Archive for the ‘Unusual Findings’ Category

Much like Jack The Ripper he remains a focal point for armchair detectives and those who want to try to be the one that guesses right. The ONS is the name given to a serial killer and rapist who was active between 1979 and 1986.

He may have started out as a burglar and then the crimes escalated, the areas he stalked ere middle-class and he started out with single-women. Most of his victims had seen or heard a prowler on their property, so police believe he would do reconnaissance on the matter.

After initially targeting women he moved on to couples, this seems that it could be in response to the press goading him with the fact it was always single-women and seemingly a need to prove otherwise. Perhaps he felt they were issuing some sort of challenge.

Initially the Southern Californian murders were not thought to be connected, but later DNA testing linked the cases together. If you want to investigate the victims in detail it could be quite difficult to do due to the sheer number, but there are characteristics and there was a psychological profile put together. For the purposes of my writings I have not gone into the victims details.

A summary of the profile is that the suspect is, or was, white and would likely have lived near the area in 1980. Given his lack of identification he was not likely to stand out as an individual, he was in good physical shape because he evaded witnesses and law officials either by using a bicycle or by running. It was determined he would likely have engaged in sex with prostitutes and would be able to function sexually with either consenting or non-consenting individuals.

The last known contact was seemingly in 1991 when the Original Night Stalker made a call to the police to taunt one of his victims. There is a chance that he committed suicide or has been incarcerated for some other crime, putting an end to it.

Arts and Entertainments Channel’s ‘Cold Case Files’ aired and episode on the ONS and there is a good site if you want to read up: https://sites.google.com/site/jjmcgr/home

EDIT: When I originally wrote this in 2017 as a draft I wrote it with the view of being unsolved, now it seems that things really can move on and new developments in the case came forwards.

The Golden State Killer is the other name that you may know this case as, or even East Area Rapist. but effectively it would appear all could be tied up into this case.  What might once of been a series of cases has slowly tied itself into one operation and someone has been arrested and charged in connection with eight counts of first-degree murder alongside attempts to press charges related to cases that have not been lost due the statute of limitations.

On the 24th April, 2016 following decades of police work, FBI, a crime writer’s book (Michelle McNamara, Golden State Killer was termed by her) and a continued public involvement, a man named Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested. the 72-year-old Navy Veteran was arrested and charged with 8 counts of first-degree murder and it was linked to DNA evidence. California’s statute of limitations means that whilst they could press charges on the rape charges they could continue to press charges for crimes that were still possible to work with. The work undertaken would simply take far more in depth writing than my simple blog could cover but it is a testament to the dedication of people seeking justice that movement on these victim’s cases are still paying off now.

As a small side note – it has been 8 years since my morgue doors open and I thank everyone that keeps commenting, sharing and correcting anything I get wrong. I genuinely love writing and researching these things and hope you enjoy reading them.

 

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The village is the only official ghost town in Poland, it is in the voivodeship of West Pomeranian and abandoned, as of 1993. It was originally a German training ground for a branch of Nazi’s and then after World War II, a base for the Red Army, only existing on Russian Military maps thanks to that. Once they withdrew in 1993 it became vacant.

Originally the area was a small settlement, Westfalenhoft, and in the 1930’s the Wehrmacht planners built a large military base. A polish newspaper from the 1939 reported the numbers of personnel at 600,000. In the Autumn of 1939 the German’s then opened a POW camp at the site, by November 1939 there were 6,000 Polish soldiers and 2,300 Polish civlians. It was renamed to Oflag II D Gross-Born in June, 1940 and was used for French Officers and Polish POW’s from the other camps. Westfalenhoft was eventually taken over by the Red Army in January 1945. It was officially Polish territory but it was occupied and held by the Soviet Union. The Polish were not allowed entry, it was renamed Grodek and the village was not named on Polish maps.

