John List – The Bogeyman of Westfield

John List was an American mass murderer and long-time fugitive. On November 9, 1971, he killed his wife, mother, and three children in their home in Westfield, New Jersey, then disappeared. He had planned the murders so meticulously that nearly a month passed before anyone suspected that anything was amiss.

As he eluded justice for nearly 18 years, List assumed a new identity and remarried. He was finally apprehended in Virginia on June 1, 1989, after the story of his murders was broadcast on the Fox television program America’s Most Wanted. After extradition to New Jersey, he was convicted on five counts of first degree murder and sentenced to five consecutive terms of life imprisonment without parole.

List gave critical financial problems, and his perception that his family was falling away from God, as his rationale. Killing them, he allegedly reasoned, would assure their souls a place in Heaven, where he hoped eventually to join them. He died in prison custody in 2008 at the age of 82.

Personal background

Born in Bay City, Michigan, List was the only child of German-American parents, John Frederick List (1859–1944) and Alma Maria Barbara Florence (Hubinger) List (1887–1971). Like his father, he was a devout Lutheran and a Sunday school teacher. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the infantry as a laboratory technician during World War II. After his discharge in 1946, he enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting, and was commissioned a second lieutenant through ROTC.

In November 1950, as the Korean War escalated, List was recalled to active military service. At Fort Eustis, in Virginia, he met Helen Morris Taylor, the widow of an infantry officer killed in action in Korea, who lived nearby with her daughter, Brenda. John and Helen married on December 1, 1951, in Baltimore, and the family moved to northern California where List served as an Army accountant.

After completion of his second tour in 1952, List worked for an accounting firm in Detroit, and then as an audit supervisor at a paper company in Kalamazoo, where their three children were born. By 1959, List had risen to general supervisor of the company’s accounting department; but Helen, an alcoholic, had become increasingly unstable. In 1960, Brenda married and left the household, and List moved with the remainder of his family to Rochester, New York, to take a job with Xerox, where he eventually became director of accounting services. In 1965, he accepted a position as vice president and comptroller at a bank in Jersey City, New Jersey, and moved with his wife, children, and mother into Breeze Knoll, a 19-room Victorian mansion on Hillside Avenue in Westfield.


On November 9, 1971, List methodically murdered his entire immediate family, using his own 9mm Steyr 1912 semi-automatic handgun and his father’s Colt .22 calibre revolver. While his children were at school he shot his wife Helen, 46, in the back of the head, and then his mother Alma, 84, above the left eye. As his daughter Patricia, 16, and younger son Frederick, 13, arrived home from school, he shot each of them in the back of the head. After making himself lunch, List drove to his bank to close his own and his mother’s bank accounts, and then to Westfield High School to watch his elder son John Jr., 15, play in a soccer game. He drove the boy home, then shot him repeatedly in the chest and face.

List placed the bodies of his wife and children on sleeping bags in the mansion’s ballroom. He left his mother’s body in her apartment in the attic. In a five-page letter to his pastor, found on the desk in his study, he wrote that he saw too much evil in the world, and he had killed his family to save their souls. He then cleaned the various crime scenes, carefully cut his own picture out of every family photograph in the house, tuned a radio to a religious station, and departed.

The murders were not discovered until December 7, nearly a month later, due in part to the family’s reclusiveness and refusal to socialise, and in part to notes sent by List to the children’s schools and part-time jobs stating that the family would be visiting Helen’s mother in North Carolina for several weeks. He also stopped milk, mail and newspaper deliveries. Neighbours noticed that all of the mansion’s lights were illuminated day and night, with no apparent activity within. Finally, as the lights began burning out one by one, they called police.

The case became the most notorious crime in New Jersey history since the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. A nationwide manhunt was launched. Police investigated hundreds of leads without success. All reliable photographs of List had been destroyed. The family car was found parked at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, but there was no evidence that he had boarded a flight. Alma was flown to Frankenmuth, Michigan and interred at the Saint Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery. Helen and her three children were buried at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.

Eighteen years later, on May 21, 1989, the murders were recounted on the Fox television program America’s Most Wanted, which at the time had been on the air less than a year. The broadcast featured an age-progressed clay bust, sculpted by forensic artist Frank Bender, which turned out to bear a close resemblance to List’s actual appearance. List was located and arrested in Virginia less than two weeks after the episode was broadcast.

Relocation, arrest and trial

In 1971, as the FBI later discovered, List had travelled by train from New Jersey to Michigan, and then Colorado. He settled in Denver in early 1972 and took an accounting job as Robert Peter “Bob” Clark, the name of one of his college classmates (although the real Bob Clark later asserted that he had never known List). From 1979 to 1986 he was the comptroller at a paper box manufacturer outside Denver. He joined a Lutheran congregation and ran a car pool for shut-in church members. At one religious gathering, he met an Army PX clerk named Delores Miller and married her in 1985. In February 1988, the couple moved to Midlothian, Virginia, where List, still using the name Bob Clark, resumed work as an accountant.

On June 1, 1989 he was arrested at a Richmond accounting firm after a Denver neighbour viewed the America’s Most Wanted broadcast, recognised the profile, and alerted authorities. He continued to stand by his alias for several months, even after extradition to Union County, New Jersey, in late 1989; but finally, faced with irrefutable evidence—including a fingerprint match with List’s military records, and then with evidence found at the crime scene—he confessed his true identity on February 16, 1990.

At trial, List testified that he was faced with grave financial difficulties in 1971: he had lost his job at the Jersey City bank. To avoid sharing this humiliating development with his family, he spent each workday at the Westfield train station, reading newspapers until it was time to come home. He skimmed money from his mother’s bank accounts to avoid defaulting on his mortgage. He was also dealing with his wife’s alcoholism and her untreated tertiary syphilis, contracted from her first husband and concealed for 18 years. According to trial testimony, Helen had pressured List into marriage by falsely claiming that she was pregnant, then insisted that they marry in Maryland, which does not require blood testing to obtain a marriage license. Though her health progressively worsened, she said nothing to List or her physicians until 1969, when a thorough workup revealed the diagnosis. By then the disease and her excessive alcohol consumption had, according to testimony, “transformed her from an attractive young woman to an unkempt and paranoid recluse” who frequently—and often publicly—disparaged List, comparing his sexual skills unfavourably with those of her first husband.

