True Crime On This Day January 22nd

True Crime On This Day January 22nd

January 22nd

On January 22nd in true crime, the battle of Mutukula, murder in Mississippi, Atlanta child murders, mystery disappearance, and cold cases.


The body of 36-year-old Julia Critchfield was discovered near a dirt track in Saucier, Mississippi, by friends riding dirt bikes. She was found nude with a black dress draped over her. She had been raped and died from strangulation.

Critchfield’s case had been a cold case up until 2016, when it became linked with American serial killer; Samuel Little, who may have killed 90 people before being caught.


In Uganda, the Battle of Mutukula took place between the Ugandan and Tanzanian military. It happened during the Uganda–Tanzania War which lasted from October 1978 to June 1979 and led to the overthrow of Ugandan leader Idi Amin.

The evening before, on the 21st, the Tanzanian 308th Brigade crossed the border between the two countries and surrounded the high ground of Mutukula.

They attacked in the early hours of the 22nd and forced the Ugandan military to retreat. 17 people were killed along with dozens wounded.


In Ashland County, Wisconsin, 22-year-old U.S Navy Seaman Andrew Thomas Viater, left his home in a blizzard and was never seen again.

His father heard the front door slam and looked outside to see footprints in the snow. He followed the footprints toward the nearby railroad tracks where they mysteriously stopped. His father reported him missing two days later.

Throughout the years, numerous investigators have looked at the case, even trying to match dental records with various John Doe’s throughout the country but there has been no match.

Despite a suggestion that he had eloped and created a new identity, no trace of Viater has ever been found.


In Atlanta, Georgia, 15-year-old Terry Pue was strangled to death. Pue was a friend of 14-year-old Lubie Geter, who had disappeared on January 5th, only to turn up dead on February 5th.

An anonymous caller phoned police and told them where they could find Pue’s body. Pue, like Geter, had been a victim of the infamous Atlanta Murders.

They were a series of murders committed in Atlanta from July 1979 to May 1981 and included the deaths of at least 30 children and adults.

Later in 1981, Wayne Williams was charged with two of the adult murders and sentenced to life in prison. Over the years, police have attributed 22 of the murders to Williams but he has never been charged with them and has maintained his innocence ever since.

In 2019, Atlanta police reopened all the Atlanta murder cases so that they could re-test the evidence available and begin a new investigation.

Investigators still believe that Williams was responsible for most of the murders but there are some that remain unsolved.


In Santiago, Chile, former Chilean President Eduardo Nicanor Frei Montalva, died during a routine operation to fix a hernia. His death at the time was attributed to septicaemia stemming from surgery.

It was later alleged that Montalva had been poisoned by the DINA (National Intelligence Directorate), who were the secret police of Chile. The poison was a toxin known as mustard gas, and researchers later found traces of it in Montalvo’s remains.

But tissue samples sent to the FBI showed no trace of the toxin when tested in their labs. Biologists confirmed that mustard gas can decompose in time with a corpse and will become untraceable beyond a certain point.

In December 2009, six people were arrested for their roles in the alleged assassination. It was believed the toxic substance had been administered in small doses to Montalvo over a period of many weeks.

It had the effect of decreasing Montalvo’s immune system, making him too weak to survive his surgery.

On January 30th 2019, the six suspects were found guilty of murder and sentenced from three to ten years in prison.


American serial killer, Richard Biegenwald, AKA: The Thrill Killer was captured after murdering at least six people over a 25-year period.

The first murder took place in 1958, when Biegenwald was only 18-years-old. He had stolen a car to rob a shop, where he gunned down the shop worker, Steven Sladowski.

He was arrested two days later and convicted of murder. He served 16 years of a life sentence until his release for good behaviour in 1974.

In June 1978, he shot and killed police informant John P. Petrone at an abandoned airport. Then in 1981, he shot dead Maria Ciallellam, before dismembering her body and burying her remains at his own mother’s house.

He then stabbed to death Deborah Osbourne on April 8th 1982 and buried her body on top of Maria Ciallellam’s remains.

Biegenwald was sentenced to death for his crimes which was later commuted to life. He died of natural causes in prison in 2008.

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