Ruthlessness Knows No Gender – Louise Hathcock

Photo courtesy of Find A Grave

“I’d just as soon have Al Capone gunning for me as Louise Hathcock” – Deputy Peatie Plunk

She’s been called the Queen of the State Line Mob. She’s been called ruthless and bloodthirsty, and she definitely wasn’t a “Mob Moll.” Louise Hathcock was the mobster, and the local men were her companions.

Laura Louise Anderson was born on Wednesday, March 19, 1919, to Shelton and Bessie Anderson. After the stock market crash in 1929 and her father leaving in 1935, Louise was moved to McNairy County, Tennessee. By eighteen, Louise decided her life was going to be different. She refused to be dirt poor, and she would do anything to change it. With her mother’s help, Louise landed a job working as a bookkeeper for Nelson Timlake at the State Line Club. Tennessee would never be the same.

The precocious teenager flirted with every man that came near and found she liked the game of “conquering” men, but there was one that seemed oblivious to her advances; Jack Hathcock. Of course, forbidden fruit is always the most enticing, so soon Louise began pursuing Jack relentlessly. He too would fall prey to her feminine wiles, and eventually asked her to marry him. There was one problem with this proposal. She wasn’t sure she wanted Jack now. She had lost interest, but he was on his way to the top, and she wanted to be rich and powerful. Louise finally agreed to become Mrs. Hathcock.

Now we have a name change, but what changed Louise from a money-hungry, promiscuous teenager to the ruthless mobster? That process would take time, bloodshed, and a lot of pain. While Jack promised her a life filled with excitement, money, and good times, Louise Hathcock found bloodshed, brutality, male domination, and fear.

One of many breaking points came in February 1940. Louise had grown tired of Jack’s domestic abuse and his utter domination. Louise had been stepping out on Jack, and this time Nelson Timlake found out about it. Nelson was like a serrogate father to Jack after his own father died, so this infuriated him as if she had been cheating on his own son.

Nelson told Jack what happened and where to find his wife. Jack and a friend tore out of town to chase down the wayward bride. No one was going to make Jack Hathcock look like a punk. After a brutal ordeal, Louise was nearly killed and ended up in the hospital. Of course, the sheriff was paid off, and the beaten woman was “encouraged” to drop all charges.

After this brutal encounter with her husband and his friends, Louise knew she would not let herself get into such a situation again. No man was going to brutalize the 5’2″ Louise again. Fear kept her in line for a little while, but this prison wouldn’t hold the fire growing inside her. The bouncers would make sure Louise didn’t get to close to any of the customers and kept her under a watchful eye.

Instead of turning away from the violence, Louise began to embrace it, and her eager mind began soaking up the knowledge of the state line’s inner workings. It might take awhile, but eventually Louise Hathcock would become the mobster and the men around her would become her “prisoners.”

Fights, murders, and robberies were commonplace at the State Line Club, and Louise began carrying a small ball-pean hammer around in her apron to fix the pictures as they were knocked off the walls. Soon she began using the hammer on the heads of her clients as well. As a teenager, Buford Pusser actually witnessed her beat a client to death with that hammer. When the “paid off” sheriff arrived, he was told the man died of a heart attack.

In January 1949 Jack and Louise Hathcock acquired the State Line Club, the Rainbow Room, and Foam City from Nelson Timlake. She was now one step closer to her dreams of being out from under the thumb of domineering men. Her marriage was a sham and everyone, but Jack knew it, but Louise made sure no one could prove her extramarital affairs.

Louise worked hard to keep her affairs a secret until James Everett “Pee Wee” Walker came into the picture. While “Pee Wee” was married to a beautiful woman, the lure of the powerful Louise Hathcock drew him in. On the other hand, Louise found out what it was like to fall entirely in love with someone. Now she was in Jack’s shoes because although Pee Wee talked of leaving his wife for her, he really had no intention of doing so.

The affair carried on for over a year before Nelson Timlake found out about it. This would be the beginning of the end for Jack and Louise. Nelson called in some “boys” to take care of Pee Wee, and meanwhile, Nelson went had had dinner with Jack. While they were there, Jack happily talked about his plans for building a new club, and more importantly, there were plenty of witnesses to provide an alibi.

On June 13, 1957, Nelson’s thugs found Pee Wee and beat him to a bloody pulp before shooting him execution-style. Now no one in his right mind would ever mess with Louise again. This would be the final straw for Louise. Something inside her died along that dirt path with her lover. She quickly divorced Jack Hathcock and over a short period of time acquired part ownership in the Shamrock Motel.

Louise took charge of the infamous motel and at one particular business meeting told her employees how much she hated the “Yankees.” She said the south may have lost the Civil War, but as far as she was concerned if a Yankee walked into the Shamrock they were fair game and she wanted every cent they carried in with them. If her “girls” couldn’t seduce the men into the trailers out back or talk them into gambling away all their money, they would be beaten and robbed before their stay at the hotel ended.

If anyone complained to the police, their bodies would be found at the bottom of the lake. Louise wanted money, and she would do anything for it. As far as she was concerned “Yankees” were subhuman, and they deserved to lose every dime they had. While Louise’s power grew day by day, her mind and emotions began to deteriorate, and soon hard liquor was her constant companion. It had been her crutch since marrying Jack, but now it was all that seemed to keep her going. That, and her hatred for Jack Hathcock. She continually plotted ways to kill her ex-husband, and on May 22, 1964, Louise hatched her evil plan and nothing was going to stop her, not even a beating.

Louise literally had one of her men beat her up then she had someone call Jack to come over. He walked into an ambush, but the bruises on Louise won her a free pass of self-defense. Now Louise was in charge, and no one could stop her.

Murders, extortion, prostitution was commonplace, and soon the law enforcement was waging war on the state line. When Buford Pusser became sheriff, the war escalated drastically. Although he’s credited with cleaning up the state line, there were a lot of law enforcement departments trying to clean up the corruption, but B.P. would be the one to take out the ruthless Louise Hathcock in a blaze of gunfire.

Her life spiraled out of control in the years after Jack’s murder, and she was facing some serious jail time. There weren’t enough of “her people” in law enforcement anymore to buy her way out of it this time. By now her looks had faded, she was broken, and she probably figured it was about over. Maybe that’s why she pulled a gun on a sheriff. Perhaps it was one last act of defiance, or maybe it was suicide by cop. We will never know.

It was a stormy night when a couple of Yankees turned in to the Shamrock Hotel looking for a place to ride out the storm. They were welcomed in warmly, and something slipped into their drinks. Soon they were unconscious in their room when a dark figure moved inside. When they awoke in the morning, all of their money and her purse was missing. The couple hurried to the counter in a panic, hoping to find sympathy and support. Instead, they found a very drunk Louise Hathcock spewing out venom and curses. The terrified couple flew out the door when Hathcock reached into her apron. The police were called from a payphone.

February 1, 1966, Sheriff Buford Pusser, Deputy Pettie Plunk, and Deputy Jim Moffett arrived with warrants in hand to search the Shamrock. This wasn’t the first time they had complaints of robberies there. This would be the last time, though.

