Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Murder of Jeff Wright

So I'm a massive fan of the American series 48 hours, which is where I first came across this case. I've also seen a few other documentaries and also a film based on it called Blue Eyed Butcher.



The Case

On January 18th 2003 officials were informed by Susan Wright's solicitor that a body was buried at her home and she had admitted to killing Jeff Wright, her husband. He had been stabbed at least 193 times and then buried.
The crime had actually taken place days earlier when investigators say, according to the evidence, she had tied her husband to their bed and brutally murdered him. In the days between the murder and discovery of the body Susan had tried to clean the crime scene by painting the bedroom, and she also went to police to report Jeff for domestic abuse and get a restraining order even though he was already dead.

History

Susan and Jeff met in 1997 they married the following year while she was pregnant with her son, they went on to have a daughter as well. Susan was a stay at home mum, while Jeff worked full time.

Trial

The trial began in February 2004. Susan claimed that her husband began abusing her early in their marriage, and was a user of illegal drugs. She claimed she had killed her husband in self-defence, that on the night of the killing he had beaten her. The prosecutor didn't believe this and said she had seduced her husband and tied him to the bed, then brutally killed him most likely for his life insurance. It was a very dramatic trial where the prosecutor even brought the actual bed into court and did a demonstration of what happened using another prosecutor to show how Jeff was tied up. Susan emotionally gave evidence in her own defence and denied that it had been cold blooded murder, that she had been protecting herself and her children. She said the reason she stabbed him so many times was because she was convinced he was still alive and would get the knife off her and kill her with it. Her mother testified that she had seen bruises on her daughter. However the prosecutor said that there wasn't any proof of abuse.


Verdict

Susan Lucille Wright was found guilty of murder on March 3rd 2004. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison.


Appeals

Her conviction was upheld by the Texas Court of Appeals in 2005. In a re-appeal in 2008 an ex girlfriend of Jeff's gave evidence that she had been abused by him as well. In 2009 she was granted a new sentencing by the Court of Appeals, who said that her lawyer gave ineffective assistance during the penalty phase of the trial. In November 2010 her 25 year term was reduced to 20 years.


My Views

I am slightly undecided whether this is a case of cold blooded murder or self defence, although I tend to lean towards self defence. There was evidence from an ex of Jeff's who said he was previously violent to her. I think she just had enough and snapped, I think if she was as cold blooded as the prosecution said and planned the murder I think it would have been a more controlled killing rather than a frenzied attack. One thing I heard about this case that troubled me greatly was that at one point during the murder their son came into the room and Susan stopped what she was doing and took him back to his bed, I think if she could pause stabbing her husband to put her son to bed she could have come to her senses at the same time and stopped what she was doing and rang police. It also seemed that she tried to cover the crime afterwards if it was self defence why not phone for help straight away. I don't agree with the prosecution saying that because there was no evidence of abuse, like medical records or police reports, then that means there was no abuse.  I'm not an expert on domestic abuse but one thing I believe is that the violence is often kept secret and covered up,so just because it wasn't reported does not mean that it never happened.


I would like to hear your views on this case, let me know in comments.




Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Disappearance/Murder of Laci Peterson

One story that has always intrigued/disgusted me is the disappearance and murder of Laci Peterson, a young woman about to give birth to her son Connor, her whole life ahead of her.



The Disappearance

Laci went missing on Christmas Eve 2002. Her husband rang her mum and asked if she had seen her daughter, then he told her Laci was missing.
He claimed she had planned to go shopping then take their dog for a walk, while he went fishing. A short time after Scott's phone call her parents reported her as missing, a search of the area was conducted but Laci wasnt found and police suspected something bad had happened too her. It was a prioity to find her as she was so close to giving birth and it was so out of character for her go missing.
During the time that Laci was missing her husband was acting strange and didnt really want too speak to the media. Her family were obviously heartbroken and worried sick.

Scott's Affair

As it turned out Scott had been having an affair with a young woman called Amber Frey, he had told her he was single. He continued to be in contact with her throughout the time Laci was missing. After she revealed the affair, police asked her to record their phone calls,which she did. At one point on New Years Eve, during a candlelight vigil held for Laci and Connor, Scott was recorded on the phone to Amber telling her he was in Paris by the Eiffell Tower celebrating New Years's on a business trip. I believe this shows the depth of his lies and manipulation. He eventually admitted to Frey that he was married and that his wife was missing.These phone conversations between them lasted until about February 2003.

Discovery of Laci and Connor

On April 13 2003, sadly the body of baby Connor was found. The next day,1 mile away from Connor, Laci's dismembered body was found. The exact cause of death couldn't be found due to de-composition.

Evidence Against Scott

Although there wasnt much hard evidence against Scott, there was plenty of circumstanial evidence.

-A piece of hair believed to be Laci's found in pliers on his boat

-He was having an affair.

-He apparently had no clue what he was fishing for or what bait or anything he was using when he claimed to be fishing at the time of Laci's disappearance.

-He was in debt and wanted to be single.

-He was a proven liar.

-That he appeared to be planning to flee when he was arrested.

-He often referred to Laci in the past tense even before her body was found.

-His behaviour in general didn't seem to be that of a grieving husband and father.

Arrest and Sentence

Scott was arrested April 18th 2003, he had dyed his hair and he had with him a lot of cash, camping gear, two drivers licences and a few cell phones. this led the police to believe he was planning on fleeing to Mexico. Scott was convicted of the first -degree murder of Laci and the second- degree murder of Connor. I personally think he should have been found guilty of first-degree murder for baby Connor as well. He was sentenced to death and is currently on death row.

My Views on the Case

For me this is one of the worst type of crimes, a mum to be so close to giving birth to a beautiful baby, both killed by a supposedly loving husband and dad to be. His behaviour during the search for Laci in my opinion was disgusting, for a man who claims to be innocent, instead of searching desperately for his wife and child he seemed more interested in romancing another woman. From what I have read and watched about this case I believe him to be 100% guilty and he shows no remorse. I think the death penalty in this case was wholly justified for a man this evil. It is sad to think of the life Laci and Connor could of had, a happy and loving life taken away by a heartless monster.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Fave Five Books You Wish Had Sequels


This weeks topic is five books you wish had sequels, my list this week is a mix of mine and a couple of my partners choices as well. This post is part of fave five Friday in association with BUZZ Magazine.

Goodnight Lady


Maura's Game

The Road-Cormac McCarthy



Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn



Matilda-Roald Dahl





Monday, 11 September 2017

Creatures of Appetite/Todd Travis- Book Review

They call it the Heartland Child Murders. Everyone else calls it a nightmare. Locked doors dont stop him. He leaves no trace behind. He only takes little girls. His nickname..... The Iceman.



A deranged serial killer roams wintry rural Nebraska, targeting little girls, with a demented purpose no-one can fathom. FBI Special Agent Emma Kane, a former DC cop considered to be damaged goods,is assigned to babysit burned out profiler Jacob Thorne as they both fly to Nebraska to catch this maniac. Thorne is erratic, abrasive and unpredictably brilliant, but what he and Kane find in the heartland is much more than anyone bargained for, especially when the Iceman challenges them personally,where it hurts most.

The clock is ticking and a little girls life is on the line. Maybe even more than that once they find out what he's really up to.

I stumbled upon this book/author and I'm so glad I did, it gripped me from the first chapter and I didnt want to put it down until I finished.I love the concept of the book, I find profilers interesting and enjoy hearing their thoughts on cases. The profiler in the story is Jacob Thorne, he is moody and says what he thinks without caring what anyone thinks of him, I dont know if the author meant for him to be liked/disliked but I loved his attitude and he was by far my favourite character.

Kane is paired up with Thorne to investigate the child killer case, she is slightly troubled but intelligent and more than a match for Thorne. I enjoyed how the relationship between them developed through the book. She admires the work Thorne has done in the past but she doesnt like his personality (not that being disliked bothers Thorne in the slightest).

Honestly the twist at the very end of this book came out of the blue, and it made me want to pick up the next book straight away. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves crime/mystery novels.

Creatures of Appetite is the first book in a series of Thorne/Kane series I've already read the second instalment after finishing this one. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Fave Five Lines From Literature


So this weeks fave five topic is lines from literature, I have a few favorites some from books I have read and others I have just came across and loved. Most of my favorites actually come from childrens novels.

The Lion,The Witch and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis

Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny.

The Twits- Roald Dahl

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a warty nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll

"You're mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I'll tell you a secret, all the best people are"

I Can Read With My Eyes Closed- Dr Seuss

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

P.S. I Love You- Cecelia Ahern

"Don't be afraid to fall in love again. Open your heart and follow where it leads you...and remember shoot for the moon."

I would love to hear some of your faves let me know them in comments.


Sunday, 3 September 2017

Murder of DeeDee Blancharde

I recently watched a documentary about this case and found it really interesting. It's called Mommy Dead and Dearest. If you havent seen I would definately give it a watch.

The Case

On June 14 2015, police in Missouri found the body of DeeDee Blancharde stabbed to death on the bed. She had been there for a few days. There wasnt any sign of her daughter, Gypsy Rose who apparently suffered with numerous disabilities including leukemia and muscular dystrophy and had the mental age of a 7 year old. The police were alerted after reports of worrying Facebook posts, they were concerned that Gypsy Rose had also fallen victim to foul play. However Gypsy Rose was found the following day in Wisconsin with a boy she had met online. In this case not everything was as it seemed.


History

As it turned out Gypsy Rose had none of the illnesses her mother had been claiming for years that she suffered from. She could walk and didn't need the wheelchair her mother had forced her to use. Although doctors had raised concerns about the mothers claims (one even suggested DeeDee had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy) she stuck to her claims and took money from several charities. Gypsy Rose had been subjected to surgeries and medications she didnt need and even had a feeding tube inserted. Gypsy Rose has made claims that her mum was occasionally physically abusive to her as well. And although her mother claimed to doctors Gypsy was "slow" she could read and write. Gypsy tended to talk in a slightly babyish voice and wore large glasses. She often wore wigs to cover her baldness. Her mother often shaved her head to give the impression of chemotherapy treatment. She also had an oxygen tank that she didnt need.

Gypsy Rose Going into Adulthood

As Gypsy grew older, her mum told people she was a lot younger than she was. I believe she could pull this off because they were in Hurricane Katrina and had to relocate and she told people the birth certificate was an incorrect re-issue. Gypsy Rose began to meet men online and going to different conventions as she got older. One time Gypsy ran away with a man, but her mother tracked her down. According to Gypsy when they got home DeeDee smashed her computer with a hammer and threatened to do the same to Gypsy if she ran off again.Gypsy also claims she was leashed to the bed for a while after this. DeeDee told Gypsy she had paperwork saying Gypsy was mentally incompetent so the young girl thought if she went to police for help she wouldn't be believed. Around 2012 Gypsy Rose met Nicholas Godejohn online. He had a criminal record for indecent exposure and had some mental problems of his own. Gypsy arranged for her and her mum to "bump into" Nicholas at a cinema so her mum wouldnt know they had met online. 

The Murder

Nicholas travelled to Gypsy's home around June 12 2015. She let him in and allegedly passed him the knife to kill her mum. He made Gypsy stay in the bathroom with her ears covered. He then stabbed DeeDee to death in her sleep. They then took $4000 in cash and fled to a motel and mailed the murder weapon to Nicholas' home. They got a bus back to his home where they began posting Facebook updates saying DeeDee was dead and implying something bad had happened to Gypsy Rose as well. They were both arrested. Gypsy Rose accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to ten years for second degree murder. Nicholas Godejohn faces a more serious charge as prosecuters believe he started the murder plot and he was the one who actually murdered DeeDee. He is still awaiting trial.

My Views on This Case

There is no doubt in my mind that DeeDee was a terrible mum to Gypsy Rose all the things she had to go through as a child and into adulthood are really terrible. I dont know how it went on for so long and there are claims that if Gypsy said wrong things in front of people her mum would pinch her to let her know to stop talking. I believe that this claim puts a different spin on why all the photos and videos of Gypsy and her mother are of them sitting right next to each other holding hands. While I believe most of Gypsy's claims,the only thing I question is; if DeeDee was so overbearing, how did Gypsy have access to internet and develop this connection with Nicholas? Also when I watched the documentary and Gypsy Rose was speaking I felt she changed her voice back to being childlike depending on who she was talking to or what she was talking about, that being said I believe this might be like a coping mechanism for her. I am glad she didnt get a life sentence so she has a chance to make some kind of life for herself, after losing her childhood and then ten years in prison I personally think that is enough punishment.

If you have any views about this case please let me know in comments.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Fave Five Books to Movie/TV Shows Adaptions



So this weeks topic is fave five book to movie/tv series adaptations, I think sometimes when a book is adapted it loses a certain something. But I have really enjoyed some of them so here is my list.

The Take- Martina Cole

As you may know by now I am a Martina Cole fan so her books will more than likely come up in a lot of my lists. The Take was made into a brilliant tv series starring the one and only Tom Hardy! I really enjoyed this series and I would recommend anyone who hasn't seen it to watch it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl (original)

I love Roald Dahl and loved reading his books when I was a child. The book has been adapted a couple of times and while I did enjoy the remake with Johnny Depp, the original will always be my favorite.

Bones-Kathy Reichs 

I haven't read all of these books but I have read a couple and Bones is one of my favorite tv shows. I like the development of the relationships Temperence Brennan and the people she works with. Not to mention the cases are really interesting.

The Runaway-Martina Cole

Another Martina Cole book made into a superb television series. Acting is brilliant and I really enjoyed watching it.

The Road-Cormac McCarthy

Now this one isn't entirely my choice as I've seen the movie but not read the book. I really enjoyed the movie and my partner said the book is just as good and I should read it because I'd enjoy it. Its on my reading list so I thought I would include it.




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Murder of Jeff Wright

So I'm a massive fan of the American series 48 hours, which is where I first came across this case. I've also seen a few other docum...