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Kimberly Jo Dotts murder 5/10/1998 Clearfield, PA *beaten up then hung by other teens, including her cousin*


West Branch of the Susquehanna River

Charged in her murder (or at least there during the crime):

Jessica Holtmeyer, 16 (one of the actual killers) convicted of murder; received LWOP
Aaron Straw, 18 (one of the actual killers) convicted of murder; received LWOP
Tracy Lewis, 24 (her cousin) pleaded guilty; received 5-20 years in prison (no longer in prison)
Dawn Lanager, 14, received juvenile detention
Clint Canaway, 17, (could not find info, I think he got juvenile detention)
Teresa Marie Wolfe, 14, received 6 months in detention center
Patrick Leroy Lucas Jr., 16 (charges dropped)

jessicaholtmeyer.jpg
Jessica Holtmeyer

Apparently this happened because a group of teens (one was her cousin Tracy Lewis who was actually 24) planned to run away, but Kimberly changed her mind and told the group she was going to tell someone. So, they decided that torturing and killing her was the answer. For threatening to tell about them RUNNING AWAY. A bit extreme, to say the least. I cannot imagine how these kids thought that was the answer. They put a noose around her neck and would tighten it and then loosen it. She was dragged around the woods with it. During all of this, she was crying and I am sure she was begging for her life. Some people left, but not one of those people got help for Kimberly. Not one. After being dragged she was hung from a tree with the rope until she lost consciousness. When they realized that she was not dead, she was hit with a rock. This 15 year old girl with learning disabilities must have been terrified throughout all of this. And none of these so-called friends cared. Including those who did not touch her or left. Nor her 24-year-old cousin. All are responsible for this heinous murder, which should never have happened. All they said: “Snitches get hurt”

To make matters worse, this all happened on Mother’s Day 1998. What a way to pay tribute to your mother, by killing another mother’s child. And for Kimberly’s mom, it could have only made matters worse for her. Kimberly did not deserve what happened to her. Neither did her family or friends. At least two people will be in prison for life, although I personally believe everyone else who was there and did not stop this or get help for Kimberly should have gone to prison also. Some true remorse would be nice too, but I am sure that is asking way too much for some of them.

Teens charged with hanging, torturing girl for snitching
Two teens charged with hanging, torturing girl
Teen bludgeoned and hanged was searching for friends, uncle says
American teenager tortured and killed for threatening to tell tales (about 1/2 way down)
Two teens charged with hanging, torturing classmate for snitching
National News Briefs; Teen-Agers Arrested In Girl’s Hanging
Girl, 16, Is Guilty Of Killing Girl, 15
Kimberly’s Story (about 1/2 down the page)
Wash And Wash But Never Clean
TEENAGE GIRL MURDERED BY SEVEN CLASSMATES
Court to get final suspect in teen hanging
Defense expert says Straw did nothing to kill teen
Adams jurors convict teen in hanging
Nothing ‘fun’ in teenage murder
Paper Dolls Presents: Jessica Holtmeyer (her request for pen pals!) [her profile shows she has no remorse]
Fallen Angel (and yet another pen pal site for Jessica!)
Straw appeal
Parents fight to keep juvenile killers in prison

Books
Wicked Deeds: Murder in America
Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer

INMATE INFORMATION
Inmate: OE6965
First Name Middle Name Last Name Suffix Name Type
JESSICA N HOLTMEYER Commit Name
JESSICA NICHOLE HOLTMEYER True Name

Inmate Details
Age: 28 Sex: FEMALE
Date of Birth: 03/01/1982 Citizenship: USA
Race: WHITE Complexion: LIGHT
Height: 5′ 09″
Current Location: MUNCY
Permanent Location: MUNCY
Committing County: CLEARFIELD

INMATE INFORMATION
Inmate: EA1214
First Name Middle Name Last Name Suffix Name Type
AARON JAMES STRAW Commit Name
RUNAWAY STRAW Also Known As

Inmate Details
Age: 30 Sex: MALE
Date of Birth: 01/08/1980 Citizenship: USA
Race: WHITE Complexion: LIGHT
Height: 5′ 08″
Current Location: DALLAS
Permanent Location: DALLAS
Committing County: CLEARFIELD

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77 Responses

  1. I have never heard of this case until today.. My God, the rage I feel inside of me.. Why hurt someone for telling on you. drag her around, bash her beautiful head in.. My heart breaks for this child’s family. I will never understand this.

