The Long Island Serial Killer

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The Long Island Serial Killer, also known as the Craigslist Ripper and the Gilgo Beach Killer, what happened to him or them? The killing seemingly stopped yet could have gone on for around 20 years based off of the forensic analysis on some of the recovered victims. It is believed the killer murdered and disposed of 10-17 individuals who were associated with the sex trade.

BABYLON, NY - APRIL 05: Suffolk County Police and police recruits search an area of beach near where police recently found human remains on April 5, 2011 in Babylon, New York. Working on the theory of a single serial killer may be working in the New York area, the police found three additional sets of human remains Monday, bringing the total number of bodies found in the area to eight. It is believed that most of the remains are female and that some of the women were working as prostitutes. Currently the police have no suspects in the crimes. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

BABYLON, NY – APRIL 05: Suffolk County Police and police recruits search an area of beach near where police recently found human remains on April 5, 2011 in Babylon, New York.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The remains of 4 victims were found in December 2010, while 6 more sets of remains were found in March and April 2011. Police believe that the latest sets of remains predate the four bodies found in December 2010.

On May 9, 2011, authorities surmised that 2 of the newest sets of remains might be the work of a second killer. On November 29, 2011, however, the police announced that they believe that one person is responsible for all 10 deaths and that they did not believe that the case of Shannan Gilbert, an escort who was missing when the first set of bodies were found, was related.

The first body that was found were the skeletal remains of a woman in a nearly disintegrated burlap sack. Bodies seemed to stack up after that. All disposed of in the same fashion, they appeared to have been killed the same way.

 

So who was the Long Island Killer?

 

I personally find it highly doubtful that the killer stayed in or near New York after 2010 when victims started being found, in fact if investigators are correct and I believe them to be, this person or the person’s were heavily involved in an organized crime syndicate, this person’s primary function within the organization was to rid it of “problems” because for a time, this person was quite good at doing just that. If the killer stayed in that area, he retired. 

The type of organized crime syndicate would be sex trafficking or a very highly organized sex trade criminal organization. It’s not just a pimp who has a large group of girls who work for him while he cruises around in a pimped out El Camino like on TV, it is a criminal organization that is highly organized, sophisticated and profitable. They were and possibly still are involved with both the sex trade and drugs. The two do go hand in hand after all and they have other ways of making money as well.

This particular killer displays the exact killing and disposal traits of someone who is involved with organized crime. The killer planned the murder and disposals meticulously to a degree. The disposal could have been a little cleaner which tells me clearly that this organized crime group is not all that concerned with the killer’s identity being discovered.

That does not mean they don’t care if the killer is caught, it tells me that his particular organized crime group is very confident the killer’s identity will not be discovered by law enforcement. To be clear, this is not someone who just likes killing and takes measures to not get caught because he gets off on killing.

Killing is this person’s job function, he doesn’t get off on it like most serial killers. Don’t get me wrong, he enjoys it, he just does’t fit into the box or idealization of what most think a serial killer is. Serial Killers like Ted Bundy and individuals who kill multiple individuals while working in organized crime groups are two very different types of serial killers. 

It is important to remember that sex trafficking while you hear about it all the time now, back in 2010 and prior was not a dinner table conversation if you will, yet it was happening then. It’s been going on a lot longer than many know or believe.

That may more than likely mean this organized crime syndicate had been in operation in the mid to late 90’s, flying under the radar until 2010 when bodies started being discovered. I believe this killer is part of a larger organized crime group that may be operating in multiple states as well as in other countries.

Years ago I met with a man who was Slavic who claimed that he was part of Interpol prior to obtaining his US citizenship. He told my friend and I that he was forced to come to America because his Government had to hide him in the US so under some sort of agreement between the US and his Government he had been given a new college education and allowed to become an American Citizen and obtain work in a hospital. He explained that he had been given a brand new identity because of some pretty important intel he had on the Russian Mafia that could also tie in criminal activity to the Russian Government.  Yes, I know what a load right, I mean it was clear he wanted to pick up on either myself or my friend I was out with, so he had to be interesting.

Idiot, he failed to educate himself in the knowledge that many American Women, love a man with a foreign accent.  No need for some made up story to go along with it. What intrigued me about him was his familiarity with the sex trade, sex and human trafficking, in particular what type of young girls/women they acquire, how they were either drugged and made to participate or were active players, how they were treated, and if they became a problem how they were dealt with.  He was especially well educated about how organized crime groups who operated in and around Russia and Poland.  He appeared to be extremely knowledgeable about it, a little too knowledgeable.

