Back in late February I finished reading Journey Into Darkness, another set of brutal and horrific true crime stories from famed FBI Special Agent John Douglas. This book goes along with his previous book, Mindhunter.
Just like Mindhunter, Journey Into Darkness takes a look at a few bloody and brutal cases that John Douglas either worked on personally, or that he had heard about during his time with the FBI.
This time around, authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker seem to be generally focused with sex crimes and the murders that accompanied them. The book begins with a short story of a man abducting and killing a young lady in the Marine Corps, told from his point-of-view. We later learn that the story is what Douglas believes happened as he helped investigate the crime and placed himself in the killer’s shoes, searching for his motive and methods in an effort to later capture him.
Like in Mindhunter, Journey Into Darkness has several true crime cases. Most of these tend to showcase the murders of women and young children, and most of them were sexually assaulted as well. Some of it is quite graphic as we read about what monsters can do when they strike and release their rage. Read more…
Last night while sitting in bed, I cruised through headline news stories using an application on my phone.
A quick headline about there being a mall fight caught my attention, but I didn’t think much of it. Then there was a second headline from a different mall. That was followed by two more violent headlines, each of them being reported from different shopping centers across the county.
Once is an isolated incident. Twice might be a coincidence. Three or more times means that this could have been an organized, large-scale event carried out throughout the country.
The mall fights took place at Monroeville, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; Independence, Missouri; and Sacramento, California. Three of them (Monroeville, Memphis and Independence) seem to have the same story written for each incident. In addition to the mall fights, there was also a major fight involving teenagers at the Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois.
In the news article, it was reported that hundreds of “teens” (the media’s current term for describing *black* teenagers and young adults) suddenly began arriving at the Monroeville Mall around 4:30 or 5 p.m. It was estimated that as many as 1,000 “teens” were then in the mall at one point. Some of them began fighting on the lower level, and some of the fighting escalated to the upper floor. Stores were forced to quickly close their security gates to keep their workers safe and to prevent any looting.
Perhaps the most important part of the story is that the article states, “The chief said his officers learned later Friday that through social media, hundreds of teens were showing up at the mall, with the influx starting about 4:30 or 5 p.m. and reaching as many as 1,000, according to mall security officers.”
Some of the fighting at the Monroeville Mall Read more…
Today was a bond hearing concerning the case of Justin Ross Harris and the death of his 22-month infant son, Cooper.
Two weeks ago, Cooper Harris died after being left inside of his father’s SUV for over seven hours. On that day the outside temperature was over 90 degrees, and temperatures inside of the car would have been extreme. It’s believed that the infant died a terrible death in less than two hours.
Anyway, today was the bond hearing, and the hearing itself was televised and on our local news channels. It’s been noted that this case has a national following, so there’s a big media presence covering it.
Here are two websites (AJC and WSBTV) that have a basic rundown of the events inside of the Cobb County courtroom. After listening to the police detective give his testimony, it seems like this is an easy case against Ross Harris, a trial with a punishment that could include the death penalty.
WHO IS ROSS HARRIS?
The evidence points to Ross Harris being somebody who didn’t want to be an adult. Although it’s claimed that he loved his son very much, the police indicated that this same person was sexting to as many as six ladies at once. At least two of those women were located and contacted, and one of the ladies was only 16 years old at the time of the sexting and exchange of naked pictures.
The detective made it clear that the investigation into Ross’s computer(s) and phone(s) was still in progress, and they had only scratched the surface. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more sick details about Ross’s “double life” at the murder trial itself.
It was also implied that Ross and his wife, Leanna, had gotten into arguments about their finances and Ross’s alleged spending habits.
According to the police, on the morning of the death of Cooper, Ross had taken his son to go have breakfast at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. It’s a location that they frequent as the restaurant’s workers had recognized them. It was reported that the son was alive and well at the fast food restaurant. After breakfast at Chick-fil-A, Ross would then take Cooper to a daycare center as both Ross and his wife had full-time jobs.
However, on the morning of the day of Cooper’s death, Ross instead drove across the street to his job at Home Depot. It’s a driving time of only a minute or two. Ross then parked his car, locked it, and walked inside to work, completely “forgetting” about his son who was still in the car.
A few hours later Ross and a couple of his friends went out for lunch. They then went into a Home Depot store and Ross purchased some light bulbs. Ross was then dropped off at his car. He opened the driver’s door and placed the light bulbs inside of the car, apparently not noticing that his son was still strapped into the car seat.
