One Murder. Two Victims?
At about 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 4, 1998, a still-unidentified assailant stabbed Yale University Senior Suzanne Jovin 17 times in the head, neck and back. Less than 15 minutes later, police found her near death at the intersection of East Rock and Edgehill roads, a mile from central campus in New Haven, Connecticut. The senior was a well liked and respected member of her class. She was active in volunteering and charitable work. The State of Connecticut and Yale University have offered rewards that together are worth a total of $150,000. Originally, Yale Officials publically identified Suzanne’s thesis advisor and at the time Yale Political Science Lecturer, James Van de Velde as a suspect. After years of suspicion, DNA taken from under Suzanne’s fingernails failed to match a sample from Van de Velde’s, thereby lessening the chance that Van de Velde may have been the murderer. The case has embarassed Yale and the New Haven Police department. Did they focus on the wrong person?
July 2008, Police released a sketch of a person seen running from the area near where Jovin had been found murdered within the time frame of her murder. The person of interest was described as blonde haired white male with chiseled features. He was reportedly wearing dark clothes and had on a loose-fitting green-colored jacket. It is over nine years later and Suzanne’s killer still has not been caught. There are no witnesses and little physical evidence. The last time she was sighted was around 9:20 pm that night, what happened the next 25 minutes remains a mystery. NOTE: Some conspiracy theorists have created rumors that Suzanne Jovin was murdered because her senior thesis was about terrorist Osama Bin Laden, however, there is no evidence to suggest any of the such. At that time Bin Laden was already an internationally known figure due to his involvement in attacks on the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7, 1998. Noted author and activist Donald Connery has been critical of Law Enforcement’s handling of the case and it’s main focus on Van de Velde. Witnesses described a brown or tan colored van was sighted near where Suzanne Jovin was last seen alive. If you have any information on this case please contact the New Haven Police Department at 1-866-888-TIPS.
UPDATE December 8. 2012: The New Haven Register reports that several tips in this case point to a Yale Graduate Student who suffered from mental illness. The individual is now deceased from taking his own life.
Massachusetts Most Notorious Cold Case
More than a hundred years later, the brutal hatchet murders of Andrew Borden and his wife Abby Borden in their Fall River home on August 4, 1892. It happened sometime between 10:45 and 11:10 am that morning when Andrews 32 year old daughter when she found her father dead on the couch in a downstairs room. His face and head had been bludgeoned and hacked ten to eleven times. An equally gruesome scene was found upstairs with Abby Borden face first on the floor. The back of her head struck almost twenty times. Within days, Andrews daughter Lizzie is arrested and a trial soon takes place. However, there are several problems. The lack of blood on any clothing by Borden and a murder weapon in question. Borden is acquitted and the murders are never solved. Over the years other theories have pointed at the family maid (Bridget Sullivan) being responsible for the killings. Sullivan is alleged to be the last person to see Lizzie’s father and stepmother alive. Others say it was Andrew Borden’s older daughter, Emma. The house of the infamous murders is still in existence and is a bed and breakfast that offers tours. For more information about this case visit http://lizzieandrewborden.com/. For information about the bed and breakfast please visit http://lizzie-borden.com/
England’s Other Notorious Ripper
The most notorious serial killer never caught is the infamous “Jack the Ripper”. Around 1888, five brutal murders were attributed to shadowy and vicious killer who targeted prostitutes. It is quite possible that he may have been responsible for even more. Countless books have been written and suspects are still talked about more than a century later. However, “Jack the Ripper” is not the only “unknown killer” to terrorize Great Britain.
In 1964 to 1965, the London area had six dead women that were murdered and found naked. Scotland Yards theorized that a serial killer was responsible for the six, though some theories point to at least two additional victims found in 1959 and 1963. Much like the famous “Jack the Ripper” killings, the victims were prostitutes. It is likely that the women were killed by strangulation and/or asphyxiation. Thousands of persons of interest were interviewed and only a handful were considered prime suspects. One of them ended up committing suicide. For more information about these cases visit http://www.murderuk.com/serial_jack_the_stripper.html
Famous Mob Hit Never Solved Even Though There are Suspects
New York City is called the Big Apple. For many in the United States, it’s known as Mafia Central. The Five families still operate even though they have been weakened through mass arrests and deaths. In the city, one can see the places where many a famous and feared mobster fell victim to violence. Paul Castellano, “Cigar smoking” Carmine Galante, and Joe Columbo are just a few of the fallen. Their cases have been solved and their killers identified. However, it is the assassination of Albert Anastasia that is still a topic of mafia enthusiasts, it has never been solved.
