A fascinating hand-picked collection of 5 unbelievable true crime stories that are guaranteed to blow your mind!
1. Profiler’s Mistake That Misled the Investigators
In February 1984, Seattle Post-Intelligencer received a graphic confession letter from a man claiming to be the Green River Killer.
Amid the nation’s worst serial-killing spree, the King County detectives reached out to an FBI profiler John Douglas for assistance in assessing the letter’s validity. Douglas advised the detectives that the message was “an amateurish attempt” by someone who has “no connection with the Green River murders.” King County detectives were perplexed because the letter contained information about the crimes that had not been released, such as the killer eliminating trace evidence by cutting off the victim’s fingernails, post-mortem sex, and the fact that one victim was posed with a wine bottle and fish.
Douglas did not think much of it, reportedly saying:
“If this subject has made statements relative to the investigation which was not already released to the press, he would have to have ACCESS to this information (Task Force).” Detectives followed Douglas’s advice and did not pursue it as a lead.
Little did they know was that Douglas got it all wrong.
In 2003, as a part of his confession to police, Gary Ridgway revealed that it was, in fact, him who mailed the letter to the newspaper.
Following Ridgway’s confession, the legendary profiler first denied he’d ever written such an opinion. Upon being shown a signed copy of his response to the King County Sherrif’s Office, he conceded that it was his signature but remembered nothing about it.
The profiler said that the killer’s lack of follow-up communication might have made him believe that the letter was a fake.
He also doubted it would have helped the investigation even if he had said the letter was indeed or possibly written by the real killer.
“Let’s say I say that is him. Now, what do we do? It’s typewritten. If it was handwritten, we could release information publicly. … Did I hold up the investigation? There was never another communiqué. He never did anything again after that, other than to continue the ways of his killing.”
2. The (Im)perfect Sketch Helps Catch the Perpetrator
On January 30, 2018, at 1:20 p.m., an unknown man impersonated an employee and robbed a small farmers market stand in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The only reliable lead police had was an amateur sketch of the suspect.
While the sketch may have appeared amateurish and cartoonish, along with the distinctive physical descriptors, jogged the investigator’s memory who provided a potential suspect name.
When the witness was shown a photo of a 44-year-old Hung Phuoc Nguyen, he was positively identified as the robber.
A year later, the author of an infamous sketch was revealed to be a local freelance graphic designer Jocelyn Park.
During her interview in 2019, she recalled that after Nguyen fled her attempts to stop him, she called the police and drawn a sketch based on the details she remembered following the encounter.
As a witness, she offered what she calls a “refined” rough draft to police.
“It was never meant to be like the best thing in the world, and you know, a realistic photograph, or a true police sketch, at all. It was just meant to jog my memory, and I thought it might be helpful to someone else,” said Park.
Once the sketch went public, it “exploded,” as Park describes it, on the internet. “It’s not necessarily what I want to be known for, drawing the world’s worst sketch, but it’s a gift that’s been given to me,” said Park, with a laugh.
According to court documents, Nguyen is currently serving his 23-month sentence in prison.
3. A Bowel Movement Results In an Arrest
On November 13, 2018, 30-year-old Arthur Posey entered the famous New Orleans restaurant Willie’s Chicken Shack and asked the manager what time the restaurant closed.
The manager told Posey that she did not know when the restaurant closed, to which the man replied, “Y’all about to close right now because I’m going to get a bomb and blow this place up.”
According to a police report, the manager “took the threat very seriously” and notified her general manager, who instructed her to call the police.
However, when Posey was in police custody, he claimed that the whole situation was just a big misunderstanding.
Posey explained that he never meant that he would detonate an actual bomb in the restaurant but instead told police that he was going to “blow the bathroom up” with a bowel movement.
The police did not find the threat funny and charged Posey with two counts of communicating false information of planned arson.
Although the outcome of the incident is unknown, one thing is clear – some things are better kept to yourself.
4. The Messiest Execution in Florida’s History
On July 8, 1999, the execution of Allen Lee Davis set off a shock wave that rippled around the world. Davis bled profusely from the nose during his time in the electric chair and suffered burns to his head, leg, and groin area.
As the switch was thrown, the “Tiny” Davis, who was executed for the May 11, 1982, murder of Nancy Weiler and her two daughters, reared back against the restraints, giving witnesses a chilling glimpse under a black hood designed to hide the faces of the condemned. Blood poured from his vivid purple nose, ran down the wide leather strap that covered his mouth, and soaked the white shirt.
After the power was turned off, Davis was still alive. Witnesses said his chest rose and fell about ten times before he went still.
After the execution, state prison officials and Governor Jeb Bush said the Old Sparky functioned adequately.
Three photos of the incident have been published on Florida’s High Court official website in an attempt to argue that the practice of capital punishment via electrocution was outdated. The report said that any future executions should be carried out through lethal injection since the Davis execution was not the first to raise questions in Florida about the humaneness of electrocution. In 1990 and 1997, Jesse Tafero and Pedro Medina caught fire in the chair as they were being put to death.
Finally, after the Davis execution, lethal injection was enabled and became the default method. Inmates, however, may still choose electrocution.
5. A Drug-Induced Delusion Nearly Costs a Man His Penis
On December 28, 2013, at 3 AM, 35-year-old Bonita Lynn Vela instructed her daughter to invite her boyfriend to the family’s trailer in Franklin, Indiana. “Why?” you might ask.
Vela suspected her daughter’s 18-year-old boyfriend had molested her 2-year-old son.
The man arrived around 3 AM, and Vela, with the help of two unnamed individuals, held him against his will for three and a half hours.
When the 18-year-old started adamantly denying the molestation accusations, Vela became increasingly agitated and was “out of control” and “extremely mad.”
During the torture session, Vela threatened to tie him to a tree, shoot him in the head and leave his body to be eaten by animals before giving him an ultimatum of choosing “his life or his penis.” The teenager chose his life, and Vela allegedly “cut him deep” with a box cutter, then let him go.
The police report stated that the victim believed Vela had “wanted to scar him so that he would have to look at it every time that he had sex in the future.” However, the 18-year-old said he thought the trio would “go to great lengths to hurt or kill him” and that one of them had filmed the incident.
The woman claimed to have been under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident and eventually made a deal with the prosecutors to avoid jail time. Nearly a year later, in November 2014, Vela was sentenced to ten months of home detention and six months probation and anger management counseling.
Although there are no further reports regarding the validity of the molestation accusations, it is widely believed that it was merely a drug-induced delusion.
These 5 mind-blowing stories originally appeared in this year’s biggest true crime hit 365 Days of Crime.
From the death row inmate who sued the state for botching his execution to a bank robber who gave the cashier his full name and address, 365 Days of Crime is the ULTIMATE true crime treat.
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