Many of the Long Island Serial Killer’s victims fit the profile of the women the man spoke of. That does not mean the crime organization is Slavic in nature because after looking at the trafficking industry most groups have a type that they acquire and most are organized and operate in the same fashion.

So Much Time Has Passed….

That we know of.

We don’t know if the killer is killing again, still or if he has retired, if that criminal organization has moved on, up or away. If it were me, the key to finding this killer is through the FBI, DEA, ICE and maybe involve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The FBI, who recently decided to have a look at this case,  may have information about an organized crime group known to have operated during the 90’s – 2010 in that area, or elsewhere, the other agencies may have investigated a crime group for crimes other than the sex trade or trafficking, but upon a second or third look realize they looked at this group and will be able to provide information to the FBI about the group. 

The organized crime group is most likely still operational, finding that group may be the key to finding The Long Island Serial Killer.

 

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

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Updated 11/20/16 2016 End of Watch

Preliminary 2016 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities

January 1 through November 20, 2016 vs. January 1 through November 20, 2015

2016 2015 % Change
Total Fatalities 124 109 +14%
Firearms-related 58 36 +61%
47 45 +4%
19 28 -32%
Please note: These numbers reflect total officer fatalities comparing
January 1 through November 20, 2016 vs. January 1 through November 20, 2015

2016 Fatalities by State

Texas 17
California 10
Louisiana 8
Georgia 6
Michigan 6
Florida 5
Iowa 5
Ohio 5
Tennessee 5
Illinois 4
Arizona 3
Colorado 3
Kansas 3
Maryland 3
New York 3
Pennsylvania 3
Virginia 3
Wisconsin 3
Arkansas 2
Massachusetts 2
Missouri 2
New Mexico 2
North Carolina 2
Utah 2
Alabama 1
Alaska 1
Indiana 1
Mississippi 1
New Jersey 1
North Dakota 1
Oregon 1
South Carolina 1
West Virginia 1

Federal Agencies: 3
Military: 0
U.S. Territories: 4
Tribal: 1

@thecrimeshop

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The State of the United States Criminal Justice System

Midsection of male judge striking gavel while holding scale with money in courtroom

 

From Wikipedia

 

“Criminal justice is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts. Those accused of crime have some protections against abuse of investigatory and prosecution powers.”

 

“Here in the United States, the criminal justice policy has been guided by the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, which issued a ground-breaking report “The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society”. This report made more than 200 recommendations as part of a comprehensive approach toward the prevention and fighting of crime. Some of those recommendations found their way into the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. The Commission advocated a “systems” approach to criminal justice, with improved coordination among law enforcement, courts, and correctional agencies. The President’s Commission defined the criminal justice system as the means for society to “enforce the standards of conduct necessary to protect individuals and the community.”

 

In recent weeks various news agencies have begun reporting on our Criminal Justice system here in the United States.  I have to give credit where credit is due. Mainstream media has recently written some really good articles this past week with regards to our criminal justice system.

What each story brings up are injustices caused by the very system that is designed to protect us from crime. I can tell you first hand that our system is failing, it continues to fail because no one is actually managing it. Many laws that are designed to protect are in dire need of reform, some need to be done away with altogether, while others have simply gone too far.  The simple truth is, within the judicial system, as it stands right now, it is designed to punish. The system stopped looking at people as if they are human beings somewhere along the line if it ever did. Those that run it and work in it have the sickening and deplorable attitude that they are better than everyone, they are manipulative, controlling and abusive. 

A great many of those that work within our Judicial System, abuse the power they have been given and hand out justice in a very unfair, unjust way.

I worked in the justice system for quite some time once and I can tell you, when I left, I honestly felt that it was a complete joke of a system designed to take advantage of the sick, financially strapped or working poor and reward those who are financially better off.  In fact, many of my police friends had lost faith in the system they were issuing citations for.

Looking at so many cases it truly boils down to money talks and walks away with a lesser punishment. Everyone else, well they pay, they end up more severely punished.

What typically happens is, the police will either issue a citation or arrest someone for some type of crime. Those with money and influence tend to get off a lot lighter than those without money and influence.

Police don’t give cases to the prosecution that are not winnable as the prosecution will reject them. Winnable does not mean the case will always go to trial, all a prosecutor looks at is whether they can get a conviction. a conviction is still a win if the defendant pleads to a lesser charge through a plea deal.

