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▣ Parents in Michigan accused of no-body murder of their 3 year old

posted by Admin on December 27th, 2016 at 9:52 AM

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Parents accused of killing missing daughter and burying her by tracks
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton talks to the media about the charges filed in relation to a missing 3-year-old child Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at Genesee District Court in downtown Flint. Mark Felix |
Mark Felix |
Roberto Acosta | By Roberto Acosta |
December 06, 2016 at 1:00 PM, updated December 07, 2016 at 12:07 PM
FLINT, MI -- The parents of a missing 3-year-old Flint child have been charged with murder after a local teacher reported potential child abuse concerning a sibling.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton announced the charges Tuesday, Dec. 6 following an investigation that led police and his office to believe Kimora Simon was beaten to death and buried in a shallow grave near Evergreen Regency Townhomes off Lippincott Boulevard.

Khairy Joshuawon Simon, 26, and Erika Shantae Finley, 27 were arraigned by Genesee District Judge Nathaniel Perry on charges of felony murder, tampering with evidence, lying to a peace officer in a violent crime investigation, first-degree child abuse, and first-degree child abuse in the presence of another child.

Finley also faces one count of welfare fraud.

For more:Michigan Live

Posted by Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, The No Body Guy

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▣ Good article on recent Baltimore County, Maryland no-body murder cases

posted by Admin on December 27th, 2016 at 9:35 AM

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I consulted on the Tetso case.

Murder cases without body difficult, not impossible, for prosecutors

Baltimore County attempting to win third unique case in recent years
Updated: 6:40 AM EST Nov 15, 2016
Ron Snyder
Digital Editor

Travis Eugene Elleby, 30, is charged with murder in the 2010 death of his girlfriend Cherice Ragins.

Cherice Ragins left her Baltimore home on Feb. 19, 2010.
The 24-year-old Baltimore woman was never seen or heard from again.

More than six years have passed, with friends and family wondering what happened to Ragins. That question has yet to be answered, but police and prosecutors now believe that they at least have an idea of the last person to see Ragins alive.

Travis Eugene Elleby, 30, was indicted in September by a Baltimore County grand jury on first-degree murder charges in connection with Ragins’ death. Elleby is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Ragins’ body has never been found.

Law enforcement officials admit that it is rare to pursue a murder case against a defendant when there is no body to confirm a death.

“You’re in a position of trying to prove a negative,” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said. “It also takes more time than a traditional murder case because you need to show that the person is likely dead and there’s no other conclusion of what happened to that person other than that they are dead.”

For more:WBALTV

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▣ Florida women arrested for no-body murder of infant daughter five years ago in West Virginia

posted by Admin on November 11th, 2016 at 12:53 PM

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Daughter still missing, but mother arrested in St. Petersburg on murder charges
Sara DiNataleSara DiNatale, Times Staff Writer

Friday, November 4, 2016 2:14pm
No body has been found, but a woman living in St. Petersburg has been arrested and extradited to West Virginia on charges she killed her young daughter there with a strike to the head.
Lena Lunsford, 34, told authorities five years ago that 3-year-old Aliayah had vanished from her bedroom. Authorities launched a national search. Family in Lewis County, W.Va., held out hope for years that the young girl would be found safe and alive.

"It comes with great sadness that I report that Aliayah Lunsford, who went missing on Sept. 24, 2011, is deceased," Lewis County Sheriff Adam M. Gissy said at a news conference in a Lewis County courtroom Friday.

Aliayah was inside her West Virginia home when she received the fatal blow from a handheld object, according to a Sheriff's Office criminal complaint. The report says that Luns­ford struck her daughter intentionally and that the mother of seven didn't help the girl or let others who were present help her, either.

The girl was "visibly suffering from trauma caused by the strike," Deputy E.E. Carpenter wrote in the complaint, adding that, based on witness accounts, "within hours of the strike, the child victim died."

Afterward, Lunsford took steps to conceal what happened, deputies said.

"These include, but are not limited to, originating a fictitious narrative regarding the death, destroying evidence, concealing the victim's body, and instructing witnesses to conceal the true circumstances of the victim's death," Carpenter wrote.

Gissy said investigators still do not know the location of Aliayah's body, but believe her mother does. He did not answer questions at the news conference.

