Saturday, 7 July 2018

What really happened to Granger Taylor? (Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada UFO related disappearance in 1980)

I recently remembered reading about the case of a UFO enthusiast who went missing one night in the eighties after leaving a note about going on a journey to outer space and really wanted to look into it. The story is wild, so I thought I’d dig a little deeper and we could take a look at it together.

On the 29th of November, 1980, a 32 year old man named Granger Ormond Taylor walked out of his parent’s home in Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada. He left behind a strange hand written note, promising his valuables and money to his parents and explaining that he was going to board an alien spacecraft where he would go on a trip around the universe. A hand-drawn map of Waterloo Mountain was sketched on the back of goodbye note.

The note:
Dear Mother and Father, I have gone away to walk aboard an alien spaceship, as recurring dreams assured a 42-month interstellar voyage to explore the vast universe, then return. I am leaving behind all my possessions to you as I will no longer require the use of any. Please use the instructions in my will as a guide to help. Love, Granger.

Granger had also left a will. He had scribbled out the word “death” in the document, and corrected it instead with “departure”.

I have questions: 
1. Was this a suicide note?
2. Did Granger truly believe he was going off into space with his alien associates? 
3. If so, how did he imagine this would be achieved? (for example, did he believe he was going to wait atop a mountain and be picked up in a UFO)
4. Was suicide involved in this mission?

When I read about this case I can’t help but think of the group suicide orchestrated by Marshall Applewhite and the “Heaven’s gate” cult. Applewhite taught that suicide was needed in order to board a spacecraft that would be trailing behind the Hale–Bopp comet. (View their active website here)
Did Granger Taylor have a hypothesis of his own when it came to inter-dimensional travel?
Also, note that he gives a time frame for his return: 42 months, or 3 and a half years. Did he cross out “death” in his will and replace it with “departed” because he truly believed that he would return to Earth after 42 months of interstellar travel? 

The man:
The note was found in the barn which Granger used as a workshop. He had a knack for taking things apart and putting them back together and was a naturally talented mechanic. Granger eventually dropped out of high school to pursue his calling and worked at a mechanic shop in the area.  He went on to rebuild various vehicles he found out in the woods in the surrounding areas of Duncan, such as a small World War 2 biplane, a train engine and a bulldozer. Granger restored the bi-plane (A Kitty Hawk) to such a degree that it reportedly later sold for $20,000 a year or so after he went missing.  
 He even constructed his own alien space craft in the backyard. Apparently he made it from scrap metal and a couple of discarded satellite dishes and spent endless hours reading, researching and studying the mechanics that went into creating such a craft. The obsession with this project may have come from the fact that he reportedly believed he was in communication with alien beings. Apparently he would talk openly about the conversations he had with the aliens, even mentioning the trip he was going to take on their craft. From what I can gather, though, his loved ones thought he was talking about dreams or fantasies and never for a moment though he would one day drive off into the night never to be seen again.
In an interview with Vice, a friend of Taylors, Mr. Robert Keller, explains that the missing man did frequently dream that aliens were going to collect him one day and that he actually slept in the space craft he constructed, now and again.  An article in the express describes the UFO as more of a space-themed structure that could be comfortably slept in overnight and had been fitted with various pieces of furniture, a TV set and stove. Taylor would sit inside of the craft and mill over the mechanics behind powering such a vehicle.
I managed to find a picture of the craft (here) and it really is quite impressive. It has a real retro look to it, a sort of up-turned flat-topped straw hat with a domed saucer on top and bunny ear antennas. It's reminiscent of the style of UFO you find in old stories of self-proclaimed alien abduction victims from the sixties and seventies.

Those who knew him describe him as a genius, lonely, a gentle giant, a brilliant eccentric with a love for all things outer space who liked to smoke a blunt now and again. He was serious about his creations, though, and he was serious about the existence of extra-terrestrial life forms. According to friends Granger Taylor had been dropping acid several times a day in the lead up to his disappearance.

Waterloo Mountain:
So what about the map of the mountain drawn on the reverse side of Grangers goodbye note? Waterloo mountain is just under 20 miles from Taylor’s parent house in Duncan via Holt road. It would have taken him around 50 minutes to drive there in his highlighter pink 1972 Datsun pickup, but let’s also keep in mind that the night of November 29th was a rainy one. Searches of the weather for that specific date don’t correlate with the “raging storms” noted in other articles as we’re lead to believe, but still, dark night, slick road, possibility of an accident?