It’s important to understand that to any prosecutor all defendants are only a number to them, they are a notch in the belt. A win ensures more job security or raises and promotions. The more wins, the higher paid or more highly promoted that prosecutor will be. They don’t want you to be innocent point blank.

If the individual went to jail and can’t post bond, they may not be able to afford an attorney so the state provides one for them, more often than not, defendants who lack financially, will end up having his or her arms twisted into believing they have to take a plea or they will be imprisoned because they simply can not fight the charges against them. This happens more than most of you know.

Does that mean they committed a crime? Not necessarily and this is where the system begins to fail.

To almost every judge in the US sitting on a bench, defendants are nothing but the accused. Some judges truly care while the vast majority do not. They are not adequately trained to understand, spot or see someone who suffers from some form of mental disability or illness from the likes of a criminal. In fact, a judge’s job is to oversee trials and hand down sentences. He or she simply does not care to see the in between.

For instance, while I served in the criminal justice system I clerked for a judge who actually sentenced once, a young man who was developmentally disabled and truly did not understand his crime, this was not faked, the young man lived in a group home for the developmentally disabled. The young man shoved someone but didn’t understand why the police came, why he was in a courtroom, seeing a judge. Why he had been fined and then sentenced to anger management classes. The classes by the way are not designed to work with the developmentally disabled.

Another case I clerked for the same judge, sentenced an elderly gentleman to classes, community service and a fine for shoplifting. That man was around the final stages of Alzheimer’s, had no recollection of what he had done, he didn’t understand why he was being sentenced at all. That made me physically ill. I spent nights tossing and turning over it because it really got to me.

This little old man simply put a tube of unpaid for chapstick after picking it up and using it into his pocket. He didn’t realize what he was doing. His family even brought his paperwork from the doctor to court. That goddamn judge did not care and sentenced this man.

Does anyone believe that in either case, justice was served? Two individuals who had not one single clue as to why they were really in trouble. You know what the judge asked them? He only asked them if they knew right from wrong and explained to them what brought them to court as neither remembered the incident that brought them to court. This is how our entire judicial system works.

Another set of cases I love to tell people about, anyone who knows me personally knows about Loretta. I was her probation officer and I took a special interest in her because I felt that the system was holding her unfairly down. Trust me, I was spoken to several times by my boss over it too but I simply did not give a shit.

Loretta was uneducated, had something like 4 or 5 kids all underage who fell and fell hard. Her husband, her only source of income was either deported or put into prison, leaving her and their children to fend for themselves. I was never able to get a straight answer from anyone as to what exactly happened to her husband, I just knew that he was gone.

Trying to find work, get welfare and medicaid to support her family, she let her yard slide. Well code enforcement issued her not one, but several back to back citations. Rather than look upon her as a human being, they offered no help, the prosecutor was an ass hole, he at one point simply told us in the courts, as a joke that she was trash and deserved it. Code enforcement laughed at her and delighted in going out of the way just to catch her for the slightest infraction.

The judge didn’t care, he took absolutely no mercy upon her and sentenced her. Fines, community service you name it she got it. Well, she couldn’t pay her fines, was trying to find work so blew off community service and when she was picked up for a warrant, she was sentenced to jail.

I recall talking to the officer who arrested her. He was pissed about it. Not only did he have to arrest her for misdemeanor offences and fines, he felt going after people like Loretta was a waste of his time. You know what, I agreed with that and still do.

When she was released from jail a month or so later, she had nothing. Less than nothing as the welfare had been cut off while she was in jail. While her family stepped in and tried to help care for the kids they didn’t have enough to support them all. So, in desperation Loretta and her oldest were shoplifting and were caught doing it.

Well, as her probation officer I asked the arresting officer to get me a copy of the receipt from the store of items she had attempted to steal. Again, the arresting officer did not want to arrest her, knowing her hardship it was one hell of a bitter horse pill for him to swallow. Yes sometimes police don’t like having to arrest someone. In all reality, they treat people more humanely than the rest of the judicial system.

Seeing the list of items they had stolen took my breath away. It was all food and not the more expensive, it was off brand, cheap meat and baby food and formula. They were trying to steal what they needed at the moment to survive. It wasn’t even a week’s worth of food.

Well in court, the judge was harsh, I begged for him to go light on her pointing out the items she attempted to steal were only to survive but my words fell upon deaf ears. He looked right at her and lectured her, in fact he told her she should have gone to the food bank. That jerk didn’t even know the days or hours the food bank in town were open because on the date of her shoplifting, the food bank  happened to be closed which I mentioned to him before her case.

