True Crime-The Minister's Wife, Debra LaFave, Missing Family Update; Political Cartoon Montage

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The Minister’s Wife

A woman shooting her husband isn’t all that odd. Add the component that the husband was a minister beloved by his congregation and the disappearance of the wife and three children after the deed and there’s the makings of a true crime that doesn’t end with just the facts.

For Mary Alice Winkler was a substitute teacher at a local school, Matthew Winkler was a minister, the three daughters are adorable and by all accounts, the family participated in normal social events and always seem companionable and happy.

It’s always that way, isn’t it?

The good news is that Mary Winkler and the three daughters were found safe. It had initially been feared that the disappearance of Matthew Winkler’s family after his death could indicate a forced abduction. Although that bit about the family van also missing seemed to point to a wife taking off after shooting her husband.

Once Mary Winkler was found speculation abounded. Why did she kill her husband, the handsome cable anchors asked? Where are the children? Why did she run? Where was she going?

The latest is that Mary Winkler has been charged with first-degree murder of her husband. That first-degree thing is ominous as it implicates pre-meditation.

When reporters queried the police on the whereabouts of the children the police were oddly mum. “They are at the police station and being questioned gently by authorities,” I paraphrase the response. The public was assured that the children did not witness the murder.

Now one would suppose that questioning the children was required in this circumstance but it seemed that as a response to every query the police responded that the children were still being questioned. This went on, as the handsome cable news anchors kept reporting, for over eight hours by my count.

Also, the handsome cable news anchors kept reassuring us that the motive for the murder was not infidelity. Now it is softly whispered that Mary Winkler might have killed her husband for abusing the daughters.

The crime was not done in the passion of a marital moment of discord or that first-degree thing would not be in effect. Also, the lengthy questioning of the children seemed odd. The children have now been released to their grandparents the handsome cable anchors report.

If speculation proves correct, this could be an interesting case. Will a woman who murdered her husband for abusing the children get a pass? Are the prosecutors fairly certain that this first-degree charge will stick? Will this be a death penalty case?

For now it’s all naught but speculation although I’d argue the handsome cable news anchors are fueling the flames. Soon enough Mary Winkler will get an attorney and soon after that he will be all over the airwaves telling of the awful predicament his client was in and there you’ll have it. If speculation proves correct than this is a case that will be tried before the public.

From the Jackson Sun:
Jackson Sun
Originally published March 24, 2006

SELMER - The wife of a Selmer minister found slain in his parsonage was being questioned Thursday night as a suspect in his death after she and her three young daughters were found unharmed almost 400 miles from home.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMary Winkler, 32, was spotted by police parked along the side of a road in Orange Beach, Ala., in the couple's minivan about 7:30 p.m. The couple's three daughters, Breanna Winkler, 1, Mary Alice Winkler, 6, and Patricia Winkler, 8, "appear to be in good physical condition," and their mother was cooperative with police, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said. There was no one else with the Winkler family at the time they were found, Johnson said.

Since Mary Winkler was found with no evidence of trauma and with no extra passenger, authorities said it begs questions about why she was found in Alabama almost 24 hours after her husband was found dead.

"It's almost like she didn't know where she was going," Johnson said, adding, "We've known all along that she was going to be characterized as a suspect or a victim. ... She hasn't been arrested yet, but there are some tough questions we need to ask her."

Matthew Brian Winkler, 31, was found dead Wednesday night in a bedroom of the family's home on Mollie Drive, which was the parsonage for the Fourth Street Church of Christ. A church member said Winkler appeared to have been shot in the back, though police would not comment on his injuries.

Aruban Cop Theory on Natalee Holloway-Duh

The Aruban Keystone Kops have a theory on what happened to Natalee Holloway and it isn’t that she was murdered. According to the head Keystone Kop-Gerold Dompig, Natalee likely died from a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol. Dompig claims that Joran and that other duo of lies and deceit are still suspects as they likely had something to do with it.

According to Dompig, Natalee was seen “in possession” of drugs. No mention on what drugs Natalee had or on who the witness is that reported this. Also the Aruban police say they’ve received reliable information on where Natalee’s body is buried and just as soon as the Aruban police are done with all their press interviews they damn well intend to go look.

It’s been speculated for about forever that Natalee might have been slipped a date-rape drug. This is nothing new. I’d buy that the Kalpoe boys and lovely, lying Joran didn’t intend to murder Natalee, that a date-rape drug combined with the alcohol may have caused Natalee to unexpectedly die to the boys’ lustful horror.

