The place Is John Checklist Now? ‘The Watcher’ John Graff True Story, Actual Murders


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If you happen to’re conversant in the true story in regards to the “Boogeyman of Westfield,” it’s possible you’ll be questioning the place John Checklist is now and the way his case impressed the character John Graff in The Watcher.

John Emil Checklist is a convicted assassin who killed his mom, spouse and three kids in Westfield, New Jersey, earlier than he fled the crime scene and lived greater than 18 years underneath a brand new id (and with a brand new spouse) in a unique state. He was the inspiration for the character John Graff from Netflix’s 2022 miniseries, The Watcher, which relies on a 2018 New York Journal article of the identical title about Derek and Maria Broaddus, a married couple who transfer into their dream dwelling in Westfield, New Jersey, solely to seek out themselves stalked by a mysterious letter author who glided by the pseudonym “The Watcher.” (The couple are named Dean and Nora Braddock in The Watcher.)  WARNING: SPOILER: In The Watcher, John Graff is an accountant who moved into The Watcher home at 657 Boulevard together with his mom, spouse and two kids earlier than the Braddocks. Whereas dwelling there, Graff additionally receives letters from The Watcher, who harasses him about his household points and his latest firing from his job. Graff’s psychological state deteriorates a lot that he murders every of his members of the family earlier than leaving their our bodies in the home for neighbors to seek out weeks later.

Whereas John Checklist, who impressed Graff, didn’t reside at 657 Boulevard and dedicated his crimes lengthy earlier than the Broaddus household moved into the house, there are numerous similarities between his case and Graff’s. So the place is John Checklist now and what’s the true story about his murders? Learn on for what we find out about the place John Checklist is now and the way his actual case is far more chilling than what was informed in The Watcher.

Who’s John Checklist and what’s the true story of The Watcher murders?

Picture: Eric Liebowitz/Netflix.

Who’s John Checklist? Checklist was the inspiration for William “Invoice” Webster, also called John Graff, in The Watcher. Checklist, a religious Lutheran and a Sunday faculty trainer, moved to Westfield, New Jersey—the identical city the place The Watcher home is—in 1965 after he accepted a job because the vice chairman and comptroller at a financial institution in Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey. He lived at 431 Hillside Avenue together with his spouse, Helen Morris Taylor; mom, Alma Barbara Florence Checklist; and two kids: daughter Patricia, and sons Frederick and John. Checklist’s dwelling, a 19-room Victorian mansion named Breeze Knoll, was about two miles from The Watcher home at 657 Boulevard. Checklist’s father, John Frederick Checklist Sr., died in 1944, seven years earlier than he married Helen on December 1, 1951. Checklist and Helen met in 1950 whereas he was stationed at Fort Eustis in Virginia as a second lieutenant. Helen, a widow of an infantry officer killed in motion within the Korean Warfare, lived close by along with her daughter, Brenda. Brenda left Checklist and Helen’s family in 1960 after she acquired married—11 years earlier than Checklist’s eventual murders.

On November 9, 1971, Checklist murdered his entire household—together with his mom, spouse and two kids—utilizing a 9mm Steyr 1912 semi-automatic handgun and his father’s Colt .22 caliber revolver. Whereas Patricia, Frederick and John had been in school, Checklist killed Helen, who was 46 on the time, by taking pictures her behind the top. He then killed Alma, who was 84, by taking pictures her above the left eye. When Patricia, who was 16, and Frederick, who was 13, got here dwelling from faculty, Checklist additionally killed them each by taking pictures them behind their heads. Checklist then made lunch for himself earlier than he drove to the financial institution to shut his and his mom’s financial institution accounts. He then drove to Westfield Excessive College to look at John, who was 15 on the time, play in a soccer recreation. Checklist shot and killed John as he drove him dwelling from the soccer recreation. Proof confirmed that Checklist shot John repeatedly as a result of he stored misfiring as his eldest son tried to defend himself.

Checklist put the our bodies of his spouse and kids in sleeping luggage and moved them to his dwelling’s ballroom. He moved his mom’s physique to her house within the attic of his dwelling. Checklist additionally cleaned the crime scenes and eliminated his footage from all of the household images in the home. He tuned a radio to a spiritual station earlier than he left the house. In a five-page letter to his pastor, which was discovered on the desk of Checklist’s examine after his murders, Checklist wrote that he noticed an excessive amount of evil on this planet and killed his household to save lots of their souls.

The murders weren’t found till nearly a month in a while December 7, 1971, due to letters Checklist despatched to his kids’s colleges and jobs claiming they might be out of city for a number of weeks visiting their sick maternal grandmother in North Carolina. The youngsters’s grandmother, who was Helen’s mom, was, in truth, sick. She had a visit deliberate to Westfield, New Jersey, across the time of the murders, however cancelled due to her sickness. Checklist later informed officers that, had his mother-in-law been capable of make the journey, she would’ve been his sixth homicide. The murders additionally weren’t found for nearly a month due to the household’s reclusiveness from different neighbors. Checklist additionally stopped milk, mail and newspaper deliveries.  Neighbors referred to as the police to verify on the household after they seen lights remained on in the home day and the evening, with nobody apparently at dwelling. After the sunshine bulbs began to burn out one after the other, neighbors referred to as the police, who entered by an unlocked window resulting in the basement, the place the our bodies had been found.

