Monday, April 30, 2007

Jane Clabaugh

Murdered on/about April 30, 2007

~Age 45
~Hometown: Flowery Branch, GA

Their divorce was finalized on April 17, 2007, but Brian Keith Clabaugh, 41, and Jane Morgan Paris Clabaugh, 45, continued to live together until their house could be sold and the profits divided. Ms. Clabaugh had asked for the Flowery Branch, GA property in the divorce settlement and Mr. Clabaugh was originally ordered to vacate it by April 21st. When he said this would leave him homeless, though, the order was modified to allow both parties to remain in the house. The arrangement did not last long, as Mr. Clabaugh shot his ex-wife and then himself sometime on April 29th or April 30th. Their bodies were discovered in their house on April 30th.

Ms. Clabaugh filed for divorce in February 2007, citing irreconcilable differences. However, Mr. Clabaugh said his wife never mentioned the filing nor did he receive the paperwork, so he was caught off guard when the final divorce decree was issued. Ms. Clabaugh's 20-year-old daughter, who used to live with the couple, also said her mother never mentioned the divorce filing. The couple had no known history of domestic violence during their 5-year marriage.

Mr. Clabaugh owned his own business selling computer printer supplies. Ms. Clabaugh was employed as a salesperson by Nordstrom.

The couple had no children together, but Ms. Claubaugh leaves her daughter and an 11-year-old son from previous relationships. The younger child was at his father's at the time of the shooting.

Sources
Hall Co. Sheriff press release, May 2, 2007
Gainesville Times, May 2, 2007
Access North Georgia, May 2, 2007

~Posted May 19, 2007



Memorial donations in memory of Ms. Clabaugh may be made to the organization listed below. [Source/Obit]

Hall County Humane Society
845 West Ridge Road
Gainesville, GA 30501

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Clella Colson

Murdered April 28, 2007

~Age 41
~Hometown: Lake Stevens, WA

Clella Gay (Mettle) Colson, 41, died in her Lake Stevens, WA home on April 28, 2007. Her boyfriend, Terry Van Allen, 45, is accused of putting her in a sleeper hold following an argument, rendering her unconscious and ultimately killing her. The incident was witnessed by Colson's 15-year-old son, Justin, and Van Allen's 14-year-old son. The 14-year-old called 911. Paramedics arrived and tried to revive Colson, but to no avail.

Van Allen, who was said to have been drinking the day of the incident, was found hiding under a camping trailer near the house and arrested. He is being held on $250,000 bond on 2nd-degree murder charges.

The couple had a history of domestic violence. Police were called to their home seven times since 2004. Both Colson and Van Allen had been arrested on domestic violence charges. Details on Colson's arrests were not found in news reports. Van Allen had one conviction for domestic battery from 2004. In another case, from 2006, he was convicted on a lesser charge. A second 2006 case was pending when Colson was killed. In a previously unreported incident from March 2007, Van Allen is said to have punched Colson and knocked her tooth out.


A no-contact order was issued against Van Allen in December 2006. On March 21st Colson asked that the order be lifted, but this request was denied by a judge. Some news stories indicate that, although Van Allen owned the Lake Stevens home where the murder occurred, he had moved out because of the no-contact order. Others suggest the couple was living together at the home, despite the no-contact order.

In addition to Justin, Colson had two older step children, according to her obituary. Van Allen has two sons, both of whom were in the home when Colson was killed.


Colson worked in various delis over the years. She is remembered as adventuresome, daring and always willing to try something new. She enjoyed outdoor activities, such as camping and skiing, as well as cooking, music concerts and jewelry making. Most dear to her, though, was her son.


Clella Colson

Sources
KOMO-TV, Apr 29, 2007
Seattle Post Intelligencer, Apr 29, 2007
The Daily Herald, May 1, 2007
Seattle Post Intelligencer, May 2, 2007
Obit/Skagit Valley Herald, May 7, 2007

~Posted May 11, 2007

Amy Daley

Murdered April 28, 2007

~Age 30
~Hometown: Winter Haven, FL


Amy Louise Daley, 30, went to dinner with friends on April 28, 2007. When she was out neighbors saw Daley's estranged husband, David Alan Benevides, 37, outside her home. One warned Daley when she returned home, but Daley said she could handle him. Shortly thereafter Daley was shot to death in front of her Winter Haven, FL home. Police believe the gunman was Benevides, who then shot himself in the head. For an unknown reason Benevides had removed his clothing prior to the shooting.

Benevides and Daley met via the Internet a year earlier. After dating a few months, Benevides moved from Virginia to Daley's home in Winter Haven, FL and the couple was married in the fall of 2006. The relationship quickly soured and the couple fought almost daily. Benevides, say friends and neighbors, was secretive, jealous and told Daley he had friends who could 'take care of her.' He hacked her computer. She threatened to commit suicide.

In January 2007 Benevides was arrested for domestic violence. Around that time Benevides moved to Tampa. (One report listed St. Cloud, FL as his last known address.) Daley obtained a protective order against Benevides in January, but it was not renewed after she missed a court date, reportedly because she could not get the day off of work to appear in court.

Even after that the couple seemed to try to make things work. Neighbors indicate Benevides would come and stay at the house for a few days, the couple would fight and he would leave again. If a specific incident led to the April 28th murder-suicide, it was not reported in news stories.

Benevides was a computer tech. Daley taught autistic students.


David Benevides

Sources
WESH-TV, Apr 28, 2007
The Ledger, Apr 28, 2007
The Ledger, Apr 29, 2007

~Posted April 30, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Carla Miller

Murdered April 27, 2007

~Age 50
~Hometown: Little Rock, AR

On April 27, 2007 Harold Miller, 56, went to a neighbor's house and asked them to call 911. He had just shot his wife, he told his neighbor. Police arrived to find Carla Miller, 50, lying in the carport of the Miller's Little Rock, AR home. She had been shot in the head. She was airlifted to the hospital, but died en route.

Mr. Miller was charged with 1st-degree murder and is being held on $250,000 bond. A .38-caliber handgun and a small quantity of marijuana were taken as evidence from the couple's home.

