Why We Don’t Let Our Friends Leave the Bar With A Stranger: The Murder of Jackie Vandagriff

Welcome back to Murder Monday, ya’ll.

As a single woman with an active social life, I myself have definitely had some questionable encounters at bars. You can never be too sure of the stranger sending a drink your way, or the guy who’s paying a little too much attention to you and your friends. Whether he is attractive or not, there are a lot of factors you need to asses when a stranger approaches you. He could be nice, he could be a little creepy, he could be an actual psychopath out on the prowl for his next victim – you NEVER know. I think we all tend to base our initial assessment of strangers on their physical appearance. If the guy is presentable and attractive, well kept, friendly, polite – he probably stands a better chance of swooning you. If a guy’s lack of basic hygiene procedures is clear, he’s dressed like a slob, and he’s awkward – you’re probably going to ignore him. Here is where the lesson your mother always taught you that you never listened to comes into play… “Never judge a book by its cover.” Because guess what, Ted Bundy was a good looking guy, and Patrick Bateman was a boujee fucking stud. Yet, where did their dates all end up?

Now, I want to make it VERY clear that I am in no way, shape, or form, trying to victim blame here. You literally never know when someone is going to flip a switch and change. This is the reason we have ex boyfriends, this is the reason why people end up with restraining orders against people that they once loved. People are not always the sunshine and rainbows pitched to you in the beginning. Things change, and I understand this. All we can do to protect ourselves is to keep our guard up. If you are going to meet a stranger from an online dating app, drop your pin to a friend and send them updates. If you meet a cute guy at a bar and want to head black to his apartment, let a friend know where he lives. If you are out alone enjoying a few drinks, which I, myself, am a personal fan of doing – keep track of how much you are drinking, keep an eye on your drink, and go home ALONE. I carry a police grade retractable steel baton, pepper spray, and a small knife. I have taken self defense courses and always have an eye over my shoulder when I’m walking alone. Some people think I’m paranoid for this, but hey – if you did the research on these cases as often as I do, you would be too.

As always, I am placing a trigger warning on this post. Please do not continue reading if you feel that this topic could trigger you in any way.

Denton, Texas. September 13, 2016

Jaqueline Vandagriff, a 24 year old student at Texas Women’s University, headed out for a night on the town. She had intended to meet a Tinder date, according to her friends. It is unclear whether she was stood up or if the date was cancelled, but she ended up at Fry Street Public House, a bar located near the university she was attending.

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On this same night, Charles Dean Bryant Jr, a 31 year old personal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu trainer and bartender living in Haslet, TX, found himself at the same bar. He had been out earlier in the night for pizza and drinks with friends, but found himself alone at the Public House afterwards.

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The two sat one seat away from each other at the bar and enjoyed their drinks alone for some time before Bryant struck up conversation with Jackie. Jackie had just missed out on a potential date, and Bryant had just gone through a break up. The two may have both been looking for some company, but the night was about to take a turn for the worst.

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Bartenders at the Public House said the two left the bar together after a few more drinks, it seemed as if the two had been having fun. The left and went to another bar close by where footage showed Jackie letting Bryant finish her drink for her. They had only been seen out together for about an hour at this point. Phone records would later show that the couple sat in Bryant’s car for 39 minutes, and then went to a nearby park for an hour…. where Bryant later claimed the two had some “consensual autoerotic asphyxiation sex” and the date took a turn for the worst. There was no evidence that the two actually had sex – but here is what we unfortunately know about what happened that night.

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Moments after the couple left the bar, Bryant posted a Facebook status that said “Teach you tricks that will blow your mind.” And Vandagriff tweeted “I’m glad I decided to get off Tinder and walk into a bar.”

Clearly the two had different ideas of what was about to happen.

4:28 a.m., September 14, 2016

Charles Bryant was seen on surveillance video walking into a Walmart near his home in Haslet, alone, he purchased a shovel and a kiddie pool and left around 4:44am.

In the early morning hours of September 14, 2016, Jackie Vandagriff’s body was found fully dismembered and burning in a blue plastic swimming pool in a heavily wooded area in Grapevine.

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An unidentified caller contacted 911 to report a brush fire, police arrived shortly after the fire unit had distinguished the fire and found what was burning underneath of it. A witness claimed to have seen a white male standing over the fire before leaving in a light colored SUV.

“The only vibe I ever got from him was that he was woman crazy. He loved women, he loved women’s attention,” said the manager of the bar where Bryant was employed at the time. His co-workers never thought his behavior to be odd, because “he was a good looking guy.”

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Two days after her body was discovered, a post on her Twitter popped up that read “Never knew I could feel like this.”

Cellphone data traced her phone to Bryant’s Home.

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In the backyard of Bryant’s Home, police found evidence that someone had tried to dig a hole where a kiddie pool once was, a bone from her body was found in the yard, and her purse was in his trash can.

Less than a week after the discover of Jackie’s body, Bryant was arrested for capital murder and held on a 1 million dollar full cash bail. He was facing the death penalty. His recent ex girlfriend testified in court that he had been stalking and threatening her, and that she had tried to get a restraining order against him. Just a few days before he murdered Jackie, he was arrested for trespassing. During the investigation, further charges of possession of child pornography were added to his long list of charges. During his trial he claimed that he did not murder Jackie, but that during their consensual kinky sex, she suffocated from a zip tie that she asked him to place around her neck, and that he panicked to hide the evidence. In April of 2018, Bryant was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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The fact that Vandargriff had her location services turned on led to the discovery of evidence at Bryant’s household. She was only 24 years old, a young student with a bright future. The bartenders claimed that the two seemed happy leaving together, and that there were no warning signs. Please, if you are using dating apps, or if you are approached by a stranger in a bar, turn on your location services. Drop a pin to your friends, stay in a populated area until you are sure you can be comfortable with your date. Establish a level of trust, creep their social media, ask them questions. Nothing is more important than your comfort and safety, and no question is off limits when you are curious about the stranger who is trying to swoon you out of a bar. Keep your guard up, have your own back, and as my favorite favorite podcast hosts (second to our leader Jenny, of course) at My Favorite Murder always say – stay sexy, don’t get murdered. The world is full of creeps, and sometimes it’s really hard to tell the difference at first. Be careful out there ladies, see you next week.

