The Serial Killer Compendium, p.13R. J. Parker
The police got a break after this shooting as there were several witnesses, each describing the man as previously described; however, they all said it looked like the man had been wearing a dark wig. But the big break came when one female witness got a glimpse of his partial license plate number, either 4 GUR or 4 GVR. Other witnesses saw a man driving off in a hurry with his lights off and described the car as a yellow Volkswagen. Another witness said she’d seen a man walking away from the shooting while others were walking towards it to assist the victims. She would later identify him in a lineup.
After the last shooting, a woman by the name of Cacilia Davis, who happened to live close to the crime scene, saw a man removing a parking ticket from his yellow car, which had been parked to close to a fire hydrant. Two days later, she contacted the police who checked into the ticket, figuring the man who owned the car was a witness, not a suspect. It was not until seven days later that Detective James Justis of the NYPD called Yonkers police to ask them to set up an interview with Berkowitz, still thinking he was a witness.
On August 10th, 1977, a police officer went to Berkowitz’s house to set up a meeting. While he was walking up the driveway, he happened to look inside the car, and noticed a rifle in the backseat. The officer opened the door (without a search warrant) and found a duffel bag with ammunition, a letter to the task force, and maps of the crime scenes. He called for backup and when Berkowitz came out of his apartment at about 10 a.m., police arrested him, and found a .44 Bulldog handgun on his person. The Son of Sam’s first words were, “You got me. What took you so long?”
That same day, Mayor Beame of New York City made a statement to the media and public saying, “The people of the City of New York can rest easy. The police have captured a man whom they believe to be the Son of Sam.”
Trial and Prison
The search of Berkowitz’s car was later justified as the officer had seen a rifle in the car. In the state of New York, that was justifiable reasoning to engage in a further search, which was a lucky break for the DA. Berkowitz said he would plead guilty on all charges and confess to being the Son of Sam killer provided that he would not get the death penalty. A plea was accepted.
For his murders, on June 12th, 1978, Berkowitz was sentenced to a term of 365 years. Of course he became a born again Christian the following year in prison. Currently, Berkowitz lives in Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York. His official website is maintained on his behalf by a church group as he is not allowed access to a computer. If you are interested, here is a link to his website:
John Allen Muhammad and Lee Malvo
The D.C. Snipers
Born as John Allen Williams on December 31st, 1960, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Williams enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard in 1979 and, after seven years of service, volunteered for active duty in 1986.
In 1987, Williams joined the Nation of Islam. While in the Army, he was trained as a mechanic, truck driver, and specialist metalworker. He qualified with the Army's standard infantry rifle the M16, earning the Expert Rifleman's Badge. This rating is the Army's highest of three levels of marksmanship for a basic soldier. He was discharged from military service following the Gulf War, as a sergeant, in 1994.
As a member of the Nation of Islam, “Muhammad” helped provide security for the Million Man March in 1995 – Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has publicly distanced himself and his organization from Muhammad's crimes. Muhammad kidnapped his children and brought them to Antigua around 1999, apparently engaging in credit card and immigration document fraud activities. It was during this time that he became close with Lee Boyd Malvo, who later acted as his partner in the killings. Williams changed his name to John Allen Muhammad in October 2001.
Lee Boyd Malvo was born February 18th, 1985, in Kingston, Jamaica to Leslie Malvo, a mason, and Una James, a seamstress. Lee's parents never married and separated when he was a toddler. Leslie Malvo rarely saw his son after that and subsequently his mother raised Lee by herself and was quite poor. Lee and his mother left Jamaica when he was about fourteen years old, moving to the island of Antigua.
Una James eventually left Antigua for Fort Myers, Florida, travelling on false documents she’d purchased after meeting Muhammad, where she lived illegally. She left Lee with Muhammad. Her son was supposed to join her a few months later.
In 2001, Muhammad, who claimed Malvo as being his stepson, moved to Bellingham, Washington, and tried to enroll him and his three children in a school. He was caught by the authorities, however, who returned the three children to their mother. Malvo was reunited briefly with his mother in Miami, but they were arrested by the Border Patrol. Malvo was released on a $1,500 bond the next year and met up with Muhammad again.
While the two of them lived at a homeless shelter in Bellingham, Malvo enrolled in high school but made no friends. On a trip to Tacoma, Washington, they tried to kill one of his ex-wife’s friends, but ended up killing her niece instead. After a trip to Muhammad’s relatives in Louisiana, the two bought a 1990 Chevy Caprice and began a series of robberies and shootings in Louisiana, Alabama, and Maryland.
The Chevy Caprice became a rolling sniper’s nest. During this time, they are believed to have committed another murder – and seven more by the end of October. Malvo shoplifted a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle from a firearms shop. Muhammad took up target practice at a gun range nearby.