  2. Lavonna,

    I remember when this happened and it really saddened me. Then I could not remember her name only that Florida was involved. I happened to find the details last night on accident, so I posted it quick!

  3. Bonnie,
    I read that here at work and I wanted to cry and hit someone and I am not a violent person..
    I do not understand why torture someone for snitching..

    Thank you for posting that. I pray her family is doing good. I am sorry for their loss

  4. Oh…..my……God….
    What this beautiful young lady had to endure at the hands of these killers. I can not comprehend.

  5. What a coincidence. I am currently reading Under The Bridge…it is about a similar situation which occured in Canada in the 90’s. The victim’s name was Reena Virk…she was beaten and drowned by a pack of teens…mainly girls.

    Peer pressure and mob mentality are freaking skeery!

  6. My grandparents live in Clearfield. One of the parties involved–I’m not sure which–lived down the block from them, and Grandma was interviewed on TV on her doorstep.

    It’s always been creepy to think that I might have played with one of these kids when I was little.

  7. Mob mentality and Peer pressure???? What a bunch of bullshit. Everyone of those people are well old enough to know right from wrong. everyone who was there for the brutal murder of both Kimberly and Reena are all accountable. It disgusts me that anyone would even try to say thats why they didn’t help. I am so sick of hearing crap about peer pressure and bad background, abuse and whatnot. Since when is being beaten or molested as a child give you the right to carry on any way you choose until you get caught… then is WAH WAH i was abused wah wah i come from poverty. I don’t give to shits about anything that may have happened to anyone in there lives YOU are responsible for what u do. Everyone of the people involved in both of these cases deserve the death penalty. Maybe if we start PUNISHING sick murderers instead of coddling them with pyschiatrist bullshit we wouldn’t have some many dead children. By the way I also think every pyschiatrsi in the world should be SHOT!!! All they do is make up EXCUSES for people to commit vile crime and get away with it by crying abuse or some other nonsense. Andrea Yates “post partem depression” gimmie a fucken break, woman have been having babies for thousands of years. Now the is a new syndrome “sexsomnia” where men are getting off from RAPING someone cause they claim to be sleepwalking. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WITH OUR COUNRTY??????? I think it’s time to bring back the days where criminals have the heads chopped of in town square. Watch how fast the crime rate would drop if people were faced with a real punishment.

  8. I like the way you think Julie..

  9. I did time with Jessica and believe me, she hasn’t changed. She has adapted well to the “prison” life. She should never ever,ever be released.

  10. Let me also say, she’s still a mean and nasty person. She should have received the “Death Penalty” she has no remorse for killing that young lady. She was a bully then and she’s still a bully.

  11. This murder affected me in a deep way for some reason. The name Kimberly Jo Dotts has been etched in my memory, and will always be there. I don’t know why. Maybe because she was a trusting soul who wanted to fit in, and was led to believe this by these evil people. When she became inconvenient to them, they killed her. I pray that her mansion in heaven is like no other.

    Anytime I drive near Clearfield, I say a prayer for Kimberly Jo’s family. I think it was her grandparents I saw on TV when this happened.

    I feel Julie’s anger about those who claim insanity when they kill. Just yesterday I read about a father of three children who drowned his kids in a Baltimore hotel because he wanted to hurt his ex-wife. He even told her that he would do it. Some asshole judge still let him have the kids. Now the father is saying that he is bi-polar. Like Julie, I believe people need to be held accountable for their actions. Nearly everyone is “on something” these days. Mental illness is overdiagnosed and used to aid criminals escape the hangman’s noose so t speak.

    If Jessica is still un-repentant as Lori suggests, her real judgment will come someday.

  12. Adam,
    God bless you.

  13. I remember this tragic event when it happened. It always stayed with me and made a huge impact on my life. Since then, I try to teach my kids that everyone is equal and that bullying is for cowards. There is no excuse for treating anyone so awful and subjecting them to this horrific and evil situation .

    I send my love to the Dotts family after all these years and continue to pray for their daughter. May Kimberly find peace.

  14. I personally know the dotts family, i am 16 years old and a.. Friend of Kimberly’s sister and my brother is dating her, i do to think that what they did was wrong.. jodi rick and rachel had this very tragically happen to them..

