Thursday, April 25, 2019
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019
Saturday, April 6, 2019
The Jenner, California, double murder of 2004 occurred the night of August 14–15, 2004, in which a young couple was shot to death as they slept on a state beach. The bodies of Lindsay Cutshall, 22, and her fiancé Jason S. Allen, 26, were found on Fish Head Beach, between Russian Gulch and the mouth of the Russian River, in the small coastal hamlet of Jenner, California. Both Cutshall and Allen were killed with a .45-caliber Marlin rifle as they slept in their sleeping bags on the beach. The Sonoma County Coroner's Office estimated that the couple was slain on either the night of August 14, 2004 or in the early morning hours of August 15, 2004. The case has received considerable national attention, but the crime remained unsolved, until news given at press conference on May 5, 2017, suggesting that authorities had solved the crime. The victims: Both Cutshall and Allen grew up in the Midwestern United States. Cutshall was from Fresno, Ohio and Allen was from Zeeland, Michigan. The couple met in 2002 while Cutshall was a student at the Appalachian Bible College in West Virginia, and became engaged six weeks later. They planned to marry in autumn of 2004. Both Cutshall and Allen were counselors at Rock-N-Water, a Christian summer camp in El Dorado County, California. According to acquaintances, Cutshall and Allen had left the camp on a road trip the day before they were killed. Credit card receipts placed the duo at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco on August 14, 2004. Witnesses also reported seeing Cutshall's 1992 red Ford Tempo in the towns of Guerneville, Sebastopol, Forestville, and Jenner before the murders. On Saturday - the probable night of the murder - it is speculated, but not confirmed, that the couple went to a local motel and restaurant called River's End but were unable to rent a room. They learned about the nearby beach, which is less than a mile from the restaurant. Since camping on the beach is illegal, it is unlikely the couple planned to camp for more than one night. The bodies of the slain couple were not discovered until Wednesday, August 18, when the Sheriff's helicopter was dispatched following a report of a man who was stranded on a cliff above Fish Head Beach. The helicopter spotted the bodies and notified the department. Investigation: Homicide detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department launched an investigation into the deaths. The detectives quickly eliminated murder-suicide as an explanation to the killings. They also confirmed that none of Cutshall's or Allen's belongings had been taken, ruling out robbery as a motive, and that neither of them had been sexually assaulted. Camping is prohibited on the rural stretch of beach where Cutshall and Allen met their deaths, but drifters and hitchhikers on State Route 1 (which runs alongside Fish Head Beach) are known to use the oceanfront site for sleeping. Initially, it was postulated that a drifter had murdered the young couple and then left the area. Despite an exhaustive effort by detectives, this avenue of the investigation never yielded any solid leads. The weapon used was a .45-caliber Marlin Model 1894 long rifle, either a long colt style, or a carbine magazine. Although ballistics determined the gun type, police declined to publicly disclose it, in order "to eliminate false leads." The rifle is uncommon, considered too high caliber for most ranchers, and most likely would have required hand loaded ammunition. Shell casings were not found at the scene of the crime, suggesting the killer retrieved them. On July 16, 2009, a 62-year-old drifter named Joseph Henry Burgess was killed in a shoot-out in the remote Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Initially believed to be a suspect, Burgess's DNA was tested, and did not match that left at the Jenner crime scene. Police release information 2006: In May 2006, 21 months after Cutshall and Allen were slain, Sonoma County Sheriff's detectives released new evidence in the case, which they hoped would generate new leads. New evidence including poems found near the crime scene, writings contained in a journal left for visitors inside a nearby driftwood hut, an empty 40-ounce bottle of Camo beer, and drawings inked onto pieces of driftwood near the site of the killings. Camo beer originates in Wisconsin, is no longer made, and is an uncommon beer in California. They also found a distinctive hat on a turnout above the beach on Hwy 1. Police wanted to know how the hat and beer bottle came to be in the places they were found. The case remained unsolved at that time. The Sonoma County Sheriff's department offered a $50,000 reward for information. Major developments in case: Police press conference 2017: The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office held a press conference on Friday, May 5, 2017 regarding major developments in the 2004 Jenner double murder case. The press conference was held at the Sheriff's Office building at 2796 Ventura Avenue in Santa Rosa. Attendees had been instructed to arrive by 10:15 AM. No additional information was provided until the press