When the lawmen walked in, they were greeted with a barrage of cursing that would make a sailor blush. Intoxicated wasn’t a strong enough word for the firestorm that stood behind the counter. They tried to explain they were looking for a missing purse, but Louise started ranting about a car. She wasn’t making any sense. After a few moments, she asks Buford Pusser to have a private chat. He took the search warrants and followed her to apartment one. That’s where she lived. He had no idea what was running through her head as she fingered the cold metal object in the pocket of her sweater.

After isolating the big man, she turned on him with her snub-nosed .38 caliber and fired a shot at the sheriff. He seeing the glint of gunmetal dropped down onto the bed. In her drunken state, she missed his head, and the bullet ended up firing through the window and wedging itself into a post outside. She leveled her gun between the lawman’s eyes and fired again, but it misfired giving Buford time to draw is 41 Magnum and fire back. He didn’t miss, but she kept pulling the gun back up until she took three bullets and landed on the floor. There in the very spot where she plotted the bloodshed of her ex-husband, Louise Hathcock faded into history.

Some conspiracy theorists like to try and say Buford Pusser shot her of his own accord, but I tend to believe she was finished and she knew it. Louise loved being the big boss. She loved the finer things in life. She wouldn’t survive a lengthy prison sentence. To me, a non-local observer, it seems she committed suicide by cop.

A grand jury cleared the sheriff of any wrong-doing, and in a later interview, Pettie Plunk was quoted saying “I’d compare her with Al Capone. I’d just as soon have Al Capone gunning for me as Louise Hathcock.” Maybe that’s the type of legacy she wanted to leave behind. Who knows? What changed this poor girl desperate for money into a ruthless killer? We may never know, and I don’t claim to have the education in psychology to explain it. Whatever the case, Louise Hathcock’s name will be remembered.


THIS 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:

Louise Hathcock: Queen of the State Line Mob by: Robert Broughton and Revonda Foster Kirby

Ghost Tales Of The State Line Mob By: Robert Broughton

Wikipedia

This week’s Recommended Reading:

Innocence Destroyed – Timothy Guy


He was a gentle soul with a body of an 18-year-old but the mind of a child. Tim never met a stranger and loved horses. When he got a job tending the horses at Sleepy Fox Farm, Tim was overjoyed. He would live on the farm during the week and return home on the weekends. One Friday night he didn’t return. Thirty-two years later, the father still searches for his innocent boy.



Timothy James Guy lived in Snellville, Georgia with his family until the age of eighteen when he got a job at a farm in Forsyth County. It was twenty-five miles from home, but their boy would be safe among the good ol’ boys at the Sleepy Fox Farm. Tim called home nearly every night, and he would come back most weekends.


The first two months of his employment went well without any major hiccups, and then Tim came home for the holidays. He was home for December and part of January. After the holiday rush subsided Timothy went back to work on the farm, but three weeks later he would vanish.


The last person who reportedly seen Tim was the foreman named Phil Klinger. He told authorities that he saw Tim leaving with some guy named Jeff around 9:30 pm on February 6, 1987. He said he didn’t know Jeff’s last name, but he drove a 1972-1974 Chevy Impala. No one could find this phantom, Jeff, to question him about Tim’s disappearance and many believe he is nothing more than a cover story.


Although it wasn’t officially stated, the rumor mill claims there was a lot of marijuana on Sleepy Fox Farm. Now whether this means it was grown there, or that some of the workers were tangled up in the ordeal no one really knows. Unfortunately, this angle wasn’t investigated in-depth, and Tim’s poor father was left to conduct his own research. No parent should have to do this awful work, but he was determined to find answers. Some of them that came wasn’t easy to swallow.


One such informant told the grieving father that his son had been tossed into a wood chipper and thrown into the river. What kind of human says such things to a father? Horrible. Could it be true? Was this the hideous fate of such an innocent boy? Or, was this a story fed to the informant to keep the determined father from digging into the drug dealings in the area?


Most armchair sleuths agree that the mysterious Jeff never existed and turn a curious eye towards the foreman. But, if Klinger were guilty of murder wouldn’t the other ranch hands come forward? They might if they weren’t all related. Of course, everyone in this country is innocent until proven guilty, but Klinger was proven guilty of many things a short time after Tim disappeared.

In March 1992, three children were removed from the home of Phil Klinger for abuse. He and two other adult residents were arrested on drug charges and firearms charges.



Authorities seemed to take Klinger at his word and continued to search for the elusive Jeff. To make matters worse, Tim’s father, Warren, claims the authorities never searched the ranch in depth. Now the farm no longer exists. A large housing development stands in its place. If every homeowner on the property gave their permission to dig up their yards, it would still be almost impossible to find any remains.


Like most cold cases, theories abound about the disappearance of Timothy Guy, but here are a few facts that we know for certain. We know Tim called home on Wednesday before he disappeared. He didn’t call on Thursday and didn’t come home on Friday. Was he already missing? There goes another theory. They seem to jump in from every direction. We do know that when it was time to come home, Timothy usually got a ride from his parents or another family member. Phantom Jeff was not a family member.


At the time of this writing, Georgia has 233 cases of unidentified persons. After reading through case after case, I found one that might be a fit. It is ME/C Case # 88-1994. On October 18, 1988, a human scapula was found in Peachtree Creek. I’m told this is only about ten miles from the ranch. Namus says it could be a part of Unidentified # 87-0193. I am wondering if it isn’t Timothy Guy. I have submitted a tip to see if the investigators have tested the DNA against that which was provided for Tim. I will let you know what I find out.


There are a few other cases that might be a good fit for Timothy’s description, but the one below is startlingly accurate. It was sent to me by Tim’s father during our interview process.


GBI’s Case #U274450954
shows a strong resemblance to Timothy Guy. The remains were found on October 29, 1987, in Collins, GA. Could this forensic reconstruction be Tim?


After 32 years, Tim’s family is still searching for answers. If you have any information on this case, please contact the GBI Tipline at 1-800-597-TIPS.


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:

Reddit

Atlanta Constitution, May 27, 1991

NAMUS

Unidentified Case 88-1994

GBI Unidentified Pg

Timothy’s Facebook Pg

Georgia Missing Persons Pg


This week’s Recommended Reading:


Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit


The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter

For those who like to read gritty crime novels, check out the latest from my friend and fellow writer, Wayne Clingman. 


Narco Saints


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.

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Come Quick!

52 Years Since Ronnie Anderson Was Slaughtered By the Dixie Mafia

Ashton Kutcher Look-Alike Slaughtered By Dixie Mafia

PHOTO COURTESY OF NEIMANLAB.ORG

It has been 52 years today since this disabled boy was used as a pawn in a sadistic game and then slaughtered.


Unlike his handsome Hollywood look-alike, Ronnie Anderson was tragic from the beginning. At the age of three, Polio ravaged his legs, leaving him dependent on leg braces to stand and move. He was a beautiful boy looking for love and acceptance but found it hard to find friends. While they were all outside playing, he would sit in the window and watch. This picture of him crying for fellowship with his peers still haunts his sister five decades later.

