Manuel Ray

Manuel Ray

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Manuel Ray was born in Cuba in 1924. Ray was a outstanding student and in 1947 the Cuban Ministry of Public Works granted him a scholarship to study civil engineering at the University of Utah. Ray returned to Cuba in 1949 and became project manager for the construction of the Hilton Hotel in Havana.

Ray was opposed to the military rule of Fulgencio Batista and in 1957 he established the Civic Resistance Movement. Over the next two years Ray organized a series of sabotage and acts of terrorism against the Batista government.Fidel Castro recognised the important role Ray played in the overthrow of Batista and appointed him as his Minister of Public Works (February, 1959).

Ray clashed with Castro over certain issues. This included Castro's decision to execute Hubert Matos. In November, 1959, Ray left Castro's government. In May 1960 Ray formed the Revolutionary Movement of the People (MRP) and joined the underground resistance to Castro. The MRP was a left of centre political organization that's policies included regulation of private investment and the nationalization of all utilities.

The Central Intelligence Agency considered Ray an important political asset and in November, 1960, arranged for him to escape to the United States. However, the CIA was not in complete agreement about Ray. For example, E. Howard Hunt saw Ray as too left-wing and described him as a supporter of "Fidelism without Fidel".

Despite these fears, John F. Kennedy insisted that Ray should become part of the Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD). This upset its leader, Jose Miro Cardona, who considered Ray to be a dangerous radical. William Pawley, who believed that Ray was a communist, also objected to him becoming a member of FRD.

Kennedy also wanted Ray to join the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC). Ray agreed to do this three weeks before the Bay of Pigs operation. Ray became Chief of Sabotage and Internal Affairs. Other members of this government in exile included Tony Varona (Secretary of War), Manuel Artime (Head of the Army), Antonio Maceo (Secretary of Health) and Justo Carrillo (Economic Administrator).

Ray withdrew the MRP from the CRC soon after the failed invasion of Cuba. He gave a news conference on 28th May, 1961, where he criticised the Bay of Pigs operation. He claimed that CRC had broken a pledge to ensure that anyone closely associated with Fulgencio Batista would not be used in the invasion. Ray also argued that Castro should be overthrown by the Cuban people and was totally opposed to CIA backed invasions.

John F. Kennedy now cut off funds for the MRP. As a result, party members persuaded Ray to resign as leader of the MRP. Ray now moved to Puerto Rico. In October 1961 he became a member of the Puerto Rican Planning Board.

In April 1962, Ray formed a new anti-Castro organization called the Junta Revolucionario Cubana (JURE). This organization became part of the CRC. Ray also began providing information to the CIA about the possible defection of Castro's officials. Ray made a tour of Latin American countries in an attempt to raise funds in order that JURE could mount resistance operations inside Cuba.

Silvia Odio was one of Ray's supporters. On 25th September, 1963, Odio had a visit from three men who claimed they were from New Orleans. Two of the men, Leopoldo and Angelo, said they were members of the JURE. The third man, Leon, was introduced as an American sympathizer who was willing to take part in the assassination of Fidel Castro. After she told them that she was unwilling to get involved in any criminal activity, the three men left.

Odio became convinced that after the assassination of John F. Kennedy that Leon was Lee Harvey Oswald. Odio gave evidence to the Warren Commission and one of its lawyers commented: "Silvia Odio was checked out thoroughly... The evidence is unanimously favorable... Odio is the most significant witness linking Oswald to the anti-Castro Cubans."

On 20th May, 1964, Ray and a crew of seven, including a reporter-photographer team from Life Magazine, landed at the Angguilla Cays, 40 miles off the Cuban coast. However, the British authorities discovered Ray and his group and their cache of weapons and explosives, arrested them for illegal entry into the Bahamas and took them to Nassau. After being fined Ray was deported to the United States.

The FBI now carried out an investigation into Ray's activities and discovered that he had illegally purchased $50,000 worth of arms for JURE from a California arms manufacturer. As a result Ray was told to move all his operations outside of United States territory. Attempts were also made to stop people in the United States from financing Ray's activities.

Ray continued to get involved in anti-Castro activities and in 1972 he formed the People's Revolutionary Party, but it failed to make an impact.

In 1978 Ray moved to Puerto Rico when he headed his own engineering consulting firm in San Juan.

Jack Pfeiffer: What about Manuel Ray in terms of leaders?

Jake Esterline: Well, he was so anti-CIA, starting back in the early 50's... he was anti-US government. So the CIA was lumped in with that - probably because of the Ambassadorial image we had in Cuba in those early 50's with Ambassador Gardner, who distinguished himself when he was the American Ambassador there by buying a thousand pounds of ice from the ice plant every time they gave a cocktail party so he could have the pool cooled properly. You know, that kind of thing, Ray has never really been in sympathy with the U.S. His reasons were probably not all that bad, and in those earlier years, gave him an affinity with Castro. He wanted an independent Cuba, and he didn't want the United States to be a continuous satellite to the United States. So he would have ended up in the category of a political unreliable. He did have a pretty good friendship with Jim Noel, whom I mentioned earlier. Jim used to say, "Gee, can't we bring him in more - and everybody threw up their hands. Jerry Droller would throw up his hands and say "you can't do this." He would have been absolutely unacceptable to any Cuban politician we had to deal with.

Three men appeared unannounced at the Dallas doorstep of Sylvia Odio, a well-known Cuban exile and a backer of Manuel Ray's JURE, the social-democrat group that most exiles considered flamingly pink. The trio's Latin-looking spokesman called himself Leopoldo. He said it was a "war name". He introduced a dark companion with a stocky build as "Angelo". The third man, an Angelo who stood shyly in the background, he introduced "Leon Oswal".

Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Israel Emanuel ( / r ɑː m / born November 29, 1959) [1] is an American politician who served as the 55th [2] mayor of Chicago from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 23rd White House Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Chicago between 2003 and 2009.

Born in Chicago, Emanuel is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Northwestern University. Working early in his career in Democratic politics, Emanuel was appointed as director of the finance committee for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. In 1993, he joined the Clinton administration, where he served as the assistant to the president for political affairs and as the Senior Advisor to the President for policy and strategy. Beginning a career in finance, Emanuel worked at the investment bank Wasserstein Perella & Co. from 1998 for 2½ years, and served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac. In 2002, Emanuel ran for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Rod Blagojevich, who resigned to become governor of Illinois. Emanuel won the first of three terms representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, a seat he held from 2003 to 2009. As the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he oversaw Democratic wins in the 2006 United States House of Representatives elections, allowing the party to gain control of the chamber for the first time since 1994. After the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama appointed Emanuel to serve as White House chief of staff.

In October 2010, Emanuel resigned as chief of staff to run as a candidate in Chicago's 2011 mayoral election. Emanuel won with 55% of the vote over five other candidates in the non-partisan mayoral election, succeeding 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley. At his reelection, although Emanuel failed to obtain an absolute majority in the February 2015 mayoral election, he defeated Cook County board commissioner (and later U.S. Representative) Jesús "Chuy" García in the subsequent run-off election in April. In late 2015, Emanuel's approval rating plunged to "the low 20s" [3] in response to a series of scandals. [4] These followed and were attributed to the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the city's subsequent attempts to withhold a video of the shooting, and the lack of an investigation into the matter.

Emanuel initially announced in October 2017 he planned to run for a third term, [5] but on September 4, 2018, he reversed his decision and announced that he would not seek a third term due to personal obligations. [6] The Chicago Tribune assessed Emanuel's performance as mayor as "mixed." At one point, half of Chicagoans favored Emanuel's resignation. He later made steady progress in recovering his political support. [3] He left office in May 2019 and was succeeded by Lori Lightfoot. In May 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Emanuel to serve as the Ambassador to Japan. [7]

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Continued fun with ‘A new kind of ray’

By now, some are beginning to understand the dangers of x-rays and steps are taken to ensure radiographers are safe. Lead glass bowls are placed around x-ray tubes to shield excess radiation, and the invention of the Coolidge tube helps to make exposures faster and safer for all parties involved. Still, the public is largely unaware of their danger.

For practitioners of quackery, x-rays became a godsend. For millions, the mysterious ray offered the promise of pain relief, disease therapy, addiction curing even treatment of skin blemishes.

For only a few dollars, you too could be cured of sexual impotence!

For some time they were even viewed as a new form of artistic photography, and journalists were encouraged to use them as such.

Law enforcement agencies, interested in inspecting packages and luggage, bought these new ‘cameras’ by the dozens. It was not uncommon for them to be used frivolously, though.