Again she had a fine, some classes now and community service. After a year or so of going to jail for not paying her fines, more charges from code enforcement and not going to class, community service it became crystal clear to me that the system I worked for thrived in the ability to take advantage of the underprivileged. I was fed up!

I made a few calls while she was in jail again and arranged for her family to get her to someone who owed me a favor and someone I knew who could offer her a job as a cook. Not a glorious job but I decided to work with what we had. She had kids and I knew she could cook. She got out and got the job. I saw her entire world change in that moment. Now my boss at the time was pretty upset with me over it and again, I didn’t give a shit. I already had one foot out the door to head off to work for the marketing department at Coors.

This is an equally ugly side to how our system works. If you are weak or disadvantaged in anyway the system will take advantage of you.

Guilt or innocence is not really proven any more. The reality is juries go into it thinking you are guilty, the defense has to prove to a jury that the defendant is not guilty. That isn’t right as it’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

I can’t help but believe a lot of the recent media coverage about our poorly run judicial system is due to things like the documentary “Making a Murderer,” and I am glad to see it. I can’t say for sure that I personally believe in Steven Avery’s innocence or guilt, in watching the documentary I felt he and his defense team were never given a fair shot at arguing the evidence. At the same time in some of his calls to his family, I heard a manipulative man speaking to his parents. Does that mean he killed someone? No and the fact is he was never truly able to argue the evidence so that reasonable doubt could come into play.

The documentary serves to let us all know that the system is designed in a way to punish, guilty or not. Reasonable doubt simply does not exist for many. You can have two defendants who have committed the same crime. One with money and one with very little money. The person that will truly pay for the crime and continue to pay because they won’t be able to pay for classes or fines is the person who doesn’t have the funds. They are the one who will not get the better plea bargain and they will made to believe they can’t win if the case goes to trial.

It is a form of prejudice and it’s not right. The current state of the American Judicial System is one that is rampant and out of control.

Our Judicial System does need reform in a terrible way. But protesting and rioting will not get us to that point. It is so wrong to punish those that are disabled or ill in anyway, not to mention that it serves no purpose.

Those that are financially disadvantaged deserve the same defense as those who are not and they deserve the same breaks as those who are not financially disadvantaged.  

The reality is the Government cannot accomplish police reform in the cities that need it, let alone hold someone like Hillary Clinton accountable for her misdeeds. They go through the motions and that is pretty much it.  Let’s face it, the Government does not like to police their own and could we really trust them to fix our severely broken judicial system or are we better off pulling from the private sector to accomplish that? 

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

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If you are snowed in and need some more reading here are some of the articles that I mentioned:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2016/01/22/journalists-are-supposed-to-protect-the-innocent-but-its-easy-to-fail/

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2016/01/20/americans-are-bargaining-away-their-innocence/

 

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_29419131/case-monterey-autistic-teen-criminal-behavior-or-failure

 

Found Brutally Murdered, October 25, 2004 ~ Lubbock, TX

6a00d8341c2cc953ef01287796e55e970c-320wi Cooper case

Years ago before I learned what lucid dreaming was, I had a bad dream about being murdered, while one of my children who was 3 at the time was in the same room. I remember every detail of the dream and every thought that I had as I was being murdered.

As a mother, you think of your child first and I remember in the dream praying that no harm came to my child as she watched in horror. My second was silently willing her to flee as I was no longer able to speak, my final was that I will never see her or hold her again. 

I can honestly say that I am not sure which thought haunted me more.

Tammie Cooper, 45, her 9-year-old twins, Kasheim and KaDiece Allen, and her 11-year-old daughter, Mahogany Jasmine Allen were found brutally murdered in their 4 bedroom apartment between 7:30am – 7:45am. It looked like a blood bath as reports indicate blood was all over the apartment.  

Although the police do not consider it a cold case as of this point, to date it remains unsolved with no suspects. Police are awaiting new technology or some other type of major break in the case in order to solve it.

In a vicious attack the entire family had been beaten, stabbed, slashed and cut to death. No murder weapon or motive have ever been discovered.

Tammie and her children had recently moved to Lubbock, TX from Dallas. A friend of Tammie’s was speaking with her the night before on the phone around 10:30pm when someone was banging on the door, one of Tammie’s sons answered and a man by the name of Butch entered.

Tammie told her friend the name of the man, the friend who heard his voice described him as irritated about something. Tammie did not seem worried enough to ask the friend for help, in fact nothing changed that might indicate that a stressful situation was about to ensue or that she needed help.

