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All Episodes Talk: Crime And Punishment

I thought the 911 call from the biological daughter was heartbreaking. She said several times, oh my God, my mother is going to die. Can you imagine? She witnessed the murder or at least the aftermath, and Sabrina was still there! Shudder. I, too, think that Sabrina snapped with some kind of rage. Maybe once she started stabbing, the rage took over. I wonder that the woman couldn't fight her off after the first stab. Maybe Sabrina went straight for the throat or heart or something. If the father/husband was having sex with Sabrina, how sick is that? Geez, some men are just ruled by their dicks.

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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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There was a case in Texas-in fact Kelly Siegler was the prosecutor.  The women stabbed her husband close to 200 times.  Kelly demonstrated and asked "did your arms get tired then", while still making stabbing motions.  I remember I was so impressed by her.  Yet she was criticized by some.

 

Lifetime made a movie called The Blue-eyed Butcher.  I think she got life but the sentence was reduced. 

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Sabrina kept using the word "abandon," when talking about Lisa saying it wasn't working out and Sabrina might have to leave. It made me wonder if, somewhere in the 178 stabs, Sabrina might have started thinking she was stabbing her biological mother, who abandoned her when she was three.

I would never have the energy or heart to take in a teenage foster child on top of two children of my own. Lisa sure didn't deserve to have her kindness rewarded this way. Her husband may or may not have masterminded this thing but flirting and texting with their foster child was disgusting enough on its own to make me glad he's in prison.

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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 am bothered that the state did not have stronger evidence against the father. I DO believe that his attention to the foster girl led to the murder... but I am not convinced of how direct that path actually was. I would have liked to see some explicit text messages. Early on in the episode, I said to myself "the dad was banging the foster girl."

 

But I do agree with others who have mentioned that the girl herself had to have her own motivations in order to commit a murder that brutal. There was a case I think in California a number of years ago where a dad convinced one or both of his daughters to murder their mom, so I can believe that this type of thing happens.

 

I would have liked to hear more about the dad so that I could be more convinced of his poor character. I do hate the idea of a teen being able to make up these accusations against someone and having the court believe possible lies. She still gets 30 years either way (no more life sentences for juveniles). I feel its a fair punishment.

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I didn't buy how Sabrina said it went down, in any case...that they considered a hitman, they considered using a gun, and then decided on...Sabrina using a breadknife and just hanging around being caught by police?

 

That bothered me as well. If Sabrina and Kevin had been plotting, that was the shittiest plotting ever. I believe Kevin was indeed banging Sabrina, that he used her as his murder weapon, and that he fully intended for her to be caught. Rids himself of two problems at once and ends up $650K richer. Hundreds of text messages and phone calls every day, my fat ass.

 

The courts are trying to restrain Kevin from liquidating his assets.

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Yes, I believe he was beyond inappropriate with the foster daughter. I really had my doubts about the plotting the wife's murder but, wanting to visit the foster daughter in jail the next day keeps nagging me.

That poor 13 girl, I hope she gets lots of good therapy. I can't even imagine the horror.

Edited by imjagain.
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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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That bothered me as well. If Sabrina and Kevin had been plotting, that was the shittiest plotting ever. I believe Kevin was indeed banging Sabrina, that he used her as his murder weapon, and that he fully intended for her to be caught. Rids himself of two problems at once and ends up $650K richer. Hundreds of text messages and phone calls every day, my fat ass.

 

The courts are trying to restrain Kevin from liquidating his assets.

 

One does need to wonder why this man would think that a teenager would not rat him out once she is caught. Also, why decide to have her stab his wife to death when other kids are in the house and could end up being a witness?

 

I need to read more about this case.

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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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I don't know what to think about this story at all.  I am willing to bet that Sabrina was behaving inappropriately with Kevin, because sometimes that is what abandoned, neglected or abused children tend to do in order to get the attention/affection that they crave. and I am also willing to bet that he never discouraged her.  The rest, for me, is speculation.   Obviously there was a lot of rage on her part, but she admitted as much, that she hated her foster mom.   Was she having an affair with Kevin?  There is no solid proof, but again, it seems plausible that he was leading her down the garden path for his own ends.  To me, he seems guilty of something heinous, but I am not sure he was the mastermind behind that murder. 

