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Murder Most Vile Volume 11


18 classic true crime cases from around the world, including;

No Remorse: The tiny Australian town of Bargo, New South Wales has a new resident, a heartless and deeply depraved child killer… and he’s hunting.

Best Friends Forever:Two 16-year-old girls decide to get rid of an unwanted friend in this barely believable tale of teenaged friendship gone horribly wrong.

Irresistible Impulse: A troubled young woman finds the burden of caring for her five children too much to bear. Her solution to the problem will shock you to the core.

Guilty of Suicide: Can a man really be put to death when even the prosecution agrees that his victim probably took her own life?

Countess Dracula: The quite incredible tale of a Hungarian countess who enjoyed taking long baths … in her victims’ blood.

The Axe Man Cometh: A young man with money problems decides to claim his inheritance early, via familial slaughter.

Night of the Slasher: A killer is loose on the streets of Windsor, Ontario, his savage M.O. drawing comparisons with Jack the Ripper.

Don’t Talk to Strangers: The Hasidic Jewish community of Borough Park, New York looked after their own and kept strangers out. But what if one of their own was a depraved child killer?

Plus 10 more shocking, bizarre and horrific true murder cases.

Murder Most Vile Volume 12


18 classic true crime cases from around the world, including;

Lights! Cameras! Murder!: Life imitates art in this chilling tale of a wannabe filmmaker who set out to imitate his hero – the TV character, Dexter.

The Stepmother from Hell: What kind of a monster would torture a 6-year-old amputee and cancer survivor?

Black Widows of Hollywood: The barely believable tale of a couple of elderly women who targeted the homeless in a callous murder-for-profit scheme.

The Barbecue Murders: Marlene claimed that her parents had gone on an extended vacation. The bones in the barbecue pit said different.

Mob Rules: The kidnapping and murder of a much-loved San Jose businessman brings about a truly horrific end for the perpetrators.

The Werewolf Butcher: Jack had an ambition. He wanted to be the most notorious serial killer in America. He was certainly one of the bloodiest.

Evidence of Murder: A young girl gets lost in a cornfield and ends up in the clutches of a vile paedophile in this harrowing tale from southeast England.

Justice for Buddy: All Buddy wanted was a companion to share his golden years with, what he got instead was a female predator with a penchant for torture.

Plus 10 more shocking, bizarre and horrific true murder cases.

Blood Brothers Volume 2


Harrison Graham

The Cookie Monster

“He's not a killer, he's a lover.” – Joel S. Moldovsky, Harrison Graham's defense attorney.

The Seventies and Eighties were a horrific period in the annals of American crime, an era during which many of the country’s most notorious serial killers emerged. Barely a year passed without some new and terrifying monster being introduced via the nation’s media – The Hillside Strangler, the Son of Sam, Zodiac. Some – Bundy, Gacy, Ramirez, among them – became household names, the quintessential bogeymen of the age. For a time, it seemed like no major American city was without its own, monstrous neighborhood psycho.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was no exception. In the early Eighties, a psychopath known only as the Frankford Slasher, hacked and stabbed seven women to death in the vicinity of the El (elevated railroad) along Frankford Avenue. Then there was Gary Heidnik, a stock market genius and wannabe clergyman, who kept several women captive in his basement, killing two of them and reportedly cannibalizing their corpses. Finally, there was Harrison Graham, a mentally retarded handyman who fashioned himself on Sesame Street’s ‘Cookie Monster’ and liked to collect corpses.

On August 9, 1987, a sweltering Sunday in the ‘City of Brotherly Love,’ Philadelphia PD officers were called to a two-room apartment in a run-down building in north Philly. The tenant, an African-American man named Harrison Graham, had been evicted that day due to a terrible stench coming from his rooms. Landlord Nathanial Choice had sent his son and nephew to order Graham to leave, which he’d done without protest. The men had then entered the filthy apartment and found one of the doors nailed shut. One of them had crouched down and peeked through the keyhole. What he’d seen had sent him scuttling into the passage to throw up. It had also given him cause to call the police.

It was mid-afternoon when Officer Pete Scallatino arrived at 1631 North 19th Street. The area was extremely rundown, with dilapidated buildings, many of them boarded up and abandoned. The apartment block he’d been called to certainly fit that description, although the two men waiting on the sidewalk assured him that there were still several tenants living there.

Scallatino followed the men up to the third-floor apartment, his nose assaulted by the horrendous smell coming from the other side of the door - garbage and excrement and, underlying it all, the unmistakable stench of death. He fully expected to find a decomposing body in the apartment, yet he was unprepared for what he did find. Garbage lay waist deep in places, there were blood smears on the walls and someone had evidently kept a dog in here, without bothering to pick up the excrement.

The men called Scallatino over to the keyhole, and peering through, he saw what had alarmed them, the naked legs of an African-American woman. By this time Charles Johnson, an investigator with the Medical Examiner's Office, had arrived on the scene and he and Scallatino forced the door open.

If the smell in the other room had been bad, the reek that wafted out from this one was positively toxic. Johnson handed Scallatino a gauze mask then donned one himself before the officers entered the room. This space, too, was piled high with trash, but what held their attention was the naked corpse lying on a badly stained mattress. Bloating and discoloration indicated that she’d been dead for some time and decomposition was already fairly advanced. She was also not the only corpse in the room. Next to the mattress lay another bloated cadaver, this one clothed in a denim miniskirt.

Having now confirmed that this was a potential crime scene, the officers retreated, put up yellow crime scene tape and went downstairs to call backup. They weren’t yet sure that the women had been murdered – they might, for example, have died from drug overdoses – but nonetheless, Scallatino called in homicide detective, James Hansen, a veteran of the force who’d been the lead detective in the Heidnik case.

By the time crime scene investigators arrived, a sizable crowd of rubberneckers had gathered outside the apartment block. The officers therefore cordoned off the building before proceeding upstairs and beginning their search. Even without the decomposing corpses, the scene was gruesome and incredibly filthy. Barely an inch of floor space was visible among the litter of tins, half-consumed meals, moldering old newspapers, dog feces, jars of yellow liquid, rotting blankets, stained mattresses and broken furniture. Swarms of flies clung to the peeling walls and warped ceiling, rats and roaches scrambled for cover among the debris, while the corpses were alive with maggots.

At around 3:45 p.m., the searchers turned up a third corpse, this one skeletal, wrapped in sheets and buried under a pile of rags and other garbage. Less than two hours later, a fourth set of mummified remains was discovered. The fifth body was found around 5:30, by which time the Medical Examiner had been summoned to the scene (something which only occurred in exceptional circumstances).

As evening fell, the investigators brought in lights and continued their painstaking work. The sixth corpse was found crammed inside a tiny 6-inch-deep closet, at around 8 p.m., wrapped in a sheet and tied with white electrical cord.