Sources
Today's THV, Apr 28, 2007
The Morning News (NW Arkansas), Apr 29, 2007

~Posted May 6, 2007

Cuadalupe Cajiga

Murdered on/about April 27, 2007

~Age 27
~Hometown: Tampa, FL


Passersby reported a body hanging from a tree in Tampa's Rowlett Park the morning of April 28, 2007. At first unsure if the hanging was a suicide or homicide, police began to suspect Angel T. Jimenez, 44, killed himself because the receipt for the nylon rope used in the hanging was found in his pocket. Also found was a tape-recorded message indicating that Jimenez had harmed his girlfriend.

Cuadalupe Cajiga, 27, was found dead in a bedroom of the Tampa home she shared with Jimenez and other family members. Police so far have only said that it appears Cajiga died of trauma to the upper body, most likely on April 27th. Both she and Jimenez were last seen alive on that date. They had argued and family members noted that Jimenez appeared 'despondent.'

Jimenez and Cajiga lived together at the Tampa address only one month before the murder-suicide. It is not clear how long they had been gone out prior to that. Neighbors were unaware of any problems between the couple. Jimenez, however, appears to have had a history of domestic violence with another woman.

He was arrested in January 2007 on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and stalking a woman in Seminole Heights, FL in December 2006. Jimenez pled not guilty to those charges on April 17th and was free while awaiting trial. Jimenez lived with that woman at one point, but was very controlling. She became fearful of his constant threats and eventually obtained a restraining order against him.


Jimenez also has a drug-related conviction on his record from 1998, for which he served one year's probation. Charges brought against him in 2004 for false imprisonment and aggravated assault with a weapon were later dropped.

Jimenez worked previously for a tree service. Additional details regarding Cajiga were not located online.


Angel Jimenez

Sources
Bay News 9, Apr 28, 2007
My Fox Tampa Bay, Apr 28, 2007
The Tampa Tribune, Apr 29 2007
St. Petersburg Times, Apr 29, 2007

~Posted April 30, 2007

Sylvia Scott

Murdered April 27, 2007

~Age 44
~Hometown: Orlando, FL


A domestic-violence-related shooting the evening of April 27, 2007 left two injured and one dead. Police allege Kirth Elmo Bramble, 35, shot his ex-girlfriend, Shantavia Shaneice Scott (age not specified) outside her Orlando, FL apartment following an argument. Bramble then shot and killed her mother, Sylvia Scott, 44, when the elder Scott came to her daughter's rescue. In addition he shot a 58-year-old neighbor, Arthur Hawkins, after the neighbor tried to protect the two women with a baseball bat.

As of this post, Bramble, whose last known address was in Orlando, is still at large. Police have a warrant for his arrest on murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery charges. [UPDATE: Bramble is no longer at large. See below for details.]

Court records indicate that Shantavia Scott has filed for a restraining order against Bramble three times. The first two requests - in 2005 and 2006 - were dismissed for unknown reasons. The third request was pending a hearing at the time of the shooting.

Shantavia Scott, who remains hospitalized as a result of the shooting, has a young child with Bramble. The child was not injured in the shooting.

Sylvia Scott was well known in her neighborhood. Neighbors remember her as humorous and kind.



Kirth Bramble

Sources
Orlando Sentinel, Apr 28, 2007
WESH-TV, Apr 28, 2007
Local 6 (Orlando), Apr 28, 2007
Note: Some reports say the shooting occurred on April 28, 2007.

~Posted April 30, 2007



UPDATE: On May 20, 2007 police in College Park, GA stopped a car Kirth Bramble was driving because the vehicle was suspected stolen. As officers approached the car, Bramble committed suicide by shooting himself.

More information on Sylvia Jean Scott was provided in her obituary. She was employed by the Orange County (FL) Convention Center. She had 4 daughters (including Shantavia Scott who previously dated Bramble), 2 sons and 12 grandchildren.


Sylvia Scott

Sources
Obit, Orlando Sentinel, May 3, 2007
WFTV-TV, May 21, 2007

Central FL News 13, May 21, 2007

~Update posted May 23, 2007

Clara Cobb

Murdered April 27, 2007

~Age 46
~Hometown: Pickens, AR


According to police, what started as a domestic dispute between Kerman Harris, 21, and her ex-boyfriend, Roderick Williams, 29, escalated into an incident that left Harris' mother dead. Not all details are clear, but Harris and Williams had been arguing. Shortly after midnight on April 27, 2007 Harris' mother, Clara Cobb, 46, was shot outside her Pickens, AR home, presumably after trying to intervene in some way between Williams and her daughter.

Williams then allegedly kidnapped Harris and her six-month-old child, as well as his uncle, Alonzo Williams, who tried to intervene. Alonzo Williams, who had been knocked unconscious, and the infant were found a short time later by the side of the road. Williams and Harris were found in the Dumas, AR home of Williams' current girlfriend about 15 hours later.

Harris suffered a broken arm and ankle in the incident. Her child was not harmed. It is not specified whether or not Williams is the child's father.

Williams is in police custody. Charges of murder and kidnapping are pending against him.

Sources
The Morning News (NW Arkansas), Apr 27, 2007
Today's THV, Apr 27, 2007
KATV, Apr 27, 2007
KATV, Apr 29, 2007

~Posted April 30, 2007

Michael Rutkowski

Murdered April 27, 2007

~Age 44
~Hometown: Medanales, NM


Christopher Branch, 23, of is accused of beating his pregnant girlfriend in his Hernandez, NM home on April 27, 2007. After he left to go to the grocery store, his girlfriend left as well. He later saw her walking along the road near EspaƱola, NM and reportedly tried to pull her into his pick-up by her hair before hitting her with the vehicle's door and running over her legs and pelvis.

Three motorists witnessed the assault and stopped to help Branch's girlfriend. Branch is said to have tried, unsuccessfully, to hit the first two motorists before hitting the third - Michael Rutkowski, age 44, of Medanales, NM - throwing him 50 feet and killing him.

Branch was arrested after a several-mile chase. Charges against him include murder, as well as aggravated assault, attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated battery on a household member and driving while intoxicated. He has past convictions on his record for robbery, concealing his identity, giving alcohol to minors and DWI. His mother has filed restraining orders against him five times; the most recent was served on April 27th.

