If You've Copied My Work, Who Else Have You Copied? Plagiarism In The True Crime Community, Rip Off Merchants & Exciting News About My Youtube Channel

(Come say Hi, I don't bite! Well....only in the darkest of hours lol. You can find me on social media here)

Today is September the 11th, the 20th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks which took place in the US in 2001. Today is always a difficult day for me as it is for a lot of people. My plans were to have a quiet day, to watch the memorial, light a candle and pay my respects in my own way. I still plan to do this but something is weighing heavy on my heart and I need to rant about it so that I can get it off of my chest and move on.

If you've been a reader & friend of mine (I class all of my readers as friends) for a while, you'll possibly remember a post I had written back in 2019 about a well respected true crime podcaster who was constantly having their work copied by Youtubers (you can find the post here) who were basically reaping all the views and financial gain from this man's hard work. 

Well, I was pissed off about the situation, this guy had a full time job and busted his ass researching, editing, writing, organising and putting together videos every week only for lazy chancers to come along and just copy everything he did. He was aware of it and it caused him a considerable amount of stress as it would to anyone who'd seen their hard work stolen. He almost gave up his podcast over it. Luckily his readers and others in the true crime community caught on to this pretty fast but unfortunately I'm sure there's still people out there who copy his work, being online there's always that risk. 

Well darlings, it seems like it's my turn! I've had my blog for a few years now and it's something I am very proud of and worked tirelessly for. I'm always amazed at the amount of views that I get on my posts everyday but it's true what they say, hard work does pay off. I don't do this for fun or to make money (although that would be amazing), I do this because I have a passion for it and you can tell that by all of the hard work, detail and time that I put into it. I want to be a true crime writer, that's my dream, to have my books on the shelves at Waterstones. 

I studied Criminology at university and have had an interest in true crime since I was a child. This is something I am serious about. Unfortunately with the popularity of true crime documentaries now, it seems that a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon trying to make a few dollars. I have friends in the true crime community who work so hard on their content because they are truly passionate about it but there are some of the newer crowd who are trying to create their own channels by using other peoples work (and when I say 'using other people's work', I mean, word for word, even copying layouts, titles etc) and setting up Patreons to make money. 

I have a popular true crime blog so it's inevitable that I was going to be copied at some point, still doesn't mean that I'm not annoyed by it. I have had various Youtube channels who have used me as a source, as much as I don't agree with using blogs as sources (it's lazy, you should do your own research yourself) these people didn't copy me word for word. 

Last night however, a new Youtuber was brought to my attention and to say I was pissed off is an understatement. I sat in shock and utter disbelief (felt like I was in an episode of The Twilight Zone) as I watched this video (I'm not including the link cause she's had enough views from my work as well as other bloggers): The Husband From Hell: Mitchell Quy (this was posted a month ago on this copycat's Youtube channel: Beyond The Pale). You may remember that I posted about this story back in 2020: The Husband From Hell: Mitchell Quy

Well, Beyond The Pale (@beyondxo_pale ) took chunks of my blog together with another blog and read word for word like I had written in my post, basically doing an audio of my blog post then trying to get away with it by including me as a source with another two true crime blogs and a newspaper article (which was also the first newspaper I publicly listed in my sources - oh, what a coincidence) in the links below the video. If this sad woman was such a huge fangirl of me she should have just asked for a collaboration if she's not bright enough to do her own research. Like I mentioned before, I don't agree with using blogs as sources but if you want to ref a quote or at the very least make sure all your words are your own and you have done proper research like others who have referenced my blog. You have to put in the work in order to be taken seriously. The coward behind Beyond The Pale has no public face and sounds like a middle aged woman, straight off the bat, she loses credibility as someone in the true crime community because she's been exposed as a word for word copycat in the early stages of her channel. If she's copied me, you can be damn sure she copied other people.

I confronted this person on Youtube and Twitter and was blocked (says it all really). My readers and friends also left comments on her Youtube channel which were removed and they were also blocked. It seems that when this person gets called out for their actions, they like to remove comments and block people. It makes you wonder how many other people she has done this to and is currently copying right now. 

Anyway, here's some screenshots of me trying to communicate with this fangirl of mine (Single White Female vibes) lol: 

She knew she'd been caught out by myself and my readers and thought she could squirm her way out of it. Plagiarism is Plagiarism, she read word for word of paragraphs from my original post from this case (even in the order I had written them in, the unique sayings I have and the title was also copied) which I published in 2020. Blatantly doing an audio of my work and then listing me as a source is just a bullshit way of trying to get out of it. 

My comments on her Youtube channel were deleted and blocked, my readers were also blocked and comments removed. She did the same thing on Twitter too. 

Now that I've written about this on my blog, I feel better and I'm done with it, let her have her views on her fake Youtube channel, see how long she lasts. There's only so long and far you can go when copying other people's work. The fact that the video she did which copied my original post has gotten just 2k views but my post on this case has gotten 57,000 views (& counting). Thousands of people read my blog everyday and if one of my readers stumbles across her channel they'll know she's full of it. People who read other blogs will notice she's copied others too. Let karma just do it's thing. I'm done with it now.

My blog continues to be a success and I'm very proud of it and thankful for all of my readers/friends who read my posts, send me lovely messages about my work, who've been amazingly supportive over this situation as well as others. 

Moving on (now that we have that out of the way)....

I have some exciting news about my Youtube channel, I know a lot of you enjoy reading my posts and I will continue to bring them to you but I'm currently planning to do some Youtube videos based on cases that I have already covered on this blog plus new ones. My channel will be popping with lots of weekly content soon. I will also be making a video of The Mitchell Quy case based on my original post with my original title and the link from 2020 (when I first published it). So it'll be up to people whether they want to watch & listen to my original work or just watch a video where some faceless middle-aged sounding Irish woman (assuming it's an actual person and not one of those voice machines) has copied everything I've said. I happen to think that people will much prefer seeing me and hearing my sexy Scottish accent (lol). 

Every week I will be publishing both a blog post and a video on my Youtube channel. I'm excited about these plans and I do realise that this is not going to stop some people from copying me. I think those of us who are serious true crime writers, bloggers, podcasters and documentary makers are always at that risk of being plagiarised. 

My videos will be like little documentary episodes and I'm looking forward to going on this other little journey with my amazing readers/friends. 

(Hopefully you'll join me on Youtube for lots more true crime content coming soon: Caledonian Kitty

Before I love you and leave you I just wanted to add something else, please be careful when shopping online, especially if it's jewellery. I made the mistake of buying what was advertised as a 'White Gold' necklace from a company called The Diamond Store UK. They advertised themselves as the UK's number 1 diamond store more like the UK's number 1 cowboys!. I got sent a cheap silver chain that turned black. I've been playing hell with them for weeks, trying to get a proper white gold chain (like I actually paid for) or a refund. I've been like Mary Whitehouse leaving bad reviews on TrustPilot (but it's the only way you get a response as they tend to ignore emails and delete your comments off of Instagram). 

They weren't happy with my reviews about their cheap product and crap customer service but why should I let other potential customers be fooled into spending their hard end money on these crooks. I know they've had some fake reviews posted on their TrustPilot page (you should see my glorious reviews if you fancy a laugh, I don't hold back as you've probably gathered. Never mess with a Scottish girl who's a Scorpio & has Spanish blood) but if you scroll through them you'll find the 1 star reviews about the ''cheap Gold rings that turn black after a couple of weeks'' or the tacky cheap engagement rings that change colour and the stones fall out after a week. 

