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Showing posts from August, 2017

E. Glen Wolsieffer

On the surface this case is one of your standard, spouse kills spouse, lies about it and gets caught cases. When you look deeper into the case you see that there were a few things different about this case than some of the other ones.
On the morning of August 30, 1986, around 7:20, a call came into 911 dispatchers in Wilkes-Barr Pennsylvania. Some reports say the call was made by Glen Wolsieffer, a prominent dentist in the area while other reports say it was made by Glen's brother, Neil. Regardless of who made the call first responders went to the home and found Elizabeth “Betty” Wolsieffer dead. A later autopsy would determine that she had been strangled to death. Also in the home was Betty's husband, Glen, and their six year old daughter, Danielle. Danielle was left unhurt but Glen would claim that intruder(s) entered the home that morning and “overpowered” him, knocking him unconscious before apparently killing Betty and fleeing. Police were not exactly buying Glen…

The Murder of Sandra Howard

I love hearing about cases that have been solved after many years, or decades. However, the problem with these cases is that the older they are, the more difficult it is to get all of the information and make sure that information is correct. Such is the case in the death of Sandra Howard in 1975. So, the question lies for me whether to tell the story at all without all of the facts. This is a case though that I have seen on crime shows over the years and while many murders are heartbreaking and senseless, this one seems more so for many reasons. It is one of those cases in which a simple sentence reminds you exactly what case it was. In this case it is the story that Sandra Howard was a newlywed and every month on their anniversary she and her new husband, David, shared a piece of wedding cake. They made it nearly five months but on this particular anniversary, David was going to be out of town. He took some cake with him and while they would not be together when they ate it, …

The Death of Conrad Roy

For the most part I tend to stay away from cases that have not reached their conclusion. I do this for many reasons. First, I like to have all the facts and secondly, to be honest it prevents a lot of updating of cases. A good example of this is a case going on in my local area. I would love to blog about it here as it is a case I have followed since the beginning but the suspect is in jail awaiting trial and there seems to be a lot of misinformation out about the case and much doubt on the suspects guilt. The case involving the death of Conrad Roy is one of those cases that has not come to a complete end. However, there has been a conviction in the case despite the judge allowing the defendant to remain out on bail pending appeal. While that in and of itself is unusual it does not even touch just how unusual the case is. This will go down in history as a landmark case.
Conrad Roy was eighteen years old when he committed suicide in his truck in a K-Mart parking lot in Mattap…

Ronald Phillips

There has been an upswing of executions in 2017 after a lull of them in many states. In some, if not most cases, it had to do with first a medication used in executions being difficult to obtain and after a few what some called “botched” executions. A lot of this causes many states to halt executions. Arkansas was one of those states. After obtaining another medication to replace the one that could not longer be shipped to the United States for use in executions, they executed four men in the last week of April. Even Florida had an execution just this past week, their first in over eighteen months, after being one of the most active states when it comes to executions. Ronald Phillips became the first in Ohio on July 26th in over three years. By all accounts it seems that all seventeen executions that have taken place in 2017 have been conducted without issue and it seems that many of these states intend to move forward in executions. Regardless of your position on the death pe…

The Death of Bella Bond

I have compiled nearly 450 blogs on this site at this point. Without a doubt the most difficult have involved the deaths of children, which I have done many. It is even more difficult, emotionally, in cases such as this one. Any death of a child, criminal or not, is sad. We will never see what that child could have done in life; we will never see if those who had horrible childhoods could overcome things. I have a relative who lived the life of having an addict for a parent and while none of us are perfect in any way, the one thing that I admire most about her is the fact that she overcame her childhood; she learned lessons and broke the cycle. She has gone on to have a productive life and has been the parent to her children she did not have. That being said, not every child has that opportunity and in the worse cases one has to wonder which situation is worse, death or the continued abuse that they suffered when it seemed clear no one was saving this child.
On June 25, 2015 a w…

Sandi Dawn Nieves

I recently did a combined blog about mothers, Dora Buentrostro and Socorro Caro. They were both mothers in California that were convicted of murdering their children (three each) who would face trials while they continued to maintain that the father's of the children were the actual murderers and they were innocent. Both women were convicted and sentenced to death and remain on death row. The case of Sandi Dawn Nieves came in between those cases. While Dora Buentrostro committed her crime in October of 1994 she was convicted and the jury recommended the death sentence in July of 1998, one month after Sandi Nieves murdered her children. By the time Socorro Caro committed her crime in November of 1999 Buentrostro was sitting on death row and Sandi Nieves was awaiting trial, but she too was facing the death penalty.
According to prosecutors and even Sandi Nieves' surviving son, who was fourteen at the time, on the night of June 30, 1998 Sandi Nieves told her five children to …

Karla Faye Tucker

I belong to a few Facebook groups that deal with true crime and the other day Karla's name was mentioned asking members their thoughts on her case. I have always know a little about her but not the deep specifics and it just so happened that the next name on my list was Karla. In general after I search a case I will compose it but on occasion I will do a few others before I sit down to put them together. Many of the names on my list are in “groups.” What I mean by that is when I put them on a list I have often gotten the names from the same area. This particular group apparently came from a list of women executed in the United States. Although I researched Karla's case before Velma Barfield I decided to publish Velma's case first because she was the first woman executed after the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.... Karla was the second.
While so it is common for death row inmates to have a group of supporters, many simply because they are anti-death penal…

Margie "Velma" Barfield

Velma Barfield became famous not just because she was executed for her crime, but because she was the first woman executed by the United States after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. In fact, at the time of her at least initial conviction, North Carolina did not even have a place for women on death row. In the end Velma was convicted and ultimately executed for the murder of one man but it is said she admitted to at least three more. Some say she admitted to five more but I found no evidence of this. Authorities do suspect or claim that she is likely responsible for the death of at least one of her husbands, despite Velma's denial.
In 1949 Velma married her first husband, Thomas Burke. After having two children she had to have a hysterectomy. It has been reported that it was around this time that she developed chronic back pain that led to a drug addiction that in turn changed her personality. On April 4, 1969 Thomas Burke died and while the circumst…

Dora Buentrostro and Socorro Caro

As I sat down today I planned to compile the Buentrostro case but instead thought that I would research the next one on my list. In the end I am doing something I do not believe I have done before. I am composing two different stories together not just because the similarities are so extensive but also because I think there is almost a bigger story behind the crimes, one that is often ignored, domestic violence from women.
We all know about domestic violence. It has been around for centuries. It was first often encouraged, then expected, sometimes even legal, and later often ignored. But most of us were raised in an era where it was believed that domestic violence only occurred from a man to a woman. It seems authorities did not start taking domestic violence serious until more like the 1980's. What began as a movement per se to curb domestic violence in turn became an new kind of ignorance. Shelters and help lines were created.... for women. Police officers were encoura…