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Florida Vampire /// Part 2 /// 750

2024-04-10 | 🔗

Florida Vampire /// Part 2 /// 750

Part 2 of 2 



In November of 1985 in Malabar, Florida authorities responded to a strange and disturbing call.  A young woman who had been abducted the day before somehow managed to escape from her captor’s home.  A motorist found the young woman on the side of the road.  He took her to his home for both her protection and to call first responders for help.  The woman described to detectives what the abductor had subjected her to over the last 22 hours.  An abduction case was rare but perhaps the most startling detail of the woman’s story was that the man who had offered her a ride and then tortured her in his home, also drank the woman’s blood.  The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office had a serious case on their hands and the community had a monster living among them. 


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
- Welcome to True Crime Garage. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, thanks for listening. I'm your host, Nick. And with me as always is a man who knows that the best bar in the 614. Behind home plate at Huntington Park, here is the captain. Bada, Bada, Bada, Bada, swing Bada.
And good to see you. Thanks for listening. Thanks for telling a friend. Once again, we are featuring Huggins Hefeweizen by the good folks over at Helen Blaizes down in Florida. A Bavarian staple that comes with a highly carbonated yeast forward medium body and an intense aromatics of banana and clove garage grade three and a half bottle caps out of five. And how about a big shout out to our friend, Zach Ackvan. In Cave Spring, Georgia. And here's a shout out to Mike Rohwer from Ohio but living it up in Mililani, Hawaii. Thanks to everyone for contributing to this week's beer fund. Aloha! yeah B-W-E-R-U-N Beer Run. You need some bonus content? Of course you do.
And sign up for True Crime Garage bonus content, or if you're listening on the Apple Podcast app, just hit subscribe. Can't thank you enough for supporting this little tiny garage ship. Onwards and upwards. That's enough of the business. All right, everybody, gather around, grab a chair, grab a beer. Let's talk some true crime. - John Pyre, John Brennan Crutchley, locked up and held behind bars. He is now starting his 25 year sentence as we have discussed. So with him locked away, what I'd like to do now is talk about and see if we can find some other.
Victims of Jon Crutchley. Because remember, we have serial killer FBI agent expert, Robert Ressler, who takes a quick look at this scenario. Reviews all of the crime scene photos, reviews all the evidence, speaks with detectives, talks with the judge and the prosecutor, and he says, I believe... In my expert opinion is this, I believe this guy has killed before, and I believe that he would do it again. So let's cross-reference some of the potential other victims of John Kretzschling. Here with maybe even using his timeline a little to see if anything shakes loose. And keep in mind that there were six un-enthusiastic identified female murder victims that were found between January 1st, 1985 and December 31st, 1985 found All within a six mile radius of John Crutchley's home.
Pirate was in jail, he was in a jail cell for only 10 of the 365 days of that year. Florida law enforcement officials have placed the number of possible Crutchley victims quite high. So some of them are saying the number may be as high as 32 victims. - Wow. - 12 in Brevard County, where he lived, Brevard County, Florida, and 20 potential victims out of state. Saying wherever Crutchley lived and worked, they have found bodies that fit what serial killer experts say would fit the victimology that he desired. But what we know is us garage guys know is that Crutchley has never been charged in a single murder. Conservative investigators say he killed at least four women. Others say the number of possible homicide victims could be more than two dozen.
Thought to be young women slain during violent sexual encounters with John Crutchley. Detectives suspect him of kidnapping transient and hitchhikers to reach his ultimate dream. This was John Brennan Crutchley's expression for sex. In death. There was a graphic in the Florida Today newspaper back in the showing the East Coast of the United States and possible John Crutchley victims. We said earlier Florida police and outside agencies thought the number could be as high as 32. This graphic lists 26 possible Crutchley victims. So we'll start at the top of this graphic and it reads, Crutchley's Path, John Crutchley's Possible Visions.
Victims from Fairfax timeline listed by name and date of death, disappearance or discovery of the remains. And the first location that they point to is Pennsylvania and the victim here is unidentified with no date given. Now once we get to Maryland. Which is next in line on this list. We have multiple victims here. I believe it's 11 that is listed. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 so we have 11 victims here That are listed why he can count Yeah, as slow as that was
- That was a man counting, a grown man counting. - Wow, we're putting on a great podcast. - I want to, yeah, next week we'll do the alphabet. I want to skip over Maryland. Let's circle back to Maryland here, okay? So Pennsylvania, the victim that they think could be linked to Crutchley is unidentified. There's no date given, so there's nothing really to discuss there. We can't sort out if we think he is a likely perpetrator if we don't know the victim's name nor the date of any of the. The information. So next we have Virginia. Deborah Fitz John was killed in January of 1977. And we'll go through her case in depth before we wrap up this week. But also in Virginia, we have two other Virginia homicides listed on this graphic here, referred to as Norfolk 1 and Norfolk 2.
