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All Episodes Talk: Crime And Punishment

This show has been running for so long that sometimes I can't remember how an earlier one turned out.

 

One of my most memorable episodes is one that still gives me the chills when I think about it.  It was the one in which the two old ladies befriended homeless men, took them in, then murdered them for their insurance.  Those women looked so ghoulish and were so sure they'd never be caught!  Along came a detective investigating old insurance claims, and when he learned how and when various homeless men had died, he contacted the LAPD (Los Angeles), and the unraveling of the mystery began.

 

I wrote to the LAPD twice in an attempt to find the insurance claims man, but no one there knew what had become of him.  The last I knew, Dateline was still running the episode on their website.  It was THAT good!

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One of my favorite episodes "Deadly Connection" came on last night. The story of a young college-aged woman from Colorado who had disappeared and weeks following, another woman was brutally assaulted and left for dead by the same man. It's a terribly sad story, particularly for the woman who disappeared (Kenia) as it turned out the man had murdered her; but the woman who survived (Lydia) the second attack always amazes me and I have to watch this every time it comes on. This woman was raped, beaten and set on fire...and she forgives this man because she wouldn't be able to heal otherwise. Brings me to tears just thinking about it

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I watched this episode.  I wish they had explained how Lydia ran into the killer.  She was attacked in here home.  Did he follow her home and break in?  Did she let him in?  I wanted to know how she crossed paths with him.

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One of my favorites was about the guy who'd spent all those years in prison being a model citizen and travelling all over the state doing the prison rodeo.  He was probably framed by his wife, and finally got out of prison (having to cop to some BS plea, I think) so he could spend time with his son.  The man made quite an impression on me; he seemed to have dignity and integrity (and I loved the fancy western shirt he wore while doing his interview).

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The most memorable episode for me was about a couple who faked the husband's death with a fiery car crash, complete with a body dug up from a graveyard. Soon after the husband's "passing", the wife had a new boyfriend, who turned out to just be the husband with a different name and hair color. They pretty much botched the whole thing, from an unconvincing car crash to a search history showing details on getting new identities. For some reason the picture they showed of the poor woman whose body they dug up to burn in the crash has always stuck with me.

 

Also, there's an episode that involves a box of sex toys being stolen, and I remember the woman they were taken from stating that she wasn't embarrassed about going to the police, but just didn't think it was a big deal at first (but then once it was obvious someone had been hiding in her house, she was rightly terrified, as he turned out to be a rapist and murderer). She seemed super frank and awesome, and Keith Morrison seemed delighted by her. It was a light point in what ended up being a pretty dark and disturbing episode.

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spinsterly - the sex toy one was about Russell Williams, the highly esteemed colonel in the Canadian Air Force.  He broke into houses and stole ladies underwear, and took lots of pictures of himself dressed in said underwear.  The murders were awful, but it's those damned pictures I can never erase from my memory.  Eeeew.

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The most memorable episode for me was about a couple who faked the husband's death with a fiery car crash, complete with a body dug up from a graveyard. Soon after the husband's "passing", the wife had a new boyfriend, who turned out to just be the husband with a different name and hair color. They pretty much botched the whole thing, from an unconvincing car crash to a search history showing details on getting new identities. For some reason the picture they showed of the poor woman whose body they dug up to burn in the crash has always stuck with me.

 

 

Oh man, those two were pieces of work, weren't they?  I remember the wife saying during her interview that they planned to get back together once they got out of prison. And her own mother had washed her hands of her.

IIRC, the lady whose grave they disturbed was intellectually challenged, and requested burial instead of cremation because she was afraid of fire. :(

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One of my favorites was about the guy who'd spent all those years in prison being a model citizen and travelling all over the state doing the prison rodeo.  He was probably framed by his wife, and finally got out of prison (having to cop to some BS plea, I think) so he could spend time with his son.  The man made quite an impression on me; he seemed to have dignity and integrity (and I loved the fancy western shirt he wore while doing his interview).

William Macumber, who lived in Phoenix. At one time, he owned a gas station in the hood I lived in as a kid. I think the wife framed him, too.

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Last night was a repeat of "Something Wicked," about the two popular, West Virginia, high school girls who stabbed their friend Skylar to death because they decided they didn't like her anymore. They planned it for months but then hurried to get it done, "before church camp." One of them was still grinning and tossing her long blonde hair in the court room. Shudder.

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spinsterly - the sex toy one was about Russell Williams, the highly esteemed colonel in the Canadian Air Force. He broke into houses and stole ladies underwear, and took lots of pictures of himself dressed in said underwear. The murders were awful, but it's those damned pictures I can never erase from my memory. Eeeew.

