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Officially her murder was estimated to have occurred on 10/30/1975, this seems to be a fitting tale this year.

Here’s the background for all of you young lovers who are going to be out celebrating tonight.

October 30, 1975, Martha and several friends went out to engage in “Hacker’s Night”, where the neighborhood kids would pull minor pranks like toilet-papering houses and throwing eggshells at passing cars in anticipation of Halloween. Eventually Martha and her friends ended up at the Skakel home, where Thomas, Michael and their other four siblings had been left unsupervised.

It’s well known that Michael was attracted to Martha but…she preferred his older brother Thomas, and by the end of the night Thomas and Martha were getting rather close if you will. Leaving  Michael with most of the others who decided to leave the Skakel home for another party at a cousin’s house. As Martha’s friends were leaving, the last they saw of her was she and Thomas kissing and falling behind a fence in the backyard.

Martha didn’t return home when she should have so her mother called the police and an exhaustive search was performed around the neighborhood, the one place they neglected to look was the grounds of the Moxley home itself. The very next day, Martha’s  body was found underneath a tree in her family’s backyard. Her pants and underwear were pulled down, but she had not been sexually assaulted. Pieces of a broken six-iron golf club were found near the body. An autopsy indicated she had been both bludgeoned and stabbed with the club, which was traced back to the Skakel home.

No one could figure out who killed Martha and and the case eventually went cold.

A man by the name of William Kennedy Smith was tried and acquitted for rape in 1991, a rumor surfaced that he had been present at the Skakel house on the night of Martha’s murder, along with the rumor an insinuation that he might have been involved. It’s not clear who started the rumor and it was eventually proved to be unfounded, which resulted in a new investigation of the then cold case. 

Then Sutton Associates, a private detective agency hired by Rushton Skakel  – Michael and Thomas’s father in 1991, conducted its own investigation of the killing. The Sutton Report, later leaked to the media, revealed that both Thomas and Michael Skakel altered their stories about their activities the night Martha was killed. So odd huh?

Greenwich Police detectives Steve Carroll and Frank Garr, as well as police reporter Leonard Levitt, had become convinced that Michael Skakel was the killer and rightfully so. The problem was that they had no proof of it so the case stayed cold until the late 90’s.

Mark Fuhrman, the notorious O.J. Simpson investigator, published a book that examined the evidence and concluded Michael had been the one to kill Martha.

Before that, in 1993 author Dominick Dunne, father of murdered actress Dominique Dunne, published A Season in Purgatory, a fictional story closely resembling the Moxley case then,  Mark Fuhrman in 1998 published the book Murder in Greenwich named Michael Skakel as the murderer and pointed out numerous mistakes the police had made in investigating the case.

I just have to stop for a moment, Mark Fuhrman did an awesome job looking at this case and I commend him. However, I myself would not say police made mistakes during the investigation. These are words spoken from a person who is looking back and he is looking back in time with the tools and knowledge of how one would approach a case today. 

In June 1998, a rare invoked one-man grand jury was convened to review the evidence of the case. After an 18-month investigation, it was decided there was enough evidence to charge Michael Skakel with murder.

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Michael’s trial began on May 7, 2002 in Norwalk, Connecticut. He was represented by attorney Michael Sherman. Michael’s alibi was that during the time of the murder, he was at his cousin’s house. During the trial, the jury heard part of a taped book proposal, which included Michael Skakel speaking about masturbating in a tree on the night of the murder, possibly the same tree under which Martha’s body was found the next morning.  

Michael was found guilty of murdering Martha Moxley on June 7, 2002, and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. In a creative way the prosecution used Michael’s own words against him because although in the book proposal, he did not admit that he committed the murder, prosecutors took words from the book proposal and overlaid them on graphic images of Martha’s dead body in a computerized, multimedia presentation shown to jurors during closing arguments. In the audiotape, Michael said that he was afraid he might have been seen the previous night “jerking off”, and he panicked.

The prosecution did a rather fine job wouldn’t you agree?

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween My Ghouls and Goblins.

Cristal M Clark

The Spy in the Bag Murder

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This story has always for some odd reason, reminded me of the news when it first broke about the NSA. I remember this lovely man I was dating at the time and I laughing so hard about the world-wide reaction to that news.

Did anyone really think that our own Government in the US didn’t possess the technology to listen into/record our calls obtain our cell phone data/records, read our emails. I mean, come on, hackers do it, hell even one’s employer has been doing it since the 90’s. While all those individuals possessed the capability to do it we just somehow figured that our Government was not just as capable….or doing it?

Then the paranoia, Facebook flooded with disclaimers in the vain hope the NSA would take heed…ha, ha, ha. Who reading this really thought the NSA was going through Your crap? 

Equally, other countries reactions were hilarious, they could not fathom that the NSA was recording calls or viewing emails they had produced. I mean we are allies right?  Did everyone somehow miss the memo/class on spying on one’s allies or foes? Although it’s not spoken out loud often, everyone knows that all nations/countries spy on one another and go to great lengths to do so in an effort to obtain information, counterintelligence…that’s really a huge reason intelligence agencies and units exist.

Mr. Gareth Williams ~ Born, September 26, 1978 ~ Died August 16, 2010

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Gareth was a very gifted mathematician and expert cryptographer who happened to work for GCHQ, Government Communications Headquarters which is part of SIS or MI6 if you will. His death has been shrouded in mystery since the day his body was discovered.

Initially an inquest found his death “Unnatural” and thus ruled his demise as “Criminally Mediated.” However, a second inquest was performed which ruled his death as “Accidental.” It’s at this precise point the case starts to take some pretty bizarre turns depending on whose version of what you listen to or read about that you’d like to believe.  

Gareth was found on August 23rd, 2010 although the best guess was that he died on August 16th, 2010. Police did a welfare check because co-workers suddenly missed him, after 7 days of him being absent from work/life, they reported him missing. Ok, I don’t know about any of you, but I can’t even use the restroom for 1 minute without my boss or a coworker hunting me down, 7 days?  

His decomposing naked remains were found inside the North Face bag, padlocked from the outside, in the bath of the main bedroom’s en-suite bathroom. The police had gained entry into his top floor flat in Alderney Street, Pimlico at around 4:40pm.

Vincent Williams from the Metropolitan Police informed the Westminster Coroner’s Court that experts were agreed that it was impossible for Gareth Williams to have locked himself in. Williams’s date of death was estimated to have been in the early hours of August 16, one week before he was found.

Gareth had recently qualified for operational deployment, and had worked with US National Security Agency and FBI agents. The US State Department asked that no details of Gareth’s work should emerge at the inquest. It should be noted here that shortly after the investigation started the heads of the Secret Intelligence Service and Metropolitan Police met to discuss how the police would handle the investigation in light of the top secret nature of Gareth’s work, and who would lead the investigation.

After launching an investigation, the coroner Dr. Fiona Wilcox said that there were no injuries on his body and no signs that he had been involved in a struggle. She also stated that his body was also free of alcohol and common recreational drugs. The Metropolitan Police considered his death “suspicious and unexplained”. The FBI has also conducted their own investigation into the case.

Now for the ludicrous, In December of 2010, police released details that stated Gareth had visited a number of bondage websites. Yet at the later inquest, it was stated these visits were “sporadic and isolated.” It was stated that they accounted for only a small proportion of the time he spent online. Last but not least, at the inquest it was noted  that he never visited any website devoted to claustrophilia – a sexual interest in being confined in small spaces. That’s a new one one me…but hey whatever rocks one’s world right?

