On March 1st in true crime, mass protest, mystery body, cop killer, murder in New Orleans, drunk driver, and shooting spree.
In McAllen, Texas, a large group of farmers under the American Agricultural Movement (AAM) banner protested against the treatment of farmers.
Over the course of the protest, a large group of protesting farmers were trapped on the International Bridge. They had Texas City Police on on the U.S side and Federal troops on the Mexican side.
The protesters were tear-gassed and beaten into submission with 200 arrested. By the next day 2,000 more farmers arrived to join the protests which had spread across the United States.
In Coffee County, Georgia, Sheriff C.F. ‘Neil’ Grantham was shot dead in front of the Coffee County Jail.
Former prisoner, Billy Joe Magwood, parked in the Sheriff’s spot at the court and an argument ensued. Magwood then shot Grantham three times before driving to a relative’s home and waiting on the porch to be arrested.
Magwood was later sentenced to death. In 2010, the sentence was commuted to life in prison.
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, an unidentified 21 to 35-year-old male was killed in an apparent hit and run. When police arrived on the scene, they found an overturned car which had hit the man.
Witnesses claimed they had seen four people leave the vehicle and run away. An investigation later discovered that someone had crashed through the windshield which may or may not have been the unidentified victim.
Despite having a recognisable face, the identity of the victim remains a mystery and no suspects were ever caught. It remains an active cold case to this day.
In Louisiana, New Orleans accountant, Sterling J Rault Jr., raped and murdered his 21-year-old secretary, Jane Ellen Francioni. Rault was worried that she would expose his embezzlement of $84,000.
After sexually abusing her, he stabbed and shot her to death, before dousing her body in gasoline and setting her on fire. Rault was arrested shortly after denied the carrying out the crime at every possibility.
His original story was that he and Francioni, were kidnapped by two masked men. They then raped and killed her without giving a reason why.
However, Rault also claimed to have seen his two dead cousins appear to him while in a hypnotic-induced trance, claiming that they had killed Francioni as he tried to stop them.
In another version of his story, he claimed Francioni has pulled a gun on him and she was shot accidentally during the struggle.
Despite his claims of masked men, ghosts, and hypnosis, he was sentenced to death for the crime. He was executed in the electric chair in Louisiana, on August 24th 1987.
In Grand Prairie, Texas, 34-year-old Police Officer Lyndon Fred King was killed when a drunk driver slammed into the back of his patrol vehicle.
King was standing in front of the vehicle while working the scene of an accident near the 7th Street overpass. A truck, driven by a drunken Dale Ross Looper, hit the patrol car, causing it to spin around violently and crush King, who died at the scene.
Looper was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 1984, after serving 10 months in prison, and due to a series of administrative errors, Looper was released by mistake.
The error was discovered two years later at an appeals court. Looper surrendered and served out the rest of his sentence.
In Glenallen, Alaska, Six of a remote village’s 22 residents were shot dead over the course of just a few minutes.
The rampage had been carried out 39-year-old unemployed computer programmer Louis D. Hastings who methodically hunted down his victims.
He was arrested the same day after being found covered in blood on a rural road nearby. Three bodies were found near an airstrip and the others in a private residence in the remote Wrangell Mountain town.
No motive has ever been given but he was sentenced to 634 years in prison, one of the longest prison terms in Alaska history.
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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…