96 Pro Death Penalty Quotes by Victims' Families whom justice was served in the U.S.A (2010 to 2012)



Summary: Just before 6:30 a.m., 11 year old Elissa Self left her house in St. Louis for the bus stop to a school for gifted children. When she did not arrive, the school called Elissa's parents, who called the police. Four days later, her body was discovered in the St. Francis River near a recreation area, 135 miles south of St. Louis. Link was later pulled over on a traffic stop, and after a high speed chase, officers found a jar of petroleum jelly with Link's fingerprints on the jar and flecks of blood embedded in the jelly. DNA tests conducted by two different labs showed that Link's DNA matched the DNA found in sperm cells on vaginal swabs taken from Elissa's body. The state's DNA expert set the odds of such a match at one in 6,600. The testing also revealed that Elissa's DNA matched the DNA in the blood found in the petroleum jelly jar seized from Link's car. The odds of that match were one in 48. The joint probability of both of these matches occurring by chance was less than one in 300,000. At trial, Link called two DNA experts to testify that the DNA tests performed by the other two laboratories were faulty, and that the probabilities were incorrect.

Elissa's mother, Pamela Braun, was among several of the girl's relatives who witnessed the execution. She thanked police, prosecutors, even lab workers, for bringing Link to justice. Pam Braun, mother of Elissa Self-Braun, holds up a photo of her daughter while giving a statement after the execution of Martin Link just after midnight on Wednesday morning at the Bonne Terre Correctional Center. "We have been truly blessed the justice system has worked for Elissa, whereas there are still many victims and homicide survivors still waiting for justice," Braun said.

Elissa’s family and I would like to thank everyone who has loved us and supported us throughout the past 20 years as we have waited for the final piece of this tragedy to occur.

We want to thank all the law enforcement officers who worked on this case, specifically Detectives Miek Flaherty and Bill Roach who worked diligently to solve the case and gather the necessary evidence to convict him; the labs for all the work that they did in processing the evidence, particularly Harold Messler; the courts and attorneys who handled the legal aspects of prosecuting him; particularly Joe Warzycki and Jeff Hillard.

We have been truly blessed that the justice system has worked for Elissa, whereas there are still many homicide survivors and victims still waiting for justice.

I’m looking forward to being reunited with Elissa when this time on earth is through.

Pam Braun is the mother of Elissa Self-Braun who was murdered by Martin Link on 11 January 1991. He was executed by lethal injection in Missouri on 9 February 2011. Martin Link coughed four times as anesthetic sodium thiopental, the first of three drugs used in his execution early Wednesday, was administered. Link never opened his eyes or moved as the next two drugs killed him. He had no family, clergy or friends on hand as he was put to death at the state prison in Bonne Terre for the killing in 1991 of Elissa Self-Braun, 11, of St. Louis. It was the first execution in Missouri in nearly two years.

"It's been so long we had to deal with all of this," said Becky Washa, the victim's sister, of Sioux Falls, S.D. "Now it's finally over. I don't have to think about him any more."

"Closure has finally come to the family," John Washa said. "Why he did what he did to my daughter Holly I guess I'll never understand."

There have been only five executions since the death penalty was reinstated 30 years ago. The most recent was Cal Brown, who was put to death for the torture-murder of Holly Washa.

Holly's father, John Washa, said he still very much favors the death penalty.

"You do the crime, you pay for it," he said. "And if it's as bad as it was with my daughter, Holly, they need the death penalty."

Washa said even with the lengthy appeals process, it was worth it to watch Brown die.

"It took a long time, but I'm glad it's over with," he said. "We don't have to hear about him anymore."

Family members of Holly Carol Washa who was murdered by Cal Coburn Brown on 24 April 1991. He was executed by the State of Washington on 10 September 2010.

Besides the savage attacks, the case was known for Powell's boastful jailhouse letter to Prince William County's chief prosecutor, which provided the crucial evidence that resulted in Thursday's execution. But it was Kristie Reed's eyewitness account that led to Powell's arrest and admission just hours after the slaying. She is left with decade-old memories of her sister and a neck laced with what she calls "battle scars." Formerly against the death penalty, Kristie eagerly awaited Powell's execution.

"I need to know that he's gone, that we don't have to deal with this anymore," said Kristie Reed, now 25 and an advocate for rape victims. "I was totally against the death penalty before this happened, and I didn't know why people would want to do it. But those people haven't been through what we've been through. Now I'm totally for it. He definitely deserves to die. He needs to die for what he did to Stacie."

Kristie Reed sister of Stacie Reed who was murdered by Paul Warner Powell on 29 January 1999. Paul Warner Powell was put to death by the electric chair on 18 March 2010.

Wednesday 21 November 2012 - "I just broke down and cried because it brought it all back, it's a heartbreaking experience for everybody," says Kia Scherr who lost her husband and daughter in the attack.

They had travelled to Mumbai for a meditation retreat from the United States and were killed as they dined at the Oberoi Hotel.

"Qasab's death is a kind of closure that brings peace, after a lot of unrest in the city. Now it's time to move on," she said.

Ms Scherr forgives Qasab for his actions: "Forgiveness is a bridge to peace... It doesn't mean I'm not outraged but I'm not going to spend my life in anger and resentment."

That said, Ms Scherr does support the death penalty on this rare occasion. "It's just appropriate," she says.

Ms Scherr spends much of her time in Mumbai now and has set up a charity, One Life Alliance, to promote peace and positivity among people, following the attacks. She says she wants a good outcome from something so horrific.

For her and other victims of the attacks, the 26/11 anniversary, which is just days away, will always be a painful one, but the sense that someone has been finally held accountable for the deaths makes the sense of injustice slightly more bearable than before.

Kia Scherr lost her husband and daughter in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The 2008 Mumbai attacks were eleven coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India's largest city, by Islamist terrorists who were trained in and came from Pakistan. The attackers allegedly received reconnaissance (recce) assistance before the attacks. Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was captured alive, later confessed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan's ISI. The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308. Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai: at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital (a women and children's hospital), the Nariman House Jewish community centre, the Metro Cinema, and a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier's College. There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in Mumbai's port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle. By the early morning of 28 November, all sites except for the Taj hotel had been secured by Mumbai Police and security forces. On 29 November, India's National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the deaths of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel and ending all fighting in the attacks. Ajmal Kasab disclosed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant organisation, considered a terrorist organisation by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, among others. The Indian government said that the attackers came from Pakistan, and their controllers were in Pakistan. On 7 January 2009, Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman officially accepted Ajmal Kasab's nationality as Pakistani. On 12 February 2009, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik asserted that parts of the attack had been planned in Pakistan. A trial court on 6 May, 2010 sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on all the 86 charges for which he was convicted. On his appeal against this verdict, Bombay High Court on 21 February 2011 and Supreme Court of India on 29 August 2012 upheld his death punishment. Kasab was executed by hanging at Yerwada Jail in Pune on 21 November 2012.

