Narrowing the Dragnet–the Hunt for Mr. Cruel

Australia’s Mr. Cruel is certainly the embodiment of calculated evil. His preparations to limit any kind of forensic evidence he might leave behind were meticulously planned, almost over-planned.

But 2 things he forgot– his first attack and his final attack’s disposal site. His route to and from them he did not have to protect. He was a beginner at Lower Plenty with his first attack. He raped the poor girl in the house while her family was gagged and tied up. Then he left and went back to his squalid lair to fester.

I’m sure he chose the most direct route home. Why would he not?

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The dump site for Victim 4.

 

For his next 2 attacks he had to be evasive to protect his route home. At both home attacks the fiend kidnapped the under-aged victims and took them to his lair, there to assault them for 18 and 50 hours respectively. He made sure he drove down side routes and back and forth down streets. Both girls said that he drove all around.

This is curious, as it suggests that his route back home was rather straightforward.

LowerP-routes-1

1, marks the attack site in Lower Plenty. This was Mr. Cruel’s first victim. No major highway is near there. But Rural 44 courses down to merge with a very significant route– Rural 40. Arrows mark the way. Click to enlarge.

For these last two attacks he had clearly used the M3 Highway at one point, either to access them or then to drop them back off  in neighborhoods near to where they lived. He passed one of the victim’s home to get to Bayswater, and he stopped just short of Victim’s 3 neighborhood to drop her off in Kew. Each site was off the M3.

But for his final victim this was unnecessary.  He used either Rural 40 or the M3 to access her neighborhood too, but he either never intended to bring her back or something went wrong and she got a glimpse of his face or, worse, something that would easily mark the location of his lair. Precise location would more quickly identify him than a facial composite.

Routes intersect

The route to and from Lower Plenty is marked with yellow arrows (Rural 44 and 40). High Street is marked in red arrows. Dump site for Victim 4 is marked 4. Click to enlarge.

Mr. Cruel drove her to a landfill at High Street and Mahoneys Road. There was no need to disguise his way there. He knew he was going to snuff out her life, which he did with 3 shots to the head. This intersection, under development at that time, is on remarkably straight line from the major streets that he would have used to return from Lower Plenty.

This bolsters the hypothesis that these two locations and the direct routes that service them lead to his lair. We can ad one other factor. Both kidnapped girls that he had returned after their harrowing ordeal reported hearing jets fly overhead while they were kept chained to the bed in his lair. They sounded like they were coming in for a landing. This told police that the lair was under the flight approach to the Melbourne Airport.

Routes-40

Route 40 is significant. It is marked in yellow arrows. It connects the northeast and east area of Melbourne where Mr. Cruel struck with the north of Melbourne and the communities under the airport flight path. It also connects to the M3 (broad red line)Attack points are marked in numbers. Drop off points are marked by stars.  Click to enlarge.

The communities under this flight path were Keilor, Plenty, Watsonia, McLeod, Strathmore, and Coburg. Most important here for us is Coburg. The roads we have discussed above lead straight to Coburg. This is where we begin.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

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Antifa Medium . . .

This is perhaps a post that will be understood only by dedicated students of the Manson Family. It is not a political post. I’m not going to touch on politics really.  I’m writing about the “antiestablishment”  movement of the 21st century. Just like the original counterculture of the 1960s, it has created a medium in which certain things grow. Let’s make some comparisons, since they may relate to true crime.

When the Great Recession hit, thousands of kids got tossed from their homes by repo. They are about 10 years older now.  Their impression of the elder generation is not a very good one. They saw bankers who couldn’t balance their bottom line, politicians who paved the way for the housing crisis, and parents who didn’t even know how to take out a loan on a house properly. There is little reason for them to have respect for their elders, on these grounds. Then there is constant Middle East wars that never end.

Their education has not been impressive. They’ve grown up in a world where they learn vocabulary’s meaning from seeing people’s reactions, and these reactions are frequently guided by the Me Tarzan, You Jane equations of social media.

Within this generation there are the radicals.

The original antiestablishment movement bred radicals too, but the first heretics where the Manson Family. They were a gang of criminals with cult-like devotion to their exclusive self important unction to save the remnant of mankind.

Anybody who has seen the 1973 documentary Manson will immediately be struck by the strange simplicity and yet Hollywood superficiality of the Manson Family. They were performers and radicals, egoists hiding behind the claim they were going to save “the little ones” from the upcoming Helter Skelter. They lived simple lives (on a movie ranch, though) but had all the flamboyance of rock wannabes. Gang-like killings and revenge killings went part and parcel with their agenda.