If the map of the mountain had any connection to where he was planning to drive that night, the 32 year old would have been in for a rough hike. There are many stories online of people attempting to hike on Vancouver Island in less than perfect weather conditions and having to be airlifted to safety after getting stranded for several days. Looking at the drive from his hometown to Waterloo Mountain we can see how rural and isolated the area is, nothing but trees and I imagine darkness for miles. Could it be a possibility that Granger Taylor veered off course or had an accident?
The conspiracy theory articles you can find online about this case indicate that no car or remains relating to Granger Taylor were ever found, but this is not correct. It may add to the spooky-factor to tell people he vanished without a trace, but it’s simply not true.
Take a look at this newspaper clipping and you’ll see that six years after Taylor went missing fragments of his Datsun pickup and pieces of human bone were found at a blast site nearby Mount Prevost. Mount Prevost is just under an hour away from Duncan. The bones were eventually identified as the remains of Granger Taylor.

So what happened?

Apparently Taylor had dynamite with him in his truck. It’s not as random as it sounds, as he regularly used dynamite to dispose of tree-stumps on his parents land. Either accidentally or deliberately the explosives blew up both granger and the car. The only thing we’re not sure of is, how and why.
Did he blow himself up or was it an accident?
Nobody knows for sure, but in my opinion, I feel as though coupled with the goodbye note and will, that he it’s certainly possible he did it on purpose. Check out the article:

So there we have it. 

Apparently there's a documentary being made, due to be released sometime this year, so keep your eyes open for that. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

What happened to Tiffany Daniels?

Since I do a lot of recent true crime cases over at the Generation Why podcast Blog, I thought I’d stick with (slightly) older missing and unsolved cases over here at RLIH 

Today I’ve been reading about a girl called Tiffany H. Daniels who went missing from Pensacola, Florida in the summer of 2013 and I thought I’d share it with you guys.

Oh also, before we proceed, I’ve commandeered the equipment necessary for recording audio and was wondering if I should (attempt) to start a podcast or maybe make podcast style videos (with visuals) on my YouTube channel? The channel has been pretty inactive for a while now and never realllllly got started, but would it be something you’d be interested in? Let me know.

Alright, here we go.
Tiffany Daniels was a 25 year old woman from Dallas, Texas who lived, worked and studied in Pensacola, Florida. According to one of Tiffany’s high-school classmates (who made THIS post in r/unresolvedmysteries) the missing young woman completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Pensacola High School. She then went on to work at the Pensacola State College as a state technician, painting the sets for various productions.

On the 11th of August, 2011, Tiffany H. Daniels went to meet her boyfriend for breakfast. It was a slightly somber occasion as the young man was relocating to Austin to study robotics at the University of Texas. Although understandably down at the prospect of a long distance relationship, Daniels had high spirits about the idea of visiting her boyfriend in Austin. He had originally invited her to move there with him, but despite her love for adventure, she declined in favor of staying put in Florida.

In various reports online her family and friends describe her as “free-spirited”, “an artist”, “friendly” and “creative”. Tiffany was very sociable, positive and charismatic. She regularly hosted well-attended local events such as swing blues dance nights and everyone who came into contact with her seemed to love her. 
After reading several articles about the case I get the feeling that she was one of those kind-hearted, hippie girls who just liked being around nature, hiking and appreciating the surroundings a picturesque place like Pensacola has to offer. It seems as though she just liked to be around people she could vibe with and put on events to attract kindred spirits and enjoy life.

The next day, on the 12th, Tiffany clocked out of work at 4:43 in the afternoon- earlier than she usually left work, but she had been granted permission to do so after asking earlier in the day. On her way out of work she informed her supervisor that she wouldn’t back for several days but neglected to give a reason for her absence.  
All I can find online regarding an excuse for her time off was that she "had things to take care of."

According to the Charley project page for her case she was last seen at 5pm in the university car park. I assume she was getting into her car, which is described as a Toyota 4Runner in the color gray with the registration number ECBOR. 

From there she is thought to have driven home to the place she shared with her roommate.

Apparently she briefly returned home but quickly left. Her roommate was there at the time, however he said he in his room having a phone call with his girlfriend and did not see Tiffany, only heard what he believed to be her returning home quickly.

The Roommate: 
Now Tiffany met her roommate on Craigslist after placing an advert there. 
I know several of you most likely cringed reading that, considering the craigslist horror stories out there, but the man who responded, although more than double her age, turned out to be the father of one of her friends. 
His name was Gary Nichols and he was 54 years old. It sounds strange on paper, but the two did seem to have a lot of things in common (such as meat-free diets and various pastimes etc.) and they seemed to be good friends, plus, he was old enough and responsible enough to pay the rent on time, something Tiffany’s previous roommates had neglected to do, which had left her with financial issues.

