Posts Tagged ‘ Daytona Beach ’

Police Hoping That Familial DNA Can Help Catch Another Serial Killer

Daytona Beach Victims

Daytona Beach’s top cop believes new DNA technology will help his department catch the serial killer who has eluded police since 2005.

Familial DNA has helped police in California nab the so-called Grim Sleeper serial killer.

He was called that because he lay dormant in between murders for 18 years.

“We’re extremely interested in this because of our serial killer. Our serial killer may have an offspring, which is in the database,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood.

Police in California had DNA of the Grim Sleeper in a nationwide database.

The killer is responsible for the deaths of 10 women dating back to the 1980s.

New software emerged that tracks DNA of the killer’s family members, in this case his son, who was arrested on an unrelated crime.

Investigators used the information and followed the father, Lonnie Franklin, 57.

They took a DNA sample from pizza Franklin had recently eaten, made the exact match and then arrested the former garage attendant.

The Daytona Beach serial killer left behind DNA samples inside three of the four women he raped and killed.

The first was Laquetta Gunther, 45, who’s body was found on Beach Street on Dec. 26, 2005.

On Jan. 14, 2006, the body of Julie Green, 34, was found in a construction site off of LPGA Boulevard.

Iwanna Patton, 35, was found on Williamson Boulevard six weeks later on Feb. 24.

The killer then laid dormant for two years.

Twenty-year-old Stacey Gage’s body turned up Jan. 2, 2008 in a wooded area on Hancock Boulevard.

The DNA sample was turned over to Florida Department of Law Enforcement where it waits for a perfect match.

But Chitwood wants to use familial DNA to track down the serial killer’s family members, which in turn could lead back to the killer.

However, familial DNA is only approved in states like California, Colorado, and recently in Virginia. It has been used in Great Britain for several years.

Chitwood is working with the State Attorney’s Office, who is trying to convince both the state attorney general, as well as Gov. Rick Scott to sign off on it for use in Florida.

The police chief said familial DNA would only be used in major crimes, like the serial killer case.

He believes that if approved, it could be in use within a year.

Chitwood said the person who came up with the software is making it available to FDLE for free.

But he said the clock is ticking.

“You have a killer on the loose who has killed four women, who is not gonna stop,” Chitwood said. “We may be in a cooling off period here. But if we have learned anything in the history of this country with serial killers, they’ll continue until they get caught.”

Source

I am all for the use of familial DNA especially in cases involving serial crimes. I do not know why people worry so much about using it. It helped to catch the Grim Sleeper, Lonnie Franklin and DNA has helped to link unknown victims to their killers. I think we need to give law enforcement all the help that we can.

America’s Most Wanted Daytona Beach S.K.

News and Updates

Gary Ridgway did plea guilty as expected to the murder of  20-year-old Rebecca Marrero in 1982.

The convicted killer started to apologize in court on Friday for Marrero’s murder, but was cut off when an unidentified man sitting with the victim’s family began shouting obscenities at him.

The victim’s sister, Mary Marrero, her 79-year-old mother standing shakily at her side, told King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts that her family has been devastated by the murder and wished that Ridgway faced the death penalty.

“The day she came up missing I wanted to kill myself,” Mary Marrero said, her voice breaking. “I still feel that today … There is so much anger. What does it take to get the death penalty in the state of Washington? I do not agree with this plea deal.”

“If I had one thing to ask today, it would be to kill him,” she said.

Source

Herbert Mullin was (surprise) denied parole again.

A former Felton man convicted of murdering 10 people, including a 4-year-old child, an elderly man and a priest, was denied parole Thursday during a hearing at Mule Creek State Prison, the District Attorney’s Office reported Friday.

Serial killer Herbert Mullin, 63, murdered 13 people in roughly a four month period in 1972 and 1973.

He was convicted in 1973 of 10 killings in Santa Cruz County. He was also convicted of killing a priest in Los Gatos in the confessional booth and admitted to two additional slayings for which he was never charged.

