Tag Archives: True Crime

Crime Time ~ Sins & Secrets ~ “Lexington”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

Sins & Secrets, Season 2, Episode 1,  “Lexington”

Lexington, Kentucky, July 17, 1994

A group of University of Kentucky students were hanging out, celebrating the twenty-first birthday of Trent DiGiuro, a well-liked student at the university. Trent was a football player but, at 6’2 and 260 lbs., he was told he was too small and too slow to play. But, he went out and tried anyway, giving it all he could and holding his own with the other, bigger players. He was thrilled when he made it on the team.

At around 12:30, when the party was starting to wind down, a shot rang out. Shawn, one of the friends, asked Trent DiGiuro if he’d heard it. It was in that moment, he realized Trent had been shot. A friend held a shirt on Trent’s head as they waited for an ambulance.  The shirt was immediately soaked in blood. Although Trent was rushed to the hospital, he died—the coroner stated that he died within seconds of being shot.

All of the partygoers were interrogated and tested for gun residue. They told of some guys who drove up in a pickup and wanted to crash the party and were told it was a private party. That ended up leading nowhere. It was determined that the shot, which was directly into Trent’s ear, came from a distance, most likely from a spot above where Trent was located. People wondered if UK football players were being targeted.

For two years, the investigation went unsolved. Then, authorities received a call that they should check out a student named David Cante. They went to David’s house and were shocked at what they found. It was clear that Cante had an unhealthy interest in Trent DiGiuro. They not only found a cache of weapons; they found a rifle that was similar to the one that killed Trent. They also found several paper plates with creepy messages written on them, including one that said he and Trent were twins. He seemed to be obsessed with the victim, which raised a red flag. But, when they dug deeper, they found no connection between Cante and Trent’s murder.

Three more years passed without a break in the case. The story was featured on America’s Most Wanted, which brought in a ton of leads. None of them resulted in anything worthwhile. Then, in January 2000, an attorney called police and told them he had some information from someone who wished to remain anonymous. The attorney gave them the name of Shane Ragland. They learned that Shane was another student at the university. The anonymous source said the motive was Shane being blackballed from a fraternity. Police spoke to a friend of Trent’s who said he was pledging with Shane and Trent was there. On the wall was a calendar of college girls. Shane pointed to one and said he’d slept with her. She was a friend of Trent’s and the girlfriend of the president. Later, the president confronted Shane and he was blackballed from the fraternity. Shane blamed Matt and went after him, attacking him in a bar. When Trent learned of the attack, he called Shane and told him that Trent was the one who told the president. He said if he had a problem, he should take it up with him. Unfortunately, those words sealed Trent’s fate.

Even though this seemed like a minor conflict and shouldn’t have led to murder, it was the only thing police had. Police thought Ragland sounded like a solid suspect but couldn’t go anywhere without knowing the identity of the source. They convinced the attorney, who gave them her name–Aimee Lloyd, a former girlfriend of Shane. She told them she and Shane were out drinking one night and they played the game, “What’s the worst thing you’ve done?” When it was Shane’s turn, he said he’d shot someone. He told her he killed Trent. He even showed her the rifle he’d used. And made her promise she’d never tell anyone. For five years, she kept the promise, Then, one day she read an article about the anniversary of Trent’s death. All she could think about was what his family was going through and knew she had to do something.

She agreed to work with police on a sting operation. They set up a ruse that Aimee would email Shane to establish contact. She did, and they began to communicate frequently. Shane suggested they meet get together some time, and Aimee agreed. She told him she would have a layover in Lexington if he wanted to meet with her. Aimee met with Shane in a lounge at the airport. Some of the other patrons were undercover cops, and Aimee was wired. Police had gone in the night before and set up the bar so they could record audio.

At first, they talked about old times, then Aimee began to cry. She said, “Something has been bother me, something you told me a long time ago, and I wish you never had. I need to know how you feel about it, so I can find out what kind of person you are before we go further.” He told her that he regretted it. She asked if he was ever going to do anything about it and asked if he could live with himself. He told her he didn’t have a choice. Then, he said, “You’re not setting me up, are you?” Aimee nervously laughed off the question, then said goodbye and headed to her flight, a nervous wreck.

The confession was enough to get a search warrant and they found a rifle that was the same caliber as the one that killed Trent. They arrested Shane. When he they interrogated him, he refused to admit he killed Trent.

Shane’s wealthy father posted his 500,000-dollar bond and hired the best attorney. Aimee took the stand at the trial and Shane’s attorney cautioned the jury to be careful believing her. They had Aimee’s diary and read extremely personal, explicit entries she’d written about hers and Shane’s sex life. Shane’s defense claimed that a person with behavior that racy couldn’t be trusted as a witness. Ugh, that’s outrageous. I’m shocked the judge allowed it. They had his freaking OWN words saying he regretted killing Trent, yet they put forth a defense like that?

The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to thirty years. However, a motion was filed by Shane’s attorneys, claiming that one of the ballistics experts gave false testimony. His guilty verdict was overturned. After discussing the option with Trent’s family, prosecutors offered Shane a deal. He plead guilty to manslaughter. With time served, he walked out a free man. So disgusting. His family wasn’t thrilled with the plan but said they didn’t have much choice. I’m not sure why they didn’t. It seems to me that they had a pretty solid case and should have tried it again. Although, they did get the satisfaction of having Shane admit he killed their son.

Aimee Lloyd was so terrified Shane would seek revenge that she went underground. She had to change her identity and completely disappear.

Not wanting Shane to live a life of luxury and enjoy his daddy’s millions, the DiGiuro family sued Ragland, and in 2008, the family was awarded $63.3 million, including $3.3 million in lost wages. It was the largest amount awarded in Fayette County and the second largest ever in Kentucky.

In 2012, Ragland sustained a spinal cord injury in a traffic accident where he was driving too fast on wet roads and not wearing a seatbelt. He has been confined to a wheelchair since. I guess Karma is indeed a bitch. However, it doesn’t seem he’s learned his lesson. In 2015, he was in Court on charges of domestic abuse for beating his girlfriend and her children. His only consequence was that he was ordered not to be around the children, although the woman stayed with him. Sometimes, the things people do amaze me.

 

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

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Crime Time ~ Sins & Secrets ~ “Lexington”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

Sins & Secrets, Season 2, Episode 1,  “Lexington”

Lexington, Kentucky, July 17, 1994

A group of University of Kentucky students were hanging out, celebrating the twenty-first birthday of Trent DiGiuro, a well-liked student at the university. Trent was a football player but, at 6’2 and 260 lbs., he was told he was too small and too slow to play. But, he went out and tried anyway, giving it all he could and holding his own with the other, bigger players. He was thrilled when he made it on the team.

