It was ten years ago today that 16-year-old Jennifer Parks of Randolph, New Jersey, was murdered by her neighbors, the Zarate brothers, Jonathan and James.
James Zarate had invited Jennifer over to watch TV but it was just a plot to lure her into the Zarate household. The Zarate brother’s held a grudge against Jennifer after she had complained to her school about being bullied by James. The brothers brutally stabbed and bludgeoned Jennifer to death. Then to try to cover up their crime they dismembered Jennifer’s body and hid her remains in a trunk which they then put in the back of the family SUV for over a day. The brothers were arrested when they were caught trying to dump Jennifer’s remains into the Passaic River. Both brothers were sentenced to life in prison.
I first wrote about Jennifer back in 2005 due to the sheer brutality of it and the complete disregard for Jennifer’s life that the Zarate brothers had. During that time I had the pleasure of corresponding with Jennifer’s mother, Laurie Parks. She thanked me for what I was doing to make sure that Jennifer’s memory would never be forgotten. I also had the opportunity to meet two friends of Mrs. Parks that I consider close friends to this day. Unfortunately Jennifer’s father died from a heart attack but not before seeing his daughter’s killers sent to jail.
Today Jennifer would be 26 and we could only imagine what her life would have been like now. Would she be married with a daughter if her own or would should be years deep into a successful career? Unfortunately will never know since the Zarates stole the life of a girl filled with so much potential.
As long as I am writing I swear that Jennifer will never be forgotten.
The Bever’s house
I had heard about the family that had been killed in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It’s hard not to sound condescending when I say this but I didn’t read much about it at the time because it’s not the kind of story I typically write about. While I felt horrible for the family I thought this story could be handled by better bloggers than me. Then a new detail in the story was made public that made me feel compelled to write about it.
For those who may not have heard the Bever family was almost entirely wiped out by two of their own. 18-year-old Robert Bever and 16-year-old Michael Bever allegedly stabbed and killed almost everyone in their immediate family. The fatalities were their father, 52-year-old David Bever, their mother, 44-year-old April Bever, brothers Daniel, 12 and Christopher 7, and their sister, 5-year-old Victoria. Daniel’s death was especially tragic as he was able to call 911 to tell police that his brothers were killing his family before he died. Surviving the attack was 13-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and 2-year-old Autumn who was unharmed.
Recently the alleged motive for the killings have been made public. According to reports the brothers wanted to be more famous than the Columbine killers and that the murder of their family was only the beginning part of their plan. Police even said that Robert Bever confessed but showed no remorse. Micheal Bevers has been charged as an adult. As far as the elder brother is concerned Oklahoma does have the death penalty and have executed someone as recent as this past January.
I thought about not doing this story because I didn’t want to give them the fame they were looking for but you can’t talk about family annihilators without talking about the family itself and the Tumblr fangirl brigade already have their shrines dedicated to the brothers. I’d be shocked if these two cowardly assclowns weren’t columbiners on Tumblr. They certainly were cowards like their scumbag heroes, Harris and Klebold. Unfortunately they’re not the first mutants to kill their family. In 2005 Richard Edgar Henderson Jr. of Bradenton, Florida, bludgeoned his family to death with a pipe. He had been arrested in 2001 for plotting an attack against his high school.
Speaking of Tumblr I wonder what excuse will be given for this mass murder. It will probably be the blanket ‘mental illness’ excuse which again further stigmatizes people with true mental illness. Or maybe we’ll hear how they were bullied by their family including a 5-year-old girl. What will probably happen is that when it comes down to it they’ll start blaming each other.
Here’s the thing about ‘fame’, outside of a handful of maladjusted individuals on whatever website the special snowflakes of the world congregate, you two will be forgotten once your sentenced. After the hoopla and ballyhoo fades to most of the world you’ll just be a number assigned by the Department of Corrections.
Elytte and Miranda Barbour
Last year Elytte Barbour and his wife Miranda pleaded guilty to the murder of Troy LaFerrara in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and were both sentenced to life without parole. The husband and wife pair lured LaFerrara to his death by posing as a prostitute on craigslist. Once they got LaFerrara into their vehicle Miranda Barbour stabbed him while Elytte restrained LaFerrara by his throat.