The night before Tiffany disappeared, she and Nichols had watched “Monty Python and the Holy grail” in preparation for the production she had been working on, “Spamalot”, which was set to open the following night. Nichols claimed that they both retired to their respective rooms for the night when the film was over in order to be refreshed for work the next day.

The following morning, the 54 year old noticed something off about his roommate’s routine- Tiffany had gotten up very early (for her) at around 5am, which he says, was very unlike her. He claims he heard what he believed to be Daniels getting up and opening and closing the door repeatedly but didn’t see her, despite getting out of bed to have a look. Although unusual, he shrugged it off and went back to sleep, leaving later at his usual time of 7AM. On his way out he noticed that Tiffany’s car wasn’t parked outside and assumed that she’d just left early to work.   
Apparently she arrived at work on time. What time was that exactly?
Does that mean there were a couple of hours where she was off doing something else? If so, what was she doing exactly?

When Tiffany didn’t go home that night, Gary Nichols went into dad-mode and called his daughter asking what he should do. His daughter assured him that Tiffany was likely fine and probably just off hanging out with other friends, which is a fine assumption to make considering how sociable she was.
The fact that Nichols worried about her not coming back, and the fact that her family was unaware of any upcoming road trips, makes me think that the Pensacola State College was the only place that Daniels informed she was leaving.
Why would she inform her place of work, but not her roommate, family or friends?

Gary Nichols called Tiffany’s phone several times over the following day and night, and eventually convinced his daughter to send a Facebook message to Tiffany’s parents. 
The remainder of the week was spent contacting a long list of the missing woman’s friends, before eventually hitting a dead end and calling the local police to officially report her missing.

People of interest:
Tiffany’s boyfriend was one of the first persons of interest in the case, but he was found to have been in Austin at the time of her disappearance, just like he said he was.
Roommate Gary Nichols had expressed concern instantly at the disappearance and since there was no signs of foul play back at the house they shared, he was never really considered a suspect by investigators.

The car:
Just over a week after the young woman had been missing, a family friend who had been jogging in the area stumbled upon Tiffany Daniels car in a parking lot in park west, which Google maps informs us non-locals is a public beach on Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, Florida.

Her phone, bag, wallet and bike were all found still inside of the vehicle, as well as a few articles of clothing, water and a jar of peanut butter. Two finger prints (one on the wheel and one of the door handle) were found by police, they did not match Tiffany’s prints.

There was sand on the bicycle tires but not on the car tires.

The only way to get to the beach is by crossing over Bob Sikes Fishing Pier, so naturally police checked the CCTV cameras and discovered that the car had crossed over the bridge to the island at exactly 7:51PM on the night that Tiffany went missing. 

The footage was not clear enough to determine if Tiffany was the driver or not. When police asked locals for information they were informed that the vehicle had not been parked there for the entire several days that Tiffany had been missing. According to several witnesses who lived in an apartment overlooking the car park the car had been parked there no more than two days before it was discovered by the Daniel family’s friend. Some witnesses even said they saw a man climb out of the vehicle and that it was parked in a disorganized way. 

Two years later another witness would contact the police to inform them that on the day Tiffany’s car was found parked at the beach they saw a shirtless man clad in red shorts opening the trunk of the vehicle. They described him as being white and between the age of 30-40. . Apparently this matches up with the description/ statement provided by the residents of the apartment block.

Many tips and sightings poured in to the Facebook page set up by Tiffany’s family, however nothing came of the alleged sightings. One sighting, however, stands out from the others.
A waitress at a restaurant in Metairie, Louisiana, recounted a strange table she had waited one night in January of 2014. She claimed that a well-dressed, older Latina woman sat down at a table with two younger women, one of which, she claimed, looked just like Tiffany Daniels, whom she had remembered from news reports. She said the girl enquired about the broth used in one of the dishes she was considering ordering, asking if the stock was chicken or fish based. Tiffany was a pescatarian. When the waitress pointed out she looked like a missing girl named Tiffany Daniels, the three left.

Tiffany H. Daniels has not been found.

What do you think happened? 

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Allison Mack and the NXIVM slave cult, The Hart family, Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman cold case solved? Suspected serial killer Stewart Weldon and missing student YingYing Zhang solved?

