True Crime On This Day August 18th

True Crime On This Day August 18th

August 18th

On August 18th in true crime, cop kills cop, serial killers, amateur hitman, murder in California, macabre discovery, and cold cases.


In California, mathematics graduate student Theodore Streleski killed his faculty advisor, Professor Karel de Leeuw, with a small sledgehammer.

Streleski turned himself in shortly after and claimed the murder was justified because the professor had withheld awards from him and generally derided him in front of his peers.

Streleski was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released in 1985.


In Kansas City, Missouri, 21-year-old art student Katherine Jo Allen was shot dead by amateur hitman Walter Junior Blair.

Blair had been in prison with Larry Jackson who was serving a sentence for the rape of Katherine Jo Allen a few years earlier. Jackson offered $6,000 (USD) to Blair if her would kill Allen. A month after Blair’s release, he shot Allen dead.

Blair was caught just a few days later and sentenced to death for the murder. Despite allegations that Blair was framed, he was executed by lethal injection in Missouri on July 21st 1993.

On the same day

In Arapahoe County, Colorado, the bloodied body of 17-year-old Kimberly Grabin was discovered in a field near Interstate 70. She had been beaten and strangled to death by an unknown attacker.

Witnesses had seen an unidentified Chevrolet Nova in the area the night before. As of 2022, the murder remains unsolved and is and active cold case in Arapahoe County.

On the same day

In Pitkin County, Colorado, the body of an unidentified male was found in a remote area of Lenado. He was later identified as Donald Allison who had been shot twice.

As of 2022, the murder remains unsolved and is an active cold case in the State of Colorado.


In California, a 75-year-old male was beaten and strangled to death during a home invasion robbery. He had been murdered by serial killer David Edwin Mason, who killed four elderly people in 1980.

Mason knew most of his victims and found it easy to access their properties before killing them to not leave any witnesses. Mason was arrested in 1982 and convicted of four murders.

While awaiting trial, along with an accomplice, they killed another inmate and hung him from the showers to make it look like a suicide. Mason was later sentenced to death and executed on August 24th 1993.


Near the Sunrise Mountains, east of Las Vegas, the partially nude body of 12-year-old Sheila Jo Keister was discovered in a dry creek.

She had been abducted, raped, and strangled to death by Herbert James Coddington. He wouldn’t be caught until May 18th 1987 when armed federal agents stormed his mobile home.

Inside the mobile home, they discovered a boarded-up room where models, 12-year-old Monica Berge and 14-year-old Alecia Thoma were being held captive. They had been raped and were being sexually tortured.

In an adjoining room, the bodies of 69-year-old model agency owner Maybelle Martin, and her friend 67-year-old Dorothy Walsh, were found tied up in plastic bags.

They had all disappeared two days earlier while on a trip to Lake Tahoe. The two young girls were rescued and Coddington was taken into custody.

He was convicted of three murders, kidnapping and rape, and sentenced to death on January 20th 1989. As of 2022, Coddington remains on death row.


In Houston, Texas, 33-year-old Police Officer Kathleen Schaefer was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer while conducting a drug bust for the Narcotics Unit.

She had just made a purchase and gave the signal to other officers to enter, but one officer mistook her for a suspect and shot her once in the abdomen. She later died of her wounds.

Despite an internal investigation, no charges were brought against the other officer. Schaefer’s friends, Brenda and Belinda Leatherwood, were inspired by her dedication and went on to become Houston Police Department’s first active twin officers.


In Seattle, Washington, 17-year-old April Dawn Buttram disappeared after leaving her sister’s house to meet friends.

In May 1983, she had left her parent’s home in Spokane, Washington, to move in with her sister. Buttram had been picked up and murdered by Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer.

He led investigators to Buttram’s skeletal remains in a muddy bog in Snoqualmie in August 2003. Ridgway was convicted of 48 murders and sentenced to life in 2003. His true victim count is believed to be much higher.

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