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.

Jessica McCarty, Florida Mother Kills All Her Children

We talked about Jessica McCarty a while back. She admitted to the murder of her three small children. She took a life sentence to keep from having a trial and more than likely a death sentence. Police say that Lacey McCarty, seven, was drowned in a bathtub, and that Phillip McCarty, six, and Christopher Swist, five months, were strangled.
She'd had a lengthy history of drug abuse but it was her mental illnesses that the defense blamed for the murders.

‘Jessica was failed by the mental health profession, where she desperately sought help, but it was never given,’ Patricia Null, McCarty's mother, said. ‘Now we are all paying the price for that.’
McCarty’s treatment was a complete failure of the mental health system.  McCarty sought mental help just days before she killed her children.

The two fathers of McCartys children.



Alexandria Duval, New York, Killed her Twin Sister


This twin’s trouble returned on the double.
Alexandria Duval, 38, was arrested Friday in Albany, New York, on a murder charge for the death of her twin sister, Anastasia, earlier this year.
The Duval sisters were in a fatal car crash in May, when their SUV plummeted off a 200-foot cliff in Maui, Hawaii. Alexandria was behind the wheel. Anastasia died at the scene. There was no evidence of braking, and witnesses claim the sisters had been arguing prior to the crash and that Alexandria had deliberately steered the car off the cliff.
Alexandria was arrested for second-degree murder, but at a preliminary hearing, a judge ruled there was no probable cause and dropped the charges.
However, in October, a Hawaii grand jury indicted Alexandria for second-degree murder, according to The Associated Press. Maui police issued a warrant, and authorities tracked down Alexandria at an Albany home. She’s now awaiting extradition to Hawaii.
The sensational nature of the story caught the country’s attention. The twins, also known as Alison and Ann Dadow, were “known for their once glamorous lifestyle,” The Palm Beach Post wrote.
The two ran a successful yoga business in Florida and later opened a yoga studioin Park City, Utah. But financial problems and run-ins with police reportedly caught up with them.
From the Huffington Post

Transgender Woman Murders Two Gay Women & Their Child

A San Jose transgender woman is accused in the brutal killings of an Oakland woman and her wife and son after the trio were found in their home early Friday morning.
Dana Rivers, 61, who's in custody in Santa Rita Jail, has been charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of Patricia A. Wright, Charlotte Kuulei Reed, and Benny Wright.
People who knew Patricia Wright described her as peaceful and said they couldn't imagine why anyone would harm the family. Authorities haven't discussed a motive.
According to Oakland police, at 12:21 a.m. November 11, officers were dispatched to the 9400 block of Dunbar Drive to investigate reported gunshots. There, they found Benny Wright in front of a home. He appeared to have been stabbed.
Two women were inside the home with apparent gunshot and stab wounds. The fire department came and tried to render aid, but the victims died.
A probable cause document says, "As officers were [providing] aid to the victim, the officer heard a loud bang coming from the garage. Moments later [Rivers] walked out of the residence," and the officer saw that she was "covered in blood."
Officers detained Rivers, and when they searched her, they found "ammunition in her pocket along with knives," according to the document. She also "began to make spontaneous statements about her involvement in the murders."
Alameda County Sheriff's Department records indicate Rivers was arrested about nine minutes after police were dispatched to the home, which Rivers allegedly set fire to. She's being held without bail.
Police have declined to provide more information about what happened at the family's home. Along with the murder charges, Rivers also faces counts of arson of an inhabited structure and possession of metal knuckles, and special allegations including using a knife and a firearm, prosecutors said in a criminal complaint. The complaint lists Benny Wright's name as Toto M. Diabu.
Rivers was set to be arraigned Tuesday, November 15, but her case was continued to the next day in order to determine which attorney would represent her.
Rivers made headlines in the 1990s when she transitioned while working as a teacher at a Sacramento-area school.
Outside the courtroom Tuesday, Khari Campbell-Wright, Wright's surviving son, said he knew Rivers.
"I didn't know the confines of what was going," but "she was involved in a motorcycle gang," Campbell-Wright said.
"My mom had no part of it. My brother had no part of it," he said, adding that his family had been in the "wrong place at the wrong time."
Campbell-Wright stood with Richard Wright, Patricia Wright's brother, as he talked. Neither man would discuss the case further. People who knew Patricia Wright said Campbell-Wright has been away at college and wasn't living at the home on Dunbar.
Michael Campbell, Campbell-Wright's father, said he didn't know what had happened Friday morning.
Campbell said Wright was "very smart" and "quiet. She was a good mom."
He didn't want to talk about Reed.
"We were not friends," Campbell said. "I really don't want to go into why."
However, he said, "She loved Khari," and with her veteran's benefits, "she was responsible for him being able to go to school."
Campbell said that Benny Wright, who was Patricia Wright's adopted son, was originally from West Africa.
He was "real quiet," Campbell said. "He had been through a lot."
Wright had just graduated from high school and planned to become a nurse, Campbell said.
"He wanted to help people," he said.
Pamela Mack, 56, of Oakland, Patricia Wright's first wife, was also at the courthouse Tuesday. In a phone interview beforehand, she called her ex-wife "a quiet spirit" who was creative and enjoyed traveling.
"She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit, and an amazing mom," Mack said. "She was just a really good person that didn't deserve anything like this to happen to her."
"It's hard to even think about, to wrap my mind around how someone could do something so vicious," Mack said.
The neighborhood where Wright and Reed lived appeared to be a quiet one. Several neighbors said they didn't know the family, who'd lived in the house for a few years, and they didn't know of any previous trouble at the house. A couple neighbors said there had been problems including burglaries and at least one car break-in in the area.
Sheets of plywood had been placed over the garage door at the house, but there were otherwise no signs of fire. A sign next to the front door said "Char's hair design and a place for change."
Michael Campbell said that in her hair business, Reed focused on LGBTs, especially transgender people.
A motorcycle was parked in a small shed next to the house.
Plans for a memorial weren't available as of Tuesday morning.

