Tag Archives: Staged Burglary

Jeffrey MacDonald

Jeffrey Robert MacDonald was convicted in 1979 of murdering his pregnant wife and two daughters in February 1970, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

MacDonald was a U.S. Army officer (Special Forces Green Beret) and a medical doctor. He maintains that a group of Charles Manson-type hippies committed the murders.

In 2011, an Innocence Project press release stated :

Since MacDonald was convicted of the murders in 1979, considerable evidence of his innocence has come to light.  Most recently, retired US Marshall Jimmy Britt came forward with information that another suspect in the case, Helena Stoeckley, admitted to the prosecutor that she was in the house on the night of MacDonald’s murder and that he treated to indict her for first degree murder if she admitted that in court.  In addition, DNA testing on evidence that was recovered from the fingernails scrapings of one of the victims and a hair found under another victim did not match MacDonald.  Earlier, evidence came to light that a FBI forensic examiner mislead the jury about synthetic hair evidence.  MacDonald claimed the hairs were from the wig of one of the murders, but the forensic examiner incorrectly claimed they were from one of the children’s dolls.

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BBC Documentary (1989):

Notes on the first 30 minutes of the BBC documentary:

MacDonald, and his family, were victims of drug addicts.
Stoeckly was a major informant, but also using, LSD, heroin. She had a strange cult, at a house on Hay Street, taking drugs like crazy. She knew about the Manson murders, and was fascinated by them. Fayetteville by night was violent, drugs, MacDonald was treating them. He was not sympathetic.
Addicts hated MacDonald because he wouldn’t give them methodone, they viewed him as callous. His first loyalty was to the military.
According to Stoeckly, an addict had been turned in by MacDonald and expelled from the army. He had 50 hits of acid on him when he was arrested, but MacDonald was disliked for turning him in.
Greg Mitchell, a black man, and Stoeckly were seen getting out of a blue mustang on Hay St. Stoeckly was wearing a floppy hat. She had a blonde wig, pale white boots, a mini skirt.
Mitchell was Helena’s boyfriend. The 911 call was 3:40am. A woman was seen standing near the scene by responders, wearing a floppy hat and boots ( Ken Mica, ex military police ). Very unusual for a woman to be there at that time in the morning.
MacDonald described one of the assailants as a girl, with a floppy hat and white boots. It was Stoeckly.
His family (two children, wife, were all dead). MacDonald was stabbed.
Officers had the impression MacDonald didn’t know his family were dead, even thought they were alive.
A doctor friend who attended MacDonald on the day heard his account of the attack and believed him absolutely.
Beazley knew immediately who the attackers were, Stoeckly and her gang.
Beazley found Stoeckly within 24 hours, and she said she thought she was there, at the murders. He reported it to army CID, but they did not respond. Stoeckly told Beazley she had tried to ride a horse,and it was broken. There was a hobby horse in the home, broken.(25:17)
The crime scene was not properly preserved.
A neighbour of Stoeckly (Jim Posey) saw her come home at 4am in a blue car. Had the floppy hat on her head. The guys had the usual garb on. Stoeckly later told the Posey she was present, and held a candle. She also told him she had been spotted by an MP car.
Stoeckly was interviewed, but inexplicably no notes were taken, and she was let go. [ I would say due to her usefulness as an informant, with over 500 arrests, she was protected ]
At the conclusion of the army investigation, MacDonald was cleared, and rightly so, recommendation was to look at Stoeckly. It all went wrong from there.
[ Notes end 38 minutes in ]

David Mark Temple

In 2007, David Mark Temple was convicted of murdering his wife on January 11, 1999. In July 2015, the conviction was overturned.

Report, July 8, 2015 : “Judge says ex-prosecutor Kelly Siegler withheld evidence in David Temple Case”


A visiting judge has accused former Harris County prosecutor Kelly Siegler of withholding evidence in the murder case against David Mark Temple, who was convicted of killing his wife in 2007, and has recommended that Temple be granted a new trial.

Judge Larry Gist’s findings, which were issued Wednesday after nearly three months of witness testimony in a habeas hearing, are not binding; it’s now up to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to decide whether the former Katy football star and high school coach was denied a fair trial in a high-profile case pitting two outsized egos — Siegler and defense attorney Dick DeGuerin — against each other. (The CCA previously denied Temple’s appeal).

“Both were famous and neither could stand losing to each other,” Gist wrote in his 19-page recommendation, issued Wednesday.

But the finding paints a picture of Siegler being overzealous to the point of depriving Temple of a fair trial, leading to his conviction for the shotgun slaying of his wife Belinda in 1999.

Prosecutors “intentionally, deliberately, or negligently failed to disclose” investigators’ reports and witness statements that pointed to other suspects, but Siegler continued the suppression even following the conviction, according to the findings.

