Wednesday, 10 January 2018

What really happened to Billie-Jo Jenkins?

Hey everyone. 
Kicking off 2018 with a post about the unsolved murder of British Teenager Billie-Jo Jenkins.
Let me know what you think in the comments!

The Murder
Billie Jo Jenkins didn’t have an easy start in life. Her mother was unable to raise her alone after her father (Bayard Jenkins) was incarcerated and so she was put up for adoption as a child. Eventually, at the age of 8, she found a home with a family in the beautiful, historic town of Hastings, East Sussex on the Southeast Coast of England. She was adopted by the Jenkins family who shared her Surname- a coincidence suggesting it was meant to be. 
Unfortunately for the young girl, her short life would end in a violent and bloody death.

On the 15th of February 1997 her foster mother, Lois, had taken out two of her biological daughters for the day. Later, Billie’s foster father, Sion, took out the couples other two natural daughters, leaving Billie Jo home alone at 48 Lower Park Road where she planned to paint the patio doors in the garden. She would earn extra pocket money for the task, and was happy that she was awarded the job.
Sadly, it wouldn’t turn out to be the quiet day the teenager had anticipated, in fact, it would be her last day alive, and tragically, she would not meet a peaceful end.

The police received a phone call from the Jenkins residence later that day at 3:38pm day from Sion: 

My daughter’s fallen, or she’s got head injuries, there’s blood everywhere, she’s on the floor. He told them.  

(The call can be heard here [X])

Their foster daughter had been struck in the head around 10 times.

 She had been bludgeoned to death with an 18 inch long, 1.5lb tent-peg that was laying around in the garden. Part of a black plastic bag was found forced deep inside her nostril cavity.
The tent spike was originally thought to have been on the roof of the coal shed before being wielded as a murder weapon.

The girl was found clinging on to life by a thread on the patio floor where she had been painting that afternoon. There was no sign of life. No sign of breathing. 

Initially the finger of blame was pointed in the direction of her foster father, Sion Jenkins.

During an analysis of the clothes he was wearing on the day of Billie Joe’s murder, a fine mist consisting of 158 individual droplets of the girl’s blood was found sprayed across his jacket, shoes and trousers.

At the first trial in 1998 this forensic evidence was used to support the theory that Sion was responsible for the murder of the 13 year old.
He was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court and slapped with a life sentence.

Retrial, forensic evidence, accusations 
After repeated claims he won the right to a retrial in 2004. The mist of Billie Jo’s blood on his clothing became the main focus of the trial.

How did it get there? 
Did it actually indicate that Sion was the perpetrator?

 It was argued that the blood could have stained his clothes a result of the wound to Billie Jo’s throat- the blood could have possibly exited the puncture in her airway as she exhaled her final breaths- after all, Sion did attempt to move her away from the patio. It was argued that the victim would have had to be breathing extremely heavily at the time, however Sion himself on the day of the murder claimed his foster daughter didn’t seem to be breathing at all. Moreover, the clothes of the neighbor who tended to the victim and the uniforms worn by the paramedics did not display blood transfer similar to that found on the clothes of Sion Jenkins. 

The victim’s leggings, however, did bear a very similar pattern of fine mist- and this fine mist of blood was likely caused by her attacker bringing down the murder weapon onto an already bloodied area.

At retrial, another forensic expect argued that the pattern of blood splatter (the uniform mist or spray) could have indeed came from the victims airway as her father crouched down to cradle her in his arms. He argued that if Sion was indeed the perpetrator of the crime that his clothing would display blood splatter droplets of very different size and shape. 

The issue was, that it was thought possible that the microscopic blood stain could have gotten onto his jacket in both scenarios. 
The question was, was it as a result of a murder or the attempt of a father to save his daughters life?

Would a guilty man be jailed or would an innocent man be locked up for life?

This article has a quote from a friend of Sion's (Peter Gaimster) where he mentions that the night of the murder, Sion refused to wear his blue fleece, despite how cold it was outside. 

Sion Jenkins was released in 2006 when a jury couldn’t come to a mutual conclusion at retrial. 
As he walked free from the courthouse, two female relatives of the victim threw their fists at him in anguish.