The next morning, between 7:30-7:45 am the bodies of the family were discovered. The bodies were found in the kitchen, livingroom and bedroom areas of the apartment. According to police accounts, evidence was everywhere, just nothing that would lead them to the killer.

Without exploring the crime scene myself, I cannot conclude it was “evidence” that the police found. It could have been day to day items that are familiar to the family or evidence left by the killer or a result of the act of murder.  

What I can conclude is that the killer knew Tammie and her children and I would not be a bit surprised to learn either that the killer hailed from somewhere other than Lubbock or was one of the reasons Tammie decided to relocate from Dallas to Lubbock.  Tammie and her children had only been in Lubbock for about 6 months. This guy Butch, is close to the family, in fact it makes sense that he may have known them longer than the 6 months they had lived in Lubbock. 

The police have never been able to find this man by the name of Butch. Butch could be a street name, nickname, middle name, or just a name the person went by for some odd reason or another. 

I would assume that the children were sleeping or getting ready to sleep when all of this was happening, otherwise, why would none of them flee the apartment for help or did they try to hide, pretend to be asleep, or simply had no way to flee without the killer seeing them and being able to stop them? The apartment was a 4 bedroom, so in all likely hood it makes sense that one of the children went to investigate or attempted to flee. 

An altercation of some type escalated and I am sure the children heard something, it makes sense that Tammie was killed or at the very least severely injured first. What is obvious is that the killer was in fact known to the entire family. The killer was angry, very angry and he was angry with Tammie. She did something to displease or upset him. The children were murdered for no other reason other than they were home and could tell police who he was, they were a liability that he could not afford. 

He was not careless, he didn’t leave anything that would point the investigation directly at him which is indicative of a man who is familiar with committing crimes. Seemingly someone who has done time for other non-murder related crimes. I would not go as far as to say career criminal, but someone who knows how to fly just under the radar. He is someone who is familiar with domestic violence, a man who is easily set off into rage and anger, especially during a bout with drinking heavily.

Since they lived in an apartment, it’s also very likely that another resident saw or heard something, sometimes in certain area’s witnesses are incredibly reluctant to come forward. If that is the case, it’s most probable that the killer was known in that part of town at that time. Perhaps some have moved on and away from this location and might feel more comfortable coming forward now rather than back then.

The clue to who this man is or was has been missed because it is somewhere in Tammie’s day to day life prior to her death. He was someone to her and either a witness has yet to come forward or the police have not yet turned every stone.

The murder of a single mother and her young children is heinous crime, Tammie and her children deserve justice. The police are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who murdered Tammie and her children.

 

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

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Who Murdered The Town Bully?

Ken Rex McElroy

By all accounts Ken was a drunkard, a coward, a womanizer and a bully~ 

He was Murdered because of who he was and this is his story.

KenMcElroy_with_daughter_200_150

 

Born June 1, 1934 ~ Murdered Murdered July 10, 1981 Skidmore, Nodaway County Missouri.

 

Ken is a difficult man for one to see as a victim because Ken was more or less a jerk, that’s right and not just a jerk to a few people, no, he was better known as the town bully. Still the same, that does not change the fact that he was gunned down and murdered in broad daylight, outside of his local drinking hole with a group of onlookers watching the entire episode play out. Yet to date no one has been arrested of the crime.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love to see a bad guy get his in the form of karma, but that is one thing, it is an entirely a different matter when one, two or several engage in vigilantism under the guise of “protecting” themselves after the sheriff drove out of town minutes prior after having told the town folk not to engage the man. In fact, if memory serves me here, vigilantism is highly frowned upon by both law enforcement and the judicial system not to mention that whoever the individuals are that are responsible, sank to Ken’s level the very moment they pulled those triggers and murdered him.

They essentially became in that moment in time no better than any other murderer.

What type of man was Ken?

Ken was the 15th of 16 children born into a poor, family of migrant farmers. They had moved between Kansas and the Ozarks finally settling outside of Skidmore. Ken was not an educated man, he dropped out of school at 15 while in 8th grade. He was known locally as a raccoon hunter, cattle rustler, small-time thief and womanizer and as the town bully. Reports state that for well over 2 decades, Ken was suspected of being involved in theft of a multitude of things such as grain and other goods, yet he avoided conviction when charges were brought against him…. 21 times.

How could that be? Well apparently witnesses refused to testify because he allegedly intimidated them. He would follow his targets or park outside of their homes and stalk them.