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I would have felt sorry for the man on Elm Street, except, he knew they were coming, and I believe he set them up to come over.  Instead of shooting them, he could have easily called the police and had them picked up!

 

But I don't think the kids should have been in his house either.  They were playing the odds, because obviously eventually they were going to be cut down!  You can't keep that behavior up and expect to get away with it!

Edited by Fable.
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The problem I have with the whole "he knew they would come" idea is that, just because your house looks unoccupied, does not make it a given that they would come. They could have simply decided to leave the guy alone. If they weren't out looking for trouble, they wouldn't have even known the truck was not there nor that the lights weren't on. Free will and all that. :)  Because of their prior behavior, he had a good reason to believe they would try it again, but he had no way of knowing for certain.

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True enough, but I do believe he was luring them in.  The choice to bite was their own, but it seems he anticipated they would take the bait, and sure enough....

 

I'm not 100% without sympathy for this man.  If I were victimized the way he was, I would certainly be scared and angry and want some kind of justice.  The problem for me is the way he handled it.  He could see on his video security they were trying to break in, and heard the window break.  Instead of lying in wait, why not call the authorities, and on top of that the number of shots fired was excessive.  I mean, if I kept breaking into someone's home and they shot me in the knee cap once or twice, I would think twice before breaking in again. I'm just sayin'!  

Edited by Fable.
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Yeah, I don't know that she's so trustworthy that I could convict the husband based on her say-so.  I mean, she was willing to kill someone to get them out of the way. What's to stop her from lying about the husband too? 

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This case is frightening to me - so little evidence presented beyond the testimony of someone who is a) clearly mentally messed-up and b) directly benefits by accusing the defendant.  It seemed like the detective had a hard time believing the girl could commit such a brutal crime and set out to prove something more happened.  There's nothing remotely damning in the text messages.  He spent the money from the life insurance?  So what.  I bet if he hadn't the detective would've said "see, he doesn't want the insurance investigators looking into the murder because he killed her!"  As for the witnesses, well to start with, the child welfare advocate has a clear interest in the guy being involved, as it absolves her of guilt: if the girl acted alone then the case worker basically caused this woman's death by placing the girl in that home, but if the guy made her do it, then it's on the father.  I'm not even talking from a legal sense, necessarily, but just psychologically, it makes her less culpable.  And beyond that, she's worked on behalf of the girl, knows her back story, her difficulties, so of course she's going to be protective of her.  As to her feelings that it would be, well, like most witnesses, she doesn't actually say it would be inappropriate, she just sort of suggests it would be off or wrong somehow, that the dad would take the 17 yr old to live with him, because if a man lives with a teenage girl he is not biologically related to, even if he's a parental figure, he WILL have sex with her (is the implication the case worker isn't courageous enough to make.)  And at that point the show doesn't bring up the fact that we know from earlier segments, that the mom didn't want her anymore, so if they split it was either the girl living with the dad or getting put back into the system.  As for the teacher, his testimony is beyond worthless, he saw something that made him think "really?"  Wow, devastating.  Also, this is what he's saying now, no evidence of his thoughts from the time, you know, before the prosecution came to him soliciting testimony to help jail a guy they're sure is a murderer ('...you know come to think of it, he did sit like a murderer...')  Also, this is apparently the MOST inappropriate thing they can get any teacher to attest to.  Marginal, subjective, after-the-fact testimony like this shouldn't even be allowed in our courts.  As for the girl's friend, well, she's clearly a bit troubled herself and now the prosecution or detectives come to her to get her to give them something to help out her friend, maybe they threatened her with jail if she didn't cooperate, maybe there were other incentives, but I have no difficulty believing she made her whole story up (and/or was manipulating to believing that story by the foster girl.)  Perhaps most telling, they set up a sting to catch the guy admitting something nefarious, it fails utterly, but the detective sees it as evidence that he's right, anyways, because the father doesn't react a certain way (and because to this detective, everything is evidence of the guy's guilt.)

Is the dad guilty?  I don't know, but I know that what I saw presented was a joke.  Did he have a relationship with the girl?  Not based on any evidence, although the fact that one of the first pictures of the girl is a shot of her cleavage, it's clear Dateline wants us to suspect that.

