SERIAL KILLERS WHO GOT AWAY
By Jessica Robinson
According to the Radford University database, as of June 5, 2008, there were 1,877 known serial killers throughout time and across the world. Out of those, 26 have remained uncaptured and unidentified.
Between 1884 and 1885, Austin, Texas, was terrorized by a killer called the Servant Girl Annihilator or the Austin Axe Murderer. At least seven women, mostly servant girls, died at the hands of this killer. He would drag his victims from their beds and rape them before slashing or axing them to death. Several of his victims were stabbed by a spike in the ears or the face. Multiple individuals were arrested for the crimes, but no one was convicted. The last murders occurred on December 14, 1885, in downtown Austin when two wealthy white women, Eula Phillips and Sue Hancock, were killed. The Servant Girl Annihilator’s victims include: Mollie Smith, who was attacked on New Year’s Eve; Eliza Shelley, who was attacked on May 6, 1885; Irene Cross, who was attacked on May 23; Mary Ramey, 11, and her mother, Rebecca Ramey, who were attacked in August, Mary died but Rebecca survived; Gracie Vance, Orange Washington, Lucinda Boddy, and Patsie Gibson were all attacked on September 26, and Vance and Washington later died from their injuries; and Sue Hancock and Eula Phillips were attacked on separate incidents on Christmas Eve, 1885.
The crimes of the Servant Girl Annihilator were depicted in a novel by Steven Saylor, A Twist at the End, which was published in 2000. There has also been some speculation that this murderer and Jack the Ripper were the same person, which is explored in the book Jack the Ripper: The American Connection by Shirley Harrison.
Jack the Ripper was a serial killer who killed in and around Whitechapel, London, in 1888. His victims were prostitutes who were murdered by having their throats slashed. In three of his victims, he removed internal organs. The five victims that are ascribed to the Ripper include Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. Nichols’s body was discovered on August 31, 1888. Her throat had been severed by two deep cuts, and her lower abdomen was partly ripped open. Chapman’s body was found on September 8, 1888, in a doorway with her throat slit and her abdomen slashed entirely open. It was discovered later that her uterus had been removed. Stride and Eddowes were both killed on September 30, 1888. Stride was killed by one cut on the left side of her neck that severed her main artery, but there were no mutilations to her abdomen. It is theorized that the Ripper may have been interrupted during the murder, which might explain why he went after Eddowes. Her body was found 45 minutes after Strides, and her throat was cut and her abdomen was ripped open. Her left kidney and the major part of her uterus had been removed. Kelly’s body was found in her room on November 9, 1888. Her throat had been cut down to her spine, and almost all of her organs were removed. The majority of her organs were strewn about the room. The only one investigators couldn’t find was her heart.
Kelly is believed to have been the Ripper’s final victim, but there are other murders that might be ascribed to him. Since he was never caught, it is difficult to ascertain exactly how many women he killed. There were a lot of suspects in the Jack the Ripper case, including doctors, butchers, and people in the royal family. To date, there are over 100 suspects. He has influenced popular culture through books and movies, and he was the first serial killer to create a world-wide media frenzy.
The Axeman of New Orleans was active in New Orleans and surrounding communities from May 1918 to October 1919. As the name implies, the victims were attacked with an axe while in their homes. Not all of the victims died, but the randomness and violence of the acts terrorized much of the populace. According to reports, the Axeman drew inspiration from Jack the Ripper. He, or someone claiming to be the Axeman, would write taunting letters to the local newspapers and claimed to be a supernatural demon “from Hell.” The most famous letter supposedly from the Axeman was written on March 13, 1919. He claimed that he would kill at 12:15 am on March 19, but would spare the lives of anyone who was at any place where a jazz band was playing. On the night of March 19, all of New Orleans’s dance halls were filled to capacity, and professional and amateur jazz bands played at parties in hundred of houses around town. True to his word, the Axeman did not murder anyone that night.