Siegler testified in the habeas hearing that potential exculpatory evidence didn’t need to be disclosed if prosecutors “did not believe it was true,” according to the findings.

Gist also wrote that Siegler influenced post-trial maneuvers by telling police and officials within the DA’s Office not to disclose public records if they were requested. The findings also state that Siegler continued to pull strings even after leaving the DA’s Office in 2008, after 21 years, by getting an alleged witness who approached DeGuerin after the trial to change his story.

In that situation, Daniel Glasscock gave DeGuerin a sworn statement that he overheard another man implicate himself in the murder. Glasscock passed a polygraph administered by the DA’s Office and also gave the same story to a DA’s investigator.

But Siegler “asked” a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy — who was involved with the trial investigation — to contact Glassock and another witness “before they could be contacted by the Special Prosecutor [in the habeas investigation] or current members of the District Attorney’s Office. The Deputy did so and afterwards, their stories were significantly different than the original version,” according to the finding.

“In substance, Glasscock repudiated the most important details to the extent that his future credibility as a witness is significantly impaired,” Gist wrote.

At trial, DeGuerin argued that Belinda Temple, who was eight months pregnant, was killed by teenagers during a burglary. But prosecutors said that David Temple was having an affair and had a clear motive to kill his wife. Temple was sentenced to life in prison.

Houston attorney Paul Looney, who worked on Temple’s case before DeGuerin took over, told theHouston Press that Siegler’s ultimate goal was to use the case as leverage to get her own TV reality series — an idea she had unsuccessfully pitched once before.

Siegler then asked to take over the Temple case, which had been languishing for years because the original grand jury chose not to indict.

“This was her opportunity to enhance her resume to the point where she would get her TV show,” Looney said. “It worked, she got the show (“Cold Justice” on TNT). But boy, at what a price. At the price of David Temple’s life, at the price of an entire family’s reputation, and at the price of her own integrity.”

As for Siegler’s impression of exculpatory evidence, Looney said, “If Kelly’s bizarre interpretation of that rule were ever to be the law, then all a prosecutor would ever have to do to keep any witness statement away from the defense is say, ‘Well, I didn’t believe it, so I didn’t give it to the defense.’ That’s never been the law, it would totally eliminate law, but she just boldly stated it — and the only thing I can figure is she’s trying to find some arguable basis to try to defend her law license from the ultimate scrutiny of the State Bar of Texas, which undoubtedly is going to happen over this case.”

But Looney alleged that Siegler not only violated professional ethical standards, but that she committed a felony by obstructing justice.

“If Kelly Siegler’s a lawyer in five years, I’ll be shocked,” Looney said. “And if she’s not a felon in five years, it’ll be because [District Attorney] Devon Anderson decided to protect her own friend.”

Most of the investigators’ reports and witness statements revealed at the habeas hearing were not available — or even known — to Temple’s appellate lawyers, and were only discovered after Temple’s latest team filed a post-conviction writ. (Looney gave props to Temple’s current lawyers, Stanley Schneider and Casie Gotro, saying they conducted “some of the best legal work that’ll ever be done in our state.”)

“They went in and started looking through all the files, and they had a ‘holy shit’ moment where they’re looking at stuff that nobody’s ever seen or heard of before,” Looney said.

Siegler was not available for comment, but we’ll update if we hear back.

End Quote

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See also here, re Siegler.

Useful reference: ( January 16, 2013 )

24 November 2016 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirms Gist’s findings.
28 December 2016 Released on bond.

Temple’s appellate attorney, Stan Schneider said “The new evidence is really substantial, and I believe the evidence shows overwhelmingly that he’s innocent.”

7 January 2017 Update post : David’s Alibi.

Jason Young

Jason Young was convicted for the November 2006 murder of his wife, Michelle.  He was convicted based on very weak, manufactured circumstantial evidence.  There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime.

A neighbor testified that she saw an SUV type vehicle exiting the Young’s driveway at approximately 5:20 that morning. She said there was a white male driver and a female passenger with thick, bushy hair, who looked away sharply as she passed.

Two footprints in blood were identified near the body: One was a Hushpuppy shoe (approximate size, 12) and the other was a Franklin athletic shoe, size 10.

Unidentified DNA was found on a jewelry box in the Young’s bedroom, and unidentified fingerprints and palm prints were found in the Young’s home, some near the body.

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April 1, 2014

— The North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered a third trial for a man convicted of murdering his pregnant wife in their Wake County home seven years ago, saying a judge should not have allowed evidence about a wrongful death lawsuit.

May 19, 2015

North Carolina’s highest court is considering whether a Raleigh man convicted of killing his pregnant wife should get a new trial.

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the Jason Young case.

