Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Teen Who Ordered a Hit on Her Mother



 

Craig, Alaska

Most teenagers fight with their parents, and during a heated argument, some kids might even scream, “I hate you” at their mother or father, but such disagreements signal normal growing pains. Few teens order a hit on a parent, simply because the child feels the parent is too strict.

Matricide, the killing of one’s mother, is uncommon, and matricide by a girl under the age of 18 is extremely rare. Of the few cases in recent history where a girl under the age of 18 killed her mother, the offender either had been abused by her mother, or the killer exhibited extremely antisocial behavior. Despite what she told her friends, Rachelle Waterman was neither abused nor antisocial. She appeared to be a normal, high-achieving junior in high school. Rachelle sang in the school choir and played on the volleyball team. Residents of Craig, Alaska adored Rachelle’s mother, Lauri, who was active in her church, worked as a teacher’s aide and was always the first to volunteer to help with any community function. Rachelle’s father, Carl “Doc” Waterman, was a well-liked, successful real estate agent in Craig.

Not only was Lauri Waterman an unlikely murder victim, but Craig, Alaska seemed like the last place such a crime would occur. Craig, with a population of 1500 residents, is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island in Southeastern Alaska. Craig is a small, close-knit community in an idyllic setting, but like every other town on the planet, Craig is not immune to violent crime. In 1982, the worst mass murder in Alaska occurred on the FV Investor, a 58-ft. commercial fishing boat tied to the dock in Craig. The massacre still haunts the residents of Craig because no one was ever convicted of the crime, and now again in 2004, a second horrible murder impacted this small town.

Rachelle Waterman

 

 

Sources:

Fleeman, Michael. 2011. Love You Madly: The True Story of a Small-town Girl, the Young Men She Seduced, and the Murder of her Mother. St. Martin’s True Crime.

Larson, John. Teen Blogger Murder Trial. How could Rachelle Waterman’s fantasies spiral into her mom’s murder? Dateline. NBC. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/13962555/ns/dateline_nbc/t/teen-blogger-murder-trial/#.XmQ-QEBFweE

Demer, Lisa. 2011. Convicted killer testifies at Waterman trial. Anchorage Daily News. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/article/convicted-killer-testifies-waterman-trial/2011/01/27/

Kheiry, Leila. 2015. Alaska Court of Appeals Denies Rachelle Waterman Appeal. Alaska Public Media. https://www.alaskapublic.org/2015/02/06/supreme-court-denies-rachelle-waterman-appeal/

American teenage girl charged with murder of her mother. 2004. Wikinews. https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/American_teenage_girl_charged_with_murder_of_her_mother


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Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Karluk Bones. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.

 


Alaska Serial Killer Joshua Wade



Joshua Wade

In my last episode, I profiled Israel Keyes, a serial killer who moved to Anchorage in 2007. Many serial-killer experts consider Keyes to be one of the most intelligent, organized serial killers of all time. He randomly chose victims who lived thousands of miles from his home, and he stashed murder kits around the country, planning to access them at some future date. It is easy to understand why Israel Keyes wasn’t captured sooner than he was. He methodically planned his crimes and always had an exit strategy. He only began making mistakes when his murderous impulses grew too strong for him to control, and these mistakes led to his apprehension.

Around the same time Israel Keyes was active, another serial killer stalked the residents of Anchorage, but the story of Joshua Wade and his crimes is far different than that of Israel Keyes. Investigators consider Wade intelligent, but he did not stalk his victims or plan his crimes. His crimes were sloppy, happened on the spur of the moment, and usually were the result of him losing his temper. The legal system should have stopped Joshua Wade long before it did.

Della Brown

Mindy Schloss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Francis, Monte. 4-16-2016. Ice and Bone. Tracking an Alaskan Serial Killer. WildBlue Press.

Joshua Wade – I Am Not a Serial Killer – Confesses to 5 Murders. https://wickedwe.com/joshua-wade-killer-confesses-murders/

Jerzy Shedlock, Jill Burke. 6-20-2014. Authorities: Joshua Wade admits to 3 additional killings. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/article/authorities-joshua-wade-admits-3-additional-killings-0/2014/06/20/

U.S. Attorney’s Office. 6-20-2014. Convicted Killer Joshua Wade Claims Responsibility for Additional Murders. https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/anchorage/news/press-releases/convicted-killer-joshua-wade-claims-responsibilty-for-additional-murders

Modern, possibly still active serial killers, part 6: Joshua Wade. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/serialkillers/comments/8rjssa/modern_possibly_still_active_serial_killers_part/

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Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Karluk Bones. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.


The Coast Guard Murders



 

Main Coast Guard Base
Kodiak, Alaska

The double homicide I describe in this episode occurred on a secure Coast Guard base near the town of Kodiak, Alaska on Kodiak Island, approximately 60 miles from where I live. This murder happened toward the end of the most brutal winter anyone on Kodiak can remember, and when the police did not quickly apprehend the killer, tempers flared, and citizens carried firearms wherever they went. Our mail plane pilot, reporting the news to us on his weekly stop, compared the residents in town to a powder keg ready to blow. When it was all over, many in law enforcement and the judicial system praised the investigation, but at the time it seemed as if no one was doing anything to look for and apprehend the killer.