‘Human Telescopes’ –a crude form of fluoroscope, became fun party toys among the elite, where they offered a new use for those Crooke’s tubes which were ever-so popular novelties back then.

Much like radio communication, radiography even became a fun hobby for those who could afford the necessary equipment. [Not to say that it this is untrue today!]

In reality, these machines did little to help fit the shoe.

“Fifty Nifty United States”

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photo by Fuse/Thinkstock.

On Nov. 1, 1961, the weekly variety show Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall presented the second installment of a new feature paying tribute to the states. That week’s episode—which devoted 15 minutes to celebrating the history, geography, and culture of Missouri—debuted a jaunty new theme song for the state-saluting feature: “Fifty Nifty United States.”

If you know “Fifty Nifty United States”—and, if you went to an American elementary school at some point in the past four decades, there’s a decent chance you do—the flag-billowing part is probably not the part you care about. In fact, you might not even have learned the song’s full intro. The part you care about is the part that comes next, which rivals the alphabet song as an educational tool and as an earworm: the part that rattles off all 50 states alphabetically, starting, “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut,” and ending, “West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyohhhhhh-ming!”

I learned “Fifty Nifty United States” in my fifth-grade music class in Austin, Texas, around 1997. Eighteen years later, I can barely remember what happened during the Battle of Lexington and Concord, or which constitutional amendment says what, but I can still sing the name of every state without having to think about it. The same is true for most other adults I’ve talked to who learned “Fifty Nifty United States” in childhood. And this appears to be a truly national phenomenon: I have heard from people who learned the song from sea to shining sea, in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Virginia. (No doubt it’s been taught in many of the other 37 nifty states as well.) Lin-Manuel Miranda, the MacArthur genius and writer and star of the singularly acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton, called it “my favorite song from elementary-school chorus” before a performance in September (and then sang the state roll call flawlessly).

So how did a throwaway novelty song from a now-forgotten 1960s variety show become one of the greatest mnemonic devices in America?

Unfortunately, the song’s composer can’t tell us. Ray Charles—no, not that Ray Charles—died earlier this year at the age of 96, after a long and prolific show-business career in which he wrote, arranged, and performed dozens of compositions for stage and screen. (He’s probably best known for singing the Three’s Company theme he also wrote music for Sha Na Na and The Muppet Show, among others.) But even when alive, Charles couldn’t shed much light on the subject. Interviewed for a South Carolina newspaper in 2008, Charles professed ignorance of how “Fifty Nifty United States” became a success after the Perry Como show: “I didn’t realize until about 10 years ago it was being used in schools,” he said.

The odds of “Fifty Nifty United States” becoming a beloved children’s classic were slim. Kraft Music Hall wasn’t exactly must-see TV—in the season that “Fifty Nifty United States” made its first appearance, it wasn’t even in the top 30 most-watched shows on TV, according to Como’s biographers. The vast majority of “special material” Charles wrote for Kraft Music was performed once, or a few times, and then forgotten. The version of “Fifty Nifty United States” that Charles wrote for Como’s show didn’t even include the roll call of state names—the ditty performed by the Ray Charles Singers was about 47 seconds long. And Como’s state-of-the-week segment never actually managed to celebrate all 50 states—Como paid tribute to only 25 states before the weekly show ended its run in 1963. (Hey, Sufjan Stevens only got around to two of them.)

As Charles’ sons Jonathan and Michael remember it, the song became immortalized because someone approached Charles about printing the song after hearing it on Kraft Music Hall. “How do you publish a tune that’s only 47 seconds long in its entirety?” asked Jonathan, 68, in an email. “He then wrote ‘the add-on,’ stacking the states in alphabetical order rather than going for the rhyme.” It does not surprise the younger Charleses that their father opted to list the states in alphabetical order. Jonathan described his father as “a saver and an archivist” who kept meticulous records and organized them carefully. “He loved putting things in alphabetical order,” Michael, 73, told me during a phone conversation. “He had a 17,000 LP collection supplemented by, like, 5,000 CDs and audio cassettes, and everything was alphabetical, either by composer or composition. He loved putting things in order like that.”

During the mid-20 th century, when choral groups like the Ray Charles Singers dominated the airwaves, music publishers realized that there was an untapped market for written arrangements of popular songs. School choirs had previously been limited to classical compositions, but choir directors jumped at the chance to teach their students more accessible, modern tunes. Whoever saw fit to print and distribute “Fifty Nifty United States” probably predicted—correctly—that music educators would embrace the catchy, wholesome, patriotic song.

How, exactly, the song caught on with educators is hard to say definitely, although some clues suggest how it spread. In the summer of 1963, the song was performed at the National Education Association’s annual meeting in Michigan, possibly serving as inspiration for the thousands of educators in attendance. In 1970, the national newsletter of American Legion Auxiliary, a popular women’s patriotic group that surely included many teachers, published the lyrics as the “suggested patriotic song for October.” I heard from one American—Ray Charles’ former lawyer, actually—who learned the song at a public school in New Jersey in the late 1960s or early 1970s, which indicates that some teachers had embraced “Fifty Nifty” as a mnemonic device within a decade of the song’s invention. I also found a mention of “Fifty Nifty United States” in a program from a 1975 music conference, where it was performed by an elementary school choir from Ann Arbor.

If figuring out how “Fifty Nifty United States” became a ubiquitous educational tool is a challenge, figuring out why it became so popular is easy. I wrote to the music teacher who taught me the song, Debra Erck, who is in her 28 th year of teaching at my old elementary school in Texas. Mrs. Erck said she first started teaching the song in 1988, when the Austin school district adopted a new music textbook series called Music and You, which contained the sheet music for “Fifty Nifty United States.” As you’d expect from someone who’s been teaching it for almost three decades, she had plenty of insight into the song’s appeal to children. “My students have always enjoyed learning it for its catchy tune, quick rhythms, and of course, the challenge,” she wrote to me in an email. She also pointed out that it’s more accessible to children than other patriotic tunes. “The lyrics are more current (no ‘thees’) and the range of the melody is manageable (unlike our national anthem).”

All these reasons, in hindsight, help explain why I liked learning the song so much when I was 10. And I still like the song as an adult, not only because it’s hopelessly embedded in my brain and it’d be pointless to try to fight it, but also because it might be the least jingoistic song ever written about America. “Fifty Nifty United States” isn’t, in the end, about the Founding Fathers or American exceptionalism or even how beautiful our country is. It’s just a catalog of our nation’s contents—an indisputable list of ingredients for America. As Charles said in 2008, if you know the song, “You can win a bet at the bar.’” (Even today, it’s still faster than pulling out your phone and Googling.) Charles wrote hundreds of songs and jingles over the span of his career, and, as far as his family is concerned, “Fifty Nifty United States” is not nearly the most funny, pretty, or meaningful one. But it is every bit as catchy and challenging and useful as it was the day it was written. In a country that feels more politically polarized than ever, “Fifty Nifty United States” is a rare cultural artifact: a shared experience that gets passed from one generation to the next without getting tarnished along the way.

Short portraits of 11 who died on the Deepwater Horizon

Portraits of the 11 who died on the Deepwater Horizon:

Jason Anderson, 35, Midfield, Texas.

Jason Anderson wasn’t even supposed to be on the Deepwater Horizon that day. Anderson had been with the rig since it launched from a South Korean shipyard in 2001. By 2010, the Bay City, Texas, man had risen to senior tool pusher, akin to a foreman on a construction site.

Anderson was transferring to another rig, and went out to the Deepwater Horizon to train his replacement, says his widow, Shelley. When he arrived, the trainee wasn’t there, but Jason stayed over to clean out his locker and spend just a little more time with his “rig brothers.”

Aaron Dale Burkeen, 37, Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Known to friends and family as “Big D” or simple “Bubba,” Burkeen’s favorite television show was “Man vs. Wild,” about people dropped into the wilderness. He once told his sister: “Anything ever happens to me on that rig, I will make it. I’ll float to an island somewhere. Y’all don’t give up on me, ‘cuz I will make it.”

Burkeen was a crane operator on the Deepwater Horizon and had worked for Transocean for a decade before the disaster. Survivors said the blast blew him off a catwalk, and that he fell more than 50 feet to the deck.

He left behind a wife, Rhonda, and two children.

Donald “Duck” Clark, 49, of Newellton, Louisiana.

Sheila Clark says her late husband liked his job as an assistant driller on the Deepwater Horizon. But the avid fisherman and family man “never really enjoyed leaving home.”

