Posted in C-Haze

Be-Lo Murders

In honor of my recent return to my home state of North Carolina, I thought I’d highlight one of my pet cases from right here in the Tar Heel State.

Windsor, NC is a small town in northeastern NC, in what’s known as the Inner Banks part of the state. The population (as of 2018) is roughly 3,630 people. The town’s pretty diverse, compared to other small towns in the area- approximately 45% white, 53% black.

On June 6, 1993, two employees of the Be-Lo Grocery store locked up for the night. It was Sunday, and the store closed at 6 PM. Shortly thereafter, four members of a third-party cleaning crew that had been hired by the store owners arrived to begin their shift. By the end of the evening, three people would be dead, two would be seriously injured, and one would escape physically unharmed.

A man had come into the store earlier, prior to its closing, hiding inside until after the place had been locked up for the night. He robbed the store of more than $3,000 in cash and money orders, and forced manager Grover Cecil, along with cashier Joyce Reason to the rear of the store. He then made Cecil get four cleaning crew members to join them in the rear aisle.

The manager was then forced to bind the other five, using duct tape and dog leashes. When finished, the perpetrator bound Cecil in a similar fashion. He then stacked the six victims on top of each other in three stacks; two people in each stack, and began shooting with a .45 caliber hand gun. He fired three shots – one through each stack – killing three people before his gun jammed. The deceased were Grover Cecil, Joyce Reason, and a cleaning crew member named Johnnie Rankins. A second cleaning crew member was also hit by one of the three bullets, but survived. His name was Sylvester Welch.

With his gun jammed, the killer walked away from his captives, returning shortly with a knife, which he found in one of the rear storerooms. He then stabbed another cleaning crew member- Jasper Hardy- multiple times in the throat and back with such force the knife broke. The sixth victim, the final member of the cleaning crew, was left unharmed. His name, Thomas Hardy. Hardy had been placed on the bottom of one of the stacks the killer had shot through, so the bullets had missed him altogether. He pled with the murderer to spare him, claiming he wouldn’t be able to identify him anyway. The killer, it seems, believed him.

The man then gathered the money he’d stolen, the knife he’d found inside the store, and the store keys and left.

He has never been found.

Sylvester Welch, though gravely injured, crawled to the front of the store and called for help, leaving a trail of blood. The carnage was the worst first responders had ever seen. In interviewing the survivors, key information was learned. The suspect was described as a black male – initially thought to be in his 20s, this was later revised to an older man, possibly in his 30s. The man was tall, 6’0″-6’2″, with short hair, light brown eyes, and weighing approximately 170-200 lbs.

The man claimed to have been an ex-police officer, fired from his job over a drug deal gone wrong. Witnesses say they saw a small white car with Maryland plates driving north on US 17 immediately following the crime.

Authorities are skeptical that the man is ex-law enforcement, as this tip led nowhere. He may have just made up a story to tell to evade capture. Some have speculated that he may have been a current or past member of the military, as there are several bases relatively close by.

Was this his first time?

About a year after the brutal Be-Lo murders in Windsor, NC, another Be-Lo store was robbed in nearby Hertford, NC. The similarities are eerie.

According to assistant store manager Dwayne Gilliam (who had once worked at the Windsor store in the ’80s), a gunman hid in the Hertford store until closing. He bound Gilliam and a co-worker with duct tape and a dog leash, escaping with an unknown amount of money. Thankfully no one was killed.

Still…

Hiding in the store until it’s closed? Binding victims with duct tape and a dog leash? Stealing cash? If unrelated, it seems this was a copy-cat crime, at best.

If you have any information about this case, contact the Windsor Police Department at (252) 794-3111, or the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at (800) 334-3000.

There is a 30,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the Be-Lo killer.

Posted in C-Haze

Affluenza, Mexico and Couches

This “Affluenza” kid is the gift that keeps on giving.

In 2013, after famously causing the deaths of four people during while driving drunk, Ethan Couch was charged as a juvenile with intoxication manslaughter. A mental health expert testified that the teen did not know the difference between right and wrong due to his extremely privileged upbringing, dubbed “affluenza”.

The judge took this under advisement at trial, and as a result, chose to sentence Ethan to 10 years’ probation in lieu of jail time. The ruling, for obvious reasons, pissed off the families and loved ones of the victims, and shocked the public at large.

