Pushing Up Lilies

When Serial Killers Are Set Free

Episode Summary

On today's episode of Pushing Up Lilies, I delve into a bone-chilling exploration of a disturbing phenomenon in this episode: serial killers from around the world released from prison for good behavior. Join me on an unsettling journey into the dark underbelly of the criminal justice system as we unravel the stories of those who, once predators, are now walking free. * Listener discretion is strongly advised.

Episode Notes


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Episode Transcription

0:06 Welcome to Pushing Up Lilies.

0:08 I'm your host, Julie Mattson.

0:10 Pushing Up Lily's is a weekly True crime podcast with spine tingling, unusual and terrifyingly true stories from my perspective as a forensic death investigator and a sexual assault nurse examiner.

0:24 Do I have some stories for you?

0:26 Are you ready?

0:31 Hello.

0:31 From Texas.

0:33 We are getting ready for the holidays around here.

0:36 Hopefully y'all have your trees up and most of your shopping done.

0:41 I think it's less than three weeks away at this point.

0:45 I know last week we talked a little bit about holiday death.

0:47 I wanted to kind of get off that subject, but I thought it was important to kind of discuss it because there are a lot of dangers related to decorating your home and all those other things that we talked about.

1:00 But if you haven't heard that episode, I encourage you to go back and listen because it's pretty informative and it talks a little bit about crazy ways that people die and I hope that I have not made my kids paranoid because over the years I've always made them think ahead, you know, ok, if you do this, what's the worst thing that can happen.

1:24 That kind of helps you decide whether you're going to do it or not sometimes.

1:28 But I wanted to kind of change pace a little bit.

1:31 I know that everyone seems to really be super interested in serial killers and there's one recent here in Texas.

1:40 But first, I just can't believe how many serial killers have been released from prison early.

1:48 It blows my mind.

1:49 I was, you know, doing my research and looking through and I was thinking to myself, we have all these people in prison that have committed, I guess what I consider minor crimes compared to murdering people and being a serial killer.

2:08 And I don't understand why they're still in prison.

2:11 And these serial killers are all released early on good behavior because a big part of them do it again.

2:19 My most recent example, I would be Raul Misa. This guy, I guess he had everybody fooled. 62 years old, he was indicted by a grand jury in the 2019 death of his neighbor Gloria Lofton and the 2023 death of Jesse Fraga.

2:40 All these are very recent now; Gloria Lofton was found dead on May 9th of 2019, and this happened in Austin.

2:52 It was Travis County here in Texas.

2:55 Now, she was found in her bedroom, there were possible signs of sexual assault, and you know, they said signs of strangulation.

3:06 However, when they did her autopsy there were no visible external or internal injuries that could be related to strangulation.

3:15 In the beginning, her death was ruled undetermined.

3:20 And that's kind of interesting because, you know, we always say that of lack suffocation in many cases, if you know, a pillow is put over somebody's head or they were strangled manually with someone's hands, but there's no visible signs.

3:36 Sometimes it's really hard to prove these things.

3:40 And I think in Gloria Lofton's case, she was 65 and she had some underlying medical problems.

3:47 There was a possibility, and they could not rule out the possibility of her death being due to natural causes.

3:55 Again, she was found in her bedroom, she could have possibly even been lying in her bed.

4:00 I don't know.

4:01 And that's common for people to die of natural causes in their sleep or whatever in April of 2020 they did find DNA linked to Meza who lived next door to Gloria Lofton.

4:16 Thank goodness for all of the advancements in DNA collection and all the different things that we have in play.

4:25 Now that can help us find suspects when we didn't have any idea who did this.

4:31 He was also wanted in the murder of Jesse Fraga in Luger.

4:38 He called the police and he said, I think you're looking for me.

4:43 The crazy thing about this is that this guy got out of prison in 2016.

4:49 He had been there before more than once.

4:53 He went to prison in 2016 for the 1982 murder of eight-year-old Kendra Page.

5:02 This is what gets me y'all and I don't understand it.

5:05 He only served 12 years of a 30-year sentence.

5:09 Now he was released on good behavior.

5:12 But why, I mean, I know that child sex offenders and child murderers normally do not last long in prison.

5:20 Why this guy even was able to be released early blows my mind because the really interesting thing is that his first crime was committed when he was only 15 years old.