Ken was the father to more than 10 children with different women, he met his last wife, Trena McCloud, when she was 12 years old and in eighth grade. She became pregnant when she was 14, dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and went to live with Ken and his 3rd wife Alice. Ken even went as far as to divorce Alice and get married to Trena in order to escape the charge of statutory rape .

16 days after Trena gave birth and both she and Alice fled to Trena’s mother’s and stepfather’s house. Here’s where it gets sticky. According to court records, Ken figured out where she fled to , went after them and brought them back. He then returned to Trena’s parents’ home when they were away, shot the family dog, and burned down the house.

As you can see it is difficult to try to see him as a victim. The fact remains, he ended up as one.

June 1973

Ken was indicted for statutory rape, the burning down of Trena’s parents home and assault.  Ken was rightfully so, arrested, booked, arraigned and released on $2,500 bail. Trena and her baby were placed in foster care at a home in Missouri.

To make matters worse, it was reported that Ken sat outside the foster home for hours at a time, watching them, he even went as far as to approach the foster family and make the offer of a trade “girl for girl” to get Trena and his child back. Ken laced his offer with the threat that he knew where the foster family’s biological daughter went to school as well as what bus route she rode. Obviously additional charges were filed against Ken.

In July of 1976,  local farmer Romaine Henry said that Ken shot him twice with a shotgun after Henry became upset with Ken for shooting weapons on Henry’s property. Ken was charged with assault with intent to kill. Of course Ken denied that he was at the scene. In a shocking twist the case dragged out without a court date, while Henry reported that Ken McElroy had parked outside his home at least 100 times.

Finally, when the trial did move forward, 2 raccoon hunters testified that they were with Ken the day of the shooting in another location that surprisingly was not on Henry’s property at all. Henry was forced to admit in court, under questioning by Ken’s attorney, that he had concealed his own petty criminal conviction from more than 30 years previous.  Ken was subsequently acquitted of the crime.

Skip forward to 1980, apparently one of Ken’s children had gotten into an altercation with a store clerk by the name of Evelyn Sumy at a local grocery store that was owned by Ernest “Bo” Bowenkamp. The story told was that a younger McElroy child tried to steal some candy.

That didn’t go over well with Ken so, he resorted to stalking the Bowenkamp family, and eventually threatened Bo Bowenkamp in the back of his store with a shotgun in hand. At some point during the verbal altercation, Ken shot Bo Bowenkamp in the neck but Bo survived and Ken was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Ken was convicted at trial of assault, but freed on bail pending his appeal. Immediately after being released at a post-trial hearing, Ken went to the D&G Tavern, a local bar, with a rifle, and made graphic threats about what he would do to Mr. Bowenkamp. This led to several patrons deciding to see what they could legally do to prevent McElroy from harming anyone else. Nodaway County Sheriff Dan Estes suggested they form a neighborhood watch.

Trust me I hear you all thinking Ken is a real A-hole who got what he deserved. I feel you, yet two wrongs never at any time made a single right.

July 1981

The morning of July 10, 1981, after Ken’s appeal hearing was again delayed, the townspeople met at the Legion Hall in the center of town with Sheriff Estes to discuss how to protect themselves from crime, especially how to protect themselves from the likes of Ken McElroy.

During the meeting, Kem went the D&G Tavern with Trena for some drinks and while they enjoyed drinks at the bar, word somehow got back to the men at the Legion Hall that he was at the bar. Sheriff Estes told the assembled group not to get in a direct confrontation with Ken, he advised them to instead seriously consider forming a neighborhood watch program.

After that, sheriff Estes drove out of town in his police cruiser and the citizens decided to just disregard what sheriff Estes asked them to do and instead head to the tavern as a mob.

They filled the bar completely, in an effort to intimidate Ken and chase him off. Ken finished his drinks then purchased a six pack of beer, left the bar, and got into his truck.

While Ken was sitting in his truck he was shot at several times being hit twice, once by a center fire rifle and once by a .22 rifle.

The aftermath

The police had 46 potential witnesses to the shooting, including Trena, who by the way was in the truck with her husband when he was shot. No one bothered to call for an ambulance, not a single soul. Trena claimed to identify a gunman and every other witness either was unable to name an assailant or claimed not to have seen who fired the fatal shots.The DA declined to press charges, and who would he have filed them against, the towns lips were sealed. The only person talking was Trena and she was pretty much ignored. To top it off not even a  Federal investigation lead to any charges.

