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John Brennan CRUTCHLEY

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


Alias: "The Vampire Rapist"
 
Classification: Serial killer?
Characteristics: He drained the blood of his victim almost to the point of death while he repeatedly sexually assaulted her
Number of victims: 0 - 10 +
Date of murders: 1977 - 1985
Date of birth: October 1, 1946
Victims profile: Women
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Virginia/Florida, USA
Status: Never convicted of murder. Convicted of kidnapping and rape. Sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in June 1986. Released on August 8, 1996. Less than a day later, he was arrested again for violating his parole after being tested positive for marijuana. Sentenced to life in prison on January 31, 1997 under the "three strikes law." Died in prison of autoerotic asphyxiation on March 30, 2002
 
 
 
 
 
 

John Brennan Crutchley (October 1, 1946 - March 30, 2002) was a convicted kidnapper and rapist who was suspected of murdering more than 30 women, but was never tried nor convicted of those crimes. He was called the "Vampire Rapist" because he drained the blood of his victim almost to the point of death while he repeatedly sexually assaulted her.

Early life and career

Born to a well-to-do family in Pittsburgh, John Crutchley was a friendless child, preferring to spend most of his time tinkering with electronic gadgets at the basement of his home. This penchant for electronics paid off early when he earned a good amount of money repairing and rebuilding complex radio and stereo systems even before he graduated from high school. Eventually he graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics at Defiance College in Ohio in 1970, and earning a master's degree in engineering administration at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He married his first wife in 1969.

Crutchley's first marriage showed strains by the time he graduated from college, and it all but ended by the time he moved to Kokomo, Indiana to work at Delco Electronics Corporation. Crutchley had been working at General Motors' Central Foundry Division in Defiance, Ohio where he was responsible for the installation of a new plant security system. He applied for a transfer to Delco Electronics, Kokomo, where the systems were designed and built, and worked there for several years as an electrical systems engineer.

His departure from Kokomo came after an investigation was made by plant security into missing materials. He later moved to Fairfax County, Virginia in the mid-1970s and remarried. He worked for several high-tech firms in the Washington, D.C. area, including TRW, ICA and Logicon Process Systems. At about this time, several teenaged girls disappeared in and around that area.

Disappearances

In 1977, a 25-year old Fairfax, Virginia secretary, Debbora Fitzjohn, disappeared. Crutchley was placed under close scrutiny because he was Fitzjohn's boyfriend and she was last seen alive at the trailer park where Crutchley lived.

As a result, he was questioned several times for his possible involvement in her disappearance. However, nothing came out of it due to lack of evidence, even after her skeletal remains were found by a hunter in October the following year.

Other disappearances in the area have not been definitely linked to Crutchley. A rash of disappearances also occurred in Pennsylvania when he resided there. In some cases bodies of women were found in remote areas in the state. Some investigators linked Crutchley with the disappearance of two teenaged girls, the Lyon Sisters in Wheaton, Maryland and a possible rape-murder of teenager Kathy Lynn Beatty in nearby Aspen Hill, both in Montgomery County, where his second wife's family lived.

The "Vampire Rapist"

According to FBI profiler Robert K. Ressler, Crutchley fit the profile of a serial killer, even though he was convicted of only a single non-fatal kidnapping and sexual assault.

In late November, 1985, in Malabar, Brevard County, Florida, a nude teen woman, handcuffed at both feet and ankles, had been crawling along the side of the road She had been passed by several trucks before someone had stopped. She begged the driver to not take her back "to that house," and when he asked where, she told him to remember a certain house. He noted the location, took her home, and called for police and an ambulance.

The hospital determined she was missing between 40 and 45 percent of her blood and had ligature marks on her neck. She'd been hitchhiking the day before and the man who gave her a ride was willing to take her where she needed to go, but said he had to stop off at home first. He invited her in, and she refused, and he got into the back seat of the car and choked her unconscious.

The hitchhiker awoke to find that she was tied to a kitchen countertop, arms and legs immobilized. A video camera had been set up, along with lights. The man raped her and videotaped the action. Then he inserted needles into her arm and wrist and carefully extracted blood and began to drink it, telling her that he was a vampire. After that, he handcuffed her and put her in the bathtub, returning later for another round of sexual assault and blood extraction. The next morning, after a third round, the man handcuffed the hitchhiker and left her in the bathroom, saying that he would be back later for further assaults, and that if she tried to escape in the interim, his brother would come and kill her. It was after the attacker had left the house that she was able to push out of the bathroom window and crawl to the road. Had she not escaped then, doctors believed, she might well have died from a further round of blood extraction.