Now we know here in the garage that those two Norfolk victims are known to be Pamela and Kimbrough. A 23 year old Navy messenger and Carol Ann Molnar a... Year old Navy clerk. Both women were slain at the Norfolk Naval Air Station in 1982. And then in 1983. Those are the two cases that we discussed last week. John Brennan Crutchley was a suspect in both of those murders, but not until after he was arrested in Florida in 1985. Navy detectives identified Crutchley as a suspect in 1987 when investigators placed him in the area at the time of the women's deaths. So they state that they believe that he was living and working in the area from approximately 1979 to 1983. Remember, we need to know what happened to him.
That he took the job in June of 1983. So he would have been present if his work history. Is the determining factor on when he moved from Virginia to, or the Virginia area to Florida, then he would have been in Virginia during the time that both of these murders were committed. Now, while there, he worked as a defense contractor for TRW, holding a top secret security. Clearance that gave him access to restricted military bases, including the Norfolk Naval Air Station. You already know that we know that he did not kill Pamela and Kimbrough. Right. Because DNA proved them. Of somebody else. - Exactly. - But we have him being arrested and we have his DNA, so we should be able to test that in the other.
- I'm hoping that they have his DNA. Remember, he goes to prison in 1985. And every state is different, but in Ohio, we didn't start collecting DNA from felons until 2010. It wouldn't be that hard to send somebody in and say, Hey, suck my blood, and then get his DNA. Boom, match. - Now besides those Virginia slayings, sheriff's detectives were actively investigating Crutchley in several cases. Is in Brevard County. One is Patty Valensky, 29 years old, a Titusville woman who was last seen hitchhiking in Mims, Florida on March 15th, 1985. Remember, she's.
One that they find her ID in pictures of her son in his office. - Yeah, she's most likely a victim. - The other one that they were openly and actively investigating crucially for was a woman named Kimberly Ann Walker, who was 21 years old. She was from Vero Beach, whose bones were found near US. One in Malabar, January 28th, 1985. And then there's another woman who was unidentified. Her skeletal remains were found in the same location that Kimberly Ann Walker's remains were found. - It becomes almost a easier victim in the sense of-- these hitchhikers are living a nomadic life. So their family, especially at that time period, because it's just harder to communicate or stay in constant communication. occasion.
With your loved ones if they're traveling or living that nomadic life. So I think that's why you see these serial killers try to prey on these these types of victims. That is exactly right there captain. Now that victim list, that graphic. That list was compiled in 1989 by task force member, there was a John Crutchley task force that was assembled. And this was one of the members of the task force, his name is Andy Casey. He put that-- - I think they called their research the Vampire Diaries. - He compiled this list along with several other police agencies. They listed 26 possible Crutchley victims there. But years later, we're going to get some clarification on some of those unsolved murders that were listed. So although Crutchley longs.
Has been a suspect in many of the Florida and Virginia cases, the Maryland slayings, the experts later would say, don't seem to fit the pattern. So... - And we see this from time to time, right? When an unknown serial killer is then identified. Located and arrested and now all of a sudden everybody's kind of shuffling and scurrying about trying to connect every unsolved homicide to this person in the And this guy moved around to several different areas. So we're looking basically up and down the whole East Coast. Is Montgomery County, Maryland police. This is a Washington suburb. They go on record saying that they strongly doubt.
That Crutchley was involved in five of the deaths that were listed on that timeline. They refer to that victim list as the Fairfax timeline. Just in case you hear me say that term. According to John Crutchley's attorney, he says that police theorized that Crutchley killed young women that he... Picked up hitchhiking by draining their blood after raping them and then dismembering them. The problem with some of these-- victims on the Maryland thing, they don't really fit the victimology at all. So one of them was the... 1982 Maryland victim named Keese Milford. Well, this was actually a 67-year-old man killed by a gunshot wound to the stomach. So while... Putting together this list years later they're going well we got to kind of look at this differently a lot of these names we understand that you put this together as a matter of haste but let's let's let
Ruler heads prevail here and really analyze these and see what we put the percentage the likelihood that he killed these now Authorities in Maryland go on to explain, we don't even know how some of these names got onto your Fairfax timeline list because three of the Maryland victims were actually killed months after Crutchley had moved out of the area. So they're saying one doesn't fit the victimology. Three, he-- But it had to drive back home months after he had already moved down to Florida to have killed these three women. Then in the long run, let's fast forward to a couple more years because Atlas was put together in, what did we say, '89? - Yeah, but that's not out of the realm of possibility though, right? but we also don't know what other information they have. Right? So like, for example.
We know that even though she's not identified by name on here, we know one of these potential Crutchley victims is Pamela Ann. Him brew, but we now know by science and because somebody else is locked up for life that he did not kill her. So what I think that we should do is point out here that there's a likelihood that they have information to suggest that he was not involved. One list, if you look at potential Crutchley victims, not only includes Pamela and Kimbrough, But it also includes the lion sisters who we now know were killed by somebody else. So a lot of these lists I believe were put together in a rather quick fashion and He didn't have time to really sort it out. So what we get here, Captain, is...
