Texas Set To Put Mentally Retarded Child Killer To Death In Less Than 48 Hours

Too mentally ill to be executed: Attorneys for Jonathan Green argue that he should be spared

Pictured; Jonathan Marcus Green

Jonathan Green, a Texas death-row inmate, will be put to death on Wednesday night and will be the 487th inmate executed in the state since the reinstatement of the death penalty.

On June 21st, 2000, Green kidnapped 12-year old Christina Neal near Lake Conroe, in Montgomery County, TX. He then brought her to his house where he then raped and strangled her to death. He buried her in his yard but eventually dug her up and placed her corpse in his home behind a chair, where it would be found less than one week later by police.

Pictured; Victim, Christina LeAnn Neal

Green was initially suppose to be executed in June, 2010 but had a last minute stay of execution so that appeals courts could evaluate his mental condition and determine whether he is competent to be executed. Green suffers from schizophrenia, and his attorney claims he also is borderline mentally retarded. His attorney also claim’s he didn’t know what he was doing at the time of the kidnapping and murder.

But prosecutors claimed he knew exactly what he was doing and that it was wrong hence the reason he buried her and tried to burn evidence.

It was ruled that he will be executed Wednesday night, October 10th, 2012.

 

Full story on Christina LeAnn Neal’s kidnap, rape and murder:

In June 2000, Victor Neal, who was separated from his wife
Laura, lived in the small community of Dobbin with his three daughters:
sixteen-year-old Victoria, fifteen-year-old Jennifer, and the victim,
twelve-year-old Christina. On the evening of June 21, 2000, Victor and Jennifer
left home to get dinner for the family. Victoria and Christina said that they
would eat when they returned from a friend’s house. The friend, Maria Jimenez,
lived just down the street from the Neal family. After Victor and Jennifer left,
Victoria’s boyfriend (and Maria’s uncle), Manuel Jimenez, came by the house to
pick up the two girls. After driving around for a while, the group went to
Maria’s house where they stood outside talking with Maria and her two brothers,
Martin and Jose. While standing outside by the truck, Victoria and Christina
began arguing. Victoria walked away from the argument and toward Maria’s house,
leaving Christina and Jose outside. Shortly thereafter, Jose told Victoria that
Christina was angry and had left. When Victoria returned home, she discovered
that Christina was not there. The next morning, Victor saw Jennifer and Victoria
sleeping on the couch. He also noticed that the door to the girls’ bedroom was
closed. Assuming Christina was asleep in the bedroom, Victor left for work. When
he got home about 3:00 or 4:00 p.m., Jennifer and Victoria told him that
Christina had never returned home the night before. Victor asked the girls to go
to Maria’s house and tell Christina to come home. They found that Christina was
not at Maria’s house. After learning about the argument between Christina and
Victoria the night before, Victor concluded that Christina had spent the night
at another friend’s house, and the family began searching the neighborhood.
Along the road near the Neal home, Victoria and Maria found Christina’s glasses.
The glasses were “smashed and broken,” but Victoria testified that Christina had
a habit of destroying her glasses when she got mad. Victor stopped looking for
Christina around 11:00 or 11:30 p.m. The next morning, Victor asked his sister,
Tereza Goodwin, to look for Christina while he was at work. Christina had run
away before, so Victor told Tereza to report her as a runaway if she could not
find her. Later that day, having failed to locate Christina, Tereza reported her
missing to a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy. Local law-enforcement officers
then joined the family in searching for Christina. On June 26, the FBI joined
the search. On that same day, Jennifer and her mother found what appeared to be
Christina’s panties at the edge of the woods across from the Neal home. Also
around this time, Victoria found Christina’s bracelet and necklace along a
pathway in the woods. The search continued. On June 28, investigators spoke with
Jonathan Marcus Green, who lived in Dobbin. He said he had no information
concerning Christina’s disappearance, and that he was either at home or at his
neighbor’s house on the night she disappeared. He gave the investigators
permission to search his home and property, with the condition that he be
present. Investigators performed a cursory search of the house and property, but
they noticed nothing significant. A few days later, investigators again asked
Green his whereabouts on the night of Christina’s disappearance. Again, Green
claimed to have been at home or at his neighbor’s house. On July 19, Manuel
Jimenez, who lived on the property behind Green’s, told investigators that Green
had an unusually large fire in his burn pile the day after Christina
disappeared. A few days later, investigators went to Green’s home and asked if
they could search his property again, including his burn pile. Green again
consented, but insisted that he be present during the search. FBI agents Sue
Hillard and Mark Young walked around the burn pile with Green. Young pushed a
metal probe into the ground to vent the soil and check for any disturbances.
When the probe sank three feet into the ground at one location, Young determined
that the ground had been disturbed or dug up in that area; he concluded that the
disturbed section covered a very large area. He also smelled a distinct odor
emanating from the disturbed section of ground which he identified as “some sort
of decaying body.” The investigation team then began to dig up the disturbed
area. Green, who had been cooperative up to that point, became angry and told
the officers to get off his property. The investigative team returned to Green’s
property later that night with a search warrant. They discovered that part of
the burn pile had been excavated, leaving what appeared to be a shallow grave.
They also smelled the “extremely foul, fetid odor” of a “dead body in a decaying
state.” When investigators asked Green what had happened at the burn pile, Green
said that he had dug the pit to show authorities that “there was no dead body in
there.” An officer then arrived with a “cadaver dog,” trained to detect human
remains. As the dog was walking to the burn pile, it alerted to the house. Upon
entering the house, the dog repeatedly went to the side of a recliner that was
wedged into a corner of the room. Agent Hillard looked behind the recliner and
saw “a foot sticking out of the top of [a blue] bag” and what appeared to be
human remains. Before the discovery was announced, Green was overheard to say,
“Those Mexicans are setting me up” and “put a body in my house.” The remains
were identified as Christina’s. The medical examiner, Dr. Joye Carter, concluded
from a ligature mark around Christina’s neck that Christina was strangled. She
also determined that Christina’s arms had been tied behind her back and that
Christina had been sexually assaulted before she died. She testified that the
body had been wrapped in a blanket and placed inside a blue bag. During the
course of the autopsy, various materials were recovered from Christina’s body.
Two black hairs that did not appear to be Christina’s were found in her pubic
area. Based on the way Christina was positioned within the blanket, Carter
determined that the hairs must have been present before her body was wrapped in
the blanket, and could not have been transferred there afterward.
Mitochondrial-DNA testing excluded 99.7% of the African-American population as a
source of the hair. Green, an African-American, could not be excluded from the
remaining 0.3%. Carter also recovered a black cotton cloth from Christina’s
mouth. The cloth was positioned in such a way that Carter determined, to a
medical certainty, that the cloth did not cause Christina’s death. Criminalist
Bradley Mullins from the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab testified
that many of the fibers recovered from Christina’s body matched fiber samples
seized from Green’s property and residence. On the panties that were recovered
near the Neal home five days after Christina had disappeared and nearly a month
before her body was found, Mullins found a fiber that had characteristics
identical to carpet in Green’s residence. 

