Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Wood Chipper Murder Case


This story was written using official police records of the Newtown Police Department (CASE #N-1763-86) and the Connecticut State Police (Case # A86-525345) on the Helle Crafts murder case, as well as these additional sources:

Evans, Colin (1996). The Casebook of Forensic Detection. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Herzog, Arthur (1989) The Woodchipper Murder. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.

Johnson, Joanne. "Ordeal Over for Family and Friends of Helle Crafts", November 24, 1989. The Stamford Advocate.

Lee, Henry C. Dr. with O'Neil, Thomas O. (2002) Cracking Cases, The Science of Solving Crimes. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

Danbury News-Times:

O'Neil, Patrick. "Police Seek Missing Newtown Woman", December 17, 1986 "Police Hunt Focuses on Zoar Shore", January 11, 1987

"Police Scan Lake in Hunt for Woman", January 10, 1987

"Newtown Man Arraigned in Murder", January 14, 1987

"Crafts Case Handling Criticized", January 15, 1987

"Crafts Tells Jury His Side", June 17, 1988

"Prosecution Grills Crafts", June 18, 1988

"Lawyers Summarize Case", June 23, 1988

"Crafts Jury Goes to Work", June 24, 1988

"Mistrial: One Juror Refuses to Continue", July 16, 1988

"Smile Left Juror in Doubt", July 17, 1988

"Crafts Guilty of Murder", November 22, 1989.

The Stamford Advocate:

Rosenthal, Larry. "Wood Chipper Case Delayed", July 7, 1988

"Crafts Found Guilty of Murder", November 22, 1989

"Defense Rests in Wood Chipper Murder Trial", November 15, 1989

"Crafts Trial: Suspect Sobs on Police Tape Played for Jury", October 12, 1989 "Crafts' Wife Tooth Broken Forcefully", October 7, 1989

"Tooth Fragments ID'd as Helle Crafts'", October 6, 1989

"Witness: Crafts Said Wife Was Visiting Mother", September 13, 1989

"Wood Chipper Case Defendant Maintains Innocence", June 18, 1988

"Expert Says Tooth Was Murder Victim's", May 13, 1988

"Crafts Trial Hears Data From Tests on Bones", May 24, 1988

"Tooth Expert Testifies in Crafts Trial", May 12, 1988

Tuohy, Lynne. "The 'Wood Chipper Murder", September 5, 1989.

We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'