Monday, July 14, 2014

Vampires and Law Enforcement


We all know the story of Vlad Tepes, a historical figure whose legend was expanded by Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. You may also be familiar with the stories involving the Highgate Vampire and the Vampire Of Croglin Grange. There have been a few other vampire related tales the fit right along with the more famous narratives...though these were part of law enforcement investigations. It's up to you to decide whether there are real facts involved:

THE ATLAS VAMPIRE

On May 1, 1932, a 32-year-old prostitute, Lilly Lindestrom was discussing plans for the evening’s May Day celebrations with her friend Minnie Jansson, a 35-year-old woman who lived on the same floor and made her living in the same way. Lilly was nicknamed the “call girl” because she was the only person in the building with a phone. Lilly received a call from a potential client, asking if he could come over. Lilly agreed, and Minnie left her to it.

On 4 May 1932, Lilly was found dead in her flat in the Sankt Eriksplan district of Stockholm, Sweden. She was last seen alive by her friend Minnie. Minnie said Lilly had to her apartment twice one evening to borrow condoms. On the second occasion, around 9PM, Lilly was totally naked beneath her coat. That was the last that was seen of Lilly for a couple of days.

Minnie became concerned after ringing Lilly’s doorbell and getting no reply. She called the police, who forced their way in. Lilly was found lying dead on the sofa, her clothes neatly folded on a chair nearby. Her skull had been dealt a crushing blow. What elevates this case from the tragic to the utterly bizarre though was the fact that somebody had been drinking her blood! In the room was a bloodstained gravy ladle. Further inspection revealed that the blood had been drained from Lilly’s body, and the killer had used the ladle to drink it.

Despite the authorities’ best efforts, the story leaked, and the local press nicknamed the unknown killer the Atlas Vampire, due to the area of the city in which Lilly lived. Eighty of Lilly’s customers were investigated, but no suspects were revealed. Minnie hadn’t recognized the voice on the phone from what she’d heard, but she commented that the man had seemed sober and polite. There didn’t seem to be any fingerprints on any of the suspicious items at the scene. One theory was that the killer was a police officer who had bludgeoned Lilly with his truncheon and knew how to cover his tracks. Either way, Lilly’s final customer was never found.

PETRE TOMA

The authorities in Craiova, south-west Romania, opened an investigation against six people alleged to have impaled the body of a villager who, according to them "had transformed himself into vampire" and "sucked blood from them during the night."

The body of Petre Toma had been unearthed six weeks later by his brother-in-law in the presence of several other members of the family, including his widow and her grand-daughter. According to several testimonies, they made an incision in the chest of Toma to extract his heart before burning it. One report states that, in accordance with a local custom to protect against vampires, they dissolved the ashes in water and drank it.

An autopsy carried out by the authorities in Craiova confirmed that "the heart was indeed taken."

The six people explained that after the death of Toma they had felt "weakened," as if they did not have "any more blood."

"One night I saw it in my room, and in the morning I could not arise; so much was I weakened", said the grand-daughter of Toma, Mirela Marinescu. According to her, as soon as the exorcism ritual was performed the dead body "did not come any more to haunt" its family.

The Sunday Times reported that several villagers affirmed that this exorcism ritual was known and practiced for a long time in the area, and that it each time had appeared "effective against vampires."

“For centuries we have had to protect ourselves against these creatures by finding the graves of the undead and risking our lives by ripping out their hearts,” said sixty-eight-year-old Tita Musca, a local farmer.

THE NEW ORLEANS VAMPIRE MURDERS

In 1984 nine people were found dead in various sections of the French Quarter of New Orleans. They all had been murdered by having their throats torn out. The paramedics responding to the scenes were struck by the fact that there was no blood at the scenes...something or someone had simply sucked all the blood directly from the victims. Police to this day do not have a suspect in this case....the murder spree ended as quickly as it had began. Rumors suggested that it was the work of a rogue vampire that was destroyed by the elder vampire sect of New Orleans because of pressure placed by authorities on the known vampire community in city.

