Carnival of the True Crime Blogs XXVIV

The carnival for this week is located at the Crime Scene Blog. So check it out and find out what has been happening around the True Crime Blog world. You won't find any better examples of True Crime writing, or more intriguing crime stories. While you are there, check out the Crime Scene Blog. Too modest to submit a post to the Carnival this week (being the host, ya know), yet very much worth checking out also.


The oldest Mayor in the State

The family says that at 83, Ralph Ward was the oldest town Mayor in the state. Ralph had accomplished a lot in his life. He had retired from Alumax where he was employed for 40 years in the traffic department. He had been the local school board president, a county deputy sheriff, and a city Marshall. He also operated a small cattle farm. He appears to have been very well thought of in the community.

Thursday, a relative found Ralph Ward stabbed to death in a recliner in his home. 

Police have made an arrest in the murder. As a matter of fact, they have made two arrests. Charged in the murder is 51 year old Nena Bolton and her boyfriend Shaune Smith. Bolton was Ralph Ward's granddaughter. Both are charged with 1 st degree murder.

Nena Bolton had only been out of prison for six months. She was convicted in 1999 for the murder of her estranged husband, Larry Bolton and sentenced to serve 6 years. When he was alive, Larry Bolton had been the city waterworks manager and a former deputy sheriff.

Both the husband and the grandfather having previously worked in law enforcement. Both allegedly dead at the hands of the same woman, six years apart.


Police cite witnesses and bloody clothing as evidence in the case against Bolton and Smith. They state they found bloody clothing, and they are looking for a weapon. Smith has acknowleged the clothing as his, and the blood on the clothing is Ward's. Greed may have been the motive. Police state that Ward's home was burglarized.

It is about power and control

Mark Allen Bird, 33, was charged with attempted first degree murder and related offenses. It is alleged had been alleged that Bird had pushed his girlfriend  Laurel Green, 25, out of a car and attempted to run over her on June 7. She had been treated in the hospital for injuries sustained in that incident.

The case went to court last Thurs. And Green testified that she was drunk and did not remember being attacked. And she also testified that she did not remember signing the statement against Bird. The case was therefore dismissed.

On Mon. night about 6 pm, Green was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. She was taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol test, which she refused.

Allegedly Mark Bird and someone else picked her up at the hospital and took her home.

Allegedly once they got home the couple began to argue and someone called 911. While they were on the line, a woman could be heard screaming and saying “get away from me”.

The call was traced and officers responded to the address. They state that the occupants refused to open the door. On the fire escape landing, officers found a large quantity of blood. There was an open back door, and they entered the home.

They found John Bird in the living room of the home and ordered him to the floor, which he refused to do. Officers allege that he also pulled away from officers when they attempted to handcuff him. He was ta-zed twice by officers. John Bird is the father of Mark Bird.

Mark Bird and Green were found in the bedroom and Bird was arrested without incident.

Mark Bird has been charged with simple assault, and his father has been charged with resisting arrest and obstructing administration of law.  

Ms. Green was taken to the hospital by ambulance and an update says that she had been beaten and had broken bones in her face. One of the detectives suffered a cut on his finger.

The District Attorney says they will pursue these charges whether Green testifies or not.

Marty Gates, the director of a domestic violence agency has spoken out in this case. She is urging people not to judge Green for her previous failure to testify in court. She has made a couple of important statements that I would like to include here:

“The one thing with abuse that we know is it is about power, it is about control. He has proven when he says I will kill you, he means it. Read the reports,”

“We need to understand this person is afraid. If we had someone who had been beaten up by a mafia member and said ‘oh I can’t testify, I’m afraid. No one would question it. No one would question it.”

My comment would be that Green’s failure to testify, is only one of the hallmarks of domestic violence. A number of weapons can be used in a relationship: emotional abuse, fear, intimidation, threats, physical abuse, manipulation, and a number of others. Some have likened the systematic control of a spouse or intimate partner to a type of brainwashing. To a make them believe that the abusing partner is omniscient, totally able to harm them, no matter how far away they get, no matter if they are even behind bars.


Laurel Green, 25, failed to show up in court to testify against Mark Allen Bird, 33, on the charges of simple assault and harrassment. But as promised, the DA is continuing to pursue the charges. Bird was returned to jail, and the bail was set at $15,000. It is unknown where the victim is, and she does not have a protection from abuse order on Bird.