True Crime Rocket Science is unique. It is preoccupied with the why of crimes and criminals, and thus is above all focused on the science of man. We find out why people do what they do by finding out who people are. And who is a function of identity, social dynamics and backstory. Through cogent true crime analysis, especially into criminal psychology, we have a unique opportunity to learn to understand those around us, and principally, ourselves.
This page is dedicated to coverage of current crime news, comments, discussions and brief analysis. Use this page for updates on America’s most high-profile criminal cases, as well as to find your way to what’s happening where on True Crime Rocket Science [#tcrs].
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January 19th, 2019
1. Sent in my one of the members of the Facebook group.
This video is one of many which show just how innocent these little girls were. I also noticed Ceecee’s nappy and underwear. The evidence says she was dressed in a nappy, underwear and nightgown – watching this video shows it must be part of her toilet training, putting on her pull ups nappy but also getting to wear big girl underwear. You also get to observe Ceecee’s care free nature, her bad cough and their strategy to keep her from running out of her room.
January 18th, 2019
January 17th, 2019
1. Nickole Atkinson wishes Shan’ann a happy birthday.
Greed, debt and a gambling problem drove a Southern California man to kill his business partner’s family with a sledgehammer and bury their bodies in the desert, prosecutors said Monday.
But the defense said authorities are charging the wrong man and the real culprit is another business partner.
Opening arguments were held in the trial of Charles “Chase” Merritt.
Merritt, 61, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Sean Daugherty, supervising deputy district attorney for San Bernardino County, told jurors that Merritt wrote checks for more than $21,000 on his partner’s online bookkeeping account after the family was last seen alive in February 2010, the Sun newspaper of San Bernardino reported.
“Greed, and greed’s child, fraud” were the motive, Daugherty argued.
McStay murder mystery: Who is Chase Merritt? – thecwsandiego
When skeletal remains of the McStays were discovered last month near Victorville, detectives started taking a closer look at people associated with the Fallbrook family of four.
One of those individuals is Charles Ray Merritt, also known as Chase Merritt, a metal worker and former business partner of Joseph McStay.
Merritt, 56, is a hard man to find. CBS News 8 affiliates checked four different addresses and came up empty. We also left telephone messages and emails with Merritt and his associates, but received no response.
Merritt worked for Joseph McStay’s fountain design and manufacturing company in February 2010, when Joseph, his wife Summer, and their two young sons mysteriously went missing from their Fallbrook home.
Days after the McStay bodies were discovered on November 11 by an off-road motorcycle rider in the desert near Victorville, Merritt was interviewed by the online tabloid, Daily Mail, which quoted Merritt as saying:
Opening statements are set for Monday, Jan. 7, in the death penalty trial of Charles “Chase” Merritt, accused in the 2010 slaying of the McStay family, and one more pretrial hearing Friday, Jan. 4, may decide whether to unseal a search warrant declaration used to collect DNA from Merritt’s brother.
A motion filed by defense attorneys said the DNA swab was taken from Bennett Merritt on Dec. 20, after jurors for the trial had been selected.
Defense attorneys want to know why, and suggest in court documents that prosecutors are turning their attention to Bennett Merritt as “somehow complicit in the McStay murders,” and were pushed by independent defense DNA investigations in the case.
“We want to see what the detective wrote to a judge,” defense attorney Rajan Maline said in a brief phone interview. He said any named source in the warrant declaration can be redacted, “but what did they say in the affidavit? We’re dying to see it.”
3. Robert Durst murder trial is set for September – LA Times
January 16th, 2019
1. Chris Watts’ neighbor talks to Dr. Oz:
Inside the Watts Family Homicide – DoctorOz
2. Robert Durst murder trial is set for September – Boston Herald
Durst — whose past was detailed in an HBO documentary series — is set to go on trial Sept. 3 at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles in connection with the killing of Susan Berman, 55, who was found dead in her home in Benedict Canyon on Christmas Eve 2000.
During a hearing Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham agreed with the prosecution’s contention that jurors should hear evidence about Morris Black’s killing in Galveston, Texas.
Deputy District Attorney John Lewin told the judge that the 75-year- old defendant “beat a murder in Galveston.”
“… He got away with it. … He’s not going to get away a second time,” the prosecutor said, referring to Berman’s shooting death.