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I really hated hearing the mom's voice on the 911 tape.  It seems so much more tragic that she made it that long, but couldn't last long enough for the paramedics to reach her.  Instead of thinking the mom's social work experience should have brought her closer to Sabrina, it's most likely the reason they weren't close.  The mom would know not to enable the unhealthy behavior, and the father probably got something out of Sabrina's blind adoration, and fed into it.  I do think the husband was involved.  I think if this was completely Sabrina's idea, she would have turned on the daughter when she tried to stop her, and wouldn't have stuck around for the cops to show up.

 

This reminds me of a famous case, maybe twenty years ago, that they made a mini-series out of.  The husband was in his forties, had a new young wife (Linda) and baby, and they lived with his daughter from a previous relationship (Cinnamon), and his sister-in-law (Patti), who were both teenagers.  This guy conned every body (including his parents) and made up stories about being in the CIA, etc.  Over time, he convinced Cinnamon and Patti that Linda was planning to have him killed, and the only way to save him was to kill her first.  Prior to the murder, he gives Cinnamon some heavy duty drugs, provides a gun, and tells her to hide in the dog house when it's over, then leaves.  So Cinnamon (somehow assisted by Patti) shot Linda in the head when she was sleeping.  Linda woke up and was moaning in pain, so they had to do something else to finish her off, and they were very upset that she was moaning in pain. 

 

The police come and find Cinnamon in the dog house, completely whacked out, and arrest her.  A few years pass.  Cinnamon denies guilt and is in a juvenile facility.  The husband has fathered a child by Patti, but refuses to acknowledge it, to his parents and others.  Patti is pushed aside as the husband is hooking up with a new teenager (a friend of Patti's) and he starts laying the ground work to manipulate this girl to kill Patti.  In the meantime, Cinnamon has slowly come to the realization that her father set her up and has all but abandoned her.  In a rare visit, she sees his life is going on and Patti gets to be with him, while they continue their life without her.  She calls the detectives and tells them the truth.

 

Just googled and it was based on a book by Ann Rule, "If you really loved me".  It obviously really left an impression on me.  I think I'll check out the book.

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Oh, wow, RedheadZombie - I remember that case!  Cinnamon in the doghouse; I could never forget that.

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I don't believe the husband masterminded it/told Sabrina exactly what to do; it likely was the kind of "wouldn't it be nice if it were just us?" from the dad that prompted it.  I was really weirded out how he visited her in jail the next day, though.  And the insurance $$...filing within hours does seem awfully suspect/cold.  I'd think within a week would be more normal.  I've never been in that situation, but within hours just seems like a bit much!  What he bought later on doesn't bother me as much, because I agree...people can go nuts with money.

 

I don't absolve the father of guilt.  Everything about him screamed (to me) that he was involved.  In fact, my first impression, when they said he was insistent on visiting her, was because he was in love with her and just had to see her.  Regardless of reason, the fact that he wanted to comfort her and tell her he still loved her, a day after viciously murdering his wife, is quite telling.  It would have been incredibly simple to manipulate this girl, who was so afraid of abandonment.  "She wants to separate us.  She wants to send you away."  He was as innocent as Andrea Sneiderman was in the murder of her husband.  She manipulated a mentally unstable man with sex and love.  No different, in my eyes, except she got away with it.

 

I thought the 911 call from the biological daughter was heartbreaking. She said several times, oh my God, my mother is going to die. Can you imagine? She witnessed the murder or at least the aftermath, and Sabrina was still there! Shudder. I, too, think that Sabrina snapped with some kind of rage. Maybe once she started stabbing, the rage took over. I wonder that the woman couldn't fight her off after the first stab. Maybe Sabrina went straight for the throat or heart or something.

 

If the first stab was to the chest, that would have collapsed her lung.  If the second happened to collapse the other lung, she was barely capable of breathing efficiently to keep from passing out, and that doesn't take into consideration the blood loss.  On the 911 call, she seemed to be having difficulty breathing.  Adrenaline is what kept her alive so long, and she probably died as soon as it ebbed.  I have two fears of dying, one being attacked by a shark, the other being stabbed to death.  I can't begin to imagine the pain she experienced. 

