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 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.
*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.
*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.
*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.
*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.
[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.
*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.
*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.
*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.
*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.
*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.
*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.
*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.
*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
*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 information on local homicides you can see the list on the East Liverpool Historical Society archive by clicking here ]
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