A light rain was beginning to fall as the team expanded their search to the rest of the building. Word had by now spread around the neighborhood, and despite the weather, the crowd had swelled, pushing up against the police barriers as the bodies began to be removed from the building. One more gruesome discovery awaited, a moldering canvas bag was found on the roof, inside, a leg and some foot bones.

Although the condition of the corpses made it impossible to establish cause of death without an autopsy, the police were now certain that they were dealing with a case of serial murder. While preparations began to dig up the backyard of the building in the search for more bodies, a hunt was launched for the missing tenant.

Harrison Graham – known to friends and acquaintances as Marty – was born on October 9, 1958. At the time of the investigation, he was 29 and had been living in the apartment for four years. Six-foot-tall, Graham was of medium build, although he had powerful shoulders and disproportionately large hands. He was well known in the area where he offered his services as a handyman. He was also a drug user and a small time dealer, who allowed local junkies to shoot up in his apartment. The high school dropout was considered friendly and enjoyed amusing neighborhood kids with his impersonations of Sesame Street’s ‘Cookie Monster.’ However, he also had a violent side and had once dangled a woman from his apartment window. An acquaintance also reported that Graham kept a scrapbook with drawings of naked women and dismembered body parts.

Graham was known to frequent two areas besides his apartment: 8th Street and Erie Avenue, and 56th and Spruce. It was believed that he had either family or friends in those areas and police therefore staked them out. However, despite a number of reported sightings, Graham remained at large.

Meanwhile, Medical Examiner Robert L. Catherman was hard at work trying to identify the victims and determine cause of death. It was believed that the first two bodies had been dead only two or three days, with decomposition accelerated by the intense summer heat. Both were African-American women in their late twenties to early thirties. There were no obvious signs of violence on the corpses, no bullet wounds or evidence of bludgeoning.

The other bodies were even more of a challenge, so severely decomposed that it was not even possible to determine race or sex. An anthropologist would have to be called in to study the bone structure of the victims, but there was, at least, one breakthrough. The fourth victim had a broken hyoid bone, indicative of strangulation.

By August 11, it was clear that the two most recent victims had also been strangled. Then autopsies on two of the other cadavers determined that they were young African-American females, although, in these cases, cause of death was impossible to determine.

Other clues came from members of the public. A woman came forward to say that she believed one of the victims was a friend of hers, 30-year-old Sandra Garvin. Within the next days, more witnesses offered suggestions as to the identities of the victims, women who had known Marty Graham and were now missing. A man recognized the clothing from the second victim and believed that she was his wife. A neighbor came forward and suggested the name of Robin DeShazor, Graham’s one-time girlfriend. Graham had regularly beat Robin, she said, and Robin had not been seen for some time.

In the meantime, the police continued their hunt for Graham. Numerous sightings were reported. He was spotted on Broad Street, on a SEPTA bus, at a soup kitchen, at a car wash, at the Cathedral of Deliverance Evangelistic Church. Graham’s family joined in the search, going on television and begging him to give himself up.

As the bid to identify victims continued, forensic dentist Haskell Askins was brought in to assist in identification via dental records. He appealed to anyone who suspected that a loved one might be among the dead to come forward with their dental records. Only one of the murdered women hadn’t had dental work, so a comparison would definitely yield results, either to identify or eliminate a suspected victim.

On August 15, six days after the initial discovery, police searching a building three doors down from Graham’s, found a human torso and a skull, wrapped in a brown blanket and tied with an electrical cord. This was similar to the way the body had been stored in Graham's closet, leading them to suspect that it was another of his kills. But was this the eighth victim, or parts of the victim whose leg bones had been found on the roof? Time and forensics would tell.

The M.E.'s office had by now determined that six of the victims were black females, one of whom had been positively identified. She was Mary Jeter Mathis, a 36-year-old mother of five.

Then, on August 17, the manhunt was over, after Marty Graham’s mother talked him into giving himself up. Police officers took him into custody on a North Philadelphia street corner. He surrendered without a fight and was taken in for questioning. By evening, he had been charged with seven counts of murder and seven counts of abuse of a corpse.

Graham came up with a unique (if somewhat hair-brained) explanation for the bodies in his apartment. He claimed that they were there when he moved in. However, under interrogation, he eventually cracked and admitted that he’d strangled all seven of the victims while under the influence of drugs. He offered up five names; Robin DeShazor, Cynthia Brooks, 28, Mary Jeters, 39, Barbara Mahoney, 22, and Patricia Franklin, 24. He didn't know the names of two victims, whom he'd met on the street and lured back to his apartment with the promise of drugs. (The police had already determined that one was Sandra Garvin, 33, and the final victim would later be identified as 25-year-old Valerie Jamison).

Graham’s MO was simple. He’d get the women high on drugs and alcohol, then talk them into consensual sex. While thus engaged, he’d strangle them. Afterwards, he'd fall asleep. He said that it always surprised him when he woke to find a dead woman in his bed.

Graham said that all of the victims had been killed that year, beginning in January. The first had been his girlfriend, Robin DeShazor, whose body he’d dumped on the roof. Later, after he’d told another live-in girlfriend about it, she’d insisted that he move the remains. He’d carried the head and torso to another building, but had left the legs behind in a bag, where the police had found them.

Graham’s statement eventually ran to 10 pages and included details of each of the murders. He insisted that he hadn’t intended to kill and that the deaths were accidental. The veracity of that statement would be up to a court of law to decide.

As it turned out, Graham’s public defender, Joel S. Moldovsky, decided on a different strategy. He decided to plead Graham “not guilty by reason of insanity.” To this extent, he advised Graham to waive his right to a jury trial and chose to have the outcome of the case decided by a judge.

But that move backfired badly when Judge Latrone found Graham guilty on all counts. In May 1988, the judge sentenced Graham to six consecutive terms of 7-to-14 years, six death sentences and one life term. However, he added an unusual proviso. Graham was to serve his life term before the death penalty could be carried out. In effect, Latrone had sentenced Graham to life without the possibility of parole, a move that was lauded by both defense and prosecution attorneys, and one which pretty much negated the possibility of an appeal. Moldovsky would not want to risk a new sentence that might be worse for his client.

Graham was remanded to the Harrisburg Penitentiary in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he studied religion and became an ordained minister. However, in 1994, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that his death sentence must be carried out. The execution was scheduled for December 7, but was stayed and, after a decade of legal maneuvering, eventually set aside.

Today, Marty Graham resides in a medium security facility in Pennsylvania where he continues to practice as a minister of religion.

Blood Brothers Vol 2 includes 24 more stories of the worst African-American serial killers

The Devil in Whitechapel

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Forget Everything You've Ever Heard About Jack the Ripper

During the autumn of 1888, a series of murders occurred in London’s East End that sent shockwaves reverberating around the world. The victims were all prostitutes,their killer, a knife-wielding assailant with an insatiable bloodlust.

