Yonkers, New York residents and city officials were horrified to find the bodies of at least two dozen dead cats hung from a tree near Overlook Terrace. The cats, some of which were badly decomposed and hanging from tree limbs in black bags, were found by public works employees cleaning up trash in an abandoned lot in Yonkers, New York. The skull of each cat had been crushed before the body was placed in a plastic bag and tied to branches of the tree like ornaments. Investigators are searching for the cat slayer who they fear may be taking part in some sort of sick ritual.
DNA evidence linked her to over 40 crimes including a string of six murders over sixteen years, dozens of high-profile thefts, and a deadly arson case. After DNA evidence linked her to the murder of a policewoman, a $400,000 bounty was placed on her head but the female serial killer dubbed the “Phantom of Heilbronn”, described by police as “the country’s most dangerous woman”, cleverly evaded an extensive police manhunt for over 15 years. When her DNA evidence was found on documents belonging to a person who had died in a fire, police took a step back, reevaluated the cases, and determined that their mysterious criminal was the last person they would have ever suspected – and she was “hiding” in plain sight.
Lewis-Clark Valley Serial Killer – 35 years later, frustrated police know who killer is but lack evidence to make arrest
During those three years in the late 70’s, five youth disappeared from the Lewis-Clark Valley area. When body parts were found wrapped in black garbage bags, floating in the nearby Snake River, police knew they had a serial killer running rampant in their community. They were even certain they knew who the killer was. Regardless, lack of evidence and one critical missing person rendered them unable to make an arrest of the person they were “99% sure” committed the evil acts.
The murder spree initiated by a man known only as The Zodiac, has to be one of the most intriguing criminal mysteries the United State has ever experienced. No one is sure exactly when it began nor do we know when it will end. All we do know is that for over 22 years, someone has managed to outwit the California authorities all the while taunting, goading, and ridiculing the police while he maintained his cycle of viscous killings, often within sight of the authorities that sought him.
The mysterious case of Elisa Lam – bizarre behavior caught on video prefaces drowning death in hotel rooftop water tank
In February 2013, after hotel residents complained of funny-tasting water and poor water pressure, 21-year-old Elisa Lam, a student from Vancouver, Canada, was found dead inside the Cecil Hotel’s rooftop water tank in Los Angeles. The coroner’s finding was surprising to many – accidental death by drowning – despite the fact that no drugs nor alcohol were found during autopsy of Lam’s body. Even more disturbing, an elevator surveillance tape recorded Elisa’s bizarre behavior just moments before her death.
During a period of several years in the early 1900’s, New Orleans teetered on the brink of panic after a string of murders that were as gruesome as they were terrifying. Reminiscent of an American version of Jack the Ripper, the ax-wielding serial killer known as “Axeman”, broke into homes across New Orleans in the middle of the night and savagely hacked his sleeping victims to death with an axe before quietly slipping away into the darkness. By the time the attacks mysteriously ended in October 1919, over a dozen people had been attacked with at least six people hacked to death in bloody fashion. The Axeman was never caught.
Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie – New Orleans socialite caged, tortured, and maimed her slaves for fun
Those who watched season 3 of American Horror Story may be surprised to learn that Kathy Bate’s character, Madame Delphine LaLaurie, is based on a real-life New Orleans tale of horror. In true-life, Mad Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie, a prominent New Orleans socialite, was discovered to have caged and savagely tortured her slaves in a small room at the top of her Royal Street mansion. The LaLaurie Mansion is now considered one of the most haunted places in New Orleans.
African “muti murders” – Hospitals sell body parts and murderers harvest organs from live victims for witch doctor use in black magic spells
It’s a dirty little secret in South Africa, one that as of 2010, is once again on the rise. Called “muti murders” or “medicine murders” (sometimes termed “ritual murder” or muthi-murder), it takes its name from the Zulu word “muti”, the term for traditional black magic medicines that utilize human body parts and flesh as critical ingredients in order to produce supposedly miraculous medicinal effects. The phenomenon is widely acknowledged to occur in southern Africa where it is estimated that from 50%-90% of the population believe in black magic and witchcraft. The Limpopo province alone once recorded 250 muti-murders in a single year. Body parts from dead corpses serve a valuable purpose but the best muti medicine ingredients are taken from body parts that are harvested while the victim is still alive.
Serial killer Israel Keyes is the type of serial killer the public – and police fear: one that is so wily and meticulous, a complete story of his murders may never be known. Keyes is believed to have embarked on a decades-long murder spree which may have included more than a dozen murder victims. The FBI has linked Keyes to at least 11 killings and feel that they may never know the true body count.
The Boston Strangler – serial killer terrorizes Boston killing 13 woman in unsolved crime wave (1962)
Between June 14, 1962 and January 4, 1964, 13 single women in the Boston area were victims of either a single serial killer or possibly several killers. While the police did not see all of these murders as the work of a single individual, the public did. All of these women were murdered in their apartments, had been sexually molested, and were strangled with articles of clothing. With no signs of forced entry, the women apparently knew their assailant or, at least, believing them to be an apartment maintenance man, delivery man, or some other service man, voluntarily let him in their homes. The victims were respectable women who for the most part led quiet, modest lives. Despite enormous media publicity that would presumably have discouraged women from admitting strangers into their homes after the first few murders, the attacks continued unabated.
Drug cartels are criminal organizations developed primarily for the purpose of promoting and controlling drug trafficking operations (but have expanded into other areas including arms dealing, prostitution, and human slavery). Whereas they once agreed to cooperate with each other in the production and distribution of drugs, they now war with each other on a regular basis. It is estimated that the war against and between the Mexican drug cartels has cost 70,000 lives.
Long known to be an odd and eccentric character, famous British celebrity Jimmy Savile was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of children and raping more than thirty people during his tenure as Britain’s popular media personality. The abuse, in which nearly 75% of the victims were children, spanned a period of six decades from 1955 to 2009 and was carried out at children’s hospitals, schools, and on the sets of television productions.
The Russian Business Network, or RBN, has been described as “the baddest of the bad”. Based in St. Petersburg Russia, it offers web hosting services and Internet access to all kinds of criminal organizations who conduct objectionable activities such as (but not limited to) spamming, child pornography, malware, software piracy vaults, phishing, and yes, identify theft.
The MS-13 gang, aka Mara Salvatrucha 13, is one of the most violent, dangerous gangs in the United States – and one of the most organized. The MS-13 gang has cliques, or factions, located throughout the United States and is unique in that it retains is ties to its El Salvador counterparts. With cliques in Washington DC, Oregon, Alaska, Arkansas, Texas, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and several other South American countries, the MS-13 gang is truly “international” and on the verge of becoming the first gang to be categorized as an “organized crime” entity.
Spring Heeled Jack – was he a creature, an alien, or a plain-old man wearing a strange costume and a powerful, hidden jumping apparatus? During the 1830’s, this ‘man’ terrorized England. Described as tall, thin, powerful, wearing a black cloak, the man could jump 20 to 30 feet vertical with ease. It was reported that he had large pointy ears and nose, with red (or orange) glowing eyes, and capable of spitting an odd white and blue flame from his mouth.