“It’s a first for us, to turn yourself in and bring the evidence with you”

One of Mary N. Knight’s sons says that Tanya Torrence was at the home Saturday night and wanted to borrow Knight’s van to move a scooter. Knight was the mother of Torrence’s former boyfriend and Torrence had been staying with her for a few days. The two left and when they did not return by Sunday morning, the family reported her missing as a suspected abduction.

Knight’s family says that Torrence had dated Knight’s younger son Ronnie for about 6 years, but they broke up this spring. Knight was on medication for high blood pressure and heart problems and left home without her medication.

On Mon. police say that Tonya Torrence calmly walked into a police station in another state about 270 miles away and told police she was the one they were looking for. She also told them there was a body in the van she had driven to the station. Police had been monitoring Torrence’s cell phone signal, and had alerted police in the area to be on alert for Torrence.

Police found what they believe to be the body of Mary Knight, 72, in the van outside the police station. She had been shot twice in the chest. Autopsy and positive identification by the coroner’s office had not been completed.

Police are not giving a motive for the crime or why Torrence turned herself in. What they are saying is “It’s a first for us, to turn yourself in and bring the evidence with you.”

Torrence is expected to be charged with murder, abduction and firearms offenses in one state, and is being held on abuse of a corpse and fugitive charges in the second state.



Many times if a child has a long term relationship, after the relationship is over the family may still feel some attachment to the person. So it isn’t really surprising that when Torrence showed up asking for assistance, that the family might agree to help.

Yet no matter how family members feel about the breakup, there is often a bit of tension there. Police say that an argument occured between Torrence and Knight while they were out in the van. I can’t help but wonder if the argument had something to do with the previous relationship or whether it was related to Torrence staying with her.


State charges are about to be dropped, as federal charges of kidnapping resulting in death have been issued. Torrence alleges that while the two were driving, there was an exchange of words. And allegedly Torrence has stated that she took the gun out and “She asked me what I was going to do with that and I told her that I was going to show Ronnie how it felt to throw people away.”  “I was going to shoot myself in front of her and she grabbed my arm and I tried to pull over to the shoulder and then she grabbed the steering wheel while I was trying to pull over.” Reportedly “I was slowing down and we had more words and I shot her the first time and when I stopped I shot her again.”



True Crime Carnival XXXI

Today is Wednesday and time for the True Crime Blogroll Carnival. This week it is at The Trenchcoat Chronicles. Now let me tell you about Trench, he has not one but three blogs on the blogroll. He also blogs on News of Doom and My Crime Space. One of our most prolific bloggers, he also found the time to do our graphic this week.

So click on over to The Trenchcoat Chronicles and check out this week’s contributions of the True Crime Bloggers. A quick and easy way to view samples of the blogroll’s writings.

Two days of Terror

Last Wednesday night around midnight, 39 year old James Eric Parker reportedly went to the home of Danny Watterson, 45. There he found Watterson with Parker’s estranged wife, Kimberly Raye Parker, I have also seen her called Kimberly Gilbert. 

Gilbert and Parker had only been married about a year. There were already problems in the relationship as Kimberly Gilbert had filed for divorce earlier that week. Parker allegedly shot Watterson in the head and forced his wife into a vehicle and took off.

A 16 year old boy in the home heard arguing and then the shots. He fled the home and called 911 telling police that his dad had been shot in the head. Police who responded to the home, found the victim slumped in a chair, shot in the head and shoulder.

A search began for Parker, who was considered to be armed and dangerous. Allegedly  “He has made statements to family that he would probably kill himself and her before the sun comes up”.

Two days went by then some contact must have been made between authorities and Parker, because Parker did agree to give himself up.

The vehicle was spotted by law enforcement and stopped. Parker was placed under arrest without incident. Kimberly Gilbert has told law enforcement that they spent the two days driving around on rural roads in order to stay hidden.

Police say the “love triangle” and jealousy were the motive in  the murder. Gilbert reportedly had been severely beaten and was reported to have two black eyes and lacerations, but she will be OK.

Gilbert, Parker and Watterson all worked together.




First she sees her boyfriend shot, by the man she once loved. Then forced into a vehicle driving around for two days. I wonder if she heard the threat that she and he would both be dead by the time the sun came up? Even if she had not, she must have known the danger she was in. Two days of terror.

Whatever she said, whatever she did, he stayed calm enough that she did see the sunrise. But even then the terror was not over. Two days of driving with a man she knew to be a killer, possibly knew had threatened her. Yet it was the same man she had married and had made plans for the future with. The same man she had decided that she could not remain married to.

There is at least one teen involved here. After finding his father dead, he was left with his father’s body to wait for police and answer their questions. Nothing he could do for his Dad, probably afraid the killer would return, not able to give way to grief, the wait for police must have felt interminable.