True Crime On This Day May 26th

Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day May 26th

May 26th

On May 26th in true crime, Ramada Inn cold case, Thor Nis Christiansen, unsolved homicide, Swiss Bank office bombing, and murders.


In Pinellas County, Florida, 25-year-old waitress Patricia ‘Patty’ Elayne Action disappeared under suspicious circumstances.

Patricia was last seen at the Ramada Inn Lounge in Clearwater where she was having drinks with colleagues. She left before midnight and failed to return home the following day. Her parents reported her missing the same day.

On June 1st, her car was found abandoned in the parking lot of the Days Inn Motelin Tarpon Springs. Investigators found blood splatter on the front seat and other parts of the car.

Patricia’s shoes were also in the vehicle. No body has ever been found but foul play has long been suspected.


In Los Angeles, the body of 23-year-old Laura Sue Benjamin was discovered. She had been murdered by Danish-American serial killer Thor Nis Christiansen.

Thor had been obsessed with the idea of shooting women and having sex with their corpses since an early age. He went on to kill four women.

A fifth victim was shot in the head but miraculously survived. After her recovery she spotted Christiansen in a bar and immediately reported him to police whereupon he was captured on July 11th 1979.

He was killed in prison in 1981, after being stabbed in the exercise yard of Folsom State Prison, while serving a life sentence. His own killer has never been found.


In Jefferson County, Alabama, 26-year-old mother Lynn M. McCurry, was raped and then stabbed to death. She had been stabbed 67 times by Horace Dunkins who was arrested the next day.

He was later sentenced to death and executed in the electric chair on July 14th 1989.

Controversy after his death began when his attorney admitted not telling the jury that Dunkins was mentally unfit to stand to trial and had the reasoning of a 12-year-old. It also took 19 minutes for Dunkins to die in the electric chair.


In Denver, Colorado, Mr. Gem’s grocery store owner J.C. Tyrus was shot dead during an attempted robbery. Tyrus has moved from Alabama when he was 12-years-old and began working in the grocery business.

He was well-known in the community and remained in the grocery trade for over 40 years until his murder. In the early hours of the morning, an unidentified suspect held the store up at gunpoint.

At some point during the robbery, Tyrus was fatally shot. He left behind a wife and six children. No suspect has ever been caught and his murder remains unsolved.


In Los Angeles, a bomb exploded at the offices of the Swiss Bank Corporation. The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bombing was planned and carried out by ASALA member Vicken Tcharkhutian and up to four accomplices. Tcharkhutian later fled to France who refused to extradite him to the United States.

He was later arrested attempting to re-enter the country at Los Angeles International Airport, in October 1987. He was sentenced to 12 years for the attack.

The ASALA were a militant organisation that operated from 1975 to the early 1990s. ASALA attacks and assassinations resulted in the deaths of 46 people with more than 300 injured. The group also claimed responsibility for more than 50 bombings.


In Ohio, wanted murderer and drug dealer Edmund Zagorski was involved in a shoot out with Ohio police. Just one month earlier in Tennessee, on April 23rd, he had lured John Dotson and Jimmy Porter into a wooded hunting ground pretending to be selling them 100lb (45 kg) of marijuana.

When he saw that Dotson and Porter had brought the money with them, he shot them dead and cut their throats. Their bodies were found two weeks later, already decomposed due to the heat.

During the shoot-out with police, Zagorski shot and injured four officers before he was shot himself and finally restrained. He confessed to the murders two months later and was ultimately sentenced to death in Tennessee.

Despite numerous pleas and appeals over the years, Zagorski was executed in the electric chair on November 1st, 2018, aged 63-years-old.

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