True Crime On This Day June 20th

Last Updated on September 26, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day June 20th

June 20th

On June 20th in true crime, serial killers, assassination, robbery, double murder in Berry Springs, unsolved crimes, and disappearances.


In Illinois, 20-year-old Timothy O’Rourke was reported as missing. His body would be discovered 10 days later on June 30th, near the Dresden Island Lock and Dam in the Illinois River.

It was the location where two more bodies were later discovered. All were victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy who confessed to the murders of 33 young boys and men.


In El Salvador, a second Roman Catholic priest was assassinated, after Father Octavio Ortiz Luna was killed on January 20th 1979.

Father Rafael Palacios was killed near his home and was murdered for the same reason.

The Catholic Church in the country had sought a military dictatorship, which would ensure human rights for those suffering from poverty. The priest’s murders were part of a sustained attack on the Catholic Church.


In El Paso County, Texas, armed robber Ramon Pedro Hernandez shot dead service station mechanic Oscar Frayre, during a robbery.

Hernandez was robbing the store to pay for his drug habit. There were witnesses to the robbery and Hernandez was caught shortly after.

He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Despite an appeal, he was executed by lethal injection in Texas on January 30th 1987.


On the banks of the Missouri River, in Illinois, James Churchill was stabbed to death by child murderer and serial killer Charles Ray Hatcher.

Hatcher would later confess to the murder stating that his desire to kill had gotten ahead of him. He said that he and Churchill had been drinking together and he snapped and then stabbed him ten times. He had left the knife sticking out of his chest near the heart.

Hatcher was a one-man crime wave who was born in 1929 and started killing when he was 40-years-old. Over a 13-year period, he would kill 16 people.

He was arrested in 1982 for the murder of 11-year-old Michelle Steele, and later sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Before the rest of his crimes could be brought to trial in separate cases, Hatcher hung himself in his cell in 1984.


In Dallas County, Texas, Johnny Dean Pyles shot dead 34-year-old Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Edward Kovar, while attempting to avoid arrest.

Pyles was on parole following a second prison term for burglary and was casing a closed grocery store in the early hours of the morning when Kovar confronted him.

A passing motorist had flagged down the officer due to Pyles’ suspicious activity. Pyle later claimed that Kovar surprised him, and he opened fire in self-defence.

He eloped from the scene and was caught a checkpoint three hours later. He was subsequently sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection in Texas on June 15th 1998.


In Berry Springs, Australia, 18-year-old Janice Carnegie and her 15-year-old cousin, Charmaine Aviet, were swimming at a popular waterhole.

Unbeknownst to them, they were being watched by 23-year-old Martin Leach. He spied on them for over an hour before forcing them at knifepoint into a nearby ravine and tying them up.

He stabbed Janice in the stomach and then raped her in front of Charmaine.

He then stabbed Charmaine to death before returning to Janice’s body where he stabbed her in the neck. Their nude bodies were found shortly after.

An autopsy showed that Janice would have been alive for an additional ten minutes before succumbing to her wounds. Leach was arrested in May 1984 and subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

Despite multiple appeals and changes to the parole law in Australia, Leach will never be released from jail.

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