On April 13, 1984, mass murderer Christopher Wilder dies after a month-long crime spree involving eleven young women who have disappeared or been killed. Police in New Hampshire attempted to apprehend Wilder, who was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, but Wilder apparently shot himself to death in a scuffle with state troopers to avoid capture.
Australian-born Wilder was a wealthy race-car driver who lived in an estate in Boynton Beach, Florida. Authorities believe that Wilder began his kidnapping, rape, and murder spree on February 26th when Rosario Gonzales, a part-time model, disappeared. A week later, on March 5th, Elizabeth Kenyon of Coral Gables also disappeared. When a private detective began looking into Kenyon's disappearance and interviewed Wilder, he suspected the man's involvement. However, before police could look any further into the matter, Wilder disappeared. For a month, Wilder traveled across the country finding new victims. His typical method was to approach attractive young women in shopping malls with offers of modeling jobs. After Wilder's death, the parents of Rosario Gonzales went to Wilder's estate to see if their missing daughter was buried there. Police arrested four members of the Gonzales family for trespassing. Later, the families of the victims filed claims totaling $50 million against Wilder's estate.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: