When Arson Becomes Homicide

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Photo courtesy of NY State Police

A mother and her son die in a tragic house fire, but the estranged husband escapes. Why was he there violating the restraining order for a second time? And why, has this case gone unsolved for twelve years?


September 9, 2007, around 10:40 pm an explosion rocked the house on Second Street. Neighbors called the fire department, but the entire first floor was engulfed in flames by the time they arrived. A grueling seven hours later the arson had become a double homicide.

Luciana Davey and her 11-year-old son, Frank III were gone. Their bodies were found near the second-floor window. The cause of death was smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Fire investigators quickly ruled the fire as an arson. There were several points of origin and accelerants were detected. Although the authorities haven’t officially named a suspect, there is one obvious suspect in my book.

Luciana and her husband Frank Jr. were estranged, and Luciana had a restraining order against him. Jr. wasn’t allowed on the property, but he had violated that order. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail but was released early on good behavior two days before the fire. Luciana’s family claims they didn’t even know he was out of jail.

On the night of the fire, Jr. claims he was in bed with his wife when they heard the explosion. They ran and got little Frank, and they all gathered around the second-floor window. The father leaned out the window and was pushed by his wife. He reached safety, but his family never followed. Jr. was eventually arrested for violating the protection order and given a year in jail plus a fine.

At his sentencing hearing, Mr. Davey apologizes for breaking the order but asks for leniency since he’s been punished enough by the death of his family. Witnesses say his apology seemed hollow, but until further evidence arises, this case may go unsolved forever.

If you have any information about this case, please contact State Police Troop B Violent Crime Investigation Team at 518-897-2000.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

NY State PD

America’s Most Wanted


Recommended Reading:


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

81XSqT-n3BL._AC_UL320_
“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!

Given Taken – Guest Blog Post

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All photos in this post are courtesy of the Facebook group
 “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries”

Guest Post Written by Ian Granstra


During the 1970s and early 1980s, the blue-collar community of East Chicago, Indiana, was run by the local political machine. Political machines run on money, and one of the Windy City’s most powerful rainmakers was Jay Given. The 51-year-old was an adept fundraiser and behind-the-scenes operator who forged alliances by trading favors. The former city attorney was a shrewd manipulator who had mastered the art of quid pro quo.

The evening of May 15, 1981, was business as usual for Jay Given. The business, of course, was politics, as Given was attending a fundraiser at East Chicago’s Elks Club.

Ensconced in the politics of perhaps America’s most corrupt city, it was “given” that the politico pro would have his share of enemies. One of them, apparently, wanted him silenced, turning the Elks Club from a political venue into a crime scene.

Some consider the murder of Jay Given a quintessential “Whodunit.” Others contend the culprit is obvious and question why he was not charged.

In 1970, East Chicago city attorney Jay Given had helped elect Bob Pastrick as mayor. In big-city politics, however, friends are rarely eternal. Given and Pastrick soon had a falling out over a number of political issues and by the decade’s end, Given was bent on unseating the man he helped install in the mayor’s chair.

On the evening of May 15, 1981, a fundraiser was held at the Elks Club for Atterson Spahn, East Chicago’s most prominent black politician who was considering running against Pastrick. Organizers hoped to solidify East Chicago’s white and black voters against the growing political strength of Hispanic-Americans who supported Pastrick’s re-election bid.

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The evening was going well for Given as he worked the room for a couple of hours and won $300 gambling. At approximately 11:00 p.m., he was seen walking from the lobby, heading outside with cigarettes in hand. Within seconds puffs of smoke were in the air, but they were of gunpowder. Before Given could make it through the vestibule, a single gunshot to the back of his head killed him.

Many of the nearly 400 people attending the fundraiser heard the gunshot, but not one of them claimed to have seen Given being shot or who had shot him. In their panic, many of the political patrons fled the Elks Club, trampling over Given’s lifeless body in the process.

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Police found the shell casing of the bullet in the entryway of the club and a spent .45-caliber bullet in the street. Instead of following the standard procedure of placing the items in the evidence vault, an Inspector marked the bullet and locked it in his desk drawer. His stated reason for the unusual action: He was amazed at the condition of the bullet and wanted other officers to observe it.

When the Inspector retrieved the bullet four days later, he found it had been altered. A hole had been made in the primer of the shell casing and cut marks were on the lands and grooves on the projectile. Someone was going to great lengths to alter the gun’s features. The only people with access to the evidence drawer worked in the police department.

Despite the damage, FBI analysts were able to identify the weapon the shell had come from as a Detonics 1911-style Combat Master, a rare handgun. The shell casing was eventually linked to one of only 58 Detonics with a specially modified ejecting mechanism.

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One of the guns was owned by East Chicago Police Department Deputy Chief John Cardona, an active member of a Spanish-speaking political club allied with Pastrick and against Given. Given had made it clear that if his man were elected mayor, Cardona would be given his walking papers.

Cardona attended the Elks Club event that evening and several people reported he was shadowing Given the whole time. Although no one saw Cardona as Given headed toward the exit, one person said that shortly before the shooting, he saw Given in the Elks Club lobby arguing with a man who resembled Cardona. Shortly afterward, the witness went to the restroom and did not see Cardona as Given headed toward the exit.

Cardona said he was at the Elks Club bar when Given was shot. However, several witnesses who knew him were seated at the bar at the time of the shooting and did not recall seeing him there.

In addition, Cardona had access to the evidence drawer housing the tampered bullet. He also owned a similar Detonics handgun but claimed it had been stolen six months earlier. Everyone in the East Chicago Police Department was asked to take a polygraph test. Everyone passed with one exception– Cardona. After refusing to take a second test focusing on his Dectonics gun, Cardona was dismissed from the East Chicago Police Department.

