By Walton Golightly
Missing, Presumed Murdered
In 1925 Australian MP Frederick McDonald was narrowly defeated at the polls by Thomas Ley. McDonald challenged the result in court, claiming Ley had tried to bribe him not to contest the election. On April 15, 1926, McDonald vanished. Despite an extensive search, his body was never found. No one was ever seriously investigated with regard to McDonald’s disappearance, but many have since pointed the finger at Ley, known for his ambition and general nastiness. Look what happened next, they say.
In 1928, Hyman Goldstein, another of Ley’s enemies, ‘committed suicide’ by throwing himself off a cliff. The MP had been tricked into investing in a scam set up by Ley. The fact that Goldstein had intended to have Ley investigated makes his committing suicide highly unlikely.
Then, in 1946, while living in England, Ley’s willingness to commit murder was proven. Convinced his mistress was having an affair with young barman John Mudie, Ley had Mudie strangled and dumped in a chalk pit. Convicted of murder, Ley died of a stroke in a hospital for the criminally insane a year later.
Had he murdered McDonald and Goldstein? It’s likely we’ll never know.
The Atlas Vampire
Divorcee Lilly Lindestrom, 32, worked as a prostitute in Stockholm’s Atlas area. On May 1, 1932, she was discussing plans for the evening’s May Day celebrations with her friend Minnie Jansson, 35, a fellow prostitute who lived on the same floor.
A client called, asking if he could come over. Lilly agreed, and Minnie left her to it. Later that day, Lilly borrowed some condoms from Minnie. It was the last time she saw Lilly alive. When she knocked on Lilly’s door several hours later there was no answer. Minnie thought Lilly had gone to the celebration with the man.
It wasn’t until three days later that the police were called. When they broke down the door, Lilly was found facedown on her bed, completely naked, with a condom still in her anus. She’d been killed by three blows to the head from a blunt object. Her clothes were neatly folded nearby.
Also in the room was a blood-stained gravy ladle. Further inspection revealed that the killer had used the ladle to drink Lilly’s blood. The local press nicknamed the unknown killer the ‘Atlas Vampire’. Some 80 of Lilly’s customers were investigated, but the bizarre murder went unsolved.
Poor Mary Money
Late in the evening of September 24, 1905, the mutilated body of a young woman was found in the Merstham railway tunnel in south-east England. The body was warm, and had likely not been there long. At first, police believed the woman may have committed suicide. Then the post-mortem revealed that a scarf had been stuffed down her throat.
Shortly after the woman’s description was released, she was identified as Mary Money by her brother Robert. Police set about retracing her last steps. Around 19h00 she’d told a friend she was going for a walk and would be back soon. Her body was found around 22h55.
Two witnesses claimed to have seen Mary at the local train station that evening; others said they’d seen a young woman in a first-class compartment with a man. The train in question would’ve passed through Merstham tunnel at around 22h19. One witness said he saw the man leave the train alone. Was he a boyfriend who had thrown Mary out of the moving carriage? The police investigated every man in Mary’s life, but all had solid alibis.
Later events suggested Mary’s brother may have been less than honest with the police. He was found dead in 1912, having murdered two women and three children before committing suicide. The women were sisters, and Robert had married them both without the other’s knowledge. Had he also killed his own sister seven years before?