10 Brutal Criminals Who Hid in Plain Sight
6 Ed Kemper, the Co-ed Killer
The “Co-ed Killer,” Ed Kemper, was caught only because he telephoned the local police to confess. Prior to his arrest, he had been a regular at a local cop bar and had several friends among the police. Due to this, the policemen did not really believe his confession until Kemper revealed many details that only the killer would have known.
Ed Kemper is one of the most notorious serial killers in US history, and had he not surrendered by his own volition, he may have never been captured. Kemper began his killing spree at the age of 15 when he murdered his grandparents in cold blood. Afterward, he was admitted to the Atascadero State Mental Hospital for treatment but upon release, went on to murder many more.
During the 1970s, his activities earned him the title of “Co-ed Killer” and culminated with him killing his mother and her friend. Kemper was then certain that the police would come looking for him but when they didn’t, he decided to simply confess.
Interestingly, at the time of his killings, Kemper had been a regular at a local cop bar called “The Jury Room” and was friends with many police officers. As a result, they refused to believe his confession until he stated details about the crime that only the killer would have known. (1, 2)
7 Ward Weaver III
During the 2000s, Ward Weaver III gave a television interview while standing over a concrete slab in his backyard. In the interview, he claimed that he was being targeted as a suspect for the disappearance of two local girls. For months, no one realized that Weaver had actually murdered and buried one of the missing girls under that very slab.
In August 2001, a girl named Ashley Pond went missing on her way home from school. Two months later, her friend Miranda Gaddis also disappeared under similarly suspicious circumstances. But it wasn’t until months later that the FBI investigation began to focus on a local resident, Ward Weaver III, whose daughter had been friends with the missing girls. Weaver, however, maintained his innocence and even invited a camera crew inside his home to show that he had nothing to hide.
During this television interview, he brazenly stood over a concrete slab in his backyard that, when questioned, he stated was meant for a new jacuzzi. In truth, however, he had buried Pond’s remains under that spot and poured concrete over it. Years later, Gaddis’ sister stated that Weaver had murdered Ashley Pond to prevent her from reporting him for raping her. Gaddis was killed because he thought she had witnessed his encounter with Pond. (1, 2)
8 Bradley Nelson Page
In 1984, a woman named Roberta Lee went missing while out jogging with her boyfriend and a friend. Afterward, the boyfriend, Bradley Nelson Page, led a massive search effort for his girlfriend and even distributed flyers containing her pictures. However, when Lee’s decomposed body was later found in a shallow grave, it was revealed that Page had murdered her.
In 1984, Roberta “Bibi” Lee was out jogging with her boyfriend, Bradley Nelson Page, and a friend when she went missing. At some point, the friend had become separated from Lee and Page, and when Page returned, Lee was nowhere to be seen. He claimed that Lee had taken a different jogging route and that when he couldn’t find her for over 15 minutes, he had decided to head home. The next day, when Lee’s roommate let Page know that she had not come home, he reported her missing.
For the next few weeks, major search efforts were initiated and Page was at the helm of most of them. He distributed flyers with her photographs and description until her body was found in a shallow grave near the jogging route from which she went missing. As a result, Page was arrested and after a lengthy interrogation, confessed to killing her. (1, 2)
9 Tracie Andrews
One night in 1996, a man named Lee Harvey was stabbed to death in Worcestershire, England. His fiancee, Tracie Andrews, claimed that a motorist had attacked him in a road-rage incident and even appeared at a press conference to beg for the public’s help. After the press conference, however, detectives grew suspicious of her contradicting stories and discovered that she was his actual murderer.
During the early hours of 1 December 1996, a man named Lee Harvey was stabbed to death in Worcestershire while he was out with his fiancee. The fiancee, Tracie Andrews, claimed that she and Harvey had been attacked by two men in a Sierra, as part of a road-rage incident. She even appeared at press conferences to ask the public for help and recounted her statements of the attack.
However, the investigators soon grew suspicious of her accounts as they seemed inconsistent with the evidence. Witness accounts from that day stated that there had only been two people at the scene, Andrews and Harvey, contradicting Andrews’ claims. Moreover, numerous appeals to the public regarding the attackers’ car had turned up no reports, leading the police to think that Andrews was lying. As a result, they charged her with Harvey’s murder and she was later found guilty. (1, 2)
10 John Cooper, the Bullseye Killer
During the 1980s, John Cooper appeared on the British television show Bullseye, four years after murdering two siblings. Less than a month later, he murdered two more people, Peter and Gwen Dixon, in Pembrokeshire. Incidentally, his television appearance proved to be his undoing because, on the show, he had raved about the exact spot where he would later murder the Dixons.
John Cooper is a Welsh serial killer who evaded justice for nearly two decades. He is now known as the “Bullseye Killer,” due to his 1989 appearance on the television show Bullseye. Unknown to everyone then, four years before appearing on TV, he had murdered two siblings named Richard and Helen Thomas and burned their farmhouse down.
While on the show, Cooper was noted for talking extensively about his hobby of scuba diving on the Welsh coastline. Less than a month after, Cooper would murder two more people, Peter and Gwen Dixon, in Pembrokeshire.
Nearly two decades later, his television appearance would become his undoing. The investigators on the case found that Cooper had raved on television about the exact spot in Pembrokeshire where he would later murder the Dixons. This, along with blood-spatter evidence they had found, it became evident that Cooper was the wanted killer. (1, 2)
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