Stokes ran away

The face of serial killer Winford Stokes

Winford LaVern Stokes is one slippery murderer. In fact, he slipped custody three times in his short career as a serial killer. It got so confusing, I had to create an infographic.

Born March 21, 1951, Stokes was still a teenager when he was involved in his first murder. In 1969, he and some buddies robbed a tavern and killed the owner. Stokes was inside with a gun, but didn’t pull the trigger. He was arrested and sent to a secure hospital. Five months later, Stokes and 4 other men broke out. It was almost a year later that he was sentenced to 4 years for robbery and 5 years for manslaughter. The sentences were concurrent, so he was out in 5.

It wasn’t long before he attacked (and in my opinion, tried to kill) an old man with a hammer. Less than a week later, he murders an elderly woman. Then Stokes is picked up for the hammer attack on the man, and escapes custody again. While out, he murders another woman. He’s arrested again, since he’s still on the lam. Cops charge Stokes with two counts of murder. And this murderer escapes again!

Caught for the last time, Stokes is sentenced at two different trials. He is found guilty in both. The appeals begin, and he loses every one. Including a stay of execution on the actual day scheduled for execution.

But finally his appeals run out. So does his time. Stokes is executed on May 11, 1990. The local radio station covers the execution after first covering a traffic jam. Almost no one cares.

A downloadable infographic on the murderous career of Winford LaVerne Stokes

Russian police arrest serial killer cannibal

This guy is just plain out there. Not satisfied with eating cats and dogs, an unidentified 51-year-old Russian man turned his appetite to other men.

Police in the city of Arkhangelsk worked with the Investigative Committee (like the FBI) and found the partially eaten remains of three men. The killer befriended each man, got him drunk, stabbed him then chopped him up and ate him.

He would then wrap the leftovers (human and animal) in bags and threw them in ponds, lakes and rivers.

The murders took place between March 2016 and March 2017. The killer wanted their flesh to eat as food, not in any ritual or rite.

The killer targeted men who would not be immediately missed: 2 had no living relatives. The other was simply thought to have left town for work after the killer moved into his apartment. He told the victim’s parents the man had moved and rented the apartment to him.

Police had to rely on forensics to identify the bodies, and it took some time. The killer was charged October 29, 2019, but had been in custody for some time.

The killer has been judged sane enough for trial.

Peter Kudzinowski: A Fiend and a Monster

Detectives in New Jersey were surprised to get a telegraph from Detroit police. A man named Peter Kudzinowski, 26, had drunkenly confessed to kidnapping a young boy and slashing his throat with a pocket knife.

It was November 17, 1928. Joey Storelli was from a very poor Italian American family with seven children, ranging from ages 6 to 28. The father had travelled to Italy for work, so Joey’s mother worked to provide food and shelter. One evening when she got home from work, she found Joey and his sister Magdelena, watching an aquarium in a neighbour’s window. Joey loved fish and refused to come inside for dinner. His family never saw him again.

Seven-year-old Joseph “Joey” Storelli had gone missing, and they were desperate to find him.

The man in the brown coat saw Storelli. He offered the boy 5 cents worth of candy and a trip to the picture show. They watched a comedy before they headed onto the subway then took a train. He eventually took Joey into the high marsh grass and went on to commit “unprintable” crimes.

Peter Kudzinowski was variously described as a fiend, a thrill slayer with a “sex-sundered mind” and a “human wolf with a lust for the bodies of children”. He was all that, and more.

Kudzinowski was an alcoholic who drank raw alcohol. He was arrested as a “golden-rule drunk,” someone who needed to be locked up for 4 days to allow them to sober up.

Just before his release, he confessed to doing terrible things that, if the police only knew about, would prevent his release. It was the police he confessed to.

Kudzinowski confessed to killing Joey, and led police to where he left the boy.

On the cold evening of December 6, 1928, detectives began searching for the child’s body. It was already dark.

Police found Joey’s body, lying face down in the tall grass. His clothing was disarranged and bloodstained. His arms were stretched over his head, as if in prayer. His frozen body was bruised and battered. His right arm was almost torn from the socket. It was clear he had struggled to escape his attacker.

Kudzinowski also confessed to killing Harry Quinn. Quinn was a 28-year-old who, Kudzinowski said, was murdered on March 8, 1924, in Dickson Park in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Scranton police were notified, and confirmed a man named Quinn had been missing for about 4 years.