Montgomery County, Maryland police say years later, Crutchley has been ruled out as a suspect in all of the listed deaths in that state. Victims are listed by name and date of death unless noted otherwise on that list and although the timeline lists 11. So let's go ahead and get rid of that. Of all those Maryland murders of the 26 that they suspected, of 26 total throughout different states. We can now remove 11 of those. So now we're down to, oh. Only counting on the show, guess what? We're going to do a little bit of math for you too. Oh, great. It's a it's a sh. Where you get everything. It just really is. And I, you know what, I listened to a portion of last week's show. Math not so great for me sometimes. Not so great. Or no offense, but last week I think you called
them Navy ladies and I so badly just wanted to say they're... - They are sailors, they are officers in the Navy. Let's have a little more respect for them. - Well, I was trying to call them, I was going-- out of my way to call them ladies because I had referred to them as sailors otherwise, you know, So change it up a bit. - Hey, my defense, look, I know you've learned the most. - And lady is a term that you earn. Lady is a term that you earn. Anyways, I know you better than most and I know your respect for the victims is of the highest standard and I have a lot of respect for you.
You because of that? Well on that same list, the 26 that we're discussing, so push away 11 of them already. Now that math would tell me 15 is what we're down to. And we get the Brevard County Sheriff Jake Miller who says a couple years later that although this list includes 11 homicides from He's telling us we've reviewed the evidence. We know what we're looking at here. And Crutchley is really only a suspect in six of the cases. So now you can get rid of another five. So at best, if this... Is accurate and is telling us that how many potential victims we have here you can get rid of Pamela and Kimbrough
you can get rid of all the victims from Maryland and you can reduce the number in Florida from 11 to five. So that whittles down that 26 very quickly. - But I think some of it is when we're telling these stories or people are retelling the story, they start sensationalizing these killers. And at the end of the day, these guys are scumbag losers. - I think that it's human behavior, Natural, right? It's human behavior because I think when you go, oh my word, this guy is capable. We're proof positive. We know for sure this guy is capable. Of doing something that many, many of us are not capable of. I think that you want it to, you want to go, you know what? There can't be that many bad guys out there. There can't be many guys out there like this. He has to be responsible for a lot of this murder and mayhem.
So what are they doing about it? You know, it's one thing to make a list, it's another thing to put it in the newspaper or talk about it on the news, but what are the authorities doing about it? Well, down in Florida, they were calling this John Brennan Crutchley case the never-ending invention. That's because putting John Brennan Crutchley behind bars in 1986 didn't stop investigators in Brevard County and in the state of Virginia from attempting to find his other victims. They wanted to prove that he was in fact the killer. They wanted to lock him up for but lock him up and throw away the key. And we already pointed out that Robert Ressler, an FBI expert on serial killers, who has consulted with authorities on the Crutchley case, he said he believed that this dude was a serial killer and probably had several. Victims and maybe even had them in different states. So they're running invest--
investigations on this guy periodically captain from 1985 when he first Pops onto their radar with that arrest in Florida through 1996 on and off. Investigations are continuing in Florida and in other states as well. Most of these investigative efforts, from my understanding, centered on hoping to locate the bodies of possible victims and finding trophies. This would be victims' belongings, such as identification cards and jewelry. And they believe that that-- Is the remember what the one detective said he probably got rid of a bunch of evidence but for whatever reason he could not get rid of that driver's license of his rape victim and so they that he would have shown that in other cases with other victims. And remember, they found a lot of women's jewelry in the house.
And who knows what he got rid of in that trash bag. Now, when they interview his wife, his wife says, No, no, no, that's all my jewelry. Well, I don't know. I'd like to see receipts, lady. - Yeah, and this becomes a problem also with the investigation, 'cause what do we know about the confirmed victim, right? The confirmed attack, the confirmed abduction, the confirmed rape. His family was gone. So if she was an actual decent human being, she could then work with law enforcement and say, Hey, I can tell you the times that I was gone. I can tell you the times I went to visit people. And so those dates could correlate maybe better with some of these possible victims.
Or, hey, I can tell you not only when I was gone, but I can give you some good indication of his travel habits and his whereabouts. - Well, during the course of these ongoing investigations, they search, keep in mind, at least one of the victims, and I believe maybe in a couple of cases, they think that they are still looking for the remains. Because Patty Valinsky, they found her identification card. She's been missing. So they're hoping to find her. They have something directly tying Crutchley to her. They just need, sorry to be crude here, they just need to find her body. So they're searching Malabar cemeteries, the yard of...