At the age of 17, Ronnie decided to move out of his father’s house and share expenses with an older boy. He got his first job working at McDonald’s, and it seemed as if life were about to begin for this lonely polio victim. If he could have only seen into the future a few months, he would have stayed home with his dad.

Unfortunately, the poor guy was in such need of approval; he became an easy target for malicious predators.

A phone rang at Sheriff Buford Pusser’s house in the early hours of August 12, 1967. It was a simple drunk and disorderly call, but his wife Pauline didn’t want him to go alone. Ever since Buford killed Louise Hathcock, he had been receiving threatening calls. One caller claimed, “the sheriff would be hunted down like a dog and shot.” An article in the Daily News would go into more detail about those threats. Unfortunately, by then, the slaughter had already begun.

Buford & Pauline Pusser drove out to the scene expecting a few drunks to be causing a ruckus. What waited for them in the shadows behind the church was more violent, and Pauline Pusser was the target. (This wouldn’t be known until recently when an anonymous witness came forward with information.) The sheriff had stepped over a line when he killed Hathcock and now Towhead White was going to avenge the death of his lover. White was in prison, but he had plenty of associates to handle the job. One such associate was Kirksey Nix, and another happened to be the roommate of Ronnie Anderson.

The original plan was to have “the little crippled boy” (or so he was referenced to by this witness) to knock on the door and lure Pauline out of the house. The crew of killers would take care of the rest. Of course, Ronnie had no way of knowing what would happen. The plan was changed when they saw Pauline get in the car with her husband.

Once the sheriff’s car passed the church, the murder-wagon pulled out behind them. (Some reports claim there were two dark-colored cars, and others claim there was one. I could not find definite proof of two cars although I have a pretty good idea what happened to that dark-green Cadillac a few weeks later.) As the car of thugs caught up to the sheriff, a passenger opened fire upon the Pussers with a .30 caliber automatic rifle.

Pauline was hit in the head and slumped down in the seat next to Buford. He ducked instinctively and slammed on the gas pedal. The car lurched forward, and he struggled to keep it between the ditches. The firing squad followed hard, but a couple of miles down the road it looked like the rugged sheriff had lost his tail. He was wrong. Buford had pulled over to check on his wife when the firing squad emerged out of the darkness and the onslaught of ammunition peppered the police car once again.

A bullet slammed into Buford’s jawbone, causing it to explode, and he slumped over in the seat. The mighty 6′ 6″ former wrestler was down for the count. Silence filled the pre-dawn air around the car. His attackers were gone. As mental clarity returned to the dying man, he mumbled a call for help into the police radio. Blinded by blood and fueled by rage, the sheriff drove himself to the nearby hospital, but it was too late for his beloved Pauline.

Life in McNairy County would never be the same.

Bloodlust was in the air, & revenge was coming.

Buford Pusser was wheeled into the emergency surgery. He would undergo a dozen of them over the next 18 days of torment. His detractors railed on him for missing his wife’s funeral, and they still do to this day. The original newspaper articles claim he was still in the hospital during the funeral. Buford Pusser was a roughneck, backwoods, in your face type of sheriff, but something changed within him during those weeks in the hospital. He went in a controversial lawman, but he came out looking for blood.

Can you blame the man for wanting to avenge the slaughter of his wife?

At first, Buford claimed to know his attackers and even named a few names, but by the end of his recovery, he had changed his story. Was the trama too much for him, or was he going to exact his own revenge outside the confines of the law? Lost in this cruel game of vigilante justice was the murder of the pawn.

Back at home in Gulfport, Mississippi, Ronnie Anderson had gotten an invitation to stay a few days with his older sister Phyllis. He was excited to go and desperately wanted to get away from the terrors of his roommate. He was last seen packing and ironing his clothes. Within an hour, he was dead.

Who killed the sweet Ashton Kutcher look-alike?

Dan Anderson got notified almost immediately after returning home from visiting Ronnie.

“Ronnie tried to kill himself.”

Dan rushed to the hospital only to be met in the waiting room by his ex-wife. (Rose also happened to be the roommate’s aunt.) She explained that Ronnie had died from a gunshot wound to the face. It didn’t make any sense. How could all of this happen within an hour or so?

Story #1:

Ronnie fought with his girlfriend Cathy, so he walked upstairs and shot himself in the face with a .410 shotgun.

Story #2:
Ronnie and his roommate had just returned from buying Ronnie some “deck shoes” when a friend stops by with two guns. The .410 was supposed to be missing a firing pin and was inoperable. Somehow this was a terrible mistake, and Ronnie’s death was from an accidental shooting.
Problems with both theories:

As you know, Ronnie was a polio victim in a bulky leg brace. This disease also left him with one leg quite a bit smaller than the other one. So, buying shoes was a complicated process. First, he had to purchase two separate pairs in different sizes, and then they had to be sent to his doctor to have them fitted with special plates to hook to his braces. There was no way Ronnie could wear so-called “deck shoes” in the first place.

Also, supposedly, Ronnie placed the gun between his feet and pulled the trigger to shoot himself in the face. With his reduced strength in his legs and feet and the brace, this would be impossible. Ronnie couldn’t hold anything between his feet.

Another strange issue:

Why didn’t anyone call the police? Instead, the roommate called his aunt, who washed Ronnie, got rid of the weapon and then took him to the hospital. Of course, the poor boy died in route. He never had a chance.

The night before the funeral, Phyllis was so distraught with grief her doctor prescribed sleeping pills to help her rest, but the nightmares continued. A once beautiful boy stood headless outside her bedroom window banging trying to get in. Phyllis tried desperately to pry open the glass, but it wouldn’t budge. This reoccurring dream would haunt her for years.

During her tormented slumber, a woman calls the house frantically asking to speak with Phyllis. Her husband refuses to wake her and ask to take a message. The woman refuses but finally, she breaks down and says her name is Cathy.

“They killed him. They killed him,” she gasps into the phone just before the line goes dead.

After the funeral, Phyllis took all her theories to law enforcement, but they refused to class the case as anything other than suicide. Her father, Dan Anderson worked as a deputy in the area and knew of the corruption, but found his hands tied. What was he to do? They had killed his son; now, his daughter was in their sights if he dared to fight it. Every time she called into the police department, Phyllis would receive a call from her dad immediately afterward.

“Leave it alone before you get someone else killed,” he demanded on one such call.

At this time no one, including Phyllis, had even heard of the Dixie Mafia. Fifty years later, a witness stepped forward, claiming to know the truth about Ronnie’s death. In reality, he was lured to the docks, beaten to death by a group of guys, and his roommate shot him in the face to stage a suicide.

When will his blood be avenged?

Last Monday we learned that the RICO Act wasn’t used on the Italian Mafia first. It was used against a Dixie Mafia kingpin out of Georgia in 1976. After much publicity, many hours of investigations, and the word of a few witnesses that have recently stepped forward, Phyllis is now hoping to use this great law to find justice for her brother.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all-inclusive source listing.

