True Crime On This Day August 19th

Last Updated on September 27, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day August 19th

August 19th

On August 19th in true crime, Utah cold case, unsolved triple murder, missing persons, cold cases, mystery disappearances.


In the United Kingdom, 13-year-old schoolgirl Genette Tate disappeared while delivering newspapers in the Devon town of Aylesbeare in England. Her body has never been found and the cause of her disappearance remains unsolved.

It is one of Britain’s most infamous and longest-running missing person inquiries. It has been recently confirmed as a murder investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police.

On the same day

In Iran, the largest terrorist attack in history until the 9/11 terror attacks, took place. The Cinema Rex in Abadan was set alight by four men who had doused the building in airplane fuel.

The fire killed 420 people and was responsible for triggering the 1979 Iranian Revolution.


In Mississippi, the body of missing Pascagoula girl Clara Turk was found in a lake off Pollock’s Ferry Road. Due to the decomposition of the body, evidence was hard to come by.

Her killer remains unidentified. As of 2022, it is an active cold case with the Pascagoula Police Department.


In Detroit, the nude and battered body of 17-year-old Cassandra Ann Johnson was discovered in a field by a 14-year-old neighbour.

She had gone missing the day before and was last seen entering a store after leaving her boyfriend’s house. Johnson had been beaten to death and had died of head injuries as a result.

In December of 1980, American serial killer and sex offender Donald Murphy was arrested and charged with multiple murders. On the evidence available to the jury in his trial, he was convicted of two murders and sentenced to 30 years for each murder.

He was never convicted of the Johnson murder and her death remains listed as unsolved. In the late 1970s and 1980, 18 sex workers were killed in Detroit.

It led investigators to believe that two serial killers had been active in the area at the same time as Murphy.


In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 56-year-old developer for the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, Charles Catlett, disappeared on the way to a meeting.

He called his office to let them know he was on the way but never showed up. His car was found abandoned in Denver, Colorado, almost two weeks later.

After his disappearance, Catlett’s credit cards were used in six other States across the country, but witnesses confirmed the person using the cards was a man in his Twenties.

At one point, a Californian man was arrested in connection with Catlett’s disappearance, but they had no evidence to hold him. Catlett is suspected to have been murdered but his case remains unsolved.


In Salt Lake City, Utah, the body of 33-year-old Emeterio Melgar-Hernandez was discovered near Junction I-80 and U-65.

The husband and father to eight children had been shot dead and was last seen by his co-workers on August 14th. The body of his cousin, 18-year-old Miguel Antonio Hernandez, was found two days earlier in nearby East Canyon.

Both had been killed around the same time and the case has always been investigated as a double murder. Both murders remain unsolved.


Unsolved triple murder

In Houston, Texas, three realtors were shot dead inside the Shumate and Co. Realtors Office on Memorial Drive.

54-year-old Elizabeth Shumate, 46-year-old JoAnn Brown, and 60-year-old Frances Ivey were shot execution-style in the back of the head. They had been tied up and their jewellery stolen.

The day after their bodies was found, Hurricane Alicia hit Texas and caused widespread damage to the city, including the realtor’s office, which impeded evidence collection.

Investigators suspected that robbery was the motive but due to a lack of evidence, no-one has ever been charged. The case remains one of Houston’s biggest unsolved murder cases

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