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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kevin Lee Green - Wrongfully Convicted

September 30, 1979 is a date that I doubt Kevin Lee Green will ever be able to forget.  That's the day his life would change forever.

In 1979, Kevin Green was a 21 year old Corporal in the Marine Corps and lived with his pregnant 20 year old wife, Dianne in Tuston, California.

By all accounts, including Kevin's, he and Dianne Green had a rocky marriage.  The police had been called to their apartment on more than one occasion to settle their arguments which sometimes led to physical contact.  But according to Kevin, at the time of this horrific event, he and Dianne were trying to work their problems out.  Dianne was nearly term with her pregnancy and they were hopeful of a happier future.

In the early morning hours on this date, Kevin decided to make a run to the local Jack in the Box to get something to eat.  He states he went to the one across the street but that the drive through was backed up so  he elected to go to another location that was about 15 minutes away for his food.  Both sides have speculated on this decision.  Both sides have their own views on this.  Kevin says the one across the street was busy so he opted to go to the other one where he might be waited on quicker.  Dianne and the prosecutors took the view that he wanted to be able to say he was gone long enough for a stranger to have entered his apartment and brutally attack his wife.

From the very beginning, Kevin has stated that when he walked out of their first floor apartment, he noticed a black man in the parking lot and when he returned, the same black man was about to enter a van parked in their parking lot.  When Kevin walked past this man, he ducked his head down so Kevin wouldn't be able to see his face.

When Kevin entered their apartment, he found Dianne in their bedroom.  She had been raped, strangled and viciously hit in the head with a round object.  Kevin thought initially that she had been shot in the head but it would be discovered later that she had in fact been hit in the head with a wooden object such as a table leg with the bolt used to attach the leg to the table making the round wound to Dianne's head that first led Kevin to believe she had been shot.

Kevin called police and an ambulance and stayed with Dianne.  Several hours after arriving at the hospital, the baby girl Dianne had been carrying died and the decision to perform an emergency C-Section was made although the doctor's feared Dianne might not make it through the surgery.  She lapsed into a coma and Kevin stayed with her.

Eventually Dianne woke from her coma but her brain was damaged to the point that she had no memories of the event.  She had forgotten how to speak and needed constant care and rehabilitation.

Kevin and Dianne moved into her parents home until she could recover.

From the very beginning the police zeroed in on Kevin to the exclusion of all others.  When Dianne was attacked, there were other very similar attacks in the area.  All women lived in ground floor apartments.  All women were beaten about the head.  All women had been raped. All but one had died.  Yet the police still focused their entire attention on Kevin.

The doctors had warned Kevin and Dianne's parents to allow Dianne to form her own memories of that night.  They strongly warned them that if they helped her at all, their suggestions would become a part of Dianne's memory.  That she would incorporate those suggestions into her newly formed memory and it would be as real as if she had actually remembered the event.

No one knows for sure, but it has always been my belief that one or both of her parents planted memories into Dianne's head.  Maybe they didn't mean to - maybe they were just both so convinced that Kevin was guilty that they didn't see the harm in planting those memories.  They may have been so afraid that if her memory never returned, Kevin might walk way unscathed that they felt it would be the lessor of two evils for them to help their daughter form a new memory than to allow Kevin to walk around free.

While I do not subscribe to the following theory, Dianne's parents may have been completely innocent of malice.  They may have simply answered her questions and when Dianne put all those answers together, she formed a new memory.  Questions like "Did Kevin ever hit me?"  "Is Kevin the violent type?"  "Were we happy as a married couple?"  I'm sure Dianne had tons of questions.

Whichever of the above scenarios are factual, Dianne did eventually form a memory of that night and she called the police to tell them.

She states that she and Kevin violently argued earlier in the evening.  He wanted sex and she did not.  So according to her "new" memory, he beat her, raped her and then beat her some more.  That was all the police needed to hear.

Kevin was tried and convicted of second degree murder for the death of their unborn child, the attempted murder on Dianne Green and assault with a deadly weapon for the attack.  On November 7, 1980 he was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Kevin Green would sit in prison from November 1980 until October 1996.  16 years for a crime he didn't commit.

