There’s Something About Henry
by David McGowan
Part I: Sympathy for the Devil (Portrait of an MK-ULTRA Assassin?)
Part II: The Myth of the Serial Killer
Part III: Seven Degrees of Henry Lee
Lax treatment afforded America’s serial killers
Part IV: Seven More Degrees of Henry Lee
The suspicious deaths of key players during the trials of various killers & the suspicious deaths of the killers themselves.
Part V: The Mind (Control) of a Serial Killer
Part I: Sympathy for the Devil
“Henry is an unusual prisoner. He’s been given a high security cell and a few special amenities …”—Jim Boutwell, Sheriff of Williamson County, Texas
On June 30th of 1998, Henry Lee Lucas, arguably the most prolific and certainly one of the most sadistic serial killers in the annals of crime was scheduled for execution by the state of Texas. Given the advocacy of the death penalty by Governor George W. Bush, things clearly weren’t looking good for Henry at that time.
Bush had not granted clemency to any condemned man in his tenure as governor. In fact, no governor of any state in the entire history of the country has carried out more judicial executions than has Governor George. At last count, the state of Texas had dispatched 130 inmates on Bush’s watch.
So Texas was definitely not the place to be for a man in Henry’s position. And considering the nature of Henry’s crimes, it seemed a certainty that nothing would stand in the way of Henry’s scheduled execution. There weren’t likely to be any high-profile supporters, a la Karla Faye Tucker (though even personal appeals to Bush from the likes of Pat Robertson failed to dissuade the governor from proceeding on schedule with Miss Tucker’s execution). Not likely because Henry’s crimes were of a particularly brutal nature, involving rape, torture, mutilation, dismemberment, necrophilia, cannibalism, and pedophilia, with the number of victims running as high as 300-600 by some accounts – including Henry’s own, at times – though this figure is likely inflated.
By all accounts though, Lucas, frequently working with partner Ottis Toole – a self described arsonist and cannibal – savagely murdered literally scores of victims of all ages, races, and genders. All indications were then that this was pretty much of a no-brainer for America’s premier hanging governor. But then a most remarkable thing happened. On June 18, just twelve days before Henry’s scheduled demise, Governor Bush asked the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, whose members are appointed by Bush himself, to review Henry’s case. Strangely enough, eight days later the Board uncharacteristically recommended that Henry’s execution not take place.
The very next day, just three days short of Henry’s scheduled exit from this world, Lucas became the first – and to date only – recipient of Governor Bush’s compassionate conservatism. The official rationale for this act of mercy was, apparently, that the evidence on which Lucas was sentenced did not support his conviction. There was a possibility that Henry was in fact innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. Never mind that many of the 130 death row inmates who did not get special gubernatorial attention prior to their executions had credible claims of innocence that were met with by nothing but scorn and mockery.
Suddenly Little George had developed a keen interest in not executing innocent convicts. Never mind as well that some of those who have been executed despite claims of innocence were – other than the crime for which they were being executed – law-abiding citizens. Whereas Henry was by all accounts a serial rapist, kidnapper, torturer and murderer. And never mind that once Henry was spared, Bush promptly lost this passing interest and began once again rubber stamping every execution order that crossed his desk, including that of a great-grandmother in her sixties who was convicted of killing her chronically abusive husband (Betty Lou Beets, in February 2000).
And never mind that Bush has made no effort in the two years since Henry’s commutation to seek a new trial for Henry on one of the murders for which there is conclusive evidence of Lucas’ guilt. Neither has he made any effort to extradite Henry to any of the other states in which Henry is wanted for various murders. It seems to me that the last time I checked, there was no statute of limitations for the crime of murder. Why is Law-and-Order George not seeking a new death sentence for Lucas? And why is it that Henry was granted full clemency, rather than a temporary stay during which his case could have been reviewed? This is exactly what Bush has just done in the case of convicted murderer Ricky Nolen McGinn.
Tellingly, the proliferation of press reports on the McGinn case, apparently meant to soften Bush’s image somewhat, have made virtually no reference to the governor’s earlier actions on behalf of Lucas. Reporting on the McGinn case has avoided the mention of Lucas in one of two ways: by noting that this is the first capital case for which Bush has issued a stay (which is true but deliberately deceptive), or by claiming outright that this is the first death penalty case in which Bush has intervened (which is an outright and absolutely shameless lie).
And what if Lucas was in fact falsely convicted and his innocence was so blatantly obvious that the governor had no choice but to commute Henry’s sentence? What then does this say about the Texas criminal justice system and the ease with which it sends innocent men to their deaths? Are we to believe that Henry’s case was an isolated one and that none of the other men put to death during Bush’s reign had equally credible claims of innocence?
Clearly, there was something more at work then in the Lucas case than simply a question of guilt. There had to be another reason why Bush would take such extraordinary steps to spare the life of a man who had led a life of such brutality. And this was certainly not the first time that the criminal justice system had shown such extraordinary leniency towards Lucas.
The first big break for Henry came around 1970, when he was released early from a sentence he was then serving following his first murder conviction. Sentenced to 20-40 years, Henry was released after serving just ten. This occurred just after Henry appeared before the parole board and explained to them that he wasn’t ready to return to society and would surely kill again if released. As Henry tells it, the questioning went something like this: “Now Mr. Lucas, I must ask you, if we grant you parole, will you kill again?” Henry: “Yes, sir! If you release me now, I will kill again.”
Nevertheless, the board decided that ten years was an adequate amount of time to serve for the crime of killing one’s mother and then violating the corpse. Fair enough. Within a year, of course, Henry found himself back in prison, this time for attempting to abduct a young girl. Despite his prior record – which began long before killing his mother – Lucas served just four years and was again released early, this time in August of 1975. Shortly thereafter, Henry and his new friend Ottis would commit an untold number of lurid murders spanning the next eight years. Henry would finally be arrested in October of 1982 on suspicion of two murders, only to be promptly released. He was not arrested again until June of 1983, and has been imprisoned ever since.
After his final arrest, Henry was taken on tour, so to speak, by various law enforcement officials around the country, during which time he confessed to some 600 murders in 26 states. There were various charges made at the time that Henry was being used b
y his escorts to clear troublesome unsolved murders in places he had never even been.
This quite likely was the case. Henry seemed to have a very chummy relationship with his captors, particularly the Texas Rangers, and provided a valuable service for them by taking the rap for an amazing array of murders. This alone, however, does not explain the personal attention given to Henry’s case by Governor Bush.
For that, we need to look at some of the more infrequently noted details of Henry’s life history, many of them provided by Lucas himself. Henry, as it turns out, has some interesting stories to tell. In 1985, just a couple years into his incarceration, he attempted to tell his story in a book, written for him by a sympathetic author. The book, titled The Hand of Death: The Henry Lee Lucas Story, tells of Henry’s indoctrination into a nationwide Satanic cult. Lucas claimed that he was trained by the cult in a mobile paramilitary camp in the Florida Everglades in the fine art of killing, up close and personal. Other training involved abduction and arson techniques.
He further claimed that leaders of the camp were so impressed with Henry’s handling of a knife that he was allowed to serve as an instructor. Following his training, Henry claimed to have served the cult in various ways, including as a contract killer and as an abductor of children, who were then taken just over the border to a ranch in Mexico near Juarez. Henry has said that this cult operated out of Texas and from a ranch in northern Mexico, trafficking in children and drugs, among other nefarious pursuits. In essence, Henry claimed that what appeared to be the random work of a serial killer was in fact a planned series of crimes often committed for specific purposes.
Some of the murders were political hits, according to Henry, including the occasional assassination of foreign dignitaries. This was not true for all of Henry’s crimes. Some he did just because that’s what he liked to do. And it was the one thing that he was really good at.
The beauty of this arrangement was that it allowed Henry to conceal the true motive for many of his crimes. Those performed as contract hits looked like all of Henry’s murders – senseless and random acts of violence. In Henry’s version of events, it was Toole who was responsible for Henry’s recruitment and training by the cult and many of the pair’s exploits thereafter. Interestingly, in all the standard biographies of the pair, Toole is said to have been Henry’s severely retarded junior partner.
It is quite clear from reading an interview granted by Toole to a journalist (of sorts) that he was not by any means retarded. Uneducated, no doubt, but definitely not severely retarded. Toole was in fact able to express himself quite clearly, though perversely, and displayed a substantial level of knowledge about the practices of Satanism. In fact, Toole – prior to his death in 1996- was able to give detailed accounts of he and Henry’s activities that largely corroborated Henry’s stories about the cult. But beyond the stories told by these two credibility-challenged witness/participants, is there any reason to believe Henry’s bizarre tale of being a contract killer?
And what of Henry’s other stories, including the one about being a close friend of Jim Jones of the People’s Temple? Henry has claimed on numerous occasions that it was he who personally delivered the cyanide to Jones that was used in the infamous Jonestown massacre.
What are we to make of such stories? Could Henry have been telling the truth about being a contract killer? And if so, did the contracts he was receiving have some kind of government connection? Though Henry never broaches the subject in his book, the training camp as he describes it clearly had military connections. And Henry has explicitly stated that the cult included among its members various prominent persons, including high level politicians. Could this be the reason for the actions taken by Governor Bush in June of 1998?
“They think I’m stupid, but before this is all over everyone will know who’s really stupid. And we’ll see who the real criminals are.”
Henry Lee Lucas
“A U.S. Navy psychologist, who claims that the Office of Naval Intelligence had taken convicted murderers from military prisons, used behavior modification techniques on them, and then relocated them in American embassies throughout the world … The Navy psychologist was Lt. Commander Thomas Narut of the U.S. Regional Medical Center in Naples, Italy. The information was divulged at an Oslo NATO conference of 120 psychologists from the eleven nation alliance … The Navy provided all the funding necessary, according To Narut.
“Dr. Narut, in a question and answer session with reporters from many nations, revealed how the Navy was secretly programming large numbers of assassins. He said that the men he had worked with for the Navy were being prepared for commando-type operations, as well as covert operations in U.S. embassies worldwide. He described the men who went through his program as ‘hit men and assassins’ who could kill on command.
“Careful screening of the subjects was accomplished by Navy psychologists through the military records … and many were convicted murderers serving military prison sentences.”
(Harry V. Martin and David Caul “Mind Control, Napa Valley Sentinel, August-November 1991.)
Anyone familiar with the intelligence community’s long-standing obsession with the concept of mind control will immediately recognize what Dr. Narut was describing as an MK-ULTRA project. The existence of this particular manifestation of the project was first reported by British journalist Peter Watson of the Sunday Times, who attended the conference and interviewed Dr. Narut. Narut told him that they looked for candidates who had shown a proclivity for violence.
This was at a time when numerous pseudo investigations of the intelligence community were underway, including the Rockefeller, Pike, and Church Committees. Narut told Watson that he was revealing this highly classified information only because he assumed it was about to surface anyway.
Of course, Narut was mistaken about the interest of the various committees in divulging anything even remotely resembling the truth. Narut promptly disappeared from public view, reappearing only briefly to lamely attempt to retract his prior statements. But it was a little too late.
Watson went on to expand upon this initial research to produce a book, War on the Mind, one of the better books from the late 1970’s on the subject of mind control research by the intelligence community. Walter Bowart referenced Watson’s work as well, in his nearly impossible to find Operation Mind Control. So this cat, once let out of the bag, proved rather difficult to stuff back inside. The intelligence community, it seemed, was recruiting from prisons to make use of the natural talents of convicted killers to produce the fabled ‘Manchurian Candidates’ – mind controlled assassins.
This operation involved killers drawn from military prisons, though there is no reason not to suspect that parallel programs were being conducted in civilian prisons as well. Prisons have, after all, provided fertile ground for any number of MK-ULTRA sub projects for decades. As the Napa Valley Sentinel article noted: “Mind control experiments … permeate mental institutions and prisons.” This was particularly true in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The NATO conference at which Dr. Narut dropped his bombshell was held in July of 1975. Strangely enough, the very next month Henry would be released to begin his eight year reign of terror.
Clearly of relevance here is the fact that Lucas, during his prior ten year pr
ison stay, spent four and a half of those years in a mental ward. During this time, he received intensive drug and electroshock treatments. He would later describe this period of incarceration as a “nightmare that would not end.” Also during this time, he complained chronically about hearing voices in his head, taunting him day and night (ostensibly the reason for his confinement in the mental ward, though it could well have been the result of his confinement and treatment). Henry would later spend additional time in an institution in 1980, in the midst of his killing spree.
Was Henry recruited and programmed while in prison to be used latter by the so-called Hand of Death cult? The possibility clearly is there. He certainly had shown a voracious appetite for violence, enough so to make him a very attractive candidate. Indeed, Henry is just the kind of man to be considered a valuable asset by the intelligence community.
For anyone who doubts that the CIA (or any other of the numerous interwoven intelligence agencies) would recruit such a man, it is important to remember that we are talking about the same agencies that recruited some of the most bloodthirsty butchers of the Third Reich – men such as Klaus Barbie, Joseph Mengele, Adolf Eichmann, Otto Skorzeny, and Reinhard Gehlen.
Henry’s depravity pales in the shadows of men such as these. Henry probably couldn’t even hold his own against some of the organized crime figures – such as Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Santos Trafficante who were likewise recruited by the CIA. Or against the numerous thugs that the spooks have propped up as dictators around the world, men such as Somoza, Pinochet, Duvalier and Pahlavi, to name just a few.
In the company of men such as these, Henry would be just one of the boys. No less valuable an asset than, say, Dan Mitrione, the CIA torture aficionado who was a boyhood friend of Jim Jones. This man, known for having homeless persons kidnapped for the purpose of giving torture demonstrations to South American security forces in his soundproof underground chamber of horrors, was hailed as a hero and martyr when he himself was tortured and killed. Hell, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis flew into his home town and performed a benefit show to raise money for the widow of this great American. So in the world of spooks, Henry would be in good company. As would his partner, Ottis Toole, who wouldn’t even have the distinction of being the only cannibal recruited by the CIA.
