december 1968

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On 17 December, 1968, 20-year-old Barbara Mackle was at a Decatur, Georgia, hotel with her mother, Jane. She had been suffering from influenza, as was most pupils from the Emory University. Her mother had picked her up and taken her to a hotel to get over the sickness.

During the evening, Gary Stephen Krist knocked on the hotel door, claiming that Barbara’s boyfriend had been in a road traffic accident. As the women let him him, Krist and his accomplice, Ruth Eisemann-Schier, dragged the two women to the ground and placed a chloroform-soaked rag over their faces. The duo then bound and gagged Jane before bundling Barbara into their car. They drove Barbara to a remote area in Gwinnett County where there was a pre-dug trench. Inside the trench was a fibreglass-reinforced box fitted with an air pump, a lamp and water and food laced with sedatives. Barbara was forced into the box.

Gary and Ruth demanded a $500,000 ransom from Barbara’s father, who was a wealthy land developer. The ransom drop was arranged, however two policemen driving by spooked the duo, leading them to flee on foot.  When their car was searched, the found a photograph of Barbara inside the box, holding a sign which read “Kidnapped.” A second ransom drop was arranged and Ruth called the police, giving directions to where they could find Barbara. After spending three days trapped underground, Barbara was rescued.

Both Gary and Ruth were soon apprehended, with Ruth being the first women to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted. Ruth was paroled after four years while Gary was paroled after ten years. 

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Photos from The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus, taken by Michael Randolph on 10th/11th December, 1968, and enhanced/restored by Paul Skellett for a new book, Rock And Roll Circus - The Photos of Michael Randolph, with Paul Skellett and Keith Badman. 

Miss Pamela singing at the Shrine Auditorium, December 1968.