Horrific Murders

The abduction, rape, torture and murder of Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom

ChristopherNewsomChannonChristian

Christopher Hugh Newsom, 23 (left) and Channon Gail Christian, 21, (right)

Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian were a young couple from Knoxville, Tennessee and had recently  started dating each other. One of those dates occurred on the night of January 6, 2007 when the two went to a local restaurant and after they stopped by a friend’s apartment.

Later that night the two headed to Christian’s SUV to head home. Sadly, they never made it.

When they made it to the SUV they were approached by three black males and forced into the back of the vehicle, where they were bound, blindfolded and gagged. It was late and the parking lot was dark and isolated so nobody seen the abduction until it was too late.  Lemaricus Devall ‘Slim’ Davidson, one of the abductors, brought Newsom and Christian to his run-down house on Chipman Street, where their fate was waiting. They arrived to the house and forced the two into the house where two more people, a woman and her boyfriend, were at.

Newsom, still blindfolded and gagged, had his arms and feet bound and his head covered. The killers took turns beating him, repeatedly sodomized him with different objects and then dragged him barefoot outside the house and thrown him in the SUV, drove him to an isolated area nearby next to railroad tracks, dragged the badly beaten young man out of his own vehicle, shot him and cut off his penis. Before leaving they doused him with gasoline and lit him on fire.

Knoxville_Killers

In order from left to right; Eric Boyd -George Thomas – Slim Davidson – Rome Cobbins (Slims brother) and Vanessa Coleman (Rome’s girlfriend)

Channon was still bound at the house on Chipman, she was being ‘watched’ by Cobbins and his girlfriend, Coleman. — Cobbin’s told the Knoxville courtroom that Channon was being nice to him, the terrified young woman was most likely desperately trying to get out of the situation but her killers showed no compassion.

Cobbin’s said that Channon asked for water, and also asked him if he could get her a cigarette out of her pocketbook. He did, but then raped her and forced her to give him oral sex.

After the murder of Newsom, the killers returned home and they all raped and beat Channon for over 24 hours. Slim Davidson then called the others into the kitchen area and had them watch as her strangled Channon. She went unconscious by at this point, was still alive. She had Coleman check for a pulse and when Coleman hesitated and freaked he screamed at her. She then checked. When they realized she was still alive, she was strangled some more and had two large trash bags placed around her head and body, and was thrown in a large, black trash bin. She was still alive and suffocated slowly.

Christian’s parents became worried when she never arrived home and went out to search for her and Newsom. They discovered her abandoned Toyota 4-Runner two blocks away from the Chipman Street house the following Monday with the help of her mobile phone provider. An envelope recovered from the vehicle yielded fingerprint evidence that led police to Lemaricus Davidson and 2316 Chipman Street. When police went to the address on Tuesday, January 9, they found the house unoccupied and Christian’s body in a bin in the kitchen.

According to the testimony of the medical examiner, Channon’s death came after hours of torture, having suffered injuries to her vagina, anus and mouth. She was raped with an unidentified object and beaten in the head. It was also reported that her body was scrubbed with bleach which was also poured down her throat, in an attempt by her attackers to remove DNA evidence, while Channon was still alive. She was then bound with curtains and strips of bedding, her face covered with a bin liner and her body stashed within five large bin bags, before being placed inside a residential waste disposal unit and covered with sheets. The medical examiner said there was evidence that Channon slowly suffocated to death.

The grand jury indicated four of the suspects on counts of capital murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape and theft (a fifth was indicted on the federal level).

Of the four charged at the state level, three (Letalvis D. Cobbins, Lemaricus Davidson and George Thomas) had multiple prior felony convictions. After a jury trial, Lemaricus Davidson was sentenced to death by lethal injection and Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Vanessa Coleman has been convicted of facilitating the crimes and sentenced to 53 years in prison, and Eric Dewayne Boyd has been convicted of federal charges as accessory after the fact to carjacking and sentenced to 18 years in prison. The state convictions had been set aside because of misconduct by the presiding judge, who has since been disbarred; retrial (pending appeals in all except the Coleman case, whose retrial is not being contested) had slated for the summer and fall of 2012, until in May 2012 the Tennessee Supreme Court vacated the motion for new trials.

