Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Prison inmate breaks out to escape incessant rap music

Yes, rap music played constantly, not to torture prison inmates, but for their enjoyment. Add to that some quality mind-altering substances, and you have quite the non-stop party … but not for Robert Stevens.

Firehouse that burned to the ground had no alarms or sprinklers

We like the to think that the place the firefighters hangout with all the costly, life-saving equipment would be well protected against fire, but a recent blaze that leveled a firehouse and everything in it proves that isn’t always the case. Authorities admit “there is a fire safety message there for us.”

Anthony John Hardy, the Camden Ripper

A December 29, 2000, the BBC reported that an unidentified woman found bisected at the waist in London’s Thames River bearing two distinct characteristics that police hoped would help identify her: a tattoo and a twisted lateral incisor tooth. She was soon identified as Zoe Parker, the first victim of the Camden Ripper.

Firefighters blame building fire on bird with cigarette

It’s bad enough when you have careless kids smoking on rooftops and tossing lit cigarette butts hither and yon, but firefighters now apparently have to worry about careless birds doing basically the same thing.

Police seek help identifying mystery man found dead on beach

Police in Devon and Cornwall, England, have a true mystery on their hands, and are reaching out to the public in hopes of identifying the body of a man who was found on a beach completely naked, except for his socks and one shoe. Mysteriously, an old photo of a child found near the body is also believed to have belonged to the man.

Police seek Irish girl in fish-slapping prank

No it’s not Monty Python’s Norwegian fish slapping dance, and the suspect is Irish, not Norwegian. In any case, a young couple is wanted after an ill-conceived prank is which they grabbed a large fish at the market and used it to haul off and smack a 53-year-old fish lady in the face, while recording the event for posterity.

John George Haigh: The Acid Bath Murderer

On February 20, 1949, a missing persons report set off an investigation that would ultimately lead police to the Acid Bath Murderer, a serial killer who dissolved his victims in acid and poured them down the drain.

Murder on the Moors

David Smith had witnessed a murder. He told police how his sister in law, Myra Hindley, had invited him in the night before to watch while her boyfriend, Ian Brady, was openly murdering a man in the living room. After the murder the couple laughed about the look on the victim’s face, and chit-chatted over tea with Smith about other murders they had committed.

Today in Crime History: Nurse Beverley Allitt kills first child

Attentive pediatric nurse Allitt murdered four and maimed another nine babies in her care before she was stopped. Sentenced to life 13 times, but diagnosed with the controversial Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, Allitt was placed in a cushy mental institution for treatment, rather than a prison for punishment.

Al Saud bin Abdulaziz, A Saudi Prince and a Murderer

When Saudi prince Al Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir al Saud’s male companion was found dead in their posh London hotel suite, Al Saud claimed his friend’s death was an accident. Evidence instead pointed to a Master-Slave affair characterized by extreme violence.