44 Days Of Hell – The Murder Of Junko Furuta

ripeace

Pictured Left; School photo of Junko Furuta November 22nd, 1972 – January 4th, 1989

44-days-of-hell November 25th, 1988 – January 4th, 1989

TOKYO, JAPAN → Born November 22nd, 1972, Junko Furuta had just celebrated her 17th birthday three days prior. The  Japanese teenager and Junior (grade 11) attended Yashio-Minami High School in Saitama Prefecture in Misato.

On November 25th, 1988, Junko left School and was walking home (although some reports say she was walking to her part-time after school job.) She never made it home.

She was kidnapped by a group of young men, including a 17-year-old who was identified as ‘Jō’ and would be later given the surname Kamisaku. They kept her captive in the house owned by the parents of Kamisaku, in the Ayase district of Adachi, Tokyo.

That was the beginning of her 44 days of torture. She didn’t know her abductors, they had no grudge against her and there was nothing specific that they were after. They attacked her because they could, embarking on weeks of atrocities because they could, and because they wanted to.

To forestall a manhunt, the kidnappers coerced Furuta into calling her mother and telling her that she had run away from home, but was with “a friend” and was not in danger. He also browbeat her into posing as one of the boys’ girlfriends when the parents of the house where she was held were around, but when it became clear that the parents didn’t care either way, he dropped this pretext.

Pictured; Far left: Junko,  three of the unidentified abductors and the home in which Junko was taken to and raped and tortured for 44-days. The same home she will eventually die alone in.

