Thursday 13 November 2014

50 American Serial Killers You've Probably Never Heard Of Volume 1

At any given time there are between 30 and 50 serial killers roaming the streets of America. These are their stories.

A catalog of evil, including;

Harry Powers: A depraved psychopath who got his kicks torturing lovelorn widows and spinsters to death

Jack Spillman III: Dubbed the “Werewolf Butcher,” Spillman literally tore his victims apart

Dana Sue Gray: A unique female serial killer who battered, stabbed and choked her elderly victims to death in order to bankroll her shopping addiction

James Swann: Psychotic shooter who claimed her was ordered to kill by the evil spirit of Malcolm X

Altemio Sanchez: A brutal murderer known as the “Bike Path Rapist,” Sanchez evaded capture for over 20 years, until DNA evidence nailed him

Chester Turner: Known as "Chester the Molester," Turner raped and murdered countless women, until his deadly acts were eventually captured on video

David Parker Ray: Spent over $100, 000 dollars putting together his torture chamber, which he called the "Toy Box"

Judy Buenoano: After poisoning her husband and two lovers, and drowning her son, she turned to a car bomb for her next murder

David Meirhofer: The first serial killer caught by FBI's, now famous, Behavioral Science Unit

Jake Bird: Traveling ax murderer who claimed dozens female victims across America

Plus 40 more riveting cases... Click here to grab a copy

Click the "Read More" link below to read the first few chapters of

50 American Serial Killers You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Volume One

Howard Arthur Allen

Serial killers, by their nature, prey on the weak and defenseless. Women and children are commonly targeted, but among the most heartless of killers are those who attack the frail and elderly. Howard Arthur Allen was one such creature, a heinous thug who savagely beat, stabbed and strangled at least three elderly victims to death.   

Allen’s first known murder was committed in August 1974, when he was 24 years old. On that occasion, he broke into the home of 85-year-old Opal Cooper, beating her to death in the course of a petty robbery. He was soon arrested for that murder, but the charge was reduced to manslaughter, and the sentence was a mere two to twenty-one years.

Allen would serve roughly half the maximum sentence before being paroled in January 1985. He returned to Indianapolis, where he found work at a car wash. For a while, he seemed to stay out of trouble. But the rage inside Howard Arthur Allen had not been extinguished. Before long, it flared up and he was hunting again.

On May 18, 1987, a 73-year-old Indianapolis woman narrowly escaped death after being choked and beaten by a prowler who broke into her home. Two days later another senior, 87-year-old Laverne Hale, was attacked, dying from her injuries on May 29.

On June 2, a burglar ransacked the home of an elderly man, just five blocks from the scene of the Hale murder. Fortunately for the tenant, he was not home. The killer vented his rage instead on the residence, setting it on fire.

Less than two weeks later, on July 14, 73-year-old Ernestine Griffin was murdered in her home near 57th and Keystone in Indianapolis. In the most brutal attack yet, the killer repeatedly plunged a ten-inch butcher knife into the frail woman, then caved in her skull with a toaster. His take from this carnage was a paltry fifteen dollars and a cheap camera belonging to the victim.

But Allen had made a crucial mistake. Days before the attack, he had called on Mrs. Griffin to enquire about a car her neighbor had for sale. Griffin had asked him to leave a number for her to pass on to the neighbor and Allen had done so. Now, as police processed the crime scene, they found that note, sitting on a kitchen counter.

Pulled in for questioning, Allen initially denied writing the note (a handwriting expert would later verify the handwriting as his) but after several hours of questioning, he finally admitted that he had been to Griffin’s home. He even admitted punching her after (he said) she cussed him.

Finally, he all but admitted to the murder, saying, “I didn't stab the old lady, but if I did, I need help.”

Then one of Allen’s co-workers at the car wash came forward with a vital piece of evidence. He told investigators that on the day after the murder, Allen had given him a camera to stash in his locker. The camera was linked to Ernestine Griffin by its serial number and the film still in the camera belonged to Griffin.

Allen was indicted on charges of battery, burglary, and unlawful confinement. He was also charged with arson and burglary relating to the June 2 incident, as well as the murder of Ernestine Griffin.

A number of trials followed. In the spring of 1988, Allen was sentenced to 88 years for burglary and felony battery. In June of that year, he was sentenced to death for the murder of Ernestine Griffin.

Allen is currently incarcerated on death row in Indiana. He remains the prime suspect in eleven other murders of elderly victims, all of them attacked in their homes in and around Indianapolis.


Amy Archer-Gilligan

Widely considered America's most prolific female serial killer, Amy Archer-Gilligan was born in October 1868 in Litchfield, Connecticut, the eighth of ten children.

Very little is known of Archer-Gilligan’s childhood. In 1897, she married James Archer and bore him a daughter, Mary, in December of that year. In 1901, the Archers were hired to care for an elderly man named John Seymour. When Seymour died in 1904, his relatives turned his Newington, Connecticut, home into a boarding house for the elderly. They kept James and Amy on as caretakers.

When Seymour's heirs decided to sell the house in 1907, the Archers moved to Windsor, Connecticut. There, they used their savings to buy a residential property, which they converted into a nursing home, the “Archer Home for the Elderly and Infirm.”

