Oklahoma Death Row Inmate Executed Tuesday For The Murder of Three People

steven-ray-thackerMugshot photo of Steven R. Thacker

Steven Ray Thacker, now 42, was sentenced to death for the murders of three people during the Holiday Season in 1999. He was put to death by lethal injection Yesterday, March 12, 2013 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, after sitting on death row for 13 years.

Victim #1: On December 23, 1999 Laci Dawn Griffin Hill, 25, from Bixby, OK. Hill had placed a classified ad in the local newspaper in an attempt to sell her pool table. Thacker spotted the ad and figured it was a good opportunity so he answered the ad and made his way to Hill’s home where he raped, murdered and robbed her. Hill’s body was discovered in an abandoned cabin on December 29, 1999, just two days before the New Years Day 2000. Thacker used the items and money he had stolen from Hill and purchased presents for his wife and her two children. His would claim the lives of two more people until his capture on January 2, 2000.

Authorities soon identified Thacker on surveillance camera using Hill’s debit card but by then he had already made his way to his next victim in the neighboring state of Missouri, approximately 200 miles from Bixby.

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Photo of Laci Hill

Laci Hill’s Find A Grave

Victim #2: On New Years Day 2000 Thacker stabbed Forrest Reed Boyd, 25, after Boyd walked in on Thacker burglarizing his Aldrich, MO home. He stole Boyd’s vehicle and made his way down to Dyersburg, Tennessee.

Forrest Reed Boyd’s Find A Grave

Victim #3: Ray Patterson, 52, was a tow truck driver Dyersburg, TN. It just so happens that he was working at the time Thacker’s stolen vehicle broke down.  He contacted the tow service and when Patterson noticed the credit card used to pay for the service was stolen, he was stabbed to death.

forrest-boyd

Photo of Raymond Patterson

Thacker received two death sentences for the murders of Hill and Paterson. He received life without parole for pleading guilty to killing Boyd.

According to reports, he had a personality disorder but refused medication which would have helped his mood swings.

When asked if he had any last words he went on to apologize for his actions.

“”I would like to apologize sincerely to the families of Laci Hill, Forrest Boyd and Ray Patterson. I don’t deserve it, but as God has forgiven me, I hope you will forgive me for the pain I’ve caused.”

Thacker then winked at his stepfather, Donald Johnston, who silently nodded back at him. He was administered the lethal cocktails moments later at 6:03PM. He was pronounced dead at 6:10PM

When the execution was over, Nikki Hodgson, a friend of Hill’s, spoke about the experience saying it brought “a little bit of closure,” but that she didn’t believe the punishment was just.

“It is so humane,” she said of lethal injection. Thacker is “just going to sleep. It’s nothing like what the victims endured.”

“When something like this happens … you never truly move on. You just survive. It never leaves you, and this won’t make it leave you,” Marnie Reed, Hill’s best friend said after the execution.

According to the Death Penalty Information Website, last year there were 43 people on Oklahoma’s death row. Six were put to death bringing the toll down to 37, and Thacker is the first to be put to death this year which brings the toll to 36. He was the fifth death row inmate to have been put to death in the United States this year.

Darren Dee O’Neall – Sexual Predator And Serial Killer

darren_o'neallFull Name: Darren Dee O’Neall
Date of Birth: Born February 26, 1960 in Albuquerque, NM
Characteristics & Traits: Pathological liar, thief, dead beat father, drifter, sociopath, rapist, murderer
Number of victims: Six (known victims)
Location of Murders: Washington – Oregon – Idaho – Utah – USA
Date of murders: Threw out 1987
Date of arrest: September 22, 1987
Age at time of arrest: 27
Method of Murder: Stabbing with knife / Hitting with a hammer
Motive of Murder: Sexual Predator

Darren O’Neall didn’t have a positive childhood which would mold him into the person he became. A psychopath.

O’Neall grew up a pathological liar and when he hit his teen years he became interested in watching and performing violent sex acts and taking part in illegal behavior. He had impregnated woman and left them to fend parenthood alone. A transient, he traveled the western United States reading the novels of his favorite author, Louis L’Amour, who would regularly write books about cowboys, Indians, gunslinger, outlaws, Texas Rangers and frontier marshals. O’Neall envisioned himself as the characters he read about and even assumed alias’ using their names.

As a teenager he would commit petty thefts and other illegal activity. He never had a proper home life to give him any balance and his behavior continued to grow more dark. As he grew older he started frequenting bars and pubs and remained a loner who went unnoticed among the public. In fact, aside from family and the few friendships he managed to have, it seemed the only people who knew about O’Neall were different Law Enforcement agencies throughout several states. Officers would describe him as a man who kept on his feet most likely in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the law.

Petty thefts would soon turn  to burglary and robbery, carjackings and then assaults, and in 1987 his crimes would turn fatal and ruin the lives of many families.

robin_smith

Robin Pamela Smith, born in New Britain, CT, on April 4, 1965. On the night of March 28, 1987 when she was 22 years old, she left her home for a party with her new friend, “Herb Johnson”. Family and friends didn’t know much about her new male friend. They also didn’t think for a moment that she would never return home.

