Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Ben Oakley
On March 7th in true crime, Olympian abduction, murders, mob informant death, serial killer capture, armed robbery in Texas and cold cases.
In Belgium, 63-year-old Winter Olympian Charles Bracht was kidnapped. He had competed in the combined event at the 1936 Winter Olympics and went on to become a successful businessman.
The kidnappers killed him by shooting him in the head on the same day when a ransom wasn’t approved.
In Orange County, Florida, 28-year-old Joan Virginia Anderson was raped and murdered by William Evins who bludgeoned her to death.
In 1985, he was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison but died of a heart attack in 2013. It should have been the end of it but in 2018, an attorney claimed the murder may have been carried out by Joseph DeAngelo, AKA: The Golden State Killer, and not Evins.
Almost 40 years after Anderson’s murder, DNA evidence proved that Evins had been rightfully convicted of her murder.
In New York, Joseph Coppolino was stabbed to death then decapitated by Roy DeMeo of the infamous DeMeo Crew.
Coppolino was suspected of cooperating with authorities about DeMeo’s drug business. DeMeo made an example of Coppolino by not disposing of the body.
The DeMeo Crew were responsible for at least 100 grisly murders in the 1970s and 1980s. Roy DeMeo was shot dead in 1983.
In Oregon, serial killer Randall Woodfield, AKA: The I-5 Killer was arrested after a robbery victim identified him in a line-up.
In June 1981, he was convicted of one murder and one attempted murder and sentenced to a total of 165 years. Between 1979 and 1981, Woodfield is proven to have killed at least 12 people.
At the time, the State of Oregon could not afford to try Woodfield for more murders and were satisfied with the life sentence. As DNA technology evolved, so did the number of crimes that were linked to him.
In 2005, investigators linked Woodfield to at least 44 murders and he is seen by some as one of the deadliest serial killers in American history.
In Newcastle, Sydney, Australia, 24-year-old barmaid Debbie Rae Pritchard disappeared after leaving the Palais nightclub.
Her body was found three days later in the seat of her 1977 Mazda. She had been stabbed 27 times, including five to the heart. Up to 50 police officers and investigators worked on her case but it remained unsolved until new evidence emerged.
Pritchard had been abducted and murdered by prison escapee Maurice Joseph Marsland, who knew her through his work as a bouncer at the hotels she visited. He had been serving a three year sentence for burglary.
By 1992, Marsland was one of Sydney’s most notorious rapists who had become known as the Suburbs Rapist. He was murdered in Goulburn Jail in 1996.
In Harris County, Texas, insurance executive Larry Don Rohus was shot dead during a robbery at the Union Life Insurance Company.
Armed robber and former tarot card dealer James Edward Smith entered the offices wearing a mask and brandishing a gun. He forced one of the female cashiers to give him all of the money but she panicked and hid behind a filing cabinet.
Rohus then handed Smith the money but was shot in the chest as Smith was leaving. Smith attempted to flee the building but was captured by an office worker, a work crew, and a passing businessman.
Rohus died of his wounds shortly after and Smith was arrested the same afternoon. He was subsequently sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection in Texas on June 26th 1990.
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I think this was no way an accident or a case of getting lost, this was murder. If they got…
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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.