Stories to Watch

Not every story makes it to Jodi Aria media heights but there are many that are just as strange and interesting. Here are some Ive been keeping my eye on:

Jessica Paige Greenback, 25, from Santa Clarita California shot and killed her brother with a semi-automatic handgun, wounded her father and attempted to kill another man in the house earlier this year. She was arrested and plead not guilty last week. She has had a history of mental issues and several 72 hour stays in mental hospitals. Reports say she kept her 5 year old sister in the room during the shooting and would not allow her to leave. She  is being held on $6.1 million bail, is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 26 to get a preliminary hearing date. If convicted as charged, Greenback faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison.

Un Young Lee, of San Dimas California was arrested last week for killing her mother-in-law, Young Ja Lee 77. Young's house was burning down but when police and firefighters arrived, no one was inside and there was no evidence of how it started. They soon received an anonymous phone call, however, that stated Un had a hand in her mother-in-laws. death. Police found her sitting in her minivan on a street with bags of body parts with her. She has a 1 million dollar bond and arraignment set for April 24th.

Jessica Lacy McCarty is the FLorida mom who has killed all three of her kids. I think a lot of people are watching this one right now and it will last a while. Shes had mental issues in the past and its still unclear if she was being treated at the time of the murders. POlice arrived to find her standing in the yard bleeding with a knife in her hands. Still so much unclear.


Fallon Tallent Nashville

This is really motivating for me, although few people will understand it. When I first began this journey I was sitting at my computer at my job at a records company. Id been writing an article about Margo Freshwater for The Saturday Independent, my local paper at the time. Margo was convicted of murder in 1969 and then escaped in 1970 and lived 30 something years on the lamb before being caught. She was eventually released. The news was on in the background and I heard the reporter break through with news of a young woman racing down the interstate in Nashville. Shed killed two cops by hit and run and had cops chasing her for miles. I was mesmerized. So young.

Reports say Fallon was on the tail end of a seven day crack binge that day. She was racing through Mt. Juliet and caught the attention of the police. Her speeds reached over 100 mph and they attempted to stop her using sting strips – the spiked strips police unroll across the road to puncture tires of absconding cars. She had been caught in this manner before and when she saw the strips go down she swerved, killing two policemen; Sergeant Jerry Mundy and Deputy John Musice.

I wrote about her before, she crosses my mind when her name comes up in news reports or I find something of hers online and I always wondered what her story was. The real story. In the post I wrote about her from 2013 her cousin wrote to me and told me a little about her. It wasnt until 2014 that I reached out to her. I sent her a form letter with the available aid I have currently and waited. I was about to give up when I got a letter from her last week. I am very curious to talk with her. I cant imagine a woman so young could end up on such a hard road. She will not be eligible for parole for 102 years.

In her letter she told me that she admitted her crimes and felt she was where she deserved to be. She expresses regret for the lives of the officers and says she thinks about them every single day of her life and prays for their families. She offered to make afghans and crafts to sell on the blog to help pay expenses.

I am really looking forward to getting to know Fallon.


Mt. View Issues

Let me begin this sordid tale by saying that I 100% believe in Darlie Routier's innocence. Not because of any friendships or online relationships but because in 2005 I read a book about her and it just didnt add up for me. I wrote to her and we corresponded and I did some more research. The more I read the more it just didn't fit. Shes innocent.
I dont post much about Darlie for a number of reasons, but mainly because she has an avid support group and doesn't need me. The women I correspond with most often have no one. They fight for their lives alone.

If you scroll down you'll find a few posts put up earlier in the year about some good news in Darlie's case and some facts about her defense. This is important stuff that needs to be out there because this womans life is on the line with some very questionable activity in the spotlight of her trial. We have more than enough reason to assume some fuckery took place with the prosecution and the evidence.

That being said, there are a few gals in the same prison as Darlie who I have had a relationship with for many years. I wrote and spoke to Kimberly McCarthy many times before they killed her. She was a funny lady with a lot to say about the civil rights era. I currently write to a few women in that prison. I send them books, educational information, crafts and supplies and sometimes money when someone donates. Sometimes I write about them here if they ask me too, as Darlies penpal did for her.

