Who Killed Kennedy?

Even the basic facts of [John F.] Kennedy’s death are still subject to heated argument. The historical consensus seems to have settled on Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin, but conspiracy speculation abounds–involving [Lyndon B.] Johnson, the C.I…

Even the basic facts of [John F.] Kennedy's death are still subject to heated argument. The historical consensus seems to have settled on Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin, but conspiracy speculation abounds--involving [Lyndon B.] Johnson, the C.I.A., the mob, Fidel Castro or a baroque combination of all of them. Many of the theories have been circulating for decades and have now found new life on the Internet, in Web sites febrile with unfiltered and at times unhinged musings. [According to Vincent Bugliosi, 82 people have, over the years, been accused of assassinating President Kennedy.]

Jill Abramson, "The Elusive President," The New York Times Book Review, October 27, 2013

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

What Happened to JFK’s Brain?

Not all the evidence from the John F. Kennedy assassination is at the National Archives. One unique, macabre item from the collection is missing–President Kennedy’s brain….My conclusion is that Robert Kennedy took his brother’s brain–not to conceal…

Not all the evidence from the John F. Kennedy assassination is at the National Archives. One unique, macabre item from the collection is missing--President Kennedy's brain....My conclusion is that Robert Kennedy took his brother's brain--not to conceal evidence of a conspiracy but perhaps to conceal evidence of the true extent of President Kennedy's illnesses, or perhaps to conceal evidence of the number of medications that President Kennedy was taking.

James Swanson, End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, 2013

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

When the Physical Evidence Doesn’t Support Self-Defense

     We went to a scene where the husband shot his wife. His story was she came at him with a knife and tried to stab him. So he was saying he killed her in self-defense. But there were a couple of things that just didn’t make sense.&nbs…

     We went to a scene where the husband shot his wife. His story was she came at him with a knife and tried to stab him. So he was saying he killed her in self-defense. But there were a couple of things that just didn't make sense.

     There was a knife in her hand. But it was in the wrong direction to be used as a stabbing-type instrument. It was apparent that he had placed the knife in her hand after he shot her and probably, in his panic, faced it the wrong way.

     There was blood on the palm of her hand where she had touched the entrance wound when she was shot. The normal reaction is to grab where it hurts. and she did. And she had blood on her hand, but there was no blood on the knife.

Crime scene investigator in Crime Scene by Connie Fletcher, 2006

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Fake Psychology: Unqualified Criminal Profilers

     Only proper data collection and thorough research can bring credibility to [forensic behavioral] profiling….Currently, there are no professional standards or licensing requirements for this line of work. When self-proclaimed profi…

     Only proper data collection and thorough research can bring credibility to [forensic behavioral] profiling....Currently, there are no professional standards or licensing requirements for this line of work. When self-proclaimed profilers repeat the same terminology as qualified profilers, detectives, the media, and the public believe them.

     For example, my research on five hundred-plus serial murder cases shows that most serial killers are not clever at alluding police; they get caught through their own mistakes or a tip from the public. My work has also found that serial killers are consistent in their behaviors over time. These conclusions challenge cherished myths, myths that many have exploited for ill-gotten gain by charlatans masquerading as scientific profilers. What is really sad is how many in the media and law enforcement believe them, and how many lives are lost as a result.

Dr. Maurice Godwin, Trackers: Hunting Down Serial Killers, 2005

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Who Assassinated Huey P. Long?

     The assassination of a political figure is most often executed by persons who seemingly have nothing to lose by their actions. Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, and James Earl Ray, the assassins of President John F. Kennedy, Senator…

     The assassination of a political figure is most often executed by persons who seemingly have nothing to lose by their actions. Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, and James Earl Ray, the assassins of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., respectively, fit neatly into this category of down-and-outers. But Dr. Carl Austin Weiss, reputedly the assassin of Louisiana senator Huey P. Long, was not of that mold.

     Instead he is a rarity among proved or purported assassins--a medical doctor. He is the only physician in history to be an accused assassin. To add further mystery to this case, at the age of twenty-nine he had a flourishing medical practice in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as a wife and three-month-old son to grace a promising life. He was not overly involved in politics.

