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COLD CASES TRUE CRIME: Cold Case Murders and True Crime Stories of Serial Killer




Cold Case Murders and True Crime Stories of Serial Killers and Psychopaths

Table of Contents

Book Description


Chapter 1 – Cold Case – The Freeway Phantom

Chapter 2 – Psychopaths – Leonard Lake

[+ Chapter 3 – The Happy Face Killer – Keith Hunter Jesperson+]

Chapter 4 – John Joubert – A Serial Killer

[* Chapter 5 – The Green River Killer – Gary Ridgway*]


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Book Description

Any true crime enthusiast loves a collection of the most chilling stories of murder that have come to pass in human history. This book provides exactly such a collection of the world’s most gruesome murder incidents and the most notorious serial killers.

This book has specifically chosen some of the smartest criminals to have walked the earth, who killed mercilessly and managed to stay hidden for the longest time.

While some of these criminals were able to avoid punishment altogether, some of them eventually had to pay for the crimes that they had committed and were given their due ending. This book offers insight into the minds of some of the most twisted psychopaths, and how they got lost in the blood lust that controlled the dark corners of their minds.

The reasons for their perversion, how they turned into the animals that they were, this book gives you all you want to know about these characters in history, whose macabre activities would still have you locking your doors at night.

This book offers a collection of all true stories. So sit back, and take a look into the mind of a killer.


Since time, man has walked this earth and has not hesitated to spill the blood of fellow mankind. While in some cases it was for God, power or country, in other instances men have committed the most brutal acts only to satisfy their own personal blood lust. They have shown no remorse, and only derive a sick pleasure from crossing the limits of morality and stepping into a place of death and darkness.

While there are many criminals and psychopaths who have garnered a lot of public attention, there were so many more that operated secretly and quickly, killing and spilling blood, pleasing themselves.

This book gives you the stories of some of these people, and how they managed to strike fear into the hearts of hundreds of locals. They worried the law enforcement authorities themselves, taunting them, confusing them and for years evading them.

This book gives you their stories, so you may better get an insight into the mind of these killers…

Copyright 2015 by Seth Balfour – All rights reserved.


This document is geared towards providing exact and reliable information in regards to the topic and issue covered. The publication is sold with the idea that the publisher is not required to render accounting, officially permitted, or otherwise, qualified services. If advice is necessary, legal or professional, a practiced individual in the profession should be ordered.


- From a Declaration of Principles which was accepted and approved equally by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations.


In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.


The information provided herein is stated to be truthful and consistent, in that any liability, in terms of inattention or otherwise, by any usage or abuse of any policies, processes, or directions contained within is the solitary and utter responsibility of the recipient reader. Under no circumstances will any legal responsibility or blame be held against the publisher for any reparation, damages, or monetary loss due to the information herein, either directly or indirectly.


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Cover image courtesy of Chantell – Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3413691962/

Chapter 1 – Cold Case – The Freeway Phantom

From April 1971 till September of 1972, a wave of killings terrorized the police and the local residents of the city of Washington D.C. The murderer targeting only African American girls aged between ten years of age and eighteen.

The serial killer remained unidentified and the case turned cold, but the fear he spread led to him being dubbed the ‘Freeway Phantom’. He is said to have kidnapped, sexually abused and eventually strangled and killed six girls. Yet no one was able to identify who the killer really was, and it remains a mystery to this day.

The string of murders began in the year 1971 and the first victim was a thirteen year old girl by the name of Carol Spinks. On April 25th, she left home and went to the nearest 7-Eleven to buy groceries on instruction by her older sister. The store was about half a mile away from their residence.

On her way back, unfortunately she was kidnapped. Six days later however, instead of finding Carol safe and sound, her body was recovered from an embankment. Unknown to the police this was the first in a string of murders that was going to leave them baffled.

Just a month passed, and another girl, Darlene, was also kidnapped while she was going to the recreation center where she worked in the summer. She went missing on July 8th. Just eleven days after she was reported missing, her ravaged body was discovered, and that too only fifteen feet away from where they had originally found the body of Carol Spinks. She was only sixteen years of age.

Brenda Crockett was sent to the store on July 27th by her mother, but unfortunately she never came home that day. Her family left home in search of her, trying to look for her in the neighborhood but her seven year old sister stayed at home.

Just three hours after ten year old Brenda was seen last, she called home and her sister picked it up. She was in tears and she told her sister than she had been picked up by a white man and was now on her way home in a cab. She also let her little sister know that she thought she was somewhere in Virginia but then she suddenly hung up after saying ‘bye.’

Just a little while after that, she called again. However this time she didn’t give any new information, in fact she only repeated the same story that she had narrated in the first phone call. From what she said it became pretty apparent that she was in a house alone with a white man.