January 15th, 2019
Chris Watts’ Ex Girlfriend from his college days goes on the record with Kay
Chris Watts arriving at Airport in North Carolina
‘Hero’ couple who exposed ‘killer fiance’ Patrick Frazee’s murder plot knew he planned to kill Kelsey Berreth a MONTH before her death – but only told FBI once $25K reward was offered three weeks AFTER she disappeared – Daily Mail
REVEALED: Killer fiance Patrick Frazee met mistress when they were 18 and had a ‘hold on her,’ but she grew to fear her ‘first love’ and think ‘he had killed before’ in weeks before murder – Daily Mail
4. KIDNAPPER CHOSE 13-YEAR-OLD VICTIM AFTER WATCHING HER AT THE BUS STOP – The Daily Caller
Durst has been long estranged from his real estate-rich family, which is known for ownership of a series of New York City skyscrapers — including an investment in the World Trade Center. He split with the family when his younger brother was placed in charge of the family business, leading to a drawn-out legal battle.
According to various media reports, Durst ultimately reached a settlement under which the family paid him $60 million to $65 million.
January 14th, 2019
“We went and looked at houses together in Fort Collins,” Bolte claimed, noting that he was about to move from his residence and Watts expressed an interest in moving in with him.
“I was planning on getting a two-bedroom apartment,” he said. “But Chris was like, ‘No, I’m going to be divorced. We need to look at three-bedroom houses and the girls can have a room.”
So Watts was going to go apartment hunting with Bolte, then with Kessinger?
Notice at the end of the video clip, Trump calls the article disgusting and the question disgusting, but doesn’t actually answer it, or even deny it.
The third season of True Detective is based on true crime – the notorious West Memphis Three case. I’ve written about many criminals. Which crime, and which criminals do I despise most? This one.
January 13th, 2019
1. Pedophile Confesses to Killing JonBenet Ramsey in Letters to Friend – Rolling Stone
Boulder police brush off pedophile’s confession in JonBenet Ramsey murder – Washington Times
January 11th, 2019
2. Ex Allegedly Asked Nurse Gal Pal to Kill Colorado Mom Kelsey Berreth: Report – The Daily Beast
The couple said they spoke to KMVT after their employee received threats and harassment on social media. They said Frazee was arrested four days after they called the FBI.
KMVT says that in the next interview segment, airing Friday, the Rockstahls discuss what was said in their conversation with the feds. In an interview slated for Sunday, the couple will share what they were told about Lee’s alleged trip to Colorado that prompted police to swarm Twin Falls, Idaho.
On Facebook, KMVT reporter Kelsey Souto said the Rockstahls believe that Lee was in fear for her life when Frazee allegedly solicited her to kill his fiancée.
After his release, Echols spent years avoiding talking about the spiritual practice that he now admits helped saved his life.
“I was really, really gun-shy. Whenever I’d talk about it, I’d always look over my shoulder to check and see if anyone could hear me,” recalls Echols, who now travels the country teaching “magick” workshops and is busy working on a follow-up book on the subject. “But I eventually realized I had to get over that hurdle—because if you give up the things you love out of fear then you’re not really alive.”
Notice in the last few seconds of the video clip how OJ Simpson interrupts and corrects himself. Concluding:
“So yes, I think everything was – would have been – covered in blood.”
January 10th, 2019
1. Don’t feel bad if you missed the confession of Gary Oliva in 2016, he’s at it again now, confessing to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.
Gary Oliva has a history of sexually abusing minors and lived blocks from the Ramseys at the time of the murder – Denver Post [July 21, 2016]
EXCLUSIVE: ‘I killed JonBenét Ramsey!’ Convicted pedophile Gary Oliva has confessed to the murder of six-year-old pageant princess in prison letters to his friend – claiming it was ‘an accident’ – Daily Mail [Today, five days after Burke Ramsey threw in the towel in that $750 lawsuit against CBS]
Also, if Oliva is the killer in question, not to worry, he’s already in prison [although eligible for release from 2020 onwards].
Interestingly, about ten years before Oliva’s confession in 2016, John mark Carr confessed:
Timing of DAs probe questioned – Denver Post
2. ‘Murderer’ fiancé Patrick Frazee’s ‘mistress told her best friend he asked her to kill the mother of his child, Kelsey Berreth’: Idaho couple say they called the FBI after hearing about the ‘plot’ from one of their employees – Daily Mail
Scotland Yard’s investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance from an apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007, aged three, has so far cost £11.75million.
