*Warning – the content below may be too graphic for some people, it may contain descriptions of crime scenes, victims of heinous crimes, and crime scene photos. Reader discretion is advised.*

Wineville Ranch

Those of you who had watched American Horror Story: Hotel, may have learned briefly about this case. However let’s go into it further and learn what happened at the Wineville Ranch, in Riverside County, California during the 1920’s.

Gordon Northcott

Gordon Stewart Northcott was born in Canada, in 1906. He moved with his parents to Los Angeles, CA, in 1924. Two years later he asked his father to purchase a plot of land in Wineville, where he built a chicken ranch and house. He needed help with the new ranch and had his nephew Sanford Clark join him in California. When the boy arrived Gordon began to beat and sexually abuse Sanford.

Sanford’s sister Jessie, came to visit and was concerned over what her brother had informed her of one evening. He stated that Gordon Northcott had murdered four boys at his ranch. Upon returning to Canada, Jessie contacted the American Consul, who in turn contacted the LAPD and they also included the United States Immigration Service as Gordon was a Canadian citizen.

Sanford Clark

August 31, 1928, two Immigration Service officers took Sanford Clark into custody, Gordon had seen them coming and told his nephew to stall them or he would shoot him with a rifle. For two hours, Sanford stalled them while Gordon ran, but when he felt they could protect him he advised that Gordon had fled into the trees.

Gordon and his mother, Sarah Louise, fled to Canada and were arrested in September 1928. They were extradited back to the United States. Sarah Louise wasn’t an innocent party in the happenings at the Wineville Ranch. At her sentencing, Sanford advised that Gordon had kidnapped, molested, beaten and killed three young boys with the help of his mother. A fourth young man was killed by Northcott and Sanford had been forced to help dispose of the victim’s head which was burned in the fire pit. Quicklime was used to dispose of the remains of the three boys, but the young man was left on the side of the road.

Sarah Louise Northcott

Police found the three shallow graves exactly where Sanford said they would be, unfortunately the three bodies were not complete, it is believed that the bodies were dug up by Gordon and Sarah Louise and burned in the night. Gordon and Sarah Louise claimed to have killed up to 20 boys, but this has not been supported by any further evidence.

The three victims remains, along with the testimony of Sanford and his sister, resulted in a death sentence for Gordon, and life imprisonment for Sarah Louise. Gordon was hanged on October 2, 1930 at San Quentin Prison. He was 23 years old.

Sarah Louise served her sentence at Tahachapi State Prison, and was paroled in less than 12 years. She died in 1944.

Wineville changed the name to Mira Loma in 1930.

Sanford returned to Canada and died in 1991.

Christine Collins
  • The vicitms:
    • Walter Collins: 9 year old Walter Collins was abducted when he went to the movies and never returned. His mother, Christine, worked with police to find her son, and when they claimed to have found the boy in Illinois, the police organized a public reunion, and upon meeting the boy who claimed to be her son, she told police that wasn’t her son.
      • Dental records proved this boy was not her son, and police committed her to a psychiatric ward in Los Angeles County Hospital. The boy, who was actually Arthur Hutchens Jr, was a runaway from Iowa. He was trying to get to Hollywood to meet his favorite actor. Arthur admitted he was not Christine’s son and she was released from the hospital, and filed suit against the LAPD. The story of Christine and Walter Collins was portrayed in the movie, The Changeling.
    • Lewis and Nelson Winslow: Aged 12 and 10 respectively. They were abducted in 1928 from Pomona, California. Their father, Mr. Nelson Winslow Sr, led a lynch mob to the Riverside jail where Gordon was being held, with the intent of hanging him after his trial. The police convinced the mob to disband.

Be ever alert, make good choices, stay safe

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