DAY 1: November 22, 1988: Kidnapped
Kept captive in house, and posed as one of boy’s girlfriend
Raped (over 400 times in total)
Forced to call her parents and tell them she had run away
Starved and malnutrition
Fed cockroaches to eat and urine to drink
Forced to masturbate
Forced to strip in front of others
Burned with cigarette lighters and set off fireworks in her ears, mouth, vagina
Foreign objects inserted into her vagina/anus including a still lit light-bulb
DAY 11: December 1, 1988: Severely beat up countless times
Face held against concrete ground and jumped on
Hands tied to ceiling and body used as a punching bag  until her damaged internal organs made blood run from her mouth
Nose filled with so much blood that she can only breath through her mouth
Dumbbells dropped onto her stomach
Vomited when tried to drink water (her stomach couldn’t accept it)
Tried to escape and punished by cigarette burning on arms
Flammable liquid poured on her feet and legs, then lit on fire
Bottle inserted into her anus, causing injury
DAY 20: December10, 1988: Unable to walk properly due to severe leg burns
Beat with bamboo sticks
Fireworks inserted into anus and lit
Hands smashed by weights and fingernails kracked
Beaten with golf club
Cigarettes inserted into vagina and forced to drink her own urine as they laughed
Beaten with iron rods repeatedly
Winter; forced outside to sleep in balcony
Skewers of grilled chicken inserted into her vagina and anus, causing bleeding.

And yet she’d almost escaped. One time she reached the telephone—but one of the boys caught her just in time and ended the call for help. They punished her by taunting her with a candle flame and finally dousing her legs in lighter fluid and set her on fire, as punishment for trying to run away. She went into convulsions; the boys would later say that they thought she was faking the seizure. They set her on fire again, then put it out. She survived this round.

DAY 30: Hot wax dripped onto face
Eyelids burned by cigarette lighter
Stabbed with sewing needles in chest area
Left nipple cut and destroyed with pliers
Hot light bulb inserted into her vagina
Heavy bleeding from vagina due to scissors insertion
Unable to urinate properly
Injuries were so severe that it took over an hour for her to crawl downstairs and use the bathroom
Eardrums severely damaged
Extreme reduced brain size
.
DAY 40: Begged her tortures to “kill her and get it over with”
January 1, 1989: Junko greets the New Years Day alone
Body mutilated
Unable to move from the ground
.
DAY 44: January 4, 1989: The four boys beat her mutilated body with an iron barbell, using a loss at the game of Mah-jongg as a pretext. She is profusely bleeding from her mouth and nose. They put a candle’s flame to her face and eyes.
Then, lighter fluid was poured onto her legs, arms, face and stomach, and then lit on fire. This final torture lasted for a time of two hours. Junko Furuta died later that day, in pain and alone. Nothing could compare 44 days of suffering she had to go through.
Less than 24-hours later, on January 5th, 1988, the killers hid Junko’s body in a 55-gallon drum, then filled it with concrete; they disposed the drum in a tract of reclaimed land in Kōtō,Tokyo.
When her mother heard the news and details of what happened to her daughter, she passed-out. She had to undergo a psychiatric outpatient treatment.
According to their statements at their trial, the four of them raped her, beat her, introduced foreign objects including an iron rod into her vagina, made her drink her own urine and was fed cockroaches, inserted fireworks into her anus, and set them off, forced Furuta to masturbate, cut her nipple with pliers, dropped dumbbells onto her stomach, and burned her with cigarettes and lighters. (One of the burnings was punishment for attempting to call the police.)At one point her injuries were so severe that according to one of the boys it took more than an hour for her to crawl downstairs to use the bathroom. They also related that “possibly a hundred different people” knew that Furuta had been imprisoned there, but it is not clear if this means they visited the house at different times while she was imprisoned there, or themselves either raped or abused her.When the boys refused to let her leave, she begged them on several occasions to “kill (her) and get it over with“.
 Three of the boys identities were sealed by the court because of their age, even though they were tried as adults. They pled guilty to a reduced charge of “committing bodily injury that resulted in death”, instead of the original charge of murder. Jo Kamisaku was released in August 1999, and nearly 5 years later he was arrested and served 7 years for assualting a jealous love-rival and according to others who know him and spent time in prison with him, he had been bragging about what he had done to Furuta.

By 2004, Kamisaku, who was already released from prison for Junko’s horrific murder,  had allegedly renewed his contacts with the underworld, and was in trouble with the law again.

He was arrested for assaulting a 27-year-old acquaintance, Takatoshi Isono. Upset that a woman in his life might be involved with Isono, Kamisaku tracked the man down, beat him, shoved him in his trunk, drove him from Adachi to his mother’s bar in Misato, Furuta’s hometown, and continued to beat him. During the four-hour beating, Kamisaku allegedly threatened to kill the man, telling him that he’d killed before and knew how to get away with it.

During his trial Kamisaku admitted to the assault, but he denied that he’d referred to any previous murder or had threatened Isono.

Prosecutors wanted Kamisaku to spend another 7 years in prison. They got a conviction and the sentence they wanted.