The Italian born Anastasia came to the United States as a teenager and almost immediately began a life of crime. He served prison time for a murder of a co-worker and soon became involved “La Cosa Nostra”. He was one of the leaders of Murder Inc., a hit squad comprised of Italian and Jewish American hitmen. It is believed that they may have carried out over 400 homicides, many which were never solved. The few people that ever crossed Anastasia often went missing or were killed. That included mobsters higher up the chain of command. Other mobsters soon grew concerned about Anastasia and his lust for power and violence. It is theorized that some high ranking members of other Mafia families put together a plan to eliminate him.
During the morning of October 25, 1957, he went to a barber shop at the Park Sheraton Hotel in Mid-town Manhattan at 56th Street and 7th Avenue. Anastasia’s bodyguard had left him alone in the barbershop. As Anastasia was on the barber chair, two men with scarves on their face barged in and shot at Anastasia. After a brief struggle, the feared mobster was killed. Even fifty years later, suspicion points at several high power mobsters as ordering the hit. Carlo Gambino, Vito Genovese, Meyer Lansky and Charles “Lucky” Luciano are some of the persons of interest. It is believed that the gunmen could have been “Crazy” Joe Gallo, a mafioso from Brooklyn or even hitmen from the Patriarca Crime Family which was out of Rhode Island. There is no question why Anastasia was killed or who might have done it. Problem is, there is a long list of suspects.
Another Professional Wrestler Dies Too Young
Alfred Bresciano was a Canadian Professional Wrestler who performed from 1970 until his retirement in 1992. He won several championship belts and competed in the biggest wrestling promotions in the world. He was best known for wrestling under the stage name Dino Bravo in the World Wrestling Federation (now called World Wrestling Entertainment). He was a physical force to be reckoned with in two decade long career. In retirement he soon found work in organized crime. He had a relative by marriage that was in the Montreal Italian Mafia. Bresciano soon was involved in an illegal scheme to smuggle cigarettes that would evade taxes to the respective governments where they were sold. Bresciano made good money but soon found himself in trouble with Law Enforcement and other elements in Organized Crime. On March 10, 1993, he was found shot to death over a dozen times in his house at Vimont, Laval Quebec. There was no forced entry and it is believed that Bresciano knew his killer(s). Sadly, Dino Bravo would join the list of other professional wrestlers to be victims of homicide which included Bruiser Brody and “Gentleman” Chris Adams.
Murder of Priest has Public and Police Guessing Who the Killer Is
It’s a plot from out of Hollywood movie except that those guilty of it are not brought to justice. Father Alfred Joseph Kunz was a priest at Saint Michael’s Church in the town of Dane, Wisconsin. He had been active for several decades and was a controversial figure. On March 4, 1998, he was found dead in the hallway of his church. His throat was slit.
Rumors persist as to why. HE had been investigating reports of homo-sexuality between priests at other parishes. He also had a radio show and was a close associate of an exorcist. There was also talk of him being involved with female members of his church. The list of potential suspects could be long. To priests with a secret, to enemies of the Catholic Church, to Luciferians, to jealous husbands. The investigation has been lengthy and costly. But police still persist in looking for justice.
Law Enforcement claims that they do have a prime suspect but there is not enough evidence for an indictment.
Death of Boxer Believed to Be A Mob Hit
Frankie DePaula was nicknamed the “Jersey Jolter” and an accomplished professional boxer from Jersey City, New Jersey. He had a reputation as being a tough guy in and out of the ring. Aside from his record in professional ranks (21 wins, 7 losses and 3 draws), he also had a minor career in crime as well. On May 14th, 1970, DePaula was with his younger girlfriend in front of her apartment on Harrison Avenue on Jersey City’s Westside. A note stuck on the front doorway instructed them that the door was not operational and to enter via the back entrance. As Depaula made his way to the back alley, he was shot. The boxer would become paralyzed from his wounds and would die four months later. Two men were tried for the murder but were acquitted at trial. For more information about this case visit the website for this book about Depaula and his murder. Jersey Boy: The Life and Mob Slaying of Frankie Depaula.