As Douglas Valentine writes in The Phoenix Program (Morrow, 1990)- concerning the CIA’s assassination, torture and terror program waged against the people of Vietnam – the Phoenix teams consisted of SEALs working with “CTs,” described by one participant as “a combination of ARVN deserters, VC turncoats, and bad motherfucker criminals the South Vietnamese couldn’t deal with in prison, so they turned them over to us.” The spooks were only too happy to employ the services of these men, who “taught [their] SEAL comrades the secrets of the psy war campaign.” So depraved were these agency recruits that some of them “would actually devour their enemies’ vital organs.” All in a day’s work for America’s premier intelligence agency.
Also included in the CIA rogue’s gallery of distinguished alumni, according to a number of researchers, is Lucas’ self-described “close friend,” the notorious Jim Jones. What then are we to make of Henry’s professed connection to the tragic People’s Temple? It has been documented by numerous investigators that the Jonestown massacre was not by any means a case of mass suicide, as was reported by the U.S. press. It was in fact a case of mass murder. The Guyanese coroner, Dr. C. Leslie Mootoo, concluded that only three of the 913 victims at Jonestown died by means of suicide on that fateful day. All of the rest were executed, some by lethal injection, some by strangulation, and some simply shot through the head.
It is apparent then that if Lucas was in fact at Jonestown at the time of the mass murder, he was quite likely doing considerably more than just serving as a delivery boy. A man of Henry’s talents would bean invaluable asset in a clean-up operation of this type. And what was being cleaned up was, of course, yet another MK-ULTRA project, complete with vast stockpiles of drugs, sensory deprivation equipment, and a band of zombie-like assassins who gunned down Congressman Leo Ryan’s entourage just prior to the massacre (thus necessitating the clean-up operation.)
Strange that Henry would claim a connection to a man whose operation was notable primarily for being a breeding ground for mind control and mass murder. Of course Henry, being uneducated and illiterate, would not likely have had access to this information.
Even if Henry was literate, he would not have known the story that Maury Terry was to later tell in his book, The Ultimate Evil. Told therein is a tale that chillingly parallels that of Henry and Ottis. What Terry revealed was that the murders attributed to the Son of Sam, the Manson Family, and numerous other interconnected killings (including possibly the Zodiac murders) were not what they appeared to be.
While these killings appeared to be the random work of serial/mass murderers, they actually were contract hits carried out for specific purposes by an interlocking network of Satanic cults (this book has, by the way, recently been reprinted by Barnes & Noble – go figure – and is highly recommended to anyone who questions the plausibility of Henry’s story.) In other words, these were professional hits orchestrated and disguised to look like the work of yet another ‘lone nut’ serial killer. Which is, of course, exactly what Henry claimed his crimes to be, several years before investigative journalist Terry published his convincingly documented work.
Lucas’ story then, as bizarre as it may appear to be, is certainly not without precedent. Other events that have transpired since Henry first began telling his tales of The Hand of Death lend further credence to various aspects of his story. For example, there is the issue of the cult-run ranch just south of the border. While this may have sounded rather far-fetched back in the early 1980’s, it certainly doesn’t today. In 1990, just such a ranch was excavated in Matamoros, Mexico, yielding the remains of over a dozen ritual sacrifice victims. While Ottis Toole – still alive at the time – noted that this was not the specific ranch with which he and Henry were associated, he also mentioned that there were numerous such operations in the area.
So closely did the Matamoros case parallel the stories told years before by Lucas that some law enforcement personnel in Texas chose to take a closer look at Henry’s professed cult connections. In fact, Jim Boutwell, sheriff of Williamson County, Texas later told a reporter that investigators had verified that Lucas was indeed involved in cult activities. And a decade later, yet another excavation was begun, this time at a ranch near Juarez, Mexico, which is precisely where Henry claimed it to be. This story made a brief appearance in the American press in December of 1999, until U.S. officials moved in to take over the investigation, after which coverage promptly ceased.
Of course, it could just have been lucky guesses by Henry about the cult-run ranches and the networks of Satanic cults running murder-for-hire operations. And it could just be a coincidence that Toole, who was convicted in the state of Florida, shared with Henry the fate of having his death sentence commuted. Florida is, of course, a state that is also overly zealous in its application of the death penalty. Not zealous enough to execute the likes of Ottis Toole, however. In any event, it’s interesting that both of these men had their death sentences set aside in states run by a member of the Bush family.
Its interesting also to take note of the case of the man known as the Railroad Killer, Rafael Resendez-Ramirez. On July 13, 1999, Ramirez was reported to have walked across a bridge from (where else?) Juarez, Mexico into El Paso, Texas and turned himself in. At the time he was wanted for a string of alleged serial killings. Mirroring the circumstances surrounding Henry’s final arrest, Ramirez had been taken into custody several weeks prior by the U.S. Border Patrol, only to be promptly released despite his presence on FBI most-wanted lists and the issuing of alerts to the immigration service, and with a nationwide manhunt under way.
Between this detainment and his surrender, four more victims would be felled by Ramirez (who was, strangely enough, born in Matamoros and raised outside of the home by non-family members, according to his mother). Apparently he still had a little work left to complete. Having done so, Ramirez then made the incomprehensible decision to surrender to Texas authorities. Crossing the border into Texas, Ramirez left a country with no death penalty and entered the execution capital of the western world. The Los Angeles Times, in reporting on his surrender, noted that he was “adamant he wanted to surrender to a Texas Ranger,” and that “he had not requested an attorney and was cooperating with detectives.”
In the same article, it is noted that authorities say Ramirez is “strikingly intelligent.” Strikingly intelligent? Not based on his actions taken on July 13th of last year. But then again, perhaps Ramirez knows something about the Texas criminal justice system that the rest of us do not.
Ottis Toole: I’ve been meaning to ask you … that time when I cooked some of these people? Why’d I do that?
Henry Lee Lucas: I think it was just the hands doing it. I know a lot of things we done, in human sight, are impossible to believe.
Ottis Toole: When we took ’em out and cut ’em up … remember one time I said I wanted me some ribs? Did that make me a cannibal?
Henry Lee Lucas: You wasn’t a cannibal. It’s the force of the devil, something forced on us that we can’t change. There’s no reason denying what we become. We know what we are.
Part II: The Myth of the Serial Killer
“At some time I have start(ed) to hear funny voices, like a person calling me, but no one call me.” —Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, in a letter to a reporter in Houston following his surrender to authorities
Most Americans are familiar with what is considered the classic serial killer ‘profile.’ This was a notion first put forth by the venerable FBI, which coined the term ‘serial killer’ and pioneered the concept of ‘profiling,’ in an alleged attempt to understand the phenomenon of mass murder. In truth, as we shall see, the concept of the serial killer profile was put forth largely to disinform the public.
In the case of Henry Lee Lucas, few if any of the elements of the serial killer profile apply. For instance, serial killers are said to act alone, driven to do so only by their own private demons. So far removed from ordinary human behavior are their actions that they would not, indeed could not, share their private passions with others. In Henry’s case, this is a patently false notion. It has been officially acknowledged that Lucas worked with at least one, and at times as many as three accomplices (Toole’s pre-teen niece and nephew were frequently brought along to witness – and at times participate in – the crimes of Henry and Ottis).
It is also claimed that serial killers target a particular type of victim, similar in age, gender, race, and other demographic factors. Again, in Henry’s case, this simply does not fit the known facts. Henry’s victims in fact had little, if anything, in common physically with one another. The victim’s ages ranged from children to the elderly. Both genders and all races were also well represented.
It is further claimed that serial killers follow a readily identifiable MO, with the means of obtaining victims and the trajectory of the crime following a well defined pattern. And again, this is clearly not the case with Lucas. Victims were obtained and death inflicted by a variety of means – including bludgeoning, stabbing, strangulation, shooting, and suffocation. Some were killed in their homes, while others were abducted and taken to remote locations. Some were sexually abused, both before and after death, while others were not. Some were cannibalized. Some were left on display – for maximum impact upon their discovery – while others were left so as not to be discovered at all.
In other ways as well, Henry Lee – the consummate serial killer – did not even come close to matching the profile of what he was supposed to be. Strangely though, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Henry Lee Lucas story is that it is not actually remarkable at all. In reviewing the case histories of some two dozen other alleged serial killers, it becomes readily apparent that few – if any – fit the supposed profile.
The victims of Resendez-Ramirez, for instance, ranged in age from 21 to 88 years, with a mix of males and females. The cause of death varied as well, with most being bludgeoned, though one was shot in the head, another stabbed, and yet another had a pick-ax buried in her head. Though not readily apparent, all of these weapons used for inflicting death – by both Lucas and Ramirez – had one thing in common: they are what are termed ‘weapons of opportunity.’ In other words, they are weapons that were acquired at the crime scene immediately before the murders were committed.
Notably, this precisely mirrors the means by which the CIA has historically taught its assassins to kill. A CIA training manual entitled A Study of Assassination advises the would-be killer that “the simplest local tools are often the most efficient means of assassination. A hammer, axe, wrench, screwdriver, fire poker, kitchen knife, lamp stand, or anything hard, heavy and handy will suffice … All such improvised weapons have the important advantage of availability and apparent innocence … the assassin may accidentally be searched before the act and should not carry an incriminating device if any sort of lethal weapon can be improvised at or near the site.”
The Mafia assassination service known as Murder, Inc. – the brainchild of the Lansky/Luciano syndicate, which had extensive connections to U.S. intelligence agencies – had a similar philosophy. As Jay Robert Nash notes in Bloodletters and Bad Men: “Like most of Murder, Inc.’s assassins, Pittsburgh Phil never carried a weapon in case the local police picked him up on suspicion. He would cast about, once he had selected his murder spot, for any tool handy that would do the job.”
(As a brief aside, it should be noted that the man identified above as Pittsburgh Phil, whose real name was Harry Strauss, was credited with killing at least 500 people in this manner from the late 1920’s through 1940. This feat should put him at or near the top of any self-respecting serial killer list.)
Henry Lee recounts in The Hand of Death that his training by the cult followed this time-honored tradition. Of course, the venerable FBI assures us that Satanic cults and Satanic crime do not exist in modern day America. To put this in its proper context, however, it is important to remember that this is the very same FBI that during the reign of Murder, Inc. – and for several decades thereafter – refused to acknowledge the existence of organized crime in America. It is also the same FBI that for years ignored the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.
(The Klan, it should be noted, began as an occult based group formed just after the close of the Civil War
by an alliance of Confederate Generals and intelligence operatives. The cult’s original charter was drafted by General Albert Pike, who had served as the chief of Confederate Intelligence. The point of this digression is that the intelligence community has a long history of spawning occult based groups dedicated to terrorizing society.)
A number of America’s other notable serial killers showed a proclivity for utilizing weapons of opportunity as well. The other serial killing Ramirez – Los Angeles’ famed Night Stalker – is a case in point. In the majority of the murders attributed to that Ramirez, the victims (who ranged in age from six to eighty-four and were of various races and genders) were stabbed, bludgeoned, slashed, strangled, or electrocuted with weapons acquired at the crime scene. And strangely enough, some were intentionally left alive, as was the case with Resendez-Ramirez as well.
Florida serial killer Bobby Joe Long also showed a preference for inflicting death by a variety of means (shooting, strangling, stabbing), often with weapons of opportunity, and also left some of his victims alive. So too did Ted Bundy, whose most notorious alleged crime – the bludgeoning of four women in the Chi Omega sorority house, was committed with a club acquired on the grounds of the house immediately before his entry. This crime, by the way, was in marked contrast to Bundy’s previous alleged murders, which involved but a single victim. Bundy’s final murder before his incarceration, the killing of a twelve year old girl, also did not match his supposed MO as put forth by FBI profilers.
As previously stated, this is the rule rather than the exception. Arthur Shawcross, dubbed the Genesee River Killer, also showed no consistency in the targeting of victims. Males and females, young and old, black and white – all were represented on the victim’s list of Shawcross. And this pattern, or non-pattern, is evident in the tales of numerous other serial killers:
Charles Ng and Leonard Lake: authorities recovered the remains of seven men, three women, and two babies from their Northern California compound. The causes of death were impossible to determine.
Jeffrey Dahmer: his victims, while all young men, included whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics and American Indians.
The Hillside Stranglers (Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi): all victims were women, but the cause of death varied, including electrocution, strangulation, lethal injections, and lethal gas (all methods that have been used, strangely enough, to perform judicial executions).
Richard Speck: his eight alleged victims died by a variety of means, including strangulation, stabbing, slashing of the throat and breaking of the neck, all in a single evening.
The Gainesville Ripper (Danny Rolling): his victims included both men and women from various age groups.
The Boston Strangler (Albert DeSalvo): his victims represented a range of ages, races and attractiveness. Though most were strangled, either with materials acquired at the crime scene or manually, some were stabbed, mutilated and/or sexually molested as well. Most were left on display, though one was discretely covered with a blanket.
The Vampire of Sacramento (Richard Chase): his victim’s ages ranged from 20 months to 51 years, both males and females. Causes of death included shootings, stabbings and bludgeonings, with some victims left mutilated, beheaded and/or disemboweled. Some were cannibalized as well.
The Coed Killer (Edmund Kemper): all victims were female, though of various ages and races. Death was inflicted by means of stabbing, strangulation, suffocation, shooting and bludgeoning.
Herbert Mullin: his victims, both male and female, varied in age from children to the middle-aged. Weapons of choice included guns, knives and blunt instruments.
The Manson Family: victims, again both males and females, ranged in age from teen-aged Steven Parent to middle-aged Leno LaBianca. Death came by way of shootings, stabbings and bludgeonings, or a combination of these.
