True Crime On This Day December 24th

True Crime On This Day December 24th

December 24th

On December 24th in true crime, Christmas Eve double murder, unsolved murders, cop killings, war and multiple serial killers.


In Jefferson Country, 35-year-old Christmas jogger Kaye Turner vanished without a trace, in one of Oregon’s most shocking and high-profile disappearances.

The following year, some of her clothing was found in nearby woods, along with some body parts.

15 years later, John Arthur Ackroyd was convicted of her murder and the murder of his 13-year-old stepdaughter. He was sentenced to life in prison and died in his cell in January 2019.


The Soviet-Afghan War began on Christmas Eve 1979, and would go on to last nine years, until February 1989. The war came about when Afghanistan’s Communist Party took power in a 1978 coup, leading to a weak government which caused multiple rebellions.

The leader of the Soviet Union at the time, Leonid Brezhnev, ordered the 40th Army into Afghanistan. The Soviets arrived at Kabul, staged a coup themselves, and killed the Afghanistan leaders, replacing them with a Soviet loyalist government.

The Soviets saw the coup as a necessary intervention, but the United States and other Western countries saw it as an invasion.

Multiple militia groups and rebels, known as the mujahideen began a guerilla war with the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government.

The mujahideen were backed and armed by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. An estimated two million people died during the nine-year war, with millions more fleeing to Pakistan and Iran as refugees.


Across the United States, on Christmas Eve, three police officers were killed in separate incidents. In San Fernando, California, officer Dennis Webb was shot and killed while questioning a man who matched the identity of an armed robbery suspect.

He died of his wounds later in hospital. In Los Angeles, officer John Robinson was stabbed to death by two welfare recipients while conducting checks of a Public Services office.

He later died in hospital. In New York, officer Gabriel Vitale was shot dead after he and his partner approached two men who matched the description of burglary suspects.

One of the men shot Vitale who died of his wounds shortly after. All suspects involved with the murders were later sentenced to life in prison.


In Essex County, Massachusetts, James Monico shot dead James Mortellite and Jeffrey Connors at the White Eagle Café and Bar. Monico had been target shooting a few hours before and took his gun along with him while he drank at the café.

After pestering numerous women, he was asked to leave. He returned less than an hour later, enraged, and began bothering Sandra Stevens, who was spending the night with Mortellite and Connors.

The pair began brawling with Monico outside of the bar, before being shot in the process. They died of their injuries shortly after. Monico surrendered immediately and claimed self-defence but was later sentenced to life for the murders.


In Auburn, Washington, 20-year-old Sandra Denise Major was kidnapped and murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer. Major was known to have been involved in sex work.

Her remains were found on December 30th 1985 and she wasn’t identified until June 2012. Ridgway had confessed to her murder 11 years before she was identified

He buried some of his victims in what he called ‘clusters’, and Major’s body was found in one of these clusters. Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 charges of murder.


In King County, Washington, 19-year-old prostitute Lisa Yates was picked up and murdered by Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer.

A metal worker found her skeletal remains on March 13th 1984, close to Interstate 90. Ridgway considered killing prostitutes a career and believed he was doing the police a favour by killing them. He believed prostitutes were an infestation and a sickly disease which he had to cure.

Though not all of his victims were prostitutes, a large proportion were. Ridgway was arrested in 2001, convicted of 48 murders, and sentenced to life in 2003. His true victim count is believed to be much higher.

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