Kevin could have gotten out of prison well before 1996.  The problem?  He steadfastly refused to admit his guilt and show remorse to the parole board for something he didn't do.

The prosecutions case was built upon the witness testimony of a woman who had major brain damage and at best a faulty and highly suggestible memory. Then there were the police reports from earlier domestic disturbances, interviews with neighbors who had heard them fighting and semen recovered from Dianne Green that matched Kevin Green's blood type. Remember back in 1979/1980 DNA was just a twinkle in its daddy's eye so blood type was the best they could do.  Unfortunately for Kevin, type O is a very common blood type.

As stated earlier in this piece, during the same time that Dianne Green was attacked there were a series of other very similar attacks in this area.  The attacks had begun about 10 months before Dianne Green's attack and there were 20 in all.  The police had dubbed him the "Bedroom Basher".

1996 DNA was just beginning to be used as a tool to detectives.  Cold case detectives gathered the evidence from the 20 attacks and sent DNA off for testing.  Against all odds, a match is found.  A convicted Sex Offender named Gerald Parker who is set to be paroled in a month from prison.  Detectives have to move fast if they want to get to him before he gets released.

They set up an interview with him and they bring their 20 cases with them.  Parker isn't interested in speaking about any of the cases.  Until they get to the Kevin & Dianne Green case.  It seems that Parker was a Marine himself and it has always bothered him that he found out that he had done this to a fellow Marine.

Parker remembered everything about that night and that crime.  And he told the police everything he remembered.  Apparently the only thing in Parker's life that he cherished was the fact that he had been a Marine.  It was the only good thing he had ever done.

Because of the new DNA evidence and Parker's confession, Kevin Green was released.  Eventually he would be paid $100 for each day he served in prison.

The bulk of his nightmare was over.  Now he had to deal with a wrongful death suit that his now ex-wife Dianne had filed and won while he was in prison.  She had won a multi-million dollar judgment from him.  Kevin had to hire an attorney and fight to have that judgment overturned.  The court over turned the judgment and suggested Kevin settle out of court with Dianne.  Which he did.  Personally, I would never have given her a dime.  But apparently Kevin was a better man.  He has said that while he was a victim in this situation it was nothing compared to the damage Dianne suffered during this ordeal.  He has repeatedly excused her attitude, opinions and actions over the years.  He feels she has every right to be angry, frustrated and bitter.

Kevin said one of the first things he did when released was to visit his infant daughter's grave.  He said he felt he had to go there and tell her in person that he was out of prison and that he didn't kill her - that Gerald Parker had done it.

To this day, while Dianne will admit that maybe Kevin didn't strike the proverbial "final" blow, he had indeed beaten and raped her that night and in her mind he deserved everything that he got.  She vehemently states that at the least had he not left the door unlocked perhaps none of this would have happened to her.

When I watched footage of both Kevin and Dianne, it was difficult to watch Dianne.  She was so full of bitterness, anger and revenge while Kevin was forgiving, kind and understanding.

Would I have reacted to this situation like Kevin or Dianne?  I'm not sure.  I would like to say Kevin but I don't know.  I guess none of us do until we go through it.


Lupe Martinez said...

I just watched the cold case file episode for "The Bedroom Basher" for the 3rd time and as a Christian woman I believe it is somewhat similar to the bible story of Joseph. I often wondered if other people thought about this case. It sits clear in my memory from the first time it aired. Always wondered what his wife Dianne's reaction was when his conviction was overturned, and thanks to this blog I know. I am believe the Lord will continue to watch over him and lead him to the path he chose for him. Where he will be reunited with his little girl. Thank you for the blog.

Sue Harviel said...

What an interesting observation! I had never considered the similarities. Thanks for pointing that out to me. As for Diane's attitude toward Kevin, I don't know how much of it is due to her brain damage (some brain damage victims will have anger issues), how much of it is due to bitterness at what happened to her or how much of it is just pure meanness. From watching her the few times I've been able to find video of her, I tend to side with meanness. The true criminal was caught, tried and convicted. She needs to focus her anger and resentment towards him - not Kevin. Thank you for your comment.

