Family Murders and Tortures by Jehovah's Witnesses

or Why It Might be Unsafe to Marry a Jehovah's Witness

related: JW murderers



Heichel, accused killer went to same Jehovah's Witness church

y KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 5:46 AM

GRESHAM -- Both Jonathan Holt, the accused killer, and victim Whitney Heichel, attended the same Jehovah's Witness church, the woman's family confirmed Monday.

"We were completely shocked to find out that Jonathan Holt, an irregular attendee of our meetings, was arrested and would be in any way tied to this case as a suspect," the family said in a prepared statement.

The family's statement underlined and applied bold face to the word "irregular." The statement said there was no suggestion through any church activity of a motive to Heichel's murder....

 


 

JW HUSBAND DESCRIBED AS 'SLEAZY'

Author Ann Rule helps mother search for truth

CBS News - April 21, 2012
Ronda and Liburdi sought counseling through their Jehovah's Witness church where the elder was none other than
 Ron Reynolds.



 
Afsun Qureshi on post-partum depression: Out of the maternity ward ...
National Post - 23 hours ago  May 17, 2012
Tragically, we also shared some deadly risk factors for post-partum ... religious upbringings — her's was Jehovah's Witness, mine Islamic
 
 
 

 

Sad

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/36404/deacon-wife-found-dead-in-davao

 

DAVAO CITY - A deacon of a protestant church in Davao and his wife were found dead on Monday evening, still in their Sunday best.

The body of Ali Crisostomo, 44, was found hanging from the ceiling inside their room in Matina, Davao, Monday evening. The wife, 22-year-old Eden, was lying on the floor, her mouth foaming.

Relatives said they last saw the couple Sunday after they went to church. Crisostomo served as a deacon of the Jehova's Witness church. Authorities found an alleged suicide note inside the couple's room.

 

"To my body of elders. Dear Brothers, I wrote this letter to inform you all that I voluntarily stepping down (sic) my privileges as one of the elders of our congregation due to the wrongdoings that I have been committing (sic). It is sad that it happens to me but I know (sic)" the unsigned letter read.

Authorities are still verifying whether it was indeed Crisostomo who wrote the letter.

"I went inside their house to get something. I peeped through their room and found the woman sprawled on the floor, her face already very dark and her mouth was foaming,: said Crisostomo’s sister-in-law, Mary Rose.

Authorities said they are looking into the possibility that the husband first killed the wife and then committed suicide afterwards.



High driver sentenced for vehicular homicide of 67-year-old woman ...
 
York Daily Record
Colon-Vega, 67, of York, had been on her way, they said, to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Springdale on West Cottage Place.
 
http://www.ydr.com/crime/ci_21898524/high-driver-sentenced-vehicular-homicide-67-year-old
 
She was going to the Kingdom Hall, as she did regularly, her daughters said, to give Jehovah's Witnesses Bible classes and lessons when Justina Maggie Miller lost control of her car in the 500 block of Roosevelt Avenue near Madison Avenue in York and struck her on the sidewalk.

A year after the crash, Miller, 29, of South Hartley Street, entered no contest pleas to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of marijuana, accidents involving death, DUI and driving while operating privileges are suspended or revoked. According to court documents, Miller has never had a Pennsylvania license."


 

Daily Mail-  Dec. 11, 2012

The former trucker, who claimed he was on a divine mission to rid the streets of prostitutes, is now a Jehovah's Witness and whinged to his
 
The murderer bemoaned his regular visits from 'shrinks' and said how he was now disgusted by food, apart from toast and honey.

The former trucker, who claimed he was on a divine mission to rid the streets of prostitutes, is now a Jehovah's Witness and whinged to his brother during the calls that he could not find a copy of the Watchtower, a magazine produced by the religious group.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2234709/Peter-Sutcliffe-Cured-Yorkshire-Ripper-speaks-hopes-leaving-Broadmoor.html#ixzz2Ce2BNvvv 

 

Man Found Guilty, Mentally Ill in Daughter's Death

Feb 26, 2011 8:18pm

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish reached the verdict Tuesday after an eight-day bench trial.

William Redman will be confined to prison and given psychiatric treatment as he awaits sentencing April 27. He faces 20 years in prison to life without parole.

Redman, a Jehovah's Witness, believed his daughter, Gloria, would be resurrected three days after he repeatedly plunged a knife into her neck at the family's trailer at Road Runner RV Park.

He was found sitting outside the trailer with self-inflicted wounds to his arms, wrists and neck.

Defense attorneys argued he was not guilty by reason of insanity.

___

Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

 


Murder in God’s Name: Son says he killed parents according to Jehovah’s command

Murder in God’s Name: Son says he killed parents according to Jehovah’s command

The number of people involved in sects in Armenia reaches 368,000.

By Gayane Mkrtchyan
ArmeniaNow reporter  11/11/10

The murder of two parents by their own son, who is a member of Jehovah's Witnesses sect, caused heated public discussions in Armenia.

Arman Torosyan, 23, killed his parents – 64-year-old Khachik Torosyan and 57-year-old Marietta Torosyan in their apartment in Sevan, as he says, “fulfilling the commandment of Jehovah.”

A criminal case was filed according to the Article of the Criminal Code of Armenia (“murder of two or more people”) in Sevan.

The murderer must undergo a psychiatric examination; meanwhile a new wave of complaints against sects and the negative impact of their activities upon people rose in Yerevan.

‘Yerevan-Moscow-Tbilisi-Kiev’ teleconference, held on Wednesday, discussed the issue of the real threats sects carry, and the means of struggle against them.

According to Alexander Amaryan, head of Center for Rehabilitation and Assistance to Victims of Destructive Cults, the number of people involved in sects in Armenia reaches 368,000.

“The main goal of sectarian organizations is the ‘reprocessing’ of people. There are no corresponding specialists in Armenia; there are no independent centers, which may carry out a struggle against preachers,” Amaryan says
.
Psychiatrist Aram Hovsepyan, technical coordinator of the Armenian Psychiatric Association, says that murder and suicide cases, committed under the influence of sects, increases (even though there are no official data).

“Such patients develop a kind of disorder of mental dependency upon other people,” Hovsepyan says. “We have acute psychotic disorders, which lead people to unconscious aggressive actions.”


Man's life offers little to hint at explosion of violence

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 25, 2010

APPOMATTOX, VA. -- Christopher B. Speight lived in two starkly different worlds.

Court papers indicate that he was quietly preparing for a violent siege. He stockpiled firearms, hand grenades, pipe bombs, ammunition, body armor and paramilitary gear such as night-vision goggles and Vietnam-era Claymore mine components. He spent hours firing semiautomatic rifles on a 200-yard range behind his place on Snapps Mill Road. He cached food, provisions and sleeping bags. He booby-trapped the house and the woods around it with explosives.

Outwardly, however, Speight showed few signs that anything was terribly wrong. He never married and kept mostly to himself, but he was usually cheerful and calm around other people. He was quick to lend a hand and proved to be a reliable security guard at businesses for Old Dominion Security. With co-workers who drew him out, he spoke of his faith and attendance at a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall in Rustburg, his reluctance to settle down with any woman and a passion for firearms that began when he was a boy.

His mother's death in 2006 from brain cancer had plunged him into despair for a time, but it also made him closer to his sister and her husband, who returned from Georgia last year to live with him. To many who knew him, he seemed like an ordinary person whose troubles appeared no worse than anyone else's.

The enormous divide between the man people thought they knew and the one who saw dark plots on all sides was never obvious until Tuesday. Sometime before noon, authorities say, Speight exploded in violence, killing eight people with a high-powered rifle, firing shots when a sheriff's deputy and EMT arrived at the home after a body was reported there, and shooting a Virginia State Police helicopter from the sky. The 19-hour rampage came to a close after a damp, all-night standoff in the woods near his home when Speight, unarmed and wearing a bulletproof vest, peacefully surrendered to police.

The dead included the people in his life who were closest to him: his sister, Lauralee Dobyns Sipe, 37; her husband, Dwayne S. Sipe, 38, who went by his middle name, Shannon, with close friends and family members; and his sister's 15-year-old daughter, Morgan Leigh Dobyns, and 4-year-old son, Joshua T. Sipe. Authorities say Speight also killed four acquaintances: Ronald "Bo" Scruggs II, 16, and Emily A. Quarles, 15, both friends of Morgan's; and Jonathan L. and Karen Quarles, both 43, Emily's parents.

Four victims were found inside Speight's house, and three others as if shot while sitting in a car or immediately outside it. Law enforcement sources said Jonathan Quarles had been able to reach the road, despite being shot in the torso, and lay face down, fighting for life, when passersby found him.

Speight, who has been charged with murder, is in custody without bail at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority in Lynchburg. On Friday, investigators filed court documents cataloguing firearms, explosives and other items seized from Speight's home, including a Colt AR-15 assault rifle, a BFI Bushmaster assault rifle, two Chinese-made Norinco semiautomatic rifles and other military arms.

Soul mates

People are trying to make sense of a killing rampage that defies understanding. The people Speight is charged with murdering were trying to help him, yet he thought they would bring him harm. He'd gone his whole life proud of avoiding violence to resolve disputes.

Speight's uncle, Thomas Giglio, 61, of South Boston, Va., said no one in the family ever hinted that tensions were brewing inside the neatly kept, two-story brown house behind the split rail fence. Giglio said Lauralee was looking out for her elder brother's best interests, and Sipe, a Navy veteran and successful entrepreneur, treated him like his brother. Giglio said Speight, who suffered from a serious learning disability and bouts of severe depression tied to his mother's death, seemed to be getting on with his life just fine.

"I looked at Chris and Dwayne and I thought, 'This is really great. He's got a soul mate,' " Giglio said. "Those were the people who loved Christopher, who helped Christopher, who protected Christopher, who looked after him. I don't know how it got twisted."

In dozens of interviews with co-workers, friends, associates and members of law enforcement, a darker portrait has emerged of Speight as a deeply troubled man whose demons were kept so firmly in check that people who had known him for years now feel as if they might not have known him at all.

....... (read whole story here)

"He said he had a calling with the church," said Clarence "Scooter" Reynolds, 39, recalling a conversation that began about women. "He just said he wasn't interested in having a relationship with a woman. He was going the church way."

Yet members of the Kingdom Hall seldom saw him and said Speight was never baptized in the faith, Elder Richard Taylor said.

Speight's neighbors also did not see much of him. But most knew at least one thing about Speight: He had firearms, and he liked to shoot. Almost every weekend, the red clay hills and ridges of scrub pine echoed with the sounds of gunfire, often rapid-fire shooting that suggested someone was using a semiautomatic.


 

Man Jailed for Life over Religious Killing  Nov. 8, 2009

A man who murdered the mother of his 13 children by stabbing her 17 times did so to save her from sin, the WA Supreme Court was told today.

Kenneth Pickett was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum 20 year period behind bars after pleading guilty to the brutal murder of Andrea Pickett outside a North Beach house in January.

Pickett had been released from jail only two months earlier after twice breaching a violence restraining order taken out by Ms Pickett and also threatening to kill her.

The court was told Pickett was an extremely religious man who killed his former wife after the breakdown of their 23 year marriage because he thought she was in another relationship and that went against his interpretation of the bible.

Justice Peter Blaxell said Pickett who is a Jehovah's Witness continued to justify the killing by saying he saved his former wife from sin.

The court was told on the night of the murder Pickett broke into a house in North Beach and chased his former wife outside the home before beginning to stab her as she held her three-year-old child in her arms.

Outside court members of Ms Pickett’s extended family criticised the system that allowed multiple VROs to be broken and ending up in the tragic death.


Jarka trial: Murrieta man sentenced to life in prison without parole for murder of wife  (Nov. 6, 2009)


Read more: http://www.swrnn.com/southwest-riverside/2009-11-06/news/jarka-trial-murrieta-man-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-without-parole-for-murder-of-wife#ixzz0WORdnxAd

A Murrieta man convicted of murdering his longtime wife and making the killing look like it was done by an intruder will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole, a judge ruled Friday.

Kelle Lee Jarka, 41 at the time of his trial, showed no reaction as Judge Timothy Freer confirmed the sentence indicated by Jarka’s conviction for first-degree murder. A jury deliberated about two hours in September before deciding Jarka murdered his wife, Isabelle, and that the killing was for financial gain, a finding that made him ineligible for parole.

Jarka showed no reaction as Judge Freer sentenced him to the maximum penalty. He called Jarka “evil” and said the evidence was overwhelming.

The sentence followed statements from Jarka’s brother-in-law and those of Isabelle’s family. Jarka continued to deny his guilt and told the judge he misses his wife.

He told the judge that one day he will be exonerated.

Prosecutors successfully argued Jarka, who was having financial problems, wanted to collect $1.3 million in life insurance on a policy he had taken out on his wife of nearly 20 years. The prosecutor described Jarka as a man so enamored with his upper-middle-class lifestyle and position within his congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, that he was willing to sacrifice the life of his loving wife to maintain it.

Defense attorney Erin Kirkpatrick told jurors Kelle Jarka was a peaceful man and a loving husband who did not kill his wife. Kirkpatrick said the Jarka’s finances were unstable, but their fiscal picture was not dire. Despite the best efforts of Murrieta police, she said, there was no physical evidence linking her client to Isabelle’s brutal death.

Isabelle Jarka suffered almost a dozen blows to her head with a blunt object resulting in a fracture to her skull and injuries to her brain, Dr. Joseph Cohen testified.

 


Texas woman accused of beheading, eating infant son  Tuesday, July 28, 2009

By ROBERT CROWE, MICHELLE MONDO and NANCY PREYOR-JOHNSON
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

The 33-year-old woman who police said decapitated her infant son and ate parts of his body had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and postpartum psychosis before the slaying at a North Side home this weekend, the family said Monday.

Otty Sanchez confessed to killing Scott Wesley Buchholz Sanchez on Sunday with a steak knife and two swords before mutilating the corpse and eating body parts that included the brain, nose and toes, police said.

She has been charged with capital murder and remained under 24-hour observation Monday at University Hospital, where she was treated for self-inflicted knife wounds.

The father of the baby now is asking that she "pay the ultimate price."

"She was a sweet person and I still love her, but she needs to pay the ultimate price for what she has done," said Scott W. Buchholz, who referred to his child as "baby Scotty." "She needs to be put to death for what she has done."

Sanchez's relatives, however, are hoping authorities will take into consideration her history of mental illness, which included a recent diagnosis of postpartum psychosis.

"It's just tragic and unbelievable what happened," said Greg Garcia, Sanchez's first cousin who considers her a sister. "She was a good, hard-working person, but she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia last year."

The crime happened at Sanchez's mother's home in the 300 block of Wayside Drive sometime between 1:30 and 4:30 a.m. When officers arrived about 5 a.m. to find baby Scotty's mutilated body, Sanchez quickly confessed to the macabre crime, police said.

"She was hysterical, screaming, 'I killed my baby. I killed my baby,'" said Police Chief William McManus.

Child Protective Services officials said that Sanchez had never been investigated by the agency prior to the killing. The agency on Monday was at the home investigating conditions, because Sanchez's sister's children, ages 5 and 7, also live there.

Police said the sister, the two children and Sanchez's mother were in the home at the time of the slaying. The adult women had each taken turns caring for baby Scotty at night so they could sleep in shifts. Sanchez's shift began at 1:30 p.m. Her sister discovered the baby's body about 4:30 a.m. and called police about 5 a.m.

The crime scene was so disturbing that the San Antonio Police Department has provided counseling services for some officers who entered the home.

"Normally you don't see a scene of this magnitude in terms of the atrocity," McManus said. "When you do, it certainly leaves a lasting impression."

Sanchez told detectives that she was "hearing voices" and the devil made her kill the baby boy she had given birth to June 30.

The Bexar County District Attorney's Office will soon review the homicide detectives' recommended capital murder charge, which is punishable by the death penalty.

"You can still be prosecuted if you have some form of mental illness," said First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg. "The test is if you understand the difference between right and wrong. The question is whether or not you know your act is wrong."

Defense attorneys can request competency hearings to determine whether Sanchez is fit to stand trial.

Dr. Lucy Puryear, a Houston psychiatrist and author, said mothers who experience postpartum psychosis often have a history of other mental disorders, but in some cases childbirth triggers the psychosis.

"It's usually really severe," said Puryear, who wrote the book, "Understanding Your Moods When You're Expecting."

She testified as an expert witness in the case of Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in Houston in 2001. While postpartum depression affects one in 10 mothers, Puryear said, the more severe condition of postpartum psychosis -- which includes hallucinations -- affects 1 in 1,000.

Puryear said postpartum psychosis includes delusional thoughts, hallucinations and an altered state of reality.

"The scary thing is that the delusions are usually always about the baby," she said. "In all of the (high profile) cases, the thinking involves the babies: The mother had to kill the baby to protect it, or God has spoken to the mother and there is a mission to kill the baby or sometimes the baby is the devil who needs to be gotten rid of to save the world," she said.

Relatives said Sanchez's mental health had severely deteriorated in the week before baby Scotty's death. On July 20, she moved out of the home she was living at with the baby and his father near Windcrest on the Northeast Side.

That same day she checked herself into a hospital after hearing voices, but she soon checked herself out, according to a source familiar with the investigation but unauthorized to speak to the media. She then took the baby to stay at her mother's home in the 300 block of Wayside Drive.

Buchholz called her every day to convince her to return to their home, to no avail.

"We were all trying to get her to come back," said Buchholz best friend, Matthew Maher. "She wouldn't answer her phone."

She finally reappeared about 2 p.m. Saturday at Buchholz's parent's home on the Northeast Side.

"We were so happy to see Scotty again," said his father.

She was at the home for about 15 minutes when Buchholz told Sanchez that he needed a copy of baby Scotty's birth certificate and Social Security Card. The request seemed to "set her off," Buchholz said.

"She grabbed the baby and just said, 'I gotta go. I gotta go. I'm out of here.'"

The mother ran out of home with Scotty in a car seat. She left behind the baby's diaper bag and her purse, along with her medication. Buchholz said Sanchez threw the child's car seat -- with Scotty inside -- into the front passenger area of her car and sped away without buckling Scotty into the vehicle's front seat.

His mother called 911, and a sheriff's deputy arrived to investigate the incident as a disturbance, court records show. Later on Saturday night, while Buchholz was attending the Judas Priest concert, he received a cell phone call from Sanchez.

"She told me she had found someone else and she never wanted to see me again," he said.

Police think she killed the baby about six hours later.

Sanchez and Buchholz met in 2003, while they were enrolled in the San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistance. The couple's volatile relationship was on and off for the past six years, but they became dedicated to making it work after learning she was pregnant last year, relatives said.

"She took really good care of herself during the pregnancy," said Buchholz, who also has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. "We were excited about having a baby."

But Sanchez's mental health deteriorated soon after the child's birth. Her recovery was complicated by an infection, which required the use of a catheter for a week. Irritability progressed to a darker psychological state, and a postpartum depression diagnosis soon followed.

"She kept telling me she needed to see a counselor all the time," Buchholz.

During the pregnancy and first two weeks after baby Scott's birth, the couple lived together in a rented house on the Northeast Side.

The couple paid for the residence with his monthly disability checks and her job as an in-home health care provider for senior citizens. She worked until about two weeks before she gave birth. Acquaintances described Sanchez and her mother as devout Jehovah's Witnesses."They would come up to our door every so often, but I told them I was Catholic, so they left," said Elaine Calchin.

Buchholz's mother, Kathleen, said she had no idea that Sanchez had been diagnosed with the same mental illness her son had. She thought that baby Scotty was the best thing that could have happened to the troubled couple.

She is not sure what should happen to the baby's mother.

"I have mixed emotions," she said. "She needs to stay under psychiatric care. I love her. She was like a daughter. I don't want her out at this point, but that may change."

 


Murdered woman left 5-pg letter disassociating herself. Husband on Trial

 

http://www.stthomastimesjournal.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1588079

http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/friends/176202/1/Murdered-woman-left-5-pg-letter-disassociating-herself-Husband-on-Trial

http://www.stthomastimesjournal.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1586180

 

Decision is final: slain wife

Posted By KYLE REA, Times-Journal

Eugena Smith expected "wagging tongues to flutter with delight" after they read the letter she wrote saying she was leaving the Jehovah's Witness church.

That comes from a five-page draft of the missive, read aloud to a trial jury on Wednesday and addressed to the Watchtower Bible Society of Jehovah's Witnesses. It was found by investigators lying among a pile of clothing on the floor of Eugena Smith's bedroom, shortly after the 33-year-old St. Thomas woman was found murdered in her 9 Balaclava St. home in June, 2007.

Her estranged husband Michael Smith, 37, is on trial for first-degree murder in the city's Superior Court of Justice.

The couple's daughter, who was three-and-a-half years old in June, 2007, wasn't home at the time.

Justice Peter Hockin is hearing the case, which is expected to last five weeks.

The Crown argued in an opening statement Tuesday that Eugena Smith was trying to leave both her husband, and her church, just days before she died on June 7, 2007. Michael Smith, the Crown says, thought she was having an affair.

Among a mountain of evidence presented in court on Wednesday, Eugena's draft letter stated "I no longer wish to associate myself with the (Watchtower) organization" and urged people not to persuade her to come back.

"My decision is final."

Wednesday also saw testimony from Const. Terri Hikele and Const. Marc Vaughan, two St. Thomas identification officers who investigated, photographed and video-taped both Eugena Smith's home and Michael Smith's Talbot Street apartment. The court heard cellphones, computers, medication and clothing were seized by police.

Some objects, such as a black woman's shirt cut from neck to waist, a pair of thong underwear, stained bed sheets and wads of toilet paper with a red substance on it, all found in Eugena Smith's bedroom, were sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto for testing.

Swabs taken from Michael Smith's penis and a sexual assault test kit with samples taken at Eugena Smith's autopsy were also sent away to be tested, the court heard.

Photos, video and items seized from Michael Smith's apartment were also presented to the jury. One of those items included a letter from Michael Smith's father, Joseph, addressed, "To my son."

Read aloud for the jury by Vaughan, the letter asks forgiveness for a "previous outburst," and talks about a heated argument involving Eugena Smith and her inlaws. In the letter Joseph Smith worries he won't get a chance to see his granddaughter again.

"Don't make (her) pay for a few words."

The trial continues today.



Calgary Herald - ‎2-26-2009

Man who killed wife, two kids denied parole

Kostelniuk chronicled the murders of his two children and ex-wife in his book Wolves Among Sheep: The True Story of Murder in a Jehovah's Witness Community 



Man Strangles Wife, Calls Elder to Confess

http://www.wwltv.com/topstories/stories/wwl011909tpstrangle.d6a7c0c.html

WWLMan strangles wife, calls pastor to confess
WWL, LA - Jan 19, 2009

Ortega is the member of a local Jehovah Witness congregation, police said. Ortega and his wife, San Juana Isabel Ortega, 32, argued throughout the early ...

Man strangles wife, calls pastor to confess
03:38 PM CST on Monday, January 19, 2009
Matthew Pleasant / Houma Courier

WWLTV.com

HOUMA – After strangling his wife during a Sunday morning argument while their young children slept nearby, a 47-year-old welder called his pastor to confess the slaying, according to police.
Rodolfo Ortega, 320 Coach Court, Houma, is charged with second-degree murder.
At 10 a.m., police arrived at Ortega’s trailer after receiving a call from Ortega’s pastor, said Houma Police Lt. Jude McElroy. Ortega is the member of a local Jehovah Witness congregation, police said.
Ortega and his wife, San Juana Isabel Ortega, 32, argued throughout the early morning without waking their four children, who were sleeping, McElroy said.


New details in murder of 12-year-old girl 3/15/08

______________________________________________________

 

It was all in the name of God

 
Squalid ... sadistic foster mother Eunice and bedroom and bathroom in her home
 
Squalid ... sadistic foster mother Eunice and bedroom and bathroom in her home

 
By JOHN COLES
March 21, 2007
 

AN evil foster mother was yesterday convicted of horrifically abusing three children — to raise them “in accordance with her faith”.

Fanatical Jehovah’s Witness Eunice Spry, 62, believed the two girls and a boy were possessed by the Devil and wanted to “purify” them.

She beat them with sticks and metal bars, forced them to drink bleach and eat their own vomit and faeces, and starved them naked in a locked room for a month.

She also kicked them, pushed sticks down their throats, strangled them, forced their hands on a hot cooker and rubbed their faces with sandpaper, a court was told.

The kids were banned from listening to pop or wearing trendy clothes — and were punished if found with sweets or music mags.

One punishment saw the trio, identified only as Victims A, B and C, forced to stay totally still for long periods. If they moved they would be beaten as a further deterrent.

The abuse went undetected for almost 20 years as Spry pulled the youngsters out of school and taught them at her two rat-infested homes in Tewkesbury, Gloucs.

Council inspectors also failed to spot the horror despite regularly visiting to check on the kids’ education.


 

Scarred ... one child victim
Scarred ... one child victim
 
 

But it finally came to light in December 2004, when Victim A — one of the two girls — ran away from home.

Victim B and Victim C, the boy, made statements to police and Spry, estranged from her second husband, was arrested in February 2005.

Doctors called the kids’ injuries “extraordinary”. They also had depression. Both girls had attempted suicide.

Spry, described as chilling and cold, denied abusing the three and said she was only trying to bring them up according to her faith.

She told a jury at Bristol Crown Court: “I sweated blood for those children. I went to great lengths to protect them from immorality.

“From a Christian point of view we expect our children to be obedient. As it says in the Bible, ‘Children, be obedient to your parents and make the Lord proud’.”

But after a five-week trial, jurors convicted her of 24 counts of abuse between 1986 and 2005 — plus two of intimidating witnesses.

Judge Simon Darwall-Smith remanded Spry in custody pending reports before she is sentenced next month.

Her three victims — now young adults — went to live with Spry as youngsters with social services approval.

But Victim A said they were treated as “slaves”, rarely allowed out and told to lie about their bruises . She said: “We were beaten, starved, drowned in the bath and kicked down the stairs.

“Mum had an array of sticks, and would beat us with them and kick us till we were collapsing with pain.

“If we screamed she’d push the sticks down our throats.”

Victim A said the family’s homes were infested with rats and the children would often sleep on the floor.

At one point she said Spry made her wear a sign on her back at her local Jehovah’s Witnesses church, reading: “This child is evil. Do not look at her or talk to her.”

The girl said her earliest memory was of Spry making her eat dog food and, when she was sick, eat the vomit.

Victim B said Spry had a system of punishments for lying — heavily prohibited by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

She said: “She’d pour washing-up liquid down our throats and say, ‘Don’t throw up or you’ll have more’. We were told not to speak to anyone. She believed other people were worldly as they didn’t believe in her religion.” Victim C said: “I can only describe mother’s punishment methods as torture.”

Last night the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board said lessons had to be learned from the case. A spokesman said: “These children were seen by many different professionals, but few were a consistent presence. Information was not shared.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses said the faith did not condone abuse. A spokesman said: “We don’t tolerate physical cruelty.”

from: http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007130269,00.html
 
 

 

Baby Found Dead In Yard

Slaying Result Of Possible Religious Sacrifice

from: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/9077272/detail.html

POSTED: 4:47 pm EDT April 28, 2006
A 9-month-old boy who was found dead in a neighborhood on Detroit's eastside Friday morning, may have been killed as a form of religious sacrifice.

According to police, Raphael Thomas and his live-in girlfriend, Betty Jenkins, were involved in a Bible study in their Detroit home when Thomas and his girlfriend began to argue.

The two exchanged words and Thomas grabbed hold of a can of red spray paint and wrote the word "revelations" on the walls throughout the home. He tossed his Bible outside along with other items that may be linked to a Jehovah Witness, according to police.

Thomas then grabbed his son and left the home, Local 4 reported.

Jenkins phoned police, but help didn't come in time. Thomas was found walking along Gratiot Avenue in Detroit stabbing himself. He inflicted more than 30 knife wounds on his body, according to police.

The baby was not with Thomas, but was found dead a short time after in the back yard of a home. Police said the baby had been mutilated from the inside out.

Thomas told police he freed his baby from the evils of the earth, leading investigators to believe the slaying of the baby was a form of religious sacrifice.

The man was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital and treated with nearly 200 stitches. He remains in the psychiatric ward of the hospital.

Police said they didn't receive the 911 call until about 2:20 a.m., but a neighbor of the family said he phoned police at 10:30 p.m.

The child's mother is not in custody and not involved in the death of the baby.

The father is facing charges of murder.

Police continue to investigate, and the issue of the 911 call remains uncertain.


Questions hover at funeral for man accused of burning girlfriend

from: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/pbcnorth/content/local_news/epaper/2006/04/30/s3c_funeral_0430.html

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, April 30, 2006

RIVIERA BEACH — The man they called "Big L" lived for 49 years as a nice, quiet, easygoing guy.

A truck driver with a big family, he was laid to rest in a silver casket Saturday in a distinguished suit and hat, his graying beard neatly trimmed.

This is how about 200 people remembered Lester Parson. At a Jehovah's Witnesses ceremony in the gymnasium at John F. Kennedy Middle School, they sat in bleachers and chairs in front of a casket under a basketball net.

They paid respects to a man who they said didn't get into trouble, didn't drink or smoke or talk much. The son of a carpenter, he was a 1974 Suncoast High School graduate who loved trucks and drove one for the Serta mattress company. A man who suddenly snapped — then died with charges of attempted murder and arson on his mind.

On April 4, the man with no criminal record, with no history of violence, was suddenly accused of doing something cruel.

Parson visited his girlfriend as she worked an overnight shift at a Mobil gas station in Riviera Beach. He bought some gas and doused Tanya Hughey, 38, with it. He lit a match.

On April 22 he was in the Palm Beach County Jail infirmary with severe burns on his hands and arms from the attack. He developed a blood clot that traveled from his leg to his lungs, and he died.

Hughey is still alive, with third-degree burns over 90 percent of her body.

Parson — a son, brother and friend — died despite his relatively minor injuries.

"Life is uncertain," said Walter Embry, who delivered the service at Parson's funeral, "because you never know what's going to happen to you the next day."

In the funeral program, Parson was memorialized with a trucker's poem:

Come on and join our convoy BIG "L"

Ain't nothing gonna get in our way

We gonna roll this convoy across the FLA

This is Big "L" on the side we gone Bye-Bye

We'll catch you on the Flip Flop

Ten-Four Good Buddy

In the more than six years that Parson dated Hughey, their families grew close. Hughey's siblings and younger children planned to attend Parson's funeral — not out of hate, but out of respect for Parson's mother and family and even Hughey.

"That is what Tanya would want if she was here," said her brother, Andre Cohen, of Riviera Beach.

But none of them made it. Hughey's kidneys failed Friday night and she was put on dialysis. The last of her siblings flew in from Chicago to say goodbye. She was still holding on Saturday night.

"I didn't want to leave my sister," Cohen said. "I want to spend every minute I can with her while she's still here."

Cohen said he would've wanted the chance to ask Parson why he did it. He wanted to tell him that his sister didn't deserve what happened to her.

After the burial at Royal Palm Memorial Gardens in West Palm Beach, Embry said: "The only thing I can dwell on is what he was. There are some questions you can never answer."

 

 


 

Girl's brother testifies father fatally beat her


By Jeff Coen
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 26, 2006

 
Testifying against his father, Leon Slack whipped a piece of electrical cord across a bed frame in the courtroom. The cord, he said, was like the one his father used to beat Slack's sister to death.

Jurors watched as Slack repeatedly slapped the cord, demonstrating how he said his father struck his sister more than 100 times after she was tied to the same frame in November 2001.

Laree Slack had screamed out, her brother said, but their father, Larry Slack, stuck a towel in her mouth to muffle her.

Leon Slack, now 21, testified in Cook County Criminal Court on the first day of Larry Slack's trial in the murder of 12-year-old Laree. Leon Slack said his father routinely beat him and his five brothers and sisters with electrical cords.

"You felt it not only in your back, but in the front of your chest," Slack said. He then described the force his father used--like "you were hammering a nail into wood."

Larry Slack and his wife, Constance, were charged in the case after paramedics responded to a 911 call from the house in the 7900 block of South Brandon Avenue, Chicago. Prosecutors have said the couple were strict Jehovah's Witnesses who practiced corporal punishment.

Constance Slack has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is expected to testify against her husband, who faces the same charge.

On Tuesday, Assistant State's Atty. Meg Blade told jurors the facts of the case are so horrible that justice demands a guilty verdict.

Assistant Public Defender Denise Streff urged the panel not to let sympathy sway them. Larry Slack did not intend to kill his daughter, Streff said.

The couple loved their children but did whip them as a form of discipline, just as their own parents had, Streff said. Larry Slack worked as a Chicago Transit Authority machinist and Constance Slack worked as a nurse.

"It got out of hand," Streff said of the discipline. "It absolutely got out of hand."

----------

jcoen@tribune.com

UPDATE on Slack:

Jury convicts dad of whipping girl to death

April 28, 2006

BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-beat28.html

After flogging his 12-year-old daughter to death with an electrical cable, a somber Larry Slack told investigators he was disgusted with what he'd done.

On that point at least, a Cook County jury appeared to agree with the man prosecutors called a "sick and sadistic" tyrant. In less than three hours of deliberating Thursday, the jury convicted Slack, 46, of first-degree murder in the death of Laree Slack on Nov. 11, 2001, at the family's South Side home.

"When they showed the autopsy pictures of [Laree's] body after she was dissected, that was enough to really turn your stomach," said juror Tom Sullivan.

Slack, sitting with his elbows on the table in front of him and his fingers interlocked, bowed his head when the verdict was read but otherwise displayed no emotion. The jury also found Slack guilty of aggravated battery to a child in the beating of Laree's younger brother, Lester Slack.

During closing arguments, prosecutors told jurors that Larry Slack was someone who would inflict pain on a whim and was eager to beat Laree Slack the night she died.

"The penalty for crossing this guy -- no matter for what silly thing -- was torture," Cook County assistant state's attorney Ted Lagerwall told the jury.

When he beat Laree -- who was tied to a bare metal futon frame and gagged -- he did so "over and over and over again," Lagerwall said.

The beating started because Laree and her five siblings had been unable to find a lost credit card. The beating continued because Larry Slack was furious that Laree wouldn't take the beating quietly, prosecutors say.

"Ladies and gentleman, that isn't discipline," Lagerwall said. "That isn't corporal punishment. That's murder."

Denise Streff, one of Slack's attorneys, argued that what her client had done was wrong, but he isn't a "sadistic killer."

"Mr. Slack did not intend to kill his daughter," Streff said. "He knew it was bad . . . but he had no idea Laree wasn't going to get up and be OK."

Faces 20 years to life in prison

She reminded jurors that Slack was so upset when he realized he'd killed his daughter that he tried to commit suicide.

In his videotaped statement to prosecutors played in court Thursday, the corpulent Slack said, "I bought [a knife] for the purposes of killing myself. I hid it under the fat folds of my stomach."

But prosecutors asked jurors not to be distracted by the suicide attempt, calling it self-serving.

Cook County assistant state's attorney Rick Cenar told jurors they only had to find Slack intended to inflict "great bodily harm" to convict him of first-degree murder.

"This was a crime involving torture," Cenar said. "This was a house of pain. This was a house of torture. The king of pain is right over there."

Sentencing is set for June 1. He faces 20 years to life in prison, Cenar said.

sesposito@suntimes.com

 


Man slaughters family - Update

April 13, 2006

from : http://www.ogrish.com/archives/man_slaughters_family_update_Apr_13_2006.html

We recently ran a series concerning the slaughter of a family by the father / husband. More information has since become available. You can see the images here :
PART ONE
PART TWO
PART THREE PART FOUR

Eloy Leon Kings was, apparently, a well liked and respected man in his local community. A devout Jehovas witness, he was a regular churchgoer and apparently a loving husband and father. There were no obvious signs to the outside world that something appeared to be going wrong with Mr Kings.
 


After awaking early one Thursday morning he read from his bible, took a knife, and set about trying to murder his family. His first victim, 8 year old Lucia, dies from having her throat cut. As she lay bleeding to death he then went after his wife, also named Lucia, whom he repeatedly stabbed. He then cut the throats of his remaining two daughters, 5 year old Dana and 6 year old Light. Light survived the attack but is, as of this writing, still under critical care for severe neck wounds.
 


Following his rampage Mr Kings turned the knife on himself, sawing into his throat. However, he suffered only minor damage to the skin and subcutaneous layers . The frantic Mr Kings had to be heavily tranquilised by doctors before they could treat his self inflicted injuries.
 


Investigators have been trying to piece together why Mr Kings would suddenly attempt to murder his whole family. Under interrogation Mr Kings would only reply with religious verse about Satan and how he wanted to “Take his family to paradise”.
 

Eloy Leon Kings
Eloy Leon Kings

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-canambrose0203.artfeb03,0,7510368.story?coll=hc-headlines-local


Injured Woman's Husband Arraigned

By TOM PULEO
Courant Staff Writer

February 3 2006

CANTON -- Joseph V. Ambrose smashed his wife's face and skull with a pipe early Monday and told her she was "going to die tonight" before he left her outside a hospital and drove away, court records released Thursday state.

But the police report offers no reason Ambrose - a self-employed carpenter and elder in the Canton congregation of the Jehovah's Witnesses - attacked his wife inside their rented home.

She is recovering from her injuries. He was arraigned Thursday on attempted murder, first-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping charges and held with bail set at $750,000.

He was ordered to have no contact with his wife or their four children should he make bail. He is due back in Superior Court in Hartford on Feb. 16.

Court records state that the couple had separated, but still was living at 93 Old Canton Road and sleeping in different bedrooms.

Ambrose, 55, lured his wife out of her room early Monday by telling her she had a phone call, then pummeled her, leaving multiple lacerations on her face and head, the report states.

Robin Ambrose, 41, remains at Hartford Hospital and the couple's two youngest children who were living at home are now in state custody, authorities said.

Ambrose eluded police for more than a day but was captured Tuesday morning, walking near the Canton-New Hartford line and carrying a loaded gun.

Robin Ambrose gave police the following account: She remembers her husband striking her hard on the head, saying he had a pipe and was going to "kill her." The next thing she remembers is waking up alone in her minivan outside the house, her blood "everywhere."

Robin Ambrose opened the minivan door, triggering the alarm, causing her husband to run out of the house to the van. At this time, Ambrose told his wife she was "going to die but I have to take you away from here."

Robin Ambrose asked her husband to take her to the hospital. The next thing she remembers is waking up inside Hartford Hospital, the report says. She doesn't remember walking into the building.

In 2003, police went to the Ambrose house during a "physical altercation" between Ambrose and his young son, the police report says.

Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant


New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Jehovah's Witness shoots wife, self

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

A Bible-thumping Bronx man gunned down his estranged wife and then killed himself after accusing her of straying from their faith and sleeping with another man, police and neighbors said yesterday.

The victim's 21-year-old daughter found the bloodbath at 10:30 a.m. yesterday in her mother's Soundview apartment after the woman failed to show up to work as an Avon sales representative, neighbors said.

Sharoll Medina, 39, was sprawled on her bed with a gunshot wound to her head. Her estranged husband, Julio Lopez, 45, lay dead nearby with a revolver beside him, police said. "My mother! My mother!" her daughter screamed as she walked out of the Watson Ave. building.

Lopez and Medina, both Jehovah's Witnesses, separated about 18 months ago. But Lopez would often show up unannounced at Medina's fifth-floor apartment, neighbors said.

She routinely refused to let him inside, but rather than go away he would sleep in his truck. Their fighting got worse when Lopez found out Medina was dating another man - and he later argued with her about it, neighbors said.

 

Rich Schapiro and Alison Gendar

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/361673p-307958c.html


 

Victim's family dresses down murderer
By Laurel J. Sweet
Saturday, July 16, 2005 - Updated: 09:20 AM EST

http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=94081



Thomas Gillespie addresses his sister's
murderous husband Kevin Hensley during
victim impact statements.
(Staff photo by Ted Fitzgerald)


A bitter brother-in-law of the mild-mannered monster who pinned his sister face down while he strangled her with a necktie wanted to see Kevin Hensley off to prison in style yesterday.
     ``I notice you don't have a tie on,'' Thomas Gillespie, his voice crackling with sarcasm, told Hensley, 49, who once attempted suicide. ``You know what? I brought one for you.''
Hensley - who was a tow truck driver for the Boston Transportation Department when he murdered his wife, Nancy Hensley, 45, in their East Boston bedroom Jan. 31, 2002 - had planned to speak at his mandatory sentencing to life behind bars. But crushed by the weight of his family's grief, he backed down.
     After deliberating only two hours, a jury convicted Hensley of first-degree murder Thursday - the same day his daughter Candace Hensley turned 14.
     The Hensleys had four children during their 22 years of marriage: daughters Candace and Kerry, 24, and sons Pat, 22, and Kevin, 10.
     ``They're beautiful kids,'' Maryann Gillespie, the aunt who took them in, told their father in her gut-wrenching good riddance. ``They deserve the best, and we'll have that for them.
     ``I wish you had come to us for help,'' she told Hensley, whose slain wife was her husband Robert Gillespie's sister. ``We would have been there for you, but there's nothing we can do now.''
     Kevin and Nancy Hensley, Jehovah's Witnesses, had been separated only a couple of weeks when he beat and choked her to death and then dumped her body beside a toilet in the basement - what prosecutor Dennis Collins called the ``final indignity.''
     The couple's religion teaches that men run the home and women are to be subservient, but while Kevin Hensley was a homebody, family members said Nancy, a working mom, wanted to spread her wings.
     ``My sister lived for her children. She loved them dearly,'' Karen Nolan told Hensley. ``She would have been proud of each one of them for how they've handled this.
     ``Unfortunately, this state doesn't have the death penalty yet for animals like you, Kevin, so the best I can hope for is that you live a long and miserable life.''


March 26, 2005 

Sexual Abuse, Armageddon and Drugs

A powder keg ignited by P
New Zealand Herald - New Zealand
... The only remaining father figures in Dixon's life were Jehovah's Witnesses, one of whom on several occasions took Dixon on outings and sexually abused him
 
 
 
 
 
 
A powder keg ignited by P
Antonie Dixon's long but small-time criminal career culminated in a frenzy of violence and death.
Antonie Dixon's long but small-time criminal career culminated in a frenzy of violence and death.
 
26.03.05
by Louisa Cleave and Bronwyn Sell
 
 
From the age of 4 or 5, Antonie Dixon was dragged by his mother to Jehovah's Witness meetings. He was forced to sit for hours in meeting halls, go door-to-door with her as she preached, read the Bible every day before school.

He grew up with tales of fire and brimstone, of demons and devils, of a new world order, of Armageddon and how the sinners of the world would be wiped out.


At the age of 34, after a month-long P binge, he started his own Armageddon. He sliced off the right hand of his girlfriend Renee Gunbie and the left hand of former girlfriend Simonne Butler with a samurai sword in the Hauraki Plains village of Pipiroa, and then shot dead a stranger, James Te Aute, in Pakuranga, later raving to police, witnesses and psychiatrists that the women were immoral and Te Aute was the devil.

He claimed to have drunk blood from Gunbie's severed hand. He claimed his father was the offspring of angels. He claimed to see dancing goblins and hanging vampires.

Butler says Dixon yelled during the ordeal at Pipiroa, "that his God had told him he had to sacrifice me and we were all going to die and the New World was taking over".

Whether they were the ramblings of an insane man or a cynical- and ultimately unsuccessful - strategy to secure a trial verdict of not guilty by insanity, it wasn't hard to trace his inspiration.

"It was pretty intense," his sister, Carla Dixon-Foxley, says of their late mother's beliefs. "There was a lot of talk of demons and being possessed by the devil, Armageddon and not being good enough to obtain ever-lasting life."

Dixon had been involved in crime since he was 15. By the time he picked up the samurai sword, he had 160 convictions. It was mostly petty stuff - stolen cars, theft and driving offences - and a few assaults.

Police officers who had dealt with him for two decades had suspected his crime spree might escalate. But they hadn't expected something so extreme.

"I always thought he had the potential to kill but not in this way. This was quite out there," says Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Gutry, who was working in the Howick criminal investigation branch while Dixon was living in Beachlands in his 20s and early 30s.

While Dixon was a career criminal, one police officer said he was also likeable and charming. He'd had at least two serious, albeit tumultuous, relationships, which survived several prison terms. He had two children with his former partner for 10 years, Wendy Ross.

Ross and Simone Butler both say Dixon was charming. Ross says he had a "contagious personality". But both became aware of a darker side as their respective relationships progressed.

Butler and Dixon split in March 2002 but remained friends. Dixon took up with Gunbie, Butler's childhood friend and a P cook. Gunbie moved into the Pipiroa property in October that year.

Police who dealt with Dixon are confident they know exactly what turned him from a troubled petty criminal who aspired to notoriety into a homicidal madman: the drug P, a pure form of methamphetamine.

He wasn't crazy, a former police officer told the Weekend Herald. He just "lost it one night on P".

Dixon, who was a cannabis user, had drifted into P through his associations with gangs, says Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazier.

Brazier said Dixon phoned him three or four times a day in the months leading up to January 21, 2003, and admitted he was "fried" - a common term for regular P users.

Police say it changed his behaviour. It ignited his long-held paranoia and drew out the violence that had characterised his childhood.

In the 1970s, Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn, wasn't the trendy, upmarket street it is now. It was rough, especially inside Dixon's childhood home, which doubled as a boarding house for psychiatric patients released from Oakley and Carrington Hospitals.

Their mother, Isabelle, ran the house, administering medication to the boarders and the rod to her children, Dixon's sister says.

"She beat us. We were all scared of her. She used to lock Tony in the toilet for hours at a time. She would sit him on the potty with no pants on and leave him in the cold."

Dixon was tied to the washing line, chained up with padlocks and locked in his room with bars on the windows.

Dixon-Foxley, who is nine years older than her brother and now lives in London, remembers him as a child sitting on the couch and banging his head for hours, rocking. "He was always a bit strange."

Their father, Ronald, was violent to their mother. When Dixon was 7 they separated and he was forbidden by the courts from coming near the family. He died in Wellington three years later from heart problems, at the age of 53.

The only remaining father figures in Dixon's life were Jehovah's Witnesses, one of whom on several occasions took Dixon on outings and sexually abused him, Dixon-Foxley told his High Court trial.

He was forbidden from playing with other children because his mother didn't want him associating with non-believers.

Dixon rebelled. He would get frustrated and throw tantrums. And he was no longer a small boy who could be locked in the toilet.

"He had to be held down," Dixon-Foxley says. "It was uncontrollable, not unlike my father's temper. He'd get very angry. Unreasonable. Illogical. He would hit out. He grew up in an environment of violence and that's all he knew."

By 10 he was wagging school, and had to be dragged home from spacies parlours. Around that time he started to turn the violence back on to his mother.

"He was constantly in trouble," Dixon-Foxley says. "Once he started the truancy he was basically in homes. Home after home after home."

Their mother gave up. She made him a ward of the state. He lived in halfway houses, boys' homes, foster homes, institutions, borstals. About then he started breaking the law.

At 15 he was convicted of burglary and receiving property, although he was admonished and returned to state care. Thus began his 20-year crime spree.

Most police officers the Weekend Herald spoke to said he was not known as a violent offender. He craved notoriety but it proved elusive - until January 21, 2003.

Dixon seemed to enjoy dramatic run-ins with police - especially car chases. Before the samurai attacks his biggest claim to infamy was slipping out of a prison van in Auckland in 1994 after being charged with orchestrating a major car theft ring. He was on the run for more than a month. He called the New Zealand Herald while in hiding to say he expected the police would catch him.

A few years later he climbed through a skylight at the Tauranga police station after being arrested for a crime spree involving high-speed car chases in four stolen vehicles.

"I think he loved the whole car chase, almost a Dukes of Hazzard type," Gutry says.

Brazier says Dixon always wanted to be somebody more important, but the gangs considered him risky, probably because of his big-noting.

"As much as he wanted to be accepted in the criminal scene, a lot of the upper-echelon criminals didn't want him. You would mention his name and they would roll their eyes and say 'He's a would be if he could be'. He wanted to be the big man around town."

Detective Inspector Bernie Hollewand, the officer in the charge of the inquiry, says Dixon used violence "instrumentally" within the criminal scene.

Dixon had a "coterie of henchmen". His "business" was disposing of high-performance vehicles and he associated with several gangs, from the Headhunters to the Mongrel Mob.

"He wouldn't have wanted to be associated too closely with any one particular gang ... his business was best served by being in contact with all the gangs and knowing who was doing the business around the place," says Hollewand.

He agrees that Dixon wanted to be big. "He wants to be top dog, he wants to be doing Tony's business not anyone else's business."

His campaign for notoriety involved regular contact with police. A former police officer says Dixon would drive to the Howick police station, park his car alongside patrol cars and wander inside to chat.

"He's a friendly guy - very confident, very cocky. He had no problem talking to cops, because he thought he was too clever for us and was never going to get caught."

It seems a contradiction, but while Dixon was actively courting police, he was also paranoid they had him under electronic surveillance. He would beg Brazier to call off this imagined surveillance.

Brazier said Dixon's paranoia was a symptom of heavy P use - as was the violence that erupted.

"It is common for a heavy user to believe people are out to get them, whether it be police or other people in the drug scene."

In the months before his violent explosion, Dixon seemed convinced that the authorities were using 747s, bugs and satellites to monitor him.

He had painted slogans on the walls of his house and the road, saying, "my life is in danger" and "home of the satellite 747 and every other thing in the sky".

Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Middleton said Dixon's P use exaggerated his paranoia and made him more grandiose.

Brazier advised Dixon in the months before January 21, 2003, to seek help for his addiction.

"[Dixon's crime spree] is a result of P," says Gutry. "The levels of violence are so much more extreme.

"We're just seeing a lot of people who, when they get addicted to P, become extremely violent, unpredictable; who were otherwise not really violent people."

On January 21, 2003, Dixon finally lost control. Everything that had been haunting him for the past 34 years came to a head - the paranoia, the violence, the drugs, the two decades of crime, the run-ins with police, the cravings for notoriety.

"His personality was the powder keg and P was the match that lit it," Crown prosecutor Simon Moore said in court.

Things didn't go to plan for Dixon on January 21, 2003. He didn't want to go back to jail. He wanted to "go down in a blaze of glory", shot dead by police.

"I've gone too far," Dixon told Brazier that night, after mutilating the women and before killing Te Aute. "I've chopped them both and I'd have killed them if the sword hadn't broken." But in his warped mind, there was one consolation.

He told police: "Everyone will be taking notice of me now."

24 hours of violence

8.30am, January 21, 2003 Renee Gunbie prepares a cocktail of orange juice, cocaine and methamphetamine at the Pipiroa home she shares with boyfriend Antonie Ronnie Dixon. He drinks most of it.

2pm. Dixon breaks Gunbie's arm. His violent spree has begun.

7pm. His former girlfriend Simonne Butler arrives. Gunbie has been badly beaten. Dixon attacks the women with a samurai sword.

7.30pm. He calls an ambulance and drives to Hamilton, where he steals a car. He speeds erratically to Auckland. He taunts police over his mobile phone. "I'm not going to go to jail. This is going to be another Aramoana."

Midnight. He drives into Dunrobin Place, Highland Park, and finds three men in a car. He taunts them, draws them closer, then shoots dead James Te Aute. Dixon drives away, pursued by the men's friend, Steven Matthews, who was parked nearby. Dixon raises his gun at Matthews, who ducks and loses control of his car. Dixon threatens staff and customers at gunpoint at a Mobil station in Highland Park and a Shell station in Pakuranga.

12.30am. Dixon picks up a stranger, Bradley Kukard, in Howick and tells him he has killed a man. He drops him off and is chased by two police officers but escapes.

1am. A police officer spots Dixon's car in Rialto Court, Botany Downs, and chases him to Inchinnam Rd, East Tamaki. Dixon bursts into the house of Ian Miller, taking him hostage.

5.30am. After long conversations with Miller and police negotiators, Dixon releases Miller.

6.15am. Dixon leaves the house and lies on the lawn, surrendering.

 


 

03/17/2005
Greist speaks out at hearing
R. JONATHAN TULEYA , Staff Writer
http://www.dailylocal.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14164496&BRD=1671&PAG=461&dept_id=17782&rfi=6
 
WEST CHESTER -- Richard L. Greist ended decades of silence Wednesday when the institutionalized killer took the witness stand during his annual recommitment hearing.
The former East Coventry resident found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity lamented killing his wife and unborn son in 1978, quoted verses from the Bible and apologized to his two daughters.

But his daughters’ own testimony overshadowed Greist’s -- recounting in explicit detail their father’s rampage that nearly killed them.

"My sister and I love him very much, and we forgive him," said Elizabeth Ann Butts, 32, Greist’s older daughter. But they asked the court not to release Greist, "not now or ever."

Angela Dykie, 31, the killer’s other daughter, agreed her father should remain committed to a mental hospital for the rest of his life.

Dykie described Greist’s "searing slaps" and the "screams of terror" as he beat and stabbed the members of his family.

"He had fiery orange and green swirling eyes," Dykie testified. "They were empty and the most evil thing I’ve ever seen."

Greist, now 53, stabbed his wife, Janice, to death and mutilated their 8-month-old unborn fetus -- which he said he has named Christopher -- in the family’s home on May 10, 1978.

He also attacked Butts, who was 6 at the time, Dykie, who was 5, and the girls’ 71-year-old great-grandmother, Anna Gresko.

Two years later at trial, Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas A. Pitt Jr. ruled Greist not guilty by reason of insanity.

He was committed to Norristown State Hospital, where he remains today.

By law, Greist is entitled to a recommitment hearing every year. For years, Greist has attempted at these hearings to gain his release from the mental hospital.

Wednesday he tried again before Common Pleas Court Judge Edward Griffith. The judge will make a ruling at a later date.

Greist and his attorney, Marita M. Hutchinson, seek to have Greist moved from Norristown State Hospital to a less restrictive facility known as community residential rehabilitation.

"I wish from my very soul that I could take back the time in the 1970s," Greist said, "and have my wife Janice and my children back."

The killer claimed he is "well and I have been for a long time." He apologized for the "pain" he caused Butts and Dykie, and recalled the "sweet smell of their hair after shampooing it."

"I only have a few photos of my daughters," Greist said. "They are among my most precious possessions."

He also testified remorsefully about not being able to teach Christopher how to "sail my yacht, like I had taught the girls."

Dr. Sudhir Stokes, the psychiatrist in charge of Greist’s treatment at Norristown, has treated Greist for three years and supported the patient’s appeal for more freedom.

"All people, including Mr. Greist, have to be given the chance to move to the next level," Stokes said.

Greist’s privileges at the hospital have progressed to the point where he is now allowed to roam freely on the hospital’s 40-acre compound.

Since the slayings, Greist has become a Jehovah’s Witness. He is allowed to leave the hospital for three hours every week to attend services in West Norristown.

The man also is granted one 12-hour leave every three months, which he has used to go shopping at the King of Prussia Mall, and he often travels alone using public transportation to visit physicians located off the hospital property.

Greist holds a job at the hospital as manager of the facility’s cafeteria, and on Nov. 29, he married his third wife, Frances Greist, a New Zealand woman he met on the Internet through a Jehovah’s Witness Web site.

Assistant District Attorney Peter Hobart argued against any change to Greist’s commitment status.

Hobart called upon Dr. Barbara E. Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist, and psychologist Steven E. Samuel, to testify the man still posed a risk to the community.

"Richard Greist has talked in very concerning ways about all the women in his life," Ziv said. She concluded he has demonstrated a "high degree of misogyny and anti-female resentment."

Samuel examined Greist twice during January.

"He has not developed any insight into the basis of what happened in 1978," Samuel said. "I think he is bothered by intense emotional feelings, he is frightened by them in a way. He consciously covers over his problems to minimize his weaknesses."

 


Posted on Thu, Mar. 17, 2005

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/11156681.htm

At hearing, a killer's daughters relive horror


The children of Richard Greist, who slaughtered family members in '78, say he should not be released to a group home.



Inquirer Staff Writer

 

The brutal horrors that befell an East Coventry Township family on May 10, 1978, were painfully relived yesterday by two witnesses to the bloodshed: the daughters of Richard Greist.

Greist, 53, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1980 of crimes that included fatally stabbing his pregnant wife, ripping his unborn son from her womb, mutilating the fetus, gouging the eye of his 6-year-old daughter, slashing his grandmother's throat, and butchering the family cat.

Because a judge ruled that Greist could not be held responsible for his crimes, he can never be incarcerated for them.

The daughters, both of whom are married, came forward after learning that the staff at Norristown State Hospital, Greist's primary residence since his arrest, continue to seek greater freedom for their father.

Neither believes Greist should be released to a group home - as the hospital staff has recommended - and both read letters, with visible difficulty, at Greist's annual commitment hearing in Chester County Court.

Elizabeth Anna Butts, 32, who lost an eye during the attack, said she is reminded of it every day when she looks in the mirror.

"I wish my father no harm," she said. "I don't believe he intentionally harmed me; that's what's scary."

Butts said the love of God and family has helped her regain some semblance of a normal life, which would be shattered if she had to start worrying about running into her father at the grocery store.

Echoing the testimony of two experts hired by the commonwealth, psychiatrist Barbara Ziv and psychologist Steven E. Samuel, Butts said the fact that doctors do not know why the psychotic episode happened suggests that no one can be sure it will not recur.

Her younger sister, Angela Dykie, 31, said she would be forever haunted by "the sounds of hard thumps, searing slaps, deadly stabs, moans of pain, screams of terror, and wails of horror."

She said that after being thrown across the kitchen into a coal bucket, she escaped across the street where she watched her mother come out "in a body bag" and her sister come out "clinging to life, expected to die."

Dykie said her father "manipulated" her into seeing him when she was 18, and the experience made her "hit rock bottom" and consider ending her life. She said she was not surprised when Greist's second wife, Patricia, committed suicide after a year of marriage.

After her death, she said, her father pressured her "to testify for his freedom," arguing that he had no one else to support him.

"I pushed him away," said Dykie. "When I did that, my life came back to normal."

A different view was presented by Frances Greist, his third wife.

She testified that she met Greist in June on the Internet, in a chat room for Jehovah's Witnesses. She said she traveled from New Zealand to Norristown on Nov. 11 and married Greist on Nov. 29.

"He's a darling," she said, adding that the two hope to relocate to New Zealand.

Asked by Assistant District Attorney Peter Hobart about the particulars of the assault, she said Greist "was trying to save the baby in his own way" when he ripped the fetus from his wife's body.

Greist, who covered his face with his hands during his daughters' testimony, also addressed the court during the daylong hearing, describing fond parenthood memories, such as the smell of the girls' freshly shampooed hair.

"My dreams were also shattered on that horrific day," he said.

Greist said he wished he could change the past, which was destroyed by his mental illness, and wants to change the future.

"I have so much love to give my daughters," he said.

Hobart said Greist's daughters requested that the court be informed that they want no contact with their father.

"You saw chillingly, the effect he has on his daughters," said Hobart, who urged Chester County Court Judge Edward Griffith not to lift any restrictions.

Greist's attorney, Marita Malloy Hutchinson, asked Griffith to "follow the recommendation" of Greist's hospital treatment team, led by psychiatrist Sudhir Stokes, and explore "a less restrictive environment" for her client.

Before taking the case under advisement, the judge addressed Greist.

"If you really do care about [your daughters], I think it would be best if you had no contact with them," Griffith said.

Greist replied that he agreed.

 


 

1992 murder conviction is upheld

By Barbara Bell
Special to the Tribune
Published December 4, 2004

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0412040178dec04,1,3774551.story?coll=chi-newslocalchicago-hed
William Carlson's request to have his murder conviction thrown out was denied Friday by a Lake County judge, but Carlson said he plans to appeal.

Carlson, 30, who represented himself at a hearing before Associate Circuit Judge John Phillips, said he deserved a new trial because of problems with the indictment charging him with first-degree murder in the 1990 shooting deaths of his parents.

"It's specifically an attack on the validity of the indictment," Carlson said.

Carlson pleaded guilty in 1992 to killing his father in their Wildwood house. He is serving a 90-year sentence in Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet.

In a plea deal, Carlson avoided a life sentence when prosecutors dropped murder charges in connection with his mother's slaying. But Carlson's sentence for his father's death was extended because the crime was considered heinous and brutal, authorities said.

Carlson argued that because the "heinous and brutal" accusation was not mentioned in the grand jury indictment, it was flawed.

Assistant State's Atty. Jeff Pavletic said Carlson pleaded guilty to killing his father, so his argument did not apply. Carlson waived his rights to a jury trial when he entered the plea, Pavletic said.

Phillips agreed.

"I am going to deny you the relief you request," he told Carlson.

Pavletic said prosecutors were never sure what motivated Carlson, then 16, to kill his parents with a handgun he rented for $100 from classmates at Warren Township High School.

"That was the $64,000 question at the time," Pavletic said. Carlson feared getting in trouble with his father because he had sold some of his father's gold collection, and his parents were Jehovah's Witnesses, the prosecutor said.

A defense psychiatrist said Carlson had been sexually and mentally abused by his parents. But Pavletic doubted that Carlson was mentally ill because he plotted to kill his parents and returned the gun before fleeing to Canada in his parents' car.

"All of those things supported that this wasn't a person who didn't understand the acts he had committed," Pavletic said.

 

 

Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune

 


12/03/2004
Wedding bells ring again for wife killer
Carl Hessler Jr. 

 
NORRISTOWN -- Institution-alized wife killer Richard L. Greist Jr. tied the knot again this week.
Greist’s third attempt at wedded bliss comes 26 years after he brutally stabbed his first wife to death and 13 years after his second wife committed suicide.

Montgomery County Court records obtained by The Mercury show Greist, now 53 and a resident of Norristown State Hos-pital, married 46-year-old Norristown resident Frances Mary More on Nov. 29. District Justice Francis Lawrence Jr. presided over the marriage ceremony at his Norristown office, according to Orphans Court records.

"They wrote their own vows. They exchanged their rings. It was literally three minutes long," said Lawrence, describing the simple ceremony. "It was a standard civil ceremony."

About seven people accompanied Greist and More to the ceremony.

Hospital officials referred all questions regarding the marriage to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, which operates the hospital.

Stacey Ward, a spokesperson for the state agency, confirmed that Greist got married. However, Ward said patient confidentiality regulations prohibited her from discussing the matter in more detail.

An attempt to reach Greist through state officials was unsuccessful. More, who according to court documents was born in New Zealand, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Greist’s lawyer, Marita Malloy Hutchinson of West Chester, did not return a phone call for comment about her client’s nuptials.

Chester County Assistant District Attorney Peter Hobart, who currently represents the state during required annual court hearings to monitor Greist’s mental health treatment and progress, said he was not aware of the marriage. Greist was not required to report the marriage to prosecutors.

Hobart added that a psychiatrist, Dr. Barbara Ziv, has been hired by prosecutors to re-evaluate Greist prior to his next scheduled annual hearing on Jan. 25.

"I’m sure she’ll take any relevant life changes and the marriage into consideration at that time," said Hobart, referring to Ziv. In court documents, Greist listed his occupation as a cashier. More listed her occupation as a tutor and indicated she lived on East Poplar Street in Norristown.

On May 10, 1978, Greist, then 27, went berserk and fatally stabbed his pregnant wife, Janice, cutting an 8-month-old male fetus from her body inside their Sanatoga Road home in East Coventry. During the 2 p.m. rampage, Greist also attacked his 6-year-old daughter, Beth Ann, who lost an eye during the savage attack, and beat his 71-year-old grandmother, Anna Gresko.

Greist was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the strangulation and stabbing of his wife after a trial in Chester County Court on Aug. 1, 1980. A psychiatrist testified at the trial that Greist believed he was the incarnation of Jesus Christ and thought he was killing devils when he attacked his family. The psychiatrist testified Greist believed all women had the devil in them and that he believed he could kill the devil in his wife, then resurrect her.

The verdict means Greist will never face a prison sentence for the crime. He was committed to the state hospital for treatment until doctors determine he is sane and no longer a threat to society or to himself. During the last two decades, Greist has made no attempt to hide the fact he has had girlfriends during his stay at the hospital. In May 1990, Greist, after being institutionalized for 12 years, married Patricia Louise Griffin, 38, a former psychiatric nurse at the hospital, during a private ceremony on the grounds of the hospital. During an interview at the time of the nuptials, Griffin said she was not bothered by her husband’s past and said she was looking forward to a good marriage.

Patricia Greist told court officials she felt comfortable with her husband and described him as a stabilizing influence on her life.

However, on May 31, 1991, Patricia Greist, a year into the couple’s marriage, was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in her Norristown home, various pills surrounding her body. Authorities said she left several suicide notes that were generally supportive of her husband.

Each year since 1981, Greist has asked for freedom and more privileges during annual competency hearings at which a Chester County judge must review Greist’s progress.

During the most recent hearing in March, former county Judge Juan R. Sanchez, now on the federal bench, ordered that Greist remain at the hospital, denying doctor’s requests that Greist be transferred to a less restrictive community residential rehabilitation center.

Under court orders, Greist is permitted to attend services every Sunday at a Norristown area Jehovah’s Witnesses church. He is also allowed to attend "planned outings" four times a year if it is approved by the hospital and written plans are submitted to the district attorney’s office and local police departments.

Greist is forbidden from staying away from the hospital overnight.

 


 

BOOK REVIEW: BLOOD CRIMES

Over the last few years there have been some quite sensational national news cases in the U.S. that involve a Jehovah's Witness male murdering part of all of his family or people close to him. Why? The following are some recent comments and findings by Bill Bowen of Silentlambs:

 

A victim is taken from the house Monday. We are now considering these deaths as potential homicides and the fire as suspicious,

 

 

The picture above is of the South Carolina corner removing the bodies of the Meza children.

You can read the full story at this link,

http://www.silentlambs.org/SCmurderarticles.htm

 

The South Carolina case of a Jehovah’s Witness father murdering his wife and children appears to be an ongoing problem that seems to occur when JW fathers become emotionally disturbed. To understand the reason why this phenomena presents itself you must understand the theology of the religion itself. Anyone that becomes a Jehovah’s Witness must accept that they are part of the only “truth.” That “truth” is defined as being the only persons on earth that are approved by God. To find corroboration of that, note the following quotes from JW literature,

 

Become members of an international brotherhood known for cleanness and good manners, the worldwide congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In harmony with Ephesians 4:24, these sincere Christians have “put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.” Soon the world will be filled with such people because these will be the only ones who will survive and live forever.” Watchtower99 6/15 page 6

 

" Is it presumptuous of Jehovah’s Witnesses to point out that they alone have God’s backing? Actually, no more so than when the Israelites in Egypt claimed to have God’s backing in spite of the Egyptians’ belief, or when the first-century Christians claimed to have God’s backing to the exclusion of Jewish religionists." Watchtower 01 6/1 page 16

 

Of all the organizations claiming to be Christian, only Jehovah’s Witnesses both think upon his name and magnify it among the nations.” Watchtower 92 12/1 page 17

”The message is clear: If we want to survive Armageddon , we must remain spiritually alert and keep the symbolic garments that identify us as faithful Witnesses of Jehovah God .” Watchtower 99 12/1 page18

 

As you can see from the material Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they have the only path to surviving the end of the world. Anyone that does not become part of that path will be killed by God at the battle of Armageddon. The belief continues that Armageddon is immanent and the only way to help mankind survive is to allow them the opportunity to become Jehovah’s Witnesses by calling on the homes of the public and inviting them to become members through home bible studies. Any member that does not participate in this “preaching work,” will be killed by God at Armageddon.

 

What happens after Armageddon? The earth will be given to Jehovah’s Witnesses to cultivate into a garden like park they call the “paradise earth.” The function of the paradise earth will be for humans to be returned to perfection by God and live eternally in human bodies while cultivating it as a beautiful place to live. In addition, according to doctrinal belief, there will be a resurrection of those that passed away in the former world. These resurrected ones will be provided with education and an opportunity to become Jehovah’s Witnesses as well. If they decline then they will die. Any Jehovah’s Witness member that died in the former world will be resurrected to live eternity with friends and family, they will have perfect health with none of the maladies they may have experienced in the old world as well as have the prospect of living forever. The paradise earth is viewed as a solution to all the problems that Jehovah’s Witnesses experience living in the current world they view as being ruled by Satan. The only escape from Satan’s world is to have one of two options;

 

1. Wait for Armageddon to start the paradise earth.

2. Die and wake up in the paradise earth.

 

When JW father comes under severe emotional distress due to financial or other circumstances it is an easy escape to consider giving their family a way to enter the paradise earth immediately. The only way to do that is through murder. This has happened on several occasions in the last few years. One of the earlier cases involved the Kostelniuk family in Burnaby , British Columbia . The mother remarried a JW man who subsequently molested the children after which he murdered the family when placed under pressure. A book was written by the children’s biological father called “Wolves among Sheep” You can read about it at this link,

 

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=7.topic

 

Yet this was not the only case, another came up in 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia, the Barton case involved once again a JW father slaughtering his children and wife, the reason was financial and he also killed several other people as well, but why his wife and children? Could it be the reason giving them exit to a paradise earth? You can read about this case here,

 

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=12.topic

 

Another case was Christian Longo in Washington . Again a JW father strangles his three small children and his wife puts them in suitcases and throws them in the ocean. Financial difficulty was citied as part of the reason. You can read of this case here,

 

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=2.topic

 

A year later in the next state, JW father Bryant takes a shotgun and murders his four children and wife then turns the gun on himself. The reasons were financial and related to reporting of abuse. You can read this story here,

 

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=1.topic

 

In a reverse concept children have murdered their parents. The Freeman brothers killed their brother and parents after becoming skinheads. Part of the reason given was due to being raised as JW’s. This resulted in a book and movie, you can read about his here,

 

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=4.topic

 

Then there are cases of JW parents killing just their children. In each case you have to wonder if they believed they were helping the child find paradise. You can read these stories here,

 

Laree Slack age 12 Chicago IL-01.

JW parents murder their daughter by hitting her 160 times with a 5-foot stretch of electrical cable
 

Girl died after parents hit her 160 times, court told


By Kirsten Scharnberg and Eric Ferkenhoff, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporter Rudolph Bush contributed to this report
Published November 14, 2001

Even veteran prosecutors were stunned by the case outlined in court Tuesday: A South Side couple were accused of flogging their 12-year-old daughter to death with a 5-foot stretch of electrical cable after she was tied down.

Larry and Constance Slack, described by neighbors as devoutly religious, delivered 160 blows to their daughter Laree, according to the charges, stuffing a towel in her mouth at one point to silence her screams.

"This is the absolute worst I've seen," Assistant State's Atty. Robert Hovey whispered as the Slacks, both 41, were led into the courtroom. The pair were ordered held without bond on first-degree murder charges in the fatal weekend beating of their daughter as well as charges of aggravated battery of a child for the beating of their 8-year-old son.

In a slow, steady voice, Assistant State's Atty. Beth Pfeiffer stood before the judge and began to read the accusations against the Slacks, described by authorities and neighbors as Jehovah's Witnesses who were so strict with their six children that they were not even allowed to play with other kids from the neighborhood.

According to Pfeiffer, the couple had been planning to go out for dinner Saturday night but had been unable to locate a jacket that had Constance Slack's wallet and credit cards in the pocket. So Larry Slack ordered the children, who range in age from 8 to 17, to search for it.

When the children did not seem to be looking hard enough for the jacket, Pfeiffer said, Larry Slack grabbed an electric cable that was about three-quarters of an inch thick and lashed the couple's 8-year-old son, Lester, four to five times in the legs and buttocks.

Larry Slack, a Chicago Transit Authority machinist for the past 22 years, soon grew even angrier because dirty laundry was scattered about the house, impeding the search, the prosecutor said. Laree had been in charge of washing and putting away laundry in the home, Pfeiffer said.

"Larry Slack then ordered Laree to `assume the position,'" the prosecutor said, which meant that the 12-year-old was to stand ready to be whipped.

Larry Slack lashed Laree four or five times with the same cord he had used on her brother, according to the prosecutor, but he grew angrier still when the girl attempted to squirm away. The father ordered his two teenage sons to tie Laree face down to a metal futon frame and then administered 39 lashes to the girl's back, Pfeiffer said. Constance Slack then took the cord and whipped the girl 20 more times, the prosecutor alleged.

The first-floor Cook County courtroom, usually abuzz with lawyers talking about their upcoming cases or milling about distributing paperwork, grew silent as the prosecutor spoke. The details she told the judge next seemed to shock everyone even more.

Girl began to scream

According to Pfeiffer, when Laree began to scream, Larry Slack ordered his sons to fetch a towel to stuff in her mouth. He then tied a scarf over the towel and used a stick to wind the scarf like a tourniquet into place.

He then cut off his daughter's shirt, ordered the other children to pull off her pants and whipped her 39 more times, the prosecutor said. Constance followed with 20 more lashes, Pfeiffer said.

As Laree writhed from what would total more than 160 blows, the girl's back began to bleed. So, according to Pfeiffer, Larry Slack untied her, turned her over and beat her 39 more times on her stomach and chest.

"It was an awful one," Pfeiffer said after court, shaking her head. "And to think they involved the other children, that's what gets me."

The case of Laree Slack, who was pronounced dead at South Shore Hospital just hours after her beating, has rattled even seasoned child abuse experts.

"Do you know how hard it is to kill a 12-year-old?" said Demetra Soter, a physician who is coordinator of pediatric trauma at Cook County Hospital.

According to Soter, children as old as Laree Slack require "massive amounts of force to die like this." Soter said she had only heard of two comparable cases in recent years, one a DuPage County teenager whose father is accused of fatally beating him for stealing a car.

John Goad, the associate deputy director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, concurred. He said the vast majority of homicides involving children are in cases where the child is under the age of 3. Those children, Goad said, often are on the receiving end of their caregiver's rage because they have soiled their pants or cried uncontrollably.

In addition, Goad said, Laree's death comes at a time when child abuse cases are hitting new lows in Cook County. He cited a 22.7 percent decrease in reported abuse cases in Cook County the last five years.

Goad said part of the reason for the drop is that social service agencies are getting better at counseling families who are reported as having abused or neglected their children.

DCFS officials said Tuesday that the Slack family, who live in the 7900 block of South Brandon Avenue, has had at least one contact with the department in the past.

In 1995, DCFS received a report that the youngest of the family's children had been found walking on the street alone, according to DCFS director Jess McDonald. Investigators later learned that a plumber had been doing work at the family's house and left a fence open, allowing the child to walk out.

Although the circumstances of that case do not indicate that DCFS failed to protect the Slack children, McDonald said the department is grief-stricken over Laree's death.

"Any time a child dies, and you've had any involvement in the case at any time, people literally get sick," McDonald said. "It really does eat at you. I think when there's a chance that the system was involved, obviously we want to find out, did we miss anything at any point in time?"

Death penalty may be asked

In court Tuesday, Pfeiffer, the assistant state's attorney, argued to Judge Neil Linehan that the two were not eligible for bond because the state may seek the death penalty and because Laree Slack's death was especially "heinous" and "the result of torture." According to a spokesman in the Cook County medical examiner's office, the girl died of multiple blunt force traumas.

The Slacks, neither of whom have any previous criminal history, both have made videotaped admissions about the beating, the prosecutor said. According to Pfeiffer and police who were there when the Slacks were being questioned, Larry Slack attempted to kill himself while in custody.

Pfeiffer said Larry Slack, who weighs more than 350 pounds, had sneaked a 6-inch kitchen knife into the Calumet Area police station by hiding it in the folds of his skin. He stabbed himself in the chest and was transported to Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was treated for minor injuries before being returned to police custody.

Calumet Area detectives who were familiar with the case said Tuesday that Larry Slack had told them that he strongly believed in corporal punishment. They also said that they knew him to be deeply religious, but they added it was unclear whether Slack was abiding by some religious mandate.

But Leon Slack, an uncle of Laree's, said religion had nothing to do with what happened. "Our family loved Laree dearly," read a statement the family released Tuesday.

In a brief telephone interview, the uncle went further.

"What happened was a tragedy," he said. "It was not in line with religion. Something obviously went wrong, and we just want to grieve as a family."

Neighbors of the Slacks' said the family was quiet and kept to themselves. There was a tall fence around their yard, but the children were sometimes seen building a tree house on the side lawn.

"The only time I saw them all together was one Saturday when they were going to church. They looked really nice, cheerful and happy," said Noel Chapa, a next door neighbor.


Source: Chicago Tribune

 

 

Ri’vene Phifer infant NC- 97

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=14.topic

Knight infant CA-99

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=5.topic

Infant France-02

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=6.topic

Brian Mackey and son 12 Florida-03

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=11.topic

Robert and Ben Moore 10-13 WS-93 unsolved murder

http://p074.ezboard.com/flambsmarchfrm33.showMessage?topicID=8.topic

 

When you consider that Jehovah’s Witnesses are a relatively small religion, under one million members in the USA it is disturbing to see that most cases that involved the murder of a family by the father in recent years have had JW connections. Is this just a coincidence? Could it be that the theology and doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses creates a type of time bomb that can be tripped of the right set of circumstances presents it? The information above seems to indicate that this could be a strong possibility. -- Bill Bowen of Silentlambs

 

 

 

Actual News Articles (top are most recent):



www.suntimes.com

Family of three murdered in Harvey

December 1, 2004

BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporter
 

Vinese Bell-Kracht had decided it was time for her and her 1-year-old son, Emery, to move on with their lives.

The 21-year-old bank clerk had had enough of the domestic abuse she said she suffered at the hands of her troubled husband of almost two years, Martin Kracht, relatives said. After the last incident more than a month ago, she'd filed charges, had him arrested and sought a restraining order against him, according to court records.

And she had started that new life, with a new job and a new apartment.

But Bell-Kracht's life came to a sudden and violent end Monday, police said. She, her son and her mother-in-law, Barbara Baker-Kracht, 52, were found murdered in Baker-Kracht's Harvey home. The three died at the hands of 24-year-old Martin Kracht, who less than two weeks ago moved in with the mother he allegedly killed, police and relatives said.

Chilling discovery

On Tuesday, members of Bell-Kracht's close-knit family gathered at their south suburban Richton Park home, struggling to understand the tragedy that had befallen the young mother, child and grandmother.

Police made the chilling discovery of the bodies at Baker-Kracht's home in the 15000 block of South Marshfield Avenue in Harvey about 9 p.m. Monday.

"It was a well-being check that was requested by a family member," said Harvey Police spokeswoman Sandra Alvarado.

Shortly after the bodies were found, Harvey Police arrested Kracht on a tip from relatives, who knew he was hiding in a garage only blocks away.

Kracht was expected to be charged with three counts of first-degree murder late Tuesday, according to Harvey Police and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

"This appears to be domestic-related homicide," Alvarado said. "It was not a random act of violence. This is a senseless tragedy."

Police would not say how the three died, but they noted none of the victims was shot.

'Seemed like nice people'

Neighbors in the quiet neighborhood where Baker-Kracht recently bought her home milled outside their houses, helping each other grapple with the horror.

"When they first moved in, I came out to welcome them to the neighborhood. He and his mother seemed like nice people," Denise Lollis, who has lived across the street for 23 years, said Tuesday. "I have never, ever seen anything like this. This has been rough. It just keeps you praying."

Police said they may never know what triggered the killings.

Bell-Kracht's family said she had met her husband in 2002 through her brother, who had invited Martin Kracht to join the Jehovah's Witnesses faith her family practiced. Martin Kracht had attended Thornton Township North High School with Bell-Kracht's brother, Shaun Winston, graduating in 1998, Winston recalled.

Kracht began visiting the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 150 E. 124th Pl., in Chicago with Winston and his family of six siblings.

"He acknowledged he was living a life of debauchery, and said he wanted clean up life. He was baptized a Jehovah's Witness, "Winston said. "He met my sister, and they liked each other. I advised her against it," he added, choking back tears.

Winston's advice went unheeded. The pair dated for five months before marrying. But Kracht, then living with a friend in Harvey, was unable to support his new wife, floating from job to job, Winston said. So Dennis and Sherry Harris, Bell-Kracht's parents, allowed Kracht to move in with his wife and her family in Richton Park.

That's when the trouble started.

"He started pushing on her and she was pregnant. One time he pushed her down," Winston said. "That was when my father talked to him, and kicked him out."

Sought restraining order

The abuse reportedly got worse, culminating in an October incident that resulted in Bell-Kracht seeking a restraining order against her husband, barring him from her home in Richton Park. But on Nov. 8 she appeared in court in Markham and asked that both the protection order and the abuse charges be dismissed.

"The victim didn't wish to proceed," said Marcy Jensen, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney's office. "We don't know why."

Last summer, relatives said, Bell-Kracht had become convinced it was time to give up on her marriage and move on. She landed a job at Charter One Bank in Homewood and only last week secured a small apartment in south suburban Steger for herself and her son.

On Saturday, her family helped her move in, and on Sunday Kracht came to Kingdom Hall asking to see his son, her relatives said. Bell-Kracht acquiesced, letting him take the boy for a day and arranging to pick up Emeryon Monday evening.

"But on Monday, we didn't hear from her after work, which was unusual for Vinese. We knew something had happened when the police called."

Contributing: Stefano Esposito, Annie Sweeney, Lisa Donovan and Cheryl V. Jackson

Copyright © The Sun-Times Company
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0412010285dec01,1,3695005.story?coll=chi-news-hed

Suspect's mom, wife, son slain
Woman had filed abuse charges against husband, then dropped them

By Rick Jervis and Patrick Rucker, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporters Jo Napolitano and Bonnie Miller Rubin contributed to this report
Published December 1, 2004

The mother of an 11-month-old boy, Vinese Bell-Kracht was trying to piece her life together after a rocky two-year marriage. Last month her estranged husband, Martin Kracht, was charged with beating her, and the court ordered him to stay away from his wife and child.

But Bell-Kracht, torn between the pain of a troubled marriage and the challenges of caring for an infant son by herself, decided she had to have her husband's help. She asked that the charges be dropped, and on Nov. 8, they were, along with the court order of protection, prosecutors said.

About 9 p.m. Monday, Harvey police found the bodies of Bell-Kracht, 21; her son, Emery; and Barbara Baker-Kracht, 52, Martin Kracht's mother, in Baker-Kracht's Harvey home.

Kracht, 24, was arrested Tuesday morning in the garage of another relative's home in Harvey. He remained in police custody Tuesday night pending charges, police said.

Bell-Kracht's slaying ended what officials say was an abusive relationship that left a trail of court documents and police reports. For family members who had tried to steer her clear of the violence, it opened another painful chapter even as police and prosecutors pondered whether to charge Kracht.

"We're just numb," said Bell-Kracht's brother Shaun Winston, 24, standing outside his family's Richton Park home as family and friends filed in.

"That was my baby," Winston said, describing his sister as "the closest sibling I had."

Harvey police officials were tight-lipped about the details of the slayings, which occurred in the 15100 block of Marshfield Avenue. They could not confirm how the victims died or whether a weapon had been found.

At a news conference outside the brick bungalow where the slayings occurred, Cmdr. Merritt Gentry told reporters that he did not expect charges to be filed Tuesday by the Cook County state's attorney's office. Autopsies were scheduled for Wednesday.

"It's going to be a while," Gentry said. "We don't foresee any charges at this time, or any time soon, because there is a great deal of investigative work still to be done."

Family members described a relationship that was happy at first but quickly deteriorated.

Winston said he introduced the two. He knew Kracht when both were students at Thornton Township High School in Harvey and ran into him again, in the summer of 2002, at the University of Illinois' Chicago campus, where Winston was studying journalism. Kracht appeared sullen and depressed, Winston said.

"He said he wanted to get his life together," Winston said. "I told him to come hang with me. I regret ever doing that."

A devout Jehovah's Witness, Winston took Kracht to the movies, brought him to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Church in Chicago and introduced him to his sister.

Bell-Kracht, the middle of six siblings, was quiet and shy but loved dancing and showing off in front of her family, Winston said. She became drawn to Winston's new friend. They hit it off and were married four months later, in January 2003, he said. Kracht moved into the family's home on Capri Lane in Richton Park that summer.

But trouble soon started.

On Oct. 6, 2003, Richton Park police responded to a domestic-disturbance call at the home.

"They had gotten into a verbal argument, and she called police," said Richton Park Police Chief Leonard Czaplewski. "She did not want to press charges."

After that incident, the family expelled Kracht from the home, and he lived with friends and family members in Harvey while keeping in touch with Bell-Kracht, Winston said.

A year later, on Oct. 17, court records show, police responded to 2353 W. 57th St. in Markham and arrested Kracht on charges that he, "struck [his wife] about the torso with closed fists and threw her down to the ground."

Kracht was arrested that afternoon and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

At a hearing the next day, he was released on his own recognizance, but was ordered not to harass, abuse or stalk Bell-Kracht. He also was ordered to stay away from the Capri Lane home and the Charter One Bank in Homewood, where Bell-Kracht had been working as a teller since July. Visits with Emery were to be arranged through his mother, court documents show.

Bell-Kracht dropped the charges at the first court hearing on Nov. 8. She did so, Winston said, because she needed Kracht's help in caring for Emery and it was too difficult with the court's protective order.

"We listen very closely to our victims, and we take very seriously what their wishes are," said Tom Stanton, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office. "In this instance she did not wish to continue with the charges."

But in the interest of protecting the victim, even if she asks for the charges to be dropped, the state's attorney's office generally will not comply at the bail hearing, according to Dan Tsatoros, a former assistant state's attorney who is the court advocate coordinator and civil attorney for the South Suburban Family Shelter.

To protect the victim, the court will have jurisdiction over the person accused of abuse, who, at a bail hearing, is ordered not to have contact with the victim for 72 hours, and sometimes longer. After that period, even if the victim decides to drop the charges, the state can, without her cooperation, pursue a "victimless prosecution," Tsatoros said.

"But if the state cannot meet its burden of proof without the testimony of the victim, then the prosecutors' hands may be tied and are forced to dismiss the charges," he said. Such changes of heart occur about 75 percent of the time, he said.

Winston said his younger sister was on her way to getting back on her feet and trying to rid herself of her past with Kracht. On Saturday, she had moved into her own apartment in Steger, where she planned to raise Emery, and was saving to file for divorce, he said.

Last Wednesday, Winston said, he pulled Kracht aside after services at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Church and gave a stern, quiet warning: "Do not put your hands on my sister again."

"He was so bothered by what was going on in his life, he didn't even seem to listen," Winston said.

Kracht showed up at the church on Sunday to pick up Emery, Winston said. Bell-Kracht was scheduled to pick up the child from Kracht's mother's house Monday.

Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune


2-22-04

By NANCY H. McLAUGHLIN, Staff Writer
News & Record


RALEIGH -- The baby would be 7 now, in elementary school and learning to read.

In an ideal world, her death never would have happened. In an ideal world, the teenage mom wouldn't be longing for forgiveness.

An ideal world is the one Racquel Phifer wants to be a part of -- not the concrete-and-glass world of the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, where she is serving 10 to 13 years for the second-degree murder of her only child.

"I wished my mother could have looked at me and known something was wrong," the petite 27-year-old says of the concealed pregnancy in Greensboro in 1997 that led to her life spiraling out of control.

The high school dropout who had been raped as a child had already showed signs of undiagnosed mental illnesses before she gave birth that January to the infant the Greensboro community would come to know as Baby Jane Doe.

With her parents at work and her brother in school, Phifer laid out blankets on a cold day and delivered the baby on the floor of a room in her parent's upper-middle-class home.

After bathing her, playing with her dark hair and counting tiny fingers and toes, Phifer wrapped the hours-old newborn in a clean white blanket and placed her in a Dumpster in nearby Oka T. Hester Park. A man looking for cans the next day found her among the garbage.

Phifer's was the latest in a string of concealed pregnancies on the East Coast that ended in dead newborns that year. But the discovery of the dead baby in a Greensboro trash bin touched the heart of the community. It responded by taking care of Phifer's baby as if she were its own, dressing her tiny body in a donated white gown and diaper, transporting her to a graveyard in a hearse followed by a caravan of cars and carefully etching a grave marker that read: "May we reach out in love to every child in need."

"The fact that she was buried and put away nicely -- that all helps," says Phifer's mother, Baleria Phifer, a teacher who wouldn't know that the infant dominating local news coverage was her grandbaby until her daughter's arrest. "She was taken care of, she was surrounded by love'' from the community.

More than 500 people showed up for the funeral.

"What I remember most are the pictures of that little infant in the bottom of that Dumpster," says Howard Neumann, the Guilford County assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case that summer. "I can still close my eyes and see her there."

Phifer, who won't be eligible for parole for at least three years, wants people to know she's sorry. She also wants to say "thank you" to the people who saw that the child she named Ri'vene Lea Anderson had a proper burial.

?Phifer, dressed in a dark-blue prison jumpsuit and girlishly pretty with her sliver of silver eye shadow, has spent years in therapy dealing with illnesses diagnosed after she was arrested, including dissociative amnesia, which causes fragmented memory, and schizoaffective disorder, which is marked by major depression and psychotic symptoms.

She says she can't remember all of what happened the day she put her daughter in the Dumpster, but she knows it never should have happened. She wants girls who may face her predicament to know her story and how a split-second decision could ruin their lives and the lives of others.

"If you don't want to tell your parents, tell somebody," says a suddenly subdued Phifer, also known as Inmate 58449, who still looks 19 except for the natural burst of gray in her hair. "I would love to have (the public's) forgiveness. I would love to have their understanding. But I'm doing this so that anybody else going through this will tell somebody.

"I know that type of fear is unbearable," Phifer says.

Phifer remains troubled by the past. She wishes she could go back to the day she thought she was pregnant. She says she knows it will be hard for people to understand how she could hold her baby and then place her in the trash bin in frigid weather.

"I actually thought of it as a baby sitter," Phifer says. "I got in and out of it four times. There was no trash in it. I put her there and told her I would come back."

Growing up in a strict home, Phifer had an exaggerated fear of disappointing her parents. Life already had been difficult. She had flunked at least three grades and dropped out of high school. In their investigation, police would find years-old suicide letters Phifer had written after she was raped at 11 by an older male relative.

In her devout Jehovah's Witness family, Phifer grew up hearing that sex before marriage was immoral. Her parents didn't know about the rape. They would have been mortified had they known about the pregnancy. She saw her situation as hopeless and believed she had no options.

"That would have been disgraceful to my mother," Phifer says. " 'What people think' is how I was raised."

Baleria Phifer didn't know about the deep-seeded antagonism her daughter held against her until she heard Racquel's confession read in court. Phifer says she was closer to her father, Larry, a long-distance truck driver.

She was able to hide her pregnancy because she had gained and lost 100 pounds the year before, something doctors later attributed to bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder.

As the baby grew inside her, Phifer began reading baby books and decided that she would ask an aunt if she could move into the aunt's home. But her aunt began helping someone else, so Phifer kept silent. The baby's father, a young man she had met at a part-time job, had moved back to Illinois. He wanted her to join him, but she had said no.

She says she called crisis-pregnancy agencies but somehow got it in her head that they just wanted to take her baby.

"I said, 'Could you help me tell my parents?' and they said, 'We can send you somewhere.' ''

Her water broke about midnight on Jan. 29. She delivered the baby at 2:27 p.m. the next day.

She had read "The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth'' and, remembering what she had learned in some medical classes, had already gathered blankets and scissors.

She says she was in labor when she drove her mother to work that morning.

"It was like I was doctor, nurse, coach," Phifer says. "I had read a lot, but then I was worried: What if she was breeched or needed special care?"

After delivering the baby, Phifer got into the bathtub with the baby and played with her until the phone rang.

"I'd decided I was just going to hand her to my mother," Phifer remembers thinking.

But her mother, who wanted her daughter to pick her up at work, was already angry when Phifer picked up the telephone.

"She was saying, 'Why aren't you here?' " Phifer says. "I wished I could have been woman enough to say, 'I'm late because I've just delivered my baby.' "

Instead, she panicked.

She drove around her neighborhood and then to nearby Hester Park, where she came upon the Dumpster.

Then she drove to her mother's job and picked her up, falling asleep in the car as her mother carried out her errands. Back at home she slept for the next 16 hours.

She didn't go back to the Dumpster. She says she doesn't know why. In her mind, it was almost as if none of it had happened.

But it had.

Darlene Maynard, a grief counselor who had already helped survivors and relatives of the Columbine school shootings and Oklahoma City bombing with their recovery, was one of the first to step forward when word got out that a dead baby had been found in a park.

"There had been several babies up north left to die. It was like, 'My goodness, this has come home,' " says Maynard, then-director of a Greensboro grief and loss-education center.

She began organizing a community funeral. People began calling, wanting to help. The city donated a burial plot at Maplewood Cemetery. The funeral drew a crowd that reflected the city's races, ages and economics.

Saying it touched the community emotionally is not an overstatement, says Maynard, who was part of the 150-car funeral procession.

"We get to the corner of Florida and Aycock streets, and these two old 'bummy-type' men, they stopped when her hearse went by and put their hands across their heart and saluted," Maynard says.

"She had become a symbol for our community," Maynard says. "I thought it was one of the most healing things our community has come together to do. Here was this child that belonged to no one, and all of a sudden we were getting all kinds of toys and dolls and books and balloons to be placed on her grave."

Phifer says she knew none of that. For the next few weeks, she didn't watch the news. Only after a detective showed up at her door, saying someone had called police to report she had been pregnant, were her thoughts drawn back to the Dumpster. A co-worker who had guessed early on that she was pregnant called Crime Stoppers.

Investigators talked to Phifer and other potential suspects. After taking a lie-detector test, Phifer was arrested. The first-degree murder charge eventually would be reduced to one of second-degree murder.

"It lacked that component of evil that so many crimes we deal with up here involve," Neumann says. "This was not a crime where she hated that child. This was an immature child herself who was confronted with a situation ... and she couldn't figure out how to deal with it."

During those few months in jail, she had heard of the other East Coast cases similar to hers, including the case of college students Brian Peterson and Amy Grossberg, who put their baby in a Dumpster and were eventually sentenced to less than two years in jail.

"I think half of me thought it would be OK and I would go home," Phifer says. "When Amy had the baby in the hotel, there were complications, but Brian beat the baby in the head with a baseball bat. I didn't harm Ri'vene in any way. No scars. No bruises. No nothing. I was the only one to hold her. I loved her."

Phifer's judge could have given her as little as seven years, 10 months in prison or as much as 16 years, 5 months. He sentenced her to 10 to 13 years.

Almost immediately strangers began writing her.

"I was waiting for the hate mail, but they were very encouraging,'' Phifer says of the letters, one of which advised her to "Keep your head up, sister.'' "Older people... were telling me it's going to be OK, people make mistakes."

At first, other inmates, many of them mothers, responded to her in anger.

"I've been called everything but a child of God. I went through, 'It's Daddy's baby, Mama did it,' and I took the rap."

A couple of inmates from Greensboro took her under their wings, and today she considers many of the people there like family.

Since then Phifer has earned her high school diploma and taken every self-improvement class available except culinary arts. "I simply can't cook," she says with a shy smile.

She has also drawn closer to her mother.

"She tries. I think she does," Phifer says of her mother. "My mother does blame herself for this. But I also had to think about it. I wasn't a child who came with instructions. She did the best she could."

Her parents visit frequently.

"We were really close. She was just sick," says Baleria Phifer, who says she has seen her daughter mature with therapy.

"I deal with it better now, but I think it's something that will always be with me," Baleria Phifer says of the loss that she, too, feels.

Baleria Phifer has given her daughter one of the pictures she was able to get of Ri'vene in her white casket. The rest, including the newspaper clippings and a few of the stuffed animals people left at her grave, have been packed up and placed in Phifer's bedroom closet, waiting for her return.

"I really don't see her as gone," Phifer says. "I know she is. I just don't have that closure."



Contact Nancy H. McLaughlin at 373-7049 or nmclaughlin@news-record.com
 


www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-locfamilyshot26082603aug26,0,3371221.story?coll=orl-home-headlines

Fort Lauderdale man fatally shoots son, self

The Associated Press
Posted August 26, 2003

FORT LAUDERDALE -- A man fatally shot himself and his 12-year-old son early Monday after arguing with the boy's mother, police said.

Carl Dennis Mackey, 41, and his son, Brian, were found fatally shot when a SWAT team entered the house about 5 a.m.

The boy's mother, Laura Mackey, ran out of the house shortly after midnight and told officers that her husband was trying to kill her, Detective Jack DiCristofalo said.

The officers had been responding to a separate incident across the street.

"She said she'd heard two shots fired. She said they'd been having domestic problems," DiCristofalo said.

Officials made phone calls to the house and to the family's cell phones for the next few hours.

Hostage negotiators were never able to make contact, and officers heard no further shots fired, DiCristofalo said.

About 5 a.m., a SWAT team entered the house and found the bodies.

A small-caliber, semiautomatic handgun was on the floor near Carl Mackey's body, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

"We're totally shocked. Carl was always a gentleman, a religious and family man type of guy," said Mike Scott, Mackey's supervisor at Plantation's public works department.

"He was always upbeat and smiling."

DiCristofalo said Laura Mackey was with family Monday.

 


 

April 3, 2003

Longo's in-law defends MaryJane

By Bill Bishop 
The Register-Guard

 

NEWPORT - There was never any doubt in Sally Clark's mind that her sister, MaryJane Longo, would choose to be a mother, and would be a good one.

Clark testified Wednesday as one of the final witnesses in the aggravated murder trial of Christian Michael Longo, the man who swore on the witness stand Tuesday that MaryJane murdered two of their children before he murdered her and their youngest child in December 2001.

Longo, 29, faces a possible death sentence for killing MaryJane, 34, and their daughter, Madison, 2. A jury will soon decide whether he also is guilty of killing his son, Zachery, 4, and daughter, Sadie, 3.

Dry-eyed, calm and focused, Clark never looked at Longo in 20 minutes of testimony during which she recalled how MaryJane played house as a child, baby-sat as an adolescent and worked for 10 years in a pediatric doctor's office as a young adult - eventually becoming the office manager.

"She was always very good with children," Clark said.

Describing MaryJane as "my best friend," Clark said she and MaryJane remained close after they both married and became mothers. On a weekly basis they would meet to take their children to a museum, a zoo or to some other child-oriented activity while they both lived in Michigan, Clark testified.

"She was very attentive to kids," Clark testified.

Asked by Paulette Sanders, chief Lincoln County deputy district attorney, whether she had ever seen MaryJane do anything that caused her to have concern for a child's safety, Clark responded, "Absolutely not."

Clark described MaryJane as "a quiet, shy, mild person," who was so devoted to the Jehovah's Witnesses church that she joined Clark to voluntarily do 1,000 hours of door-to-door ministry in a single year.

Clark testified that MaryJane seemed not to know much about the large debts that Longo was running up on credit cards.

She said MaryJane told her she understood why Longo wrote bad checks against a construction company that owed him money, and why Longo did not want church elders to know about the fraud.

Asked by Sanders whether she'd ever known MaryJane to lie to her or to others, Clark relied, "Never."

After Longo and MaryJane moved to Oregon, without notice and with no forwarding address, Clark said she notified state police, Secret Service and FBI officials in two states. She said she knew Longo was hiding from the law and arrest warrants had been issued against him.

Asked what she would have done had MaryJane called her from Oregon to say she was in trouble, Clark said, "I would have been out here in a heartbeat."

Clark's testimony closed the 12th day of Longo's trial, cut short because the prosecution's final witness - a state medical examiner - was unavailable.

The jury may begin deliberating after the final witness and closing statements today.

 

 


Jurors Convict Mom Of Murder For Toilet-Drowning Infant

Juror Claims Panel Unaware They Had Other Options
AP, Oct. 24, 2002
www.nbc4.tv/

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Jurors who convicted a woman of second-degree murder in the toilet-drowning death of her newborn son may not have realized that they could have convicted her of involuntary manslaughter.

Donna Michelle Knight's sentencing was postponed for at least two months by Superior Court Judge Ronald Taylor so defense attorney Grover Porter can question jurors to determine if they misunderstood instructions. One juror claimed the panel didn't know involuntary manslaughter was an option.

Knight, 37, was convicted June 14 of murdering her son in September 1999. The 10-woman, two-man jury returned a second-degree murder verdict, which calls for 15 years to life in prison. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of four years.

Deputy District Attorney Deena Bennett had sought a first-degree murder conviction, arguing that the unmarried woman intentionally killed her baby after concealing her pregnancy because she was afraid of repercussions from her Jehovah's Witness church.

Bennett said the religion considers sexual relations outside of marriage grounds for excommunication.

Porter argued that Knight, who weighed at least 275 pounds, did not know she was pregnant and on the day of the baby's death she was taking antidepressants and other medication and could not remember what happened.

Although jurors were given an instruction for involuntary manslaughter, the foreman told them they could not consider that option, a juror said. Actually, it was voluntary manslaughter that was not to be considered.
 

 


 

 

Family of six found dead; police believe father killed family, then self

March 15, 2002

MCMINNVILLE - The community of McMinnville was visibly shaken after investigators discovered a family of six shot to death in their home in an apparent murder-suicide Friday.

Robert Bryant is believed to have shot his wife and four children - whose ages range from 9 to 15 - before turning the gun on himself, said Yamhill County District Attorney Bradley C. Berry.

 

 

Robert Bryant was found dead in the living room, 37-year-old Janet Ellen Bryant in the master bedroom, and their four children in their beds, Berry said.

All had been killed by shotgun blasts.

"Evidence ... indicates that Mr. Robert Bryant killed his wife and children and then took his own life," Berry said, although a motive is not yet known.

"It was a horrible sight," Berry said.

The children last attended school on Feb. 22, and the shootings are believed to have occurred the following day, he said.

Dead are the 37-year-old father, his 37-year-old wife, Janet Ellen Bryant, as well as 15-year-old Clayton, 12-year-old Ethan, 10-year-old Ashley and 9-year-old Alissa Bryant.

Bryant was a self-employed landscaping contractor.

Family Leaves California After Being Shunned; Bryant Parents Worried About Custody Battle

A former California neighbor, Albert Clary, said the Bryants and their relatives were Jehovah's Witnesses.

According to Clary, Robert Bryant got into an argument with a church leader over the Bible while he and his family were still living in California.

The family was reportedly shunned by both other Jehovah's witnesses as well as their own relatives following the incident.

In fact, the Bryants were essentially kicked out of the church three years ago, KATU News learned from an elder church member of the California congregation to which the Bryants belonged.

“Mr. Bryant was expelled from the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses for conduct that was not in harmony with Bible principles, and chose to move his family from the area away from friends and family,” said congregation elder Mark Messier Sr.

Also, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant were concerned that relatives may seek custody of their four children, Messier said.

According to the church elder, relatives of the Bryant family had already filed documents in an effort to seek custody.

The Bryants came to Oregon last summer to make a fresh start, a former neighbor of the family told KATU News.

Two Jehovah's Witnesses who were at the McMinnville church on Friday said they had never heard of the Bryants.

A study of California bankruptcy records indicates that the family moved to McMinnville from Shingle Springs California, where the father had a landscaping business called Bryant's Landscape Maintenance.


 

A Gruesome Discovery

Two Yamhill County sheriff's deputies were in the vicinity of the Bryants' McMinnville home Thursday night when neighbors approached them to express concern about the family.

Deputies spotted what appeared to be a body inside the home. They obtained a search warrant and found all six bodies inside.

On Friday, deputies roped off the area around the Bryants' manufactured home on a hillside outside McMinnville, a prosperous town in the heart of Oregon's wine-growing country.

Detectives searched the grounds for clues but found nothing.

The home sits on about two acres of a rural subdivision west of McMinnville, in hills at the foot of Oregon's Coast Range and about 20 miles south of Portland.

"There Were No Warning Signs"

Neighbors told investigators the Bryants were planning to build a larger house on the site.

"It was our understanding that they planned to build a bigger home and then sell it...so he had a lot of ideas of what he was going to do in the future, so this really surprised us," family acquaintance Colin Armstrong told KATU News.

In a phone interview, Jeanna Wright told katu.com that her daughter Jaden was friends with Ashley Bryant at Memorial Elementary School. Mrs. Wright said her daughter had not seen Ashley in Mrs. Mecker's class for two weeks and was concerned.

Karen Richey, assistant superintendent for the McMinnville School District, said teachers had noticed the children's absence from school and several attempts were made to contact the Bryants.

"We had people knocking on the door several times," but no one ever answered the door, she said.

At first school officials weren't alarmed, because it is not uncommon for students to be absent during the flu season, she said.

School officials say that a 10-day absence is not unheard of, and there were no real warning signs to alert them that anything may have been wrong at home.

Ashley's younger sister Alissa was a second grade student at Memorial Elementary.

Ethan was a sixth grader at Patton Middle School, and Clayton, the oldest, attended McMinnville High School.

The Children Were Well-Liked

Not surprisingly, this apparent murder-suicide has saddened many who knew the Bryant children.

"Ethan Bryant was a very nice young man, he had many friends. We are very saddened by this tragedy," Assistant Principal of Patton Middle School, Mark Hyder told katu.com.

"Ethan was new to our district this year...he was a very popular sixth-grader," said Hyder. "We're just trying to get through this day supporting students and their families."

In a press conference this morning, McMinnville Superintendent Elaine Taylor told the media, "the Memorial staff is understandably very grief-stricken, the two teachers of the children...are having a difficult time..."

It was clear that Taylor was struggling to maintain composure.

Alissa and Ashley Bryant were described by Memorial Elementary staff as "bright students who showed an interest in school."

McMinnville High School, Patton Middle School, and Memorial Elementary all have extra counselors on site today to help students and staff cope with their grief.

 


Bryants described as 'perfect family'

March 16, 2002

MCMINNVILLE, ORE. (AP) - Robert Bryant moved his family to Oregon from California last year abruptly after becoming estranged from his parents and siblings over church issues and going into bankruptcy.

Things started getting better when they arrived in McMinnville.

Now, friends and acquaintances are asking themselves why Bryant would kill his wife Janet, their four children and himself, destroying what one acquaintance called "a perfect family."

Yamhill County District Attorney Bradley Berry has listed the deaths as murder-suicide and says they probably took place about Feb. 23. They were not reported until suspicious neighbors alerted sheriff's deputies late Thursday night.

Dead are Robert Arlie and Janet Ellen, both 37, and children Clayton Keith, 15, Ethan Lance, 12, Ashley Rose, 10, and Alyssa Megan, 9.

Investigators believe Robert Bryant killed the other five with one shotgun blast each, then turned the gun on himself.

Neighbors in McMinnville and a family spokesman in California say the fallout was due to undisclosed differences between Bryant and the Jehovah's Witness church he had attended for years.

Jehovah's Witnesses in Shingle Springs had banned Robert Bryant from the congregation there, an act that members call "disfellowship." The action was taken, church elder Mark Messier said, for Bryant's "unrepentant behavior" that violated church beliefs. Then his family apparently did so as well.

RV park owner Howard Angell said Robert confided the family had left a "big problem" in California, actually fleeing out of fear in the middle of the night, the McMinnville News-Register reported.

Hermina Sampson of McMinnville met Robert Bryant soon after he came to town last summer and was going door to door drumming up work for his landscaping business. "He told me he had to get away from the grandparents," she said. "The grandparents were kind of trying to brainwash the children."

A former California neighbor, Albert Clary, said Robert Bryant held Bible studies every Tuesday at his Shingle Springs home. But he homeschooled his children and limited other interaction. "They were sort of standoffish people," Clary said.

Berry said investigators may never learn why a man described as mild-mannered and deeply religious would murder a wife and children described as doting and devoted.

The family had installed a double-wide mobile home on a two-acre lot west of town in December. The Bryants enrolled the children in McMinnville public schools. They had planned to live in the mobile home only long enough to build a new house.

Four weapons were found in the house including two shotguns that Berry said were used in the crime.

Each family member died from a single blast at close range. "One shotgun shell casing was accounted for and recovered at the scene for each victim," Berry said.

The children had virtually perfect attendance records through Friday, Feb. 22. But they had not been seen in class since.

Phone calls and checks at the house got no answer.

"They were just as nice a couple as you'd ever want to meet," said Dennis Goecks, who sold the Bryants the two-acre lot last summer.

"It's one of those things that just doesn't compute."

The family lived in Shingle Springs quietly and, according to those who knew them were polite, but not outgoing. Brenda Maranville rented the Bryants a house for four years, and then sold it to them.

"They were wonderful renters, they were immaculate caretakers, their kids were always so well behaved - it's like the perfect family," she said.

Goecks said the Bryants bought the view lot west of McMinnville from him last summer and had finished paying for it by the end of the year.

Peggy Ojeda, office manager of the Dayton park where the family stayed for a short time said the family arrived June 11.

One of his first steps was creation of Bryant's Landscape & Maintenance, registered with the state at the RV park address.

"They were an extremely nice, very quiet family," Ojeda said. "They did everything together. "The children positively drooled over their dad. They never seemed afraid of him."

They aggressively advertised the business, both in the newspaper and with leaflets, and the business took off.

Robert presented a proposal to RV park owner Angell to re-landscape the entire park, but phoned back in November to say he had taken on too much other work.

Vern Skoog of Homes America had many dealings with the family in connection with the double-wide home's purchase. He remembers Robert as a "really pleasant guy." Skoog said, "He had gone through some difficulties in California, including a business bankruptcy. He was looking to make a fresh start."

The Bryants moved into the home just before Christmas.

On Jan. 13, 2000, the Bryants filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They had unsecured debts of $57,000, mostly on credit cards. They had a home valued at $175,000, but had little equity in it.

The bankruptcy freed the Bryants from the credit card debt and some of the other debt.

By June, the Bryants had a fresh start, and set out to rebuild their businesses and finances. They continued to pay off more than $11,000 that they legally didn't have pay to Steve and Brenda Maranville.

"We struggled a little bit to get financing in place, but we were able to do it," Skoog said. He said he discounts financial pressures as a reason for the murder-suicide. The Bryant's California bankruptcy attorney agreed. "The bankruptcy took care of their financial problems," said Julia Gibbs. "They probably should have been fine."
 


Similarities between the Bryant case and the Longo murders

March 15, 2002

 


The Bryant case bears some similarities to the case of Christian Longo--also accused of murdering his family.

Like the Bryants, the Longo's were Jehovah's witnesses and were also disfellowshipped--or, kicked out--by their church. In Christian Longo's case it was allegedly because of repeated run-in's he had with the law.

Also like the Bryants, the Longo family moved to Oregon with the stated goal of "starting a new life."

One key difference: after allegedly murdering his 3 children and his wife, Christian Longo did not take his own life.

Instead, he spent several weeks on the run before being captured in Mexico.

 


 

Source: katu.com


JW parents murder their daughter by hitting her 160 times with a 5-foot stretch of electrical cable
 

Girl died after parents hit her 160 times, court told


By Kirsten Scharnberg and Eric Ferkenhoff, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporter Rudolph Bush contributed to this report
Published November 14, 2001

Even veteran prosecutors were stunned by the case outlined in court Tuesday: A South Side couple were accused of flogging their 12-year-old daughter to death with a 5-foot stretch of electrical cable after she was tied down.

Larry and Constance Slack, described by neighbors as devoutly religious, delivered 160 blows to their daughter Laree, according to the charges, stuffing a towel in her mouth at one point to silence her screams.

"This is the absolute worst I've seen," Assistant State's Atty. Robert Hovey whispered as the Slacks, both 41, were led into the courtroom. The pair were ordered held without bond on first-degree murder charges in the fatal weekend beating of their daughter as well as charges of aggravated battery of a child for the beating of their 8-year-old son.

In a slow, steady voice, Assistant State's Atty. Beth Pfeiffer stood before the judge and began to read the accusations against the Slacks, described by authorities and neighbors as Jehovah's Witnesses who were so strict with their six children that they were not even allowed to play with other kids from the neighborhood.

According to Pfeiffer, the couple had been planning to go out for dinner Saturday night but had been unable to locate a jacket that had Constance Slack's wallet and credit cards in the pocket. So Larry Slack ordered the children, who range in age from 8 to 17, to search for it.

When the children did not seem to be looking hard enough for the jacket, Pfeiffer said, Larry Slack grabbed an electric cable that was about three-quarters of an inch thick and lashed the couple's 8-year-old son, Lester, four to five times in the legs and buttocks.

Larry Slack, a Chicago Transit Authority machinist for the past 22 years, soon grew even angrier because dirty laundry was scattered about the house, impeding the search, the prosecutor said. Laree had been in charge of washing and putting away laundry in the home, Pfeiffer said.

"Larry Slack then ordered Laree to `assume the position,'" the prosecutor said, which meant that the 12-year-old was to stand ready to be whipped.

Larry Slack lashed Laree four or five times with the same cord he had used on her brother, according to the prosecutor, but he grew angrier still when the girl attempted to squirm away. The father ordered his two teenage sons to tie Laree face down to a metal futon frame and then administered 39 lashes to the girl's back, Pfeiffer said. Constance Slack then took the cord and whipped the girl 20 more times, the prosecutor alleged.

The first-floor Cook County courtroom, usually abuzz with lawyers talking about their upcoming cases or milling about distributing paperwork, grew silent as the prosecutor spoke. The details she told the judge next seemed to shock everyone even more.

Girl began to scream

According to Pfeiffer, when Laree began to scream, Larry Slack ordered his sons to fetch a towel to stuff in her mouth. He then tied a scarf over the towel and used a stick to wind the scarf like a tourniquet into place.

He then cut off his daughter's shirt, ordered the other children to pull off her pants and whipped her 39 more times, the prosecutor said. Constance followed with 20 more lashes, Pfeiffer said.

As Laree writhed from what would total more than 160 blows, the girl's back began to bleed. So, according to Pfeiffer, Larry Slack untied her, turned her over and beat her 39 more times on her stomach and chest.

"It was an awful one," Pfeiffer said after court, shaking her head. "And to think they involved the other children, that's what gets me."

The case of Laree Slack, who was pronounced dead at South Shore Hospital just hours after her beating, has rattled even seasoned child abuse experts.

"Do you know how hard it is to kill a 12-year-old?" said Demetra Soter, a physician who is coordinator of pediatric trauma at Cook County Hospital.

According to Soter, children as old as Laree Slack require "massive amounts of force to die like this." Soter said she had only heard of two comparable cases in recent years, one a DuPage County teenager whose father is accused of fatally beating him for stealing a car.

John Goad, the associate deputy director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, concurred. He said the vast majority of homicides involving children are in cases where the child is under the age of 3. Those children, Goad said, often are on the receiving end of their caregiver's rage because they have soiled their pants or cried uncontrollably.

In addition, Goad said, Laree's death comes at a time when child abuse cases are hitting new lows in Cook County. He cited a 22.7 percent decrease in reported abuse cases in Cook County the last five years.

Goad said part of the reason for the drop is that social service agencies are getting better at counseling families who are reported as having abused or neglected their children.

DCFS officials said Tuesday that the Slack family, who live in the 7900 block of South Brandon Avenue, has had at least one contact with the department in the past.

In 1995, DCFS received a report that the youngest of the family's children had been found walking on the street alone, according to DCFS director Jess McDonald. Investigators later learned that a plumber had been doing work at the family's house and left a fence open, allowing the child to walk out.

Although the circumstances of that case do not indicate that DCFS failed to protect the Slack children, McDonald said the department is grief-stricken over Laree's death.

"Any time a child dies, and you've had any involvement in the case at any time, people literally get sick," McDonald said. "It really does eat at you. I think when there's a chance that the system was involved, obviously we want to find out, did we miss anything at any point in time?"

Death penalty may be asked

In court Tuesday, Pfeiffer, the assistant state's attorney, argued to Judge Neil Linehan that the two were not eligible for bond because the state may seek the death penalty and because Laree Slack's death was especially "heinous" and "the result of torture." According to a spokesman in the Cook County medical examiner's office, the girl died of multiple blunt force traumas.

The Slacks, neither of whom have any previous criminal history, both have made videotaped admissions about the beating, the prosecutor said. According to Pfeiffer and police who were there when the Slacks were being questioned, Larry Slack attempted to kill himself while in custody.

Pfeiffer said Larry Slack, who weighs more than 350 pounds, had sneaked a 6-inch kitchen knife into the Calumet Area police station by hiding it in the folds of his skin. He stabbed himself in the chest and was transported to Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was treated for minor injuries before being returned to police custody.

Calumet Area detectives who were familiar with the case said Tuesday that Larry Slack had told them that he strongly believed in corporal punishment. They also said that they knew him to be deeply religious, but they added it was unclear whether Slack was abiding by some religious mandate.

But Leon Slack, an uncle of Laree's, said religion had nothing to do with what happened. "Our family loved Laree dearly," read a statement the family released Tuesday.

In a brief telephone interview, the uncle went further.

"What happened was a tragedy," he said. "It was not in line with religion. Something obviously went wrong, and we just want to grieve as a family."

Neighbors of the Slacks' said the family was quiet and kept to themselves. There was a tall fence around their yard, but the children were sometimes seen building a tree house on the side lawn.

"The only time I saw them all together was one Saturday when they were going to church. They looked really nice, cheerful and happy," said Noel Chapa, a next door neighbor.


Source: Chicago Tribune

 


 

Sunday, November 5, 2000

 

A Killer in the community

By ANOUK HOEDEMAN
Toronto Sun

WOLVES AMONG SHEEP: The True Story Of Murder In A Jehovah's Witness Community
James Kostelniuk
(HarperCollins )

Years ago, I had next-door neighbours who were Jehovah's Witnesses. They never tried to convert me. In fact, they hardly spoke to me at all -- or to anyone else in the apartment building. But they did once give me a book on creationism that tried to disprove the theory of evolution. All fossils, the book explained, are the same age, dating from the Great Flood. The deeper the fossils are buried, the earlier those animals drowned, but they all got there thanks to those 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

 That kind of logic didn't exactly make me want to invite my neighbours over for tea, but it did leave me curious about what really goes on within the Jehovah's Witness community. In this respect, Wolves Among Sheep proved irresistible.

 The book is James Kostelniuk's account of the murders of his two children, 10-year-old Juri and eight-year-old Lindsay, and their mother Kim Anderson, his ex-wife. But it is also a condemnation of the Witness community, which he holds indirectly responsible for the killings, and which shunned him even at a memorial service for his children.

 Kostelniuk is no born writer, but while his words are often clumsy, they are always honest and heartfelt as he recounts his childhood, joining the Jehovah's Witnesses, his marriage to Kim, their divorce and why he left the church. But most of all, the author's passion shows as he describes the events leading up to the murders, and the aftermath: Kim's marriage to another Witness, Jeff Anderson; how Anderson misrepresented himself; how he harrassed Kim after she finally left him; how he took a shotgun and killed her, Juri and Lindsay, and the hell Kostelniuk has gone through ever since.

 Throughout this horrifying tragedy, the Jehovah's Witness community was a constant, sinister presence. The church's harsh rules and bizarre beliefs (they predict the end of the world, but have to keep changing the date when the end doesn't come on the appointed day) make me wonder not why anyone would leave, but why anyone would join in the first place.

 Kostelniuk decided to move back to his native Manitoba after the breakup of his marriage, leaving his children with their mother in British Columbia. He clearly loved his kids, but moved away because he knew he has no hope of getting custody or even spending any time with them; the powerful church -- Kim was still an avid follower-- would make sure of that. There is a Witness taboo against associating with anyone who has left the fold or otherwise broken church rules and been "disfellowshipped" -- even if it's your parent, child or sibling.

 When Kim tried to leave Anderson, he had the church elders intervene; they told her to stay with her ne'er-do-well husband. So she remained in a dangerous situation because, it seems, she was more afraid of the church's wrath than she was of her obsessed and abusive husband.

 Eventually, she did leave, but Anderson, unable to accept her decision, murdered his estranged wife and stepchildren in cold blood in 1985.

 When Kostelniuk and his new wife, Marge, travelled to Burnaby, B.C., for a memorial service for Kim, Juri and Lindsay, no one acknowledged their presence at the Kingdom Hall. Some, including Kostelniuk's former in-laws, did speak to the couple privately, but these secretive shows of sympathy did little to alleviate the grief and anger brought on by the public humiliation.

 Wolves Among Sheep is Kostelniuk's valiant attempt to make sense of the tragedy that tore his life apart. His journey to find some semblance of peace in his heart and his mind took Kostelniuk through rage, guilt, denial and even an admirable attempt at forgiveness -- he maintained a correspondence with Anderson and even visited him in prison once before coming to the undeniable conclusion that the killer is a dangerous, remorseless, hopeless case.

 In an eloquent epilogue, Kosteniuk writes: "While there is a wound inside me that will never heal, some living, healthy part of me wants to show that I'm not finished. I still need to share the load with others, and each person takes a little weight from me."

 Wolves Among Sheep is achingly sad and intensely personal, but speaks to all decent persons. One would have to be cold-hearted indeed to read this book without wanting to help Kostelniuk bear that terrible weight.


Trader commits suicide after killing 12 in gun spree

Manhunt ends as he turns gun on himself
Links, reports and background on US shootings and gun law
 

News Unlimited staff and agencies
Friday July 30, 1999
 

The Guardian

A gunman stormed two brokerages in Atlanta's financial district yesterday, fatally shooting nine people after apparently killing his wife and two children in the days leading up to the attack, the city's mayor said.

Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell said Mark Barton, 44, an internet stock trader, committed suicide five hours after the shooting spree at brokerages All-Tech Investments and Momentum Securities, located near each other on Atlanta's bustling Piedmont Avenue.

Witnesses told police that Barton was apparently unhappy over stock and bond market losses when he walked into the first brokerage and opened fire.

"I hope this doesn't ruin your trading day," he said before he opened fire, according to one witness.

"He was apparently a day trader at a brokerage firm and was concerned about financial losses," the mayor said. "He was there, noticed the market was down and pulled out a gun and began shooting."

Barton, an ex-chemist, had given up his former profession to try his luck as a "day trader", buying and selling stocks on the internet.

After the spree Barton had gone on the run, reportedly carrying two handguns, one 9mm and the other .45 calibre. Police said he was later pulled over at a petrol station where he shot himself.

When Thursday's rampage ended, four people were dead in a brokerage office at Piedmont Centre and five at the second brokerage, Mr Campbell said. Twelve other people were shot and wounded.

The identities of the victims were withheld until all of their relatives could be identified.

The afternoon of horror in this booming capital of the New South was the latest in a series of fatal shootings in US schools, public buildings and offices. They include the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in April, when two teenage gunmen shot to death 12 other pupils and a teacher before killing themselves.

It was also the worst mass shooting in Atlanta this century, Atlanta police said. Two weeks ago, a woman, her four children and her sister were killed by her boyfriend, who turned the gun on himself in the worst previous single attack.

After the shootings police went to Barton's house in Stockbridge, where they found the bodies of Barton's wife and children, a 7-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy. The children were found in their beds. Barton had left hand-written notes on all three bodies.

The notes suggested that Barton's wife might have been killed on Tuesday and the children on Wednesday. Barton had apparently bludgeoned them to death.

Five years ago, Barton was considered a suspect in the death of his first wife and his mother-in-law, but he was never charged with their murders. The two women were bludgeoned to death at a campsite in Alabama. Barton, who had taken out a $600,000 insurance policy on his 35-year-old first wife just weeks before, said he was in Atlanta at the time.

Yesterday's shooting spree is likely to inflame the US debate on firearms. The city of Atlanta sued 15 gun makers and two trade associations in February, seeking damages for crime deaths and injuries involving handgun use.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

Re: Robert and Benjamin Moore--Wisconsin--Aug 93
religiousfrauds.50megs.com/jw/murdered.html

here is a summary of the page:

Roberta Moore:

I was born in Stafford Springs, Connecticut in 1949.

When I was a really young baby, the Jehovah's Witnesses came into our lives. The Jehovah's Witnesses prey upon people that are depressed, have lost someone they loved, or sometimes after someone has been involved in a very bad relationship. The Jehovah's witnesses go from door to door preaching what they say is the good news of God's kingdom.

Life as a teenager for me was very trying. All of my classmates had nice new homes, nice new cars, their parents had very good jobs, had earned a lot of money. I didn't have very many friends in school because I was a Jehovah Witness. I remember how much it used to bother me because I wasn't allowed to salute the flag and everybody else did. Saluting the flag is a real sin in their eyes. We were never taught as children about the very real emotional part of us. We were taught to live by rules and follow examples given by the watchtower.

My sister and her husband moved away from Connecticut in 1972. My Father and Mother moved up to Wisconsin too. I had just gotten through with a divorce, so I moved to Wisconsin with my young son Ron to start a new life.

Shortly after moving to Wisconsin my Mother introduced me to a man who was a Jehovah witness. I believed that my fiancé to be could save me from being destroyed, as well as I really wanted to have another baby because I love children. So I married again. It wasn't long before I had realized I made a mistake, my new husband hated my young son Ron. He completely changed from being a loving man to being a very controlling, manipulating man. It wasn't long before he took my car away. He had a cabin for us to live in that was very isolated and away from all other people. He wouldn't let us have a telephone. He wouldn't let me drive any of his vehicles. Our whole life was comprised of going to the kingdom hall of Jehovah's Witnesses; once in a while he would let me go along to the store with him to buy groceries and supplies. He wouldn't allow me to work away from him, or go to get certain training so I could get a job. He wouldn't let me work in the home care either.

I felt so trapped, and I didn't know how to get out of the situation, I stayed with it for 22 years. He was very mean to Ron and abused him many times physically. Looking back on it now, I don't know which is more addictive religion or alcohol.

We lived mostly off money I got from welfare. I also got quite a lot of food stamps.

Our marriage produced four beautiful children. They were three boys and one little girl.

On August 30th, 1993 a major life event threw me into a deep, dark depression. I left home early that morning leaving my husband in the care of our three young children. At quarter to eight in the morning he called me at my father's house and told me he couldn't find the two boys. They should be going to school on the bus. I came home, looked around the house, and then I looked around the grounds. There was no sign of the boys, then he said, "the car is missing" I looked; sure enough the car was missing.

It was a rainy day, so of course I looked for tracks in the mud. The tracks in the mud showed up plainly. I followed the tracks down the road and into the trail; the Rail Trail is an old railroad bed that the kids use for hiking, biking, and three wheeling. It is a recreational trail that stretches from Prentice to Medford. I drove back home and told my husband that the boys had driven down into the trail.

My husband took my daughter and me in his truck down Spring Road to the beginning of the trail. He left us and walked in. He told us to wait there for him. We waited anxiously in the truck for a while and I wondered what to do. At the time, I didn't pay much attention to what time it was. He was in there and I decided to get out of the truck and walk down the trail to see if I could see anything. I walked about a couple of telephone pole lengths and then I heard a gunshot. I hurried back to the truck and drove in the trail. On my way down the trail I saw my husband coming and he was crying. I got really worried then said, "Where are the boys?" He said, "they're both dead and the gun is there, they killed themselves."

Autopsy Report
On the autopsy report of Robert and Ben I will write what it says:

Ben:
Samples of dried blood from the right upper extremity aare collected at the time of the postmortem examination.

Robert:
Swabs from a small blood spot on the right forearm is obtained.

Were my boys drugged for a ritual?

Do you know anybody who would know if they saw this report?

If so send e-mail: robertamoore81@hotmail.com

1. My son Robert was shot in the left side of his head. Robert was right handed?


2. How can a ten year old have the arm reach and span to shoot himself in the head with a rifle?


3. There was a kitchen knife found at the scene of a crime. Why was is not included in the police reports?


4. The rifle purportedly used was the boys' single shot Remington that took 22 shorts. They were killed with 22 longs.


5. The police claim that one boy killed himself and then the other used the kitchen knife to pry the 'long shell casing' from the gun so he could shoot himself. Can you imagine a boy seeing his brother shot, bleeding, in agony or dead, taking the time to pry out the cartridge and continuing on with his own suicide?


6. The sheriff told me the kitchen knife was sent to the crime lab and it would reveal who was shot last. I found the knife inside the police impound yard, never having been sent to the crime lab. Why the lie?


7.Kmedia interviewed my ex-husband and he told them to interview the police. Doesn't seem the grieving father is too anxious to help....?
I know my sons were MURDERED and someone is walking around free because of the power of the WATCHTOWER and the FREEMASONS in this county.

e-mail:
robertamoore81@hotmail.com

 

back to Watchtower News