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Browse us for breaking news, missing person alerts, unsolved crimes and cold cases. Plus explore interviews, photos, case updates and brand new evidence in our ongoing 'Smiley Face Serial Murder' investigation.
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Start here. New guests, are you investigating a loved one's suspicious disappearance and drowning? Begin with a look at the forensics of a true drowning and the complete Smiley Face Serial Killer case background. Then read in-depth interviews with families of other 'Smiley' victims, by author Eponymous Rox.

ABOUT KILLING KILLERS' BLOGGER: Eponymous Rox covers cops, curs and killers and has been featured in Crime Magazine and on NBC. The author is also a regular paid-contributor to CrimeMagazine.com, the Gather News agency and Yahoo's Associated Content. JUMP IN: The majority of cases presented on this site are unsolved so your opinion counts -- you don't need permission to start or join discussions, vote in crime polls or submit tips on Killing Killers, and can even do so anonymously if you prefer.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Corpse of Missing College Student Praveen Galla Found in Ocean

The body of missing Cal State student Praveen Galla (below) was found floating about a 1000 feet from a Newport Beach pier this week.

The 23-year-old disappeared ten days ago, allegedly after taking an Uber taxi from Fullerton to his college campus.

Galla's university officially classified him a missing persons the next day when his roommates reported that they couldn't locate him.

Body of issing college student Praveen Galla, 23 of Cali, found in ocean"It is not like Galla to not return home," the group also informed the Fullerton Police Department.

Investigators, however, stated the missing college student "was depressed lately."

They also said Praveen Galla sent a friend a cellphone message around the same time claiming he had "checked into" a hotel in the Newport Beach area.

On Tuesday morning, lifeguards in Huntington Beach spotted Galla dead in the water, but the condition of his remains or the cause and manner of death hasn't been disclosed yet.

An admin for the Orange County Coroner's Office posted on their website only that “the decedent was found in the ocean.”

The young man's autopsy results were still pending at the time of Tuesday's confirmation that his corpse had been recovered and formally identified.

The reason Praveen Galla went to the shore instead of to school is also unknown. 

More Severed Feet Flotsam Washes Ashore in Canada

Severed foot number 16 has washed ashore this week on the border of Washington State and Canada, but officials still don't suspect foul play is the answer to this grisly and recurring mystery.

As has been happening for the past several years, the latest piece of freaky flotsam to arrive in British Columbia via the Salish seaway is also a detached foot in a sneaker.

U.S. and Canadian coroners have previously determined that nearly all the drown victims these rotting appendages belonged to deliberately drowned themselves, either because they were "depressed" or suffered from "mental illness."

However, in 2007, when startled beachcombers discovered two separate severed feet in the same area and time-frame, Corporal Garry Cox of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police offered his own expert opinion:

“Two being found in such a short period of time is quite suspicious,” he told reporters for the Vancouver Sun. “Finding one foot is like a million to one odds,” he assured them.

Five more sneaker shoes filled with decomposing feet or foot bones appeared the following year, and now they just keep on coming.

THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN - 2016 updatesSubmerged corpses will disintegrate fairly quickly, especially when repeatedly subjected "to the push and pull" of a body of water as turbulent as the Pacific Ocean.

As well, these could easily become dismembered soon after going underwater by hungry marine animals.

Either of those possibilities might explain why only detached feet clad in buoyant rubber-soled footwear would eventually resurface and drift to shore again... 

But not why they aren't showing up anywhere else in the world, or why there's always only one severed foot per victim.

Theories about this strange case range from organized crime and drug cartel assassinations to human traffickers or an actual serial killer using the northwest ocean waters as a body dump.

What do you think is really going on?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Missing Somerset Man Scott McCafferty Found Drowned in River Tone

Police had been searching Somerset waterways for Scott McCafferty ever since the 33-year-old went missing a month ago ... this week divers found his body:

"Mr McCafferty was reported missing on January 4th from the Taunton area. The body of a man was recovered from the River Tone near Ruishton at approximately 12:00 p.m."

Scott McCafferty was actually last seen alive on the afternoon of January 2, 2016, leaving Tesco in Castle Street on foot toward French Weir.

The slim Caucasian Englishman stood about 5-foot-8, had a full beard with short-cropped hair, and was wearing a brown jacket, dark jeans and dark shoes when he vanished.


No one seems to know what happened during McCafferty's short trek last month, but his disappearance and alleged drowning appears to be part of a troubling new trend in Great Britain, especially in the city of Manchester.

However, UK investigators say his missing persons case and death "is not being treated as suspicious and we are now carrying out enquiries on behalf of the coroner."

Anyone who knows differently is urged to alert the Avon and Somerset Police Department, force number 101, case reference number 5216002322.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Body of College Soccer Star Luke Gabbert Found in Creek (and more)

Police are probing the apparent drowning of Luke Gabbert, one of a handful of young men found dead in outdoor bodies of water this weekend...