Photo of Robin Smith as a child (age 11)

On May 1, 1987, over one month after Robin vanished, police found her vehicle abandoned near Marysville, north of Seattle, WA. When they searched the trunk they found her bloody clothes and several of her teeth. She had been bludgeoned to death with a hammer. Police already feared the worst but after the gruesome discovery they were certain of her death and immediately started to investigate to determine a possible suspect. A check on the vehicles registration revealed it had been stolen two weeks prior in Nampa, Idaho.

robin_smith_bloody_evidencebloody_sock_robin_smith

 

Photos of Robin’s bloodstained coat and bloody sock

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Photo of the stolen car where police found Robin’s teeth and bloody clothes

The owner of the vehicle was a trucker who recalled the thief in vivid detail. He described a young, blonde man with the word “JUNE” tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand. The trucker had picked him up and offered him a place to stay the night.

Apparently no deed goes unpunished and when the trucker woke up the following morning the unidentified man was gone and his vehicle had been stolen along with his licensed gun, a .357 magnum revolver.

The tattoo description gave authorities a clue which would eventually lead to the culprit. A culprit who was running from child support payments after abandoning his wife and child six years earlier. Sadly, by the time Robin wasn’t the first nor the last victim of the killers bloody rampage on woman.

Read Crime Library – Serial Killer Darren O’Neall for the full in-depth look into the life of Darren D. O’Neall, before, during and after his murder spree.

For shorter versions of this case, read Murdapedia – Darren D. O’Neall for a list of articles.

 

Serial Killer who chopped up his victims and sold their flesh to Chinese markets is finally executed

01/10/13, CHINA — A Chinese serial killer was finally executed today after spending six months in a Chinese jail for the murder and dismemberment of eleven Jinning County residents.

March, 2008 thru April, 2012, Zhang Yongming, 57, strangled eleven boys and young men, all residents of Jinning County. After murdering his victims, he would chopped them to pieces and then sell their flesh as ostrich meat at the local market. He would then burn any leftovers in an attempt to destroy evidence.

horrific

He was finally arrested in the beginning of May, 2012 in Nanmen village which is located in Yunnan province. He was investigated over the murder of one of his last victims, a 19-year-old man. When police searched his home they found the young man’s cellphone, credit card, etc, but the most gruesome discovery was numerous eyeballs being preserved in wine bottles. Which is a traditional practice in the Asian culture with snakes, to make “snake wine” and dried human meat.

After discovering the evidence, Zhang was immediately arrested and the following month he was sentenced to death by Kunming Intermediate People’s Court.

The court deemed his acts “extremely cruel” and that the consequences were going to be “extremely serious.” He was also denied his political rights for the rest of his (short) life.

This isn’t the first time Zhang was sentenced to death. He was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for homicide in 1979 when he was 24 years old. He was released in September 1997 at age 42 after receiving a number of several sentence reductions. But despite having his life saved and getting a plot of land and compensation from the government, Zhang continued to commit crimes.

In his village, Zhang was known as a “Cannibal Monter”. But despite the suspicion of other village goers, and the fact that he had already been sentenced to death and released, he was able to get away with multiple murders over a four-year time span.

The other villagers told a local reporter that they had witnessed what they believed to be white bones protruding from the top of green bags, which were hanging from Zhang’s home.

According to MailOnline, Beijing administration refuses to publish its execution statistics and is believed to have the highest rates in the world. The latest report from Amnesty International predicts ‘thousands’ every year, whilst U.S.-based advocacy group the Duihua foundation estimated that 4,000 prisoners were executed in 2011.

America’s Youngest Serial Killer – Craig Chandler Price

Pictured; Craig Chandler Price (Park Elementary) School-photo taken in his younger years.

On September 4, 1989, Marie Bouchard went to check on her daughter Joan Heaton, 39, and her two grandchildren, Jennifer, 10, and Melissa, 8, at their home on Metropolitan Drive in the Buttonwoods area of Warwick, R.I. She was concerned because she hadn’t heard from them over the Labor Day weekend. Marie’s other daughter, Mary Lou, accompanied her to Joan’s house. It was a visit that would change their lives forever.

Pictured; The Heaton’s at Church – Joan, 39, Jennifer (10) and Melissa (8)

When Marie and Mary Lou went to the house, they found it unusual that no one answered the door when they called. They knew Joan must have been nearby because her car was still parked in the driveway, so they rang the doorbell several more times. Still, there was no answer. They decided to take a look inside the house.

When they entered, they immediately knew something was terribly wrong. The interior was splattered with blood and a putrid smell permeated the air. As they walked further into the house, they made a heart-wrenching discovery.

They saw Joan lying beneath blood-soaked sheets in the hallway. Her oldest daughter, Jennifer, was lying nearby and Melissa was on the kitchen floor. All three had been brutally murdered.

Marie and Mary Lou were horror-stricken. Just days earlier Marie had spent the day with Joan and her grandchildren shopping and enjoying time together. It was hard to imagine that they were all dead.

The mother and daughter called the police soon after they discovered the bodies. Within moments, rescue workers arrived on the scene followed shortly thereafter by detectives. The house was cordoned off and an investigation of the crime scene began.

Detectives were shocked at the savagery of the crime. Even the most seasoned investigators had difficulty holding back tears. All the victims had been stabbed multiple times with kitchen knives. The youngest child, Melissa, was stabbed so fiercely that one of the blades actually broke off in her neck. She also had her skull bashed in with a kitchen stool. Apart from the 57 stab wounds inflicted on her body, Joan was also bludgeoned and strangled. It was believed that they were murdered three days prior to the discovery.

