January 18, 2017

David Temple Freed From Texas Prison

The Temple Family before January 11, 1999


Oh, prosecutorial misconduct. Damn you.

David Temple, convicted in 2007 of the January 11, 1999 shotgun murder of his pregnant wife, Belinda, was freed on bail December 28 pending a decision on whether to retry him.   Why was a convicted murderer freed?  Because the prosecutors in his trial withheld significant evidence from defense attorneys, including information about an alternative suspect.  Law school 101, people.

Some background on the case.

David Temple was a coach at a Texas high school; his wife Belinda was a special education teacher at another local high school.  Together they had a 3 year old son, Evan, and Belinda was six months pregnant with their daughter, to be named Erin.

David Temple testifies 
Temple had been having an affair with a co-worker for months and in the days prior to the murder had supposedly told this teacher that he was in love with her.  Circumstantial to be sure but it doesn't look good.

On the day in question, Evan stayed home from daycare with a fever; Temple left his job early that day in order to be with him.  According to his story, he took his son to a local park, to the neighborhood where he grew up, to a grocery store to buy two drinks and cat food and to a Home Depot, where nothing was purchased.  Upon returning home, Evan remained in the garage while Temple found the back door ajar and the window broken.  He then took his son to a neighbor's house before returning to discover his wife dead in the master bedroom closet.

The prosecution believes that Belinda returned home from work, went into the master bedroom closet in order to change clothes and was ambushed there.

Many things don't add up about Temple's story.  First, if his son was suffering with a fever, would you really take him to a park, to a grocery store and a Home Depot and to the neighborhood where you grew up?   If you believed the home had been burglarized, wouldn't you call the police first?  Why did Temple have no fear upon entering the home himself?

The door . . . in the courtroom
Most importantly, at least to me, was that the back door had small window panes in the top portion.  The window pane furthest from the door knob was broken out.  Wouldn't a burglar break the pane closest to the knob?  Why break out a pane that would require you to stick your entire arm through the pane and then stretch and angle as much as possible to reach the knob?  Especially when there was a pane directly next to the knob.  Furthermore, lab tests showed that the pane of glass was broken after the door was open.

And what burglar wouldn't take anything?  The house wasn't disrupted, nothing was stolen. Jewelry was out in plain sight. It doesn't make sense that a burglar would go directly to the master bedroom closet.  If Belinda was home, wouldn't she hear the breaking glass?  I don't think she would stay in the closet, waiting to be murdered with a 12 gauge shotgun.  And what burglar would carry such an unwieldy weapon?   The majority of burglars don't want to enter a home while anyone is in residence; for that reason, house burglars usually don't carry weapons.  Carrying a weapon also can up the ante on a conviction.

One more thing.  The Temples owned a Chow dog.  The police, upon responding to the call, were initially hesitant to enter the property because the dog was barking fiercely at the fence.  Where was the dog when the intruder showed up?

So none of it makes sense.  When you take all that and add in Temple's affair it looks as if he was trying to get out of that marriage as quickly and "easily" as possible.  That opinion is certainly not changed by the fact that one month after the murder, Temple sent his mistress flowers for Valentine's Day.

The two of them would be engaged two years after the murder and married within six months.  They are still married.

Another notable about this case is that the prosecutor was Kelly Siegler, who stars on her own reality show, Cold Justice on TNT.  Yep, that Kelly Siegler.  And yep, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that she suppressed evidence, also known as a Brady violation.

Do I think David Temple killed his wife and unborn daughter?  Yes, I do.  I think he wanted out of his marriage and didn't want to do so via divorce . . . very much like Scott Peterson.  He made a number of mistakes but the prosecution, in its zest, zeal or however you want to define it, chose to violate due process and based on that choice, it's entirely possible that David Temple could end up a free man.  A terrible injustice to Belinda Temple, baby Erin and their families.

The final resting place of Belinda and Erin



January 11, 2017

Betty Broderick Denied Parole



I have to say that I am not surprised in the least by the news released last week that Betty Broderick was again denied parole.   Back in 2010 she was found unsuitable for release and it was stated that she had not emotionally matured nor grown whatsoever and it appears that she continues to make zero strides toward accepting responsibility for what she's done and expressing any kind of remorse.

She may feel like Dan deserved to die (I've always believed that Linda was collateral damage) but she's had years to prepare for this hearing.  Why wouldn't she at least say she realizes what she's done and how wrong it was?  I'm not advocating lying but . . . I mean, I just don't understand it.

I think Betty wants to stay in prison.  She's been incarcerated since 1989.  The world has changed a great deal while she's been in.  She won't have to adapt, learn how to live in the 2017 world.  She knows what to expect there.  More importantly, I think she may enjoy playing the wronged wife.

Interestingly, if you search around various boards and forums about this case, opinion is still as divided as it was in 1989.  Some people believe that Betty has been punished enough and should be freed.  They are offended on her behalf that she put some clown through both medical and law schools and then was dumped for a bimbo office receptionist.  Some say that while they agree that she was wronged, she still needs to pay for her crimes and should remain where she is.  Others believe that Betty is a vicious killer who deserves no sympathy.