A week later, an article was published in the Independent newspaper. In it, Lois Jenkins told all, and claimed that her husband had a violent and possessive nature and had been physically abusive to her when they were first married. She described once being slapped so hard that it resulted in a perforated eardrum.

Two friends of Billie Jo relayed stories of the girl turning up to school with various injuries, such as scratches and a bloody lip, and attributing them to her father.  Sion would later deny any accusation against him.

Lois described him as a liar with a bad temper, and revealed that at one point he had even been involved with a teenager who looked just like their murdered 13 year old daughterThis claim was ruled inadmissible by the court.
This accusation did pique my interest, though, and when looking for further information on this accusation I found a story on the free-library website about the girl in question. Going off the tags it seems to have originally have been published in the mirror on the 6th of July 1998. 

In the article, a 19 year old girl given the alias "Rachel" to protect her identity, claims that Sion Jenkins found her home phone number in her brother's school file at the all boys school he worked at after meeting her at a friends house. The two developed a romantic relationship where they went on secret dates together where he encouraged the teenager to dress in revealing outfits. She goes on to say that she believed he was controlling and that she was shocked to discover that she looked exactly like his foster daughter, Billie Jo. 
Eventually Rachel stopped seeing him as he began to give her the creeps.

"He gave me the spooks". She said: "When I saw a picture of Billie-Jo on TV I couldn't believe it. She was my double. It could have been me. It's hard to believe I got so close to a murderer. "I was absolutely besotted with Sion, completely taken in by his charm and confidence. Now I just feel sick when I think about being with him. It seems like one horrible nightmare."

Read the article in full HERE <<

Fear enveloped Lois Jenkins as the reality that her husband could be responsible for the murder set in. Sion believes that police came to her and the children to convince them of his guilt. Lois claimed that he used corporal punishment towards his daughters, which Sion denied in a 2006 interview with Trevor McDonald. Despite their original denial of their fathers punishment techniques at the time of the murder, the Jenkins children provided the “Tonight” network with a statement saying that Sion was lying and he had indeed beaten them with sticks and slippers. 

At the time of the murder the children gave contradicting and confused accounts of what happened that day in 1998, whether this is because they simply could not remember the minor details of that day, or due to pressure from the police or loyalty to their father is unknown. The girls were so young at the time that the whole situation most likely confused them when being questioned.

Although Sion Jenkins started off as supply teacher in London, he eventually steered his career in the direction of headmaster. He managed to get a job as deputy headmaster at a local school, William Parker School in Hastings, and was eventually gunning for the headmaster position. There was a slight issue with his ambition, however- his credentials were bogus. He lied about the schools he had attended and the grades he had achieved in order to get into his teaching position. Afraid of being rumbled, he changed direction and decided he wanted to go into politics. When later asked about his fabricated resume, he claimed that he lied simply to provide a better quality of life for his family.

That day
This article gives a bit more detail concerning the whereabouts of the Jenkins family at the time that Billie Joe was murdered.
It states that Lois was out shopping (here I found an account that they walking on the beach) with daughters 9 year old Esther and 7 year old Maya. 10 year old Lottie (Charlotte) was at a music class and 12 year old Annie was at home, as was Billie Joe.
 Annie was inside the house cleaning a room and Billie Joe was outside painting the doors in the back yard.

The court documents from 2008 state that Annie heard her father talking to Billie-Joe before they left the house. She did not hear Billie Joe verbally respond.

At 3 in the afternoon, Annie climbed into her father’s car and accompanied him in picking up her younger sister, Lottie, from her clarinette class, leaving Billie Jo home alone.
Now apparently there were a couple of minutes when the 3 returned where Sion Jenkins was not in company of his daughters. This was thought to be the window of opportunity he could have had in which to bludgeon Billie Joe to death with the metal tent spike. (He would have had around 3-4 minutes to do so)

In the court documents it is stated that Sion lied to both the 999 dispatcher and the officers on scene when stating that he had not been inside the house during the time of the attack. He also stated that he had been gone much longer than he actually was.

Lottie did point out that her father acted strangely not soon after, claiming that he came back outside and announced they had go to the store to pick up some turpentine to clean up any paint Billie Jo had spilled / get supplies. Lottie said that he neglected to bring any cash with him and drove twice around the park, going past the house. This information is detailed here.

