Thursday, 31 March 2016

Daniel and Manuela Ruda, the Vampire killer couple:

Hey everyone. This is an older case, but it was one of the first true crime cases I remember reading about. I have to put a bit of a warning on this one due to mentions of murder and death.
If you think this isn't the post for you, please scroll past or select another post from the navigation bar above. 

Daniel Ruda was a German car parts salesman who, along with his wife, Manuela, would go on to murder and mutilate a friend in what he claimed was a sacrifice to Satan.
Daniel Ruda found his path into the Goth and heavy metal scene through the neo Nazi movement that he was a part of in his early twenties. He targeted young, unemployed members of the underground community, and pushed them to incorporate the swastika symbol into their image, promoting the shock value it would have on parents and society. He gave out free concert tickets that featured neo Nazi bands on the line-up and even canvassed for the NPD. 
Despite his dedication, Ruda faded out of the skinhead scene and turned his attentions to black metal. He filed his down teeth to points, joined a band called the “bloodsucking freaks” and took part in consented blood drinking as well as what he referred to as satanic rituals.

(Daniel in court)

An old friend of Daniels, a man named Frank Lewa who was part of the skinhead scene, was a witness at the trial. He relayed the details to the court and explained how the two had fallen out of friendship after an argument during a social gathering.

Lewa told the court about the photograph of a bloodied Ruda suspended from hooks that he received in the mail. In the accompanying letter, Ruda accused Lewa of being a traitor.
It also came to light that Daniel had been diagnosed with apersonality disorder at a young age.

Daniel Ruda met his wife after she responded to an advert that he submitted to a metal magazine (Some sources say “Metal Hammer” others say a black metal fanzine).
 “Black-haired vampire seeks princess of darkness who despises everything and everybody and has bidden farewell to life.” He wrote.

(Manuela in court)

His princess of darkness responded in the form of a 23 year old woman named Manuela, also a German national, who had just moved back to her small home town in Germany.
Manuela, like Daniel, had also been diagnosed with some mental health issues as a young teen. At 13 years of age she was evaluated after she began biting passing pedestrians in the street. Despite being in contact with a psychiatrist, her problems only seemed to worsen, and just a year later she was having hallucinations and believed that she was in direct contact with the devil himself. Her issues were unbearable; she abandoned her studies and overdosed, but didn’t die.
By sixteen she had run away to the UK and took a job in a Goth club in Islington, London (possibly the Slimelight) which opened its doors from near midnight to dawn.

 It is here that she claimed to get an education in vampirism. “It was an apprenticeship” she said. She found blood donors and similar minds who would willingly offer their blood to her to drink and she would return the favor.
During her time in the United Kingdom she also worked in a hotel in Scotland until its winter closure, and enjoyed the gloomy atmosphere and grey skies.

Much in the same vein as the advert Daniel had posted in the metal magazine, Manuela wrote a similar letter to a recluse man that she had read about, informing him that she hated society and requested to live with him. That man was man in his 60’s called Tom Leppard, known locally as “TheLeopard man of the Isle of Skye”; a man who has his entire body tattooed in leopard spots and pre-2006 was recorded as “The most tattooed man in the world” in the Guinness book of world records. Tom Leppard lived alone in a small hut by a lake, and agreed that Manuela could stay with him.

(photo from the guardian)

She returned home in 1998 and would later answer Daniel Ruda’s lonely hearts ad in 2000. The two shared the same hatred for humanity, the same lust for blood and spent nearly all of their time together, with Daniel losing interest in his work. In classic vampire style, they avoided the sunlight and slept in a coffin in a room of candles and skulls.

The following year, safe in knowledge that they were indeed a perfect match, the two registered to marry in 2001 on the 6th day of the sixth month. Manuela was then 23 years old, Daniel, 26.
The following month, in July, on the 6th day, they carried out a premeditated murder by tricking a friend, 33 year old Frank “Hacki” Hackert into coming over to their house for a party. The problem was, that Frank was the only guest, and he wouldn’t be leaving alive. The couple was fond of their friend, he liked the Beatles and they believed that he was amusing and would make a great Jester for the dark lord.