Which Betty do you believe in?  Was she just a selfish, manipulative woman who killed out of spite?  Was she pushed to being mentally unbalanced by a cruel man who used both the legal system and his mistress to dial up Betty?  Was Betty always mentally unstable?  Does she remain any of these things?

Given that I know someone who knew both Dan and Betty, I believe that Dan was a real asshole.  I think he was fine with Betty supporting him and putting him through school but when he decided that he no longer wanted to participate in their marriage, he did not want to reimburse Betty in kind.  Greed.  And just an asshole.  I also think that Linda had a cruel streak.  I believe that she tormented Betty; by dictating the message on Dan's answering machine, by sending Betty pamphlets for weight loss; by sending Betty pictures of herself with Dan, with notes that indicated how happy they were.  Heck, at the time of their deaths Dan and Linda were sleeping under a quilt that had belonged to Dan and Betty during their marriage.  Very childish actions on an adult playground.

I think Betty may have had a twisted perception of marriage and women's roles based on her upbringing and her generation.  But, again based on what I was told by someone who knew both Dan and Betty, I believe she was a good mother, at least before Linda.   After Linda, I think she was psychologically damaged.

None of this means that she was justified in killing anyone.  I'm sad for the children, who now have children of their own that do not know their Broderick grandparents.  I'm sad that Betty herself apparently cannot recognize what she's done - - not just to Dan and Linda and her children but to herself.  

Back to the Parole Board.  In their decision to deny Betty, they gave her the longest denial possible - - 15 years.  However, she can request an earlier hearing if she meets certain criteria.

January 10, 2017

People Magazine "Investigates" the MacDonald Case




Okay, so I watched People Magazine's take on the MacDonald case.  Good grief.  Where to even begin?

Given they subtitled the show (and MacDonald himself) "The Accused," it's really no surprise that the program itself was almost completely one-sided in MacDonald's favor.  Who was the "reporter" on this "investigation?"  Kathryn MacDonald?  O.J. Simpson?

I am guessing that no one on staff read the Article 32 hearing transcript (the document that firmly convinced me of MacDonald's guilt.)  By the same token, I'm also certain that no one read the autopsy reports, the reports of MacDonald's documented injuries or viewed crime scene photos.

Here is just a (relatively) short list of the program's oversights and flat out errors:

* MacDonald did not have some 23 stab wounds.  He had one abrasion on his forehead, some scratches to his bicep and one clean incision to his abdomen/lower chest.

* Despite reporting that MacDonald was attacked and stabbed with the icepick, he had no icepick wounds on his body (unlike his wife and daughters, who were viciously attacked with it many, many times.)

* MacDonald claimed to have been attacked and stabbed as he was seated on the sofa, fighting off three violent men.  He even claimed to have used his pajama top as a defensive weapon, to avoid blows.  First, how did the pajama top get around his wrists to use?  Secondly, why did he have no defensive wounds on his fingers, hands, wrists or arms?  I have never heard of anyone who was being attacked with a knife, especially by multiple people, to not have defensive wounds on their hands.  And thirdly, if he was seated and struggling, how on earth did these people manage to give him a clean cut to his lower chest/upper abdomen?

* MacDonald was not "left for dead."  Unless, of course, one could perish from excessive bicep scratching.

* Kristen was stabbed some thirty-three times; not the seventeen reported.

* The lab did not destroy the bloody footprint found in the doorway of Kristen's room.  While attempting to remove it, the boards came apart.

* The statement of no one in the MacDonald residence having a drug addiction/problem may not be accurate.  MacDonald had been taking Eskatrol prior to the murders.  Based on his own handwritten notes, those that were given to his attorney, he was taking some 3-5 capsules per day. He was also operating on very little sleep at the time of the murders.  A decade or so after the murders Eskatrol was taken off the market due to the possibility of excessive use causing paranoia and/or psychosis.

* The program's slant made it sound like MacDonald had not been granted DNA testing which would prove his innocence.  That is absolutely false.  DNA tests have been done.  None of them show any evidence of intruders being in the home that night.  To the contrary, a hair found grasped in Colette's death grip, a hair that MacDonald assured his four remaining supporters would belong to her killer, was identified as his own. (Possibly the only truth he ever uttered about this case.)

* The unidentified mystery hair is not such a mystery.  It was determined to have possibly come from one of the children's dolls or even from one of Colette's own falls.  The presence of a wig hair in a hairbrush does little to bolster the case of four drugged out hippies hell bent on destruction.

* Helena Stoeckley did indeed make a confession.  The program neglected to also report that she recanted her confession.

* What hippies, invading a home with the desire to obliterate everyone in it, would do so without weapons handy?  All weapons used in the murders came from the residence.  Furthermore, what persons would attack a pregnant woman and two little girls first, leaving MacDonald - - the biggest threat - - until last?  No, you would immobilize or incapacitate your biggest threat immediately.  Also, as MacDonald was reportedly their target (per this program, at least), it makes no sense to not go after him first.

