2 Confessions

Melissa Kost, 26, pled guilty to killing her father Thursday. A sentencing date has not been set yet, but she is facing 20 to 40 years in prison on a 3rd degree murder charge. Melissa is the second person to say that she murdered him. Initially, her mother confessed she killed him.

Here is Melissa's story. Her mother, Elsie Kost, 62, says that she confessed to the murder because she thought that was the right thing to do. She says she feels responsible for what happened. Because although her husband Edward Kost, 60, was drunkenly abusive toward both herself and her children, she stayed with him. She states the abuse was both mental and physical.

Melissa says that on Nov. 1, 04 her father came home drunk as often happened, and what started as an argument became physical.  She went to her room, until her mother came home, and Edward became violent toward her mother. Melissa told that her father pulled out a gun and she wrestled it from him. Edward then threatened to finish it another way and turned and left the house. Melissa followed him, outside and shot him.

After 5 days, Melissa and her mother went to the police station where Elsie confessed to killing her husband Edward. She stated she then took his body to a nearby cistern and threw him in. Investigators doubted the story, as they didn't feel that Elsie was capable of getting his body to the well on her own. Finally Melissa confessed to being in the home at the time of the murder, and by separating them, police were able get the full story. Melissa is pleading to the 3rd degree murder charge and Elsie Kost (Melissa's mother), Jennifer Dougherty (31, Melissa's sister) and James Nicgorski (40, Melissa's boyfriend) pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension for their role in the coverup.

 http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/regional/s_438656.html

Melissa's mother made the statement that stood out the most for me, and I am going to end with it as I could not have said it any diferently. The quote is taken from the above article:

"I volunteered to say I did it, because in a way I helped to load the gun … by my making the wrong decisions," Elsie Kost said. "I was from the old school, where you were married for life."

What Melissa did was wrong, and she should be judged and punished for it. Yes, she lived a lifetime of abuse and as a child she had no choice about it. However, she was now an adult, she had choices about being in the home. She made that choice, just like she made the choice to use the gun. And just like her mother, she will pay dearly for those choices. But I can't help but wonder if she stayed to help protect her mother?

But think of the possibilities if her mother had decided to leave years before.

Is this Domestic Violence?

The  Judicial Qualifications Commission has asked the Georgia Supreme Court to suspend a Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith. Why is this showing up here? The reason they are requesting him to be suspended (temporarily with pay) is because of the charges placed against him. He has been charged with one count of battery and two counts of simple battery.

According to the article he has been accused of a Domestic Violence charge, in that his ex-girlfriend Rachael Oliver has accused him of pushing her down, throwing her off a porch, and dragging her.  Oliver admits they had been drinking prior to the argument.

Smith has countered that he did not hit Oliver. His attorney says he will not voluntarily step down from the bench.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/8367134/detail.html

Is this Domestic Violence? This is a case that will play out in court. The article I referenced did not include anything but the victim’s statement and did not reference any evidence found on the persons or at the scene. But they evidently found enough to cause them to file charges against a presiding judge. That says something to me. But I am not here to be judge and jury. That question will be answered in court.

But one thing in the article did stand out to me. He didn’t hit her. I am thankful for that. But surely as a presiding judge, he knows that domestic violence consists of more than hitting.

Help Guide defines domestic violence as the following:(http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm)

  • pushing, throwing, kicking
  • slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
  • pinching, biting
  • holding, restraining, confinement
  • breaking bones
  • assault with a weapon such as a knife or gun
  • burning
  • murder
  • I also found another interesting article on domestic violence and what domestic violence consists of from the Nashville Investigative Bureau, that really breaks it down. It is easy reading, but lengthy so I am just going to provide the link:

    http://www.police.nashville.org/bureaus/investigative/domestic/symptoms.htm

    Domestic Violence affects the community. Certainly a lot of time will be vested in this trial. And then there is the battle over the suspension. If he is indeed suspended, then there will be some disruption of the court schedules. And if he isn’t suspended, then certainly that is going to provide some distrust in other domestic violence victims, who have cases coming before him. Can he be trusted to fairly judge in a case involving a domestic violence victim and the abuser?

