Carrie Brown

On April 24, 1891 the body of prostitute Carrie Brown was found mutilated in a hotel room in New York City. There has been speculation since 1891 that Carrie Brown was a victim of Jack the Ripper. It’s not outside the realm of possibility, although there is no concrete evidence that she was a victim of the Ripper.

There were two main suspects in the Brown murder; Arbie La Bruckman and Almeer bin Ali. A case could not be made against either man. Although, La Bruckman better matched the description of the man who checked into the hotel with Carrie Brown.

If, la Bruckman murdered Carrie Brown, there’s a good chance he was indeed Jack the Ripper. la Bruckman was a cattle slaughterer on ocean liners making the voyage between New York and London. When he was in London, he lived in rooming houses in Whitechapel.

Perhaps most surprisingly, he is listed in the official suspect register of Scotland Yard in accordance with the Ripper murders. And he was arrested for the murders at one point, but beat the charges.

Strangely, in the case of Carrie Brown, la Bruckman had a cast iron alibi, maybe. He was supposedly with friends at a pub, but the bartender didn’t remember him, only his friends vouched for his presence there. Since, la Bruckman wasn’t the killer of Carrie Brown, the police move on to the suspect Almeer bin Ali an Algerian who had come to NYC from France.

Under pressure to solve the American Ripper case, police do some extraordinary things to prove their case against him. Police follow a blood trail from Brown’s room to bin Ali’s room. Ali had an alibi, even more cast iron than la Bruckman’s. But the blood trail was all the evidence really needed. He was sentenced to life in prison and sent to Sing Sing prison.

After his conviction, the press begins sending letters to the governor of New York demanding the release of Almeer bin Ali. They all state that when they were allowed to view the hallway a few hours after the police began investigating the murder of Carrie Brown, the blood trail didn’t exist. The press is of the opinion that the NYPD planted the blood trail, in order to get a result in the case.

Ali was eventually released 4 years after his conviction with a full pardon from the governor of New York. However, a century later, the murderer of Carrie Brown remains a mystery. And forms the basis for multiple Jack the Ripper theories.

La Bruckman was indeed in London during the times of all the Ripper murders. And HH Holmes may have been there at that time as well and he was in New York City when Carrie Brown was murdered. Furthermore, there were some similarities between la Bruckman and Holmes in looks (I personally do not believe Holmes was Jack the Ripper).

It would not surprise me in the least to learn that Scotland Yard had indeed arrested Jack the Ripper and he beat the charges. I actually believe Arbie la Bruckman is probably the best Ripper suspect to date. Bruckman just disappeared in 1891. While police were still investigating the murder of Carrie Brown. Note was sent to Scotland Yard as well as other big cities in the US trying to locate him with no success. Because of this, he isn’t talked about very often even among Ripperologists (and most Ripperologists get queasy when someone suggests Jack may have crossed the Atlantic to kill in NYC).

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Modus Operandi & Signature

Since time immemorial, people have been killed by people they know. The statistic for it is very high, something like 97% of all murder victims are acquainted with their murderer. It might even be higher. This is why when someone is murdered police talk to family, friends, and even acquaintances first and foremost.

There are only two types of killings that don’t fall into this; serial killings and contract killings. Even with drive-by gang related shootings, there is an acquaintanceship between killer and victim.

Even when there is a known serial killer on the loose, a stranger killing is still rarely anyone’s first thought. And unless there’s a signature, it can be difficult to connect serial kills. It’s about more than MO. It’s about more than details not released to the public. Especially, as we move away from the era when everything we knew about serial killers came from the lips of Ted Bundy.

We now know that modus operandi isn’t as constant as we once believed. As a matter of fact, serial killers often change their MO and their signatures. Of those that didn’t, we have Zodiac, BTK, and Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker). But this was done for a reason. These were all police taunters. They wanted the police to know which kills were theirs and we could be wrong about Zodiac.

Zodiac claimed a higher body count than the police and FBI attributed to him. Catching killers like BTK have shown us a great deal we didn’t know about serial killers and estimates have been revised for Zodiac in the last two decades. Because it is possible that Zodiac was killing in multiple locations, using multiple modus operandi (this includes weapons and manner of death), and it is quite likely he didn’t sign every kill, like we originally thought.