A lesson has been learned here and I'll no longer buy jewellery online, I'll go into a proper respectable jewellery store on the high street or shopping mall. 

Anyway, I know this was a long post but I'm glad to be done and dusted with this and excited about my upcoming plans for my Youtube channel. Thank you for all of your amazing support as always, I really do appreciate it. I will be back next Sunday with my latest case. I will also update you on my channel plans soon. 

Hope you're all well and looking forward to catching up with you later or on my socials x

The Fake 9/11 Survivor: The shocking & Bizarre Story Of Alicia Esteve Head (Aka Tania Head)


(Tania Head. Picture credit: nytimes)

It's hard to believe that we are now at the 20th anniversary mark of the heartbreaking day of September the 11th 2001. I think we all remember where we were that horrific day, some of us may have lost a loved one, some of us may be a survivor. I don't think there's anyone who could say that the events of that day didn't have an effect on them at some level. 

It was a day that began like any other, just people getting ready to start work, sitting down at their desks, collecting their coffee, nothing out of the ordinary. It was a beautiful morning, anyone who was in New York that morning will tell you that before the nightmare began, the sky was beautiful, New York was beautiful and that iconic skyline that so many of us have seen on the movie screens, was just as magnificent as ever. 

Then hell became reality, something none of us could ever have imagined or thought could be possible. New York city was under attack and those of us here in the UK watched our TV screens in utter shock and disbelief. I remember clearly just staring at the TV screen not being able to comprehend what I was seeing, I remember the fear for the people in those towers and the people of New York. I have images in my head that will never go away, because everything was live on the news I saw the heartbreaking moments where people who had been in one of the towers above the impact zone were stood clinging onto the windows, desperate for air and desperate to escape. There was so many people and nothing could be done to help them. I felt powerless and devastated.

Then objects or what we assumed to be objects were falling from the buildings and the horror at realising that some of what we had just seen were people. It was a day that none of us will ever forget and the days and weeks that followed, New York in darkness, the endless search for possible survivors and for people's remains. The way the people of New York all pulled together and over the years they rebuilt their city to what it is today whilst also paying tribute and never forgetting who they lost and who survived. 

The horror of what was happening in New York and the details that were emerging of a highjacking of planes by a terrorist group known as Al-Qaeda, 19 of these monsters who were working on the orders of Osama Bin Laden caused so much death, pain and destruction not only in and around the World Trade Center but the Pentagon and Flight 93 whose brave passengers took on the terrorists costing them their own lives in the process as the plane crashed down into a field in Pennsylvania. 

So much heartbreak and disbelief but some time after the horrible events had happened, stories began to emerge of heroes, volunteers, people who risked their lives to save others and people who by some miracle managed to get to safety that day. One of those people who became a beacon of light and a tower of strength for survivors and the families of victims was a lady by the name of Tania Head. 

Tania, who was originally from Spain claimed to have been working for Merill Lynch on the 78th floor of the South Tower when the plane hit. She went into heartbreaking and raw detail of how she (who was just one of 19 people who survived from those floors above the impact zone) was badly burned and could smell her own flesh burning whilst she tried to crawl to safety over other people whilst trying to help them. 

People were gripped as they heard Tania explain that she was carried out by a brave firefighter (who we know were all heroes that day and heroes for what they do everyday) and rushed to hospital to be treated for horrendous burns to her arm, she recalls not remembering anything after that but the horrible news that her beloved fiance Dave had died. Dave had been working in the North Tower and sadly lost his life, she was utterly heartbroken as anyone was who listened to her story. Tania and Dave were due to be married and they had their whole lives as a married couple just ahead of them before this nightmare happened, Tania even had her wedding dress all arranged. 

(Tania Head. Picture credit: nytimes)

Tania had a strength about her and such confidence, the way she was able to talk about what had happened with such courage warmed people to her. She created a group online to help support other survivors and came across as such a kind woman who just wanted to help other people in her position. She soon teamed up with another survivors group and created The Survivors Network. This Network was an amazing support for people who had lost loved ones or who had survived and felt like they were struggling, Tania was so committed to the group and had shown so much strength that she became the president of the Network. 

As time went on, Tania became like a face for the survivors, she did interviews, public appearances and when it came to something that the members of the Network needed, she would fight for it. She was almost like a mother goose to everyone, always listening, being a shoulder to cry on and she even held workshops to help people try to cope with their post traumatic stress disorder. She also managed to raise a lot of money for the survivors and never took a penny for herself. 

So Tania was amazing wasn't she? She'd come out of this horrific situation with the burns on her arm to prove it and she took what was a horrible and traumatic situation and tried to make something positive out of it by helping other people. If only that had been the case because with all of the attention that Tania was getting, some of the members wondered why her story was always the one that everyone seemed to focus on plus her attitude was starting to change. It was almost as though she was enjoying the cameras being on her and some members felt that she was acting above herself.

Then came the emails and the changes of stories, she couldn't help but talk about herself non-stop and would email the members of the group telling them something one minute and then saying something different the next. There was confusion over her partner Dave, was he her fiance or husband because she kept changing that detail depending on who she spoke to. 

(Tania Head meeting the mayor of New York. Picture credit: nytimes)

Her original story about how she survived that horrific day was changing too and people in the Network became suspicious especially when she was chosen to guide important public figures around the World Trade Center memorial and she seemed to be nervous and rambling. More suspicion began to grow when The New York Times were interviewing survivors of 9/11 especially those that had survived above the point of impact in the towers Tania was supposed to have been in and were surprised to see that Tania Head was not on their list. Questions were raised and inaccuracies in Tania's stories were pointed out by the media and Tania moaned to the other survivors that the press were bullying her. 

Then a shocking expose on Tania was published for all to see and The New York Times called her out on her lies. 

The shocking and unbelievable truth about Tania Head was that she was never a 9/11 survivor, the fiance 'Dave' didn't even exist, She hadn't even set foot in New York until 2003, Everything she said was a lie. Even the burn mark (which obviously helped make her story seem more believable) was caused by something else. 

As soon as everything was out in the open, Tania (or Alicia Esteve Head, which was her real name) fled America and went into hiding, For the members of The Survivors Network is was very traumatic, they'd already been through enough and now this? Someone they believed in, trusted and confided in was a pathological liar. 

So why did she do it? People assume it must have been a money thing but she didn't take any money, she actually raised a lot of money for people. She was obsessed with 9/11 as eerie as that is and wanted to be part of it, she loved the attention and fame that it brought her. When watching interviews she took part in, you can see her almost smiling as she talks about the tragic events in which she struggled to survive and the loss of her fictional fiance Dave. 

During the attacks she'd been in Barcelona at University and had a history of making up lies and stories. Her brother and father had been in prison for fraud too so it ran in the family. 

To this very day nobody knows what became of Alicia Esteve Head, some people have said they spotted her in New York others have claimed to have seen her in Barcelona. There was also a report that she had taken her own life but nobody knows if that is a fact. 

The police were not looking for her because in the eyes of the law she didn't steal anything or cause physical bodily harm. To those who survived 9/11 or lost a loved one, what she did is inexcusable. She took a horrible event in which thousands of people lost their lives or where injured and traumatised for life and tried to turn it all round and make it all about herself for fame and attention. 

She may have helped the survivors in terms of support and raising money but what she did was disgusting. 

My heart goes out to all of those who lost their lives on that day, to the survivors, to all those affected. 

I will be watching the memorial this week and paying tribute. I never have forgotten what happened that day and never will. 