5:34 Back in 1975 he was robbing a convenience store, and he shot the store attendant.

5:42 The attendant survived, but he was sentenced to 20 years in 1976.

5:50 A year after he shot the guy, he got 20 years in prison, and he was released in 1981 again early a year before he murdered Kendra page.

6:05 I don't get it, Kendra.

6:08 She left for a friend's house on her bicycle and her body was found in a dumpster, beaten, bruised and naked.

6:16 A few days after the murder is when he turned himself in.

6:20 But Michael Fraga was also one of his victims.

6:24 And this was an 80-year-old gentleman who was found naked face down in a bathroom closet with a belt wrapped around his neck and his wrists.

6:35 There was a large amount of blood in the residence.

6:38 He apparently confessed to that murder as well.

6:43 Fraga: the really sad story about him is, keep in mind he's 80, right?

6:48 Him and his wife for some reason, visited Meza while he was in jail for the homicide of Kendra Page, I guess, befriended him for whatever reason.

7:00 And I know we've talked about that before too.

7:02 Why do you want to suddenly become friends with somebody when they're in prison?

7:06 Especially for murdering and sexually assaulting a child?

7:10 But why we talked about women before, like, why do you want to be in a relationship or marry someone who is in prison for murder?

7:21 And I know the circumstances are different, but in this case, like he definitely killed this little girl.

7:25 Anyway, Fraga befriended him back when he was in prison.

7:30 And so when he got out, Fraga tried to help him get involved in a church and was trying to help him kind of lead the good life.

7:38 And Meza moved in with Fraga and his wife and son.

7:44 Unfortunately, Fraga's wife and son died of COVID that left Meza and Fraga in this house alone.

7:51 Now, this was in Luger, Texas.

7:54 Fraga's body was discovered after his niece called for a welfare check.

8:00 She hadn't heard from him for about a week and she got concerned and I know we've talked about welfare checks before where if your neighbors may see that your mail hasn't been picked up or you haven't gone to the doctor like you normally do or family trying to call you and you're not answering and they're out of state so they can't go check on you, then they can call the police and just ask for a welfare check.

8:23 Hey, will you swing by there and see what's going on, check on him.

8:27 And many times, you know, the police don't always enter the residence when they don't get an answer.

8:34 They're not always found immediately.

8:36 I mean, because if they're adults, they can make a choice not to talk to you if you try to call them.

8:41 And so they don't always push the issue until it's been long enough.

8:46 And many, many people are like, hey, I've been trying to call him or whatever.

8:5 1I've even had cases where the police go over there and hear the phone ringing and then it's like, oh, ok, obviously his phone's ringing, he's not answering something's going on his cars here and then they will sometimes force entry and find the person deceased or sometimes the door is unlocked.

9:08 Fraga anyway, was discovered by the police when the niece called for a welfare check.

9:14 Now, on autopsy, he had a burnt cigarette inside his mouth, and he also had a puncture wound on the right side of his neck.

9:23 And this is believed to have been caused by an eight-inch knife blade which was found in the residence by the way.

9:31 Now, Fraga's truck was stolen, who knows what happened after that.

9:35 But neighbor’s camera footage saw Meza getting out of Fraga's vehicle and Meza had told the police that he was having a sexual relationship with Fraga.

9:46 He claims that he murdered him because Fraga tied him up for hours and he quote, unquote, lost it after Fraga eventually released him.

9:58 Meza has spent nearly 20 years in prison for various crimes ranging from curfew violation to homicide.

10:06 And again at the age of 15 y'all, he shoots a convenient store service attendant.

10:14 I don't know about y'all, but I would never personally be able to work at a gas station.

10:20 I feel like the bigger ones like QT and racetrack might be a little bit different because they stay so busy.

10:26 But I'll be d if I'm going to sit in a convenience store or gas station in the middle of the night waiting for somebody to come in there and rob me.

10:37 No.

10:38 But anyway, he was not a good guy.

10:42 At 75 is when he shot the convenience store attendant in 1980, he was granted parole again, 82 he killed Kendra Page and turned himself in just days later.

10:59 He gets a 30-year prison sentence.

11:01 But here we go, released early for good behavior and it was supposed to be supervised.