Oddly, serial killer signatures aren’t much different than Nom de Plumes, pen names for authors. I know a half dozen authors who have multiple pen names. Each name is for a specific genre. When you think of it that way, it seems plausible that a serial killer would have multiple signatures, one for each type of killing. Sticking with Zodiac as our example, Zodiac did not sexually assault any of his victims and he shot them. That was what was looked for in the Zodiac killings, along with letters to the press and his infamous crosshairs marking of the circle with the cross through it.

If Zodiac wanted to rape and kill, he could have. If he didn’t want it associated with himself, well that’s easy enough. Stab the victim or strangle them. Don’t send a letter to the press. And don’t carve the crosshairs anywhere.

And suddenly, viola, you have Jane Doe killed by an unknown person, but even though Zodiac is killing couples in this area of California, she can’t possibly be a victim of Zodiac, because Zodiac doesn’t rape them, he doesn’t strangle them, he’s attacked only multiple victims such as couples, and he really likes to read about himself in the press and he hasn’t claimed responsibility.

Another lesson learned from serial killers of the 1990s and 2000s. Gary Ridgway (Green River Killer) and Dennis Rader (BTK), both changed how they killed on different occasions. Ridgway was known to strangle his victims. But when a hitchhiker turned up near the Green River dump site, beaten to death, she wasn’t immediately linked to the other Green River killings, because the Green River Killer strangled his victims and they were almost all known prostitutes. After Ridgway was caught, he confessed to killing the hitchhiker and he had more details than could have been gleaned from news accounts of it. Dennis Rader once taunted police by sending in the driver’s license of a woman who had been murdered, but it hadn’t been attributed to BTK. The murder had been considered too different from BTK’s other kills.

This flexibility to change MO and signature, was once believed to be impossible. It was once believed that a serial killer had to do these things in this exact manner, as if it were some kind of compulsion. Understanding that it isn’t, has changed how we look at serial killers and their victims. It has also resulted in our realization that some serial killers may have been much more successful than we thought. Applying it historically, it makes us wonder, isn’t it reasonable to think that perhaps Jack the Ripper didn’t stop killing in Whitechapel? Maybe he got tired of the gruesome gory kills. Maybe he refined how he killed. Whitechapel was an area where murder was fairly common. If he decided to stop butchering his victims, it is very likely he continued to kill and they just weren’t “Ripperesque” enough to be attributed to him. The same could be true of Zodiac and several others. Which makes that 37 Zodiac chillingly scrawled on one of his notes, seem plausible or perhaps the word is probable.

True Crime – Cold Case

I have watched a lot of true crime lately. To cut down on expenses, we got rid of cable and started using Hulu live. It’s about $70 a month less, which is nice and we still have DVR capabilities. And since I can watch it on my phone or tablet, I’ve had a few days where I ran shows like Unusual Suspects as background noise while working.

One of the things that surprises me every time, is when they have cold cases. Not the solving of cold cases, but the shock to the family of the killer. Several cases I’ve watched recently took decades to solve and the killer was young at the time (sometimes a mere teenager).

To some degree, I’m used to serial killers having full lives after killing people, but it still surprises me when it’s just an average run of the mill killer. I know that sounds weird, but people who only kill once, really aren’t psychologically built for the long game. They aren’t sociopaths or psychopaths.

These crimes are often crimes of passion; violent, rage filled killings. Not plotted or planned, like in the case of serial killings. Yet, these killers even though they only killed once, go on to have families.

Then suddenly 20 or 30 years after the crimes, the police show up and arrest them thanks to advances in forensics. How shocking for the spouse or any children.

And then the awkward explanations… and the gut wrenching decisions. Can you stand by a husband who raped and murdered his neighbor when he was 17 or 20? But he’s never even yelled at you? Honestly, you’ve never met that man that did that terrible thing. The man you know has always been the perfect husband and father.


I feel sorry for these people; the spouses and children. It must feel like stepping into the Twilight Zone. In one moment, everything you thought you knew changed and your life became nightmarish. And the questions: How could they be married to a murderer and not know it?

