Omar Killed Me

Ghislaine Marchal

Ghislaine Marchal

On June 24, 1991, a Monday, 65-year-old affluent widow Ghislaine Marchal was found dead in her home in Mougin, France. Marchal suffered a broken skull, a slit throat, a sliced finger, and multiple stab wounds. Her body had been discovered in her basement, the door of which had to be knocked down because somebody had barricaded it from the inside with an iron bar and bed. Across the door, scribbled in blood, was“Omar m’a tuer”, a grammatically incorrect phrase that meant “Omar killed me”. There was a similar message near-by, although incomplete, and police also found a bloody handprint.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

Despite that all this blood was later confirmed to be Marchal’s, her body was found on the other side of the room. The authorities were baffled; how did she get from the door all to way to the spot where she had died without dripping a trail of blood behind her? The floor was completely clean. Almost nearly as strange, how did an educated woman like Marchal make such an elementary grammatical mistake in writing her message?

The autopsy determined that Marchal had been killed the day before, after talking to a friend around noon. Her gardener, an illiterate Moroccan named Omar Raddad, was usually at her house on Sundays, but had earlier changed his schedule. He claimed to have been eating lunch at home during the time of the murder, but only family members could confirm his alibi. His case caused an uproar in France, with his supporters arguing that he was an innocent man being accused simply because he was an immigrant. The authorities pinned him with a first-degree murder charge, and he went to trial in January 1994.

Omar Raddad.

Omar Raddad.

The prosecution argued that Raddad stabbed Marchal to death after getting into an argument with her over his pay. They had no solid evidence, however, and nobody reported seeing Raddad even near Marchal’s home the day of the murder. Raddad, furthermore, had no criminal record, and was a hard-working, honest man by all accounts. As for the message, graphologists were certain that it was Marchal’s handwriting. Still, despite the weakness of the prosecution, Raddad was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

After pressure from the Moroccan King, the French president eventually pardoned Raddad in 1998, but the murder conviction was still left on his legal record. Raddad has spent the past 17 years fighting to clear his name, even applying for a new trial after his release. Forensic tests conducted in 2001 found a male’s DNA on the basement door and a block of wood suspected of being used to hit Marchal. These strains didn’t match Raddad at all, and almost certainly had to belong to Marchal’s real killer.

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/who-really-killed-ghislaine-marchal-2041696.html

http://www.crimemagazine.com/written-blood

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The Sect of Indian Ascetics who Eat Human Flesh

Picture of Aghori man taken by Italian photographer Cristiano Ostinelli.

Picture of Aghori man taken by Italian photographer Cristiano Ostinelli.

The Aghori are a small Hindu sect that worships the god Shiva. They are, however, reviled by orthodox Hindus for their use of alcohol and their meat-eating, which includes consuming the flesh of both animals and humans. They typically go naked or thinly-covered, but they also smear their bodies with cremation ashes. Like many other Hindu holy men, they are required to renounce life and earthly pleasures, so never marry and practice celibacy, although some Aghori have been known to engage in ritual group sex with menstruating prostitutes. In addition to their practice of cannibalism, they also drink urine and eat feces, no less from bowls made of human skulls.

Somewhat less sensationally, they don’t actually kill any of the humans they eat. They usually take bodies from the Ganges, a sacred river notoriously polluted with trash, industrial waste, and the bodies of poor Hindus whose families couldn’t afford to cremate them. (Most people in India are cremated.)

In their corpse-eating rituals, intoxicated by alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs, an Aghori first sits on the decomposing corpse, meditates for a while, and then dedicates the meal to a deity before eating it. They believe eating dead bodies will prevent aging and give them supernatural powers, like being able to fly or control the weather. These rituals aren’t believed to be a constant thing; some sources say they are only a once in a lifetime event. Because of the sect’s obscurity and secrecy, nobody is exactly sure, although they have allowed some filming of their rituals the past 10 years.

Another picture by Cristiano Ostinelli.

Another picture by Cristiano Ostinelli.

