Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Ben Oakley
On April 9th in true crime, beauty queen murder, missing person, cold cases, serial killer Roberto Succo, hit and run, serial killer in Vermont.
In Detroit, 20-year-old aspiring actress Patricia Cowan, was auditioning for a role in a play called ‘Hammer’.
The amateur playwright James Thomas who was auditioning her, then bludgeoned her to death with a sledgehammer. It is claimed that the audition had been set up to lure black women to their deaths.
In Orange County, California, seven-year-old Charles Christopher Francis vanished without a trace and was never seen again.
He had last been seen outside of a water purification plant in Santa Ana. His father had left him on the street while he was returning a rented car, when he returned to the spot where Charles had been, he was nowhere to be seen.
It was suspected that Charles may have been a victim of serial killer James Crummel but no evidence has been forthcoming.
Crummel was convicted of killing a 13-year-old boy in 1979 and hung himself in his cell in 2012. Investigators believe that Charles was met with foul play but no trace of him has ever been found.
In Texas, 25-year-old former beauty queen Sherry Welch was stabbed to death by 17-year-old Jay Kelly Pinkerton. Welch was Pinkerton’s second victim.
Back in October 1979, he had stabbed to death 30-year-old Sarah Donn Lawrence. He had raped and stabbed Lawrence over 30 times. Despite being caught for the crime, he was released due to lack of evidence, which allowed him to kill Welch.
Welch was working at the furniture store she managed when Pinkerton entered it, robbed her, and then stabbed her to death. He was caught shortly after and sentenced to death.
On May 15th 1986, aged 24-years-old, Pinkerton became the youngest person to ever be executed in the state of Texas.
In Venice, Italy, Italian serial killer Roberto Succo stabbed his mother to death then strangled his father, after they refused to let him borrow their car.
He put their bodies in a bathtub full of water and lime to delay the time of death. He was arrested as he tried to leave the city. He was sentenced to ten years but transferred to a psychiatric facility.
He escaped on May 15th 1986 and evaded police long enough to cross the border into France. From 1986 to 1988, he killed five more people across four countries, and raped and robbed numerous more.
Including killing two officers in France who were about to capture him. He became public enemy number one in Europe at the time.
He was finally recaptured on February 28th 1988 in Mestre, Italy. Before he could be sentenced for his crimes, he took his own life on May 23rd 1988 by suffocating himself with a plastic bag.
In Birmingham, England, 27-year-old Kevin Ramsey was killed in a hit and run incident. He was cycling home from the Three Crowns pub along Sutton Road when he was hit by a car.
His bike was found a mile and a half away from where he was killed. As he lay dead on the road, he was hit by another car, who stopped and reported the body.
His girlfriend, Dawn Smith, was six months pregnant at the time of his death. 24 years later, her daughter, Kerry Ramsay, made a freedom of information request to West Midlands Police, only to be told that any files and evidence relating to Kevin’s death had been destroyed many years prior.
The circumstances surrounding Kevin’s death and the driver of the car that him, remain unsolved.
In Springfield, Vermont, 11-year-old schoolgirl Catherine Richards was abducted by American serial killer Gary Lee Schaefer.
He drove Richards to a remote location, where he raped her and crushed her skull with a rock. The body was discovered in a shallow grave the next day. Witnesses reported seeing Schaefer near to where Richards was taken, and he was arrested shortly after.
He was convicted of three murders of young girls from 1979 to 1983 and later sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. Despite numerous appeals and parole hearings, he remains in prison.
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I think this was no way an accident or a case of getting lost, this was murder. If they got…
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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.