Kamisaku has since been released again.

You can visit a memorial site dedicated to Junko Furuta by clicking the link provided: http://junko-furuta.gonetoosoon.org/
Information was gathered from various sites and I rechecked information to make sure story was as accurate as possible. Some of the photo’s are taken from a movie ”Concrete” which is about Junko Furuta’s 44-days of hell. Character playing the role of Junko is shown in the movie-still above.

The Murder Of Riley Ann Fox

Riley Fox Murdered

Photo of Riley & Tyler Fox standing next to a scar-crow

In the summer of 2004, a little girl named Riley Fox was abducted and murdered in the small town of Wilmington, Illinois., about 60 miles southwest of Chicago. It was a gruesome crime that rocked the Rust Belt community and remains a mystery to this day. But more than just a tragedy and a ‘whodunit’, the Riley Fox case is the story of her family’s strange, overwhelming ordeal — a nightmare in which Riley’s death was only the first excruciating episode.

On the morning of June 6, 2004, Kevin Fox was home alone with his two children, 3-year-old daughter Riley and son Tyler, 6. His wife Melissa was away that weekend for a walk to raise breast cancer awareness in Chicago.   Just before 8 a.m., Kevin was at a Street Fair til late night and went to pick up Tyler and Riley who were being watched by their Grandparents. He got home and layed then down in the living-room and went to bed. Sometime in the early morning hours Tyler woke up, he noticed Riley wasn’t there and woke Kevin (”Dad”) and told him that Riley was gone. Kevin began searching for her himself, but after 40 minutes with no luck he called the police.

By the time Melissa found out and rushed home from Chicago, nearly the entire town was helping search for the little girl. The turnout was a testament to just how close the community is.   “Everybody was so supportive. I mean, I still, I can’t thank everyone enough … It was really unbelievable,” Melissa said.   Kevin and Melissa Fox grew up in Wilmington and were high-school sweethearts. Kevin, a painter, doted on his precious daughter, saying she had “big brown eyes, the way she would look at you, and her smile. She just made your heart melt.”   ‘I Was Definitely Not Wasted’

Riley Fox was definitely described as a ”daddy’s girl,” as evident by this photo

The sequence of events on the night of Riley’s disappearance would prove crucial to the case. While Melissa was in Chicago, Kevin made plans to go to a street festival in Chicago with one of Melissa’s brothers, leaving Tyler and Riley with his mother-in-law for the evening. How big an issue was alcohol that night? “It wasn’t a big issue at all,” says Kevin. “I had some beers. I was definitely not wasted.”

Around 1 a.m., Kevin returned home with the children, who were both fast asleep. He put Tyler on a chair in the living room and Riley on a couch, covering her with a yellow blanket. He went to bed and slept until Tyler woke him to tell him Riley was gone.

At around 3:30 that afternoon, two female volunteers found Riley’s body face-down in a creek in the Forsythe Woods, about a two-and-a-half miles from the Fox residence.   “I just had this really bad feeling about this place,” one of them said. “And that’s why I came here.”

CRIME SCENE: Riley Ann’s little body was discovered at this creek by two volunteers who set out to search for the missing child

The police were called, but it would be some time before Kevin and Melissa would learn of their daughter’s grisly death. They were first brought in for questioning. Later that day, they were told that Riley had been sexually assaulted, bound and gagged with duct tape and drowned.   Through their sadness, the family resolved to find the killer.

An Intruder? Or Foul Play? 

Because Riley’s body was found outside of Wilmington, the investigation was taken over by the Will County Sheriff’s Office. And as is typical in cases like this, Riley’s parents and the rest of the family all agreed to be questioned and provide DNA samples. Kevin and Melissa even allowed investigators to interview Tyler, who police hoped could offer clues because he was asleep next to Riley before she vanished. From the beginning, the Foxes believed an intruder came into their house and kidnapped Riley.

But investigators didn’t think the house showed signs of forced entry, and, more importantly, they figured it would take a great deal of planning or luck for the killer to sneak into the house and snatch Riley during the few hours when her father was asleep and her mother wasn’t home.

They also wondered why Kevin waited 40 minutes after realizing his daughter was missing before calling the police.  Kevin said when he was growing up he learned that the only time to call 911 is, “if there is a fire … I never … I never thought my daughter was kidnapped.  Never, never in a thousand years,” he said.

While they spent time canvassing the neighborhood and interviewing local sex offenders, the Will County Sheriff’s detectives grew more interested in Kevin, the last known adult to see Riley alive.