Learning About The Dark Web

I’ve been hammering away on Innocent Dreams as of late. I got the idea while doing the final bits of research for Ritual Dreams (it happens more than one might think). I had read an article about a cult that made a good deal of money selling child porn on the dark web. And suddenly, I needed a book about a snuff film being sold on the dark web. Fiona needs more parts anyone. Gabriel, Lucas, and Xavier have all played first fiddle in a book while Ace played second… So yes, Innocent Dreams would be Fiona’s time to shine.

I thought “I got this.” After all, what better way to learn about the dark web than the internet. I quickly realized that scholarly articles about the dark web aren’t as plentiful as I thought. But that’s okay, because my best friend works in cyber security. And I’m not an idiot, I am capable of learning…

And therefore, “I still got this.”

Famous last words. My readers know that I try to be as accurate as possible about everything. It’s part of the reason I do a ton of research (that I just like to do research). I’ve put down over 15,000 words on Innocent Dreams and in my spare time, I’ve been researching the dark web, cyber crime, and how to catch cyber criminals.

I will point out now, that I started Innocent Dreams, with only the vaguest ideas about the dark web. I mean I read news articles about the bringing down of the Silk Road when it happened. I’ve looked at some Ranker lists about disturbing shit on the dark web. And that’s it. That is literally all I know about it, except that I have to use a client like TOR to access it. Which I don’t have. I have never even looked at a web page on the dark web, let alone have an understanding of what it does. This is an area of technology that has gone right over my head, completely.

A while ago, I banged out a paragraph in which Fiona is trying to explain how things work on the Dark Web and sent it to my best friend, because despite the articles I have read, I’m still a little fuzzy on it. Her reply was kindly, considering I had it almost completely wrong still. I tried to implement her suggested changes regarding something about nodes which are used to back track traffic or something.

But let’s be honest, when it comes to the dark web, I’m an idiot. For instance, I was introduced to the term Dark Net in several articles. Fine, originally I thought it was just an alternate name for the dark web… But the more articles I read, the more I began to think it was some sort of shopping network on the dark web, not unlike Silk Road had been, but with more security measures and things. As I write this, I’m still not entirely sure which description of Dark Net is accurate.

I have some serious techie readers, which has created this fear they might read Innocent Dreams and go “OMG it’s the literary version of The Net! How dreadful!” Which would indeed be dreadful.

On January 30, 2019, I surpassed 20,000 words. My best friend is currently getting another master’s degree and I will have to beg her to look over Innocent Dreams when I finish so she can correct some of the technical stuff… But otherwise, I think it’s going pretty good.

Sometimes, I Get Things Wrong

I try very hard to be a good researcher. I’ve been formally trained in historical research, genealogical research, and scientific research. However, I have no standing within any of these communities beyond saying “Hey, I have a degree in X.” This means if it isn’t public information, I probably can’t get it without jumping through a ton of hoops and even then, I probably couldn’t get anything sensitive or confidential.

However, since I know I am limited to public information, I attempt to fulfill the requirements of due diligence. This means finding multiple sources of information considered reliable by those that do have access to the sensitive information I don’t.

This is fairly easy with history stuff. It’s not always as easy with crime stuff. For instance, I once found a website referenced on a site that was purportedly run by the son of Zodiac. Yep, you read that correctly. Bizarrely, the original site was considered very reliable, so it surprised me to end up on a site that appeared to be run by a crackpot and linked from the reliable site.

Unfortunately, this means that occasionally, I don’t get all the details correct. That is never my intention, I assure you. I love facts. And when I do get things wrong, I don’t mind having it pointed out to me.

I bring this up because I got some things wrong with the Oakland County Child Killer and a read was nice enough to point it out to me. From what I can tell, the reader may have a personal connection to the case, so I understand their frustration with my getting any part of it wrong.

I said in that post that one of the victims was seen in an AMC Gremlin right before he disappeared. I used that bit of information because I found it in newspaper accounts from Oakland County, Michigan at the time, as well as a more recent article on a national website that also said a Blue AMC Gremlin. I have been informed it was a blue Pontiac. I did find one source that said it was a Pontiac, but not a reliable source, It was a conspiracy theory site that was discussing Bob’s involvement with the case… and it was brought up because apparently the Bob who involved himself demanding to read the letter and see other evidence drove a blue Pontiac.