Charges

  • George Geovonni “Detroit” Thomas (b. January 23, 1983), 24, who faced a total of 46 charges. Thomas was indicted on 16 counts of felony murder growing out of the rape, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom, 2 counts of premeditated murder, 2 counts of especially aggravated robbery, 4 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape, and 2 counts of theft.
  • Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins (b. December 20, 1982), 28, who faced the same 46 charges as Thomas. He has also been charged with assaulting a correctional officer while incarcerated pending trial. In 2003, Cobbins was convicted of third-degree attempted robbery in New York state. He and Davidson are brothers. Cobbins was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
  • Lemaricus Devall “Slim” Davidson (b. June 13, 1981), 30, who faced the same 46 charges as Thomas. Previously Davidson had just completed a five-year sentence in Tennessee on a previous felony conviction for carjacking and aggravated robbery on August 5, 2006. Davidson was sentenced to death.
  • Vanessa Coleman (b. June 29, 1988), 18, who was arrested by the Lebanon Police Department in Lebanon, Kentucky. She faced 40 Tennessee state charges. Coleman was indicted on 12 counts of felony murder growing out of the rape, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom, 1 count of premeditated murder (of Christian only), 1 count of especially aggravated robbery (of Newsom only), 4 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape, and 2 counts of theft. She was convicted and sentenced to 53 years in prison on July 30, 2010. She described her time in Knoxville as “an adventure.”
  • In each indictment, the large number of rape counts were included to provide a range of options for prosecutors, not to reflect the number of rapes which actually occurred.

    • Eric DeWayne “E” Boyd, 34, was arrested in connection with the fatal carjacking, though not indicted by the Knox County grand jury. Boyd faced federal charges in United States district court as an accessory after the fact for helping the suspects evade the police. Later, Boyd was also accused by Thomas and Cobbins of rape and murder, and a search warrant was obtained for his DNA. The accusations by Thomas and Cobbins did not result in state charges against Boyd, but he is serving 18 years in federal prison on his conviction as an accessory to the carjacking.

The couples grave stones

Click here for a more detailed description of this murder by Crime Library

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Sylvia Marie Likens (January 3, 1949 – October 26, 1965) was an American murder victim from Indiana. She was tortured to death by Gertrude Banszewski (née Van Fossan), Gertrude’s children, and other young people from their neighborhood. Her parents, who were carnies, had left Likens and her sister Jenny in the care of the Baniszewski family three months before her death in exchange for $20 a week. Baniszewski, two of her children, Paula and John, and two neighborhood youths, Coy Hubbard and Richard Hobbs, were charged and convicted of the crime. Her torture and murder were described by the prosecutor in Baniszewski’s trial as “the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indian

Sylvia Marie Likens
Born (1949-01-03)January 3, 1949 Lebanon, Indiana, USA
Died October 26, 1965(1965-10-26) (aged 16) Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Sylvia Likens was the third child of carnival workers Betty and Lester Likens. She was born between two sets of fraternal twins, Diana and Danny (two years older), and Jenny (who was disabled by polio) and Benny (one year younger). The Likens’ marriage was unstable and the family moved many times. Sylvia was often boarded out or forced to live with relatives while her parents were working.

Sylvia baby-sat and did ironing; these were, coincidentally, the same jobs Gertrude Baniszewski held. Sylvia’s favorite rock group was The Beatles. During her early time with the Baniszewski family, she would sing back and forth with Stephanie Baniszewski, one of Gertrude’s daughters.

Sylvia and Jenny had known no fewer than 14 addresses because the family moved so frequently. In the past, they had been left at a grandmother’s house or boarded out when their parents were traveling with a carnival, in hopes that the girls’ education would not suffer.