Summary: In late May 1987, Richard Lynn Bible was released from prison after serving a sentence imposed in 1981 for kidnapping and sexual assault. At all times relevant to this case, Bible lived in Flagstaff, Arizona. In April 1988, the Coconino County Sheriff seized a dark green and white GMC "Jimmy" (or "Blazer-type") vehicle in Sedona, Arizona. The GMC had been used to deliver newspapers. A deputy who drove it to Flagstaff noticed rubber bands in the GMC, as well as damage to the left rear quarter panel. Another officer noticed the damaged quarter panel and saw bags of rubber bands in the vehicle. The Sheriff stored the vehicle in a fenced impound lot near Flagstaff, close to Sheep Hill. On June 5, 1988, Bible stole the GMC from the impound lot. A police officer saw the vehicle parked in Flagstaff later that day. The next day, June 6, 1988, shortly after 10:30 a.m., nine year-old Jennifer Wilson, began bicycling from where her family was staying in Flagstaff to a ranch a mile away. Jennifer's family passed her while driving to the ranch. When the child did not arrive at the ranch, her family began to search and found her bicycle by the side of the road. Unable to locate the girl, Jennifer's mother called the police at 11:21 a.m. The Flagstaff police arrived within minutes; they called in a helicopter, set up roadblocks, and alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). Jennifer's mother told the police that she saw two vehicles on her way to the ranch. One was a royal blue Blazer-type vehicle. While at the ranch, she saw this same vehicle going the opposite direction at a high rate of speed. She described the driver as a dark haired, dark-complected Caucasian male, mid-to-late twenties, possibly wearing a white T-shirt. He had looked at her intently. That same day, Bible's brother was at his home near Sheep Hill. Bible arrived there shortly before 1:00 p.m., driving a dark green or dark silver, white-top Blazer-type vehicle with a dented left bumper — the vehicle Bible had stolen. Bible was wearing Levi pants, a plaid shirt, a camouflage baseball-type cap, and boots. He told his brother that the Blazer belonged to a friend. After Bible left, his brother — who thought that Bible had been stealing from him — called the police and described the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, a detective realized that Jennifer's mother's description of the Blazer-type vehicle and its driver approximated Bible and the GMC Jimmy. At about 5:00 pm, the GMC was discovered missing from the impound lot. At 6:20 pm, police officers saw Bible driving the GMC — although it had been painted a different color. The officers attempted to stop Bible, and a high-speed chase began. When finally cornered, Bible ran from the vehicle and hid. Using a tracking dog, officers found Bible hiding under a ledge, camouflaged with twigs, leaves, and branches. When arrested, Bible was wearing a "levi-type" jacket, jeans, a plaid shirt, boots, but no underwear. Bible also had wool gloves, and police found a baseball-type cap nearby. Police also found a large folding knife where Bible was hiding and another knife in one of his pockets. Within hours after his arrest, Bible confessed to stealing the GMC the previous day and painting the vehicle two hours before his arrest, but denied being in the area of the abduction. Bible had planned to drive the GMC to Phoenix, but a helicopter had him "pinned down." When Bible was booked, the police confiscated his clothing. Bible was incarcerated for the rest of the relevant time period. In the GMC, police found a green blanket and numerous rubber bands but no rubber band bags. The steering column had been cut open and one piece of metal had fallen to the floorboard. The GMC contained a case of twenty 50-milliliter bottles of "Suntory" vodka with two bottles missing. In the console was a wrapped cigar broken in two places, a "Dutchmaster" cigar wrapper and band were in the ashtray, and Carnation "Rich" hot chocolate packets were in the vehicle. Investigators found blood smeared inside and under the GMC, although testing did not reveal whether the blood was human. Following a large and unsuccessful police search, hikers accidentally found Jennifer's body near Sheep Hill nearly three weeks after her disappearance. Police secured the area and later videotaped the scene and processed evidence. Jennifer's naked body was hidden under a tree, mostly covered with branches, with her hands tied behind her back with a shoelace. Police found one of Jennifer's sneakers, without a shoelace, near the body. Jennifer's panties were in a tree nearby. An unwrapped, unsmoked cigar with two distinctive breaks in the middle was on the ground near the body. The cigars near the body and in the GMC looked very similar, had consistent breaks, and had identical seals. Microscopic analysis showed that the cigars had similar thresh cuts and tobacco mixtures. The cigars also had similar sieve test results and pH values. Although the nicotine values and ash content were slightly different, the cigars were from the same lot and were similar to, and consistent with, tobacco residue found in Bible's shirt pockets. An empty ten-pack box of Carnation "Rich" hot chocolate — matching the packets in the GMC — was near the body. Also nearby were two empty 50-milliliter "Suntory" vodka bottles — one approximately fifty feet from the body. Testing, which revealed no fingerprints, washed away the lot numbers on these empty bottles. In all other respects, these bottles were identical to the full bottles found in the GMC. Rubber bands were everywhere: on a path near the body; over, on, and under the body; in the tree where the panties were hanging; near Jennifer's other clothing; in the brush covering the body; in a tree above the body; and under a tree where one of Jennifer's shoes was found. Visual observation as well as testing revealed that the rubber bands in the GMC were round rather than oblong and were identical to those found near the body. A rubber band bag containing a few rubber bands was found five feet from the body. A patch of blood-matted grass was near the body. Testing revealed that this blood was human and was phosphoglucomutase ("PGM") subtype 2+, the same subtype as Jennifer's blood. Luminol spraying revealed a faint blood trail leading from the blood-matted grass to the body. Testing showed blood on the top of the branches covering the body. Near the body, police found a piece of metal that fit the GMC's steering column. In Flagstaff, at the location where the GMC was seen parked the day before Jennifer disappeared, police found another piece of metal from the vehicle's steering column. The three metal pieces (found inside the GMC, near the body, and where the GMC had been parked) fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces. An investigator concluded that the three metal pieces were part of the GMC's steering column. An autopsy revealed that portions of the body (including the head and genital area) were severely decomposed, consistent with having been on Sheep Hill for approximately three weeks. Multiple skull fractures and a broken jawbone indicated that blows to the head caused Jennifer's death. The blood-matted grass near the body was consistent with the blows being inflicted there. Although the body was naked with the hands tied, suggesting sexual molestation, no sperm or semen was found. The physician performing the autopsy took pubic hair and muscle samples. Near the body were several clusters of golden brown hair approximately six to ten inches long. Although the hair found at the scene appeared to be lighter in color, it was microscopically similar to Jennifer's hair and could have come from her. In one of the locks of hair, an examiner found a pubic-type hair. This pubic-type hair was similar to Bible's pubic hair samples. Long brown hair found on Bible's jacket, shirt, and in his wallet were similar to Jennifer's hair and could have come from her. Investigators found hair similar to Bible's on a sheet used to wrap the body, and hair found on Jennifer's T-shirt was similar to Bible's. Hair on a blanket in the GMC was similar to Jennifer's, with a total of fifty-seven hairs in the GMC being similar to Jennifer's hair. Some of the hair found near the body, as well as the hair on Bible's shirt and in his wallet, was cut on one side and torn on the other. The investigator had never before seen such a cut/tear pattern but was able to duplicate the pattern by using the knives Bible possessed when arrested as well as other sharp knives. Twenty-one of the twenty-two hairs on Bible's jacket had similar cut/tears. Fibers found at Sheep Hill were identical to the GMC's seat covers, and similar to fibers from Bible's jacket lining and the green blanket in the GMC. Fibers in the lock of hair containing the pubic-type hair were similar to fibers from Bible's jacket. Fibers similar to those from the green blanket in the GMC were located in the branches covering the body. Microscopically, a green fiber on the sheet used to wrap the body was similar to fibers from the green blanket. A blue or purple fiber on the shoelace tying Jennifer's hands was similar to the lining in Bible's jacket. Investigators found blood on Bible's shirt, pants, and boots. The spatter pattern on the shirt was consistent with beating force. Testing could not determine whether the blood on his boots was human but revealed that the blood on Bible's shirt was human and PGM 2+ subtype, the same subtype as Jennifer's blood. Less than three percent of the population has PGM 2+ subtype. Because Bible is PGM 1+ subtype, the blood could not have been his. Testing performed by Cellmark Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc., showed that the deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA") in the blood on Bible's shirt and Jennifer's DNA were a "match." Cellmark concluded that the chances were one in fourteen billion or, more conservatively, one in sixty million that the blood on Bible's shirt was not Jennifer's. While still in jail for stealing the GMC, Bible was charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, and molestation of a child under the age of fifteen. In April 1990, a jury convicted Bible on all charges and Bible was sentenced to death on the murder conviction.  

"Today needed to happen," said Jennifer's father, Rich, after the execution.

Rich, Nancy and family, holding hands, left the crowded little room and into the heat of the day to be escorted away. The family made statements a short time later. "We'd like to offer our condolences to the Bible family," Rich said. "We know it must be a hard time for them also."

He thanked the communities of Flagstaff and Yuma for their support and prayers. "We could not stay intact as a family (without the support)," he said. "We could not have seen this through to fruition." Rich also thanked the law enforcement and criminal justice officials who helped. "Twenty-three years has been a very, very long time," he said, later adding. "The system does work." The system may be slow, cumbersome and frustrating, but it does work, Rich said. "As a family, we've started the healing process now," he added.

Nancy, flanked by sons Adam and Brian and daughter Michele, said, "Justice is served today." The anguish felt on June 6, 1988, went far beyond them as a family and into the communities of Flagstaff and Yuma. "We want to thank everybody for their support and prayers," she said.

Susan Wilson believes the execution of Bible, 49, will bring the family long-awaited “closure” for an “evil act.” “It's justice. It's sad it happened. It's not an easy feeling for any of us. We are just thinking about Jennifer. I wish it had never happened. We never got to see her graduation and the life things that should have been. It's very sad.”

Although the execution will bring closure, “we will never forget Jennifer,” Susan said. “The pain is still there. The pain of Richard and Nancy losing their daughter will always be there. We have to just go on. “Jennifer suffered and that's not right. The pain is there, but it's going to be over.”

Family members of Jennifer Wilson - she was murdered by Richard Lynn Bible on 6 June 1988. Richard Lynn Bible was executed by lethal injection in Arizona on 30 June 2011.

Summary: After a night of bar hopping and injesting crack cocaine, LSD, and alcohol, at 6:00 a.m. Williams returned to the Paravicini trailer in Irvington where he had been temporarily living with the family. After talking to his estranged wife on the phone, Williams grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and shot Gerald Paravicini. He then beat Paravicini's wife with the gun and shot her 16-year-old son in the face. He then walked to a neighbor's house about 200 yards away and gunned down Linda Barber, who was getting ready for work at the U.S. Postal Service, and Freddie Barber, who was drinking coffee in the kitchen. He walked into a bedroom and shot the couple's 22-year-old son Bryan as he slept. A younger brother, 16-year-old Brad, was shot in the hand before he ran away. Williams stole the family van, cash and credit cards and fled the scene. He was apprehended in Mississippi, telling law enforcement that he had thrown the rifle over a bridge and that he did not remember the shootings.

