Nightmare Next Door Premiered ‘The Unwelcome Wagon’ on Investigation Discovery: Michael Severance and Wendi Davidson (September 9, 2016)


Preview: When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

Air Force SSgt. Michael Severance was poisoned with animal medications by his veterinarian wife Wendi Davidson on January 15, 2005 in San Angelo, Texas. SSgt. Severance enlisted with the United States Air Force in 1998 and was a flying crew chief stationed at Dyess Air Force Base. He met Wendi at a local club and they hit it off right away. Shortly after meeting, she got pregnant with his child. Michael wanted to do the right thing so he eventually married Wendi and moved in with her in a small apartment attached to her new Veterinarian Clinic. He commuted 90 miles one way to the base where he worked. Michael was reported missing to the local police on January 16th after his wife Wendi informed Michael’s parents that she wouldn’t make the flight to Maine with him for a visit with their child because he was nowhere to be found. She cancelled the flights for all three of them. Michael’s parents also called the base to report him missing but Air Force leadership informed them that their hands were tied until he was considered Absent Without Leave (AWOL). After Michael’s leave was up 8 days later and he didn’t return to duty, he was officially considered AWOL. This prompted the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) to join forces with the local civilian authorities. Wendi led all the investigators to believe that Mike had deserted the military. She claimed that he didn’t want to go back to Iraq and was thinking about heading to Canada. Michael, Wendi, and their child were planning a trip to visit his parents in Maine because Mike was scheduled to deploy to the Middle East after returning from the trip.

The San Angelo police department investigators visited Wendi at her veterinarian clinic on January 17, 2005. Wendi told them Mike had been drinking lately and was out all the time, but investigators observed that all of his personal belongings were still at their shared apartment. On January 18th, Wendi filed divorce papers and attempted to get a restraining order against Mike. Civilian investigators were suspicious of Wendi and believed that she was cold and calculating. They gave her a polygraph test but the results came back inconclusive. Once Mike’s leave was up and he was considered officially AWOL, AFOSI joined the San Angelo police department investigation. AFOSI doubted that Michael was a deserter and would just up and leave. In the meantime, the San Angelo police department put a GPS tracking device on Wendi’s car. They learned that on February 7th, Wendi traveled to a remote area owned by a friend of hers. Because investigators considered Wendi a person of interest, they traveled to the location where she had been and found a large retaining pond on the property. In March 2005, investigators were able to look at the search history on Wendi’s computer and learned that Wendi had done a search for ‘decomposition of bodies’ and ‘how to pass a lie detector test’. Investigator’s confronted Wendi but didn’t buy her story so they started turning up the heat. Wendi appeared to dismiss the investigators and then after the interview left the vet clinic in a hurry. She traveled back to her friend’s remote property but this time the police were there to make sure she wasn’t able to disturb a potential crime scene while they worked on obtaining a search warrant.

In the meantime, Wendi confided in her brother Marshall. She told him that she came home and found Mike dead. She said she was scared so she disposed of his body. But her brother didn’t buy her story either and reported her to the police. On March 6th, law enforcement searched the pond on her friend’s property and found Michael Severance’s body anchored down with cinder blocks. When they searched Wendi’s home and business, they found a knife, rope, drug log book, and bottles of medication. Wendi was arrested for the murder of Mike Severance and after 32 days behind bars, her parents raised the $500,000 bond to get her released. Investigators learned that they had only been married for four months when she murdered him. Wendi gave birth to her first child in October 2001. In December 2003, she met Michael and eventually got pregnant but Michael wasn’t ready to settle down or get married quite yet. And Wendi’s parents apparently didn’t like Mike and labeled him lazy and disrespectful; they did not want Wendi to marry him. In September 2004, Wendi gave birth to their son and they were quietly married twelve days later at the courthouse. Two weeks later, Wendi purchased a veterinarian clinic and Mike moved in with her, despite the commute 90 miles one way to work at the base. Shortly after moving in, Mike was sent to Airman Leadership School in Wichita Falls and then he got orders to go to the Middle East. Mike planned a vacation to Maine in January 2005 so his parents could meet his new wife and child, their grandchild, before he was deployed overseas. After Mike returned from Airman Leadership School shortly before their trip to Maine, he observed that Wendi was cold towards him and her mother made it clear that she didn’t like Mike and she didn’t want Wendi going to Maine.

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Michael Severance, US Air Force

The coroner was not able to determine if there was physical trauma to Mike’s body due to decomposition. But an autopsy revealed that Michael overdosed on drugs usually found in an animal clinic. They found Phenobarbital and B-Euthanasia in his system and he was stabbed 41 times after he was dead. Investigators learned from Wendi’s google searches that Mike was most likely stabbed post mortem so his body wouldn’t float to the surface in the pond. Wendi was arrested again on April 15th for evidence tampering after police learned she falsified log records at the animal clinic so she could justify taking the medication she used to kill her husband. Her bail was now $100,000 per tampering. In the meantime, her family arranged for her to have a privately administered polygraph. On May 24th, a grand jury indicted Wendi for murder and shortly after she was released on bond again. While awaiting trial, on August 20th, Wendi was arrested for child endangerment. One of her children got lost while looking for her; she was out at a night club. She spent another night in jail. In preparation for trial, prosecutors theorized that Wendi concocted her homicidal plan on January 14th. She asked Mike out to dinner on January 15th and then afterwards they went to a bar where they drank and danced. Upon return to their residence, prosecutors believe that Wendi mixed Phenobarbital in his drink. After he was unconscious, she plunged a syringe full of B-Euthanasia into his chest. Then she had to get rid of his body so she drove him out to the pond on her friend’s property and used fishing line to tie cinder blocks to his body. From google searches she learned that gases will make the body float so she went back to the retainer pond and stabbed him 41 times to release the gases; she attached more weight to his body.

Wendi Mae Davidson was looking at 9 to 99 years in prison so instead of going to trial, she plead ‘no contest’ which also left things open for appeal. Her lawyers argued the validity of the search warrants and believed that the GPS tracker was placed in an illegal manner; the resulting evidence was fruit of the poisonous tree. Wendi Davidson was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. She also received an additional 10 years for evidence tampering. Investigators and prosecutors were somewhat baffled with the motive for this crime and because Wendi plead ‘no contest’, we may never know the real reason she murdered Mike. Authorities theorized that maybe Wendi was motivated to kill because Mike Severance wanted to leave her. They theorized that Wendi’s mother didn’t like Mike so instead of divorcing him, she killed him. They also theorized that Wendi and her family wanted custody of the child with no incident. It’s important to note that Michael’s family believes Wendi also wanted the $500,000 life insurance payout. This was an unusual case because Wendi never had any known predisposition or tendency for violence but Mike’s family believes that her mother specifically had something to do with Wendi committing the murder. The question remains why didn’t she just divorce him instead of killing him?

