Pure Evil: Levi Bellfield | Part Two

(Top left: Milly Dowler. Bottom left: Marsha McDonnell. Centre: Amelie Delagrange. Right: Levi Bellfield, now known as Yusuf Rahim. Picture credit: dailystar.co.uk

Continued from Part One

In part one I covered a little bit of Levi Bellfield's background to give you more of an idea about what kind of person he is. In this post I'm going to talk about his crimes, the victims and the aftermath.

As always, please be aware that disturbing details will be included in this post.

If you happened to live in the UK around March 2002, you'll no doubt have seen the news reports, the articles in the newspapers and the photographs of a pretty 13 year old schoolgirl by the name of Milly Dowler who had been reported missing.

The disappearance of Milly Dowler was a huge case here in the UK, nobody knew what had happened to this popular, beautiful and bubbly young girl. The police had no leads except for nuisance callers who would sickeningly provide false information which wasted investigators time.

Milly's real name was Amanda Jane Dowler and on the 21st of March 2002 she and her friends went to a cafe after school for a short period of time. Milly, who was just 13 years old was dressed in her usual school uniform and jacket with her schoolbag and hair tied up in a pony tail (her bag, purse and mobile phone have never been recovered). Shortly after 4pm, she was seen walking a friend across the road to a bus stop from the cafe.

Being the kindhearted girl that she was, she waited until her friend got safely on the bus before she began to walk away from the bus stop. As she waved to her friend who was now sat on the bus, it was the last time her friend was to see Milly alive.

Although CCTV cameras were able to track some of Milly's footsteps from school, there was a section towards the end when she was coming away from the bus stop that provided no sight of her whatsoever, like she had just vanished.

When hours passed by and she didn't return home or answer her calls or messages, Milly's family and friends knew that something was wrong. Milly would never ignore messages or calls.

Over the coming days, weeks and months, the area where Milly went missing in Walton-On-Thames in England was thoroughly searched and missing posters with Milly's photo were all over the place. Regular appeals were broadcast and a newspaper offered a financial reward to anyone who could provide correct information about Milly.

It would be 6 months before the devastating news came that Milly's body had been found dumped in a wooded area in Hampshire. The callous murderer just left her naked body there. It was sickening and heartbreaking.

It would be many years later before Levi Bellfield was found guilty of her murder, the police had suspected him for a long time.

On the night that Milly had disappeared, Levi (34) was house sitting with his 23 year old girlfriend. He'd been out all day and appeared back at the house around 11pm at night with cans of beer and a Chinese takeaway.

His girlfriend reported that he seemed normal that night, they ate the food and then went to bed. He woke up around 3am complaining that he couldn't sleep. He said that he wanted to go and check his girlfriend's apartment which was located in Walton On Thames. He took the dog with him and drove his girlfriend's car.

[We now know the circumstances of what went on from the moment that Milly disappeared to when she was found. Levi had waited in the bushes watching Milly before kidnapping her, he put the poor girl through hell for 14 hours, sexually assaulting her repeatedly and torturing her. He told the police that he took Milly to his mother's house originally before taking her to his girlfriend's apartment. It is believed that he strangled Milly around 6am the next day before dumping her body in the woods in Hampshire]

3 days later when his girlfriend returned to the apartment she noticed there was a strong smell of bleach and cleaning products. The place looked spotless which she found strange as Levi wasn't the domestic type. She also noticed that the bedding in one of the room's was missing as well as her car.

Levi explained that the dog had urinated on the bed so he had to throw away the bed sheets. He told her that he'd gone for a few drinks with a friend and was too drunk to drive her car home so he got a taxi. When they went to pick the car up, it was not there. Levi claiming that it must have been stolen. The truth was that he had suspected the car may have been caught on CCTV and got rid of it in case it ended up being traced back to him.

Despite alarm bells ringing and never really trusting a word he said, his girlfriend continued the relationship with him and they moved in together. The neighbours mentioned later that Levi seemed really polite and approachable when they first moved in but that soon changed. As I mentioned before, he didn't get on too well with some of the elderly neighbours and had allegedly spread weedkiller on an elderly neighbours garden. He also put barbed wire up around his home, kept two wild dogs in his back garden and had a habit of stealing gates etc from houses a few blocks down.

Levi was arrogant and walked around like he owned the place. Neighbours found him intimidating and felt sorry for his girlfriend, one neighbour told investigators that the couple would act as if they were the perfect couple but the reality was that Levi was in control of that relationship and did all the talking. His girlfriend often looked scared of him and there were many times that she would be seen crying.

As I mentioned in part one, Levi had a history of being abusive towards women despite the fact that he idolised his mother.

At the time of Milly's murder, Levi was still working as a doorman at a nightclub and on the side he would go around clamping people's vehicles.

In Feb 2003 the public and the police were still in the dark about what had happened to Milly Dowler and London was rocked again by another horrific murder of a young woman.

(Levi Bellfield. Picture credit: thesun.co.uk

On the 4th February 2003 in Hampton, a pretty 19 year old blonde student by the name of Marsha McDonnell had been out for the evening with a friend to a cinema. She caught the late bus home and at the end of her journey she got off at her stop and began to walk the short distance to her house as she would always do. 

It was 11:30pm at night and the sky was pitch black, as she was walking on her way to the home that she shared with her family, someone struck her very violently over the back of the head with a hammer. There were no witnesses around. Marsha was eventually found and rushed to hospital where she sadly died the next day. 

The bus that Marsha had been travelling on had a CCTV camera and from this the police were able to identify a vehicle they were interested in that was in the area around the same time as Marsha was seen getting off of the bus.

One wonders if Levi had an idea that he was getting too close to getting caught because he waited a year before he struck again. This time he targeted another pretty blonde girl named Kate Sheedy. 

(Kate Sheedy. Picture credit: thesun.co.uk

Kate was only 18 years old and had been travelling on a bus on her way home after spending some time with her friends. When she got off of the bus, she noticed a car was parked up in front of her in a strange angle. She didn't feel comfortable and decided to cross the road. All of a sudden the car swerved up onto the pavement and then drove towards her.

