Saturday, October 10, 2009

Update : More Info

A collection of everything i could find on the net about this gruesome child molestation and dismemberment murders and the family that created them.

(In response to a queery about how to view some of the larger items, please RIGHT CLICK ON THEM and choose "VIEW IMAGE". They will open in a new window and show the complete item or article. Many of them were originally of either such poor quality (newspaper reports) that minimizing them to fit the blog would have made them unreadable. The photos were already downsized from sites i found them on, and they just would not go any smaller:)

SOME of the images are ingrained to be opened just by directly clicking on them-- try both ways to see what works best for you and your browser.
The editor

The real Gordon Stewart Northcott, child murderer from the 1920's, the subject of the new movie 'The Changeling' by juffrouwjo.

CURRENT PHOTO of VACANT Home Summer 2009
Wineville Chicken Coop Murders by Lisa - lidadrum.
Info from private citizen
When the movie was first released in Oct. 2008, the house was occupied. Heres the ABC news Video Interview with the occupant.
Since then the people have moved and the house is now up for sale. When I was there, there were also 2 other people who came to take pictures. So I'm not sure if the occupants moved after learning about the grizzly murders that took place there, or because of all the attention it is attracting.
The murders actually took place in the chicken coop behind the house which has since been torn down.

Back of the house:

From Crimezzz:

"Canadian born in 1908, Northcott would later claim that his father sodomized him at age ten. The old man finished his life in a lunatic asylum, and one of Northcott's paternal uncles died years later, in San Quentin, while serving a life term for murder. A homosexual sadist in the mold of Dean Corll and John Gacy, by age 21, Northcott was living on a poultry ranch near Riverside, California, sharing quarters with his mother and a 15-year-old nephew, Sanford Clark. For years, Northcott mixed business with pleasure in Riverside, abducting boys and hiding them out on his ranch, renting his victims to wealthy Southern California pedophiles. When he tired of the boys, they were shot or brained with an ax, their flesh dissolved with quick lime and their bones transported to the desert for disposal. Only one was ever found - a headless, teenage Mexican, discovered near La Puente during February 1928 - but homicide detectives identified three other victims. Walter Collins disappeared from home on March 10, 1928, and Northcott's mother was convicted of his death, but evidence suggests that she was acting under orders from her son. Twelve-year-old Lewis Winslow and his brother Nelson, 10, vanished from Pomona on May 16, 1928, and Northcott was later condemned for their murders, despite the absence of bodies. Gordon might have gone on raping and killing indefinitely, but in the summer of 1928, he visited the district attorney's office, complaining about a neighbor's "profane and violent" behavior. The outbursts reportedly upset his nephew, who was "training for the priesthood" by tending chickens at age 15. Under investigation, the neighbor recalled seeing Gordon beat Clark on occasion, and he urged detectives to "find out what goes on" at Northcott's ranch. Immigration officials struck first, taking Clark into custody on a complaint from his Canadian parents, and the boy regaled authorities with tales of murder, pointing out newly-excavated "grave sites" on the ranch. Detectives dug up blood-soaked earth, unearthing human ankle bones and fingers on September 17. They also found a bloodstained ax and hatchet on the premises, that Clark said had been used on human prey, as well as chickens. Northcott fled to Canada, but he was captured there and extradited back to Riverside. His mother claimed responsibility for slaying Walter Collins, but Clark fingered Gordon as the actual killer. Convicted on three counts of murder, including the Winslow brothers and the anonymous Mexican, Northcott was sentenced to death. Spared by her sex, his mother received a life sentence in the Collins case. Marking time at San Quentin, Northcott alternated between protestations of innocence and detailed confessions to the murder of "18 or 19, maybe 20" victims. A pathological liar who cherished the spotlight, he several times offered to point out remains of more victims, always reneging at the last moment. (Northcott also named several of his wealthy "customers" at the ranch, but their identities were never published.) Warden Duffy recalled his conversations with Northcott as "a lurid account of mass murder, sodomy, oral copulation, and torture so vivid it made my flesh creep." Northcott mounted the gallows on October 2, 1930, finally quailing in the face of death. Before the trap was sprung, he screamed, "A prayer! Please, say a prayer for me!" His mother subsequently died in prison, of old age."

Info on Law Officer who assisted in case: (Entire story behind the cut)

Deputy Sheriff Jack H. Brown - SBSD by DFP2746.

Father of Stater Bros. chairman played a role in legendary Wineville case
Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Article Created: 11/10/2008 10:08:18 PM PST
....Jack H. Brown was a feared and respected lawman while serving as San Bernardino County Sheriff Walter Shay's top investigator in the 1920s.

His investigative skills were of such repute that he was recruited in 1928 by Riverside County Sheriff Clem Sweeters to help bring a serial child murderer to justice.

Jack Brown Jr., CEO of Stater Bros., wears the diamond-studded gold badge his father, a deputy sheriff, was given for his work in solving a series of murders in Riverside County in the late 1920s. (Eric Reed/Staff Photographer)gruesome and horrific in Riverside County history in what today is Mira Loma.