11:07 But how closely supervised is it?

11:10 I mean, because this guy continued, continued to do this.

11:16 He was transferred to a halfway house near El Paso and apparently there were a lot of protests. A lot of people in the area found out that he was moving there, and they were completely against it.

11:28 He had murdered a child who wants somebody who's murdered a child to be anywhere around their Children or their family or anybody that they cared about in the least bit.

11:43 He violated his midnight curfew in 94.

11:48 So he went back to prison y'all.

11:51 And then so in 2002, he was released again.

11:55 I mean, keep turning these crazy people loose into the public so they can continue to kill people.

12:04 I don't understand it.

12:05 Fast forward from 02 to 2019 66-year-old Gloria Lofton, that's when she was found dead.

12:14 Now again, her death was ruled undetermined because there were no obvious visual signs externally or internally of strangulation.

12:24 And I think because they could not rule out homicide, they also could not rule out natural causes.

12:31 And so in cases like that, the death is ruled undetermined because they really, they don't know that can change later as evidence comes available.

12:43 But many, many deaths are ruled undetermined if they just don't know exactly what happened on May 20th of 2023 80-year-old Jesse Fraga was found dead.

12:56 And 10 days later, the US marshals arrested Mesa in connection to multiple murders.

13:04 He was booked in the Travis County jail and at this point, he faces two murder charges and unauthorized use of a vehicle because he stole the convenient store service attendant’s vehicle after he shot him.

13:20 Not really somebody that should be getting out of prison early.

13:26 It sounds like, I mean, he started violent crime.

13:30 I mean, we're not just talking about stealing a candy bar.

13:34 He shot the convenience store attendant.

13:38 That's a big deal.

13:39 Why does a 15-year-old have a gun anyway?

13:41 I mean, I'm sure he shot to kill him, obviously and then stole his car.

13:48 This guy was never, I mean, and I don't know anything about his background, but during that period of 02 to 2019, I mean, there are approximately 8 to 10 cold cases possibly connected to him around the San Antonio area.

14:06 I'm pretty sure he didn't lie dormant for all those years and suddenly become a good guy and just decide to start killing again.

14:13 That drives me crazy when someone gets out of prison early, when they've committed violent crimes numerous times and then they go kill again and continue to violate their parole and stay out after midnight and basically just like no regard at all.

14:37 Anyway, there are several serial killers who were shockingly released from prison early and I mean, it's a horrendous crime.

14:47 Usually we expect them to spend the rest of their life behind bars and they should, in my opinion even sit on death row or just life in prison.

14:58 Somehow, the justice system always manages to find a way to make the general public angry by turning these guys loose.

15:08 These are serial killers.

15:10 This is the worst crime imaginable y'all and they are released back into society.

15:16 A lot of the victims’ families have actually pled with the court system to keep these people behind bars.

15:24 But for some reason, they are able to be free again.

15:30 You know, they kill again.

15:31 Some of them, not all of them.

15:34 I have a hard time believing that they don't have the capability even if they don't do it.

15:39 Now, there is a serial killer named Carla Homolka.

15:44 Carla was Canadian and her and her husband, Paul Bernardo raped and murdered at least three women in the early nineties and one of the victims was her sister, y'all.

16:00 She offered her sister to Paul Bernardo as a sadistic gift.

16:04 They drugged her and gave her animal tranquilizers that caused her to choke on her own vomit.

16:12 Bernardo was arrested in 93 and of course, we're going to play the innocent girl.

16:19 Haula told investigators that she was an unwilling accomplice and that she only did what she did out of fear and that she followed Bernardo's instructions because she believed that she would be killed if she did not comply.

16:36 Now, she was offered a plea deal for testifying against her husband.

16:40 She was only sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

16:44 Later, there were actually videotapes that found that she was actually more than just a willing participant in the murders in 07, Kulka was released, and she moved to Quebec and remarried and had two Children.

17:02 Y'all.

17:03 A lot of the parents at this school in Montreal were begging for her not to be able to be there because she volunteered there routinely.

17:15 They just naturally the families of these Children at this school did not want her there.

17:21 I would not want to know that my child was interacting with a serial killer.

17:27 I mean, I would have switched schools.

17:29 I'm sure most of y'all would have to.

17:31 There's no way that's happening.

17:32 How is that even allowed to happen?

17:35 Now, there's an Austrian nurse and y'all are going to laugh at me because I'm really bad at pronouncing names.

17:40 But there are three of them.

17:42 They called them the Lanes Angels of death.

17:46 Wagner, Gruber, Lido and Mayer.

17:49 Actually there's four of them.

17:50 Sorry, I lied.

17:51 They killed for y'all this just 49 patients between 1983 and 1989 at Lane's General Hospital, gruesome crimes.

18:03 I mean four people.

18:05 The hospital was the fourth largest facility in Vienna.

18:09 There were over 2000 staff members there.

18:12 And Wagner who worked in the special care unit injected a patient with morphine, a lethal dose of morphine and following that murder, she continued killing people.

18:25 She recruited these three other women who also killed patients with morphine, insulin, and tranquilizers.

18:32 And we've talked before about insulin and how many times it has probably been used and been completely undetected.

18:43 Now, in February of 89 a doctor overheard these four nurses giggling in a bar about the people that they killed.

18:50 And so he went to the police, and they were arrested and confessed.

18:55 Now Wagner was convicted of 15 murders and Lido was convicted of five Meyer and Gruber received a lighter sentence of manslaughter and they got out just a few years later.

19:08 But in 08 Wagner and Light Off were released and changed their names.

19:14 Could you imagine they murdered between the four of them 49 patients between 83 and 89 and all of a sudden in 08, they're all out.

19:27 It's like party time for them.

19:30 Charlene Gallego was another one.

19:32 Now she was with her husband Gerald.

19:36 They during the late seventies kidnapped 10 victims and kept them as sex slaves before killing them.

19:44 Now, Charlene had been married twice and left her second husband because he was boring.

19:49 I guess that Gerald provided a little more excitement for her because he liked to kidnap women and keep them as sex slaves.

19:57 Apparently, she fell in love with him, and they bonded over their appetite for rough sex.

20:04 And then they started kidnapping young teenage girls from a shopping mall and luring them into the van.

20:12 I know that we're all still not because of this case, but because of many others freaked out when we pull up at the shopping mall next to a van.

20:21 I ain't parking next to a van.

20:23 I'm sorry, I know that good people drive vans and I'm not saying that you're a bad person if you drive a van.

20:29 But I'm careful because we've heard these stories one too many times because their victims were bound, tortured, and murdered and then their bodies were either dumped or buried.

20:42 Now, here's the kicker.

20:44 Charlene pled guilty to murder and received 16 years.

20:49 She got out and that was in 1984 she moved to California and changed her name.

20:54 Now, Gerald died of cancer while he was waiting to be executed.

20:59 But you know, Charlene claimed that, you know, she always sees the murders in the back of her head, and it'll never go away that they were horrible memories but she's hanging out wherever because she's out of prison.

21:14 10 victims y'all.

21:17 I mean, I don't understand how people get out.

21:22 Ok.

21:22 This next one I want to talk about, I don't even know how to say this last name and I will butcher it.

21:28 But we're going to say Nikola Nikolai murdered in 1979.

21:34 He grabbed a woman from the streets of Kazakhstan before slitting the victim's throat and drinking her blood.

21:43 And he said he always loved to hunt.

21:45 And that was his first time hunting a woman.

21:48 He was arrested the same year for shooting and killing a colleague following an argument when he was drunk later diagnosed with schizophrenia and given a lighter sentence of manslaughter, meaning he was able to walk free.

22:02 A year later, he killed 10 victims in total and served up the remains to unsuspecting guests at dinner parties.

22:12 I mean, could you imagine eating a person and not knowing I would be ticked.

22:18 But in 1980 he had invited several friends to his home.

22:22 He killed one of them and began to dismember the body in the next room.

22:26 And the remaining guests fled.

22:28 Well, yeah, they found him on his knees smeared with blood naked, holding a hatchet.

22:35 And then they found a severed woman's head in the house when they searched.

22:41 He was sent to a high security mental clinic, and he works as a repairman.

22:46 Please tell me that he's impatient and he's not allowed to leave because normal people do not use hatchets to cut women's heads off.

22:58 I mean, it drives me crazy.

23:01 Ok, Juha.

23:02 And again, forgive me, this is another serial killer in Sweden.

23:09 In 1988 Juha and his 21-year-old girlfriend, Marita were traveling through Sweden.

23:18 Around midnight, he stole a bicycle and was chased by the owner, Sty Nielsen and Nielsen's 15-year-old son, Juha pulls out a shotgun and kills both of them.

23:30 Nielsen's wife was looking for her husband and son.

23:34 Somehow this guy leads her into the woods and slits her throat and then they went on the run.

23:40 Juha and Marita, they go on the run initially, this was over a bicycle that killed an entire family, a husband, wife, and a 15-year-old.

23:50 Of course, what are we going to do during the trial?

23:54 We're going to blame each other because, you know, we don't want to accept blame and we know if we don't, we'll get a lighter sentence.

24:01 Possibly.

24:03 But during the trial, that's what they did.

24:06 And a psychiatric evaluation found Juha was a psychopath and had extremely aggressive tendencies.

24:12 Duh.

24:13 And he was sentenced to life in prison.

24:16 But Marita just gets a couple of years for complicity, assault, and battery.

24:23 In 09, a court in Finland decided that Juha could be released with a suspended sentence.

24:29 In 2013, he changed his name to Nikita.

24:34 And during an interview, he said I wasn't meant to kill anyone.

24:37 The situation just got out of hand.

24:39 Ok.

24:40 I'm sorry, I don't believe you.

24:42 He gets out in the end.

24:45 Another win occurs in 92, with a security guard Cyr Louis Van Scor.

24:51 He's South Africa's worst serial murderer.

24:55 He was convicted for shooting 39 burglars over a period of three years, years when he was working as a security guard in Cape Town.

25:03 I've been to Cape Town.

25:04 I love that area.

25:05 It's beautiful, but he apparently responded to silent alarms that were triggered on business premises and then shot suspects with a nine-millimeter.

25:16 He was a former policeman.

25:19 He never received any like caution from the police in the area.

25:24 They said that he acted within the law and that was until he finally was brought to trial by the victims’ families for seven murders and two attempted murders.

25:34 And he was found guilty and sentenced to jail in South Africa.

25:38 Now in 04, he was released.

25:40 He only served 12 of his 20 years in prison and he had a press conference and told everybody he was so happy to be free and please don't judge him and apologized to the families and said, you know, I've done my time.

25:57 No, I'm sorry again, why shoot 39 burglars in three years, obviously using his power as a security guard.

26:08 But yeah, I'm glad the families came forward.

26:12 He should not have gotten out.

26:14 Another one is in 77 ARN fineness.

26:18 It was hired as a head nurse at a nursing home in Norway.

26:22 And by 91 there were a lot of deaths among their elderly patients anywhere from 67 to 94 years old.

26:29 And then when he was questioned, he confessed to murdering 27 patients by injecting them with a muscle relaxing drug.

26:38 Now, he was charged with 25 counts of homicide but then reversed his confession and denied all the charges.

26:45 A six-month trial took place in 1983.

26:50 He was convicted of killing 22 patients.

26:53 Now jury found him also guilty of embezzlement.

26:56 He also was conning these people out of money, y'all.

26:59 He conned patients out of $1800.

27:01 During his time at the nursing home, they really believe his victim count to be around 100 and 32 people.

27:09 But in Norway, the maximum prison sentence is 21 years.

27:13 And so he was released after 12 for good behavior and guess what?

27:17 He changed his name, and nobody knows where he lives.

27:20 This guy killed a lot of people.

27:22 Y'all a believed 100 and 32 innocent people.

27:26 He's just out and about again living his best life.

27:30 David McGreevy brutally murdered three Children, ages 24 and nine months and he was dubbed the Monster of Worchester.

27:40 He impelled the bodies on the neighbor's fence, and you know what he said, I killed him because they wouldn't stop crying.

27:46 And y'all, I got to tell you this story because I went to Target earlier today and this kid I never saw the kid but oh my God, I could hear the scream.

27:56 It was mortifying.

27:57 I'm sure the mother wanted to run and hide.

28:01 This kid was screaming so loud, and I couldn't do anything but laugh because we've all been there where our kids throw absolute fits in the store because you won't get them a stupid little toy that doesn't do anything that costs 30 bucks.

28:17 But anyway, oh my God.

28:18 I felt so sorry for this mom, but you can't impale them on a fence.

28:24 I mean, the children's mother said that he should have gotten a longer sentence.

28:29 Well, yeah, they said he was going for life and then they changed it to 20 years.

28:36 But he was released in 2019.

28:39 Ok.

28:39 These murders happened again in 1973.

28:44 He was in there a long time, but he killed three people, kids.

28:49 A psychiatrist evaluated him and said that he was no longer a threat to the public and that his improved self-control and the fact that he's learned how to remain calm makes him no longer a threat.

29:03 Now he's free to live in the UK.

29:06 Now he is under strict conditions.

29:08 I don't know exactly what those are but he's free.

29:11 Somkid Pumpuang in 2007 was dubbed Jack, the Ripper of Thailand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

29:17 He killed five women in cold blood.

29:20 They were all nightclub entertainers, and he was sentenced to life but released early because he was a model prisoner.

29:28 Seven months after he was released.

29:31 Here's another one just like Mesa, he murdered a hotel maid, managed to start a relationship with her by telling her he was a lawyer.

29:42 She let him move into her apartment and he killed her.

29:46 She told her daughter and neighbors that she was going to marry him.

29:50 The day that she told him they were supposed to get married is the day she died, and he went missing a manhunt.

29:57 Took place, there was a reward offered, he was finally rearrested after a couple of students recognized him on a train.

30:06 It is believed that he will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

30:10 But again, I mean, we can't guarantee that because we've seen it happen too many times.

30:15 There is no such thing as good behavior when you've murdered somebody, in my opinion.

30:22 The last one is Colombian born serial killer Pedro Lopez.

30:27 Now he began his criminal career stealing cars and that's what landed him in prison the first time.

30:33 Well, guess what you get, what's coming to you?

30:36 And he was sexually attacked behind bars and then later confessed that he stopped everyone who had been violent towards him and killed them.

30:45 Now, after he was released from prison, he continued to murder.

30:49 He went to a murdering spree targeting young girls in Peru and he was eventually caught, and they planned to execute him in 81.

30:59 He spent 14 years in prison in Peru and guess what?

31:05 He was such a good boy.

31:06 He was released.

31:08 He moved to Ecuador in Colombia.

31:11 And then he started killing about three girls a week on average.

31:15 And by the time he was arrested the third time he had already abducted and murdered more than 300 victims.

31:22 Nobody really believed he was capable of it, but he was declared sane and released for 50 bucks in 1998.

31:33 And no one knows where he's at these stories.

31:36 Drive me crazy.

31:38 They chill me to the bone because a lot of these people are loose in communities going under different names and no one knows who they are.

31:47 Again.

31:47 I don't want to say, don't trust anybody but you should really choose your friends wisely.

31:55 I know that we all don't go to the internet and look up people's names.

31:59 But these are people that change their names.

32:01 You're not going to know who they are and you're not going to know what kind of crimes they've committed.

32:06 I can guarantee you a lot of them have committed crimes that weren't caught.

32:11 This is just, I don't know, I can't stand these stories because me that this was all recent.

32:18 These guys again, just walking free living their best life like nothing happened.

32:24 And then we have people committing much, much lesser crimes who are serving years and years and years in prison and federal prison.

32:33 And I just find that very, very unfair.

32:36 Next week we are headed to North Dakota, and we are going to watch my stepson graduate, going to enjoy the weather up there.

32:48 It's been beautiful in Texas, but I'm quite sure that a better or take a coat and a lot of warm clothes because I know it's going to be cold.

32:56 I hope that everyone is gearing up for Christmas and getting ready for the holidays and staying safe and warm and just getting ready to spend time with your families and enjoy the holiday season.

33:10 We'll be back next week.

33:12 It won't quite be Christmas yet, but we're getting there.

33:14 We're getting closer.

33:16 Everyone have an amazing week and I'll talk to you soon.

33:20 Thank you so much for joining me today on Pushing Up Lilies.

33:23 If you like this podcast and would like to share with others, please do me a quick favor and leave a review on Apple podcast.

33:31 This helps to make the podcast more visible to the public.

33:34 Thanks again for spending your time with me and be sure to visit me at PushingUpLilies.com for merchandise and past episodes.