“Ill be 75 years old in a few months and I never did think I would live to see this day, but I did, and I thank that good Lord for it.”

 

For Louie Barber, watching this execution was closure.

"I feel now that my brother and his wife and his son can rest in peace,” said Barber.

Louie Barber is the brother of Freddie Barber. Freddie was the third person Williams killed on his 1992 shooting spree on 15 February 1992. Jason Oric Williams was executed by lethal injection in Alabama on 19 May 2011.

Family members of the victims, including some who witnessed the execution from the front row in the death chamber, said the execution provided a measure of closure. But Paul Chapman, who is Martha's brother and Lisa's uncle, said he was upset that Ford's final words didn't include an apology. "A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders," said Paul Chapman, a New Jersey pastor. "I was hoping to hear at the end he would apologize and ask for forgiveness. I believe a good Christian would ask for a prayer."

Paul Chapman whose relatives were murdered by Melbert Ford on 6 March 1986. He was executed by the state of Georgia on 9 June 2010.

Summary: Paul Ezra Rhoades had been loitering around convenience stores in the Blackfoot and Idaho Falls area, including the Red Mini Barn in Blackfoot. Stacy Baldwin worked at the Red Mini Barn and began her night shift around 9:45 p.m. on February 27, 1987. Some time before 11:00 p.m., Carrie Baier and two other girls rented videos at the Mini Barn from Stephanie Cooper, Baldwin’s co-worker. Cooper’s shift ended at 11:00 p.m, which left Baldwin alone. When Baier returned around midnight, she noticed a man leave the store, get into a pickup truck (it turned out to be one used by the Rhoades family), and drive recklessly toward her. Baier saw a passenger next to the driver, but neither she nor her friends could identify the driver or the passenger. Baier went into the Mini Barn but could not find Baldwin, though Baldwin’s coat was still there and her car was outside. The last recorded transaction at the store was at 12:15 a.m. $249 was missing from the cash register. Rhoades and another male had coffee at Stan’s Bar and Restaurant, near the Mini Barn, sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. on February 28. Baldwin’s body was found later that morning near some garbage dumpsters on an isolated road leading to an archery range. She had been shot three times. According to a pathologist, Baldwin died from a gunshot wound to the back and chest, but may have lived for an hour or so after the fatal shot was fired. On March 22 or 23, Rhoades’s mother reported her green Ford LTD had been stolen. Rhoades was seen driving a similar looking LTD on March 22, and on March 24, truckers saw the LTD parked on a highway median in Northern Nevada. They also saw a person matching Rhoades’s description lean out of the car, fumble with a dark brown item, and run off into the sagebrush. A Nevada trooper responding to the scene found a .38 caliber gun on the ground near the open door of the car, and a holster about forty-five feet away. Ballistics testing would show that this weapon had fired the bullets that killed Baldwin. Rhoades turned up about 11:00 in the morning of March 25 at a ranch a mile and a half from where the LTD was found. Later that day, he got a ride from the ranch to Wells, Nevada, where he was dropped off at the 4 Way Casino around 9:00 p.m. Nevada law enforcement officers arrested Rhoades while he was playing blackjack. They handcuffed him, set him over the trunk of the police car, and read him his Miranda rights. Meanwhile, Idaho authorities were alerted to a Rhoades connection when the LTD was discovered. They had previously obtained a warrant for Rhoades’s arrest for burglary of Lavaunda’s Lingerie, and arrived at the 4 Way Casino shortly after Rhoades was arrested. As the Idaho officers — one of whom Rhoades knew from home — approached, Rhoades said: “I did it.” Rhoades was advised of his Miranda rights by an officer from Idaho, Victor Rodriguez, and searched by another Idaho officer, Dennis Shaw. Rhoades had a digital wrist watch in his pocket, which he claimed to have found in a “barrow pit.” It was just like the one Baldwin was wearing the night she was killed. During the booking process at the Wells Highway Patrol Station, Shaw remarked something to the effect: “If I had arrested you earlier, Stacy Baldwin may be alive today.” Rhoades replied: “I did it.” Shaw then said, “The girl in Blackfoot,” and Rhoades again replied, “I did it.”3 Forensic analysis would show that footprints found in the snow near Baldwin’s body were consistent with the size and pattern of Rhoades’s boots, and that Rhoades’s hair was consistent with a hair on Baldwin’s blouse. Rhoades also admitted to a cellmate that he kidnapped Baldwin, took her to an archery range intending to rape her but was unable to do so because she was hysterical, and shot her twice in the back. II Based on this evidence, the jury found Rhoades guilty of murder in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, and robbery. The state court held an aggravation and mitigation hearing, after which it sentenced Rhoades to death on the conviction for first degree murder and the conviction for first degree kidnapping. In 1987, Paul Ezra Rhoades was charged with the rape and murder of Susan Michelbacher as well as the murder and robbery of Nolan Haddon. Rhoades pleaded not guilty to all charges and filed a motion to sever the charges, which was subsequently granted. Rhoades was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death on the charges relating to the Michelbacher rape and murder. The parties subsequently entered into a plea agreement relating to the Haddon murder/robbery wherein Rhoades entered an “Alford” plea, maintaining his innocence in the case but conceding that “a conviction may be had on the charges as presently filed.” Rhoades was sentenced to serve concurrent indeterminate life sentences for the Haddon murder and robbery. The evidence that would have been introduced at a trial for the Haddon murder included the gun used to kill Haddon found in the vicinity of a green car abandoned by Rhoades, statements made by Rhoades at the time of his arrest, and statements allegedly made to a jailhouse informer. Further evidence would have included witness testimony placing a car matching the description of the car in which Rhoades was found at the scene of the Haddon murder, law enforcement officers' testimony that items found in Rhoades' possession were similar to the items taken at the time of the Haddon robbery, and testimony regarding Rhoades' purchase of bullets matching the caliber of those used in Haddon‟s murder. The gun is notable in the present case as the same gun was presented as the murder weapon in the case relating to the rape and murder of Susan Michelbacher. Nolan Haddon worked the night shift at Buck’s convenience store in Idaho Falls, Idaho on March 16, 1987. The next morning, Buck’s owner found Haddon lying on the floor in a pool of blood. He had been shot five times. He was still alive at the time, but unconscious. He died at the hospital. An inventory of the store showed that some BIC lighters, Marlboro cigarettes, and $116 in cash were missing. The police suspected Rhoades of a string of burglaries, including one at Lavaunda’s Lingerie, and obtained a warrant to arrest Rhoades for that burglary on March 23, 1987. They learned that he was in Nevada when, on March 24, a Nevada state trooper responded to an accident involving a green Ford that was reported stolen by Rhoades’s mother, Pauline Rhoades. The next evening, two Nevada law enforcement officers arrested Rhoades inside a Wells Casino. They handcuffed him, placed him across the trunk of the police car, and advised him of his Miranda rights.3 Idaho officials were contacted and went to the Casino. As the Idaho team approached, Rhoades stated “I did it” without being questioned by anyone. Officer Victor Rodriguez, from Idaho, again advised Rhoades of his Miranda rights. Rhoades was asked if he understood those rights, and said something to the effect of “I do, yes.” Detective Dennis Shaw, also from Idaho, searched Rhoades, and found two packages of Marlboro cigarettes and five BIC lighters similar to those taken from the store. Shaw also found a ten dollar bill, a one dollar bill, and a one-hundred dollar bill. He told Rhoades he had found three dollars, to which Rhoades responded: “It better be $111.” Rhoades was then taken to the Wells Highway Patrol substation for booking. At the station, Shaw remarked that he wished he had arrested Rhoades on an earlier occasion, and that he would probably have saved the last victim’s life. Rhoades raised his head and said, “I did it.”

The Haddons agreed that the death penalty is necessary.

“I believe the death penalty would be the best sentence,” Julie Haddon said. “It won’t bring Nolan back, but it seems after all the things (Rhoades) did (it should proceed).”

Wes Haddon agreed.

“I would like to see a death penalty on it because of what he did to the two other victims,” he said. “(Rhoades) lived so long now, I’m sick and tired of hearing about it. It keeps going on and on.”

Stacy Baldwin’s mother-in-law, Evelyn Baldwin of Salmon, said she believes Rhoades must be punished for his crimes.

“He needs to pay for the horrible things he did and the hurt he caused to this family,” she said. “Not only that of the people that were (victims’) relatives, but the whole southeastern Idaho.”

 

Family members of Paul Ezra Rhoades's victims - Stacy Baldwin, Nolan Haddon and Susan Michelbacher were murdered by Paul Ezra Rhoades on 28 February 1987, 17 March 1987 and 19 March 1987 respectively. Paul Ezra Rhoades was executed by lethal injection in Idaho on 18 November 2011.

