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All Episodes Talk: Crime And Punishment

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I just watched A Killing in Cottonwood for the first time. Wow-is this the first time Keith has snapped at a prosecutor? He really thought she was wrong. You could tell it rattled her. 

I'm stunned the father got convicted on such flimsy evidence. "They had a knife in the kitchen that he could have used although there's no proof he touched it."

"We decided the jumbled words on the 911 call are 'I killed my wife' even though it doesn't sound anything like that." 

"He was extra good Facebook friends with a woman in Idaho who he never actually met up with, who had decided to ask for forgiveness and make her marriage work." 

How awful for the family. 😕

 

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For the "A Killing in Cottonwood," I think the husband did it.  He made not one but two Freudian slips.  Besides the 911 tape, the 2nd one in the police interview, "The guy knew what he was doing or something, because the way he cut her, that's the only cut I saw and there's tons of blood, and there was none in there when I, when whoever did it, I don't know."  Oops! 

The overwhelming odds were that the female victim was murdered by someone she knew, and the husband had the motive (old HS flame), and the means, and was the only one who was in the house at the time.  Also the HS flame told the jury that he said that something bad would have to happen for them to be together. Hmmm.

Sick and sad that even the poor woman's family sided with the murderer. ☹️

Edited by Figster
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I  just watched the Cottonwood one too.

Yeah no. What a big mess.  I think there simply wasn't enough evidence to convict the husband, a knife in the wrong slot in an untidy kitchen means nothing, the 911 message did not sound like "I killed my wife." 

 I would always have serious doubts about the husband though. Why have blood on the back of his shirt and inside his shorts?   Why did the other woman's friend say he was planning for them to be together soon?  The other woman may well have written the forgive me letter one guilt ridden  night, then been right back texting the next.

I don't think that relationship was nearly as innocent as Keith does.  I've known middle aged people who contact their old high school flames and get very obsessed with them.  In spite of (flattering) current photos on Facebook, they still picture each other the way they once looked and, more importantly, they see themselves as they were back then.  On some subconscious level, they expect to be young again when they get together.

The most damning thing about the husband to me was that after getting caught and begging forgiveness from his wife, he went out and bought a secret phone so he could continue to talk to the woman.  If nothing else, that proves he is disloyal and a liar.

The family members always make me mad when they seem to be claiming a man couldn't possibly commit murder if they never heard him raise his voice or say a cuss word.  I've been known to do both those things and I'm not a murderer.

The intruder theory, as Keith pointed out, meant someone came in, went straight upstairs and stabbed her a bunch of times (all without waking the husband) then left without taking a thing.

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Also,  sadly it looks like more heinous crimes run in the family:  Jacob Duenas, son of Mark Duenas, is a convicted serial child molester

Jacob was featured in the Dateline episode defending his Dad against accusations of killing his Mom.

"In the end, with Jacob’s aunt confessing that he’d admitted to her that he was “good at” abusing children and had a “demon” inside of him that he’d been fighting for years, a jury convicted him of rape. Consequently, in the fall of 2018, Jacob was sentenced to 26.5 years owing to his recurring and heinous offenses."

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Wow, what a story, it took three court cases before Jacob was finally sentenced to real time.  He seems to have molested any child he could get his hands on from 13 year old girls to 8 year old boys. Since most pedophiles were abused themselves when young,  I'm even more suspicious of Mark Duenas.

That article has some of the letter the boys wrote to defend Mark.  In it, they say about their mother and the Facebook affair, "While she wasn't thrilled about it the marriage was still happy."  How could those boys possibly know how she felt about that?  All their loyalty seemed to go to Dad no matter what.

Edited by JudyObscure
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I liked Keith confronting the prosecutor about her case against Mark being so speculative. That said, I figure the husband did it because of the manner of death, stabbing, and other things brought up by other posters here. I just don’t see how that jury got to “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Edited by LittleIggy
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31 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

I just don’t see how that jury got to “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Yes, I guess this sums up how I feel. I agree with everyone here that he COULD have done it. (Although it seems impossible to me to picture someone who was always kind and nice to his wife suddenly stabbing her in the chest so she dies.) 

