; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, May 04, 2012

Monsters Of Our Species 4

There have been horrific murderers throughout human history...many are easily recognized by their name or moniker. In this fourth installment, I have posted information on a few more 'not so famous' human monsters:

John Edward Robinson was born on December 27, 1943 in Cicero, Illinois, a town famous for its connection to Al Capone. As a Boy Scout he performed before Queen Elizabeth II at a concert in London and became an Eagle Scout. As a freshman at Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, he was a poor student and a discipline problem. He did not return to Quigley for his sophomore year; it is believed that he was denied admission as a sophomore due to either his academic or discipline shortcomings.

He had dreams of becoming very important. He was named "Man Of The Year" once at a Kansas City charity (an award he rigged in his own favor), and was described by acquaintances as very personable and easy to like.

Beneath his outward charm, however, he was a con artist and thief who served time in jail in 1987 on charges of felony theft. He was supposed to serve five years, but he was released after only four years for good behavior. He was then handed to Missouri authorities, who arrested him because his conviction in Kansas violated one of the conditions imposed when Robinson was released on probation from a Missouri jail after being convicted of forging signatures on some documents. But he started complaining of chest pains and was released with a doctor's recommendation letter.

In 1995, Robinson bought a computer and started looking for females to unleash his sexual fantasies on. He would lure them by calling himself the "Slave Master", and telling them what they wanted to hear.

According to the police, he would later meet some of those women in person and have sex with them. Then, the women he met disappeared. In the summer of 2000, some of their bodies appeared at Robinson's farm near La Cygne, Kansas and in a rented storage space in Raymore, Missouri.

In 1984, 18-year-old Paula Godfrey left home to take up a job with one of Robinson's many non-existent companies. After being told she was being sent away to take a few seminar classes to get her trained, her parents contacted the police and filed a missing person's report. A few days after questioning Robinson on Godfrey's whereabouts they received a type-written letter from Godfrey. The letter assured them that everything was fine, and that she simply did not want to contact her family. Her signature was at the bottom of the letter The case was dropped as Godfrey was an adult and had the right to disappear.

In 1985, Lisa Stasi, a 19-year-old single mother, met a man calling himself "John Osborne" at a shelter. The man promised her an apartment, job training, a monthly stipend, and even daycare for her 4-month-old daughter, Tiffany. Eager to become independent Stasi agreed, signing a few blank sheets of paper. She was never heard from again. A few days after meeting Stasi, Robinson contacted his brother and informed him he had a baby he could adopt. The baby's mother had committed suicide in a hotel room, and his connections with local charity would allow him to get the child for him if he paid the legal fees. The baby was Tiffany Stasi, and the papers Robinson brought were all forgeries. The money went straight into Robinson's account.

In 1993, Robinson was released from a stint in jail for violating his parole by running an underground prostitution ring specializing in domination and submission. He had met 49-year-old Beverly Bonner in prison. A librarian, she had been charmed by the eloquent man, and upon his release divorced her husband to follow Robinson. Shortly after having all of her alimony checks forwarded to a PO box, Bonner was killed and her body was placed inside of a barrel that was later put into a storage unit in Raymore, Missouri. Robinson continued to collect her alimony checks and cash them in his account for years.

Robinson was arrested and accused of murdering three women. He was convicted at the Johnson County Court House in Olathe, Kansas in 2002 and sentenced to death. He then pleaded guilty in Harrisonville, Missouri and did not receive a second death sentence from a Missouri court. Robinson could be the first person executed by lethal injection in the state of Kansas. However, in 2005 the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the current capital punishment laws in Kansas unconstitutional. It could be years before new capital punishment laws are written by the legislator and approved by the courts, if they are written at all.

Internet Slave Master


Genene Anne Jones (born July 13, 1950) was a paediatric nurse who worked in several medical clinics around San Antonio, Texas, and is thought to have killed somewhere between 11 and 46 infants and children who were in her care (around 1980-1982). She used injections of heparin and later of succinylcholine to kill the babies. Novel succinylcholine detection methods were used to prove her guilt.

While working at the Bexar County Hospital (now The University Hospital of San Antonio) in the Pediatric Intensive care unit, it was determined that a statistically inordinate number of children Jones worked with were dying. Rather than pursue further investigation the hospital simply asked Jones to resign, which she did.

She then took a position at a pediatric physician's clinic in Kerrville, Texas, near San Antonio. It was here that she was charged with poisoning six children. The doctor in the office discovered puncture marks in a bottle of succinylcholine in the drug storage, where only she and Jones had access. Contents of the apparently full bottle were later found to be diluted. Jones claimed to have been acting in the best interests of her patients, as she was trying to justify the need for a pediatric intensive-care unit in Kerrville. This act was not a successful means of achieving her goal.

