Warsaw, Ind. – An appeals court threw out Paul Gingerich’s 2010 guilty plea on Tuesday, overturning the 14-year-old’s 25-year prison sentence and granting him a new trial.
It’s been two years since I first reported on Paul Gingerich. When he was only 12-years-old, he helped 15-year-old Cody Lundy murder Lundy’s stepfather before trying to run away to Arizona. They would both be charged as adults and Gingerich would be sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
He would also become one of the youngest people in Indiana to be sentenced to prison as an adult.
But that may all change after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Gingerich’s 2010 conviction and ordered he get a new trial. They agreed with Monica Foster, the public defender who handled the appeal, that the court in Kosciusko County did not give the boy’s attorneys enough time to make the case that he should have been tried as a juvenile.
“The Constitution won today,” Foster said. “This is a 12-year-old kid who did not get the due-process protection of the U.S.…Continue Reading
Anchorage, Alaska – Israel Keyes, the man who confessed to abducting and murdering 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, was found dead in his cell Sunday morning from an apparent suicide.
Karen Loeffler, the U.S. Attorney for Alaska, held a news conference Sunday afternoon informing the press that Keyes had been found dead in his cell at the Anchorage Jail that morning. They dd not reveal how he killed himself, only that foul play was not suspected and that he was alone in his cell at the time of his death.
Koenig disappeared while working as a barista at a coffee stand in Anchorage. Even with surveillance video capturing Koenig being abducted by an armed man wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and baseball cap, it took months before police in Texas would announce they had arrested 34-year-old Israel “Izzy” Keyes after he used Koenig’s stolen debit card.
Shortly after the self-employed contractor’s arrest, he would confess to murdering Koening and told investigators where her body could be found. Dive teams would find Koenig’s body trapped under the ice of Matanuska Lake.…Continue Reading
BALDWIN COUNTY, AL – Three teenagers in Alabama have been formally indicted on murder charges after one of their accomplices was accidentally shot and killed.
Three men, William “Nick” Hearn, Lonnie Davison, and Larry Dean Duncan, Jr., were camping with their families on Gravine Island when they heard someone breaking into nearby fishing cabins in the early morning hours on April 15. The men climbed into a boat and went to investigate, encountering Scott Byrd and Dylan Tyree, both 18, burglarizing a home owned by a man the men knew. The two teens were part of a foursome out burglarizing summer cabins.
When the two teens took off running, Hearn fired a warning shot into the ground away from the teens, as did Duncan. One of these shots accidentally struck 17-year-old Summer Moody in the head as she hid behind a bush with 18-year-old Daniel Parnell. Once the men realized Summer had been shot, the men called 911, administered aid, and rushed her to a nearby landing. Summer would live for 10 days before dying from her injuries.…Continue Reading
SANFORD, MI – A man committed suicide Wednesday when police arrived at his home looking for Leigh Swanson, the 45-year-old missing for over a week, and a female body was found nearby.
Swanson has not been seen since meeting a man online and going out on a date with him on Nov 16. Initially nervous about the date, Swanson went anyway and called her mother later to tell her everything was fine. Two days later, Swanson called her mother to say she would be home in a few hours. That’s the last time anyone has had contact with her.
Police ended up tracing the phone call she made to a home in Edenville Township. When they arrived at the home and approached the front door, they heard a gunshot and took cover. Shortly after, a man came out of the home while on the phone with 911. He told police his son had just shot himself. Police would find the body of a 28-year-old man inside the home. His identity has not been released.…Continue Reading
Houston TX – A judge sentenced Jessica Tata to 80 years in prison after being convicted of felony murder in the death of one of the four children killed in a fire at her home day care.
Not sure how many of you remember this case, but 24-year-old Jessica Tata was charged with murder in February 2011 after she left some toddlers by themselves in her home day care while she made a run to Target.
While out shopping, a pan of cooking oil she had left on the stove caught fire. The blaze quickly spread and soon the house was engulfed in flames. Neighbors would tell jurors that they could hear children screaming inside the home as they attempted to rescue them from the burning home.
Shomari Dickerson, 3; Elias Castillo, 16-months; Kendyll Stradford, 20-months; and 19-month-old Elizabeth Kajoh would all die in the fire. Afterwards, Tata fled to Nigeria but was later apprehended and brought back to the United States a month later.
She went on trial for the murder of Elias Castillo and last week a juror found her guilty.…Continue Reading
Tyasia Jackson was at home babysitting her four younger siblings while her parents were at work. At some point during the day, a neighbor witnessed Tyasia letting a boy in the house.
“My wife’s coworker lives across the street. She was watching them. She seen my older daughter let a boy in the house. She called my wife at work. My wife told her to go get the boy out of the house,” said Shelton Latroy Ray, Tyasia’s stepfather.
