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Monday, September 6, 2010

Memphis Murder Mystery

Here are the facts. In the very early hours of July 19th, 2010, Lorenzen Wright was shot at least 12 times. July 28th his body was found in a wooded area off a road in southeast Memphis which was a regular short cut route that Lorenzen used whenever he was going to his mother's house. It is also a fact that Lorenzen's mother filed a missing person report with the police on July 22. However these are about the only absolute facts surrounding this case. Rumor, innuendo and conjecture have elevated this case to a new high and throughout it all the one name that is constantly bandied about in all of the rumors is that of Lorenzen's ex-wife, Sherra Wright.
If you poll the people who actually knew Lorenzen Wright the one common thread would be the fact that he loved his 6 children above all else. If you poll the general public about what they know of Lorenzen, you won't hear that he was a druggie or a dog fighter or a woman beater. You will hear that he loved his kids, he loved his parents, he loved his hometown of Memphis, TN and he loved basketball. You might also hear that since an injury to his hand which prevented him from playing his beloved sport, he has fallen on some hard times financially.
Lorenzen Wright didn't come from a drug and/or alcohol addicted family. He came from a hard working middle class family who tried to stay as far away from crime as possible. Lorenzen's father was a coach at a local school. During a game a fight broke out and Mr. Wright broke it up and threw the offender out of the gym. The offender came back with a gun and shot Mr. Wright. His injuries left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Still, it was Mr. Wright who coached Lorenzen and helped him develop the amazing skills at the game that would eventually get him to the professional level.
I don't know how or when Lorenzen and Sherra Wright met, fell in love and married. What I do know is that they separated for good around September or October, 2009 and their divorce was final sometime in late January or early February 2010. Lorenzen was ordered to pay well over $20,000 a month in child support for his 6 children with Sherra. According to Sherra's divorce attorney (Gail Mathis) the one and only payment he made was in November, 2009. She does, however, admit that Lorenzen has been giving Sherra money here and there since that time but had not actually been paying the full amount every month as ordered by the Court. At time of his death it was rumored that he had a job playing with an European team and was to leave for Europe after the summer to begin training. Things were beginning to look up for Lorenzen.
He had all of his children for most of the summer at his home in Atlanta this year. His oldest daughter had a beauty contest that she couldn't miss so he asked his best friend and room mate, Michael Gipson, to drive his kids back to Memphis so his daughter could attend the pageant and then he had planned to fly into Memphis a few days later to pick them up again and head back to Atlanta. Michael reported that Lorenzen delayed him from leaving Atlanta with the kids for nearly half an hour because Lorenzen insisted on kissing each of the kids goodbye and chatting with them before they left. He also stated that during their drive back to Memphis, Lorenzen kept the cellphone ringing as he kept checking in on them to make sure everything was okay.
Now we are into the unknown area. This part of the "story" gets muddled with rumor and conjecture. It has been said by several sources that when Lorenzen came to Memphis to pick up his kids he had his new girlfriend, Alexis Bradley, with him. It has been said that he dropped her off at his mother's house and then went over to his ex-wife's house the night of his murder. Reliable sources state that it was Lorenzen's intention to pick the children up at 8:00 a.m. on July 20th and then drive back to Atlanta.
So why would he go to Sherra's house the night before? Rumor has it, she called him and talked him into coming over late in the evening so they could talk while the kids were asleep.
Sherra's story about this final night of Lorenzen's life changes every time she tells it. She first says Lorenzen arrived around 11:00 p.m., they talked until around 2:00 a.m. and then he left but she didn't know what he was driving. Then he arrived around 11:00 p.m. with another man whom she did not know and they chatted until around 3:30 or so and then he left but she didn't see what he was driving. Next, it was he came over around 11:00 p.m. and they had sex and she went to sleep and sometime while she was sleeping, he left but still she didn't know what he was driving. Note: The 911 call that Lorenzen made as he was being murdered came into the call center shortly before midnight.
I have seen Sherra Wright's house in Collierville, TN (a suburb of Memphis). It is one of those newer homes that is shaped in an "L" with the double garage sticking out from the body of the house in the front. In order to park in the driveway or the garage, one would have to drive past the windows on the entire front of the house and park directly in front of the front door. I'm talking maybe 2 feet from the entrance to the house.
Sherra moved into this house after she and Lorenzen separated. She and Lorenzen had been having a rather difficult divorce. Am I to believe that Lorenzen had a key to her house? Am I to believe that he didn't pull up and park in front of the door and then ring the doorbell? If he did, then when she opened the door, not only would she see Lorenzen but she would see the vehicle he was in as well as anyone who might have been sitting in that vehicle waiting on him. It would be impossible not to. Also, since in every story, she has him arriving after the kids are in bed, she would have been the only person to answer the door.
Whichever story you believe, there's two common catches with all of them. First she never mentions that he was driving her van while he was in town and secondly she never states in any of her stories that she and Lorenzen decided to postpone him coming the next morning at 8:00 a.m. to pick up the kids. So why is it when he didn't show she didn't start making some phone calls to try to find him? I only have 2 kids but I know that when they were young and their father was supposed to come get them at 8:00 a.m. if he didn't get there by 8:30 a.m., I was on the phone to him, his mother, his father, his best friend, anyone and everyone who might be able to tell me where he was and why he wasn't at my house to get his kids as promised! Yet, she didn't do any of this.
His mother, finally filed a missing persons report on the 22nd of July. Rumor has it, Sherra told Mr. Wright that Lorenzen had gone to Europe on a vacation so is that what she did? She simply told the kids and Lorenzens friends/family that he had changed his mind? Also, this part of the story makes me believe that he didn't have Alexis with him because if he had, the whole "he changed his mind and decided to go to Europe on vacation" thing would have lasted a minute instead of lasting 3 days because it is highly doubtful that anyone would believe he just flew to Europe leaving Alexis stranded at his mother's house.
Let's get to the other reasons as to why Sherra is in the proverbial hot seat in this case.
The druglords and death threats. Once Lorenzen was listed as a missing person, Sherra suddenly remembers a weird thing happening. She tells the police that approximately 6 weeks prior to his disappearance, 3 large black men come to her door demanding to know where Lorenzen is. According to Sherra, Lorenzen owed these druglords LOTS of money for fronting drugs to Lorenzen.
She stated to the police that they identified themselves to her as druglords and that they carried guns on their persons. She further adds drama to the story by stating that they threatened her children if she told anyone that they had come by. Really. I think most normal mothers having experienced this would have packed her kids up in the van and headed to the police station. At a minimum, a normal mother would have called his parents and told them that the kids had been threatened. But did she do that? Did she tell anyone about this? Nope. Or at least not until after Lorenzen became a missing person. According to Sherra the only people she told were Lorenzen and her divorce attorney.
Missing person report. Why is it Lorenzen's mother was the one to file the missing person report? One would think that the mother of his children would be the first to realize something was amiss when he neither came to pick the kids up at the arranged time or even to call. Also why would Sherra even try to talk his mother out of filing a police report? She tried every trick in the book to keep anyone from filing a report. Everything from he went on vacation to he was suicidal and just wanted to be alone.
Sherra's new boyfriend. Many people have surmised that Sherra had him killed because he had moved on with his romantic life and found a younger prettier girlfriend. I doubt that. I think this was all about the money. Besides Sherra had a boyfriend. And apparently the boyfriend and Lorenzen had not gotten along well. There is a story about when Lorenzen came at the beginning of the summer to get his children, the boyfriend was there and a few words were exchanged. The boyfriend allegedly went outside and scratched Lorenzens car at which time Lorenzen soundly decked the guy. Bit of bad blood there?
The Barber. First it is reported that while the police were investigating Lorenzen as a missing person, his barber contacts them to tell them that during the time frame that Lorenzen is thought to be missing, he had come into the barbershop to get his hair cut. He was in the company of another man whom the barber refused to identify but would say was of a questionable character. Now Lorenzen was last seen on a Tuesday and the barber insisted Lorenzen came into his shop that following Saturday right at opening when there were no other customers in the shop. Conveniently, once Lorenzens body was found and identified the barber changed his story to say it was before he went missing. His bad. I can see where a person might get a Saturday confused with a Monday. Can't you?? The rumor mill has it that Mr. Barberman was close friends with Sherra's new boyfriend. It also states that Mr. Barberman is DEEP in financial troubles not only with his business but because he apparently has multiple children with multiple women and is into multiple child support payments totaling a hefty monthly amount.
Neighbors. More than one neighbor reported to the police that they heard, on numerous occasions, Sherra either outside in the front yard or walking up and down the street, screaming into her cellphone to Lorenzen about money issues. "Where's my check?" type of calls. One neighbor reports that on one occasion she and Sherra were going to their mailboxes at the same time and when Sherra apparently didn't find a check in hers, she whipped out her cellphone and called Lorenzen. The conversation that followed was loud, abusive and threatening.
Another neighbor reported that on the night Lorenzen was killed, she saw Sherra with two black men holding a rather animated conversation in her front yard very late at night.
The fire-pit. Yet another neighbor stated that around 4:00 a.m. the night Lorenzen was killed, she peered over the privacy fence that separated their houses to see Sherra dropping objects into her fire-pit. She stated the flame was so tall that initially she thought Sherra's house might be on fire. This was one of the hottest nights of the entire year so why would Sherra even entertain starting a fire in her pit if she wasn't trying to destroy evidence? Also, why at 4:00 a.m. for any reason?? A source close to the investigation tells me that when the police searched the fire-pit behind Sherra's house, they did find a melted cellphone but have not positively identified it as having belonged to Lorenzen.
The guns. Apparently Lorenzen and Sherra had 3 guns between them. Lorenzen had 2 and Sherra had 1. Lorenzen's guns are accounted for. Sherra's gun has somehow mysteriously disappeared.
Suicide Theory. When Lorenzen was considered a missing person, Sherra apparently tried to convince his mother and other friends/family that it was possible that Lorenzen had committed suicide. I would say 12 bullets to the head is a bit of a suicide overkill.
Insurance. A source very close to the family has told me that although Lorenzen was having financial difficulties he made sure that his extremely large insurance policy was always paid on time. His children were the sole beneficiaries of that policy. Let's see now. Sherra is not getting her fat check regularly and her fat lifestyle is about to suffer because of it. She has to berate Lorenzen on a regular basis to get any money at all. Lorenzen has a big policy that will give her children a few million if Lorenzen dies. Solution to problem here??
The former personal assistant. Wendy Wilson at one time was a personal assistant to Lorenzen. Apparently the difficulties between Sherra and Lorenzen dated back some years. Lorenzen had made it a habit to record all calls in or out with Sherra and he had given the tapes to Wendy for safe keeping. When Wendy listened to the tapes, she told Lorenzen and his parents that they should go to the police because Sherra had made numerous threats on them. When Lorenzen didn't go to the police, Wendy did. She filed a police report. After Lorenzen's body was found, Wendy went public with the tapes and again went to the police about them.
However, her good deed did not go unpunished. According to, She has filed a lawsuit against three people, Commercial Appeal columnist Geoff Calkins, blogger and radio host Thaddeus Matthews and attorney Gail Mathes. According to Wendy, Thaddeus Matthews gave her personal cellphone number out on both his blog and his radio show which resulted in hundreds of calls to it that were harassing and threatening in nature. It would appear that Sherra has formed a bit of a retaliation group in Memphis. They use smear and fear tactics to back down those who might hold a piece of the puzzle IF that piece doesn't bode well for Sherra.