Clearly then there are any number of serial killer cases in which there is no defining Modus Operandi, and in which the deceased don’t fit any kind of ‘victim profile.’ But what of the notion of the serial killer as a lone predator? Was Henry and Ottis’ partnership an aberration? Not at all. There are any number of serial killer cases where it is officially acknowledged that there was more than one perpetrator. The Manson Family, of course, is probably the most well known case of multiple perpetrator ‘serial killing.’ Less well known is the case of the ‘Ripper Crew’ in Chicago in the early 1980’s.
Described by authorities as a four-man Satanic cult, the Rippers – led by charismatic Robin Gecht – killed as many as 17 women in as many months. There could well have been more than four members of this particular murderous cult, however. A few days after the four were arrested, another ritually mutilated body showed up at a location where previous bodies had been left by the Rippers.
Then there is the case of Charles Ng. Though Ng was the only one to stand trial for his series of killings, it is acknowledged that the crimes were committed with the assistance of Leonard Lake, who committed suicide upon his arrest. And evidence strongly suggests that there were others involved as well. Lake’s ex-wife was almost certainly involved. Police were well aware that at the very least, she had tampered with – and removed evidence from – the crime scene, including twelve videotapes believed to be snuff films of the murders. And a diary seized by police with a detailed plan to construct a series of bunkers outfitted with supplies, weapons, and sex slaves strongly hinted that there was more than just two individuals involved.
Many other serial killers have worked in pairs as well, such as the Hillside Strangler team of Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono. Working the same Los Angeles area turf just one year after the Stranglers were stopped was the team of Roy Norris and Lawrence ‘Pliers’ Bittaker. And a few years after they were caught, the team of Douglas Clark and Carol Bundy would be working the very same L.A. streets in a series of killings dubbed the ‘Sunset Strip Murders.’
The year after they were caught, another serial killer took over the L.A. market – Richard Ramirez, the notorious ‘Night Stalker.’ According to numerous witnesses – who placed Ramirez back in his home state of Texas at the time of some of the killings – these murders were not the work of a single killer either. Other evidence as well – such as the fact that more than one gun was used in the killings – tends to point to multiple perpetrators.
Then there is the matter of the ‘Son of Sam’ killings in New York. Though most of the literature available paints Berkowitz as the proverbial lone serial killer, Maury Terry and others have presented a compelling case that the killings were in fact the work of multiple cult members. In other serial killer cases as well, evidence pointing to multiple assailants is ignored or explained away with unlikely scenarios.
The body of one of Bobby Joe Long’s victims, for instance, yielded semen showing both A and B blood types, indicating at least two perpetrators. A later victim also yielded semen evidence which did not match that obtained from the previous victim. And none of the samples proved to match the samples taken from their alleged killer.
There has long been speculation that the work of the ‘Boston Strangler,’ officially deemed to be Albert DeSalvo, was not the work of one man. Most of the officials involved in the investigation, in fact, never believed that a single killer was responsible.
Of the eight members of the psychiatric panel convened to develop a ‘profile,’ seven believed that there were at least two perpetrators.
Even in those cases that seem to come closest to matching the classic serial killer profile, such as John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, there is a compelling case to be made that there were others involved. That evidence will be examined in the next installment of this series. Here we will examine the cases of two high-profile alleged serial killers/mass murderers who were said to be acting alone. The first is a very recent case, that of Yosemite killer Cary Stayner. The other dates all the way back to 1966, the year Richard Speck allegedly went berserk in a home filled with young nursing students in Chicago, becoming the first mass murderer of the television age.
“It’s more of a shadow than anything else. You know it’s a human being, but yet you can’t accept it. The killin’ itself, it’s like say, you’re walkin’ down the road. Half of me will go this way and the other half goes that way. The right-hand side didn’t know what the left-hand side was going to do.” —-Henry Lee Lucas, describing how he perceived his victims prior to killing them
In February of 1999, a forty-three year old woman and two teenage girls (one her daughter) were brutally murdered while visiting Yosemite National Park in California. Police originally suspected a group of men and women with extensive criminal records who were known members of a drug trafficking ring.
At least eleven members of this group were at one time suspected of complicity in the women’s deaths. The group was based in Modesto, where one of the victim’s billfolds incongruously showed up some time after the murders. One member of the group worked at the hotel/restaurant from where the women disappeared. Another had in her possession the victim’s bank account number and ATM password. Yet another made incriminating statements to police and was discovered to have blanket fluff in his vehicle that matched the fibers recovered from one of the victims.
Investigators were building a substantial case against the group – who were being held in custody on unrelated charges – when a fourth victim was discovered in Yosemite. Two days later it was declared that a handyman at the hotel taken into custody, Cary Stayner, was solely responsible for all four murders. Unexplained, then or now, was the evidence that earlier had pointed in the direction of others.
Many of those involved in the case harbor serious doubts that Stayner acting alone could have committed these crimes. Apart from the physical evidence and testimony implicating others, the story concocted to explain how these murders were the work of a single individual is questionable at best. A good number of police and FBI agents assigned to the case believed from the beginning that more than one perpetrator was responsible, based on the physical implausibility of a single assailant. Many doubt that one man acting alone could have gotten the jump, so to speak, on three able-bodied women and bound them all.
They also doubt that one man could have carried the three bodies out to his car undetected, with one still alive and most likely resisting the killer’s efforts, aware that her friend and mother had both already been killed. According to the official story though, that is exactly what happened. Stayner then allegedly single-handedly cleaned up the hotel room in which the first two murders occurred before driving for miles to kill the third victim and dump the body. The killer then supposedly drove many more miles to another location to abandon the car, with the other two bodies still in the trunk.
Stayner is next said to have taken a cab back to Yosemite Valley, though he would most likely have been covered in blood at the time. Two days later, he is said to have returned to the car in yet another vehicle and at that time to have set it afire, still with the two bodies inside. After this, he allegedly drove to Modesto to dump the billfold, though why he didn’t destroy it in the car fire along with the rest of the evidence is anyone’s guess.
Even with this rather convoluted story, authorities have not been able to explain away all of the incongruous evidence. For example, a taunting letter sent by the killer revealing the location of one of the bodies was sealed with saliva that was not that of Stayner. The FBI reluctantly acknowledged that DNA tests had verified that fact. Spokesmen for the Bureau had an explanation, however: their theory was that Stayner had “tricked an unsuspecting male” into supplying the saliva to seal the envelope. How exactly this would be done was left to the imagination. As was why it would be done. If Stayner had the foresight to not want to leave incriminating evidence on the letter and envelope, why not just use ordinary old tap water? It’s been known to do the job.
If the available evidence in the Stayner case leaves doubts about the sole guilt of the accused, this is all the more true in the case of the infamous Richard Speck. The official story of what happened to those eight student nurses in the early morning hours of July 14, 1966 is, in a word, preposterous. If veteran criminal investigators are puzzled as to how Stayner was able to subdue three women, then it boggles the imagination how one man was able to single-handedly subdue nine women, bind them all, and then systematically kill all but one of them.
According to the sole survivor, Cora Amurao, it was she who answered the door that night, allowing Speck entry into the home. She claimed he was brandishing a gun, though none of the victims were shot that night and no evidence was ever found indicating that a gun was used at the crime scene. It was claimed that Speck stole the gun from a rape victim on the very day of the slaughter, after which it promptly disappeared.
Speck quickly corralled Amurao and the five other women in the house into a room, where he proceeded to tear up a sheet into strips and tie the women up, one by one. How he was able to accomplish this while keeping all the rest at bay is anyone’s guess. Three more women would arrive home that evening and would likewise be subdued and bound by Speck.
Meanwhile, Speck began dragging the women off one at a time and slaughtering them, taking twenty minutes or more with each victim. As he finished with each, according to Amurao, he would wash up and then return for another. This scene played itself out over the course of at least three hours. During this time, the women awaiting their turn tried to hide under the beds, hoping to elude their assailant. They were, of course, found and killed. All, that is, except Cora Amurao who claims she avoided detection by Speck. The suggestion was made that Speck had lost count of his victims and had falsely concluded that all the girls were dead, thereby making the crucial error of leaving a living witness.
This part of the story is problematic in a number of ways. The first question raised is why did the girls remain in the room in which they were bound? If, despite their bindings, they were able to move about within the room – which they clearly were or they would not have been able to get under the beds – then why not leave the room altogether? And once out of the room, why not get completely out of the house? And what was to prevent the women from untying each other?
After all, the pattern was set early on. After the first couple of slayings, it had to be abundantly clear to the women that their lives were about to come to an abrupt end. It also had to be quite clear that there would be twenty minutes to kill (no pun intended) before the killer returned, more than enough time to attempt an escape. And what was there to lose? It is inconceivable that these women would have rem
ained to await their turn with Speck.
And what of the survivor? It should be readily apparent to anyone that an adult human simply cannot successfully hide underneath a bed. This is amply illustrated by the fact that all but one of those attempting to do so were discovered. And yet one survived. How is it possible that Speck could have searched under the beds to locate the others, and yet failed to see Cora Amurao lying there as well. And is it really possible that Speck was unable to count to nine, especially considering that the stakes were exceedingly high?
Clearly if not for the existence of the survivor, the police would have immediately assumed multiple perpetrators. No theorizing was necessary, however, as the witness was on the scene to provide the unlikely scenario that would be refined to become the official story. Even so, the composite drawing of the suspect released by police clearly did not resemble Speck.
Since the entire trial of the man fingered by Amurao hinged on her eyewitness testimony – and little else – this star witness was zealously protected. She was kept incommunicado and prepped extensively for months for the testimony that she was to deliver, but not before she had identified the suspect in a most unusual manner. While Speck was recovering in the hospital from a failed suicide attempt, Amurao was allegedly sent in dressed as a nurse to observe the suspect. From this encounter, she positively identified him as the killer.
Leaving aside the obvious fact that this was a blatantly illegitimate means of identifying a suspect – which would have invalidated any subsequent attempts by Ms. Amurao to pick Speck out of a police line-up – the real question here is: in what alternative reality would this ever actually happen? What caliber of police official would send a severely traumatized crime victim – who just days before had witnessed the slaughter of eight of her friends and experienced the sheer terror of knowing that she could well be next – into a room unprotected to face the man who had put her through such torture? And what victim would be able to do so, with the memories so fresh? And what guarantee was there that Speck would not recognize his accuser, given that hers was the first face he had seen as he entered the house that night?
At any rate, this was just a warm-up exercise for what was to come. When the time came for Amurao to deliver her critical testimony, she delivered a bravura performance. She recited a meticulously rehearsed version of the events of July 14, and when the time came to identify the suspect in court, she played her trump card. Rising from her seat – allegedly without prompting or rehearsal – she calmly stepped out of the witness box, walked casually over to where Speck sat, stood directly in front of him while looking him in the eye, and told the court: “This is the man.” That was the clincher; Speck was found guilty and sentenced to death.
There are indications though that this was not a foregone conclusion. Prosecutors clearly had doubts about their ridiculously shaky case. One indication of this is the remarkable fact that, though the case was moved some three hours outside of Chicago to Peoria, the judge stayed on in the new venue, an unprecedented development. This same judge slapped a gag order on the press, guaranteeing that no news would get back to Chicago – or anywhere else in the country for that matter. Coupled with the blocking of any interviews with Amurao, this action shut the public out from ever learning the weakness of the case against Speck.
But no matter. Authorities and the press had already assured everyone that Speck was guilty. And the public was hungry for a culprit to hang this heinous crime on. Speck would do just fine. But many of the more thoughtful citizens of Chicago are still waiting to learn what really happened in that house on that fateful night.
The most likely explanation? The ‘survivor’ and star witness was not actually a survivor at all. She was quite possibly an accomplice to a cult of individuals who perpetrated this slaughter. She was, as they say, the inside man. And it was not likely an accident that she was left alive. It was absolutely essential that she remain alive to sell the single assailant scenario and thereby derail an investigation before it ever began.
After all, authorities had noted from the beginning that the house was not highly visible and had immediately assumed familiarity of the killer with the surroundings. Speck did not have this familiarity, though Amurao certainly did. And it is likely not a coincidence that Amurao admitted to being the one to let the killer (or killers) into the house, while ironically becoming the sole survivor.
And what of Speck? He was likely little more than a patsy or fall guy. He may have had some involvement with the killings, though he certainly was not the sole assailant. And he might not have been in the house at all that night. He had no memory of ever leaving the bar that he had been drinking in earlier that evening, though he did remember receiving an injection from a man he didn’t know that was supposed to contain speed.
It’s possible that, like David Berkowitz, he may have taken the fall to protect the rest of the clan. This would certainly explain the preposterously lax treatment of Speck during his confinement. Or maybe you didn’t catch that little home videotape – produced circa 1988 – that depicted Speck snorting huge piles of cocaine and flashing rolls of money (not to mention sporting a rather large and quite unattractive pair of breasts).
How it is possible that one of America’s most notorious killers, while residing in what is reputedly one of the toughest prisons in the country, was able to obtain copious quantities of drugs and money and gain access to video equipment and hormone treatments has never been explained. It could be that Speck was rewarded in prison for being such a stand-up guy and taking the fall. Or it could be, as the right-wing law-and-order crowd would have you believe, that this is yet another indication of how America coddles its criminals.
If you choose this explanation, however, you might consider explaining that fact to the hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders rotting away in jails and prisons all across this country, many serving longer sentences than some of America’s serial killers have served. And you might also ponder why it was that Speck’s death sentence was overturned on appeal, leaving him eligible for parole in just ten years.
Footnote: A couple weeks after the Chicago slaughter, Charles Whitman – a former marine who had received training by the Naval Enlisted Science Education Program (NESEP), an intelligence entity – would climb the tower at the University of Texas carrying three rifles, three handguns and a shotgun, and proceed to open fire, killing sixteen. Whitman would leave a note which read, in part, “I don’t quite understand what is compelling me to type this note. I have been to a psychiatrist. I have been having fears and violent impulses.”