They shot surveillance footage of him at Riley’s funeral, and they took special interest in a security video from a gas station located between the Fox home and the creek where she was found. Investigators believed it showed a car similar to Kevin Fox’s Ford Escape passing the station around the time of the murder.

The summer progressed with no named suspects, and public support for the family waned after a TV report portrayed the parents as indifferent to the death of their little girl. Rumors started swirling.

The Foxes sensed the community was turning, but Melissa never questioned her husband’s involvement. “I know Kevin way too well and watched him be a parent to our children every day,” she said.

The Interrogation

There was another dynamic at play. As the State’s Attorney Jeff Tomczak was dealing with pressure to solve the case, he was also fighting for his political life, with Election Day was approaching.

A week before the election, Will County detectives called the Foxes and asked them to come to the station. After arriving, they were immediately separated.

Kevin was taken into a very small room and interrogated for the next 14 hours.  According to Kevin’s account, detectives told him they had reason to believe that he had killed Riley.

“They broke me down mentally, physically, emotionally… but I stayed strong.  I knew… I, I denied everything, everything that they would say to me,” he said.

Kevin said the investigators told him to take a polygraph test, and he agreed, confident he’d pass. But afterwards, detectives told him he had failed. Finally, Kevin broke, offering a statement admitting he killed Riley.

According to the investigators, Kevin said he woke up in the middle of the night went to the bathroom, where he accidentally hit Riley with the door, causing her to stumble and hit her head on the bathtub. Thinking he’d accidentally killed her, he panicked and supposedly did something to make it look like she was sexually assaulted. Investigators said he put duct tape over Riley’s mouth, drove her in his car to the river and walked down the side of a small bridge and dumped her into the river. Hours after making that statement, Kevin Fox was charged with first degree murder.

Seeking the Death Penalty

The next day, Tomczak announced he would be seeking the death penalty. “The young child in this case died a terrible death,” Tomczak announced at the time, “And for that reason, the penalty deserves to be death.”

Hal Dardick, who covered the Fox case for the Chicago Tribune, noted that the decision to seek the death penalty is usually reached over weeks or months, not days. But Tomczak has consistently denied that his decision was motivated by the impending election, which he ultimately lost to Jim Glasgow.

Kevin insisted to his family that his confession was false and that after 14 hours, he believed it was his only way out of that room. “Say you were trapped in a, a burning room, and there was only one door, and the fire was just flaming around you,” he said. “It was my only way out.”

Click here to watch a reenactment of the interrogation.

Attorney Kathleen Zellner, who built a reputation for freeing the wrongly accused with DNA evidence, believed him. After a single meeting with Kevin at the Will County jail, Zellner agreed to take his case.

“I decided a long time ago, I did not want to defend people who I thought were guilty,” she said. “Just looking at him and listening to him, I decided I was going to take a chance with him.”

False Confession?

Zellner  says she was persuaded because Kevin had no history of child abuse, and she believed his confession was coerced. “It fit perfectly. It was a classic case of false confession,” said Zellner.

Fox Family Photo

Photo of Riley Ann as a flower-girl at a wedding ceremony

Zellner said the trauma of Riley’s daughter made Kevin vulnerable to what she calls psychological manipulation by interrogators.  Kevin said the detectives showed him pictures of Riley’s dead body and refused to let him speak to his father or a lawyer and made graphic threats. Kevin said that the investigators would “have me raped every day I was in there if I didn’t say anything.”

Police said Kevin’s account of the interrogation was exaggerated and inaccurate, and pointed out that he had failed the polygraph test. But Fred Hunter, who has years of experience working for both Zellner and Will County authorities, offered another explanation.

“It is pretty much polygraph 101 that you would not to test a subject who had been interrogated for hours. The validity of any test results after that are going to be tainted,” Hunter said.

Zellner said she found the confession itself suspicious. She said that on many fronts, the details he gave were, “an absolutely impossible story.” If Kevin had really accidentally hurt his daughter inside the home, then why didn’t he take her to a hospital or simply call an ambulance? And if he drove off with the little girl, then why was no forensic evidence found inside the car?

And lastly, Zellner had serious questions about the steep embankment Kevin allegedly walked to the water’s edge.

“I mean, the chances he could have come down that side are pretty remote,” Zellner said., adding that the current at that point in the river was too weak to carry Riley’s body.

She conducted her own test at the creek and said it proved a body dropped at that site couldn’t have drifted to the location where Riley’s body was discovered.

Zellner also cast a critical eye on the fuzzy surveillance video of the car seen passing the gas station on the night of Riley’s murder. She carefully analyzed the video and said, “The wheel base is shorter.  The angle of the windshield is different.  You would have to have the license plate or a very clear picture of his face to ever have that hold up in court.”

