So 2017 has come and gone, and once again CrimeFeed has reported on hundreds of true crime stories — some fascinating, some frightening, some alarming, some amusing, and some to which only three letters can be applied: “WTF?”
The 10 most popular CrimeFeed stories of the past year offer a bit of each of those possibilities, and tell us a bit about you, as well. Check them out as we gear up with you for 2018.1. THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The heinousness of the 1993 crime for which teenagers Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin were convicted — the murder and sexual mutilation of three seven-year-old boys — is matched in outrage only by the miscarriage of justice that resulted in the completely innocent “West Memphis Three” going to jail for 18 years. Echols even spent his sentence on Death Row. Released in 2011 after agreeing to an Alford Plea, the saga of the WM3 continues to shock, horrify, alarm, and, ultimately, to inspire. CrimeFeed readers obviously think so.
The sadistic horror that befell Kansas city boy Adrian Jones by way of his mother Heather Jones and stepfather Michael Jones seems too grotesque and heartbreaking for any sane human to imagine, let alone perpetrate. Yet, it was all too true. And you couldn’t tear yourselves away.
Really, it comes down to that mug shot. Pennsylvania creep Frank Yeager apparently really had it in for female real estate brokers. This psycho even kept a diary containing hundreds of agents’ contact info and thousands of pages of rape fantasies in which he referred to himself as “Hell’s Realtor.” In 2017, Yeager got 10-to-20 years for an attempted rape that occurred in 2012. Let’s assume a man showed Yeager to his present prison cell residence.
For those times when you’ve finally binged all your favorite ID shows, CrimeFeed suggested some killer true crime docs to catch before the premiere of Lt. Kenda’s next case. Among the roster: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015); Into the Abyss (2011); and The Staircase (2004).
Our collective fascination with Scott Peterson and his Christmas Eve 2002 murder of his pregnant wife Laci continues unabated. Among the saga’s most compelling players has been Amber Frey, Peterson’s romantic interest at the time who had no idea her boyfriend was married — and who then helped police put him away for good. For the latest definitive look at the case, check out ID’s Scott Peterson: An American Murder Mystery.
That headline alone certainly makes for an eyeful. In Margate, Florida, this year, Richard Patterson, 65, stood trial for the choking death of his girlfriend Francisca Marquinez, 60. The defense team argued that the victim accidentally asphyxiated because Patterson’s penis is so big. While the court was ultimately spared the sight of the defendant’s private parts, the jury bought Patterson’s ploy and found him not guilty.
Richard Glossip, 54, has been on Oklahoma’s Death Row since being convicted twice of ordering the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese. In addition to massive questions regarding Glossip’s guilt that have garnered him worldwide attention and support, he has been led three times to the execution chamber, only to have his lethal injection canceled at the last minute — once because the state simply ran out of drugs. Watch ID’s 2017, hugely compelling examination of the case, Killing Richard Glossip here.
In the realm of hip-hop, no mystery looms more prominent than the seemingly connected, shockingly unsolved murders of superstars Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.
In November 2017, Thaddeus Culpepper, the attorney for outlaw impresario Suge Knight, wrote in a signed affidavit that “Knight has known for many years that Reggie Wright, Jr. and his ex-wife Sharitha were behind the murder of Tupac and attempted murder of Knight.”
Adding to the Death Row Records honcho’s own long list of legal entanglements, in August a grand jury indicted Knight for making death threats against Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray.
On April 4, 2015, serial-killer obsessed Amanda Taylor, 24, considerably violated the rules of Instagram, as well as every known law of the state and human rationality. On that date, Amanda and her friend Sean Ball beat and fatally stabbed her 59-year-old father-in-law, Charles Taylor, 31 times with a bayonet. She then took selfies with his corpse and posted the images on the popular social-media network.
Amanda blamed Charles for her husband Rex’s suicide and, on her Facebook page, dedicated the slaughter to him accordingly, writing, “I proudly did this for Rex.” She then also shot Sean Ball, but he lived (and went to jail). Amanda copped a plea and is presently serving 60 years.
— AustynZOGS (@Austynzogs) August 10, 2016
After being separated for 18 years, New Mexico mom Monica Mares, 37, reunited with her estranged son Caleb Peterson, 20, and they immediately started having sex. The couple said they actually fell “madly in love” which, unfortunately for them, doesn’t make incest any less illegal in New Mexico.
Authorities arrested the hopelessly romantic mother and child in 2016, and they pleaded guilty. Citing the phenomenon of Genetic Sexual Attraction, Mares and Peterson also vowed to fight for their right to … do what they do.
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Main photos: Damien Echols [West Memphis Police Department], Richard Henry Patterson [Broward County Sheriff’s Office], Amanda Taylor [Montgomery County Police], Frank Yeager [Lehigh County Sheriff’s Office]