Crime Related

Amityville: House of Lies, by London Knight

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Somewhere between this world and the next there is an evil, an evil so real that it seeps into the very core of ones being. Sometimes what lies between the realms of reality and fantasy lies a darkness waiting to seep into our world, grabbing hold and plunging us into the bitter brink of hell itself, a darkness of which there is no escape.

Could one house hold such an evil presence that it could cause a man to murder his whole family in their beds as they sleep? An unseen force that speaks out within the darkness of the early morning hours? Or was the shier evil within one mans own mind?

For decades the house at 112 Ocean Avenue has come to birth fear into the the nightmares of so many, bringing with it an Urban Legend that has stood the test of time her self.

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I have spent fourteen years trapped within the nightmare of the Amityville Horror. Seeking out the truth of just what lies be on the realm of the mashed colorless lines of black and gray that hide in the deepest corners of insanity.

As the night air brought with it a bone chilling cold that it always had in November in New York, Ronald DeFeo sat in his room in the darkness that now surrounded him. He could feel it close by, mocking him, calling out to him through the blackness of the night that now surrounded him.

“Kill them before it is too late. Kill them all.”

As Ronald looked over at the small clock that sat on his nightstand, it read 3:15 am. The same time it always had when the voice had come for him. Ronald grabbed the 35 Marlin rifle and walked out of his room.

The voice called out again, “You know it must be done. Now go before it is too late.” Ronald walked up the stairs to his parents room where he stood in the doorway and watched as his parents slept in their beds. Ronald lifted the gun and pulled the trigger.

The Voice laughed an evil laugh, “Go on, finish them off, then you will be free.”

Ronald walked through the darkness of the house and one by one the shots from the 35 Marlin rang out.

With his family dead, he was finally free, free of the evil that lived within him. Ronald lay on the couch in the family room. His head was clear for the first time. The voice that had seemed to grab hold was now no more and for the first time Ronald fell into a deep sleep.

The house was quiet for the first time, no noise, no voice, just the sound of peace and quiet. He could feel the veil lift and the whole house took on the feeling of a home for the first time in his life.

As the sun broke the darkness of the winter night, Ronald awoke feeling refreshed for the first time, but he knew something was wrong, for the house that once was filled with the sounds of a large family now laid quiet. The only noise was coming from the kitchen where the family dog had been tied up. Ronald had no recollection of what had taken place.

For most it is a tell of Demon, after many years on this case I have come to know one, this the Evil within the heart of man is much more than any evil known. I have to say for years of looking over this case, the very crime photos have plagued my inner being casting me into a world in which one should never enter. That of the deepest parts of the mind of a killer.

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I have looked into the eyes of pure evil in that within the cold dark stare of Defoe himself. As I have come to know the truth of just what took place in the house at 112 Ocean Avenue, the Amityville Horror House.

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I have come to know one thing, that the evil of the house was indeed one mans lust for drugs and money.

If you wish to know more, the whole story can be found between the covers of my book, go to Amityville: House of Lies

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Categories: Amityville House of Lies, Crime Related, Research | Leave a comment

Spirit Testimony

As investigators and researchers of the paranormal world we often find ourselves in search of something that quantifies the very thing we are looking for. However, the paranormal field often has us seeking, searching the darkness if you will, sadly without resolution! Still perhaps it’s this failure to find conclusive evidence that keeps us forever searching and believing that there is something out there to be found.

It was during my usual trawl through the Internet in search of something new that I discovered the subject of this post. I have to admit it caught my eye and I did happen to exclaim, out loud, ‘no way!’ Finding a good story that explains an individuals paranormal experience are always interesting, but one which appears to be backed up by a court case and possibly seems to influence the outcome of the case is pretty much unheard of!

Still as ever please feel free to read through my account of this story and make your own mind up on this one. Please, please feel free to comment on this one as I would live to hear your opinions on it?

On the 23rd January 1897 in Greenbrier, West Virginia an 11 year old African American boy called Andy Jones found the body of Zona Heaster Shue laying lifeless on the floor. The body was stretched out with the legs together. One arm was at her side whilst the other was resting on her body, with her head tilted to one side.