“He left that job out there, he really did,” says his widow, who was in her mid-20s when relatives introduced her to Clark when he moved back to Newellton. “If I would ask him about it, he would express (that) he didn’t want to talk about it. ‘Don’t worry about it. I don’t want to talk about it.’”

They were married for 20 years and had four children. Unlike most of the other families, Sheila Clark chose not to have an empty grave for Donald.

“I don’t need objects to remind me of him,” she says. “I have my children . ”

Stephen Ray Curtis, 40, Georgetown, Louisiana.

An assistant driller on the Deepwater Horizon, Curtis followed in The footsteps of his father, who was a diver-welder. At the time of his death, the son had been in the oil industry 17 years.

The Marine veteran was a member of the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department and had also served as an officer with the Grant Parish police department. Curtis was a fan of NASCAR, especially driver Jimmy Johnson, and loved baseball and bow hunting for deer and turkey — passions he tried to share with his son, Treavor.

Curtis’ co-workers said his turkey call was so realistic, they half expected one of the birds to land on the rig.

He left behind a wife, Nancy, son and a daughter, Kala, who had given him his first grandchild shortly before the explosion. For his memorial service at Georgetown Baptist Church, the family asked that everyone wear camouflage in his honor.

Gordon Jones, 28, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A drilling fluids specialist for M-I SWACO, the Louisiana State University graduate had hung up after talking with his wife, Michelle, just 10 minutes before the rig exploded. It was three days shy of their sixth wedding anniversary.

Two months after Jones’ death, his widow gave birth to their second son — Maxwell Gordon, a name they’d decided on shortly before he left on his last hitch.

Michelle has remarried. But the family works hard to make sure Stafford, 7, and Max know who their father was.

Roy Wyatt Kemp, 27, Jonesville, Louisiana.

Baptized in a Colorado creek during a youth trip, faith was central to Wyatt Kemp’s life. Out in the Gulf, he would listen to sermons that a friend had loaded onto his MP3 player.

In the weeks leading up to the disaster, Kemp hinted to his wife, Courtney, that there were problems on the rig. He started planning his funeral, asking his wife to bury him with photos of their two girls, Kaylee and Maddison.

With no casket to put them in, his widow had the pictures laser-etched onto his gravestone.

Karl Kleppinger Jr., 38, Natchez, Mississippi.

The Baton Rouge native served in the Army during Operation Desert Storm and had worked for Transocean for 10 years. He was a floor hand at the time of the disaster.

The beefy, red-bearded Kleppinger was a NASCAR fan and loved cooking barbecue. He and his wife, Tracy, adopted a number of animals from the Natchez Humane Society, and the family asked that donations be made to that organization in his honor.

Kleppinger left behind a son, Aaron. His widow has remarried.

Keith Blair Manuel, 56, Gonzalez, Louisiana.

Known on the rigs as Papa Bear, Manuel’s hunting buddies called him “Gros Bebe” — or “big baby.” A senior drilling fluids specialist, the goateed Manuel worked for Houston-based M-I SWACO, which supplied materials to the Deepwater Horizon. The father of three grown daughters was planning to marry his fiance when he was killed.

Because there was no body, the family buried a memory box beneath His stone at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Eunice, Louisiana.

Dewey Revette, 48, of State Line, Mississippi.

Revette had been a driller with Transocean for 29 years. He was the chief driller on April 20, 2010, and was reportedly arguing with one of the BP supervisors now facing manslaughter charges in the disaster.

A “nut for Jeeps,” according to The New York Times, Revette left behind his wife of 26 years, Sherri, and two adult daughters. Two grandsons born since the disaster are named for him.

Shane Roshto, 22, Liberty, Mississippi.

Roshto was studying to be a medical radiologist. But when his girlfriend, Natalie, told him she was pregnant, he quit school, applied to go offshore and landed an ordinary seaman’s position on the Deepwater Horizon.

Over the next four years, Roshto would work his way up the ladder to lead roughneck. But he never forgot the real reasons he was out there.

Embedded in his wedding band was a strand of steel cable, the same kind used on the rigs. Written in Wite-Out under the brim of his blue hard hat were two dates: His and Natalie’s anniversary, and their son Blaine’s birthday.

“If he had a hard day, he could take that hardhat off and he could look at those two dates,” says his widow, who has since remarried. “And it would always get him through the rest of that day.”

Adam Weise, 24, Yorktown, Texas.

Weise was so proud of the little house he’d bought in Yorktown, Texas, that he didn’t mind the 10-hour drive every three weeks to get back to work on the rig. His other prize possession: A black, four-wheel-drive diesel pickup truck he’d dubbed “The Big Nasty.”

“It was every boy’s dream,” says his mother, Arleen. “It’s the kind of truck he always wanted, and he got it.”

Growing up without a father, Weise learned to hunt and fish from his grandfather. The youngest of four children, Weise was a star player for the Yorktown High School football team, known as a member of the Wildcats’ “fabulous five.”

He went offshore not long after graduation in 2005 and was a floor hand aboard the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the disaster.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Information for these vignettes comes from interviews with the victims’ survivors, the New York Times and a memorial issue of Beacon, a magazine published by rig owner Transocean.

American Journal of Arcane and Obscure Research

America has a long history of blaming homicide and other violent crime on subcultural and/or cutting-edge art and stigmatized fans of it. Plays, novels, movies, rock music, comic books, TV, psychedelia, punk rock, heavy metal, role-playing games, rap, goth, video games–each in turn has been claimed, often by some of the highest officials in the land, to be turning children into criminals with depictions of sex, violence or the occult. As none of these artforms literally causes anyone to do anything, the claim typically involves some form of alleged brainwashing. In many cases, individual artworks have been blamed for specific crimes, by authorities and survivors, by perpetrators, or by both. Various forms of censorship and prohibition of art has resulted, particularly in the form of rating systems.

At the same time, American society is highly resistant to placing similar blame on cultural institutions that directly and openly promote physical violence. Football, for example, is well-known to produce significant amounts of violence from performers (both on- and off-field) and fans alike. Indeed, physical violence is one of the main goals and pleasures of the sport and is taught to young people by skilled coaches. Yet a rating system for football games, let alone an outright ban due to violence, would be considered virtually an act of treason in America.

Violence is clearly an ingrained humanity propensity that manifests in all cultures and eras. Mainstream American culture is conflicted about its expression of this fact of life, clearly enjoying violence in officially sanctioned arenas, while displacing guilt about the horrible consequences onto stigmatized minorities and their expressions.

In pondering this conflict, this author had two realizations. One is that authorities frequently regain a sense of power and control over fearsome, authority-threatening, outsider art by creating lists. The Legion of Decency had its list of “condemned” movies. The Parents Music Resource Center got a Congressional hearing about its “Filthy Fifteen” wish-list of pop and metal songs to ban. Various fundamentalist Christian organizations maintain online lists of rock musicians who have committed suicide or fatally overdosed, purporting this as evidence of music’s corruption.

The second realization was that three prominent U.S. serial killers arrested around the same time in 2001, including the “Green River Killer,” one of the most lethal in history, all had served in the military, a biographical detail that was reported but not highlighted by major media. The military is one of mainstream America’s most admired and respected institutions. It is also one of the very few mainstream American institutions that literally trains people, physically and psychologically, to kill other people. It is the only mainstream American institution that legally forces its members to kill others on command.

It thus occurred to this author that it would be useful to compile a list of significant murderers who had served in the U.S. military. The premise was that such a list might well dwarf any authorities’ list of supposed art-linked crimes and tragedies, highlighting the cognitive dissonance that causes Americans to shift the blame from actually violent institutions onto non-violent ones. Further, it was assumed that such a list would be an addition to criminology because of mainstream America’s urge to suppress and overlook military connections to violent crime.

Since the author began compiling the list in 2005, these premises have proven accurate. The list of military-influenced killers is over 275 names long and growing. It is far longer than any extant list of allegedly art-inspired crimes. It features far more tragically lost victims and many nightmarish household names, including Jeffrey Dahmer, Lee Harvey Oswald, the “Son of Sam” and Timothy McVeigh. And, despite America’s obsession (unofficial and official alike) with serial killers and lurid crime, and despite the obviously lethal function of military training, it appears to be the first and only comprehensive attempt to catalog murderers with military backgrounds.

The list is maintained under some restrictions. It lists only people who have committed either a minimum of two murders or the assassination of a major political figure, as proven in court or by reliable confession or other patently true evidence. This restriction is to ensure that the list includes only indisputably awful people with genuinely heinous murderous intent. The list also includes only members of the U.S. military. That is because a) the U.S. is the nation whose culture the author lives in and wishes to examine and b) it is one of the few nations where military service is voluntary, thus making the military-homicide link more meaningful, as killers in many other nations automatically would have been in the military. In virtually all of these cases, the killer served in the military prior to or during his crimes.