While they were recorded as having a population of 5,580 in the Indian Census of 1901, their number is far fewer today, some sources estimating only several dozen or so members. Little is known about their historical origins, although they trace their founding to a late 18th century ascetic named Kina Ram. There are some English accounts of the Aghori in the 19th century, including an incident in 1887 in which a nude gang of angry Aghori who had been denied some goats stole a corpse from a crematorium and ate it on the spot in the city of Ujjain.

Gallery of Cristiano Ostinelli photos:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/11444748/Meet-the-flesh-eating-cannibal-Aghori-monks-of-Varanasi-India-in-pictures.html?frame=3216958

The Newly-Wed Allegedly Murdered by a Satanist with the Same Name of Her Husband

Murder victim Arlis Perry.

Murder victim Arlis Perry.

Arlis Perry was a 19-year-old woman from Bismarck, North Dakota who moved to Stanford, California to live with her husband Bruce Perry, a sophomore student at Stanford University. On the night of October 12, 1974, Arlis and Bruce got into a small argument about their car’s tire pressure while walking around campus. Arlis decided that she wanted to be alone for a while and walked to the Stanford Memorial Church by herself. She went into the church shortly before midnight. The security guard, Stephen Crawford, closed the church a little while after. He came back to check the doors at around 2 am, and found them all locked.

Bruce, meanwhile, was starting to get worried. Arlis still hadn’t come back yet. After driving around campus looking for her, Bruce called the police at 3 AM. They checked the church, but found that the doors were still locked. At about 5:45 AM, Crawford returned and found one of the church doors opened. As he walked inside, he discovered Arlis’s body under a pew. She was laying on her back, naked from the waist-down and with her legs spread apart. She hadn’t been raped, but she had been sexually assaulted with a candlestick. Another candlestick was pushed in between her breasts. Her death was caused by blows to the back of her head with an ice-pick, which was found lodged into her skull.

A palm print was found on one of the candles, and a trace of semen was discovered on a kneeling pillow. Neither pieces of evidence were matched to Crawford or Bruce Perry, and the case remains as cold as it was 40 years ago. Seven other people were seen entering the church that night, but one of them, a young man estimated to be 5’10 and of medium build, has never been identified.

Because of the location of the murder, and the strange position of Arlis’s body, some suggest that she was killed as part of a satanic ritual. Journalist Maury Terry, in his 1987 book “The Ultimate Evil” theorized that an associate of serial killer David Berkowitz, the infamous Son of Sam, was the murderer. Berkowitz has claimed that his murders were part of a Satanic ritual, and that several other people participated in them.

Terry believes that the killer might have been a local man named Bruce Perry. Not her husband, mind you, but a different man with the exact same name. Arlis saw the man’s name in a phonebook, and mentioned it in some of the letters she sent to her friends back home. After her murder, the second Bruce Perry disappeared. Rather than writing it off as an odd coincidence, Terry thinks this other Bruce was ordered to kill Arlis by a satanic cult she allegedly met before moving to California.

Authorities, however, have long dismissed this theory. “It has no cult-like overtones- It just happened to occur in a church,” remarked one investigator at the time of the murder. Furthermore, Berkowitz’s clique of fellow murderous satanists has never been proven to exist, and investigators are skeptical that he knows anything about Arlis’s murder. The only other possible lead comes from an attorney who practiced at the law firm where Arlis was working as a secretary. The day before her murder, the attorney saw Arlis arguing with an unfamiliar man he assumed was her husband. The man turned out not to be (Arlis’s) Bruce Perry, however, and has never been identified.

Sources:

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2014/10/10/murder-at-memorial-church-remains-unsolved-40-years-later/

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/prison-folio/conversations/topics/4842

http://truthontatelabianca.com/threads/arlis-death-haunts-detective.44/

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The Two Men Who Went Missing Looking for a UFO

Wilbur Wilkinson

Wilbur Wilkinson

On November 11, 1953, electrical engineers Karl Hunrath and Wilbur J. Wilkinson paid an hour of rent time for a small plane from Gardena Airport in Los Angeles, California. They submitted no flight plan. Hunrath, despite being only an amateur pilot and having little familiarity with the area, flew the plane. The day before, he called up some acquaintances and told them he was going on a trip. He believed a UFO had landed near-by, and he and his friend Wilkinson were determined to find it. They thought it would take them to another planet, possibly Venus or the home world of the Maserians, an extraterrestrial race Hunrath allegedly communicated with by radio. Whether or not they were taken to Maser is unknown, for the two UFO enthusiasts were never seen again.

