12-year-old unsolved arson murder of 8-year-old girl

12-year-old unsolved arson murder of 8-year-old girl

Mackenzie Branham

After receiving this story from friend of the site UberSpork, I was hesitant about posting this story. Passions seem to be high in the area where the crime took place and there has been a lot of drama surrounding it. I was afraid of inviting some of that drama on to the site but I decided to go ahead with the post anyway because at the heart of it a little girl’s murder has gone unsolved for 12-years.

In 2006, in Jeffersonville, Ohio, 8-year-old Mackenzie Branham died in a fire at her mother’s home that investigators ruled as arson. Mackenzie’s mother and her boyfriend were able to escape the blaze but claimed the fire was too intense to save Mackenzie. Since the fire, no arrests have been made and last year it was made public that evidence in the case that potentially contained DNA evidence was destroyed three months into the investigation and was never reported. Specifically, the clothes Mackenzie was wearing the night of the fire had been destroyed and Mackenzie’s father, Donald Branham,  didn’t find this out until last year. That’s 11-years without knowing that evidence that could potentially identify your daughter’s killer had been destroyed.

There are other aspects and accusations of the story that I’m not comfortable getting into since while they are feasible the accusations have not been legally been proven. However, it should be mentioned that Donald Branham has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

A child’s murder, especially one in such a horrific manner, should not go unsolved this long.

Anyone with information about the deadly arson is asked to call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 740-335-6170.

If you or someone you know lives in a small town or neighborhood and knows of a crime that you think deserves more attention than it’s getting, please contact me.

 

Teen craigslist killers set house on fire to cover their tracks

Teen craigslist killers set house on fire to cover their tracks

Johnsey and Lasiak

18-year-old Jerry Johnsey, of Auburndale, Florida, and 16-year-old Byron Lasiak, of Winter Haven, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 67-year-old Donald Merkley, also of Winter Haven. Johnsey allegedly knew his victim through craigslist and was having sex with the victim prior to this. In this instance, the pair went to the victim’s house and during sex Johnsey allegedly put Merkley in a chokehold until the victim fell unconscious. At that point, Johnsey and Lasiak are said to have taken turns beating the victim in the head with a baseball bat. They then found some gasoline and spread it around the house before taking $2.75 they found on a counter.

The next day Johnsey is said to have returned to the Merkley’s house, poured more gasoline and started the fire. Initially, investigators thought the fire was started by an electric heater until Lasiak came forward.

If you’re looking for a friend with benefits or just a one night stand, I would avoid sites like craigslist. Due to its low level of entry and perceived level of anonymity, it is a criminal haven. Hook-ups like this in the past from craigslist have led to crimes ranging from robbery to rape to murder. While craigslist isn’t the only dating avenue where these crimes happen I would say that it is the most prevalent one.

UPDATE 5/21/2018: Lasiak has pleaded guilty and agreed to a 20-year sentence along with testifying against Johnsey.

‘Disturbingly dangerous’ man jailed for life after killing six of his children

***Special thanks to Cobalt Rose for the write up***

Mick Philpott jailed for life over Derby house fire that left six children dead:

This one is a real horror story.

In the early hours of May 11th 2012, a devastating fire ripped through the home of the Philpott family in Derby, England. Despite the best efforts of firefighters and neighbours, Jayden (5), Jesse (6), Jack (8), John (9) and Jade Philpott (10) lost their lives in the blaze. Their older brother Duwayne, who was 13, survived the initial fire but suffered ‘horrific’ injuries. He died three days later.
Initially, the fire first appeared to be a terrible accident. However, on the 14th of May police revealed that petrol (gasoline to us Yanks –Trench) had been found inside the letterbox of the house, indicating that it was in fact arson. On the 16th of May, the children’s parents, Mick (56) and Mairead Philpott (31) called a press conference, where they wept and begged for anyone with information to come forward.

Mick and Mairead's crocodile tears

Mick and Mairead’s crocodile tears

However, despite their Oscar worthy performance in the conference room, suspicion began to fall on the Philpotts. Turns out, Mick was living a rather unorthodox lifestyle. He had fathered no less than 17 children by 5 different women, and had been living with his wife Mairead (who he’d been with since she was 17 and he was 42) and a mistress, Lisa Willis, before the fire broke out. Just days before the fire, Lisa had left Mick, taking her three children with her. Mick and Lisa were embroiled in a bitter custody battle over those three kids when the fire occurred. What a coincidence, huh? On May 28th, the Philpotts were arrested. Upon investigation, police found petrol on both Mick and Mairead’s clothes, and a discarded petrol can and gloves were found near the home. After two days of questioning, they were charged with murder. In November 2012 a family friend by the name of Paul Mosley was also arrested and charged with murder. Petrol was also found on his clothes. In December 2012 the charges of murder were downgraded to manslaughter, as it was decided that the Philpotts ‘did not intend’ to kill their children. Sure. I’m sure you, dear reader, will be asking much the same question that I did when this story first broke in the UK last year. Why? Why would two parents set their house ablaze, knowing that their six children were inside? Well, once you hear the reasoning behind it, I’m sure you’ll become just as disgusted and horrified as the whole of Britain are.