The van and his personal possessions. Lorenzen was using Sherra's van while he was in town. Neighbors reported seeing him drive up in her van. They reported seeing him leave in the van a few minutes later. Then in the morning, the van's still there?? Hmmm. Sherra reported to the police that she didn't know what vehicle he was driving or if he was in some other person's car with them. Also, Lorenzen's wallet was found at Sherra's house along with another of his cellphones.
Box of drugs and cash. The day before they found Lorenzen's body Sherra told the police that on the night of his murder he came to her house with a box filled with drugs and cash. He took it with him when he left. My sources tell me that the box did indeed exist but it was filled only with drugs (no cash) and that it belonged to SHERRA. Lorenzen was taking it to dispose of it because he didn't want drugs in his house around his children. A box filled with drugs would be one reason to kill someone don't you think? Sherra needed to get that box filled with drugs and would probably do whatever necessary to get it back. Especially if the drugs were on consignment. Very bad things happen to people who take the drugs and never bring the money to their supplier. Or maybe the drugs belonged either to the boyfriend or Mr. Barberman? Either way, it would not be a happy ending if Sherra allowed the drugs to be destroyed by Lorenzen. Another absurdity to this story is the assertion by Sherra that Lorenzen brought the box filled with cash and drugs into her house and showed it to her. From what I've been able to gather, they weren't exactly close best friends at the time of his death.
The night Lorenzen died a 911 call was made from his cellphone a little before midnight. The operator heard a man utter an expletive and then heard at least 10 gunshots before the call was disconnected. When they found Lorenzens body they did not find the cellphone with it. What they did find was his very expensive jewelry/watch still on his body and a large amount of cash still in his pocket.
Custody fight. Let's assume for a second for the sake of argument that Sherra, Mr. Barberman and Sherra's boyfriend were the culprits in this murder. Lorenzen is lured to Sherra's house (he told his mother before he left her house that he was headed over to Sherra's so this part of the story is undoubtedly true). He fights with her about money and he tells her he is going back to his mother's house and will see her in the morning. Rumor has it that Lorenzen had planned to take the children back to Atlanta and was then going to file for full custody of them. The rumor states that Sherra had fallen into a very rough crowd and was using drugs on a regular basis. It was Lorenzen's plan to get the kids to Atlanta, file for custody in Georgia and then cut all ties with Sherra. This particular rumor holds a lot of weight with me because it is coming to me from friends of the Wright family.
What if during their heated argument, Lorenzen let that fly? What if he told her to have the kids stuff ready tomorrow because they are coming with me to Georgia and I'm going to get full custody of them? People tell things they never should when they are mad. This could easily have happened. Then he storms out of the house. She calls boyfriend and Mr. Barberman. Or perhaps she didn't have to call them. Perhaps they were at her house the whole time? Boyfriend and Mr. Barberman get in their car and chase after Lorenzen. Doesn't matter if they are chasing him because he has the box of drugs or has threatened to take the kids (thus effectively ending any cash cow they had) or a combination of both.
They catch up to him on the shortcut he always used to get to his mothers house and they convince him to pull over. Men do stupid stuff in the heat of the moment. A woman would never pull over on that isolated stretch of road. There are no houses or businesses on that strip of road at all. It is narrow and heavily wooded on both sides. Men however, are convinced that they can handle themselves and since he had already taken the boyfriend down a notch once in a fight, what was to convince him this fight wouldn't end the same way? He probably didn't even realize that Mr. Barberman was in the car with the boyfriend.
Lorenzen stops the car and leaps out of it and heads back to boyfriends car intent on having it out with him. Then he sees boyfriend isn't alone AND boyfriend has a gun - Sherra's gun. Lorenzen calls 911 on his cellphone and before he could cry for help, boyfriend unloads the gun on his head and then they drag him out of the road and beyond the treeline to a field where they take his cellphone, one of them drives Sherra's van and they go back to Sherra's house where the neighbor gets a look at the three of them having a very animated discussion in the front yard. After they leave, Sherra starts a fire in her fire-pit and burns the cellphone and probably their bloodied shirts.
She then has to "cover her tracks" so she tells the kids and Mr. Wright that Lorenzen changed his mind and decided at the last minute to go to Europe for a little vacation. She starts talking about the druglords and how Lorenzen didn't pay his child support. She tried to convince people that it was Lorenzen not her, who was involved in illegal activity and hooked on drugs. She implies that perhaps he went off to commit suicide? She smeared his character and reputation as much as she could to shove the focus off of her and onto Lorenzen. After the police search her home, she gets a criminal attorney and refuses to cooperate any further with the police to find the killer of her children's father. Within weeks of his death, she moves closer to Lorenzen's mother's house supposedly so she could help her cope with her grief.
Memphis has had its fair share of murder mysteries during its long history. This one, at least to me, is really no mystery. People always say don't listen to rumors. I'm here to say rumors and old wives tales usually have their origin in some grain of truth. You just have to take all of them and sit them next to the facts that are known and the next thing you know, a truth will emerge. Like that old saying "where's there's smoke there's fire".
Sherra, the boyfriend and Mr. Barberman may all be completely innocent of any involvement in this murder. However, they still should not sleep too soundly. There are hundreds of people sitting in Prisons all over our country who have been convicted of murder where the only evidence at trial was circumstantial. There are people sitting in prison convicted of murder without a body. This trio of characters needs to be extremely proactive in assisting the police in whatever way humanly possible to find the real killer if in fact they are innocent.
The Memphis Police Department has an 80% solve rate on their murders. That's pretty impressive considering the shear volume they deal with every year. The Memphis District Attorney's office has a 95% conviction rate. These are numbers that this trio needs to take very seriously if they want to spend the rest of their lives as free citizens.
But that's just me.


