Now that we are in deep into Fall and past Spooky Season, based on crime statistics, we’re relatively safe from getting murdered.
Until about May, the only thing we really have to worry about is offending relatives during the Holidays.
It doesn’t take a criminal researcher to conclude that more people out and about with an increase of public events and activities leads to more crime. Obviously there will be more crime in New York City than the bustling metropolis of Pleasureville, Kentucky. This subject has been debated for years and they have proven the theory correct.
It is a balmy 29 degrees where I am. It’s safe to say that there is not a lot going on as most people are probably warm and cozy in their houses slack-jawed and watching 90 Day Fiancé and not out and about. At least that’s what I’m doing right now.
So, let’s reminisce about sweaty days past with some depressing and true crime stats.
When the temperature rises so does the murder rate. According to the New York Times, the rate of shootings doubled in Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit on hot days versus cold. While those cities are located in colder climates, the trend still applies to warmer climates such as Atlanta and Orlando.
While the increase of bodies in the morgue in the summer applies to all months, there is one in particular that seems to be particularly bloody… August.
Ed Kemper murdered his grandparents in August.
John Wayne Gacy killed two victims back to back in August 1976.
Richard Ramirez murdered three victims on August 6,8,18,24 in 1985 and was captured on August 30.
Jeffrey Dahmer murdered his last three victims a month earlier in July which coincides with the theory of increased homicides in colder cities in warmer months. Note: Dahmer was active in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
One of the most disturbing trends found in the study of increased crime in the warmer months is that family annihilators (those who murder their families and often themselves) are most likely to commit their crimes on a Sunday in August.
This seems like an obscure and almost bogus fact. However, it makes perfect sense when you look closer.
Sunday is often the day when fathers are with their children. In divorced families, Sunday is the more often than not the day that children are taken back to their mother after spending time with their fathers. In many cases of family annihilators, fathers will murder children as a way to hurt their mother or get revenge for someway she wronged him. In turn, male family annihilators then murder the mother to eliminate a witness.
Not only does the summer heat make criminals all murder happy, the season can also increase depression.
Researchers have found a possible link between individuals likely to commit violence and depression. This is not to saythat everyone with depression is violent! A Murder Most Foul is a pro mental health blog. Yours truly suffers from adult ADD and PMDD and I take medicine for both. Dn’t @ me on Twitter or send me hate mail.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed these depressing and true crime facts that I’ve tried to make entertaining. Stay warm and stay inside next August.
Ted Bundy was one of the most prolific serial killers ever. If you are a murder blog, you already know this. Don’t close the tab and go back to memes just yet-I won’t be recounting his horrific crime spree.
Bundy has been a fascination for years, and rightly so. Ted Bundy is the gateway drug into true crime.
More than that, the story of Bundy’s crimes and his victims are a cautionary tale of the OG American monster; the serial killer. While serial killers are not specifically American, Bundy is the classic example of the creeping mutilator you’ve been warned about yet equally fascinated with for years.
As humans, we are naturally curious about the darker side of life. Now, thanks to the Internet, our fascination and inner weirdos are appreciated and celebrated by the like-minded.
While we read about, listen to hours of podcasts, and watch Oxygen specials about these often celebrated murderers, it’s important to remember the victims and those affected by their unthinkable actions.
I finally got around to watching Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile and was sorely disappointed and not because the movie was poorly made. As a fan of the burnt orange general grossness of the 1970s; it was great. From the striped sweater Ted (Zac Efron) wears during one of his escape scenes, to the macrame plant hangers, to the soundtrack, the film created a mood that inspired the era and the influx of serial killers that embodied it.
This movie also included a list of Bundy’s known victims at the end which I felt was a nice touch and something we need to see more of.
When it came to portraying Bundy and his story, it fell short. Parts of the film imply that Bundy was sympathetic character, as if the audience was supposed to question his involvement along with this girlfriend, Elizabeth (Lily Collins). Since we know the ending of the story, this tactic and portrayal of the character didn’t sit right with me.
What this movie lacks in actual Ted Bundy-ness (AKA murder) it makes up for with romance, juke box shots, and Lily Collins crying. If you’re going to make a Ted Bundy movie, then make a damn Ted Bundy movie!
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a victim of hype. The weirdos on the Internet were talking about this movie for what seemed like years before the Netflix release. Like many others, I fell for the hype and was looking forward to it. Even with my disappointment, I was glad I saw it to mark if off my list.
Remember that time Zac Effron, the guy from High School Musical played Ted Bundy in a movie? Yeah, that was weird.
Owning something collected from a crime scene or that was once owned by a famous murderer is the ultimate way to:
1. Keep your family and neighborhood children away from your house
2. Creep out your friends
3. Not get a second date
OR maybe find cool friends and the love of your life. Dean Martin was wrong, you are somebody when someone doesn’t love you, even if you have Ted Bundy’s Christmas card on your fridge.
