Tag Archive for Ohio

Killing Spree

Eric Elliott sits in an Oklahoma prison, far away from his family in Ohio. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars, thanks to a two-week odyssey of death and mayhem that began on August 15, 1994 when he met Louis E. Gilbert.
 
Elliott was a troubled young man, but until he met Gilbert, he wasn’t violent. Interestingly, the same could be said about Gilbert. He was a petty thief and ex-con, but had never been trigger-happy until he hooked up with Elliott.
 
The 16-year-old Elliott and the 22-year-old Gilbert met in Newcomerstown, Ohio, birthplace of astronaut Neil Armstrong, but while Armstrong would go on to explore the heavens, Elliott and Gilbert managed only to create a bit of hell on earth.
 
Few people in Newcomerstown liked Gilbert, and few were surprised when he was arrested after his killing spree. They speculated that Elliott tolerated Gilbert because he could buy alcohol.
 
It all started the day Gilbert was released from an Ohio prison for stealing a boat. For some reason, they decided to steal a car and it was all downhill from there.
 
Their first victim was 79-year-old Ruth Lucille Loader of Newcomerstown, who had the car the two men needed to get out of town. Gilbert admitted later on that he shot and killed the 82-pound cancer survivor, whose body was never found despite a massive search by friends and the law enforcement community.
 
Lucy and her late husband had lived in the 12-room farm house on the outskirts of Newcomerstown for more than 50 years and had raised four children there.
 
Her Buick turned up two weeks later, stuck in the mud in Calloway County, Missouri. Like so many other killers, they had followed America’s sewer pipe — I-70 — westward, stopping to wreak havoc and bringing senseless death along for the ride.
 
Elliott and Gilbert abandoned Lucy’s Buick and started walking, eventually stopping at the home of William F. Brewer, age 86, and Flossie Mae Brewer, age 75. After talking with the couple for a half-hour, they forced the couple into the basement of their farmhouse, shot both of them three times in the head, and stole their car, cash, and rifles.
 
The murderers left behind the children of the Brewers, who wondered why two able-bodied young men had to kill when it was just as easy to steal from the elderly couple. William’s cane was found next to his body. A walker was waiting upstairs where he left it. Flossie’s hands had been tied with a phone cord.
 
“They had no reason for what they done,” the son who discovered his parents dead in their basement told a reporter. “It was just plain orneriness. They just had no pity.”
 
With California as their goal, the killers headed out again, turning south toward Oklahoma and another date with death.
 
They ended up at Lake Stanley Draper near Norman, Oklahoma where they met Roxy Lynn Ruddell, a 37-year-old unarmed security guard who watched over a marina and whose job perks included all the fishing she wanted to do. She had been married a little over two years when she was murdered, and was working the night-time security guard job to help realize a lifelong dream.
 
Roxy wanted to own a horse ranch one day, and she had a pickup truck the killers wanted. They took it and kidnapped her as they continued their spree. She was shot and her body was dumped a short time later. A motocross rider waiting for his friends to catch up with him found Roxy’s body alongside a trail near the lake.
 
After finding the body, the bikers headed toward the ranger station, but the Brewers’ abandoned car blocked the trail’s exit.
 
louisgilbertGilbert and Elliott were headed further west with police from three states now on their trail.
 
Two days after Roxy was killed, Gilbert and Elliott were sleeping in a culvert outside Santa Fe, N.M., when state police acting on a tip found them. Two rifles, a shotgun and a pistol were found at their campsite.
 
Family, friends and police from Ohio, Missouri and Oklahoma all wanted a piece of the pair. If it was up to Elliott and Gilbert, they would have opted to head back to Ohio, where they had the best chance of staying alive.
 
In the end, Oklahoma got the first shot at them. Gilbert received the death penalty and Elliott was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
 
Gilbert’s 73 IQ wasn’t low enough to save him from a date with the needle, nor was the fact that his father liked to beat him with a two-by-four. He was executed in 2003.
 
Elliott has never offered any assistance in locating Lucy’s body.

A True Martyr

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world… I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
~Matthew 25:34, 40

If the Gospel of Matthew is to be believed, then Chloie English has likely earned a place in Heaven right next to the rest of the Martyrs of the Christian faith.
 
