1/31/15

Tomeshia Odom Mississippi

Little, Hernando, Mississippi hadn’t had a murder in 18 years until 2015 when Tomeshia Odom, 19 stabbed her cousin, Jasmine Smith, 21. Pregnant Tomeshia stabbed her cousin Jasmine over her baby daddy, also Jasmine's ex. The two girls lived parallel lives, living in the same apartment complex, both working at Wendy’s and dating the same man more than once.

A plethora of cousins have stepped forward to say something terrible went awry. It started on Facebook with Tomeshia accusing Jasmine of wanting her man. Jasmine denying it, saying she was dating yet another ex of her cousins, a fellow with the charming moniker “Junky Mane”.

For reasons as yet unknown, Tomeshia confronted Jasmine in late January of 2015 and the pair began to fight. Witnesses say no one knew Tomeshia had a knife until Jasmine fell to the ground and began to seize.

She is being held on $500,000 bond.


KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1/30/15

Jessica Burlew Arizona

Jessica Burlew, 16, diagnosed with schizophrenia and autism, had a 43-year-old boyfriend, a one Mr. Jason Ash. Her mom, Tracey Woodside, knew all about it and often left the couple in her apartment alone to have sex. Ahem. Questionable decision, Mom.

Early January 2014, as the Goth couple had rough but apparently consensual sex, Jessica strangled Jason to death with an electric cord because he didn't say the safe word. He also had been cut several times which Jessica says she did with a razor in an attempt to revive him.

He seemed to be an overgrown kid. “i like to dissect girls ... did you know i’m utterly insane?” he wrote on social media just five days before his death.

This girl reminds me so much of Alyssa Bustamante. She sees herself as a Goth kid and posted pics
of herself in black clothes, piercings and weird, thick makeup.  Her YouTube videos are full of her own songs about death, decaying bodies and morbid topics. On a website called Vampire Freaks, Burlew went by the moniker “soultaker11” and she posted pictures of herself with different hairstyles and colors. She lists herself as 19 years old and as “pansexual.”

She called her mother at some point after the killing and told her it was an accident. She has been arrested and charged as an adult with first degree murder. Her mother has told reporters that it was an accident. I am wondering why she isn’t being treated as a victims since she was having sex with a 43 year old man. That’s statutory rape, ladies and gents. The age of consent in Arizona is 18. I also wonder if the mother will be brought up on child neglect or anything like that.

I think this is pretty obviously a case of an abused and neglected girl who doesn't have the life skills to make practical decisions. If her mom thought it was OK for her to date and have sex with a 43 year old Goth kid, I dont think this girl has ever had a chance. I found this support site for her that has many details of her life. Check it out. Free Jessie

1/24/15

Morgan Smith Florida


Morgan Smith. Wow. Just, wow. She came from a family of mental illnesses with a father who committed suicide. She had spent her life on psychotropic drugs for severe depression and borderline personality disorder, the same thing that causes multiple personalities. She also became a sex slave for Daryl Smith in a long-term relationship that ended with a child.

Their relationship was everything the weird, late night, HBO documentaries say those things are. She met him after work and groveled at his feet in a leather outfit complete with chain leash and dog collar. She licked his boots clean and said thank you after he spanked her ass. She was a complete, total submissive, and seemed to enjoy being that way. She even changed her last name to his legally, even though he would not marry her. He had told her many times; no matter what she did, she would never be his wife.

Eventually he found another woman he was interested in, Andrea Stranko, and left Morgan and their
daughter. It devastated her. It crippled her. It drove her crazy. Nobody acts the way she did that isn’t bat shit crazy. When Daryl attempted to make this weird relationship even weirder by playing boyfriend to BOTH women with their consent, shit really got weird.

Morgan couldn’t take the new arrangement, and attacked Andrea with a hatchet. Not long after that incident, Daryl severed all communication with Morgan and then she really lost her shit. On his 44th birthday, after leaving a party, as he stood next to Andrea Stranko, the woman he had chosen over Morgan, she shot her dead. There were four other people standing around when Morgan stepped out of the shadows onto the path of life or and death for Andrea. They tackled her and held her captive
until police arrived.

