“Even though you’re going through a divorce, you still care”.

Those were the words of 55 year old Harry Michael Henslee as he pleaded for information about his missing wife of 18 years, Susan Henslee, 49. He also said “I didn’t have nothing to do with this,” “It’s common knowledge when a woman’s missing and she’s married or whatever, and she had a boyfriend or a husband, the spouse is the first one they suspect.” “Even though you’re going through a divorce, you still care. No matter how bad it is … you still love her.”

Susan Henslee was a student at the local community college and was on the dean’s list. Allegedly she went missing on Oct. 20, and Michael Henslee reported her missing on Oct. 24. According to investigators, Michael Henslee told them she had a boyfriend in Michigan and he suggested that police search for her there.

Shortly after Susan Henslee was reported missing police found her vehicle in the parking lot of a local grocery. In a dumpster they found her purse and ID. Police began to suspect foul play.

Police say they noted some inconsistencies in their questioning of Michael Henslee. And Henslee admitted to them that Susan Henslee had filed a domestic violence report on him in August. He reportedly said it was a money thing, and that his wife had told police that Henslee had hired a hitman to try to kill her. After further questioning Michael Henslee allegedly admitted to police that he had killed his wife and he led them to her body. She was found in a wooded area of an industrial park, partially in the water of a drainage ditch- 60 miles away from her home.

Harry Michael “Mike” Henslee has been charged with murder.

nbc4i.com      whiotv.com     onnnews.com       wdtn.com

daytondailynews.com                    columbusdispatch.com

One thing I noted was the downplaying of the domestic violence report. That is common in domestic violence. The abuser may admit guilt to the victim or even in court. He may ‘sincerely’ apoligise to the court and/or the victim. But over time, there will usually be some changes to the story. They may try to minimize, deny or even blame the victim- either outright or more subtly. (Note- no one can make another person become violent).

Talking to another man

James Rodgers, 47, reportedly walked in on his wife at an inopportune moment. She was allegedly on the phone with another man.

Allegedly Rodgers then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into the kitchen of the home. There he began stabbing her with  a steak knife, until the knife broke. He than picked up a butcher knife and stabbed her more. He also is alleged to have choked her and hit her in the head. She was stabbed at least 15 times in the neck, abdomen, breasts, and shoulder. 

When the couple’s 3 year old son walked into the room, Rodgers pushed him away and ordered him to go to his room. A witness was reportedly at the scene but was unable to stop the attack. The witness called police. The wife was taken to the hospital and had emergency surgery. She is reported to be in serious condition.

chicagotribune.com           wbbm780.com

Not a Halloween Prank

A man was taking a housewarming gift to a co worker, from the hospital where they worked. He knew Karen Skellas, 45,  had recently separated from her husband Ioannis Skellas, 49.  He knew that Karen Skellas had moved in with her daughter and she had also told him that her husband had abused her in the past and/or had threatened her recently. But he says that Karen Skellas was waiting to see how Skellas reacted to the impending divorce before filing for a protective order.

The man went up to Mrs. Skellas’s door and when she answered he gave her the two bags of groceries he had brought as a housewarming gift. A man in a hood came rushing up out of nowhere. His first thought was that it was like a Halloween prank. The hooded man began addressing Mrs. Skellas in Greek, Mrs. Skellas said “no, no” and said something else in Greek. There was a shot from a sawed off shotgun, then another.

The hooded man moved down the block a ways and reloaded the shotgun, went back to where Mrs. Skellas’ bleeding body lay in her doorway and then shot himself. The hooded man was her husband Ioannis Skellas.

After the first shot, the visiting man ran down the steet to seek shelter with the neighbors, but when he went to the door, they were too frightened to let him in.

Aquaintances say they never saw any signs of problems with Skellas and that he had kept to his regular habits in the days before the shooting. Though one aquaintance did say that Skellas had asked him if he knew an investigator a few days before the shooting. He told him he did not, and Skellas came back the next day and said he had taken care of it and he did not need an investigator anymore.

newsday.com               nytimes.com               nbc30.com

nydailynews.com       wcbstv.com                  nypost.com 

The time between leaving and divorcing (or in relationship without marriage, the time immediately after ending it) is turbulent. There are a lot of turbulent emotions going on. Yet through it all, many have the feeling they do not want to make it worse. Many do not want to see the other in jail or with a protective order, unless it gets worse. So there is a wait and see time.

During separation, problems in the relationship will get worse. Obsession, jealousy, anger, control issues will become exaggerated even if both sides are in favor of the divorce, but if one is against it- it is much more intense. The situation will get worse before it gets better. If it gets to the point of rage, then there is the possibility of an impending tragedy.

Take precautions for safety. Take any threats seriously. If there has been jealousy, abuse, obsession, or control issues in the marriage then a shelter is a necessity. It is always better to be too cautious than not cautious enough.      