The heinous murders were the worst the city had seen in recent times. News of the triple homicide sent shock waves through the small town. No one felt safe and residents looked to the police for answers. Even though investigators had little to go on, they vowed to find the murderer. It was a promise they would keep.

The Warwick Police Department had their finest working on the case. They were determined to catch the person responsible for the murders and they worked day and night reviewing evidence and interviewing locals who might have information related to the crime. They also enlisted one of the FBI’s top profilers, Gregg O. McCrary, to assist in the investigation.

McCrary stated in his book The Unknown Darkness, that he believed the murderer was likely someone from the Heaton’s neighborhood. Moreover, he suggested the crime was probably connected with another unsolved murder that took place two years earlier in Buttonwoods. The coincidences between the crimes were significant.

In July 1987, Rebecca Spencer, 27, was found dead in her living room. She had been stabbed repeatedly with a packing knife. At the time of her death she was preparing to move to another neighborhood.

Photo of Rebecca Spencer and her son Steven, taken in 1979. Rebecca was a divorced mother of two who lived two doors from Price on Inez Avenue in the Buttonwoods neighborhood of Warwick, RI. The crime went unsolved for more than two years.

In both the Heaton and the Spencer cases, the killer used a weapon that was already present in the house. This presented strong evidence that the killer originally entered the residence for another purpose, such as to burglarize the house. It is likely that the intruder was caught unaware and murdered the eyewitnesses using what McCrary referred to as a “weapon of opportunity.”

Robbers often burglarize houses they know. The more familiar you are with the contents of a house, the more successful your robbery will be. Consequently, burglars regularly choose to rob houses that are close to where they live. McCrary suggested that in both cases the murderer likely entered the residences with the intention of robbing and probably was familiar with the houses and/or residents. Moreover, he believed the murderer lived in the Buttonwoods area because both crimes were committed five houses from one another.

Another similarity between the cases was an unusual display of “overkill.” Joan and Rebecca were stabbed approximately 60 times each, and the children approximately 30 times. Due to the excessive nature of the crimes, it was highly probable that the same person committed the murders.

McCrary suggested to investigators that the “frenetic manner of the stabbing,” used to kill the Heatons likely resulted in the murderer stabbing his own hand. He told them that they should look for someone in the neighborhood with a cut or bandaged hand. McCrary’s advice was of great use to investigators because it significantly narrowed the search for a suspect. They had a location in which to begin and a possible characteristic of the suspect. All they needed was some luck.

On September 5, 1989, just one day after the bodies were discovered, investigators got their first real break in the case. According to Denise Lang’s book, A Call for Justice, police detectives Ray Pendergast and Mark Brandreth were driving through a park near Buttonwoods, “when Pendergast spotted a familiar face.” They stopped the car to talk to a neighborhood boy named Craig Price, 15, who Pendergast once coached in a local basketball program.

Pendergast asked the youth if he heard about the murders. Craig responded with concern that he was aware of what had happened and that he had seen the bodies coming out of the house the day before. He lived just a few doors away from the Heaton family.

During the conversation, Pendergast and Brandreth noticed that Craig had a bandage on his hand. Suspicious, Pendergast asked how he hurt himself. Craig claimed that he got drunk several nights earlier and punched his hand through a car window on Keeley Avenue. As the detectives pulled away they could not help but wonder if Craig was telling the truth about his hand. Why would he admit to two police officers that he vandalized a car?

It seemed unlikely that a teenager would commit such ghastly crimes as the Heaton murders, let alone such a good-humored and vivacious kid as Craig. However, the fact that the boy had a cut on his hand and lived on the same street as the Heatons was too much of a coincidence to ignore. It was something both officers felt compelled to follow up on, which they did.

The detectives wrote up a report and began to investigate Craig’s story. They learned that there was no police report of a car window being smashed in the area Craig mentioned. They also went to Keeley Avenue and found no evidence of glass on the street. The two detectives began to further doubt Craig’s story.

Craig became a viable suspect in the Heaton murders. Even though many in the department believed the officers were wasting their time investigating him, Pendergast and Brandreth decided to follow their gut feelings and pursue Craig as a lead. They just needed more evidence to support their theory.

In the meantime, expert blood analyst Dr. Henry Lee was contacted by police and asked to examine the Heatons’ residence for clues. He went to the house and analyzed the blood splatters and trails. During his investigation, he gathered vital clues from the crime scene including a bloody sock imprint. Whoever left the imprint wore a size 13 shoe.

Craig Price was not an average teenager. At age 15, he already had a history of offenses including a record of breaking and entering, theft, peeping into houses and using drugs. He was also known to have a violent temper. Police had been called to his house on more than one occasion to settle disputes in which he was involved.

Investigators working on the Heaton case decided it was time to question Craig more thoroughly. They went to Craig’s house and asked him to come with his parents to the police station, which they did. During questioning, Craig was asked more detailed questions about how he cut his hand. He maintained his story that he hurt himself while trying to break into a car. Investigators were not convinced and asked him to take a lie-detector test.

The following day, Craig submitted to a polygraph. He was asked questions relating to how he cut his hand. The test revealed that Craig was lying. According to Lang, “it was the first big break in the case.”