The phone had been answered by Brenda’s mother’s boyfriend, who asked Brenda if she could get the man to come and talk to him on the phone. As he said this, he heard footsteps in the background which definitely belonged to an adult as they were heavy, and Brenda just quickly hung up after a hurried ‘I’ll see you”. Tragically, that didn’t happen again.

Her body was discovered in a shady place by a hitchhiker just a couple of hours later. She had not only been raped, but she had also been strangled to death with a scarf that the killer did not bother removing from around her neck. She suffocated to death.

By around this time the authorities had been whipped up into quite a panic. Regarding Brenda’s phone call, they had become quite sure that the phone call had been made by Brenda under instruction of the killer himself, who probably made her give wrong information to the police and family to stall them and allow himself to have the time to do the deed and also mislead the investigation altogether.

In addition to this fact, a couple of hours after she had been kidnapped, an eyewitness saw the victim Darlenia Johnson in a black car, with an African American man, not a white man.

This was not the end of the murderers kill streak unfortunately. On the first of October, twelve year old Nenomoshia Yates was on her way back from the store when she too was abducted, raped and then murdered. Just a few hours after she had disappeared her body, turned up near the Pennsylvania Avenue.

This was when he was given his infamous name. The newspapers now started to refer to him as the Freeway Phantom.

A month passed and it felt like the entire community was just waiting in fear of the Phantom to take another girl. It happened on November fifteenth, when eighteen year old Brenda Woodward was returning home after she had had dinner with a friend of hers. She took a city bus to come back, and that was the last that was seen of her.

Around six hours passed, and finally they found her. Her body had been ravaged, stabbed and she had been killed by strangulation. This body too was found just near the highway. However unlike the previous murders, this time the serial killer left a message for the police and the general public.

He had placed a coat over the chest of the victim and inside one of the pockets he had left a note. In the note he very confidently taunted the police officers and told them that he would confess to the murders he had committed if only they could manage to even catch him. He declared that he was absolutely unsympathetic to people and specifically women.

As the note was further analyzed, the deduction became clear. The note had been written by Brenda herself, forced by the murderer and written on paper that had been taken out of the notebook that she usually used for school. The writing was smooth, with no hint of fear or tension on Brenda’s part which made it especially chilling.

Last but not least, the Phantom killer took another victim with him. This was in the year 1972, late in the year during the month of September. On 5th September, Diane Williams who was a high school senior cooked for her family and then left home to go over to her boyfriend’s place. She was last witnessed getting on a bus and yet just a while later her body was found, near a main road.

She was just seventeen years old when she too was abducted, subjected to abuse and then finally strangled to death.

Suspects and Investigation:

Over the years the Freeway Phantom has garnered much attention not only from the media but also from the general public. The interest in the case has been kept alive with tips regularly rolling in from the general public through the hot line that the Police Department had set up.

All leads and tips that were received were followed up on but to no avail. Some leads were proven illogical quite easily, while others needed quite a lot of work to prove true or false. Every major law enforcement organization had their own task force working on the case including the FBI, so it is safe to say that there is no way that that the case remained unsolved due to lack of work on behalf of the law enforcement agencies.

One of the most important people that were investigated during this time period for murder included a gang known as the Green Vega Rapists. This gang had been responsible for the rape and kidnappings of a number of girls around the same Maryland and Washington D.C area. Finally after some investigation and work on behalf of the police the gang members and their activities came to surface which led to their arrest and eventually prosecution for their crimes.

During the course of their interviews, various detectives talked to these gang members, and it just so happened that one of the gang members very gladly informed the police that one of his fellow gang members who apparently claimed to be involved, gave important information about one of the homicides.

The gang member that had been implicated was an inmate at Lorton prison, and he told the police he was willing to give information but only if his identity was absolutely kept under wraps and he would have no part in this publicly.

Thus he started informing the police about little bits and pieces about the murder, the time and the date and even gave details that weren’t common knowledge or even known by the public. All of the things he said were absolutely true.

While he himself claimed that he did not commit the murder and even had an alibi to prove it, it was pretty obvious that there was more to him than what met the eye and he could have possibly known who the Phantom even was. However, one little mistake ruined this entire situation.

It became known to the public due to some politician’s carelessness that an inmate at Lorton Prison was giving details, which caused the inmate to close up. He even denied he told the police anything in the first place.

Another major suspect to have been investigated by the police was a man named Robert Elwood Askins, who had already been charged with various murder counts as well as for kidnapping and raping a woman inside his own home in 1977. In 1938, then only a kid, he gave prostitutes whiskey that had cyanide in it.

He even stabbed and killed another prostitute. When he was arrested he very proudly announced that he hated women and he was put in a hospital for the purpose of mental observation. He was eventually found insane and committed to a hospital.