Two things seemed iffy to me though. One, that strange comment about how the stabber knew what he was doing, although I didn't totally understand his point there. The other was the apparently staged cut screen. It didn't make sense for an impulsive intruder. 

I have so much empathy for the extended family who totally believe he's innocent. I mean, they didn't just watch a show about him. They lived with him for decades. That's not nothing. If they're all wrong... well, that's scary for all of us. 

Anyway, I think there's reasonable doubt. Maybe one day we'll know for sure 

 

 

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The Cottonwood case would be a hard one for me if I were a juror.

As a viewer of Dateline and other true crime stories, there are innumerable incidents of spouses/significant others who are theoretically mild mannered law abiding couldn't hurt a fly types who actually do kill their partners and could have gotten away with it but for one bit of "bad luck" which implicated them and one could get beyond the reasonable doubt threshold. 

I think he did it and he was just lucky enough to have gotten away with it. He had ample time to get rid of whatever knife he used. I know it is wrong but when a spouse is killed in their house and there is no sexual assault; no robbery and no motive for a random stranger to break into a house and kill a person in bed while the rest of the household is sleeping, I just think the spouse did it because the alternative is too far of a stretch. 

However in good conscience, I don't know whether as a sworn juror I could actually vote to convict based on a standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

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1 hour ago, amarante said:

... there are innumerable incidents of spouses/significant others who are theoretically mild mannered law abiding couldn't hurt a fly types who actually do kill their partners and could have gotten away with it but for one bit of "bad luck" which implicated them and one could get beyond the reasonable doubt threshold. 

The other night I binged a podcast about Russell Williams. By all accounts he was an extremely respected commander in the Canadian military, and an exemplary husband. People loved him. Oh, and he was also a serial killer. 

I regretted listening to the podcast late at night because his crimes were horrific. It's impossible to reconcile them with the soft-spoken, relaxed, friendly man you see in the police interview and in all of the photos, including the including the one of him with the Queen. 

I guess I'm morbidly fascinated with this subject. But you make several good points. 

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On 7/11/2021 at 6:07 PM, nora1992 said:

On Saturday’s case about the foster-daughter murder, did anyone else have trouble believing the perpetrator?  She was savvy enough to ask for a lawyer at the start, and her six month silence gave her time to draft a story to fit the circumstances.  And the detective was convinced she was telling the truth because the husband bought cars and trailers?  I didn’t believe her at all.

Yes I didn’t believe a WORD she said!!  How did that idiot detective fall for her lies??  She was a really bad liar.  The poor dad was convicted because of her lies.

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16 hours ago, heatherchandler said:

Yes I didn’t believe a WORD she said!!  How did that idiot detective fall for her lies??  She was a really bad liar.  The poor dad was convicted because of her lies.

I thought she was a liar, too, but I'll never say. "Poor, Dad," about him.  He may have had nothing to do with the murder, but there's evidence that he encouraged this messed up girl with the lap sitting and the hundreds of phone messages.

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1 hour ago, Ohmo said:

Don't ask me when, but I'm SURE Dateline covered this case somewhere along the way.

I listened to a podcast about him about a year ago.

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I don't remember him. I'd look him up but I'm still recovering from my last true crime podcast, and I think it's too soon. 😱

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Katherine’s father sounded like a complete psycho. And what kind of brilliant pharmacist doesn’t know that the male parent determines the sex? That while YOU MIST GIVE ME ANOTHER SON! Was disgusting.

It’s not too surprising that Katherine was so incredibly damaged. 

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On 7/24/2021 at 9:17 PM, Ohmo said:

Don't ask me when, but I'm SURE Dateline covered this case somewhere along the way.

May he burn because he certainly deserves it.

'Dating Game Killer' Rodney Alcala dies at 77

I don't know about Dateline, but I'm pretty sure he was covered on either Inside Edition or Hard Copy and cable true crime shows.   I recall seeing that clip of him on The Dating Game during a time I wasn't watching Dateline.