conference. At 10:30 AM on May 5, 2017, Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas read the following statement regarding the 2004 Jenner double murder case: "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I'm Steve Freitas, the Sheriff here in Sonoma County. I'd like to make a brief statement and then I will take some questions. I'm pleased to announce that the Sheriff's Office has made a major break-thru in the investigation surrounding the murders of Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall that took place in August, 2004 in Jenner. Many of us will never forget when Sonoma County was rocked by the discovery of a young innocent couple found murdered on a secluded beach where they spent the night. Jason and Lindsay were just 26 and 22 years old at the time of their deaths. Jason, from Michigan, and Lindsay, from Ohio, were in California working at a Christian youth white water rafting camp in El Dorado County and were on a three day sight-seeing trip of the Northern California coast. The Sheriff's Office has identified Shaun Gallon, a 38 year old resident of Forestville, as Jason and Lindsay's killer. Gallon was recently arrested for the murder of his brother in their Forestville home. Gallon is well known to Sheriff's Office Investigators, and early on in the Jenner murder investigation Gallon was a person of interest who detectives never ruled out as a possible suspect. Upon Gallon's arrest for the murder of his brother, Sheriff's Office Detectives took another opportunity to talk to him about the murders in Jenner. Gallon made statements to the detectives with new information and additional investigative leads into the case. He had information about the killings that no other person could have known and we have located evidence that corroborates his information. Based on what detectives have been able to learn, we feel confident that we have Jason and Lindsay's killer in custody. Sheriff's Office detectives are continuing to follow-up on leads and are working hard to complete the investigation. We will be presenting our report to the District Attorney's Office in the near future. However, we are still encouraging anyone with information about this case and/or Shaun Gallon to contact our detectives. For that reason, we are releasing a photo of Shaun Gallon. Sergeant Crum has that picture for those who want it and it will be posted at the end of this press conference. I'd like to a take moment to thank the other law enforcement agencies who assisted on this investigation over the years: The Santa Rosa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, California State Parks and the California Department of Justice. Additionally, I want to thank the members of our community who have come forward with information on this case. I also want to thank the many men and women of the Sheriff's Office who have worked on this investigation over the years. I'm grateful to the dozens of detectives, from all of the Sheriff's Office investigative units, who persistently and faithfully worked on this case for nearly 13 years. I wish I could name them all, but there are too many to list. I would like to acknowledge and thank the current investigative team: Lieutenant Tim Duke, Sgt. Shannon McAlvain, Lead Detective Joe Horsemen, Detectives Jeff Toney, Jayson Fowler and Jesse Hanshew. This case is further proof that the men and women of the Sheriff's Office will never give up in protecting our community and seeking justice for crime victims. Most importantly I want to thank the Cutshall and Allen families, who have consistently been supportive and patient during this 13 year investigation. I'd like to read a statement from Bob and Delores Allen and Chris and Kathy Cutshall: "We are extremely pleased that our children's murderer is in custody where he belongs. We praise the Lord for his capture and we trust in the due process of the law. We would like to thank the heartfelt concern of the people of Jenner and Sonoma County. We have appreciated your support for this case throughout our thirteen-year ordeal. We are especially grateful to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office for their tireless pursuit of Jason's and Lindsay's killer. The strong support for us and for the case by the former sheriff, Sheriff Cogbill, and the current sheriff, Sheriff Freitas, has been outstanding. And the dedication of all the lieutenants, sergeants, detectives, and support personnel of Sheriff's Office Investigations throughout the years has totally amazed us. The combination of their humanity and professionalism would not allow them to give up on this case. And when we at times wondered if this day would ever come, the detectives in particular wouldn't allow us to lose hope. To all who have worked this case over the years, we can't thank you enough . You are true heroes to us and we thank God for you. Finally and most importantly, we want to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for sustaining us and our families throughout this long journey. We know that we have miles to go before the case is closed with a conviction, but we also know the power and wonder of God's grace. Our prayers continue to be for the Sheriff's Office