10 Notorious San Antonio Crimes 

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Madalyn Murray O'Hair

LIFE magazine dubbed her "the most hated woman in America." Since we're told time and time again that America is a Christian nation, it's easy to see why. O'Hair is the founder of American Atheists. She gained infamy for Murray v. Curlett, the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case that ended official Bible reading in public schools. In August, 1995, O'Hair disappeared from her home in Austin along with her son Jon Garth Murray and granddaughter Robin Murray O'Hair. A note with Jon signature was left on American Atheist office door that read, "The Murray O'Hair family has been called out of town on an emergency basis. We do not know how long we will be gone at the time of the writing of this memo." Jon called a San Antonio jewelry company to order $600,000 in gold coins, settling for $500,000 worth of currency. For the next month, American Athiest employees received calls from Jon and Robin and were told the three were on business in San Antonio. But in late September, the calls ceased. Rumors swirled the three fled to New Zealand to escape financial woes, but an investigation revealed the three were murdered, dismembered and mutilated by David Roland Waters and his accomplices Gary Paul Karr and Danny Fry. Days after the O'Hairs were murdered, Waters and Kerr killed Fry. Waters was former American Atheists employee who stole $54,000 from the organization. The murder was an effort to extort money from the O'Hairs. After he was convicted, Waters lead police to a Texas ranch where their bodies were buried. [Source]

Nicholas Barclay

On June 13, 1994, 13-year old Nicolas Patrick Barclay did not return home from playing basketball with his friends. Authorities officially believe he ran away because he was due in juvenile court for a sentencing hearing the following day and risked being sent to a group home. In October 1997, law enforcement officials received a call placed from a youth shelter in Linares, Spain. The caller identified himself as Barclay and claimed he escaped a child sex ring operation and was now living in the shelter. Barclay's sister flew to Spain and confirmed her brother's identity, and he was brought back to his family in the United States. He returned home to live with his family, and although his mother believed he was her son, differences in his eye color and speech aroused the suspicions of his uncle and a private investigator. It wasn't until the FBI was able to secure a court order the following February to run a fingerprint and blood test that officials confirmed that the man was not the 16-year-old missing child. A serial con artist named Frédéric Bourdin had taken the child's identity. The imposter, known as "The Cameleon," plead guilty to passport fraud and perjury in a San Antonio federal court, and was imprisoned for six years. The strange saga is the subject of the 2012 documentary The Imposter. Barclay's whereabouts are still unknown. [Source]

The Battle of the Flowers Parade Sniper

On April 27, 1979, a sniper named Ira Attebury opened fire on spectators watching the Battle of the Flowers parade at the corners of Broadway and E. Grayson Street. Attebury fired dozens of shots from his RV, killing two and injuring 51. The gunfire lasted for a half an hour before the sniper died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. KENS5 has riveting archival video of the incident. [Source]

Otty Sanchez

In 2009, Otty Sanchez claimed the devil made her dismember and mutilate her 3-week-old son. A relative found her in her home in hysterics and with a self-inflicted chest wound wailing, "I killed my baby." According to the San Antonio Express-News, police discovered the dead infant "dismembered in the bedroom ... three of his tiny toes chewed off, his face torn away, his head severed and his brains ripped out." Sanchez who had a history of severe mental illness was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the gruesome case of infanticide. She is currently housed in a state mental institution. [Source]

Florence Elder

In 1952, the naked body of Florence Elder was found floating in the San Antonio River face-up. She had been stabbed 31 times according the Associated Press. Her clothes were strewn on the bank, and there were signs of a struggle. A condom was found at the scene. Authorities suspected her husband, Mansell Elder, an alcoholic who was said to have ceased drinking after his wife's murder. Investigators were unable to build pinpoint evidence against her husband, and he was released. A man described in newspaper reports as a "laughing maniac" was also considered a suspect. He was arrested and confined to mental hospital for a series of incidents where he broke into homes and attacked women. The case of Florence Elder's murder sparked a media frenzy at the time. The case remains unsolved. [Source]