Branch's girlfriend, Contessa Salazar, was hospitalized for her injuries. She was discharged two days later. Her fetus was not harmed. Salazar reportedly got pregnant in February when both she and Branch were inmates at the Santa Fe (NM) County Jail, he for probation violations and she awaiting trial on a larceny charge. (The jail concedes the two were allowed contact while incarcerated and has fired the employee responsible.) Salazar may proceed with plans to marry Branch, despite this incident. [See comment #1 to this post.]

Rutkowski and his wife were returning from shopping when they came upon Branch and his girlfriend. Rutkowski's family is not surprised that he stopped to help. As a child he and his brother often watched their father, a Connecticut State Trooper, in action, instilling in them the inclination to help people in need.

Rutkowski had a knack for science and worked as an engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He married his current wife - who his brother described as his "soul mate" - two years ago. He had three children from a previous relationship, Michael, 20, Jason, 18, and Jordan, 13.


Michael Rutkowski; Christopher Branch

Sources

KOB-TV, Apr 28, 2007
KRQE-TV, Apr 30, 2007
Albuquerque Tribune, Apr 30, 2007
Santa Fe New Mexican, Apr 30, 2007

Santa Fe New Mexican, May 1, 2007
Rio Grande Sun, May 3, 2007
Note: Some news stories listed Rutkowski's age as 43, others 44. A family member confirmed his age as 44 in a comment to this post.

~Posted April 30, 2007

~Updated May 7, 2007
(Rutkowski's age corrected; girlfriend's name added; more sources and details included)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Jamie Brooke Guthrie

Murdered on/about April 25, 2007

~Age 29
~Hometown: Hazel Green, AL

On May 11, 2007 a landlord who had not seen his tenants in several weeks and smelled a foul odor emanating from their apartment asked a passing officer to investigate. Inside the Hazel Green, AL apartment police found two decomposed bodies, later identified as Robert Joseph Lemley II, 26, and Jamie Brooke Isbell Guthrie, 29. From evidence at the scene, which included a hand-written note, police concluded that Lemley shot Guthrie with a rifle before taking his own life. The date of the murder-suicide was reported by one source as April 24. Guthrie's obituary lists her date of death as April 25.

The couple had a history of domestic violence, according to one news story. Comments readers left at online news sites include mention of Lemley leaving Guthrie hospitalized following a beating a few months ago. Another commenter mentioned that Lemley followed Guthrie to work, observed her to see who she spoke with during breaks and monitored her text messages. At least one of Lemley's coworkers indicated surprise at the incident, saying Lemley was a good guy.

Guthrie, who some commenters referred to as Jamie and others as Brooke, worked for Toyota. She leaves two children, Danny and Kyleigh.

Sources
The Huntsville Times, May 11, 2007
WAAY-TV, May 15, 2007
WAFF-TV, May 15, 2007
The Huntsville Times, May 15, 2007
Obits: Hers/His

~Posted May 23, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Maria Aguilar

Murdered April 20, 2007

~Age 40
~Hometown: Houston, TX


Maria L. Aguilar, 40, and was shot to death in her Houston, TX apartment on April 20, 2007. Police believe her boyfriend, Marcos Soto, 33, killed her before turning the gun on himself. Neighbors heard the couple arguing just before the gunshots started.

Aguilar wanted to end her relationship with Soto, according to her 23-year-old daughter, but he refused to move out of the apartment where the couple lived. The apartment was in Aguilar's name. She had lived there just five months when she was killed.

Aguilar leaves four daughters, ages 23, 19, 9 and 2. None were in the apartment at the time of the shooting.


Maria Aguilar

Sources
KHOU-TV, Apr 21, 2007
Houston Chronicle, Apr 22, 2007
Houston Chronicle, Apr 23, 2007
Note: The suspect's first name has been reported as Maro, Marco and Marcos.

~Posted April 25, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cora Archuleta

Murdered April 19, 2007

~Age 54
~Hometown: Commerce City, CO


Cora Marie Archuleta, 54, was stabbed multiple times in her Commerce City, CO home on April 19, 2007. She managed to go to a neighbor's home for help, but died upon arrival at the hospital. Prior to her death, she apparently implicated her ex-husband, Raymond Elias Chacon, 61, also of Commerce City, in the stabbing. He was arrested a short time later on charges of 1st-degree murder and domestic violence.

Police have no record of prior domestic disturbances involving the couple. Friends of Archuleta, though, describe the couple's relationship as "troubled." They say although Archuleta and Chacon were divorced, she would sometimes let him spend the night at her house. However, Archuleta was "fed up" with Chacon and planned to tell him their relationship was over for good.

Little information on Chacon has been released other than that he reportedly had a drinking problem. He has been arrested for DUI four times.

Archuleta worked for the Adams County (CO) Head Start program. She had been an employee there for 25 years. Coworkers and friends say she was a "wonderful person." She leaves three children and four grandchildren.


Raymond Chacon

Sources
My Fox Colorado, Apr 19, 2007
Rocky Mountain News, Apr 19, 2007
CBS-4 (Denver), Apr 20, 2007
Denver Post, Apr 20, 2007
Obit/Denver Post, Apr 23, 2007

~Posted April 22, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ediesha Daniel

Murdered April 18, 2007

~Age 17
~Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL


The morning of April 18, 2007 Charles J. Wilson, 20, broke into the St. Petersburg, FL home where his 17-year-old girlfriend lived with her mother and other relatives. Following an argument, he reportedly shot his girlfriend, Ediesha Daniel, to death and fled.

The shooting took place just days after Wilson was accused of punching Daniel in the face during an argument. Wilson was facing a domestic battery charge in incident, which occurred April 13th, but police had not yet tracked him down when the shooting occurred.

Operating on an anonymous tip, police located Wilson at an area motel the day after the shooting. He was arrested on 1st-degree murder charges. He also had two outstanding warrants at the time of the shooting, one for cocaine possession and another for a parole violation. News reports indicate Wilson has an extensive criminal record.

Friends say Wilson and Daniel fought frequently in the past few weeks over their 8-month-old son, Charles Wilson Jr. (One report listed the infant's age as 2 months.)

Daniel is described as a quiet girl. She left high school when she became pregnant, but was planning to get her GED, according to friends.



