Another month, another influx of true crime podcasts, books and series, not to mention cases being discussed on socials, to keep up with. We’re committed to keeping you up-to-date on everything you need to know that the true crime community is talking about, so read on for this month’s updates.
The Pottery cottage murders
In 1977, Billy Hughes, was on his way to court in Chesterfield on charges of rape and grievous bodily harm. He had stabbed a man in the face and raped his girlfriend at knifepoint. On the drive there, he attacked the driver and guards and managed to escape. He made his way to the converted pottery, Eastmoor Cottage, the home of Arthur and Amy Minton, their daughter Gill and her husband Richard Moran and their adopted daughter, Sarah. Hughes picked up two axes left outside and went into the house, instigating a three-day hostage situation, which culminated in the brutal murders of four members of the family and the abduction on the sole remaining member: Gill. Police finally apprehended Hughes, shooting him right before he tried to attack Gill with an axe. He was the first person to be shot dead by Derbyshire Police.
The horrific murders are back in the public eye thanks to the release of a new book, The Pottery Cottage Murders by Carol Ann Lee and Peter Howse, which has been serialised in the Daily Mail.
My mother’s murder
A four-episode special from The Tortoise Podcast, My Mother’s Murder sees journalist Paul Caruana Galizia investigate the murder of his mother, the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who died when a car bomb put in her car exploded. She was known for her investigative work reporting on politics and corruption. Paul became an investigative reporter after his mother’s death and his work earned him a nomination for New Journalist of the Year at the British Journalism Awards last year.
Gabriel Fernandez's death is the focus of one of the latest docu-series to appear on Netflix (fair warning: it is not easy viewing). The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez covers the 2013 murder of the eight-year-old in Los Angeles. He died at the hands of his mother Pearl and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguire. Gabriel was taken to hospital after Pearl called 911 and said her son had hit his head and wasn’t breathing; his skull was fractured, he had burns to his body and his ribs were broken. (His death would later be described as ‘beyond animalistic’.) He was declared brain dead and died two days after he was taken to hospital.
Pearl and Aguire confessed to abuse, but the series takes in more than just Garbiel’s murder and looks at the system that allowed the abuse to happen in the first place, including the social workers who left Gabriel in the home, despite his injuries. They were later accused of doctoring his records to cover this up. The case is also the subject of one of the top posts on the True Crime subreddit this month, where you can join in the discussion.
The latest podcast from Wondery and Hollywood & Crime, serial killer Rodney Alcala’s crimes are discussed in the podcast The Dating Game Killer—the nickname Alcala earned after his appearance on the American dating show (you can watch clips here). Alcala is a rapist and serial killer, whose victims (women and girls) number between eight and 130. By the time he appeared on the show, he had raped an eight-year-old girl and murdered four women, which didn’t stop him from being chosen as the winner. Lucky for the woman doing the choosing, the date never happened; she found him too creepy. That and the rest of Alcala’s crimes are documented in the podcast.
The murder of Shawn Marie Neal
One of the top posts on the Unsolved Murders subreddit this month focuses on a cold case that has recently been solved thanks to DNA testing: the death of Shawn Marie Neal. Neal was strangled in South Carolina in 1996. At the time, the case went cold, but it was reopened in 2017. Now, thanks to new DNA evidence, her murder has finally been linked to Ronald Lee Moore. Moore was responsible for a string of burglaries, a sexual assault case and the murder of Annelise Hyang Suk Lee, who was also strangled. He was in and out of prison, from the '80s through to the early 2000s, dying by suicide in prison in 2008.
If the name Ronald Lee Moore sounds familiar, it might be because you heard it on the first season of Serial, in which Moore was put forward as a possible suspect in the murder of Hae Min Lee. He had been released from prison a mere 10 days before she was murdered and her death fits Moore’s MO: she was also strangled.
The Nobody Zone
A six-part podcast, The Nobody Zone examines the crimes of the Irish serial killer (the only known one, for what it’s worth) Kieran Patrick Kelly: a homeless man who is said to have murdered 31 people between the 1950s and 1980s. Living in London at the time, Kelly would kill his victims by pushing them onto Tube lines. According to a book published in 2015 by a former police officer who worked on the case, police at the time covered up the murders. So what’s the truth and why did he do it?