Everything Wrong with the Jon Benet case – Part 2 – Crime Scene Destroyed

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-v8jg6-109b83d

Synova’s Chasing Justice Podcast: Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell is joined by ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo. Together they discuss the details of the JonBenet Case.
 
Part 2: Crime Scene Destroyed –  Synova & Hootie lay out the basic timeline of events in this part of the series. Hold on, it’s going to be a long ride!
 

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Everything Wrong with the Jon Benet Case – Part one – Introduction

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-9nbhh-109b719

Synova’s Chasing Justice Podcast: Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell is joined by ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo. Together they discuss the details of the JonBenet Case.
 
Part 1: Introduction Synova & Hootie lay out the basic timeline of events in this part of the series. Hold on, it’s going to be a long ride!

One of the Real Few – The Brutal Murder of a Marine named David Cox


January 5, 1994

In cinematic crime capers, when people are murdered, the killer is usually identified, captured, tried, and convicted within 2-3 hours. When people are murdered in real life, it does not work quite as quickly. Sometimes there is no conclusion to the case at all.

David Cox, a 27-year-old former United States Marine, was shot to death on a cold winter day near Boston in January of 1994. Over a quarter of a century later, his murder is a hard case as no one has been charged, and no suspects have been named.

When movie critics pan a picture, they often hear the ire of those involved in the production. Some believe David Cox paid a more morbid price, contending the murdered Marine was gunned down for giving a thumbs down to the Hollywood blockbuster “A Few Good Men.”

David Cox had always wanted to be a Marine. After graduating from high school in 1985, his dream came true.

After completing his basic training in Parris Island, South Carolina, David was stationed at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

In a letter dated June 30, 1986, PFC (Private First Class) William Alvarado, another marine stationed at Guantanamo Bay, wrote to his Senator, alleging marine misconduct at the base, specifically the illegal firing of weapons into Cuban territory.

David’s squad leader, Christopher Valdez, says the platoon commander gave his men an implied but not stated order to carry out a “hazing” against Alvarado. In military terminology, this is called a “Code Red.”

Approximately two weeks later, David and nine other marines entered Alvarado’s room while he was sleeping. For several minutes, the fellow marines hazed their cohort as they stuffed a rag into his mouth, blindfolded and pummeled him. David served as the hazing barber as he forcibly cut Alvarado’s hair.

After approximately five minutes with the shears, David’s expression turned to fear when he noticed Alvarado was no longer struggling or breathing. The hazing promptly ended, and the unconscious Alvarado was rushed off base to a Miami hospital. He recovered, and his fellow marines, including David, were condemned for the hazing.

The ten men were brought up on various charges.

Seven of the attackers accepted “other than honorable” discharges from the Marines. Of those, only Valdez succeeded in getting his discharge upgraded to honorable.

David and two other marines refused the Corps’ offer of a military plea bargain. They believed they had done nothing wrong and said they were following the orders of their superiors. They were willing to take their chances in a court, even though that meant the chance of a court-martial and a 20-year sentence at Leavenworth federal prison.

The “obedience to orders” defense had been tried without success in two major cases: by the defendants at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials following World War II and by Lt. William Calley for the murder of native civilians in the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. Adding to the difficulty was that the Colonel, who was said to have given the implied orders to attack Private Alvarado, denied he ever gave such an order, directly or implied.

At the end of the four-day court-martial hearing at Gitmo, however, David was convicted only of simple assault and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Because he had already served 38 days in the brig, the sentence was waived.

David completed his Marine career, serving out his final two years in North Carolina and overseas in South Korea and Panama. After he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps with the rank of corporal in 1989, he moved into an apartment with his girlfriend, Elaine Tinsley, in Natick, Massachusetts, 20 miles southwest of Boston.

If you are a movie aficionado, the story of the hazing At Guantanamo Bay may sound familiar.

Playwright Aaron Sorkin learned of the incident from his sister Deborah, a member of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps who represented some of the marines who accepted the plea deals.

Sorkin developed the saga into the play “A Few Good Men” in 1989. Following the play’s successful 14-month run on Broadway, he began to adapt it into a film.

In 1992, six years after the incident at Gitmo, the movie “A Few Good Men” was released. The legal drama was directed by Rob Reiner and starred in a slate of Hollywood heavyweights led by Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, and Kevin Bacon.

