Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

I was so sure I had covered this before – Imagine that? So here goes… The Zodiac Killer is a name given to an unidentified serial killer who was in the north California area from the late 1960’s to early 1970’s. The name comes from a letter to the Bay Area press in 1969, it was one of a series that taunted press, police and public alike.

There are 7 confirmed victims, four possible murder victims and a suspected escapee, the murderer claimed a death count of 37 but 12 can be included on the case files from the main information given. The first of the ZK’s murders are considered to have been attributed to those of Betty Low Jensen and David Faraday. On 20th December 1968 at Lake Herman Road, the couple were out on their first date, what they know about the case is that it is believed another car came up before 11pm that night, Jensen exited the car, possibly under threat and as she did so the killer shot Faraday as he was half way out of the car. Jensen was gunned down 28 yards away by five shots, the killer then drove off.

4th July 1969 Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau drove into the Blue Rock Springs Park and parked up. A second car came up but drive off almost immediately, then around ten minutes later the car returned, the driver got out and came to the passengers side, he was carrying a flash light and a 9mm Luger. The killer fired off five shots and both were hit, the bullet passed through Mageau into Ferdinand, the killer then walked away. Mageau’s moaning drew him back to the car where he fired two more times. Ferrin died but Mageau survived despite being shot in the face, neck and chest. Someone called up to claim responsibility for all four and police traced the call to a gas station phone booth, they got no further.

1st August 1969, three letters reached the press offices of Vellejo Times Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and The San Francisco Examiner. They took credit for the four shootings and each one had a third of a 408-symbol cryptogram, which would reveal his identity. The killer demanded all three be printed across their front pages or he would cruise around to kill until he racked up a dozen over the weekend. The Chronicle posted their letter and put up a quote from Vallejo Police Chief, Jack E Stiltz, saying they needed more proof of his identity. All three parts were eventually published and the murder spree seemingly never occurred.

7th August, a letter was received at The San Francisco Examiner, where he wrote ‘Dear Editor, This is the Zodiac speaking’ and he went on to provide details about the murders that had not been released to the public.

8th August, Donald and Bettye Harden cracked the code, albeit misspelled, but it said that he was collecting, slaves for the afterlife. He said he would not give away his identity because it would slow down, or stop, him from collecting.

27th September 1969, students Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shephard were picnicking when a man wearing a black executioners hood with with sunglasses over the eye-holes and a cross-like symbol with a circle around it on a bib around his neck. He approached with a gun, said he was a convict who had escaped and demanded their car and the money to get to Mexico.

Shephard was told to tie up Hartnell and then the attacker tied up Shephard, Hartnell was expecting it to be a bizarre robbery but both were stabbed repeatedly and the killer then went to their car and used a black felt-tip pen to draw the symbol and then wrote “Vallejo/12-20-68/7-4-69/Sept 27-69 – 6.30/by knife”. The killer than called in his crime to Napa County Sheriff from a pay phone. Shephard was conscious when he was found and gave a description of the attacker but died later on, Hartnell survived and recounted the event.

11th October 1969, a passenger got into Paul Stine’s Cab and wanted to go to Presidio Heights. The result was that Stine got shot in the head by the passenger, he took is wallet, car keys and a section of his shirt. Three teenagers saw the events and called the police.

14th October 1969, the Chronicle got another Zodiac letter containing the stolen section of Stine’s shirt. He proceeded to threaten to kill school children on a school bus. His plan was to shoot out a tyre then pick them off one by one as they came out of the bus. 2pm on the 20th October, he called demanding F. Lee Bailey or Melvin Bellie appear on the local T.V. station A.M San Francisco. Bellie appeared and the lines were kept open, someone called in saying they were the Zodiac Killer several times, they called themselves Sam and arranged to meet in Daly City but the suspect never arrived.

