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The mysterious butcher: an unsolved mystery

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Chloe Golightly, North Staff Writer

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Murders, shootings, robberies and break-ins happen multiple times everyday, but almost 1 in 3 mysteries remain unsolved, sometimes for decades on end. During the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, a mysterious person murdered three women in the Oklahoma City/metro area  and left their body parts around the city. Though these murders happened multiple years apart, police found out that they were connected by a person dubbed as the “mysterious butcher.”

The first woman murdered was on April 1, 1976. Her body remains were found in an abandoned house by three workers who smelled a “scent of death” and found her mutilated head in a popcorn box. Police identified the woman 17 years later as Cathy Lyn Sheckelford.

A second murder happened almost three years later when a couple of kids playing basketball saw a dog walk by with a mutilated head in its jaws on April 19, 1979. An unforgettable scene, police found her body parts scattered around the city and later identified her as Arley Bell Killian.

The last body found was on March 6,1986 behind a house. A torso and an arm were found and the woman was identified as Tina Marcia Sanders. Her severed head was later found accidentally at a different house down the street. Police later found out that all three of these murders were connected, with all three victims being Native American, homeless and two were prostitutes, which police thought was why these victims received very little media attention.

Almost 30 years later, investigators still look for the “butcher,” since he was never identified and was thought to have spent some time in jail since he had a “cooling period.” Investigators are not sure whether the murderer died, was arrested, or decided to end his killing spree, since no more murders have been connected to this certain person.

Over the 30 years, policemen waited to see if there would be any more connections, and after a long time with no more murders, the “butcher” was dubbed as a serial killer. A serial killer’s definition is anyone who kills at least three people over more than a month of time, with no apparent motive or reason. OKC police has many questions regarding this serial killer: will he kill anymore people? Is he dead or still walking the streets? Does he still live in OKC? We may never know the answers to this decades long search for the mysterious butcher that haunts OKC.

 

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