Wendi may have made this decision because control and financial motive is a common motive for murder. It was noted that Wendi met Mike at a bar and shortly thereafter became pregnant; he may have been targeted for exploitation. It was noted that Wendi was in debt after purchasing a new animal clinic providing the motive for financial gain. It was noted that the crime was premeditated as evidenced by her plan to steal the medications from her animal clinic used to kill Mike. It was noted that Mike was murdered only four months after marrying Wendi; was he a means to an end? It was noted that Wendi’s parents didn’t like Mike and their beliefs may have been the fuel to light the fire; she may have been manipulated because she didn’t want to defy or disappoint them, afraid of the consequences. It was noted by Mike’s family that Wendi was the recipient of the life insurance policy. It was noted that Wendi attempted to manipulate the investigation and make Mike out to be someone he was not; even going so far as to get a restraining order a couple days after she killed him. Wendi Davidson does appear to be cold and calculating. Wendi Davidson appears to be a sociopath; but she exercised her right to remain silent in another attempt to abuse the process, she knows how the system works. As a result, she is eligible for parole in April 2019; she will be 41 years old.

Source: Nightmare Next Door ‘The Unwelcome Wagon’

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.


When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

Related Links:
Autopsy Finds Airman’s Body Was Stabbed 41 Times
Airman found dead in Texas pond laid to rest in Maine
Vet indicted for allegedly drugging husband to death
Veterinarian indicted on murder charge
Lee family hires PR firm to help in custody fight
Lee Man Eager for Trial in Texas
Murder suspect charged again
Davidson Murder Trial Delayed in Texas Over DNA Evidence
Wife accepts deal in Texas murder case
Wife accepts plea in Texas murder case; Davidson gets 25 years in death of Michael Severance of Lee
Veterinarian sentenced to 25 years for husband’s murder
DVM gets 25 years for husband’s murder
Police Blotter: Murderer nabbed via tracking, Web search
Wendi Mae Davidson v State of Texas (2008)
Dad of Slain Mainer Angered by Insurance Payout
Texas mail chain massacre
She’s Filing Her Nails While They’re Dragging The Lake: Court Of Appeals Of Texas Finds That Local Authorities Didn’t Piggy-Back On Federal Investigation
True-crime writer explores 2005 murder of Lee native
Legally Speaking: Murder, She Googled
‘We just try to enjoy him when we can’: Family of slain Lee native welcomes home his son
Nightmare Next Door – Veterinarian Killed Texas Air Force Hubby, Dumped Body in Stock Pond on Investigation Discovery
A Poisoned Passion by Diane Fanning
One More Reason Why by Diane Fanning
A Poisoned Passion: A Young Mother, her War Hero Husband, and the Marriage that Ended in Murder by Diane Fanning (Amazon)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Drugged by Wife; Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (January 15, 2005)
Newlywed Wife Reports Airman Husband Missing | Investigation Discovery
The Unwelcome Wagon, S10 E2 | Nightmare Next Door | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Unwelcome Wagon, S10 E2 | Nightmare Next Door | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Maine Fallen Heroes

Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Fatally Drugged by Wife in Texas; Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (January 15, 2005)

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SSgt Michael Severance, US Air Force

Air Force SSgt. Michael Severance was poisoned with animal medications by his veterinarian wife Wendi Davidson on January 15, 2005 in San Angelo, Texas. SSgt. Severance enlisted with the United States Air Force in 1998 and was a flying crew chief stationed at Dyess Air Force Base. He met Wendi at a local club and they hit it off right away. Shortly after meeting, she got pregnant with his child. Michael wanted to do the right thing so he eventually married Wendi and moved in with her in a small apartment attached to her new Veterinarian Clinic. He commuted 90 miles one way to the base where he worked. Michael was reported missing to the local police on January 16th after his wife Wendi informed Michael’s parents that she wouldn’t make the flight to Maine with him for a visit with their child because he was nowhere to be found. She cancelled the flights for all three of them. Michael’s parents also called the base to report him missing but Air Force leadership informed them that their hands were tied until he was considered Absent Without Leave (AWOL). After Michael’s leave was up 8 days later and he didn’t return to duty, he was officially considered AWOL. This prompted the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) to join forces with the local civilian authorities. Wendi led all the investigators to believe that Mike had deserted the military. She claimed that he didn’t want to go back to Iraq and was thinking about heading to Canada. Michael, Wendi, and their child were planning a trip to visit his parents in Maine because Mike was scheduled to deploy to the Middle East after returning from the trip.

The San Angelo police department investigators visited Wendi at her veterinarian clinic on January 17, 2005. Wendi told them Mike had been drinking lately and was out all the time, but investigators observed that all of his personal belongings were still at their shared apartment. On January 18th, Wendi filed divorce papers and attempted to get a restraining order against Mike. Civilian investigators were suspicious of Wendi and believed that she was cold and calculating. They gave her a polygraph test but the results came back inconclusive. Once Mike’s leave was up and he was considered officially AWOL, AFOSI joined the San Angelo police department investigation. AFOSI doubted that Michael was a deserter and would just up and leave. In the meantime, the San Angelo police department put a GPS tracking device on Wendi’s car. They learned that on February 7th, Wendi traveled to a remote area owned by a friend of hers. Because investigators considered Wendi a person of interest, they traveled to the location where she had been and found a large retaining pond on the property. In March 2005, investigators were able to look at the search history on Wendi’s computer and learned that Wendi had done a search for ‘decomposition of bodies’ and ‘how to pass a lie detector test’. Investigator’s confronted Wendi but didn’t buy her story so they started turning up the heat. Wendi appeared to dismiss the investigators and then after the interview left the vet clinic in a hurry. She traveled back to her friend’s remote property but this time the police were there to make sure she wasn’t able to disturb a potential crime scene while they worked on obtaining a search warrant.

In the meantime, Wendi confided in her brother Marshall. She told him that she came home and found Mike dead. She said she was scared so she disposed of his body. But her brother didn’t buy her story either and reported her to the police. On March 6th, law enforcement searched the pond on her friend’s property and found Michael Severance’s body anchored down with cinder blocks. When they searched Wendi’s home and business, they found a knife, rope, drug log book, and bottles of medication. Wendi was arrested for the murder of Mike Severance and after 32 days behind bars, her parents raised the $500,000 bond to get her released. Investigators learned that they had only been married for four months when she murdered him. Wendi gave birth to her first child in October 2001. In December 2003, she met Michael and eventually got pregnant but Michael wasn’t ready to settle down or get married quite yet. And Wendi’s parents apparently didn’t like Mike and labeled him lazy and disrespectful; they did not want Wendi to marry him. In September 2004, Wendi gave birth to their son and they were quietly married twelve days later at the courthouse. Two weeks later, Wendi purchased a veterinarian clinic and Mike moved in with her, despite the commute 90 miles one way to work at the base. Shortly after moving in, Mike was sent to Airman Leadership School in Wichita Falls and then he got orders to go to the Middle East. Mike planned a vacation to Maine in January 2005 so his parents could meet his new wife and child, their grandchild, before he was deployed overseas. After Mike returned from Airman Leadership School shortly before their trip to Maine, he observed that Wendi was cold towards him and her mother made it clear that she didn’t like Mike and she didn’t want Wendi going to Maine.