A court-appointed psychiatrist testified that List suffered from obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and that he saw only two solutions to his situation: accept welfare or kill his family and send their souls to Heaven. Welfare was an unacceptable option, he reasoned, because it would expose him and his family to ridicule and violate his authoritarian father’s teachings regarding the care and protection of family members.

On April 12, 1990, List was convicted of five counts of first degree murder. At his sentencing hearing he denied direct responsibility for his actions: “I feel that because of my mental state at the time, I was unaccountable for what happened. I ask all affected by this for their forgiveness, understanding and prayer.” The judge was unpersuaded: “John Emil List is without remorse and without honour,” he said. “After 18 years, five months and 22 days, it is now time for the voices of Helen, Alma, Patricia, Frederick and John F. List to rise from the grave.” He imposed a sentence of five terms of life imprisonment, to be served consecutively — the maximum permissible penalty at the time.

List filed an appeal of his convictions on grounds that his judgement had been impaired by post-traumatic stress disorder due to his military service. He also argued that the letter he left behind at the crime scene—essentially his confession—was a confidential communication to his pastor and therefore inadmissible as evidence. A federal appeals court rejected both arguments.

List later expressed a degree of remorse for his crimes: “I wish I had never done what I did,” he said. “I’ve regretted my action and prayed for forgiveness ever since.” When asked by Connie Chung in 2002 why he had not taken his own life, he said he believed that suicide would have barred him from Heaven, where he hoped to be reunited with his family.


List died of complications from pneumonia at age 82 on March 21, 2008, while in prison custody at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, New Jersey. In reporting his death, the Newark Star-Ledger referred to him as “the bogeyman of Westfield.”

Home arson

Breeze Knoll was destroyed by arson on August 20, 1972, approximately 10 months after the murders. The crime remains officially unsolved. Destroyed along with the home was the ballroom’s stained glass skylight, rumoured to be a signed Tiffany original, worth at least $100,000 at the time (equivalent to $590,000 in 2017). A new house was built on the site in 1974.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article John List, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The Hinterkaifeck Murders

Hinterkaifeck was a small farmstead situated between the Bavarian towns of Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen, approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) north of Munich. On the evening of March 31, 1922, the six inhabitants of the farm were killed with a mattock. The murders remain unsolved.

The six victims were parents Andreas Gruber (63) and Cäzilia (72); their widowed daughter Viktoria Gabriel (35); Viktoria’s children, Cäzilia (7) and Josef (2); and the maid, Maria Baumgartner (44).

Hinterkaifeck was never an official place name. The name was used for the remote farmstead of the hamlet of Kaifeck, located nearly 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) north of the main part of Kaifeck and hidden in the woods (the prefix Hinter, part of many German place names, means behind), part of the town of Wangen, which was incorporated into Waidhofen in 1971.


A few days prior to the crime, farmer Andreas Gruber told neighbours about discovering footprints in the snow leading from the edge of the forest to the farm, but none leading back. He also spoke about hearing footsteps in the attic and finding an unfamiliar newspaper on the farm. Furthermore, the house keys went missing several days before the murders. None of this was reported to the police prior to the attack.

Six months earlier, the previous maid had left the farm, claiming that it was haunted; the new maid, Maria Baumgartner, arrived on the farm on the day of the attack and was killed hours later.

Exactly what happened on that Friday evening cannot be said for certain. It is believed that the older couple, as well as their daughter Viktoria, and her daughter, Cäzilia, were all lured into the barn one by one, where they were killed. The perpetrator(s) then went into the house where they killed two‑year‑old Josef, who was sleeping in his cot in his mother’s bedroom, as well as the maid, Maria Baumgartner, in her bedchamber.

On the following Tuesday, April 4, neighbours came to the farmstead because none of its inhabitants had been seen for a few days. The postman had noticed that the post from the previous Saturday was still where he had left it. Furthermore, young Cäzilia had neither turned up for school on Monday, nor had she been there on Saturday.


Inspector Georg Reingruber and his colleagues from the Munich Police Department investigated the killings. More than 100 suspects have been questioned throughout the years, with the most recent questioning taking place in 1986. None of the questioning yielded any results.

The day after the discovery of the bodies, court physician Johann Baptist Aumüller performed the autopsies in the barn. It was established that a mattock was the most likely murder weapon. Evidence showed that the younger Cäzilia had been alive for several hours after the assault — she had torn her hair out in tufts while lying in the straw, next to the bodies of her grandparents and her mother. The skulls of the corpses were sent to Munich, where clairvoyants examined them, to no avail.

The police first suspected the motive to be robbery, and they interrogated travelling craftsmen, vagrants, and several inhabitants from the surrounding villages. This theory was abandoned when a large amount of money was found in the house. It is believed that the perpetrator(s) remained at the farm for several days – someone had fed the cattle and eaten food in the kitchen, and the neighbours saw smoke from the chimney during the weekend – and would have easily found the money if robbery had been the intention.

The death of Karl Gabriel, Viktoria’s husband (who had been reported killed in the French trenches in World War I), was called into question. His body had never been found. However, most of his fellow soldiers reported seeing him die, and the police believed their reports.

Two-year-old Josef was rumoured to be the son of Viktoria and her father Andreas, who had an incestuous relationship that was documented in court and known in the village. A neighbouring farmer named Lorenz Schlittenbauer publicly claimed to be Josef’s father, and paid alimony to Viktoria and Andreas. Shortly before the murders, Viktoria was preparing to sue Schlittenbauer, who by then had a wife and a baby, for alimony. Schlittenbauer was part of the original search party that found the corpses, and he disturbed the bodies before the police arrived. The police questioned Schlittenbauer extensively but were unable to find concrete evidence linking him to the crime.

In 2007, the students of the Polizeifachhochschule (Police Academy) in Fürstenfeldbruck examined the case using modern criminal investigation techniques. They concluded that it is impossible to definitively solve the crime after so much time had passed. The primitive investigation techniques available at the time of the murders yielded little evidence, and in the decades since the murders, evidence has been lost and suspects have since died. Despite these setbacks, the students did establish a prime suspect, but did not name the suspect out of respect for still‑living relatives.


The six victims are buried in Waidhofen, where there is a memorial in the graveyard. The skulls were never returned from Munich, after having been lost during the chaos of World War II.

