The Alphabet Killer
The serial murderer with an affection for alliteration.
Trigger warning — This article references crimes committed against children. It will not give any non-relevant details or gruesome descriptions, only things that reveal the story and set the scene for catching the culprit. If this is a sensitive topic, please access any of my other lighter stories here. Once again, there is nothing including that is unnecessary to give this story justice.
Alliteration is a poetic device that stands out in American linguistics. When you repeat letter sounds throughout a sentence, it not only grabs attention, but also delivers focus, harmony, and rhythm. People naturally have an easier time remembering phrases with alliteration… like Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Or when the Beatles sang to whisper words of wisdom. Quite frankly, the main reason to use alliteration is that it sounds pleasing to the ear. It captures attention, and establishes a theme down to the wording chosen, beyond the topic itself. Well, in 1971, someone took the skill of alliteration, what was a piece of art, and turned it into something vile. They used it to orchestrate a series of child murders in Rochester, New York. Because it was catchy, and he knew it would gather the attention he craved. He chose victims whose first and last names began with the same letter and left their bodies in a town with that same first initial. For example, and this is made up, Sarah Smith would be found in Springfield. That is only an example to help you understand the pattern but to this day the crimes remained unsolved despite leads in every direction. The perpetrator remains known as the Alphabet Murderer.
The nightmare began at about 4:20 pm on November 16, 1971 when Carmen Colon never returned home from running an errand for her grandmother in Rochester, New York. Eye witnesses said that the 10 year old entered the local pharmacy on West Main Street, but ended up leaving without the prescription she was sent for, because it had not yet been processed. She was seen telling the store owner “I got to go. I got to go,” and then he watched as she slid into in a brown car parked just around the corner. Within 50 minutes, multiple drivers on interstate 490 saw Carmen on the shoulder of the road. She was naked from the waist down and running away from…