* The evening/early morning hours of February 16-17, 1970 was a cold, wet one.  Yet not one bit of mud or water was tracked in by these intruders.  The only wet blades of grass found, in fact, were adhered to the hem of MacDonald's own bathrobe (left there, perhaps, when he put his robe on to walk outside and kneel in the grass to discard the weapons?)

* The program reported that the government's case rested on the theory that the murders were committed solely because one of the children had wet the bed.  They did not mention this was an incident that may have started an argument but the murders were not committed only because of it.

* The program reported that the MacDonald marriage was a happy, harmonious one.  Completely at odds with what family, friends and neighbors reported and testified to about their view of the marriage in the months prior to the murders.  To wit, they stated that neither Colette nor MacDonald seemed particularly happy and neither was pleased about Colette's third pregnancy.  Additionally, Colette had called her mother on the morning of February 16, 1970, wanting to return home with her daughters.  All three of them would be dead in less than twenty-four hours.

* The report of MacDonald having a single one-night stand is beyond laughable.  MacDonald was a flagrant philanderer.  The investigators knew it, Colette knew it and we know it.   At the time of the Article 32 hearing, roughly two months after his family had been butchered, MacDonald was having sexual relations with a woman in his BOQ room.  Hardly the grieving widower and father the program would like us to believe.

* The show did not report much on the physical evidence at all.  For instance, Kimberley's blood (and brain matter) was found in the master bedroom.  Colette's blood was found in Kristen's room. Other than a smudge on the Esquire magazine and a drop on the lenses of MacDonald's glasses, no blood was found in the living room (and the intruders had allegedly already attacked Colette and the girls with the very weapons they were swinging at MacDonald.  Scrapes from the club were found on the ceiling of Kristen's room although she herself was not struck with the club; similarly, despite MacDonald claiming to have been struck by the club, no scrapes were found on the living room ceiling.  It was proven that Colette's blood was on MacDonald's pajama top before it was torn. Kimberley's blood was found on that same pajama top although MacDonald claims to have taken it off to cover Colette before he went to check on his daughter.  The urine stain found on the bed in the master bedroom was typed to Kimberley although MacDonald claimed it was Kristen that was in the bed.

* MacDonald claimed he did not go or call the neighbors for help because he did not know them well.  Really?  How well do you need to know someone to scream or cry for help when your family has been slaughtered?

* Children's clothing was found in a pile at the end of the hallway, closest to the living room.  Colette's belongings were found jammed in a dresser drawer.  A suitcase was discovered in the master bedroom; no blood on it but blood all around, indicating it was placed there after the blood was shed.  (Prosecutors theorized that MacDonald planned on fleeing; I disagree.  I think Colette had packed that suitcase, in the hopes that after calling her mother, she would fly home with her children. After killing his family, I believe MacDonald found that suitcase and in his attempts to stage the scene, unpacked it. I think he threw Colette's belongings into a drawer and may have forgotten about the children's, which were left in a pile on the floor.  He also forgot to return the suitcase to the closet.)

* The home telephone number of MacDonald's Commanding Officer was found either on the club used in the murders or written in the MacDonald home. The wife of the CO remembers getting a phone call in the early morning hours of February 17, 1970 from a man asking for her husband who was then not at home.  She claimed she could not identify MacDonald but it does seem coincidental, doesn't it?  I believe that MacDonald called his CO for assistance/guidance before he decided to go with the hippie intruder story.

* MacDonald told his former father-in-law Freddie Kassab that he had tracked down and killed one of the intruders.

* The program did not show the portion of The Dick Cavett Show where MacDonald laughed about the Army's incompetence and had to be reminded that three persons (and one unborn child) had died.  The program also did not report that Cavett himself felt MacDonald's affect was all wrong.

I hope that persons unfamiliar with the MacDonald case did not watch this show and come away with the feeling that justice was not served and MacDonald was unfairly convicted.

Jeffrey MacDonald is NOT the victim here.  Reserve sympathy for Colette, Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald.

January 8, 2017

Upcoming Programs on the Jeffrey MacDonald Case


It certainly wouldn't be like Jeffrey MacDonald, convicted killer of his family, to serve his time quietly and stay out of the media.  In keeping with that, there are two programs about the case coming up for your viewing pleasure.

The first is titled People Magazine Investigates: Jeffrey MacDonald, the Accused.  Given that it is People magazine and they are calling MacDonald the "accused," rather than what he is - - a killer - - I am already thinking the program might be biased in MacDonald's favor.  The official description of the program does not help.  To wit, "A brutal home invasion claims the lives of Army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald's wife and daughters."

Given that the facts show that there was no home invasion, brutal or otherwise, it seems like this will be a rehashing of MacDonald's chronology of events that night.  Or should I say lies.  That said, I will still watch it, although it will probably piss me off.