At around 12:30, when the party was starting to wind down, a shot rang out. Shawn, one of the friends, asked Trent DiGiuro if he’d heard it. It was in that moment, he realized Trent had been shot. A friend held a shirt on Trent’s head as they waited for an ambulance.  The shirt was immediately soaked in blood. Although Trent was rushed to the hospital, he died—the coroner stated that he died within seconds of being shot.

All of the partygoers were interrogated and tested for gun residue. They told of some guys who drove up in a pickup and wanted to crash the party and were told it was a private party. That ended up leading nowhere. It was determined that the shot, which was directly into Trent’s ear, came from a distance, most likely from a spot above where Trent was located. People wondered if UK football players were being targeted.

For two years, the investigation went unsolved. Then, authorities received a call that they should check out a student named David Cante. They went to David’s house and were shocked at what they found. It was clear that Cante had an unhealthy interest in Trent DiGiuro. They not only found a cache of weapons; they found a rifle that was similar to the one that killed Trent. They also found several paper plates with creepy messages written on them, including one that said he and Trent were twins. He seemed to be obsessed with the victim, which raised a red flag. But, when they dug deeper, they found no connection between Cante and Trent’s murder.

Three more years passed without a break in the case. The story was featured on America’s Most Wanted, which brought in a ton of leads. None of them resulted in anything worthwhile. Then, in January 2000, an attorney called police and told them he had some information from someone who wished to remain anonymous. The attorney gave them the name of Shane Ragland. They learned that Shane was another student at the university. The anonymous source said the motive was Shane being blackballed from a fraternity. Police spoke to a friend of Trent’s who said he was pledging with Shane and Trent was there. On the wall was a calendar of college girls. Shane pointed to one and said he’d slept with her. She was a friend of Trent’s and the girlfriend of the president. Later, the president confronted Shane and he was blackballed from the fraternity. Shane blamed Matt and went after him, attacking him in a bar. When Trent learned of the attack, he called Shane and told him that Trent was the one who told the president. He said if he had a problem, he should take it up with him. Unfortunately, those words sealed Trent’s fate.

Even though this seemed like a minor conflict and shouldn’t have led to murder, it was the only thing police had. Police thought Ragland sounded like a solid suspect but couldn’t go anywhere without knowing the identity of the source. They convinced the attorney, who gave them her name–Aimee Lloyd, a former girlfriend of Shane. She told them she and Shane were out drinking one night and they played the game, “What’s the worst thing you’ve done?” When it was Shane’s turn, he said he’d shot someone. He told her he killed Trent. He even showed her the rifle he’d used. And made her promise she’d never tell anyone. For five years, she kept the promise, Then, one day she read an article about the anniversary of Trent’s death. All she could think about was what his family was going through and knew she had to do something.

She agreed to work with police on a sting operation. They set up a ruse that Aimee would email Shane to establish contact. She did, and they began to communicate frequently. Shane suggested they meet get together some time, and Aimee agreed. She told him she would have a layover in Lexington if he wanted to meet with her. Aimee met with Shane in a lounge at the airport. Some of the other patrons were undercover cops, and Aimee was wired. Police had gone in the night before and set up the bar so they could record audio.

At first, they talked about old times, then Aimee began to cry. She said, “Something has been bother me, something you told me a long time ago, and I wish you never had. I need to know how you feel about it, so I can find out what kind of person you are before we go further.” He told her that he regretted it. She asked if he was ever going to do anything about it and asked if he could live with himself. He told her he didn’t have a choice. Then, he said, “You’re not setting me up, are you?” Aimee nervously laughed off the question, then said goodbye and headed to her flight, a nervous wreck.

The confession was enough to get a search warrant and they found a rifle that was the same caliber as the one that killed Trent. They arrested Shane. When he they interrogated him, he refused to admit he killed Trent.

Shane’s wealthy father posted his 500,000-dollar bond and hired the best attorney. Aimee took the stand at the trial and Shane’s attorney cautioned the jury to be careful believing her. They had Aimee’s diary and read extremely personal, explicit entries she’d written about hers and Shane’s sex life. Shane’s defense claimed that a person with behavior that racy couldn’t be trusted as a witness. Ugh, that’s outrageous. I’m shocked the judge allowed it. They had his freaking OWN words saying he regretted killing Trent, yet they put forth a defense like that?

The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to thirty years. However, a motion was filed by Shane’s attorneys, claiming that one of the ballistics experts gave false testimony. His guilty verdict was overturned. After discussing the option with Trent’s family, prosecutors offered Shane a deal. He plead guilty to manslaughter. With time served, he walked out a free man. So disgusting. His family wasn’t thrilled with the plan but said they didn’t have much choice. I’m not sure why they didn’t. It seems to me that they had a pretty solid case and should have tried it again. Although, they did get the satisfaction of having Shane admit he killed their son.

Aimee Lloyd was so terrified Shane would seek revenge that she went underground. She had to change her identity and completely disappear.

Not wanting Shane to live a life of luxury and enjoy his daddy’s millions, the DiGiuro family sued Ragland, and in 2008, the family was awarded $63.3 million, including $3.3 million in lost wages. It was the largest amount awarded in Fayette County and the second largest ever in Kentucky.

In 2012, Ragland sustained a spinal cord injury in a traffic accident where he was driving too fast on wet roads and not wearing a seatbelt. He has been confined to a wheelchair since. I guess Karma is indeed a bitch. However, it doesn’t seem he’s learned his lesson. In 2015, he was in Court on charges of domestic abuse for beating his girlfriend and her children. His only consequence was that he was ordered not to be around the children, although the woman stayed with him. Sometimes, the things people do amaze me.

 

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

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Crime Time ~ American Monster ~ “The Last Valentine”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

American Monster, Season 3, Episode 7,  “The Last Valentine”

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – February 14, 2001

On Valentine’s Day in 2001, a frantic 911 call came in to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Affluent OKC gynecologist, John Hamilton, was calling to report that he’d found his wife, Susan, dead on the bathroom floor:

Operator: 911.

John Hamilton: Please, please, send police, please send an ambulance, please.

Operator: What’s the problem?

John Hamilton: My wife’s, my wife, my wife I think my wife is dead. Please, please.

Operator: Sir, sir.

John Hamilton: Please, please.

He told the operator he was trying CPR.

911 call:

John Hamilton: Listen, I’m a doctor, I’ve been trying CPR. Please send somebody quick.

EMSA: OK. Is she not breathing?