Further Reading:

Daily Journal

Wikimapia

Synova’s Youtube Video


This Week’s Recommended Dixie Mafia Book:


Ghost Tales of The State Line Mob: Novel Based on Actual Events


Dixie Mafia Gangster: The Audacious Criminal Career of Willie Foster Sellers: A True-Crime Story

For those who like to read gritty crime novels, check out the latest from my friend and fellow writer, Wayne Clingman. 


Narco Saints


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.

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Come Quick!


Ashton Kutcher Look-Alike Slaughtered By Dixie Mafia

Committed to Kill – Tatjana “Tanya” Kopric

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Guest Post by Ian Granstra

September 18, 1980

Thirty-five-year-old Tatjana “Tanya” Kopric had accomplished a lot during her short time in America. Five years after emigrating from the former Yugoslavia to study medicine, she was a practicing resident at the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Kopric was dedicated to her profession and was greatly liked and respected by patients and colleagues. They, along with friends, believed the intelligent and attractive career woman had only one flaw: her choice of suitors.
Tanya fell in love with Richard Bocklage, a college student ten years her junior. The couple was a study in contrast. Whereas Tanya worked hard and was dedicated to her profession, Richard had little ambition and was barely making the grade.
Richard Bocklage could not accept responsibility for his failures, nor could he commit himself to his studies. Instead, the struggling collegiate became committed to killing.

A gynecologist who worked with Tanya introduced her to his cousin Richard, a University of Missouri Pharmacy student, in March of 1980.
A whirlwind romance ensued during which Richard lavished Tanya with gifts and compliments. Within a month, he moved into Tanya’s apartment; two months later, the doctor and the pharmacy student were engaged.
Tanya was bubbling with excitement at the prospect of spending her life with the dashing younger man and future pharmacist.

Many of Tanya’s friends, however, had misgivings about Bocklage. Though he showered her with praise, those closest to Tanya believed he was sponging off her financially. Tanya was making a good living, and Bocklage was the proverbial “starving college student.” He was using Tanya’s credit cards more for purchasing toys such as hunting and fishing gear instead of buying college materials. Bocklage told Tanya he was committed to her, but he was clearly not as committed to his education. As he was spent more time with Tanya, he spent less time in class. Unbeknownst to Tanya, midway through his sophomore year at Missouri, her beau was on the brink of flunking out.

The skipping of classes finally caught up to Bockalge on July 19, 1980. That afternoon, he opened a letter from University of Missouri officials informing him that he was academically ineligible.
A desperate Bocklage pleaded for Tanya to use her connections in the admissions department to get him re-admitted. She refused, saying the matter was his responsibility.
Tanya tolerated Bockage’s mood swings for three weeks, hoping her fiance would get his life in order. When it became apparent that that was only wishful thinking, Tanya finally conceded defeat. She knew she had made a mistake and realized her friends and colleagues were right when they said that she could do better in her choice of men.
Part of what had attracted Tanya to Richard was what she thought was a shared love of the medical field and of helping others. She looked forward to her fiance, working in a field related to her chosen profession. It was now clear, however, that Richard did not have the work ethic to be a pharmacist.
On September 2, 1980, Tanya broke off the engagement and ordered Bocklage out of her apartment.

Increasingly desperate, Bocklage wrote a letter to University of Missouri administrative officials, begging them for one more chance. On September 18, however, the admissions committee unanimously denied his appeal. The committee’s secretary called to tell him of the decision shortly after 3:00 p.m.  At 3:45 p.m., two professors saw Bocklage driving toward the Dean’s office. He was then seen by several people inside of the building, carrying a large manila folder as he anxiously roamed the hallway. Although he was told that the Dean was out and likely would not be returning that day, Bocklage insisted on waiting for him. He did so for nearly an hour before leaving.

Three hours later, Tanya returned to her apartment after work. A woman saw Bocklage walk up to her as she exited her car and shoot her point-blank in the head three times. By the time police and paramedics arrived, she was dead. The witness had taken cover behind a parked car, and Bocklage did not see her. She recognized him as the man who had dated Dr. Kopric. The gun used to kill Tanya was determined to be a .45 automatic. Police found that Bocklage had purchased such a gun several days earlier, but it was not found in his apartment. Some believe the gun was the object which Bocklage concealed under the manila folder, and that he had planned to kill the University of Missouri Dean of Admissions as well.

A warrant was issued for Bocklage’s arrest, charging him with the first-degree murder of his former fiance. Six days later, on September 24, Royal Canadian Mounted Police found Bocklage’s car in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, over 2,000 miles from Kansas City and over 1,100 from International Falls, the northernmost point of Minnesota. Two area residents saw Bocklage before he dropped out of sight. In the ensuing 39 years, there have been few leads to his whereabouts.

Two months after Tanya was murdered, her parents in Yugoslavia received a letter postmarked September 16, 1980, two days before their daughter’s murder. The letter was typed, but the address had been written in Bocklage’s handwriting. The letter was a vengeful diatribe written in the tone of a manifesto. It read in part, “Dear. Kopric family. Your daughter Tanya Kopric has been executed in Kansas City, Missouri. She has caused so much grief, anguish, and turmoil to so many Americans that this act was necessary. Her execution was inevitable.”

Some believe Bocklage may have committed suicide in the rugged terrain near where his car was found in Canada, but searches failed to find any evidence. Bocklage is a native of St. Louis and his parents have both died. A person on “Websleuths” says the FBI was at both of his parents’ funerals to see if he would show, but with no luck. The Websleuth writer also says Bocklage has a sister who still lives in St. Louis.

Richard Bocklage has eluded detection for nearly 40 years and remains one of Kansas City’s longest sought fugitives. Richard Bocklage would today be 63-years-old. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Kansas City at 816-234-5000 or the Kansas City FBI office at 816-512-8200.



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:

Unsolved Mysteries

Websleuths

America’s Most Wanted


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


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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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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1st RICO Indictment WAS NOT against the Italians. It was against the Dixie Mafia

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Screenshot taken from https://www.gatewaymacon.org/top-5-lists/top-5-surprising-facts-5.cms

For those of you who don’t believe in the existence of the Dixie Mafia consider this. Three full years before the RICO act was used in New York to take down the Italian Mafia, it was used in Georgia to take down Dixie Mafia Kingpin John “J.C.” Hawkins.


Everyone has heard how the U.S. Attorney’s office used the RICO act to attack the Italian Mafia and ultimately take it down. Although it still exists to this day, the Mafia isn’t nearly as powerful as it was back in the early 1970s. Even Wikipedia claims the RICO act was first used in 1979 to take down the Italians.


Screenshot 2019-09-21 at 11.39.44 AM

The screenshot is taken from Wikipedia

While diving deeper into my research of the Dixie Mafia, I found a startling truth. The RICO Act wasn’t used first on the Italians. It was used against a Dixie Mafia Kingpin named J.C. Hawkins out of Georgia three full years before the highly-publicized case in New York. Although the Dixie Mafia doesn’t have the structure and organization of the famous Italian crew, this grassroots criminal enterprise spans the southern states like weeds in a garden.
The term “Dixie Mafia” was coined in the 1960s by Mississippi State Police investigator, Rex Armistead. He hoped it would draw the attention of police and the media to the connections between the criminal factions. For decades everyone argued over the existence of the Italian mafia before it became indisputable. Now the same pattern is happening about the Dixie Mafia. While they have been called everything from the Cornbread La Cosa Nostra to the Hillbilly Mob, the fact that there is a criminal organization in the south should be indisputable. Why are people still arguing over this point? I contend Hollywood glamorized the Italian organization and they haven’t touched the southern counterpart.


