Posts

Lowell Lee Andrews

I found this case particularly interesting for several reasons. It has been a while since I have read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood but although Andrews was not a prominent character in the book, he was mentioned both there and in the movies because he shared death row with the perpetrators in that book. Another reason I find this case interesting is just the time period itself. Many of the cases around this era were open and shut quickly but by the time Lowell Andrews was convicted in 1958 appeals seemed to take a little longer than they had in the past, although still nothing like they do now. This case began on November 28, 1958 with the murders of William and Opal Andrews and their twenty year old daughter Jennie Marie, and it ended on November 30, 1962 in the execution of Lowell Lee Andrews. And to be fair, this mere four years was considered to be a long time to close during this time.
There are a few other reasons that I found this case interesting. One, was the natur…

Miriam Helmick

In August of 2000 twenty-three year old Amy Giles died in Jacksonville Florida. Amy was the daughter of Jacksonville residents Miriam and Jack Giles. A year and a half later Jack would also die in April of 2002. While I could not definitely determine how Amy had died, Jack's cause of death was a gunshot wound to his head while laying in his bed. Laying next to him was his wife, Miriam. She would tell investigators that Jack had never gotten over the death of their daughter and had suffered from depression. The gun used was said to be one that Jack kept in his nightstand drawer. The gun was found in his hand and it appears that little else was looked at, or collected as would be in a normal crime scene. Jack's death would be ruled a suicide.
Miriam apparently stayed in Florida for at least a while because in 2004 she pleaded guilty to charges related to a “counterfeit check scheme.” It does not seem to have been too serious considering she only spent three days in jail.…

David Viens

Sometimes a case is less about the guilt or innocence of a person and more about the legalities of the trial and the evidence submitted. This is what constitutes that someone gets a “fair” trial. For most prosecutors while one goal is to get as much evidence entered into the court that they can, the other goal is to make sure that evidence is entered properly so that if they obtain the conviction they are looking for there is less reason for a court to overturn a verdict. More often than not verdicts are overturned on minor things such as a statement that is made in court that likely should not have been or the appeals court decides a judge allowed something into evidence that they believe was prejudice against the defendant. Sure there are the cases that are overturned from blatant disregard of the rules of the court made by prosecutors, among other things. Now, to be fair, the case against David Viens has not been overturned as of now and in 2014 the appeals court upheld his co…

Robin Lee Row

We all know that not all killers are apprehended right away. Sometimes one has to wait for more forensic advances to get very far despite any suspicions one may have. And then there are the times were a person apparently becomes too confident in the fact that they have gotten away with a murder that they continue to do so to the point it becomes one question too many. Such is the case of Robin Lee Row. Not only did she get “sloppy” and not cover her tracks appropriately in 1992 but it brought even more questions and a bigger investigation into other things that happened in Robin Lee Row's past.
In 1976 Robin was about nineteen years old when her fifteen month old daughter, Christina died while they were living in New Hampshire. At the time of her death it was listed as SIDS. If Christina were to die today it is likely that a more extensive medical examination of her body would occur considering that while it is not impossible, it is more uncommon for a child of this age to die…

The Murder of Heather Strong

Here are a few secrets for the readers that will sometimes tell you my feelings of a case before you ever get past the title. While many of my blog titles are the names of the perpetrator(s), but when there is a lot of confusion or several perpetrators I will often have the victim's name in the title. Also, if you pay attention to the title as well as throughout the blog in how I refer to the crime you can often get a glimpse of how I consider the outcome of the case. For example, this one says “murder” and I will refer to this crime as one, that can often be a clue that I believe the people accused are in fact guilty. On the other hand, if you see the word “death” in the title or I often refer to the crime as such that is an indication that either I suspect it was not a murder at all, or that I believe the accused person is either not guilty or that the trial in some way was not fair or complete. As you can see by this title I do not seem to have those reservations.
The cas…

Raul and Cathy Lynn Sarinana

The cases that are the most difficult for me not just to blog about but to even read are those that involve the murder of a child. While some would argue that all murders are senseless, and to an extent I would agree, it is the murder of the child that is the most difficult to understand. The ones that are even worse in my opinion is when the authorities have been given opportunity after opportunity to save the child and fails.
It appears that most of the time after the death of a child who has had an open file within the Department of Children Services, or more often referred to as CPS, there is always a community uproar and while it appears on the surface that an investigation, at least within the department will be made, it is only on the rare occasion that something is truly done and changed. In the case involving the deaths of fourteen year old Conrad Morales and his eleven year old brother Ricky, they had CPS files in two different states and still they were failed.
Some woul…

Nellie May Madison

I both love and hate doing cases prior to about the 1950's. The part I love is hearing about very old cases, many of which I simply come across in other research. But, the part I hate is the often inaccurate information that is found. Some of the inaccuracies are due to the passage of time, especially those prior to 1900. After that time we entered the era of “yellow journalism.” If you have never heard this term you really should research it a bit. The term itself is defined as journalism based on sensationalism and “crude exaggerations.” In the late 1890's two men, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst each started up rival newspapers in New York. Their goal obviously was to sell newspapers, but then it became to sell more than the other and they basically said and did whatever it took to sell them. Truth and research had no room in these newspapers. “Reporters” often followed police officers around to crime scenes and would even take things from the scenes and…