True Crime On This Day July 17th

True Crime On This Day July 17th

July 17th

On July 17th in true crime, serial killer, bombing, the Gallego’s, cold case mystery, Robert Buell, and unsolved murders.


In Italy, serial killer Maurizio Minghella killed 14-year-old Maria Catena Alba. Her naked body was found the next day tied to a tree.

Minghella had raped and strangled her. She was one of five victims that he killed in 1978 alone.


In County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, 31-year-old Protestant Sylvia Crowe was killed in a vehicle bomb explosion. The attack was aimed at an Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) mobile patrol.

The bomb was hidden in a lorry when it exploded and killed Crowe. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) claimed responsibility for the attack.


In Sacramento, California, 34-year-old Virginia Mochel was abducted from the car park of a West Sacramento bar where she worked as a bartender.

She was abused and strangled to death by Gerald Armond Gallego and Charlene Adell Gallego, AKA: The Love Slave Killers. Mochel’s skeletal remains were discovered three months later with a cord still around her neck.

The Gallego’s were captured in November 1980 after killing at least 10 young girls between 1978 and 1980. They mostly turned their victims into sex slaves before brutally murdering them.


In Yosemite National Park, California, 14-year-old Stacey Anne Arras vanished without a trace. She had begun a four-day trip with her father on the High Sierra Loop at Tuolumne Meadows.

They were part of a group of ten people riding mules to the Sunrise High Sierra Camp as part of a trekking excursion. After settling into her cabin and taking a shower, Arras began a 1.5-mile hike along the trail to Sunrise Lakes.

She had intended to hike with a 77-year-old man who was part of the group that rode to Sunrise that day. However, the man became tired and sat down to wait for her to return.

The guide who led the group to the camp was working at the corral and noticed Arras standing on a rock about 50 yards south of the trail. The guide was reportedly the last person to see Arras.

Many theories have arisen over the years including that she had gotten lost and walked off in the opposite direction.

Without the right equipment she could have fallen or tripped in the darkness. Some have suggested an animal attack as there are bears in the area.

She could also have runaway or been abducted. Despite the theories, no body has ever been recovered and her disappearance remains a mystery.


In Marshallville, Ohio, 11-year-old Krista Lea Harrison was abducted in broad daylight and forced into a van. She had been kidnapped and subsequently murdered by serial killer Robert Anthony Buell.

Six days later, Harrison’s decomposing remains were discovered just a few feet away from a rural roadway. Her murder remained unsolved until 1984 when Buell was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a 28-year-old woman.

He was found guilty of Harrison’s murder and sentenced to death in the same year. He was executed by lethal injection in Ohio, in 2002. After his death, he was connected to the murder of 12-year-old Tina Marie Harmon in 1981.


In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 33-year-old father of twins Dennis Wayne Chaffee was shot dead in a case that has never been solved.

The twins were at his home for a couple of days but when he failed to take them back their mother’s residence, the alarm was raised. His parents went to his house to check on them and found Dennis lying on the bottom of the stairs.

He had been shot multiple times. Despite a large investigation, the motive for the murder remains a mystery and no suspect has ever been caught.

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