(The couple on court)

Daniel Ruda delivered blows to the back of Hackert's skull, and then proceeded to stab him repeatedly with a knife. One report stated that the method was inspired by the Cannibal Corpse album cover for “hammer smashed face”.

Hackert was stabbed a total of 66 times. The Ruda’s cut his veins and drained his blood, drinking it from small bowls. Hackert’s body was found below text saying “When Satan Lives” (some believe possibly a Deicide reference) mutilated, with an inverted pentagram carved into his chest, and the scalpel sticking out.

The two claimed to hear commands from the Devil and Manuela said she saw the knife glowing as well as Daniel Ruda’s eyes and that there was a definite overwhelming presence in the room. “The room flickered as his soul came out” Manuela said.
One source claims that this plan was inspired by a dream Daniel had, instructing the couple to marry and kill on those exact dates. Reportedly, they were supposed to commit suicide and go to hell following the murder, but instead went on the run, purchasing a chainsaw with the intention of massacre before suicide.
They were caught and arrested before they could kill again, police also found a kill list, with the names of future victims written on it.
Daniel Ruda would later tell his lawyer that he was in it for the fame. He wanted everybody to know him, he wanted to be as famous as Charles Manson and that meant he would have to kill, he allegedly stated.

Manuela requested the court room windows to be blacked out, but the request was denied. She was allowed to wear sun glasses throughout the trial, claiming sensitivity to sunlight as she never went out during the day as she was a vampire.

The two showed no remorse during the trial. They threw up the horns, stuck out their tongues, laughed, chewed gum and stared at the victim’s mother. Both claimed that they were not guilty, and that they were only vehicles for Satan to do his work.
If I kill a person with my car and half his bloody head is left on my bumpers, it is not the car that goes to jail it is the driver who is evil. I have nothing to repent, because I did nothing.” He went on to write abook about his innocence while incarcerated.
The couple was not awarded life sentences for their crimes, as they were deemed mentally ill with “severe narcissistic personality disturbances”.
They received sentences of 13 and 15 years in secure units after finally admitting to the crime, but still claimed that they were not responsible.
Manuela has since been released from prison and has no contact with Daniel.

"Couples who kill" (Book) [ X ]
Article from the Guardian [ X ]
Daniels book on Amazon [ X ]
German Wikipedia page about the crime [ X ]

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The disappearance of James Albert Boyd:

Update- -Solved

James “Jim” Albert Boyd was an international trader who traveled the world in search of treasures. He dealt in an array of objects, from rare coins, ivory and art, to gold, guns and Nazi paraphernalia.
A private and solitary man, he kept to himself, living simply in his Florida home- but Boyd’s residence was no ordinary abode, it was a windowless building with very elaborate security system installed.
On the 6th of February 1987, Jim Boyd walked into a St. Petersburg bank. 
He was scheduled to make a trip to South Africa where he was to meet with a very important entrepreneur and bought travelers cards worth $15000.
He never made it to his meeting in South Africa. 
He disappeared the same day along with his vehicle, a Chevrolet El Camino, and was never seen again.

Several days later the bank alerted local police of suspicious activity on Boyds account. $35,000 had been withdrawn by someone posing as James Boyd using a false I.D.

Authorities made a visit to Boyd’s home to find the front door ajar.
Blood and bullet shells were present in many of the rooms and various rare objects had been taken.

It came to light that there was no South African shipping magnate. The entire business deal had been orchestrated by a man named Steven Wayne White.

White was suspected of planning the murder of James Boyd over a period of several months along with Janina Koziej Meylheux, who was an ex-girlfriend of Boyd. The pair were arrested and found with the missing man’s car, as well as a total of $10,000 in cash and .25 caliber handgun- the same type of gun responsible for the spent bullets found scattered around Boyds property. The two were also found in possession of items from James' collection, valued at around $100,000, which they had stored in a warehouse in Atlanta.
Whites finger prints were lifted from the bathroom and he was charged with the murder.
Meylheux was charged with theft and deported back to France.

White’s defense attorney attempted to convince the court that Boyd had voluntarily walked away, implying that he wanted to undergo gender reassignment surgery and live as a woman with a new identity. It was also revealed that Boyd himself didn’t have a clean record, and had once been convicted of murdering one of his ex-wives lovers.