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In true fashion the local coroner Dr George W Knapp was called in, but took about an hour to arrive at the Shuh residents. In that time Edward (Zona’s husband) had moved the body to an upstairs bedroom. Knapp was slightly shocked to see that Edward had also redressed his wife in her best Sunday dress, which had a high neck and stiff collar. As Edward seemed beside himself with grief, cradling his wife’s head in his arms, making it very hard for Knapp to examine Zona. Although Knapp did note a slight discolouration on the neck and cheek, this seemed to be overlooked. Knapp ended the examination exclaiming that Zona died of ‘an everlasting faint’ which was again a little more than odd. Officially Knapp recorded that she had died from childbirth.

The oddity of Zona’s death hadn’t gone totally unnoticed, in fact her mother Mary Jane had suspicions of her own. Suspicions which were heightened at her daughters wake when Mary noticed Edward acting strangely and not like a husband in mourning. Others noticed his behaviour too. Although the most odd was that Edward placed a pillow on one side of his dead wife’s head and a rolled up cloth on the other, as if to prop it in place! Adding to this Edward had placed a scarf around his wife’s neck, which was slightly out of place. Towards the end of the wake a few of the guests noticed an odd looseness to Zona’s head. Mary Jane removed the rolled up cloth at the end of the wake and took it home.

This is where the story embarks into the paranormal a little.

Noticing that the cloth from her daughters coffin had quickly developed a horrid odour, Mary decided to attempt to wash it. As she submerged the cloth, the water turned red, the colour bleeding from the cloth. Astonished by this Mary took a pitcher and scooped some of the water from the basin. Oddly the removed water was clear!

The once white cloth was now stained pink and no matter what Mary done to remove the the discolouration the stain remained. Mary took this as a sign of her daughters death being less than natural.

Mary began to pray for her daughter to reach out from beyond the grave and explain the circumstances of her death. This was a prayer Mary made every day for weeks until the prayer was answered!

As Greenbrier was overcome by the bitter cold of winter and the darkness crept in, Mary lit her candles and oil lights to resist the early nights. It was then that, according to Mary, her daughter visited her. During these spiritual visits, Mary claims that her daughter explained the unnatural circumstances of her demise. Zona explained to her mother how her husband Edward was a cruel man that constantly subjected her to violence, but on the day of her death he went too far breaking her neck. It is said that Zona’s ghost proved this to her mother by turning her head completely around at the neck.

Without a moment to loose Mary took her story to the local prosecutor, John Alfred Preston. Preston listened to Mary’s story, although a little skeptical he realised that there was enough suspicion for him to peruse the case further. Preston ordered Zona’s body exhumed for an autopsy against Edwards protests, which revealed exactly as the Zona’s ghost had stated, the neck was broken. In addition the windpipe was crushed from violent strangulation. Edward Shuh was arrested for the murder of his wife following this gruesome discovery.

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It soon came to light that Edward had a less than honest past, with two other failed marriages which had ended due to his violent temper. Although his first wife divorced him after he angrily threw her possessions out of the house, his second wife had not bee quite as fortunate. She too had died under odd circumstances and what seemed to be a blow to the head. Mary concluded that Edward was truly an evil individual.

When the trial kicked off in spring, Edward was relatively confident as he believed there was insufficient evidence against him. After all he wasn’t even placed at the scene of the murder at the time of death and there were no witnesses. Still the prosecutor had a few individuals testify against Edwards character, mentioning his peculiar behaviour, history and comments he made whilst in custody. Of course the testimony of Zona’s ghost was inadmissible, but it what can only be described as a mistake the defence lawyer called Mary Jane to the stand. Zona’s ghost was brought up by the defence, perhaps to try and discount the witness as insane. However, this may have backfired, as under oath Mary calmly explained her encounter and how it was the ghost that identified that Zona’s neck had indeed been broken!

