by Starks Shrink

Donna Kay Tapani paid three misfits to murder Martha Gail Fulton, the wife of her former lover, George Fulton. That’s the simplest story; the motivations and complexities of this case run much deeper than what’s readily apparent on the surface.

Gail Garza was a devout Catholic girl who grew up in small town Texas. She met George and they dated but she still maintained her college aspirations and completed a degree in speech pathology. In the meantime, George went off to West Point and a career in the Army. He reunited with Gail and they soon married, anticipating a typical peripatetic military existence.

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by BJW Nashe

In the early 1970s, the charming seaside town of Santa Cruz, California was plagued by a series of murders. The main culprits were a trio of serial killers who claimed the lives of at least 23 victims. In Part One of this three-part series, we delved into the deranged mind of mass murderer John Linley Frazier, “The Prophet Killer.” In Part Two, we explore the shocking exploits of Big Ed Kemper, “The Co-ed Killer.” Santa Cruz is cherished in the memories of those of us who have lived there. Like any other American town, however, Santa Cruz has it’s dark side. Big Ed Kemper is about as dark as it gets anywhere in the world of crime.

Big Ed Kemper — The Co-ed Killer

Edmund Kemper was a very bright kid, a near-genius, who unfortunately had to endure a wretched, abusive upbringing. This no doubt helped him to grow up and become a dangerous psychopath who hated women so much he ended up killing eight of them. The twisted Kemper saga is worth recounting in some detail.

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by BJW Nashe

When I lived in Santa Cruz, California from 1982-87, I had no idea that this pleasant seaside town was once dubbed “The Murder Capital of the World.” By the time I moved there to attend UC Santa Cruz, where I majored in philosophy (with an unofficial minor in hallucinogens), there was little or no mention of murder. The mass killing had occurred a decade earlier. The only murders I recall were found in existentialist novels by Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoevsky. I lived a block and half from the sea. We liked to stroll along West Cliff Drive late at night. Everything seemed perfect.

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by Heather Piedmont

Using the first fully televised court case as its subject, a recent documentary, Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart, directed by Jeremiah Zagar, examines the question of whether (and if so, how) the televising of courtroom trials have affected the possibility of justice being rendered. In re-examining the case and its key events, the documentary explores the question through interviews with Pamela Smart as well as with experts in the legal field and individuals who were involved in the case.

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by Darcia Helle

In 1870, New Orleans was a city divided by politics, class, and race. The Civil War had left much of the south reeling, and now the government’s Radical Reconstruction attempted to force change by integrating the black population into the white-dominated hierarchy. Some whites rebelled, clinging to their Confederate roots, while others who supported the change suffered ridicule and disdain within their community. The atmosphere was tumultuous. Racism was not only openly practiced but encouraged.

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by Patrick H. Moore

All good things must end (and all bad things too). What is ending now is All Things Crime Blog. We’ve been hit with a frivolous lawsuit which Patrick H. is fighting, with the help of a highly competent young lawyer (and a generous amount of realm coin).

Unfortunately, Moore is not in a position to shell out coin every time some allegedly aggrieved soul decides he or she has been defamed. Thus, my difficult decision to remove virtually all content from ATCB. The sidebar remains including our list of favorites and our crime novels which are for sale.

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by Darcia Helle

Justice Blackmun: Rather than continue to coddle the Courts delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved and the need for regulation eviscerated, I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

ell18We like to say that “Justice is blind”, but justice is decided upon and meted out by people, and people are not flawless, unbiased machines. To ensure fairness, we have trials with lawyers and a “jury of our peers”. On the surface, this seems to offer an even balance for the accused and the accuser. The jury hears all the facts and no one person gets to decide a person’s fate. The letter of the law and justice prevails. An ideal system when it works. The problem is that the very same laws meant to protect the innocent sometimes hurt them instead. Jurors do not get to hear all the evidence, and what they do hear is interpreted by lawyers with an agenda. Sometimes those lawyers want to get at the truth. Sometimes they just want to win. Judges sit at the top of this legal pyramid, complete with their own very human preconceptions, ideals, and biases. In the hands of the lawyers and judges, the law is surprisingly easy to either bend or hold rigid.

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compiled by Patrick H. Moore

On February 6, 1943, the famed film actor Errol Flynn, after a month-long trial, was acquitted of the rapes and statutory rapes of Peggy Satterlee and Betty Hansen. The jury deliberated for 13 hours before returning with their unanimous not guilty verdict. According to Trove, Flynn, who had been uncharacteristically subdued throughout the lengthy ordeal, shouted gleefully upon hearing the good news:

Gosh! I feel like whooping!

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by Jared Keever

It didn’t take much, just a morning news story.

I was back in the Midwest visiting family for the holidays. We were all in my parents’ living room, getting ready to leave the house for the day. The television was on. I had other things on my mind but the story caught my ear. A Pennsylvania college student, 21-year-old Shane Montgomery, had gone missing.

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commentary by Patrick H. Moore

Regular readers of All Things Crime Blog are probably aware that we have the habit of occasionally posting Karla Homolka articles, some of which are fairly extensive. On a Wednesday morning in July, as I blearily crawled to my computer and logged onto the blog, I noticed that our “Karla” posts were going through the roof. When this happens, it generally means that the criminal in question is “in the news”.

I wondered if perhaps some disaster had befallen Karla, but when I googled her name, I discovered that the disaster had befallen (or rather may befall) yet another Paul Bernardo victim.

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