On May 15th in true crime, the Ripper Crew, Mexican Mafia, mystery death, macabre discovery, prison officer murder, and cold cases.
Mexican Mafia member, Joseph ‘Red’ Morgan was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for transporting weapons across State lines. He also received an additional sentence of two to ten years for the possession of heroin.
He had been captured in Utah in 1977 on a fugitive warrant and firearms trafficking. Back in 1946, Morgan had beaten his girlfriend’s husband to death with his bare hands and served nine years for the murder.
In Mercer County, New Jersey, the decomposing body of an unidentified mid-30s male was discovered in a wooded area. He was wearing a brown leather jacket, black leather boots and a silver band with a Star of David on his right wrist.
He had been shot dead and left in the woods approximately six weeks earlier. The identity of the man remains a mystery. As of 2022, the crime remains unsolved.
In Eastbourne, England, 22-year-old Jessie Earl disappeared after leaving her home in the town. Despite an investigation using helicopters with thermal scanners, no trace of her was found and she was listed as a missing person.
In 1989, her remains were found by a hiker at infamous suicide spot, Beachy Head. There were no clothes near the body, suggesting she had been attacked.
Despite finding her jewellery spread across the area, a coroner recorded an open verdict in her death. In 2000, Sussex police reopened the case as a murder inquiry and have reviewed the case every two years since.
British serial killer Peter Tobin was linked to the murder but was never charged.
In New York City, 31-year-old Corrections Officer Donna Payant was attacked and strangled to death by an inmate at the Green Haven Correctional Facility.
She was one of 50 women serving as a guard at the facility and was killed by convicted rapist and murderer Lemuel Smith.
Payant had been lured by Smith to the chaplain’s office, where he killed her with his bare hands. He then wrapped her body in plastic, stuffed it into an oil drum and disposed of it in a dumpster.
When Payant failed to return to her station, the prison was locked down and a search was made. It was 24 hours later when her body was found at the landfill.
Her murder shocked the public and brought scrutiny to the New York prison system. Smith was sentenced to death for the murder, in addition to the two life sentences he was already serving.
The death sentence was commuted to life when New York disestablished its death penalty. Smith is due for parole in October 2028.
In Chicago, Illinois, 21-year-old Lorraine Borowski disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
Colleagues turned up to the realtor’s office where she worked, to find the office locked with Borowski’s belongings strewn across the ground near the entrance.
Her disappearance remained a mystery until her corpse was found in a cemetery six months later on October 10th. She had been abducted and killed by a Satanic cult known as the Ripper Crew or Chicago Rippers.
The members of the cult, who were sometimes referred to as an organised crime unit, were Robin Gecht, Edward Spreitzer, Andrew Kokoraleis and his brother Thomas Kokoraleis.
Between them, they were linked to the disappearances of 18 women in Illinois from 1981 to 1982. All four were arrested at the end of 1982 and convicted of multiple murders.
In Collier County, Florida, 44-year-old Patricia Ann McGill vanished without a trace. The Naples-born secretary was last seen at a Site gas station on US Route 41.
Her car was found outside a room she was renting in Golden Gate City. All of her personal belongings and clothes were left in her room and car.
She was wearing a silver ring with an emerald at the time of her disappearance. No trace of Patricia has ever been found, dead or alive.
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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…