The fact that their plane and bodies never showed up anywhere inspired the UFO community in Los Angeles to proclaim that, yes, they really did make it off the earth. A tabloid paper called the Los Angeles Mirror ran an article giving credence to the abduction theory a week after their disappearance. Reporters interviewed Wilkinson’s wife, who explained that her husband and Hunrath believed the end of the world was at hand. The Maserians, Wilkinson had told her, were plotting an invasion of earth. Wilkinson was obsessed with UFOs, and had his den covered in UFO pictures and strange pictographs that were supposedly written in an interplanetary language. He had only moved to California back in June, lured to the state by his old friend Hunrath. Hunrath claimed that he could show Wilkinson a flying saucer, so Wilkinson promptly left his job  in Racine, Wisconsin and moved his family 2000 miles away to Los Angeles.

Some of the pictographs found in Wilkison's home.

Some of the pictographs found in Wilkinson’s home.

According to George Hunt Williamson, a UFO researcher active in the 1950s contactee scene, Hunrath was a mysterious man who would frequently spread false rumors about other researchers. He had developed an interest in UFOs after meeting what he believed was a “spaceman”, and moved to Los Angeles after having a fall-out with cult leader George Adamski in Palomar Gardens. Williamson, who insisted that the Maserians were actually a benevolent people from the Moon, suggested that UFOs had nothing to do with Hunrath’s and Wilkinson’s disappearance. He thought, whether alive or dead, they were somewhere on earth.

And this, coming from a man who believed he could contact UFOs by ouija boards, is probably the more rational explanation. There were rumors that the two men had flown to Mexico, but this would have been impossible, since they only had a three hour supply of fuel. Rather than land somewhere, they easily could have crashed and died. Hunrath hadn’t flown a plane in a long time, and he was an inexperienced pilot to begin with. As Williamson noted, “the down-draft and illusive qualities” of the near-by Big Bear mountain range “could have doomed the small plane.”

Sources:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/ufo/otof/otof16.htm

http://ufobc.ca/kinross/planeMishaps/hunrathAndWilkinson.html

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The Jackie Hernandez Haunting

Jackie Hernandez claimed to have been haunted by two different ghosts from around 1988 to 1990.

Jackie Hernandez claimed to have been haunted by two different ghosts from around 1988 to 1990.

In November 1988, Jackie Hernandez left her husband and took their 2-year-old son Jaime to live in San Pedro, California. Hernandez was pregnant, and her marriage had been a disaster. She was hoping this move would be a change for the better.

As soon as she moved in, however, a number of strange things started happening. One of her beds would repeatedly collapse without explanation. She thought she could hear voices mumbling in the attic. Her cat would run around the house, as though it were chasing the strange shadows on the walls. One day, when she and her friend were washing dishes, the kitchen walls seeped a bizarre, blood-like ooze. Another time, she watched some pencils fling out of a pencil holder by themselves.

It all got worse after her daughter Samantha was born in April 1989. She would have vivid dreams in which she was a young man being clubbed to death in San Pedro Harbor. The setting seemed to have been in the 1930s, and she would wake up after her attacker tried drowning her. One particular night, she woke up all of a sudden and had to use the bathroom. As she was getting there, she found an old man in her house. Before she could even react, the old man vanished without a word.

The case soon attracted the attention of paranormal researcher and parapsychologist Dr. Barry Taff. Taff and his team, armed with video cameras and infrared detectors, paid Hernandez’s house a visit in August. The team kept hearing sounds in the attic, “like a 200 foot pound rat running around”, according to Taff. When one of the photographers, Jeff Wheatcraft, went up to the attic to take some pictures, an invisible force violently grabbed at his camera and threw it to the ground.