The victims of the Axeman included Joseph and Cather Maggio, who were attacked on May 22, 1918. Joseph survived the initial attack, but died several minutes after he was discovered by his brothers. Catherine had several blows inflicted to her head, and her throat was cut so deep that her head was nearly severed. Louis Besumer and Anna Lowe were attacked on June 6, 1918. Louis was critically injured but survived, while Anna died a few hours later in the hospital. Mrs. Schnieder was attacked on August 5, 1918. She was 8 months pregnant at the time, and woke to find a dark figure standing over her. She was bashed in the face repeatedly with an axe. Her husband discovered her when he returned from work, and she was treated for her wounds at Charity Hospital. Three weeks after the attack, she delivered a healthy baby girl. Joseph Romano was attacked on August 10, 1918, and died from his wounds. Charles, Rosie, and Mary Cortimiglia were attacked on March 10, 1919. Mary was the 2-year old daughter of Charlie and Rosie, and she had been sleeping in her mother’s arms when they were attacked. Roise survived, but the other two were killed. Steve Boca was attacked on August 10, 1919, but he survived his wounds. Sarah Laumann was attacked on September 3, 1919, and died later that night at the hospital. The last victim was Mike Pepitone, who was attacked on October 27, 1919. He was taken to Charity Hospital where he died early the next morning.
In the 1930s, Cleveland, Ohio, was harassed by the Cleveland Torso Murderer, who was also known as the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run. This murderer is credited with 12 victims, although recent research shows that there might be more. The victims were usually drifters whose identities were never determined. Although, two of the victims were identified as Edward Andrassy and Flo Polillo. The victims came from lower class society and lived in the ramshackle shanty towns known as Cleveland Flats. The Torso Murderer always beheaded his victims, often dismembering them. The majority of the male victims were also castrated, and some of the bodies showed evidence of a chemical treatment being applied. Since most of the heads of the victims could not be found, this made identification nearly impossible.
There are two main suspects associated with the Torso murders. They include Frank Dolezal, who was arrested on August 24, 1939, as a suspect in Florence Polillo’s murder. Unfortunately, he died under suspicious circumstances in the Cuyahoga County jail. It was later discovered that he had suffered six broken ribs. The other suspect was Dr. Francis E. Sweeney, who voluntarily entered an institution shortly after the last official murderers. Sweeney was interviewed, and the police were sure they had their man, but there was little hope of obtaining a successful prosecution because he was the first cousin of a prominent congressman.
The Phantom Killer, also known as the Texarkana Phantom and the Moonlight Murderer, killed in Texarkana, Texas, between February 23 and May 4, 1946. This killer attacked victims in their cars while they were parked on secluded roads. Jimmy Hollis and his girlfriend, Mary Jeanne Larey, were parked on a secluded road outside Texarkana on February 23 when a man armed with a handgun forced them out of the car and pistol whipped Hollis. He then sexually assaulted Larey with the gun. He fled the scene when he was spooked by the headlights of an approaching car. Both victims survived. They described their assailant as a man about 6 feet tall wearing a mask. On March 23, Richard Griffin and Polly Ann Moor were murdered in his car while they were parked on a rural county road. Both had been shot in the back of the head by a .32-caliber revolver. On April 14, Paul Martin and Betty Jo Booker were killed in Texarkana’s Spring Lake Park. Martin’s body was found 1.5 miles from his car, and Booker’s body was found 2 miles from the car.
They only major suspect in the case was Youell Swinney, a car thief with a record of counterfeiting, burglary, and assault. He was arrested in Texarkana in July 1946. His wife claimed that he was the Phantom and that she had been with him when he committed the murders. However, she kept changing the details of the killings, making her an unreliable witness, so the charges never stuck. He was convicted of car theft and, because he was a repeat offender, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1947. Although, in 1970, Swinney petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus because he was never provided with an attorney at his trial in 1947. His conviction was overturned, and he was set free in 1974. He died in 1994, and the case of the Phantom was never solved.
Jack the Stripper killed six prostitutes in London between 1964 and 1965. His victims were killed by asphyxiation, strangulation, or drowning. They were all found almost completely nude, with the exception of their stockings. The confirmed victims include Hannah Tailford, Irene Lockwood, Helene Barthelemy, Mary Flemming, Margaret McGowan, and Bridget O’Hara.