On condition that few violent crimes had been recorded in Westfield since 1963, a nationwide hunt was launched to seek out Checklist, although officers had no images of him as all footage of him within the dwelling had been destroyed. Police discovered Checklist’s automotive parked at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York Metropolis, although police discovered no proof that he boarded a flight. In the meantime, Alma’s physique was flown to Frankenmuth, Michigan, the place it was buried at Saint Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, whereas Helen, Patricia, Frederick and John had been buried at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield. Checklist’s dwelling remained empty till was destroyed in a hearth in August 1972, 9 months after the homicide. The fireplace was dominated as an arson, although the case stays unsolved with no suspects. A brand new home was constructed on the lot in 1974.

How was John Checklist caught?

Picture: Eric Liebowitz/Netflix.

How was John Checklist caught? After the murders, Checklist traveled by prepare from New Jersey to Michigan in 1972. He then went to Colorado, the place he settled in Denver in early 1972 and took an accounting job underneath the title Robert Peter “Bob” Clark, which was impressed by certainly one of his school classmates. (The actual Bob Clark later claimed that he by no means knew Checklist.) Checklist then labored as a comptroller at a paper field producer outdoors of Denver from 1979 to 1986. He married Delores Miller, an Military PX clerk he met church, in 1985. The couple moved right into a home within the Brandermill neighborhood of Midlothian, Virginia, in 1988, the place Checklist took a job as an accountant on the accounting agency, Maddrea, Joyner, Kirkham & Woody.

Checklist was arrested on June 1, 1989, at his accounting agency in Richmond, Virginia, after a former neighbor from Denver, acknowledged him in an episode of FOX’s America’s Most Needed that aired in Could 1989. Although the present didn’t embody a photograph of Checklist, it did embody an age-progressed clay bust sculpted by a forensic artist that bore a detailed resemblance to Checklist’s actual look. Checklist was extradited to Union County, New Jersey, the place he continued to face by his alias as Robert Peter “Bob” Clark. He confessed his true id on February 16, 1990, after his fingerprint matched with Checklist’s army information, in addition to proof discovered on the crime scene of the murders.

The place is John Checklist now?

The Watcher

Picture: Netflix

The place is John Checklist now? Through the trial, Checklist testified that he murdered his household due to monetary points triggered attributable to the lack of his job. He claimed that he was laid off from his job after the Jersey Metropolis financial institution labored at closed. To maintain the layoff a secret from his household, Checklist acquired dressed and left his dwelling every morning across the time he would go to work. As an alternative, he would spend the day at job interviews or on the Westfield prepare station, the place he learn newspapers till it was time to return dwelling. To assist his household, Checklist diverted cash from his mom’s checking account to pay his home’s mortgage, in addition to inspired his kids to seek out part-time jobs to show them about accountability when, essentially, it was to assist their household financially. As their monetary points continued, Checklist, who was recognized with obsessive-compulsive character dysfunction by a court-appointed psychiatrist, testified that he solely noticed two choices: settle for a welfare program or kill his household and ship their souls to heaven. Checklist testified that welfare wasn’t an appropriate choice as a result of it could expose his monetary points to his household and go towards the non secular classes he realized from his father, who was additionally a religious Lutheran Sunday faculty trainer, about caring and defending his household.

Checklist was convicted of 5 counts of first diploma homicide on April 12, 1990. At his sentencing listening to, Checklist requested the decide for lenience due to his psychological state on the time of the murders. “I really feel that due to my psychological state on the time, I used to be unaccountable for what occurred. I ask all affected by this for his or her forgiveness, understanding and prayer,” he mentioned in court docket. The decide denied his request and sentenced him to the utmost permissible penalty on the time: 5 phrases of life imprisonment to be served consecutively. “After 18 years, 5 months and 22 days, it’s now time for the voices of Helen, Alma, Patricia, Frederick and John F. Checklist to rise from the grave,” the decide mentioned.

Checklist died on March 21, 2008. He was 82 years previous. He died on the St. Francis Medical Heart in Trenton, New Jersey, from problems associated to pneumonia. Checklist was taken to the medical middle from the New Jersey State Jail 4 days earlier than his loss of life. Since his loss of life, Checklist’s story has been the inspiration for a lot of documentaries and TV and film episodes, together with Netflix’s 2022 TV miniseries, The Watcher, by which John Mantello performs a personality based mostly on Checklist named John Graff. Like Checklist, Graff was an accountant, a religious member of the Lutheran church and murdered his spouse, kids and mom earlier than leaving the home with a radio taking part in non secular music and an alibi that may trigger the our bodies of his household to go undiscovered for a number of weeks.

The Watcher is out there to stream on Netflix.



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