Archive for November, 2010

Serial Killers – The Psychopathic Type – Documentary

A video documentary that looks at psychopaths. Not all are serial killers.
1 in every 100 person is a psychopath by some studies. (Other studies vary by only small amounts.)
All serial killers are psychopaths though.
Smart, charming, usually decent looking.
Conceited, arrogant, callous, egocentric and grandiose. (Though they hide all this pretty well.)
Usually other people are almost drawn to them, they like them, they trust them.
They are not mentally ill.
They were not abused.
They do not have brain damage.
They do not process emotional information the way everyone else does.
There is a lack of fear, a lack of inhibition.
They are cold blooded and fearless, blind to the emotions to others.

This documentary has some suggestions, ideas, insights.
There may be something different in their ‘wiring’. ?
Not answers, not cures, but maybe something like understanding. ?
Even brain scans can give hints, but as the doctor CLEARLY shows, not absolutes.

Ted Bundy, Jim Jones, Ian Bradley, Dennis Rader (BTK) are looked at.

Part 2

Thank you Jesusmalaark for finding this and so many other videos.

Clifford R Olson to appear before parole board

Full article here.

“He reminds me of the character in the film – Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lecter is a fictitious character, but Clifford Olson is very real,” said Sharon Rosenfeldt, the mother of 16-year-old Daryn Todd Johnsrude, one of 11 children and teenagers murdered by Olson in British Columbia between November 1980 and July 1981. The victims – eight girls between 12 and 18 years old and three boys between 10 and 16 – were tortured and sexually assaulted before Olson murdered them.

On Tuesday, Rosenfeldt and several other relatives of the 11 youngsters Olson murdered are expected to attend his parole hearing at the Special Handling Unit in Ste. Anne des Plaines, a so-called super-maximum penitentiary, 30 kilometres north of Montreal. He was transferred to the penitentiary in June 1997 after it became apparent Olson, now 70, planned to escape from a penitentiary in Kingston.

It will be Olson’s second attempt at a release. He was denied both day and full parole in July 2006 after a bizarre hearing where he spewed out a series of wild lies and told the parole board members listening to his case that he didn’t care what they thought of him.

The board was also presented with a series of negative psychiatric evaluations, including one prepared in 1997 that described Olson as “the quintessential psychopath, showing the ultimate moral alienation.” Olson refused to participate in other evaluations following that one.

Three relatives read victim-impact statements during the 2006 hearing and audio recordings from others were played for the board. All described how Olson ruined many lives. But Olson showed no sign of remorse and Rosenfeldt said she doesn’t expect to find any this time around.

“It’s probably going to be the same. He is a narcissistic psychopath who takes great joy at being the centre of attention,” said Rosenfeldt, who will read a victim-impact statement on Tuesday. “I don’t have to be at the hearing. But I definitely will be there. The only reason is to give a face to my son. His life was taken from him.”

“I will attend every two years until either he dies or I do,” she said.”

Read more

Video about Clifford Olson’s crimes.

<img src="serial killer,child killer,canada” alt=”Clifford Olson and Victims” />

Olson was in the news not too long ago over the fact that he was still getting federal money meant for seniors to live on. He is prison, all his needs are already paid for.

A bill that was crafted after the government learned that serial killer Clifford Olson is receiving federal seniors’ benefits is on its way to the Senate for final approval after it was unanimously passed in the House of Commons.

The proposed legislation would strip incarcerated seniors of their old-age supplements, affecting about 400 inmates serving terms of two years or more.

Olson has said he would sue the government if the bill passes.

The proposed legislation cleared the Commons on approval of all parties, less than six months after it was introduced by Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, who said that paying benefits to imprisoned seniors was “offensive and outrageous.”

Read more here

Video about the financial situation.

Gaynor admits to another murder.

Alfred J. Gaynor now stands convicted of killing eight women in the 1990s, making him one of the most notorious serial killers in Massachusetts history, a prosecutor says.

Gaynor pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Hampden Superior Court to charges for the April 1995 slaying of 34-year-old Vera Hallums. His guilty plea comes a month after Gaynor, convicted by a jury in 2000 of killing four Springfield women, admitted he also killed three others.

Judge Peter A. Velis sentenced the now-45-year-old Gaynor to a life sentence in the case of Hallums, a woman at whose apartment he had sought a place to sleep before strangling her to death and leaving her body undiscovered for days.

Assistant district attorney Carmen W. Picknally told the court it was most important for the prosecution and for Gaynor’s victims’ families that Gaynor die in prison and never see the light of day again. First-degree murder convictions carry a mandatory life sentence to state prison with no possibility of parole; following his jury conviction in 2000, four consecutive life sentences were imposed for Gaynor.

Picknally said he believes Gaynor is now convicted of the most deaths of any serial killer in Bay State history. While there are organized crime figures who have admitted to a number of killings, those slayings are considered to be in a different class than serial killing, the prosecutor said.

“It’s a sad occasion for the family to have to relive the torment of 15 years ago,” Picknally said of Hallums’ family.

The victim’s daughter, Oletha Wells, 40, gave a victim-impact statement in the courtroom and spoke to reporters after the plea hearing.