With time, the relationship will even out. But plan on  for a while after separating, plan on the fact that all problems will be exaggerated.


A woman on a mission

Reportedly April Ulrich, 45, drove to the workplace of her ex-husband Eric Paul Ulrich, 40, on Thursday. Allegedly she called him on the phone and persuaded him to meet with her out in the parking lot. As he exited the building into the parking lot, she allegedly shot him at least 2 times. Erich Ulrich collapsed on the steps.

April Ulrich was still there when police arrived. They recovered the weapon, which they say was hidden by a bag. Police say the weapon was purchased by April Ulrich and at least one report states it was purchased in January. Police have stated the weapon had 4 spent shells in the chambers and one live round in the chamber.

The couple were divorced in 2004, and Eric Ulrich had custody of the couple’s 6 year old daughter. Reportedly the couple had argued earlier this week over custody of their daughter.

According to police they had been called to Eric Ulrich’s residence several times in the past for reports of vandalism. In one report was the notation “the complainant advised that he could not think of anybody that would intentionally damage the vehicle except his ex-wife (April Ulrich), although he advised he had no evidence to support his speculations.”

April Ulrich has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

In the words of the police chief  “There is a big problem with domestic violence nationwide,” “People should remember they have other avenues they can take, instead of taking things into their own hands”.

The child has been placed in the custody of the Department of Family and Children’s Services. Neighbors have said that Eric Ulrich was a devoted father.

fayettedailynews.com           wtvm.com               ajc.com

ledger-enquirer.com                               thecitizen.com

It always amazes me when I see that a murder has taken place over custody issues. First, because of the negative effect that the murder of a parent has on the child, and second because after committing murder it is virtually impossible for a parent to maintain any parental relationship with the child, and will often lose contact altogether.

“She’s Dead”

“She’s Dead.” Reportedly that is what the man calmly told dispatchers after he called 911. He said she was 31, she hadn’t been sick and she wasn’t breathing. He asked that an ambulance be sent immediately. And he didn’t stay on the line.

Joe Gorospe, 32, was waiting for police when they arrived Monday about 8:34 pm. Allegedly his clothes and body were bloody. Blood was everywhere in the living room and kitchen. His wife, Marissa Gorospe, 31, was alive though non-responsive. Police found a bloody bat and kitchen knives they believe were the weapons involved. In the upstairs of the home, they found the couple’s two young children, ages 17 months and 3 years old.

Marissa Gorospe was taken to the hospital, where she died on Thursday. Gorospe was a computer programmer. Marissa Gorospe was a popular social studies teacher at the high school.

Gorospe was initially  charged with attempted murder, domestic violence and kidnapping. Reportedly the kidnapping charge referred to “physical evidence at the scene indicated she was trying to leave” Following Ms. Gorospe’s death those charges were amended to include the charge of aggravated murder.

Media checked court records and say there were no previous entries for domestic violence, and police say this was the first time they had been called to the home. Police have not offered a motive for the crime.

The children were placed in the care of relatives.

ohio.com                     wkyc.com               recordpub.com

Family has said they had never noticed any signs of abuse, but that the couple was under strain as they tried to cope with their oldest daughter’s illness, reportedly she has autism.



Joseph D. Gorospe was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping, domestic violence and tampering with evidence.


The Hang Up Call

Police received a hang up call on the 911  line on Monday evening. When dispatchers called back, a man told them everything was fine, but there was the sound of a woman screaming in the background. Police responded to the home about 11:30 pm.

They knocked on the door, and got a response. A little 6 year old girl answered and told them her mother had been stabbed.

Police found 25 year old Erica Olson on the kitchen floor, along with 34 year old Christopher Calvin Ellis. Erica Olson was pronounced dead about 12:30 pm and she had multiple stab wounds (at least one report says more than 25 wounds), reportedly she also had defensive wounds. Ellis had also been stabbed. Police believe Ellis’s injuries were self inflicted. After talking with the 6 year old, police concluded this was a domestic violence incident.

The couple had reportedly dated for about a year and they had a baby together age between 4-6 months of age, the 6 year old was the child of a different relationship. Reportedly Erica Olsen was in the early stages of another pregnancy.  

That is what friends and coworkers are remembering about Erica Olsen. She was a mother. She had a bubbly personality, but they say her eyes would really light up when she talked  about her kids. She liked to talk about her children, and show off their pictures. Reportedly there were problems with abuse in the relationship, but Ms. Olsen didn’t complain.

Ms. Olson was the client of a pregnancy center, and they are the ones who are having a memorial for her. “A lot of our clients are grieving, and we just felt like we had to have closure,” “She was one of our clients that we loved.” Allegedly she had talked with personnel at the center about her fear of her boyfriend.