  15. I have been reading about Jessi. I went to school with her, I was actually friends with her at the time. I also went to St. Francis church, we were in the youth group together. She had wanted me to go with them, and thankfully I did not. I did not know at that time what my friend was capable of. I grieve for the family that lost their daughter Kim.
    My fiancee’s father bought the land that the murder took place on, and there is a stone erected to her memory, the tree was cut down, and now no tresspassers are allowed on the land, except for us family, and we respect Kim’s memory.
    I was 17 when it happened, and to this day the sadness, shock and anger still has not faded. It was a murder that shocked the nation, but most of all the kids that knew kim, and that also knew Jessi.

    Also please do not think after reading my comment that I am like Jessi, or that I knew what had happened, because I found out about it like the rest of the world. People at school did that to me, and in truth I wasn’t allowed to hang with Jessi outside of school and church.

  16. I know how badly this has affected the family of kimberly. i am best friends with two of her cousins, one of which was extremely close to kimberly. she says she thinks about what happened to kim everyday and all she wants to do is be able to talk to her and see her one last time. but obviosly that cannot happen. i cant speak for the families involved but in my own opinion, julie whittle is right. they knew what they were doin was wrong but they did it anyways. they did more than kill her, they stole her life. they took away someones child, friend, sibling. and if jessica still feels no remorse for what she helped do, then i hope she will rot in hell. ive been snitched on before, who hasnt for one reason or another. but that doesnt mean i would kill them over it. i only hope that kimberly felt some kind of peace in the end.

  17. btw, i dont know if anyones heard about it yet, but another brutal crime has been committed in our little town. Jesse J. Campbell, a boy i use to play with as a child, savagely beat and slashed his mother on march 30 over a computer, then read to her from the bible as she bled to death. All over a computer….are u kiddin me?! what the hell is wrong with some people. Jesse has been caught and found guilty. they are now pushin the death penalty. if anyone knew his mother, i send my condolances to u and your family.

  18. I too went to school with jessie and believe me she was a bully. I avoided her at all costs. My condolences to the Dotts family.

  19. I was and still am very hesitant to reply to this blog. I am deeply disgusted by the people who say they know or have known Jessi. Jessi was not a ‘bully’! Yes she was definately a little girl lost. But do any of you know the personal environment this girl was brought up in? Likely not. Yes she was outlandish and wild, but never a bully. This girl was just crying out for attention that she didn’t recieve at home. Jessi “to me” was one of the most thoughtful, intelligent and giving person I have ever met. We were the best of friends prior to this and still to this day I care deeply for her. I condone what she did and do not think it is right. But the empathy and compassion I feel for her is how I would feel if anyone of my family members would do such a heinous crime. I would still love them no matter what. Love shows no bonderies and love is not something to be ashamed of. You can always love someone regardless of what they do and or have done. You don’t always have to think something is right or agree with anything aslong as you have your faith in love. Put yourself in my position or anyone that is still reflected through Jessi’s life and ask yourself; “How would I feel if my mother/father, brother/sister or best friend committed such a horrendous crime?”
    And also, everyone of those tried should have been given the same sentence, for any one of those tugs could have taken Kims life.
    Again I am not agreeing with what was done, but merely trying to repaint the picture that everyone has of Jessi. To me there is a ‘conspiracy’ here because no one else that was involved has recieved as much wrath as her (remember the media and people fabricate things). Try putting yourself in her shoes and walk the path that she has throughout her life. And in doing that you should be able to emphasize with her; The pain she went through, the pain she put others through and the pain she will endure for the rest of her life. Jessi after all is very much human.

  20. *note* When I say ‘condone’, I forgive her as a person. But as for ‘what’ she did I do not.

  21. Im the mother of Kimberly and my heart still hurts for the lost of my daughter the pain never stops.I was recently in Harrisburg to speek about teens serving life.I think all teens no right from wrong so Jessica and Arron got that they deserved . There family can still see them touch them I can onlygo to my daughter grave to talk to her

  22. Christa , this is Kimmy’s mother is the cross still out there that my son made to put out there

  23. WOW!! this is really crazy and brings back alot of memorys i remember when this happen i lived in clearfield my whole life and im still here…and my older sister knew these people i also belive she was friends with kim as well somewhere in this house i belive is also all the news clippings….anyhow i was in 5th grade i belive when all this happend im 21 now and you can see this still hunts my mind.. my wishes goo out too her and her fam.

    i read some but not all of these post and honestly im surprised too see people still talking about this…

    best wishes..

