FBI vs Hazel Head – Guest Post Thursday

Guest Post by: Ian Granstra

In 1991, Head fled Lincoln, Nebraska, after she was charged with burning down her former boyfriend’s mobile home. Seven years later, she was believed to have shot another boyfriend to death and absconding with his money.

Unfortunately, one more alliterative label can be placed on Hazel Head; she has proven to be street smart. The wandering woman’s nomadic lifestyle has enabled her to stay one step ahead of the law for nearly three decades. An investigator descried the vagabond as “nearly impossible to track.”

Charles Barker was devastated when his wife was of ten years was killed by a drunk driver. After a couple of months of mourning, however, he snapped out of his funk and again began doing what he enjoyed: hunting, fishing and traveling. When the 69-year-old retired Benton, Louisiana, truck driver received a large insurance settlement from his wife’s death, he decided to use the money for a little fun. Charles began frequenting area casinos where he would forget about life for a while.

Charles was coming out of his shell, but he was still lacking one thing which he desired: companionship. He was ecstatic when a bubbly, younger woman engaged him in conversation at the Red River Casino.

The woman introduced herself as Deianna Ray and Charles was immediately smitten. The encounter at the casino led to a whirlwind romance and less than a year after losing his wife, Charles moved Deianna into his home.

Deianna Ray’s real name, however, was Hazel Head, and she was wanted in Nebraska for the arson seven years earlier.

Charles Barker, the lonely and vulnerable widower, had caught Hazel’s Head’s eye; the large amounts of cash he flaunted at the casino had turned Hazel’s literal head. Hazel Head, alias Deianna Ray, had latched onto her next prey.

Charles thought he had hit the jackpot at the casino; instead, he would soon be robbed of his money… and his life.   

After living together for only a couple of months, Charles confided in his two adult daughters that he and “Deianna” were having problems, but he did not elaborate.

In August of 1998, Charles’ daughter Jennifer Spoonts grew concerned after being unable to get a hold of her father for over a week. Jennifer lived nine hours away in Austin, Texas, and asked her aunt June, Charles’s sister, who lived in the area, to check on him. When June and her husband arrived at Charles’ home on September 2, they found him slumped over the bar of his home with dried blood on the back of his head.

Police believed Charles had been killed by a single bullet to the back of his head as he was reading the newspaper. He had been dead for at least five days. No signs of a struggle were found in the home, leading police to believe he probably had not seen the attack coming and had no chance to react.

Ballistic tests determined the shot came from Charles’ own gun, which he kept in a safe in his bedroom. Police found the safe open and all of the money, believed to be approximately $45,000, missing.

Also missing was Deianna Ray.

Police soon identified Deianna Ray as Hazel Head and learned she had operated several similar scams across the country of befriending men then swindling them. This was the first instance, however, in which Head is believed to have put a bullet in one of her lovers’ heads.

The following day, Charles’s car was found near the Shreveport airport, 15 miles from his home. Inside, investigators found pieces of clothing belonging to Head, as well as physical evidence, including DNA, linking her to the car.

Hazel Head was charged with first-degree murder. She, however, had nearly a week’s head start, which, for her, was an eternity.

Head is known to have robbed large amounts of money from several men and likely has committed other scams that have not been reported due to victim embarrassment. The Lethal Lady often lures her male victims by taking out personal ads in newspapers and lounging at truck stops.

Hazel Head is the typical “lot lizard” with one exception: she can be lethal. Because most truck companies have policies against picking up hitchhikers, police believe many truckers have not reported giving her rides.

For many years, Head was believed to be prostituting herself for rides and money, but the practice may no longer be as lucrative as she has aged.

Hazel Leota Head is now 69-years-old, the same age as Charles Barker when he was murdered. She has used at least a dozen different aliases and is believed to have married at least ten times.

The last confirmed sighting of Head was in December of 1998, at a truck stop near Wheat Ridge, Colorado, where she applied for a job as a waitress. She did not get the job, but she did get out of the town before authorities could nab her.

Over the years, sightings of Head have been reported in all 48 contiguous states. Police have never been able to locate a domiciled address for the fugitive, and it is possible she has not had one in her adult life.

Hazel Head is still singing hooray as she remains in hiding. Authorities are confident, however, there is a time a-comin’ when they’ll be able to say… they got Head.

If you believe you have any information on the whereabouts of Hazel Head, please contact your nearest FBI office or the Benton, Louisiana Police Department at 318-965-0579.

Charles Barker’s daughter, Cindy Barker Jefferson, is a member of Ian’s FB group. She believes another person aided Hazel Head in the murder of her father and that this person was not thoroughly investigated by the police.

Cindy also says she was told that Head, using an alias, was arrested in Oregon for public intoxication approximately seven years ago. She was released, however, before the police learned her true identity.


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 RECOMMENDEaD 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:

FBI

Unsoved Mysteries

Unsolved.com


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

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.”)


Recommended Reading: This Week’s True Crime Best Seller On Amazon

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Support Synova’s Cause:

Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause, please check out the affiliate links on this page. By purchasing one of her books or using these links, you will be supporting Synova’s work on cold cases and will ensure her ability to continue to give a voice to the victim’s family. Thank you.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

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Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one. Hurry the pre-order sale ends October 31st!