John Hamilton: No, she’s not breathing, I don’t get a pulse. Please, hurry.

EMSA: OK, you’re doing CPR?

John Hamilton: Yes, I’m trying. Yeah, I’m going to hang up so I can continue. Please.

EMSA: Alright. We’ll be right there.

John Hamilton: OK.

John and Susan married in 1987 and everyone who knew them felt they were a perfectly happy couple. Susan worked for Dr. Hamilton a few days a week, running his clinic. Seemingly the only dark cloud over their happiness was the conflict concerning the abortions Dr. Hamilton performed. Pro-Life advocates held several protests at his clinic and the couple received numerous threats.

February 14th, 2001, would have been their fifteenth Valentine’s Day together. But, it was also the day Dr. Hamilton returned home from his second surgery of the morning to find his wife dead—lying in a pool of blood. She’d been bludgeoned and strangled.

Investigators explored various theories—

~Robbery – The couple was wealthy and would certainly draw the attention of robbers.

~ Revenge for the abortions the doctor performed – Just the week before Susan was murdered, a wanted poster had been left for Dr. Hamilton that read, “A reward in heaven will be bestowed on anyone contributing to bringing this murderer to justice.” And both John and Susan had received threatening phone calls that week.

~ And, of course, the spouse – The morning of the murder, John went home after an early morning surgery to exchange cards with his wife. The hospital paged him at 9 a.m. to get back for another surgery. By 9:30, he was scrubbing up for the operation — a complicated removal of a tumor. The procedure came off without a hitch, and later none of the other doctors reported anything at all unusual in his behavior.

By 10:45, he was on his way home again, which is when he says he discovered Susan in a pool of blood. The timeline was extremely tight for the doctor to even be considered as a suspect. He’d have to have committed the violent murder in that narrow window between his two surgeries. His former medical partner, for one, doesn’t think that was possible. She didn’t believe he could do a surgery, go commit a violent crime, then come back and do another surgery, so calmly and without a hitch.

But investigators weren’t so sure, especially after finding a few clues that indicated the doctor might have been the killer. A card from his wife was found inside his Jaguar that read: “Obviously, I bought this before last Monday, so I guess now it doesn’t seem as appropriate. I do still love you though. Have a good day. Susan”

As is turns out, Susan suspected John of having an affair with a stripper—who was one of his patients–after finding numerous calls he’d made to the woman. But John explained to his wife that the woman had been having severe issues and had threatened suicide. He was only trying to help her.

In addition to the not so romantic card, investigators were suspicious of John because there were no bloody footprints leading away from the crime scene, and Susan’s blood and tissue were found in his Jaguar—which he explained away by saying he’d gotten in the car to move it while waiting on the ambulance after realizing they would need the parking space. However, his hands were shaking too badly to start the car.

The doctor’s strange behavior didn’t help ease their suspicions.  Hamilton had told the 911 operator he was performing CPR. But when the first responder arrived on the scene, he thought there was something odd about the way the doctor was performing chest compressions. He had one hand on her chest and one hand on her abdomen, rather than interlocking his hands with the palm in the center of the chest. There were no signs that the doctor had attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

When investigators placed John in the back of a police cruiser, his behavior became more bizarre. He scraped his knuckles on the mesh screen in the police car and banged his head into it. Police took him to the station where they confiscated his clothing for evidence and placed him in an interview room. They kept him there for hours and taped him on the surveillance camera. Hamilton seemed to be checking out his shoulder area. Police wondered if he was checking for injuries and if his actions in the cruiser were so he’d have an excuse for any abrasions they might find. On the show, they played a video of Dr. Hamilton in the interview room. He was definitely acting strange.

And as the detectives looked more closely into the doctor’s timeline that morning, they saw a hole — not a big one but maybe enough time to kill and get back. They’d learned that second surgery, originally scheduled for 9 am, hadn’t actually gotten underway until 9:40 because Hamilton was late. The surgical team was about to get started when they realized the doctor was not there. They had the patient under anesthesia, but no doctor, which is pretty much unheard of.

That same afternoon, police arrested Doctor Hamilton for his wife’s murder, and he was thrown in jail immediately and denied bail. As they worked to build their case against him, the prosecution was amazed at the support the doctor had. A crowd lined up to attend the proceedings — loyal patients, former employees, and fellow physicians — all standing behind the doctor.

But the prosecution contended he was guilty. The case they presented was that the doctor knew Susan was considering divorce. They argued and he snapped. He choked her and grabbed a nearby object and beat her to death. He now had to cover up his frenzy by going back to perform his second surgery as though nothing had happened. He had to have left the house by 9:20 to make it back to the hospital by 9:30, when he was seen scrubbing up for surgery. Susan, as it turns out, should also have left by 9:20, because she had a 9:30 meeting at a friend’s house ten minutes away. However, it appears she never had much of a chance to get ready — when she was discovered, she was still undressed, her hair still wet. Which means if he didn’t do it, whoever did had to have come in immediately upon his departure.

Nothing had been stolen, but a friend of Susan’s found expensive jewelry hidden in Susan’s underwear drawer, leading the prosecution to believe John had hidden it there to make her attack look like a robbery. Maybe he planned to go back and remove it, but he was arrested before he could do that.

The final nail in his coffin, though, was the blood spatter. Defense attorneys called a blood stain expert to testify that most of the spatter on John’s clothes and shoes could be explained by his attempts to perform CPR. Before he left the stand, prosecutor Wes Lane asked if there was any information about the spatter they were missing. After a brief hesitation, he stated: In my examination, I found additional blood that was not talked about anywhere, on the inside of the right cuff.

He went on to say that the only way he could see that it could have gotten there was when he was beating her with that blunt instrument that was driving the blood up inside his shirt. And this was a witness the defense had called—and paid.

Dr. Hamilton was sentenced to, and is serving, a life sentence without the possibility of parole. As a side note, he was also ordered to pay $11,104 for the cost of his stay in the Oklahoma County jail. It was the first such order in Oklahoma County. Talk about adding insult to injury. 😊

While I am usually one to think everyone is guilty, and it certainly looks as though this guy is guilty, one question nags at me. Logistically, I don’t understand how the doctor had on bloody clothes at the time he called 911 and emergency personnel and police arrived. Apparently the morning played out something like this…

7:00 a.m. – Dr. Hamilton leaves the house to head to the hospital where he performs a surgery. He is, I assume, wearing street clothes although he changes into scrubs at the hospital.

