August 31, 2015 |
Mark Potts has been a history buff since his grandfather entertained him decades ago with tales of the Titanic. But in recent years, the Berks County resident's fascination has expanded from simply absorbing the history to researching it - and maybe even changing it. At least when it comes to one of the nation's most infamous serial killers. Two years ago, Potts reached out to Jeff Mudgett, a Las Vegas lawyer and great-great-grandson of the man known as H.H. Holmes, who killed at least 27 people - possibly many more - before he was hanged in a Philadelphia prison in 1896.
October 1, 2014 |
Why would an otherwise balanced person - a noted philanthropist and SPCA board member, no less - write a biography of one of history's most notorious, prolific serial killers? For Valerie Ogden, it was a family matter. The Chestnut Hill actor found out in 2009 that she was related by marriage to the 15th-century aristocrat Baron Gilles de Rais, who raped and killed hundreds of children. "My nephew was marrying this lovely French girl," said Ogden, whose authorial debut, Bluebeard: Brave Warrior, Brutal Psychopath (History Publishing; 295 pages; $18.95)
January 24, 2014 |
EVERY TIME the phone rang, the Turner family's hearts jumped and their eyes darted to the television, their hopes and fears resting on the number that appeared in the caller ID on the screen. They prayed it would be Stephanie Turner, calling after more than a week of silence, saying she was ready to get help with her heroin addiction. They would have been relieved if it were a hospital or a close friend, saying Stephanie is safe. But on a recent foggy Tuesday afternoon, Caroline Turner, Stephanie's mother, said she knew this daily drama could end in the worst way, in Camden or Atlantic City.
November 1, 2013 |
SOME bands light fireworks or build elaborate backdrops to liven up their stage shows. The Serial Killers would attack a man in a wheelchair and pull ropes of bloody guts from his belly as he howled in agony. Or they'd drag a pregnant spectator onstage, wrench a two-headed baby from between her legs and then pass it around like a football. And that nun protesting their immorality with her Bible nearby? They'd drop her pants and burn her bum with a branding iron. It was all fake, of course, but such antics - appalling or amusing, depending on your sense of humor - made the pioneering gore-punk band a mainstay of Philadelphia's underground punk-rock scene in the 1980s.
September 28, 2013 |
The state Attorney General's Office on Thursday said miscommunication and an "overzealous" delivery led one of its staffers to sprinkle references to al-Qaeda, child pornography, and serial killers into a talk with 9- and 10-year-olds in a Lower Merion school this week. Shirley Clifford learned about the assembly at Merion Elementary School when her fifth-grade daughter crawled into the backseat of her van Wednesday. "She got in the car and was like, 'Do you know there's a website to look up murderers?
May 31, 2013 |
* THE KILLING. 8 p.m. Sunday, AMC. BE CAREFUL what you wish for. If you were frustrated before by AMC's "The Killing" - two seasons to solve one teenage girl's murder! - then a 12-episode season that everyone involved supposedly pinky-swears will resolve multiple murders has to be a drama junkie's dream, right? Except, of course, that this means that detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) are tracking a serial killer. Serial killers are too well-represented on television to guarantee that Season 3 of "The Killing" will be as distinctive as the Seattle-set drama once appeared to be, back before a red herring or two too many turned the show - adapted by Vina Sud from a widely praised Danish series - into a serial killer of a different kind.
April 22, 2013 |
LOS ANGELES - NBC said Friday that it's pulling an episode of its serial-killer drama "Hannibal" out of sensitivity to recent violence, including the Boston bombings. The episode that was to air next week features a character, played by guest star Molly Shannon, who brainwashes children to kill other children. "Hannibal" executive producer Bryan Fuller asked NBC to pull the episode, citing the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December and this week's Boston Marathon attack, NBC spokesman Stuart Levine said.
April 9, 2013 |
LOS ANGELES - When Los Angeles cold-case detectives caught up with Samuel Little this past fall, he was living in a Christian shelter in Kentucky, his latest arrest a few months earlier for alleged possession of a crack pipe. But the LA investigators wanted him on far more serious charges: The slayings of two women in 1989, both found strangled and nude below the waist - victims of what police concluded had been sexually motivated strangulations. Little's name came up, police said, after DNA evidence collected at old crime scenes matched samples of his stored in a criminal database.
March 29, 2013 |
Almost 25 years after her severed head was found on a New Jersey golf course, police on Wednesday identified the woman they believe was the first victim of a notorious Long Island serial killer. New Jersey state police said Heidi Balch is believed to be the first of 17 women killed by Joel Rifkin during a four-year spree that ended when he was pulled over for a missing license plate in 1993 with a dead woman's body in the back of his pickup. Authorities have long believed the woman whose head was found in March 1989 on a golf course in Hopewell Township, near Trenton, was the first woman Rifkin killed.
March 14, 2013
EVEN BEFORE the head in the box arrived, I was feeling a little worn down by TV's love affair with crazed killers. OK, so it wasn't an actual head. But mounted on a Styrofoam stand, the bewigged and slightly cartoonish mask of Edgar Allan Poe, sent to promote Fox's "The Following," was an unpleasant reminder of the episode I'd recently screened in which a man wearing just such a Poe mask had set another man on fire. The next day, there would be genuine horror on all our TV screens, as reports began to come in about a shooting massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.