• JD Crighton (Driver). Mini Grand Prix race, 2nd place
    Mysteries

    My Bucket List Adventures

    As a bit of a daredevil in my younger days, I was blessed to check some fun and memorable items off my bucket list. One of my friends took me acrobatic flying in a Super Decathlon and I was hooked, parachute and all. Lazy eights, hammer-head stalls, and clover leafs made me feel like I was over the moon! While upside down, my friend keyed up the mic and yelled “Are you okay?” into my headphones. All I could say in response was, “Whooooo Hooooo!!!” Afterwards, I thought ‘what if something happened to the pilot and I had to land the plane by myself?’ I better sign up for an…

  • Detective in the White City by JD Crighton
    Detective Frank P. Geyer

    This Was a Book I Knew I Had To Write

    My interest in writing about Detective Frank P. Geyer came after the profound sadness I felt while reading in two popular books that Geyer’s beloved wife and only daughter were killed in a fire before his assignment to the H. H. Holmes murder case. I could not imagine the heartache and sorrow he must have felt but at the same time I wondered how he could pick up the pieces after a life-changing tragedy like that, and two short months afterwards begin a complicated cross-country, international murder investigation that thrust him into world-wide recognition. I had to find out the truth and embarked on a year and a half research…

  • Gideon Marsh, President of the failed Keystone Bank in Philadelphia. Detective Frank P. Geyer went on an International search to bring the fugitive to justice.
    Detective Frank P. Geyer

    Secret Search for Gideon Marsh

    Sample research for Detective in the White City: The Secret Search for Gideon Marsh – June 1892 Authorities deemed the mission classified to prevent media from tipping off the fugitive. No one knew the details, not even his wife and daughter. Fourteen days after Frank and Mary’s seventh wedding anniversary, Detective Geyer sailed on the Martha steamship from Brooklyn April 23, 1892. His distraught wife told the Philadelphia Inquirer she did not know her husband left the city until the Philadelphia Detective Bureau told her. He left without so much as a goodbye to her or their four-year-old daughter, Edna. “My husband left the house one morning with the expectation of returning…

  • Chris Watts Case: Child Giggles During K9 Search of His Wife, Shannan's Closet
    Chris Watts

    Chilling: Little Girl Giggles During K9 Search in Chris Watts Case

    While reviewing documents, images, and videos from the Chris Watts capital murder case for a true crime book, I came across something that ran chills down my back and brought tears to my eyes . . . major tears! Watch the video and decide for yourself if the giggles are from a toy or from one of the beautiful Watts girls, Bella or Celeste (CeCe). Frederick Police Officer Lines is assigned as liaison to work with dog handler Jayne Zmijewski from Search and Rescue Dogs of the US (SARDUS). Zmijewski’s dog, a Labrador Retriever named Cody, is specifically trained for signs of trauma. In this video clip of Officer Lines’…

  • Frank Geyer arrested Annie McCraken for larceny on May 19, 1880.
    Detective Frank P. Geyer,  H. H. Holmes

    Research Trip for Detective Geyer Book

    Early in the month of May, I made another research trip to Philadelphia, Washington DC, and surrounding cities and was honored to meet with Detective Geyer’s amazing family. Unlike troubling claims that Geyer’s wife and daughter were tragically killed in a house fire prior to his assignment to the H. H. Holmes case as told in two popular books (Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City and Harold Schechter’s Depraved), Geyer’s wife and daughter lived on and were never involved in a fire to begin with. In fact, the names of Geyer’s wife and daughter were incorrect in those books as well. It is puzzling to Detective Geyer’s family as to why…

  • Detective in the White City by JD Crighton
    Books,  Detective Frank P. Geyer,  H. H. Holmes

    Cover Reveal: Detective in the White City

    Excited to reveal my cover for Detective in the White City: The Real Story of Frank Geyer! Its been a long journey and a year and a half of research, but the wait is well worth it!   The idea for Detective in the White City came to me after I discovered false information about Geyer perpetuated in two popular books. Information, that if true, would have changed the entire history of the Geyer family. Detective in the White City is the true story of Philadelphia Detective Frank P. Geyer. A special thank you to my publisher, editor, and cover designer! Detective in the White City: The Real Story of…

