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  • Writer's pictureMacabre Emporium Pod

Episode 1 - What will it do to your soft tissue?

In this episode of Macabre Emporium David goes over the great pizza funeral of Michigan, and then Sarah will discuss her hometown serial killer - Leslie Allen Williams.


DAVID:

Thousands of pizzas being dumped into a pit to be set on fire during the great pizza funeral of Michigan.
Thousands of pizzas being dumped into a pit to be set on fire during the great pizza funeral of Michigan.

The great pizza funeral of Michigan


The year is 1973. Richard Nixon is the current President of the United States. The Sears Tower would open, the Knicks would beat the Lakers for the championship, the Exorcist would be unleashed onto the world, and a pack of Oreos would cost 49 cents. Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, and The O’Jays would all have hit songs on the billboard top 100 this year. But to get to where our story begins, we have to go back a little further.


Illario “Mario” Fabbrini immigrated from Fiume, now part of Croatia. Fabrini came to the United States after World War II with his grandfather after his father was killed during WWII. After immigrating to the United States, Fabbrini joined the United States Army stationed in San Diego, California, and served in the Korean war. Mario loved San Diego so much that his dream was to retire in San Diego. After the Korean War, he and his wife Olga moved to the Detroit area and started Fabbrini Pizza.


How Croatian pizza differs from Americanized pizza is the sauce is served on the side instead of on the crust like we know pizza nod. It is topped with herbs, vegetables, and thinly sliced sausage.


Mario Fabbrini’s pizzas became very popular in the Detroit area Fabbrini started to offer delivery of his pizzas, which at the time was a relatively new concept, and other pizzerias were upset and had to start offering it as well to compete. Fabbrini ends up selling his business after hearing rumors of the Army Reserves being called into service as the berlin wall is being constructed. He was never deployed and moved to Alpena, Michigan.


In his downtime, he would make pizzas and freeze them, and people would start buying these frozen pizzas from him. Sometime during the 1960s the Heinz company approached him with an offer he can’t refuse.

Now with the backing of Heinz Foods, Fabbrini is now producing 9,000 pizzas daily in a factory in Osinke, Michigan, and selling his beloved pizzas in Michigan and Ohio.


In January of 1973, United Canning company switched from manually filling to automatic of their products. After some time, employees of United Canning noticed a more significant number of cans of mushrooms were swelling. Swelling is an indicator of canned goods for contamination. United Canning contacted The FDA had taken samples of their mushrooms. These samples tested positive for Clostridium Botulinum. Clostridium Botulinum is associated with swelling food cans commonly. The FDA then issued a recall on canned mushrooms for possible botulism contamination.


Botulism is a bacterium that can be found in soil or water naturally and also in contaminated foods. It typically takes 12 to 36 hours for symptoms to show once the toxin enters the body.


Symptoms of foodborne botulism include:

  • Trouble swallowing or speaking

  • Dry mouth

  • Facial weakness on both sides of the face

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Drooping eyelids

  • Trouble breathing

  • Nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps

  • Paralysis


On February 19th of the same year, the FDA contacted Fabbrini about the recalls and told him he had to recall his products. “Oh my God, not me; what if somebody gets sick or dies from this” Fabrini told The Daily Courier during an interview. Even though Fabbrini is pissed about the news he received from the FDA, he blamed nobody for this. After crunching some numbers to figure out how many pizzas that could have tainted mushrooms might affect pizzas that could be tainted mushrooms. His total came to about $60,000 total between manufacturing and profits. ($387,500 in 2022). Knowing he would have to take the loss on the pizzas.

About two weeks after getting the news of the contamination, Fabbrini gathered all the pizzas. He loved his pizzas much like a family member and held a funeral for them. He made this a local event, and several 100 people, including the Governor of Michigan, showed up. The Governor gave a short speech as four dump trucks full of pizzas unloaded into an 18-foot-deep hole. Lario Fabbrini placed a wreath of white and red flowers with his beloved pizzas after they were buried. He presented the Governor with a frozen pizza for his moving speech and appearance.