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John Cardona was and still is, the only suspect in Jay Given’s murder. Many investigators believed the evidence against him was strong enough to arrest him, and many lawyers believed the evidence was sufficient to charge him with Given’s murder. Lake County prosecutor Jack Crawford, however, disagreed, as he declined calls to file charges against the deputy police chief. Many contend that charges were not brought against Cardona in the murder of Jay Given for, in a macabre irony, political reasons.

Police believe the case is solvable. Shortly before the shooting, several witnesses reported seeing five people coming down the stairway of the Elks Club. Three of them, all black men, were near the foot of the steps when Given was shot. These men have never been identified. Police believe at least one of them may have seen the killer of Jay Given and hope, even after all these years, someone will come forward.

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Chicago is notorious for instances of “dead men voting” and a running joke is that Jay Given is happier dead than he was alive because, in death, he has more ballots to cast.

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THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

Chicago Tribune
Northwest Indiana Times
Unsolved Mysteries


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)

Recommended Reading:

Need Synova’s Fedora? Get your’s here!


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

81XSqT-n3BL._AC_UL320_
“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!

Mobster Monday: Nick Civella

Photo Courtesy of Mafia Wikia

The FBI initially thought Kansas City was a minor satellite Mafia family with ties to the Chicago Outfit. By the time former FBI agent William Ouseley retired, he had claimed the Kansas City connection was some of the most violent mobsters in the nation. At the helm of the chaos was a polite, very conservative man named Nick Civella, but be forewarned, looks can be deceiving.


Guiseppe Nicoli Civella was born on March 19, 1912, to immigrant parents in Kansas City. His first arrest came at the age of ten, and by the age of twenty, he had amassed quite a rap sheet. In the early 1940’s Civella was a precinct worker for the Democratic Party on the north side of Kansas City. It was here that Nick would befriend the local mob boss, Charles Binaggio.

When Binaggio was killed on April 5, 1950, Civella was the man to step up and take his place as boss. For the next twenty-seven years, the Kansas City political machine was infiltrated by the Civella Crime Family. The gangsters worked for the politicians and bought some protection.

In 1959, this protection scheme became obvious when Civella was summoned before a grand jury and eventually convicted of tax evasion. Although he was convicted, Civella received a fine of $150 for one case, and the other case was dropped completely. This type of power brought on more violence in the streets.


The local political machine might protect Nick Civella from tax evasion charges, but it couldn’t protect him from the FBI. On November 14, 1957, mobsters from around the United States gathered at the home of Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara in Apalachin, New York. They were there to discuss various aspects of mob business, and Civella was one of two representatives from Kansas City.


This infamous raid not only ended up in over sixty high ranking mobsters being detained, but it also confirmed the existence of an otherwise secret organization. Up until this event, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had vehemently denied the existence of the Italian Mafia.


Although he was on the FBI’s radar, it would take another twenty years before the boss was brought down. In 1977, Civella was caught by wiretaps. During the Super Bowl, the police now had recordings of his illegal gambling operations. He would be sent to prison this time, and although he didn’t receive a life sentence from a judge, it would turn out to be just that.

Clipped from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Nick Civella was released from the Federal Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri, on February 28, 1983. He died on Saturday, March 12, 1983. He was seventy years old. Civella was one of the few mobsters to die of natural causes.

For more information on the Kansas City Mafia, check out fellow crime writer Gary Jenkins and his Gangland Wire Podcast.

Gary Jenkins, former Intelligence Unit detective with the Kansas City Police Department has produced 4 documentary films, created the Kansas City Mob Tour app, authored 3 books and currently produces and co-hosts his own true crime podcast, titled Gangland Wire Crime Stories

Further Reading:

Wikia.org

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

KC Star

Wikipedia/Apalachin Meeting


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Recommended Reading:


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

81XSqT-n3BL._AC_UL320_
“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!



Amarillo Arsonist Heats Up the Gold Market with Counterfeit Krugerrands


Check out the Full Biography of the Amarillo Arsonist HERE

What happens when a local crime boss grows bored with arson, promiscuity, and gambling? A headline in the Wall Street Journal caught the ambitious gangster’s eye. An entire shipment of African gold coins had been stolen in Canada. Sidney Heard didn’t have the stolen ones, but he could counterfeit them. This scheme would eventually wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court, change the U.S. counterfeit laws, and spell the downfall of gangster, Sidney J. Heard.



Sidney Heard was a misplaced Chicago gangster who found himself boss of his own crime family in the Amarillo area. By the early 1980s, Big Sid had his own organization that dealt with everything from hot cars, hot women, and drugs. He had also sucessfully torched twenty-two buildings in his insurance fraud scheme, but the Amarillo Arsonist was growing bored.

Big Sid was a schemer from childhood, and boredom was his primary enemy, whether he was in solitary confinement or out in the free world. By the fall of 1981, the Chicago-native was its clutches once more. He had grown tired of his routine illegal dealings and was eager to find the rush of adrenaline a new con brings. That’s when he stumbled across the newspaper article about stolen Krugerrands.

The African Krugerrand was unfamiliar to Sidney, but after a little research, he discovered the gold coin accounted for 90% of the gold market worldwide. Sidney was instantly struck with gold fever and set out to find a way to counterfeit the coin. He purchased a coin the next day for $700 from a reputable dealer and began to study it under a microscope.

