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From the moment that Richard Farley met his co-worker Laura Black, an attractive 22-year-old brunette, in 1984, he became immediately obsessed with her. They both worked for a large Silicon Valley software development company. Farley began to pester her for dates; she politely refused. He started to leave gifts, letters, and cookies in her office and started showing up at her aerobics class. He tricked HR into giving him Black's home phone and address, and he befriended the janitors so that he could copy keys to her office and desk. When he discovered she would be visiting her parents in across the country on vacation, Farley obtained that address and sent letters to her there.

On the numerous times that he would "coincidentally" bump into Black, he would again ask to see her socially. She would always politely but firmly refuse. He called her at home at all hours and continued to send her letters telling her that he loved her. When he left messages asking for a date and receive no answer, he would take that as an affirmative and show up at her front door. Laura Black moved homes, only to have Farley immediately discover her new address and begin the pattern again. Farley dated others, lived with another woman, and even got engaged during this process, but the stalking continued.

It is believed that he spent hours with a garage door opener trying various codes until he discovered the correct combination to Laura's garage. When it was clear that Laura would not submit, he became more menacing, taping the key to her home to her car windshield to let her know he had the means to enter at any time. After Laura finally went to HR, they first demanded that Farley seek psychiatric help and then terminated him from staff. He still stalked her until she got a temporary restraining order.

On February 16, 1988, facing foreclosure, on the day before a hearing to make the order permanent, Farley loaded up a rented motor home with 100 pounds of weaponry, drove the vehicle onto his ex-firm's property, and entered the building, indiscriminately killing anyone he encountered with a 12-gauge shot gun. When he got to Laura Black's office, she slammed the door in his face. He blew it off its hinges and fired twice, hitting her once in the neck and shoulder in a manner that looked fatal. Moving on, he left her behind, and she managed to escape into the parking lot. Seven less fortunate fellow employees died on the scene.

A standoff ensued, ending only when Farley complained that he was hungry. Police offered him a sandwich on the condition that he surrender. The utterly remorseless Farley went on trial for seven murders and four attempted murders of those injured in the rampage. He was convicted and sentenced to death on January 17, 1992.

He is still on death row at San Quentin, California.

 

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In 1982, George Emil Banks was an ex-convict and Pennsylvania prison guard who told co-workers of an impending race war that would destroy the world. He was placed on leave and subjected to a mental health evaluation. On September 25, after an evening of heavy alcohol and prescription drug consumption, Banks used an assault rifle to kill eight people in his own home, including three women who were the mothers of his children, and five children, four of them his.  He then went to another girlfriend's trailer and killed her, his son by her, his girlfriend's mother, and his girlfriend's niece. Leaving the trailer, he shot and killed a neighbor and seriously wounded another individual. After a standoff, Banks surrendered.

He was charged with 13 murders and one attempted murder. His said he did not want his children and his girlfriends, all white, to be victimized in the coming race war. Banks incoherently testified at his own trial and claimed that the police killed his victims during the spree - he had only wounded them. This despite the fact that he shot at least some of his children in the head at point-blank range.

Despite his attorney's insanity defense, Banks was convicted. He avoided two separate execution dates through federal appeals concerning his sanity and was ultimately declared not mentally competent for execution in 2010. However, despite his age, Banks is still considered dangerous enough to be housed in Pennsylvania's death penalty unit.     

 

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Joseph Duncan is a convicted murderer and s●● offender who began committing violent s●●ual assaults on other children as a teenager. He confessed to a juvenile facility therapist that he had R●●●d 13 younger boys by age 16. In 1980, Duncan was sentenced to 20 years in Washington State for the violent s●●ual assault of a 14-year-old boy. Though paroled in 1994, he was sent back to prison after violating his parole in 1997. While free, it was subsequently determined that he killed at least three other children after s●●ually assaulting them. He was released in 2000 and moved to the Midwest, but arrested again for child M●●●●●ation in 2004.

Bailed out of jail by a long-time acquaintance and lover, Duncan fled to the Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, area where, on May 16, 2005, he stormed the remote house of Brenda Groene. He subdued all of the home's occupants and bludgeoned Brenda, her boyfriend, and her 13-year-old son, Slade, to death. He kidnapped her other children (Dylan, 9, and Shasta, 😎 who were the true object of his home invasion.  

Duncan drove the children in a stolen rental car deep into the Lolo National Forest in remote western Montana. There, he repeatedly M●●●●●ed both victims, filming himself on a camcorder. He focused his abuse on Dylan, tormenting and raping him in a such fashion that it elicited sobs from jury members who had to watch the videos during trial. The court offered therapy and counseling for the jurors after witnessing behavior that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. 