The massive investigation into the sniper attacks was led by the Montgomery County Police Department, and headed by Chief Charles Moose, with the F.B.I. and many other law enforcement agencies playing a supporting role. Chief Moose had specifically requested the help of the F.B.I. to try to catch the sniper.
On October 2nd, 2002, the duo began what became a full-scale spree of random shootings across Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Over the course of twenty-three days they shot and killed ten people and injured an additional three. They were actually pulled over at one point, but since Muhammad had no outstanding warrants, were let go.
At the peak of the rampage, people were afraid to leave their houses. The F.B.I. had nearly 400 Agents assigned to the investigation, including teams of new agents in training who were working the toll-free hotline.
The following is a timeline of murders committed during the shooting spree:
October 2nd: James Martin, fifty-five, killed while crossing a parking lot in Wheaton, Maryland
October 3rd: Five more murders: four in Maryland and one in D.C.: James Buchanan, thirty-nine; Premkumar Walekar, fifty-four; Sarah Ramos, thirty-four; Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, twenty-five; and Pascal Charlot, seventy-two.
October 4th: Caroline Seawell, forty-three, wounded while loading her van at Spotsylvania Mall.
October 7th: Iran Brown, thirteen, wounded at a school in Bowie, Maryland.
October 9th: Dean Meyers, fifty-three, murdered near Manassas, Virginia, while pumping gas.
October 11th: Kenneth Bridges, fifty-three, shot dead near Fredericksburg, Virginia, while pumping gas,
October 14th: F.B.I. Analyst Linda Franklin, forty-seven, killed near Falls Church, Virginia.
October 19th: Jeffrey Hopper, thirty-seven, wounded outside a steakhouse in Ashland, Virginia.
October 22nd: Conrad Johnson, thirty-five – the final victim – killed in Aspen Hill, Maryland.
Arrest and Trial
Early in the morning of October 24th, their dark blue 1990 Chevy Caprice, which had been widely publicized on the news, was spotted at a rest-stop parking-lot off I-70 in Maryland. Within the hour, law enforcement swarmed the scene, setting up a perimeter to check out any movements and make sure there was no way to escape. They found both of the killers asleep inside the car.
What the F.B.I. and other police forces found in the car was both revealing and shocking. The car had a hole cut in the trunk near the license plate
The execution for Muhammad was scheduled for November 10th, 2009, and although there was an appeal, it was denied. Muhammad was put to death by lethal injection. He declined to make a final statement.
Malvo pled guilty to six murders in Maryland while being interviewed, and confessed to more in other states while testifying against Muhammad. Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.
The Little Girl Murderer
Tsutomu Miyazaki was born on August 21st, 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. Born prematurely, he had deformed hands which were permanently bent and fused directly to the wrists, necessitating him to move his entire forearm in order to rotate the hand. Due to his deformity, he was not accepted when he attended Itsukaichi Elementary School, and consequently kept to himself. Although he was originally a star student, his grades at Meidai Nakano High School dropped dramatically. He had a class rank of 40 out of 56 and did not receive the customary admission to Meiji University. Instead of studying English and becoming a teacher as he had originally intended, he attended a local junior college, where he studied to become a photo technician.
In 1988 and 1989 Miyazaki mutilated and killed four girls between the ages of four and seven, sexually molesting their corpses. He drank the blood of one victim and ate a part of her hand. These crimes which, prior to Miyazaki's apprehension and trial, were named, ‘The Little Girl Murders,’ were later known as the Tokyo/Saitama Serial Kidnappings. The murders of the little girls shocked Saitama Prefecture, which had few crimes against children. During the day, Miyazaki was a mild-mannered employee; outside of work he randomly selected children to kill. He terrorized the families of his victims, sending them letters which recounted, in graphic detail, what he had done to their children. To the family of victim Erika Nanba, Miyazaki sent a morbid postcard assembled using words cut out of magazines: "Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death." He allowed the corpse of his first victim, Mari Konno, age four, to decompose in the hills near his home, then he chopped off her hands and feet, which he kept in his closet, and were recovered upon his arrest. He burnt her remaining bones in his furnace, ground them into powder, and sent them to her family in a box along with several of her teeth, photos of her clothes, and a postcard reading: "Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove."
Police found that the families of the victims had something else in common: all were bothered by silent, annoying phone calls. If they did not pick up the phone, it would sometimes ring for twenty minutes.
On July 23rd, 1989, Miyazaki attempted to insert a zoom lens into the vagina of a grade school-aged girl in a park near her home and was attacked by the girl's grandfather. After fleeing naked on foot, Miyazaki eventually returned to the park to retrieve his car, at which point he was promptly arrested by police who had responded to a call by the grandfather.
A search of Miyazaki's two-room bungalow turned up a collection of 5,763 videotapes, some containing Slasher films, later used as reasoning for his crimes.