John Crutchley's Malabar home, remember we said it was 2.7 acres. That was the scene of at least four excavations. I think authorities thought that they would find her buried there. And then when they went back, even after these excavations, they kept going back and taking core samples throughout the yard to see if they could hit on anything that could be either a body or find evidence that Crutchley's... May have buried. - Right. - The house was searched again with the permission of new owners after his wife and kid moved out, and they even punched holes in the walls so they could look inside the walls. A shed behind the house was demolished and the concrete pad was torn out. Cadaver dogs searched a shopping center on US 192 in
Where a former inmate said Crutchley had disposed of a body, but they didn't find anything. The detectives from Florida. Are on record saying that they had at one time at least 16 boxes of evidence. And some of that evidence included the hard drive from Crutchley's computer and dozens of. Of computer disc and tapes. We also know that we have the detective on record stating that one mistake that he does know that they made is they did not collect his computer right away. Keep in mind, it's 1985. When you go back that far, most people did not have a computer. I don't know that, back then, a lot of detectives
did not work on a computer either. And so they may not have just had that insight of, oh, this would be a valuable thing to collect and figure out how to go through it later. They did eventually collect it, Captain, but they didn't collect it then that night on the 22nd, when they, or I should say the 23rd, 'cause it was two in the morning, when they... Who made the arrest and searched his house the first time. And we do know that he got out for four weeks after posting bond. So he has a computer at his office as well. At some point, the... Harris Corporation turns over his computer to the police. And so they're going through. Dozens of computer disks, remember those things? And they're examining all of this. They say that detectives found. Eventually found that there had been a bunch of files that were erased and then some of the files that remained on these computers. So when we talk about this, Captain, I wanna be clear.
They don't detail enough the information for us to know what was found on his home computer versus what was found on his office computer but the We're talking in generalities right here. So between these two computers, they're saying we found files that had been erased, we're finding other files that remained, but they were coded. The FBI technicians believe that while they were not able to recover everything, they do believe that they recovered, quote, most of the data that was erased. Erased from the computer's hard drives. Then in 1988, keep in mind, he's been locked up for two years now. The arrest happened in late '85. Two members of the Crutchley Task Force, they have NASA security specialists who helped to break the coded files.
- Detective Bob Lethrow says that he believed that it took seven days with these guys. Is going at it 24 hours a day to break these codes. This is like a rollercoaster ride. Can you imagine the hard work and effort? That has to be put into this, and you're probably saying, we don't even know if we're gonna be able to break these codes. - Right. Break them, you're like, ah, got him. Oh, we got him. But unfortunately what they learn is that the files only contain an assortment of text files and games, including. Dungeons and Dragons type game that Crutchley was designing. Police tried several times to interview Crutchley in prison. He denied them so they decided to interview prison inmates.
Would know him to learn a little bit more about John Crutchley. The prison interviews, while not providing any new investigative leads, did shed some light on Crutchley's life behind bars. Although officials called Crutchley a Hard-working model prisoner, the inmates claim that Crutchley was into Satanism and enjoyed reading books about gory murders and serial killers. While all of these investigations are going, many of which the police both in Florida and elsewhere were not so silent about there being rumor over the years that they were close to another plea deal with John Crutchley. This plea deal would have put him behind bars for the rest of his life and it would have convicted him of several murders. you
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Alright, we are back, onwards and upwards, cheers to you, and a quick reminder this week on Off The Record, subscribe on Patreon or Apple. The Colonel gives the captain the men's journal interview, so you don't want to miss Is that so what we like to call fascinating stuff. - If everything goes according to plan, that will be what, Captain? Four back-to-back episodes of Off the Record four weeks in a row. Extra love. - A little extra love for the ones that we love so much. - Yes. - This plea bargain thing turns into a whole. And I don't even know captain if there's somebody to blame or if everybody
but he tried their damnedest and it just kind of fell through. - Right. - So according to an attorney, this was Crutchley's defense attorney. It was openly discussed that a deal was in the workings that Crutchley would plead guilty to between three and six homicides. And I believe all of them. Now when we say three to six, I don't know if that number changes or the statement changes, but the way that it's been reported is he was willing to plead guilty to three to up to six homicides and-- Brevard County, Florida. In return, what Crutchley wanted was to receive life in prison and not face the death penalty. He did not want to go to the electric chair. Defense attorney then later goes on record stating that all this was rejected by the state we were all prepared to Plea guilty to this and give them
in some of these unsolved homicides. And in some of the information states that he was willing to lead them to bodies or to lead them to where he had buried some bodies. - Right. Why do you think the state would turn down this deal? - I don't know. And that's why I say I don't know that there's any blame to give here. or because It doesn't make any sense to me because you have a defense attorney saying, yeah, we were willing to agree to this. You have the detective, at least one of them who was in charge of many of these investigations who was saying, we wanted to take that deal. And we had information backing up that he had committed some of those.
Homicides. His defense attorney goes on record saying that the state is the one that denied it. And what we have here though, but we have the Brevard County prosecutor, and that's not his exact title, but his last name is Wolfinger and Sheriff Jack, Jake Miller, excuse me. They said that there was never a formal Offer to be accepted or rejected. So while one side is saying one thing, they're saying, they're not saying. We didn't have those talks. They're not saying we didn't explore that. There was never a formal offer for us to accept or to reject. And who knows, maybe they were in talks and then crutchly gets cold feet and says, Nope, not gonna do it, changed my mind. Here's the problem though. We talk about this all the time.