DNA Testing

Despite all of that, Zellner was still concerned about swaying jurors from Kevin’s confession. “The only way you can trump a confession is with DNA. You’ve got to have DNA,” Zellner said.

Because Riley’s body was in the water for hours, it was much harder to retrieve a DNA profile.  Zellner feared that she’d been robbed of the silver bullet which had worked for her so often in the past. “I thought it would take miracle for us to find DNA,” she said.  And she was right. The tests came back negative for blood and semen.

Click here to read the Illinois State Crime Lab Report.

For saliva, the test read “inconclusive.” Dr. Karl Reich, who runs a private Chicago-area lab called Independent Forensics, told Zellner the word “inconclusive” was actually a cause for hope.

“Inconclusive” simply means it hasn’t been read, and Reich said one reason for that could be that the state lab’s equipment might not have been sophisticated enough to pick up on what little DNA was there.

“Another testing, called Y-STR testing, could certainly be possible and might in fact be the right kind of testing for this case,” Reich said.

Y-STR testing analyzes the Y-chromosome, which is nearly identical in males of the same lineage and can be tested in small amounts.  Though that partial profile may not be enough to fully identify a criminal, it is enough there to eliminate a suspect with 100 percent certainty.

“It’s a well-established technique,” said Reich. But though it was valid in court, neither the state of Illinois nor the FBI was using it at the time.  So Zellner convinced the Will County prosecutor to send the samples to a respected lab in Virginia.

But she told Kevin the chances of gleaning anything from such a small sample were slim. It would take months to get her answer.  Bureaucracy held up the DNA samples and as the family waited, Melissa struggled to keep it together. “It was a nightmare, but I knew the only thing I could do was support Kevin, stay strong for Tyler,” she said.

Charges Dropped

Finally, on June 16, 2005, after eight months in jail, Kevin learned the results of the DNA test.

Riley Fox Murdered

Zellner remembers that phone call from Virginia:  “I pick up the phone and she said, I’ve got the profile done. There was enough DNA, I’ve excluded your client. I said, ‘well, you just saved somebody’s life.'”

She raced to the Will County jail to tell Kevin.  The accused father was stunned. “It hit me that, that I was going home and, and my name would finally be cleared,” he said.

With the case against Kevin collapsing, the new Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow held an immediate court hearing. Kevin Fox, who could have faced the death penalty, was released with all charges dropped.

But the case that had shattered the Wilmington community was far from over.  Zellner switched from defense to offense, pursuing a massive lawsuit on behalf of the Foxes against Will County.  The Fox family claimed that the investigators didn’t simply make innocent mistakes which led to Kevin’s arrest.  They were out to convict him from the beginning.

That DNA had been sent to the FBI, which is often the case when DNA samples need further testing that state crime labs aren’t equipped for.  But in this case, FBI records showed that “all additional DNA analyses were discontinued” once Kevin offered that confession. The FBI stated that a Will County investigator told them to stop, despite the “inconclusive” finding.

“It’s the one piece of evidence that could disprove the confession?..that could have set him free,” Zellner said.

Click here to read the FBI DNA Lab Report.

The police, Zellner argued, deliberately ignored evidence suggesting that an intruder was in the house. She said that there are numerous parts of the house they never bothered to check, including the back door, which was standing open.

“We know what’s how the intruder came in because the lock was broken,” she says. Zellner also claimed one of the windows was open from the inside, potential evidence of an intruder looking for an exit route.  None of this was ever fingerprinted, nor was the blanket used to cover Riley that night.

Jury Awards Millions to Fox Family

Professor Ann Burgess of Boston College, who was worked with the FBI profiling killers, testified on behalf of the Foxes that cases involving intruders are not as rare as many think. “There are  many cases where an intruder comes in and takes a child, Elizabeth Smart, absolutely, perfect case.”

In fact, just this summer, DNA analysis from the same lab that cleared Kevin Fox definitively cleared Patsy and John Ramsey in the notorious murder of their daughter, Jon Benet.  In the Ramsey case, the detectives once discounted the intruder theory as well. A lead investigator even wrote a book arguing that Jon Benet’s death was an accident quickly staged to look like a murder. Zellner thinks that’s what inspired investigators in the Fox case to adopt their own accident theory.