A search warrant was served for John Brennan Crutchley, whose wife and child were away for the Thanksgiving holiday. The videotape in the camera was partially erased, which according to the victim would otherwise have contained footage of her rape and the extraction of her blood. Crutchley was arrested during the search, which took place at 2:30 a.m. Photographs of the house taken at the time of this first search showed, among other things, a stack of credit cards several inches thick. A second, later, search did not turn up these credit cards, nor a collection of women's necklaces concealed in a closet which had been noted, but not confiscated, by the police during the first search.

After being contacted by local authorities for his input, Ressler was convinced that Crutchley had almost certainly killed before, identified him as a "serial killer of the organized type." Ressler instigated a second search, which was of much wider scope and detail than the first. Ressler noted that there had been four female bodies found in Brevard County in the previous year, and that unexplained bodies had been found and missing women reported in Pennsylvania while he lived there. No evidence was found to link these deaths to Crutchley, however.

In addition to suspecting Crutchley of murders in Florida and Pennsylvania, Ressler also suspected Crutchley for murder in the 1978 disappearance of Debbora Fitzjohn, the. secretary whom he met in Fairfax, Virginia. She had been in his mobile home, and police identified Crutchley as the last person to see her alive.

What was found during the second search in the Brevard County teen case included a stack of 72 3x5 cards on which Crutchley had recorded women's names and described their sexual performances. When contacted, some of the partners indicated that Crutchley had crossed the line from "kinky" consensual acts into sexual assaults involving restraint. His wife had apparently cooperated in similar acts, and told the press regarding his attack on the handcuffed teen—which took place while she was away with their own little girl for Thanksgiving—that it had been "a gentle rape, devoid of any overt brutality."

In June, 1986, Crutchley plea-bargained to guilt on kidnap and rape charges in exchange for dropping the "grievous bodily harm" charge for extracting the victim's blood and for drug possession.

During the sentencing phase, the blood issue came up nonetheless and Crutchley claimed to have been introduced to blood drinking by a nurse in roughly 1970, as part of a sexual ritual. He said it should not be considered in his sentencing, because in this case, he had not drunk the blood—because it coagulated before he could, "and he couldn't get it down." His wife did not take the stand but told reporters that her husband wasn't guilty, but was just "a kinky sort of guy."

Based on testimony from Ressler at the sentencing hearing, the judge chose to exceed state guidelines and sentenced Crutchley to 25 years to life in prison with 50 years of subsequent parole.

Release and re-arrest

Writing in 1992 about the 1986 conviction, Ressler predicted that Crutchley's "25 to life" sentence would result in release as soon as 1998. In fact, Crutchley was released two years earlier than that.

After serving 11 years of his sentence, Crutchley was released on August 8, 1996 from Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida for the Brevard County Jail for good behavior. Officials in Fairfax County, Virginia, where his mother lived, did not want him, nor did the people in Malabar and Melbourne. Therefore, he was transferred to the Orlando Probation and Restitution Center, a half-way house where he would undergo counseling and pay restitution even while serving his 50 years of parole.

Less than a day later, he was arrested again for violating his parole after being tested positive for marijuana. Even though he denied smoking marijuana (saying that inmates blew marijuana smoke in his face), prosecutors in the subsequent trial showed Crutchley confessing to a corrections inspector that he smoked the substance because he was nervous about his impending release and he thought that the drug would make him relaxed.

This violation of his parole resulted in a sentence of life imprisonment to be imposed on Crutchley on January 31, 1997 under the "three strikes law." This was his third conviction; the first two were for the kidnapping and the rape of the Brevard teen.

Death

On March 30, 2002, Crutchley died in prison. Corrections officials reported on April 2, 2002, that he had been found dead in his cell at the Hardee Correctional Institute with a plastic bag over his head. The cause of death reported was asphyxiation.

Subsequent reporting around August 1, 2003 from the Florida Department of Corrections declared that the "Florida Vampire Rapist" died of autoerotic asphyxiation.

