Guide The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers

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No cause of death was determined for a second adult victim, year-old Eddie Duncan, but he made the list anyway, when his body was found on March On April 1, ex-convict Michael McIntosh, age 23, was added to the roster on grounds that he, too, had been asphyxiated. While that storm was raging, Roy Innis, leader of the Congress of Racial Equality, went public with the story of a female witness who described the murders as the actions of a cult involved with drugs, pornography, and Satanism.

Innis led searchers to an apparent ritual site, complete with large inverted crosses, and his witness passed two polygraph examinations, but by that time police had focused their attention on another suspect, narrowing their scrutiny to the exclusion of all other possibilities.


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On April 21, Jimmy Payne, a year-old ex-convict, was reported missing in Atlanta. Several bodies had, by now, been pulled from local rivers, and police were staking out the waterways by night. Capping off the month, authorities discovered skeletal remains of Latonya Wilson on October 18, but they could not determine how she died. The boy was found on November 2, another victim of asphyxiation. Patrick Rogers, 15, followed on November His pitiful remains, skull crushed by heavy blows, were not unearthed until February Terry Pue, 15, went missing on January 22 and was found the next day, strangled with a cord or piece of rope.

Patrick Baltazar, age 12, disappeared on February 6. His body was found a week later, marked by ligature strangulation, and the skeletal remains of Jeffrey Mathis were discovered nearby. A year-old, Curtis 8 Above him, a car rumbled past, and officers manning the bridge were alerted. Police and FBI agents halted a vehicle driven by Wayne Bertram Williams, a black man, and spent two hours grilling him and searching his car, before they let him go.

Authorities put two and two together and focused their probe on Wayne Williams. From the start, he made a most unlikely suspect. The only child of two Atlanta schoolteachers, Williams still lived with his parents at age A college dropout, he cherished ambitions of earning fame and fortune as a music promoter. In younger days, he had constructed a working radio station in the basement of the family home.

Along the way, authorities announced the addition of a final victim, year-old John Porter, to the list of victims. Terrell was long dead before Williams got the car back on August 7, and it was returned to the shop next morning August 8 , still refusing to start.

On February 27, , Wayne Williams was convicted on two counts of murder and sentenced to a double term of life imprisonment. The other seven cases, still open, reverted to the normal homicide detail and remain unsolved to this day. Judge Craig denied yet another new-trial motion on June 15, A hulking shadow by her bed, the ax descending—and oblivion.

On August 10, sisters Pauline and Mary Bruno woke to sounds of struggle in the adjacent room occupied by their uncle, Joseph Romano.

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Several of the latter were pursued by vengeful mobs but always managed to escape. At last, with time and the distraction of an armistice in war-torn Europe, the hysteria began to fade. On March 10, , the scene shifted to Gretna, across the river from New Orleans. From her hospital bed, Rose Cortimiglia accused two neighbors, Iorlando Jordano and his son Frank, of committing the crime. The Jordano trial opened in Gretna on May 21, Charles Cortimiglia did his best for the defense, but jurors believed his wife and convicted both defendants of murder on May Frank Jordano was sentenced to hang, while his elderly father received a term of life imprisonment.

Charles Cortimiglia divorced his wife after the trial, and Rose was arrested for prostitution in November She recanted her testimony on December 7, , explaining to police that spite and jealousy prompted her accusations. The Jordanos were pardoned and released from custody. And still the raids continued. Grocer Steve Boca was wounded at home on August 27, , his door chiseled through, the bloody ax discarded in his kitchen. A few blocks from the murder scene, detectives found a cryptic message chalked on the sidewalk.

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Maggio is going to sit up tonight just like Mrs. Unfortunately, the initial report was so garbled that it bore little resemblance to fact. Local records reveal that a victim named Cruti was murdered at home in August , followed one month later by a vicious ax assault on Joseph and Conchetta Rissetto.

Meanwhile, New Orleans journalists ignored the June ax attacks on a couple named Davi.


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The wife survived in that case. Anthony Sciambra and his wife Johanna were murdered at home in May , both shot at close range and thus divorced entirely from the Ax Man crimes. Ironically, there were other unsolved ax murders in Louisiana during , claiming a total of 16 lives, but the victims were all black and none were killed in New Orleans.

The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers

On June 28, , a baker delivering bread to the grocery of Louis Besumer found a panel cut from the back door. He knocked, and Besumer emerged, blood streaming from a head wound. She lingered on for seven weeks, delirious, once calling Besumer a German spy and later recanting.

