10/20/14

Truest True Crime Movies

Many people claim an interest in true crime books, movies or news reports is morbid, sick even. They take great strides to tell the rest of us how gratifying it is to the killer when we want to know what happened. They demand to know "who knows the victim's names" and toss around insults to those whose curiosity and interests are peaked.

The truth, however, is that without an interest in they"who, what, why and how" these things happen, there will never be an end to it. All the prison time and state sanctioned murders in the country will not stop it. Only an understanding of the acts can prevent them.

In keeping with that theory, there are many amazingly insightful movies about true crimes that not only depict the crimes in horrifyingly realistic detail, but show all sides of the crimes and criminals for a whole picture. In fact, some true crime movies and documentaries have won worldwide awards for the light they shed on such horrific acts and those who commit them. 

Here are some of the most renown true crime films ever made in no particular order. 

The Thin Blue Line
Not every true crime fan thinks of this one. It is the story of the investigation of a Dallas, Texas police officer and the corrupt police force therein. Drifter, Randall Adams, ran out of gas and after a 16 year old runaway, David Harris, picked him up, they went on a day-long pleasure excursion; drinking beer, smoking pot, hanging out and catching a movie. Adams returned to his hotel room where his brother was also staying, and went to sleep. He was arrested and charged with the murder of a police officer shortly after. The problem however was there wasn't any evidence that connected him to the crime. David Harris was a runaway in the throes of a crime spree and eventually ended up on death row.   




Cropsey
Released in 2009, the filmmakers delve into their own childhood myth and track down the origins of their neighborhood boogeyman and  5 missing children. This film also says a lot about mental health and law and order in the 70's. If you're a child of the 70's, it's an interesting take on the way we lived in those days. In the end, you're left wondering if the killer was ever mentally ill at all or just a very clever man. You can see it free here: CROPSEY .

The Cheshire Murders
This HBO film is a documentary about the murder of a woman and her two daughters in Connecticut. The husband/father lived. The interesting part about this film is how many it times it shows you where this crime could have been prevented as well as a whole host of police screw ups in the investigation. It cumulates into a high profile death penalty case.

 

How Terri-Lynne McClintic Became a Killer

This documentary tells the story of little Victoria "Tori" Elizabeth Marie Stafford, 8; her life and death at the hands of Terri-Lynne McClintic,18, and Michael Rafferty, 28,. The pair abducted, raped and murdered the young girl. The shocking part of this case is not only the horrific crime, but the fact that the mother was the prime suspect, despite a witness coming forth to identify a video of a woman luring the girl away. The film then goes into Terri-lynne's life. She was raised by strippers and molested repeatedly from an early age. She lived a life of horrific abuse of every type and never knew anything but that. She never had a day that did not hold rape or a beating or drug abuse. So may people blame themselves for knowing what was happening and not stepping in. Although some did, the authorities did nothing. It's an interesting view of the making of a monster. You can see it for free here: TERRI-LYNNE


10/19/14

Chiquita Bulger Oklahoma


Strangely enough, convicted murderess, Chiquita Bulger, was offered a chance at parole eventually. She was convicted last week in the shooting death of Emily Clark for "snitching", as she told a witness.

 Just before 8 p.m., at the Addison Apartment complex in the 10100 block of E Admiral Blvd. Bulger walked into the apartment and shot Clark in the head. An unnamed witness heard the gunshot and went into the apartment to see someone removing a gun from Bulger's hands and hearing her say Clark was a snitch. Clark's death was Tulsa's 13th death.

Bulger was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

10/18/14

Roxanne Buck - Ohio

 Roxanne Buck, 45, has been found guilty of murdering her 21 year old roommate, Michelle Johnson in Stow, Ohio. Details in this case are sparse, but authorities claim Buck was approximately four months behind on rent and was asked by Johnson to move out but had not.

Johnson's body was found with multiple stab wounds to the neck in a shed behind her Maplepark Drive home after her mother alerted authorities that she had not returned her calls in several days. She was covered with several blankets.

Buck was an employee of the Stow Burger King. She will be sentenced October 21rst.
From Fox News:



TORRANCE, Calif. –  A woman who spent 17 years in prison for the death of a homeless man hugged her grandchild for the first time and did a dance of happiness after she was judged innocent of murder and freed.

"I always knew that one day God would bring the truth to the light," Susan Marie Mellen, 59, told reporters Friday, after she was released from a Torrance courthouse shortly before 6 p.m.

About eight hours earlier, a Los Angeles County judge overturned her conviction, saying that her attorney failed to properly represent her and that a woman who claimed she heard Mellen confess was a "habitual liar."

"I believe she is innocent," Superior Court Judge Mark Arnold said. "For that reason I believe in this case the justice system failed."

The courtroom burst into applause after his ruling.

Based solely on witness testimony, Mellen was convicted of orchestrating the beating death of Richard Daly at a Lawndale home where Mellen and others lived.

The mother of three was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

She was embraced by her three grown children after her release.

Mellen shrieked and clapped her hands as she kissed and hugged her 19-month-old grandson, Aiden.

"First time I held him," she told reporters.

"I'm a free woman now. Let me do the running man," she said, and did a few jogging dance steps before the microphones.

She joked and beamed but also described her imprisonment as "cruel punishment."

"I would cry every night" in prison, Mellen said, but never lost faith and even wrote "freedom" on the bottom of her tennis shoes "because I knew I was going to walk free one day."

Mellen's case was investigated by Deirdre O'Connor, head of a project known as Innocence Matters that seeks to free people who are wrongly convicted.

The witness who claimed she heard Mellen confess was June Patti, who had a long history of giving false tips to law enforcement, according to documents in the case. She died in 2006.

Three gang members subsequently were linked to the crime, and one was convicted of the killing. Another took a polygraph test and said he was present at Daly's killing, and Mellen was not there.

In a habeas corpus petition, O'Connor said the police detective who arrested Mellen was also responsible for a case in 1994 that resulted in the convictions of two men ultimately exonerated by innocence projects.

Mellen said she held no ill will against those who put her behind bars.

"No, no, I always forgave my enemies," she said. "Even your haters, you have to forgive them and sometimes you have to thank them because they bring you closer to God."

Mellen said she planned to go to dinner with her family and wanted to eat an avocado, steak, or maybe something she had never had.

She also hoped to have a McDonald's Happy Meal with her youngest daughter.

"Me and her were at McDonald's when I got arrested and we didn't have a happy meal that day," she said. "... It's a happy ending right now...We're going to have a new beginning."

As Mellen's family waited outside the courthouse before her release, her son, who has little memory of his mother because he was so young when she was imprisoned, opened his shirt to show reporters a broken heart he had tattooed on his chest to honor her. Donald Besch, 25 and in the Navy, said he was hoping to have some time with his mother before he is deployed overseas in a few days.

Daughter Jessica Besch, 27, said she and her fiance of eight years were waiting to get married until her mother could be at the wedding.

"We're going to go dress shopping together," she said.

Her third daughter, Julie Carroll, 39, brought Mellen's grandson.

The children were raised by their grandmother and other relatives while their mother was in prison. They said they never told friends where she was or that she had been convicted of a crime she did not commit.