The Lonely Hearts Murders seductively entwined voodoo magic, kinky sex and personal ads, making it one of the most sensational cases of the 1940s. It was also the inspiration for several films. Lonely Hearts Killers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez were convicted of three murders, but suspected in as many as 20.
On May 28, 1928, Albert Fish inserted himself into the lives of the Budd family. Gentle-looking and grandfatherly, he cleverly set them at ease and lured their young daughter Gracie and at least five other children to their deaths. A child rapist, killer and cannibal, Fish was executed on January 16, 1936.
Tinning would come running into one of Schenectady’s trauma centers confused and hysterical, with a child cradled in her arms. Ultimately, all nine of Marybeth Tinning’s children died suddenly and without medical explanation. Some thought the problem was genetic, until her adopted child died, and the horrible truth about Tinning became clear.
The true story behind Theodore Dreiser’s wildly popular novel An American Tragedy inspired by the brutal July 11, 1906, murder of the lovely Grace Brown by her lover Chester Gillette, who did not want to marry Brown after she became pregnant with his child.
When Joshua Rubin disappeared on Halloween in 2011, the Brooklyn café owner’s friends and family mounted a frantic effort to find him, and the media joined in. Worried that he was lost and needed his medication, these concerned parties revealed his private medical information; open rumors about his financial problems and alleged involvement with drugs soon followed.
It was May 2005, and Nimzay, who had been stabbed during her lunch break, lay dying in the emergency room in a South Bronx hospital. With her last breath she named her killer to police, but all she knew was his screen name, “Mike did it.”
Panzram, one of America’s most ferocious, unrepentant serial killers, has long been considered the essence of evil. He hated all people regardless of sex or race, and he raped and killed what he hated, relentlessly, until the end.
On June 18, 2005, New York prosecutors decided not to retry Dennis Priven for the 1976 murder of Peace Corps volunteer Deborah Gardner in Tonga, saying, “We do not believe this case can be prosecuted by anyone, not only us, but in any other jurisdiction in the United States.” Priven had been found not guilty by reason of insanity in Tonga, and was able to avoid treatment and incarceration in both countries.
On January 24, 1989, John Joseph Gotti, Jr., American mobster and boss of the Gambino crime family, was arrested for ordering the 1986 assault on union official John O’Connor. Gotti, who bet the arresting officer that he would beat the charge, was released on $100,000 bail, and was in fact acquitted at trial.
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.