An expert who was brought in to examine the bag in which Gareth’s body was found, concluded Gareth could not have locked it.

The police also released a photo of two people they were seeking, who were seen to enter the communal entrance of his home in June or July 2010 but later dismissed them as person’s of interest.

Here are some other interesting tidbits to chew on:

  • Another inquest was held in March of 2012 where another coroner Anthony O’Toole stated that either a second individual was present when Gareth died or broke in after the fact without the benefit of having any evidence to prove that, none, not a shred.
  • The door and locks had been removed from the scene before investigators and experts became involved
  • 2 additional experts, were unable to lock themselves in a similar bag despite having made something like 400 attempts to do so
  • Pathologist, Richard Shepard said that it was likely Gareth were alive prior to being put into the bag as it would have been too difficult to do so had he been dead
  • While another Pathologist said that Gareth would have been overcome by Hypercapnia, elevated carbon dioxide levels after only two or three minutes in the bag. I am guessing that guy didn’t know the bags are made of breathable materials but that’s just me…
  • Gareth’s family firmly believes that the secret service agency is responsible
  • Gareth’s former landlady initially reported to local media about him being a great tenant and quiet. After local news reports began to surface suggesting he was into some bizarre sexual stuff she had to have her two seconds of fame and recanted that whole great tenant bit and reported that she and her lovely husband had been awakened from a nice slumber, by Gareth screaming for help. According to her, he had managed to tie himself to the bed and needed help getting free. I have to admit even that is rather far fetched unless he had cuffs. My last long term partner tried that one night and couldn’t manage it himself and I had to help tie him to the bed
  • £20,000 worth of women’s clothing was found in Gareth’s flat
  • Journalist Duncan Campbell reported that the inquest evidence indicated that Gareth was on a team of intelligence officers sent to penetrate US and UK hacking networks. He had attended the 2010 Black Hat Briefings and DEF CON conferences. He had started with SIS in London in spring 2009, and after taking a number of training courses started on “active operational work”.A few months before his death, he asked to return to GCHQ as he disliked the “rat race, flash car competitions and post-work drinking culture” at SIS and as a keen cyclist and walker wanted to go back to the countryside, and was due to return in September
  • In August 2015 the Daily Mail reported that prior to his death Gareth had been conducting financial surveillance on illicit cash flows out of Russia some reports state it was for the US. it was also stated that there had been a surreptitious entry into his flat in the days immediately following discovery of his body, presumably for the purpose of removing incriminating evidence
  • Yet another report indicates that he gave a secret list of attendee’s to a dinner party the Clinton’s were attending to a friend which angered his bosses back at SIS, hardly a reason to kill a man over
  • Then in In September and October 2015, Boris Karpichkov, a former KGB agent who defected from Russia and who now lives in Britain, stated during interviews that “sources in Russia” have claimed that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, also known as the SVR, was responsible for Gareth’s murder. According to Karpichkov, the SVR tried and failed to blackmail Gareth into becoming a double agent. Allow me to take a moment and laugh at this one
  • Boris also went on to say that in response to the SVR’s attempts, Gareth apparently claimed that he knew “the identity of a Russian spy inside the GCHQ.” Karpichkov claimed that Gareth’s threat meant that “the SVR then had no alternative but to exterminate him in order to protect their agent inside GCHQ.” Regarding the cause of death, Karpichkov claimed that the SVR killed Gareth”by an untraceable poison introduced in his ear
  • The coroner was critical of SIS for failing to report Williams missing for 7 days, which caused extra anguish and suffering for his family, and led to the loss of forensic evidence
  • The coroner was highly critical of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), who failed to tell the senior investigating officer before the inquest began of the existence of nine memory sticks and other property in Williams’s SIS office. SO15 failed to take formal statements when interviewing SIS officers. The coroner said the possible involvement of SIS staff in the death was a legitimate line of inquiry for the police

So many great stories surround Gareth as the list just goes on and on and get’s more entertaining each time I see something pop up.

I have to touch on Boris Karpichkov. His story by the way is not the first time someone a former KGB agent or some other type of defector from Russia has come out to the MEDIA and stated it was the Russians.

Gareth was not an overly friendly guy, in fact according to acquaintances, even in early childhood Gareth was not ever quite capable developing close personal relationships. He is what I often refer to as someone who is dead inside, where close personal relationships are not needed, they aren’t even wanted by individuals such as Gareth. They simply bare no meaning to him. He was also as we know a rather gifted mathematician, really good numbers people don’t tend to be people, people.

That in and of itself should tell anyone who is smarter than a rock that you’d have to be a total idiot to try to approach him and force him to be a double agent. Additionally, former KGB or not, any agent worth his weight in salt does not kiss and tell the MEDIA. 

Gareth either died at the hands of some twisted sexual encounter that his former employer feels should be kept private for obvious reasons or he was killed by someone that worked for intelligence, what agency depends on what he knew exactly. It’s likely that he could have stumbled across something that he shouldn’t have, he could have been asked to collect evidence about one of his own within the ranks, it’s doubtful he was approached to be a double agent. Gareth did not make friends easily. Whatever he had been working on could have put him in danger, or he might have been stealing intel….the list goes on and on. 

Hands down it was work related, his former employer knows what happened or near what happened.

That said…

Gareth Williams was an officer for his country’s Intelligence agency. He knew the risks involved with working for such an employer, he also knew that he could meet with an untimely and unnatural death due to his line of work.

That doesn’t ever equal that the rest of us are entitled to or have a right to know how, why, what, where or when. We don’t have a right to know who killed him or why and sadly neither does his family. It’s important to remember a lot is involved in becoming an employee for any intelligence agency in the world, no matter what Government or nation. You don’t tell your loved one’s what you are up to, you don’t share it with your friends and your sudden demise may be shrouded in secrecy as well, should it in fact happen. It’s an understanding.

Working for an intelligence agency anywhere in the world means that you could die at any moment for just knowing about a secret. It also means that investigative details obtained may never be released, the killer will not stand trial and the family may never know the truth. Unless it’s on such a level that someone put an entire nation at risk by whatever they did, intelligence agencies generally handle these things very internally and those details never see the light of day.

We as a public are demanding answers to something we have no right know.  All of our Governments keep a great many secrets from us, while we don’t always like that or agree with it, it is what it is. We are not privy to a host of information, nor should we be.

I know many of you might be thinking I am an ass for saying that and I might agree with you. What it all really means is that Gareth Williams did in fact die due to his job and we should leave it be at that. It’s not any of our business how or why he died. What’s most important is that we should stop putting credit into stories of odd and bizarre sexual behavior or any so called former KGB, spy or otherwise going to the media with some story. His former employer isn’t going to give much credit to those stories, that doesn’t mean we should keep speculating until his former employer answers. Intelligence agency????  

Every time the media opens the door with another story and we run through it, it opens a wound for his family. Let the man be remembered for his service to his country not how he was found dead or how it was that he died.  Gareth strikes me as the type who took his work seriously, he took keeping some of the most sensitive secrets he was privy to, to heart, he would not want us speculating over his death, he’d want us to accept it and move on so that his family can heal.