This bratty killer went on to further enrage the masses when, in 2015, video emerged of the jerk playing beer pong at a party – a direct violation of his probation. He immediately stopped reporting to his probation officer, and soon headlines were flashing that Ethan and his mother were missing.

Apparently, dodging the bullet of spending many decades in prison wasn’t good enough for this young man and his mother. No, they would do their damnedest to see to it that he suffered zero consequences for his murderous behavior, making sure he is able to continue drinking as much as he wants, whenever he wants.

So, they fled.

While on the run, people started looking into the Couch background, and learned that at least where Ethan’s concerned, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Not only was this not his first brush with the law (involving underage drinking, no less), but both of his parents have criminal records as well.

His father has been charged in the past with criminal mischief, theft by check, assault, and most recently, impersonating a police officer in 2014. His ex-wife, Ethan’s mother, was charged with reckless driving for using her car to force another vehicle off the road.

Real winners, these two.

Ethan and his mother were ultimately located at a resort in Mexico. His mother was extradited to the US, while her son is still fighting deportation. While in Mexico, Ethan continued to live it up, even visiting a strip club, and when he had no money to pay the bill at the end of the night, his mother stepped in and took care of it for him.

After this family’s utter disregard for human life and the law, we learn that even if Ethan Couch is successfully deported back to the United States, the most time he could spend in prison is 120 days.

 

Posted in C-Haze

The Disappearance of Scott Kleeschulte

1Scott Kleeschulte was just nine years old when he vanished from St. Charles, MO in June of 1988. He disappeared on the last day of school, having completed first grade. After riding the bus home, Scott went in search of outdoor adventures, something he regularly did.

The day of his disappearance, a very large thunderstorm rolled through the area. Since storms frightened Scott, his parents assumed he’d ridden this one out at a friend’s house. He was last seen just after the storm ended, between 4:30 and 5 PM, walking down a road in his neighborhood.

Scott’s parents knew almost immediately after arriving home from work that something was wrong. They had plans for the evening – Scott needed a new pair of tennis shoes – and they were going to take the family to dinner, in celebration of the last day of school. Everyone felt certain that he would not have stayed outside long into the evening. Not willingly, anyway.

Initially, investigators were concerned he may have been swept away by flash flooding in the area after the thunderstorm. After searching rivers, creeks, caves and tunnels, this theory was quickly discounted. Both Scott’s family and law enforcement have believed since very early on that Scott was abducted.

Dogs were able to track Scott’s scent along a road near where where he vanished, but the trail grew cold.

Many have wondered if Scott Kleeschulte’s disappearance is related to the disappearance of Arlin Henderson. Arlin vanished in July of 1991, three years after Scott, in Moscow Mills, a town roughly 30 miles from St. Charles, MO. The boys are similar in appearance, though at 11 years old, Arlin was two years older than Scott was when he went missing. Another eerie similarity is that Arlin, like Scott, was never found.

The case grew cold, but briefly made headlines in 2007, when news broke of the rescue of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. Abducted by Michael Devlin of Kirkwood, MO, both boys were found alive and in good physical condition in Devlin’s apartment. Many believed these were not Devlin’s first victims, and as a result, he was carefully investigated for any possible connection to Scott Kleeschulte, Arlin Henderson, Bianca Piper and others. Nothing was found, and the Michael Devlin Task Force ultimately closed its doors.

In early 2012, investigators executed a search warrant at a home in Scott’s neighborhood. Holes were drilled into the garage floor as well as other areas of the house, and dogs were used to help search for clues. In what has become a common theme, nothing was found.

Most recently, a Florida inmate (who is also an ex-cop from Chicago) made claims in 2013 that he knew the identity of Scott Kleeschulte’s abductor. After investigating, the St. Charles County District Attorney’s office stated they’d learned nothing new from the man.

The case is still open, and the mystery remains.

What happened to Scott Kleeschulte?

Posted in C-Haze, Missing, Missouri, True Crime

The Disappearance of Bianca Noel Piper

Bianca Noel Piper was 13 years old when she went missing from Foley, MO in March of 2005. Bianca was a troubled child, and suffered from ADD, as well as bi-polar disorder.