SOURCES:

CBS News

Heavy.com

Star Telegram

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Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Story of James Joseph Richardson

Welcome back to Murder Monday, ya’ll. I’m going to break my pattern on local cases and sexually motivated crimes this week, which should make this one easier to get through for some of you. Unfortunately, this case is beyond fucked for many other reasons.

This case involves the deaths of numerous children, racial discrimination, and the flaws of our criminal justice system.

I have taken a particular interest in wrongful conviction cases recently, thanks to “Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom” by Revolver Podcasts. So I did some googling, and came across the particularly interesting case of James Joseph Richardson.

The United States has the highest rates of incarceration in the world, with around 2 million of its citizens currently behind bars. 1 percent of these convictions (approximately 20,000 people) are wrongfully convicted – 1 for every 25 convicts on death row are incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit. 4.1% of defendants on death row are proven guilty before meeting their death, thanks to organizations such as The Innocence Project. Since 1973, only 144 defendants sentenced to death in the U.S have been exonerated, which leaves an unknown number of innocent inmates who have met their death thanks to the death penalty.

I personally am all for capital punishment, and if you’ve read some of my prior posts on here you may already know that. I want every murderer, sex offender, and child abuser to watch that needle hit their vein, to feel their insides burn until their heart stops. I want every murderer to face a firing squad and watch the blood flow from their wounds as they take their final breath. I want every sex offender to stare into the eyes the person controlling their death, and feel the fear that their victims felt while they inflicted themselves upon them. I want every single child abuser to suffocate through inhaling toxic gas until they fucking croak. In my opinion, in a perfect world – it would be much easier to just kill off those sickos, and save the innocent. Unfortunately, just as much as it has helped us, our criminal justice system has failed us time and time again. Resulting in wrongful convictions, death sentences placed upon the innocent, and even worse – the real monsters that committed these crimes are still out there, free to rape, abuse, and kill. So before I continue, I encourage you to check out some of the links at the bottom of this post and donate to one of these projects for innocent inmates, or at the very least, take some time to read about the cases and educate yourselves.

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated are black males. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 total exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016). Just because they have been exonerated does not justify that innocent people have spent time in prison. This should never happen in the first place.

Meet James Joseph Richardson.

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Arcadia, Florida – 1967

James Joseph Richardson was a migrant farm worker, working on an orange grove. He and his wife, Annie Mae Richardson, had 5 children together. Annie Mae had two children from a previous marriage, and they raised the seven children together, who ranged in age from 2-8.

October 25, 1967

James and Annie Mae were sent word that one of their children had fallen ill, and they left the groves to report to the hospital. It was unknown to them at the time, but six of their children were already deceased by the time they arrived. Their seventh and only remaining child would pass away the next day. They died after eating a poisoned lunch containing the organic phosphate pesticide parathion.

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The couple’s neighbor, Bessie Reece, took care of the three youngest children while the other four attended school. That day, the children returned home from school to Bessie and their siblings at lunch time. They ate a meal of rice and beans that their mother had prepared for them the night before and returned to school. The children started displaying strange symptoms and a concerned teacher brought it to the attention of the principle, who decided to take the four sick children to the hospital. Another teacher went to their home to check on the other children, and found them to be ill as well. All seven children, from 2 years old to 8 years old, would pass away in the next 24 hours.

‭Joseph H. Minoughan of the Arcadia Police Department was the first officer to arrive at the hospital. After determining that all of the children were from the same family, he headed to the home to search for any evidence. All he found in relation to poison was a type of bug repellent that was not related to the chemicals found in the children. Four officers searched the family home on five separate occasions and no poison of any kind was found – until the next day, when a two pound sack of parathion was discovered in the shed out behind the house. The police immediately suspected that whoever placed the bag there must have been the murderer – but Bessie Reece (the children’s babysitter) started pointing fingers at random locals.

The day after this, Officer Cline (an investigating detective on the case) came forward with news that James Richardson had discussed life insurance policies on the children the night before their poisoning. Yet statements from Richardson and his insurance salesmen were conflicting. The children’s funeral was held at the end of the week, and two days later Cline charged Robinson with seven counts of murder. The town started buzzing that Cline was just looking for a big break to have his name noticed in the police department.

During the trial, accusations of Richardson having children who passed away in another state came out, but were never confirmed. The insurance salesmen was brought to the stand, but it was never determined if he was invited to the Richardson home or if he was soliciting door to door the night before. Evidence of Bessie Reece being out on parole was released, but reasons for her prior convictions were not specified. The judge provided evidence of Annie Mae and James both taking lie detector tests, which indicated that James “had knowledge” of the poisoning.

After hearing that the judge in Richardson’s case was so openly accusing him of being guilty, John S. Robinson (a 30-year-old white lawyer) came forward offering help. He told Richardson he believed his case was being handled poorly, and offered to reach out to the NAACP for help as well. Richardson accepted this support and chose Robinson as his lawyer. Richardson confided in Robinson that Officer Cline has repeatedly called him the N-word, and told him to plea guilty to get an easier sentence. He was pushing him, and Robinson wouldn’t allow that. He was able to have Richardson’s bail dropped from the initial $100,000 down to $7,500 and Richardson was released on bail.

James Joseph Richardson was sentenced to death for the murders of his children, but was saved in 1972 when the U.S Supreme Court ruled the death penalty as “unconstitutional.” He was still in for a life in prison, and would be eligible for parole in 1993.

He was convicted guilty by a jury of peers that was entirely Caucasian.

1988

Remember the babysitter of the children who had last seen them during lunch? The babysitter who was out on parole for unknown crimes? Bessie Reece was living in an assisted living home with Alzheimer’s disease, and reportedly admitted to the murders hundreds of times — but no one ever took her seriously due to her mental illness. Bessie Reece was a convicted murderer who had killed her husband 10 years prior, and guess how she did it? You nailed it – poison. She died in 1992 before her confessions were ever further investigated. The word of her prior conviction and her confessions got around, and efforts to free James Richardson were sparked back up yet again.