Here's this months recent cases / updates in older cases: 

The murder of Austin Tyler Steele
Austin Steele was an 18 year old autistic young man who was raised by his grandmother in Lancaster, South Carolina. Austin was independent and lived with two older room mates in a mobile unit in the area. One day, neighbors noticed they hadn't seen the teenager around for a while and questioned his house mates.... (continue reading)

The murder of Shauna Haynes
21 year old Shauna Haynes, who worked as a busser at a restuarant in downtown San Diego was having a hard time at home. She decided to move in with a friend and co-worker at the Chadwick residency hotel.  Soon enough, he began to pressure her into sex: “If you don’t put out soon, you’ll have to leave” he allegedly told her....(continue here

Allison Mack and the NXIVM cult
Smallville actress Alison Mack was arrested early this year for her involvement in a cult called NXIVM (pronounced "Nex-ium") that trafficked women, tortured them, turned them into slaves and branded them with symbols. (continue reading)

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman cold case: SOLVED?
In 1999 a fire engulfed a mobile home Vinita, Oklahoma. The residents, Kathy and Danny Freeman, were found executed by single gun shots and their 16 year old daughter, Ashley Freeman and her best friend, Lauria Bible vanished without taking any personal items or money... (continue reading)

Father marries daughter and kills her after breakup
Denise Pladl was put up for adoption as a baby to escape the abuse of her father whom had almost killed her on several occasions. She reconnected with her family when she turned 18 and moved in with them under her new name, Katie Fusco. Her biological mother was worried, considering the past relationship between the father and daughter, but shockingly, the two seemed to get along well. Too well. The father and daughter began a romantic relationship. (continue reading)

The missing Hart family
Sarah and Jennifer Hart adopted eight children into their family over the several years they were together. Their social media updates showed pictures of them smiling with their children, attending peaceful protests together and going on trips. But neighbors claimed that the kids would over come over and tell them they were being starved, mistreated and abused. (continue reading)

The Jenner Beach Murders - Solved?
Lindsay Cutshall and her fiancé Jason S. Allen set off on a roadtrip in 20004. 
A couple of days later they were found murdered on a beach they were camping on, none of their values had been taken and there was seemingly no motive for the crime. 
The case remained cold for over a decade until very recently a person of interest was arrested. 

Missing man Austin Colson. Remains found.
19 year old Austin Colson left his apartment in Royalton, Vermont on the 11th of January 2018 and was never seen alive again.
His family were unable to contact his phone and his trailer was discovered abandoned near Downer Road. (continue reading)

Suspected Serial Killer, Stewart Weldon, caught
When police pulled a man over for a broken taillight in Springfield, Massachusetts they never expected to find a bruised and bloodied kidnap victim in the back seat of the vehicle. "He was going to kill me!" she told officers. A search of the suspects house turned up several sets of human remains... (continue reading)

Missing student Yingying Zhang
A 26 year old Chinese scholar studying at the University of Illinois went missing on the 9th of June 2017 after accepting a ride from a black sedan. Yingying Zhang was late for her meeting with a landlord after missing the bus, and accepted a ride from a black car that saw her waiting at the bus stop. (continue reading)

The Murder of Kevin R Thompson
Kevin Thompson was a kind and caring man. When an old friend and lover of his got released from prison he helped the man find a job at a construction company and allowed him to stay at his house in Parkfield Street in Carrick. One day Kevin stopped showing up to work, and his worried mother dropped by his house only to find ominous dark puddles throughout the house. (continue reading)

Monday, 18 June 2018

What really happened to missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick?

15 year old Amy Fitzpatrick went missing while on vacation in the city of Málaga, Spain on New Year’s Day 2008. Málaga is part of the Costa Del Sol region of Spain and although it’s one of the most populated cities in the Andalusia popular with party-goers the area is lush with nature and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea.  
Fitzpatrick was originally from Coolock in Dublin, Ireland but her mother, Audrey, had moved the family abroad with her new partner, Dave Mahon, in 2004 in order to “start over”.
Amy and her family had plans to spend Christmas in Ireland, but unfortunately for Amy, who disliked living in Spain, those plans fell through. The disappointment of not being able to return home for the holidays and spend time with her dad upset Amy, especially since the family skipped the festivities back home so Audrey could stay in Málaga with Mahon. Amy didn’t know it at the time, but her aunt would later admit to the media that the only reason Christmas in Ireland didn’t happen was due to Amy’s step-dad, Dave, getting himself into trouble in the Costa del sol. On the night she went missing, Amy had been at the home of a friend, Ashley Rose, helping to babysit the girl's little brother.
 Ashley Rose was one of the few friends that Amy had in the area. She lived locally nearby the Las Lomas De Riviera Club apartment complex, where Amy was staying with her mother, brother and step-dad.