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There is, yes :)! Here's the link:

 

It's been kind of quiet there for a while, but yeah, feel free to jump start some discussion if you want. 

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11 hours ago, Annber03 said:

There is, yes :)! Here's the link:

 

It's been kind of quiet there for a while, but yeah, feel free to jump start some discussion if you want. 

Thank you.  I binged the show the last few weeks.  

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I hope it's okay to ask here, because I don't know where else to put it. Can people tell me their favourite true crime podcasts? Sometimes if I want more info on a Dateline case I'll try to find it in a podcast. I have a couple but I'm looking for some new ones. 

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It's not a podcast, but I just read Victim F and it was a real eye-opener. Good lord what that couple went through. (It was the "gone girl" case and the book is written by the couple with help of a professional writer.) Since they were rather stoic in their Dateline and 20/20 episodes, I wanted to know what was going on in their minds. I found it quite fascinating. 

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7 minutes ago, TVbitch said:

It's not a podcast, but I just read Victim F and it was a real eye-opener 

So it's a book? I wonder if it's on Audible. I'll check it out. 

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Not sure if you were looking for audio-only podcasts or if video is acceptable.  I love this guy who does Youtube videos on true crime, with a humorous spin.  Scott Sharp is a comedian who examines cases and can find a laugh or two in the darkest material, without being disrespectful to the victims.  For example, the Chris Watts case is horrific, but Scott aims all of his jokes at how STUPID Chris is.  His Youtube page is called ""True Crime Loser".

Scott has about 250 videos and has covered famous and obscure cases - he's touched on Chris Watts, the Daybells, Stephanie Lazarus, Dalia Dipalito, some of the dudes from To Catch a Predator and lots more.   He even does field trips -Scott is in NY and he did a video to show his viewers Jeffrey Epstein's mansion and the outside the prison he was held in.  He also went to the Brooklyn prison where Ghislaine Maxwell is waiting for trial.  I assure you, you will enjoy Scott's humor.

Edited by patty1h
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6 minutes ago, patty1h said:

I assure you, you will enjoy Scott's humor.

I've never heard of him. I can't wait to check him out. 

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If you want to dip your toe into the True Crime Loser pond, you may see all those videos (some multi-parters) and feel intimidated.  Here's a rather short case to start you off -- you can maybe see if Scott's humor hits you the right way.  This video always makes me laugh... alky cop Brian Filipiak:  

 

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4 hours ago, Melina22 said:

So it's a book? I wonder if it's on Audible. I'll check it out. 

Yes, I read the book, but I there is a audio recording version of it that people seemed to like. 

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"The Investigation." Bad cops, bad prosecutors, an innocent man railroaded into prison. We're just seen this too many times and it's scary as hell. The worst part is that whoever killed Barbara Jean is still out there somewhere. By the end I was questioning whether it wasn't the stepfather all along.

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

"The Investigation." Bad cops, bad prosecutors, an innocent man railroaded into prison. We're just seen this too many times and it's scary as hell. The worst part is that whoever killed Barbara Jean is still out there somewhere. By the end I was questioning whether it wasn't the stepfather all along.

Agreed. It was clear the wrong man was convicted but there didn't seem to be any other suspects at all!

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5 hours ago, iMonrey said:

By the end I was questioning whether it wasn't the stepfather all along.

My mom was wondering the same thing. She thought the story of what happened the day Barbara Jean disappeared was rather odd. 

I'm amazed the investigators didn't take pause and consider the fact that the guy they arrested didn't have a criminal record. Yes, there have been people who've murdered children who haven't had criminal records, but more often than not, there's usually some history of other shady behavior with children in their past somewhere - reports from parents complaining about someone creepy lurking around a school or playground, indecent exposure charges, abuse of other children, a stash of child porn hidden away somewhere, things like that. I would think at the very least they would've exhausted every single potential option on the sex offenders registry or something first. 