1989

October 25, 1989, a hearing was held in Arcadia in the same courthouse where Richardson had been convicted more than 21 years earlier. His lawyers presented the insufficient evidence and testimony used to sentence their client, and spoke of the grave injustices he faced in prison. There was evidence of a cover-up by Sheriff Frank Cline, State Attorney Frank Schaub and his deputy, Treadwell, as well as the local judge. It was determined that Richardson did not have a fair trial, and he was released to the custody of his lawyers.

Richardson found a job working on a health resort, but unfortunately was struggling with his health and mental state and it did not last very long. His wife Annie Mae who had remained faithful for most of his time in prison, decided to divorce him. Shortly after, he had another heart attack – he had already suffered through one in prison, and received open heart surgery in the prison hospital. Richardson filed a claim under Florida’s wrongful conviction compensation law, which provides compensation for wrongful imprisonment of $50,000 a year. It is unclear whether he ever received this. In 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 227 – which provides compensation to a wrongfully incarcerated person who was convicted and sentenced prior to December 31, 1979, and who is otherwise exempt from other state provisions for compensation because the case may have been reversed by a special prosecutor’s review and nolle prosequi rather than being overturned by a court. The law is so narrowly circumscribed that it is likely that Richardson will be the only individual eligible for compensation under it. He was expected to be awarded $1.2 million – yet he never received any of it.

This innocent man had his young children murdered in his own home – poisoned right under his nose. He buried seven tiny caskets, and was arrested two days later. He served over 20 years in prison, some of which on death row, for crimes that he did not commit. He suffered from violence in prison and botched surgeries for his heart conditions. He lost his wife, his home, the job he loved. He sat in a jail cell for 20 years staring at a wall, with no sunlight, for almost 8,000 days. He used to get paid to pick oranges on the grove in the sunlight every day before traveling home to his seven children and the love of his life. His life, his loves, everything he once knew, was stolen from him. And for absolutely no fucking reason.

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There are cases far more captivating then this, such as Making a Murderer, The Staircase, Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony, The Keepers – you know, a list of white people who very clearly committed the crimes at hand but for some reason have thousands of people rooting for their innocence and dumping millions of dollars into making documentaries about them. These cases, whether you believe the defendants to be guilty or not, were supported by factual concrete evidence in a court of law. This is presented to you in the documentaries – and I’m not saying I believe every single one of them to be guilty, but it is up to you to decide whether you believe them or not. Now, if a documentary paints the defendant as innocent, you’re probably going to believe that they are innocent. Just like if you are on the jury, in the courthouse, and the prosecution paints the defendant to be guilty. It is the right of every convict to face a fair trial. That is how this is supposed to work.

No one ever served time for the murder for the seven Richardson children, all under the age of 8. So again, in choosing which wrongful convictions to support, please remember the urgency of the innocent inmates being proved innocent. For every day that the wrongfully convicted are locked away, the real monsters walk free with another chance to kill or assault. There are so many factors to the importance of contributing to the research and funds for the release of the innocent.

Being an inmate in California for one year, as of 2017, costs more then a years tuition at Harvard University ($75,000). The average taxpayer cost for inmates nationwide is around $31,000 per inmate a year. In a recent study, after death penalty case costs were counted through to execution, there was said to be a median cost of $1.26 million. Non-death penalty case costs were counted through to the end of incarceration, the median cost was $740,000.

Take some time to educate yourself and donate money or even just time to some of these projects for the innocent. You are already currently paying for their incarceration with your tax dollars.

https://www.innocenceproject.org

See you next week.

Sources:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Joseph_Richardson

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/07/519012758/black-people-are-wrongly-convicted-of-murder-more-often-data-shows

The Kensington Strangler

Welcome back to Murder Monday.

For all our local supporters, if last week’s episode didn’t give you the creeps about some familiar spots in Philadelphia – let me try again.

Meet the Kensington Strangler.

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November 3rd, 2010

The body of Elaine Goldberg, a 21-year-old nursing student, was found half naked and strangled to death in a vacant lot in Kensington. Police originally thought the cause of death to be a drug overdose, judging from the area and the victim’s past. Elaine had just celebrated 30 days sober from heroin, she was on the right track with nursing school and had family and friends supporting her fully. Her body was found near evidence of drug use and paraphernalia, which also pointed towards an overdose. Her death was ruled suspicious, though, after police noticed that her hips had been propped up and posed postmortem – indicating a sexual assault or motive. It was determined that she died from strangulation, and that she had been sexually assaulted after her death. DNA was found inside of her, thought to be that of the killer.

November 13th, 2010

Another suspicious death was reported in Kensington. A body was found in the doorway of a vacant row home. It was surrounded by human feces, used needles, trash, and used condoms. The victim was identified as 35-year-old Nicole Piacentini, a mother of four. Her hips were also positioned upwards following her death by strangulation. Police now knew they had a serial rapist on their hands.

December 15th, 2010

The body of 27-year-old Casey Mahoney was found battered and strangled in the same neighborhood as the recent attacks. Her body was positioned upwards and naked from the waist down, with a bag over her face.

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In this same time period, four other women escaped an attack of a similar nature involving a sexual assault and strangling. Police presence was heightened, and local sex workers and drug offenders were on high alert. A $37,000 reward was put out as an offer to the public for information leaving to the suspect’s attest.

“Get this psycho off the streets of Philadelphia”
– Mayor Nutter (ur boy)

January 2011

DNA evidence and the involvement of the FBI lead to an arrest. Antonio Rodriguez, a previously convicted drug offender out on parole, confessed to the murders of Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini, and Casey Mahoney. At the time he was also the suspect of at least 3 other sexual assaults. According to forensic psychologists, Rodriguez fit the profile of a sexual serial killer.

Sexual serial killers often choose strangulation as he method for their killings because it is up close, and personal. Using your bare hands gives you an unmeasurable sense of personal strength and control. They could look their victim in the eyes as they watch the life leave them, all on their own timing. It is common for sexual serial killers and deviants to choke their victims to the point of death and then release them for air, repeatedly. The sense of control over someone’s life in the grip of your hand is said to be sexually stimulating for these people. FBI’s profiling for this case also stated that this type of crime would have been committed by a 25-35 year old man – but Rodriguez got an early start, apparently.

