vicki scott

2

When 29-year-old Vickie Cushman did not turn up for work on August 11th of 1989,  colleagues knew immediately that something was awry.  Sure enough, when Vickie’s co-worker called round to her apartment to investigate, he found her lifeless body on the floor.  She had been bludgeoned to death. A search of Vickie’s apartment uncovered a letter to local police officer, Scott Hornoff, revealing that the 2 had been having an affair.  Scott, aged 26 at the time, was married and had a young son, circumstances which propelled Hornoff to the forefront of the murder investigation.  However with nothing to go on, he was initially cleared of any suspicion, and for 3 years no headway was made on the case.

As well as items of evidence being mishandled at the scene, other evidence was ignored completely, with blood and clothing never even being sent to the lab.  Instead police spent time and resources on useless ‘evidence’, such as a fingerprint at the scene of the crime which, as it turned out, belonged to the victim herself.  With no other suspects, police soon turned their attention back to Hornoff, and he was called in for questioning.  Satisfied that he was simply going to tell the truth, Hornoff declined the assistance of an attorney, and made his ‘best guesses’ as to answering questions about the night of the murder 3 years ealier.  When his times did not match other witnesses statements taken at the time, Hornoff was interviewed again, yet for some reason this interview was not taped by police.  Eventually he was arrested and found guilty of murder in 1996, despite there being no physical evidence linking him to the crime.  Having stuck by him despite his infidelity, Hornoff’s wife was now pregnant with their third child when he was sentenced to life in prison.

As you can imagine, being a former police officer does not go down well behind bars, and Hornoff was placed in protective custody.  After 6 years of Hornoff’s incarceration, and 13 years after the crime, a man named Todd Barry, Cushman’s former lover, came to the police to confess to her murder. He admitted to bludgeoning her with a ‘small object’ following an altercation, which turned out to be a jewellery box found smashed at the scene.  Amazingly, this jewellery box had never even been viewed as a vital piece of evidence throughout the investigation.  Just days later, Hornoff was released, and Todd Barry was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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