  24. Jodi, my heart breaks for you.. I don’t understand what you are going through as I have never went through it but I pray that God comforts you and your family. God bless you

  25. I remember all to well when this happened. I know all the parties involved. I went to school with them or hung out when I was younder with them.
    Jodi, your daughter was a great girl she was always polite and shy when I would talk to her in the halls. I will always remember her.

  26. Jesse James Campbell was a GUY

  27. i ran onto this site by accident,but then continued to read. one of the posts said ” they couldn’t believe people were still talking about this”. this is one of those senseless and heart wrenching crimes that will never leave our small community. 3 horrible crimes in this area will stay with me forever and this is one of them.
    as a parent it scares us all to death. as a human being it makes all us feel for the family and for kimberly herself.
    the only one i knew in this awful story was tracy lewis. she is my cousin,although never a close as some cousins i do remember playing with her as a young child. i was in shock when i found out she had been involved,as well as disgusted.
    i’ve never seen or spoken with her again,as i know some of her family members have also disowned her for her part in this. she has been released and moved from the area.
    i do often wonder if she thinks about the life they cut short or how they live with themsleves daily knowing what they done. you can only hope they live in their own prison within their mind for the rest of their lives for it.
    in my opinion no amount of time in jail can ever make up for or be punishment enough for taking the life of another, an innocent life at that. may god bless kims family,and may kim continue to rest in peace knowing she will always be loved and remembered by the small community who carries her in our thoughts.

  28. Everybody who lived either in the small town of Clearfield or around the area @ the time of this Tragedy,especially a parent or any teenager/young adult,all of us will forever have this etched in our minds as brutal&senseless as it was. I will never forget Kimberly’s face & I never knew of her beforehand but hearing of something as awful just makes your heartache. I saw the episode of the Montell Williams show w/Kimberly’s story almost a year later&was totally blown away by it&I hope that by the family getting that oppurtunity to be on the show,share thier story&kims memory&even get to confront the people who could have saved her,I hope that gave them some sense of closure even though I know how easy that is for me to say.What sickens me through the whole trauma is that I still see some of the people who stood there,watching&motionless as a fragile life was being taken right before them,walked down the very isles of the clearfield walmart w/their famillies and friends as if nothing ever happened.I cant even imagine what itd be like to be one of Kim’s family&see one of those people out&about,that in no way is justice,not whenever something could have been said,they could have ran for help,and done anything.I dont know what I think is judgement for the people who walked away& who stayed and watched but I dont think its fair they be able to just walk around Clearfield like they do&I really wonder what the family feels about it…

  29. I also did time with Jessica and agree that she has not changed at all. I am from Olanta. I knew both Tracy and Aaron. I also know some of the Dotts family. If I would have had the chance I think I may have hurt Jessica. If anybody brings up what she did (as I did in front of her “friends”) she laughs. So I believe that she was and still is a bully. There has been talk of a possible re-trial. How can somebody that commited such an awful crime and who still has no remorse get that option? My thoughts and prayers are still with the Dotts family.

  30. I wanted to post an update to the parties involved. (Although many of you may doubt my authenticity, this is true) I am the close relative of Aaron’s. I also grew up with Jessie’s sister and also with a close relative of Kim’s. I must say that this tore apart all three families. In fact, I remember the one day when I was with my friend and Jodi frantically came asking if anyone had seen Kim. It was then that my friend explained to me that she had gone missing. About 5 yrs after the murder, I got to know Kim’s parents and sister. It is sad to say the sister who was extremely young (around 6) at the time of the murder has a vast amount of issues that relate back to the murder of her sister. The last that I know of she still attended therapy to deal with the issues. Kim’s parents have moved forward with their lives as much as a parent can. They also still have many issues, however, they somehow are able to put them aside to deal with the hear and now. They keep a memorial stone for Kim. As far as the people involved, I do not know much of them. I do know that as of a few years ago, Dawn planned to open a daycare in her home. (I do not know her well but I know enough that I would never let any of my children attend there)
    As far as what has happened (as badly as this may sound) I am happy that I am on the side of it that I am. I do not think I would be able to be on the other side. My heart and praise goes to the family. This event changed everyone’s life. Not just those involved but to anyone who lived in and/or around Clearfield. I remember hearing “The girl will show up. What could really happen here?” Unfortunately, they were shown what can happen. Things have never been the same. In my opinion, Kim Dotts has become the face of Clearfield. After leaving Clearfield, whenever someone asks where I am from they always respond one of two ways. “Oh that’s that little town that has the huge burger right?” or, “Isn’t that where that group of kids killed that girl?” My heart also goes to Jessie’s sister. Her sister is nothing like her. She is quiet, sweet, and conscientious. Throughout middle school and high school (we were between 12 and 14 at the time of the murder) her sister was ridiculed and given a very hard time. It was a very difficult time for her but she has always remained an amazing person.