For more:Tampa

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▣ Possible new evidence in suspected no-body murder of Tennesse mother

posted by Admin on November 11th, 2016 at 12:45 PM

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Link between missing Tenn. mom and Fla. attempted murder?

Shelley Mook, left, and Robin Doneth, right
There was no crime scene, no body, and no evidence of a crime.

All anyone could prove was that 24-year-old Shelley Mook, a young mother and middle school teacher, vanished Feb. 28, 2011 after dropping her six-year-old daughter Lilliana off at the home of her ex-husband, Tyler Mook, in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

Shelley was officially considered a missing person, but her family and friends all insisted she was dead. They argued there was no way she would leave her daughter and never return. Equally suspicious, her credit cards, phone records, and bank accounts went silent.

There is no question about where Shelley was the day she vanished. Her ex-husband, Tyler Mook, has stated under oath that he was with Shelley at his house on the afternoon she disappeared. He says they spent over an hour talking, including about a boyfriend whom Shelley told Tyler may have been cheating on her. Shelley left to do errands and, Tyler says, she promised to be back by 10 p.m. She never returned and her mother notified police when she did not show up for work.

There was one other stunning clue. Her burnt out car -- a Pontiac Grand Prix -- was found miles from her home the morning after her disappearance.

In spite of the suspicious circumstances, authorities have not altered the status of the case from a missing person case to a homicide investigation. They do consider Tyler Mook a person of interest in the disappearance.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt a crime’s been committed. The issue now is can we gather enough information, put it together to get beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” Tennessee District Attorney Robert Carter told “48 Hours’” Michelle Miller. “This is a very active case. It’s being worked extremely hard.”

As hard as the case has been worked, no arrest has been made more than five years after Shelley’s disappearance.

For more: CBS

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▣ Colorado man pleads guilty to no-body murder and sentenced to 48 years

posted by Admin on November 11th, 2016 at 12:37 PM

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Killer sentenced, but where is Lea Porter's body?
Deb Stanley
8:25 AM, Oct 21, 2016
4:42 PM, Oct 21, 2016
WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Lea Porter was just 19 when she went to visit a friend from high school and disappeared on June 3, 2014.

Now, that high school friend, Christopher Adam Waide, is in prison, sentenced to 48 years for murder and possessing child pornography.

But Lea's body was never found.

Investigators said Waide has maintained he put Lea in a dumpster. Investigators found Lea's clothes and cell phone during a 45 days search of the landfill associated with the dumpster, but could not find her.

"She's been discarded somewhere," Lea's mother, Rene Jackson told Denver7 previously. "Whether he's hidden her some place where he can go back and visit her--that’s truly what my momma heart says. And I feel that way because I know his history."

“She doesn’t deserve to be just tossed away like a piece of trash," Lea's brother Maxx Porter said.


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▣ Good a"Baby Kate" no-body murder case and no-body murder cases in general

posted by Admin on November 11th, 2016 at 12:32 PM

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Case was tried by No-Body Murder Hall of Famer Donna Pendergast.

Jessica Heeringa and Baby Kate: Why 'no body' murder cases are difficult

Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson announces charges in the homicide of Jessica Heeringa during a press conference in September. Law enforcement has not yet found Heeringa's body. (Joel Bissell | MLive file photo)
Joel Bissell |
Eric Gaertner | By Eric Gaertner |

on October 20, 2016 at 7:55 AM, updated October 20, 2016 at 9:50 AM

MUSKEGON, MI – "No body" or missing-body homicide cases are widely considered some of the most difficult to prosecute.

First off, the prosecutor needs to convince the judge and the jury that a death has actually occurred and that a criminal act led to the death.

If he or she can't make those parts of his or her case clear with the other evidence, then the judge or jury could acquit.

Two high-profile "no body" murder cases in West Michigan are currently in the midst of the court process.

Jeffrey Willis, an accused serial killer, is charged with murder in the "no body" investigation of Jessica Heeringa, a mother who was allegedly abducted from a Norton Shores gas station on April 26, 2013. Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson recently filed murder charges against Willis in the Heeringa case, and a motion by the defense to close the preliminary examination to the public is expected to be heard soon. The motion hearing initially was scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 19, but it has since been postponed.

Sean Phillips, 26, was found guilty of second-degree murder of his infant daughter by a jury verdict rendered Friday, Oct. 14. Katherine Phillips, or Baby Kate, was last seen at age 4 ½ months old on June 29, 2011. Sean Phillips will be sentenced at a later date.