Both of these mass murders occurred, strangely enough, just a few months after Anton LaVey had formally established the Church of Satan and declared April 30, 1966 to be the first day of the Age of Satan. Just a few weeks prior to that, long-time CIA asset Henry Luce’s venerable Time magazine had asked its readers the symbolic question: “Is God Dead?” The face of a particularly brutal criminal enterprise, masquerading as a religion, was beginning to emerge from the shadows.
“I must have done it, if everybody says I did.” —-Richard Speck
Part III: Seven Degrees of Henry Lee
“Can I tell you who really I am, with all the secrecy t
hat’s in the family? … I only have one purpose in life, and that’s to express some of my views and some of the views that I have been instructed – anything that can put down Christianity, anything that can put down democracy, anything that can put down freedom.” —-Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, delivering his closing argument to a jury in St. Louis, March 1989
Henry’s reign of terror had been ended for a mere nine months when another series of violent ‘serial killings’ began on March 27, 1984 in part of Henry’s old stomping ground, the state of Florida (where Resendez-Ramirez also confessed to having committed two murders). By the time it was over, ten people had met with a gruesome death, allegedly at the hands of Bobby Joe Long. Though rarely mentioned in press accounts of the killings, Long is a distant cousin of Henry Lee Lucas.
It had been just over two years since John Wayne Gacy had been indicted for the murder of thirty-three young men in Chicago when the first of a ‘new’ wave of ‘serial killings’ began terrorizing the people of the Windy City. A year-and-a-half later, seventeen young women had fallen victim to the ‘Ripper Crew,’ led by Robin Gecht. Though infrequently mentioned, Gecht had been one of the young male employees of John Gacy. Seventeen years later, just days prior to the scheduled execution of one of the ‘Rippers’, David Gecht – son of Robin – would be arrested along with three accomplices and charged with committing an act of murder.
The odds that it is merely coincidence that two serial killers worked side by side without either having awareness of – or involvement in – the other’s killings are surely astronomical. More likely is that Gecht was a member of a cult led by Gacy and was indeed involved in the earlier series of killings. Well documented is that Gacy surrounded himself with young men and boys, one of whom was Robin Gecht.
Also documented is that Gacy had these boys excavate the twenty-nine graves located directly beneath his house. While it is claimed that the boys were unaware that what they were digging were graves, how credible is this claim? The stench of death permeating the space beneath Gacy’s house – and indeed the house itself – was universally described as overwhelming.
It seems entirely possible that those digging the graves – and likely burying the bodies as well – were teen cultists led by Gacy himself. The home was likely used as something of a safe house for the cult, as well as a body drop. Following the arrest of Gacy, the group – now under the leadership of Gecht – was likely forced to take its activities out onto the streets, so to speak.
The change in gender of the victims could be due to one of two factors: a deliberate attempt to disassociate the Ripper killings from the Gacy killings; or simply a reflection of the difference in sexual preference between Gacy and Gecht. At any rate, it is an acknowledged fact that the Ripper Crew was a Satanic cult that killed as a group, much as did the Manson Family. Prosecutors in fact likened Gecht’s followers to the Family, who yearned to please their leader and killed on command.
As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, the string of shootings dubbed the ‘Son of Sam’ murders were not – as is generally believed – the work of David Berkowitz acting alone, but were likewise the work of a Satanic cult (this case has been exhaustively researched by Maury Terry and documented in his book, The Ultimate Evil). An offshoot of the Process Church of the Final Judgment, the cult has been referred to as both the ‘Chingon’ cult and the ‘Four-P’ cult.
The Process Church, which set up shop in San Francisco, was itself an offshoot of the Church of Scientology, which was the brainchild of L. Ron Hubbard – an agent of the Office of Naval Intelligence and the son of a U.S. Navy Commander. Before being inspired to create his own church, Hubbard was a close associate and follower of Jack Parsons, rocket fuel scientist and avid follower of the occult, who helped found the prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Parsons was at the time the head of the American chapter of the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis), a title bestowed on him by mentor Aleister Crowley, a flamboyant occultist, British and American intelligence asset, and avid Nazi sympathizer and propagandist both before and during World War II.
Crowley had assumed the leadership of the OTO in 1922 when founder Theodor Reuss – a German occultist and intelligence asset – had stepped down. The OTO then – along with the various organizations spawned from it – is in a direct line of descent from the German occult-based secret societies that gave rise to the Third Reich, a fact made evident by the ideology and symbolism of the Process Church, whose logo is a modified swastika.
Back in the Bay area, Anton Szandor LaVey and Crowley-enthusiast Kenneth Anger would set about busily organizing the Church of Satan in San Francisco, where LaVey would become something of a celebrity – the clown prince of Satanism. From this church would spring forth both the Temple of Set – led by U.S. intelligence asset and psychological warfare specialist Lt. Col. Michael Aquino – and the Werewolf Order, founded by LaVey’s daughter Zeena and Manson-admirer Nikolas Schreck
Both of these off-shoots embraced an unabashedly fascist ideology. The Werewolf Order was patterned directly after the Nazi-front Werewolf Corps created in post-war Germany to thwart any attempts at denazification. Zeena LaVey and Nikolas Schreck are also notable for holding a public gathering on August 8, 1988 to celebrate the anniversary of the slaughter of Sharon Tate by the Manson Family.
So great is Aquino’s admiration for Nazi Germany that he once paid a visit to Wewelsberg Castle – a Satanic holy ground owing to the fact that the castle was lavishly restored by Heinrich Himmler to serve as the headquarters of the Black Order of the SS – to perform a Satanic ‘working.’ Interestingly, Aquino considers himself to be a homunculus (a being created by magic), the result of a ‘working’ performed by Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard.
Aquino, who before splitting with the group was the highest ranking member of the Church of Satan other than LaVey, has said that LaVey secretly forged an alliance with the National Renaissance Party, an overtly racist, neo-Nazi organization. This is not difficult to believe, given that LaVey’s writings can best be characterized as ‘religious fascism.’
From this primordial stew would arise, in the late sixties, the Manson Family. Much of Manson’s ideology was taken directly from the teachings of the Process Church, with whom Charlie was closely connected, as alluded to by Bugliosi in Helter Skelter, and greatly elaborated on by Ed Sanders in The Family (to verify that both Satanic and Nazi imagery and philosophy are integral to the teachings of the Family, pay a visit to the official Family web site, maintained for Charlie by long-time disciple Sandra Good).
Sanders links Manson as well to the Church of Satan and the OTO, as well as the Church of Scientology (as was true of Berkowitz as well). All of these connections are quite well documented in Terry’s and Sanders’ books. For instance, two of the Manson family members convicted of murder were recruited directly from LaVey’s Church of Satan: Susan “Sexy Sadie” Atkins and Bobby “Cupid” Beausoleil, who is said to be a former lover and roommate of Kenneth Anger.
LaVey in fact provides one of many connections between killers and victims. He had formed a close association with Roman Polanski shortly before the murders, when he served as the technical consultant for Polanski on his film Rosemary’s Baby, in which he also made a cameo appearance as – who else? – Satan. Newspaper account
s at the time of the slayings were rife with claims that the Polanskis were Satanists who hosted drug and sex orgies. But here I digress.
The point is that the Manson Family had numerous affiliations with an array of Satanic groups. In fact, Terry’s evidence indicates that the Family was (and is) a Satanic cult itself, a faction of the Process-spawned Chingon cult and a sister group to the New York chapter responsible for the Son of Sam slayings. The Family was, appropriately enough, deeply involved in drug trafficking, as Henry Lee Lucas claimed his cult to be. It’s likely not a coincidence that Ottis Toole was known to have paid visits to the Process Church headquarters in New Orleans.
Further evidence presented by Terry indicates that another sister group was in operation in the sixties and seventies in the San Francisco/Santa Cruz area, with this interlocking network quite possibly responsible for the Zodiac murders as well. With all this in mind, we now turn our attention to the Santa Cruz area and the explosion of violent murders that belched forth from that cauldron.
In March of 1967, Charles Milles Manson was released from prison and given transport to San Francisco, where – despite having served virtually his entire adult life in prison – he immediately started gathering followers, many recruited from the various Satanic groups blossoming in the area. In the Spring of the following year, 1968, Manson loaded his new followers into a bus and took them on the road, ultimately settling into the Los Angeles area where he quickly and improbably established numerous prominent contacts in the entertainment business.
In December of 1968, what was thought to be the first of the Zodiac murders rocked the San Francisco area (it would later be learned that the killings actually began in the Los Angeles area on October 30, 1966, shortly after the rampages of Richard Speck and Charles Whitman). Others would soon follow. On August 9th and 10th of 1969, the Manson Family committed two of the most notorious multiple murders in the nation’s history – the Tate-LaBianca slayings – victims of which included Sharon Tate, the daughter of Colonel Paul Tate of U.S. Army Intelligence.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country, a man named Stanley Baker was convicted in July of 1970 for the murder of a Montana resident. Baker candidly admitted to his arresting officers that he had a little problem – he was a cannibal. As proof, he produced from his pocket a well-gnawed human finger. Baker, as it turns out, liked to talk and candidly admitted his involvement in numerous other murders that he claimed to have committed as a member of the aforementioned Four-P cult. In fact, police were able to conclusively link him to a particularly brutal mutilation murder in San Francisco, thanks to his having thoughtfully left behind a bloody fingerprint. California courts nevertheless declined to prosecute Baker for the homicide with the ridiculous claim that he had been denied a speedy trial.
Despite his confessed involvement in a number of murders, and despite the fact that the murder he was convicted of involved him ripping out the man’s heart and eating it, Baker was released from prison after just fourteen years and remains at large today. This was perhaps due to the fact that he had distinguished himself as a model prisoner during his incarceration by starting his own Satanic cult and having no fewer than eleven weapons confiscated by guards (the theme of inexplicably lenient treatment by the criminal ‘justice’ system, already mentioned in conjunction with Henry Lee, will be more fully explored later).
Just months after the conviction of Baker – in a case closely mirroring the slaughter of the residents of the Tate house – John Lindley Frazier, allegedly acting alone, killed all the occupants of a home in Santa Cruz, including a prominent doctor, his wife, secretary, and two children. As a grand finale, he threw the bodies in the pool (largely cleansing them of forensic evidence) and then lit the house on fire. Frazier, who was known to have a strong interest in the occult, was said to have started his own lifestyle as an Aquarian Age hermit, living in a six-foot-square shack in the woods (can you say Ted Kaczynski – who was, by the way, a subject of MK-ULTRA experiments while a student at Harvard).
Not long after Frazier’s rampage, and while the death toll of the Zodiac Killer continued to rise, Edmund Kemper began his bloody odyssey through the streets of Santa Cruz, ultimately leaving eight dead before being stopped in early 1973. Most of his victims were beheaded and dissected, as well as being cannibalized and sexually abused after their death. Just five months after Kemper claimed his first victim, Herbert Mullin began a parallel series of killings in (where else?) Santa Cruz.
Mullin also admitted to having a strong interest in the occult, a fact made evident by the nature of the killings attributed to him. His first victim was killed on Friday the 13th, his second on or about Halloween. His third killing was the stabbing of a Catholic priest in his confessional on November 2 – All Souls Day (this may have been a politically motivated hit; the victim, Father Henry Tomei, was a hero of the anti-fascist French resistance movement during World War II).
All told, Mullin would be credited with thirteen killings in just four months before being stopped in February of 1973. While awaiting trial on the charges, he was assigned a cell adjoining none other than Ed Kemper. The two were, inexplicably, represented by the same defense attorney – James Jackson – who had not long before represented fellow Santa Cruz mass murderer John Frazier. Even more inexplicably, all three were ‘examined’ after their arrest by psychiatrist Donald Lunde, who appeared as a witness in all three trials. Apparently, there aren’t many defense attorneys or psychiatric witnesses available in Santa Cruz (Mullin attempted to refuse the services of attorney Jackson, but the judge denied his request).
For those who have lost count, that makes six serial killers/mass murderers – Charles Manson, Stanley Baker, John Lindley Frazier, Edmund Kemper, Herbert Mullin, and the Zodiac – all spawned from the Santa Cruz/San Francisco area in a span of just over four years, a rather remarkable geographic anomaly that has never been addressed. These killers were part of the dawn of a new era that would see serial killers become an ever-present part of the American culture.
Prior to 1960, fewer than two serial killers a year were reported nationwide. By 1970, the number had climbed to six per year, and by 1980 had tripled that figure. By 1990, nearly three dozen serial killers a year were being reported. Not surprisingly then, the rash of Satanic murders afflicting California would continue. In 1977, not far from San Francisco, another serial killer began a string of killings.
Richard Chase, dubbed the Vampire of Sacramento, would soon stand accused of six homicides that were laced with Satanic symbolism, including the ritual mutilation of the left breast of one of his female victims and the drinking of his victim’s blood (this preoccupation with the left breast of victims was shared by the Ripper Crew, who routinely severed and cannibalized the left breast of their victims. In the Boston Strangler case, one of the victims was found with 18 stab wounds forming a design on her left breast. And Resendez-Ramirez, aside from his killings in the U.S., is suspected in the ritual murders of as many as 187 women in Juarez, Mexico – many of whom had their left breast severed).
Yet another Satanic serial killer was to terrorize California in 1984, the highly publicized Night Stalker – Richard Ramirez. Ramirez’s involvement in Satanism was so flagrant that it was impossible for the press to ignore. H
e was routinely referred to as a ‘self-styled Satanist,’ however, which is clearly not the case. In truth, Ramirez was connected to at least one high-profile Satanic church, and likely to a covert cult as well.
Ramirez was first introduced to Satanism at a young age by his older cousin Mike in – of all places – El Paso, Texas (or possibly even earlier by his father, a former policeman in Juarez, Mexico). Mike was a decorated Green Beret who had served as a special forces operative in Vietnam. Chances are that cousin Mike was in fact a Phoenix Program assassin, who clearly relished the opportunity that Vietnam gave him to engage in his bloodlust.