  31. I would also like to add that I do agree with Levi. There is much more here than meets the eye. Many things never came to surface. I can not say Jessie was the head of the murder or the one who should take all of the blame. I can not say this because I was not there. I know that many more people were there than the police ever prosecuted. Many more who should have also been on trial. The press never mentioned this people nor did the police. A family member was contacted by a reporter who claimed to know everyone involved and their role but claimed the police were not about to prosecute all of them because it was such a huge number. Around 50! I had a friend of mine who was friends with a few kids in the ‘Runaway Gang’. While in middle school I would get calls in the middle of the night because my friend could not sleep. I can not remember exactly what he told me, this was years ago, but I do remember that he said no one knows everything that happened but it is something he will never forget. WHen I asked if he was there he did not give me a direct yes but would not want to discuss it. Shortly after Jessie and Aarons arrest, I had a friend at my house who had a friend of hers with her as well as my mother and my friend’s mother. We were outside talking about how horrible it was and the friend of my friend pointed to a tree in our yard and proceeded to explain how Kim was killed concluding with the rock. This, at a time when no one knew the details. We blew it off as her repeating a theory until the story came out and it was EXACTLY how she described. Freaky huh?

  32. I lived in clearfield all of my life till 1999. I have moved to my mothers house in Ohio. I new some of these kids. I know jessica and Teresa. jessica is bad news and always will be. I used to hang out with her at the Clearfield Pool in the summers. ine summer she talked me into giveing her a tatoo with a needle and Indin ink. she is a freak and always will be. Now teresa she was a follower. she would kiss anyone ass to have there attention, She tryed to be bad ass but never got that far.

  33. My uncle is Clint Canaway. I was really young when I heard what happened and I still am not sure what happen. I feel really bad for the family. My husband is from Clearfield but he had never heard of what happened…

  34. I am from Clearfield and was in class with both JH and KD.
    I remember this event well. Although I hadn’t thought of it in a long time, Last night I was reminded of the event while having some drinks with friends.
    I recounted the entire story to them and they were blown away. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has a memory of a brutal murder that took place in their hometown and involved their peers.
    I remember the day that they found Kim’s body. We got out of school early. I remember a few of the “popular” girls crying and needing to go to the guidance councilor. It was interesting, the day before these girls never would have acknowledged Kim’s presence but on this day they were bemoaning the loss as if it was someone they knew well.
    I don’t mean to judge or point fingers, simply point out a curious human response to tragedy.
    Kim wasn’t born with a lot of gifts, she was not particularly attractive, intelligent, or charming, but she had a good heart and it’s amazing how quickly it was all taken away from her.
    Jessica was not born with many natural gifts either, at least no apparent ones. she was a large girl, known to be temperamental and not very friendly. She apparently had a bit of a crush on me if High school rumors are to be believed. kinda creepy in retrospect.
    the whole story makes me wonder about the nature of god and man.

  35. hi jodi my name is kandy and i am so sorry to hear about kim,,,i am also a Dotts and was told i am relative to you

  36. I am from Clfd and I know Jessicas mom very well and I dont beleive she did this. The stories kept being switched and things did not add up. Everybody lost something in this incident. I am so glad i moved out of clfd you ppl have nothing better to do than judge someone. Jessica was born into a family like the rest of us underprivlidged we did not have the benefits of being rich we werent crazy we just didnt have money we may have smoked pot but we werent murders god made pot and pot dont hurt get over yourselves find something else to talk about

  37. Jodi, My heart breaks for you and all of Kim’s family. I first came across this story when reading a murder book. I felt sick to my stomach when i read this story and was wondering why would a human being (especially teens) would do this to another. Kim is a beautiful young girl and Jessica is a vile little germ, she needs what she deserves.

