Most of us think of February 14 as a time for romance, but the emotionally charged holiday actually has a violent past.
Many historians believe that Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which involved men getting naked, sacrificing goats and skinning them, and then using strips from the skins to chase and whip nearby women.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that some couples end up swapping blows, blood, and bullets instead of heart-shaped chocolates and flowers.
Student Jailed After Murdering His Girlfriend During Valentine’s Day Sex Session
A student and personal trainer in Texas has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing his girlfriend during a rough Valentine’s Day sex session.
Chico Fierro, 26, pleaded guilty to the murder of his girlfriend Karyna Rodriguez, who worked as a waitress, on Valentine’s Day in 2015. Rodriguez was found dead inside an apartment at the Celina Apartments in east El Paso on February 15, according to The El Paso Times.
Fierro told police that he and Rodriguez had spent the night drinking and engaged in “rough sex.”
The court heard that he often liked to use objects with his girlfriend during sex, and it is believed that she bled to death after suffering massive internal bleeding. According to the medical examiner, Rodriguez was probably still alive when she was fatally injured but was more than likely unconscious. He based his conclusions partly on the amount of blood found at the scene. [The Sun]
Olympic Star Guns Down Girlfriend
Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius was revered in his home country of South Africa for overcoming the amputation of both of his legs at age 11 and becoming a champion.
But on Valentine’s Day in 2013, the runner would become world famous for something more sinister: He shot his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, four times through a locked bathroom door at their home in Pretoria.
Initially, he was charged with manslaughter, but that was overturned and the much heftier charge of murder was applied to the runner. At his trial, Pistorius claimed that he accidentally killed his girlfriend when he believed his home had been broken into.
He was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years behind bars. [CNN]
An Oklahoma Doctor Delivers Death
On Valentine’s Day 2001, Dr. John Hamilton ordered an expensive bouquet of flowers for his wife, Susan — and then killed her by strangling her with two of his neckties and brutally beating her.
On the surface, it appeared that Susan and John Hamilton had a happy marriage, but as investigators dug deeper, they discovered that some of Susan’s family members had reservations about the good doctor. They confessed that she had been considering divorce after discovering her husband’s sexually explicit phone calls with a topless dancer.
Police found traces of blood and flesh in Dr. Hamilton’s car and on his sleeve, and Susan’s jewelry hidden in a drawer — almost as if someone wanted to stage a burglary. He was arrested and charged with Susan’s murder, and a jury convicted him in less than two hours. He was sentenced to life in prison. [ABC News]
Woman Hires Personal Trainer To Take Out HusbandStacey Schoeck clearly took the “till death to us part” portion of her vows seriously when she masterminded the murder of Richard Schoeck, her fifth husband.
Schoeck, of Atlanta, Georgia, hired Reginald Coleman, a personal trainer known as “Mr. Results” who apparently did some moonlighting as a hit man, to take out her husband out on Valentine’s Day in 2010.
She paid Coleman $10,000 and lured her husband to a remote area of a public park where she told him that they would exchange Valentine’s Day cards.
Instead Coleman shot her husband, killing him. But Stacey’s evil plan stumbled after she tried to cash in her late husband’s $50,000 life insurance policy — and when police heard recordings of her planning the crime on the phone.
She’s currently serving life in federal prison. Coleman is also behind bars, as is a third work colleague who helped them plan the murder. [DailyMail.com]
Woman’s Security Camera Captures Her Ex-Boyfriend Killing Her on Valentine’s Day
Connecticut student Tiana Notice ended her relationship with James Carter II and got a restraining order against him, but her abusive ex continued to stalk her.
Notice’s parents were so concerned that they installed a surveillance camera outside her place to monitor her, and that same camera captured her running away from Carter on Valentine’s Day in 2009. The camera audio recorded Notice’s heartbreaking screams as she fought to escape and struggled to dial 911 as she bled to death.
James Carter II was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Last year, a jury found that two police officers were negligent in their handling of Notice’s complaints against her ex-boyfriend and awarded $10 million to her estate. Her family has founded an anti–domestic violence foundation in her honor. [Hartford Courant]
Main photo: Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius [SABC News Online/Facebook]