What stood out particularly to authorities following the arrest of Rodriguez was that he strictly crossed a racial line in every one of his attacks. In most cases, white serial killers have white victims, and black serial killers have black victims, etc. (to be clear – this is solely based on SERIAL attackers. Interracial crime is actually approaching an all time high in America currently). On the other hand, most serial killers also have a particular type, they hunt – they pick and chose. It is more common for serial sex offenders to stay within their own race. Rodriguez absolutely had a type, even in his suspected surviving victims. All of his victims were 20-40 year old slim white female sex workers. After his arrest, he claimed he “didn’t mean to kill them”…

Antonio Rodriguez was convicted of three counts of rape and murder, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse. He is serving three consecutive life sentences.

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Stay safe out there, neighbors.
See you next week.

sources:

http://philadelphiacriminallawnews.com/2010/12/casey-mahoneys-death-linked-to-previous-kensington-murders.html

https://abcnews.go.com/US/confessed-kensington-strangler-antonio-rodriguez/story?id=12648308

https://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/us/pennsylvania-strangler-conviction/index.html

The Frankford Slasher

Welcome back to Murder Monday.

This week I’m going to do my first *unsolved* crime – and if you’re from our home base area, he might be right in your backyard.

Meet the Frankford Slasher.

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Not to be confused with the Kensington Strangler (we’ll talk about him another time).

8:30 a.m., August 26, 1985

A half nude and clearly deceased female was found by transit workers at the SEPTA train yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the section of the city known as Frankford. The woman’s clothing was removed from the waist down and she was positioned in a provocative manor, with her legs open and her blouse pulled up to reveal her chest. The next day she was identified as Helen Patent, 52, of Parkland, PA. The autopsy revealed that the cause of her death was from 47 stab wounds to her head and chest after she had been sexually assaulted. She also had one deep slash across her abdomen, leaving her organs fully exposed as she died. She was last seen by her ex-husband at their home seven days prior. She was known to frequent Frankford area bars.

January 3rd, 1986

Ten miles away from where Helen Patent’s body was found was the discovery of Anna Carroll. On the 1400 block of Ritner Street in South Philly, 68-year-old Anna Carroll was found lying on the floor of her bedroom after someone found her front door open on a cold day. She was also positioned in a provocative manor and nude from the waist down. She died from six stab wounds to the back. There was also a gaping postmortem wound going from her breastbone to her groin, and there was a kitchen knife left inside of her. It appeared her attacker had literally tried to gut her like a fish. Anna Carroll was also known to frequent Frankford area bars, but this connection was not made until the next murder occurred.

Christmas Day, 1986

Nearly a year later, 64-year-old Susan Olszef was found murdered in her home on Richmond Street after the front door had been left open. She had also been stabbed in the back six times.

After the third crime, the connection was made that all three victims had been regularly seen at the Frankford Avenue bar Goldie’s. Amongst many other problems that got in the way of this murder investigation, the nightlife at the time was booming, not only from the prosperity that the El was bringing to town but also the convenience of the area. This area was well known for its drugs and bars and although it appeared run down, it had also been the scene of the film ‘Rocky’ which seemed to have made people less weary of it.

7:30 a.m., January 8th, 1987

Jeanne Durkin’s body was discovered beneath a storage truck just off of Frankford Avenue. She had been stabbed in the back, chest, and buttocks 74 times. She was lying in a pool of blood, nude from the waist down, positioned with her legs spread. Blood was spattered along the fence next to the truck, and an autopsy showed she had been sexually assaulted. Jeanne Durkin lived on the streets, and was most commonly seen sleeping in the doorway of a bakery just two doors down from Goldie’s bar (not surprised).

By the fourth victim, it was finally now clear that Philadelphia had a serial killer on their hands, but they were busy in the midst of figuring out several other series of crimes as well. The Frankford Slasher was active right around the same time that Gary Heidnik AND Harrison “Marty” Graham were busted. The city was in over its head.

January of 1988

Police had reported to the local papers that the crimes might not be related despite similar circumstances, but changed their mind in the following year. In January came the murder of Margaret Vaughan, a 66 -year-old woman who had been evicted that same day from an apartment just 3 blocks away from where Jeanne Durkin’s body was found. Margaret Vaughan was stabbed 29 times, and, you guessed it, positioned in a provocative manor. Police came up with a sketch of a man who was seen drinking with Margaret the night before at Goldie’s. He was a barmaid, a Caucasian man with a round face who walked with a limp and wore glasses. No one came forward to identify the man.

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January 19th, 1989

Theresa Sciortino, 30, was found in her apartment stabbed 25 times. She was found three blocks away from the fifth victim, and lived just one block off of Frankford. Police discovered that Sciortino and Durkin, two of the victims, had both recently been in several psychiatric institutions and were under outpatient care and treatment at the time of their murders. Sciortino was found in a pool of her own blood on the kitchen floor, lying face up, with 25 stab wounds caused by a kitchen knife left at the scene next to a bloodied 3-foot long piece of wood that had been used to sexually assault her. Oh, and guess what else — she was a regular at Goldie’s (ya’ll are seriously trippin’ for even letting women leave this bar by themselves at this point….. the fuck is wrong w u).

2 a.m., April 29, 1990

A patrol officer discovered the nude body of Carol Dowd in an alley behind Newman’s Sea Food at 4511 Frankford Avenue. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed 36 times. One of the wounds went across her stomach, and her intestines were left spilled out of her body. Carol Dowd had recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was in and out of mental institutions, something else she had in common with other victims in the slashings.

Police began interviewing employees of the fish market and came across Leonard Christopher, who worked there and lived nearby. He encountered the police in the alley way that morning and stated he figured they were there investigating another burglary because there had been several recently. He spoke further with police upon finding out that it was, in fact, a murder investigation. Leonard Christopher admitted that he knew one of the earlier victims, Margaret Vaughan. They questioned his girlfriend, who could not form an alibi for him. He claimed to have been home alone that night, but witnesses placed him at the bar that night with Dowd.

