Ep 17 Bodies Mistaken for Halloween Decorations

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Every Halloween, someone will inevitably make the local news by going a little too far with their decorations. Police will often arrive at what some citizen believed to be the genuine scene of a horrible crime only to find that the dismembered bodies on display are dummies, and the blood covering them is ketchup. Occasionally though, an opposite scenario plays out. October is the one month of the year that people might walk past a mangled body lying on their neighbor’s lawn and think nothing of it. On this episode we’ll be discussing two instances in which this actually happened. Both Rebecca Cade and Patricia Ward were brutally murdered and left on public display. Numerous passersby saw their corpses, believed them to be Halloween decorations, and scooted past without ever considering that they were looking at the scene of a homicide.


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Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette. “Slain Woman’s Body Mistaken for Halloween Decoration.”NewsBank; Access World News – Historical and Current, 2015, https://iw-newsbank-com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/1588971F6A66B898.

Dienst, Jonathan, Greg Cergol, and Marc Santia. “Son Beheads College Professor, then Jumps to Death in Front of Train: Police.” NBC 4 New York, Oct 30, 2014, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Man-Kills-Beheads-Woman-Suicide-LIRR-Train-Farmingdale-280731252.html.

Eltman, Frank. “Police: Man Decapitates Mother, is Killed by Train.” Associated Press, Oct 29, 2014, https://apnews.com/6809784cd51a4ecba01bf5ab8951bd4a.

Ferrette, Candice a., and Nicole Fuller. “Patricia Ward, Remembered as Dedicated Educator, Struggled in Her Home Life.” Newsday, Oct 30, 2014, https://www.newsday.com/long-island/patricia-ward-remembered-as-dedicated-educator-struggled-in-her-home-life-1.9561987.

Ford, James. “Farmingdale Professor Beheaded by Son Who Later Committed Suicide: Police.” Pix 11 New York, Oct 29, 2014, https://pix11.com/2014/10/29/farmingdale-professor-beheaded-by-psychotic-son-who-later-committed-suicide-cops/.

Forest, Ashley. “Neighbors Mistake Body of Murdered Woman Hanging from Fence as Halloween Decoration.”NewsBank; Access World News – Historical and Current, 2015, https://iw-newsbank-com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/158935DFD2D9A730.

Garger, Kenneth. “Man Beheads Woman and Jumps in Front of Train
.” The New York Post, Oct 29, 2014, https://nypost.com/2014/10/29/man-possibly-beheaded-woman-jumped-in-front-of-train-cops/.

Ison, Jona. “Five Years and Still Too Few Answers in Chillicothe Missing Women Cases.”, https://www.chillicothegazette.com/story/news/2019/05/18/five-years-and-still-too-few-answers-chillicothe-missing-women-cases/3691511002/.

“Jury Clears Man in Beating Death of Woman in Southern Ohio.” Associated Press State Wire: Ohio (OH), 2017. NewsBank; Access World News – Historical and Currenthttps://iw-newsbank-com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/163CA28670368398.

“Murdered Woman’s Body Hanging on Fence Initially Mistaken for Halloween Decoration.”, Oct 16, 2015, https://people.com/crime/murdered-womans-body-hanging-on-fence-was-mistaken-for-halloween-decoration/.

Nealeigh, Sara. “Sayre Autopsy Findings Raise More Questions.”, https://www.chillicothegazette.com/story/news/local/2016/01/30/chillicothe-missing-women-tiffany-sayre-autopsy/79457028/.

Ohlheiser, Abby. “Police: Man Beheaded His Mother in Long Island, then Jumped in Front of Train
.” The Washington Post, Oct 29, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2014/10/29/reports-woman-found-beheaded-in-long-island-her-killer-may-have-jumped-in-front-of-a-train/.

Reitzel, Rick. Sister of Man Charged with Murder in Chillicothe Said She Lied to Police. , 2017a, https://www.nbc4i.com/news/sister-of-man-charged-with-murder-in-chillicothe-said-she-lied-to-police/.

“Trial Continues for Man Accused of Killing Woman with Rock.”NewsBank; Access World News – Historical and Current, 2017b, https://iw-newsbank-com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/163BE4E9DF3453B8.

Roz Zurko, Hartford Top,News Examiner. “Woman’s Dead Body Dangling on Fence Dismissed as Halloween Prop by Neighbors.”NewsBank; Access World News – Historical and Current, 2015, https://iw-newsbank-com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/158880ECD032AEC8.

Thorpe, Marcus. “Rebecca Cade’s Mother Says She is ‘Devastated by the Cruelty’ of Her Daughter’s Death.”NewsBank; Access World News – Historical and Current, 2015, https://iw-newsbank-com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/158AE0ACA2B1C278.

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