The farm was demolished a year after the attacks, in 1923. Close to where the farm was located, there is now a shrine.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Hinterkaifeck murders, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The Killing Of A Serial Killer

Neal Falls was an American suspected serial killer shot and killed by Heather Saul in West Virginia. Falls had been stopped by police in over 20 states during his life but did not incur any serious criminal charges.

Death and Discovery

After entering Saul’s residence, Falls held her at gunpoint. Saul describes the struggle that ensued as follows: “When he strangled me, I grabbed my rake, and when he laid the gun down to get the rake out of my hands, I shot him…I grabbed the gun and shot behind me.” Falls died at the scene.

Four sets of handcuffs were retrieved from his body. When police officers searched the inside of his car, they allegedly found a machete, axes, knives, a shovel, a sledgehammer, bleach, plastic trash bags, bulletproof vests, clean white socks and underwear.

Police are now investigating whether Falls could possibly be connected to the murder or disappearance of ten women across eight states including Ohio, Illinois, and Nevada. All the alleged female victims were documented escorts, most of whom advertised online.

Evidence linking Falls to multiple homicides includes an item found with dismembered bodies outside of Las Vegas, where Falls is rumoured to have resided while working on the Hoover Dam. This is similar to an item found in his car. A pair of legs were found in the woods near Divernon, IL by a young man that are believed to belong to one of Falls’ victims.

In a statement of speculative belief, “It’s likely that Mr. Falls is a serial killer,” said Steve Cooper, Chief Detective at Charleston Police Department.

Police suspect a post-it found in Falls’ pocket, detailing the names of six females along with ages and phone numbers, may have contained the names of potential or future victims

Possible victims

Possible victims of Neal Falls [yet to be supported by evidence] include:

  • Jodi Brewer
  • Lindsay Marie Harris
  • Misty Marie Saens
  • Tiffany Sayre
  • Shasta Himelrick
  • Charlotte Trego
  • Tameka Lynch
  • Wanda Lemons (missing)

Previously speculated victims

  • Timberly Claytor
  • Jessica Edith Foster (missing)
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Neal Falls, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The Phantom of Heilbronn

The Phantom of Heilbronn, often alternatively referred to as the “Woman Without a Face”, was a hypothesized unknown female serial killer whose existence was inferred from DNA evidence found at numerous crime scenes in Austria, France and Germany from 1993 to 2009. The six murders among these included that of police officer Michèle Kiesewetter, in Heilbronn, Germany on 25 April 2007.

The only connection between the crimes was DNA, which as of March 2009 had been recovered from 40 crime scenes, ranging from murders to burglaries. In late March 2009, investigators concluded that the “Phantom” criminal did not exist, and the DNA recovered at the crime scenes had already been present on the cotton swabs used for collecting DNA samples; they belonged to a woman who worked at the factory where they were made.


An analysis of the mitochondrial DNA from the samples collected in Austria showed that it was most often found among people in Eastern Europe and neighbouring Russia. This was not discovered in the German investigations as the analysis of DNA may not be used in criminal proceedings to determine personal attributes of a suspect other than sex.

The investigations were concentrated in a special task force “parking lot” at the Heilbronn police department. In January 2009, the reward for clues regarding the whereabouts of the person was increased to €300,000.

The existence of the Phantom had been doubted earlier, but in March 2009, the case took a new turn. Investigators discovered the DNA sequence on the burned body of a male asylum-seeker in France – an anomaly, since the sequence was of a female. They subsequently came to the conclusion that the mysterious criminal did not exist and that the laboratory results were due to contamination of the cotton buds used for DNA probing. Although sterile, the swabs are not certified for human DNA collection.

The cotton swabs used by many state police departments were found to have been contaminated before shipping. It was found that the contaminated swabs all came from the same factory, which employs several Eastern European women who fit the type the DNA was assumed to match. Bavaria, although a region central to the crimes, obtained their swabs from a different factory. They had no reports of crimes committed by the Phantom.

Associated crimes

The DNA attributed to the “Phantom” was found at the scene, as well as purportedly at the sites of the following crimes:

  • on a cup after the killing of a 62-year-old woman on 25–26 May 1993 in Idar-Oberstein, Germany (the DNA was analysed in 2001)
  • on a kitchen drawer after the killing of a 61-year-old man on 21 March 2001 in Freiburg, Germany
  • on a syringe containing heroin in October 2001 in a wooded area near Gerolstein, Germany
  • on the leftovers of a cookie in a trailer that was forcefully opened on the night of 24 October 2001 in Budenheim, Germany
  • on a toy pistol after the 2004 robbery of Vietnamese gemstone traders in Arbois, France
  • on a projectile after a fight between two brothers on May 6, 2005 in Worms, Germany
  • on a stone used for smashing a window, after a burglary on 3 October 2006 in Saarbrücken, Germany (DNA was discovered and analysed only 2008)
  • after a March 2007 burglary at an optometrist’s store in Gallneukirchen, Upper Austria
  • after 20 burglaries and thefts of cars and motorbikes between 2003 and 2007 in Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland, Germany; Tyrol, Austria; and Upper Austria
  • on a car used to transport the bodies of three Georgians killed on 30 January 2008 in Heppenheim, Germany (the DNA was analysed on 10 March 2008)
  • after a burglary on the night of 22 March 2008 in a disused public swimming pool in Niederstetten, Germany
  • after four cases of home invasion in Quierschied (twice), Tholey and Riol, Germany in March and April 2008;
  • after an apartment break-in in Oberstenfeld-Gronau during the night of 9 April 2008
  • after the robbery of a woman on 9 May 2008 in a club house in Saarhölzbach
  • in the car of an auxiliary nurse who was found dead at the end of October 2008 near Weinsberg, Germany
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Phantom of Heilbronn, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The Persian Princess

The Persian Princess or Persian Mummy is a mummy of an alleged Persian princess that surfaced in Pakistani Baluchistan in October 2000. After huge publicity and further investigation, the mummy proved to be an archaeological forgery and possibly a murder victim.