Charles Wilson

Sources
WTSP-TV, Apr 18, 2007
My Fox-Tampa Bay, Apr 18, 2007
St. Petersburg Times, Apr 19, 2007
St Petersburg Times, Apr 20, 2007
The Tampa Tribune, April 19, 2007
The Tampa Tribune, Apr 19, 2007

~Posted April 25, 2007

Sadie Finney

Murdered April 18, 2007

~Age 31
~Hometown: Murrieta, CA

Aaron Scot Finney, 34, left a suicide note. In the note he explained he had been contemplating his actions for several weeks. "Everybody's going to think I'm a monster for this," he wrote. Presumably he was alluding to his plans to kill his estranged wife before committing suicide, which were carried to fruition on April 18, 2007.

That day he broke into the Murrieta, CA condo where his wife and three sons recently moved. According to police reports, Mr. Finney immediately started shooting. While the eldest child, age 12, pleaded with his father to stop, Mr. Finney shot at his wife and chased her into a bedroom. Shutting the door, he shot her several times. He then poured gasoline on her body and some furniture and sparked a blaze before shooting himself once in the head. The kids escaped and summoned help.

Ms. Finney was divorcing her husband and had an active protective order against him when she was killed. The protective order was issued on March 27th, two days after Mr. Finney was arrested for misdemeanor spousal battery for hitting her. He was free on $5,000 bail on that charge when he committed the murder-suicide.

Ms. Finney's complaints against her husband detailed three incidents in the past two months in which he deliberately ruined her belongings, threw things, spit on her, and made "vulgar remarks" about her to their children. She described his behavior as "out of control" and "increasingly erratic" and said she was afraid of what he might do to her or their children. He had denied these allegations in court appearances. He also had stated he did not possess a firearm.

A friend of the couple said had Mr. Finney became possessive of his wife over the past several months and tried to prohibit her from associating with her friends. The police have records of several domestic disturbance calls involving the couple, dating back to August 2006.

Mr. Finney was living with his mother in Murrieta at the time of the shootings. He owned a software business that was struggling financially, according to information from court documents.

Ms. Finney is remembered as a dedicated mother to the three children she and her estranged husband had. The children, ages 12, 10 and 4, are in the custody of their grandparents.

Sources
CBS-2/KCAL, Apr 19, 2007*
Sign on San Diego, Apr 19, 2007*
(*Same story)
Press-Enterprise, Apr 19, 2007
North County Times, Apr 19, 2007
North County Times, Apr 20, 2007

~Posted April 22, 2007



Two organizations have set up funds to assist the Finney children. [Source]

--Fund set up by the Cole Canyon [Elementary School] Parent Teacher Club

Finney Children Assistance Fund
c/o Bank of America
23781 Washington Ave.
Murrieta, CA 92562

--Fund set up by Safe Alternatives For Everyone (
SAFE)

Finney Trust Fund
c/o Pacific Western Bank
41381 Kalmia St.
Murrieta, CA 92562
-or-
SAFE*
30520 Rancho California Rd.
Suite 107, PMB 117
Temecula, CA 92591
*Make donation payable to SAFE, specify that it is for the Finney Trust Fund

Monday, April 16, 2007

Oscar Martinez

Murdered April 16, 2007

~Age 30
~Hometown: Mount Prospect, IL


Maria T. Lazo, 23, admitted in a videotaped statement that, during a 'heated argument,' she stabbed her boyfriend, Oscar Martinez, 30, once in the chest with a kitchen knife. The incident occurred during the early morning hours of April 16, 2007 in the Mount Prospect, IL apartment the two shared. Lazo called 911. Paramedics found Martinez alive, but unconscious. They transported him to the hospital where he died a short time later. Lazo was subsequently charged with 1st-degree murder.

The couple met though work - one news story said both were engineers - and had lived together less than one year. They had no known history of domestic disturbances. Neither had a criminal record. Police said alcohol and drugs did not appear to be a factor in the stabbing.

Sources
Chicago Tribune, Apr 17, 2007
Chicago Tribune, Apr 17, 2007
The Journal & Topics, Apr 18, 2007
Mount Prospect Times, Apr 19, 2007

~Posted May 14, 2007

Germaine Broughton

Murdered April 16, 2007

~Age 24
~Hometown: Bay Minette, AL


The two-year-long relationship between Germaine Broughton, 24, and his girlfriend, Lanita Lashania Crooks, 32, had a 'history of conflict,' according to published reports. On April 15, 2007, the conflict took a deadly turn when Crooks reportedly stabbed Broughton in the face with a hunting knife. The stabbing occurred in the couple's Bay Minette, AL home, following an argument.

Broughton was airlifted to the hospital, but died the next day. Crooks was subsequently charged with murder. She is being held on $250,000 bail on the murder charge and $50,000 bail on a probation violation.

Crooks' criminal record includes 23 arrests since 1994. At least one was for domestic assault. For most of the charges that resulted in conviction Crooks received probation rather than jail time.

Crooks has a 15-year-old son. He was in the home at the time of the stabbing, but did not witness the incident because he was in his bedroom. Broughton leaves one son from another relationship, Lebron, age not specified.

Sources
Mobile Press-Register, Apr 17, 2007
Mobile Press-Register, Apr 19, 2007
Obit/Mobile Press-Register, Apr 20, 2007

~Posted May 13, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lori and Collin Casteel

Murdered April 15, 2007

~Ages 25 (Lori) and 4 (Collin)
~Hometown: Bruceton Mills/Pleasantdale, WV


Four-year-old Collin Grant Casteel was excited that he was going to be a big brother. His mother, Lori A. Casteel, 25, due in September 2007, already had a name picked out for her baby-to-be -- Angelina. Little Angelina will never be born, however. On April 15, 2007, the bodies of Casteel and her son were found in a car in Pleasantdale, WV. Casteel died from head trauma. Collin suffered head trauma and also was shot in the chest.

Arrested in the case was Casteel's boyfriend, James Louis DeGasperin, 35, of Pleasantdale, WV. So far he has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors have indicated they will charge him with a third murder count at a later date, in accordance with the West Virginia Unborn Victims of Violence Act. This act was passed by the state legislature in 2005, following the murder of a pregnant Laci Peterson at the hands of her husband.