- You love how I'm starting to say, here's the problem. Like we haven't gone through like three dozen. Problems already. The episode started off with some problems. You're not allowed to kidnap. Exactly. Assault and try to murder people. That's that's the. First problem here. - Really truly the only problem, as far as this story is concerned, is John Brennan. - Crutchley, right? - Well, not only was he a vampire, but he was a dungeon master as well. - If he had. Never existed or never been who he was or the way he was, all these other problems we would have never got to him, they would have never been creative. But here's the problem now for where we are in our timeline. And we talk about this, and I hate to repeat it, but it's unfortunately in most states,
25 years does not mean 25 years behind bars. - It's pathetic. - Now, thankfully here. We have the scenario where at least he's going to face 50 years of probation. Pretty much a lifetime of being on probation. But we get Robert-- - Like that's gonna stop him from committing other murders. - We get Robert Ressler. Again who estimated that the Florida vampire and convicted abductor and rapist John Crutchley would be released in 1998. Remember he was sentenced in 1986. He's estimating this 1998 Based off of once you factor in time off for good behavior.
Not only was Bob right that Crutchley would get out early, but he was off by two years. They're going to release him in 1996. And as the date got closer and closer, people rightfully so started to panic. And I'm talking about panic. Not just at the disco, this is civilians and law enforcement as well. Like everybody. So we have, we have the whole state of Florida is like... Oh, you're gonna let this dude out. Well, where are you gonna let him out at? Like we don't want him here You can't like there's sex and then there's this guy. Nope, nobody wants this guy in their community. Nobody believes. Community as a collective. Nobody believes that this guy could be rehabilitated. He's something that we don't understand, we should not understand.
And he's going to get out and he's going to continue to do whatever it is that he does. Rather than just sitting there on their hands and panicking, waiting for him to get out, we have law enforcement that are doing... Everything that they can to try to find the right amount of evidence to try him, to take him back to trial for one of these murders and hoping to get him locked up for something else. For good before John Brennan Crutchley was released from a Florida prison. Now, there was a great article from the Associated Press and I'll... Go through a little of it here captain. The convict known as the vampire rapist was released from prison and is suspected in the disappearance of at least three women in Florida and one in Fairfax County Virginia prosecutor said.
Crutchley, age 49, remember he was 39 when he was arrested, John Crutchley age 49 served 10 years of a 25-year sentence for abducting, raping, and drinking the blood of a female hitchhiker in 1985. He was sent to a halfway house, so after upon his release he sent to a halfway house. This is, so think of this as like purgatory a little bit. This is while the authorities are trying to help him. Find a community that will accept him. I've seen this in a few cases. It's strange, but it does happen. Where when somebody is going to be paroled, a person of this level, a dangerous individual of this level level they they actively have to find a community that's willing to accept him. And if Florida don't want
Nobody wants you. - Well, usually what happens, the other case that I know that we've seen this in He had murdered two children and then they were going to let him out of prison up north. and what happened in That case is very similar to what's going to happen in this case. Usually what they find is that the small... Communities, no, you're not putting them here. It's usually a larger community that's kind of forced to accept them. So you'll get a larger city that will accept them because they are used to more violent crimes. They are used to increased numbers of crimes and they believe that that might be a safe place. For scenario for everyone. It doesn't matter because he's getting out. So even though he's denied any connection with any other murders
His former lawyer said that Crutchley was at one time willing to plead guilty from anywhere between three to six killings in return for life sentences, no death penalty. Said there was never a firm offer and they didn't have corroborating evidence that they said they would need to accept the pleas but police did find they did have circumstantial evidence when they searched his desk at the Harris Corp Office where he worked. This is, remember, when they found the identification card belonging to Patty Valinsky. She's been missing in Florida since March of 1985. He not only lived in Florida, but he also lived in Florida. There then he was also, he's never been locked up for anything at this point. So police were also looking at links between John Crutchley and. And a woman named Debbie FitzJohn in Fairfax, Virginia. So she was murdered and we talked about her.
Briefly already, but she was murdered in 1978. At the time, Debbie Fitz John was-- 25 years old. She was last seen when she was visiting John Crutchley's trailer on January 27th of that year. Her remains were found buried in some nearby woods months later. Her mom... Giving an interview says quote my daughter went down to his trailer and she never came away again she added that she could Understand how officials could set him free after only serving 10 years saying quote they're just going to let him out on the public what the hell do they think he's going to do there here's they interviewed this potential victim debbie fitzg
John, her father. And I really wanted to make sure, I have in my notes here, please make sure that you include this quote, 'cause it's probably my favorite quote of the week when doing the research here was, he says, Mr. Fitzjohn says that he also wonders who would possibly want to give John Crutchley a job or a place to live, adding, quote, You mark my word, it will happen again. Mean kill or rape somebody else. He goes on to say quote send him up here, I'll hire him, and I'll send him back down in a burying box. People in Orlando, rightfully so, were upset to later learn that Crutchley was going to be released into their community. Orange County Sheriff Kevin Berry Wasn't happy that Orlando was chosen after two other communities rejected Crutchley.
