Thursday, November 21, 2013

Light's Over The Valley

 Throughout history, humans have stared into the skies above and wondered if we are really alone in the universe. While the scientific community pretty much agrees that microbial life does exist elsewhere, there is still a lot of debate about the possibility of intelligent life. And if there is intelligent life, have we ever been visited? UFO sightings date back to ancient times. Archaeologists have discovered UFO's painted  inside cave dwellings dating back thousands of years. Wherever there is civilizations, there are sightings of objects in the sky. East Liverpool, Ohio and the surrounding area are no exception. Contrary to popular belief, many area residents have reported seeing strange things in the sky. Here are some of the reported cases, please note that these are only the sightings that were reported to authorities. I am sure many more sightings have gone unreported for various reasons.

*On May 25th 1964, two witnesses reported seeing an topped shaped object hovering above Salem, Ohio

*On August 8th 1965, add resident of Beaver, Pa captured a photo of a disc shaped object in broad daylight.

*On May 11th 1966, several students at Westgate Middle School in East Liverpool were standing outside in front of the school at dusk when they noticed a light moving twords them from the south at a low altitude. The object flew slowly over their heads about 200 feet up. The students reported that the object was a triangular shape with lights on each corner and one large light in the center.

*On August 19th 1966, four East Liverpool boys were camping in a backyard when they awoke to a UFO hovering close above them. 3 of boys became frightened and ran into the house, leaving one boy outside. The boy left behind reported that a light ray shot from the object, striking him in the side of the head, causing him to temporarily lose his hearing.

*On the morning of  December 6th 1966, a East Liverpool resident reported seeing a disk shaped object flying above the city.

*On October 22nd 1973, a resident of Beaver, Pa reported seeing a strange looking object in the early morning sky that was making strange movements. It was seen for about 5 minutes before disappearing.

*On June 25th 1973, a East Liverpool resident reported seeing a cubed shaped object rotating above that was swooping up and down. He claims that the object was red, green, yellow, pink and blue.

*On June 22nd 1978, a East Liverpool boy reported seeing a silver disk with red lights on top outside of his window. By the time he got his parents it was gone.

*On May 9th 1999, an East Liverpool woman reported that she was driving with her son when she spotted a huge craft hovering above just above the trees near Beaver Creek State Park. She reported that the craft had bright blue strobe lights with windows that went all the way around.

*On July 7th 1999, a teenager in Lisbon, Ohio reported that his mother called him outside and showed him a slow moving light in the sky. He reported that they observed seven objects in all.

*On July 22nd 2000, several witnesses between East Liverpool and Ashtabula, Ohio reported seeing several red lights in the sky that seem to follow their cars.

*On December  28th 2001, a Salem Ohio resident was taking pictures of a newly built pond on his property when he spotted an saucer shaped object in the sky. He snapped a photograph of the object

*On June 8th 2002, a Beaver, Pa man was mowing his grass when he noticed strange chem trails in the sky that made sharp turns in various directions. The trail suddenly came to a stop, as if it was freeze framed. At the end of the trail he reported seeing a shiny cigar shaped object in the sky that had a dark spot in its center. He observed the object for about 90 seconds before he looked away and it disappeared, leaving the trail behind.

*On September 17th 2002, a man was walking through the woods in Columbiana, Ohio when he noticed a few disc shaped object in the sky that was shining bright red moving quickly across the sky. He observed the object for 23 minutes before it reversed direction and took off up through the atmosphere.

*On June 30th 2013, a East Liverpool woman reported that she was sitting on her porch with her daughter when they spotted a triangular shaped object coming twords them before taking off up into the sky. Below is a map of the objects approximate location.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Black Widow Killer Of Pottery City

