True Crime On This Day May 23rd

True Crime On This Day May 23rd

May 23rd

On May 23rd in true crime, missing persons, cold case double murder, the ripper crew, the Sunday morning slasher, and serial killers.


In the build-up to the football World Cupin Argentina, the Argentinian Government were doing their best to mitigate any negativity thrown at the torturous regime of the time.

The main opposition to the 1978 World Cup in Argentina came from France where more than 20 French nationals vanished in the build-up to the competition.

On May 23rd 1978, French coach Michel Hidalgo was on his way to Bordeaux where he was due to take a train to Paris and from there a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

On a remote road, three men blocked his car and forced him into the woods at gunpoint, but he managed to escape and make the flight that took him to the finals.

The year before, in 1977, Dutch coach and player Johan Cruyff and his entire family were kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint to make Cruyff abandon his plans to travel to Argentina.

It worked and Cruyff was convinced not to attend. Argentina went on to win the World Cup.


In Fishkill, New York, the vehicle of 34-year-old Gaetano Richard Vallese was found at his residence after a week of being missing.

Vallese had last been seen a week earlier when he failed to pick up his daughters from school. His former wife claimed that Vallese was involved in organised crime in New York City.

It remains unclear what happened to Vallese but no sign of him has ever been seen again. As of 2022, he is officially listed as a missing person but investigators suspect he had been a victim of foul play.


In Detroit, 27-year-old Anthony Holz, arrived home to find his girlfriend tied up and beaten. The intruders were already in the house and when Holz left to get help, he was shot dead.

His girlfriend had been raped, mutilated, and beaten to death. At the time, an investigation suspected the murders were drug-related and it ground to a halt.

In 2014, investigators reopened the case as part of a project to solve outstanding cold cases. No suspect has ever been arrested and the murders remain unsolved.


In Chicago, Illinois, 28-year-old Linda Sutton was abducted by a Satanic cult known as the Ripper Crew or Chicago Rippers.

Her body was found ten days later in a field in Villa Park, she had been mutilated and tortured to death. Her left breast had also been cut off.

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 Detroit, Michigan, serial killer Carl Eugene Watts, AKA: The Sunday Morning Slasher, was arrested and charged with 12 murders.

Throughout 1979 and 1980, there were multiple murders of women in the Detroit area. Watts was later convicted of two of the murders and sentenced to life in prison.

His body count is suspected to be closer to 100 victims across an eight-year period and is believed to have killed his first victim at the age of 15.

From 1974, when he was just 20-years-old, he was already kidnapping victims from their home, torturing them, and brutally murdering them.

His crimes were not thought to be sexually related and it became difficult to link just one person to them.

He never confessed to the murders but died in 2007, taking any secrets with him to the grave. Many murders he was accused of remain unsolved.


In Washington State, just one day after claiming his most recent victim, serial killer Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer struck again.

Shortly after celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Cheryl Lee Wims, disappeared from central Seattle. She had been picked up and strangled to death by Ridgway who was arrested in 2001 and convicted of 48 murders.

Cheryl’s remains were found on March 22nd 1984, near to the Sea-Tac Airport. In a bizarre twist, Cheryl’s sister Deborah Yvonne Wims, vanished on October 25th 1990 when she left her apartment to go shopping. Both women were prostitutes and known to be active in the area.

No trace of Deborah has ever been found and Ridgway claims he was never involved in her disappearance. Deborah’s case remains unsolved.

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