Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Today in Crime History: The Villisca axe murders

In the wee hours of June 10, 1912, eight people –six of them children — were murdered with an axe in the town of Villisca, Iowa. That crime remains a mystery. A century later the town would be once again rocked by a mass murder.

Watch: Semi hits truck that becomes airborne and clips police car

The incident, captured on police dash cam, occurred in Johnson County Iowa on westbound Interstate 80, early March 14, 2014, when a semi driver, distracted by an existing accident, hit a truck and sent it caroming into a ditch, after it almost hit a police car. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.

No benefits for guy who used forklift to free stuck candy from machine, judge rules

Robert McKevitt allegedly did to a vending machine what many of us only dreamed of: He got a forklift and took steps to get his stuck candy out. His story, however, now serves as a chilling warning because, instead of being celebrated as a victor against the machine, he’s been fired and denied unemployment benefits.

You know you’re drunk when your blood-alcohol content stumps the machine

There are many answers to the question, “How do you know when you’re drunk?” They can range anywhere from “You fall off the floor,” to “You lose arguments with inanimate objects,” but “You stump the breathalyzer,” is new, and incidentally, sets a whole new standard.

Man robs, stabs and then is cut in half by train as he flees

A man who had just robbed a house may have been trying to jump on a train when he fell into the wheels, which severed his body into two distinct pieces.

Iowa Issues Gun Permits to the Blind

Sheriffs in Iowa have been issuing gun carry permits to blind applicants. State officials confirm that the legally blind have a right to possess and carry a gun.

Man Who Beat Puppy to Death With Bat Aquitted on Appeal

An Iowa court has provoked outrage after ruling that the case of Zachary Meerdink, convicted in 2012 of animal torture in the beating death of his Boston Terrier puppy, wasn’t torture after all. The court found that beating a defenseless puppy to death with a wooden bat is not in itself “depraved” and overturned the conviction.

Today in Crime History: Mark Becker Guns Down His Former Football Coach

On June 24, 2009, football coach and town hero Ed Thomas was brutally killed by former player Mark Becker in front of 20 witnesses. The murder sent the people of Parkersburg, Iowa, reeling, but the motive would prove to be the most baffling aspect of the case.

Search Intensifies for Missing Abducted Iowa Teen

The search for missing, abducted teen Kathlynn Shepard, 15, has intensified after the man believed to have been her abductor, Michael Klunder, 42, was found dead four hours after her abduction. Investigators are also looking for a connection between this case and the 2012 abduction and murder of two Iowa cousins.

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