Appx 8:40 a.m.– In those same clothes, Dr. Hamilton returns home to exchange cards with his wife (he lives very close to the hospital) and it is then that he kills her. He attempts to clean up the mess. I would assume he changed out of bloody clothes. At around 9:20, he heads to the hospital to perform another surgery, wearing fresh clothes. Because, I am going to guess that he doesn’t arrive at the hospital for his next surgery wearing blood-soaked clothes, so yes, he changed. We’ll call the first outfit of the day, Outfit 1, which he was wearing when he killed his wife. The clothes he changed into will be called Outfit 2.

Appx 10:45 – Dr. Hamilton returns home wearing Outfit 2. He finds his wife on the floor, which he knew she would be because he killed her there. He performs CPR, so that it looks like he tried to revive her. He calls 911. He’s still wearing Outfit 2. Emergency personnel arrive, she’s dead. He’s covered in blood, in Outfit 2, because of trying to perform CPR.

Police investigate, they take Outfit 2 and it ends up being the blood evidence that hangs him, because of the spatter found inside his sleeve, of what I assume is Outfit 2. If all he did in Outfit 2 was pretend to do CPR, how did it get the spatter that eventually convicted him? I can understand that they would find that in Outfit 1, his ‘killing clothes’ -which I assume were never found – I find it unlikely that, at some point, he would change back into Outfit 1 after returning home in Outfit 2.

Am I making sense? What am I missing?

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

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Crime Time ~ Handsome Devils ~ “Hurricane Love”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

 

Handsome Devils, Season 1, Episode 2,  “Hurricane Love”

New Orleans, Louisiana, October 2006

This has to be one of the most bizarre murder cases I’ve come across.

In October 2006, Police were called to the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel after a report that a man’s body was on the roof of the parking garage. Police arrived and found the dead man. His body was severely mangled, and it was obvious he’d fallen or had been pushed and died on impact. Looking for an ID, investigators searched the man’s pocket and found a note. Below is a brief excerpt from the note:

This is not accidental. I had to take my own life to pay for the one I took.

If you send a patrol to 826 N. Rampart you will find the dismembered corpse of my girlfriend Addie in the oven, on the stove, and in the fridge along with full documentation on the both of us and a full signed confession from myself…

Zack Bowen.”

Authorities rushed to the location–a small apartment above the Voodoo Spiritual Temple. When they entered, they encountered a horrific scene straight from a horror movie.

The apartment was cold. The air had been set down to 60. On the walls were painted messages such as “I’m a failure,” along with a request to call Zack’s ex-wife and the mother of his children and tell her he loved her.

Some of the messages were arrows pointing to specific areas of the apartment, stating “Look here” or “look inside.” On the stove, they found a pot containing a human head, burned beyond recognition. In another pot they found hands and feet. Inside the oven, in a large roasting pan, were arms and legs, also burnt. There appeared to be seasoning on the limbs. Next to the stove on the counter were cut-up potatoes and carrots. Inside the refrigerator, in a large plastic bag, they found the torso.  They would soon learn that the murder victim was Addie Hall, Zach Bowen’s girlfriend.

Friends of Zach and Addie were shocked. They knew the couple had a tumultuous relationship and had argued frequently but never dreamed it would end in such a gruesome manner.

The two had worked together at a bar in the French Quarter. Zach was known as a charmer and Addie a free-spirit. When Hurricane Katrina was coming, Addie let Zach stay with her and, rather than evacuate, the two chose to ride out the storm. After Katrina, they gained media attention and were featured in The New Yorker because of their ‘party’ lifestyle and upbeat attitudes even with all the devastation around them. They had no power, no water, but they hung out in the streets and served drinks to passersby. They treated it as though they were camping out and thrived amidst all the destruction.

Once the power was restored and real life encroached—including jobs and bills–the relationship began falling apart. They fought constantly, it was rumored they cheated on one another, and increased their drug use to a dangerous level.

A lady Addie worked for was interviewed on the show, along with Zach’s mother. (Can you imagine your son doing something like this, dying like this?). Addie’s boss thought of Addie as a daughter. She said Zach was extremely jealous and would say that if he couldn’t have her, no one could She called it ‘graveyard love’ which is a pretty accurate description of the way things turned out.

Both Zach and Addie had issues. She’d been molested as a child and grew up to become involved in several abusive relationships.  Zach had been a military police officer in Kosovo and Iraq — including time at Abu Ghraib. One experience in particular that friends said “messed him up” the most was when a girl he had befriended in Iraq was killed — along with her whole family — when her family’s shop was bombed. He returned home depressed and suffering from PTSD. He was discovered with 27 burns on his body and stated in the journal that he burned himself with a cigarette for every year of his life as punishment for his failures.

The beginning of the end started when Addie went to the landlord to try to have Zach taken off the lease because she wanted to kick him out after learning he’d cheated. Zach was furious. Apparently, this led to an explosive, physical altercation. He went nuts and choked her to death.

Zach’s version of the events was relayed in an 8-page confession he wrote in Addie’s journal. The letter read, in part:

“I killed her at 1 a.m. Thursday 5 October,” he wrote. “I very calmly strangled her. It was very quick.”

After killing her, he sexually violated her corpse several times before passing out next to it. The next morning, he got up and went to work. When he returned, he moved Hall’s corpse to the bathtub, where he dismembered it using a hacksaw and a knife. Afterward, he meticulously cleaned the bathroom.

It took him four days to decide what to do with Hall’s remains. During that time, he went on about his life as normal — friends who met with him during the two weeks between the murder and his suicide said he seemed to be in good spirits, and even spoke of going on a vacation. In fact, his confession letter stated that he wanted to enjoy his last days on earth to the fullest, indulging in “good food, good drugs, good strippers.”

Apparently, he decided to cook Hall’s remains only in order to make them easier to dispose of. Despite the crime scene and the rumors that circulated, no human remains were found in his system during the autopsy.

He went on to say in the journal, “I scared myself not only by the action of calmly strangling the woman I’ve loved for one and a half years, but by my entire lack of remorse. I’ve known forever how horrible a person I am (ask anyone).”

The security cameras at the Omni Royal Orleans captured Bowen approaching the terrace and looking over it several times. Finally, he downed a final drink, then threw himself to his death.

There is one more bizarre twist to the case. Director Rob Florence decided to make a documentary called Zach and Addie about the case after meeting Margaret Sanchez, a friend of the couple. The film took 8 years to make and Sanchez is featured frequently discussing the tragedy. During the time it took to make the documentary, Sanchez ending up in the middle of her own horrific dismemberment case. Only this time, she was accused and eventually confessed to the murder. The victim was Jaren Lockhart, a dancer and mother in New Orleans. Sanchez and her boyfriend stabbed and dismembered Lockhart after luring her into their trap by claiming they wanted to hire her for a private dance.