Scotland Yard interviewed almost 7,000 suspects in this case. Their favorite was a Scottish security guard named Mungo Ireland, who became a suspect after Bridget O’Hara’s murder. During the investigation, flecks of paint were found on O’Hara’s body that traced back to the company Ireland worked at as a security guard. Shortly after the connection, Ireland committed suicide. Later research has suggested that Ireland was in Scotland when O’Hara was murdered, making it impossible for him to be Jack the Stripper.
Bible John supposedly killed three women in the 1960s in Glasgow, Scotland. On February 23, 1968, Patricia Docker was found in a Glasgow doorway, having been strangled. On August 16, 1969, Jemima McDonald was found strangled with her own stockings, and on October 31, 1969, Helen Puttock was found strangled. All of the victims had been picked up from dance clubs, and both McDonald and Puttock were last seen at the Barrowland Ballroom.
On May 4, 2007, Peter Tobin was convicted of murdering Angelika Kluk, who had been killed in a similar manner as the other women, leading to speculation that he is Bible John. In 2008, he was convicted of the murder of Vicky Hamilton, and on December 16, 2009, he was convicted of the murder of Dinah McNicol. In an interview, Tobin admitted that he had killed up to 48 other women, but authorities have yet to prove that he is Bible John.
The Zodiac Killer murdered victims in northern California in the late 1960s. The killings occurred in Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1958 and October 1969. He killed four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29. Even though letters from the Zodiac Killer claims he killed 37 people, investigators can only confirm seven, two of whom survived. The victims include David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, who were shot and killed on December 20, 1968; Michael Mageau, who survived, and Darlene Ferrin, who were shot on July 4, 1969; Bryan Hartnell, who survived six stab wounds, and Ceclia Shepard, were stabbed on September 27, 1969; and Paul Stine, who was shot and killed on October 11, 1969.
Like several killers before him, the Zodiac Killer liked to taunt the police with letters and cryptic messages. On August 1, 1969, the Vallejo Times-Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Francisco Examiner received the first letters from the murderer. In his letters, he included cryptograms that supposedly held the key to his identity, but three of the cryptograms have never been solved.
Arthur Leigh Allen was the main suspect and the only suspected served search warrants by the police. He was never charged with the Zodiac crimes, and he continuously denied his involvement. In 2002, the San Francisco Police Department submitted DNA evidence from the Zodiac’s letter for analysis. The partial genetic profile seems to have conclusively ruled out Arthur Leigh Allen as a suspect. In 2007, Jack Tarrance’s stepson claimed that his stepdad was the killer, and in 2009, Deborah Perez claimed that her father was the Zodiac. Although the case is still open in Napa County and Riverside and the Vallejo Police Department maintains a link for Zodiac crime tips on their website, no convictions have been made.
The Freeway Phantom abducted, raped, and strangled six females in Watshington, D.C. from April 1971 to September 1972. All of the victims were African-American and between the ages of 10 and 18. The first victim was Carol Spinks. On April 25, 1971, she had been sent to the 7-Eleven to buy groceries. On her way home, she was abducted, and her body was found six days later on an embankment next to the northbound lanes of I-295. On July 8, 1971, Darlenia Johnson was abducted on her way to work. Her body was found 11 days later, 15 feet from where Spinks was found. On July 27, 1971, Brenda Crockett never returned home after being sent to the store by her mother. She made several calls home, more than likely at the request of the kidnapper, and her body was found a few hours after the last call. She had been dumped in a conspicuous location on Route 50 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. On October 1, 1971, Nenomoshia Yates was kidnapped while walking home from a Safeway store. Her body was found within a few hours, off the shoulder of Pennsylvania Avenue in Prince George’s County. On November 15, 1971, Brenda Woodward boarded a bus to return home. Six hours later, a police officer discovered her stabbed and strangled body in a grassy area near the on-ramp to Route 202 from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The killer had placed a coat over her chest, and in one of its pockets he placed a note. The Freeway Phantom’s final victim was found on September 5, 1972. Diane Williams was last seen boarding a bus, and her body was discovered a short time later, strangled and dumped alongside I 295.