Within the space of just three months, this unnamed fiend would claim at least five lives. Then, he mysteriously vanished, leaving behind a trail of mutilated corpses and a scar upon our collective psyche that endures to this day.

The atrocities attributed to Jack the Ripper have become the stuff of legend. And like any legend they have become the subject of wild speculation and unfounded theory...until now.

Join true crime author Robert Keller as he embarks upon a forensic examination of this most enigmatic of murder cases.

WARNING: Be prepared to have everything you thought you
knew about Jack the Ripper picked apart and challenged.

Soviet Monsters

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Tamara Ivanyutina

In the early months of 1987, a school located in Kiev, Ukraine suffered a double tragedy. Two staff members died in quick succession, both with similar, inexplicable symptoms. The first of these was the school “Partorg” (a role that encompassed responsibility for ideological education as well as human resources); the second was the institution’s “nutrition nurse,” a woman in her twenties, who had appeared to be in good physical health. Doctors who examined the two were baffled by their symptoms, which included chronic joint pain and almost complete hair loss. Unable to determine the cause behind these afflictions, they fell back on the diagnosis prevalent in Soviet medicine at that time. According to their death certificates, both victims had died of heart failure.

A short while later, on an afternoon in March of 1987, a Kiev hospital was suddenly inundated with a rash of emergency admissions. Several desperately ill children arrived almost simultaneous at the facility, all of them writhing in agony. The youngsters had been picked up at various locations, although a common link was soon established. They all attended the same school. Then, as doctors fought desperately to stabilize their young patients, a call came in from the school itself. Two adults – a teacher and a refrigerator repair man – had been struck down by the same mystery ailment. An ambulance was immediately dispatched to bring them to the hospital. Within 24 hours, both adults, as well as two of the 11 children admitted on that horrific day, had died in agony.

A link was quickly established between those deaths and the two that had occurred earlier in the year at the same school. The question was, what had caused them?

Initially, it was speculated that some sort of infection was responsible. However, the symptoms displayed by the patients were inconsistent with this. None, for example, had shown any evidence of fever.

Then, it was thought the victims had been exposed to some sort of poison, radioactive material, perhaps. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster had occurred less than a year prior. Had radioactive material somehow made it to this Kiev school? Not wanting to take any chances, hospital administrators contacted the Sanitation and Epidemics Station (Russia’s version of the CDC). It wasn’t long before SES technicians in protective suits were wandering the halls of the school with Geiger counters. The results, however, showed no signs of contamination.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, the bloodwork of all the patients, including the four who had died, was back. And the doctors were in for a surprise. All had tested positive for the poison, thallium. Tests were then ordered on the exhumed corpses of the two earlier victims and returned a similar result.

With the discovery of thallium in the bodies, the symptoms made perfect sense. But while that question was now answered, another was raised. How had the victims come into contact with the deadly substance? SES officials suspected accidental exposure, perhaps as a result of careless pest control measures. The school building was thus subjected to a thorough sweep. No trace of the poison was found.

That left only one explanation for the six deaths - deliberate poisoning. What had started out as the suspected leak of radioactive materials was now a homicide investigation.

As detectives descended on the school and began questioning faculty and learners, their suspicions fell initially on a talented middle-grader who was said to be obsessed with chemistry. The boy had once played a prank on the gym teacher, coating his whistle with a mildly corrosive substance that had caused the man’s lips to blister. However, the youngster had no possible way of obtaining thallium and in any case had no motive for poisoning any of the victims. Besides, another of those afflicted was the school chemistry teacher, with whom the boy had a good relationship. That teacher had survived, despite suffering debilitating symptoms. Under questioning, he provided investigators with an interesting snippet of information. In addition to his role in the chemistry department, he was also responsible for the school’s food inventory.

That clue set alarm bells jangling with detectives. Suddenly the connection they’d been missing appeared crystal clear. All of the deaths were somehow connected to the school kitchen. The nutrition nurse; the Partorg who oversaw all of the school workers, including the kitchen staff; the chemistry teacher, who was responsible for food inventory; the technician who had been called in to fix the school’s broken refrigerator the day he fell ill; the metal shop teacher who had assisted him in the job; the children who had all eaten in the cafeteria. If there was a mass poisoner, investigators decided, he or she was to be found working in the kitchen.

The detectives’ first step before interrogating the kitchen staff was to speak to the SES workers who had carried out the Geiger sweep of the school. Had they noticed anything unusual while processing the kitchen area? Several of them had. A dishwasher, Tamara Ivanyutina, had made a nuisance of herself during the procedure, following the technicians around, constantly under their feet even after the area had been cordoned off. She’d been asked to leave several times and eventually had been removed forcibly after she became insolent and abusive.

While all of this was going on, a second team of detectives was working the investigation from a different angle, making the rounds of various geological labs in Kiev, trying to trace the source of the thallium. They soon hit paydirt. After finding a discrepancy in the inventory at one facility, they began interrogating lab technicians and soon extracted a tearful confession from one of them. The young woman said that she had given about 50 milligrams of Clerici solution to a friend of hers, something she’d been doing regularly since 1976. The friend had told her that her parents required it for pest control. Pressed for the friend’s name, the young lab tech said that it was Nina Maslenko. Nina, as it turned out, was the sister of Tamara Ivanyutina.

Tamara Maslenko (later Ivanyutina) was born in Tyumen, Siberia in 1942. Her parents, Anton and Maria, had been relocated there from war-torn Ukraine during WWII. They would spend several years in the unwelcoming backwater before returning eventually to Kiev, via the Ukrainian towns of Kherson and Tula. It was a decades-long sojourn, during which the couple had six children. They arrived back in Kiev in the early 80s to take up residence in a crumbling ruin of a building, where they shared an apartment with several other families. By then, four of their offspring had cut all ties with the family. It is not difficult to understand why.

Anton and Maria Maslenko appear to have been a particularly malevolent couple, who sought to instill in their children an ideology based on hatred and self-interest. Succeed at any cost and crush those who stand in your way; trust no one and let no slight go unpunished. This was their ethos, one that their remaining children, Nina and Tamara, readily bought into.

And that philosophy was more than just theoretical. Crammed into their overcrowded apartment, the Maslenkos were soon involved in disputes and squabbles with their neighbors. Those who made enemies of them, invariably, were not long for this world. One man was poisoned because his TV was too loud; a woman was killed after making an ill-advised remark about the squalid condition of the Maslenkos’ living area. Then Nina entered into a marriage of convenience with a much older man and he died within days of the wedding, leaving her a spacious apartment in the Kiev city center. She then seduced a younger beau but began poisoning him after he refused to marry her. The man survived but was left incapacitated and impotent.