For the “now,” for the 21st century, Antifa are the radicals. They are not the heretics.

Check out the mugshots of the members of Antifa who were arrested for beating people in Berkeley. Though they are merely radicals, what you see there is only the tip of the iceberg. Most are well groomed and arrogant, expecting whites, some with very fashionable butch haircuts, berets and punk/funk glasses.

Antifa-newsphotos

Others, however, put on black, tight masks, hoods, carried shields and baseball bats and protected their knees and elbows with sportsgear. They looked like some evil cartoon avengers.

These are the radicals. But who will be the heretics?

It takes more guts to prepare for street gang and thug warfare than it does to plant bombs, arrange murders, and fester with evil plans in freight elevators, and prepare to raid gun stores to get their goods.

The Manson Family did just that, all for Charlie, all to help a member of their “family.” The heretics need a focal point. They need stifling moral superiority.

Some 50 years later a far worst medium is developing in which such heretics thrive, and soon they will conglomerate. The worst of the worst will then plot together. The most self-righteous, the most hateful.

chicks-color3
Three of Manson’s followers preparing for Armageddon.

What should we expect the future to bring? The “first” Berkeley riots were in 1964, were they not? Within 5 years we were at the pinnacle of the counterculture. Following that we had the lawless, dystopic 1970s and the Zebra Killings, then the Symbionese Liberation Army– chic urban guerillas robbing banks at gunpoint in the name of liberation and kidnapping heiresses.

A new type of Manson Family is brewing. Only the medium out of which it will come is not one that started with “love.” All students of the original antiestablishment movement should start making comparisons. One thing all can deduce fairly easily– the heretics of this movement, already steeped in violence, will be much worse and far more political than The “Family.”

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

EAR/ONS–What Truly IS His Face?

On my Witnesses in Charcoal page on the Q Files I go into some detail, though not excessive detail, trying to work out the origins of the EAR sketches in public circulation. No one sketch will be entirely too accurate, but taken together we should get a fairly reliable outline, if all the sketches taken down of a “suspicious person” in the general neighborhoods both before or after an attack are truly of EAR.

Those who follow true crime cases know that a single sketch is shaky at best for reflecting complete reliability. Take the case of ZODIAC, for example. Only two real sketches exist, and they were quite at odds.

Until EAR’s attack on Victim 15 in Rancho Cordova (Benny and Dolecetto), there had been no victim who had seen EAR’s face while he was in action. Here he wore a tight balaclava– these are the ski masks with a thin visor for the area of the eyes. No holes. It is called the “open face” mask because of the sketch. But it is not an open face mask. There is no such thing obviously. In this case, his face was revealed because he had pulled the visor area down around his chin in order to do his thing. The victim got a view of his face briefly.

This is it.

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A sketch was done. Later, a composite was done minus the distorted ski mask around his face. It was the same face, only now hair and ears were worked in based on other reports. This progression gives us what is sometimes called the “most reliable sketch.”

image_large-unknown suspect

My purpose here is not to argue what is the most reliable sketch. (I don’t think any single one is.) It is merely to reiterate the provenance of the sketch often called the most reliable. It has been mislabeled many times, including being called the sketch based on the report of Rod Miller, the Ripon Court Shooting victim.

The problem with the second sketch above is that the facial features are based on the distortion of the face caused by a tight balaclava stretched back– this causing the face to look rounder/wider, the eyes more open, the upper and perhaps lower lip pulled back and thus look wider too, and the eyebrows look long along the side of the head. As you can see, the sketch reflects just such features.

Most sketches of EAR make him look like he has a longer face and narrower chin, which is what the composite above would look like if not for the effects of the distorting balaclava. Adjusting the composite above in accordance with this results in the following:

Comparison-image_large-unknown suspect-adjusted

The adjustment is on the right. The face is narrower, the upper lip thinner, the eyebrows shorter and the eyes slightly narrower.

A video was done showing the transmutation from the original sketch to the adjusted sketch by one of my Twitter followers, and it can be viewed on my Twitter feed.

In the long run, no single sketch really shows a distinctive face. EAR, if this is him, had nothing truly unique about him. A few composites show a heavy lower lip and heavy narrow jaw, but that is the only feature that is distinctive. A tight balaclava pulled under the chin would hide such a feature and thus it is absent above in the “most reliable” sketch.