After he was released in 1952, he killed again. In 1978 the police started to investigate him for the Freeway murders and even searched his home. In a drawer, they managed to find court documents that had the word ‘tantamount’ used in it by a judge. This word was also in the same note that Brenda wrote, and Askins’ colleagues all informed the police that he used the word tantamount a lot.

However, even though they got a search warrant and even dug up the backyard there was no physical evidence available that linked him to the Freeway murders and thus, he could not be charged and prosecuted for the Freeway Phantom murders.

In the end, despite all the effort put in by the detectives, there was no lead that managed to produce enough evidence for the purpose of prosecution. The various case files got lost in time, and thus the case turned cold with no results.

It remains open at the Metropolitan Police Department, in the hope that someday those poor girls would get justice.

Chapter 2 – Psychopaths – Leonard Lake

Leonard Lake and Charles Ng are one of the most notorious psychopathic serial killers in recent times. A routine call received by the police on June 2 in 1985 turned out to lead to the discovery of these vicious men and their activities.

The police got a call for a shoplifting incident. An Oriental man had apparently just walked out of the store with a vice that cost $75 and after putting it in the trunk of a car he vanished before he could even be held back.

When the police arrived a confusion of sorts ensued. They started to talk to an overweight, white man who was inside the car in which the vice had reportedly been placed. He took out a driver’s license which had the name Robin Stapley, however he looked nothing like the photograph. They also managed to find the stolen vice. But that was not all.

They even found a .22 caliber revolver which had a silencer along with it. Even more strange, was the fact that when they looked into the license plate of the car, it was registered not to a Robin Stapley but to a Lonnie Bond instead. In addition, the plate was registered for a Buick not a Honda Prelude which was the car the license plate was currently attached to.

These suspicious circumstances led to the police taking him into custody immediately. Meanwhile the man denied any wrongdoing at all.

The puzzle got even more intricate however. When the police attempted to identify the Honda and the owner, it came out to be registered to another man named Paul Cosner. Unfortunately, Paul Cosner had reportedly been missing for the past nine months at least. The police were in a complete fix as to what exactly was happening.

They started to do more research into the background of Robin Stapley. It turned out that he had been reported missing by his family a couple of weeks back. Once fingerprints were run through the system, the identity of the man became clear, his name was Leonard Lake.

The Making of a Psychopathic Killer:

When Leonard was just a child, his mother tired to inculcate in him the ‘the appreciation of the human body’ by encouraging him to take nude photographs of young girls and even his own sister. Over time as he grew up he became obsessed with pornography. He developed a markedly unbalanced personality which included incest and abusing young girls in the neighborhood.

Later on he joined the Marines and served in Vietnam as a noncombatant. However, he was given psychiatric treatment two years after which he was granted a medical discharge. This only worsened matters, as he was now a civilian again and engaged in activities that further worsened his criminal tendencies.

Even though after his discharge he got married and moved to San Jose, he managed to make a bad reputation for himself around the neighborhood as he openly discussed bondage with anyone who would listen and most of the people in the neighborhood weren’t too comfortable around him. His wife and he soon separated due to his weird interests and incessant cheating.

In 1981 however he managed to get married again, and moved to Ukiah. His habits didn’t change however, and he was still involved in the same activities like wife swapping and other interests. However apart from his unconventional sexual interest, Lake also had a great interest in automatic weapons.

He was unconcerned as to where the weapons were coming from, collecting them were his favourite hobby. His second wife was even fired from her teaching job for teaching little children how to make explosives.

In 1982, Lake was arrested for firearm violations but he posted bail and moved to a ranch in Nevada, changing his name to Charley Gunner. The cabin that they moved to was meant to turn into a retirement home in the future except that didn’t happen, since Lake decided to turn it into a place of horrors.

According to the police, Lake made a bunker next to the cabin that he was residing in and inside it he gathered all the automatic weapons that he could get his hands on and even video equipment. Making quite a foolish move on his part, he recorded all the evil that he committed in a ledger, which could then later be used in court against him.

He had filled his diary with pages and pages of different fantasies and slaves he wanted to keep in his bunker. He wrote in his diary that the only purpose women have is to clean the house, cook or provide sexual pleasure and once they’re doing neither all they deserve is to be locked up inside his bunker.

It is even speculated that he killed his own brother, Donald. No one exactly knows how many people actually fell victim to Lake, but his brother might just have been the first.

When Leonard Lake was sitting in custody after being taken in for questioning after the shoplifting incident, he asked for water. He then took out a capsule of cyanide that he had hidden and swallowed it. Even though he was rushed to the hospital, he soon died, unpunished for the vast numbers of people he had killed that the police later discovered.