Cristal M Clark

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Ricky McCormick, found deceased June 30, 1999 in a field located in St. Charles Missouri. At the time of his death he was not married yet had fathered 4 children, suffered from chronic lung and heart issues, had served 11 months of a 3 year sentence for statutory rape, he was not legally employed and on disability.

Initially his death had not been labeled as a homicide in fact, the St. Charles County Medical Examiner’s Office ultimately ruled McCormick’s cause of death “undetermined.” Yet police suspected foul play. No one, not one single person reported Ricky as missing. The last known time that anyone saw Ricky alive was 5 days prior to his body being found. He was at the St. Louis Forest Park Hospital for an asthma issue.

The media never mentioned a cipher note being found with Ricky when his body was discovered. That detail did not get released until 12 years later in March of 2011 when the FBI decided they would list his death as a homicide.

Two hand-written documents were found in the pockets of Ricky’s clothing. Attempts by the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) and the American Cryptogram Association failed to decipher the meanings of those two coded notes, which are listed as one of the CRRU’s top unsolved cases.

Here’s where things get interesting:

  • McCormick had just traveled back from Florida, from where he had allegedly brought back baseball-sized zip-lock bags of marijuana for Baha Hamdallah, brother of the owner of the gas station where McCormick worked. Also a local drug dealer.
  • He was closely associated with some violent if not actually sociopath type individuals
  • The stretch of road his body was found on was used for dumping dead bodies both before and after his death
  • McCormick’s family knew nothing about the notes until they heard them mentioned on the news, 12 years after his death.

Ricky’s family was rather in your face about how they felt about Ricky his mother, Frankie Sparks, describes him as “retarded.” His cousin Charles McCormick, who shared a brotherly relationship with Ricky for most of his life, says Ricky would often talk “like he was in another world” and suspects Ricky might have suffered from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

The family swears that Ricky could hardly read or write when he left school. “The only thing he could write was his name”, and that Ricky “couldn’t spell anything, just scribble.”

For a family who left him in an unmarked, unkempt grave, one that they never visit, they never even reported him missing, I found it highly doubtful they knew much about Ricky, nothing much at all.

He experienced chest pains and shortage of breath the week before he died, severe enough for him to check into ER. (Though admittedly he had smoked “at least a pack of cigarettes a day” since he was ten, and typically drank “more than twenty caffeinated beverages a day”). Just 20? I believe I can put away a hell of a lot more coffee than just 20 cups a day…but that’s just me.

The last time anyone saw Ricky was around 5 p.m., June 25, he entered the emergency room at Forest Park Hospital, less than two miles from Barnes-Jewish. This time he complained that he was having trouble breathing following an afternoon of mowing grass. Doctors diagnosed his wheezing as another asthma flare-up. He was not admitted, however, and was officially released at 5:50 p.m.

After that, it’s all hearsay. His girlfriend at the time says she spoke to him on the phone, June 26th, at around 11:30am, he told her he was going to get a bite to eat. One gas station employee told police that he saw Ricky on June 27th. Medical examiners have said they believe he died the same day the gas station attendant reports to have seen Ricky.

Ricky’s body was so badly decomposed when he was found medical examiners really could not determine the cause of death.

Personally, given both his mental frame of mind and health issues, on top of smoking, I believe that Ricky became confused, backed into his own mind if you will in one of his fantasies and subsequently, died of natural causes. Unlike the FBI and police and despite the fact that he did run with a rather unsettling crowd, hands down, no one murdered this poor man. He was viewed as a simpleton and in all honesty, not one single person had any reason to fear Ricky, not even his unsettling acquaintances. They knew just as I know, nothing he said to anyone nothing he could have said would have been believed. Period!

What I am most intrigued with are the notes he had in with him at the time of death.  The FBI believes they are something, yet despite every effort they could make they still have not deciphered them. I believe that the FBI is correct.

The problem is thousands of individuals have tried to crack Ricky’s code and to date no one has. These notes could be a shopping list, a to do list, directions to where he was supposed to pick up or drop off drugs…they could be a million things.


That’s where all of you reading this come into play. I have tried to figure them out, honestly I am not a code breaker. So maybe one of you lovely individuals can break the code?

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Here are the rules:

Be respectful, honest and I have shut off comments to this post. Instead I have included the link to the FBI’s case for Ricky where if anyone thinks that he or she might be able to crack Ricky’s coded notes, you can submit the information.

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/march/cryptanalysis_032911

Let’s be honest, no one really cared about or loved Ricky like he should have been. The way his family has spoken to the media about him is deplorable. Ricky never had a chance in this world without love and support. He was a human being who died too soon, he deserved more and he deserved better from society and this world, especially his family.

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

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 The Bennett family was your average middle class family living the American dream.

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Bruce Bennett ~ 27 ~ Found Murdered January 16, 1984

Debra Bennett ~ 26 ~ Found Murdered, Sexually Assaulted January 16, 1984

Melissa Bennett ~7 ~ Found Murdered, Sexually Assaulted January 16, 1984

Vanessa Bennett ~ 3 ~ Found Alive, Jaw Crushed, Severly Beaten About the Face

Bruce worked at the family-owned furniture store and was also taking classes to become an air traffic controller. The family overall lead a very quiet and peaceful life. Just your average everyday normal family. Not one part of this family’s life would indicate such a violent predator was going to kill them. Seemingly, nothing they did showed investigators any reason someone would want to kill them.

The night of the crime:

Bruce Bennett tried to climb the staircase several times in an attempt to ward off the perpetrator and save his young family. The killer pummeled and sexually assaulted his 26-year-old wife, Debra, and 7-year-old daughter, Melissa. He also shattered the face of Bruce Bennett’s 3-year-old daughter, Vanessa.

Even though Vanessa’s jaw was crushed, sending jagged bones into her windpipe, she survived after her grandmother, Constance Bennett, checked on the family later that morning when they didn’t show up to work at a family-owned furniture store.

Bruce had been attacked with a knife and hit in the head several times with a hammer or blunt object.

The family was discovered by Constance Bennett who has since raised little Vanessa.

The Attack happened between midnight and 6 a.m. on Jan. 16, 1984. The police after searching the home believe that the intruder brought his own weapon, a hammer or some other type of blunt object yet, he took a knife from the kitchen which is what he used to slash and cut Bruce with. The perpetrator left with both weapons.

“It was a blitz attack for no reason,” said Marvin Brandt, who investigated the case as a homicide detective between 1984 and when he retired from the Aurora Police Department in 2002.

Investigators have been quoted as saying this was a random crime, vicious and random. No other motive like robbery could be found as the only items missing were the knife used to cut Bruce and Debra’s purse, yet the contents of the purse were strewn in the front yard.

There was no sign of forced entry into the home, some articles you come across say that the killer entered through an unlocked garage door.  

After investigating, the police found similarities between the attack at the Bennett home and nearby random attacks that happened days earlier along the Highline Canal and Alameda Avenue corridor.

~ Jan. 4, 1984, a man snuck into an Aurora home and used a hammer to beat James and Kimberly Haubenschild. James Haubenschild suffered a fractured skull, and his wife had a concussion. Both survived.

~The very same day, a man using a hammer attacked flight attendant Donna Dixon in the garage of her Aurora home, leaving her in a coma. Dixon survived.