Young is serving a life sentence at the Alexander Correctional Institution in Alexander County for the death of his wife Michelle. She was five months pregnant in 2006 when her bloody body was found in their bedroom with their unharmed daughter. She was beaten to death.


Young was convicted of killing Michelle in March, 2012. At his first trial in 2011, a jury couldn’t come to a verdict deadlocking 8-to-4 for acquittal. Eight months later, he was tried again and convicted, after prosecutors introduced evidence that wasn’t used in the first trial.

In April 2014, the state Court of Appeals said the judge at the second trial shouldn’t have allowed evidence about a wrongful death lawsuit and child custody complaint.

Matthew Riley

Matthew Riley was convicted in October 2013 of the December 9, 2008 murder of his parents, Linda and Steven Riley in Sacramento, California, and was sentenced to life with no possibility of parole.

The murder occurred  early in the morning, in the afternoon Matthew discovered the bodies and called 911. From that moment he was the only target of the investigation, despite the fact that his family tried to get the police to consider other suspects.

Matthew had no reason to murder his own parents.

Unidentified DNA extracted from blood was found at the scene, and also unidentified finger-prints.

There was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime, however his wife Jannilin Overton testified that he left home that night. Overton, a meth addict, was not a credible witness, and her story changed several times. Overton testified that Matthew left their apartment around 3am. Matthew’s parents home, where they were murdered, was 40 miles from Matthew’s apartment. If he went out in the middle of the night at 3am intent on murdering his parents, he would have been at the scene around 4am.

The prosecution’s time of death seems incompatible with evidence found at the scene which suggests Matthew’s parents were attacked after Steven had made coffee. The morning routine was that Steven got up first and drank coffee while reading the paper. Then he brought Linda breakfast upstairs on a tray. When they were killed, the coffee pot was half-full and the breakfast tray was still downstairs. Security cameras showed a newspaper delivery car at 6:30am. This suggests the attack happened after 6:30am. Around 7:00 a.m., Matt made a purchase in a doughnut shop near his home, which was verified by a time-stamped receipt. If he murdered his parents, he would have been covered in blood, no trace was found in his car, there is no place or time for him to have cleaned up, driven back before buying the doughnut.

At the sentencing hearing, the judge said Matthew staged a fake ransacking of the residence but made the mistake of leaving valuables normally taken by a thief. The judge said “They were horrific assaults and during many trials over 22 years as a judge, the savage nature of the attacks showed that it would have to be a crazy person, serial killer or some connection – it would have to be someone close to them”.

The judge added that Riley’s guilty demeanor after his parent’s death was an important factor in the case, “He was dispassionate – almost matter of fact”.

Family members, including Matthew’s Aunt, and the brother of victim Linda Riley, believe that Matthew was wrongly convicted.

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Wife Of Convicted Murderer Explains Why She Lied On The Stand (VIDEO) Huffington post, April 16, 2015

A possible alternate suspect would be Edward Wayne Edwards.

Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias defended herself from repeated attacks by her abusive ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander after she dropped his camera.

The prosecution attempted to prove premeditated murder with a ridiculous circumstantial case based around Jodi using three gas cans (false), and changing her hair color on her trip to visit Travis (also false), among other rubbish cited as evidence of premeditated murder.

In addition the State changed it’s theory over the order of the injuries, in a blatant attempt to pit the testimony of the medical examiner against Jodi’s truthful testimony of what occurred. This culminated in a ridiculous claim that his own autopsy report had a “typographical error”.

The physical evidence shows Alexander was shot first, then he stands at the sink, indicating he did not anticipate further attack, consistent with Jodi’s testimony that she shot him by accident.

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Death penalty retrial commenced  29 September, 2014.
Jury hung in sentencing retrial 5 March, 2015.
Sentenced to natural life, April 13, 2015.

Darlie Routier

Darlie and her two sons were stabbed at her home on 6/6/1996. Allegedly performed elaborate staging of crime scene, including a bloody sock found 75 yards from her house. Has been waiting on Texas death row for new DNA tests to be performed since 2008. Extensive support from many innocence groups. Discredited “cargo cult science expert” Tom Bevel involved.

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Is this Texas mother a victim or a murderer? Death Row Stories, July 2015

Unidentified Fingerprint

A possible alternate suspect is serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards.

Darlie Routier is still on Death Row in Texas despite overwhelming evidence that her conviction for killing her own child is false, whilst Knox, Sollecito and Kiszko have been vindicated by the highest judicial authorities and telling evidence. The authors show how and why unfounded rumours still persist in the Knox/Sollecito case and advance a new theory that the Routier killings were the work of a notorious serial killer.
Three False Convictions, Many Lessons: The Psychopathology of Unjust Prosecutions Published 14 September 2016, by David C Anderson and Nigel P Scott
Update June 2018 : Darlie Routier Key Points