« Casefile True Crime

Case 215: The One-Man Crime Wave

2022-06-11 | 🔗
*** Warning: This case involves a child victim *** On May 26 1978, four-year-old Eric Christgen suddenly disappeared while playing in a park in St Joseph, Missouri. The next day, his body was discovered near the Missouri River, sparking a manhunt like the small town had never seen before. --- Narration – Anonymous Host Research & writing – Jessica Forsayeth Creative direction – Milly Raso Production and music – Mike Migas Music – Andrew D.B. Joslyn This episode's sponsors: SimpliSafe – Get 40% off the entire security system BetterHelp – Get 10% off your first month of professional counselling with a licensed therapist DoorDash – Get 25% off and FREE delivery for your first order of $15 or more with promo code ‘CASEFILE’ Lindsay Buziak Murder – Legal Fund – Donate to Jeff Buziak’s legal fund and continue to keep Lindsay’s case from being forgotten   For all credits and sources please visit casefilepodcast.com/case-215-the-one-man-crime-wave
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Rum, audio boom studios and wooden I'd media. What makes a killer returns were season for jennifer nato so and I'll, be your host as we examined thirteen new killers. This season we'll take a look infamous killers, including dian downs, Gary ridgeway, the green river killer, ted Bundy and Denis raider. The bt k killer, follow a sun spot a fine or subscribe on apple pod, castles sticker or wherever you find. Your favorite shows araby so still with serious and often distressing incidents. If you feel at any time, you need support, please contact your local cross, a shadow for suggested phone numbers for confidential support place said the shore notes for this episode on Europe or on our website
today's episode involves crimes against children and white, be suitable roll listeners on Saturday may, twenty seven nineteen, seventy eight a thunderstorm lashed the? U S, state of missouri in the north west city of Saint Joseph hundreds of locals braced, the cold wet weather trudge through Would it banks of the Missouri river beyond the railroad on the cities western edge, they were searching for something, thereby fled beyond the well worn walking tracks and into the dense fog age, where muddy conditions made for a hazardous track. As the sun began to set their task became even more difficult, determined and desperate. the searches continued on with flashlight in hand, but with time
and the elements against them. It was only a matter of minutes before the search would be called off. Justice Things were starting to wrap up for the night. One group came across them trampled undergrowth that led to an area of a long waits. Hidden within was something red and blue pulling back the foliage. The group found what they had been looking for. Meanwhile, the nearby and horn stay cas, exhausted members of the search party had gathered inside seeking refuge from the harsh, whether all of a sudden, room fell. Silent has. The restaurants are not called out with the news all obeying longing to hear a collective sense of relief washed over the crab. Who erupt into a round of cheese and applause, Eric Christian, had been found
and he was alive and well. the more in downtown saint Joseph was unusually quiet for a friday afternoon. As many local residents and business owners were spending the upcoming memorial day long weekend, vacationing elsewhere,. aaron card. I was looking forward to the three day break ahead. She just one more errand to run before finishing up work. For the day it was nearing three p m when current wondered
through the near empty more on the look out first store that was both still open and hide what she needed. Current had been tasked with purchasing and american flag to display in her bosses office. In order Of memorial day and the full and military personnel it observed, she soon came across her books. That was still trading with american flags for sale. As current approach, the storefront she felt a And tighten around her own way by her side was eric christian. Her bosses, for you old son Eric was a familiar face in the wall, not products company office, which was own, by Eric's father Edwin Christian Karen had offered to take care with her to the more so Edwin could focus solely on his managerial duties. Eric was enthusiastic about the trip which included the launch of phosphates,
restaurant as well as a driving his father's cadillac bud It was a small play area for children out the front of the bookstore that had Eric wide eyed and excited he beckoned Karen towards it, and asked if he could play there while she shot in nearby Karen, who would only gone for a minute. A great when she came back. at moments later, Eric was gone view people in the vicinity of the bookstore had noticed. The blonde hair blue eyed, Eric wearing a blue and red striped shirt with Denham james of those who did none had seen him leave. He wasn't found in the mall, its parking area or anywhere else close by making it highly unlikely. He had seen They wandered off
a witness soon came forward, who had seen a boy matching Eric description, half an hour after he disappeared from the mall, walking along the train tracks near the Missouri river on the western side of town an older man, was with him, follow When this revelation, the search shifted from a little boy lost to a possible adoption Nothing didn't same an outrageous possibility, given the prominence and wealth of the christian family. even they assumed Eric, had been taken as he was the outgoing child, who had no qualms talking to strangers decreased Family waited anxiously over not forward of a ransom demand, but I They were saved calls from paypal offering their sympathies after twenty four hours.
passed with no sign of his son. Edwin Christian offered a ten thousand dollar reward for Eric safe return. He told reporters, I'm afraid some kook may have my son. I don't care about the money. I just want my son back more than five hundred local volunteers, bribed the wet and thunderous. Whether the following day, heading to the Missouri river to conduct a large scale search of the area by now. Several more reports had come through from people who had seen a boy similar to Eric christian walking along the adjacent train tracks with an unknown man. If they sightings were correct and Eric was out there, the harsh conditions pose a significant threat to his survival. The search lasted all day and into the night, although that
having given up hope of finding Eric alive was dwindling. volunteers gathered in the and horn stay casper short reprieve news soon reach them. That area They found alive and well celebrations was short lived as follow up calls were made and reports clarified. Eric had indeed been found. However, he was deceased he's body, lay hidden among the trees wade's into bracken that framed the Missouri river. Not far, from the rail road. He had suffocated but there was no evidence on nor around him to definitely prove how he's unbuttoned jaynes hinted at what was lighter, confirmed viral topsy. Eric had being sexually assaulted in a move that
horrified and disgusted locals a photo was Eric's body lying in the brash was printed on the front page of the ST joseph news press. newspapers eta defended his decision against the wave of complaints, saying we felt the pitcher have beneficial results. If a while raisin reason than teaching adults not too late. Children unattended in public places Coincidentally, the exact time that Eric was adopted. A report I had been norming inside the mall is part of a documentary. Forty five seconds of forty two had panned across several storefront stopping in front of the bookstore just short of the children's play area.
