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Showing posts from March, 2016

Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome

This is one of those times that I sat down to research a case and it became something entirely different than I expected and in turn this will be different than I think any blog that I have done before.  You will hear about a few cases throughout but the majority of the discussion will be about this "syndrome." So often in the stories that I tell you, the reader, are left to decide if the person whom has been deemed responsible for a crime is the actual perpetrator.  From time to time I have done cases in which you have had to decide if a crime was even committed.  Undoubtedly the first question you will have to ask yourself is if Munchausen By Proxy is a real syndrome.  The answer to this question may be one thing at the beginning and by the end you may be thinking another way or at least asking more questions, at least that is what I hope because that is what I have come to do myself.  The more I learned about many of the situations in which Munchausen's has been alleg…

Susan Smith and the Drowning of her Children

To date I have published 186 blogs and while I have referenced Susan Smith several times I have never been able to bring myself to do this case.  I believe that is for a variety of reasons.  For one, cases that involve children are often difficult for me to sit and research and compile together but that has not stopped me as I have told several stories involving children here, and nearly all of them are heartbreaking stories in their own way.  I could say that I have not done this one because the story just angers me so much, but I have to say that the one case that spurred my anger the most was the Casey Anthony case and yet I have told that story here.  No, I believe the reason that I have never been able to tell this case is because of the impact it made on me when it occurred in 1994.  At the time I was 22 years old, just one year younger than Susan Smith. I was married with two young boys.  While Susan's sons were three years old and 14 months at the time of their deaths, min…

The Yogurt Shop Murders

In a way I am much like a police detective in the fact that I like cases that are closed.  I like to know that the police and prosecutors got it right and they were successful in putting a criminal behind bars.  That is not to say that mysteries do not intrigue me and if you are a regular reader here you know that I often blog about cases in which there are many questions as to if the correct person has been convicted of a crime.  I have also often blogged about many cases in which a person has been exonerated of a crime in which they were convicted. In the same respect, for me I am unsure sometimes which is the bigger crime, the initial crime someone is charged with or the crime committed in which evidence is often skewed or outright fabricated in order to secure a conviction.  I am an ardent supporter of civil rights and the law.  They are in place for reasons.  If someone is going to be involved in situations in which a person's freedom is at stake I want to know that everythin…

The Clutter Family Murders

My true crime "obsession" is not limited to watching documentaries on television.  I read as many books as I can on the subject also.  You cannot truly call yourself a true crime fanatic and not know that the book "In Cold Blood" is often considered to be the first true crime book written.  In fact when Truman Capote published it (first through articles in the New Yorker magazine) he touted it as being a new genre in books. There are just several problems with this.  Despite Capote using the actual names of the perpetrators and the victims, as well as places and telling some of the story, he did not stay with the facts and even invented some characters. To be fair it is labeled as a "nonfiction novel" which in my experience the word novel itself does indicate fiction.  However, it is a good starting point.  In the same respect I liken it to what Hollywood has done to movies over the years based on true stories and it is a huge pet peeve of mine.  Few peop…

Frances Newton

Quite often when I sit down to start compiling a case I have just researched I get to a point and think "Oh yeah, I wanted to search that issue" or will do another quick search of something else to clarify something.  But is only the rarest of cases where I get a significant amount done here that I end up starting over because something I have just found becomes such an issue that I need to rethink how I communicate it here.  This was just such a case.
On the surface this case seems easy.  Frances Newton was convicted in 1988 for the April 1987 murder of her nearly 2 year old daughter, Farrah.  Although she was not apparently charged she was also accused of murdering her 23 year old husband, Adrian and their 7 year old son, Alton at the same time.  Prosecutors had the murder weapon that Frances admitted to hiding; they claimed the motive was to collect on insurance policies Frances had gotten just three weeks before; there was GSR (gun shot residue) on her clothing.  Open and…