Please keep in mind that this blog often has comments and statements directly from the women on death row. Statements of grief, statements of innocence, statements of regret and sorrow. If bearing audience to these women's feelings, my opinions or those of commenters offends you please do not read on.

Dusti Byers is Really Just a Nice Girl

So, speaking of readers and their comments, I have one from a month or so ago from someone claiming to be in the know on murderess, Dusti Byers. Another person claiming to be her mom left a comment on the post I wrote about her here.  The email read:

I feel really badly that you chose to call Dusti Byers the "sadistic sister."  If you knew more of the story you would change your mind.  You seem like a person that would look at both sides of a situation.  

Dusti Byers pleaded guilty to the murder of her father and sister only because she could not get decent representation in her rural county.  Her sister was killed because the bullet meant for the father traveled through his head into the sister.  There was no intent to kill her sister.  Dusti experienced years of sexual abuse from her father.  He also provided her with drugs from an early age.  Glenn County childrens' services were called out many times but never helped her.

That's all.  Just thought you should know.


Barbara Segal

Mkay. She might be right. I tend to listen to all sides of the story from every angle and figure it out myself. I wrote to Dusti, as is my usual routine when I write about someone and she never wrote back. All I had to go on was the news reports. Regardless of the circumstances she did indeed shoot and kill two people. That will most often garner you a few names a ton worse than "Sadistic Sister". 
So you, Julie Noakes, can go shit in your hat. I only write about people who murder. Not quite my fault that she did that, is it? 

And you Barbara? I suggest you guys search out more help than I can provide. I am a rural writer with a small following. Nowhere near what you need to investigate an entire town. It would serve you guys a lot better if you went after the people who gave ME the information, don't you think? People in that actual town perhaps? Throwing me shitty comments like Julie's surely isn't going to help. 

You have evidence? You have proof? Shoot it my way. I'm more than happy to publish it for you. If not, don't shoot the messenger. 


Daycare Owner Melissa Clark Murders Baby in a Fit of Rage

 A Noble, Oklahoma woman was charged with first-degree murder Monday for her role in the death of a 4-month-old girl.

Noble police officers and OSBI special agents arrested Melissa Dawn Clark, 45, the owner and operator of an in-home day care center Friday.

According to an OSBI affidavit, Noble police responded to a call of an unresponsive child July 19 at 505 Rolling Meadows Drive. The girl was transported to the Norman Regional Medical Center Emergency Room and then transported to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. The child arrived at the hospital without a pulse and was resuscitated. She died Sunday.

Clark told a Noble police detective that she made the initial call to police after she found the child limp and unresponsive. The child’s parents told an OSBI agent there was nothing wrong with the girl when they dropped her off at Clark’s at approximately 7 a.m.

According to the affidavit, at about 11:30 a.m., Clark said she went into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee when she dropped the child on the ground. Clark noticed a small red mark on the back of the girl’s head, but she said there was no change in the child’s behavior. At about 1 p.m., Clark said she threw the child into a seat on the floor. When Clark threw her, the girl hit the bar on the seat and fell to the floor.

OSBI special agents interviewed the girl’s doctor, who confirmed the child's injuries were consistent with child abuse. The doctor said the child suffered from head trauma, brain-subdural hematoma and retinal hemorrhages, which was not explained by Clark.

The doctor said the child’s condition could have been a result of a "shaking component — thrusting of the head forward and backward with acceleration and deceleration, and due to the severity of the injuries the symptoms would have been immediate," the affidavit read.

According to the affidavit, approximately 20 minutes after Clark threw the child into the seat, she said she heard the girl sound like she was choking on fluids. When Clark rushed over and picked up the child, she noticed the girl was struggling to breathe. Clark said she performed CPR and checked to see if there was anything blocking the girl’s airway.

Clark said she "lost it" and threw the child. She said was stressed, according to the affidavit.

The Department of Human Services has shut down the day care. Clark was caring for five other children when the incident happened, according to the affidavit. Their ages ranged from 11 months to 5 years old. The case remains under investigation.

“We still have some interviews to conduct in the case,” OSBI public information director Jessica Brown said.

Oklahoma court records shows Clark has no previous criminal history.

From : http://www.normantranscript.com/news/oklahoma/woman-charged-in-baby-girl-s-death/article_1059156c-54c1-5bde-b305-81582cc8d81f.html

A Reader Has a Snit and I Apologize

I have been meaning to do this for some time. Sadly, what most people don't realize is I have a full time job, family and a life. This blog and the letters to women on death row are a labor of love that I do not always have time for if I want to eat and pay my electric bill.

That being said, quite a while back someone put a comment on a Judy Neelley post about my mom and my experiences. She made a comment that was generally supportive but at the same time made assumptions about my mom. The post she commented on had a story of my mom losing her shit one night after my abusive step-father had pushed her over her limit.

I share these stories with you strangers because I know there are some of you who, like me, have a genuine interest in why people do the horrendous shit they can do to each other. I am fully aware that people will comment on my story, life and perspective. It doesnt bother me. They have their say, I have mine and its over.

This lady made a comment about my mom and about Judy and I believe Janeen Snyder in California. At any rate, she made some assumptions about my mom and her situation that were pretty generalized and I bit her head off. I didn't really mean too. I wasn't mad at her or upset at her opinion or even that she commented. She just made the wrong assumption and I shot off a quick retort and forgot about it. Some months later, my assistant informs me that there was something like 20 of that same woman's comments on several posts that had nothing to do with the original. All over the place, this lady repeatedly put this same comment. I guess she didnt know that comments have to be approved by my assistant. (This is because Jodie Arias and Darlie Routier in particular, have some nutbag followers who threaten me, my family, readers, etc.)

