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ABOUT KILLING KILLERS' BLOGGER: Eponymous Rox covers cops, curs and killers and has been featured on NBC and in Crime Magazine. The author is also a regular contributor to crimemagazine.com, the Gather News agency, and Associated Content. JUMP IN: The majority of cases presented on this site are unsolved so your opinion counts -- you don't need permission to start or join discussions, vote in crime polls or submit tips on Killing Killers, and can even do so anonymously if you prefer.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Friday, January 18, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
|Smiley Pandemic No Laughing Matter|
Thomas Ducroo: On February 5th 2011, Thomas Ducroo, 26, was walking home from an evening out on the town when he vanished without a trace. The extensive search for the charismatic young man by family, friends and local police produced no clues until, finally, his body was discovered by tactical divers in the channel on February 23rd 2011. Where did Thomas Ducroo disappear from and drown? The city of Lille, France.
Paul Foster: On January 10th 2010, 28-year-old Paul Michael Foster and his truck mysteriously disappeared en route to a movie that evening. He was eventually discovered missing by neighbors because his dog, to whom he was devoted, had begun howling after enduring three days of his master's absence. Nine months later, at the beginning of September, tactical divers on an unrelated mission spotted Foster's truck rusting away in Hamilton Harbor. His remains were found inside of it. Officials emphatically stated there was "no sign of foul play" evidenced in autopsy, and "no reason to believe" that the young man wasn't in the water the entire time he was missing. Where did Paul Foster disappear and drown? Ontario, Canada.
Michael Jansson: On the night of March 9th 2001, dapper "Mikey" Jansson, age 21, was visiting the Biology Bar with a small group of friends when he was abruptly ejected from the establishment by bouncers. Shortly after that event both Jansson and the black Buick Sabre he was alleged to have been driving vanished without a trace. His cellphone, however, was retained for the personal use of various members of Biology's security team, until they disposed of it someplace where it was never to be found again. Partly due to the city police department's initial reluctance to search for him, Jansson himself was never found either. However, on December 15th 2012, over a decade after he was first reported missing, the fender of the young man's car was sighted in the nearby river...and inside the muddy vehicle was a human skeleton. Authorities are now awaiting the results of DNA tests on those bones before formally announcing that they belong to Jansson. Where did this luckless young man disappear from and presumably drown? Chicago, Illinois.
Just stumbled on the 'Smiley Face Serial Murders' for the very first time?
Friday, January 11, 2013
Below are a few I've been following since autumn of 2012 alone. These are only for the United States; there are now many more overseas and across the border with Canada as well which are not (yet) included here.
Note also that, although the first 'drowning' deaths--beginning in 1997 with 21-year-old New Yorker, Patrick McNeill--were centered mainly in America's northland, they have of late been occurring in more southerly districts of the USA, too.
Dan G. Thomas, 29, hasn't been seen or heard from since December 18th 2012 after departing from his family's home in Butte Montana for his own residence in Portland Oregon. It is not yet clear as to whether he was traveling by car, train or plane to get there, but the young man was last sighted in Missoula which is less than a hundred miles from Butte via Interstate-90. Dan Thomas is described as a Caucasian male, six-foot-two and 170 pounds, with brown hair. He was wearing a green Carhartt jacket and dark jeans when he disappeared. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call police detective Rhonda Staton at (406) 497-1151, or to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeremy Walker, 29, from the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, vanished without a trace on January 2nd 2013. An experienced hiker, Walker had informed his family he was going to trek the Ohiopyle state nature preserve on January first, a place he had frequented many times. The young man was last sighted walking in winter hiking clothes along one of the park's snowy trails, but on the following day when Walker was reported missing and his car located at the 'Train Station' rest-stop, park officials found that same hiking gear stashed in it and his cellphone...yet no clues as to where he went once he'd returned to the vehicle. Sniffer dogs traced Walker's scent on a footbridge over the Youghiogheny River a half-mile away, but the snow piled on the handrailings was undisturbed for the entire length on both sides of it. Underwater sonar has also yielded no answers to the mystery; there is apparently nothing in the waters that rush beneath the bridge. Rescue coordinators say this is the first time they've ever failed to promptly locate someone in Ohiopyle, dead or alive, and the police have no solid theory or leads either. They think the fact that Walker has been so difficult to find could mean anything, from intentionally hiding to suicide or foul play. But, they emphasize, every one of those likely scenarios leads to the river. Jeremy Walker is a white male, with light brown hair and gray eyes, and is estimated to be about five-feet-ten and 180 pounds. The quest to find him is ongoing and anyone with information that might aid searchers is asked to call the Ohiopyle State Park rangers at 724-329-8591.