In 1933, on two different nights, police were called to Royal Street where on each night young prostitutes were found laying in a alley with their throats torn out. Both women had been dead only a few minutes when they were found but no blood was found at the scenes. A local resident who lived above one of the murder scenes claimed a dark figure was observed leaning over one of the victims and people began to scream for police. The witness said the dark figure had climbed over a 12 foot wall at the end of the alley with little effort. It appeared to the witness that the dark figure was a man dressed in a black cape and hat. Police searched but found nothing. Both murders have yet to be solved.

THE DILLSBORO VAMPIRES

In the spring of 1788 a family setup housekeeping in the small mountain community of Dillsboro N.C. The family name was Alfort and there were rumors that they had descended from royalty. They bought land by the river and built what was then a very nice large southern colonial home. Dr. Alfort opened up an office and pharmacy in a few rooms in the front of the house. The local people were at first really happy that a new doctor had arrived in their community...but very quickly this attitude was about to change.

Two men both who had gone to the new doctor to be treated for gout suddenly died. Both men had been well liked members of the community and the circumstances angered many of the residents. However in a short time the local minister had brokered peace in the community and everything seemed to be fine. However this calm was short lived.

That Fall the young daughter of the minister was found dead in her bed with puncture marks to her throat. The minister's wife swore she had seen a dark form hovering over her daughter and she screamed but it was too late and the child quickly succumb to the attack.

The incident caused a huge outcry in the town and the people of the area started to claim a vampire or a group of vampires was in their midst. For many nights groups of men ventured out and searched but found nothing. However some men claimed to have seen a large black bat-like creature fly over them. A few nights after the sighting a young boy ran down the hill to his grandfather's house and proclaimed that something was up the hill in his house attacking his parents. The grandfather summoned other men and they ran to the house but only found the parents and their two young daughters, who were dead with puncture wounds to their necks. The area was immediately alerted...soldiers were called in and searched the area. By February of 1789 the community had quieted down.

Then one evening screams were heard and when men arrived they witnessed a black form of a human run from the house, run down the hill and into the Alfort house. When the village men went into the house where the screams had come from they found the bodies of a young couple with vicious bite marks to their throats. Almost at once more men came and they were told that the murderer had ran down the hill and into the Alfort house. When the search party got to the Alfort house Dr. Alfort refused to let them in. However as soon as the sheriff arrived they dragged Dr. Alfort outside and tied him to a tree. When the men entered the house they were surprised at what they found. The upstairs bedrooms each had beds but it was clear that no one had slept in them. When the sheriff and search party went downstairs they found three caskets and Mrs. Alfort, who was dressed in black, lying in one of the caskets and very much alive. She hissed and cursed at them as she was pulled from the casket.

Later that night the sheriff and the village minister announced to the crowd assembled outside the Alfort house that the Alforts and their son were vampires. The Alforts were summarily hanged and then placed back inside the house. The house was set on fire and burned to the ground. However the couple's 15 year old son was not found and never seen in the area again. There were no further unusual murders in the area.

IDENTIFYING A VAMPIRE

In 1926, Agnes Murgoci wrote in The Vampire in Roumanie the ways to determine if any dead man is a vampire:

- 1. His household, his family, and his live stock, and possibly even the live stock of the whole village, die off rapidly.

- 2. He comes back in the night and speaks with the family. He may eat what he finds in dishes and knock things about, or he may help with the housework and cut wood. Female vampires also come back to their children. There was a Hungarian vampire which could not be kept away, even by the priest and holy water.

- 3. The priest reads a service at the grave. If the evil which is occurring does not cease, it is a bad sign.

- 4. A hole about the size of a serpent may be found near the tombstone of the dead man. If so, it is a sign of a vampire, because vampires come out of graves by just such holes.

- 5. Even in the daytime a white horse will not walk over the grave of a vampire, but stands still and snorts and neighs.

- 6. A gander, similarly, will not walk over the grave of a vampire.

- 7. On exhuming the corpse, if it is a vampire it will be found to be:

1. red in the face, even for months and years after burial,
2. with the face turned downwards,
3. with a foot retracted and forced into a corner of the grave or coffin.
4. If relations have died, the mouth will be red with blood. If it has only spoilt and ruined things at home, and eaten what it could find, the mouth will be covered with maize meal.

From Demons to Dracula: The Creation of the Modern Vampire Myth

Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles

Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)

Dracula (Norton Critical Editions)


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