Neither were these the first victims of the Maslenko clan. Anton is believed to have committed his first murder as far back as the 1930s. He would later admit to poisoning a female relative in the Seventies. The woman had had the temerity to suggest that he should prepare himself for the worst after Maria was hospitalized with a serious illness. “She dared imagine the death of my beloved wife,” Maslenko would later confess, “so I killed her.”

What is perhaps most shocking about these murders, is the casual indifference with which they were committed. Yet for all of the psychopathic exploits of her parents and sister, Tamara was the worst of the bunch.

The first murder that can be definitely attributed to Tamara was that of her husband, a truck driver who she’d married in haste and thereafter decided was below her station. Seeking a way out, Tamara had given no thought to divorce. Why concern yourself with such trivialities when there was a supply of thallium at the ready? The truck driver had departed on a road trip carrying a batch of sandwiches prepared by his wife and had never returned. Thereafter, Tamara had set her sights on a recent divorcee, seven years her junior.

Oleg Ivanyutina was instantly attracted to the pretty but overweight Tamara. It is easy too, to see what attracted her to him. His parents had a free standing house with a large backyard on the outskirts of Kiev. Tamara, who had ambitions of raising livestock and operating a butchery, undoubtedly had her eye on that property.

But it was soon clear that the elder Ivanyutins did not like Tamara. In truth, she was a difficult person to like – combative, rude and obnoxious, interested in nothing other than getting her own way. The Ivanyutins were keen on a grandchild, which Tamara, by now in her early forties, seemed incapable of producing. When they suggested adoption, Tamara balked. Eventually, frustrated with the situation, they gave Oleg and Tamara an ultimatum. They had a year to produce a grandchild, by whatever means. Failing that, the Ivanyutins would write Oleg out of their will and bequeath their house to some distant relative.

It was an ill-advised threat, one that amounted to a death sentence for those issuing it.

Oleg’s father was the first to die. He fell ill soon after eating a meal prepared by his daughter-in-law. His wife followed him to the grave just a few weeks after the funeral, having suffered many of the same symptoms – joint pain, abdominal cramps, hair loss, and ultimately heart failure. Despite symptoms that seemed to suggest otherwise, both deaths were put down to coronary problems.

With her in-laws out of the way, Tamara finally had her hands on a property big enough to realize her dream. Shortly thereafter, she began raising pigs. By all accounts, she was a good farmer, her animals fat and healthy. Her husband, meanwhile, appeared to have contracted the same disease that had taken his parents. He began steadily losing weight, lost all of his hair, and began suffering severe pains in his joints. Barely into his mid-thirties he looked twice that age and could only walk doubled over and supported by a cane.

Despite her burgeoning business, Tamara continued to work at her lowly job as a dishwasher in the school cafeteria. The reason for this was simple. Keeping livestock was an expensive undertaking and she lacked the funds to buy feed for her pigs. Working in the cafeteria gave her access to untold quantities of food that she could pilfer and carry home. She was hardly subtle about it either. She stole without any attempt at subterfuge. Almost daily, she’d be seen leaving the school premises carrying large, heavy bags.

Often, she’d be seen stalking the cafeteria floor chasing slow eaters from their meals which she’d then scoop up into one of her bags. On one occasion, two young children – a first-grader and a fifth-grader – approached the cook for some scraps to take home to their pet. Tamara was furious. She waited for the children outside and angrily demanded that they hand the food over to her. Within days of that incident both of the children became seriously ill, suffering joint pain and hair loss. They would remain so for over a year as Tamara continued to feed them small doses of poison, not enough to kill but certainly enough to keep them in agony. Even against children, she held a grudge for a long time.

But Tamara’s wholesale thievery had not gone unnoticed. The school’s nutrition nurse had eventually had enough and confronted her, instructing her to stay away from the refrigerators and the stoves and to stop harassing the children. When Tamara ignored this instruction, the nurse went to the chemistry teacher responsible for food inventory and he, in turn, reported the matter to the school Partorg. Tamara was hauled before the local Communist Party Committee, where she suffered a humiliating dressing-down before being released with a warning. Not long after, the nurse and the Partorg became ill and ultimately died. The chemistry teacher suffered similar symptoms but survived.

With her accusers dispatched, Tamara decided on a new ploy. She sabotaged the cafeteria’s refrigeration units, hoping that the food would spoil and that she’d then be allowed to take it home to her pigs. But the school was quick to attend to the problem, summoning a repairman that same day. Tamara then poisoned a pot of buckwheat soup that she knew would be given to the repairman for his lunch. The twelve children that were also poisoned, she considered collateral damage. She had never liked children anyway.

But the mass poisoning had been a major miscalculation on her part. With evidence of thallium in the bloodwork of the victims and eyewitness testimony as to her strange behavior, Tamara was placed under her arrest. When a vial of Clerici solution was discovered at her house, the game was finally up for the serial poisoner.

With Tamara now in custody, attention turned to her parents. The police, however, had very little evidence against them at this point, aside from the fact that they had procured the thallium. But then Maria Maslenko made it easy for them. She tried to kill a neighbor with a batch of poisoned pancakes (the woman’s only offense appeared to be that Maria was jealous of her war veteran’s pension). Fortunately, the woman was suspicious of Maria’s sudden show of generosity and rather than eat the pancakes she packed them up and took them to the police. Tests would prove that they were tainted with enough thallium to kill several times over.

All four members of the murderous Maslenko clan would eventually be tried for murder. Nina would face only one charge, for killing her elderly husband. She was sentenced to the relatively light term of 16 years for the crime. Anton and Maria Maslenko were also convicted. Their sentences of thirteen and ten years respectively would amount to life in prison, as both died behind bars.

As for the primary focus of the murder inquiry, Tamara Ivanyutina was found guilty on multiple counts and sentenced to death. The Soviet state was not in the habit of making public statements about executions but it is believed that she was put to death by a bullet to the back of the head sometime in the late eighties. She would be the last woman executed in the Soviet Union.

Subsequent to the execution, investigators began looking into suspicious deaths in other places where the Maslenkos had lived before arriving back in Kiev. In each of those cities, they found numerous unexplained deaths directly connected to the family, although no further charges were ever brought.

The Deadly Dozen Volume 2


12 More Shocking True Stories of the
Worst Serial Killers in American History

Rodney Alcala: who would have thought that the handsome, charming winner of The Dating Game was, in fact, a homicidal maniac.

Kenneth Bianchi & Angelo Buono: two murderous cousins, working together to unleash a reign of unprecedented terror on the women of Los Angeles.

Larry Eyler: a lethal psychopath who trawled the freeways of the American Midwest for victims who he literally tore apart.

Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins: dubbed the “Meanest Man in America,” the diminutive Gaskins may have claimed as many as 100 victims.

H.H. Holmes: evil doctor who built a vast torture castle in Chicago in the late 1800’s, then lured countless young women to their horrific deaths.