Pictured; Warwick Police Department Building

Even though the polygraph proved that Craig was dishonest, however, it didn’t prove that he was involved in the murders. Investigators needed more evidence.

During interviews with Craig’s friends and acquaintances, investigators learned that he ran with a gang of juvenile delinquents who were known to burglarize houses. More significantly, they discovered that Craig boasted about killing Rebecca Spencer. It was the first evidence they had connecting Craig to a murder. Investigators were quick to obtain a search warrant for his house.

Detectives Kevin Collins, Arthur Anderson and Tim Colgan organized a search team. They devised a plan to set up overnight surveillance of the house before actually going in to search the residence. They wanted to make sure Craig was there and didn’t leave the premises.

In the early morning hours of September 17, detectives gave the signal to move in on the house. A team of officers led by Collins, Anderson and Colgan rang the doorbell. Craig’s father answered the door and was shocked to see the police on his doorstep. He had no choice but to let them in.

The rest of the family, including Craig, his mother and brother were awakened and asked to sit in the living room during the search. They were all visibly distressed by the drama, except for Craig who dozed off to sleep on the couch. It didn’t take investigators long to find what they were looking for.

While searching the shed behind the house, a trash bag was found full of incriminating evidence. Within the bag were several bloody knives from the Heaton household, along with bloodied articles of clothing, gloves and other objects. Investigators woke up Craig and arrested him for the murders of Joan, Jennifer and Melissa. Surprisingly, he seemed unaffected.

Pictured; Craig, 15, being arrested at his home in Buttonwood’s as he smirks for the camera-crew.

Craig was ushered from his house to the police station with his parents in tow. He was booked, then interrogated about the murders. The detectives hoped Craig would come clean about his crimes. They got more than expected.

During the interview, Craig amazed detectives when he immediately confessed to the Heaton murders. He described in detail the events of the fateful night, although his story periodically changed. Eventually, he became worn out and decided that it was easier to tell the truth. According to Lang, “what came out of his mouth next stunned even the most experienced and jaded listeners and sent his father, John Price, to the men’s room to vomit, rendering him unable to return.”

Craig’s horrified mother stood by her son as he recounted the events that took place at the Heaton residence approximately two weeks earlier. He told his interrogators that his primary intention was to burglarize the house. He said that he found an open window in the kitchen, which he crawled through. He accidentally landed on a table, which broke but, despite the noise, he continued in the burglary.

He claimed that he walked through the residence looking for items to steal. He didn’t realize that the noise had awakened Joan. She walked into the kitchen and spotted Craig when she turned on the light. In a state of panic, Craig said that he grabbed Joan, then beat and strangled her. Joan’s screams woke up the children who stumbled out of their beds to the hallway. Melissa ran to the kitchen to call the police but Craig overpowered her.

Craig tackled the girls to the floor, then went to the kitchen, grabbed some knives and began to stab them all. During the attack, one of the girls bit Craig’s hand. In a fit of rage, he bit the girl back on the face. Craig also bit Joan. Moreover, he smashed the youngest girl over the head with a stool, when she continued to struggle against him. Craig didn’t expect that the three would put up such a fight, but they did. They fought until they succumbed to their injuries.

Craig said that during the murders he had accidentally stabbed his hand. He removed the gloves he was wearing and tended to his injuries in the bathroom. He didn’t realize that he left a trail of blood and sock prints behind him.

Evidence collected from the crime scene was later found to support Craig’s story. The blood analysis conducted by Dr. Lee showed that some of the blood samples matched Craig’s blood type. Moreover, Craig’s shoe size was the same as the sock prints. There was no doubt he was telling the truth.

Craig further admitted to covering the Heatons’ bodies with blankets, probably out of shame for what he had done. He then tried to clean up the crime scene with towels but he feared that if he stayed too long police would catch him. He quickly gathered the knives, gloves and some of the bloodied towels and sprinted from the scene.

Craig said he immediately returned to his home several doors away. He confessed that he hid his blood-soaked clothes in a bag in the attic. Detectives were alerted to the evidence and later found the bag in the precise location where Craig said it could be found.

Following Craig’s detailed account of the Heaton murders, he surprised detectives again. When asked about Rebecca Spencer, Craig admitted that he also killed her. He was just 13 years old at the time.

Craig had no difficulty remembering his first murder. He provided investigators with details of the night in question, while showing little remorse for what he had done. After his confession, a wave of disgust mixed with relief passed over the detectives. Four murders solved within the space of several hours was a rare break.

Investigators working on the case were glad they finally had their man. They just hoped Craig would get what he deserved for the atrocities he committed, preferably a very long prison sentence. They would have a long wait.

Craig Price had the law on his side. Despite the brutal murders he committed, Craig would never have to face a trial or serve prison time because he confessed to his crimes just weeks before his 16th birthday. According to Rhode Island state law, all the courts could do was hold him in a training school until his 21st birthday and no longer. Thus after five years, Craig would be a free man with a clean record.

The thought of Craig serving only five years for four brutal murders enraged the citizens of Rhode Island, especially the families of the victims. It was obvious that the law was working against them. However, at the time of Craig’s offense, teenage serial killers below the age of 16 were a rare phenomenon. In fact, Craig was considered to be one of the country’s youngest serial killers.

Even though Craig could not be tried for the murders, he still had to undergo a court hearing before he could be placed in the training school. On September 21, 1989 Craig appeared before Judge Carmine R. DiPetrillo at the Kent County Courthouse. During the brief proceedings, Craig was presented with the murder and burglary charges against him, to which he pleaded guilty.

WPD escorting Price to Kent County Court House

Craig was ordered to serve five years at the Rhode Island Training School’s Youth Correctional Center (YCC), a maximum-security detention facility. He was also ordered to undergo intense psychological examination and therapy. However, Craig refused treatment. Moreover, he refused to officially discuss the murders at all by pleading the Fifth Amendment.

Craig withdrew from the diagnostic and treatment program arranged by the judge on the advice of his lawyers. According to court documents, the reasoning behind the decision was based on fears that the psychiatric examination might, “result in his being placed in a psychiatric facility for commitment beyond his twenty-first birthday.” Despite court intervention, Craig stuck to his guns and refused to submit to any psychological measures.

In the meantime, Craig carried on with life within the institution. He completed his high school equivalency test and began taking satellite college courses. He believed he needed to improve himself academically so that he could get a good job when he was let out of the YCC.

By 1993, Craig developed a reputation for good behavior within the training school, despite the fact that he refused treatment. In fact, he was in such good standing that his superiors granted him permission to counsel other youths at the facility. Moreover, Gina Macris suggested in a 1993 article in The Providence Journal that Craig also performed light security duties, which included patrolling the school’s hallways. Craig was even allowed to make a rap video at the school, which included threatening lyrics.

When the news broke of Craig’s special treatment at the facility, Rhode Island citizens and the families of the victims demanded that it be stopped. After much protest it ended, but the bigger problem still remained. Time was running short and Craig’s release date was steadily approaching. There was less than one and a half years to work out a way to prevent him from being freed.

Four figures were instrumental in the campaign to stop Craig’s release. They were Joan Heaton’s mother, Marie; her sister, Mary Lou; Capt. Kevin Collins, who led the Heaton investigation; and Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Pine. From the beginning, they lobbied the Rhode Island legislature to institute new bills to prevent Craig’s release and others like him. Moreover, they went out of their way to inform the world of Craig’s crimes and his upcoming release. Together, they tried every possible avenue to prevent Craig from having the chance to murder again.

In 1990, Pine and Collins were key figures in instigating the passing of the O’Neil bill, which toughened sentences on teenage murderers. In 1993, Pine introduced a controversial bill that would give the Office of the Attorney General the power to civilly commit a mentally ill individual to a mental institution if the person posed a danger to society. Many thought the bill would discriminate against the mentally ill and give those with psychological problems a bad name. It was also argued that the bill specifically targeted Craig and could be used to prevent him from ever being freed.

Pine stood his ground. His main interest was making sure Craig stayed locked up for as long as possible. Lang quoted Pine as saying, “I will do everything I can to prevent another tragedy.” Much to his delight and that of the families of the victims, the Craig Price Bill was passed that same year. It was a huge step, which they hoped would result in Craig being forced to submit to a psychiatric diagnostic and treatment program.

In October 1993, Collins organized Citizens Opposed to the Release of Price (CORP). The nonprofit organization concentrated on raising funds that would be used to increase public awareness about Craig’s crimes and assist with lobbying efforts. The goal was to get critical bills passed that would prevent Craig from being released.

Marie and Mary Lou also helped lead the growing campaign. They traveled throughout the state alerting the general public about Craig’s upcoming release. According to a Time article by Jill Smolowe, the group worked endlessly, rallying to get funding, petitions signed and information to the public, hoping to “make Price’s name a household word.” Within months the organization attracted hundreds of volunteers, raised tens of thousands of dollars and gained national attention.

In the interim, Craig was preparing himself to begin a new life. By the end of the year he had already been ordered on six occasions to adhere to mandatory psychiatric evaluations and therapy. Nonetheless, he continued to refuse for fear that he would be forced into a mental institution after his five years at the training school. However, his days of hiding behind the Fifth Amendment were numbered.

In May 1994, President Bill Clinton flew to Providence, where he was scheduled to meet and discuss state affairs. Thousands of demonstrators and a circling airplane that carried the banner “Alert! Killer of 4 Craig Price Moving Here!” greeted Clinton as he arrived in the city. It was clear that the citizens of Rhode Island wanted something done about the Craig Price matter, and they were not going to give up until the problem was solved.

In a televised interview, Clinton expressed his dismay about Craig being let out in approximately six months. He suggested that the records of juvenile offenders should not be sealed but publicly accessible. He also mentioned that the laws needed to be changed to prevent juveniles with a violent history from purchasing firearms.

Just 15 days after Clinton aired his comments, Rhode Island lawmakers reviewed bills concerning public access to juvenile criminal records and juvenile gun laws. However, the problem concerning Craig’s release was still unanswered. Craig’s luck was about to change.

On June 8, 1994, Rhode Island residents were shocked to learn that Craig was indicted on one count of simple assault and extortion for threatening to injure Officer Mark Petrella, a training school employee. One week later, Craig was arraigned and bail was set at $500,000. His trial was scheduled for later that fall.

That same month Craig faced another problem. His refusal to submit to psychiatric examinations and therapy had gone on too long. He was warned that he was in danger of being held in contempt of court if he failed to undergo treatment. Yet, he would not sway.