     In addition, he gave no indication on the day of the assassination [September 10, 1935] to anyone who knew him that he was about to do something so dramatic--and certainly suicidal, as well as humiliating for his family. He'd been on a family outing and had just ordered new furniture for his home. Yet despite these nagging questions, this case has been closed with the popular conviction, spurred by police efforts to close the file and by a popular enthusiasm to follow the police lead, that Weiss was indeed an assassin. Yet was he? [Dr. Starrs, based on the forensic firearms identification evidence, believes that Senator Long was accidentally shot to death by his body guards, the men who also shot Dr. Weiss to death that night in the Louisiana State House.]

James E. Starrs (with Katherine Ramsland) A Voice for the Dead, 2005

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Dr. Arthur Waite: The Happy Poisoner

     In 1917, on trial for his life, accused of double murder, Dr. Arthur Warren Waite laughed at the law. It was, he agreed, all true. He had indeed murdered his mother-in-law by mixing germs in her food. He had also killed his wealthy …

     In 1917, on trial for his life, accused of double murder, Dr. Arthur Warren Waite laughed at the law. It was, he agreed, all true. He had indeed murdered his mother-in-law by mixing germs in her food. He had also killed his wealthy father-in-law, but when germs failed, and arsenic too, Waite had used chloroform, suffocating the old man with a pillow to finish him off. Why? "For the money," said Waite.

     Waite's trial was the New York City sensation of its day. The debonair young dentist cheerfully explained how he had poisoned his mother-in-law mixing pneumonia, diphtheria and influenza germs into her meals.

     Dr. Waite's father-in-law had been a hardier soul, resisting tuberculosis bacteria sprayed up his nose, chlorine gas, and various attempts to give him pneumonia, including dampening his bed sheets. Science caught up with Dr. Waite when arsenic he'd poured into the old man's soup was detected at autopsy. [Waite was found guilty and hanged.]

Roger Wilkes, ed, The Mammoth Book of Murder & Science, 2000

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Say Goodbye to Alaska Serial Killer Robert Hansen

     Convicted Alaska serial killer Robert Hansen, who gained the nickname of “The Butcher Baker” for abducting and hunting down women in the wilderness during the state’s oil pipeline construction boom in the 1970s, has died at age 75. Hansen died Thursday August 21, 2014 at  Alaska Regional Hospital after being in declining health for the past year…

     Hansen was convicted in 1984 after confessing to killing 17 women, mostly dancers and prostitutes, during a 12-year span. Hansen was convicted of just four of the murders in a deal that spared him having to go to trial 17 times. The Anchorage baker also confessed to raping another 30 women at that time…

     Hansen was the subject of a 2003 film entitled “The Frozen Ground” that starred Nicolas Cage as an Alaska State Trooper investigating the slayings. Actor John Cusack portrayed Hansen.

     Hansen was serving a 461-year sentence in Alaska at the time of his death. He had been incarcerated at the Seward State Prison and was moved May 11, 2014 to the Anchorage Correctional Center to receive medical attention.

     Hansen owned a bakery in a downtown mini-mall in the 1970s and 1980s. He lived across town with his wife and children who knew nothing of his other life…

     Hansen would abduct the women and take them to remote places outside the city. Sometimes he would drive and other times he would fly his private plane. A licensed pilot, Hansen told investigators that one of his favorite spots to take his victims was the Knik River north of Anchorage. In some instances Hansen would rape the women then return them to Anchorage, warning them not to contact the authorities. Other times he would let the women go free in the wilderness then hunt them down with his rifle. Only 12 bodies of the 17 women Hansen confessed to killing have been found.

Rachel D’Oro, “Alaska Serial Killer Dies, Decades After Murders,” Associated Press, August 223, 2014 

     Convicted Alaska serial killer Robert Hansen, who gained the nickname of "The Butcher Baker" for abducting and hunting down women in the wilderness during the state's oil pipeline construction boom in the 1970s, has died at age 75. Hansen died Thursday August 21, 2014 at  Alaska Regional Hospital after being in declining health for the past year…

     Hansen was convicted in 1984 after confessing to killing 17 women, mostly dancers and prostitutes, during a 12-year span. Hansen was convicted of just four of the murders in a deal that spared him having to go to trial 17 times. The Anchorage baker also confessed to raping another 30 women at that time…

     Hansen was the subject of a 2003 film entitled "The Frozen Ground" that starred Nicolas Cage as an Alaska State Trooper investigating the slayings. Actor John Cusack portrayed Hansen.