Within a short time, Sidney and his crew had started counterfeiting the coin and using them all over Texas in various nefarious deals. Sidney even used them in Mexico to buy a couple of kilos of cocaine. Every transaction was kept under a specific price point to avoid detection. This kept the crew under law enforcement’s radar, but once this rule was broken, they’d have the FBI coming down on them hard.

Sidney Heard and his crew took out a loan from the president of Tascosa National Bank for ninety grand using 300 of the African gold coins as collateral. The process went without a hitch, so it was repeated three times. The plan was to have the bank robbed if things started getting hot.

In early October of 1980, Sidney waltzed into the Tascosa National Bank clad in a three-piece suit, looking every bit the part of a wealthy businessman. His cool blue eyes watched the bank president count the forged coins, fill out the financial paperwork, and then hand them a check for ninety grand. Although he had been duped by the fake coins, Robert Ringo’s biggest mistake was in agreeing to avoid submitting the necessary paperwork to report the currency transaction.

Federal law states all transactions involving currency totaling more than $10,000 must be reported. Of course, Sidney didn’t want the transaction reported, so he coaxed Ringo into foregoing the process. Ringo would later resign as bank president because of this scandal

This last transaction was being monitored by law enforcement, and Sidney was taken down on the sidewalk as he exited the bank. How did they catch him after 15-months of investigation? Check out Synova’s Unorganized Crime book for the full biography of Sidney Heard today.

“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston

Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time(Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change?

Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!

Further Reading:

UPI Article


Need Synova’s Fedora? Get your’s here!


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

SYNOVA’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!

The Fisher Family Murders

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The “Man of the House” is supposed to protect his family not slaughter them and torch the family home.


Guest Post By Ian Granstra

April 10, 2001

When William and Jan Fisher divorced in 1976, their 15-year-old son Robert was devastated. The split was far from amicable and young Robert struggled through his high school years. As he became a young adult, he always believed his life would have been better if his parents had stayed together.

Eleven years later, when Robert married his high school sweetheart, Mary Cooper, he made her two promises: to always be faithful and to never divorce. The first promise he would break; the second he would keep in an extraordinarily heinous fashion.

Robert Fisher is wanted for the murder of his family, but for the past 18 years, he has been a ghost. Even after so much time, his crime is considered so brutal that he still occupies a spot, as the senior member, of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In the home’s remnants, the firemen found the bodies of Mary Fisher and her two children, 12-year-old Brittney and 10-year-old Bobby. Autopsies revealed a gruesome surprise; instead of perishing in the fire, all three victims had had their throats slashed and each had lacerated traumas to their necks. Mary had also been shot in the head.

The fire from a gas explosion is usually not as intense as was the Fisher fire. Robert Fisher, a former firefighter, knew what materials to use to cause such a gargantuan blaze. Robert Fisher, husband, and father, was nowhere to be found.

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Photo courtesy of Murderpedia.org

In the home’s remnants, the firemen found the bodies of Mary Fisher and her two children, 12-year-old Brittney and 10-year-old Bobby. Autopsies revealed a gruesome surprise; instead of perishing in the fire, all three victims had had their throats slashed and each had lacerated traumas to their necks. Mary had also been shot in the head.

The fire from a gas explosion is usually not as intense as was the Fisher fire. Robert Fisher, a former firefighter, knew what materials to use to cause such a gargantuan blaze. Robert Fisher, husband, and father, was nowhere to be found.

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Several months before the fire, Mary told friends she discovered Robert had had sex with a prostitute and with the massage therapist who was treating him for a back injury. Already disillusioned with her marriage, Mary confided she was considering leaving him.

On the evening before the fire neighbors heard Robert and Mary engaged in a loud argument. Investigators theorize it was related to Mary’s wanting a divorce and they believe she told Robert of her intentions to leave him. For Robert, the prospect of reliving his troubled teen years all over again was too much and, authorities believe, he snapped.

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It is believed that several hours before the fire, Robert slashed the throats of his wife and children because he did not want them, but primarily him, to go through the trauma of a divorce. He then doused the home with the flammable fluid and disconnected the line leading to the gas furnace. As a source of ignition, investigators believed he used a candle and a candle holder as a timing device providing him time to leave. Once a sufficient amount of gas had built up, the candle triggered the explosion and ignited the fire. Investigators believe Robert committed the arson in an attempt to cover up the murders, believing the bodies would be burned beyond recognition. However, the fire did not hide his crime as he hoped.

Robert Fisher was last seen on a Scottsdale ATM machine approximately 1 1/2 hours before his home erupted in fire.

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On April 20, ten days after the fire, Mary’s SUV was found by a hiker 100 miles north of Scottsdale in the Tonto National Forest. The vehicle was clean and underneath pine trees; however, few pine needles were found atop the vehicle, indicating it had been left there within 24 hours of being discovered. The car was in the vicinity of a favorite hunting area of Robert’s but two weeks of searching turned up no trace of him.

The area terrain where the car was found was surrounded by hundreds of caves. Area spelunkers believe the police did not search the subterrane sufficiently, positing that the survivalist Fisher could have hidden there, before either escaping, killing himself, or succumbing to low oxygen levels.

The police, however, believe Fisher left his wife’s SUV in the forest in an effort to divert them. The vehicle was found about ¼ of a mile off a heavily trafficked service road and near several facilities where he could have used a phone or gotten a ride.

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The police were certain they had captured their man in February of 2004. An individual described as a “dead ringer” to Fisher was arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Despite the uncanny resemblance and strikingly similar fingerprints, the man was confirmed not to be the fugitive.