Morgan had come to the scene with a gun and a copy of her will. She was dressed only in a tshirt emblazoned with the word SLAVE and a collar with her abdomen tattoo proclaiming her as Daryl’s property exposed. Ummm… what? Holy shit, this girl has gone off the deep end for sure. Even her psychologist said that she still to this day believes she is Daryls slave and that if he called she would be at his every wish with a vengeance.

In these types of cases, I tend to feel sorry for the defendant over other types of defendants. Love, very literally, drove her insane. The man she dedicated her life, body, and soul to, had given birth to a child for, had shunned her for another woman. Sometimes that’s more than a bitch can handle.

I know, folks, first hand. My mom was one of those ladies that went batshit crazy over a man and thank God she was a tiny little woman or things could have went drastically wrong.
 Like most abused women, my mother was a quiet, modest grandmother whose whole life was her job at the local Whirlpool factory. My aunt tells stories of her as a vivacious, beauty queen, riding in parades and attending parties. I never got to know that woman. She wasn’t my mother.

My mother was a damaged, fragile shell. My father beat the crap out of her with sickening regularity. The Christmas Eve when I was twelve I peeked down the hallway to see him pull a handful of hair out of her head that was as big as a kitten. It was the first time I’d actually seen any violence between them. Usually I woke up in the night to screams and arguing. I would cower under the covers and try to make sense of what I was hearing. It was muffled, scary, and indecipherable. Morning would find mom quietly nursing her coffee and balancing her Marlboro with its inch long ash on her purple, fat lip. My brother and I would look at each other over our cereal bowls and wonder just what the hell had happened during the night.

Our damaged family dynamics changed shape the night my mom rode twelve miles to town on my little brothers three-speed bike, her fingernails sharpened to sharp points and death on her mind. Hers, my dad’s and his mistresses.

My dad had this bony, black haired mistress who would call our house all night long. She would drive around our house late at night and shine her headlights in the windows. Our two-year-old baby brother would howl and my parents would fight. Dad would get mad and storm out. He would go from one woman to the other leaving a trail of madness behind him.

One spring morning full of this particular madness my mother came unglued. She sat on the couch all day filing her nails to sharp daggers and painting them with a thick acrylic paint. She stewed in that black funk all day and when evening came she jumped on my brother’s bike and rode 12 miles to town.

She told me later that her intentions were to end that chapter of her life. Her goal when she left the house was to end the madness and the ass whippings it brought with it by any means necessary. When she got there, she called daddy and the woman out and pounced on her. My mom lost her mind that day. She had been beat down so many times that she snapped. She made dangerous choices based on irrational, anxious thoughts and violent circumstances.

By anyone’s accounts, my mom was a genuinely sweet woman who would hurt no one, unless my dad was in the mix. I could easily see my mother losing it and doing something similar to what Morgan did. Especially if she thought it would save her an ass whipping or at least post-pone the last deadly one.  Perhaps madness had overtaken her as well.

Morgan gave a full confession but tried to plead insanity. The prosecutors said that extreme anger and unrestrained passion did not equal insanity and she was found guilty of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life. She plans to appeal.

I dont usually write to these ladies first. I usually get a letter from them asking for a penpal or help finding free classes or sometimes asking for help for someone on the outside. Other times I am introduced to a woman when her family emails me in need of something for their inmate. But this case, this girl, is too bizaare. I have to know why. I'll let you know if she wants to share.


1/17/15

Updates of 2014 Top Read Posts

Here are some updates to some of the most read posts from 2014.

Amanda Hein in PA. She had a baby in a bar toilet and then watched a pay-per-view sporting event with her guy friends. She had been facing the death penalty but plead guilty in March of 2014, which took death off the table. She gave up her right to appeal and to ask for clemency. She received a first-degree murder conviction in April 2014. Her sentence was life without parole.







Brenda Stokes Wilson killed her boyfriend’s young daughter, Jade and then went to the Vegas Casino she worked at and slashed the face of another dealer while she worked in 2012. Prosecutors say this was all out of jealousy of the father and the other casino dealer. Brenda plead not guilty even though there was DNA evidence on her car and clothes. She is still awaiting death penalty trial in 2015.







Melinda Lynn Muniz suffocated her boyfriend’s toddler, Grace, and then staged a rape to cover it up in 2014. She gave birth to a son while in custody in October of 2014. She is scheduled to appear in court this month, January 2015, and faces life without parole. She is pleading not guilty.  