The sheriff writes a letter to the governor saying that he was outraged, A violent sex offender is being released into my county and I found out about it on the radio. End quote. the mother of crutchley's rape victim One truly known victim here said that her daughter this This is 11, 10, 11 years later. She says that her daughter has never recovered from the attack. Quote, My daughter and I think he should have gotten life. He says he's a changed man, but I think he is a sick man, and I don't think he can ever change. - Yeah, I mean, if that was my daughter, I'd hunt down this son of a bitch and kill him myself. - The good news is nobody's gonna have to go for that vigilante justice, because there's several different ways to tell the next part of this story. And I'm trying to think of the most polite and correct way, but I don't know that I'm capable.
Well, what happens here, Captain, is remember he goes to this halfway house. And we do know that John Crutchley likes marijuana. Found in his home when he was arrested. We have him giving statements saying that he smoked marijuana before he was in prison. - Marijuana. - At the halfway house, again, the story goes a few different ways. One telling of this story is. That somehow he and maybe some of the other people in the halfway house got ahold of. Marijuana and they all sat around and smoked it. Another way to tell this story is that the persons living at the halfway house maybe under the order or direction of somebody else, held this man down and forced him to smoke marijuana.
Do know however he ingested it, whether willingly or unwillingly, we know that he ingested it because the next day the probation officer shows up and says. Guess what sir? We're gonna need you to take a pee test Well, guess what when they find THC in his system, that is a parole violation. So he goes from prison. The halfway house gets stoned, takes the P test, back, right back in jail. Got him. - Got him. - Yeah, he was out, I think he was out like. Maybe 24, 36 hours at this halfway house. So whether they set him up or whether he chose to violate his parole, that's up for debate. But what we do know, and I take great satisfaction in this. You know me, I like to try to play it by the rules as much as possible, but if they held this guy down and made him smoke some weed, and especially if the warden...
Or the sheriff or somebody said, or the prosecutor, you know, made that happen. I mean, nobody's gonna feel bad about it. In fact, I get a lot of joy out of that. So he goes-- - So nothing but hatred towards this vampire. The prison and then in 2002 so that's all going on in in 96 in 2002 this happens and most of this is from the Florida Today newspaper So shortly after midnight on November 30th, 2002, John Crutchley's cellmate at the Hardy Correctional Institution found Crutchley dead.
He was wearing only boxer shorts, which were partially removed, and he had a plastic bread bag over his face being held in place with a red rubber band. Inside the bag was an asthma inhaler wrapped in a handkerchief. After an autopsy, the medical examiner, his name is Steven Nelson, ruled the death accidental but due to asphyxiation. While performing a sex act on himself. So John Crutchley's-- - So he, in a way, flicked himself to death? - It's an autoerotic asphyxiation, is how he died. And so, ultimately John Crutchley's quest for the ultimate sexual experience kept him searching.
For something more forbidden, something more bizarre. We know that during the mid 80s, he gained notoriety worldwide as the vampire rapist after he kidnapped a Florida, a California woman, and holding her in his Malabar home for two days before she escaped. Sentenced to 25 years in prison for the rape and kidnap. He then gets life for violating his probation. But we see here. John Crutchley's dangerous habits did not stop, even after all of that punishment, after all of those reasons, after getting caught. So 17 years after his arrest, his dangerous habits, his quest for the ultimate... Experience is what ultimately killed him. The prosecutor, Wolfinger, told the newspaper, His appetite for the bizarre just continued.
One thing led to another to another until it finally killed him. He was the ultimate sex fiend. He was the most bizarre defendant by far I ever prosecuted. You can do. For something more forbidden, more bizarre, he finally found it and the world is better for it. Now the Corrections Department report indicates that Crutchley's interest in unusual and risky sex was well documented throughout his time while he was locked up. We have Wesley Pope, who was Crutchley's cellmate from November 2000 to March 2001. He told investigators that he saw Crutchley do such things as inject his genitals with needles and choke himself while masturbating. Crutchley's most recent cellmate
James Elders. He had to write an affidavit and this was... A March 30th affidavit. He said that when he found John Crutchley, he thought that Crutchley was asleep when he discovered the body. He says when Crutchley didn't respond to calls and knocks on his bunk, elders looked closely, he saw the bag over Crutchley's face, he yanked it off. And then he called the guards for help. Investigators after the death, searching through Crutchley's cell.
Covered a number of items that appeared to be related to his unusual behavior, and these items were plastic gloves, razors, strings with nooses, electrical wires, black tubing, and a battery pack. - Maybe I just have a morbid curiosity, but there's two truths that, well, I guess three truths that I'd really like to know, in the story of the Florida vampire.