(The Iconic New York skyline as it was. The magnificent twin towers. Picture credit: history)

Further Reading & Sources:

September 11th Attacks | Wikipedia

9/11 | History

9/11 Memorial & Museum

9/11 Investigation | FBI

Alicia Esteve Head | Wikipedia

Tania Head: Article | The Independent

Tania Head: Article | Daily Mail

Tania Head | Documentary

Tania Head Interview

Tania Head: Article | The New York Times

World Trade Centre: Article | History

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post and I hope you'll join me in my next one (You can find me elsewhere on social media here) x

The Horrible Truth About Actor Eric Cullen | True Crime

(Eric Cullen. Picture credit: historic-hamilton)

If you're a regular reader of my true crime blogs or a friend on social media you'll know that I was originally born and brought up in Scotland and like a lot of Scottish people, I was brought up on classic Scottish comedy, especially repeats of the popular show Rab C. Nesbitt. Rab C was about a working class man and his family who lived in Govan in Glasgow, it hilariously followed the everyday trials and tribulations of Rab, his wife Marydoll & their sons Gash and Wee Burney. 

The show is respected today as a classic and a lot of Scottish people hold it dear in their hearts as well as having a fondness for the actors who played the beloved roles. 

I was inspired to write this post and do my research into one of the most popular actors who took part in the show as I had been watching a few of the classic episodes recently. I knew briefly that there was some drama in the media around the actor but I didn't know the full details. 

Not to sound offensive but it seems that people have forgotten the story of Eric Cullen, the actor who played the role of the popular character, Wee Burney in the show. Either they've forgotten about it, tried to bury it because it's too uncomfortable to talk about or they simply don't know the truth. 

I know a lot of people are going to be sad, angry, confused, a whole mixture of emotions when they read this post (especially those who have fond memories of watching Eric in Rab C or seeing him on other shows) but the truth is the truth and this is a true crime story. 

I originally set out to write about this story expecting to write about an innocent man, a victim, but the more I did my research the more the horrible details were uncovered and what was left was a complicated horrific and disturbing case which was both very difficult for me to write and also heartbreaking. 

Jimmy Savile popped up a few times in my mind during researching this case for many reasons. A calculated and (we were later to find out after his death) prolific paedophile. Jimmy managed to fool quite a lot of people into thinking he was this nice, eccentric, funny DJ and showbiz personality for decades whilst secretly abusing children behind closed doors. Jimmy did a lot of charity work and raised millions, he was given a knighthood by the Queen of England and counted Princess Diana and The Beatles amongst his friends. The more I go into the Eric Cullen story, the more you will understand why I had Jimmy Savile in my mind at certain points. 

As much as I hate to say it, I'm going to be sharing some very difficult details in this case, it's going to be disturbing and unpleasant but I want to give you the truth and it's up to you what your thoughts are in regards to Eric Cullen. Please be aware that I will be talking about child abuse unfortunately in this post. 

So, Eric Robertson Cullen was born on the 12th of July 1965 in Hamilton in Scotland, even at the start his life was not without tragedy. He was born to a single mother who gave him up for adoption and a family took him in. At the age of seven the family noticed that Eric hadn't been growing properly for a while so they took him to the Doctor who diagnosed him with Achondroplasia, which is a form of dwarfism. 

Being raised by this new family should have been like a fresh start for Eric despite his diagnosis but more heartbreak was to follow in the years to come. Not one to let his condition get the better of him, Eric was a bit of a character and loved to be the center of attention and took part in school plays. He had his heart set on being an actor. 

When Eric got to the age of 13, things took a very dark turn in his young life. An uncle, from his foster family who he became very close with, promised to take Eric to church to teach him to play the organ. Eric had become obsessed with everything to do with acting and music so he was excited and couldn't wait to go. The 'Uncle' had other sinister and sickening ideas. It's not known if they even made it to the church but what is known is that this uncle parked his car somewhere in a quiet area and sexually molested Eric. 

From that point on, the uncle brought Eric to the attention of two other men (possibly more were involved but he only mentioned two others) who each took turns in molesting him. This continued regularly for years right up until Eric was in his early 20s. The sick reason that the abuse continued for so long was because of Eric's condition, even in his 20s he still had the look and stature of a child. 

It is a wonder how Eric was able to cope and carry on with this constant hell but he was very good at acting and putting a brave face on things. He was also said to have been terrified of these much older men who constantly threatened him and assaulted him, like a lot of abuse victims he was scared to speak out especially as one of the men was a well respected scout leader. 

With this constant trauma he was having to endure in the background of his life, Eric threw himself more and more into acting and started getting TV roles. His moment of real fame finally came when he landed the role of Wee Burney in Rab C. Nesbitt, suddenly he was a household name. When he walked down the street, people ran over to him and wanted autographs, magazines wanted interviews with him and the money he was paid was not too bad either. 

(Eric Cullen starring as Wee Burney in Rab C. Nesbitt. Picture credit: imdb)

Even people from far beyond Scotland recognised him, he was a much loved actor and always seemed to come across really nice in interviews too. 

So when it came to his career at this point, things could not have been better, despite the bad start and the trauma he had to endure, he was on top with his career and he had tons of fans and able to afford things he couldn't before. The abusers on the other hand reportedly began to put pressure on Eric and this is where the story takes another dark turn. 

From the beginning of this we learn about Eric's upbringing, his mother giving him up for adoption, his condition and the horrific abuse he endured and that was heartbreaking enough but then we see him triumph and become a star and things look like they are taking a more positive turn. In an ideal world, that is where the story would have ended possibly with the abusers locked up and justice served but that isn't what happened.

(Eric Cullen. Picture credit: historic-hamilton)

In 1993, Eric had a knock on his front door out of the blue, it was the police. The cops had been given anonymous information that Eric had a stash of videos which featured child abuse. Eric was calm and collected and took the police upstairs and without a flinch, pointed at a big cardboard box and a suitcase. The box contained 100 video tapes and the suitcase was full of indecent pictures of young boys. Eric was arrested and the news shocked the whole of Scotland. 

Then Eric told the cops that the tapes and pictures were not his and that they belonged to one of his abusers, the scout leader: Francis Currens. He opened up and told investigators about the paedophile ring that had been abusing him for years. He claimed that Francis and the others had been threatening him and forced him to store the horrific material. 

A huge investigation was launched and each tape and photograph was looked through in an attempt to find out who the victims were. It was determined that Francis was the owner of the tapes that were in that cardboard box as he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for that and because he'd been accused of indecent behaviour with other young boys. 

(Notorious Paedophile, Francis Currens. Picture credit: dailyrecord)

The public were confused because this much loved actor (who'd been through hell in his past) was now revealing that for all those years he'd been a victim of a paedophile ring and now he had in his possession,  all of these sickening materials in his house? Eric had enough money and friends in high places at that point to have reported his abusers to the police long before the cops knocked on his door and he would have been protected. Why would he have all of these horrible items in his house and keep quiet whilst these people were continuing to hurt other children? It all made no sense? What did they have on Eric? Why was he protecting them up to that point? 

The confusion was even worse when he went to court and pleaded guilty to all four charges:

1) Being in possession of indecent videos and photographs of children.

2) Actively taking indecent pictures of children.

3) Indecent exposure of himself in front of children.

4) Making an indecent video of young boys. 

So one minute he's a victim of this horrible gang and the next these things are found in his house and he's pleading guilty to everything after the cops had investigated him. The court was able to determine that the videos in the box had belonged to Francis Currens and Eric's fingerprints were not found on them but there was confusion over the photographs and the other stuff. 

