True Crime On This Day April 19th

True Crime On This Day April 19th

April 19th

On April 19th in true crime, death sentence, mistaken identity, murder in Detroit, missing person cold case, and a German serial killer.


In Pima County, Arizona, Jimmie Wayne Jeffers was sentenced to death for the 1976 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Penelope Cheney. He gave her a heroin overdose and strangled her out of revenge for allegedly being a snitch.

Jeffers kept her body in the shower for three days before burying her in an isolated area near Sedona. He was caught shortly after and sentenced to death. On September 13th 1995, Jeffers was executed by lethal injection in Arizona.


In New York, 19-year-old college student, Dominick Ragucci, became involved in a high-speed car chase that resulted in him being shot dead by mob boss Roy DeMeo.

DeMeo had mistaken Ragucci for being a Cuban drug cartel hitman and chased him down. The DeMeo Crew were responsible for at least 100 murders in the 1970s and 1980s.


In Detroit, the body of 24-year-old prostitute Jeanette Woods was discovered on a sidewalk on Melrose, near the I-375. She had been raped, beaten, and strangled before having her throat cut.

She had left her mother’s house the evening before to meet with an unidentified boyfriend but never returned. She had previously been admitted twice to the Detroit Osteopathic Hospital for injuries suffered from beatings.

On December 15th 1980, American serial killer and sex offender Donald Murphy was arrested and charged with six murders of prostitutes in Detroit.

On the evidence available to the jury in his trial, he was convicted of two murders and sentenced to 30 years for each of them. Despite being linked to the Woods murder, he was never convicted, and her death remains listed as unsolved.

In the late 1970s and 1980, 18 prostitutes were killed in Detroit. It led investigators to believe that two serial killers had been active in the area at the same time with Murphy being one of them. The other, if there was another killer, remains unidentified.


In Ormond Beach, Volusia County, Florida, 15-year-old Ellen Linda Akers vanished without a trace. Her mother was the last person to see her when she gave her money to go to the cinema.

Ellen left her mother’s workplace and never returned. No witnesses came forward to claim they had seen her at the cinema and she was reported missing the following day.

Her personal belongings were left at home which led investigators to suggest she may have been met with foul play. No trace of Ellen has ever been found.


In Butler County, Kansas, 29-year-old Police Sergeant Alvin T. Wolf Jr. was killed during a vehicle pursuit. Wolf was in pursuit of a semi-truck that was being pursued by other officers for a series of hit-and-run charges.

Wolf passed the truck with the intention of getting in front of it and slowing it down but got caught in the truck’s bumpers.

The driver of the truck drove them both into the side of a house, killing Wolf instantly. The driver was arrested at the scene and charged with manslaughter.


In Wuerselen, North Rhine, Germany, 16-year-old Karen Fink disappeared on her way home from school. She had been abducted by German serial killer Helmut Weidenbroeker.

He raped and beat Karen with branches before strangling her and stabbing her nine times. Her body was found in a nearby pond a few weeks later, her vagina had been ripped open by a blunt object that had been forced into her while she was still alive.

Weidenbroeker killed five girls between 1982 and 1986 in the North Rhine region. He raped all of them and abused them with foreign objects such as branches, sticks, and rocks.

He was arrested after the murder of 18-year-old Beate Goertz in 1986, when witnesses saw him close by at the time she had disappeared.

Weidenbroeker was convicted of one of the murders and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. He has since been positively linked to all five of his victims.

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