*         *          *

Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Mr Cruel’s 4th Night Out

It hadn’t been the usual stretch between attacks. It was April 13, 1991. The location (Templestowe) fit with Mr. Cruel’s broad area of attack off the M3 in the east/northeast of Melbourne. It was a corner house, at a main cross road– Serpells and Church.

13 year old Karmein Chan was home with her two younger sisters. They were watching a documentary about Marilyn Monroe. The parents were tending to one of their popular Chinese restaurants. It was a little past 9 p.m. Karmein and one of her sisters went to the kitchen. There facing them in the darkened hallway was a man standing there wearing a balaclava ski mask. In his hand was a large carving knife. ChanHe led them back to the bedroom and shoved both of the younger sisters into a closet and sealed them therein using the bed.

Karmein Chan was his intended victim. He took her. When the sisters got free they found the house was empty. The police came screaming to the area. A thorough search revealed a cut window screen via which the intruder had entered. Curiously, the Chan’s car outside in the driveway was spray-painted: “Payback Asian Drug Dealer.”  The door was lettered: “More and more to come.”

Police investigation proved that the Chans weren’t connected with drug dealing. The lettering on the car, coupled with the location of the attack, and the sisters’ description of the intruder, all smacked of Mr. Cruel. It was his MO to leave a false motive as a misleading clue. In each case, so far, he had done that. Usually it had been verbal, something one of the parents or siblings could relate to the police. While the police were chasing false clues, this gave him time with the kidnapped Mr.cruelgirls to assault and film them in his hideous lair before he returned them to a street corner somewhere.

He didn’t do that here. He didn’t leave any false clue with the sisters. The false clue was in the lettering of the family car.

But then there was a kink in the MO. Karmein never returned. Despite her mother pleading on the TV, despite days going by, Karmein was never seen again. This wasn’t Mr. Cruel’s MO.

Almost a year later on April 9, 1992, Karmein’s remains were found in a field at a cross street under development. The bulldozer uncovered the skull first. Forensics proved it was Karmein. She had been dispatched by 3 bullets to the back of the head (presumably a small caliber gun).

Chan grave

There is therefore some debate. Was Mr. Cruel responsible? From the broader picture, it seems he was. Therefore there was some speculation. Karmein was pretty feisty.  She was the kind to fight back. It is possible that she got a view of Mr. Cruel and he disposed of her to protect his wicked identity.

If so, this fits with Mr. Cruel’s excessive zeal to protect his identity.  Yet what were the chances that Karmein’s composite of him would truly lead to his identity? Many villains have had more than one sketch done of them by eyewitnesses and have never been caught. Either Mr. Cruel was a very recognizable citizen, had a distinguishing mark under the mask, or he was truly ignorant of the stats that a single eyewitness, even briefly, could lead to his identity.

Either Mr. Cruel was really dumb or really smart, from an evil standpoint anyway. Or perhaps she saw something more incriminating. Perhaps she saw the lair and it was in a distinctive area.

In any event, Mr. Cruel was obviously cold-blooded enough to commit the murder of a 13 year old child just on the belief he was protecting his identity.

Mr. Cruel never struck again. Either killing Karmein took too much out of him or. . . or why? Perhaps because he had a murder charge hanging over him now, and the coward realized it was too risky. He disappeared, and remains one of Australia’s most sought after villains.

As this case ends the known and accepted Mr. Cruel attacks, it is time to go into some analysis. Mr. Cruel left clues, and the most revealing are found in the broader picture of the crime spree and his stalking MO.

In the next post we will begin to assemble these.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

 

 

 

 

Solving ZODIAC: The Significance of 1 out of 5

There have been by my count 5 lovers’ lanes serial killers.

1, The Phantom of Texarkana (1946)
2, The Zodiac Killer (1968-’69)
3, The Monster of Florence (1968-1970s)
4, The Atlanta Lovers’ Lane Murders (1977)
5, The Shadow Slayer of Colonial Parkway (1986-’89)

None have ever been solved.

In essence these are tarmac killings, with a kink. It is almost impossible to put a suspect at a given location on a road or in a parking lot at a given time. All police had were shell casings and ballistics.

Of these, the most clues were left by the Zodiac Killer, but how many of these were false clues? He made the most mistakes, and we can thereby get a handle on his appearance. The others left very little. There is nada on the Shadow Slayer. No clues as to height, weight or appearance. The Phantom of Texarkana is yet another who could live up to the “phantom” moniker. The first two victims (survivors) are only assumed to be the victims of the Phantom. It is from them that we get the image of the grain sack on the head. Yet both disagreed about any other description of the assailant.