Cases like this are so incredibly maddening. Either an innocent person is sitting in jail while the real killer is still out there, or, in the cases where someone does believe the person in prison is actually guilty...well, congrats, people, now they get to be let go, because the original investigators bungled the case so badly and totally violated their civil rights and the investigators used methods that were shady at best, outright illegal at worst. So either way, nobody wins in the end. 

Stories like this are also one of the many reasons why I'm staunchly against the death penalty. 

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On 8/15/2021 at 1:49 PM, iMonrey said:

"The Investigation." Bad cops, bad prosecutors, an innocent man railroaded into prison. We're just seen this too many times and it's scary as hell. The worst part is that whoever killed Barbara Jean is still out there somewhere. By the end I was questioning whether it wasn't the stepfather all along.

My husband said the same thing.  I'd like to think it wasn't him, but I'm stuck on his story about sending his FOUR YEAR OLD out to play unsupervised on a city street (residential though it may be) in Philadelphia.  I mean, unless he sent her out to a fenced backyard...but we know from the guy who was initially convicted that she showed up at his house across the street looking for her little friend, and it sounded like that was pretty common.  Barbara Jean was killed in 1988.  I was 4 in 1974.  We lived in a townhouse complex, and while the 70's was for sure the era of the free-range kid, I was most definitely NOT permitted to roam the neighborhood unsupervised at the age of FOUR.  I have vivid memories of all the moms sitting on the steps smoking and watching us ride our Big Wheels up and down the sidewalk when I was that age.  By 1988 parents were getting much more cautious, I would think especially in an urban area.  His story just doesn't track.

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Yeah, I would've been four in 1988 and my parents wouldn't have let me go outside unsupervised, either. Even if they were inside, at the very least, they would've been watching me through the kitchen window. 

It also felt a bit at times like his anger towards the main suspect was very...dramatic? Obviously a parent would despise someone they thought had murdered their child, of course, and most would probably have an, "So help me, if I get my hands on them..." reaction. But all the stuff with him trying to actually attack the guy at the trial was just...I dunno. 

Mind, it'd be pretty damn risky for him to be interviewed for this show if he really were involved, but then again, there's plenty of criminals who've been bold enough to actively seek out media attention and pretend they were innocent, so...

Edited by Annber03
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On 8/18/2021 at 12:30 PM, Lovecat said:

 I have vivid memories of all the moms sitting on the steps smoking and watching us ride our Big Wheels up and down the sidewalk when I was that age.

That's how I "watched" my little boy.  When the squeak of the Big Wheel stopped I was outside checking up -- except for when I was already on the steps smoking.  Good times!

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On 8/18/2021 at 9:43 AM, Annber03 said:

Yeah, I would've been four in 1988 and my parents wouldn't have let me go outside unsupervised, either. Even if they were inside, at the very least, they would've been watching me through the kitchen window. 

It also felt a bit at times like his anger towards the main suspect was very...dramatic? Obviously a parent would despise someone they thought had murdered their child, of course, and most would probably have an, "So help me, if I get my hands on them..." reaction. But all the stuff with him trying to actually attack the guy at the trial was just...I dunno. 

Mind, it'd be pretty damn risky for him to be interviewed for this show if he really were involved, but then again, there's plenty of criminals who've been bold enough to actively seek out media attention and pretend they were innocent, so...

Didn’t he also wait quite awhile before calling the police? I couldn’t decide if his explanation seemed reasonable or not. 

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On 8/11/2021 at 12:55 PM, TVbitch said:

It's not a podcast, but I just read Victim F and it was a real eye-opener. Good lord what that couple went through. (It was the "gone girl" case and the book is written by the couple with help of a professional writer.) Since they were rather stoic in their Dateline and 20/20 episodes, I wanted to know what was going on in their minds. I found it quite fascinating. 

I finally purchased the Audible book, and I'm partway into it. Honestly, this needs to be a movie. Even though I remember being shocked by it when I saw it on Dateline, hearing the details out loud are blowing my mind all over again. 