During the burial of the pizzas, Lario Fabbrini cooked pizzas for the crowd that gathered to witness the funeral. Some people that attended the funeral questioned the safety of the pizzas. Lario responded, “the governor ate a piece, and he is still alive.” Fabrini had massive support from the community that loved his pizza. “There are sure a lot of nice people in the world,” he told the press. One man offered up his stock as collateral if he needed it. Even his church congregation and priests from other churches were praying for him.

The FDA retracted its findings of botulism in the mushrooms from United canning.

The FDA tested the mushrooms by feeding pieces of mushrooms from United Canning to mice, but these mice died from the same illness, but it was not botulism altogether. Soon after the funeral, Fabbrini received the news that his pizzas weren’t tainted; Fabrini joked with the press, “if they didn’t die from botulism, maybe they just didn’t like my pizzas.”


Even though Fabrini didn’t blame his suppliers, he continued to use them after the recall. Fabrini filed a lawsuit against United Canning and Tolono Pizza Products, his supplier. His case was settled in 1979 for 211,000 dollars. Unfortunately, competitors swooped in and filled the store shelves where his pizzas stood. In the 1980s, he had to close his pizza company selling assets for 5,000 dollars.

There is a happily ever after all. Fabbrini and his wife were able to retire in San Diego after all.


 

SARAH:

Mugshot of serial killer Leslie Allen Williams.
Mugshot of serial killer Leslie Allen Williams.

—- Leslie Allen Williams —-


Born in Detroit, Michigan on the 4th of July, a newborn, Leslie Allen Williams, would grow up and earn himself the titles of Serial Killer, Serial Rapist and Necrophile.


But before we get to how he became the piece of shit he currently is, let’s dig into his upbringing. Leslie seemingly did not have the greatest of childhoods. He grew up in a household with 4 other siblings and both parents. Leslie’s uncle, Jim Jardine, said it best… “Five children were born into that family. All of them are still alive, but only 2 of them survived.” He did grow up with both parents - his mother with the long ass name, Dorothy Jardine Lashbrook Williams Adams and his father, Lyle Williams, Sr. Dorothy and Lyle began to see each other while Dorothy was married to Lyle’s best friend. She used saying that her husband was being abusive as a means to get away from him and with Lyle. Now, Lyle, he was a fairly depraved man. He was known for his off-kilter or crude comments and dirty jokes. He was also known for being ridiculously mean. Lyle was accused of punishing his toddler children with laxatives. He molested Dorothy’s daughters from her previous marriage - which landed him in the Ionia State Home for the Criminally Insane. Dorothy would have someone watch Leslie more often than she herself did. She became cold towards her other children, even sending off her youngest son to live with an elderly couple for the first 3 years he was alive. Lyle would use weapons and attack Dorothy and his children - whoever was closest. He killed Leslie’s pet birds. He drove a wedge between Dorothy and her family AND forced her into prostitution. Dorothy didn’t mind that, it made her money and let Lyle live what he loved…being a voyeur. He would sit in the closet, sometimes by himself, sometimes with his stepdaughters, or neighborhood kids, and watch what happened between Dorothy and her gentlemen callers. In time, the pair were caught doing this and they were arrested for prostitution. While she took up for her husband when the cops came knocking again, this time for Lyle being a pedophile and molesting DOROTHY’s daughters. Nevertheless, it caused Dorothy to take a step back and be there, but never present. She became neglectful and pretty much let Leslie raise himself - unfortunately for Leslie, he had the worst of role models.


He would start his life of crime at the ripe age of 17 in 1970. He was arrested for the first time for breaking and entering into a home in his neighborhood. He was apprehended multiple times over the next 10 years for crimes that increasingly got worse. He was arrested again in September of 1983 for sexually assaulting a woman in her own home. This resulted in being sentenced to 20 years in prison. After serving 8 years in prison for the rape, Williams was granted parole. About 9 months after being released on parole, he killed his first victim.