More about the first RICO indictment:

The RICO indictment case out of Macon, GA started with a rock group called the Allman Brothers band.

The_Allman_Brothers_Band_(1972).jpeg

Photo courtesy of Capricorn Records – itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39713595

They were called the “Godfathers of Southern Rock,” but now drug dealers with ties to the Georgia faction of the Dixie Mafia will destroy what’s left of the band.


The Allman Brothers Band had reached the lofty heights of stardom by 1976, but those heights were hard to maintain with ties to Georgia’s faction of the Dixie Mafia. Drugs, band member disputes, lavish living, and one giant push by law enforcement spelled the end of the famous rock group.

The band that would be later known for hits like Ramblin Man and Midnight Rider was formed by two brothers Gregg and Duane in 1969. The next seven years would be plagued with trouble, but they would finally scratch their way to the top. Things started falling apart, however, when the eldest brother Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971. The band somehow kept it together and seemed stronger than ever, but it wouldn’t last long.

Gregg Allman’s former bodyguard and now road manager, John “Scooter” Herring was allegedly supplying the band and others with narcotics. His activities and his ties to Dixie Mafia Kingpin J. C. Hawkins had come under scrutiny by law enforcement. Scooter’s supplier was a pharmacist Joey Fuchs. At one point Fuchs found his pharmacy stock so obviously low, that he staged a robbery to cover the drugs he had stolen and sold to Herring. 

Scooter Herring and Joey Fuchs were arrested and indicted on May 30, 1976. Witnesses were called in from around the music industry including Gregg Allman. Everyone in the band refused to “rat out” their friend, but Allman facing charges of his own agreed to testify against his former manager. This action was the final straw that broke up the group. 

The feds were happy to take down Fuchs and Herring, but their main target was the big boss J.C. Hawkins. They would get their chance in a much-publicized RICO trial in July 1976. Hawkins and the crew were convicted of several racketeering charges, drug charges and much more. During the trial, the rockstar Gregg Allman had to be under heavy guard. Hawkins, who had a history of taking out witnesses, had put a price on Allman’s head. $100,000 was a lot of money back in 1976, and that’s what the kingpin was willing to pay if someone took out Allman.

Scooter Herring was convicted of five drug charges and sentenced to 75 years in prison. Herring who had also been a former bodyguard for J.C. Hawkins was now behind bars. He refused to snitch on anyone, but Fuchs and Allman didn’t share his sentiment. Viewing Allman’s testimony as an act of betrayal, the band officially broke up. They would reunite on a few occasions over the next few decades, but they would never achieve the same level of success as their first run in the early 1970s.

An appeals court later overturned Herring’s conviction. He would face another trial in 1979 where he would plead guilty to lesser charges and receive five years. Eventually, Scooter received a presidential pardon from Jimmy Carter, and he ended up serving only three years. Many believed he took the rap for Allman, but there wasn’t any proof. Several southern rock groups performed charity concerts and raised the money to foot Scooter’s legal bill. Scooter went on working in the music industry and was beloved by all who knew him. No one will ever know if the allegations were true or false, but Herring spent the rest of his life on the fringes of Rock and Roll as a manager for different bands.

Gregg Allman wrote a book titled My Cross to Bear in later in life. He says he was told by Scooter to pin everything on the big guy. Of course, there is no way to verify this claim. Was the ex-bodyguard still trying to protect the drug-addled celebrity, or was he actually guilty? Who knows? Whatever the case may be, the feds ended up taking down their man Hawkins with the first RICO trial. 


THIS 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:

gangsterreport.com/

sofa-king-cool-magazine.com

recoveryunplugged.com

wikipedia

openjurist.org

groups.google.com

gatewaymacon.org

texarkanagazette.com

newspapers.com


This week’s Recommended Reading:


My Cross to Bear


Dixie Mafia Gangster: The Audacious Criminal Career of Willie Foster Sellers: A True-Crime Story

For those who like to read gritty crime novels, check out the latest from my friend and fellow writer, Wayne Clingman. 


Narco Saints


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

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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!


Screenshot 2019-09-21 at 11.42.03 AM

Left Beside The Road- The Franklin Scott “Scotty” Brown

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Photo courtesy of the Justice for Scott Brown Facebook page  


A maroon van sat parked by the road near the county line for at least two days. No one knew the driver lay slumped over in the seat with a bullet hole in his chest. The driver’s side was riddled with bullets, but only one found its mark killing Scotty Brown. The interior had been wiped clean, leading investigators to wonder if the young musician was killed elsewhere and driven to this location. Ten years after this Tennessee murder, the family still has no answers.


Franklin Scott Brown, 33 was found dead in his van along the side of Lee Brown Rd near the Dickson/Hickman county line. Earnest Poteet was out delivering newspapers in the early morning hours of August 12, 2009, when he noticed the van. Poteet had seen the van parked in the same location the day before and decided to check it out. Peering through the driver’s side window, he immediately noticed the glass was shattered. Inside slumped over in the seat; he found the body of Scott Brown.
Police arrived on the scene at 3:20 am and began investigating the site. Brown was taken by ambulance to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, and the van was towed to the lab for forensic testing. During this process, investigators found the interior of the vehicle to be suspiciously devoid of fingerprints and DNA evidence. It looked as if someone had wiped the interior clean. If he was shot while driving, the van would not have been neatly parked by the side of the road with the ignition and headlights off. If he had been shot while sitting in the vehicle, then there would have been blood splatter behind him on the seat. None of those things were present leading investigators to wonder if he was killed elsewhere and left at this location.

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Photo courtesy of The Dickson Herald, August 16, 2019


STRANGE CLUE: The license plates on the van were reported stolen the day before Scott’s body was found. 


Scotty Brown was born on June 20, 1976. He was an avid musician who enjoyed playing the guitar and writing music. Brown had battled with an addiction problem and spent some time in jail, but was back home and getting his life together. He worked as a mechanic and helped care for his paralyzed brother. Services were held for him at the Ardmore Memorial Chapel on August 15, 2009.
A decade has passed, and Scott Brown’s two sons have grown up without their father. His mother, Linda, has grieved over her boy for ten years without answers. Recently a new detective has been assigned to the case, and they are hoping with a new set of eyes, and a big media push some new leads could come in and solve this case. If you have any information about this case, please contact the Dickson County Sheriff (615) 789-9303.


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:

Tennessee Missing and Unsolved Facebook Page

WSMV – Channel 4

https://www.newspapers.com/image/594184701/?terms=Franklin%2BScott%2BBrown

https://www.newspapers.com/image/283379790

The Dickson Herald

Channel 4 Video


This week’s Recommended Reading:


Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit


The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter

For those who like to read gritty crime novels, check out the latest from my friend and fellow writer, Wayne Clingman. 