Eric claimed to have pleaded guilty because he wanted the whole thing to just go away but that doesn't make sense? There were people who supported him and believed he was a victim who'd been exploited by this gang so why didn't he fight it? Unless he knew there was evidence that would be brought to light which wouldn't paint him so well. 

He was sentenced to 9 months in prison and was placed on suicide watch. He was only in prison for two weeks when an appeal (which had a lot of support from some of the public and the likes of Childline creator Esther Rantzen - no shade but Esther was friends with Jimmy Savile and later admitted that she had heard rumours of his indecent behaviour for years but chose to stay quiet) to free him was successful and he was placed on 3 years probation. One wonders if this appeal was successful due to his fame, the support from well known names or sympathy because of his condition. 

He was out of prison and began telling people that he was going to start working with children's charities, campaigning against child pornography and wanted to be a therapist working with abuse victims. 

Some time later he did an interview and claimed that he wasn't sure if he would return to acting because he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Eric had seen two of his abusers (Francis Currens - who is now deceased and his 'uncle' Jack Williams) placed behind bars for offences against young boys. An unidentified man who Eric claimed was the leader of the group has never been brought to justice, it's unclear if this person is still alive as no details are available. 

Despite not returning to acting, Eric continued to work with children's charities and was on the Children's Panel (now called Children's Hearings). The Children's Panel at that time in the early 90s took on volunteers who worked with children and families supporting them, helping make decisions on the care of infants etc. It was an important role working with vulnerable children. Eric claimed to be too depressed to do acting but was able to continue on with these roles. 

Some time past and the dust settled and because Eric was not in prison, he was regularly seen doing charity roles and having had this big support campaign behind him, some members of the public took that to mean that he was an innocent man done wrong. A lot of people felt that Eric was just a victim who'd been terrorized all of his life by this gang and that he was just innocent and there was nothing more to it.

On the 16th of August 1996, the shock news came that Eric Cullen had passed away at the age of 31 in hospital due to complications after bowel surgery. Two of Scotland's leading newspapers paid a respectful tribute to him and a lot of people were sad to hear the news. Apparently the writers of Rab C had been trying to get in touch with Eric just days before his death to offer him the chance to return to the show. 

Going over the news articles of that time it's interesting to see the reaction to his death, these were the days before the internet, twitter etc so you didn't get a real full view of what the public's opinions were but there seemed to be a huge amount of sympathy for him. The story of Eric's past had a profound effect on people as it would do (it's just the stuff that came afterwards which diminishes sympathy in my personal opinion). 

So Eric was laid to rest an innocent man or so the public believed at the time. The positive memories of seeing him on re-runs of Rab C. Nesbitt restored until...

A female former investigator by the name of Betty Maxwell Carter (who now works as a Crisis Intervention Counsellor) came forward and spoke out about what happened with Eric. Betty originally had been a supporter of Eric's thinking him to be innocent and feeling genuinely sorry for his past and all that he had been through. 

Betty (who is a mother of two children) worked hard on Eric's case and was determined to prove to everyone once and for all that Eric was 100% innocent. The trouble was, the further she investigated into him the more devastating things she found which included a video tape from the Children's Panel that Eric had taken home with him and copied. He was taking files and video tapes from the panel which featured child abuse cases and according to Francis Currens (speaking from his prison cell), Eric was heavily involved in the gang, he participated and would often do this independently but was able to manipulate everyone into feeling sorry for him and seeing him as this helpless victim. 

Betty saw a harrowing video in which Eric was abusing a 12 year old boy. As the child was in terrible pain she said she would never forget that child's face as long as she lived. There was nobody else in the video, just Eric and the child and Betty was sickened and felt disgusted that she had actually believed that Eric had been innocent when he'd managed to fool everyone for so long. 

Eric found out that Betty knew about the video and hysterically begged her not to say anything, he said that the video would be the end of him and he'd go to prison for years. Betty was in a difficult position but she she didn't know what to do because she no longer had the tape and she couldn't prove it and so many people were campaigning for Eric, she knew the truth would hurt a lot of people.

It turned out that Eric did expose himself to children, he would pay the boys money before carrying out his sickening acts. He also bragged about his victims to the members of the paedophile ring, the same gang that he was supposed to have been afraid of. He'd tell the gang how many boys he had and what he'd done, even showing them a video of when he was on holiday in America and there was two children involved. 

Apparently a lot of this stuff about Eric wasn't revealed at his trial because it was felt that it would reflect badly on the Children's Panel if it was to be revealed that they had a paedophile in the organisation so in other words, they covered it all up. 

A police source confirmed that Eric had taken materials from the Children's Panel which detailed victims of child abuse and copied them to keep in his house and share with the gang for their own sick amusement. 

So, with everything I have just written about it seems the real reason that Eric never bothered to expose his abusers before was because they had something on him. He was a victim of sexual abuse, nobody is denying his traumatic past but he soon became like them. Eric chose to abuse children and then tried to paint himself off as a victim campaigning for other victims whilst secretly abusing children. 

One of his victims was going to tell his story in court but because Eric pleaded guilty he didn't get the chance to. The main reason Eric pleaded guilty to the charges put to him was because he was guilty of half of that stuff (and that was bad enough) and he knew (maybe his lawyer told him) that if he pleaded not guilty then all of this other evidence would be uncovered and it would look even worse for him. 

In some of the pictures I have seen of him he has this pathetic look on his face in order to gain sympathy. I do think that he used his condition also to gain sympathy. He was very manipulative and calculating and it worked, he managed to get away with it to some extent. There are people out there (believe it or not) who still think he's 100% innocent. 

I'm not telling my readers what to think, I'm just giving you the information as it is. Eric Cullen has been dead now for a very long time but some of his victims may still be alive and they've had to go on suffering in silence. 

Not all people who have been sexually abused go on to become sexual abusers. I know there are people who will say ''The gang must have forced him to do these things'' and I would say, in the beginning Eric was a victim but he became part of that gang and later did things on his own. He made a tape of himself abusing a boy on his own, videoed other boys, took pictures and paid children to watch him expose himself and covered up for this gang for years until the police came knocking on his door. 

It's a horrible story and I know a lot of people will be utterly shocked and saddened at all of this but like I always say, we owe it to the real victims to tell the truth about the perpetrators of such horrendous crimes. 

I know this was a difficult post to get through and I thank you for joining me in this case. I hope it doesn't deter you from watching Rab C in the future, the other actors involved with the show were just as shocked at the goings-on with Eric Cullen and probably don't even know the full truth to this day. 

Further Reading & Sources:

Eric Cullen | Wikipedia

Francis Currens: Article | Daily Record

Eric Cullen: Article | AP News

Eric Cullen | IMDb

Eric Cullen: Article | The Herald

Eric Cullen: Article | The Herald

Wee Burney...The Vile Truth | Sunday Mail

Rab C. Nesbitt | Wikipedia

If you have any questions or would like to talk further about this case, you can email me at: jocaledoniankitty@gmail.com 

or simply leave comments below.

Thank you for checking out my latest case and I hope you'll join me again next week (you can find me on social media here) x

The Narcosatanists Cult & The Gruesome Kidnapping & Murder of Mark Kilroy

(Mark Kilroy as he was, with his whole life ahead of him and a very bright future. Right: The missing posters that Mark's parents created and handed out. Picture credit: nydailynews)

So this is one of those cases that is so horrendous, gruesome and chilling that I was wondering if I should actually cover it at all but like I always say, it's important to never forget the victims and they deserve their story to be heard. It's also important to never forget what the perpetrators have done, whether it was last week or 32 years ago, it doesn't matter. 