Many of these murderers have cited the psychological impact of their military training or wartime service as factors in their crimes. Some have committed their crimes while still in the services, or while clad in combat gear or while using military weapons. Some have talked about being attracted to the military by the opportunity to live out their fantasies of killing people.

The list continues to grow, both as the author uncovers overlooked references to the military backgrounds of known killers and as new murderers are captured. Indeed, on the very day of this essay’s publication, a newly discovered serial killer, Isaac Keyes, was announced to the world by authorities through a quick review of dozens of news articles, the author found the unsurprising passing reference to his Army service.

The list is ad hoc, empirical and selective. It does not purport to be scientific. As with all selective lists, its omissions are also important obviously, the vast majority of military veterans, despite being trained to kill and in many cases actually killing dozens of people in war, do not become multiple murderers.

However, the author feels comfortable in presenting the list as significant and using it as the basis for making two testable hypotheses.

First, the list will grow over the next five to 10 years to include several murder sprees committed by veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in the United States, and the murderers will blame the post-traumatic stress and how-to-kill training of their military service for their crimes. This has already happened with criminal veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War, and some murderers have already struck in Afghanistan and Iraq, killing civilians or their comrades. It is only a matter of time before similar criminals come home and set to work. In this respect, a notable footnote to the Afghanistan/Iraq war era was former President George W. Bush’s move to ban military-veteran murderers from burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Another is the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision Porter v. McCollum, which overturned the death sentence of a veteran who murdered two people on the basis that the trauma of his military service had not been properly considered.

Second, over the same period, there will be another moral panic blaming an artistic subculture for inspiring crime to deflect the sense of guilt and anxiety that such crimes will create.

There is one other possibility. The military and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are already taking post-traumatic stress and other service-related psychological disorders seriously in terms of suicide factors in a way that they did not following Vietnam. If American society can overcome its willful blindness to the military-murderer nexus, it is possible that the military will similarly embrace its responsibility as a factor in homicide and provide programming changes that may reduce its incidence as well as the need to blame music or movies instead.

The following is the list of murderers who have served in the U.S. military, by service branch, with relevant annotation, as updated Nov. 30, 2013. Hundreds of sources have been and will be used to compile the list, largely including contemporary news articles, “Murderpedia: The Encyclopedia of Murderers” ( and Wikipedia (

Robert James Acremant

William Andrews and Dale Selby Pierre

Committed their crimes while in the service. Pierre was suspected in another killing where the victim was a fellow airman.

Also went to a military school, where he was regularly humiliated, beaten and tortured by upperclassman as part of standard abuse and hazing.

Rudy Bladel (aka “The Railway Sniper”)

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 7 (1963-78)

William Bonin (aka “The Freeway Killer”)

Killed at least 21 people, possibly up to 43 (1979-80 some with accomplices)

Vietnam veteran gunner. Was awarded a good conduct medal.

Thomas Richard Bunday

Was in the service at the time of his crimes and was seeing a military psychologist. The psychologist committed a murder of his own, the hired killing of his own wife, which was done in a manner to look like part of Bunday’s then-unsolved string of killings, with the psychologist unaware that the killer was one of his own patients. Bunday hid at least one body on the base where he was stationed.

Air National Guard. Committed his crime while in the service. Hid the bodies of two of his victims in a locker at the Air Force base where he served. According to a court appeal, he blamed his crimes on stress causing him to mentally go into “‘the zone,’ in which he reverted to his military training and eliminated anyone he perceived as a threat.”

James Michael DeBardelben

Killed at least 3 people, possibly 8 or more (1971-83)

Richard Eugene Dickens

Dennis Thurl Dowthitt

Killed 2 people (1990 with accomplice)

During service, was ridiculed for bed-wetting.

Killed at least 37 people, possibly 57 or more (1970-87)

Committed some of his crimes at a Veterans Affairs hospital while working there.

John Joseph Joubert IV (aka “The Woodford Slasher”)

Committed some of his crimes while living on a base. Also attended military college.

Patrick Wayne Kearney (aka “The Trash-Bag Killer,” “The Freeway Killer”)

Killed at least 21 people, possibly 28 or more (1975-77 possibly with accomplice)

His possible accomplice was an Army veteran.

Was discharged after committing a robbery while AWOL.

Randy Kraft (aka “The Freeway Killer,” “The Scorecard Killer”)

Killed at least 16 people, possibly up to 67 (1970-83)

Was entrusted with a “secret” security clearance. A former ROTC member who demonstrated in favor of the Vietnam War.

Killed at least 10 people, possibly up to 11 (1977-78 with an accomplice)

Killed 4 people and unborn child (1994)

Committed his crimes at the base where he previously served.

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Joseph Naso (aka “The Alphabet Murderer”)

Killed at least 4 people, possibly 6 or more (1970s-1990s)

John Leonard Orr (aka “The Pillow Pyro”)

Had paranoid delusions of being hunted by various government authorities, including the Air Force.

Daniel Harold “Danny” Rolling (aka “The Gainesville Ripper”)

Killed at least 5 people, possibly up to 8 (1990-91)

Worked in the former Strategic Air Command and as base security police. Honorably discharged. Used a Marine Corps Ka-Bar combat knife in his crimes. Also attempted and failed to enlist in the Navy.

Pat Sherrill

Killed at least 9 people (1984)

Decorated Vietnam veteran who earned a marksmanship medal and retired as a master sergeant after 22 years. Also served in the Navy.

John Floyd Thomas Jr. (aka “Westside Rapist”)

Killed at least 7 people, possibly up to 30 (1972-1986)

Richard Lee Tingler Jr.

Killed at least 6 people, possibly up to 7 (1968-69)

Began committing lesser crimes while in the service with a fellow airman as an accomplice.

Thomas Warren Whisenhant

While in the service, attempted to murder a member of the Air Force WAF.

Committed his crimes on a base while in the service and while wearing full battle dress uniform worn for the purpose of the attack. Victims included a fellow airman. Later apologized for the impact of his crimes on the Air Force.

Yahweh ben Yahweh (aka Hulon Mitchell Jr.)

Killed at least 14 people (c. 1980s)

Edward J. Zakrzewski II

Was in the service at the time of his crimes.

Victims were a U.S. Army captain and a U.S. Air Force major in Kuwait during invasion of Iraq. Claimed he preferred killing fellow soldiers to killing fellow Muslims. Prior to the attack, he wrote, “I may not have killed any Muslims, but being in the army is the same thing. I may have to make a choice very soon on who to kill.” And after being arrested, he said, “You guys are coming into our countries, and you’re going to rape our women and kill our children.”

Rodney Alcala (aka “The Dating Game Killer”)

Killed at least 5 people (1977-79)

Albert Anastasia (aka “The Mad Hatter,” “The Lord High Executioner”)

Killed at least 2 people, probably 9 or more (1921-57)

Was a known member of the Mafia’s “Murder, Inc.” when he was admitted into the service.

Vietnam veteran who reportedly saw heavy combat in covert missions and on “Hamburg Hill” and the Tet Offensive witnessed severely mutilated civilian corpses and heard a fellow soldier who had been captured being tortured to death. Committed his last killings on the anniversary of the day of his arrival in Vietnam, and wore combat fatigues during them. Defense attorneys said post-traumatic stress flashbacks might have contributed to his crimes, during which he was “in his own mind…back in Vietnam.”

Robert Bales

Was a soldier serving in Afghanistan at the time of his crimes, which were committed on civilians. His attorneys said his crimes were affected by post-traumatic stress from combat, a brain injury suffered while serving in Iraq, and drugs and alcohol provided to him by Special Operations troops at his military outpost.

Killed at least 2 people (1930s)

During his crimes, changed into military fatigues and a military T-shirt that read, “Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out.”

Cesar Francesco Barone

Killed at least 4 people, possibly up to 5 (1979-1993)

Army Ranger and veteran of the 1989 invasion of Panama.

Earl Russell Behringer

Killed 2 people (1986 with accomplice)

Came out of the Army “infatuated with weaponry,” according to a friend. When entering his plea at trial, clicked his heels together military-style.

David Berkowitz (aka “Son of Sam”)

During service, became an expert rifle shot.

William Bradford Bishop Jr.

Served in a counterintelligence unit.

Had retired with the rank of sergeant.

Killed President Abraham Lincoln (1865)

Temporarily joined the militia to witness the execution of John Brown.