  38. Jodi, may God give you peace. I’m sure, even after 12 years it must seem like yesterday that this all happened.

    To Levi: I appreciate your comments about Jessica, but I have to wonder how remorseful she is when I read her little bio in the Paper Dolls prison “hook-up” site. She states in her profile: “My motto is I’ll try anything once. So beware, I have an adventurous side.” Reading that just makes me ill. No matter what your childhood was like. . . no matter what abuse you sustained. . . no matter how much your parents didn’t love you. . . it matters not. Murdering a young girl who trusted you is evil. I pray that she finds her soul someday and comes to terms with what she did. So far, it doesn’t look promising.

  39. I too am familiar with the Dotts family,my son and their son were friends in school,when my son would come home from hanging out with their son at the Dotts residence,he talked more about Kimmy than he did about Ricky!everyone that was involved in Kims murder,EVERYONE,should be rotting in Prison,teenagers or not,THEY STILL TOOK A LIFE
    !!!!

  40. so i guess she got this pic taken in prison–well y no u have to pose for a graduation picture after you have killed someone that’s the right thing to do?? wat the h is wrong with that– now she is up for appeal to get out– u gotta be freakin’ kidding me wat do u think?H

  41. I know Jessica personally..and i must admit it is very hard to read what happened in “black and white” because the young woman that i knew and grew to luv was soo loving. Im not god and neither are n e of u, dont throw stones at a glass house..everyone makes mistakes. my condolences to the deceased parents..and to jessica’s family, but she is in a horrible place.
    I luv u Jess.
    Shawny
    ..i miss u

    • shawny,

      She SHOULD be in a horrible place. She deserves it for killing another human being. As for your “don’t throw stones at a glass house”, it does not fit. I know that as for myself, I have never killed another human being and seriously doubt I ever would. Especially the way she did. She was not a nice person at all.

  42. Shawny- do u have a sister or brother what if someone did that to them? what kim must have gone through in those last moments!! really think she must have been terrified- could u imagine urself or a brother or sister going through all of that? she is in jail- we the tax payers r paying for her to have pics taken- internet access- and her basic living needs- BUT SHE KILLED SOMEONE!! That alone burns my butt- i work my a off everyday and pay taxes to support her a- how is that fair???

  43. In my opinion,Why should Jessica have access to the internet,Come on,she took a beautiful girls life and now she is supposed to be in a prison,paying for her crime,so take the internet away from her,Put her in a dark room,and let her rot away,Her rights stopped the day she took Kimmys life away!!!

  44. kimmy was my best friend growning up. she lived two houses down from me and her grandmother was my babysitter. she was such a sweet naive person. i was 6 years younger and we would play barbies together. that bitch jessica deserves to rott.

  45. well now jessica has filed for a appeal now please i hope and and pray it dosnt go any where i cant go throught this again

  46. i like to hear about people who new Kimmy and how much they liked her

    • Jodi –
      I remember the day Kimmy was born. My heart goes out to you and he rest of the family. She will always hold a special place in my heart.

  47. jodi this is your sister rhonda (patty’s daughter) I am so sorry to find out about your precious kimmy. I would love to talk to you. please email me texasangel67@comcast.net I have always thought of you but I don’t have any contact with patty or her husband so I didn’t know where you were. I miss you

  48. I knew Jessie from school and yes she was a bully with a capital B. She was in a couple of my classes. My mom use to babysit Aaron and his siblings when they were young. Aaron is distantly related to my step brother. I don’t remember much about him except he was a wild child. I dreaded it when he was coming over. I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child and how to even endure it. My heart goes out to the Dotts family.

  49. Dear Jodi,
    I wanted to share something with you that I have never shared with anyone before. I have no idea how to contact you, but since seeing your comments in this post, I hope this is as good a way as any. You and your entire family have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since that horrific day.

    I went to school with your daughter. I believe her to be among the most beautiful souls I have ever encountered. She was so innocent and full of life, too much so to have her life ended in such a horrific way.
    I attended Kimmy’s viewing all of those years ago. When I looked into your eyes, I was amazed at your strength. You were facing the worst fear any parent could imagine, yet you maintained your composure. It was only in your eyes that you could see just how broken hearted you truly were.
    You shook so many hands that night. Yet, for some reason when I came up to you, you wrapped me in a hug that I felt in my soul. Little did I know then just how important that hug would later become. I was 13 and had no idea of what it was that I felt.
    I have had several miscarriages and a beautiful sleeping angel. I know the pain I have faced is nothing in comparison with the tragedy you had to endure. Yet you helped me get through it all. Every time I experience loss, I always find myself thinking back to that amazing hug. Your strength in that moment showed me that I could find the strength to pick up the pieces and move on.
    What I am trying to say is thank you. I’m not sure what it was that made you hug me that day, but I am truly thankful for it. You brought an amazing light into the world, and no matter how short the time that light shone, she was there and she was amazing. Never forget that. Evil may have distinguished that light, but her memory will live on forever.