In January 1912, police we're called to the home of Rev. William Christy. Upon arrival they found him deceased. His cause of death was determined to be poisoning. Little did police know, they just stumbled upon the latest victim of a serial killer. This left many questions. Who would murder such a respected member of the community and why? Soon the investigation led them to his Christy's newly wed wife of 3 weeks, Laura. Upon her arrest, Laura admitted that she murdered William because he was mean to her. She claimed that she gave him the poison inside of a capsule. He took it thinking it was medicine for his indigestion. She then withdrew $200 from William's bank account. Laura then admitted to also murdering her 7th husband, John Ebert of Newell, WV by the same manner the year before. Further investigation revealed that Laura had been married 8 times, 3 of which were within 2 years. Investigators also uncovered a disturbing pattern, 6 of her 8
husband's died of mysterious causes, but she would only admit to the last two. Laura appeared in Columbiana County Court and was declared insane. She was sent to the Lima Hospital For The Criminally Insane. National media ran with the story of the Black Widow Killer drawing the attention of the nephew of Laura's 6th husband, Issac Randles. He saw her picture in the newspaper and told his uncle. Randles came forward claiming that he was still married to Laura, who told him her name was Elsie May Harmon. Apparently Laura and Randles were married on March 30th 1925 and moved to Leyland, Ohio. 3 weeks after their wedding, Laura told Randles that she was going to New York to check about some furniture. She never returned. A few weeks later, Randles received a letter from Laura said she had returned to East Liverpool to find work and
would not be coming back. Randles filed for and was granted a divorce. Despite the fact that many East Liverpool residents are completely unaware this dark side of the areas history, the story of Laura Christy continues to gain national attention, even recently coming in at #3 on Investigation Discovery's 5 Famous Black Widows.
The Nevada Daily Mail
Not Your Average Black Widow)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Murderer Among Us: The Lynn Hanna Story

What started out as a normal September day in East Liverpool, Ohio in 1988 turned into several weeks of horror for area residents as body parts began to surface in the Ohio river. People began to fear for their safety, and with good reason, as for the next 7 years, the killer lived among them walking free.
It all started in July 1984 when John and Lynn Hanna were granted a divorce. As part of the settlement, Lynn received the house that the couple shared on Stagecoach Road. Around that same time, Lynn began dating a man named Gordon Reynolds. Shortly after the divorce, John fell behind on his mortgage payments and the bank was threatening to foreclose on the property. Reynolds and Lynn came up with a plan to burn the house down and collect the insurance money and informed Lynn's children. Reynolds told the children to take whatever they wanted out of the house. Reynolds and Lynn removed all of the good furniture from inside the house and replaced it with old furniture.
On September 20th 1985 the Stagecoach Road residence went up in flames, destroying everything inside. Fire inspector's suspected arson but there was not enough evidence so charges were not pursued.
On June 30th 1986, Lynn received a settlement from the insurance company for $25,000. That same day, Reynolds deposited $12,000 into his bank account. He then went and purchased a wedding ring at a local jewelry store. The next day, Lynn brought the ring back to the same store to have it sized for her finger.
However 7 months later in January 1987, Reynolds would instead marry another woman named Kimberly. Reynolds continued to have a relationship with both women. Kimberly reportedly became upset that Reynolds was still seeing Lynn and in January 1988, she filed for divorce. Reynolds and Lynn continued to see each other but trouble began to arise between the couple in August 1988.
A witness claimed that Reynolds and Lynn were seen arguing in a doorway. The witness claimed that Reynolds kicked Lynn to the ground and then began choking her.
On September 3rd, Reynolds met up with Jack Morrell at a local restaurant. While there, Reynolds slipped Morrell a note that said if anyone asked, Reynolds was with him from 8-10pm that night.
The next day Lynn's daughter Melissa repeatedly tried to call her mother but got no answer. She contacted Reynolds who told her that Lynn took everything and left him.
That same day Gordon's daughter in law claimed that she was called to the home of Reynolds ex wife. When she arrived she was told that Lynn's belongings were in Reynolds van and that she could take whatever she wanted. She took 2 necklaces.
On September 6th 1988, Melissa called police to file a missing persons report on her mother. 3 days later, on September 9th Reynolds had Lynn's property on State Route 170 and a manufactured home transferred into his name using paperwork that Lynn signed on August 25th.
In the early hours of September 10th, a Hancock County Sheriff pulled Reynolds over on State Route 2 in Chester, WV just south of the Newell Bridge. The deputy observed that Reynolds was intoxicated and acting nervously but an emergency call came over the radio, so Reynolds was let go. A few hours later the area became gripped with fear as a body part was found floating in the Ohio River south of the Newell Bridge inside a green plastic bag. For the next 2 weeks other body parts began to surface, 7 in all. The body parts were all sent to pathologists in West Virginia. One deputy who found an arm noticed that one of the fingers had a indentation that indicated a ring was recently removed from the body. Police realized that the body parts matched the physical description of Lynn Hanna and went to East Liverpool City Hospital to get her medical records. After comparing X-Rays and a known surgical scar that Lynn had, it was determined that it was indeed the body of Lynn Hanna. Evidence was found that she suffered a gunshot wound to the chest but the bullet, her lung and her head were never recovered.
Police went to Reynolds residence to question him. When they arrived they noticed that the back of his van was scrubbed clean and smelled like bleach, while the front of his van was a mess. No evidence was found in the van and no arrest was made.
In December 29th 1988, Reynolds went back to the jewelry store to return the ring he previously purchased.
Due to a lack of evidence the case remained in limbo until February 18th 1994, when an inmate at the Columbiana County Jail contacted the Columbiana County Sheriff's department with the break that police were looking for. The inmate was Gordon Springer, son of Gordon Reynolds, who was incarcerated on a drug charge. Springer told police that his father admitted to him that he murdered Lynn Hanna because she was going to tell police about the arson they had committed. Springer turned over items to police that belonged to Lynn, including the 2 necklaces. He agreed to tape conversations with his father. Several months later police were contacted by a friend of Reynolds who claimed that Reynolds also admitted to him that he killed Lynn to cover up the arson. He also agreed to wear a wire, but couldn't get any evidence.
On September 29th 1994, Gordon Reynolds was indicted by the grand jury on charges of aggravated murder by prior calculation and design and a firearms specifications charge. During the trial, Reynolds son testified that his father told him that he first broke Lynn's neck but when he found that she still had a pulse the next day, he shot her. Several people testified that there was a horrible odor in Reynolds van after Lynn's disappearance.
On March 27th 1995, a jury found Gordon Reynolds guilty in the murder of Lynn Hanna. The next month, Reynolds was sentenced to death. Several appeals were filed on his behalf claiming that Reynolds did not receive a fair trial and that the death penalty violated his constitutional rights, but they were thrown out. In January 2002, Reynolds finally persuaded the court to grant him a new trial based on allegations that the judge who oversaw the original trial, engaged in misconduct by influencing key witnesses in the case.
Reynolds would never get another chance.
On February 4 2002, Reynolds was found dead inside of his jail cell. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack.
Ohio Supreme Court
The Bryan Times)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pottery City Mysteries: Serial Killers, Foreign Spies and Mafia Ties

