True Crime On This Day September 5th

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day September 5th

September 5th

On September 5th, in true crime, there was a macabre discovery, people vanishing without a trace, and a triple murder.


In Frederick County, Maryland the body of an 80-year-old white man was discovered near Reno Monument Road and the Appalachian Trail in Middletown.

A stainless-steel butcher’s knife with a wooden handle was found nearby and was linked with the man’s death. The estimated date of death was in March of 1978.


In Anderson, Indiana, 13-year-old Melinda Karen Creech was placed into the Bronnenberg Children’s Home which was an all-girls low-security detention facility. She and a friend had been caught stealing motorcycles from a local dealer. At some point from the 5th onwards, Creech disappeared without a trace.

In 1994, Melinda’s mother, told her four other children that the badly decomposed body of Melinda had been found in New Jersey, but she was mistaken. When their mother died in 2003, personal effects showed that the body in New Jersey was not that of their sister.

It was unclear why she said that Melinda had been found but she had been showing signs of early dementia. Melinda’s disappearance is an active cold case in the state of Indiana.


In Fresno, California, Billy Ray Hamilton shot dead three people with a sawn-off shotgun. He had met convicted criminal Clarence Ray Allen in Folsom Prison when Allen offered him $25,000 (USD) to kill eight witnesses to a crime that Allen had committed in 1974.

Hamilton was paroled shortly after. Along with his partner in crime, Connie Sue Barbo, Hamilton killed Douglas Scott White, Bryon William Schletewitz, and Josephine Linda Rocha, at a market in the city. Five days later, Hamilton was arrested after robbing a liquor store.

There had been multiple witnesses to the murders and he was later convicted on three counts of murder. He was sentenced to death but died in prison of natural causes on October 22nd 2007. Barbo was sentenced to life in prison for her part in the murders.


In Broward County, Florida, Daniel Lee ‘Playboy’ Doyle abducted and murdered his neighbour and third Cousin, Pamela Kipp. He had been working on Kipp’s land, clearing leaves and branches when she went missing.

During the search for Kipp, investigators found the skeleton of Monica Ruddick in the same area where Doyle dumped leaves and garden waste. Just 200 metres away, they discovered Kipp’s body. She had been sexually abused and strangled to death.

Doyle was arrested shortly after where he confessed to both murders. He later denied killing Ruddick and was never charged for her murder. For the Kipp murder, he was sentenced to death, and despite numerous appeals, remains on death row.


In West Des Moines, Iowa, 12-year-old paperboy John David Gosch vanished without a trace while on his morning rounds. It was suspected he had been kidnapped, but despite a large investigation that goes on to this day, no trace of Gosch has ever been found.

Then in March 1997, Gosch’s mother, Noreen Gosch, claimed that John had escaped from his captors and visited her home with an unidentified man. He told her that he had been the victim of a group of paedophiles and had escaped when the group abandoned him due to him getting older.

He claimed he lived under a new identity as it was not safe to return home. Her account of the visit has never been proven. John’s disappearance remains unsolved and an active cold case.


In King County, Washington, 26-year-old mother Debbie May Abernathy disappeared after last being seen at 8th Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle.

She had moved from Texas to Seattle just weeks prior to her disappearance and intended to have a fresh start with her boyfriend and son. She had been picked up and subsequently murdered by Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer.

Abernathy’s remains were discovered on a logging road off Highway 410 on March 31st 1984. Ridgway was arrested in 2001, convicted of 48 murders, and sentenced to life in 2003. His true victim count is believed to be much higher.

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