The Murder of Raveesh Kumbra

 
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This is millionaire and savvy businessman, Raveesh “Ravi” Kumra, who was killed in his own home in the wealthy suburb of Monte Sereno in 2012.


This is Lukis Anderson, who was essentially framed for murder by his own DNA.  The paramedics that had taken him to the hospital earlier in the evening for alcohol poisoning, had also been the ones later in the night to take away the body of Ravi Kumra, leaving Anderson’s trace DNA on the fingernails of Kumra.


And here are two of the three actual culprits: Javier Garcia and Deangelo Austin.  A third man, Mercellous Drummer, was also convicted, all 3 are currently serving life sentences.

The Golden State Killer

 

For over 40 years, a rapist and murderer called the Golden State Killer had never been apprehended.  But as of April 25th, authorities now have a suspect in custody, 72 year old Joseph Deangelo of Citrus Heights, California.  This is his mugshot alongside one of the many composite sketches drawn of him over the years.


As promised, here is a link to the truly terrifying phone call that police recorded of the East Area Rapist.  He is saying, “Gonna kill you. Gonna kill you. Bitch. Bitch. Whore” Stacy is even too scared to listen to this insanity, so you have been warned!


There are no photographs of the couple we discussed, Brad and Sylvia Garnett, who survived and got the best of the East Area Rapist.  But this comprehensive website has a detailed account of what they endured: http://www.coldcase-earons.com/48.php


Stacy didn’t do her normal in-depth research for this one, because it’s just too big of a case.  But if you want to listen to a podcast that does fantastic in-depth coverage of each and every crime committed by this monster, you’re going to want to checkout Casefile.  Here is a link to the first in a 5 episode series.

The Rape of Jane Doe

 

This is the brave woman, now known as Victoria, who survived a horrific beating and gang rape in Huntington Beach, California in 1990.

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These are the composite sketches that were released to the public, that would only prove helpful 18 years later when police had already caught Joseph Son and were still looking for the second assailant.


Here is Joe Son appearing in Austin Powers as the shoe-throwing villain, Random Task.


And this is Michael Graham, the convicted child molester that Joe Son killed while in jail.

The Murder of Dorothy Donovan

 

Here is Dorothy Donovan, killed on June 23rd, 1991 in her home in Delaware.


From her son, Charles’ description, this is the composite sketch that was released to the media of Dorothy’s killer.


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And finally, after 15 years, Charles Holden’s crazy story about a random hitchhiker who killed his mother proved to be true when Gilbert Cannon’s DNA matched back to Dorothy Donovan’s crime scene. Cannon, pictured here, was a career criminal and now spends his days in prison, having been sentenced to life without parole.

A Scientology Death: Lisa McPherson

 

This is Lisa McPherson, who died tragically at age 36 under the care of Scientologists.


Here is the Fort Harrison Hotel, located in Clearwater, Florida, and owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.  Room 174 was where Lisa McPherson spent the harrowing last 17 days of her life.


If you want to read more in-depth details about the horrors of what happened to Lisa, this website has a ton of information and is a great resource.

The Eastburn Family Murders

 
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This is Katie Eastburn, with her daughters Erin, Kara, and Jana, who were brutally murdered on May 9th, 1985 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

 

Timothy Hennis was tried, convicted, then tried, acquitted, and then tried and convicted of the Eastburn family murders, something our criminal justice system had never seen before or since.

 

At Hennis’ second trial, the defense brought a surprise witness, a man who looked strikingly similar to Tim Hennis, and who had been seen walking the neighborhood at the time of the crime. This man, John Raupaugh, and his testimony that he had been walking in the neighborhood, helped raise reasonable doubt and ultimately garnered Tim Hennis an acquittal

 

The New Yorker did an excellent write-up about this very complex case, check it out here.

Horror in Hollywood

 
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This is blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, Bob Lees, who was murdered and decapitated by a random stranger in his home at the age of 91.

 

Here is a young Dr. Morley Engelson, who was tragically killed in his home at the age of 69 as he was booking plane tickets over the phone.

 

After deranged killer, Keven Lee Graff left fingerprints all over the crime scenes, the LAPD held a press conference with his photo, and he was found almost immediately.

The Murder of Jayna Murray

 
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Here is Jayna Murray, who worked at the Lululemon Athletica store in Bethesda, Maryland and was killed by her coworker when she caught her shoplifting.

 

This is Brittany Norwood, who killed Jayna Murray when she was accused of shoplifting.

 

These are the potential weapons, items found around the store, that Brittany Norwood used when she brutalized Jayna Murray.

Take a look at the surveillance footage from the adjoining Apple store during the killing here.  You’ll see the employees listening in to what they thought was just “some drama” and felt no need to call police.

The Suicide Killer

 
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Here are Nadia Kajouji and Mark Drybrough, who took their lives in 2005 and 2008, respectively.  They were preyed upon by a man claiming to be a young nurse on an internet forum that was meant to help individuals in need.

 

This is the very sick and twisted man who took pleasure in convincing others to commit suicide by hanging, William Francis Melchert-Dinkel. He claimed to be a twenty-something nurse in Minnesota, and he may have convinced up to 50 vulnerable people to commit suicide.

 

Journalist Nadyia Labi at GQ, in 2011, did great in-depth coverage of this entire sordid story, read it here.

Evil in Bakersfield

 
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This is Joanie Harper-Brothers, who was killed, along with her mother and three children, on July 6th 2003 in Bakersfield, California.  

 

This is Vincent Brothers, the seemingly kindhearted elementary school vice principal that surprised everyone when he was convicted of killing his entire family.

 

Vincent Brothers had one surviving daughter from a previous relationship, who, after he was convicted of the killings, swore off her father forever and looks forward to the day that she can watch him be executed.  Read about it here.