This is the most "You can't make this stuff up" story of them all, both the completely bonkers crime and the inconceivably terrible police response, or rather non-response. And for once you can't blame it on race or class, because these were two exceptionally attractive, affluent white people getting treated like garbage for no reason I ever figured out. 

Fascinating. 

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Glad you are enjoying it @Melina22! (Is enjoying the right word with this genre?!) I was wondering if the audio book was read by the couple? I would imagine that would almost be too difficult to do. 

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4 minutes ago, TVbitch said:

I was wondering if the audio book was read by the couple? I would imagine that would almost be too difficult to do. 

No, it's read by actors. I did check to be sure. Even though the actors keep things pretty calm and understated, I recall the real couple were even calmer. They were major underreacters, which can read as guilty sometimes. I remember a Dateline not that long ago, where I made that mistake. Turned out they weren't guilty, they just had no visible reaction to anything. Strange, but not punishable by law 😁

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Ok out of nowhere I come and post this ….  so now the Daybell story is that Chad was framed for the kids’ murder.   He’s too smart to bury them in his backyard.  He was a grave digger so he would have done a better job.

Sorry …. I can’t forget those two kids.

 

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16 hours ago, Ellee said:

Ok out of nowhere I come and post this ….  so now the Daybell story is that Chad was framed for the kids’ murder.  

So someone snuck into his yard and buried them? I'm sure he's telling the truth about this. What possible reason could he have for lying? 😝

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45 minutes ago, Melina22 said:

So someone snuck into his yard and buried them? I'm sure he's telling the truth about this. What possible reason could he have for lying? 😝

My bet is is that he has a twin brother that he never knew about that married Lori, killed the sister-in-law he never knew.  Do you think I’m close?

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"Secrets at Silver Lake" or whatever it was called: I don't think I knew the statistics about violence against Native American women, and the show didn't really get into the whys and whereofs about that either. I guess that would have been a different show but the whole episode really hit that note hard. I wondered if it was some kind of cultural thing and the show didn't really want to get into it out of fear of offending anyone but you can't have it both ways. 

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I'm crossing forums, because the 48 Hours forum typically doesn't get as much traffic. 48 Hours is doing an episode on Chad Daybell tonight at 10 EDT.  His five adult children are going to be interviewed.  They contend that Lori and Alex framed their father, and Chad played no role in murdering JJ or Tylee

Oh, and Lori's been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial.  Her court date has been postponed indefinitely.

Edited by Ohmo
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11 hours ago, Ohmo said:

They contend that Lori and Alex framed their father, and Chad played no role in murdering JJ or Tylee

This is 100% impossible to believe. I mean, apart from the extremely suspicious death of his wife and immediate remarriage, where did he supposedly think Lori's two children were? Visiting a mysterious relative? And isn't there footage of him at the storage unit with Lori, dumping various heavy containers? I'm not normally a suspicious person, but I can't buy this AT ALL. 

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9 hours ago, Ellee said:

And …. I read this the day after!   I didn’t see it obviously.  Anything new? 

I fell asleep and have only watched a few minutes.  The episode is going to feature Chad's five kids who, even from the very little bit that I saw, place all the blame on Lori and Alex. One of the boys contended that anyone who knows his father knows his dad wouldn't have been involved in this. In a promo clip, Emma, one of the daughters (who we've heard about) says why would her father bury the bodies in his backyard when there was adjacent available land where the kids could have been buried and not been found. One of the boys said that Chad used to be a gravedigger and wouldn't have dug such a sloppy grave. 

Will report more when I watch the rest of the episode.

Edited by Ohmo
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I’d love to hear the kids explain why their father sat in the driveway watching the officials look for the kids.  And as they zero in on the babies Daybell started the car and attempted to leave. 
 

Am I remembering correctly?

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34 minutes ago, Ellee said:

Am I remembering correctly?

I believe you are. I try really hard to be open-minded, but believing Chad is an innocent dupe of evil Lori and Alex is a bridge too far. 

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