“Changeling”: The Real Place, The Real Evidence

October 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm (Uncategorized)

This is the last set of photos related to the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders (the true story behind the film, “Changeling”) that I plan to post on this blog. While not the worst of them (I left those out), the following photos include material and descriptions that are disturbing. Don’t read further if you think you can’t handle it, please.

I have limited this set of evidence photos to those that are specifically related to Walter Collins, for the sole reason that Eastwood’s “Changeling” centers around Walter’s disappearance; it is by no means an attempt to diminish nor invalidate the tragic fate of the other boys (possibly as many as 20) tortured and brutally murdered by the Northcotts. 

I post these photos not only to satisfy morbid curiosity (which we all have–after all, we’re Human), but to emphasize that while “Changeling” is a movie featuring the narcissistic histrionics of Angelina Jolie, the sickness and violence of the Northcott case was very real. The following photos are a glimpse of that reality.

All photos and captions were taken directly from the Los Angeles Public Library Archives, and are primary-source material; they are digital scans of actual evidence used in the real Northcott case in 1928 (disturbing content–this is your last warning!):


Deputy Sheriffs C. A. Sweeter, left, and Ben B. deCrevecoeur point out the entrance to a chicken coop at the “murder farm” in which Walter Collins was imprisoned, according to Clark, and murdered by Northcott. In his admission of killing the Collins boy, Northcott says he made his victims pray before an altar which he had built specially for the purpose before he killed them. “I wanted the little boys to make their peace with God so they would go to heaven,” declared Northcott. Stains found on a rude canvas cot where Walter Collins slept have been analyzed and identified as human blood.


Chicken coop on the Northcott farm near Wineville, where Walter Collins was buried. Northcott‘s mother, Sarah [Louise] Northcott, confessed to this killing.


View of the chicken coops on the Northcott farm, where an arrow points to the room where Walter Collins was imprisoned and killed, according to Clark.


The “murder farm” of Gordon Stewart Northcott near Wineville in Riverside County. The panorama shows in detail the exact places where dark deeds transpired, according to Deputy District Attorney Earl Redwine and Sanford Clark, Northcott‘s 15-year-old nephew, whose story brought about Northcott‘s arrest at age 24 in Canada. Clark accused Northcott of mistreating, murdering and burying boys in quicklime. Two boys were murdered and three buried in the chicken houses in the background. Arrow at right shows a coop where Clark asserted Northcott imprisoned Walter Collins, kidnapped Los Angeles boy, and finally killed him with an axe. Collins was held captive in the coop, slept there on a rude cot, and could only look into the pens at right. Slaying and burial sites of the Winslow brothers are noted.


J. Clark Sellers, criminologist, examines an axe which Sanford Clark says Mrs. Louise Northcott used in Walter Collins’ murder. Rex Welsh, police chemist, declares the axe is stained with human blood. It was found in a chicken coop on the ranch.


Sanford Clark shows officials the chair from the “murder farm” in which he says the Winslow brothers and Walter Collins sat when they were killed, struck from behind by a hammer and hatchet wielded by Gordon Stewart Northcott.


Keywords: Christine Collins, Walter Collins, Changeling movie, true story, 1928, LAPD, Gordon Northcott, Wineville murders, Angelina Jolie, Clint Eastwood



  1. candy said,

    wow thats crazy i honestly cant believe it ! wat a sad story please send me any updates!

  2. kira said,

    such a sad story. it hurts me real deep. i feel like crying EVER time i read about this story. please send me any updates also…

  3. Serena said,

    OMG i saw the movie and it was the best and most sad movie ive ever seen in my life! this is so discusting and sad and i cant belive he did that! i am so glad he was hanged! 😦

    • kayla said,

      if you ask me, think he should have suffered more than that. all of those poor boys, i cried so hard.

  4. paige gammons said,

    this was the most horable story iv ever herd im doing more resurch about it

  5. Ashleigh said,

    This story disturbs me on so many levels. I can’t believe someone could be so cruel. I’ve read about many famous murder s and this one just wont get out of my head. The movie was really intense. The shock therapy they did to those women was extremely horrible, the nurses face was what really creeped me out. Christine Collins was such a strong individual, if it was me i would go crazy in that asylum. She is most definatly a role model for mothers. The only thing I wish the articles would say was Gordon Stewarts motive for hurting all of those little boys.

  6. Taylor said,

    WOW!What a jerk! I would have drown or hung him because it would have been a slow death or chopped him up like he did with the kids.I saw the movie it was awsome and sad.I will definetly resarch this WAY more and they make the charecters look like exactly the same.

  7. Taylor said,

    i feel bad if i had done that.

  8. gina said,

    if i had the choice i wud say, an eye for an eye. north cott should have been torture with n axe. n ashamed n the police too. i justed watched the changling too.