1/10/15

Recipe from Pam Moss Pulaski State Prison Georgia

A fun, wintery, recipe from Pam Moss, serving LWOP in Georgia for the murder of her business partner. She asks that you send in pictures if you try it. She would like to see your handiwork. 



Kindle Give Away!

Guess what true crime fans, The Woman Condemned has a very special Valentines Day give-away for the romantics among us! I, along with many other true crime authors like Steve Jackson, Katherine Ramsland, Gregg Olsen, Kathryn Casey, RJ Parker, JJ Slate, and many more have provided a huge Valentines Day giveaway. Check out these amazing prizes and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
1. KINDLE HD WITH LEATHER CASE …. from RJ Parker Publishing, Steve Jackson (Wild Blue Press), Kelly Banaski (Women Condemned) and JJ Slate.
2. Autographed copies of A Descent into Hell and Deliver Us From Kathryn Casey
3. Autographed copy of Missing Wives, Missing Lives from JJ Slate
4. Autographed copies of Parents Who Killed Their Children andSerial Killer Groupies from RJ Parker
5. Autographed copy of The Vampire Next Door : The True Story of the Vampire Rapist from JT Hunter
6. Autographed copy of Bloody Lies: A CSI Scandal in the Heartland from John Ferak
7. Autographed copy of Why We Love Serial Killers from Scott Bonn
8. Autographed copy of Why We Love Serial Killers from Scott Bonn
9. Autographed copy of Missing Wives, Missing Lives from JJ Slate
10. Autographed copy of Serial Killer Culture DVD from John Borowski
11. Autographed copies of Killer Nurse and a free audio book ofCode of Deceit from John Foxjohn
12. Audiobook copy of DOC by Jack Olsen from Gregg Olsen
13. eBook copy of Moonlight Murder on Lovers Lane from Katherine Ramsland
14. eBook copy of Vampire: The Richard Chase Murders from Kevin Sullivan
15. eBook copy of Vampire: The Richard Chase Murders from Kevin Sullivan
16. Autographed copy of Bogeyman from Steve Jackson
17. eBook copies of the Cold Blooded Trilogy from Bernard Lee DeLeo
18. eBook copies of The Bill Dix Detective Trilogy from Chris Swinney
19. $20 Amazon Gift Card from The Crime Cove Book Reviews
20. $20 Amazon Gift Card from Hartwell Editing

1/8/15

Emilia Carr - Florida

I'm just dipping into this case, having received a short letter from Emilia on Friday. She has this very light-handed dainty flourish of a handwriting style. She asks about educational services for inmates and calls herself a nerd for still loving to learn at her age.

Her case is disturbing on so many levels. Emilia and her boyfriend, Joshua Fulgham had been in an on again-off-again relationship for years with Heather Strong always around for Joshua to go back too. In fact, once Emilia and Josh were engages, she pregnant with his baby, he went back to and married Heather. Things are so weird at this point, that Emilia babysits for them.

Oh, it was bad and just got worse and worse. Constant fighting, threats and violence. Then the battles over child custody with Heather began because Josh has kids with her too. Just one month before Heather was killed, Emilia attacked Heather and held a knife to her throat, demanding she sign a written statement absolving Joshua of criminal charges in hopes of freeing him from prison.

Somehow Emilia and Joshua lure Heather to an old, abandoned trailer behind her mothers house and attack her. Court records say Emilia tried to break her neck but when she couldn't she and Joshua duct taped her hands and feet to a computer chair, placed a plastic bag around her head and duct taped it closed.

She was missing a month before her body was found near an abandoned storage shed in a shallow makeshift grave. Emilia was secretly recorded by police confessing to the crime and relaying details to Joshuas sister. She was arrested and confessed, although she says her confession was only becasue police promised she could go home and be with her kids.

Emilia received the death penalty and Joshua received life with the possibility of parole. Pretty weird,right? I dont know who dropped the ball on that one but thats ridicu-fucking-lous. I dont know her side yet but Im sure Ill find out soon.

Here is a link to the video of her last appeal posted in Feb of 2014.