More than a 100 potential suspects were questioned about the murders, and background checks were performed on teachers, convicted sex offenders, and other persons of interest, all to no avail. In March 1977, Robert E. Askins was charged with abducting and raping a 24-year old woman. When he was interviewed, detectives learned that Askins had been charged with murder on three previous occasions. Although his home was searched, investigators could find no evidence that linked him to the Freeway Phantom murders. He is currently serving a life sentence for two abductions and rapes that were committed in the 1970s. Askins has been asked about the Freeway Phantom killings, and he denies any role in them.
The Alphabet Killer, also known as the Double Initial Killer, killed three young girls in the Rochester, New York, area in the early 1970s. The murderer got his name because the victim’s names started with the same letter, and their bodies were found in towns that also began with the same letter as the victim’s names. The victims included Carmen Colon, who disappeared on November 16, 1971, and was found two days later in Churchville; Wanda Walkowicz, who disappeared on April 2, 1973, and was found the next day at a rest area in Webster; and Michelle Maenza, who disappeared November 26, 1973, and was found two days later in Macedon. All three victims had been raped and strangled.
Hundreds of suspects were questioned by police, but the murderer was never caught. Kenneth Bianchi, who was one of the Hillside Stranglers, was a suspect, but he was never charged. He has denied any connections with the Alphabet Murderer, and he has tried repeatedly to have investigators clear him from suspicion.
The Doodler, also known as the Black Doodler, is believed to be responsible for the slayings of 14 men and assaults on three others in San Francisco’s gay community between January 1974 and September 1974. He received his nickname because he would sketch his victims before having sex with them and then stabbing them to death. The Doodler picked up his victims at after-hours gay clubs, bars, and restaurants. Even though the police had a suspect, they couldn’t make the conviction stick because the two survivors who had identified him refused to testify. The suspect has never been named publicly or apprehended, and the case and slayings have faded into obscurity.
The Oakland County Child Killer murdered four, possibly more, children in Oakland County, Michigan, in 1976 and 1977. Four children were abducted and murdered in 13 months, and their bodies were left in various locations around the county. All of the victims were discovered in snow banks and were fully dressed in the clothes they disappeared in. It is believed that each child was held from 4 to 19 days before being murdered. On February 19, 1976, Mark Stebbins’s body was found in the parking lot of an office building. He had been strangled and sexually assaulted, and there were rope marks on his wrist. On December 26, 1976, Jill Robinson’s body was found along I-75 near Big Beaver Road in Troy. She had been killed by a shotgun blast to the face. Along with her clothes, she was also wearing her backpack. Kristine Mihelich disappeared on January 2, 1977, and her body was found 19 days later. She had been smothered. On March 22, 1977, the body of Timothy King was found in a shallow ditch alongside Gill Road. He had been suffocated and sexually assaulted.
The main suspect in the case was Ted Lamborgine, who was arrested in Parma Heights, Ohio, on suspicion of being involved with a child porn ring in the 1970s. Lamborgine pleaded guilty to 15 sex-related counts involving young boys. He was given the opportunity to plea bargain if he would take a polygraph test on the Oakland County child killings. He refused. Lamborgine has never been charged with the Oakland Country murders, and no other suspects have been named.
The Connecticut River Valley Killer was active in and around Claremont, New Hampshire, and the Connecticut River Valley in the 1980s. He is credited with the murder of seven victims. The majority of his victims had been stabbed to death. They include Cathy Millican, who was stabbed at least 29 times; Mary Elizabeth Critchley, who’s manner of death has not been disclosed; Bernice Courtemanche, who had evidence of knife wounds to her neck; Ellen Fried, who died from multiple stab wounds; Eva Morse, who also died from knife wounds to the neck; Lynda Moore, who was killed while doing yard work outside her home, exhibited multiple stab wounds; and Barbara Agnew, again stabbed to death. One woman was able to survive an attack from the Connecticut River Valley Killer, though she didn’t come away unscathed. Jane Boroski was seven months pregnant when she was attacked in her car. She was able to make it to a friends house, who called for help, and when she made it to the hospital, she suffered from a severed jugular vein, two collapsed lungs, a kidney laceration, and severed tendons in her knees and thumb. Boroski’s baby also survived, though she was later diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy.