From the Bay Area Reporter.

Lisa Graham, Alabama, on Death Row for Her Own Daughter's Murder

It was exactly this time last year that Lisa Carpenter Graham was handed a death sentence for hiring a hit man to kill her daughter, Stephanie Shae Graham.  Graham was convicted of coaxing longtime family acquaintance, Kenneth Walton, to kill her 20-year-old daughter who went by Shea. Walton said Graham met him at the Columbus Public Library on the evening of July 7, 2007, and loaned him her gun, a pistol for the job.

Later, he caught up with Shea at a gas station, where she left her car with friends and rode off with him in his truck. He took her on a long, night drive down Alabama Highway 165 then pulled off on Bowden Road so they could pee.

When Shae got out to squat beside the truck’s open passenger door, and Walton pulled out the gun and shot her in the head from the driver’s seat. He then got out, walked around the truck and shot her over and over again. He left her half-nude, bullet-riddled corpse where it lay, and drove away, running over her arm in the process. He lured Shea Graham from Columbus with the ploy that he could get her a car in which to leave town. She was charged with aggravated assault for a drive-by shooting in Columbus and was due in court the next morning. Her parents had put up a $100,000 bail bond to get her out of jail.

That was Lisa Graham’s primary motive for wanting her daughter dead, per prosecutors: The mother feared the daughter would flee, and her parents would lose the bond. Also, witnesses testified that Lisa suspected her daughter and husband of having an affair and had expressed an interest in killing her herself. In court, when asked how his fatal betrayal of a young woman who trusted him made him feel, Walton responded, “I felt normal.”

Witnesses saw Shae leave the gas station with Walton and so investigators focused on him immediately. He confessed, and told them of Shae’s mother’s involvement, particularly of the gun he had returned to Graham the day after the shooting.

Lisa Graham then incriminated herself when police came looking for the pistol. She had given it to an elderly neighbor she called “Papa” to clean, but told investigators she didn’t know where it was, and allowed them pointlessly to search her house before her husband told them “Papa” might have it.
Finding abundant evidence of her participation, investigators charged her with murder, and it was announced the death penalty was on the table. And she got it. 

She still has appeals and appeals and appeals to go through and she’s on the ball. It will be a very long time, if or when, she sees a lethal injection.


Palo Alto woman Stabs Acupuncturist 41 Times - Jingyan Jin

On July 7th, 2016, Jenny Shi, a successful business woman, investor and acupuncturist, was found stabbed to death in her bedroom by her sister. She had been stabbed 41 times. She had missed a 10 am appointment, very unlike her, so her bookkeeper went to her home to check on her. She arrived with two other people at the same time as her sister. Upon entering the house, they found Shi in a large puddle of blood on her bed. None of the pricey items in the home were taken. A chair had been pushed to an outside window and the screen cut. The window was removed and placed in a nearby bathtub. 