After the neighbor got the boy out of the house and left, Tyasia told her siblings to go upstairs — except for her stepsister, 2-year-old Sasha Lamaya Ray. Tyasia allegedly walked the girl towards the back door then used a knife to stab her seven times in the chest area before tossing her body over a balcony.
When Tyasia’s parents returned home, she participated in looking for her stepsister when it was realized she was missing.…Continue Reading
Oceanside, CA – A 68-year-old cross-dresser is behind bars after police accused him of killing and dismembering his 74-year-old wife inside the couple’s home.
Neighbors say that a foul odor emanating from the home of Frederick Hengl and his wife, Anna Maria Hengl, became so bad that they called police to report it. Police would not find Frederick at home, but they would find Anna’s dismembered body. Frederick was found by police on Friday outside a bar in downtown Oceanside. He was questioned by police and then booked into jail on a first-degree murder charge.
The couple are a strange fixture in their neighborhood, with many who live there reporting odd behavior from the couple. Frederick could regularly be seen walking around the neighborhood dressed in women’s clothing.
“The husband is actually known for dressing up like a woman and walking around the neighborhood. It’s just a permanent fixture, I guess. It doesn’t freak us out anymore,” said resident Jason Chandler. Another neighbor said he had saw the man around the neighborhood wearing a floor-length purple dress and a long pearl necklace with pearl earrings, and carrying a fancy purse.…Continue Reading
Miami, FL – Miami-Dade police say a woman and her two young daughters were found dead in a closet inside their home.
The body of 29-year-old Gladys Machado and her two daughters, 4-year-old Daniela Padrino and 8-year-old Julia Padrino, were found on Tuesday afternoon after a neighbor smelled something bad coming from Machado’s home and went to investigate.
The neighbor would find the source of the smell inside a bedroom walk-in closet that contained the dead bodies of Machado and her two daughters. Machado also has a 6-year-old son, but he was with his grandmother.
The father of the two girls, Michael Padrino, has a distant relationship with their mother, according to his current girlfriend, and did not live inside the home. Machado did live with her boyfriend who had recently gotten out of jail. No reports on who he is or if police consider him a suspect.
“There’s no question, we have the murder of a woman and two kids, so there is a public safety concern, we know there is somebody out there who did this,” Miami-Dade Police spokesman Det.…Continue Reading
TOLEDO, OH – Police say a woman, her son, and three of her young grandchildren were found dead inside a garage in an apparent murder suicide.
I wanted to post this yesterday, but needed a little more information regarding the motive. The bodies were discovered after 60-year-old Randy Ford returned home from work on Monday and found disturbing notes written by his wife, 56-year-old Sandy Ford, his 32-year-old son, and his three grandchildren.
Randy and Sandy had been caring for three of their grandchildren for the last few years after their mother, Mandy Hayes, asked her mom for help because a fourth child, a 9-year-old boy, was exhibiting “significant behavior problems.” Mandy and her husband felt the kids would be in a safer environment living with their grandparents.
Unable to find his family, a distraught Randy called police after finding the garage had been barricaded shut from the inside and he could not get in. Rescue crew arrived and used a sledgehammer to bash in the garage door. Once inside, they found a truck running with two hoses leading from the exhaust into the back windows of a Honda Civic that contained the dead bodies of Sandy and her 32-year-old son, Andy, along with Sandy’s three grandchildren — 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes, 6-year-old Logan, and 10-year-old Paige.…Continue Reading
Greenville, TX – The body found in a trunk on the side of a Texas highway has been identified as Alicia Moore, the 16-year-old who disappeared after getting off her school bus last week.
Surveillance camera footage captured Moore as she exited her school bus at 3:25 p.m. Friday, one block from her home. Her family contacted police that night, but they said that Moore was considered a runaway and to wait until Monday. An Amber Alert was (rightfully) not issued, as it did not fit the criteria, and a press release would not be issued about Moore until Monday.
With no other recourse, Moore’s family turned to social networks to get the word out and handed out fliers. On Tuesday, a body was discovered 40 miles away inside a furniture trunk alongside a rural stretch of Texas highway. That body would later be identified as Alicia Moore’s. An official cause of death has not been released, but the case is being treated as a homicide.
During a press conference yesterday, Greenville Police Chief Dan Busken said there was trauma to the body. ”We have a lot of work ahead of us with this investigation,” Busken said.…Continue Reading
New York, NY – It’s been almost a year since Jerome Isaac sprayed Delores Gillespie with gasoline and then set her on fire as she stood in an elevator. Yesterday he pleaded guilty to her murder in a deal that will have him serving 50 years in prison.