Victims were fellow soldiers on an Army base in Iraq during the war who criticized his battlefield performance.

Vietnam veteran who claimed to suffer blackouts and memory loss after service and during his crimes. In his confession, he said of his killings, “It was just like I was in Vietnam.”

Killed 4 people (1961 with accomplice)

Robert Charles Browne

Killed at least 2 people, possibly up to 49 (1987-95)

Claims his first victim was a fellow soldier.

Jerome “Jerry” Brudos (aka “The Shoe Fetish Slayer,” “The Lust Killer”)

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 12 (1968-69)

Attempted to impress potential victims by fraudulently calling himself a Vietnam veteran.

James N. Burmeister and Malcolm Wright

Killed 2 people (1995 with accomplice)

At the time of their crimes, they were serving on a military base where joined fellow soldiers in white supremacy and neo-Nazism that fueled their killings.

Killed 2 people (2011 with accomplices)

Committed his crimes while in the service as part of a secret crime/terrorism gang called Forever Enduring Always Ready (FEAR). One victim was another soldier who had been a FEAR member.

Committed his crimes while attempting to assassinate President Richard Nixon. His assassination plot was inspired by the stunt landing of a stolen military helicopter on the White House lawn by another soldier.

Harvy Louis Carignan (aka “The Want-Ad Killer,” “Harv the Hammer”)

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 18 (1949-1975)

Committed one of his killings while in the service and living on an Army base.

Joseph Christopher (aka “.22-Caliber Killer,” “Midtown Slasher”)

Killed at least 5 people, possibly up to 13 (1980)

Committed his crimes while in the service. Also attacked a fellow soldier.

Christopher Bernard Coleman

Vietnam veteran. Blamed his crimes on the influence of drugs, a habit he acquired in the service.

Richard Wade Cooey II

Killed 2 people (1986 with accomplices)

Killed at least 3 people (1975 with accomplices)

Committed his crimes while in the service. Inspired by his bayonet training, killed one victim—a fellow soldier—with a bayonet as an experiment. Accomplices included a fellow soldier and a civilian worker at their Army base.

Killed at least 27 people (1970-73 with accomplices)

Frederick William Cowan

During his crimes, wore an Army field jacket and combat boots.

Vietnam veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. A military rifle used in Vietnam was among the weapons he used in his crime. Received a good conduct medal and a Purple Heart belatedly while in prison, in a ceremony where they were pinned to his chest.

Albert DeSalvo (aka “The Boston Strangler”)

Killed at least 2 people, possibly up to 3 (1972-2001 with accomplices)

Vietnam veteran. Claimed to have participated in the killing of civilians in the war.

Also served in Kentucky National Guard. Committed his crime on a street named Military Road.

Paul Durousseau (aka “The Killer Cabbie”)

Killed at least 5 people, probably 7 or more (1997-2003)

Committed one of his crimes while in the service.

William Henry Theodore Durrant (aka “The Demon of the Belfry”)

National Guard. Committed his crimes while in the service.

Iraq and Afghanistan wars veteran. Had just returned from a tour of duty and was living on an Army base at the time of his crimes.

William Duane Elledge

Former counterintelligence officer. Was working for the Army as a civilian at the time of his crimes.

A sergeant in the service at the time. Dumped victims’ bodies near a military hospital.

Killed at least 7 people (1958-80)

Stephen Flemmi (aka “The Rifleman”)

Killed at least 15 people (1960s-1995)

Professional hitman. Veteran of Korean War, where he earned Bronze and Silver Star medals, and honed sharpshooting skills he later used in at least one sniper killing. Donated money to a war memorial that still bears his name and was active with a military veteran parachuting group. Entered the military underage with the fraudulent connivance of his parents.

Gulf War veteran. His 11-year military career included sniper training with an expert marksmanship rating and training in airborne and special forces units. Received three good-conduct medals, among other commendations. Was working for the Veteran Affairs health care system at the time of his crimes.

Cleve Foster and Sheldon Ward

Killed at least 1 person, probably 2 (2001-2002)

Foster was an Army recruiter. Ward was one of his recruits and joined the Army Reserve. Likely committed a murder while in the service. Foster’s defense included a claim that he suffered post-traumatic stress from his military service.

Kenneth Junior French

Was a sergeant in the service at the time of his crime. Described his crimes as a protest against women, gays and blacks gaining rights in general and in the military in particular, later saying, “If you’re introducing a minority group that’s frowned upon and looked upon as being weak, and your commander’s saying it’s fine for him to be here, guys are saying, ‘Guess the military isn’t really as tough and bad as we thought it was.’ Everybody’s wanting acceptance. It’s a one-world system—global unity. Well, at what cost? Our military going down the drain?” During his crimes, said, “I’ll show you, [President] Clinton, about letting gays into the army.”

Calvin Gibbs and Jeremy N. Morlock

Killed at least 3 people (with accomplices 2010)

Part of a self-described “Kill Team” of five rogue soldiers who killed civilians for sport in the Afghanistan War. Members posed for photos with victims and clipped off victims’ fingers as trophies.

Killed at least 3 people (1995)

Salvatore Gravano (aka “Sammy the Bull”)

Notorious New York City Mafia underboss. Honorably discharged.

Committed his crimes while in the service. One victim was a fellow soldier.

Committed an attempted rape while in the service. Attributed his crimes to a drug addiction while noting that the military, rather than getting him away from drugs, turned out to be an excellent place to get drugs.

Killed at least 3 people (1817-21 with accomplice)

Killed 4 people (2006 with accomplices)

Committed his crimes in Iraq during the war. In his court sentencing statement, blamed Iraq-induced insanity for causing him to think that only Americans were truly human: “Before I was in the Army, I never thought I’d kill anyone….I see now that war is intrinsically evil, because killing is intrinsically evil. And, I am sorry I ever had anything to do with either.”

Killed probably 2 people (1964)

Served in both the Army and the Marines, despite previous criminal behavior while serving in the Canadian Army.

Richard A. Hagelberger and John F. Vigneault

Committed their crimes while in the service.

William Henry Hance (aka “The Forces of Evil” case)

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 4 (1978)

Killed while serving at a military base, where he left one victim lying on a rifle range. One victim was a fellow soldier. Previously served in the Marines.

Killed at least 11 people (1980-83)

Nidal Malik Hasan

Victims were fellow soldiers on the base where he served. Attributed his crimes to his unwillingness to deploy to the Afghanistan War and potentially kill fellow Muslims, and described his crimes as “switching sides.” Previously had been harassed by a fellow soldier for his religion. Served as a military psychiatrist and, prior to his crimes, reported on his own disturbed feelings about hearing the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms of his patients.

Killed at least 2 people (1986)

During service, received high marks. Also attended military school.

Clarence Hill (aka “The Duck Island Killer”)

Appears that being drafted into the Army actually halted his serial killings.

Gulf War veteran. Promoted to sergeant and honorably discharged. His lawyers partly blamed his crimes on trauma from the war.

Iraq War veteran. Victims were fellow soldiers.

Phillip Carl Jablonski

Vietnam veteran. While still in the service, attempted to drown his wife and raped another woman. Blamed his crimes in part on traumas from his service in Vietnam.

Robert S. James (aka Major Raymond Lisenba, “Rattlesnake James,” “The Rattlesnake Murderer”)

Killed at least 2 people, possibly up to 3 (1932-35)

Vietnam veteran. Also served in the National Guard. Saw combat in the war and blamed his crimes on post-traumatic stress disorder. Wore military camouflage fatigues during his crimes. One group opposed to his execution wrote, “When Jim Johnson killed during the Vietnam War, the government supported him. But when his post-traumatic stress disorder led him to kill again 20 years later, he was sentenced to death.”

U.S. Army Air Corps veteran. Highly decorated, including the Presidential Unit Citation, two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star.

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 8 (c. 2001-12)

Hamaas Abdul Khaalis (aka Ernest McGhee)

Killed 2 people (1977 with accomplices)

James Allen Kinney (aka Jerome Romano Porrovecchio)

Killed at least 1 person, probably 3 or more (1997-98)

Vietnam War veteran. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Showed signs of mental illness after returning home from the service.

James Douglas Latham and George Ronald York

Killed at least 1 person, probably 7, possibly up to 9 (1961)

Were in the service and AWOL at the time of their crimes.

Killed 2 people (1980 with accomplices)

Vietnam veteran. Honorably discharged. Defense attorneys argued he was psychologically damaged by his “Vietnam experience.”

Victims were military detainees in Iraq.

Edward Joseph Leonski (aka the “Brownout Strangler”)

Committed his crimes while serving in Australia during World War II.