May 5th, 1990

Leonard Christopher was arrested and arraigned on charges of robbery, abuse of a corpse, murder, and possession of an instrument of crime. A witness said they had seen him sweaty with a large knife in his belt the night of the most recent murder. His coworkers and landlord vouched for his good character. A search of his apartment turned up clothing with blood on it, but his coworkers said it was only due to him cleaning up the mess from the crime that was left in the alley at his place of work. One witness claimed to have seen him exiting that same alley way that night, but another witness said they had seen Dowd leaving the bar with a “date” in his vehicle.

June 20th, 1990

Christopher was ordered to stand trial for the murder of Dowd and the evidence was deemed sufficient. Neighbors were relieved to know the spree was over and that they would be safe.

But nope! Not quite.

Leonard Christopher was a young black man, not the middle aged white man that was seen with all of the other victims around the time of their murders, yet he was jailed without parole for the murder of Dowd on September 6, 1990.

September 6th, 1990

You fucking guessed it. While the suspect believed to be responsible for the murders was in jail for murder without parole, another body was found. Michelle Denher, 30-years-old, was found murdered in her efficiency apartment just one block off of Frankford. Interestingly enough, Michelle Dehner has previously been a suspect for the killings because she had been seen fighting over a blanket with another victim. She went from suspect to victim when she was sexually assaulted and stabbed 23 times with a final gaping slash to her stomach. This murder was only three blocks from the most recent attack, and on the same street as Sciortino’s murder. Michelle Denher was ALSO mentally ill. Locals referred to her as “crazy Michelle” – she would wander from bar to bar on Frankford, and if she wasn’t too busy drinking through her days, she’d sell pretzels on the street. A day and a half before her murder she was seen leaving a bar with a middle aged white male who fit the original description of the Frankford Slasher.

After this incident, the public outcried for the release of Leonard Christoper. In his court cause they described him as a “Rambo style killer” even though at the time of his arrest, he had no visible injuries, he cooperated with police investigations, there was no murder weapon recovered, and no so called “Rambo knife” – but he was sentenced anyway. Leonard Christopher is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Numerous women pointed to SEPTA workers as suspects, and the case took twists and turns that got completely out of hand. Theories formed that the murders could have been related to witchcraft, because at the time there was an apparent female cult presence in the neighborhood. They even practiced in a park nearby.

Investigation brought no new leads, and the case turned cold.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s Monday Monday. Enjoy your commute from the El after work tonight knowing that a sexually deviant stomach slashing serial killer picked his victims off of Frankford and never got caught. It was only 28 years ago. I’m sure he’s out there somewhere.

Here’s an absurd link I found on YouTube of a guy singing a song about the Frankford Slasher. God, I love the internet.

See ya next week!

sources:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankford_Slasher

https://www.google.com/amp/s/massmurderers.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/frankford-slasher/amp/

Another Reason To Support Capital Punishment: The Murder of Gabriel Fernandez

The following includes descriptive acts of violence and counts of extreme child abuse. If at any point you feel distressed, there is a list for help lines at the bottom of this page.

Welcome back to Murder Monday.

Today we’re going to touch base on a little thing called capital punishment.

cap·i·tal pun·ish·ment
ˈkapədl ˈpəniSHmənt/
noun
1. the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime.

Where is capital punishment legal in the US?

The death penalty is legal in 31 states and illegal in 19 states (and DC). The “legal” and “illegal” designations in the “Death Penalty Status” column are based on the US Department of Justice’s “Capital Punishment” reports.

All 31 states with the death penalty provide lethal injection as the primary method of execution. Some states allow methods other than lethal injection, but only as secondary methods to be used merely at the request of the prisoner or if lethal injection is unavailable.

In the following states, death row inmates with an execution warrant may choose to be executed by:
* Electrocution in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
* Gas inhalation in Arizona and California
* Firing squad in Utah
* Hanging in Washington

Depending on the state, the following alternative methods are statutorily provided in the event that lethal injection is either found unconstitutional by a court or unavailable for practical reasons:
* Electrocution in Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee
* Gas inhalation in Alabama, California, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming
* Firing squad in Oklahoma and Utah
* Hanging in New Hampshire

As we all know, capital punishment/the death penalty is a popular topic of debate. There are many sides to this argument. Was the person proven guilty without a reasonable doubt? Was the evidence collected or presented enough to convict the suspect? What was the severity of the crime? And most importantly to me, was the crime committed enough for me to personally wish death upon this person? Or was it *just* shitty enough for me to be okay with them rotting in a jail cell, being fed daily and having basic privileges, while I ultimately end up paying for their care? Obviously, there are many many other factors that come into play on this topic. For me, personally, I support capital punishment. Especially when it’s sentence falls upon someone who damn well deserves to be put to death – rapists, murderers, sex offenders, and child abusers.

Meet Pearl Fernandez & Isauro Aguirre.

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Pearl Fernandez called 911 on May 22, 2013 to report that her son was not breathing. She told sheriff’s deputies who arrived at the apartment that Gabriel had fallen and hit his head on a dresser, according to testimony. When paramedics arrived, they found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing. His skull was cracked, he had three broken ribs and BB pellets were found embedded in his lung and groin. He died two days later.

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“It was just like every inch of this child had been abused,” – James Cermak, a Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedic

Gabriel died as a result of blunt force trauma and child neglect, but this was after months and maybe even years of pure torture. Gabriel’s 13-year-old brother testified against their mother and her boyfriend. The court has been struggling to figure out just exactly how this case had slipped through the cracks of child services for as long as it did. The couple allegedly hid the boy’s injuries through doctors notes and sent him to school with them. His school had called the authorities before when the young boy showed signs of being suicidal, so the couple began claiming that the boy’s injuries were all self-induced.