Summary: Hooper dated Cynthia Jarman for more than a year until the summer of 1993. Their relationship was physically violent, and Hooper threatened to kill Cindy on several occasions. Cindy began dating his friend, Bill Stremlow and later began living with him. On December 7, Cindy drove Stremlow to work and used his car. Later that night, Stremlow's truck was found burning in a field in northwest Oklahoma City. An accelerant had been used. Cindy was never seen again. Hooper's fingerprints were later found on a whiskey bottle inside the Stremlow residence. An area rancher reported discovering blood and shell casings on his property. Police found the bodies of Cynthia Jarman and her two children, Tonya (5) and Timothy (3) buried in a shallow grave. Each had been shot twice in the head or face. Police arrested Hooper and searched his parents' home. The police recovered a .9 mm weapon Hooper had purchased several months prior to the murders. Ballistics confirmed that the shell casings near the gravesite were a match to this weapon. Police also recovered two shovels with soil consistent with soil from the grave site, and tennis shoes that matched the footprints found there. A witness testified that Hooper had visited this field several times in the past.

“It’s not going to change what happened. But justice will be served,” said Diane Roggy, Cynthia Jarman’s mother and grandmother to her children.

CASE: Michael Edward Hooper met Cynthia Jarman in early 1992, and they dated through the summer of 1993. Their relationship was physically violent, and Hooper threatened to kill Cindy on several occasions. Cindy had called the police during their fights on more than one occasion. At one point, each had a victim's protective order against the other.

In July 1993, Cindy began dating Hooper's friend, Bill Stremlow. Hooper bought a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol on July 15, 1993. During a traffic stop the next day the Oklahoma City Police Department [OCPD] confiscated the gun. The OCPD returned the gun on October 23, 1993, but kept the ammunition. Hooper went target shooting with friends in fields northwest of Oklahoma City the day he bought the gun and after it was returned. He took the gun when he worked out-of-state in late October and November and refused a co-worker's offer to buy it.

A day or two before the murders, Hooper showed a 9mm pistol to a neighbor. In November, three weeks before the murders, Cindy and her children began living with Stremlow. He told Cindy that Hooper was not welcome in their home. Before moving in with Stremlow, Cindy told a friend that Hooper had previously threatened to kill her if she ever lived with another man. On December 6, 1993, Cindy confided in a friend that she wanted to be with Hooper one last time and then stop seeing him.

On the morning of December 7, 1993, Cindy and her children dropped Stremlow off at work and Cindy borrowed his truck for the rest of the day. Cindy picked up her daughter, Tonya, at school at 3:30 that afternoon. At that time, Tonya's teacher saw Tonya get into Stremlow's truck next to a white man who was not Stremlow. Cindy failed to pick up Stremlow from work that evening as planned, and Stremlow never saw Cindy again. Cindy had Stremlow's only house key and he had to borrow his landlord's key to get in his house that night. Later that night, Stremlow's truck was found burning in a field in northwest Oklahoma City. The truck's windows were broken out. An accelerant had been used to set the truck on fire. Stremlow recovered the vehicle the next day.

When Stremlow returned to his house, although there were no signs of forced entry, a dresser drawer was disturbed, a Jim Beam whiskey bottle was on the dresser, and ten dollars in cash was missing. Hooper's fingerprints were later found on the Jim Beam bottle, and other evidence showed Hooper and Cindy drank that brand of whiskey. Cindy and her children were reported missing on December 9. Police attempted to interview Hooper; he failed to come to the station and denied seeing Cindy for the past six months. Hooper appeared nervous and had a fresh scratch on his arm. Also on December 9, an area rancher noticed damage to his gate leading to a northwest Oklahoma City field. Inside the field he found broken glass, tire tracks, a bloody sock and a pool of blood. After hearing the missing persons report, the rancher contacted police. The next day police searched the field and found broken glass, tire tracks, a footprint, shell casings, a child's bloody sock, a pool of blood near a tree with a freshly broken branch, a blue fiber near the tree, and a shallow grave site covered by limbs, leaves and debris. The grave appeared to be soaked with gasoline. Tonya, Timmy and Cindy were buried atop one another. Each victim had been shot twice in the head or face. There was a hole in the hood of Tonya's blue and purple jacket, and the white fiber lining protruded. A 9mm bullet pinned a white fiber to a branch on the grave. The branch appeared to have been broken from the tree near the pool of blood. The fibers were consistent with the white fibers in Tonya's jacket. Although investigators never recovered the bullets, the wounds were consistent with nine millimeter ammunition.

Police arrested Hooper and searched his parents' home. The police recovered a nine millimeter weapon Hooper had purchased several months prior to the murders. Police also recovered two shovels with soil consistent with soil from the grave site, two gas cans, and broken glass consistent with glass found in Tonya's coat and near the gate at the field. Police found a 9 mm bullet in Hooper's pocket. Police officers also seized Hooper's tennis shoes. The shoes made prints similar to those found at the murder scene, and DNA tests revealed the presence of blood consistent with Cindy's blood on the shoes. At trial, a ballistics expert testified that shell casings from the crime scene matched casings fired from Hooper's weapon. Hooper's former wife testified that Hooper was familiar with the field where the bodies were found, and that he previously had visited the field with her on several occasions.

Based on this evidence, the jury convicted Hooper of three counts of first degree murder. During the capital sentencing proceeding, the jury found two aggravating factors existed with respect to all three victims: (1) Hooper had created a great risk of death to more than one person, and (2) Hooper was a continuing threat to society. Additionally, the jury found a third aggravating factor existed with respect to Tonya Jarman: Hooper had committed the murder to avoid arrest or prosecution for the murder of Cynthia Jarman. After considering Hooper's mitigating evidence, the jury imposed the death sentence for each count.

UPDATE: It’s been almost 19 years since Barbie Jarman’s grandchildren were shot to death along with their 23-year-old mother, but she still has vivid memories of the children whom she described as so very, very precious. "The fact that they were murdered doesn’t lessen what they were to you,” Jarman said. “They still are very, very close to my heart. That doesn’t ever change.” For family members of the victims, Hooper’s execution will culminate a long journey that began with the trauma of learning about their violent deaths. “It’s not going to change what happened. But justice will be served,” said Diane Roggy, Cynthia Jarman’s mother and grandmother to her children. “The loss is still there. The pain never goes away,” said Cynthia’s sister, Renee Weber. “It will never be over, in my mind, until they close my casket,” Roggy said. Cynthia Jarman, a cosmetologist, “was just a beautiful person, full of life,” Weber said. “She was a very good mom. Timmy was a very bubbly little kid. He was just very playful,” she added. “Tonya was very smart.” The children’s uncle, Jeramy Jarman, said they “were amazing kids. These were my first experiences as an uncle. I was extremely proud. We had a lot of fun.” Jeramy Jarman said that after almost 19 years, he is ready for the case to come to an end. “This man is just an animal as far as I’m concerned."

The victims' family later issued a statement offering "our sincerest condolences" to Hooper's relatives. "This has been a long and arduous journey for all of the families," the statement said. "We hope to close this chapter in our lives." 

Cynthia Jarman's families - she and her two children were murdered by Michael Edward Hooper on 7 December 1993. Michael Hooper was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on 14 August 2012.

Summary: In October 1996, Trisha Stemple’s body was found near Highway 75 in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Her death was briefly investigated as a hit-and-run accident, but as the investigation progressed, the Tulsa Police Department began to suspect that Timothy Shaun Stemple had orchestrated the death of his wife.

Stemple was ultimately charged in her death with First Degree Malice Aforethought Murder, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, and Attempted First Degree Murder. At trial, the prosecution put forth evidence that Stemple concocted a plan to murder his wife, mother of his two children, then ages 11 and 6, and collect the proceeds of her life insurance policy, worth almost $1,000,000.

Stemple was having an extra-marital affair with Dani Wood. Dani Wood had a sixteen year old cousin, Terry Lee Hunt. According to Hunt, Stemple offered him $25,000 to $50,000 to help kill Trisha (if they collected the insurance money). Hunt recruited another person, Nathanial Helm to assist in the plan. Helm and Hunt went to Wal-Mart where they purchased a baseball bat and plastic wrap. The plastic wrap was wrapped around the bat to keep the bat from getting bloody. On October 10, 1996, Hunt and Helm went to the designated location on highway 75 and waited for Stemple and his wife to arrive. A while later Stemple drove up and told Helm and Hunt that Trisha was ill and he could not get her to accompany him.

Two weeks later, Stemple arranged for Hunt to drive Stemple's pickup to a particular location on highway 75 and leave the hood up. Stemple and Trisha arrived in their black Nissan Maxima. Stemple began working on the truck and Trisha stood next to the truck. Hunt came up behind Trisha and hit her in the head with the bat. The blow did not render Trisha unconscious, so Stemple took the bat and hit her several more times. Stemple and Hunt then placed Trisha's head in front of the front tire of the pickup and attempted to run over her head, however, the tire would not roll over Trisha's head so her head was pushed along the pavement. After this, Trisha tried to get up. Stemple grabbed the bat and hit her several more times. The pair then placed Trisha's body under the truck and drove over her chest.