When I started this blog, I said that it wouldn’t be centered around murders. With all due intentions it’s still not. Even though the title of this post suggests otherwise, when I started out I was actually doing research for future post I’m working on looking at the East Liverpool area’s past ties to bootlegging and organized crime. While looking through murder files I came to the realization that something else may be to blame. Since 1797, there have been 116 known or suspected murders committed in East Liverpool, 26 of which remain unsolved today.  While 26 out of 116 doesn’t sound to bad, you have to take into account that most of those unsolved crimes happened in bursts during very short periods of time. There were 4 unsolved murders in 1918, 5 between 1936-1945 and 8 between 1968-1973.
*On February 12th 1912 an unidentified male infant was found dead on the riverbank.
*On July 2nd 1915, an unidentified infant was found dead. Investigations concluded that the baby was placed inside a sack and then was downed in the Ohio River
*On November 19th 1916 an unidentified male was found dead. An investigation indicated that the man had been burned alive.
*On February 7th 1918, the East Liverpool Fire Department responded to a fire at the Adamant Porcelain plant in the city’s West End. Due to the intense heat they were unable to save the plant. About 6 hours later a gruesome discovery was made next to kiln #3, the charred remains of a human torso missing its arms and legs. A half an hour later another torso was found. The bodies were later identified as David Mumaw and Joseph Cannon, two workers at the plant. Despite the fact that the pilot lights in the kilns were not lit at the time, two torsos were found and a similar fire struck the Kenilworth Tile Company just across the river in Newell, WV the next night, it was determined that the fire was not arson. To makes things even stranger, both companies were just awarded war orders to provide electrical porcelain to the United States Army, who had declared war on Germany about 1 year earlier. Fear and suspicion gripped the area as residents began to believe that a foreign spy was among them. A few days later another fire was possibly averted when a night watch man at R. Thomas & Sons works named Frank Higgins spotted a shadowy figure by one of the clay bins. When he went to investigate a man came at him, Higgins drew his revolver and held the man until police arrived. The man was identified as Willis Payne. Payne later admitted to setting the two previous fires, but those who heard his testimony said that he was coached and may have been a pawn for an enemy agent. Payne even admitted that he was paid 50 cents to burn down the Adamant plant by a man wearing a fur coat living in Midland and said that his next target was the Davidson Porcelain plant. Payne was found to be insane and it was discovered that he was committed to a home for the mentally ill in Columbus just 5 years prior to the fires. While incarcerated, Payne even admitted that he set the infamous Great Chicago Fire of 1861. It was determined that Payne was so mentally ill that he could have easily been persuaded to commit any crime. Several federal authorities including the secret service investigated the case but could not determine who put Payne up the fires. Payne never stood trial on the charges, but he was again admitted to a home for the mentally, this time indefinitely. The case is still officially listed as unsolved.
*On June 23rd 1918, Jerry Kincaid was found shot to death. His murder remains unsolved.
*In late 1918, Joseph Martin was found slashed to death. The case still remains unsolved.
*On April 30th 1923, an unidentified female was found dead in the basement of a East Liverpool home. It was determined that she was strangled to death.