I will never forget this one. It was truly chilling. I've been watching true from for a long time but this particular Dateline episode was one of best and creepiest I've ever seen.

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I agree the Colonel was one of the creepiest ever. There's something so frightening about a person who can show two entirely different faces to the world.

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One memorable episode, IMO, was the one about Mark Twitchell.  He was (ultimately) convicted of murder in the death of Johnny Altinger, but the episode centered on his attack on Gilles Tetreault. The episode focused on how Tetreault was lured  to Twitchell's house by using the website PlentyofFish (expecting a date with a woman), then was attacked by a Twitchell in a mask with a stun baton. And then the police discovered a document, entitled "SKConfessions," which detailed Twitchell's planning, first attempt, and successful second attempt at murdering a man by luring him to his garage using fake online profiles (complete with the process of dismembering the victim's body). And the fact that Keith Morrison did this story made it even creepier.

Edited by emily842752.
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emily842752 - I remember that story - the perp claimed he was making a slasher movie or something like that.  I think there was some mention of the show Dexter, too - but can't for the life of me recall if the perp was a Dexter fan, or if it was something else.  I DO remember the perp wore a hockey mask - creepy!

 

ETA - I just watched last night's episode  "A Bronx Tale".  Yet another story of wrongful conviction and 6 people spent almost 2 decades in prison, largely due to police incompetence and malfeasance. 

Edited by walnutqueen.
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One memorable episode, IMO, was the one about Mark Twitchell.  He was (ultimately) convicted of murder in the death of Johnny Altinger, but the episode centered on his attack on Gilles Tetreault. The episode focused on how Tetreault was lured  to Twitchell's house by using the website PlentyofFish (expecting a date with a woman), then was attacked by a Twitchell in a mask with a stun baton.

 

The craziest part of that to me was that Gilles never said anything to the police about his attack! His version made it sound like he was just so stunned: "Did that actually happen?" that he was unable to fully process it. But Altinger would likely still be alive if Gilles hadn't opted to whimper in a corner by himself. But then, I have a special grievance against people who know about or witness crimes (especially teenagers) and blithely go their way.

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I need to add to my post above about William Macumber. Seems he was arrested in Colorado, accused of doing something inappropriate to his granddaughters. The story just gets stranger. I'm waiting for 48 Hours or Dateline to do an update to this whole mess.

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Last night was a repeat of "Something Wicked," about the two popular, West Virginia, high school girls who stabbed their friend Skylar to death because they decided they didn't like her anymore. They planned it for months but then hurried to get it done, "before church camp." One of them was still grinning and tossing her long blonde hair in the court room. Shudder.

This story scares me to the core. So crazy!

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I too saw A Bronx Tale,  just how many people are in prison who have been wrongfully convicted.  And how do these cops and prosecutors sleep at night?  Liked the little nun, Grandma.

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And how do these cops and prosecutors sleep at night?

 

I sometimes wonder along the same lines -- like, the cops will have arrested/detained someone and they're positive he/she committed the crime, then they're proven wrong by DNA or an alibi or whatever. The cop invariably states how "disappointing" or "frustrating" it was. Really? Isn't ruling someone out progress? Isn't part of their jobs to make sure innocent people aren't wrongly arrested?

 

The personal drive, especially for the attorneys, to be right and "win" is ultimately destructive to the judicial process, I think.

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Does anyone remember an episode from years ago about the JonBenet Ramsey murder? I vividly remember a cop/detective who worked on the case saying that she knew who did it and it was someone in that house that night, but that she would not say who it was because she felt that she was disrespected during the investigation. Does anyone remember this??? Or am I crazy, because I can't find the episode online! 

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I need to add to my post above about William Macumber. Seems he was arrested in Colorado, accused of doing something inappropriate to his granddaughters. The story just gets stranger. I'm waiting for 48 Hours or Dateline to do an update to this whole mess.

 

Oh, noes!  Yet again I fall for the cowboy, only to be bitterly disappointed.  :-( 

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Lura, I have seen the story of the two old bats and it was really awful.  I have seen it on a lot of the ID shows.   The German lady took them in and fed and cared for them.  She did the heavy lifting(so to speak).  New info came out in each presentation but the stunner for me was that two detectives that sat by each other happened to compare notes.  Bingo,a winner.

 

It was a long con taking about two years for each guy.  The cop was saying he really didn't know which old women was worse.  He decided on the one who spent so much time with the victims.  There is also really good video on them in an interrogation room arguing.  Each saying the other was greedy.