The coroner was not able to determine if there was physical trauma to Mike’s body due to decomposition. But an autopsy revealed that Michael overdosed on drugs usually found in an animal clinic. They found Phenobarbital and B-Euthanasia in his system and he was stabbed 41 times after he was dead. Investigators learned from Wendi’s google searches that Mike was most likely stabbed post mortem so his body wouldn’t float to the surface in the pond. Wendi was arrested again on April 15th for evidence tampering after police learned she falsified log records at the animal clinic so she could justify taking the medication she used to kill her husband. Her bail was now $100,000 per tampering. In the meantime, her family arranged for her to have a privately administered polygraph. On May 24th, a grand jury indicted Wendi for murder and shortly after she was released on bond again. While awaiting trial, on August 20th, Wendi was arrested for child endangerment. One of her children got lost while looking for her; she was out at a night club. She spent another night in jail. In preparation for trial, prosecutors theorized that Wendi concocted her homicidal plan on January 14th. She asked Mike out to dinner on January 15th and then afterwards they went to a bar where they drank and danced. Upon return to their residence, prosecutors believe that Wendi mixed Phenobarbital in his drink. After he was unconscious, she plunged a syringe full of B-Euthanasia into his chest. Then she had to get rid of his body so she drove him out to the pond on her friend’s property and used fishing line to tie cinder blocks to his body. From google searches she learned that gases will make the body float so she went back to the retainer pond and stabbed him 41 times to release the gases; she attached more weight to his body.

Wendi Mae Davidson was looking at 9 to 99 years in prison so instead of going to trial, she plead ‘no contest’ which also left things open for appeal. Her lawyers argued the validity of the search warrants and believed that the GPS tracker was placed in an illegal manner; the resulting evidence was fruit of the poisonous tree. Wendi Davidson was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. She also received an additional 10 years for evidence tampering. Investigators and prosecutors were somewhat baffled with the motive for this crime and because Wendi plead ‘no contest’, we may never know the real reason she murdered Mike. Authorities theorized that maybe Wendi was motivated to kill because Mike Severance wanted to leave her. They theorized that Wendi’s mother didn’t like Mike so instead of divorcing him, she killed him. They also theorized that Wendi and her family wanted custody of the child with no incident. It’s important to note that Michael’s family believes Wendi also wanted the $500,000 life insurance payout. This was an unusual case because Wendi never had any known predisposition or tendency for violence but Mike’s family believes that her mother specifically had something to do with Wendi committing the murder. The question remains why didn’t she just divorce him instead of killing him?

Wendi may have made this decision because control and financial motive is a common motive for murder. It was noted that Wendi met Mike at a bar and shortly thereafter became pregnant; he may have been targeted for exploitation. It was noted that Wendi was in debt after purchasing a new animal clinic providing the motive for financial gain. It was noted that the crime was premeditated as evidenced by her plan to steal the medications from her animal clinic used to kill Mike. It was noted that Mike was murdered only four months after marrying Wendi; was he a means to an end? It was noted that Wendi’s parents didn’t like Mike and their beliefs may have been the fuel to light the fire; she may have been manipulated because she didn’t want to defy or disappoint them, afraid of the consequences. It was noted by Mike’s family that Wendi was the recipient of the life insurance policy. It was noted that Wendi attempted to manipulate the investigation and make Mike out to be someone he was not; even going so far as to get a restraining order a couple days after she killed him. Wendi Davidson does appear to be cold and calculating. Wendi Davidson appears to be a sociopath; but she exercised her right to remain silent in another attempt to abuse the process, she knows how the system works. As a result, she is eligible for parole in April 2019; she will be 41 years old.

Source: Nightmare Next Door ‘The Unwelcome Wagon’


Preview: When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

Related Links:
Autopsy Finds Airman’s Body Was Stabbed 41 Times
Airman found dead in Texas pond laid to rest in Maine
Vet indicted for allegedly drugging husband to death
Veterinarian indicted on murder charge
Lee family hires PR firm to help in custody fight
Lee Man Eager for Trial in Texas
Murder suspect charged again
Davidson Murder Trial Delayed in Texas Over DNA Evidence
Wife accepts deal in Texas murder case
Wife accepts plea in Texas murder case; Davidson gets 25 years in death of Michael Severance of Lee
Veterinarian sentenced to 25 years for husband’s murder
DVM gets 25 years for husband’s murder
Police Blotter: Murderer nabbed via tracking, Web search
Wendi Mae Davidson v State of Texas (2008)
Dad of Slain Mainer Angered by Insurance Payout
Texas mail chain massacre
She’s Filing Her Nails While They’re Dragging The Lake: Court Of Appeals Of Texas Finds That Local Authorities Didn’t Piggy-Back On Federal Investigation
True-crime writer explores 2005 murder of Lee native
Legally Speaking: Murder, She Googled
‘We just try to enjoy him when we can’: Family of slain Lee native welcomes home his son
Nightmare Next Door – Veterinarian Killed Texas Air Force Hubby, Dumped Body in Stock Pond on Investigation Discovery
A Poisoned Passion by Diane Fanning
One More Reason Why by Diane Fanning
A Poisoned Passion: A Young Mother, her War Hero Husband, and the Marriage that Ended in Murder
The Venomous Veterinarian: The Murder of Michael Severance (YouTube)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Newlywed Wife Reports Airman Husband Missing | Investigation Discovery
The Unwelcome Wagon, S10 E2 | Nightmare Next Door | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Maine Fallen Heroes


When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Dishonorably Discharged Marine & Fugitive David Bieber Guilty of Murdering Police Officer in Great Britain, Charged with 2 Murder for Hire Schemes in Florida (2004)

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David Bieber, USMC Veteran

On February 9, 1995, Markus Mueller, 29, was found shot to death in his Bonita Springs, Florida home. Markus answered his door and was shot three times in the doorway of his own home. His girlfriend Danielle found his body and informed authorities that she thought fellow bodybuilder David Bieber shot her boyfriend. David Bieber, 29, and Markus Mueller were both involved in an illegal steroid smuggling business; they made a lot of money. Apparently Bieber wanted to take over the business and he wanted Mueller’s girlfriend too. Danielle wanted to be with Mueller but he was married to a woman in Germany who he was not going to divorce. Danielle married Bieber on February 3, 1995 just a few days before the murder, and immediately began questioning her decision. She wanted to go back to Mueller but Bieber wasn’t having it. David made several statements to friends that he wanted Markus dead. David was brought into the police station for questioning but denied being involved in the murder. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department still believed that David was involved because he had the motive but they did not have the evidence to charge him.

In August 1995, a random shooting occurred involving Michelle Stanforth. She was shot at four times by an identified gunman but all the bullets missed her. Police learned that Michelle dated David Bieber in 1993 and that one day David showed up to her work and threatened Michelle and told her if she left him, she would be sorry. Michelle broke up with him and filed a restraining order. Police also learned that David had a history of violence against women dating back to 1989; he dated a sixteen year old that he later sexually violated. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department continued to investigate the murder of Markus Mueller and the attempted murder of Michelle Stanforth. They began by learning more about David Bieber. What they learned is that David appeared to be the all American boy until he began using steroids in his teens. After this David became more aggressive and violent. He joined the US Marine Corps to help him channel some of his aggression. Instead he rebelled against authority and ultimately found himself AWOL, facing charges, and dishonorably discharged. The aggressive ex-Marine remained a prime suspect in the murder and attempted murder cases but police still didn’t have enough evidence to charge him.

