Episode 124:

Errant Duct Tape

The Unsolved Crimes of Mr. Cruel


The Murder of Girly Chew Hossencofft


Episode 124: Errant Duct Tape

Karen and Georgia cover the unsolved crimes of Mr. Cruel and the murder of Girly Chew Hossencofft.

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The Unsolved Crimes of Mr. Cruel

The Unsolved Crimes of Mr. Cruel Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

Other Image Sources:

Missing persons and balaclava worn in Nicola Lynas attack sketch by Victoria Police (via GQ.com)

"Mr. Cruel is an Australian paedophilic serial rapist who attacked three girls in the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and is the prime suspect in the abduction and murder of a fourth girl, Karmein Chan. A subsequent newspaper headline referred to the perpetrator as "Mr Cruel," a name adopted by the rest of the media.

The perpetrator has never been identified and his three confirmed attacks and suspected murder remain unsolved cold cases. There is a reward of $200,000 for the two abductions. In April 2016, 25 years after the 1991 abduction and murder of Chan, Victoria Police increased the reward for information that leads to Mr Cruel's arrest and conviction from $100,000 to $1,000,000.

Police describe Mr Cruel as highly intelligent. He meticulously planned each attack, conducting surveillance on the victim and family, ensured he left no forensic traces, protected his identity by covering his face at all times, and left red herrings to divert family and/or police attention. He was soft-spoken, and his behaviour was unhurried, as he took a break during an attack in a victim's house to eat a meal. He threatened to kill his victims with a large hunting knife or a handgun.

On 22 August 1987 in Lower Plenty, a man broke into a family home at 4 a.m. armed with a knife and a gun. He tied the hands and feet of both parents and locked them in a wardrobe. The son was tied to a bed and the 11-year-old daughter was attacked. He cut the phone lines.

On 27 December 1988 in Ringwood, he broke into the back door of a house at 5.30 a.m., armed with a knife and a small handgun. He bound and gagged the parents, and demanded money. He grabbed their 10-year-old daughter, Sharon Wills, put tape over her eyes, a ball gag in her mouth and abducted her. She was released eighteen hours later on the grounds of Bayswater High School.

On 3 July 1990 in Canterbury, he broke into a house at 11.30 p.m. and tied and gagged 13-year-old Nicola Lynas. He placed tape over her eyes, disabled the phones and searched for money. He then drove her to another house and molested her for fifty hours before releasing her at a power sub-station in the suburb of Kew.

On 13 April 1991 in Templestowe, armed with a knife, he abducted 13-year-old Karmein Chan (who went to the same school as Lynas). Her body, with three gunshot wounds to the head, was found a year later. It has been reported that a few detectives had doubts whether Mr Cruel committed the murder. Detective Chris O'Connor answered a journalist question in 2013 whether Mr Cruel was responsible "... we just don't know if it was Mr Cruel who murdered Karmein ... we just can't be sure because there isn't enough evidence to make a value judgement about whether it was or wasn't him in the Karmein case."

Mr Cruel is believed to have videotaped or perhaps taken still photographs of his attacks. Detectives believe that if he is still alive, he will have kept the tapes and/or photos and will still collect, and possibly swap, child pornography. They say he almost certainly continues to collect pornography through the internet and may communicate with children using chat lines. He plans his crimes – for example, in one case he abducted a girl and told her he would release her in exactly 50 hours, and he did. He bathed his victims carefully, with one victim describing the act as "like a mother washing a baby". In one case, he took a second set of clothes from the girl's home to dress her before she was freed. In another, he dumped the girl dressed in garbage bags so police could not test her original clothes. The modus operandi was the same in the home invasions/abductions in the three attacks and victim statements provided confirmation to police it was the same offender.

Two of his victims were able to provide police with details of the house where they were kept. Both were shackled to a bed with a rough neck brace. One told detectives she heard planes landing, leading police to believe the house was on one of the flight paths to Melbourne Airport. Police checked houses in Keilor East, Niddrie, Airport West, Keilor Park and Essendon North.

On 14 December 2010 Victoria Police announced that a new taskforce had been established about eight months earlier following substantial new intelligence. The new taskforce has been reviewing both the Spectrum Taskforce investigation and some new leads that have come in the last year or so.

Police have searched 30,000 homes and interviewed 27,000 suspects over the attacks, at a cost of $4 million. There is an A$300,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Mr Cruel. Police have admitted that some evidence retrieved from the crime scenes at the time has gone missing. One missing item is the tape used to bind one of the victims, which could have provided DNA samples of Mr Cruel using new forensic technologies.

In April 2016, in the lead up to the 25th anniversary of Karmein's murder, Victoria Police released a 1994 dossier (nicknamed the "Sierra files") to the Herald Sun newspaper containing intimate details of the case that had previously not been released to the public. The dossier, which had been prepared with the assistance of the FBI, contained information about seven possible suspects, including details concerning the prime suspect. The newspaper stated that they had obtained the names of these suspects and also attempted to contact them for information, to varying degrees of success. Victoria Police subsequently increased the reward for information to $1 million. By April 2018, comparisons were also being drawn by police to California's Golden State Killer..."

— Source: Mr. Cruel Wikipedia

The Murder of Girly Chew Hossencofft

The Murder of Girly Chew Hossencofft Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Ryan Hafey on Unsplash

Other Image Sources:

Multiple photos of Girly Chew (via SeptemberSacrifies.com)

Mugshots of Linda Henning and Diazien Hosencofft (via Oxygen.com)

"Girly Chew Hossencofft (August 27, 1963 – September 1999) was a Malaysian-born woman who disappeared on September 9, 1999 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The investigation into the murder of Girly Chew revealed a conspiracy theory involving reptilian queens, UFOs and reports of cannibalism. Girly Chew's husband Diazien Hossencofft and his girlfriend Linda Henning were convicted of her murder. Girly's body has never been found.