The 19-year-old Wesleyan University soccer player's immersed corpse was discovered in Ohio's Delaware Run Creek on Saturday morning.

Investigators still don't know how the 5-foot-9, 155-pound athlete ended up dead in the water and said that, at this time, a cause of death for Luke Gabbert also remains unknown.

Meanwhile, police in the UK confirmed that a body found floating near Spurn Point of Humberside late yesterday afternoon is that of 21-year-old Liam Pullen.

Pullen went missing Friday evening, following an argument with one of his mates at a Cleesthorpes address.

According to that individual, Pullen allegedly left his house during their disagreement wearing sweats and a navy coat with a hoodie underneath, and, perhaps, "no shoes."

Investigators have told reporters that the youth's subsequent drowning death "did not appear suspicious" to them.

That's roughly the same view held by authorities in Queens New York where a dead man washed ashore of the East River on Saturday afternoon.

That victim's identity and other particulars haven't been released, pending notification of family, but his death also doesn't seem suspicious, cops there are saying.

Boston has likewise been afflicted with yet another Charles River water fatality this winter, although the identity of the deceased young male retrieved on Thursday continues to remain a riddle today, due to extensive decomposition.

“The water can kind of obscure and bloat the face," a law professor at Boston University vaguely explained to the press yesterday; additionally noting that, if the hands and feet were degloved too, it would prevent IDing the victim via his prints. 

She also suggested a police composite sketch was underway this week, in hopes that a member of the public might recognize John Doe and finally give him a name.

A jogger noticed the unidentified young man's corpse floating under the Longfellow Bridge, and a marine unit of the Massachusetts State Police came and recovered it soon after.

Foul play hasn't been ruled out at this stage in the inquiry because a cause and manner of death hasn't been determined.

Because the public was understandably alarmed by the latest discovery, Massachusetts police and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office released a written statement about the incident.

In it they confirmed they're jointly "investigating this matter," but "no additional information is available at this time,” they added.

Missing young men "accidentally" drowning in lakes, rivers, creeks and ponds -- fully clothed and in cold weather -- is a relatively recent crime trend.

However, only in the past few years have some of these dubious mishaps been fully investigated, and a few even reclassified as *possible* murders.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Announcing Smiley Face Killer Interview #1 with Gannon and Gilbertson

KILLING KILLERS is pleased to announce our upcoming Smiley Face Killer interview with none other than former NYPD homicide detective Kevin Gannon and internationally renown criminologist D. Lee Gilbertson.

It was Detective Gannon who, in 1997, first identified Victim Zero -- 21yo Patrick McNeill -- in what would become a decades-long *drowning* spree by an elusive "group" dubbed the Smiley Face Serial Killers.

Nearly 20 years ago, Gannon promised McNeill's grieving parents he'd never stop hunting their son's murderer, and to this day he has kept that vow, at great cost and consequence.

read and review Gannon/Gilbertson's 'Case Studies in Drowning Forensics' on Amazon.comIn that epic pursuit, Gannon joined forces with St. Cloud University's acclaimed sociologist and criminal-justice professor, D. Lee Gilbertson, and together this duo became one of Smiley's most relentless and formidable foes.

Since the late 1990s, Gannon and Gilbertson have been throwing a wide net for Smiley; forensically and statistically proving beyond a reasonable doubt, that the missing young men being victimized weren't drowning in cold weather by "accident" or committing "suicide."

In 2014 though, frustrated with local authorities stomping on Smiley Face crime scenes and with coroners rubber-stamping suspicious water fatalities as "accidental," they published the definitive, 462-page death-by-drowning analysis.

Gannon and Gilbertson's Case Studies in Drowning Forensics painstakingly dissects over a dozen  high-profile 'Smiley Face' disappearances and murders in the last 19+ years -- with autopsy results, photos, phone records, GPS data, and other never-before-seen evidence, permanently debunking the official "accidental drowning" myth.

So, if you're independently hunting Smiley too, then don't take another step until you've read this major treatise. Because, yes, your hunch that the Smiley Face cases are actual homicides is correct, and Gannon and Gilbertson can show you why.

And don't miss our exclusive Smiley Face Killer interview with Kevin Gannon and Dr. Gilbertson this week!

THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN: Investigating the Smiley Face Serial Murders

MORE ABOUT KEVIN GANNON: Kevin Gannon retired as a Detective-Sergeant for the NYC Police Department after 20 years of service, 14 of which were in supervisory positions. In addition to policing, he has extensive training and experience in personal and physical security, investigation and surveillance, and disaster response, including biochemical warfare training with the Department of Defense. Gannon has held leadership positions in the personal protection of numerous international dignitaries and celebrities, and was an NYPD representative on ex NYC mayor Giuliani’s 1997 "Operation ICE" (Interagency Chemical Exercise) task force, which planned and coordinated emergency responses to any major chemical disaster in lower Manhattan. 

