There are so many horror movies out there that make Halloween look like a dangerous time of year, in some cases the season can be. Some of these cases involve kidnapping, murder and also accidental deaths. That’s where the Halloween themed movies get the ideas from as some films are based on true events that happened.
The most infamous cases of all time would be a young trick-or-treater called Lisa Ann French . October 31, 1973 is still remembered as one of the most heinous dates in history.
Lisa was so excited to go trick-or-treating like any child would be. But for wee Lisa it would turn out to be a bloody nightmare!
9 year old Lisa wanted to dress up as a butterfly for Halloween but her mother thought it was too cold to, so Lisa chose a hobo outfit instead. Painting on freckles to her cheeks and wearing masking tape covered jeans, floppy felt hat, and green parka, she headed out around 6pm to meet her school friend.
For Halloween season, children wanted to wait until darkness had fallen to go trick-or-treating. Lisa said goodbye to her mother and father and off she went to meet a close friend that went to school with her. The plan was for the two girls to head to Pumpkin Place, a block on East Bank Street where parents were hosting an outdoor party.
Little Lisa visited only three houses before she was spotted by a man who had taken an interest in her. This man was not a stranger to Lisa as she would spend a lot of time with him. They would be seen together talking outside in the front garden and Lisa also liked to go around to spend time playing with his baby, pushing her in a stroller down the street.
After Lisa and her friend done a wee bit of trick-or-treating, they were both supposed to meet up with another friend to then head over to Pumpkin’s Place. But the friend known as Ann misbehaved and her mammy didn’t let Ann out to enjoy her Halloween.
After trick-or-treating for a wee while, Lisa’s friend headed home leaving poor Lisa alone to carry on getting sweets to fill up her bag of treats.
One of the houses that Lisa decided to call at for more treats was Gerald Turner’s home. This was the man who had a friendly bond with young Lisa.
Lisa walked up to Turner’s home and found that the door was unlocked, so she decided to just walk in. This is what Gerald was hoping for as he was home alone because his girlfriend headed out to visit her sick mammy. Gerald was supposed to accompany Arlene on a visit to her mother. But when Arlene ( his girlfriend) showed up after the party at Pumpkin Place, she found her boyfriend in a bathrobe on the couch, claiming he was sick.
When Gerald saw young Lisa had walked into his house alone, he led her upstairs to his bedroom. That’s where he would take her clothes off and proceeded to have anal intercourse with her, where presumably, she died.
This is when Turner thought he was alone but Arlene realised that her mother wouldn’t be home for another hour so that’s when she decided to turn around and head back to see Gerald. When Arlene retuned, Gerald had to keep on making up excuses for why he was always heading upstairs so his excuse was he wasn’t feeling very well. Of course like any other person they wouldn’t think anything of it, so Arlene just shrugged her shoulders and let him get on with it.
An hour or so later, Arlene left to go and visit her mammy not realising that Lisa’s lifeless body was laying out on the bed upstairs. After she left, Turner would stuff young Lisa’s body parts into garbage bags and then head out to the outskirts of the town to dump the bags.
Lisa would not make a return home that night, so as any parent would do they went out to search for their wee girl around 10pm. After no luck, Lisa’s parents decided to call the police who then searched all night, and by the next day over 5,000 people had joined the search for little Lisa Ann French.
Helicopters and private planes searched the sky. Volunteers on horses searched the fields. Land Rovers scoured the marshes, and the police dragged the rivers and lakes. Lisa’s school photo was copied and sent to everyone and was put up in gas stations, local train stations and shops.
Two and a half days later, a local farmer known as ‘Gerald Braun’, ( no not the man who killed Lisa ) was on his tractor returning home where he would stumble across two garbage bags at 11:30am on Saturday morning. The farmer was curious to what these bags had inside them so he decided to find out but it wasn’t what he imagined.
After discovering what he found in the garbage bags he straight away called the sheriff's office and that’s when Wayne Geis went to the crime scene. The body parts were taken in to find some sort of answer to who the killer was of young Lisa. But it had taken nine months for the results to prove that Turner was the killer and that’s when he was arrested.
August 8, 1974 Gerald Turner confessed to murdering Lisa Ann French. But later told the jury during his trial that the confession was not his words, that he had not killed Lisa. “I got sick and tired of being harassed by police calling on me,” he said as to why he signed the confession.
He also confessed to being “highly sexually motivated” when Lisa Ann French entered his home on Halloween night, and he took her to his bedroom. At one point, he said he noticed the child wasn’t breathing, and attempted to revive her, but that was when his girlfriend, Arlene Penn, arrived home. He placed socks on his hands to move the body to the bathroom.
Gerald Turner was found guilty of second-degree murder, enticing a child for immoral purposes and acts of sexual perversion. He was sentenced to 38 years and began serving his prison sentence on Feb. 4, 1975.
Turner would be called the "Halloween Killer."
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