The handsome young man in the picture above is Mark Kilroy, some of you may be familiar with his name and know his story, some of you may have just discovered him through my blog. Whatever the case, in this post I will be talking about Mark and the horrible way that he was just snatched off the street, tortured and murdered at the hands of a crazed cult who were obsessed with human sacrifice and believed that their sick rituals gave them immunity from the law. It's a twisted story of a madman, a cult leader (known as 'The Godfather of Matamoros') who brainwashed his followers (whom the media called ''The Narcosatanists'') and had connections to drug families as well as Mexican celebrities who also bought into his 'magical powers'. 

I will go into more of the story but first I just have to warn you to be aware that I will be sharing some disturbing details so please keep that in mind.

So who was Mark Kilroy? Well Mark was what some people would describe as an all-American type of boy, he had it all, the handsome looks, the respectable family and he was highly intelligent. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on the 5th of March 1968, his mother Helen was a volunteer paramedic and his father Jim was a chemical engineer. He also had a brother called Keith. Not long after Mark was born the family moved to Texas to a small town by the name of Santa Fe outside of Houston. The family were close and attended church every Sunday and it's fair to to say that Mark was from a very loving home. His parents were always firm but fair with him and his brother, they always encouraged the boys to work hard and follow their dreams. 

Mark was gifted academically and this would afford him the choices he would make later on when it came to his studies. At high school he was a social butterfly and keen sportsman. He was a member of the boy scouts and made the honour roll. He was popular amongst friends and teachers alike, Mark eventually graduated from Santa Fe High School being ranked 14 out of a class of 210 students. 

As I mentioned before, Mark was very intelligent and at first he attended the Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos but decided to transfer to Tarleton State University on a basketball scholarship but soon realised that his heart wasn't really in it even though he was an excellent sportsman he had a passion for something else. He wanted a career in the medical field and arranged to transfer to the University of Texas in Austin to prepare for his Medical College Admission Test.

So Mark had the world at his feet, changing from one university to the other may seem like quite a lot of upheaval but he could do what he wanted thanks to his intelligence and he loved a challenge and he had a passion and zest for life. 

With the changes of university and the upcoming exams and prospects of studying medicine you can imagine that Mark must have felt a little stressed out and so it wasn't a surprise that as Spring Break was fast approaching, he and his three high school friends, Bill, Brent and Bradley made plans to have a boys trip to have some fun and have a few drinks to let their hair down. All four of the boys had been studying hard at different universities and hadn't been in touch as much as they would have liked so this was really a chance to catch-up and have some fun before all of the hard work was to start again. 

So at this point, Mark was in a really great place in his life, he was just about to take some important exams and a new career and a positive future awaited him. He had good friends who he'd known for years and he was just 21 years old and enjoying his life. 

On the 10th of March 1989, having finished his exams earlier than expected, Bradley jumped in his car and went to Austin to pick up Mark for Spring Break. They then went to pick up Bill and Brent. Once everyone was in the car and their bags were in the trunk, the boys set out on a 9 hour car journey. It was a long ride but one can imagine the boys sharing stories, stopping off at cafes and catching up after months of endless studying. Eventually they arrived at their destination, South Padre Island which was a popular spot for young people on Spring Break. They checked into the Sheraton Hotel just before midnight and got settled in for the night, no doubt just crashing into bed after such a long car journey. 

The next morning into the afternoon they spent the day taking advantage of the beach, sunning themselves and having a few drinks and some nice food before heading to Brownsville, they planned to party in a place called Matamoros in Mexico which was popular with spring breakers and tourists. It was well known for it's cheap drinks, bars and clubs and was always packed with people. Mark and the boys had a few drinks, chatted up some girls and enjoyed the nightlife that Matamoros had to offer. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, just 4 young guys celebrating their time away from studies and exams. In the wee small hours the boys decided it was time to make tracks back to their hotel. 

On the 13th of March, Mark and his friends decided they wanted to go back to Matamoros again because they had such a good time and really enjoyed the bars and clubs. When they got there it was busy as usual but they still enjoyed themselves. At one point in the evening, Mark was seen talking to a few girls and seemed to disappear for a little while but his friends soon spotted him a little while later talking to another girl. With the street that they were on being so busy with people and loud music playing, it was hard to keep track of each other. The boys decided it was time to head back but could see how difficult it was going to be trying to make their way through the crowds. They decided to spilt up into two pairs (Brent & Bradley together and Mark with Bill) and agreed to meet up back at the car. 

Brent and Bradley tried to make their way through the crowd and Mark was just about to walk with Bill towards the same direction when Bill suddenly announced that he needed the bathroom. Bill ran to a alley way and Mark decided to wait for him, there was no way that Mark was going to just walk off and leave Bill he wasn't that sort of friend, he was always thinking of others. 

So Mark waited for his friend and Bill sorted himself out, when Bill had finished he looked for Mark to see where he was and he noticed that Mark had gone. Bill was confused and couldn't see Mark anywhere, he figured that Mark had possibly got lost in the crowd and headed back to meet Bradley and Brent. When Bill finally caught up with the others he was shocked to see that Mark wasn't with them. All three of them began to worry and started to look for Mark, there was no way they were going to leave without him. 

The boys didn't give up, they spent hours looking for Mark in every bar and club right up until they closed and the streets were completely deserted. The boys were at a loss and thought that Mark was maybe waiting for them back at the car, when they got to the car he wasn't there either. They were trying to remain positive although they were very worried, they thought he possibly travelled back to the hotel, maybe met a girl or something and that he would show up eventually. Bradley, Bill and Brent got into the car and drove back to the hotel. 

At the hotel the boys realised that something sinister was going on and contacted the police to report Mark missing. 

What Bradley, Brent and Bill didn't know was that something sinister did happen to Mark, something very horrific and pure evil. 

I just want to warn you that some of the details I will be sharing in the rest of this post will be quite disturbing so please bare that in mind.

What the boys and the police didn't know (but were eventually to find out) was that whilst Mark was standing in the street waiting for Bill, a van pulled up alongside him and a man asked him something, because of the noise, Mark moved closer to the vehicle and as he did so, two men jumped out and tried to pull him inside. Mark fought as hard as he could with the two men and was able to break free and make an escape however, another vehicle came along and threatened Mark at gunpoint. Mark was abducted off of the street, it all happened so fast. 

Whilst his friends were frantically looking for him, Mark was driven out to a ranch called Santa Elena, he was tied up and kept in the car overnight. Eventually someone who was reported to be the ranch's caretaker, came out to offer him some food and water. One cannot begin to imagine what must have been going through Mark's mind during this terrifying ordeal, to be snatched off of the street, thrown into a car and just left there was already horrific but what was about to come next was even more sickening. 

Sometime later about 12 hours after he'd been abducted, a man by the name of Adolfo Constanzo accompanied by some other men (who turned out to be followers of his cult) came out to see Mark. Adolfo was the leader of a following that was nicknamed 'The Narcosatanists' by the press, one of the sickest cults that I have ever come across. Adolfo managed to convince his followers that kidnapping innocent people and using them in sick human sacrifice rituals would bring them success and immunity from the law. They were heavily involved in drugs and Adolfo himself had clients who were drug lords and celebrities who also believed his nonsense about his magical powers and rituals. 

