Betty Shelby case jurors say race wasn’t a factor in her decision to shoot Terence Crutcher

  • There were tears streaming down the faces of several jurors Wednesday, as Oklahoma District Court Judge Doug Drummond read their not guilty verdict in the manslaughter trial of Tulsa, Oklahoma, police Officer Betty Jo Shelby for fatally shooting Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man.
  • The 12-member jury — eight women and four men, including three African-Americans — had asked if they would be allowed to read aloud a statement to accompany their verdict. The judge told them no.
  • As the Crutcher family, the local community and national civil rights leaders reeled from the jury’s decision, the jury foreman’s letter explaining the jurors’ findings became public. 
  • The letter, which has been published by several local news outlets, suggests the jury agreed with Shelby that Crutcher’s race was not a factor in her decision to shoot him in September as he walked away from her and toward his stalled vehicle with his hands raised. Read more (5/23/17)

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While Chante Mallard’s crime was not pre-meditated or planned, it was a particularly cruel case. Mallard was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs when she struck Gregory Glen Biggs with her car. The force of the impact sent Biggs crashing through her windshield where he became lodged. While this would be enough for most people to stop and seek assistance, this is not what Mallard chose to do. Instead Mallard continued to drive, with Biggs hanging out of her windshield, and went home. She parked her car in her garage and left Biggs trapped and injured, without calling for police or an ambulance.

Biggs died as a result of his injuries an unknown number of hours later, still trapped within the windshield of Mallard’s car, locked in her garage. When Biggs passed away Mallard called a male friend for help, and together with another male acquaintance removed Bigg’s body from her shattered windshield and dumped him in a park. Biggs would then go on to set fire to a part of her car in order to hide the evidence of the impact.

The most tragic aspect of the case is, that had Mallard sought medical attention for Biggs when the accident took place, all experts during the trial agreed that he would have survived his injuries. 

Pictured above is the crime scene where 25 year old Carolyn Marie Sinclair was found after she was murdered by serial killer Shawn Lamb. Lamb was a drug addict and a career criminal who is thought to be responsible for the murders of three women, although the remains of one of the victims is yet to be found.

Sinclair was beaten with an axe handle after the pair returned to his apartment to smoke crack cocaine. Lamb explained that Sinclair had taken most of the drugs and locked herself in the bathroom, this resulted in the beating, although as she appeared to be conscious Lamb went on to choke her until she lost consciousness and subsequently died.

Lamb plead guilty to two counts of manslaughter and the majority of the evidence that police had against him consisted of statements that Lamb himself had made, including informing police where they could find Sinclair’s body. Lamb was given a 20 years sentence for the murders, with at least 10 to be served in prison.


The Tragedy of Antuco

On May 18, 2005, a battalion of the Chilean Army left on a routine training mission that required to march for 13 miles along the side of the Antuco volcano. It was a group of conscripts, most of them not over 18 years old, who had only started their military service less than two months ago.

Despite signs of bad weather coming, the commanding officer insisted in keeping the hike as scheduled. It proved to be a fatal mistake. Shortly into the walk, the group encountered a whiteout, a snow storm so bad that they started to show signs of hypothermia early on.

In the end, 45 of them died. Most of the ones who survived were left with permanent sequelae. It took a long time to find all the bodied buried under the thick snow: the last conscript was only discovered on July 6, almost two months later. It’s considered the worst tragedy in the chilean army in times of peace.

Five higher ups in the army were tried and found guilty of charges that went from manslaughter to negligence. None of them did more than 4 years behind bars. The state also compensated some of the survivors with 15,000 US dollars each, a ridiculous sum considering they had a lot of trouble leading normal lives after that.

