Archive for the ‘Guest columns’ Category
Beverly Jarosz was the epitome of an innocent, all-American schoolgirl in a more innocent, all-American time. She lived in a tidy suburb with her parents and one sister. Her mother worked in an office, her father was co-owner of a small manufacturing firm. Her little sister took horseback riding lessons. Beverly went to a private high school and dated a strait-laced college boy. Everyone in her life was exactly who they seemed to be. There were no secrets.
But just after Christmas, 1964, Beverly was stabbed over forty times, in her own home, in the middle of the day.
The murder was never solved.
It was a Monday, December 28. Beverly’s parents were at their jobs, but Beverly and her sister Carol were still out of school for the Christmas holidays. They had puttered around the house in the morning, then walked to the store and then over their grandmother’s house for lunch. Carol had stayed at her grandmother’s, but Beverly caught a ride home from her grandmother’s neighbor. A girlfriend, Barb, was going to come over about 12:30 and they were going to go visit a third friend.
About 1 pm, Beverly called her mother at work and chatted for a few minutes, saying that she had to go and change before Barb arrived. That was the last conversation Beverly had with anyone except the killer.
Barb’s mother dropped her off, late, at 1:20. The storm door was locked but the inner door stood open. Barb knocked and rang the bell, but Beverly didn’t answer. Barb assumed she couldn’t hear the bell over the radio, which blared classical music in the living room. Barb waited for a while on the porch but eventually gave up and headed home. The third friend called later to see why they hadn’t showed, and from there they contacted Bev’s grandmother, who called Bev’s father. Ted Jarosz rushed home and, at 4:10 in the afternoon, found both doors unlocked and his daughter, dead, in her second-floor bedroom.
Her clothing had been yanked upward and downwards to expose her torso. She had been stabbed in the back and slashed in the neck, but death came from the clothesline knotted around her neck.
The investigation was thorough. The police in Garfield Heights, Ohio, interviewed every boy Beverly had dated or spent time with, the neighbor who gave her a ride, the boy who bagged groceries at the local store. Of course they looked at both her straight-laced boyfriend, Roger McNamara, and her bad-boy ex, Dan Schulte; they both had alibis but not perfect ones, but they both passed lie detector tests. The investigation continued, rewards were offered—but sufficient evidence never accumulated against any one person.
Several factors in the case stand out. One, the killer didn’t just walk into the house. Both Beverly and her sister Carol were mildly fanatical about keeping doors and windows locked (plus it was December, not a time for open windows in Cleveland). In a time when the populace was largely more trusting than it is today, Beverly would not let anyone she didn’t know into the house, not even the meter reader. So it seems she opened the door to her killer.
The other is the mysterious present she had received the previous summer. A gift box from Higbee’s department store had been tucked inside the back door with “To Bev” written on it. Inside were a silver ring and bracelet. Far from being charmed by the idea of secret admirer, the gift made Beverly nervous. The sender has never been identified, the ring and bracelet nice but not distinctive enough to trace.
The clothesline, of course, remained around Beverly’s neck but the knife or whatever was used to stab her was never found. It might have been a brass letter opener that she kept next to her bed, but if not, then the killer brought the weapon with him and took it away again afterward.
It seems clear that the murder grew out of a sense of unrequited love; he imagined a relationship with Beverly and turned violent when she did not cooperate. But that hardly narrows the field in the life of a popular family girl—neighbors, schoolmates, relatives, parents co-workers, someone she once passed in the park. It could have been literally anyone, and she would not have known until it was too late. Such are the dangers of life when you’re pretty and young.
Anyone who might know anything about the Beverly Jarosz murder can call the Garfield Heights police department at 216-475-3056.
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Lisa Black spent the five happiest years of her life in a morgue. As a forensic scientist in the Cleveland coroner’s office she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence, as well as crime scenes. Now she’s a certified latent print examiner and CSI for the Cape Coral Police Department. Her books have been translated into six languages. Evidence of Murder reached the NYT mass market bestseller’s list.
See Lisa’s books at: www.lisa-black.com
Blunt Impact will be available April 1, featuring forensic scientist Theresa MacLean and a series of murders surrounding a skyscraper under construction in downtown Cleveland. The first to die is young, sexy concrete worker Samantha, thrown from the 23rd floor. The only witness is her 11 year old daughter Anna, nicknamed Ghost. Ghost will stop at nothing to find her mother’s killer, and Theresa will stop at nothing to keep Ghost safe.
Also, Kindle owners can find a bargain in my new book The Prague Project, written under the name Beth Cheylan. A death in West Virginia sends FBI agent Ellie Gardner and NYPD Counterterrorism lieutenant Michael Stewart on a chase across Europe as they track stolen nukes and lost Nazi gold, hoping to avert the death of millions of people.
My novel, Experiment in Murder, the 26th book in the Margaret Truman Capital Crime series, was published in November 2012. Some reviewers have compared it to The Manchurian Candidate because it deals with the same subject as that chilling book and movie—mind control and the manipulation of certain vulnerable people to kill. While indisputably intriguing, it nevertheless prompts the question: Is what occurs in each book scientifically valid?
I assure you that it is.
My involvement with mind control and the use of hypnosis began in 1973 with my friend, Long John Nebel, then the king of late-night talk radio in NYC. In 1972 he’d married Candy Jones, a famed WWII pinup and one of America’s most well-known models. I was speaking with her at the wedding reception when a strange thing happened. The woman I was talking to suddenly became a different person. Her voice lowered, and her expression changed. I was taken aback by the experience but went on to other conversations and forgot about it.