     Hansen was serving a 461-year sentence in Alaska at the time of his death. He had been incarcerated at the Seward State Prison and was moved May 11, 2014 to the Anchorage Correctional Center to receive medical attention.

     Hansen owned a bakery in a downtown mini-mall in the 1970s and 1980s. He lived across town with his wife and children who knew nothing of his other life…

     Hansen would abduct the women and take them to remote places outside the city. Sometimes he would drive and other times he would fly his private plane. A licensed pilot, Hansen told investigators that one of his favorite spots to take his victims was the Knik River north of Anchorage. In some instances Hansen would rape the women then return them to Anchorage, warning them not to contact the authorities. Other times he would let the women go free in the wilderness then hunt them down with his rifle. Only 12 bodies of the 17 women Hansen confessed to killing have been found.

Rachel D'Oro, "Alaska Serial Killer Dies, Decades After Murders," Associated Press, August 223, 2014 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

The Serial Killer Hysteria of the 1980s

     Psychiatry is not to blame for the emergence of the late-twentieth-century fictional monster known as the serial killer, but the psychiatric concept of criminal violence as an unconsciously motivated explosion of rage bolsters the c…

     Psychiatry is not to blame for the emergence of the late-twentieth-century fictional monster known as the serial killer, but the psychiatric concept of criminal violence as an unconsciously motivated explosion of rage bolsters the credibility of what is in fact a bureaucratic invention....

     Ultraviolent criminals sometimes commit a series of murders....Such serial homicides are enacted most commonly by violent drug dealers, professional murderers and armed robbers in the course of doing business....The notion of an irrational, predatory "serial killer" emerged in the early 1980s amid widespread hysteria about dangers to children from pornographers, satanic cults, lethal day-care centers and kidnappers....The 1983 [Senate] hearings on child kidnapping and serial homicide by the Juvenile Justice Subcommitee, chaired by Senator Arlen Spector, [was] the public forum from which emerged the popular notion of a multitude of predatory serial killers scourging the land....

     Specter's subcommittee estimated that there had been as many as 3,600 "random and senseless [serial] murders" in 1981; by the time that number had whispered its way around the circle of public discussion, it was inflated to estimates of 4,000 or 5,000 serial-killer victims per year ( out of about 23,000 total U. S. homicides)....The actual number of [serial killer] victims is closer to two hundred a year. [That may have been true in the 80s and 90s, but the number of yearly victims is now much lower than 200.]

Richard Rhodes, Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist, 1999 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

O.J. Simpson: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Some writers of letters and a lot of kids don’t seem to care if I’m guilty or innocent. They just want to believe in me….When I speak to kids, I say that you have to accept responsibility for your own actions…I say to everybody that if I had committed this crime, I would have had to take responsibility for my actions….

O.J. Simpson, I Want to Tell You, 1994 [Letter to a young fan following his arrest for double murder.]

Some writers of letters and a lot of kids don't seem to care if I'm guilty or innocent. They just want to believe in me….When I speak to kids, I say that you have to accept responsibility for your own actions…I say to everybody that if I had committed this crime, I would have had to take responsibility for my actions….

O.J. Simpson, I Want to Tell You, 1994 [Letter to a young fan following his arrest for double murder.]

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Lust as a Motive for Murder

The Marquis de Sade knew whereof he spoke. As the first of the seven deadly sins, lust commands a special place in the lexicon of transgression. It’s a trigger-happy emotion that can turn from inarticulate ardor to homicidal mania on a dime. Lust is th…

The Marquis de Sade knew whereof he spoke. As the first of the seven deadly sins, lust commands a special place in the lexicon of transgression. It's a trigger-happy emotion that can turn from inarticulate ardor to homicidal mania on a dime. Lust is the sin that drives ordinary people to extraordinary measures, one corpse--or more--at a time.

A Miscellany of Murder, The Monday Murder Club, 2011

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/