On April 11th in true crime, murder in Los Angeles, assassination in London, prison escape, double murder, mosque shooting, and bigamy.
In Los Angeles, the body of 52-year-old business executive James Gentry was discovered by his friend in an upmarket Westside residence.
The murder remained unsolved until 2011 when Ohio detectives were brought into assist the Los Angeles Cold Case unit. In August 2011, detectives in Ohio arrested 62-year-old Walter Randolph Peartree for the murder.
In Leon County, Florida, Donald Dillbeck shot dead a Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy when he was approached after being reported for suspicious behaviour. Dillbeck exited his vehicle and the deputy went after him, a resulting struggle left the deputy being fatally shot.
Dillbeck was arrested on June 6th 1979 and sentenced to life in prison. In 1990, Dillbeck was working a catering event with other prisoners when he escaped and tried to steal a vehicle.
The female driver fought back but she was stabbed to death. Dillbeck was recaptured and in 1991 was sentenced to death for the woman’s murder.
In Regent’s Park, London, Mohammed Mustafa Ramadan was shot dead by two gunmen as he left the Regent’s Park Mosque.
Ramadan was a Libyan reporter for the BBC’s Arabic Service. His assassination was the first Libyan-connected murder since the announcement of Muammar Gaddafi’s campaign against expatriates who had fled Libya.
The two gunmen, Ben Hassan al-Masri and Nagib Mufta Gasmi, were arrested shortly after.
In Starke, Florida, Edward Dean Kennedy and two other inmates escaped from the Florida State Prison. Kennedy was serving a life sentence for the murder of a motel clerk in Miami in 1978.
The two other inmates were recaptured within hours and transported back to prison. Kennedy broke into a trailer home to change clothes but was interrupted by the owner, Floyd H. Cone, Jr., and his cousin, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Robert C. McDermon.
A struggle ensued but Kennedy managed to retrieve a shotgun and killed Cone and McDermon. He then went to a neighbouring trailer and held the inhabitant’s hostage until he was re-captured.
He was later sentenced to death for the two murders and executed in the electric chair on July 21st 1992.
In Jerusalem, Israeli citizen Alan Goodman, marched into the Al-Aqsa Mosque with an M-16 rifle and opened fire on worshippers.
He killed two Palestinians and wounded many others. He was arrested the same day and served a 15 year prison sentence.
He moved back to his family home in Baltimore in 1997 and claimed it was the greatest day of his life. In the six days that followed the shooting, violent riots took place throughout Jerusalem.
In Phoenix, Arizona bigamist and fraudster Giovanni Vigliotto was sentenced to 28 years in prison for fraud and six counts of bigamy.
He was also fined an additional $336,000 (USD). Vigliotto married women and abandoned them, sometimes within days. He was known to have married 105 women, until his 105th victim decided to find him herself, which led to his arrest.
Once he married a victim, he convinced them to sell their homes and put all their belongings into a truck. Then he sold everything they had at flea markets all over the country.
Investigators struggled to find any leads until his 105th victim caught him. He died in prison in 1991.
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I'm honoured. Thank you and stay safe.
I really enjoy reading your short clips about the crimes committed. I like the books you write too.
The number of victims is always contentious.
Why not Jack the Ripper? He could have had different MO's.
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I think this was no way an accident or a case of getting lost, this was murder. If they got…