~Then on Jan. 10, 1984, someone used a hammer to strike 50-year-old Patricia Louise Smith several times in the head in her Lakewood home thus killing her sometime between 3pm and 5pm. She was also sexually assaulted and the intruder left a small hammer near her body.

In June 2002, former Arapahoe County Colorado, District Attorney Jim Peters obtained a John Doe arrest warrant in the Bennett killings based on the DNA. He then proceeded to charge John Doe with 18 counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of sexual assault, first-degree assault and two counts of sexual assault on a child and burglary.

DNA at both the Bennett crime Scene and the Smith crime scene were matched to the same killer in 2010. The prints taken from the Bennett crime scene were fuzzy and not usable, the concrete floor they took that had a footprint would be unusable at this point.

The investigators looked at everything from construction workers to drug addicts in the area’s around the attacks because at the time a lot of construction was happening, they looked at the fact that the attacks happened around the holiday’s so maybe that was a trigger for this killer, even looked at the possibility that the killer was in some sort of drug fueled rage. They also looked across state lines looking for similar or like crimes and to date, they have not one suspect.

Here’s what we see:

This killer is indiscriminate in terms of who he kills, attacks or rapes. The rapes are secondary crimes.  This man’s only motive was to inflict as much pain as possible and kill his victims. The rapes were opportunities and only that. He either got turned on by the prospect of killing or used the rapes as a way to cover up the true motive which was to murder.

This killer strikes with such violence that it is difficult to understand, see or know of a possible motive. While everyone is looking for a motive it was always looking right back at investigators. This killers only motive was to kill. It’s nothing more or less than that. He didn’t hate his victims and quite frankly he didn’t know any of them personally, he just wanted to kill. That is what drove him into such an uncontrollable frenzy so fast and that is precisely what stopped the attacks so fast. He fed the need.

We often times want answers that fit into a box and I am sorry to say in this case we will not get them.

He picked all of his victims for a reason, something about them attracted him to them, they all had one common denominator that drew him to those specific individuals. It could be the store they all shopped in, the road that they all traveled daily to and from work, school, library they attended etc. The victims may not have ever known one another but the killer found them somehow, it was not random although it appears that way. Murders at this level are not just random. There’s no such thing as coincidence. Coincidence is just an illusion that we all tell ourselves myself included, when we are unable to explain how something actually came to be. Killing on this level requires some level of planning on the part of the perpetrator.

The fact that the murders took place between Highline Canal and the Alameda Corridor is curious, in fact, I am drawn to this fact about the case more so than any other fact. By far, easier prey lay in wait just north which would be Colfax Ave and at the time might not have hit the news like the murder of the Bennett family did had the crime occurred in a neighborhood more near Colfax.

Investigators believed the killer’s attacks escalated from just beating someone with a hammer to actually murdering them. I don’t believe that. The killer was practicing, he was unsure of himself and he was unsure of the weapon he would eventually use.  

You see it in the last known crime that the killer committed. He knew he was going to kill the family, Father, Mother and Children, so he clearly wasn’t afraid to go after a man and thought he would be able to easily kill a man. HE had to get knife in addition to the hammer just to ward off Bruce who was trying to protect his family.  

I also believe this is the killer’s first stint at killing humans he most likely as with most serial killers did in fact kill animals earlier in life.

This killer is more the type that would self medicate more than likely be a heavy drinker as opposed to taking medication.  He is more introverted when he is sober and an extrovert when he isn’t. But he isn’t going to talk about this crime to just a friend or bar mate. He may have been in the system at some point but it is difficult to determine whether it would have been on felony charges or misdemeanor because his crimes may have stopped altogether. 

Currently all 50 states have to collect DNA for certain types of Felony crimes and submit it to CODIS. The Military also submits DNA for specific types of crimes committed by it’s members. But some states were slow to add DNA to CODIS and the Damn ACLU had to butt it’s nose into it and doesn’t like how some states collect DNA beyond certain felony charges or convictions.  

The killer also may have completely changed his MO from victim type to weapon used, to less grisly murdering, became better at leaving no DNA behind… Because he committed the murders in Colorado during his learning phase if you will it is difficult to determine what he went on to be if anything.

He could have found other ways to feed the need…

Which is why a more beneficial profile from the onset is more important in fact, it’s critical. Never profile someone using the box as your guide. This is a harsh, cold fact profilers must learn if they are to more accurately profile.

He thought about murder for a long time, he daydreamed about it and more than likely attempted several times prior to these specific attacks to commit murder but for whatever reason didn’t go through with it or was unable to because his victim fought him off, fear of being seen or heard etc. It’s also safe to assume that up until the Bennett murders his weapon of choice was a blunt object, after those murders he quite possibly changed the weapon of choice if he had that overwhelming urge to kill again.

What we do know is that he likes the level of violence a blunt object signifies. It’s bloody, painful for the victim and brutal. He finds his release from the level of pain he inflicts on the victim, the level of violence he is able to achieve. A typical way one would see this is that he likes control, that is wrong. It is deeper than that.

He likes that violent way of killing so going from a hammer to a gun would be a jump for this killer and simply would not be the first choice for him.  

These crimes in Colorado are this killers first stages at killing a human. That is very clear.

The investigators and the CBI were safe to guess that it might have been a construction worker that had been working in the area. One thing that hasn’t been said would be that during the winter in Colorado construction slows and sometimes between Jan-March it slows to a crawl, a lot of guys get laid off or work inconsistently during the week. They do value daylight hours and work them whenever they can during the winter months. During the winter in Colorado it’s difficult to find a construction crew working well into the night. They are more likely to begin work before sunup rather than stay much after sundown.

Here are the days of the week the alleged killer struck each victim (s)

January 4th 1984 was on a Wednesday

January 10th 1984 was on a Tuesday

January 16th 1984 was on a Monday

If it were me, I would explore other possibilities in terms of profiling my suspect here, explore past just some guy who was currently working construction in the area or druggies who killed in a drug fueled rage.  Did you know that one of the most popular places to rob are construction sites? Thieves like to hit them for the tools the guys leave at the sites overnight.

I would re-profile the killer, re-examine the details of each victim’s daily life, re-examine the suspect pool, re-examine the crime scenes without any emotion whatsoever. See them as the killer did, see the victims as the killer did at that moment. Determine the level of organization/disorganization of each crime scene. Expand the list of suspects because on this case it was always bigger than investigators thought it was and the killer was always the least obvious or least likely to stand out.  

Look at the area, the artery that the crimes were committed along. For some reason the killer had to or wanted to be near this artery more so than the major arteries through and around Denver at that time. Whatever the case, this person was in and around this area for at least the first part of January and most likely stayed in the area during that time.

I would tear everything down and start over with the evidence, the crime scene and so on.

This guy is not going to be easy to find because he can easily change his MO and would change it if need be. He also isn’t killing with this level of violence often enough to track. Taking a good long hard look at the evidence again and compare it to someone who was in and/or around that artery in Denver at the time would help to narrow the suspect list or in this case open it up. I would not limit the list to any type of profession or lack of any type of profession until suspects can be eliminated.  Figuring out anyone who was laid off or working less hours on a construction site back then, if the list doesn’t exist right now may be difficult at best. If the list does exist it’s worth a look at as well as look at reports of crimes at the local job sites involving missing tools. It would also be a really good idea to look at troubled or violent teens in the area because I do not believe the killer was over the age of 25. 