The police managed to trace the Honda Prelude to a car salesman, who was last seen taking an overweight man on a test drive but never came back. It was assumed that he too was killed by Lake. All the video equipment that Lake had was also traced to a man named Harvey, who had disappeared along with his family. There were piles and piles of video tapes that showed the torture and abuse of women who Lake had abducted and then eventually killed.

The same tape even showed the abuse of a woman named Brenda by Lake and his Oriental accomplice. She and her husband had unfortunately been Lake’s neighbors and she remembered feeling very uncomfortable with him living in her vicinity. Unfortunately, instead of going to the police, she invited a friend of hers to come live with them.

His name was Robin Stapley. None of them were ever seen again. In the videos one could see her tied to a chair as she begged for her friend, husband and son’s life to be spared. She was abused by both Lake and the Oriental accomplice he had with him. On the same tape Lake could be heard threatening her, telling her that either she had to comply or else she would be killed.

There were about twenty one different missing women who were scene on those tapes or in photos in Lake’s possession. The detectives were disgusted by how vicious the attacks were and even more so by the fact that in all the videos there were cries of children.

Luckily six of the women found on the tape were actually alive. The male victims and children were burned in an incinerator next to Lake’s bunker. Some of the bodies were buried.

One horror after the other came to surface as investigators removed one skeleton after the other. On the 8th of June, a large number of policemen dug up the land around Lake’s bunker in an effort to recover more victims. However none of them were really prepared for what they found.

They ended up recovering about fifty pounds of bones, teeth and human skeletons belonging to men, women and children alike. They even found belongings of the victims and even rotting corpses. It got so bad that police offers and members of the search team would end up thinking about whether they stepped on human remains with every step they took.

Since Leonard Lake took his own life, he could not be punished for the havoc that he had wreaked. The police however then focused on building their case against his Oriental accomplice instead, whose name was Charles Ng.

While Charles Ng, only acted as a sidekick to Leonard Lake, he was just as sick and had intricate sexual fantasies that Lake helped him play out. He had a hyperactive imagination and made up detailed stories of his life and his fantasies. It took quite some time to finally locate him but Ng, was found in Canada and with quite some difficulty extradited to the US.

He then threw the entire legal system of the US quite a loop, and managed to delay his legal proceedings for years. Finally however, justice was served eventually. The jury finally deliberated that Ng had been guilty for the murder of at least eleven victims. It took them fifteen hours to finally reach that decision.

In the end it may not be fitting that Leonard Lake, the main perpetrator of these horrible crimes managed to get away, but one can only hope that in whatever afterlife that may exist, justice is duly served to him.

Chapter 3 – The Happy Face Killer – Keith Hunter Jesperson

In January of 1990, Taunja Bennett was at a bar near Portland Oregon having a nice time out when a man introduced himself to her. He invited her to leave with him and she accepted the invitation. The two went to his place and were intimate, however afterwards, the man started an argument with Taunja which resulted in him losing his temper and beating her up.

He eventually strangled her, and killed her. To establish an alibi, he returned back to the bar, conversed with a number of people and then came back to get Bennett’s body. He got rid of her, and her body was found a couple of days later but there were no suspects nor were there any leads whatsoever.

His name was Keith Hunter Jesperson, and this was the first in the string of murders he was to commit without any remorse or guilt for the lives he was going to take.

The Making of a Killer:

Keith Hunter Jesperson was born in 1955. He was a middle child and lived with his parents and two brothers and two sisters in Chillwak, British Columbia. His father Les, was an alcoholic and also abusive. His paternal grandfather too was known to be a violent man.

As a middle child he didn’t get much attention from his family. He was a large kid, and when his family moved to Selah in Washington he had trouble making friends and was usually satisfied just being on his own. Instead of backing him up, his siblings named him ‘Igor’ and this name stayed with him throughout his child.

Even though he was a quiet child he did sometimes get into trouble for misbehaving and this resulted in beatings from his father with a belt while everyone watched. In one instance he even received an electric shock from his father.

Given the abusive environment he grew up in, Keith started developing sadistic tendencies and from a very young age started engaging in the torture of animals. He not only enjoyed killing the poor creatures but he also liked watching his captured animals kill each other.

These tendencies only increased as he got older. He would capture, torture and then eventually strangle birds, cats and dogs alike, and he claimed these actions made his father proud of him. However soon his fixation started to shift from animals to human beings and how it would feel to inflict the same pain on them.

This desire did come to surface pretty soon, and he tried to murder a boy he was friends with just at the age of ten. The boy’s name was Martin, and they often played together, getting into trouble together too in many instances. However according to Keith, there were a number of times when Martin would be the cause of the mischief but he would get blamed for it instead.

This caused resentment to build up against Martin, and he ended up beating Martin severely until his father broke them apart. He later admitted that he did really want to kill Martin.