Police were alerted to the murders of Casteel and Collin by DeGasperin's friend, Terry Knotts. DeGasperin reportedly told Knotts he bludgeoned his girlfriend and her son to death with a baseball bat and needed help disposing of the bodies. Knotts went to the police with this information. The car where the bodies were found was near DeGasperin's house. The police report indicates that DeGasperin told officers that he "just snapped."

News reports say Casteel lived with DeGasperin at his Pleasantville WV home, but her obituary says she was from nearby Bruceton Mills. It is not known if the baby she was carrying was DeGasperin's child. DeGasperin was not Collin's father.

DeGasperin worked as a middle school physical education teacher. Colleagues described him as a nice guy and popular teacher. DeGasperin's record includes only a 1990 arrest for intent to distribute drugs. Those charges were dropped because of a lack of probable cause.

Little information has been released about Casteel and her son. Comments left in their online funeral guest book suggest Casteel had worked at Preston Memorial Hospital and Kwik Stop. A former coworker remembered Casteel as 'a sweet, caring, friendly, lovable woman,' and these descriptors were repeated by other commenters.

The next court date for DeGasperin is in June. A gag order has been issued in the case.



Lori Casteel; Collin Casteel


James DeGasperin

Sources
The Cumberland Times-News, Apr 17, 2007
The Charlestown Gazette, Apr 19, 2007
WBOY-TV, Apr 25, 2007
The Charlestown Gazette, Apr 27, 2007

~Posted April 30, 2007


A fund for memorial contributions has been established by the family. Contributions to the Lori and Collin Casteel Memorial Fund may be made c/o Ed and Pam Casteel (Lori's parents, no address provided) or sent to the address below. [Source/Obit]

Collin G. Casteel Memorial Fund
c/o Clear Mountain Bank
PO Box 361
Bruceton Mills, WV 26525

Kelly Army

Murdered April 15, 2007

~Age 44
~Hometown: Indianapolis, IN


Christopher Proctor, 42, called 911 around 7 a.m. on April 15, 2007 to report he had just returned from the store to find his girlfriend stabbed to death. After questioning Proctor, however, police suspected he was responsible for the death of Kelly Army, 44. Initially detained on a parole violation, Proctor was later charged with Army's murder.

Proctor lived with Army in her Indianapolis, IN home. Army's neighbor, who is also her boss and friend, said the couple had a history of domestic disturbances. She indicated Army had kicked Proctor out several times over the past five months. She also said Proctor was not allowed to visit the bar where Army worked because he had caused problems there before.

Proctor's criminal history includes auto theft and battery.

Army worked as a bartender. She had an 11-year-old son who was home asleep at the time of the stabbing. Some reports describe him as autistic. Army is remembered for being a good mother and a good-hearted person who loved everyone.



Christopher Proctor

Sources
The Indy Channel, Apr 15, 2007
The Indianapolis Star, Apr 16, 2007
WISH-TV, Apr 16, 2007
WTHR-TV, Apr 16, 2007

~Posted April 16, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mai Banh

Murdered on April 14, 2007

~Age 37
~Hometown: San Leandro, CA


Jeff Nguyen, 39, of San Leandro, CA reported his wife, Mai Banh, 37, missing on April 14, 2007. Nguyen told police Banh planned to go to a party after work that evening, but that she never returned home. The next day Nguyen found his wife's body in the San Francisco hair and nail salon she owned. Found, however, may not be the correct term, as police believe it was Nguyen, himself, who was responsible for bludgeoning Banh to death in her salon the evening of April 14th.

Police suspected Nguyen in his wife's death almost from the start, according to published reports. Police were able to obtain an arrest warrant after their investigation turned up incriminating evidence in Nguyen's car and at the couple's home. Only limited details have been made public, but the evidence is said to include Banh's keys and purse. Nguyen reportedly confessed to police after his April 25th arrest that he "went into a rage" and beat his wife to death. Banh's body also showed evidence of stab wounds.

Banh mentioned to a client in March that she and her husband had separated, although they appear to have been living together at the time of Banh's death. She also had told her friends that her marriage was basically over. She was planning to file divorce papers (or recently had filed, reports vary) around the time of her death. The couple fought right before Banh's murder about the divorce, as well as Nguyen's gambling debts.

Banh, an immigrant from Vietnam, graduated from beauty school in the 1990s and worked in the field awhile before opening her own place, Le Petit Salon, about five years ago. Friends and clients say Banh was a very hardworking and dedicated stylist. She knew all her clients by name. Her typical work week consisted of six 10-hour days at the salon. Nevertheless she is said to have possessed a constant smile.

The reason for all of Banh's hard work was to provide for her children, who were very dear to her. The children - boys ages 4 and 8 - were taken into the custody of child services upon Nguyen's arrest, but will most likely eventually be cared for by family members of Banh.


Mai Banh

Sources
The Examiner, Apr 20, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle, Apr 25, 2007
San Francisco PD press release, Apr 26, 2007
KPIX-TV, Apr 26, 2007
The Examiner Apr 26, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle, Apr 26, 2007
The Examiner, Apr 27, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle, Apr 27, 2007
The Daily Review, Apr 28, 2007
Pics of Le Petit Salon memorial here

A special thank you to blogger Hearts in San Francisco from
Guilty with an Explanation for bringing this case to my attention. Read her powerful May 4th post about Banh and some of the domestic violence victims Hearts in SF encountered when managing a domestic violence shelter in North Carolina here.

~Posted May 9, 2007


UPDATE: During Jeff Nguyen’s murder trial, his defense argued Nguyen was guilty of manslaughter, not first-degree murder because Mai Banh had been killed in the heat of passion after she started seeing another man and reneged on her promise to pay off Nguyen’s gambling debts. Prosecutors, however, said Nguyen was "a cold and calculated murderer" who had planned Banh's murder and then staged it to look like a robbery. The jury apparently agreed with prosecutors, finding Nguyen guilty of first degree murder on July 21, 2011. Sentencing is scheduled for October 14, 2011. Nguyen faces a possible sentence of 26 years to life.