Jingyan Jin, 41, is Shi's sister-in-law. She has a long history of violence with her husband and his siter Shi. Neighbors report many loud fights when Jin and her two children lived in the home with Shi. Jin had also been arrested in China for violent behavior. 

Police discovered Jin's DNA on the window removed from the bedroom as well as around the window edges. She was arrested near her home without incident. Despite the violent history between the tow women, some friends of Jin's who attended the arraignment found it hard to believe she could have committed the murder.

This will be an interesting case to follow. 

LeMaricus Davidson

When people learn what I do, they are either confused or curious. The reaction is immediate. They either want to know why in the name of Hell I would be doing such crazy shit or they want to know everything I know and start throwing names of notorious criminals at me like I was the school principal in the homecoming dunking booth.

 One thing everyone wants to know is what it's like to get to know these people, develop relationships, sit in the same room, talk on the phone. It's hard to imagine these monsters doing mundane tasks like the rest of us. We imagine they spend their time in jail plotting evil and reliving their horrendous deeds over and over. Some do, but even they must learn to live life locked away. For me,  it has always been about recognizing their humanity. Not for them, or some great humanitarian reason, but because it makes them more real to me. I can see them for who they are easier if I recognize they are only human and not some evil entity from a horror flick. I seek out these people because it takes some of the scare away for me. I am not afraid of everything that goes bump in my night.

I am so often surprised by what I find when I take the time to develop deeper relationships with our nation's most notorious. I always learn something. My world grow a little wider and I become a better person. I learn from their mistakes and their life's stories. I see the real people behind the headlines and its often a life changing event. One such incident occurred recently while working on my next book, Voices From Death Row from RJ Parker Publishing. One of the chapters is about Le Maricus Davidson of the Knoxville TN Newsom/Christian murders. You can get caught up here if you don't know the case. Its a rough one, look out. Go ahead. I'll wait.

I began writing him early this year to see if he'd cooperate on the book. I wanted badly for him to say something to me that could explain the horror of what hes accused of.  Back and forth we exchanged letters but he never explained anything. The one thing he did say I put in the book. When we first began talking, I told him I was terrified of him. He assured me there was nothing to be afraid of. As we became closer I realized a lot about him. LeMaricus is smart. Hes handsome. Hes ambitious. Hes also very clever.  A lot of people want to say that his crimes were racially motivated but I don't believe that. What happened to Channon and Chris was one of the most horrific things I have ever heard. But it wasn't racially motivated and Le Maricus Davidson is not the only one to blame.

I cant tell you everything. I wouldnt sell a single book and RJ would kick me to the curb, but I can tell you this. You will probably learn something from LeMaricus too.

I hope you'll look for my new book coming soon and tell me what you think of LeMaricus and the rest of the book. 

Octavia Rogers - Is She Another Andrea Yates?



Miss Octavia Rogers stabbed her three young sons to death in June of 2016. Eight-year-old Jaikare Rahaman, 5-year-old Jeremiah Adams and 2-month-old Avery Robinson were found partially dismembered in her Phoenix home by police. She had sliced her own throat and stabbed herself in the abdomen. They found her boys in a closet, the baby stuffed inside a suitcase. She was raving about finding the true meaning of life and a new relationship with God. Her family said religion had recently been a topic of great interest to her and she had been nonstop talking about finding the answer. She posted on Facebook about taking God out of schools and how America had last control of its youth. 


She arrived in court Monday for a hearing. She has plead not guilty. Her lawyers have not given any clues as to their defense strategy. Rogers entire family has stepped up to say this isn't like her and she has always been an exceptional mother. She shuffled into the courtroom, barley healed from her serious self inflicted wounds that kept her hospitalized for months. She cried hysterically and held up her handcuffed hands wailing "Help me...". Her next trial date is set for mid February.

I believe we will see a maternal snap ala Andrea Yates has taken place here. Her attorneys are terrified that the death penalty will be on the table. So far, we've heard that investigators have found no signs of previous mental illness such as exhibited by Yates. Her own mother, while supportive, has issued comments saying there was no reason for Rogers to feel stressed by motherhood because she had a lot of family help. Her Facebook page shows a happy, healthy family.

I am curious to see what happened to this woman and why she did this horrible thing. Her poor mother suffers more than anyone right now. Her cherished grandchildren gone forever at the hands of her own daughter. Shes lost her daughter as well, to mental illness and to the state of Arizona forever. 

There are certainly no winners here and justice cannot be done in the face of illness.