A while later, Jesperson was swimming in a lake once, and another boy came up to him and held his head below water until Jesperson lost consciousness. Later, at a pool, Jesperson retaliated by doing the same to the boy, and the life guard had to come and pull them apart.

At the age of 20, Jesperson married a woman by the name of Rose Hucke, and together they had a son and two daughters. Jesperson had taken up the job of a truck driver to support the family he had built. However, after many years of marriage, Hucke started to think that Jesperson was being unfaithful and after fourteen years of marriage, she finally left and took the children along with her. The eldest daughter at the time was ten years old.

When he was thirty five years of age, Keith decided he wanted to become a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman. He was 6’6 tall and weighed about 240 pounds. Unfortunately he suffered an injury during his training and that put an end to his dream altogether. He turned back to his work as a truck driver, and with it the realization struck that he could kill with ease and never be found out.

The Crimes Begin:

After the murder of Taunja his first victim, Keith was back on the road. However, on the 12th of April in 1990 a drunk woman came to Keith. She had an infant with her and both of the them ended up in Keith’s car. Soon their conversation took a more intimate turn and the woman proceeded to engage in sexual behavior with Jesperson.

By now they had been talking for quite some time and Jesperson had proceeded to give the woman most of his personal details. However, soon the woman asked to be taken back which angered Jesperson and he tried to snap her neck but it did not work.

Unwilling to murder a child, he then proceeded to drop them both back. Police did eventually arrest him on the woman’s complaint but he got off with just a misdemeanor claiming that the neck injury was just an accident.

About one and a half years after his first murder, Keith murdered again. In 1992 on August 30 a body was found in California of a woman that he not only raped but then strangled her to death. According to him, her name was Claudia. A month later he killed another woman, a prostitute by the name of Cynthia. His next victim was also a prostitute and her name was Laurie.

The mode of killing was the same for all these women. In the next couple of months two more bodies turned up. It became obvious that Jesperson was on a spree and it didn’t seem like anything was going to be able to stop him. The fact that he never stayed in more than one place due to his job helped him evade detection and he could easily kill and then move on to greener pastures. However his crimes started to become more violent as time passed and his criminal tendencies grew.

In 1995, Keith allowed a woman to travel with him in his truck to Indiana. Her name was Angela and she was very eager to meet her boyfriend. However just about a week into it she started getting very impatient with Jesperson and started telling him to hurry up and get them to their destination much faster. Jesperson lost his temper, and raped her.

After strangling her as was his habit, he then tied her to the underside of his truck, with her face down and then dragged her against the ground, with her body becoming unrecognizable. Her body wasn’t found until Jesperson was the one who gave details as to where she lay.

The time between the murders was getting shorter and shorter. Just a month had passed since Angela’s murder and already his bloodthirsty side reared it’s head again. He got the idea in his head that his girlfriend Julie was only staying with him for financial purposes; on March tenth he strangled and killed her.

Jesperson was actually connected with this victim; he became a major suspect in her murder. He soon realized that he would eventually get caught and even attempted suicide twice but survived. He turned himself in and started cooperating with the police about the murders he committed hoping for some leniency.

But why is he known as The Happy Face Killer? After he killed Taunja Bennet, two other people claimed to be responsible for the murder and Jesperson felt unhappy that all the attention was on them for a crime he committed. He left a confession on a bathroom wall and as a signature he left a smiley face.

Later, after committing more crimes he even wrote letters to the media and even the police, confessing to all the killings that he carried out. Each one of his letters he smiled with just a smiley face which is why he became dubbed The Happy Face Killer.

Chapter 4 – John Joubert – A Serial Killer

John Joseph Joubert was born in 1963 and finally executed in the year 1996. He was an American serial killer and was responsible for the killings of three young boys. However, his sadistic and cruel acts had started long before. Murder had just become the final acting out of fantasies that he had been having since his childhood years.

John was the eldest of two siblings. He had one sister whose name was Jane and she later grew up to be a police officer. John was a very gifted child, and could easily read at just the age of three.

When we was only five years of age he was already going to the library and checking books out for himself. He even had an IQ of about 123, so it was a real shame when he grew up to let all of it go to waste. His family ran a small restaurant and he even served as an altar boy.

John had a friend in school though and his name was Brian Labrecque. The two of them were the smallest boys in the class compared to the rest thus that made them both an easy target for bullies. Due to this they did manage to become friends however Brian was always of the opinion that John was quiet and shy and would never even think of retaliating as a result of the bullying.

However it was during this time period that John started developing different fantasies about murdering people. He was just six years old and when he would think about killing his babysitter, not out of any personal grievance, but just because she was an easy target.

He would fantasize about killing his victims with different methods, either he would want to strangle them or stab them. Either way he developed very intricate stories in his mind and would love to fantasize about following through on his plans.