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Last night's episode was about the young camp supervisor who fell in love with the loathsome, unattractive woman who was 20 years his senior.  Strangely, I'd never seen this episode, I thought I'd watched them all.  The young guy killed the kind, loving husband to keep the woman's love. 

I just didn't get the whole "I love her so much I'll do anything for her - even kill" thing.  Both the husband and the young boyfriend.  What did this woman have?  She's really not attractive at all, had a loathsome family, obviously took these men for their vulnerability, and almost got away with murder.

I think the woman's name was Patty, the young guy's name was Hispanic.  I may not have a great memory for names, but I'll never forget this episode. 

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Jaime Ramos was the young man's name - he really did come across as a horribly naïve killer.  What a bizarre story. 

 

I had never seen this story, either, so it was nice to finally see something new.

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Also my first time seeing this one. To the very end Jaime was still saying that he loved her. I don't think that he was just niave, I think that he had a psychological disorder.

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Well, yes, he obviously had some issues - not many 21 year olds date married women 26 years their senior.

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Jaime said that when he was murdering Patty's husband, he said to him something like......

 

'how dare you beat my wife' and shes my wife not your wife' 

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I have seen other stories such as this, and I always wonder how seemingly rational guys end up falling for such a woman. Then I remember a quote from a co-worker: "He must have been thinking with the little head instead of the big one."

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I only saw a few minutes of tonight's (Thanksgiving) episode, but I was too worked up to watch it just before going to bed!!  lol  Now, of course, I'm wondering what the whole story was and how the girl ever got out of the mountains alive!  Did anyone else watch it?  I was amazed that she could be in such a remote place after her plane crashed and could live to tell about it.

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Sounds like "Into the Wild." You can watch for free (with commercials) at http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/dateline/into-the-wild-part-1-321815107895

More than anything McKenzie Morgan wanted to learn how to fly. It was a family tradition after all: great-grandfather, grandfather, uncles were all pilots. So in August 2013 she took a final solo flight before getting her pilot's license. All seemed well, until she didn't land at her appointed time. McKenzie Morgan and her Cessna 172 had vanished.
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Editorgrrl, thank you so much for your reply and a link!  The show's description sounds like we're talking about the same show.  I searched the web, but all I could find were episodes coming up.  I went to TV Guide, but without knowing the name of the show, I couldn't find the episode.  I'm grateful for your help.

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Does anyone remember an episode from years ago about the JonBenet Ramsey murder? I vividly remember a cop/detective who worked on the case saying that she knew who did it and it was someone in that house that night, but that she would not say who it was because she felt that she was disrespected during the investigation. Does anyone remember this??? Or am I crazy, because I can't find the episode online! 

I probably watched it because I tried to watch everything about JonBenet. We have a friend who worked for the Boulder police department at the time and there was surely a lot of in-fighting. Sadly. 

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According to Google, there was a 1999 episode called "Jon-Benet Ramsey Media," but you're probably looking for season 15, episode 65, "Who Killed Jon Benet?" which aired August 29, 2006.

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According to Google, there was a 1999 episode called "Jon-Benet Ramsey Media," but you're probably looking for season 15, episode 65, "Who Killed Jon Benet?" which aired August 29, 2006.

 

 

Wow. Thank you so much. I'm going to look into those. Does anyone know how I can read the transcripts of old episodes online?

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After about five years, I'm still trying to find the episode in which two creepy, elderly women in L.A. took in homeless men and then murdered them for their insurance money.  An insurance investigator noticed a discrepancy in a filing and helped the LAPD solve the case.  The women were so unattractive that they actually looked evil.  I watched it once online, but it seems as if it's no longer listed, and I don't know the name of the episode.  I'd be so happy just to watch that insurance investigator solve the puzzle one more time.  I can still see that poor homeless man, blocked in an alley, and the women's car mowing him down. 

Edited by Lura.
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That's it, Editorgrrl.  Thank you.  I wish the video were still available.

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Does anyone remember the episode about Mary Hill, in Orlando?  She was the woman driving her daughter and two neighbor children somewhere; she crashed and the accident killed both her daughter and one of the neighbor children.

It's interesting to me especially because I was in the hospital with Mary after the accident.  She told us that the accident was due to the fact that she was on a lot of prescription drugs.

She was later charged and convicted of the two deaths; in court her attorney claimed that her brakes malfunctioned.  I knew what she had said immediately after the accident and there was NO mention of brake failure.  I wrote to the Mom of the girl killed and told her what Mary had said after the accident; I wished I had known about the trial while it was going on.