At around 10:10pm Amy said her goodbyes and began what should have been a short walk home. (Approximately 10 minutes or so, according to reports)

Amy was never seen again.

She was reported missing two days later on the 3rd of January.

Various theories pertaining to what happened that night were discussed over the years. The first was that Amy was abducted on her walk home. Or, that she decided to go to a bar before returning to the apartment her family was staying at. People speculated that she may have met someone, an older man perhaps, who kidnapped her.
There was an unconfirmed sighting of Amy at at bar, but as far as I can see, nothing came of it. 

Ashley and Amy spent almost every single day together and kept in contact during the rare days they were apart.  Ashley described how Amy would always have her Irish cell phone with her, which she kept her contacts in. She stated that the missing girl was never without her phone and that the pair would always listen to music on it and that she would refer back to it when needing to call someone from Amy’s landline phone at her home. She would also pull up her Dad’s phone number back home in Ireland when they went to internet café’s so she could talk with him. Amy wanted to live with her father back in Ireland, and wasn’t fond of her step dad whom she reportedly said “made her skin crawl”.

Both Ashley and her mother are 100% sure that Amy had her phone that night at their home. They saw her using it and both remember clearly. 
They have never doubted that Amy had the phone on her person that night.
Why, then, was the same phone found back at the apartment where her family was staying after investigators searched the property?

What does this mean?
1.       Did Amy make it home that night and go missing afterwards? If so, she never went out without her cell phone, so why would she leave it behind on this occasion?
2.       Did something happen to Amy back at the apartment? If so what?
3.       Did Ashley and her mother misremember- unlikely as they both claim to be 100% certain and have given statements to police confirming this.

The Nokia cellphone became a big issue in the case. Several months later in August 2008 the lawyer working on the case, a (then) 32 year man named Juan José de la Fuente Teixidó had his property burgled. The burglar neglected to take anything of monetary value from his home but took items relating to the missing Fitzpatrick girls case, such as his laptop containing his research and documents. He was sleeping at the time of the robbery and claimed the culprits got through the back entrance of the building.
According to this article in a Spanish newspaper, Juan José de la Fuente Teixidó told reporters that the evidence stolen would not damage the investigation as they were mainly back-up documents.
It is also reported that the Nokia cell phone was stolen.

I found a few reports indicating that the missing 15 year old had been sleeping rough. Apparently she kept a journal where she wrote about living in a cardboard box and fishing for food in trashcans with illustrations of her doing so. She wrote things like “I haven’t showered in 2 years”. People describe Amy as being thin and oftentimes not attending school and sleeping in fields. I read in one report that she wasn’t even enrolled in school, a neglectful act in and of itself on her mother’s part.
Was the journal a metaphor for how much she hated life in Spain or was it simply the cathartic scrawling of a depressed teenager unhappy with her life? 

Ashley Roses mother told reporters that Amy often stayed with them and even borrowed clothes and shoes from her daughter because the clothes she was wearing were falling to pieces. Also we know that Amy's mother and her mother’s partner did not report her missing until January 3rd. Most parents would panic if their child was even a few hours late coming home, especially in a foreign country, a couple days seems like a long time to wait when there’s a missing teenager. The fact that her primary caregivers didn't report her instantly could give weight to the idea that she really didn't spend much time at home. 

The mother of one of Amy’s school friends actually wrote to the Irish embassy in Spain expressing her concern for the unhappy girl. Eerily she urges the embassy to intervene and warns them if they don’t it will only be a matter of time before she disappears. Amy’s mother Audrey claimed the woman was crazy and was making things up in order to make a profit. From what I can see online, several media outlets have seen this letter.

So later in 2009 Audrey’s mother claimed she received a phone call from an anonymous male who spoke in what she described as an African accent. He claimed that Amy was in Madrid and that he knew where she was and would hand her over in exchange for 500,000 Euros. Amy’s mother agreed. As far as I can find nothing came of it. The calls and texts came from two different phone numbers from pre-paid / disposable cell phones:
- 672 564 681 (calls)
- 672 564 687 (texts)  

Dean Mahon, the step-father that Amy reportedly hated, stabbed her brother Dean to death in 2013. He claimed that Dean ran into a knife he was wielding during an argument and got several years for manslaughter. Amy’s mother, Audrey, continued to stand by the man who murdered her son, saying she had forgiven but not forgotten. She eventually married Dave Mahon. He has since died.

What do you think happened to Amy Fitzpatrick?

