Florida Man Shoots Out Tires of an AT&T Truck Outside Home
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Robert Chambers: The 'Preppy Murder Case' — April 11, 1988
It was a shocking crime that first made headlines in New York City – In August 1986, 18-year-old Jennifer Levin was found by a cyclist in Central Park. She had been strangled. Arrested for the crime: Robert Chambers, a handsome 20-year-old who had attended several prep schools and spent a semester at Boston University.
The case was soon dubbed “The Preppy Murder” and became a daily fixture in newspapers and on tabloid television.
Chambers was charged with two counts of manslaughter. His defense argued that Levin’s death had occurred during “rough sex.”
After the jury deadlocked, Chambers pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. He was released in 2003 – but soon found himself in trouble again when he was arrested for selling drugs out of his New York apartment.
In 2008, he was sentenced to 19 years in jail. His earliest release date from prison is Jan. 25, 2024.
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The Fall of 'Queen Leona' — Sept. 11, 1989
The hotel tycoon became a symbol of 1980s excess and greed, and was dubbed by “The Queen of Mean” by the New York tabloids for her treatment of employees at the Helmsley hotel chain.
Then she went on trial for income tax evasion and fraud, and her fall from grace spawned a media frenzy. During her trial, a former housekeeper testified that Helmsley had once told her, “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”
In 1989, Helmsley was convicted on a host of tax offenses. She served 18 months in prison after the judge ordered her sentence to start on April 15 – Tax Day.
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Oh Lordy, Lordy! Jim Bakker's Bizarre Trial — Sept. 18, 1989
In the late 1980s, televangelist Jim Bakker was on top of the world. He and his wife, Tammy Faye, presided over an empire including a television show that brought in $128 million annually and a religious theme park that was America’s third-most popular attraction.
But Jim fell from grace when he was found to have skimmed millions from his ministry to pay for his lavish lifestyle, which included his-and-hers Rolls Royces. Among the revelations was that Bakker used church funds to buy the silence of Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary who alleged Bakker raped her.
Baker served five years in prison on fraud and conspiracy convictions. Now 75, he hosts a television show focusing on what he believes is the impending apocalypse, and sells survival gear.
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The Menendez Brothers: Murder in Beverly Hills — March 26, 1990
In 1989, wealthy brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez were accused of the grisly shooting deaths of their parents, entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty.
During their trial, the brothers – then 21 and 19 – rejected the claim that they had killed their parents to get their hands on their multimillion-dollar estate. Instead, they claimed that they had killed their parents after years of suffering unspeakable sexual and psychological abuse.
Despite the headline-grabbing defense, the jurors rejected the brothers' allegations and convicted them of murder. They were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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Death in the House of Brando — June 6, 1990
Christian Brando was the eldest son of Marlon Brando’s 11 biological and adopted children. In 1990, Christian’s sister, Cheyenne, told him that her boyfriend and father of her unborn child, Dag Drollet, physically abused her, though the claims were never verified.
Christian fatally shot Drollet in Brando’s posh, Mulholland Drive mansion.
He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and served six years in prison.
When he got out, he couldn’t escape negative attention: After Robert Blake’s wife, Bonnie Lee Bakely, was murdered in 2001, Blake blamed Christian, alleging he had his friend murder Bakely. Christian was never charged. Blake was tried for the crime and acquitted, he was found liable for Bakely’s death in a civil trial.
Cheyenne Brando committed suicide in 1995. Christian Brando died in 2008 of pneumonia at 49.
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Polly Klaas: Taken in the Night — Dec. 20, 1993
Twelve-year-old Polly Klaas was hosting a slumber party at her mother’s home in Petaluma, California, on Oct. 1, 1993, when a man entered her bedroom, tied up her two friends and covered their heads with pillowcases before kidnapping Polly at knifepoint.
Her body was found two months later when Richard Allen Davis, the man who entered her bedroom that night, led investigators to the shallow grave in Clovedale, California, where he buried her.
A career criminal, Davis admitted to strangling Klaas. He was convicted of her murder in 1996 and sentenced to death.
His criminal record helped pass California's "Three Strikes Law" for repeat offenders. He is currently on death row in California’s San Quentin State Prison.
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Terror on Ice: The Bizarre Plot Against Nancy Kerrigan — Jan. 24, 1994
For several weeks in 1994, the sports world turned its attention to a tawdry spectacle when superstar figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee by a baton-wielding assailant. The assailant, America learned, was hired by the husband of Kerrigan’s rival, Tonya Harding.
It became known as “The Whack Heard ‘Round the World.” Kerrigan recovered in time to win the Silver Medal in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. But Harding, besieged by controversy, faired poorly at the Olympics because of a broken lace. She was later stripped of the National Championship she had won two days afer the attack on Kerrigan.
Harding pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and was banned from amateur skating. Kerrigan refuses to speak to Harding to this day.
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The O.J. Nobody Knew — July 4, 1994
Before his ex-wife’s killing in 1994, NFL legend O.J. Simpson was known not only for his prowess on the football field but also for his affable nature as an actor and celebrity.
But shortly after he was accused of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, waiter Ronald Goldman, details about rage-filled fights with his ex-wife that were fueled by jealousy began to emerge.
“I don't know who the guy is,” Simpson's longtime acquaintance, onetime National Football League superstar Jim Brown, said at the time.
In 1995, after the “Trial of the Century,” Simpson was famously acquitted of double murder.
But after a conviction for a 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas, Simpson is now serving a 33-year-sentence, though he is eligible for parole in July.
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Jeffrey Dahmer: Death of a Madman — Dec. 12, 1994
Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes were among the most chilling in American history: Between 1978 and 1991, the Wisconsin man killed 17 men and boys. He had sex with corpses and ate some of his victims.
When Dahmer was arrested in 1991, police found body parts and severed heads in his fridge, freezer and a filing cabinet.
He confessed to his crimes and was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms in jail and was killed by a fellow inmate in 1994.
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JonBenét Ramsey: Murder of a Little Beauty — Jan. 20, 1997
Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado. She had been strangled with a sophisticated garrote and suffered blunt force trauma to her head. A ransom note was found near her body.
The high-profile investigation became one of the costliest in Colorado history, but authorities were never able to determine who had killed the girl. The DNA of an unknown male was found at the scene, and handwriting experts were unable to definitively tie the ransom note to the family. While the girl's parents, Patsy and John Ramsey, were originally considered suspects, they were formally cleared of suspicion in 2008.
The crime remains unsolved.
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The Boston Nanny: Mercy and Outrage — Nov. 24, 1997
On February 9, 1997, 8-month-old Matthew Eappen fell into a coma and died of a fractured skull in his home in Newton, Massachusetts. Authorities arrested Louise Woodward, a 19-year-old British au pair, and charged her with the boy's death.
After a highly-publicized trial, a jury convicted Woodward of second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. Ten days after the verdict, the judge reduced her charge to involuntary manslaughter and her sentence was reduced to the time she had already served, 279 days.
Matthew's parents denounced the verdict and filed a civil lawsuit to prevent Woodward from profiting from the crime. She returned to the U.K. and resumed a quiet life.
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The Phil Hartman Murder-Suicide: What Went Wrong? — June 15, 1998
On May 28, 1998, comedian Phil Hartman was fatally shot in his sleep by his wife, Brynn, who then turned the gun on herself in a bedroom of their $1.4 million Encino house.
In the weeks following the highly publicized murder-suicide, details emerged about Brynn, who was plagued by substance abuse problems and given to fits of rage and was far more troubled than anyone realized. A recovering alcoholic and cocaine user, Brynn had recently started drinking again after a decade of near-sobriety.
While outwardly the couple seemed to have it all, "this was not a happy household," said a TV producer who knew them.
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Murder, Malice and a Baby: The Robert Blake Trial — May 6, 2002
Baretta alum Robert Blake was acquitted of murder charges in the death of his wife Bonnie Bakley, in a high-profile case and 2005 trial that commentators compared to the O.J. Simpson proceedings 10 years earlier.