Quite frankly if the suspect wasn’t on the original list, spoken to or even noticed in this case it may come down to just DNA unless police have enough evidence and suspect info they can rework the case from scratch.

Often times a profiler will come up with a profile that fits into a box, the box was made from materials that were provided by profiles obtained from past criminals who committed similar crimes, which is a really great place to start. Add some text book, some psychological profiling and presto, they have a profile. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s sort of right, sometimes not even close. Profiling like that is a great place to start, yet it can also mean that it’s a great place to leave a crime long enough that it goes cold. The suspect list shrinks or worse, the profile was so off an accurate suspect list from the get go is of no help and never will be.

Sometimes to get a more clear picture of the criminal, one must see him or her as a human being, see him or her as they truly are, feel what they feel, know what they know, feel the wants, needs and desires of that person. Most importantly take the need to judge them and all of your own emotions and personal beliefs out of the picture. Don’t profile by LOOKING AT the behavior in an attempt to find clues to his or her psychology in an effort to aid in capturing a criminal. If you are just simply looking at it, you miss the most critical and important clues. 

Cristal

Follow me on Twitter @thecrimeshop

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Doris Payne, right, appears in this copy of a 1966 wanted poster provided by her family. The 75-year-old international jewel thief, who was successful stealing jewels for more than 50 years, now faces charges that she stole a ring from a Neiman Marcus store. (AP Photo)

Doris Payne, right, appears in this copy of a 1966 wanted poster provided by her family. The 75-year-old international jewel thief, who was successful stealing jewels for more than 50 years, now faces charges that she stole a ring from a Neiman Marcus store. (AP Photo)

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Who Killed Amy Renee Mihaljevic

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Amy was just 10 years old when she was kidnapped October 27th, 1989 from the Bay Square shopping center in Bay Village, Ohio.  

Amy loved horses and spent quite a bit of time at Holly Hills farms riding a horse named Razzle, in fact she enjoyed many of the same things kids her age do, television, pizza, spending time with friends.  Her brother describes her as a spitfire, outgoing, she had two best friends, the Kristens.

She was bright, cheerful, smart and loved.

She was found February 8, 1990 facedown in a field off of route 1811 Ruggles Township in rural Ashland County, Ohio. She had been hit in the head with a blunt object, stabbed in the neck and quite possibly sexually assaulted.

Kidnapped in broad daylight from a busy shopping plaza right across the street from the police station. Even more strange a detective who was a Rookie at the time Amy disappeared was assigned to her school and spoke to her class about child safety the very same day that she was taken.

Fifth grader Amy was usually out of school around 2pm, which meant she was at home alone at least an hour prior to her brother Jason who was in seventh grade at the time. Obviously, her abductor knew that otherwise he never would have called her.

About a week before Amy disappeared she received a phone call from a man who claimed to work with her mother. The call according to investigators went something like this “I work with your mother, she just got a promotion. If you’d like, I can meet you after school and help you pick out a present for her, you can have a present to. Just don’t tell anyone about this, let’s not ruin the surprise.”

Margaret, Amy’s mother worked for the Tradin Times in 1989 selling classified ad’s. She had not been promoted. What’s more is that Amy disobeyed the caller and told her friends about the call and the plan. She told them when she would be meeting this man not one of them knew, on Friday of that week. No one thought it odd at the time so no one said a word about it to an adult. Amy also fibbed and told her mother that she had to stay late that day for Choir tryouts.

A witness recalls seeing Amy outside of the Baskin-Robbins at the town shopping plaza around 2:45pm and hearing a man’s voice calling for Amy.

Jason, Amy’s older brother arrived home around 3pm or shortly thereafter and called his mother to report that Amy was not yet home which worried Amy’s mother so she started to pack up and leave work. Just as she was leaving Amy called her, the call was short, according to Amy’s mother, Amy sounded like she wanted to get off the phone.  Margaret didn’t like the way the call went, something about it bothered her so she went home.

Jason, Amy’s brother had planned to be in the plaza that day as well. He had a coupon for a free Birthday ice cream cone, but left the area when he spotted a group of boys who used to pick on him. Her brother has lived with this guilt since the day she went missing.  

That evening Amy was reported missing and by the next morning the FBI was working the case.

For those of you that are parents hopefully that account as detailed as I could get it from research makes you stop reading this for the moment and talk to your kids about strangers, and not just about them talking to strangers, but if they should hear about a friend making plans with a stranger…encourage them to talk to you always without and without fear,  let them know that it is ok to tell you anything!

Whoever murdered Amy took some items for a keepsake:

  1. Green-Horse Head Earrings
  2. White Nylon Windbreaker
  3. Leather Boots that laced up the front
  4. A Black Binder with “Best in Class” written on a gold snap on the cover
  5. Blue Denim Book Bag with Red Piping

Amy had gold colored fibers on her body, and it looked as if she had been sexually assaulted as blood was found in her underwear, as well as what appeared to be DNA.

At the time FBI profilers suggested that whoever did this would have shown signs of stress leading up to or after the incident and maybe around the time of the discovery of her body. They also said this person may have suddenly found religion, start drinking heavily, they might have lost or gained weight drastically, their physical appearance might have changed drastically…

As the Investigation went on, investigators learned that several young girls from North Olmsted had received strange calls from a man informing them of a mother’s promotion and offering to meet with them to help shop for a gift.

The suspects:

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The list is not completed as the FBI has interviewed thousands of potential suspects. Below are the most talked about through the media.  

Dean Runkle:

Runkle

I put Dean at the top of the list because he has been one of the most controversial of the suspects. Not only did the FBI name him as a suspect,  Author James Renner who wrote the book “Amy, My Search for Her Killer,”  stated that Dean should be at the top of the list which subsequently upset a great many current and former students, parents of the students and well an entire town. Never before has an author had so much negative backlash for naming a suspect.

Amy and all of the other girls who had received the strange phone calls had visited the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center where Dean was a volunteer. The Nature Center asked for the students to write down name, address and phone numbers.

Oddly enough it was reported that Dean was accused of writing love letters to a young male and gave the boy thousands of dollars. It is unclear what the cash was for. It is odd however that Dean would attempt to rape then murder a girl and then be into young boys. Although, some very perverse and extreme sexual predators have been known to be sexually aroused by both young male and young female sexual torture it’s questionable though as to whether or not they would act on both sexes as opposed to one over the other.

Other interesting tidbits about Dean :

  • A female student in Dean’s class that he was not fond of received a disturbing phone call where she was told that she would end up just like Amy. Dean taught at a local middle school at the time of Amy’s disappearance.
  • A key witness identified Dean in a photo lineup
  • Dean drove a gold colored Grand Prix or Grand Am which matched the vehicle description witnesses claimed to have seen Amy in the afternoon she disappeared.
  • He disappeared from 87-89, it’s been reported that he told everyone he was ill or dying. He returned to the area of Bay Village in 89. Guess he didn’t die.
  • It’s been said that he refused to update his teaching license when states started to require fingerprints in order to obtain one.

Kenneth Robert Stanton:

kenneth_robert_stanton

Kenneth was a serial molester of young girls before fleeing to Ohio in 89 a few months before Amy was kidnapped and murdered. Apparently, the only reason he is on the list is because his MO was sort of similar in that he would find out when the girls would be at home alone, gain their trust then enter the home.