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Lyle Stevik identified

Hello everyone, just dropping by to announce that Lyle Stevik has finally been identified!

I was recently (and very politely) contacted over the RLIH tumblr (here) to remove the post mortem pictures from this blog due to the recent identification of Lyle, and was completely unaware that he had been identified. So thank you to "miss buttons" for alerting me.
The images from this blog have been removed and I will attempt to do so over at the tumblr. 

If you're not aware of the case, you can read about it HERE <<

An article online had a quote from the team who identified him: (DNA Doe project)

 “We can confirm that one of his grandparents did in fact come from Rio Arriba, New Mexico, where many of his DNA cousins’ families originated.”

The article continues: "His relatives reportedly thought he was still alive but had simply left because he didn’t want to associate with them. His real name has not yet been released at the request of his family, who are finally allowed to grieve some 17 years after his death."

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Tinder date murder, Ma-pi the Italian macrobiotic cult, Janie Landers Cold Case,Toronto Serial Killer, The Knights of The Crystal Blade Cult

Hey everyone, here's the recent cases I've been writing about for the past couple of months!

The Tinder date murder
Sydney Loofe of Nebraska went to meet up with a woman she had matched with on Tinder. When she failed to call in sick to work the following day a missing persons report was filed and her loved ones began to search for her. Her body was found in a nearby lake, but what exactly happened to her that night?  (Continue)

The Italian Macrobiotic Cult 
People take their diets pretty seriously these days- but not as seriously as "Ma-pi" an Italian macrobiotic cult that starved its members and forced them to work for free on the many farms that supplied goods to the cult leaders macrobiotic empire. This cult claimed that following their strict diet could cure not only minor ailments but vicious and terminal types of cancer. Followers were isolated to rural locations and cut off from the outside world (Continue reading...)

The murder of Riley Powell and Bredlynne Otterson
When a young couple went missing, investigators turned to their social media accounts in an attempt to track them down. Facebook messages indicated that they had went to meet an older woman to smoke weed and hang out. When her jealous boyfriend returned home to find she had been in male company, he took matters into his own hands in a jealous fit of rage (continue

The body in the suitcase
Rejection can hurt, but most people get over it- not Joshua Matthew Palmer. Palmer couldn't handle his much younger female friend being romantically disinterested in him. Lets explore the currently on-going trial as we attempt to figure out what really happened that night. 
Reader discretion is advised for this post, some readers may find the details of the case difficult to read. 

The Knights of The Crystal Blade Cult
This post contains mentions of sexual abuse. Reader discretion is advised. For those in need of help, information or advice: (UK) (AUS) (USA) (WORLD)
"The knights of the crystal blade" was a small, polygamist fundamentalist Mormon offshoot founded by a man named Samuel Shaffer. The cult believed that Doomsday would arrive in the form of a “Muslim invasion” and planned to kidnap children leading up to the end days. (continue)

The Doppelgänger
Viktoria Nasyrova came bearing the gift of cheesecake as an offering to her favorite beautician, a woman who looked strikingly similar to her, named Olga Tsvyk. After eating the cheesecake, Tsvyk suddenly felt dizzy and unwell. It soon became clear that Viktoria Nasyrova had came over for more than just eyelash extensions...

The Janie Landers Cold Case
Janie Landers was a resident at The Fairview training facility in Salem when she went missing in the late seventies. Several days later her body was found in a forest 40 minutes away from the facility. She had died due to blunt force trauma to the back of the skull. The bloodied vest she was wearing was kept sealed up and secure for decades until one day there was finally a DNA match... (continue)

Toronto Serial Killer Identified
When men started turning up dead in Toronto's gay village, Church and Wellesley, regulars started to get worried. All the victims, bar one, were of middle eastern or Asian descent and had disappeared in the mid to late 2000's.
Investigators turned their attention to a man who had stalked and harassed people in the same area almost two decades ago, a man named Bruce McArthur (continue)

The buckskin girl IDENTIFIED


Hey everyone, I was recently researching some old unsolved cases I've posted about here in the past and found out that "The Buckskin girl" has finally been identified. 
If you remember, the Buckskin girl, (who was nicknamed so on account of a unique handmade, deer skin poncho she was found wearing) was an unidentified, female homicide victim found in Troy, Ohio, on April 23rd 1981.