The mummy was found October 19, 2000. Pakistani authorities were alerted to a videotape recorded by Ali Aqbar, in which he claimed to have a mummy for sale. When questioned by the police, Aqbar told them where the mummy was located; at the house of tribal leader Wali Mohammed Reeki in Kharan, Baluchistan near the border of Afghanistan. Reeki claimed he had received the mummy from an Iranian named Sharif Shah Bakhi, who had said that he had found it after an earthquake near Quetta. The mummy had been put up for sale in the black antiquities market for 600 million rupee, the equivalent of $11 million. Reeki and Aqbar were accused of violating the country’s Antiquities Act, a charge which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.


In a press conference on October 26, archaeologist Ahmad Hasan Dani of Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University announced that the mummy seemed to be a princess dated circa 600 BC. The mummy was wrapped in ancient Egyptian style, and rested in a gilded wooden coffin with cuneiform carvings inside a stone sarcophagus. The coffin had been carved with a large faravahar image. The mummy was atop a layer of wax and honey, was covered by a stone slab and had a golden crown on its brow. An inscription on the golden chest plate claimed that she was the relatively unknown Rhodugune, a daughter of king Xerxes I of Persia and a member of the Achaemenid dynasty.

Archaeologists speculated that she might have been an Egyptian princess married to a Persian prince, or a daughter of Cyrus the Great of Achaemenid dynasty of Persia.

However, because mummification had been primarily an Egyptian practice, they had not encountered any mummies in Persia before.


The governments of Iran and Pakistan soon began to argue about the ownership of the mummy. The Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization claimed her as a member of Persian royal family and demanded the mummy’s return. Pakistan’s Archaeological Department HQ said that it belonged to Pakistan because it had been found in Baluchistan. The Taliban of Afghanistan also made a claim. People in Quetta demanded that the police should return the mummy to them.

In November 2000, the mummy was placed in display in the National Museum of Pakistan.


News of the Persian Princess prompted American archaeologist Oscar White Muscarella to describe an incident the previous March when he was shown photographs of a similar mummy. Amanollah Riggi, a middleman working in behalf of an unidentified antiquities dealer in Pakistan, had approached him, claiming its owners were a Zoroastrian family who had brought it to the country. The seller had claimed that it was a daughter of Xerxes, based on a translation of the cuneiform of the breastplate.

The cuneiform text on the breastplate contained a passage from the Behistun inscription in western Iran. The Behistun inscription was carved during the reign of Darius, the father of Xerxes. When the dealer’s representative had sent a piece of a coffin to be carbon dated, analysis had shown that the coffin was only around 250 years old. Muscarella had suspected a forgery and severed contact. He had informed Interpol through the FBI.

When Pakistani professor Ahmad Dani, director of the Institute of Asian Civilizations in Islamabad, studied the item, he realized the corpse was not as old as the coffin. The mat below the body was about five years old. He contacted Asma Ibrahim, the curator of the National Museum of Pakistan, who investigated further. During the investigation, Iran and the Taliban repeated their demands. The Taliban claimed that they had apprehended the smugglers that had taken the mummy out of Afghanistan.

The inscriptions on the breastplate were not in proper grammatical Persian. Instead of a Persian form of the daughter’s name, Wardegauna, the forgers had used a Greek version Rhodugune. CAT and X-ray scans in Agha Khan Hospital indicated that the mummification had not been made following ancient Egyptian custom – for example, the heart had been removed along with the rest of the internal organs, whereas the heart of a genuine Egyptian mummy would normally be left inside the body. Furthermore, tendons that should have decayed over the centuries were still intact.

Ibrahim published her report on April 17, 2001. In it, she stated that the “Persian princess” was in fact a modern woman about 21–25 years of age, who had died around 1996, possibly killed with a blunt instrument to the lower back / pelvic region e.g. hit by vehicle from behind. Her teeth had been removed after death, and her hip joint, pelvis and backbone damaged, before the body had been filled with powder. Police began to investigate a possible murder and arrested a number of suspects in Baluchistan.


The Edhi Foundation took custody of the body, and on August 5, 2005, announced that it was to be interred with proper burial rites.

The body was eventually buried in the first half of 2008, following years of fruitless waiting for approval from authorities.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Persian Princess, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The 1945 Katsuyama Killing Incident

The Katsuyama killing incident in 1945 was a killing of three Marines by Okinawans from the Katsuyama village near Nago, Okinawa, after the Battle of Okinawa, shortly before the end of the war in the Pacific. Many years later some of the villagers confessed that every weekend three United States Marines had allegedly been visiting the village around that time and every time they violently took the village women into the hills with them and raped them. When the Marines started to confidently carry out their weekly ritual unarmed, the villagers reportedly overwhelmed the men one time and killed all three. Their bodies were hidden in the nearby cave out of fear for retaliation against the village, a village secret until 1997.


Villagers revealed long after the attack that the Marines were so confident that the villagers were powerless that they came to the village without weapons. Taking advantage of this, the villagers ambushed them with the help of two armed Japanese soldiers who were hiding in the nearby jungle. Shinsei Higa, who was sixteen at the time, remembers that “I didn’t see the actual killing because I was hiding in the mountains above, but I heard five or six gunshots and then a lot of footsteps and commotion. By late afternoon, we came down from the mountains and then everyone knew what had happened.”

To cover up the deaths, the bodies were dumped in a local cave that had a 50-foot (15-m) drop-off close to its entrance.

When the men did not return to their Marine Corps posts, they were listed as possible deserters in the summer of 1945. After a year with still no evidence of what happened to them, they were declared missing in action.


Kijun Kishimoto was almost thirty during the incident and grew up in Katsuyama. He was away from the village when the men were killed. In an interview, he said, “People were very afraid that if the Americans found out what happened there would be retaliation, so they decided to keep it a secret to protect those involved.”

Finally, a guilty conscience led Kishimoto to contact Setsuko Inafuku (稲福節子), a tour guide for Kadena United States Air Base in Okinawa, whose deceased son Clive was also a victim of sexual assault, and who was involved in the search for deceased servicemen from the war. The two searched for the cave in June 1997, but could not find it until August, when a storm blew down a tree which had been blocking the entrance. The local Japanese police were informed but they kept it secret for a few months to protect the people who discovered the location of the bodies.

When they finally told Marine officials, the USMC located the bodies in the cave. Using dental records all men were identified as the 19-year-old Marines who went missing in 1945. Their names were Pfc. James D. Robinson of Savannah, Ga., Pfc. John M. Smith of Cincinnati, and Pvt. Isaac Stokes of Chicago. The cause of death could not be determined for any of the Marines that had been recovered from the cave.