(The man they called 'The Godfather of Matamoros. The evil Adolfo Constanzo, who knows exactly how many deaths he is responsible for. A very dangerous man indeed and one of the worst serial killers and cult leaders in history. Picture credit: murderpedia)

Adolfo and his followers would target a certain type of victim, they believed that whoever they sacrificed that they themselves or a customer would then take on those attributes of the deceased person. For example, Mark because he was intelligent, good looking and athletic, they believed that killing him in their ritual would mean that they would gain those qualities from him whilst also gaining immunity from the law for their illegal activities. 

As Mark sat there terrified in that vehicle, Adolfo and his followers dragged the terrified young man out with his hands still tied behind his back, wrapped his face and mouth tightly with duct tape and forced him to walk with them towards a cabin where they subjected him to endless torture and rape for hours on end. 

When the monsters were finished subjecting Mark to this utter hell, they dragged him out to the field were they beheaded him with a machete. They then boiled his brain and cut off his legs before inserting a wire into his spine. The reason for the wire being inserted into his spine was reportedly because Adolfo wanted the bones either for one of his potions or to make a necklace that he could wear around his neck. Mark wasn't their first victim, they had carried out this routine with many others, 14 other bodies (or dismembered remains) were said to have been found in graves around where Mark was eventually found but Adolfo was suspected of many more murders. The wire was inserted into the spine to make it easier to pull the bones out once the body had fully decomposed. 

Mark's body was buried with a hole for the wire to stick out, ready to be pulled up when they felt that the body had completely disintegrated. 

The investigation into Mark's disappearance was quite rocky at first with investigators believing that it could have just been a case of a young man who'd had a bit too much to drink partying with friends too much and would probably turn up a few days later but Mark's friends and parents felt different and knew something was terribly wrong. A massive search took place and Mark's parents created and handed out 20,000 information leaflets to members of the public as well as offering a $15,000 reward to anyone who had some information to Mark's whereabouts. 

As time went on investigators believed that Mark possibly fell victim to a robbery gone wrong but a breakthrough came when Mark's story appeared on the popular show 'America's Most Wanted', the phone lines buzzed with people giving tips and information. On the 1st of April 1989 the cops arrived at the ranch where Mark was murdered after following a car they believed to be suspicious as it sped through a checkpoint. At first the cops were focused on gathering the evidence they found at the ranch which was said to be cult and marijuana related and realised this was more than just a drugs ring. They took some of the followers into custody and questioned them. Because the followers were led to believe that they were powerful and could not be harmed by the law, they were relaxed and basically blabbed everything to the cops. The caretaker even took the investigators to the shed where Mark was murdered. 

(Investigators stood in disbelief as they searched the ranch where Mark was held, tortured and murdered. The pot was used by the cult to cook animal and human remains as part of their rituals. Picture credit: rollingstone)

Other members led the police to where Mark's body and those of the other victims were buried. Apparently these victims had been murdered over a period of 9 months and when Mark's body was exhumed they had to identify him through his dental records. 

(The haunting pits where Mark and fellow victims of the cult were buried. Picture credit: rollingstone)

Whilst all of this was going on, the leader of the cult Adolfo was on the run, he'd managed to escape with some of his followers and fled to Mexico City to an apartment he owned. Eventually he and his followers were tracked down and Adolfo saw the cops from his apartment window, he was involved in a shootout with the cops until he ran out of ammunition and ordered one of his followers (Alvaro De Leon Valdes)  to shoot him and another follower by the name of Martin Quintana Rodriguez or risk going to hell. Alvaro shot the pair. The police got into the apartment and arrested the followers who were still alive, they were Sara Aldrete (who was said to have previously been an honour student and cheerleader at high school before falling off the rails. She reportedly became infatuated with Adolfo and was the cult's main recruiter who used her good looks to entice men to join. She played innocent with everything and said that she wasn't involved in Mark's murder), Omar Francisco Orea Ochoa, Juan Carlos Fragoso, Jorge Montes and Alvaro De Leon Valdes. Investigators confirmed the deaths of Martin and Adolfo. 

The police also arrested two other cult members later that day by the names of Maria De Lourdes Guero Lopez and Maria Del Rocio Cuevas Guerra.  

They were all denied bail because the judge said that they were each responsible for crimes that could add up to 50 years in prison.

Various cult members were given various sentences but I will mention the outcomes for some of the names I have mentioned otherwise this will be an even longer post as so many people were involved. Omar Francisco Orea Ochoa died of AIDS on the 11th of February 1990, he was said to have been another one of Adolfo's lovers along with Sara but she didn't test positive for AIDS. Sara was given 62 years despite her claims of not being heavily involved the police had evidence of her dealings with drugs and cult activities. She would later go on to write a book claiming that she had been taken hostage by Adolfo and that the police tortured her into confessing to things she hadn't done. Alvaro De Leon Valdes was sentenced to 30 years in prison in August of 1990. 

Juan Carlos Fragaso and Jorge Montes were sentenced to 35 years in prison each. Two of the cult members, Ovidio Hernandez and Ponce Torres have never faced justice and have escaped capture so far. 

After Mark's death his parents founded The Mark Kilroy Foundation which aims to teach young people the danger of drugs as well as provide all sorts of activities and support to help keep young people away from drugs. Check out this little video featuring Mark's parents here

Further Reading & Sources:

Mark Kilroy | Wikipedia

Mark Kilroy | Article, Rolling Stone

Sacrifice | Book by Jim Kilroy & Bob Stewart

Mark Kilroy Murder | Texas Archive

Adolfo Constanzo | Wikipedia

Adolfo Constanzo | Murderpedia

Adolfo Constanzo | Article, Oxygen

Sara Aldrete | Wikipedia

Sara Aldrete | Murderpedia

The Mark Kilroy Foundation

This was a difficult case to cover, not only because of how horrific and gruesome Mark's death was and how this cult went about their business, but how complicated it was for me to research with so many people being involved. I had post-its all over the place with different names on trying to keep track. I hope I was able to break it down for you and keep it as brief as possible, I realised that if I had talked about every single cult member I would have had to go on and on but I think you got the picture from what I've written. 

It's heartbreaking what happened to Mark and all those other victims and who knows how many there are for sure. Adolfo Constanzo was an evil and very dangerous man, he was even more dangerous because just like Ted Bundy and Charles Manson he had that charisma and charm, he was able to hoodwink people for his own gain. 

Mark's parents are amazing people and have tried to turn the horrendous truth of the death of their beloved son into something positive by helping other young people as a tribute to him. Please check out their websiteTwitter and Facebook

RIP Mark and to those many unnamed individuals who fell victim to Adolfo Constanzo and his followers. 

Thank you for checking out my latest case, please feel free to connect with me on any of my social media platforms 

My Pictures Were Stolen & Put On A Porn Website

(Will the REAL Caledonian Kitty please stand up? Yours truly, taken from my official Instagram: @CaledonianKittyx)

So, I was working on my latest true crime case ready to be posted here on my blog as usual when I found myself having a bit of a crime situation myself on Saturday morning. I woke up to find tons of Instagram messages with screenshots informing me that someone had stolen my name and pictures and had set up an Instagram account and worse was to come......a porn account!!!

I was in shock, after such a traumatic week as it was (my mother had a heart attack but thankfully she is still with us), I wake up to find this and I had no idea what the hell to do. I tried to find the Instagram account which was named @CaledonianKittyx69, to find that I had been blocked. I had been sent screenshots and found that this person was not only using my name: Caledonian Kitty, they were using my pictures to advertise adult content claiming that I made squirting videos and had a Live Cam show. There was a link to a site called Pocketstars (here is the link that has been set up in my name with my pictures, stolen from my Instagram).

