True Crime On This Day May 4th

True Crime On This Day May 4th

May 4th

On May 4th in true crime, assassination, serial killer David Lucas, Richard Cottingham, cop killer, unsolved murder, and disappearance.


Communist activist Henri Curiel was assassinated in Paris. Curiel had previously led the Democratic Movement for National Liberation in Egypt, until he was expelled from the country in 1950.

As of 2022, his killer had never been found and the circumstances of his death have remained under wraps.


In San Diego, California, serial killer David Allen Lucas killed 31-year-old Suzanne Jacobs and her three-year-old son in their home. He raped Suzanne and then slashed both their throats.

From 1979 to 1984, he murdered between three to six people in addition to kidnappings and attempted murders.

He was arrested shortly after his last victim in 1984 and sentenced to death in 1989. In 2016, the death penalty was upheld and he remains on death row.


In Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, police were called to the Quality Inn motel after people had complained of a screaming girl.

When they arrived, they witnessed serial killer Richard Cottingham attempting to flee the scene. When police entered the motel room, they found 19-year-old sex worker Valerie Ann Street handcuffed to the bed. She had been raped, beaten, and stabbed.

She also had her nipples partially bitten off. Cottingham was arrested on May 22nd and convicted of multiple murders.

Initially receiving a sentence of up to 197 years in prison, he went on to receive further sentences in each successive trial. Cottingham was known to have killed six people and would claim later that he was responsible for up to 100 murders.

He is also known as The New York Ripper, The Butcher of Times Square, or The Torso Killer. He would generally kill prostitutes then dismember his victims and leave their torsos behind.


In New York City, Lieutenant Jan Brinkers was shot and killed while attempting to arrest three gunmen who were robbing a tavern in the Bronx.

Brinkers was off-duty at the time and drinking in the bar when the gunmen entered. After identifying himself as an officer, Brinkers was in the chest by one of the gunmen, Jesus Ramos Valdez.

Despite his injury, Brinkers managed to fire six rounds at the suspects but died in hospital the same day. All three gunmen were caught shortly after.

Valdez was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison, where he remains to this day.

His brother, Luis Santana Valdez, was sentenced on attempted robbery charges, and the third gunmen, Luis Manas, was convicted on weapons charges.


In Somerville, Massachusetts, Turkish businessman and diplomat Orhan Gunduz was assassinated as he waited in rush-hour traffic.

An unidentified Armenian gunman approached his vehicle and shot him through the window before escaping.

The Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG) claimed responsibility for the attack. A witness to the assassination was later shot dead. The murder remains unsolved.


In Earlsboro, Oklahoma, 19-year-old Melody Ann Jones disappeared after a fishing trip with her family. Her younger brother drove her home shortly after and dropped her off but didn’t go inside with her.

After Melody failed to show for work the following morning, her mother went to the residence to check on her.

Inside, she found Melody’s husband, 20-year-old Paul Richard Jones, dead on the floor. He had been stabbed to death but there was no trace of Melody.

All of her personal belongings were inside the residence and her vehicle was still parked in the driveway. An investigation concluded that Melody had walked in on Paul’s murder and was abducted by his killer.

Yet, Paul’s murder and Melody’s disappearance have never been solved and remain an active cold case investigation to this day.

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