Archive for the ‘ United States True Crime ’ Category

Possible Serial Killer Brandon Lavergne Indicted for 2 Murders

LAFAYETTE, LA — Brandon Lavergne, 33, has been indicted for two homicide cases, but investigators say that may not be the end to this story.

“We’re looking into all of our unresolved cases and we’re looking into other areas as well,” Cpt. Kip Judice, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, explained. “Anytime you have a person who you believe to be responsible for multiple deaths, you’re going to review all cold cases. So what we’ve done is established a course of time to determine any missing person cases or homicides that have similarities.”

On Wednesday, July 18, a grand jury in Lafayette indicted Lavergne for the kidnapping and murder of Mickey Shunick. In a surprise twist, he was also indicted for the murder of Lisa Pate, 35, who was reported missing back in June 1999. Unlike Shunick, Pate’s body was recovered three months after she went missing under large boards in a field near Church Point.

“We are confident about Lavergne’s connection to these two cases,” Cpt. Judice, noted. “At this point in time, I am unaware of any other cases that we have such strong evidence.”

Judice noted that Lafayette Parish has roughly two dozen unresolved missing person cases that date back to roughly 1997.

“As much as we’re looking at cases he could have possibly been involved with, we’re also looking to clear him from cases as well,” Cpt. Judice, explained.

Any case that happened between 2000-2008 could not be connected to Lavergne because he was incarcerated for oral sexual battery. He was convicted for typing up, blindfolding and sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman from Evangeline Parish back in 1999.

“Everyone initially thought that he would be connected to the Jeff Davis murders, but he was incarcerated at the time, so there’s no possible way he could have been connected to those cases,” Cpt. Judice, said. “Also, he worked off shore, so we need to account for that time and find those cases that fit that timeline.”

For now, investigators are not ruling out any possible matches. Lavergne’s past conviction as well as the two homicides for which he’s been indicted, have striking difference.

“I think these are two distinct cases,” Cpt. Judice, said. “I don’t know what his motive is in the two cases we know about.

“We are pretty confident we know how he accomplished Mickey’s homicide,” he continued. “The information is limited in the Pate case. Yes, we have a clue, but we don’t expect an offender to commit the same crime the same way. For example, Pate wasn’t riding a bike, but Mickey was. The girl in Evangeline Parish was an associate of his, so he knew her, but we don’t think that he knew Mickey or Pate. We have a lot to look at.”

Examining those cold cases brings an added level of difficulty when you factor in the surviving loved ones.

“We want to make sure we have a connection before we contact the loved ones of someone who may have been murdered because we don’t want to give them false hope,” Cpt. Judice, said. “The last thing we would want is to make them feel as though they might get some closure and then not be able to give that to them.”

What’s certain is that the strong attention brought by the Mickey Shunick case is what lead investigators to examine Lavergne as a possible suspect in the first place.

“The one good thing that came out of this is that the media did a good job of keeping this guy looking over his should and keeping him at bay,” Cpt. Judice concluded. “It’s not all law enforcement, it’s a community effort, especially in this case. When this case goes to trial, I think there will be many things that come to light that the community will be proud of because they had a part in uncovering that information. The community really stepped up to the plate.”

Article

Serial killer Michael Hughes sentenced to death

As the judge handed down the death sentence for convicted murderer Michael Hughes, the room murmured in agreement. Heads nodded and a few people even smiled.

The 56-year-old South Los Angeles serial rapist and murderer was sentenced to death Friday for killing three women between 1986 and 1993.

Adell McKinley had been waiting four years for this day.

“It brings some closure in the fact that my sister has been vindicated and justice has been served,” said McKinley, who was notified by detectives four years ago that they had linked the death of her sister, Deborah Jackson, to Hughes.

I am so happy that she is finding some kind of closure.

Hughes was convicted in November of first-degree murder in the slayings of Jackson, 32; Yvonne Coleman, 15; and Verna Williams, 36. A month later, a jury ordered that he be sentenced to death. He was already serving a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole for four other killings.