Narco Saints


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

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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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Criminal Fiction Book Recommendation

Follow the harrowing adventures of an undercover DEA agent working in the midst of a Mexican drug cartel in Wayne Clingman’s latest crime novel, NARCO SAINTS

https://amzn.to/2LCtgvU

About the author:

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Wayne Clingman is an actor and producer, known for Tagged (2006) and Petty Cash (2010). He has been a film consultant for over a decade. 

One of his proudest moments was working as the Account Rep/Special Projects Manager for the Night of Horror Film Fest in Sydney, Australia. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Clingman has joined the literary world as an author. He’s the co-author of The Life and Times of Frank Balistrieri: The Last, Most Powerful Godfather of Milwaukee. His latest book is a gritty work of criminal fiction titled Narco Saints.

 

Wayne currently lives in Racine, Wisconsin, with his wife, Barb, four Alaskan malamutes, and a cat that controls his life. Find all of his books on Amazon.com.

Wayne Clingman is an actor and producer, known for Tagged (2006), Dead of the Night (2013) and Petty Cash (2010). He has been a film consultant for over a decade. 

One of his proudest moments was working as the Account Rep/Special Projects Manager for the Night of Horror Film Fest in Sydney, Australia. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Clingman has joined the literary world as an author. He’s the co-author of The Life and Times of Frank Balistrieri: The Last, Most Powerful Godfather of Milwaukee. His latest book is a gritty work of criminal fiction titled Narco Saints.

Wayne currently lives in Racine, Wisconsin, with his wife, Barb, four Alaskan malamutes, and a cat that controls his life. Find all of his books on Amazon.com.

She saved 2,500 children with a simple glass jar – Tuesday Guest Post

Sendler_1942
“Irena Sendler, 1942”

She saved 2,500 children with a simple glass jar

The stray dog would not stop barking, but compared to the sounds of suffering from the 400,000 people on the other side of the gates, it was merely an annoyance. Those 400,000 people were imprisoned in a 16-block section of Warsaw called the “Warsaw Ghetto,” a community sealed off from the city and guarded by German Nazi soldiers. The dog was yipping at the tiny, pretty lady in her early 30s, and it barked at the guards unlocking the gates, allowing her out of the ghetto. Once she left, she would make a clandestine stop, then to a particular tree and a buried glass jar.

The guards knew the woman: her name was Jolanta, she wore a Star of David armband, and she had a pass from Warsaw’s Epidemic Control Department. At least 5,000 people were dying every month from starvation and disease inside the Warsaw Ghetto, and Jolanta was treating the people for typhus. Best to give a wide berth to this woman and the parcels, bags, and boxes she always carried.

What the soldiers didn’t know her real name was Irena Sendler (nee Krzyżanowski). She was also a member of the Polish underground resistance movement’s Zegota (the Council for Aid to Jews). Most importantly, inside those parcels, bags, and boxes were living Jewish children Irena was smuggling out of the ghetto. She was secretly thankful for the dog’s barking. It covered any noises from her living cargo. If the guards investigated, she and the child would be shot dead on the spot, their loved ones hunted down and murdered.

 It was 1943 in German-occupied Poland. So many lives extinguished already. Irena only hoped her own life would be spared each time she passed those gates into the ghetto. Once inside, it was difficult to persuade families to trust her with their babies. The children would have to be sedated, she told them; once she got the children outside the ghetto, volunteers had false documents to provide new identities for them. The families demanded to know, “Can you guarantee they will live?'” Swallowing back tears, Irena would answer, “I can only guarantee they will die if they stay.” The families also worried about Irena’s safety: the death penalty would be given to anyone aiding Jewish persons, and that person’s entire household would be put to death. Poland was the only country in German-occupied Europe in which such a death penalty was applied. But Irena had learned from childhood: some ideals were worth the fight.

Irena was born in 1910 near Warsaw, Poland into a Catholic family. Her father Dr. Stanisław Krzyżanowski treated mostly Jewish patients who were destitute. He was one of the earliest members of the Polish Socialist Party; he died from typhus contracted from a patient. The large Jewish community offered to pay for little Irena’s education, but Irena’s mother, Janina, refused assistance. Irena went on to attend Warsaw University, which practiced segregation in lecture hall seating (Jewish university students were forced, under threat of expulsion, to sit in a designated section of the lecture halls, a practice called the “ghetto bench system”). Irena joined the Polish Socialist Party. The school suspended her when she defaced her grade card in protest of the ghetto bench system. She married and divorced, giving birth to several children. And she never forgot the advice her dear father gave her when she was only seven years old: “If you see someone drowning, you must jump in to save them, whether you can swim or not.”

Just before World War II, Irena moved to Warsaw and took a job as a Senior Administrator in the Warsaw Social Welfare Department. The organization created canteens in each district to provide meals, social services, and financial aid to the same communities her father treated: the elderly, orphans, and destitute persons. 

Then it seemed to happen so quickly: Germany invaded Poland in 1939. First, there was discrimination and ostracizing. Next, the Warsaw Ghetto was sealed off in 1940. Zegota nominated Irena Sendler, known only as “Jolanta,” to head its Jewish children’s section. Irena enlisted the help of a few others and determined a plan. On the pretext of entering the Warsaw Ghetto to make necessary repairs and treat the sick, Irena and other volunteers smuggled out some babies and small children. The little ones would be given new identities and placed with religious organizations or Polish families. Zegota devised a variety of ways to smuggle out the children: suitcases, packages, potato sacks, coffins, and even toolboxes. Irena Sendler had to keep track of the children somehow so, one day, she could go back and inform the children of their past. Thus the “jar of names” was created.

Irena would use code to write down the child’s true name and their new identity on a slip of tissue paper. She would add information: where the child was sent, ages and birthdates, pieces of information that identified the child. Two thousand five hundred slips of paper would be buried in the jars. To keep the information safe, she buried the jar under a tree in a neighbor’s backyard. One day, she told each slip of paper, I will find you and tell you the story. Each time, she would glance across the street to a German barracks, directly across from this tree. To be caught with the jar would mean instant death for her and all who knew her. 

In May 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto was destroyed and the survivors sent to death camps. On October 20, 1943, Irena Sendler was arrested. She was thrown into the Pawiak Prison. The Gestapo tortured her relentlessly, breaking her arms and legs. “Tell us!” They would demand over the sound of crunching bones. “Tell us about Zegota!” They ordered through her screams of pain. They smashed her feet to cripple her for life. She endured the fists, the kicks, starvation, and shock, but she never told them about Zegota, the smuggling operation, or the buried jar. 

 “I want to die,” she would whisper to herself; she would later say the torture and certain death was never as difficult as the stress she felt when smuggling the children. Yet she knew she must survive so she could later find those children. 

She was saved from death in February 1944 when Zegota members bribed a Gestapo agent. On the way to the firing squad, she was knocked unconscious and tossed into the road. Irena would later read a poster announcing her death by firing squad. She continued her underground activities while in hiding. Because she was forced into hiding, she was unable to attend her mother’s funeral.