To quote my original post on the case:
 "She was found fully clothed, although shoeless, with no signs of sexual assault. She had died due to blunt trauma to the head. Believed to have possibly been a hitchhiking teenage runaway, or even the possible victim of a serial killer, she was estimated between the ages of 18 - 26. She was white, between 5'4 and 5'6, with brown eyes and brown / red hair parted in the center and pulled back into two high braids. She had a scar on her chin, wrist, arm and ankle.
Due to the good condition of the body, investigators were able to obtain DNA, finger prints and dental information. Despite having the samples, the Buckskin girl has lay unidentified in Riverside cemetery, Troy, Ohio for 34 years, So, who was the Buckskin girl? And who killed her?"

Well it seems we can answer at least one of those questions now: Her name was Marcia Lenore King
She was 21 years old and came from Littlerock, Arkansas. She was identified recently using her DNA with the help of the DNA Doe project (Read their FB update on the case HERE)

Read a report about the case HERE

Friday, 16 March 2018

Who killed Suzy Lamplugh? John Cannan and the Suffolk Strangler

On the 28th of July 1986, 25 year old Suzy Lamplugh disappeared from Fulham, South London, where she worked as a real estate agent. She had previously been employed as a beautician on the Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship, but had decided to take a new direction.

Following clues found in her work planner, police discovered that she had left her office at Sturges estate agents on Fullham road around lunch time in order to meet a client who was interested in a £130,000 property on Shorrolds road.

“37 Shorrolds road o/s” the note said. “12:45, Mr. Kipper”.
“o/s” is believed to stand for “outside”.

According to Google maps, it’s only a six minute drive from the office to the property. Suzy climbed into her white Ford Fiesta company car, registration number B396GAN and presumably made her way to the appointment.

Mr. Kipper was unknown to Suzy’s co-workers. They had no record of him on file at the office and it wasn’t a name any of them recognized.

When the 25 year old failed to return to the office, her family was contacted, and in turn, they contacted the police to report her missing. The police search was thorough. Officers employed the use of dogs and searched Sharrolds road, the surrounding area including Brompton cemetery and made a trip to the missing woman’s flat in Putney- just less than 3 miles from her workplace. 

There was nothing out of the ordinary at Suzy’s flat. No sign of a struggle. No evidence that she planned to walk away voluntarily. Everything seemed to be in order. 

Police utilized helicopters to scan parks and cemeteries but found nothing.

The first worrying sign in the case came when the woman’s car was found at around 10pm that night parked on Stevenage road. The vehicle is described as being hastily parked, blocking off part of a residents garage and the doors were unlocked. The seat had been adjusted in such a way that investigators believe someone other than Suzy was driving.  The keys were missing but her purse was in the vehicle.

As we can see from the map, Stevenage road is just over a mile away, around a 7 minute drive, nearby Fullham football ground and bishops park which stretches north of the Thames river. 

Divers searched the Thames, but came up empty handed.

I found this article, which states Sturges estate agency also had a property at Stevenage road on their books.

 When police reached out to the public for information they received a couple of accounts from witnesses passing through the area who recalled seeing a young woman arguing with a man. This article states that Suzy was seen exiting the property on Shorrolds road with the client at around 1pm.
Despite massive media coverage and hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls from the public, Suzy Lamplugh was nowhere to be found. A search of her company car found no signs of a struggle. Investigators entertained the notion that she initially went voluntarily with whoever was driving her Ford fiesta that day, but were at a loss when attempting to fill in the blanks of what happened afterwards.

Although 800 unidentified bodies were tested, none of them turned out to be Suzy.
 With no leads in the case, it simply went cold.

Mr. Kipper

An artist came up with this composite sketch using descriptions given by witnesses who saw Suzy and the man arguing
The artist’s rendition of Mr. Kipper turned out to resemble a later suspect in the case, a Mr. John Cannan.

Cannan was responsible for the rape of a woman in the Reading area in 1986. 
He was on a train from Bristol to London and got off at Reading where he committed the crime. Although he provided an alibi his DNA was present on the victim which eventually led to his arrest.

Cannan then attempted to kidnap a businesswoman from Bristol, Julia Holman, in the autumn of 1987. Although he threatened her to comply at gunpoint, she refused to go down without a fight and escaped.

He later murdered a woman named Shirley Banks whom he killed in Bristol. Banks was the manager of a local factory and a married woman who was quickly missed by her husband who searched for her when she did not turn up to a bar they planned to meet at after her shopping trip. 

Strangely, she called into work the following day and said she wouldn’t be able to come in due to sickness.  It’s thought that Shirley Banks was kept overnight at John Cannan’s residence at Foye House, Leigh Woods, Bristol, and that he most likely threatened to hurt her if she didn’t call in to work. He would have needed her to do this so it would appear as though she had gone missing voluntarily to give him more time to do whatever he was going to do. 