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On August 5 she died, after naming Besumer as her attacker, prompting his arrest on murder charges. Returning late from work that same evening— August 5—Ed Schneider found his pregnant wife unconscious in their bed, her scalp laid open. She sur10 Robert Tallant is beyond interrogation on this or any other subject, having died in New Orleans on April 1, As for the Ax Man of New Orleans, his case remains a tantalizing mystery. Eight weeks later, on October 27, grocer Mike Pepitone was murdered at home; his wife glimpsed the killer but offered detectives no helpful description.

There the crime spree ended as it had begun, in mystery. According to Tallant, a man named Joseph Mumfre was shot and killed in Los Angeles on December 2, , while walking on a public street.

That case remains unsolved, but other practitioners were brought to book for their crimes in England and Canada, with one case broken as recently as the late s. Unwed mothers went home with their reputations and consciences intact, secure in the knowledge that their babies would be placed in good homes through black-market adoptions.

If certain laws were broken in the process, it was all the better reason for increasing the adoption fees. An estimated 12 As authors Jack Levin and James Fox point out in Mass Murder , the XYY males who wind up in prison or mental institutions accused of violent crimes constitute a minuscule segment of the overall group.

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With various serial killers reporting convulsions or seizures from childhood, it is logical to ask if epilepsy plays a role—however minor—in cases of episodic violence. In essence, Dr. Morrison contends that damage to the hypothalamus may prevent an individual from growing toward emotional maturity. When threatened or insulted, even if the threat is mere illusion, individuals with hypothalamic damage may respond with childish tantrums. Chemical imbalance may also affect human attitude and behavior, whether that imbalance results from brain damage, glandular dysfunction, environmental contaminants, or the deliberate ingestion of drugs and alcohol.

Manic-depression, schizophrenia, and some forms of psychosis are treatable with medication to varying degrees, since they originate within the body, rather than within the mind. Predictive theories are often based on tiny samplings, sometimes on a single case, and subjects chosen for review have typically drawn much attention to themselves by their bizarre behavior.

Frequently the offspring of alcoholic, drug-abusing parents with criminal backgrounds, tortured and molested from infancy, such human monsters may in fact be born and made. Convicted of murder and robbery in that case, he served 13 years in prison and emerged with a brooding desire for revenge against society at large. Authorities believe he also robbed and killed a Beijing cigarette vendor before leaving town and traveling to the northern Chinese province of Hebei. Unhappy with the prospect of sharing his loot, Bai killed one of his cohorts and kept all the money for himself.

By that time, Bai had earned the 13 A local newspaper reported his confession, and he was returned to Xinjiang province for trial, where most of his victims were slain. Convicted on all counts and sentenced to death, Bai Baoshan was executed on May 6, The Rangers had enough to indict Ball, but they needed solid evidence for a conviction.

In the s, he ran the Sociable Inn, distinguished by its lovely waitresses and alligator pit out back, where Ball would daily entertain his patrons with the ritual of feeding time. Ball possessed a darker side, however, and according to reports from other residents of Elmendorf, he sounded anything but sociable. The missing year-old had been employed with Ball before she dropped from sight, but under questioning the tavern keeper said that she had left to take another job.

Her family, in fact, was one of the oldest noble houses in Hungary, its crest bearing the draconic symbol incorporated by King Sigismund into the Order of the Dragon. Though physically beautiful, Erzsebet was clearly the product of polluted genetics and a twisted upbringing. Throughout her life, she was subject to blinding headaches and fainting seizures—probably epileptic in nature—which superstitious family members diagnosed as demonic possession. When Erzsebet was barely 11, her parents contracted her future marriage to Count Ferencz Nadasdy, an aristocratic warrior.

Nadasdy was frequently 14 Other captives were stripped, smeared with honey, and exposed to the attacks of ants and bees. Count Nadasdy reportedly joined Erzsebet in some of the torture sessions, but over time he came to fear his wife, spending more and more time on the road or in the arms of his mistress.

In short order, she broadened her scope from the family staff to include nubile strangers. Trusted employees scoured the countryside for fresh prey, luring peasant girls with offers of employment, resorting to drugs or brute force as pervasive rumors thinned the ranks of willing recruits. More still! Harder still! Erzsebet or one of her servants would circle the cage with a red-hot poker, jabbing at the girl and forcing her against the sharp spikes as she tried to escape.

Above all else, when she was angry, tense, or simply bored, the countess tortured servant girls for sport. Where torture was concerned, the bisexual countess possessed a ferocious imagination. Pins and needles were favorite tricks of the trade, piercing the lips and 15 Disposal of her lifeless victims was a relatively simple matter in the Middle Ages. Some were buried, others were left to rot around the castle, while a few were dumped outside to feed the local wolves and other predators.