A catalogue of evil, including;
Marc Sappington: Dubbed the "Kansas City Vampire," Sappington ate the flesh of his victims, and drank their blood.
Stephen Judy: An unspeakably cruel killer who went to the chair in Indiana for the barbaric murder of a young mother and her three children.
Raymond Brown: This juvenile psycho literally hacked his victims (including his grandmother and great grandmother) apart.
Rory Conde: A necrophile rapist, Conde haunted Florida’s Tamiami Trail, claiming at least six victims.
Martha Wise: A death obsessed nutcase who enjoyed setting fires, attending funerals, howling at the moon, and poisoning her family's drinking water.
Bruce Mendenhall: Family man and small town politician who spent his nights hunting and strangling prostitutes.
Jason Scott: An enterprising serial killer who used his job at the UPS depot in Largo, Maryland, to find potential victims.
Eddie Lee Mosley: A certified imbecile who was smart enough to evade the police for over a decade committing 40 murders and 150 rapes.
Charles Floyd: Lots of men find redheads attractive, but Charles Floyd was driven to rape and murder them.
Anthony Joyner: Depraved nursing home employee who raped and murdered six women aged between 80 and 97.
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50 American Serial Killers You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Volume Three
Cold case investigators had been working the decades old case for years. In that time they’d considered and rejected over 100 possible suspects. DNA evidence told them that the same man was responsible for all three murders, and yet the killer proved maddeningly elusive.
The murders had occurred in Yonkers, New York, over a six-year period from 1989 to 1996. Each of the victims was found naked, bound and strangled, posed on her back.
The first to die was 26-year-old Maria Ramos, killed on February 5, 1989, her body dumped near Ludlow Street bridge in Yonkers. Two years later, on March 28, 1991, another Bronx woman was found in the same location. She was 28-year-old Tawana Hodges, a known prostitute.
With the third victim, the killer varied his M.O. somewhat. Kimberly Moore, 30, was not a prostitute and her body was found where she’d been killed, in a room at the Trade Winds Motor Court on Yonkers Avenue. That was in May 1996, and despite an eyewitness description of the man Moore had been with, the case remained unsolved for 14 years, until Francisco Acevedo offered up his DNA and the police got a hit on the CODIS computer
The pudgy, middle-aged Acevedo made an unlikely serial killer. He was married with two young children, in steady employment and liked by all who knew him. Scratch below the surface, though, and a different picture emerged. Acevedo had a history of drug and alcohol abuse dating back to his teens. He had a lengthy rap sheet that included arrests for sexual assault, larceny, harassment and drunken driving. He’d served a 10-year prison term for the rape of a teenaged girl and had been released just 8 months before Ramos was murdered.
Neither was Acevedo the ideal family man he wanted to portray. A catalogue of domestic violence arrests had seen him eventually sentenced to a year in jail for punching his wife in the face and breaking her nose.
Acevedo was arrested for murder in April 2010. He immediately admitted to having sex with the three women, thereby accounting for the presence of his semen at each of the crime scenes.
It was a clever defense but unfortunately for Acevedo, flawed in one respect. His was the only DNA found on Kimberley Moore, and the janitor who had found her body at the Trade Winds Motor Court, still clearly remembered Acevedo as the man who had shared the room with her prior to her death. It was enough to convict him of murder.
Acevedo was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison on January 17, 2012. As the ruling was read, he probably wished that he’d sat out the last two years of his D.U.I. sentence.
Lyda AmbroseA “bluebeard” serial killer is a man who woos and then murders a succession of female victims, usually for financial gain. His female counterpart is the “black widow,” a deadly femme fatale who kills husbands, lovers, children, other family members, and sometimes acquaintances. One such creature was Lyda Catherine Ambrose. Born in Missouri in 1891, Ambrose used arsenic to dispatch five men, four of them her husbands, the other a fiancée.
Little is known about Lyda’s childhood and upbringing. She first appeared on the radar in 1917, when at the age of 26, she poisoned her first victim. The unfortunate man was Lyda’s fiancée, who in an effort to do the right thing and provide for her keep in the event of his death, took a $2,500 life insurance policy, naming her as the sole beneficiary. Not long after, he developed severe stomach cramps and died in agony, leaving her considerably richer. His death was attributed to stomach ulcers.
With indecent haste, Lyda redirected her affections to her deceased fiancée’s brother, marrying him in Keytesville, Missouri, just days after his brother’s funeral. He too was persuaded into taking out a $2,500 life policy, thus signing his own death warrant. Within three months, he was dead of symptoms that were startlingly similar to those his brother had suffered. The corpse was barely cold when Lyda was pestering the insurance company for her windfall.