I also left out the piece of information that Bob drove a Pontiac at the time of the killings, because I’m not sure it’s trustworthy. Bob himself seems to have spread some of the misinformation available regarding the OCCK murders. For all I know, Bob himself started that rumor to make himself more important or raise suspicion about himself being involved. And yes, there are people out there who get a kick out of being suspected of murder, especially multiple murders in the form of serial killings.

And so, if you read something that you know to be false or incorrect for whatever reason, don’t think twice about pointing it out to me. We learn and discover through facts.

Recent Serial Killers in the US

To make this list, killers had to be active between 2000 and 2019. Very few of the serial killers on this list garnered nothing more than front page news of their hometown. Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize any of the names. Serial killers have to be really weird (think BTK or Dahmer) or incredibly prolific (Gary Ridgway aka The Green River Killer) to get noticed more than a few hundred miles from their hunting grounds.

  • Darren Vann was a serial killer that went nearly undetected. He was arrested in 2014 for the murder of a prostitute in Gary, Indiana. After his arrest, he confessed to murdering 6 other women in Gary, Indiana. After his confession, the police added a few more names to the list of suspected victims. However, in 2010, a reporter in Indiana ran an algorithm analysis of unsolved murders in Indiana and went to the police with the victim names his system spit out. Police brushed him off, even after a coroner in Gary, Indiana took his suspicions to police that there was a serial killer in Gary. Eventually, the coroner and reporter began working together and founded a non-profit called the Murder Accountability Project. The six names Vann confessed to killing were names on the list compiled by the algorithm used by the reporter. He is now suspected in 20 murders just in Indiana. However, he also spent time in Texas and Illinois.
  • Salvatore Perron began killing shopkeepers that appeared to be Middle Eastern in Brooklyn, New York with a sawed off shotgun. He was captured in November 2012, after killing 3 different shopkeepers all of them in 2012. In 2016, he finally went to trial and was sentenced. Throughout the trial, Perron who was 67 in 2012 proclaimed he was setup to take the fall by an Iranian businessman Michael Bila. Three victims is the bare minimum for classification of a serial killer, however, Perron makes the list because each of the three killings had extenuating circumstances, that makes the murders even harsher than just killing people. Perron was a salesman of clothing and knew all three shopkeepers personally. He knew their entire families and several of the children of the victims’ said they were shocked because Perron had practically seen them grow up in the store.
  • Michael Madison killed three women between September 2012 and July 2013 in Ohio via manual strangulation. Madison was a registered sex offender after being sentenced for attempted rape in 2002. One of Madison’s victims was raped, although evidence suggests it happened post mortem. Madison was caught after several complaints to the city of a foul odor coming from a building that was leased by Madison. Inside police found a decomposing body wrapped in plastic. After searching the building, a second body (also wrapped in plastic) was found in the backyard. The third body was found in a vacant lot about 200 yards from the building Madison was leasing (some sources say it was a single car garage and others say it was a commercial garage where Madison worked on cars).
  • Dale Ritchie began stalking the streets of Anchorage, Alaska in 2016. On July 3, 2016 Ritchie killed two victims in a park in Anchorage. He would claim two more in parks or on bike paths around Anchorage in July and August 2016. In November 2016, police went to talk to Ritchie and Ritchie engaged them in a gun battle. Ritchie was killed, but a Colt Python was found in his possession that turned out to be the murder weapon. There has been no release in why police went to talk to Ritchie that day, however, aside from the murders, Ritchie shot a police officer, but didn’t kill him.
  • Elias Abuelazam appears to be a spree killer. Abuelazam AKA the Flint Slasher took victims of opportunity and death may not have been the ultimate goal. Between May and August 2010 Abuelazam is suspected of stabbing 17 different men, 5 of whom died. Abuelazam is a big man, 6’5″ tall and his preferred victims were small men (short as well as scrawny). Abuelazam would drive around late at night and find men walking alone. Nearly all of his victims have been African American making him one of those serial killers that crosses ethnicity boundaries (some suspect the stabbings were racially motivated). He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and is serving time in Michigan. However, he has been linked to at least 1 homicide in Leesburg, Virginia, and 3 hammer attacks also in Leesburg, Virginia in 2009. Also around this time, Abuelazam who was born in Israel, returned home for a visit and stabbed a friend in the face with a screwdriver after they had a disagreement. The friend refused to press charges and the case was dropped by the Israeli government and police.
  • Bruce Mendenhall was arrested in 2007 for the murder of a woman at a truckstop in Tennessee. Mendenhall is a long haul trucker. After searching Mendenhall’s truck in connection to the murder he was arrested for, police found blood evidence from five other women who were missing or whose bodies have been found murdered. However, he is being investigated by several states in connection with missing persons and homicide investigations there. While in prison awaiting trial, Mendenhall’s wife died of natural causes and he received life insurance money. In a moment of brilliance, Mendenhall approached 2 other inmates in prison, offering them $15,000 to kill three of his associates, one of whom a woman, was supposed to be staged to make it look like the killer was still free.