The Philpott’s trial began in February 2013. During the trial, it was revealed just how much of a vile piece of shit Mick Philpott was. He had several previous convictions, most of them for violent crimes. In 1978 he stabbed his girlfriend over a dozen times because she wanted to leave him. She claims that he was extremely violent, once shooting her in the groin with a crossbow because he felt her dress was too short. He also attacked his girlfriend’s mother when she tried to intervene. Miraculously, both women survived. Mick was charged with attempted murder and got seven years behind bars. He was out in three. He fathered child after child (17 in all) with various women. One of these was a girl by the name of Heather Kehoe. She was 14 when she began a relationship with Mick. Mick was 37. He had two children with Heather, who eventually left him because he was controlling and violent, once beating Heather because she couldn’t produce a female child. In 1991 Mick was arrested and charged with assault after headbutting a co-worker. He was on probation for attacking another driver during a road rage incident when the terrible fire occurred. He met future wife Mairead in 2000. She was 19. They would marry in 2003 and have the six children who would lose their lives at their hands. In 2001, Philpott met Lisa Willis, who was 16. They would have three children. Lisa, Mairead and Mick and their children all lived under one roof. Mick was the king of the family. He didn’t work, claiming thousands of pounds in benefits as well as taking his wife and mistresses paychecks. In 2010 he was arrested after he slapped Mairead and pulled her outside by her hair.

The faces of pure evil.

The faces of pure evil.

Eventually, Lisa got tired of living like a slave and left the home in early 2012, taking her children with her. Mick and Mairead didn’t like this very much and hatched a horrific plan. They decided to set their house, with their six children inside, ablaze. Mick would then leap into action and rescue the children, making himself look like a hero in the eyes of those involved in the ongoing dispute with Lisa Willis and the custody of her children. I know, it’s disgusting. It’s vile. No normal thinking person would ever even contemplate doing such a thing. But Mick and Mairead Philpott, and Paul Mosley who helped the coupe set the fire, are not normal people. They are degenerates, scum from the deepest, darkest depths of Hell. The general belief is that Mick was the mastermind behind it all. Of course, we now know that plan went horrendously wrong, and six innocent kids lost their lives. You would think that even a psycho like Mick Philpott would feel at least some sadness or anguish at losing his children, right? Apparently not. Even as five of his children lay dead in the morgue, and a sixth lay dying in the ICU, witnesses say Mick was jovial, cracking jokes and laughing before pinching a girl’s butt in the hospital corridor. What utter filth.

On April 2nd, all three defendants were found guilty of six counts of manslaughter. That was obviously not the outcome Mick and Mairead were expecting. Indeed, Mick had sent a letter to a friend detailing how after he and his wife were freed they would ‘rape each other’ before spending the day at their children’s graves. Mairead referred to the children’s funeral wake as an ‘after party’. There are no words.

On April 4th, Mick was sentenced to life in prison. Mairead and Paul Mosley got 17 years. Not nearly enough, but that’s the UK ‘justice’ system for you. 17 years adds up to less than three years for each child that died. Is that all a child’s life is worth? It’s clear that their children’s lives meant even less to the Philpotts. They put their own vengeance, selfishness and greed above their children, and now they are dead. I’d like to believe that, if Hell does indeed exist, there is a special place reserved just for the Philpotts. Let’s hope it’s right near some nice, hot flames, just so they can feel what their children felt.

phillpotts3

R.I.P Duwayne, Jade, John, Jack, Jesse and Jayden. I’m sorry your ‘parents’ were so selfish.

Thanks to Mauz for the tip.

Camden is burning again

Concord Chemical fire in Camden

Concord Chemical fire in Camden

Camden’s 3d major fire in 10 days levels factory:

ATF heads investigation of latest Camden fire:

For the third time in less than 2 weeks Camden, NJ has experienced its third major multi-alarm fire. This time it was this past Sunday when the former home of Concord Chemical Inc.