WWII veteran. Received an ROTC commission. During service, was introduced to firearms and acquired the handgun used in his crimes. Later likened his crimes to WWII combat, saying, “It’s just like D-Day. You go in. There’s no stopping after you start.”

Will Lockett (aka Petrie Kimbrough)

Killed up to 4 people (1912-19)

Confessed to committing one murder while in the service.

Bobby Joe Long (aka “The Classified Ad Rapist”)

Killed at least 8 people, probably 10 (1984)

Committed his crimes while in the service. One victim was a fellow servicemember, the other a veteran.

Green Beret. Committed his crimes in his home on an Army base while in the service.

Farley Charles Matchett

Was in the service at the time of his crimes.

David Edward Maust (aka “Crazy Dave”)

Committed his first crime while serving in Germany.

Killed 4 people (1990 with accomplice)

Gulf War veteran gunner, awarded the Bronze Star (for heroism or meritorious conduct), excellent marksman, invited to try out for the Special Forces. Met his future accomplice Terry Nichols on the Army rifle range. After his arrest, he initially confessed to only two killings—of Iraqis during the war.

“I think because I was sent off to war, I think that helped me prepare for facing that prospect with or possibility with an objective view. OK, let’s step back and not overreact. What do we do about it? And that helped.”—McVeigh, before his trial, when asked about facing the death penalty if convicted.

“Additionally, borrowing a page from U.S. foreign policy, I decided to send a message to a government that was becoming increasingly hostile, by bombing a government building and the government employees within that building who represent that government. Bombing the Murrah Federal Building was morally and strategically equivalent to the U.S. hitting a government building in Serbia, Iraq, or other nations. Based on observations of the policies of my own government, I viewed this action as an acceptable option. From this perspective, what occurred in Oklahoma City was no different than what Americans rain on the heads of others all the time, and subsequently, my mindset was and is one of clinical detachment. (The bombing of the Murrah building was not personal, no more than when Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marine personnel bomb or launch cruise missiles against government installations and their personnel.)”—McVeigh in a post-conviction letter to FOX News.

Vietnam veteran. Blamed his crimes partly on post-traumatic stress disorder.

In service at the time of his crimes.

William Gerald Mitchell

Reached the rank of lieutenant.

John Allen Muhammad (aka 1/2 of the “D.C. Snipers”)

Killed at least 10 people, possibly up to 13 (2002)

Gulf War veteran, where he became an expert marksman with the military rifle used in the crimes. Also served in the National Guard. Prior to Muhammad’s execution, his attorney claimed Muhammad suffered from Gulf War Syndrome and noted the execution was scheduled for the day before Veterans Day.

Killed 4 people (1984 with accomplice)

Earle Leonard Nelson (aka “The Gorilla Killer,” “The Gorilla Murderer,” “The Gorilla Man,” “The Dark Strangler”)

Killed 22 people, possibly 25 or more (1926-27)

Michael Andrew Nicholaou

Killed at least 2 people, probably 3, possibly 8 or more (1978-2005)

Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot. Heavily decorated, including two Silver Stars, two Bronze stars and two Purple Hearts. During service, was known for once taking only a knife and exiting camp alone to “hunt” the enemy. He and other soldiers were tried and acquitted of murder charges for allegedly strafing civilians with helicopter gunship fire. After service, was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Killed at least 1 person, possibly up to 5 (1987-89)

Told lies about being in the Army’s Rangers and Green Berets programs.

Alfred Packer (aka Alferd Packer)

Psychological warfare specialist. Honorably discharged. Introduced to the white supremacy and neo-Nazism that fueled his attack in the military at a time when his base was full of active hate groups and the “Military Law Review” wrote, “White supremacists have a natural attraction to the Army.” His stepmother said his family at first believed the military was good for him for providing direction in his life, but “Now I greatly question that direction. I don’t know if the military was good for him.”

Killed at least 22 people (1899-1929)

Killed at least 5 people, possibly 9 or more (1984-88)

Committed one of his crimes while in the service. Was introduced to child prostitutes in the military and committed crimes against child victims. Was praised in military records, became an expert marksman and was honorably discharged.

James Edward Perry (aka the “Hit Man” book case)

Killed 3 people (1993 with accomplice)

Accomplice was Navy veteran Lawrence Horn (see Navy listing).

Killed at least 1 person, possibly 2 (2004-2007).

Trained as a military police officer.

Andrew Pixley (aka Andrew Armandoz Benavidez)

Michael Lee Platt and William Russell Matix

Killed at least 3 people (1985-85)

Met in the Army. Matix was a former Marine and served in the military police.

Korean war veteran who was heavily decorated, including two Purple Hearts. Saw combat and reportedly later attempted to climb his walls with knives as a result of post-traumatic stress. Won an influential U.S Supreme Court decision that overturned his death sentence due largely to improper considered of the impact of his military service on his crime. The court noted that his service left him a “traumatized, changed man” and added, “Our Nation has a long history of according leniency to veterans in recognition of their service, especially for those who fought on the front lines as Porter did.”

In a letter to his family confessing his crimes, he wrote, “Immediately upon my arrival in this country I became a soldier, in which position I heard nothing but cursing and swearing, and soon became a sharer in every wickedness.”

Killed Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)

Victims were parents of a girlfriend he met in the Army.

Killed at least 3 people, possibly 4 (1967-94)

Committed his first crime in the service and was released early due to intercession from the president of the United States also committed his second crime while in the service. Had a successful military career, being promoted to master sergeant. Bragged to police about his sexual exploits with Korean women while he was in the service his suspected fourth victim was a Korean woman he met while in the service.

Former drill sergeant. One of his victims was a soldier.

Killed 3 people (1992 with accomplices)

Vietnam War veteran who volunteered to serve in the war. Honorably discharged. Blamed his crimes on drug addiction, which in turn he partly blamed on faulty dental surgery he received in the Army and for which he later sued a Veterans Administration hospital.

Eric Rudolph (aka “Olympic Park Bomber”)

Was a military “security officer.”

John Russell

Committed his crimes at a mental health clinic for combat-related psychological problems on his Army base in Iraq after being denied a discharge for mental disability. Blamed his crimes on combat-related post-traumatic stress. Victims were fellow soldiers.

Led a heavily armed, paramilitary religious cult in which all male members had a military-style rank.

Joseph Carl Shaw (aka J.C. Shaw)

Killed 3 people (1977 with accomplices)

Was a military police officer and committed his crimes while in the service.

Vietnam veteran known for recounting violent murder and cannibalism fantasies set during the war.

Army Reserve. At the time of his crimes, was on active duty for the Gulf War and was working as a psychiatric nurse in a VA hospital.

Perry Edward Smith (aka ½ of the “In Cold Blood” case duo)

Killed 4 people (1959 with accomplice)

Korean War veteran. Was jailed in the service for fighting with civilians, but was honorably discharged. Also served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.

Killed at least 6 people, possibly up to 7 (1986-87)

Vietnam veteran introduced to his favored class of victims, prostitutes, during his service with the active encouragement of his commanders. His attorneys titled a section of his appeal, “Vietnam: trauma, killing, prostitution, heroism.” It described the widespread use of child prostitutes on the base where he served and how they were both dehumanized and seen as a potential threat related to the Vietcong. It further described how his Army training taught him to dehumanize people as preparation for killing them, and that he participated in the dragging death of prisoners and the crushing death of enemy troops by an armored vehicle. The appeal included testimony that he returned from Vietnam with a negatively changed personality and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. “Vietnam…was thus a place in which trauma occurred every day, aggression was sanctioned, and women offering sex were debased,” said one expert in testimony. The report also quoted a veteran who had served at the base with him as saying, “If Harris had to go back to Vietnam, he’d want to go with someone like Morris.”

Steven Michael “Mike” Stagner

Iraq War vet. Victims were fellow soldiers killed while visiting his drug-lab farmhouse near the base where they served.

James Edward Testerman

Killed an FBI agent (1942 with accomplice)

Was AWOL from Army base during his crime.

Was in the service at the time of his crimes. Two of his victims were fellow soldiers.

Killed at least 12 people, possibly up to 17 (2001-02)

World War II veteran gunner, awarded several medals. Before enlisting, collected and memorized news clippings about the war. Kept a detailed record of every man he killed during the war, including details of the corpse, if possible. Later decorated his bedroom with military memorabilia and war souvenirs. After his crimes, his brother said that “since he came home from the service, he didn’t seem to be the same.”

National Guard. Earned a sharpshooter badge.

Vietnam veteran. His remains were removed from Arlington National Cemetery under a law banning murderers from being buried there.