The police had two composite sketches of the assailant, created a task force, and had assistance from criminal profiler John Philpin, but they never made a conviction. The main suspects included Delbert Tallman, who confessed to the murder of Heidi Martin, but later recanted his confession. At one time, Tallman used to live in an area that was close to where the Connecticut River Valley killings occurred, but there is no evidence that links him to the killings of the Connecticut River Valley killer. In 1996, he was convicted on two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. Currently, he is serving time in Lake County, Florida, for failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements.
Another suspect in the case was Michael Nicholaou. Despite a rocky past, turbulent marriage, a murder-suicide with his second wife and step-daughter, and conviction for obscenity, there is nothing that concretely links him to the killings. In October 1997, Gary Westover purportedly told his uncle, a retired sheriff’s deputy, that three of his friends picked him up in 1987 for a night on the town and proceeded to abduct, murder, and dump the body of Barbara Agnew. Despite some effort on the part of Westover’s uncle, nothing ever came of the situation, and Westover died in 1998. His uncle died in 2006.
The Goleta Murders, which occurred in 1979 and 1981, were a series of three home invasions. In two of the attacks, the victims were murdered, but in the first attack, which occurred on October 1, 1979, the victims escaped. In the first invasion, the attacker broke into the victims’ house, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, and threatened the victims. He tied them to a chair, then left them alone (to do what is unknown), but his absence allowed them to escape. Since both victims ran separate ways and he couldn’t pursue them both, he abandoned his attacked and fled. The second attack occurred on December 30, 1979, a few blocks from where the first attack occurred. The attacker entered the condominium of Dr. Robert Offerman, who had his girlfriend, Debra Manning, staying with him. They were bound while still in bed, then shot. The third attack took place on July 26/27, 1981, several blocks south of the second attack. The victims in this attack were Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez, who were both bludgeoned to death. Sanchez was also shot. The attacker brought a dog with him on the second and third attack. The three crimes were linked by physical evidence, including footprints, a roll of twine that was used to bind the victims (it the same type of twine in the first and second attacks), and the second the third crimes were linked by the footprints of the dog. There were no suspects, and no one was arrested in connection with the crimes.
The Original Night Stalker killed at least six people in Southern California from 1979 to 1986 and sexually assaulted at least 50 from June 1976 to July 1979. This killer would stalk middle-class neighborhoods, looking for victims living in single-story homes. Early in his career, he would seek out women who lived by themselves, but then he focused on couples. He would enter the homes late at night, controlling the victims with a handgun. He tied his victims up, and if a male was present, the killer would bludgeon him to death. He then sexually assaulted the female before bludgeoning her to death. On March 13, 1980, Charlene and Lyman Smith were found beaten to death with a log from their fireplace. Their wrists and ankles had been bound with a drapery cord. On August 19, 1980, Keith and Patrice Harrington were found dead. There was evidence that their wrists and ankles had been bound, but investigators did not find ligatures or a murder weapon. On February 5, 1981, Manuela Witthuhn was killed. Again, no ligatures or weapon were found at the scene. On May 4, 1986, Janelle Lisa Cruz was found in dead in her home. Her stepfather reported that a pipe wrench was missing, and investigators believe that was the murder weapon.
The Original Night Stalker is also known as the East Area Rapist, and DNA evidence links his crimes to rapes that were committed in Sacramento and Contra Costa counties, California. Although, it wasn’t until 2001 that the link between the two was made.
Three men were suspected of the crimes, but none of them were charged. The first was Brett Glasby, who was an alleged drug dealer and gangbanger from Goleta, California. He was killed in Mexico in 1982, which happened before the murder of Jannelle Cruz, so he was eliminated as a suspect. Paul Schneider, who was a high-ranking member of the Aryan Brotherhood, was a career criminal who lived in Orange County. While in prison, he provided a sample of his DNA, which cleared him as a suspect. Joe Alsip, who was a business partner and friend of Lyman Smith, had visited the Smith’s the day before their murder. According to Alsip’s pastor, he confessed to the crimes, and he was arraigned for the murders in 1982. All of the charges against him were dropped after the preliminary hearing.
