Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Today in History - The Columbine Massacre

Columbine Massacre

Today I'd like to dedicate this post to the victims of this tragic event.
This is really a story that shook me when I was at school when I heard about it...

Two teenage gunmen kill 13 people in a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. At about 11:20 a.m., Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, dressed in long trench coats, began shooting students outside the school before moving inside to continue their rampage. By the time SWAT team officers finally entered the school at about 3:00 p.m., Klebold and Harris had killed 12 fellow students and a teacher, and had wounded another 23 people. Then, around noon, they turned their guns on themselves and committed suicide.

The awful crime captured the nation's attention, prompting an unprecedented search--much of it based on false information--for a scapegoat on whom to pin the blame. In the days immediately following the shootings, many claimed that Klebold and Harris purposely chose jocks, blacks, and Christians as their victims. In one particular instance, student Cassie Bernall was allegedly asked by one of the gunmen if she believed in God. When Bernall said, "Yes," she was shot to death. Her parents later wrote a book entitled "She Said Yes," and toured the country, honoring their martyred daughter.

Apparently, however, the question was never actually posed to Bernall. In fact, it was asked of another student who had already been wounded by a gunshot. When that victim replied, "Yes," the shooter walked away. Subsequent investigations also determined that Klebold and Harris chose their victims completely at random. Their original plan was for two bombs to explode in the school's cafeteria, forcing the survivors outside and into their line of fire. When the homemade bombs didn't work, Klebold and Harris decided to go into the school to carry out their murderous rampage.

Commentators also railed against the so-called "Trench Coat Mafia" and "goths," and questioned why these groups and cliques were not monitored more closely. However, further investigation revealed that Klebold and Harris were not part of either group.

Columbine High School reopened in the fall of 1999, but the massacre left behind an unmistakable scar on the Littleton community. Mark Manes, the young man who sold a gun to Harris and bought him 100 rounds of ammunition the day before the murders, was sentenced to six years in prison. Carla Hochhalter, the mother of a student who was paralyzed in the attack, killed herself at a gun shop. Several other parents filed suit against the school and the police. Even Dylan Klebold's parents filed notice of their intent to sue, claiming that police should have stopped Harris earlier. A senior at Columbine was arrested after he threatened to "finish the job." And when a carpenter from Chicago erected 15 crosses in a local park on behalf of everyone who died on April 20, parents of the victims tore down the two in memory of Klebold and Harris.

In an effort to show the world "that life goes on," Columbine school board officials voted to replace the library where students were murdered with an atrium. The shootings at Columbine stood as the worst school shooting in U.S. history until April 16, 2007, when 32 people were shot and many others wounded by a student gunman on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Womens Murder Club Nr 10!

10th Anniversary is here at last!

10th Anniversary by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

For every secret
Detective Lindsay Boxer's long-awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found. Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals--but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well.

For every lie

At the same time, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano is prosecuting the biggest case of her life--a woman who has been accused of murdering her husband in front of her two young children. Yuki's career rests on a guilty verdict, so when Lindsay finds evidence that could save the defendant, she is forced to choose. Should she trust her best friend or follow her instinct?

There's a different way to die

Lindsay's every move is watched by her new boss, Lieutenant Jackson Brady, and when the pressure to find the baby begins interfering with her new marriage to Joe, she wonders if she'll ever be able to start a family. With James Patterson's white-hot speed and unquenchable action, 10th Anniversary is the most deliciously chilling Women's Murder Club book ever.

To be Released: May 2nd 2011

I can't wait to read this one, I love the series and when I read the last book I wanted more! Mr Patterson better know that 11 and 12 should be short on the heals of this one, he cant punish me by stopping now. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do you know of them?

This is a post for all of you who love researching serial killers...

Ten lesser Known Serial Killers, have you heard of them?

John Robinson

In all, there are eleven women either dead or missing that are linked to John Robinson. All of these women either vanished or were killed over a 16 year period. Robinson, a married middle-aged father of four, had a hunger for murder and money. Robinson was a sadomasochist, and met some of the women though his internet identity as the “Slavemaster.” Others he met through personal ads and other means.
His secrets were uncovered when two metal 55-gallon barrels were located on his property in rural Kansas and each barrel contained a female body. A few days later, three more female bodies were found in barrels in a storage locker rented by Robinson in Missouri. Robinson was convicted of the murders of the two women found in Kansas, and a third woman who’s body was never found. He was given the death penalty.
Unbelievably, Robinson gave the baby of one of his victims to his brother and sister-in-law to raise, telling them it was a legal adoption. He even charged his own brother $5,500 in bogus adoption fees. Robinson also cashed about $43,000 in social security and alimony checks meant for three of his victims.