In 1965, Sylvia and her sister Jenny, were living with their mother in Indianapolis, Indiana when Betty was arrested and jailed for shoplifting. Lester Likens, who had recently separated from his wife, arranged for his daughters to board with Gertrude Baniszewski, the mother of Paula, a girl with whom the Likens girls had recently become acquainted. Although Gertrude and her seven children were poor, Lester, as he reported at the trial, “didn’t pry” into the condition of the house, and encouraged Baniszewski to “straighten his daughters out”. He agreed to pay her twenty dollars a week.

Baniszewski, described by The Indianapolis Star as a “haggard, underweight asthmatic suffering from depression and the stress of several failed marriages, began taking her anger out on the Likens girls, beating them with paddles, after payments from their parents failed to arrive on time.

Soon, Baniszewski focused her abuse on Sylvia, accusing her of stealing candy that she had bought from a grocery store, and humiliating her when she admitted that she had once had a boyfriend. Paula Baniszewski, who actually was pregnant at the time, kicked Likens in the genitals and accused her of being pregnant, although medical examination proved that Sylvia was not and could not have been.

Likens was later accused of spreading rumors through Arsenal Technical High School that Stephanie and Paula were prostitutes. That supposedly provoked Stephanie’s boyfriend, Coy Hubbard, to physically attack Likens. Mrs. Baniszewski encouraged Hubbard and other neighborhood children to torment Likens, including, among other things, putting cigarettes out on her skin and forcing her to remove her clothes and insert a glass Coca-Cola bottle into her vagina on at least two occasions.

After beating Sylvia in an effort to force her to confess to stealing a gym suit from school, which Baniszewski would not buy for her (and without which she was unable to attend gym class), Baniszewski kept her out of school and did not allow her to leave the house. Likens would urinate in her bed because the beatings were so severe that her impulse control was weak, and because she was locked in the cellar and forbidden to use the toilet. Gertrude was force the battered teen to consume her own feces and urine.

Shortly before Sylvia died, Baniszewski began to carve the words “I’m a prostitute and proud of it!” into Sylvia’s stomach with a heated needle, although Richard Hobbs finished the carving when Baniszewski was unable to do so. Hobbs, with the help of 10-year old Shirley Baniszewski, also used a heated eye bolt to burn the number “3” into Sylvia’s chest.

Likens attempted to escape a few days before her death after overhearing Baniszewski’s plan to have her dumped in a wooded area nearby, but was caught by Baniszewski as she reached the front door. As punishment, she was tied in the basement and given only crackers to eat. On October 26, 1965, after multiple beatings, burnings, and scalding baths, she died of a brain hemorrhage, shock and malnutrition.

When Stephanie Baniszewski and Richard Hobbs realized that Sylvia was not breathing, Stephanie attempted to give Sylvia mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before realizing that it was hopeless and that Sylvia was dead.

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Murder of Shanda Renee Sharer

Shanda Sharer
 Shanda Sharer
Born (1979-06-06)June 6, 1979 Pineville, Kentucky, USA
Died January 11, 1992(1992-01-11) (aged 12) Madison, Indiana, USA
Parents Steve Sharer and Jacque Vaught

The murder of Shanda Renee Sharer (June 6, 1979 – January 11, 1992) involved a 12-year-old girl who was tortured and burned to death in Madison, Indiana by four teenage girls. The incident attracted nationwide attention.

Events prior to murder – In 1990, Melinda Loveless met and began dating Amanda Heavrin. After her father left and her mother remarried, Loveless was erratic, depressed, in counseling, and fighting at school. In March 1991, Loveless came out of the closet to her mother, who was initially furious but eventually accepted it. In the fall of 1990, Loveless’s relationship with Heavrin deteriorated, and Loveless came to associate this deterioration with Shanda Sharer.

Heavrin and Sharer met early in the school year when they got into a fight; however, they became friends while in detention for the altercation. Loveless immediately became jealous of Heavrin and Sharer’s relationship. In early October, Sharer and Heavrin attended a school dance where Loveless found them and confronted them. Although Heavrin and Loveless never formally ended their involvement, Loveless began dating an older girl.