As a detective and sergeant, Gannon routinely supervised plainclothes personnel in anti-crime, narcotics and robbery units, and was second in charge of the NYPD's Missing Persons Squad. He also headed the Bronx Homicide Task Force 'Nightwatch' from 1999 until his retirement. During his distinguished career in law enforcement, Gannon has made over 1000 felony arrests for offenses involving narcotics, burglaries, robberies and homicides, and was awarded almost 100 medals for heroism in the line of duty. As such, he remains one of the most decorated members of the Special Investigation Division of the NYPD's Detective Bureau, receiving the Medal of Valor twice before retiring. In 2008, Gannon also received the Frederic Milton Thrasher award for his continued investigative work on gang crime, a field in which he's also considered an expert.

ABOUT D. LEE GILBERTSON: A three-time recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher award, Dr. Gilbertson holds a doctorate in sociology with a concentration in gang criminology and substance abuse, as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice focusing on criminology and victimology. His background includes 16 years of exemplary military service (signals intelligence and infantry) from 1976 to 1992. He also trained in and served as the unit Alcohol and Drug Coordination officer (responsible for substance-abuse prevention training and overseeing urinalysis collections), and as the unit Nuclear and Biochemical Warfare Defense officer.

Dr. Gilbertson currently teaches at Saint Cloud State University and regularly works as a law enforcement consultant, providing training in the areas of forensic victimology, crime analysis, and gangs. He has in fact studied gangs, militias, and extremist groups since 1995 and is a certified gang specialist as well as the executive editor of the Journal of Gang Research. He's also presented and taught at numerous national and international conferences and academic institutions, and is a staff member of the National Gang Crime Research Center, participating in all phases of its 'International Gang Specialist Training' conferences.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Missing UK Tourist Richard Cole Found Drowned in Dutch Canal

Dutch police say that missing UK tourist Richard Cole (below) has been found drowned in an Amsterdam canal, a week after he mysteriously disappeared while visiting their city.

Body of 30yo missing British tourist Richard Cole found in canal

Cole, 30 of Gloucestershire England, was "an experienced traveler" and vanished during the predawn hours of January 25th.

He was last observed visiting various clubs in the Thorbeckeplein district of Amsterdam "with strangers."

Cole's brother went to the city earlier this week to head up the days-long search for him, but neither he nor the Dutch authorities could find any trace of the missing man.

The Case of the Drowning Men

Then on Monday divers entered the waters of the Herengracht canal where a cadaver dog had begun acting "restless" and discovered the body of an adult Caucasian male at the bottom.

A medical examiner has now formally identified that corpse as the missing 30-year-old UK tourist, Richard Cole, but his official cause and manner of death hasn't been declared yet.

That's because "it is still unclear how he ended up in the water," a Dutch police spokesman told reporters yesterday. 

He also said his agency "will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Richard's death, and that Gloucestershire detectives "will be liaising with them in order to provide information to the coroner's office."

Cole's companions seen with him on the night he disappeared haven't been identified either, but his family "is in contact with the British Consulate" should anything turn up during questioning.

The Gloucestershire Police Department additionally reports that they've assigned Cole's relatives "a family liaison officer" while they continue to work with Dutch police on his suspicious missing-persons case and purported drowning.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hunting the Smiley Face Serial Killers

The Smiley Face killers have been busy these past couple of years, especially in America's northeastern kill zone, where the disappearances and drownings first began almost two decades ago.

But Killing Killers is constantly watching and hunting Smiley, and it seems that things haven't been going his way lately.

Smiley's made a few mistakes...



Bones in the River: The cold cold-case disappearance of Michael Jansson [partially] solved;

What Goes Down Must Come Up: Refloat times for submerged cadavers & autopsy photos;

Missing - Found Drowned 2014: sampling includes the Shane Montgomery case in Philly;

Manslaughter in Milwaukee: Looking back on the Nick Wilcox disappearance & drowning;

FBI to Join the Hunt for Smiley:  How independent investigators achieved the impossible;

Diatoms and Drowning: Examining why single-cell organisms can solve major crimes;

Missing - Found Drowned 2015: sampling includes the baffling case of Paul Kochu in PA;

Smiley Breakthrough:  Two arrested in murder and drowning cover-up of Donta Williams;

‘Still Missing’ in 2016:  Open and unsolved, including the 2008 Brandon Swanson cold case;

No Foul Play:  Elements of authentic recreational drowning deaths with examples & pics;

Featured Autopsy:  Dawn Brancheau, SeaWorld trainer attacked & drowned by killer orca;

The Case of the Drowning Men:  What we know now; profiling and victimology at a glance;

Across the Pond:  Manchester England’s serial ‘Pusher’ drowns his 29th victim since 2008;

Why People Don’t Drown Outdoors, Even in Summer: Some cold facts and hard stats...