I doubt very seriously those “drugs” Natalee was alleged to have in her possession were date-rape drugs, go on, this is not something a female would keep on hand. I’d guess Natalee had a dime bag of pot or some such and if so, it’s a great leap to this fact being affirmation of death by drugs and alcohol; the implication being that Natalee administered the drugs to herself.

From CBS news:
Cop's Theory: Natalee Wasn't Murdered

(CBS) Gerold Dompig, deputy chief of police in Aruba and the man leading the investigation into the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, tells 48 Hours correspondent Troy Roberts he feels strongly that Holloway was not murdered, but probably died from complications involving alcohol and, possibly, drugs as well.

Dompig makes his remarks in an exclusive interview this Saturday, March 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The chief investigator tells Roberts that he has credible witnesses who say the young woman had drugs in her possession. Dompig also says police have witnesses who claim Holloway was drinking "excessively" on the day she disappeared.

Update on Missing Family in Motor Home

As reported in this column last week, the Stiver family embarked on a trip to the coast in their motor home only to end up missing for over two weeks.

The first new information since last week and as a commenter pointed out, the entire family has been found. All were well having gotten stranded on a snowy road but with plenty of supplies to keep them warm and well-fed.

But there’s another intriguing tidbit about this odd journey. Seems Peter Stivers’ mother and step-father were wanted in Arizona for drug charges. From what I’ve read about the charges, they’re not benign, involving the discovery of bags of crack on their property. Mr. And Mrs. Higginbotham have suddenly disappeared from the public stage. Later articles have the couple vowing to clear their name and restore their reputation.

From the source of the quote below Peter also declared that he only sees his parents once every eight years or so and this seems odd. He also affirms his parents’ “shady past”. Yet they all went on this jaunt and under the circumstances should have renewed their acquaintance over the many days they were stranded.

It’s been asserted that this “disappearance” was planned to keep authorities away from the Higginbothams. Although I don’t know how this would work because they had to return home someday.

From Dailytidings.com:
Currently, no one knows the whereabouts of Elbert Higginbotham and Rebecca Ann Bess (aka Becky Higginbotham), according to the family. The pair are wanted in Arizona on drug charges. Higginbotham last met with a Daily Tidings reporter at 2 p.m. Thursday.

“He went to the hospital to pick up his medicine,” Ed Hill, grandfather of the children who were stranded for 17 days, said at the 3 p.m. press conference. Higginbotham was informed of the warrant earlier in the day.

Later, at their home, the Hills said they did not know where Higginbotham and Bess might have gone. “They may have checked into a hotel,” said their daughter-in-law Marlo Hill-Stivers, who was stranded in an RV with them. “We haven’t heard from them all day.”

Peter Stivers, son of Bess and step-son of Higginbotham, said he suspected that his parents’ shady past would come up as media attention grew.

Missing for Ten Years, Now Home Again

Tanya Kach was 14 years old when she went missing. She is now 24 and by befriending a deli owner, the “Sparico” referred to in the quote below, she was discovered and re-united with her family.

If ever a story had way more to it than currently in the public knowledge it has to be this one. Her “abductor” is a school security guard, Thomas Hose. Tanya was kept against her will, so she alleges, by Hose, who also lives with his elderly parents.

Now for ten years this guy kept Kach captive right under his parents’ nose and they didn’t notice? Indeed Tanya was out and about, witness her deli-owner friend. And she couldn’t plea for safe release? Further, Hose’s attorney is currently all over the air waves declaring his client completely innocent and this is “no way” a kidnap case.

Getting away from “blaming the victim” mentality, Tanya was only 14 years old at the time of her “abduction”. Hose was considerably older and even if he and Tanya were in love or some such, this is still a crime. Yet Tanya is now 24 and if it can’t proved that she was held against her will, do any charges of statutory rape still stand?

From ABCnews.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.comSparico told "Good Morning America" the alleged captor is a security guard at a school, and that he brainwashed her into thinking that her family didn't want her anymore.

He and Kach had allegedly concocted a cover story, telling people that she'd met him when he was 18 and he was working as a security guard at a mall.

Sparico said Kach told him she was kept in a bedroom in the house of her captor's parents. She said the parents were unaware she was there, because he locked her in when he went to work.

Interesting Littlejohn Update

Besides having the earmarks of a fledgling serial murder, lies by bar owners, and possible other connected crimes, all reported here on a recent true crime post, the murder of Imette St. Guillen takes another twist. And it’s not good.