For those of you who may have missed this heinous story, 47-year-old Jerome Isaac had lived with 71-year-old Delores Gillespie doing odd jobs, and was angry after she kicked him out without paying him the $2,200 he says she owed her for five months of housework. Friends of Gillespie say the woman kicked Isaac out after she found that he had been stealing from her.
In either case, Isaac decided to get his revenge in one of the most worst ways imaginable. Surveillance footage captures Gillespie as she is about to step out of an elevator on the fifth floor of her apartment building after buying groceries. That’s when Isaac barges in while wearing an exterminator’s outfit. He sprays Gillespie in the face and body with gasoline from a canister he is carrying, then lights her on fire.…Continue Reading
ATHENS, GA - A 21-year-old woman in Georgia has been arrested and charged with murder after stabbing her newborn to death hours after giving birth.
Police say that on Thursday, Cassandra Elyse Norwood gave birth inside a home she shared with her parents and other family members. No one in the home was even aware Norwood had the baby until a family member discovered the newborn’s corpse.
Police were called and the resulting investigation would reveal that hours after giving birth to the boy, Norwood stabbed her baby to death. No word on why she chose this particular route instead of the handful of others that did not involve stabbing a baby to death, or if she suffers from any type of mental illness.
Norwood is currently under guard in the hospital where she’s being treated for blood loss from giving birth. Once she’s given a clean bill of health, she is expected to be transported to jail.
If I had any emotions at all, I could probably get a bit depressed dwelling on stories like this. To think that out of all the things he could have experienced after the trauma of being pushed out of his mother’s cooch, he gets to experience being stabbed to death.…Continue Reading
Naperville, Ill – A woman in Illinois has been charged with two counts of murder after she stabbed two children to death because voices told her it was the only way to save their souls.
I’ve collected the following details from a few news articles, but from what I can gather, 40-year-old Elzbieta Plackowska was babysitting 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski at her home, along with her her 8-year-old son, Justin Plackowska. At some point on Tuesday, Plackowska packed up the children and drove to a nearby church before driving to Olivia’s home. During this time, she argued on the phone with her husband because she had recently lost her father and wanted to return to her native Poland, but her husband wanted to stay here.
On top of all that, according to Plackowska, she was hearing demonic voices that were informing her that the children’s souls were in peril and that the only way to save them would be to
volunteer at a nearby homeless shelter stab the children to death. Instead of disobeying the demonic voices, she stabbed Justin and Olivia to death, along with two dogs.…
Westminster, CO – Police in Colorado have made an arrest in the Jessica Ridgeway murder case and are expected to charge 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg with her murder and the attempted abduction of a jogger last year.
Sigg lives about a block from Ketner Lake Open Space and about 1½ miles from where Jessica was last seen walking to school on Oct. 5. He was arrested Tuesday night after police received a tip that led them to his home.
The Associated Press is reporting that Sigg’s mother is the one that called police. “I made the phone call, he turned himself in. That’s all I have to say,” she said.
Sigg is expected to be charged with the attempted abduction last year as well as two counts of murder in the first degree, second-degree kidnapping charge, among others. The Ridgeway family were notified of the arrest.
“We notified the Ridgeway family this morning about the arrest and we hope that it will give them some measure of closure,” Chief Birk said, adding that he hoped it provided some comfort to the community.…Continue Reading
Rancho Cordova, CA – Alina Bukhantsov, a mother of three in her twenties, was discovered dead with two of her children, 3 and 4, in the family’s home by her husband, Denis Bukhantsov. A 6-month-old child who was also in the home at the time of the murders was unharmed.
The scene was described by police as “very violent” and gruesome. Officers leaving the home were visibly shaken and offered counseling by chaplains called to the scene, a rarity in a line of work where bloody crime scenes are not uncommon.
Denis Bukhantsov arrived home at about 3:30 PM yesterday to find his wife and children slain inside a single room. He rushed out of the house, not knowing if the murderers were still inside, and called the police from a neighbor’s phone. When deputies arrived, they found Mr. Bukhantsov “completely distraught.” Paramedics pronounced the three victims dead at the scene. Though there are no details on the manner of the murders as of this writing, police are indicating that the bodies had suffered “extreme trauma.”
Westminster, CO – Police are now saying that there is a definitive link between the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway and the attempted abduction of a jogger last May.
Jessica was last seen Oct 5 after leaving her home to walk to school. Her dismembered body was later discovered in Pattridge Park Open Space near an abandoned mining shack.
