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Richard Chase. Image courtesy of Washoe County, NV, Sheriff’s Dept.

Dec. 29, 1977, East Sacramento, California: Fifty-one year old engineer and father Ambrose Griffin was unloading groceries in his driveway when he suddenly collapsed. His wife rushed to his side, thinking he may have had a heart attack. But it was soon apparent that Griffin had been shot.

At the ER, his wife remembered that just before he collapsed, she heard him yelling at someone, and then heard two loud pops.

Despite their best efforts, the ER staff couldn’t save Griffin’s life.

At autopsy, a .22-caliber slug was found still inside his body; they matched two spent casings found in the street near the Griffin home. …


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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

After a long, grueling campaign season, and a nail-biting election, the news networks called the race for former Vice President Joe Biden Nov. 7. Biden has since given his victory speech, in which he urged those who didn’t vote for him to give him a chance. He has also begun assembling a coronavirus task force, along with other cabinet picks.

In normal times, this would be utterly routine, not even worth mentioning. However, these are not normal times. …


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Issei Sagawa, pictured on the cover of a Japanese gourmet magazine.

June 13, 1981, Paris, France: A couple is enjoying the warm summer evening at the Bois de Boulogne, one of Paris’ largest and oldest parks. They are strolling near the Lac Inférieur, the largest of the park’s many lakes, when they notice something strange.

A taxi pulls over into a side road just ahead of them, and a small Asian man gets out. The driver helps him retrieve two large, heavy bags from the trunk. The man then begins dragging the bags into the park. The couple watches in fascination as he changes course, apparently headed towards the lake.

Then the man finally seems to realize that he is being watched. He looks at the couple, then slides the bags under some bushes before walking away. Intrigued, the couple approaches the bags to see what’s inside. Once they open the first bag, they are in for a shock: inside is the bloody, mutilated torso of a woman. …


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Alexander Spesivtsev

In 1996, the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk was in decay. A former steel town, its people were not benefitting from the capitalist system implemented after the recent fall of the Soviet Union. The factories and coal mines had all gone bankrupt; most people were unemployed or what’s euphemistically called “under-employed” — struggling to work a series of part-time or temporary jobs to try and scrape together enough money to keep a roof over their heads and eat.

With such grinding poverty and no safety net, scores of kids and teens roamed the streets — some homeless, some fleeing abusive homes, and some simply left to fend for themselves while their parents worked long hours. When they began going missing, there was not much attention paid; many people assumed they had run away, and most were too busy trying to survive to care. …


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Cynthia McDonnell. Image courtesy of Michigan State Dept. of Corrections.

New Year’s Eve, 1998. Just outside Traverse City, Michigan: A call came in to the 911 system. On the other end, a hysterical woman kept shouting, “Oh my god, he’s dead! He’s dead!”

The woman was Cynthia McDonnell. She told the 911 dispatcher that her husband, Dan, had been shot in a robbery.

Indeed, when the Leelanau County deputies arrived, they found Dan face-down in a pool of blood on his bed, still in his striped pajamas. His left arm was underneath his body, and his right arm was at his side, as though he had been sleeping. He had a single .38-caliber bullet wound in the back of his head. All the cash had been taken out of his wallet. …


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Cynthia McDonnell. Image courtesy of the Traverse City Police Department.

New Year’s Eve, 1998. Just outside Traverse City, Michigan: A call came in to the 911 system. On the other end, a hysterical woman kept shouting, “Oh my god, he’s dead! He’s dead!”

The woman was Cynthia McDonnell. She told the 911 dispatcher that her husband, Dan, had been shot in a robbery.

Indeed, when the Leelanau County deputies arrived, they found Dan face-down in a pool of blood on his bed, still in his striped pajamas. His left arm was underneath his body, and his right arm was at his side, as though he had been sleeping. He had a single .38-caliber bullet wound in the back of his head. All the cash had been taken out of his wallet. …


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Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris

Oct. 31, 1979, Sunland-Tujuna suburb of Los Angeles, California: A Halloween house party was in full swing, with guests dressed in the usual macabre costumes: ghosts, zombies, vampires, murder victims.

But 16-year-old Shirley Lynette Ledford and her boyfriend weren’t having much fun. The two got into a fight, and her boyfriend left the party without her. Ledford couldn’t find a ride home, so she left and began hitchhiking.

Halloween night turned into Nov. 1, the Day of the Dead, and Ledford still had not made it home.

Shortly after sunrise, a jogger came upon her nude body, a coat hanger cinched around her neck, in a neighbor’s front yard. …


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Ricky Kasso. Image courtesy of Suffolk county police department.

In 1984, Northport, New York, was considered an idyllic suburb. The upper-middle-class, overwhelmingly white community on Long Island was regarded as safe — as far back as anyone could remember, there had only been five homicides there. So most parents didn’t think twice about leaving their kids alone while they worked in the city.

But, like teens in suburbs across the country, Northport’s teenagers resented the stifling conformity and utter lack of anything to do. Many of them turned to drugs as an escape.

None so much as Ricky Kasso. Besides being the school drug dealer, he was known for doing unbelievable amounts of LSD and PCP. Friends and acquaintances said they never saw him sober, and his epic appetite for hallucinogens earned him the nickname “the Acid King.” …


Donald Trump is making a very bad thing even worse.

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Mugshots of the 13 men who were arrested on federal and state charges in an alleged plot to kidnap Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Top, left to right: Adam D. Fox, Brandon M. Caserta, Daniel J. Harris, Ty G. Garbin, Kaleb J. Franks and Barry Croft. Bottom, left to right: William G. Null Jr., Michael J. Null, Eric J. Molitor, Shawn M. Fix, Pete Musico, Joseph M. Morrison and Paul Bellar. Not pictured: Brian Higgins. (Handout photos)

On Oct. 8, Federal prosecutors dropped a bombshell: they had arrested and charged six men who were allegedly planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as part of a wider terrorist plot to overthrow that state’s government.

Within days, another seven men were arrested as part of the wider conspiracy that included a self-described “militia” group named the Wolverine Watchmen. These co-conspirators were charged by state prosecutors with various terrorism and weapons offenses. A 14th man was charged Oct. 15, and there is every possibility that more people may be charged in the coming days and weeks.

The members of this conspiracy have a long history of promoting right-wing, anti-government ideologies, including a willingness to commit violence and armed insurrection. Some of the conspirators are also suspected of supporting the Boogaloo movement, which has been implicated in a number of violent crimes and property damage aiming to incite a civil war. …


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Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo

In the early morning hours of March 11, 1989, college students Mark Kilroy, Bill Huddleston, Bradley Moore, and Brent Martin decided their night of partying was at an end. Like tens of thousands of other high school and college kids, they had walked across the international bridge from Brownsville, Texas, to spend part of their spring break in the raunchy border town of Matamoros, Mexico, where the legal drinking age was only 18.

The four longtime friends left the bar and started walking toward the border, where they had parked their car. Along the way, Kilroy said he had to use the bathroom. He ducked into a darkened, overgrown park, only 200 feet from the border. …

About

DeLani R. Bartlette

I write true crime and twisted fiction. I also host a true-crime YouTube channel at www.thedeadlydigest.com.

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