“A Few Good Men” concerns the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyers in defending them. Like the Broadway play, the film was a hit, grossing over $140 million and garnering four Academy Award nominations, including that of Best Picture.

A few people, however, were not fans of “A Few Good Men.”

The film is set in Guantanamo Bay. The victim is PFC William Santiago, who, like the real-life PFC William Alvarado, wrote a letter to officials complaining of illegal firing into Cuban territory. As in the real-life court-martial, the key defense element was that the Marines followed implied orders from their superiors.

The marines involved in the hazing of Private Alvarado were angered that Hollywood was making millions of dollars telling a fictionalized version of the events, which painted them in a negative light. The movie had an accidental murder and dishonorable discharge for the two fictional Marines. In reality, no one died, and no one was dishonorably discharged.

David, in particular, was angered by the portrayal of him and his fellow marines as villains.

Following the release of “A Few Good Men,” David and five fellow former Marines, including Squad Leader Christopher Valdez, sued Castle Rock Entertainment, the movie production company that produced “A Few Good Men.”

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court, alleged, among other things: invasion of privacy, civil conspiracy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Marines claimed the filmmakers “stole [their] real-life story, changed a few names, and passed it off as their own creation.”

David spoke about the lawsuit on radio talk shows and also spoke candidly and critically of United States Marines’ actions at Guantanamo Bay.

When David’s girlfriend Elaine returned home from work on January 5, 1994, she found the apartment empty.

David’s truck was still in the driveway, with the keys in the ignition. His un-cashed paycheck from his temporary job with UPS was on the dashboard, and his 9-millimeter gun was in the glove box.

After David had not returned home by evening, Elaine reported him as missing.

On April 2, three months later, David’s body was found by a canoeist in a wooded area on the banks of the Charles River in Medfield, approximately five miles from his apartment. He appeared to have been killed execution-style, having been shot four times, three times in his torso and once in the back of his neck. His cash and credit cards were still in his wallet, ruling out robbery as a motive.

Neither the murder scene nor David’s apartment showed any signs of a struggle. Police believe his murder was not a random attack and that he left his home willingly with someone he knew on January 4, the day he was last seen. This person is believed to have driven David to the remote locale where he and an unsuspecting David walked into the woods. Police believe at no point did David believe he was in any danger.

The location where David’s body was found was nearly a mile into the woods, which were a common hunting area in which the sound of gunshots would not have caused alarm.

David liked to gamble and owed thousands of dollars to several bookies. Police, however, do not believe his debts were large enough to be targeted for murder and have stated drugs were not a factor in his murder.

Many, including David’s military lawyer Donald Marcari, believe his murder is related to his lawsuit against Castle Rock Entertainment over the depiction of the marines in “A Few Good Men.” No evidence, however, has been found to support the theory.

David’s brother, Steve, however, has another theory.

David was hired as a driver for UPS for the 1993 Christmas season. As he had hoped, UPS was prepared to hire him permanently.

On April 2, the day he was last seen, his supervisor at UPS left two messages on his answering machine telling him they would hire him. Neither message had been played when Elaine came home that evening; it is not known if David heard either of them.

Steve Cox says a couple of months before his brother disappeared, he had told him that a supervisor and another driver were involved in some illegal activity, which he believed was theft. Steve believes David’s murder may be connected to the alleged shenanigans at UPS.

Similar to the military angle, however, investigators have found no proof to corroborate the belief that David’s death was related to UPS.

Twenty-seven years after he was found shot to death in the frigid Boston forest, David Cox’s murder remains unsolved.

If you have any information on the murder of David Cox, please contact the Massachusetts State Police 508-894-2584.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.

Further Reading
Boston 25 News
• Unsolved Mysteries
• Weird History


Join Our GUEST BLOGGER’S FACEBOOK GROUP here


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas. Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


Each week Synova & her team of guest bloggers highlight an obscure cold case. Synova works directly with the victims’ families to give them a voice and to generate leads for law enforcement. The potential viewership currently sits at 500,000!

Help Synova’s team reach a million people with these cold cases. Together we can solve some of these cases.

As a way of saying “Thank You” when you sign up for Synova’s true crime newsletter, you will get her Grim Justice eBook as a free gift! Please help us reach out to more people in our search for truth.