Charles Geurts, 26, from Kaukauna Wisconsin was visiting the nearby city of Madison for an agricultural conference. He went missing early in the morning of January 15th after leaving his hotel room at the Sheraton. Over the past 15 years, this northern U.S. city has become a 'hot spot' for Smiley Face disappearances and drownings. Not incidentally, for that same length of time the Madison Police Department has shielded amongst its ranks a cop known for especially abusive treatment of young males he perceives to be inebriated. Sociopathic officer Stephen Heimsness has been written up a number of times for using excessive force -- beating, tasering, and even shooting to death unarmed and allegedly intoxicated men. Recently suspended for the wrongful shooting death of 30-year-old Paul Heenan, Heimsness was cleared to return to work at the MPD just this month, ominous news for men like Geurts who was last observed to be drinking with friends. Coincidentally, police say someone in the neighborhood of the Sheraton Hotel had called the police about "a prowler" in their yard only 20 to 30 minutes after Charles Geurts left the Sheraton. Police say they have a "strong reason to believe" it was the missing young man, but refuse to elaborate on the basis for that hunch. The MPD did, however, rather frantically search for the 26-year-old ASAP, which, as most people know, is an unusually swift response to a missing man report...however, they now claim Geurts "fell into" the nearby lake, but, yet again, don't say why it is they suddenly believe that's the case, and they still haven't released the names of the officers who responded to the 911 call that was made. Anyone with information about this case should contact police at 608-266-4275. Charlie Geurts is blond-haired, blue-eyed, and approximately six-feet tall and 180 pounds. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt, denim jeans, and boots when last sighted.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
That's what the parents of missing 23-year-old Walton Matthew Ward had to hear from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in late October 2012.
There was just one problem with IMPD's story though: Matt Ward wasn't drunk.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Police state they received a tip sometime this morning from a citizen who allegedly spotted the young man's green and gold cap as well as other identifying items in the creek near where they happened to be walking. (Read the original report below or go here for this case update and any others currently pending.)
In addition to 24-year-old Nick Wilcox vanishing from downtown Milwaukee after being ejected by bar bouncers on New Year's eve, people are also desperately searching for a young man in nearby Ozaukee County's town of Cedarburg.
*NOTICE January 10th: Problem cited below has been resolved--I can once again reply to your comments -- WOOT!
NOTICE dated January 8, 2013: Google Blogspot is having technical difficulties with the Admin reply feature for certain browser systems this week, and is "working to correct this issue". This glitch does not deter visitors from posting here, however. Below is the answer to the reader comments posted prior to the disruption:
Great site--thank you for the invitation and for the compliments too. Maybe the admins over there are taking down your excerpts from Killing Killers because they think my content is too grisly...? There is usually a lot of forensic data attached to my work and writings.
If it's fear of infringement, that's unfortunate because I want the info I post on this blog to be public. The more knowledge that is shared here the greater the heat on the 'Smiley' crew.
(NOTE: Aside from my books, of course, the articles I do for Crime Magazine are the only ones where cutting and pasting into forum threads may be prohibited--I'm a paid contributor on CM and in return they have exclusive rights to online publication. I just retain the print copy rights to that content. Which is fair, I think.)
Hey, if you (and anyone else) downloaded THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN from Amazon, please consider writing a review of the book at that webstore so others interested in this case can more readily find my overview and analysis of it. The comments you posted above are perfect, by the way, and, once again, I thank you for them!
Also, there are important updates to the Matt Ward 'drowning' which occurred in Indianapolis October 2012. That info was compiled in an editorial piece titled 'BLOOD ALCOHOL' and has just gone live on Crime Magazine's front page yesterday. Think you'll be interested in the new revelations; click HERE and it should take you right to it.
@ Anonymous January 6 - Yes, it is indeed "evil", for sure, but if we all stay focused and unrelentingly give chase, we can put an end to these disappearances and drownings soon. And get all the smartass 'Smiley' killers behind bars as well.
Thank you, everyone, for your posts-- E.R.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Another bar, another bouncer, another missing man:
UPDATE January 28, 2013: A fund has been created by family and friends of Nick Wilcox so they might continue their search efforts. Wilcox has been missing now for nearly a month without a trace, but his loved ones haven't given up the hunt for him.
