On February 16th in true crime, John Wayne Gacy victim, cold case in California, murder in Milan, rampage in Michigan, and the Hillside Stranglers.
Serial killer John Wayne Gacy killed a 19-year-old man named William Kindred. William told his girlfriend he was going to a bar for the evening but ended up becoming one of Gacy’s 33 victims.
The figure of 33 is speculative as it is suggested there could be many more victims attributed to him. William Kindred was the last victim to be buried in Gacy’s notorious crawlspace.
The same day that William Kindred disappeared to be killed by John Wayne Gacy, The Hillside Stranglers had claimed their tenth and final victim.
Cindy Lee Hudspeth was strangled, raped, and murdered. Her body was put into the boot of a car which was pushed off a cliff to cover up the crime.
At the time, the crimes were suspected to be of one serial killer and so the moniker of The Hillside Strangler was used. It was only upon their capture that two serial killing cousins came to be known as the stranglers.
Kenneth Bianchi and his cousin Angelo Buono were convicted in early 1979 for the kidnapping, raping, torturing, and murdering of ten females aged from 12 to 28-years-old.
In Milan, Italy, jewellery store owner Pierluigi Torregiani, was shot dead by members of the Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC), a far-left terrorist group in the country.
They killed him due to Torregiani himself having killed a PAC militant in the past. In a tragic accident, Torregiani’s 13-year-old son, who was witness to his father’s death, was hit by a stray bullet and paralysed for life.
Although not present, the murder was attributed to infamous Italian criminal and terrorist Cesare Battisti. Battisti is currently serving a life sentence for the murders of two people and for being an accomplice in two more.
In Riverside County, California, the body of an unidentified female in her early twenties was discovered in a remote ravine. She had been killed the day before and dumped in the ravine.
Her clothes were of a high quality and it was assumed that she belonged to the middle or upper class but no one of her description had been reported missing.
The circumstances surrounding her death and her identity remain a mystery. She became known as the Riverside County Jane Doe.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, 44-year-old Francine Frost disappeared on her way to the grocery store. The following day, her vehicle was found parked near the store with the keys still in the ignition.
She was reported missing by her husband shortly after. In 1983, her remains and clothing were found in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, but she wouldn’t be identified until 2016.
At the time, investigators never connected the remains with Frost and were unable to identify the body.
In 2008, Tulsa police obtained DNA samples from Frost’s family members and entered them into databases, but no match came up.
When the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office entered the case into a national database in 2013, Frost’s grandson made his own connections and realised it may have been his grandmother.
In 2015, Frost’s body was exhumed from the Green Hill Cemetery, where it is said over 1,400 unidentified bodies are buried.
In August 2016, after using DNA matches from the family, Frost’s body was finally identified.
In 2019, Francine’s Law was passed by the Oklahoma Legislature requiring missing person and unidentified remains cases be entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS).
Investigators believe she had been met with foul play, but the case remains unsolved.
In Farwell, Clare County, Michigan, 31-year-old former auctioneer Robert Lee Haggart shot dead seven people. He killed his estranged wife, her parents, her stepsister, and three of her stepsister’s children.
A one-year-old named Mandy survived when her mother used her body to protect her. Farwell is a tiny hamlet of approximately 700 people, 35 miles west of Midland, and the murders attracted the attention of the country’s media, who descended upon the area.
Haggart was taken into custody and subsequently sentenced to seven life terms in prison. He died of natural causes in 2003 and never provided any motive or confession. The murders remain the bloodiest day in Farwell’s history.
In Los Angeles, California, 51-year-old Robert Glenn Bennett disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Bennett was employed at the Whittier Narrows Sanitation Plant and was last seen driving his truck with his co-worker John Alcantara.
He was reported missing the same evening by his wife after he failed to return home. A search discovered large amounts of blood in an overgrown area behind the Sanitation Plant.
Alcantara claimed that he had last seen Bennett walking off with an unidentified female. It took 23 years for investigators to connect the dots and realise Alcantara was behind the disappearance.
In 2006, Alcantara was charged with Bennett’s murder despite a body never having been found. It was claimed that Bennett had given Alcantara a poor performance review which impeded Alcantara’s promotion that he had wanted for some time.
It was believed that Alcantara had shot Bennett and dismembered his body before disposing of his remains at the Puente Hills landfill.
Alcantara maintained his innocence but was convicted of murder in 2008. He was sentenced to 25-years to life in prison. Bennett’s remains have never been recovered.
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I'm honoured. Thank you and stay safe.
I really enjoy reading your short clips about the crimes committed. I like the books you write too.
The number of victims is always contentious.
Why not Jack the Ripper? He could have had different MO's.
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I think this was no way an accident or a case of getting lost, this was murder. If they got…