She was knocked over and the driver of the car stopped and reversed back over her before driving off, leaving Kate in absolute agony and terror. It was a miracle that she was still conscious. She had suffered horrendous injuries, all of her ribs were broken, her spleen ruptured and she had extensive spinal damage. Despite all of this, Kate managed to call the police and get help.

Kate's life hung in the balance for quite a while, doctors were not sure if she would make it but she defied the odds and began to be stronger day by day. Her strength returned and so did her memory. She was able to give investigators a complete description of the vehicle. 

The police began to see a pattern emerging of someone who was targeting pretty young blonde girls but still they had no leads.

It was just three months before Levi struck again. This time he murdered a 22 year old girl named Amelie Delagrange who was a language student from France. Like the other girls (except for Milly), she had travelled on the bus home after spending the evening with friends. 

Police believe that Amelie fell asleep during the bus journey and missed her stop so got off and decided to walk the rest of the way home by making a short cut over Twickenham Green. Like Marsha, someone had approached Amelie from behind with a fierce blow to the back of the head. Levi took her phone with him and the police would later track this to a property at Walton On Thames. The net was closing in on him.

On one of the televised appeals, one of Levi's ex partners had been watching and recognised his car from the CCTV footage. She went straight to the police and told them everything she knew about Levi Bellfield. She told them about the magazines with the blonde women's faces scrubbed out, the abuse that she suffered and the rape kit that he had hidden in her garage which included a balaclava, a kitchen knife, a bin liner and another magazine with women's faces scrubbed out. 

The police went to his house to arrest him and that was quite the scene. Levi, who was naked, decided to run upstairs and hide in his attic. When one of the police officers found him he ordered Levi to stand up before stating ''You're nicked'' (You're arrested).

His house was thoroughly searched and the police soon realised there was more to Levi Bellfield than they had first believed. It got to the point where there was 27 active investigations into him for various reports of rape, sexual assault and murder.

The police decided to focus on the suspected murder investigations first. They are still investigating murders going way back to 1980 that they believe that Levi may have a connection to.

With an overwhelming amount of evidence, Levi Bellfield stood trial where he was reported to have shown no remorse throughout. He felt sorry for himself telling the court ''I'm fighting for my life here'' 

There was no emotion as he was found guilty in February 2008 of the murders of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

9 years after her death, Levi Bellfield (now calling himself Yusuf Rahim after converting to Islam in prison) was found guilty of the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Milly Dowler. He was reported to have yawned and gave no emotion as he was sentenced, 

Levi Bellfield will never be released from prison. He was given a full life order. 

In 2011, it was reported in the press that during the investigation into Milly Dowler's disappearance, some reporters who worked for the News Of the World had hacked Milly's personal voicemail messages. The newspaper was also found to have invaded the privacy of many other high profile figures and celebrities. The newspaper closed in 2011. 

My thoughts...

Such a horrible case to cover and a horrendous individual. It's strange that someone who worshipped their mother so much could have such a hatred for women. Some people believe that it stemmed from girls at school who bullied him or that he was so insecure because he thought that the pretty young blonde girls that he was interested in wouldn't be interested in him. I was asked the other day what colour of hair did Levi's mother have, she had dark hair so it's not that you could say there was a connection there.

Nobody knows why he did it and he would never tell anyone. He's a monster with no remorse or feeling for anybody and it's crazy to think that he has all of these children, hopefully they've been able to try and get on with their lives. I saw a documentary a few years ago which featured some of his daughters.

The Milly Dowler investigation went on for years, her poor family have been through hell and then to learn that her phone was hacked by people who were just looking for a story, it's horrendous.

My heart breaks for all of the families and for these beautiful young women who had their whole lives in front of them and for Kate Sheedy who is an inspiration.

What are your thoughts on this case? leave a comment below or on any of my social media platforms. 


See you in the next post x 


Further reading & sources:


If you enjoy my content and this latest post and you would like to donate a coffee to me, you can do so here

 Let's be friends on Instagram, you can now find me at: @KittysOnTheCase

I'm also on Twitter at: @CaledonianKitty & @CaledonianTweet

Keep up to date with my weekly true crime posts & more by subscribing to my blog via your email on my Home page or by following me on Bloglovin


Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:


Pure Evil: Levi Bellfield | Part One

Killing Spree | The Charles Starkweather & Caril Ann Fugate Case

The Acid bath Murderer | John George Haigh

Someone Knows | The Caroline Glachan Case

The Fake Uber Driver | The Samantha Josephson Case

The McDonald's Massacre (1984) | James Huberty

Wicked Child | The Mary Bell Case

What Really Happened To India Chipchase?

The Sylvia Likens Case

The Tragic Life & Death of Marvin Gaye

The Camden Ripper: Anthony John Hardy

Deadly Obsession: The Ricardo Lopez Story

Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story

-Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?


What Happened To Heather Elvis?

& check out my recent Q&A post. 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on: @CaledonianTweet & Bloglovin  

My personal twitter page where I share my latest posts and everyday general stuff: @CaledonianKitty 

Check out my community page & promotional platform for bloggers on twitter: @TheBloggersPost 

For all enquiries and collaborations, please contact: caledoniankblog@yahoo.co.uk

Pure Evil: Levi Bellfield | Part One

(Levi Bellfield, Picture cred: thesun.co.uk)

I've researched some pretty sick individuals during my true crime blogging but one of the worst cases has to be of the English serial killer Levi Bellfield. This was a man (if you could call him a man) who had an intense hatred for women and in particular, young blonde women who he would refer to in derogatory terms. 

I'm going to go into the case a little bit in this post and talk a bit about his background. Before I begin, don't forget you can find me on Instagram at: @KittysOnTheCase where I regularly post little true crime blogs as well as other things. 

All of my other social media links are included at the end of this post and if you enjoy my weekly true crime cases, please consider donating a coffee to me. Thank you.

Before I get into the case, I have to warn you that I will be sharing some very disturbing details so please keep this in mind. I will try my best to not be so graphic but I do have to share some of the details to give you an idea of what really happened.