Kudzinowski once lived in Quinn’s home town of Minooka where they met. They travelled to the mountains near Rocky Glen. After a fight over a whiskey bottle, Kudzinowski murdered Quinn by bashing him over the head with a rock, and buried him in a mine cave, under leaves.

A squad of 50 cops, plus at least that many members of the public, began looking for Quinn’s body. Sgt. Reese Alexander said he faintly recalled finding a badly decomposed body in the area, but it was buried without being identified.

Quinn’s family search for 4 years before hearing the news of his death, but without the body, they could not rest. It was generally agreed that foxes or other animals would have scattered his remains. Even though Kudzinowski drew a map for searchers, Quinn was never found.

In preparation for Kudzinowski’s trial, special precautions had to be taken. His life was being threatened. He was smuggled into Jersey City to prevent mob vengeance, and would be returned to Detroit for his trial. Included in the threat-makes was the father of four-year-old Billy Gaffney, who disappeared from Brooklyn in 1927. Yetta Abramowitz, Irving Pickelny, Harry Weidenfeld and Julia Mlodzianowaka were all children who had disappeared. He denied any knowledge of the missing children.

Two days later, Kudzinowski was leading detectives to where he disposed of the body of six-year-old Julia Mlodzianowaka. She was one of the children he had denied knowing. He had admitted to practicing “weird rites” over her body after choking her to death on August 25, 1928.

Kudzinowski had kidnapped Julia during a family Sunday picnic, when she had stepped away from the others. He promised her a boat ride. He took Julia to Nolan’s Point, near Hopatcong, and beat her to death. She had tried to “holler” for help. Kudzinowski had begun burying the body but stopped when he spotted a parked freight train nearby. Kudzinowski dug up Julia and threw her into an empty boxcar before scrambling in and waiting for the train to move. He said he “enjoyed the ride” with the girl’s dead body.

In the boxcar, he hacked her body into pieces and “practiced his revolting rites over it.”

Julia was decapitated and wrapped in newspaper. Kudzinowski hurled them off a railway bridge as the rail car passed a river. He said he weighted the body.

Only a bit of bloody cloth and a single shoe was ever found where Kudzinowski said he disposed of Julia.

Kudzinowski was described in the press as a fiend and monster, with piggish eyes, quivering lips and a weak chin. Before trial, his mother said “He is dead to us now. We never want to hear of him again.” Ironic since he had confessed to his mother before his arrest and she did not turn him into police. Kudzinowski’s father would die before him, having taken ill after he heard of his son’s deeds.

Before the start of Kudzinowski’s trial, Joey would be buried by mourning family and relatives. While his body was being lowered into the ground, Kudzinowski was asked, “Now that you are on your way to the chair, do you believe that the murder was worth it?”.

“It was worth it many times over,” Kudzinowski responded. Kudzinowski admitted he was a “disciple” of kidnapper and 2-time murderer, Eddie Hickman. Hickman had committed murders in California in 1926-1927.

Kudzinowski says he was awkward around women. “I was too bashful,” he said (he wasn’t bashful, he was a pedophile!) He said, “…if I was let alone I knew I would have to kill more children.” Before finding Joey, Kudzinowski had taken first a boy and then a girl by the hand to walk them away from their homes. Both had fled from him after a few moments.

“Alienists” (psychologists) were called to testify to Kudzinowski’s sanity. “I propose to show that the defendant is insane and very much a beast,” his lawyer said. The assistant county physician had just described the brutal mutilation of Storelli. At trial, it was determined he knew right from wrong.

At the age of 9, Kudzinowski had a head injury in a swimming accident. During the trial, the alienists used x-rays of Kudzinowski’s head to explain his recurring “brainstorms”. During his confessions and trial, some details of his crimes changed.

The jury deliberated less than 90 minutes before convicting Kudzinowski of first degree murder. The only sentence was death.

Kudzinowski was sentenced to die in the electric chair. He spoke with his spiritual advisor, and the Reverend heard his confessions. Kudzinowski received holy communion. He also received a plate of ice cream, as a last meal request.

He walked from his jailhouse cell to the death house without uttering a word. However, others in the death house had much to say, with “blasphemous shouts” filling the hallway. Guards had to be sent in to quiet the men down.

Kudzinowski was executed on December 20, 1929.

What are romantic circumstances?

