|“||The Winslow boys were never on my farm. I didn't kill them.||”|
Gordon Stewart Northcott, a.k.a. "The Wineville Chicken Coop Murderer" and "The Boy Butcher", was a Canadian-born American serial killer/rapist, pedophile, hebephile, and abductor who perpetrated the infamous so-called Wineville Chicken Coop Murders.
Northcott was born in Bladworth, Saskatchewan, Canada, and raised in British Columbia. When he was eighteen, he moved to Los Angeles, California, U.S., with his family. He claimed that he was sexually abused by his father at the age of ten. With his father's help, Northcott built a chicken ranch in nearby Wineville. His father was later institutionalized in a mental asylum, where he eventually committed suicide. His uncle died while serving a life sentence in prison for murder. In 1926, he took his thirteen-year-old nephew, Sandford Clark, to Wineville with the permission of Sandford's parents. There, the boy was beaten and raped repeatedly by Northcott. He later saw Sandford as an opportunity to lure other boys to his chicken ranch. With the help of his mother, Sarah Louise Northcott, he began a series of abductions and killings in the city of Los Angeles and Riverside County.
Murders, Arrest and Execution
Northcott's first known murder victim was an unnamed Mexican boy, who he shot to death and decapitated. He later forced Sandford to dispose of the head for him by burning it in a fire-pit and crushing the skull. Northcott left the Mexican boy's headless body by the side of a road near La Puente, California. Months later, on March 10, he abducted a young boy named Walter Collins, Jr. from his home and took him to his farm, where he was tortured, raped, and bludgeoned with an ax. Police initially believed that enemies of Walter's father, the senior Collins, were responsible for the abduction. Walter's case quickly received national attention. With no true leads, the Los Angeles Police Department attracted negative publicity and more public pressure to solve the case. Northcott's next victims were the Winslow brothers, Lewis and Nelson, who were both abducted on May 16 and taken to Northcott's farm. Both were raped and again bludgeoned to death with an ax. After spending two years being held in his uncle's farm, Sandford was visited by his older sister Jessie; he told her about what Gordon had done to him and other boys. One week later, Jessie returned to Canada and immediately informed the American consulate.
In the same month, Judson Shaw and Scallorn, two U.S. Immigration Service Inspectors, visited the farm, where they found Sandford and took him into custody. Northcott had seen the agents coming to his house and told Sandford to stall them or else he would be shot with a rifle; he fled into the treeline shortly after. Sandford eventually told agents that his uncle had escaped. On September 19, 1928, Northcott and his mother were arrested in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. Sarah eventually confessed to the murders but retracted her confession before being extradited to Canada. Northcott also confessed to killing more than five boys. During the sentencing of Sarah, Sandford testified against her and said that she had helped her son in the murders of Walter Collins, Jr. and the Winslow brothers. Along with these boys, Northcott was also convicted for the murder of the Mexican boy. In addition, Sandford said that Northcott disposed of the bodies using quicklime and that the bodies were still buried at his chicken ranch. Authorities investigated the farm and found three shallow graves with body parts inside. With the body parts and Sandford's testimony as proof, Northcott was sentenced to death, while his mother was sentenced to life in prison. Northcott was executed by hanging on October 2, 1930. He was twenty-three years old when he died.
Using his unwilling nephew as a lure, Northcott abducted several young boys and took them to his farm. There, they were raped, tortured, and some killed, either by shooting or bludgeoning with an ax. After killing them, he dismembered them, dissolved their flesh with quicklime and disposed of their bones in the desert.
- February: Unnamed Mexican boy (shot)
- March 10: Walter Collins, Jr., 9 (raped and bludgeoned with an ax)
- May 16: Lewis and Nelson Winslow (both raped and bludgeoned with an ax like the previous victims)
- Lewis Winslow, 12
- Nelson Winslow, 10
- Note: Northcott confessed of being responsible for the murders of more than five boys, though this claim was never confirmed by authorities.
On Criminal Minds
Northcott was possibly the inspiration for Bill Jarvis. Both used their relatives, who both were heavily abusive towards, to help capture young boys (Northcott used his nephew, while Bill used his son Darrin). Both would also hold the children captive for some time, all the while torturing them, before dismembering them and burying the bodies, using lime on them. Prior to that, he possibly provided some inspiration for Joe Smith. Both directly used their young relatives (Northcott used his nephew, while Joe used his own son) to lure and abduct victims, and both also kept these victims captive in their homes for a time before killing them.
- Wikipedia's article about Northcott
- Murderpedia's article about Northcott
- Blog post about the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders
- ↑ Now known as Mira Loma