  9. N said,

    omg i just saw changeling last night, and it was TERRIBLE! not as in like, the movie was terrible, but im talking about how bad those murders were… who would murder little boys? especially 17?? (walter, david and that other boy ran away)

    i also feel bad that christine couldnt see walter ever again– o right also the police officer, jones and that doctor in charge of the loony house were SO OBNOXIOUS! ughh it made me want to punch them in the faces, i mean, every “wrong” response christine said they would pretty much think she was crazy!

    i loved this movie tho, it was so good and sad; they should make more movies like this! now its making me curious to find out more about the wineville chicken coop murders

  10. V said,

    Did Gordon kill Walter? I think he did, but he won’t admit that!
    Sadly, the changeling movie didn’t show Gordon’s mother (they don’t mention it) only Gordon, and OMG, i just knew that his mother involved with that cruel murder!

    many people though that Angelina Jolie was acting so worse and not looks like Christine actually, but every mother would do the same thing when she worried about her child, especially Christine only had one son and the only one person in her life. Of course when she couldn’t find her boy, she will cry and look depress, but still… she tried to keep in professional attitude when talking and against police. even it’s so hard to do that..

    well, Walter Collins case is a history, sad and mysterious till now, no one know the truth, but we just know that he’s a brave young boy. He saved David!

    Would be a miracle to tell us where’s Walter Collins right now ?? :p

    I just can’t imagine, when Gordon caught him and killed him with brutally because the boys tried to escape and the only one he got was Walter!!.. oh .. no..!!

    • AMS said,

      I’m not trying to shun this blog or anything but a couple facts in this blog are inaccurate. First of all it’s suspected but not confirmed Northcott had as many as twenty victims. It was speculated but not confirmed he killed as many as twenty children because there were not enough evidence produced to confirm that he killed that many children. The Winslow Brothers, and that unidentified Mexican teenager are the only confirmed victims of Gordon Stewart Northcott. Second, Northcott was 21 not 24 when he was arrested. If you people want to know the true story behind Changeling I’d suggest doing some research rather than just watching the film because Changeling is inaccurate in a few things and their is so much more to the story than that movie.

  11. PJ said,

    I disagree with your comment “the narcissistic histrionics of Angelina Jolie” in reference to her acting in the movie “Changeling”.

    In fact, I rather thought her performance portrayed Christine Collins as quiet yet strong – I’m not a fan of hers by no means but I will give credit where it’s due.

    If the subject of this movie shocked you, check out the TV miniseries “Chiefs” which was by far the best TV miniseries ever done. I heard it might be coming out on DVD – they should put it out; it’s excellent!

  12. MG said,

    the movie was passintate
    i did a lot of reasearch on it as well
    made a video about it
    so sad.
    the actor who plays sanford clark is hot in changeling!!
    eddie alderson!!!!

  13. Savvy Brown said,

    I loved the film but they should have stuck closer to the truth in revealing the evil Mrs Northcott as well So so sad, the cruelest people right up there with Hitler. I hope those two Northcott fucks get what they deserve in the hearafter. We should let this film be a lesson in todays world. When these creeps torture & kill children HANG THEM as quickly as possible. Electric chair whatever is most painful and do it within a few years of conviction Too much tax payer money is spent keeping their worthless asses alive & fed in jail. Its crap.

  14. caitlin said,

    if anything Gordon Stewart Northcott is thee sickest most insane person i have ever read about. and i have read some sick stories. why would a man have such a drive to kill little boys if he wasnt psycho. now honestly, if he was still alive i would ask him why he did it, because it was something that shook the world(well maybe not the whole world but it did shock quite a lot).
    but i believe that Gordon doesnt deserve all the blame,,, think about that sick bitch who assisted him in all the murders! how come we never hear anythinng about her? seriously?

    • Lindsie said,

      Yeah, but he had a choice if I was put in a position that involved life or death I would take my life instead of other peoples, especially little innocent little boys who were no more than 10!

  15. Caitlin said,

    ok so here i am in class, and i am supose to be working but ther is one thing i just couldnt get off my mind.
    the more i read about this the more i began thinking;
    gordon must have been one torchured soul if he thought that he had to kill them
    he was obviously somewhat religious if he made them pray before he murdered them.

    all i want to say is that he doesnt deserve all the bad names he gets because he did want them to go to heaven and he wasnt the only one who killed those kids……..