4 other victims that we know of making 7 victims for this one guy.

All of the women’s bodies were found in public places, at least half-naked and posed in an explicit manner. L.A. County Superior Court Judge Curtis B. Rappe said these acts “show[ed] an intent to shock the public.”

At the sentencing, Rappe rejected an automatic motion to reduce the sentence to life without the possibility of parole, citing later that the “aggravating evidence substantially outweighs the mitigating evidence.”

I appauld this judge. There is no reason to let this predator off easy, or to put the staff of the prison at risk for the resrt of his life. Michael worked hard to earn that death sentence, let him have it.

Hughes is “nothing short of a sadistic sexual predator…. [We’re] looking at a man that is a serial killer,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman said in opening arguments.

Defense attorney Aron Laub argued that early life circumstances should be taken into account when considering punishment. Hughes was beaten as a child and witnessed his mother perform a forced abortion on his sister.

Several victims’ family members who arrived in the morning at the downtown courtroom said Hughes had to take responsibility for his actions.

“I’m not a serial killer,” said McKinley, who said she was sexually molested until she turned 12. “That’s his choice.”

Thank you Ms. McKinley. That is so important a serial killer makes the choice to kill. There are so many abused, mistreated, neglected kids that do not become serial killers as adults and it is almost insulting that someone would make that claim. That someone would say that they for some reason have a ‘right’ or excuse to kill others because of what someone had done to them.

“Everyone in here has been through something as a child,” said Jackie McFarlin, mother of one of the victims in the earlier case, Theresa Ballard. “I have no love for this man.”

Very true, we all have our histories but none have a right to harm another because of our past.

At the time of his conviction in the current case, Hughes was already doing time for the slayings of Theresa Ballard, 26; Brenda Bradley, 38; Terri Myles, 33; and Jamie Harrington, 29. At the time the killings took place in the 1980s and ’90s, Los Angeles was facing a rash of violence. At least five serial killers were active in the South Los Angeles area, authorities said.

I know that this is California and that more than likely he will die of natural causes but the sentence fits and should be seen through.

Serial Killer Alcala Pleads Not Guilty in NY

“Dating Game” serial killer Rodney Alcala seemed amused Thursday as he left a Manhattan courtroom after pleading not guilty to two murders in Manhattan in the 1970s.

With shackles jangling around his orange prison garb and his gray frizzy curls pulled into a ponytail at the nape of his neck, Alcala, 68, had a slight smile on his face after Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner ordered him to be held without bail.

After all, what could New York do to him? California already has him on death row for strangling five females including a 12-year-old girl.

Alacala, aka John Berger, was formally charged with the deaths of Cornelia Crilley, a TWA flight attendant strangled with her pantyhose in her Upper East side apartment, and Ellen Hover, the daughter of a Hollywood nightclub owner, whose body was found on the Rockefeller estate in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

Read more

I am sure that he is enjoying the attention and the new location. The saddest thing is that the article is right, what else can N.Y. do to him?

What the trial can do, hopefully, is give the families some closure and maybe even some peace.

Serial Killer Elmer Wayne Henley is up for parole

HOUSTON (FOX 26) -An infamous serial killer is up for parole. Elmer Wayne Henley participated in a plot that ultimately took the lives of almost 30 Houston-area teenagers. Many of them vanished from The Heights in the early 1970s. One of them was an 18 year old named Frank Aguirre. One month shy of graduation, Aguirre clocked out of his job at a Heights fast-food restaurant and vanished.”He was fun,” recalled his younger sister, Deborah Aguirre. “He was fun-loving, had a lot of friends. And Henley was one of them.”

Frank Aguirre didn’t know it, but Elmer Wayne Henley was helping an older man, Dean Corll, satisfy his sadistic desires.

 “[Henley] was the one that sought out the boys, brought them there,” said Houston victim advocate Andy Kahan, “knowing full well that they were going to be not only abducted, raped and tortured, but eventually murdered in a horrific manner.”

