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  • Writer's pictureMacabre Emporium Pod

Episode 32 - ABC's and Ice Creams


ABC Murder victims, Double Initial Murders
Victims of the Alphabet Killer, Carmen Colon (L), Wanda Walkowicz (M), Michelle Maenz (R)

Carmen Colon

Victim #1

Carmen Colon was 10 years old, and on November 26th, 1971, her grandmother had sent her out to the neighborhood drug store to pick up a prescription that was waiting. After going in and speaking with the pharmacist, Carmen had gone outside to wait for it to be filled. The store owner, Jack Corbin, stated he watched her get into a car that was parked close to the pharmacy.

She was a block and a half from home, but she would never return to her house, or go back into the drugstore to pick up the medication she was there to get.

About 15 minutes after leaving the pharmacy, hundreds of motorists driving down Interstate 490 saw a child, naked from the waist down, waving her arms frantically while running from a car that was driving behind her in reverse. The car was said to be a dark colored Ford Pinto hatchback.

Carmen’s family called the police at 7:50pm, and they showed up to scour the neighborhood.

Two days later on November 18th, two teenagers that were out riding their bikes, called police to inform them they had found a half-naked body in a suburb of Rochester. This was about 12 miles away from where Carmen had last been seen.

Carmen’s coat was found in a culvert approximately 300 feet away from her body. Her pants were discovered on November 30th near the road where numerous people drove by her while waving her arms and trying to flee from her abductor.

In Carmen’s autopsy, it showed she had been raped. Her poor little body had been scratched up all over the place. She also suffered from a fractured skull and one of her vertebrae PRIOR to being strangled to death by the hands of the abductor.

The fact that Carmen was murdered, and that not one single person stopped to check on her as she's running down a highway half naked screaming and waving her arms…it created massive public outrage. Numerous people and businesses helped raise a 2,500-dollar reward to a 6,000-dollar reward. It took a few months before the authorities would realize they had run into a dead end in their investigation. Billboards were put up around the Rochester area that had a picture of Carmen on them with the headline “Do You Know Who Killed Carmen Colon?”. They advertised the 6,000-dollar reward for any information leading to an arrest.

This would lead to several new tips, however, the murder of Carmen remained unsolved.

But there would come a suspect from this…

Miguel Colon was Carmen’s uncle and was considered a strong suspect in her murder. He was the brother of Carmen’s dad. After Carmen’s parents separated, Miguel made his moves and began a relationship with her mom.

On occasion, Carmen would walk to the pharmacy to gather family prescriptions. She typically went with her grandfather, but the day of her disappearance, she had asked to go alone.

A couple of weeks before Carmen’s murder, Miguel had purchased a car that matched the description of the one witness claimed to have seen reversing towards the girl on the highway. Investigators confiscated the car to go search it and found that it had been cleaned and detailed inside and out from bumper to bumper. The dealership that sold the car to Miguel said that the car wasn’t in a condition to need cleaning prior to being sold, so they had not been the ones to clean it. Miguel did.

Four days after Carmen’s murder, Miguel made his intentions known, and was planning to relocate back to Puerto Rico.

Investigators went to Puerto Rico to question Miguel in 1972, and he ran. He wound up turning himself in on March 26th and agreed to go back to Rochester for questioning.

During the interview, Miguel was not able to give a good alibi for the time/date of the disappearance and murder of his niece Carmen. There was no one to corroborate any story he gave. Even though investigators had some circumstantial evidence against Miguel, there was no physical evidence taken from anywhere that could connect him to the murder.

Miguel committed suicide in 1991 when he was 44 years old after a domestic violence incident - he had shot both his brother and wife. Both of them survived.

Wanda Walkowicz

Victim #2

17 months after the disappearance and brutal murder of Carmen, at about 5pm on April 2nd, 1973, Wanda Walkowicz disappeared from Rochester, NY’s east side. She was out running an errand at a deli. The owner of the deli stated that she had been there, that she purchased the groceries she was there for, and left around 5:15 to head back home.

She didn’t make it home, and her mom, Joyce, would report her missing at 8 pm that night.

The police instantly launched a very intense search to try and find Wanda. Fifty detectives looked around the numerous square miles of land around Wanda’s home, the deli, and near the Genesee River where she would often play. Unfortunately, the search would reveal nothing, and they were not able to locate her.

Neighbors, and three of Wanda’s own classmates told the police that they saw her struggling to carry the grocery bag, and that she even stopped at one point to wedge the bag between a fence and herself so she could get a better grip of it, as a brown car drove past her.

Wanda Walkowicz’s fully clothed body was found at 10:15am the next day by a police officer. She was sprawled out at the base of a hill alongside an access road to State Route 104 in Webster, which is about 7 miles from where she was abducted in Rochester. The positioning of her body showed that she was more than likely thrown from a fast-moving vehicle at the top of the hill, and then her body rolling down the other side.