She kept her silent promise to all those children whose names were in the jar. After the war, she returned to the old neighborhood, locating the tree in the neighbor’s yard. Irena dug up the jar and used the notes. She located all 2,500 children, hoping to reunite them with surviving relatives now scattered across Europe. Most of the families had been murdered in Nazi death camps. She would sit down with each child, now in adulthood, to begin the story “I am Jolanta…”

For the remainder of her life, Irena Sendler would be plagued with nightmares: visions of the parents and children, cries of sadness and howls of terror. “Did I do enough?” She would wonder, tears coursing over her cheeks. “Could I have done more?” The memories and nightmares plagued her every night until her death in 2008. But her work might have been forgotten.

In 1999 a few teens from a small, rural Kansas high school learned of Irena’s story from a faded scrap of newspaper. The tiny bit of information turned into a school project. Their school project is now an international project called “Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project.” In 2007 Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (she did not qualify due to committee rules). She insisted she was not a hero, giving credits to nameless others, and always believing she did not do enough. 

Generations live on because of the 2,500 saved. The tree where the jar was buried remains standing. 


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.

For more information go to www.irenasendler.org

Resources

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project. Retrieved September 2016 from http://www.irenasendler.org

Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Ft. Scott, Kansas. https://lowellmilkencenter.org

Smuggling Children out of the Ghetto: Irena Sendler. The Righteous Among the Nations. Retrieved September 2016 from http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/stories/sendler.asp

The Holocaust – Crimes, Villains, & Heroes, Retrieved September 2016 from http://www.auschwitz.dk/sendler.htm

United States Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C.

www.holocaustresearchproject.org

 All photos are public domain

Photos:

The color photo titled “Irena Sendler 2005” should be titled “Irena
Sendler, circa 2005”
The photo titled “Starving family…” should be titled “Some families lay on the streets of the Warsaw ghetto as they slowly died. Irena Sendler helped smuggle the children out to save them from a sure death””
starving family_warsawIrena_Sendlerowa_2005-02-13

More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:
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J. A. Yates  is an award-winning author and criminologist who has appeared as a guest speaker, lecturer, and instructor for organizations across the United States for almost 30 years, to include Dallas Area Paralegal Association, PFLAG (Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians & Gays), Texas Association of Licensed Investigators, Tennessee Correction Association, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and many more.
Her resume lists loss prevention, the Sheriff’s Department, the federal prison system (minimum to maximum, male & female),  investigations, and criminal justice professor/instructor. She is the only journalist who is continually investigating the disappearance of Tabitha Tuders, Nashville’s most baffling missing child case.
Not only is she an author, but she is also an investigator who carefully researches each book. A percentage of each book benefits nonprofit organizations and is made in the victim’s name.
Ms. Yates is Texas-born, Irish/Native American/Kentucky – bred; a left-handed Taurus. She volunteers in animal rescue and locating missing/murdered. Hobbies include horseback riding, perusing flea markets, and video gaming. She is addicted to bottled Coca-colas. She has a phobia of clowns, dental offices, and alligators (not in that particular order)

Check her out here: www.judithayates.com


This week’s Recommended Reading:


Irena’s Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto


Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project


Books by Yates:

41cbpJ5Qp7L._AC_UY218_   61b4ciRpf+L._AC_UY218_   51SsDk8iMEL._AC_UY218_  91SbZIvC80L._AC_UY218_  41YufSSAHuL._AC_UY218_

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


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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.©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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Sendler_1942

Suicide or Dixie Mafia Hit? – Death of Norman Ladner

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Photo courtesy of Unsolved Mysteries 

A seventeen-year-old boy spends his days exploring his family’s 122-acre property. Even at a tender age, Norman Ladner was an experienced outdoorsman. He loved hunting, fishing, and exploring the nature around him. Why then was he shot in the head and left in the woods to die? Did he witness one of the Dixie Mafia’s narcotics planes? Was the radio device found hanging in a nearby tree used to signal a drop? Thirty years later, these questions are still unanswered.


On August 21, 1989, Norman Ladner spent the day exploring his family land like he had done almost every day. Ladner was the oldest child and was very responsible. Everyone that remembers him tells of his dependability and his kindness. The Ladner family also owned the local country store. When Norman finished his day of exploring the outdoors, he would usually show up at the store to help his parents close up shop and prepare for the next day. You could set your watch by him. Norman always strolled in around 7 pm. On occasion, he would be closer to 7:30, but never later. On this night, his father began to worry when his son never showed up at the store. Norman Ladner Sr. hurried home to see if his son was in his woodworking shop in the barn. The teenager was nowhere to be found.

Worried, but not frightened, the father gathered a few friends and together they formed a search party. Everyone thought the boy had gotten lost, or maybe injured. No one expected what they would find in those woods on that fateful night. Sr. stumbled upon his son laying beneath a tree. When he reached down and touched his boy, the chill of death shot through him. The distraught father sat with his son in the dark woods until his search party to could return to the house to call the police. 

Pearl County Sheriff Lorance Lumpkin arrived on the scene around 10 pm. There he found Norman laying on his back with his legs curled up underneath him. He was rolled partially to the side a gunshot wound in his temple. From the outset, the authorities began speculating the death was a horrible accident. Perhaps the teenager had jumped down from the tree and fell. Maybe the impact caused his rifle to go off.

A few days later, the coroner came into the family store with two deputies to speak to the family about his results. He told the family that he was 90% sure it was a terrible accident. Strangely, when the official ruling came out a few days later, it was classed as suicide. The family was shocked. They couldn’t believe it. Nothing about it made sense. Norman was a happy child. If it were suicide, why did he have a large gash on the top of his head?

The family went to the sheriff and tried to speak about the case, but the sheriff flat out said they were wrong. It was a suicide, and they were just grieving parents who refused to see the truth. 

Evidence Against The Suicide Theory:

  • Why did the boy have a gash on TOP of his head, and how does that relate to suicide? I wasn’t doing a handstand while trying to hold a rifle and shoot himself in the temple.
  • I was unable to verify this, but it was once reported that the head wound had live maggots while the temple wound held larva. This would lead one to believe that the head wound came first, and the temple wound was secondary.
  • The police never processed the scene as a crime scene. They didn’t find a bullet. The father would find one on his own later.
  • Norman’s gun was never tested or fingerprinted. 
  • No one determined what type of weapon that killed him. They never checked because they believed it was his own gun from the beginning. 
  • Norman’s wallet with $140 was missing. I’m sure he just stole his own money, threw away his wallet, and marched into the woods to shoot himself, right? I don’t think so!

 

The family repeatedly tried to get the sheriff to reopen the case, but he flat out refused. The father, desperate for answers went out into the woods to begin his own investigation. There in the dirt under where his son’s head would have been, they found a bullet with human blood and hair. It seemed to the father that his son was slumped on the ground rolled to the side and someone standing above him shot the boy through the temple. The bullet then traveled through the hair and skull and buried into the dirt. It makes sense. If the boy had somehow pulled the trigger on his own rifle, then the gun would have flown through the air and landed at another location.

