10 Dumbest Murderers

NUMBER 10: TATTOO FACE In 2008, police in Billings, Montana, were searching for a murder suspect they knew to be called Sterling F Wolfname

When a man who matched Wolfname’s description protested that he knew nothing of the suspect they sought, police didn’t believe a word of it This was probably due to the large tattoo on his head, featuring his distinctive surname in bold letters Along with two other suspects, Wolfname was eventually charged with the killing Sources: Missoulian, Readers Digest, ‘The Dumb Book: Silly Stories, Stupid People, and Mega Mistakes that Crack Us Up’ NUMBER 9: FATAL ATTRACTION When on the run from a murder charge, you would probably think twice before appearing as a contestant on a popular television show

Chinese murderer Wu Gang didn’t quite follow this thought process In 2011 he starred as an eligible bachelor on dating show ‘Happy League’, under the name of Liu Hao [Lee-ooh How] An eagle-eyed viewer recognized Gang as the prime suspect from a well-publicized 1990s murder investigation, who had disappeared without a trace The viewer contacted the police, who subsequently reopened the case Detectives determined that Gang and Hao were indeed the same person, and he was charged with the stabbing of a man outside a restaurant in Jilin [Gee-lin]

Sources: China Daily, Weird Asia News, The Guardian, Huffington Post NUMBER 8: IN THE HEADLINES In 1935, English doctor Buck Ruxton strangled his unfaithful wife and their housemaid He dismembered their bodies and wrapped them in newspaper, ready to drive then from Lancaster to Scotland to dispose of them Ruxton had made a vital mistake The editions of the Sunday Graphic that he had wrapped the body parts in were actually special editions, sold only in Lancaster and Morecambe As soon as the investigation was traced back to Lancaster and the remains were identified, suspicion quickly fell on Ruxton

He denied having ever gone to Scotland, a defense that quickly fell apart when it emerged that – on his return – he had knocked over a cyclist Local police officers had taken a note of his registration number, providing crucial evidence that led to the doctor’s conviction Sources: Historical Dictionary of Law Enforcement, Mark Mason ‘Mail Obsession’, Capital Punishment, BBC NUMBER 7: THE FLOPPY DISK FIEND Ruthless serial killer Dennis Rader [Rarr-der] was proud of his ability to outwit the investigating authorities During his decades-long reign of terror, which began in the 1970s, he killed 10 people in Kansas

Rader sent taunting letters to the police and media outlets, describing crude details of his murders In 2005, he arrogantly wrote a letter asking the police for advice on how to evade them The killer questioned whether they would be able to trace a floppy disk back to him, and was told they couldn’t This was, of course, a lie Sure enough, when Rader sent the disk, a previously deleted file was recovered, offering essential information about his identity and location

On February 28th, 2005, Rader was formally charged with 10 counts of first degree murder Sources: The Wichita Eagle, American Broadcasting Commune, Dennis Rader BTK, Independent NUMBER 6: MURDER TO-DO LIST When the body was discovered of Russell Hammond, aged 49, the two main suspects blamed each other for his death Gareth Giles and Christopher Coulter [Cull-ter] both claimed they had walked in on the other strangling Hammond However, Giles’ lies quickly unravelled when police found a meticulous 18-point step-by-step plan for murder, which he hadn’t even deleted from his computer

It also emerged that Giles had discussed with a friend what it would be like to kill a totally innocent person The list, titled ‘The Advocate Document’, included steps such as ‘tie vic up with rope and duct tape’ and ‘burn or drown vic’s car’ With Coulter actually working as his accomplice, Giles had implemented 13 of the steps In 2014, the pair were jailed for 25 years each Sources: The Age, International Business Times, Huffington Post, NUMBER 5: DIGITAL DISASTER In March 2012, when James Ayers [Ayy-errs] and his partner Nicole Okrzersik [Oak-er-sheck] strangled 19-year-old Juliana Mensch, they left behind one of the most extensive digital trails in legal history

Okrzesik had Googled ‘chemicals to passout a person’, ‘how to suffocate someone’ and ‘how to poison someone’ She and Ayers had also texted and Facebook messaged over what to do with the body The couple went to court in June 2012 Sources: New York Daily News, Tinley Park Patch, Digital Trends NUMBER 4: NO PARKING Also known as ‘the Son of Sam’, David Berkowitz [Berk-oh-vits] was an infamous serial killer who terrorized New York City from 1976 to 1977, killing six people

During his final attack, in July 1977, Berkowitz left his car illegally parked Returning from the murder, the killer discovered a parking ticket on his windscreen, which he promptly ripped up This was an ill-conceived move, as a witness had seen Berkowitz do this and had contacted authorities The police tracked down his vehicle and, upon searching it, found the weapon he had used, maps of the crime scenes and letters taunting the police about what he’d done He was sentenced to 150 years in prison

Sources: Biography, Crime and Investigation, Independent, New York Daily News NUMBER 3: YOU’VE GOT MAIL Quinton J Thomas was an inmate at the Montgomery County jail, standing trial for the murder of Stephen William Kelley in 2005 In the knowledge that the jail employees didn’t screen outgoing mail, Thomas sent a threatening letter to a friend saying that he was going to arrange the deaths of any witnesses who testified against him at his murder trial Unfortunately for Thomas, he addressed the envelope incorrectly and it was returned to the sender

This rendered the letter ‘incoming mail’, meaning that staff had to read through it Thomas was convicted on three new counts – one of solicitation to commit murder and two of witness intimidation – as well as his original life sentence Sources: Gazette, Atlas Public Records, Washington Post NUMBER 2: CRIME FICTION Dariusz Janiszewski [Darr-ee-uss Yan-ee-sherv-ski] was brutally murdered in 2000 but Polish police were forced to abandon the case just a year later after they ran out of leads However, in 2003, detectives’ suspicions were raised by a new crime novel named ‘Amok’

The description of the killing, down to the unusual way that the victim had been tied up, was almost exactly the same as the real life case Police inferred that the author, Krystian Bala [Barr-la], must have known details about Janiszewski’s death that only the murderer could know Bala was arrested, put on trial and sentenced to 25 years for the homicide Sources: The Guardian, The New Yorker, David Grann, ‘True Crime’ NUMBER 1: INCRIMINATING INK After avoiding arrest for four years, Anthony Garcia [Gar-see-ah] believed he had gotten away with the 2004 murder of John Juarez [Warr-ez]

In fact, he was so smug with his crime that he had it permanently inked into his skin, in the form of a chest tattoo The tattoo carefully depicted the scene of the liquor store shooting that had killed Juarez Police noticed the tattoo in 2008, when Garcia was arrested for driving with a suspended license, and a detective recognised the scene He is now facing life imprisonment, having been convicted of first-degree murder Sources: BBC News, American Broadcasting Commune, Los Angeles Times

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