“Well we’re still depressed about it, and (this) has not given us any relief whatsoever. If anything it made things worse. We’re not happy about this whole situation and we really don’t have any understanding of why he did it,” she said.

“I mean my mother, she was a good woman, did the best she could to raise us and for somebody to take her life like an animal it’s just not good at all,” Wells said.

This guilty plea and the others from last month for the 1997 rapes and murders of Jill Ann Ermellini, Yvette Torres and Robin Atkins will gain him no more time in prison. Concurrent life terms were imposed by the judge on the latest cases to be resolved.

In describing the circumstances of Hallums’ death, Picknally told the judge police were called to the woman’s Leland Drive apartment on April 20, 1995, and found she had been dead for several days. Her hands were bound behind her back, and she had multiple skull fractures, according to the prosecutor.

In a confession to investigators last month, Gaynor told authorities that he had walked to Hallums’ home and asked to sleep on her living-room floor, Picknally said Gaynor entered her room, tried to wake her and then struck her several times over the head with a kitchen pot to make her unconscious so he could rape her, according to the prosecutor.

Gaynor cut cords from appliances to tie her hands, he told authorities, and secured it around her neck in a way that would increase pressure on her neck as her hands moved, Picknally said. While Gaynor said he had planned to sexually assault Hallums, the woman died of strangulation before a sexual attack occurred. He then stole a ring and left, Picknally said..

Gaynor, represented by lawyer Peter L. Ettenberg, has yet to indicted on charges for the 1996 deaths of Amy Smith and her 22-month-old daughter, Destiny. He has, however, also confessed to those crimes, according to District Attorney William M. Bennett. Picknally had no comment on the status of additional indictments.

Smith, beaten and choked, died of asphyxiation in her Dwight Street Extension apartment in June 1996, and her daughter was left to die of starvation and dehydration before anyone discovered her mother’s body.

It was the prosecution of Gaynor’s nephew, Paul L. Fickling, which precipitated the plea negotiations that resulted in Gaynor’s new admissions. Gaynor in 2008 provided a jailhouse confession to the Smith deaths which led to the granting of a new trial for Fickling. Fickling in October, on the eve of his new trial, pleaded guilty to reduced charges of manslaughter in the deaths of Smith and her daughter.

Fickling had been convicted by a jury in 1998 of first-degree murder in the deaths of the mother and child, but sought a new trial on the basis of Gaynor’s confession that he had acted alone.

In the Smith case, Gaynor has said he bound the woman’s hands, shoved a sock in her mouth and left her body in a closet, according to the district attorney.

Fickling, who, like his uncle, had been serving a life sentence, was sentenced to a 19- to 20-year state prison term, of which he has already served 14.

Gaynor was convicted at trial in 2000 for the murders of JoAnn C. Thomas, Loretta Daniels, Rosemary A. Downs and Joyce L. Dickerson-Peay.

Did Gaynor really kill Smith or is he covering for his nephew?

NORTHAMPTON – A judge ordered Tuesday that Paul L. Fickling be transferred from state prison to the Hampden County House of Correction while the court determines whether he will receive a new trial.

Fickling, 31, is serving a life sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley for killing 20-year-old Amy L. Smith and her 22-month-old daughter, Destiny, in 1996.

Fickling’s uncle, Alfred L. Gaynor, recently claimed to have committed those murders. Gaynor, 41, is already serving consecutive life sentences for the rapes and murders of four other women.

Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett, Assistant District Attorney Marcia B. Julian and defense lawyer Greg T. Schubert went into chambers in Hampshire Superior Court with Judge Mary-Lou Rup for about half an hour Tuesday.

When they emerged, Rup announced that Fickling would be transferred by mutual agreement. She continued the matter to Dec. 17, at which time the court might question Fickling to see if he will waive a possible conflict of interest with an expert witness for the defense. Rup did not identify the witness and the lawyers all declined to comment further outside the courtroom.

The deaths of Smith and her daughter shocked the city of Springfield. Her nude body was found in a closet, her hands bound and an undergarment stuffed in her mouth. By the time Smith’s body was discovered in her Dwight Street Extension apartment, her daughter had died of starvation and dehydration. Fickling was Smith’s former boyfriend.

Bennett has expressed skepticism, about Gaynor’s confession, which was dated Sept. 26, but has pledged to review the evidence. Gaynor was convicted in 2000 for killing JoAnn C. Thomas, Loretta Daniels, Rosemary A. Downs and Joyce L. Dickerson-Peay between Nov. 1, 1997 and early 1998.

Video and more here.

Serial killer series prompts police to re-open investigations

Police in Ohio and Indiana have launched new murder investigations after a Scripps Howard News Service investigation revealed dozens of clusters of unsolved killings of women nationwide that are likely the work of serial killers. Also, authorities in Nevada acknowledge they are hunting a serial killer, although the public has not been told that the unsolved murders of up to seven women are connected. Through analysis of over 525,000 murders in America, Thomas Hargrove created a database that crime experts say is the most complete accounting of homicide victims ever assembled in the United States. Using the Freedom of Information Act, Hargrove obtained details about 15,000 murders never reported to the FBI. Hargrove also created a Serial Killer Detector, a computer algorithm that flags potential serial killings. Using the Detector, readers and viewers can sort through a database of 185,000 unsolved murders to determine for themselves if serial killers are at work in their communities.