Classified information

At the time of his arrest, Crutchley was found to be in possession of a great deal of highly-classified information regarding naval weaponry and communications. Unnamed federal agencies other than the FBI considered opening an espionage case against him. Crutchley's employer, Harris Corporation, was highly involved with not only the NASA research and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, but also with other Naval contractors and subcontractors.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

John Brennan Crutchley

Thanksgiving, 1985, Malabar, Brevard County, Florida.

A motorist stopped to help her. She was 19, nude, handcuffed at both feet and ankles, filthy and exhausted. She'd been crawling along the side of the road, and had been passed by several trucks before someone had stopped. She begged the man to not take her back there, and when he asked where, she told him to remember a certain house. He then got her out of there, and got her some cops and an ambulance.

The hospital determined that whatever her other injuries, she was missing between 40 and 45 percent of her blood. She'd been hitchiking the day before and the man who gave her a ride was willing to take here where she needed to go, but had to stop off at home first. He invited her in, and she refused, and he got into the back seat of the car and choked her unconscious.

"The hitchhiker awoke to find that she was tied to a kitchen countertop, arms and legs immobilized. A video camera had been set up, along with lights. The man raped her and videotaped the action. Then he inserted needles into her arm and wrist and carefully extracted blood and began to drink it, telling her that he was a vampire. After that, he handcuffed her and put her in the bathtub, returning later for another round of sexual assault and blood extraction.

The next morning, after a third round, the man handcuffed the hitchhiker and left her in the bathroom, saying that he would be back later for further assaults, and that if she tried to escape in the interim, his brother would come and kill her. It was after the attacker had left the house that she was able to push out of the bathroom window and crawl to the road. Had she not escaped then, doctors believed, she might well have died from a further round of blood extraction." (Whoever Fights Monsters: "What Plus Why Equals Who" - page 169)

John Brennan Crutchley, age 39 with a wife (his second) and child visiting their relatives in Maryland, was employed by a NASA contractor, the Harris Corporation. An arrest warrant was served, and some evidence collected. The video tape in the camera was partially erased, which according to the victim would otherwise have contained footage of her rape and the extraction of her blood. Photographs of the house taken at the time of this first search showed, among other things, a stack of credit cards several inches thick. A second, later, search did not turn up these credit cards, the whereabouts of which remain unknown.

Robert Ressler, the FBI agent who had coined the term "serial killer" was convinced that Crutchley had almost certainly killed before, and was what is termed a "serial killer of the organized type". It was he who instigated the second search, which was of much wider scope and detail than was the first, which was done by the local police who only know that they had a particularly nasty rapist on their hands. However, looking into details, Ressler noted that there had been four female bodies found in Brevard County Florida in the previous year. No evidence could be found to link these deaths to Crutchley.

As Crutchley was intensively investigated, it was discovered that he was not only into extremely experimental sex, but also that his extensive sexual exploits, in some of which his wife appeared to have participated, had been meticulously recorded. Investigators tracking down these partners mostly were told that these partners had been willing participants in kinky sex (not specified in all cases but apparently bondage-and-dominance). However, some of the partners indicated that Crutchley had perhaps taken the bondange and dominance a bit too far, crossing the line into assaults which had been initially "consensual acts" but which began to turn ugly when "stop phrases" were ignored. At his trial, Crutchley claimed to have been introduced to blood drinking by a nurse in roughly 1970, as part of a sexual ritual.

Tracking backwards in time, Crutchley was found to have moved fairly frequently. During the mid-1970s, he lived in Fairfax County Virginia. At the time, there were several disappearances of teenaged women in and around the area. One particularly suspicious case was the 1978 murder of a Fairfax secretary, one Debbora Fitzjohn. Crutchley was known to have been the last person to see her alive.

Other disappearances in the region have not been definitively linked to Crutchley, although it is certain that he was extensively familiar with the area. Also, when he resided in Pennsylvania, there were numerous cases of missing women and some cases of deceased females found in remote areas. Some investigators suspect his linkage with the completely-baffling daytime disappearance of two young teenage girls from the area of Wheaton Maryland in roughly 1975, and possibly with a rape-murder in nearby Aspen Hill Maryland at about that time. We note in passing that Crutchley's wife's family lives in Maryland.

