True Crime On This Day May 20th

True Crime On This Day May 20th

May 20th

On May 20th in true crime, airport attack, child murder, cold cases, torture, Church Street bombing, mystery disappearances.


In Paris, five people were killed and five injured in the 1978 Orly Airport attack. The shoot-out took place when three armed terrorists opened fire at the Israeli Airlines boarding gate.

The attack lasted almost half hour with most of the terrorists holding grenades and smaller plastic explosives.

The terrorists, who were with the Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), were shot dead by French Police and Israeli security guards. A police officer and a civilian were also killed.


In Kansas, 12-year-old Jack Hanrahan disappeared from his Topeka neighbourhood. His body was found in a creek 10 days later. He had been raped and beaten to death by murderer and child molester William ‘Freight Train’ Guatney.

He killed between 5 and 15 young boys between 1975 and 1979. He was arrested on August 22nd 1979 and later committed to a mental institution where he died in 1997.


In Denver, Colorado, police officers were contacted by family members who were worried about 69-year-old Olga Sporcich, who they were struggling to contact.

When investigators entered Sporcich’s property, she was found face down with extreme head injuries. Sporcich lived alone and rarely had visitors, but investigators suspected she had been killed, and a murder investigation was launched.

Over 40 years later, the murder remains unsolved. The identity of the killer remains a mystery.


In Knox County, Tennessee, David Earl Miller, kidnapped, raped, and tortured 23-year-old Lee Standifer. Lee had suffered brain damage when she was born and was mentally deficient.

She was working and living in a hostel that hired handicapped persons. Miller had been living in the home of ordained minister, Benjamin Calvin Thomas at the time of Standifer’s death.

Miller had conversed with Standifer and convinced her to go back to Thomas’s home while he was away.

Thomas returned the next day to find the body of Standifer in the backyard of his property. Miller had raped, tortured, and beaten Standifer to death with a poker stick and a knife.

An autopsy confirmed that human strength would have been inadequate to have caused certain wounds, meaning that Miller had hammered the poker stick into various points on Standifer’s body. Miller was captured nine days later and charged with the murder.

He was sentenced to death on March 17th 1982. Despite numerous appeals, he was finally executed in the electric chair on December 6th 2018.


In Bloomfield, Michigan, 17-year-old Kellie Marie Brownlee disappeared under suspicious circumstances. She was last seen at the Twelve Oaks Shopping Mall, after skipping school and hitchhiking there instead.

She had recently moved out of her family’s home to live with her boyfriend and his family, after claiming her stepfather abused her.

Despite the boyfriend and her stepfather being suspects, there was no evidence to link them to Brownlee’s disappearance.

In 2018, self-confessed serial killer, Arthur Ream, who was serving a life sentence for the 1986 murder of 13-year-old Cindy Zarzycki, confessed to cellmates that he had killed Brownlee, along with four other young girls. The investigation into Ream is still ongoing. Brownlee’s case remains unsolved.


In Pretoria, South Africa, a large car bomb exploded, killing 19 people and injuring over 200. The Church Street Bombing, as it became known, was planted by Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), who were the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).

The vehicle was parked outside the Nedbank Square Building on Church Street, which was known to have been rented by the South African Air Force.

The target was meant to have been the building but the bomb exploded early, killing the bombers, Freddie Shangwe and Ezekial Maseko, and 17 others, mostly civilians.

The attack was deemed to be the deadliest at that point by the ANC against South Africa’s ruling National Party.

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