By pure lock. The play area had been captured in the reflection of one of the shop windows. Eric couldn't be detected in the footage, but a few adults were called on camera. The footage was broadcast on the evening news with police urging those featured within to come forward. Nobody dared but a local who lived half a mile from the crime scene reported that arise. And one I am on saturday, they heard a short sharp scream, followed by crying. Several witnesses had now come forward to report saying boy who matched Eric description within the hour that he went missing. Dial saw him walking along the train. Tracks need the Missouri river within a man tightly gripping his arm and leading him along. The boy did in it debate in any distress.
The witnesses h under when hypnosis in an effort to uncover more details- and I suspect, sketch was Created as a result of their descriptions to me, and was described as forty five years old around six feet tall when two hundred pounds with dark gray hair, he will walked with a strange guide and here He's right arm out had an odd angle, investigators, questioned and clear recent parole lays from them is restate penitentiary, diet, so paid a visit to a psychiatric hospital in Saint Joseph, where a lack of security men, it was common for patients. To occasion, We wonder from the grounds, but no Gay pays had been reported at the time of iraqi christians murder. Yet one stuff,
I mentioned that a patient who had been admitted shortly after Eric's body was found had been exhibiting strange behaviour Repeatedly wrote Eric's name over and over on a piece of paper, but was ultimately eliminated from the investigation to hundred lady came through two detectives in the first few days of the investigation alone, but Eric's killer continued to elude done. ring he might strike again. The mayor of Joseph urged the community to keep a closer eye on their children and editorial. Oh printed, in the saint Joseph news, press warned Eric. Christian was slain by someone. Who's derangements are continuing threat to children as long as these person is loose among us, no families safe
No child is safe. The fbi, behavioral science unit, concluded that the suspect was likely a white neo who lived a quiet, solitary life had never been married and was either unemployed or worked a menial job near the side of the Erik's abduction. Sixty four year old, Harry Fox fit the bill. An unwed introvert fox worked as a job adopting a fourteen story, lore office, known as the coolby building located one blocked from them all. He had a slight intellectual disability and had difficulty engaging in conversation, but was known, be friendly to children. He walked slowly ie. With these ride on hold at an odd angle, much like the man said
walking along the train tracks with their christian. The day Eric was adopted had been foxes, birthday. Hurry fox came to the attention of investigators. After someone reported seeing a boy who matched Eric description at the coolby building on the day of his abduction, investigative confronted fox at work can hold him off the questioning telling his boss that he was a sauce backed in the Eric Christian. Murder during his interrogation fox was clearly scared. An hour into questioning, he requested a drink of water after taking a few sips box lent forward in his chair and put his head between he's lying eggs waiting shaking and then vomiting fox collapsed under the floor, convulsing and gasping for breath.
An ambulance was cold, but it was too late. Harry Fox had died of a heart attack, he's boss, tolerable. What is I knew? Hurry fox was here in the building from one to four p m. That day the christian boy was kidnapped, and I told the two officers about that when they talked with me in hindsight, foxes, poor health and physical impairment, made it impossible for him to have reached the Missouri river to kill area can dispose of his body. Fox was also said. vacantly heavier than this aspect: saint walking on the railway tracks, describing fox as our lovable person, his men. Just said,
Is inhumane for those offices to talk with him? After I told them all about in harry box, was posthumously dismissed as a sauce, backed with the owner of the coolby building, commenting. he's dead is the same as that little boys, the weapon. Were arrogance and a lack of compassion, telling the public that investigators were more or less at a dead end. Saint Joseph police chief Robert Hayes, spoke of the real. Stage effort that were undertaking to re, examine all the tipps so far received one such tab. which had grown into a sizeable laid was in relation to a suspect that investigators kept tight. Lipped about the man was well known around town as a pass to regularly shoplifted install cause he'd recently spent time in this state hostile
where he was diagnosed. With quote mental. Retardation and anti social behaviour, also had a background of inappropriate sexual behaviour towards children. Specifically, one incident. Where he bluntly, asked a three year old relative to commit a sex act on him Several witnesses have also placed him around them all the time Eric was there, including one whose Oh him, walking towards the building moments before Eric disappearance. when the police showed up at the home where Melvin Reynolds lived with his parents, he wasn't surprised. As detailed in the book innocent blood by terry Gagne. I knew it was only a matter of time before they came. Knocking hey had considered late. Town until the hate died down but knew that
would draw suspicion. Instead, he opened the door And let the offices inside up to this point The twenty five year old unemployed cook had been questioned about Eric christians, murder on nine separate occasions. Within eight months, Reynolds had taken polygraph tests and a great to be hypnotized maintaining throughout. That he wasn't at the mall when Eric Christian was present. He said that he had been at a hospital by visiting a friend and had parties car at the coolby building the same place where previous sauce back terry fox worked. Reynolds claimed. He then went to unemployment office before returning home. Yet every time Reynolds was questioned, he incriminated himself further with he's version events changing slightly in age re telling.
