Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Laurie Show

An Amish Country Rashomon

Laurie Show
Laurie Show

"Michelle did it." Blood gurgled from a deep, gaping cut along Laurie Show's throat. The 16-year old died in her mother's arms, whispering her killer's name: "Michelle did it."

At least that's one version of the story. Clinging to her last seconds of life, Laurie Show revealed to her mother that Lisa Michelle Lambert — angered because her boyfriend, Lawrence "Butch" Yunkin, had confessed to a sexual entanglement with Show — was the one who had stabbed her. Then again, experts suggested that version wasn't possible. Michelle in turn pinned the killing on Butch, as well as on her new friend Tabitha Buck. One judge would believe Michelle; another wouldn't. Small-town chameleon Lisa Michelle Lambert would spend the next 14 years editing and refining her version of the story, ever reweaving a scandalous murder tale that would come to include allegations of abuse, mishandled evidence and courtroom bias.

This Christmas murder reverberated not just through bucolic, Amish-settled Lancaster County, Pa., but also through the U.S. legal system. What really happened at East Lampeter Township's 92 Black Oak Drive on December 21, 1991? Which of the suspects and witnesses should one trust, which of their battling lawyers, or which of the judges charged with sorting through their stories?

 

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