  • 1896 newspaper ad (jdcrighton.com)
    Detective Frank P. Geyer,  H. H. Holmes

    Newspaper Ad for Detective Frank Geyer’s 1896 Book

    I found an old newspaper ad for Detective Geyer’s book about the H. H. Holmes, Benjamin Pitezel investigation.   The price of the Geyer’s book was inflated to $1.50 due to National sensationalism of the case. H. H. Holmes wrote his own book that sold for 25 cents and was also published in 1896. Holmes’ memoir and confession of twenty-seven murders as well as his unusual burial and story of reincarnation are all featured in Holmes’ Own Story: Confessed 27 Murders, Lied then Died (available here)   Sources: “Holmes will Hang,” Plain Dealer Cleveland, April 12, 1896 The cost of Holmes’ book was listed on the cover, Library of Congress

  • H.H. Holmes, one of America's First Serial Killers - image updated by JD Crighton, all rights reserved
    H. H. Holmes

    H. H. Holmes, the Clodhopper Who Almost Didn’t Graduate

    Herman Webster Mudgett, M. D., known as H. H. Holmes, barely squeaked by as a medical graduate of University of Michigan in 1884. Mudgett held a horrific record among University graduates–he was the first ‘arch villain’ executed for murder. Mudgett, a serial killer from the late 1800’s, came close to not graduating because some faculty members voted against it. Ann Arbor Argus reported Mudgett did not distinguish himself as a student and “showed no marks of brilliance or even acuteness.” Along with his lack of acuteness, perhaps faculty remembered an earlier incident where Mudgett got himself into trouble with a hair dresser who insisted he marry her. Medical faculty knew…

  • Books,  Detective Frank P. Geyer,  H. H. Holmes

    Holmes’ Own Story: Holmes Confessed 27 Murders – Lied Then Died

    Holmes’ Own Story: Confessed 27 Murders – Lied Then Died features eighty-seven (87) restored and sourced rare historical illustrations and photographs. Holmes’ Own is a fascinating look into the mind of one of America’s first serial killers. Born as Herman Webster Mudgett, H. H. Holmes was a horrific killer featured in Erik Larson’s popular book, The Devil in the White City. Holmes built a three story ‘Murder Castle’ in Chicago in the late 1800s with death on his mind. A doctor by trade, Holmes lured unsuspecting victims into secret rooms, vaults and gas chambers and made use of a dissection table in his basement. He preyed on travelers that came to Chicago…

  • Georgi Markov Assassinated with Ricin in 1978
    Bioterrorism,  CBRNE,  Mysteries

    Unsolved Mystery: Novelist Georgi Markov Poisoned With Deadly Ricin

    News reports of envelopes tainted with the deadly biological agent, Ricin, got me thinking about the 1978 assassination of a Bulgarian dissident, Georgi Markov, who was an acclaimed novelist and playwright. Why was Markov murdered? Markov was outspoken of the Bulgarian government and communism and wrote about it in novels, short stories and playwrights. His writings angered the Bulgarian government, causing Markov to defect to Italy in 1969. He migrated to England and received political asylum in 1971. Following his Bulgarian defection, Markov was accused of being a traitor and tried and convicted in absentia, sentenced to six years, six months in prison. From 1975 until his death in 1978,…

  • Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (Category A) Source CDC Frederick Murphy
    Bioterrorism,  CBRNE

    What are Bioterrorism Agent Categories?

    Bioterrorism, one of the five types of terrorism that come from the acronym CBRNE (see CBRNE article), is the intentional release of a biological agent. There are four types of biological agents: bacteria, viruses, rickettsia and toxins. Bioterrorism agents are classified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) into three categories, based on how easily they are spread and the severity of the illness or death they cause. Category A consists of the highest risk biological agents and Category C consists of emerging threats for disease such as influenza and H1N1. An excellent example of the CDC Bioterrorism Agent Classification system is represented in the table below from Baylor College of…

  • JD Crighton You Got This Quote
    Quotes

    You Got This!