Patrick Kearney: a.k.a. The Trash Bag killer. Despite standing just 5'5”, Kearney cut a swathe of destruction across southern California, leaving at least 35 dismembered corpses in his wake.

Edmund Kemper III: a double murderer at 15, Kemper was set free to unleash a reign of terror on the student population of Santa Cruz, California.

Bobby Joe Long: a sex-obsessed psychopath who graduated from rape to murder, with devastating results for the women of south Florida.

Earl Nelson: the inhuman “Gorilla Killer”, who rampaged through 1920's America and into Canada, killing and raping as he went.

Joel Rifkin: a born loser who failed at everything he tried - except murder. Rifkin killed and dismembered as many as 17 women.

Arthur Shawcross: having escaped the death penalty for the murder of two children, this sadistic killer turned his attention on the prostitutes of Rochester, New York. But did he cannibalize his victims?

Coral Eugene Watts: a vicious killer who enjoyed slashing, strangling and drowning the helpless young women he targeted for death. Responsible for as many as 80 murders.

Available Now on Amazon

Murder Most Vile Volume 10


Murder, He Wrote

On a frigid December day in 2000, three friends were fishing along a remote stretch of the Oder River in southwest Poland. One of the men was just about to cast, when he noticed something in the water, floating close to the shoreline. At first, he took it for a log, but then the stiff breeze stirred up an eddy and he saw what he thought was a swirl of hair. Closer inspection revealed that he was right. The object was the body of a semi-naked man, most decidedly dead. The fishermen went immediately to report the horrific find.

The police and emergency services were soon on the scene to remove the bloated body from the water. And it was immediately clear that the man had been the victim of foul play. The corpse was trussed in an unusual way, with a noose around the neck and the hands tied behind the back. Those two points were connected by a length of rope, drawn tight so that, if the victim tried to relax his legs, he’d end up throttling himself. The corpse also bore clear signs of torture, with livid bruises and several knife wounds. The autopsy would later reveal that he’d been deliberately starved for at least three days before being thrown into the water alive. His death was due to drowning.

It wasn’t long before the police were able to apply a name to the victim. Dariusz Janiszewski had been reported missing from the city of Wroclaw, some sixty miles away. The victim, six-feet tall and with long hair and blue eyes, was a good physical match for the 35-year-old businessman, who had last been seen on November 13. Janiszewski was identified by a birthmark on his chest.

That at least answered the question of who. What police couldn’t understand was why. A murder committed with such obvious violence seemed to suggest a deep sense of animosity towards the victim. But Dariusz Janiszewski appeared to be a man devoid of enemies. He was happily married, had no debts or obvious vices, and no criminal record. Those who knew him described him as a gentle person, who loved playing guitar and fronted his own rock band. “He wouldn’t harm a soul,” was the general consensus.

And yet somebody clearly held a different opinion of Janiszewski, somebody who had gone to great lengths to dispatch him to a painful and humiliating death. The police launched a massive operation to find that somebody, sending divers to the depths of the Oder in a hunt for clues and spending the following months tracking down every lead, no matter how tenuous. It all came to nothing. Within six months, investigators were forced to admit defeat and the investigation was shelved due to “an inability to find the perpetrator or perpetrators.”

Some two-and-a-half years later, on a fall afternoon in 2003, cold case detective Jacek Wroblewski flipped open the Janiszewski file which had just landed on his desk. The 38-year-old detective had a heavy case load but this one immediately caught his attention. He knew about the original investigation, of course. At the time, he’d been certain that the investigators working the case must have missed something. Now it was up to him to find it.

Flipping through the pathologist’s report, Wroblewski found himself in agreement as to the crime’s motive. This was no random act, no robbery or mugging. The level of violence suggested someone who harbored a deep-seated hatred. But who? Everyone in Janiszewski’s circle had been questioned and eliminated. Then Wroblewski’s eye fell on a statement given by the dead man’s mother, who had also worked as his bookkeeper. It told of a mysterious phone call on the day that Janiszewski went missing. The caller had been so insistent on speaking to Janiszewski (who was out of the office at the time), that Janiszewski’s mother had eventually given him her son’s cell phone number. The call had been traced during the original inquiry and found to have come from a phone booth just down the street from Janiszewski’s business premises.

The call sounded suspicious but Wroblewski needed more. A few days later, he thought that he may have found it. Janiszewski’s cell phone had gone missing at the time the man himself had disappeared and had never been traced. Wroblewski found himself wondering what had happened to it. A search by the department’s telecommunications expert provided the answer. The phone had been sold on an internet auction site called Allegro, just four days after Janiszewski disappeared. The seller was registered under the name ChrisB. Inquiries with the site administrator revealed that his real name was Krystian Bala.

Wroblewski was both elated and cautious at discovering this piece of information. Surely, he thought, someone who had committed such a well-planned murder would not have been stupid enough to sell the victim’s cell phone online. Bala, most likely, had bought the phone in a pawnshop. Perhaps, he’d even found it on the street.

Nonetheless, the detective began checking up on Krystian Bala. He learned that the man was a 31-year-old philosophy graduate, divorced and now living abroad. He’d once run a successful office cleaning business but after that failed, he’d turned his hand to writing a novel. In the interim, Bala’s marriage had fallen apart and his wife had left him, taking their young son with her.

None of this indicated to Wroblewski that Bala might have been involved in the crime. Yet, with no other potential suspects to explore, he continued to probe. His next move was to obtain a copy of Bala’s novel, a surrealist work called “Amok,” which had been an abject failure, selling less than 1,000 copies. Wroblewski began reading and was shocked by the novel’s pornographic and sadistic themes. The story is narrated by a bored Polish intellectual named Chris who, in pursuit of his next sexual thrill, commits a murder. And this was where it really got interesting. Although the victim in the book was a woman, the other elements of the murder were almost identical to that of Dariusz Janiszewski.

Wroblewski knew, of course, that the fictional murder did not amount to evidence of the real thing. So far, the only piece of evidence he had linking Bala to the victim was the cell phone. What he really needed was to bring Bala in for questioning, to see how he would stand up under interrogation. The problem was that Bala was still overseas, touring around and supporting himself by writing travel articles and teaching scuba diving and English. Then, in January of 2005, Wroblewski got the break he was waiting for when the police intercepted an e-mail from Bala saying that he was coming home to visit his family.

Bala arrived back in Poland in September 2005. At around 2:30 p.m. on September 5, he was approached by three officers as he left a drugstore in Chojnow and taken into custody. He was brought to police headquarters in Wroclaw, where Detective Wroblewski began interrogating him, at first revealing nothing of why Bala had been brought in. Then, as the suspect began to relax, Wroblewski asked him bluntly what he knew about the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski. Bala at first appeared flabbergasted but he quickly regained his composure. “I don’t know anyone named Dariusz Janiszewski,” he said. “I know nothing about the murder.”

