GUILTY IN - April Tinsley, 8, Fort Wayne, 1 April 1988 *Arrest*

deespoohbear

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This is a cold case from Fort Wayne, Indiana that has always bothered me. This little girl was abducted, molested, and murdered in 1988 and her killer has never been found. Supposedly someone who says he is the killer has left notes in different areas of the Fort Wayne area claiming responsibility and threatening to kill again. The Fort Wayne PD has posted a website trying to gather information on her killer.

For more information, click here: http://www.fwpd.org/april/press.htm
 

nursebeeme

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"Hi Honey I Been watching you," it said. "I am the same person that kidnapped an Rape an kill Aproil tinsely here is a present foR yo you are my next vitem."

A used condom was stuffed in the bag alongside the note.

It was March 2004 -- nearly 16 years after 8-year-old April Tinsley was abducted from a Fort Wayne, Indiana, neighborhood, raped and killed.

Her killer remains at large, and police believe he has surfaced several times, scrawling a message in crayon on a barn in 1990, then leaving four chilling notes for children in the Fort Wayne area years later.

Indiana authorities are now asking an FBI task force -- the Child Abduction Response Deployment (CARD) team -- to help take a fresh look at the case. http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/04/indiana.fbi.cold.case/index.html?eref=ib_topstories

This sick creep needs to be brought to justice! There are a lot of clues in this case! I think it is a perfect case for some old fashioned web sleuthing!!
 

WhyaDuck?

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I wonder how close Fort Wayne is to Wabash, where Jorden Sopher was found, likely murdered in 2006. She's older than these girls and there is no report (publicly) that she received any notes, but her skeleton shows no clear signs of what killed her, so suffocation sounds like a possibility.

Article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on Jorden:
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20090603/LOCAL/306039978/1006/NEWS


WS thread here: Identified! IN-Jorden Aryne Sopher-Msg 23 May '06 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
 

nursebeeme

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Wow, pear! Interesting to say the least! I find it hard to believe that this guy went dormant for all that time.

The part about the story that creeps me out the most was the fact of the notes scrawled on the barn... they said it got darker and darker every day... meaning he returned several times to use his crayons to make it darker!!!
 

smittles

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I am originally from Fort Wayne. I remember when poor little April was murdered. I am really glad that they are taking another crack at this case, April deserves justice. Honestly, when they first talked about him writing on the side of the barn I thought it was just a prank. I wonder what leads them to believe that this is the real perp not just someone sicko playing a prank. And, if he sent a used condom they should be able to get a dna profile I would think.

Wabash is about 45 minutSW of Fort Wayne.
 

WhyaDuck?

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Yes. There is a possibility the notes, etc, are from some pervert trying to get kicks from a crime he didn't actually commit, but they clearly stem from a pretty warped mind. If the notes and the murder were both done by the same person, I don't think he will stop with one. It is possible that he hunts for older girls and women, to satisfy his need for rape, but that he creates more ritual around children. I really don't think sickos like this are 100% dedicated to a single age group, but gets whatever he can when the urge strikes, while reliving the crimes he got the most satisfaction out of.

Terrible what the human mind can turn into, really.
 

nursebeeme

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I am originally from Fort Wayne. I remember when poor little April was murdered. I am really glad that they are taking another crack at this case, April deserves justice. Honestly, when they first talked about him writing on the side of the barn I thought it was just a prank. I wonder what leads them to believe that this is the real perp not just someone sicko playing a prank. And, if he sent a used condom they should be able to get a dna profile I would think.

Wabash is about 45 minutSW of Fort Wayne.
from the link I posted it seems they DO have a dna profile and it does not match anyone currently including persons of interest who have died that it was than compared to (so they think this guy is still alive and possibly in his 40s-50s). They also have polaroids of his body that he has left.

This reminds me of Denis Radar.... taunting
 

WhyaDuck?

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... I wonder what leads them to believe that this is the real perp not just someone sicko playing a prank. ... And, if he sent a used condom they should be able to get a dna profile I would think. ... Wabash is about 45 minutSW of Fort Wayne.

-- They think the guy that wrote on the barn is the one doing the notes now, but I don't think they are certain both were done by the murderer; though they might be thinking that 14 years of dedication is a bit more than a prank. It is also possible he gave details in the note(s) not available in the media, I don't know. But, yes, I also wonder if it is not a prank - or something more sinister by a pervert not yet guilty of murder.