Ellis was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery. He has been reported in stable condition and is under 24 hour guard. After his discharge he will be charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime police say.  

The baby was not at the home when the murder occurred, and both children are now in the custody of Social Services awaiting a hearing to determine where their custody will be.

independentmail.com                                       fox21.com 

independentmail.com                     independentmail.com

During a domestic abuse situation it can be difficult to make that 911 call. Obviously the abusive person is going to try to prevent the call. With home phones, when the 911 dispatcher recieves the call, they also get the address of caller. If it is impossible to hang onto the phone, screaming works. Another idea when possible is to dial the phone and drop it behind a piece of furniture without hanging up. That gives the dispatcher a chance to know what is happening, even when you are unable to talk on the phone.

Of course if using a cell phone, then the address must be given. You can still drop the phone, but keep yelling the address.

A 6 year old child, already traumatized by her mother’s murder in front of her, left to answer police questions and bear witness to the crime. A baby, who will grow up never knowing the mother who loved him so much, and a baby who was never given the opportunity to be born.

Partially packed

The neighbors say they didn’t know them well, they just moved in this year. But they saw them mowing the yard together, they saw them playing in the yard with their kids. They seemed like a pleasant couple, they waved to neighbors, they just seemed like good people with three beautiful children. They never saw any signs of trouble at the home.

Police haven’t said how they were called, but they responded to a report of a dispute at the address on Monday about 11:20 am. They say the couple were civil and both reported they were ok.

Reportedly Priscilla Huffman made contact with the children’s school on Monday. Later the same day, a relative brought the Huffman’s children home from school. When no one reponded to knocks on the door, the relative called police and they responded to the address again about 4:30 pm.

Police made entry to the home through a window, they found Phillip Alan Huffman, 30, in the garage and Priscilla Shelton Huffman, 29, in the bedroom. Police have said that Priscilla Huffman’s throat had been slashed and she had also been stabbed in the chest. Police believe there was a dispute and that Phillip Huffman stabbed Priscilla Huffman, then went to the garage where he stabbed himself in the chest.

Allegedly Priscilla Huffman may have wanted a divorce. Her partially packed bags were found on the bed.

The couple had three children. They were not at home.

The investigation is continuing.

charlotte.com      independenttribune.com    wcnc.com 

I have to say, I have been there. After the arguing is done, the decision has been made. With the tension still in the air, the sounds of the angry words that were exchanged still ringing. The sounds of packing seem so loud and so final. One part wants the spouse to just be gone for it to be over, the other part wishing the moment will never come.

The final moments of a marriage are heartbreaking. If they are following an argument, it is often best to either pack in advance or to just pack enough to get through the night. Then arrangements can be made to pick up the remainder of the belongings when cooler heads can prevail.

If there have been control or abuse problems during the marriage (and I haven’t seen any indications of that here), then it might be best to wait until the other partner or spouse is away from the home. Or if you are the one staying, take a walk, visit a friend, go to the store, just so you don’t have to listen to the sounds.                    

A big thank you goes to Trench for the tip on this one.

Halloween Safety

The spooky season is upon us. Lilo at Lost in Lima Ohio has a post up about protecting those litte (and not so little) ones when trick or treating. Check out Just a reminder for Trick or Treat. Yeah, yeah I know we have all done it before. But it only happens once a year, so a refresher couldn’t hurt.

The Crime, The Crash

On Saturday, a friend of Michael Neely’s was talking with him and something was said that caused him concern so he called 911.

Police responded to Neely’s home and found his estranged wife, Linda Neely dead on the bathroom floor. Reportedly she died of a stab wound to the heart. Police are not releasing many details about the homicide, and they are not saying how many times she was stabbed. But they are saying they believe the stabbing took place between noon and 1 pm.

About the same time, police were called to the scene of a car accident, where they found Michael Neely. His car had struck a tree, and he suffered a broken leg a broken elbow and other injuries. Police are not saying if Neely was trying to get away from the crime.

Police say they had been to the home before. On Aug. 15 they served a protection order on Michael Neely. And later the same day they returned to the home and removed a pistol and several rifes as instructed in the order. Reportedly Neely was never charged in any domestic incident but family and friends have said there is a history of domestic violence.

It is believed that Linda Neely had gone to the home on Saturday to pick up some plants she had left at the home in order to take them to her new home. Police say she did not notify their office that she was returning to the home. Authorities are not releasing whether Linda Neely knew her husband would be at home that day.

Michael Neely has been charged with first degree manslaughter and 7 th degree criminal possession of a weapon. He is still in the hospital and the arraignment was held in his hospital room. He is being held under guard at the hospital.

The couple had two children who are now with relatives.

wcax.com                   syracuse.com                  silive.com

news10now.com                                     mews10now.com

Carnival of the True Crime Blogs, World Series Edition XLVII

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