So let's begin...

Levi Bellfield (who know calls himself Yusuf Rahim after converting to Islam behind bars) was born on the 17th of May 1968 in Isleworth in London. He grew up on a council estate in southwest London. His father passed away when he was just 10 years old so he became incredibly close to his mother, a bit too close to his mother some might say. He also had two sisters and brothers. 

Throughout his early years in school he suffered bullying as he was quite a skinny, pale child. His nickname at school was ''Rabbit'' because of a disgusting rumour that he had stolen his sister's pet rabbit and sexually assaulted the animal before breaking or cutting it's neck. Some people believe this horrendous incident to have taken place, others say that it was just a rumour.

He wasn't exactly popular with girls and slept in bed with his mother and sucked his thumb up until he was a teenager. Throughout his life, before his arrest, he would continue to sleep in his mother's bed whenever he would visit her, he referred to her as ''Mummy'' and his previous girlfiends would mention how they thought it was unhealthy that his mother was still bathing him when he was in his 30s.

They often say that a man who is close to his mother is often a gentleman to other women but that is not always the case as you will see as we go further.

Levi was tired of being picked on for being skinny and decided that he wanted to bulk up a bit so began working out. Soon enough he had built himself up to be quite an intimidating figure. His stature enabled him to get jobs as a nightclub bouncer.

It's unknown where he got his hatred towards blonde women, it could have been his experiences at school or a previous bad relationship with someone who just happened to be blonde? Nobody knows for sure where the anger came from. Maybe he desired these women and felt insecure, that he wasn't good enough for them? There are quite a few theories as to why. 

In his job as a nightclub bouncer, he had a mini van with a mattress in the back and blacked out windows. He enjoyed picking up drunk women at the clubs and taking them back to his van. He had an appalling attitude towards women despite being so close to his mother.

Previous girlfriends said he was an absolute nightmare to be with. They never knew what mood he was going to be in from one day to the next and he would physically assault them. He would be careful to leave bruises on the women where nobody could see them so he would never hit them in the face. He also enjoyed sticking his fingers into the sore bruises afterwards.

People who knew him said that he was arrogant and would walk about like he owned the place. He didn't get on with an elderly couple where he lived and allegedly poured weed killer all over their treasured garden.

During my research I couldn't find anyone who had a good word to say about him. He really was a nasty piece of work. One of his girlfriends mentioned that he would take catalogues and magazines and scribble out all of the faces of the blonde women with black marker pen.

He'd been in trouble with the law before, having been arrested in 1981 for burglary and then for assaulting a police officer in 1991. By 2002 his total stints in prison for petty crimes & violence added up to almost a year. 

As a way to make some extra money, he would place adverts in the local newspaper advertising a brothel. He would tell the unsuspecting potential customers to go to a particular address where this supposed brothel was. When the person arrived, Levi would keep watch and whilst they were away from their car he would clamp their wheel. When the person came back, Levi told them to pay him a few hundred pounds if they wanted the clamp removed. 

Despite his terrible personality and average appearance, he still managed to father 11 children with three different women.

Levi would often be seen driving around in his van and stopping at bus stops to try and chat up young blonde women. 

In my next post I will be going into Levi Bellfield's crimes and what happened to his victims as well as his arrest and what happened afterwards. Hope I'll see you in the next post x

Continued in part two... 


Further reading & sources:


If you enjoy my content and this latest post and you would like to donate a coffee to me, you can do so here

 Let's be friends on Instagram, you can now find me at: @KittysOnTheCase

I'm also on Twitter at: @CaledonianKitty & @CaledonianTweet

Keep up to date with my weekly true crime posts & more by subscribing to my blog via your email on my Home page or by following me on Bloglovin


Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

Killing Spree | The Charles Starkweather & Caril Ann Fugate Case

The Acid bath Murderer | John George Haigh

Someone Knows | The Caroline Glachan Case

The Fake Uber Driver | The Samantha Josephson Case

The McDonald's Massacre (1984) | James Huberty

Wicked Child | The Mary Bell Case

What Really Happened To India Chipchase?

The Sylvia Likens Case

The Tragic Life & Death of Marvin Gaye

The Camden Ripper: Anthony John Hardy

Deadly Obsession: The Ricardo Lopez Story

Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story

-Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?


What Happened To Heather Elvis?

& check out my recent Q&A post. 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on: @CaledonianTweet & Bloglovin  

My personal twitter page where I share my latest posts and everyday general stuff: @CaledonianKitty 

Check out my community page & promotional platform for bloggers on twitter: @TheBloggersPost 

For all enquiries and collaborations, please contact: caledoniankblog@yahoo.co.uk

Killing Spree | The Charles Starkweather & Caril Ann Fugate Case

 
(Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate. Picture credit: flickr.com

This is one of those cases that inspired a few Hollywood movies such as Natural Born Killers and Kalifornia amongst others. Bruce Springsteen even wrote a song about it. I am of course talking about the shocking killing spree that took place in Nebraska and Wyoming in the 1950s at the hands of 19 year old Charles Raymond Starkweather and his 14 year old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate.

This case is like something out of a novel and it's hard to believe that's it's true but these two young people murdered 10 people between December 1957 to January 1958 (Charles had committed a murder prior to the spree). Caril's part in the murders has always been debated as some people believe that she was led along in fear of Charles but others argue that she had plenty of opportunities to escape or raise the alarm but failed to do so.

They were like a young Bonnie and Clyde and Charles had a fixation on the late actor James Dean. Before I really looked into the case I remember seeing pictures of Charles and noticed that there was a pattern of quiffed hair and the cigarette hanging out of his mouth and I instantly thought of James Dean. Apparently he had seen the movie Rebel Without A Cause and he related to the character that James was playing.

Before I go into more of the case, don't forget you can find me on Instagram at @KittysOnTheCase as well as on other social media platforms

Please note that there may be some disturbing details included in this post.