White was convicted of another murder in 1987- the murder of a missing California based dentist in Santa Ana , named Cedric Horn. He allegedly befriended the victim and stole around $60,000 of the man’s money. Due to White’s tendency to lie, investigators were not entirely sure how he got close to the missing dentist, but linked him to the murder via DNA evidence.
Neither Horn or Boyd’s bodies were ever recovered.

 (Left: Boyd, Right: White) 

Charley Project profile [ X ]
An article on White [ X ]
 Doe network profile [ X ]

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The corpse brides of rural China:

A friend of  mine sent me a link to an article he read on ghost brides as a suggestion for my next post.
I've written before about slightly similar story "Til death do us part" which you can check out too.

In a video from the Telegraph online, a man stands by the tomb of his mother and father.
He is understandably upset, as his parents resting place has recently been robbed, and now the body of his father stands alone. His mother’s corpse has been stolen and sold on the black market to be used in a ghost wedding (冥婚).

 This rural ritual dates back almost 3000 years in some parts of China and is the act of burying a dead bachelor with a dead bride and is considered lucky. Although the practice of ghost brides was made illegal under communist rule, it has recently been revived, and now days these departed brides are in demand and can sell for as much as $13,000 on the black market.
 Younger ghost brides, and more recently buried bodies fetch a higher price.

Many use a model of a female figure made of clay or dough to bury with dead single men, but superstitious older generations believe that only a real corpse bride can ward off haunting and that bad luck will curse their families if they don’t supply.

The black market price of a ghost bride has also inspired some men to murder women in order to sell them as high price corpse brides. 
In 2007 one man strangled several women and sold their bodies. When questioned about his actions he simply stated: "Killing people and selling their bodies is less work than stealing them from graves."
More recently in 2012, a family sold their deceased daughter off as a ghost bride to another family with a bachelor son. However the body was quickly stolen after the ceremony and sold again. 

Related articles:

In 2012, Surin, Northern Thailand, 28 year old Chadil Deffy married his deceased girlfriend at a joint wedding / funeral ceremony. The couple had been together for 10 years and planned to marry when Deffy completed his studies at university, but fate snatched away his girlfriend, 29 year old Sarinya Anne Kamsook, when she became involved in a car crash. Although with swift medical help Sarinya could have survived, she died as (Continue...)

Hang Lee:

Seventeen year old Hang Lee was a quiet girl. She loved to read and was an aspiring writer. She had a distinct style and black hair with dyed red bangs. She was also very petite, standing at 5”0 and weighing 90lbs. Hang attended Highland Park High school in Minnesota, where she was a senior, and lived with her parents, who were both refugees and Laos natives.

One evening, on the 12th of January 1993, between 6 :00 and 7:00pm, Hang left the family apartment with a friend, 18 year old Kia Lee (Also known as “Nikki” to friends)  
Dressed in her Skid Row T-Shirt, black leather jacket, black jeans and sneakers, she told her brother, Koua, in passing “If I don’t come back, look for me, I don’t trust Kia” and with that she left.

She was never seen again.

Despite language difficulties, Hangs parents were able to file a missing persons report a few days later.

The missing teen had left everything she owned behind, including her college savings and most recent paycheck of $100. She also let behind her bag, in which she usually carried various items for protection, such as a small knife.

Kia was questioned during the investigation into Hang Lees disappearance and changed her story multiple times.
When first questioned she claimed that Hang had left with a group of men, before changing her story and telling police that she had fixed Hang up with a job interview with her employer.
Kia’s employer was a man named Mark Steven Wallace, he was 30 years of age at the time, and he owned a painting and decorating business.
Kia claimed that Wallace was to have dropped Hang Lee off outside of “Wong’s Café”, a place where Hang worked as a cashier, just off Rice Street and Wheelock parkway. The Café still stands there to this day.

The last time Kia claimed to see Hang, was when she herself had been dropped off at a gas station, and watched Hang climb from the back seat into the passenger seat of Wallace's car as he pulled away. According to Kia, Wallace had attempted to take both the girls to a casino that night, but they rejected the offer as it was snowing and they had school the next day.

