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Based on a true story.
By Steven Donnini & Lana McCauley

Copyright 2010
WGA # 1332307

The True Story

Printed in a Palm Beach Newspaper Nov. 1967 and National
Tattler Feb. 8, 1968

On Sunday, Nov. 12, 1967, a pair of scruffy men belonging

to the Outlaws motorcycle gang pulled up to St. Mary's

Hospital in West Palm Beach and dropped off a red-haired,
18-year-old girl with strange puncture wounds in her hands.

Her name was Christine Deese, and she was in terrible pain.
She told a far-fetched story: She had fallen on boards with
two protruding nails and had somehow driven the nails
exactly through the centers of both palms of her hands.

Hospital officials were suspicious. They called the

sheriff's office.

"They had brought this girl in over at the hospital, I

heard on the car radio," then-Palm Beach County Sheriff
William R. Heidtman said, recalling the case that
catapulted him to fame. "She had a hole in each hand. She
said she fell on a couple of boards.

"But I knew that was bull---- in the first place. Nobody

could fall exactly right to get a hole in each palm. I got
on the phone and found out her father was an auxiliary
police chief somewhere. I said, 'Get your ass down here.'
He did. He said, 'That's a lie.' He took her off in a room
someplace, and in about 15 minutes she came back crying.'

"It turned out these Outlaws had nailed her to a tree limb.
I've still got the limb in my garage. They mounted it on a
plaque and gave it to me after they used it as evidence in
the trial."

Heidtman is telling the truth. He brings out the limb, a

twisted reddish-brown thing, barkless, about 2 1/2 feet
long and 3 inches thick, with two small visible nail holes
in it.

It is a genuine artifact from one of the most lurid cases

in Palm Beach County criminal history.

The Outlaws had actually nailed Christine Deese's hands,

palms inward, to the branch of a tree in Juno Beach as a
punishment for withholding $10 from her "old man" in the
gang. The holes are about 18 inches apart, each about 1/8
of an inch in diameter. They left her affixed to the limb,
with her feet touching the ground, for nearly half an hour
while they smoked, drank beer and taunted her. When the
details of the nailing came out, they made headlines across
the United States and in Europe.

National Tattler Feb. 8, 1968.

"She named five, I think it was, or six," Heidtman said.

"We were able to arrest two of them immediately. I said,
'You s.o.b.'s aren't going to get away with this in this
county!' "

Written from true events.

Copyright 2007
Steven Donnini with Lana McCauley
All copyrights reserved
WGA #1332307

When rumors first began to circulate, the story now

known as “HorrorScope” existed only in word to mouth form

and was officially referred to as “The Mt. Dora Murders."

As always, one person telling the story to another, there

are some distortions of the truth. But in the end, facts

are facts as terrifying as they can be. This is the tale

of two brothers Lenny and Richie Ruth, both of whom had

frightening and tragic lives. Their dad, William, was a

clock repairman. Norma their mother was a housewife. Both

were cold and ruthless disciplinarians. William hated

women and exercised domination over Norma and the boys.

The following things are facts.

Lenny at the age of 6 was burned with gasoline over 75% of

his body when a neighbor boy poured gasoline over him and

struck a match. His hospital photographs were sold and put

on the cover of the National Enquirer by his mother, Norma,

at the direction of his dad, William.

In Central Florida a young woman was crucified by

nailing her to an orange tree. One of the brothers became

a death row inmate, where he faced electrocution in

Florida's "Old Sparky" for the crime. Were they born under

a bad sign or just unlucky?

A reluctant death row inmate is strapped into “Old

Sparky,” the infamous Florida State Prison’s electric

chair. His neck, arms, hands and legs are strapped to the

chair by uniformed guards. A crown of steel with wet

sponges was placed on his shaved head. Electrodes are

attached to the crown and temples of his head with metal

screws. A leather cover is pulled down over his face. The

warden watches the large clock on the wall as it ticks down

to midnight. At the stoke of midnight, the switch is

thrown and 2 thousand volts of electricity flows through

the man’s head and down to his feet. Blood flows out from

behind the leather mask, dripping down his neck and

splatters off his quivering chin on to the walls and floor.

The electricity flows through the man’s brain, with wisps

of smoke leaking out through the mask and into the room.

The electricity continues to flow through his body

continuously for 30 seconds. The electricity is shut off

while a doctor checks for signs of life. Then, electricity

is turned on again for 30 seconds just to make sure the

execution was successful.

During the execution the viewing gallery is amazed at

witnessing such a gruesome event. Only one question

remained. What did he do to deserve this?

Richie Ruth walks into the darkened interior reading

room of Mt. Dora’s psychic palm reader, Delois Shaw. She

has been in the Mt. Dora area for many years. Delois

greets Richie. “Welcome. I remember you. You came with

your mother to a reading before. I’m sorry to hear about

her passing.” He answers, “Yeah. I want to check up on my

future. You know.” She says, “Sit down, I’ll be right

with you.” He can’t hide his nervousness. “I got things to

do. OK?” She walks to the reading table and sits across

from him. “Let me see your palms. Well, I see you are

facing a time of uncertainty and pain. Your life has been

marked by anger from your father. You will become well

known. Infamous in fact.” Delois hands Richie a deck of

Tarot Cards. “Choose 6 cards and lay them in a line in

front of you.” Richie chooses the cards. Card one The

Devil is reversed, two 10 card, three The Angel, four

Death, five The Hanging Man and the Eight of Swords.

Delois looks over them carefully. The Devil and the

Hanging man card is upside down, reversed.

“Choose one more card.” Richie chooses “Justice”.

Delois looks into Richie’s dark eyes. “There are demons

that dwell in you. You are an evil boy. You can only stop

the madness by being bathed in the blood of the Lamb.

Richie pulls out a pistol and coolly shoots Delois between

the eyes as she makes the sign of the cross. He picks up

the cards from the table and puts them in his shirt pocket.

He walks out of the office to the parking lot where he

climbs on “Scorpio,” his custom Harley chopper, and rides


In the orange groves of Mt. Dora workers discover a

young high school girl nailed to an orange tree. At her

feet is a Tarot card covered with her blood. The workers

call police to the scene.

Detective Mike Dunn reports the partially nude body of

a young woman hanging from an orange tree. Her arms

stretched out and nailed crucifix fashion to the tree in

the posture of Christ, her hands and feet dripping with

blood. He notes and carefully bags the Tarot card.

As the HorrorScope murders continue, Mt. Dora high

school students, Sarah and Julia Daniel follow the

development in the cases. With each murder comes a new

clue, one more of Richie’s Tarot cards. The fact that most

of the victims are fellow students feeds the continuing

story segment of Sarah’s morning school telecast. The

murders become more gruesome and sloppy. However, Sarah is

willing to follow the story, wherever it takes her. Even

to a one on one interview with Richie Ruth, himself.

Mike Dunn suspects the Ruth brothers are involved, but

doesn’t have hard evidence. Janet (), his fiancée, is

psychic and has felt their evil intents many times. She

can only guide Mike to the crime scenes by readings about

the details of the murders. Her psychic impressions can’t

be used in court, but they all point to Richie Ruth as the

serial killer.

On the day Lenny Ruth shoots two Florida Highway

Patrolmen in a Mt. Dora bar, the struggle begins to keep

the brothers from fulfilling the meaning of Richie’s last

Tarot card… Justice.

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