True Crime On This Day November 30th

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day November 30th

November 30th

On November 30th in true crime, the Australian Star Force, Killer tree trimmer, missing persons, serial killers, and letter bombs.


The Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR or STAR Force) is the Police Tactical Group of the South Australia Police which was formed on this day in 1978.

It was a specialist unit that could deal with emergency situations such as rescues, sieges and armed offender’s situations.

While STAR Group officers rarely have to fire their weapon, there have been some incidents in which they have fired upon an armed suspect and killed their target as per operation guidelines.


In Bartow County, Georgia, 12-year-old Mary Frances Stoner was raped and beaten to death by tree-trimmer Darrell Gene Devier.

Stoner had her skull crushed by a large rock. Just days before her murder, Devier had been working on trees near to the Stoner residence and singled Stoner out before taking her to a wooded area where he attacked her.

Devier was arrested five days later and convicted of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death and executed in the electric chair in Georgia on May 17th 1995.


In Baltimore, Maryland, 19-year-old Judith Erin O’Donnell disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Judith was a wannabe actress who became homeless and spent several nights at the Covenant House in the County.

She had put together enough money to get a bus ticket from Maryland to Greenwich Village in New York. She was known to have hung out at the infamous Studio 54 nightclub in New York and dreamed of becoming famous.

At some point From November 30th, Judith vanished and no trace of her has ever been found.


In Evanston, Wyoming, 26-year-old British carpenter Stephen Scane disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Scane moved from his home in Frome, Somerset, to Wyoming just a few months earlier, after falling in love with an American girl who he married.

He was reported missing by his family two weeks later. On August 12th 1984, a skull and collarbone were found in a forest park in Christmas Meadows, Utah, just over 30 miles from where Scane had gone missing.

It was later identified as belonging to Scane, and the remains were returned to the UK in 1987.

In 2005, two cold case investigators interviewed serial killer Tracy Petrocelli on death row, on the suspicion he was involved.

Scane’s ID and papers had been found in Petrocelli’s vehicle when he was arrested for a different murder in 1982, but connections between that murder and Scane’s disappearance were not made at the time.

In 1985, Petrocelli was sentenced to death for the murders of two people in 1981. Investigators believe that he may be responsible for eight murders in 1981 alone, including that of Scane.


At 10 Downing Street, London, a letter bomb exploded inside the British Prime Minister’s residence. Margaret Thatcher was inside 10 Downing Street when the device exploded but was not hurt in the blast.

One of her staff was burnt in the attack. Four more bombs were sent to senior politicians but were intercepted before they got through.

They had been sent by the Animal Rights Militia (ARM), an animal rights and activist group. They had been at the extreme end of animal rights campaigning since the early 1980s and are currently still active.


In Florida, 36-year-old convicted murderer Robert Austin Sullivan was executed in the electric chair. In April 1973, Sullivan, and accomplice Reid McLaughlin, robbed the Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge, where Sullivan was once a manager.

They kidnapped assistant manager Donald Schmidt, drove him to the everglades and beat him to death with a metal bar. McLaughlin testified against Sullivan in exchange for a lighter sentence.

On the date of the execution, thousands of opponents to the death penalty rallied outside the prison. Their protest was supported at the time by Pope John Paul II, who had pleaded for clemency.

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