After this Trisha rose up on her elbows, so Stemple hit her again several times with the bat. Stemple then went back to the black Nissan and drilled a hole in the front tire to make it look as if Trisha's car had a flat. One expert testified that the hole in the tire had spiral striations consistent with drilling. Stemple and Hunt left in the pickup, but decided to turn around to make sure Trisha was dead. When they got back to the spot where they left Trisha, they noticed that she had crawled into the grass beside the road. Stemple then sped up and ran over Trisha as she lay in the grass. Trisha's body was found later that morning, after Stemple called reporting that she was missing.

The autopsy evaluation revealed that Trisha had fractures to her arm, ribs, pelvis, vertebrae and skull. The medical examiner concluded that Trisha died from blunt force trauma to the head. While in the Tulsa County jail awaiting trial, Stemple made numerous notes including confessions, lists of witnesses, etc. Inmates testified that Stemple tried to get them to arrange the death of several witnesses. The inmates also testified that Stemple gave them a copy of his confession. Included in these writings were sample letters for witnesses Terry Hunt and Dani Wood, detailing their involvement and exculpating him from the crime. Hunt and Wood were to be coerced into rewriting and signing the letters by persons hired by the other inmates.

Stemple claimed that he was at home when Trisha left during the middle of the night. Stemple testified that he believed that Wood was responsible for the murder of Trisha. Additionally, the prosecutor introduced a five-minute long videotape of an interview Tulsa police officers conducted with Stemple prior to his arrest, during which Stemple stated that he knew “how ugly this looks for me,” summarized the evidence which he believed the police would use against him, and eventually invoked his right to counsel.

Ultimately, the jury convicted Stemple on all three counts. During the separate penalty-phase proceeding, the jury found the existence of two aggravating circumstances: (1) Stemple committed the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration; and (2) the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel. The jury therefore recommended that Stemple be sentenced to death on the murder conviction. The trial court sentenced him in accordance with the jury’s recommendations. Hunt pled guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

“Today is not about Shaun,” said Trisha’s little sister Deborah Ruddick-Bird. “Today is about justice and finality and closure for my gorgeous sister Trisha and my family.”

Trisha’s father was out of the country on a missionary trip but a lifelong friend wrote a statement on his behalf. A portion of the statement: “Before the judgment seat of Christ the Lord will determine the eternal outcome for his soul,” wrote Morris Ruddick.

Stemple will be a man they never have to face again.


“Today we put a period at the end of a chapter that has held us captive for far, far too long,” said Trisha’s sister.

They have a future without a woman they loved but also without the man who took her from them.


“Today we say all is well,” said Trisha’s sister. “Today we say it is finished.”

Deborah Ruddick-Bird whose sister, Trisha Jane Ruddick Stemple was murdered by Timothy Shaun Stemple on 24 October 1996. Timothy Shaun Stemple was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on 12 March 2012.

Summary: Nancy Hatten lived next door to her daughter, Mrs. Rhonda Hatten Griffis, age 28, in Petal. After not getting an answer on the telephone, she went to the trailer next door just as Rhonda;'s husband, David Griffis drove up to the trailer with their two children. As Nancy Hatton entered, she saw Puckett raising a club coming towards her. As she backed away, David entered the house. The Griffis family knew Puckett because he was once employed by David Griffis. Nancy took the children and ran out. David asked Puckett about the blood on the club and Puckett indicated he had hit a deer and stopped to use the telephone. David dialed 9-1-1, then struggled with Puckett, eventually getting the club away from from Puckett, who took off running. As he retrieved a rifle, he then saw Rhonda laying on the floor and dialed 9-1-1 again. Puckett's truck was recovered the next night in a wooded area and he was arrested two days later.

"Nothing will ever fill that void," Nancy Hatten said of the death of her 28-year-old daughter. "It will always be in our lives, the void that Matt caused. There will be closure to this on the side of justice, but there will never be closure for us for our daughter as part of our lives."

"He knew he murdered her," Nancy Hatten said. "He also knew the serious penalty for murder. He still committed murder, therefore accepting the penalty."

She said Puckett's decision not only caused her family great grief, but his own. Puckett's family did not witness his execution at his request.

"Our daughter was murdered in such a horrendous way, and it is so difficult to comprehend that anyone would ever or could ever do that to her, but we do know she is no longer suffering, that she is at peace and one day we will be with her again," Nancy Hatten said.

Nancy Hatten whose daughter, Rhonda Hatten Griffis was murdered by Larry Matthew Puckett on 14 October 1995. Larry Matthew Puckett was executed by lethal injection in Mississippi on 30 March 2012. 

CASE: Mary Pal was a native of Sudan and lived with her aunt and uncle in Fort Worth. She worked at River Crest Country Club. On February 13, 2002, Cleve Foster and Sheldon Ward met Nyanuer "Mary" Pal at Fat Albert's, a Fort Worth bar where all three were regular customers. According to the bartender, Pal interacted primarily with Ward until the bar closed at 2:00 a.m. She then walked to the parking lot with Ward where they talked for a few minutes. Afterwards, Pal left in her car, which was followed closely by Foster and Ward driving in Foster's truck. Approximately eight hours later, Pal's nude body was discovered in a ditch far off a road in Tarrant County. She had been shot in the head. A wadded-up piece of bloody duct tape lay next to her body. Her unlocked car was later found in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she lived.

The police investigation focused on Foster and Ward once police learned that they had been with Pal that night. On February 21, 2002, police searched the motel room shared by Foster and Ward. Only Foster was present. He directed the police to a dresser drawer that contained a gun Ward had purchased from a pawn shop in August 2001. Later that day, Foster voluntarily went to the police department to give a statement and to provide a DNA sample. In his statement, Foster first denied Pal had been inside his truck. However, he then admitted that she may have leaned inside. Finally, he admitted that "they" went cruising, but that "they" brought Pal back to her vehicle at Fat Albert's. Police also obtained a DNA sample from Ward sometime on the night of February 21, 2002.

In the early morning hours of February 22, 2002, Ward called a friend to ask if he could stay with him. Ward told the friend over the phone that he was in trouble because he killed someone. The friend arrived at the motel around 2:00 or 2:30 a.m. to pick up Ward. While in the truck, Ward told his friend that he followed a girl home from a bar, forced her into a truck at gunpoint, took her out to the country, raped her, and shot her. Ward did not mention Foster. The friend stopped the truck at a store and got the police to arrest Ward. Ward then told police that he had been drinking heavily and using cocaine the night of the offense. He claimed that he and Pal arranged to meet after Fat Albert's closed. Ward also told the police that he drove alone to Pal's apartment in Foster's truck to pick up Pal, and that he and Pal had consensual vaginal and anal sex on the front seat of Foster's truck before they drove back to the motel room where Foster was "pretty much passed out" on the bed. Ward claimed that he and Pal had consensual vaginal sex again in the motel room before they left to drive around. Ward recalled standing over Pal's body lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to her head and a gun in his hand. Ward claimed not to remember firing the gun. He told police that he stripped her body and dumped her clothes in a dumpster. Ward explained that he left a note in the motel apologizing to Foster for involving him. Ward also stated that he told his friend a few hours earlier that he had sex with a girl and killed her.

On March 22, 2002, Foster gave another written statement to police in which he claimed: (1) he and Ward followed Pal to her apartment after meeting her at Fat Albert's; (2) Pal voluntarily went with them to their motel room in his truck; (3) after taking sleeping pills and drinking beer, Foster fell asleep watching television while Ward and Pal kissed; and (4) Foster awoke to Pal performing oral sex on him. In addition to Foster's and Ward's statements, physical evidence also linked the two to the offense. DNA tests established that semen found in Pal's vagina contained Foster's DNA, and semen found in Pal's anus contained Ward's DNA. Ward may also have been a minor contributor to the semen found in Pal's vagina. DNA testing also revealed that Pal's blood and tissue were on the gun recovered during the motel room search. In addition, a police detective and medical examiner testified that Pal was not shot where her body was found because there was no blood splatter in the area. Since the soles of her feet indicated that she had not walked to the location where her body was found, the detective testified that he was "very comfortable" with stating that two people carried Pal's body to that location.

In support of his testimony, the detective noted that the raised-arm position of Pal's body suggested she may have been carried by her feet and hands. In addition, the detective noted that Pal was five-seven and 130 pounds and Ward is only five-six and 140 pounds, while Foster is six feet tall and around 225 pounds.

In February 2004, Foster was convicted of the rape and capital murder of Pal. Based on the necessary jury findings during the punishment phase, the trial court sentenced Foster to death. Sheldon Ward was also sentenced to death for Mary Pal's murder but he died of a brain tumor in prison in May 2009. The gun that was used as the murder weapon was also identified as the gun used in December 2001 to kill Rachel Urnosky, 22, at her apartment in Fort Worth. Both men were charged in Rachel's murder, but never tried. Foster told police they were both at her apartment but they left after she refused to have sex with them.

