True Crime On This Day July 29th

True Crime On This Day July 29th

July 29th

On July 29th in true crime, Sicilian Mafia assassination, serial killer Charles Ray Hatcher, 1979 Madrid bombings, mystery disappearance.


In Chattanooga, Tennessee, Joseph Paul Franklin, AKA: The Racist Killer, shot and killed Bryant Tatum with a shotgun. He also shot Tatum’s white girlfriend, Nancy Hilton, who survived the attack.

Franklin had attempted to incite a race war and had failed. He was sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection for his crimes on November 20th 2013.


In Spain, the July 1979 Madrid Bombings took place, leaving seven dead and over 100 injured. The coordinated attacks occurred at the Barajas Airport, Atocha Train Station, and Chamartín Train Station.

They were carried out by the ETA political military who were a faction of the armed Basque separatist group ETA. The Madrid bombings came just two days after separate attacks in Bilbao and San Sebastian.


In Ramsey County, Minnesota, 22-year-old shop worker Cindy Mae Brown vanished after telling her supervisor at the Kmart store that she was leaving town.

It seemed like nothing untoward had taken place until Patrick Thomas Walsh became a suspect in her disappearance. Sometime in 1979, Brown had moved in with Walsh, who had a history of violence against women.

Walsh told the investigation that she had left for California in a van with two men and a woman. When Walsh became a suspect in another murder, the investigation into Brown reopened.

In 1993, Walsh was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. To this day, no trace of Brown has ever been found, dead or alive.


In Putney, London, eight-year-old Vishal Mehrotra was abducted from a crowded street near his home and brutally murdered.

It was the same day that Prince Charles and Lady Diana were getting married and most of the nation was watching the wedding on TV sets or holding wedding parties in the street.

Over the next seven months, an investigation interviewed an estimated 14,000 people and investigated hundreds of sightings.

On February 25th 1982, 50 miles away in Rogate, West Sussex, two pigeon shooters discovered Mehrotra’s partial skeletal remains.

Shortly after the discovery, Mehrotra’s father received a phone call in which the caller claimed his son’s disappearance was connected to a paedophile ring who frequented Elm Guest House in Barnes.

Despite a huge investigation, no suspect has ever been charged with the murder.

Serial killer Sidney Cooke, AKA: Hissing Sid, was linked to the murder at one point but was never charged. The murder remains a cold case to this day.


In St. Joseph, Missouri, 11-year-old Michelle Steele disappeared after a dentist appointment. Her abused and broken body was found a day later in a remote location by a group of hikers.

Lifetime criminal and serial killer Charles Ray Hatcher had murdered her. To avoid capture, Hatcher checked himself into the Saint Joseph State Hospital under the name of Richard Clark.

On August 3rd, after matching his description to a man seen on the river bank the day of Michelle’s disappearance, Hatcher was charged with murder in the first degree.

The extent of his crimes were not discovered until a year later. Over a 13-year period, Hatcher had killed 16 people.

Before the rest of his crimes could be brought to trial in separate cases, Hatcher hung himself in his cell.


In Palermo, 58-year-old anti-Mafia magistrate Rocco Chinnici, was assassinated by the Sicilian Mafia. He had taken over the work of Chief Prosecutor Gaetano Costa who had been assassinated by the Mafia on August 6th 1980.

Chinnici was killed in a car bomb explosion, which also killed two of his bodyguards, Mario Trapassi and Salvatore Bartolotta, and the concierge of his apartment block, Filippo Li Sacchi.

The bomb was detonated by notorious Mafia assassin Pino Greco, who had carried out the assassination on the orders of his uncle Michele Greco.

In 2002, 12 members of the Mafia were sentenced to life imprisonment for ordering the murder.

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