Bobbi Barker

Bobbi Barker (pictured third from the left above) was the owner of the storied country dance hall The Farmer's Daughter, which opened in 1961 off W.W. White Road. She was known as “San Antonio’s Country Queen,” and attracted a who's who of country music icons to play at the east side joint, including Bob Wills’s Texas Playboys, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and more. In 1982, Barker and her maid Frances Machado were murdered in her home during a robbery. Barker was stabbed 10 times, and Machado was shot twice in the head. The case remains unsolved, according to the Texas State Historical Association. [Source]

Texas Slave Ranch

Walter Wesley Ellebracht, his son Walter Ellebracht Jr. and ranch foreman Carlton Robert Caldwell made national news in 1984 when authorities discovered the workers on Ellbract's 3,500 Mountain Home ranch were kept as slaves. The three would lure drifters and vagrants to the property with the promise of food and a place to stay, only to imprison them as slave labor. A one-eyed drifter named Anthony Bates was tortured by the three men and other slaves after he was injured with a chainsaw. Ellebracht and the others would tie him to a tree and poke him with a cattle prod on his on the genitals, tongue, and missing eye socket. Tape recordings of his screams and pleas for mercy were discovered during the raid. Bates died, unable to withstand the prolonged torture. [Source]

Monika Rizzo

Rizzo was last seen alive on May 5, 1997, when she mysteriously left her office without explanation. Authorities received a tip the following July to check her backyard. A search revealed chopped bone fragments and pieces of flesh in the yard and in a grill. Initial tests suggested the remains were of four people. A second test identified all the remains as Rizzo. Her husband, Leonard, denied any wrongdoing. Rizzo's parents are convinced Leonard killed their daughter, but authorities have not been able to gather enough evidence against him. [Source]

Robert "Beaver" Perez

That lovely letter above was written by Robert Anthony Martinez Perez, a Mexican Mafia leader who was executed in 2007. Perez is linked to over 15 deaths, including the infamous West French Place murders, one of San Antonio's bloodiest massacres. In 1997, gang members invaded an apartment and killed five people execution-style in order to send a message about paying the "dime," the Mafia's 10 percent tax on drugs. Perez, who fought a Mafia power struggle in the 90's, was given the death penalty for 1994 shootout in which two gang members were killed. [Source]

Kethan Beschorner

Beschorner was convicted for the 2008 murder of Michelle LaGue, a popular waitress at Casbeers and The Pig Stand. At first authorities believed she was killed because she was due to be a star witness at the trial for the Taco Land murders, but it was revealed that Beschorner, her friend and former roommate, committed the act. He had slit her throat, nearly beheading her. During his arrest he told authorities demons were telling him to kill someone. The admitted Satanist had a "tattoo on his hand of a pentagram and a goat head, along with the words, 'I'm your enemy,'" according to the San Antonio Express-News. During the middle of his trial he plead guilty and opted for the maximum sentence allowed by law, expressing remorse for what he did. [Source]

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Madalyn Murray O'Hair

LIFE magazine dubbed her "the most hated woman in America." Since we're told time and time again that America is a Christian nation, it's easy to see why. O'Hair is the founder of American Atheists. She gained infamy for Murray v. Curlett, the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case that ended official Bible reading in public schools. In August, 1995, O'Hair disappeared from her home in Austin along with her son Jon Garth Murray and granddaughter Robin Murray O'Hair. A note with Jon signature was left on American Atheist office door that read, "The Murray O'Hair family has been called out of town on an emergency basis. We do not know how long we will be gone at the time of the writing of this memo." Jon called a San Antonio jewelry company to order $600,000 in gold coins, settling for $500,000 worth of currency. For the next month, American Athiest employees received calls from Jon and Robin and were told the three were on business in San Antonio. But in late September, the calls ceased. Rumors swirled the three fled to New Zealand to escape financial woes, but an investigation revealed the three were murdered, dismembered and mutilated by David Roland Waters and his accomplices Gary Paul Karr and Danny Fry. Days after the O'Hairs were murdered, Waters and Kerr killed Fry. Waters was former American Atheists employee who stole $54,000 from the organization. The murder was an effort to extort money from the O'Hairs. After he was convicted, Waters lead police to a Texas ranch where their bodies were buried. [Source]

Tags: Crime