On January 13th in true crime, the Hillside Stranglers, murder in Denver, mystery disappearance, serial killer, and the endangered missing.
In Denver, 28-year-old Van Rogers was found beaten to death behind his apartment complex near the intersection of East 12th Avenue and Ogden Street.
In 2017, the Denver Police Department’s Cold Case Unit reopened the investigation but it remains unsolved as of 2022.
In Washington, one half of the Hillside Stranglers, Kenneth Bianchi, murdered his last victim. Bianchi would usually kill with his serial-killing cousin Angelo Buono Jr. but while working as a guard protecting a house, he lured two female students into the property.
He first strangled 22-year-old Karen Mandic after pushing her down the stairs then murdered 27-year-old Diane Wilder in a similar fashion.
Without the assistance of his killing partner, Bianchi left many clues to his identity and was arrested the very next day.
He confessed to multiple murders and implicated Buono who was arrested shortly after. Despite 12 murders between them, both received life sentences. Buono died of a heart attack on September 21st 2002. As of 2022, Bianchi remains incarcerated.
In Arizona, 41-year-old Ranger Paul Braxton Fugate vanished without a trace from the Chiricahua National Monument. After a morning working at the monument’s visitor centre, he left to hike a well-known trail but never returned.
Despite a large search of the area, no trace of Fugate has ever been found. Investigators have long suspected foul play and as such, the National Park Service (NPS) has put up a $60,000 (USD) reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to a suspect.
In Des Moines, Iowa, child murderer and serial killer Charles Ray Hatcher was arrested under the name of Richard Clark, after a knife fight.
Despite Hatcher being wanted for numerous murders and rapes, he was able to fool authorities on multiple occasions into believing he was someone else. He spent a short amount of time in various Iowa mental health facilities.
Upon his discharge from mental health care, he stabbed to death James Churchill on the banks of the Missouri River, in Illinois, on June 20th 1981.
Charles Ray Hatcher was a one man crime wave who was born in 1929, he started killing when he was 40-years-old. Over a 13 year period, he would kill 16 people. He was arrested in 1982 for the murder of 11-year-old Michelle Steele, and later sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Before the rest of his crimes could be brought to trial in separate cases, Hatcher hung himself in his cell in 1984.
It has been suggested that Chucky from the Child’s Play films was based on Charles Ray Hatcher and his murders.
The name of the killer doll in the film is Charles Lee ‘Chucky’ Ray and the doll would attempt to kill children. Hatcher would sometimes wear a horizontally striped top, just like the character from the films.
In Harris County, Texas, Clifford X. Phillips killed 58-year-old Iris Siff by strangling her to death during a robbery. He had gone to the Alley Theatre, where Siff was managing director, and entered the fourth-floor office with the intention of robbing it.
He demanded money from Siff who refused, and it resulted in a struggle. After he killed her, Phillips eloped with some valuables and Siff’s vehicle. He was arrested a few weeks later and charged with her murder.
Despite claiming self-defence, Phillips was sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection in Texas on December 15th 1993. He had previously served time for the 1972 murder of his three-year-old son.
In Rawlins, Wyoming, 24-year-old John Michael Boutin disappeared without a trace. He was last seen at the Carbon County Welding supply store in the city.
He was reported missing shortly after. Boutin lived in a mobile home and left all his personal belongings behind. He was also enrolled in a welding apprenticeship program and his family later confirmed it was out of character for him to have simply gone missing.
No trace of Boutin has ever been found and he is listed as endangered missing.
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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…