-- They are creating a DNA profile, and they keep checking it, but no matches yet, until they have suspects, sadly. I guess the guy doesn't have a DNA record anywhere, which means he's not likely to be on the sex offender registry... Though, the possibility he digs in other people's trash for used condoms also comes to mind. *shudder*

-- Thanks for the geography; I was just wondering what the travel time would be like. 45min it completely reasonable.

(Sorry for so many posts close together today.)
 

smittles

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Here is a link to some more samples of the notes...
http://www.fwpd.org/april/press.htm

Pear, I use to think the note on the barn was a prank, I was just a teen when that happened. I don't think it is now, I didn't know there were other letters. I had just heard about the barn, I wonder where the barn is at.
 

smittles

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Okay Nurse and Pear I should have read through the article, I just skimmed it.
 

WhyaDuck?

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Here is a link to some more samples of the notes...
http://www.fwpd.org/april/press.htm
Pear, I use to think the note on the barn was a prank, I was just a teen when that happened. I don't think it is now, I didn't know there were other letters. I had just heard about the barn, I wonder where the barn is at.

Yes, I think taunting notes like that, especially poorly written ones, are almost always just pranks (the Jack the Ripper case should have taught us that lesson). Your original instincts were sensible, for sure.

I am still not convinced, though, that the barn note and the newer ones were written by the actual original killer, but possibly by a devotee of the crime - someone who was possibly a pre-teen or teen at the time, who was sexually aroused by the story and is now gearing up for his own launch into copy-catting. Horrible thought, but just putting it out there.
 

athy

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with there being time between when the letters showed up i wonder if he either was in jail during the times letters weren't received or if perhaps he was moving around. i wonder if there are similar crimes elsewhere in the US. also i noticed with the letter they showed that Rape was capped and so was the R in foR. now they could have been typos but i wish we could see the other letters to see if there were unusual caps in those also. its possible those unusual caps are clues.
 

WhyaDuck?

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Anyone know if the notes were typed or handwritten? That extra capital on "foR" seems like a keyboard blooper.
 

smittles

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Pear they were hand written. And with horrible hand writting and grammar. At the link I posted above it shows some more samples of the letters. The odd capital letters almost seems intentional.
 

LaLaw2000

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It is never too late for justice and never too late to prevent there being another victim. I am glad to see this movement in this case.

Sick !
 

SleuthyMama

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This sick creep needs to be brought to justice! There are a lot of clues in this case! I think it is a perfect case for some old fashioned web sleuthing!!


NURSE! Thank you so much for starting this thread. I was reading this story this morning thinking exactly the same thing and figuring some intrepid WS'er who gets started waaaaay earlier than me in the morning would have already created a thread. And you did! You rock.

This case FREAKS me out.
 

SleuthyMama

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with there being time between when the letters showed up i wonder if he either was in jail during the times letters weren't received or if perhaps he was moving around. i wonder if there are similar crimes elsewhere in the US. also i noticed with the letter they showed that Rape was capped and so was the R in foR. now they could have been typos but i wish we could see the other letters to see if there were unusual caps in those also. its possible those unusual caps are clues.

BBM

That is definitely a possibility athy, but as nurse said above, this one reminds me too of BTK. I'm not as familiar with that one as I'd like to be but from what I understand about him he wasn't in prison at any time between the killings, was he? He was by all accounts an "upstanding member of the community," right? So what was his reason for the time between crimes? Perhaps this might be the same situation with this sicko?
 

JenB

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Pear they were hand written. And with horrible hand writting and grammar. At the link I posted above it shows some more samples of the letters. The odd capital letters almost seems intentional.

One of the pages I linked indicated that investigators believe the errors in the letters were intentional.

I'm doing some work now and had to type the month "April" and made a typo of "Aproil." As I recall, that was one of the misspellings in the handwritten notes. As pearseha posted, the capital letters seem like keyboard errors. I'm wondering if the perp typed the notes on a keyboard then rewrote them on paper. That would go with some of the weird places where he started to make a letter then wrote another one over it, when it's clear he wasn't actually worried about correct spelling.
 
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