Mike had documented some of his assignments in Vietnam by taking graphic Polaroid photos depicting rape, extreme torture, mutilation, and murder. These he shared with his young cousin Richard. There is reason to believe that Mike also got Richard involved with a cult, which certainly don’t seem to be in short supply in the El Paso area.
Richard left El Paso in 1978 and journeyed to California, where he quickly hooked up with LaVey’s Church of Satan, where he was honored with a one-on-one meeting with LaVey. It is claimed that he parted company with LaVey’s group before his killing spree began, though his interest in Satanism clearly continued, as evidenced by the symbolism attending the Night Stalker crime scenes, including the drawing of pentagrams.
Also described as a ‘dabbler’ in Satanism was everyone’s favorite cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer. It is likely that Dahmer was much more than just a dabbler, a fact made clear by the detailed plan for constructing a Satanic alter that was found in his apartment, complete with the human skulls he had been collecting. In one of the most bizarre ‘coincidences’ surrounding America’s serial killers, the brother of one of Dahmer’s victims was found stabbed to death in March of 1999 – long after Dahmer himself had been murdered – in what was described by police as a ritual sacrifice.
This would tend to indicate that others were involved in Dahmer’s murder spree, though it is possible that it was just a coincidence. Given, however, that Satanic crime is said to be so rare in America that it does not in fact exist, one wonders what the odds are of two kids from the same family being murdered under such circumstances. And while we are on the subject of coincidences, what are the odds that the Stayner family would have one son kidnapped as a child and subjected to eight years of torture and sexual abuse, only to have their other son later turn out to be a serial killer? But here again I digress.
Yet another obvious Satanist in the serial killer crowd is the man who was known as the Butcher of Kansas, Bob Berdella. By his own admission, Berdella turned to Satanism after the death of his father when he was still a teen. Among the array of macabre artefacts found in his home and place of business (Bob’s Bizarre Bazaar) were numerous items fashioned from human body parts, as well as an abundance of occult literature and a Satanic ritual robe. Another rather curious fact about the Berdella case was that following his conviction, a local millionaire named Dell Dunmire bought all of Berdella’s belongings, including the house in which the murders were committed and the entire inventory of his home and business. He proceeded to level the house and then sold the vacant lot.
It is quite possible that these actions were taken to hide evidence of the involvement of others, including possibly himself. It will be recalled that Henry Lee Lucas claimed that the upper echelons of the cult he was involved with included the wealthy and powerful. Berkowitz made the same claims of the Son of Sam cult. Journalist Terry was, in fact, able to document the involvement in the cult of such figures as Cotton Club film producer Roy Radin and wealthy art dealer Andrew Crispo. Crispo actually admitted to being present at a ritual homicide, though he denied participating in the grisly murder. Radin, on the other hand, became a victim of the cult himself.
Another acknowledged Satanist was Leonard Lake, and likely his partner Charles Ng as well. Lake’s ex-wife admitted that her former spouse had a long-time affiliation with a San Francisco ‘witches coven,’ and friends recalled that Lake had often claimed membership in a secret ‘death cult.’
Besides the killers listed here who have exhibited an overt interest in Satanism, it is tempting to conclude that any murder that includes such elements as cannibalism, ritual mutilation and necrophilia is Satanically inspired. To do so, however, would reek of Christian fundamentalism with its desire to cast all such evil as the work of the Devil.
We will refrain from doing so here. We will also pause here to note that your erstwhile reporter is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a Christian fundamentalist. In fact, he is not a Christian at all, but rather an atheist. He does not believe in God or Satan, though he does believe that both are concepts that are used by the powerful few to promote an agenda.
He also does not believe that those who are at the top of the food chain on either side of the aisle believe in God or Satan, for that matter. They merely exploit the belief systems of their followers to serve their own ends. The main point here is that readers should not conclude that the actions of these killers is influenced or directed by an entity known as Satan, but by mortal men who manipulate the belief systems of others. I’m glad we cleared that up, but once again I digress.
“Satan gets into people and makes them do things they don’t want to.” —–Herbert Mullin speaking to a Bible study class
We turn now to another of the recurrent themes that runs through the serial killer literature: the inexplicably lax treatment afforded America’s serial killers – already noted in reference to Henry Lee Lucas, Richard Speck and Stanley Baker. This trend is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that the U.S. has the harshest criminal justice system in the ‘free’ world.
So leniently have many of our serial killers been treated that it is hard not to conclude that the actions of America’s courts and key law enforcement personnel are often deliberately intended to keep these men on the streets. If this is not the case, then it is difficult to imagine what other explanation would suffice to explain these glaring exceptions to the ‘Rule of Law.’
John Wayne Gacy, for instance, was convicted in 1968 of violently raping a teenage boy. For this he was sentenced to ten years, but was released after serving just 18 months. Some years later – during the killing years of 1972-1978 – at least two young men would go to the police with stories of being chloroformed by Gacy and being subsequently tortured and violently raped.
Despite Gacy’s record for engaging in exactly that type of behavior, the complaints were not believed by the police who failed to take any action. Police did finally take action in December of 1978, searching Gacy’s home in response to allegations made by yet another young man. They found drivers licenses and jewellery that appeared to belong to some of the missing boys, copious quantities of drugs, a stained rug, handcuffs, a home-made stock, police badges, a syringe and needles, and rope.
Despite the discovery of this evidence – and the fact that the stench of death literally filled every corner of the house as it rose up through the floor boards from the twenty-nine corpses rotting below – the police decided to take no action at that time and left to “further research the case.” Gacy would not be arrested for eight more days, and then it was on drug charges unconnected to the murders. This triggered a second search of the house though that result
ed in the discovery of the bodies.
In between the first and second searches, Gacy actually invited officers into his home for drinks, and yet again they bafflingly failed to notice the unmistakable smell of decomposition. Police also aided Gacy by steadfastly refusing to list any of Gacy’s victims as ‘missing,’ preferring instead to consider them runaways. It was noted during the search, by the way, that Gacy’s house was impeccably neat, as was that other infamous death house, Jeffrey Dahmer’s Milwaukee apartment.
Dahmer also received rather lax treatment from authorities both before and during his killing spree. In 1989, Dahmer had been convicted on molestation charges, for which he received only probation and one year on a work release program. Even this was too harsh though, and a judge granted him early release after just ten months, despite a letter from the prisoner’s own father asking that he be held until he received treatment.
Following his release, his probation officer failed to make a single visit to Dahmer’s home, which – like Gacy’s – reeked of death and decomposition. This would later become the basis of a lawsuit by survivors of some of Dahmer’s victims, who plausibly contended that a single visit by the probation department would have put Dahmer out of business.
Even more baffling is the fact that a 14-year-old boy – naked, bleeding and heavily drugged – was seen fleeing Dahmer’s apartment by two women who called the police to report the incident. The police, upon their arrival, chose to believe Dahmer’s story of a lover’s quarrel, despite the fact that the women were still on the scene and angrily tried to inform the officers that they had seen the terror-stricken boy actively resisting Dahmer’s efforts to restrain him, and despite the fact that the boy was clearly underage.
Yet more inexplicable, the police claim to have accompanied the pair back to Dahmer’s apartment and to have noticed nothing amiss. This despite the fact that there was at the time a three-day-old corpse on the bed with the attendant smell of death, not to mention an abundance of rather morbid artifacts. Nevertheless, the police left and Dahmer promptly proceeded to kill the boy and rape and disembowel the corpse.
The mother of one of the women who had witnessed the boy fleeing called officers back after reading a newspaper story on a missing boy who closely resembled the naked young man, but her concerns were dismissed. Out of despair, she even contacted the local FBI office, but this was also to no avail. The case was considered closed, even though Dahmer was a convicted child molester who was still on probation, and even though the boy who police returned to the killer that night was the brother of the boy Dahmer had previously been convicted of molesting.
The Night Stalker was another who received notably light sentencing. Convicted of rape while still in high school, he was let off without even receiving probation. And his mentor – cousin Mike – was convicted of shooting his wife in the face, killing her in full view of the 13-year-old future serial killer. He was sent to a mental hospital from which he was released in less than five years. Following his release, he again assumed the role of mentor to Richard.
Then there is the case of Bobby Joe Long, Henry’s kin. Accused by his girlfriend of rape and battery, he was convicted of the latter. The verdict was set aside, however, when a judge received a letter from Long and, strangely enough, considered it a valid legal motion for a new trial and granted the prisoner’s ‘motion.’ At his new trial, Long was acquitted despite numerous credible witnesses who testified against him. Between the first and second trials, he was also convicted of sending obscene materials and making obscene phone calls to a twelve-year-old girl. For this, he was sentenced to six month’s probation and two days in jail. Later, he was convicted of attempting to abduct a girl at gunpoint and received a $1,500 fine and three years probation.
How much worse can it get, you ask? Consider the case of Gary Heidnik. He was arrested in 1978 when it was discovered that he had a woman chained in his basement. She had been repeatedly tortured and raped. Charged with kidnapping, rape, unlawful restraint and false imprisonment, Heidnik was convicted. He was back out by early 1983. A few years later, six more women would have to endure this same tortuous ordeal. Two of them would not survive.
Or consider the case of Arthur Shawcross. Arthur had gone to Vietnam in 1968, and though records indicate he served as a supply clerk, he returned telling lurid tales of rape, torture, cannibalism, mutilation and dismemberment (can you say Phoenix?). Upon his return, he promptly set fire to a local paper mill and a cheese factory – crimes for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. He served less than two.
A year later, Shawcross raped, strangled, mutilated and cannibalized an eight-year-old girl and a ten-year-old boy. He also admitted returning on several occasions to have sex with the boy’s rotting corpse. He received a 25 year sentence for the girl’s death, but was never even charged with the boy’s murder, despite the fact that he had confessed to the crime and showed investigators where the body lay. Shawcross was released just fifteen years later, resulting in eleven more deaths.
Or consider the case of Edmund Kemper. In 1964, young Ed shot both his grandparents in the head. Placed in the custody of the Youth Authority, Kemper was released after serving just five years for the double murder. Richard Speck was convicted of attacking a girl with a knife and nearly killing her in January 1965, just a year before the Chicago mass murder. He served just five months, despite having been arrested some three dozen times in his life prior to the assault. This was attributed to ‘bureaucratic error.’
As the trial was set to begin for Hillside Strangler Angelo Buono, prosecutors moved to dismiss all ten murder charges and drop prosecution altogether of Buono as the Strangler. The judge, to his credit, refused to grant the motion and instructed the prosecutors to proceed with the case. Richard Chase was released from psychiatric confinement in 1976 despite protests from the staff that he was dangerous, due in part to his professed belief that he required the blood of others to survive. His killings began the next year, but not before his being found by the police in the desert naked and covered in blood. In his car nearby were guns and a bucket of human blood.
Albert DeSalvo, purportedly the Boston Strangler, was arrested in 1955 and charged with molesting a nine-year-old girl. The charges were dropped. In the next few years, he was twice arrested for breaking and entering. Both times he received suspended sentences. In 1960, he was again convicted of breaking and entering in conjunction with a series of sexual assaults. He served just eleven months.
And consider finally the cases of Charles Manson and Ted Bundy. The LAPD, arguably the most corrupt police department in the country – though there is certainly no lack of competition – couldn’t really be bothered with the wealth of evidence that implicated Family members in the Tate and LaBianca murders. The department refused to acknowledge and examine the glaringly obvious connections between the two murder scenes, thus severely hampering the investigation. They likewise refused to explore the connections between the Gary Hinman murder and the other two more high-profile crimes.
The L.A. Sheriffs had solved the Hinman case, no thanks to the LAPD, and had Bobby Beausoleil in custody and knew of his connections to the Family. They were also well aware of the connections between the three crime scenes. Two motorcycle gang memb
ers with close ties to the Family – Al Springer and Danny DeCarlo of the Straight Satans – had given them damning testimony concerning the Family’s involvement in all the murders.
When the sheriffs passed this information on to the LAPD, they proceeded to do absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, on September 1, 1969, just a few weeks after the Tate murders, a gun was found and turned in to L.A.’s finest. The gun was a rather rare and unique firearm, and just happened to match the description of the weapon suspected of being used in the murders, right down to the broken handle.
Nevertheless, the department tagged and filed away the weapon, where it was promptly forgotten. For months. It took a phone call from the father of the boy who had found the gun to get the department to acknowledge its existence, and even then he was initially told that it had probably been destroyed. It hadn’t, and was in fact the weapon used to kill the victims at the Tate house.
Elsewhere, Susan Atkins had been arrested on unrelated charges and was spending some time in the Sybil Brand Institute for Women. While there, she gave detailed confessions of the murders to two fellow inmates. Both of these women tried repeatedly to pass this information along to the LAPD, but were consistently denied permission to do so, despite the fact that one of the women to whom these requests were made was at the time dating one of the Tate case homicide detectives.
In other words, the LAPD had at its disposal the eyewitness accounts of a participant in the crime, the gun used in the crime, the statements of two close associates of the killers directly implicating them in the crime, among other evidence, and yet chose to do nothing for a period of several months.
Ted Bundy, on the other hand, had already been taken into custody when his comedy of errors began. The problem was that, in some kind of surrealistic Keystone Cops scenario, they just couldn’t seem to keep him there. In 1975, Bundy was convicted of the kidnapping and assault of Carol DaRonch. For this, he was sentenced to 1-15 years with the possibility of parole, meaning that he likely would have been back on the streets in record time.
Shortly thereafter, Colorado police filed murder charges against Bundy, greatly overdue considering that at least five people – including one of Bundy’s college professors and, on more than one occasion, his own fiancee – had given the police Bundy’s name in connection with a string of killings being investigated in Seattle and elsewhere. This information was filed away and forgotten for years.
Now awaiting trial for murder, and suspected of numerous other murders, Bundy was granted permission to represent himself. Despite being an obvious security risk, he was allowed to do research in the courthouse library, unattended and unrestrained. Luckily for Ted, the library had an open window. Bundy ‘escaped’ by jumping out the window and casually walking away to freedom.
Recaptured after nearly a week on the lam, Bundy would ‘escape’ again just months later. This time he was said to have exited his cell through the ceiling space and crawled into the living quarters of a deputy. He then dropped down from the ceiling and strolled casually out the door. If this is in fact the case, then it must be noted that this is a very peculiar design feature for a prison.
Part 4 of this story will look at further similarities in the stories of America’s serial killers.
“Like you have a job, I have a job, he has a job. His job is killing people. That’s what he was trained to do.” —-Cynthia Haden referring to Richard Ramirez (Miss Haden was a juror in the Ramirez trial, and later established a relationship with the condemned man in an effort to understand what drove a person to commit such crimes)
Part IV: Seven More Degrees of Henry Lee
“… draftees were made to kill dogs and vultures by biting their throats and twisting off their heads, and had to watch as soldiers tortured and killed suspected dissidents – tearing out their fingernails, cutting off their heads, chopping their bodies to pieces and playing with the dismembered arms for fun.” —Noam Chomsky describing a deserter’s account of the training received by CIA-backed Salvadoran death squads
Most Americans have difficulty accepting the idea of the mind controlled killer, whether it be the lone-nut assassin such as Lee Harvey Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan, or whether it be a serial killer like Henry Lee Lucas or Charles Manson. Yet the fact remains that U.S. intelligence services have devoted a considerable amount of time and money to developing just such an individual.
There is not space here to detail all the techniques and methods that have received attention from the CIA and others. The basic methodology was revealed decades ago by George Estabrooks – a prominent psychologist under contract to the intelligence services – in his book Hypnotism, first published in 1943. Estabrooks candidly acknowledged that his “main interest has always been the military application of hypnosis.” While ‘Esty’ notes that the “intelligent reader … will sense that much more is withheld than has been told,” there is nevertheless enough information given to construct a fairly accurate picture of the fundamentals of mind control.
What is needed is a subject suffering from what used to be termed Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), and what is now termed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). This condition can already exist within the subject or can be created by the therapist. In all cases, however, the condition is created by severe trauma – so severe in fact that the traumatic episode cannot be integrated into the experiences of the core personality.
Far and away the most common cause of MPD is early childhood abuse, usually inflicted by a parent or other adult guardian. As Dr. Frank Putnam stated in 1989: “I am struck by the quality of extreme sadism that is reported by most MPD victims. Many multiples have told me of being sexually abused by groups of people, of being forced into prostitution by family members, or of being offered as sexual enticement to their mother’s boyfriends. After one has worked with a number of MPD patients, it becomes obvious that severe, sustained, and repetitive child abuse is a major element in the creation of MPD.”
When the abuse is of an extreme nature, the natural human reaction is to build a wall around such experiences, so to speak, by creating a separate and distinct personality to deal with future episodes of abuse. Once the core personality is split, it is then possible to control one or more of the alters that have been created, without the conscious knowledge of the main personality. This, according to Estabrooks, creates the ‘Super Spy,’ willing to follow orders unquestioningly without even being aware that he is doing so.
Estabrooks only alludes to the severe trauma that is required to create a true multiple, often referring to the trauma euphemistically as a form of hypnotism. At one point, he notes that “[multiple personalities] are caused by a form of hypnotism in the first place! We will see that emotional shock produces exactly the same results as hypnotism.” Later, he comes closer to the grim reality when he states: “multiple personality could be both caused and cured by hypnotism. Remember that war is a grim business. Suppose we deliberately set up that condition of multiple personality to further the ends of military intelligence.”
Elsewhere, Estabrooks acknowledges that he himself had written previously that: “everyone could be thrown into the deepest state of hypnotism by the use of what [I] termed the Russian method – no holds barred, deliberat
e disintegration of the personality by psychic torture … The subject might easily be left a mental wreck but war is a grim business.” Also noted is that children make especially good subjects, given that they “are notoriously easy to hypnotize.” Which is to say, children are particularly vulnerable to abuse and have more of a tendency to dissociate traumatic experiences, thereby creating alter identities that can be later exploited and controlled.
This is one of the main reasons that the CIA and other intelligence agencies have played a key role in the creation of ‘mainstream’ Satanic groups such as the OTO and the Temple of Set, as well as in denying the existence of underground Satanic cults and Satanic crime. These Satanic groups have frequently served as agency fronts for mind-control operations. For when it comes to severely traumatizing children, nothing compares to the stories told by those who have survived what has been termed Satanic Ritual Abuse (sometimes referred to as Sadistic Ritual Abuse). Of course, there has been a concerted effort to discredit all such stories, spearheaded by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation – a group led by a truly vile coalition of CIA affiliated psychologists and accused pedophiles.
Also playing a key role in the movement to deny the validity of recovered memories of severe abuse are Paul and Shirley Eberle, authors of the supposedly authoritative book The Politics of Child Abuse, which attempts to blame all child abuse accusations and prosecutions on overzealous prosecutors, therapists and parents. This might be a little more credible if the Eberles themselves were not well known to Los Angeles police as distributors of child pornography, a fact that the media conveniently and consistently ignore while touting the Eberles as authorities in the field of child abuse.
There is not the time or the space here to review the literature supporting the claims of abuse survivors. Suffice it to say that when viewed in the context of a state-sponsored mind control program, we can begin to understand why someone would inflict such appalling levels of abuse on America’s children, and why so much effort and disinformation would be put forth to discredit such claims if they are in fact valid.
By cloaking mind control operations in Satanic rituals, yet another purpose is served as well. Even if an operation is uncovered – as was the case at the McMartin Preschool – the stories told by the children are so outlandish, so far removed from the world as we know it, that they are easily cast aside as the product of a child’s fertile imagination. But is it really mere coincidence that the very acts that child survivors of ritual abuse all across the country claim to have witnessed and participated in – cannibalism, bestiality, pedophilia, torture, mutilation, dismemberment, etc. – are the same depraved acts that are the stock-in-trade of America’s serial killers?
In the previous installment of this series, the connections between America’s serial killers and Satanism were explored. In the next installment of what has become a considerably longer work than was originally intended, we will explore the overlapping area of mind control. Of course, it is rarely possible to substantiate that a given person has indeed been victimized by CIA mind control procedures. There are clues, however, that when taken together tend to point in that direction. Some of these are:
A history of severe childhood abuse.
A diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder, or symptoms indicating the presence of the condition.
The reporting of voices in the head instructing the subject what to do.
Connections to the intelligence community.
Connections to military, prison, and/or psychiatric facilities known or suspected to be involved in MK-ULTRA projects.
Before looking at these factors in the last installment of this series, we will look here at some other recurrent themes that tend to indicate that there is more to the average serial killer than meets the eye. Specifically, we will focus on:
The suspicious deaths of key players during the trials of various killers, tending to indicate the complicity of others and/or a high-level cover-up.
The suspicious deaths of the killers themselves.
Actions taken by the accused that seem deliberately intended to circumvent a full airing of the evidence at trial, including the giving of voluntary confessions, the entering of guilty pleas, the failure to mount a defense, and the insistence by the accused that they be allowed to serve as their own attorney (such actions, it should be noted, also provide fertile ground for later appeals and sentencing delays).
During the Manson trial for instance, one of the Family’s defense attorneys was murdered, Charlie insisted on the right to defend himself, and the defense stunned the courtroom and legal observers by resting their case without calling a single defense witness to rebut the prosecution’s case, virtually guaranteeing an easy win for Bugliosi and the state.
Cary Stayner sealed his fate by giving a detailed confession implicating himself – and he alone – in the four homicide charges he was facing, clearing several others who were – unlike Stayner – linked to the killings by hard physical evidence. On September 6th of this year, Stayner and his attorney accepted the terms of a plea bargain agreement that reeks of a cover-up. Stayner professed his sole guilt in the death of Joie Armstrong and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole, though he was spared a death sentence.
Besides the fact that the guilty plea eliminated the need for a highly publicized trial, the agreement contained a very unusual provision, stating that: “After the entry of judgment in this case until his death he [Stayner] will not speak to anyone, write to anyone, or communicate to anyone about the death of Joie Ruth Armstrong.” No one, in other words, will ever hear Stayner’s side of the story.
Herb Mullin stunned the court and his attorney by attempting to plead guilty to six counts of first-degree murder. The judge refused to accept the plea given the gravity of the consequences. Ed Kemper, another Santa Cruz serial killer, drove all the way to Colorado after his last killing before inexplicably calling his friends on the force back home and turning himself in, whereupon he gave meticulously detailed confessions to eight brutal murders.
Danny Rolling, the Gainesville Ripper, stunned the courtroom hearing his case by entering guilty pleas and taking sole responsibility for five homicides. He was given the death penalty on all five counts. Included among the evidence indicating that Rolling did not act alone was the fact that one of his victims – who was restrained and tortured prior to his death – was a 6’3″ tall, 200+ pound athlete who put up a fierce fight for his life. Rolling, acting alone, was simply not physically up to the task.
Bob Berdella was quite obliging to his captors, giving confessions to six torture murders. He then surprised the court by entering a guilty plea to one count of murder arising from those confessions. Berdella served only four years before dying at the young age of 43, officially of a heart attack. Many suspect the true cause was poisoning. Richard Speck also allegedly died of a heart attack at the relatively young age of 49. Richard Chase served just two-and-a-half years of his sentence before he was discovered dead in his cell, allegedly of a drug overdose. Chase was incarcerated in Vacaville – a hot bed of CIA mind control operations – and was reportedly on ‘anti-psychotic’ medication at the time.
Jeffrey Dahmer proved to be quite cooperative
in captivity, giving highly detailed confessions to seventeen murders. In court, he ignored his lawyer’s advice and plead guilty but insane to fifteen counts of murder. Dahmer served just two years before being paired with two homicidal inmates on an unsupervised work detail. Only one emerged alive, and it wasn’t Dahmer.
Leonard Lake, partner of Charles Ng, popped a cyanide capsule during an interrogation shortly after his arrest for shoplifting, which he conveniently and rather improbably had hidden in the collar of his shirt. He died without ever regaining consciousness. Ng, who served as his own attorney for awhile, somehow managed to place a phone call to a juror during his trial. One man who Ng had confessed to – who was to be a key witness at the trial – died in a single car crash before he could appear.
Ted Bundy, who represented himself three times – in Utah, Colorado and again in Florida – eventually confessed to being solely responsible for twenty-eight murders. John Wayne Gacy obliged his captors by confessing to thirty or more murders, taking sole credit for all of them. The Night Stalker insisted on retaining two grossly inexperienced and ineffective attorneys to represent him, predictably resulting in nineteen death sentences from the jury, whose deliberations were delayed when one of the twelve was killed in her home in a grisly Night Stalker-style slaying. Nothing unusual about that.
Douglas Clark, the Sunset Strip Killer, insisted on defending himself; his request was granted. His partner, Carol Bundy, had a change of heart on the day she was set to go to trial and preempted the proceedings by entering guilty pleas on two counts of murder. But perhaps nowhere was such a concerted effort made to avoid an airing of the truth in open court than in the case of Albert DeSalvo, the purported Boston Strangler. DeSalvo never actually stood trial for the stranglings. No one, in fact, has ever stood trial for the stranglings.
Had DeSalvo stood trial for the killings, he would without question have been acquitted. There was not then, nor has there ever been, a single piece of physical evidence produced tying DeSalvo to any of the slayings. Not a single eyewitness could place DeSalvo at – or anywhere near – any of the crime scenes. This is not to say that there were no eyewitnesses who had seen ‘The Strangler.’ There were several; none of them could identify DeSalvo as the man they saw.
The public, meanwhile, was clamoring for resolution of the case. Luckily for them, DeSalvo’s attorney – F. Lee Bailey – came up with what has to be the most preposterous and unethical defense in the history of American jurisprudence. As Bailey himself has stated: “I wanted the right to defend a man for robbery and assault by proving that he had committed thirteen murders.” In other words, rather than defending his client against the relatively light charges he was actually faced with, Bailey opted to proclaim his client’s guilt on those charges, but argued that he should be found innocent by reason of insanity based on the fact that he had also committed thirteen murders. Now that’s a hell of a defense.
Bailey didn’t bother to cross-examine a single prosecution witness, making no effort whatsoever to rebut the charges DeSalvo was facing. Instead, he presented a ridiculously flimsy case for DeSalvo’s guilt in the Strangler killings, a case that would never have stood up to cross examination. This wasn’t really a concern though, since when it is the defense attorney presenting the prosecution’s case, there isn’t anyone to conduct a cross examination.
The end result was that DeSalvo was found guilty of the robbery and assault charges by the jury, and guilty of the murder charges in the court of public opinion – which is of course exactly what was intended. For this shameless selling-out of his client, Bailey should at the very least have been disbarred, if not brought up on criminal charges himself. Instead, he went on to fame and fortune and a most undeserved reputation as a skilled attorney.
DeSalvo, on the other hand, went on to an early death. He was stabbed to death in the prison infirmary the morning after making an urgent call to Dr. Ames Robey, a prison psychiatrist who had spent a considerable amount of time with the prisoner. DeSalvo had told Robey that he wanted to meet with the doctor and a reporter early the next day. Robey recalls what happened next:
“He was going to tell us who the Boston Strangler really was, and what the whole thing was about. He had asked to be placed in the infirmary under special lockup about a week before. Something was going on within the prison, and I think he felt he had to talk quickly. There were people in the prison, including guards, that were not happy with him … Somebody had to leave an awful lot of doors open, which meant – because there were several guards one would have to go by – there had to be a fair number of people paid or asked to turn their backs or something. But somebody put a knife into Albert DeSalvo’s heart sometime between evening check and the morning.”