Long John Nebel
A few months later a distraught Nebel called and asked me to come to their Manhattan apartment. According to Nebel, what I had experienced at the reception was taking place with regularity. Candy kept shifting into that other personality. Nebel told me that her alter-ego even had a name: Arlene Grant. John, who was fascinated with hypnosis and devoted some of his shows to it, began taping Candy when these unsettling shifts in personality occurred. He played me some of the tapes. What I heard was provocative, to say the least. Candy would suddenly morph from being sweet and loving into a hard, sarcastic other woman, challenging everything John said, and at times reliving past portions of her life from before she met him. There were also moments on the tapes when those previous episodes in her life hinted at government involvement, particularly the CIA and two physicians known to have had connections with that agency’s well-documented experimental programs using drugs and hypnosis to manipulate people.
That meeting in John Nebel’s apartment launched me on a year-long quest into the world of medical hypnosis and the phenomena of multiple personality, and how they can be used for both good and evil.
Over the course of the next year I listened to hundreds of hours of tapes John had recorded of Candy when she fell into an involuntary trance state. I attended myriad medical conferences around the country learning everything I could about the power of hypnosis and how it could, when skillfully practiced on the right subject, cause the subject to bend to the hypnotist’s will, including becoming an assassin. It was an eye-opening journey that resulted in the book The Control of Candy Jones (later reissued as The CIA’s Control of Candy Jones). And it is the science of mind control that is at the heart of Experiment in Murder.
Mind control is not science fiction. It has been clinically proved by top psychiatrists and psychologists over many decades. Dr. Herbert Spiegel, arguably the world’s leading expert in the use of hypnosis in medicine, was a close friend of John Nebel and became mine as well. His groundbreaking work in measuring each individual’s ability to be hypnotized—which he called the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP)—identifies those who are most easily led into the trance state. The HIP scale runs from one to five, with five representing those rare individuals who not only are easily hypnotized and manipulated, but who enter into involuntary trance states many times a day. Spiegel used the names of mythical Greek figures for labeling the three basic types of personalities and their relative capacity to enter hypnotic trance. Dionysians are most easily hypnotizable and tend to respond more to their emotions when making a decision. Apollonians are least easy to hypnotize; they apply more cognition to decision-making than Dionysians. And Odysseans fall into the middle range, which includes most of us. There are very few “fives” in the population. They’re almost freakish in their capacity to enter trance. Candy Jones was one of these “freaks.” She was the perfect subject for anyone wishing to prove that it’s possible to use hypnosis to create the perfect assassin, someone who pulls the trigger while in a trance and has no memory of having done so, or of who implanted the instruction to kill.
Candy Jones was one of many unsuspecting Americans used as guinea pigs in the CIA’s infamous series of mind control experiments going back to the “Cold War” days when our government feared that the Soviet Union was in the forefront of creating assassins through the use of drugs and hypnosis. The experimentation on her was conducted by two physicians she’d gotten to know while using her fame in the 1940s to sell war bonds. She wore her patriotism on her sleeve, and it wasn’t difficult to entice her into what seemed like innocuous sessions with these doctors over the course of many years. The goal in Candy’s case wasn’t to turn her into an assassin. She was the subject of the theory that with the right subject, and with skilled hypnotists, someone—in this case Candy Jones—could be trained to become the perfect courier, carrying sensitive messages without knowing that they were, and programmed to reveal those messages only when given the right password. Should the enemy intercept such a courier it would be impossible to force her to reveal the messages she carried, no matter how severe the interrogation and/or torture.
This manipulation of Candy resulted in a hellish scenario for John Nebel and his wife. I was a witness to much of it. The non-fiction book I wrote about her experience, The Control of Candy Jones, was published to great controversy. In Experiment in Murder I wrapped the science into a thriller with fictitious characters. But the message is the same. There are individuals who are born with the capacity to easily enter trance, and who are vulnerable to manipulation. This susceptibility is hard-wired in them at birth. It is also common for those on the high end of Herb Spiegel’s HIP scale to have multiple personalities.
In clinical use hypnosis can be a powerful and positive tool to help overcome addictions, allay fears, and in general benefit patients. But in the wrong hands, access to the easily hypnotized can result in advancing evil intentions.
20th Century Fox purchased the film rights as a vehicle for Jane Fonda. The studio commissioned three screenplays from top screenwriters. The film was never made. I attempted on numerous occasions to buy back the rights, including paying the cost of those screenplays. A dozen other producers have tried to purchase the rights from Fox to no avail. If I were paranoid, I’d consider nefarious reasons for the film never having been made.
The science of mind control, as I described it in Experiment in Murder, might have been used with Sirhan Sirhan, RFK’s assassin. Do I have probative evidence of this? No. But there are a lot of tangential bits of information that I uncovered during my years of research that make it a possibility worthy of further exploration. And, of course, James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King’s killer, was known to have been hypnotized in Los Angeles two months prior to murdering the civil rights leader in Memphis. Did hypnosis and mind control play a role in both those assassinations? Possibly. The salient point is that the science exists that makes such scenarios possible and has been the subject of multiple government-funded experiments since the 1950s.
Mind control is real. Very real. It’s too complicated a subject to explain in this short blog, but is analyzed in-depth in The Control of Candy Jones, and in Experiment in Murder. Given the right subject, and a skilled manipulator, anything is possible—including creating the perfect courier or assassin.
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Donald Bain is the author/ghostwriter of over 115 books, including the best-selling “Murder, She Wrote” series of 39 mysteries, and the latest edition in Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes series, Experiment in Murder. His 1960’s airline romp, Coffee, Tea or Me? sold more 5-million copies worldwide, and was reissued by Penguin as a “comedy classic.” His autobiography, Murder HE Wrote: A Successful Writer’s Life, was published in 2006 (Purdue University Press). Don is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, the National Academy of Television Arts & Science, and the Authors Guild. His wife, Renee Paley-Bain, collaborates with him on the “Murder, She Wrote” books.