We also note that Crutchley's wife also appears to have had substantial involvement in Crutchley's sexual escapades, which according to his first wife were numerous and tended to revolve around sadism. Crutchley, although appearing rather unobstrusive and bookish, was said to be exceptionally controlling in his dealings with other people. Crutchley's wife seems to have been his perfect mate, at the time that he plead guilty to rape and kidnapping, rather than also be charged with possession of drugs and grevious bodily harm, his wife - evidently trying to categorize this affair as nothing more than a little S-&-M that got out of hand - stated that this had been a "gentle rape, devoid of any overt brutality". After the trial, she told reporters that she couldn't quite understand the fuss, since her husband was just "a kinky sort of guy".

Crutchley's initial defense at the time of his arrest was that the hitchhiker was "a Manson girl" who had solicited kinky sex from him. Her sexual history was not available at the time of this article - though interestingly she initially did not wish to press charges even after having passed a lie detector test and tests which indicated the presence of semen. She was convinced to press charges only after a rape counselor convinced her of her duty to other women.

Among other things, Crutchley fits the profile of a serial killer of the organized type in that he was found to be in possession of several women's IDs, as well as several different women's necklaces kept concealed in a closet. He claims they were the property of his wife, but the fact that they were kept separately indicates that they had special meaning to him, and were probably trophies, if not kept as mementos of kills (to this date he has not been convicted of any killings), then at least as mementos of particularly memorable sexual conquests.

Serial killers of the organized type tend to collect such mementos, generally used as props in sexual fantasies commemorating their murders. Many forensic psychologists believe that serial killers of the organized type are initially driven to kill as a result of a powerful and recurrent sexual fantasy with sadistic themes, and many also believe that most of the organized-type serial killers may have had, not murder, but rather violent sadistic rape in fulfillment of their fantasy, as their initial objective. However, having once killed and escaped arrest, many seem to analyze their realization of their sadistic fantasy, and incorporate their successes and eliminate their mistakes. Thus, an addictive fantasy of sexual sadism (or sadistic sex) becomes a blueprint for subsequent actions. Ressler et al. believe that from the degree of organization, of "rehearsed-ness" evident at the time of arrest (or most recent victimization) that one can gain insight into the degree of successful practice of their crimes.

Based on this supposition, Crutchley would appear to have had long successful experience with at-least sadistic sex, bondage/rapes (either consensual or not) and also with extraction of blood from victims, either willing or unwilling. His practiced capture of his victim suggests that he had either been out specifically cruising for a victim, or habitually carried a ligature to the purpose of choking a person unconscious.

The technique of getting in behind the victim and then strangling with a ligature suggests that he was practiced in this as well, or had given it substantial forethought. All of this combined with his readiness to videotape the act suggests that this had all been done many times before, and in fact his sexual history as established through interviews with former partners does suggest that in fact this may have been his preferred means of sexual gratification, so-called "consensual-rape with bondage" with the thrill of video recording added.

Crutchley, at his pre-sentencing hearing, maintained that the actions for which he'd been convicted were private and consensual, and outside of the jurisdiction of the court, and that he was after all just a sexual experimenter, according to Ressler. This is a line which could have been given some credibility, had the hitchhiker not originally showed up at the hospital, not bleeding but missing nearly half of her blood, withdrawn through several small pinpricks. One more such draining and she would almost certainly have died. Crutchley's so-called "sexual experimenation" - depending on how you look at it - had been either one step away from a fatal experiment-gone-awry-and-too-far, or a sadistic vampiric murder by medical exsanguination.

When you add into the mix that Crutchley was found to be in possession, at the time of his arrest, of a great deal of information - of top-secret level - regarding naval communications, information processing, and weapons equipment, we see emerging here a portrait of a person who was simply out of control. Crutchley's employer, Harris Corporation, was highly involved with not only the NASA research and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, but also with with other Naval contractors and subcontractors. It is unknown to this writer to what degree Crutchley might have engaged in his sexual escapades aiding-and-abetting what might well have been a budding career in espionage, or if indeed, his sexual escapades might have gotten him drawn into such involvement. Several Federal agencies nearly preferred charges of espionage.