Elytte Barbour is now asking for a retrial stating that his counsel was ineffective. He claims that there was evidence that he was insane at the time of the murder and that his attorney only urged him to take the guilty plea of second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty. Not surprisingly Barbour is representing himself.
Personally I’d like to see him get a new trial. I could use the laugh since he’s representing himself and if he went back to trial he’s probably be convicted on first-degree murder which would make him eligible for the death penalty.
In early February Washington D.C. attorney David Messerschmitt was stabbed to death in a DC hotel by someone he met on craigslist. Police say that 21-year-old Jamyra Gallmon committed the murder during a botched robbery. Mr. Messerschmitt was expecting a male visitor since his craigslist ad was looking for other men.
Galmon is claiming a bizarre form of self-defense in the killing…
After her arrest, Gallmon spoke to police. She admitted to going to the hotel that night with the intention of robbing the victim. According to the court documents, Gallmon said she walked into the hotel room and quickly turned to walk out when Messerschmitt got off the bed and grabbed her. Gallmon told police this caused a flashback to a memory of when she was assaulted.
At that point, the suspect told police that Messerschmitt started fighting with her. She pulled a knife, according to the court documents, and stabbed the victim seven times, including one wound that went through his heart.
This is another criminal defense that sounds like it’s coming from a child making up stories about who broke the lamp.
Also arrested was 19-year-old Dominique Johnson and has been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.
Mr. Messerschmitt was married to a wife that he’s now left behind. I don’t care whatever your sexual orientation is but if you’re using craigslist to meet someone for extracurricular activities you’re taking a big risk with your safety.
My prayers and condolences do go out to the friends and family of Mr. Messerschmitt.
UPDATE 5/31/2015: This past week both Gallmon and Johnson pleaded guilty to their roles in Mr. Messerschmitt’s murder. In the plea prosecutors are only seeking 18 to 25 years for Gallmon on second degree murder charges.
Johnson was released on bond and both will be sentenced in August.
One of the stories I’m woefully behind on is this one out of Longmont, Colorado, where police say that 34-year-old Dynel Lane not only allegedly stabbed 26-year-old Michelle Wilkins but cut Ms. Wilkins’ baby from her womb. Ms. Wilkins was seven months pregnant at the time of the brutal crime.
Ms. Wilkins went to Lane’s residence after responding to a craigslist ad for baby clothes. If this sounds slightly familiar it’s because it’s eerily reminiscent of the murder of Heather Snively. Ms. Snively was stabbed to death by Korena Roberts in 2009 and then Roberts cut the baby from Ms. Snively’s womb. However in this instance Ms. Wilkins survived her injuries. Unfortunately her baby did not.
Lane has been charged with attempted murder however she has not been charged for murder in the death of Ms. Wilkins’ unborn baby since Colorado does not recognize an unborn child as a person unless it’s capable of surviving outside the womb. Take that for what your will.
Ms. Wilkins has a GoFundMe page set up for medical expenses.
This week the Florida Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for David Sparre. Sparre was convicted in the brutal 2010 stabbing death of 21-year-old Tiara Pool. Sparre had met his victim through the casual encounters section of craigslist in Jacksonville, Florida. The pair had sex before Sparre stabbed her almost 90 times. Sparre was convicted and then sentenced to death for Tiara’s murder. After his sentencing Sparre sent a letter to his ex-girlfriend bragging about how he enjoyed killing Tiara. So it came as a surprise to me that an appeal of his death sentence was even being entertained.
During his trial and penalty phase Sparre instructed his attorney, Chief Assistant Public Defender Refik Eler, to not present any evidence in his defense. Eler, who said Sparre was guilty of second-degree murder but didn’t deserve the death penalty, planned to introduce evidence he was mentally unbalanced and abused drugs and alcohol since he was 11.
But Sparre reiterated his instructions to Circuit Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt, who ruled that Eler couldn’t present the evidence against his wishes.
