True Crime On This Day October 4th

True Crime On This Day October 4th

October 4th

On October 4th, in true crime, there were missing people, unidentified bodies, unsolved cold cases and Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave exhumed.


The decomposed body of 23-year-old Wilma Nissen was found in a roadside ditch near Lake Pahoja in Iowa. The investigation concluded that she was dumped between June and July of 1978.

The body went unidentified for nearly three decades until finally being identified as Nissen’s in 2006. The murder remains unsolved and an open investigation with Iowa’s Cold Case Unit.


In El Centro, California, 22-year-old Donald Cary Ewalt vanished without a trace. He was last seen leaving work with three other males but between work and home, he vanished, never to be seen again. Despite no body having ever been found, investigators believe that Ewalt was a victim of foul play.


In Las Vegas, the body of 25-year-old call-girl Jodie Jameson was discovered in a motel room bathtub. She had been tied up and strangled with a ligature made of pillowcase fabric.

She had been murdered in the early hours of the morning by serial killer Thomas Wayne Crump who killed at least four people from the 1970s to 1981. Crump claimed he killed Jamieson because she had robbed him and deserved everything that happened to her.

He later confessed to at least seven murders and was sentenced to death twice, once in a New Mexico trial, and again in a Nevada trial.


In Fort Worth, Texas, the body in Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave was exhumed at the Rose Hill Cemetery. Oswald was a former U.S. Marine who assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

The body was exhumed to prove if it really was Oswald’s after many conspiracy theories and journalists claimed it wasn’t.

Author Michael Eddowes who wrote the 1977 book The Oswald File, paid $250,000 (USD) for the body to be removed and examined. Dental records later confirmed it was the body of Oswald.

Oswald's grave in the early 2000's
Oswald’s grave in the early 2000’s


In Cantaura, Venezuela, 23 guerrillas of the Frente Américo Silva were killed by the Venezuelan military. The incident took place at the guerrillas’ camp when the Venezuelan Air Force dropped 17 large bombs onto the region.

The camp was then surrounded by military and the Venezuelan National Guard. In 2011, 15 of the victims were exhumed and a new report showed they had been tortured before being executed. It remains one of Venezuela’s most controversial attacks.


In Richardson, Texas, 33-year-old Rozanne Gailiunas was shot dead in her own home during a robbery. She had been sleeping in her bedroom when George Anderson Hopper broke into the home and tied her to the bed.

He then raped her, and strangled her, before smothering her with a pillow and shooting her twice through the pillow. Gailiunas’ four-year-old son was sleeping in the next room.

Gailiunas survived for two days before dying of her injuries. The murder went unsolved for five years until Hopper was arrested on December 20th 1988, after a lengthy investigation.

Hopper had been hired for $5,000 (USD) by Dallas socialite Joy Davis Aylor, to kill Gailiunas, who was having an affair with her husband at the time. Hopper was sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection in Texas on March 8th 2005.

Aylor eloped to France just before her 1990 trial but was extradited in 1992 upon a French agreement that she would not receive the death penalty. She was later convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Her last parole hearing was in 2017 where it was denied.

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