Wallace had originally been driving a white pick-up, but for reasons unknown had switched to a Chevrolet Cavalier before dropping the girls off.

He was a convicted sex offender; with two violent rapes on his record from the late eighties and was suspected of more. He had gotten out of prison just a year and a half prior to disappearance of Hang. In fact, in one of the crimes he was convicted for, was that he had raped a woman at knife point after offering a ride in his car as she stood at a bus stop, and he had also lured another victim with the promise of a job. This information, and the fact that he was apparently the last person to see Hang alive, made him the prime suspect.

He was never charged with the crime.

Following the accusation he hired an attorney and refused to be cooperative with police during the investigation.

In 2009 Police did finally search Wallace’s old home in search of evidence, including drilling up the concrete garage floor after the three cadaver dogs they brought along showed an interest in the area, but didn’t turn up anything.

The disappearance of Hang Lee is still a mystery to this day.

If you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact the St. Paul Police department on 651-266-5612

Charley Project [ X ]
Missing kids[ X ]
Twincities article [ X

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The thing? Exit 322 1-10 AZ

A couple of posts back, in "The man with two faces" piece I wrote, I mentioned that I found an awesome old photograph on a website called "The circus blog". 
Well I was browsing the site again earlier this morning because I just find it fascinating and I found pictures of some old mail order brochures aimed at sideshow owners who wanted to purchase faux shrunken heads and hand crafted oddities and the like. It sent me down a rabbit hole for an hour or so and resulted in this post about the man behind the creations, a man named Homer Tate. 

Homer Tate owned a curiosity shop in Phoenix, Arizona on East Van Buren Street and created various curiosities and oddities such as shrunken heads, wolf boys and hybrid animals that he would sell to sideshows and carnivals between 1940 and 1960. 

The crafts would be typically made by paper mache with animal bones and sometimes human or animal hair.

(Amazing photo's from sideshow word)

(Amazing photo's from sideshow word)

 If you’ve ever driven along interstate 10 between El Pasa and Tucson, you might have seen a series of yellow signs with black and red text reading “The thing, what is it?” The only way to know is to shell out 2 dollars and go see for yourself. Despite the remote location of the secretive attraction, many people have been curious enough to take a peak. What they’ll find there is three corrugated sheds with a faux cave aesthetic, each filled with items of curiosity and amongst them a car apparently used by Hitler and a mummified mother and child crafted by Tate himself. 

Although there were a lot of roadside oddities ran by local people out to make a dime from travelling Americans looking to make a pit stop during a long journey, Tate was well known in the sideshow circuit for his creations- so much so that he even had a mail order catalogue of creations for purchase.

 Today there are not many of Homer Tate’s creations out there, due to his strict Mormon family viewing his art pieces as abominations and getting rid of them while Homer was away. The few pieces that did survive are not in good shape due to the medium they were created in which is easily damaged. If found in good condition, a Tate oddity is a rare collectable piece.

Article in AZ Central [ X ]
Sideshow [ X ]
The thing Wikipedia [ X ]

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

James Huberty and the San Ysidro McDonalds massacre:

James Huberty was socially awkward throughout his childhood and well into adulthood. Despite having a morticians license, he worked as a welder and was described as smart, but solitary and morbid and didn’t deal well socially. 
He was married to a school teacher and they had two daughters together, but he was no ordinary father and husband. Huberty was a survivalist, living in fear of a coming apocalypse. He made a bunker in his basement which doubled up as a D.I.Y shooting range where he would test out various weapons. 
He had been bullied throughout his childhood, due to the correctional leg braces he wore throughout his adolescence which caused him difficulty with walking. 
Although Huberty was good at his job, the company that employed him closed down and he was laid off in 1982 after a decade of working there. 
He moved his family around, selling their home and downsizing, taking any jobs he could, each new accommodation worse than the last in Huberty’s mind. 
Eventually he lost his latest job as a security guard due to the issues he was having- it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Huberty had a breakdown, he felt like his world had ended and that he had nothing left to live for. He was paranoid and delusional, that apocalypse was breathing down his neck, reaching out to touch him. 