  16. krissy said,

    gosh i watched the changeling movie…and i had to get online and find out more….this is horrible…

  17. Kenzie said,

    This was terrible! it made me sick to my stomach. i have hope for these boys who escaped! R.I.P to all the boys who died in this tragic murder

  18. Lindsie said,

    I have seen the Changeling movie so many times I can mouth it word for word and let me tell you I have never felt so scared, or sad since I had seen a Hollocaust movie. Gordon Northcott deserved what he got, how could he think he could get away with killing 20 kids, and Sanford Clark I feel so bad for that kid having to go through that, having to decide to let his life get taken away or to take a life himself. I think that Walter Collins lived no matter how many people say different if David Clay made it out Walter can too.

  19. Olivia Said, said,

    OMG who would kill little kids for no absoloute reason.thats ridiculous that would do that, but did he really kill walter in the movie he survived according to david.

    Well i would say he i a little religous if he made them pray first but why the heck would he kill them, he wasn’t pycho or anything……. was he?

  20. Nisa said,

    i feel bad for all those kids being murder like this.
    btw was gordon mentally challenged??
    and pluss gordon did not kill walter his mother did.

    • kayla said,

      no, walter’s mom never stoped searching for him. If your talking about Walter Collins. There was a whole movie based on it. ‘The Changeling’

      • kayla said,

        i cried the whole during the whole ending

  21. MERYEM SAVCI said,


  22. cristobal said,

    wat a jerk !!!!!!!!!!! he killed all those kids 4 nothing i wonder if walter surrvived that poor tradgety i would be feeling sorry for wat happend

  23. Just Saw the Movie said,

    The killer was actually Canadian.

  24. Cherie Lawrence said,

    Just read the book The Road From Hell just published November 2009 with intimate, graphic details as taken from interviews with Sanford Clark. Unbelievable.

  25. krissy said,

    i live down the street try living in the city!still cant find the spot!

  26. maddie said,

    omg, i dont even know wat to say!! wat a horrible, discusting psychopath! how could someone ever have the motivation to do something like that, even his mother!!
    I watched the movie and cried for almost half of it. im gad he was hung too! i could sleep all night. i have a little brother that’s 7 now, so it made me extra uspet. now im scared for him to go outside or down the street 😦 i reckon the killer should have been tortured and not just hung. he should have gotten everthing he deserved. i know i shouldn’t say thins, but i hope he goes to hell… sorryy. and i hope all those little boys are safe up in heaven 🙂

  27. Arthel said,

    I don’t believe he should be tortured. True, he murdered all of those poor boys, but I believe that, despite the pain and loss he brought the boys’ parents, he should have been forgiven. He was hanged, and that, to me, is justice enough.

  28. Changeling: The Real Information « Simply Say Cheese said,

    […] The Place and Evidence […]

  29. Israel said,

    First of all, sorry for the lost child’s.
    If we think logically – there are 2 options – or that Walter was killed while trying to escape from the farm, or that although he managed to escape was killed on the way, I think if he was alive for sure would have heard about it even after 30 years.
    Today it should be 90 if he lives in some way, unfortunately there were enough stories like that in periods of 20-30 years of the previous century.
    Pray for peace and brotherhood.

  30. Tina Welch said,

    What I found incredibly hard to believe about this entire story is that these monsters operated by themselves. Upon further reading, even Gordon’s father says he had seen some of the bodies. Why would a mother and father condone and keep silent about their pedophilia manic son? Perhaps it was a job, plain and simple. Perhaps Gordon only killed these boys after he abducted them, soliticted them to prominent individuals and then killed them when they raped these young boys. How could he have gotten customers? My hunch leads me to the famous “Norconian” Hotel that was constructed in the last 1920’s which was a world class resort that hosted many dignitaries, politicians and celebrities. Perhaps these guests were coming for other delights that were not on the main menu and when they summoned, Gordon delivered from his chicken farm that was conveniently located only miles away from “Wineville”. Just a hunch but something tells me we’ve all been lied to once again, there are many more people involved in this that we have been led to believe.

    • j said,

      this movie is so sad every time i watch it i end up in tears like what kid of bastard kills kids like that well period .now i kind of feel sorry for the little kid the clark boy well he had no choice but to do that i think that he was just blessed and then he also molested them this movie is good but also sad they also should of put a little more details and first i didn’t know if he was dead or not but I’m glad for people like this who writes acticle like these but this is a sad movie and like you should definetly watch this. RIP Coop murder Boys

      • j said,

        but thank god for people like this

  31. AMS said,

    You people are so melodramatic. As horrifying and grisly this case was which I’m not saying it wasn’t I’ve heard of some more violent and horrifying cases than this one like I think the John Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer cases were worse than this one. Oh and must I mention Fritz Haarmann!? he bit through his victims throats then dismembered the bodies, cut out the insides, and drank their blood!! And you people particularly the ladies say things like “Oh this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever read!” and “this is the most horrifying case I’ve ever heard of!” and “that northcott bastard is the most evil man I’ve known!” And you go all crazy on something like this?? like open your eyes….geez

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