John’s life at home became progressively more and more tumultuous and psychiatrists believed this exacerbated his need to escape into his world of fantasy. His parents separated when he was eight and he had to move with his sister and mother at the age of eleven. His mother would ridicule John’s father, spank and ridicule John and always disapprove of whatever company he used to keep. He recalled how at times he would go meet his father on his bicycle since his mother would refuse to pay to let him go see his father.

In school John always just kept to himself, constantly being bullied for his small size. He had no relationships and never dated anyone, kept up various summer jobs and even joined a scouting troop. His activities were that of any usual shy, quiet teenage boy.

However the resentment over being bullied and the unhappiness that he was subject to eventually got the better of him.

John Joubert was in junior high, when he started a series of very random attacks on various people in the neighborhood. They were usually not pre-meditated and were just sudden attacks on unsuspecting victims. In all the situations he always managed to escape without coming under scrutiny or even being suspected for the actions.

His first attack was in 1979 on the day of December 12th. Sarah Canty was playing outside when she dropped her football and leaned over to pick it up. Just as she did so, a man sped by and stabbed her in the back with something that resembled a screw driver. Shocked and scared, the six year old girl ran inside crying and under her layers of clothing there was a puncture wound about a quarter of an inch deep. However this was not going to be his only attack.

Only a couple of weeks later, a twenty seven year old girl by the name of Vicky was going to her class when a man passed by her. Out of courtesy she said a simple ‘hi” and a few moments later she felt a hand over her mouth.

She felt like somebody had punched her in the side, but only later did it occur to her that she had not been punched at all, in fact she had been a victim of a stabbing. The stab to her side had managed to rupture her kidney and she had to undergo extensive surgery to be able to heal.

Just two months after Vicky was stabbed, John carried out another cruel attack. A young boy about nine years old and named Michael was walking alone on the road. A man on a bicycle came up behind him and started talking to him asking about who he was and where he was planning on going.

Michael looked away for a moment only, but that was all it took for John Joubert to take out a knife and slash Michael’s neck. Terrified, Michael raced home covered in blood. The slash had left a two inch wound and about twelve stitches were required to fix the damage.

The wave of crimes were not only worried but absolutely shocked the neighborhood and the local police force. Some people even decided to move away, while children were instructed that they were not to walk anywhere unaccompanied.

All of a sudden though, the attacks stopped.

During this time Joubert had graduated and was attending a university in Northfield. He was studying engineering and surprisingly wasn’t doing too well in school, except for the first time ever he managed to make friends and even experimented with alcohol and weed. He was thoroughly enjoying his college experience and ended up completing only ten credits. He joined the Air Force after that, which was in the month of August.

In that same month, John Joubert committed his first murder.

Richard Stenson was his first victim. He went jogging around seven forty-five and was seen jogging around Back Cove’s jogging path. It seemed that a man on a bicycle was also accompanying him on his jog. The very next day, Stenson’s body was found in a patch of grass. It was bloody and it was apparent that he had been stabbed as well as strangled. There was also a slash on his calf along with a bite mark.

Suspicion never turned to Joubert. He left for the Air force and was trained as a technician. In Nebraska however, his longing to kill started building again. He would go through various pictures of terrified women in True Detective magazine. However he had taken one step further in executing his plans.

Every day he would set an alarm for six thirty in the morning, so he could wake up and think about whether he wanted to go in search of a victim or not. However, most mornings he would just go back to sleep after turning his alarm off.

In 1983 on September 18th, thirteen year old Danny Joe Eberle vanished. He delivered newspapers and on the day of the disappearance he had only managed to deliver three of the total seventy newspapers he was meant to deliver. His bicycle was found at the spot of the fourth delivery with all the other newspapers too.

Danny’s brother also delivered newspapers and he remembered being followed by a man in a car during the days before. Joubert had come to Eberle, taken out his knife, covering his mouth with one hand. He then made Eberle walk to his truck and took him away.

Danny’s body was found after three days. All his clothes had been removed apart from his underwear, and his hands and feet had been tied together. Even his mouth had been taped shut. The child had been stabbed nine to eleven times. The FBI was called in to take up the case but unfortunately it went cold.

Just two months later, another boy went missing only five kilometers away from the site where the first body was found. People all gave the same statement they saw a white man in a tan coloured car around the area. Joubert had taken this boy, Christopher, exactly the same way he kidnapped Danny, and took him away from the city to some railway lines away from town for privacy.

He made Christopher take off all of his clothes, but then he did not lie down on the railway tracks as John was telling him to do. Enraged, Joubert attacked Christopher and stabbed him.

He was so barbaric that the cut to Christopher’s throat was almost enough to completely decapitate the head. The body also turned up eventually, two days after the crime. In Christopher’s case however, Joubert did not tie him up and he was also able to hide this crime better.