Charles Raymond Starkweather was born into a respectable working class family in Lincoln, Nebraska on the 24th of November 1938. He was the third of seven children and although his family didn't have much money, they were careful with what they did have and so Charles and his siblings did not go without clothes or food. His parents were hard workers who taught their children to be responsible and well mannered.

Charles attended Saratoga Elementary School, Irving Middle School and Lincoln High School however his memories of school were not fond ones. Charles had been born with Genu Varum (also known as bow-leggedness) which caused his legs to be misshapen and affected his walking. He also had a speech impediment which caused him to be very self conscious, there were also other learning difficulties which caused him to struggle with certain subjects and it would take him a little bit longer to learn something. His teachers (who were not well versed in learning difficulties) simply put his struggles down to him not paying attention in class and failing to properly apply himself. To add to these struggles, he suffered a lot of bullying by his classmates.

As well as the learning difficulties, Genu Varum and speech impediment, he was diagnosed with having severe Myopia which meant that he could only see objects close up but from far away they would appear blurry, this may have contributed to his learning issues as he would not have been able to see what the teacher had been writing on the blackboard.

The one subject at school that Charles seemed to really enjoy and have a natural flair for was gym. Soon enough his confidence grew as he felt more stronger and physically fit but with this came a lot of arrogance and he would get revenge on the kids that bullied him but he would also pick on innocent kids.

A friend of Charles, Bob Von Busch would later say: ''He could be the kindest person you've ever seen. He'd do anything for you if he liked you. He was a hell of a lot of fun to be around, too. Everything was just one big joke to him. But he had this other side. He cold be mean as hell, cruel. If he saw some poor guy on the street who was bigger than he was, better looking, or better dressed, he'd try to take the poor b*stard down to his size,'' 

As I mentioned earlier, Charles became obsessed with James Dean after seeing the film Rebel Without A Cause. He identified strongly with the character that James was playing and started to grow his hair and style it like James, he also would have a cigarette hanging out of the edge of his mouth which was a kind of trademark of James Dean.

Charles was growing into a handsome boy but his well behaved manner was starting to take a turn as if he was trying to become like the character in Rebel Without A Cause.

Around 1956, Charles was introduced to a pretty 13 year old girl named Caril Ann Fugate. Even though Charles was much older at 18, it's not hard to imagine that Caril would have seen this good looking boy with this rebellious attitude and the whole James Dean vibe about him and developed a little crush. The feeling seemed to be mutual and they grew closer and started dating. Charles dropped out of school in his senior year and got a job in a warehouse which was near to where Caril went to school and he would visit her there everyday.

When his former employer later reflected on Charles as an employee, he said: ''Sometimes you'd have to tell him something two or three times. Of all the employees in the warehouse, he was the dumbest man we had.''

With Charles rebellious attitude, his parents were not happy, especially as he had managed to crash his car as he was teaching Caril how to drive. His father had to foot the bill for the damages and this resulted in a huge argument which ended with Charles being thrown out of his parents house.

Charles left his job at the warehouse and began working as a garbage collector. On his routes he would often go to some of the more affluent neighbourhoods and he would compare how the lifestyles of the people who lived in these places differed to his. On one of his routes he would collect the garbage from future talk show host Dick Cavett and would often chat to his father. He began using his garbage route to plot bank robberies and his personal motto which he believed in right up till his death was that ''Dead people are all on the same level.''

On the 30th of November 1957 Charles went to a service station to get a gift for Caril when the cashier, Robert Colvert, refused to give him credit, Charles wasn't happy and left the station. At 3:00am on the 1st of December 1957, Charles returned to the service station but this time he had a shotgun in his car. He seemed to be going back and forth with what he wanted to actually do because he returned a second time, left the shotgun in the car and bought a packet of cigarettes before driving away.

He returned again and bought a packet of chewing gum and began driving away. This time he parked his car a short distance away from the service station and decided to go back in with the shotgun where he tried to hold Robert Colvert at gunpoint, forcing him to hand over the money in the cash register. Charles then forced Robert into his car and drove him to a remote area in Lincoln. At some point there was a scuffle between the pair with Robert trying to grab a hold of the shotgun but he ended up getting shot in his knee caps. Charles then shot Robert in the head. Robert was just 21 years old and he was working extra shifts at the service station because his partner was pregnant. There was no personal relationship between him and Charles, they were unknown to each other.

After killing Robert, Charles later claimed that something inside him had changed and that he felt like he'd transcended his former self to a new place of existence.

(Caril Ann Fugate and Charles Starkweather. Picture credit: gizmodo.com

On the 21st of January 1958, Charles visited the family home of Caril but she wasn't there. Caril's mother and stepfather didn't approve of the relationship he had with their young daughter and told him to stay away. This resulted in an argument and Charles pulled out the shotgun and killed both Velda and Marion Bartlett, he also strangled and stabbed Betty Jean to death. Betty Jean was just two years old. He then hid the bodies in some outbuildings behind the house. Charles later claimed that Caril had been there the whole time the killings were taking place.

Caril's version of events is that she returned home to find her family missing and Charles pointing a gun at her. She says that she cooperated with him because he had told her that her family were being held hostage and that if she did exactly as he asked, they would remain safe.

Charles and Caril stayed together in the house for about 6 days and a note was put on the front door for visitors to stay away as the family had the flu. Caril's grandmother became suspicious and contacted the police, however when the police arrived, Charles and Caril had already left.

Some time later the pair drove to a farmhouse and murdered 70 year old August Meyer, they also shot his dog before they left and decided to abandon their car.

A young couple, Robert Jensen (17) and Carol King (16) were driving by when they spotted Caril and Charles walking in the road and decided to stop and give them a ride. Charles and Caril got into the car and quickly switched from being nice and polite to hostile pretty quick with Charles pointing the gun at the couple and forcing them to drive to an abandoned storm cellar in Bennet.

Robert was shot in the back of the head and Charles attempted to rape Carol, when he was unable to so he became frustrated and angry and fatally shot her. According to Charles, he killed Robert but it was Caril who killed Carol King. Caril claimed that she stayed in the car the entire time and didn't take part.