Some say Bianca had the mentality of a six or seven year old. Others claim that isn’t true, that she was an average teenager, albeit with some behavioral issues.

On March 10, 2005, Bianca and her mother, Shannon Tanner, got into an argument about Bianca doing the dishes. Shannon had been instructed by a mental health professional to drop Bianca some distance from their home to let her walk back when her temper became a problem. The hope was that this would give Bianca some time to cool off. In fact, Bianca had requested this treatment the previous day when she was out of sorts, and it had worked quite well.

Frustrated with her daughter’s temper, Shannon drove Bianca about a mile away from their home, and dropped her off around 6 PM with a flashlight and instructions to walk home.

She never made it.

By 8 PM, Shannon was panic-stricken, and by 8:20 had reported her daughter missing.

The road Shannon dropped her daughter off on is not well-traveled, and it isn’t likely someone who isn’t local to the area would have known about it. Besides, what are the odds that a predator happened to be sitting on that lonely stretch at the exact moment Bianca was dropped off there? Not very high.

Next, there’s Bianca’s physical size. At 13 years old, she was already 5’6″, and weighed approximately 185 lbs. She was large for an adult, let alone a child, and likely would have been mistaken as grown by any passersby in the dark.

Some speculated that perhaps Shannon Tanner had a hand in her daughter’s disappearance. If not her, then perhaps her live-in boyfriend, Jim Felt. These suspicions heightened to a near-frenzy when, mere months after Bianca vanished, Shannon was charged with the assault of another daughter, allegedly hitting her repeatedly with a curling iron and punching her in the head. According to police reports, Shannon threatened to tie her daughter up and lock her in her bedroom.

Then there were the domestic disputes between Jim and Shannon…

… It couldn’t all be coincidental…

Or could it?

Apparently, the answer is yes, it can be. Local law enforcement has stated neither Shannon nor Jim are suspects in Bianca’s disappearance. Both were investigated fully, and both have passed lie detector tests.

In 2007, two years after Bianca vanished, investigators announced they were looking to find any possible links between this case and the Shawn Hornbeck/Ben Ownby cases. Shawn Hornbeck had been kidnapped in 2002 in Richwoods, MO by Michael Devlin, and held captive in Kirkwood (a suburb of St. Louis) for five years. Devlin, likely growing tired of Shawn, later kidnapped Ben Ownby. Both boys were found, and were saved.

Unsurprisingly, no link was ever established between the cases. Devlin pretty clearly preferred young(ish) boys, and Bianca simply did not fit that mold.

The case of Bianca Piper’s disappearance grew cold.

Shannon moved from her home in Foley, MO, where for years she had kept Bianca’s room exactly as she’d left it, hoping she’d return. She split from Jim Felt, and life went on, though her daughter’s disappearance was never far from her mind.

Locals never forgot, but their lives, too, had to move on.

The case again made headlines in 2014, when one of Bianca’s sisters was charged with promoting prostitution. The woman, Tiffany Piper, admitted to trafficking two high school age girls for sex, and received an eight year sentence for her crimes. Tragically, it was learned Tiffany herself had been a victim of sex trafficking. It appeared to be a case in which the victim becomes the perpetrator.

The family of Shannon Tanner, and Ms. Tanner herself, appear to have lived lives that were anything but charmed. Criminal histories abound, but through their presence in both mainstream and social media, it’s clear one thought remains forefront in their minds:

Where is Bianca Noel Piper?

Posted in C-Haze, cold cases

The Murder of Teresa Halbach

I’m a true crime fanatic. It’s no secret. So it should come as no surprise to learn that I binge-watched the entire 10 hour Netflix documentary, “Making a Murderer” in one sitting.

I’m not convinced Steven Avery is innocent of the murder of Teresa Halbach, though I’m nowhere near convinced enough of his guilt that I could have voted guilty, had I been on the jury. The documentary raises more questions than answers, so I came here to record my thoughts.

Teresa Halbach

Teresa Halbach was a photographer for Auto Trader Magazine. On the day she vanished (10/31/2005), she had 3 appointments to photograph vehicles for sale. Her third and final appointment took her to Avery Salvage Yard in Manitowoc County, WI, where she was to photograph a minivan that Steven Avery’s sister wanted to sell. This is the last place she was seen. On November 3, 2005, Teresa was reported missing.