He spent time with his children, taking them to the zoo, and watched a film with his wife. The next day would be the last day of his life. The mental help that his wife had suggested he receive was not in time to prevent the mass shooting that Huberty was about to commit. 
The mental health facility had taken down the wrong details and did not return his call as promised. "Well, society had their chance.” His wife recalls him saying. 

Co-workers and neighbors alike admitted that Huberty had made many worrying comments during the time that they had known him and that he was obsessed with guns. His last words to his wife were “I’m going human hunting. Goodbye, I won’t be back”. 

By this point, Huberty had become so strange that everyone around him had simply grown used to hearing him say odd and inflammatory things.
 But James Huberty meant it this time.

 On the 18th of July 1984 at around 3:56 pm he got into his car and made the short drive to the San Ysidro branch McDonald’s restaurant in San Diego. Clad in camo pants and a dark shirt, he reached into a canvas bag, pulled out a shotgun, cocked it and fired it into the air. He ordered the patrons to get down on the floor before tearing into them with an Uzi, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Winchester pump action shotgun. 
He shot teenage girls, mothers and crying babies, old couples, children, anyone in his eye line. He shot three young boys riding by on their bicycles. He shot the furnishings, the windows, passing cars, passing pedestrians and officers. He sprayed bullets at already dead victims, pumped bullets into anything that moved with a seemingly endless supply of ammo. 
He screamed and ranted about his remorselessness for killing, he had fought in ‘Nam he screamed, he would kill anyone and anything, he didn’t care. Of course he had never served in Vietnam. 

Finally satisfied that he had murdered everyone in the building he simply waited for the police, who had mistakenly driven to the wrong restaurant and were only just making their way to the San Ysido branch. 
The gunman’s wife had already contacted police as she had seen her husband on TV. Of course Huberty knew this already- he had his own radio and was listening to the reports and music. He wanted his fame, his recognition for the crime. He wanted to be infamous. 

He was killed by a police sniper, just less than 80 minutes after the massacre. 
He killed 21 people and wounded 19.

Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crime [ X ]
Wikipedia page on the San Ysidro McDonalds massacre [ X ]

The sea waif:

41 year old Julian Harvey was an ex-WW2 pilot and the captain of the Bluebelle; a vessel sailing from Florida to the Bahamas on the 8th of November 1961.
 He murdered his own wife, and all but 1 of the ships charter’s family, before trying to sink the vessel and abandon ship in a rubber dingy.

 The charters only surviving child, an 11 year old girl named Terry Jo Duperrault, was sleeping at the time. Harvey did not attempt to shoot her despite having a gun in his hand, but demanded that she stay where she was as the ship started to fill with water. Desperate to survive, Terry Jo managed to keep her head above water and untied a cork float which she scrambled onto as the Bluebelle plunged into the darkness of the ocean beneath.
Although alive, she was alone, adrift in the open sea. 

Days later, she was sunburned and dehydrated from floating throughout the day in direct sunlight with no food or water. Sharks circled her raft and nudged it, it was a terrifying situation to be in.
As we can imagine, she mustn't of felt very secure sitting in the deteriorated fishing net which was the only thing between her and the open water.
Just as all hope was fading and her body was giving up, a Greek Freighter spotted her.
 She was holding onto life by a thread, they must have been shocked to see the child bobbing alone in the middle of the ocean.
The crew attempted to feed her water which must have burning passing her sun burned lips. She barely had enough energy to tell them her name and the name of the ship before passing out. 

Julian Harvey, who had murdered Terry Jo’s entire family and his own wife in cold blood, had been rescued one day earlier and had lied confidently about the events that lead to the sinking of the ship. He spun a false story telling of storms and weather related damage to the vessel. He was discovered with the body of Dr. Duperrault’s 7 year old child, Rene, whom he claimed that he had found drowned and floating face down. 

Harvey was unaware of Terry Jo’s survival. Upon discovering that she had survived and had been a witness to his crimes he checked into a hotel room under an assumed name and committed suicide using a razor. Originally he had intended to only murder his wife, motivated by financial gain as he wanted to collect his wife’s life insurance policy. (which was around $20,000) 
However, Dr. Duperrault caught him in the act and was murdered to eliminate witnesses. It came to light that Harvey had lost one of his six ex-wives and step mother in a car crash that he had somehow survived and had collected insurance money from her death. In fact he had collected a lot of insurance money from sunken vessels such as yachts and boats that he owned.