Sources
Bay City News/San Francisco Appeal, June 24, 2011
San Francisco Examiner, July 21, 2011

~Update Posted August 22, 2011

Sheena Tucker

Murdered April 14, 2007

~Age 20
~Hometown: In/around Avondale, OH


On April 14, 2007, 20-year-old Sheena Tucker was vising a female friend in the Avondale, OH apartment building where her boyfriend, Kenneth Louis Taft, 57, lived. In what was described as a fit of 'jealous rage,' Taft confronted Tucker in the friend's apartment. It appears Tucker attempted to flee, as she was found by paramedics in the building's parking lot. Taft is accused of stabbing and/or shooting Tucker (reports vary), who was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Taft was arrested on murder charges.

Tucker and Taft, who dated for about two years, previously lived together in his Avondale apartment. Although she recently moved out, the couple were still seeing each other. Neighbors describe Taft as a possessive and jealous man who often followed Tucker and got mad if she was late arriving home. It appears the killing resulted from Tafts's fears that Tucker was planning to break off their relationship and return to a previous boyfriend.

At Taft's initial court hearing it was revealed that he has a history of mental illness. News stories did not provide additional details.

Tucker was the mother of two young boys. Taft was not identified as the father, though specifics were not reported.


Sheena Tucker; Kenneth Taft

Sources
WLWT-TV, Apr 14, 2007
WCPO-TV, Apr 14, 2007
WCPO-TV, Apr 14, 2007
Cincinnati Enquirer, Apr 16, 2007
Cincinnati Post, Apr 16, 2007

~Posted May 12, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Regina Clements

Murdered April 12, 2007

~Age 37
~Hometown: Dayton, NV


The divorce of Richard 'Dick' and Regina Ruth Clements, both of Dayton, NV, was finalized in January 2007. Both subsequently were involved in other relationships. As of April, Mr. Clements, 51, had a girlfriend and the two were considering moving in together. Ms. Clements, 37, was engaged to be married in June. She and her fiance were living together, along with his 11-year-old son and the Clements' 12-year-old daughter. Neither Mr. or Ms. Clements seemed to be jealous about their ex's new romantic relationship. Instead, their point of contention was custody of their daughter.

The couple shared custody, but Mr. Clements told co-workers he was worried about losing custody. He also complained his ex-wife was turning their daughter against him. News reports mention the couple was having a 'custody dispute,' but it is unclear if there were legal proceedings underway to change the joint custody arrangement.

On April 12th Mr. Clements' coworkers say he received a call in the middle of the work day and abruptly left. It is not clear who called him, but a short time later both he and his ex-wife arrived in separate cars at a 7-11 in Carson City, NV. They argued in the parking lot. When Ms. Clements walked away Mr. Clements shot her in the back. He then shot her a second time in the head, killing her. The shooting was witnessed by many people. They say after shooting his ex-wife, Mr. Clements looked around briefly before putting his gun in his mouth and ending his life.

Mr. Clements was employed for 11 years by Ken Die Cutting Supplies where he is
remembered as a passionate employee who 'loved a challenge.' In addition to the 12-year-old daughter mentioned previously, he had two sons and one daughter from a previous relationship.

Ms. Clements held a degree in Criminal Justice. She was employed by the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation. At the time of her death she was the head of victim's restitution. Previously she served as an accounting specialist.

The couple's daughter, Katrina, was orphaned as a result of the murder-suicide. According to news reports, Ms. Clements' fiance wanted to continue to care for her at the home they had shared, but he had no legal standing to do so. She was placed in state custody until arrangements with out-of-state relatives could be worked out.


Dick Clements

Sources
Nevada Appeal, Apr 13, 2007
Reno Gazette Journal, Apr 13, 2007
Obit (his)/Nevada Appeal, Apr 17, 2007
Obit (hers)/Nevada Appeal, Apr 18, 2007

~Posted May 10, 2007

Michelle Penfield

Murdered April 12, 2007

~Age 48 or 49 (reports vary)
~Hometown: Bronx, NY

On April 12, 2007 Michelle Penfield, age 48 or 49 (depending on the source), and her boyfriend Murray Stephens, age 43, had an argument in their Bronx, NY apartment. At one point Penfield apparently stabbed Stephens. He, it is believed, subsequently pushed her out the window of their apartment. She landed on an iron fencepost, which impaled but did not immediately kill her. Neighbors said Stephens ran outside. He was heard saying, "Baby, hold on. Baby, hold on...," but Penfield died before paramedics arrived.

Stephens was treated at the hospital for his stab wounds. He was later arrested on charges of 2nd-degree murder and manslaughter.

The couple had been together for 11 years, but only lived in the Bronx apartment for the last three months. Neighbors there said the couple fought often and had been engaged in an ongoing argument for several days before Penfield's death.

One report said Stephens had an 'extensive criminal record,' but no details were provided.

The apartment building where the couple lived was a city-run building for the formerly homeless, according to one news story. One neighbor said Penfield was hoping to move out of the city soon.

Sources
NY1 News, Apr 13, 2007
WABC-TV (New York City), Apr 13, 2007
New York Post, Apr 13, 2007
New York Post, Apr 14, 2007
Newsday, Apr 14, 2007
New York Daily News, Apr 14, 2007
Note: Some sources list the boyfriend's name as Stephen Murray.

~Posted April 20, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Roxanne Pedraza

Murdered April 11, 2007

~Age 20 (some reports say 21)
~Hometown: Greenfield, CA

On April 11, 2007 Roxanne Pedraza, age 20 or 21 (reports vary), was found shot in the head in the Greenfield, CA home where she lived with her boyfriend. She was transported to the hospital, but died a short time later.

Police initially were unsure if the shooting was accidental or a suicide or homicide, but have since ruled it a homicide. The prime suspect in the case is Pedraza's boyfriend, Juan E. Cardona, 30. He was in the home at the time of the shooting and has reportedly given inconsistent accounts of what happened. Although the exact motive remains unclear, police believe the shooting followed an argument between Pedraza and Cardona.

As of the date of this posting Cardona has not been charged with Pedraza's murder, but he is being held on suspicion of possession of stolen property, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and parole violations. The charges stem from two stolen guns police found in the home, one of which fired the shot that killed Pedraza. Cardona is considered a flight risk, so bond has been set at $500,000.

Cardona is known to have a gang affiliation. His criminal record includes one felony conviction and arrests for burglary, assault, possession of drug paraphernalia and gang activity.

Pedraza had lived with Cardona for one month prior to the shooting. The two lived in the home with Cardona's father and another person.