    Not to mention what the victim Oliver will be going through. The emotional confusion cannot be discounted. Plus the time spent in making reports and going to the trial. Certainly, there are any personal fears to deal with, let alone the fears of confronting a sitting judge in the very judicial system she is accusing him.

    He didn’t hit her. I leave it to you. Is this domestic violence?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith did stand trial for the abuse charges in May 2006. I did find reporting on the trial, and he was aquitted of all charges. 11alive.com

    Many thanks to Charles Montgomery for bringing the update to my attention.

    “Marital Duties”

    Believe it or not, marital duties aren't mandatory. A wife still maintains the right to say yes or no to sex. At times, some men seem to have some difficulty with that idea.

    This is one of those occasions where the identity of the suspect is being withheld, in order to protect the victim. As a result of that, instead of names I will just be using husband and wife.

    Wife has reported to police that in the past she has wakened about 30 times to find that her husband was having sex with her. She alleges that she is an  "an extremely hard sleeper," and that he sometimes had to pull her out of bed to wake her up in the morning, according to the affidavit.

    She alleges that she has confronted husband several times and told him that she felt that was rape and that she wanted it to stop. Wife has told police that on Mar. 7th, she awoke in the middle of the night to find husband having sex with her again "without her knowlege or permission". Allegedly it was especially troublesome, because their child was in the bed with them.

    At some point, she told husband she was leaving and he attempted to stop her. Husband allegedlly grabbed her by the wrists and pushed her down the stairs of their home. Husband was arrested for harrassment charges as a result of these actions.

    While incarcerated, wife confronted husband about the fact that he had sex with her while she was asleep, and husband told her he "was sick". He admitted he was wrong and apoligized. Sexual assault charges have been filed. Husband has also admitted to police that on Mar. 4, he took pictures of his wife while she was nude and asleep.

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4578814,00.html

    http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060329/NEWS01/603290302/1002/rss

    I may have been reading true crime too long. I am actually wondering about whether this guy may have the fetish known as necrophilia, an erotic attraction to dead bodies or sexual contact with corpse's. Or maybe not, maybe he is just one of those men that seem to feel that after a woman says "I do" that it is their devine right, anytime and anywhere they please. Even after marriage, a wife retains the right to consent to or refuse to have sex. And they are protected by law.

    Tragic but bizarre

    The funeral home recieved a call from Patrick Zurkowski to pick-up a body at his home. Now I am no expert, but I believe that funeral homes have to have permission from someone in order to pick up a body from a private home. So they contacted police and police went to the home. There they found the body of 40 year old June Zurkowski under a blanket.

    Autorities aren't clear if she died from lacerations in her throat, or from the blood pooled in her stomach and lungs. But they do know the murder weapon. It was a ceramic candy dish, shaped like an Easter Bunny. A piece of the dish was found in June's throat at the autopsy. They believe that the candy dish was shoved down her throat.

    Police say that Patrick is not cooperating in the investigation, and he had to be tazed twice to get him away from the murder scene. He has been charged with the murder of his wife.

    http://www.waow.com/news/full_story.php?id=40035

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/news/ap/0306/2905_suffocated_by_plate.html

    No matter how bizarre the circumstances of the murder, the result is still the tragic loss of a life. I am not seeing much information about the family or the victim. The only thing that is readily apparent, is that another person in a home, took the life of the person he married, the person he promised to love and honor and cherish until death do them part.

    What is left are too many questions

    Police were called to do a well being check at the home of Ronald Bowens, 42, and his wife Tamara, age 40. A relative of the family had been trying to reach them to advise them that their son had committed suicide in a Fla. hotel room.

    Someone called the post office where Tamara worked a week ago, and said she had been in an auto accident and wouldn't be coming back. They hadn't heard from her since that time.

    Then Laron C. Bowens, 22, was found in the Fla. motel room. He did not leave a note. Relatives trying to make contact with them were unable to do so.