(As of December 16, 2017)    Another arrest.  This time the arrestee is none other than Lorenzen Wright's ex-wife, Sherra Robinson Wright.  She was arrested in her California home where she had been living with her brother after running through the entire $1M life insurance payout on her husband.  At last count, which was 10 months after Lorenzen's death, she had exactly $5.03 left.  Link below.  The link contains a video which offers far more information than the written article.

(As of December 7, 2017)  An arrest has been made.  The bond had been set at $1M but has since been revoked.  The man charged, Billy R. Turner, was a Deacon in the same church that Sherra Wright attended.  This man has a LONG rap sheet dating back to the early 90's.  An anonymous source, directed the police to a small lake in northern Mississippi where the murder weapon was found and from that they traced the crime back to Turner.  The article I have pasted, lists him simply as indicted but he has since been formally charged and arraigned.  He bonded out but his bond as since been revoked and as such he is now sitting in jail awaiting his trial.

Another article regarding Turner's arrest:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Update on Murder Investigation

The article above from the NY Times states that now the police are not so certain C.J. was the killer. I have to inject a "what did I say" in right about here.

They are now looking at his mother as a possible suspect.  They say the portion of a handwritten note they found was in her handwriting, not in C.J.'s as previosly thought.  The only words discernable were "am sorry".  They further say that initial autopsy results discovered "some pills" in her stomach so perhaps that would indicate she was trying to commit suicide.

"Some pills"??  I don't know about you but if I am going to commit suicide by taking pills, I'm going to take far more than "some pills".  I am going to take a boat load of pills.  Also, I'm not going to set my house on fire while I wait for them to work.  What if they don't work quickly enough?  Besides if she is going to kill her children and then commit suicide why set the house on fire anyway?  That's the part I just don't get.  Someone explain to me why if you are going to commit suicide why set the place on fire?  Who cares at that point if they find the bodies?  I mean, the murderer is dead so what are they going to do?  Also, what is the use of even writing a suicide note if you're going to burn the house down and destroy it?

None of this makes any sense to me at all.

I'd like to go on record as saying that NO one in that house committed these murders.  It was someone she knew and she let them into the house and they committed these crimes.  They say the father of the 2 year old has been cleared as a suspect.  So what about his associates?  Would it really be the first time that a person hired someone else to do the dirty work?  What if he owed money to some unsavory folks?