*On May 13th 1936, while enjoying a night out on the town, Francis Cannon,  part owner of the East Liverpool Potteries Company, came across two women walking down the street who were being harassed by 4 men in a automobile yelling obscenities and making sexual comments. Cannon offered to escort the women home. While they were walking, the men proceeded to follow them and continued to harass them. Cannon became angry and told the men to show some respect when around women. The men then stopped the car and got out. An altercation ensued and all four men severely beat Cannon before slashing him with a knife and then leaving him for dead next to the street. A Lisbon man was eventually questioned about the crime but was later released after there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him. To this day, Cannon’s 4 murders remain unknown.
*On October 29th 1940, Julia Wall was found dead stuffed inside a barrel on Jennings Avenue. Her story appeared in my 2nd blog entry “Murder In Pottery City”
*On June 5th 1944, 18 year old Sam Winters finished up his shift at Crucible Steel and rode the bus to Mulberry Street in the city’s East End. While walking along State Street he came to the railroad overpass at the intersection where River Road becomes Saint George Street. It was there that he spotted a pair of feet sticking out of a blanket wrapped up with clothesline in the weeds about 8 feet from the roadway. He ran nearby and called police. When Police arrived they discovered that the body was still warm and determined that the woman died about 2 and a half hours earlier. Police were unable to identify the woman so they proceeded to go around town to taverns and restaurants with a picture, in hopes that someone would recognize her, but nobody did. The next day a man rummaging through the trash at Columbian Park on Pennsylvania Avenue came across a ripped up dress and skirt. It was discovered that the unknown woman resembled one of the girls on a poster for the carnival that was held in the park the prior week. Police contacted the owner the carnival and was informed that all his workers were accounted for and that the girl in question performed the night before. A funeral was held at Dawson Funeral Home, where around 1,500 people showed up in hopes of recognizing the girl, but no one did. She was laid to rest in Spring Grove Cemetery without being identified. Today the unknown woman’s identity and the identity of her killer remain a mystery.
*On October 2nd 1944 the body of 17 year old newlywed Alice Lyons was found in California Hallow (near where Route 30 currently runs)by 3 young boys. Her full story appeared in Murder In Pottery City.
*On February 16th 1945, local restaurant owner Steve Phillips was stepping out of his automobile in front of his home when he was suddenly attacked with a metal bar, crushing his skull. He died two days later at East Liverpool City Hospital. Police found about $400 stuffed inside Phillips pocket watch, but between $600 and $800 in cash receipts were missing. Police interviewed over 100 people in connection to the case, but came up empty handed. During the investigation, Police discovered that Phillips was involved with an illegal gambling ring and ran several establishments in the East Liverpool area that featured Bingo, Slot Machines, Table Games and betting on the stock market. Police learned that threats were made against Phillips life just a week prior to his murder. Police determined that Phillips was murdered by a “hired thug” in what was believed to be a mob hit. Despite there being a $1000 reward for the capture of his killer, the case has never been solved.
*On December 17th 1968, 81 year old Theodosia Wood was found beaten to death her home. Her killer was never found.
*In 1969, Del Baumgarner was found beaten to death. His killer remains at large.
*In January of 1971, James Brenneman went missing from East Liverpool. 4 months later his body was discovered in the Ohio River near Stratford. Police suspect foul play was involved.
*On July 5th 1971, a man was found strangled to death in the woods of Jethro Hollow. An autopsy concluded that he had been dead between 3 to 5 days before his body was discovered.
*On July 30th 1973, a customer discovered the bodies of local businessman Earl Tweed, Linda Morris (who was also pregnant at the time) and her daughter Angela inside Tweed’s Dresden Avenue furniture store. The full story appeared in Murder In Pottery City.
Looking back on these some of these cases, especially the ones that happened so close together, you can’t help but wonder, were these were really isolated cases of murder as we were led to believe or was East Liverpool once plagued by a serial killer that preyed on the defenseless citizens of our city? Given the fact that all the random and sporadic killings seemed to have stopped in 1973, it may indicate that if there was once a serial killer roaming our streets, he has either passed away or is currently incarcerated for another crime.  We may never know the real truth.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lost In Vietnam: The Disappearance Of Dallas Pridemore

