For more on holiday-related crimes and murder, tune in to the season two premiere of Homicide for the Holidays on November 25 at 6/5c.
It’s a Halloween nightmare come true: witnessing a crime and mistaking it as part of the festivities. With all the fake blood and gore, it might be easy to mistake say, a real dead body with a particularly poor taste decoration. That’s exactly what happened in the lead up to Halloween in 2015, when a woman’s body seen dangling from a fence on October 16 was brushed off by neighbors and passers-by as a hyper-real seasonal decoration. Not the kind of trick or treat anyone expected.
In Chillicote, Ohio, construction workers discovered the body of 31-year-old Rebecca Cade was actually real, and not just a creepy decoration as people had first assumed. It was a shocking revelation, and one that put a quick damper on the frivolous celebration of mayhem and other spooky things that October always brings. Cade’s dead body was suspended by a sleeve, and allegedly so badly beaten in the face she was unrecognizable—part of what had witnesses mistaking her for a gory halloween decoration.
When the story of Cade’s untimely death finally unravelled, it was even more discomforting. Forensics revealed Cade has been subjected to horrific torture before she died, and by the same evening that her body was discovered, so too was suspect Donnie Cochenou Jr., 27, apprehended. Cochenou confessed to the grisly murder, and the details became yet more nightmarish.
Cochenou had been arguing with Cade shortly before her murder, and was believed to have been chasing her as she took her last breaths on this earth. Like some kind of horror movie come to life, Cade got caught in a fence while trying to escape her attacker. If you imagine her running and him walking, like a true horror movie murderer, it becomes freakier still. The cause of Cade’s death was found to be blunt-force trauma to the head and neck--which Cochenou inflicted as she struggled to wrestle herself free of the fence, most likely with a bloody rock that was found at the scene.
You may now have to look twice when you see particularly garish Halloween decorations strung up around your neighborhood. The residents of Chillicote, Ohio, certainly will be. If you’re fascinated by this grisly holiday themed crime, watch Oxygen Network’s Homicide for the Holidays, where no seasonal celebration is safe from a bloody ending.