Tag Archives | Murder

The FBI Wants You! … To Crack This Code

CypheredNoteVia the FBI’s official website:

On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets.

Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick’s murderer has yet to face justice.

“We are really good at what we do,” said CRRU chief Dan Olson, “but we could use some help with this one.”

In fact, Ricky McCormick’s encrypted notes are one of CRRU’s top unsolved cases. “Breaking the code,” said Olson, “could reveal the victim’s whereabouts before his death and could lead to the solution of a homicide. Not every cipher we get arrives at our door under those circumstances.”

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11-Year-Old Boy Is The Youngest Person To Face A Life Sentence Without Parole

Jordan Brown poses for his school photo.

Jordan Brown poses for his school photo.

A Pennsylvanian boy, age 11, was arrested for shooting his father’s pregnant fianceé in her sleep. He is now this youngest person to face a life sentence without parole. The judge has been criticized for his decision to try the boy as an adult because he refused to plead guilty. Defense attorneys and human rights campaigners have argued that the judge’s decision violates the boy’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Raw Story reports:

Boy’s claim of innocence prompted judge to try him as adult

A Pennsylvania boy who was 11 years old when he allegedly shot and killed his father’s pregnant fiancee could find himself being the youngest person ever sentenced to life without parole.

Human rights campaigners have said the case shows the US’ justice system to be unusually harsh towards juvenile offenders, and argue that a life sentence for the boy could violate international law.

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Mexican Activist Chavez Murdered

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez, a human rights activist, was best known for her poetry and actions to help raise awareness of the violence towards women, especially in the border-city of Juarez. After years of activism, Chavez has fallen to the same violence she has fought against. Via Fox News Latino:

A poet and women’s rights activist was murdered in Ciudad Juarez, a gritty border metropolis that has become Mexico’s most violent city, officials and associates of the victim said.

Susana Chavez’s body was found last week, but it was not identified until Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Chavez’s left hand was chopped off and her body was dumped in a poor neighborhood in downtown Juarez, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.

Chavez organized protests to draw attention to crimes against women in the border city and participated in poetry readings that she dedicated to murdered women.

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Where Have All The Serial Killers Gone?

1419Will the age of antidepressants render the serial murderer a figment of the past?

In a slice of good news, serial killing sprees occur far less frequently than at their peak twenty years ago and no longer produce iconic American monsters along the lines of John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Ted Bundy, all of who seemed to personify people’s worst fears about society. (That said, to many, the horrific massacre in Tucson this past weekend symbolizes the escalation of violent political rhetoric.) Slate looks back at the “golden age of serial murderers”:

Serial killers just aren’t the sensation they used to be. They haven’t disappeared, of course. But the number of serial murders seems to be dwindling, as does the public’s fascination with them.

Statistics on serial murder are hard to come by—the FBI doesn’t keep numbers, according to a spokeswoman—but the data we do have suggests serial murders peaked in the 1980s and have been declining ever since.

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Vatican Bank Investigated For Money Laundering – Again.

Emblem_of_the_PapacyI wonder which banking official will suddenly die during this investigation? Victor L. Simpson and Nicole Winfield report for AP:

VATICAN CITY – This is no ordinary bank: The ATMs are in Latin. Priests use a private entrance. A life-size portrait of Pope Benedict XVI hangs on the wall.

Nevertheless, the Institute for Religious Works is a bank, and it’s under harsh new scrutiny in a case involving money-laundering allegations that led police to seize euro23 million ($30 million) in Vatican assets in September. Critics say the case shows that the “Vatican Bank” has never shed its penchant for secrecy and scandal.

The Vatican calls the seizure of assets a “misunderstanding” and expresses optimism it will be quickly cleared up. But court documents show that prosecutors say the Vatican Bank deliberately flouted anti-laundering laws “with the aim of hiding the ownership, destination and origin of the capital.” The documents also reveal investigators’ suspicions that clergy may have acted as fronts for corrupt businessmen and Mafia.

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Prisoner Killed Girlfriend In Jail, Body Found In Prison Cell Three Months Later

article-1335114-0C53C038000005DC-239_468x423In the Peruvian prison that houses four times as many prisoners than capacity allows, it’s hard to believe anything goes unseen. Especially a rotting corpse. Daily Mail reports:

A prisoner murdered his girlfriend and buried her body in his cell where it lay undetected for THREE months.

