True Crime On This Day July 8th

Last Updated on September 27, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day July 8th

July 8th

On July 8th in true crime, macabre discoveries in Guatemala and California, fugitive surrender, kidnapping, and multiple serial killers.


British backpackers, Christopher Farmer and Peta Frampton’s bodies were found floating in the ocean off the coast of Punta de Manabique, Guatemala.

Their case would remain a mystery until a cold case investigation led to the 2016 nursing home arrest of 75-year-old Silas Duane Boston.

It was suggested he beat and stabbed them, tied them up and then bound them to car engine parts before throwing them overboard in a fit of rage.

After his arrest it was also alleged by his own children that he took his wife, their mother, to an undisclosed location and then ordered her to run before shooting her dead.

They also claimed he boasted of killing others, making Silas Duane Boston a serial killer. His crimes will now be more difficult to investigate as he died of natural causes in April 2017.

On the same day

In Italy, serial killer Maurizio Minghella, AKA: The Valpocevera Strangler, killed Giusepinna Jerardi, a sex worker from Genoa.

He hid the body in an abandoned car. Minghella killed five people in 1978 and would go onto become one of Italy’s most notorious serial killers.


In Willits, California, the bodies of 15-year-old Kerry Ann Graham and 14-year-old Francine Marie Trimble were discovered in a woodland area but at the time they were unidentified.

They had disappeared from Forestville, 80 miles south, on December 16th 1978. Their decomposing bodies had been concealed within duct-taped garbage bags but a cause of death could not be found.

They had vanished while on a trip to a shopping mall in Santa Rosa. They remained a missing persons case until 2015 when DNA on two Jane Doe’s came back as a match.

Their bodies had been on ice since their discovery in 1979 and were not identified sooner due to the decomposition of the bodies.

As of 2022, their murder remains unsolved and is an active cold case in the State of California.


In New York, fugitive Cathlyn Platt Wilkerson surrendered to prosecutors after eluding capture for 10 years. Wilkerson was a member of the Weather Underground Organisation (WUO), a terrorist movement that was active in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The aim of the WUO was to create a revolutionary political party to overthrow what they viewed as an imperialist America. Wilkerson had been on the run ever since an explosion destroyed her parent’s townhouse.

The residence and one nearby was used by the WUO to create explosive devices. Wilkerson was convicted of illegal possession of dynamite and sentenced to three years in prison.

She was released on probation after just 11 months. She now spends her time teaching maths in adult education programs.


In El Dorado County, California, Welfare Department workers 34-year-old Peggy Pennington, and 27-year-old Patty Vander Dussen, were kidnapped near to their place of work.

James Leslie Karis Jr. had abducted them at gunpoint and drove them to a remote location, forced them both to remove their clothes and raped Pennington.

He then let them get dressed then shot them both. Pennington died of her wounds but Dussen survived. Karis was arrested shortly after and later sentenced to death in a 1982 trial.

Despite having his sentence overturned in 1998, he was re-sentenced to death in 2007. He died of natural causes in 2013, while awaiting execution.


In Washington State, 16-year-old Wendy Lee Coffield was abducted and murdered by Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer.

Her body was found in the Green River under the Peck Bridge in the Kent area. Coffield was Ridgway’s first confirmed victim of 48 that he pleaded guilty to. He is one of the United States’ most prolific killers, who killed teenage girls and women, in Washington State.

Ridgway buried the bodies in what he called ‘clusters’, mostly in wooded areas, and would return to the bodies to engage in acts of necrophilia with the corpses.

He later claimed that having sex with a corpse stopped him from killing someone else at that very moment. Ridgway was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to life in 2003.


On the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland, five-year-old Caroline Hogg disappeared after playing outside her home in Portobello.

Witnesses described a scruffy-looking man watching a child near the playground then holding hands with her in an amusement arcade. 10 days later, her decomposing body was found in a ditch in Leicestershire, England.

She had been abducted, raped, and brutally murdered by British serial killer Robert Black, AKA: Smelly Bob. Black was a paedophile and killer who operated from 1969 to 1987.

He was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to life for the rapes and murders of four young girls in the United Kingdom. He was a truck driver who also made regular work trips to mainland Europe where it is suspected he murdered dozens more.

He was also prime suspect in the infamous 1978 disappearance and murder of 13-year-old Genette Tate. She had vanished on her newspaper delivery round in Devon, on England’s Southern Coast.

Black was already a prime suspect in most of his suspected victims when he died of a heart attack in 2016. Black remains one of the worst serial killers to walk the streets of the United Kingdom and Europe.

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