Although he was initially cooperative Tom war on. He became more irritated by the police's suspicion. Then one day, investigators drove Melvin reynolds to the local hospital to meet with a psychologist, while there was given a dose of sodium amateur or through an ivy line you. Does a sedative the drug, also it had the reputation of being a truth, serum that was used to coax unspoken or repressed memories from kg suspects. When dosed reynolds became drowsy. The questioning then began when asked. If he had killed Eric christian reynolds maintained, he didn't have anything to do with it. Thawed as the acidity of two
further, a fact he remarked, I saw the boy on the more before I killed. He then paused and backtracked saying Before I went to the unemployment office On Wednesday February fourteen nineteen, seventy nine, nearly nine months after Eric Christian, was killed. Melvin Reynolds sat with three police officers. Reynolds had said he was finally ready to confess, but he was finding it hard to talk. He was then offered an alternative To save him from having to say what was troubling him, he could instead write it down reynolds a grade and picked up a pen. He rode of how he watched every christian playing at the mall before approaching him, taking him by the hand and walking him.
the Missouri river. Once there he sexually assaulted Eric. With this information now committed to paper, Reynolds permitted investing It is to re interview him on camera. He described the fear that Eric experienced and tell the boy fainted during the attack causing him to full backwoods and Haiti's heads. Saying he was relieved to finally have it all of his chest. Reynolds added I just felt like It was going to catch up with me sooner or later. The officers then called in the candy prosecutor, mock ins guy, who listened Melvin Reynolds confessed again saying The words I killed Eric Christian.
The morning after Melvin reynolds made days full admissions, he directed detectives to the area where he had killed Eric Christian and disposed of his body. He was then presented at the county courthouse way: Was charged with the four year old second degree murder. He was held on a fifty thousand dollar bond at the county jail where he was segregated from other prisoners. For he's. Safety, due to the nature of his crime,. prior to trial reynolds. Journey had him assessed at a psychiatric facility, but leaving that he's client could play guilty by reason of insanity. If tests proved he was suffering from significant mental illness when he killed Eric, This would mean Reynolds would be incarcerated in psychiatric facility rather than a prison within Thirty, five minutes of interviewing reynolds the psychiatrist concluded that he'd been experience
seeing no serious mental illness at the time of erics murder. Melvin Reynolds was ordered to stand trial in october nineteen, seventy nine when he finally fronted cord debate five hundred days since Eric Christian was abducted, reynolds opted to test The fire in his own defence, using his time, in the witness box to recant his confession and profess his innocence. The overwhelming evidence against him, insured he's plays, were ignored after just three days of court proceedings. Send a further seventy hours, deliberation the jury returned a verdict, but this in the gray murder. A very christian melvin Reynolds was found guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison prosecuting attorney markings. Go said. Why
lucky in this county to have such fine investigators. They checked double, checked and checked again. To be absolutely sure they had the right man case file will be back shortly. Thank you for supporting by listening to this episode sponsors. You all know that the case file tame loves the break in protection that simply safe home security, gives its clients bud It's not always outside forces that you need simply saves protection from mate, Amy S, simply safe customer and a chronic sleep walker who lives near a full line highway one nine! A few months ago, she slept, walked out of her bedroom and then continued right out the front door. That is a dangerous situation. She could
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Go to simply say for dot com, slash case file case Farley, sponsored by better help life can be overwhelming and many people a burned out without even knowing it seems firms can include lack of motivation, feeling, helpless or trapped detachment fatigue and more we associate burn out with work, but that's not the only cause any of our roles in law can lead us to feel burned down and better help online therapy. wants to remind you to prioritize yourself. Talking with someone can help you figure out, what's causing stress in your life, As the listeners would know the case, while team have using better hope for a while. Now, where susceptible to burn out, and the team had better help Pain so knowledgeable understanding and provide timely and helpful feedback that we can take on board that
hope is customized online therapy that office video phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist. So you don't have to see anyone on camera. If you don't want to it's much more affordable than in person therapy. You can be matched with a therapist in under forty eight hours case. listeners get ten percent off their first month that better help dot com, slash case file, that's bay, a t t a are hiv l, pay, dot com, slash case file. Michel steel was excited. She had never gone the city alone before so Monday July, nineteen nineteen. Eighty two was a big deal mitch you out for her eleven years of age, Michel had
entrusted by her parents to board abbas into downtown saint Joseph to attend a dentist appointment Ten thirty, I am bought by three thirty p m Michel still hadn't returned home. Her mother phoned dentists offer, and learned Michel had arrived on time the her morning appointment and spent I stand now I'm getting a prices adjusted. Then she laughed. That had been four hours ago. Insane reminiscent of the disappearance of Eric Christian for you, Earlier, a crowd of volunteer is joint police sing, conducting a large scale search for Michel, the saint involved in investigating erics case was also assigned to Michel's and they will win again again led by police chief robert haze, hey admonish.
Michelle's mother and left her in tears, saying what kind of mother. I you to let your little girl go down there alone, Don't you know about all the perverts down their michel's? the lighter addressed the criticism levelled at ease family by stating we lead, Go there alone thinking people were safe. Obviously, that's not true. In circumstances that early merit, erics abduction, two separate witnesses had said, a young girl and a man walking along the tracks by the Missouri river. The evening michelle was abducted, volunteer searches headed to area where, in a muddy section of the river bank, they found Small bright blue tennis shoe it looked to have washed ashore from upstream,
Michel stills mother sobbed confirming her door I had been wearing the shoe the day she vanished. Suddenly, Those searching the river ended surrounds, heard someone yelling. Michelle's uncle Roy Montgomery and then it's from the dense bush shouting loudly that he had found my show he had noticed some trampled vegetation and shoe prints pressed into the mud lading from the river to the nearby blobs, Roy followed the trial until he came across to logs law, between them was Michel's naked body having been partially concealed by large branches and foliage. She had being physically and sexually assaulted within prints on her wrists, indicating that she'd been restrained.