Murderabilia is exactly what it sounds like- memorabilia collected from crime scenes and from the homes of murderers, personal effects, and artwork.
By far the famous pieces of murderabilia are the notorious Pogo the Clown paintings by everyone’s favorite KFC lovin’ serial killer, John Wayne Gacy.
Murderabilia is taking both true crime and trash vs. treasure to the extreme. While legal, the buying and selling of these items go hand in hand with the Son of Sam Law, which prohibits criminals from profiting from their crimes such as selling stories to journalists and publishers.
Instead, these macabre collectibles are sold through dealer sites. eBay banned the sale of such items in 2001. The concept alone sounds like something only the most depraved can access via the dark web. Surprisingly (or not), a Google search will lead the curious to these sites. eBay banned the sale of such items in 2001. The concept alone sounds like something only the most depraved can access via the dark web. Surprisingly (or not), a Google search will lead the curious to these sites.
To collectors, murderabilia is owning a piece of history. While collecting these oddities borders on illicit and would raise some eyebrows in conversation, the sale of these items isn’t about making money for the sellers. Many of these sites will donate to victims and their families.
The concept is interesting and intriguing. However, as someone who runs a true crime blog, collecting these items is taking it too far and borders on serial/mass murder glorification and sympathizing (more on that later). These items belong in a museum, not in the creepiest living room display case of all time.
You’re probably better off still hoarding Beanie Babies.
Even the most seasoned true crime aficionados probably don’t know about the similar and possibly connected murders which occurred following the months after the killing of The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short). I surely didn’t. Hollywood & Crime uncovers these horrific murders for a crime-hungry, twenty-first-century audience.
In this podcast series, host Tracy Pattin along with a team of talented actors tell the stories of these murdered women and the investigations into these crimes. Seventy plus years later these cases remain unsolved.
The podcast focuses on several different women: an heiress, a WWII flying nurse, a wife out for a good time who met a gruesome end, and the would-be actress with a seemingly bad reputation, The Black Dahlia. Yet, they all were murdered in a similar fashion around the same time. How did such different women with different paths meet the same end? We may never know.
If these crimes happened in 2017, or even 2007 (this January marked the seventy-year anniversary of The Black Dahlia murder), we would probably know the killer (or killers) due to DNA technology and a better understanding of crime scene contamination. This was a classic serial killer case before the term serial killer was even in the lexicon.
As I listened to these stories I wondered why don’t we know about these murders, which at the time were called The Werewolf Murders, like we do The Black Dahlia or other well-known crimes before the 1970’s? In my mind, the 70’s were terrifying and the epitome of all things serial killer. I’m not sure why these cases aren’t more talked about considering how sensationalized they were at the time. The podcast implies that The Black Dahlia murder was more reported and talked about than the others at the time-history proves that correct, which is why these other murders aren’t as well-known.
This podcast also mentions the theory that Elizabeth Short’s murderer was a woman. This theory is one I’ve come across in my years of looking up weirdness and murder on the Internet. I did a little research while writing this and wasn’t able to come up with much other than this post and a short Wikipedia entry. I thought it was interesting the police didn’t rule out the possibility of a female murderer. The podcast doesn’t discuss this for very long, but I’m glad they mentioned the theory.
I can’t say much more without giving anything away. Besides, Wondery does a much better job talking about murder than I do. Give it a listen on iTunes or here.
Running a little behind. Sometimes life happens and blogging doesn’t. Continuing on with the theme of vampire killers…
Peter Kürten, the Vampire of Dusseldorf was a German killer who committed a series of murders and sexual assaults in 1929.
Peter Kürten was from an abusive background and started killing small animals as a teen, classic serial killer behavior. He repeatedly ran away from home and lived on the streets with petty criminals. Later, Kürten claimed to have committed his first murder at age 9, when he drowned a friend. He also admitted to killing an 18-year-old girl in 1899 before his killing spree which earned him his nickname began.
In 1900, he was sentenced to a prison sentence for fraud and attempted murder. A short four years later, he was drafted into the German Army and deserted soon after. Around the same time he started setting fires for his own sexual excitement and was eventually arrested again for arson and robbery. He served another prison sentence from 1905 to 1913. Upon his release, he robbed a tavern where he murdered a nine-year-old girl by slashing her throat. Two months later, he killed another girl and several days later was arrested again for arson and burglary.
After this release, he moved in with his sister who introduced him to a woman named Auguste Scharf, who had been previously convicted of killing her husband. Its as a match made in murder heaven. They married two years later. Kürten was soon bored with marriage and started having an affair with two different housemaids. The two women reported him to the police, one claiming he raped her. Off to prison again…
He was out in six months under the condition to relocate to Dusseldorf. On February 2, 1929, Kürten stabbed an elderly woman 24 times and she survived. Five days later, he strangled a nine-year-old girl, stabbed her with scissors, and set her body on fire. Another week passed before he killed again. This time it was a male, who he stabbed 20 times. It should be noted here that the randomness of the victims is not normal, or conclusive with serial killer behavior, as most have a victim profile and M.O.
