Posts Tagged ‘rape’

Geoffrey Portway – Attempted Child Killer Behind Bars

Geoffrey PortwayIt’s a good thing some serial killers to be are just plain lazy and dare we say it – stupid. Nothing says this more than the case of Geoffrey Portway. Geoffrey Portway was sentenced today to 27 years in prison for planning to kidnap, rape, torture, kill and consume child victims.

Portway is a British national and will be deported back to Britain once he finishes his time in prison. Portway was part of a macabre internet group who openly discussed and shared photos of child pornography, mutilation and death. It’s a good thing for local children that Portway and his idiot accomplices thought the internet would give them some privacy to do their thing; not knowing of course that they were being watched by law enforcement. This gets even dumber when you consider that Portway was employed in an IT department!

Portway had constructed a torture-style basement complete with a child-size coffin, torture devices, butchering equipment and a steel cage with restraints. It’s a good thing he was caught before he had a chance to start killing. It’s not often we get to write about killers before they do so.

Rodney James Alcala

Rodney Alcala is a convicted serial killer whose raping and tortured killings of four women has resulted in a death sentence. Rodney Alcala raped one woman with a claw hammer. Yet the spurious criminal justice system that rewards convicted killers with lifetime jail sentences has upset many members of the general, let alone the victims and their friends and families. Rodney Alcala was sentenced in 1980 for the killing of a Huntington Beach woman. Additional victims of Rodney Alcala have stretched legal court proceedings to the present day.

Caught raping an eight year old girl in 1968, Alcala served thirty four months. The nature of Alcala’s crimes are savagely violent, premeditatively abusive, and sexually motivated in origin. Alcala struck down men, women and children in his twisted lust for episodes of torture, rape and abduction. Channeling a rage or lust unknown except in the most vicious of serial killers, Alcala’s propensity for murder was matched by his cunning in enticing victims. Alcala’s “shtick” was the use of a camera and the pose as a photographer to capture the attention of victims and build enough trust to lead them astray.

The March 2010 sentencing of Rodney Alcala for the Orange County murders stems from killings from the 1970’s. Common to the cases of serial murderers in America of this era, development of legal DNA evidence brought Alcala’s career at large to a halt. Alcala is suspected in the strangulation death and disappearances of many other victims. Alcala’s habits make law enforcement professionals dread the existence of other undisclosed victims both as bargaining tools and further proof of his serial killing deeds. Even among the most brutal and vicious serial killers, Rodney Alcala stands apart.

Like many secretive killers with a method for concealing the bodies, Alcala may be waiting for bargaining room in the appeals phase of his trial proceedings to proffer knowledge and proof of additional deaths. Historically serial killers have negotiated proof of additional murders for tradeoffs in sentencing and incarceration conditions.Yet Alcala may have over thirty additional murders to reveal. As Alcala furnishes material an argument for his appeals to his current and most recent sentence, news media and the law enforcement community will be listening closely for hints of further proof of serial killings.

Alcala may be guilty of thirty or more murders. Lack of forensic sophistication in crime scenes, casual evidence gathering techniques by American law enforcement, aging witnesses and evidence, and the mores of the times allowed for many people to disappear into the web of Rodney James Alcala. Apprehended in the late 1970’s, Alcala is still defending himself in law courts in legal proceedings today.

This era in American history remains the ‘golden era” of serial killers. Rodney Alcala is thought by some investigators to be possibly among the most prolific of American serial killers because he was smart enough to shield his activities and elude the law. Alcala “warned” the jury in his recent trial that sentencing would cost the state and public a huge amount of money due to planned appeals and additional legal processes.

Alcala is one of many American serial killers whose reign of terror went largely unnoticed in the United States of the 1970’s. Development of DNA evidence coupled with exacting legal proceedings are a element in many American serial killer histories. In the typical celebrity phase of many serial killers, a penned letter attributed to Alcala has been put up recently for sale on Ebay. Profilers of serial killers note the similarity to other murderers like the Green River Killer and Ted Bundy.