9th November 1969 the Zodiac Killer then sent another 340 character cryptogram, so far this one has not been decoded. The day after he mailed a 7 page letter saying two policemen had spoken to him only three-minutes after he had shot Stine and then on 20th December, that same year, he mailed Bellie supposedly he wanted help from the very famous criminal lawyer.

22nd March 1970 saw Kathleen Johns off to see her mother, she was 7 months pregnant and had her 10 month-old daughter with her. She was on Highway 132 near Modesto and a car came up behind flashing its light and honking the horn. Johns pulled off the road and stopped, the man in the car said he’d seen her wheel nuts were loose on her back tire and offered to help her out. When she tried to drive off the entire wheel came off and the man came back, he offered to help take her to a gas station, and stranded, she got in with her daughter.

The car passed several stations but did not stop, when she asked him why he did not stop he would change the subject. John’s escaped when she jumped out with her daughter at an intersection, eventually he gave up because he could not find her. She then managed to hitch a lift to the police station and the cops found her car gutted and torched.

20th April 1970 he wrote again with another 13 character cipher and said he was not responsible for a police station bombing, he threatened instead again to aim at a school bus. 28th April he then wrote to say that he was upset not to see any of the Zodiac symbol buttons and in response had shot someone. The closest match for a shooting that could be found was for a police Seargent shot in his car. His case however was not definitively linked as a Zodiac killing and remains unsolved. In the letter he also left instructions to find a bomb, the cipher he gave was not decoded but no bomb was ever found or detonated either.

24th July 1970 the Zodiac took credit for John’s abduction, he left another letter on 7th October 1970 with the Zodiac symbol on it drawn in blood. Inspectors Armstrong and Toschi, both on the case, said it was probably it was the killers blood.

27th October 1970, Chronicle reporter Paul Avery got a Halloween Card signed with Z and the symbol. He had been covering the case and threatened that he would be next. Avery got another letter soon after they gave similarities between the Zodiac’s killings and that of the murder of Cerri Jo Bates, four years prior. He reported his findings.

22nd March 1971 and a card was posted to Paul Avery at the Chronicle claiming responsibility for a missing woman called Donna Lass, she had gone missing 6th September 1970 and was thought to be from the Zodiac. Lass’s body has never been found.

13th November 1972, Vallejo Times-Herald ran a story that postulated two young people from Santa Barbara were the Zodiac’s victims. The victims were Robert Domingoes and Linda Edwards who had been shot on 3rd June 1963. They’d been shot and hidden in a small shack but the killer had failed to burn it down.

The final letter authenticated as the Zodiac came three years later on 29th January, 1974. It praised the horror film The Exorcist as a comedy and tallied his victim score as 37.

Subsequent letters came but after that last they have not been verified as the original Zodiac. In April 2004 the case was marked as inactive but not closed. The case was then reopened in March 2007. Several of the victims have been named, put forwards and even had people come forwards to confess but as of yet no charges have been brought forwards and no one has been put on trial.

The Zodiac killer has inspired films, music, games, liberate and was used in a mobile game, one I played for a while, which was EA’s Cause of Death. If the killer is still alive he would be in his late 60’s as a minimum and so he may have been incarcerated, killed, committed suicide or even still walking around.

Zodiac-Killer

It’s no secret that England is considered an old historical place and has a fair share of ghost stories, from headless horsemen to the ghosts of animals on the moors and Sussex, England may be subject to a road with an interesting haunting but also a potentially dangerous one. (Starting source BBC Website)

In November 1992, a unsuspecting Ian Sharpe was driving along the road from Sussex to Kent. A girl in white, with what he described as “beautiful eyes”, stepped in front of his car without warning and she disappeared under the front wheels. Shocked and distraught he stopped the car, he was sure he had killed her or at the very least caused her some serious injury. He got out and made a search to find no body, human or animal and not even a sign of impact, other than the frantic beating of his heart.

Two weeks later another report of a man experiencing a similar event came in, again he rushed out expecting a tragedy to find zero evidence of the event.