I said in an earlier post that the FBI has claimed the number of serial killers of minority race had risen in the last few decades. Which makes it of interest to note that Vann and Madison were both African American males. Perron was Hispanic. And Abuelezam was Middle Eastern.

The Predator Loses

In 2015, a mundane thing happened that led to extraordinaire things. A woman in Charleston, West Virginia called 911 to report she had just shot a man. The woman had been arrested in the past for prostitution. The man she’d shot didn’t have a criminal record at all. According to her, she made a “date” with Neal Falls. When he showed up to her house, he took her hostage with a handgun he had brought with him. Falls attempted to strangle her. She pretended to pass out and grabbed a rake that was near her. Falls put the gun down to take the rake from her. She took that moment to grab his gun and shoot him.

During the search of Neal Falls vehicle which was at the scene, police found evidence that Falls had come there intending to kill the victim. In the days and weeks that followed, police found evidence that linked Falls to multiple murders across several states, including multiple women who have gone missing or been found murdered in Chillicothe, Ohio (there is a documentary about the Chillicothe Six).

As of 2019, Falls is considered a possible serial killer and remains the prime suspect in murders in Ohio, Nevada, Illinois, and Kentucky. His current suspected victim list is at 10 women, all of them women who were known to police to be prostitutes. Including the dismembered body of a woman found in Nevada during the time Falls lived there while working on Hoover Dam and a dismembered woman whose legs were found in the woods in Illinois (the rest of her body has not been recovered).

The first indication that something wasn’t right with Falls after he was shot and killed, was the police found multiple axes, saws, hatchets, trashbags, and clean socks and underwear in his car at location where he had been killed. The majority of Falls suspected victims didn’t just have a criminal record for prostitution, but advertised their services on the internet.

It was decided the woman who shot and killed Falls was acting in self defense and no charges were filed against her. Also, for a short time, Falls was considered a possible suspect in the Gilgo Beach Murders (Long Island Serial Killer). But evidence did turn up that at the time of the Gilgo Beach Murders, Falls was not living on the east coast and could not have committed them.

Serial Killer Facts Part 306(?)

With Ritual Dreams at the editor, I’ve been taking some time to catch up on recent serial killer cases. I know that’s a weird hobby, but I’m kind of a weird person, so it works. And I noticed a blog post trending… Not history related. I did a blog post in 2016 regarding myths about serial killers. It seems very popular right now. So I read through it again and decided to revisit some serial killer facts.