In the interview with Trevor McDonald, Sion claims that Lottie was supposed to take over painting the patio doors, so they went to collect the appropriate supplies.

This court document states that there was already “white spirit” turpentine in the home. Again, in the 2006 interview with Trevor McDonald, Sion Jenkins deflects this point by saying there was indeed already a bottle of “white Spirit” at the home, however it was several years old and so far back in a cupboard that he had forgotten of its existence. 
Interviewer Trevor McDonald then points out that police believed Sion knew he had some / deliberately neglected to check so that he would have an alibi- a very good point to consider indeed. Sion being seen at the DIY store around the time of Billie-Joe’s murder might, in his mind, get him off the hook. Then driving needlessly around the park with his roof down for no reason at all so witnesses would be able to see him in his very memorable (in my opinion) MG could further help him convince authorities that he wasn’t home at the time. 
Sion insists that if that was the case, he would have went inside the store and spent a significant amount of time there, but didn’t. Taking an aborted trip to the DIY shop does not make him guilty, but not going in doesn’t make him innocent either.

Sion states that he couldn’t make a 3-point turn on his street because he considered it dangerous and so decided to drive around the park as an alternative and that’s why he took such a long route. He claims he simply forgot the money.

The interview:

Part 1 [X]

Part 2 [X]

When they returned home, Lottie discovered Billie Jo with a bloody face and head.
A neighbor, Denise Franklin, who was called over by Sion Jenkins, described seeing Billie Joe on her back with her head titled to the left. At this time Sion had already dialed 999 and told the dispatcher that he had positioned the victim on her side, when in fact he had not.

She had been kneeling on a rug that was wrapped with a plastic black bin liner for comfort while she painted the doors. Part of the black plastic was stuffed up into the girls nose, and when the neighbor pulled it out (presumably to help the girl breathe- although both adults at the scene claimed there was no sign of the victim breathing when they found her) blood poured from her nostril. 
Despite being in such close contact with Billie Joe, Franklin’s clothing did not show the fine mist of blood that Sion’s did.

Another strange fact in the case, is that when the emergency services and local police arrived, Sion Jenkins sat in his car and put up the roof (which had been previously rolled down on the drive to the DIY shop and around the park.) Charlotte (Lottie) was supposed to clean the car for extra pocket money and was rushing excitedly to do so before Billie Jo was discovered bludgeoned. Police theorize that he sat in the car because he had bludgeoned his foster daughter and was worried that there was blood in the car before he had a chance to clean it, so he deliberately transferred some by himself by sitting in there after pretending to discover the body. 
He put his actions down to being in shock when questioned in court.

Mr. B (also referred to as Mr.X)
There was one other suspect in the case and his name in the media is “Mr.B”. He is thought to be something of a red heron, however there are some interesting details as to why he was a suspect at the time.
Mr.B is described as a mentally ill male with a fetish for plastic bags. Although I haven’t seen it officially confirmed, he was thought to have paranoid schizophrenia. He was seen by multiple witnesses in the area on the afternoon of Billie Jo’s murder who describe him as sitting on a bench opposite the murdered girl’s home “sniffing” and “snorting” at a blue plastic carrier bag.  

At 3 in the afternoon a guesthouse owner briefly conversed with Mr.B, he described the exchange as a confusing conversation and stated that it was evident the individual was suffering from a mental illness. The guesthouse owners business was on the same road as the Jenkins residence and he even pointed the man in the direction of their home when suggesting he look for a place to stay in town.

Part of a black plastic bag was found forced deep in Billie Joe’s nostril cavity, a bizarre detail in the case that made many people following the case uncomfortable when reading of Mr.B’s presence in the area around the time of the murder.

The court ruled him out as a suspect because they believed the only thing linking him to the crime was his plastic bag Paraphilia and the coincidence that a piece of black plastic bin liner was found in Billie Joe’s nasal cavity. Apparently he was also sitting on a public bench opposite the Jenkins residence at the time of the crime. This article mentions that he liked to stuff pieces of plastic bags up his nose and into his mouth.  

This website, which advocates for the innocence of Sion Jenkins, explains that Mr.B had an obsessive idea revolving around "sealing up openings", although I'm not sure from where this information originates. The owner of the website implies a link between the plastic bag found in the victims nostril and Mr.B’s Paraphilia.
Is this attempt to shift the blame from Sion Jenkins to Mr.B valid or reaching?

