Monsters, Part 4

Murder within the Walls
To make ends meet for her family, Donna Payant, young mother of three takes a corrections officer position at New York's Greenhaven maximum security prison. In May 1981, Greenhaven housed some of the very worst criminals in the state.

Suddenly, she disappears and a massive search reveals her savaged body in a prison dumpster. Expert forensics ties Donna's murder to Lemuel Smith, a lifer imprisoned for unspeakably brutal murders.

While state law mandated the death penalty for Donna's murder, the courts overturned it. If a lifer inmate wanted to kill a guard, what penalty could he suffer? What would be the deterrent?

The Iceman

He was a legend in the world of killers - an expert killer who perfected the use of a cyanide mist as a weapon: A surprise spritz to the face usually produced a shocked inhalation from the victim, who as a result would die in under a minute. And unless the body was found right away and a savvy medical examiner knew what to look for, the poison would go undetected because cyanide naturally dissipates in the body after two hours.

You see, Richard Kuklinski, who claims to have killed over 100 people, maintained a normal-as-pie suburban family life in the town of Dumont in Bergen County. To all the world he was just the big guy in the split level down the street, the guy with the wife and three kids in Catholic school. As he told Anthony Bruno in an interview, "I'm not the Iceman. I'm the nice man."

Anthony Bruno dissects the Iceman's claim that he murdered Jimmy Hoffa, the subject of a recent book.

The Deadly Game
Robert Schwartz, nationally known scientist in the field of biometrics and DNA lived alone since his wife had died. When he didn't show up for work one day, police went to his suburban Virginia log-and-slate farmhouse forty miles west of Washington, D.C., where they found him facedown, stabbed more than 30 times with a sharp knife-like implement. There was an 'X' carved into the skin on the back of his neck, which seemed to indicate that the murder was ritualistic, although the clue wasn't clear.

When three disturbed teenagers were arrested, one of whom was deeply involved in medieval wizardry and weapons, police pieced together a strange and deadly game that shocked the country.

The Downing of Flight 629
United Airlines flight 629 rolled down the narrow, bumpy tarmac at the Denver airport gathering speed. The front wheel gently lifted from the ground as the nose of the aircraft pointed toward the heavens. Within moments, the sturdy airplane soared into the crystal blue sky and banked gracefully to the west, on its way to a 1,029-mile journey to Portland, Oregon. On board, Captain Lee Hall, an accomplished pilot and veteran of World War II, pulled steadily back on the control arm and within minutes, leveled off the plane at 4,000 feet. Visibility was good, and the crew, consisting of pilot, a co-pilot and three stewardesses, prepared for a leisurely flight over Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho.

His first inkling that something had gone wrong was a loud bang that seemed to emanate from somewhere under and behind the aircraft. Captain Hall heard the noise and then felt a deep shudder that lasted a fraction of a second. Then his seat suddenly came up off the floor of the plane and crashed into the metal ceiling of the cockpit. Below him, traveling at several hundred miles per hour, the aircraft erupted into one gigantic blast that ripped the fuselage apart into a thousand pieces sending debris, luggage and passengers tumbling into space. Since the fuel tanks were almost filled to capacity, an immense fireball detonated, beginning in the lower section of the plane, which momentarily enveloped the entire aircraft.

There were no survivors of Flight 629.

Painstaking forensics and investigative prowess finally led the FBI to the psychopath responsible for the tragedy and the cold-hearted motive for killing a plane full of innocent passengers.

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