No plans were made to criminally investigate the incident by either the United States military or the Okinawa police.

After the Battle of Okinawa, the island chain was occupied under the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands until 1972. At that time, the U.S. government returned the islands to Japanese administration. Under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the United States Forces Japan (USFJ) have maintained a large military presence: 27,000 personnel, including 15,000 Marines, contingents from the Navy, Army, and Air Force, and their 22,000 family members are stationed in Okinawa.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article 1945 Katsuyama killing incident, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The “Murder” of Connie Franklin

Connie Franklin was an American man who became widely known in the United States for testifying at his own murder trial in 1929. Franklin was known in the popular press as the “Arkansas Ghost”.


In January 1929, Connie Franklin moved to the town of St. James in Stone County, Arkansas. At the time, he claimed to be 22 years old, and worked cutting timber and as a farm hand. Soon after his arrival in the area he began courting a local 16-year-old girl, surname Ruminer, whose given name is reported variously as Tillar, Tillir, Tiller, and Tillie. In March 1929, Franklin disappeared. After an investigation, Sheriff Sam Johnson presented Bertha Burns and Tillar Ruminer as his evidence to a grand jury, but as there were at that time no witnesses willing to testify, the Grand Jury took no action in the case.

In the autumn of 1929 Bertha Burns, who had found the bloody hat that supposedly belonged to Franklin back in the Spring, contacted Johnson and brought him to a pit of ashes not far from her home, claiming that there might be the evidence of Franklin’s murder in the pit. Johnson found some bone fragments and teeth, which he took to the Arkansas state health officer, Dr. C. W. Garrison, who determined that at least one of the shards came from a human skull.

Some months after Franklin’s disappearance, Johnson intercepted a note which provided him with some information about the case, and he renewed his efforts to find witnesses. Ruminer had told the Sheriff in May 1929 that she and Franklin had been attacked by “night riders” on March 9, 1929. She explained that she and Franklin intended to marry, and en route to the Justice of the Peace they were attacked by four men; Hubert Hester, Herman Greenway, Joe White and Bill Younger. According to her statements, Hester and Greenway took her into the woods and raped her, while the others tortured, mutilated, and then burned Franklin alive. When Ruminer was questioned about her delay in reporting these crimes, she said that she had kept quiet due to the violence inflicted upon her and the threats of further violence made against her: “One of the attackers threatened to kill her, whipped her father and mother, carried away her brother as a hostage.” Without bones, or witnesses, they could not issue arrest warrants. On November 18, 1929, the Grand Jury issued indictments for first degree murder for Alex Fulks, Joe White, Herman Greenway, Hubert Hester, and Bill C. Younger following the discovery by Bertha Burns of a fire pit and bones near her home, eight and a half months after the alleged crime. A trial date was set for December 17.

Connie Franklin Returns

On December 5, the Arkansas Gazette ran a headline claiming that Connie Franklin had been seen alive after the supposed murder. A farmer, Elmer Wingo, reported that Franklin had worked for him and for his neighbours, the Philpotts, as a farm hand in the past, and that he had passed through the area in March 1929 looking for work. Shortly after his return to Saint James, however, the case was further complicated when Johnson discovered that the man claiming to be Connie Franklin was actually Marion Franklin Rogers, who had a wife and was the father of three or four children. Further investigation revealed that in 1926 Rogers had been admitted to the State Hospital for Nervous Diseases, whence he had escaped three months later. Two days after this story broke, Rogers was found at a farm belonging to Murry Bryant near Humphrey, 100 miles to the south, and subsequently brought back to Saint James. There Rogers was examined and quizzed by those who had known Franklin. Coleman Foster, a cousin to Tillar Ruminer and a friend of Franklin asserted that Rogers was not Franklin. Ruminer and her father also denied that Rogers was the same person as Franklin, at first hesitantly, and then more assertively during the trial. But Rogers was able to identify Ruminer and her father, while others in the community, including the accused men, asserted that Franklin and Rogers were the same person.

Unable to find any witnesses to Franklin’s identity who did not have an interest in the case, the prosecutor decided that a trial was the only method of resolving the issue. A grand jury was convened at the same time to establish the identify of Rogers. Doctor J.E. Luther confirmed he was the same man through comparison of his military and state hospital records and first hand examination.

During the trial, prosecuting attorney Hugh Williamson was opposed by Ben Williamson, his younger brother, acting as chief defence counsel. Judge S. M. Bone presided. The prosecution submitted burned bones as evidence of Franklin’s death, but as a temple bone had been mislaid, the state health officer Garrison refused to swear that the remains were human. In addition, both Garrison and a dentist testified that the teeth found at the site were not human. Ruminer testified that Rogers was not the same man as Connie Franklin, and recounted her version of the events of March 9. Her testimony was corroborated by a deaf mute, Reuben Harrell, a nephew to Coleman Foster, who had come forward as a witness to the crimes.

The defence presented witnesses who claimed that Rogers and Franklin were the same person. During his testimony, Rogers claimed that he had been out drinking with the defendants on the day of the “murder,” fallen off his mule, and had not seen Ruminer until the following day. At that point, he claimed, Ruminer had said she wanted to postpone the wedding until the fall, to which he replied that if she didn’t marry him immediately she would never see him again. She would not, so he left town and worked in nearby Humphrey AR, not to return until he heard that others were on trial for his murder. He made efforts to explain the story had its roots in the liquor wars between the Hess family and the Younger and Greenways. The defence also claimed that enemies of the accused had used Franklin’s disappearance to frame them for murder, including placing animal bones in a fire in the woods. In the end, the trial lasted two days.

Initially, the jury reported they were deadlocked. Judge S. M. Bone told the jury that the trial had already cost the county $8000 and instructed them to try again to come to a verdict. The next day, they returned a verdict of “not guilty.”

After the trial

In December 1932, three years after the trial, Rogers was found lying beside a road outside Clarendon and died of exposure three days later. Medical reports show he had appendicitis.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Murder of Connie Franklin, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The 2011 San Fernando Massacre

The 2011 San Fernando massacre, also known as the second massacre of San Fernando, was the mass murder of 193 people by Los Zetas drug cartel at La Joya ranch in the municipality of San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico in March 2011. Authorities investigating the massacre reported numerous hijackings of passenger buses on Mexican Federal Highway 101 in San Fernando, and the kidnapped victims were later killed and buried in 47 clandestine mass graves. The investigations began immediately after several suitcases and other baggage went unclaimed in Reynosa and Matamoros, Tamaulipas. On 6 April 2011, Mexican authorities exhumed 59 corpses from eight mass graves. By 7 June 2011, after a series of multiple excavations, a total of 193 bodies were exhumed from mass graves in San Fernando.