The second program is a reboot of sorts of the 1984 miniseries Fatal Vision, based on author Joe McGinniss' book of the same name.  The new version will be told through McGinniss' eyes, as played by Dave Annable, with Scott Foley playing MacDonald.  As it's told through McGinniss' eyes, the story begins as a tale of an innocent man being railroaded by the legal system before exposing an evil man hiding behind the All-American boy facade.  

I'm not sure how I feel about the reboot.  The original, with Gary Cole, Eva Marie Saint and Karl Malden, was top notch. It's telling that MacDonald's own mother liked actor Gary Cole after seeing him portray her son.

Interestingly, despite their opposite viewpoints, both are being aired on the Investigative Discovery ("ID") channel. People Magazine Investigates will air tomorrow night, January 9.   As of yet, there is no release date on the Fatal Vision reboot.

Also being aired on the ID channel, beginning on January 15, is Is O.J. Innocent? The Missing Evidence.  This, too, appears to be one of those programs that will set my nerves (and anger) on edge.  Does anyone out there truly believe O.J. Simpson didn't kill his ex-wife Nicole and Ron Goldman?  Seriously.

This is being touted as a "miniseries" - - a three part "event."  I can't believe there could possibly be any more evidence in that case, much less something that would take three parts to tell.

January 3, 2017

Manson Family Updates



So a few items on the Manson Family that are worthy to note.

First - - Tex Watson, as expected, was denied parole.  For the 17th time.  Thank you, California Parole Board.  Officially, Watson was found "unsuitable" for release.  No kidding.  This parole hearing, back in October, was his first since 2011.

One of the more interesting things to come out of Watson's parole hearing was that back in February of 2013 he was stabbed by another inmate.  I don't advocate violence but somehow I'm not seriously offended by this story.  I wonder why.

According to Watson, he was washing his clothing in a sink on a second story tier of the prison when another inmate approached and asked him if he knew anything about Kabala.  He responded in the negative and turned his back to the inmate.  Said inmate stabbed Watson in the back with a sharpened paint brush that was concealed in a rolled up magazine, and then attempted to throw him over the railing.  The inmate didn't succeed, maybe because Watson is a pretty big guy or maybe God was protecting this alleged born again Christian (and I write this with as much sarcasm as you can imagine.)   Anyhow, Watson was able to hang on to the railing until staff intervened.

Don't you just love it when the karma bus rolls around?  Sorry, Tex, but I hope it hurt like a bitch.

In other news, Patricia Krenwinkle's parole hearing has been continued.  Testimony lasting a day began on or about December 29 and information disclosed during the testimony is cause for an investigation.  Once the investigation is concluded, the parole hearing will proceed.

Krenwinkle, known as "Katie" within the Family and who personally stabbed to death Abigail Folger and carved the word "WAR" into the flesh of Leno LaBianca (she sounds like a peach, doesn't she?), had her last parole hearing in 2011 and was denied for seven years. She successfully petitioned to have her hearing date advanced earlier this year.

And last, but not least, when Leslie Van Houten was once again denied for parole, the California Supreme Court requested the Attorney General to provide evidence that she is an "unreasonable risk" for parole. Hmmm, I'm kind of thinking that maybe someone who got their jollies from stabbing another human being to death and then blames it on others may fall under the "unreasonable risk" thing but it could just be me.

Anyhow . . . given that the parole board's recommendation of parole didn't piss off enough California residents, this seemed a good plan.  Fortunately, the Supreme Court came through just in time for Christmas to deny Van Houten once again, refusing to hear her petition.

I think all Manson Family members should just get comfy behind bars.

ETA:  It's being reported that Charles Manson has been taken from Corcoran State Prison to a Bakersfield area hospital.  Reports do not indicate what medical condition Manson is suffering from, other than being a delusional asshole.

December 30, 2016

The Murder of Kitty Genovese




On March 13, 1964, in New York's Queens borough, a young woman was killed in the very early hours in a crime that continues to reverberate to this day.

Catherine Susan Genovese, known as Kitty to her family and friends, was twenty-eight years old that March day in 1964.  She was the eldest of five children born into an Italian American family living in  the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. When she was a teen, her mother Rachel witnessed a murder and the family, minus Kitty, moved to the presumably safer New Canaan, Connecticut .  Kitty was engaged to be married and remained in New York with her grandparents.  She was known to be very self assured and possessing a sunny disposition.  She married in 1954 but the marriage was a brief one; the couple had separated and annulled the marriage by the end of the same year.

Kitty moved into her own apartment and paid her way with a variety of clerical jobs, which she disliked.  By the end of the decade, she was working as a bar manager at Ev's Eleventh Hour on Jamaica Avenue in Queens. In 1963, she met Mary Ann Zielonko who officially became her roommate; unofficially Mary Ann was her girlfriend.