By the time we noticed the comments they were quite old but I went ahead and approved one of the blue million she submitted. I felt a little flattered this girl spent 20 minuets at least trying to make her opinion known on this little blog. Nice :)

At any rate, Id like to apologize to that little lady reader, whoever you are. I wasnt rying to ignore you, I didnt get mad at you. I just got busy. Carry on :)

Teen Girl Charged in Triple Murders Over Hair Weave

No, I'm not making this up. When you think about it, it does seem like a murder that a teenage girl would be involved in, I guess. But still.... a weave? Really?
Eighteen year old Shelby Issac from Memphis and her friend Victoria Seay had been going to the online hair accessory store, VirginHair4Us for her hair weaves for quite some time and seemed to genuinely like the owner, EJ Tate and his pregnant girlfriend, Edwina Thomas.

On January 22 of 2016 Shelby and Victoria went to the Sycamore Lake Apartments in Memphis Tennessee where EJ and Edwina were sitting in a parked car. Shelby opened fire upon them shooting both several times. She then went through their belongings and stole several bundles of hair valued at near $250. She jumped back in the car with Victoria driving and the two sped off.

EJ died on the scene. Edwina was rushed to the hospital where both she and her unborn child died. Police were able to garner much information from the witnesses and eventually tracked the two women down at 4000 Covington Pike. Victoria was arrested there but Shelby ran. She was finally caught the following Friday and arrested. She was charged with three counts of murder. WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Zonna Chanae Locklear Staged Her Own Kidnapping to Cover a Muder

A 27 year-old North Carolina woman, Zonna Chanae Locklear, thought she had really come up with a great plan or she really was kidnapped. Who knows?

What we do know is police found her walking down highway 101,on May 26th,  disheveled, and she claimed two men busted in on her and a friend, Gary Wayne Bisbee, in bed.  Killing him and forcing her to drive her car to Chadbourne, she claims they kicked her out on the side of the road. Her car was found a short time later in Columbus County.

Locklear explained to police she had been kidnapped from 107 N. Sterling St., in Proctorville and when they arrived they found Gary Bisbee's dead body in bed with a gunshot wound.

Further investigation revealed that the home belonged to Locklear and Brisbee had been an unlucky visitor. The rest of the investigation has not been disclosed. Somehow, however, it was discovered that Locklear had actually been the one to shoot Brisbee and that he was engaged to be married and had a small child.

Locklear has been arrested  and was charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. I suppose once it goes to trial we will hear more about how they came to that conclusion.


How to Write True Crime

Wednesday June 8th 2016 I will be doing a live Facebook chat on the RJ Parker Publishing page.

I announced this last week and had almost 200 messages via Facebook, Twitter and email with questions galore about Shirley Turner, Terri-Lynn McClintick and the true crime writing business in general.

I am really excited to have this opportunity to answer all those questions as well as discuss some new projects on the horizon. We will also be giving away some prizes and having a lot of fun getting to know each other.

Please attend Wednesday night via the link above. I cant wait to meet everyone and tell you all about the crazy world of true crime.

See you then!

Kelly

Whitney Gray Killed Her Nashville Roommates

A photo posted by Kelly Banaski (@kellymbanaski) on

I was in the garden box this morning, quite pleased with myself for the ginormous Serano Pepper I grew (read: all by myself) with my Kindle Fire tablet beside me. I usually listen to classical or some other calming music when I'm out in the yard. I feel like it adds to my outdoor experience at times. It helps keep my mind in the moment and not wandering back to work even though my body is active and outdoors. Today I had the local news playing in the background when I heard the newscaster say something about a man and woman involved in the murder of another Nashville couple. Wow. One couple killed another couple. Wow, weird. Why? How? And I was off.....

Brandon Griswold and Whitney Gray  
Here we have one Whitney Gray, who, along with her boyfriend Brandon Griswold, killed Preston Claybrooks and Alexandria Grubbs last September. Their battered bodies were found in unit A-3, shoved in a closet, at the Garden Howe Apartments. According to Nashville Police Detective Mike Roland, who testified in court, Gray and Griswold owed the other couple almost $700 for heroin. They didn't have the money to pay them so the two formulated a plan to murder them and hide the bodies.
 Preston Claybrooks and Alexandra Grubbs
All four people lived together in East Nashville in Garden Howe Apartments. Police say at approximately 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 21 the offending couple entered the victim couples bedroom as they slept. They beat them immobile and then one of them slit their throats. They then wrapped them like mummies in their sheets and blankets and put them into the closet.  They didn't think things through because they were the leaseholders on the apartment. It wasn't long before Claybrooks mom reported him missing and  a few days later she called again to say the apartment was obviously stinking of death. The bodies were quickly discovered. Police were instantly searching for the other couple. They were located the following Monday afternoon after the killing with a homeless man near the Radnor Yard railroad depot.

Gray and Griswold were each indicted on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and theft over $500. Wow. My fiance and I go to dinner in Nashville A LOT. There isn't much to do in Small Town USA where we live about 60 miles south of the city. So, when we get out we like to make a big production out of it. We were there in April for the Country Living Fair. These people could have been right next to us on any given trip. Creepy.

And here's the Serrano pepper. I grew it. All by myself.