There were also human bite marks across her body. as Michel's body was taken from the side. One absurd whispered between tease, it's happening liver again fee It was now growing that a copy cat was following in the footsteps of convicted killer, Melvin reynolds Eric Chris, gin and Michel steals bodies were attacked in a similar manner and found within one mile of one another shells cause of death was also suffocation as a result of her ass apply, being cut off while face down in the mud, detectives were immediately suspicious of the circumstances in which michel was discovered, specifically the chances that her uncle Roy Montgomery happened to just stumble across her
Hidden remains mission, was described as sensible and responsible lading detectives to believe The only way in which he would be led to the remote area where she was found was if she was coached, thereby launching new entrusted with Minutes of having announced the discovery of his nieces body roy. Montgomery was swarmed by police and placed under arrest murder hours of questioning. Led to him being released without charge after a relative, provided a solid alibi for his whereabouts. The folks then shifted onto another sauce bat. Night fell in the hours after michel, steel was reported missing, three fish, a man on the Missouri river were quietly and diligently watching their rods into really in catfish how little
Further up the river bank, they know The man walking along with a radio in one hand, and a campaign The other, when he got within ten years, of the fishermen, he asked if we're having any luck before quickly. Moving on. The fishermen were wary of the stranger finding something. unnerving about in a few, hours later, a volunteer and Michel steel search party spotted the same me sitting alone under an over pause and called out to ask. If saying a redhead freckled face the girl, demain replied that he'd bank fishing in the area are all day and had insane her. These comments struck. The volunteer resolved is the man didn't have any fishing gear with him. An hour later, two detectives looking from the shell, also crossed paths with the man
He told them. He'd been fishing in the area all day, except that around seven p m. When he visited the Skaggs drugstore to purchase and alcohol. The detectives informed him that the drugstore Who's that six p m and the main reason he must have lost track of time. This was significant. As it has since been uncovered that, after leaving the dentist michel headed to Skaggs drugstore to blossom candy with pocket money, her mother had given her. Suspicious of the man loitering by the river detectives ass to say some identification. They ran a check on he's name richard harris to see if he had any outstanding warrants, but he was given the all clear and let go
search for Michel still continued, with little more thought given to richard Harris, as it turned out the location where detectives had confronted, Arris was ten yards from where michelle's body was found was later At that same morning, a security guard. At the saint Joseph state, mental hospital received a call from the facility switchboard operate on a destroyer. Men had presented to the hospital and was screaming and kicking the administration desk The security god rushed over finding the man sobbing, with these head in his hands and screaming make their voices quit. I can't stand them their scaring me. rummaging through the man's bag. The secure
god found some identification that determined him to be fifty three year out. I, why resident rigid clock clock said he had been staying at the local salvation army shelter, except for when he drank too much at which point he stayed by the river. When detectives received word of richard clocks, antics at the hospital they paid him, visit and concluded that richard clock and richard harris Well, one and the same Now there were even more suspicious as moving around in using different surnames is typically a tactic used by those who don't want to be located or identified and reach a clock had a history that he would want to distance himself from. In July nineteen. Eighty two richard clark was at a grocery store when he said
He saw it son an eleven year old boy when the boy rage today, To grab a bag of us for his mother, who was waiting outside clock grasped, he showed all. posing as a security guard clock, accused the boy of shoplifting and demanded to speak with his mother. He then a school but the boy through a door labelled employees only that to a rear exit once he outside clock pulled boy towards a nearby wooded area. realising something was amiss, the boy yanked free of clocks, grip and rushed back to his mother. The police were killed. And clock was apprehended for attempted a child abduction. The charges were ultimately trot, but clock voluntarily checked himself into a psychiatric hospital and was released after two months.
Less than three months later clock confronted, Nineteen year old woman in downtown saint Joseph and asked her to join him for coffee. Thing about the look in his eyes, terrified the woman and she told him too Go away and leave her alone the following day: clock approach, ten year old boy in a record store this time he claimed to be a police officer and accused the boy of shoplifting, before reaching to grab him by the arm. The boy ran off and alerted his grandmother. Who was so in the store by the time police arrived clock had fled. it wasn't until he came to the attention of detectives. Investigating michel steals murder that he was linked to these two filed abduction. Attempts. Clark had a relatively clean criminal record aside
a charge for petty larceny for which had been find one hundred dollars and he's fingerprints didn't match any unsolved crime scene. In the fbi database. However, our wealth forensic evidence linked him to the murder of Michel steel lengths of nor long cold. Founding clocks bag were the same wit, there's a ligature marks on Michel's wrists and the, body cells of he shoes matched the pattern of shoeprints leading to her body. The box on Michel's body, also aligned with the dental impression of clocks teeth when questioned about the crime, clock remained silent and refuse to cooperate with the police By the following month of august, he was being held at the Annie jail, one two hundred and fifty thousand dollars bile. Having Charged with first, the gray, murder.
While awaiting trial in early december nineteen, eighty two richard clock lay restrained to a chair in a psychiatrist office with an ivy line inserted into his veins. Sodium at all, was slowly moving through the true bent into clocks body hazing came into us. of near unconsciousness the dock moreover, saying that procedure had carried it out years. Prior unconvicted killer, Melvin Reynolds it had worked then to expedite the confession and detectives were convinced that would do so again. When asked why he was at the Missouri river, a sedated clock replied that he was drinking and hearing voices The voices ordered him not to talk to anyone and told him the same thing over and over clock then grimaced and fell asleep.