Duncan finally shot and killed nine-year-old Dylan. He was arrested seven weeks after the initial murders when he and Shasta, the subject of an AMBER alert, were spotted in a Coeur D'Alene Denny's. Although state charges resulted in numerous life sentences, Duncan's transportation of a minor over state lines into Montana for the purposes of s●●ual exploitation and murder qualified him for a federal charge and a possible death sentence.  Duncan pleaded guilty to everything: it was in the penalty phase of this legal proceeding that jurors were shown video of Duncan's behavior. They sentenced him to death after less than three hours of deliberation.

He is currently housed in the federal death row facility in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Shasta still lives in Southern Idaho.

 

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On September 8, 1992, Scott Panetti shaved his head, donned military garb, and drove to his in-laws' South Texas home where his estranged wife lived with their baby daughter. He broke into the house and shot his father and mother-in-law to death in front of his spouse and child. He took the woman and baby hostage, but ultimately released them.

Panetti's wife had left him over alcoholism and abuse that occurred throughout the 1980s, as well as other strange behavior. For example, he buried his home's furniture because "the devil was in it," and he bound the window shades so that neighbors couldn't film him. Panetti had an extensive history of psychiatric hospitalization and medication, but eventually he refused all treatment and insisted on representing himself.

In the Bell County, TX, courtroom where he was prosecuted, he dressed in flamboyant purple cowboy pants and cowboy shirts, bandannas, and a large cowboy hat. Offering long, rambling incoherent legal arguments, he attempted to subpoena everyone from Anne Bancroft to the Pope. Ultimately, he was sentenced to death on September 22, 1995.

Needless to say, litigation over Panetti's competence to represent himself and his competency to be executed have pinballed throughout the court system. As late as 2008, a federal judge ruled that Panetti is competent and that despite his deep neurosis, he is exaggerating his mental illness. He came within 12 hours of execution in 2014 but received a stay over competency issues.

He remains on death row in the Polunsky Unit, Livingston, TX, as litigation continues.    

 

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Blanche Taylor Moore was a former prostitute who married a North Carolina laborer in 1952. Twelve years later, her husband died, supposedly of a heart attack. In 1985, she began dating another man who also abruptly died, allegedly from natural causes. In 1989, Moore married a minister, Reverend Dwight Moore, who quickly had to be hospitalized with symptoms that baffled his doctors. When they got the results of a toxicology screen, they found the minister to have 20 times the expected level of arsenic in his system.

North Carolina state police investigated Blanche Moore and determined that high levels of arsenic existed in the exhumed bodies of her father, first husband, and boyfriend. She was put on trial for the death of this longtime boyfriend, Raymond Reid, because the state considered this homicide the easiest to prove. She denied ever giving him food while he was hospitalized, but 53 different people testified that she fed him in the hospital every day, supplying the fatal dose of arsenic that killed him. 

Moore was the executor of Reid's estate; she had also tried to get Reverend Moore to make her the beneficiary of his pension in the event of his death.  She was convicted of Reid's death and received the death penalty in 1991. Subsequently, she was suspected of killing her in-laws during her first marriage, but North Carolina declined to prosecute her.

She has claimed her innocence throughout her prosecution and incarceration and is currently appealing her conviction. At 83, this black widow is the oldest female on North Carolina's death row. 

 

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In November of 2004, Tom and Jackie Hawks were spending their retirement cruising the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean in their 55-foot cabin cruiser. After the birth of their first grandchild, they decided to permanently relocate near their family in Prescott, AZ. To begin this transition, they docked their boat at Newport Beach, CA, and placed an advertisement in a local boating magazine offering the vessel for sale at a cost of $440,000. 

The ad was answered by 24-year-old Skylar Deleon, who falsely claimed to be a former child actor-turned-real estate investor. The Hawks were skeptical that such a young person would have the assets to buy their boat, but when Deleon returned for a second meeting and brought along his pregnant wife and infant daughter, they reasoned that his intentions were at least sincere.

The couple agreed to a test run to Catalina Island off the Southern California coast with Deleon, along with his "accountant" and his "business partner" on the evening of the November 15. Offshore, the accountant complained of seasickness and went below, and Tom Hawks went with him to ensure his well-being.

The accountant was actually John Kennedy, a powerfully built enforcer for a Long Beach street gang who sucker punched Hawks and subdued him with a stun gun. Deleon and his third accomplice, Alonso Machain, stun gunned Jackie Hawks, and within minutes, the couple were handcuffed, blindfolded, and gagged. They were separated and told that if they signed documents of sale of the cabin cruiser, their lives would be spared.