A few weeks ago I started to receive letters from these gals, one at a time, all pissed off at me for posting the Darlie information. They don't believe her story fits my theme here. Heres where it gets tricky for me. I dont want to be detrimental to Darlie's case, thats not what I'm here for. But these women, the women who live with her, have some pretty detrimental views on what she does and says that the rest of us arent privy too. They have all written letters with some wild accusations, asking me to make them public and expose what they feel is wrong.

Staying true to my girls could mean putting another woman's life in deeper shit.
Not doing what they ask means breaking a trust Ive spent years building and is the only constant in many of their lives.

On a closing note, let me say that Ive temporarily blocked most of the past posts on women from that prison so people cannot go through and figure out who the letters are from. You would not believe the amount of people with such shitty lives their idea of fun is to start shit with a bunch of women inmates.


Ashlee Martinson - Wisconsin

Ashlee Martinson
Ashlee Martinson, 17, is a horror blogger for a blog called Nightmare. She blogged under the name Vampchick. Sunday afternoon she shot her step-father and stabbed her mother to death in their Wisconsin home, in the town of Piehl. She then put her three sisters, 9,8 and 2, in a room in the basement with food and juice. She tied the door shut and took off for Indiana with her 22 year old boyfriend Ryan Sisco.She will be charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of false imprisonment when she is extradited to Wisconsin.

Eventually, the nine year old was able to break out and called 911. She told police she and her mother, Jennifer Ayres, heard a gunshot from upstairs. Jennifer went up and the 9 year old went up behind her. They found that Ashlee had shot her stepfather, Thomas Ayres. According to the 9 year old little sister, Jennifer and Ashlee began to fight.
Ryan Sisco

The reports do not say exactly what happened next. They only say that Ashlee then took the three sisters to the basement saying they were going to play a game. Ashlee's boyfriend's role in all this is unclear. He was not present at the murder scene according to the sister.

They are both currently incarcerated in Boone County, IN, where they were arrested. He is being held on a probation violation and agreed to be extradited. Wisconsin has 30 days to pick him up.

 She is fighting extradition but we all know it will happen and I guess then we will find out what they charge him with and what, if any, her motives were. Her next hearing is set for April 8th in Boone County, Indiana.

An Inmates Last Day


Benefits of Letter Writing Therapy for Prisoners

Imagine you are stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean. You go about your daily activities, building shelters, fishing and collecting food, but you have no one to share your experiences with. No one understands what you are going through on a daily basis, and you feel painfully cut off from society, alone and adrift in the sea.

In many ways, inmates in prisons have the same feelings of isolation and loneliness while they are spending time behind bars. Though they have other inmates to talk to, they often feel cut off from society, voiceless and without anyone who cares about what they do.

Letter writing therapy helps to alleviate these inmates' stressors and can help them reclaim their voices. By having someone to communicate with, inmates get to share their stories of life behind bars and talk to someone about their joys, worries and fears. In short, letter writing therapy can be a lifeline for an inmate and make societal reintegration a success.

Show Someone Cares
When inmates are first imprisoned, they may have misgivings about who will stand by and be supportive. Though friends and family members may promise to visit regularly and write, many forget or become unsupportive. As a result, the inmate feels forgotten, neglected and often rejected by the people they loved most. It can be a painful and harrowing experience.

Having someone to regularly talk to can do wonders for an inmate's morale. Knowing that someone out there wants to listen and communicate gives them something to look forward to during their stay in prison.

Of course, many people feel that inmates do not deserve to be shown care or compassion, especially those who commit violent crimes, but remember that approximately half of the 216,000 federal inmates locked up in the United States are convicted for drug-related crimes, not violent ones. As these inmates strive to get clean, having a sympathetic ear to talk to can be inspiring.

Stay Connected
Prisons do not allow inmates to access the Internet, which means they cannot easily keep up on current events or even sporting events. Though they might be able to read a newspaper, they are restricted to reading about whatever the newspaper feels is necessary to print, which may not be in line with an inmate's personal interests.