 

 Perhaps most telling, they set up a sting to catch the guy admitting something nefarious, it fails utterly, but the detective sees it as evidence that he's right, anyways, because the father doesn't react a certain way (and because to this detective, everything is evidence of the guy's guilt.)

 

I don't think it failed utterly.  It's very telling that he didn't say, "what are you talking about", or even deny what she was saying.  A non-denial has always been considered an indication of guilt, that's not something new that this detective made up.

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My gut feeling about the guy was that he was guilty as hell.  Was it proven beyond a reasonable doubt?  I don't know because I don't think we were shown enough of the testimony, cross-examination, and re-direct on this to guess.  My dh and I thought the guy had a really good lawyer.

 

Still, possibly against my own scruples regarding legalities, I'm glad the guy got nailed.

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The dead body of a young college student from Wisconsin is discovered near her parents' home, but as the authorities searched for clues, the evidence leads them to her theatre group, where they uncover a whole new crime that reveals the truth.

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This was one of those cases that left me thinking you can't trust anybody.  That dorky, clownish kid would have been my last suspect, and to think he chose his victim, a sweet girl he had been friends with  for years, just because he knew she would be home alone. 

 

Also on the "you can't judge by appearances," theme.  Who would have thought that pretty brunette in the park would have proved to be such a tough cookie.  I'd like to know what her big dog was doing while the attack was going on, was he not with her that day?

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I wondered about the dog too, JudyObscure.  I thought it was a big dog too, a lab or something.  Odd.

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I felt so sorry for the parents, especially the dad. Not only the death, but the betrayal by someone they liked and trusted.

 

Not taking anything away from the brunette victim in the park, but I was attacked with a knife once* and I think the immediate impulse is to try to grab it, blade end or not.

 

 

 

 

* Not nearly as dire as it sounds. When I was 22, a teenage guy broke into my apartment during the night to steal my purse for the second time. After the first theft, which was accomplished while I was out in the laundry room, I was keeping it in my bedroom and was instantly awake as soon as he stepped into the room. I screamed, which scared the crap out of him and he came towards me with the knife. I sat up in bed and we struggled for a very brief few seconds, which is when I tried to grab the knife. He ran out. I followed him to the living room, where he was trying to get the chain off the door. (He had come in through the window.) He ripped the lock off the door frame and hightailed it. I ran outside after him, but honestly, my only thought in following was to make sure he was gone.

 

The other thing was that I had $2 in my wallet the first time it was stolen, so for the guy to come back hoping for another large payout showed his stupidity. No doubt someone who lived nearby, or even in the same complex. This was the early 70s. The cop who was dusting for fingerprints told me that I should get a gun and next time, make sure that was the end of it. He did specify that if I killed the burglar outside my house, to make sure to drag him inside before calling the police. I was pretty young but even then was all, "Good grief, dude."

 

I went over to my boyfriend's house that night and moved out the next day. Lost my deposit and everything. ;)

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Its really astounding that a teenager would strangulate someone in the victim's own house- to me at least. I can't imagine how those parents cope with something like that.

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Yes, also wondered about the dog.  I think she said she was walking the dog that day.  It made me think of the time Pres. George W. Bush choked on a pretzel while watching TV alone in the White House residence.  His dogs were with him but never made a sound while he was struggling.  Afterward, Laura Bush said something like, "Well, they are watchdogs.  They watched."  Some of those big dogs are so calm they just take a "huh?" attitude toward anything.

 

This case was so horrifying because of what you said, JudyObscure, it made you question how you can trust anyone.  How could you begin to figure out what goes on in the mind of a guy like this?  An how can you ever be sure you don't know a guy just like him?  Brrr

 

And the parents raised the victim to think it's okay to leave your doors unlocked.  Home alone, asleep, with the doors unlocked.  Can't fathom it.

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Yes some doors were unlocked and as the parents knew their daughter was upstairs asleep when they left that morning, then they are the ones responsible for leaving without locking the doors behind them.  The poor things must carry a lot of guilt about that .

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It depends. A lot of people don't lock their doors, ever. I actually never lived in a house that we even had keys for until I bought my own home and moved out.

Now that I live alone I always, always lock up, but to this day if I'm staying at my parents' for some reason, it doesn't even occur to me to do so.