Bakley, a 44-year-old mother of four, was fatally shot in Blake’s car in 2001 after the couple dined at an Italian restaurant in California. A jury found the now-83-year-old actor not guilty of the murder after officials called into question the credibility of multiple prosecution witnesses and Los Angeles Police Department investigators.
However, Blake was ordered to pay $ 15 million by a civil jury, which found him responsible for Bakley’s death.
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Michael Jackson: Did He Do It? — Dec. 8, 2003
The King of Pop had been accused in 1993 of molesting a boy at his Neverland ranch, resulting in a settlement of a reported $15 to $20 million that prevented the boy from speaking about the claims.
In late 2003, Jackson was accused of molesting a 12-year-old cancer survivor who had been a visitor to Neverland who alleged he was plied with wine and abused. In 2005, Jackson went on trial on a slew of charges including child sexual abuse and giving intoxicating substances to a minor.
He was acquitted of all charges, but the acquittal didn’t erase suspicions about Jackson. Months before the 2003 accusations, Jackson had said in a British documentary that he slept in his bed with “many children. I slept in the bed with all of them,” describing the practice as “the most loving thing.”
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Laci Peterson: The Trial's Climax — Oct. 11, 2004
In one of the country’s most sensational murder cases, Scott Peterson stood trial for killing his eight-months pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, who disappeared in California on December 24, 2002.
Four months later, her body and the body of their unborn son, Conner, washed ashore near a Berkeley marina.
The investigation and ensuing trial revealed Peterson’s web of lies, including where he was when Laci vanished.
He was convicted of first-degree murder in Laci’s death and second-degree murder for the death of their unborn baby. He sits on death row in California's San Quentin State Prison.
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Why Did Mary Winkler Kill Her Preacher Husband? — April 10, 2006
Mary Winkler, a soft-spoken preacher's wife, was convicted of manslaughter after killing her husband Matt, a Tennessee minister who was found shot to death in the couple's home in 2006. She spent five months in jail as she awaited trial followed by a little more than two months at a mental health facility.
In the wake of the crime, one question remained on everyone's mind: Why did she kill her husband?
Winkler's lawyer, Steven Farese, said then that the couple's public and private lives didn't "always run parallel." And Winkler later said that she killed her husband after years of abuse.
"Physical, mental, verbal," Clark Freeman, Winkler's father, told Good Morning America. "I don't know how she took it. She's a stronger individual than I am."
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Astronaut Love Triangle — Feb. 19, 2007
More than 10 years ago, Lisa Nowak, a former space shuttle astronaut, drove 14 hours from Houston to Orlando and pepper sprayed then-Air Force captain Colleen Shipman in an airport parking lot. Her motive? Shipman was the new girlfriend of her ex-boyfrriend.
"Nobody knew she had this infatuation thing going on," Shipman, speaking about Nowak, told PEOPLE.
After the incident, the world learned that Nowak felt scorned by fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein, who told investigators he had ended a relationship with her as his romance with Shipman became more serious.
As part of a plea agreement, Nowak pleaded guilty to burglary and misdemeanor battery, although she was initially arrested on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. She served two days in jail and was sentenced to a year of probation along with 50 hours of community service.
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Kidnapped on Vacation: Madeleine McCann — May 28, 2007
During a family trip to a resort in Portugal in 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann went out to dinner with friends, leaving their three sleeping children in their beds in their rented apartment, just 180 feet away.
An hour and a half later, when Kate checked on the children, she discovered that her 3-year-old daughter, Madeleine, was missing.
Portuguese authorities initially accused the British couple of being responsible for her disappearance, the mystery of which has deepened in the intervening years. She has never been found.
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Home Invasion in Connecticut: Every Family's Nightmare — Aug. 13, 2007
In July 2007, two men broke into the Petit family’s Cheshire, Connecticut, home and bludgeoned father William Petit with a baseball bat and tied him to a pole in the basement.
Then, the men – Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes – turned their attention to mom Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 38, and daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. Hawke-Petit and Michaela were sexually assaulted before all three were killed.
Both suspects were convicted of the crimes and sentenced to death, but were later resentenced to life in prison.
In 2016, Petit won a seat in the Connecticut state legislature, running as a Republican.