  • Serial killers are rarely mentally ill. This is kind of a double edged sword. People with ASPD are mentally ill. Some would say that having psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies is probably one of the worst mental illnesses a person can have. You cannot have ASPD and several other illnesses (bipolar disorder, depression, DID – there is a caveat to this that I’ll get to a little later, and it has never been documented in someone with schizophrenia). I don’t know if its good or bad that you can’t have ASPD with psychopathic tendencies and Bipolar Disorder, but there it is. It is incredibly rare for serial killers to have a mental illness such as schizophrenia or DID.
  • Approximately 20% of serial killers ARE female. However, they tend to be older females. 20-something women are far less likely to be serial killers than 20-something men. Instead, most female serial killers are in their late 30s or early 40s before they make their first kill… the exception is females working with male partners (Think Ian Brady/Myra Hindley or Paul Bernardo/Karla Homolka.
  • Female serial killers get lighter sentences than male serial killers and female partners of male serial killers on average only get half the time the male partner is sentenced to (which is why Karla Homolka is free and Myra Hindley was due to be paroled when she died [according to the sources involved in her upcoming parole hearing, Hindley would have gotten out if she hadn’t died]).
  • Serial killers of minority ethnicities in the US are on the rise. Before 1990 only about 15% of all serial killers were not white. That’s up to about 25% according to the FBI (2014 last date available).
  • As mass murder rates in the US rise (think school shooters and the guy who killed 5 people at a Florida bank in January 2019), serial killer rates have started to decline. And some sociologists and psychologists think they two are directly related. Possibly because people who would grow up to become serial killers are venting their rage at a younger age, resulting in more mass murderers.
  • There are serial killer fanclubs on the internet as well as a dating site specifically for men in prison for committing murder (I read an article about it a couple years ago – I consider both of these things bizarre).
  • Psychopathic and sociopathic serial killers get bored with killing. This is the primary reason for escalation of either violence or risk taking behaviors associated with being a serial killer. It can also be the reason they suddenly just quit killing. Dennis Rader (BTK – Wichita, Kansas 1980s-1990s) admitted that he stopped killing for a while because he was bored, so he got married and started having children. When the novelty of that wore off, he increased his taunting behaviors against the police – which is what led to his capture).
  • Very few serial killers get national news coverage in the US. Even after they are captured.
  • While serial killers in the US are on the decline, they are on the rise in most other Western countries. The number of serial killers rise when countries experience social unrest (after Katrina decimated New Orleans and most of the Southern part of the US, serial killer rates in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi all increased). I read an article by a sociologist who suggested that the reason serial killers are increasing in Canada and Europe is because the general public is relatively unhappy with the acceptance of refugees by the government in those countries.
  • There are serial killers that specialize in low risk victims. High risk victims are runaways, prostitutes, and drug addicts. However, for some serial killers soccer moms or successful 20-something men are the only victims they will take.
  • Dismemberment of serial killer victims is increasing. It is thought this is meant to be a forensic countermeasure. With the increase of crime shows like CSI, Forensic Files, and Criminal Minds, serial killers today are more aware of forensics and take more precautions to prevent leaving evidence; dismemberment and washing of the corpse are both fairly decent counter measure.

Go forth, don’t kill anyone, and don’t get yourself killed. Bonus fact: shows like CSI always make dismemberment look like a super bloody affair, blood spatter on the ceiling, coating the walls, soaking the floor, ect. Except, that only happens if you try to dismember a living person. Once the body is dead, the blood instantly begins to coagulate and congeal within the body. It doesn’t spray out, it can’t. It seeps out, but not an exceptional amount. If it did, autopsies would be incredibly messy affairs that required a full room disinfection and HAZMAT clean up after each one if cutting dead flesh created a mess.

Backseat Killer – Another Urban Legend

I’m sure you’ve heard this one, woman driving a car has a car behind her continuously flashing their high beams. She races to safety terrified that the car behind her is up to something nefarious, only to find that the car behind her saved her life from the killer hiding in her backseat. It’s a popular urban legend that makes the rounds fairly often. Since the 1990s, it’s been told with a variation that the killer in the back seat is a gang member and killing an innocent victim is his gang initiation.

However, it might not be a totally made up story. Remove the lone female driver and the car chasing while flashing their high beams and the bare bones of the killer in the backseat did happen. In 1964 in New York, however this killer picked the absolute worst car he could have to hide in.

The real story is that an escaped convict (murderer) made his way to a small town in upstate New York and climbed into the back of a car at a gas station. Upon returning to the car, the owner shot the convict to death. The convict had unknowingly climbed into the backseat of a car owned by an off duty police officer, who recognized him as the escaped convict.

The man was found to be in possession of a knife and police suspected he intended to steal the car from the owner once they left the gas station. The convict whose name I was unable to find was said to have been convicted of murdering his wife in the 1950s.

Most urban legends do have a real story behind them. Often they are embellished to make them scarier. And they often serve as warning tales, don’t drive alone in this place because this happened. However, it’s also a bit like the game “telephone.” By the time its three or four people removed from the source, the original story has changed quite a bit.

The Oakland County Child Killer

The Oakland County Child Killer (OCCK) is a serial killer that didn’t garner national attention (surprisingly, most serial killers don’t garner national news coverage). Between 1976 and 1977, the Oakland County Child Killer is known to have killed 4 pre-teens in Oakland County/Wayne County Michigan.