Q & A with America's Condemned Women

Several months ago I gathered readers questions and asked them of some of America's most deadly and media scrutinized women. Some admit their guilt, some claim innocence but all of them have been convicted and live their lives behind bars, Here are your answers:

Shawna Forde is on Death row in Arizona. She is considered an anti-immigration zealot and was convicted of the murder of a family whom authorities say she thought were illegals but were actually American citizens. She says she was not even present when they were killed, had no part in it, and she was convicted on circumstantial evidence,

Q: What motivates your days?
A: My appeals and knowing I will prove my innocence one day. I work tirelessly on fighting to end the death penalty, even in here.

Q. Are you in solitary for any part of your day?
A: Yes. I am locked down alone for the majority of the day. Only an hour or so a week, if that, are we allowed to see other inmates.

Eileen Huber is serving LWOP in California for her part in the California mall killings in the 80's. She admits her part in the crimes and although she wasnt the trigger puller, she still has nightmares every night.

Q: What do you look forward to every day?
A: Helping other people. I am involved in a lot of programs. I do it both to help these young girls coming in here get their life straight and to give me some vision. To realize whats important in life, even in here.

Q: How do you visit a doctor?
A: We have to sign up for a visit with medical. We may or may not get it. It can take months.

Pam Moss is serving LWOP in Georgia for killing her business partner.

Q: How do you think about the future?
A: I try to be optimistic but its hard. We are treated like less than human in here. I understand it isnt a hotel but it isn't Guantanamo Bay either. When I think of the future, I try to think about all the positive change I can bring about in here. That makes me happy for a little while.

Q: Do you have much contact with the outside?
A: I have Kelly. My family abandon me long ago. Another person occasionally writes and sometimes Ill get a random stranger penpal but basically, it's just Kelly.

1/5/15

Student advocates at Princeton launch prison reform conference | NJ.com

Student advocates at Princeton launch prison reform conference | NJ.com



PRINCETON — Students at Princeton University have mentored inmates at New Jersey correctional facilities and worked to advocate prison reform throughout the state.

This weekend they are launching their first conference on prison reform.

“This is the biggest civil rights issue that I can think of at this time, and we want to give students the tools to advocate and to understand the different avenues for advocacy,” said Princeton senior Shaina Watrous.

Watrous is a founder of Students for Prison Education and Reform (SPEAR), which today and Saturday is bringing students, academics and activists together for a conference titled “Building A New Criminal Justice System: Mobilizing Students for Reform.”

“The goal is to establish a network of students and organizations on the East Coast aiming for the same mission of criminal justice reform based on common sense approaches,” said Princeton junior Brett Diehl, the president of SPEAR. “We think there is fertile ground for organizations to have policy reform acting towards attainable goals, rather than proposing a more radical mission.”

According to Watrous, the conference was created with the goal of engaging students at other schools to build a strong student movement that can effect change. SPEAR mainly focuses on prison reform in New Jersey and Watrous hopes that conference participants will mobilize students at their own colleges and in their own region.

“We wanted more students making noise about this kind of thing. There’s a long tradition of effective student advocacy in America’s history,” Watrous said.

SPEAR was founded in 2012 with the twofold mission of mobilizing students to take action towards prison reform and expanding prison education programs. Many SPEAR students are involved with the Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program at Princeton, a prison education program that sends student tutors to state prisons to prepare inmates for the GED test. The SPEAR leadership anticipates that this conference will help to establish Petey Greene programs in other universities.

“College students are uniquely prepared because the material is fresh for them and they have quite a passion for this. It’s a volunteering opportunity that is attractive to a lot of students and also allows them to see the world inside of incarcerated facilities that is not usually seen,” Diehl said.

The conference presenters represent a diverse array of interests and backgrounds. Formerly incarcerated persons will present alongside lobbyists, government officials, photographers, and filmmakers. The roster of speakers includes prominent figures such as Jim McGreevy, the former governor of New Jersey, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, and Marc Mauer, the executive director of the Sentencing Project.

Programming includes keynote events and film screenings intended for a more general audience, as well as panel discussions that delve into specific topics, such as academic research on incarceration and alternative approaches for prison reform. Workshops will provide an intimate space for students and professionals to interact and exchange ideas. With names like “How to Make Your Voice Heard”, the workshops focus on prison education, prisoner re-entry programs, and prison advocacy.

However, while the conference organizers intend to promote advocacy, they hope that the conference will also result in increased action.