Reports mentioned that female kidnapping victims were raped and able-bodied male kidnapping victims were forced to fight to the death with other hostages, similar to ancient Roman gladiators, where they were given knives, hammers, machetes and clubs to find recruits who were willing to kill for their lives. In the blood sport, the survivor was recruited as a hitman for Los Zetas; those who did not survive were buried in a clandestine gravesite. After the massacre, thousands of citizens from San Fernando fled to other parts of Mexico and to the US. The Mexican government responded by sending 650 soldiers to San Fernando and establishing a military base in the municipality. The troops took over the duties of the police force in the city and worked on social programs. In addition, a total of 82 Zeta members were arrested by 23 August 2011. In 2012 tranquillity slowly returned to the city, along with the inhabitants who fled because of the violence.

Mexican authorities are not certain why Los Zetas decided to abduct people from buses, and then torture, murder and bury them. They speculate that the Zetas may have forcibly recruited the passengers as foot soldiers for the organisation, intending to hold them for ransom or extort them before they crossed into the US. The killers, however, confessed that they abducted and killed the passengers because they feared their rivals, the Gulf Cartel, were getting reinforcements from other states. One of the leaders confessed that Heriberto Lazcano, the supreme leader of Los Zetas, had ordered the investigation of all buses coming in through San Fernando; those “who had nothing to do with it were freed. But those that did, they were killed.” In addition, the killers claimed to have investigated passengers’ cellphones and text messages to determine if they were involved with the Gulf Cartel or not, and that they were particularly worried about buses coming in from the states of Durango and Michoacán, two strongholds of the rival La Familia and the Sinaloa Cartels.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article 2011 San Fernando massacre, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

The Redhead Murders

The “Redhead murders” are a series of unsolved homicides believed to have been committed by an unidentified serial killer in various parts of the United States, including Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia It is presumed that the killings occurred between October 1978 and the 1980s, but they may have continued until 1992. The victims, many of whom have never been identified, usually had reddish hair and their bodies were abandoned along major highways in the United States; presumably, they were hitchhiking or engaged in prostitution. Authorities are unsure of how many people were responsible for these murders, if they were all performed by the same perpetrator(s), or how many victims there were. It is believed that a total of six to eleven victims were involved.


Wetzel County victim

The body of a white female was found naked alongside Route 250 near Littleton, Wetzel County, West Virginia on February 13, 1983. A pair of senior citizens reported that they thought the remains were a mannequin before discovering it was a human corpse. The body had been placed at the area recently, as the snow was on the ground and absent on the body. Tire tracks and footprints indicate she died at a different area and was transported to the location where she was found. It is presumed that she had died two days before. She had not been an apparent victim of sexual assault, although foul play may have been involved in her death. This woman’s cause of death was not officially determined, but she is a possible victim, as she may have been suffocated or strangled. This woman was one of the older victims, as her age range was between 35 and 45. The woman’s hair was auburn, which matched the criteria for the killer. Her height was estimated to be approximately five feet six inches (168 cm) and weight as 135 pounds (61 kg). Her eyes were presumed to be brown, although decomposition made it difficult to accurately determine eye colour. She had two distinct scars, including one found on her abdomen from a Cesarean section, indicating she had at least one child and another found on one of the index fingers. The woman’s legs and underarms were shaven, indicating an attention to grooming not characteristic of a transient or hitchhiker. A person of interest has emerged in this case, believed to be a middle-aged white male at the height of approximately five feet ten inches (178 cm) and weighing 185 to 200 pounds (84 to 91 kg). The man was seen near the area where the body was found and could have been involved with disposing of her body. The victim herself may have been seen alive in Wheeling, West Virginia as an employee or customer at a bar. She was subsequently buried after a funeral took place.

Lisa Nichols

The body of 28-year-old Lisa Nichols, who also used the last name of Jarvis, was found on September 16, 1984 along Interstate 40 near West Memphis, Arkansas. She was a resident of West Virginia and authorities were not able to come into contact with family members for some time, indicating she was estranged from them, resulting in her remaining unidentified for nearly a year. Her body was not identified until June 1985, nine months after she was strangled and left wearing only a sweater. Nichols is believed to be a part of the Redhead Murders, as she was found along a highway and had strawberry-blond hair at the time of her demise. Her remains were identified by a couple from Florida, who had allowed her to stay with them for a period of time. Nichols may have been murdered after leaving a truck stop along the highway and may have attempted to hitchhike.

Campbell County victim

On January 1, 1985, another victim was found near Jellico, Tennessee, in Campbell County on interstate 75. Although her murder occurred three days before, presumably on December 30, 1984, she was already in an advanced state of decomposition. Like the others, she was white and had short red hair, which was somewhat curly. She was likely between the ages of 17 and 25, although she may have been as old as 30 at the time she was murdered. The victim was found clothed, with a tan pullover, a shirt and jeans. The Jane Doe had green or hazel eyes, which could not be positively confirmed as a certain colour because of the state of her body. The young woman also had freckles, various scars and burn marks on her body and was two and a half to five months pregnant when murdered by an undisclosed method. She had no evidence of dental work, except for a partial denture holding two false teeth on her upper jaw. It is believed that she was between five feet one and five feet four inches (163 cm) when she died and was approximately 110 to 115 pounds (50 to 52 kg), although The Doe Network and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System state her body was too decomposed to estimate the weight of the victim.

Second Campbell County victim

The second Campbell County victim was found on April 3, 1985, but her hair colour is unknown, which does not immediately indicate she was a victim of the Redhead Murderer. She was believed to have died between 1981 and 1984, one to four years before. Unlike the other victims, she was younger, between 9 and 15, when the others were estimated to be over 16. She was located by a passerby about 200 yards off Big Wheel Gap Road, four miles southwest of Jellico in Campbell County, some distance from interstate 75, near a strip mine. The cause of this girl’s death is unknown, as her remains were partial, but still may be homicide. Thirty-two bones, including her skull, were all that were recovered from the scene. Her skull allowed facial reconstruction. She wore a necklace and bracelet made of plastic buttons from clothing. There were a pair of boots recovered that were size 5, which may not belong to the victim, and a few scraps of clothing. Due to the condition of her body, her height, weight, eye colour and hair colour were not possible to estimate.