Death of Mobster Leaves Several Cold Cases Without Answers
It is often said that getting in bed with the mob is as dangerous as doing business with them. For then 18 year old Eugenia Pappas from Chicago, Illinois; it may have caused her to lose her life. While working as a manicurist she became romantically involved with an alleged mafia hitman by the name of Frank “The German” Schweihs. According to newspaper articles, Pappas family was unhappy with the relationship. Around December of 1962, Pappas was found shot to death in the Chicago River. Schweih was questioned in her death but never charged. Chicago detective Richard Cain initially investigated the case and was later found out to be on the Chicago Mafia payroll. Cain himself, was murdered in 1973, possibly by Schweih himself.
It has been rumored for years that Schweith may have been responsible for the drug overdose death of Marilyn Monroe upon the orders of the Chicago Mafia. It is possible that Pappas had found it out and was killed because she knew too much.
The feared hitman may have killed more than dozens of people, including partaking in the double murders of Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro and Michael Spilotro. The two were mobsters based out of Las Vegas that were real life characters in the movie Casino directed by Martin Scorsese. Scweih served time for various crimes but was eventually charged with several other mobsters . When he was seventy-five years old he was arrested again and expected to die while serving a prison term. Before he could be convicted he died of complications from cancer, as did many of his secrets.
Not Your Fairy Grandmother
It’s a hard argument to name the most ruthless male gangster ever. But female gangster, Giselda Blanco would be near the top of anyone’s list. The Columbia native was a high ranking member of the Medillian cartel and responsible for much of cocaine importation in Florida during the seventy and eighties. Police believed she may have ordered around 40 murders though some in law enforcement believe the number may be much higher. One of the killings that she was eventually found guilty of ordering resulted in the collateral damage killing of a two year old boy. With her organization responsible for so much murder and mayhem, she also survived several attempts on her life. But it was the law that eventually caught up with her. She was convicted and served a fifteen year sentence in prison. After serving her incarceration, she was deported to Columbia. In the summer of 2012 an unidentified motorcyclist pulled up to a butcher shop in western Medillian where Blanco was shopping. As soon as she stepped out, the person opened fire hitting her twice in the head. The murderer was never identified but it was obvious that one of her many enemies finally took her out permanently. The sixty-nine year old drug lord paid a heavy price for her crimes because she also lost three husbands and two of her sons to the violence of the drug wars.
Notorious Russian Hitman Dead or is he a Ghost?
Alexander Solonik was a Russian mobster who was known as an expert hitman. Those that he had in his sights often met with foul play. Solonik was also known as an escape artist who broke loose from both police custody and prison. However, he was best known for murder, many of them. In 1997 an unidentified body of a white male was found in Greece not far the capital of Athens. The victim had been strangled and had no identification on him. Weeks later, fingerprints would reveal that it was Solonik. The Russian Underworld no doubt breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they were permanently safe from or maybe not. There are those that believe the fingerprints were those of a double for Solonik. If so, Solonik is even more dangerous now, because the world thinks he’s dead and is a living ghost.
Organized Hit or Ultimate Escape
What happened to infamous Teamster Leader Jimmy Hoffa?
Jimmy Hoffa is an American Legend. For fourteen years, he served as the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union. Feared and reviled, he is best known for squaring off against then United States Attorney General Robert Kennedy in several public hearings. He was believed to be connected to various factions of the Mafia in the United States. Hoffa would eventually be was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery and fraud in the mid sixties which resulted in a 13 year prison sentence. He would be released early and though banned from Union activities was rumored to be trying to gain back his power in the organization. One time allies would soon turn into enemies and Hoffa found difficulty in trying to regain his power in organized labor. Soon he would turn into one of the biggest mysteries in American history. On July 30th, 1975, Hoffa (then 62 years of age) was last seen in the parking lot of the Red Fox restaurant located in the Bloomfield Township which outside of Detroit, Michigan. He reportedly told people two Mafia leaders: Anthony Giacolone and one time friend turned adversary, Anthony Provenzano. Hoffa has never been seen since and is believed to have been a casualty of the Mafia.
Over the years theories have abounded that Hoffa was buried under Giants Stadium in Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to the home of a former mafia boss in the Detroit area, to being sealed in a metal drum, crushed and sold as scrap to a business in Japan. There are also theories, that Hoffa disappeared on purpose and became a government informant and turned evidence against the Mafia and organized crime.