Loveless became increasingly jealous when Heavrin and Sharer went to a festival together in late October, and she began to discuss killing Sharer and threatened Sharer in public. Concerned about their daughter’s relationship with Heavrin, Sharer’s parents arranged for her to transfer to a Catholic school in late November, and the girls started drifting apart in December. Loveless and Heavrin never reformed their relationship.

Pre-abduction – On January 10, Toni Lawrence, Hope Rippey, and Laurie Tackett drove in Tackett’s car from Madison, Indiana to Melinda Loveless’ house in New Albany. Rippey and Lawrence, while friends of Tackett, had not yet met Loveless; however, upon arrival they borrowed some clothes from Loveless, and she showed them a knife and told them she was going to scare Shanda Sharer with it. None of the girls except for Loveless had ever met Sharer, although Tackett already knew of the plan to intimidate the 12-year-old girl. Loveless explained to the two other girls that she disliked Sharer for being a copycat and for stealing her girlfriend.

Tackett let Rippey drive them to Sharer’s house in Jeffersonville, Indiana, stopping at a McDonald’s restaurant for directions. They arrived at Sharer’s house shortly before dark, and Loveless instructed Rippey and Lawrence to go to the door, introduce themselves as friends of Heavrin, and invite Sharer to come with them to see her girlfriend, who was waiting for them at a place called “The Witch’s Castle”. Sharer said that she could not go because her parents were awake, and told the girls to come back around midnight.

Loveless was angry at first, but Rippey and Lawrence assured her that they could return for Sharer later. The four girls crossed the river to Louisville and went to a punk rock concert at the Audubon Skate Park near Interstate 65. Lawrence and Rippey quickly lost interest in the music and went to the parking lot outside the skate park where they engaged in sexual activities with two boys in Tackett’s car.

Eventually the girls left for Sharer’s house. During the ride, Loveless said that she could not wait to kill Sharer; however, Loveless also said that she found Sharer attractive and would like to have sex with her and that she just intended to use the knife to frighten her. When they arrived at Sharer’s house at 12:30a.m., Lawrence refused to retrieve Sharer, so Tackett and Rippey went. Loveless, who had previously harassed Sharer many times, hid under a blanket in the back seat of the car with a dull knife

Abduction

Sharer was waiting for Tackett and Rippey. Rippey told her that Heavrin was waiting at the Witch’s Castle. Sharer was reluctant yet agreed after changing her clothes. Loveless was in the back seat hiding under a blanket with the knife. She put the knife to Sharer’s throat as they got in the car and drove towards Utica, Indiana and the Witch’s Castle. The Witch’s Castle was a ruined stone house, also known as Mistletoe Falls, located on an isolated hill overlooking the Ohio River. It was an occasional hangout for local teenagers. Tackett told the girls that legend said the house was once owned by nine witches, and townspeople burned the house to get rid of the witches.

At the Witch’s Castle, they took Sharer in and bound her arms and legs with rope. Sharer started to cry, and the girls were scared by the headlights of passing cars, so they left for a place near Tackett’s house, stopping for gas, then getting lost for a while before finally making their way to Madison, Indiana.

Torture

Tackett led them to a garbage dump off a logging road in a densely forested area. Lawrence and Rippey were frightened and stayed in the car as Loveless and Tackett made Sharer strip, then Loveless beat Sharer with her fists. Loveless then repeatedly slammed Sharer’s face into her knee, cutting Sharer’s mouth on her own braces. Loveless then tried to slash Sharer’s throat but the knife was too dull, and Rippey came out of the car to hold Sharer down. Loveless and Tackett took turns stabbing Sharer in the chest; they then strangled Sharer with a rope until she was unconscious, placed her in the trunk, and told the other two girls that Sharer was dead.

They went to Tackett’s nearby home and went inside to drink soda and clean themselves. They realized Sharer was screaming in the trunk, so Tackett went out with a paring knife and stabbed her several more times, coming in a few minutes later covered in blood. After she washed, Tackett got her “runestones” and told the girls’ futures with them. Lawrence and Rippey stayed behind as Tackett and Loveless went “country cruising” at 2:30, driving to the nearby town of Canaan. Sharer continued making crying and gurgling noises, so Tackett stopped the car; Sharer sat up, covered in blood and her eyes rolled in the back of her head, but was unable to speak; Tackett then beat her with a tire iron until she was silent.