Between March to July 1929, he attempted to strangle four women. He did not kill again until August, when he raped, strangled, and stabbed a woman after a date. Kürten was still married at the time. Fearful his wife would see the blood, he buried her body and attempted to nail it to a tree. Three months later, he sent a letter to the police claiming responsibility for the murder. He also drew a map to her remains, which eventually led the police to the burial site.
He soon killed 5 people in two days, including a five-year-old girl. He attached her teenaged foster sister who survived and was able to give a description to the police. Around this time, is when he started sucking blood from victims. A month later, he killed 4 women in hammer attacks and attempted 2 more. The first victim survived, the second escaped because his hammer broke. In November 1929, he killed another five-year-old girl, with a pair of scissors. She would be his last victim.
During this time, the public was outraged the vicious killer had not yet been caught. The Düsseldorf Police received 13,000 letters in 1929 and had interviewed 9,000 people about the murders and attacks. Kürten had the infamous cooling off period and didn’t strike again until May 1930. This time, he picked up a young girl and attempted to rape and strangle her. She was able to get away when he released his grip on her throat.
The girl did not go to the police. This led to Kürten being caught by pure accident. The girl who escaped wrote a letter to her friend describing what happened. She addressed the letter incorrectly. A post office worker opened the letter, read it, reported it to the police. The police contacted the girl who led them to Kürten’s apartment where the attack at taken place. Kürten was caught t in the lobby of his apartmetn builidng. He confessed to police and to his wife that he was The Vampire of Dusseldorf.
After his arrest, Kürten was interviewed by a psychologist, who noted his acts were for sexual pleasure and he had a blood fetish. This information was the first psychological study conducted on a sexually-motivated killer. Kürten admitted to switching weapons in an attempt to throw off the police. He was declared sane and was able to stand trial. Kürten plead not guilty by reason of insanity, which did not work due to his earlier diagnosis. A jury found him guilty on April 22,1931 and he was sentenced to death. He tried to appeal, but it was denied. He was executed in July of that year by guillotine.
In the moments leading up to his death, he asked: “Tell me… after my head is chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be the pleasure to end all pleasures.”
He probably died a happy man.
After his death, his head was mummified and is currently on display at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Wisconsin Dells.
This starts the first in a series of posts about female killers, which are a source of fascination, and are often more interesting than their male counterparts. Even with the abundance of violent female offenders, it is still difficult for many to stomach women can be just as evil (if not more so) than men. This reminds me of a quote by Louis CK:
When girls go wild, they show their tits to people. When women go wild, they kill men and drown their kids in a tub.
Not all the time, but you know what I mean.
In the coming weeks, there will be plenty of women killing men, and a few drowning kids in a tub. Just giving everyone a fair warning.
The individual known by all the above names is the perpetrator in one of the most well-known unsolved serial killing, rape, and burglary sprees in America. Between 1976-1986, The East Area Rapist committed 12 murders, 45 rapes, and more than 120 burglaries in different areas of California east of Sacramento. Since June 2016, the F.B.I has been offering a $50,000 reward for the capture of the East Area Rapist.
What started as multiple burglaries, escalated to a ten-year reign of terror. His primary targets were women alone in suburban homes and later began attacking couples. His M.O. was to break into a home, wake up a couple by threatening them with a gun, force the female to tie up the male, rape the female, and eventually kill both. He was often known to stack dishes on the males back and claim if he heard them rattle, he’d kill everyone in the house. He would also stay in the house for hours, stealing coins, jewelry, and eating food from the victim’s refrigerators.
In Zodiac Killer fashion, he sent letters to the Sacramento Bee in December 1977 claiming his crimes and referring to himself as The East Area Rapist. In the same letter, he warned of another attack which he carried out. The letter includes a poem where he mentions Son of Sam. At the next crime scene, an essay about General Custer was found as well as a map of the neighborhood in which the crime took place in. The Zodiac Killer also referred to himself by his media nickname. Maybe E.A.R. was paying homage? We’ll never know. Although, writing to media outlets isn’t uncommon for serial killers of this magnitude.
He was also known to call victims before an attack. The super creepy audio below is a well-known recording which has made its way into many Internet list articles.
The crimes of the East Area Rapist theoretically stopped in 1986. All suspects have been cleared by DNA. The DNA of the killer is on file and has yet to match any in the F.B.I’s database. In 2002, Detective Larry Pool of the Orange County, California Sheriff’s Department visited death row inmates at San Quentin to collect DNA, believing the East Area Rapist had been arrested and sentenced for another violent crime. None of the samples collected were a match.
Currently, there are no concrete suspects.