Sources

KSBW-TV, Apr 12, 2007
The Salinas Californian, Apr 12, 2007
KSBW-TV, Apr 13, 2007
The Salinas Californian, Apr 13, 2007
The Salinas Californian, Apr 14, 2007
The Monterey Herald, Apr 14, 2007
Note: The victim's first name is spelled Roxann (no e at the end) in some reports.

~Posted April 16, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rickey Holliday

Murdered April 10, 2007

~Age 23
~Hometown: Jonesboro, GA


Rickey Holliday, 23, and his girlfriend Shanicia Lashunda Benson, 24, got into an argument in their Jonesboro, GA home on April 10, 2007. Holliday went to leave, throwing a chair and metal rod at Benson on the way out, according to witnesses. Benson followed Holliday and, police believe, stabbed him once in the chest with a two-inch pocket knife. Holliday was found in the parking area near the couple's home and transported to the hospital where he later died. Benson was arrested about six hours later.

Holliday's mother and sister were in the home at the time of the argument. One report said they lived there with the couple. Another said in talking to police they only knew Benson's first name, suggesting that if they lived there perhaps Benson had not lived at the home very long. (Details of the couple's relationship were not reported.)

During their investigation, police found a note written by Holliday to Benson in home. Police did not release the contents, but indicated the gist of it was Holliday writing that he had tried to make Benson happy.

Benson is being held without bail.

Sources
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Apr 11, 2007
Clayton News Daily, Apr 11, 2007
Death notice/Atlanta Journal Constitution, Apr 13-16, 2007
Note: Some news report list the victim's age as 24, but it is listed as 23 in the family-placed death notice.

~Posted April 20, 2007

Monday, April 9, 2007

Anita Tsosie

Murdered April 9, 2007

~Age 48
~Hometown: Cortez, CO


Her divorce was due to be finalized on April 12, 2007. But on April 9th Anita Tsosie, 48, was found shot to death in her Cortez, CO home. The prime suspect, her soon-to-be ex-husband Herman Tsosie, 54, was finally located a week later on Navajo Nation land in a remote area of Arizona. His lifeless body was at the bottom of a cliff, a likely suicide.

The Tsosies were married in 1984. Ms. Tsosie filed for divorce in December 2006, citing verbal and physical abuse at the hands of her husband. Around this time Mr. Tsosie apparently threatened that 'more abuse was to come,' prompting Ms. Tsosie to request a protection order. Despite the protection order, Mr. Tsosie was said to frequent his wife's home in early 2007, telling relatives not to summon police. Once he reportedly held a gun to his 22-year-old daughter's head, but she was too scared to report this to authorities.

In the proposed divorce settlement Ms. Tsosie was to buy out Mr. Tsosie's interest in their Cortez, CO home. Reports do not specify Mr. Tsosie's line of work, but note that Ms. Tsosie, a renowned Navajo weaver, was the primary breadwinner in the family.

Ms. Tsosie became interested in weaving when she was a young child, after hearing the stories her mother told about her grandmother. She was the third generation of women in her family to take up the craft. She specialized in Navajo sand-painting weavings. Those familiar with her work say she was very dedicated to it, had a "special talent" and "took weaving to the next level." One collector called Ms. Tsosie the best in world at sand-painting weavings. She won several awards for her weavings over the years.

The Tsosies had two children. Their daughter, Carrie Kay, is 22 (some reports say 21). Their son, Reno, is 14 or 15 (reports vary) and in the 8th grade. Just days before his mother's death he was nominated to enter the Discovery Channel Young Scientists National Competition, after taking second place in the social and behavioral science division of the (CO) state science fair.


Anita Tsosie (From her website)


Herman Tsosie

Sources

The Denver Channel, Apr 11, 2007
KPHO-TV (Phoenix), Apr 11, 2007
Rocky Mountain News, Apr 11, 2007
Rocky Mountain News, Apr 12, 2007
Cortez Journal, Apr 12, 2007
Cortez Journal, Apr 14, 2007
The Denver Channel, Apr 17, 2007
Rocky Mountain News, Apr 18, 2007
Denver Post, Apr 18, 2007
Cortez Journal, Apr 19, 2007
Native American Times, Apr 20, 2007
Rocky Mountain News, Apr 24, 2007

~Posted April 24, 2007



A fund has been established for the Tsosie children. Donations are being accepted at the address listed below. [Sources: 1,2]

Tsosie Children's Fund
c/o Vectra Bank
350 W. Montezuma
Cortez, CO 81321

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Wendy Dollar

Murdered April 8, 2007

~Age 40
~Hometown: New Hope, AL


Wendy Yvonne Whaley Dollar, 40, heard a loud knock on the door of her New Hope, AL home the evening of April 8, 2007. When she went to answer, a shotgun blast ripped through the door and killed her almost instantly. Her estranged husband, Jimmy Darnell Dollar, 42, reportedly admitted to police that he was the shooter. He is currently being held without bond on capital murder charges.

The motive for the shooting, according to police, was Mr. Dollar's "growing resentment" over his pending divorce. Mr. Dollar was also said to have been drinking prior to the shooting.

The Dollars were married for 16 years, but separated 4 months before the shooting. Police had not been called to the couple's home previously for domestic disturbances.

The couple had two sons, Jared and Josiah (ages not specified), who were home at the time of the shooting. Also in the home was a male friend of Ms. Dollar. None of them were injured, but police believe whoever answered Mr. Dollar's knock on the door would have been shot.


Jimmy Dollar

Sources
WAFF-TV, Apr 9, 2007
WAAY-TV, Apr 9, 2007
The Huntsville Times, Apr 10, 2007
Obit/The Huntsville Times, Apr 11, 2007

~Posted April 25, 2007

Jodi Barone

Murdered April 8, 2007

~Age 36
~Hometown: State College, PA

Because of a protection from abuse order Benjamin Anthony Barone, 35, was not to have any contact with his estranged wife, Jodi Lynn Barone, 36, except to exchange physical custody of their 3-year-old daughter, Gianna. Their custody agreement stipulated all such exchanges were to occur at a public place, the Sheetz Convenience Store in Mill Hall, PA.

