True Crime On This Day March 11th

True Crime On This Day March 11th

March 11th

On March 11th in true crime, Hollywood murder of Victor Kilian, serial killer in Atlanta, serial killer in Texas, and a murder mystery.


Palestinian terrorists killed 38 Israelis and injured 71 in the Coastal Road Massacre. 13 children were among the dead after an attack involving the hijacking of a bus which was planned by Abu Jihad.

It remains one of the worst terrorist attacks in the history of Israel. In response, the Israeli military forces launched Operation Litani against PLO bases in Lebanon three days later.


In Hollywood, actor Victor Arthur Kilian was beaten to death by burglars who had broken into his home. Kilian had been returning home from grocery shopping when he interrupted the robbery.

He had previously been blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios in the 1950s for his political beliefs. The suspects in the robbery and murder have never been identified and it remains a cold case to this day.


In Atlanta, one week after the disappearance and murder of Angel Lanier, 11-year-old Jeffery Mathis disappeared while running an errand.

A witness had seen him getting into a blue car with two men but no suspects were caught. 11 months later, Mathis’ skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave in remote woodlands.

Mathis 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.

Atlanta police recently reopened all the Atlanta murder cases to use new DNA technology that may lead to the culprit of the crimes.


In Texas, after murdering seven people, two in March 1981 alone, serial killer David Villarreal, AKA: The Rainbow Killer, was captured.

After his arrest, he confessed to seven murders of mostly gay men between 1974 and 1981.

He later claimed that he killed out of pure pleasure and murdered so brutally because he wanted to make sure his victims were completely dead.


In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, three-year-old Nicole Lynn Bryner disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Her mother, Melody Thomas Childs, claimed that Nicole had been abducted on March 9th from the Giant Eagle supermarket, while she was sitting in the cart.

Four years later, Melody’s then boyfriend, Timothy Wayne Widman, confessed to killing Nicole by punching her after she bit his toe. He allegedly then placed her body in a plastic bag and buried her in remote woodland.

He and Melody then reported the abduction to cover up Nicole’s death. A police search of the woodland showed up no traces of a body.

Widman was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but the charges were dropped in 1987 due to a lack of evidence. Then, in 2006, Widman was charged with murder in Nicole’s presumed death.

He cooperated with the investigation and was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the charge he was originally brought to trial for. He was sentenced from two to four years in prison.

He escaped an intentional murder charge as Nicole’s body was never found. Widman died of natural causes in 2011.


In Jefferson County, Kentucky, 39-year-old Nancy Bettman was raped and shot dead by serial killer Beoria Abraham Simmons. Bettman was Simmons’ third and final victim.

He had previously raped and murdered Robin Barnes on May 18th 1981 and Shannon House on June 11th 1983. Bettman’s body was dumped in Iroquois Park.

Simmons was caught when his fourth victim fought back. She was abducted near Churchill Downs and taken to Iroquois Park, where Simmons told her she was going to be raped.

She stabbed him and got away then led police to him. He was sentenced to death in 1985 which was commuted to life in prison without parole on March 3rd 2010.

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