I found a news article about murder from the London Old England newspaper, London, Middlesex, UK. It was dated May 23, 1840. On page 3, it said:

The mere reader of the Paris journals would not be thus impressed, for they rarely copy accounts of murders from the provincial journals, unless they were attended with extraordinary and romantic circumstances.


Off to Merriam-Webster for a definition check.


ro·man·tic | \ rō-ˈman-tik , rə-\

Definition of romantic (Entry 1 of 2)
1: consisting of or resembling a romance
2: having no basis in fact : IMAGINARY
3: impractical in conception or plan : VISIONARY
4a: marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized
b: often capitalized : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of romanticism
c: of or relating to music of the 19th century characterized by an emphasis on subjective emotional qualities and freedom of form
also : of or relating to a composer of this music
5a: having an inclination for romance : responsive to the appeal of what is idealized, heroic, or adventurous
b: marked by expressions of love or affection
c: conducive to or suitable for lovemaking
6: of, relating to, or constituting the part of the hero especially in a light comedy

I could see murder being extraordinary and mysterious. I’ll take 4a for the win, Alex.

Ubiquitous Technology

You may have read about Brian Steven Smith. He is a South African man recently arrested in Alaska for the murder of a woman. He had dropped (or had stolen and discarded) an SD memory card on the ground. The card was labelled “Homicide at mid-town Marriott”. It was found by a woman walking down the street.

The card contained photos and video of the murder of Kathleen Henry. The video shows a man’s foot stomping on a bloodied woman’s throat before her killing. He can be heard telling her to just die. Police recognized his voice because of his South African accent. He was already under investigation by police. Police won’t say why he is being investigated.

After his arrest for Henry’s murder, he was interrogated. Smith confessed to also murdering Veronica Abouchuk in February 2019. He has also been charged with her murder.

His wife is struggling with the reality of being married to a serial killer. The families of the victims try to come to terms with what’s happened.

Police in Alaska have been in touch with police in South Africa as well.

Atlanta 1981: when newspapers report that children are safe

I stumbled on an article about 2 young missing kids. 14-year-old Termal Heard and 10-year-old Dempster Williams had gone missing on Wednesday. They were reported safe on Thursday.

Why did that merit news coverage? They were Black, it was Atlanta, and a killer was on the loose.

In Atlanta, there were already 20 dead or missing Black children. A task force had been set up. Police were reviewing video tape of the funeral of Patrik Baltazar, 11 years old. He was the killer’s most recent victim.

Published February 26, 1981, it would take 3 more murders and 4 more months for police to arrest Wayne Williams. The murders stopped, but many, including author James Baldwin, believed him innocent. The controversy, including allegations the KKK were involved, continue even now.

In March 2019, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announced that officials would re-test evidence from the murders.

Death’s Acre, All That Remains

We picked up the books Death’s Acre and All That Remains.

Death’s Acre by Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson is a non-fiction account of a “body farm” in Tennessee. Part of the forensic sciences of murder investgation is the study of bodies. Bodies disposed of by killers must be identified. A cause of death is needed. If you have ever thought about donating your body to science, you might end up on a body farm. It’s very CSI.

The Anthropology Research Facility was the real-life inspiration to Patricia Cornwell’s Body Farm. She wrote the forward of this book.

Bass and Jefferson discuss various murder cases including the Zoo Man murders. He was a serial killer who was associated with a local zoo. With many serial killers, their victims are unnamed and unknown. Forensic scientists like Bass give them faces and, hopefully, some justice.

We also picked up All That Remains by Professor Dame Sue Black, for a look at forensic body work in the UK. She uses humour, insight and frankness to tell stories of her life, murder and working with police. She covers a couple of serial killers including Burke & Hare. They were resurrectionists who were so good at their murders and grave robbing, the phrases “ressurectionist” and “burke” entered murder parlance.

It’s a good read, both funny and thoughtful.

Sleeping in shifts

While doing some research, I happened across this 1977 article titled Jittery city awaits rapist who vows to kill next time. It’s about the “east area rapist” from Sacramento, California. A citizen’s group offered a $10,000 reward (more than $40,000 in 2019 dollars), vigilantes took to the streets with CB radios, people slept in shifts in their homes.

On the same page, is an article about a teenage girl being a strangler’s fifth victim.

1977 was a scary time. The strangler was Ray Dell Sims, arrested just days after the attack (he was a customer on her paper route). The rapist? James Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer who for more than a decade, committed at least 13 murders, at least 50 rapes, and more than 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986. He was arrested on April 24, 2018.