On appeal Tallahassee Public Defender Nada Carey argued that Senterfitt abused her discretion by not considering all the evidence that would have kept Sparre off Death Row. She said it didn’t matter that Sparre didn’t want it brought up.
In Thursday’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling the justices said that in cases where a death-penalty defendant declined to offer a defense, the judge was required to order a comprehensive pre-sentence investigation into the that defendant’s background. That was done in Sparre’s case, with the investigation addressing his physical and mental health.
So that brings Sparre one step closer to the needle which will be infinitely more merciful than the death of Tiara Pool, a mother of one who still had her whole life in front of her. It’s too bad they won’t be able to lunge the needle into him 90 times. Hell, by the time his execution date would have rolled around I’m the country will have lost its nerve on killing monsters like Sparre.
Matthew Joseph Fischer
16-year-old Matthew Joseph Fischer was arrested for the stabbing death of 17-year-old Lucas Bennett Cavanaugh in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Fischer allegedly stabbed his victim after Fischer’s girlfriend received some messages over Snapchat from Cavanaugh. Fischer responded by daring Cavanaugh to come over and fight him which Cavanaugh obliged. During the fight police say that Fischer produced a knife and fatally stabbed Cavanaugh in the torso. After the fight Fischer fled and called his mother who didn’t hesitate to turn him back over to police. Fischer is being charged as an adult.
I never understood jealousy. To me jealousy is just another name for mistrust. If you trust your partner you don’t have to worry if some other guy is Snapchatting her. If you trust her she’ll just delete the messages. Not to mention like I’ve always said there is no man or woman alive worth killing over especially at that young of an age. You may think at that age you’re going to spend the rest of your life with that person but the odds are that you won’t. Now two lives are ruined over something so trivial as teenage jealousy.
Chad Richard Hurst
Back in late October, 30-year-old Chad Richard Hurst was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida and is believed to have stabbed 28-year-old Jennalee Miles to death after arranging a ‘date’ with his victim on Backpage. Hurst is also charged with stabbing another woman from Backpage who escaped.
I’m sure Liz McDougall and Backpage just think that Hurst was exercising his right to display his knife skills.
Cassie Jo Stoddart
In 2006 16-year-olds Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper brutally stabbed and killed their friend, 16-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddart of Pocatello, Idaho. They even recorded portions of their crime. Again from my first post on Cassie Jo’s murder…
“Just killed Cassie, we just left her house, this is not a f***ing joke,” says Brian Draper on the homemade videotape. “I’m shaking,” replies Adamcik.”I stabbed her in the throat and I saw her lifeless body just disappear,” says Draper.
Both were tried as adults, both were convicted and both were sentenced to life in prison. Another thing they have in common is that they both have sought to receive new trials and so far both of their convictions have been upheld. Now, once again, Adamcik is trying again for a new trial and the reasoning behind it astounds me in its equal parts cruelty and stupidity.
“The theory of the case is that Torey didn’t inflict the fatal wound and due to missteps by the defense, critical evidence that would have supported that theory of the case was excluded,” said Dennis Benjamin, Adamcik’s attorney.
Cassie Jo was stabbed 29 times. So Adamcik’s lawyer is actually arguing that out of the 29 times that she was stabbed his client didn’t administer the stab that killed her. So what were they then, paper cuts, flesh wounds? This is the ultimate insult to not only Cassie Jo’s memory but to her family as well.
Hopefully the courts will see this for the idiocy it is and keep this murdering coward behind bars for the rest of his unnatural life.
UPDATE 7/6/2015: The knives used to kill Cassie will be forensically tested to try to prove this idiotic theory.
I originally posted about Abdullah Alkadi here. He was the 23-year-old student from Cal State-Northridge who went missing after selling his car on craigslist. I was hoping that he would be found alive but sadly that is not the case.
Police say that Abdullah was stabbed to death by 28-year-old Agustin Rosendo Fernandez of Long Beach. Fernandez is said to have killed him in order to steal the car. Fernandez was allegedly in possession of the car at the time of his arrest.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Abdullah Alkadi.
I’ll post more as additional details become available and as time allows.