The prowler / suspicious phone calls / stalker
This article in the independent tells of how Sion and Lois "lived in fear" of a prowler. 
 A statement given by family friend Peter Gaimster details an evening at the Jenkins residence (just four days before the girls murder) where Sion mentioned a prowler and showed him the extra security measures they had taken. 
 He said the family were so concerned that they even planned to move in the future. 
This report mentions that in 1996 Billie-Jo had mentioned being stalked by a male in a leather jacket to friends. One friend, Ruth Bristow, informed investigating officers that several days before her murder Billie-Jo was so terrified that she didn't want to stay in the Jenkins home.

Despite their worries, their car being vandalized and a series of strange phone calls they had received, they had neglected to alert the police about the issue. 

The M25 rapist Antoni Imiela
In February an article was published considering Antoni Imiela, also known as "The M25 rapist" and "the summer rapist" may be a possible suspect. 

Imiela was given the nickname due to his crimes against women and children that took place in various cities along the M25 motorway. He was responsible for 9 rapes between 2000 - 2001 and 1 attempted rape of a child whom he beat and choked. His victims ranged between the ages of 10 - 52. He has thought to have been committing crimes since the late eighties. 

At the time he was dating his future wife, Christine Ashenden, who lived around 2 miles from the Jenkins home. Imiela had been courting her for a while and was a regular visitor in Hastings by '97. 
He was known to stalk his victims and lie in wait for extended periods of time before committing his crimes. Could he have been waiting in the park behind Billie-Jo's home on the day of her murder? 
Was he the prowler the family feared? 
Perhaps he saw her walking her dog every night after school and began to follow her and learn her routine. 

As we can see in the picture of the back of the home, it looks very easy to access. (source)
The security lights that Sion fitted would have been rendered useless in the daylight. 

Imiela was said to own and often wear a leather jacket similar to the one Billie-Jo described her unidentified stalker as wearing. 

Did Imiela wait for the Jenkins family to leave Billie-Jo alone and unsupervised before grabbing a makeshift weapon from the coal shed roof to bludgeon the 13 year old, but was disturbed when Sion and his daughters arrived home so quickly after leaving?

Autopsy revealed that the victim was not sexually assaulted in any way, which is the main part of Antoni Imiela's MO, but perhaps he did not get the chance. He did, however, beat any victims that resisted his attacks.
He also used one of his victims cell phones to harass her mother with disgusting comments about what he had done.
A 26 year old victim also had a black plastic bag put over her head. 
He told another victim "13 is a lovely age".
These days Sion is no long married to Lois Jenkins, who packed up and relocated to the isolated island of Tasmania, Australia with the couple’s four girls- Annie, Charlotte, Esther and Maya. She remarried a martial arts trainer, gave birth to another child and lives far from the horror of what happened in 1997- at least physically. 
The memory of the nightmare will be something that never leaves her.

 Sion didn’t move quite the same distance and currently resides in Bath, England, where he has also remarried. He married woman named Christina Ferneyhough. She had been writing to him during his incarceration and the pair tied the knot on his release.
He is currently studying law and has written a book where he discusses whom he believes to be the main suspect in the case- a tall man with dark hair who he claims was in his home on the day of the murder. He originally believed the unidentified man to be an officer in plain clothes, his neighbor at the time, Denise Lancaster, commented that she did not believe the man existed

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Who killed Jackie Ansell Lamb and Barbara Mayo?

It was a Sunday. March the 8th 1970, London. 
The time was approximately 2:30 in the afternoon.
A teenage girl stood at the side of the road with her thumb out, attempting to hitch a ride back home to Manchester. 
She had recently moved from London to Manchester and had traveled back to the capital city with her flat mate to retrieve the rest of her belongings. While there, the girls attended a party where the teenager met a man in his early twenties. The pair spent the weekend together before he dropped her off at Hendon so she could thumb a ride back to Manchester.

The girls name was Jackie (often spelled Jacci) Ansell Lamb; she was just 18 years old and worked as a legal secretary in  Manchester. 
She was seen by various witnesses at the beginning of the M1, attempting to get a lift Northbound. 
(Unlike today, hitchhiking was a common practice back in the seventies.)