The mother worked as a security guard part time.  What if she saw or overheard something that was too delicate to allow her to walk the streets with that knowledge?  What if they came to her apartment to find out exactly what she knew and what she intended to do with that knowledge and they wound up killing them all.

I keep going back to the father of the 2 year old.  My main reason is the fact that the way these children were killed was very personal.  Slashing someone's throat, especially the throat of a child, is a very personal and rage filled act.  Usually murderers are more detached from their victims and will shoot them or tie them up and then set the house on fire.  The amount of pressure needed to exert a deep enough cut that all the necessary arteries are severed is rather high.  This is one reason I never thought C.J. did it in the first place.  In order to do it quickly and effectively, one would have to pull the head up with one hand and then, while exerting some considerable force, slash the throat. 

It is also extremely coincidental to me that the only person in that apartment whose throat wasn't cut was the 2 year old.  To me that might indicate that whoever did this, couldn't bring themselves to slash that little guy's throat.  To me that indicates a connection to that child.  An absence of rage at him.  To me that indicates the father of that child had something to do with this.  Either he personally committed the murders (it wouldn't be the first time a murderer had fooled the police) or he personally knows who committed the murders.

I would be extremely surprised to find out that there were enough pills in Mrs. Jones stomach to effectively commit suicide.  Rather I think they are going to find she was on depression or anxiety medication and that is what they will find.  She had been going through some tough times financially and was only working part time when she died.  That coupled with trying to raise 4 children alone is more than enough to necessitate a script for mood elevators.

It seems to me that when ordinary people are murdered, the level of police work is very low.  There are no celebrities or wealthy well-connected people calling city hall on a regular basis to push them to solve the crime so they look at it at face value, make their call, close the case and move on to the next one.  One less large family sucking out the taxpayers money on assistance.  It seems that unless there is crystal clear, in your face, evidence pointing to a suspect or unless a tip gets called in that works out immediately, they can't seem to be bothered with spending any length of time looking for the killer.

From all reports I've seen, Ms. Jones had no close family in New York. They are not a rich family with high connections.  They are ordinary folks.

Ms. Jones mother, Marcia Anderson, stated it best when she said, “My grandson is not a killer and my daughter is not a killer. She could never harm her babies.”

I believe you Ms. Anderson.  I just hope the police do.

But that's just me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Carl Rodgers - Becky Marzo Afterthought (cont from earlier post)

Below are cases of missing women who fit the general description of Becky Marzo and were missing around the same time as Becky.  Also I have gone forward to show that there are continuing cases of missing women in that same general area.  As I don't have access to police data bases, these are all that I could find which means in all likelihood there are others that I simply don't know about.

Now are all these cases related?  I have no idea.  However, I am suggesting that perhaps some of them may be and if that's the case, then Becky's may be as well.

However, I will go with my original thought that Becky has skipped town and will probably never resurface.  Especially after hearing that because of her actions Carl committed suicide.  Or at least if she has any shred of conscience anyway.

Becky Marzo - 12-2003
Areerat Chupracivh (body found. Have suspect but no charges) 4-2003
Carrie Ann Polega - 10-2003

Gail Masset - 11-2004
Christine Rudy - 11-2004
Tarena Hopgood - 5-2004
Irene Schaefer - 8-2004
Beulah Ware - 3-2004

Christina Thomas - 2-2005

Deidre Harm 6-2006 (body found) suspect was serial killer Christopher Revak who had close and constant ties to Wisconsin.
Jennifer Kesse 1-2006
Shannon Fischer 12-2006

Unidentified skeletal remains found on 11-23-2008. Could have been dead for approximately 5 years or 2003.

Did 14 yr old really kill his family and then commit suicide?

The above article from the NY Times indicates that the police are convinced that a 14 year old boy slashed his siblings throats, killed his mother and then committed suicide by slashing his own throat.

I have questions and concerns about this case.

C.J. Jones was a very slight (some have described him as scrawny) 14 year old boy.  Could his much larger mother not have fought him off?  How did he manage to kill all these people without anyone getting away and running out of the door?  It's not as if he did this during the night when he may have been able to sneak up on them while they slept.  This was done around dinner time.  Everyone was awake.  The neighbors downstairs heard running and crying and furniture toppling over.  There was a chase and a struggle going on in that apartment.  Why the neighbors didn't go up there to check it out is beyond me.

How is it that everyone that has spoken describe C.J. as a quiet and helpful young man who helped his mother take care of the family.  Who ran errands for his mother and watched his younger siblings as they crossed the street.  He helped a neighbor tend to a vegetable garden.  He is described over and over as doting when it came to his family.

His school has released information (which I find odd that they would release such information about a minor especially when a police investigation is ongoing) that they had recommended the boy be put into a special school for disabled youths.  But they don't define "disabled".  Was he homicidal, was he suicidal, was he slow, was he stupid, was he just behind all his fellow students perhaps?  They don't say. 

They have said that he attacked a vice principal.  Attacked?  As in murderously attacked?  As in the vice principal grabbed his arm and he wrenched free? 

The police have been quick to release this type of information as well as numerous stories detailing C.J.'s love of fire and of starting them.  They released information that they found a mostly burned note attached to a lighter and (conveniently) all they could read were the words "am sorry".  Was he sorry that he murdered his family or was he sorry that he hadn't done his homework and his mother had scolded him?

I'm getting weird feelings about this whole thing.

First off, leaking news that school officials wanted him to go to a school for the disabled but then not defining what exactly was disabled about C.J. leads the public to believe that C.J. was a murderous child running amoke. 

What if he wasn't?  What if he had a learning disability with a propensity to get easily frustrated as is often the case? 

What of his attacking the vice principal?  Please define attack.  If he was being disruptive and the principal grabbed his arm and (using both hands) he wrenched it away forcefully, that technically could be considered as an attack.  If the vice principal was in his face and he shoved him to get him out of his face, that could be considered an attack.  I need clarification on this.  He very well may have horribly attacked the principal but I'm just not certain of that.  I am more convinced by the lack of detail in all these leaks that perhaps C.J.'s propensity towards violence and his "disturbed" psyche may well have been embellished.

Then there's the fire thing.  A neighbor months before the murders saw C.J. on the stoop setting fire to a small piece of paper.  When she reprimanded him, he put it out and stopped.  Wow.  This sounds like a rabid murderer to me. 