Some speculate that this is just too coincidental and perhaps Margaret was involved in Addie’s death as well. If so, Zach has taken that knowledge to the grave with him. Margaret was not mentioned in his rambling confession.

How crazy is this case?

 

 

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

Leave a comment

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Crime Time ~ Fear Thy Neighbor ~ “Home is Where the Hearse is”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

 

Fear Thy Neighbor ~ Season 1, Episode 5,  “Home is Where the Hearse is”

Miami, Florida, October 4, 1986

In 1983, after serving in the military, Jimmy Escoto returns to his Cuban neighborhood in Miami to live with his mom, his stepbrother and his eight-year-old son, Anthony.  The neighborhood is an idyllic, respectable area where the friendly residents get along well.  Older neighbor, Baldomero Fernandez, and Escoto soon become friends. Jimmy is trying to put himself through nursing school, and Fernandez hires him to do odd jobs around his property.

Finally, Jimmy realizes his dream and graduates nursing school. He gets a job and no longer has time to help Fernandez. Fernandez, who was involved in local politics and was friends with the mayor, sees himself as someone who has earned respect. Not only does Jimmy refuse to work for him, he hosts parties, parades a string of women in and out of his home, and parks a truck he’s restoring on a strip of property between their houses that Baldomero claims is his. When Jimmy will not obey Baldomero’s demands that he keep off of that piece of land, Baldomero builds a fence. Jimmy calls the assessor’s office. A rep comes out and determines the area does not belong to Baldomero and the fence must come down. However, that ruling is quickly overturned, most likely due to Baldomero’s friends in high places. Not long after, the rep is fired and it is determined the land belongs to Baldomero after all.

Jimmy Escoto

This is just one of the many feuds that would transpire between these neighbors who were once friends. Baldomero seethes with rage and watches Jimmy’s every move, calling the police each time he feels Jimmy has violated any kind of law. The police find nothing to charge him with and eventually slap a restraining order against each of them.

Over the next few years, tensions escalate between the two. During that time, Baldomero threatens on more than one occasion that he will kill Jimmy. He even makes the threat to Jimmy’s mother.

In 1986, Jimmy lands a dream job…private nurse to the son of former Miami Dolphins linebacker, Nick Buoniconti. In 1985, when he was nineteen and a linebacker himself, Marc Buoniconti was injured in a game between Citadel and East Tennessee State when he hit, helmet first, into another player’s back. After the hit, he lay motionless on the ground. He was rushed to the hospital where it was determined he had suffered a dislocation between the third and fourth cervical vertebrae. His spinal cord was crushed, and he was paralyzed from the neck down.

Marc Buoniconti

Marc was interviewed on the episode and he credits Jimmy with getting him off the respirator. He pushed and encouraged Marc and Marc made remarkable progress under his care. Marc spoke of Jimmy’s kindness and his caring, selfless nature. Jimmy’s son, Anthony, now a grown (and might I say, very handsome) man, was interviewed on the episode as well and told about what a great father Jimmy was and how much he still misses him.

On October 1, 1986, Jimmy accompanies Marc to New York to attend the first annual, “Great Sports Legends” charity dinner for the Buoniconti fund to cure paralysis, which is still active today. The guest list included Joe DiMaggio, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Namath, Howard Cosell and Richard Nixon.

Three days later, on October 4, 1986, Jimmy’s son, Anthony, was out riding his bike and didn’t come home when Jimmy thought he should. Jimmy went out looking for him and when he returned, Fernandez was parked in his car, on Jimmy’s lawn. Jimmy approaches the car and curses at Fernandez, telling him to leave. Instead, Fernandez pulls a gun. Jimmy doesn’t think he will shoot him, and he doesn’t back down. Fernandez pulls the trigger.

Injured and shocked, Jimmy stumbles back, begging for his life. Fernandez climbs out of the car and continues firing. Jimmy runs. Weak and losing blood, he runs up onto a woman’s lawn. The woman sees the man chasing Jimmy, brandishing a weapon, and she rushes inside to call the police. As she is begging them to hurry, Fernandez runs out of bullets. Jimmy staggers away, but Fernandez chases him down and beats him with the butt of the pistol.  Fernandez’s wife arrives on the scene and takes the gun away from her husband. At that point, Fernandez picks up a cement slab and slams it into Jimmy’s head, over and over. The police finally arrive and Jimmy is rushed to the hospital, but it is too late. Jimmy Escoto is dead.

Anthony Escoto, who is now a Miami Firefighter

Fernandez was arrested and charged with second degree murder. He claimed he feared for his life and that Jimmy had attacked him with a chain. On the program, the Chief of Police stated that Fernandez was checked for injuries from the chain he claimed Jimmy hit him with, and there was no indication of any injury.

The community for the most part supported Fernandez. Among his supporters was the mayor of Miami. Fernandez was sentenced to seven years in prison, but he only ended up serving three.  

In my research I found stories that spoke of ‘vigilante justice’ and how the ‘criminal became the victim’ and all the support that Fernandez had. I know there is more than one side to every story, but the facts that were presented in the program–from people who were around at the time, including the chief of police–indicate that the feud went both ways and the violence that erupted that day was all on Fernandez. He not only shot Jimmy, he stalked him and beat him repeatedly, crushing his head with a cement block as Jimmy lay helpless on the ground. Fernandez leaves a family destroyed and a young boy fatherless. And, for that, the man serves three years? That, in my opinion, is appalling.

What do you think? Was justice served?

 

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

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Crime Time ~ On the Case with Paula Zahn ~ “Where’s Crystal”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

 

On the Case with Paula Zahn ~ Season 17, Episode 4, “Where’s Crystal”

Bardstown, Kentucky – July 2015

I usually avoid episodes where the victim survives (sorry, but I find murder much more interesting than attempted murder) or the case is never solved, but sometimes I get sucked into one or the other. Today’s post is about a case that was never solved.

Crystal Rogers, a thirty-five-year-old mother of five, went missing on or around July 3, 2015. Her family became concerned when a few days went by with Crystal not responding to their texts or calls. According to her live-in boyfriend, Brooks Houck, on the evening of July 3, he and Crystal and their two-year-old son went to Houck’s family farm and stayed until around midnight. After they returned, Crystal stayed up late playing games on her phone. When Brooks awoke the next morning, she was not in the house. Funny that he didn’t bother reporting her missing. He claims that she often went to stay at her cousin’s, so he didn’t think anything about it. However, all those who knew her insist she never went anywhere without her youngest son, Eli.