Wroblewski then pressed him on the curious parallels between the murder described in his book and the actual killing. “It’s a work of fiction,” Bala insisted. “Any similarities are purely coincidental.” He was not quite so cocky when Wroblewski played his trump card – the cell phone. But again he quickly recovered. He did not remember how the phone had come into his possession, most likely he’d bought it at a pawnshop. “Give me a polygraph, if you think I’m lying,” he suggested. It was a challenge that Wroblewski was all too happy to take up. The results, however, were inconclusive.

Wroblewski was back to square one, and time was against him. According to Polish law, he was required to charge or release the suspect within 48 hours. That deadline was fast approaching and he still had nothing that would support a murder charge. All he could do was to book Bala for selling stolen property, a misdemeanor that was unlikely to carry any jail time. However, it did achieve one thing. Bala was ordered to relinquish his passport and to remain in Poland until his case could be heard.

Later, while flipping through Bala’s passport, Wroblewski picked up something curious. Back in 2002, a Polish television show had reported on the Janiszewski murder and had hosted an article about the case on its website. The article had received many hits, almost all of them from within Poland. The exceptions were three visits, one each from Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Bala had stamps from each of those countries in his passport. When Wroblewski compared the dates against the website hits, he had a match. Bala had, quite obviously, been following the case from afar. It was another piece to the circumstantial puzzle.

Bala, meanwhile, was becoming a cause célèbre, with intellectuals and celebrities rallying to his cause. The Polish Justice Ministry was deluged with letters from around the world, expressing outrage at Bala’s ‘mistreatment.’ The general theme of those letters was that Bala was being persecuted for his art, his right to freedom of expression impinged upon. All of this publicity, of course, was doing wonders for his profile. ‘Amok’ had been a sluggish seller at best. Now, it was a runaway bestseller.

With Bala stuck in Poland, Wroblewski and his team began to question the suspect’s friends and family. The objective was to establish a link between Bala and the murder victim and, in so doing, to uncover a motive. But if Wroblewski was expecting to find some dirt on his quarry, he would be sorely disappointed. The testimonials were overwhelmingly positive. The only vices that Krystian Bala appeared to possess were that he was extremely possessive of his ex-wife Stasia, and had reacted badly to their separation.

According to several witnesses, Bala would phone and text his wife constantly. On New Year’s Eve 2000, just weeks after Janiszewski’s body was found, Bala tracked Stasia to a bar and then got into a fight with a bartender who he accused of flirting with her. According to several witnesses, he threatened to kill the man, screaming that he had “already dealt with such a guy.” Might he have been referring to Janiszewski, Wroblewski wondered. Had Dariusz Janiszewski been romantically involved with Stasia? It was an avenue worth pursuing.

While Wroblewski was puzzling over the motive to the crime, other members of his team were working on the call that had been made to Janiszewski’s office on the day of his disappearance. That call, they knew, had come from a public telephone just down the block. Now they learned that it had been made using a prepaid card. Inquiries with the phone company turned up some interesting information. Other calls had been made from that same card in the days before and after the disappearance. One was to Krystian Bala’s father, others were to his girlfriend, several friends, and a business associate. That proved that Bala had been lying when he said that he didn’t know Janiszewski. He had been the man who had placed the call to his office on the day he went missing.

The picture was becoming clearer. And another piece fell into place when a friend of Stasia’s, named Malgorzata Drozdzal, told Wroblewski about an incident that had happened in the summer of 2000, shortly after Stasia separated from Bala. According to Drozdzal, she and Stasia had gone to the Crazy Horse nightclub in Wroclaw, where Stasia had spent much of the evening talking to a man with long hair and blue eyes. Drozdzal knew the man from around town. It was Dariusz Janiszewski.

This was an excellent piece of information, one that Wroblewski needed to verify immediately. The problem was that Stasia was refusing to talk to the police. Wroblewski then employed and unusual tactic. He asked Stasia to read sections of her ex-husband’s book, specifically those that pertained to a character named Sonya, who is the wife of the novel’s narrator. The character is clearly based on Stasia and she was so shocked at how she was depicted that she eventually decided to cooperate.

Stasia confirmed that she had met Janiszewski at Crazy Horse, that they had hit it off and that she had given him her phone number. Later, they went on a date and ended up together at a motel. But before anything happened, Janiszewski admitted to her that he was married, and she then left. “As a betrayed wife myself, I did not want to do that to another woman,” she explained.

Several weeks after that date with Janiszewski, Bala had shown up at Stasia’s apartment. He was in a drunken rage and accused her of having an affair with Janiszewski. When she denied the allegation, he forced his way in and started beating her. “I hired a private detective so I know everything,” he screamed. He then told her the name of the motel they had gone to. He even knew the room number. A short while later, Dariusz Janiszewski had gone missing. Listening to Stasia’s story, Wroblewski’s mind was drawn to the last line of ‘Amok’: “This was the one killed by blind jealousy,” Bala had written.

Krystian Bala’s trial began in Wroclaw on February 22, 2007. Polish court proceedings are heard before a presiding judge, with another judge and three citizens acting as the jury. The accused is represented by an attorney but is also allowed to ask direct questions of any witness. Bala, sitting inside a cage in the center of the courtroom, asked many questions, most of them semantic in nature. However, as the case went on and the evidence stacked up against him, he became increasingly desperate. Now, he wanted to know of every prosecution witness – Did you see me kidnap Dariusz Janiszewski? Did you see me kill him? Did you see me dump his body?

The answers to those questions were, of course, no. Yet the circumstantial evidence against Bala was strong. There was Bala’s obsessive jealousy towards his wife, his anger at her relationship with Dariusz Janiszewski, his call to Janiszewski on the day he went missing, his possession of the victim’s cell phone. Most of all, there was his novel, which all but contained a confession to the crime.

Since Bala continues to protest his innocence we can only speculate as to what actually happened to Dariusz Janiszewski. The police believe that Janiszewski was lured to some location by a phone call from Bala, who claimed to be a potential client of his business. Once there he was overpowered (Since Janiszewski is both bigger and heavier than Bala, the police think Bala may have had an accomplice or accomplices). Janiszewski was then held prisoner at some location for a number of weeks, during which he was beaten, slashed with a knife, starved and asphyxiated. Eventually, he was dumped in the Oder. His captors may have believed he was dead when they threw him in the river but he was still alive. He died from drowning.

Krystian Bala was found guilty of murder on September 5, 2007, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the maximum allowable under Polish law. At the time of his conviction, Bala was working on a second book. The murder victim in that novel bears a strong resemblance to his ex-wife’s current boyfriend.

Murder Most Vile Volume Nine features another 17 shocking true crime stories. 

