Archive for the ‘ Forensics ’ Category

Derrick Todd Lee denied request for new trial

 

By Quincy Hodges, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

A Baton Rouge judge has denied convicted killer Derrick Todd Lee’s appeal for a new trial in the killing of former LSU graduate 22-year-old Charlotte Murray Pace. Lee was sentenced to death in 2004.

Lee’s case automatically goes to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and if his claims are rejected, the case would go to the federal post-conviction relief stage. Lee made 28 claims, arguing the state has improper death penalty laws, East Baton Rouge Parish systemically discriminates against people of color, misconduct of trial counsel and he had ineffective defense counsel. All his claims were denied by District Judge Richard Anderson Tuesday afternoon.

Lee, 45, of St. Francisville, was also convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Geralyn Barr DeSoto, 21, of Addis in 2002.

Lee is also suspected of killing seven women between in 1998 and 2003 in south Louisiana.

Article

I do not understand why he is still being allowed to torment people, the families and communities that these ladies lived in. It is not right that he is allowed to keep inflicting pain and fear.

 

Victims on about.com

Of course that does not include everyone he has hurt.

Wikipedia article

Crime Library article

Death penalty upheld for serial killer William Suff

Another serial killer who really should have been stopped LONG ago.

In 1974 William Suff and his wife at the time beat their 2 MONTH old daughter to death. He was sentenced to 70 years but got out in ten.
>enter sarcasm: Isn’t parole a great thing for baby killers?<

 

There is very little that can be said about this guy that is ‘good’. I heard that he came across as

grandfatherly, a mild-mannered guy in the courtroom

but look at his track record:

Sept. 25, 1973 – Suff kills 2-month-old daughter, Dijanet. She dies of ruptured liver and numerous broken bones.
April 11, 1974 – Suff and his first wife Teryl convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 70-year prison terms. Teryl’s conviction later overturned.
Feb. 3, 1984 – Suff paroled from Texas to California.
Oct. 9, 1986 – Suff hired by Riverside County as a warehouse clerk.
March 9, 1987 – Suff discharged from parole but required to continue annual reporting. Jan. 18, 1988 – Body of Lisa Lacik, 21, of San Bernardino, found near Highway 330 in San Bernardino National Forest. Suff is prime suspect but not charged.
January 1989 – Prostitute Rhonda Jetmore attacked in Lake Elsinore. She escapes and reports attack to police, but crime wasn’t linked to serial killings until 1992, when she identifies Suff as her attacker.
June 28, 1989 – Body of Kimberly Lyttle, 28, found in Cottonwood Canyon area.
Dec. 13, 1989 – Body of Christina Leal, 23, found off Goetz Road in Quail Valley area.
Jan. 18, 1990 – Body of Darla Ferguson, 23, found in Cottonwood Canyon area south of Canyon Lake, a half-mile from where Lyttle’s body was found.
Feb. 8, 1990 – Body of Carol Miller, 34, found in Highgrove.
Nov. 6, 1990 – Body of Cheryl Coker, 33, found in northeast Riverside.
Dec. 21, 1990 – Body of Susan Sternfeld, 27, found in dumpster near where Miller and Coker were found.
Jan. 19, 1991 – Body of Kathleen Milne Puckett, 42, found northwest of Lake Elsinore.
April 26, 1991 – Body of Cherie Payseur, 24, found in Riverside.
July 4, 1991 – Body of Sherry Latham, 37, found in Lake Elsinore.
Aug. 16, 1991 – Body of Kelly Hammond, 27, found in Corona.
Sept. 13, 1991 – Body of Catherine McDonald, 30, found in Lake Elsinore.
Oct. 26, 1991 – Suff’s 3-month-old baby, Bridgette, suffers serious injuries in the home and is removed by San Bernardino County authorities.
Oct. 30, 1991 – Body of Delliah Zamora, 35, found in Mira Loma near Highway 60.
Dec. 23, 1991 – Body of Eleanore Ojeda Casares, 39, found in Riverside orange grove, a half-mile from a police station.
Jan. 9, 1992 – Suff is stopped for traffic violation in Riverside. He is questioned and later jailed for failing to report to authorities under Texas parole.
July 28, 1992 – Grand jury indicts Suff on 14 murder counts and one attempted murder count.

Timeline from this very detailed article.

Murderpedia with pictures of victims and more detail into their brutal deaths.

 

He did not just kill these women, he made them suffer. This is just an example of what he did to 1 of his victims.

The young woman was later identified as 23-year-old Michelle Yvette Gutierrez, a former resident of Corpus Christi, Texas.   An autopsy revealed she suffered severe trauma to the anal and vaginal areas and multiple stab wounds were discovered on her face, chest and buttocks.  Ligature marks on her neck suggested that she had been strangled as the gruesome mutilations took place.  In the end, investigators had a brutal murder on their hands and few clues to follow.