January 9th, 2019
1. Kelsey Berreth’s human remains still missing.
2. Why Chris Watts Murdered His Entire Family
After watching the video clip above, do you think Investigation Discovery answer or address the question why [which is the title of the clip]? If so, what answer do they provide?
January 8th, 2019
Are these valuation estimates accurate? $600 000+ ?
The fact that the series is still available tells you the story behind the story – Burke Ramsey postured and lost.
3. Inside the Mind of Jeffrey Dahmer: Serial Killer’s Chilling Jailhouse Interview
January 6th, 2019
1. Nickole Atkinson is still thoroughly enjoying the Thrive Kool-Aid:
The Mirror is a little late in documenting the Watts story…
The call below is inaccurately attributed to Nichol Kessinger. At 14:32 Watts took a text/call from Cristina Meacham.
In the clip below Watts can be seen walking with his parents.
2. Prosecutors face Friday deadline in response to Jodi Arias’ appeal – tucsonnewsnow
January 5th, 2019
An online register of actions in the case shows that Judge David A. Groner signed an order of dismissal on Wednesday, and that a settlement conference set for March 20 has been canceled, with the notation “case disposed.”
A clerk in Groner’s office on Friday said the order declares that the claims against those producing the documentary “are dismissed with prejudice and without costs or attorney fees. This is a final order and the case is closed.”
The term “with prejudice”means that an action cannot be refiled. Michigan online court records show that a separate $50 million lawsuit filed by JonBenet Ramsey’s father, John Ramsey, also was terminated by the same judge’s order on Wednesday.
In a ruling dated Dec. 10, Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill granted the Boulder department’s motion seeking to quash that subpoena and granted a protective order.
Mulvahill’s ruling noted that the murder case “remains open and has not been completed,” and also states that Boulder is not a party to the ongoing litigation between Burke Ramsey and producers of the controversial documentary.
But the judge also cited the fact that, with dozens of books and movies and television shows having picked at the bones of the beleaguered investigation for more than two decades, there aren’t a lot of secrets left.
Mulvahill’s ruling stated “…there is a tremendous amount of information available in the public domain such that Defendants can obtain the subpoenaed information from other sources or through discovery.”
In a separate filing, court records show that Burke Ramsey’s lawyers in November moved to withdraw their subpoena to the Boulder Police Department and dismiss their action. In a one-line ruling, Mulvahill granted that motion on Nov. 13.
The subpoena to Hunter had targeted a broad range of material, including every document relating to JonBenet’s death that he might have retained since leaving office.
Court records show that subpoenas in recent months also had been served on numerous other players in the Ramsey drama, including onetime Ramsey private investigator Ellis Armistead, former Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy, Boulder’s High Peaks Elementary School — which both Ramsey children attended at the time of JonBenet’s death — as well as Dr. Francesco Beuf, JonBenet’s pediatrician.
Divorced mother-of-two Krystal Lee is being investigated over her role in the mystery of the disappearance of Kelsey Berreth. Lee, 32, is believed to have been having an affair with Patrick Frazee who has been charged with Berreth’s murder even though her body has not been found.
Lee, who lives in Twin Falls, Idaho, has not been formally identified by police as the woman they are investigating, but sources confirm she is the woman involved.
Now DailyMail.com can reveal that that person is Lee, who works as a pre-op nurse at the St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls. She has now been placed on a leave of absence, the hospital confirms.
A friend of Patrick Frazee whose granddaughter was a frequent playmate of the accused killer’s daughter Kaylee shared shocking new details about his relationship with missing mom Kelsey Berreth.
Tamra Freeman told CNN that Frazee and Berreth had split back on New Year’s Day in 2018, just three months after the couple welcomed daughter Kaylee.
That contradicts comments made by Berreth’s aunt suggesting that her niece had broken up with Frazee on November 22, the day she was last seen in public.
3. Police bodycam footage in Chronological order the day Chris Watts’ family were reported missing
Will Chris Watts survive prison?
4. Animated video shows how Robert Durst could have murdered Morris Black in new court filing
TCRS assessment: Highly doubtful. Looks wrong. Feels wrong.
5. The killer within: Part one | Why did Henri van Breda murder his family?
January 4th, 2019
3. Jayne Zmijewski, the dog handler in the Chris Watts case, appears in this trailer:
January 3rd, 2019
1. Rocket Science has been somewhat on the fence about Watts’ possible bisexuality. I’ve been unwilling to say he was definitely bisexual, but also unable to rule it out either. From the beginning there’s been smoke, but is there really fire? Like agent Coder, it was difficult to take Bolte seriously in the beginning, but over time, Bolte’s story seems to have some credibility.
