Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Darwin Linn (1934 - 2011), owner and restorer of the old farmhouse now known as The Villisca Ax Murder House, passed away July 15th, 2011. My condolences to his family and friends. I never met Mr. Linn but I have him to thank, or blame, for my interest in this series of historic crimes. I recall when I first heard of Villisca which set me off on this goose chase of history. I was doing some research on Lizzy Borden and came across a link to a site about the restoration of an old farmhouse in a town I'd never heard of. Being the macabre sort I figured there must be a reason the link popped up at all so I checked it out and I was hooked.

In spite of controversy Mr. Linn pressed on with the restoration. The house has been placed on the National Register of Historic Sites and won an award from the Iowa Historic Preservation Association. Mr. Linn was an historian, plain and simply put. He will be missed by many. Rest in peace, Darwin.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Red Herrings and such...

Some things I know that may or may not be true (or important):

Paola, KS: June 6th, 1912, shortly after midnight, a night watchman for the MK&T railroad saw an "ungangly" figure running south down the tracks, "wildly flailing." The figure tripped and ate dirt, got back up and continued his run.

In August July of 1911, a young Rainier, Washington couple was found dead in their bed, having been bludgeoned to death in their sleep. Both bodies were covered with bed clothes and at least one of the victims' face was covered with a "cotton handkerchief."

At least one of the crime scenes in Louisiana and Texas had victims faces covered with bed sheets as well as an article of clothing or some other piece of cloth.

Just some little things I've discovered. Feel free to discuss :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You never know how the Jury will go...

Apparently a forgone conclusion was NOT reached today in Florida. There are two ways to take a trial like this; either justice prevails or the prosecution was a bunch of nincompoops. I find the defense's tactic interesting but altogether necessary and not the first time it has been done. Casey Anthony's defense team referred to their client as a "lying, no-good slut" taking away the ammo of the prosecution and choosing not to try and defend the "indefensible" acts of a mother who many thought should have been behaving less like a Girls Gone Wild stereotype and more like a parent desperate to find her daughter. During the 1917 trial of Rev. Lyn Kelly, Kelly's defense argued their client was crazy. They pointed out his "confession" to sinking the Lusitania and his antics inside the courtroom did nothing to dissuade the jury of his outhouse rat personality. While the prosecution relied on his confession for the Moore-Stillinger murders they also made a point of drawing attention to how crazy the minister was. The defense knew they couldn't just stand up and say "Reverend Kelly's just really unique," and get away with it so they doubled down and went with the "hell yeah he's crazy, but he's not a murderer."

With this acquittal it isn't likely Caylee Anthony will ever have justice. I cannot say for certain that Casey Anthony was the murderer of her daughter but her actions indicate she certainly knew more about the case then she let on. I'll leave it to blowhards like Nancy Grace to scream about miscarriages of justice on this one. For now perhaps we can all move on and those who wish to can mourn the senseless loss a beautiful little girl. But I am getting out the popcorn in anticipation of the number of people who will try to capitalize on this verdict, from Casey herself to juror numbers five and twelve and alternates three and six.