Dutchman Jackson Conquet confessed to strangling Leslie Paredes, 22,  when she visited him at his Peruvian jail.

He killed her after she said she wanted to end their relationship and hid the body under a concrete bench he built over her grave.

Police only realised what had happened when they launched an investigation into a ‘strong smell’ coming from the cell.

Conquet, 32, admitted the killing at Lima’s Lurigancho prison, which holds more than 8,000 inmates, many of them dangerous.

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The Worst Thanksgiving Days in History

Klan In GainesvilleAuthor John Marr takes a dark look at a holiday tradition of “good old all-American chaos” on 10 Zen Monkeys:

Founding of the Ku Klux Klan, Atlanta, 1915: At 35, failed preacher William Simmons had found his true calling as a fraternal lodge leader. In addition to commanding five regiments of the Woodmen, he was a heavy in several Masonic orders and a Knight Templar.

But his dream was to have his own personal fraternal organization. And he wanted more than funny hats and secret handshakes — he wanted to revive the Ku Klux Klan. His dream came to fruition Thanksgiving Eve when 40 handpicked men gathered to re-launch the Klan. A group of 15 stalwarts recessed to the top of nearby Stone Mountain for an early morning cross-burning. Simmons tied his first recruitment drive in with D.W. Griffith’s famous film The Birth of a Nation, which opened in Atlanta the following week.

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Bible Spouting, Freemason Sword-Wielding ‘Ugly Betty’ Actor Kills His Own Mother

SwordTruly horrific, and the spouting of Bible verses and references to Freemasonry just makes it more disturbing. Via the New York Post:

A crazed bit actor wielding an ornate Freemason sword hacked his mother to death early yesterday in their Brooklyn apartment while screaming out Bible passages and Masonic references, police and witnesses said.

“Repent! Repent! Repent!” Michael Brea, screamed at his 55-year-old mother, Yannick, during his bizarre meltdown and the subsequent bloodbath at their Prospect Heights apartment, neighbors said.

Brea, 31, who had roles in Ugly Betty and the movie Step Up 3D, was heard repeatedly through the door shouting about the “architect of the universe,” a term used by Freemasons to refer to a supreme being. Longtime family friend Sylvan Benoit confirmed that Brea was a member of the Freemasons and had been to a meeting earlier in the evening.

The Masonic sword was 3-feet long and meant for ceremonial use, police sources said.

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Gruesome Murder Pamphlets From Pre-Civil War America

cannon2People had a thirst for blood-drenched, depraved news long before there was a New York Post or British Mirror or Sun to provide it each morning. The National Library of Medicine has published online a collection of murder pamphlets from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America. The brochures were sold on street corners and detailed the latest gristly crimes. Today they shed a light on villains from the dark underbelly U.S. history, such as Lucretia Cannon, circa 1841:

Cannon’s first name was Patty, but the press nicknamed her Lucretia after the Renaissance aristocrat who murdered her victims with poison. At 16, “Lucretia” married Alonzo Cannon, who died suspiciously of “failing health.” Widowed, she set up a tavern in Maryland, and headed up a gang which captured free blacks and fugitive slaves and sold them into slavery. She was alleged to have beaten a crying infant and then burned it alive; murdered tavern patrons for their money (one man was stabbed and stuffed into a trunk which her accomplices disposed of); killed a slaver by crushing his head in order to steal his two slaves.

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Mom Kills Baby Over FarmVille

Tobias_20101028115309_320_240Hate to say it, but I’m surprised a “FarmVille-related family killing” hasn’t happened before — I’m calling it the start of a trend in American homes. The Florida Times-Union reports on a mother who killed her baby after its crying interfered with her playing the Facebook-based game:

A Jacksonville mother charged with shaking her baby to death has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Alexandra V. Tobias, 22, was arrested after the January death of 3-month-old Dylan Lee Edmondson. She told investigators she became angry because the baby was crying while she was playing a computer game called FarmVille on the Facebook social-networking website.

Tobias entered her plea Wednesday before Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud. A second-degree murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison.

Prosecutor Richard Mantei said Tobias’ sentence could be less because of state guidelines that call for 25 to 50 years. Soud offered no promises on what he’ll order during a sentencing hearing scheduled for December.

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