On April 8, 2007 they met as usual at Sheetz. Ms. Barone got out of her car and approached Mr. Barone's car because he sent her a text message saying Gianna was asleep in the back seat. It was a lie, however. Gianna was not even in his car when Mr. Barone grabbed his estranged wife, pulled her into his car and shot her and then himself. Both died at the scene.

Gianna was located, unharmed, with a family member of Mr. Barone. Custody of Gianna has since been awarded jointly to her maternal and paternal grandmothers. They both live near the town where the murder-suicide occurred and will exchange Gianna in public places in that area, not unlike her parents did. Neither is to tell Gianna anything about the murder-suicide unless approved by a court-appointed child advocate in advance. News reports indicate Ms. Barone's family sought sole custody and is not happy with the joint custody decision.

The Barones were married in 2002 or 2003 (reports vary). They lived together in Mill Hill and later Williamsport, PA. The relationship was abusive and Mr. Barone is said to have had drinking and drug problems. Ms. Barone left her husband and moved to State College, PA in the summer of 2006. At that time Mr. Barone made threats against her and her family. A protection from abuse order was issued in August 2006. Mr. Barone violated the order twice, most recently the week before he killed his estranged wife. He was fined $300 for that incident, which involved a profane text message.

Because Mr. Barone threatened his wife previously with a gun, the protection order included a stipulation that he turn his weapons over to a third party. Mr. Barone was in possession of both a handgun and a shotgun when he killed his wife. It was not immediately clear if these were his weapons or where he had obtained them. A local lawyer reported to police in December 2006 that Mr. Barone was in possession of a weapon. When Mr. Barone denied this, the police did not pursue it further. (Some reports state the protection order and weapons prohibition were no longer in effect at the time of the shooting.)

Mr. Barone co-owned and worked at Barone's Bakery in Williamsport, PA. His obituary remembers him as an avid hunter, fisherman and Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Ms. Barone had a Bachelor's degree in pre-law from Penn State and was a certified cosmetologist. Since 2001 she had co-owned and worked at J. Stephens Salon and Spa in State College, PA. She previously was employed as an aerobics instructor and continued to enjoy aerobics. He obituary remembers her as "a very loving and devoted mother" and "an amazing employer, stylist and friend."

Ms. Barone's father once served as police chief in Miami, FL.



Jodi Barone

Sources
Centre Daily Times, Apr 9, 2007
Centre Daily Times, Apr 9, 2007
Centre Daily Times, Apr 10, 2007
Center Times Daily, Apr 10, 2007
The Miami Herald, Apr 10, 2007
The Express, Apr 10, 2007
The Express, Apr 11, 2007
Centre Daily Times, Apr 11, 2007
Centre Times Daily, Apr 11, 2007
Centre Times Daily, Apr 13, 2007
Note: The victim's obituary was under her maiden name, Jodi Lynn Warshaw. News stories use her married last name of Barone.

~Posted April 16, 2007




A trust fund was established for the Barone's daughter. Two addresses were provided. [Obits/source: hers (1st address)/his (2nd address)]

Gianna V. Barone Trust Fund
c/o Cory Reeder

McNees, Wallace and Nurick
1600 University Drive
State College, PA 16801

Gianna V. Barone Trust
c/o PNC Bank
137 West Fourth St.
Williamsport, PA. 17701

Windy Russell

Murdered April 8, 2007

~Age 35
~Hometown: Calhoun, GA


What police describe as a 'domestic dispute that got out of hand' on April 7, 2007 left a woman dead and her husband incarcerated. Windy Russell, 35, died in the hospital on April 8th, after suffering a gunshot to the head in her Calhoun, GA home the day before. Her husband, Gregory John Russell, 46, is being held on murder charges in connection with the shooting. Police continue to investigate the incident.

Sources
Calhoun Times, Apr 9, 2007
Rome News-Tribune, Apr 9, 2007

~Posted April 9, 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Yolanda Snyder

Murdered April 7, 2007

~Age 41
~Hometown: Irvine, CA


Terry Raymond Snyder, 45, was to stay away from his estranged wife, Yolanda Snyder, 41, as per the restraining order against him, first issued in September 2006. A neighbor says Mr. Snyder frequently disobeyed the restraining order. He'll never do it again, however, because on April 7, 2007 Ms. Snyder was stabbed to death in her Irvine, CA home. Mr. Snyder was seen leaving the home shortly before her body was found.

A few hours later Mr. Snyder was taken into police custody. The charges against him include felony murder, violating a restraining order (a misdemeanor) and child abuse. The latter charge apparently is related to his 2-year-old son reportedly being in his estranged wife's arms when he first grabbed her. This child and the couple's other two sons, ages 4 and 7, were able to run from the home and get help from a neighbor.

As of the last report Mr. Snyder was being held without bond. News stories indicate arraignment was scheduled for April 13th, but no news stories detailing the outcome were found online. It appears the court date was continued or rescheduled to June 1st.

The Snyders were married in 1998. Their marriage, according a friend interviewed by the local newspaper, was troubled almost from the start and the abuse got worse over time. Rather than improving, things got worse after Mr. Snyder moved out to Tustin, CA 10 months ago. Police had been called to the couple's residence several times. Some people who knew the couple and left comments online, however, say they were unaware the Snyders had any serious domestic problems.

In January 2007 Mr. Snyder pled guilty to "spousal corporal injury," damaging a phone line and possession of a controlled substance. It is not clear from published reports when those charges were originally brought or what sentence Mr. Snyder received. However, information on the Superior Court of California, County of Orange website indicates the incident occurred in September 2006 and Mr. Snyder received 3 years probation, and was to attend a diversion program, pay restitution and do community service.



Yolanda Snyder
(from a website in her memory)

Sources
City of Irvine, CA press release, Apr 7, 2007
Orange County Register, Apr 7, 2007
Orange County Register, Apr 8, 2007
San Diego Union Tribune, Apr 8, 2007
Orange County DA press release, Apr 12, 2007

~Posted April 24, 2007

~Updated May 15, 2007 (added picture, memorial website link)



A fund has been established to assist the Snyder children. Donation information is included below. [Source - see reader comment section]

Mariners Church*
Attn Controller
5001 Newport Coast Drive
Irvine CA 92603
*Make checks out to Mariners Church and write 'Yolie Snyder Memorial Fund' on the memo line.

Link to a memorial site with more info here.