Bailey had convinced DeSalvo to sign an agreement with author Gerold Frank to pen the disinformational The Boston Strangler. The book, which argued that DeSalvo had indeed been solely responsible for the killings, became a best seller and further reinforced in the public’s mind the notion that the killings had been solved. Bailey, by the way, pocketed the advance money that was supposed to go to DeSalvo, prompting Albert to file complaints with the state bar association, though these were ignored.
We conclude this installment with the case of another ‘serial killer’ that never quite made it to court. Consider the unusual case of one Herb Baumeister of Indianapolis, Indiana. Herb’s strange tale stands as a rather blatant example of how the ‘serial killer’ label is applied as a cover-up for a much larger criminal enterprise.
Herb was the son of a prominent doctor who secreted his young son off to ‘mental examinations.’ Shortly after dropping out of college – where he had been an anatomy major – he spent two months in a psychiatric hospital where he was diagnosed as having two or more personalities. As a young man – and a member of the Young Republicans (as was Ted Bundy) – he opened a successful business in conjunction with the Children’s Bureau of Indianapolis, which gave him ready access to, naturally enough, children.
Exactly what Herb’s business with the children actually was is a matter of conjecture. It was certainly profitable though, allowing Herb to purchase a sprawling, secluded 18.5 acre estate dubbed ‘Fox Hollow Farms.’ Police would soon discover thousands of human bones, bone fragments and teeth on the heavily wooded estate, many scattered about in plain sight. How many more were buried will probably never be known.
Baumeister was away at a lake with his son when the search of his property began. Two days into the search, police paid a visit to Baumeister at the lake, where they removed his son from his custody. They did not, however, take Baumeister into custody – or even question him. This, mind you, after investigators had just spent two full days excavating Baumeister’s eighteen acre graveyard!
Herb promptly disappeared after the police left. He reappeared a few days later in Ontario, where police found him sleeping in his car. The officer on the scene noted that there was a stack of videotapes in the passenger area of the car. The next day, Herb was again found in his car, this time with a .357 magnum bullet hole in his head. The death was ruled a suicide; the tapes were nowhere to be found.
These tapes were believed by investigators to be snuff films of some of the killings. A semi-hidden video camera had been discovered strategically placed a
t the estate. The tapes were never recovered or accounted for. Around this same time, Baumeister’s older brother was found dead in a Texas whirlpool in a case that has never been solved.
What was really going on at Fox Hollow Farms and how many people were involved? That may never be known. No one ever stood trial for the murders, and it was impossible to even estimate a victim count. Herb was declared to be solely responsible for the deaths of the four victims who could be identified, all local gay men reported missing.
These were four of at least ten local men reported missing after frequenting area gay bars over the previous three years, a fact that the police had consistently ignored. With the exception of the local gay press, the media had turned a blind eye as well. After the discovery of Herb’s bone-yard, the media disparaged the victims – referring to them as “male prostitutes” – while continuing to routinely laud Baumeister as a local “businessman” and “landowner,” rather than what he was – a suspected mass murderer.
It does not seem unreasonable to conclude that many of the bones found on Herb’s property could have been those of children acquired from the Bureau who would not be missed and were likely never reported missing. Equally reasonable is the possibility that these children, prior to their ultimate fate as stars of kiddy snuff films, were used for child pornography and/or child prostitution.
Of course we all know that the existence of snuff films is the stuff of urban legends. But there are those persistent reports of a thriving underground market for just such films, a market that is said to include many of wealth and power. Former Nebraska State Senator John DeCamp, for example, gives an appallingly detailed account of one such film in his self-published book, The Franklin Cover-Up.
Ed Sanders concludes in The Family – based on a number of witness statements – that the Manson clan was involved in the production and distribution of snuff films (as well as child pornography). Maury Terry reaches the same conclusion about the Son of Sam cult in his book The Ultimate Evil. And then there is the case of Charles Ng and Leonard Lake.
Their Northern California ranch was tailor-made for the production of snuff films, complete with a bunker containing hidden rooms with one-way viewing windows and hidden cameras. The compound also contained an incinerator for disposing of the bodies – one reason that a final body count was never achieved, though evidence indicated that as many as 25 people were killed and disposed of.
As previously mentioned, Lake’s ex-wife managed to get to the compound shortly before police and remove an unknown number of videotapes from the property. Though authorities claim these tapes were later returned, there is no way of verifying that the tapes returned were the same ones that had been removed, or that all were returned.
Even so, an abundance of photographic and video evidence was found to document the reign of terror by the pair. Though the tapes stopped short of showing the actual killings (by most reports, anyway; some have claimed otherwise), many investigators were of the opinion that such tapes did, in fact, exist. For now, though, there is mostly just speculation.
There is no speculation about the existence of still photographs detailing the exploits of serial killers, however. These undeniably exist. Jeffrey Dahmer, for one, had a collection of Polaroids of his handiwork. So, for that matter, did Edmund Kemper, Bob Berdella and – as just noted – Leonard Lake. These would, I’m sure, make a nice addition to the photo album of Richard Ramirez’s cousin Mike.
“It’s hard for me to believe that a human being could have done what I’ve done, but I know that I did it.” ——Jeffrey Dahmer
Part V: The Mind (Control) of a Serial Killer
“I’m going to teach you the beauty of pain and you’re going to be my slave for the rest of your life.” —Viola Lucas to her son Henry Lee
When it comes to early childhood abuse, there are few parents of future serial killers who can compare to Viola Lucas. So severe was her physical abuse of young Henry that he once slipped into a coma for a day following a particularly brutal beating. On another occasion – due to a combination of violent abuse and neglect – Henry lost one of his eyes. Sidekick Ottis Toole suffered abuse as well, at the hands of both his father and his grandmother.
Viola was, as is the case with the mothers of several serial killers, a prostitute. She routinely entertained her customers in the presence of Henry, who was compelled to watch. Viola took it one step further, however, dressing young Henry up as a girl and prostituting him out to her customers for them to indulge their depraved pedophile fantasies.
Henry’s cousin, Bobby Joe Long, was likewise born the son of a prostitute, and also had to witness his mother’s sexual activities throughout his childhood. Until the age of thirteen, young Bobby shared a bed with his mother. Ted Bundy’s mother was also an abusive young prostitute who entertained her customers in Ted’s presence. Charles Manson was likewise born the son of a teenage prostitute. He suffered abuse throughout his childhood, both at the hands of his mother and in a series of reform schools and penal institutions. From the age of eight, Manson spent the vast majority of his life institutionalized, including a stint in Boy’s Town – identified in the aforementioned The Franklin Cover-Up as a hot-bed of pedophilic mind-control activities.
John Wayne Gacy’s father was a violently abusive alcoholic, as was Leonard Lake’s father and Richard Speck’s stepfather (whose name was, strangely enough, Carl August Lindbergh). Danny Rolling’s father was abusive as well, while Richard Chase’s was said to be a ‘strict disciplinarian.’ DeSalvo’s father was also violently abusive towards young Albert, as was Richard Ramirez’s father. Ramirez was also the victim of severe sexual abuse, as was Arthur Shawcross – whose mother was known to rape her son with a broomstick handle. Ken Bianchi was severely abused as a child as well.
Charles Ng’s father would routinely chain and beat the young boy, while both of Carol Bundy’s parents were abusive. Her mother died suddenly and rather mysteriously at a very young age. Her father, who thereafter sexually abused Carol and her siblings, would later hang himself. Herb Mullin’s father, decorated World War II hero Martin William Mullin, liked to entertain his son with graphic war stories, and taught the young man that violence was natural. Herb would later tell anyone who would listen that his father was a mass murderer, responsible for a number of unsolved killings. No one took Herb seriously, of course.
None of this should come as much of a surprise to most readers. That serial killers have suffered an abusive childhood has become almost a cliché. This generally acknowledged fact is mentioned here only because, as previously stated, it is a factor in identifying victims of mind control when considered in conjunction with other characteristics and experiences later in life.
In the dark and ugly nether world where serial killers and mind-control operations bisect, there appears to be two general categories of mass murderers: those who are merely controlled, and those who are both controlling and controlled. There is a third category as well that occupies the gray area between these first two – those killers who are obsessed with the notion of controlling others, but who appear to have fallen short of attaining that goal.
First on the list of what we will call ‘controllers’ is, of course, Charles Manson. That Charlie had an
uncanny ability to control his followers is a well established fact. Yet more remarkable is that Manson has maintained that same level of control from inside a prison cell for thirty years now. In fact, it was that very control that was the sole basis for Manson’s murder convictions.
The fact of the matter was that Manson did not personally participate in the Tate/LaBianca murders. He was not even present at the crime scenes when the slayings took place. He merely told his followers what to do, and they robotically followed his commands. In order to convict Manson, it was necessary for the prosecution to convince the jury that the actual killers were virtually powerless to disobey their leader. It was not enough to merely show that Charli had given the order to kill. This does not, by a long shot, constitute first-degree murder.
If I ask you, the reader, to break the law – and you comply – you are the criminal, not I. Following orders is no excuse for breaking the law, and certainly no excuse for committing mass murder (except, apparently, in the military). So in order to garner convictions against Manson, it had to be proven that this was an order that the recipients were incapable of not acting on.
For this reason, the Manson trial had no precedent in American history. What the Manson case demonstrated was that it could be proven in a court of law that a person could be compelled to act against his will. This had already been established by a Danish court in a landmark case recalled by Estabrooks in Hypnotism: “An amateur hypnotist named Nielson had induced an hypnotic subject named Hardrup to commit a murder … Nielson, the hypnotist, got a life sentence, the maximum penalty in Denmark, whereas Hardrup, the actual murderer, received a two-year sentence on the basis of temporary insanity.”
The Manson case had a slightly different outcome: both the controller and his followers received the death penalty. Legally and logically, this verdict makes no sense. For if Manson’s control was so complete that the killers were powerless to resist his commands, then they should not have been held legally responsible for their actions. And if Charlie did not, in fact, wield such power, then he should not have been held responsible for the actions of others.
Bugliosi does not address this inherent contradiction in his prosecution strategy in Helter Skelter. He does ponder, albeit briefly, how Manson gained such control, concluding that this “remains the most puzzling question of all.” Indeed. After spending just a few pages briefly summarizing some of the techniques Manson employed on his followers, Bugliosi surmises: “I tend to think that there is something more, some missing link that enabled him to so rape and bastardize the minds of his followers that they would go against the most ingrained of all commandments, Thou shalt not kill, and willingly, even eagerly, murder at his command.”
While pondering the question of how Manson was able to exert such control, Bugliosi largely overlooks an even more important question: where did Charlie learn the techniques that he was obviously so skilled at? Bugliosi notes only that: “It may be something that he learned from others,” which is, of course, only stating the obvious. The question not asked, either in the book or at trial, is: who were these others?
Another question not asked by Bugliosi, nor by any number of CIA affiliated writers who have written on the subject of mind control, is: how is it possible that a man of limited education who has spent the majority of his life in prison acquired these skills, while the intelligence agencies – which have invested countless millions of dollars employing the best and the brightest scientific minds in the country for decades in pursuit of attaining this very same goal – have allegedly met with nothing but failure. The answer is, of course, that it is not possible.
It is unfathomable that men such as Manson (and Jim Jones, David Koresh, etc.) have stumbled upon a secret that the CIA has yet to discover. It is a patently absurd notion. And yet, this is exactly what we are supposed to believe. We are also supposed to believe that Charlie, while controlling others, was himself acting on his own free will.
This is highly unlikely. If Charlie was in fact controlling the Family, the logical question to be asked at trial was: who was controlling Manson? Was Manson himself a puppet, as well as a puppeteer? This question was, naturally, never raised and so remains unanswered to this day. Perhaps Bugliosi felt this question unimportant, given that, according to his book, “The Manson case was, and remains, unique.” This is also an absurd notion.
Illustrative of this is the case of Douglas Clark, the Sunset Strip killer and another controller. Clark’s involvement in the intelligence community began at birth, when he was born the son of a Naval Intelligence officer (though the ‘CIA’ has become something of a generic term for the intelligence community, the ONI – Office of Naval Intelligence – is the oldest and quite possibly the largest and most powerful of the U.S. intelligence entities).
A decade after Doug’s birth in 1948, father Franklyn – then a Lt. Commander – allegedly retired from Naval service to join the private sector, a common ploy to provide cover for ongoing intelligence activities. Shortly after, Franklyn relocated eleven-year-old Douglas and the rest of the family to an atoll in the Marshall Islands to take a ‘civilian’ position with the Transport Company of Texas – an obvious intelligence front.
In the early 1960’s, the family returned briefly to the U.S., taking up residence in San Francisco, which was soon to become the home turf of an array of serial killers, as previously noted. The family soon relocated again, this time to India. Around this time, young Douglas began attending Ecolat, the international school in Geneva attended by the son’s of UN diplomats, European and Middle Eastern Royalty, and international finance capitalists.
Following his attendance there, Doug next attended the prestigious Culver Military Academy in Indiana, while father Franklyn moved first to Venezuela and then to Australia as he continued to pursue his ‘civilian’ career. In 1967, Doug himself enlisted in the Air Force, where he was assigned to, not surprisingly, radio intelligence. In short order, Doug was given an early discharge, albeit under honorable conditions and with full military benefits. Clark soon after hooked up with Carol Bundy, who was – as a jury was to later note – just one of several women over whom Clark exhibited a remarkable level of control in the ensuing years.
Clark was not the only man to exert such control over Bundy. Jack Murray – who may well have been involved in at least some of the crimes attributed to the pair, and at the very least had knowledge of the murders that he chose not to act on – also exerted such control over Bundy. He would ultimately become a victim of the pair.
Clark liked to exert his control over children as well, involving an eleven-year-old neighbor girl and the son of another of his girlfriends in sexual activities, and possibly in the killings as well. Bundy’s own children suffered sexual abuse at the hands of both Doug and Carol. All told, Clark had a number of women and children to do his bidding, sexually and otherwise. At least one of them eagerly killed for him as well. Clark also claimed to have Mafia connections. In fact, he described one of his early killings as his initiation into a Mafia ‘hit group.’ In classic Mafia fashion, the victim was found stuffed into the trunk of a Rolls Royce.