The picture of Terry Jo made it onto the cover of life magazine.

Amazon link to Terry's (Now Tere) book "Alone" [ X ]

(Sources: Today, readers digest, goodreads, wikipedia)

Manfred Fritz Bajorat:

Note: Before you read this post, please be aware that there is mention of death as well as a media published photograph of the body of Manfred Fritz Bajorat: . So please do not continue if this is a difficult subject for you to handle. Alternatively select another post from the navigation bar above.

59 year old Manfred Fritz Bajorat, was German sailor who had not been seen since 2009 and was found mummified on his yacht 40 miles off the Philippine coast. 

He was found preserved, most likely from the salty ocean air, slumped over his desk as if death was sudden and unexpected, perhaps in the form of a heart attack.
No foul play was reported, but the ship was untidy, with food cans and general items scattered everywhere.
Photos of his friends and ex-wife were nearby, in two photo albums that he kept on the ship.
A note to his ex-wife, who had passed two years previously was also nearby.

(Daily mirror)

Although on first glance the condition of his body suggested that he had been dead for a very long time, the autopsy results determined that it had only been a week or so.

(daily mirror)
Independent [ X ]
Daily Mirror [ X

(sources and pictures:Independent, daily mirror)

Self surgery:

Leonid Rogozov, a soviet Russian G.P, as the only doctor present at Novolazarevskaya station (an Antarctic research station) giving himself an appendectomy.
It was 1961 and he was only 27 years old at the time. 

(Sources: BBC, wikipedia )

The man with two faces:

Chicago native, Sam Alexander, was a stage actor who was wounded in a gasoline explosion on his way home from a night out. The accident disfigured his face below the eyes and unable to continue working as an actor he responded to an advertisement he saw for a local sideshow, owned by Pete Kortes, where he became known as “the man with two faces”. 

A talented prosthetics maker produced a convincingly realistic mask to conceal the damage, as people at the time could not bear to look at Alexander’s injuries and exposed skull. 
During his act he would recount his story before removing the mask in front a shocked and startled audience. He continued to work for various sideshows until he eventually owned his own and never gave up on surgeries to rebuild his face. 

It took a total of 72 procedures to fix the damage, and although the end result was not perfect, Sam Alexander was able to hang up his mask for good.

Extra Note: I managed to find this amazing photograph of the Pete Kortes sideshow on a website called "The circus blog" ran by gentleman by the name of Ivan.M Henry, who is a 5th generation circus owner. He has been documenting circus history from the 1800's - present on his site, so go over and check it out, it's very interesting!

The circus blog [ X ]
(Source) "American Sideshow" By Marc Hartzman [ X ]
The Human Marvels [ X ]

The mask of Myres:

Michael Myers mask in the John Carpenter movie “Halloween” was actually a $2 William Shatner (Captain kirk) mask spray painted white, with some eye hole and hair edits. If you have a spare $250 (!!) laying around, you can purchase a production copy cast off the original here <<click click

The human manta ray:

In 2013 news stations reported the account of a young local man (known only as Ignacio) who was walking through Bustamante park in Santiago, Chile when something caught his eye. 

Flying near the trees he described a black creature with large leathery wings and hooked claws, a beak filled with sharp teeth and a long tail. “It looked like a mix of Batman and Dracula” he said. Although witness accounts differ slightly when it comes to the description of the creature, others have  reported seeing the same beasts, some referring to it as a human manta ray or "manta man".

Many speculate that the creature is nothing more than a large owl, flying fox or bat.
The locals who have witnessed it first hand, beg to differ.
What do you think?

(grey headed flying fox from

Cryptid tidbits [ X ]
Ufosightingshotspot [ X ]
Video of news report [ X ]

The claw in the cave:

A preserved Megalapteryx foot found in 1986, in a cave on Mount Owen.

The Megalapteryx was a type of upland Moa native to New Zealand that has been extinct since 1500 AD.