Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Ben Oakley
On March 20th in true crime, cold cases, Henry Lee Lucas, William Bonin, murder in Atlanta, family murders and dismemberment.
In Melbourne, Australia, 12-year-old Denise McGregor was abducted on her way home. Her body was found the next day, she had been brutally raped and murdered.
McGregor’s injuries were so severe and horrific that the coroner compared them to those suffered by victims of plane crashes. The murder remains unsolved and is an active cold case.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Elaine Tollett was murdered by serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. At least that is what he confessed to and so the case was closed.
Hundreds of unsolved murders were attributed to Lucas in what was described as a ‘clearing up’ of old cases. He was convicted of 11 murders but sentenced to death for just one of them.
There have been many books and documentaries on Henry Lee Lucas, mostly because of the absurdity of the investigation and the clearing up of cases that surrounded him.
He claimed he killed over 100 people and then suddenly a figure of 3,000 came to light when cases from various states were being attributed to him.
It is suggested that his real victim count comes to around 40. He died in 2001 of a heart attack, leaving his true dark legacy a mystery and a talking point that is still being discussed today.
In Hollywood, 14-year-old Harry Todd Turner was picked up by serial killer William George Bonin and accomplice William Ray Pugh.
Turner’s nude body was found the next day in an alley in downtown Los Angeles. He had been raped, beaten, and strangled to death by Bonin who killed at least 21 people from 1979 to 1980.
He was sentenced to death and executed in February 1996. Pugh, who was present during the murder of Turner, was sentenced to six years for voluntary manslaughter. Bonin was known to use accomplices in his heinous crimes.
In Atlanta, Georgia, 21-year-old Eddie Duncan disappeared after leaving a bus to drop off some dry-cleaning for a friend.
His partially nude body was fished from the Chattahoochee River by canoeists a few days later. He had been strangled to death and was a victim of the 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.
Later in 1981, Wayne Williams was charged with two of the adult murders and sentenced to life in prison. Over the years, police have attributed 22 of the murders to Williams, including Duncan’s, but he has never been charged with them and has maintained his innocence ever since.
Investigators still believe that Williams was responsible for most of the murders but there are some that remain unsolved.
In Bat Yam, Israel, 11-year-old Nava Elimelech went missing while on the way to her friend’s house, just 300 metres away.
Her 19-year-old sister was the last person to see her alive and Nava was reported missing the same evening. Ten days later, after a large search, Nava’s head was found in a plastic bag on the beach of Herzliya.
Other parts of her body were later found in more plastic bags, strewn along the coastline.
The murder gained widespread attention but despite a team of 40 investigators and detectives, her killer has never been found. Her case remains unsolved. In 2019, her remains were exhumed for further investigation.
In Lake County, Indiana, 62-year-old Paul Komyatti, Sr. was stabbed to death and dismembered by his son-in-law William E. Vandiver.
Komyatti was known to have been a loud and violent drunk who was hated by members of his immediate family, including by his own daughter, Vandiver’s wife, Mariann.
Komyatti ordered his daughter to divorce Vandiver because of previous criminal activity but the order was not taken too well.
Vandiver and other family members agreed to kill him but after various failed poisonings they decided drugging him with ether and injecting air into his veins would work just as well.
Vandiver and Mariann quietly went to his bedroom when he was sleeping and was about to inject him when he woke up and fought with the both of them.
Vandiver retaliated by stabbing Komyatti over 100 times with a fish knife. He claimed that Komyatti only stopped breathing when he decapitated him.
Vandiver and other family members then dismembered the body, all the while making jokes. After their arrest, shortly after, the family turned on Vandiver and blamed him for everything that had happened.
He was sentenced to death and executed in the electric chair in Indiana on October 16th 1985. The family members who were involved in the plot, testified against Vandiver, in return for escaping the death penalty and receiving various prison sentences.
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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…