Larry Eyler

Born in 1952, Larry Eyler became known as the “Highway Killer” after some of his victims were found alongside highways. In his early 30′s Eyler started picking up men under the guise of consensual sex, with a bit of bondage thrown in. Once he got the victims to a secluded area and handcuffed them, Eyler would brutally beat the victim, and then kill them. Most of his victims were found disemboweled, with their pants pulled down.
Eyler was connected to one of his crimes by a tire track he left at one of the scenes, and was later observed dumping 8 trash bags in a dumpster. Police found the remains of a 15-year-old boy inside. Eyler was sentenced to die by lethal injection. Eyler confessed to the attorney handling his appeal that he had committed 21 murders. He offered to give information on these murders if his sentence would be commuted to life. The state refused to make a deal. Eyler died in 1994 at the age of 41 of AIDS-related complications. Two days after his death, the attorney handling his appeal went public with the details of the 21 murders Eyler claimed as his own. His confessions matched the physical evidence at the scenes, and the 21 cases of serial murder were closed.

Peter Kurten

Starting in the summer of 1929, Kurten held the city of Dusseldorf, Germany, in a grip of fear. Almost every week a fresh corpse was found, horribly slashed or bludgeoned to death, sometimes sexually assaulted. Most of the victims were young women, although men and children were not excluded. This unassuming killer sent police friendly letters explaining where undiscovered corpses lie, even going so far as to draw them a map. His atrocities continued for 15 months totaling over 30 murders. Kurten told authorities he liked to kill, “the more people the better. Yes, if I had had the means of doing so, I would have killed whole masses of people — brought about catastrophes”. He prowled for victims nightly finding sexual gratification in the slayings. The one way he achieved the ultimate satisfaction in killing was to catch the blood spurting from a victim’s wounds in his mouth and swallow it. Hence, Peter Kurten became known as the Vampire of Dusseldorf. Kurten was guillotined in Cologne, Germany on July 2, 1931. In his last moments, he said he wondered if he would hear his own blood spurting after his neck was severed.

Arthur Shawcross

Arthur Shawcross (born June 6, 1945) is an American serial killer, also known as The Genesee River Killer. He claimed most of his victims after being paroled early following a conviction for murdering a child. He was born in Maine, but the family moved to Watertown in New York State when he was young. Shawcross dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and when he was 19 he enlisted in the army. He fought in the Vietnam War where he was to later confess he had murdered and cannibalized two young Vietnamese girls, although there is nothing to back up this claim.
Back in civilian life, living in Watertown once more, Shawcross married four times, but his wives invariably left him after a short time because of his violent and erratic behavior. It was there, in May 1972, that he murdered 10-year-old Jake Blake. He lured the boy to some woods where he assaulted and strangled him. Four months later, he raped and killed an eight-year-old girl named Karen Ann Hill. Arrested for these crimes, Shawcross confessed to both murders but was later able to obtain a plea bargain with the prosecutors. He would plead guilty to killing just Karen Ann Hill on a charge of manslaughter, instead of first-degree murder, and the charge of killing Jake Blake would be dropped. With little evidence to go on, prosecutors went along with this, and the self-confessed double child killer was given a 25-year sentence. Shawcross served 15 years before he was released on parole in March 1987. He had difficulty settling down as he was chased out of homes and fired from workplaces as soon as neighbors and employers found out about his criminal record. Eventually he settled in Rochester, New York, and lived with a woman named Clara. Starting in March 1988, Shawcross began murdering prostitutes in the area, claiming 11 victims before his capture less than two years later. They were usually strangled and battered to death, and were often mutilated as well. After the last victim’s body was found in January 1990, the police decided not to remove it and instead keep surveillance on the area, based on a psychological profile that suggested the killer would return to the scene. Shawcross was spotted masturbating as he sat in his car on a bridge over the creek in which the body of his final victim was floating. He was arrested and eventually confessed in custody.

Bobby Joe Long

Bobby Joe Long, a distant cousin of Henry Lee Lucas, viciously raped and murdered at least nine women from May 1984 to November 1984 in Tampa, Florida. He was born October 14, 1953, in Kenova, West Virginia. While he was quite young his mother left his father and took Bobby Joe to Tampa, Florida. They moved around Tampa frequently, staying with relatives or in rented rooms. He and his mother slept in the same bed until he was 13. His mother tended to be overly protective and dramatic, but still Bobby Joe Long managed to suffer a series of severe head injuries beginning at age five, when he was knocked unconscious in a fall from a swing and had one eyelid skewered by a stick. At 6 he was thrown from his bicycle, crashing headfirst into a parked car, with injuries including loss of several teeth and a severe concussion. At age 7, he fell from a pony onto his head and remained dizzy and nauseous for several weeks. He also seemed to have gotten into countless fist fights with relatives and classmates.
Between 1980 and 1983, Long terrorized the Florida communities of Miami, Ocala and Fort Lauderdale as the “Classified Ad Rapist,” preying on housewives in mid-day attacks. Dropping by while their husbands were working, Bobby Joe Long typically produced a knife, bound his victims, raped them violently, and robbed their homes before he fled. Between May and November 1984, Bobby Joe Long strangled, stabbed and shot at least nine victims, with a tenth suspected but never charged against him. In early November, he abducted a 17-year-old girl off the street and raped her, but let her live. Two days later he raped and killed one last victim, before being arrested and charged. The girl who had been spared was able to describe him and his car to police. He was sentenced to death for raping fifty women and killing nine.