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Gabriel Fernandez was born in 2005, and shortly after his birth he was transferred to the custody of relatives due to his mother’s troubled history. In 2012, Pearl Fernandez reclaimed her children. Just two weeks later, while in the care of his mother, Gabriel demonstrated to his second grade teacher that he knew how to “snort cocaine.” His mother was already the target of six different child abuse investigations, one of which resulting from Gabriel telling a therapist that his mother forced him to perform oral sex on a family member, shot him with a BB gun, and then beat him with a belt until he bled. This was around the time that teachers discovered the child’s suicide letters. Again, this is an 8-year-old child… writing suicide letters.

I warned you before, and will warn you again – this is an extremely graphic case. Please do not continue to read if you are feeling emotionally distressed.

The torture performed on this child, as testified in a court of law by his own siblings, is as follows:

Gabriel Fernandez’s 16-year-old brother, who was identified in court as Ezequiel C., told jurors he recalled his little brother being hit by his mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, and frequently being kept in a “box” in the couple’s bedroom. Photos of their bedroom showed two beds, room for Gabriel to sleep comfortably. His two older siblings would sleep in the same room where he was forced to sleep in a box.

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Other records of statements made by witnesses stated that the boy had been repeatedly pepper sprayed in the face at direct range, forced to eat cat feces, burned with lighters, forced to eat his own vomit, forced to perform sexual acts on unnamed family members, starved, shot with a BB gun, and other heinous acts I don’t feel the need to share. His death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

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Last week, in California, Isauro Aguirre, 37, was sentenced to death. Pearl Fernandez, 34, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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There is a special, special place in Hell for child abusers. Pearl Fernandez will rot in a jail cell paid for by our tax dollars, which makes me sick. But, if she is in prison surrounded by women who miss their children, I will rest assured knowing that she will feel the torture that her son felt behind those prison walls. Isauro will either die from lethal injection or gas inhalation. From what I’ve heard, lethal injection shuts down your brain and your body while you feel your insides burning until your heart stops. Although he will die quickly, for a brief moment before that motherfucker slips his last breath in, he will feel the the pain of being burned alive, just like Gabriel Fernandez did – and he fucking deserves it.

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See you next week.

Sources:

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/02/15/mother-of-gabriel-fernandez-8-pleads-guilty-to-first-degree-murder-in-his-beating-death/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Brother-of-Slain-8-Year-Old-Boy-Recounts-Harrowing-Tale-of-Abuse-451532973.html%3famp=y

Yet Another “Florida Man”: The Mental Break of Austin Hauroff

For those of you who weren’t scarred by last week’s topic, welcome back to Murder Monday! If I failed at making you uncomfortable last week, well, you’re probably a sociopath. I’m going to try a little harder this week, and if this doesn’t bother you, you’re definitely a sociopath. Or maybe that just makes me a sociopath… but anyways.

These week, were going to touch base on a little thing called cannibalism.

Cannibalism is the consumption of another human’s body matter, whether consensual or not. In the United States, there are no laws against cannibalism exactly, but most, if not all, states have enacted laws that indirectly make it impossible to legally obtain and consume the body matter.

For whatever reason, cannibalism seems to be the highest form of betrayal against humanity. Not only are you murdering someone, which is by far the worst thing you could do, but you’re consuming them. It seems to be glorified in headlines, like some sort of phenomena. Cannibalism is considered taboo in basically every place except for China, where it is often considered gourmet. Going all the way back to Hannibal Lector, to Jeffrey Dahmer, to Cannibal Cop — these people caught attention. Silence of the Lambs crushed the box office. Jeffrey Dahmer, well, we all know who he is. And Cannibal Cop actually got SYMPATHY of all things after numerous specials and documentaries came out about him (cry me a river, you fucking freak).

You may remember a series of incidents involving bath salts and a drug called “flakka” being associated with symptoms of cannibalism. All of the above are also, not surprisingly, associated with Florida… if you live in America and you have not yet realized that the most absurd crimes happen in Florida, you probably live in a cave. Flakka is a designer drug that can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed. It may also be combined with other, softer drugs such as marijuana. Flakka is most typically made from the chemical alpha-PVP, which is a synthetic version of the amphetamine-like stimulant cathinone. Cathinones are chemicals derived from the khat plant grown in the Middle East and Somalia, where the leaves are frequently chewed for a euphoric buzz. It is made from the same chemical family as “bath salts,” which were thought to be responsible for a man chewing another man’s face off in Miami in 2012. Turned out Rudy Eugen, the attacker in this incident, was not high on flakka. He was shot dead by police after an 18 minute rampage ending in him eating a man’s face from the beard up, even consuming his left eye. Rudy Eugene’s toxicology report only showed positive results for marijuana. Oddly enough, he was not the only “Florida Man” headline associated with cannibalism that was not positively linked to flakka, and not even the most bizarre.

Meet Austin Haurroff.

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Harrouff was born December 21, 1996 in Palm Beach Gardens. Neighbors and friends said that despite being a child of divorced parents, he had a good upbringing and a great childhood. The son of a dentist and pharmacist, Austin Harrouff hoped to enroll pre-med at a four-year university and one day earn a doctorate, according to his test reports in high school. He even took a test three times to improve his scores to meet college-prep benchmarks. In high school, Haurroff thrived in science, and later his passion shifted towards art. He attended Florida State University, and while studying exercise science and participating in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, records show Harrouff had no disciplinary history at FSU. He had a 3.2 GPA at FSU, just shy of a B+ average.

Notes and lists found in Haurroff’s phone from his freshman year at Florida State University showed that he was having strange thoughts.

“keep running even when they say you crazy”

“I don’t want to be worshipped but I know that I will be.”

Friends and family started noticing a shift in his attitude and behavior around this time. His parents said he became obsessed with helping people, so much so that he was losing sleep at night. His “notes” and poems got darker, his sleeping patterns worsened, and his friends distanced themselves out of fear. They said he started making claims of being “half-animal” (specifically half-horse) and bragging about his immortality. His own sister was looking her door at night out of fear that he may hurt her. It got so bad that his parents thought that they should take him for a mental evaluation, but they never did.

August 15, 2016

On August 15, 2016, Austin Haurroff’s parents grew more concerned than ever. According to his sister, Harley Haurroff, he seemed receptive to a conversation they had about therapy this day. “He always says weird shit,” she told Dr. Phil in a September 2016 interview. Later that day, while on a walk with his father, Austin Haurroff saw two turtle shells on the sidewalk, pulled out his pocket knife, and told his dad “something is gonna happen.”