SIGN UP HERE


Check out Synova’s new Podcast, Chasing Justice

Chasing Justice is on PodbeanStitchergoogle podcasts, itunes, and spotify. Listen on you favorite app! Look for the logo above. There is another Chasing Justice podcast out there.


Latest Interview on the MAFIA podcast

Check out my latest interview on the Mafia podcast.

It’s the early 1970’s in Biloxi, Mississippi. Kirksey Nix, one of the leading members of the Dixie Mafia, had been convicted of murder and began a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Despite this, Nix would continue heading up his gang from prison, orchestrate a hit on a local judge and his wife, and even target and scam gay men out of their money over the phone.


Preorder – Dawn of the Dixie Mafia book

From their birth place in Phenix City, Alabama to the corruption of today, the Dixie Mafia’s tentacles stretch from coast to coast throughout the south. While most of the world denies their existence, this network of freelance criminals have flown under the radar for the most part since the 1950s. Their structure is completely different than that of La Cosa Nostra so people discount them as rogue bands of individual criminals. In reality it’s one massive web of corruption, lies, and murder.

Check out Synova’s latest book called Dawn of the Dixie Mafia to find out how all of these random crimes fit together.

I-70 Serial Killer Part 2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-in5bc-1079835

Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell, and ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo discuss the disturbing case of the I-70 Serial Killer. 

Sign up for the Racketeer Here:

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtF9CGDw0zQQyjicH4sLPGA

 

Find more on Synova Here:

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An Athlete Murdered Young – Death of Aimee Willard

Photo courtesy of guest blogger. Check out his FB group here: Ian’s Group

June 20, 1996

Aimee Willard‘s athletic accomplishments earned her a scholarship to play lacrosse and soccer at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. It was in lacrosse that the 22-year-old tomboy particularly excelled; by her junior year, she led the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring and assists. She was designated as one of the top 25 female lacrosse players in the United States, but because of a man described as “pure evil,” she became an athlete who died young.

In the early morning hours of June 20, 1996, Aimee’s car was found abandoned along Interstate 476 near Philadelphia. That afternoon, her badly beaten body was found in the north part of the city.

Three people emerged as suspects in Aimee’s murder, but all were cleared after DNA identified the true culprit. Twenty-four years after Aimee’s murder, her killer remains on Pennsylvania’s death row, his appeals nearly exhausted.

The only mystery remaining in the murder of Aimee Willard is when will the man who took her life pay for the crime?

On June 19, eleven days after her 22nd birthday, Aimee met friends at Smokey Joe’s Tavern in Wayne, just north of Philadelphia. Conversing at the tavern for nearly three hours, the girls had a great time catching up with each other. Aimee drank only a small amount of alcohol and left the bar between 1:30-1:45 a.m. on June 20.

On the day before summer officially started, the warm Pennsylvania morning was about to be marred by a chilling crime.

Shortly after 2:00 a.m., off-duty paramedics found Aimee’s car parked along the shoulder of an Interstate 476 off-ramp. Its engine was running, the lights were on, and the radio was playing. The driver’s side door was open, and a trail of fresh bloodstains dotted the pavement. A bloody tire iron lay by the side of the car, which was later identified as Aimee’s.

Police were summoned and found more blood along the passenger side of the car and the nearby guardrail. Later that morning, they found underwear and tennis shoes at the top of the ramp, also determined to be Aimee’s. Her other clothes were never found.

That afternoon, 17 miles away in North Philadelphia, two children playing in a vacant lot discovered Aimee’s nude body. An autopsy determined she had been sexually assaulted and killed by blunt force trauma that crushed her skull. She had been killed at approximately 7:00 a.m. on June 20.

Three men became suspects in the murder of Aimee Willard. Disturbingly, two of them were in law enforcement, and the third had previously masqueraded as such. 

As police searched the ramp where Aimee’s abandoned car was found, 23-year-old Andrew Kobak approached them, saying he had been on the ramp early that morning and had seen the car. Kobak had once worked five blocks from where Aimee’s body was found. More interestingly, he had previously been arrested for impersonating a police officer.

Kobak allowed police to search his car. They found handcuffs and a flashlight similar to those used by law enforcement. A search of his home-produced police paraphernalia as well as a magazine that could be used to order police equipment. After the searches, Kobak stopped cooperating with authorities.

