Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Ben Oakley
On May 7th in true crime, cold case disappearance, manslaughter, mystery body, death sentence, and a mass shooting in Oregon.
Mexican American José Campos Torres, who was a Vietnam veteran, was beaten to death by several white Houston Police Department officers.
Exactly one year later, after a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta event, a riot broke out at Moody Park in Houston’s Northside neighbourhood. Police were met by approximately 1,500 rioters who were chanting ‘Justice for José’.
In Monmouth County, New Jersey, a 25 to 35-year-old black male was dumped into Raritan Bay. His body was found in the bay on May 21st.
Due to the decomposition of the body, a cause of death was a mystery, but coroners estimated that he had died on the 7th.
No one in the area knew of a black man who had gone missing, and no one had reported anyone missing who may have looked like him.
The identity of the male remains a mystery, but it is suspected he had been a victim of foul play.
Back in May 1979, six-year-old Rebecca Kunash was brutally raped and murdered and her body discovered in a canal just one day later.
The day after the discovery, Bryan Jennings was arrested and charged. Jennings had broken into Kunash’s bedroom via the window and suffocated her before carrying her out.
He then threw her on the ground outside with enough force to fracture her skull. He took her to the canal where he raped her before drowning her in the waters.
Jennings was sentenced to death on May 7th 1980. Over 40 years later, Jennings remains on death row, despite numerous appeals.
In Salem, Oregon, 25-year-old unemployed mill worker Lawrence William Moore, walked into the crowded Oregon Museum Tavern and opened fire.
Moore claimed he was trying to kill members of a group of millionaires, Jews, and criminals, who had been trying to poison him.
The Tavern was hosting a ladies night when Moore attacked. He opened fire at the bar before shooting patrons who were attempting to flee.
He was subsequently wrestled to the ground before police arrived to arrest him. Three people were killed instantly, one died later in hospital, and another, Dennis Scharf, died of injury-related complications 32 years later.
At his trial in October 1981, Moore was found guilty of four murders and sentenced to four life terms in prison.
In Chicago, Illinois, eight-year-old Tricia J. Kellett vanished under suspicious circumstances and is suspected to have been abducted and murdered.
Her father turned up to his ex-wife and Tricia’s mother’s house to pick her up for the weekend but Tricia was nowhere to be seen.
Witnesses saw her talking to a suspicious man shortly before her disappearance. The vehicle witnesses had seen, matched the description of the one belonging to Marvin Pontarelli.
He was later picked out of a line-up by three of Tricia’s friends, who had been abused by him.
Pontarelli was charged with assault, kidnapping, and owning child pornography. A few months later, all the charges were dropped against him when the victims did not appear in court.
It was later claimed that Pontarelli paid them off. He was later convicted of different charges in Arizona and died in prison in 1994.
At the time of Tricia’s disappearance, cement was being poured in the foundations of a construction site nearby and it is suspected he may have buried her in the cement.
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I think this was no way an accident or a case of getting lost, this was murder. If they got…
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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.