Not In This Issue: Geese, Hawaiian Shirts Or Road Repair Warnings

…although we do regret the lack of geese

The Doclopedia #416

The Alphabet, Again: H is for…Hector The Selector

Hector the Selector, a name given to him by the newspapers of Miami, was a serial killer active in the Miami/Dade County area from April 14th to July 11th, 1977. He killed 10 people ranging in age from 18 to 76, each of which was dispatched by being dipped into a thick resin after being wrapped up with bandages mummy style. The resin hardened very quickly, suffocating the victim. Autopsies showed that each of the victims had ingested a very strong, but non-lethal, dose of sedative about an hour before they died. The bodies were then dumped in very public areas during the early hours of the morning.

It was not until victim 4 was identified that the police and FBI found the link between victims. It was discovered that each victim had gotten a letter in the mail a couple of days before they were killed, with each letter beginning with the phrase “Congratulations! You have been selected…” followed by something that might range from a new car to a large cash prize. The letter then instructed the victim to come alone to an office building or business to meet up with the sender, whose first name was always Hector. Once they went to meet him, they were never seen alive again.

By the time the police put out a warning to the public, the killer had taken two more lives. Within days, Miami was in panic mode and the warning were on every television & radio newscast and the front page of every paper. This did nothing to stop Hector, because he had moved his attacks to the more rural parts of the county. Three of his final victims did not own televisions and had not read a newspaper recently. The final victim had only just returned from out of state and was apparently met at his door by the killer, who had come to deliver the letter by hand.

After the 10th victim, the killings stopped and did not resume anywhere else. The case was left open, but there were no new leads for 20 years.

On April 14th, 1997, just days before his retirement, Chief Inspector Charlie Madrone received a letter that read…

“Congratulations! You have been selected to solve 10 murders! Just come to 2677 Brannley Road to collect. Feel free to bring all of your friends and don’t worry, the door is unlocked so you can come right on in.

Yours Truly,

Hector Grove”

When the police arrived at the home of Joseph P. Lang, a retired dentist whose wife of 45 years had died less than a month earlier, they found him in his near empty living room, wrapped in bandages and encased in hardened resin. The wrapping and dipping into and out of the resin had been accomplished using a rather sophisticated and expensive trio of industrial robots. On a small table near the bodies was a handwritten note that said…

“Back in 1976, got the idea for killing people this way, so I thought what the hell. Would have been much easier if I’d had the robots back then. Got bored after ten, so I stopped. Dumped all my equipment at an abandoned meth lab out in the Everglades, then torched it. After Jackie died, decided to give you all a break in the case. Had goddamn cancer anyway, so no big deal. Hope this helps everyone to get over it.

Joe Lang

PS: I just always liked the name Hector.”


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