The killing spree was one of three in Santa Cruz County in the 1970s, earning the county the dark sobriquet of being the murder capitol of the world.

Source

Milwaukee accused serial killer Walter Ellis pleaded no contest to the charges against him.

A Milwaukee man accused of killing seven women over 21 years pleaded no contest to all charges against him Friday.

Fifty-year-old Walter Ellis pleaded no contest to five counts of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree murder.

The women were killed between 1986 and 2007.

Ellis, who was convicted by Judge Dennis Cimpl, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Source

Craig Price will not be allowed to take a trip from Florida to Rhode Island to argue his appeal. His violent behavior in prison and the cost were both listed as reasons. I hope they never let him out. This is one scary guy.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Craig Price, the state’s youngest serial killer, who terrified Rhode Islanders in the 1980s, will not return from prison in Florida to argue his appeal before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that it would decide Price’s appeal based on written arguments unless Price requests within 30 days that a court appoint a lawyer to argue orally on his behalf. The court directed that Price or his standby lawyer could file such a request on his behalf.

In ruling, the court said it was mindful of the cost of transporting Price from prison in Florida and his recent admission to assaulting a correctional office there.

Price was 15 in 1989 when he confessed to brutally stabbing and bludgeoning Joan Heaton and her daughters, Melissa and Jennifer, after slipping in through their window at night. Price also admitted to the unsolved murder of another Buttonwoods neighbor, Rebecca Spencer, two years earlier.

Price refused to take a psychiatric exam until 1994. Then, after he took the test, the court concluded that Price had not been truthful with the psychiatrist and, therefore, had “not cooperated with the examination, even though he had participated.”

The attorney general initiated a criminal-contempt charge against Price for refusing to participate in the psychiatric program. A jury convicted him after a trial in 1997, and Judge Albert E. DeRobbio Sr. sentenced Price to 25 years in prison, 10 years to serve and 15 suspended.

The state Supreme Court in 2003 affirmed Price’s criminal-contempt conviction. But the court left open the opportunity for him to petition to reduce his 25-year sentence.

Price is seeking relief from the contempt sentence, arguing it was excessive and unconstitutional. The attorney general’s office counters that the sentence is proportionate with the years-long contempt Price showed for the court order regarding treatment.

Source and a link to the Court Documents here.

Also, America’s Most Wanted has updated 2 serial killer cases on their site.

Daytona Beach Serial Killer

Interstate 65 Serial Killer

You can see the full Serial Killer Episode by clicking on the link on my video page.

Daytona Beach Serial Killings 5 Years Later: Unsolved.

Daytona Beach Victims

A message, written in black marker on the wall of one of the buildings, reads: “2/2010 Mom, you are missed, Love, Nikki.”
It could have been written for either Laquetta Gunther or Julie Green.

Laquetta Gunther, a 45-year-old construction day laborer and occasional prostitute was killed first. Her body was found on 12/26/2005 and she was last seen 12/24/2005 at Chubby’s bar at 650 N. Beach St.

Laquetta Mae Gunther

Her body was discovered stuffed between the two buildings in a space not even 3 feet wide. She had been shot in the head, execution-style, with a .40-caliber bullet. A passerby found her half-nude corpse between the two buildings across the street from the former Chubby’s.

Over the next two months, two more women met a similar fate.

Then there was the shooting of 34-year-old Julie Green in January 2006 and 35-year-old Iwana Patton in February of that year. Green and Patton were also shot in the head with a .40-caliber weapon and both were naked as well when they were found.
Julie Green
Iwana Patton

The suspect also left behind an unmistakable calling card. His semen was on both Gunther and Green, police said.

Stacey Gage, 30 years old, was found two years later in January 2008. She had been shot in the head in a wooded area near a former church off Hancock Boulevard. Investigators have never said whether the caliber of weapon used on Gage was a .32-, a .40-, or a .45-caliber gun. But Police Chief Mike Chitwood has repeatedly said that Gage’s death was “eerily similar” to the other three.

