True Crime On This Day July 20th

True Crime On This Day July 20th

July 20th

On July 20th in true crime, organised crime, murder, missing persons, IRA attacks, killed in the line of duty, and unsolved crimes.


In La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, 19-year-old Claire-Lise Pickel vanished without a trace. She had last been seen at her home.

It was a big story in the town at the time but no trace of Pickel’s body or a suspect has ever materialised. Her case remains unsolved, and she is still listed as a missing person.


In Guam, seven days after the murders of Felix M. Garrido and his girlfriend Dora Scharff, a suspect was found. Convicted drug trafficker Francisco S. Palacios was connected to the murders.

Back in June, Garrido had provided information to the government that led to the arrest of Palacios and his wife. However, a conviction could never be made, and police continued the investigation.

In mid-August, the Guam police confirmed that four key suspects had fled to California. In late-August, convicted drug trafficker Johnny B. Santos claimed that fellow inmate Irvin R. Ibanez admitted to the double-murder on the orders of Palacios.

Ibanez later denied the allegations and the investigation came to a halt. It was indicative of how complicated the war on drugs would become in the decades that followed.


In Denver, Colorado, 21-year-old Xavier Quiroz-Limones was beaten to death by unidentified assailants. While driving through the city, he had become involved in an argument with the occupants of another vehicle.

Both vehicles stopped and a fight ensued. Xavier was knocked unconscious and died of his injuries the same day in hospital.

An active murder investigation began which involved numerous suspects and leads but failed to identify the attackers. Xavier’s murder remains an active cold case in the State of Colorado.


In Crystal River, Florida, 32-year-old Florence ‘Florrie’ Anne Coker was reported missing by her husband. She had gone missing two days earlier after leaving her home on County Road 486.

According to her husband, she had left with some clothes and approximately $1,000 USD in cash. Her husband had gone out for the day and returned to find her gone.

There were reports that Coker was depressed and had turned to alcohol to manage her addiction. She had been married for only 18 months and had a young son from another marriage.

On July 29th, her husband found her car in St. Petersburg, Florida, almost 100 miles away.

It remains unclear how her husband managed to find her car in the next city but no evidence points to him being a suspect. Coker’s disappearance remains unsolved.


In London, two deadly attacks were carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). In Hyde Park, at 10.40am, a car bomb exploded just as soldiers of the Household Cavalry, the Queen’s official bodyguard regiment, were passing.

The remotely detonated bomb was packed with nails which killed three soldiers instantly, with another dying of his wounds later on. Seven of the regiment’s horses had to be euthanised because of their injuries.

In Regent’s Park, at 1pm, a large bomb was detonated underneath a bandstand, when 30 Military bandsmen of the Royal Green Jackets were performing.

Six bandsmen were killed instantly, and another died of his wounds later on. A total of 11 military personnel were killed in the attacks.

In 1987, Gilbert McNamee was convicted of making the Hyde Park bomb and sentenced to 25 years, only to be released 12 years later.

In 2013, John Downey was charged with murder in the Hyde Park attack, but the trial collapsed due to flawed evidence. No one has ever been charged in the Regent Park bombing.


In Washington, 38-year-old Detective Brian F. Orchard was shot and killed while conducting an undercover stakeout of two thieves wanted for the theft of a valuable gun collection.

The suspects had attempted to ransom the collection for $20,000 (USD). When the men pulled up to the surveillance area, Orchard approached the car and identified himself.

One of the men, Lonnie James Link, fired a shot from inside the car, striking Orchard in the head. Both men were later arrested.

Link was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Despite numerous appeals, he has never been released.

Check out the Mega List of True Crime Podcasts

Help share the article