True Crime On This Day June 15th

True Crime On This Day June 15th

June 15th

On June 15th in true crime, serial killer Donald Murphy, cold case murder, murder on Angola Beach, the Jacksonville Cannibal.


On a remote beach in Angola, New York, the nude brutalised body of Thomas Clifton was discovered by two women out for a morning walk.

Clifton was a professor of music at the University of Buffalo which was only half hour drive away. It appeared that Clifton had been sunbathing in the nude when his killer attacked him.

Clifton was stabbed over 30 times in a frenzied and violent attack that shocked investigators.

Detectives found witnesses who heard the voice of a man in distress and saw a woman walking away from the beach before driving off. Clifton’s clothes and bicycle were missing.

It was suspected that the attacker was known to Clifton but that suspect has never been found. The identity of the killer remains a mystery and the murder is an active cold case in the State of New York.


In Lakewood, Colorado, 19-year-old single mother Sandra JoAnn Rushing was shot dead in her car when a bullet went through her windscreen and hit her in the neck.

At least three witnesses saw a man leaving the scene in a blue car which sped away. Rushing died of her wound the same day. As of 2022, the murder remains unsolved and is an active cold case.


In Detroit, the nude body of 22-year-old Diane Burks was discovered by a dog walker at a known lover’s lane area. Burks hands had been tied behind her back and she had been strangled to death.

She had last been seen leaving her sister’s boyfriend’s house and heading towards her home. On December 15th 1980, American serial killer and sex offender Donald Murphy was arrested and charged with six murders of prostitutes in Detroit.

He was convicted of two murders and sentenced to 30 years for each of them. Despite being linked to the Burks murder, he was never convicted of it, and her death remains listed as unsolved.

In the late 1970s and 1980, 18 prostitutes were killed in Detroit. It led investigators to believe that two serial killers had been active in the area at the same time as Murphy.


In Denver, in the early hours of the morning, U.S. Air Force Airman, 24-year-old Randy Walton was shot dead. Walton had recently been assigned to Lowry Air Force Base.

He and a friend had visited an after-hours party at a local community centre on Fairfax Street and were about to make their way home. As they were sitting in the car, ready to go, three men approached at gunpoint and robbed them.

As they were leaving, one of the men fatally shot Walton. Despite an eyewitness, no suspect has ever been caught and the murder remains unsolved.


In Cridersville, Ohio, 40-year-old Annabelle Marie Rankin-Ludwig-Smith vanished without a trace. She had last been seen at her home with her ex-husband, Robert Ludwig, and their three children.

Their marriage was known to have been turbulent during their time together. Annabelle became involved with other men, many of whom were drug addicts.

Prior to her disappearance, she had been involved with an unidentified man in Ohio, but the man has never been traced.

Despite suggestions that Annabelle was heading towards Florida, no trace of her has ever been found, dead or alive. Her case remains unsolved.


In Florida, American serial killer Ottis Elwood Toole, AKA: The Jacksonville Cannibal, was captured. Toole was confirmed to have killed six people from 1961 to 1983 but claimed he had killed hundreds more.

His grandmother was alleged to have been a Satanist who taught him self-mutilation and grave robbing. Toole was also linked with fellow serial killer Henry Lee Lucas who had been his sexual partner for at least six years.

They referred to their crimes as a cult called The Hands of Death. In April 1984, Toole was convicted and sentenced to death for two murders.

While he was on death row, he pleaded guilty to four more. The death sentence was later commuted to life but Toole died in prison on September 15th 1996.

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