as they build their case, for the families of the deputies, who have given them their undying support, for all the dear folks of Sonoma County who have prayed for us, and even for Shaun Gallon who heartlessly committed this senseless and wicked crime. Thank you." I will now take some questions...and while I want to be as transparent as possible, please understand that I don't want to jeopardize the continued investigation and prosecution of this case, so I will not be answering any questions that might disclose information that should be saved for the courtroom." With this statement, police believe that they have identified the perpetrator of the double homicide as 38 year old Shaun Gallon, a resident of Forestville, California. Gallon had previously been arrested for the shooting death of his brother Shamus at their mother's home. Sheriff Steve Fritas of Sonoma County said that Gallon made statements about the crime that only the killer would know, and that his office had also found corroborating evidence tying Gallon to the murders. The nature of this evidence have not been released by the authorities. Gallon's motive for the killings of the couple and his brother have not yet been ascertained. No known connection to him between Lindsay Cutshall or Jason Allen has been uncovered yet either. Gallon remains in custody, having been charged in the murder of his brother. Murder charges filed: On May 17, 2018, Gallon was officially charged with the murders. Gallon's motives or connection to the couple remain unknown. If convicted, Gallon faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Gallon, now 39 years old, reportedly has a history of criminal misconduct, including attempted murder with a package bomb in June 2004, a conviction for wounding a man with an arrow and allegedly killing his younger brother in March 2017.
The Carnation murders were a mass murder that occurred on December 24, 2007, near Carnation, Washington, a small rural town 25 miles east of Seattle. The murders took place in the home of Wayne Scott Anderson and Judy Anderson. Victims- Six people were killed: -Wayne Scott Anderson, 60, a Boeing engineer and husband of Judy Anderson -Judy Anderson, 61, postal worker, and wife of Wayne Scott Anderson -Scott Anderson, 32, son of Wayne and Judy -Erica Anderson, 32, wife of Scott -Olivia Anderson, 5-year-old daughter of Scott and Erica -Nathan Anderson, 3-year-old son of Scott and Erica Crime: According to testimony, Joseph Thomas McEnroe and Michele Kristen Anderson armed themselves and drove their pickup to the home of her parents, Wayne and Judy Anderson, on the afternoon of Dec. 24, 2007. Christine M. Sarteschi, author of Mass and Serial Murder, described McEnroe and Anderson living in a trailer on Anderson's parents' property. Once inside, McEnroe distracted Judy Anderson, who was wrapping Christmas gifts, while Michele shot her father. After Michele's gun jammed, McEnroe then killed Wayne and Judy Anderson. The two then hid the bodies and carefully cleaned the home and waited for Michele Anderson's older brother, Scott, his wife, Erica, both 32, and their two young children. Once the family arrived, Michele Anderson shot her brother. McEnroe and Anderson then shot Erica Anderson and McEnroe shot the children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan, at request of Anderson because they didn't want witnesses and said the children would be scarred for life having seen the parents killed. The bodies were discovered two days later when Judy’s best friend Linda Thiele went the home to see why she was absent from work. While King County detectives were at the property, McEnroe and Michele Anderson drove up and were questioned and arrested. Prosecutors told jurors the motive for the killings was money and Anderson's belief she had been slighted and mistreated by her parents and brother. Sarteschi described McEnroe and Anderson meeting criteria for the classification "family annihilators", and described their crimes as instances of "familicide". Arrests: Arrested and indicted as the perpetrators of the killings were Michele Kristen Anderson and her boyfriend, Joseph Thomas McEnroe, both aged 29. They were each charged with six counts of first-degree murder. Michele is the younger sister of Scott and daughter of Wayne and Judy. Investigators have not pinpointed a motive for the slayings, but believe that a dispute over money may have led to the killings. The suspects waived their right to appear in court. Court papers say they have admitted to the killings. Michele fired the first shot at her father, but missed. Trial and sentencing: McEnroe confessed to the murders in January 2014, in an effort to avoid execution. On December 19, 2014, a 16-member jury was selected to hear the case against McEnroe. On March 25, 2015, the jury found Joseph McEnroe guilty of aggravated first-degree murder on all six counts. On May 13, 2015, Joseph McEnroe was sentenced to life in prison, and avoided the death penalty, mainly due to a statewide moratorium on the death penalty by then Governor, Jay Inslee. On March 4, 2016, Michele Anderson was found guilty of six counts of aggravated first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2016.