Pocketstars is a porn site and this scam artist is posing as me and offering adult content (obviously stolen from other women) such as pornographic videos and pictures for money. 

I would report the Fake Instagram Account - @CaledonianKittyx69 myself but the scam artist has made sure to block me on both my Official Account - @CaledonianKittyx and my Official Back-Up Account - @CaledonianVampireKitty. My followers have been amazing with trying to block the Instagram and the porn account but as of yet they are still live. I'm currently working on this and seeing what can be done. 

I'm not the first person this has happened to and I won't be the last. What also annoys me is that Instagram are quick to delete your account if you post a picture that has a naughty word in it or if someone poses in a bikini but in circumstances like this, they drag their asses and it's not right. There's so many women out there who are being exploited and the men who sign up to these subscriptions are being scammed left, right and center. 

Like I mentioned before, I'm trying to get this sorted out and I've let it be known on all of my social media platforms that these two accounts: https://pocketstarscaledon.wixsite.com/caledonian-kitty & https://instagram.com/caledoniankittyx69?utm_medium=copy_link are fake. Please report these accounts if you can, I would really appreciate it.

The only social media accounts that I have are all listed here on my Linktree. 

I appreciate all of the kind messages and support I have received over this. 

Fake Instagram Account: @CaledonianKittyx69

The Fake pocketstars porn site account that was set up using my name and pictures to entice people to spend money to see adult videos, pictures and so-called private messages from me. 

I posted on all of my social media, warning my followers about the fake accounts. 

So that's the situation as it stands, the Instagram account and the porn account is still online, hopefully not for long. I will be taking a break from posting next Sunday as I'm on holiday but I will be posting a new true crime case after that so stay tuned. 

Please be careful online, this sort of thing can happen to anyone and I'm lucky that my followers informed me because I was oblivious to these fake accounts. 

Just to be clear, these are my official & ONLY accounts on Instagram: @CaledonianKittyx (Main account), @CaledonianVampireKitty (Back-up account) and an account that I don't use which is still live: @CaledonianKittyLuxe

All of my social media links are here

I DO NOT have and OnlyFans account, Pocketstars account or any porn account. If you see one created with my pictures, it is fake plus all of my followers know what I'm like with promoting my content. If I had a porn account you'd see me promoting it non-stop across all of my social media platforms as I do with my true crime & other content. 

If anyone would like to get in touch with me about anything discussed in this post or if you see another fake profile using my name/pictures etc, please contact me at: jocaledoniankitty@gmail.com 

Thank you for all of your support & for checking out this post, be careful on the internet & I'll be back with my latest true crime case x

Death of A Heavy Metal Legend: The Shocking Murder of Dimebag Darrell

 (Dimebag Darrell. Picture credit: Loudwire)

To describe Dimebag Darrell as one of the greatest guitar players to have ever existed is no exaggeration. Here was a man who was born to play the guitar, like he was made to play the guitar and boy did he play the hell out of it. If you're a heavy metal fan you won't need me to tell you who Dimebag Darrell is or the sad fact that he is no longer with us. 

There are people to this day who are still struggling to come to terms with his death, how it happened, why did it happen? The huge hole that was left in the world of heavy metal can still be felt today. Covering this case I felt a huge sense of loss and also the sadness that his brother Vinnie (who was also an amazingly talented drummer) is also no longer with us.  Two brothers who were so close and so talented suddenly broken apart by someone's selfish and heartless actions. 

In this post I will be briefly talk about what happened to Dimebag on the night he died but first a little background. 

Dimebag Darrell was born Darrell Lance Abbott on the 20th of August 1966 (his brother Vinnie was born on the 11th of March 1964) in Texas as was his brother before him. The boys showed a natural spark for music at an early age and their father was a country music producer. Darrell was given his first guitar at the age of 12 and that was it, he just seemed to blow everyone away with his playing. By the age of 14 he was winning talent show after talent show to the point where the organisers had to ask him to stop entering because they knew nobody else had a look in once Darrell picked up the guitar. After winning 7 contests in a row he was asked to be a judge, all while just being a young teen, people could see that Darrell had something magical about him, something unique and the way he played that guitar was quite something to witness. 

Vinnie was amazing on the drums too and it wasn't long before the brothers joined together and ended up in the legendary band Pantera. Their image in the early 1980s (the early days of the band) was very glam metal taking inspiration from bands they admired such as Kiss. So the look was very much big hair, spandex and makeup. Like a lot of bands they were experimenting and just trying to find their feet. There were a few changes in the band but the boys remained and when their high school friend and original band member Terry Glaze decided to leave, he was replaced by Phil Anselmo in 1986. 

The Abbott brothers wanted to move away from glam metal into a more heavier sound and the band soon changed their image and toured extensively in the 1990s and their audience grew and grew. Their album 'Vulgar Display of Power' debuted at no 44 and stayed on the charts for 79 weeks, it was later ranked no 10 on The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. 

(Two talented legends: Vinnie and Darrell. Picture credit: Loud & Heavy

As their popularity grew so did the problems within the band. The brothers each had their partying ways on the road but Phil seemed to be taking it to a whole new level. Phil developed a heroin addiction after suffering with chronic back pain and his overbearing personality was beginning to be an issue for the boys as well as some of the fans. Instead of hanging out with the band before the show, Phil kept his distance and his behaviour was creating a negative atmosphere. More success followed but tensions in the band were still growing and Phil suffered an overdose after a show in Dallas but miraculously recovered to continue on with another show two days later. 

Instead of their success and all that they had achieved up until that point bonding the band together, they seemed to drift more and more apart. Everyone had their issues but Phil was out of control and his ego was even worse. Recording sessions would be a nightmare because he would have an issue with certain songs and the Abbott brothers were beyond tired of his drama. 

(Pantera. Picture credit: Loudwire)

Tragedy struck in 1999 when Darrell and Vinnie sadly lost their mother, Carolyn to lung cancer. The boys were devastated and Darrell was said to have never fully recovered from the loss of his mother. Despite the negative situation with the band they continued on and were set to go on another tour when the September 11th attacks happened. The band decided to cancel the tour, head back to Texas and take a break for a short while. 

A short while after this the band broke up much to the hurt of Darrell and Vinnie, they felt that all of their hard work had been for nothing. Phil had decided to go his own way with his own projects and this created a long standing grudge between the former band members of Pantera that was never to be resolved. 

There was a lot of back and forth between the brothers and Phil especially in interviews, there was no love lost between the brothers or him, it was clear that neither could see eye to eye and The Abbot boys blamed Phil for the breakdown of Pantera. Things were very sour. 

There was a fight over the Pantera name, Darrell and Vinnie wanted to start another band with the Pantera name and it ended up in an expensive legal battle with the boys just having to come up with something else. Eventually they settled on the name Damageplan and toured across the country in 2004. 

Both Darrell and Vinnie were not afraid of hard work and always put their all into their music, they knew that they would have to start all over again with this band but they were willing and ready to do it. They both admired Van Halen and before every show they would always say ''Van Halen'', it was their motto to go out there and play their all, which they always did.

When it came to their fans they had time for everyone, you'll find tons and tons of stories from people who met either Darrell or Vinnie (or both) and they will tell you that they were so down to earth and always happy to sign autographs and take pictures. Whilst I was doing my research I was watching a clip of Darrell signing a fan's arm at a convention and Darrell said something like ''I'm so sorry man, that looks a mess'' and the fan just kept yelling  ''I don't care man, IT'S DIMEBAG DARRELL'' and was over excited at having Darrell's name on his arm, this was what Darrell meant to his fans, he was seen as a Metal God and still is. 

