Archive for Attempted murder

26 October 2005 – Marlin Gray

Posted in Death penalty, Lethal injection with tags , , , , on October 26 by Last Writes

Marlin Gray

Marlin Gray

Two sisters stood no chance after a murderous foursome jumped them, gang-raped them and then chucked them over the side of a disused bridge in America.

Marlin Gray was executed on this day in 2005 for his part in the assault and murder of the two girls. A 20-year-old by the name of Julie Kerry and her sister Robin, who was a year younger, had a midnight rendezvous with their cousin Thomas Cummins up by the Chain of Rocks Bridge in Missouri to show him their graffiti handiwork.

But, instead the unsuspecting trio ran into a bunch of men high on drugs, led by Marlin Gray.

Leap of faith

The two girls were stripped and held down by other members of the group, who then took it in turns to rape them. Their cousin was stripped of his wallet, watch, money and keys and they were forced onto the bridge, where they pushed the two girls over. They then told Cummins to jump.

Figuring he had a better chance of surviving if he jumped, Cummins leapt into the abyss. He survived to find Julie still alive. But the fast-flowing river claimed the young girl’s life. Her sister Robin was never found, but Julie’s body washed up three weeks later in the Mississippi.


Cummins miraculously survived the 50 to 70ft drop and was able to testify at the gang’s trial. Marlin Gray, Reginald Clemons, Antonio Richardson and Daniel Winfrey were all had up on charges of rape and murder.

Of course, the four men were found guilty as charged. The youngest, Winfrey, who was 15 at the time of the crime, got a 30-year stretch. Richardson originally got the death penalty but because a judge had doled out the sentence rather than a jury, it was reduced to life. The other two got the death penalty.

To this day, Clemons awaits his fate on death row, and actor Danny Glover has even spoken out in his defence.

However, the waiting game ended in 2005 for 38-year-old ringleader, Gray who got a terminal dose of lethal toxins in Missouri. He apparently mouthed ‘I love you’ to the audience as the gurney stood ready to let drip, according to a report by the ‘St Louis Post’, but his last recorded words were ‘this is not a death, it’s a lynching’.

Also on this day…

26 October 1915 – Irvin Guy Ries

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23 October 1971 – Ion Rîmaru

Posted in Death penalty, Firing squad with tags , , , , , , , on October 23 by Last Writes
Ion Rîmaru

Ion Rîmaru

In the run-up to Hallowe’en it seems apt that we have details of a vampire-like murderer for you to savour. And Romania is the venue for today’s serial killing rampage by one Ion Rîmaru.

In a scourge that lasted two years, the sex-mad sadist would prey on young women, raping them before finishing them off or at least attempting to finish them off in most cases.

Many cite domestic violence as the trigger as his dad would duff his mother up until they finally separated. There is even conjecture that his dad had in fact set the serial-killing precedent in the Rîmaru household, having killed a clutch of women in the 1940s. So the root of pure evil is said to have stemmed from father to son.

People got the measure of him early on. As a teenager he was found to be banging the jailbait daughter of a teacher and he was done for theft. Rîmaru showed signs of being well dodgy and actual evidence of self-harming as well as a voracious sexual appetite.

Piece meal

As he was training to be a vet, so he showed signs of pure animal behaviour. First he would target waitresses late at night, using whatever implements he could get his hand on, from axes, knives and bars to hammers.

However, Rîmaru hungry for more, he turned his hand to more vicious methods – biting bits out of his victims, even taking chunks out of the girls’ genitals. Our Romanian is pretty poor but translations of his crimes suggest he was a necrophiliac to add to all his other depraved activities.

Thirsty work

One girl actually survived an attack where he drank her blood as he took her home. And if you’re thinking she got off lightly, the blood-fest took place after he’d raped and stabbed her.

Copious amounts of his hair and the shape of the bite marks apparently linked him to the crimes, many of the victims of which had survived. Unconfirmed reports suggested that his dad was in on the crimes, often washing his clothes after the attacks, but no-one would testify against him so he walked free.

Not so Rîmaru, who felt the full wrath of the law. And there wasn’t a shortage of witnesses either and with all that damning evidence, he didn’t stand a chance.

He was found guilty and there was no hanging around with the execution either. He was put before a firing squad on this day in 1971, just 12 days after his 25th birthday. But his desire to live was strong and as he stood tied to the stake awaiting his fate he demanded his dad witness his death.

According to Wikipedia he branded his dad as ‘the only guilty one’ before crying ‘I want to live’. Well there was fat chance of that as the serial rapist and murderer was peppered with bullets as he tried to worm his way off the stake.

Also on this day…

23 October 1945 – Vidkum Quisling

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26 July 1815 – Eliza Fenning

Posted in Death penalty, Hanged with tags , , , on July 26 by Last Writes

Eliza Fenning

Eliza Fenning

A tantalising little package marked ‘arsenic, deadly poison’; alluring if you’re attempting a murder, but a little obvious don’t you think?

Similarly, when it comes to poisoned food, it’s just too convenient to blame the cook, but that may have been what happen. Eliza Fenning may well have been fitted up for a murder, which she paid for in full today in 1815.

Making a meal of it

The 22-year-old cook’s murderous meals comprised beef and dumplings and it was the latter of which is said to have contained the potent poison.

It was bound for the inhabitants of a house in Chancery Lane. Olibar Turner, along with his son and daughter ate the meal and as a result of the killer ingredient, they were very poorly.

Of course as the maker of the deathly dumplings, Fenning’s fate was pretty well sewn up, despite the fact that she’d eaten it too and fallen ill.

Food for thought

The prosecution cooked up a damning case against the young hired help, but it turned out that there could have been other suspects – another maid perhaps or even the wife. Mrs Turner, for example, inspected Fenning’s food, mixed a sauce ‘and left it for her to make’, according to the Newgate Calendar.

Turner then went out that fateful night, so she didn’t partake of the arsenic-laced accompaniments. Nevertheless, Fenning as key suspect was never in doubt, so the blame fell squarely on her young shoulders.


Despite her entreaties of innocence to her dying day, Fenning carried the can for the macabre attempted murders.

However, the prosecution was shot to pieces by one pioneer of the day, who fought hard to get Fenning off the hook.

Sadly, he failed to save her, but William Hone was able to provide evidence that may have absolved her posthumously. Indeed, he set the standards for investigative journalism according to Wikipedia.

There was much public backing for her freedom, but it never came, and we will never know if she was innocent or not for none of the others were tried. As a result, Fenning hanged on this day in 1815, following her trial at the Old Bailey. Around 10,000 people showed their support by turning up for the poor girl’s funeral a few days later.

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