By Julia Tabas
While you were unwrapping presents on Christmas morning, a frozen corpse was discovered in a snowdrift. While you were prepping for your holiday party, a serial murderer was confessing to his heinous acts. While you were counting down to the 12 days of Christmas, some of the most notorious murderers were being led to trial for their horrifying crimes.
Check out these five winter true crimes of double lives, murder schemes, and cruel acts of violence that all took place during the chilling holiday season.
- Winter of Frozen Dreams by Carl Harter
This chilling true story begins on Christmas Day 1977, when Jerry Davies led Madison, Wisconsin police to a snowbank concealing the corpse of Harry Berge. Following the Berge’s trail before he disappeared, police discovered he had recently signed over his insurance policy to his ex, Barbara Hoffman. Even more twisted, Jerry Davies, the man who notified the police of the crime, had also signed over his insurance policy to Hoffman, and would later wind up dead too. Follow this wildly crazy and true story of greed, murder, and suspicion. You may never be able to look at a snowdrift quite the same way again.
- Buried Dreams by Tim Cahill
This unsettling story of a monster and his victims begins in December 1978, just days before Christmas, when John Wayne Gacy finally confessed to the murders of the 27 bodies found in the crawlspace under his house. Adding to the chill factor, in January severe winter snowfall paused the ongoing excavation of the Gacy home. Hailed as one of the most notorious serial killers of our time, Gacy was found guilty of the heinous murders of 33 people. Read this poignant profile of the man behind the clown mask.
- The Von Bülow Affair by William Wright
On December 21, 1980, just days before Christmas, Sunny Von Bülow was found unconscious; the result of an attempted murder that uncovered one of the most infamous family feuds of all time. Family drama is inevitable during the holiday season – but when that family has money, a complicated history, and a greedy second husband, it’s the perfect recipe for murder.
- Murder in Little Egypt by Darcy O’Brien
On a bleak December day in 1984, Dr John Dale Cavaness was charged with the murder of his second son, and suspected of the murder of his first son. Once again we see how a family’s troubled past can be the perfect recipe for murder. Upheld as a hero of a small town in Illinois, Dr John Dale Cavaness’ life behind closed doors proved him to be an abusive husband and father, and eventually a cold-blooded killer. Read this chilling profile of a man who inspired so much hero-worship that, even as he was convicted of murder, his loyal followers refused to believe it.
- Masquerade by Lowell Cauffiel
On a cold and bitter winter day in December 1985, the trials of pimp John “Lucky” Fry took place, where he was charged with murdering and dismembering Dr Alan Canty, and hiding the body parts throughout Detroit. Dr Canty was a respectful psychologist in the wealthy parts of Detroit. However, when temptation leads him to get tangled up with a young prostitute and her pimp in the seedy part of town, the doctor becomes the victim in a gruesome murder. Follow this disturbing tale of a well-to-do doctor leading a double life of seduction and greed.
This story was originally featured on The-Line-Up.com. The Lineup is the premier digital destination for fans of true crime, horror, the mysterious, and the paranormal