Craig’s hearing took place on June 27 at the Providence County Family Court before Judge S. Jeremiah Jr. During the proceedings, Craig was again ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam but his answer remained the same. The judge found him in civil contempt and added an extra year to his incarceration to be served at the Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston, Rhode Island. The only way that Craig could reduce the sentence was by submitting to the court order.

After almost five years, Craig finally complied with the order and agreed to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Dr. Barnum, a forensic psychiatrist and former head of the Boston Juvenile Court Clinic, led the evaluation. Even though Craig participated in the assessment, he didn’t do it whole-heartedly. In fact, it was discovered that he lied about many of the events concerning the murders. It was a matter that would later be addressed by the Family and District Courts. In the meantime, all eyes were focused on the upcoming trial.

On October 3, 1994, Craig’s trial began at the Superior Court in Providence. It was a long-awaited showdown that held the media and country in suspense. A majority of those who packed the courtroom were anxious to see if justice would finally prevail. They wouldn’t have to wait very long.

Overhearing the case was Judge Thomas Needham. Attorney’s Robert Mann and Katie Hynes led the defense team. Prosecutors Patrick Youngs and Mike Stone represented the state’s case against Craig.

The hushed courtroom listened intently to the opening statements made by Stone, as he ushered in one of the state’s most highly publicized trials. He told jurors that they would learn how Craig verbally assaulted Petrella, after he was given a disciplinary report to sign for possession of contraband material (cigarettes and a lighter). Moreover, they would hear how Craig threatened the officer if he continued his job at the facility. The prosecution planned to introduce five witnesses.

Mann’s statements followed those of the prosecution. When he addressed the jury, he didn’t deny that Craig was angry at Petrella’s report or that he used inappropriate language during the confrontation. However, he stated that he would introduce witnesses who would prove that Craig never assaulted or extorted Petrella.

After the opening statements, the prosecution called their first witness, Mark Petrella. For two hours Petrella gave a detailed account of the confrontation and how Craig verbally attacked him using profane language and then threatened to “snuff” him if he ever returned to work. He also said that several officers witnessed the incident and tried unsuccessfully to calm Craig’s increasingly volatile behavior.

Jurors also heard the testimony of four other witnesses who worked at the training school. Their stories agreed with Petrella’s account. Author Lang claimed that at the end of the day the state rested its case, pleased that it, “had gotten their point across and the facts had not been contradicted.”

The next day as the proceedings were set to continue, Mann asked to excuse the jury so that he could address the court alone. Once the jury had left, Mann asked the court for an acquittal based on insufficient evidence. The judge denied the request and ordered the continuation of the proceedings.

As the trial commenced, the defense team introduced Antwyon Carter as their first witness. Carter was an employee at the training school who witnessed the argument first hand between Petrella and Craig. During his testimony, he claimed that he never heard Craig use the word “snuff” against Petrella. Moreover, he suggested that he didn’t take any security measures during or after the incident because he didn’t believe the dispute was a life-threatening situation.

However, during cross-examination by the prosecution, Carter contradicted himself by indicating that Craig’s actions were threatening. The defense’s case was weakened by Carter’s statement. They decided it was time to bring on another witness who worked at the facility. Yet, when the man took the stand, he also suggested that Craig acted in a threatening way towards Petrella. The defense’s case began to fall apart.

The next day, Mann decided to let Craig testify on his own behalf. It was the moment everyone waited for. All eyes turned their attention to Craig when he recounted the argument he had with Petrella.

Craig told the jury that after the cigarettes and lighter were found in his possession, Petrella gave him the impression that he would not report the incident. He suggested that he was surprised and then angered when Petrella presented him with the disciplinary report later that day. He admitted to shouting profanity at the officer but denied having ever threatened to “snuff” him out. Craig believed that Petrella’s report was part of a conspiracy to keep him locked up.

During cross-examination by the prosecution, Craig flew into a rage, claiming that everyone lied to get him in trouble. He told awed listeners that he was the only honest person who had taken the stand during the trial. In fact, he accused prosecutors of being at the head of the conspiracy to put him behind bars permanently.

Craig’s outburst marked the end of the trial. Both the defense and prosecution teams prepared to present their closing arguments for the following day. By the time the news of Craig’s testimony hit the stand, many believed that his hope of attaining freedom was a lost cause. It was only a matter of time.

On October 6, 1994, the defense and the prosecution teams presented their closing arguments. Following brief but powerful arguments, the jury retired to deliberate on the case. It would take them a day to reach a decision.

The next afternoon the jury returned their verdict. Craig was found guilty on both counts of extortion and simple assault. According to Lang, when the verdict was read, “those listening seemed to feel that what he was really found guilty of was the long-ago murders.” Relief spread throughout much of the courtroom as fears of Craig returning to society rapidly diminished.

That December, a hearing was held to determine Craig’s punishment. Judge Needham sentenced him to 15 years, eight of which were suspended, at the Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston. Craig’s problems weren’t over yet.

According to a 2004 article in The Providence Journal, Craig bit a correctional officer’s finger during a brawl in February 1996. The article stated that prosecutors took “the uncommon step” of charging him for probation violation, even though he was still imprisoned. He was also charged with assault. Craig was found guilty of the accusations and sentenced to an additional year in prison.