Dr. Gregory Kapela:

Kapela

His daughter took riding lessons at Holly Hill Farms where Amy did.

He was accused of writing a love letter to an 11 year old girl who resembled Amy and asked her if he could be her boyfriend.

It’s been reported that he would take the girls soccer team that he coached on trips to Canada and sleep in the same room as some of the young girls.

Shawn Tabellion aka Shawn Dusky:

Dusky

He worked the horse stables and had been kicked out of working Senoj Stables for tickling young girls. He also raped a 12 year old girl in Washington State in 1983.

Sam Tillerman (no image available):

His former business partner called James Renner and told him that Sam had some sort of nervous breakdown around the time Amy’s body had been discovered.

He also told James that Sam was a dead ringer for the composite sketch the police released.

Dr. Frank Vokoun (no image available):

A local dentist who was known to hit on young girls and he fled the country shortly after Amy’s abduction.  It’s been reported that he had asked his family to keep him posted on the news about Amy.

Robert Jones (no image available):

He showed up at Amy’s memorial and reportedly handed her mother $1000 cash.

He was known to stand in front of his window naked as young girls passed by his home. The house he lived in and owned in 89 somehow managed to catch fire and burn down. It was ruled arson. While in Cleveland police watched him sit outside of schools and watch girls go to class. They obtained a search warrant for his home but after it was given to the FBI nothing happened.

Last but not least although not named, it was reported that he taught math at the same school Amy attended and was known to transfer student information to index cards and take them home. He also lied about being questioned by police and FBI. Not the worst thing in the world.

The FBI from what I understand has a top 25 list of suspects however, I am sure the list was much, much larger at the beginning. One thing that jumps right out at me is the unbelievable number of men who lived in, near and around this area who were accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior towards young girls. So I am positive the FBI has had quite a time sorting this case out.

I do believe however the suspect was or is currently on the FBI list.

Here is what I see:

The killer dumped her and he dumped her face down. He did that for a reason.

Let’s look at Dean for a moment since he is the most debated of suspects, he had tons of former students who loved him and tons of former students who feared him. He was strict and orderly which would make it out of character for him to have disposed of Amy’s body like it was yet not so out of character for someone who let’s say never intended on actually killing her. 

The sketch does resemble him quite a bit, but it also resembles Sam according to former friends of his.

Dean did teach at the middle school and we know that the middle schools in this district were let out later than the grade schools. So the question I know for a fact investigators did ask was, was he at the school at the time the witness who claimed to have seen Amy in the plaza and heard a man call for her or not? Dean would have had a very short window of time to get from the school and to the plaza in order to abduct Amy if he did in fact leave right after classes were dismissed.

We would think that the answer would be key and a simple yes or no, but clearly it is not since he remains on the suspect list.

As to the other suspects, each has reason and motive as well as a history of sexually inappropriate behavior towards younger girls yet again, the obvious questions were either asked and a clear answer was never provided or the questions were never asked.

Both the crime and the method of disposal seem juvenile or not well planned and hurried despite the fact that the suspect took trophies. The killing itself seems a bit off for some reason to me and I am sensing that something did not go as planned as well.

The phone calls seem intriguing to me because the person who made the calls seemed to be doing a bit of homework prior to calling these girls. It was never reported that the families of any of the girls received hang-up calls prior to the girls who received these calls. That means quite simply that the person making the calls knew when the girls would be most likely to answer the phone. Additionally, Amy took the call after school, which again means that Dean should have been teaching a class at the time of the call.

That leaves us knowing that at least part of the crime was pretty well planned out, while other parts were not. For instance abducting the girl from a busy shopping plaza where both other kids and adults hung out after school and on a Friday. It’s pretty clear either the suspect thought that no one would recognize him or simply not notice him or…something else, which begs the question, why would a teacher and volunteer at the nature center risk everything to abduct a young girl? It’s not like he wouldn’t be noticed because his students either loved him or hated him the fact is, he was very well known in the community. In fact the media even did a cover story prior to Amy’s abduction about this teacher and his love of the Nature Center, his class etc.

For a man who is strict and likes organization Dean does not just jump out as a man who would arrange to meet and abduct a young girl from such a busy location.

Last but not least we know that the killer allowed Amy to call her mother. This is a simple yet not widely pointed out fact if we are to believe the witness in the plaza who states he saw Amy around 2:45pm when he heard a man calling her name. That means the perpetrator did in fact allow for Amy to call her mother after he was with Amy.

After that something did not go according to plan and things fell apart.

It is my firm belief that if the FBI were to re-profile the perpetrator they would find something new that would lead them to the actual killer of Amy.  Often times if we go back with the knowledge we have now we can learn a lot more about the crime and the killer. What we know about killers today is not the same as what we knew about them back in the 80’s. 

Additionally, they need to take another look at all of the statements made by everyone. Including the one’s about the phone calls made to other girls and gather an accurate timeline of when those calls were made. I don’t always trust statements made by witnesses off the bat, I usually find they are made in an attempt to help, witnesses don’t always state things the way they actually happened and often times compensate to fill in the gaps in memory. They fail to realize that it’s ok if they didn’t see every detail.

Sadly this case has always haunted me for one reason, Amy’s abduction could have been prevented. Too many witnesses claim to have seen her, she told friends about meeting the man. Her abduction and murder could have been prevented, bottom line.

Amy’s brother once described the town of Bay Village as the town that time forgot, it may be that to some but for some of us because of Amy Renee Mihaljevic, it’s the town we can’t quite forget.

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

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*Updated 1/2/2016* Preliminary 2015 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities

As Reported by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund:

http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

January 1 through December 29, 2015 vs. January 1 through December 31, 2014

2015 2014 % Change
Total Fatalities 124 119 +4%
Firearms-related 42 49 -14%
Traffic-related 52 49 +6%
Other Causes 30 21 +43%
Please note: These numbers reflect total officer fatalities comparing
January 1 through December 29, 2015 vs. January 1 through December 31, 2014

2015 Fatalities by State

 

Texas 12
Georgia 11
Louisiana 9
California 6
New York 6
Kentucky 5
Mississippi 5
Pennsylvania 5
Alabama 4
Colorado 4
New Jersey 4
Tennessee 4
Illinois 3
Maryland 3
Michigan 3
Missouri 3
Ohio 3
South Carolina 3
Florida 2
North Carolina 2
New Mexico 2
Washington 2
Wisconsin 2
Arkansas 1
Hawaii 1
Idaho 1
Minnesota 1
Nebraska 1
Nevada 1
Oklahoma 1
Oregon 1
Vermont 1
Virginia 1

Federal Agencies: 3
Military: 0
U.S. Territories: 6
Tribal: 2

A Hard Look at the Disposable Child Mentality

July 23-24, 2015  – 21 month old Lonzie Barton is reported missing by his mother’s boyfriend William Ruben Ebron Jr. Jacksonville, FL

lonzie barton

I have to hand it to the Jacksonville police who spent a great deal of time investigating this, trying to get to the bottom of it. To date, they have not found Lonzie and have been unable to charge William Ruben Ebron and Lonna Barton with his murder.  They did a tremendously wonderful job though in trying to put a murder case together.

