Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police sketches only a mother could love

When a suspect commits a crime and runs off, police sketch artists can use a witness’s description to develop a likeness of the offender. Sometimes, it doesn’t quite turn out right.

Jason Massey: From victim to victimizer

On April 3, 2001 the tale of Jason Massey came to an abrupt end by the executioner’s hand. As a young man, Massey idolized Charles Manson, became obsessed with torture and murder, and strove to become a “murder machine.”

What makes serial killers tick?

“It was an urge. … A strong urge, and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking risks to go out and kill people — risks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I wouldn’t take because they could lead to arrest.” — Edmund Kemper

Kevin Neal: Messages from the Dead

Kevin Neal called 911 to report his children missing. Neal said he was inside cleaning when he suddenly no longer heard the children playing outside. Forensic experts were able to use insect activity to eventually catch a sexual predator — and they started by looking at Kevin Neal.

The true story of exonerated Roy Brown

On January 23, 1992, a jury sentenced Brown to 25 years for the murder of Sabina Kulakowski. Despite the evidence against him, Brown maintained his innocence for fifteen long years from his prison cell.

The Chris Coleman family massacre

Chris Coleman, the head of security for Joyce Meyer Ministries calls his police officer neighbor, worried after not being able to reach his wife. When police enter the house, they find a grisly scene. Coleman claimed had been receiving threatening messages at work that warned him his family would die if Meyer didn’t stop preaching. But an investigation quickly unraveled Coleman’s story.

The Mitchell family’s murders

Two brothers–Artie and Jim Mitchell–had created a booming porn business in 1970s LA. But success came with problems, and on February 27, 1991, Jim shot Artie after an argument. A computer simulation video, breakthrough technology at the time, helped sway the jury to convict Jim.

Online murder mystery doubles as a forensics course

From our friends at The Daily Dot: A wife, brutally murdered on the day of her wedding anniversary. A distraught husband. A missing gun. Want to solve a murder?

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.

Unsolved Murder Spotlight: The Clark County Jane Doe

In early 2008, police in Clark County, Nevada, received an anonymous letter that included maps of the area around US 93 & Boulder Highway. Police conducted a search and on January 23 discovered a woman’s skull.

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