Rodney Alcala once appeared on the American television show ‘The Dating Game’ and has manifested an eagerness to self-substantiate an identity as a notorious serial killer. Alcala’s favorable rulings to shield his prior sexual criminal history from new case trials and his “career” as a celebrity defendant has made segments of the American public sensitive to Alcala’s evasion of a jail sentence or death penalty.

The day after the jury voted for the death penalty for serial killer Rodney James Alcala, more than a hundred photographs of Alcala’s were released. The female women and children pictured in 1970’s era photo poses and shots were of individuals composed by Alcala. Law enforcement officials found these photos among materials more than 30 years ago in a storage locker of Alcala’s. Circumstances show Alcala rented it just as police were closing in on him for killings in 1977-1979. Continued legal setbacks to Alcala’s incarceration and execution have vexed victim’s families and opened new scrutiny into the American legal system.

Alcala is thought to be an intelligent man, crafty enough to legally represent himself yet not smart enough to dispose of the kind of trophy photographs sociopath killers are known to keep. Trophy jewelry from multiple suspected victims found among Alcala’s belongings helped convict him of the murders. Alcala was the first man in a dozen years to represent himself for a death penalty trial. Alcala was born in 1943, and is self-possessed enough at 66 to argue his own cases in front of juries. Yet despite a newly announced death penalty sentence, Alcala’s path to justice for his culpability for his serial killings is far from over.

Photos hidden by Alcala may point to more killings. Media release of photographs of a putative series of killing victims has launched an investigation by law enforcement into unknown or unidentified victims of Alcala not previously linked to him. It is now suggested that Alcala may have murdered three women in New York City in the 1970s. But legal proceedings for these crimes and allowing Alcala more time in the courtroom spotlight is a troublesome matter. Court trials and extradition would be excessive and complex, freeing a clever killer from everyday incarceration to entertain more jury members representing himself. And like the families of victims and the general public, prosecutors may elect to leave Alcala to his death sentence without further circus acts.

While convicted to date for only five murders, Alcala may be responsible for as many as 100 murders during his killing spree.

Article by Roy Whyte. Visit his Google+ page for more.

Donald Henry Gaskins

Donald Henry Gaskins was a serial killer of absolutely ugly dimensions who ruled the Deep South with an unimaginable terror. South Carolina was an unsafe place to be looking for a ride on the highway, especially from 1955 through to 1977. The target of Gaskins’s murders was principally women, although the motivation is unclear. His early petty theft career landed him in dark places, where a career in murder soon started. An early marriage and parenthood didn’t soften a lifetime of brutal aggression.

Gaskins started out life diminutive and not particularly brainy. But not every man five feet four inches commits serial murder. Adolescent assault on women triggered a reform school and incarceration climate where sexual abuse due to his size was unavoidable. But knowing how this might come to pass, why did Gaskins commit crime after crime that would railroad him toward the very confinement that would institute his sexual abuse? Gaskins did as much to pursue a path of positioning himself in abusive conditions as possible.

Gaskins claimed a deep hatred of women but the origin is not certain. Gaskin’s killings were so numerous he is termed by many criminologists as a mass murderer. Did Gaskins’ physique determine his outcome in life, or did his psyche merely condition him for a lifetime of misguided aggression to take the life of others? Was Gaskins headed down the road of a psychotic criminal and serial murderer no matter what his height?

Called “Pee Wee” for his physically diminutive stature, Gaskins was part of a set of boys known as the Trouble Trio and was soon committing burglaries and other crimes with them. One burglary too many resulted in a former schoolmate recognizing him, and the law intervened. Donald Henry Gaskins was a product of the juvenile home for boys called the South Carolina Industrial School for Boys. In this facility until age eighteen, Gaskins was sexually abused in a homosexual manner of rape. Yet his homicidal aggression does not stem strictly from this period.

By the age of eighteen, Pee Wee was free and committing more crimes. Donald Henry Gaskins started bad and got worse. Stealing the tobacco he was paid to farm, Gaskins set fire to the storage barns to cloud suspicion. Continuing incarceration earned Gaskins a taste for violence. Gaskins was arrested not just for arson but for assault and murder of his employer’s daughter. Petty theft and fencing stolen goods was his main means of employment. Pee-wee chose victims according to motives of pleasure or some kind of mood where irritation caused him to kill the instigator.

