On January 28th in true crime, double murder in Michigan, Bossier Jane Doe, killed in the line of duty, assassination, and murder in Kentucky.
Richard Trenton Chase, AKA: the Vampire of Sacramento was arrested. Chase killed six people over a one-month period from December 29th 1977, to January 27th 1978.
He became known as the Vampire of Sacramento because he drank the blood of his victims, engaged in necrophilia, and ate some of their remains. He took his own life on December 26th 1980.
In Waterford Township, Michigan, the bodies of Fred Torres and Elmer Evans were discovered in a snowy shallow grave next to a house.
Torres had been stabbed to death and Evans had been beaten. They had been killed in the early hours of the morning by John Duncan Wallach after an evening of drinking.
Wallach was arrested shortly after, convicted and sentenced to life terms. Another man, Salvadore Gonzalez, was also arrested for his involvement in the murders.
In New York, police officer Cecil Frank Sledge was shot dead while making a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn. Sledge had recognised 22-year-old Salvatore De Sarno as being wanted in connection with a robbery.
Sledge pulled him over and was approaching the vehicle when De Sarno shot him. Sledge’s gun belt became trapped in the car wheel and he was dragged over a quarter of a mile before rolling away. Sledge died of his wounds shortly after.
Realising he was the subject of a manhunt, De Sarno broke into the home of an elderly female and held her hostage until police finally arrested him.
Despite claiming it was self-defence, De Sarno was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison in 1981. He has since been denied parole twice, once in 2014 and again in 2016.
In Bossier Parish, Louisiana, the unidentified body of a 15-21-year-old female was discovered in woods, concealed by trees.
She had been stabbed nine times, and the knife used in the attack was found nearby. Her clothes were also catalogued by investigators. She was assumed to have been of Native American ancestry and was killed at least a month before her discovery. The identity of the female remained a mystery.
In 2005, there was a fire at a storage facility where the evidence had been packaged away. Most of the evidence was lost, meaning an identification was going to be even more difficult.
However, in 2015, following a cold case revival by the local sheriff’s department, the Jane Doe was identified as Carol Ann Cole. Cole’s sister, Jeanie, had previously filed a missing person’s report but it was never matched up with the Jane Doe until 34 years after her death.
As of 2022, the identity of the killer remains unknown.
In Los Angeles, Turkish diplomat Kemal Arikan was assassinated when he stopped for a red light. He was driving to his office when two armed men pulled up alongside him and opened fire in a hail of bullets.
Arikan was shot 14 times and died immediately of his injuries. The two killers were Armenian nationals Harry Sassounian and Krikor Saliba.
Sassounian was arrested in 1984 and convicted of the murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. No trace of Saliba had ever been found.
The killers were alleged to have been members of the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide, an Armenian militant organisation.
In Jefferson County, Kentucky, in the mid-afternoon, James Earl Slaughter (birth name: Jeffrey Leonard) entered a clothing store with the intention of robbing it.
During the robbery, he stabbed shop owner Esther Stewart multiple times in the chest, killing her instantly. Slaughter was tracked down the following day and arrested on site. Stewart’s blood was found on the same clothes he wore to carry out the attack.
Despite pleading his innocence, Slaughter was sentenced to death for his crimes. He has lost appeals to overturn his conviction at every point, with the most recent being in 2009.
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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…