On April 12th, 2012, meteorologists predicted the temperature on Kodiak would soar to 50 degrees, and if it did, the residents of the island would enjoy the warmest day since October. Spirits lifted in Kodiak with this promise of spring, but the upbeat moods didn’t last long. Around 8:30 that morning, rumors spread through town indicating someone had been murdered at the Coast Guard base. When the rumors became more specific, and the whispers suggested the shooting happened at the rigger shop, the families of the small crew of men who worked there waited in dread. Soon, those rumors were confirmed. Not only had one man been killed, but two men were dead.

James Wells, left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Two killed in shooting at Coast Guard communications station. Kodiak Daily Mirror, April 13, 2012.

Coast Guard killer thought still at large. Kodiak Daily Mirror, April 16, 2012.

Shooting investigators focus on Bell’s Flats home. Kodiak Daily Mirror, April 18, 2012.

FBI failing to reach Kodiak residents. Kodiak Daily Mirror, April 27, 2012.

FBI asks Alaskans’ help as it seeks Coast Guard murder weapon. Kodiak Daily Mirror, May 16, 2012.

Kodiak man arrested for Coast Guard double murder. Kodiak Daily Mirror. February 15, 2013.

Man arrested in 2012 Alaska Coast Guard base deaths
https://komonews.com/news/nation-world/man-arrested-in-2012-alaska-coast-guard-base-deaths-11-21-2015

Coast Guard double murder trial to begin Monday. Kodiak Daily Mirror, March 28, 2014.

Investigators testify in Coast Guard murder case. Kodiak Daily Mirror, April 11, 2014.

Car expert testifies in Coast Guard double homicide. Kodiak Daily Mirror. April 16, 2014.

Investigators testify in Kodiak double murder case
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/10/investigators-testify-in-kodiak-double-murder-case/

Kodiak quiet before verdict. Kodiak Daily Mirror, April 25, 2014.

Wells guilty of murdering two at Coast Guard. Kodiak Daily Mirror. April 25, 2014.

Update: Wells gets four consecutive life terms sentence. Kodiak Daily Mirror, July 8, 2014

Ninth Circuit Orders New Trial for Man Accused of Coast Guard Killings

Ninth Circuit Orders New Trial for Man Accused of Coast Guard Killings

FBI: Coast Guard murder suspect resented co-workers
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/19/coast-guard-murder-suspect-resented-co-workers/1931741/

Wells convicted, again, of Kodiak Coast Guard double murder

Wells convicted, again, of Kodiak Coast Guard double murder

Wells guilty of double murder http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com/news/article_c40f8b96-eabb-11e9-aefb-5fe63cfb932e.html

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Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Karluk Bones. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.

 

 


The Murder of Sophie Sergie



In the early morning hours of Monday, April 26, 1993, someone brutally raped, stabbed and shot Sophie Sergie in a college dorm on the University of Alaska campus in Fairbanks. Several hours later, a janitor discovered Sophie’s body stuffed in a bathtub in a second-floor bathroom in the dorm. No one saw or heard anything. Sophie’s case soon went cold and remained cold for the next 18 years. Would her murder ever be solved?

Sources include:

25 Years After Sophie Sergie Was Found Dead in a UAF Bathtub, Maine Man Charged with Murder: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2019/02/16/25-years-after-a-woman-was-found-dead-in-a-uaf-bathtub-alaska-state-troopers-make-an-arrest/

Death in Bartlett Hall: http://www.uafjournalism.com/extreme/index.php/sophie-sergie-murder/46-investigatorrevisitssophie-sergiemurderrder-of-sophiesophie-sergiemurder

26 Years After Woman Found Dead in College Dorm Bathtub, Police Arrest Suspected Killer: https://pressfrom.info/us/news/crime/-246837-26-years-after-woman-found-dead-in-college-dorm-bathtub-police-arrest-suspected-killer.html

Budget Cuts Would Eliminate Alaska Cold Case Unit: https://www.adn.com/crime-justice/article/ast-cold-case-investigation-unit-be-cut-current-state-budget/2015/04/09/

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Robin Barefield is the author of three Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, and The Fisherman’s Daughter.


The Investor Murders: Alaska’s Worst Unsolved Mass Murder



What happened on the F.V. Investor on a September night in 1982 in the sleepy village of Craig, Alaska? By the time investigators extinguished the flames on the burning vessel, the remains of eight people had been reduced to little more than bone fragments. Who committed this violent crime, and what was the motive?

Further Reading:

PEOPLE Explains: The Mystery of Who Massacred 8, Including a Family, on Fishing Boat in Alaska

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Robin Barefield is the author of three Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, and The Fisherman’s Daughter.