Coincidentally, the younger Brown sent Eastwood's production company, Malpaso Productions, a copy of his 16-page book "The Badge," which chronicles his father's role in the Northcott case, about three years ago in hopes of sparking interest in a film.

"I could see Clint Eastwood playing my dad," Brown said.

But it wasn't Brown's story that would be translated to the big screen.

Instead, Eastwood opted to shoot a film based on accounts gleaned from James Jeffrey Paul's book "Nothing is Strange with You."

Gordon Stewart Northcott was convicted of killing Pomona brothers Nelson and Lewis Winslow, 10 and 12, respectively, and an unidentified Mexican boy who was shot through the heart with a .22-caliber rifle, decapitated and dumped in a La Puente ditch.

Northcott's mother admitted to slaying 9-year-old Los Angeles resident Walter Collins with an ax. It was the plight of Collins' mother and her dealings with the Los Angeles Police Department on which the film "Changeling" is based.

"By far, it was the most horrific case that had ever happened in Riverside County until that time," said Steve Lech, president of the Riverside Historical Society, who was a consultant on the film.
Authorities suspected Northcott may have killed as many as 20 boys.
Northcott lured the young boys to his family's chicken ranch near Wineville and Limonite avenues by placing help- wanted ads in newspapers.
At the time, it was common for young boys to leave home to work and help provide for their families.
When the boys failed to return home, parents notified authorities.
While searching the perimeter of the ranch on his horse, the elder Brown noticed something out of place: a splintered piece of yellow wood. He looked further and unearthed a ukulele.
He remembered the parents of the Winslow brothers telling him their youngest boy had taken a ukulele they had given him for Christmas with him when he left.
"He knew then that he was near the crime scene," the younger Brown said.

The elder Brown and a team of investigators started digging up the ranch. By this time, Northcott and his mother had fled to Canada.

No bodies were ever recovered, but authorities did find bone fragments, blood-soaked earth, a finger, quicklime believed used to expedite decomposition and bits of a blood-stained mattress.

It is believed, based on transcripts from the trial, that Northcott and his mother exhumed the bodies, burned them in the desert and scattered the ashes, Lech said.

When Northcott and his mother were arrested in Canada, the elder Brown hopped in his patrol car and drove to Canada to interrogate him.
Irate with the killer's smugness, Brown kicked down the back door of the jail, placed Northcott in his patrol car and drove him back to Riverside County to face charges.

"That's the amazing story. (Northcott's) so smug and so sure he's going to fight extradition out of Canada that it really upsets Jack Brown Sr., and he winds up kicking the door down and bringing Northcott back," said San Bernardino County Undersheriff Richard Beemer.
Following Northcott's conviction, the elder Brown accompanied Northcott on a train to San Quentin to his execution, on Oct. 2, 1930.

Along the way, the two played cards.
"On the back of the deck, he wrote, `To Jack Brown, on the way to my death. Gordon Stewart Northcott,"' the younger Brown said.

Northcott's mother was sentenced to life in prison for Walter Collins' killing.
In recognition of his work, the Citizens of the West End of San Bernardino County presented the elder Brown with an 18-karat gold badge studded with four diamonds on Christmas Eve 1930.
More info on The mother's lawyer HERE (AMAZING site with great shots from the Los Angeles Times ) :

June 26, 1957
Los Angeles

The lawyer drove up to the cabin in Tick Canyon, north of Saugus, in his Cadillac. He should have been home in Beverly Hills by now, but he phoned his wife, Mary, that he was having dinner with a client.
He parked the Cadillac next to the cabin and left his jaunty straw "boater" hat in the back seat. Maybe he sat in one of the chairs next to the pool for a while--perhaps all night. Then he put his glasses under the chair, took off his coat, with $109 in loose bills in the pocket, and laid it on the chair, along with his white shirt and tie, and a folder containing his identification cards.
Then he tied one end of a rope around his neck, threaded the other end through two concrete blocks and jumped into the deep end of the pool. That's where he was found by 17-year-old Bob Nelson, a neighbor who had been hired to do some chores around the cabin.
Sammy "S.S." Hahn, 68, a Russian immigrant, is an obscure figure today, but at the time of his death, he was a well-known attorney who handled some of the most famous clients in Los Angeles, including Aimee Semple McPherson and murderess Louise Peete, one of only three women to be executed in California. A graduate of USC's law school, Hahn was originally known for his defense work in high-profile criminal cases but later specialized in divorces.
He earned his nickname, "The Corporal," during a sharp courtroom exchange with Col. William H. Neblett, who protested when Hahn continually referred to him as "Mr. Neblett" instead of "Col. Neblett." "Your honor, Hahn said, "if my opponent insists on his military rank, so shall I. Henceforth, I respectfully request that I be addressed as Cpl. Hahn."
Hahn's apparent suicide puzzled his many friends and devastated his wife, Mary, whom he married in September 1954. Hahn's wife of 36 years, Teresa, had died in May 1954. Some people speculated that Hahn's death was not a suicide, especially because he left no note, but medical examiner Dr. Gerald K. Ridge found that his death was an uncomplicated case of asphyxiation.
Mourners attending his funeral at Forest Lawn in Glendale, conducted by Rabbi Samson Levey, included attorney Jerry Giesler and Judges Thurmond Clark, Henry Draeger, Larry Doyle and Mark Brandler. Pallbearers were members of American Legion Post 253 of Beverly Hills.