A nonstop search is not only costly to conduct but can interfer with work schedules as well, quickly draining valuable resources. Yet, whether someone being sought is dead or alive, bringing them home is still vital for finding closure in all missing person cases.
Those who would like to contribute to the Nick Wilcox search fund may do so at any Associated Bank, or by mailing a donation to the Associate Bank branch located at 1456 Summit Avenue Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066.
UPDATE January 23, 2013: Irish Rec Room's license revoked: It's rare and never an arbitrary or capricious move for a licensing authority to suspend a bar's right to operate. But that's what happens to those establishments who repeatedly fail to live up to reasonable expectations and who, instead, accumulate too many complaints and violations.
Revocation doesn't come as any big surprise to Irish Rec's owner and management however, because well before their unfortunate patron, Nick Wilcox, disappeared within just minutes of being manhandled by Irish Rec's overzealous bouncers, its operators fully anticipated being ordered to shutter the establishment this month. They were merely limping along until that inevitable day, hoping to scrounge up a few extra bucks over the holiday season. It's too bad though that Wilcox and his friends didn't know about all this in advance of paying upwards of 60 bucks a piece to celebrate New Year's eve at the troubled nightspot...Nick Wilcox still remains missing.
UPDATE January 10, 2013: Body retrieved from Milwaukee River "is NOT Nick Wilcox" police say: In a declaration reminiscent of the Marion County coroner's recent gaff in misidentifying drown victim Joshua Swalls this past November, Milwaukee police just announced that the body they pulled from the river today "is not that of Nick Wilcox." The corpse, which they say appears to be "that of a fifty-year-old man," was spied early this morning in the vicinity of the area Wilcox had disappeared from ten days ago. The original story is below.
Nick Wilcox, 24, was celebrating this New Year's eve with his girlfriend Kelly McGonagil and about a dozen other friends at the Irish Rec Room in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"I watched him get carried out by the bouncers," McGonagil said. "That was the last I saw of him. I tried calling him shortly after and his phone was dead."
Nick Vetta, a close friend of Wilcox who also had the opportunity to witness the event, substantiates McGonagil's version: “Nick was kicked out of the bar by the bouncers,” Vetta confirmed. “I’m not sure why. And we haven’t seen him since then.”
Security personnel for Irish Rec insist that, once he was outdoors, Nick Wilcox wandered off accompanied by "a man wearing a red shirt," and, as this individual resembled someone from Wilcox's group, it was initially presumed he was with that person and safe.
However, when the 'red-shirted' man in question was interviewed, he said he didn't remember being outside the pub with Wilcox even once during the entire evening.
Bouncers further claim that an image showing Wilcox alive and well and walking away from Irish Rec was captured on the bar's surveillance video.
But the missing man's sister, Andrea Wilcox, says that isn't so either--a closer inspection of the videofeed did indeed reveal a male patron heading down a nearby alleyway at that approximate hour, but it wasn't her brother.
“It was New Year's Eve. Everybody was drinking having a good time,” Andrea said in dismay, “and things went south.”
Other revelers at the Irish Rec Room report that, in addition to a security presence inside of the bar-and-grill, a few uniformed police officers had also been stationed outside throughout the New Year festivities. Nevertheless, the Milwaukee police are now asking for the public's help in locating the missing man.
In the meantime, police also searched in the vicinity of the Milwaukee River. They know to do this now because several other young men matching Wilcox's description have disappeared from this same district over the past few years, only to be found days or weeks later drowned in the river.
Last March 26-year-old Tom Hecht vanished without a trace. He and his friends had been celebrating Saint Patrick Day events in the downtown Milwaukee area near the waterfront neighborhood where Hecht both worked and lived.
Hecht's friends said one moment he was standing there with them and the next "he was gone." They eventually found his corpse floating in the river in a locale that had already been searched before.
Investigators then closed his case, ruling the young man "was drunk and accidentally drowned."
Nick Wilcox is six-foot-two, weighs between 180 and 200 pounds, has blond hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a grey shirt, dark pants and black shoes. He majored in political science at Waukesha County Technical College and, after graduating from there, was attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison in order to pursue a teaching degree.
Wilcox was last seen on tape standing just outside the Irish Rec Room near State and Old World Third streets between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on the first of January. Anyone with information concerning that night and his current whereabouts is asked to call the Milwaukee police at 414-933-4444, or their Sensitive Crimes Division at 414-935-7403.