In these cases, which have each received national attention, investigators have yet to locate a body.

Anthony Dillof, associate professor of law at Wayne State University, said the thinking among some used to be that you couldn't have a homicide prosecution if you didn't have a body. They based that thinking on Corpus Delecti, a Latin term meaning the "body of the crime."

However, prosecutors are bringing "no body" cases to trial and winning in some cases. Dillof said the legal community now interprets Corpus Delicti to refer to proof needed that a crime took place – beyond an alleged confession – rather than having the actual body in a murder case.

"Other than that, there's no legal obstacle," he said.

The practical obstacles, on the other hand, provide the challenges in a "no body" murder prosecution.


Posted by Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, The No Body Guy

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▣ Minnesota man charged in no-body vehicular homicide death of North Dakota women

posted by Admin on November 11th, 2016 at 11:46 AM

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This is a first for me: a vehicular no-body homicide....huh? Charges were later dropped for now.

Authorities ask for help finding body of missing Minn. woman

Michelle Newell
CBS Minnesota
FARGO, N.D. -- Authorities believe the body of a missing Minnesota woman might be in the Dakotas, and they’re seeking the public’s help.

Sheriff’s offices in Minnesota’s Ramsey County and North Dakota’s Cass County are asking people who live east of Jamestown, North Dakota, and Aberdeen, South Dakota, to search barns and other rural buildings for anything suspicious.

Authorities are trying to find the body of 45-year-old Michelle Newell, of Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. She was reported missing by her family Sept. 8.

For more:CNS News

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▣ No Body Guy on two podcasts

posted by Admin on October 30th, 2016 at 6:15 PM

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I don't know if you're into podcasts like I am (was totally obsessed with both Serial podcasts on the Hae Min Lee murder and Bo Bergdahl) but I'm on two recent ones on Court Junkie which is a true crime podcast out of Chicago. Here they are if you'd like to listen. One features a no-body murder case and the second is just me talking about no-body murders in general:

Episode 7

Court Junkie Brief: No Body Murder Cases

Posted by Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, the No Body Guy

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▣ Indiana man faces closing arguments in no-body murder case

posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016 at 3:58 PM

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Closing arguments could start Friday in Willie Wilson murder trial
Rich Van Wyk
Published: 10/06/16 01:12 pm EDT.
Updated: 10/08/16 08:19 am EDT.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Closing arguments are likely to begin Friday morning in the Willie Wilson murder trial. Prosecutors say they hope to finish making their case to the jury by Thursday evening.

Wilson claims his baby son Delano was abducted in 2014. Investigators say there are witnesses and video surveillance that contradict his story. They believe Wilson killed his six-week-old son, then hid the body. The child's remains were never found despite extensive searches.

On the last day Delano was seen alive, Wilson claimed that someone attacked him and took the baby.

Weeks after his baby disappeared, Wilson, with the help of Eyewitness News, worked with an artist to create sketches of the couple he said robbed him and abducted his son.

"This is exactly it. It has me in tears," Wilson said at the time.

But in court Thursday, Detective Greg Hagan told jurors the man and woman strongly resembles characters from the popular video game Grand Theft Auto. The detective testified the game was playing on the television when they searched the family's home for the baby and clues to his disappearance.

In 2014, Wilson claimed he was robbed and pistol-whipped in an alley near the home, by a man and woman who took his child. Detectives found it odd they didn't take his cell phones and wallet.

Earlier this week, a police officer and paramedic both testified Willie Wilson didn’t look hurt. He had no cuts or bruises, and there was no evidence he was attacked and pistol-whipped.

Prosecutors say witnesses, security camera videos, and other evidence contradict Wilson's story.

For more:WTHR

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▣ Famous no-body murder prosecutor in trial again in Michigan no-body murder case

posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016 at 3:44 PM

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Jury selection underway in ‘Baby Kate’ murder trial
Murder trial five years in the making must wait one more day
Barton Deiters Published: September 26, 2016, 1:19 pm Updated: September 27, 2016, 3:33 pm
Dad ordered to murder trial in Baby Kate case
Court clears way for trial in Baby Kate murder case
Murder trial scheduled in Baby Kate case
LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) — Baby Kate disappeared June 28, 2011. The 4-month-old’s body has never been found and there is virtually no physical evidence in the case.

was last seen with her father, Sean Phillips. He has consistently denied that he had anything to do with her death, despite a letter he allegedly wrote to her mother in which he said he threw the car seat she was riding in and she stopped breathing.