Northcott signing out in the “big book” at the Los Angeles County Jail as he departed for Riverside to go on trial as the slayer of the Winslow brothers.

Last Steps and Last Words on Death Row


The most difficult hanging was that of Gordon Stewart
Northcott, who with his mother kidnaped and killed young boys after sexually assaulting them. On his last morning, Northcott began screaming and trembling. His hands shook fiercely as they were strapped together. "Will it hurt?" he asked softly. Told that no one had ever complained, he asked for a blindfold so he would not have to see the gallows. He was dragged into the gallows room, pleading with guards, "Please -- don't make me walk so fast." Most condemned climbed the 13 steps to the platform. Northcott had to be hauled up a step at a time, moaning louder at each step. Seconds before the trap was sprung, Northcott screamed, "A prayer -- please, say a prayer for me."

Gordon Stewart Northcott points with a pencil to a chicken house at his ranch where the state contends one of his alleged boy victims was slain. Undersheriff Rayburn, left, and Deputy Brown, right, keep him closely guarded as the trial jury inspects the ranch.

Prosecutors asked for an all-male jury, saying that the evidence would be too gruesome for any woman.

Gordon Northcott ignores his attorneys and argues with the judge, Dec. 5, 1928.

At San Quentin

At Kamloops, B.C., Sgt. Fraser of the British Columbia Provincial Police, left, escorts Gordon Northcott to Vancouver after Northcott was captured in Vernon, B.C.. The Times published this photo Sept. 23, 1928.

Los Angeles Times file photo

C.F. Rayburn, left, and Jack Brown in the drawing room of the Southern Pacific's Owl train as they escort Gordon Northcott to San Quentin, where he was hanged.

Confession to murdering the mexican youth

Gordon Stewart Northcott is shown in one of the automobiles which he is declared to have used in his alleged criminal expeditions. A man to whom he sold one of his cars reported finding stains resembling blood in the rear compartment. (His car is shown parked next to a dome-shaped restaurant with an open window facing the parking lot.)

Northcott sitting in his cell at the Los Angeles County Jail on December 1, 1928, the cell which was occupied by William Edward Hickman, the "Fox". Here he was relentlessly questioned. He said, "I'm a misfit, and once a misfit always a misfit."

Gordon Stewart Northcott whiles away his hours in jail December 4, 1928, by playing cards alone and trying to read his future in the way the cards fall. He had recently confessed that nine boys were slain on the "murder farm," five by his own hand. He blames one killing on Sanford Clark. In his right hand he holds a fateful card, the joker. "There's always a joker in the game when I play," he said.

On the ranch (NOTE: He could well be holding the Ukelele that was with one of the missing boys and eventually recovered in pieces near where the boys were murdered).

Northcott, center, is shown shackled to Constable F. R. Rigby of the Canadian police. At the right is Corporal Walker Cruickshank, also a member of the Canadian police force. Northcott arrived in Los Angeles November 30, 1928, and was placed in the cell Hickman occupied at the County Jail.

Eastwood found the real Northcott ranch still in existence in Mira Loma in Riverside County. In 1930, the citizens of Wineville changed the name of their farming community to Mira Loma, to get rid of the notoriety caused by the Northcott murders.
"It was creepy," says the veteran director-actor, who had been taken there by a historian from the Riverside Historical Society. "It looks exactly the same, though the house has been slightly modified. We went around back and there were these chicken coops."
The coops are where Northcott kept and murdered his victims. "I don't know if they were the same ones, but they were old, very rustic chicken coops," Eastwood says. No one appeared to be home, but Eastwood decided not to knock on the door. He didn't know how the occupants would feel about having Clint Eastwood show up on their doorstep and announce they lived in the former home of a notorious child killer. "I didn't want to intrude on these people's life," he says.

I don´t know if this was the altar Gordon Northcott was refering too, where Walter Collins was murdered. Since the investigators photographed it must have some significance.

With thanks to Hephaestion who, like me, found all this on the net and then had nightmares, and had to stop focusing so much.
There is much more AT

Many of you are probably aware that no matter how much we grieve, we do need to focus on the day to day of life and NOT dwell too long on this tragedy. It is not easy to take by even the most hardy-- and for many, the depression from the historic events is not healthy.

The Walter Collins Case by angus mcdiarmid.
Story of the boy who lied HERE