On the night of September 8th 1968, East Liverpool resident SSGT Dallas Pridemore was enjoying some R&R while serving in South Vietnam. While wearing civilian clothes he traveled from the capitol Saigon, 4 miles northeast to the Thu Duc District in the Gia Dinh Province to visit a local girl who was presumed to be his girlfriend. At around 10:00pm several Viet Cong showed up at the residence of the girl's family wanting to search for another Viet Cong who had defected to South Vietnam. Upon seeing the plain clothed American, the Viet Cong fighters kidnapped Pridemore at gunpoint. They told the family that he would be returned in a day or two, but never was. He was held captive in the Binh Duong Province before being taken to Phong Phu and transferred to the custody of the Liberation Army Headquarters.
On September 10th, 1968, Pridemore was reported to have been held prisoner in the area of the Ong Tang Swamp.
Pridemore wasn’t heard of again until January 6th, 1969, when a South Vietnamese source reported that his brother, who was a Viet Cong postal clerk, told him that he saw the name of a captured US Soldier named "Dallas Primont" on a roster at an interrogation camp in the Svay Rieng Province of Cambodia and that he was transferred there toward the end of September of 1968 from Gia Dinh. The last time that he was seen was on January 4th, 1969. The United States Army has admitted that they have more information on Pridemore, but the details are still considered Classified despite numerous requests to declassify the files. Following the end of the Vietnam War, several visits were made to Gia Dinh in an attempt to confirm the detail's surrounding his kidnaping. For the most part, no one would admit to knowledge of the incident. The Vietnamese Government denies any knowledge of Pridemore what so ever. Some villagers told investigators of an American Soldier and a girl, but they didn’t know what happened to them. There was also speculation that he was killed by US bombings while being held captive in Cambodia, but there was no real evidence to suggest it.
In November of 1964 a source reported that Pridemore was alive in MR-IV, but it was determined that the source was unreliable.  Due to the fact that there was no solid evidence to prove he was still alive, the US Army issued Pridemore a Death Certificate in 1977.
There are some in the United States Government that still believe several hundred American's are still alive and being held captive in Vietnam and other parts of southeast Asia.
 Life Magazine did a story in 1986 on 25 POW's that the Pentagon believe are still alive and Pridemore’s name was listed.
During an investigation in April of 1992 by the Joint Task Force for Full Accounting, one of Pridemore’s former commanders stated that Pridemore’s Vietnamese girlfriend was a Viet Cong agent that set up his capture. There was also speculation that her family was involved in an illegal drug ring and that Pridemore was killed because he saw something that he shouldn’t have.
The United States Army determined that there is no evidence that he was killed so Pridemore's status is still listed as a Captured Prisoner Of War.
The last time that a American POW was released alive was during Operation Homecoming  on March 28th, 1973 when 591 prisoners were released by the Vietnamese Government.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Murder In Pottery City

A few days ago I read a news story about two girl's from East Liverpool who admitted to murdering another girl in Beaver County and burying her in a shallow grave. Just days before that East Liverpool Police determined that a recent house fire that took the lives of a father and his 3 sons was a triple murder/suicide. This led me to do some research into some of the most of the disturbing and shocking murders in this area. I went in thinking that I would find a few but I soon discovered that this area has a long history in murders. No I'm not talking about gang related murders like you see all over the news today. I'm talking about cold blooded murders. The sheer volume of cases that I uncovered was very disturbing. I decided to highlight a few just to give you an example of what I mean. Keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I know of several more but I haven't been able to find out enough details about them so they were not included. I must warn you, the details of some of these cases are very disturbing so reader discretion is advised.

