On March 2nd in true crime, mystery disappearances, graverobbing, cop killing, missing persons, murder in Georgia.
Charlie Chaplin’s corpse was stolen in one of the most famous cases of body-snatching and grave-robbing. Chaplin had died on Christmas Day in 1977. Two men stole the body from a Swiss village above Lake Geneva.
Chaplin’s widow then received a ransom demand of $600,000 (USD). The perpetrators turned out to be two mechanics.
Upon their arrest, the mechanics led police to Chaplin’s body on May 17th 1978. Chaplin’s body was re-buried in concrete so that future grave-robbers wouldn’t be able to steal his corpse.
In Charleston, South Carolina, a day after Sheriff C.F. Grantham was shot dead, patrolman Charles Alvin Snider was killed while attempting to arrest a shoplifter.
The suspect wrestled the gun away from Snider and then shot him at point blank range in the head. The suspect ran away on foot along with his two accomplices.
They were arrested after a day-long manhunt. The shooter was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
In Los Angeles, 43-year-old Steve Losonczi vanished without a trace. He had last been seen walking along a street in the city.
Despite links to numerous unidentified John Doe’s in the region, no trace of Losonczi has ever been found. However, investigators have long believed he was the victim of foul play.
In Atlanta, Georgia, 15-year-old Joseph Bell disappeared. On April 19th, his badly decomposed body was found in debris at a bend in the South River.
A coroner later confirmed that he had been strangled to death. Hill was 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 30 children and adults.
Despite investigators attributing many of the victims to Wayne Williams, he was only convicted on two of the adult murders. In 2019, Atlanta police reopened all the Atlanta murder cases so that they could re-test the evidence available and begin a new investigation.
Investigators still believe that Williams was responsible for most of the murders but there are some that remain unsolved.
In New Lisbon, New Jersey, 46-year-old Kenneth Arthur Schweighart disappeared under suspicious circumstances. He had lived as a resident at the New Lisbon State School for Retarded Males (its actual name) for four years.
He was last seen at the residence, which helped to educate boys and men suffering from mental disabilities. His disappearance has been linked to those of Steven Anderson and David Williams who disappeared in 1975 and were also residents of the school.
The school has since been renamed the New Lisbon Developmental Center. All three cases remain open and unsolved.
In Jefferson City, Tennessee, 12-year-old David Clayton Warner disappeared under suspicious circumstances. He was last seen at the Druther’s Restaurant where he was given a free hamburger for an exemplary school report card.
He left the restaurant and was never seen again, despite one claim that he had visited a friend’s house, before ultimately disappearing on the route to his family home.
He was reported missing the next morning when his family realised he had not returned home. Investigators initially concluded he had runaway and were given a tip that he was living with a cousin in Florida but no evidence emerged to corroborate the tips.
It was later suspected he had been abducted and murdered but no trace of Warner has ever been found, dead or alive. His case remains open and 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…