5. The case of the little baby girl who was stolen at birth
The idea that a child can be stolen sounds sort of ridiculous; if you’re anything like me, you’ve decided that it only happens on especially dramatic television shows.
Well, as it turns out, children are stolen at birth in real life, too! Just ask Kamiyah Mobley, who first met her birth parents in January of 2017—18 years after she was born.
In the summer of 1998, Kamiyah was was taken from the Florida hospital at which she was born—while just 8 hours old—by a woman named Gloria Williams, who raised her as a daughter. Kamiyah grew up in a rural area of South Carolina. Williams had allegedly suffered a miscarriage just a week before she stole the baby.
For close to two decades, the case was cold. There was quite the search for female infant at the time of her disappearance, and law enforcement received hundreds of anonymous tips, but no one could figure out where the baby had disappeared to.
Williams couldn’t get away with her crime forever, though, and a tip led to her being arrested—she could spend the rest of her life in prison as a result of what she did—as well as Kamiyah reuniting with her birth parents. Williams had actually told a friend that Kamiyah was kidnapped, which may have been the source of the tip.
Kamiyah had actually suspected she was abducted as a baby for a couple years prior to the news being confirmed. She certainly had reasons to suspect; for example, her social security number belonged to a man from Virginia who perished in 1983.
Kamiyah, believe it or not, still seems to have a good relationship with the woman who posed as a nurse and stole her from a hospital in 1998.
H/T – Source
6. The case of the killer cousins
In November of 1973, two young girls visited a shopping mall and never returned to their homes; the mall was in Linda, California; their homes were in Olivehurst. Their bodies were recovered a day later—after they were reported missing by their mothers—in a wooded area near a dirt road north of Sacramento. The two good friends had both been killed by a shotgun blast at close range.
Valerie Janice Lane was 12 at the time of her death, and Doris Karen Derryberry was 13.
The investigation took more than three years before going cold in 1976. However, the evidence collected at the time was carefully preserved; after 38 years, the case was reinvestigated. It was not an easy investigation, as several of the detectives from the case as well as the doctor who autopsied the victims had passed away.
Semen samples from the one victim’s body was analyzed, and there just happened to be matches. The DNA linked a pair of 65-year-old cousins—Larry Don Patterson and William Lloyd Harbour—to the murders. Both men had a criminal history, which is why their DNA was on file. Harbour had served time for drug charges, and Patterson was arrested in 1976 in Chico, California for the rape of two women.
Patterson had actually been considered a suspect in the murders as a result of the aforementioned rapes; however, at the time, he couldn’t be linked via DNA analysis.
The cousins were sentenced to five years to live in prison for the murders. They don’t face the death penalty because of California’s sentencing laws at the time they committed the murders.
H/T – Source
7. The case of Rodney Acala’s pregnant victim
It wasn’t until September of 2016 that anyone was charged with the death of Christine Ruth Thornton, who was 28 at the time of her disappearance in 1977; the case was cold for decades, but the man who was ultimately charged was actually pretty infamous.
Rodney Acala, a convicted serial killer and rapist, was charged with her death. He reportedly met Thornton in San Antonio and dumped her body on a ranch in Wyoming.
Acala is unique amongst criminals and killers for having been a winning contestant on the ABC game show The Dating Game, which is why he is referred to as “The Dating Game Killer”. He was actually a contestant while in the midst of a killing spree!
To be clear: Acala is a terrible person. At one point referred to as a “killing machine”, Acala has been compared to well-known American serial killer Ted Bundy.
In regard to Thornton, her body was found in 1982; she had been strangled to death and was six months pregnant at the time of her passing. She wasn’t identified until 2014, which only happened because her DNA was linked to that of her sister. Her family also recognized a photo released by law enforcement in 2010.
It is possible that Acala killed over 100 people, although the actual number remains a mystery. He has been sentenced to death in California as a result of five murders he committed between the years of 1977 and 1979.
In addition to being notable for having been on The Dating Game, Acala is an interesting—and disturbing—figure due to his having studied under famous director Roman Polanski while at New York University; Polanski, in case you’re unaware, has been a fugitive from the United States Criminal Justice System for almost 40 years due to allegations that he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl.
H/T – Source
8. The case of the murder victim who never died
In 1984, a 24-year-old German woman named Petra Pazsitka “disappeared” while on the way to the dentist, resulting in a massive police search. A computer science student at the time, Petra failed to show up to the birthday party of her brother; at that point she was reported missing. Her body was never found, but she was declared dead in 1989.
During the course of the investigations into her disappearance, law enforcement turned to a popular German crime show for assistance. A 19-year-old suspect in the rape and murder of teenaged girl from the area where Pazsitka lived ended up confessing to killing Pazsitka in 1987.
As a result of Pazsitka being declared dead, the then-“cold case” was closed in 1989, but it probably shouldn’t have been! It was actually kind of a cold case for 30 years.
Thing is? Pazsitka was never actually dead. At the time of her disappearance, she had secretly been renting an apartment under a false name, and had saved the equivalent of thousands of euros for her new life.
Over three decades after disappearing, Pazsitka was finally ocated in the city of Dusseldorf; this happened as a result of calls to report a burglary in 2015. Now in her 50’s, Pazsitka had been living without official documents and using a false name since she “vanished”. She didn’t even have a bank account. Everything she bought was paid for with cash, which was probably why she managed to stay hidden for so very long.
When located, Pazsitka didn’t really go into detail about why she chose to disappear as she did. She also won’t face any charges as a result of her disappearance, as she didn’t technically commit any crime according to German law. She never actually used any false papers.
She did, however, make it clear that she didn’t want any contact with the public or with her family.
H/T – Source