 

Sadly, this is in California so this piece of crap will probably die of old age before the sentence is fulfilled but at least he is locked up.

Judge in ‘Grim Sleeper’ serial murder case OKs use of DNA

Article here

Rejecting defense arguments that a suspect in the slayings of 10 women and the attempted murder of an 11th had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the DNA he left on pizzeria plates and utensils, a California judge on Tuesday OK’d the evidence gathered by a police officer who posed as a restaurant busboy.

The ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy helps clear the way for the case against Lonnie Franklin Jr. to proceed toward trial this summer, reports the Los Angeles Times. Franklin, who is about 60 years old, is being held without bail following his arrest in 2010.

The suspect in the case was nicknamed the “Grim Sleeper” because of a seeming years-long hiatus in slayings that took place over a period of over 20 years, according to authorities.

Although his DNA was not initially in a database available to law enforcement, investigators focused on Franklin as a suspect after asking the state to try to match DNA recovered at the crime scenes to individuals in the database who might be a relative of the suspect.

He is not even arguing that it is his DNA only that the cops obtained it the wrong way. I do not care how the cops got his DNA I am just happy that they finally took this bastard off the streets.

Serial killer Anthony Sowell’s aftermath continues

Serial killer Anthony Sowell’s aftermath continues to stoke fears on Cleveland’s East Side: Phillip Morris

Convicted serial murderer Anthony Sowell’s Imperial Avenue home in Cleveland,OH, is demolished, Tuesday, December 6, 2011. But fear in the wake of his slaughter remains strong in certain Cleveland communities.

I first met Renee when they started pulling bodies out of Anthony Sowell’s backyard in 2009.

She called and said she wanted to talk to a reporter. She warned me that she was in the middle of a nervous breakdown and needed to scream.

When I arrived at her East Side home, Renee met me at the door with a picture of Kimberly Yvette Smith in her hand. She gave me the photo and began to shake and sob uncontrollably.

Awkward and haunting doesn’t begin to describe that introduction, but it’s the moment the serial killing became real for me.

Kim, an attractive young lady, was the ninth woman to be found buried in the home of Anthony Sowell, the convict Cleveland serial killer. She was also a close friend of Renee’s, as were four of the other women whose remains were found at the Imperial Avenue property.

But Renee wasn’t worried about Sowell. His career was over. She was worried about someone else; a man who she believed posed a continuing threat to her.

“I’m scared, Mr. Morris. There is someone else out here raping us. I was raped in July at gunpoint. The same guy, with the same M.O. has raped at least three more of my girlfriends. How can we get this guy off the street before he kills someone?

I’ve thought of Renee often in recent days as the level of tension and fear begins to rise again in certain neighborhoods on Cleveland’s East Side — neighborhoods near the house where Anthony Sowell killed and stashed the bodies of eleven women.

Police took the extraordinary step this week of issuing a warning to women to remain vigilant against stranger abductions as they seek whoever killed 20-year-old Jazmine Trotter and 45-year-old Christine (Crissy) Johnson-Malone.

The bodies of these two Cleveland women were found about a mile from each other last week in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Both died of head trauma and strangulation. Police say they have no evidence the incidents are connected, but a highly stressed community is already rushing to its own judgements.

The fear that another serial predator might have emerged continues to evolve, especially with the news Monday of an attempted abduction in the general vicinity of the two killings.

Perhaps it’s a community’s overreaction. But that is what can be expected in the wake of a successful serial killer, who operated under a city’s radar for years. Even after Sowell’s 2011 capital conviction, the paranoia and fears he stoked live on.

The current attacks have caused some to wonder whether another violent sociopath has picked up the killer’s mantel and resumed his work.

Cleveland, to its benefit, has changed in some important ways since Sowell made women disappear. The city’s police department doesn’t take missing person’s reports as cavalierly as it once did. Officers appear quicker to handle the complaints and more eager to ascertain a missing person’s whereabouts.

And the community is much quicker to report those who go missing. Families are doing a better job of keeping an eye on their own lost sheep and vulnerable loved ones.

Such proactive behavior helps improve the overall level of public safety, as sloppy predators – like Sowell – no longer have the luxury of operating in a climate marked by rank indifference.

Still, the warning and plea of Renee continue to haunt me. I don’t know if she’s living or dead. I have been unable to locate her.

If you’re out there Miss RYO, give me a call.

Her concerns remain just as valid now as they were when we spoke.

The first line of defense against a predator remains vigilance. Members of a community who assume direct responsibility for each other thwart a serial killer from operating under our radar.

Original Article

The Dead Man Talking Project

Hunting for Long-Gone Serial Killers: Inside the Dead Man Talking Project

 

Two California prosecutors are teaming to up to gather the DNA of deceased murderers and use it to close unsolved murders. But tracking down the saliva of a dead man isn’t always easy. Christine Pelisek reports.