The parts of the base not needed were razed by Red Army servicemen, the base had around 6,000 Russian soldiers. The debris from the village was sent back to Warsaw, used to help rebuild the city. When it was vacated as part of the collapse of the Soviet Union the area was handed back to the Polish. It was guarded by the Polish army for a year, after which it was handed over to civilian authorities.

There was an attempt to sell the area for redevelopment but it did not happen, there were other suggestions like turning it into a drug rehabilitation centre, or perhaps a prison but it’s also worth noting anything of monetary value has already been looted. In 2011 I found reference to five residents but there is no bus route there and the nearest shop is 4km away, so it’s not likely to be a cosy place to stay.

I first came across notes about the area on a show called Stupid Man, Smart Phone. Whilst it is a ghost town it is not abandoned and is regularly visited, and seems to be a tourist spot for some. Have you been?

Kłomino.jpg
By RzuwigOwn work, Public Domain, Link

 

I see this one a lot when I am looking for interesting tales, D B Cooper seems to be quite an adventurous tale and so I have included him here. In 1971 he hijacked an airliner and threatened to blow it up, he extorted $200,000 from the owner, Northwest Orient, and then leapt from the airborne 747 with 21 lbs worth of $20 bills strapped to his torso.

The fact he has never been caught means he either pulled off the perfect crime or died trying. Either way he makes for a fantastic story! And one for armchair enthusiasts to really get their teeth into, with pages of information and lots of speculation.

Perhaps what I love most about this, no bystanders were injured although law enforcement argues that he did put several dozen lives at risk. The FBI’s ego was probably pretty damaged though, and not long after he had disappeared FBI Director, J Edgar Hoover, died knowing that they had not yet got their man. His crime seemed to help with things like passenger security screening and other regulations to try and prevent further troubles but ultimately he was able to walk around the jet carrying a bomb.

For some reason this chap just incites smiles rather than outrage, most likely because of the buccaneer type style under which this crazy stunt was performed.

Flight 305 was a Boeing 747 that started the day before in Washington DC for its flight path, DB cooper boarded at the Portland International Airport with a ticket to Seattle-Tacoma and gave them the name Dan Cooper. He was nondescript and no one took particular notice of him, again this all went in his favour.

Moments after the jet was airborn he passed a note to Flo Schaffner, as an air hostess she was used to come ons and pocketed it. He then waited until she passed and whispered to her she should read it, he had a bomb. Her and another attendant, Tina Mucklow, then went to the Captain and told him about the whole thing. The FBU placed a call to the Donald Nyrop, the president of Northwest Orient, they complied with the monetary demand, probably as it was a smaller price to pay than the disaster and media fall out that could have occurred.

The precise wording of his note cannot be found as it was lost, he said he wanted it back and took it with him, there was an agreement it had something like ‘no funny business’ on it however. Cooper told Schaffner that he was to stay aloft until the money and chutes were ready in Seattle, he showed her wire and cylinders that might have been dynamite and she dutifully relayed the message.

Captain Scott told passengers it was a mechanical problem and they had to circle around before landing, all but a few passengers were aware of the situation. He had calculated how they had to be weighted so they were hoping that he would make his skydive safely on that basis. The notes were hurriedly copied on to microfilm to try and make a way to track them and he wanted two chutes. They got what he demanded and then aboard the jet Cooper had a bourbon and water, he then oddly offered to pay for it!

Mucklow said his behaviour was curious, that he was not cruel or nasty and seemed very calm. The FBI however said he was boozy, raunchy and obscene compared to the person that was with him most. Mucklow said it was not the case and she said that he requested the meals for the crew be brought on board once the place was on the ground in Seattle.

Cooper seemed to be at least familiar with Seattle and was well acquainted with skydiving and schooling in jet aerodynamics. With cash and parachutes ready they were able to land just 30 minutes behind schedule. Captain Scott was sent to get the money and chutes, the 36 passengers and Schaffner were allowed to disembark but he kept Tina Mucklow, and the three men from the cockpit. Through the Captain and FAA official asked to come aboard, presumably to tell him the consequences of his actions but Cooper denied that request.