This is the site for the Serial Killer Detector from Scripps News.

I am a bit skeptical about the SK Detector. I think intentions are good but I wonder how much can really be gained. I have to admit that I do not know enough about computer programs to really know how useful it could / will be.
According to this it has already helped maybe.
I tried to get results for New Orleans and it was confusing at best.

Serial killers may be responsible for unsolved murders in the Bay Area

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – 35 years after the terrible fact, Nancy Kehoe of Pinellas Park still wonders and grieves over the abduction and murder of her 19-year-old daughter Cynthia.

“She had a lot of plans, a lot going on at that time,” says Kehoe, struggling to finish the sentence.

As a new employee at the Lil’ General convenience store on 54th Avenue in Pinellas park, 19-year-old Cynthia Clements was working the overnight shift alone. Pinellas County detectives believe that on that Labor Day in 1980, she was forced into a car and driven away.

“No evidence at the store. No sign of any struggle. Her purse was still left behind,” said Pinellas County Sheriffs Detective Mike Bailey.

When Cynthia’s decomposed and apparently strangled body was found six weeks later in the woods off Bryan Dairy road, there was still no suspect. Today her murder remains one of 39 cold cases for the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office.

“These are the cases I bring home with me and I sit for hours in the middle of the night and read these cases,” says Detective Bailey.

Bailey believes the brazen yet apparently calculated abduction of Cynthia Clements suggests the work of a serial killer.

“I think they’re a little more common than people realize”.

Florida has it’s notorious roster of serial psychopaths- Danny Rollins, Aileen Wuornos, even Ted Bundy carried out his vicious work in Florida. ( See a photo slideshow of Florida’s serial killers .)

But an in-depth Scripps Howard investigation found the Bay Area has clusters of unsolved murders that could also be the work of serial killers.

Single mother Linda Slaten was found strangled in her Lakeland home in 1981.

In 1982, the body of 16-year-old Leandra Hogan was found in a wooded lot off West Hillsborough Avenue.

It’s difficult for local law enforcement to link their unsolved murders to serial killers because they can’t always see the big picture.

Crime analysts say serial killers often travel from state to state leaving behind bodies, but no witnesses.

Enter VICAP.

“We don’t look at every homicide. We just look at the random, motiveless homicides that are most likely to be serial”.

Special Agent Michael Harrigan heads up the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. VICAP, as it’s known, maintains a database of serial killers and crimes they make available to local agencies at no cost. VICAP also tracks the victims of serial killers, 70% of whom are women.

The VICAP program also provides FBI expertise on profiling killers and identifying suspects. FBI Special Agent Mark Hilts says sexual assault in some form is a hallmark of serial killers. The killer either simply wants to eliminate the witness after committing a sexual crime, or the murder itself provides the sexual component.

Sexual assault was suspected in Cynthia Clement’s 1980 murder. A known serial killer, James Winkles, admitted to the abduction murder of another 19-year-old girl, Elizabeth Graham, just 9 days afterward.

“There were a lot of girls who came up missing and murdered. And it seemed like it just kept happening,” remembers Cynthia’s mother, Nancy Kehoe.

Detective Bailey says Winkles, who died in prison, (see below) is just one of several potential suspects. But even if the case was solved today, Nancy Kehoe says her life as she knew it is gone for good.

“It destroyed us. He may have well killed all of us because it destroyed us.”

James Winkles is dead.

James Delano Winkles, who was on death row for murdering two Pinellas County women, died Thursday of what appeared to be natural causes, the Florida Department of Corrections said.

Winkles, 69, was convicted of the 1980 murder of Elizabeth Graham, a 19-year-old dog groomer, and the 1981 murder of Margo Delimon, 39, a Clearwater real estate agent.

Winkles, who lived in Pinellas Park at the time of the murders, abducted the women and raped them over several days before killing them.

The murders went unsolved for almost two decades, until Winkles confessed. Serving a life sentence for the 1982 kidnapping of a woman in Sanford, Winkles contacted Pinellas sheriff’s detectives in 1998 and offered to provide information about the two murdered women.

He pleaded guilty to both killings. His lawyers asked for a life sentence instead of the death penalty, arguing that he was in poor health and would soon die in prison.

Winkles had boasted that he abducted, raped and killed 62 women, including 41 in Pinellas, information that detectives were never able to corroborate.

In interviews with the St. Petersburg Times in 1998, Winkles said he contacted detectives about the Graham and Delimon deaths because he was feeling guilty.

“I got away with stuff for so long,” he said. “Things I’ve done make Ted Bundy look like a choirboy.”

The families of the murdered women could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Lt. Michael Madden, who was a homicide detective at the time, said Winkles continued to contact detectives even after the Graham and Delimon cases were over.

“He would tell us that he was ready to talk. We’d go visit,” Madden said. “He would put us off and say he wasn’t ready.”

That went on for years.

Note from me: It is a game that so many killers play. It keeps them in control. It allows them to relive the killings to get attention and to get attention. It is NOT a sign of remorse or guilt.

“There’s still an amount of frustration because we believe that he was involved in other homicides that we still have questions about that he would never answer,” Madden said.