And so it continued. For three years.

Boys from the working class Heights would go missing. Many of them were friends of Elmer Wayne Henley.

 “Couple months after my brother disappeared, [Henley] actually did come back to our house,” remembered Deborah Aguirre. “[He] asked my mother, ‘Have you heard anything?’ He knew where my brother was. He helped bury him.”

Police eventually found them – bodies stacked upon bodies – but only after Henley shot Corll dead on the heels of an argument.

“Even though he got six life sentences in 1973 — in 1980, because of the way the statutes were written, he was eligible for parole,” said Kahan.

Life needs to mean life!

 It’s unprecedented, says Kahan, but this is the 20th time Henley has come up for parole.

Through a quirk in the law, he adds, while murderers can be set-off up to five years until their next review, capital murderers can only be set-off three years, max.

“Criminal justice and logic sometimes don’t meet. This is living proof of that.”

It’s a joyless hamster wheel for folks like Deborah Aguirre. They’re constantly battling to keep behind bars Henley and his accomplice, David Brooks.

 The victims’ relatives now have a Facebook page devoted to denying the killers parole.

I have tried to friend them.

And Aguirre has just a few questions she wants to ask the panel that will ultimately decide Henley’s fate, this summer.

  • “Would you want this guy living next door to you?
  • Do you have small children?
  • Do you have little boys? Because that’s what he likes.”

She hopes to have her say in August at Henley’s review.

But it will give her no more joy than visiting her brother’s burial plot at Forest Park Lawndale.

Deborah at Frank’s grave

“It’s hard to go there,” said Deborah Aguirre. “That’s all we have left is a headstone.”

The Harris County Medical Examiner’s office told FOX 26 News that two victims of the murderous trio remain unidentified, to this day.

The ME’s office is actively seeking DNA samples from the families of young men who disappeared, here in Houston, between 1970 and 1973.

Read more

Another Green River Killer Victim Identified

She vanished 30 years ago. Now, her disappearance is solved. It turns out she was a victim of the Green River killer.

The young woman’s remains were one of four sets King County detectives had yet to identify. For the last 27 years, she’s been known to detectives simply as “Bones, victim #16.”

Today, she finally has a name. Sandra Denise Major is victim #16 out of 49.

Sandra Denise Major
R.I.P.

Detective Tom Jensen joined the Green River task force in 1984. He remembers Ridgway leading investigators the site of Sandra Major’s remains, along with two others.

“One of the places he took us was to Mountain View Cemetery and he described how he had left these victims there,” he said.

DNA analysis has come a long way in recent years, far enough to create a complete profile of the unidentified victims found at that cemetery, including Major.

In April, Major’s cousin in New York called Det. Jensen after seeing a TV show about the Green River killer. They knew Sandra had moved out to Seattle, and when they learned four women still hadn’t been identified, they feared she was among them.

They were right.

Det. Jensen remembers the phone call.

“They were still kind of in shock but prepared for the answer. I think there was just relief,” he said.

Relief and a reminder that despite Ridgeway’s life sentence, this case is far from closed.

“One down, three to go. Not done yet,” said Jensen.

Despite advancements in DNA, it may still not be enough. Jensen says the ultimate result will likely come the old fashioned way.

“I suspect if we do get an identification it’ll be because a family member contacts us,” he said.

Major’s family released a statement thanking detectives for their hard work, and saying they are “grateful to finally know what happened to Sandra after all these years.”

Full Story Here

Suspected Serial Killer Asks For Death Penalty

Suspected Serial Killer Asks For Death Penalty

William Clyde Gibson Writes Letter To Prosecutor, Newspaper

INDIANAPOLIS — A man suspected in a series of killings in southern Indiana said he plans to plead guilty and wants the death penalty.

In a letter written from the Floyd County Jail, William Clyde Gibson told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he will be plead guilty and accept the death penalty in the slayings of three women because “after all, I am guilty,” the paper reported.

Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, had been missing for about a month before her body was found in a makeshift grave in the back yard of Gibson’s home in April, police said

Gibson was already charged with murder in the deaths of two other women — Christine Whitis, 75, and Karen Hodella, 45.

 Gibson told the paper he has written to the prosecuting attorney and told him, “I will pled (sic) guilty to the death penalty … just to save some more heart ache.”

 The Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to the newspaper that it had received a letter from Gibson.

 Indiana law does not allow defendants to plead guilty and receive the death penalty.

I see a game being played. If he really wanted the death penalty he would just help the defense build a strong case then let the jury sentence him to death.

 Not guilty pleas have been entered on Gibson’s behalf in all three cases. His first trial is scheduled for Aug. 27.

Personally I say grant his wish. He says he did it and he wants to die. ‘Nuff said.

POLL: Would You Take a Green River Killer Sightseeing Tour?

Plans for a local Gary Ridgway sightseeing tour are causing a stir in Pierce and King Counties. Would you pay to visit landmarks left by a serial killer, or is the idea disrespectful and inappropriate?

The most prolific serial killer in United States history has been convicted of 48 separate murders in Pierce and King Counties, and has confessed to nearly double that number since he was arrested in Renton in 2001.

Fascination with Ridgway’s story has led to many bestselling books, a Lifetime Original Movie and even inspired some band names and song mentions.

Now, a local man wants to take dark fascination with the crimes a bit deeper and start a local sightseeing tour that follows Ridgway’s gruesome landmarks, according to KOMO News. He hopes tourists will pay money to visit body dump sites along the Green River and places Ridgway frequented when he picked up his victims.

The entreprenuer and stay-at-home dad sees the tour as filling a gap in local history. Besides, murder tours are not unheard of across the United States. However, members of the community have voiced opposition to the venture. Throughout the KOMO article’s 80 comments, readers have said they believe the idea is disrespectful to victim families and a tribute to “capitalism at it’s finest.”

According to KOMO, the man plans to sell tour tickets at $45 a pop starting in July, with some of the proceeds going to charity.

Take (their) our poll now.

 

I have to wonder how much is going to charity and what charity? I think that would make a difference to many people.

“So, here’s a question: How many reminders do we need before we have a conversation about capital punishment in Canada? How many Magnottas’, in whatever form they take, will rape, defile and kill before we acknowledge that there is such a thing as pure evil.”

 

I am not Canadian so I do not know how much I can contribute to this conversation on that blog so I’m talking with myself about it here.

🙂
I do believe in and support capital punishment. I do think that there are certain people (serial killers, serial rapists, child molesters, so on) that can not be ‘fixed’. They can not contribute to a society in any meaningful way. They are and always will be a threat to anyone around them. Much like rabid dogs (and I love dogs) they should be removed from society in a permanent way. The only way that protects all of society 100% is the death penalty.

Suspected Serial Killer Charged in Alamance Co.

BURLINGTON, N.C. – The man suspected of murdering two Alamance county women made his first court appearance on Thursday.

Robert Foust, who has been serving a 66-year sentence in Scotland County, was transferred to Alamance County and charged with two counts of second degree murder.

According to deputies, Foust is suspected of the deaths of Tamara Ann Liner, 49, of Burlington, and Jana Michelle Morton, 39, of Snow Camp.

According to Sheriff Terry Johnson, Foust has spent a large portion of his life in prison.

“Let’s say he is not a stranger to the criminal justice system,” said the Sheriff.

In 1981, police in Amarillo, Texas charged Foust with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Six years later he was convicted of second degree murder after caving in a drug dealer’s skull with a crowbar while high on cocaine.

Despite recommendations from the department of corrections, Foust was released after serving 13-years of a 40-year sentence.

“We catch them and we feel like sometimes it’s a revolving door. We put them in. They let them out,” said the Sheriff.

Sheriff Johnson believes lenient legislators are to blame for people like Foust slipping through the cracks.