It really isn’t known if it was Mary’s account of Zona’s ghost which persuaded the jury, but they did hand down a verdict of guilty on the charge of murder. Such a conviction should have brought with it the death sentence, but due to the circumstantial nature of the evidence, Edward was sentenced to life in prison. Edward Shuh died on the 13th March 1900 in Moundsville WV Penitentiary.

So, although the ghost of Zona Shuh didn’t actually appear in court itself and wasn’t witnessed by anyone other than that of her own mother Mary, did the paranormal activity here help capture Edward? It’s hard to say really. It could be said that Mary experienced what she did out of grief for her daughters passing, but simply managed to guess how Zona died. The prosecutor decided to exhume the body based on the odd circumstances surrounding the case, not because of the ghostly visitations. Still did Mary’s testimony which detailed her ghostly encounter sway the jury? Again it’s hard to say really. Realistically the jury should have remained focussed on the facts of the case. Perhaps Edwards history, his two previous marriages with possible violence and his odd behaviour was enough to persuade a guilty verdict!

As any paranormal related case seems to be this one also remains slightly unknown!

Let me know what you think ?

And if you wish to read the original article that got me thinking about this one check it out here

http://paranormal.about.com/od/trueghoststories/a/The-Ghost-That-Solved-Its-Own-Murder.htm

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Categories: Crime Related, Research, Spirit Testimony | Leave a comment

The Mystery of Jack the Ripper

There has never been such a case in history more prominent than that of the case of Jack the Ripper. For many years we have told and retold the story, covering it from angle after angle, delivering theory after theory, but still the Rippers identity remains a mystery. Although usually I spend most of my time researching things which are extremely hard to prove, I thought perhaps I would have a look at a case based more on elements we can measure. Still the case of Jack the Ripper, leaves me chasing ghosts once again.

So, what do we know about the case. We know that the Ripper terrorised London’s East End in the years 1888 to 1891, that the task of catching the fearsome killer was entrusted to the officers of Scotland Yard and although they failed they followed all lines of inquiry that they could.

Let us attempt to look at the case from the beginning, perhaps disregarding some of the added dramatics and stories which have clung to the case over the years. The best place to start then is with the victims, which is also where we find our first line of confusion. Which is the blurring between the definable Ripper murders and the Whitechapel murders. However, the eleven Whitechapel murders does include the Ripper murders and at some point each has been connected to the Ripper. Still properly defining the murders which were related to the Ripper, adds clarity to the case.

The Whitechapel Murders

Emma Elizabeth Smith – Tuesday 3rd April 1888 – Osborn Street, Whitechapel

Martha Tabram – Tuesday 7th August 1888 – George Yard Buildings, George Yard, Whitechapel

Mary Ann Nichols – Friday 31st August 1888 – Bucks Row, Whitechapel

Annie Chapman – Saturday 8th September 1888 – Rear Yard at 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields

Elizabeth Stride – Sunday 30th September 1888 – Yard at side of 40 Berner Street, St Georges-in-the-East

Catherine Eddowes – Sunday 30th September 188 – Mitre Square, Aldgate, City of London

Mary Jane Kelly – Friday 9th November 1888 – 13 Miller’s Court, 26 Dorset Street, Spitalfields

Rose Mylett – Thursday 20th December 1888 – Clarke’s Yard, High Street, Poplar

Alice McKenzie – Wednesday 17th July 1889 – Castle Alley, Whitechapel

Unknown Female Torso – Tuesday 10th September 1889 – Found under railway arch in Pinchin Street, Whitechapel

Frances Coles – Friday 13th February 1891 – FOund under railway arch, Swallow Gardens, Whitechapel

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Above is a map, courtesy of the internet from http://www.herberthistory.co.uk/cgi-bin/sitewise.pl?act=det&p=303 displaying most of these murders.

Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes, Kelly, McKenzie and Coles had their throats cut. Except for Stride and Mylett there was evidence of abdominal mutilation in all cases. Chapman and Eddowes had their uterus removed and taken away by the killer. Eddowes left kidney was also taken. Evidence also suggests that Kelly’s heart was taken. All horrific murders in a reasonable distance and time frame from each other, its easy to link all of these to one person. After all its harder to believe there is more than one individual capable of such graphic mutilations.