Winkles bragged about his killings but asked for mercy for himself when it came time for a judge to decide if he should be executed for the murders of Graham and Delimon.

He told the judge in 2003 that he wasn’t the same person and didn’t expect to live long anyway because he was suffering from heart problems and high blood pressure.

“I’ve grown morally,” he said. “I wish I could turn back time and undo what I have done.”

Winkles, who was imprisoned at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, died at 6:25 a.m. Thursday, said Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections. A medical examiner will determine the cause of death, she said.

No one had claimed his body by Friday, she said. If Winkles’ body is unclaimed, he would be buried in the inmate cemetery at the correctional facility.

Another note from me. He does seem to be a strong possible killer for Cynthia Clements.

An older article and video on James Winkles :

Kidnapper linked to old slayings

ST. PETERSBURG – Pinellas investigators are trying to separate fact from fiction in the case of a Florida prison inmate who claims to have kidnapped and murdered 26 people from 1967 to 1982.
<img src="serial killer” alt=”James Winkles” />

Much of James Winkles’ story appears fabricated – there’s little to indicate the supposed victims existed. But in at least two unsolved murders, authorities believe Winkles is telling the truth. And Pinellas County sheriff’s Detective Marty Hart says his office will seek murder indictments in January.

Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth Graham of St. Petersburg disappeared Sept. 9, 1980. A year later, Clearwater real estate saleswoman Margo Delimon, 39, vanished. Winkles, now 58, later became a suspect in the cases. But there was no direct evidence, and no charges were filed.

Winkles was arrested Jan. 7, 1982, near downtown Orlando after kidnapping a Sanford real estate saleswoman. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, armed robbery, kidnapping and grand theft auto. He has been in prison ever since and is not eligible for parole until 2013.

Now, he’s talking. In extensive interviews with authorities as well as WFLA reporters, Winkles has given new information about the two slayings.

He told Pinellas detectives that a skull found in 1981 and turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was that of Graham. Recent DNA tests confirm his story, detectives say.

Winkles came forward after 18 years of silence, he says, because he fears that he won’t live out his prison sentence. He says he has high blood pressure and heart disease.

(Note from me: He just wanted his 5 seconds of fame, attention and to be able to relive his murders before his death. Again, it was not remorse or guilt that led to his confessions.)

When he decided to talk, he was moved to the Pinellas County Jail. Now he is in the Polk Correctional Institute in Polk City.

Friday, WFLA reporters told Pinellas officials that Winkles claims to have buried a metal box containing pictures of some of his victims. Investigators dug Friday night at the location Winkles identified but found nothing.

Pinellas officials also plan to subpoena copies of taped interviews WFLA reporters conducted with Winkles. WFLA plans to cooperate.

Winkles gives these accounts of the two slayings:

When Graham disappeared, she was working as a dog groomer, going to customers’ homes. Winkles made an appointment by phone and put a gun to her head when she arrived.

“I handcuffed her hands behind her back,” he said in a recent interview. “I blindfolded her. I put her in the back floorboard of my vehicle.”

Graham wasn’t his intended victim, Winkles says.

“The actual abduction was supposed to be somebody I’d seen a couple of weeks before and really took a shine to,” Winkles said. “But she got sick or something the day I was supposed to get her and Graham showed up. Graham was actually a victim of circumstance.”

Winkles took Graham to the Clearwater home on 63rd Street North he shared with his grandmother, he says.

“When I went in I took her straight to my bedroom and told her stay there and remain quiet and I went in there and told my grandmother and my aunt who was there at the time that I had a guest,” he said. He said he later fired his gun twice inside the house to show Graham he was serious.

Winkles held Graham hostage for four days, forcing her to dress up in women’s outfits he kept at the house. He says he repeatedly raped her, but assured her that she would not be killed.

Later, he decided she would be able to identify him if he released her, so he gave her a “heavy dose” of sleeping pills and then shot her in the head three times. He buried the body in woods near the Pinellas County landfill and Gandy Boulevard. Later, he returned to the grave and removed the head, taking it to Lafayette County in the Florida Panhandle. There, he says, he dumped the head in a river. Divers found it a year later.

Winkles recently took a team of forensic experts to where he says he buried the body. They dug and found nothing.

He says he kidnapped Delimon in much the same way: He made a Saturday morning appointment with her to discuss real estate, then drove her to the same woods off 49th Street, saying he wanted to build a cabin there.

He told her he was “really attracted” to her and that she was being kidnapped. He handcuffed her and took her to his cousin’s house.

Over the next four days, while Delimon’s family frantically searched for her, Winkles repeatedly raped her, he says.

He also drove her around in his car, watching her closely.

“I terminated her, obviously, because we had been all over the damn place and she knew exactly where that safe house was at,” Winkles said.

“I overdosed her with sleeping pills and it took her a long time to die.”

He says he first buried her body in woods near the St. Petersburg Clearwater Airport. Two weeks later, he moved the body to Citrus county and buried it on the bank of the Withlacoochee River.

About a week later, a couple who were fishing found parts of the body. It took another two years to identify the remains as those of Delimon.

