Darla Renee Jackson - California

Road rage got the best of Darla Renee Jackson in Chula Vista, California in May of 2015 when she killed a motorcyclist on the road next to her. Witnesses say she rammed the back of 39-year-old Navy chief petty officer Zach Buob's motorcycle and then pushed him from behind some 300 feet with her Nissan on State Route 54 and then ran him over when he fell off.

The incident apparently started early on the road when the two began a dispute and Jackson first rammed the motorcyclist getting onto the freeway.

He died on the scene.

She has been charged with first degree murder. She has no criminal history but does have a history of driving issues. She was once prohibited a licence for two years for lack of knowledge and skill. She also tried to run down an ex-boyfriend with her car. Two ex-boyfriends have charged her with stalking and one with breaking into his home. Random acquaintances accuse her of threatening behavior, saying she terrorized the neighborhood.

Jackson's mother has another story. She claims Buob was squeezing between two rows of traffic and kicked Jackson's car. She was following close behind him to get his tag information when she hit and accidentally ran over him.


Jody Herring - Vermont

After losing custody of her 9 year old daughter, 40 year old Jody Herring lost her mind. Before going to the courthouse on Friday to kill social worker, Lara Sobel, she murdered two of her cousins and her aunt. Regina Herring, 43, and Rhonda Herring, 48, the suspect's cousins; and Julie Falzarano, 73, an aunt. The bodies were found Saturday by the daughter of one of the victims.

She killed Sobel at the regional DCF office where she stood over the body with her gun until witnesses tackled her and took the weapon. When police arrived, Herring was described as in a jovial mood, laughing and joking with police officers as they arrested her.

Records show she has been in mild trouble before including DUIs, disorderly conduct and domestic assault among the 11 misdemeanors on her record. Reports say she tried to call her brother twice before shooting the social worker. Once to ask him to get in contact with her immediately and the second, moments later urging him to watch the news and that he would wish he'd returned her call sooner.
Lara Sobel

She has pleaded not guilty to the shooting of the social worker but has yet to enter a plea on her relatives deaths.

Connor MacCalister - Maine

This story has a bit of a twist to it. No doubt it will find its way to the ID channel twisted up even more. Connor MacCalister, 31, was bitter, mad at the world and wanted someone to pay for it, anyone at all. She followed 59 year old Wendy Boudreau from the parking lot of the Shaw's supermarket in Saco into the ice cream aisle where she slit her throat from behind. Her plan was to kill as many random people as she could that day and she was targeting smaller elderly women.

A employee at the store who was in the bakery department heard the screams and ran out to see MacCalister standing over Boudreau. When asked why she did it she told the employee "she looked at me funny" and another witness, "Im off my meds. I didnt mean too."

Conner lived in a nearby apartment for people with disabilities where her neighbors thought she was quiet and friendly despite her unusual appearance of a shaved head and constant army fatigues and combat boots. Her last Facebook post said Goodbye in German. She was raised in foster care and last in trouble for criminal mischief in 2011.

While her Facebook says she is interested in men, it took some deciphering to figure out this bald aggressor was female. Her attire and mannerisms portrayed her as a man. It was only when her brother came forward to explain she is transitioning to male that things began to make sense. She is scheduled to make a court appearance soon.


Michelle Byrom is Free from Mississippi Death Row

Kelly Banaski and Michelle Byrom
I sat down with Michelle Byrom to enjoy a lovely lunch at Five Senses restaurant in Murfreesboro, Tn. My assistant, Michelle Daniels, and I were so excited to be her first real friends on the outside. We spent three hours learning of the hell she went through and the plans she is making for the future.

Michelle was accused of the murder of her husband Edward Byrom Sr. If you watch the ID Channel, you've no doubt heard all the sordid details of the the well-to-do couple in their huge home in Mississippi. The one that held a secret sex/bondage room where he subjected her to untold indecencies. Sadly, most of the ID channels take on Michelle's case is untrue.
Michelle Daniels, Michelle Byrom and Kelly Banaski

While edward Sr. was abusive and doled out beatings by the handful, there was no sex room. Just a cache of X-rated films he taped himself from other films. According to Michelle, she didn't mind. It kept him busy and away from her and her son Ed jr. The home wasn't a majestic mansion but just a small one story in an average part of town.

