Matthew Muller fancied himself a suave criminal mastermind. The former marine and Harvard graduate was the ringleader of a small band of kidnappers and thieves who prided themselves only robbing from those with enough wealth not to be hurt from losing material possessions. In preparation for their crimes the group utilized drones for recon, then put on their full-body wet-suits, hairnets and moisturized their hands – all in an effort to avoid spreading DNA.
The group targeted a couple, Aaron Quinn and Denise Huskins. The crime began as a bright light was placed in the victim’s eyes, this awakened the young lovers; soon after they were tied up and drugged. Huskins was kidnapped and a $8500 ransom was placed for her safe return. Oddly, the kidnappers chose to release her only two days later – without being paid off. Huskins’ sudden reappearance led the police to declare that the kidnapping was a put on by the couple in an effort to seek attention.
Muller and company meanwhile went back to their attempts to acquire others property for themselves. The genius criminal enterprise Muller envisioned crumbled when Muller somehow managed to leave his own cell phone at the scene of a robbery. This gave the police a direct link to the culprit. The follow up investigation allowed the investigators to search Muller’s property and there they located a laptop that was stolen from Quinn, thus verifying his story of the robbery and abduction. Hair resembling that of Huskins was found on a pair of goggles, which matched up with the victim’s claim that blackened out goggles had been placed over their eyes. In the course of this research, the police also found a car that Mullen had stolen. Inside of that vehicle was a console that matched the one that was seen in photos of items belonging to Huskins which the kidnappers had sent to the local newspaper to verify that an abduction had occurred. A cell phone found in the car was found to have the original photos on it and the car’s GPS system had the victim’s address programmed in it.
Muller is claiming psychosis as part of his criminal trial, as well as bi-polar disorder. As of this writing, the case is still working it’s way through the system.
Kaoru Kobayashi was a born in the late 60’s to a poor Japanese family in Osaka. He worked as a paper boy from a young age, and was still on that job when he was arrested at the age of 21 for molesting eight local children. For those crimes he only received a suspended sentence and did no jail time. Two years later he attempted to murder another child, and this time he was given a three-year prison stint. He was paroled slightly early, but the experience had calmed his bold criminal behavior.
In November of 2004, the repressed behavior of Kobayashi came to the forefront once again as he kidnapped a Elementary school girl as she walked from her home. The crime was done in the shadow of the local police station, proving that Kobayashi’s will outweighed his common sense. The twisted mind of Kaoru could not help but taunt the victim’s family, and he proceeded to use the girl’s cell phone to send pictures of her to her mother warning the distraught woman that her daughter had been nabbed.
Over the next few hours Kobayashi raped the girl before drowning her in his bathtub. He then beat the corpse with his fists and knocked out several of his victim’s teeth. Kaoru disposed of the body that night. It was discovered quickly by locals.
Kobayashi discreetly bragged about his crime by showing off pictures of the body to patrons at a local bar. Kaoru claimed to have pulled the image from the Internet. Sending images from his victim’s phone to his own proved to be part of the undoing for Kobayashi as the cell phone towers in the area were able to track the activity. A few weeks after the murder, Kaoru sent another message to the victim’s mother, this time threatening to take the woman’s youngest daughter next. Thankfully the police were able to find a witness who placed Kobayashi with the victim, and all the combined evidence proved enough to make an arrest. Ironically, Kobayashi was arrested at the end of his paper route – that day’s paper had a story about how the police were about to move in on a suspect.
Back at his apartment the investigators found dozens of pairs of stolen underwear, child porn videos, magazines, and other such items. He was found guilty of his offenses at trial and was executed in 2013. His history as a predator prior to the murder led to public outcry for Japan to enlist a law which would warn the public of the movements and locations of known sex offenders.
Sometimes a case seems open and shut but investigators just can’t compile enough evidence to close the deal. Such is the case of Elizabeth Pfeifer. In April of 1986, Pfeifer was attending a party in Katy, Texas. There she met a man, James Hopgood, who took interest in her and the pair left together. Hopgood claims that they went to Houston to his apartment, then returned to Katy. Shortly thereafter the pair stopped at a gas station where Pfeifer saw a man in a pickup truck that she appeared to know. She then left Hopgood and rode off with the other man. She has never been seen since.
Pfeifer was reportedly seriously intoxicated at the time she left the party, which was not uncommon for her. She also had a history of running away and mental problems. Due to her history it took a full month for her parents to file a missing persons report. Her purse, cash, and identification were found at the site of the initial party. While Hopgood seemed to be a likely suspect, the police could never prove he committed any wrong doing. Pfeifer’s case remains unresolved.
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