*On March 30th 2012 Police were called to the Tri State Methodist Campground on Anderson Blvd. in East Liverpool after a receiving a call from family members who arrived to fins caretaker Michael Wolfe and his wife Karen. Police determined that the two had a domestic dispute during which Michael shot his wife and then committed suicide.
For more information Click Here

*On August 12th 2011 in Wellsville, Holly Conrad was shot and killed by her husband Nick Carosiello in what he claims was self-defense. The case is still ongoing. Several charges have been filed against others involved in the case.
For more information Click Here

*On September 22nd 2010, Stephen Youngblood murdered the mother of his children, Rachael Wilcox and her friend Andrea Foster before taking his own life about a block away.
*On July 1st 2007, Wellsville Police received a call from Dr. Jack Amato, who told them that there had been a shooting at his son's residence. When Police arrived they found Jack "JC" Amato sitting next to his wife Tonya, who was lying face down on the floor with a gunshot wound to the face. Police took JC into custody. During questioning, JC admitted that he shot his wife in self-defense after she pulled a gun in him first. Amato eventually pled guilty to lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter with a firearms specification and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
For more information Click Here

*On August 23rd 2006 East Liverpool Police and paramedics were called to a Anderson Blvd. home. Upon arrival, Andrew Irwin came rushing out of the house covered in blood and told police that she was inside. When police entered the home they found Emily Foreman laying on her bedroom floor in a pool if her own blood clutching to life. She was able to tell police her name but nothing else. Irwin reportedly told that paramedics that Foreman tried to attack him with a knife so he took it off her and stabbed her. Foreman passed away enroute to the hospital. Autopsy reports revealed that Foreman was stabbed 18 times and had her throat slashed. During his trial, Irwin claimed that he was innocent. He said that someone else committed the murder and set him up. He also claimed to have no recollection of that day. The jury didn’t buy it. Irwin was sentenced 15 years to life in prison. Irwin later filed an appeal claiming incompetence on the part of his lawyer, who himself was jailed after several outbursts during the trial lead to him being held in contempt of court. Irwin received a new trial, was found guilty again and was handed the same sentence as before. Irwin again tried to file an appeal claiming that he had a witness on audio tape saying that the real killer confessed to them. His appeal was denied.
For more information Click Here

*On August 16th 2004, East Liverpool Police responded to reports of a fight in the city's West End. Upon arrival Police discovered Tiffany Faulk, who was 15 weeks pregnant, laying face down on the pavement on Edgewood Street. She was beaten so badly that she was unrecognizable. Later on, while acting on a tip, police found Brandon Johnson, who was the father of Faulk's unborn child and her boyfriend, hiding in a creek bed off of Claiborne Street and took him into custody. Johnson pled guilty to the murders in exchange for a lesser sentence of 18 years to life in prison. In 2008, Johnson filed a motion to have his guilty plea withdrawn but it was denied.
For more information Click Here

*On September 31st 2001 East Liverpool Police were called to the Orioles Club on Dresden Avenue. Police discovered two bodies lying next to the bar both with gunshot wounds to the head. A police investigation concluded that Donald Ingram shot and killed his ex-girlfriend Melissa Bishop before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.
For more  information Click Here

[The source for the following cases is the East Liverpool Historical Society website]