September 9th, 2015 – 9 week old Chance Walsh, reported missing

chance-walsh-107

To date, once again police can’t prove anything so they have simply charged the parents with what they can.  His grandmother is begging her daughter to tell the truth. The pain the grandmother feels is gut wrenching. It was also reported that Chance’s own mother told a friend that she despised the boy because he was not like his brother. 9 weeks, how much of that baby’s life was spent in sheer hell at the hands of his own mother?

February 10, 2009 – 5 year old Haleigh Cummings reported missing.

haleigh cummings

It’s hard to ignore the fact that Haleigh’s family is related to Lonzie Barton’s biological father Chris Barton. Not that I feel they helped one another, more than likely Lonna and Ruben got the idea from Haleigh’s disappearance…To date no one has found her and her parents both have subsequently been jailed on other crimes not related to the disappearance of Haleigh.

June 25, 2015 a woman walking her dog finds the body of a little girl in a trash bag on Deer Island – she is named Bella Doe

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September 18, 2015 Bella doe is officially identified through the media as Bella Bond, her mother Rachelle Bond is located and charged along with her boyfriend Michael McCarthy. Both blame each other for Bella’s Death. To be honest this case will most likely go down in history as one of the most debated because the public is on either side and/or right in the middle of who really did commit the crime. When all’s said and done though does it really matter who administered the final blow? Both were home and both covered it up. Again, the police here did an outstanding job of not giving up.  

This is just four cases, yet it is something that continues to happen and seems to happen more frequently. A lot of people feel that Casey Anthony got away with it and so will these parents at least to some extent.  Cases like this happen all to often across the US.

What happened to these kids? What is this disposable child mentality? Well, these individuals continued on or tried to continue on with life after the killing and hiding the child. They went on living as if it was nothing. Quite simply, unlike a parent who just walks out of a child’s life these individuals decided they needed a more permanent solution to the one thing standing in the way of them living life the way they felt they deserved. They simply placed no value on those children, no value on that child’s life. Unlike taking the life of an adult they elected to snuff out the life a child who could do nothing to prevent it because it’s smaller than them and can’t fight back. These children meant nothing to them. They used them for a means to something and when that was met they disposed of them.

They are unlike the killer who kills for pleasure, these are trusted in fact the most trusted individuals in that child’s life, they are not like the drug fueled rage killer, the rage they feel is directed squarely at themselves for the failures in life they have met with, yet they take it out on the innocent without a shred of humanity, love or understanding. They used the child to get whatever it was they wanted and after the child no longer serves a purpose to them  they did what one does when something they are using no longer serves it’s purpose they dispose of it. Or they allow for the person they entrust the child with to dispose of it. These individuals simply did not and do not care. They have no feelings of love or attachment to the child and do not care if it lives or dies. 

What makes these individuals different from other types of killers is that they are more unlikely to be charged with the crime of murder. Serial killers are driven for much deeper reasons and the disposal of the serial killer’s victims also carry some significant meaning to the killer. They have a ritual which can easily be traced back to how they kill and how they dispose of or do not dispose of but rather display or leave a victim once they are caught.

When you look at cases such as these where a child is killed by a mother, father, boyfriend or girlfriend, the reason they killed was simple, so in that individual’s mind the initial method of disposal is simple. They dispose of the child so that it cannot be found, unlike a serial killer or glory killer who secretly want the body (s) to be found, so that they can be known. These caregivers don’t want that attention.So they will often times dispose of the body not far from where the crime occurred but go to greater measures to hide the body thus decreasing the chances of it being found or when it is found the evidence is so degraded it can’t be traced back to them. They if history teaches us anything tend to dispose of the bodies in predictable ways and in places that are obvious yet somehow always completely missed during a search for the child. 

It’s more difficult for police to gather evidence in these crimes because they often times are not aware that the child due to his/her age is even missing which helps the perpetrators ability to cover it up.

It’s also difficult for investigators to get a break without the benefit of a body or evidence that a crime even occurred because when these individuals decide they are done with that child’s life unless caught red handed they are not going to talk. Especially if police spend a great deal of time grilling them. Quite simply put, it just makes them feel superior to the police because they know the police have no idea what did in fact happen. Sometimes to get through to these individuals you have to either be them and speak to them as such or be the child and speak to them as the child might if it still had a voice. It’s rare for someone to be able to do that. 

So regardless of the individuals being charged or not this type of killing deserves a special place on my site. Despite the fact that investigators have a pretty good idea of what did happen to each of these children, some have never been recovered. They each deserve a special place on my site where they at the very least will be remembered.

At the end of the day, as frustrated as police, investigators and the rest of us feel with these types of cases unless someone talks, evidence falls from the sky or a body is recovered, these children will forever be lost.

caylee anthony

Cristal M Clark

The Murder of Jaye Potter Mintz, Feb. 23, 1987 ~ Leland N.C.

Leland is a suburb of Wilmington, nestled neatly along the west bank of the Brunswick River.  It’s best described as a mid-sized town, but still has that small town charm about it.

Lorene Potter who discovered her daughter’s body that day, stopped by her daughters home at approximately 12pm, noticing that the door was unlocked which was out of character for her daughter she entered the home and was greeted by the sound of her grandsons whimpering, just one day shy of the boys second birthday.

The scene she encountered was best described by Dr. Maurice Godwin who was interviewed by the Huffpost in April of 2014:

“Her hands had been tied behind her back and a pillowcase covered her face,” Godwin said. “When her mom removed the pillowcase, she saw her daughter’s throat had been cut so deep that her head was nearly severed from her body. She had also been stabbed multiple times.” Mintz had also been raped, Dr. Godwin said. 

It should be noted here that the crime scene showed signs of being well planned out, in a controlled way, then at other times it was chaotic and out of control. The clipped newspaper ad was also left at the scene leading detectives to believe it was left by the killer, maybe as a way to taunt police.

A polygraph examiner  with the SBI in Leland, Walter House administered a polygraph to a number of men that Jaye knew, the results would not have been admissible in court and Walter eliminated Jaye’s friends . In fact, Walter has stated that he does not believe that he interviewed the killer and I quite agree with him.

She had been trying to sell a bed so she had placed an ad in the local paper, the first one didn’t sell the bed so the second time she ran the ad  she used her mothers phone number instead of her’s because she had already taken advantage of the free offer the local paper had going on. Her mother received a call the morning of Jaye’s murder about the bed. She called Jaye, the bed had been sold so her mother told her to tell the man when he stopped by and that was the last time she spoke to her daughter. That was around 9:40 am.  Her mother who has since passed away always felt somehow responsible for Jaye’s murder because she gave the caller directions to Jaye’s home that morning.

Andrew, the only witness was only capable of babbling “Mean man hurt mommy.” Jaye’s other son who was 4 at the time was away visiting his other grandmother.

What really baffled investigators was the killer got in and out unnoticed mid morning and that everyone in Leland was more than willing to give samples, take polygraphs, you name it the residents were all for it. That is so unusual, typically if someone is a suspect the first thing they do is show up with a lawyer. That simply didn’t happen.

Detective Tony Cummings who worked this case on and off for several years and rather tirelessly thought he had a promising lead in 1994, a man he watched for a year or so, a carpenter who was in Leland at the time of the murder, had a few minor run in’s with the law, no felonies, but had beat his wife. The man was in Florida in 94 and just gave his DNA without argument to Cumming’s and he was cleared. Again, another person who didn’t feel he needed a lawyer.