When she did not report for work at Buckle, a clothing store at a local shopping mall, her manager called police. They found the door to her apartment open and Rachel was found shot to death in her bed. Rachel was a magna cum laude graduate from Texas Tech and an officer with the Baptist Student Mission and spent her spring breaks on mission trips. She had recently gotten engaged.

Rachel's father Terry Urnosky said his wife and other three daughters were just taking life one day at a time, hoping some day they'll find new hope and the strength to continue. "She was just so cruelly and so quickly taken away it has just left a void that it can be a real struggle just to put one foot in front of the other. Her whole life she just wanted the best for people, to do anything she could possibly do to make their life a success, she was a blessing everywhere she went and she'll be so missed, so sorely missed by all of us."

The US Supreme Court granted a stay of execution to Cleve Foster in April 2011, just a few hours before he was supposed to face his punishment for the murder of Mary Pal. The court granted the stay based on claims that Foster's attorneys were ineffective. This was the second time Foster received a stay on the day of execution. Rachel Urnosky's family had traveled to Huntsville from Lubbock. "I just want it to be over," said Rachel's mother, Pam. "This is astounding to me. The irony is that my daughter didn't get such consideration. I have been so upset. Sickened. We buried her four days before Christmas. I have not done as much good as she did in her short life." She also said, "It's not about revenge," she said. "To us, it is about justice. I'm not his judge, but I know what he did, and they both had a part in it, and it happened not only once, but twice. I want him to admit he did it. Admit his guilt." "It's like our hearts just dropped to the floor," Terry Urnosky said. "The thing that hurts so much is the unfairness of it. They gave my daughter no stay of execution. In this particular case, when justice is carried out, it will be a vindication of my daughter's life. We just hope justice will be served quickly."

Urnosky, his wife, and Pal's uncle and aunt stood a few feet away from Foster and watched the execution through a window.

"It's like ripping off a deep scab each time, preventing the wound from being able to start healing," Urnosky said. "Now the wound can start closing."

Summary: Foster and his co-defendant, Sheldon Ward, raped and killed execution-style 28-year-old Nyanuer “Mary” Pal. Foster’s semen was found on the victim’s body, and the gun used to kill Pal was in Foster’s hotel room. The defense theory was that Foster’s co-defendant acted alone in the killing, and Foster only had consensual sex with the victim. During the penalty phase, the prosecutors linked Foster to a 1984 robbery and the killing of another woman. In mitigation, the defense argued Foster suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from being in the Army, and was abused by his alcoholic father.

"It wasn't the violent death that both Mary and my daughter experienced," her father said. "I feel it was way too easy, but it is what it is."

Terry Urnosky whose daughter, Rachel Urnosky was raped and murdered by Cleve Foster in 1984. Cleve Foster and Sheldon Ward were later both charged in the murder of a Sudanese immigrant, Mary Pal on 14 February 2002. Sheldon Ward died of brain tumor in Death Row on May 2009. Cleve Foster was executed by lethal injection in Texas on Tuesday 25 September 2012.

CASE: Garry Thomas Allen shot and killed his girlfriend, Lawanna Gail Titsworth on November 21, 1986, three days after she moved out with their sons, six-year-old Anthony and two-year-old Adrian. Angry confrontations punctuated those three days, as Allen tried repeatedly to persuade Gail to come back to him. Their last argument occurred when Gail came to pick up their sons at Beulah's Day Care Center in Oklahoma City. Allen confronted Gail inside the center, and the two moved to an empty room to argue. Allen left just ahead of Gail and the boys. When Gail opened the door of her truck, Allen came up behind her and shut it. She opened it again; again he shut it. This argument ended when Allen reached into his sock, pulled out a .38 caliber snub-nosed revolver, and shot Gail Titsworth twice in the chest. After she was shot, Gail began begging Allen not to shoot her again and then fell to the ground. Allen asked Gail if she was alright. He then lifted up her blouse, apparently attempting to figure out the extent of her injuries. She fell, and he looked under her blouse before walking away. At the time of the shooting, some of the daycare employees were in the parking lot and several of the children were in a van parked a few feet from Gail's truck. A day care employee ran to Gail to help her into the day care center. Just as she and Gail Titsworth reached the front door, Allen shoved the other woman inside and pushed Gail down on the outside steps. Allen then shot her two more times in the back at close range and walked away.

He was captured in an alley less than a block away by the police officer who responded to the 911 call. Officer Mike Taylor of the Oklahoma City Police Department was on patrol in the area and responded to the 911 call within minutes of the shooting. As Officer Taylor was nearing the daycare center, a witness to the shooting directed him to an alley where Allen was apparently hiding. Officer Taylor spotted Allen as he drove into the alley. Officer Taylor drew his service revolver and ordered Allen to stop and remain still. Allen initially complied with Officer Taylor's order but then began walking away. Officer Taylor followed Allen and reached out to place his hand on him. Allen quickly turned around and grabbed Officer Taylor's gun. A struggle ensued, during which Allen obtained partial control of Officer Taylor's gun. Allen attempted to make Officer Taylor shoot himself by applying pressure to Taylor's finger which was still on the trigger. Ultimately, Officer Taylor regained control of the gun and shot Allen in the face. Allen was rushed to the hospital where a CT scan revealed an air pocket in the front part of his brain and cerebral spinal fluid leaking from his nose and ear. Allen remained in the hospital approximately two months for treatment for injuries to his face, left eye, and brain. As a result of the gunshot wound, Allen lost his left eye and suffered permanent brain damage.

'Our beloved Gail, daughter, sister and mother of two young boys, was taken from our family tragically and senselessly due to domestic violence,' the statement said. 'For over 25 years, we have waited for justice to be served and for this sentence to be carried out. We are thankful to close the book on this chapter today but we will never stop grieving the loss of Gail.'

Susan Titsworth whose sister-in-law, Gail Titsworth was murdered by Garry Allen Thomas on 21 November 1986. Garry Allen Thomas was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on Tuesday 6 November 2012.