Thursday, April 4, 2019
The Iowa City Sueppel murders was a family annihilation perpetrated by Steven Sueppel, a 42-year-old former banker, at his residence in Iowa City, Iowa, USA on Easter Sunday night, March 23, 2008. On Monday morning at 6:31 a.m., Sueppel called 9-1-1 from his mobile phone, requested that police visit his house immediately, and hung up without identifying himself. When police arrived at his house, they found Sueppel's wife Sheryl and their four adopted children—Ethan, Seth, Mira and Eleanor dead of multiple blunt force trauma injuries to their upper torsos and heads. Police recovered the presumed murder weapons—two baseball bats—at the scene of the crime. At 6:36 a.m., five minutes after his 9-1-1 call, Steven Sueppel committed suicide by driving the family minivan into a concrete abutment on Interstate 80 at high speed, causing his vehicle to burst into flames. Details: In February 2008 (one month before the murders), Steven Sueppel was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of embezzlement and money laundering in connection with $559,040 stolen from his former employer, the Hills Bank and Trust Company of Hills, Iowa, where he had served as a vice president and controller. Sueppel had pleaded not guilty, but had indicated to investigators that he had in fact diverted the funds to a personal. At the time of the murders, Sueppel was out on bond and awaiting an April 2008 trial. Starting at about 11:30 p.m. on the evening of the murders, Sueppel left a series of apologetic voicemail messages for former co-workers and relatives. He also left a handwritten note in his own kitchen; in it, he wrote that he had killed his wife and children. On March 29, 2008, St. Mary's Church in Iowa City, where the Sueppel family had attended services the day before the familicide, held a Catholic funeral mass for all six members of the Sueppel family. The church's decision to grant Steven Sueppel, a presumed multiple murderer, a Catholic funeral generated controversy among Iowa City-area Catholics and Catholic scholars. Suspect: Sueppel was born on August 13, 1965, the son of William and Patricia Tierney Sueppel. He graduated from Regina High School and the University of Northern Iowa. The Sueppel family were members of St. Mary's Catholic Church, and Steven married Sheryl Kesterson there on June 13, 1990. During their marriage, the couple adopted four South Korean children: Ethan, Seth, Mira, and Eleanor. The family attended services at St. Mary's every week, and had been present at the church's Easter mass on Sunday, March 23, 2008. Aftermath: In the days after, there was some controversy over the inclusion of Sueppel in the Catholic funeral for his wife and children. Factoring in were differing accounts of possible mental illness both independent of and related to Sueppel committing familicide. In August 2008, Hills Bank and Trust filed court documents demanding payment from Sueppel's estate for the allegedly embezzled funds and for $32,673 in outstanding loans.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
James Craig Anderson was a 47-year-old African American man who was murdered in a hate crime in Jackson, Mississippi on June 26, 2011, by 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon of Brandon. At the time of his death, Anderson was working on the assembly line at the Nissan plant in north Jackson, and helping his longtime partner raise a young child. According to police, Dedmon and his friends, a group of white teenagers, robbed and repeatedly beat Anderson before Dedmon ran him over, causing fatal injuries. A motel security camera showed Dedmon and his associates, as well as Dedmon running Anderson over with his truck. The FBI conducted a high-profile civil rights investigation of Anderson's murder; it led to indictments of 10 persons, including Dedmon, for a conspiracy of several hate crimes against African Americans in Jackson committed from the spring of 2011 to March 2012. Anderson's murder was classified as a racially motivated hate crime. Eventually, all 10 persons were indicted for various combinations of these crimes. They each pleaded guilty and received federal sentences. Anderson's family asked that the perpetrators of the murder be spared the death penalty. Dedmon was convicted of murder in state court in 2012 and sentenced to two concurrent terms of life imprisonment. In March 2012, Dedmon, John Rice, Dylan Butler, Jonathan Gaskamp and William Montgomery pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and