An accurate number may never be known, in part because after her conviction on one count of murder and one count of attempted murder, hospital officials throughout Texas shredded records of her employment and activities, preventing further trials and embarrassment.

In 1985 Jones was charged with two crimes and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Jones will serve only one-third of her sentence because of a law in place at the time to deal with prison overcrowding. Jones will receive automatic parole in 2017, much to the protest of the family of Chelsea McClellan, the child Jones was convicted of murdering.

Jones is eligible for parole every two to three years, having been denied six times so far.

The Death Shift: The True Story of Nurse Genene Jones and the Texas Baby Murders.: An article from: Washington Monthly

Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters


Mary Ann Robson was born in the small English village of Low Moorsley in what is now Sunderland in October 1832. Her childhood was an unhappy one. Her parents were both younger than 20 when they married. Her father Michael, a miner, barely managed to keep his family fed; he was ardently religious, a fierce disciplinarian with Mary Ann and her younger brother Robert, and active in the Methodist church’s choir.

When Mary Ann was eight, her parents moved the family to the town of Murton, where she went to a new school and found it difficult to make friends. Soon after the move her father fell 150ft to his death down a mine shaft at Murton Colliery.

When Mary was 14, her mother remarried. Mary did not like her new stepfather, Robert Stott, but she liked the things his better wages could buy. At the age of 16 she could stand the discipline of her stepfather no more, so she moved out to become a nurse at Edward Potter's home in the nearby village of South Hetton. She served there for three years and then returned to her mother's home and trained as a dressmaker. About this time she met a colliery labourer called William Mowbray.

Mary Ann, aged 20, married William Mowbray in Newcastle upon Tyne, and soon they moved to Plymouth, Devon. The couple had five children, four of whom died from gastric fever or stomach pains. William and Mary moved back to the North East and she had another three children, all of whom died. William became a foreman at South Hetton Colliery and then a fireman aboard a steam vessel. He died of an intestinal disorder in January 1865. William's life was insured by the British and Prudential Insurance office and Mary Ann collected a payout of £35 on his death. It was to become a familiar theme.

Soon after Mowbray's death, Mary Ann moved to Seaham Harbour, County Durham, where she struck up a relationship with a Joseph Nattrass. He, however, was engaged to another woman and she left Seaham after Nattrass’s wedding. During this time, one of her two surviving children, a girl of 3½, died. That left her with one child out of the nine she had borne. Nattrass would reappear in Mary Ann's life later.

Mary Ann returned to Sunderland and and took up employment at the Sunderland Infirmary, House of Recovery for the Cure of Contagious Fever, Dispensary and Humane Society. Her remaining child, Isabella, was sent to live with Mary Ann's mother.

At the infirmary, one of her patients was an engineer, George Ward. After an affair, they married in Monkwearmouth in August, 1865. However, George continued to suffer ill health, and died in October 1866, after a long illness characterised by paralysis and intestinal problems. The attending doctor later gave evidence that Ward was an ailing man but was surprised he had died so suddenly. Once again Mary Ann collected insurance money from the death of her husband.

James Robinson was a shipwright at Pallion, Sunderland, whose wife, Hannah, had recently died. James hired Mary Ann as a housekeeper in November 1866. One month later, when James's baby died of gastric fever, he turned to his housekeeper for comfort and she became pregnant. Then Mary Ann's mother, living in Seaham Harbour, County Durham, became ill so she immediately went to her. Her mother started getting better but began complaining of stomach pains soon after her daughter arrived. She died, aged 54, on 9 June, nine days after Mary Ann's appearance.

Mary Ann's daughter Isabella — from the marriage to William Mowbray — was brought back to the Robson household and soon developed bad stomach pains and died; so did another two of James's children. All three children were buried within two weeks of each other at the end of April 1867.

Four months later, the grieving father and widower married Mary Ann. Their baby — a daughter called Mary Isabella — was born in November. But she became ill with familiar symptoms and died in March 1868.

James, meanhile, had became suspicious of his wife's insistence that he insure his life and discovered that she had run up debts of £60 behind his back and had stolen more than £50 that she was supposed to have banked. The last straw was when he found she had been forcing his children to pawn household valuables for her. He threw her out.

Mary Ann was desperate and living on the streets. Then her friend Margaret Cotton introduced her to her brother Frederick, a pitman and recent widower living in Walbottle, Northumberland, who had lost two of his four children. Margaret had acted as substitute mother for the children, Frederick Jr and Charles, although in late March 1870 she died from an undetermined stomach ailment — leaving Mary Ann to console the grieving Frederick Sr. Soon she was pregnant again with her eleventh child.

Frederick and Mary Ann were bigamously married in September 1870 and their son Robert was born early in 1871. Soon after, Mary Ann learnt that her former lover, Joseph Nattrass, was no longer married and was living in the nearby village of West Auckland. She rekindled the romance and persuaded her new family to move near him. Frederick followed his predecessors to the grave in December of that year, from “gastric fever”. Insurance had been taken out on his and his son’s lives.