Other suspicious/interesting facts…

  • Crystal’s car was found on July 5, 2015 on the shoulder of the Bluegrass Parkway. Her tire was flat and her purse, keys and cellphone were found inside. The seat was moved back in a position that would have been too far back for Crystal.
  • Brooks was named a suspect but has denied having anything to do with Crystal’s disappearance. Brooks’ brother, Nick, was a police officer in Bardstown. He was fired for interfering after calling Brooks in the middle of his interview with police and warning him not to say anything. He wanted him that “they might be trying to trip him up” and “he should protect himself.” Video surveillance captured the two brothers, Nick in his police cruiser and Brooks in his truck, going to the family farm a few hours after Brooks’ interview with police.

Brooks’ interview:

  • Nick was questioned and claimed he does not remember what they did at the farm. He was given a polygraph and failed. As a cop, you would think he could do better than ‘I don’t recall what we did’ – That sounds highly suspect. When confronted with the results, Nick denied that he was lying, saying, “I don’t give a goddam what your f*cking computer said… You’re calling me a f*cking liar [and] I don’t like it when people call me a liar.”

Nick’s interview:

  • Crystal’s father, Tommy, launched his own intense investigation into his daughter’s disappearance. He checked out every lead and searched relentlessly. On November 19, 2016, he was fatally shot when he took his grandson hunting. The shooter has never been identified. Coincidence? I think not.

Sherry and Tommy Ballard

  • In November of 2018, a panel of judges determined that Brooks’ and Crystal’s son, who was six by then, could no longer visit Crystal’s mother, Sherry Ballard. She and her now deceased husband filed for grandparent visitation after Crystal’s disappearance and Sherry was exercising visitation with the child every other weekend. However, Brooks filed to have those visits stopped. He testified that after returning from visits with his grandmother, the child is sullen and uncooperative. And that he is accusatory, asking him ‘what did you do to my mommy,’ and that ‘everyone wants to know.'”
  • Crystal’s mother appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil in February of this year. Since then, new tips have been pouring in. Hopefully, they will lead to the arrest and conviction of Crystal’s killer, and her body will be found.

I’m just completely amazed that the case has not yet been solved and the brothers have gotten by with the lies and subterfuge. What do you think? Are the brothers guilty?

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

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Crime Time ~ Scene of the Crime ~ “Deadly Breakup”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

 

Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris, Season 1, Episode 5, “Deadly Breakup”

Monroeville, Pennsylvania – August 15, 2007

Fifteen year old Demi Cuccia was a beautiful, popular high school cheerleader. When her older brother’s friend, John Mullarkey, expressed an interest in her, she was thrilled, and they began dating.

Outwardly, things appeared fine between the couple, but a year after they started seeing each other, John’s controlling possessiveness finally became too much, and Demi broke up with him. He wouldn’t leave her alone, though. He did not want to accept the breakup. He texted and called her over and over, insisting, begging, harassing.

On August 15th,  the day after Demi’s sixteenth birthday, her mother was taking son Jake to a community college for orientation. Demi wasn’t feeling well and stayed home. Just before they left, Demi was laying on the sofa, and her phone rang. It was John. Demi was annoyed and didn’t answer. She told her mother that all she wanted to do was rest, and he wouldn’t leave her alone. Demi called her father that evening and said she was supposed to be working on cheerleading posters but wasn’t feeling well. She didn’t mention to him that John was coming over to talk about their relationship.

Demi and her mother

Demi and her father

Later that evening, Officer Sarah Bonner received a call that there had been a stabbing. She arrived at the location and a neighbor waved her down. Not knowing if the assailant was nearby, Officer Bonner drew her weapon. As she approached the neighbor, she saw Demi at the neighbor’s feet, covered in blood. The officer holstered her weapon and focused on Demi, reassuring the girl that she would be okay. Down the street, a man was laying on the ground. He’d slit his own throat after stabbing Demi sixteen times. The ambulance arrived and went immediately to him, rather than Demi. Officer Connor directed them to Demi, and said, “I have the victim here.” They treated her and rushed her to the hospital, but her injuries were too severe. She died at the hospital. The man—who turned out to be John  survived.

Demi’s devastated parents were interviewed during the episode. Her father had videotaped his son’s graduation only two months prior, and he’d videotaped John graduating as well. How could someone who was their son’s close friend, someone they’d welcomed into their home, do something so heinous to their beautiful child?

The truth came out during the investigation. There was a dark side to Demi’s life that she didn’t share with her parents. Her friends knew just a little of what was going on, but not the extent of the obsessive nature of their relationship. John didn’t want Demi hanging out with her friends. He kept close tabs on her and wanted her all to himself. His behavior became more and more abusive and controlling, but Demi didn’t understand the danger she was in.

John was charged with first degree murder, but his defense claimed he didn’t intend to kill her and wasn’t aware of what he was doing. He was suffering psychosis from taking the acne drug, Accutane. The prosecution believed he went to Demi’s with the intent of either getting the answer he wanted, or killing her. He texted beforehand, asking if her brother was going to be there. And…he brought the knife, the murder weapon, with him. Sounds like his intentions were clear.

The murderer

The jury took just forty-five minutes of deliberation to agree, convicting Mullarkey of first-degree murder. He was sentenced immediately to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The only time the defendant showed emotion was when he was handed the sentence. He never once apologized to or addressed Demi’s family.

After sentencing, John’s family hired an attorney to try to get John’s sentence reduced. John’s family refused to be interviewed for the show, but the attorney agreed to speak with Tony. He claims that Mullarkey had ineffective counsel and that the jury didn’t have all the facts. He found a forensic psychologist who will testify that John was in a frenzied, maniacal state and would not have acted without provocation. Tony asked the attorney, “Do you believe there was provocation?” The attorney replied, “There was a dispute between these two at the time.” Tony said, “He was texting her non-stop, she’d moved on, he had not.” The attorney blithely stated, “But, he didn’t break the door.” I know it’s his job to defend his client, but his statement infuriated me. It was obvious it pissed Tony off as well. He said, “Wow, she didn’t tell him to bring a knife to stab her. You can’t blame Demi for this. Sixteen stab wounds, doesn’t that speak to intent?” The attorney replied, “No, it was in the heat of passion.”

Such a tragic story, and unfortunately, not all that uncommon. Many teens are in controlling relationships and are the victims of abuse. Demi’s parents are on a crusade to get the message out and they travel around to various schools to tell their story, hoping it will save other teens from this same fate. The message is simple, if someone is trying to control and isolate you, then those are serious warning signs. It’s not normal…it’s not love…it’s not okay.