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He was right, something was definitely going to happen.

He went to a local Duffy’s restaurant with his father and step-mother later that night, and he became irritated. He got up abruptly, left the restaurant, and walked twomiles to his mother’s house. When he arrived, he helped himself to dinner. At his mother’s house, his bedroom had been moved to the garage because he was convinced that there were demons in her house. He sat down and ate a bowl of olive oil full of parmesan cheese (what in the actual fuck) before his mom came in. His mother arrived at the home and found him drinking cooking oil out of a bottle, stopped him, and drove him back to Duffy’s. She then called police, and reported that she was concerned her son was showing signs of schizophrenia and “delusions”. When he got back to the restaurant, he started an argument with his father. His father grabbed him by the shirt, and questioned his behavior. Austin positioned himself to punch his father, but gave up and left the restaurant yet again.

“I’m so sick and tired of doing what I’m told,” Harrouff had written in a note on his phone 10 days earlier, according to records of his phone. “I’m going to leave my mark before I get old.”

This time when Austin Haurroff left Duffy’s restaurant, he walked 4 miles reportedly running from a “dark figure”, and ended up in the garage of John Stevens, a 59-year-old landscaper, and his wife, Michelle Mishcon, 53. He claims to have no recollection as to how he ended up here, but that he was “scared as hell” – as if John and Michelle weren’t.

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He stabbed Michelle Mishcon and her husband, John Stevens, in their garage. A neighbor witnessing the attack was also attacked while trying to help the couple. He was stabbed in the back before calling 911, but survived. When police arrived on scene, Austin Haurroff was crouched over John Steven’s body, spitting chunks of flesh out of his mouth and laughing. He reportedly drank a bottle of motor oil in their garage during the attack also. Austin Haurroff ate peices of John Stevens’ face before being taken into custody.

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Haurroff was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and burglary. It was oringinally assumed that he was under the influence of “flakka” or bath salts, but toxicology reports only showed minimal traces of THC and drugs that were administered to him upon treatment in the hospital after the attack. There was a small amount of alcohol in his system, but it is thought that this could just be from the oil that he drank in the garage.

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SO, no drugs, no booze, no diagnosed illness – after “weeks/months” of “irratic behavior” documented and reported by his own family, Austin Haurroff became a murderer, and he could have been stopped. He could have, and should have, recieved psychiatric attention or treatment – but he did not.

May 2018

Harrouff, 21, has been inmate No. 896298 since his arrest Oct. 3, 2016. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and single counts each of attempted murder, resisting an officer without violence and burglary of a dwelling while armed. His divorced parents have both showed unwavering support towards their son’s innocence. His father, Wade, has visited 61 times, and his mother, Mina, has visited 75. He is also visited bi-weekly by a minister. Harrouff has also been seen at least 34 times by his trio of attorneys, Nellie King, Robert Watson and Jordon Showe.

“Harrouff’s parents generally deposit about $200 every two or three weeks into his jail commissary account, which reports show has a running total of around $500.

Since October 2016, Harrouff has received $7,998 from his family. He’s also spent $7,679 on food, toiletry and paper items, and he pays a $3 daily fee to the jail administration, records confirm.

Harrouff spends most of his cash on a wide variety of snack foods — sour neon worms, Oreo cookies and Doritos cool ranch are particular favorites, along with Ramen noodles, chicken breast, honey buns, coffee and drinks.

Specifically, Harrouff spends between $75 and $95 per week on a routine list of commissary items that he often reorders week after week.

A typical order might include 10 honey buns, 10 packs of Doritios spicy sweet chili, five “jalapeño cheese sque’ezers,” 10 “double beef sticks” and a variety of candy bars.”

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Austin Haurroff’s trial date has not been set. With an apparent 240 witnesses in the case and a more than 3,700 pages of discovery from his defense team, there still appears to be pieces of evidence missing in the eyes of the court. To be acquitted, Harrouff’s legal team must convince a judge or jury he didn’t know what he was doing at the time of the murders, or didn’t know it was wrong and couldn’t appreciate the consequences of his actions. He could face the death penalty, or he could get off on an insanity plea. In court this past May, Haurroff claimed he “just wanted to be a normal kid again.”

So, stay tuned… I guess.

If you, yourself, or anyone you know is showing side effects of delusions or mental illness of any kind – please do not hesitate to contact local authorities. Mental illness is a delicate monster, a creature in itself, to be handled with care and precision. This child could have been stopped, like many others. You can choose to argue with me on the topic of rehabilitaton all you want, but how would you feel if this kid ate your loved one alive and was then able to return to society? I hope this kid rots in prison, as sad as it is. Once mental illness has hit this sort of peak, there is no coming back. Help is readily available for mental illness in today’s world, so please do something.

See you next week.

Sources:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-austin-harrouff-past-20161129-story.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3965962/Cannibal-frat-boy-killed-couple-ate-man-s-face-NOT-influence-bath-salts-flakka-toxicology-report-reveals.html

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/crime/martin-county/2018/03/09/parents-stand-son-accused-brutal-killing-martin-county-couple/311380002/

The Yates Family

Welcome back to Murder Monday, ya’ll.

Before you dive in, I’m going to give you all the courtesy of some trigger warnings. I don’t think anything I have posted on here is for the faint of heart, but this case is especially morbid. If you have sensitivity to violence involving children, mental illness, abuse, etc, please do not continue. If at any point you feel uncomfortable during this read, go ahead and close the page. Put on some fluffy bullshit sitcom and move on with your day, or something. This is the case that sparked my fascination with homicide. This is the first murder case I Googled on my giant Dell computer monitor in middle school, praying my parents wouldn’t realize that I cleared the Google search history. This is the one case that truly, deeply, shook me to my core. I was a kid when I heard about this case, and I was scared of bath tubs for years after (oh yea, if you like taking bubble baths good fucking luck with the mental images I’m about to give you). Anyways… you have been warned.

Meet Andrea Yates.