The next year, Craig was placed on trial for criminal contempt because he failed to comply with the psychological evaluations ordered by the state. The charges against him stemmed from complaints from psychiatrists who claimed that he lied about the events surrounding the murders. During the trial, Craig admitted to the charges and he was eventually found guilty. According to court records, Craig received an additional 25 years on top of his other sentences. Ten of the years were to be served outright with 15 years probation.

In October 1998, seven more years were added to Craig’s sentence for assaulting a correctional officer. It would not be his last time. In February 1999 and again in October 2001, Craig was sentenced to a total of four more years for again verbally and physically assaulting correctional officers.

In 2011 Craig went up for parole and was denied yet again. 2022 will be the next time he is eligable.

Pictured; In 2011, Craig Price, 38, flew in from Florida where he is currently incarcerated to attend a court appearance to see if he would be eligible for parole. He was denied.

 Craig Price’s parents look on during oral arguments before the Rhode Island Supreme Court as the four-time killer seeks a reduction in his 25-year contempt-of-court sentence.  Pool photo by Kathy Borchers/The Providence Journal

To date, there is no telling exactly when Craig Price will ever be released from prison. His projected release date is scheduled for February 2022. However, some don’t expect Craig will be released until well after the date, because of his continuing volatile behavior towards prison guards. Many Rhode Islanders prefer it that way.

Craig Price is 39-years-old as of 2012.

Source: Trutv/Crime Library

Years later, the family of Spencer and the Heaton’s speak about life before and after their loved ones brutally murder(s) – http://www.teenkillers.org/index.php/memorials/rhode-island-victims/rebecca-spencer-joan-jennifer-melissa-heaton/

Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs (3guys1hammer) – Warning; GRAPHIC Story And Photos

 les tueurs sanguinaires de Dnepropetrovsk

Photo’s and video link are GRAPHIC, not for the faint of heart. If you want to skip the story and go right to the gory video then go to the bottom of this post and click the link.

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→ Residents in the small town of Dnepropetrovsk located in Ukraine, were on high-alert during the summer of 2007. A killer(s) was on a gruesome murder-spree and didn’t care who they hurt or what time of day it was or if people were around to witness. Male, females and children were brutally murdered in a random acts of violence. What made it even scarier is the fact that the killers didn’t have a purpose for the crimes committed. It was being done out of pure evil and these ‘humans’ took sick pleasure out of it.

Igor Suprunyuck (left) – Alexander Hanzha (middle) – Viktor Sayenko (far right)

♦ Igor Suprunyuck and Viktor Sayenko, both 19, and Alexander Hanzha  became famously known by the media as The ”Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs” for the gruesome murder-sprees they committed. By the time they were arrested, 21 lives were taken and families and friends forever broken by the horrible death’s their loved ones had to endure.

Sayenko and Suprunyuck (pictured) and had a hobby of killing animals. The group would hunt for animals, kill them and even hang them to die. The photo above shows Suprunyuck and Sayenko posing for the camera, Hanzha is taking the photo. In the back you will notice a cat hanging. But soon animal killing wouldn’t be enough and the ”Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs” went out to get a bigger ”rush”.

Although Alexander Hanza hung around with Sayenko and Suprunyuck, did crimes which included robberies, etc, he wasn’t involved in the actual murders involving people, despite it being called ”3guys1hammer”

→ On June 25th, 2007, the Dnepropetrovsk Maniac’s struck their first victim, A 33-year-old woman named Ekaterina Ilchenko. Ekaterina was walking down the street during daytime hours, minding her business when she crossed paths with Suprunyuck and Sayenko who were calm as they strolled past her, then Suprunyuck, who was carrying a  hammer with a plastic-bag over it, did a 360 and caved there hammer into the side of Ekaterina’s head. Coincidently, the victim’s mother was the one who spotted her laying in the road, dead.  Natalia Ilchenko recalled finding her daughter unrecognizable after the hammer attack, and commented that the killers should not be compared to animals because they killed for fun.

Within two-hours of killing Ekaterina, the two targeted their next victim, Roman Tatarevich, who was taking a nap on a park-bench not far from the first murder. Roman’s head was smashed with blunt objects several times deeming him unrecognizable. Ironically the bench he was located on was right across the street from the local prosecutors office.

Suprunyuck posing next to Roman Tatarevich’s murdered body

On July 1, two more victims, Evgeniya Grischenko and Nikolai Serchuk, were found murdered in the nearby town of Novomoskovsk.

On the night of July 6, three more people were murdered in Dnipropetrovsk. The first was Egor Nechvoloda, a recently discharged army recruit, who was bludgeoned while walking home from a night club. His mother discovered his body in the morning by their apartment building on Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street.

Elena Shram, a 28-year-old night guard, was then murdered around the corner on Kosiora Street.According to Sayenko’s taped confession, as Shram walked towards them, Suprunyuck struck her with the hammer he had been hiding under his shirt and struck her several more times after she fell down. She had been carrying a bag filled with clothes. The men picked up the bag, used the clothes to clean the hammer, and threw the bag out. Later the same night, the men murdered a woman named Valentina Hanzha (no relation to Alexander Hanzha), a mother of three married to a disabled husband.