It was until later that day when Ross was heading out to see a movie with his friends that he finally “noticed” his son inside of the car. He pulled over and tried to perform CPR to save the boy’s life, but by then it was too late. When the police arrived at the scene, Ross was arrested and placed in the back of a police car. Read more…
Book Review – John Douglas & Mark Olshaker’s “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”
It’s said that the truth is stranger than fiction.
It’s also stated that the horrors of reality will always exceed the deepest and most chilling images that Hollywood could ever create. That statement couldn’t be more true than in John Douglas and Mark Olshaker’s horrifyingly true book, Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.
Inside Mind Hunter you’ll learn just how sick and twisted some people can become as they torture and murder innocent victims. Not only will you learn about some of the most horrific murders in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but you’ll also take a trip into the mind of the killers as the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit learns how to profile the killers with precision and accuracy.
Mind Hunter takes readers through a brief trip in the career of FBI Special Agent John Douglas, from his childhood through his prestigious career in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) at Quantico, Virginia. It’s at the BSU though where Douglas works his magic and fine tune his skills, turning a gray area of police investigation into a critical tool.
The art of criminal profiling takes a close look at the physical evidence at a crime scene and then attempts to create an accurate description of the suspect, from his age to his education level to his occupation to any disability to the person’s vehicle. It’s a gray area of investigation because it involves common behavioral statistics and composes a sketch of a suspect. Unbelievers call it guesswork until they see it in action and the “guesswork” can accurately pick out the correct criminal out of a stack of suspects.
Throughout Mind Hunter you learn how pathetic most of the serial criminals really are in real life. Many of these people are weaklings or people trying to compensate for something whether it’s a disability or impairment, an inability to speak or perform in bed with women, or simply a matter of jealousy. When you study a crime scene and any additional evidence, you can accurately predict the attacker’s mental problem.
We’re not talking about mercenaries, assassins, Mafia hitmen, or any other professional or contract killer. This is about seemingly ordinary people who decide to strike back against a person or group of people, all because that attacker, that killer, decided that things weren’t going well for him. Read more…
To the regular world he was Richard Kuklinski.
The man was married and lived with his wife and three children in New Jersey. Although not very social, Kuklinski frequently cooked BBQ parties for his friends and neighbors. He treated his wife to the best restaurants in town, and his children were spoiled with gifts and vacations to Florida. In all aspects, Richard Kuklinski appeared to be a normal, caring person to the outside world.
Hidden underneath that “average” personality was one of a monster.
To the police, Richard Kuklinski was nicknamed the “Ice Man” because of the way he was known to preserve dead bodies before tossing them into the woods, throwing off the police investigators. But those few dead bodies are nothing on the scale of murder and mayhem committed by Kuklinski during a lifetime of crime.
Philip Carlo’s chilling book, The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer takes a detailed look into the life of Richard Kuklinski. Carlo himself was allowed to interview Kuklinski as he sat in prison after being convicted of several murders. He was allowed to interview a man with an incredibly dangerous reputation, and have him tell his story about the events throughout his life and his dealings with the Mafia. Much of Kuklinski’s story has been confirmed by his living relatives, the police investigations, and those people who had contact with the killer and lived to tell their tales.
Richard Kuklinski’s tale begins with being born to a Polish father and Irish mother in one of the worst neighborhoods in New Jersey. His father frequently abused his mothers, and those beatings were commonly targeted towards Richard and his two older brothers Joseph and Florian. His father’s beatings were so terrible that he accidentally killed young Florian, and his mother conspired to help cover the boy’s death.
It wasn’t just the rage of his father that took its toll on young Richard. Neighborhood bullies frequently beat Richard, and when his father learned about it Richard was given another beating for losing the fight or running away from the bullies. There were times when Richard was so injured from his father’s beatings that he had to miss days of school.
Richard’s father eventually moved on with another woman, leaving Richard with his brother Joe, sister Roberta, and their mother Anna. This forced Richard’s mother to work two jobs to maintain their home, and she in turn also focused her anger on her two sons. Richard’s mother frequently beat him with anything she could use, from pots and pans in the kitchen to broom handles.
Richard was sent to a Catholic school where he was also physically abused by the nuns who taught the classes. The only escape for the child was when he found a quiet spot by a river and read detective books. Those very books would have a strong impact on the boy and help him live a mostly successful life of crime. Read more…