In July of 1984, Trena did file a $6 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Town of Skidmore, County of Nodaway, which included the major players; Sheriff Danny Estes, Steve Peters (the then Mayor of Skidmore), and Del Clement the man Trena accused of being the shooter, but who was never charged. The case was later settled out of court by all parties for the sum of $17,600, with no one admitting guilt, in an effort to avoid costly legal fees should the case move forward.

With 46 potential witnesses, a bar that had been filled to capacity with angry townspeople, a wife sitting in Ken’s truck, right next to him, I find it highly unlikely that the shooters could not have been found. I know gun records weren’t what they are now, but…small town and all everyone knows everyone else’s business so to speak. Not to mention the best witness they had was Trena who was right next to Ken watching everything, she didn’t get hit which indicates the shooter was pretty damn close. 

Of course for the murder of Ken to be solved it would have to be investigated by someone who actually cared that regardless of who Ken was, he was murdered. Rather than heed the advice of the sheriff, the town became an angry mob who elected to snuff out a man’s life under the pretense of “protecting themselves” from him rather than utilize the system in their favor.

Could the case be solved today?

That depends on what if any evidence was collected and if proper interviews were conducted. The shooter (s) and key witnesses could also be dead at this point, thus having carried the secret with them to the grave.

 

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

Now Powered by Death Wish Coffee: http://www.deathwishcoffee.com/

A case of a murdered Federal Prosecutor

 

Thomas_Wales

Thomas Crane Wales

October 11, 2001, at approximately 10:40pm that evening, Thomas was sitting at his computer in his home office when a gunman avoided the security lights in his backyard and shot him in the neck, through a window, with a handgun. The killer left shell casings behind. The shots were heard by a neighbor who called 911 to report the shots.

According to some reports, he was alert when he was transported to the hospital, but died at a hospital the next day.

Thomas was 49 when he was murdered. He had been a federal prosecutor for 18 years at the time of his death. His former wife, former girlfriends and current girlfriend were dismissed as suspects. He prosecuted white collar crime cases for the USA at the time of his death and that suspect pool ran pretty dry.

Some feel the case was not given adequate attention by the FBI who assisted local law enforcement into the investigation of Thomas’s murder. Thomas was murdered only 1 month after 9/11, when most of our nation and it’s law enforcement communities were on high alert over terrorists, potential terrorist attacks not to mention, everyone wanted answers for such a brutal attack on our nation.

The Letter

A letter which according to the FBI website, was postmarked 1/23/2006, Las Vegas, Nevada was sent to the FBI headquarters in Seattle, WA.

envelope_vegas

“Re: Thomas C Wales

OK, so I was broke and between jobs I got an anonymous call offering $xxxx to shoot the guy, so I drove to Seattle to do the job. I did not even know his name. Just got laid off from a job. Nice talking lady, I didn’t know her name, she called me, talked to me by name, and asked if I needed some money. I agreed to pursue the matter, hell, I was going bankrupt.
Go to Seattle, heck I lived there once, no big deal. Hang out in this guy’s backyard, she even gave me the address. Stop off at a place, pick up our gun, and drop it off at a specified location when you are done. THEN, you will be directed to where your money is. The wife was out of town, I had no witnesses here, I was curious about who knew me so well. I used cash to pay for all my expenses to avoid an audit trail. No cell phone. I was directed to a place to pick up the gun, they wanted me to use, and an address. The gun was there.
I drove to the address, and then parked some distance away, north of downtown. I kind of camped out in the backyard of this house, and waited for the guy to settle in at his computer. Once he was there, I took careful aim. I shot two or possibly more times, and watched him collapse. I absurdly waited a few minutes and then left. I was sure he was dead. Retracing my steps, I dropped off the gun, found my money, and returned to Vegas. I feel bad about it, but I needed the money, and there were no witnesses. I really don’t know who fronted the money, but the $xxxx was there, and I sure needed it.”

 

*source, FBI  https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2006/april/wales_letter041706/

 

The letter really does not give any details as to who the murderer might be or a real motive. The letter itself as I read it tells me that whoever wrote it is either under the influence or it is someone who lacks maturity. Someone who is prone to act impulsively and carelessly. It does not seem to be an attempt to goad the FBI, neither is it a true confession and it is far from a real apology. It seems like an ill or half-ass attempt to get back at someone without really getting back at them.

The FBI seems to feel that the anonymous letter that was written to them may have been written by someone connected to the murder in some way.

I would agree that whoever wrote it is somehow connected to Thomas’s murder. To me when I read it, it comes across as feminine. What I am saying is, that I am pretty sure the author of the letter is a woman.

