True Crime On This Day February 27th

Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day February 27th

February 27th

On February 27th in true crime, embassy siege, prison escape, double murder in Los Angeles, murder in Texas, and a bathtub slaying.


In Los Angeles, William Floyd Zamastil brutally murdered two siblings. 18-year-old Jacqueline Bradshaw and her brother 17-year-old Malcolm Bradshaw were hitchhiking home from Las Vegas when Zamastil picked them up from a gas station.

The bodies were discovered at a later date with autopsies showing signs of sexual abuse. They had both been bludgeoned to death.

Some authorities still link Zamastil to at least five more killings across two States. Zamastil was sentenced to two life sentences of 25 years each in 2004.


In El Paso County, Texas, 23-year-old Cesar Roberto Fierro robbed and murdered a taxi driver. Nicolas Castanon was shot dead, leading to a manhunt that lasted five months.

The criminal case against Fierro was controversial because Mexican police had apparently arrested his parents and threatened to torture them unless Fierro confessed.

Fierro was arrested in the Summer of 1979 and convicted on the murder. He was sentenced to death on February 26th 1980. Fierro remained on death row for almost 40 years until December 2019 when the death sentence was commuted to life in prison.


In Bogotá, Colombia, 17 members of the 19th of April Movement (M-19) stormed the Dominican Embassy in the city and captured 60 hostages.

The siege lasted two months until April 27th when all the members orchestrated their escape and fled to Cuba.

One member of the group was killed on the first day of the siege by police. M-19 were a Colombian guerrilla organisation movement whose aim was to pave the way for democracy in Colombia.

They had been inspired by other South American guerrilla groups, including the Tupamaros in Uruguay and the Montoneros in Argentina.

Aside from the member who had been killed, no other member was caught in relation to the siege.


A prison escape straight out of a Hollywood film took place at the Fleury-Mérogis Prison in France. A pair of men hijacked a helicopter, piloted by Claude Fourcade, and forced him to land in the prison soccer field.

Two convicted armed robbers, Gerard Dupre and Daniel Beaumont, boarded the craft and made their escape.

Police helicopters chased the hijacked helicopter but it escaped, landing in an athletic field where the gang escaped in a waiting car. Dupre was caught just over one week later and Beaumont was arrested in Spain in July of 1981.


In Houston, Texas, 31-year-old Masel Williams was abducted from a telephone booth by a young group of men and taken to a remote wooded area.

He had been forced into his own car by 29-year-old Joe Angel Cordova, his 16-year-old nephew and two other teens of the same age.

Cordova ordered Williams to strip, while they robbed him of all his belongings. He then shot Williams in the chest at point blank range with a shotgun.

The group then made their getaway in Williams’ car. They were all arrested shortly after. A few hours prior to the abduction, Cordova and the teenagers had spent the evening drinking copious quantities of alcohol and sniffing paint fumes.

Cordova’s nephew later went to trial as an adult and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the other two teenagers were sent to youth detention homes.

Cordova was sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection in Texas on January 22nd 1992.


In Houston, Texas, 74-year-old Bertie Elizabeth Eakens was beaten then strangled to death with a pillowcase in her own home.

She had been murdered by Edward Anthony Ellis, who had recently been fired from his maintenance job at the apartment complex where Eakens lived.

Eakens body was found the next day in her bathtub, with her hands handcuffed behind her back. Her murder was one of three in 1983 that became known as the Houston Bathtub Slayings but Ellis was not linked to the other two.

Ellis was arrested shortly after and sentenced to death for the murder. Despite appeals and claims of mistaken identity, Ellis was executed by lethal injection in Texas on March 3rd 1992.

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