5/27/13

Elizabeth Potts - Only Woman Legally Executed in the State of Nevada

The tale of the only woman ever legally executed in the state of Nevada is one of lust and deceit. For reasons unknown, Elizabeth Potts left her marriage. She left her husband, Josiah, 7 children and the entire state of Nevada and travelled to California where she met and married another man, Miles Faucett, a carpenter.

Mr. Faucett learned that his wife was in fact already married and annulled the marriage. This where is gets weird and history has faded the details a bit. Elizabeth goes home to her husband and family and Mr. Faucett follows. He not only follows but he becomes a boarder in the Potts home.

Is the weird over? Not quite yet. Mr. Faucett buys a local ranch and moves out but still continues to visit the Potts on the regular. Elizabeth provides him with bread and laundry services, unusual, to say the least.
Finally, somebody starts to make some sense in 1888 when Mr. Faucett tells a friend of his plans to visit the Potts that night to retrieve some money they owed him. Should they refuse, Mr. Faucett declared his intentions to reveal Mrs. Potts scandalous double marriage days. He was never seen again.

The Potts moved from the home a year later and set up house in Wyoming. Their old house was rented by a family who discovered the rotted, mutilated corpse of Mr. Faucett one year later. The Potts were simultaneously arrest and tried for murder.


The Potts were hung together in a double gallows in front of 52 male witnesses. Elizabeth is the only woman legally executed in the state of Nevada. 

5/7/13

Twenty-Two Year Old Murdering Prostitute? Or Innocent Bystander in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time?

An interesting case is developing in Molino, Florida. Twenty-two year old mother of two, Debra Burge, has been arrested for the robbery and murder of Harvey Ray Smith,42. 

The two knew each other through a mutual aquaintance and had a flirty kind of banter between them. Debra conspired with her friend and lover, Zachary Vance Greer, 22.

The plan was to lure SMith to Debras house where Greer would rob him. Debra says that she opened her front door to find Greer had stabbed Smith to death as he walked up her driveway after having given the couple a ride to the store.

After the murder, Zachary put Smiths body into the trunk of his car. ebra loaded her two children into the car, drove it to Motel6 and registered. She and the kids spent the night and got up the morning, leaving the car and the body inside. 

Zachary has only recently been arrested and no statements have been made public. He may have a completly different story.

5/2/13

The Long, Arduous Journey of Debra Milke


One of the most harrowing miscarriages of justice is the case of Debra Milke. After 23 years, her death row conviction was overturned due to misconduct by lead case detective Armando Saldate, Jr.,

Misconduct, by the way, that was pointed out time and time again since day one of the investigation.
Debra was a single mom raising her son with the help of a male roommate, Jim Styers, who had been an acquaintance of her sister. Styers took four year old Christopher Milke to the local mall while Debra did laundry. He called her some time later and told her Christopher had disappeared and mall security had been alerted.

What actually happened was that Styers hatched a plan with a friend, Roger Scott, to kill the boy. After an unsuccessful search, Roger Scott was eventually arrested and implicated Styers. The boy was found in the Arizona desert face down with three bullets in his tiny head.

Debra voluntarily went to the police station during the interrogation of the two men. All police in the precint were instructed not to speak to her and lead detective Saldate arrived via helicopter to question her himself. He did so alone, with no tape recorder or video. Nor did he obtain a signed confession.

After the interview he reported that Debra had confessed to masterminding the killing of her son for insurance money. She denied the allegations and claimed to have never made any sort of confession. Saldate had a long history of misconduct, including eight cases where confessions, indictments or convictions were thrown out because Saldate either lied under oath or violated the suspects' rights during interrogations.

Regardless, his vile history was never brought to light and Debra was convicted and sentenced to death. She labored 23 long years on death row before her conviction was finally overturned March 14, 2013, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. It held that Milke's rights had been violated by the failure to turn over Saldate's personnel file to the defense. The court ruled that because "the prosecution did not disclose [the arresting detective] Saldate’s history of misconduct," Arizona had violated its obligation to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defense.
Saldate
  
Jim Styers