Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard Speck, born to raise hell

On July 13, 1966, Richard Speck raped, stabbed and all but one student nurse in a Chicago group house. The next day, reporter Joe Cummings walked down the second-floor hallway, his stomach churning, counting bodies. He saw four in the first bedroom, three more in another bedroom, and realized, “Oh my God.” Seven upstairs and one downstairs. Eight total.

The Riverside Prostitute Killer

On June 28, 1989, police found the body of missing prostitute Kimberly Lyttle, 28, yest another victim of the serial killer also known as the Lake Elsinore Killer. The trail of bodies would eventually lead to Bill Suff, a county stock clerk with a 1974 conviction for beating his two-month-old daughter to death, a penchant for impersonating police officers, and a love of chili cook-offs. Believed to have killed from 12-22 prostitutes, he is thought to have cooked the breast of one of his victims in a prize-winning batch of chili.

The I‑5 Strangler: ‘So I Killed a few Women; What’s the Big Deal?’

On May 10, 1991, serial killer Rodger Reece Kibbe, aka the I-5 Strangler, was sentenced to 25 years to life after pleading guilty to killing six women. On the way to his cell, he admitted to an officer that he had killed a few women, adding, "What’s the big deal? "

Today in Crime History: Remains of Genesee River Strangler’s third victim found

On March 24, 1988, hunters found the remains of what was initially thought to be a serial killer’s first victim, but which turned out to be his third. There would be 11 more before he was done. Disturbingly, the killer, Arthur Shawcross, already had a prison record and an early parole despite two convictions for child murder.

Joel Rifkin

A jury in 1994 found Rifkin guilty of killing nine women, though he is suspected in as many as 17 murders. During the trial, Rifkin’s lawyer described him as, “a paranoid schizophrenic who lived in the twilight zone, overwhelmed by violent, irresistible compulsions that took control of his life.” The jury disagreed, instead finding him responsible for his actions. He is serving a 203-year sentence for his crimes.

Today in Crime History: The body of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau is found

On November 25, 2009, the body of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37, a military flight attendant stationed at CFB Trenton, was found by her boyfriend. Comeau’s killer, David Russell Williams, was a Colonel in the Canadian Forces and her base commander. Ironically, her killer would be the person charged with writing the condolence letter to her family.

Derrick Todd Lee, the Baton Rouge Serial Killer

A flawed FBI profile in the case of The Baton Rouge Killer, known for targeting beautiful women and abducting them from their homes, derailed big agencies participating in the investigation. Local police identified the serial killer correctly, but it would ultimately take DNA analysis, and at least seven murders before the case would be solved.

Coral Eugene Watts: The Sunday Morning Slasher

On November 16, 2004, Watts’ defense made its closing statements. Considered America’s most prolific serial killer, Watts is suspected in as many as 100 murders. Known as The Sunday Morning Slasher, he abducted and tortured his victims before brutally killing them. Watts was the first serial killer almost released from prison.

Today in Crime History: Police Target Wrong Man in Gainsville Ripper Murders

Convicted on October 10, 1990, Edward Humphrey was the prime suspect in the brutal and bloody Gainsville Ripper murders until Danny Rolling was sentenced in 1994. Until then his name was never cleared, nor did he receive any public apology for the pain and anguish inflicted on him and his family. The day Humphrey was convicted, Rolling sent his mother a Christmas card.

Today in Crime History: Stewart Wilken Kills his Second Victim

On October 3, 1990, after an argument with his first wife, South African cannibal rapist Wilkin claimed his second victim. Wilkin was not your typical serial killer in that he prayed on boys and women, white and black, living and dead.

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