Cal Harris acquitted in wife’s 2001 murder

Calvin HarrisIt has been 15 years and a total of four murder trials for New York millionaire and businessman Calvin Harris. This week, the wild ride finally came to an end as a judge acquitted him of killing his wife, Michele. I’ve been mulling that verdict over the last few days, dancing around writing a blog post about it but not knowing where to start. You see, if you have read my book Missing Wives, Missing Lives, you’ll know that I don’t believe Cal is innocent. His actions on the morning of September 12, 2001, when he claimed to discover his wife did not come home the night before just don’t sit well with me. He’d threatened to kill her in the past. The couple was in the middle of a bitter divorce. And yet Cal didn’t seem to even bat an eye when Michele’s abandoned minivan was discovered near the end of the long, winding Harris driveway with the keys still in the ignition. Instead of reporting his wife missing, he took her car to work with him that same morning and cleaned it out.
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Maura Murray has been missing for 12 years today

It’s a case that has gripped New England crime sleuths for over a decade. Twelve years ago today, Maura Murray mysteriously disappeared after a one-vehicle car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire.
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Did Netflix’s new documentary “Making a Murderer” get you fired up?

Making a MurdererUnless you’ve been living under a rock this holiday season, you have probably watched (or know someone who has recently watched) Netflix’s newest documentary on Steven Avery, Making a Murderer. I can’t recall a time when a true crime documentary has ignited the country this quickly and so furiously. If you don’t already know, Making a Murderer is documentary created by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, filmmakers following the case of Steven Avery, a man who was wrongly convicted of beating and raping a woman in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, in 1985. He served 18 years in prison before new DNA evidence tested by the Wisconsin Innocence Project exonerated him, proving the assailant was another man already in prison for similar crimes, Gregory Allen. Easy, right? Well, that’s just the first episode. Things begin to get complicated after that. Of course, Steven Avery filed a $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County and several officials that had a hand in convicting him, as any man who’d just spent 18 years of his adult life wasting away in prison for a brutal crime he did not commit. Just as depositions were getting underway for that civil suit, a local photographer by the name of Teresa Halbach was reported missing on November 3, 2005. She was last seen on Steven Avery’s property on October 31, where he had arranged for her to take photographs of a van the family was putting up for sale. A full investigation began to unfold, and when search parties located Teresa’s green RAV 4 on the Avery property, all hell breaks loose. If you haven’t watched the series, I will warn you to stop reading here. Really, I think it’s much better to watch it with a fresh perspective and allow the creators of the documentary to lead you though the case piece by piece. So if you haven’t watched, stop reading now and go watch! Then come back here and leave me a comment below this post. I want to know what you think! If you have finished the series and are looking for more information, as well as what I think about the case, keep reading.
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Patty Vaughan has been missing for 19 years

Patty VaughanFor most families, Christmas day is a time to gather with the entire family and celebrate life, love, and togetherness. For one family in La Vernia, Texas, Christmas day is a painful memory. It is the day their beloved daughter, sister, and mother, Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan, mysteriously disappeared nineteen years ago. Those close to the investigation have long suspected Patty’s then-husband, J.R. Vaughan, in her disappearance. You might recall this particular case from my first book, Missing Wives, Missing Lives. Each Christmas, I say a silent prayer for Patty and her family, in hopes that one Christmas, they will have the answers to their questions and justice will have been served.

If you have information about this case, please think of Patty’s family on Christmas day and call 210-335-TIPS.

 

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“Her name was Bella Bond.”

Bella Bond, left, and the computer-generated image used to learn her identity, right.

A few weeks ago, I posted about Baby Doe, a young girl whose body was found wrapped in a blanket and a trash bag, discarded on Deer Island in Boston.  For several months, we all wondered who this child could be–how no one could notice a sweet, innocent girl had gone missing. Today, we know who she was, and two arrests have been made in the case.
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Who Is Baby Doe?

babydoeOn June 25, 2015, a woman walking her dog along the beaches of Deer Island discovered a trash bag that contained the body of a young child. Three weeks later, a computer-generated image of the young girl, dubbed “Baby Doe” has been viewed millions of times and we still don’t know who she is. Baby Doe was approximately 4 years old when she died. She weighed just thirty pounds and stood at three-and-a-half feet tall. She had brown eyes and brown hair.
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Since everyone is talking about Robert Durst…

the-jinx-the-life-and-deaths-of-robert-durst-posterSince everyone is talking about Robert Durst, I thought I’d throw my two cents into the mix. I’ve been following the Durst case for years. I even wrote about his missing wife, Kathie, and the decades that followed in which his family and friends began to suspect that he had something to do with her 1982 disappearance. You can read about Kathie and Robert’s case, along with the cases of twenty-nine other missing women, in my book, Missing Wives, Missing Lives. When Robert’s longtime companion, Susan Berman, was shot execution style in her Los Angeles home in 2000, and then his Galveston, Texas neighbor turned up dismembered in 2001, the coincidences became too large to ignore. I think it’s clear to most people who have followed the case for decades that Mr. Durst has been a murderer walking free for years. If it wasn’t, the HBO documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” has made it abundantly clear.
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Cold Case: Where is Angela “Cherice” Gwinn Stephens?

Angele "Cherice" Gwinn StephensTwenty-three-year-old Angela “Cherice” Gwinn Stephens has been missing since October 1, 1993. Today, nearly twenty-one years after she was last seen, Raleigh County Commissioners in West Virginia signed a petition declaring her legally dead. Her husband, Norman E. Stephens II, claims that Cherice dropped him off at work that Friday, and never returned to pick him up at the end of his shift. Instead of reporting her missing, Norman waited twenty-seven days and then filed for divorce. Cherice’s family reported her missing eleven months after she was last seen. Norman reportedly told the police that his wife had called him from out of town, letting him know she was not coming back. He hired a lawyer and refused to take a lie detector test.
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Cold Case: Missing since 1977, Mary Stuart and her two young daughters have never been found

Where are they?

Mary Elizabeth StuartJessie StuartFannie StuartMary Elizabeth (Danckert) Stuart was born on April 25, 1945. She was married to Byron McCray Stuart, who reportedly was quick to anger and not afraid to resort to violence. Mary left her home in Honeydew, California around 10:00 in the morning on Saturday, December 10, 1977. She and her two young daughters, two-year-old Jessie Flo and one-year-old Fannie Fawn, left in the family’s red Opel station wagon to run some errands. They planned to visit a television repair shop in a neighboring town, the optometrist, and a grocery store. The trio never returned home that evening.
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Remains found in Minnesota ID’d as missing woman Carrie Olson

Carrie OlsonTwenty-nine-year-old Carrie Olson went missing from Rock Island, Iowa on December 28, 2013. Now, more than three months later, remains found over 300 miles away in Hastings, Minnesota have been identified as hers. A property owner stumbled across the remains on his land in an isolated, wooded area on April 5. Investigators are working on determining how long the body has been in the area, as well as the time and manner of death.
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