“Many of the issues regarding incarceration are marginalized. We’re trying to raise awareness, but also to create action-based programs,” said sophomore Hetty Lee, the chair of SPEAR’s events committee.

1/4/15

Dr. Shirley Turner Pennsylvania/Canada

I am working on a project for a publisher about Dr. Shirley Turner, the insane lady who shot and killed her baby's father, Andrew Bagby, and then strapped the baby, Zachary, to her and jumped into the Atlantic Ocean, killing them both. You may know the story from the documentary Dear Zachary: A letter to a Son about His Father

I am so surprised that so little information is to be found. This is a wild, crazy and uber-heart wrenching tale of jealousy, rage and apparent mental disorder. Strangely I have found very little online and although 48 Hours on CBS covered the case, the episode isn't available online. There are only a handful of reputable news sources to glean knowledge from.

I am especially curious about Shirley as there is virtually no first hand testimony about her life before meeting Andrew. We know what she did and who she was with but there isn't much else to see. I cant find anything from her children or husbands.

Poor, crazy Shirley could have been stopped and helped long, long before this tragedy struck. Her behavior throughout her life was strange and erratic. But that didnt happen. And now sweet, kind Andrew is gone and young, tender Zachary ripped away before he had a chance.

I can wait to find out more about this case. Its been an interesting assignment.

1/1/15

Dorothy Maraglino and Jessica Lopez California

Brittany Kilgore
I was so surprised when I stumbled across this case last night. It is so torrid and shocking and obscure I can’t imagine why it hasn’t crossed one of the bajillion true crime news feeds I wade through every day. The tragically ambiguous death of Brittany Kilgore in California has so many weird twists and turns, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Young, beautiful, vibrant Brittany was a Marine’s wife who had filed for divorce and was pursuing her own interests when she met Louis Perez. Perez was also in the military and the two made a date to take a dinner cruise. She was never seen again.

Louis Perez
Brittany disappeared in April of 2012. A friend saw her last wearing a dark purple evening gown. After four days missing, her battered and torn body was found nude in a ditch near Lake Skinner in Riverside County.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Months before her death a friend takes Brittany to the home of U.S. Marine Sergeant Louis Perez, 45, his girlfriend  Dorothy Maraglino, 37 and 25 year old Jessica Lopez. The three openly lived a slave/master/mistress relationship and guests were aware of their living arrangements. They spoke often and candidly about their sexually deviant, sadomasochistic affairs including bondage, whipping, cutting and spanking. Brittany became friends with the threesome despite their odd habits and agreed to accompany Louis on the dinner cruise. Instead, he took her home to his mistress and slave where she was raped, tortured and killed before being dumped in a ditch.
Dorothy Maraglino

Louis was picked up on accident for illegal weapons charges. Jessica Lopez was found in a motel room attempting suicide. The authorities were called and when they entered the room, found a suicide letter detailing Brittany’s murder and Jessica's confession which stated she killed Brittany out of jealousy for her master, Perez. The three were soon arrested for her murder.

There was a whirlwind of weird activity during the next few
Jessica Lopez
months. The prosecution first said they were going for the death penalty but then decided not to. Dorothy was pregnant with Perez’s baby at the time, however. She gave birth and gave the baby to a woman she had never met because Louis told her too and then lost the baby when the woman reneged on her promise to bring the child to visit. The defendant’s got new attorneys and Maraglino decided to represent herself.

The trial was also rife with wierdness. Witnesses testified the Brittany and her friend began to have problems when she filed for divorce and the three accused of her murder decided she would be a good candidate for kidnapping and sex games because no one seemed to like her anymore. The suicide note left by Jessica described awful sexual torture and a strangulation all by her own hand but prosecutors could prove all three suspects were present at her death. Perez had posted messages on BDSM websites and message boards about how he owned slave women and the practices he put them through.

In December of 1014, the death penalty was taken off the table. Marine Sgt. Louis Ray Perez, 48, Dorothy Maraglino, 39, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 27, face life without parole if convicted in the death of 22-year-old Brittany Killgore, Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza pronounced at a readiness conference Friday. Trial is set for June 1rst 2015.




Matthew Perkins Triple Murder

The man who committed these murders recruited my daughter into the Army. We had quite a bit of contact with him at the time. Can you ima...