After they signed, Deleon and Kennedy bound them together and secured a 60-foot anchor to their feet. The couple were then dragged to the stern of the boat, and Deleon blithely tossed the anchor into the water, dragging the couple overboard into the darkness of the Pacific Ocean.

Deleon got a notary to criminally backdate the "sale" and denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of the Hawks. However, when confronted by police, the plot soon unraveled. Alonso Machain quickly cut a deal and gave specific information implicating Deleon, his wife, and John Kennedy. All three were convicted of first-degree murder in separate trials: Deleon and Kennedy were sentenced to death, and the now-divorced Jennifer (Deleon) Henderson got life without parole, avoiding the death row fate of her ex-husband and Kennedy.

 

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Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog grew up as childhood friends and are thought to have begun murdering victims together while they were still teenagers. However, it was not until 1999, when 25-year-old Cyndi Vanderheiden disappeared from a bar in the San Joaquin Valley region of California, that Shemantine and Herzog received any official scrutiny.  

Vanderheiden's DNA was found in bloodstains in Shermantine's car, and the pair was arrested in March of 1999. Herzog confessed to four murders and was convicted and sent to prison for 78 years. In a separate trial, Shermantine was convicted of three murders and received the death penalty. However, an appeals court threw out Herzog's conviction, based on coerced confessions, and a controversial plea deal allowed him to serve a total of 11 years in prison, even though he admitted to being complicit in the murders of four people.

When he was paroled in 2010, not a single California county would accept him into their jurisdiction. He wound up in a trailer on the grounds of a California state prison. Shermantine became angry that he was looking at execution while Herzog was out of prison. He began writing letters to law enforcement officials implicating himself and Herzog in many more murders dating all the way back to 1985, in clear effort to place Herzog back in jeopardy. In 2012, Herzog hanged himself in his trailer.

By the time the FBI got through with Shermantine's new information, the pair's body count was up to 19 victims. Wesley Shermantine still faces a death sentence and is on death row at San Quentin.  

 

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By the time he was in his early-30s, Bobby Joe Long had a pretty basic technique for s●●ually attacking his victims. He would answer classified ads in the Penny Saver for household items and, if he found a woman at home alone, he would R●●● and rob her. In 1984, Long seems to have suddenly escalated to even more violent crimes.

Tampa, FL, area law enforcement became alarmed by the rapid and unexpected increase in murder cases. Long no longer got fulfillment from R●●●; he began to bind his victims and then strangle or slash them to death. After killing five women, mostly prostitutes, he picked up in bars, Long kidnapped 17-year-old Lisa McVey while she was riding her bicycle. He took her to his apartment, R●●●d and abused her for 24 hours, but then inexplicably released her. This would lead to his arrest in November 1984 and ultimate confession to multiple murders.

Long pleaded guilty to all of his crimes and received four 99-year sentences, 28 life sentences, and one death sentence. His appeals have been languishing in Florida and federal courts for more than three decades. He is currently on Florida's death row.       

 

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The savagery of elements of the Russian criminal underworld operating in the US was evidenced in a case involving several criminal defendants and the kidnapping and murder of five eastern Europeans in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley.

Two of these defendants, Juriius Kadamovas and Iouri Mikhel, were the ringleaders of a scheme to target wealthy émigrés and extort millions of dollars for their release.  In 2002, these two brazenly kidnapped the accountant of one of their intended victims, a wealthy movie producer named George Safiev, in an attempt to lure him to a meeting.  When this failed, they merely strangled the accountant, weighted down her body, and tossed it into the New Melones Reservoir in a remote area near Yosemite National Park.

Next, they used a female to entice a business partner of Safiev to meet her at a retail business. When he entered the store, he was subdued and then forced to lure Safiev, who eventually also showed up and was kidnapped. Safiev was forced to make wire transfers to criminal accounts all over the world totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. He and his partner were then driven to the same reservoir, strangled, and also tossed off a bridge into the water.  The same ring had already murdered two other individuals, hurling them into the lake as well.

Families would continue to be extorted and even paid ransom money long after the victims were dead. Mikhel and Kadamovas were implicated in other similar murders in Cyprus and Turkey and were headed to Aspen when they were arrested, intent on identifying more victims. Ransom payments were electronically linked to Kadamovas and Mikhel, which then helped the FBI unravel the scheme.

Because the murders were committed on federal property, the two defendants were tried in federal court and sentenced to death. They are currently imprisoned in the condemned unit of the Terre Haute, Indiana federal prison. Other individuals received lengthy jail terms.  

 

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