DeAngelo looks like a pathetic piece of shit now, but he was a vicious, brutal killer and rapist who deserves to be caged.

East Bay Serial Killer Anthony McKnight dead

In 1985, McKnight murdered 5 women and girls over a 4 month period. All were “special circumstances” which allowed for the death penalty. 3 for committing murder during the course of a rape, 1 for committing murder during sodomy and 1 was for committing multiple murders.

McKnight was already serving 63 or 64 years for various felonies including attempted murder, sex assaults and kidnapping. DNA linked him to the murders.

McKnight was found unresponsive in his death row cell on Thursday October 17, 2019. No word on cause of death yet.




3000 is a start

Ever look at something and think, that doesn’t seem right? You can’t put your finger on it, but it just seems wrong.  The repeated statistics on serial killers is like that for me.

They seem wrong. Not enough women killers on the list, not enough information on victims (not enough for me, anyway). But I can’t get access to the lists of killers that are used to generate these stats.

So Lee and I fired up a spreadsheet a few months ago and started our own list. We have more than 3000 names, and genders. Working on more details. We’re getting there. Slooooooowly but surely. I am going to start my journey here.

What is a “Life Sentence” in Canada?

A homicide in Canada must include culpability to be considered murder. That means, the courts must believe the killer is deserving of blame. The fact that the courts must decide culpability, or blameworthiness, opens the legal charge of murder, to the influence of homophobia.

Currently, murder in Canada is split into first degree and second degree. First degree murder includes:
• contracted murder
• when the victim is a police officer, sheriff or other person associated with upholding the law
• where there is hijacking, sexual assault or kidnapping
• it involves criminal harassment, terrorist activity, organized crime, or intimidation

All murder that is not first degree murder, is second degree murder.

Murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed the act did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.

Again, homophobia in the courts can play a big role in reducing a murder charge to manslaughter. Until the decriminalization of homosexuality on June 27, 1969, being gay was often granted as a provocation, allowing a murder charge to be reduced. Now, it’s frequently used by defense, but less often is it accepted by the judge or jury.

An example of how complex the charges can be is highlighted in the trial of the 1977 murder of Neil Wilkinson . Wilkinson was beaten to death, and his killer , James Allan Walker, was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Walker offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown rejected the plea and the case went to trial. During the trial, Walker said Wilkinson had fantasies of pedophilia and he was therefore provoked to kill him. Walker was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury.

Throughout the years, penalties for homicide have changed. However, it is important to note that no matter how many victims a convicted murderer might have, a murderer can only have one life sentence. For example, Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to killing 8 men, but was given just one life sentence, not 8 life sentences.

From the excellent CBC news article “Here’s what judges will consider when sentencing McArthur and Bissonnette” :

“… A concurrent sentence means multiple sentences will be served at the same time. In general, this is the rule for multiple convictions stemming from the same event. But the judge does always have discretion.

Consecutive sentences are served one after the other. Sentences for crimes committed on different occasions can be ordered to be served consecutively. ..

In the Bruce McArthur murder case ( — a sentence will be handed down Friday in Toronto — McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder. Each count carries a mandatory life sentence. A judge cannot sentence someone to more than one life sentence. So McArthur will receive one life sentence.

What the judge can decide is whether the periods of parole eligibility will also be concurrent or consecutive…

McArthur… will serve one life sentence no matter what. But the judge is scheduled to decide Friday whether to allow him to request parole in 25 years or add more periods of ineligibility…”

To read the full article, please visit the CBC

Police Consider Cold Cases in McArthur Murders

Alleged gay serial killer Bruce McArthur

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victims of a serial killer

Alleged Convicted gay Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur has, as of April 2018, been charged with the deaths of eight men, most of whom are gay/LGBT+. Sgt. Detective Hank Idsinga has said police are reviewing cold case murder files dating back to the 1970s where gay men were slain in the downtown core or after leaving gay bars.

Police are not specifically naming whose cases they are checking for fingerprints, DNA and other forensic evidence, but do say that with new technology, old evidence once deemed not useful may now yield results. Here are the names, in alphabetical order, of cold cases listed on Murder Village that the police may be considering. Some of the names below don’t meet the profile, and it’s possible that they are considering names of victims not listed here.