To convince the jury, Zellner turned back to the interrogation of 6-year-old Tyler Fox. She said the tape of the interrogation reveals how badly the police wanted Tyler to point the finger at his own father. Tyler can be seen covering his head with his hoodie and becoming more and more upset in the video as the interviewer questions him about Kevin’s possible involvement in the crime. According the Zellner, she counted 168 times that he’s asked and he shook his head, no.

“He’s trying to tell her he doesn’t know anything and she just won’t stop,” Zellner said of the interviewer. “I think what you see in that is just purely evil. They take this child who’s in this horrible situation and they are trying to manipulate him to help them frame his father. It is despicable.”

The interviewer on the tape settled with the Foxes out-of-court and denied any wrongdoing.  But the Will County detectives went to trial. After five weeks of testimony, a jury awarded Kevin Fox and his wife Melissa $15.5 million in their civil rights case against Will County. “We want people to know the truth.  We are not bad people; we never were,” Melissa said.

Though the jury rejected the most serious charge of conspiracy, for Kathleen Zellner, the huge judgment is an extraordinary victory for the wrongfully accused.  “I’ve won a lot of big trials,” she said. “I have not done a trial where I have felt that I so exposed people as lying.”

The Foxes’ Private Investigation

ABC News’ David Muir attempted to talk about the case with Jeff Tomczak, the first prosecutor and former state’s attorney who originally charged Kevin Fox with murder. Tomczak negotiated a resolution with the Foxes before the case went to trial.  He has denied any wrongdoing and told Muir, ” I stand by the decisions in that case.”

Will County authorities are appealing the massive verdict. The detectives declined comment, but in a written statement, current State’s Attorney Glasgow said he “continues to stand behind the detectives.  The facts and circumstances would have led any prudent investigator to determine they had probable cause to arrest Kevin Fox.”

Click here to read a statement from State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow about the case.

Glasgow believes the outcome of the civil trial would have been different if the jury had been allowed to view a videotape of Kevin’s confessions.  But that video was suppressed and had never been made public.

The Will County Sheriff’s Department says a new team of detectives is now investigating Riley Fox’s murder, but Kevin and Melissa aren’t just relying on them.  The Foxes hired two private investigators, Rich Grove and Carlos Rodriguez, to chase down any leads and loose ends. The Foxes believe they can advance the case themselves because they now have that partial DNA profile.

“Y-STR profiling can’t identify someone uniquely, like nuclear DNA, but it could certainly start a conversation with an investigator,” Reich said.

Though the Foxes won’t see any money until the appeals process is finished, Zellner believes her client has won back something even more valuable: his reputation.  But even after the DNA and the jury’s verdict, there remain some people in Wilmington who still believe Kevin Fox killed his daughter.

That’s one reason the Foxes have moved to another Chicago suburb and why it is still hard for Kevin to go back to Wilmington. “It hurts that some people around here don’t understand,” he said.

But for all they’ve lost, and all they’ve endured, Kevin and Melissa turn to their newest gift.  In March 2006, their third child was born — a little girl they named Teagan.

“Teagan does remind me a lot of Riley, her personality,” says Melissa. “They’re kind of the same.  But we miss her. Every day is a struggle.  To know that you had something so wonderful in your life, and that someone took it.”

Kevin is trying to move forward as a dad by being thankful for what he has today. “I have a beautiful daughter at home; a son; and a beautiful wife.  You never know what’s gonna happen.  So have no regrets and, and… just enjoy what you have.”

The REAL Killer of Riley Ann Fox

Riley Fox Murdered

Police Photo of Scott Eby

The charges allege that Scott Eby, a sex offender with a long rap sheet, abducted Riley Fox from her home on June 6, 2004, sexually assaulted her, bound her in duct tape, and then drowned her in a creek.

Scott alledged that he initially went into the Fox’s home to burglarize it but stumbled upon little Riley sleeping on the couch besides her brother Tyler. He snatched Riley and went to a rest-room stop where he sexually assaulted the little girl then murdered her. His sneaker was left at the crime scene and in it, was the name ”Eby” stiched. Had authorities properly looked through each piece of crime scene evidence, they would have scene it and investigated it, instead of pointed the finger at Kevin Fox.

RIP RILEY ANN FOX (March 31, 2001 – June 6, 2004)

Jesus will protect you for eternity

The Kidnapping of Stasta Groene,8 – The Murder Of Dylan Groene,10

Stasta, Above Left – Dylan, Above Right

On May 16, 2005, authorities discovered the bodies of Brenda Groene, 40; her boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, 37; and her son, Slade Groene, 13, in their home along Lake Coeur d’Alene, outside the city of Coeur d’Alene. Two of Brenda Groene’s other children, Dylan, 9, and Shasta, 8, were missing. An AMBER Alert was issued and searchers combed the area for the missing children while authorities investigated the deaths at the home as homicides.Autopsies determined the cause of death to be “blunt trauma to the head”; authorities also noted that the victims had been bound.