The pair took off in Robert's car and drove to an affluent area of Lincoln. They targeted the home of C. Lauer Ward. As they entered the house they realised that their maid, Lilian Fenci (51) was the only one home so Charles stabbed her to death and they waited for C. Lauer (47) and his wife, Ciara (46) to return home.

Charles also killed their dog by breaking it's neck. Ciara was the first to arrive home and was stabbed to death, Charles later claimed that he threw a knife at Ciara but it was Caril who stabbed her numerous times. When C. Lauer did eventually return home, Charles fatally shot him.

Not long after this, Charles and Caril filled up C. Lauer's car with stolen goods and left Nebraska.

The murders shocked the local people within Lancaster County and the police were everywhere trying to find out information about the people who had carried out these horrendous crimes, they went from door to door trying to find the killers and gather as much information as they could.

There were several reports by the locals that they had seen Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate at various times and locations within the area but the Lincoln Police Department was accused of being too slow with not chasing up leads quick enough.

Knowing that the police were on their tail, Charles and Caril knew they had to find another car as soon as possible. They spotted a travelling salesman (Merle Collison, 37) who was asleep in his car along the highway outside Douglas, Wyoming. They woke the unsuspecting man up and he was fatally shot by Charles who later accused Caril of performing a Coup-de-grace, he claimed she was the ''most trigger happy person'' he had ever met. Caril has always denied killing anyone and claims to have been a victim who just followed Charles out of fear for her life.

They attempted to drive away in Merle's car but it stalled because the brake had not been released, a good Samaritan stopped by and offered to help but Charles threatened him with the gun and a struggle ensued. During the commotion a police officer just happened to be driving by and stopped. In a strange turn of events, Caril ran to the officer screaming ''It's Starkweather! He's going to kill me!''

Charles managed to get the car started and drove off, exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). A bullet shattered the windscreen and some of the flying glass had caught his skin, he thought he had been shot as he could see some blood. Eventually he knew the game was up and surrendered to the police. Converse County Sheriff Earl Heflin said ''He thought he was bleeding to death. That's why he stopped. That's the kind of yellow son of a b*tch he is.''

In custody, Charles claimed that he did kidnap Caril and that everything was all down to him. However, he changed his story several times and testified during Caril's trial that she was just as much a part of the murders as he was.

(Charles Starkweather, Picture credit: Murderpedia)

Caril still claims to this day that she thought her family was being held hostage and that she had to do everything Charles had said or he would kill them. Investigators and the Judge didn't believe Caril as there were so many opportunities for her to have escaped or called for help.

When Charles was first taken to Nebraska Penitentiary after his trial he believed that he was supposed to be put to death and claimed that if he was to be executed then Caril should be too.

For some reason, Charles was only tried for the murder of Robert Jensen, possibly because he was given the death penalty. He was to be executed by electric chair at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska. His sentence was pretty quick compared to a lot of other cases where people can be on death row for years, even decades.

Charles Raymond Starkweather was executed on the 25th of June 1959. He is buried in the same cemetery (Wyuka Cemetery) as five of his victims.

''They say this is a wonderful world to live in, but I don't believe that I ever did really live in a wonderful world...the more I looked at people, the more I hated them, because I knowed [sic] there wasn't any place for me with the kind of people I knowed. I used to wonder why they was here, anyhow. A bunch of goddamned sons-of-b*tches looking for somebody to make fun of.'' - Charles Starkweather.

Caril Ann Fugate was the youngest female in US history to date to be tried for first degree murder. She was sentenced to life imprisonment but was paroled after 17 years in 1976. On her release from prison she moved to Lansing, Michigan and had various jobs such as janitorial assistant and medical technician. She has since retired.

She married a man in 2007 by the name of Fredrick Clair, in another strange turn of events, the couple were involved in a car accident in 2013, Fredrick died at the scene but Caril managed to survive the crash. Her stepson had since claimed that she has suffered various strokes over the years and is said to be living a private life somewhere in Michigan.

Caril had this to say about Charles: ''I told him I didn't want to see him again but he came back. I kept telling him to leave. I told him to leave and I didn't want to ever see him again. Don't you think that I, everyday of my life, that I think to myself, why dear God didn't he just kill me and be done with it?''



Lyrics from Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska


''From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap. Through the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path. 

I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done. At least for a little while sir, me and her, we had us some fun.

Now the jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death. Midnight in a prison store room with leather straps across my chest.

Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor neck back. You make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap.

They declared me unfit to live, said into the great void my soul'd be hurled. They wanted to know why I did what I did. Well sir, I guess there's just a meanness in this world.'' 


My thoughts...


I remember watching Natural Born Killers years ago but at that time I didn't know it was inspired by a real case. It's a crazy, disturbing story and when I think of Charles and Caril, I think of them as a kind of young Bonnie and Clyde, not to make them sound glamorous but I guess it was also really shocking because they were young, especially Caril.

Do I think that Caril was innocent? I think that she may have been wrapped up in the fantasy with Charles and being such a young age too. I do think he was the one in charge and with his handsome looks and rebellious attitude, this may have seen exciting for Caril.

It's like they both thought they were in a movie but reality soon caught up with them. When Caril was arrested she was reported to have smiled at the cameras and Charles was always doing his James Dean pose. They strike me as immature with no remorse for their actions.

The authorities didn't waste anytime putting Charles to death, nowadays these death row sentences can take a very long time.

What are your thoughts on this case? Should Caril have been released or should she have remained in prison? Let me know in the comments below.