The journey from London to Manchester spanned 200miles and would have taken around 4 hours to complete. She managed to get picked up, a great stroke of fortune she probably thought at the time- unfortunately for Jacci, her journey would end just half an hour from her desired destination.
Less than a week later, On Saturday the 14th of March, a farmer near Mere, in Knutsford, near the M6; found the body of young woman in a thicket on a rural country road near Mobberley.

This archived page from “the Cheshire magazine” gives a more specific location: “Square Wood, Mere, near Knutsford” which looks like this on Google maps:

The girl had been strangled to death (ligature) and was in a state of undress. 
She had been raped.
After a call for information one man came forward as an eye witness. He claimed that he saw Jacci climb into a vehicle around 4-5 in the evening at the Keele service motorway station (Three Mile Lane, Keele, Newcastle-Under-Lyme ST5 5HG, UK). 

He described her as being clad in a long navy coat and shiny maroon shoes. She was also wearing a blonde wig and false lashes.

From what I can find online, this could make sense.
She left London around 2:30pm and was seen between 4 - 5pm in Keele, which is about a 3 hour drive (169 miles) meaning the witness could have seen her around the time he claimed.
From there it would only be an hours’ drive from the Keele service station to the site that Lamb’s body was found.

I’m not sure if she was getting into the same car she’d hitchhiked in from London to Keele or if she was getting into a second ride from Keele to Manchester and never made it.

The only description of the car at Keele is that it was a saloon. This information was found HERE<<

I wanted to know more about Jacci (Or Jackie as her name is often spelled in various reports) and eventually found a book on the Yorkshire ripper containing some extra information. HERE <<

Now According to this book, Jacci was found face down with a wound to the back of her skull. The Navy blue jacket the witness had described seeing is said to be purple, but exactly the same style, which makes me think the eyewitness who saw Lamb at the Keele station is believable.

The jacket had been ripped from her body and was torn at the buttons indicating a struggle. Apparently the killer had used the coat to hide her from view and her skirt was placed next to her.

In this book, the ligature is thought to have been a length of knotted rope or some kind of wire, as indicated by the bruising around her neck. Other articles do state it was electrical wire.

Apparently her body had been posed. This is a detail I have not seen anywhere else.
This book suggests that Peter Sutcliff, also known as “the Yorkshire ripper”, could very well be responsible for the murder of Lamb. However surely they have his DNA and could have matched it with the DNA from the girl’s body. I’m presuming there was some?

Now there is an eerily similar case that is always mentioned in the same breath as the unsolved murder of Jacci Ansell Lamb, and that is “the unsolved murder of Barbara Mayo”.

Now Mayo was a 24 year old trainee teacher who was hitchhiking from Hendon, at the start of the A1 going Northbound to Catterick, North Yorkshire - the same starting point as Jacci Ansell Lamb. It was also the same year- Monday the 12th of October, 1970.
Apparently she set off to Catterick with the intention of hitchhiking there to pick up her boyfriend’s car at a garage they’d left it at, as it had broken down on a journey back from County Durham the previous day. She was carrying a unique looking bag with her which was decorated with an elephant design.

Unfortunately she never turned up to the garage and also failed to return home to shepherds bush, London. She was quickly reported missing.

Her body was found near Hodmire lane, Glapwell, Aul Hucknall in Derbyshire, much in the same state as Jacci Ansell Lamb’s. Most online articles simply state that she was raped and strangled, but the book Yorkshire Ripper - The Secret Murders: The True Story of How Peter Sutcliffe's Terrible Reign of Terror Claimed at Least Twenty-Two More Lives She too had a wound to the back of the skull, had been raped and strangled to death with a ligature.

Police set up stops to question people along the motorway and appealed publicly for information. One eyewitness claimed that they saw a young woman who looked like Mayo climbing into a Morris 1000 estate Traveller van (quite a memorable car imo) at 4 in the afternoon. They apparently saw (who they believed to be) Mayo getting into the car along the A610 in Nottinghamshire.

-So both women began their journeys Northbound at the start of the A1.
-Both were raped and strangled.
-Both had injuries to the back of the head (apparently).
-Both were possibly seen by witnesses around the same time frame.
-They were murdered within seven months of each other.