This is what they had to say:

“Investigators believe the return address name “Gidget”  may be a term the writer has used in other contexts, in the past and present. “Gidget” was the title of a movie and television show in the 1960s. The return address on the envelope is a commercial address in Las Vegas with no apparent connection to the crime.”

Gidget comes from an older way of saying, pretty, petite, small, tomboy type of woman. It is also, aside from being the title of a movie and TV show from the 1960’s, a life path number if you are into that sort of thing.

Gidget is life path number 7

A person with the life path number 7 learns pretty early in life that they have to face a world dominated by material things and money head on without any fear that they could not prevail . They have the ability to recognize and understand their own limitations. 7’s always seem friendly and modest which makes them universally appreciated, but inwardly they are often dissatisfied. Therefore it is important for people with the destiny number 7 to get adequate recognition and acknowledgment from their environment for their actions.

Another meaning just of the name Gidget is a person who is  introspective, prophetic, philosophical, and soul searching, but also can be analytical, critical and opinionated. They think deeply and clearly, have an air of mystery, can be solitary and secretive.

What are the leads if any?

Well as I stated earlier, it seems that any lead law enforcement had ran pretty dry. No one had a motive at least as far the investigation lead, for murder.  The crime also was not just one of opportunity, like you see in a home invasion, drug deal gone bad etc. It was planned, however the crime was not committed by a contract killer, hence at the scene, shell casings were left behind which is a faux pas for a real hitman.  Looking at the lack of clues left by the killer, this murder could easily be classified as the perfect murder.

In 2000 Thomas had obtained an 8-count indictment against Intrex Helicopter, which was run by two men, James Anderson and Kim Powell on charges that included conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, and making false statements.

The government accused the men of falsifying a helicopter’s maintenance records, and submitting them to the F.A.A., as part of an effort to certify the helicopter for civilian use. The two had renovated a UH-1 copter.

The case as luck would have it fell apart the following year, when the prosecution’s expert witness from the F.A.A. decided that he no longer supported the government’s theory. On June 29, 2001, Thomas was forced to dismiss the indictment against Intrex.

On July 27, 2001, a month after the indictment was dismissed, James Anderson filed a motion against the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under an obscure law called the Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment allows defendants who have been acquitted in federal court can sue the prosecutors in order to recoup their attorneys’ fees and legal expenses, provided they can show that the case was “vexatious, frivolous or in bad faith.”

Anderson demanded a hundred and twenty-eight thousand dollars. While investigating Anderson, the Government received information from at least 2 people which was indicative of Anderson’s “violent and retributive nature.”  The documents pertaining to the case remain under seal, and the identities of the persons referred to in the brief have not been made public. Anderson’s motion was dismissed, and that ruling was upheld on appeal.

Right After 9/11 Thomas again took a public stand for gun control. The idea started to circulate that airline pilots should be allowed to carry weapons.

After that, the case runs pretty dry. The New York times reported that  Anderson “remained the only suspect; in 2004, and that the SeattleTimes reported that the F.B.I. had searched Anderson’s home in Beaux Arts and removed twenty-seven boxes of possible evidence. Agents also searched two houses in the nearby city of Bellingham, one where Anderson used to live and one where he used to visit friends. In his former home, a bullet was removed from a wall, for analysis, and a bullet and a shell casing were taken from the friends’ home. The Times quoted two neighbors of Anderson’s in Bellingham who said that they had sometimes seen him fire a handgun into the ground from his back deck. (The Times, citing a policy of not naming criminal suspects, identified Anderson as a pilot who had been unsuccessfully prosecuted by Wales.)

On the night of the shooting, Anderson and a friend had attended a showing of “2001: A Space Odyssey” at a movie theatre about 10 minutes from Wales’s home, in Queen Anne.

After the shooting, “someone” had made telephone calls from Anderson’s home in Beaux Arts, roughly 20 minutes from Queen Anne.

For Anderson to have committed the murder, he would have had to have had help, a co-conspirator to help fill in things such as the telephone call.

The bullets recovered were  .380-calibre bullets which came from a Makarov semi automatic handgun. Ballistics experts in the Washington State Crime Lab and at the F.B.I. did notice some unusual markings on the bullets indicating that they had been fired through a replacement gun barrel.

Anderson, on record does not own a Makarov.

Still, Anderson is the best lead still today, however investigators can’t seem to find anything tying him to the crime.

Unless the author of the letter would care to elaborate on what they wrote, why and who they are trying to get back at or someone confesses, the case may remain the perfect murder.

 

Cristal M Clark