Girly Chew was born on August 27, 1963 in Malaysia. During a visit to the United States in the early 1990s, she met Diazien Hossencofft at SeaWorld. In 1993, Girly and Diazien married. They resided in Albuquerque, New Mexico where Girly was employed as a bank teller. In January 1999, Girly moved out of the couple's home and filed for divorce after a domestic violence incident where Diazien had threatened to kill her. She confided in her co-workers that she was afraid of her husband after she found out he was not a doctor and was using a fake name.

Diazien Hossencofft was born Armand Chavez in Houston, Texas on March 5, 1965. He falsely claimed that he was a thoracic surgeon with degrees from the University of Tokyo and Cornell Medical College. In reality, he was a con artist who had doctored his transcripts and was expelled from medical school. Following his expulsion, he changed his name to Diazien Hossencofft and married Girly Chew. Diazien continued to trick people into believing he was a geneticist who claimed to have leukemia; he sold fake cancer treatments to clients, who would pay thousands of dollars for anti-aging injections. In 1996, he fathered a son with a Japanese woman living in Canada. In 1999, while still married to his wife Girly, he was engaged to three different women, including Linda Henning.

Linda Henning was born on October 10, 1953 in Hollywood, California. After high school, she worked as a fashion model, and later became a successful fashion designer. In 1999, Linda met Diazien, and she quickly broke up with her fiance and became engaged to Diazien. Linda and Diazien shared an interest in government conspiracy theories and UFOs.

On the morning of September 10, 1999, Girly Chew Hossencofft failed to show up for work. Her co-workers immediately became concerned about Girly's welfare and reported her missing that day. Diazien Hossencofft was the prime suspect in the investigation, but he had left for Charleston, South Carolina that very day. Investigators then focused their attention on Girly Chew's apartment and Diazien Hossencofft's girlfriend, Linda Henning. Inside Girly's apartment, the investigators noticed the smell of bleach. Using luminol, they found considerable blood evidence.

Following the search of Girly Chew's apartment, police questioned Henning, who appeared as a personal reference of Diazien. In her interview, she claimed that she believed that Diazien was an accomplished doctor and that she had no knowledge of Girly Chew Hossencofft's disappearance. She later stated to an investigative grand jury that she did not even know Diazien's missing wife, but police were able to prove that she was lying. Investigators showed that Linda had banked at the branch where Girly worked, and that Girly had been Linda's teller on at least one occasion. Linda Henning was charged with perjury for lying to the grand jury in October 1999.

In Henning's home, investigators recovered a ninja sword in her attic, which was purchased on the morning of Girly's murder. Days after Girly Chew's disappearance, her clothing was found on a tarpaulin in Belen, New Mexico. Along with Girly's clothing, investigators discovered a piece of duct tape with Linda Henning's hair attached. She and Diazien Hossencofft were indicted and charged with murder.

In January 2002, in an effort to avoid the death penalty, Diazien Hossencofft pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife. In exchange for his plea bargain, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 61 years to be served in Wyoming State Penitentiary.

Linda Henning's murder trial began in September 2002, more than three years after Girly Chew Hossencofft's disappearance. The trial was later televised on CourtTV. She was the first woman in New Mexico history to face capital punishment. Linda's friends believed that she had been brainwashed and drugged by Diazien. Onlookers noted Linda's strange actions as forensic investigators testified for the prosecution.

During the trial, Linda Henning's attorneys Gary Mitchell and Monica Baca called Diazien Hossencofft to testify in Linda's defense. On the stand, he proclaimed that he had masterminded the murder of his wife and that Linda Henning was completely innocent. He claimed that a man named Bill Miller was Girly Chew Hossencofft's true killer, and not Linda Henning as the prosecutors had theorized. Bill Miller had been charged in the investigation, but only with five counts of tampering with evidence. Regarding Linda's blood found in Girly's apartment, Diazien had claimed that he planted her blood there. Even though Diazien testified that he planted Linda's blood in an effort to confuse investigators, Linda's attorney believed that Diazien meant to frame Linda for the crime.

On October 25, 2002, Linda Henning was found guilty of first degree murder. She was also convicted of kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnap, tampering with evidence, and four counts of perjury. Due to the special circumstances of felony murder and kidnapping, Linda faced the death penalty.

Linda Henning's sentencing was held on April 18, 2003. Before her sentencing date, prosecutor Paul Spiers wrote in his presentence investigation report that Linda Henning "had made statements that she had actually consumed the flesh of Girly Chew Hossencofft and that, as a consequence, her remains and body would never be recovered by authorities." Despite the allegation, Linda was not given a death sentence. Instead, she was sentenced to 73 years in prison.

For his role in the crime, Bill Miller received one year of probation.

In 2010, Linda's perjury convictions were overturned by the New Mexico Supreme Court, however all of her other convictions and her sentence were affirmed.

The story of Girly Chew Hossencofft's murder has been televised on Crime Stories, Court TV, American Justice, The Investigators, Snapped, Monstresses, Sins and Secrets and I'd Kill For You.

Albuquerque television journalist Mark Horner wrote a book about the murder of Girly Chew Hossencofft, entitled September Sacrifice..."

— Source: Murder of Girly Chew Hossencofft Wikipedia

Fucking Hoorays!


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