Gary Heidnik was yet another ‘serial killer’ who falls into the controller camp. Heidnik attended the Staunton Military Academy in Virginia, but left
after visiting a psychiatrist for reasons which are unclear. He then joined the army and was sent to a West German field hospital where he was prescribed a heavy tranquilizer normally used for the treatment of severely psychotic individuals, though he was not diagnosed as having such a condition. In short order, he was sent back to the U.S., where he was released early from military service on unspecified medical grounds with a full disability pension. In 1971, Heidnik formed his own ‘church,’ recruiting institutionalized black women who were said to be ‘retarded’ (which is how Jim Jones began his ‘church’ as well).
Four years later, Heidnik opened a stock account – allegedly using the money from his meager military pension – which was soon valued at well over a half-million dollars. All the while, Heidnik was in-and-out of a number of mental institutions and made several suicide attempts (as did his brother; their mother succeeded in killing herself with poison). Heidnik eventually had his own mind-control program going in the basement of his house, where he kept six women chained as sex slaves. Heidnik, who was prone to race-war diatribes (a la Charlie Manson), inflicted severe torture on the captive women, resulting in the deaths of two of them, one by electrocution – a favored form of torture.
The women who were not lucky enough to survive were ground up and fed to the still-captive women to supplement the dog food they had previously been receiving. The girls were routinely forced to have sex both with each other and with Heidnik. It is unclear through all this how much control Heidnik ultimately attained over the women. When he was ultimately brought to trial, the defense specifically argued that Heidnik should not be held accountable for his actions due to LSD experiments he had been subjected to during his early 1960’s military service in West Germany. The jury, which doubtless had no knowledge of the extent or nature of MK-ULTRA experiments carried out by the military/intelligence sector, discounted this argument. They did not feel that such experimentation could account for Heidnik’s actions. They may well have been mistaken.
John Wayne Gacy appears to have been a controller of sorts as well. He also exhibited clear signs of having a multiple personality disorder, although he was not diagnosed as such. Gacy was a widely respected businessman, the JC’s Man-of-the-Year, a great neighbor who threw parties for the whole neighborhood, and was well connected and active in Democratic Party politics, at one point meeting and being photographed with First Lady Rosalyn Carter.
On the other hand, he has the distinction of being convicted of more first-degree murder counts than any man in U.S. history. How are we to reconcile these two images of John Gacy? Men such as he are usually said to be sociopaths, lacking any morals or conscience. Their personality that is presented to the public is said to be an act, an emotionless facade. I would argue that it’s just as likely, if not more so, that the public self is, in fact, a legitimate personality separate and distinct from the one that does the killing. As Detective David Hackmeister said: “His (Gacy’s) personality could change in a split second.” Does this represent the facade slipping, or an alter personality emerging? Or is there any difference? Is a ‘sociopath’ not, in fact, a person with multiple personalities?
At any rate, Gacy made a habit of surrounding himself with young boys – whether entertaining them as a clown or employing them as a contractor. One of these boys was Ripper Crew leader Robin Gecht, who would later be diagnosed as a multiple himself. His personalities included a small child, a teenager, and a businessman.
Angelo Bouno, of Hillside Strangler fame, was also likely a controller, both of partner Kenneth Bianchi and of the stable of young women and girls that surrounded him. He was known to run a teen prostitution ring, and was said to be a magnet for teenage girls, despite being not a particularly attractive man. Partner Bianchi – who fraudulently set up shop as a psychiatrist himself, renting space from a legitimate therapist – was diagnosed as MPD by as many as five psychiatrists who examined him while in custody, and was said to have frequently lapsed into trance-like states as a child.
The prosecution brought in their own expert to prove that Bianchi’s multiple personality disorder was nothing but fakery, which he allegedly succeeded in doing. This might be more convincing though if the ‘expert’ that denounced the diagnoses had been someone other than Martin Orne, one of the most notorious of the CIA-funded ‘spychiatrists’ (who was assisted in this case by yet another CIA-funded psychiatrist, Margaret Singer).
Leonard Lake and partner Charles Ng clearly had their sights set on being controllers as well, but fell short of their goals. Their master plan, which they dubbed ‘Operation Miranda,’ called for a network of bunkers across the country staffed with mind controlled sex slaves. Both had military connections. Lake had gone to Vietnam as a Marine, completing his first tour and beginning a second. This was cut short, however, when he was deemed to be suffering from ‘unspecified medical problems.’ Back in the states, he was discharged on medical grounds and entered a VA hospital for ‘psychological problems.’ Partner Ng was a former Marine as well, and their compound was stocked with an amazing array of weapons and military equipment, in addition to the snuff-film studio and incinerator.
Another notable wannabe was Jeffrey Dahmer. He had joined the army in 1979 but was, alas, discharged early. Jeff was obsessed with gaining control over his victims. His preferred means of doing so – and of disposing of the bodies accumulating from his failed experiments – was with chemicals, likely a skill acquired from his father, Lionel Dahmer, Ph.D.., a prominent research chemist. Dahmer was working on perfecting a home lobotomy technique, which consisted of drilling a hole in the forehead and then adding various chemicals. Other chemicals were used to dissolve the three corpses found in a 55 gallon acid vat that Dahmer inexplicably got into his apartment.
Dahmer was likely afflicted with MPD as well. He was universally described as a normal sounding, intelligent, even eloquent young man who did not appear at all menacing, yet he was also a mass murderer, cannibal and necrophile. When he was killed, spooky dad Lionel waged a macabre battle with Dahmer’s mother over preserving Jeffrey’s brain for study.
Yet another would-be controller was Bob Berdella, the Butcher of Kansas. Like Gacy, Berdella spent his life surrounded by young men and boys. And, again like Gacy, Berdella was quite the torture aficionado. Berdella, however, had made something of a science of the art of torture. He had designed and built his own custom torture bed, and kept a meticulously detailed log of the tortures inflicted upon his victims. These included beatings, electrocution, and the injections of a wide variety of drugs and chemicals into various parts of the body, including the injection of Drano into the throat. While awaiting trial, Berdella was held in isolation in what was described as a ‘private area’ of the sick bay.
Of those killers who lack the desire to control others, and seem to function purely as controlled assassins, Herb Mullin makes a good case in point. Herb was known to consume large quantities of LSD, and had “Legalize Acid” tattooed across his stomach (Manson’s drug of choice for his followers and the CIA’s drug of choice for MK-ULTRA projects) and was institutionalized five times in the years preceding his killing spree. One of those times was at a mental institution in Hawaii operated by the U.S. Army. He complained constantly of voices haunting his thoughts, frequently telling others that he was r
One of the voices in his head was that of his World War II hero father, commanding him to kill. Despite all this, Mullin passed a psychological exam to enter the Marines shortly before the end of his killing spree. Shortly thereafter he was arrested, at which time he refused to talk to investigators, choosing instead to repetitively chant the word ‘silence.’ Following his arrest, Mullin claimed to be receiving messages instructing him to kill himself, though he refused the commands. He was diagnosed as a clear case of MPD, with his alter personalities including a Mexican laborer, an eastern philosopher, and – strangely enough – columnist Herb Caen (I couldn’t possibly make this shit up).
Arthur Shawcross is another interesting case study of a controlled assassin. Born in a Naval hospital to a Naval officer father, Arthur grew up in a multigenerational family at what was dubbed ‘Shawcross Corners.’ As a child, he had a number of imaginary friends and spoke in strange voices. His father led a very spooky existence, with another wife and son in Australia. As a boy, Shawcross injured his legs in a fall into a river, and was subjected to brain scans and a variety of other tests that, shall we say, seem a bit odd as treatment for a leg injury. As a young adult, Shawcross was sent to Vietnam, where he apparently served as a Phoenix operative, as previously noted.
During his incarceration for the double child homicide discussed previously, he was treated by several prison psychiatrists, and also improbably began himself working as a counselor with his fellow inmates. Diagnosed as MPD, his alters included an eleven-year-old boy, a 13th century cannibal, and his own mother.
Finally we come to the case of Albert DeSalvo, who was not so much a programmed assassin as he was likely a programmed patsy. DeSalvo had served in the Army from 1948-1956, stationed for most of that time in West Germany, which is where Gary Heidnik would be subjected to MK-ULTRA experimentation some years later. There DeSalvo mastered the art of hand-to-hand combat and became a boxing champion, skills which would not benefit him when he was killed in his prison cell years later by unknown assailants (according to DeSalvo’s brother, he may have been drugged the night he was killed).
DeSalvo, as previously noted, was not charged with the Strangler murders for which he is officially credited, but was rather arrested in conjunction with a string of unconnected rapes, assaults and robberies. He was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital where he fell in with a convicted murderer named George Nassar, who was alleged to have committed more than a dozen murders during a period of gang warfare in Boston.
Nassar is frequently described as a genius and a ‘master manipulator.’ So tight was his control over DeSalvo that Albert’s own family was unable to visit him without Nassar being present. It was Nassar who first obtained a ‘confession’ from DeSalvo and relayed this information to his attorney, F. Lee Bailey. Bailey quickly became DeSalvo’s attorney as well, procuring from him a recorded confession which was promptly turned over to police, thereby beginning the process of railroading his own client which was earlier discussed.
Aiding and abetting Bailey in this endeavor was noted CIA hypnotist William Jennings Bryan, whose ‘questions’ to DeSalvo while under hypnosis were loaded with detailed information about the crimes. Bryan would later be connected to two others who are widely believed to have been under the influence of mind control. One of these was Sirhan Sirhan, purported assassin of Robert Kennedy, whom Bryan was known to have ‘treated.’
Oddly enough, throughout Sirhan’s diaries was the name of the purported Boston Strangler written repetitively, in what appeared to be a display of a hypnotic phenomenon known as ‘automatic writing.’ And like other players in this sordid cast, Sirhan was reportedly connected to the Process Church of the Final Judgment.
Bryan was also linked to Candy Jones, the famous model who would tell her tale of being a mind controlled courier (and possibly assassin as well) in The Control of Candy Jones (see recommended reading list). Not long after publication of the book, Bryan was publicly linked to the Candy Jones case by journalists investigating her claims, and he soon thereafter turned up dead in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Before concluding this odyssey, a few comments are in order to address the question of why the U.S. intelligence infrastructure would deliberately create programmed serial killers, as well as creating the concept of the ‘serial killer.’ A couple of reasons have already been given: to cover-up the existence of Satanic crime in 20th century America, and to disguise the true motive of some contract killings. But there are a few other valuable services that serial killers provide for the state as well.
First and foremost is the rather obvious fact that serial killers scare the hell out of people. With the possible exception of school/workplace shootings, nothing better serves to facilitate the promotion of a ‘law-and-order’ agenda than the palpable fear aroused by the specter of the marauding serial killer, dividing the population into an every-man-for-himself mentality. Anyone, after all, could be a serial killer hiding behind a mask of civility: a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor, even a family member.
Another function that serial killers serve is in disposing of those members of society who are the most marginalized. For most serial killers, when they aren’t killing for a more covert purpose, tend to target those people that Hitler termed the ‘useless eaters’ of society: prostitutes, runaways, junkies, and skid-row alcoholics. In a sense, serial killers are the agents of a rather harshly implemented eugenics program.
A final purpose served by the serial killer profile is that it provides a framework to set up a system of early detection and weeding out of ‘violence-prone’ individuals. This, of course, assumes the existence of recognizable biological causes and early warning signs. Far more likely is that the serial killer’s signature skills – torture, murder, and mutilation – are ones that have been acquired through the teachings of others, and are not attributable to any sort of brain irregularities.
This series was based on a review of some of the literature that has been published on the subject of serial killers. This review was by no means exhaustive and no primary research was done to supplement the existing literature. It is hoped that others will be inspired to look more closely at the cases of individual ‘serial killers,’ as Maury Terry did with the Son of Sam in The Ultimate Evil and Ed Sanders did with the Manson clan in The Family.
It is my belief that a much different profile of the ‘serial killer’ will emerge – a profile of the controlled assassin conditioned and programmed by a variety of intelligence fronts, including military entities, psychiatric institutions and Satanic cults. For while serial killers may well be driven by their own internal demons, they are likely not demons of their own making.
It is my belief also that the Satanic underground has largely replaced the Mafia’s Murder Incorporated as America’s premier nationwide murder-for-hire organization. Researcher and author Michael Newton has written precisely that, in Raising Hell (Avon, 1993). He states that the ‘Black Cross,’ a faction of the Four-P cult (which is itself a faction of the Process Church), functions specifically as a “Satanic Murder, Inc.”
Consider the case of Thomas Creech of Idaho, who in 1975 admitted to performing contract killings over an eight year span on behalf of a national biker gang heavily involved in drug traffickin
g and cult rituals. Creech claimed that his forty-two killings earned him only eighth place among the gang’s contract killers, and that many of them had been performed as ‘ritual human sacrifices.’
Or consider the case of Bernard Hunwick of Dade County, Florida. Upon his arrest for a series of murders in 1981, he confessed to authorities that he was the leader of a “hit squad” that had committed at least a hundred additional contract killings. Are these merely men suffering from delusions of grandeur? Or are they men who have given the country a peek into a world that few dare to imagine exists in modern-day America?
“… a Mephistophelean guru who had the unique power to persuade others to murder for him, most of them young girls who went out and savagely murdered total strangers at his command …” —-Vincent Bugliosi describing Charles Manson
“You don’t understand me. You are not expected to. You are not capable of it. I am beyond good and evil. Legions of the night, night breed, repeat not the errors of the Night Prowler and show no mercy.”
Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez
“There are other ‘Sons’ out there – God help the world.”
David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz
“What about your children? You say there are just a few? There are many, many more, coming in the same direction. They are running in the streets – and they are coming right at you!”
Charles Milles Manson