Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Acquitted?!
Joshua Wade
Joshua Wade
A rash of sexual assaults on and killings of minority women in Alaska in 2000 led police to Joshua Wade (right), after he boasted to friends of killing Della Brown (left) in August of that year. Wade brought friends to the site of the body, in a shed in the Spenard neighborhood of Anchorage, his boasting including details of how he had killed her. The body was finally reported to police in early September, and Wade arrested at the end of the month.

At trial in 2003, Wade recanted his statements, claiming he had only been attempting to boost his status with his repeat-offender associates, a remarkable claim considering that Wade himself had a lengthy prior arrest record for violent offenses. The jury, however, took the claim seriously, acquitting Wade of the murder charge and convicting him only for evidence-tampering.

Just months after serving his sentence, though, Wade killed again, breaking into the next-door house, abducting Mindy Schloss, coercing her ATM code from her and taking her into the woods and fatally shooting her in the back of her head. Wade was arrested after withdrawing over $1,000 from Schloss' account with a stolen ATM card. Facing a federal death-penalty this time for a fatal carjacking, Wade cut a deal, exchanging a guilty plea to Schloss' murder and confession to the rape and murder of Della Brown for life in prison.

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