Seven weeks later, in the early morning hours of July 2, 2005, Shasta Groene was seen in a man’s custody at a Denny’s restaurant in Coeur d’Alene. A waitress, manager, and two customers at the restaurant recognized Shasta from the media attention and surreptitiously called police and positioned themselves to prevent Duncan from leaving.Police officers arrived at the restaurant and arrested the man, later identified as Duncan, without incident.[ Shasta Groene identified herself to a waitress at the restaurant and to authorities, and was taken to Kootenai Medical Center for medical treatment and to be reunited with her father. Coeur d’Alene police, meanwhile, detained Duncan on kidnapping charges and on his outstanding federal warrant

When Shasta Groene was found without Dylan, authorities held little hope of finding the boy alive. Police asked the public for tips, specifically with respect to sightings of the stolen red Jeep Cherokee with Missouri license plates that Duncan was driving at the time of his arrest.Authorities discovered that Duncan had rented the car in Minnesota and never returned it. A gas station employee in Kellogg, about 40 miles (64 km) east of Coeur d’Alene, recognized the vehicle as one that had stopped at her station hours before Duncan was arrested. The employee suspected the girl wandering around the station might have been Shasta, but did not confront her, as nothing appeared out of the ordinary. The employee and her manager notified authorities after reviewing surveillance camera footage and seeing Duncan and Shasta in the video.

Many tips provided to authorities centered around remote areas along the Idaho–Montana border. On July 4, 2005, investigators found human remains at a remote makeshift campsite in the Lolo National Forest near St. Regis, Montana.The remains were sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for DNA testing and were positively identified as Dylan Groene.

Shasta Groene’s interview

Much of what is known about the murders of the Groene family was revealed by Shasta Groene herself. According to Shasta Groene’s police interview, Duncan killed her mother, older brother and her mother’s fiance and then took her and her brother away in the red Jeep Cherokee.

Shasta told investigators her mother called her into the living room, from her bedroom where she had been sleeping, and she saw Duncan wearing black gloves and holding a gun. Her captor tied her mother’s hands with nylon zip ties, and did the same to her mother’s fiance and her brother Slade. Dylan and Shasta were removed from the house and placed inside the stolen rental car. While she waited with her brother, she heard her mother’s fiance scream out and then saw her injured older brother staggering away from the entrance to the home. Duncan then bludgeoned the three to death; neither Shasta nor Dylan witnessed the murders. Both Shasta and Dylan were removed to other locations, where they were repeatedly molested for six weeks. Joseph Duncan taunted the children and videotaped sessions for his own sick pleasure. He video-taped himself sexually assualting and then shooting Dylan in the Stomach and laughing as the little boy layed there dying. Stasta said that they drove a long distance and stayed in two different campsites, Duncan told her of having beaten her family members to death with a hammer. Dylan’s remains were found in a remote, woodland area in Montana days after Shasta was rescued. Shasta is now in the custody of her father.

Duncan linked to Anthony Martinez – Cold Case

Duncan’s arrest led the FBI to launch a nationwide review of unsolved missing child cases. He was implicated as a possible suspect in several crimes that occurred between 1994 and 1997, when he was on parole, and between 2000 and 2005, when he was free from prison. Although he was cleared as a suspect in some cases, authorities in California and Washington had enough evidence to believe Duncan had committed unsolved murders in their jurisdictions.

Duncan link to Anthony Martinez – Cold case

On April 4, 1997, 10-year-old Anthony Michael Martinez was playing with friends in the front yard of his home in Beaumont, California, when an unknown man approached the group asking for help finding a missing cat. When the boys refused, the man grabbed Martinez at knifepoint and threw him into his vehicle. After a 2-week search, on April 19 Martinez’s body was found nude and partially decomposed in Indio. Investigators noted that he had been sexually assaulted and bound with duct tape. Although a composite sketch of the suspect was made available and a partial fingerprint taken from the duct tape found on Martinez’s body, the case eventually went cold.

In July 2005, bloggers noticed similarities between Duncan and the composite sketch in the Martinez case, as well as between Duncan’s vehicle and the one Martinez’s assailant was driving.The FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children became involved, and in turn contacted Riverside County authorities. Riverside authorities were able to match the fingerprint taken from Martinez’s body to Duncan, and on August 3 the Riverside County Sheriff officially announced Duncan’s connection with the Martinez case.