True Crime On This Day August 17th

True Crime On This Day August 17th

August 17th

On August 17th in true crime, historic cold case mystery, serial killers, prison escape, murder in Oklahoma, unsolved crimes.


In Tulsa County, Oklahoma, the body of 20-year-old accounting student Karen Joyce Stapleton was discovered in her apartment by a friend.

In the night before or early hours of the morning, she had been raped and stabbed at least 20 times in a frenzied attack.

Three days later, Benjamin Brewer was arrested for the murder and subsequently sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on April 26th 1996.


In Bradford County, Florida, a power outage at the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford allowed 27-year-old Frederick Barrett to escape.

Barrett had been serving a life sentence for the 1971 murder of his travelling partner Carl Ardolino, who he drowned in a shallow ditch. In 2011, after 32 years on the run, Barrett was arrested by U.S. Marshals.

Barrett had been living in a remote area under the name of Neil Meltzer. Barrett’s name had been part of a 2009 initiative to track outstanding fugitives.


In Carbondale, Illinois, 21-year-old radio television student Susan Schumake was raped and strangled to death. Her body was found between the railroad tracks and Highway 51, along a pathway known then as the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Despite a large investigation, the case went cold until September 23rd 2004 when Daniel M. Woloson was arrested and charged with her murder. He had been considered a suspect before but there was not enough evidence to convict him.

Owing to advances in DNA technology, he was finally proven to be the assailant. On April 26th 2006, Woloson was sentenced to 40 years in prison.


Between East Canyon and Immigration Canyon, in Utah, the body of 18-year-old El Salvadorian national Miguel Antonio Hernandez, was found by hikers in bushes.

He had been shot dead by an unknown assailant. He had last been seen at a dance on August 13th but it remains unclear what happened to him after that.

Miguel’s uncle’s body was found a short distance away on the 19th. Both had been killed around the same time and the case has always been investigated as a double murder. Both murders remain unsolved


In Prescott, Arizona, while undertaking construction work and trenching, workers unearthed a mystery. They discovered a time capsule, a male human skull, and animal bones in the same location.

Forensic analysis dated the skull from anywhere between 1900 and 1978 and was suspected to have been placed at the site as part of a ritual.

Strangely, there is no record to be found detailing what was in the time capsule itself and there is minimal information available on the case. The mystery remains unsolved.

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