    Police found Ronald and Tamara Bowens bodies along with the body of their 18 year old daughter Tyesa on the second level of their home.  The last time they had been seen alive was on Mar. 22, the day before Laron flew to Fla.

    Police say that evidence indicates that Lyron Bowens shot his parents and sister before he left. A gun was found in his hotel room of the same caliber that was used on his parents, but police indicate that tests have not yet been completed that would prove that it was murder weapon.

    The motive hasn't been determined as yet, though it is  thought that Tamara had been pressuring her son to find a job and become more religious.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/03/29/national/a113109S28.DTL&feed=rss.news

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0603290286mar29,1,2178518.story?coll=chi-newslocal-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

    http://www.dailycomet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060329/APN/603290733

    What could lead a kid to shoot his parents and his sister and take his own life? Likely, it will never be known as he did not leave a note before committing suicide.

    Certainly it wouldn't be unusual for a parent to urge a grown child to get a job and become more independent. And this wouldn't be the first family who encouraged their child to become active with a family church. But at 22, he couldn't be forced to do so.

    Neighbors have stated that the family kept to themselves. Tamara worked at a post office, Ronald worked in construction and as a mechanic. Tyesa had been an outstanding high school student, and was attending college.

    Is that a clue? The fact that his sister was achieving and he was being urged to get a job? Unfortunately we may never know. When a family is murdered, too often all that is left is the grief and the questions.

    Her Story

    Randall Ferguson’s body was found in the trunk of his car March 24. On Mar. 23 his wife Angela Marie Ferguson, 39,  had reported Randall missing. She claimed that they had argued on Mar. 22 and he left the home and didn’t return. On Mar. 23 she reported him missing. On Mar. 28 his wife Angela talked with area newspapers and told of his virtues. She told of what a good husband and father he was. She told of how much she was going to miss him. Less than an hour later, she was arrested for his murder.

    Reportedly, at first she denied any involvement to investigator’s. But after being confronted with  blood evidence and a shell casing found in the home on Mar. 28, Angela began talking with them. She told of a long argument with Randall over “family matters”. She told of how during the argument she had gotten the gun out of the trunk of the family car, and threatening her husband with it. She told that it went off unexpectedly and that the shot to Randall’s head was an accident. She told that she woke her 19 year old son, to help her dispose of her husband’s body. She told that she didn’t remember the second shot to put Randall “out of his misery”. She said that was her son’s idea, but Walz denies that. Charles (Claud) Walz has been charged with a misdemeanor for helping to dispose of Randall’s body.

    The couple had been married for 5 years. They had at least one 4 year old little girl together, though Angela was the mother to 5 children. The 4 year old is now in the care of relatives.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420AP_WA_Car_Trunk_Corpse.html?source=rss

    I learned to shoot a gun long ago. I was wisely counseled at that time, to never pull a gun, to never even show a gun, unless I intended to pull the trigger. To pull a gun, and not pull the trigger, means that I could be in danger of having the gun wrestled from me, and used on me. Not to mention that just pulling the gun was illegal, and that charges could be filed, even if the trigger was never pulled.

    This wife and mother, walked outside to get the gun. She brought it in, and aimed the gun. It “accidently” went off striking Randall, the “good husband and father”, in the head. And rather than call for an ambulance, a second shot was fired, to put him “out of his misery”.

    She not only shot her husband, she involved her son in the murder. Then instead of calling for assistance, she shot him again. Then she tried to cover it all up by reporting him missing.

    Her family must be in turmoil. She had 5 children. They will all be coping with the death of Randall, and their feelings over that. Their mother will now be going to trial and standing charges for murder. And at least the little 4 year old, is basically an orphan. As if coping with the death of your father at such a young age is not bad enough, at some point she will have to become aware that her father’s death, came at her mother’s hands.  

    Whatever happened to walking away when an argument started getting to hard for you to handle? What ever happened to talking a walk, or finding something active to do to help you get your rage under control? Whatever happened to calling someone to vent, and get your feelings of rage out in the open? Whatever happened to a divorce, when you began to feel it was time for a marriage to end?

