Archive for July, 2010

Coming Soon: Predators on the Parkway E-Magazine Expose

In early June, I visited the area of Yorktown, Virginia at the request of the families of the Colonial Parkway murder victims.  Soon afterwards, I posted a cursory review of the Spingola Files’ (SF) findings relating to the homicides of three couples and the disappearance of another. 

These complex cases have puzzled law enforcement for almost a generation.  Since SF’s visit, new information was uncovered that may very well establish a person of interest (POI) in one of the couple slayings. 

In an effort to examine the Colonial Parkway murders in more detail, I have published a soon-to-be-released 29-page e-magazine expose.  Predators on the Parkway: a Former Homicide Detective Explores the Colonial Parkway Murders will likely be available for purchase at Amazon.com on or near August 10, 2010 for just $3. 

This e-magazine article provides new details about the crime scenes as well as the discovery of new information leading to a possible break in one of the couple homicides. Moreover, by purchasing this article, readers are supporting the Spingola Files’ efforts to examine other homicide cases from around the nation.

As the release date approaches, check this site for more information.

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Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010


Decades-Old Cold Cases Focus on Improved DNA Testing

To view this article, please checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, available exclusively at Amazon.com in December of 2012.

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Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010


DNA Hit Links Harrington Homicide to Probable Serial Rapist

Last week, officials from the Virginia State Police (VSP) released information linking the slaying of 20-year-old college student Morgan Harrington to the 2005 sexual assault of women in Fairfax.  Nearly 100 miles separate the two crime scenes. 

Although VSP officials will not disclose the evidence linking the two cases, DNA analysis is the likely nexus. 

In the 2005 Fairfax incident, the victim was abducted by a black male while walking home from a grocery store at approximately one-in-the-morning. 

The modus operandi of the suspect may cause investigators to rethink the widely held belief that Morgan Harrington was abducted while hitchhiking on the Copeley Road Bridge.  A newspaper delivery person claims to have observed Morgan leaving an apartment building at 3:45 a.m. on October 18, only blocks from the location where her Pantera t-shirt was later located. Media reports suggest that investigators were initially skeptical of the newspaper delivery woman’s observations.

The DNA hit linking the Harrington investigation and the 2005 assault creates two scenarios: either the suspect is not a convicted felon or he has fallen through the cracks of the criminal justice system. Walter Ellis, Milwaukee’s alleged North Side Strangler, is an example of the latter.  While incarcerated, Ellis reportedly convinced a fellow inmate to supply a DNA sample. 

Having visited the area of the Harrington crime scene, the disposal site leads me to believe the suspect has knowledge of the area.  The 720-acre Anchorage Farms is somewhat isolated, although the suspect likely gained access to the property via an affluent subdivision, where homeowners would view any vehicular traffic suspiciously. 

This leads me to believe that the perpetrator is a somewhat educated risk taker. He probably scouts the area for a day or two before committing his crimes then waits for the right opportunity to present itself.

Moreover, I sincerely doubt these are the only two crimes this man has committed in nearly five years.  Psychological profiles of serial rapists and those convicted of sexual homicides typically involve crimes of fantasy and control.  After committing these crimes, the perpetrators go through a cooling-off period; however, their fantasies persist to the point where they strike again. 

From past experience, the good news is the release of the sketch is likely producing hundreds of tips.  Without a doubt, it will take time to sort through the reams of information generated by the public.  Nonetheless, let’s hope that the VSP hones-in on the perpetrator before another woman falls prey.

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Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010


Bad Week to be British in Madison

To read this article, purchase The Best of the Spingola Files, coming to Amazon.com’s Kindle store in January 2012.

Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010