Cheatham County victim

The skeletonized body of a red-haired female was located on March 31, 1985 in Pleasant View, Cheatham County, Tennessee. She was believed to have died three to five months before, due to an unknown cause. However, her case is possibly linked to the redhead murders because her remains were found at the side of a highway, interstate 24. Unlike some of the other victims, she wore clothing: a shirt, sweater, pants and underwear. She was white, between five feet and five feet two inches (157 cm) tall with an inestimable weight. By examining her teeth, the victim had some evidence of crowding and overlapping of her teeth. This woman was believed to be between the ages of thirty-one and forty at the time of her death.

Knox County victim

The body of a woman who had died by suffocation was found in a white Admiral refrigerator in Gray, Knox County, Kentucky on April 1, 1985, alongside Route 25. The refrigerator had a decal of the words “Super Woman” on the front. The victim had been dead for a few days, and was nude except for two distinctive necklace pendants, one of a heart and the other of a gold-coloured eagle, and two pairs of socks; one white, and the other white with green and yellow stripes. There were reports that the victim may have been soliciting a ride to North Carolina over CB radio. Five hundred people attended her funeral, which was also televised. The case was a local sensation in Gray, as the town was a “quiet” and “sleepy” place where little out of the ordinary usually happened. Distinguishing features of the body included a number of moles (on the right side of her neck, near one ankle, and below each breast), a yellow-stained upper incisor, and a scar and other marks on her abdomen, indicating that she had borne a child. Her eyes were light brown and her hair was red and nearly a foot long, which fit the pattern of the redhead killer. After her autopsy, she was determined to be between 24 and 35 years old and approximately 4 feet 9 to 4 feet 11 inches tall. It is also possible that she owned a pair of boots found near the refrigerator. Several missing persons have been eliminated as possible matches for the victim. After the case was publicised in January 2013, the police received some tips, but it is unknown if they became solid leads.

Greene County victim

On April 14, 1985, a young white female’s body was located in Greenville, Greene County, Tennessee. She had died by severe blunt-force trauma and possibly a stab wound three to six weeks before and was an advanced state of decomposition. However, her fingerprints were possible to obtain, as well as her DNA and dental information. She had been approximately six to eight weeks pregnant shortly before she died, but had miscarried recently. She was estimated to be 14 to 20 years old (possibly as old as 25) and was five feet four inches to five feet six inches (168 cm) tall at a weight of 130 to 140 pounds (59 to 64 kg). She had a slight overbite and had some fillings in her teeth, showing that she had dental care in life. She had also painted her fingernails pink. Because she had light brown to blond hair with red highlights, it is possible that her case could be related to the Redhead murders. Authorities hoped in late April 1985 that they would identify her body through fingerprints but were unsuccessful, as she remains unidentified today. Six missing women were ruled out as possible identities of the victim.

Other possible victims

It is possible that the Rising Fawn Jane Doe, located in 1988 in Georgia may have been a victim of the Redhead Murderer, according to amateur sleuths online. This victim was sexually assaulted, and had been strangled to death; she was between 16 and 25 years old. She had red hair, like the other victims and was found near interstate 59. Also suggested as possible victims included the female victim of the Pemiscot County Does, found in Arkansas in 1978, the Desoto County Jane Doe, found in 1985, the Pulaski County Jane Doe, found in 1985 in Arkansas, the Hawayr County Jane Doe (identified as Priscilla Ann Blevins), the Roane County Jane Doe, found in 1987, the Benton County Jane Doe, found in 1990, the Hebron Jane Doe, found in Ohio in 1990 (identified as Patrice Corley in 2017) and the Simpson County Jane Doe, found in Tennessee in 2001.

  • The Mississippi County victim has an inconsistency with the murders since she was seen alive with a man, also unidentified, whose body was found in Missouri, but is believed to have been killed by the same person. She also had blond hair and was murdered by gunshot, years before most of the Redhead murders took place. She was, however, found alongside interstate 55.
  • Priscilla Blevins was located in North Carolina along interstate 40 in March 1985, 10 years after she disappeared from her home in Charlotte. Her remains were identified in 2012. Blevins’ cause of death has not been established, however, it is believed that she died in July 1975 at the time of her disappearance and that her body was dumped at the side of I-40 soon after her death, where it remained until discovered by a member of a highway work crew.
  • Although the Roane County victim was found in Tennessee and was white, her body had been burned, unlike any of the suspected victims. She also had a hysterectomy and tracheotomy, which none of the other victims had. Also, it has not been stated if her remains were located near a highway. Her hair colour was impossible to determine because of the condition of the body.
  • The Pulaski County Jane Doe was also found in 1985 alongside a road. She had auburn hair but was not located along a highway. Her cause of death is not known and she had died sometime earlier, as her body was reduced to bones.
  • The Benton County Jane Doe was found in 1990 along Highway 102 and was murdered by a gunshot wound. Her skeletonized remains had been set on fire and only some bones were recovered. It is known that she was shot before she was burned during the same year she was located. She was found near interstate 102.
  • The Hebron Jane Doe, a suspected prostitute, was located in Ohio in 1990, which is a considerable distance from most of the states where the red-haired victims were found. She was also killed five years after most of the murders happened, but had red hair and was left near an interstate. She had also had sexual intercourse shortly before her death.
  • April Lacy was murdered in 1996 and left along a road in Texas. Some believe she may have been a victim of the same killer, although the date of her death was not around the same time as the other victims.
  • The Simpson County Jane Doe remains largely inconsistent with the time span of the murders, as she died in 2001, as decomposition suggests. She was, however, found near interstate 75 and had reddish-coloured hair.


It is believed that most of the victims remain unidentified due to being estranged or not close with existing family members or may not have been native to the states in which that they were found. In 1985, not long after the Greene County victim was found, the states of Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance with the cases. There were inconsistencies with some of the victims, as some were found with or without clothing and some had a sexual encounter before their murders. During the conference, it was stated that four victims found in Texas and a victim found in 1981 in Ohio, nicknamed “Buckskin Girl,” were ruled out as possible victims in 1985.