RIP:

Robert Colvert
Marion Bartlett
Valda Bartlett
Betty Jean Bartlett
August Meyer
Robert Jensen
Carol King
C. Lauer Ward
Ciara Ward
Lilian Fenci
Merle Collison


Further reading & sources:

Charles Starkweather: Murderpedia
Charles Starkweather: Find A Grave
Starkweather Case: Lincoln City Libraries
Charles Starkweather: Wikipedia
Caril Ann Fugate: Wikipedia
Caril Ann Fugate: Psychology Today
Charles Starkweather: Born To Kill? Documentary


Thanks as always for checking out my latest post x

If you enjoy my content and this latest post and you would like to donate a coffee to me, you can do so here

 Let's be friends on Instagram, you can now find me at: @KittysOnTheCase

I'm also on Twitter at: @CaledonianKitty & @CaledonianTweet

Keep up to date with my weekly true crime posts & more by subscribing to my blog via your email on my Home page or by following me on Bloglovin


Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:


The Acid bath Murderer | John George Haigh

Someone Knows | The Caroline Glachan Case

The Fake Uber Driver | The Samantha Josephson Case

The McDonald's Massacre (1984) | James Huberty

Wicked Child | The Mary Bell Case

What Really Happened To India Chipchase?

The Sylvia Likens Case

The Tragic Life & Death of Marvin Gaye

The Camden Ripper: Anthony John Hardy

Deadly Obsession: The Ricardo Lopez Story

Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story

-Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?


What Happened To Heather Elvis?

& check out my recent Q&A post. 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on: @CaledonianTweet & Bloglovin  

My personal twitter page where I share my latest posts and everyday general stuff: @CaledonianKitty 

Check out my community page & promotional platform for bloggers on twitter: @TheBloggersPost 

For all enquiries and collaborations, please contact: caledoniankblog@yahoo.co.uk

Coffee And True Crime Q&A with Jo


It's been quite a while since I started writing about true crime cases and to celebrate my 20th case, I thought I would do a little Q&A on here as I'm always getting questions from my amazing readers/subscribers. I decided to take a few and include them on here. I will be doing Q&A posts here and there so if you have any questions, they are always welcome.

So grab some tea, coffee or whatever you prefer & let's get into it...

1) Do you have a fave serial killer? (from @AsylumOfSins & @Dark_History1 on Instagram):


I don't know if ''favourite'' is the word but I enjoy researching and finding out everything I can about a certain serial killer. I have many that I'm interested in researching and it changes. Right now, I'm interested in Edmund Kemper, BTK and looking more into the background of John Wayne Gacy.


2) What was the strangest case you've researched? (from @HorrorDude_89 on Instagram):


There's been quite a few cases which have been very strange indeed but I suppose the one that comes to mind is the Heather Elvis case. Although a lot of us think that a certain couple are responsible, it seems as if Heather just vanished off the face of the earth and nobody has seen or heard from her since. There's a lot of theories about what happened to her and it's really sad. I wish that Heather's family and friends were given proper closure and that justice was properly served. There's always that dream that Heather will turn up somewhere alive and well someday, it's not a silly dream, we've seen it happen before where someone who has been missing for years or even decades has been returned to their families.


3) What's been the most disturbing case that you've encountered? (from @HalloweenIsMyXmas on Instagram): 

There's been many but from the ones that I have covered on here, I would say The Sylvia Likens CaseThe McDonald's Massacre and The Ricardo Lopez Case

4) What's your dream date night? (from @BeardedMonkey on Instagram): 


It has to include, horror movies or psychological thrillers and either Domino's pizza or some Chinese takeaway. Drinks and candles.


5) What's your fave true crime story? (from @_Criminology_101 on Instagram): 

Again, I wouldn't say favourite, but cases such as Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, BTK, Jeffrey Dahmer intrigue me because these guys lived double lives and if you didn't know anything about them and stood next to them in the coffee queue, you would probably think that they were nice, friendly guys because they could come over as charismatic (especially Ted Bundy).

Q6) Have you ever done any research on self described 'Angel of Death', Donald Harvey? (from @Citizen_ed on Instagram:


I saw a little bit of a documentary on him some time ago and I recently read about a case (I think it was in Germany) where there was a male nurse who was doing the same things as Donald had done in his crimes. The nurse would inject harmful dosages into patients and then when the patients were at deaths door, having convulsions or heart attacks, he would rush in and try to save them. He managed to get away with this for quite a while and was often hailed as a hero for managing to bring the patients back from the brink. Some patients unfortunately died. He was caught eventually.


I'm going to add Donald Harvey to my list of cases to cover because I'm really interested in looking more into this case, thank you for bringing it up in your question.

Q7) Would you investigate a murder? (from @GhostFaceChili on Instagram): 


If I was a trained cop I would lol.


Q8) I'm a big fan of your work, do you have plans to have your own podcast? (from @SignedWithLippy on Twitter):


First of all, thank you so much!! Secondly, I would love to have my own podcast at some point but I've heard it can be quite expensive getting the equipment together and I wouldn't know where to start (any advice would be greatly appreciated) plus, knowing me, I'd have to have background music and art work so that it isn't just me droning on and on. I like to set the scene lol.


Q9) Please write a true crime book, I would totally buy it and if possible could you sign it? (from @HoneyHutchence on Twitter):


Thank you so much, that is my dream to be a true crime writer and yes, I would sign the book for you.


Q10) Who is your favourite true crime writer? (from @DeanEyedMonster on twitter):

First of all, Reg McKay (RIP), I love his books so much and he will always be my no1 inspiration. If I ever do get to write a true crime book, he'll be one of my dedications. I'm always telling people to read his books.

Professor David Wilson, David is just awesome and I could sit and listen to him talk all day, he is so full of knowledge and interesting facts about all kinds of cases. His books are fantastic and he has popped up in a few true crime documentaries. Right now he has his own series ''David Wilson's Crime Files'' on BBCiPlayer. Go and check it out.

Q11) Jack The Ripper - a Royal, a doctor or something else? (from @Horror_Buff_1981): 


I think he was a surgeon but who knows? the mystery remains...


Q12) What are your opinions on the Varg killing Euronymous case? (from @Dancing_Thru_Sunday on Instagram):


I can't remember the full details of this case but it is one that interests me. I'm adding it to my list of cases to cover so keep your eyes peeled.


Q13, Where are you from? (from @TheRealGrungeDaddy on Instagram):

I'm originally from Scotland but currently live in England.

Q14, Who is your favourite TV detective? (from @TheLydonGirl on Twitter):


My ultimate favourites are Columbo and Jim Taggart


Q15, What's your fave true crime/fiction crime on Netflix? (from @BeautyIsMyBag on Twitter):

Without a doubt it has to be Mindhunter!!!