In October of 2014, police raided a house in Commerce City, Colorado, after receiving a tip that Fisher was hiding there. They found two people wanted by law enforcement but failed to reel in their prize catch of Robert Fisher.

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Fisher was featured several times on America’s Most Wanted. Over its twenty-five season run the show helped in the capture of nearly 1,200 fugitives. AMW host John Walsh called Fisher his personal most wanted fugitive. Upon AMW’s ending in 2012, Walsh said his biggest disappointment was not capturing Fisher.

In 2016, Fisher was profiled on Walsh’s new show “The Hunt” on CNN. The FBI said they received several new tips relating to Fisher as a result of the broadcast. They have not commented on the nature of the tips but the information, so far, has not led Fisher’s apprehension.

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Not even the FBI’s famed Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List has produced Fisher’s capture. A $100,000 reward is still offered for information leading to his arrest or confirmation of his remains.

The $100,000 question; is Robert Fisher dead or alive?

The 18 years since the murders have not produced a confirmed sighting of Fisher, leading many to believe he committed suicide in the vast Arizona mountains.

Psychologists generally agree Fisher exhibited suicidal tendencies. However, he was also a loner and an outdoorsman– two attributes useful for someone needing to drop off the radar.

Altered images of Robert Fisher.

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In 2016 the FBI and Scottsdale police released new computer-aged images of Robert Fisher, who would now be 58-years-old. The FBI describes the fugitive as “arrogant. He’s cocky. He’s a know-it-all…and a loner.”

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Authorities have recently sought the medical community’s aid in locating Fisher. When last seen, he was often walking in an odd, erect manner with his chest out due to back pain. If he is still alive, the back problems have likely continued to plague him and he would probably need treatment from a medical doctor and/or chiropractor or massage therapist.

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SOURCES:

THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

ABC News
America’s Most Wanted
AZ Central
Fox News
Phoenix New Times
The Hunt


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)

Recommended Reading:

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If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

81XSqT-n3BL._AC_UL320_
“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!


Corruption or Inexperienced? – The Jennifer Harris Cold Case

Jennifer+Harris

Small town America might be a great place to raise a family, but sometimes it isn’t the best place to die. Many rural communities lack the resources and experience to solve major homicide cases. When you add in the rumor mill of small-town gossip and the loss of major evidence, some people wonder if the case is solvable. Such is the case of Jennifer Harris from Bonham, Texas.



Jennifer Harris was a vivacious 28-yr-old with fiery red curly hair. Everyone around the community loved her including two men; Rob Holman and James Hamilton.


Holman was Jennifer’s childhood sweetheart. They were married shortly after high school and it looked like a happily ever after situation. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the case. The couple had a rocky relationship and some even claim Rob had abused Jennifer. It hasn’t been confirmed whether this was physical or verbal abuse and no police reports were ever filed.


As time passed and Jennifer went to college the couple began to grow apart. Rob enjoyed the laid-back pace of Bonham, Texas while Jennifer was enjoying living in the city. Things began to fall apart even further when Jennifer met James Hamilton in the massage therapy school she had been attending. The two hit it off and decided to open a business together. That wouldn’t be all they did together and soon Jennifer was living in the city and seeing James while Rob moved back to Bonham.


Hamilton was living with the mother of his two children and had a baby on the way but was insisting on marrying Jennifer. Jennifer refused and was quickly losing interest in Hamilton. By early 2002, Jennifer had lost her massage business with Hamilton and was facing bankruptcy. What does she do? She looks up Rob, who had a new girlfriend by this time. It didn’t seem to matter. The couple frequently met and slept together. All this soap opera style drama would lead up to Mother’s Day, 2002 and a mystery that has haunted Bonham, Texas for sixteen years.


Jennifer visits a friend during the early evening hours of May 12, 2002, and leaves around 8 pm. She wouldn’t be seen alive again. A woman takes her dog out for a walk down a lonely country road and notices a dark green jeep abandoned at the side of the road but thinks little of it until she sees it again the next day. She calls the police. The Jeep is quickly identified as belonging to Jennifer Harris. It would be a long six-day search before a fisherman would discover Jennifer’s lifeless body in the Red River.


The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicidal violence but couldn’t determine the exact cause of death. Her body had been severely decomposed, and her uterus was missing. This is where the rumor mill of small towns kicked into overdrive. As soon as that story was released theories ran wild. Friends of Jennifer Harris said she had confided in them about her pregnancy, but there wasn’t any hard evidence to verify it. Could she really have been pregnant, and the murderer removed her uterus to destroy evidence? This is what the townsfolk claimed.

It would be years before her autopsy would be reexamined. After this examination, it is determined that Jennifer’s uterus was indeed missing, but so were other organs and body parts. The latter examiner determined that Jennifer had suffered some sort of severe injury that left her organs exposed to fish and turtles in the river.


Both Rob Holman and James Hamilton were initially interviewed by police and were named as possible suspects, but no arrests were made. Hamilton claimed he was at an Mc Donald’s over an hour away on the May 12th. After reviewing the case files new investigators and consultants are discouraged by the way this alibi was handled. It wasn’t verified properly, and no one ever pushed it. Rob Holman, on the other hand, claimed to be out driving around for over five hours on the night Jennifer disappeared. Hamilton supposedly passed a lie detector test, but Rob was never given one. To make matters worse, most of the evidence, in this case, has either been lost or damaged when the storage pods got wet. The clothing that was found was lost and so was her laptop. Nobody was even sure if the jeans and t-shirt were even Jennifer’s.


