Victims of Charlie Chop-Off

on March 15, 2010 in Serial Killers, Unsubs, Victimology by

It is believed that Charlie Chop-Off murdered four boys throughout his murder series. There have been no formal charges placed against anyone for these murders. We currently have information on all of the known victims.

Douglas Owens

Douglas, age 8, was found murdered on March 9, 1972. He had been stabbed 38 times and his penis was mutilated.

Wendell Hubbard

Wendell, age 9, was murdered on October 23, 1972. He had been stabbed 17 times and his penis had been severed.

Luis Ortiz

Luis was murdered on March 7, 1973. He had been stabbed 38 times and his penis was mutilated.

Steven Cropper 

Steven, age 8, was murdered on August 7, 1973. He had been slashed with a razor. There was some debate if Steven should be included in this serial killer list because his penis was left intact.

Note: A previous version of this page said that Steven was Hispanic, which appears to be incorrect. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.


  • Peter Chen says:

    I was 12 at the time when Luiz Ortiz was murdered. He was a childhood friend and my family knew them well. He was the youngest of 5 siblings. As I recalled, the Ortiz family came to our apartment looking for Luiz late that evening but we haven’t seen him. His mother had sent him to the grocery store around 7-8pm and he never returned. The next day his body was found at 106th St. It was a sad time for all of us. They were a very nice family trying to make a life here. After the funeral, they left back to Puerto Rice.

    The Hysteria continued as parents in our community was being overly protective for the children, especially mine. On or about a month or 2 later, I convinced my mother to allowed me to attend a hockey game with my classmates. It was free and a chance to stay out late. At 12 years old, it was exciting for me. After the game, we all took the train back home and I noticed a strange man staring at me. I felt uncomfortable and I moved away from his sight thinking he is one of many perverts living in New York City. We all stopped at the pizza shop at 103rd St. After spending about an hour at the pizza shop we all proceeded to head home. On my block at 107th St, I saw this same person calling me. He said “Hey, come over her. I want to talk to you”. I did not answer. He and I continued to walk down the block as he tried to convinced me to talk with him. He was diagonally across the street. I had pulled out a knife which I carried for protection but fortunately, my over protective mother was down the block waiting for me with our German Shepherd. He took off walking as I was telling my mother what happened. I truly believed she saved my life. My mother called the police and they showed me mug shots. I could not identify him. That summer me and my younger brother (11 y/o) were shipped to camp and I never heard about “Charlie Chop-Off” again. Forty one years later, I kind of wondered what happened so I search the web and found this article. I saw sketches of “Erno Soto” and I can not be 100% certain he was the same man that followed me but the resemblance is there. I believe he was him.

    • Danny Linden says:

      I was fourteen back in March 1973 and lived in a state of fear for months following Luiz Ortiz’ murder. We lived over on 108th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues and I attended Joan of Arc (JHS 118). I remember a heightened police presence during that time and that they, the police, even knocked on our door canvassing for information. In any case, for many years I’ve wondered about the resolution of the “Charlie Chop-Off” murders and thanks to the Internet, I guess I have found my answers although the situation itself is inconclusive. Over time the fear that I lived with, and those dreaded memories faded. However, that fear never completely leaves; it’s there in the wonder and in the sadness in recalling horrific events that should never have happened.

    • Hazel newton says:

      Hello iam the daughter of Luis brother,I never new what really family keeps it in the dark and don’t talk about it

      • leafar odela says:

        I will never forget that time. I attended Ascension School, across the street from PS 165. The Spanish news said his mother send him to the store to buy milk and Luis Ortiz never made it home. Parents had a march and I remember my mother crying and screaming. I never knew Luis. Until this day, I have always prayed for him, his parents, and his family.

      • Peter Chen says:

        How is your father? Forgive me, but I do not remember his name. This was a traumatic time. I would understand why your father kept you in the dark. Please reach out with any questions. I’ll be more than happy to anewer it.

  • Jose Rosa says:

    When I speak to my family and friends about this little boy that I knew when I was 11 years old, Steven that was killed by a serial killer that was killing little boy at that time in New York City and that I remember him coming to me, telling me about a man that was offering him candy, I was scare for him and told him to promise me not to go back to him and he promise me that he wouldn’t go back, when he told me this we were at the Boys Club on Pitt St. Shortly after that I remember when the police came and told us the bad news about Steven and what had happen and I remember telling the police what Steven told me about that man but because I told Steven to stay away there was no way I knew how he looked and who knows if I too would’ve been also his victim. Now many years later my heart goes out to the families of the victims, especially to the family of Steven Cropper, your son was always around me and he respected me, I’m sorry I did not watched over him a little more. May God keep him under his wings, always. And now that I have my kids I’m always telling them to be aware of their surroundings and never go up to someone that they don’t know and in some cases someone that they know but are not comfortable around.

  • Henry Davidian says:

    I was just thinking about the old days and remembered my friend Luis Ortiz. R.I.P. I lived across the street from Luis and attended ps 165 together. He was a very friendly kid. I remember the day he went missing and when they found his body on 106 st Broadway and Amsterdam it was terrible. I always wondered did they catch the guy. Looking at the comments brings back memories. Peter Chen I remember we were friends with ur family. Tommy Peter and Suzy I hope all is well.

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