Highly decorated WWI hero. Committed his crime with his service handgun.

Faryion Edward Wardrip

Killed at least 5 people (1984-86)

Army National Guard veteran.

Lesley Eugene Warren (aka “The Babyface Killer”)

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 10 (1987-1990)

Likely committed one killing while in the service.

Killed at least 2 people, possibly up to 24 (1981)

Vietnam veteran. Used prisoner-control techniques he learned in the military to control one of his victims. Declined to talk about his crimes in a prison interview, instead saying with a laugh, “I was in Vietnam. Battalion engineers. I blew things up, mostly towns and villages. I loved it. Always volunteered.” Father of murderer and military veteran Ward Weaver III (see Navy listing).

Killed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and city Supervisor Harvey Milk (1978)

Vietnam veteran. Buried with a military-provided headstone.

Killed at least 13 people (1975-98)

Gulf War and Somalia veteran helicopter pilot who had experienced enemy fire. Awarded at least 11 medals. Also served in the National Guard, rising high in the ranks. Bragged to a survivor of his crimes about his military service. Was introduced to prostitutes, his later favored group of victims, in the military.

Terry Michael Ratzmann

Committed suicide after committing his crimes, after which it was discovered he requested burial in a state veterans cemetery. He became one of the first denied such burial under a federal law banning murderers from burial in such cemeteries.

Edward Charles Allaway

Killed at least 2 people, possibly up to 3 (1984-85)

Killed up to 2 people (1995-2004)

Vietnam veteran who saw combat. During a clemency hearing, said, “If I can’t get out and go fishing and hunting, the courts can kiss my Marine Corps ass.” Before his execution, issued a written statement to his “brother warriors” that read in part, “I believe in God, country, corps. Death before dishonor…Semper fi, Marv.”

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 4 (1974-78)

Committed one of his killings as well as other brutal crimes while in the service. One victim was a patient at a military hospital where he worked.

Killed at least 3 people (1989)

Herbert James Coddington

Honorably discharged. As a child, made fun of anti-war protestors.

Was promoted to sergeant at US Central Command.

Paul David Crews

Killed at least 2 people, possibly up to 3 (1986-90)

While in the service, tried to kill himself.

Committed his crimes while in the service with a military knife.

Bennie Eddie Demps (aka the “Smiling Killer”)

Killed at least 5 people (1977-96)

After being dishonorably discharged, was arrested for impersonating a Marine.

Killed at least 3 people, possibly 12 or more (c. 1977-91)

Killed at least 2 people, possibly 18 or more (1953 and 1978-79)

WWII combat veteran who claimed to have killed civilians during the war and said that “killing felt too good to stop” once he left the service. Also served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during the war after lying about his age to get in.

Was honorably discharged. During his crimes, wore his Marines military camouflage and combat boots and noted he had been trained to kill. He later said, “I’ve always just wanted to go to war and kill people, and you know that’s why I joined the Marine Corps. That’s the only reason I joined the Marine Corps.” A former FBI profiler said that he was enacting his longtime fantasy of military killing, describing his mentality during the crimes as, “He is going to war.”

Was wearing combat boots when he turned himself in.

David Livingstone Funchess

Vietnam veteran, the first to be executed for civilian crimes. Was decorated, including with Purple Heart. Defense attorneys blamed his crimes on post-traumatic stress disorder from his combat experience.

The handgun he used in his crimes was a gift from his mother marking his military service.

Tommie Collins Hughes

Killed 2 people (1997 with accomplices)

Martin James Kipp (aka “Dr. Crazy”)

Killed at least 1 person, probably 2, possibly up to 3 (1983-85)

Joined the Marines to emulate his “war hero” father. Was convicted of rape while serving. Got into drugs, use of which were widespread in the Marine Corps, during service, and showed personality changes after coming out.

Killed 4 people (1979-80 with accomplice)

Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. Taught machine-gunning. Committed his crimes on a military base and victims were fellow Marines.

Rex Warren Mays (aka “Uh-Oh the Clown”)

Later said he committed his crimes using killing techniques he learned in the Marines.

Did well in the Marines, getting promoted to lance corporal, leading a team and becoming an expert marksman.

Committed his crimes while in the service. Used his service weapon in at least one of his crimes and wore his uniform while committing at least one of the crimes.

Vietnam veteran. Claimed to have killed 10 enemy troops in the war. Was trained in demolitions in the service later used explosives in one of his crimes.

Killed up to 4 people (1959-61)

Herbert William Mullin

A war-loving conservative who was ashamed and disturbed of registering as a conscientious objector during Vietnam. His WWII veteran father had regaled him with war stories and taught him how to use a gun. Joined the Marines in the midst of his killing spree and was rejected only after his criminal record was discovered. A recruiter wrote, “Herbert William Mullin is an intelligent and highly motivated young man, with an ultrazealous eagerness to enlist in the USMC…Because of Herb’s earnest desire to improve his lot and climb above his peers, as it were, I submit that Herbert William Mullin can, and most likely will, be a benefit to whatever unit he is assigned and a credit to his corps.” The rejection caused him to kill a “peace advocate” and to later remark, “If I was allowed to go into the Coast Guard or the Marine Corps, I would not have taken all those peoples’ lives.” He later claimed his father telepathically controlled him, explaining, “Father was a Marine Corps sergeant and was used to ordering people to kill.”

Eric Ernest Napoletano Jr.

Killed at least 2 people, probably 3 (1984-90)

Charles Ng and Leonard Lake

Killed at least 12 people, probably 21 or more (1983-85)

Lake was a Vietnam veteran who earned two good conduct medals. Ng developed an early love of the military, and bragged of violence and of having committed an “assassination” to comrades and others while in the service he was promoted to lance corporal. Ng previously had been arrested for stealing weapons from a military base. The pair was known for wearing T-shirts with the slogan, “Mercenaries do it for money.” The room in which they committed many of their crimes was stocked with military uniforms and weapons and used a specialized military scope to observe victims in the dark.

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Iraq veteran. Rose to rank of corporal. Committed his crimes with a knife made by the company that made the original Marines combat knife.

Killed President John F. Kennedy (1963)

During service, qualified as a sharpshooter.

Committed his crimes while serving in the Marine Reserve. Also served in the Navy. Told jurors at his trial, “I am a soldier, I accomplished my mission and I humbly ask you to give me the glory of ending my life and not send me to spend the rest of my days in state prison.” In prison, scammed pen-pals with fake love letters accompanied by a photo of him in his Marine Corps uniform. His last words at his execution included, “Airborne forever.”

Gerald Parker (aka “The Bedroom Basher”)

Killed at least 6 people (1978-79)

Was in the service at the time of his crimes.

Killed American Nazi Party leader George Rockwell (1967)

Rockwell was also a veteran.

Christopher Dwayne Peterson (aka Obadayah Ben-Yisrayl, “The Shotgun Killer”)

Sebastian Alexander Shaw (aka Chau Quong Ho)

Killed at least 3 people (1991-92)

Was honorably discharged for being overweight, which reportedly caused him psychological devastation.

During service, was rated “expert” with rifles and handguns. Also served in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, acting as a firearms instructor in the latter. Used borrowed military handguns in his crime. Known for wearing military camouflage and talking of fictitious Vietnam service.

Killed 3 people, possibly up to 12 (1979-86)

Anthony Edward Sowell (aka “The Cleveland Strangler”)

Killed at least 11 people (c. 2005-09)

Received a good conduct medal and various commendations.

Killed at least 4 people, possibly up to 60 (1983-97)

Joined the service after developing a combined fascination with the military and death.

Was promoted to the rank of corporal. According to court psychiatrist, he joined the Marines out of interests in self-defense and destruction.

Vietnam veteran. Blamed his crimes on a killing instinct and drug habit, both acquired during his combat service.

Charles Whitman (aka “The Texas Tower Sniper”)

During service, earned a good conduct medal, mastered the rifle and was awarded a competitive Navy scholarship. A captain in his division said, “I was impressed with him. I was certain he’d make a good citizen.” Was killed by police during his crimes and was buried in a coffin draped with a flag to signify his military service. Mentioned the Marine Corps in what he intended as his suicide note.

Killed 2 people (1985-86 with accomplice)

Aaron Alexis

Killed at least 12 people (2013 possibly with accomplice)

Committed his crimes at the Washington Navy Yard. Reportedly wore military-style clothing during his crimes. Reportedly also worked as a military contractor. Described by an acquaintance as acting “like a soldier who has been at war.”