  1. David Buller, 2001: A visual studies university professor stabbed in his office, whose computerized bondage artwork was printed just before his murder
  2. Thomas Cahill, 1983: A high school art teacher stabbed in his home after meeting one or more people at a bar
  3. Larry Callahan, 2006: An older man on disability, he was beaten to death in his home
  4. Dennis Colby, 1995: A heavy drinker known for finding other gay men for sex on phone lines (before the internet and dating apps!) who was isolated and lonely
  5. Cassandra Do, 2003: A sex worker sexually assaulted and murdered in her bathtub. Police suspect a black man named “Victor” is responsible
  6. Fred Fontaine, 1975: Beaten to death in the bathroom of the St. Charles Tavern
  7. Bernard Guay, 1977: Killed in Allen Gardens during a mugging, police are looking for 3 suspects
  8. Richard Hovey, 1967 and Eric Jones, 1967: Slain teenagers whom police believe were killed by James Henry (Greenidge) but they never laid charges
  9. James Kennedy, 1976: Found beaten and strangled with a towel wrapped around his neck, last seen at the St. Charles Tavern
  10. Brian Latocki, 1977: An obvious possibility, he was tortured, stabbed and strangled in his bed
  11. Sandy LeBlanc, 1978: Owner of a popular gay bar, he was stabbed more than 100 times
  12. Ross Magill, 2008: Stabbed multiple times, police believe he let his attacker into his home
  13. Nirmal Sawle Ramnanan, 1982: Bound to a chair and stabbed multiple times, police said there were no signs of forced entry
  14. William Robinson, 1978: Found “horribly mutilated” in his home after meeting someone at the St. Charles Tavern
  15. Bruno Seidel, 1967: A quiet, mysterious man stabbed multiple times in his home
  16. James Taylor, 1976: Beaten to death in his home with a baseball bat, police say a pickup truck was seen outside his home at the time of the murder
  17. Harold Walkley, 1975: Walkely was last seen at the gay bar Quest, but reportedly left alone. He was found naked on his bed, stabbed to death

Toronto Gay Serial Killer Bruce McArthur

Alleged gay serial killer Bruce McArthur

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victims of a serial killer

Murder Village is not a newspaper, we don’t report on crimes as they happen. The discovery and arrest of gay, Toronto-based serial killer Bruce McArthur is being covered in depth in various media (you can search links on Google, Duck Duck Go and NewsLookUp, among many others). Our site is dedicated to presenting information in a respectful way, and providing accurate information. Rarely do you get the most accurate information about a crime until a trial.

Our posts are back-dated to allow visitors to view murders in the Gay Village chronologically. We have a Bruce McArthur tag already set up, and his two four six seven eight alleged victims listed


A Mother’s Heartbreak

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Tess Richey
Murder victim Tess Richey

Tess Richey, 22, was out celebrating on November 24, 2017, with friend Ryley Simard at Crews & Tangos, a Gay Village drag bar, although Richey is not LGBTQ+. They left the bar at approximately 1:30am, heading north toward Dundonald Street where they hung out with a friend of Richey’s on her front porch. With them was an unidentified man.

Just before 4am, Simard’s boyfriend texted her and asked when she would be coming home. Simard left Richey, who had ordered an Uber car, in their company and headed south to Carlton Street to take a TTC streetcar home. Simard would never see Richey alive again.

Although the family reported her missing to Toronto Police, it would be her mother and a friend, who travelled from North Bay to look for her, who would find Richey’s body just metres from where she was last seen. Tess Richey was found at the bottom of a small exterior stairwell on November 29, 2017.

Richey was seen in the company of an unknown male, and nearby business security cameras caught him on tape. Although Police have released his image, he has not been located.

Police originally considered her death accidental, but a December 1 autopsy revealed she had died of neck compression. Friends and family were heavily critical of the handling of the missing persons report by police.

The story garnered international attention. The community created a memorial near where her body was found, which acted not only as a place to express their condolences but also their fears about the neighbourhood.

On February 5, 2018, police announced the arrest of 21-year-old Kalen Schlatter. He was charged with second-degree murder in relation to the death of Richey. A trial is pending.

Below is a 24-minute YouTube video Tess Richey made in 2014.

Murder Village Map

 Vital statistics

Name: Tess Richey
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Date of Death: November 25, 2017
Manner of Death: Strangulation
Location: 582 Church Street
Suspect Name:  Kalen Schlatter
Conviction & Sentence: pending