Yuletide Homicide: JonBenet Ramsey & 4 More Christmas Day Murders
Watch Investigation Discovery’s curated playlist of Christmas Crimes That Will Make You Say Ho Ho No on ID GO now!
While countless millions happily celebrate Christmas each year, psycho slayers and anti-merry murderers consider December 25 just another date on the calendar — to kill. Check out these five cases of when tragedy showed up under the tree.
1. JonBenét Ramsey: Six-Year-Old Beauty Queen’s 1996 Christmas Slaying Continues to Horrify & Fascinate
BOULDER, CO — JonBenét Ramsey was born August 6, 1990. She died in the waning hours of December 25, 1996. The first-grade-age beauty pageant queen had been strangled and beaten so severely her skull broke. John Bennet Ramsey, her father, discovered her body in the family’s basement eight hours after reporting her missing.
Patsy Ramsey, JonBenét’s mother, presented police with a ransom note she said she found that demanded $118,000 — almost the identical paycheck bonus John had gotten for Christmas.
Contradictions and suspicions immediately arose, the Ramseys lawyered up, and in the more than two decades since someone murdered JonBenét, an intricately tangled web of media headlines, false leads, bizarre claims, lawsuits, and even Patsy’s death from cancer in 2006 has spun out with no end in sight. One unanswered question, of course, hangs over it all — “Who killed JonBenét?”
Watch Investigation Discovery’s JonBenét: An American Murder Mystery on ID GO now!
2. The December 25, 2009, Killing at The Drama Club, a Gay Louisiana Nightspot
HOUMA, LA — In the wee hours of Christmas morning 2009, Robert LeCompte, the beloved manager of The Drama Club, was closing up business for the night and tallying receipts after a fun, raucous, hugely successful holiday celebration.
An assailant then snuck up on LaCompte, stabbed him 14 times, and made off with $4,000 cash. The killer also left behind a cocktail napkin on which he scrawled in ballpoint pen, “You gave me AIDS.” LeCompte had been diagnosed with HIV in 1995.
The perpetrator turned out to be Jorrell Young, 23, an ex-employee with whom LeCompte had what was described as a “friends with benefits” relationship. Despite this, Young presented himself as straight, dated women, and had fathered a daughter. He also collected military knives and had been arrested for domestic violence and illegal weapons possession.
While police searched for clues, Young’s pregnant girlfriend called to say that he had beaten her for the last time and that she had evidence that he killed LeCompte. She presented cops with a bloody shirt, a bloody keychain marked “Robert LeCompte,” and a stack of bloody cash. Investigators concluded that Young planted the “You gave me AIDS” note to throw them off the trail.
A jury convicted Young of first-degree murder and he is serving life without the possibility of parole at Angola.
Watch the “Murder at the Drama Club” episode of Investigation Discovery’s Vanity Fair Confidential on ID GO now!
3. Actress Tricia McCauley Offers Christmas Kindness to Homeless Man, He Rapes and Strangles Her
WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s unknown exactly how Adrian Johnson, 30, got inside the Toyota Scion being driven by Tricia McCauley on Christmas Day 2016. Many who knew D.C.-area actress and yoga instructor believe that she may have offered him a ride or other charity.
All that is known for sure, horribly, is that Johnson beat McCauley, sexually assaulted her, and then choked her to death with her scarf before stealing her vehicle and wallet.
Over the next two days, searchers scoured the area frantically for McCauley, until a tipster pointed cops in the direction of Johnson. After Johnson entered a CVS with McCauley’s car keys and credit cards — whereupon he stole items and physically accosted two employees — officers picked him up and charged him with first-degree murder.
Adrian Johnson is serving 30 years in prison, after which he will be placed on 30 years supervised release.
4. Two Tennessee Women Lure Man With Sex on Christmas Night, Then Team With Boyfriend to Torture Him to Death & Burn His Body
KINGSPORT, TN — On December 25, 2015, Christopher West, 39, headed to the home of Amanda Joy LaForce, 24, and Krystal Nicole Lane, 25, thinking he was in for quite a Christmas treat — the two women told West to come over for a night of unabashed Yuletide sex.
Instead, once West arrived, Timothy Shawn McEachern, 45, attacked from behind with a baseball bat. McEachern had been dating LaForce at the time, and she later described him as “very jealous.”
From there, McEachern, LaForce, and Lane — who said they’d spent all Christmas day injecting themselves with the drugs “ice” and “gravel” — restrained, pummeled, and strangled West for hours, until he finally died. The next day, the trio transported West’s body to a wooded area, set it on fire, and pushed it down an embankment.
McEachern and Lane cut plea deals. He got 26 years for second-degree murder, plus another six on suspended probation for abuse of a corpse. LaForce’s sentence was a bit more complicated. She got 25 years for second-degree murder, eight years for drugs, one year for the abuse of a corpse, and 11 months, 29 days for drug paraphernalia. Amanda Joy LaForce has not yet been sentenced. [Rogersville Report]
5. Texas Psycho Drives 15 Hours to Shoot Girlfriend’s Parents on Christmas
MARION OAKS, FL — Twas the night before Christmas 2014 when Preston Pollard, 23, drove 15 hours from his home in Texas to the Florida residence of Richard Hutson, 36, and his wife Mary Lou Hutson, 55 — the parents of Pollard’s unnamed, 18-year-old girlfriend.
Apparently, Pollard believed the Hutsons had prevented his girlfriend from spending the holidays with him, so he decided to go get her by force. Upon arrival, though, Pollard apparently lost his bearings (to say the least). According to Lauren Lettelier of Marion County Sheriff’s Office, “They opened the door and he started shooting.”
Mary Ann Hutson took four bullets and survived, albeit severely wounded. Pollard hit Richard Hutson just once, but it killed him. Afterward, Pollard drove about 350 miles back toward Texas, pulled over, and fatally shot himself in the head. His girlfriend wasn’t with him. [Detroit Free Press]