At the time of her disappearance, Teresa lived with a roommate named Scott Bloedorn, a mutual friend of Teresa’s and her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas. Though it took several days for Teresa to be reported missing, nothing indicates Scott or Ryan were ever seriously considered by authorities as suspects in the case.

Once a world-traveler, Teresa settled in 2004 near her family in Wisconsin. She had two sisters and two brothers, and had been raised on a dairy farm. On Halloween night in 2005, just prior to her disappearance, she was planning to attend a party at a local bar dressed as a cowgirl.

Teresa was familiar with Avery Salvage Yard, and with Steven Avery himself, as she had been to the property no less than 15 times in the past to photograph vehicles for publication in the magazine.

In two controversial criminal trials, Steven Avery and his nephew, then 16 year old Brendan Dassey were convicted of her murder.

Teresa’s brother, Michael Halbalch, became the de-facto spokesperson for the Halbach family from the time of Teresa’s disappearance through the criminal trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.

Steven Avery

Steven Avery was born in Manitowoc County, WI in 1962. At age 18, he was convicted of burglary. Shortly thereafter, he was convicted of animal cruelty. He allegedly doused a family cat with gasoline and set it on fire.

Later, he spent six years in prison for assaulting his cousin, who was married to a Manitowoc Sheriff’s deputy. According to Avery, his cousin was spreading false rumors about him and his wife. In response, he ran her off the road with his vehicle and pointed an unloaded firearm at her. He stated he was hoping this would stop his cousin from spreading rumors about him throughout the town. Instead, she immediately reported the incident to her husband, and subsequently, to the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department.

Steven Avery openly admitted to all the crimes he had been convicted of.

In 1985, a woman named Penny Beerntsen was attacked in a Wisconsin state park, raped and beaten by an unknown assailant. She did not know her attacker, and immediately reported the assault to the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department. The deputy who took her statement immediately believed Penny’s description of the suspect sounded a lot like Steven Avery. As a result, a composite sketch of Avery – based on his mug shot from years earlier – was drawn and shown to the victim. She positively identified this sketch as that of her attacker. She was then shown a photo array that included the same photo of Steven that the composite sketch was drawn from. Beerntsen positively identified this photo as being of the man who attacked her. Finally, authorities arranged a lineup, and Beerntsen again selected Avery as her assailant.

Doubts began to rise as to whether Steven Avery was actually the man who attacked Mrs. Beerntsen. During this same period of time, a man named Gregory Allen was operating in the area, raping women. Allen looked similar in appearance to Steven Avery, and his MO fit that of Beerntsen’s attack. More than one member of the Sheriff’s department attempted to raise their concerns of Avery’s actual guilt, and Gregory Allen was named more than once. These leads, however, went ignored, and Steven was arrested and charged with rape, possession of a firearm by a felon and attempted murder.

At the time of his arrest, Steven Avery was married and had five children. During his trial, 14 (some sources claim as many as 16) witnesses provided alibi statements claiming he was nowhere near the area where Mrs. Beerntsen was attacked. Nonetheless, he was convicted, and sentenced to 36 years for rape and attempted murder.

18 years later, based on DNA testing, Avery was exonerated and released from prison. Authorities got a cold hit on the DNA, and it was matched to Gregory Allen, who had gone on to commit at least two additional rapes after Steven Avery had been convicted. Additionally, in the years since his conviction, Avery had lost his wife and his children.

After his release, Steven filed a civil suit against Manitowoc County for $36 million. He counted the governor and state legislators among his allies, and for a time become the face of persons wrongfully convicted in the state of Wisconsin.

When Teresa Halbach went missing on 10/31/2005, she was last seen on Steven Avery’s properties, photographing a minivan his sister was planning to sell. Several days after she vanished, her vehicle was found on Avery’s property, his blood inside the car. After at least five searches of his home, investigators found Teresa’s car key, in plain site on the floor in Steven’s bedroom. In Avery’s backyard, in his burn pit, bone fragments of Teresa Halbach’s were found, with additional fragments discovered in a barrel on the property.