They returned to Tackett’s house just before daybreak to clean up again. Rippey asked about what had happened to Sharer, and Tackett laughingly told them about the torture. The conversation woke up Tackett’s mother, who yelled at her daughter for being out so late and bringing home the girls, so Laurie agreed to take them home. She drove to the burn pile near Tackett’s house and showed the other girls Sharer. Lawrence refused to look, and Rippey sprayed Sharer with Windex and taunted “You’re not looking so hot now, are you?”

Burned alive

Memorial to Sharer at the location where she died.

The girls drove to a gas station near Madison Consolidated High School, pumped some gas into the car and bought a two-liter bottle of Pepsi. Tackett emptied the bottle and refilled it with gasoline. They drove north of Madison, past Jefferson Proving Ground to a place with which Rippey was familiar off US 421 on what was called Lemon Road. They placed Sharer, still alive, in a blanket and carried her into a field by the gravel country road. Tackett made Rippey pour the gasoline on her, and then they set her on fire. Loveless was not convinced Sharer was dead, so they returned a few minutes later to pour the rest of the gasoline on her.

The girls went to a McDonald’s at 9:30 am for breakfast. The girls laughed about Sharer looking like one of the sausages they were eating. Lawrence, horrified, called a friend and told her about the murder. Tackett then dropped Lawrence and Rippey off at their homes and returned home with Loveless. They cleaned out the car, using a hose to wash the trunk. They then drove to Loveless’ house around 3:00 pm. Loveless found out Heavrin was at River Falls Mall and had her paged, claiming an emergency, then told her that they had killed Sharer and arranged to pick Heavrin up later that day.

Loveless’s friend, Crystal Wathen, came over, and they told her about what had happened. Then the three girls drove to pick up Heavrin and bring her back to Loveless’s house, where they told Heavrin the story; while she did not believe it was true, she comforted the hysterical Loveless. Both Heavrin and Wathen were convinced when Tackett showed them the trunk with Sharer’s bloody handprints and socks still there.

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Murder of James Bulger

James Bulger
Born James Patrick Bulger (1990-03-16)16 March 1990 Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Died 12 February 1993(1993-02-12) (aged 2) Liverpool, England
Cause of death Beating
Residence Kirkby, Merseyside, England (Liverpool)
Nationality British
Ethnicity White British
Known for Murder victim
Crime CCTV evidence from the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle taken on 12 February 1993 showed Thompson and Venables casually observing children, apparently selecting a target. The boys were playing truant from school, which they did regularly. Throughout the day, Thompson and Venables were seen stealing various items including sweets, a troll doll, some batteries and a can of blue paint, some of which were later found at the murder scene. It was later revealed by one of the boys that they were planning to find a child to abduct, lead him to the busy road alongside the mall, and push him into the path of oncoming traffic.That same afternoon, James Bulger (often called “Jamie” by the press, although never by his family), from nearby Kirkby, went with his mother Denise to the New Strand Shopping Centre. While inside the A.R. Tym’s butcher shop at around 3:40 pm, Denise, who had been momentarily distracted, realised that her son had disappeared. He had been wandering by the open door of the shop while she placed an order, and was spotted by Thompson and Venables. They approached him and spoke to him, before taking him by the hand and leading him out of the precinct.This moment was captured on a CCTV camera recording timestamped at 15:42.The boys took Bulger on a meandering 2.5-mile (4.0 km) walk across Liverpool to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where he was dropped on his head and suffered injuries to his face. The boys joked about pushing Bulger into the canal. During the walk across Liverpool, the boys were seen by 38 people. Bulger had a bump on his forehead and was crying, but most bystanders did nothing to intervene, assuming that he was a younger brother.Two people challenged the older boys, but they claimed that Bulger was a younger brother or that he was lost and they were taking him to the local police station. At one point, the boys took Bulger into a pet shop, from which they were ejected. Eventually the boys arrived in the village of Walton, and with Walton Lane police station across the road facing them, they hesitated and led Bulger up a steep bank to a railway line near the disused Walton & Anfield railway station, close to Anfield Cemetery, where they began torturing him.