VOR voiceofreason said...
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VOR voiceofreason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Well, "voiceofreason" I think perhaps your moniker is rather ironic. Because far from being the "voiceofreason" you are an aggressive and seemingly unhappy person who gets his (or her) kicks by belittling and bullying others. If Lupe chooses to believe in a God that opens paths to people - it is just as much her right to believe that as it is yours not to. I don't see her jumping down your throat so how about you displaying the same courtesy?? I apologize to Lupe for this person's behavior. It was mean spirited and completely unnecessary.

VOR voiceofreason said...
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Sue said...

Kyle you are welcome to your beliefs. As a matter of fact I too, hold to the thought that if God chooses our paths for us - what is the point in trying to navigate my life since it's all predestined to begin with. My issue with your comment was when you said "The Lord chose to have Lupe & Sue make useless statements without the application of any logic" That is getting personal. That is the issue I have with your comment. BTW you didn't find ANY mention of God in my comment so even including me in your rant was pointless. I hope you have a good day.

VOR voiceofreason said...
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Sue said...

Well, I'm glad we worked that out! I hope you have an excellent day Kyle and please feel free to stop by again.

Anonymous said...

Wow! VOR's ugliness is matched only by Dianna's meanness (though Kyle did admit to being unfair at one point). I found your site, Sue, while trying to find out if Dianna ever expressed any regret for her false memory. I hope that Kevin has mapped out a great life for himself. I'd like to hear an updated crime story that offers more detail. Thanks for the info, Sue.

Sue Harviel said...

Thanks for the comment Anonymous. I'm glad some questions were answered for you. I'll try to post more indepth pieces. I hope you return to read them! BTW if you click on the follow icon, you will be notified each time I post a new article. Have a great day!!

Anonymous said...

Did either Kevin or dianna ever have any children after this horrible event?

Sue Harviel said...

Anonymous: No. They never had children together - other than the one Diane lost as a result of the attack. I don't know if they have had children with others - I haven't been able to find any mention of either of them being parents. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

I did read online that dianna remarried and had a daughter and jevon has a daughterbascwell

VOR voiceofreason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

VOR - I find it interesting that you attempt to use logic to base your counterpoint discussion when your logic is flawed and based on a lack of clear understanding of the Bible.

If you have truly read the Bible and studied it, you would know that there is a significant difference between the chosen path and the path you walk.

Think of it this way; we are all God's children just like we have our own children. God chooses a path for each person, yet grants each person free will to walk the path that has been chosen for them by God and it is left to the individual to decide how to proceed, we are not robots.

As it is with our own children we do the same, and as all parents know, even our own children exercise their free will according to what they believe is right and subsequently learn from those experiences to correct themselves to the chosen path we have for them.

Now, before you decide that the Lord's omnipotence can have him do whatever he wants with us and how can he let all the evils in the world happen, take note; we will not grow as individuals and God's children if God makes all the decisions for us. He designed us all in His image yet, doesn't force each of us to imitate Him, but He has provided the Bible for us to study and learn how to live our life because we can never be Him due to our birth into sin.

According to Proverbs 16:9: The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

We live in a sinful world; everything is imperfect. God has not revealed perfect choices for us. You cannot see even the future of the next five minutes. You will waste your life searching; and you will always be frustrated. Practically any job will do, if you let both parts of this verse have their effect: i.e., (1) prayerfully make your best Bible-informed plans, and then (2) be open to the changes that God may put in your way. (Booker: Editorial - September 2006)

It is no matter to the Lord how anyone comes to Him, whether it is simple faith, Pascal's Wager, careful examination or any other method, only that you come for then He can begin to transform your heart for Him.

Just because a Christian individual did not come to the Lord based on the way that you VOR think is correct is a rather arrogant assumption. I also find it rather ironic that atheistic humans have the temerity to believe that all will be known or is capable of being discovered by humans.

In conclusion, none of what happened in this case was or was not brought on by the chosen path that the Lord has put down for each individual. Each individual, from D'Aiello staying with an abusive husband, to Green continuing to drink knowing the result, to Parker going down the serial killer path he decided for himself, are assumptive decisions they all made for themselves.

Now, I say assumptive, because if they weren't Christian, they did not know God and were not trying their best to live by the teachings in the Bible. Also, James 4:5 in the ESV says “[God] yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us. It is our free will that determines if we listen.