Carl Panzram

Carl Panzram was one of America ‘s most ferocious, unrepentant serial killers. Embittered by years of torture, beatings and sexual abuse both in and out of prison, Panzram evolved into a man who was meanness personified. He hated everyone, including himself. “I was so full of hate that there was no room in me for such feelings as love, pity, kindness or honor or decency,” he said, “my only regret is that I wasn’t born dead or not at all.” He lived a nomadic existence, committing crimes in Europe, Scotland , the United States, South America and once killed six men in a day in Africa and fed their bodies to hungry crocodiles. In 1920, at the age of 29, Panzram committed his first murder, killing some sailors in New York he lured away from a bar, shooting them and dumping their remains into a river. Panzram also shot a man dead for trying to rob him. He later raped and killed two small boys, beating one to death with a rock and strangling the other with a belt.

Peter Sutcliffe

Beginning in July 1975 with his first attack, Sutcliffe killed thirteen women and left seven others for dead. The seven survivors were told how lucky they were, but with physical, emotional and psychological scars that would never completely heal, they didn’t feel very lucky. Some would even believe that they would have been better off if the man they had known for so long as The Ripper, had succeeded in killing them. Sutcliffe committed his first known assault in Keighley on the night of 5 July 1975. He attacked a 36 year old woman who was walking alone, striking her unconscious with a ball-pein hammer and slashing her stomach with a knife. Disturbed by a neighbor, he left without killing her.

Dennis Nilsen

Dennis Andrew Nilsen (born November 23, 1945) is a Scottish serial killer who lived in London. During a murderous spree lasting five years, he killed at least 15 men. Nilsen did not fit the standard profile of a serial killer. As a child he was repulsed by cruelty to animals. As an adult he worked to help the downtrodden at his job with the Manpower Service Commission. Even in his murders, Nilsen killed out of a grotesque form of love. He “killed for company.” Nilsen was a homosexual and experienced a series of failed relationships. In 1978, he picked up a boy in a pub and brought him back to his London apartment. Afraid the boy would leave him in the morning, Nilsen killed him in his sleep. He kept the body around his apartment for days, posing it bathing, eating dinner, watching T.V., sleeping in bed, and in other activities as though it was his boyfriend. This pattern continued, with Nilsen recruiting “companions” at local pubs, until a plumber found bones and rotten flesh in the apartment’s sewer system. Nilsen was sentenced to life in prison in 1983 after confessing to fifteen murders.

Fritz Haarmann

Haarmann had begun his crime rampage in September 1918, a time in which Germany was suffering economic depravation and severe food shortages. A young runaway by the name of Friedel Roth disappeared from home on the 25th, writing to his mother only to say that he would not return home until “she was nice again.” Various friends of the boy were forthcoming with information and eventually led the police to no.27 Cellerstrasse, the home of a man they claimed had seduced Friedel. A detective surprised one Fritz Haarmann in bed with a young boy and he was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment for seducing the juvenile. Unbelievably, the rooms were not searched and, upon interrogation five years later, Haarmann confessed that the “murdered boy’s head was stuffed behind the stove wrapped in newspaper.”

Gerard Schaefer

This homicidal Broward County, Florida, ex-policeman, though convicted in 1973 of only two mutilation murders, is believed to be responsible for at least thirty more killings. A sadistic sex-beast by nature, Schaefer would lure young women off the roads with the help of his badge to rape, torture, mutilate and murder. He enjoyed tying his victims to trees and leaving them there while he went to work as a police officer. Teeth, jewelry and clothing from several missing girls and young women were found in a trunk in his mother’s attic.

Today in History - 13 April 1984

Mass Murderer Wilder commits suicide

Christopher Wilder dies after a month-long crime spree involving at 11 young women who have disappeared or been killed. Police in New Hampshire attempted to apprehend Wilder, who was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, but Wilder apparently shot himself to death in a scuffle with state troopers to avoid capture.
Australian-born Wilder was a wealthy race-car driver who lived in an estate in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Authorities believe that Wilder began his kidnapping, rape, and murder spree on February 26 when Rosario Gonzales, a part-time model, disappeared. A week later, on March 5, Elizabeth Kenyon of Coral Gables also disappeared. When a private detective began looking into Kenyon's disappearance and interviewed Wilder, he suspected the man's involvement. However, before police could look any further into the matter, Wilder disappeared.