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* Not nearly as dire as it sounds. When I was 22, a teenage guy broke into my apartment during the night to steal my purse for the second time...

Good Lord, Lordonia! What a frightening experience!

 

This story made me so sad for reasons already mentioned.

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I know it is more common in small towns to leave one's doors unlocked....but I've always lived in a city.

 

After reading true crime for the past 20+ years, though, one thing I have learned is that keeping your doors and windows locked can be a huge deterrent to crime.

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I'm a firm believer that if someone wants to kill me - personally - there's no stopping him.  Even the POTUS has been murdered, multiple times. BUT, you can certainly protect yourself from random crime.  The Night Stalker chose victims at random, depending on who left a window open, etc.  The BTK killer went to his intended target, found her not home, saw a child walk into a house, and followed him.  The mother was home sick, and the child unintentionally led the killer straight to her.  John Wayne Gacy would offer jobs to random young males, who then followed him to his van. 

 

People have been killed even though they have a dog in the home.  I hope to decrease the odds by letting my pit bull sleep in my bed.  If that fails, I keep a baseball bat nearby. 

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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 happened to catch this just the other day, just wanted Kandi to shut up and go to prison.  What a self-absorbed, narcissistic bitch.  Not surprised at all that she ended up going to prison for theft!

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I have to say, this episode gave me pause.  I work at home, and in the summertime, I am regularly at my desk in the upstairs office while I have my back sliders, front door, and the windows open (with screens on, of course).  I live at the end of a cul-de-sac, and though there's another row of houses that backs up to mine (we share a backyard), there really isn't much going on back there during the day, because most people work outside of the home.  The sliders and front screen door have flimsy lock, plus, well, screens, which can be easily breeched with a knife.  Never gave a second thought--what could possibly happen in broad daylight??  Hm.  Time to re-think.

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Anybody watch on Friday the 13th?  I just could not believe the ex daughter in law.

 

She got away with murder and I kinda feel the prosecutors could have made some charge stick.

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It has always been my thought that if I was so unfortunate as to be a victim of a crime in my house I certainly wasn't going to make it easy. And I would never want it reported in the paper that they came in through an unlocked door.

These parents must certainly be filled with guilt for that. Impossible to know if he wouldn't have just found another way in since he knew she was alone, but made it too easy.

Go park girl! She stayed tough and focused and without her there would probably be more girls dead.

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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,

YES! For some reason, I happen to catch that one a lot. It makes me angrier and angrier every time I see it. Kandi was horrific and tried to act like a victim. I felt so awful or the younger guy's wife.

 

Two other epsides I seem to catch a lot are Shattered, about a young wife who was suspected of pushing her husband out of a window during a fight, and the Detective's Daughter, about Denise Lee. Eyewitnesses and Denise herself called 911 numerous times within a couple hours after her kidnapping but due to some incompetencies and rerouting issues among 911 dispatches over different counties, the necessary authorities weren't notified and she ended up being murdered despite all the attempted calls to save her. I think 4 or 5 calls to 911 were made in total.

 

I MUST agree about the Russell Williams episode (THOSE PICTURES! eek!) and the Something Wicked episode. Those girls were arrogant peices of work, weren't they? Blatantly tweeting about it and their fake-a** tears in court. 

 

Also, the Mistaken Identity episode always stands out in my mind.Two girls were involved in a car accident -- one died and one survived, but their identities were somehow reversed at the scene. The family of the girl that actually died was told she was in a coma in the hospital, and the family of the girl that survived was told she died. Due to the extent of the survivor's injuries, no one seemed to realize the error until after she woke up from the coma and the family started realizing the girl they'd been taking care of in the hospital for weeks and weeks wasn't their daughter/sister. That was a crazy story.

Edited by Sparkle.
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I remember a strange episode of Dateline that was on several years ago...  It was a two-hour episode and the plot was something like this: a wealthy housewife is "kidnapped" for ransom and she's calling her family, begging for their help etc. and there was some family drama going on in the background, though I can't remember what.  So law enforcement is running around to try and find her/deal with the ransom and it's all a big deal of course.  However, something is just off about the situation and eventually it's discovered that she was actually with her younger lover or something and just pretending to be kidnapped!  She later claimed mental illness over the whole thing, and her family quickly circled the wagons.  Does anyone else remember this episode?