Beyond Evil


The World's Worst Child Killers: 20 Shocking Cases

True Murder Cases included in this volume;

Westley Allan Dodd: sickening pervert who tortured, stabbed and strangled three little boys to death.

Tsutomu Miyazaki: deeply disturbed Japanese serial killer who practiced cannibalism and necrophilia on his young victims.

Joseph Duncan III : paedophilic killer who wiped out an entire family to get to the object of his desire, an 8-year-old girl.

Erno Soto: a deadly phantom who preyed on the children of Harlem and went by the terrifying sobriquet “Charlie Chop-off.”

Jeanne Weber: the babysitter from Hell. Weber strangled to death 10 children left in her care.

Robert Black: a remorseless child killer who sexually assaulted and murdered at least three little girls and may have killed many more.

Gordon Stewart Northcott: axe murderer from the 1920’s who tortured, sexually abused and murdered young boys.

Marc Dutroux: kidnapped six young girls and held them as sex slaves, eventually killing two and allowing two to starve to death.

Marcelo Costa de Andrade: sex fiend and necrophile who targeted slum children in Rio de Janeiro, killing 14 in just eight months.

Arthur Gary Bishop: repulsive paedophile who murdered five young boys, drowning, bludgeoning and strangling them to death.

Medical Monsters Volume 2


The lives and dreadful deeds of 22 horrific medical serial killers

True Murder Cases included in this volume;

Anthony Joyner: A truly depraved individual who preyed on the elderly women at the nursing home where he worked, raping and suffocating his victims.

Daniela Poggiali: This Italian nurse murdered the patients under her care, then posed for selfies with their corpses.

The Skin Hunters: This Polish ambulance crew had less interest in saving its victims and more in earning a bounty on their corpses.

Linda Hazzard: An alternate healer who believed that fasting was the cure-all for disease, Hazzard starved as many as 40 of her patients to death.

John Bodkin Adams: A humble GP who became the wealthiest doctor in Britain, thanks to bequests from over 130 of his patients, many of whom died under suspicious circumstances.

Roland E. Clark: Abortionist, rapist, child molester, drug dealer, murderer, Dr. Clark must surely rank as one of the most malevolent individuals to ever earn a medical degree.

Jane Toppan: A deeply disturbed nurse with a terrifying ambition - to kill more people than anyone else ever had.

Robert Diaz: Self-proclaimed psychic who claimed that he could predict the day and hour of his patients’ deaths. He was never wrong.

William & Lila Young: A truly heartless Canadian couple who turned baby farming into an industry. Responsible for the deaths of as many as 600 infants.

Joan Vila Dilme: Vila claimed that his murders were “mercy killings” but the method he employed ensured that his victims died in excruciating agony.

Plus 12 more sensational true crime cases…

Blood Brothers Volume 1


Henry Louis Wallace

The Charlotte Strangler

“There's only one Henry, a bad Henry.” – Henry Louis Wallace.

For almost two years, from 1992 to 1994, the women of East Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina lived in a state of perpetual fear. During that time nine young black women were raped and strangled to death by a killer whose ferocity seemed to increase with each crime. His identity, when it was revealed, would shock friends and baffle investigators because the Charlotte Strangler operated differently to almost every serial killer they’d ever heard about.

The first killing occurred on June 15, 1992 and went undetected until two days later. On that date, the manager of Bojangles Restaurant phoned Katy Love to tell her that her sister, Caroline, had not reported for work the last two days. Disturbed by this piece of information, Katy rushed to Caroline’s apartment. Caroline didn’t seem to be at home, but there was no evidence of anything amiss so Katy left a note and went on her way. However, Caroline’s sudden disappearance perturbed her, so she contacted Caroline’s roommate Sadie McKnight. Sadie confirmed that she hadn’t seen Caroline either and the pair decided to report the matter to the police.

Detective Anthony Rice was sent to investigate, and became immediately suspicious when he entered Caroline’s apartment. Some of the furniture stood askew, as though shoved aside during a scuffle. In addition, the sheet had been removed from Caroline’s bed, and appeared to be missing from the apartment.

However, there were no other clues to indicate what might have happened to Caroline, and despite the best efforts of Charlotte PD, they were unable to find her. She would remain missing for nigh on two years.

On February 19, 1993, eight months after the disappearance of Caroline Love, Sylvia Sumpter came home to the house she shared with her daughter, Shawna Hawk. Shawna wasn’t in the house when Mrs. Sumpter arrived and that troubled her, especially as Shawna’s coat lay over a chair, her purse beside it. She doubted her daughter would have gone out in such cold weather without her coat. Her concern growing, she placed two calls, one to Darryl Kirkpatrick, Shawna’s boyfriend, the other to the local Taco Bell, where Shawna worked part-time. Neither Darryl, nor Shawna’s co-workers at the restaurant, had seen her.

As Mrs. Sumpter continued to fret, Darryl Kirkpatrick arrived and conducted a search of the house, hoping to find some clue as to where Shawna might have gone. As he reached the downstairs bathroom, he noticed that the carpet was wet and that the shower curtain stood askew. Drawing the curtain aside he let out an involuntary scream. Shawna lay naked in the bathtub, her head submerged, her eyes staring lifelessly at the ceiling. An autopsy would later reveal that she’d been raped and strangled to death.

Then, in June 1993, another victim showed up. Twenty-four-year-old Audrey Spain had been a colleague of Shawna Hawk at the Taco Bell. When she didn’t arrive at work on June 23 and 24, her manager at the restaurant first phoned and then called on her apartment. Getting no reply to his knocks, he left a note. When he still hadn’t heard from Audrey the following day, he asked the superintendent of her building to go into the apartment and make sure that she was okay. The man found Audrey lying naked on the bed, items of clothing knotted around her neck. Like Shawna Hawk, she’d been raped and strangled.

Two strangulation murders and the disappearance of another young woman had now occurred in the space of just a few months. In retrospect, it seems impossible to imagine that police didn’t see a pattern. But without evidence linking the cases together, without eyewitnesses reporting anyone suspicious near any of the crime scenes, the connection wasn’t clear yet. And the killer was about to vary his M.O., making it even more difficult for investigators to detect a series.

On the night of August 9, Zachary Douglas was approaching the apartment of his girlfriend, Valencia Jumper, when he smelled something burning. As he got closer he was dismayed to see black smoke pouring from under Valencia’s door. He tried to enter the apartment but found the door locked. He then roused a neighbor and got him to call the fire department. A unit was dispatched to the scene, where firefighters found Valencia’s severely burned body lying on the bed.

Her death was ruled accidental, the cause recorded as “thermal burns.” It would remain so until the Charlotte Strangler confessed to the crime.