    Weekly Carnival of the True Crime Blogroll

    The weekly Carnival is up, and is at T. O. on Crime this week. In case you have never been there, he is a wonderful writer, and really has a way with words. His focus is mainly on Canada, but with the extended border between the US and Canada and since crimes can be so similiar no matter where they are committed, it is a blog well worth reading. So stop over and check out the samples of my fellow bloggers, and while you are there, do some reading on his articles. Very well worth the trip.

    http://tocrime.blogspot.com/

    (LOL, he called this a dangerously elegant blog. See why I love him?)

    Missing under suspicious circumstances

    Frank, 53,  and Teresa, 51, Schilt are missing persons under suspicious circumstances.

    Teresa was last seen on Feb. 24, 2006 when she reportedly left for a trip to either Cleveland, Ohio, Chiago, Illinois and or Dallas, Texas. Authorities confirm that she is not known to have arrived at any of those destinations. She was reported missing by her employer when she did not show up for work. That apparently was out of character for her.

    Teresa was a girl scout leader for 10 years.

    "She's always there, she's always on top of everything," says Fina Romero, a girl scout.

    Frank Schilt was reportedly last seen on March 14, 2006 when he reportedly left for a job interview in Little Rock, Ark.

    The disappearances are two and a half weeks apart. Neither have been seen or heard from since their last sighting. There is no known criminal or domestic violence history for the couple. Police have searched the home, but have declined to say what they have found.

    What makes this a possible domestic related crime? At this point, because they left behind a teenage daughter along with two adult children. The teen is being cared for by relatives.

    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_3640462?source=rss (Picture at Link)

    http://www.9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJECTID=44a792c7-0abe-421a-0188-ea6f8a56acb4&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf

    http://www.9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJECTID=33f73f05-0abe-421a-013c-8ac97775e53e&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/8261010/detail.html?taf=orl                                                                    (Picture at Link)

    My heart goes out to those kids, especially that teen daughter. Suddenly, their lives are torn apart. Both parents missing, and I am sure they fear the reason why. Suddenly they are thrown into that limbo that exists when loved ones go missing. Are they orphans or have they been abandoned. Or worse. They don't know whether to fear for their parents safety, mourn their deaths, or be angry about being abandoned. And I am sure they fear the reasons why.  It is said that God doesn't give us a heavier burden than we can bear. But how do you cope with a burden like that at such a young age?

    A lot is being said about Teresa. She was on top of things, it was unusual and out of character for her not to report for work. Her girl scout troop misses her badly.

    But suprisingly little is being said about Frank.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    They tracked Frank from Colorado to Conway, then to Dallas, to Tennessee and back to Arkansas and now have him in custody. They quite literally found him with a noose tied to a tree, and he was getting ready to commit suicide.

    Frank states he put his wife on a bus and that was the last he saw of her. But he did admit that he had borrowed money from an inheritance of his wife's, and that they  had argued about it. Still no sightings of Teresa.

    http://cbs4denver.com/crime/local_story_089072521.html

    Frank Schilt now charged with the murder of his wife, and the attempted murder of his 15 year old daughter. No details are being released about the attempted murder at this time.

    http://www.todaysthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=26275

    He confessed. The events. Still no info on the attempted murder of his daughter.

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4588149,00.html

    For no apparent reason

    Neil J. Lofquist, 40, is a father. He taught sunday School at the Presbyterian church. Sunday night he offered to put the kids to bed, and his wife, Lisa, went downstairs. Their 6 year old son went to bed. Lofquist then strangled and stabbed 8-year-old daughter, Lauren, in the neck and  drowned her in the toilet.

    Lufquist then went downstairs and went to a neighbors, who say he told them that they had called him. They say he appeared confused and disoriented. They told him to go home. Lufquist went home, and showed his wife some minor injuries on his hand, asked her to get a neighbor to babysit Lauren, and she and the son drove him to the hospital for treatment. The neighbor got a call from the mother Lisa, asking her to check on Lauren. The neighbor found Lauren in the bathroom. She says her body was already turning cold and blue when she found her. Lufquist had evidently said some things at the hospital, which made them fear for Lauren.