For a month, Wilder traveled across the country finding new victims. His typical method was to approach attractive young women in shopping malls with offers of modeling jobs.

After Wilder's death, the parents of Rosario Gonzales went to Wilder's estate to see if their missing daughter was buried there. Police arrested four members of the Gonzales family for trespassing. Later, the families of the victims filed claims totaling $50 million against Wilder's estate.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Join the giveaway!!!

For all of you who love reading crime novels but just like me can't always afford EVERY book that I want to read on all my "favorite" serial killers, I'm hosting a giveaway!!!

I'm going to be giving away a gift voucher from bookdepsitory, and I'm throwing in some bookmarks too!

Fill in this FORM and stand a chance to win...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book Review - Kay Scarpetta Series # 2: Body of Evidence

Book Review - Body of Evidence

Goodreads synopsis:
"From Edgar Award-winning author Patricia Cornwell comes the latest in the murder mystery tales of Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta. After months of menacing phone calls and a feeling that her every move is being watched, a terrifying message scratched into reclusive writer Beryl Madison's car forces her to flee. But the very night she returns home to Richmond, she deactivates her burglar alarm and opens the door -- to her murderer."

Barnes and Noble synopsis:
"A reclusive author, Beryl Madison finds no safe haven from months of menacing phone calls—or the tormented feeling that her every move is being watched. When the writer is found slain in her own home, Kay Scarpetta pieces together the intricate forensic evidence—while unwittingly edging closer to a killer waiting in the shadows."

I'll be honest, when I picked up this book from a Church sale last year for a very cheap price, I wasn't sure if I'd really read it. But then my Diabolical Challenge rolled around and I found myself having to read a book in a series and I thought well what the heck?

How glad was I that I read this! Now I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series to find out whats happend.

Dr Kay Scarpetta is the Chief Medical Examiner. When the body of Beryl Madison is found in her house, brutally stabed and nearly beheaded, Kay finds herself feeling very conected to this murder and she wants to find out who did this to Beryl, no matter what. She goes to great lenghts to find clues and answers, so much so that the killer starts stalking her.

The book reminded me alot of James Pattersons Womens Murder Club series, but its great having a female author write the female lead. Kay is smart and corageous, you really want her to find out what happens, you want her to be ok, you also want her to find love again. She's a great character.

The book gets slow at some points but it picks up pretty quickly. You also get to have some laughs in the book with Kay's "partner" (not really) Pete Marino who is a detective that works along with her. His a real tough guy and doesnt beat around the bush. He compliments her character well. You get to meet some other colourful characters along the way that makes the book a really interesting read.

Next up for me is Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta #1) and then All that remains (Kay Scarpetta #3).

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Release in SA - Killing Kebble

New Release - Killing Kebble

In September 2005, Brett Kebble, a prominent South African mining magnate, was killed on a quiet suburban street in Johannesburg in an apparent “assisted suicide”. The top-level investigation that followed was a tipping-point for democratic South Africa. It exposed the corrupt relationship between South Africa’s chief of police and Interpol president Jackie Selebi and his friend Glenn Agliotti, and revealed a shadowy underworld dominated by drug lords, steroid-fuelled bouncers, hitmen for hire, an international smuggling syndicate, a dubious security unit moonlighting for the police and sinister, self-serving sleuths abusing state agencies. It even cost the country’s most senior prosecutor his job.

Indemnified by an agreement struck with the state, Mikey Schulz, Nigel McGurk and Fiazal “Kappie” Smith come clean to Mandy Wiener in exclusive interviews about the chilling events leading up to the night Kebble was shot dead and the life paths of the “bungling assassins”. Glenn Agliotti, the man once accused of orchestrating the hit, has also provided Wiener with unlimited access to his story, as have other characters whose versions of the events are previously untold.

This true-crime tale is set against the fascinating background of political interference at the highest level, a bitter feud between two arms of the country’s law-enforcement authorities, a festering police service tainted by dirty cops and the shady relationships between the magnate and aspirant young political turks who were ready recipients of his largesse.

Killing Kebble is not the story of one murder. It’s a gritty, fast-paced chronicle of how one death blew the lid off Johannesburg’s underworld.

About the author
Mandy Wiener is an award-winning Eyewitness News reporter. She has been covering this gripping story for five years and has unrivaled access to the main role players  
Book Details

ISBN-13: 9781770101326
Format: Paperback
No of Pages: pp
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: April 2011
Country of publication: South Africa
Get this book here: