“I took out her heart and stomped on it!”: Psychopath has been in prison for 60 years for the murder of Sonia McCaskey

Skier Sonia McCaskey was born in the Scottish town of Elgin. After World War II, however, her mother Dorothy moved with her three children to the United States. Sonia starts skiing with her brother and sister and stands out as the most talented of the three.

Her results are good and the girl dreams of participating in the Olympic Games. The problem is that he is a British citizen and cannot compete for the States. She decided to write to the British Ski Federation asking them to try her out and, if they approve, to include her in the national team. Months later, the Brits arrive for an event on American soil and meet Sonia, who manages to impress them during rehearsals.

The failure of the Olympics

In 1960, McCaskey competed in the Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, California. Sonia is selected by the coaching staff to compete in the giant slalom. During the race, however, he falls and finishes last. Because of the failure, he falls into severe depression.

“It’s not so bad as a result, since four athletes did not finish at all – her mother explained to reporters in defense of her child. – The other skiers from the national team did not perform much better than her.”

The personal drama

The birth of her first child helps Sonia out of the hole. Her happiness doesn’t last long, however, as the baby boy is from a short-lived extramarital affair, and when she meets her future husband – PE teacher Jeff Schmidt – he wants the baby to be given up to a foster family. Sonya agrees and soon becomes a mother again. However, her relationship with Schmidt also did not work out and the athlete divorced, after which she moved to the city of Reno in Nevada, known for its casinos.

There she met David Conrad, a professor in the English Department at the University of Nevada. During this romance, the skier became a mother for the third time. But the familiar drama befell her again – her relationship with Konrad cracked, and the two went to court for a long time for child custody and alimony.

Sonia keeps a diary in which she describes her sufferings because of failed loves and complains about being penniless. She started working as a secretary in a company, and then as a ski instructor at the Slide Mountain resort. He gradually gets back on his feet and starts dreaming of another Olympics.

And McCaskey does have a chance to participate in the Games in 1964. Representatives of the British team are encouraging her to train actively and get back in shape to be ready for the biggest sports forum. But the irreparable happens…

People outside Sonia's home after her body was found

People outside Sonia’s home after her body was found

The tragic death

On April 5, 1963, early in the morning, a psychopath enters her house, which she has just bought and started to furnish. The maniac strangled the 24-year-old woman, raped her, then cut her with a knife and stuffed her in a crate.

The body was discovered by police officer Mort Ammerman, who was called by the nanny of the skier’s 10-month-old son. She panicked that the mother had not come to collect her baby. The policeman knocks on the door, but Sonia does not open, even though her car is parked in front of the house. The employee decides to go in and sees something that he will not forget for the rest of his life.

“It’s hard to describe in words,” he says. “I felt like someone had just hit me with an ax between the eyes. There were entrails and some kind of organ around. But it didn’t even cross my mind that it could be a human heart.” At first I thought the dog had thrown meat on the floor.”

The brutal murder is a real shock not only for the provincial town, but also for all of America and Great Britain. Locals begin to change the locks on their homes, police security is increased, and in the evenings, there is not a soul on the streets of Reno.

Local police chief Elmer Briscoe also commented on the brutality of the crime: “To me, this is the most horrific murder I’ve ever investigated. You would never want to see what we saw in that apartment. And no one should ever see anything like that.” , it’s too brutal.”

Times are different and the National Enquirer decided to increase its circulation and published a raw photo of the victim on the front page with a quote from the geek: “I took her heart out and stepped on it!”. This issue of the newspaper is still considered one of the most controversial in the history of media in the United States.

The psychopath

Reinforcements arrive from neighboring police stations to search for the criminal, and people panic after several days without results. FBI agents are also coming. All the ex-lovers of the skier are suspected, her colleagues and neighbors were questioned and their fingerprints were taken.

A missing camera gives the police an invaluable lead. The day before, the nanny had seen him at Sonia’s home, but after the murder, he too was missing. Checks on the pawnshops begin, and so the uniforms encounter the maniac.

It turns out that the perpetrator is 18-year-old Thomas Lee Bin. He grew up in the family of a priest and lived with his father and brother just two kilometers from Sonia. His fingerprints were taken and they were identical to those at the crime scene.

Thomas Lee Bean

Thomas Lee Bean

The maniac and his victim do not know each other. He chose Sonya in her underwear in the open air, which was a fetish for him.

Li Bin is mentally retarded. Thomas grew up with a tyrannical father who abused him, and his mother’s behavior was also disturbing. Before he leaves them, he is witnessed several times bringing lovers to their home.

Even before the brutal murder, Thomas had recorded attacks on people, for which he was taken to a psychiatrist. His specialist prescribes treatment and he is required to periodically appear before committees to monitor his condition. A year before the murder, however, he was released from this commitment.

Thomas Lee Bean was sentenced to death in the gas chamber, but in 1972 the US Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional and overturned his sentence. It was commuted to life imprisonment without parole. The maniac is still behind bars – almost 60 years now – and is the longest serving prisoner in the history of the state of Nevada.


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