True Crime On This Day February 15th

True Crime On This Day February 15th

February 15th

On February 15th in true crime, Murder in San Diego, handyman murder, Circle K cold case, robbery, and mystery disappearance.


In San Diego, two school children returned to their Mira Mesa home and found the body of their 28-year-old babysitter Linda Hewitt.

She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death by serial murderer Billy Lee Chadd. He killed three people in violent sexual assaults.

In 1974 he had broken into the home of 30-year-old Patricia Franklin. Chadd choked her, raped her and brought her back to consciousness to do it again and again.

He then stabbed her in the neck 15 times and continued the sexual assault as she lay dying, partially biting her nipples off.

He was sentenced to death before having it commuted to life in prison. He wrote in his unpublished memoir, Dark Secrets, that it was the monster inside of him that ruled his thoughts.

His passion and enjoyment of death was made clear to investigators and the jury in his trial.

It had to be fed again and again. My monster had been awakened and was watching how I was doing. I tried to stop what was happening, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t me anymore. It was the creature who thrived on fear and death, a creature who had lain dormant for so long that he would not be denied.”

Bill Lee Chadd, Dark Secrets.


In San Antonio, Texas, employees of a Circle K Convenience Store turned up to find the night manager lying dead in a pool of blood.

Henry Crabtree had been stabbed to death in the early hours of the morning by one or two robbers. The cash register had been tipped over and all the money had been stolen.

As of 2022, the murder remains unsolved but is an active cold case with the San Antonio Police Department.


In Howard County, Maryland, 70-year-old Rebecca H. ‘Dolly’ Davis was stabbed to death by Vernon Lee Clark. He was a handyman who had helped Davis out on numerous occasions and at the time was never considered a suspect.

Davis’ partially nude and decomposing body was found in the back yard of her home on February 22nd. Over two decades later, new DNA technology linked Clark to the murder.

He was already serving a life sentence for the 1989 murder of 23-year-old Kathleen Gouldin, who had been found beaten to death in her own apartment.

Clark was also linked to the 1981 murder of Evelyn Dietrich and the 1984 death of Myrtle Watson. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Davis murder.


In Sumner County, Tennessee, in the early hours of the morning, 19-year-old David C. Duncan carried out a robbery at a Short Stop Market.

During the robbery, he raped and killed shop worker Ruby Evelyn Burgess. When the morning changeover staff entered the store just before six in the morning, they found Ruby’s partially nude body lying in a pool of blood, due to her throat having been cut.

She had died from an embolism in the heart, caused by air entering the blood stream through the wound in her neck.

Duncan was arrested shortly after and subsequently sentenced to death on April 1st 1983. In 2015, an appeal saw his death sentence commuted to life in prison.


In Georgia, former soldier Willie James Wilson Jr., was sentenced to death for an armed robbery and double murder carried out one year earlier.

In Pierce County, 64-year-old Alfred Boatwright and 58-year-old Morris Highsmith had been shot dead during a robbery at Boatwright’s handyman store, where they both worked.

Wilson was AWOL at the time from Fort Stewart. The robbery happened in the mid-afternoon, and Wilson made off with just $90 (USD), $45 for each life he took.

He was arrested shortly after and subsequently sentenced to death on this day in 1982. Despite numerous appeals, he remains on death row in Georgia.


In Sioux City, Iowa, 58-year-old Maurice P. Kneifl vanished without a trace. He had last been seen leaving his girlfriend’s residence late on the 14th but failed to show up the next day to drive her to work. His girlfriend and her daughter reported him missing soon after.

Shortly before the disappearance, Kneifl had been attempting to convince his daughter to leave her husband, Delbert Beauchene, who was a career criminal with three prison terms under his belt.

According to the daughter, Kneifl had evidence that could have put Delbert away for a fourth prison term.

Despite the connection, no arrest was made. Delbert and the daughter of Kneifl have since passed away.

No trace of Kneifl has ever been found but it suspected he was abducted, murdered, and his body disposed of. The case remains unsolved.

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