conspiracy charges. They were among the 10 indicted for multiple attacks against African Americans in Jackson. On February 10, 2015, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves sentenced Dedmon to 50 years in prison, Rice to 18 1⁄2 years, and Butler to 7 years for their roles in the hate crime. Their federal sentences will run concurrently to additional state ones, with the defendants not eligible for parole. Background: James Craig Anderson was born in Holmes County, Mississippi. His mother is Annzora Anderson. His father died when Anderson was young. Anderson had a sister, Barbara Anderson Young, and two brothers, Louis and Edwin J. Anderson. They attended local schools. Anderson later moved to Jackson, where he participated in church and was known for his tenor. For seventeen years he had been in a relationship with James Bradfield and was helping him rear a young relative for whom the latter was guardian. In the seven years prior to his death, Anderson had been working on the assembly line at the Nissan plant in the northern part of Jackson. Events: A group of young white men and women were drinking and partying in the small town of Puckett, in largely-white Rankin County, Mississippi. According to a lawyer representing one (or more) of the perpetrators, they decided to go buy more beer in a location where stores were open later at night According to law enforcement officials, Deryl Dedmon, an 18-year-old white man from Brandon, led the group in planning to attack blacks in Jackson. They talked about collecting bottles to throw at people. Dedmon said to friends, "Let's go fuck with some niggers." The group split up between Dedmon's green 1998 Ford F-250 truck and a white Jeep Cherokee. They each drove 16 miles (26 km) west on Interstate 20 to a predominantly black area on the western edge of Jackson. According to prosecutors, the people in the Jeep were the first to spot James Craig Anderson near his truck in the parking lot at the Metro Inn in Jackson at 5 am on June 26. They contacted Dedmon and the others to join them. The two vehicles with the group of whites pulled off the freeway and into the motel parking lot. The group said they believed that Anderson was trying to steal a vehicle because they saw him trying to break into one. The vehicle was Anderson's own; he had lost his keys. The group repeatedly beat Anderson and robbed him, the district attorney said, citing reports from witnesses. Video from a motel security camera shows the perpetrators entering and leaving the picture frame, but did not capture the beating. One witness reported that one of the perpetrators yelled, "white power", when returning to his truck after the beating. William Montgomery drove the Jeep away with several passengers, including John Aaron Rice. Dedmon drove his pickup truck over Anderson, who was staggering along the edge of the lot. This attack was captured on video. Dedmon caused fatal injuries, and Anderson died a few days later. Dedmon left the scene at a high speed. Later Dedmon boasted about beating and running Anderson over, saying, "I ran that nigger over," to his accomplices in the Jeep. Law enforcement officials said that Dedmon repeated that statement with the racial slur in subsequent conversations. Investigations: Dedmon was arrested by the Hinds County Sheriff on July 6 and was charged with capital murder. The incident was considered to be a racially motivated hate crime; Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said that the killers spoke racial slurs during the attack. "This was a crime of hate," he told CNN. "Dedmon murdered this man because he was black." John Aaron Rice, then a teenager, assaulted Anderson before he was run over and was charged with simple assault. Rice was released on $5,000 bail. Prosecutors pursued additional charges against Rice, as well as Dedmon's other accomplices who were at the scene. The FBI opened an investigation into the crime as a civil rights violation. FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden said on August 17 that the bureau wanted to "determine whether federal civil rights crimes occurred", including hate crimes. Their investigation revealed a larger pattern of attacks against African Americans. From 2012 to 2014, the FBI indicted a total of 10 individuals involved in a conspiracy to commit hate crimes against African Americans in Jackson, including the attack against Anderson. Four other incidents, beginning in the spring of 2011 and extending through