In September 1995, detectives learned from an informant that David Snipes was involved in a murder-for-hire scheme. David Snipes admitted that he was hired for $1,250 to kill Michelle Stanforth and hired for $1,000 to kill Markus Mueller. Snipes informed authorities that John Saladino hired him to kill them. When John Saladino was arrested, police learned that he was roommates with David Bieber. It didn’t take long before Saladino admitted that Bieber hired him to kill Michelle Stanforth and Markus Mueller. Saladino also admitted that Bieber put a hit on the lead homicide detective and his two sons. Police obtained a warrant to apprehend Bieber on first degree murder charges but instead he vanished. David Bieber became the focus of a nationwide manhunt. Both John Saladino and David Snipes were locked up for their role in the murder for hire schemes. Saladino was found guilty of second degree murder and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. David Snipes was convicted of first degree murder and was sentenced to death by the electric chair but on appeal, it was commuted down to life in prison. David Bieber went missing for the next eight years. Police would later learn that Bieber altered his appearance, put on weight, and changed his name to Nathan Coleman.

In 1996, David was able to obtain a tourist Visa for England. He worked a few jobs and then met another woman who he married in March 1997 right before his six month tourist Visa expired. David found himself divorced again in May 2002 because of all his suspicious activity. David doesn’t resurface until he is confronted by two Leeds, England police officers on December 26, 2003. He was found sitting in front of a known suspicious gambling and betting location. The police ran his plates and placed David in the backseat of the cruiser while they awaited the information. At this point, they didn’t know David was a fugitive and had a concealed 9 mm; but they were concerned about his behavior and called for back up. The officers learned David’s car was stolen and were going to arrest him when he pulled out the gun. He shot and wounded one officer who was able to get away and shot Officer Ian Broadhurst in the shoulder and the abdomen initially. After back up responded, he shot and wounded another officer and then executed Officer Broadhurst, who was on the ground begging for his life. David Bieber was able to escape again.

The police were able to match fingerprints in the vehicle to David Bieber and that’s when they learned he was a fugitive on the run. David’s ex-wife in England was able to help the cops make the connection between David and his new alias Nathan Coleman; she was even able to give them an address. David had fled but he left behind evidence in his apartment and his storage locker that connected him to the crimes. On December 31, 2003, a SWAT team descended on a hotel after getting a tip that he had checked in. Initially, an armed and dangerous David refused to come out of his hotel room and things were tense, but police were able to apprehend him without a single shot fired. On December 2, 2004, David Bieber was found guilty and given three life sentences without the possibility of parole. But on appeal, Bieber’s sentence was reduced. Regardless, he is not eligible for parole until 2041; he will be 75 years old. In the event David is ever paroled from Great Britain, the State of Florida stands ready to extradite David Bieber and charge him with the murder of Markus Mueller and the attempted murder of Michelle Stanforth.

Related Links:
Wikipedia: David Bieber
Pc: ‘Please don’t shoot me’
The hunt for a policeman’s killer
Steroids changed obsessed body builder
Cop killer David Bieber branded ‘bestial and an escape risk’ by top judge
Bieber guilty of PC’s murder
Police murderer jailed for life
Police killer David Bieber wins appeal against ‘life means life’ sentence
Rage on the Run: An American Bodybuilder Becomes An International Fugitive (48 Hours)
Suspect in Bonita murder has life sentence reduced in England
Killer who shot dead police officer granted £12,000 legal aid to fight for a cushier life in prison
Pc killer David Bieber loses bid to sue authorities
In the line of duty: Ian Broadhurst’s murder, a decade on
Cop killer David Bieber ‘Britain’s most dangerous’
Cop killer’s reduced security request rejected
Convicted 1995 Lee County hitman wants life sentence reduced
£277,000 legal aid for police killer… which even helped him whine about his ‘uncomfy cell’: Widow brands decision to give him public money ‘absolutely disgraceful’
Leeds, England Police Officer Ian Broadhurst Gunned Down by Dishonorably Discharged Marine and Fugitive David Bieber During Routine Traffic Stop (2003)
Killer on the Run: David Bieber (Documentary)
David Bieber, The Bodybuilder Serial Killer (YouTube)

Marine Corps Veteran Charles Ng Sentenced to Death for Role in Murdering 11 Californians with Fellow Veteran Leonard Lake; Lake Died By Suicide at Arrest (June 30, 1999)

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Charles Ng and Leonard Lake

Oxygen premiered It Takes a Killer ‘Partners in Evil” and this episode highlighted the sadistic crimes committed by Marine veterans Charles Ng and Leonard Lake. In the early 1980s, the San Francisco bay area was under siege as more than twelve people vanished without a trace. Police would eventually learn that Ng and Lake were responsible for murdering them and so much more. What police uncovered during their investigation would prove invaluable in the prosecutor’s decision to pursue the death penalty. Charles Ng and Leonard Lake were psychopaths. 

In December 1982, Army veteran Donald Lake, 32, was living with his mother in San Francisco, California. At their surprise, his brother Leonard Lake stopped by on a road trip up north and asked Donald to tag along. Donald was described as a very nice, gentle man but Leonard treated Donald terribly when they were growing up and even referred to him as a leech in conversations with his ex-wife Claralyn Balazs. Donald is never seen again and his mother Gloria is concerned so she reports him missing. Leonard Lake is nowhere to be found but he resurfaced on New Years Day in 1983 to rent a room in a house in Golden Gate Park.

Four months later, Lake moved in with his buddy from his green beret days, Charles Gunnar of Morgan Hill. They had a lot in common as they both valued survival skills and the weaponry world. On May 22, 1983, Lake invited Gunnar to go on a road trip to Vegas or Tahoe for some much needed rest and relaxation after his divorce. Charles Gunnar decided to go in an effort to cope with his tough times; he left his two daughter’s with a babysitter. A couple days later, Charles Lake returned alone in Gunnar’s van and told the babysitter that Charles ran off with a woman. Charles Gunnar was never seen again.

On July 11, 1984, Donald Giulietti, 36, a radio personality from San Francisco, California was spending time in his apartment expecting a visitor. Donald was an openly gay man who lived with a man named Richard Carrazza. Giulietti placed a personal ad in a low key newspaper offering to give oral sex to straight men. That night a stranger knocked on the door and Giulietti assumed it was someone taking him up on his offer. As soon as Donald opens door, the man whips out pistol and shoots him in the head at close range. Carrazza runs from the back room into the study and finds Giulietti on the floor. Carrazza is immediately shot in the chest and left for dead. The shooter fled and Carrazza survived the attack. Richard Carazza called 911 and when the police questioned him, he was able to give a description of the shooter.

Richard Carrazza described being shot by a small Chinese man wearing prescription glasses. Police searched for an Asian suspect but came up empty. What no one knows is that the killer was already searching the classifieds for his next victim. On July 24, 1984 in San Francisco, California, Harvey Dubs, 29, was home with his wife Deborah, 33, and their 16 month old son Sean. Harvey worked for a printing company but on the side, he videotaped special events and rented out his equipment. There was an individual who responded to the ad and came to his home. The family was never seen again. The following morning, a neighbor went to check on them and found keys in the door and dirty dishes in the sink but no sign of the Dubs family.

When the police did house to house canvassing and questioned the neighbors, they reported seeing a small Asian man leaving the property. The suspect was seen carrying a large duffel bag and a large flight bag both stuffed full and he tossed the bags into the trunk of a car that was waiting. The Asian man gets into the front passenger seat of the car with the burly man with a beard and they speed away. Some witnesses in the neighborhood get a good description of the Asian man. No one could give a good description of the bearded man but an eye witness was able to draw a description of the Asian man.