After Frederick’s death, Nattrass soon became Mary Ann’s lodger. She gained employment as nurse to an excise officer recovering from smallpox, John Quick-Manning. Soon she became pregnant by him with her twelfth child.

This time, the traditional speedy marriage could not follow: what about the Cotton children and Nattrass? Frederick Jr died in March of 1872 and the infant Robert soon after. Then Nattrass became ill with gastric fever, and died — just after revising his will in Mary Ann’s favour.

The insurance policy Mary Ann had taken out on Charles's life still awaited collection. And so it would have been, but for a careless conversation.

Mary Ann's downfall came when she was asked by a parish official, Thomas Riley, to help nurse a woman who was ill with smallpox. She complained that the last surviving Cotton boy, Charles Edward, was in the way and asked Riley if he could be committed to the workhouse.

Riley, who also served as West Auckland's assistant coroner, said she would have to accompany him. She told Riley that the boy was sickly and added: “I won’t be troubled long. He’ll go like all the rest of the Cottons.”

Riley replied: "No, nothing of the kind — he is a fine, healthy boy", and so he was shocked five days later when Mary Ann told him that the lad had died. Riley went to the village police and convinced the doctor to delay writing a death certificate until the circumstances could be investigated.

Mary Ann’s first port of call after Charles’s death was not the doctor’s but the insurance office. There, she learnt that no money would be paid out until a death certificate was issued. An inquest was held and the jury returned a verdict of natural causes. Mary Ann claimed to have used arrowroot to relieve his illness and said Riley had made the accusations because she had rejected his advances.

Then the local newspapers latched on to the story and discovered Mary Ann had moved around northern England and lost three husbands, a lover, a friend, her mother and a dozen children, all of whom had died of stomach fevers.

Rumour turned to suspicion and forensic inquiry. The doctor who tended to Charles had kept samples and they tested positive for arsenic. He went to the police who arrested Mary Ann and ordered the exhumation of Charles’s body. She was charged with his murder — although the trial was delayed until after the delivery of the child by Quick-Manning.

The defence at Mary Ann’s trial claimed that Charles died from inhaling arsenic used as a dye in the green wallpaper of the Cotton home. The jury retired for 90 minutes before finding Mary Ann guilty.

The Times correspondent reported on 20 May: "After conviction the wretched woman exhibited strong emotion but this gave place in a few hours to her habitual cold, reserved demeanour and while she harbours a strong conviction that the royal clemency will be extended towards her, she staunchly asserts her innocence of the crime that she has been convicted of."

Several petitions were presented to the home secretary, but to no avail. She was hanged at Durham County Jail on 24 March, 1873. She died slowly, the hangman having misjudged the drop required for a “clean” execution.

The Elements of Murder: A History of Poison

British Serial Killers


Juan Vallejo Corona was born in Mexico in 1934, and moved to Yuba City, California in the 1950s, to work on a farm. He soon became married and raised four daughters. Corona had reportedly suffered from schizophrenic episodes, but he was otherwise regarded as a hard worker. Corona eventually became a labor contractor in Yuba City,and he was in charge of hiring migrant workers to staff local farms. Most of the workers hired by Corona were from Mexico.

On May 19, 1971, the corpse of an adult male was found in a shallow grave on a Yuba City farm. This prompted the property owner to call the Sutter County Sheriff's Department. Homicide detectives ordered the area surrounding the grave be excavated, which unearthed a total of 24 additional male corpses, all of whom had been farm laborers. The coroner established that each of the victims had been hacked to death with a machete-like weapon.

Corona came under suspicion for the murders because he was supplying workers to the farm where the victims were found. Several bodies had documents on them showing that Corona's firm had retained their services, providing a concrete link between Corona and the victims. Corona was arrested by authorities and indicted for the murders. The victims had all been killed in a period of six weeks, Corona had been killing an average of one victim every 40 hours.

Corona denied culpability for the crimes, but was found guilty and sentenced to 25 life sentences. Corona eventually won a retrial following his exhaustive appeal processes. In his second trial, the defense posited that Corona's brother, who was deceased by then, was the real killer. Corona was convicted again and returned to prison after the strategy failed to persuade the court that he was innocent. Juan Corona is currently incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison.

It is theorized that Corona's murders were sexually motivated. Corona was known to have a very effeminate affect, and was believed to be a closet homosexual. Homosexuality was a major taboo in the Mexican-American community at the time of the murders, and many people believe that he had committed the murders to prevent his victims from revealing alleged homosexual trysts with Corona.

The Road to Yuba City: A Journey into the Juan Corona Murders

Murders In The United States: Crimes, Killers And Victims Of The Twentieth Century

Serial Killers: The Insatiable Passion