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Did an Ex-Cop Kill Two Wives? — Dec. 3, 2007
Former Chicago-area cop Drew Peterson was convicted of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and trying to hire a hitman to kill the prosecutor who convicted him.
He is also under suspicion in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, who has been missing since 2007.
While Peterson maintains his innocence, his son Stephen said in 2017 that his father “probably killed” both wives.
“Over time, you hear enough [from police],” Stephen Peterson said. “I don’t want to come out and say he did it … but, I’m sure he did it.”
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The Virginia Lacrosse Killing — May 24, 2010
University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love, 22, was found dead in the bedroom of her off-campus apartment in Charlottesville, Va., in the early morning hours of May 3, 2010, having suffered physical trauma.
Hours later, police arrested George Huguely, with whom Love had a romantic relationship she was trying to end. Huguely denied he intended to kill Love but admitted “he was involved in an altercation with Yeardley Love and that during the course of the altercation he shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall.”
Huguely was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years in prison in 2012.
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The Casey Anthony Trial: Getting Away with Murder? — July 4, 2011
Two-year-old Caylee Anthony was reported missing on July 15, 2008. The following morning, her mother, Casey, was detained on charges of giving false statements to law enforcement, child neglect and obstruction of a criminal investigation.
Six months later, Caylee’s remains were found – authorities said it appeared the child’s body had been bound with duct tape – and Casey was charged with her murder.
Casey Anthony was once described by a Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman as “one of the most hated women in America” — a moniker that stuck even as she was acquitted of Caylee’s murder.
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What Happened to Baby Lisa? — Oct. 31, 2011
For more than five years, the parents of missing Lisa Irwin — who disappeared in October 2011 from her crib just a few weeks shy of her first birthday — have insisted she was taken from their home in Kansas City, Missouri.
Years after her disappearance, her father, who returned from work that night to fine her missing, told PEOPLE, “It’s always the last thing I do before I lay down and go to sleep: I tell her good night, and I give her a kiss.”
Police don’t know what to believe, or who might be to blame.
“It’s hard to say that somebody isn’t a suspect when you don’t have any,” Kansas City police Maj. Steve Young told PEOPLE in 2016. “But truly, there isn’t anybody that is or isn’t.”
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Trayvon Martin: An American Tragedy
On the evening of February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin took a break from watching the NBA All-Star game on TV to run to a nearby convenience store for a snack. The high school junior bought some iced tea and candy and headed back to his father's fiancee's townhome in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. Shortly after 7 p.m., Martin was approached by George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch coordinator. After a brief altercation, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin.
A month after shooting, Zimmerman was charged with Martin's murder. His attorneys invoked Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, claiming that Zimmerman, had shot the teen in self-defense. During a month-long trial, both the prosecution and defense produced witnesses with differing accounts of the shooting. On July 13, 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder charges, leading to protests across the country.
Zimmerman, who has been arrested for aggravated assault twice since his release, has repeatedly maintained that he did nothing wrong in the shooting. Martin's parents have become prominent activists, speaking out about the shootings of unarmed black men.
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The Cleveland Kidnapping Victims' Amazing Escape — May 20, 2013
Between August 2002 and April 2004, three young women — Amanda Berry, then 17, Michelle Knight (who has since changed her name to Lily Rose Lee), then 21 and Gina DeJesus, then 14 — went missing in Cleveland.
They were kidnapped by Ariel Castro, who kept them captive in his Cleveland house for ten years. All three women were raped and abused throughout their captivity, which lasted nearly a decade. Berry gave birth to a daughter, and Lee said she was impregnated five times, but miscarried each one after being beaten by Castro.
In 2013, Berry escaped after getting a neighbor's attention, and called the police, who came to the house and found Lee and DeJesus. Castro was later sentenced to 1,000 years in prison, and committed suicide by hanging himself in his prison cell.
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Mystery of Marine Wife Erin Corwin — Aug. 11, 2014
Petite, blue-eyed, 19-year-old Erin Corwin had a secret. She’d been married for almost two years to her high school sweetheart, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, but she was having an affair with her married next-door neighbor, Marine Cpl. Christopher Lee, 25.
