Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Ben Oakley
On September 9th, in true crime, we have cold cases, cold-blooded murder, assassinations, and the Monster of Florence.
In Yavapai County, Arizona, Edward Harold Schad Jr. was arrested for the strangulation of 74-year-old Lorimer Graves, who had been killed in August 1978. Graves’ body was discovered one week after his murder with a rope tied around his neck.
Schad was arrested in Utah while driving Graves’ Cadillac. He was sentenced to death in December 1979 and executed by lethal injection in Arizona in October 2013.
In Polk County, Illinois, 70-year-old William Thomas was hit over the head, a short distance from his home. He had last been seen leaving a Des Moines bar in the early hours.
A neighbour discovered his body on the ground shortly. William was rushed to hospital where he died of the wounds. The investigators believed that William was the victim of a robbery but he still had almost $700 (USD) on his person.
The murder has never been solved and remains an active cold case investigation in the State of Illinois.
In Chicago, at the Fine Arts Building, former radio actor 68-year-old Everett Clarke was stabbed to death by a former student. Paul DeWitt had entered the building with the sole intention of killing Clarke.
A witness later described how she heard Clarke screaming Paul’s name but assumed he was practising for a show.
Clarke was known for the title role in The Whistler radio show which ran from 1942 to 1955. DeWitt confessed to the murder the next day and was sentenced to life in prison.
Having already survived an assassination attempt in January, 92-year-old Indian newspaper owner Lala Jagat Narain was shot dead by three gunmen on motorcycles. Narain was also a freedom fighter and founder of the Hind Samachar media group.
He was being driven to work from Patiala to Jullundur when the attack happened. The driver of the car, Som Nath, was shot but survived.
When the car stopped, the gunmen opened fire, killing Narain, who was in the back seat. Nachhatar Singh, Dalbir Singh and Swaran Singh, were arrested and later convicted of murder.
In Sofia, Bulgaria, 45-year-old Turkish consulate official Bora Suelkan was shot dead in front of his home near the Bulgarian Black Sea.
Written in English on a piece of white cloth found at the murder scene were the words, ‘we shot dead the Turkish diplomat: combat units of Justice against Armenian genocide.’
The killers were members of the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide, an Armenian militant organisation who killed dozens of diplomats across the world in the early 1980s. No one has ever been charged in connection with Suelkan’s murder.
In Florence, Italy, on September 9th, German tourists, 24-year-old Wilhelm Friedrich Horst Meyer and 24-year-old Jens Uwe Rüsch, were shot dead in their Volkswagen Samba Bus.
Their bodies were found the next day and they were known victims of an unidentified killer or killers known as the Monster of Florence. The mysterious murders in Florence over a 17-year period from 1968 to 1985 still baffles investigators to this day.
The victims were generally young couples parked in isolated areas and were either shot or stabbed. The female victims would have their sex organs removed.
Another young couple were killed in September of 1974. They had been shot and stabbed to death in a country lane near Borgo San Lorenzo, while having sex in their car.
The female had been raped with a grapevine stalk and disfigured with 97 stab wounds. The Monster or Monsters of Florence would claim at least 14 victims. The murders have never been solved.
Due to the dates and the methods of killing, it has been suggested that the Monster of Florence and the Zodiac Killer could have been the same person.
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