The Grim Sleeper is believed to be responsible for 13 murders and one attempted murder in the Los Angeles area. The murders originally began in 1985, with the latest known victim found in 2007. He is described as a black male who drives an orange Ford Pinto with a white racing stripe on the hood. The victims include Debra Jackson, Henrietta Wright, Thomas Steele, Barbara Ware, Bernita Sparks, Mary Lowe, Lachrica Jefferson, Alicia Monique Alexander, an unidentified female, Princess Berthomieux, Valerie McCorvey, and Janecia Peters.
The Frankford Slasher killed between eight and nine victims in the neighborhood of Frankford in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All of the victims were sexually assaulted before being stabbed to death. The victims include Helen Patent, who was killed on August 19, 1985; Anna Carroll, killed January 3, 1986; Susan Olszef, killed December 25, 1986; Jeanne Durkin, killed January 8, 1987; Catherine Jones, killed January 1987; Margaret Vaughan, killed Novermber 11, 1988; Theresa Sciortino, killed January 19, 1989; Carol Dowd, killed April 29, 1990; and Michelle Dehner, killed September 6, 1990. In the case of Carol Dowd, Leonard Christopher, who was an employee at a nearby fish market, was the prime suspect. Even though he didn’t match the witnesses’ description of the killer and there was little evidence linking him to Dowd’s death and no evidence linking him to the other eight murders, he was convicted of Dowd’s murder on December 12, 1990. No other suspects have been arrested in connection with the other murders.
The Colonial Parkway Killer is believed to have murdered eight people along the Colonial Parkway in Virginia between 1986 and 1989. The first victims were Cathleen Thomas and Rebecca Dowski. Their bodies were found inside their car on October 12, 1986. The autopsy revealed that they had rope burns on their necks and wrists, there were signs of strangulation, and their throats had been cut. There was no indication of sexual assault or signs of a struggle, and their purses and money were found in the car, ruling out the possibility of a robbery. The bodies of David Knobling and Robin Edwards were found in September 1987 in the Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge. Cassandra Hailey and Richard Call were reported missing on April 9, 1988, and Call’s vehicle was found on the Colonial Parkway the next day. Authorities have not found their bodies, but they are presumed dead. A hunter found the bodies of Anna Marie Phelps and Daniel Lauer in October 1989. There have been no suspects in the case, although it is believed the killer might be a law enforcement officer (or perhaps someone impersonating one) or even a rogue operative from the CIA (there is a training facility located near the area where the murders occurred). Some investigators believe that the killings might have been committed by a team.
In 1986 and 1991, 10 women were found bound, raped, and murdered in South Korea. The Hwaseong serial murders are the most famous murders in the modern history of the country, but little information is available in the U.S.
The North Side Strangler is responsible for the death of at least seven prostitutes and runaway girls in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, between 1986 and 2007. The victims include Deborah Harris, who was killed October 10, 1986; Tanya Miller, killed October 11, 1986; Sheila Farrior, killed June 27, 1995; Florence McCormick, killed in April 1995; Jessica Payne, killed August 30, 1995; Joyce Mims, killed June 20, 1997; and Quithreaun Stokes, killed April 27, 2007. Most of the victims were strangled, with the exception of Jessica Payne, who had her throat cut (there is some argument on whether or not this victim was killed by the Strangler, especially since it doesn’t fit his MO). On September 7, 2009, Walter Ellis was arrested on suspicion of being the serial killer. He had been arrested 12 times between 1981 and 1998. The Milwaukee County DA’s office has filed five murder charges against Ellis, who has previously been charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide. His bail has been set at $1 million.