Phillips, 26, of Ludington, is already serving a 10- to 15-year sentence for the unlawful imprisonment of his daughter. Now, he faces a charge of open murder in her death. The jury, once chosen, can find Phillips guilty of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence without parole; guilty of second-degree, non-premediated murder; or not guilty.

Monday, Phillips seemed relaxed but attentive as jury selection dragged on. His mother was seated near him in the courtroom. She and Phillips’s father are expected to have to testify. Also expected to testify is Baby Kate’s mother, Ariel Courtland.

For more: WoodTV

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▣ Michigan man charged in suspected no-body murder

posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016 at 3:39 PM

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After murder charge, question remains: Where is Jessica Heeringa?
Search continues for Jessica Heeringa's body more than 3 years after she vanished
Heather Walker and 24 Hour News 8 web staff Published: September 21, 2016, 7:13 pm Updated: September 21, 2016, 7:21 pm
Jeffrey Willis charged with murdering Jessica Heeringa
Interview, phone records led to Willis charges in Jessica Heeringa murder
Complete coverage of the Jeffrey Willis investigation

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A murder charge, but no body.

Jeffrey Willis has been charged with kidnapping and murdering Jessica Heeringa, who went missing from her workplace in Norton Shores in April 2013, but investigators haven’t found her remains. Authorities say the Norton Shores Police Department is dedicated to bringing her home.
Jessica Heeringa went missing from the Norton Shores gas station where she worked on April 26, 2013.

“Both Lt. (Michael) Kasher and Chief (Jon) Gale have made that commitment to the Heeringa family that this doesn’t end the saga, so to speak,” Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. “We’re going to continue to look and follow any leads that we get in order to bring her home.”

According to court documents, Willis’ cousin, Kevin Bluhm, told investigators that he helped Willis bury Heeringa off Sheridan Road north of E. Laketon Avenue in Muskegon Township. Investigators say they’re sure her body was there at one time.

The area in question, which is about a third of a mile from Willis’ home, is the site of old train tracks that make a path through the woods. Police first searched there in June on the same day they interviewed Bluhm.

For more:

Posted by Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, The No Body Guy

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▣ Florida man indicted in no-body murder of pregnant woman

posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016 at 3:28 PM

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Man, 28, indicted in murder of missing pregnant woman
23-year-old last seen with man now charged with her murder
By Kent Justice - Reporter/11 p.m. anchor , Staff
Posted: 3:02 PM, September 14, 2016
Updated: 10:57 PM, September 14, 2016

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. - A 28-year-old man was indicted on a first-degree murder charge Wednesday in the death of a woman who disappeared from Gainesville in January and has never been found.

Hannah Brim, 23, was last seen on Jan. 19 riding in a vehicle driven by Nelson Armas. She was reported missing by her family four days later. She was 5 months pregnant.
Hannah Brim was last seen as a passenger in a car driven by Nelson Armas Gainesville police search for missing woman

A grand jury indicted Armas Wednesday for Brim's murder and also for grand theft auto and tampering with physical evidence.

Jacksonville attorney Rhonda Peoples-Waters said evidence will be a key issue in the case.

"And the issue that prosecutors are going to have to deal with is proving murder when there is no body," said Peoples-Waters, who is not involved in the case.

For more: Mews4Jax
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▣ Maryland man charged with no-body murder

posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016 at 3:17 PM

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By Barry Simms

Windsor Mill man charged with killing girlfriend in 2010
Body of Cherice Ragins never recovered, police say
UPDATED 5:42 PM EDT Sep 13, 2016
WINDSOR MILL, Md. —A Windsor Mill man has been charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, who was reported missing in 2010, Baltimore County police said.
Police said Travis Eugene Elleby, 30, was indicted on first-degree murder charges and is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Elleby is charged with the murder of Cherice Ragins, 24, who was last seen on Feb. 19, 2010. Police said Ragins left her home in the 3600 block of North Rogers Avenue to go to Elleby’s home in the 2500 block of Cheshaire Drive.

Ragin’s mother reported her missing on Feb. 24, 2010, after she did not return home or contact her.

Investigators believe that Elleby killed Ragins and disposed of her body, which has never been recovered.