One, what was his childhood really like? Was this somebody that was just born a sex psycho? Or did something happen to him? Two, what was in the bag? And then three, I think the obvious question is, who were his victims? - Exactly, and the thing here is, Captain, you say you're curious about his childhood, but I mean, we have two, he wasn't the only child. - Right. - So it's reasonable to make a little bit of an assumption here that.
At least two other kids and his older sister who passed away at 13 before he was born would have experienced a similar childhood or upbringing by the two parents. So with some of these guys too, I don't know, look, at the end of the day, one thing that we know to be factual is that almost all of these guys were either abused at some point in their life or at least claimed to have been abused - People hurt people. - Correct. But what I'm getting at is if he didn't start doing what he was doing until his 30s or his 20s, I mean, there was a period of his life that he lived on his own without my... And dad. And who knows how wild and weird this dude got during that time period. And as said...
There's no reason to believe that his brother or sister did any of this type of behavior as well. That's a long way of saying it's a blessing that these types of people are unique, and unique and not a good way. Right. I'd love to have that interview with his sibling. So how many other victims were there truly? We talked about that list earlier that had 26... Potential victims on there. We know he's not responsible for a couple of them. And Maryland police going on record saying, we don't have anything to connect him to any of the cases we have here. We think that we actually have reason to believe he wasn't involved.
In any of those. We do know, and I think that even though the plea deal didn't happen, I think that we can put a lot of weight into his defense attorney going on record multiple times saying, My client was willing to confess to three, to possibly three, to possibly two. Six murders. And then I think we also have evidence that is very suggestive that he was probably responsible not just for one murder but probably a few, probably several, right? There are two victims that seem to be an obvious choice when looking at this list of victims and saying we can connect him to these ladies as the perpetrator of their murder. So if you start in Florida, there are probably several that he's good for.
Or there, but some of these victims, unfortunately, remain unidentified. No known social circles for the victim, no timeline to look at, and no known point of origin for when killer encountered the victim. So without any of that information. And as long as those victims remain unidentified, I don't think that with any level of confidence you could include them or exclude them as possible crutchly victims. It would be, to me it just wouldn't even make any sense to have a lengthy discussion about them. Because they've, with not. Knowing their identity, if you identify one of them, or all of them, you very likely could find a much better suspect right away. The ones that I feel very. Confident in here captain is Patty Lou Valinski. She's watching.
That I feel that we can put the old 99% certainty tag on, that she's a John Crushley victim. If you wanna learn more about her case, you can visit our friends at The Charlie Project. That's charlieproject.org. They are, I believe, one of, to be possibly the most comprehensive missing persons database in the world, maybe in the world. She is missing. So she was hitchhiking in Florida and what makes him a great suspect, she's the one that they found her state ID. In his possession at his office when they searched his office on December 20th, 1985. We know that he kept the identification of his rape victim.
Makes sense that when you find, when she goes missing and has been missing for months, and she was missing for about eight months by the time. They find her identification in the possession of this very violent, dangerous man. And so I don't think that that's any coincidence at all. And in fact, later Crutchley would go on record and say, Yeah, I picked her up. She was I I don't deny picking up because he can't deny everything He has to make up a plausible story as to why he would have that identification card, but not be responsible for why she Has never returned home, right and his response is I picked her up
We drove around for a little bit, we smoked a joint, she started getting really obnoxious talking about biker gangs and wanting to find drugs and so he says he kicked her out of the car and then later, I believe he says the next day, he found some of her belongings in the backseat of his car. Chose to discard all of them minus the identification card in the pictures, the wallet insert that they found. - I don't believe anything. Guy says. He admits to seeing her now that I'm sure there's at least one person out there in Listenerland that's saying well maybe she just took off on her own and her mother says look my daughter Patty yes she she might go away take off for a week a couple of Weeks. She was also known to go out of town and out of state without telling me. She was very close with her mother. Her mother does say, If we had plans, she would... Tell me why she wasn't going to make those plans. Or if we had plans, she would be there.
And when she started missing some of those plans, of course her mother became very concerned. But Patty collected a monthly disability check. And when the check came and her daughter didn't show up to. That's when she said she knew something terrible had happened to her daughter. So I and I think that to me is good enough evidence to prove that she's not just she didn't just simply walk away. The other person that I think is an obvious connection to Crutchley is Deborah Rita Fitz-John. John, up from. Virginia. Remember, it's confirmed that everybody believes that John Crutchley was the last person to see Deborah Fitz John. And unfortunately, or fortunately I guess for your investigation purposes, she's not a missing person anymore. They found her body.