He was hastily shaken awake, which prompted him to bloody out the vote, has told me to sacrifice a maiden went ass if following the command clock, replied. Sometimes I think I did all the The truth, serum prompted melvin reynolds confession to iraqi christians murder. It didn't appear too The same impact on richard clark here made silent after he session often spend these days lying unresponsive on the floor of his cell. Yet a psychiatric report concluded, Clark is mute by deliberate choice. This is me it is m, is observed to have a sudden said after legal difficulties. He's exaggerated mass movements squinting of the eyes and head banging. only when he believes he's being Observed it is my appeal,
and that he does not have a mental disease or defect a doktor at the saint Joseph state hospital called clark, a professional faker who knew how to fool people into thinking. He was suffering from a significant mental illness. Then, almost six months after the truth, serum was administered, clocks, growth and no turn a piece of paper and slid to a sheriffs deputy doing the morning rounds through the cell house. He had written. Please call the fbi and tell them. I would like to say them today very important case. Special agent Joseph halt slag had worked the Eric christian case and now he sat face to face with richard clock. Another accused child killer No clock had summoned the fbi, he still wouldn't spake. Instead,
Had he pulled out a small piece of folded paper from the inside if he saw and handed it to agent hold slag. It was a segment of a map showing a city cold rock island in the state of illinois them sis ii be river sniped. Its way through the map underneath were a set of directions which read in part On the arsenal side of the bridge, there's a guard on the right side about them. All of the royal look toward the bank walk about ten fate to the bank, there's still rod sticking out under the rod and look to your left about to fade, dig under the rocks. You will find a body
motioning with his hands that he had more to say, clock was handed a pen and paper. He rode come back after you find it. The next day and f b, I field agent armed with clocks map, made his way along the bridging rock island, then down to the bank of the misses. You'd be river there. He came across a steel rod. Justice clock had full wound: There was also something else: sticking out of the mud nearby. It was a human thighbone an entire skeleton was soon excavated from the river bed, dressed in fragments of a law colored should a red jacket and denham drains, air of socks and choose were also uncovered close by following
discovery fbi. Special agent joseph halt. Slag met with rigid clock again. He still refuse to spake but did write down James Churchill. Thirty four years old from gales burg, illinois. James Churchill had spent the majority of his life in a mental health facility due to his intellectual and physical disabilities. It was during his hospitalization that he met richard clock at age, thirty one james was deemed, Save to re, enter society and was released from hospital in june, contain anyone james stop to collecting he social security checks. when a concerned nurse carried out a welfare check at his last known address, it was discovered that James had vanished without a trace.
Two years later he skeletal remains were found buried along the mississippi river. Richard clock opened up a doubt. Killing James riding down that on the nod of Saturday June twenty nineteen eighty one he was with the james on the bank of the river unbeknownst to james clark had been fighting the urge to kill someone all day and had a butcher's napkins. in his coat pocket. Clock walked over to James end quote began stabbing him over and over in the chest. Until the knife became embedded in a bone. Neither heart. when Clark visited the magazine. Two weeks later, he was dismayed to discover that James his body was gone
Stanch of day composition, lingered in the air and clock, followed at four ten fate where he came across James. His body. It was then, he realized that James had initially survived the attack and had crawled across the river bank after clock. Laughed to succumb to ease injuries. He now lie. Changes remains wearing view of passes by so clock worked to cover them with rocks and wood. that was all o clock was willing to reveal to FBI. Agent holds flag about James Churchill's, murder, riding that he'd give more aids It in time, exasperated pulse like asked clock. If there were any more bodies and if so, how many clocks
Motionless at the wall for ten minutes hardly blinking. He then retrieved he's pennant paper and continued riding. Sixteen total that I know of for sure all adults except three Oh miles age called slag sat stand before the self professed serial killer. Although he had never met richard clock prior to his work on the michel, steelcase from them they met hold slag was Ivan with a nagging feeling of familiarity, but he could never pinpoint why then one morning assholes.
I watched clock ride out more information about these crimes it dawned on him. It was the way clock. A toll. Heavyset man aged chinese fifties walked into the interview, With a strange gate and he's right arm held out at a crooked angle, all of a sudden halt slag was
hit with the realization as to why a clock seemed to like someone he had known for some time. Agent hold slag, looked at clock as he scribbled down notes and said Eric christian richard clarke, glanced up from his writing and smiled case file will be back shortly. Thank you for supporting us by listening to this episode, sponsors What do you want to wait? Two, nine? Maybe you wanna home, cooked favour, but don't feel like going to the store or you want something exciting new, but it would be great test I into nine door dash connects you with everything you want. Whenever and, however, you wanted the case file, tame love door dash because it so quick
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code case file. Don't forget. That's code case, while the twenty five percent of your first order with door dash subject to change terms, apply. A quick update on case file episode, twenty eight linsey bushwhack in continuing the to bring his daughters killer to justice. Jeff busy agony your help them are of lindsays boyfriend at the time of her murder is suing jeff for slander, claiming that man. He made on line led to lawson damage to her reputation, loss of income and stress, anxiety and other mental suffering. Jeff need your help to defend this lawsuit so that he can continue to cape lindsays case I'm being forgotten for more information or to donate to Jeff's legal, fond head to our instagram page at case fall podcast and click. The link in your bio or google.
Find me Lindsey buzek, murder legal fund. Thank you for listening. to this episodes adds by supporting eh sponsors. You support case file to continue to deliver quality content. Richard clock, richard harris, rigid, grady, richard price, albert air,. Albert pross, ronald springer and charles Tidwell we're just some of the alias is used by charles re Hacha throughout his life. He had fourteen in total, with four different birth diets and seek social security numbers.
