Wineville Chicken Coop Murders

The Chicken Coop Murders, also known as the Wineville Chicken Murders or the Northcott Murders occurred back in the 1920s.  Much of the case is retained in historical documents.  The story is also documented in books and film in the true crime genre. 

Photo Credit: ymgerman

The story revolves around a series of abductions of young boys that occurred in California over a two year period, from 1926 to 1928.  Some of victims were murdered and some body parts were found on the Northcott chicken ranch.

The Gordon Stewart Northcott murders are central to this story.  Today, he would likely be defined as a serial killer.  Sarah Louise Northcott, also known as Louisa Northcott, was the mother of the primary perpetrator.  She was convicted in relation to the murders, along with her son.

Gordon Stewart Northcott was executed by hanging.  Sarah Louise Northcott was sentenced to life in prison; however, she was paroled in the 1940s. 

The nephew of Gordon Stewart Northcott was an unwilling accomplice who was not tried for the murders.  Instead he was sent to a rehabilitation school for youths, was eventually released from the custody of the state.  He became a father and a respectable man. 

The Victims of the Chicken Coop Murders

Gordon Stewart Northcott was known for abducting and sexually molesting young boys, which ended up in murdering some of his victims.  His mother supposedly assisted in at least one the murders with the insistence the boy knew too much. 

The murdered victims attributed to the Northcotts include four boys.  The known ages of these victims were from nine to twelve.

A nephew of the convicted murderer was  involved in the murders against his will.  He was a teenager and he was recognized as victim of his uncle who abused him and forced him to participate in crimes.  He shared the horrors which led to the arrest of the true child murderers.  The victims are said to have been held in the chicken coops at the chicken ranch, which was central to the investigations.

Location of the Northcott Murders 

The Wineville Chicken Murders house still stands.  At the time of the crime, the primary location of the crime scene was a chicken ranch, and the home of Gordon Stewart Northcutt.

Nortcott house

The chicken ranch was located in a rural town by the name of Wineville.  The series of child murders committed by the Northcutts led to the name of town being changed to Mira Loma.  The town is located in Riverside County in California.

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