What detectives have said all a long was that Jaye was just the sweetest woman, not one enemy, no one had anything bad to say about her. She was well liked by everyone.

Enter March, 2014 Dr. Maurice Godwin offers to look at the case.

He’s not interested in getting into the mind of the killer, he is interested in and I quote “gittin in the shoes of the killer.”  Ummm ok.

While I am all for getting someone in to look at the case, fresh eyes, maybe they can see something that no one else did and break the case and I respect Dr. Godwin’s work, what I don’t respect about Dr. Godwin is that he is basically making this bold and wild claim that he is somehow approaching the case differently than investigators would therefor he is more likely to be able to solve the case. I call bullshit on that.

Snipped directly from Dr. Godwin’s site:

“Deductive assumptions are made everyday at crime scenes. Often investigators make presumptions of guilt about a suspect, which thereafter guides the way he/she investigates a case. Godwin Forensic Consultancy can conduct a detailed examination of the crime scene and case files to look for any mental errors and assumptions made by investigators. A myopic view by police often leads to evidence being overlooked and ignored, which could exonerate a defendant.”

Mental errors and assumptions made by investigators huh? That’s pretty goddamn bold to just say. I call bullshit on that as well because what he isn’t telling us is that he is doing the same thing investigators do already and he can make the very same mistakes.

If you would like to visit Dr. Godwin’s site you can find it here:

http://www.drmauricegodwin.com/about/default.html

February 2015:

Dr. Godwin has been cutoff by police from the files. He states pretty clearly the suspects name is in the files and now he is just awaiting DNA. In the end of this interview it sounds almost as if he is whining that out.

Here’s the deal and why I am coming down so hard on Dr. Godwin, the way he feels the need to sell himself and what he does is egotistical and no different than what investigators already do. The problem is, police departments don’t have the manpower to solve every cold case. They try, they do what they can. All Dr. Godwin does is work a case no differently than any investigator would. He isn’t in any way shape or form “gittin in the shoes of the killer.”  If he had he wouldn’t really need the police files any longer. Over a year working this in his free time…you couldn’t get into the shoes of the killer by now?

Going back to his statement about deductive assumptions. That is exactly what he is doing. He is creating a mental idea, image and picture of the killer and oddly enough pretending to the be the killer by looking at the crime scene. Police and FBI do the same things when needed.

As of today, we haven’t learned anything from Dr. Godwin that would point detectives in a new direction because Dr. Godwin wants the glory. If he had anything without the benefit of having the DNA…he’d move forward already. So no, as impressive as he comes off as, he isn’t doing anything any police department, cold case team or FBI agent wouldn’t be doing or already do on any given case. In layman’s terms, he is looking at the evidence and following it from the perspective of someone who works with defense teams. Not to minimize his work on this case, while he may have done a splendid job of it, I disagree still the same with his self centered way of selling his abilities to the public, by implying that police and detectives makes blatant erroneous errors that he would not because he is just that good.

IF we look at just the evidence that’s available here’s what we see:

~The crime was carefully planned

~The killer knew Jaye intimately (which is not to say that she knew him)

~The killer was closer to Jaye than I believe anyone ever thought, he was close enough to think her children would not be home and that she’d be alone, but took the time to make the appointment to see the bed so that he’d have a reason to approach the home

~At some point during the commission of the crime, the killer just lost it. He lost whatever control he walked in the door with.

From that I believe the killer was never on the suspect list. The presence of the child may have been what made him lose it. Something tells me that the killer did not expect the children to be at home, he knew her schedule well enough to feel comfortable scheduling an appointment to see the bed that morning. Why that particular morning? Could it be that the boys typically weren’t at the home that day of the week? A killer who took all of the props for this crime and knew her schedule didn’t just throw darts at the calendar to pick that day of the week to murder Jaye.

The killer? Who is he?

This was not a random crime and it most likely was not just some bitter former lover or guy that wanted to date Jaye that she turned down. This person is quite possibly both an extrovert and introvert. He can be one or the other on any given day or by his choosing. He is charming and likable.  This person throughout his life has had moments of highs and lows, temperament wise but only someone who has lived with this person would know that.

I get to this conclusion by looking at the crime scene. Controlled then out of control chaos back to control. The out of control was not part of the plan and it became an uncontrolled rage. I wouldn’t diagnose him as bi-polar but his highs and lows would be comparable to that of a bi-polar personality. It is also possible if you carefully examine the crime scene you will see the progression of the controlled to out of control then back to cool, calm, calculating control. It’s the mental timeline or progression of the rage the killer felt.

A smaller chance does exist that is might be the killers first kill, since so much overkill went into the murder. The excitement of it threw the killer into this overboard high so to speak. But I personally believe this suspect is seasoned maybe not with killing but a seasoned criminal none the less.

The killer was meant to be in this area, at that exact time. It’s the only way he could have slipped in and out without being noticed. Across the street from Jaye’s home, a crew of roofers were working on the roof, a flower shop was next door to her home and it was a pretty busy and well traveled street in front of her home.

What that means is, the killer was someone people were used to seeing, they were comfortable around him enough to not really notice him at the time of day because they typically see him at that time of day. Have you ever noticed that you stop noticing things like your neighbors that you might see at the same time, every day, or once a week, the UPS guy who goes to the same place to deliver at the same time every day…this killer was familiar to everyone in the area, familiar enough to not be noticed this particular morning. You can interview everyone and dismiss some as suspects simply because they belonged in that area at that time of the day.

We might assume the killer would have been covered in blood but considering that he planned the crime in advance and it was such a brutal murder, he would have shown up with a bag of some type, a backpack, he carried his own tools to the crime which we all know, so it would not be far fetched to consider the possibility that he was wearing something over the clothes he walked out in. I doubt he took an entire change of clothes. He would have worn something over his clothes either during the crime or after or he did it naked. The only other possibility is that he was wearing something like the roofers across the street, tar stained clothing hides blood spatter.

This killer knew Jaye rather intimately, he knew her schedule well enough to make an appointment to see the bed she had for sale, he knew she would be alone but took the newspaper clipping just in case someone was with her at that time. I am not sure the killer expected her son to be home and I believe that is what set him off into that uncontrolled rage. He planned the crime in such a way that he didn’t plan to kill her 4 year old son let alone Andrew, he left Andrew alive because the boy could not identify him and/or he never intended to kill a child because he isn’t capable of doing that. His victim was Jaye, his type was Jaye. Killing a child simply wasn’t part of who this killer is, therefore he couldn’t do it and he didn’t plan on it in the first place.

The newspaper clipping that was at the scene? I don’t believe he left it on purpose, I think it was on accident, but I do believe the killer left it just as the police in this case do.

So where does that leave us? I don’t have the police files so I can’t say for sure who it would be, what I can tell you is that more people than originally thought knew of this person. Quite frankly, I doubt he is on the suspect list and I believe he was either dismissed as a suspect or because people were so used to seeing him in the area his name was never mentioned.

It’s possible the DNA might lead to his identity it’s also possible that it may not.  Hopefully the DNA test Dr. Godwin paid for out of his own pocket will yield some results.

Hopefully this blog will bring a different enough perspective on this case for investigators to develop a different profile of the killer, different enough for them to finally be able to figure out who he is.

Share your thoughts and input if you have information you think might be helpful.

Cristal M Clark