There is another nearby road where another unexplained happening has been reported, this time a little less worrying as people are not slamming on their brakes but there is a phantom hitch-hiker near the Lower Bell public house on the same road, the mysterious entity spends a ride towards Maidstone putting the worlds to right with their drive before vanishing right out of the seat.

So what is the speculation behind this? Some believe that it is of a woman called Judith Langham who was knocked down in 1965, she was wearing her white bridal gown on the way to her wedding, Has the poor victim now become a white lady?

There is another report earlier than that of 1992 with Ian Sharpe too, in 1974 a man named Maurice Goodenaugh came to the local police to say that he had left a blanket on a woman he had hit and had begged for help. When he came back with the police there was no sign of the seriously hurt woman and again nothing to suggest what had happened to her if she had been there in the first place.

After this there are two other people that stepped forward to report it, this was listed in the tabloid “The Sun” and Joseph Chester and Tracy Boon said they had seen a woman wearing a nightgown on the road, in 1968 and in 1999. They also report a man called Bob Vandeeper gave a woman a lift in 1962 but this is before the crash and so could not be the bride surely?

So is this all correct? Well it seems not, there is more information about this, Judith Langham was not the bride but there was a bride that died. 19th November 1965, a Friday and the eve of her wedding, at Blue Bell Hill. A Jaguar, driven by Harry Backhouse, collided with a Ford Cortina and killed three of the four woman, one of which was 22-year-old Susan Browne, who was due to marry RAF technician Brian Wettton, she died five days after the accident in the hospital. There were two other women, Judith Lingham and Patricia Ferguson, and Patricia died at the site, but Judith died later on, which is probably where the initial rumour about the bride began.

So is this road haunted or is it just that there’s a tragedy there and unusual events have transposed themselves around to fit it? Or is there really the ghost of a young woman killed at the scene, bride or not? And if so who was the other mystery person in 1962?

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If like me you spend a bit of time on Youtube and you search for channels that keep your interest, well this might be for you.

The chap’s youtube name is all it took for me to peak an interest, but it does get better than that.

Armchair Detective is a youtube channel that focuses on missing cases, the genuine thing about this is a man trying to help out society on a budget and asking for little more than the odd view or (if you can) to donate to help him get better equipment..

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJFs_Q1evDpINHI_0aCxn5Q here is his youtube account. If you are subbed to LordonArts or something akin to that you may well find a small and upcoming gem.

Do you know any other channels that you think I should be aware of?

Thanks!

The island is known for the most part as Hy-Brasil and was first put on a map in 1325; it was made by the Genoese cartographer Angellino de Dalorto. He placed it to the southwest of Ireland and was described as almost perfectly round with a river down the centre. It has been noted locally before that but this is it’s first documented appearance.

The Celtic people put this to be an island of eternal plenty and happiness, it was populated by an advanced civilization and they possessed the best technology and wealth. The island had towers and streets of gold, and it was shrouded in fog, it was only witnessed by the general population once every seven years and if you tried to approach the island you would never be able to fully reach it. Of course there are supposed to be the rare people that did and they came back richer than their wildest dreams. The race seemed to be on to get to Hy-Brasil and claim it to make themselves richer than anyone else!

1480 saw explorer John Jay Jr depart from Bristol, England to try and find it but came back empty handed. 1481 two shops from Bristol called Trinity and George went out and again seemed unable to find it. Several other attempts were made, it remains speculation about their success as there was nothing further noted.

1480-1497 the Italian explorer, John Cabot, made an excursion to find North America but had an ulterior motive to try and locate Hy-Brasil, he was convinced it was out there and it’s not certain if he found it or not. After the 1497 voyage a letter from the Spanish diplomat, Pedro de Ayala, claimed that Cabot had found land that has been discovered by Bristol men in the past, or at the very least he had seen it. The speculation on that one could anything at all from he found it, to he decided to bunk off using it as a reason.

