True Crime On This Day July 26th

True Crime On This Day July 26th

July 26th

On July 26th in true crime, Snake River John Doe, serial killing cousins, cold case murder, missing person in Nevada, the Dating Game Killer.


In Washoe County, Nevada, 16-year-old Sandra ‘Sandy’ Kaye Butler disappeared without a trace. Butler was last seen in the town of Sparks as she was walking to a store located across the street from her family’s home.

No body or no suspect has ever been found. Her disappearance remains an active cold case in the State of Nevada.


Two days after his arrest, the Rodney James Alcala investigation expands with the discovery of thousands of photographs in his locker.

Alcala was a serial killer and rapist who killed between eight and 100 people. He became known as The Dating Game Killer after his appearance on the Dating Game TV show in 1978.

Most of the photos that police discovered were too violent to be released to the public.

Between 1971 and 1979, Alcala, had tricked up to 1,000 young men, girls, and women into believing that he was a professional photographer.

A large majority of the photos were of people in the nude or in sexually explicit poses, including pages and pages of naked girls and boys.

It was on March 10th 2010, that the Huntington Beach Police and New York City Police departments officially released 120 of his photographs in order to seek the public’s help in identifying the victims.

There are another 900 photos in Alcala’s portfolio that cannot be released due to their sexual content. Some of the 120 have since been recognised by family members as loved ones who had disappeared without a trace and may have been further victims of The Dating Game Killer.

Alcala has remained in jail ever since as he gets convicted with more murders. He has been sentenced to death several times, some of which were commuted to life.


In Los Angeles, the body of 15-year-old Kari Lenander was found in an apartment block on Victoria Avenue. She had been raped before being brutally murdered.

Despite an extensive search, the case remains unsolved. The case was reopened in 2002 and again in 2010.

At the time of writing, the Los Angeles City Council have put forward a $50,000 (USD) reward for information that may lead to the suspect.


In Colorado Springs, 58-year-old Edward Connaughton was beaten to death by an unknown assailant in his own home.

When he didn’t turn up for work the next morning, one of his co-workers went to check on him, only to find that Connaughton’s blue Mazda vehicle was missing.

A neighbour joined the co-worker, and they entered the property through the back door which was wide open. They found the home had been burgled and then found Connaughton’s body in an upstairs room.

Investigators discovered that Connaughton would invite homeless people into his home to assist them. Neighbours claimed there were other people in the house, the evening he was killed.

Despite witnesses and a lengthy investigation, no suspects were ever caught, and Connaughton’s murder remains a mystery. The blue Mazda was later found abandoned in Denver.


On the shores of the Snake River, Nez Perce County, Idaho, the decomposing body of an unidentified white adult male was discovered.

He had been shot dead approximately two weeks before his discovery. Two bullets were matched to a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson gun, which had ended its manufacturing run in 1967.

His age could not be determined, different databases list it anywhere from 13 to 99-years-old. His case was reopened in 2012 but despite modern advances in DNA technology, his identity remains a mystery, and his killer has never been caught.

He became known as the Snake River John Doe.


In Florida, serial killer David Alan Gore and his cousin Fred Waterfield, kidnapped 14-year-old Regan Martin and 17-year-old Lynn Elliott. Both girls were tortured and raped before Gore shot Lynn dead.

Both Gore and Waterfield were arrested the same night, after Regan managed to call for help. Police then discovered that the murder of Lynn Elliott was Gore’s sixth victim.

In December of 1983, Gore led police to where three of his other murder victims were buried. An investigation learned that he was an alcoholic, who had been kidnapping women, raping, and killing them since 1981, mostly with Waterfield as an accomplice.

Waterfield was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Gore was sentenced to death in 1984, and ultimately executed by lethal injection on April 12th, 2012.

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