Last Memorial Day, a woman was jogging on Ketner Lake Open Space when a man tried to cover her face with a chemical-soaked rag. She was able to escape and described her attacker as an 18 to 30 year-old light-skinned male with brown hair and a medium build, about 5-feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Police say these to incidents are related, but are not revealing exactly how they have linked the two cases. ”We are able to make a definitive link,” said Westminster Police Department spokesman Trevor Materasso. “We recognize the public may have questions about what constitutes that definitive link and we’re asking for their patience. Some of that information, because of the investigation, the additional leads and tips and follow up we have to do, we’re not able to go into detail and give specific reasons for how we have made that connection.”
Fox 31 pretty much said fuck Materasso, and the investigation into who murdered a 10-year-old girl, by posting an article chock full of information gathered from “sources” that not only reveals what this link may be, but also the leads police are currently pursuing.…Continue Reading
Clayton, NJ – At the time I typed this, officials have not officially identified the body that was found in a recycling container, but they preliminarily identified the body as that of Autumn Pasquale, the 12-year-old who was reported missing on Saturday.
Authorities said Pasquale was last seen around 12:30 p.m. Saturday riding her bike. A friend of her said that she exchanged text messages with her that day, the last one received at 1:22 p.m. that she did not believe was intended for her. She said the message read, “don’t be like that.”
Police say the last text she sent was at around 2.30 p.m. and that there was nothing alarming or unusual about it. She was reported missing at 9:30 p.m. after not arriving home by her 8 p.m. curfew. By Monday, about 200 law enforcement officials and hundreds of volunteers were out looking for her. By 10 p.m., she was found.
Investigators have not said exactly where in Clayton her body was located, other than saying that it was a few blocks from her home inside a recycling bin. An autopsy is to be conducted today to positively identify the body is Pasquale’s. Investigators say they have talked to at least 75 people, but that they do not have any suspects or know she left on her own or was the victim of foul play.…Continue Reading
Brooklyn, NY – Vindalee Smith, a 38-year-old mother of four, was found dead in her Brooklyn apartment on Saturday, lying in a pool of blood from slash and stab wounds to her neck. She was to be married to her fiancé, Anthony Jackman, on Sunday at New Dimension Seventh Day Adventist Church in Brownsville. Sources are indicating, however, that Jackman is still legally married to another woman in New Jersey.
The baby Smith was carrying was due in just two weeks, but did not survive the attack. Smith’s other four children are older and did not live with her.
Police questioned Jackman, but they report that he is not currently a suspect. Authorities believe, however, that Smith did know her attacker, as there was no sign of forced entry.
Another lead police are investigating is a luke-warm one. Smith had previously had an argument with a former neighbor who threatened to kill her. That incident occurred months ago, however, and the tension seemed to evaporate once she’d moved away.
In a “WTF” twist on the case, police report that they found a note at the crime scene. It states that one pregnant woman will be killed each week until the “D.C.…Continue Reading
Centennial, CO – Ari Liggett, 24 and mentally ill, was arrested on October 17th after he crashed his vehicle attempting to flee police. The dismembered body of his 56-year-old mother, Beverly Liggett, was found in the back of his car.
Ari Liggett informed police that he’d recently become aware of the fact that his mother had left him out of her will, and was displeased by the news. He is being held without bail at Arapahoe County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Ronald Liggett, Ari’s father and Beverly’s ex-husband, told a reporter that his son has a long history of mental illness. “We’re failing our society in terms of mental health treatment, prevention and resources. This is a mental-health issue. Like you’re seeing every day in the papers, it won’t be positively addressed until the society takes it as seriously as the war on drugs or terrorism.”
Two days before the apprehension of Ari Liggett, police entered Beverly’s home based upon suspicions of her boyfriend and ex-husband that something had happened to her. She was not answering their calls. Officers found her medication in the home, but her car was missing. They also found traces of blood in the freezer and bathtub, cutting tools in the dishwasher, and potassium cyanide, the same substance ingested by Michael Marin in his courtroom suicide back in July of this year. The case immediately became a homicide investigation at that point.…Continue Reading
Buffalo, NY - A man has been found guilty of beating his 10-year-old stepson to death with a rolling pin after arguing with the boy about homework.
Prosecutors say that on April 17, 10-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud climbed out a window of his home and ran down the street. A neighbor driving by saw the boy running with his stepfather, 41-year-old Mohamed Mohamud, chasing after him. She pulled over and gave Mohamud a ride so he could catch up to his stepson.
After catching up to the boy, Abdi told the woman he did not want to go back home with his stepfather, but Mohamud pulled Abdi into the vehicle and the neighbor took them back home. The neighbor said she stood at the entrance and asked Abdi if he wanted to come study at her house, but Mohamud told her he wasn’t going to do anything to the boy and she could leave.
According to Mohamud, Abdi would not stop trying to flee the house after the neighbor left, so he used electrical cord to tie him to a chair in the basement.…Continue Reading