5. Murder Of A Mathematician
Dutch mathematician Willem “Wim” Klein was noted for his remarkable feats of mental arithmetic, earning him the moniker of “The Human Computer.” Born in Amsterdam in 1912, he first developed his skills of lightning-fast calculations into a circus act which he performed throughout Europe.
During the 1950s, he worked as a scientific calculator as he was much quicker and more reliable than computers of the day. In 1958, Klein was employed by CERN and moved to Switzerland, where he stayed for almost two decades.
Wim retired in 1976 and moved back to Amsterdam. He kept doing performance shows and focused on breaking records. That same year, Klein entered the Guinness Book of Records for calculating the 73rd root of a 500-digit number in two minutes and 43 seconds.
Willem Klein was murdered on August 1, 1986. His housekeeper found “The Human Computer” in his home, dead from multiple knife wounds. Although a young man was soon arrested for the crime, he was eventually released due to lack of evidence. The killer was never identified. Some believe that Klein was killed because he was gay, while others opined that it was a botched robbery.
4. The Crewe Killings
Husband and wife Harvey and Jeanette Crewe were last seen alive on June 17, 1970. A few days later, Jeanette’s father, Lenard Demler, visited their farmhouse in Pukekawa. He found their infant daughter, Rochelle, crying in her cot, and the house covered in bloodstains.
Jeanette’s body was found two months later and Harvey’s a month after that. They had both been shot with a .22 caliber firearm and dumped in the Waikato River. But the husband had been weighted down with a car axle, which is why he was harder to find.
Police first suspected a murder-suicide but quickly dismissed the idea. Afterward, they shifted their focus toward Len Demler. He exhibited strange behavior and had a financial motive—Jeanette had inherited half of his farm and wanted to buy him out. However, investigators couldn’t find any solid evidence connecting him to the murders.
Next up came a neighbor named Arthur Allan Thomas. He was actually charged and convicted of the crimes in 1971 and again in 1973 during a second trial. There was just one problem, though. He had been framed by two detectives who had planted evidence.
Thomas was pardoned in 1979. But the officers were never charged, and nobody else was arrested for the double murder.
3. The Battersea Flat Murder
Thomas Weldon Atherston (real name Thomas Anderson) was a stage actor who met a curious demise in London’s Battersea district on July 16, 1910. After reports of gunshots, police came to investigate the area and found Atherston’s body on the grounds of Clifton Gardens. He was wearing bedroom slippers and carrying a rudimentary blackjack in his pocket. He had died from a bullet wound to the face.
Investigators talked to the tenant of the apartment, a woman named Elizabeth Earl. She happened to be Atherston’s ex-girlfriend and reported hearing gunshots while having dinner with a young man named Thomas Frederick Anderson. He happened to be the actor’s son and was currently in a relationship with his father’s former lover.
Given the circumstances, police didn’t believe that Atherston’s death was a coincidence. They investigated the possibility of a murderous love triangle where the young Anderson and his lover conspired to kill the older actor.
Several other witnesses claimed to have seen a man fleeing the scene, but none could describe him. While he could have been Anderson, there was no evidence to indicate this as the lovers gave each other alibis.
Although no culprit was arrested, police believed that Atherston was in the wrong place at the wrong time. While lurking in the shadows and spying on his former mistress, he encountered a burglar who shot him to make his getaway.
2. The Death Of Sharron Prior
On March 29, 1975, 16-year-old Sharron Prior left her home in Montreal to meet friends at a diner. It was a short walk, but that was the last time her family saw her alive.
Sharron’s body was found days later in a beekeeper’s field. She had been raped and severely beaten. There were some branches clumped in her hand, suggesting that she was still alive when she was dumped in the field.
Right before Sharron’s disappearance, another woman was assaulted by a man with a knife in the same area. However, she screamed for help and several people rushed to her rescue, scaring her assailant away. Some have speculated that it was the same man and that he ran into Sharron while making his getaway. She then became a target of opportunity.
Another hypothesis stated that there were two perpetrators. This was due to evidence left at the scene—a footprint and a man’s shirt, probably used to bind Sharron.
Although the footprint was size 8-1/2, the shirt belonged to a bigger man, somewhere around 183 centimeters (6’0″) and 90 kilograms (200 lb). The measurements matched the description of the other woman’s attacker. So it could be that the larger culprit was the abductor and the smaller accomplice dumped the body.
1. The Wonderland Murders
The Wonderland murders had sex, drugs, and lots of violence—the perfect recipe for one of the darkest moments in Hollywood. During the 1970s and early ’80s, one of several groups getting rich from Los Angeles’ thriving cocaine trade was the Wonderland Gang.
However, the pack met a sudden and brutal end on July 1, 1981, when three of its members and an associate were gruesomely killed in their drug den in the Hollywood Hills.
Allegedly, the killings were retaliation from nightclub owner and drug trafficker Eddie Nash. Prior to this, the Wonderland Gang had robbed his home, making Nash beg for his life and wounding his henchman, Gregory Diles, with a grazing shot. Also possibly involved was notorious porn star John Holmes.
According to the story, Holmes helped the Wonderland Gang rob Eddie Nash by going to his house earlier in the day and leaving the sliding door open. Afterward, the mobster realized Holmes’s involvement and made him give up the location of the robbers. The porn star was charged with the murders in 1982. Nash and Diles were charged in 1990, but all three were acquitted.
In 1988, after Holmes died, his ex-wife came forward, saying that John had confessed his involvement to her. He had taken three thugs to the drug den on Wonderland Avenue and watched them bludgeon the robbers to death. Holmes didn’t name any of the assailants.