70% of victims women; sexual component often seen

According to recently released FBI data, women accounted for 70 percent of the 1,398 known victims of serial killers since 1985. By comparison, women represented only 22 percent of total homicide victims.

The FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP), based in Quantico, Va., released the data at the request of Scripps Howard News Service. SHNS is conducting an investigation into the nation’s more than 185,000 unsolved homicides committed since 1980.

According to the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, local police reported that about 33,000 homicides of women remain unsolved.

FBI agent Mark Hilts, head of the bureau’s Behavioral Analysis Unit No. 2 that profiles serial killers, said “a large number” of serial killers act with a sexual motive.

“Sex can be a motivation, but it’s a motivation in conjunction with something else – with anger, with power, with control,” Hilts said. “Most serial killers do derive satisfaction from the act of killing, and that’s what differentiates them” from those who kill to help commit or conceal another crime.

Crime experts for decades have tried to define serial murder and to determine its causes and motivations. The Justice Department defines a serial killer simply as someone who kills two or more people in separate incidents, a definition that ignores the issue of motive.

The Justice Department for years has estimated that less than 1 percent of all homicides are committed by serial killers, but that assumption has come under question recently.

Retired FBI agent Mark Safarik, a veteran serial killer hunter, discounts the official definition of serial murder.

“Serial murder is more related to motive. We use a definition of two or more, but that’s really just for research purposes,” said Safarik, now of Forensic Behavioral Services International, a legal consultant firm based in Fredericksburg, Va. “For us, there is almost always some sort of sexual component to the homicide.”

The FBI has been compiling victim data for 25 years. They also released information showing that nearly half of the victims of known serial homicides were in their 20s and 30s, although people of every age and from every region of the country have been victims.

“We look at homicides and attempted homicides. We look at sexual assaults. We look at unidentified human remains cases where homicide is suspected,” said Special Agent Michael Harrigan, who headed ViCAP from 2007 to 2010 and agreed to release the data.

“We catalog this in a database … to try to identify serial killers or serial offenders that transcend jurisdictional boundaries.”

Among states, New York leads in a grim statistic: It has had 137 victims of serial murder since 1985. California has had 128 and Florida 112.

When shown the FBI data, criminologists and veteran homicide investigators asked why New York leads the nation. Does it lead because it has more serial killings or because it does a better job in detecting such killings?

“That surprises me. I thought the numbers would always be higher in California and some of the Southern states,” said retired veteran New York City homicide detective Augustine “Gus” Papay.

California, with its immense population, ought to lead in every major crime statistic, Papay said. And he felt Southern states would be overrepresented because of recently documented highway serial killings by Southern truckers.

Papay was a key participant in the successful hunt for Alejandro “Alex” Henriquez, convicted in 1992 of murdering a woman and two girls, including 10-year-old Jessica Guzman.

Papay said serial killers may be drawn to a major metropolitan area like New York City.

“They think it’s easier to get lost in the big city. And think of all the victims! There are all sorts of different people here they could target,” Papay said. “And maybe they think it will be harder to get caught here.”

Calculated by population, the state of Washington leads the nation with 1.6 serial homicides per 100,000 people. But that is almost entirely due to Gary Leon Ridgway, Seattle’s “Green River Killer.” He was convicted in 2003 of strangling 48 women and teenage girls, often prostitutes or hitchhikers he picked up. Washington showed 95 serial killings overall.


Crime does pay.

A dishwasher convicted of the serial rapes and slaughters of seven Springfield women is trying to sell a bag of his hair online to murderabilia buffs for $35 — even as his body count continues to rise and outraged relatives of his victims call on authorities to step in and stop him.

There is no law in Massachusetts preventing vicious criminals from profiting from their mayhem.

Serial Killer Alfred J Gaynor is selling a bag of his hair online for $35.00 Article here

Like many people I thought that “Son of Sam” laws made it illegal for murderers, especially serial killers to make money off of their crimes including their story, crafts made in prison and personal items. I never really thought about all that would go into those laws but it just seems like common sense, you can not or should not make money off of the fact that you killed someone.
It seems, though, that you can.

I have never been a murderabilia fan. I do not collect art or letters from serial killers. I have been aware that it is for sale for a long time. I just always thought that the people who sold it and profited from it were the “fans” or “collectors” that received it from the criminal. I thought that maybe they did ‘pay’ for these ‘gifts’ from the killers, but not directly. I thought it was more like they made some kind of ‘friendship’ with the killer and in that process gave them ‘gifts’ over time, not payment for goods, gifts. Perhaps they sent them a bit of money so that the killer could buy cigarettes or extra soap from the commissary.
I did not think there were set ups where (example:) Jeff Dahmer could have Joe Public sell his painting online for $500.00 and Dahmer (again an example, I know he is dead) gets all the cash expect for small fees. Or even a 50/50 split. I just thought that somehow that was watched and stopped if it was caught. I also thought that there were restrictions on ow much a prisoner could have in his account.

I did not know that in some places it was still legal for the actual murderer themselves to profit directly. Without even trying to make it seem like he was not selling. I did not think that there was anywhere that a killer could come out and say “Hey, want my hair? Pay me and I will send you some.