The team came for a second visit in September. Wheatcraft went to investigate the attic again, but this time took another person, Gary Beihm, with him. While the two were looking around, a clothesline suddenly wrapped itself around Wheatcraft’s neck and tried hanging him from a nail in a rafter. Beihm was able to get Wheatcraft down before he was strangled to death, and he also took some of the few photographs we have of an alleged ghost attack.

One of the pictures of Jeff Wheatcraft getting attacked.

One of the pictures of Jeff Wheatcraft getting attacked.

By the fall, Hernandez left her San Pedro home and returned to live with her husband in a trailer park about 300 miles away. The paranormal activity that plagued her in San Pedro immediately stopped. After her relationship with her husband fell apart, however, strange things started happening again. When she and some neighbors were putting a TV away into her shed, the image of the old man from San Pedro manifested itself on the screen. Throughout the rest of the night, she heard something pounding from the inside of the shed.

The investigators were called in again. As soon as they got inside Hernandez’s trailer, their equipment kept inexplicably switching off. Once they started using a ouija board, the table began to shake, and everybody present felt cold chills. The board told them that it was the spirit of a young man who died in San Pedro harbor when he was 18-years-old in 1930. His murderer lived in the San Pedro house. They stopped the session when Wheatcraft was lifted up into the air and thrown against the trailer’s wall. He dropped to the floor, unconscious. When he woke up, he said that he felt something squeezing his diaphragm, and then the next thing he knew, he was thrown against the wall and passed out.

After digging through old newspapers, Hernandez identified the ouija board spirit as the ghost of a young seaman named Herman Hendrickson. Hendrickson’s body was found floating in San Pedro Harbor on March 25, 1930. As for the ghost of the old man, Hernandez thought that it was John Damon, the man who built the San Pedro home. She has said that a ball of light appeared to her while she was in San Pedro in the spring of 1990. The ball led her to a cemetery, where it hovered around one of the graves before vanishing. The name on the grave’s stone marker? John Damon.

The ghosts have since stopped harassing Jackie Hernandez. Taff believes, due to the emotional problems that Hernandez was going through during the time of the haunting, that she had become a poltergeist agent. The attacks against Jeff Wheatcraft were the result of Hernandez’s attraction toward another member of the investigation team, Barry Conrad. Wheatcraft was always with Conrad, which Hernandez felt was impeding her efforts to get closer to him. Taff theorizes that this provoked Hernandez to unknowingly release RSPK (Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis) energy in an attempt to get rid of Wheatcraft.

Because of the alleged attacks and accompanying photographs, I consider this one of the most interesting cases I’ve ever heard. As the harsh skeptic that I am, however, I can’t say that I believe it. Firstly, Herman Hendrickson, one of the accused ghosts, was 28-years-old when he died, not 18-years-old like the ouija board said. Furthermore, Hendrickson wasn’t murdered. Authorities ruled his death an accident, as a result of him slipping off the docks and drowning. And the pictures, as incredible as they are, could still easily be faked. There is video footage of the aftermath, with Wheatcraft calmly emerging from the attic with a cord around his neck, available on Youtube (enhanced with spooky music):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeMJqYQiAKk

Frankly, seeing how untroubled everybody seems in the video, I’m not convinced.

Sources:

http://barrytaff.net/2012/06/hazardous-hauntings-the-enemy-within/

http://articles.latimes.com/1993-03-23/news/vw-14352_1_jackie-hernandez

The Drummond Family Murder Mystery

Sir Jack Drummond and his wife and daughter.

Sir Jack Drummond and his wife and daughter.

Sir Jack Drummond was a notable British biochemist known for his research on vitamins and nutrition. During World War II, Drummond served the British government’s Ministry of Food, and helped design the rationing diet the government implemented during the time. After the war, he stopped working for the government and became the Director of Research at the Boots pharmaceutical company.

In July 1952, Drummond, his wife Ann, and their 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth went on a family holiday on the French Riviera. On the night of August 4th, they camped out by the banks of the Durance river in Provençal, a region in southern France. The following morning, Gustave Dominici, a son of the nearest family that lived in the area, discovered Elizabeth’s body near the river. Her skull had been battered in by a rifle butt. Drummond and his wife’s bodies were found near-by. They had been shot, but as their autopsies would show, by two different weapons. Parts of one of the guns used to kill them was found in the river. It was identified as a Rock-Ola M1 Carbine, a model popular with the American military. Gustave alerted a cyclist passing by, and police arrived on the scene about a half-hour later.