My favourite part of the rover crashing in 4x12 isn’t the fact that Bellarke was flirting so hard that they committed vehicular manslaughter, or the fact that Bellamy reached out to Clarke to see if she was okay, BUT the fact that he was screaming things like ‘Stay in the car! Stay there!! ’ like EEEVERY concerned husband in every movie ever and it makes my shipper heart swoon cause this is the infamous Wanheda, the commander of death, the girl who’s killed civilizations and only hours ago had a gun pointed at him and he’s like BABE STAY IN THE CAR PLS I GOT THIS


Attorneys for officer who shot Philando Castile will argue smoking weed led to his death

  • Attorneys for the Minnesota officer who fatally shot Philando Castile in July will be allowed to present evidence showing Castile had marijuana in his system the day he was killed, a judge has ruled.
  • But St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez won’t be allowed to re-enact Castille’s shooting in court during his trial, which is scheduled to begin May 30, according to the Star Tribune.
  • Yanez has been charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing Castile during a traffic stop July 6 in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. Read more (5/17/17)

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Betty Shelby will return to work five days after her acquittal in Terence Crutcher’s death

  • In America, you can be acquitted of manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed black man one week, and the next week you can return to duty.
  • That seems to be the story of Betty Jo Shelby, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer found not guilty Wednesday of first-degree manslaughter in the September shooting death of Terence Crutcher. Shelby plans to return to work on Monday, the Associated Press reported. Read more. (5/20/17, 10:31 AM)

Bresha Meadows, teen charged with murder for killing her dad, accepts plea deal

  • Bresha Meadows, the black Ohio teenager who was charged with murdering her father to put an end to years of abuse, has accepted a plea deal.
  • On Monday, Meadows accepted a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to one year and one day in prison which, with time served, means that she could be free in roughly six months.
  • Meadows, whose lawyer Ian Friedman said she’s been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, will transfer there in July and spend the remainder of her incarceration in a Cleveland-area treatment facility. Read more (5/22/17)

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Gilbert Paul Jordan

Gilbert Paul Jordan, known as the “Boozing Barber”, was a Canadian serial killer who is believed to have committed the so-called “alcohol murders” in Vancouver, Canada.

Background: Jordan, a former barber, was linked to the deaths of between eight and ten women between 1965 and 1988; he was the first Canadian known to use alcohol as a murder weapon. Jordan’s lengthy criminal record started in 1952 and includes convictions for rape, indecent assault, abduction, hit and run, drunk driving and car theft.

In 1976, Jordan was examined by Dr. Tibor Bezeredi as part of a court proceeding. Dr. Bezeredi diagnosed Jordan as having an antisocial personality, defined by Dr. Bezeredi as “a person whose conduct is maladjusted in terms of social behavior; disregard for the rights of others which often results in unlawful activities”.

Killings: In 1965, Jordan was said to begin serial killing. He is considered a serial killer as he was linked to the deaths of between eight and ten women, but was only convicted in the manslaughter death of one woman. His victims were Aboriginal women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Typically he would find women in bars, and buy them drinks, or pay them for sex and encourage them to drink with him. When they passed out, he would pour liquor down their throats. The resulting deaths were reported as alcohol poisoning and police paid little attention, because some of his victims were alcoholics. Although the newspapers often described the woman as prostitutes, not all were involved in prostitution. Jordan was known for drinking more than 50 ounces of vodka each day.

The first woman known to have died by alcohol poisoning while in Jordan’s company was in 1965. As would become a pattern, a switchboard operator named Ivy Rose was found naked and dead in a Vancouver hotel. Her blood alcohol level was 0.51. No changes were laid.

Court proceedings show “he sought out approximately 200 women per year for binge drinking episodes covering the period from 1980 to 1988. He was also looking for sexual gratification.” Further, the Crown provided evidence that Jordan was linked to the deaths of six other Aboriginal women. Similar fact evidence showed Jordan had been with the following women at the time of their death:

  • Mary Johnson, November 30, 1980, at the Aylmer Hotel, Blood alcohol: .34
  • Barbara Paul, September 11, 1981, at the Glenaird Hotel, Blood alcohol level: .41
  • Mary Johns, July 30, 1982, at 2503 Kingsway (his barbershop) Blood alcohol level: .76
  • Patricia Thomas, December 15, 1984, at 2503 Kingsway (his barbershop) Blood alcohol level: .51
  • Patricia Andrew, June 28, 1985, at 2503 Kingsway (his barbershop) Blood alcohol level: .79
  • Vera Harry, November 19, 1986, at the Clifton Hotel, Blood alcohol level: .04

Investigation: On October 12, 1987, Vanessa Lee Buckner was found naked on the floor of the Niagara hotel after a night drinking with Jordan. There is some debate regarding the victim. Some sources indicate that she was a white woman, not a heavy drinker, nor was she a prostitute. However, in official court records describe Ms. Buckner death as the result of Jordan “… supplying a lethal amount of liquor to a female alcoholic, who died as a result”. Ms. Buckner had recently lost custody of her newborn baby, who had been born with a drug dependency. She “was an alcoholic and taker of various kinds of drugs.” Jordan’s fingerprints were found and linked to Ms. Buckner’s death. A month after her death, another woman, Edna Shade, was found dead in another hotel.

