Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
In the 1990′s, writer and humorist Bill Geerhart began writing letters to celebrities, politicians and criminals under the guide of a young boy. An especially unsettling response to one of his letters came from serial killer Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker.
In 2010, Geerhart’s book Little Billy’s Letters was published by Harper Collins.
See more handwritten correspondence at Letters of Note.
Billy, Greetings. Got yr letter. What school do you go to? Who’s yr friend? You should stay in school. Send pictures. Richard
How do you make a hardened serial killer cry? Gary Ridgeway, aka the Green River Killer, was convicted of the murders of 48 prostitutes on December 18, 2003, though it is believed that he killed more than 90 women. When the families of his many victims had their day in court, Ridgway remained impassive until one father addressed him.
Green River Killer: River of Death
VIDEO: Interview With Green River Killer Gary Ridgway
Illustration and creation by ms. Lisa C. Jackson
In an ongoing feature, Crime Library will shed a light on the women spending the rest of their lives on death row in prisons across America.
In the state of Kentucky, there are 37 inmates on death row. The 36 men wait out their days at Kentucky State Penitentiary. The sole woman, Virginia Caudill, resides at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women.
Virginia Caudill. Prison photo.
After the killing, Virginia and Jonathon fled the county and spent several days in a cabin. They then went to Ocala, Florida, followed by Gulfport, Mississippi. Virginia moved on to New Orleans, leaving her accomplice behind. She’d been free for over six months when she was arrested in November. Jonathon’s arrest came soon after.
At trial, both defendants blamed the other for masterminding the murder and delivering the fatal blow. The finger-pointing had little effect on judge and jury, and Virginia and her accomplice were both convicted of first degree murder, robbery, burglary, arson and evidence tampering and sentenced to death. Following their sentencing, both argued that they were wrongfully convicted due to having ineffective attorneys. Virginia claimed that if an expert witness for the defense were called in to testify on blood spatter evidence found at the scene, the outcome of her case would have been different. A judge, however, disagreed.
Spotlight: The Women on Louisiana’s Death Row
Spotlight: The Women on Alabama’s Death Row
Spotlight: The Women on Florida’s Death Row
A neighbor, who saw the dogs locked on to the boy’s extremities, retrieved his gun from inside his house, returned and shot and killed one of the dogs. A nearby bicycle cop responded when he heard the single shot. The officer killed the other two dogs, though it is unclear how many shots he fired. The boy, who was covered with bites, was rushed to a hospital for emergency surgery. He is stable and recovering, but according to the boy’s uncle, “The injuries are terrible. … This boy is traumatized. … He told me doesn’t want to go outside anymore. He’s too scared.” The child was also shot in the foot, though apparently the police report does not mention this.
Two of the dogs were killed on the spot, but the third, fatally wounded, managed to limp back to it’s owner’s house leaving a trail of blood. The dogs’ owner lives on the same block as the shooter and the victim and has been cited for failing to leash his dogs, a $25 fine for each dog, and for menacing people, a $100 fine.
Authorities have said that, even though the shooter was reportedly very close to his property line when he fired, they are considering charging the shooter for illegally discharging his firearm on a D.C. street, a serious charge that would carry a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison. It is not known if the gun was legally registered or not.
Illustration and creation by ms. Lisa C. Jackson
Quintin O'Dell. Police photo.
According to O’Dell’s confession and courtroom testimony, he had been wading across the Platte River on May 31, 2011, when he saw the 22-year-old Shippert. He approached her and they started talking, but then he attacked her with a hatchet, fatally striking her in the face. Shippert’s murder remained unsolved until O’Dell caught the attention of police later that year. On Christmas night, O’Dell visited Costello at her home. The two were drinking and at one point, O’Dell sliced open her stomach. He later described to police how Costello’s intestines fell out of her body and onto the floor.
As part of his guilty plea, O’Dell avoids the death penalty, something that Shippert’s family is OK with. ”I’m relieved that it’s all over with,” her father, Landis Shippert, told KMBC. “[The prosecutor] had to make a decision about whether to seek the death penalty or not, and we said we just wanted it to be over with, we don’t want to be (dragged) through court.”
Confession Released in Case of Jake Evans, Teen Charged With Killing Mom, Sister