Eight or nine months later after her disappearance. She was found decomposed by hunters in a remote wooded area. And again We have other persons saying that she was going to see John Crutchley that night. They had dated. They had gone on several dates. And he was. Actually, before he even moved to Florida, he was the number one suspect in that murder case. They had actively talked to Crutchley multiple times about Deborah Fitzjohn's murder. And in fact, he admits she came over to my trailer that night. When she got there, we hung out with her. Briefly, I fell asleep watching TV. When I woke up, she was putting on her coat to leave. And then he says, I never saw her again. The interesting thing here--
Saw her again. - As far as we know, yeah, there's nobody coming forward to say that she was ever seen again. Her car was. Later found about a mile walk from Crutchley's trailer. And it was found at a place called the Hunter's Lodge, which was a country music dance. Club and they interviewed all the workers there and every one of them saying, Yeah, that car that belonged to that... That woman, we know who she is, she wasn't here last night. Her car was only, it was found the day after she was missing. They didn't, not a whole lot of time passed between the time that she is believed to have disappeared and when they found her car. One thing here too that he does in this move, Captain, is...
This was about a week, actually a little more than a week after Deborah Fitz John's disappearance. A letter arrived at Fitz John's condominium, and it was from John Crutchley. It was postmarked February 4th, so this would be eight days after. She vanished. And in this letter, Crutchley apol- For his sleepiness the night of Fitz John's visit to his trailer, saying, When you get back, please call me. I don't know you very well, but in spite of your want for a new job at all, I know it's not like you to stay away for long. I like you a lot. I know that my Libra possessiveness is an affront to
Your Gemini want for freedom, but I really want to be your friend. At least answer my call or drop me a card. I promise not to bother you with calls at weird times like you get from that other guy. Please call. Love, John. Sounds like a lame attempt at an alibi to me. Bingo. And we do know in that case, captain, that at least on two occasions, to by authorities and talked into taking a polygraph examination twice. Both times he was a no-show. Surprise, surprise. Well. When police made a quick connection to this unsolved homicide up in Virginia, back from 1978, the FitzJohn's case. In Florida made a very quick connection because when they're searching his home after the
was saved crawling on the side of the road. One of the items that they find is a business card, a calling card for the decision. Who was running that investigation up in Virginia. - Right. - And then if you wanna take it a step further, And I know that not everybody likes a jailhouse snitch but this dude if If this is true, he seems to not have been able to keep his mouth quiet while he's locked up. Because he tells at least one individual about a couple of murders that he said he did and In fact, it goes into detail With what's believed to be his explanation of killing Debbie up in Virginia. He said that
This inmate, his name is Patrick Dontel, he says that Crutchley told him that quote he had sex, that they had sex and that he had taken the body out and disposed of it in the woods. We do know that she was found in the woods. He said that she was one of those kinky girls that liked to be Until she came to and then strangled again. He said unfortunately, she didn't make it to the end this Cellmate kept a journal and I'm guessing that police were able to learn quite a bit about crutchley from this journal. Again, there's several of the victims that were found. As said, there were multiple victims that were found. Within a six mile radius of John Crutchley's home. They were all found in the year 1985.
He was only locked up for 10 of those 365 days. So I think it would be reasonable to believe that there's a possibility that you could connect them to one, two, maybe all of those homicides that still remain unsolved to this very day. We have his attorney, the attorney who defended Kretschle during his 1986 trial, who said 1995, this man's name is Joe Mitchell, said, Based upon all of the information presented to me while I was representing Jon Crutchley, it was obvious to me that he was... Involved in a number of homicides. That's coming from his defense attorney. That's almost like a mother, right? Where his boy could, her boy could do no wrong opening up and... Coming forward and saying, Yeah, I think my son's a serial killer. I do, before we wrap up here...
Captain, I want to give a shout out to the Florida Today newspaper. It took a lot of source material to put together this story, especially once you factor in last week's episodes that were in a way part one and two of this lengthy story. But Florida Today and a really good writer for Florida Today and true journal, Michael Cabbage, did absolutely gangbusters work on a four-part series called Missing Proof that ran in the Florida Today paper back in October. Of 1995. In the end, this bizarre man and his bizarre death left so many lives. With a lot of unanswered questions. There are detectives that think that they failed to solve these cases. There are mothers that don't know what happened hunters.
Relatively short prison sentence, and a judge that made sure that a dangerous man who needed to be monitored if he couldn't be locked up. That he would remain on probation for the rest of his days. Despite mountains of suspicion and circumstantial evidence, during his lifetime detectives were unable to find sufficient physical evidence to indict John Crutchley for a single homicide. There are no fingerprints, no weapons, no blood-stained items that can be linked to John Crutchley. John Brennan Crutchley, the Florida vampire, remains an enigma. You could be anywhere in the world, but you're here with us. That's 'cause you're a freak. Thanks for telling your friends about the show. Thanks for telling your mama.
And your papa. Colonel, do we have any recommended reading for the beautiful, beautiful listeners? - This week, Captain, we have one of the great ones. It's Whoever Fights Monsters, My 20 Years, tracking serial killers for the FBI by the late, great Robert Ressler. Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-army CID Colonel Robert Ressler. Learned from them how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us and put them where they belong, behind bars. Check out Whoever Fights Monsters by the great Robert Ressler. You can find that book and other recommendations on our recommended page on our website, truecrimegarage.com. - Yeah, the MF/FBI.
Until next week, be good, be kind, and don't litter.
Transcript generated on 2024-04-10.