After being questioned, Jordan had not been charged with any crime related to Ms. Buckner’s death. However, police initiated surveillance on Jordan. Between October 12 and November 26, 1987, police watched him “search out native Indian women in the skid row area of Vancouver. On 4 different occasions they [the police] rescued the woman involved before she too became a victim”. Those women were:

  • Rosemary Wilson, November 20, 1987, at the Balmoral Hotel, Blood alcohol level: .52
  • Verna Chartrand, November 21, 1987, at the Pacific Hotel, Blood alcohol level: .43
  • Sheila Joe, November 25, 1987, at the Rainbow Hotel, Blood alcohol level: unknown
  • Mabel Olson, November 26, 1987, at the Pacific Hotel, Blood alcohol level: unknown

According to the court records, police listening outside the hotel rooms heard Jordan say such as:

“Have a drink, down the hatch baby, 20 bucks if you drink it right down; see if you’re a real woman; finish that drink, finish that drink, down the hatch hurry, right down; you need another drink, I’ll give you 50 bucks if you can take it; I’ll give you 10, 20, 50 dollars, whatever you want, come on I want to see you get it all down; you get it right down, I’ll give you the 50 bucks and the 13 bucks; I’ll give you 50 bucks. I told you that. If you finish that I’ll give you $75; finish your drink, I’ll give you $20 …”

Convictions and arrests: This similar fact evidence was important in the 1988 trial. Jordan was tried before a judge alone. Justice Bouck found Jordan guilty of manslaughter in the death of Ms. Buckner. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, but that was reduced to nine years on appeal.

Jordan served six years for the manslaughter conviction. After his release, he was placed on probation which restricted him to Vancouver Island. In June 2000, he had been charged with sexual assault, assault, negligence causing bodily harm and administering a noxious substance - alcohol. In 2000, Jordan attempted to change his name to Paul Pearce. At the time, a name change in British Columbia did not require fingerprinting or a criminal check. After the loophole was closed, he dropped the application.

Jordan was arrested again, in 2002 for breach of probation because he was found drinking, and in the presence of a woman while in possession of alcohol. He was found guilty and sentenced to 15 months in jail, followed by three years probation and strict conditions.

However, on August 11, 2004, he was arrested in Winnipeg for violating that probation order for an incident at the York Hotel in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, August 9, 2004. He had been identified as being a party to binge drinking with Barb Burkley. Ms. Burkley was a long term resident of the hotel and had a serious drinking problem. Ms. Burkley was taken to the hospital by her friend and hotel employee, Cathy Waddington, after finding Ms. Burkley in a very bad condition. Ms. Waddington identified Jordan as being there, but he was acquitted of those charges in 2005. Upon his release, police issued a public warning.

Jordan died in 2006.

Police warning: On February 3, 2005, the Saanich Police Department issued an alert warning the public to be cautious of the recently released Jordan:

“JORDAN, Gilbert Paul, age 73, is the subject of this alert. JORDAN is 175 cm tall and weighs 79kgs. He is partially bald with grey hair and a grey goatee. He has blue eyes and wears glasses. JORDAN is currently in the Victoria area but has no fixed address. JORDAN has a significant criminal record including manslaughter and indecent assault of a female. He uses alcohol to lure his victims. JORDAN’S target victim group is adult females. JORDAN is subject to court ordered conditions including:

- Abstain absolutely from the consumption of alcohol. 

- Not to be in the company of any female person or persons in any place where alcohol is being either consumed or possessed by that person or persons.

If you observe the subject in violation of any of the above conditions please call the Saanich Police Department at 475-4321, 911 or your local police agency. If you have questions concerning the public notification process please contact the BC Corrections Branch at 250-387-6366.”