I should also mention that in some reports the boy was carrying a shotgun and other stories call it a rifle, so I cannot say what type of gun the boy had. I can tell you that it was most likely a shotgun. Either way, it isn’t easy to shoot oneself in the temple with a shotgun or a rifle. 

Still desperate for answers, the poor father took the bullet to the sheriff and was immediately dismissed. The police claimed that since they didn’t find the bullet, then they couldn’t prove it was the one who killed Norman. The father argued that they didn’t look for a bullet, but it was no use. Since he was getting nowhere with the local sheriff, Norman Sr. took the bullet to the state ballistics lab. He explained how the bullet was too long to fit in his son’s gun and asked the examiner to look over the bullet. The results came back inconclusive siting the same lines as the sheriff almost verbatim. To make matters worse, when the bullet was returned to the family, it was a different one than the bullet they had sent in.

During their frequent trips to the coroner’s office, Norman’s mother was approached by a stranger. He asked if he could discuss her son’s case with her, so of course, the mother agreed to step away and speak with him. When the pair were out of earshot of her husband, the stranger turned and uttered a chilling threat to the poor mother. He told her that she had other children and she should just drop this investigation and raise them because they’d never find Norman’s killer. Frightened, she hurried back to Norman Sr. and told him about the threat. The man was gone before anyone could find him. 

Determined to find the truth, the now somewhat paranoid father makes another trip into the woods to find clues. Three hundred yards from his son’s position, he saw a strange object hanging in a tree. It was a homemade radio device of sorts covered in tape and wires with a small antenna protruding from the top. Of course, the father took it to the sheriff and was dismissed. Norman then turned to a neighbor and told him about the device. The neighbor put him in contact with a retired DEA agent who lived in the area. 

The DEA agent knew what the strange object was immediately and explained these devices transmit signals. The narcotics plans would fly over an area, and when the signal was picked up on their devices, then they would drop their load of drugs. Was this the answer the family had been looking for? Did their poor boy run up on a drug trafficker and a narcotics drop?

To make matters worse, the sheriff would later be charged with dogfighting and other illegal activities. Although some believe he had ties to the local group of Dixie Mafia drug cartel, nothing has been proven. Norman Ladner, Sr. died in 2003, and the sheriff died in 2007. Thirty years have passed, and most of the witnesses are long gone. What evidence the family found is no longer available. Still, questions remain. What happened to Norman Ladner? Was it suicide or murder?


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:

Unsolved

Only In Your State

Who killed Norman Ladner? from UnresolvedMysteries

Trace Evidence Podcast Video 

picayuneitem.com


This week’s Recommended Reading:


The Boys on the Tracks


The Life and Times of Frank Balistrieri: The Last, Most Powerful Godfather of Milwaukee


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.

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


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Come Quick!


th

Recanted Murder Confession – Killer on the Loose

moyer_nancy8 Photo courtesy of The Charley Project

Her unsolved case will be studied by Crime Con’s Executive Producer’s Crowd Solve event. Can a group of armchair sleuths join seasoned investigators to solve this decade-old mystery? What happened to Nancy Moyer?


It’s a cold night in Washington state, and an exhausted single mother heads home from work. Nancy Moyer, 36 takes a coworker home before stopping by the store to pick up a few groceries before heading home. Although the young brunette had been going out occasionally on the weekends, this time she planned to stay at home.
Moyer and her husband, Bill, had separated two years earlier but worked diligently to maintain a good relationship for the sake of their two daughters. Nancy would have the girls throughout the week, and Bill would take them on the weekends. Both parents were always eager to see the girls and never missed a pickup time. That would all change on Friday, March 6, 2009.
Bill pulled up in front of his estranged wife’s home and noticed the door standing open. He found it odd but thought perhaps she stepped out and would return quickly. The man and his daughters walked in the open door and called for Nancy, but she didn’t respond. They waited a little while but soon left. Bill took the girls back home and returned later expecting to see Nancy, but she was nowhere to be found. It was time to call the police.
Police would find not only was the door left open, but a half glass of wine sat on the coffee table, and Nancy’s purse was still in the house. She wouldn’t leave without it or her car, which was still parked out front. Investigators work to establish a timeline in hopes of finding a clue to Nancy’s disappearance. She dropped off the coworker around 6 pm and then went to the store. A police officer was parked down the street running radar not far from the young woman’s home. He later recalled seeing her at home around 9:30 pm unloading groceries from her car. No one knows what happened next.
Tenino, Washington was a small town in Thurston County with a population around 1,600 in 2009. It wasn’t the kind of place where women go missing, but the town would be shocked when a traveling meat salesman is arrested for driving around with a warm corpse in his truck. Yes, you read that right.
Bernard Keith Howell III, 26 was arrested in August 2010 with a still-warm corpse in his truck. Vanda Boone, 60 was discovered wrapped in plastic and a sleeping bag riding around in this traveling meat salesman’s truck! At one point Howell stopped some random stranger and asked him to help him dispose of a body. Of course, the man refused and flagged down a police officer. Howell was apprehended near the Parkside Elementary School in Tenino. Howell claimed to have found the deceased Ms. Boone on the Yelm-Tenino trail and wanted to bury her himself to save the family from having to pay funeral expenses. Howell eventually confessed and received 30 years in prison.

How does Bernard Howell tie to the Nancy Moyer case?

Howell lived less than a mile from Nancy, and while the police were searching her home for clues, they came across some meat in her freezer that had Howell’s label. It isn’t clear if Howell worked for a company or had his own business, but the meat clearly tied him to Moyer. To make sure, the investigators showed her daughters a picture of Howell and asked them if they had seen him before. They said yes. Howell has been entirely uncooperative with police and refuses to admit that he’s ever seen, Nancy Moyer. Could this deranged door to door meat salesman be the answer to this cold case? Hold on there’s more.
Ten years pass, and it looks like the case will never be solved. The girls grow up without their mother and face all the hardships; only a victim’s family member could understand. Then in July 2019, a podcast host decides to dive into this cold case for his Hide and Seek podcast. His work brings the case back into the public eye, and it looked like it may have put the heat on the murderer.
A neighbor and coworker named Eric Roberts calls 9-1-1 and admits to killing Nancy Moyer during a rough sex act. He is promptly arrested but recants his confession almost immediately. Officials hold the man and search his property for two days but can’t find enough evidence to charge him with murder. Where is Nancy’s body?
Desperate to keep a hold of their man they re-arrest him on weapons charges when they find an illegal firearm in his home. Those charges would be eventually dropped, however when they discover the weapon was indeed legal. For now, it seems they lost their man. Eric Roberts walks free, and the case is still unsolved.

If you have any information on this case, please contact:

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office 360-786-5279


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:

king5.com/video

nbcnews.com

www.chronline.com

Nancy Moyer disappearance from UnresolvedMysteries

truecrimedaily

theolympian

hideandseek podcast


This week’s Recommended Reading:


American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century


Murder In Spokane: Catching a Serial Killer


The Life and Times of Frank Balistrieri: The Last, Most Powerful Godfather of Milwaukee


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

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41d90mk2i0L

wp-image-675446049

seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg

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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