 

Read here about the crucial testimony from entomologists at UC Davis and how it helped turn this case around.

Denise Huber: A California Cold Case

 
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Here is 23-year-old Denise Huber of Newport Beach, California, who was murdered in 1991 after she had a flat tire and began walking along the highway.

 

This is the industrial-sized freezer where Denise’s body was found 430 miles away in Arizona.

 

Here is the extensive court docket that provided much of the information for Stacy’s research.

The likelihood that you’ll be murdered by a stranger is extremely low, here’s the resource for the statistic that Stacy mentioned in this episode. 

Denise’s killer, John Famalaro had a sordid family background, including his brother being a convicted child molester and their mother being very abusive, you can read about here.

The Sad Tale of Gypsy and Dee Dee

 

Here are Gypsy and Dee Dee Blancharde, the lovable mother-daughter duo that deceived everyone they encountered.

 

After their arrest for the murder of abusive mother, Dee Dee Blancharde, here are Gypsy and her online boyfriend, the man who committed the murder himself, Nicholas Godejohn.

 

The daughter, Gypsy Rose, could in fact walk, and was not sick at all.  Take a look at how astonishingly different she appears in prison now, without her wheelchair, her feeding tube, or any of the medications she was forced to take.

The Murder of Martha Puebla

 
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This is Martha Puebla, who was killed in a gang shooting outside her Sun Valley home in 2003.

 

Here is Juan Catalan, his lawyer Todd Melnik, and Larry David, the creator, and star, of Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Juan was falsely accused of Martha’s murder and subsequently saved by footage shot for the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm while he was at a Dodgers game.

 

This is the “6-pack” photo lineup that LAPD detectives Pinner and Rodriguez doctored to make Martha Puebla look like a snitch, thereby ordering her killing by gang members.

Deaths at Disneyland Pts. 1 & 2

 
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You hardly see all 11 Disneyland deaths listed in one place, nor do you find as much information on each one as we have dug up for this special two-part episode.  Newspapers were a big source for this episode, as was this great book that covers all kinds of Disneyland secrets: Mouse Tales: A Behind-The-Ears Look at Disneyland.

 

The 1st death was in 1964 when 15-year-old Mark Maples stood up on the Matterhorn.

 

The 2nd death is in 1966 when Thomas Guy Cleveland, age 19, is run over by the Monorail.

 

Death number 3 comes in 1967 when 15-year-old Rick Yama jumps cars on the PeopleMover.  

 

The 4th death occurs when 18-year-old Bogden De Laurot drowns in the Rivers of America

 
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Death number 5 comes in 1974 when 18-year-old Disneyland employee, Deborah Stone is crushed in the America Sings exhibit.

 

1980 brings the 6th death, as 18-year-old Gerardo Gonzalez dies while jumping cars on the PeopleMover.

 

The 7th death happens when Mel Yorba, age 18, is stabbed in the park just outside the Submarine Ride, and it is the park’s first and only homicide.

 

We have our 8th Disneyland death when 18 year old Phil Straughan drowns in the Rivers of America.

 

Death number 9 comes in 1984 when 48 year old Dolly Young is killed on the Matterhorn.

 

The 10th death is 1998 when Luan Dawson is struck by a metal piece from the large ship, the Columbia.

 

Our final and most recent death at Disneyland happened in 2003 when 22-year-old Marcelo Torres died in an accident on Big Thunder Mountain.

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Dr. John Schneeberger

 
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This is Candice Foley, a brave and amazing woman whose persistence is what put her rapist in jail after 5 long years.

 

Here is John Schneeberger, the monster who for 5 years got away with the sexual assault of one of his patients, as well as that of his own stepdaughter.

 
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His method to foil DNA tests was a small tube called a Penrose drain, which he filled with a patient’s blood and surgically inserted into his arm.

The Murder of John Cameron

 

This is William Jackson Marion minutes before he was hanged in 1887 for the murder of his friend John Cameron.

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Online resources all say that the murder victim, John Cameron, walked back into town 4 years after his friend was hanged for the crime, but Stacy’s research uncovers a different narrative told by newspapers from the era.  Here is a local paper doubting Cameron’s existence at all:

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Nonetheless, in 1986, Jack Marion was given a posthumous pardon due to the work of his grandson Elbert Marion, you can read more about that here.

Marilyn Green & Jerry Hillard

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This is Anthony Porter, who was convicted of the murders of Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard, but was later exonerated.  Did he actually commit the murders?  For many, this is still up for debate.

 
 
 
 

And here is Alstory Simon, walking out of prison, after he had been wrongfully convicted of a double murder he did not commit.

Watch a trailer for the documentary, A Murder In The Park, which is a great film that covers the stories of Anthony Porter and Alstory Simon.

The Atavist did a fantastic job covering the very complex story of the murders of Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard, you can read the article here.

Psychic Vision

This is Melanie Uribe, whose life was taken after she was carjacked and taken into the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles. She was a 31-year-old nurse and single mother.

Etta Louise Smith claimed to be a psychic and she led police to the location of Melanie’s body. But was she involved somehow in the killing?  How else could she have known the location of the body?

 

Checkout Etta Smith telling her story on the Oprah Winfrey show

Etta Smith won a settlement of $26,184 in a lawsuit against the LAPD in 1987:

The Murder of Brenda Sue Schaefer

 

This is Brenda Schaefer with her killer, Mel Ignatow.  Mel took advantage of this kindhearted woman, and when he murdered her, he took full advantage of our flawed justice system and got away with it.  This case is a true testament to the clause of the Fifth Amendment pertaining to double jeopardy, and how, though very rarely, it can be used to protect known criminals.

Click here to watch the episode of A&E’s “American Justice” that inspired Stacy to cover this story