In truth, he was born in nineteen, twenty nine in mount city, Missouri he's father, an alcoholic ex convict was a violent man who bait whatcha and his three brothers. Often one day, the hatchet boys fashioned a cod and took turns flying it with Charles the lost in law and apply as his brother prepared to hand the cod over at made contact with another head power line. They had fashioned they caught using copper wire. Instead of string, closing hatches brought out to be a lecture. You did and die instantly witnessing this market Turning point in hatches life, the once quiet and intelligent boy became unruly by age. Sixteen was living in Saint Joseph working mania jobs his first criminal conviction,
at age. Eighteen for stealing a car upon Hatches release from prison. He continued committing crimes adding breaking and entering and forgery to his growing list. Hatches. Pavia took a sinister turn when he turned twenty nine one day he Found himself with a butcher's knife into brandish that a sixteen year old, a newspaper, delivery boy he intended to abduct the tina, skyped and Tasha was sentenced to five years prison with tan. I did following us filed a breakout at ten, While incarcerated hacha was shipped back and forth between psychiatric facilities and prison, as he was adapted, fooling gods, judges and medical profession those into believing he was suffering mental illness. He go long periods without talking Haiti's head and make strange facial
impressions earning him. The nickname, crazy, charlie. Most new not to interact with Charles right Hacha, who was unpredictable and violent. in January nineteen sixty one jerry farrington, sent center missouri state penitentiary. He had been court stealing farm equipment that he plan to sell to pay for his wife's medical bill. Soft ass she suffered amiss carried farrington, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, but would be eligible for release softer just seven months until that time, Farrington Proved himself a model prisoner wanting More than anything to be re united with these wife. Six months into his incarceration farrington was found on the floor of the prison kitchen stabbed to death with a large north. He had also been right prior to
He's Madame. the eleven inmates who are regularly assigned to kitchen Judy were questioned and only one. and was unaccounted for at the time of the attack, chow all right, hacha with them. Any hard evidence to prove his involvement. Hacha was only A ten ten month in solitary confinement, he was released into the public to use light on After serving four years out of his five year sentence. over the next six years, Hacha returned to prevent another four times to serve short stands for burglary and car theft. He's growing criminal record went undetected by authority, says he was constantly moving from state to state and using different aliases in all The nineteen sixty nine he escaped a kansas state, prison farm,
and made his way to the west coast. I die late hour in san francisco, he lowered a five year oh boy, away from his home before sexually assaulted, in a witness who stumbled across the attack in progress, summoned the police and the boy was rescued, while Hacha was arrested He gave his name is albert price and nice day in his possession bore the name hold that prater, but he's fingerprints exposed he's true identity within this system. With these crime described by one detective as the worst case of child molestation, he had ever seen. Hatcher was charged with kidnapping and attempt to commit sodomy. As he awaited trial, Hacha pretended he was insane to avoid going to prison. He spoke. a violent and disturbing delusions and hallucinations and have had
visions of naked and bloody to children. was all an act, and it worked over the next three years. He was sent for psychiatric assessment five separately, times on each occasion he was found competent to stand trial and sent back to prison where cord appointed psychiatrists declared him unfitted and and returned him but more evaluations. He managed to skype one hospital, I only to be called again awake later unto the alias richard Grady, mediately, resorted to the same quite crazy, charlie, theatrical to avoid imprisonment, bud. His true identity was uncovered and he was sent back to prison given the nature of his crimes. Hatcher was terrified.
What other inmates with due to him he panda led out to his public defender, complaining daddy's current prison did not The facilities hey required as a quote mentally disordered sex offender. the letter worked against torture as it was so articulate approved. He was capable of rational thinking and could therefore face trial. He was found guilty of lewd and lascivious conduct and sent to a hospital that he tried to escape from three months later. He was subsequently moved to a prison. Subject to regular reviews. One psychiatrist concluded Hacha was a manipulative, dangerous and institutionalized sociopath. Another said he had a very poor prognosis for rehabilitation. Nevertheless, in nineteen, seventy six
He received a glowing report from corrections. Counselor who said reports indicate he's doing outstanding work, he's effort conduct. Co, operation and initiatives have also been excellent. Subject certainly more outgoing and he's progress has been commented on by staff members as well as he's peer group. He has shown signs of accepting responsibility for his behavior, As a result, Charles re Hacha was parodi, may nineteen seventy seven less than eight years after attacking the five year, boy in San francisco within awake. He violate it he's parole conditions and fled the city. A crime spray followed during which had yah, posing as a police officer tasked with finding child runaways adopted a twelve year old boy from a bus. Stop here
took him to a boarding house and sexually assaulted him at knifepoint. The boy escaped when Hacha passed out drunk upon his car cha cha cha spend some time between one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight and one thousand nine hundred and ninety two in prison when released. He assaulted and attempted to start the seven year old boy tried to assault And sodomize a seventeen year old boy and attempted to stab a man h, crime was committed in a different city and sometimes in a different state, with hatch are always providing a different name to authorities. Yet again he presented as mentally unstable and was shifted between mental health facilities until he was released back into the public.
Despite having this status of apparel lay at large, no one thought to fingerprint charles right Hacha and determine he's true identity and extensive history of violent, offending. a prosecuting attorney for on the hearth douglas county, lighter told the Saint Louis posted dispatch newspaper, I suppose, if he stayed in the criminal system here. Ultimately, we would have tried to do some background on him and tried to confirm who he was He was in any out of our clutches, so quick, I think everybody thought he's crazy and he's not coming back to call and that was the end of it. I don't know how you stop a guy like that before He wound up in prison in nineteen, seventy eight for abducting and assaulting the twelve year old boy from the bus. Stop charles hatcher committed one crime. Which he got away with.