Lyda now had a dowry of some $5,000, a considerable fortune in those days. But still she wasn’t satisfied. Moving to Twin Falls, Idaho, she took a job as a waitress in a restaurant and, within a short time, had taken the proprietor to her bed. The love struck restaurateur proposed soon after and the couple were married on June 10, 1918.
A month later he was dead. However, in her haste to cash out, Lyda had failed to ensure that the life policy was properly endorsed. It wasn’t, and the $10,000 payout she’d hoped to gain came to nothing.
Unperturbed by this setback, she had soon snared a fourth victim, married him and sent him to an early grave within three months of the nuptials. This time all of the documentation was in order and she walked away with a $10,000 check and the condolences of her deceased husband’s insurers.
Lyda had by now perfected her little murder for profit scheme. Barely pausing to enjoy the proceeds of her last caper, she married husband number four in October 1920. The man expired less than a month later, leaving her the beneficiary of a two-week old insurance policy worth $12,000.
However, the insurance company was suspicious of the untimely death of a man who had seemed in such good health when the policy had been written just weeks earlier. They passed their suspicions on to the police and an investigation was initiated. A search of Lyda’s cottage turned up enough arsenic-laced flypaper to ward of a plague of flying insects. Then, after toxicology tests turned up copious amounts of arsenic in her deceased husband’s bloodstream, Lyda was tracked to Oakland, California, and placed under arrest.
Extradited to Idaho, she stood trial for first-degree murder, was found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison. On May 4, 1932, she escaped from the Idaho state prison, remaining at large for nearly a year before she was recaptured in Kansas City, Missouri. At the time of her arrest, she was engaged to be married.
Lyda Ambrose was returned to prison in Idaho and remained there until her death, decades later.
Archerd did not allow his time at the hospital to be wasted, learning all he could about various drugs and their effects. He developed a particular interest in insulin, used at the time in shock therapy for mental illness.
In 1947, a close associate of Archerd’s, William Jones Jr., died shortly after Archerd visited him in hospital. The cause of death was never determined, and no investigation was carried out.
In 1950, Archerd was arrested for illegal possession of morphine and sentenced five years probation. After a second offense his probation was revoked and he was confined to the minimum-security prison at Chino. An escape attempt in 1951, saw him transferred to San Quentin, where he remained until his parole in October 1953.
Archerd had been free for three years when he married his fourth wife Zella in May 1956. Two months later, on July 25, he phoned the police to report a robbery and murder at his home in Covina, California.
According to Archerd, two men had broken in, held him and his wife at gunpoint, and forcibly injected them with some substance. The drug (which turned out to be insulin) had no effect on Archerd. Zella though, had begun convulsing, then lapsed into a coma and finally died. The men had taken $500 and escaped, leaving behind jewelry and other valuables. The story was bizarre, but the police somehow bought it, and Archerd was not charged.
In 1958, Archerd married again. Just two days after the ceremony, wife number five, Juanita Plum, was rushed to hospital in Las Vegas. She died the following day of symptoms that looked suspiciously like insulin poisoning. No investigation was launched.
Neither was any suspicion roused when 54-year-old Frank Stewart died in 1960. Stewart, a friend of Archerds, was hospitalized after a fall in an airport restroom (apparently as part of an insurance scam). That evening Archerd visited him in hospital. Stewart died during the night after suffering convulsions. Following his death, Archerd tried to press a compensation claim with the airport, but was turned down.
At around this time, Archerd's brother Everett died in an accident at his job. Everett had entrusted $5,000 to his mother for his 15-year-old son, Burney. In August 1961, Burney was taken to hospital after supposedly being hit by a car (a subsequent investigation showed that no such accident had taken place). Archerd visited Burney at the hospital that evening. The following morning, the boy was dead, apparently from insulin poisoning.
William Archerd's mother (trustee of the $5,000 inheritance) died three weeks later, meaning that the money eventually went to Archerd.
In April 1965, Archerd married for a seventh time. His new bride was Mary Brinker Post, a well-known romance author. By November, Mary was dead, having been admitted to Pomona Valley Community Hospital in a coma. Her death was attributed to hypoglycemia.
Mary Post’s death was one coincidence too many for the Los Angeles County sheriff's department, and Archerd was finally placed under investigation. He was eventually tried on three counts of murder. Found guilty, he was sentenced to death, although sentence was later commuted to life in prison. He died at San Quentin in 1977.
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