On May 3rd in true crime, Charles Ray Hatcher, cold case murder, mothers against drink driving, unsolved crimes, and the Highway of Tears.
In Franklin County, Ohio, the body of 26-year-old Mary Beth ‘Pixie’ Grismore was discovered in the trunk of her own car. She had been reported missing from her home on February 22nd.
Police had found the car and body at the Holiday Inn while investigating an abandoned car complaint.
It was clear to investigators that she had been killed shortly after her disappearance, but evidence was hard to come by and it has remained unsolved.
As of 2022, the murder remains an active cold case in the State of Ohio.
One of America’s most evil criminals, Charles Ray Hatcher, attacked seven-year-old Thomas Morton and was arrested for assault.
Amazingly, the charges were dropped and he was sent to a mental health facility where he remained for a little over two weeks.
By this point in his criminal career, he had already killed a four-year-old boy and attacked many others. His constant capture and release allowed him to attack many others.
On July 29th 1982, when Hatcher was 51-years-old, he killed 11-year-old Michelle Steele who disappeared after a dentist appointment.
A few days later on August 3rd 1982, after matching his description to a man seen on the riverbank the day of Michelle’s disappearance, Hatcher was charged with murder in the first degree. Before the rest of his crimes could be brought to trial in separate cases, Hatcher hung himself in his cell.
It has been suggested that Chucky from the Child’s Play films was based on Charles Ray Hatcher and his murders.
The name of the killer doll in the film is Charles Lee ‘Chucky’ Ray and the doll would attempt to kill children. Hatcher would sometimes wear a horizontally striped top, just like the character from the films.
In Fair Oaks, California, a drunk-driver killed 13-year-old Cari Lightner. The 46-year-old driver left Cari’s body at the scene and drove off.
He was later arrested but released shortly after due to minimal evidence. His release led Cari’s mother, Candace Lightner, to set up the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organisation. A 1983 TV-movie about Cari’s death and the aftermath, led to higher interest in the organisation.
In 2013, MADD employed 426 people alongside 8,582 volunteers. There is now a MADD office in every single state in the United States.
In Dobbs Ferry, New York, 17-year-old Martin Crumblish disappeared under suspicious circumstances. He left a party at midnight and headed towards a friend’s house just a few blocks away, where he was going to stay for the night.
Between the party and his friend’s residence, he disappeared without a trace. His wallet and personal items were found at the location of the party.
One theory suggested he ran away but his family confirmed he was well-liked and was looking forward to a new job.
In 2002, the investigation picked back up when authorities learned that Crumblish may have been involved in a fight with others his same age and was killed as a result.
However, no trace of his body has ever been found. The disappearance remains unsolved.
In Grand Saline, Texas, 36-year-old Phillip Wade Roberts vanished without a trace. He was last seen leaving his residence on his way to work as a security officer at Holly Lake Resort.
Four days later, his car was discovered abandoned near Caney Creek Road. Despite no signs of a struggle, Investigators believed it to be suspicious enough to suspect Roberts had been a victim of foul play.
It remains unclear if his security job at the resort had anything to do with his disappearance. One year later, Robert’s wife officially declared him dead and collected his life insurance policy.
In Alberta, Canada, 17-year-old Shelley-Anne Bascu disappeared under suspicious circumstances. She was last seen walking down Highway 16 towards her home.
No trace of Bascu has ever been found. However, personal items such as clothing and blood matching her blood type were later found beside the Athabasca River. She is still officially a missing person’s case.
He case was added to the newly created Project E-PANA in 2005, which was an investigatory board set up to review and investigate numerous unsolved murders on Highway 16.
The area became known as the Highway of Tears. The investigators chose the name of PANA as it is an Inuit word describing the spirit goddess who looks after souls before they go to heaven.
The task force was set up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) with the exclusive purpose of solving cases of missing and murdered people along the Highway.
Highway 16 runs between Prince Rupert and Prince George, two cities in British Columbia that are 446 miles (718 km) apart.
After just one year from the formation of the project, the investigation expanded to include Highways 5, 24 and 97. All cases are still open and unsolved.
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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…