Browsing: Homicide

In April this year, at The True Crime Weblog, I wrote “All-American Girl: The Murder of Meghan Landowski.” Landowski, a 16-year-old sophomore at Woodrow Wilson High in Portsmouth, VA, was found stabbed to death in her home last April. There’s finally been an arrest in the case. Portsmouth police have taken a 17-year-old into custody. He’s been charged with first-degree murder. The teen’s name hasn’t been revealed due to his age, but the D.A. prosecuting the case, Earle Mobley, says he will seek to charge the teen as an adult. [DailyPress.com]


A brief video from the Kentucky New Era about new developments in the case.
The Kentucky State Police have made an arrest in connection with the brutal murders of Kayla Williams, Kortney Frensley, little Ethan Frensley and the attack on the childrens’ mother, Kristy Frensley.
A SWAT team assisted in the arrest at a residence at 2503 Cox Mill Road in Hopkinsville, KY around 8:30 a.m this morning, Central TIme. The suspect may have been an installer for Direct TV. Neighbors said that at least two men lived at the residence and that they hadn’t been there for more than a month or two.
Kristy Frensley (the New Era consistently spells her first name Kristi) continues to recover at the Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville.
[Kentucky New Era]

kristyfrensley.jpgThe deaths of Kayla Williams and Kortney and Ethan Frensley have been ruled homicides. A spokesman for the Kentucky State Police said that autopsies on two of the three children made it clear they’d been murdered. The childrens’ mother, Kristy Frensley, continues to recover from her injuries. There was some suspicion towards Frensley’s ex at first, Jeffery H. Frensley (statistics often point towards an estranged spouse in cases like this), but discussions at Websleuths.com, a popular true crime message board, have begun to steer away from Frensley and towards the possibility of the attack on the family being a random, sexually-motivated crime. Even if you don’t want to register for an account and post on the board, you may want to at least follow the thread I began about this case on October 16. [WZTV]

kfrensley.jpgThe one-story home at 169 Military Road was on fire. Locals knew that Kristy (or Kristi, according to one source) Frensley lived there with her children: Kayla Williams, her 17-year-old daughter, born prior to Kristi’s marriage to Jeffery Hugh Frensley; Kortney Frensley, Jeff and Kristi’s daughter, an 9th-grader; and little Ethan Frensley, age 4. Kayla and Kortney went to Trigg County High.
The Roaring Springs, KY Volunteer Fire Dept. responded to the fire when it was reported around 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday. They found much more than the everyday tragedy of a house fire. They found 3 dead bodies. Kristy Frensley was the only living person on the scene. She was gravely injured.
Police believe the three bodies found at the scene — most likely Kayla, Kortney, and Ethan — were murdered.
Whatever happened at 169 Military Road may have happened between 4 and 5 p.m. Neighbors told local media that their kids got off the bus with the Frensley kids. By the time law enforcement began processing the scene, it was clear to witnesses that something dramatic had happened. One witness even told the Kentucky New Era of seeing a body in the rear of the burning home. The witness, a Fort Campbell soldier named Jason White, said, “I’ve seen enough caskets… and then to come home and see this…”
Another neighbor told of the intensity of the flames at the Frensley home. Richard Coleman described seeing thick black clouds of smoke and said that by the time he and his wife arrived, “the house was fully engulfed.” Coleman continued, “There was nothing they could have done at the time to save the structure.”
kristyfrensley.jpgColeman also heard a woman — possibly Kristy Frensley — calling for help.
Kristy Frensley’s middle child, Kortney, had a MySpace at one point: Kortney_Frensley. It was precisely what you might expect from a middle-schooler in tiny Roaring Springs, KY. From Kortney’s “About me”:

God always comes first for me!!!Hey my name is Kortney if you don’t know me!! I’m in the 8th grade WHOOT WHOOT!!! I love to make people laugh!!! I’m a little crazy once you get to know me!!! I love to be different cause who wants to be like everybody else, it kinda gets boring after awhile!! I like to yell random things && I’m very loud!! But I’m not annoying lol!! WE IN THE BED LIKE EWW EWW EWW(inside joke)lol Liz!! NO BUTTON WHOOOT WHOOT I love you KIERSTYN!!I like to yell old songs so everybody will look at me && give me wierd faces lol!! I have msn so add me!! [email protected]!! I currently am single and pretty much hating it so any of you boys that think you can handle me can give me a call!

kaylaethan.jpgKortney told a bit more about herself in her MySpace “General” interests, writing, “I like to just be myself and I like to go muddin &;&; I like to ride dirtbikes &;&; skateboard which I really can’t do but I’m into learning new things!!!&;&; basically do what ever any other teenager would do!!”
Kortney also wrote that her hero was “My sister Kayla!!! She is the best sister a girl can ever have!! I miss && love you soooo much!!”
The photos in Kortney’s MySpace album were testament to how important her family was to her. Knowing how the siblings may have died, seeing Kortney’s pictures of her brother, sister, and mother was arresting. Inevitably, the questions came, all of them summed up simply with the biggest question asked by anyone when crimes like this hit the news — why?
Autopsies on the children as well an examination by forensic anthropologist Emily Craig may bring some answers, soon. Kristy Frensley, who is in serious condition at a medical facility in Cadiz, may be able to answer some questions as well. She was “recently divorced” from Jeffery Frensley, according to one report, and comments on the Kentucky New Era article already point towards some local suspicion towards him. And it’s hard to avoid the fact most of the time, cases like this are domestic in nature.
Police have made no reference to a person of interest in this case, and the investigation is ongoing.
An additional link: Kortney Frensley’s profile on Bebo.com.
[Sources: Kentucky New Era and WSMV.com.]