*On June 26th 1976, a gruesome discovery was made at the home of Deborah Davis Taylor at the corner of East 8th Street and Woodland Street. Robert Wooten went to Deborah's father's house to tell him that he stopped earlier that day at Deborah's to pay her $5 that he owed her and when he knocked on the door no answered but he could hear a baby crying side. After unsuccessfully trying to call her multiple times, her father Robert Davis, her brother James Davis and her brother in law Wooten went to investigate. Her father used his spare key to unlock the door. When they went inside the house they came across a gruesome scene. Deborah and two of her children were found beaten to death inside. Police interviewed Wooten and then named him their lone suspect. After 3 hours of interrogation, Wooten admitted to the murders. He said that he came to her house asking her to help him jump his car but her battery was dead so Wooten called James Davis but got no answer so he decided to wait around. Wooten said he made sexual advances towards Deborah and she responded by attacking him. Wooten said he grabbed a piece of pipe from beside the door and warned her not to hit him again. She hit him again then as she turned around to walk away he nailed her in the back of the head with the pipe, knocking her to the ground. Wooten told her he should rape her. Wooten said that she told him she was bleeding so he was going to take her to the hospital but when he reached down to help her up she kicked him in the groin. Wooten then beat her to death with the pipe. Around this time Deborah's 3 year old daughter Billie Jo came out of her room and started screaming. Wooten said he became scared so he hit her with the pipe. Then Deborah's son Jesse started to get up so Wooten attacked him also. During his trial, Wooten was sentenced to two life sentences in prison. At the time, Ohio had failed to reinstate the death penalty.
 For more details on this case Click Here
*On July 30th 1973, a Chicago woman walked into Tweed's furniture store on Dresden Avenue in East Liverpool and discovered the bodies of a mother and her young daughter. The woman immediately ran out of the store and yelled across the street for someone to call police. When police arrived they immediately found the body of Linda Morris, who was 4 months pregnant and her year old daughter Angela Lynn was still clutching to life but sadly later also passed away. A few feet from them, out of view at first, police found the body of Earl Tweed who was stabbed up to 28 times in the chest. Police found a bloody steak knife, a claw hammer and a wrench. A young boy claimed that when the killer rushed out of the store he bumped into the boy and demanded to know where he lived, threating to kill the boy if he didn’t tell him. The boy managed to get loose and ran away. Later that day a passerby found Tweeds wallet at the top of the cement steps next to West 8th Street. To this this day the case still remains unsolved.
For more details on this case Click Here

*On November 13th 1972 police received a call of suspicious noises and gun shots in the area of Broadway. After checking the doors of several buildings, police discovered the door to Smith's Auto Part's (which was recently demolished) on the corner of Broadway and 4th Street ajar. Police entered the building and went up the stairs to the apartment above where they discovered Willis Smith laying on the floor with his feet tied together by his own shoestrings and his hands bound together with a belt, dead from three gunshot wounds. Police determined that the killers had Smith sitting in a chair but he wasn’t tied to it. Smith was able to get his hands free and surprised the killers so he was shot. Two years later police caught a break when Frank Ringler was extradited to Las Vegas for stealing a car. Ringler admitted to police that he set up the robbery and waited outside in the car. He claimed that Charles Breon and Joseph Crane were the only ones that entered the apartment and that Crane was the trigger man. In October of 1975 Crane went on trial for murder but the jury couldn’t reach a verdict so it was ruled a mistrial. The next month Crane was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Breon plead guilty to armed robbery and received a 25 year sentenced. Ringler, who again set up the whole thing, only served time on a robbery charge.
For more details on this case Click Here

*On November 15th 1961 received a call from someone claiming to be Roger Smith saying that he found a body off of the Pennsylvania Ave Extension at the state line. The caller said he would meet police there but never showed up. Police discovered the body of Nancy Boyd, who was badly beaten and appeared to have a gunshot wound. She appeared to have been dead for at least a week. Police turned their attention on her estranged husband William Boyd Jr. After lengthy questioning and a polygraph test, he admitted to murdering Nancy and signed a 26 page confession. William said that he ran into her in a bar. They decided to go for a drive so they could talk. Near the state line William said that they got a flat tire so he got out to fix it. While he was doing that they continued to talk and that's when Nancy decided to tell him of her plans to let her aunt adopt their 11 month old daughter. William said he told her that she will not adopt out their baby then in a fit of rage he hit her with a tire iron. He said that he checked her pulse and couldn’t find one so he panicked, dragged her out of the car and down the hillside then proceeded to shoot her in the head.
For more details on this case Click Here

*On November 16th 1956, East Liverpool Police officer Joseph Mumford was shot and killed while taking a coffee break at the McDonald Street home of Ina Danner by her jealous boyfriend Raymond Porter. When police arrived Porter was kneeling over Danner who was also shot in the stomach. The officer, Tom Walker, stepped outside to call a ambulance. When he came back inside Porter tried to attack him. After a struggle, Walker hit Porter with a billy club and placed him under arrest. Danner testified that she was inside drinking coffee with Mumford when suddenly bullets came flying through the window striking both Mumford and Danner. Porter then came into the house and fired a few more rounds into Mumford. Porter claimed that he remembered nothing from that day. Porter was found guilty for 1st degree murder. He was originally facing the death penalty but the panel instead recommended life in prison.
For more details on this case Click Here

