True Crime On This Day July 15th

True Crime On This Day July 15th

July 15th

On July 15th in true crime, airport explosion, serial killer in Washington, bowling club murder, cold case solved, and mysteries.


In California, the body of nine-year-old Cheryl Gutierrez was discovered in the Legg Lake region of the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area of Los Angeles County.

She had disappeared the day before from the car park at the Santa Fe Springs High School. She had been murdered by serial rapist and murderer Michael Dee Mattson who would claim three victims in 1978 alone.

Mattson was sentenced to death in 1986 but died in prison in 2009 of natural causes.


In Belfast, Northern Ireland, 69-year-old Patrick O’Hanlon was shot dead outside of a bowling club. Two men had driven into the club’s car park and deliberately crashed into O’Hanlon’s car.

O’Hanlon, a retired motor mechanic, went outside to see what had happened. As soon as he stepped foot outside the door, he was shot dead in a flurry of gunfire.

The only motive was that he may have been killed in retaliation for helping the police identify vehicle hijackers. The murder remains unsolved, but it is suspected the killers were members of the IRA.


In an almond orchard, in Kern County, California, the body of an unidentified female was found. She had been stabbed 29 times in a different location and driven to the orchard where her body was dumped.

Witnesses claimed that she had been picked up by an unidentified man outside Ruby’s Bar. The case remained unsolved until 2012, when new DNA technology led to Wilson Claude Chouest.

He was already serving a life sentence for abduction, robbery, and rape when he was identified as the killer. In 2018, Chouest was found guilty of three murders of unidentified women, including the Kern County Jane Doe.


In Fresno County, California, the body of 17-year-old Debra Chandler was found in a ditch, about 15 miles from her home. She had been raped and beaten to death.

The murder remained unsolved until 2005 when Wilbur Lee Jennings, AKA: The Ditch Bank Killer, was charged with her rape and murder.

Jennings was already on death row, after being sentenced to death in 1986 for the murders of four females from 1983 to 1984.

Jennings would leave the bodies of his victims in various ditches and canals around the County. Due to multiple appeals on the other murders, the Chandler case was put on a back foot.

In 2014, Jennings died of cancer while awaiting trial which meant no official justice would come for Chandler’s family. The case, however, has been closed as solved.


In Washington State, just seven days after his first victim, Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer, murdered23-year-old Debra Lynn Bonner.

She was reported missing by her family shortly after and her body was found in the Green River, a month later on August 12th.

Ridgway is one of the United States’ most prolific killers who pleaded guilty to 48 murders. He was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison in 2003.


In Paris, a suitcase bomb exploded at the Turkish Airlines check-in counter of Orly Airport. The explosion sent flames through a crowd of passengers who were checking in for a flight to Istanbul.

Three people were killed immediately and another five died of their wounds in hospital. 55 people were injured as a result of the explosion.

The attack was carried out by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), who were a militant organisation that operated from 1975 to the early 1990s.

ASALA attacks and assassinations resulted in the deaths of 46 people with more than 300 injured. The group also claimed responsibility for more than 50 bombings.

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