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I'm watching the one now where married Kandi is having an affair with her younger, married boss. Her husband kills the young man in Walgreens parking lot. Man, I couldn't stand that Kandi and the married boss left a young wife with 5 small children. Of course, Kandi changed her story at trial and tried to say her husband did it in self defense, She was such a scum! My guide is out, so I do not know the name of the episode.

I just googled it. It was Deadly Desire from 2013,

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No Dateline tonight, just an animated Christmas thing.

 

  Don't they understand that in this season of peace, goodwill and unrelenting cheer we need a little murder?

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No Dateline tonight, just an animated Christmas thing.

 

  Don't they understand that in this season of peace, goodwill and unrelenting cheer we need a little murder?

I humbly recommend the Serial podcast.  It's like a Dateline episode on steroids--Episode 10 was just posted yesterday morning.

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I humbly recommend the Serial podcast.  It's like a Dateline episode on steroids—Episode 10 was just posted yesterday morning.

I totally agree. Binge-listen to all ten episodes, then come talk about it at Forums > Off-Topic > Online > Serial!

 

Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life. One true crime story, told over 12 weeks, hosted by Sarah Koenig.

It's Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he's innocent—though he can't exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.
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I'm watching the one now where married Kandi is having an affair with her younger, married boss. Her husband kills the young man in Walgreens parking lot. Man, I couldn't stand that Kandi and the married boss left a young wife with 5 small children. Of course, Kandi changed her story at trial and tried to say her husband did it in self defense, She was such a scum! My guide is out, so I do not know the name of the episode.

I just googled it. It was Deadly Desire from 2013,

I couldn't stand that lying face Kandi either. She was so gross inside and out and the young man's wife was so beautiful. 

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Haunting. Thank you for the good watch. Can't believe the skinnier girl at the end forgot her name, she wouldnt even read her apologie.

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I've just watched "12 Minutes on Elm Street" about the man who supposedly lured two innocent, All American, fun loving teens into his home so he could murder them, malice aforethought.

 

There was a case in England similar to this. Thugs had invaded a man's home several times over several years, stealing valuable items each time. They were career burglars and ne'er do wells. Finally, one night, when they once again broke in, he was prepared and shot at them, killing one and I think wounding another of the three. He was found guilty of "lying in wait." Because he had a gun, and left his house unlit, so the thugs thought he wasn't at home. He received a harsh sentence and the "victims" and families went on to sue him for injury and wrongful death and won. Later, his sentence was shortened on appeal, I believe. I thought that could never happen here.

 

I was wrong. The real victim in this case, a Mr. Smith, was found guilty of first degree murder of the two teens and sentenced to life in prison. For what? Parking his truck away from his home so people would think he was away from home. Entrapment? Did he put a trap door out there on his lawn with a chute that dropped the teens into his home where he could shoot them when they were dumped into his basement? Did he leave a sign out front saying, "Come into my home, free candy inside?" Um, no. Oh, and he made a recording of the events, which showed that he was not regretful that he had killed the teens. There were also statements on the tape that he now felt relieved and was "still shaking."

 

He had video cameras posted outside his home due to the several earlier instances of  break-ins. In one of the break-ins, a couple of his guns had been stolen. Neighbors stated that he had been depressed and in fear of further break-ins and he stated that since his guns had been stolen, he feared they would be used against him on any future break-ins. Nick Brady and Halie Kifer were seen "casing" the "joint." Nick was shown peering into windows and circling around the house, apparently trying to ascertain whether the house was indeed unoccupied. His car was parked several blocks away. Apparently, it is OK for thieves to park their cars away from the scene, but not the homeowner. Nick's car contained items from earlier burglaries, I believe some from Mr. Smith's home, and also some from another home in the area. This evidence was ruled inadmissible, as was the fact that Nick had participated in several burglaries, and that Mr. Smith's home had been burglarized several times. One classmate of Nick's told Dateline that Nick was the type of person who bullied other kids at school and shoved them into lockers. Yet, the preponderance of Dateline's presentation chose to make Nick look like just a fun loving kid, rather than a bully who repeatedly burglarized neighbors. As was the prosecutor's tack.

