The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes

353 Pages · 2004 · 4.7 MB · English

  • The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes




    Michael Newton The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes

    Copyright © 2004 by Michael Newton

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or

    mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission

    in writing from the publisher. For information contact:

    Checkmark Books

    An imprint of Facts On File, Inc.

    132 West 31st Street

    New York NY 10001

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Newton, Michael, 1951–

    The encyclopedia of unsolved crimes / by Michael Newton.

    p. cm.

    Includes bibliographical references and index.

    ISBN 0-8160-4980-7 (hc : alk. paper) ISBN: 0-8160-4981-5 (pbk)

    1. Crime—Encyclopedias. 2. Homicide—Encyclopedias. I. Title.

    HV6251 .N48 2004b

    364.1'03–dc22 2003064286

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    Text design by Erika K. Arroyo

    Cover design by Cathy Rincon

    Printed in the United States of America

    VB Hermitage 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    This book is printed on acid-free paper. For Margaret Contents

    Introduction ix

    Entries A–Z 1

    Bibliography 329

    Index 335 Introduction

    It is not true, as pop star Bonnie Tyler suggests in her ticed, for that matter) is unknown. Authorities cannot

    hit song “Driving Me Wild,” that everyone loves a agree on the number of children who vanish yearly in

    mystery. While fictional enigmas exert an enduring America, much less on what has become of them. As

    appeal, from the Sherlock Holmes adventures for missing adults, barring obvious signs of foul play,

    penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the best-selling no agency even attempts to keep track of the lost.

    novels of Patricia Cornwell, real-life mysteries are In the face of those odds, a curious researcher may

    something else entirely. be startled to learn how many cases do get solved

    Police officers and prosecutors hate mysteries, (albeit slowly in some cases, taking years or even

    preferring their criminal cases tied up into neat, eas- decades). During preparation of this volume, late-

    ily explained packages. Defense attorneys generally breaking investigations forced deletion of various

    share that sentiment—unless a phantom suspect tantalizing cases, including (but not limited to) the

    helps win an acquittal in court. Friends and family of following:

    crime victims or missing persons crave nothing more

    than an absence of doubt. Archaeologists, psycholo- • A stalker of prostitutes in Vancouver, British

    gists, medical researchers, “intelligence” agents—all Columbia, theoretically linked to the disappear-

    these and more devote their lives to the proposition ance of 67 victims since the 1970s;

    that no riddle should remain unsolved. • Seattle’s “Green River Killer,” blamed for the

    And yet... deaths of 49 women between 1982 and 1984;

    These plentiful exceptions notwithstanding, there • The stabbing deaths of at least eight gay men,

    is something in an unsolved mystery that appeals to murdered around Chesapeake, Virginia,

    many of us. Some go so far as to publicly hope that between 1987 and 1995;

    this or that classic case will never be solved, compar- • A series of hit-and-run murders that claimed

    ing mysterious cases to gaily wrapped presents for- two female joggers and a male bicyclist during

    ever unopened, never losing their appeal for 1991, in Porterville, California;

    armchair detectives. When the package is opened, its • New York’s “Last Call Killer,” linked to the

    contents revealed, no amount of excitement or pleas- slayings of five men, lured from gay bars and

    ure can ward off the inevitable letdown. We want to dismembered before their remains were scat-

    see the gift, possess it...but perhaps not yet. tered along New Jersey highways in 1991–92;

    In the real world, as it happens, unsolved mysteries • The mysterious deaths of 48 patients at Truman

    are distressingly common. The solution rate for U.S. Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia, Mis-

    murders has declined from 90-odd percent in the late souri, between January and August 1992;

    1950s to an average 70 percent (and less, in some • The grisly deaths of three Minneapolis prosti-

    regions) a half century later. Lesser crimes are even tutes in 1996, stabbed and beaten before they

    more likely to go unsolved. Fewer than half of all were doused with gasoline and set afire in

    rapes are reported to authorities, much less “cleared” Theodore Wirth Park;

    by arrest and conviction. Thousands of thefts go • The kidnap-murders of three adolescent girls at

    unsolved every year; the number unreported (or unno- Spotsylvania, Virginia, in 1996–97.


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