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a wealthy housewife is "kidnapped" for ransom and she's calling her family, begging for their help etc. and there was some family drama going on (...) something is just off about the situation and eventually it's discovered that she was actually with her younger lover or something and just pretending to be kidnapped!

That was the one where they holed up in the hotel, eating chicken. And she said something like, he sexually assaulted her and she pretended to enjoy it? Was she ever charged with anything? I think she was planning to use the "ransom" to leave her husband. But the level of worry and panic she caused her family is unreal.

 

Episodes I watch whenever they're on, for some reason:

One about a young woman in military who hooked up with a married guy. Married guy staged a car accident in which he was the only survivor. In actuality, he strangled the girl and would not stop boasting about it to his wife. She eventually recorded his confessions.

 

One about a guy who basically faked his whole life, down to his name. His girlfriend disappeared and he used her credit cards to join dating sites. In the interview, he refused, pouting, to be called by his real name or admit to anything.

 

One about a woman who disappeared mysteriously. Her facebook friends investigated her incredibly cold and suspect lesbian lover.

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One about a young woman in military who hooked up with a married guy. Married guy staged a car accident in which he was the only survivor. In actuality, he strangled the girl and would not stop boasting about it to his wife. She eventually recorded his confessions.

 

 

That was one of two I remember with, like, 20 mph car "accidents" where the woman died. The other (which may or may not have been Dateline) was a 50-ish man who picked up his wife from the airport after a trip and decided what they really wanted was to take a long romantic drive in the mountains at night.

 

Another one that I've watched more than once features a young guy who pushed his wife off a cliff (unproven). It hasn't stuck enough to remember any names, but as I recall they "went there a picnic" with their toddler, even though the wife was afraid of heights.

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I remember a strange episode of Dateline that was on several years ago...  It was a two-hour episode and the plot was something like this: a wealthy housewife is "kidnapped" for ransom and she's calling her family, begging for their help etc. and there was some family drama going on in the background, though I can't remember what.  So law enforcement is running around to try and find her/deal with the ransom and it's all a big deal of course.  However, something is just off about the situation and eventually it's discovered that she was actually with her younger lover or something and just pretending to be kidnapped!  She later claimed mental illness over the whole thing, and her family quickly circled the wagons.  Does anyone else remember this episode?

Oh, yes, that was on when

Gone Girl

blew up as a print phenomenon.  I hadn't read it yet, but someone in the TWOP forums compared the plot to this Dateline episode and completely spoiled me.  Boooooo.  :)  

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Mods, please fix the episode number if it's incorrect.

 

I felt so sorry for the victims in this case, especially Cynthia.  She was making Easter baskets and Easter Dinner and she was killed because of a vendetta of a deranged man (and his deranged wife) over computer monitors?  Her husband also had an idea of who killed Mark, and yet Mike couldn't put the pieces together before it cost him and his wife their lives.  He sounds like he loved Cynthia and her daughter very much.

 

Scarier still, the deranged man was a former judge and he had sinister plans for other officials.  Yeesh.

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Obviously there was no excuse for carrying out this vendetta against the prosecutors, but I thought it was really harsh that the guy lost his law license and his ability to make a living.  I could see how that could really mess with someone's mind.  But, again, no excuse.

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I clearly watch too many of these shows. I thought I had it all figured out when they mentioned Cynthia and how she got to know everyone at the office, then kept showing Mike vowing to find the killer. I thought duh, Mark slept with Cynthia and Mike found out and killed him. Imagine my surprise when poor Mike and Cynthia were found dead. This one was truly a whodunnit so I found all 2 hours very watchable.

I feel bad even saying that given the subject matter. Just sad all around. Heartbreaking for the families.

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I wasn't following why the killer's wife wasn't able to testify during the trial, only during penalty. The jury quickly convicted anyway, but it seemed odd. What did I miss?

 

If I commited grand theft, of course I would blame the prosecutor for taking away my livelihood instead of myself for stealing in the first place.

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A witness comes forward to help solve a 20 year-old cold case involving a woman who mysteriously vanished in Florida just days before she was going to move to a new city with her 5 year-old son, leaving behind very few clues for authorities.

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