Stacey Gage

There was no DNA found on Gage’s nude body because she had been exposed to the elements for about a month before she was discovered by a Daytona Beach policeman on patrol.

Although the killer’s DNA is stored in a database kept by the FBI, it has not yet matched others kept in the national listing.
Florida did begin testing many men arrested but no leads have come from that yet.

On Christmas Eve night this year and every year since Gunther was murdered, her friend, Stacey Dittmer has held a candlelight vigil at the murder site with people who knew Gunther. This year, Gunther’s 70-year-old mother, Barbara Rurak, planned to join the group.

In a telephone interview this week from her home in Sarasota, Rurak asked the same question everyone here is asking: “Is anything being done?”

While the time has passed, none of the women is forgotten. Dittmer planned to make a poster with the names of all the murder victims so she could leave it at the site where Gunther was shot.

Full Story

Chronology and a lot of information.

December 26, 2005: Body of Laquetta Gunther is found.

January 14, 2006: The body of Julie Green is found.

February 24, 2006: The body of Iwana Patton is found.

March 10, 2006: Daytona Beach Police and State of Florida investigators announce the three women were likely the victims of a serial killer.

April 21 2006: Police confirm the collection of DNA from several “persons of interest.”

April 22, 2006: Local police confirm that police officers were questioned in the slayings.

June 10, 2006: Police arrest David Gibson Lindsay on an unrelated warrant.

June 20, 2006: DNA evidence excludes David Gibson Lindsay as a suspect.

December 10, 2007: Stacey Gage is last seen alive.

January 2, 2008: The body of Stacey Gage is found.

January 23, 2008: Authorities announce that the murder of Stacey Gage is connected to the previous three homicides.

An article on the DNA testing to try to find the killer.

Reported drug connection. IMO, a bit unlikely.

VBullitan Forum with links and info.

Unknown Serial Killers in Florida

Daytona Beach and Ft Meyers serial murders unsolved.

Video here

Dr. Sidney Merin has interviewed dozens of serial killers. He says they have many different characteristics. But one fact ties them all together: they were abused physically or psychologically during their childhoods by family of friends.

That is just not true.
Not all serial killers were abused as children.
There are many cases of serial killers who were not abused.
Dr. Merin might have interviewed ‘dozens’ but he has bought into a common misconception and is spreading misinformation.
He has to realize that they lie. Yeah, imagine that, serial killers lie and exaggerative the truth. They jump on ‘band wagons’ and try to illicit attention and sympathy.

It is sad when so called experts ‘buy into’ this sort of thing, it gives a blanket excuse to these killers. It does buy them some sort of sympathy in some minds.

The actual story is interesting although a bit fractured and confusing in the video.
The Dr. is just very uninformed. Or worse, he is trying to become another talk t.v. bobble head.

I got a chance to see the reconstructed faces of eight men whose remains were found in a makeshift graveyard, just four miles from downtown Ft. Myers.

Police say they were all the victims of a serial killer.

The remains were found along an isolated road. Now profilers tell me some serial killers choose to hide their victims, others like to display them.

But this killer chose to hide his victims deep in the woods, a place he probably revisited many times to relive the kill.

Investigators have never released the cause of death for the victims in this case, nor have they ever named a prime suspect. But one thing is certain: this killer, like any others, doesn’t value life……….

Daytona Beach is know for it’s great car races and beaches. But a serial killer is on the loose there, too.

All of the women were assaulted, and then shot to death point blank range. Investigators say this killer is very dominate, and according to police, this serial killer targets prostitutes, especially along a stretch of highway called Ridgewood.

Unlike the Ft. Myers case, police say they have tons of physical evidence and they know the killer used a 40-caliber handgun.

Police say this serial killer has been profiled as a white male with no criminal record. They say he is probably a professional in a stable relationship or married.

But so far, Daytona Beach Police have not one lead to follow and fear he will strike again.

Full story

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