Report after report has stated that Michelle had Munchausen Syndrome and ate rat poison to have a reason to go to the hospital and escape his beatings. Michelle's tale is a bit different. According to her, an exterminator came to set out poison. He admired Ed Sr.'s musical equipment, so Michelle invited him back when Ed got home from work so the pair could meet and play music together. However, when he came home and realized the exterminator was a new guy, he lost it. Shoving a bar of rat poison into her mouth over and over forcing her to chew and chase it with 151 Vodka.

The abuse went on for years, many times Michelle taking beatings to save her son. When Michelle was diagnosed with Pneumonia and placed in the hospital her son decided to kill his father. He sat in wait with a gun but could not do it. Thats when his friend Joey Gillis showed up. He knew of the constant abuse and took it upon his own hands to kill Ed.

Michelle, Ed Jr and Joey were all arrested. Michelle was accused of masterminding the entire execution. The problem is that Ed Jr. confessed to the entire ordeal. Her jury was never allowed to hear that confession. Joey and Ed Jr. were released in several years while Michelle stayed on death row for 14 years.

Mississippi Supreme Court Judge Oliver Diaz went on record describing the horrendously unfair conditions of Michelle Byroms trial. Every appellate judge that looked at it spotted error after error. Yet Michelle wasted years of her life on death row.

Its this very situation that serves as proof that the death penalty is not a valid punishment.


Books and Writing and Teri-Lynn McClintic

I began writing my book about Shirley Turner, Shirley Turner: Doctor, Stalker, Murderer (Crimes Canada: True Crimes That Shocked The Nation Book 4) , like any other writer begins a project. I scoured the Internet and bookshelves. I poured over ancient periodicals and I searched and searched for a witness to talk to.  I come from a small town newspaper background and interviewing a person who was actually there is paramount. Ya gotta have it.

I have found that is different in the realm of true crime. You just have to make sure what you say is written down in some official report somewhere. Documented. True. Since Truman Capote wrote In Cold Blood and true crime took on a new life, there is a certain element of creativity lended to these books and I'm careful not to overextend it. But sometimes my newspaper habits bite me in the ass and I cant find a witness. Shirley and Andrew were dead. I sent emails to the Bagby's and Kurt. Nada. I tried Shirley's children and husbands. No dice.

SOOOOOOoooooooo, I had to go with official reports and media recollections. Court transcripts and the official report from children's services helped a lot. But I was very disappointed I couldnt add that element of truth you can only get from the people who were there. Especially when they have lost everything and realize all they have is themselves and they are trying desperately to do just that... find a way to live with themselves. They want to tell what happened and be able to tell the truth and get passed it. Perhaps help others get passed it.

As with everyone I write about, I sent a letter to Terri-Lynn McClintic in Canada, the subject of my next book. To my surprise she wrote me back. I was worried about the long distance and high postage. I tried to send a postage paid envelope but my post lady didn't know how to do that. But it came anyway.

She wasn't rude but she isn't very open. She said plainly that she didnt want to be anyones "money maker" and the family of the child she killed had suffered enough. Shes repentant and defiant all in one lonely package.

The loss of these young lives is so tragic. No one wins. I'll write to Terri and explain all I do for female inmates and why I do it. Hopefully that will help her understand. Ill send her the introductory pack I send all new girls on the row. It has a long list of programs free to inmates among other things.

My book about Terri Lyn will include as many thoughts and comments from her as she will give me. I am also searching for contact information for the victims family.

This is about to be an amazing journey.  


Erica Yvonne Sheppard - Texas

Erica's case is tricky. Not in the sense of what she did and where she is but in how long she has to stay. Erica was involved in a hideous, horrible crime and she confessed her part in it. In the late 90's she and a male accomplice witnessed a woman, Marilyn Meagher, carrying armloads of clothing from her car to her apartment. Deciding they would rob her and take her car, the couple accosted Ms. Meagher in her appartment.