On March 13, 1964 at 2:30 a.m., Kitty left her job at Ev's to drive home in her red Fiat.  While she was stopped at a traffic light on Hoover Avenue, she did not realize she was being watched by a man called Winston Moseley, who followed her to her Kew Gardens neighborhood. She parked her car roughly 100 feet from her apartment building and began to walk toward her home. Moseley too had parked his car and approached Kitty, armed with a hunting knife. Terrified, she ran from him to the front of her building, hoping to make it to the corner of Austin and Lefferts, a major intersection; she did not succeed. Moseley caught her and stabbed her twice in the back. Kitty screamed "Oh my God! He stabbed me!  Help me!"  One of her neighbors, Robert Mozer, heard her cry and yelled at Moseley from his window to leave the girl alone. Moseley ran off, leaving Kitty to stagger toward the rear entrance of her apartment building, taking her out of view of potential witnesses.

There is confusion as to exactly when the first call or calls for help went to the police. Several neighbors claim to have called for help but the police did not log any calls. There was also confusion as to what exactly had happened to Kitty; it appears that many believed that it was a domestic dispute or that she had been beaten up but had gotten up and was generally fine.

Moseley was more or less reliably said to have gotten back into his car after attacking Kitty and driven away but he returned roughly ten minutes later, in search of his victim. As he hunted around the parking lot and apartment building, he put on a wide brimmed hat in order to camouflage his face.  He found Kitty, barely conscious, lying in a hallway by a locked door that prevented her from entering the building.  Moseley stabbed her several more times; wounds in her hands suggested that she had put them up in an attempt to ward off the blows.  While she lay dying, Moseley raped her, stole $49 from her and fled.  The two attacks spanned half an hour.   Sophia Farrar, a neighbor and friends of Kitty's heard the screams and ran outside her own apartment to cradle Kitty as she died.  Karl Ross, minutes after the final attack, called the police who arrived in relatively short order.  Kitty was taken away from the building at 4:15 a.m. in an ambulance but it was too late.

A short article would appear documenting the fatal attack on Kitty Genovese but her murder was one of 636 in New York that year and it's likely that she would have been relegated to being one of many victims in the city were it not for the track the media ultimately decided to take.

Six days after the murder police apprehended the 29 year old Moseley during a house burglary.  A Queens resident, he had no criminal record and was married with three children. While in custody for the burglary, he confessed to some thirty to forty burglaries and three sexual assaults and murders, one of them being that of Kitty Genovese.  He stated that he preferred to kill women because they "were easier and didn't fight back."   He had no previous contact with Kitty before assaulting and killing her.  He had gotten up around 2 a.m. on the morning of March 13 and set off in search of a victim, coming upon Kitty purely by chance.  He detailed the attack and corroborated the physical evidence so absolutely that his later trial was more one of legal necessity than proving his guilt.  To wit, the trial began on June 8, 1964 and the jury delivered its verdict on June 11, 1964 after seven hours of deliberation.  On June 15, 1964 Moseley was sentenced to death.  He remained stoic with no emotion, while onlookers applauded and cheered.  In 1967 the New York Court of Appeals found that Moseley should have been able to argue that he was medically insane at the sentencing hearing and reduced his death sentence to that of life imprisonment.  That's where the case may have stood until Moseley's death but The New York Times came into play.

The article that started it all
Ten days after Kitty's murder, New York's then-police chief Michael Murphy was having lunch one day with A. M. Rosenthal, the Times' metro editor,  Murphy spent most of the lunch discussing how worried he was that the civil rights movement, then at its peak, would set off racial violence in New York.  The conversation then shifted to the recent murder of Kitty Genovese, one which according to Murphy involved thirty minutes of grisly stabbing while 38 eye and ear witnesses did nothing. Rosenthal immediately assigned reported Martin Gansberg to pursue the Genovese story from that angle.

The result would be the accepted as fact myth that nearly 40 persons had not only heard the attack and murder and neglected to take action, but they witnessed the initial stalking of Kitty and three separate assaults on her, leading to what was known as the "bystander effect" or "Kitty Genovese Syndrome."  The nation in 1964 was horrified by the painful indifference to suffering.  Studies were made to find out why the diffusion of responsibility happened, finding that people in crowds were less likely to step forward, believing that someone else would take responsibility.

The debate and erroneous information would flourish for decades.  The truth was far simpler.  Kitty Genovese was indeed attacked.  Some heard her cries and believed they were overhearing a domestic dispute or drunks quarreling, given the late hour and proximity to a bar.  Not a single witness saw the attack in its entirety.  Gansberg claimed that Kitty could have been saved if police had been called after the first of three attacks.  The truth was that the first stab had punctured her lung and would have been fatal; and there were not three attacks, but two.  There were not 38 uncaring witnesses, not even close.  And two people did call the police.

So why the embellishment and exaggeration?  Murphy's concern, in part, had to play a role. He was concerned about racial violence; Kitty Genovese, a white woman was killed by a black man.  Rather than the minority black population rioting against the white population, Genovese's murder might make the white population angry.  More importantly, selling the Genovese story as the Times did sold the rest of the nation on how unsafe urban areas were in general, especially for young women, and how apathetic city dwellers were.