The New Bedford Highway Killer killed between July 1988 and June 1989 and is responsible for killing nine women and the disappearance of two others. His victims were prostitutes or substance abusers, and inlcuded Debra Madeiros, who’s body was found on July 2, 1988, by a motorist on the Massachusetts Route 140 exit ramp; Nancy Pavia, who was discovered on July 30, 1988, near an I-195 exit ramp; Deborah DeMello was discovered on July 11, 1988, near where Pavia had been dumped; Dawn Mendes was found on November 11 by a road crew working on I-195; Deborah McConnell was found on December 1, 1988; Rochelle Clifford was found on December 10, 1988, by hunters in a rock quarry; Robin Rhodes was found on March 28, 1989, directly across the highway from where Madeiros was been found; Mary Rose Santos was discovered on March 20, 1989, on Route 88; and Sandy Botelho was found on April 24, 1989, along I-195. Christine Moneiro and Marilyn Roberts went missing in May and June, respectively, of 1988. Neither of them have been seen since. Investigators believe that their disappearance is linked to the other homicides because of the area they went missing from and their lifestyles.
Two men were suspected in the murders, Anthony DeGrazia and Kenneth Ponte, but no evidence has linked either one of them to the crimes.
The Stoneman killed homeless ragpickers and beggars in Kolkata during a 6-month stretch in 1989. He is credited with killing 13 people. His MO included finding an unsuspecting, sleeping victim and crushing their head with a large stone. The murders first began in Mumbai in 1985 and lasted for over 2 years. In the summer of 1989, there were 13 victims killed in the same manner in Calcutta. In 2008, similar murders were reported in Assam. It is unknown if all of these murders were perpetrated by one individual or a group of individuals. There is also some speculation that the later murders could be done by a copycat. Without suspects, it is difficult to understand motive.
The Lisbon Ripper killed three women between 1992 and 1993 in Lisbon, Portugal. The victims were opened by a sharp object, although evidence suggests it was not a knife, and the majority of their internal organs were removed. The victims were Maria Valentina, who was found on July 31, 1992; Maria Fernanda, who was found on January 21, 1993; and Maria Joao, who was discovered on March 15, 1993. The victims were all young brunettes named Maria. Supposedly, they were prostitutes and drug addicts. While the police had some suspects, no one was ever charged with the crimes. There were four similar murders in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Belgium, but no one was ever convicted.
The Claremont Serial Killer is responsible for the death of two Australian women and the disappearance of a third in 1996 and 1997. Claremont is a wealthy suburb of Perth. The first victim was Sarah Spiers. She left a nightclub on January 26, 1996, and called a taxi from a pay phone. When the taxi arrived, the driver reported that she wasn’t there, and no one knows her whereabouts. On June 9, 1996, Jane Rimmer disappeared from the same area. Her body was found in August 1996. Ciara Glennon disappeared on March 14, 1997, and her body was discovered on April 3. The Western Australian Police created a special task force to focus on the case. Despite several persons of interest, no one has been convicted of the crimes.
The Daytona Beach Killer murdered four women between 2005 and 2007. It is assumed that all of the women were prostitutes. Laquetta Gunther was found on December 26, 2005, in an alley and had been shot in the head; Julie Green was found on January 14, 2006, and she also had been shot; Iwana Patton was discovered on February 24, 2006; and Stacey Gage was found on January 3, 2008. The police believe that Gage was murdered on December 11, 2007, and even though her death has not been officially connected to the other murders, the circumstances are very similar. The Daytona Beach Police Department believes that the suspect is a white male with a girlfriend, and they are taking DNA samples from motorists that fit the profile. So far, no suspects have turned up.
The Beer Man murdered seven people in Mumbai between October 2006 and January 2007. The only thing that linked the deaths to each other were the beer bottles that were left next to each body. In January 2008, Indian Ravindra Kantrole was convicted of one of the murders. He was charged with two other murders, but later cleared of any involvement. In September 2009, Kantrole was acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Why these killers stopped killing remains to speculation. Many postulate that they may have been arrested and incarcerated on different charges, that they were hospitalized in a mental institution, that they died, or that they changed their MO. It is possible, also, that these killers might have grown weary of killing and just quit. Until they are captured and questioned, their motives will remain a mystery.