood Canteen—a dining and dancing club that catered to young men in uniform. Georgette called El Palacia her home, a grand Spanish-style house that played host to numerous celebrities. Her evenings were filled with nights out on the town; she was courted often and enjoyed the attention of her many suitors.

Exactly what happened on the night of October 11, 1944 remains a mystery. It was a Wednesday; Georgette was at the Canteen, where her role as a Junior Hostess meant she danced with and entertained the servicemen on layover in Los Angeles. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary that night. At the end of her shift, she climbed into her sister’s Pontiac coupe and drove home.

At 11:00 a.m. that following morning, Georgette’s maid and a janitor arrived to clean her apartment. They were met with an unlocked front door. The cleaners entered and found Georgette’s lifeless body face down in her bathtub, the water still running.

In the days following the murder, police received a leter  from a Sergeant Gordon Aadland. Aadland claimed that a woman matching Georgette’s description gave him a lift through Hollywood on the night of October 11.

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In the letter, he described the woman as appearing quite nervous, though he would downplay this claim in later years.

The killer, meanwhile, vanished into the night after the slaying, driving off in Georgette’s car. The vehicle was found some distance away, abandoned and out of gas. It was the last trace of the killer in a case that quickly went cold.

The case of Josslyn Hay, Lord Errol

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Josslyn Hay, Lord Erroll – he was found shot dead in his car on 21 January 1941, after a night with his mistress, Lady Delves Broughton. He was known as the king of the Happy Valley set: white socialites who had drunken orgies in Kenya. Ex-lover Alice de Janzé was suspected, but had an alibi. Jealous husband Sir Jock Delves Broughton was tried and acquitted. He killed himself in 1942. The mentally ill de Janzé had committed suicide in September, 1941, three months after the trial.

The case of Harry Oakes

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Sir Harry Oakes, 1st Baronet of Nassau (23 December 1874 – 7 July 1943) was an American-born British Canadian gold mine owner, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He earned his fortune in Canada and in the 1930s moved to the Bahamas for tax purposes, where he was murdered in 1943 in notorious circumstances. The cause of death and the details surrounding it have never been entirely determined, and have been the subject of several books and four films. He was found in his mansion in Nassau, Bahamas on 8 July 1943. His son-in-law, Count Alfred de Marigny, was arrested shortly afterwards based on evidence allegedly uncovered by two Miami police detectives brought in to work the case, who had upset their Bahamanian counterparts by completely taking over the investigation. However, weaknesses in the case led to de Marigny’s acquittal; no one else has ever been tried.

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The case of David Bacon

sr19-davidbacon-liveActor David Bacon, best known for playing Bob Barton in the Masked Marvel serials of the 1930s, died shortly after crashing his car in Santa Monica, California on 12 September 1943. Afterwards he was found to have been suffering from a stab wound to the chest; no suspect has ever been identified.

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According to an autopsy report, a person could live for 20 minutes with such a wound. The interior of Bacon’s car was soaked with blood. It was never clear whether Bacon was stabbed inside or outside the car. The knife was never found, even though the field was thoroughly searched. So many questions unanswered.

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He was born Gaspar Griswold Bacon, Jr. in Barnstable, Massachusetts, and his family was one of the prominent, politically active Boston Brahmin families. His father, Gaspar G. Bacon, was on the board of Harvard University, and later, in the 1930s, served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.

Bacon married Austrian opera singer Greta Keller in ‘42 and began to obtain several small film roles, the biggest being Republic’s “Masked Marvel” serial filmed from July 14 to August 18, 1943. About this time Hughes signed Bacon to an exclusive contract, intending to use him as Billy the Kid in “The Outlaw”. However, Hughes later deemed Bacon unsuitable, probably due to his non-western New England upbringing. He was replaced by Jack Beutel.

This is where innuendo comes into play. In interviews after Bacon’s murder, his widow alleged there was a homosecual relationship between Hughes and Bacon and blames her husband’s cancellation from “The Outlaw” on a “lover’s quarrel.” However, Hughes biographies have found no validity to this claim.

Witnesses to the September car crash claimed to have seen a passenger in the car. Two others claimed to have seen a man and a woman.

Bacon’s wife returned to Europe after the war then returned to the U.S. in the ‘50s where she became a popular cabaret singer.

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A few years before her death in 1977 her voice was used in the Oscar winning movie “Cabaret” (‘72) singing the song “Heirat”.Bacon’s killer was never caught, The Masked Marvel Murder Mystery remains unsolved. Today, all files pertaining to the case have been destroyed.

The Ernst Dehmel case

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For the last one I don’t really care if this case get solved .Ernst Dehmel, 30, a decorated officer in the German Waffen-SS, was allegedly beaten to death by French soldiers who had him in their custody at Remscheid-Lüttringhausen on 7 August 1945. No charges have ever been brought.

 

Murdered musicians

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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George Harrison

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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.

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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.

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Harry Dobkin-Blitz Murderer

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Allied Gangster-American WWII deserters

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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Marcel Petiot-“Doctor Satan”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”

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.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.

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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.

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