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Showing posts from 2017

William Marshall

In the last two cases that I have discussed here I have mentioned that an appeal record was not found and how much I like the information that they provide. This case did in fact have an appeals record that I could read and go through but I must say I still seem rather confused in the case when it pertains to the evidence in which was available and used to convict William Marshall. The biggest obstacle that prosecutors obviously faced in this crime was time. The murder of twenty-one year old Robin Hoynes occurred on October 30, 1984 and a conviction was not obtained in that case until October 5, 2007, nearly twenty-three years later.
On the morning of October 31, 1984 an employee of the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Torrance California went to work and prepare for the opening. Robin Hoynes had been the closing manager the night before. The woman entered the building and would find Robin's body laying on the floor in the office. It was clear that she was dead considering all of …

Robert Walters

Brittney Brashers was a twenty-two year old woman who had joined the Air Force and did a tour of duty in Iraq. While she was there she met Robert Walters. He too was in the Air Force serving his country. Just before he had deployed Robert had married his long time girlfriend, Elena. While the two were stationed in Iraq their relationship had progressed and either they did not try to hide it, or they did and simply got caught. The Air Force did not take kindly to a married man carrying on with someone while in the military and forbid the two from interacting with each other. They did not seem to listen and carried on with their affair. It continued when both returned to the United States. Brittney was stationed in Colorado Springs were she would work at a dental clinic on the base there and initially Robert was stationed in North Dakota but it was said that within weeks he was discharged from service. It appears neither the Air Force, nor Robert or his family have ever said th…

Dale Bruner

On a cold Tuesday morning, just before Thanksgiving Dale Bruner would call the Silverthorne Colorado police to report his wife, Stephanie, missing. He would claim that on the night before the two had had an argument and that she had left with her laptop into the night about 10:30. It should be noted that there was a blizzard going on at the time. By morning when she did not return he called the police.
Three days after being reported murdered she would be found floating in The Blue River near her home. An autopsy would reveal that she had suffered from blunt force trauma and strangulation. These injuries were listed in her cause of death along with hypothermia and drowning that indicated that she was still breathing when she was put in the water.
Almost immediately, as if often the case, the authorities were suspicious of Dale Bruner's story. First, it seemed odd that not only would she go out “for a walk” in the middle of a blizzard, but if she was walking why would she ne…

The Murder of Brian Stidham

On October 5, 2004 in the parking lot of a medical complex in Catalina Foothills Arizona the body of pediatric ophthalmologist, Brian Stidham was found. An autopsy would reveal that he had been stabbed approximately fifteen times and suffered a skull fracture. His car would be found about six miles away from the crime scene. Very quickly a fellow ophthalmologist, Bradley Schwartz was under suspicion.
Brian Stidham and his wife, Daphne moved to the Tucson area sometime in 2001. It was then that he started working with Bradley Schwartz in his practice. However, it appears he was not officially brought on board until about November. The following month the DEA raided the practice and several months later Bradley Schwartz was indicted on seventy-seven counts of illegally obtaining prescription medications by a federal grand jury. It appears that Schwartz could not really be surprised at the raid though since he was romantically involved with Lourdes Lopez, a lawyer who worked with t…

Ivy Jean Davis

I know many of us have a joke about how as we age we get meaner. That is especially true of me. I have always been what people call “mouthy,” although the politically correct people call me “blunt.” Apparently it seems that Ivy Jean Davis was the same, although most believe it was brought on by her alcoholism. She had garnered the nickname “Mean Jean” before she ever set foot in prison. She was not exactly unknown to police by then though as she had been arrested upwards of twenty times for offenses. Most of those were alcohol related.
Ivy Jean had met Wallace Davis in 1959. Little is really known about the marriage itself but it does apparently seem obviously it had it's troubles. In early 2007, after forty-seven years of marriage Wallace filed for divorce. A few months later Ivy Jean would be arrested for attempting to hire a hit man to kill Wallace, her son in law and another man who was sometimes described as “her boyfriend's son.” Some reports say that there was…

William Hurst

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I like to see appeal records to get information because I feel they are the best source of getting all the information that was presented at a trial to prove someone's guilt. I want to know what evidence was presented at the trial and see how a jury came to the conclusion that they did. I have not seen an appeal on this case as of yet and so I am still left with those questions. This does not mean that I do not believe in the jury's verdict or even that I think the defendant is innocent in any way, in fact it appears that the defense conceded that the defendant was involved in the death of his wife although there was still a trial.
Sometime in early 1982 twenty-nine year old Amy Hurst moved from Michigan to New Port Richey Florida with her husband William. My research indicates that her two children from a previous marriage were living with her until the move when they went to live with their father. When her mother's…

