Tag Archives: Murders

Sleepwalking Murders

In this episode of Strange Matters the bizarre and unusual topic of crimes involving sleepwalking murders is discussed.  Though hard to imagine, in rare instances of homicide crimes an individual is actually capable of brutal and violent murder, all the while remaining asleep.  Though many have tried and failed to use the “sleepwalking defense” through the years, for a select few cases the actions of the killer, and the science behind the condition, do show that a person is perfectly capable of murdering others while sleepwalking.

The idea that people were capable of killing in their sleep has been around for hundreds of years, but very rarely has it been successful in defending the accused.  Many have tried to claim they were in a parasomnia state at the time they committed murder, but due to the scientific and behavioral studies of the modern world it is known their actions could not have been done while sleepwalking.  However, there are a small number of cases where the most likely and agreed upon theory is that the murderer was actually asleep during the entirety of their crime.

Killers Around the World II – English Serial Killers

In this second installment of Strange Matters Podcast’s series highlighting killers around the world, Sean discusses a pair of  particularly cruel and cold-hearted English serial killers.

Harold Shipman, known as Dr. Death,  was a English General Practitioner and is currently the most prolific serial killer in recorded history.  Using his position as a doctor, Shipman was able to have access to an almost unlimited supply of unsuspecting victims.  His method was to give an overdose of diamorphine, or medical heroin, to his patients.  Harold Shipman was known to forge medical records as well.  Due to his position of power, Shipman was able to go undetected for years, killing hundreds of innocent patients.  Fortunately, a few people around the doctor started to recognize a pattern around his patient’s deaths.  Shipman was finally investigated, and tested done on several of his recently deceased patients proved that they had died of overdoses that he had himself administered.

Mary Ann CottonMary Ann Cotton was a killer in the 1860’s and 70’s.  Mary was a poisoner, using arsenic to kill off multiple husbands, friends, and over a dozen children.  Her usual trick was to find a suitable man and quickly marry them, often times becoming pregnant right away.  Shortly after marriage, she would convince her husband to take a life insurance policy with her as the benefactor. Mary would then poison the husband, and usually several of the children involved as well.  This sadistic woman would repeat this process several times, until she had poisoned as many as 21 people before the authorities finally caught on to her act.

You can find the first episode of this series Here


The Erdington Similarity Murders

On this episode of Strange Matters we will be discussing two mysterious murder cases in Erdington, England. These particular murders share a striking number of similarities to each other.  The victims had the same birthday, were killed on the same day, died under similar circumstances, and whose bodies were discovered almost in the exact same area.  One might believe the murders would obviously be the work of a serial killer. However… the two murders took place 157 years apart.  

In 1817 Mary Ashford’s body was found drowned in a pit near her home.  The main suspect, Abraham Thornton, had been alone with her most of the night.  He was found with blood on his undergarments, his boots were a near match to those found at the scene of her death, and earlier suggestive comments made the night earlier led many to believe he had harmful intentions towards Mary.

In 1975 Barbara Forrest was dropped off at a bus stop to return home after a night of fun.  She never was seen actually getting on the bus however, and after a week of her missing Barbara’s body was found in a shallow ditch.  This time the main suspect was a man named Michael Thornton, a co-worker of Barbara.  He was also found with blood on him and a faulty alibi for that night.

Despite what looked like obvious motives and evidence, both men were acquitted of all crimes and let go.  The deaths of both young ladies remain a mystery in Erdington to this day.  What’s even stranger are the striking similar circumstances surrounding this case. Could there be some type of connection between these two murders?  Is this the work of a copy cat killer who was trying to duplicate the famous murder that happened over a century ago in the Erdington area?  We discuss all the possibilities to these two bizarre murder cases and why we think this mystery is so fascinating!

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Hinterkaifeck Murders

In the early spring months of 1922, an entire family was found murdered at their isolated farmstead.  The bloody bodies were discovered in the farm and house of Hinterkaifeck, but no sign or clues to the killer’s identity could be found.  Once the local police started to investigate this horrible and disturbing crime, even more mystery began to surround this bizarre case.

In this episode of Strange Matters the facts of the case along with any theories as to who committed this crimes are discussed.  Was this the act of a jealous ex-husband returning from the grave? A psychotic serial killer? Or just a not-so-friendly neighbor? Listen and decide for yourself which theory is the most likely as to who could massacre an entire family and get away with it.



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