Police were convinced they had their man, believing he approached Aimee under the guise of a police officer. Two bona fide law enforcement officers, however, also emerged as suspects.

An off-duty Pennsylvania state trooper, who lived only a few blocks from Aimee’s home, claimed to have seen both Aimee’s car and a police officer parked in a squad car behind it. The trooper said he spoke briefly with the officer, offering his assistance. When told he was not needed, the trooper said he drove away.

All of the police officers who responded to the call of Aimee’s abandoned car, however, said no one identifying himself as a state trooper spoke to them. Furthermore, authorities determined the trooper was in a different location at the time. The trooper soon resigned from the Pennsylvania State Patrol.

One week later, a local police officer not involved in the investigation into Aimee’s murder came forward, saying he had come upon her car while the paramedics were on the scene but before the police arrived. The officer said he saw the paramedics parked behind her car and that he spoke with them. The paramedics, however, contradicted the officer’s account, saying they neither saw nor spoke with him. Like the state trooper, the police officer later admitted to lying to his fellow lawmen. He, too, resigned shortly thereafter.

Investigators had three suspects in the murder of Aimee Willard: Andrew Kobak, who pretended to be one of them, and two of their actual own; the Pennsylvania State Trooper and the local police officer. DNA tests, however, exonerated all three men.

The only connection Aimee’s killer had to law enforcement was his multiple arrests. 

In December 1997, one-and-a-half years after Aimee’s murder, semen found on her body was matched to 38-year-old Arthur Bomar, Jr.

Police were led to Bomar after nineteen-year-old Patty Jordan reported an attempted carjacking near Philadelphia. A man had tailed her after she left a local nightclub and purposely struck the back of her vehicle. He tried to get her to pull over, but she refused.

As Patty drove off, she memorized the car’s license plate number. The plate was traced to Bomar. In December 1997, one-and-a-half years after Aimee’s murder, semen found on her body was matched to 38-year-old Arthur Bomar, Jr.

Police were led to Bomar after nineteen-year-old Patty Jordan reported an attempted carjacking near Philadelphia. A man had tailed her after she left a local nightclub and purposely struck the back of her vehicle. He tried to get her to pull over, but she refused.

As Patty drove off, she memorized the car’s license plate number. The plate was traced to Bomar.

Bomar was no stranger to authorities. He had previously been convicted of several assaults on young women and the second-degree murder of a woman in Nevada in 1978. He had been sentenced to life in prison but was granted parole after serving only eleven years. The parole board evidently thought Bomar had been rehabilitated. They would soon be proven deadly wrong.

In 1990, less than a year after he was paroled, Bomar was charged with the attempted murder of a woman named Theresa Thompson; the charges were dropped after she died of a drug overdose in 1991 before the case was brought to trial. He was also believed to be connected to the rape of a Philadelphia college student, though the evidence was not sufficient to charge him.

The evidence, however, was more than sufficient to charge him with the murder of Aimee Willard.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on the evening of June 19, 1996, Philadelphia police had pulled Bomar over for a traffic infraction only six blocks from where Aimee’s car would be found in the early morning hours of June 20. Police sought to question him but could not initially locate him.

The following week, Bomar was arrested after trying to break into a woman’s apartment. As the three other men emerged as suspects, authorities turned their attention away from Bomar and did not question him then about Aimee’s murder.

After the DNA evidence linked Bomar to Aimee’s murder, his girlfriend told authorities he was at Smokey Joe’s Tavern on the evening of June 20, 1996. It is believed he noticed Aimee at the bar and followed her along Route 476 after she departed.

Due to the damage found on the front of Bomar’s car and the back of Aimee’s car, police believe he purposefully rammed the back of her car to get her to pull over. When Aimee exited her vehicle to exchange information, Bomar is believed to have struck her with the tire iron later found alongside her car.

After knocking Aimee unconscious, Bomar is believed to have taken her to north Philadelphia, where he raped her and killed her with three blows to her head from another large object. Afterward, he is believed to have run over her with his car. A burn pattern found on Aimee’s back was consistent with the oil pan on the bottom of Bomar’s Ford Escort, which was found in a junkyard with slight damage to the front bumper. Its tires matched the impressions found near Aimee’s car.