In San Francisco, California on October 31, 1984, entrepreneur Paul Cosner, 39, was selling his 1980 Honda Prelude which he had recently advertised in the local newspaper. A burly bearded man took the car for a test drive and a couple days later called Paul to tell him that he would like to purchase the Honda from him. On November 2, 1984, Paul drove the car to meet the potential buyer and he was never seen again. When Cosner’s sister Sharon didn’t hear from him for 24 hours, she filed a missing person’s reports and a missing vehicle report. Sharon was relentless and maintained heavy pressure on the police but they really had no clues or suspects at this point.

In San Francisco on January 18, 1985, Cliff Peranteau, 24, was at a local bar tossing back a few drinks with a co-worker. Cliff worked at a moving company and he shared with friends that he was going to work on Saturday. Cliff never showed up for the job but apparently was seen partying on Sunday after a 49er’s super bowl victory. He’s last seen by a bartender after winning a $400 bet. The bartender said he appeared to be going off to celebrate with an Asian friend. He was never seen again.

Investigators would learn that Peranteau’s Asian friend was his colleague Charles Ng who had been at the moving company for about four months. Charles was described as an odd character that Cliff Peranteau normally tried to avoid. Charles Ng wasn’t well-liked at the moving company because he had poor boundaries and said inappropriate things to others. Two weeks after Cliff’s disappearance, his boss received a short typed letter apparently from Cliff informing him that he had a new job. The writer also requested that Cliff’s last check be sent to an address in northeastern California near Wilseyville. The note wasn’t that far fetched until another moving company employee, Jeff Gerald, 25, went missing on February 23, 1985. Jeff got an offer to work with Charles Ng on a small moving job on the side. Jeff went to do the job and this was the last time he was seen.

In San Francisco on April 12, 1985, Kathleen Allen, 18, and her boyfriend Michael Carroll, 23, were spending time in a motel room where they were temporarily living. At 10 pm at night, Michael tells Kathleen that he has to do something and would be back in the morning. Michael never returned. A few days later Kathleen received a horrifying phone call at work. The caller told her that her boyfriend Michael may have been involved in a shooting. She immediately told her boss that she had to leave. She was last seen meeting a bearded man in the parking lot of the Safeway where she worked. Kathleen got into the car and was never seen again.

In April 1985, four more people vanished without a trace. Robert Scott Stapley, 26, lived in San Francisco but frequently took road trips to Wilseyville, California to spend time with friends. Scott Stapley stayed with Lonnie Bond and his live-in girlfriend Brenda O’Connor, and their 18 month old son. Lonnie and Brenda loved living in their cabin in the foothills of the Sierra-Nevada mountains. The only thing they don’t like was their neighbor. He was a burly, bearded man who they felt was extremely obnoxious, rude, and demented. This neighbor constantly fired weapons on his property and Brenda felt really uncomfortable with him because he would not stop asking her to pose naked for him. On April 19, 1985, Scott Stapley was present when Lonnie decided to confront his neighbor. Lonnie decided to deal with the problem once and for all, and none of them were ever seen again.

In San Francisco, California on June 2, 1985, two men entered a lumber yard to buy some building supplies. A burly bearded man and an Asian man with glasses decided they wanted a vice but were not going to pay for it. The Asian man swiped the $75 vice, exited the store, and placed the stolen vice into the trunk of a Honda Prelude in the parking lot. But the Asian man didn’t realize that an off duty police officer spotted him with the stolen merchandise and called in his description. The off-duty police officer approached the Asian man but he took off and disappeared. The officer searched the vehicle and found the stolen vice and a back pack, which contained a pistol with a silencer in it. Just then a stocky bearded man exited the lumber yard and approached the Honda Prelude.

The burly bearded man told the police officer that his name was Scott Stapler (the name of the man who vanished two months prior). He told the officer not to worry about the vice because he paid for it. The officer reminded him there was a gun with a silencer in the trunk of the car and placed the burly, bearded man under arrest. He was taken to the police station for questioning. Back at the station, investigators learned that everything the man was telling them was a lie. A background check on the Honda Prelude revealed that it was registered to Paul Cosner, who went missing months before. Then they learned the license plates belonged to Lonnie Bond, another person who went missing. As the officer confronted the man with this new evidence, the big burly bearded man began to cry and admitted his real name was Leonard Lake. And that his accomplice was Charles Ng.

At one point during the investigation, Lake asked the detectives for a glass of water and a pen and paper to write a letter to his ex-wife. Police uncuffed him expecting a full confession. After he got done writing the letter to his ex-wife, he reached up under his collar where he sewed a cyanide pill into the fabric and quickly shoved it down his throat. He fell onto the floor gagging and seizing. He was rushed to the hospital where he slipped into a coma and died a few days later. In June 1985, Leonard Lake suddenly killed himself with a cyanide pill taking his secrets to the grave with him. But he did leave behind a clue when he gave up the name of his sidekick Charles Ng who was now on the run. Leonard Lake had been on the run since April 1982 when the FBI raided his place on a stolen weapons tip.

Police wanted to know who Leonard Lake was. They learned he was born in San Francisco, California and was bright yet sadistic. He developed an infinity for pornography early on in his life. He apparently took nude photos of his sisters when they were young and used them to extort sexual favors. He joined the US Marine Corps in 1965 at age 19 and served two terms in Vietnam. In Da Nang in 1970, Leonard had a complete mental breakdown and was sent back to the United States. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward for two months and then discharged from the Marines upon his release. Lake spent the next eight years in a hippie commune. In the late summer of 1980, Leonard met his wife Claralyn Balazs and they married in 1981. They both had a love of making pornographic videos of themselves and enjoyed kinky sex.

After Leonard’s death in 1985, Claralyn was the critical piece to help police break the case wide open. Police investigated Leonard Lake and did a complete forensic search of the Honda Prelude in his possession. They found blood spatter in the car, bullet holes in the headliner, IDs of missing persons, and an electric bill with Claralyn’s address. On June 3, 1985, police manage to track down Claralyn. Claralyn told detectives that she and Leonard divorced in November 1982 but maintained a close relationship. She also mentioned to the police that her family owned property in Wilseyville but no one had been living there recently. Police were curious and Claralyn agreed to take them to the property on June 4, 1985. The police found what they could only describe as a compound for killing.

The police found the drivers license of Mike Carroll who disappeared with his girlfriend Kathleen Allen in 1985. They also found possessions of others who were missing including the Dubs family. Police found videotapes of women being tortured, signs of men being killed, and outside in the yard, police came across a tool shed that acted as a false front. There they found a large bunker where tortures had occurred and where Leonard Lake kept his sex slaves. Detectives unearthed Leonard Lake’s hide out and learned that he had this planned since he was a teenager. Lake read a book at age 17 called The Collector which was about a man who had a sex slave named Miranda. Lake became obsessed with a clear plan called Operation Miranda. He wanted to enslave young girls and these fantasies became a reality when Charles Ng entered his life.