Did Kitty's sexual orientation play a part?  Probably not and here's why.  In 1964, homosexuality was not as accepted as it is today.  It's very likely that the majority of, if not all, of Kitty's and Mary Ann's neighbors believed them to be platonic roommates.  Being lovers, they would have been considered unusual, unacceptable and living an abhorrent lifestyle.  Knowing how little homosexuality was understood in 1964, I believe that the Times, if they found out about Kitty's relationship, would have buried it or chosen another victim to focus on.  Because of her orientation, Kitty would not have been seen as a sympathetic victim, sadly.

The upside to the tragedy of Kitty Genovese is that her attack would lead to the implementation of the 9-1-1 system in 1968.  At the time she was killed, persons either had to dial "0" to connect with an operator and then ask for a specific police station rather than going directly to the police.  By late 1964 New York residents would be able to call an operator and immediately be patched through to police.  Within 5 more years, the 9-1-1 system would be implemented, saving more time.

And what of Winston Moseley, Kitty's killer?  On March 18, 1968, nearly four years into his life sentence, he escaped while being transported from a local hospital (where he was receiving treatment for self-inflicted injuries) back to prison. He stole the transporting officer's weapon and fled to a nearby vacant home. He stayed in the residence, undetected, for three days until the owners, a married couple, dropped by to check on the house and found Moseley. He held the couple hostage for more than an hour, tying up the husband and raping the wife, then taking the couple's car and fleeing once again.  On March 22, he broke into another house and took a mother and daughter hostage for two hours before releasing them unharmed and surrendering.   He was later given two fifteen year sentences to be tacked on to his life sentence.

In the 1970s, he participate in the Attica Prison riot and later on, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology.    He became eligible for parole in 1984 and was, thankfully, denied - - in part because he claimed that his notoriety made him a victim and a worse victim than someone like Kitty Genovese who was a victim for an hour or so but his victimization went on indefinitely.  He also claimed that he never intended to kill Kitty, despite what he had told investigators in 1964, and that the murder was simply a mugging that had gone bad.

On March 13, 2008, the 44th anniversary of Kitty's murder, Moseley again returned for a parole hearing.  Now 73 years old, he still had little remorse for Kitty's killing.  Parole was again denied, as it would be for a total of eighteen times.   His last parole hearing was in November 2015.  He died in prison on March 28, 2016, at the age of 81, having been one of the longest serving inmates in the New York State prison system.

Reporter Martin Gansberg, who article on the Genovese murder opened the can of worms, died in May of 1995 at the age of 74, due to complications from diabetes.

A. M. Rosenthal, editor of the New York Times, would remain there until 1999.  He won the presidential medal of freedom, the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and wrote a book on the Genovese case called Thirty Eight Witnesses.  He died in 2006 in New York.

Kitty's lover, Mary Ann Zielonko, was still alive as of 2014 and spoke with Kevin Cook on his book about the murder.  She reminisced about Kitty, about Greenwich Village of the early 1960s, how homosexuality was illegal then and how both of them would take time off from work (both worked in bars) on Sundays and Mondays in order to spend time together.  Mary Ann alleges that police knew that Kitty was a lesbian and harassed Mary Ann, believing she was somehow connected to the murder.  After testifying at Moseley's trial (as Kitty's "roommate"), Mary Ann left Kew Gardens,never to return.  An artist, Mary Ann had begun a portrait of Kitty before her murder; she would finish it years later.

Kitty in life

November 1, 2016

The Tylenol Murders of 1982


Photo credit: websleuths.com


It's hard to imagine now for younger people out there but back in 1982, there was no such thing as a tamper proof bottle.  Drugs, like Extra Strength Tylenol, were sold off the shelf in the bottle with a cotton ball tucked under the lid.  No boxes glued shut and no protective foil seal across the lid.  What happened in Chicago in the autumn of 1982 led to a change in the pharmaceutical industry and the packaging industry.

Mary Kellerman was only 12, the youngest and the first victim of the poisonings.  She woke around 6:30 on the morning of Wednesday, September 29, 1982 feeling sick with a cold; her parents elected to keep her home from school.  She takes Tylenol to help ease her symptoms. Her father Dennis would tell the Chicago Tribune that he heard his daughter go into the bathroom, close the door and then heard something drop. He called out to her, asking if she was okay but got no response. After calling out again, he opened the door to find Mary, still in her pajamas, unconscious on the floor.

Paramedics arrived at the Kellerman home in Schaumburg and tried every drug they had to resuscitate her, with no success.  She is transported to the Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove, where she is pronounced dead at 9:56 a.m.

Because of her age, an autopsy is ordered.  It's noted that she took Tylenol that morning but nothing seems out of sorts . . . at least not yet.

Around noon on that same Wednesday, postal worker Adam Janus, 27 years old and from Arlington Heights, is at home, also under the weather. He was worried that he was coming down with a cold. He picked up his kids from preschool and stopped off at the store to pick up some Tylenol. After eating lunch with the children, he took two Tylenol and went to lie down. A few minutes later, he staggered into the kitchen and collapsed.