This case has more twists and turns than a roller coaster so hold on, there’s more. Jerry Harris took notes on the case from the beginning and was determined to find justice for his daughter. This meticulous record keeping brought up a sinister revelation years later. Two months after Jennifer’s body was found her ex-boyfriend, James Hamilton called the grieving father to ask about Jennifer’s life insurance policy. In all the case files, this is the only reference to an insurance policy. I have many questions about this. Was there actually an insurance policy taken out on the life of Jennifer Harris? If so, who was the beneficiary? Was there money paid out? Who received it? None of this has been reported. If the beneficiary was Rob or James then that would supply the investigators with a serious motive for murder. Who knows if this lead was even followed? The case file for Jennifer Harris is so slim no one knows what leads were followed and which ones weren’t.


A year later, a woman is watching the news when she hears about the Harris cold case. Incredibly, Deborah Lambert hadn’t heard about the case. She quickly called the police and gave a recorded statement. Deborah and her mother had driven across the Red River Bridge on Mother’s Day a year earlier and had witnessed a frightening scene around 5 pm. She vividly recalled a red-headed woman being rough-housed by three men. Deborah said she made eye contact with the woman and saw terror in her expression. Her mother said, “that girl is about to be raped and killed.” Deborah claimed she was too afraid to call the police at the time. Deborah claimed two men were wearing jeans and one man was wearing shorts. Because of the time discrepancy, the original investigators dismissed Deborah’s statement completely. The new team doesn’t dismiss it so quickly. In reality, the time difference can be explained. Most people don’t continuously watch the clock. Deborah and her mother could have traveled across the bridge later than she remembered, and or Jennifer’s friend could be mistaken on the time she left her home.


Jennifer’s younger sister Alyssa and her filmmaker husband Barry has taken up the case along with private investigator Daryl Parker and the new sheriff Mark Johnson. Everyone hopes to find justice for Jennifer. This case was recently highlighted on the show 48 Hours. Hopefully, the renewed interest in the case will generate some leads. If Deborah Lambert’s statement is correct, there could be two other men out there that know something about this case.


At one point, the local D.A. was accused of being involved in the murder of Jennifer Harris. This rumor was completely unfounded but based on the fabricated fact that her uterus was missing. Authorities researched this rumor extensively and found absolutely no connection, but the D.A. still lost his job over this case.

This case was so mishandled that people wonder if it can be solved at this point. I believe it can, but I have many questions. Here are a few of my questions and theories.


– Is it normal for a body to decompose so quickly in the river, or was she partially mutilated before her body was dumped?
– I would like to know what happened to Rob. Did his second marriage fall through? Is his wife/ex-wife still alive?
– Did a forensic team investigate Jennifer’s Jeep?
– Has anyone checked Jennifer’s online footprint? Yes her laptop is missing, but surely her accounts would still be there. Everyone had a MySpace account. If someone remembered Jennifer’s email address then they might be able to reopen the accounts and see who she was talking to at the time of her death.

My suspicion and theory:
Rob Holman claimed Jennifer had called him and wanted to see him on the evening of May 12th. He told the police that he refused to meet her because he had plans with his new girlfriend, but when asked for an alibi Rob said he didn’t have one. He was out driving around for four hours that night.
Ok. What is it then? Was he with his new girlfriend, or was he out driving around? Also, I looked up the historical weather data for that day. It was rainy, overcast, and pop up thunderstorms all evening. Who drives around in thunderstorms? Curious.

I have reached out to Sherriff Johnson and Daryl Parker with questions about this case. I haven’t heard back from them as of this writing, but I will update you all when I get some answers to my questions. As always, if you have any information regarding the murder of Jennifer Harris, please contact the Fannin County Sherriff’s office at (903) 583-2143




THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

NY Post

Texas Cover UPs

Texas Monitor

LawsInTexas.com


Recommended Reading:


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

81XSqT-n3BL._AC_UL320_
“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!

Mob Chairman Taken in Hot Springs, Arkansas


Hot Springs, Arkansas, was known as a safe-haven for gangsters, but one unlucky break would take down the chairman of the mafia in 1936. It seemed Lucky Luciano’s luck had turned.


Salvatore Luciano was born in Sicily on November 24, 1897, and immigrated to Manhattan’s Lower East Side with his family when he was a ten-year-old boy. While the other children tried to learn the English language and pushed hard in school, Salvatore was more interested in street life. By the age of fourteen, he dropped out of school and was running drugs. Officially he worked delivering hats, but this was merely a ruse. The hat boxes also came in handy for hiding his illegal wares.


There are several conflicting stories behind “Lucky’s” nickname. Some tales speak of his outwitting rival gangs, while others tell of his near-death experience at the hands of fellow mobsters. Luciano, himself did little to solve the mystery. Lucky told varying stories througout his lifetime.


After a vicious battle between warring factions of the mob, Luciano devises a bloody scheme to take over the New York Mafia. After killing both of the warring crime bosses, Luciano sets about establishing a “corporation-style” criminal empire.


Luciano, with the help of Meyer Lansky, set up the Commission, which included a representative from each of the five families. This Commission would make joint decisions concerning territory disputes and keep the bloodshed to a minimum. Luciano felts all the violence was getting in the way of making a profit. Don’t be fooled. Luciano was a ruthless and violent as the rest of them, maybe more so. Lucky liked making money and didn’t want anything to get in his way.


By 1936, Lucky Luciano was possibly the most powerful man in America. He ran every type of money-making scheme from drugs and prostitution to bootlegging and murder for hire. One might imagine that Murder Incorporated would have brought down the crime boss, but amazingly it was his lucrative prostitution ring that handed him the Public Enemy #1 status.