The police found overwhelming evidence of Lake and Ng’s barbarism inside in the bunker. There were videotapes of Leonard Lake building the bunker. One tape labeled the M Ladies showed Ng and Lake raping, torturing, and abusing a number of women. Law enforcement didn’t know who any of the M Ladies were until weeks later when they discovered a mass grave on the Wilseyville property. Police found approximately 45 pounds of human remains scattered about the yard. They found many of the human remains of the missing people; they had been killed, burned, tortured, and dismembered. Among the remains, investigators found the IDs of Brenda O’Connor and Kathleen Allen.

Police recognized Kathleen Allen from the M Ladies videotape. Kathleen was selected by Lake as the perfect M Lady and was kept prisoner in his bunker. He treated her as a complete slave in every way. He forced her to dress up, have sex on demand, and pose for him. It took investigators weeks to go through the crime scene and as they do they discover more and more bodies. Then on July 8, 1985 they find two males stacked on top of each other in a make shift grave. They were identified as Lonnie Bond and Scott Stapley. Investigators knew Charles Ng played an integral part in all this and they wanted to find him.

In June and July 1985, investigators learned that Marine veterans Charles Ng and Leonard Lake murdered multiple people and dug them in a mass grave at the property in Wilseyville, California. At this point in the investigation, Leonard Lake had committed suicide and Charles Ng was on the run. Charles Ng was born in Hong Kong. His father was a strict disciplinarian who literally beat him with a cane. Ng didn’t really show any interest in school and was expelled from a number of them. He was described as anti-social and had a history of fire setting and stealing. Ng eventually ended up at Notre Dame University on a student visa but dropped out after getting in a hit and run accident.

Charles Ng joined the US Marine Corps in October 1979 as a means to pay restitution for his hit and run crime in Indiana. Ng told recruiters he was born in Indiana and nobody bothered to check his citizenship status. Ng was trained as a gunner in the Marine Corps and immersed himself in martial arts. Ng was obsessed with violence and boasted that he was born to fight in hand-to-hand combat. Ng said he would kill anyone that was foolish enough to fight him. In October 1981, Ng was court martialed for stealing weaponry from an armory and went Absent without Leave (AWOL).

Ng found out that Leonard Lake, another Marine, was managing a hotel in northern California. He flew to California and in December 1981 moved in with Leonard and his wife Claralyn. Lake was fourteen years his senior and acted as a father figure. They both shared a mutual love of weapons and sexual deviance. Lake realized that Ng was the perfect person to help him make his sexual fantasies become reality.

On July 6, 1985 in Calgary, Canada, Charles Ng attempted to steal food from a department store and got caught. He shot a security guard in the hand and was captured immediately. Charles Ng was charged with attempted murder and theft, and was jailed in the Canadian system. On December 18, 1985, Charles Ng went to court and was found not guilty on the attempted murder charge but guilty of assault and robbery. He was entenced to 4.5 years in an Edmonton prison. US officials petitioned to have him extradited back to America to stand trial. His deportation was held up in court until 1991.

Charles Ng is finally extradited to California to face charges for the horrific crimes he and Lake committed there. Ng didn’t actually go to trial for another seven years. In Santa Ana, California on September 14, 1988, Charles Ng’s murder trial proceeded in the Orange County Superior Court. Prosecutors argued that Ng and Lake stalked and targeted their victims, stole their money, then tortured and killed them. The trial lasts for 8 months. Some of the most compelling evidence came from dozens of cartoons drawn by Ng. The cartoons depicted women being tortured and abused and people being burnt. But the M Ladies videotapes were the prosecutions most disturbing evidence.

The M Ladies videotapes showed women who were tortured and sexually abused. Ng took the stand in his own defense and blamed everything on Lake. He denies any knowledge of the murders. He eventually admitted to being involved in the abduction of some of the women, and some of the rapes and tortures, but did not admit to killing anyone. In late February 1999, Charles Ng was convicted on 11 of 12 counts of murder. Four months later, he was sentenced to death. Investigators agree that both Leonard Lake and Charles Ng were both psychopaths but Leonard was the more dominant and goal oriented of the two. Ng went along with Lake’s plan because it allowed him to carry out his torturous and sexually deviant behaviors.

Source: Partners in Evil, It Takes a Killer, Oxygen

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: When an off-duty police officer in San Francisco happens upon a minor theft at a lumberyard one Sunday afternoon, he unwittingly jumpstarts an investigation into one of California’s deadliest, most depraved serial killers: Leonard Lake and Charles Ng. -Dungeon of Dread, Pandora’s Box: Unleashing Evil (S1,E1)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

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Two more murder victims identified
CALIFORNIA ALBUM: Time Is Slow to Erase Stain of Grisly Killings : People in the Mother Lode town of Wilseyville would like to forget Charles Ng, Leonard Lake and a series of gruesome murders. But the outside world won’t let them.
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Journey Into Evil | Serial Killers Leonard Lake & Charles Ng Documentary
The Boneyard: Serial Killers Leonard Lake & Charles Ng (Documentary)
It Takes a Killer ‘Partners in Evil’ (Oxygen)
Killing spree by dual killers is put to an end
Dungeon of Dread | Pandora’s Box: Unleashing Evil | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)

On This Day in History: A Killing Spree by Dual Killers Leonard Lake & Charles Ng is Put to an End in California (June 2, 1985)

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Charles Ng and Leonard Lake

Leonard Lake is arrested near San Francisco, California, ending one of the rare cases of serial killers working together. Lake and Charles Ng were responsible for a series of particularly brutal crimes against young women in California and the Pacific Northwest during the mid-1980s. Read more from On This Day in History here.

Oxygen premiered It Takes a Killer ‘Partners in Evil” and this episode highlighted the sadistic crimes committed by Marine veterans Charles Ng and Leonard Lake. In the early 1980s, the San Francisco bay area was under siege as more than twelve people vanished without a trace. Police would eventually learn that Ng and Lake were responsible for murdering them and so much more. What police uncovered during their investigation would prove invaluable in the prosecutor’s decision to pursue the death penalty. Charles Ng and Leonard Lake were psychopaths. 

In December 1982, Army veteran Donald Lake, 32, was living with his mother in San Francisco, California. At their surprise, his brother Leonard Lake stopped by on a road trip up north and asked Donald to tag along. Donald was described as a very nice, gentle man but Leonard treated Donald terribly when they were growing up and even referred to him as a leech in conversations with his ex-wife Claralyn Balazs. Donald is never seen again and his mother Gloria is concerned so she reports him missing. Leonard Lake is nowhere to be found but he resurfaced on New Years Day in 1983 to rent a room in a house in Golden Gate Park.

Four months later, Lake moved in with his buddy from his green beret days, Charles Gunnar of Morgan Hill. They had a lot in common as they both valued survival skills and the weaponry world. On May 22, 1983, Lake invited Gunnar to go on a road trip to Vegas or Tahoe for some much needed rest and relaxation after his divorce. Charles Gunnar decided to go in an effort to cope with his tough times; he left his two daughter’s with a babysitter. A couple days later, Charles Lake returned alone in Gunnar’s van and told the babysitter that Charles ran off with a woman. Charles Gunnar was never seen again.