A fellow student at his school stated that C.J. liked to play with fire.  Now how would they know this?  For one thing it has been stated that C.J. had no friends.  Everyone at school taunted him because he wore the same clothes over and over to school.  Because he had suffered an accident one of his eyes was messed up and he was teased about that.  Doesn't sound to me as if he had any classmates that were close enough to him for them to know his secret addiction to setting fires.  I mean surely on his first day in class the teacher said, "Class this is our new student.  Please introduce yourself and tell us something about you" and at that point I'm sure he didn't reply, "Hi!  My name is C.J. Jones and I love to start fires!"

Now before anyone starts saying that he was a loner just like the Columbine kids, let's remember that C.J. didn't kill the kids that were taunting and alienating him, he is accused of killing the people he loved and who loved him.  Big difference.

Now let's get to the actual crime.  According to police, he murdered his 30 year old mother, his 10 year old sister, his 7 year old sister and his 2 year old brother before slashing his own throat.  Actually the 2 year old brother died from smoke inhalation and burns later at the hospital.  As I stated earlier, it was not during the middle of the night when all of the above were soundly sleeping.  It was during waking hours and by the neighbors accounts, there was a lot of commotion going on in that apartment.

Exactly how, armed only with a common kitchen knife, did he manage to chase down each member individually and kill them without any of them running out of the door while he was busy killing another?  Did he make them form a line and wait patiently for their turn??

How did he accomplish this without his mother picking up something and whacking this kid in the head with it?  It just doesn't seem feasable to me.  Something just isn't right with this scenario.

Here is my biggest problem with this.  He then slashed his own throat.

How many teenage suicides have you ever heard of where it is done by slashing their own throats?  Very few.  Slashing their wrists, shooting themselves, hanging themselves, jumping out of windows, etc.  But rarely from slashing their own throats. 

As a matter of fact in their article "Atypical Suicidal" Doctors Shetty, Padubitri and Bhandarkar state that, "Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world. The incidence and pattern of suicide vary from country to country. Cultural, religious and social value plays a vital role. Hanging, poisoning, drowning are the common methods of committing suicide. Suicide by incising one's own throat remains  rare, and only a few cases have been reported in the forensic literature". 

Based upon what I've read and articles that I've been able to uncover pertaining to teen suicides, two-thirds of all suicides under 25 were committed with firearms. The second most common method was hanging, third was poisoning or suicide by overdose.

The police reported that he was found slumped over a bed and the knife was found beneath him.

So he killed his entire family, then set the apartment on fire, apparently wrote a note that he knew was probably going to be burned up in the fire and then, WHILE STANDING, slashed his own throat and slumped on the bed.  What?

Does any of that sound the least bit credible to you??  It doesn't to me.  Am I the only person who finds this a bit difficult to swallow??  Is it just me or do the police appear to be determined to pin this on C.J. and close the book??

But that's just me. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Justice for Terry King

There are a few things surrounding the death of Terry King in his Cantonment, Florida home on which everyone can agree. They agree that on November 26, 2001, Terry King lay in his recliner napping after work.  They agree that as he lay sleeping he was bludgeoned to death by a metal baseball bat and his house set afire in an attempt to destroy evidence.  Those are pretty much the only facts that all involved can agree on.

Terry King was 40 at the time of his death. Before the boys were born, he had married their mother, Kelly Marino, who according to all sources made her living as a pole dancer/stripper.  

On Vance Holmes site, he includes what appears to be a transcript from an interview between Connie Chung and Terry King's father who states the following: "WILBUR KING: Well, their mother -- what can I say about the mother? When the four boys were there. After the four boys were born, the mother deserted the home and went to live with another man. This man beat her up. And she came back to Terry. And then she left Terry again. And so my son Terry had four boys to raise, had no one to help except the family. And the family did what they could for Terry, but it wasn't enough. And so the boys did not get the home care that they needed while they were young".  

In an interview with Larry King Live, Kelly Marino mentions her 4 children.  However, I can find no mention of their names or what has happened in their lives like who they live with, how their lives have gone since they were deserted by their mother, if they remember their father or even if they know he's dead.  

As far as I can tell, while Terry and Kelly were still together, they allowed all 4 boys to go into a boys home because Terry and Kelly were having financial difficulties.  That facility closed a few months later and the boys all had to go to separate foster homes.  Apparently, the only two that Terry ever took back were Alex and Derek.  The mother never took any of them.
When Kelly left the second time she never came back.  Not to live and not to visit.  This left Terry a single father.

Although Terry apparently liked to "farm" his kids out to foster families quite often, by all accounts Terry was not an abusive person and was a hard worker.  The boys said his habit was to come home from work and sit in his recliner and nap.  They have never alleged physical abuse and have indicated that while Terry might not have been a nurturing father and they moved frequently, he nonetheless made sure they had decent clothes to wear, food and a roof over their heads.

When Derek was about 6 it has been stated that he became more than Terry could handle and Terry turned him over to a foster family named Lay.  Derek lived with them for about 8 years.  Derek has stated in interviews that he enjoyed living with that family and that they treated him as one of their own.  However, for whatever reason, Derek began to act out and the family gave him back to Terry.  Within seven weeks after Derek came home Terry King was murdered.

Alex has stated that oftentimes his father would take him to work at the printing company and he would sleep there while his father worked.  Alex didn't attend school regularly and by his own admission had no friends or outside contact for much of his early life.  He and Derek had been apart for so long that they had failed to develop the usual brotherly bond and they neither saw one another nor corresponded during the 8 years that Derek lived with the foster family.  Extended family is never mentioned anywhere as having maintained a regular contact with the boys.  

Other than Terry there was one constant presence in Alex' life.  The presence of a convicted pedophile named Rick Chavis. It's not clear exactly how Rick and Terry became friends or even how close they were as friends.  It is further not known if Terry had any knowledge that Rick was a pedophile. What is known is that in a pinch Terry would ask Rick to babysit with Alex from time to time beginning when Alex was 7 years old.  

According to a handwritten confession by Alex (found on the Smoking Gun website), Rick began a sexual relationship with him at about the age of 12.  Rick lived in a mobile home not far from Terry King's house.  It was filled with video games, big screen TV's  and an assortment of others games and electronics that young boys love.  It was here that Rick encouraged both the boys to smoke pot and it was here that Rick sexually abused Alex eventually convincing Alex that he was gay and in love with Rick.

In this same written statement by Alex, he says that Rick had convinced him that Terry was a "very abusive" father because of the icy stare Terry would give to Alex when he was angry.  Rick gave Alex $20 and a key to both his gate and trailer and said that anytime Alex could no longer stand living with Terry he could come live with Rick and he would hide him until he turned 16 at which time he could decide on his own who he wanted to live with.