Camden officials haven’t come right out and finally admitted they may have an arsonist on their hands but they called in the ATF. On the local news some officials have bandied about the theory of scrap metal thieves sparking the blaze accidentally with a blow torch. Interesting theory but three different times? It’s Camden and half the police and fire departments have been laid off. It’s arson.

Speaking of the fire departments according to one article fire departments from all over Camden County were called in to help fight the blaze. So now the city of Camden has not only drained its own resources but now they’re draining the resources of neighboring municipalities.

It’s only going to get worse. It can’t possibly get better. If you’re in Camden now get out while you still can.

Camden is burning

A little help over here?

A little help over here?

In the past week the sphincter of the country, Camden, New Jersey has had two major fires. The first one was a 12-alarm fire in an abandoned tire company. Today’s fire was an 8-alarm fire that started in an old garment factory. Investigators aren’t saying if the fires were arson but come on, it’s Camden.

For those of you who haven’t been following the story not only is Camden usually ranked as one of the most crime ridden cities in the country but back in January the city laid off half of the police and fire departments. Mostly because more than half of the properties in the city are non-tax paying properties.

Luckily no fire fighters were killed at either fire but that’s not to say the layoffs and the crime made fighting the fires any easier. Copper threads used to hook hoses to fire hydrants were stolen off the fire hydrants probably for scrap metal or to open the hydrants because of the heat. Instead fire companies had to pump in water from the Cooper River, six blocks away. Some say that it took firefighters twice the time it would have to battle this fire.

Back in March the city I posted that if the city doesn’t get its act together by the summer that the city would start to burn. I’m not prophetic as much as it is a no brainer. Less cops plus less firemen plus a heat wave equals a burning city.

Bad fiance sets house on fire killing two children

Man accused of killing children is back in Vanderburgh County:

Suspect In Court, Community Remembers Children:

Man Accused Of Killing Fiancée’s Children Appears Before Judge:

Is it me or does this piece of crap just look like a firebug?

Anyway Sparky over there is 34-year-old Jeffrey Weisheit of Evansville, Indiana. He’s accused of binding at least one of his fiance’s kids in duct tape and then setting the house on fire killing 8-year-old Alyssa Lynch and her brother, 5-year-old Caleb Lynch. And by killing I mean they were either burnt to death or died from smoke inhalation. Both are equally brutal ways to die.

No word on motive yet but he is facing the death penalty in Indiana. And if Indiana chooses not to exercise the death penalty option Kentucky then gets a crack at him.

Weisheit allegedly tried to take out two Kentucky police officers with his vehicle when they laid out stop sticks. He is said to have veered his vehicle towards the officers which gets you two attempted murder charges. Kentucky police had to take him down with TASERs which is a bonus.

If there was any justice in the world he would be placed in a wooden room, handcuffed to the wall while the room is set on fire while he’s been given a hacksaw. If he can make it out then they’ll just shoot him.

Thanks to Amanda for the tip.

Aussie Facebook vigilantes jeopardize bushfire case

Online vigilantes threaten arson case:

Facebook vigilantes from Australia have outed the identity of the alleged arsonist responsible for one of the many bushfires raging through Australia.

There was a protective order in place protecting the identity of 39-year-old Brendan Sokaluk who is accused of killing 21 in a bushfire that he allegedly started. That didn’t stop a group of Facebook users from divulging his identity, likeness and address. Part of the order has been lifted in regards to his name but in Australia you still can’t publish his likeness or address.

Police however are afraid that revealing his identity could put prosecution of Sokaluk in jeopardy by prejudicing a potential jury.

Leave the police do their job people. While I don’t agree with the Australian law it is the law. How would you feel if Sokaluk got off because of something you posted on Facebook?

Arsonist called for traveling

Parolee charged with seeking sex from teen:

38-year-old Calvin Rexroad of Urbana, Illinois is a convicted arsonist. He served half of a 25 year sentence for setting his ex-girlfriend’s car on fire which then caught the ex’s home on fire while she and her kids were inside. Luckily they escaped the fire.

I guess he thought it was high time for a criminal career change. An alert father discovered that Rexford was more or less grooming his 13-year-old daughter over MyYearbook. He contacted police. Police set up Rexford for the sting and nabbed his ass at a Victoria’s Secret.

The interesting thing is that not only was Rexford charged with indecent solicitation of a child but he was also charged with the brand new law of traveling to meet a minor. That law took effect on Jan. 1st.

Congratulations on being the first Sparky