Adam was taken to Northwest Community Hospital, where the attending physician believed he had a cardiac arrest.  Despite efforts, like Mary Kellerman, his heart would not start beating again. He was pronounced dead around 3:15 p.m.

At 3:45 p.m., 27 year old Mary Lynn Reiner is at home in Winfield and not feeling well, as she had given birth to her fourth child a week earlier.  She takes some Tylenol and collapses. Her husband returned home to find her on the floor.  An ambulance rushes her to Central DuPage Hospital.

At 5 p.m., the family of victim Adam Janus is gathered together at his home to mourn and make funeral arrangements.  Adam's younger brother Stanley, suffering with chronic back pain, asked his wife Theresa to bring him some Tylenol.  She gave him two, which he took, and she took two herself.  Stanley fell first, followed by Theresa.

The Arlington Heights Fire Department responded to the emergency at the Janus home, where units had been less than five hours earlier.  Four men worked on Stanley; four men on Theresa.  They noted that each symptom or response that Stanley had, Theresa would likewise have a few moments later.

Dr. Thomas Kim, the Medical Director at Northwest Community Hospital, who had pronounced Adam Janus dead just over two hours earlier, was preparing to leave at 5:45 when he was told that the Janus family was returning.  Initially believing that Adam's parents may have been reacting to the stress of the death of their son, he was instead surprised to see that it was Adam's healthy younger brother and his wife.

This was the first time suspicions were raised that something was not right. Still not knowing what had killed one and felled two members of the Janus family, investigators began examining the home in Arlington Heights.

Meanwhile, at 6:30 p.m. in Lombard, 31 year old Mary McFarland is telling her co-workers at the Illinois Bell store that she has a terrible headache. She goes into the back room and takes at least one Tylenol. Within minutes, she's collapsed on the floor.  The suspicion was that she had ingested something bad.

Around 8 p.m., the bottle of Tylenol, with six capsules missing, is found at the Janus home.  It was rightly deduced that three victims taking two capsules each adds up to the six capsules.

At 8:15 p.m., Stanley Janus is pronounced dead.

At 9:30 p.m., following a flight from Las Vegas, Paula Prince, a 35 year old flight attendant with United Airlines, stops in at a Walgreens to purchase some Tylenol.

At 10 p.m., the Janus bottle of Tylenol is compared with the Kellerman bottle of Tylenol and it's noted that the control numbers are the same. Upon orders from the Medical Examiner, both bottles are opened and sniffed.  The investigator smelled almonds in both bottles, telling the Medical Examiner they were dealing with cyanide.

Blood is drawn from the bodies of the Janus victims and Mary Kellerman.

On Thursday, September 30 at 1 a.m., Dr. Kim received his lab reports.  Not only was there cyanide present in each body but between 100 and 1,000 times more cyanide than necessary to kill each person.

At 3:15 a.m., Mary McFarland is pronounced dead at Good Samaritans Hospital in Downers Grove.

At 9:30 a.m. Mary Lynn Reiner is pronounced dead at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

Some time around 10 a.m., an attorney for Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Tylenol, showed up at the Medical Examiner's Office to hear firsthand the connection between Tylenol and the deaths.  A press conference was held immediately thereafter, suggesting that people not take Tylenol if they had any.  It was not suggested that the product be recalled.

By 3 p.m., however, Johnson &Johnson itself issued a recall of all Tylenol from lot number MC2880, the control number found on the Janus and Kellerman bottles.

On Friday, October 1 at 11 a.m., the state police and FBI are called in.

At 1:15 p.m, Theresa Janus is removed from life support at Northwest Community Hospital and pronounced dead.

At 5 p.m., police discover Paula Prince's body in her apartment on North LaSalle Street. Paula had been expected for dinner with her sister and when she didn't answer repeated telephone calls, her sister notified the police. She had also been due to work a flight out of O'Hare.  The Chicago PD had expected a routine "well person" check.  Instead, they found the Tylenol bottle open in her bathroom, not far from Paula's body in the doorway.  She had just enough time to take a step or two after taking the capsules before dying.

Walgreens had cameras located at their cash registers and police would find footage of Paula buying the pills that would kill her on Wednesday night.  Unfortunately, at the time there were no cameras located in the aisles of the store, making it impossible to see who may have tampered with the medication.

At 11 p.m., Jane Byrne, then Mayor of Chicago, made an announcement about the death of Paula Prince, as well as assisting in the making of fliers in multiple languages warning about the tainted Tylenol.  It was also announced that Tylenol would be pulled from shelves in Chicago.

On Monday, October 4, the Chicago City Council passes an ordinance requiring tamper-resistant packaging for all drugs sold in stores.

On Tuesday, October 5 Johnson & Johnson recalled all Tylenol products nationwide, an estimated 31 million bottles at a cost of more than $100 million.