Blog Author said...

This is an article about an event that was reported in the news. It has zero to do with religion and it never will. I've been more than patient with this crap but everyone needs to realize that the next religious comment will be deleted and the author blocked. NO MORE - I'M DONE WITH IT!

Anonymous said...

Lame censorship. You let the last guy have his say but the one which is clearly more interesting to read isn't allowed to respond. Disappointing.

Aside from that thanks for the original article. Although I found the religious discussion quite a bit more fascinating.

A bit of advice for the blog owner. You should never close off discussions of any type as long as they're civil. It keeps people coming back to your site which is the point of any website.


Ernie said...

I haven't deleted any comments. Apparently they moved on all by themselves. I love when folks comment on my blog, but it really annoys me when they comment about random things that have zero to do with the blog.

Larry Wilson said...

I just saw the story of Kevin.
I'm a pastor in Tennessee.
I would like to get Kevin to come to my church to talk to a large group of men about his testimony.

If anyone knows how to get in touch with Kevin please connect me.

Larry Wilson 423-503-3541

Ernie said...

Thank you for reading my blog and commenting. I honestly don't know how to contact Mr. Green. However, I do know that the law department at the University of Michigan maintains a comprehensive national list of exonerated individuals. They may know who to contact for his information. OR they may have it and be willing to contact him for you and give him your info. I have included a link to their site. Good luck to you on this quest. I think all men should hear his story.

Kaci Anderson said...

He might not have bashed her head and caused the death of the baby but he is not a saint.

Ernie said...

True, but then no one is a saint. However, a person should not go to prison for that reason. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

From time to time, Kevin Green's story comes up on cable TV. I've watched it at least 4 times over the years, and still cannot fathom the injustice of what the system did to that poor man. I have no doubt the police specifically focused on him only. In 1979, I was living near the City of Tustin, about 15 minutes away, and clearly remember this case. Maybe that's why it has struck so close to home for me. I also remember another victim of the bedroom basher, who was killed in Costa Mesa (15 minutes away from Tustin). The victim lived downstairs from one of my friends, who happened to be home that day from work. It's really chilling to think she was that close by at the time of the killing. I sincerely hope that Kevin Green has managed to move on, and find some peace and true happiness after everything he's endured.

Anonymous said...

I found this story so interesting. Especially how the police focused on Kevin even when it was well known that a rapist was terrorizing the neighborhood and Kevin had an alibi from the restaurant's clerk. So terrifying to see justice go so awry. I was facinated by Dianne's insistence that Kevin was guilty even after the perp confessed! Stunning. I had a brother-in-law who was the victim of a closed head injury also and there is no end to the damage it can do to one's ability to reason and remember. She may also have impairment to the part of her brain that regulates empathy. My brother-in-law sure did. Makes it hard to like her, but, of course, she may have been a very likable person before the attack and no one should have to go through something so horrendeous. I'm so happy that Kevin has been released!!

Ernie said...

Thank you for your comment Anonymous. I don't think there were any winners in this situation. I think your point about the head injury and how it dramatically changes people, is spot on and honestly, I hadn't thought of that before you mentioned it. She may harbor so much anger towards Kevin only because of her head injury....or she just may be the type of person who searches for someone to blame for her bad luck. Not to minimize her situation by calling it bad luck, but that really is exactly what it is. She was left alone in the wrong place at the wrong moment. Nothing else to call it but bad luck. I'm sure she is partially angry with Kevin because he didn't lock the door behind him (by his own admission) which allowed the animal easy access to her apartment. I get that. But to hound him and wish him dead is overboard to me. Then again, I don't know how I would feel. She has gone through so much physically and emotionally. So much therapy just to learn to do everyday things like walk, talk, feed herself. I can see that making a person very bitter. I know it looks as if I'm vacillating and I may be. But at the end of the day, while I can emphasize with Dianne, I don't agree with her attitude towards Kevin and I think Kevin has MORE than paid for leaving the door unlocked and leaving her alone that night. Also, when he got his settlement from the state, he was under no obligation to give her any of it - but he did. That speaks volumes to me of his character. I am a big Kevin fan and I'm happy to hear that he has remarried and is a father.