In 1984 on the day of January eleventh, all of John Joubert’s crimes finally caught up to him. He was driving around a school area which sparked the suspicion of a teacher in pre-school who called police immediately. The driver of the car had seen that the teacher had started writing down the number of his license plate and proceeded to threaten her but then ran away.

The police tracked him and even got a search warrant, which led to the discovery of the room he had used to tie up Danny. Everything about Jon Joubert cross-matched with the profile that the FBI had made, and eventually he went to trial and was convicted too. He was executed by the electric chair, and finally paid for the innocent young boys whose lives he so cruelly took.

Chapter 5 – The Green River Killer – Gary Ridgway

On August 15th in the year 1982, a 41 year old man by the name of Robert Ainsworth, was just starting off his raft ride down the Green River located near Seattle. He made this trip quite often on his rubber raft, and it was quite a normal routine for him to take this route.

This time however he was in for the surprise of his life. He floated down the river bank and came across a middle aged man who was standing by the bank of the river. He then noticed another man too, but he was much younger and he sat inside a pickup truck that was parked nearby.

Ainsworth didn’t think much of it and assumed they were out to fish. He made casual conversation asking the men whether they had managed to catch something to which they replied in the negative. The men left after a while and Ainsworth continued his journey downstream.

However, his peaceful ride was soon interrupted when he looked down into the water and saw two eyes looking back at him. He thought it was the mannequin of a young African American woman, and he tried to use a pole and dislodge the figure. However in his effort his own raft overturned and what he realized next horrified him.

It was no mannequin, this was a dead body floating in the water. A while later he found another body of a semi-naked women floating around.

Alarmed, Ainsworth rushed to the bank and tried to get some help. He sat down waiting for someone to come by and finally a man with two children came along. He rushed to them and immediately requested that they go to the police.

Detectives arrived and cornered off the area and began their investigation. A third body was found, also of a young girl. However this body was found in the grass and not in the water like the other two. She had been strangled to death as a pair of jeans was tied in a tight knot around her neck. There was visible bruising on her body showing she tried to struggle.

This body had not been lying around for more than twenty four hours. A complete examination was carried out of all three bodies and it was apparent that all three had been killed the same way: strangulation. Both the girls whose bodies had been found in the river also had rocks up their vaginal orifice. One was thirty one years old while the other was just seventeen.

The sad part is that these were not the only bodies to have been found. Just a couple of days before, the body of a woman named Deborah was found in the Green River, strangled to death.

A month before another girl by the name of Wendy was also found floating in the same waters. In the time period of 6 months, about six dead women had been discovered. It had become very clear that there was a serial killer at large, and he had to be stopped as soon as possible before more bodies were discovered floating in the Green River.

A special task force was arranged for these murders, a force almost as big as the one used when Ted Bundy was at large. They even called in help from the FBI. It was apparent that everyone realized how dangerous this man was and how desperate they were to see him in custody.

As the investigations began it did get a bit overwhelming in the start as so much information started flooding in. Different volunteers also started assisting the investigation to help with the case. During the course of the investigation they learnt that most of the girls that they came across had at one time or the other turned to prostitution.

They started questioning prostitutes and couldn’t discover much except for one thing. One of them came forward and told them about a man in a truck who raped her, and then held a gun to her head. He also made some sort of reference to the Green river murders.

Another prostitute also came forward and corroborated the same story, and thus a search for the truck began. However, in both the cases the man did eventually let the women go. The task force did follow this whole lead through and the search for the driver and truck ensued.

They caught a man called Charles Clark who fit the description that the women gave and was positively identified by them as well. However it became clear that he was NOT the green river killer. He had a very solid alibi for all of the times that the Green River victims vanished.

Meanwhile the disappearances continued. Nineteen year old Mary Bridgett disappeared. She was also pregnant and went missing near a motel that was a popular haunt for most of the prostitutes that became victims to the Green River Killer.

According to the FBI profile the Green River Killer was a confident man. However he was impulsive. He was middle aged and would return to his murder scenes as the re-enactment of the crime in his mind would excite him. The killer was deeply religious and was also keen on being part of whatever investigations were going on already, so he might even call the police to help.

While there were some leads to convict a single man. The pile of bodies however continued to grow. Another seventeen year old prostitute was found. Interestingly, the woman was originally blonde, however when she was discovered her hair had been dyed black.

The disappearances did not stop there. For the next year, fourteen more girls disappeared and the police were under increasing pressure to come up with a culprit.

IN 1983, the task force became suspicious of a new man. A girl by the name of Marie Malvar had gone missing, and her boyfriend saw her talking to a man in a dark truck. He said he saw her get into the same truck and that was the last he saw of her.

Suspicious, he started to follow them but eventually lost them. He did inform the police who talked to the owner of the truck, Gary Ridgeway, but didn’t find anything alarming and left him alone.