Gennaro “Jerry” Angiulo

Killed about 13 people (1960s-1983 with accomplices)

Headed the Boston Mafia and was said to have ordered more than a dozen killings, including one halted by the FBI after he was caught on tape saying, “Just hit him in the head and stab him, OK?” Received a military funeral with a flag-draped coffin. Local veterans told a Boston newspaper at the time of his death that he deserved a military funeral, with one saying, “He was a veteran before he was a gangster. The military used the Mafia in World War II.”

Killed at least 5 people, possibly 16 or more (1992-2000)

May have killed at stops around the world while serving aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. His chief petty officer said, “He was my sailor of the month at one time. This guy had an unblemished record aboard the ship when he was working for me.”

Before his crimes, claimed to be targeted by a conspiracy trying to frame him as a serial killer conducted by members of the military.

Gulf War veteran. Committed his crimes while in the service. The veterans organization the National Gulf War Resource Center unsuccessfully sought clemency to prevent his execution.

Honorably discharged. Was known for being “militaristic” in his lifestyle and for waking up neighbors by walking into their yards and shouting, “United States!”

Joseph Francis Bryan Jr.

Vietnam veteran who saw combat. Honorably discharged.

Killed at least 2 people, possibly more than 12 (1986-92)

During service, was repeatedly and severely beaten for enjoying crossdressing. He hid evidence of one of his crimes in a Navy duffel bag.

Daniel Owen Conahan Jr. (aka “The Hog Trails Killer”)

Killed at least 1 person, probably 7 or more people (1994-96)

Killed at least 22 people, possibly up to 45 (1988-2003)

In the service, was on a submarine crew team that operated the sub’s nuclear missiles.

Christopher Jordan Dorner

Navy Reserve. Iraq War veteran. Earned a rifle marksman ribbon and a pistol expert medal. Led a security unit. Had “top secret” security clearance. Honorably discharged as a lieutenant two days before he began his crimes. Attributed his crimes in part to the loss of his military career in a dispute with his employers. In a manifesto, he repeatedly compared his crimes to U.S. military strategy and guerilla warfare decried Americans’ ability to purchase military weapons and carry out mass killings and thanked his drill instructor for “ma[king] sure the vicious and intense personality I possess was discovered.”

“You are aware that I have always been the top shot, highest score, an expert in rifle qualifications in every unit I’ve been in. I will utilize every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordnance, and survival training I’ve been given.

Do you know why we are unsuccessful in asymmetrical and guerrilla warfare in CENTCOM theatre of operations? I’ll tell you. It’s not the inefficiency of our combatant commanders, planning, readiness or training of troops. Much like the Vietnam war, ACM, AAF, foreign fighters, Jihadist, and JAM have nothing to lose. They embrace death as it is a way of life. I simply don’t fear it. I am the walking exigent circumstance you created…

I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty.”

Attributed his race-motivated crimes as a counterattack to the racism directed against him encountered extensively in the Navy.

Killed at least 3 people (1996-97)

Began committing child sex crimes while in the service. Received a Good Conduct medal and an honorable discharge.

Ten-year veteran who had a high security clearance and earned medals for good conduct and marksmanship. Victims worked at his former employer, a defense contractor.

John Joseph Fautenberry

Killed at least 3 people, probably 6 (1990-91)

His defense attorney in one of his trials blamed his crime in part on an injury he suffered in the service.

John “Jack” Gilbert Graham

A murderous bomber, he learned demolitions in the Navy.

Was known for wearing military fatigues and combat boots, including during some of his crimes.

Son of an Army surgeon and grew up on the White Sands Missile Range. Committed his crimes in a town known for its Army base.

Killed at least 3 people, possibly up to 4 (c. 1958-93 some with accomplice)

Once claimed to one of his future victims that he had killed a fellow sailor while in the service. Accomplice in some of his crimes was Army veteran James Edward Perry (see Army listing).

Killed at least 4 people, possibly 8 or more (1992-93)

Victims were fellow sailors on a Navy base in Bahrain during the Iraq War. The Navy reportedly allowed him to remain armed despite one of the victims having a restraining order against him.

Killed 3 people (1994-2003 with accomplice)

Timothy Wayne Krajcir

Killed at least 7 people, possibly up to 9 (c. 1978-82)

Killed 5 people (1989 with accomplices)

Vietnam veteran. Honorably discharged. Cult leader who formed a paramilitary organization with which he committed his crimes.

Michael McDermott (aka “Mucko,” “The Dot-Com Killer”)

Killed at least 5 people, possibly up to 7 (1985)

Was in the service at the time of his crimes.

Earle Leonard Nelson (aka “The Gorilla Killer,” “The Gorilla Murderer,” “The Gorilla Man,” “The Dark Strangler”)

Killed 5 people (1979 with an accomplice)

Gary Leon Ridgway (aka “The Green River Killer”)

Killed at least 49 people (1982-2001)

Vietnam War veteran who saw combat. Introduced to his favorite class of victims, prostitutes, in the military.

Killed at least 4 people (1999-2000)

Formerly employed in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Was rewarded with a Navy college scholarship.

Killed at least 2 people, possibly 3 or more (c. 1983-87)

Killed at least 1 person, probably 4 (1974)

Was in the service at the time of his crimes.

Was in the service and AWOL at the time of his crimes.

Killed 2 people (2002 with accomplice)

Former Navy SEAL who finished first in his class in the elite military training course.

Newton Carlton Slawson

Killed 4 people and unborn baby (1989)

Claimed that a military psychologist encouraged him to continue his hobby of drawing slash wounds on magazine images of women.

David Frank Spanbauer

Richard Raymond Valenti

Committed his crimes while in the service.

Billy Ray Waldon (aka Nvwtohiyada Idehesdi Sequoyah)

Killed at least 4 people, possibly up to 5 (1985)

George Kent Wallace (aka the “Mad Paddler”)

Killed at least 4 people, possibly up to 6 (1976-90)

Killed at least 10 people, possibly up to 20 (1992-94)

During service, was frequently promoted and reviewed very favorably. Arrested for U.S. crimes, but claims to have committed many more while in the service at various ports of call.

Navy Reserves. Son of murderer and military veteran Ward Weaver Jr. (see Army listing).

[Mailgram from Ray A. Gano to Manuel Gonzales - 1976-12-07]

Mailgram addressed to Manuel Gonzales and dated December 7, 1976. The message confirms a mailgram from Ray A. Gano, Abrazar Project Task Force Chairman, to Elisa de la Vara. The message indicates that the audit of the LULAC Abrazar Project is being compiled without de la Vara's input as she has not responded to the request for information.

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  • Main Title: [Mailgram from Ray A. Gano to Manuel Gonzales - 1976-12-07]
  • Alternate Title: [Mailgram from Ray A. Gano to Manuel Gonzales - December 7, 1976]


Mailgram addressed to Manuel Gonzales and dated December 7, 1976. The message confirms a mailgram from Ray A. Gano, Abrazar Project Task Force Chairman, to Elisa de la Vara. The message indicates that the audit of the LULAC Abrazar Project is being compiled without de la Vara's input as she has not responded to the request for information.

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24-year-old Wisconsin man Manuel Franco is winner of $768 million Powerball jackpot: 'It feels like a dream'

The winning ticket was sold in March at a Speedway in New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin man wins $768M Powerball jackpot

Wisconsin resident Manuel Franco is the winner of last month's $768.4 million Powerball jackpot -- the third-largest lottery amount in U.S. history.

"It feels like a dream," Franco, 24, said at a press conference Tuesday.

"It was amazing, my heart started racing, blood pumping," he said. "I screamed for about 5 or 10 minutes."

"My dad cried lot," he added.

The winning ticket was sold on March 27 at a Speedway in New Berlin, about 15 miles west of Milwaukee.

"I walked into the Speedway and I purchased $10 worth of individual Powerball tickets," Franco said. "I honestly felt so lucky that I did look up at the camera and I wanted to wink at it cause I just had that lucky feeling."

He went to work the day after he won but was anxious and sweating. He said he never showed up to work again after that day.

Before the big win, Franco said his biggest concern was getting his bank account up to $1,000.

Franco, who was born in Milwaukee, has been playing Powerball since he turned 18. He said he bought his first ticket on his 18th birthday.

The jackpot has a lump sum cash value of $477 million, according to Powerball.

Franco said he is accepting the lump sum. He will receive just over $326 million after taxes, said lottery officials.

"I'm sure you'll never see me as like one of the people who went bankrupt or broke or anything like that. I plan to live my life normal as much as possible," he said.

Franco said he doesn't know what his future holds but that he wants to "help out the world."

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