On July 11, 1984, Donald Giulietti, 36, a radio personality from San Francisco, California was spending time in his apartment expecting a visitor. Donald was an openly gay man who lived with a man named Richard Carrazza. Giulietti placed a personal ad in a low key newspaper offering to give oral sex to straight men. That night a stranger knocked on the door and Giulietti assumed it was someone taking him up on his offer. As soon as Donald opens door, the man whips out pistol and shoots him in the head at close range. Carrazza runs from the back room into the study and finds Giulietti on the floor. Carrazza is immediately shot in the chest and left for dead. The shooter fled and Carrazza survived the attack. Richard Carazza called 911 and when the police questioned him, he was able to give a description of the shooter.

Richard Carrazza described being shot by a small Chinese man wearing prescription glasses. Police searched for an Asian suspect but came up empty. What no one knows is that the killer was already searching the classifieds for his next victim. On July 24, 1984 in San Francisco, California, Harvey Dubs, 29, was home with his wife Deborah, 33, and their 16 month old son Sean. Harvey worked for a printing company but on the side, he videotaped special events and rented out his equipment. There was an individual who responded to the ad and came to his home. The family was never seen again. The following morning, a neighbor went to check on them and found keys in the door and dirty dishes in the sink but no sign of the Dubs family.

When the police did house to house canvassing and questioned the neighbors, they reported seeing a small Asian man leaving the property. The suspect was seen carrying a large duffel bag and a large flight bag both stuffed full and he tossed the bags into the trunk of a car that was waiting. The Asian man gets into the front passenger seat of the car with the burly man with a beard and they speed away. Some witnesses in the neighborhood get a good description of the Asian man. No one could give a good description of the bearded man but an eye witness was able to draw a description of the Asian man.

In San Francisco, California on October 31, 1984, entrepreneur Paul Cosner, 39, was selling his 1980 Honda Prelude which he had recently advertised in the local newspaper. A burly bearded man took the car for a test drive and a couple days later called Paul to tell him that he would like to purchase the Honda from him. On November 2, 1984, Paul drove the car to meet the potential buyer and he was never seen again. When Cosner’s sister Sharon didn’t hear from him for 24 hours, she filed a missing person’s reports and a missing vehicle report. Sharon was relentless and maintained heavy pressure on the police but they really had no clues or suspects at this point.

In San Francisco on January 18, 1985, Cliff Peranteau, 24, was at a local bar tossing back a few drinks with a co-worker. Cliff worked at a moving company and he shared with friends that he was going to work on Saturday. Cliff never showed up for the job but apparently was seen partying on Sunday after a 49er’s super bowl victory. He’s last seen by a bartender after winning a $400 bet. The bartender said he appeared to be going off to celebrate with an Asian friend. He was never seen again.

Investigators would learn that Peranteau’s Asian friend was his colleague Charles Ng who had been at the moving company for about four months. Charles was described as an odd character that Cliff Peranteau normally tried to avoid. Charles Ng wasn’t well-liked at the moving company because he had poor boundaries and said inappropriate things to others. Two weeks after Cliff’s disappearance, his boss received a short typed letter apparently from Cliff informing him that he had a new job. The writer also requested that Cliff’s last check be sent to an address in northeastern California near Wilseyville. The note wasn’t that far fetched until another moving company employee, Jeff Gerald, 25, went missing on February 23, 1985. Jeff got an offer to work with Charles Ng on a small moving job on the side. Jeff went to do the job and this was the last time he was seen.

In San Francisco on April 12, 1985, Kathleen Allen, 18, and her boyfriend Michael Carroll, 23, were spending time in a motel room where they were temporarily living. At 10 pm at night, Michael tells Kathleen that he has to do something and would be back in the morning. Michael never returned. A few days later Kathleen received a horrifying phone call at work. The caller told her that her boyfriend Michael may have been involved in a shooting. She immediately told her boss that she had to leave. She was last seen meeting a bearded man in the parking lot of the Safeway where she worked. Kathleen got into the car and was never seen again.

In April 1985, four more people vanished without a trace. Robert Scott Stapley, 26, lived in San Francisco but frequently took road trips to Wilseyville, California to spend time with friends. Scott Stapley stayed with Lonnie Bond and his live-in girlfriend Brenda O’Connor, and their 18 month old son. Lonnie and Brenda loved living in their cabin in the foothills of the Sierra-Nevada mountains. The only thing they don’t like was their neighbor. He was a burly, bearded man who they felt was extremely obnoxious, rude, and demented. This neighbor constantly fired weapons on his property and Brenda felt really uncomfortable with him because he would not stop asking her to pose naked for him. On April 19, 1985, Scott Stapley was present when Lonnie decided to confront his neighbor. Lonnie decided to deal with the problem once and for all, and none of them were ever seen again.

In San Francisco, California on June 2, 1985, two men entered a lumber yard to buy some building supplies. A burly bearded man and an Asian man with glasses decided they wanted a vice but were not going to pay for it. The Asian man swiped the $75 vice, exited the store, and placed the stolen vice into the trunk of a Honda Prelude in the parking lot. But the Asian man didn’t realize that an off duty police officer spotted him with the stolen merchandise and called in his description. The off-duty police officer approached the Asian man but he took off and disappeared. The officer searched the vehicle and found the stolen vice and a back pack, which contained a pistol with a silencer in it. Just then a stocky bearded man exited the lumber yard and approached the Honda Prelude.

The burly bearded man told the police officer that his name was Scott Stapler (the name of the man who vanished two months prior). He told the officer not to worry about the vice because he paid for it. The officer reminded him there was a gun with a silencer in the trunk of the car and placed the burly, bearded man under arrest. He was taken to the police station for questioning. Back at the station, investigators learned that everything the man was telling them was a lie. A background check on the Honda Prelude revealed that it was registered to Paul Cosner, who went missing months before. Then they learned the license plates belonged to Lonnie Bond, another person who went missing. As the officer confronted the man with this new evidence, the big burly bearded man began to cry and admitted his real name was Leonard Lake. And that his accomplice was Charles Ng.

At one point during the investigation, Lake asked the detectives for a glass of water and a pen and paper to write a letter to his ex-wife. Police uncuffed him expecting a full confession. After he got done writing the letter to his ex-wife, he reached up under his collar where he sewed a cyanide pill into the fabric and quickly shoved it down his throat. He fell onto the floor gagging and seizing. He was rushed to the hospital where he slipped into a coma and died a few days later. In June 1985, Leonard Lake suddenly killed himself with a cyanide pill taking his secrets to the grave with him. But he did leave behind a clue when he gave up the name of his sidekick Charles Ng who was now on the run. Leonard Lake had been on the run since April 1982 when the FBI raided his place on a stolen weapons tip.

Police wanted to know who Leonard Lake was. They learned he was born in San Francisco, California and was bright yet sadistic. He developed an infinity for pornography early on in his life. He apparently took nude photos of his sisters when they were young and used them to extort sexual favors. He joined the US Marine Corps in 1965 at age 19 and served two terms in Vietnam. In Da Nang in 1970, Leonard had a complete mental breakdown and was sent back to the United States. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward for two months and then discharged from the Marines upon his release. Lake spent the next eight years in a hippie commune. In the late summer of 1980, Leonard met his wife Claralyn Balazs and they married in 1981. They both had a love of making pornographic videos of themselves and enjoyed kinky sex.