Steven was arrested for the murder of Teresa Halbach. As he had in the Beerntsen case, Avery maintained his innocence. He claimed the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department was framing him in an effort to keep from having to pay out a multi-million dollar settlement in his wrongful conviction case.

Issues of note:

  1. Teresa’s car was found on Avery’s property, but since the property was a salvage yard, why wouldn’t Steve have utilized his crusher to demolish it, leaving no trace behind?
  2. Steven’s blood was found in Teresa’s car, but his fingerprints were not. How did his blood get smeared in multiple places throughout the vehicle without him touching anything?
  3. Teresa’s remains were found in a burn pit in Steven’s back yard, but why wouldn’t Steven have utilized his incinerator to dispose of her?
  4. Teresa’s car key was found in plain sight on the Steven’s bedroom floor, so why did it take investigators at least five searches of his bedroom to find it?

There are allegations that Manitowoc County Sheriff’s deputies (specifically Lt. James Lenk and Sgt. Andrew Colborn) planted the car at the salvage yard, planted Avery’s blood inside of it, and planted the car key in Avery’s bedroom.

Lt. Lenk did have access to Avery’s blood from the Penny Beerntsen case. When Avery’s defense attorneys requested access to that evidence, they found the box it was housed in had been opened, and the vial of blood inside the box had a small pin-prick, making it possible someone had withdrawn some blood with a syringe.

The prosecutor asked the FBI to perform a test – using a method that had been discounted and out of use for a decade – on the vial of blood in an effort to determine whether or not the blood came from a tube or a bleeding person. The FBI determined the blood did not come from a tube. The test took a few weeks to conduct, which was odd, given Avery’s original DNA testing from the Beerntsen case had taken more than a year.

During the murder investigation, Steven had a girlfriend named Jodi Stachowski, who was serving a seven month sentence in Manitowoc County Jail for a DUI. Investigators attempted to obtain her cooperation in the case against Avery, but were ultimately unsuccessful. She maintained that on the day of Teresa’s murder, she spoke with Steven twice: once at 5:36 PM and again at 8:57 PM. Phone records and jailhouse recordings back this claim up. In both calls, though investigators claim Steven should have been mid-murder, he sounds completely relaxed and normal.

Unable to secure Jodi’s cooperation, investigators moved on to Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey.

Steven Avery was convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. He maintains his innocence.

Years after the trial, DA Ken Kratz had his law license suspended after pleading No Contest to misconduct, stemming from allegations of sexting a victim of domestic violence. After the first victim came forward, several more followed.

Brendan Dassey

Other than Teresa Halbach herself, Brendan Dassey is the most tragic figure in this case. 16 years old when Halbach disappeared, Brendan was ultimately convicted of her murder. He is currently serving a life sentence, and will not be eligible for parole until 2048.

Dassey’s own words helped to convict him, as he confessed to helping Steven Avery murder rape and murder Teresa Halbach more than once. Many scholars believe Dassey’s confessions were coerced, as he recanted each time.

Brendan had a lower-than-average IQ of 73. Though 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, he was in some special needs classes, and was reported to have a 4th grade reading level. Brendan was a quiet boy, shy, and had never been in any trouble at school, at home, or with the law.

When first interviewed by investigators, Dassey claimed to have seen nothing out of the ordinary on the day Teresa Halbach vanished. He was at his home, right next door to Steven Avery’s trailor, playing video games with a friend. He spoke to his mom by phone at 5 PM that day. His friend left to go Trick-or-Treating, and Brendan fielded a call from this friend’s boss at around 7 PM.

Investigators continued to pursue Brendan is a witness in the case against Steven Avery. After Steven’s girlfriend, Jodi Stachowski refused to cooperate with investigators, law enforcement waited three days before focusing on Brendan instead. Brendan did ultimately confess to raping Teresa and slitting her throat. Many of the details included in his confession were originally introduced by investigators, who may have manipulated Dassey into believing he would be able to go home as soon as he told them what they wanted to hear.

Each time Brendan confessed, he’d recant, claiming he didn’t know why he’d said the things he’d said, only to confess again (with conflicting details) each time he was interviewed by the authorities.

It is from these confessions that the idea emerged that Avery shackled Teresa Halbach to his bed, raped her, had Dassey rape her and slit her throat, and then shot her in the head.

Notably absent at the crime scene was blood.

