True Crime On This Day July 10th

True Crime On This Day July 10th

July 10th

On July 10th in true crime, serial killer, murder, vigilante murder, spree killer, cold cases, unsolved disappearances, and mysteries.


In Denver, Colorado, 83-year-old Alma Anderson was attacked and mugged outside of a Skaggs Drug Store located near the intersection of West Louisiana Avenue and South Federal Boulevard.

After having her pursed snatched, Anderson was brutally attacked by her assailant and died of her injuries in hospital. The case has never been solved but is an active cold case with the Denver Police Department.


In Riverside County, California, 36-year-old Shannon Eileen Staal went missing, never to be seen again. She had last been seen in the Menifee Valley region of the County and according to family members had no reason to vanish.

In later years, her disappearance had been added to a California victims list, insinuating that she may have been a victim of foul play. Regardless, as of 2022, no trace of Staal has ever been found.


In Cook County, Georgia, three people were shot dead during a crime spree. 49-year-old William Gerald Hodges was found dead at a truck stop with two gunshot wounds, including one to the face.

Later in the evening, 22-year-old David N. Hardin and his wife, 28-year-old Katie Back, were shot dead as they slept in their vehicle after returning from a Florida holiday.

There were four children in the back who were unharmed but were witnesses to the murders. The same day, based on witness testimony, William Howard Putnam was arrested and charged.

He was convicted of all the murders and sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection in Georgia on November 13th 2002.


In Skidmore, Missouri, Ken Rex McElroy was killed by a gunman in a murder that has remained unsolved for 40 years.

McElroy was known as the town bully and had amassed a long line of criminal offences including child abuse, rape, arson, and burglary. Despite appearing in the courts over 20 times, he escaped conviction each time.

After an incident involving a threat towards a local family, residents decided to take matters into their own hands. As McElroy left a local bar, he was shot dead with a .22 rifle.

There was a group of 46 people nearby at the time who all became witnesses and suspects. Each and every one of them claimed they could not identify the shooter.

Despite a federal investigation, no one was ever convicted of the murder. The events that took place in Skidmore, inspired the 1989 film, Roadhouse, starring Patrick Swayze.


In Estes Park in Northern Colorado, the body of 94-year-old Orma Smith was found in a stream. She had been stabbed to death by her neighbour, John Argue, who was responsible for at least three murders from 1966 to 1982.

He had previously been convicted of the 1966 Illinois murder of his 14-year-old sister-in-law, Susan Marino. He was released on parole in early 1982.

In 2013, DNA evidence linked Argue to Smith’s murder, along with the murder of 20-year-old Susan Becker in 1982.

Unfortunately, the evidence had come too late as Argue had died of a prescription overdose in 2009. Investigators are still looking into his movements to determine if he claimed more victims.


In Leake County, Mississippi, 75-year-old Myrtle Ellis was murdered by her niece, Vernice Ballenger, during a robbery.

After she discovered that her aunt was holding a large sum of cash somewhere in her house, she hired three men to rob the home. When they arrived, Ellis claimed the money was in the bank and was beaten to death by one of the men.

They told Ballenger what had happened, and she suggested to burn the house down, with Ellis’ body still inside. All of them were arrested shortly after.

The three men testified against Ballenger and received life sentences. Ballenger was sentenced to death in two separate trials. She died in prison on April 1st, 2002.

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