Although I’m aware of Peter Sutcliffe, I’ve never looked into his crimes in depth, but this excerpt from an article about Sutcliffe’s potentially much higher body count piqued my interest.

His MO included prior conversation with his victims, the use of hammer (usually with a round head or ‘ball-peen’) from behind, repeated stabbing after death with a knife or screwdriver, partially stripping and moving his victim’s body and posing them in a ‘staged’ crime scene. He sometimes used a knotted roped to strangle victims, and semen was sometimes left at the scene.

Hitting the victim on the back of the head, posing the bodies, rape, and strangulation with a ligature? Sounds all too familiar as an MO. I think we’ll have to look into this in more detail in a whole other post on Sutcliffe in the near future.

Now this next part of the story confused me.

Numerous reports state there was DNA found on both victims from the same man that linked both cases to the same unidentified perpetrator. But when searching about this it seems as though this was a case of misreporting on the media’s part.

Apparently there was never any confirmation about the DNA found on both bodies belonging to the same person. I found a request for information regarding this detail online, however it was rejected by the Cheshire Constabulary and the original asker was referred to a previous question that was similar in nature.

The entire exchange can be viewed HERE<<

Check back for part 2 very soon.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Who murdered Ann Ballantine?

Beautiful, dark haired, 20 year old Ann Ballantine was unemployed, but used her free time to contribute to the local community, helping handicapped children and volunteering at a youth charity for disadvantaged local kids. She was a warm hearted and charitable young woman, who wanted to benefit the lives of those in need. According to this article Ann loved children and aspired to have kids of her own one day.

Ann’s mother, Isobel, was only 18 years old when she gave birth to Ann, but describes her first child fondly, commenting on how happy the child was.

Ann was single and was living independently in her own flat on Dalry road. She would visit the family home on a weekly basis, usually with armfuls of laundry. She’d use the washing facilities and sit down and chat with her family before leaving with food and snacks to take back to her flat.
Ann and her boyfriend, a man named Joe Burden, had recently separated on amicable terms, and she had no known enemies in the area. In fact, Anne was a popular young woman who loved heavy metal and would watch bands at the local venues and hang out with bikers around Edinburgh. She was very sociable and was always meeting up with friends in the city.

This is why, when she failed to show up to a pre-planned get-together with a friend just a few days after the 20 year old visited her parents’ home on the 18th of November 1986, her parents were contacted.
The friend alerted them and explained how Ann had failed to show up to the meeting they had arranged, and expressed worry. Her parents called in at their daughter’s apartment but she neglected to answer. They left a note and went home, returning several times to check again and post notes and money through the letter box, encouraging Ann to get in contact.

Ann never did contact them.

When she neglected to show up to the family home for the Christmas holidays as they had arranged they reported her missing on the 26th.

Ann’s friends were interviewed; her flat was searched by police who determined there was no sign of a struggle. There were various items missing from the residence, however, including a sleeveless black leather jacket, a brass lighter with her initials engraved into it, her black shoulder bag, a photo album, a camera and keys. To me these all seem like items you’d take for a day out somewhere, but the photo album throws me off. I feel as though a photo album is something you’d take to a meet up with a friend. I mean it doesn’t say anywhere (as far as I can see) what the content of the album was (for example was it childhood photographs, school pictures, pictures from concerts, pictures of friends?) but maybe she was talking it to show someone she hadn’t seen in a while (For example an old school friend maybe) and wanted to take a stroll down memory lane with the aid of the photo album?

Tragically, Ann Ballantine’s bound and naked body was discovered wrapped in a carpet, floating in the icy water of Union Canal on the 21st of January in 1987. Her hands and feet were bound and she appeared to have been strangled by a ligature and photographs were discovered splayed out nearby.
Due to the state of decomposition, it was estimated that she had been dead for a few weeks and probably kept somewhere else before being callously dumped into the canal. Her body was so badly decayed that police advised the family not to view it. She was finally identified by dental records and a scar. Family friends viewed the body for confirmation to spare Ann’s parents of the pain. Although they were not allowed to see their child one last time they were given a lock of her hair, a memento that they treasure till this day. (source)

Her apartment was only 90 meters away from where her body was discovered.
Apparently Ann kept a diary, which her parents read in search of clues. 