     “He started making statements about Lauren’s death, and I think it was at that point that Lisa wasn’t quite sure if he was hallucinating or if something indeed happened,” she said

    Hospital workers contacted police and asked them to do welfare check of the home. When police arrived, they found the neighbor doing CPR on Lauren.

    Lufquist’s mother indicated she had spoken with him the day before, and “everything appeared great”. She indicated there had been no previous history of mental illness.

    Department of Children and Family Services indicated they had not had previous contact with the family. One of the neighbors indicated that the family appeared to be happy, another said they appeared  “incredibly loving, very friendly and outgoing”.
    . They had been living in the neighborhood about 6 years.

    Lufquist has been charged with first degree murder. A psychiatric forensic exam is being requested for Lufquist. No motive is known for the murder.

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-girlded28.html

    http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_086231229.html

    Again, another family murder. This time a little 8 year old girl. A mother without her little girl. She carried her for 9 months, and raised her for 8 years. In an instant she is gone. All she has left of her are the memories and  the knowlege that she was slain by her husband, the little girl’s father.

    A little boy, who will not be able to understand why his father put him to bed, then murdered his sister. He has lost not only his sister, but he has effectively lost  his father also. Nothing is being said about what he heard or saw.

    The neighbor will probably always have the picture of what she saw, engraved on her mind. Yet she is thinking of the child’s mother.

    The neighborhood is stunned.  The police chief says they are “bewildered”. The EMS staff is getting counseling. Parents are trying to decide how to tell their children. What do you say to an 8 year old playmate, how do you tell them that not only is their playmate dead, but she is dead at her father’s hands?

    This family had roots in the community. They were educated, the mother was an occupational therapist and the father had his MBA. He had had two pottery shops, which he closed, and he was currently working in insurance. The family is being described as very close and loving.

    No one has any answers and know one knows why.

    I don’t care how old your kids are. Give them an extra hug or at least a call tonight.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In court it was said that Lufquist thought his daughter was the devil, and that the world would end if she didn’t die.

    Now it is being said that Lufquist had exhibited several incidents of erratic behavior in the neighborhood recently.

    http://pub2.bravenet.com/news/92920030/59859/1

    If someone in your life starts showing erratic behavior, or sudden rages, or  uncharacteristic behavior please get them to a doctor or hospital. If they refuse to go then get yourself to a place of safety until they can be persauded to go. Not because you don’t love them, but because you do. This is for their benefit as well as yours. Often these problems can be treated with medications. But only a trained professional can evaluate and determine what the problem is and what is needed.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A Grand Jury has returned an indictment which adds two new counts of predatory criminal sexual assault to the murder charges.

    Allegedly Lofquist sexually assaulted his daughter in her bedroom before he killed her.

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-dad21.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Authorities say that Neil Lofquist attempted suicide on Monday. They state that Lofquist was working on the weight machine, when he climbed to the top of it, then dived off, headfirst into the floor.

    http://www.nbc5.com/family/9434685/detail.html

    Till Death Do Us Part

    Steve Huff is interviewing one of the co-author's of a book called Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage, and the Mind of the Killer Spouse. It is co-written by Dr. Robi Ludwig and Matt Birkbeck. As you can see, this book is about some of the issue's dealt with in this blog. I have read one other of Matt Birkbeck's book's and have seen his posts in a forum and participated in a group chat with him. He is a great author. Steve has read the book, and has mentioned the book a couple of times on his blog. According to Steve the book is very readable, and is written to be understood by us "laypersons". He has an interview up with Dr. Ludwig on his blog, and if you are interested in domestic related crimes, I highly reccomend reading the post. Personally, just from the post that Steve put up, it has made my wish list. I will be looking for the book.

    http://huffcrimeblog.com/

    http://www.drrobiludwig.com/

    http://www.mattbirkbeck.com/

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/074327508X/sr=8-1/qid=1143441762/ref=sr_1_1/104-7143079-6603132?%5Fencoding=UTF8

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