For Darryl Littlejohn, the ex-con bar bouncer and alleged murderer of St. Guillen, is prone to nosebleeds. Which could explain the presence of Littlejohn’s blood on those cable ties used to bind St. Guillen’s hands.

It would seem, as I speculate, that Littlejohn’s defense will be that his blood on the cable ties, even the cat hairs on the blanket, are all because he worked at The Falls bar and these items are allegedly from the basement of that bar.

So as an employee, and prone to nose bleeds, it’s possible that Littlejohn had a nosebleed at some point while rooting around The Falls bar’s cellar.

From the Boston Herald.com:
Source: Bloody nose likely DNA source
By Michele McPhee
Boston Herald
Thursday, March 23, 2006 - Updated: 01:26 PM EST

NEW YORK - A history of nose bleeds could explain why Darryl Littlejohn's blood was found smeared on the plastic bindings used to tie up murder victim Imette St. Guillen, a law enforcement said last night, hours after the career criminal was indicted and charged in her macabre murder.

The career criminal accused of killing the Boston native claimed in a TV report aired last night that the absence of wounds on his body should raise questions about the blood allegedly containing his DNA found on plastic straps that bound St. Guillen's wrists.

But a law enforcement source said jailed suspect Darryl Littlejohn is prone to nose bleeds, easily accounting for the evidence. He is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and unlawful imprisonment.

In a jail interview with WCBS-TV, Littlejohn, 41, denied killing St. Guillen and said police "have the wrong person."

Bi-polar Debra LaFave Goes Free

And she’s damn mad about the media attention.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAlthough, by me, her press conference chastising us idiots out here in la-la land who don’t get it that bi-polar disorder could cause such odd actions as teachers having sex with a young teen student in the back seats of cars.

She’s working on her public image although I wouldn’t be surprised to see this young woman as a Playboy centerfold sometime in the near future.

The prosecutors settled on a plea deal in this case because LaFave’s young victim would not testify. Simple as that. This decision has nothing at all to do with any bi-polar disorder as LaFave would have us believe.

The picture above is from LaFave’s wedding day. Yon reader might want to check out Wizbangblog.com’s site on this case as there’s an abundance of pictures of the sexy Miss LaFave plus information on other pictures of the teacher that exist but have not been released.

If You Can’t Be Drunk In a Bar, Than Where?

Although public drinking to the point of intoxication is a problem, in that drunks tend to do bad things like drive or engage in any manner of behavior that is not to the public’s greater good.

So Texas plans on arresting drunk people right at the source.

Well it might work.

From Yahoo.com:
Texas arresting people in bars for being drunk.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Texas has begun sending undercover agents into bars to arrest drinkers for being drunk, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said on Wednesday.

The first sting operation was conducted recently in a Dallas suburb where agents infiltrated 36 bars and arrested 30 people for public intoxication, said the commission's Carolyn Beck.

Being in a bar does not exempt one from the state laws against public drunkenness, Beck said.

The goal, she said, was to detain drunks before they leave a bar and go do something dangerous like drive a car.

"We feel that the only way we're going to get at the drunk driving problem and the problem of people hurting each other while drunk is by crackdowns like this," she said.

With tongue-in-cheek and for leaving with a smile, we humbly offer the following warnings be placed on alcohol containers. Thanks to Granpa Russ email group.


    The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are:

    Whispering when you are not.


    The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like a retard.


    The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.


    The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.


    The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.


    The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.


    The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.


    The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.


    The consumption of alcohol may be a major factor in getting your ass kicked.


    The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your bra and panties.


    The crumsumpten of alcohol may Mack you tink you kan tpye reel gode

  • More True Crime Updates HERE

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    Hero Dog Receives Award

    Katrina -- the dog, not the storm -- appears onstage at an awards dinner Saturday night.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comLOS ANGELES (March 19) - A Labrador retriever who saved a man from drowning in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina received a standing ovation on Saturday night at an awards dinner attended by leading animal rights supporters.

    The dog, now called Katrina, was brought on stage and named guest of honor at the 20th annual Genesis Awards, given by the Humane Society of the United States to those who help advance the cause of animal rights.

    Katrina the dog was featured on a report from Los Angeles television station KCAL. The man she rescued told how the black dog helped pull him from the flood to higher ground and credited her with saving his life.

