Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Slideshow: The Laci Peterson murder case

Laci Rocha Peterson, 27, was nearly eight months pregnant with her first child when on Dec. 24, 2002, her stepfather reported her missing from her Modesto, Calif., home. The case of two young lives cut short.

The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders

During the peak of the Jazz Age a series of child murders rocked the Los Angeles area—not just for their brutality, but for the web of lies that surrounded them, and for what was revealed about power and justice in the City of Angels.

Today in Crime History: ‘Speed Freak Killer’ gets 78 years

On Monday, December 10, 2001, Serial killer Loren Herzog was sentenced to 78 years in prison, which at the time no one imagined would mean that he would be released on September 18, 2010. This miscarriage of justice soon turned to the public’s favor when Herzog’s partner killer Wesley Shermantine announced he was ready to tell police where the bodies were buried.

Bag of tricks: The murder of Roland Kuster

The investigation into the violent murder of up-and-coming Hollywood photographer Roland Kuster reached a dead end when detectives’ only suspect was eliminated by DNA evidence. Ultimately a mysterious backpack left at the murder scene would tie the real killer to the crime. On December 1, 1997, DNA testing of that suspect began.

The kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart

The 1933 kidnapping and subsequent murder of popular, attractive young man Brooke Hart, 22, so angered the people of San Jose, California, that on November 26, a mob over 5000 strong stormed the jail and lynched the suspects.

Mugshot of the day: Left his ID at the scene

Meet Kenneth Spangle, 62, sentenced to 262 months in prison for a 2012 bank robbery in Placentia, California. With a stocking over his head, he yelled, waved a fake gun and got about $10,000. He ditched his clothes near the bank, but left his ID with them. When arrested, in disgust he reportedly asked the officer to shoot him.

Father wants image of slain son’s body removed from Google Maps

From our friends at The Daily Dot: In 2009 Jose Barrera’s son, Kevin, 14, was murdered next to the railroad tracks in Richmond, Calif. Last week, Barrera got to relive his death, when he learned that a Google Maps image of the area showed Kevin’s body.

Happy belated birthday, Charlie Manson

Blame it on an iPhone lost in an airplane toilet (true story), but we at Crime Library are sorry to report we missed the November 12 birthday of one of our most infamous subjects. Charles Manson celebrated his 79th birthday behind bars in the protective housing unit of the Corcoran State Prison. Hopefully, he’s not mad at us.

Wayne Adam Ford: Remorseful serial killer

On November 3, 1998, Wayne Adam Ford walked into the Sheriff’s Department in Eureka, California, with his brother. Ford tearfully broke down and confessed to murdering four women. Deputies might not have known what to believe if it weren’t for the severed human breast he had brought with him in a baggie that had belonged to one of the victims.

Slideshow: Kathleen Soliah, shootout in LA

On April 21, 1975, using kidnapped-heiress Patty Hearst as a getaway driver, members of the SLA robbed a Bank in California, killing a woman. Hearst would ultimately give up her accomplices, including Kathleen Soliah. When police tracked them down, they did not go without a firefight. A look in photos at the dramatic shootout.