Summary: On May 9, 1984, thirteen-year-old Christy Ann Fornoff disappeared at a Tempe, Arizona apartment complex while making collections for her newspaper route. Donald Beaty, a maintenance person for the complex, actively assisted the police in searching for Christy Ann. Although the police located her collection book near the complex, she was nowhere to be found. In the early morning of May 11, Joseph Kapp, a tenant, encountered Beaty while throwing out his trash. Beaty told Kapp that he had found a body behind the dumpster and that he had called the police. Kapp observed the body, spoke with Beaty for a few minutes, and then returned to his apartment. The police later arrived and determined that the body was Christy Ann's. A medical examiner concluded that Christy Ann had been asphyxiated by smothering and that she had been sexually assaulted, either contemporaneously with or shortly after her death. The examiner also opined that she had died within two hours of her disappearance. The police focused their investigation upon Beaty. Vomit smeared on the body matched a substance found in Beaty's closet. The blood, semen, and hair found on the body was consistent with Beaty's. Hair found on Beaty's closet carpet, couch, bedroom, and bathroom was consistent with Christy Ann's. Fibers found on the body matched Beaty's carpet and a blanket in his bedroom. Ferret hair was found on the body; the tenant who lived in Beaty's apartment a few months prior to the murder owned a ferret. Police records showed that Beaty had called the police at 5:52 a.m. According to Kapp, he had returned to his apartment at 5:50 a.m. The timing suggested that Beaty had lied to Kapp about having called the police. The police also speculated that Beaty had moved the body after speaking with Kapp. Robert Jark drove his truck in front of the dumpster at approximately 4:50 that morning. As with Kapp, Jark was sure that a body was not visible from in front of the dumpster. However, when the police arrived, the body stuck out noticeably beyond the dumpster's edge. Beaty told police that he was with George Lorenz, a tenant, at the time Christy Ann disappeared, and that Teresa Harder, another tenant, saw them together. However, Lorenz denied being with Beaty that night, and Harder similarly denied seeing them together. Beaty also claimed that the police had searched his apartment the night Christy Ann disappeared. However, the two officers who searched the complex claimed that they did not enter Beaty's apartment. Finally, the police found it suspicious that Beaty had attempted, unsuccessfully, to borrow a friend's car at 11:30 p.m. the night after Christy Ann disappeared. The police speculated that Beaty wanted to borrow a car to move the body. On May 21, 1984, Beaty was arrested and charged with Christy Ann's murder and sexual assault. A day later, Dr. George O'Connor, a prison psychiatrist, met with Beaty for about an hour. O'Connor routinely met with newly admitted, high-profile inmates to determine whether they were a threat to themselves. The record does not reveal much about their conversation. O'Connor apparently inquired whether Beaty felt depressed and whether he wished to talk with someone on a regular basis. O'Connor and Beaty also discussed a medical problem Beaty was having with his foot and Beaty's family's reaction to his arrest. After the conversation, O'Connor concluded that Beaty was not suffering from any significant psychiatric problems. Nonetheless, O'Connor decided that he would occasionally drop by and check up on him. The following day, O'Connor spoke with Beaty about his foot and arranged for him to be seen by an orthopedic doctor. The record does not reveal whether O'Connor and Beaty discussed anything other than Beaty's foot problem. Approximately two months later, O'Connor recommended transferring Beaty from the main jail to the jail's psychiatric facility. O'Connor's supervisor approved the recommendation, and Beaty did not object to the transfer. Several factors motivated O'Connor's recommendation to transfer Beaty. First, Beaty needed space to rehabilitate his injured foot. Beaty had been confined to his cell from the time of incarceration because of several death threats from other inmates. Second, the jail's psychiatric facility offered a safer place for Beaty because it was isolated from the jail's general population. Third, Beaty was becoming increasingly agitated and depressed, perhaps because of his confinement to his cell. Indeed, Beaty underwent a hunger strike, and he also repeatedly complained that inmates were harassing him. The record is unclear as to the nature and the extent of the treatment Beaty received while at the psychiatric unit. In any event, Beaty participated in a “counseling group” moderated by O'Connor. The group consisted of five female and five male inmates, including Beaty. The purpose of the group was to foster respect between male and female inmates by bringing them together in a small group. O'Connor described the group's purpose as “bringing men and women prisoners together to explore the difficulties that they may have had in interrelating with members of the opposite sex in their personal lives.” O'Connor chose Beaty for the group. while Beaty had the option of not participating, he likely would have been transferred back to the main jail if he had refused. Beaty, along with the rest of the group participants, signed a document entitled “Interpersonal Relationships Group Contract.” The document stated that any information disclosed to the group would be kept confidential. Specifically, it stated, “I understand that all group communication is confidential and therefore group business cannot be discussed outside of group. Only in this way can I feel free to express my feelings.” The group met twice a week and each session lasted between an hour and an hour-and-a-half. During these sessions, group members occasionally harassed Beaty regarding the nature of his crime. In particular, some group members called him “cold blooded.” After a few weeks, Beaty approached O'Connor at the end of a session. It was about five to ten minutes after the session had formally ended, but some of the group was still milling around. Beaty and O'Connor were conversing casually. when Beaty suddenly complained that the group had unfairly labeled him a “terrible thing.” He told O'Connor that he did not mean to kill Fornoff. He explained that he accidentally suffocated her when he put his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams. While O'Connor was surprised by Beaty's confession, he described the statement as an “overflow of feelings from that particular group.” O'Connor did not immediately disclose Beaty's confession to anyone, and the case proceeded to trial. The state's case rested primarily on the physical evidence tying Beaty to the crime. The state also stressed the events surrounding Beaty's discovery of the body and the fact that two witnesses discredited his alibi. Beaty, in turn, attacked the reliability of the state's physical evidence. He stressed that Kapp had been playing a “drinking game” that morning. Beaty suggested that another unknown tenant committed the murder and he faulted the police for not thoroughly investigating the other tenants. Finally, Beaty emphasized that he had actively assisted the police in searching for Fornoff the night she disappeared. On March 18, 1985, the trial court declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked ten to two in favor of guilt. On May 8, 1985, Beaty's second trial commenced. Two days later, O'Connor went to state court to testify in an unrelated case. While waiting to testify, O'Connor spoke casually with a detention officer. During the course of the conversation, O'Connor disclosed Beaty's confession. The prosecution quickly learned about the conversation and contacted O'Connor. O'Connor refused to testify but, after an evidentiary hearing, the trial court ordered him to do so. During the second trial, the state presented much of the same evidence as it had offered at the first trial, but with the addition of O'Connor's testimony. The jury unanimously found Beaty guilty of first degree murder and sexual assault. The judge thereafter conducted a sentencing hearing without a jury. The judge imposed the death penalty after finding one aggravating circumstance and no mitigating circumstances. Specifically, the judge found that the murder was committed in an especially cruel, heinous, or depraved manner. The judge also sentenced Beaty to a consecutive twenty-eight-year term for sexual assault. Christy Ann's parents, Carol and Roger Fornoff, became involved in victims support groups such as Parents of Murdered Children and created "Christy's House in the Pines," a mountain retreat for victims' family members. They also worked for the passage of a Victim's Bill of Rights in Arizona in 1990. They described Christy Ann as a "dream child" and decorated their cabin with butterflies, which remind them of Christy.

UPDATE: An emotional Donald Beaty used his last words to apologize to the family of his victim, 13-year-old Christy Ann Fornoff, moments before he was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday at Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Beaty, 56, said, his lips quivering as he lay on the death gurney awaiting the injection of a lethal three-drug cocktail. "God will let you see her again." After the execution, Fornoff's family spoke to the media. "We are here to bring closure to the loss of our beloved daughter and sister, Christy Ann Fornoff," said the victim's mother, Carol. "Her life was not in vain. Even in death, she has brought light to the darkness of evil that surrounded her when she was murdered."

"We are here for many reasons," Carol Fornoff said. "Some for closure, some to pray for Mr. Beaty's soul with the hope that he has asked to be forgiven, all of us to represent Christy and the love our family shares as we travel the ups and downs of our lives. We would like to thank all of our friends and family who have given us support and love throughout the years."

She added, "We just, as a family, are going to be peaceful about this, and we just want you to know that we feel peace right now."

Carol Fornoff whose daughter, Christy Ann Fornoff was murdered by Donald Edward Beaty on 9 May 1984. Donald Edward Beaty was executed by lethal injection in Arizona on 25 May 2011.

CASE: Steven Michael Woods and Marcus Rhodes shot Ronald Whitehead and Bethena Brosz in a secluded area in The Colony, Texas, in the early morning hours of May 2, 2001. Early in the morning of May 2, 2001, two golfers driving down Boyd Road at the Tribute Golf Course near The Colony, Texas, found the bodies of Ron Whitehead and Beth Brosz. Beth was shot in the right knee, her throat was slashed three times, her shoulder was sliced and she had been shot in the head twice. Ron Whitehead was dead when emergency personnel arrived on the scene at 6:55 am and was shot in the head 6 times, and his throat was cut.  Beth died about 24 hours after she was taken to the hospital. That evening, police received several anonymous tips that Woods was involved in the killings, along with Marcus Rhodes. Detectives interviewed Woods, who admitted to being with the victims the night before their bodies were found. He said that he and Rhodes had agreed to lead Ron and Beth to a house in The Colony owned by someone named "Hippy," but that their two vehicles became separated during the trip, so he and Rhodes returned to the Deep Ellum section of Dallas. Woods was not arrested as a result of his interview. Detectives then interviewed Rhodes, and after a search of his car revealed items belonging to Ron and Beth, Rhodes was arrested. Woods left the Dallas area, traveling to New Orleans, Idaho and California, where he was finally arrested. Several witnesses testified that before the killings he told them about his plan to commit the murders, and after the killings, he told them about his participation in them. Woods, Rhodes, Ron Whitehead, David Samuelson, and Staci Schwartz all knew each other from Insomnia, a coffee shop they frequented in downtown Dallas. Samuelson testified that he had talked to Rhodes at Insomnia on the evening of May 1, and Rhodes stated that “he had a job to do” for Woods that night and that he did not want to do it. Schwartz testified that she had had a conversation with Rhodes at Insomnia on the afternoon of May 2, during which Rhodes stated that he and Woods had used Beth's credit card to make an online purchase of tickets to an anime festival. Rhodes told Schwartz that they had attempted to make Samuelson look responsible for the murders by buying the tickets in his name and having them sent to his house. On April 18, 2002, Woods was indicted for capital murder for the killing of more than one individual in the same criminal transaction, for which he was found guilty by a Denton County jury. During a separate punishment hearing, the State, in addition to evidence about the circumstances of the crime and Woods's moral culpability, presented evidence that Woods was involved in the murder of another individual in California one-and-a-half months prior to the murders of Ron Whitehead and Beth Brosz; that Woods got into a fight with another inmate in the Denton County Jail; that Woods, Rhodes, and two other accomplices planned to rob a clothing store in Deep Ellum; that Woods may have planned to murder a woman who was coming to pick up vials of "acid" to sell; and that Woods made "bottle bombs" as a juvenile. The jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) there was a probability that Woods was a continuing threat to society; (2) Woods actually caused the death of the victims, intended to kill the victims, or anticipated that the lives of victims would be taken; (3) there was no sufficient mitigating circumstance to warrant a sentence of less than death after taking into consideration the circumstances of the crime and the evidence of Woods's character, background, and personal moral culpability. In accordance with state law, the trial judge sentenced Woods to death.

"This has been a long road, and a hard one," Janet Shires, Brosz's mother, said Tuesday after watching Woods die. "We will miss her forever, of course. There is no sentence that would change that. But I feel such a profound relief today -- relief that he can never hurt anyone anywhere ever again."

Janet Shires is the mother of Bethena Lyn Brosz. Bethena Lyn Brosz and Ronald Whitehead were both murdered by Steven Woods on 2 May 2001. Steven Woods was executed by lethal injection in Texas on Tuesday 13 September 2011.