In any case, John Brennan Crutchley, the so-called "Vampire Rapist" was convicted of kidnap and rape after pleading guilty in June 1986.

The sentence was 25 years in prison with 50 years of subsequent parole. He served 10 years in the penitentiary, and was given time off for good behavior and placed on probation. There was extreme difficulty in placing this extremely-notorious individual in the community. When he was eventually placed into the community, he was "free" for less than a day when his probation was violated by smoking marijuana, and at last report, he was back in prison.

 
 

Fla. rapist interest local investigators Navy officials think the man, whowas drank his victim's blood, may be linked to 2 deaths

Naval investigators said Tuesday that they are exploring a possible link between the unsolved slayings of two local Navy women and a blood-drinking rapist now in a Florida prison.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents recently began sharing information with Florida police concerning convicted rapist John Brennan Crutchley, who is also a suspect in at least six Florida killings.

Crutchley had access to the Norfolk Naval Air Station during the time two Navy women were slain at the base, more than a decade ago.

Information developed recently has led local NCIS agents to explore Crutchley as a possible suspect, according to Wayne Bailey, special agent in charge of the local office.

Bailey declined to elaborate on what that information was. Crutchley has been in the Florida prison since 1986.

"At this juncture, it is very preliminary,'' Bailey said. "The information in its current state has piqued our interest for a variety of reasons.''

While in Brevard County, Fla., in 1985, Crutchley kidnapped a 19-year-old woman, raped her and drank half her blood, according to testimony. The woman escaped and Crutchley was later convicted of the assault. Charges of robbery - for taking the woman's blood - were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Prosecutors in Florida have tried unsuccessfully to pursue murder charges against Crutchley. His former lawyer said in 1989 that Crutchley was prepared to confess to at least three murders and lead police to the burial sites, but negotiations between Crutchley and the prosecutors fell through.

From 1979 through 1983, Crutchley worked for a Washington-based defense contractor and had access to the Norfolk Naval Air Station.

During that time:

Pamela Anne Kimbrue, a 23-year-old Navy messenger, disappeared from the base on March 25, 1982. She was later found dead in her car, submerged at the end of a seaplane ramp. Her killer tied her arms behind her with clothesline and tried to strangle her. Left behind was a green ski-type mask and fingerprints that didn't belong to the victim or her boyfriend.

Carol Ann Molnar, a 21-year-old Navy clerk, disappeared Feb. 6, 1983. Her decomposed body was found three months later partially buried under rocks of a sea wall at the Norfolk base. She had been strangled.

Bailey declined to say whether the unsolved slayings on the base bore similarities to others for which Crutchley is suspected, or to the rape for which he has been convicted.

"The investigations are open and are being actively pursued,'' Bailey said. "We are sharing information and obtaining information to make an informed decision as to viability (of Crutchley) as a suspect.''

 
 

'Vampire Rapist' Commits Suicide

April 2, 2002

MIAMI (Reuters) - A prisoner dubbed the "vampire rapist" for drinking his victim's blood committed suicide at a Florida prison where he was serving a life term, corrections officials said on Tuesday.

Guards at the Hardee Correctional Institute in central Florida found John Crutchley, 55, in his cell on Saturday with a plastic bag over his head. Doctors were unable to revive him and he died of asphyxiation, state corrections officials said.

Crutchley kidnapped a 19-year-old hitchhiker in 1985 and raped her repeatedly. He tied her to his kitchen counter and used needles and tubing to drain her blood into a jar, then drank from it.

She escaped through a bathroom window, handcuffed and naked, and was hospitalized for the loss of about half of her blood.

Crutchley pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual battery. He was released to a halfway house in Orlando in 1996 after serving 10 years of his 25-year prison sentence, prompting an uproar among residents who did not want him in the community.

He was sent back to prison one day later when a drug test showed he had used marijuana. Crutchley admitted he had smoked it during a going-away party in prison the night before his release. He was sent back to prison for life for violating parole.

 
 

SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: Sex./Sad.

MO: "Vampire" rapist linked to deaths/disappearances of women

DISPOSITION: 25-year sentence for sexual assault in Fla., 1986 (paroled, Aug. 1996); returned to prison three days later for using illegal drugs.

 
 


John Brennan Crutchley

 

 

 
 
 
 
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