Over the years though, following the input of various Detectives and individuals working on these unsolved murders, the list of murders which were linked to Jack the Ripper was reduced to Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes and Kelly. Tabram has also gained favour as the sixth victim as the opinion of some historians.

Obviously, as Jack was never actually caught this still all remains very much theory with a little supporting evidence. Perhaps he killed more that we just don’t know about yet.

Now we have the numbers of Jack’s murders reduced to five or six, we look at the next piece of evidence. In this case its the letters which were sent to the Police and Press on the Whitechapel murders. Some, if not most of these letters have been regarded as fakes, created by individuals hoping to excite the terror already burdening the city. However, a few of these letters have been given some credibility. These are the ‘Dear Boss’ letter, ‘Saucy Jacky’ postcard and the ‘From Hell’ letter.

Even if the letter is a hoax, it was the first letter written which made reference to the name ‘Jack the Ripper’ and linked it to the Whitechapel murderer. On the 27th September 1888, this letter was received by the Central News Agency and was believed to be a hoax straight away. However, three days later the double murder of Stride and Eddowes soon changed their minds. The defining point being that the in letter ‘Jack’ mentioned that he would ‘clip the lady’s ears off and send them to the police officers just for jolly’ and a portion of Eddowes earlobe was found cut off. All of a sudden the importance of this letter was highlighted by the police when they reproduced it in the newspapers of the time, hoping someone may recognise the handwriting.

On the 1st October 1888 a postcard was received by the Central News Agency, making direct reference to the ‘Dear Boss’ letter and the double murder. It was also believed to be written by the same hand.

As ever the authenticity of this postcard is still questioned by some, stating that the reference to the double murder and ‘Dear Boss’ letter could have been revealed in an early morning paper on the 1st October. I guess without todays high tech forensics its hard to prove!

The final letter was received in slightly more gruesome circumstances, in fact you could easily pull it right out of a horror movie! October 16th saw a George Lusk, the President of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee receive a particularly fearsome item in his mail. A three-inch-square cardboard box containing half a human kidney preserved in wine along with the following letter.

Inconclusive medical reports of the time reported the kidney to be very similar to the one that was removed from Eddowes. The letter, which started with the title ‘From Hell’ was aimed directly at Lusk. It stated that he had sent half the kidney to Lusk, but fried and eaten the other half. Sound familiar? He then added that he would send the bloody knife used to remove it, if Lusk would wait a while longer. It was then sign ‘catch me when you can Mishter Lusk.

All three letters and additional items can be seen as evidence that they were sent by Jack the Ripper, but you could equally argue against their authenticity. Perhaps we will never know, but still an interesting twist to the Ripper story. Perhaps this case will never be solved and given how long ago it occurred, with a lack of evidence from the time surviving its more likely it never will.

When the horrors of Whitechapel came to an end, its likely that the Ripper either became too old to carry on murdering or perhaps he was arrested for something else unrelated to the Ripper murders. Its even possible that he was smart enough to cease his murderous ways to avoid capture. However, the character that shines through in the letters and the pure evil he committed, makes me believe that ‘his work’ would never be quite complete.

Jump forward in time and reports paranormal activity around Whitechapel which are linked to the Ripper case in many ways, including location, sightings of individuals and more. There are many links to the Ripper case which pop up from time to time in the paranormal world. Its easy to understand given the deep emotional circumstances of the murders which could have inprinted on any of the areas. Thats ofcourse if you take in to account the ‘stone tape theory’. Still all in all the original case and related paranormal stories are very interesting apart and together.

Cases like this where the paranormal stories told have a deep impact in a particular location which has a very well known past. The Ripper case is one of those and for that reason will remain of interest to me and probably many others.

All comments are welcome, so please feel free to let me know what you think or even to add a little to what I have written.

Categories: Crime Related, Ghosts, Paranormal, Research, The Mystery of Jack the Ripper | Tags:

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