Furthermore, DNA testing showed blood found on the car’s door was Aimee’s.

In February 2003, six-and-half years after Aimee’s murder, Arthur Bomar, Jr. was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death. He was also convicted of rape, assault, kidnapping, and abuse of a corpse.

At his sentencing, Bomar professed he was convicted only because he is black. He then flipped his middle finger at Aimee’s mother, Gail, and told her to f**k herself. He also threatened to kill her and her two other children.

When Bomar had been arrested for breaking into the woman’s apartment a few days after Aimee’s murder in June 1996, he had a set of keys for a Honda in his pocket. Police learned he had put his Ford Escort’s license plate on the Honda. It was the license plate Patty Jordan had memorized when the car rammed her.

The plate was registered to Bomar, but the Honda belonged to 25-year-old Maria Cabuenos, another Pennsylvania woman who had been reported missing in March 1996, three months before Aimee’s murder. Maria is also believed to have been abducted on Route 476, near where Aimee’s car was found. Dried blood was found in the trunk of her Honda, and both bumpers were slightly scraped, as were the bumpers on Aimee’s car. Moreover, Aimee’s blood and hair were found in Maria’s car.

In January 1998, three months after Bomar’s conviction for Aimee’s murder, Maria Cabuenos’ remains were found in nearby Bucks County. Like Aimee, she had died of blunt force trauma.

Bomar is the prime suspect in Maria’s murder, but he is not likely to be charged because of his death sentence. 

Over 17 years after his conviction for the murder of Aimee Willard, Arthur Bomar, Jr. remains on Pennsylvania’s death row, still exhausting his appeals. In 2014, his appeal was rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. His remaining options are few, but a date has still not been set for his execution.

Bomar maintains he did not kill Aimee and still insists he was convicted only because he is black. No one of any color is supporting his claim.

Authorities continue to investigate Bomar’s possible involvement in other homicides. They believe he may be a serial killer but have not yet been able to link him to any more murders.

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, AKA “Aimee’s Law,” was introduced by then-Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and was signed into law by President Clinton in 2000.

The Act encourages states to keep murderers, rapists, and child molesters behind bars longer and holds a state financially accountable if it fails to do so. In addition, it allows interstate parole violators to be jailed in their state of residence at the expense of the state where the original offense was committed. Furthermore, it permits for offenders to be jailed in another state if circumstances allow it.

A small roadside memorial on the exit ramp from Interstate 476 to southbound U.S. Route 1 marks the site where Aimee Willard’s car was found.

US Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport in the United States, established the Aimee Willard Award. Created in conjunction with Aimee’s mother, her high school coach, and the Philadelphia Women’s Lacrosse Association, the award is given each year in recognition of the outstanding collegiate athlete participating in the USWLA National Tournament.

George Mason University honors Aimee with the yearly Aimee Willard Commemorative Award, presented to the Mason student-athlete who best exemplifies the standards of quality set by Aimee: intensity, consistency of purpose, achievement, and teamwork. 


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

• Cold Case Files

• Philadelphia Inquirer

• Unsolved Mysteries

• Washington Post


Join Our GUEST BLOGGER’S FACEBOOK GROUP here


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas. Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


Each week Synova & her team of guest bloggers highlight an obscure cold case. Synova works directly with the victims’ families to give them a voice and to generate leads for law enforcement. The potential viewership currently sits at 500,000!

Help Synova’s team reach a million people with these cold cases. Together we can solve some of these cases.

As a way of saying “Thank You” when you sign up for Synova’s true crime newsletter, you will get her Grim Justice eBook as a free gift! Please help us reach out to more people in our search for truth.

SIGN UP HERE


Check out Synova’s new Podcast, Chasing Justice

Chasing Justice is on Podbean, Stitcher, google podcasts, itunes, and spotify. Listen on you favorite app! Look for the logo above. There is another Chasing Justice podcast out there.


I-70 Serial Killer Part One

chasing-justice-2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-amywu-1076a25

Award-winning crime writer, Synova Cantrell, and ex-Gambino Associate, Hootie Russo discuss the disturbing case of the I-70 Serial Killer.