The following day, July 7, two 14-year-old boys from Podgorodnoye, a nearby village, were attacked as they went fishing. One of the two friends, Andrei Sidyuck, was killed, but the other, Vadim Lyakhov, managed to escape. Investigator’s at first suspected Vadim Lyakhov of killing his friend, interrogating the young boy,  He was reportedly denied access to counsel and beaten by police during
questioning. It didn’t take very long for authorities to realize the murder of Andrei Sidyuck was related to the murders committed by the ” Dnepropetrovsk Maniac’s.” The young boy then helped create a sketch of the killers, these sketches would ultimately be the clue to finding the culprits, but not before they struck again, killing a dozen more victims.

Andrei Sidyuck

Pictured: Andrei Sidyuck (14) murdered during a fishing trip with his friend, Vadim Lyakhov.

These cruel sick murderer’s not only brutally murdered innocent lives, but they video-recorded it. after their arrest, Police got a hold of the recording’s on their phones and laptop(s), but not before one video leaked onto the internet showing the horrific murder of 48-year-old Sergei Yatzenko.

At one point, Suprunyuck is seen looking through binoculars for any approaching vehicles. He can also be seen posing with a hammer, which he conceals inside a yellow plastic bag.

Suprunyuck posing just moments before Sergei Yatzenko’s brutal murder.  He is holding the murder weapon which is covered by a yellow bag.

Actual still-shot of Sergei Yatzenko being knocked to the pavement

After twenty minutes, Sergei Yatzenko arrives on a bicycle, and is knocked to the ground before the attack in the woods next to the road begins.

He is seen lying on his back in a wooded area, and is struck repeatedly in the face with a hammer held inside a plastic bag. One attacker stabs Yatzenko in the eye and abdomen with a screwdriver. Yatzenko is then struck with the hammer to ensure he is dead. The attack lasts over four minutes, during which the victim lapses in and out of consciousness. One murderer is seen smiling towards the camera during the video.The murderers walk back to their car, showing that the crime took place close to the side of a road, next to their parked car. They discuss the murder calmly, expressing mild surprise that the victim was still breathing after a screwdriver was plunged into his exposed brain. The suspects then wash their hands and the hammer with a water bottle, and begin to laugh. Only two suspects appear to be present in the video, with one always behind the camera.

Sergei Yatzenko's widow Lyudmila holds his pho...

Sergei Yatzenko’s widow Lyudmila holds his photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sergei Yatzenko’s widow Lyudmila holds his photograph

At around 2:30 PM on the day of the murder, he called his wife to say he was
going to fill his Dnepr motorcycle and visit his grandchild.
He never arrived at his son’s house, and his cell phone was turned off by 6 PM.
His wife Lyudmila called a friend and walked around the village, afraid that her
husband might have fallen ill or had a motorcycle accident. They could not
locate any sign of him. They also could not file a missing person’s report,
since in Ukraine a person cannot be declared missing until at 72 hours after
last being seen. The next day, Lyudmila posted photographs of her husband around
the village, and enlisted more local help to search the surrounding area. Four
days later, a local who saw one of Lyudmila’s posters remembered seeing an
abandoned Dnepr bike in a remote wooded area by a garbage dump. He took
Yatzenko’s relatives to the scene, where they discovered his mutilated and
decomposing body.

 

Twelve more murders followed, including a pregnant woman who was brutally murdered and her fetus was cut out of her womb. In addition to the earlier sprees, two victims were found each day from July 14
through 16.One of the victims was a pregnant woman, she was bludgeoned and her fetus was cut out of her womb. No sexual assaults on any victims were reported.

 Lidia Mikrenischeva, the only surviving victim, was an elderly lady who survived the hammer attack and helped to identify the killers in court, was also interviewed. She recalled being struck on the head from behind and falling to the ground, but her life was saved when the dogs accompanying her barked loudly and scared off the attackers.

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The suspects were also found in possession of multiple photographs showing them attending funerals of the victims. They can be seen smiling and ‘flipping off’ the coffins and gravestones, which shows just how cruel and inhumane these young men really are.

Evidence of animal abuse was also shown in court, with the suspects posing alongside mutilated animal corpses, as told above.

On 02//11/09, Suprunyuck (back) and Sayenko (far left) were sentenced to life-in-prison. (Suprunyuck was found guilty of 21 murders, Sayenko of 18) – Alexander Hanzha (front, right) was not involved in the actual killings, was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to nine years in prison.

The photographic and video evidence was shown in court on October 29, 2008, as part of a larger presentation of over 300 photographs and two videos. The defense objected to the presentation, claiming that the evidence was obtained illegally, and that the subjects shown in the video and the photographs were digitally altered to resemble the suspects. When Suprunyuck and Sayenko were asked if they recognized the people in the photographs, they replied that they did not. Judge Ivan Senchenko responded by stating, “You are not blind.” Valery Voronyuck, an expert on film and video editing, testified that the video was not faked or altered. The court rejected all defense objections, accepted the prosecution’s argument that the material was genuine, and showed the suspects in the act of murdering their victims.

On February 11, 2009, the court in Dnipropetrovsk found Igor Suprunyuck and
Viktor Sayenko guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced both to life
imprisonment.

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Sergei Yatzenko was one of the victims of the Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs. His brutal murder was not only video taped by the killers, but the video was leaked to the public. I warn you, the video is very graphic. If you don’t believe me then believe the reactions on the photo above.

3 guys 1 hammer (brutal murder on tape)