The significance of solving one of these is tremendous. It will be the first time that a lovers’ lane serial has been nailed. There have been lovers’ lane murders that have been solved; individual crimes where the suspect could be outed due to motive. But these 5 sprees were thrill killings. There was no motive that connected the killer to the victims.

Consider the labor that must go into solving one of these. I know many have long awaited HorrorScope, but if you have read my EAR/ONS section on Q Files you know what kind of effort I put into my investigations.  The fame of the ZODIAC and all the cynicism out there about solving the case causes me to be doubly careful. Much plays out behind the scenes (unlike with EAR/ONS) and I must also prepare a thesis for one of the jurisdictions (which I promised). It must be powerful enough to warrant a warrant.

It is being done the right way for a change. As all of you have learned, I am not the product of publicity. I often fly so low I am under sonar. The events transpiring right now may or may not delay HorrorScope. We will see. I will, of course, keep you updated.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

In Quest of the real Phantom of the Opera– NORCAL RAPIST

Still . . .

He is the last holdout. He is the last of the calculated predators who methodically assessed their victims long before the fact. He has faded into obscurity and this has helped preserve his evil identity in the shadows despite one victim having put a scar over his right eye. Rapists don’t get the press they deserve. Only murderers get those catchy monikers that draw our attention. This villain in question here is only known as NORCAL Rapist because he traveled the distance between the Bay Area, Sacramento and Chico– thus northern California. But he is more than a rapist. His name and the number of his attacks do not reflect his evil. He is the last of the tainted breed of calculating predators.

He did not waylay. Somehow he found out the identity of his victims and attacked them in their house. He had carefully planned his performance. He wore masks– on a Halloween attack he wore a trick-or-treat mask. He even sluiced some of his dialogue with sarcasm. He had the gall, above all else he did, to even park in one victim’s garage. When she returned home from work, she thought it was her roommate’s friend’s car. It was NORCAL. He had already bound her roommate inside, parked his car in the garage, and awaited his next victim. Just like a spider in its web. He raped both and then took both into the shower to try and get rid of any forensic evidence.

300px-Phantomtechnicolor

Only Sacramento County, as I have said before, filed against his DNA– thus bypassing statute of limitations. I don’t believe any information was officially preserved in the other jurisdictions where he struck. Police reports have probably been thrown out.

He has been silent since 2006. Ten victims fell before him– twice as many as that attributed to Jack the Ripper.

It is essential that this villain is outed. A step in this direction, of course, is detailed information. The location of the strikes need to be revealed. This will assist in finally solving this case. This will eventually reveal his stalking MO and probably how he uncovered and scoped-out his intended victims.  It is still possible to catch this dramatic, taunting home and life breaker.

He attacked in Rohnert Park, Martinez, Vallejo, Woodland, Davis, Sacramento, Chico starting in the early 1990s. He robbed his victims and in one case was captured on an ATM camera wearing a distorting facial mask.

If you have any information, please message or email me. Thank you. It will remain confidential.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

ZODIAC II– The New York Zodiac Killer– What if?

As those who follow me know, I don’t touch much on solved cases. I quest for the solution to many mysteries. True crime holds little interest to me. Pursuit of mystery for the sake of solution does hold great interest. And I think many who follow me here share those sentiments.

But there are benefits to studying some solved cases. They do not really tell you what might be at play in unsolved cases, but they show you potential. They teach you never to rely on any stereotype.

A case in point is the New York Zodiac, also called ZODIAC II. You all know my stance on copycat crime sprees– they are pure folklore. On the surface the crimes of ZODIAC II would seem to disprove that assertion. Yet a study of the case, which is actually one of the most fascinating solved cases, reveals not a copycat of the Zodiac Killer of the Bay Area, but stolen inspiration from a far more exciting folklore surrounding the Zodiac Killer.

Anybody familiar with both crime sprees would know that Seda, the New York Zodiac, was actually far more imaginative and original than the Zodiac Killer. Astrology was a sham and ruse to the real Zodiac, but it was integral to ZODIAC II. I am going to be starting a series of articles here on Seda, approaching the crime spree from an unsolved aspect to show how easy it is to build up a villain into something he is not. Had ZODIAC II gone unsolved, Seda would have committed the No. 1 crime spree in this nation, and he would have been the last to be suspected. Taking the case purely on its clues and not solution may shed light on the world of unsolved serial murders. The truth behind any evil villain is not so impressive after the mask of mystery is removed.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.