April 12-19, 2012

Florida Hisang Huang Ling, 48

Ying Hua Ling, 17

Judith Kaye Daley, 35

Angelica Lavallee, 14

Barbara Ann Byer, 14

Lynn Carol Elliott, 17

Cousins David Allan Gore and Fred Waterfield began abducting and raping women in the 70s. Soon they graduated to murdering their victims. In February 1981, Gore flashed a badge he had from his job as an auxiliary sheriff's deputy and tricked 17-year-old Ying Hua Ling into getting into his car. After driving her to her home, Gore pretended to arrest her mother, Hisang Huang Ling, 48, and handcuffed her to her daughter. He phone Waterfield and then drove the women to a citrus orchard. Gore raped both of them while waiting for his cousin, and when Waterfield arrived, he tied up Hisang in such a way that when she struggled, her bindings choked her to death. Waterfield raped and murdered Ying Hua Ling and told Gore to get rid of the bodies in another orchard nearby.

Five months later, on July 15, 1981, Gore abducted Judith Kaye Daley after disabling her vehicle and pretending to be a Good Samaritan. She accepted a ride to a telephone, but once inside, Gore pulled a gun on Judy and handcuffed her before calling Waterfield. They again met at the orchard where they raped and murdered Judy Daley. Gore said he fed the body to the alligators in a nearby swamp.

Gore spent a short time in prison after being convicted of armed trespass when police found him crouched in the back seat of a woman's car with a pistol, handcuffs and a police scanner. Two months after being paroled, the cousins picked up two hitchhikers, Angelica Lavallee and Barbara Buer. The first were raped and then shot to death. Barbara's body was dismembered and buried in a shallow grave and Angelica was dumped in a canal. On May 20, 1983, Gore kidnapped and murdered Angelica Lavallee and Barbara Byer.

On July 26, 1983, Gore and his cousin Freddy Waterfield picked up teenagers Lynn Elliott and Regan Martin, who were hitchhiking to the beach. Soon after, Gore took a gun out of the glove compartment and handcuffed the two girls while Waterfield drove to Gore’s parents’ house. Once there, Gore bound each of the girls and placed them in separate bedrooms. Regan Martin testified that Gore cut off her clothes and forced her to perform oral sex on him while he threatened to kill her, and that Gore kept going back and forth between the two rooms. Regan heard Gore tell Lynn that he would kill her if she did not shut up. At one point when Gore was out of the room, Regan heard gunshots from outside. Michael Rock, a teenager riding his bike by Gore's house on the day in question, testified that he saw Gore and a naked woman (Lynn Elliott) running up the driveway toward the road. Rock watched as the also naked Gore caught up with Lynn and dragged her back toward the house. He then saw Gore throw the girl down and shoot her.

When Gore returned he placed Regan in a closet and then tied her to the rafters in the attic and threatened to kill her if she tried anything. Michael Rock sped home told his mother, who called 911 and police arrived in time to save Regan from a similar fate. Soon after, police arrived and found blood dripping from the trunk of the car. The house was surrounded and Gore surrendered to the police and directed them to Regan in the attic. Lynn’s nude body was found in the trunk of Gore’s car. Lynn Elliott had been shot twice, once in the back of the head and once in the jaw.

After Lynn's autopsy, her father Carl Elliott insisted on seeing his daughter's body. Carl told the police that he wanted "to see every mark on her, where he drug her in the driveway and all the skinned-up parts on her knees and elbows, and every damn bullet hole. I want to see every scrape and every bruise. I want to remember in case I ever get soft on this thing. 'I want to remember, by God, that's what this bastard did to my daughter.' It was awful, but I have never regretted doing it.'"

Almost three decades later, Carl is now 81 years old and says that the signing of the death warrant by Governor Rick Scott was a huge relief, "like a big burden that slid off the shoulders." Lynn planned to become a hairdresser after she graduated from high school. Through interviews with Gore and Waterfield, police discovered that five other women had been killed since February 1981. Gore was sentenced to five consecutive life terms for the other murders. Waterfield, for his involvement in the murder of Lynn Elliott, was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment on one count of manslaughter. Waterfield is also serving two consecutive life sentences for the murders of Barbara Ann Byer and Angelica LaVallee.

Tim Mccullers planned to ask Lynn Elliott to marry him on July 26, 1983.

Instead, when he arrived at her parent's Vero Beach house after he couldn't find her at the beach, he learned his 17-year-old girlfriend had been tortured, raped and murdered by a 29-year-old man he had gone fishing with - a regular guy who turned out to be a serial killer.

Today, barring a last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, David Alan Gore is to be put to death for shooting Elliott as she ran naked down his parent's driveway, desperately trying to escape his demented and murderous grasp. It happens to be Mccullers 52nd birthday.

"I don't want anything but him dead for my birthday," said Mccullers, who still lives in Vero Beach. "It would be the best birthday present ever."

Tim Mccullers whose fiancee, Lynn Elliot was murdered by serial killer, David Alan Gore on 26 July 1983. David Alan Gore was executed by lethal injection in Florida on 12 April 2012.

Summary: Gore was condemned to death for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Lynn Elliott, who was hitchhiking to the beach with a friend on a summer day in 1983 when Gore stopped and picked them up. After assaulting Elliott repeatedly at the home of his vacationing parents, Gore shot the girl in the head as she ran down his driveway with her hands tied. A boy riding by on his bicycle witnessed the killing and called 911. On Thursday evening, Elliott's father, Carl, sat in the center of the front row of a small observation room as Gore lay a few feet away, visible through a large window. Elliott was Gore's final victim. The others were Hsiang Huang Ling, 48, and her daughter Ying Hua Ling, 17; Judy Kay Daley, 35; Angelica LaVallee, 14, and Barbara Ann Byer, 14. Gore's cousin and accomplice Fred Waterfield is serving two consecutive life sentences for his role. Through interviews with Gore and Waterfield, police discovered that five other women had been killed since February 1981. Gore was sentenced to five consecutive life terms for the other murders. Waterfield, for his involvement in the murder of Lynn Elliott, was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment on one count of manslaughter. Waterfield is also serving two consecutive life sentences for the murders of Barbara Ann Byer and Angelica LaVallee.

Not that Mike and Nancy Byer, whose 14-year-old daughter Barbara Ann was killed by Gore in May 1983, wanted an apology.

"I want nothing from that man except to have him out of my life and gone. This does that," Mike Byer said. "He had no remorse at all."

Mike Byer whose 14-year-old daughter, Barbara Ann Byer was murdered by serial killer, David Alan Gore. David Alan Gore was executed by lethal injection in Florida on 12 April 2012.

Nancy Byer said Elliott's death was what helped the families of other victims find their loved ones' bodies. It also stopped Gore from hunting more victims.

"The killing would have gone on and on," she said after the execution.

Watching were the family and friends of at least four of the women Gore killed.

“It was a long wait, and I’m so glad I was here and I came for my daughter and all the other victims,” said victim Barbara Ann Byer’s mother, Nancy Byer, after watching Gore being pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. “He can’t hurt anyone else, ever, and it’s over and I’m glad I came.”

Nancy Byer whose 14-year-old daughter, Barbara Ann Byer was murdered by serial killer, David Alan Gore. David Alan Gore was executed by lethal injection in Florida on 12 April 2012.

Summary: Matthews and Tracy Dyer stormed into the home of Matthews' 77 year old great uncle, Otis Short, east of Rosedale intending to rob him. Matthews shot Short once in the head at close range with a .45-caliber pistol and Dyer cut the throat of Short’s wife, Minnie Short. The men fled in Otis Short’s truck with $500 in cash and a .32-caliber pistol. Minnie Short survived and died later of natural causes. The murder weapon was found buried in a field behind Matthews house, and found a prescription bottle of xanax issued to Minnie short in his home. Dyer, 36, pled guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He testified against Matthews at trial. In 1996 he recanted, and after Matthews case was reversed on appeal, testified on his behalf at the retrial. The result was the same.

“I do not believe in killing people, but when someone so close to you is taken away, you realize there are some people in this world that deserve justice, and he is one of them.”

Dawn Randolph is the great grandchild of Otis Earl Short who was shot dead by Jeffrey David Matthews on 27 January 1994. Jeffrey David Matthews was executed by the State of Oklahoma on 11 January 2011.

Last year when Hall's execution date was set, Amanda Robinson, the victim's sister, told the Star-Telegram that the punishment would allow her sister to finally rest in peace.

"I'm sad for his family, but he's got to pay the price," she said. "You can't go out and kill people."

Robinson's sister Amanda refused to forgive him and said she attended the execution Tuesday night so her face would be the last face Hall saw. "It was fake; he wasn't sincere," she said of Hall's apology. "He was really scared. You could tell. ... I just don't think he was remorseful. What about the pain he caused Amy? I'm glad [the execution] was on Feb. 15, but it should have been a lot sooner."