Time passed and the investigation continued. The task force found it quite difficult to keep the case going but the disappearances kept increasing and it felt like no specific progress was being made. They found various ‘dumping grounds’ where the killer would dump his bodies and then according to the FBI profiler, frequently returned to these sites as it gave him as sense of satisfaction.

Skeletal remains turned up and were examined but to no avail. Three years passed and the killing spree was continuous. Yet the investigation was top priority. Ted Bundy, a notorious killer himself even agreed to help give an insight into the killer’s mind and how he probably operated.

Finally in the year 1987, a person of interest came up that gave the investigation a head start. This suspect was the same man that the police had talked to before, in relation to the disappearance of Marie Malvar. This man was Gary Ridgeway.

The police came and talked to him again, and this time one of the detectives on the case was pretty sure this was their guy. He learnt from the man’s ex wife that Gary often went to the locations where the bodies had been discovered.

He also had been absent from work every single time there had been a disappearance of the Green River Victims. Finally it felt like they had found their guy.

They got a warrant to search the house and took samples to match the Green River victims. However there was no sufficient evidence and once again the suspect Gary Ridgeway was released.

Then more bodies of missing women turned up. The investigation had started to become a public joke and the media and public were angry over the lack of progress. The case turned cold for at least ten years.

Finally, in 2001, the task force got news that could have brought them to tears. With new technology on their side, they found a match between the semen samples of Gary Ridgeway, and one of the victims. Finally, Gary was arrested. It was over.

Later more information came up that only strengthened the case against him. His ex-wife informed police about his unappeasable sexual appetite. Sometimes he would demand that they be intimate even in public areas, and some of these places were the same areas he had buried dead bodies.

He also had a strong obsession with prostitutes, a sort of love-hate relationship of sorts. He would employ them for their services but at the same time absolutely hate them and complain when they would be going around their business in the neighborhood that he lived in. It seemed to psychiatrists that this was due to the clash between his desires and his religious beliefs.

He had phases when he would become very religious and even cry while reading the bible. He would follow sermons and preach his beliefs too thus his relationship with the prostitutes was very hateful to him.

Gary Ridgeway did not get the death penalty. He confessed to all the murders that he committed, and made a deal to cooperate with the police and help them find the bodies of all the women and close all the cases.

This did indeed end up making families very angry. They wanted the killer of their loved ones to die just like his victims had, instead he was allowed to live.

Gary was a typical psychopath, so much so that he did not even remember the names of all the women that he killed.

Their only purpose had been to provide him satisfaction and that they did. Thankfully, he was put behind bars, away from the rest of the female population.


The human race has proven over time how it can act can be absolutely brutal. From destroying the sanctity of life and committing abominable sins, to laying down bodies by the hundreds and thousands.

While this idea repulses the normal human being, there have been some characters in history who have only derived intense pleasure from it, and lived to satiate their need to kill. What we have tried to understand for years and year is what exactly causes a man to turn from your average Joe to a conniving, heartless monster?

While it is possible that this answer might never be truly answered, we can only try and look into the minds of these killers in history and try and understand what exactly was going on when they snapped. They subjected their victims to the worst torture possible, and yet some feel no remorse.

All we can do is try and step into their shoes for a moment and try and understand what really the mind of a killer is like…

Check Out My Other Books

Below you’ll find some of my other popular books that are popular on Amazon and Kindle as well. You can visit my author page on Amazon to see other work done by me. (Seth Balfour).

True Ghost Stories

UFOs And Aliens

Conspiracy Theories

Missing People

Serial Killers

Cannibal Killers

Missing People – Volume 2

Unexplained Disappearances

Cold Cases True Crime

Haunted Asylums

Haunted Asylums – Volume 2

True Ghost Stories – Volume 2

Women Who Kill

If the links do not work, for whatever reason, you can simply search for these titles on the Amazon website with my name to find them.

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COLD CASES TRUE CRIME: Cold Case Murders and True Crime Stories of Serial Killer

Since time, man has walked this earth and has not hesitated to spill the blood of fellow mankind. While in some cases it was for God, power or country, in other instances men have committed the most brutal acts only to satisfy their own personal blood lust. They have shown no remorse, and only derive a sick pleasure from crossing the limits of morality and stepping into a place of death and darkness. While there are many criminals and psychopaths who have garnered a lot of public attention, there were so many more that operated secretly and quickly, killing and spilling blood, pleasing themselves...

  • Author: Seth Balfour
  • Published: 2017-02-23 03:35:11
  • Words: 9080
COLD CASES TRUE CRIME: Cold Case Murders and True Crime Stories of Serial Killer COLD CASES TRUE CRIME: Cold Case Murders and True Crime Stories of Serial Killer