caseymanthony.JPGIt’s a given that we shouldn’t expect neutral reporting from anyone associated with the Nancy Grace show where Casey Anthony is concerned, but I’d imagine that show is also pretty tied in to good sources working the case. That’s why the CNN.com article written by Grace producer Natisha Lance (linked at the end of this post) is so interesting. Particularly this passage, describing today’s arrest of the alleged killer mom:

Anthony was arrested during a traffic stop after the indictment and taken to jail, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.
Undercover officers followed Anthony as she traveled in her mother’s SUV. The officers saw the SUV stop under a highway overpass, at which point Anthony got into another vehicle and drove off. Officers made the traffic stop after she entered the second vehicle, the spokesman said.

Emphasis was added.
Reading that I couldn’t help but think of Scott Peterson’s arrest in La Jolla, CA in April, 2003. Peterson said he was meeting some people at the Torrey Pines golf course, but police felt pretty sure Peterson was making a run for the border. The large amount of cash he had at the time together with multiple credit cards and camping equipment didn’t make Peterson all that believable, either (the countdown to the inevitable Peterson troll who posts defenses of Scott on ALL blog entries even halfway referencing the case has just begun).
The passage quoted above was buried in the middle of the story, but it stood out in neon, to me. I’ll be very interested to learn what reasons Casey might have had for making that odd stop and vehicle switch. I’m sure her mother, Cindy Anthony, will have some sort utterly implausible explanation ready for the news cameras very soon.
UPDATE
A friend e-mailed shortly after this post was up to tell me that Casey’s vehicle switch was to the bail bondsman’s gray SUV. My friend wrote that “There was communication between Cindy and [bail bondsman]Mike MacDonald about Myfox orlando ‘chasing’ or following them from Jose [Baez’s] office.” My tipster added, “Mr. MacDonald also may have been concerned about her whereabouts at that point as well.”
[CNN.com]

findingcaylee.jpgCNN has reported on-air that a grand jury in Orange County Florida is prepared to indict Casey Anthony for the first degree murder of her daughter Caylee, who vanished last summer. If this is indeed a true bill from the grand jury, Casey will go to jail and be held without bail until she goes to trial. It didn’t take them long. From WFLA Radio: “The 19 grand jurors — 10 women and nine men — deliberated for about half an hour before returning the indictment.” Yeah, I know — ’bout damned time, isn’t it? [CNN]

Soldier Robert Marko, age 21, wrote the following on his MySpace profile, kept under screen name Rex290:

I’m pure blooded Black Raptor born as human and one day will join the ranks of my fellow people, until till them i will keep fighting against humans and will do so till the day i die, i’m becomeing a true Black Raptor already, i’m becomeing a cold hearted killer and can kill without mercy or reason. Also it is my lifes goal to bring down the word of god by fear and by doing all those that belive in fucking false god will come to fear my name and the name of my people The Black Raptors…

robertmarko.jpgMarko was assigned to the Fourth Brigade, Fourth Infantry Division at Fort Carson, in Colorado. He listed some of his best friends’ names on his profile. It isn’t known whether they were fellow soldiers or not. Marko’s headline read: “*We Ride Together* *We Die Together* *Bad Boys For Life* *JR, Robert, Andy, and Ron Best Friends Until Death*”
One of Rex290/Marko’s 297 or so friends on MySpace was Judilianna Lawrence, age 19. She was Judi to her friends.
Judi’s mother, Aekyong Lawrence, told ABC News that Judi had a learning disability — ADHD. She said Judi was a sweet girl who had struggled with her learning problems since elementary school.
The last time Judi was seen alive was prior to a school bowling trip on Friday, October 10. Judi didn’t go. She allegedly left with a man driving an 8-year-old, yellow Jeep Cherokee.
That man, according to police in El Paso County, CO, was the self-professed Black Raptor and “cold-blooded killer,” Robert Marko.
Marko was arrested Monday night in connection with Judi’s disappearance. Her disappearance, and her murder. Judilianna Lawrence was found Monday afternoon on Old Stage Road in El Paso County.
If police are correct about Robert Marko, then the soldier who seemed bound and determined to become the ne plus ultra of the human apex predator got his start by preying on a good-hearted young woman who had a marked learning disability. If Marko is a killer, he targeted a singularly weak and trusting victim.
Which, if true, would make him nothing but a conscienceless animal. And in prison, it would make him not an apex predator, but one of the targets at the bottom of the food chain.
More links relevant to Robert Markos:
* Marko’s dating profile on Plentyoffish.com.
* Marko’s personal profile at Vampirefreaks.com. He wrote the following on that page:

I’m PFC Marko,Robert of the US Army, as of now i’m fighting for my country in Iraq. Also i’m Know as Rex290, that is who i was in my past life and will become someday and will fight to bring peace to all my people, the Black Raptors. If ur a single female ages 18 to 20 that can accept my belifes and not try to change them, then look me up kk. I also looking for any goth or emo females, same ages who are looking for a semi goth soldier, if u all hit me up, my contact links as follow. MSN: [email protected] Yahoo: dragon_dragon290 AIM: unitedspacecore add me if u wish to chat to me, all others leave me alone is that clear kk Comander Rex290 out

He gave his “likes” as “paintball, snowboarding and death.”
* This link takes you to a post Rex290 made on a message board explaining that “Black Raptors” was a role-playing game (RPG).
* A Rex290 who shared an e-mail address with PFC Robert Marko posted a message in the forum at GetDare.com. Reading it in light of his arrest in connection with a murder, it was hard to view the author of the message as your run-of-the-mill sadist seeking a hookup. Rex290 wrote that he was “seeking a female slave, any age kk.” He was seeking “someone who will do as i say and not question me to much.” He said he respected limits, but preferred “that u dont have any kk.” Rex290 said he was “into pain,” seeing what a woman’s private parts could take. Rex290, however, was not “into bloob [sic].” At least not “to [sic]much.” There was only one other message in the thread, a site staff member chastising him for posting the same message too many times in one month.
* Still another “master seeking slave” ad Rex290 posted at GetDare.com — Anyone else feel like he was looking for more than a willing masochist? This ad was posted on April 4 of this year:

I’m looking for female slave in Colorado Springs,CO region, my current e-mail is down right now kk, i’m looking for possible offline relationship. I only want females in Colorado Springs region kk, u can pm me here or e-mail me at [email protected] kk. […] What i’m looking for is female with no limits and loves pain kk, if u think u are her, hit me up kk

Again, a staff member for the site responded to Rex290’s post: “could I just say no limits is impossible cos that could include cutting her head off for all she knows, so maybe be a bit more spacific about the pain etc…”
* Rex290 tried one more time, on May 22, 2008. He wrote a similar message to the one quoted immediately above, and added the following graphic coda: “The things i going to have u do: […] Nipple/Boob torture/pain, anal, and pussy kk…”
[ABC News via Black and Missing.]

genericrimescenephoto.jpgThe 911 call came in around 11 a.m. on Sunday. Bob and Ellen Sheldon were dead. The Sheldons’ son had grown worried on Sunday when Robert “Bob” Sheldon and his wife Ellen didn’t show up for church. He went to check on his parents at their residence on Black Powder Lane.
Robert Charles Sheldon and Ellen Louise Ogden were 19 and 20 respectively when they married in 1957. The Sheldons and the Old Cabin Shop had been integral parts of the local community ever since. Before the police officially named the couple as the victims of a double homicide, a local who knew the Sheldons wrote about the crime online.
“Scarecrow” posted his message in the general chat forum at MCarterBrown.com. He stated that his “friend and mentor” had been murdered:

A good friend Robert Sheldon and his Wife Ellen were murdered in their home this morning. ‘Bob’ and Ellen Sheldon run the local gun and archery store called ‘The Old Cabin Shop.’ He has been in business over fifty years. When he first opened, my grandfather Bill King was the gunsmith Mr. Sheldon turned to anytime he had a problem he couldn’t fix himself. As Bill King’s grandson I was afforded special courtesy in his shop. Something that few others could say. Bob encouraged me to pursue gunsmithing and metalworking and sent more than a few customers my way.
I can only say that at this time I am seething with anger. I cannot imagine what sort of low life would do this. I am loosing what little regard I have for the human race. I’m sorry to say that here, because there are a lot of good people on this board and in the paintball community. But there are also a lot of people out there in this world who are a waste of resources…

It was a grim irony — Bob and Ellen Sheldon had worked with weapons all their lives, but clearly, someone caught them unawares.
Police have yet to officially disclose the couple’s names. A press conference will be held in Joplin at 9 a.m. this morning.
The investigation is ongoing, and involves police from Carthage and Webb City as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol. I have a feeling “Scarecrow” wasn’t exaggerating; the deaths of elderly pillars of the community like Bob and Ellen Sheldon is perhaps a bit of a personal cause for local law enforcement now. Hopefully it will just be a matter of time before an arrest is made.
[The Joplin Globe]

Some stories you just note because they make you wonder what the hell is wrong with people. This is one of them. Just before 10 p.m. on Thursday night, some young people got out of a Honda Civic and doused a homeless man with gas. They set him on fire. The heavyset man, called Grimley by area residents, tried to run. The kids gave chase and once again doused him with more fuel before they fled. The LAPD don’t have Grimley’s real name yet and they are looking for at least one 20-something guy seen leaving the area. According to locals, Grimley was dirty and he smelled bad, but he never harmed anyone. Like I said… what the hell is wrong with people? [Los Angeles Times]

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