I agree! It is nice to hear someone in law enforcement saying it as well!

“It’s very upsetting as a law enforcement officer, as a sheriff and as a citizen, that our criminal justice system has become so liberal in dealing with the serious offenders “said Johnson.

According to Johnson, “had his sentence been fulfilled, there would be two women living today.”

Article and a video.

These women would not have been killed by this man had our justice system done it’s job instead of letting a violent person back out onto the streets.

Jana Morton & Tamara Liner

Killer on Death Row Fights to get a Hip Replacement

Ky. weighed politics, medicine in inmate’s surgery

By BRETT BARROUQUERE, Associated Press 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A condemned killer’s fight to receive surgery for agonizing hip pain pushed Kentucky officials into an uncomfortable debate over security, politics and even the possibility of inviting scorn from Fox News pundits.

Emails and memos obtained by The Associated Press show corrections officials struggling for a year to reconcile their duty to provide medical care with the political ramifications of spending tens of thousands of dollars for surgery on a man they plan to execute. A key problem would turn out to be security issues that led several hospitals to balk at treating inmate Robert Foley, who still hasn’t had the surgery.

“Hip replacement for an inmate who has exhausted all appeals and will soon be executed?” Kentucky State Penitentiary warden Phil Parker wrote in an email on Nov. 22, 2010. “I can see this making Fox News on a slow news day, maybe even on a busy news day. In fact, I bet (Fox News host Bill O’Reilly) would love to put this in his ‘Pinheads’ commentary. Just a thought to consider before it goes too much further.”

Prison officials also made contingency plans to call off the surgery if Gov. Steve Beshear set an execution date, and they considered whether to consult with him about the procedure.

I do not see why they haven’t discussed it with him. 

“I think it is that important and all this may have political consequences,” Parker wrote a year before Beshear’s re-election. Ultimately, Beshear’s spokeswoman said he wasn’t contacted about it.

Foley, 55, was convicted of killing six people in eastern Kentucky in 1989 and 1991, making him the most prolific killer on the state’s death row. His status as an extremely dangerous prisoner was a key factor in the state’s difficulty finding a surgeon and hospital, according to the documents obtained through a public records request and a lawsuit filed by Foley.

Foley still hasn’t had the surgery, with Parker lamenting in an email they had no options after an exhaustive search.

State officials deny that politics played a role, and there’s no evidence in the documents that political considerations prevented the surgery.

A spokeswoman for the Kentucky Justice Cabinet — which oversees corrections and law enforcement — declined to comment because of the pending lawsuit.

Foley’s attorney, James Drake, said the state needs a way to care for condemned inmates, even those with complex needs. Foley, who has been on death row since 1993, is unable to get around without help because he’s at risk of a dangerous fall, Drake said.

“If you’re on death row, it’s just like anybody else,” Drake said. “If you need a new hip, you need a new hip. It hurts.”

Sorry, I disagree. He killed 6 people, manage his pain and that is it. Why should he get an expensive surgery that many other people (productive, decent people) who did not kill 6 people can not get due to cost? 

Manage the pain, or, Hell, let’s just give him his execution date, it would stop the hip pain!  

I do not claim to be a doctor or to even know this guy’s exact diagnosis but in 5 seconds I found site after site that have options for managing hip pain, even chronic and severe. There are long acting shots of cortisone, exercises, medications. Why should we, the public, through taxes pay for this expensive surgery? 

The Department of Corrections acknowledged his degenerative hip in a response to the lawsuit, but also said he has been receiving adequate care. The federal lawsuit filed in March is pending. 

So not only is he demanding an expensive surgery he is suing over it. I can not help but wonder how much tax payers have already paid for all his consultations with doctors, the pay for the prison staff to try find someone to do the operation and now tax payers are paying for his lawyers to sue pretty much the tax payers. This should not be legal.