—- Victims in chronological order —-


  • September 14, 1991 - Kami Marie Villanueva - 18 years old

    • Attacked near her home in South Lyon

    • (as a document signed by Williams states)

      • Williams kidnapped Villanueva while she walked near her house. He choked her to death and then had sex with her corpse before burying her naked body in a shallow grave in the woods


  • September 29, 1991- sisters Michelle Urbin - 16 years old, Melissa Urbin - 14 years old of Tyrone Township

    • killed while taking a walk at night

    • Williams raped them before smothering them to death

    • He then put their bodies in his car and drove to Oakwood Cemetery in Fenton, MI. Before placing them in shallow graves, he had sex with their dead bodies.


  • January 4, 1992 - Cynthia Marie Jones - 15 - Milford

    • (as a document signed by Williams states)

      • While masked, he kidnapped her at knifepoint from a park where she was visiting her boyfriend (whom he left tied to a tree.) He took her to his apartment where took explicit pictures of her and then stabbed her in the chest before raping her dead body and burying her half naked body in a shallow grave.


  • Unspecified

    • After his final arrest, Williams claimed that he also raped a 9-year-old girl, but I was unable to find anything concrete on this.


Williams stated that after each murder he would lay awake and cry and question himself as to why he did what he did.


May 24, 1992, Williams tried to rape a woman who was visiting her mother's grave to put a wreath down. He pulled her into his vehicle. Thankfully there were witnesses and they called the police. The police caught up to Williams and found the woman he took in his trunk. He was arrested right there and taken to the police station. While there, Williams confessed to the four murders. Over the course of the next month, Williams took the police to the victims' burial sites. During all of this, he confessed to at least 11 sexual assaults and other various crimes since 1990.


Without Williams leading police and detectives to the burial sites and admitting what he had done, it would have been tough to string all of these together as being done by the same person. The differences between the ages, the areas of abduction/murder and ways each of them was murdered could have easily made it difficult to pinpoint one person as the criminal.


Williams told investigators that he would go back occasionally and visit the shallow graves of the girls he killed.


Once caught Williams told the Michigan State Police detectives:

“I don’t want to cause any more trouble. I don’t want to cause taxpayers any grief. I just want to be locked up. Lock me up so I don’t do it again. I have no control over my life.”


There was a lot of controversy surrounding this case, as many felt as though the state of Michigan, the parole board and the justice system failed these girls by allowing him out in the first place after the first rape.


—- Conviction —-


1992

  • Sentenced to life in prison for the four murders as well as the attempted rape of the woman he snatched into his vehicle.

  • It was found out that Williams kept a scorecard of each victim’s physical appearances and collected trophies, or souvenirs, from each of them.


Present

  • Still alive (unfortunately)

    • 69 years old

  • Currently serving multiple life sentences at the Carson City Correctional Facility in Carson City, Michigan


Sentences

  • 5 counts of kidnapping

  • 5 counts of criminal sexual conduct

  • 3 counts of first-degree murder

  • 2 counts of homicide - premeditated

  • 1 count of breaking and entering occupied building with intent

  • 1 count of assault with intent to commit murder

  • 1 count of weapons - felony firearms

  • 1 count of assault with attempt to commit a felony


I was 7 or 8 years old when this happened. Before moving to Indiana, I lived in Fenton (where Michelle and Melissa were murdered and buried.) I hadn’t remembered this until it was brought up by my older sister again recently. Then it all came rushing back. I remember the news; I remember my older sister telling myself and I believe my other sister about it when we went Geocaching IN the Oakwood Cemetery. She showed us where the bodies were found on the other side of a hill behind an in-ground mausoleum. Now, I visit there every time David and I make it back to Michigan to see my family, but for much more personal reasons - my mother and grandmother are buried side by side, right down the trail from where all of this happened. Give me chills thinking about how many times I have passed that mausoleum thinking nothing of it. I bet from here on out it will not be as easily passable.


Documentaries/TV

  • Lake Erie Murders TV show shed light on this case with an episode called The Vanishing Teens in 2018


References

  • Book - Born Bent: A Map Into the Mind of a Serial Killer by Mick Strawser

  • Numerous Google searches


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