True Crime On This Day October 7th

True Crime On This Day October 7th

October 7th

On October 7th, in true crime, the East Area Rapist continues his spree, a cold case, serial killers, and multiple death sentences.


In Concord, California, the East Area Rapist attacked and raped another of his many victims. He broke into a home and forced a woman to tie her husband up.

The rapist stacked dishes on the husband’s back and told him that if he heard them fall then he would kill them both. He then raped the woman for hours before escaping.

The East Area Rapist was suspected of committing at least 45 rapes and a dozen homicides from 1976 to 1986. The crimes went unsolved for four decades until the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo. With more cases being attributed to him, he could be the most prolific serial killer in the history of the United States.


In Los Angeles, California, the body of an unidentified adult female was found near a trash bin behind loading docks. She was found with paperwork on her that indicated she may have come from Dallas, Texas and was using the name Julie Young.

Despite the paperwork, the identity of the female remains unknown but it is suspected she was a victim of foul play. The circumstances surrounding her death remain a mystery.


In Illinois, on October 7th, 25-year-old Debra Colliander disappeared under suspicious circumstances. She had left work and never made it home. Back on June 23rd 1980, Colliander was kidnapped from the parking lot of a shopping centre in Aurora by serial killer and rapist, Bruce Everitt Lindahl.

He took her to his apartment where he raped Colliander numerous times. For some reason, he let her go, and she told the police what had happened. Lindahl was arrested and bailed shortly after.

A trial was set for 1981 and Colliander was due to be the key witness in the trial. Because of her mysterious disappearance, all charges were dropped against Lindahl.

On April 4th 1981, Lindahl got into a fight with Charles Huber, who he stabbed 28 times. Huber managed to retaliate and stab Lindahl in the thigh.

Bruce Lindahl. Credit: Lisle Police Department

Both men died of their wounds which meant that Lindahl was never convicted of the murders he was linked to. He was a suspect in 12 murders and nine rapes but some investigators believe he may have been involved in the murders of up to 70 girls and women who were killed or disappeared in the same time frame.

In 1982, the decomposing body of Colliander was found in a remote location. A coroner report showed the cause of death was homicide. The prime suspect remains Lindahl.


In Louisiana, John E. Brogdon and an accomplice, Bruce Perritt, kidnapped, raped, and tortured, 11-year-old Barbara Jo Brown. They dragged her to the banks of a local river where they beat her with bricks, stabbed her with broken bottles, then jabbed her with pointed sticks as she was being raped.

Both men were arrested the same day. Perritt was only 17-years-old at the time of the murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Brogdon was sentenced to death and executed in the electric chair in Louisiana on July 30th 1987. His last words were; “God bless y’all.”


In Kentucky, David Eugene Matthews was sentenced to death for the murder of his estranged wife and his mother-in-law, in the Summer of 1981.

He had gone to the home with the intention of robbing it but his anger had got the better of him. He shot dead his wife, Mary Matthews, before shooting his mother-in-law, Magdalene Cruse, in the head. Magdalene remained alive for a further eight hours before dying of her fatal wounds.

David was arrested shortly after and charged with both murders and robbery of the residence. Despite an appeal in 2008, the sentence was upheld. He remains on death row.


In Florida, murderer Jerry Haliburton was sentenced to death for the brutal killing of Palm Beach resident Donald Bohannon. In August 1981, Haliburton had broken into Bohannon’s home and stabbed him 31 times while he slept in his own bed, during a robbery.

Haliburton was on parole at the time for a previous robbery. He later claimed to his brother that he killed Bohannon purely to see if he could kill another human being. Haliburton was arrested in late 1981 and charged with the murder. Despite numerous appeals, he remains on death row.

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