Gustav and his family gave conflicting reports about their contact with the Drummonds the night before. They said they heard gunshots around 1 AM, but assumed they had come from poachers. After a relative reported to the police that he saw Ann and Elizabeth at the Dominici farm the night before their murder, the family’s story fell into further doubt. After being questioned again, Gustave and his brother Clovis admitted that their father, Gaston, killed the Drummonds. Gaston, a frail 75-year-old illiterate farmer who used a walking stick to get around, eventually confessed to the crime. He said that he and Ann had been caught having sex by Sir Drummond, and in a panic shot them both. He then found Elizabeth and beat her to death as she tried running away.

Despite retracting his statement later on, claiming he only confessed to try to protect his family, Gaston was found guilty and sentenced to death. A great protest was made over his conviction, and he was eventually pardoned and released by President Charles De Gaulle in 1960.

Gaston’s absurd confession got a number of things wrong about the crime scene. He was very likely innocent, and his family continues fighting to this day to clear his name. They point out that the rifle found in the river wasn’t Gaston’s, and he had no idea how to use one. Secondly, other locals who passed by the area that night the Drummonds went camping reported seeing several men near the their car, none of whom resembled Sir Jack or Gaston and his sons. Lastly, Drummond’s camera was missing, and has never been found.

Gaston’s grandson, Alain, believes the Drummonds were killed by KGB agents. Investigator Raymond Badin finds this idea credible as well, believing Drummond was on an espionage mission for the British secret services. “The Dominicis’ strange behaviour indicates they knew a lot more about the crime than they ever let on,” Badin told The Guardian in July 2002, ‘But they were not guilty of the murders. I think they plainly got caught up in something far bigger than themselves.’

Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/nottingham/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9402000/9402414.stm

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/jul/29/humanities.artsandhumanities

http://www.crime-mystery.info/crime-stories/murder_of_sir_jack_drummond/the_missing_pieces

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The Inokashira Park Dismemberment Incident

Inokashira Park

Inokashira Park

Today we’ll be talking about one of Japan’s many incidents of “barabara satsujin” (scattered murder) , a method of killing so seemingly popular in the country that it has its very own page on the Japanese Wikipedia.

On April 23, 1994, a cleaning staff member of Tokyo’s Inokashira Park found a garbage bag in the park’s trash can. She thought the bag contained raw fish, but when her colleagues opened it to see what was inside, they found a human ankle. The police were called in, and the bag was found to contain a total of 24 pieces of human flesh, including two feet, two hands, and a shoulder. At an autopsy conducted at Kyorin University Hospital, the cause of death was deemed unknown. The parts had been completely drained of blood, and to make the case even weirder, each piece was cut exactly to the length of 20 centimeters (about 7.8 inches). Although a third of the body was never found, including the head, the pieces were identified three days later as belonging to a 35-year-old architect named Seiichi Kawamura.

Kawamura lived less than a mile from the park, and was last seen on April 21st. He ate dinner with his family that evening, and afterward went out to karaoke with an old coworker. He left his friend around 11 PM, but never returned home. His family reported him missing the next day.

Despite police questioning some 37,000 people, the case has never been solved. There were reports of two suspicious men walking in the park and carrying a plastic bag around 4 am on the day Kawamura’s body was discovered, but they have never been identified. Other witnesses said that they heard the sound of a car colliding with something in the very early hours of the 22nd. It’s been suggested that Kawamura was struck by a car, and that his killers cut him up to get rid of the body. One popular rumor even claimed that Kawamura had been a member of a religious cult, and was brutally murdered after trying to leave it.

Whether the murder was the attempt to hide a tragic accident, or the work of a deranged surgeon, perhaps we’ll never know. Prior to 2010, Japan had a statue of limitations on murder for fifteen years. Unfortunately, the case missed the country’s abolition of the limitation by only a year.

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Sources:

http://fumibako.com/kowai/story/case/27.html

http://yabusaka.moo.jp/inokasirabarabara.htm