So, there you have it! Thank you so much to all the people who took the time to ask me these awesome questions, I enjoyed answering them, hope you enjoyed my answers.

I'm off to research my latest case now and drink more decaf coffee lol. Thanks as always for all of the kind words and support that I receive regularly on social media. I appreciate it and it's always a lovely thing to read when people tell you how much they enjoy your work.

See you in the next post, much love x

Don't forget to check out this week's case (my 20th case): The Acid Bath Murderer | John George Haigh 


If you enjoy my content and this latest post and you would like to donate a coffee to me, you can do so here

 Let's be friends on Instagram, you can now find me at: @KittysOnTheCase

I'm also on Twitter at: @CaledonianKitty & @CaledonianTweet

Keep up to date with my weekly true crime posts & more by subscribing to my blog via your email on my Home page or by following me on Bloglovin

Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

Someone Knows | The Caroline Glachan Case

The Fake Uber Driver | The Samantha Josephson Case

The McDonald's Massacre (1984) | James Huberty

Wicked Child | The Mary Bell Case

What Really Happened To India Chipchase?

The Sylvia Likens Case

The Tragic Life & Death of Marvin Gaye

The Camden Ripper: Anthony John Hardy

Deadly Obsession: The Ricardo Lopez Story

Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story

-Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?




Keep up to date with my latest posts on: @CaledonianTweet & Bloglovin  

My personal twitter page where I share my latest posts and everyday general stuff: @CaledonianKitty 

Check out my community page & promotional platform for bloggers on twitter: @TheBloggersPost 

For all enquiries and collaborations, please contact: caledoniankblog@yahoo.co.uk

The Acid Bath Murderer | John George Haigh

(John George Haigh. Photo credit: theversed.com

This is the earliest murder case and serial killer that I have covered here on my blog so far. A lot of people in the UK have heard of John Haigh or as he is infamously known as, ''The Acid Bath Murderer''. Further afield, some people may not have heard of him so I thought I would cover the case this week.

I first heard about John Haigh way back around 2002 when a TV movie based on his crimes was released and it starred an English actor by the name of Martin Clunes. He was usually in comedy roles but this was his first serious role and he did a fantastic job in his portrayal of John George Haigh. You can see this movie called ''A Is For Acid'' on youtube. If you're interested in the case I highly recommend giving it a watch.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, you can now find me on Instagram at: @KittysOnTheCase where I regularly post true crime related bits and pieces amongst other things. And if you enjoy my weekly true crime posts, please consider buying me a coffee to support my research, blog and possibly a future podcast here 

Quick note, this case contains some disturbing and gruesome details so please be warned. 

Let's begin...

John George Haigh was born on the 24th of July in 1909 in Stamford, Lincolnshire and was said to have been a very gifted boy who could play the piano and had a good relationship with his parents. As he grew up in the village of Outwood in the West Riding of Yorkshire, he struggled with his parents' strong religious beliefs, John was not allowed to celebrate Christmas and there was a lot of strict rules in the household and whilst he was coming of age John claimed the experiences he had in his childhood gave him recurring religious nightmares. 

At school his teachers would describe him as bright but mischievous. John liked to play practical jokes on people and learnt how to forge people's signatures which he would often do. 

John won a scholarship to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield and he won another scholarship to Wakefield Cathedral where he became a choir boy. When he left school at the age of 17 he took an apprenticeship at a motor engineering company for a short while before taking other jobs in insurance and advertising. When he was 21 he was fired from one of his positions after he was suspected of stealing money from a cash deposit box. 

John met and married a pretty 23 year old woman by the name of Beatrice ''Betty'' Hamer. The pair were married on the 6th of July 1934 but the relationship didn't last. That same year, John had been sent to prison for fraud. In one of his previous jobs he had been selling cars that had not belonged to him as well as committing other petty crimes and forgery. He was obsessed with money and tried to create an image for himself with his suits and slicked back hair. He envied the middle class, their financial stability and their lifestyles and wanted that for himself.

As intelligent and charming as he was, John began to realise that the reason he kept being caught for the forgery and thefts was because the victims were alive to report the crimes. He figured that if these people were to disappear, then he could have control of their money, valuables and he could carry on living the lifestyle that he desired without having to face prison.

Whilst John was serving time in prison he began to think about ways that he could carry out his thefts and dispose of the victims and he began reading various books from the prison library. He became obsessed with the murderer Georges-Alexandre Sarret who was a French murderer who disposed of his victims remains in sulphuric acid. John thought this was a great idea and managed to get hold of some samples of sulphuric acid whilst in prison. He would pay some of the other prisoners to bring him some dead field mice and he would conduct little experiments to see how long the mouse would take to disintegrate in the acid. 

Whilst John was in prison, Betty found out that she was pregnant and soon gave birth to their baby daughter but decided to give the child up for adoption. After the breakdown of his marriage and the knowledge of his criminal behaviour, John's family became estranged from him. When he was released from prison in 1943 he returned to London where he had been spending most of his time beforehand and began putting into action what he had been planning in prison, to find someone wealthy, murder them, sell their valuables and then dispose of their body in a vat of acid. 

Whilst working as an accountant in London for an engineering company, he managed to bump into one of his previous employers that he got on really well with at a pub in Kensington. They caught up about old times and his ex employer, William McSwan decided it would be a good idea to introduce the charming John to his parents, Donald and Amy.

William worked for his parents, collecting rent money from the various properties that they owned. It was a family business and John could see that William and his parents were quite well off with money and lived a very luxurious lifestyle which he began to envy.

On the 6th of September 1944, William suddenly disappeared and John went over to his parents house to tell them that William had run off to Scotland to avoid being called up for military service. The truth was that John had struck Wiliiam violently over the head with a lead pipe after luring him into the basement at 79 Gloucester Road in London SW7 before dumping his body in a 40-gallon drum and filling it with sulphuric acid.