2 male children (Tim King 11 years old and Mark Stebbins 12) and 2 female children (Jill Robinson 12 and Kristine Mihelich 10) were conclusively linked to the Oakland County Child Killer in the late 1970s. There are at least 2 other cases that are deemed possibly related as of 2015. The connection between the cases isn’t DNA or anything so concrete, all four victims were found with white animal hair on them (they were all killed in different ways, abducted and held for different lengths of time, and assaulted differently) and all four were found in a similar positions after their bodies were dumped (indicating the bodies were staged after death).

There have been hundreds of suspects including John Wayne Gacy, who was in Michigan at the time of some of the killings. Chris Busch, a notorious pedophile that committed suicide in 1978 was also considered a suspect and one of his victims James Gunnels was linked to the murder of Kristine Mihelich via DNA evidence in 2010.

Unfortunately, Gunnels could not be linked to any of the other murders and the case was officially reopened in 2010 as a result. All four children were sexually assaulted before being murdered, but they were assaulted with an object that did not leave DNA evidence.

In 2012, Bob popped up in the investigation. Not as a suspect but as a bit of a mystery. Bob claims there are really 11-12 victims of the Oakland County Child Killer. Bob also claims that the assaults and murders were part of a Wiccan Sacrifice Ritual. Furthermore, Bob claims to be a member of a 12 man team investigating the Oakland County Child Killer and has worked the case for more than 10,000 hours. Bob also claims he knows who did it.

I keep repeating “Bob claims” because Bob is an odd duck. Bob’s real identity is unknown to the general public. He has approached journalists and the ADA of Oakland County with his claims. The ADA he spoke with says the meeting was a long rambling one in which Bob made a lot of claims but didn’t produce any evidence. Bob says the meeting didn’t happen.

In order to get the name of the person Bob says is responsible for the murders as well as the 7 or 8 unknown victims Bob claims exists, Bob wants access to crucial evidence in the murders. Specifically, Bob wants to read the original of a letter signed “Allen” that had details unknown to the public about the murders and was sent to a Dr. Bruce Danto. Allen didn’t take responsibility for the killings, but he said he knew who was responsible and that he would tell Dr. Danto (this was in 1977) that he would give him the information if the doctor could get a letter from the Governor of Michigan stating Allen would be granted immunity for his involvement with the murders. Dr. Danto did secure the letter, but Allen failed to appear at the rendezvous and he hasn’t been heard from since.

This case was already complicated before Bob got involved. It is rare for a sexual sadist (which is what the Oakland County Child Killer appears to be) to take victims of both sexes. And if the two possible cases are indeed linked, then there is some major disparity in ages, the 2 possible cases are both females one was 14 years old and the other is 16. There are precedents for pedophiles to have victims that are pre-pubescent girls and pre-pubescent boys. However, the 16 and 14 year olds would be a huge deviation as both girls would have been in puberty by this time.

Bob has stated Gunnels wasn’t involved. Well, okie dokie. Police don’t actually suspect Gunnels of the murders or assaults. Gunnels’ hair was found on the body of Kristine Mihelich. Police suspect Gunnels disposed of the body and does know who was responsible for the murders. Gunnels was also found to be in possession of a sketch of a young boy screaming and there was an eerie resemblance to Timothy King (the fourth victim).

Bob has even gone so far as accuse ADA Jill Cooper of participating in a cover up for the Oakland County Child Killer. I’m not sure who Bob is, but I believe Bob should be thoroughly investigated by police and journalists. Serial killers are narcissists who often involve themselves in their own cases (Gary Ridgway even volunteered to help with the manhunt for the Green River Killer – Ridgway is the Green River Killer).

I heard a theory recently that James Gunnels’ was Allen and that Chris Busch was the Oakland County Child Killer. It’s actually not a bad theory. Except neither Busch nore Gunnels (who was 16 at the time of the killings) drove an AMC Gremlin – the car King was reportedly seen getting into. Also a witness who saw King talking to two men, did not identify either Gunnels or Busch (although her description of one of the men did match John Wayne Gacy fairly well – DNA evidence and a timeline of movements has ruled Gacy out as the OCCK).

If Bob was not involved in the original murders, Bob needs help. I have two theories on Bob – he’s an armchair sleuth who wants to be involved and has taken it too far – or he’s a serial killer groupie.

As of 2018 the case remains unsolved.

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