On January 29, 1991, a vile crime occurred in the Heikkila home in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Twenty-year-old Matthew Heikkila, the adopted son of Richard and Dawn Heikkila loaded up a “sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun” (Sullivan). He labeled shotgun shells “Mom” and “Dad”, and shot his parents both in the head. Matthew plotted the murder to get the chance to steal his parent’s credit cards, and treat his girlfriend to a birthday dinner. Matthew then left his parent’s dead bodies on the floor of his home and he and his girlfriend enjoyed a night in NYC.
For over 20 years, millions of Americans have been following the twisted and unsolved murder of six-year old beauty contestant JonBenet Ramsey. Christmas of 1996 brought terror to Boulder, Colorado as the world watched the crime scene unfold as Little Miss Colorado was found strangled in the basement of her family’s home. Pieces from the brutal murder such as a lengthy ransom note are unheard of, leaving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shocked. Two decades later, the case remains a mystery due to police mishap, mishandled evidence, and an abundance of conspiracy theories. Suspicions have ranged from her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, to the outrageous, Santa Claus.
The Murder of the Hollywood Starlet A young hollywood starlet was brutally murdered in 1947 with no killer identified to this day. This is real case that still puzzles investigators today. The woman in question was named Elizabeth Short, but is more widely known as the “Black Dahlia.” She was given this nickname by the press because of the sheer, black clothing she tended to wear (“The Black Dahlia Murder - Read All about it in FBI Records.”).
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, except for the Ramsey family. On December 26th, 1996, JonBenet Ramsey was reported missing. Hours later, her body was found in the basement. Extensive investigation followed, but many errors were made and the crime scene was polluted by friends and family. JonBenet Ramsey’s death has erroneously gone 20 years without being solved and no indictments have been issued; because of the strange ransom note, the state of her body, and the unsubstantiated counterclaims, the Ramsey family should have been charged.
The rarest form of murder is the one of serial murders. It is defined as the murder of three or more individuals with a ‘cooling-off’ period in-between. Serial killers have intrigued people for years and we still don’t fully comprehend what drives them to murder countless people. John Wayne Gacy, also known at the famous “Killer Clown” became a national phenomenon when his 33 rape and murder victims were uncovered in his home and other areas. The purpose of this research paper is to consider John Wayne Gacy’s abusive father, internal struggle with his sexuality, and constant need to be accepted and praised as possible reasons that led Gacy to murder 33 teenage boys.
The bodies of a sixteen year old Leslie Arnold’s parents were found buried in their house’s backyard of Omaha, Nebraska after he confessed to the police about the killings. On September 27th, 1958, Leslie had into an argument with his parents over their family car. This led him to brutally shooting his parents and burying their bodies in a shallow grave behind their home. His parents were William Arnold, a 42 year old manager and his wife Opel who was about 40 years at the time of their death. Arnold and his 11 year old brother even stayed in the home alone since that time.
After the retired detective gave Twyla some information, weeks later his demeanor changed and he said he couldn 't help her anymore. What happened? A young newspaper reporter covered the story of the 40 year vigil held this past July. This reporter seemed very concerned then and had hopes of helping solve this case. Now she will not even return Twyla 's phone messages.
Bryan Stevenson knew the perils of injustice and inequality just as well as his clients on death row. He grew up in a poor, racially segregated area in Delaware and his great-grandparents had been slaves. While he was a law student, he had interned working for clients on death row. He realized that some people were treated unfairly in the judicial system and created the Equal Justice Institute where he began to take on prisoners sentenced to death as clients since many death row prisoners had no legal representation of any kind. In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson focuses on some of these true stories of injustice, mainly the case of his client, Walter McMillian.
On December 23, 1981, Thomas Sophonow, a Canadian man, was wrongfully accused of murder. 16 year old Barbara Stoppel was ruthlessly killed at the washroom of her workplace. Unfortunately, eyewitnesses mistakenly chose Mr. Sophonow as being the murderer. Eye witnesses stated that a man, whose appearance was very similar to that of Thomas Sophonow, locked the door and made his way to the back of the shop where he was presumed to have strangled Barbara Stoppel to death. Furthermore, while Thomas Sophonow was in custody, he showed an undercover officer a door locking technique.
On August 26, 1990 in Shepard, Alberta, Heavenfire killed her husband, Derrick John Falardeau, after being in an intoxicated altercation that evening. Before the death of Falardeau, both were seen at a bar, where they were asked to leave because of their fighting (Sheehy, 2014, p.129). A witness, Kathy Kennedy, saw Falardeau punch Heavenfire in the face repeatedly before driving away. A short time later, Heavenfire called 9-1-1 to report that she had shot Falardeau in the head (Sheehy, 2014, p.129). Heavenfire was charged with second-degree murder and went to trial to try and plea her case with a battered woman’s defense.
Sampson Paquette Professor Edwards ENGL101C 9-13-2016 The Dance The essay: “Silent Dancing” By Judith Ortiz Cofer reflects on the transitional period in her life where herself and her immediate family made the move from Puerto Rico to the Big Apple, otherwise known as New York city. The timeline for the essay was set in the 1950’s where cultural fusion and blatant racism ran rampant in the streets.
On May 2, 1998 there was a murder and robbery at a Popeye’s Fried Chicken restaurant in Pensacola, Florida. Cynthia Harrison was an assistant manager and was scheduled to work with Timothy Hurst at eight that morning. When other workers showed up at 10:30 they found the door locked. Tonya Crenshaw, another assistant manager, found the safe unlocked and open with money missing. A delivery driver found Harrison’s dead
On August eighteen, 1992, police were invited to a burning place Somerville, Texas, wherever they found the bodies of 45-year-old Bobbie Davis, her 16-year-old girl, and her four grandchildren, ages four to nine. Davis and in addition the grandchildren had been scraped, crushed and reserved. Davis’s girl, Nicole had fatally shot. A few days later, police inactive Henry M. parliamentarian Carter, 26, the dad of one of the grandchildren, once they detected he had burns and bandages at the children’s ceremony.
Black Dahlia Murder In 1947 the tragic loss of Elizabeth Short shocked many people all over the world. This wasn’t your typical murder, this murder had to have been planned out and thought about for a while before its happening. The “Black Dahlia Murder” is the biggest unsolved case in Los Angeles and is still an undergoing investigation. I have reason to believe that Dr. Gorge Hodel is the murderer behind the brutality of Elizabeth Short’s body.