In the late afternoon of fraud- I may twenty six nineteen. Seventy eight try rented a more wind, downtown saint Joseph and came upon four year old, eric christian. The little boy had only been left alone for just a moment. Still, there was enough time the hatchet to strike. sitting before fbi special agent joseph halts lack almost five years to the day after he carried out the attack charles Hacha fully confessed to the abduction, assault and murder rivera christian. He said he'd been overcome with us. Amelia urge to kill, so he took Eric by the hand, walked him out of the more along the train tracks. And into the secluded wilderness by the Missouri river. There he sexually assaulted, Eric and choked him to death managing to
Do so without leaving a mark, then he covered erics body with branches before leaving town agent hold slag didn't dare patches confession. He always believed Melvin Reynolds was innocent and that someone else was responsible for iraq's murder in his confession, reynolds claimed to have been watching Eric at the playground for thirty minutes. Before approaching him This was impossible, given that Eric had only being left alone for a couple of minutes when reynolds too, detectives to the area where Eric's body had been dumped? He pointed out the approximate location but required, prompting to point out the exact spot.
The crime seems whereabouts were well known, given that the saint Joseph news press had printed a photo of Eric's body when it was found on the front page of their paper, Various media outlets had also reported details about the location and with So many locals involved in a search word quickly got around witness descriptions. Varick being seen with a heavy set out a man matched Hacha but didn't match reynolds. Who was only too five years old at the time, with a slim, build as for the claims that reynolds. Proposition to three year all to perform a sex act on him. This was found to be categorically untrue. Reynolds had been walking with a toddler When a person drive by and Yadda yadda derogatory remarks in response, Reynolds yelled back suck my cock the three year out clarified this too,
the correct version of events and the reality was that reynolds had no history of sexual deviancy at all. Most importantly, Reynolds neda had come forward to police prior to his trial, with a major revelation at around three twenty five p m. On the day Eric Christian was abducted. She had struck up a conversation with reynolds on his front porch. This was around the same time that Eric was taken from them all. The neighbor had no reason to protect reynolds whom she openly admitted to detesting. She was reluctant to come forward telling the press I wish I didn't remember this, but I do I don't want to be involved but I didn't say what I did. I wouldn't be doing what's right.
Saint Joseph police chief, Robert haze, was so certain of reynolds guilt that this alibi went, ignored. Melvin Reynolds claimed he had only confessed to Eric's murder, after relentless interrogations from the detectives with a slot. intellectual disability and a willingness to please Reynolds was highly vulnerable to manipulation during a polygraph test in the early investigation he denied killing Eric before pausing and saying, but I'll say. So, if you want me to him, A similar remark during a second polygraph test, prompting the opera it ought to raise these concerns with police tray for robert haze, along with his belief that Reynolds was innocent in response chief haze took the operator off their case
Melvin Reynolds with certain the truth would come out at ease trial, leading to an acquittal. He was shocked to have been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison where he continued to profess his innocence. Prison life was particularly difficult for reynolds as you was convicted for a crime against the child. He enjoyed violence and rape at the hands of his fellow inmates from prison. He told a report on that. He felt targeted by authorities because he was gay reynolds attorney, He echoed this sentiment, adding that the rampant homophobia present in Saint Joseph man he's client had about as much chance of fitting in and being accepted as a lap. Ah speaking about eric christians, murder, Reynolds remarked What really bothers me is that whoever did it they're still
out on the streets laughing about it, but The time charles re Hacha confessed to Eric's murder. Melvin Reynolds had served to four years in prison. There was even a moment in time where hatcher and reynolds were incarcerated together, although they never crossed paths. The reason why Hacha had willingly come clean after all this time was characteristically selfish, hey If he was found guilty of murdering eleven year old michel steal, it would most likely face life in prison by it Doing to killing Eric christian he's the outcome, elevated to the death penalty Charles ray hatcher wanted to die in the weeks that followed hatches
fashion special agent, Joseph halt, slag worked on building a rapport with the self confessed killer and visited him often mean jail He had already established the identities of four of hatches alleged victims. Eric christian Michel, steel, as well as he's a long time friend, James churchill and fellow prison inmates, jerry Farrington, yet by hatches own account. There were another twelve victims he had yet to name hold sway, had walked a fine line when seeking more information as pushing who hard would no doubt cause hatch, are to go into one of his prolonged states of silence, realising hey held the position of power hatchet toyed with the age and accordingly,
after promising to write a diary detailing his crimes. Hatchery informed frustrated halts flag that he had flushed the papers down the toilet. instead handed over a hand, written poem that red in pod who's to know was days go by only may, and I won't tell because I'm on my way to hell the day he's drawing very me, the one you all want to hear that time has come. I have to go. And now no one will ever know agent. Halt. Slag took the poem to main hatch, was refusing to make any further admissions. Yet there was a confession: hidden in hatches, paused that holds flag was able to uncover. In one of his many stays in mental health facilities. Hacha had told
setting cyclotron so bad, an image that often plagued he's mind as detailed in the book. Innocent blood division began with a boy riding a bicycle. Hacha would then watch him. Self driving a car with the same boy riding happily in the passenger sayd. Next hatches thoughts caught to craig bed where he stood over the boy with these hands wrapped around his neck. announced to the medical professionals who heard Hacha relay this vision. It hadn't manifested of nowhere. Looking through records agent halt, slag came across the august, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine unsolved murder of twelve year old, William freeman in the californian city of Antioch, william at spent the afternoon playing tennis before riding home on his black one of his friends or a green car
pull up to william, who spoke with the line mayo driver I was later when william was reported. Missing, he's bicycle and tennis. Racket were found on the sidewalk, where he had stopped to speak to the man in the great car, two days later to children. Exploring lost tramp ass, craig came across a young and on his hands and knees by the craig edge. His head was extended downwards. If drinking the warder trickling by it? Was the body of William freeman? Deliver really posed in a manner as if to disturb whoever came across him. He had been true to death Williams case waistcoat until fourteen years later, when agent hold slag connected the crime to Charles right, Hacha Hacha had
in Antioch at the time driving around in a stolen car, William freeman marked his fifth known, murder victim. In august nineteen eighty three, the office of the saint Joseph news press, were saved envelope addressed to the news. Gazetted are in it was an anonymous hand, written letter that red sir, Times the system makes a very bad mistake and on Just the blowing steam, as you will find out soon enough, it's a real stinks and should really shake up some of those of the criminal justice system in your fair city, it Spain, in the making for some time but just beginning to get ready to blood Keep your eyes open agent
Joseph halt slag needs a letter was from Charles right Hacha, who was hinting at the justice of Melvin reynolds wrongful conviction for the murder. Eric christian pulse lag in the process of having reynolds case reviewed by the prosecuting attorney, mocking sky he'd being responsible for securing the guilty verdict. In sky was initially less than enthused about re, examining the case with the mindset that he had been wrong about it, but upon viewing help Flags evidence proving Melvin nods, innocence and charles re hatches guilt. go understood. Hacha was their guy. Still? There were many more setbacks to come from others, not wanting to wait. Amid era halts lag, like I said,.