*On May 12th 1943 Phoebe Peachy was walking with her mother and brother along Boyd Street in the Dixonville area of the city when her ex-boyfriend Francis Holland pulled up beside them in his car and asked her to get into the car. Phoebe's mother suggested that they go inside the house. Suddenly Phoebe took off running and then Holland pulled out a gun and chased after her shooting her in the back. She kept trying to escape but Holland overpowered her and shot her again and then drove off. Police launched a manhunt for Holland, but he turned himself in the next day. He originally plead not guilty but then confessed to the murder. After being evaluated he was found to be insane due to an organic brain disease and was sent to state hospital from the criminally insane.
For more details on this case Click Here

*On October 2nd 1943, three young boys stumbled upon the naked, decomposed body of a woman in California Hallow. The remains were lying in a V type position with her head partially covered with dirt like she was just carelessly thrown there. It was determined to be Alice Lyons who disappeared several weeks before. Her husband John Lyons was arrested and questioned but was cleared as a suspect. The murder marked the 3rd time in 4 years that a woman was found strangled, causing fears that a serial killer was on the loose in East Liverpool, Ohio.
For more details on this case Click Here

*On October 29th 1940, Harvey Cullen was walking his dog on Jennings Avenue when he came across a wooden barrel. He kicked it causing a burlap sack to come undone, revealing a female stuffed inside the barrel. Cullen ran to a neighboring house and called police. Her body was packed so tightly inside the barrel that police had to bust the metal rings off to get her out. Police identified the female as Julia Wall, who just got married 4 days earlier. Wall worked for a produce dealer named Jack Cascio who was said to have been jealous of her. Police arrested Cascio and upon searching his room they found several of Wall's belongings including her wedding ring. Cascio was charged with murder and went on trial. After several hang ups, a jury found Cascio not guilty and he walked away a free man. Her murder has never been solved.
For more details on this case Click Here

*On June 24th 1929, Frank Wilson set up a meeting with his estranged wife Mildred Sheets to talk about their marriage. After driving around East Liverpool for a little while they got into a verbal argument. Wilson stopped the car on West 8th Street, dragged Sheets into the middle of the road and then in front of shocked on lookers proceeded to brutally beat her with a gun before shooting her and then turning the gun on himself
For more details on this case Click Here

*On June 4th 1861 a Danish inventor named Christian Olsen was found maimed and decapitated on the train tracks by a potter in his way to work at 2nd and Broadway near where the Broadway Warf now sits. Police originally ruled his death a train accident. Some of Olsen's friends hired a private investigator that had Olsen's body exhumed and examined inside the grave. It was then that they discovered Olsen had been shot through the shoulder. Olsen's death was then changed to a homicide. Several area residents entered Olsen's workshop and discovered blood and a flying machine that was destroyed. Olsen was said to be planning to fly his machine over East Liverpool the day after he was murdered.
For more details on this case Click Here

[For more information on local homicides you can see the list on the East Liverpool Historical Society archive by clicking here ]
All material used in this blog is the intellectual property of their respective owners and may not be copied or reproduced without prior consent

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Era Of The ELPR Has Arrived!

Welcome to ELPR Media! First off let me state that I am not a journalist nor am I affiliated with any political parties or organizations. My original idea for ELPR was to just provide my own opinion on local issues effecting the East Liverpool area but given all the opportunities presented by social media, it will most likely expand beyond that to include the entire Ohio Valley and possibly the world. If you came here looking for unbiased reporting, then you should probably head back to your local newspapers. ELPR doesn't have sponsors to please and there are no supervisor's to filter opinions. ELPR doesn't belong to some major corporation or even myself. It belongs to the people. So ELPR's success or lack thereof will be solely derived from you, the people. This isn't another blog where you are going to be bombarded with only one viewpoint or side of the story. Unlike the other news organizations, I have decided to open ELPR up to allow anyone to contribute articles and stories. You don't have to be a college or even a high school graduate to be a part of ELPR (As anyone that went to school with me can tell you, I wasn't exactly a honor student myself.) The goal of ELPR is not to compete with other news organizations. We want to revolutionize the way that news is delivered to the masses. Instantly and uncensored. Our goal is to bring you the other side of the story that doesn't always make it through the other media outlets. The dirty stuff that the other guys won't touch. I am also in the process of getting bandwidth to launch launch ELPR Radio, which like ELPR News, will be an open forum for the public to bring their cause to light. If you would like to contribute to ELPR you can do it two different ways you could post it on the ELPR forums by clicking here or you can email ELPR at You can also send tip's and articles to the email listed. ELPR greatly values you're privacy so you can remain anonymous if you want.