"Detectives did a thorough investigation over the years and determined her boyfriend murdered her and discarded her body somewhere," Baltimore County police Cpl. John Wachter said.

The fact that Ragins' body has not been found had a lot to do with developing the case and the murder charge.
For more: WBALTV

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▣ No-Body Guy quoted on Florida no-body murder case

posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016 at 3:10 PM

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Leesburg Murder Case with No Body, A Rarity for Prosecutors
Orlando Sentinel by Ryan Gillespie September 13 , 2016
Leesburg police are confident 84-year-old Bernadine Montgomery's body was dumped by her alleged killer in the Ocala National Forest.

One problem: They don't have the body.

That hasn't deterred authorities from charging David Mariotti with first-degree murder and vowing to seek the death penalty if he is convicted.

Prosecutors have joined an exclusive club in seeking capital punishment without their best piece of evidence. Dating back to the early 1800s, just 464 "no-body" murder cases have been tried, according to a former federal prosecutor who keeps track of cases lacking the victim's body. Just 31 of those have been sentenced to death.

For more:Orlando Sentinel

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▣ Maryland man pleads guilty in no-body murder case

posted by Admin on October 10th, 2016 at 2:56 PM

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In desperate search for missing Cecil County teens, authorities make a deal with a killer

In 2014, two teens vanished from the same neighborhood in Elkton, Maryland. The suspect accused of their murder, cuts a deal a day before his trial. (Baltimore Sun video)
Justin Fenton
With two teens missing, Cecil Co. authorities make a deal with their suspected killer. Would it bring closure?

The cop and the prosecutor were working together that day, preparing for a murder trial, when the phone buzzed.

It was August 2015, and in just a few days, Donald Ray Bennett was to stand trial for the killings of two teenagers whose disappearances a year earlier had gripped this northeastern Maryland town. Despite the crush of attention, the involvement of the FBI and hundreds of hours performing searches by land, air and water, the boys had never been found.

On the other side of the phone was Bennett’s defense attorney, with an offer. Bennett was willing to plead guilty to both murders and serve 30 years. It was a light sentence for the cruel crimes, but Bennett had a powerful bargaining chip: He knew where the bodies were. The catch was that a year had gone by, and he couldn’t be certain they were still there.

For the detective, Andy Tuer, and the prosecutor, Karl Fockler, it was an agonizing decision. They felt confident that the circumstantial evidence could convict Bennett in the deaths. And if found guilty at trial, Bennett would face a harsher penalty, as much as two life sentences.

For more: Baltimore Sun

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▣ Aryan Brotherhood members convicted in no-body murder case in Mississippi

posted by Admin on June 26th, 2016 at 1:45 PM

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Brutal Murder Busts Up Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi
By Josh Saul On 6/22/16 at 7:10 AM
In the Magazine
Organized white supremacists in Texas prisons include both the Aryan Nation and the Aryan Circle, as well as several spin off groups. The Brotherhood is run from prisons because members know that they’ll end up there, sooner or later. ANDREW LICHTENSTEIN/CORBIS/GETTY

Skip screwed up. A captain in the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi had fronted him $250 worth of methamphetamine, but Michael “Skip” Hudson, another member of the gang, didn’t like the quality and refused to pay for it. One of the Brotherhood’s statewide leaders ordered the dispute settled with “minutes,” meaning a fistfight, a common method of conflict resolution within the highly organized and hierarchical gang.

And that’s when Hudson made his fatal mistake: He refused to show.

When Frankie “State Raised” Owens Jr. heard a Brotherhood soldier had ignored a direct command, he waited for Hudson with three other members at one of their trailers, close to the Alabama border. When a gang soldier and a recruit arrived with Hudson that December day in 2010 in a pickup truck—having lured him on Owens’s orders by lying that they were on their way to cook meth—the full fury of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi was unleashed. Owens used a billy club he nicknamed “Blackie” as he and the five other men beat Hudson. They then bound him with wire and loaded him into the trunk of a car for a 90-mile drive north to meet with Eric Parker, the captain who had given Hudson the meth. When they arrived at Parker’s trailer, he wasn’t home, so Owens let Hudson out of the trunk and allowed him to smoke a cigarette.

When Parker arrived a few minutes later, he and Owens strangled Hudson with a baseball bat, court papers state.