On Wednesday, October 6 an extortion letter arrives at Johnson & Johnson demanding $1 million to stop the killing. The police would trace the letter to a man in New York named James Lewis.  Despite a thorough investigation, Lewis could never be placed in Chicago at the right time to tie him to the murders. He was sentenced to 20 years for extortion and would serve 13 before being released and moving to the East Coast.

By Monday, October 25, the task force on the Tylenol murders would be reduced from 115 to 40 investigators.

And that's where the case stalled.  It's been 34 years since the crimes happened and the murders are still unsolved.  What happened?

Normal capsule on the left; tainted on the right
Photo:  Daily Kos
Back in 1982, video surveillance at all locations was not the norm.  Tamper resistant packaging was not the norm.  Worrying about products being tampered with was not the norm.

Was the perpetrator looking to kill one person and the others were collateral damage?  Or was he or she after the thrill of killing an untold amount of strangers?  And if so, did he or she act again?

If the perp was looking to kill a certain individual with others dying as a cover up to the actual target, it's likely that Mary Kellerman, Adam Janus and Paula Prince can be eliminated as potential targets. Mary's age eliminates her; both Adam and Paula purchased their Tylenol immediately before taking it.  That also eliminates Stanley and Theresa Janus, who were only at the Janus home because of Adam's death.  Nothing in their victimology suggests that Mary Lynn Reiner or Mary McFarland had someone determined to kill them. Of course it's also possible - - and extremely likely given the known victims - - that if this was the motivation behind the poisonings the intended target escaped harm, quite possibly because of the rash of other victims.

The widely accepted story is that whoever did this purchased the bottles of Tylenol, took them home, tainted capsules in each bottle, and then went around town, putting the bottles on shelves of various stores. There didn't seem to be anything special as to the locations.

One theory the investigators did not put much stock in was that the tainting happened within Johnson & Johnson's production or distribution channels.  While this theory may seem like a stretch at first it does give somewhat of a motive.  What if the person was angry with Johnson & Johnson, had some bone to pick?  The murders could have destroyed the company, not just by consumers refusing the products but also by lawsuits the company would be forced to pay out on.   Scott Bartz, a former Johnson & Johnson employee spent 3 1/2 years researching a book on the subject, which he released in 2011.   His book, The Tylenol Mafia, opens with two Kane County sheriff's deputies who, on the night of Tuesday, September 28, 1982 found two cardboard McNeil boxes filled with Extra Strength Tylenol capsules in an unincorporated area near Elgin. Both deputies became ill after examining them.  The book also calls note to a bottle of cyanide-laced Tylenol that was turned in some two weeks after the poisonings by a woman who identified herself as the wife of a DuPage County judge.  What's interesting about this?  The woman was not who she said she was. When police went back to talk to the judge's wife, she was not the woman who turned in the bottle.  The woman's identity, or her motive for turning the bottle in, has never been determined.

Infamous Unabomber Ted Kaczynski has also had the finger of suspicion pointed at him.  Kaczynski at one time lived in Evergreen Park and Lombard.

A man by the name of Roger Arnold was also investigated.  The investigation led to him having a nervous breakdown, due to the relentless media attention, even after he was cleared.  Arnold blamed a bar owner named Marty Sinclair for the media attention.  In the summer of 1983, Arnold shot and killed who he thought was Marty Sinclair but in actuality was John Stanisha, a man who had no connection to Arnold or Sinclair.  Arnold was convicted of second degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to 30 years.  He would serve 15 years and then die in 2008.

Laurie Dann, who went on a rampage in nearby Winnetka on May 20, 1988, setting fires, poisoning and shooting people, was also considered a suspect but there was no direct connection.

Copycat attacks began popping up after the Tylenol murders, many involving Tylenol.  In 1986 Excedrin capsules in Washington state were tampered with, resulting in the deaths of two persons, with the wife of one being the perpetrator. Also in 1986, Encaprin was recalled after a spiking hoax in Detroit and Chicago, leading to Encaprin being withdrawn from the market entirely after sales plummeted.

The poisonings led not only to the introduction of tamper resistant caps and seals but to the pharmaceutical industry moving away from capsules and to solid caplets.

What do I think?  I think all given scenarios have merit.  It's certainly within the realm of possibility that someone had a grudge against Johnson & Johnson; after all, the bottles all had the same control number and yet they were purchased from different stores in the Chicago area. An inside job would have made it easier.  My problem with that theory is that the bottles that were tampered with, at least the ones that were known, were in a relatively condensed area.

It's also possible that there was a set target and whoever the perp was did not want to be connected with the target and so poisoned a handful of bottles resulting in collateral victims. As I stated above, if that were the case it's almost certain that the intended victim did not become a victim after all.  At least not of the poisonings.

And let's not forget that maybe there was just a sick person in the Chicago area who wanted to hurt people but didn't find it necessary to do so up close and personal.  Was it Ted Kaczynski?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Will the truth ever be known?  It's hard to say.  Barring a deathbed confession, it's likely no suspect will ever be charged with the murders.