Detectives: 40 Drowning Victims May Have Been Murdered by "Smiley Face Gang!"
Published April 29, 2008 FoxNews.com.
At least 40 young men who drowned may have died by far more sinister means — serial killings at the hands of a national gang that revels in murdering young men and leaving smiley-face markings at the scene, a team of retired New York City police detectives and criminal justice investigators said Monday.
They believe the victims, including University of Minnesota student Chris Jenkins and Fordham University student Patrick McNeill, didn't accidentally drown but were actually killed by members of the so-called "Smiley Face Gang," according to KSTP-TV, which first reported the story.
A smiley face symbol was found painted at some of the drowning locations — in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, the station said. "They're telling you here that they're into evil, they're very happy as most serial killers are," retired NYPD Det. Kevin Gannon said at a press conference Monday.
"They're content with their work and what they're doing and the fact that they're thwarting the police." Jenkins' body was discovered in the Mississippi about four months after he disappeared in 2003. To police, his death looked like an accidental fall after a night of drinking. McNeill drowned in New York City in 1997, also after bar hopping.
The task force that formed to solve the crimes believes a national crime network has killed at least 40 men — mostly white college students and 20-somethings, often with high grades and impressive athletic records — in about 10 different states.
The team investigated 89 separate cases dating back a decade and said it had connected 40 of them through a variety of evidence — including matching sets of gang graffiti. It was Jenkins' death, however, that tipped off police.
His body was found encased in ice in the Mississippi, his hands folded across his chest in an odd pose that was inconsistent with a chance drowning. Gannon and another NYPD detective, Anthony Duarte — along with the other investigators — believe a gang of killers has been trolling interstates from New York to Wisconsin, staging the drownings.
The FBI and local authorities don't necessarily agree that the drownings are linked and the work of a gang, however families of the victims have long believed their loved ones' deaths were suspicious. "The people that murdered Chris have murdered before him and they've also murdered people after him, Jan Jenkins told KSTP. "Those people are still at large."
FOX News' Eric Shawn contributed to this report.
Montage of pictographs allegedly discovered at SM crime scenes!
Artist Ralph Steadman uses block drawings and calligraphy, and a mix of upper and lower case characters.
The letter "S" transcribed below the primate's left ear resembles Ralph Steadman's calligraphy in the work above.
The double "ee" in a missive allegedly recovered at one of the Smiley Murder scenes, resembles the "ee" in the IBM poster .. in each case the calligrapher pens a bar to the right, then loops upward and to the left forming the upper part of the letter, then downward and after intercepting his start point he finishes with a hook style upward flourish!
The flat bottomed uppercase letter "C" as it appears in the Smiley missive, turns up again in the words "CONTENTS" and "INTRODUCED" in the Ray Bradbury foreword, the mix of upper and lower characters is another Ralph Steadman trademark, like the disembodied eyes.
"A CHARGE TO KEEP" was allegedly written in blood, at the scene of the alleged massacre of seventeen members of the Children of the Fold religious group in Brownsville, Texas April 3, 1984.
The EA in Steadman as it appears in his signature resembles the EE in KEEP, insofar as the first character is smaller than the next, which surely identifies him as the calligrapher, as does his method of tucking a following vowel under the crossbar of a leading capital consonant, as per "To" in TO KEEP and the "Yo" in You can't.