I was naive to think that everybody would work just as hard to get an innocent man out as they would to put a guilty want in, but I couldn't give a shit on thursday october thirteen nineteen eighty three charles ray hatcher, stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to the murder of Eric christian. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. with a non parole period of fifty years. Despite hatches guilty play and the supporting evidence gathered by agent Joseph hold slag saint Joseph police checks, Robert hey stood by his initial investigation and was opposed to overturning Melvin reynolds conviction. said. He was dumbfounded by the court's decision to accept charles, hatches confession.
Melvin Reynolds was sitting in the Missouri state penitentiaries visiting were when he's mother Wanda entered the pair sat together on a couch. And does melvin began to spake law. there are interrupted in saying she had something important to say. Another man had confessed to murdering Eric Christian. a flood of emotions washed over melvin, as the realisation dawned that he's prison ordeal would soon be over. Melvin Reynolds later said that he never felt any ill will towards those who found him guilty. Accepting hay was largely at fault for giving a false confession. He didn't plan on seeking monetary compensation and just wanted to get on with these alive telling a rapporteur. My freedom is more important than any lawsuit could ever be
I, after Charles re hatch, european court to plead guilty to Eric christians. Mota melvin was officially a free man. in the aftermath of melvin vindication, Saint Joseph police checks, Robert eyes was criticised for he's handling of their case, pay still refuse to rake. sit out, Melvin reynolds guilt instead expressing his belief that perhaps Melvin atocha what coke co conspirators is. Hey, accused fbi special agent Joseph hold slag, fading information to catch up and was storage he's opinion that evidence implicated melvin over how charm so and vocal of his controversial stands. Police chief haze was Eventually, issued a court order for bidding him from publicly discussing their case All other investigators were more willing to accept a wrong doing one told the press
does anybody sublime melvin to blame? It's a shame, character was so weak that he confessed authorities in various candies endeavoured to identify further victims of charles re Hacha, hey offered. help either because he wanted to remain elusive or because he's chronic alcohol abuse manner. Couldn't. Remember enough details of these crimes. There. several crimes that fit his am oh, but it was confirmed that Hacha was either in jail or hospital at the time they were committed. There wasn't enough evidence to bring hatcher to justice for the murders of william freeman James churchill, O jerry Farrington, but in September Nineteen eighty four he faced trial for the murder of eleven year old Michel steel and was found guilty. The jury would
besides. If he received a life sentence with a non parole period of fifty years or the death penalty, Hacha made he's preference clear by announcing in court. If you think I did this, you have one job. You have to make sure it doesn't happen again. I have record of escapes. I may try it. You must prevent it from happening again. The bewildered judge told the jury to disregard these comments. and an hour later, the jury announced there a great upon sentence. Life in prison. The Saint Joseph community were outraged, but those who knew of hats his desire to die, took solace in knowing he didn't get what he wanted. Four days later at, for I am a prison.
making the rounds at the Missouri state penitentiary, shoney's, flash laud into charles re hatches cell and discovered that the fifty five year old had taken his own life. He hadn't left a note. Prosecutor lacking sky told the press that hey didn't, believe Hacha had been driven by remorse, bought cloud, total frustration at being caught and knowing that the world saw him for what he was. Due to hatches prolific use of aliases anti interstate offending, none of this psychiatry to assist him throughout his life were fully aware of the extent of his offending when making their evaluations. Even now, what was their reports that led to him being released time and time again, their ignorance, shielded them
any legal ramifications. As written In the ST louis post dispatch newspaper, Hacha cunningly. and the mental health system into his own private sanctuary to avoid criminal prosecution then used it as a path of least resistance back to freedom. The extent to which Charles re Hacha resulted and moded he's victims will never fully be known in total Charles re Hacha was convicted for three attempted abductions, seeks abductions with sexual assaults two murders and had the likely committed three others. However, he claimed to many more. Among investigating offices, hatch out and himself the monica, the one man crime wave.
Melvin Reynolds found life after his exoneration challenging with many people still convinced he was involved in Eric christians. Murder He died in may two thousand and twelve. At the age of fifty eight saint Joseph Police chief robert haze, intended to write a book about the case titled you bay, they judge, which would line. Why Melvin Reynolds was eric? Christians kill off, but the bull can never Eventually, I did he's, eventually wound up in prison himself after shooting daddy. neighbor following a physical altercation. He served to aid he's in prison for involuntary manslaughter and died. Four years after he's relay said age, eighty one one of the reasons the former police chief remained steadfast. That Melvin Reynolds was Eric. Christians, killer, despots, evidence sunday, confession to the contrary, was because
to sentence. The letter written by Charles re hacha I received the letter when the process to have melvin exonerated was under way it read chief Hayes. you're right about the christian case. I didn't do that. One good luck charlie how chow.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-12.