On June 22nd in true crime, church shooting in Texas, murder, cold cases, robbery, mystery murder victim, unsolved disappearances.
Serial killer Roger Dale Stafford, along with his wife and brother, flagged down a vehicle on the side of Interstate 35 in Oklahoma.
Stafford then robbed and murdered the entire Lorenz family; Melvin, Linda and their 12-year-old son. Stafford’s wife would later implicate him in the killing of 34 people.
In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 11-year-old Karen Reinert and her brother Michael vanished without a trace after leaving home with their mother Susan Reinert.
Three days later, on June 25th, Susan’s body was found in the trunk of her car which had been parked at a Host Inn. She had been beaten, bound, and finally killed with a large injection of morphine.
Despite various tips and suspects, the two children were never found. Susan had been killed by a high school principal named Jay C. Smith, but his conviction was overturned in 1992 due to prosecutorial misconduct.
His own daughter and her husband also mysteriously vanished in 1978. In 1983, William Bradfield was sentenced for Susan’s death for being part of a conspiracy to commit the same murder.
A later investigation led to a photograph of a grave where the two children were said to have been buried. As of 2022, the location of the grave and the whereabouts of the children remains a mystery.
In Daingerfield, Texas, the Daingerfield Church Shooting took place. 46-year-old former high school teacher Alvin Lee King III entered the First Baptist Church armed with multiple weapons.
He had a semi-automatic XM16E1-type derivative, an M1 carbine, and two revolvers. He opened fire on church goers and ended up killing five people and injuring another 10.
He killed out of revenge for the church declining his request to appear as a witness in the trial for the rape of his own daughter.
King shot himself but survived to be charged with the murders. During the trial, he killed himself in his prison cell on January 19th 1982.
In Pierce County, Georgia, 64-year-old Alfred Boatwright and 58-year-old Morris Highsmith were shot dead during a robbery at Boatwright’s handyman store, where they both worked.
The robbery was carried out by 40-year-old soldier Willie James Wilson Jr., who was AWOL at the time from Fort Stewart. The robbery happened in the mid-afternoon, and Wilson made off with just $90 (USD), $45 for each life he took.
He was arrested shortly after and subsequently sentenced to death on February 15th 1982. Despite numerous appeals, he remains on death row in Georgia.
In Clinton, Oklahoma, the decomposing body of an unidentified adult female in her twenties was found in water under a bridge.
An autopsy confirmed she had been shot dead approximately one week earlier with a single bullet to the head. At the time, a DNA sample wasn’t collected, but her dentals and fingerprints were.
Despite having distinguishing features and a key to a Ford car, her identity remains a mystery. The case remains cold and unsolved.
In Rome, Italy, 15-year-old Vatican City resident Emanuela Orlandi disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
She was last seen leaving her home on her way to music classes. She vanished 40 days after 15-year-old Mirella Gregori also disappeared in Rome. Many theories have arisen over time regarding both of their disappearances.
In 2011, former Banda della Magliana member Antonio Mancini claimed that the girls had been kidnapped as one of a number of strikes that the gang was making against the Vatican.
In 2012, cold case investigators were approached by 85-year-old exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth who claimed that the girls were kidnapped by an unidentified member of the Vatican Police to be used in sex parties and then murdered when they were no longer useful.
Despite the theories, no trace of the girls has ever been found and their case remains unsolved.
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I'm honoured. Thank you and stay safe.
I really enjoy reading your short clips about the crimes committed. I like the books you write too.
The number of victims is always contentious.
Why not Jack the Ripper? He could have had different MO's.
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I think this was no way an accident or a case of getting lost, this was murder. If they got…