‘Let me get my heads’

Screengrab from news video about arrest

Roena Cheryl Mills just wanted to get her heads. The AP reports police in Princeton, WV have charged the 41-year-old woman with the murder of Bo White, age 29. White was reportedly decapitated. It’s unclear as to whether that was the cause of death. The AP reports the blood-soaked woman had came out of the woods and went to someone’s home. Naturally they called police, since no one wants a blood-soaked woman hanging around their yard. Mills was taken in. During interrogation, she reportedly said, “you have to take me back and let me get my heads.” Mills and White were acquainted, police say, though the nature of their relationship isn’t clear. She’s in jail and being held on a nearly quarter-million dollar cash bond. I’d like to know why she said “heads” instead of “head.”

[AP]

What I’m Doing Here

logosmallI explained some of this here, but decided to make a slightly more comprehensive post.

For now I’m just making simple, short posts as something catches my eye. In the past I’ve made the mistake of starting a new blog and attempting to go whole hog, writing full, comprehensive articles—while maintaining a writing job elsewhere. I can be really productive, but that’s not easy to do, and I don’t want to be parked at my computer all the time.

Yet I still feel the need to do more, past my once-a-week column for Real Clear Life.

The short posts keep me doing it, in the habit (I’m also not tasking myself to always have an image, something blogging best practices say you must do), and I’ll be working toward longer aggregated and reported posts in the future.

So, for now the True Crime Observer is in beta mode. That’s just to give me a chance to rev up, figure out my direction. Some of this will be what I’ve always done. But I may also add some things new to me, like a weekly podcast. (I know, I know, there are a million true crime podcasts, and I mostly hate them. I even hate the format. But still.)

About the blog name: A week ago I had what felt like an inspiration, I guess. This site was previously called True Crime Wire and I thought people would get it, but over time realized there was something kind of vague and dated about that name. The AP and UPI used to be referred to as “newswires,” so it’s a familiar term to old dudes like me, but it seems that term is slipping out of use.

I probably had the idea for True Crime Observer in the past but it was either taken or I concluded—for reasons I don’t understand now—it wouldn’t work. But when I had the idea of changing the blog name to that and saw the URL and was available, it felt like the right thing to do.

Hopefully I was right about that.

Dismembered Body Found in Brooklyn Park

He thought it was a doll. Or maybe a mannequin. But the last thing a man walking his dog in a Brooklyn Park expected was a dismembered woman’s body. Police say after the man saw the body he called them from home,perhaps really realizing what he’d seen. She was found face down, no arms or legs. Today New York is a surprisingly safe city, so a dead body alone would have been a shock, but dismemberment is rare. The New York Times had few other details as of early Tuesday morning.

[nyt]

Casey James Lawhorn Allegedly Kills Two, Posts Confession on Facebook

Casey James Lawhorn, age 24, allegedly killed his mother Vi Lawhorn and friend Avery Gaines then confessed to the crime on Facebook, reports ABC. Lawhorn’s profile has since been removed, but his post was preserved as two screengrabs. You can read it here but it is very disturbing (which is why I elected to not simply post the grabs). Lawhorn said he was going to commit suicide, and indicated suicidal ideation for years, dating back to his time as a student at Middle Tennessee State University. He said in the post that he’d killed his mother and his friend with a rifle. He said his friend died immediately but he shot his mother several times. Lawhorn said he did not harm his pets. He seemed serious about committing suicide, saying “how should I be expected to not kill myself?”

I Want to Know Why This Guy Was Wearing a Gold Jumpsuit

Not the guy arrested ↑↑↑

On Wednesday, police in Garner, NC arrested Willonte Jamal Miller-Torres. The 20-year-old was charged with a whole laundry list of bad behavior. ABC 11 reports that he faces unfun charges like “robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon” and possessing marijuana with intent to sell. Miller-Torres reportedly led a few law enforcement agencies on a merry little chase after an alleged home invasion about a week ago, and then fled in his gold jumpsuit. So, that means a guy in a gold jumpsuit still managed to get away. He was obviously on borrowed time, though.

Still don’t know why he was wearing that gold jumpsuit.

Source: [abc11.com]

The Latest From My True Crime Column For Real Clear Life

I write a weekly true crime column for RealClearLife.com. I typically go in-depth on one crime story—often from history—or occasionally break down several in list format. This week I dug into a strange mystery that unfolded across the southwest in the 80s. At least two priests disappeared and two were murdered. Were they all connected somehow to a mysterious John Doe who committed suicide in a Boise church? I found a few extra threads to pull in my research, possible connections. They may even connect to the sex abuse scandals that have roiled the church in the last decade. Follow the link below to read the whole thing.

Source: The Unholy Mystery of the Murdered Priests

Possible Animal Serial Killer Stalks Florida Suburb

Sometimes murderous psychopaths practice on animals first. That’s why stories of serial pet murder are so troubling. Like the one developing in a neighborhood in St. Petersburg, Florida. Someone is poisoning bags of dog food and leaving them for local pets. The attacks began two years ago—WCPO reports the first victim was a terrier-pitbull mx named Annabelle. Someone sent a note to Annabelle’s owner that warned, “Shut your dog up or we will.” Annabelle was seriously ill a few days later, the victim of dog food contaminated with Tylenol. She recovered, only to die from a second poisoning in March 2018. Not far from the home of Annabelle’s owner Rob McCahan someone poisoned another dog. Then a cat was hanged. WCPO referenced the FBI’s conclusions about violence against animals, which is why law enforcement pays such close attention: “Animal cruelty [is] an early indicator of violent crime.”

Source: [WCPO]

A Change

This is the blog formerly known as True Crime Wire. I began the site originally to return to the thing that launched my writing career–true crime–then said career became very busy.

Fortunately that’s still basically true, but just in the last year alone, the profile of true crime as a news category, as a podcast and blog subject, as a genre people openly discuss has changed. A lot.

When I began a true crime blog in 2004 it was still the kind of thing people were hesitant to discuss. Not ashamed, exactly, but occasionally embarrassed. Don’t underestimate how weird it can feel to begin a discussion of some old mystery like the Zodiac Killer only to have someone stare at you like they’re afraid you might murder them in their bed.

Now, people wear their love of true crime on their sleeves. It’s a good time to do this without any apology.

So, I have a plan with the True Crime Observer (which, as referred to above, is called True Crime Wire in the archives). I’ll begin with quick hits, pure aggregation, then as I have time work on longer form things.

Treat this blog as a companion to my column for Real Clear Life. That’s one post a week, but the fun I’ve had doing it was another factor in setting this up. That, and I just liked the name. When I found no one was using it, I had to snap it up.

More to come.

Redirect

I’ve taken too long to do this. For now, all my personal blogging on any subject–including crime–will be here:

http://huffwire.com

A Medium-hosted blog. Years ago I understood it’s wisest to confine your non-paid blogging to one destination but my ADD-fueled curiosity about platforms stayed in control.

I’m going to try and just focus on the one site for now, though. So follow that link.