Notice how CNN carefully refers to Bolte as Watts’ “alleged” gay lover even now. So they’re not 100% convinced either, yet interested enough to put Bolte on their platform a second time.
Arnold Faks recently picked up an interesting insight in terms of the timeline of texts between Kessinger and Watts on the 13th…
And in other news…
2. Nurse may have played role in Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance – New York Post
A 32-year-old Idaho nurse is being investigated for her role in the missing Colorado mom’s disappearance and possible death, reports said.
The Twin Falls nurse is suspected of ditching Kelsey Berreth’s cellphone in Idaho, sources told ABC News, which is declining to identify the woman until law enforcement releases her name.
The charges indicate authorities believe Mr Frazee tried to persuade another person or multiple people to kill Ms Berreth on at least three occasions between September 1 2018 and November 1, 2018.
Police allege she was slain on or around November 22 — the last day she was seen alive in public — almost three months after Mr Frazee’s first alleged attempt to arrange her murder.
Stephen Longo, an attorney with McDivitt Law Firm, helped explain the charges.
“It suggests to me that he probably asked the same person three times to either help or commit the crime individually,” Longo said. “It’s always possible, based on the three counts, that he asked three separate people.”
“It’s documented somehow, right? Whether it’s email, text message, recorded phone call, something where we have specifics where we can trace the date,” Longo said.
A person could also have supplied that information, he said.
Meanwhile, prosecutors still are not releasing evidence, including the probable cause affidavit to Frazee, citing the ongoing investigation. They did, however, ask the judge to allow consumptive evidence testing. News 5 asked Mark Pfoff, a former detective in the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office who worked on more than 50 homicide investigations, what that testing means.
“You’re usually looking at some form of body fluids, whether it’s blood or saliva or something like that,” Pfoff said. Pfoff said the amount of evidence is so small, it’s likely not visible to the eye — meaning testing that evidence once would prevent any follow-up testing moving forward.
Judge Linda Billings-Vela will decide on the motion for consumptive testing, as well as another motion on whether to allow Frazee himself to see the probable cause affidavit, in a Friday motions hearing.
Frazee is due back in court Thursday for a custody hearing. Both Berreth and Frazee’s mothers are vying for custody of the couple’s 1-year-old daughter.
Which shirt was hung on the hanger? An orange shirt, or a white shirt?
The charges against Frazee, 32, indicate that the alleged solicitations occurred between Sept. 1 and Nov. 1.
January 1st, 2019
1. Was there a child running around the crime scene on August 14, or did a child’s toy make a noise? Welcome to True Crime Idiot Science.
It was Berreth however who had been hesitant to move in with her fiance because he still lived with his mother. She instead decided to get her own home after moving to Colorado from Washington to be with Frazee. In May, Berreth paid $184,900 for a two-bedroom home in Woodland Hills, where she lived with her daughter.
A family member claimed soon after Berreth went missing that she had split with Frazee on the day she was last seen, but that has never been confirmed by investigators. There were a number of details that had puzzled the public in the wake of Berreth’s disappearance, including the fact that she had just baked fresh cinnamon buns before she went missing.
Frazee also failed to report her missing, despite [having] their daughter Kaylee that entire time.
…the murder solicitation charge means that someone else was involved in the crime – but so far Frazee has been the only one who has been charged.
District Attorney Dan May said that to be charged with solicitation, the suspect would have to have done more than just ask someone to commit a murder on their behalf, the Post reported…
Kelsey Berreth’s fiancé charged with 5 murder counts – Denver Post
The narrative for the solicitation charges indicate Frazee had been trying since Sept. 1 to persuade another person to participate in the killing, and the first-degree murder charge involved an accusation of robbery in connection with the killing.
Thus far, the arrest affidavit, which lays out the facts of the case that are the basis from the charges, has been sealed. Even Frazee and his public defenders have been prevented from seeing it.
3. Shocking footage shows men carrying journalist Khashoggi’s ‘body parts’ – thesouthafrican.com
The 59-year-old former Saudi insider turned critic was strangled before he was cut up into pieces by a team of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul for the killing, according to Turkish officials, with media reports suggesting the parts were dissolved in acid.
A-Haber said the bags and suitcases were put into a minibus which travelled the short distance from the consulate to a garage at the residence. The men are then seen taking them inside.
Question: Were his body parts in the garbage bags, in the suitcases or both?