New York District Attorney, Thomas E. Dewey set out to take down the mafia kingpin and succeeded in 1936. Lucky Luciano got wind of this and fled New York and headed for the Mafia’s Safe Zone in Hot Springs, Arkansas.


Charles “Lucky” Luciano was hiding in the spa city when he was spotted by a New York detective who happened to be in town on another unrelated case. The mobster was strolling along the promenade behind Bath House Row with the chief of Detectives Herbert “Dutch” Akers. Some sources claim he was behind the Ozark Bathhouse.

I took the following pictures of the great pramanade in my trip to Hot Springs last spring.

The promenade entrance from bathhouse row
Looking back at bathhouse row from the top of the promenade

Dewey was called and a fight began between New York and Hot Springs. Local authorities fought Lucky’s extradition back to the city, but New York finally won and Luciano was shipped back up north. Luciano was sent to prison and eventually deported back to Italy.


Next time you visit the Spa City make sure to check out Robert Raines’ Gangster Museum.

510 Central Ave
Hot Springs, Arkansas
501-318-1717

Further Reading:

Arkansas Online

Wikipedia

NY Daily News

Legends of America

Legends of America #2

 Little Rock Soirée

Luciano On Trial

Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Hot Springs Guest Guide

The Gangster Museum of America


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

NY Post

Texas Cover UPs

Texas Monitor

LawsInTexas.com


Recommended Reading:


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

81XSqT-n3BL._AC_UL320_
“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

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Texas Judge Convicted Of Bribery – Rudy Delgado

Photo courtesy of NYPost

Disgraced Texas judge convicted of bribery, travel act violations, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. One more corrupt judge down, how many more to go?



Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, 66, was convicted of eight counts of bribery last July and faced his sentencing hearing last week. Delgado was convicted of receiving thousands of dollars worth of bribes from former attorney Noe Perez. In turn, Delgado would “go easy” on Perez’s clients.


The bribes ranged from as little as $250 to several thousands of dollars. At one point, Perez gave the judge a $15,000 truck. The scheme ran for several years, while Delgado was the presiding judge of the 93rd District Court of Texas.


There was no mention of the controversy that sparked back in 2017 when it was discovered Hildago County spent over $1,000 on a “judge’s retreat.”
The Texas Monitor reported Delgado was once a candidate for a spot on the 13th District Court of Appeals. Now the disgraced judge is looking forward to five years in prison for his corruption.


What do you think? Do you think this man received his just punishment, or do you feel his crimes warranted a longer sentence?


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

NY Post

Texas Cover UPs

Texas Monitor

LawsInTexas.com


Recommended Reading:


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

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“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
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Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

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It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
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Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

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The I-70 Serial Killer Cold Case

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BY SOURCE (WP:NFCC#4), FAIR USE, HTTPS://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/W/INDEX.PHP?CURID=48155940


Is there such a thing as the perfect crime? The Golden State Killer got away with murder but was still caught 44 years later. But what happens when there isn’t any DNA to link the killer to the icy cold case?


This is what happened in the 26-year-old cold case of the I-70 serial killer. Many people confuse this case with the I-70 Strangler, but that guy was caught. His name was Herb Baumeister, and he targeted gay men.

 This case is strange in the fact that the killer walked into a store, shot his weapon, and walked right back out, leaving behind shell casings and the body of a petite brunette. That’s all. There weren’t any sexual assaults to leave DNA. He didn’t torture his victims. He simply wanted to kill.


April 8, 1992:


A 26-yr-old brunette woman opened the Payless Shoe Source shoe store in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her name was Robin Fuldauer. Register receipts show that sometime between 1:30 pm and 2 pm, a man walked into the store and shot Robin in the back of the head with a .22. A customer walks in around 2 pm and finds the place empty and calls the police. She hadn’t noticed Robin’s body face down in the back room. Strangely only a few dollars was stolen from the cash register. Police wonder if this was a botched robbery attempt. That theory would be dropped quickly when the Phantom Assassin found his next target.

April 11, 1992:

 Three days later & 700 miles east along I-70, the killer strikes again. This time there were two victims. Both women are petite with shoulder-length brown hair. They were busy closing the bridal shop and were waiting for a late customer to arrive.


Pat Majors and Patricia Smith had already shut off the lights and locked the door when a man knocked on the front glass. Patricia Smith unlocked the door with the customer’s order in hand. He had already paid, so she expected to hand it out the door. Instead, she was pushed inside and ordered to the back by the Phantom Assassin. The two women were quickly shot in the head, but before the killer could leave the customer showed up


The gunman tried to force the man into the back room, but instead, the witness entered a dialog with the killer. Somehow he was able to persuade the killer to let him go. The witness fled the scene and called the police. They arrived on site, not knowing what to expect. The two women were quickly found in the back room. One was declared dead at the scene, and the other died later in the hospital. The only clues left behind were the shell casings and the witness description. Surely that would be enough to catch the guy. Right? Wrong.

April 27, 1992:

 Sixteen days later, in Terre Haute, Indiana, the killer strikes yet another petite brunette working alone in Sylvia’s Ceramics. This time the killer gets sloppy. His victim was actually a man named Michael McCowan. The store was named after his mother, Sylvia. He wore his brown hair in a long ponytail and wore earrings. Perhaps the deranged psychopath thought Michael was a female in his haste to appease his inner demons. Who knows? Whatever the case, it was clear that a petite brunette wasn’t safe working alone in a storefront building along I-70.

May 3, 1992:

 One week later, the killer would find his next target. This time it was Nancy Kitzmiller. She was working in a western wear store in St. Charles, Missouri.