The prosecution ultimately changed their theory of the crime from murder in Steven’s bedroom to murder in Steven’s garage, where a single shell casing was located under a compressor. Again, however, no blood was ever found.

Dassey’s original court-appointed attorney, Len Kachinsky, was removed from Brendan’s case after it was learned he allowed his client to be interrogated by investigators without counsel present. It later emerged that Kachinsky and his investigator O’Kelley were working with the prosecution in an effort to get Brendan to plead guilty to rape and murder. The guilty plea could then be used to bolster the state’s case against Steven Avery. This, in spite of the fact that Brendan claimed he was innocent.

Also hurting Brendan Dassey’s case was the statement of his cousin, 15 year old Kayla Avery, who had initially told investigators that Brendan had confessed to helping Steven Avery hide Halbach’s body. When she testified at trial, however, Kayla alternately stated she didn’t remember or flat-out made up those allegations, and that they were not true.

Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department

Responsible for the investigation of Steven Avery in the Penny Beerntsen case, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s office has been accused of railroading Steven Avery, helping him be convicted of a crime he was ultimately exonerated of committing.

Following the disappearance of Teresa Halbach, an unbiased team of investigators from neighboring Calumet County were assigned to take over the case, in an effort to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest. At the time, Steven Avery had a civil suit pending against Manitowoc County, stemming from his wrongful conviction.

It was later determined, however, that Manitowoc County officials – namely Lt. James Lenk and Andrew Colborn – were very closely involved in the investigation from day one. It was Lenk who “discovered” Avery’s blood in Teresa’s car, and Lenk who “found” Teresa’s car key on the floor, in plain sight, in Avery’s bedroom (on their fifth search of the home).

Andrew Colborn called dispatch asking for a license plate number to run. The plate came back to Teresa Halbach, but Colborn’s request came a full three days before her car was found by a volunteer searcher in Avery’s salvage yard. Additionally, in 1995, while Steven Avery was incarcerated for the rape and assault of Penny Beerntsen, Colborn received a phone call from an investigator in Brown County who stated a man in his custody confessed to an “assault in Manitowoc County”, and that a man was currently in jail for that crime. Gregory Allen, whose DNA was ultimately found to be a match in the Penny Beerntsen case, was in Brown County’s custody at that time. Colborn sat on this information for eight years, never filing a report on it until 2003, several days after Steven Avery walked out of jail, having been wrongfully convicted.

It has been speculated that in an effort to keep from having to pay Steven Avery millions of dollars the county did not have to spare in a civil suit, they framed him for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Theories and Questions

  1. Steven Avery could be guilty. Teresa Halbach was legitimately last known to be at his place of residence prior to her disappearance. Her car was found in his salvage yard, her car key was found on the floor in his bedroom, his blood was found in her car, and her remains were found in the burn pit in his back yard.
  2. Teresa’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas was never investigated as a potential suspect in Teresa’s death. He admits to hacking into her cell phone records on the computer in her home after her disappearance in an effort to review her call logs. He claims this was to determine what her last cell phone activity could reveal, as he was spearheading the search for her. If he could hack into her phone records online by guessing her password, couldn’t he have done the same where her voicemail is concerned?
  3. Scott Bloedorn, Teresa’s roommate. Scott was a friend of both Teresa’s and Ryan’s. According to Ryan, Teresa and Scott were platonic friends and roommates. Scott did not immediately report Teresa missing after she vanished on October 31, 2005, and she was not reported missing until November 3, 2005. Why did Scott wait so long to report Teresa missing?
  4. Other Avery relatives – there are two relatives of Steven Avery’s (Bobby Dassey and Scott Tadych) who live on the property Teresa likely disappeared from, who have no alibi for the time she vanished, except for each other. They claim they passed each other on the highway the afternoon of 10/31/05, as each of them were on their way to bow-hunt. One of these men claims to have seen Teresa walking towards Steven Avery’s trailer the afternoon she went missing, just as he was preparing to leave for his hunting trip.
Posted in News

Dallas Crime-Watch Volunteer a Serial Rapist

AP11:15 p.m. EDT September 11, 2013

DALLAS (AP) — The south Dallas crime-watch volunteer accused of four rapes preyed on women as they walked late at night through the neighborhood he appeared to protect, sometimes assaulting them while he held a gun to their heads, according to police affidavits released Wednesday.