Letter writing therapy helps inmates maintain a constant connection to society and reminds them that they have not been forgotten. Pen pals can exchange news, cheer on their favorite sports team together and discuss both national and international events.

Studies have shown that inmates who stay connected through letter writing have greater success in the rehabilitation process and often have a lower recidivism rate. By remaining connected with the outside world, inmates will see what they are missing out on and work harder to become respectable members of society.

Share Stories and Experiences
Life behind bars is anything but glamorous. Televisions shows such as Prison Break and Orange is the New Black attempt to accurately portray life inside a prison, but the average person has no real idea of what life is truly like behind bars.

By corresponding with an inmate, people all over the country can learn what inmates go through on a daily basis. None of it is scripted or watered down. Inmates want to share their true stories of what they experience, how they feel and how their lives have forever changed.

For inmates, this can be very therapeutic. They have the opportunity to tell their stories, detailing what led to their eventual incarceration and what they do every day. Inmates often like to talk about their families and loved ones as well as offer a rare glimpse and what life is like in prison. Doing so will help inmates remember that people on the outside have not forgotten about them. Someone out there is listening.

Establish Lasting Connections
For most inmates, returning to society is difficult and challenging. Inmates on parole need to establish housing and find employment quickly. Without friends or family to support them, it is possible that they may end up back in prison once more.

Pen pals of inmates have become instrumental in helping their inmate friends adjust to life in the normal world. Pen pals can be references for their inmates and help them find a safe place to live and look for a good job. Rather than feeling like they are sinking, inmates have a life preserver in their pen pals.

Letter writing therapy can be a raft for inmates stuck on their own deserted island, offering them a way back to society. After all, they are still human, they still have feelings and they still have plenty to say.

Tracey Lynn Gardner - Mississippi

Tracey Lynn Gardner was sentenced to life last Tuesday in her conviction in the killing of Karima Gordon, 37, whom she had given illegal silicone butt injections too. Natasha Stewart, an adult entertainer also known as Pebbelz Da Model, was also convicted of manslaughter and received seven years for referring Gardner to Gordon for the illegal butt injections.

When I first wrote about this last year, there was some debate to Tracey's gender as she was apparently transgender and no one seemed to know exactly where in the process she was for a bit. There is still a wait for the trial of Marilyn Hale's death who also died after receiving injections from Gardner. Authorities say that date will be in March of 2015.

Natasha Stewart is from my home state of Tennessee so this is in the news a bit here. I wondered how she could possibly be culpable and sentenceable (that isnt a word but it sounds right here) when all she did was refer someone. Digging a little deeper I found that she took $200 for the referral, that might make a difference. Also, she purported Gardner to be a nurse to Gordon. Which was so, so not true.

Natasha Stewart


Updates and Whatnots

Kelly Gissendaner's execution has been delayed once again. This time because they thought the deadly drugs looked cloudy. (Cant use those, they might kill her!). Her defense is also waiting for an answer from the Supreme Court. Perhaps they will halt her murder. We shall see...

Diane Sawyer's 20/20 report this week featured Tiffany Cole and Amelia Carr, both of whom have contributed to The Woman Condemned. It filled my heart with joy to see that they have each other and their spirits are not broken. Tiffany was duped into the crime she was part of by a man she'd only known 3 weeks and was afraid of. Neither of these women should be on death row, but instead, given a life sentence.

I am busily working on a contest for this blog. I have considered this for a while but we have more steady readers than ever before, many of whom email me privately on a regular basis so the time has come. I enjoy each of you so much, and appreciate all my readers and would like to offer a contest or game to give away something. Its in the works so keep your eyes peeled and shoot me an email if you have an idea (admin@thewomancondmened.com).

If you have a book club or writing group I have good news for you. All throughout March I am scheduling free Skype meetings to discuss the blog, particular women who appear on it and true crime blogging with your book club, girls night out, or discussion group. Email for information. This is gonna be fun!

Oh, and it's National Pancake Day. Celebrate!

Alyssa Bustamante Update