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Kaile’s Cries – Guest Post Thursday

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The murder of Polly Klaas on October 1, 1993, made national headlines. The 12-year-old was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Petaluma, California, home and ultimately strangled to death.

Three months earlier, a similar crime occurred across the country. On July 11, thirteen days after she turned three-years-old, Kaile Lynn Lee was abducted from her Knoxville, Tennessee, apartment. Her body was found later that day. She had been killed in a particularly heinous manner by a man she trusted.

Polly and Kaile Lynn were both kidnapped from their homes and strangled to death. Unlike Polly’s murder, however, Kaile Lynn’s case did not draw national attention.

I was honored to be asked by Kaile’s aunt, Buffy Lee, to write about her beautiful niece. 

This is the sad story of a beautiful little girl whose life was brutally taken as it was just beginning.

Kaile Lynn’s mother Donna befriended 22-year-old James Julian in early 1993. Julian went on several trips to a lake with Donna, her husband, and their three children, of whom Kaile Lynn was the oldest. In May, however, Donna began distancing her family from Julian after learning of his drug abuse. Shortly, thereafter, Julian would carry out a more heinous form of abuse.

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On the evening of July 10, 1993, shortly after separating from her husband, Donna and a friend attended a party while the friend’s sister babysat the children. After returning home at a late hour, Donna allowed the babysitter to sleep on the couch for the evening.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. the following morning, the babysitter heard a knock at the door. When she asked who it was, a man replied, “Jim.” After he mentioned the names of several family members, the babysitter let him into the apartment.

“Jim” was James Julian and he was noticeably inebriated. As he guzzled a glass of bourbon and coke, Julian rambled on about nothing in particular for nearly 45 minutes before the babysitter asked him to leave. He did so, but approximately 15 minutes later, as the sitter was drifting back to sleep, he pounded on the door again.

As Julian sounded even more drunk, the babysitter did not want to let him in. Kaile Lynn, however, had also awakened and, recognizing Julian’s voice, asked that he be let in. The sitter then allowed Julian back into the apartment. He and Kaile sat on the couch together and talked for a few minutes before appearing to fall asleep. Shortly thereafter, the babysitter also dozed off. Kaile’s mother was still in her room sleeping.

A few minutes later, the sitter awoke to find Julian carrying Kaile out the door. Donna awoke between 8:30-9:00 a.m. When the babysitter told her about “Jim,” Donna believed Julian had probably taken Kaile to the store. By 11:00 a.m., however, after they had still not returned, Donna called the police.

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Julian’s car was found at his place of employment, Colvin and Sons Heating and Air. Police learned he was on a business trip to Georgia and had called his grandmother from a payphone in Chattanooga saying he was in trouble.

Police called Julian’s grandmother. After being told of the situation, she arrived at Colvin with a key to the car and gave the police permission to open it. Inside the car’s trunk, police found a child’s outfit and a green towel covered in blood, feces, sticks, and leaves. The clothing was confirmed to be Kaile Lynn’s.

As authorities searched for him, Julian returned to Knoxville. He called his father from a payphone; then he called the police. While he was talking to them, officers arrived and placed him under arrest. Under questioning, Julian confessed to having raped and murdered Kaile Lynn and agreed to lead them to her body. He also detailed the awful last moments of her short life.

After carrying Kaile Lynn out of the apartment between 8:30-9:00 a.m. Julian said he took her to a remote area of Tellico Lake. He parked his car near a stand of pine trees secluded from the view of area traffic. Julian said he then removed his clothes and took a still-clothed Kaile Lynn into the lake. After they swam for a few minutes, Julian said he took her into the woods where he undressed, raped and sodomized her. Kaile Lynn was screaming and bleeding, and as her cries became more desperate, Julian choked the three-year-old to death.

After he was convinced Kaile Lynn was dead, Julian returned to the lake where he cleaned himself and washed her lifeless body. He then carried her body into the woods and placed her in the underbrush. Julian put Kaile Lynn’s clothes and the towel on which he had performed his lewd acts into his car’s trunk. He then returned home and prepared for his work trip.

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James Julian was convicted of felony murder, aggravated rape and the rape of a child. Prosecutors asked for the death penalty, but the jury spared his life, sentencing him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Kaile Lynn with her cousin when she was one-year-old. (Photo courtesy of Kaile Lynn’s aunt, Buffy Lee.) 

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(Photo courtesy of Kaile Lynn’s aunt, Buffy Lee.)

Kaile Lynn Lee would have turned 29-years-old on June 29. Buffy says when her niece laughed she sounded like Woody Woodpecker and that she had the most beautiful blue-violet eyes. All the photos of Kaile Lynn were supplied by Buffy.

I wish to thank Kaile Lynn’s aunt, Buffy Lee, for asking me to do a write-up of Kaile’s story. It was heartbreaking to write, but I hope more people will now know the tragic tale of her beautiful niece.

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(Photo courtesy of Kaile Lynn’s aunt, Buffy Lee.)


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:

Find A Case

TNcourts.gov

Facebook


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

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.”)


Recommended Reading: This Week’s True Crime Best Seller On Amazon

Need Synova’s Fedora? Get your’s here!


Support Synova’s Cause:

Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause, please check out the affiliate links on this page. By purchasing one of her books or using these links, you will be supporting Synova’s work on cold cases and will ensure her ability to continue to give a voice to the victim’s family. Thank you.

If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

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“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
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It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
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Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!