February 2 – What happened today?

Births

Duane “Dog” Chapman

1868Enriqueta Marti – was a notorious figure known for her criminal activities. She moved to Barcelona as a young woman, where she initially worked as a maidservant and nanny. However, she soon turned to prostitution and worked in a high-class brothel. In 1895, she married a painter named Juan Pujaló, but the marriage was unsuccessful due to Martí’s affairs with other men, her unpredictable character, and her continuous visits to houses of ill repute.  Martí was known by several names in the press, including “The Vampire of carrer Ponent”, “The Vampire of Barcelona”, and “The Vampire of the Raval”. She was accused of being a child serial killer, kidnapper, prostitute, and procuress of children. However, some researchers have asserted that she was not a killer of children, but rather a person with mental disorders who can only be proven reliably to have abducted one young girl, Teresita Guitart.  In 1909, Martí opened her own brothel, which catered to some of the more affluent individuals in Barcelona. She was known to accommodate unusual desires for a premium, including a demand for children. To fulfill this, she would dress as a pauper during the day and frequent the poorer parts of the city, abducting unaccompanied children to prostitute them in her brothel. At the same time, she was also practicing as a witch doctor, claiming that drinking the blood of children could cure tuberculosis, and offering creams and elixirs that could stop aging and prolong life.  Enriqueta Martí’s life came to an end on May 12, 1913, under the cause of homicide. Her story remains a chilling chapter in the history of crime.

1940James William Miller – also known as one of the “Truro Murderers”, was born on February 2, 1940. He was involved in a series of murders that took place in Truro, South Australia between December 1976 and February 1977. The victims were seven young women, aged between 15 and 26 years old.  Miller, a laborer, was described as a drifter and was the homosexual partner of Christopher Worrell, who was also involved in the murders. The two met while they were in prison together, Miller for breaking and entering, and Worrell for rape and breaching a two-year suspended sentence for armed robbery.  The bodies of the victims were discovered in 1978 and 1979 in bushland east of the town of Truro. The victims had been murdered over a two-month period in 1976–1977. It appears that all had been strangled, often using a nylon cord, though there was a suspicion that the last of the victims had been buried alive.  Miller was found guilty of six of the seven crimes and was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 35 years on March 12, 1980. He spent most of his sentence at Yatala and was one of the state’s longest-serving prisoners. He died in prison on October 22, 2008, from liver failure due to complications of Hepatitis C.

1953Duane “Dog” Chapman – also known as Dog the Bounty Hunter is an American television personality, bounty hunter, and former bail bondsman.  In his early life, Chapman joined an outlaw motorcycle club named Devils Disciples and ran away from home at the age of 15. In 1976, he was convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to five years in a Texas prison. He had been waiting in a getaway car while his friend went into a house to buy marijuana; during a struggle, his friend shot and killed a man. Chapman served 18 months at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Chapman came to international notice as a bounty hunter for his successful capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Mexico in 2003. The following year, he was given his own series, Dog the Bounty Hunter, which aired from 2004 to 2012. After Dog the Bounty Hunter ended, Chapman appeared in Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, a similarly formatted TV show, alongside his wife and business partner, the late Beth Chapman. His latest series, Dog’s Most Wanted, aired in late 2019.  Chapman has been married several times and has 12 children. His spouses include La Fonda Sue Honeycutt, Anne M. Tegnell, Lyssa Rae Brittain, Tawny Marie, Beth Smith, and Francie Frane. His children include Leland and Lyssa. He is known for his work in the reality TV industry and his contributions to the field of bounty hunting.

1975Christopher James Beck – is a convicted murderer who was sentenced to death for his crimes. On May 15, 1996, in the Circuit Court for Arlington County, Virginia, Beck pled guilty to four counts of capital murder, one count of rape, three counts of robbery, one count of burglary, and seven offenses involving the use of a firearm. Following a sentencing hearing, the state trial court sentenced Beck to death on the capital murder counts. His case was later taken to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where his petition for writ of habeas corpus was dismissed. Beck’s appeal for a certificate of appealability was also denied, as he failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right. He was executed by lethal injection on 18 October 2001. His crimes and subsequent trials have made him a notable figure in the annals of American criminal justice. 

Deaths

Manuel Delgado Villegas

1998Manuel Delgado Villegas – El Arropiero, the Spanish serial killer active from 1964 to 1971, claimed 48 murders across Spain, Italy, and France. Born in Seville on January 25, 1943, his unsettling methods included a lethal hand-to-hand combat technique learned in the Spanish Legion. Although Spanish police investigated 22 cases, he was definitively linked to seven. Diagnosed with a severe mental disorder, he was never brought to trial. In 1978, he was preventively detained at Carabanchel Penitentiary Psychiatric Hospital and later released to a psychiatric facility in 1998. He succumbed to smoking-related lung disease shortly after his release.

2001Anthony Smith – It is suspected that a former warrant officer from the Scottish army, Anthony Smith, tragically ended the lives of his wife, two young children, and then himself.  Upon receiving alerts from worried friends, police forced entry into the family’s residence, where they found the lifeless bodies of Anthony Smith, previously a sergeant-major, his wife Kay, in her 30s, and their two young children, Adam, aged five, and Gemma, aged three.  The incident, which involved the use of a shotgun, is believed to have taken place at their home in Camberley, Surrey.  Police Superintendent John Beavis stated, “At this point, we have no reason to suspect the involvement of anyone else. It appears we are likely investigating a case of three murders and a suicide.”

2004Rodney Joseph Sattler – born in 1967 and deceased in 2004, was a convicted murderer. He was found guilty of the murders of two individuals, Diane Stout and Raymond Carl Martinson. For these crimes, Sattler was given a life sentence.

 

Events

Christine & Lea Papin

1933 – Working as maids, the sisters Christine and Lea Papin murder their employer’s wife & daughter in Le Mans, France. The case is the subject of a number of French films & plays

1935 – The first polygraph machine is tested by Leonarde Keeler

1980 – The FBI releases details of ABSCAM, a sting operation that targeted 31 elected & public officials for bribes for political favors

2009 – A woman walking a dog in New Mexico found a bone, resulting in the discovery of the remains of 11 women and a fetus

2019 – American singer R. Kelly was arrested after turning himself in on ten counts of aggravated criminal abuse including with three minors

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