Three years later, in 1910, James Archer died, apparently of Bright’s disease. Amy had taken out a life insurance policy on James just a few weeks prior to his death. The payout enabled her to keep running the nursing home. 

In 1913, Amy married Michael W. Gilligan, a wealthy widower with four adult sons. The marriage was short-lived. Michael died on February 20, 1914, leaving his entire estate to Amy. The official cause of death was “acute bilious attack.”

Now financially secure, Archer-Gilligan was free to run her nursing home, which she did, despite growing unease at the high number of deaths among her residents. Granted, they were elderly, and the 12 deaths recorded between 1907 and 1910, seemed reasonable. However, between 1911 and 1916, 48 people died in Archer-Gilligan’s care. Unsurprisingly, suspicious relatives began asking questions.

Matters eventually came to a head on May 29, 1914, with the death of Franklin R. Andrews. On the day he died, Andrews had appeared in good health and had spent the morning working in the garden. However, during the afternoon his health rapidly deteriorated and by evening he was dead. The official cause of death was gastric ulcer.

Franklin Andrews’ personal papers passed to his sister Nellie Pierce, who noticed that Archer-Gilligan had been pressing Andrews for money and that Andrews had recently signed over a substantial sum to her. In fact, Mrs. Pierce discovered on further investigation that a number of Archer-Gilligan's residents died not long after bequeathing large sums to their caregiver.

Pierce took her suspicions to the district attorney. When he ignored her, she took her story to the local newspaper, The Hartford Courant. On May 9, 1916, the Courant published the first of several articles on Archer-Gilligan’s “Murder Factory.” The articles caused such a public outcry that the police were forced to act.

Yet even now, they kept their enquiries low-key. A year passed before the bodies of Michael Gilligan, Franklin Andrews, and three other boarders were exhumed. All showed signs of either arsenic or strychnine poisoning. As police enquiries continued, they learned that Archer-Gilligan had been buying large quantities of arsenic, ostensibly to kill rats. They also discovered that Michael Gilligan’s will was a forgery, drafted in Amy's handwriting.

Archer-Gilligan was arrested and tried for murder. On June 18, 1917, she was found guilty on a single charge, for the murder of Franklin Andrews. She was sentenced to death, but was subsequently given a new trial in 1919. On this occasion, she entered an insanity plea, citing her addiction to morphine. She was nonetheless found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In 1924, Archer-Gilligan was declared insane and transferred to the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane in Middletown. She remained there until her death on April 23, 1962.


Benjamin Atkins

Like many serial killers, Benjamin Atkins did not have the best start in life. The child of an absent father and a crack-addicted prostitute mother, Atkins grew up mainly in boys’ homes and institutions. During the brief periods that he was in his mother’s care, she would take him out on the streets with her and make him sit in the backseat of cars while she engaged in sex in the front. As a 10-year-old, Atkins was raped by one of his mother’s clients, so it is unsurprising that he grew up with an abiding hatred of prostitutes and prostitution.

Eventually, that hatred exploded in a nine-month killing spree during which he claimed 11 victims. According to the FBI, no other American serial killer has claimed as many victims in such a short time span.  

All of the victims were killed in Detroit, Michigan (primarily in the Highland Park area) between December 1991 and August 1992. All were raped and strangled, their bodies dumped in vacant buildings. Most were working prostitutes. Many were drug addicts.   

As the body count mounted, Detroit PD, the Michigan State Police, and the FBI pulled together to form a task force. But, as so often happens in cases of serial murder, it was the victim that got away that led to Atkins downfall.

Darlene Saunders, 35, was attacked and raped in October 1991, in Highland Park. Atkins left her for dead, but she survived and was able to identify her attacker as a man she knew only as “Tony.”

Atkins was arrested while walking along Woodward Avenue, in an area where many of the bodies had been dumped. Brought in for questioning, he initially denied the charges, claiming he was homosexual and had no interest in women. However, Detroit homicide detective, Sgt. Ronald Sanders, managed to win his confidence and eventually Atkins confessed to the murders, including one victim whose body had not yet been found. Asked why he had done it, Atkins told investigators: “I killed all 11 of them so I didn't have to worry about them pressing charges.”

About the murder of one of his victims, 23-year-old Juanita Harvey, he added: “After raping her, having sex, and hating her for being a woman, I had the desire to kill her. I just wanted to hate her and cause her harm.”

Atkins went on trial in October 1993. There was never any real doubt as to his guilt, but public defender, Jeffrey Edison, fought hard to convince jurors to show compassion, citing Atkins’ harsh upbringing and his drug dependency. It was to no avail. Atkins was found guilty and sentenced to 11 life terms.

He would serve only four years of his sentence. Atkins died at the Duane Waters Hospital in Jackson, Michigan, on September 17, 1997. Cause of death was listed as “complications arising from HIV infection.” He was 29 years old.

Speaking after his death, trial prosecutor, Michael Reynolds said: “While no one takes joy in another's death, even one who has committed such hideous crimes, at least those who lost loved ones at Mr. Atkins’ hands can take comfort in knowing he will never be released back into society.”

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