In February of 1950 eighteen-year-old Jacquelyn Cadow started to hear wolf whistles outside her home in Paradis, Louisiana. As time passed by not only did the whistles continue but the house was also broken into by persons unknown. The authorities didn’t know what to make of the phenomenon. The whistles continued nightly until Cadow became engaged to a State Trooper by the name of Herbert Belsom. The whistles then began altering into something that sounded like a funeral dirge.
Soon moans started to come from the woods along with the whistles. Threatening phone calls were made that promised Jackie would die if she went through with the marriage. Some eyewitnesses were present to verify Jacquelyn’s claims as the press began to swoon in on the strange tale. The state police and local sheriff’s department both investigated the incidents but couldn’t crack the case.
Jackie moved in with relatives. Soon the “Phantom Whistler”, as the press dubbed him, followed her and began his whistles anew. She tried staying at the home of her husband-to-be’s parents for refuge but the Whistler called Jackie’s mother and told her that he knew she was at Herbert’s house.
Ultimately Jacquelyn and Herbert married and the Whistler faded away. The sheriff eventually told the press that the whole thing was a hoax put on by people he declined to name in order not to embarrass them. Soon the whole case was largely just a footnote in small town Louisiana history.
In the late 70’s, Wichita, Kansas was facing a serious threat from a then unknown killer known as the BTK Strangler. He would be caught decades later after terrorizing the city with a brutal series of home break-ins that ended in forced bondage and murder. At the same time local resident Ruth Finley and her her husband Ed went to the police to report that Ruth had been harassed with threatening poems and menacing phone calls. This stalker, dubbed The Poet, would take over three years and almost $400,000 in tax payer funds to unveil.
Ruth was 48-years old at the time the chaos began in her life. She claimed to have been abducted in late November from downtown Wichita by two unknown men. She remained trapped for four hours before managing to escape from their car. Meanwhile The Poet was sending her letters with verses like: The river is searched for the perished/ Whores will hate me but by men I will be cherished/ Viper thoughts coil round my mind/ Torture and agony are unkind.
After the kidnapping, police placed Ruth under their watch with round the clock patrols. Nothing happened over the course of the next five weeks and the police chose to stop the surveillance. The letters continued up to August of 1979 when Ruth was rushed to the hospital with three stab wounds, including one that nearly punctured her kidney. While in the hospital Ruth managed to tell police she was attacked in a parking lot of a local mall. This incident made the police double down on the time spent on the case.
The Finley’s continued to try and live a normal life but over the following year had their phone wires cut, a knife was found with a note that had the Finley’s address on it, the health department was contacted by an unknown person who told them Ruth was spreading a sexually transmitted disease, a jar of urine was found on the front porch, a Molotov cocktail was found at their back door – thankfully unlit, a Christmas wreath was set ablaze, hair and fireworks were found in the mailbox and eggs and feces was tossed at their home.
The police took to placing a camera in the Finley’s backyard. It caught nothing. Finally the police chief became personally invested in the case and spent several days pouring over all the evidence. He came to the conclusion that Ruth and Ed were hoaxing it all. Ruth’s prints were the only one’s found at one scene and once the camera went in the backyard, the action all happened in the front of the house. He ordered a full-scale top secret observation of the Finleys and in September of 1981 the couple was spotted dropping five letters off at a public mailbox. When inspected by police two of the letters were from the Poet. Other evidence was then gathered that showed Ruth was behind the incidents.
Her husband was summoned to the police station and after an interrogation was cleared of involvement in the hoax. Ruth was then confronted with the evidence and broke down. She declared she wasn’t sure if she was really guilty but she knew something was wrong with her. Ruth entered into psychotherapy and revealed long stemming depression issues dating back to her childhood. Eventually it was uncovered that a neighbor attempted to rape Ruth when she was just a toddler. The repressed memories that she held within manifested in her creation of the Poet and the subsequent harassment she unleashed on herself.
Cindy James was known to be a friendly and loving person. She didn’t drink excessively or touch drugs and married a man who was nearly two decades her senior. They shared a workplace where he was a doctor and she was a nurse. It was only a few months after they divorced that her life turned upside down. She began to receive pictures of chopped up corpses in her mail, had pieces of rotting flesh sent to her home and frequently heard sounds akin to someone walking around the back of her home. She then found a threatening note in her driveway. This prompted her to call the police. They watched over her house but yet another note was found the following day.
Cindy believed her ex-husband Roy Makepeace was behind the incidents and she called and confronted him. The police could not find any evidence that he was involved however and he even gave them a recording of a threatening message that had been left on his answering machine.
The harassment continued unabated and the notes became more frequent. An official investigation was opened on the case and police officers patrolled her area day and night. Her porch lights were still frequently busted out, the pictures of dead bodies continued to be sent and her phone lines cut . One night a friend came over for a visit and found her with a nylon stocking wrapped around her neck lying outside. The police came to believe Cindy was in fact faking it but could find no evidence to support their theory.
James ended up moving homes, painting her car and changing her name but the harassment continued. Cindy hired a private investigator named Ozzie Kaban who reported to police that James was evasive and didn’t even want to tell him the whole story of her harassment. Her family believed that she was protecting them by not revealing more details on who her attacker was.
One night Kaban heard odd sounds coming from a two-way radio he had given James for protection. He raced to her house and found her lying on the floor with a knife sticking through her hand. She told police that she remembered a needle going in her arm during the attack. James claimed that up to two or three people were part of her ongoing stalking. When police had her lines tapped the threatening calls proved too short to trace. When they had her house guarded, nothing would occur, once they stopped watching, incidents would happen.
At one point, James was found semiconscious in a ditch six miles from her house. She was found wearing a man’s work glove and work boot. She was suffering the effects of hypothermia and had bruises and cuts all over her body. A nylon stocking was wrapped around her neck. James claimed to hold no memory of what happened to her. Soon after that incident James had a couple, Tom and Agnes Woodcock, stay with her for a visit. Tom woke up one night upon hearing noises and found that the basement was on fire. He rushed outside for help and found a man on the curb. When he asked the stranger to call the fire department the man instead ran away. The police again accused James of staging the incident. They found no prints or disturbed dust on the basement window and the fire had been started from the inside. Her doctor ended up placing her in a psych ward.
Ten weeks later she was released and used that opportunity to tell her family that she knew more about her attackers than she could say and that she planned on taking care of the perpetrators herself. Cindy’s story ended on May 25th, 1989 after six and a half years of harassment when she went missing. Her car was found in a neighborhood parking lot. Inside were fresh groceries and a present that had been wrapped for a friend. Blood stained the driver’s side door and her wallet had things spilled under the car. Her body was located two weeks later. Her hands and feet were tied together behind her back with a nylon stocking wrapped tight around her neck. Her death was determined to be from an overdose of morphine and a combination of other drugs. The police declared her death a suicide but others claimed she couldn’t have bound herself in the manner she was found in. The coroner declared her death was via an “unknown event” and wouldn’t declare it foul play or suicide. Her family believe she was murdered and that the police never tried to find the people behind it. The case has been cold for twenty-five years.