James Bulger being abducted by Thompson (above Bulger) and Venables (holding Bulger’s hand) in an image recorded on shopping centre CCTV.

At the trial it was established that at this location, one of the boys threw blue Humbrol, modelling paint, which they had shop-lifted earlier, into Bulger’s left eye. They kicked and stomped on him, and threw bricks and stones at him. Batteries were placed in Bulger’s mouth. Police believed some batteries may have been inserted into his anus, although none were found there. Finally, a 22-pound (10.0 kg) iron bar, described in court as a railway fishplate, was dropped on him. Bulger suffered ten skull fractures as a result of the iron bar striking his head. Dr. Alan Williams, the case’s pathologist, stated that Bulger suffered so many injuries—42 in total—that none could be isolated as the fatal blow.

Police suspected that there was a sexual element to the crime, since Bulger’s shoes, stockings, trousers and underpants had been removed. The pathologist’s report read out in court stated that Bulger’s foreskin had been forcibly retracted. When questioned about this aspect of the attack by detectives and the child psychiatrist, Dr. Eileen Vizard, Thompson and Venables were reluctant to give details; they also vehemently denied inserting some of the batteries into Bulger’s anus.] At his eventual parole, Venables’ psychiatrist until he was aged 21, Dr. Susan Bailey, reported that “visiting and revisiting the issue with Jon as a child, and now as an adolescent, he gives no account of any sexual element to the offence.”

Before they left him, the boys laid Bulger across the railway tracks and weighted his head down with rubble, in the hope that a train would hit him and make his death appear to be an accident. After Bulger’s killers left the scene, his body was cut in half by a train. Bulger’s severed body was discovered two days later, on 14 February. A forensic pathologist testified that he had died before he was struck by the train.

The police quickly found low-resolution video images of Bulger’s abduction from the New Strand Shopping Centre by two unidentified boys. As the circumstances surrounding the death became clear, tabloid newspapers denounced the people who had seen Bulger but had not intervened to aid Bulger as he was being taken through the city, as the “Liverpool 38”. The railway embankment upon which his body had been discovered was flooded with hundreds of bunches of flowers.

The crime created great anger in Liverpool and throughout the country. The family of one boy who was detained for questioning, but subsequently released, had to flee the city. The breakthrough came when a woman, on seeing slightly enhanced images of the two boys on national television, recognised Venables, who, she knew, had played truant with Thompson that day. She contacted police and the boys were arrested

 Both child killers were released from prison when they became adults and their identities were protected due to law. They’re now living under different names and are both grown-ups.

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Woman raped, tortured and murder by friend

Brittany-Killgore

Photo of Brittany Dawn Killgore

Brittany Killgore, age 22, from Fallbrook, California was Marine wife of U.S Marine Lance Corporal Cory Killgore, who was deployed in Afghanistan at the time. Brittany had just filed divorce three days before her murder in April, 2012. She was planning on moving back to her parents home in Missouri and had already packed all her belongings. A “friend” told her that he would help her with the move. She accepted the offer.

On April 13th, 2012 Louis Perez, 46, came to her home unexpectedly and told her he wanted to take her out on a surprise dinner-cruise. Brittany knew Louis as a friend and trusted him and willingly went along. Little did she know, she was about to become a victim in his sadistic fantasy.

Louis was angry at Brittany, unbeknownst to her, for refusing to participate in a sex-bondage ‘game’ with him and his two sex-partners, Dorothy Maraglino and Jessica Lynn Lopez, whom he shared a house with. The group was in a master sex-slave ring. Brittany had no idea that the man she trusted was about to forcefully make her a slave in part of his sick act.