May 7, 1992:

 Four days later, the killer shoots Sarah Blessing in Raytown, Missouri. This time there were two witnesses. The suspect walked down the sidewalk looking in the windows and caught the gaze of a young man in an electronics store. The witness noticed the man was wearing a large, heavy coat and thought it was odd in the warm weather. A few moments later, the witness heard a loud pop next door. When he peered out the door, he saw the stranger calmly walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. The man ran next door to find Sarah had been shot. She died on the scene.

 A grocery store employee was out gathering shopping carts from the parking lot and noticed the suspect climbing the slight embankment towards I-70. Both witnesses gave the same descriptions that the police had heard before. He was a white man in his late 20’s – mid 30’s. He was small around 5’9” – 5’10” with sandy blondish hair. Some recall his hair having a dull red tint.

Suddenly the killings seemed to stop leaving the investigators wondering what happened. Maybe the killer had been arrested on an unrelated charge. Police poured over all the surrounding area’s arrest records. One by one, they were all ruled out, and the case was faltering on the brink of becoming a cold case.

September 25, 1993:

 Sixteen months after Sarah Blessing’s murder, a killer surfaces in Texas off I-35. His MO is eerily similar to the I-70 killer, and investigators wonder if they could be the work of one man. Mary Glasscock, another petite brunette, was murdered by a single gunshot to the back of the head with a .22. She had been working alone at the Emporium Antiques store in Fort Worth, Texas.

November 1, 1993:

 Amy Vess was working alone in a dancewear shop when the killer shot her, stole some cash from the register, and left behind a shell casing from a .22.

January 15, 1994:

 Vicki Webb was shot by an unknown killer while she worked alone in a Houston gift shop. A spinal abnormality caused the bullet to ricochet off the vertebrae and lodge in her head. The bullet paralyzed her but didn’t kill her. At that moment, she made a decision that would save her life. She chose to play dead. Webb could hear him rummaging through the cash register, and then he returned to her. He rolled her over and looked at her for a moment. Then he pressed the barrel to her forehead and pulled the trigger. The gun misfired. Almost as an afterthought, he pulled her pants down to her ankles and walked out of the store. Was he not buying her act? Was he planning to assault her sexually and was scared off by something? In later interviews, Webb said she really didn’t think he was aroused by pulling off her pants. It was almost as a last-minute idea. Maybe he was trying to throw off the cops, or maybe his MO was changing. Was he becoming a sexual predator?

 Vicki Webb lived, and after many surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, she was able to walk again. She lived in fear that he would return to finish the job, and for decades, she kept her face out of the newspapers. It wasn’t until an episode of Dark Minds that she allowed an interview. She claims she wants to see her attacker in court to show him that she won. I hope she gets the chance.

Some investigators have a hard time linking the I-70 slayings and the I-35 killings. Here are the facts as I have uncovered them. I believe they are the same man, but I will let you decide.

Location:

 – All the hits were within easy access to a major interstate highway providing an easy escape

 – All the targets were working alone in a small storefront type store

Victims:

 – All the victims were shot execution-style in the back of the head

 – No torture

 – No sexual assault

 – No major reconnaissance beforehand

Weapon: Here is where some investigators question the connection.

 – The I-70 killer used a different .22 than the I-35 killer used

My explanations:

 During the 16-month hiatus, there was a big media blitz. My theory is that he saw something on the news that scared him. So he changed weapons and location.

Below is a wanted poster to show the killer’s gun. If you have any information on this case, please contact the St. Charles P.D. 1-800-800-3510 or contact your local police department.

wanted pic

If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.

Further Reading:

Wikipedia

Unsolved Mysteries

Courier Press

Inside Hook


This week’s Recommended Reading:


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page


Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


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Death by Hanging – Voluntary or Involuntary?


Mississippi Hangings

At 1:30 a.m. on August 22, 1992, Charles and Esther Quinn of Jackson, Mississippi, were awakened by a frantic phone call from Tanisha Love, the girlfriend of Esther’s 18-year-old son, Andre Jones. She told them the Jackson police had arrested Andre.

The following day, the Quinns received another phone call from the police, informing them that Andre had committed suicide while in jail.

The events that led to Andre’s arrest and death are still disputed. Police say it is an open-and-shut case of a depressed young man, fearful of going to prison, taking his life. Others contend Andre’s arrest was racially motivated, and his death was the result of police anger.

Civil rights leaders say the ordeal is a testament to a larger problem of racism in the Mississippi judicial system. They contend the death of Andre Jones shows that even as the 20th century was nearing its end, the 19th-century Jim Crow era was still operating in the Magnolia State.

Andre Jones’ mother, Esther Jones Quinn, was President of the Jackson branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). His stepfather, Charles Quinn, was a Nation of Islam minister.

Many believe the police targeted Andre because of the powerful positions held by his parents.

Around 11:45 p.m. on August 21, Andre and his girlfriend, Tanisha Love, visited the Quinn’s home in Jackson for approximately 45 minutes. From there, Andre planned to drive Tanisha to her home in
Brandon, 14 miles east of Jackson. He had borrowed the truck he was driving from a friend.

At 1:00 a.m., on August 22, near the Brandon city limits, Andre and Tanisha were stopped at a police sobriety checkpoint. Police contend that just short of the checkpoint, Andre tossed something out of the window, which they found to be a.38 caliber handgun. Upon inspection of the truck, police say they found an open beer can. A license plate check revealed the truck license was stolen.

Tanisha’s version of the events differs from the police report. She insists that no gun was tossed out of the window and that no beer can was in the truck. She also says neither she nor Andre knew anything about the truck’s being stolen.

