Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Melvin Rees -- The Sex Beast


As the police carefully dug into the grave, they exhumed the body of little Susan. Beneath her was Mildred. They took the decomposed corpses to the forensic pathologist for a thorough examination. He announced that both victims had been raped and Mildred had apparently been forced into other sexual acts, as well as tortured before she was bludgeoned to death. She had a stocking loosely tied around her neck, as if used for leverage to force her to perform. Investigators believed that she may have been told to engage in a sexual act that disgusted her, possibly oral sex (Schechter confirms this), and perhaps had refused, so her killer had found a way via a collar to make her do what he wanted. She had been bludgeoned, but it was not clear whether this had caused her death or whether she had died from strangulation. Her body was too decomposed to offer a definitive medical opinion. Susan had been beaten to death with a blunt instrument, possibly a gun butt.

As the bodies were removed, several detectives walked around the area to see if there was any dropped evidence, footprints, or some indication why the killer had brought his victims to this place. But then the story gets confusing from one account to another.

Within a few hundred yards, says Wilson (and echoed by Lane and Gregg), detectives came across a cinderblock building which they already knew about. Two years earlier in 1957, they had found it full of pornography and morgue photos of dead woman. However, Newton and other authors say nothing about this building, indicating instead that a quarter mile from the bodies the police came across a shack. Its difficult to know which story is correct. Fredericksburg is not that close to Annapolis, and while some authors indicate that the first incident was just over the Maryland/Virginia border, it nevertheless seems a stretch to say that its quite as close to Fredericksburg as these authors indicate. Its more likely that because buildings were found near both incidents, they were confused by some authors as the same one.

Outside the shack near the Jackson grave, police observed fresh tire marks, which made them wonder if the driver from the Chevrolet who had stopped the one couple had perhaps forced the family into his car and had brought them here. It was likely that he had killed the father and dumped the baby so he could have Mildred and Susan at his mercy for his sexual pleasure. In fact, inside this shed, the police found a red button, and it turned out that Mildreds dress was missing a button exactly like it. It now seemed likely that the killer was familiar with the area, knew about this shack, and had brought his victims here for a clear predatory purpose. He then had killed them and buried them close by.

Yet there were no leads for identifying him, and the case became increasingly frustrating as the media sought answers.