This was the crazy mixed up situation that Derek walked into when he returned from the foster family.  He was told by Rick and Alex that Terry was abusive and was convinced by them that the only way out was to kill Terry.  

The timing couldn't have been better for this plan.  After all, I'm sure, Derek carried his own anger and resentment towards Terry for having been given away to a foster family while Terry kept Alex.  It also might appear to a child that just as he was becoming accustomed to a "real family" life, he was yanked away from that and back into Terry's house.  After 8 years, it must have been like going to live with rank strangers.

All the reports that I view and read on this matter have one thing in common.  They all pity poor Alex. Proof of this must include the fact that Rosie O'Donnell and the boys own mother campaigned relentlessly to get ALEX acquitted.  To get his confession thrown out of court.  

A professor of journalism named Kathy Medico took a special interest in Alex and after his release brought him into her home to live with her and her family.  She has also co-authored a book about the entire matter.

No one overtly campaigned for Derek. Certainly no one ever visited the Larry King show or was interviewed by Connie Chung on Derek's behalf.   Lisa Altdan and Dan Daley were the only 2 people to my knowledge who lifted a finger to keep in touch with Derek.  They sent him books and wrote letters to him.  Mr. Daley embarked on the long car drive to Florida from Texas every chance he got to visit Derek and even offered Derek a place to live once he got out which Derek took him up on.  

It was on Mr. Daley's isolated land that Derek finally was given a moments peace to reflect, to grieve, to plan for his future, to dream about what might be, to exhale. 

While I have no doubt that Alex was abused and extremely badly influenced by Rick, I also have no doubt that Derek was a puppet and a pawn for both Rick and Alex in their quest to live together.  After all, with Terry dead and Derek in prison, who would possibly be left to stand in their way?  

Understandably Alex was a child and not responsible for the creation of this conspiracy.  That notwithstanding, Derek was caught up in protecting and avenging his brother and perhaps in the process, avenging his own personal rage against Terry.

The most believed version of what happened comes from interviews with both the boys after their release and from court documents taken at their trials and appearances.

They considered shooting Terry but decided it was too noisy and there was always a risk of simply wounding him and giving him a chance to fight them off.  Then they considered a hammer but they couldn't find one in the house.  So they finally decided on the aluminum baseball bat.  

Derek and Alex both now admit that Derek swung the bat while Alex stood by and watched.  Alex even described the sounds coming from his dying father to the Court.  The Coroner said that Alex' description of the "death rattle" was the best description he had ever heard and that because of this, Alex had to be in the room with him when he died.  He simply could not have made that up.

Once Terry was dead, Derek then went into his dad's bedroom and set the bed on fire.  They then hurried to a neighborhood store where they called Rick who promptly came and picked them up.  Rick drove them into the edge of Alabama and told them to strip their clothes off.  He then put the boys in the trunk with their bloody clothes to avoid anyone from seeing them in Rick's car and drove them to his house.  Rick apparently had a trap door in the floor of his bedroom covered up with a small roll of carpet.  Beneath the house was a lamp and that is where the boys hid on each occasion that the police came to Rick's house looking for them during the two days between the murder and the time Rick turned them in to the police.

Alex states that the first thing Rick did once they got to his house was to wash all their clothes to remove the blood.  He then coached them on what to tell the police and 2 days after the murder, he drove them to the police station and sat outside while they confessed to their fathers murder.

I have read of conspiracy theories as to why Rick wasn't convicted of murder in this matter or of any sex related charges as he was tried before the boys and was acquitted of capital murder and sex related charges.  I have heard that he was friends with the then Sheriff, that he knew things about some of the police there that they didn't want to get out.  Various and sundry theories.  

I, for one, find it hard to believe there was ever such a conspiracy.  The legal system hounded Rick relentlessly until they were able to finally put him away in March, 2003.  He was sentenced to five years in prison for witness tampering (coaching the boys and destroying the forensic evidence by washing their clothes) and 30 years for accessory to murder. 

According to, "Derek King, 14, will spend eight years in state prison, and his 13-year-old brother Alex will spend seven years in state prison. The sentences announced by Circuit Court Judge Frank Bell came after they agreed to plead guilty to arson and third-degree murder in the slaying of their father, Terry King. This agreement represents a reduction of the second-degree murder convictions the boys were given in September and which Bell threw out. The pleas and sentences came out of a court-ordered mediation that reached resolution Wednesday. Attorneys entered mediation after Bell tossed out a jury conviction just before a sentencing last month that could have put the boys in jail for life".

 There was a vast and thundering uproar from the public when it was announced that these two angelic looking children had been convicted of 2nd degree murder and faced life sentences in an adult prison.  Both sides were able to move the boys from an adult prison to a juvenile facility where they served the remainder of their sentences.

CNN also reported that, "(Kelly)Marino's attorneys filed a motion for a competency hearing for the boys just before Thursday's hearing, but Bell ruled that because those attorneys were not the attorneys of record they had no standing with the court to file motions.

"A big issue was made out of the children's competency in court today," one of Marino's attorneys, Ron Johnson, said after the sentencing. "She's not saying they're crazy. She's saying they (were) 12 and 13 years old and she thinks it's only reasonable for them to be evaluated by a psychiatrist before they enter a plea agreement to such serious charges."

Marino told reporters that she believed the boys' guilty plea was involuntary because they "don't know the seriousness of this." She also said she had talked with the boys "a million times" and they had repeatedly assured her they did not commit the crimes of which they were accused.

Johnson also claimed the process was illegal, but mediator Bill Eddins said he was "confident" that the process was legal and proper.

Prosecutor Rimmer dismissed Marino -- who left the family when the boys were very young -- saying the King brothers "would not be going to the state pen if she'd paid more attention to them in their playpens."

Alex was released on April 9, 2008.  When asked if he wanted his mother to pick him up.  He replied quite simply, "No".  He was met by  Kathyrn Medico and to my knowledge lives with her and her family to this day.

Derek was released on March 7, 2009.  He was met by his mother and Mr. Daley.

I watched an update on this story yesterday.  It was called Second Chances and the correspondent was Keith Morrison on Dateline NBC.   It showed 2 very attractive young men.  Alex seemed to smile more readily than Derek.  Derek still shows signs of reticence around others.  His eyes still appear solemn even when he smiles.  

Derek reminds me of a pit bull puppy I found when he was a few months old and had been mistreated by every human he had ever met.  I have had that puppy for over  a year now and still, he mistrusts most humans.  He shakes, growls and hides when too many unfamiliar faces are in the room.  My vet tells me he may always be that way and recommended I put him down.  Rather than putting my dog down, I changed vets.  I can see a small change in him from when I first found him.  I believe there's hope for him.