Cooper then had those left on the plain fly up to an altitude no higher than 10,000 feet. The wing flaps set at 15 degrees and the airspeed of no more than 150 knots. He said he was wearing a wrist altimeter to monitor it. Cooper knew that the plane was capable of it, unlike larger types. Cooper ordered a full refuelling at Seattle and then they negotiated the flight plan he wanted, and Scott was told that the cabin should not be pressurised so that it would minimise the potential violent surge of air when he dropped the aft stairs. With this done they headed off… two hours and six minutes after the plane had arrived in Seattle.

Somewhere around Lewis River, north of Portland, the aft stairs appeared to have been lowered, they thought he may well have jumped then but they were not going to risk their lives assuming it and flew to Reno where they were to touch down. Once they landed they gave it five minutes and left the cockpit, the hijacker was gone, even his hat and coat had been taken. The cash and one set of parachutes was also taken too.

February 10th, 1980 an 8 year-old boy was digging along the sand of the Columbia River bank, he found three bundles of bills all were $20’s and matched the numbers of Coopers loot. Some say that this was the evidence of his demise, more was found deposited further up and this led to more searches, but others suggest he may have realised the numbers on the notes would be trashed and he got rid pretty fast. So far the money that hasn’t been discovered has not been used or found so there’s nothing to suggest he did get around to spending it.

Whatever the end result this has been used for stories and even a comic book called Dan Cooper! If he is alive he’s in his 70’s probably and keeping the story to himself.

DBCooper.jpg
By U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. – http://www.coasttocoastam.com/cimages/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/coast-to-coast/repository/thumbnails/d.b.-cooper-sketches/913568-1-eng-US/D.B.-Cooper-Sketches.jpg, http://www.coasttocoastam.com/article/fbi-ends-d-b-cooper-investigation, Public Domain, Link

 

1665 saw the Great plague wipe out vast numbers of lives, as they fell victim to an incurable and quick spreading disease. The Village of Vernham Dene was not spared this fate and the rector of the Parish is said to have been so concerned by it that the infected were persuaded to camp on the isolated top of Haydown Hill.

The story continues to say that he was so terrified of the plague that despite promising them supplies he never went up there. The isolated sufferers died from starvation and disease, the rector was not spared either and also died from the plague. This would seemingly be an apt tale for morals if you are inclined that way…

It is now said that his ghost has often been spotted along Chute Cause, climbing the towards the top of Haydown Hill. So does this tale have any basis? Most likely down to a 26 year gap in the records of births, deaths and marriages as from 1628-1654 no volume of records can be found and someone must have concluded they all died because of it. Over time the story may have been changed and adapted and changed until it was transported into the story of the 1665 wipe out that comes out.

George Inn, Vernham Dean - geograph.org.uk - 985324.jpg
By Graham Horn, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

 

Tea Break Read!

The USS Salem was ordered by the US Navy on 14th June, 1943 and launched 25th March, 1947. She was then commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 14th May, 1949. She never fired her guns but was a stimulus for peace during the Cold War. She was decommissioned on 30th January, 1959 and in 1994 she went back to her birthplace in Quincey.

She is now a museum, on 14th May, 1995 she was re-commissioned as a member of the Historic Naval Association. So despite the fact that she has never gone to battle, rumours are that she is haunted. Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International certainly seem convinced of the validity of the claims. Summarising their shows witnesses have reported shadow figures and a young girl who has been seen walking around the snack bar. A man who died I the anchor room is thought to haunt the room. In the medical suite a groaning has been heard and on clear nights some have heard blood curdling cries of pain.

A couple of links

https://www.navysite.de/ca/ca139.htm

http://www.uss-salem.org/

USS Salem underway in May 1949
By U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships – This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 7577535., Public Domain, Link