After Leonard’s death in 1985, Claralyn was the critical piece to help police break the case wide open. Police investigated Leonard Lake and did a complete forensic search of the Honda Prelude in his possession. They found blood spatter in the car, bullet holes in the headliner, IDs of missing persons, and an electric bill with Claralyn’s address. On June 3, 1985, police manage to track down Claralyn. Claralyn told detectives that she and Leonard divorced in November 1982 but maintained a close relationship. She also mentioned to the police that her family owned property in Wilseyville but no one had been living there recently. Police were curious and Claralyn agreed to take them to the property on June 4, 1985. The police found what they could only describe as a compound for killing.

The police found the drivers license of Mike Carroll who disappeared with his girlfriend Kathleen Allen in 1985. They also found possessions of others who were missing including the Dubs family. Police found videotapes of women being tortured, signs of men being killed, and outside in the yard, police came across a tool shed that acted as a false front. There they found a large bunker where tortures had occurred and where Leonard Lake kept his sex slaves. Detectives unearthed Leonard Lake’s hide out and learned that he had this planned since he was a teenager. Lake read a book at age 17 called The Collector which was about a man who had a sex slave named Miranda. Lake became obsessed with a clear plan called Operation Miranda. He wanted to enslave young girls and these fantasies became a reality when Charles Ng entered his life.

The police found overwhelming evidence of Lake and Ng’s barbarism inside in the bunker. There were videotapes of Leonard Lake building the bunker. One tape labeled the M Ladies showed Ng and Lake raping, torturing, and abusing a number of women. Law enforcement didn’t know who any of the M Ladies were until weeks later when they discovered a mass grave on the Wilseyville property. Police found approximately 45 pounds of human remains scattered about the yard. They found many of the human remains of the missing people; they had been killed, burned, tortured, and dismembered. Among the remains, investigators found the IDs of Brenda O’Connor and Kathleen Allen.

Police recognized Kathleen Allen from the M Ladies videotape. Kathleen was selected by Lake as the perfect M Lady and was kept prisoner in his bunker. He treated her as a complete slave in every way. He forced her to dress up, have sex on demand, and pose for him. It took investigators weeks to go through the crime scene and as they do they discover more and more bodies. Then on July 8, 1985 they find two males stacked on top of each other in a make shift grave. They were identified as Lonnie Bond and Scott Stapley. Investigators knew Charles Ng played an integral part in all this and they wanted to find him.

In June and July 1985, investigators learned that Marine veterans Charles Ng and Leonard Lake murdered multiple people and dug them in a mass grave at the property in Wilseyville, California. At this point in the investigation, Leonard Lake had committed suicide and Charles Ng was on the run. Charles Ng was born in Hong Kong. His father was a strict disciplinarian who literally beat him with a cane. Ng didn’t really show any interest in school and was expelled from a number of them. He was described as anti-social and had a history of fire setting and stealing. Ng eventually ended up at Notre Dame University on a student visa but dropped out after getting in a hit and run accident.

Charles Ng joined the US Marine Corps in October 1979 as a means to pay restitution for his hit and run crime in Indiana. Ng told recruiters he was born in Indiana and nobody bothered to check his citizenship status. Ng was trained as a gunner in the Marine Corps and immersed himself in martial arts. Ng was obsessed with violence and boasted that he was born to fight in hand-to-hand combat. Ng said he would kill anyone that was foolish enough to fight him. In October 1981, Ng was court martialed for stealing weaponry from an armory and went Absent without Leave (AWOL).

Ng found out that Leonard Lake, another Marine, was managing a hotel in northern California. He flew to California and in December 1981 moved in with Leonard and his wife Claralyn. Lake was fourteen years his senior and acted as a father figure. They both shared a mutual love of weapons and sexual deviance. Lake realized that Ng was the perfect person to help him make his sexual fantasies become reality.

On July 6, 1985 in Calgary, Canada, Charles Ng attempted to steal food from a department store and got caught. He shot a security guard in the hand and was captured immediately. Charles Ng was charged with attempted murder and theft, and was jailed in the Canadian system. On December 18, 1985, Charles Ng went to court and was found not guilty on the attempted murder charge but guilty of assault and robbery. He was entenced to 4.5 years in an Edmonton prison. US officials petitioned to have him extradited back to America to stand trial. His deportation was held up in court until 1991.

Charles Ng is finally extradited to California to face charges for the horrific crimes he and Lake committed there. Ng didn’t actually go to trial for another seven years. In Santa Ana, California on September 14, 1988, Charles Ng’s murder trial proceeded in the Orange County Superior Court. Prosecutors argued that Ng and Lake stalked and targeted their victims, stole their money, then tortured and killed them. The trial lasts for 8 months. Some of the most compelling evidence came from dozens of cartoons drawn by Ng. The cartoons depicted women being tortured and abused and people being burnt. But the M Ladies videotapes were the prosecutions most disturbing evidence.

The M Ladies videotapes showed women who were tortured and sexually abused. Ng took the stand in his own defense and blamed everything on Lake. He denies any knowledge of the murders. He eventually admitted to being involved in the abduction of some of the women, and some of the rapes and tortures, but did not admit to killing anyone. In late February 1999, Charles Ng was convicted on 11 of 12 counts of murder. Four months later, he was sentenced to death. Investigators agree that both Leonard Lake and Charles Ng were both psychopaths but Leonard was the more dominant and goal oriented of the two. Ng went along with Lake’s plan because it allowed him to carry out his torturous and sexually deviant behaviors.

Source: Partners in Evil, It Takes a Killer, Oxygen

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: When an off-duty police officer in San Francisco happens upon a minor theft at a lumberyard one Sunday afternoon, he unwittingly jumpstarts an investigation into one of California’s deadliest, most depraved serial killers: Leonard Lake and Charles Ng. -Dungeon of Dread, Pandora’s Box: Unleashing Evil (S1,E1)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Charles Ng and Leonard Lake
Police Link 19 Missing, 3 Dead to Lake and Ng
Home Searched in Probe of Killings : Three Agencies Seize Items From Ex-Wife of Suspect Lake
Two more murder victims identified
CALIFORNIA ALBUM: Time Is Slow to Erase Stain of Grisly Killings : People in the Mother Lode town of Wilseyville would like to forget Charles Ng, Leonard Lake and a series of gruesome murders. But the outside world won’t let them.
Calaveras County Residents Still Haunted by ’85 Slayings
Ng Murder Trial Opens With Chilling Videos
Gruesome Video Opens Trial of Accused Mass Murderer N
Videos Continue in Ng Prosecution
Father of Serial Killer Ng Says He Severely Beat Son as Child
As Jury Meets to Decide His Fate, Ng Expects Death
Judge Orders Death Penalty for Ng in Mid-’80s Murders of 11 People
Charles Ng Has a Date With a Needle
Chilling Video Of Serial Killers Leonard Lake & Charles Ng With Their Victims
These Two Weren’t Just Sadistic Serial Killers — They Also Filmed Their Atrocities
Leonard Lake and Charles Ng: Psycho Serial Killer Undone by Shoplifting
Journey Into Evil | Serial Killers Leonard Lake & Charles Ng Documentary
The Boneyard: Serial Killers Leonard Lake & Charles Ng (Documentary)
It Takes a Killer ‘Partners in Evil’ (Oxygen)
Killing spree by dual killers is put to an end
Dungeon of Dread | Pandora’s Box: Unleashing Evil | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)