Later that night, Parker frantically called the gang’s highest-ranking leader outside prison, Brandon “Oak” Creel, to say things had gotten out of hand (they weren’t supposed to kill Hudson) and they needed help. Owens and Parker then tossed Hudson’s body in the back of another pickup truck and drove to Creel’s house, where they wrapped the body in carpet and stuffed it into a 55-gallon drum. Creel used a backhoe to dig a pit, lined it with roofing metal and put the drum inside. He then tossed in tires, doused them with gasoline and sparked up a tire fire that he kept burning for five days. Finally, he folded up the roofing metal that lined the pit and dumped his noirish crematorium into a nearby creek.

Hudson’s brutal murder and elaborate burial were the centerpiece of a federal indictment that convicted 42 Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi members and associates over the past year and halted the gang’s plan to consolidate with the national Aryan Brotherhood. Recent prosecutions in Texas and Oklahoma show that, just like in Mississippi, local Aryan Brotherhood groups kept those states flooded with methamphetamine while enforcing a brutal “blood in, blood out” loyalty both in prison and in what they call the “free world.”

But that rigorous internal discipline led to the long-running Mississippi gang’s downfall after multiple members, tired of all the rules and beatings, turned against their onetime brothers. “That’s why we were able to get so many cooperators,” federal prosecutor Scott Leary tells Newsweek. “That sense of loyalty had been eroded by the violence that had been inflicted on the members.”
A ‘Blood In’ Mission

The Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi was founded in the state’s prisons in the mid-1980s. Like its counterparts in other states, it was modeled on the Aryan Brotherhood that formed at San Quentin State Prison in California in 1964 as a “defensive formation” against the Black Guerrilla Family, with the goal of protecting white inmates from extortion and rape. “All of these race-based prison gangs essentially emerged as a response to the desegregation of prisons in the United States,” says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Potok says there’s an estimated 20,000 members of Aryan Brotherhood gangs nationwide, and in the past 15 years they have spilled beyond prison walls to form sprawling criminal organizations. Other experts say the roots of prison gangs like the Brotherhood lie in the intensification of the drug war and the resulting overcrowding in prisons. They say that led to more violence and an increased incentive for prisoners to become gang members to protect themselves. “It’s our criminal justice policies since the 1970s that have created the gang presence in prisons,” says Heather Ann Thompson, a history professor who studies prisons at the University of Michigan.

“A paradox of state punitive power emerges: The harsher, longer and more likely a prison sentence, the stronger outside affiliates’ incentives to stay on good terms with imprisoned leaders, and hence the greater prison gangs’ coercive power over those who anticipate prison,” University of Chicago assistant professor Benjamin Lessing wrote in his 2015 paper about how prison gangs undermine state authority. “From Los Angeles and El Paso to El Salvador and Brazil, they have organized street-level drug traffickers and neighborhood gangs into extensive and lucrative criminal networks.” Looking at prison gangs from that angle, prison reform—like recent efforts by President Barack Obama to end overly harsh sentencing laws—could weaken these gangs by improving prison conditions and thereby decreasing the incentive for membership.

06_21_aryan_brotherhood_02 The trailer where members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi first beat fellow member Michael "Skip" Hudson before driving him to another location and killing him. U.S. Attorney's Office

The Aryan gangs have evolved into hierarchical organizations, with a structure and loyalty a regional fast-food chain would envy. The Mississippi Brotherhood calls itself “the Family” and is ruled by a three-man “Wheel” that divides the state into nine zones. The Wheel appoints a captain to oversee each zone and prison, with a network of sergeants-at-arms who enforce order and discipline, a treasurer to handle finances and numerous soldiers. Recruits are in “prospect status” for six months before they can be assigned a “blood in mission,” like the one assigned to the prospective member who helped lure Hudson to his death. (The same day Hudson was beaten, that recruit received his “brand,” or tattoo, signifying full membership in the Aryan Brotherhood.)

The gang’s 26-page constitution emphasizes a top-down loyalty and chain of command, according to a copy of the confidential document obtained by Newsweek. “The members will obey and follow all orders given to them no matter the context or the reason without complaint or refusal,” reads the constitution. Refusing an order, it states, “is considered treason against the order of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi and this will be an immediate sanctioned violation and not tolerated in any shape or form. This is a blood-out violation!”