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

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Crime Time ~ Hometown Homicide ~ “Local Girl Gone”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

 

Hometown Homicide, Season 1, Episode 2, “Local Girl Gone”

Hope Mills, North Carolina – March 11, 2014

Small town high school teen Danielle Locklear was a pretty, bubbly, fun-loving, popular fifteen-year-old. She lived with her grandparents instead of her mother, because she wanted to go to  high school in their town, where she’d made many friends during her summer visits. Although she was just a freshmen, she began dating senior, Je’Michael Malloy, a responsible young man with plans to enter the military, along with his best friend, Dominic Lock.

One evening in March, 2014, Danielle asks her grandfather if she can go down the street to return a book her friend needs for homework. The grandfather gives her permission but tells her to hurry back. After a few hours when she doesn’t show up, her family begins trying to contact her. When they are unable to reach her, they call the police. Her mother is worried sick and travels to Hope Mills.

Detectives begin investigating. Friends and family spread flyers and the entire town bands together to search for the missing teen. Some of the interviews the police conducted are shown on the show. They interview her boyfriend and ask him about their relationship. He states that they were off and on and he finally broke it off completely because the spark was no longer there. He says, “She was a good girl, and I cared about her a lot.” That statement caught my attention. At this time, she’s only missing, but he says she ‘was’ a good girl–past tense. Nothing is said about it on the show but it raised a red flag for me. The authorities don’t suspect him, however. From all reports, he was a good kid and their relationship, even after the break up, was civil. Je’Michael claims he was at a friend’s house the night she disappeared. A text sent from his cell phone backs up his statement. Records show that it pings on a tower near the home.

Chena, Danielle’s aunt, decides to investigate on her own. She starts with a creek near the grandparents’ house where the teens in the area are rumored to hang out. There was also talk that it was the last place Danielle was seen alive. At the creek, her aunt finds a sock she believes belongs to Danielle.

No other clues are found and weeks go by with no sign of Danielle. Her boyfriend suggested that she might have killed herself. He said that she told him she wanted to drown herself in cold water.

One day, just more than three weeks after her disappearance, an off duty officer is on his way home and, as he drives over a bridge, he spots something in the creek that doesn’t look right. He calls it in and a retrieval team comes out. They pull Danielle’s body from the brown water. She is bound with nylon rope tied to cinderblocks. The matching sock to the one her aunt found is stuffed in her mouth. The autopsy determines that she was strangled to death.

Police continue the investigation, now looking for her killer, rather than looking for her. The creek where she is found is only a mile from his home but fifteen miles from the place where she was last seen.

The police obtain a search warrant for Malloy’s house and property. Next to the garage, they find distinctive cinderblocks speckled with pebbles — a match for the ones at the lake. They also find the same type of nylon rope.

They bring Malloy back in for an interview, and he plays it cool, continuing to deny he killed Danielle. He tells them, “You think I’m a smart kid, right?” they say they do. He says, “Why would I put her body just down the street from where I live?” But the police aren’t convinced. He takes a polygraph, which he fails. He claims he failed it because he’s nervous. They continue to pressure him. He finally breaks. He admits he killed Danielle. She asked him to meet her that night at the creek hangout. His friend, Dominic was nearby. She told Je’Michael that she was pregnant. A baby was not in his plans. He told her that he would take responsibility if the child was his, but he never wanted to be with her, ever. She flipped out and they fought. He ends up choking her to death. He goes to get his friend, who is shocked when Je’Michael tells him he killed her. Malloy says they have to get rid of the body. They load her body in the car and Je’Michael shoves the sock in her mouth because he can’t stand the noises her body was making.

As is turns out. Je’Michael had left his phone at home and sent the text through a secondary phone app. It also turns out that Danielle was not pregnant after all. She told him that to try to keep him with her. Instead, it got her killed.

Je’Michael Malloy pleads guilty to murder in the second degree. Dominic Lock, for his role in dumping Danielle Locklear’s body, pleads guilty to accessory to murder. Je’Michael Malloy is sentenced to a maximum of twenty-five years in prison. Dominic Lock is sentenced to six years behind bars.

Je’Michael Malloy will be eligible for parole when he is 43 years old. I can’t help but think it’s a shame that he’ll still have a chance at some kind of life, but the poor girl didn’t get that chance. And her family will have to live with the horror of her savage murder for the rest of their lives. The fact that he left his phone at home and used a cell phone app to send a text shows a bit of premeditation. He had to have planned it.

What do you think? Should he ever be released or should he spend the rest of his life behind bars?

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

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Crime Time ~ People Magazine Investigates ~ “Connecticut Horror Story”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

 

People Magazine Investigates, Season 2, Episode 4, “Connecticut Horror Story”

Cheshire, Connecticut July 23, 2007

Jennifer Petit and her eleven-year-old daughter, Michaela, were shopping for groceries for Jennifer’s birthday dinner, which Michaela planned to prepare. Unbeknownst to them, they were spotted by Joshua Komisarjevsky . He and his pal were planning to find a rich family to rob, and the Petits fit the bill. He called his friend, Steven Hayes, and the plan was put into motion. Supposedly, they only planned to rob them and leave. They waited until the wee hours, while the family was sleeping. When they arrived, they found the father, William Petit, asleep on the sofa. They beat him over the head with a bat they found in the yard, then tied him up in the basement. They then went upstairs and bound and gagged Jennifer and her two daughters, Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17.

The criminals robbed the home but were not satisfied with their haul. They found a bank book showing the balance in the account, and decided to have Jennifer withdraw money for them. The bank would not be open until 9 a.m., which was 7 hours away. With the family tied up, they drove the family’s vehicle to a nearby gas station and, using the Petits’ credit card, filled gas cans with $10 worth of gas. Then, they returned and spent all that time in the home with the family as they waited for the bank to open. From what I understand, during that time, there was no abuse, no sexual assault. They treated their victims decently.

At nine a.m., Hayes drove Jennifer to the bank. The teller told Jennifer she was unable to withdraw the money without her husband present as well. Jennifer wrote a note on the withdrawal slip stating that her children were being held hostage and would be killed if she didn’t get the money, and that if the police were called, her children would be killed. The teller contacted the bank manager. The manager spoke to Jennifer who showed her a picture of her daughters. A mother herself, the bank manager knew Jennifer was being truthful. She approved the withdrawal but went into her office and called the police. As she was on the phone with them, Jennifer left the bank.

The police first showed up at the bank, thinking there was a situation there. When they learned there was not, they headed to the Petit house. By this time, William Petit had escaped the basement through the doors which led into the yard. He called out to a neighbor who rushed over to help him. The police spotted the men and thought at first they might be the perpetrators. Mr. Petit told them his family was in the home, in danger. When it was established these men were not the criminals, Mr. Petit was rushed to the hospital.

