After graduating, he spent years sleeping on freight trains. In , he traveled through Idaho, California and other states along the Columbia River, burning and burglarizing buildings and raping countless young men and boys. Around the same time, Panzram was sentenced to seven years at the Oregon State Penitentiary for burglary. To punish his unruliness, the wardens hung him from the rafters for hours, turned a hose on him, and kept him in solitary confinement for weeks, leaving him to feed on cockroaches.
Not long after escaping in , Panzram committed his first murders. Soon after, he set sail for Angola, raping and killing a young boy before the crocodile- hunting expedition. About a year later, he hid aboard a Lisbon-bound ship, only to find that the police there were on the lookout for him, aware of his crimes in Africa.
Long Island Serial Killer Gets a Personality Profile - The New York Times
So, soon after, he stowed away on a ship to the U. In , Panzram was arrested for a series of burglaries and jailed in Washington, D. After a warden found out that he had tried to escape, the guards handcuffed and suspended him from a beam, beating him unconscious.
Feeling sorry for Panzram, year-old prison guard Henry Lesser handed him a dollar to buy food and cigarettes. Over time, the two became friends. Each day, Lesser slipped him a pencil and a few sheets of paper, convincing him to write his life story. Panzram got the death he craved in September Beyond helping criminologists better understand the minds of killers like Panzram, Borowski said the autobiography serves as a lesson — one that still holds relevance amid recent reports of inmate abuse at Rikers Island and other prisons.
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Source Amok Books. Ng fled; Lake was stopped in a car registered to one victim with the driver's license of another victim.
He was arrested and, during a break in interrogation, committed suicide after writing down his and Ng's real names. Police continued investigating.
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They found the cabin in Wilseyville and gruesome evidence of the murders: charred body parts, corpses, bone chips, weapons, videotapes showing sexual abuse and rape, bloody lingerie, and a bed with restraints. They also found Lake's diary, which detailed acts of torture, rape, and murder he and Ng had performed in what he referred to as "Operation Miranda," a fantasy that centered on the end of the world and Lake's desire for sexual slaves.
Investigators also found a bunker built partially into a hillside with a room designed as a cell so whoever was in the room could be watched and heard from an outer room. Complete details of the tapes' contents were never disclosed. Ng was charged in the U. He was tracked from San Francisco to Chicago, Detroit, and finally Canada, where he was arrested for robbery and attempted murder committed in that country.
Ng and his lawyers used a variety of legal tactics to delay his trial, but it finally began in October Orange County, Calif. His defense team presented Ng as an unwilling participant in Lake's sadistic murder spree, but prosecutors introduced cartoons Ng had drawn depicting murder scenes in the Wilseyville cabin in details that a nonparticipant wouldn't have known.
They also produced a witness who had been left for dead in the killing spree but survived. The witness said Ng, not Lake, had attempted to kill him. After years of delays, tons of paperwork, and millions of dollars, Ng's trial ended with guilty verdicts in the murders of six men, three women, and two babies.
The jury recommended the death penalty, and the judge imposed it. As of July , Charles Ng was on death row in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, continuing to appeal his death sentence.
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Charles Montaldo is a writer and former licensed private detective who worked with law enforcement and insurance firms investigating crime and fraud.