By day, she runs the sex-crimes division of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. In her spare time, she tracks down the DNA of dead rapists, murderers, and serial killers.

Carol Burke is on a mission to cross off as many cold cases as she can by matching swabs of known felons with evidence from unsolved-crime scenes. With Anne Marie Schubert, who is in charge of child-abuse cases upstate in the Sacramento D.A.’s office, Burke helps to run a project called Dead Man Talking, which has brought the pair closer than ever to bringing justice to the cases of some of the most sadistic serial killers in California history—even if the culprits themselves are long gone.

“It’s really rewarding,” Burke says of the project. “There is a lot of value to it, even though we can’t prosecute the offenders because they are dead. Families can at least have some closure. They finally know what happened to their loved ones.”

California has a DNA data bank that stores close to 2 million felon profiles. It also contains some 25,000 pieces of crime-scene evidence from murders, rapes, robberies, and burglaries—semen from a bed sheet, or a cigarette butt—that have never been linked to an offender.

Burke and Schubert believe that adding to the list of felon profiles could close countless unsolved cases. But a surprising number of known offenders are missing from the database. Schubert says that since 1984, close to 25,000 inmates have died in a California prison or on parole. Of those, nearly 19,000 were not swabbed for DNA before they died. Over 40 of them were death-row inmates.

Finding traces of these men can be extremely difficult, especially for two women with full-time jobs and no staff. Burke and Schubert are focusing first on death-row inmates and then widening their net to offenders who were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Each has their own white whale. Burke is devoted to tracking down the DNA of notorious “Freeway Killer” William Bonin, so called because many of his victims were left by the side of freeways in Southern California. “He’s my No. 1 target,” Burke says. “He was a really bad guy. He was so prolific.”

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Bonin was convicted of kidnapping, robbing, sexually assaulting, and killing 13 boys and young men in Los Angeles and Orange counties between 1979 and 1980. After he was arrested, Bonin, who had worked alongside various accomplices, including a factory worker named Vernon Butts, confessed to killing 21 young boys and young men, some of them he had picked up hitchhiking. Police believe his body count is closer to 30.

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However, when Bonin was executed in San Quentin State Prison in 1996 before submitting a DNA sample, any hope of linking him to more killings died with him.

“I originally assumed they autopsied people in San Quentin,” says Burke. “That’s not the case. They were only autopsying people who committed suicide or were killed in prison. So someone who died of natural causes or was executed like Bonin was not autopsied.”

Burke says Bonin’s court files and trial exhibits have been destroyed. Nor has she had any luck finding his blood, semen, or saliva with the Los Angeles or Orange County police departments or with the coroner’s office. An attempt to track down the DNA of Butts, who Bonin said was an active participant in many of the murders, almost came to fruition when she discovered that he had committed suicide in a Los Angeles County jail and was autopsied. But, she said, law-enforcement personnel destroyed the forensic evidence in 2010.  

 The dead ends can be frustrating. “Bonin is the most notorious and the one who most likely left unsolved murders in his wake,” Burke says. “It sure would be great to get his sample so we could solve some of the unsolveds out there.”

Recently she found better luck in the case of Roland Comtois, who abducted two teenaged girls in 1987, killed one, and sexually assaulted the other. The 65-year-old inmate died in a prison hospital from an infection in 1994, but was never autopsied. But Burke’s sleuthing uncovered a bloody shirt that had belonged to the killer—left when police shot him trying to escape arrest and stored as evidence. So far, his DNA has not been linked to any new murders.

Schubert, who created Dead Man Talking in 2008, started the project in part to solve some of Sacramento County’s most notorious serial-killer cold cases that date back to the ’70s.

“It was a killing field, and not just here,” she says. “The number of body dumps across the state was enormous.”

One of the killers high on her list is the “Original Night Stalker,” who is believed to be responsible for over 50 rapes that began in Northern California and ended with multiple murders in 1986 in Santa Barbara, Orange, and Ventura counties.
 
“It terrified Sacramento and the region,” says Schuster, who was a child when the attacks began. “We still haven’t solved it. It’s highly likely that he has died in prison.”

 Schubert spent over a year searching for the DNA of serial killer Gerald Gallego, who along with his wife was responsible for the sex-slave murders of 10 young women in California and Nevada in the late ’70s. Gallego, who was sentenced to death in both states, died in 2002 of rectal cancer in Nevada and was never swabbed.
 
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Eventually, Schubert says, she found a saliva sample buried inside 14 boxes at a clerk’s office.  

“I can say he was suspected in multiple murders and not just the ones he was convicted of,” she says.

