It has been a while since I did the last Sum it Up, I know. A lot has happened. The main thing that changed is the time that I am now spending offline and I could not be happier to see that despite less postings my blog’s position in search engine rankings has not changed!
What do I do offline? Catching up with friends and family, writing a work of fiction, digging into another historical mystery, lots of reading for pleasure and frankly, taking it easy. Below I have collected some cases and trials to watch.
Jeffrey MacDonald is trying to get a new trial. MacDonald was convicted in 1979 for the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters in February 1970. His case has been made into movies and many books have been written about the murders. MacDonald told investigators that on the evening of February 16, he had fallen asleep on the living room couch. He told investigators that he was sleeping on the couch because his youngest daughter, Kristen, had been in bed with his wife and had wet his side of the bed. He was later awakened by the sounds of Colette and Kimberley’s screams. As he rose from the living room couch to go to their aid, he was attacked by three male intruders. A fourth intruder, described as a white female with long blond hair and wearing a white floppy hat partially covering her face, stood nearby with a lighted candle and chanted “Acid is groovy, kill the pigs.” The three males attacked him with a club and ice pick. During the struggle, MacDonald claimed that his pajama top was pulled over his head to his wrists and he then used it to ward off thrusts from the ice pick. Eventually, MacDonald stated that he was overcome by his assailants and was knocked unconscious in the living room end of the hallway leading to the bedrooms.
MacDonald’s lawyers assert that newly-discovered DNA evidence — three hairs that match neither MacDonald nor any of the victims — and the secondhand confession of a key witness who claimed to be at the family’s home the night of the murders justify reopening the case. The decision is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge John C. Fox. The judge could let MacDonald’s murder convictions stand, toss them out, or order another trial. It is expected to take weeks, perhaps months, before a ruling comes in a criminal saga that has made headlines for four decades.
A mushroom expert will try to help defrost a 1977 cold case.
The Innocence Project has freed inmate #300 and really folks, let this be a wake-up call: prisoners must have access to post-conviction evidence for DNA testing especially if their cases date back decades ago.
Last but not least, a family request: please read about the Lacey Gaines case. Lacey Gaines was born on December 1, 1989 and was murdered on December 7th, 2009. Lacey was found slain inside her Justice, Ill., apartment. Evidence found at the scene suggests that Gaines knew her assailant, but so far no arrests have been made. Her current boyfriend found her covered in blood, with an electrical cord around her neck and a 4-inch gash across her throat. At the time of the killing, family members were baby-sitting Gaines’ son.
Chief Robert Gedville said that there was no sign of forced entry into the apartment, no evidence of sexual assault and no evidence of robbery, suggesting that Gaines knew her attacker. Gedville said it was an “isolated incident” and that neighbors should not be concerned.
It remains unclear on whom the police are focusing. Investigators are not talking, and family members have their own theories. Gaines’ parents have not commented on the case to the media; however, detectives have allegedly told them that they are “as sure as they could possibly be” that the father of Gaines’ child had “nothing to do with this crime.”
Cook County Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information about Lacey Gaines’ killing. To report information, call the Crime Stoppers’ hot line at 800-535-7867.