In 1674 Captain John Nesbitt made the biggest claim, saying he had set foot on the island and explored it. He said they had been sailing when a dense fog enveloped the ship and when they landed they were at an unfamiliar shore. They found that it was inhabited by large black rabbits, and there was a wizard there in a stone castle. They returned loaded with gold and silver given to them by the islanders and then Alexendar Johnson followed up his claims saying that Nesbitt was correct with his information.

It seems that despite the hardships of confirming the islands existence it remained on the maps anyways, but the position of it appears to shift and two maps in 1595 show it lying west of Ireland. In all of the maps it was still round with a central river, and then it helps popping up until 1870 when the British Admiralty removed it. This didn’t stop stories about encounters though and in 1878 the people of Ballycotton in County Cork were amazed to see an island appear where it hadn’t been before.

18th February 2012, pilot Niger Gosseur reported a mysterious bank of god along the ocean on the west coast of Ireland, in otherwise clear conditions. He reported that his compass went haywire and that he saw landmasses where he was sure there was none before. Baffled he continued to fly over to Ireland.

One of the ideas put forward is that the island may well have existed at some point and has been buried under the waves. The evidence for this might be the west coast of Ireland has a place known as Porcupine Bank,a raised seabed found in 1862, this for some suggests it is perhaps evidence that an island once existed there. Another theory is that many have mistaken the nearby Baffin Island as the island of Hy-Brasil, this is off the northern coast of Canada. The location of the island has slowly crawled around and changed so it’s possible that it was misidentified and has slowly been corrected over time.

Another explanation is that the island has never existed; it could be an optical illusion. One type of mirage that can account for this is the Fata Morgana, a layer of warm air which sits on a layer of cold, it then acts like a refracting disc and can created inverted images from distant areas and coastlines. Perhaps they are seeing this? Whatever the history/story it’s brilliant idea for a story… and the imagination of many has been captured about the idea of the disappearing island that comes up to grant you lots of cash!

Ortelius 1572 Ireland Map.jpg
By derivative work: AFBorchert (talk)
1572_Europa_Ortelius.jpg: Ortelius – 1572_Europa_Ortelius.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4785261

Hotel Cecil is an interesting place in itself, it has a sordid and dark set of rumours attacked to it and is known to have been a residence for the serial killer, Richard Ramirez (the Nightstalker) and it was also a place that once housed serial killer Jack Unterweger.

One of the interesting cases from the Cecil Hotel is that of the death of the Canadian Tourist, Elisa Lam. There are plenty of speculations that are around the internet so I will briefly outline and let the readers to their own further research and make conclusions.

Elisa Lam went missing 31st January 2013, her body was found 19th February 2013, her body was was found, decomposing, by a maintenance worker in one of the water supply tanks on the hotel roof, the discovery came because quests complained about a funny taste and low water pressure.

Her death was ruled as an accidental drowning, but the video from the elevator shows her displaying erratic behaviour just before her disappearance. Her behaviour has led to theories about what led up to her death. Unfortunately Lam had a history of bipolar and may have contributed to both her behaviour and her death.

A 2005 horror film, Dark Water, has been compared to her story, Dahlia moves in with her daughter to a new apartment, and she spots water leaking from the ceiling and finds out a woman drowned in the roofs water tanks. The water then consequently turned black, the owner knew about it and never took any action, her body was in that water tanks for two weeks and that’s how it led to the black water.

Still interested?

Shortly after the discovery of Elisa Lam’s body there was an outbreak of tuberculosis that happened near Skid Row, this was near the Cecil Hotel. This was brought to attention because the test kit used for TB was Lam-Elisa.

Other things that have been noted were biblical references, a supposed body language study saying her behaviour in the list was flirtatious, and there were ideas about it being linked to Crowley. Whatever happened the life of a young body was lost. It’s worth remembering that as we get intrigued and people find tenuous or even strange things about it, the life of a young lady has been lost.