A possible suspect emerged in the mid-eighties when a 37-year-old trucker attacked and attempted to strangle a woman with reddish hair, but was later dismissed, although he had left her lying near a highway, presuming she was dead. Another suspect was a 32-year-old trucker in Pennsylvania who was questioned after kidnapping and raping a young woman in the state of Indiana before she managed to escape. This suspect was also dismissed, after being questioned by Tennessee police.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Redhead murders, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Roch Thériault and The Ant Hill Kids

Roch “Moïse” Thériault was the leader of a small religious group/cult based near Burnt River, Ontario, Canada, who between 1977 and 1989 had as many as 12 adults and 22 children as followers. He had 26 children when he died, fathering the other 4 during visits in prison from some of his “wives”. He used all of the nine women as concubines, and may have fathered most of the children in the group.

He was arrested for assault in 1989, and convicted of murder in 1993. At the time of his death in 2011 he was continuing to serve out a life sentence, having been denied parole in 2002. Along with Clifford Olson and Paul Bernardo, Thériault was considered one of Canada’s most notorious criminals.


Roch “Moïse” Thériault was a self-proclaimed prophet, born in Saguenay Valley in 1947. As a boy, although very intelligent, he dropped out of school in the 7th grade and began to teach himself the Old Testament. He believed that the end of the world was near and would be brought on by the war between good and evil. Thériault converted from Catholicism to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Thériault indulged in the religion’s regular holistic clinics, which encouraged a healthy lifestyle free of tobacco, and unhealthy foods. It was through this religion that Thériault realised his power of persuasion over others, and he managed to convince a group of people to leave their jobs and homes and move in with him. He formed the Ant Hill Kids in 1977. The goal was to form a community where people could freely listen to his motivational speeches and live in unity and equality, and be free of sin.

Thériault prohibited the group from remaining in contact with their families and with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as this was against his sect’s values. He moved away from being a motivational leader and, as his drinking problem increased, so did his controlling style of direction. The norms of the group became more and more controlled. Members were not allowed to speak to each other without Thériault present nor were they allowed to have sex with each other without his permission.

He feared for the end of the world and used the commune to prepare for it. Thériault claimed that God had warned him that the end of the world would come in February 1979. In 1978, in preparation, Thériault moved his commune. They hiked to a mountainside, which Thériault called ‘Eternal Mountain’ in Saint-Jogues, Quebec, where he claimed they could all be saved. There, he made the commune build their town while he relaxed. As he watched the group work, he compared them to ants working in an ant hill, naming the group the Ant Hill Kids. Following February 1979, when people started questioning his wisdom, he defended himself saying that time on earth and in God’s world were not parallel therefore it was a miscalculation. To expand the community as well as keep the members devoted, Thériault married and impregnated all of the women. He fathered over 20 children with 9 female members of the group. During the 1980s, nearly 40 people followed Roch Thériault. The group wore identical tunics to represent their devotion to the commune. In 1984 the group was relocated to Burnt River, Ontario.

Abuse of power

Thériault was a charismatic leader and none of the other members questioned his judgement or blamed him for any physical, mental or emotional damage. The Ant Hill Kids raised money for living by selling baked goods and members who didn’t bring in enough money were severely punished. Thériault spied on his members, making sure everybody was completely devoted and punishing those who strayed, claiming that God told him what they did.

His punishments were extreme. If a person wanted to leave the commune, Thériault would punish them with either belts, hits from a hammer, suspending them from the ceiling, plucking each of their body hairs individually, or even by defecating on them.

Despite his devastating punishments, the members of the Ant Hill Kids never questioned his authority. His punishments included making members break their own legs with sledgehammers, sitting on lit stoves, shooting each other in the shoulders, and eating dead mice and faeces. A follower would sometimes be asked to cut off another follower’s toes with wire cutters to prove loyalty. The children were not spared, and not only were they sexually abused, but they were also at times held over fires or would be nailed to trees while other children threw stones at them. Thériault was also responsible for the death of his own infant, as he left the child outside during a blizzard.

Going back to the original mission of the commune, Thériault strongly believed in purifying his subordinates. He would rid them of their sins through purification sessions where the members would be completely nude as he whipped and beat them. Claiming to be a holy being, Thériault demonstrated his healing powers through surgeries performed on sick members. He would sometimes inject 94% ethanol solution into followers’ stomachs, or perform circumcisions on the children and adults of the group.

When follower Solange Boilard complained of an upset stomach, Thériault laid her naked on a table, punched her in the stomach, jammed a plastic tube up her rectum to perform a crude enema with molasses and olive oil, then cut open her abdomen, and ripped off part of her intestines with his bare hands. Thériault made another member, Gabrielle Lavallée, stitch her up using needle and thread, and had the other women shove a tube down her throat and blow. Boilard died the next day. Claiming to have the power of resurrection, Thériault bore a hole into Boilard’s skull with a drill, and then made other male members—along with himself—ejaculate into the cavity.

Gabrielle Lavallée underwent harsh treatment herself during the years leading up to 1989. She had suffered through welding torches on her genitals, a hypodermic needle breaking off in her back and even eight of her teeth being forcibly removed. Upon her return, after having escaped from the commune, Thériault removed one of her fingers with wire cutters, pinned her hand to a wooden table with a hunting knife and then amputated her entire arm. The abuse that caused Gabrielle Lavallée to leave, however, is when Thériault cut off parts of her breast and smashed her head in with the blunt side of an axe. She fled and contacted authorities. The cult shut down in 1989, when Thériault was arrested and given a life sentence.


Thériault was found dead near his cell, February 26, 2011, at Dorchester Penitentiary, in New Brunswick. He was 63 years old. His death is believed to be the result of an altercation with his cell mate, Matthew Gerrard MacDonald, 60, of Port au Port, N.L, who killed Thériault and has been charged with the killing. MacDonald pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison (having already been serving a life sentence for a previous murder charge). MacDonald stabbed Thériault in the neck with a homemade knife. Afterwards, he walked to the guards’ station, handed them the knife and proclaimed, “That piece of shit is down on the range. Here’s the knife, I’ve sliced him up.”

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Roch Thériault, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.