Like Carmen, Wanda’s autopsy showed that she had been raped, and then strangled from behind. This time, instead of by hand, there were ligature marks on her neck, most likely from a belt. There were numerous defensive wounds on her, which shows that she fought as hard as she could against her murderer. The autopsy also revealed that there were trace amounts of semen and pubic hair on the young girl's body. The latter did not come from her either. But to add even more, there was a lot of white cat fur found on her clothes. Though the Walkowicz family did not own any type of pet with white fur.

Billboards were made for Wanda as well, and this time the reward for finding the murderer of Wanda Walkowicz was upped to 10,000 dollars. During the investigation, police found an eyewitness from the deli that was working on the evening of April 2nd. The witness said that he saw Wanda walking alongside the passenger door of a big brown car while carrying on a conversation with the driver. They were unable to see who exactly was driving the car, they couldn’t determine their gender or race. There was a second person that contacted the investigators that said she saw a man forcing a red-haired child into his light-colored Dodge Dart between 5:30 and 6pm. The description of the girl did match that of Wanda.

Rochester’s Police Department threw out the idea that the murders of Carmen and Wanda were linked somehow.

In September of 1973, a local TV Network announced that they had intentions on broadcasting a televised reconstruction of Wanda’s abduction and recovery of her body. This half hour episode was shown on October 21st and was joined by public cries for someone to turn in any tips they have to help lead to an arrest, and justice for the Walkowicz family.

They gained over 200 calls from the public, and numerous tips, but none of the leads led them anywhere.

Michelle Maenz

Victim #3.

Seven months after the murder of Wanda, on November 26, 1973, 11-year-old Michelle Maenza was reported missing by her mom, Carolyn after not coming home from school.

Investigations would find that Michelle was seen by classmates around 3:20pm walking to a shopping mall. She was headed that way to get her purse that her mom had accidentally left there earlier in the day. About 10 minutes after this, someone saw Michelle sitting in the passenger side of a beige colored vehicle that was speeding, but they were able to make out that Michelle was crying.

Around 5:30pm, someone saw a man standing by a large beige vehicle with a flat tire parked on the side of the road, and the witness stated the man was holding onto the wrist of a girl that strongly resembled Michelle. The person stopped to see if they needed help at all, and the man pushed the girl and put her behind his back and had a menacing look on his face. In doing so, he also made it hard for the witness to get a good read on the license plate.

Michelle’s body was found at 10:30am, two days after being reported missing. She was fully clothed, and face down in a ditch 15 miles from home.

In her autopsy, it showed that she suffered severe blunt force trauma to her body, she had been raped and then strangled. As with Wanda, there were ligature marks on her as well. They guess it was from a thin rope. There were also spots of white car fur on Michelle’s clothing. There were also pieces of leaves that came from her clenched hands, which told them she was probably strangled right where she was found. Investigators were able to get a partial palm print from her neck and were able to gather semen samples from her underwear. A DNA analysis of the semen proved she was only raped by one individual.

During the autopsy, they checked her stomach contents and found that she had eaten a hamburger about 1 hour prior to her death. Which gave investigators the ability to take a few of the tips they had gotten as credible. There had been reports of a young girl matching Michelle’s description, and a man between the ages of 25 and 35. The reports stated he was tall, probably 6 feet, and slender around 160 pounds. The reports stated they saw this pair at a fast-food restaurant around 4:30pm on the day of Michelle’s disappearance.

The Funerals

Carmen Colon’s funeral was held on November 22nd, 1971. She had nearly 200 people in attendance.

Wanda Walkowicz’s funeral was held on April 6, 1973. She was laid to rest in a small white and gold casket.

Michelle Maenza’s funeral was held on December 1, 1973. She had an open casket and was seen by hundreds of people. At the end of her funeral, her dad Christopher, got up to speak to the crowd in front of him. He simply stated “She was a sweet little girl. She didn’t fight much.”

All three girls, Carmen, Wanda and Michelle were laid to rest in Rochester, in a Catholic cemetery called Holy Sepulcher Cemetery.

The Investigation

All three of the murders caused a lot of public outrage as I stated earlier. They all received a lot of media attention. With all the attention received, and tips gathered, it was inevitable that a composite sketch be made public of who they believed to be the suspect.

There was a tip hotline set up solely for tips on the three murders. Anonymity was given to every single caller with information to give. Nonetheless, no credible suspect was found. Even though investigators talked to more than 800 could-be suspects, the real person responsible for the Alphabet Murders was never caught.

The investigators did have a theory about who it could be though. Given each of the girls' background, poor Catholic families, very few friends, recently being bullied, not doing well in school, the investigators thought it perhaps could have been someone employed at the school. Someone who could watch their patterns, and had access to the information they potentially looked for. Had it been a worker from school, they would have been trusted by each of the girls, or at least would have been able to gain their trust and not come off as a threat.

