Categotry Archives: Criminals

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Harold Shipman

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Categories: Criminals

hshipman.jpgHarold Frederick Shipman, the 57-year-old serial killer known as “Dr. Death,” was found hanging in his prison cell on Jan. 13. He was pronounced dead after resuscitation efforts failed.
When police first questioned Shipman about the excessive number of deaths at his practice, the northern England community of Hyde rallied around him. Many of his former patients described him as a kind, trustworthy doctor. However, when Shipman offered to give patients “something” to ease their pain, he would end their lives with a lethal injection of diamorphine.
Although he was convicted of 15 murders in 2000, a recent inquest revealed an even more horrific record. From 1975 to 1998, Shipman murdered more than 215 of his patients. Another 45 died under “suspicious” circumstances. During one execution, he used 12,000 milligrams of diamorphine; the amount was enough to kill more than 300 people. The majority of his victims were women, and the youngest was a 41-year-old man.
Shipman received 15 life sentences. He never offered a reason for committing his crimes, and until his own death, denied any role in the killings.
Shipman was found hanging from the window bars in his cell by his bed sheets. His death is currently under investigation.
Complete Coverage of Shipman’s Crime Spree

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Peter Cook

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Categories: Criminals

The Hooded Rapist is dead.

Peter Samuel Cook, a sexual deviant who obtained his moniker for wearing a bizarre, leather mask during the commission of his crimes, died in prison on Jan. 7 of natural causes. He was 75.

Over an eight-month period in 1974 and 1975, Cook broke into his victims’ apartments, tied them up and sexually assaulted them. The attacks created an atmosphere of fear in Cambridge, and led to one of Britain’s largest manhunts. He was captured when a police officer spotted him leaving the scene of an attack, riding a bicycle and wearing a long, blond wig. Inside his bag, authorities found the black leather mask, a bottle of ether, a crowbar, a torch and other burglary tools.

In 1975, Cook was convicted of raping six women, injuring two others and committing an act of gross indecency on a ninth woman. He received two life sentences.

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Faye Copeland

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Categories: Criminals

Faye Copeland, a convicted killer who was once the oldest woman on death row in America, died of natural causes on Dec. 30 at a Missouri nursing home where she had been released on medical parole. She was 82.

In the late 1980s, Ray and Faye Copeland used drifters in a scheme to buy cattle with bad checks. The transients were then shot in the back of the head and buried in shallow graves near the Copeland farm, north of Kansas City.

At trial, Faye’s defense was that her husband had committed the killings without her knowledge, claiming she was both a bystander and a victim of battered woman syndrome. As evidence of her guilt, prosecutors presented a list, written in her hand, that included at least five of the victims’ names. She also stitched a quilt made from the clothing of the murdered men. In 1990, the jury found her guilty of five counts of first degree murder.

Copeland and her husband were sentenced to death by lethal injection. She was the oldest woman on death row until a federal court commuted her sentence in 1999 to life in prison. While awaiting execution, Ray Copeland died at the Potosi Correctional Center in Missouri in 1993. He was 73.

Comic Book Based on the Copeland Murders

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Carol Bundy

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Categories: Criminals

Carol Bundy, the accomplice of the “Sunset Strip Slayer,” died of heart failure on Dec. 9 at the Central California Women’s Facility where she was serving a 52-year sentence. She was 61.

A former vocational nurse, Bundy was dating Douglas Daniel Clark in 1980 when he began murdering runaways and prostitutes in Hollywood. Bundy would sometimes accompany her serial killer boyfriend as he cruised Sunset Strip, and even helped abduct and kill his victims.

Although they were suspected in the deaths of up to 50 people, Bundy plead guilty in 1983 to two counts of first degree murder. She admitted to killing a young girl and her former lover, Jack Murray.

Clark, a necrophiliac who kept the head of at least one victim in his refrigerator, was also convicted of killing six women in 1983. He is currently sitting on death row in San Quentin State Prison.

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Lennie Lawson

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Categories: Criminals

Leonard Keith Lawson, a convicted rapist and murderer, died on Nov. 29 in his cell at the Grafton Correctional Centre in New South Wales. Authorities say he probably suffered a heart attack. He was 76.

Lawson worked as a successful commercial artist and photographer before he became a violent criminal. In 1954, he kidnapped five models, took them into the Terrey Hills bush in north Sydney and raped two of them at gunpoint; he also sexually assaulted the others. Originally sentenced to be executed, Lawson received a 14-year prison sentence after the death penalty was commuted. When he was released, Lawson used his artistic background to lure new victims.

On Nov. 7, 1962, while painting a portrait of 16-year-old Jane Bower, Lawson tied her up, sexually assaulted her then stabbed her to death. The next day, he carried a gun into the Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School and took several students hostage. Fifteen-year-old Wendy Sue Luscombe, who was sitting in the chapel pews, was shot and killed during the siege. This time, Lawson received a life sentence.

Imprisonment didn’t curb Lawson’s violent tendencies. Ten years into his second incarceration, a group of dancers gave a concert for the inmates at his prison. At the end of the performance, Lawson jumped on stage and threatened to kill one of the dancers, Sharon Hamilton, with a knife. Although Hamilton was released unharmed, she committed suicide six years after the attack.

One of the oldest prisoners in Australia, Lawson spent 48 years in prison, and has been behind bars continuously since 1962. Several of his paintings currently hang at the prison where he died.

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