One entry read: “There’s somebody knocking at my door, I think I recognize the knock, I think it could be XXX”

In reports her parents insist that they know who their daughter’s killer is, and that they even have a photograph of the two together at a family event. Apparently they aren’t allowed to expose the suspect due to insufficient evidence, but they are adamant that they know who killed their first born.
“He looks pure evil” Isobel commented.

Although advances in DNA have contributed significantly to solving decades old cold cases, the state of decay and the wet conditions Ballantine’s body was found in could render new technologies irrelevant in this case. Investigators may have to turn to other methods to find the killer.

Ann Ballantine never got the chance to marry and have her own children as she dreamed. She never got to go to the Alice Cooper concert she had bought tickets for weeks in advance. The case remains officially unsolved and her killer still walks the streets freely.

 If you have any information please do not hesitate to contact the authorities

Monday, 11 December 2017

Tampa serial killer caught, Takahiro Shiraishi, Jemma Lilley and the "play zone", Kim Wall? The Italian Josef Fritzl

Hey everyone, hows it going? 
Just stopping by to share some updates on cases as well as this months blogs that I wrote for the Generation why podcast this month.

So first of all, remember the unsolved case of James Albert Boyd? He was the eccentric antiques collector who went missing from his fortress of a home back in the  late eighties. 
He was last seen at a bank withdrawing $1500 in travelers checks for his upcoming business trip to South Africa. He and his car completely vanished off the face of the earth and for years the case was unsolved. 
Recently there has been an update and his killer has confessed.  Read the case and update HERE <<

Now for a very important update on the Tampa serial killer- he's finally been caught. 
If you haven't been following this case in the news you might want to check out the first three posts on it first: 

Do you ever feel lonely or sad and turn to online friends to be consoled? Hopefully you don't run into someone like Takahiro Shiraishi, or "hanging pro" as he was known online.
Shiraishi was a 27 year old man from Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He claimed to be a professional in the art of suicide by hanging and offered his expertise to vulnerable suicidal people online. In reality, he had his own reasons to lure victims to his apartment. (READ THE CASE HERE<<)

Next up we have the case of 26 year old British murderer Jemma Lilley. 
Lilley was writing a book about a serial killer called "play zone"- a work that she had been penning since her teenage years. The main character was named "SOS" or "Son of Sam" after one of her favorite killers David Berkowitz. "Play zone" would eventually become a reality. (READ THIS CASE HERE<<)

I'm sure you've all seen this one in the news. 
Journalist Kim Wall died while taking a tour in a mini submarine belonging to an inventor and engineer in his mid-forties named Peter Langkjær Madsen. Parts of her dismembered body later washed up on shore... What happened that night on the submarine?

Warning- this post is very disturbing and contains mentions of torture, rape and abuse. 
I wrote about this very recent case today. It's about a woman who was held captive for 10 years and the ordeal she suffered through. (READ HERE<<)

Something else I wanted to share is the attention the Emma Fillipoff case is receiving from various podcasts recently.

If you're not familiar with it my original post is HERE<<

Generation why did an episode last month (which I'll embed here for your convenience)

There is also a whole series from "The night time podcast" dedicated to the case.
All the episodes are HERE <<

Monday, 20 November 2017

What really happened to Lars Mittank?

Lars Mittank was 28 years old when he went missing from Varna Airport in Bulgaria in the summer of 2014.

He was  a worker at the Wilhelmshaven Power Station in a small coastal town in lower Saxony, in northwest Germany and was on vacation when in a seemingly paranoid state, he disappeared without a trace.

Mittank was on vacation with four friends at Golden sands, a sea side resort on the coast of the black sea in Bulgaria, a popular and relatively low cost holiday destination for those in nearby European countries who want to take a break and soak up the sun.  They arrived at their destination on the 30th of June 2014, after a 2 hour plane ride, and checked into their hotel (Hotel "Viva Club"), which was all inclusive, with food and drinks provided.   The place is described as a sort of party resort popular amongst Germans- think Ibiza.