Yes, I do see a difference. A private person who has not killed anyone who writes to a killer and gets a letter or painting or whatever who chooses to sell that item is just one curiosity seeker selling to another. I can relate this to people who collect other types of ‘strange’ art or even autographs. It is not something that I am into, but it does not make my skin crawl. I do not think that should be illegal even though some people might be upset or not like it. If that is the case, do not buy it.

(Video interview with a serial killer item collector / seller. He runs Serial Killer Central.)

The actual murderer getting direct monetary gain from his murder is very disturbing and I do not think that should be allowed. I am just not sure how to regulate it.

“Andy Kahan, a nationally recognized anti-murderabilia crusader, said the “third party” assisting Gaynor is based in Montreal and “is one of the main wheelers and dealers as far as murderabilia goes.

“They let (killers) know they have a business perhaps both can profit off of, and that’s how it begins. If there’s money to be made, these so-called entrepreneurs are going to find it.” – from the article above

I do have to admit that I do think that if Johnny the Killer is sending his stuff to his wife who sells it to try to support the kids I see that as a strange morally grey area. Do we punish the wife and or kids for his actions? (Like Boston Strangler, Albert De Salvo who wanted to make sure his wife and kids were cared for. He thought selling the story would help as well as her collecting the reward money.)

I am wondering if the families can sue the murderers. Even in cases where the money is being put into the commissary fund for the prisoner, can the families sue to get compensation from that? In cases where we know that it is a direct profit deal?

I do know that trying to figure out if Johnny the killer is sending his art, letters, or hair for direct profit would be hard especially if it is done with people on the outside that ‘support’ them and know the system. I guess passing the laws would be difficult and there are so many grey areas. There would have to be so many checks and balances to make sure there was no abuse. I wonder if it would really be possible to do.
(I had a friend in prison and I sent him money at Christmas time. He sent me a card for my birthday not long afterwards. I guess the prison officials could have interpreted that however they wanted to and made trouble for him or made it hard for us to stay in contact if they wanted to.)

I am not sure what the answer is. I know that it is very disturbing to think that someone who kills for the joy of killing can then go to prison and then get more joy by making money (in the case here) selling their hair just because they are known for killing. It is complicated.
I think that if or federal when laws are passed we need to make sure that not only the killers and sellers are monitored but also that the system is monitored to be sure that there is not abuse by officials. The laws would leave windows open for dishonest or abusive officials.

A Crime Library Article on the pros and cons of murderabilia.

An article from the Texas Tribune about a Senator trying to ban muderabilia sales. article on Son of Sam laws.

Wikipedia article on Son of Sam Laws.

Smiley Face Killer (s?)

An article about an upcoming story was on my subscriptions page about this. I decided to take another look at it.
<img src="smiley faces” alt=”smiley faces from crime scenes?” />

I had heard about this case a few years ago but there really was not enough information to make any type of judgement. Almost as soon as the story appeared in main stream media it seemed to be gone. I guess the story did pop up every so often, there would be a mention of another young man found dead from drowning who they possibly linked to a serial killer, or, a group of serial killers. The theories would be mentioned but no follow-up.

I thought that it had been eventually settled by the FBI, that the official word was that the cases were not connected even if the ‘profiles’ of the young men and the causes of death were somewhat similar. I knew that there were a few people who still tried to hold on to the idea that the men were killed rather than died from drunkenness or stupidity. As a mom I understood the families want to hold to that and figured the 2 retired officers sympathized with the families and a hoped that they could make things better for them.

I have read what I could find on the Smiley Face Murders out of curiosity since it seems they are back in the news. I kept an open mind and tried to see all sides and possibilities.
I am not connected to any law enforcement and I do not get ‘inside scoops’ so my opinion is based on information that is available to everyone.

Basically the theory is that somewhere between 40 – 80 young men have been killed in multiple states over about 14 years. This is not a case of a lone serial killer traveling the roads it would have to be multiple killers due to the time line of deaths. There have also been, at some of the scenes, smiley face and other graffiti that the 2 retired police officers say tie the crimes together and show that there is communication between the different killers. Some of the families of the deceased back the retired officers and there have been a few journalists that have been convinced of this theory as well.

Before I dismissed the idea of a group of killers working together I thought about the Zebra Killings, the Manson murders and even gang killings. The problem is when you have a group killing people it is very hard to keep it quiet. Even in cases of serial killing duos one usually screws up enough for both to get caught. Also, secrets like this do not stay secret for very long. This is supposed to have been going on for about 14 years and not 1 person has been caught or connected to the murders. If it was supposed to be 1 killer then it is very possible. That is not what is being suggested. There have been multiple murders committed on the same night many miles apart. It would be impossible for 1 person to have committed them, so it has to be at least 2 and probably more people committing the crimes. I know it would make a great horror movie plot but it does not make sense in real life.