Corwin vanished in June 2015, before her body was found in a remote desert mine shaft two months later.
Lee confessed in court to strangling Erin and throwing her body down a 140-foot desert mineshaft. The day she died, Corwin was expecting Lee to propose to her.
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The Fall of Bill Cosby: Scandal and Shock — Dec. 8, 2014
The judge in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial declared a mistrial in June 2017 after a jury deadlocked. Cosby had been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004 in his Pennsylvania mansion.
More than 50 women have accused Cosby of similar behavior – though Cosby has denied all of the allegations.
PEOPLE reported on the accusations that shocked the nation and forever complicated the legacy of the iconic comedian and “TV dad.”
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Perfect Family, Shocking Murder: The Ashton Sachs Case — March 15, 2015
Ashton Sachs was an honors student, a trading-card fanatic and the kind of kid who taught residents at his grandmother’s nursing home how to use computers.
In February, 2014, the 19-year-old also became the murderer of his parents in a shooting that also left his little brother paralyzed.
Last October, Sachs was sentenced to life in prison.
“The defendant is a sociopath,” the prosecutor said at his sentencing. “He has no remorse or empathy. All he cares about is himself.”
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Who Killed Jessica Chambers? — Jan. 4, 2016
On December 6, 2014, the body of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers was discovered badly burned but alive by first responders on Herron Road in Courtland, Mississippi, a town of just 500 people.
Her death spawned suspicion and theories in her small town: Although she graduated from high school with A’s and B’s and held down a job, Chambers was running with a rough crowd prior to her death, ex-boyfriend Bryan Rudd told PEOPLE.
But, in February 2015, prosecutors charged Quinton Tellis, who grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same high school as Jessica, after zeroing in on his phone records. Tellis is currently awaiting trial.
“We knew he was the last person she was with,” the prosecutor said.
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Without a Trace: They Mysterious Case of a Missing 2-Year-Old — July 11, 2016
During a family camping trip in the mountains of Idaho in 2015, 2-year-old DeOrr Kunz disappeared. Since then, there has been no sign of DeOrr or evidence of what happened to him has ever been found.
DeOrr’s parents have been named suspects in the disappearance of their son. They deny any involvement, but investigators allege their stories have been inconsistent and everyone at the campsite has “been less than truthful.”
DeOrr’s father tells PEOPLE he still believes that his son was kidnapped, explaining, “Somebody has him and I’ll get him back because there’s just no evidence found. I believe that he was taken.”
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The Untold Story Behind Making a Murderer — Jan. 25, 2016
Eight years after Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were convicted in the brutal murder of 25-year-old Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach, Netflix series had thousands asking: Are the right men in prison?
Making a Murderer became a smash hit, with many convinced that Avery and Dassey were railroaded and justice was not served. Dassey’s conviction has since been overturned – a finding reaffirmed by an appeals court – and Avery’s appeal is still pending.
However, Halbach’s family has rebuked the show, claiming it was one-sided.
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The Hunt for the Long Island Serial Killer — Nov. 11, 2016
It’s been more than six years since police discovered more than 10 bodies around New York’s Gilgo Beach area on Long Island — a grisly case that began when Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old escort, disappeared in May 2010 after meeting a client through Craigslist.
To this day, the cases of Shannan and the other victims (almost all women) remain unsolved, and the mysteries surrounding their deaths endure.
Plenty of theories about the killer – or killers – abound, including that the killer is a drifter, a fisherman, a seasonal worker or a commuter. But authorities can’t say for sure whether the killings are connected.
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Michelle Carter's Deadly Texts — June 26, 2017
Michelle Carter, a 20-year-old Massachusetts woman, was put on trial for involuntary manslaughter for urging the suicide of her boyfriend in a series of texts and phone calls.
For instance, in the days before he killed himself by toxic fumes while sitting in his truck, she texted him, “You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you [will] be free and happy. No more pushing it, no more waiting.”
When Roy wavered on his plan to kill himself and exited the cab of the truck, Carter told him to get back in.
Florida Man Shoots Out Tires of an AT&T Truck Outside Home
Florida Man Shoots Out Tires of an AT&T Truck Outside Home