John wore a freakish ensemble which consisted of a war time gas mask, a large rubber apron, rubber gloves and wader length rubber boots whilst using the acid to dispose of William's body. Two days later he returned to find that William's remains were nothing but mush and he poured the disgusting contents of the drum down a manhole. 

Believing the charming John Haigh that their son was in Scotland, they decided that John could take over William's job of collecting the rents. This suited John for a little while but then he decided he could have even more money if he murdered the parents and sold their properties. When William's parents began to ask questions about why William had not returned home since the war was coming to an end, John decided to invite them over to William's house (which he was now living in) under the pretence that William had made a surprise return.

On the 2nd of July, the couple arrived at Gloucester Road looking forward to seeing their son. John led them into the basement where he murdered them and disposed of their bodies in acid. He then stole their cheque and pension books as well as selling their properties for which he made about £8,000. He then moved into Onslow Court Hotel in Kensington.

John was addicted to gambling and was running out of money fast by the summer of 1947 so he made plans to find a new victim or victims. He targeted a couple called Archibald and Rose Henderson who were selling their house, he struck up a friendship with them and Rose even invited him to their housewarming party where he impressed the other guests with his piano skills. 

Whilst he was at their house he stole Archibald's revolver and planned to use the gun in his next murder. John moved his workshop from Gloucester Road to 2 Leopold Road, Crawley in Sussex. He managed to move his 40-gallon drums, acid, equipment etc into this new building. He also stayed at the George Hotel in Crawley from time to time.

He decided on the 12th of February 1948 that he was going to make his next move and murder Archibald and his wife Rose. He invited Archibald to the workshop under the pretence that he was going to show him a secret invention he was working on. Archibald had no reason to doubt the well spoken, smartly dressed and friendly John Haigh, so he went along. John shot Archibald in the back of the head with the stolen revolver. 

He planned to murder Rose too and decided to call her and make up a story that Archibald had fallen ill and could she come over right away. Rose was concerned for her husband so she went over as fast as she could and she too was shot. 

John put on his rubber apron, war time gas mask, gloves and wader length rubber boots & put the two bodies into the oil drums & began to fill them with acid.

He forged a letter from the couple and managed to sell all of their possessions for around £8,000 but decided that he wanted to keep their car and pet dog. 

His last victim is reported to have been a 69 year old woman by the name of Olive Durand-Deacon who recently lost her husband. Olive was quite wealthy and was a fellow resident at the Onslow Court Hotel. With his usual routine of charm and friendliness, John managed to befriend the woman and told her he was an engineer. She told him she had lots of ideas about inventions and she wanted to ask his advice on one involving artificial nails. John said he would love to talk more about it and show her some things at his workshop.

John shot Olive dead at his workshop on the 18th of February 1949 and removed all of her valuables that she had on her which included a real fur coat, money, pieces of jewellery and placed her body into the drum with the acid as he had done with his other victims. Two days later, one of Olive's friends had reported her missing.


(4 of John Haigh's victims. He also murdered Amy's husband Donald and Son William) 

Due to John's history of fraud, it didn't take long for the police to track him down to his workshop where they made some gruesome discoveries. They found a case filled with documents and receipts which related to the sales of the McSwan and Hendersons houses as well as a dry cleaners receipt for Olive's fur coat.

The workshop which was rented by John did not contain a floor drain which his previous one at Gloucester Road had so he disposed of the liquefied remains at the back of the property. Some of the remains had not completely dissolved so investigators were able to find part of a human foot, human gallstones and part of a denture believing to have belonged to Olive. The police found the 28 pounds of human body fat on a rubble pile.

John George Haigh was swiftly arrested and taken to the police station, during questioning he asked Detective Inspector Albert Webb ''Tell me frankly, what are the chances of anybody being released from Broadmoor?'' (a high security psychiatric hospital in Crowthorne, Berkshire). The detective replied that he couldn't discuss that sort of thing to which John said ''Well if I told you the truth, you would not believe me. It sounds too fantastic to believe.''

John then went on to confess to the murders of Olive, The McSwans and the Hendersons. He claimed to have killed three other people too, a young man by the name of Max, a girl from Eastbourne and a woman from Hammersmith. These three other murders could not be substantiated. 

John was sentenced to death by hanging and the door of the cell to which he had been held was preserved and is currently on display at the Horsham Museum 

When he was in the condemned cell in Wandsworth Prison it was reported that he asked a guard if there was the possibility that they could do a trial run of his hanging to make sure everything would run smoothly but this was refused. 

Just before his execution was carried out, he was asked if he would like a brandy. John George Haigh replied ''Make it a large one, old boy.''


John George Haigh - The Acid Bath Murderer was hanged on the 10th of August 1949. 


My thoughts...

They say money is the root of all evil. I wonder with John Haigh if his childhood of being deprived of celebrating Christmas and the strict rules he had to follow had made him even more hungry for money. It was like he was trying to over compensate for what he missed out on and his greed turned him into a monster. 

The thought of how he disposed of his victims is sickening and how cold, calculated and cruel he was, to trick, lie and steal from people even after they had died without a care in the world.

This is definitely one of the sickest cases I've ever come across. 

What are your thoughts? Leave them below or drop me a line elsewhere on social media.

RIP to Olive, the McSwans, the Hendersons and the other victims of John George Haigh, he could be responsible for more that we'll ever know. 

Further reading & sources:

A Is For Acid

If you enjoy my content and this latest post and you would like to donate a coffee to me, you can do so here

 Let's be friends on Instagram, you can now find me at: @KittysOnTheCase

I'm also on Twitter at: @CaledonianKitty & @CaledonianTweet

Keep up to date with my weekly true crime posts & more by subscribing to my blog via your email on my Home page or by following me on Bloglovin

Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

America's Most Dangerous Serial Killer? | Israel Keyes 




Keep up to date with my latest posts on: @CaledonianTweet & Bloglovin  

My personal twitter page where I share my latest posts and everyday general stuff: @CaledonianKitty 

Check out my community page & promotional platform for bloggers on twitter: @TheBloggersPost 

For all enquiries and collaborations, please contact: caledoniankblog@yahoo.co.uk