More…

 

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Posted in News, True Crime

Mother issues public appeal for return of missing Medfield girl

MEDFIELD–Fighting back tears, the mother of a missing Medfield teenager offered a plea to the unidentified man who left the local library with her daughter Monday afternoon.

Brittany Thompson was last seen leaving the Medfield Public Library at 4:25 p.m. Monday.

“Whoever you are, could you please just bring her home to us today?” said Maureen Thompson, the mother of 17-year-old Brittany Thompson, during a news conference at the town police station. “I want her to sleep in her own bed tonight.”

More…

 

Related Articles:

State Police Search for Missing Medfield Teen Who May Be in Danger

Brittany Thompson Missing: Police search for Mass. teen last seen with man she may have met online

Parents of missing Medfield teen make plea for her return

 

Posted in C-Haze

UPDATE: Body of Jesus Trejo Found

Jesus Trejo Found: Body Of Missing Miami-Dade Teen Discovered In Everglades Canal

By Vanessa MartinPosted: 09/05/2013 5:08 pm EDT  |  Updated: 09/05/2013 5:16 pm EDT

The search for a missing Miami-Dade teen has ended in a remote canal and a homicide investigation.

Miami-Dade Police confirmed Thursday that a body found Wednesday night in an Everglades canal has been identified as 18-year-old Jesus Trejo, who was last seen by family and friends Tuesday morning.

More…

Previous:

Missing Teen’s Death is Homicide Investigation

From KTLA 5:

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The search for a missing South Florida teenager is officially over as Miami-Dade Homicide detectives confirm his body was found in a canal in the Everglades.

Jesus Trejo, 18, disappeared in Southwest Miami-Dade and while police were searching for him on Wednesday afternoon, they found the body of an adult male in a canal….

Whoever did this, we’re going to find you.

More…

Jesus Trejo (Source: Braulio Trejo)

Related Articles:

Body Found in Everglades is Missing 18 Year Old Jesus Trejo: Miami-Dade Police

Police Find Body While Searching for Missing Teen in Everglades

Posted in abduction, Busch Wildlife, Missing, St. Louis, True Crime, Unsolved

Who Killed Angie Housman?

In the St. Louis area, there is a child’s name that      everyone knows. When the name is mentioned, it  send shivers down the listener’s spine:

 Angie Housman

In 1993, Angie Housman was a fourth grader who  lived in St. Ann, a quiet suburb just outside of St.  Louis, MO. She was a trusting little girl, a child who  was unusually friendly.

“…Angie would meet you two or three times and you were her friend… she’d go up to people and say, `Hi. My name is Angie. Are you my friend?’ She was looking for attention.”

It was a cool November afternoon when Angie disappeared. She was at school that day, and the only episode of interest is that she told her teacher she was looking forward to a trip to the country with an “uncle”, scheduled for the following day. Angie was later seen on the school bus that afternoon, and she exited the bus at her normal bus stop. She had to walk past eight houses before making it to her own doorstep.

She never made it home.

It was a simple- yet terrible- coincidence that no one saw her walking from her bus stop that day. Usually, at least two people would have seen her: a woman that normally watches out her front window, and another lady who stands on her front porch as the bus drives by. Neither were present that fateful afternoon, and consequently, no one saw a thing. She had simply vanished, without a trace.

Angie was missing for nine days before her body was found in the Busch Wildlife Conservation area in Saint Charles County, a remote area near St. Louis. She was found by a deer hunter, and had been tied to a tree. She was alive when left there, and had died slowly of exposure. A small pile of ice chips had formed over her body.

It was later revealed that her abductor had kept her alive a full week, torturing and raping her, before taping her to the tree, abandoning her to die.

Law enforcement officials state they do have evidence in the case. They have the killer’s fingerprint from duct tape found at the crime scene, and they likely have his DNA. Still, almost 20 years later, no arrests have been made, no suspects announced. A sketch was issued years ago, depicting a bearded man in a long coat, thought to have been seen in the area of Angie’s disappearance two days prior to her abduction, but nothing ever came of that account. In addition, no one has ever identified the mysterious “uncle” Angie told her teacher about, and no member of the family had plans to take the child anywhere at the time of her disappearance.