Among the tapes police found footage and pictures of his victims. He was also reported to be a fan of horror films, having an extensive collection, including the fourth film of the Guinea Pig film series (Mermaid in a Manhole). Miyazaki, who retained a perpetually calm and collected demeanor during his trial, appeared indifferent to his capture.
Miyazaki's father refused to pay for his son's legal defense. The trial began on March 30th, 1990. Often talking nonsense, he blamed his violence on ‘Rat Man,’ an alter ego whom Miyazaki claimed forced him to kill. He spent a great deal of the trial drawing ‘Rat Man’ in cartoon form. Believed to be insane, Miyazaki remained incarcerated throughout the 1990s while Saitama Prefecture put him through a battery of psychiatric evaluations. Teams of psychiatrists from Tokyo University diagnosed him as suffering from dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities) or extreme schizophrenia. The Tokyo District Court, however, judged him still aware of the gravity and consequences of his crimes, and therefore accountable. He was sentenced to death on April 14th, 1997. His death sentence was upheld by the Tokyo High Court, on June 28th, 2001, and the Supreme Court of Justice on January 17th, 2006.
Judge Kunio Hatoyama signed his death warrant. Miyazaki was hanged on June 17th, 2008.
The Butcher of Rostov
Andrei Chikatilo was born on October 16th, 1936, in the village of Yablochnoye in modern Sumy Oblast of the Ukrainian. At the time, Ukrainian farmers were forced to hand in their entire crop for statewide distribution. Mass starvation ran rampant throughout the Ukraine and reports of cannibalism soared. Chikatilo's mother, Anna, told him that his older brother, Stepan, had been kidnapped and cannibalized by starving neighbors, although it has never been independently established whether this actually happened. Chikatilo was a chronic bed wetter and was berated and beaten by his mother for each offense.
When the Soviet Union entered World War II, his father, Roman, was drafted into the Red Army and subsequently taken prisoner after being wounded in combat. During the war, Chikatilo witnessed some of the effects of Germany’s blitzkrieg warfare, which both frightened and excited him. On one occasion, Chikatilo and his mother were forced to watch their hut burn to the ground. In 1943, while Chikatilo's father was at the front, his mother gave birth to a baby girl, Tatyana. In 1949, Chikatilo's father, who had been freed by the Americans, returned home. Instead of being rewarded for his war service, he was branded a traitor for surrendering to the Germans.
Chikatilo was shy as a child and developed a passion for reading. By his teens, he was an avid reader of Communist literature, and was appointed chairperson of the pupils' Communist committee at his school. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he was consistently a target for bullying by other students. During adolescence, he discovered that he suffered from chronic impotence, aggravating his social awkwardness and self-hatred. Chikatilo was shy in the company of females. His only sexual experience as a teenager was when he was seventeen. He jumped on an eleven-year-old friend of his younger sister and wrestled her to the ground, ejaculating as the girl struggled in his grasp.
Between 1957 and 1960, Chikatilo performed his compulsory military service, and in 1963, married a woman to whom he was introduced by his younger sister. The couple had a son and a daughter. Chikatilo later claimed that his marital sex life was minimal and that, after his wife understood that he was unable to maintain an erection, he and his wife agreed that in order for her to conceive, he would ejaculate externally and push his semen inside her vagina with his fingers. YUCK!
On December 22nd, 1978, Chikatilo lured Yelena Zakotnova, nine years old, to an old house he had secretly purchased, and tried to rape her. He failed to achieve an erection, however, and when the girl struggled he choked her to death and stabbed her body, ejaculating in the process of knifing the little girl. Chikatilo then dumped her body in a nearby river. Spots of the girl's blood were found in the snow near Chikatilo’s house, and a witness gave police a detailed description of a man closely resembling Chikatilo whom she had seen the talking with the girl at the bus stop where she had last been seen alive. However, Alexsandr Kravchenko, twenty-five, who, as a teenager, had served a jail sentence for the rape and murder of a teenage girl, was arrested for this murder and subsequently confessed to the killing. He was tried for the murder in 1979. At his trial, Kravchenko retracted his confession and maintained his innocence, stating his confession had been obtained under extreme duress.
Despite his retraction, Kravchenko was convicted of the murder and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Under demands from the victim's relatives, Kravchenko was retried and event
Chikatilo began his career as a teacher of Russian language and literature in Novoshakhtinsk. His career as a teacher ended, however, in March of 1981, after several complaints arose that he had molested several students of both sexes. Chikatilo eventually took a job as a supply clerk for a factory.
Chikatilo committed his next murder in September of 1981 when he again tried to have sex with Larisa Tkachenko, seventeen, in a forest near the Don River. When Chikatilo failed to reach an erection, he became livid and battered and strangled her to death. As he had no knife, he mutilated her body with his teeth and a stick.
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