Who were the victims?

Sykes

So far it is possible that a serial killer let two other men suffer the sentences he deserved. S.C. Stone (Book 1) and Albert Dyer (Book 2) were both convicted of murdering little girls. Stone was convicted of murdering May and Nina Martin and after his death sentence was commuted he was eventually released from prison in 1941 due to a “lack of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.” Albert Dyer was convicted for murdering Melba and Madeline Everett and their friend Jeanette Stephens. He was executed.

There is evidence that connects these two Los Angeles crimes near the Baldwin Hills with the murder of Virginia Brooks (Book 3) and Louise Teuber near San Diego, both still cold cases. Investigators in central California also thought the death of 11-year-old Jackie Sykes, who was found nude and hanging from a tree in 1932, was related.

Book 4 of The Colder Case Series, one of the most difficult to stomach, if that seems possible, takes us East, where another little girl was murdered in the same manner as Virginia Brooks. 1937 was a very deadly year for children. It seems our serial killer got around.

Snake Avenue: The Cold Case of Ten-year-old Virgina Brooks

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Snake Avenue released!

Virginia Brooks was missing for a month before her body was found. Was a serial killer responsible? The two little Martin sisters were murdered in 1924, and two more sisters in 1937, the Everett sisters along with their friend Jeanette Stephens. This third book is a detailed report that puts together the facts found at the time of this similar murder of little Virginia Brooks in 1931. The investigators did all they could with the science available to them, and tried so hard to solve the case it is now a fascinating look into the history of forensic science, including entomology and horticulture. Virginia’s story will never end, but this account ends by daring to take a guess at who the police may have overlooked due to them not having the forensic science and criminal profiling tools that are available today. Can you guess who was overlooked?

Paperback released!

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The crime scenes. The P&E track from Culver City to Amoco (center) is the southern boundary of the Glen Airy District.

Two sisters, May and Nina Martin, 12 and 8, disappeared from the Glen Airy District at the base of the Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles on August 23, 1924. Most houses were no more than a few years old and some streets and lots were graded but houses were yet to be built. The Glen Airy District, also known as the West Adams district for the West Adams Boulevard that ran though it, was directly south of Hollywood, and the children lived one block west of the same La Brea Avenue that is two blocks west of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. It was the same La Brea the Boy Scouts ran down to the Inglewood police station after finding the bodies of three little girls in 1937.

Two other sisters’ bodies were found with the body of their friend in 1937, almost directly south of the Glen Airy district and over a barren field known as the slough or the prairie. Those three little girls were found in the Baldwin Hills south of the Pacific Electric railroad tracks of the Santa Monica line that ran to the coast, the tracks being the southern border of the Glen Airy district. Albert Dyer was convicted of the murder of Madeline Everett, 6-years-old, and Melba Everett, 9-years-old, and their friend Jeanette Stephens, 8-years-old. He was hung. My previous book, Colder Case, explains why he was wrongly executed and mentions this 1924 case because Dyer’s lawyers and many concerned citizens thought the man, or men, that killed the Everett sisters and their friend also killed the Martin sisters about 13 years earlier. Today we would call the suspect a serial killer.

From the California State Archives, this is their story, the story of two little girls whose mother and grandmother believed justice abandoned because the wrong man was about to be wrongfully executed. How could a mother and grandmother defend the man convicted of killing their little loved ones? This book will attempt to answer that question. And the answer merges into what we now know are questions of wrongful convictions.