Marilyn Meagher had her throat slashed several times, she was beaten and eventually a plastic bag was placed around her head and she was left to suffocate. The deadly couple abandoned the car in a nearby town but were caught shortly later.Erica received the death penalty and remains there today. This is where I have a problem.

Erica was 19 years old when she committed her crimes. She was with a domineering man and this case happens in a thousand different ways a thousand times a day. The most famous may be the story of the porn star John Holmes and the young girl he fell in love with. Dawn Schiller lived a devastating life as the girlfriend of the world's most known porn star at only 15 years old. She calls girls like herself and Erica- Throw Away Girls, because if they had the support they needed they wouldn't be in the situations they were.

Erica grew tired of life on death row and asked to be executed. The reverend Jesse Jackson went to visit her and convinced her that her life was precious and to carry on the fight. Since then she has went on to fight against bad prison conditions and inhumane treatment of women prisoners.
Shes volunteered for many programs and improved her education. In short, she has used her years in prison wisely.

How long does a 19 year old girl have to pay for a crime she did not commit single handedly but with an influential violent male? More violent criminals have been paroled in shorter times while Erica wastes the education and advancements shes worked toward year after year.
Looking at this from a fiscal point of view, wouldn't it be smarter to let her parole and work in the public domain, contributing to society?


Donna Scrivo - Michigan

Donna Scrivo, 59, drugged, strangled and then dismembered her 230 lb son, Ramsay Scrivo, 32 in January of 2014. He was severely mentally ill and doctors had determined he was psychotic and a danger to himself. She had been his legal guardian and caretaker since she'd petitioned the court the previous May. She said she felt his fathers illness and subsequent death was causing him to be despondent and suicidal. 

After killing him she somehow got him into the bathtub and dismembered him. She put the pieces of his body in plastic garbage bags and dispersed them along a rural roadside. A saw was also found in one of the bags. She reported him missing in January. 

She was arrested for the crime and plead not guilty, saying a masked intruder came in and forced her to help him murder her son. She was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole. 


Cheyanne Jessie - Florida

Cheyanne Jessie, 25 of Polk County, Florida called the police last Saturday morning to report her father 50-year-old Mark Weekly and her daughter 6-year-old Meredith Jessie missing. The first thing police noticed upon arrival was the undeniable scent of rotting flesh. Cheyanne told them there was a dead racoon under the house but police were not deterred. They continued to question her and repeatedly found odd discrepancies in her story. Eventually, her father and daughter were found in a shed on the property about 200 feet from the house.

According to police reports, Cheyanne had a new man in her life. Sometime in the days previous to her apprehension, a text message was sent to the man from her fathers phone saying he was terminally ill and wanted only to spend his last year with his granddaughter and gave the man permission to use the house with Cheyanne. But from what investigators have figured out so far, her father and daughter were already dead when that text was sent. Police have determined that Cheyanne stabbed and shot them both weeks before calling the police and left the bodies in the house until the smell became unbearable.  

Cheyanne's family say they believe she had planned this for some time, covering some of the furniture in plastic and always having an excuse to where the two were and when she planned to report them missing. Mark and Jessie's bodies were found in the shed crammed into plastic bags. They also found furniture and rugs splattered with blood inside the house. Sunday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held a press conference where he was visibly shaken. 

 "Nothing's more horrific than the murder of a child, except when it’s done by a parent. This is the face and this is the eyes of a cold-blooded murderer," said Judd. "She not only murdered them, but left them in the residence for many days until it became painfully evident she had to move them." 
 Cheyanne is claiming self-defense. She says her father tried to kill her and she won the knife from him in a fight. While stabbing her father in self-defense she accidentally stabbed her daughter.

This sounds a bit like Susan Smith, doesn't it? She isnt the first woman to kill her kids for a man, however. Susan Eubanks in California is another, although her motive was anger at their father. Patricia Blackmon, Caro Soccoro, and Kenisha Berry also killed their children. The most similar case of all may be Robin Lee rowe, who also killed her husband along with her children.

Cheyanne was denied bond. She is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of tampering with evidence. She made her first court appearance yesterday.

Alyssa Bustamante Update