For more: Newsweek

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▣ Judge seals case in Tennessee no-body murder case

posted by Admin on June 26th, 2016 at 12:45 PM

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Judge seals records in Nashville no-body murder case
Stacey Barchenger, 12:46 p.m. CDT May 25, 2016

Evidence in the murder case against Caleb Cannon will remain secret until trial, a Nashville judge ruled on Wednesday.

Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn granted a request by Assistant District Attorney General Katy Miller to seal discovery — evidence that law requires prosecutors and defense lawyers to exchange — before Cannon's trial.

The ruling means lawyers will have access to the evidence, but the public will not. Typically that evidence is public record after the exchange, though judges regularly seal medical records and specific information about victims of sex crimes and juveniles, for example.

For more: The Tennessean

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▣ Illinois man sentenced to 40 years for no-body murder

posted by Admin on May 9th, 2016 at 8:10 PM

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Horman sentenced to 40 years for Dayton murder

Steve Stout,, 815-431-4082 Apr 29, 2016 0

William Horman, who was found guilty last month of murder and concealing the victim's body, was sentenced to 40 years in prison Friday by Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr.

"We were successful in this case with no body, no medical cause of death and no murder weapon," said La Salle County State's Attorney Brian Towne following the sentencing hearing. "I believe that is a first for any murder case in La Salle County."

Repeating what he told the jury, the prosecutor said Horman's motive was greed and his actions calculated.

Ryan sentenced Horman, 49, to a mandatory prison term of 35 years for murder and five years on the concealment charge. Towne estimated, with consideration for time served in county custody, Horman would be in his mid-to-late 80's at the end of the consecutive sentences.

Before Ryan's pronouncement, Horman, a father of three, asked the judge for mercy and leniency. However, in his statement, he was not remorseful.

For more:My Web Times

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▣ Pre-trial hearing in Delaware no-body murder case

posted by Admin on May 9th, 2016 at 7:58 PM

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5 things you should know about the Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk hearing
Witness says Tucker was with Bradley when she met him

James Bradley is led into a courtroom at the New Hanover County Courthouse in Wilmington on May 15, 2014. STARNEWS FILE PHOTO
By F.T. Norton
StarNews Staff
Published: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 9:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 9:04 p.m.

Key testimony from Tuesday's pre-trial hearing for James Bradley of Wilmington, charged with murder in the 2014 presumed death of Shannon Van Newkirk, also of Wilmington. The hearing is to determine if prosecutors can introduce certain evidence in Bradley's upcoming murder trial:

1. Crystal Sitosky, 34, of Wilmington testified Elisha Tucker was with Bradley when she first met him in 2013. Detectives looking for Van Newkirk found Tucker's body buried on a plot of land owned by Mott's Landscaping in Pender County. Bradley and Van Newkirk had worked for Mott's at the time of her disappearance.

2. Sitosky said Bradley told her he and Tucker had a relationship, yet despite that, he pursued Sitosky romantically.

For more: Star News Online

Posted by Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, The No Body Guy

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▣ Guilty plea in Connecticut no-body murder case

posted by Admin on April 9th, 2016 at 4:19 PM

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With No Body, 12 Years In Murder Case Plea Deal
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to a plea deal calling for Thomas Malinka to serve 12 years in prison. (Courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Correction)
Alaine GriffinAlaine GriffinContact Reporter
With No Body, 12 Years In CT Murder Case Plea Deal

NEW HAVEN — There was no body or crime scene that told the story of Branford landlord John Deveau's last moments alive.

Yet prosecutors, using circumstantial and scant DNA evidence, forged ahead with the prosecution of Thomas Malinka, one of Deveau's tenants, on charges of murdering Deveau.

Then, on the eve of the trial earlier this year, Malinka, whom Deveau had hired to do renovations at his properties, started talking.

Trial testimony was postponed and a gruesome search for remains in Farmington and New Britain followed, dashing the hopes of Deveau's family that the 61-year-old may have been alive. The discovery of a part of Deveau's leg bone with what prosecutors called "telltale signs of saw marks" confirmed his family's worst fears.

Citing difficulties in getting a murder conviction and Malinka's 11th-hour cooperation in which he led police to Deveau's remains — a relief to Deveau's sister who had said she would rather have a lesser sentence and something of her brother to bury rather than no body at all — prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to a plea deal calling for Malinka to serve 12 years in prison on charges of larceny and tampering with evidence.

For more: Courant

Posted by Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, The No Body Guy

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