Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Today in Crime History: Deborah Gardner’s killer walks

On June 18, 2005, New York prosecutors decided not to retry Dennis Priven for the 1976 murder of Peace Corps volunteer Deborah Gardner in Tonga, saying, “We do not believe this case can be prosecuted by anyone, not only us, but in any other jurisdiction in the United States.” Priven had been found not guilty by reason of insanity in Tonga, and was able to avoid treatment and incarceration in both countries.

The murder of Lita McClinton Sullivan: Death came knocking

Lita Sullivan, 35, was just hours from a divorce settlement, when a hit man delivering a box of long-stemmed roses, fired a .9 mm round into her head, killing the Atlanta socialite. Suspicion quickly fell on her now-wealthy husband, who managed to elude justice for 19 years.

‘Movies made me murder’

A look at some high-profile cases in which people, who immerse themselves in horror imagery, ultimately feel compelled to commit the same aggressive crimes they viewed.

Slideshow: Amber Frey, the other woman

Amber was happily dating a new man, Scott, a widower, who would be alone for Christmas. She found out 15 days later that he was actually married to the pregnant Laci Peterson, who had mysteriously disappeared 14 days earlier. Stunned, she immediately contacted police.

Piper Rountree’s Revenge

A lawyer with a history of emotional problems and mental instability, Piper Rountree took revenge on her ex-husband after a nasty divorce and custody battle. Even though the murder was premeditated, careless planning doomed her defense. On January 28, 2005, Rountree attended a pretrial hearing in which prosecutors presented the evidence that would bury her.

Charles Manson and the Manson Family

On January 25, 1971, Charles Manson was convicted on seven counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder, for his role in trying to start a race war with the bloody Tate and LaBianca murders.

Inside the sad life of abused heiress Anne Scripps Douglas

Wealthy newspaper heiress Anne Scripps married handsome gold-digger Scott Douglas and all too soon became a battered wife, the victim of his alcohol-fueled rages, terrified of the man she once loved. Sadly for Anne, she was not nearly terrified enough.

A Tennessee minister slain: The case against Mary Winkler

Soon after the discovery of Matthew Winkler’s murder his wife, Mary Winkler, was accused of shooting him at point-blank range in the back. Though prosecutors argued that he had caught her kiting checks, she would argue that he had abused her emotionally and sexually.

Surveillance footage casts doubt on Amanda Knox’s alibi

An Italian news show’s exposé of a woman’s image in a surveillance video would cast doubt on the alibi of Amanda Knox on the night of her roommate’s murder. If she is lying, then why?

Courtroom paramours: love & dockets

Defendants crossed and double crossed by former lovers in court.

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