 

When Nick broke into a window, he proceeded to go downstairs to the basement, where Mr. Smith was. The basement contained a living area with bookcases, chairs, carpeting, etc. It seemed to me Nick must have felt there were valuables down there, because he seemed to head straight for the basement. I believe Mr. Smith was in a closet at the time, after hearing Nick break in. He shot Nick three times. Later, Hailie came in, proceeded also down the basement stairs, sounding scared and whispering Nick's name. Mr. Smith shot her six times. He claimed he did not know whether they were armed or not. He made some statements on the tape that he felt he had just gotten rid of some "vermin." Definitely overkill. Definitely, he should not have gone so far. But how can it be stated that simply because he felt justified and relieved, that this was premeditated murder, and not an overzealous defense of one's home? The only way he could have predicted they would invade his home was, not because he "trapped" them into it, but because they had done it before! At the most, I think they should have found him guilty of manslaughter, or possibly second degree murder. But there is no way anyone should be found guilty of premeditated murder when the invaders came into the home of their own free will, in order to victimize someone they thought not to be at home!

 

I've been watching a lot of Investigation Discovery in the last few days, and time and again, I've seen murderers, many of whom first stalked, terrorized, and tortured their victims prior to killing them, get sentences of things like 14-20 years to life, then getting parole in ten or fifteen years. Then there is Mr. Smith, sentenced to life in prison because teens repeatedly invaded his home and he decided to defend himself. Just have to shake my head.

Edited by renatae.
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I've watched the same show several times, and believe he was laying/lying in wait, and that after the first shot was fired, his subsequent actions are indefensible, as were the teens' actions for invading his home in the first place.  Difference is - they came with intent to harm property, he was determined to kill with EXTREME prejudice.  In her left eye, indeed.

 

MERCY shot to the head?  Don't care if the punishment is too severe for the crime, because that is what America stands for, every day in every way.  Boo fucking hoo when the finger of your justice gets pointed back in your own direction, eh.

 

ETA - poor old rich white dude practiced his defense & attorney BS AND sat on the dead bodies for over 24 hours (doing God only knows what).  Show me an upstanding citizen who does that.

Edited by walnutqueen.
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When people set out to do wrong to others, they shouldn't expect their victims to just put up with it. They set in motion the events that led to their demise. Was their punishment too severe for their crimes? Most definitely, as I already stated. Not going to defend him for the brutality of his response. However, it is common for victims of home burglary to suffer deep psychological stress, constant overwhelming fear, feelings of violation, and feeling perpetually unsafe in their homes. That Mr. Smith suffered from these reactions is attested to not only by his own statements, but by statements of his friends. I think he became unhinged because of being repeatedly put in this position. Which could explain why he did not call police until the next day, among other strange and unusual responses.


The fact is that if they had not decided to victimize him yet again, they would still be alive today. He was not out stalking them on the streets. And they were no poor, disadvantaged teens. Very well spoken, prosperous looking families.

 

BTW, he did not say "mercy shot." I believe the statement was the chilling "clean, finishing shot." Brr.

Edited by renatae.
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I do see your points, renatae, I just think our opinions differ on the pre-meditation angle, and that's what divided the town this happened in, too.  There aren't any winners, just a lot of tragedy.

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I don't know that this was the most memorable or if Dateline ID goes here, but I just saw this one a while ago and it annoyed me no end. "The House on Sumac Drive", man was convicted of murdering his wife and the prosecution's case was one of the most convoluted things I've ever heard. It was worthy of a Patricia Cornwell book. His defense wasn't allowed to question one particular witness about her possible motives, and according to the prosecution, he and his friends had an elaborate plot for 2 years for killing the wife, but none of the friends were charged with conspiracy or anything else after the conviction. I did read through some things that are more recent than the show and I think he was shafted big time by the prosecution. Russ and Betsy Faria in Troy, Missouri are the convicted and the victim.

 

I remember the cowboy, I liked his story too. If it's happened, then he should be arrested and tried, but I'm sorry to hear it.

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The House on Sumac Drive bugged me too on first watch and rewatching.  I don't understand why the defense wasn't allowed to enter an alternative theory of the crime (the last person to see her alive and beneficiary of the insurance policy...who had to be sued by the grandparents of the children to see the proceeds), yet the prosecution was allowed to go full conjecture on the four "co conspirators" as alibi witnesses.  It's shit like this (and much other) that made me hang up my license two years ago.  The restriction of competent, relevant evidence is too common in civil and criminal cases.

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when I googled the story, found an article from October 2014, alleging the ADA and one of the detectives were having an affair. I have no idea of the truth, but it would explain things. I don't think the life insurance policy was enough money to be bribing people or that the beneficiary had enough influence, but who knows. From personal experience, I do know that sometimes police get a theory and they are not going to let facts get in the way. I hope this is being appealed to higher courts, but it is in Missouri...my home state.

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