Sign up for the Racketeer Here:

https://mailchi.mp/b4b977160338/theracketeer

Follow Hootie’s Channel Here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtF9CGDw0zQQyjicH4sLPGA

Find more on Synova Here:

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Karma Finds A Murderer


The sad tale of Erica Richardson is all too common. In 1996, the pharmacy manager was introduced to John Feiga. Erica was instantly attracted, and for several months, Feiga treated her like royalty, surprising her with flowers and other small gifts and showering her with affection.

Erica thought she had found her knight in shining armor. She couldn’t have been more wrong.

On December 8, 1997, Erica was stabbed to death in her Valrico, Florida, home, 15 miles east of Tampa. John Feiga was the prime suspect, but he was never tried for the crime because he was murdered four months later.

John Feiga is presumed to have murdered his former girlfriend, Erica Richardson. No one knows who killed Feiga.

Erica Richardson was the first person in her family to graduate from college.

After finishing her degree in microbiology from the University of Florida, she obtained a Pharmacy degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Erica returned home and accepted an offer to manage a Walmart pharmacy in Seffner, 14 miles east of Tampa. She also bought a home in Valrico.

Erica had offers from larger pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies which would have paid her more money. Still, she wanted to be near her parents, Sam and Imogene, who lived in Progress Village, 12 miles south of Seffner.

The only thing missing in Erica’s life was a suitable mate. Sam and Imogene initially liked John Feiga. He was a respected mechanic and had previously worked for the Tampa Electric Company.

Feiga was initially charming and treated Erica well. Shortly after moving into her home, however, he became jealous and controlling of his girlfriend. Erica told her mother she was beginning to fear him.

As her affections for John deteriorated, Erica asked him to move out; John did, but he did not want her to move on without him.

Feiga continued to harass Erica by following her and frequently visiting the pharmacy for no reason other than to ask her to take him back. After she repeatedly rejected him, Feiga’s ire grew, and he threatened his former girlfriend with physical harm. Erica then obtained a restraining order against him, but the harassment continued, and Feiga was arrested.

Not even several days in jail and the threat of prison time, however, deterred him.

On December 6, 1997, as Erica and Imogene were Christmas shopping at a Tampa mall, Feiga approached them. He was calm and apologetic. Despite the restraining order she had against him, Erica agreed to meet with him. She told her mom she and Feiga were going to her home to discuss their situation.

Imogene pleaded with her daughter not to go with him, but Erica assured her everything would be fine. She was wrong.

Imogene phoned her daughter’s home repeatedly over the following two days but received no answer. She became panicked when she phoned the pharmacy and was told that Erica, uncharacteristically, had neither shown up for work nor called with an explanation.

Imogene drove to Erica’s home and was alarmed to see John’s truck in the driveway. Peering through a window, she saw a bloody knife on the floor. She summoned Erica’s neighbor, a highway patrolman.

They found Erica’s blood-soaked body in the kitchen. Her murder was clearly a crime of passion; she had been stabbed 67 times.

The prime suspect was her former boyfriend and the last person with whom she was seen, John Feiga. He, too, had not arrived for work.

Feiga had been seen driving Erica’s 1992 Honda on the day she was last seen. It was located 770 miles away on December 23, two weeks after Erica was last seen, in a parking lot near his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. None of Feiga’s family or friends in the area claimed to have recently seen him.

Signs of a struggle were found in Erica’s kitchen. Tests showed her blood had been mixed with that of another person. Detectives suspected it was Feiga’s, but they could not locate a sample of his DNA for comparison.

They soon, however, obtained Feiga’s DNA which confirmed their suspicions and closed the case, but not in the way they had hoped.

On April 13, 1998, five months after the murder of Erica Richardson in Florida, the body of an unidentified man was found in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya River. The man remained unidentified for over a decade until July 2008, when the mixed DNA found on Erica’s body matched the John Doe’s.

Dental records confirmed the remains were those of John Feiga. DNA testing confirmed he was Erica Richardson’s killer.

Perhaps poetic justice had been served; John had also been murdered. Authorities have not disclosed how he died, and his killer remains unknown.

If you believe you have information relating to the murder of John Feiga, please contact the St. Mary Parish, Louisiana Sheriff’s Office at (337) 828-1960.

Although John Feiga was not found guilty in a court of law, authorities have declared him the killer of Erica Richardson.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

America’s Most Wanted
Tampa Bay Times
Unsolved Mysteries


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More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas. Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


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