Ricardo "Richard" Ramirez was born February 29, 1960, in El Paso, Texas. The youngest of five children, he suffered two serious head injuries during his childhood: at age two, a dresser fell on top of him, cutting open his forehead; at age five, a park swing knocked him unconscious. The latter injury caused epileptic seizures... Continue Reading →
Repeat because it’s summertime funtime bumming time.
From Wisconsin (Ed Gein) we travel to my home state of Texas, for a lesson on why you should not take candy from strangers.
Dean Corll was born in 1939 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His family moved to Texas in 1950, settling in Vidor, a small town roughly 90 miles from Houston. Corll played trombone in the school band and graduated from Vidor High in 1958. Shortly afterward, the Corll family packed up and moved to Houston, where Corll’s mother continued the small candy company she’d started in Vidor.
The “Pecan Prince” candy company specialized in pecan chewies, pralines, and divinity. Corll ran the assembly line and endeared himself to the neighborhood boys (!) by handing out free candy (!!) and taking them to picnics at the beach in his van (!!!). In 1968, Corll’s mother closed the business and moved to…
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Theodore "Ted" Bundy was born Theodore Cowell on November 24, 1946, in Vermont, at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers. After his birth, the future Bundy's mother moved to Philadelphia and stayed with her parents. For a while, he was told that his grandparents were his parents, and that his mother was his sister;... Continue Reading →
(Last year, I did posts on lesser-known serial killers. I decided to switch gears this year, because typing "serial killers that no one has heard of" into Google has probably put me on a few F.B.I. watch lists. I was originally going to subtitle this post "Fuck Clowns", but changed my mind at the last... Continue Reading →
August 1, 1966. Austin, Texas. It's hot today, brutally so, but despite that, you're wearing coveralls over your street clothes and lugging a dolly loaded with a Marine Corps footlocker up three short flights of steps. At least you were able to take an elevator up the first twenty-seven floors. You reach the twenty-eighth, the... Continue Reading →
(Rerun here, because it's the hundredth anniversary of these attacks.) I'm profiling a different sort of killer today: the shark (or sharks) responsible for the Matawan Creek attacks in 1916. It started on July 1, 1916, when 23-year-old Charles Van Sant arrived in Beach Haven, New Jersey. Eager to escape the heat, the vacationing Philadelphian... Continue Reading →
I've done a good deal of picking on the guys lately, so I thought I'd switch genders and profile a female serial killer. This wasn't easy. Sure, there's Aileen Wuornos (the subject of Monster, starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, great flick), but as I stated earlier, I wanted to do the not-so-famous killers. Problem is,... Continue Reading →
Imagine that you're a young woman living in Los Angeles in 1957. You're attractive, and like many in L.A., you have dreams of being a movie star. But right now, your career isn't going so great. It doesn't look like you're going to share the silver screen with William Holden or Marlon Brando anytime soon. And since... Continue Reading →
Ah, Cleveland, Ohio. You've given us Drew Carey, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and, in 1935, headless torsos. In September 1935, two schoolboys were walking through Kingsbury Run, a shantytown near the Cuyahoga River. They decided to race to the bottom of Jackass Hill. The winner found something else besides glory in the bushes at... Continue Reading →