Dorothy Maraglino, 36

Suspects: Dorothy Maraglino (above) and Jessica Lynn Lopez (below) were Perez’s roomates and accomplices in the murder

Jessica Lynn Lopez

Perez lured Brittany to his car under the pretense of ”helping her pack”. She willingly got in his vehicle, not thinking that her ”friend” had a secret life that he was about to forcefully expose to her.

She was then brought to his house, kept against her will, tied up, and had duct-tape placed on her mouth to muffle her screams. What happened next was horrific and cruel.

The group violently raped her in what one would call a ‘sadomasochistic torture session’. They used S&M sex-’toys’ including whips and a stun-gun which Police would later find at the house the three resided in. Police also said Brittany’s blood and hair were found on numerous S&M items located in Perez’s home. Also located was a handbook titled ”Sex Rules” which listed some of the sadistic things they do and expect their victim to do.

During the torture session the group also mutilated Brittany, when they were done Jessica Lopez strangled Brittany, fearing she would upend a kinky sex ring by seducing her “Master,” according to the warrants. Lopez wrote in a seven-page letter that she believed Brittany was trying to come between her, Perez and Maraglino. After she was killed, she was then dismembered and the three placed her remains in a Ditch In San Diego, CA.

Articles written back in April made false assumptions claiming Brittany willingly participated in the sex-game, not knowing it would get out of hand. Those rumors are false. Brittany was not into S&M sex and would not take part in such an act.

A San Diego County sheriff’s detective said in one affidavit that the trio may have targeted Brittany for their “unusual sexual fetishes.” Louis Ray Perez and Dorothy Maraglino told authorities they were involved in “master, servant and slave role playing.”

After hearing about the disappearance of his wife, Lance Killgore flew back from Afghanistan. I’m not sure if he knew at the time that Brittany had just filed for divorce three-days prior.

UPDATE ON CASE – Published Aug. 30th, 2012 – Court documents released in death of Marine’s wife murder

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The Torture Murder of Matthew Shepard – A Gay Hate Crime

matthew-shepard

Matthew Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998)

The story of Matthew Shepard began on December 1, 1976 when he was born to Judy and Dennis Shepard in Casper, Wyoming. He went to public school in Casper until his junior year of high school when he moved with his family to Saudi Arabia. Matt had to finish his high school education at The American School in Switzerland because there were no American high schools in Saudi Arabia at the time. In both high schools, he was elected by his peers to be a peer counselor. He was easy to talk to, made friends easily and actively fought for the acceptance of all people. Matt had a great passion for equality. His experiences abroad fueled his love for travel and gave him the chance to make many new friends from around the world. Matt’s college career eventually took him back to Wyoming where he studied political science, foreign relations and languages at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

The horrific events that took place shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998 would become one of the most notorious anti-gay hate crimes in American history and spawned an activist movement that, more than a decade later, would result in passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a federal law against bias crimes directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people.

Two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, went to Fireside lounge to seek out a gay victim. The pretended to be gay men and befriended Matt. Around midnight Matt asked the two young men for a ride home later that night, they agreed. After leaving with them the two abducted him and drove him to a remote area east of Laramie, Wyoming. He was tied to a split-rail fence, robbed, and the two men severely assaulted him, torturing him for hours, with the butt of a pistol and their fists. He was beaten and left to die in the cold of the night. His injuries were so severe that he was left in a coma.

Almost 18 hours later, he was found by a bicyclist who initially mistook him for a scarecrow. Matt died on October 12 at 12:53 a.m. at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado with his family by his side.

According to their court testimony, McKinney and Henderson also discovered his address and intended to steal from his home.

His memorial service was attended by friends and family from around the world and garnered immense media attention that brought Matt’s story to the forefront of the fight against bigotry and hate. The life and death of Matthew Shepard changed the way we talk about, and deal with, hate in America. Since his death, Matt’s legacy has challenged and inspired millions of individuals to erase hate in all its forms. Although Matt’s life was short, his story continues to have a great impact on young and old alike. His legacy lives on in thousands of people who actively fight to replace hate with understanding, compassion, and acceptance.

Matthew’s story as posted above was originally published on a memorial website http://www.matthewshepard.org titled “Our Story”.

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