I would like to think the same thing about Derek.  I would like to think that after a while he will let down his guard just a little at a time until  one day he finds himself with more friends and truly loved ones than he can handle and a life that is filled to the brim with joy and happiness.

It goes without saying that I wish the same thing for Alex.  I just feel that Alex is far more narcissistic than Derek and as such will aggressively pursue a life that will please him. 

So was there justice for Terry King?  Many would say no.  I'm really on the fence about it.  Alex, Derek and Rick either have been or are being punished for their roles in Terry's death.  Was it enough?  I'm not sure.  Is it ever really enough?  Terry was brutally murdered - can anything bring him back or make up for that?  I don't think so.  The best we can hope for is that out of this tradegy there comes some goodness and that Terry King's sons lead a most productive and socially acceptable (and long) life.  


Thursday, July 8, 2010

LiLo's Angst

Today's blog is about crime. However, not the usual serial killer/simple murderer crime that I love to blog about. Today's blog is about Lindsey Lohan crime. Yep. After watching her court appearance yesterday on TV in its entirety (it was like a train wreck and I simply could not turn away from it), I felt the urge to address this drama queen.

When LiLo was arrested this last time, I was stunned that she only got probation and the ankle alcohol monitoring bracelet. I mean come on!! In ONE year this chick was arrested for not one but TWO DUI's, she hijacked an SUV and careened down the public highways chasing the middle aged mother of her assistant, she was caught with cocaine in her possession and even admitted to being under the influence of cocaine during her second arrest. Probation and bracelet??

Had that been ME, I would have been forced to surrender my license and go to the pokey for a year or better. But she is a "star" so in my opinion, she was given preferential treatment. I guess the judge figured someone had to support that family of hers and with Lindsey in jail what would the Lohan family do? They might be forced to move to an apartment (shudder) or (God forbid) trade their vehicles in for something horrendous like perhaps a Camry! No, the judge couldn't do that to them! So, probation, required education classes and ankle bracelet it is!

In watching Lindsey yesterday, I was aghast at her behavior. I kept waiting for the judge to ask Lindsey's attorney to get her client under control or risk contempt charges. But the judge simply ignored Lindsey's tantrum when her sentence was read.

Now, you may be thinking "Tantrum? The poor child had just been sentenced to 90 days in jail! Anyone would have reacted the same way!" To that I say "Nope". Lindsey wasn't sentenced to life without parole or given a death sentence for pity's sake! She got 90 days in the slammer in a private cell no less. And let's not forget that in California, the state will allow those in private cells to bring in personal items for their own comfort. Since the law is vague as to defining "personal items" it has been abused time and time again by celebrities.

Lindsey cried loudly, she talked while the judge was speaking, she turned in her seat and spoke to people in the courtroom, she talked to her attorney, she continuously displayed her nails which had "F-U" painted on them.

Then it came time for her to address the court. Now at this time, every citizen knows, this is your one and only moment to make the judge your friend. Did Lindsey do that? Nope. She whined. "I did everything I was supposed to do" "I tried to balance work and my sentence as best I could" "I thought I was in compliance"

Hmmm. "I did everything I was supposed to do". Obviously you didn't. And if you didn't know that, perhaps the attorney sitting next to you should have made that abundantly clear. You were supposed to abstain from ALL alcohol yet your bracelet went off on two separate occasions. The first one, you convinced the Court, was a misreading and they gave you that one. However, the second one immediately after the MTV awards? They didn't go for your explanation.

Then there was the inconvenient matter of attending the required alcohol classes. How did you address that little matter? You stated in court that you were too busy with work to be bothered with those. The court allowed you to even travel outside the country on more than one occasion and you thank them by not attending or even attempting to attend your required classes. Guess you figured who needs alcohol classes? You seem to know everything there is to know about consuming alcohol so a class about it would be rather redundant, don't you agree?

And how about those annoying court dates? Seriously. Would anyone cut their vacation on a tropical island short just to go back to LA and sit in a stuffy court room and be forced to listen to people talk? I mean, like she'd even understand what they were talking about unless they gave her the transcript and it was heavily illustrated.

We have all heard (ad nauseaum) of her parents from hell. News flash Lindsey! LOTS of people had horrible parents. Thousands of people in this country had parents that would make yours look like Ozzie and Harriet yet they don't snub the court. Most of them will never even appear in a court room. So, my advise to Lindsey is to drop the "poor me" act. She has used the last ounce of public pity in that department. At least as far as I'm concerned.

In reality, she's actually one lucky gal.

She's lucky she didn't kill or permanently maim someone while driving drunk.

She's extremely lucky that she was busted in LA, where she was let go after her first DUI arrest, only to do it again two months later.

She's lucky because when she was busted in May, carrying cocaine, she didn't have enough for a felony charge.

Want to talk about being lucky? How about the fact that when she was arrested again in July, the arresting officer actually threw away the powder which was concealed in a Clinique Sun Care card, because he thought it was a crushed mint. (really, I'm not making that up)

Lindsay did admit to being under the influence of cocaine and alcohol and she was lucky again - serving just 84 minutes in jail for hijacking an SUV and chasing down the middle-age mother of her assistant.

At this point, her attitude could have been, "Wow, I can't believe that cop just threw my cocaine away thinking it was crushed mint!" or, "Wow, I was in the pokey less time than it takes to watch one of my films!" ... Thank you, God, Now I think maybe I'll get my act together."

But alas, this was not the case. Instead, she just kept feeling sorry for herself. After all, this is LiLo's drama, and we are all just so blessed to be allowed to live in it.

But that's just me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A murder in my past

Where to begin? If you have read my very early posts you have probably reached the correct conclusion that I was raised in a medium sized town by strict overly protective parents who monitored my TV viewing, my phone calls, my clothing and my friends (among other things). When I got my driver's license and a car, I developed a stellar ability to lie to my parents about my whereabouts.

I met these guys who owned a jewelry store. They were Vietnam vets and artistic hippies who designed and made mostly Native American silver jewelry. Really beautiful stuff. I had never met anyone like these guys. I used to go to their shop immediately after school and would stay until they closed engrossed in every word they said and soaking it all in.

One day Barry and Terry (sounds like a vaudeville act doesn't it?) asked me if I would like to go to a demonstration with them. (They were deeply involved in Native American causes) We would leave on Friday and come back late Monday. Sure, why not? So, I lied to my parents and told them I was going with my best friend to their lake cabin and would be back on Tuesday and off we went. I knew there was no phone at the cabin so my parents wouldn't be able to call and check and they completely trusted my best friends parents so all was great.