    You Got This quote: If you find yourself wondering if you can on, remember how much you’ve accomplished. Then raise your head high and be proud. YOU GOT THIS! – JD Crighton   Source: background photo from pixabay.com

  • Amerithrax Investigation (Source: FBI)
    Bioterrorism,  CBRNE

    What The Heck is CBRNE?

    What the heck is CBRNE and what does it stand for? CBRNE is an acronym used to describe types of terrorist weapons, which stands for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives. CBRNE is often described as Weapons of Mass Destruction. Throughout our history, CBRNE weapons have been utilized by terrorists to inflict mass casualties as well as cause major disruptions to society. For example, shortly after 9-11, letters tainted with the biological agent, Anthrax (bacillus anthracis) were mailed and subsequently investigated as the Amerithrax case. Of the CBRNE weapons, biological agents pose a serious threat due to their relatively easy access, their potential for rapid spread and delayed onset of…

  • Ray Gricar Missing (Source: FBI)
    Mysteries

    District Attorney Ray Gricar: Mystery is Still Unsolved

    Ray Gricar, the Centre County district attorney who failed to prosecute Jerry Sandusky in 1998, is missing and his case is still unsolved. Conflicting theories proliferate the Internet about what happened to Gricar. Some say he intentionally disappeared. Others say he was murdered as a cover-up or that he committed suicide. Whatever the theory, authorities are no closer to discovering what actually happened to Gricar today than they were on April 15, 2005 when Gricar went missing. The last time the district attorney was seen was when he left his office and drove away in his red Mini Cooper. Around 11:30 a.m. that same day, he called his girlfriend, Patty…

  • Albert DeSalvo Source: FBI
    Mysteries

    Do you think Albert DeSalvo is the Boston Strangler?

    Boston authorities announced a break in the Boston Strangler case. New DNA evidence linking Albert DeSalvo to one of the unsolved Boston Strangler victims, Mary Sullivan, nineteen, is key in exhuming DeSalvo’s body to determine once and for all his link to the victim. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis announced new evidence that can now be linked with 99.9% certainty to the late Albert DeSalvo. Authorities concluded that DNA from semen collected in Mary Sullivan’s rape and murder produced a “familial match” with him. The Boston Police Commissioner said detectives followed relatives of DeSalvo, waiting to grab DNA for comparative purposes. That opportunity presented itself when a relative of DeSalvo…

  • Michaela Joy Garecht (Source: FBI)
    Mysteries

    Bring Michaela Garecht Home – Missing Since 1988

    On the morning of November 19, 1988, Michaela Joy Garecht was nine years old when she was abducted by an unknown male in the Rainbow Market parking lot in Hayward, California. Michaela was trying to retrieve her friend’s scooter that had been moved near the abductor’s car when she was grabbed and forced into the vehicle. At the time of the abduction, the suspect was described as being between eighteen and twenty-four years old with a slender build. He was approximately 6’0″ and 180 pounds with dirty blond, shoulder-length hair. He had a pockmarked or pimpled face and was driving an older model, full-sized four-door sedan, possibly gold or tan…

  • Character Bio and Backstory Form by JD Crighton
    Writing

    Character Bio and Backstory Form

    Seasoned authors as well as new ones know that if you are not careful you can loose track of your characters biographies and backstories when writing a novel. While there are many different ways to keep track of characters, some common ones are the use of index cards or spreedsheets (I know what you are saying…argh) or a combination of the two. This morning I was working on my manuscript for my new bio-terrorism thriller novel and I realized there has to be a better way to keep track of characters. Although one of my hobbies is designing databases (I know that’s geeky), I was not willing to take the…

  • Madeleine McCann Age Progression Image (age 9)
    Mysteries

    Is Madeleine McCann Still Alive?

    The disappearance of Madeleine McCann captured headlines in 2007 when she vanished from the family’s vacation apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve coast, nine days before her fourth birthday. Numerous sightings of Madeleine were reported over the years. To further investigate the case, Scotland Yard launched Operation Grange in 2011 at the request of the British Home Secretary. After reviewing over 30,000 documents and making numerous visits to Portugal, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood recently said they continue to believe there is a possibility Madeleine is alive. Their review of the case has identified thirty-eight persons of interest, twelve of whom are British nationals. Madeleine’s parents are not…