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Andrea Yates is one demented little shit. I’m not going to waste my time by looking into her background story for you or trying to dig deep into what made her snap. She doesn’t deserve to have her story told, because she robbed five innocent children from the chance of even having a life story. She brought five precious, loving, innocent, beautiful children into this world – and she took them right back of of it, all by herself. Now, I can sympathize with mental illness, and I probably do so a little more than I should. I have also been close with someone who has experienced postpartum depression, and can sympathize with how truly terrible it must be to experience it first hand. But there is nothing in the world that could justify what Andrea Yates did, not even a pathetic cry for an insanity plea.

Some people just should not have children. 

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In the summer of 1989, Andrea met Rusty Yates. They quickly moved in together, and the two married in 1993. They were living in Houston, Texas when they had their first child, Noah, in 1994. They then relocated to a small trailer in Florida. They had their second child, John, in 1995. By the time they had conceived their third child, Paul, the couple purchased a GMC motor home and moved back to Houston for Rusty’s job. Following the birth of their fourth child, Luke, Andrea fell into a depression. In 1999, Rusty knew something was deeply wrong with her when he starting catching her vigorously chewing on her fingers and shaking. Yates had been struggling with bulimia and depression, and on June 17, 1999, she attempted suicide by overdosing on pills. She was put on antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers and she seemed stable for quite some time. The family then moved into a small house for the sake of her health.

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In July of 1999, Andrea suffered from a severe nervous breakdown which resulted in two attempts at suicide. She was hospitalized, and diagnosed with postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum Psychosis: a rare illness that occurs in approximately 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 deliveries, or approximately .1-.2% of childbirths. The onset is very sudden, usually occurring up to two weeks after delivery.

Symptoms of this illness include:
Delusions and strange beliefs
Hallucinations
Feeling very irritated
Hyperactivity
Paranoia and suspiciousness
Rapid mood swings
Difficulty with communication at times

The most significant risk factors for postpartum psychosis are a personal or family history or bipolar disorder, or a previously psychotic episode.

There is a 5% suicide rate for mothers suffering from postpartum psychosis, and a 4% infanticide rate associated with the illness. So nearly the same amount of mothers who kill themselves while suffering from this also kill their children.

Seven weeks after her latest suicide attempts and hospitalization, Andrea Yates, who was diagnosed and taking Haldol, among other medications, conceived her fifth child against doctors’ suggestions. Her psychiatrist had warned her that if she gave birth again, her chances of a break in reality were very high.

She did it anyway.

She gave birth to her fifth child, Mary, in November of 2000, and she seemed to be coping well until the death of her father in March of 2001. After his death, Andrea became obsessed with the Bible. She stopped feeding Mary, her newborn child. She started mutilating herself, and tried to drown herself on multiple occasions. She was caught in a suicide attempt around this same time, and when she was admitted to the hospital she was described as “catatonic.” She told the doctors that the bathtub was full at home because she had intended to drown her children that day, but changed her mind.

Red fucking flag.

Andrea Yates’ psychiatrist, Dr. Saeed, suggested that Andrea no longer be left alone with her children. She should have been under supervision at all times. She was not in control of her own mind, and she needed assistance with the children for their well-being and for her own. Rusty went against the doctor’s orders and left his wife unattended with their five children. He did so because his mother was supposed to arrive to assist her within the hour, but in that hour, Andrea Yates murdered her children, all five of them, one by one – in the bath tub.

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She started with John, then Paul, then Luke. After drowning them, she laid them on her bed. She then drowned 6-month-old Mary and left her floating lifelessly in the bathtub. Noah walked in and asked her what was wrong with Mary. He then ran away when he noticed she was lifeless. His mother chased him, caught him, and drowned him. Noah’s body was left floating in the tub and Mary’s body was taken and positioned in the arms of her brother, John. She positioned them like fucking puppets. She then called the police numerous times, but would not give them a clear explanation. She also called Rusty, telling him to come home immediately.

(Side note: she also locked up their dog while she murdered her children but left the dog unharmed. She had the guts to murder all of her children, but spared the life of her dog.)

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Yates confessed to drowning her children. After a lengthy case, where her sentence was repeatedly overturned and questioned due to her insanity plea and record of mental illness, Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity on July 26, 2006. She was then committed to the North Texas State Hospital-Vernon Campus and later moved to a low-security state mental hospital in Kerrville. Although doctors for both the prosecutors and her defense team agreed that she was severely mentally ill with several diagnosed psychotic diseases at the time of the murders, the state of Texas asserted that she was by legal definition aware enough to judge her actions as right or wrong despite her mental defect. The prosecution also further implied spousal revenge as some sort of motive for the homicides, but there was no support for this claim.

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During her trial, Rusty Yates held strong to her claim of innocence by fault of insanity. He had fantasies of continuing to have more children with her. He thought she could get better.

“All depressed people need is a swift kick to the nuts to get motivated.” This is what Rusty’s brother-in-law told Larry King that Rusty had said while visiting Andrea in the hospital.

Andrea was 450mg of Effexor among many other mediations at the time of the murders. The warning label at the time for the drug Effexor stated a warning for experiences of “homicidal ideation” and yet…

By the fault of every doctor that came across this woman, her husband, and her own god damn parents – this woman was prescribed and handed a medication to take on a daily basis that could cause homicidal tendencies with a warning right on the god damn label AFTER THE FACT that she had ALREADY threatened to DROWN HER CHILDREN.

Every single person in contact with Andrea Yates at the time of the murders should be held accountable. This woman was not in control of her actions, and everyone who knew her was thoroughly aware of this. Child protective services was not involved. Her husband held hope. Her parents were not closely involved. Andrea Yates murdered her 5 children, all under the age of 7 – and she could have been stopped.

Andrea Yates is still currently being treated for severe psychosis, and is expected to be let back into the community upon rehabilitation.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, harming themselves or others, or posing a threat to others or risk to themselves at any time – please, fucking do something. Things like this happen every day, and sadly, in most cases, they could have been stopped.

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See you next week.

Sources:

Murderpedia

Wikipedia
http://www.postpartum.net