The police were formulating a plan and setting up a perimeter around the home. While this was taking place, the home went up in flames. The criminals tried to escape in the family’s SUV, but were quickly apprehended. Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela were found dead inside the home. They’d been raped and strangled and suffered smoke inhalation.

A lot of criticism was aimed at the police for their handling of the situation. They never tried to make contact with the criminals. They wasted too much time without taking action. It appears that the sexual assaults and murders happened after the police had arrived. From the time the bank manager called to the time the house was set on fire, 50 minutes or so had passed. Critics assert that the police could have acted more quickly and saved the family.

Authorities later learned that the criminals saw the police outside the home and doused it with gasoline and set it on fire.

I am certain things could have been done differently by many of those involved. I have to wonder a few things…

  • If the bank manager hadn’t called the police at all, would the killers have let the family live? I have my doubts. They purchased the gasoline hours earlier, obviously they had a purpose in mind.
  • If they had delayed Jennifer in the bank, would the police have been able to stop the crime?
  • If the police had ascended on the home, would the murders not have happened? My thought is that they likely still would have. The killers took action when they knew police were there, so I’m not sure that converging on the home would have made a difference. In hindsight, it would have been worth a try.
  • Why did the killers only commit the rapes and murders the next morning, when police were outside, when they had all night? I assume it was because they had to keep the women calm in order to get Jennifer to make the withdrawal.
  • Why on earth would the killers go ahead and murder the family, knowing they wouldn’t get away? At that point, they had only committed home invasion/kidnapping/robbery. Why add murder charges?

When the cowardly, sick, evil monsters were interviewed, they blamed one another. Komisarjevsky  confessed to sexually assaulting 11 year old Michaela. He called her ‘KK’, a nickname the family gave her, which somehow makes the horror even more sickening. He also took photos of the sexual abuse.

His interview with police, during which he gleefully recounted the tragic details of his assault on the child, was played during his trial. His three court-appointed defense lawyers asked the judge to call a mistrial citing the grief shown on the faces of the Petit family members in court as the interview was played unfairly affected the jury. What???? Wow. Yes, let’s not be unfair to a murdering, heartless POS.

Both ‘men’ were convicted and sentenced to death. However, in 2015, Connecticut abolished the death penalty, and their sentences were commuted to life.  Jennifer’s sister was interviewed on the show, and she said she had always been against the death penalty, but she changed her mind after what her sister and nieces suffered. She thought the killers should be executed.

Later, in a diary Komisarjevsky kept, an entry was found where he called William Petit a coward and said he could have stopped it any time. Wow. The nerve.

William Petit managed to rebuild his life. The home was torn down and he built a beautiful memorial garden in its place. He remarried in 2012 to Christine Paluf, with whom he has a young son. In 2016, he was elected to the Connecticut legislature.

How do you think you would have acted had you been the bank manager? Jennifer? The police? Would you have done anything differently?

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

 

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Crime Time ~ Your Worst Nightmare ~ “When the Lights Go Out”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

 

Your Worst Nightmare, Season 1 Episode 2, When the Lights Go Out

Pocatello, Idaho, September 22, 2006

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddart is house-sitting for her aunt and uncle one weekend. On Friday night, her boyfriend comes over to hang out with her, and he invites a few friends over. The friends only stay for a brief time, then decide to go to a movie. Later, Cassie and Matthew are watching TV, and the lights go out. Matthew searches the house but finds nothing amiss. The lights come back on, and the teens decide it’s just the wiring, since the house is old. Cassie is a little freaked out and wants Matthew to stay, but his mom will not let him. She tells him that Cassie can come stay at their house, but Cassie refuses. She’s made a commitment to her aunt and uncle, and she’s going to go through with it.

The family comes home on Sunday, and Cassie’s 13-year-old cousin discovers Cassie’s body in the living room. She has been stabbed repeatedly. The police begin the investigation. They start with her boyfriend, and he tells them the details of that night. The police then speak with the two friends, Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper, both sixteen. They state they were at a movie. The detective asks what actors were in the movie, they can’t answer. He asks what the plot was about, and they can’t answer. These two boys are obsessed with movies, especially horror movies, and it’s rather suspicious that they are clueless about a movie they supposedly watched two days prior.

The police turn up the heat and Brian Draper cracks. He comes into the station and begins crying, telling the police that they did it, but it was Torey, not him, and he thought they were just going to scare her. He takes them to a spot where they buried evidence. Police recover several articles of black clothing, three knives, two masks and a homemade videotape. When they play the tape, they are horrified to discover that it is of the teens, planning and laughing about the murder, then afterward, discussing it.

Here is a partial transcript of the tapes:

****************

Before the murder, Adamcik told Draper, “we’re not going to get caught,” to which Draper replies, “we’re going to make history,”

The transcript includes conversation between Adamcik and Draper referencing horror-slasher films like “Scream” and comparing themselves to serial killers like Ted Bundy, the Hillside Strangler and the Zodiac Killer.

“Those people were mere amateurs compared to what we are going to be,” Adamcik said.

In another segment of the transcript, Draper says “I feel like I want to kill somebody. Uh, I know that’s not normal, but what the hell.”

Adamcik replied, “I feel we need to break away from normal life.”

Adamcik and Draper were laughing while the camera was rolling, and during one segment, Draper said the two had tried, unsuccessfully, to kill on eight or nine previous occasions.

“But they’ve never been home alone,” Draper said.

And Adamick replied by saying, “Or when they have, their parents show up.”

Draper said he and Adamcik identified Stoddart as their victim the day before the murder, despite claiming she was their friend.

“We’ll find out if she has friends over, if she’s going to be alone in a big dark house out in the middle of nowhere. How perfect can you get?” Draper said.

“I’m horny just thinking about it,” Adamcik replied.

***************

How sickening is this? The sorry bastards. Catching these monsters most likely saved a lot of lives.

The two are arrested, tried and convicted of first degree murder. They are sentenced to life without parole. They have attempted over the years to have their sentences overturned. Adamcik claimed he had ineffective counsel and that his sentence was cruel and unusual punishment. What an evil little weasel. What about the cruel and unusual punishment Cassie suffered at his hands? It is irrelevant that they were only sixteen. They were certainly old enough to know what they were doing was so wrong. And, they did it with malicious glee.

The entire family has suffered so much. The aunt and uncle could not go back into the home. They moved away, and the house wouldn’t sell because of the horror that took place there. Cassie’s cousin who found her was a mess and later attempted suicide. Such a shame and a tragedy.

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.]

 

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