The Similarities

Each of the murdered girls were pre-teens, and each of them had disappeared in the early-midafternoon in Rochester, NY. All three of the bodies had been found later on within bordering towns. Each of the girls were found either fully clothed or half clothed, and close to an expressway. With each of the autopsies they were all three deemed to have been thrown out of a moving vehicle.

All three girls were short. All of them raped prior to being strangled to death. And all three were seemingly outcasts in their group of peers.

Both Wanda and Michelle had their stomach contents looked at, and both of them had eaten about an hour prior to being murdered, and both of them redressed after the murder took place.

The investigators involved believed there was a possibility that each of the victims had been hand-picked due to their names being double initials was slim to none. CC, WW, MM. However, with that even being out in the air this went from being called the Alphabet Murders to The Double Initial Murders.

The Aftermath

Carmen’s mother made her very first public statement in 1995. In the statement, Guillermina Colon said that even though she lived her whole life in poverty, she could only have one thing before her death: it wouldn't be money. It would be knowing who killed her daughter. A quote from her said “If I could die knowing who killed my Carmencita, I could die more peacefully than I have lived. It is the only thing I want in my life, to know that this person had to pay for the terrible things he did to my little girl. If the person who did this could have any compassion, he would see the pain and suffering the families of these little girls have gone through, for all this time.”

There were other suspects, even a notable one, but none of them panned out as being the actual killer, as DNA testing ruled them out.

With that said, the real killer of these young girls has never been found or caught. Which means he could still be alive, or even better yet, dead.



Ice cream
Old school Ice Cream parlor

Now that summer is officially here with summer solstice happen, however most people say that summer begins on Memorial Day. No matter when you decide when summer actually starts for you its almost certain you will eat ice cream at least once during the summer month whereas you and I usually always have ice cream in our freezer no matter the time of year.

The beginnings of ice cream can are somewhat obscure as many counties have their own traditional frozen treats. The ancient Persians as far back to 550 BCE in what is now known today as Iran. The Persians would use ice houses known as Yakhchal (like yacht shell) that are cone shaped and look very similar to a cinnamon roll if you pushed it from the center out or like a onion volcano at your local hibachi. Inside these yakhchals is a giant pit were ice and snow would be stored year-round for food preservation and drinks in the summer historians believe.

How the Yackchals would work is by evaporative cooling, the colder air would enter through openings at the base of the structures and descend into the ice pit. The cone shape of these structures would guide any remaining heat upwards and outside through openings at the top.

Depending on what parts of Iran where the yakhchals are located they would be accompanied with ponds for producing ice all year round using lower overnight temperatures to freeze water into ice. As where most would bring snow and ice in from the mountains to be used throughout the year. There are more than 100 of the early ice pits still standing today in Iran.

And from this ice and snow the Persians would make faloodeh and sorbets all year round. Faloodeh is similar to sorbet. It consists of thin noodles made from starch in a semi frozen syrup made from rose water and sugar. It is often served with lime juice and sometimes ground pistachios.

Since a lot of these earlier treats are very similar to a sorbet for those that aren’t sure what a sorbet is, as we know its a dessert and its often mixed with fruit juice or fruit puree and other ingredients such as wines, liqueurs, or honey. Sorbets do not contain any dairy products like its counterpart sherbet or sherbert here in the states since we can’t seem to use already existing words.

In Indian subcontinent of South Asia you will find Kulfi. This treat originates back to the 16th century as well is similar to ice cream we know but is denser and creamier than ice cream. With its density it melts a lot slower than ice cream.

Traditional flavors of Kulfi rose, mango, cardamom, saffron, and pistachio. Kufli is not whipped like ice cream when its being made it is slow cooked allowing the sugars to caramelize before being poured into molds and frozen quickly.

In Japan Kakigori, has been dated back to the Heian period, 794-1185, where blocks of ice would be saved during the colder months and then later shaved and served with a sweet syrup similar to a snow cone that we would know. Kakigori was typically served to the aristocrats of Japan like we had learned that sweets similar to this were for the wealthy due to manufacturing costs in the birthday origins episode.

However even with ice creams roots start in ice flavored treats and would start spreading through Europe by Moorish traders as most historians agree with this, but its still up to debate today that ice cream that we know it now comes from Marco Polos travels in China between 1271-1295 even though he never wrote about it in his travels. But as this legend of sorts goes, he would learn the methods of making ice cream from the Chinese from their recipe of mixing fermented milk, flour, and camphor together along with ice that they have been making since the Tang Dynasty. Which this is more like a sherbet than actual ice cream. Along with this King T’ang would keep 94 icemen on hand to always make sure there was enough for everyone in the palace to have.