With the next murder, on September 15, the strangler again varied his M.O. As well as strangling Michelle Stinson, he also stabbed her. Michelle’s body was discovered by her two young sons, one three, the other just a year old. The older child went to the apartment of a neighbor, James Mayes, and told him that his mom was “sleeping on the floor.” When Mayes arrived he found Michelle lying in a pool of her own blood. A knife had been driven into her back and an autopsy would later show that it had ruptured her heart. In addition, she’d been raped and strangled.

Five women had now died violently within a five-mile radius in a little over a year, and yet police were still not sure whether the murders were the work of a single perpetrator. However, the residents of East Charlotte were in no doubt that a serial killer was among them. The mood on the street was angry. Citizens felt that local politicians and law enforcement officials were indifferent to their plight. Even the local newspapers had been low-key in their reportage of the crimes. Charlotte’s 31% black community felt abandoned by officialdom and the media.

Something had to be done, so the Charlotte Police Department convened a press conference at which they pledged to solve the East Charlotte murders. Detective Sergeant Gary McFadden, an African-American officer with an excellent arrest record, was appointed to lead the investigation. McFadden got to work immediately, meeting with the families of the victims and committing himself to bringing the killer of their loved ones to justice. Still, the community hated him, McFadden would later recall. “They treated me like a scapegoat. It was total conflict.”

No sooner had McFadden taken up his new post, than the killer dropped out of sight. There were no further murders through the fall of 1993, into the holiday season and beyond. Perhaps the killer had been scared off by the increased police presence on the streets? Perhaps, he’d moved on? If that was the belief, it would be shattered on Sunday, February 20, 1994.

Vanessa Mack worked at the Carolinas Medical Center and her mother, Barbara, routinely looked after Vanessa’s four-month-old child while Vanessa was at her job. On this Sunday, Barbara arrived just before 6 a.m. to pick up her grandchild. She was surprised to find the door ajar but she let herself into the foyer. The apartment was quiet and when she saw the baby asleep on the sofa and no sign of Vanessa, she sensed something was wrong. She walked quickly through the apartment, searching the kitchen and bathroom before entering her daughter’s bedroom. Vanessa’s semi-naked body lay across the bed, a ligature of some sort knotted around her neck.

Thus far, the killer had been careful, killing at will, disappearing without a trace, leaving not the sniff of a clue for police to work with. But in the second week of March 1994, something seemed to unhinge him. Between March 9 and March 11, he went on a murder spree, claiming three victims in as many days.

Betty Baucom was the assistant manager at Bojangles, the same restaurant where the strangler’s first victim, Caroline Love, had worked. On March 9, Baucom failed to report for work. Her boss, Jeffery Ellis, placed a call to her home and got no reply. He figured she was probably running late and would show up soon. But Baucom didn’t show that night. When she was still absent the following evening, Ellis called the police.

Police officer Gregory Norwood picked up the call and went to Baucom’s apartment where the building superintendent let him in. He found Betty Baucom lying face down on her bed. She was fully clothed, a towel knotted into a tight noose around her neck.

Once again, there were variances to the killer’s M.O. Baucom’s TV and VCR had been taken and her car, a light-blue Pulsar, was also missing. An alert was immediately put out on the vehicle while officers were dispatched to check out local pawnshops, in case the killer had tried to sell the stolen items.

Then a call came in about another murdered woman and officers were astonished to discover that it was in the same building as Betty Baucom.

The dead woman was Brandi Henderson. Her boyfriend, Verness Lamar Woods, had arrived home from working the night shift to find her lying lifeless on the bed, a towel knotted around her neck. Worse yet, Brandi’s killer had also tried to throttle the couple’s 10-month-old toddler (the child fortunately would survive without permanent injury).

With the community seething over these new attacks, Det. Sgt. McFadden called his team together to revisit the evidence they’d gathered thus far. Early in the year, McFadden had requested the FBI’s help in drawing up a profile of the killer. The Bureau had responded that the murders did not look as though they’d been committed by the same perpetrator. After the latest attacks, McFadden was convinced that they were wrong. He asked his team to look specifically at links between the victims. Had they worked together? Attended the same school? Moved in the same social circle?

The police had followed this line of enquiry before and drawn a blank. Now though, something jumped out at investigators. They’d asked each victim’s family and friends for a list of people with whom they had associated. The lists all had one name in common: Henry Louis Wallace.

  • Wallace had been the manager of the Taco Bell where both Shawna Hawk and Audrey Spain had worked.
  • Michelle Stinson, who often ate at the Taco Bell, would sometimes get into conversation with Wallace.
  • Valencia Jumper was a friend of Wallace’s sister, Yvonne.
  • Vanessa Mack was the sister of one of Wallace’s ex-girlfriends.
  • Betty Baucom was a friend of Wallace’s current girlfriend, Sadie McKnight.
  • Brandi Henderson was the girlfriend of Wallace’s friend, Verness Lamar Woods.
  • There was also a link to the “missing person” case. Caroline Love had been the roommate of Wallace’s girlfriend Sadie McKnight.

The pieces seemed to fit perfectly, but McFadden was all too aware that it proved nothing. It could all just be a coincidence. McFadden decided to approach Wallace’s girlfriend. Sadie McKnight was at first shocked that police suspected her boyfriend of being the Charlotte Strangler, but as she thought about it she remembered Henry giving her rings and necklaces that had seemed vaguely familiar. She now realized that the jewelry had come from his victims, many of whom, she had known.

The final piece of evidence came when the police located Betty Baucom’s Pulsar. They lifted a clear set of prints from the trunk – Henry Louis Wallace’s prints.

Wallace was taken into custody the following day, surrendering without a fight. But even as the police were transferring him to the Law Enforcement Center for questioning, news came of another murder. Debra Slaughter was discovered raped and then beaten, stabbed, and choked to death. She was the last victim of the Charlotte Strangler. Like the others, she too, had been an acquaintance of Henry Louis Wallace.

At the Law Enforcement Center meanwhile, Wallace was confessing to nine murders; Caroline Love, Shawna Hawk, Audrey Spain, Valencia Jumper, Michelle Stinson, Vanessa Mack, Betty Baucom, Brandi Henderson and Debra Slaughter. He also admitted to the murder of an unnamed prostitute and gave police the location of Caroline Love’s body.

Over the next several hours he related in sickening detail how he had killed the women, recalling even their final words as he throttled them to death. Although he’d robbed all of his victims to feed his crack habit, he said that the motive for the crimes was sex. They fulfilled his fantasies of power and control.

Asked at one point if he thought he might be schizophrenic, Wallace replied. “No, there’s only one Henry, a bad Henry.”

Wallace went on trial for murder at the Mecklenburg County Superior Courthouse in September 1996. His trial lasted four months and concluded in a guilty verdict and death penalties on all nine counts.

He is currently incarcerated on death row at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Blood Brothers Vol 1 includes 24 more riveting stories of worst America-American serial killers

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