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Showing posts from April, 2017

The Sweat Lodge Murders

This case is quite different than most that I do here. This is a case where I do not believe malice was intended but arrogance and greed is likely what caused the crime that was committed. This was not a perpetrator that was angry at another person and set out for revenge. This was a perpetrator who seemingly got too big for his britches so to say and likely developed a scheme that cost him the least amount to produce with the greatest amount in return financially.
It is unclear just where, how or when exactly James Ray became known as a motivational or self help “guru” but it appears that he began to become famous or infamous in the field around 2000. It seems that much of his “teachings” were spiritual based and it appears that throughout the 2000's there was several incidents in which criticism of his methods were raised. Those incidents ranged from complaints of lack of training to safety issues to lack of trained professionals on sight. But, it appears that they were al…

Larissa Schuster

The murder of one spouse by another is not something unusual. We all know that when a spouse, or an ex-spouse goes missing or is found dead the first people they look at are the current or former spouse. It has become almost so routine that it is not uncommon that when the news media announces there has been a murder and the person was married, social media is full of comments quickly blaming the spouse. It is difficult to do a True Crime Blog and not be bombarded with such cases but it also makes it difficult to keep my, what some would call “morbid enthusiasm” going. Of course you will find spouse on spouse crimes here, in fact the last one I did was a case of a woman convicted of hiring a man to kill her medically ill husband, but I try not to do them extremely often as well as attempt to report on the more “sensational” ones. This one I believe qualifies.
Timothy Schuster met Larissa when they were both working at a nursing home in Missouri. The two would marry in 1982. Laris…

Sandra Jesse

Today is the first day in almost a month that I have sat down to blog. I moved into a new home and just have not sat down to do research. Per my normal routine I researched a few cases before I sat down to compose them. One of the cases I had actually started before my move and I would generally begin with that one. However, sometimes there is just a case that stands out to me and I am compelled to stop my research time and put that case together. This is such a case. The case itself is not overly interesting in the scheme of crimes that I blog about here but I think the motive and the behavior of the main perpetrator is what intrigues me. As the spouse of a disabled person I found her reactions to her husband's medical condition appalling to say the least. At her 2011 trial, her second, it was revealed that when she was informed that her husband, Jack Jesse, who was suffering from colon cancer, would need assistance in emptying and cleaning his colostomy bag she had reacte…

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…