True Crime On This Day June 23rd

True Crime On This Day June 23rd

June 23rd

On June 23rd in true crime, Levittown gas riots, Atlanta serial killer, massacre, murder, unsolved crimes, mystery cold cases.


In Zimbabwe, 12 people were slaughtered at the Elim Mission Station in the Vumba mountains. Another died of their injuries a week later.

The photographs of the massacre were spread around the world leading to global condemnation of the attackers.


In Pennsylvania, the Levittown Gas Riot began, and ended the next day with one of the largest riots in the region’s history.

A group of truck drivers, discontent with the fuel shortage of 1979 and the cost of rising fuel, blocked intersections, and began vandalizing properties.

Vehicles, including lorries and cars, were set alight and left to burn. What began as a small protest ended the next day with 2,000 people at the main intersection of the town.

Some of them dragged a car to a gas station and set it on fire, causing flames over 20 feet high.

It took 300 officers to bring the riot to a close. By the end of it, 44 police officers and over 200 demonstrators had been injured.

One demonstrator even drove his truck at police with the intention of killing them. The driver crushed the hand of one police officer, and he was later charged with attempted murder.


In Atlanta, 10-year-old Aaron Wyche disappeared near a grocery store. Witnesses saw him get into a blue Chevrolet with two men.

It was the same car that had been witnessed in the disappearance of 11-year-old Jeffrey Mathis on March 11th. The following day, Wyche’s body was discovered under a bridge. He had been strangled to death and suffered a broken neck in a fall.

Wyche had been a victim of the infamous Atlanta Murders. They were a series of murders committed in Atlanta from July 1979 to May 1981 and included the deaths of at least 28 children and adults.

Despite 23-year-old Wayne Williams being charged in 1981 with two of the adult murders and linked to some of the child murders, the real killer has never been caught.

In 2019, Atlanta police reopened all the Atlanta murder cases to use new DNA technology that may lead them to the culprit of the crimes.


In Houston, Texas, around 3am, an unidentified individual walked into the 7-Eleven in Baytown and shot 23-year-old clerk Diana Lynn Underwood in the face at point blank range.

She dropped to the floor behind the counter and died of her injuries instantly. Mystery surrounds the case as the cash register remained untouched and no products were removed from the shelves

In 1984, Henry Lee Lucas admitted to the crime. However, it was one of almost 3,000 murders that he and the agencies questioning him, took credit for. It was later proven that Lucas did not kill Underwood.

It wasn’t until 2020 when investigators reopened the Underwood case, in the hope they might catch the true suspect behind her murder, and in doing so, uncover the motive behind it.


In Nottinghamshire, England, electrician and serial killer Barry Peter Prudom, AKA: The Phantom in the Forest, broke into the home of 52-year-old George Luckett and his wife, 50-year-old Sylvia Luckett.

They were tied up and shot in the head before Prudom made off with valuables. George died instantly from his wound, but Sylvia managed to survive and crawled to a nearby house to raise the alarm.

She was ultimately left with permanent brain damage and has no recollection of the event. Prudom eloped to Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire.

He killed himself during a police siege on July 4th but not before having killed three people and injuring many more.


In New Orleans, Louisiana, Thomas Lee Ward arrived at the home of his estranged wife’s mother and her partner, Lydia and John Spencer, to spend time with his children, who were staying in the residence.

While in the house on the night of the 22nd, he learned that his wife was receiving welfare and was having trouble with one of their daughters.

Ward left the home to go to a bar where he got drunk. He returned to the residence in the early hours of the 23rd, begging to see his children one last time.

After he had seen them, he shot John Spencer in the head, killing him instantly. He also shot Lydia, but she went on to survive.

He was arrested at the scene and subsequently sentenced to death, having never given a motive for the murder.

In testimonies at his trial, it was discovered that he was an abusive husband who had beaten his wife and sexually abused her daughters. He was executed by lethal injection in Louisiana on March 16th, 1996.

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