    After broadcasting the report, KCAL sent a team back to New Orleans to rescue the dog.Seven television stations and networks from around the country were cited for their reporting on animal rescues in New Orleans after the flood. Also cited for special praise was a volunteer, Jane Garrison, who rescued 1,300 animals in the course of just over six weeks, while living in her car.

    Among media awards, the Brigitte Bardot international reporting prize went to the Japan Times for breaking a media blackout and reporting in detail how 400,000 dolphins are slaughtered annually off the coast of Japan.

    Reut03:54 03-19-06

    The Dog Dictionary

  • DOG BED:
    any soft, clean surface, such as the white bedspread in the guest room or the newly upholstered couch in the living room.

  • DROOL:
    Is what you do when your mom and dad have food and you don't. To do this properly you must sit as close as you can and look sad and let the drool fall to the floor, or better yet, on their laps.

  • SNIFF:
    A social custom to use when you greet other dogs. Place your nose as close as you can to the other dog's rear end and inhale deeply, repeat several times, or until your person makes you stop.

    A container where mom and dad put food they don't want to test your ingenuity. You must stand on your hind legs and try to push the lid off with your nose. If you do it right you are rewarded with margarine wrappers to shred, beef bones to consume and moldy crusts of bread.

    Two-wheeled exercise machines, invented for dogs to control body fat. To get maximum aerobic benefit, you must hide behind a bush and dash out, bark loudly and run alongside for a few yards; the person then swerves and falls into the bushes, and you prance away.

    This is an affliction which affects dogs when their mom or dad want them in and they want to stay out. Symptoms include staring blankly at the person, then running in the opposite direction, or lying down.

    This is a signal that the world is coming to an end. Mom and dad remain amazingly calm during thunderstorms, so it is necessary to warn them of the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, rolling your eyes wildly and following their every move.

    This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes, and old candy wrapper. When you get bored, turn over the basket and strew the papers all over the house until your mom and dad comes home.

  • SOFAS:
    re to dogs like napkins are to people. After eating it is polite to run up and down the front of the sofa and wipe your whiskers clean.

  • BATH:
    This is a process by which mom and dad drench the floor, walls and themselves. You can help by shaking vigorously and frequently.

  • LEAN:
    Every good dogs's response to the command "sit !", especially if your mom and dad are dressed for an evening out. Incredibly effective before black-tie events.

  • BUMP:
    The best way to get your mom and dad's attention when they are drinking a fresh cup of coffee or tea.

    A maneuver to use as a last resort when the Regular Bump doesn't get the attention you require.....especially effective when combined with The Sniff. See above.

  • Is a feeling of intense affection, given freely and without restriction. The best way you can show your love is to wag your tail. If you're lucky, a human will love you in return.

  • How to Handle New Dog Meeting Old Cat

    Dogs, Cats and Other People -- Dog meets cat
    By Matthew "'Uncle Matty" Margolis

    Dear Uncle Matty: Everyone in our family, my husband and my two daughters and I, are upset about the way our 4-year-old Boxer is treating the little 1-year-old cat we brought home last week. From minute one, "Streak" has lived up to his name, chasing after this poor cat endlessly. We finally had to separate them until we could find out what to do with the situation. Is this going to change? Is this always the way it is when you introduce a cat to a dog or vice-versa? My neighbors have a dog and a cat, and they seem to adore each other, but the cat was in their home first. Maybe that is the reason. We just don't know but hope you can give some of your helpful advice. -- A.R., Sacramento, Calif.

    Dear A.R.: A successful introduction between a dog and a cat actually starts ahead of the first face-to-face meeting. Rule of thumb: If you have an older family dog, you already know your dog and his temperament. You want to bring home a kitten, not an older cat. If an older cat is the family pet, remember, cats are very territorial, too, so you want to bring home a puppy, not an older dog.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    Always put the new pet in an open wire crate and allow your resident dog or cat to wander around the crate and get used to this new creature. If you have a new puppy, you can be crate training during this get-acquainted period. When the cat seems to accept the puppy, and whenever puppy comes out of the cage, keep him on a leash in the house and maintain control of the situation. You're going to need patience during the process.

    If you bring a kitten home, put the kitty in a wire crate, and let your dog do the investigating. Then, when its time to take kitty out of the crate, put the dog on a leash, and hold the cat in your arms. This situation needs patience, too.

    This isn't brain surgery, but you do need to really understand your family pet's temperament. If you have doubts, don't engage in wishful thinking -- hoping everything will work out. Instead, consult a professional trainer for a qualified answer and perhaps some training help.

    More Pampered Pets HERE

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