I keep reading that the families have unanswered questions and many of these have to deal with why their sons went to the water’s edge. These young men were usually last seen leaving a bar, late, after drinking. The bodies of water they were found in were in the area, it is not like they had to stumble 2 miles to fall in.
I live in New Orleans and have had a great deal of experience with drinking and with drunk people. I have had friends that have either woken up on the levees or have been woken up by the police sleeping near the river. I see people sleeping in doorways and passed out on other people’s stoops. I am not talking about homeless people, I am talking about people with apartments or that are visiting and are paying a good deal of money for a hotel room. Why are they asleep on stoops, sidewalks or levees? They were drunk. We can not assign rhyme and reason to an intoxicated person’s actions. In one case the family states that their son would not have walked that way even though it was on the way to the pancake house his brother and him sometimes visited because it was raining. I know many people who after a night of drinking will walk far out of their way to get food, it seems like a good idea at the time.
Saying that these drowning are linked to serial killers because the actions of the intoxicated men do not make sense to sober people after the fact is like saying that middle-aged men killed in drunk driving accidents are killed by serial killers since everyone knows better than to drink and drive.

I also wondered why there was no police or government backing. Besides the families of the dead, the few reporters and 2 retired NY police officers there is no backing for this case. There is no official press release from any law enforcement group asking for information.
I saw sites accusing the local police departments of not doing their jobs, of shoddy investigations and hints of police cover ups. I can only assume that the FBI would have to be involved in the cover or hush up as well since they have stated that there are no connections.
This means that not only is there a group of killers that have been able to keep this hushed up for many years there are also multiple police agencies and multiple government agencies involved in a cover up. Why? In every serial case I have read there are always a great deal of could haves and would haves that the police, the FBI and other people realize. Hindsight is 20/20. In police investigations there are always mistakes, things overlooked but usually things do come together, even if it is years before the cases are solved law enforcement does start working together across county, state and even sometimes country lines.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have come forward with other unsolved killings. They make web sites, put up bill boards and make press releases. They ask for help, information they also alert the public. Why in this case have all departments remained steadfast that these are individual cases, tragic accidents and not connected? We are talking many jurisdictions, there is not even 1 that is looking into this as a serial case.

I have also seen a few disturbing reports about the 2 retired police officers that are pushing this case. I had believed that they were doing the investigation from their hearts, for the families but I am beginning to doubt that. Kevin Gannon and Anthony Duarte are beginning to lose the faith even of the families. Some of them still believe that the dead were murdered but the faith in the investigators is beginning to wane. Gannon and Duarte have went on television and told the families that there is all kinds of evidence but they also seem to show up with empty hands promising soon. They investigators are also being criticized since they are now claiming that they need money to prove more.?

And now a growing number of family members who once considered Gannon “a knight in shining armor,” as the father of one victim described the ex-cop to me, believe it’s time for him to put up or shut up.
“I still believe my son was murdered, but I also think it’s time that (Gannon) stop going on TV and come out and show some proof,” said Kathy Geib, mother of a Michigan drowning victim. “I have not heard from him in a year and a half.”
“I, frankly, never bought into it,” added Carol Noll, the mother of Michael Noll. The body of the Rochester, Minn., teen and former UW-Eau Claire student was found in Half Moon Lake five months after his disappearance more than seven years ago. Noll and her husband, Jeff, resent that their son’s name still shows up in numerous articles and Web sites promoting the serial-killer theory.
Bill Szostak, a retired New York firefighter and arson investigator whose son died under similar circumstances in Albany, N.Y., was the most blunt about his dissatisfaction.
“I feel Kevin is like a sponge – he latches onto the families, sucks the life out of them, and when he has nothing else to suck, he dumps them,” said Szostak, who doesn’t remember one conversation he had with the ex-cop in which Gannon didn’t mention needing money to continue to investigate the deaths.
“Do I think he has revictimized families and done more harm than good?” Szostak said. “Yes, I do, and that’s a shame.”
Another critic is the former KSTP-TV investigative reporter who “broke” the “smiley-face killer” story in April 2008 and appeared alongside Gannon at news conferences and in national TV appearances.
“I stand by the original story I reported,” said Kristi Piehl, who won an Emmy for her coverage but was among several staffers laid off by the TV station in budget cuts last year.
“But now, frankly, I don’t buy Kevin’s story,” Piehl said last week. “He was partially right, but I think he has gone down the wrong path. … The ‘smiley-face killer’ name is a joke and tainted.”

(The rest of this article can be found here)

Then there is the smiley faces themselves.
I have seen smiley faces all over this area. We have a lot of college students and younger (early to late 20’s) drinkers around here and that symbol seems to be a favorite to draw by students out drinking. Hearts, flowers and smiley faces can be seen in marker, make up, pen, paint and even in pencil on storefronts, private buildings, inside bathrooms at stores and especially in the bathrooms.
The graffiti in the case is not always the same face. Different colors, some with devil horns, some that appear to be very old, some fresh, some with backgrounds and some without mouths. There is nothing suggesting that the faces were connected to the deaths at all.
There was one word that the investigators thought could have turned out to be a location where another young man’s body was found. I have yet to see a clear picture of the “Sinsinawa” graffiti. I am not sure how clear the word was. I do know that there is much speculation. I have read that the word means grave in the Ojibwe language and some how that is more proof?
There is even a website that links the Zodiac Killer to the so-called Smiley Face Killings. The author of that site expands on the graffiti with quite a bit of flair.(That site here)

The retired detectives seem to walk around and look for graffiti and then state that that is the spot where the young man was killed and put into the water. It is almost comical to me, the tragedy of the families just makes it sadder instead of funny. I could not help but to ask myself if somehow they were not inspired by Keith Jesperson’s Happy Face killer moniker.