Julia Phillips

Of course it is not unusual for a spouse or a significant other to murder or attempt to murder the other. Everyone knows that they are the first people that are looked at. This is still true no matter the age of the victim or suspect. But, this case was a bit different in many ways. The victim, Melvin Roberts, was seventy-nine years old, his girlfriend could have been about sixty-six at the time of his murder. I say could be because one of the articles I read indicated that no one knew for sure just how old she was but I calculated it by the age they stated at her death. The biggest thing that stands out in this case is that Julia Phillips would ultimately be convicted of accessory to commit murder but not only would she not be accused of committing the murder, authorities have never discovered who did.
As is often the case, defense attorney's have argued that the authorities used tunnel vision in their quest to solve the case of the murdered York South Carolina lawyer and for…

Robert and Michael Bever

It is not often that I do a case here that has not fully gone through the court system unless it is a long unsolved case. However, I feel as if there really is not much more to know about this case despite the fact that Michael Bever, at last check is set to go to trial in June of 2017. His brother, Robert, has already pleaded guilty to the crime that the brothers committed together. Robert did so in order to prevent facing the death penalty but since Michael, who is being tried as an adult, was a juvenile when the crime was committed he is not facing death. Michael's lawyer has fought against the law that allows him to be charged as an adult saying that a sentence of life without parole should be unconstitutional. So far his efforts have been unsuccessful so barring some sort of compromise it looks as if his trial will commence as scheduled.
At about 11:30 pm on the night of July 22, 2015 911 in Broken Arrow Oklahoma received a call from a child who stated his brothers were a…

David Dickson

On November 30, 1984 Drexel University student, Deborah Wilson was found murdered in the stairway at the Philadelphia University. There were no signs of rape or even robbery as she was fully dressed, minus her shoes and socks, and her purse was not taken. An investigation was launched and the security guards at the school were questioned. The crime would go unsolved until September of 1993 despite the fact that the answer seemed to be in front of the investigators faces all along.
In 1992 police would reopen the murder case and one of the first things they found was a discrepancy in an interview given by security guard, David Dickson. In the interview Dickson told police that he heard the printer working in the computer lab at about 1:30 am so he did not disturb anyone. He claimed that a few hours later when he did his rounds there was no one there. It is unclear if he told the police if he had any interaction with Deborah. Dickson had worked the hall where Deborah had been from…

Monique Kitts

On July 9, 2010 Monique Kitts made a 911 call. She would tell the operator that it looked as if someone had broken into her home. Monique continued to talk to the 911 operator as she walked around her home, which investigators would say this was unusual for someone to do. It was while she was talking to the 911 operator that she would go into the bedroom of her Addis Louisiana home and find her husband dead on the bed. She would cry and yell during the call, something prosecutors would later say was an act. Corey Kitts had been shot three times while he was apparently sleeping.
Despite any suspicion that the investigators had it would be nearly three years before they made an arrest. In March of 2013 three people were indicted in the murder of Corey Kitts. The prosecutor had been looking at four people but apparently the grand jury felt differently. According to prosecutors Monique Kitts had paid Karl Howard to kill her husband. And, a man named Corey Knox, who was also indi…

Ricardo "Rick" Taber

*** Before I start I want to point out that Taber was spelled also sometimes as Tabor, often even in the same article that I would read. However, I chose to go with Taber because this was the name used that I found on an obituary site as well as on Findagrave.com.***

This is a bit different than most murder/suicide cases you will read about. I believe this is the first one I have read in which the victims were found in different places. Ricardo “Rick” Taber's body was found inside his St. Peter Minnesota trailer on July 25, 2009. Police found him when they went there to question him about the disappearance of his neighbor, Michaela “Micky” Widmer. According to Mickey's finance', Darnell Mears the last he had heard from her she was with Rick the night before. Micky's four year old daughter, Kassandra, was with them also. Kassandra had been found late the night before about 11:30 alone at a boat ramp. Someone had pulled into the area to turn around and spotted the …

Ruben Cantu

If you are a regular reader than you know I do not always agree with a jury verdict. You also know that I have often said I am neither for or against the death penalty but I believe there should be absolutely no question what so ever that the person that is executed is guilty of their crime. The only case that I feel I could categorically state that I felt a person was innocent and yet executed is the case of Todd Willingham in Texas.... this is until now. Maybe it is not a coincidence that this case also took place in Texas or that after years of having what was called an “express lane” to their execution chamber that Texas slowed their process down and started offering more DNA testing to inmates. This is also a case that today would not have seen the perpetrator executed as he was a minor when the crime occurred.
On November 8, 1984 at a house under construction in San Antonio Texas to men were shot. The home had been burglarized previously and a water heater had been taken s…