March 22, 2012, included the following: Punching and kicking an African-American man walking near a golf course in the body, head, and face until he begged for his life. Attempting to run over an African-American man in a parking lot, quickly accelerating their vehicle in an attempt to hit him (the man was able to jump out of the way). Throwing glass bottles at African-American targeted victims. Using a sling shot to attack various African-American individuals, including a teenage boy riding a bike. Convictions and sentences: On September 20, a grand jury indicted Dedmon on charges of capital murder as well as a hate crime. Capital murder in Mississippi carries the sentences of death or life in prison without parole, and the state's hate crime law provides for more severe sentences. Attorneys for both Dedmon and Rice initially denied that the crime was racially motivated. Rice's attorney said the teens were on a "beer run" and that they were not looking for a black man to assault. Dedmon entered a plea of not guilty at a preliminary hearing held on September 30. On March 21, 2012, he entered a guilty plea to murder and a federal hate crime charge. He was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences in prison. During his sentencing, Dedmon apologized to Anderson's family. On March 22, 2012, Dedmon, Rice, and Butler pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and conspiracy charges. On December 4, 2012, Jonathan Gaskamp, Joseph Dominick, and William Montgomery also pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and conspiracy charges. These three had not been with Dedmon and his friends the night of the attack on Anderson. Another four of the total of 10 charged with hate crimes were indicted on eight counts in July 2014: John Louis Blalack, Sarah Adelia Graves, Robert Henry Rice, and Shelbie Brooke Richards, all of whom had been with Dedmon and his group the night of the attack against Anderson. All 10 of the conspirators pleaded guilty. Except for Dedmon, they were sentenced to 4–18 years in federal prison. On February 10, 2015, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi Carlton Reeves sentenced Dedmon to 50 years in prison, Rice to 18 1⁄2 years, and Butler to 7 years for their roles in the hate crimes. Their federal sentences run concurrently to the state ones, and they are not eligible for parole. Aftermath: Initially the case was being investigated locally. Release of the motel video showing Anderson being run over attracted national attention, ultimately resulting in a federal civil rights investigation. On August 14, 2011, about 500 people marched in Jackson from a church to the motel to denounce the "racially motivated hate crime". The group included a mix of "rich/poor, black/white, male/female, gay and straight," according to 75-year-old activist Rims Barber, among them Christian and Jewish clergy. On the Internet a "war of words" ensued as to how the crime should be classified. The subsequent FBI investigation found evidence of a conspiracy by 10 individuals to commit several hate crimes against African Americans in Jackson from the spring of 2011 to 2012. These 10 were indicted, each pleaded guilty, and each was sentenced to federal prison. With the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in September 2011 the siblings and mother of James Anderson filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against seven of the group who were involved in the attack on him. Anderson had a 17-year relationship with James Bradfield and was helping him raise a young relative for whom he was guardian. As Mississippi law did not recognize such relationships, Bradfield could not participate in the civil suit. On behalf of Anderson's family, his sister wrote a letter to Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, requesting that those responsible for Anderson's death be spared from the death penalty, citing the family's Christian values The letter stated, They also have caused our family unspeakable pain and grief. But our loss will not be lessened by the state taking the life of another.... We also oppose the death penalty because it historically has been used in Mississippi and the South primarily against people of color for killing whites. Executing James' killers will not help balance the scales. But sparing them may help to spark a dialogue that one day will lead to the elimination of capital punishment. Legacy: The family established the James Craig Anderson Foundation for Racial Tolerance.