Marking the longest-standing unsolved case in St. Louis’ Major Crimes history, no stone has been left unturned. Angie’s step-father was carefully investigated, as were countless others. Over the years attempts have been made to link Angie’s death to such characters as Michael Devlin (the kidnapper of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Owenby), John Wayne Parsons (an admitted child molester from Florida who spent time abusing at least one child in Missouri), Gary Stufflebean (a local child molester, charged with attempted kidnapping in another St. Louis-area case) and many, many others.

Law enforcement has looked into whether other cases could be related to Angie’s- for a time a link was sought between this case and that of Cassidy Senter, another St. Louis-area child who was abducted and murdered in the same timeframe, from the same area, as Angie’s disappearance. Cassidy’s case, however, has since been solved, and authorities do not believe the two are connected. Since that time, other children have disappeared, girls murdered. Locals will remember the still-unsolved disappearance of Bianca Noel Piper (missing since March 2005), and the unsolved murder of 12 year old Heather Kullorn in 1999. While nothing is certain, authorities do not believe the cases are linked.

Almost 20 years later, the question still remains:

Who killed Angie Housman?

Posted in Missing, True Crime

The Mystery of Brittany Renee Williams

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Born in Richmond, VA in March of 1993, Brittany Renee Williams had a difficult start. Her mother, Rose Marie Thompson, was diagnosed with AIDS while pregnant with Brittany, and passed the virus to her unborn baby girl.

Burdened with an illness that has no cure, both mother and daughter struggled; little Brittany bounced from foster home to foster home as Thomson tried, unsuccessfully, to get her life together.

In 1996, Rose Marie, close to death, gave guardianship of 3 year-old Brittany to Kim Parker. Parker was the founder of Rainbow Kids Inc., a charity that provided long-term care for children with AIDS. The charity is no longer in existence.

By all accounts, Kim Parker cared for little Brittany until sometime in 2000. In August of that year, Brittany was seen by a doctor. That same summer, Kim approached Brittany’s half-sister, an adult, and asked if she could take the child in and care for her. The older sister declined, as she was unable to provide the extensive medical treatment Brittany required. Parker then stated she would give the child to Linda Hodges and Kathie Evans, two Rainbow Kids Inc. volunteers.

No one has seen Brittany Williams since.

Sometime in 2003, authorities realized that Brittany had not been accounted for in over two years, despite the fact that Parker had been cashing the baby girl’s benefit check every month- using the money to renovate her house. Kim Parker told authorities that Brittany was in California with her charity’s ex-volunteers, Hodges and Evans.

She was not able to provide an address for the women.

Parker was soon placed under arrest, jailed for about three weeks for contempt of court, refusing to tell authorities where the child could be found.

All told, Ms. Parker accepted over $16,000 from government and charity organizations after Brittany disappeared, all under the pretense of caring for the sick little girl.

Police eventually located Linda Hodges and Kathy Evans, who were able to confirm what many had already feared: they had never had Brittany in their care, though both Hodges and a neighbor stated they had reported Kim Parker to Social Services on multiple occasions.

At this time, it is unclear why no action was ever taken.

Finally, in 2003, Kim was charged with more than 73 felonies- but was never charged in Brittany’s disappearance. The bulk of the charges were fraud-related, and Parker ultimately pleaded guilty in federal court to counts of mail and wire fraud. She was sentenced to eight years in prison, and received an additional two years for state charges of Medicaid fraud.

Later that year, authorities thoroughly searched Kim’s home, and drained her septic system in hopes of finding any evidence of what may have happened to little Brittany Williams. Nothing was ever found.

A possible link was even explored between the body of a decapitated little girl, found in 2001 in Kansas City, and Brittany Williams. It was later determined, in 2005 that the little girl, dubbed Precious Doe, was actually another missing child named Erica Michelle Maria Green. At three years old when she disappeared, Erica, like Brittany, had never been reported missing.

To-date, Brittany Renee Williams has never been located. No one has been charged in her disappearance, and due to her medical condition, it is not likely that she has survived all these years. Police confirm that after Kim Parker, no one ever used Brittany’s social security number or Medicaid benefits.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Henrico County Police Department.