On July 6th the trip was disturbed by an altercation between the group of German tourists and a group of locals when they had a dispute over football at a local bar named “the rock bar”.
Although there was no violence inside the bar at the time Lars went missing later that night when he was waiting for his friends to purchase food from a nearby McDonald’s fast food restaurant on the way back to the hotel. 
They looked for him to no avail, and eventually decided to go back to the hotel expecting him to be there. Unfortunately he was not, but he returned the next morning claiming to have been accosted by a group of men that he believed were sent for him by the group they had an altercation with earlier in the night. He claimed that the group had hired a bunch ofeither locals or Russians to rough him up.
Apparently his friends weren’t convinced by the story, but let it go.
He had walked away from the beating with a ruptured ear drum and injured jaw.  

Where exactly was Lars Mittank between waiting outside of McDonalds for his friends to order and returning to the hotel in the morning?
Was he unconscious? If so for how long?

Now I’ve read conflicting reports on the severity of the ear injury. Some reports say that he was actually good to fly, but didn’t want to.
Other reports state that the ruptured ear drum was an injury that wouldn’t allow him to fly back to Germany on schedule with his friends.
Although they wanted to stay with him until he was fit to fly, Lars Mittank insisted that he was fine and would find a hotel to stay at until he was well enough to return home.

On July 7th his friends left the hotel in one taxi, and he left in another in search of medical attention. After refusing surgery (he did not want to get surgery outside of Germany), which the local doctor insisted Mittank needed, he was instead prescribed 500mg of  Cefuroxime / “cefzil”- a type of cephalosporin  antibiotic sold under the name of “Ceftin / Zinacef” by Glaxo smith Kline in the UK, commonly used to treat bacterial infections.

The antibiotics were prescribed by a Dr. Boris Najdenow and Mittank obtained the medication from a local pharmacy. He walked around the local area looking for a new place to stay and eventually decided on a place named “The hotel color” in Varna, which costs around $25 a night and is reviewed as average on trip advisor.  One user comments that the hotel is just a 15 minute walk from the bus stop, and another describes it as a “friendly, family run hotel”. Some complained of outdated interior and stained sheets.

The following day Lars started acting strangely.

At 10 minutes to mid-midnight Lars called his mother using his cell phone and told her that he felt scared. He asked her if she would contact his bank and freeze his credit card. He also called her again at 3am and told her in a low whisper that he was hiding from a group of men who had been following him.

Lars had left thehotel with his things in the middle of the night, staff said.
He texted his mother asking her what “CFC 500” was. CFC500 is the abbreviation for the anti-biotics he had been prescribed earlier for his ruptured eardrum. He would have most likely been prescribed this to prevent an ear infection.

At 6am Lars was dropped off at the airport in a taxi. He had apparently shared the cab with another passenger after waving it down in the street. They supposedly described him as having Mydriasis. Although most peoples first though when they hear someone has “large” or “dilated” pupils is drug use (such as amphetamines) mydriasis can also be caused by trauma, including head injuries although the trauma usually has to be quite severe.

I was wondering, what type of surgery did Dr. Boris Najdenow suggest that Mittank needed? There are surgeries with low risk to repair ruptured ear drums, but it can also heal on its own given time (usually a month or so). Surgery would have allowed Mittank to leave the hospital within a couple of days and be on his way, so maybe it was offered so he could get back to Germany more quickly?

Once at the airport he called his mother who booked him a flight home and advised himn to drop in on the airport doctor before boarding. He still believed that the group of men (four individuals) were chasing him and would refuse to let him leave Bulgaria by bus or plane.

Who were these 4 men? Did they actually exist?
Did Lars possibly attempt to get back to Germany by another method of transport? It’s possible to drive from Bulgaria to Germany. It would take you a full day but maybe Lars thought he could hitchhike back home if he was afraid of being found by these 4 mystery men on the scheduled buses and trains.

Lars managed to locate the airport doctor who examined him and would later describe him as being emotionally depleted.
 The examination was momentarily disturbed by an airport employee who wanted to chat to the doctor about doing some work on her office. 

This set Lars off and he jumped up, fleeing the airport. Eventually he found his way out and witness’ say he managed to climb over a fence and jump into a field  on the other side. The barbed wire wrapped around the top of fence did little to prevent his escape. (This is not shown on the CCTV footage, however)

No one would ever see Lars Mittank again.
A truck driver claimed to have given him a ride around April 2015, but this sighting was never officially confirmed. 

If you have any information regarding Lars, please do not hesitate to contact the numbers below.