Corrections Department attorney Brenn Combs wrote to Drake that the Department of Corrections couldn’t enter into a legal agreement about the hip surgery because it would impose requirements exceeding “our legal duty regarding inmate health care.”

“The Department is not interested in doing that and, like me, nobody else here can see a way that it would help inmate Foley,” Combs said in a Nov. 14 email.

It’s not unusual for inmates to receive treatment outside of prison, and Foley has twice left death row for other surgical procedures.

Foley first complained to prison officials about the persistent pain in his right hip in September 2010, saying his leg sometimes “gives out on him,” according to the lawsuit.

Foley initially didn’t want the surgery and tried to fashion his own hip brace out of “flip-flops and other everyday items.” Foley said the brace helped with the pain in an affidavit signed in February, but prison officials confiscated it.

I’d love to know why they took it away. More than that this proves that other options will help him.

After Foley agreed to the surgery, officials searched for a doctor to perform the $56,000 operation. At the time, Foley was under a death warrant signed by Beshear.

Agreed to? Areed with whom? Whose bright idea was this? His lawyers?

“If and when an order is received to execute Foley, I will contact (then-prison medical director Dr. Scott Haas) to try to stop all medical procedures related to his hip replacement,” Parker wrote.

No execution date was set, and a judge later halted lethal injections as the state weighs execution procedures. It’s not clear when executions could resume.

While looking for a hospital, corrections officials increased Foley’s pain medication and looked into the logistics of moving him.

But prison nurse Chanin Hiland wrote in a September 2010 email to Haas that orthopedists in Paducah, Madisonville and Murray had been contacted, and “none of them want any part of this.”

“The farther we have to go, the more security will have to be sent with him; although, it is obvious he will not be running anywhere soon,” Hiland wrote. Foley’s hepatitis C infection was a further risk factor.

I don’t blame the doctors or hospitals. 

In November of that year, Parker and Haas asked Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson for advice on security. Parker also wrote Hass about his concerns about publicity and whether he could be safety housed outside the prison system.

The difficulty in finding a surgeon illustrates the “gray area” between the law’s requirement of treatment for inmates and a hospital’s ability to turn down those patients, said Rebecca Walker, an associate professor of social medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

“Everyone would probably agree he ought to get his care somewhere. It’s a collective responsibility,” Walker said in a phone interview. “Who does it is the question.”

I don’t agree. Foley does not have to go to work, he does not have to be highly mobile. He is a murderer,  There are other options to this surgery, yeah, he might not be able to run a mile and he still might have some discomfort but that is better than putting hospital employees at risk and wasting a lot of money so he can jog the yard.

After finding a doctor to perform the surgery, Foley and corrections officials thought they had found a hospital when Frankfort Regional Medical Center initially agreed. Corrections officials and the hospital set the surgery for Feb. 28, 2011 and conducted preoperative testing.

During a meeting between corrections officials and hospital staff on Feb. 22, 2011, hospital CEO Chip Peal said he hadn’t been aware the surgery was scheduled for less than a week later. A memo by Parker summarized security measures and noted that Peal needed others’ approval.

Peal returned to the meeting after 30 minutes and said the surgery was off.

“CEO Peal stated that they never had a patient at the hospital that required security and that he felt this was too high a profile person to be the first,” Parker wrote.

At that point, corrections officials were left with few options.

“After over a year of exhaustive search for a surgeon and hospital, this was our last hope,” Parker wrote to Thompson and Deputy Commissioner Jim Erwin on Feb. 23, 2011. “I expect future legal action in this matter, however, we know of no other options at this time.”

Follow Associated Press reporter Brett Barrouquere on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBarrouquereAP

I do not understand the judicial system. Why was this operation even considered? Why do killers get better medical care that people who go to work, obey the law and help others in their communities? 

Why are prisoners allowed to sue the system which is supported by the same people who pay for their housing, food and medical care?

Foley is not the first and will not be the last.

It is ridiculous. 

I know Lady Justice is supposed to be blind but is she also supposed to be stupid?

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