Last year the pair had their first major success when they linked L.A. serial killer Juan Chavez to the unsolved murder of 60-year-old Lynn Penn. Penn was found strangled in his apartment in July 1990.

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Chavez committed suicide three months after he was convicted of killing five gay men. Schubert discovered that Chavez had been autopsied, and a sample of his blood was still in evidence. His DNA was uploaded into the DNA data bank  and last February it was linked to saliva found on a cigarette butt discovered inside Penn’s apartment.

 “I think I screamed,” said Schubert when she learned of the DNA hit. “I remember where I was. It’s like how everyone remembers where they were when Elvis died.”

Schubert is hoping to expand the project statewide and hire a full-time investigator. However, cold-case grants are hard to come by. Last year they were turned down for funding for the project.

“There are probably some people out there that are like, these guys are dead; it doesn’t matter. I don’t think that at all,” she says. “It does matter. It’s about seeking justice for those who were harmed by these people.”

 

I think it matters and I think it is very important to give the families closure. I applaud these two ladies and hope that the criminal justice system gets behind them.

Suspected serial killer seeking release

Suspected serial killer seeking release.

Reported by: Marcos Ortiz Images
(ABC 4 News) SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – It may be the state’s last attempt to keep a suspected serial murder behind bars.

Donald Younge has escaped charges of multiple murders in Illinois and Utah.

But in 2009, he was convicted of raping a Salt Lake City woman.

Now his attorneys are appealing that conviction before the Utah Supreme Court claiming the state took much too long to try Younge.

It all started with the murder of Amy Quinton. Her case was unsolved for six years.

That is until Younge went jailed in Illinios for a multitude of murders.

Police claim his DNA matched that found in the Quinton murder and a 1996 rape.

“He brutally raped and assaulted Rebecca Clawson assaulted and fled justice for six years,” says Jeff Gray, deputy Attorney General.

Younge’s murders in Illiniois were dismissed because a key witness was found murdered.

That’s when Younge was brought to Utah to face the murder and rape charges.

But the murder charges were also dropped because of sketchy testimony.

In 2009, Younge was convicted of the rape and his attorneys are now appealing to the Supreme Court.

Attorneys representing Younge in Tuesday’s hearing refused to comment afterwards. But Gray says they didn’t do anything out of the ordinary by waiting for Illinois to finish its case.

“We were simply taking our turn,” says Gray. “The state of Illinois had him in custody and when they were finished we brought him to Utah and tried him seven months later.”

The justices took the matter under advisement.

What was serial killer doing while in North Texas? | wfaa.com Dallas – Fort Worth

2932-israel-keyes

Isrealkeyes

What was serial killer doing while in North Texas? | wfaa.com Dallas – Fort Worth.

While supposed serial killer Israel Keyes did kill himself in his Anchorage jail cell last month, the FBI still needs the public’s help to build a narrative of his crimes.
Investigators believe Keyes killed at least eight people across the U.S., zig-zagging the country kidnapping victims, robbing them and killing some. TIME Magazine reported in December that investigators didn’t know about the string of crimes until Keyes told them.
His spree lasted from 2001 until February 2012.
As TIME writer Madison Gray detailed, Keyes kidnapped 18-year-old Samantha Koenig from a coffee shop in Anchorage on February 1 of last year. The FBI says he took her debit card and sent out a flurry of text messages with her phone so acquaintances wouldn’t think she was missing. He got her PIN number. The next day, he killed her.
Keyes flew to Houston and back to Anchorage, eventually finagling the deposit of ransom money into Koenig’s account, which he withdrew from banks in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, as TIME reported.
In March of last year, a Lufkin highway patrolman spotted Keyes driving his Ford Focus and pulled it over, recognizing it from a security video. Keyes was arrested and extradited. He confessed –– then confessed to at least eight murders. There may be more: Staring down at a possible death sentence, Keyes cut his wrists and hanged himself in his jail cell.
FBI investigators have pieced together Keyes’ travels since. And between February 12 and February 16, Special Agent Diego Rodriguez says he was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
He told police that he was in Azle, Aledo and Cleburne. And, at some point, his car got stuck in a “muddy, rural area.” Rodriguez wants to speak to anyone who may have helped Keyes with his car.
Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies are also helping the FBI. They will be posting flyers Thursday at gas stations and restaurants in Godley and Cresson. Johnson County is also hoping new leads might help them solve a murder that happened in their jurisdiction last February.
“You start wondering if they are tied to it, in any way or not,” said Lt. Tim Jones from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. “If they are to give closure to the family or not, eliminate them so we keep looking for the right person”.
During that same time period, Keyes may have also visited the Post Oak Cemetery in Glen Rose.

If you saw a blue 2011 Kia Soul with a TX license plate of CN8-M857, you’re asked to call 1.800.CALL.FBI.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is also seeking information, (817) 556-6058.

Video at link as well.

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