After Banks’ husband reported her missing a massive search was underway. Her picture, name, description and last known whereabouts were broadcasted on TV and printed in the media.
John Cannon committed crimes so compulsively that it was no surprise that he was eventually caught in the act and chased down by civilians who alerted the authorities. Police finally apprehended him on the 29th of October, 1987, after an attempted robbery at a dress shop in Lemmington Spa. 

A search of his vehicle, a black BMW parked a stone’s throw away, turned up a fake plastic pistol (likely the one he threatened Julia Holman with) and a length of rope. A bag and the knife he used to threaten various victims were found discarded nearby.

The investigation continued and as time passed more damning evidence turned up. The tax disc from Banks’ missing orange Mini Clubman car was found in the glove box of Cannan’s BMW.
When the Mini was eventually located in a garage near Cannan’s flat, police discovered the once orange vehicle had been painted blue in an attempt to disguise the once distinctive car.

A thumb print in Cannan’s flat matched that of Shirley. 
Her remains were found at “Dead woman’s ditch” in Somerset, England on the Quantock Hills. She had been raped and bludgeoned with a rock.

Keep these details in mind as we continue on.

Cannan had been committing crimes against women since he was just 14 years old. Back in 1968 when he was a teenager living in Erdington, Warwickshire, he assaulted a woman in a phone box.

He was actually married from 1978 – 1980 to a woman named June Vale. The couple had a daughter together. Cannon eventually left his wife for another woman named Daphne Sargent. When Sargent tried to leave him, he attempted to stop her using violence. 

From there he began to rob stores and rape women at knifepoint, resulting in his incarceration at Her Majesties Prison in Bristol where he was serving eight years. He was transferred to Wormwood Scrubs prison in London, eventually.

Here’s an interesting piece of information concerning his whereabouts on the day that Suzy went missing- Cannan was on day release from wormwood scrubs. The distance between Wormwood scrubs and Fullham road is just over 4 miles away, an average of 18 minutes by car.

Those who were unaware of his criminal history would describe him as good looking and charming. He had a way with women and claimed that he’d had around 100 one night stands. John Cannan was fond of middle class professional woman. He had a shtick of his own that involved playing the role of a business man and wooing his targets with bouquets of flowers, boxes of candy, champagne and trinkets. If things went well, he would date them, if they rejected his advances, he would most likely attack them.

An episode of crimewatch UK about Suzy’s disappearance featured a dating tape Cannan had made at an agency seeking women. 

In it, he comes across as thoughtful and charming. Listen closely and he may not be as eloquent as he tried so hard to seem, often using words incorrectly in sentences.
One of Cannan’s ex-girlfriends came forward to police to share some disturbing information. She revealed to investigators that John Cannan had some kind of fascination with Suzy’s case. At one point while they were driving past Norton Barracks, a military site in Worcestershire, Cannan said to her “Suzy Lamplugh is buried there”. Police searched the area extensively but found nothing.
A couple of years later police entertained the idea that the ex-girlfriend was possibly referring to Norton Manor Royal Marines barracks, located just 8 miles away from where the body of Shirley Banks was discovered in Somerset. Still, a search turned up nothing.

Years later a car linked to Cannan was recovered. It had a fake license plate that said: SLP 386 (possibly Suzy Lamplough, 3rd victim, 1986?)

The Suffolk Strangler

Various articles online question whether or not Steve “the Suffolk stranger” Wright could be responsible for the murder of Suzy Lamplugh.

Apparently this suspicion came up following a documentary about the serial killer who was active in Ipswich in the mid 2000’s.
The murders spanned 10 days in which Wright claimed 5 victims. If we look at the Stranglers M.O Suzy doesn’t appear to fit his victim type, however police found a photograph amongst the serial killers personal possessions that feature himself and Suzy. 

He too worked on the Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship at the same time as Suzy. He was ruled out as a suspect and denied any role.

I personally can’t escape the idea that Cannan is responsible. Suzy fits his victim type (“Posh” professional women, 20 something etc.) We also know that he was near Fulham on the day of her disappearance. We know he talked about Suzy on many occasions to his girlfriend at the time, making his morbid jokes about knowing where she was buried. Plus the license plate with what could be an abbreviation for her name, the year and victim number. 

Lastly, this article states that Suzy was being harassed by a man from Bristol (Cannan was born there) who drove around in a black BMW. Witnesses who saw Suzy with “Mr. Kipper” that day said the man drove the same kind of car.

Suzy Lamplugh's remains were never found.