We traveled to Rapid City, Iowa prepared to demonstrate. This was June 27, 1975. I remember this date because it was my soon to be husband's birthdate. Once we got up there we discovered that there was not going to be a demonstration. Instead the plan was to BOMB THE MOUNT RUSHMORE TOURIST CENTER! uh nope. I don't think I'll participate in that. Talk about my daddy grounding me?? Once we discovered what they had planned, we decided to drive to the Pine Ridge Reservation.

When we arrived, things were really tense. People had been found dead in ditches. People had disappeared from their homes with no sign. Dinner on the table, TV still on but literally no one home and never seen again. Sniper shootings were becoming the norm. The reservation was out in the middle of nowhere. There were NO jobs on the reservation so anyone who wanted to work had to find a way into the nearest large city which is Denver (some 350 miles away). At one time the government had a bus that came to the rez twice daily to take residents into town and back again after work but once the Indians refused to part with the mineral rights to their lands, the government stopped the bus, effectively cutting the rez off from the rest of the world.

Then and now, Pine Ridge per captita is the poorest place in America with the highest crime rate in America. The unemployment rate is upwards of 95% at any time. Running water and inside bathrooms are a luxury. Many of the shacks have cardboard exterior walls and plastic windows. This in a state that sees record snow fall and temperature drops in the long winters.

At the time there was a real and bloody war raging between the two factions on the rez. The purebloods who refused to sell any part of their land to the government no matter what and the halfbreeds who wanted to sell the mineral rights off so that the poverty levels on the rez would be drastically reduced.

When we got to the rez it was abuzz with activity. Several AIM (American Indian Movement) groups from California and Oregon had come up. They were planting gardens and making repairs on some of the shacks. They helped the elderly to can vegetables and chop wood for the wood heating stoves. They were making a difference and I thought it was great. But there were also hired guns there who were like security guards to protect the purebloods (or traditionals) from what they called the "goon squads" who were thought to be carrying out the executions of purebreds in an attempt to intimidate them to sell the rights. Leonard Peltier was one of these armed guards.

During this period, the FBI COINTELPRO conducted a full-fledged counterinsurgency war against the American Indian Movement (AIM)—complete with death squads, disappearances and assassinations—not dissimilar to those conducted in third world countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala.

During this "Reign of Terror," some 64 local Native Americans were murdered and nearly 350 were subjected to non-lethal but serious physical assault.

Virtually all of the victims were either affiliated with AIM or their allies, the traditional tribal members.

The FBI had jurisdiction to investigate major crimes, yet these deaths were never adequately investigated or resolved. Nor did the FBI agents take any measures to curb the violence of the GOONs, with whom they closely collaborated.

I didn't know Leonard well but what I saw of him, I didn't like. He was, I think, from Louisiana and had been in serious trouble most of his life. He was, I thought, an opportunist who was there for the free room and board and the thrill of carrying a gun and acting like a bad ass. I will say it netted him LOTS of sex (though certainly not from me). I found him lacking in any type of class and didn't find him all that intelligent. But I stray.

I met this beautiful Canadian Indian (I believe she was a Micmac) named Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. She was like a beacon of light. She smiled and laughed and swung her thick lustrous hair about. She was tender and respectful to the elders and seemed to really care about helping them in any way she could. I really liked her. Unlike most of the Indian women I met that weekend, Anna Mae made me feel welcome. The rest of them treated me like I had a serious case of the cooties. They watched me and whispered but did not make me feel welcome.

After we got back home, I couldn't wait to go back. Didn't matter to my naive stupid self that people were being murdered and thrown in ditches all over the place up there, I just wanted to go back and hang out with the Indians.

We went back up there again in either late July or August, 1975. This time, the Anna Mae that I saw was not smiling and happy. She looked as if she had aged 10 years and was quiet and seemed on the verge of either tears or rage at all times. I heard through the grapevine that she had been publicly accused of being an FBI informant and had been threatened with her life by Leonard.

It was becoming somewhat public knowledge at Pine Ridge that Anna Mae was sleeping with Dennis Banks (the AIM leader at that time) although his wife was not aware of this fact, yet. I have always felt that this is the main reason that someone was able to spread gossip that she was an informant and make everyone believe it. No one approved nor liked the fact that she was sleeping with the married leader of the Pine Ridge AIM. The other women didn't like her to begin with, this just cemented their feelings.

I have always wondered why Anna Mae stayed in that situation. She had two beautiful daughters back home in Canada who were small at that time. Why didn't she just go home to her children or for that matter go back to California or Oregon where she had real friends who didn't think she was an informant. Why stay? There was no reason for it that I could see.

Things had heated up considerably. There were daily fights among the AIM members. No one trusted anyone. The only good point was one night when we sat around a campfire and several of the men had guitars and sang for us. Jackson Browne and Dan Fogelberg were among these men. That was a glorious night.

However, a couple of days later, we heard that the FBI had raided the house where Anna Mae was staying and she, Dino Butler and several others had been arrested. We decided it was time to go home.

So I went back to the safety of my home. I went back to being the daughter of a well respected and successful businessman with a mother who didn't work outside the home. I went back to worrying what I would wear that weekend and to planning my wedding for late that fall. I did that while Anna Mae was being kidnapped, tortured, then taken to the top of a bluff where she was put on her knees, shot in the back of the head and tossed down the bluff into a ditch. Witnesses (those convicted after 35 years) have said she cried, prayed and begged for her life and to see her children one more time. They kept her for nearly a week before finally killing her.

Anna's body was found on February 24, 1976. They buried her in an unmarked pauper's grave after cutting her hands off and sending them to the FBI for fingerprint identification. Although Anna Mae had been shot in the back of the head, the coroner determined she "died from exposure".

Even before her body had been found, Dennis Banks told John Trudell that Ann Mae had been shot in the back of the head and thrown in a ditch.

Arlo Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004. Dick Marshall was acquitted this week on charges that he provided the gun used to murder Ann Mae. Thelma Rios and John Graham have been indicted (9-10-09) on murder, rape and kidnapping charges in Anna Mae's case.

35 years is a very long time for 2 little girls to have to live with the knowledge that their mother was raped, kidnapped, tortured, shot in the head and dumped in a ditch by "someone". I am very sad that this happened but I am very happy that her daughters have some sort of closure. I'm sure Anna Mae is happy about it too.