In this one smiley face theory we have a conspiracy of multiple serial killers killing in many states with double-digit victim counts that go back over 14 years.
The fact that these killings are all related is being covered up by multiple law and government agencies for blurry reasons. This law enforcement cover up has also been going on for years and years.
We have all these young victims killed just because they lived near bodies of water and choose to go out drinking.
We have a common graffiti sign that is somehow becoming the ‘sign’ that the killers are communicating.
We also have 2 retired police officers that have come up with this conspiracy theory and their credibility is starting to fade. They are becoming tv bobble heads who can offer only scary stories and empty promises of proof. They pick up supporters who are full of belief and enthusiasm at first. The supporters finally seem to realize that there is no solid proof, just smoke and mirrors that some families hold on to rather than to allow their little boys to have made the ultimate bad decision that led to their untimely deaths. The families do not grieve, they rage against an unknown evil and the “investigators” not only encourage but instigate this.
That is the real crime here.

In my opinion there is no Smiley Face Killer.
There are young men who drink too much and who have horrible accidents.

I hope that the families find some kind of peace.

FBI Statement Regarding Midwest River Deaths
Washington, D.C.
April 29, 2008

FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691
“Over the past several years, law enforcement and the FBI have received information about young, college-aged men who were found deceased in rivers in the Midwest. The FBI has reviewed the information about the victims provided by two retired police detectives, who have dubbed these incidents the “Smiley Face Murders,” and interviewed an individual who provided information to the detectives. To date, we have not developed any evidence to support links between these tragic deaths or any evidence substantiating the theory that these deaths are the work of a serial killer or killers. The vast majority of these instances appear to be alcohol-related drownings. The FBI will continue to work with the local police in the affected areas to provide support as requested,” said Supervisory Special Agent Richard J. Kolko, Washington, D.C.

Column: ‘Smiley-face killer’ theory losing steam

Article from 2008

Luke Jennett July 2010

Wiki information

GMA Story


R.I.P Philip Carlo

Philip Carlo, who produced novels and nonfiction accounts of serial killers and hit men before writing about his own struggles with disease, died on Monday, 11/08/10 in Manhattan. He was 61.
The cause was a combination of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and cancer, said his wife, Laura Garofalo-Carlo.

His site

“Dear Friends and Family,
Philip Carlo, born in Brooklyn, New York on April 18, 1949 and died on November 8, 2010 in Manhattan after long struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Carlo became known as an author of several bestselling books including Stolen Flower, Ice Man, and the forthcoming memoir The Killer Within. Carlo was considered an expert on serial killers, Mafia culture and sexual predators and appeared on numerous television shows and documentary films. He leaves behind his devoted widow, Laura Garofalo-Carlo; his parents, Nina and Dante; his sister Doreen; brother-in-law, Joey; niece, Vanessa and many others. He enriched the lives of those around him with love and selfless generosity and will be greatly missed.”

N.Y. Times article Here.

Sowell’s Trial Costs

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The cost of suspected serial killer Anthony Sowell’s legal defense, which already has set a record among expensive trials in Cuyahoga County, now has exceeded $185,000 with still three months to go before the trial.
In the past month, Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose, granted additional funds for forensic consultants, paralegal assistance, a neuropsychologist and for a team of researchers to comb through more than 2,000 hours of surveillance video shot from the lot next door to Sowell’s Imperial Avenue home.
Sowell’s attorneys, Rufus Sims and John Parker, submitted another funding request during a hearing Wednesday. But the motion was filed under seal and has not been made public.
Sowell, 51, is accused of killing 11 women, whose remains were found in and around his home last fall in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood. He faces the death penalty, charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, abusing a human corpse and tampering with evidence. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 14, and he is due in court for another hearing on Nov. 23.
The cost of Sowell’s defense broke the $150,000 benchmark with the approval last month of expenses for a forensic expert and the continued services of a paralegal — pushing the cost of the defense past the previous high for a publicly funded criminal case in the county.
Sowell’s defense team remains dangerously close to exceeding its $35,000 cap on paralegal services and its $25,000 cap for a mitigation specialist.
Legal experts and guidelines designed by the American Bar Association suggest that court-ordered caps on such expenses are improper and could constitute grounds for an appeal.
However, Ambrose has said in his rulings that he would not consider future requests without documentation justifying the expense. Parker and Sims said last month they were preparing the paperwork to request more money for mitigation.

Full Article

I do hope that we are auditing these lawyers. We need to check and recheck the charges.

I understand that this is a death penalty case so we need to make sure that there is no way someone else broke into Sowell’s place and hid the bodies in the walls while he was sleeping or jogging, or any other insane defense they can come up with. I know that we, as a society, do not want to put innocent people in jail, or worse, to the death chamber. I do think that we sometimes go too far in trying to protect people that we know are killers.
I also get angry though because in many cases we spend stupid amounts of money to defend criminals and although no expense is spared they still get years and years of appeals. The appeals make the families and other survivors deal with these guys over and over again year after year. Then, even if given the death penalty they end up dying of old age in prison.
There has to be a better way.