Monday, January 14, 2019

Geographic Profiling
Geographic profiling is a relatively new (1996) tool in the serial crime investigation toolbox. There are MANY different variables that can be inputted into the various mathematical formulas and the more data points you can enter then, hypothetically, the more accurate the profile will be. In short, the formula helps to narrow down the possible location of a "base" for a serial offender. The formula utilizes data such as the crime scene location, dump site (if any), proximity to and types of transit available, locations where weapons might have been obtained, and possible locations where the offender might have picked their victim. It's very in depth but it's still just a tool. Like psychological profiling, geographic profiling cannot solve crimes by itself. But it has proven quite useful in maximizing resources for search areas. Can this tool be used to help identify a suspect for the Axe Murders? The map at the right utilizes Kim Rossmo's formula for geographic profiling. The map shows the geographic profile of Dennis Radar (BTK). The area in red is the predicted base of Radar and lays on top of the College Hill neighborhood of Wichita. The problem with geographic profiling becomes evident here. Radar lived in the north, in Park City, and was mobile. He would park his car away from the crime scene, then walk to and from the victims' houses. In four cases, he drove the victim's car back to his own vehicle. Radar also stated that he "trolled" for victims just by walking around places. I believe only one of his victims was within walking distance of his house. Radar's house didn't necessarily need to be considered his base. Four of his seven crimes occurred between 1974 and 1979, when he was attending Wichita State. Wichita State falls in a fairly cool spot on the search zone and is roughly two and a half miles from the College Hill neighborhood and roughly 9 miles away from his actual house.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Colorado Springs and Monmouth: One Clue To Link Them Both!

Springs Gazette
Sept. 4, 1911
"Oly" in the comments on this old post has provided a very good and plausible hypothesis regarding the flashlight found behind the Dawson's house in Monmouth, Illinois. For those of you that didn't take the time to check the other article, here's the key takeaway:
I have four different phrases reported on the flashlight. The New York Times reported in 1915 the words “Colorado Springs” and “Lovey.” Pretty damning if true, however newspapers in Colorado reported the writing to say “Lovely, Colorado Springs.” The comma is paramount here as it’s the difference between a possible name (Lovely and Loving have both been reported as Mitchell’s first name) or a phrase you might find on a souvenir from a resort town like Colorado Springs. Another Colorado paper reported “Loving Colorado Springs.” The Monmouth Review-Atlas reported simply “Colorado Springs” in 1915, and in a 1984 article rehashing the incident the same paper reported “Colo. Sprig. Sept. 4.”

Ten yeas ago (holy crap) I spent a little time trying to find the significance of September 4, 1911 in Colorado Springs. I quickly filed it under "Get To Later" and was distracted by other shiny things. Thank goodness for readers! Oly may have found the definitive evidence linking the Burnham-Wayne murders to the Dawson murders. A Labor Day picnic in Colorado Springs! Hosted, in part, by the Modern Woodmen of America! On the date reported to have been scratched into the side of the flashlight! I'm extremely excited by this!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ardenwald: Details That Cannot Be Ignored

Dorothy Rintoul
It had been a week's worth of festivities and celebration with visitors flooding in from all over the Pacific Northwest. The 5th Annual Portland Rose Festival was in full swing and the major event of June 9, 1911 was the Decorated Horse and Buggy parade to be followed by the Military parade that evening. On that peaceful morning, as the parade route was prepared along Grand Avenue, it was Sarah Matthews, the neighbor of the Hills', who noticed the stillness of the Hill cabin. She often visited Ruth Hill in the mornings and William Hill was usually up and around by 5:30 a.m. With rambunctious kids in a small cabin a quiet morning was notably rare. Entrance into the cabin was through the back door, which dropped her into the north room of the house. The house itself was a two room affair. The north room being the kitchen and dining/living area and the south room being where Ruth and William slept. In this room were built small partitions to give some privacy to the family. The largest section of the room was where William and Ruth slept. Also inside of this section was a smaller partitioned area where Phillip was sleeping. In the living area, on the sofa, is where Dorothy slept. Near her was a table and on this table was a new clock, purchased a few weeks prior to the murders. The house was dark; the windows were covered by clothing and pieces of cloth. Even in the dark, Mrs. Mathews could see a form under the blankets on the sofa. Dorothy's feet were the only part of the girl's body not covered. Sarah Mathews went in to check if Dorothy was okay then she saw the axe resting against the sofa. She then looked into the parent's room and saw only a form on the bed. Sarah went back to her house, where she and her husband lived, next door to her son and his wife. She informed her family that that Dorothy was dead.

Friday, January 16, 2015

CSI Iowa Featuring Dr. Epperly

Dr. Epperly's book on the Villisca crime is scheduled for release in 2015! Here is an interview he did back in 2012. Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Delving Deeper into Ardenwald

Phillip, Ruth and Dorthy
 Six years ago I wrote this article explaining the differences between the Ardenwald crime and the Colorado Springs crime. Go read the article; I'll wait...

I hope you enjoyed the article. You will note that I made this bold statement:
So were these crimes done by the same UNSUB? IMHO, no.
I based that statement on what I knew at the time, which, again is detailed in the linked article. But now, after digging deeper into the Ardewald crime, I am compelled to think otherwise. I will also admit that I was reaching that conclusion because I believed there was a pretty good suspect for the murders already...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Victimology: William Hill

William L. Hill
After the murders, nearly all of the attention was given to the Cowing family and, what would become, a very public and bitter fight between the Clackamas County prosecuting attorney's office and the Clackamas County Sheriff.  The focus was entirely on Ruth Hill and her family. This seems natural since Ruth had grown up in Oregon City and her father and brother (all her brothers, really) were respected businessmen in the area. William Hill's entire family lived in Washington state as did his ex-wife and her new husband and before you ask, no, she was never a suspect. At the time of his death, William was a pipefitter for the Portland Gas Company in the community of Sellwood, just a few miles west of Ardenwald. Generally, not much was known about William. He was new in the area having just recently moved his new family into the little cabin by the woods. Neighbors would note he was a hard worker but not much else could be said. Let me add a bit more information about Mr. Hill...