Police asked to see Andre’s license and insurance card, but he did not have them with him. Tanisha said when Andre told them his name, the policemen’s demeanor changed as they ordered Andre out of the truck, handcuffed, and arrested him.

Tanisha believes the white police officers arrested Andre because they knew who his parents were.

Andre’s friends and family are adamant that he was not and had never been a gang member.

At the police station, however, officers claim Andre admitted he was in a gang and showed them gang hand signals, which they said they photographed. Despite repeated requests from family members and the media, police have consistently refused to release the said photographs without explaining.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on August 22, half-an-hour after Tanisha called the Quinns with the news of Andre’s arrest, Andre called his parents from the Brandon police station. He told them he did not know what he was being charged.

At 4:00 a.m. Andre called his parents again to say that he was being transferred to the Simpson County Jail in Mendenhall, 40 miles southwest of Jackson, still not knowing what the charges against him were.

Esther says she spoke with Andre three more times throughout the day. That afternoon, she finally learned the charges against her son: driving a truck whose vehicle identification number had been altered; carrying a concealed weapon; possession of stolen license plates and tags; and driving with an open container of alcohol in an automobile.

Fellow inmates say the police officers who booked Andre directed racial epithets against him. The officers, all of whom were white, deny making any derogatory statements.

When Esther called the Simpson County Jail shortly before midnight on August 22, she says she was casually informed that Andre had committed suicide in the jail’s shower. Authorities said Andre tied his shoelace to an iron grate above the showerhead and hanged himself.

Charles Quinn visited the scene where his stepson was found. Because he estimated the grate to be about eight feet above the floor, Charles believed Andre would have needed something to stand on and that he would have needed someone to hold him up. He also did not think a shoelace could have supported Andre’s body weight.

Dr. Steven Hayne, the state-appointed pathologist who performed Andre’s autopsy, said investigators demonstrated that Andre could have hanged himself unaided.

Dr. Hayne also contended that the manufacturer tested the shoelaces, and their tensile strength was determined sufficient to support Andre’s body weight.

The Quinns hired independent pathologist Dr. James Bryant of Chicago, to examine Andre’s remains. Dr. Bryant came to a different conclusion from Dr. Hayne, concluding it was “highly probable” that Andre had been strangled.

Dr. Bryant said in most suicide hangings, the ligature mark is along the side of the neck and does not go all the way around. In Andre’s case, the ligature marking went along the side of his neck, all the way to the back where it crisscrossed. For Dr. Bryant, this suggested someone had come from behind and wrapped the ligature around Andre’s neck.

Dr. Hayne disagreed, saying the knot imprint area would be in the hairline, which would act as a
buffer preventing the imprint from being present on the upper back surface of the neck. Dr. Bryant counters by saying that because Andre’s hair was short, the crisscross marking was not in the hairline, and no knot marks were found elsewhere.

The official autopsy report completed by Dr. Hayne listed no evidence of bruising on Andre’s neck or anywhere else on his body. However, Dr. Bryant’s autopsy found that Andre had sustained bruising under one of his eyes and on his shoulders. He says the bruising could have occurred at the time he died or could have been inflicted earlier that day.

Dr. Bryant believes Andre endured some sort of blunt force trauma during the time he was in jail. He concluded Andre was killed by someone who attempted to make his death look like a suicide.

However, Dr., Hayne’s ruling Andre’s death a suicide was supported by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S Attorney’s Office, the F.B.I., the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Mississippi and the state Medical Examiner of Mississippi.

Many people, particularly Civil Rights leaders, believe the death of Andre Jones was an example of incompetence, corruption, and perhaps racism in the Mississippi criminal justice system.

From 1988-93, at least 48 inmates, both black and white, died in Mississippi jails. Each death was by hanging, and all were ruled suicides.

In March of 1993, a coalition of Civil Rights groups conducted hearings in Jackson, Mississippi, regarding the jail deaths. Those testifying included the families of both black and white Mississippi inmates who had died under questionable circumstances.

Following the hearings, upon recommendation of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Justice Department opened a full investigation. Overseen by Attorney General Janet Reno, the Justice Department cited Mississippi’s jail system for what it called “gross deficiencies,” particularly unsanitary conditions and untrained employees. However, the report found no evidence that the hangings, including that of Andre Jones, were anything other than suicides.

In July of 1993, Andre’s parents filed two lawsuits: one against the state of Mississippi, charging wrongful death based on the intentional infliction of emotional distress; and the other against the federal government on the grounds that Andre’s civil rights had been violated. Both lawsuits were dismissed.

The death of Andre Jones and those of many other Mississippi inmates are still debated.

Civil rights leaders, as well as many other people, continue to believe the principles of the Jim Crow era, are still being followed by Mississippi authorities sworn to uphold the current laws. They believe the deaths of the inmates, including Andre Jones, were lynchings.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.

Further Reading:

• The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi)
New York Times
Unsolved Mysteries


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news.When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


This week’s Recommended Reading:


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer


Exploding the Phone


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SIGN UP HERE


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online or can be verified by the guest blogger. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is innocent until PROVEN guilty. I do not own the photos used in this post. All photos are used under the fair use act. No copyright infringement intended. Any and all opinions are that of the guest blogger and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Synova Ink©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

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Biography of an ex-gangster from Chicago
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The FBI’s Top 10 Art Crimes & More
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The tale of two judges; one just and the other a murderer
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Now you can own all of Synova’s Seriously Stupid Criminal Series in one box set

Click on the pictures to read more about each title and order your copy!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!

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