Chloie, an 84-year-old member of the Nazarene faith, was active in her church’s prison ministry. Through that work, she met a 33-year-old inmate, David W. Allen, who was serving time in the prison where Chloie visited inmates. They also corresponded with each other between visits (a violation of prison regulations meant to prevent inmates from learning the homes of employees and volunteers).
 
The goodness and selflessness Chloie displayed toward Allen was not returned, and it became clear to her family that Chloie was clearly frightened by Allen. He called her on her birthday in early January 1991, and her daughter reported that Chloie was “visibly shaking” after the phone call. Other members of her church told authorities that they prayed with her after another conversation Chloie and Allen had in 1990 after Allen was released on parole.
 
As an elderly woman living alone, Chloie always took precautions to protect herself. When she was home, she always kept her doors locked, a friend testified.
 
A friend who had known Chloie for nearly 50 years and was working as a crossing guard at an intersection near her home, noticed that Chloie failed to put her garbage out for collection on the morning of January 25, 1991, but didn’t think much of this fact.
 
A husband and wife who regularly drove Chloie to church arrived at her home at about 6:45 p.m. that night to pick her up for a prayer meeting, only to find the front door unlocked and the back door ajar.
 
They entered Chloie’s home and found the place to be uncharacteristically messy. There was a fire burning in the gas fireplace and “a number of objects” had been thrown in it. Near the fire, they discovered Chloie’s body. She had been dead for at least 12 hours.
 
The local pathologist conducted an autopsy on the four-foot, 10-inch, 111 pound woman the next day. He stated on the stand that she had suffered sixteen stab wounds, both her wrists were slashed and the victim had bruises around her head and neck. The ME testified the victim died from multiple stab wounds, cervical compression by strangulation, and multiple blunt impacts which caused her brain to hemorrhage.
 
Police quickly centered their investigation on Allen after his right thumbprint was found on Chloie’s eyeglasses that were lying a few feet from her body.
 
Allen left other trace evidence in Chloie’s home. A criminalist from the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office testified she performed scientific tests on several items recovered by the police from Chloie’s house and Allen’s room at his parents house following his arrest January 29, 1991.
 
She testified based on her analysis of blood samples that both Chloie and Allen had type O blood. However, Allen also had the characteristic of secreting his blood type in his saliva. Chloie did not. The criminalist stated she discovered type O saliva secretions on five of ten Doral cigarette butts found in the wastebasket in the victim’s home. May testified she also tested twelve of nineteen cigarette butts recovered from Allen’s home and nine cigarette butts recovered from his bedroom. She concluded eight of the cigarettes from Allen’s bedroom were smoked by a type O secretor.
 
Friends recalled that Chloie was adamantly opposed to smoking and would never have willingly allowed anyone to smoke in her home.
 
A Regional Transit Authority driver told police he saw Allen board his Route 41 bus around 6 a.m. on February 25 at the Grace and Center stop — approximately 1.3 miles from Chloie’s house by road and an even shorter distance as the crow flies.
 
The driver testified that he noticed Allen was “hyper.” Allen was the only passenger on the bus for several stops and later took a transfer to a rapid transit station that would take him to his parents’ home.
 
Allen was not scheduled to work at a donut shop in Northfield the night of January 24, 1991, but was scheduled and did not show up for work on the evening of January 25, 1991.
 
On January 29, Bedford Police detectives showed up at Allen’s house and arrested him. When arrested, Allen was wearing a black leather coat over a blue denim jeans jacket which had been stained by type O blood on the right sleeve. The police found a No. 41 bus transfer dated January 25, 1991 in his front pants pocket.He also had a refund receipt from Greyhound and two packed suitcases under his bed.
 
At his trial, this circumstantial evidence was presented by the prosecution. The jury quickly returned guilty verdicts on all charges and recommended a death sentence after the mitigation hearing. At that hearing, a psychologist testified that Allen suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of a sexual assault that occurred in prison.
 
Allen’s appeals have all been fruitless and he is currently awaiting execution on Ohio’s Death Row. No motive for the crime was presented at trial and Allen has never offered one.