Legal plea bargaining reduced his sentence to five years. Gaskins was so contrary to his own interests he swore at the judge and got another year tacked onto his sentence. Gaskins was moving towards being a brutal and remorseless killer of any type of victim. Donald Henry Gaskins use food, guns, explosives, any type of killing that suited his mood or the situation. Like many serial killers, his incarceration bred a fantasy tale of additional murders and a bursting body count as the years went on.

A pattern of rape within incarceration was now set. Gaskins killed the man responsible and got more jail time as a result. He escaped once in 1955, but was caught driving a stolen car. After his eventual release he was caught and charged with statutory rape of a twelve year old girl while driving for a preacher. Gaskins escaped a courthouse and joined a traveling carnival but was recaptured. By 1969 Donald Henry Gaskins was a serial killer with a dispassionate amoral mentality. Gaskins’ combined hatred of women had formed by then into a full fledged ruthless psychopath, carving a bloody trail on the South Carolina highways.

Gaskins had metamorphosed into a personality who split his kills between two categories. Gaskins committed murder on the “coastal kills”, or prowling victims for his sexual pleasure. These might be of either gender. But Gaskins committed killings of “serious” victims, people he knew and had some aim or intention of killing. Gaskins experienced a vision of his “soul” that he claimed furnished an enabling distinction between those who deserved life and death. Gaskins was prolific enough that personal motivation and random killing led him to multiple life-taking crimes.

The statements Gaskins made regarding his personal accountability lay waste to the collected studies of behavior and biological criminologists. Gaskins claimed he was one of the few “that truly understands what death and pain are all about. I have a special kind of mind that allows me to give myself permission to kill”. Gaskins’s delusion of homicidal grandeur led him on unlimited killing sprees without end. Only his carelessness and bad attitude fingered him for law enforcement as the culprit for the horrific serial murders that kept South Carolina residents terrified.

Gaskins murdered his own fifteen year old niece after raping her in 1970. Janice Kirby’s friend Patricia was seventeen and joined her in death that day. When a woman named Martha started cruising Gaskins at his part time auto repair job, he killed her as well. In December of that year Gaskins killed a thirteen old, and another man was sentenced to life for it even though Gaskins confessed.

Once again the practices of law enforcement and the nature of forensics and the legal system were manipulated by a serial murderer. Donald Henry Gaskins finally entered his last era of incarceration after decades of hitchhiker killing in South Carolina. Residents of the deep South were constantly dismayed and unhappy that highway pedestrians and others of all types disappeared constantly.

Pee Wee may have been diminutive in size but made up for any feelings of insecurity with a sizable number of victims. In 1973 Pee Wee Gaskins killed a woman and her twenty month old child. Gaskins raped both of them before they died. Gaskins termed 1975 his most successful and prolific serial killing rampage, deeming it his “killingest”. Pee Wee ultimately turned his habit for profit, finding a contract murder assignment and getting help to get rid of the bodies.

Walter Neely was a man who had met and helped Gaskins. Neely had a grasping ex-wife who was privy to many details and when she and her boyfriend tried to blackmail Gaskins they met with a likely fate. But when police came looking for another body, Neely, who had been investigated for the murders, turned state’s evidence and police discovered the bodies of Gaskin’s latest victims.

By 1976 Gaskins was on the hook but still tried producing more evidence to change his plea bargains. Pee Wee died in prison, executed in 1991. The reinstatement of South Carolina’s death penalty had allowed Gaskins to utilize knowledge of more bodies for police to discover and his sentence varied as the penalty fluctuated. The electric chair in South Carolina ended Donald Henry Gaskins in 1991. His violent lifelong spree of death was finally over.

Killing over 80 people, Gaskins leveraged a livid hatred of women and a number of incarcerations into a serial routine of hitchhiker killings. Donald Henry Gaskins held an image of himself in his mind as God or a godlike being who could channel decision making authority for life and death. Gaskin’s career held aspects of a horrific slaughter unseen in almost any other serial killer, even Gacy, Dahmer, and Ramirez for the ultimate in disregard for human life.

Article by Roy Whyte. Visit his Google+ page for more.