One of the first recorded mentioning of ice cream was in 1671 in England. Antiquarian Elias Ashmole noted it being served at the Feast of St. George for King Charles II. The only table at the banquet with ice cream on it was that of the Kings. The feast of St. George is to honor to honor this patron saint of knights and soldiers and is held on May 6th.

47 years later in 1718, the first recipe for ice cream is published in Mrs. Mary Eale’s Receipts, a book dedicated to confectionary.

To ice cream.

Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweeten’d, or Fruit in it; shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top: You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt; set in your Pots of Cream, and lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be froze in four Hours, but it may stand longer; then take it out just as you use it; hold it in your Hand and it will slip out. When you wou’d freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Raspberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemmonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemmon-Juice sweeten’d; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream.

It is unknown who brought ice cream to colonial America, but Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were known to regularly eat and serve ice cream. A merchant on Catham street in New York showed that George Washington spends 200 dollars in 1790 on ice cream alone. First Lady Dolley Madison would serve ice cream at the inaugural Ball in for her husband President James Madison.

The popularity of ice cream would start to spread to the masses in Europe and the United States until the 1800s until Agnes Marshall of London, England and Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia, PA.

These two women’s designs for ice cream makers would be similar in design even though oceans apart. With these two ladies' inventions ice cream would no longer be only for the wealthy and now the working- and middle-class families can enjoy it as well.

How their designs differ is that Agnes Marshall’s design is shorter and wider, and you put the salt and ice on the bottom whereas Nancy Johnson’s is more like a bucket, and your salt and ice goes around it similar to the one we use once a year with my dad when he has all of us over in July. But Marshall’s design would be advertised to make a pint of ice cream in less than 30 minutes.

Agnes Marshall would also be known as “queen of the ices” after writing four books on ice cream recipes. She would even go to the extreme of suggesting using liquid nitrogen in these times. Which we know as Dippin’ Dots today.

In the 1870s ice cream was available to just about everyone, from street vendors with the penny lick and ice cream soda and ice cream sundaes.

I’m you are either curious or dreading to find out what a penny lick is. Since ice cream cones wouldn’t be invented until 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair, most of these street vendors would only have one glass, two if you are lucky. So, most customers would end up licking the glass or tin cup clean before giving it back to the vendor where they would finish cleaning it in a pail before using it again for the next customer. I know fucking gross.

A more sanitary ally to ice cream the sundae would come along in 1874 to get around blue laws that prohibited the sales of certain goods on Sunday. One of these goods was the Ice cream soda that people might of though was too “Frilly” so the sale of ice cream soda on Sunday would be banned. Who created te first Ice cream sundae has always been congested between five US cities.

Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Buffalo, Ny

Evanston, IL

Ithaca, New York

Plainfield, IL

Even though we might not ever really know but Two Rivers and Ithaca are the biggest rivals to make this claim.

How Two Rivers makes this claim that George Hallauer asked the owner of Berner’s Soda Fountain to drizzle chocolate syrup over his ice cream in 1881. And Berner would only sell them on Sunday for a Nickel. The problem with this is Berner was in his mid-teens and highly unlikely he owned a soda shop. Along with his obituary dated this first sundae in 1899 and not 1881 like the historical marker in Twin Rivers, Wi states.

Where Ithaca’s claim would be that Chester Platt a minister and co-owner of the local pharmacy and soda fountain. On a whim in April 1892, covered dishes of ice cream with cherry syrup and candied cherries. He would name this dish the Cherry Sunday in honor of the day it was created. The following month they now would be surviving strawberry and chocolate Sundays as well.

Even with many cases of parallel thinking across the country on who made this treat the word Sundae more than likely belongs to Evanston, IL with blue laws prohibiting sales of ice cream soda on Sundays. So with soda-less ice cream soda they were known as Sunday sodas, well church leaders didn't like this being named after the Sabbath, so they changed the spelling of Sunday to Sundae.

Even though in the 20th century more things would come for one of America’s most staple foods there is much more history that goes along with ice cream from the invention of ice cream trucks, soda fountains becoming the new bar during prohibition, and trying to make ice cream in bombers during WW II to boost morale in the field, and the Glasgow Ice cream wars of the 80s. One thing is certain everyone loves ice cream.

Fun Facts

  • The Average American consumes 23 pounds of ice cream per year.

  • The tallest ice cream cone ever made was 9ft tall in Italy

  • Chocolate syrup is the most popular ice cream topping

  • It takes 12 pounds of milk to produce 1 gallon of ice cream

  • The average number of licks to finish one scoop of ice cream is 50

  • With the long running joke of Mc Donald’s ice cream machines broken you can actually visit to see if the your local Mc Donald’s ice cream machine is operational or not. At the time we are recording this the three closest mc donalds near us are currently broken.

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