The fact that Vinnie and Darrell were only too happy to play smaller venues and get close to fans says a lot about how humble they were. They had a different approach to fame, Phil went off the deep end and his ego took over but they actually enjoyed interacting with fans and feeling the energy from the audience. 

The date of the 8th of December 2004 is one that very few can forget, a night that should never have happened. Darrell and Vinnie were playing one of their last shows of the tour before Damageplan took a  well-earned break. The show was taking place at Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. 

Unknown to the band, outside in the parking lot was a guy named Nathan Gale, he didn't have a ticket and when someone asked him why he wasn't going inside he said that he wasn't interested in watching some local bands play, he just wanted to see Damageplan. 

The truth was, Nathan was waiting, waiting to go in and murder Dimebag Darrell and whoever else got in his way. 

(Nathan Gale. Picture credit: Murderpedia

When researching Nathan Gale I found him to be giving off a lot of Mark David Chapman vibes (the man who shot and killed legendary Beatle and musician, John Lennon in 1981). Nathan had become obsessed with Pantera during his teens and began telling friends that Pantera stole song lyrics from him. He would obsessively sit and write endless Pantera lyrics in his journal. 

Nathan was diagnosed as a Paranoid Schizophrenic and was supposed to be taking his regular medication to help manage his condition. He'd had a stint in the marines but was soon discharged due to psychological problems. Looking back, before the night of the 8th of December 2004, the red flags that trouble was ahead where Nathan was concerned, were all over the place. 

His behaviour had previously been out of control and he'd had delusions, imagining that he could see dogs that weren't there and a number of people were witness to this strange behaviour and outbursts. Just six months before the 8th of December he'd actually attended a previous show of the band and had caused a lot of damage to equipment, the details are sketchy but there was an incident with him before and luckily nobody was harmed but did he plan to kill that night? 

There are differences in opinion here but I have to say this, the fact that his own mother knew of his Paranoid Schizophrenia (the delusions, the outbursts and the fact that he would just sit and start laughing for no reason at all and he was exhibiting this behaviour right up to the night of Darrell's death) and BOUGHT HIM A GUN!!!!  

Now I know parents are humans too and nobody is perfect but come on, giving a clearly unstable person a gun is a nightmare waiting to happen. I don't understand the thinking behind that? What did she think he was going to do with the gun? Keep it on the shelf as an ornament? No good could have come from that as we clearly learned from this horrible situation but yes, in my opinion Nathan's mother had a hand in this. She may not have pulled the trigger but you don't give a disturbed person a gun. 

Back to that night on the 8th of December 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. So Nathan is waiting outside and as soon as he knows Damageplan are on stage he sneaks into the building with a handgun (and ammunition) and makes his way to the stage. People assumed he was just another fan wanting to crowd surf but his real intentions soon became clear. 

Cameras inside the club and footage recorded on phones filmed the whole scene. Once on the stage Nathan made his way directly towards Darrell who was headbanging at the time and was in his element on the stage. Darrell was very much into his performance and didn't notice Nathan charging towards him because his long hair was in his eyes. Chillingly, Nathan grabbed Darrell and shot him in the bag of the head at point blank range three times. 

Darrell fell to the floor and Nathan continued to shoot him as the crown looked on in disbelief not knowing if this was a stunt or for real. The head of security ran on to the stage to try to stop Nathan but was shot to death. Another security officer who tried to intervene was also killed. During all of this a brave fan got onto the stage and tried to give medical assistance to Darrell and one of the security men but was also shot to death by Nathan Gale. Another band member was shot three times but fortunately he managed to survive. Nathan tried to use this man as a human shield and began shooting into the crowd, injuring several people but a police officer (one of seven police officers) who had arrived on the scene quickly shot Nathan Gale dead. 

As all of this was going on, it was all happening so fast so the audience were not sure what was happening, when the realisation set in especially as Nathan began shooting into the crowd, people started panicking and trying to get out. 

Security grabbed Vinnie and removed him from the stage to safety but obviously he was fully aware of what had happened having seen Darrell and was clearly shocked and devastated. When they took him to the tour bus he got into his brother's bed and sobbed uncontrollably. Utterly heartbreaking. Vinnie and Darrell had such a strong bond and would have done anything for each other and for that to have happened is just so soul crushing. Your heart just goes out to Vinnie in that moment as well as Darrell and the brave men who did their best on that stage to stop Nathan Gale and lost their lives in the process. 

In a strange and chilling twist of events, the horrible shooting on that night came exactly 24 years to the day that John Lennon was murdered. 

So why did Nathan Gale do this sickening and evil act? Well, it's believed that he was angry that Pantera had broken up and as we know of his obsession with the band and previous claims that the band had stolen his lyrics, it seems likely. 

(The club where the fatal shootings took place. The building has now been turned into affordable housing. Picture credit: Loudwire)

Vinnie had a theory of his own. In a previous interview before Darrell's death, Phil had taken a swipe at Darrell by saying something along the lines of ''Someone should beat Dimebag Darrell up''. Vinnie believed that because Nathan was so obsessed with Pantera and the band breaking up be probably mistakenly blamed Darrell for the fallout. 

Darrell was just 38 when he was killed. He left behind his long-term partner (who he met when he was just 8 years old) Rita Haney. 

There was a memorial for Darrell and the guest list was like a who's who of the metal world. One of Darrell's idol's, Eddie Van Halen was also in attendance and one of his iconic guitar's was placed in Darrell's coffin. Eddie said ''Dime was an original, he deserves the original''

Darrell's last words was said to have been ''Van Halen'' which he and Vinnie always said before they went on stage. 

Darrell was laid to rest in a coffin designed with the band Kiss who was another huge influence on him. 

Darrell was laid to rest alongside his dear mother Carolyn at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Texas. Sadly on the 22nd of June 2018, Vinnie passed away at his home in Nevada, Las Vegas aged just 54 of coronary heart disease. He was also laid to rest in a Kiss designed coffin and placed beside his mother and brother at the family plot in Texas 

(Brothers reunited. Vinnie and Darrell's graves. Their mother is also buried close to them. Picture credit: Ultimate Classic rock

Sadly, Vinnie and Phil never patched things up after Darrell's death. Vinnie always felt that what Phil had previously said in that interview may have contributed somehow to Darrell's death. Upon hearing the news that Darrell had been murdered, Phil reportedly tried to reach out to Vinnie and express his condolences but never received a response. Vinnie banned Phil from Darrell's memorial and never spoke to him again. 

RIP to Darrell and Vinnie, Nathan Bray, Erin Halk and Jeff Thompson.

Thank you to Shilo (aka @TheStringTheor1) for persuading me to finally cover this case as it had been on my list for a while but I wanted to get it just right. Shilo himself has been a huge admirer of Darrell and Vinnie since he was a child and learned to play guitar himself from a young age. Please go and check out his Youtube, like and subscribe. Just like Darrell and Vinnie, Shilo is very down to earth and one of the nicest and most talented people you could meet. You can find his music and socials here

The club where the shooting happened has now been turned into an affordable housing complex. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this emotional post, the world has lost two of the greatest musicians the world has ever seen, two talented brothers who were so close and the brave and kind men who lost their lives that horrible night. They will never be forgotten. 

Further reading & sources:

Thank you again & I'll see you in the next post x