  50. first of all i wish to write to jodi. i hope that you have been well, and i have not had an adress to send flowers for kimmy’s grave and i am sry about that. i hope to be able to send some soon. please know that you and your family are still and always will be in my heart.
    as for what my deranged exwife has written. i would like to clarify something if i may. my exwife had left me and taken my children because she felt she was not ready to be a wife. after leaving me she began to pursue relationships with men who were in, in and out of, or had just gotten out of jail or prison. in which she also had a tendency to leave my daughters alone with these men. the reason for the judge granting custody the girls to me was. a. stephanie and i had recieved a psychological evaluation, in which stephanie had been found to have several mental disorders, b. myself, the judge, cys, and other orginizations involved were all worried about the physical, mental, and emotional well being for the children considering the people she had been introducing into the girls lives and her own actions. in factstephanie had lost the girls to the state 3 times inwhich i had gotten the girls to ensure their safty. i have never caused my children any physical, mental or emotional harm. the reason my exwife can not see our children untill they are 18 is due to the fact that she had left our children at home alone, went to a club, became intoxicated, and attacked a police officer. in which in the end she had signed over her parental rights to the state.
    jody please contact me and i will send flowers soon. thank you.

  51. I just read this email, I cant belive people would do something like that family, friends thats just crazy I feel for the famiy of Kim my prayers go out to you all

  52. WOW, is all I can say! First and foremost, I deeply feel for Jodi and her family, I see her and my heart always breaks a little each time for her painful loss.
    As for Clint vs. Stephanie…
    Cara, who are you? for real? You don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground!
    Stephanie, is so responsible that she purposefully got pregnant at the age of 17 and in high school. She refused to quite smoking even when she found out she was having twins.(she sure cared for those twins from the begining didn’t she?) She quit school during her pregnancy. Her excuse, she couldn’t walk up the stairs. Yet again she’s so smart and responsible… Clint and Stephanie married… Clint was irresponsible, lost many jobs, played video games constantly. They were both too immature and irresponsible to have married and have children. They lived in public housing, Stephanie was raised by a less than good mother who knew how the assistance programs worked and taught Stephanie the trade. The apartment was, lets see, how should I put this? If it were a food establishment the county would have shut them down…
    Stephanie left Clinton… ya know because “Clinton stole her life away”. Clinton moved out of the area leaving Stephanie, the Mother Theresa, of moms (heavy on the sarcasm) to care for their twin daughters.
    Stephanie moved to Lock Haven with the twins. Cara, since you know so much about Stephanie never leaving her children unattended then you know nothing about CYS being involved, and the State of Pennsylvania removing the twins from her “home”. You know her so well… I bet you don’t know that a CYS case worker showed up to check things out and there was a passed out drunk man on her couch, one child in a very, very dirty diaper and another was completely naked and Stephanie the responsible, loving, caring mother that she is was no where to be found. Sounds like she provided a great babysitter, eh? I’m positive Stephanie can ask CYS to make a copy of her file for you, it might take a while because it’s pretty thick.
    After the very first time the twins were removed from Stephanie’s home and care both of the twins were displaying behaviors of sexual abuse. Remember Clinton was no longer living in the state, let alone the same time zone. Clinton received the twins by the State of Pennsylvania on three separate occassions, the third being the final, when Stephanie lost all rights, due to her being a “fantastic, loving, caring, mother”.
    Clinton gained full custody of the children… In no means was he responsible enough to raise those children and he made many poor decisions. Abuse, I might add was not one of them. He did have the children taken from him on charges of abuse, and he sat in jail. He was released. And they have NO PROOF of Clinton abusing those children, hence the reason he was never charged. Stephanie, did however, move to Kansas, make a idiot of herself and lost all chances for her to regain custody of those children. Clinton, though he is many things, but I believe a child abuser is not one of them… Especially when there was already PROOF that the children where showing signs of abuse while in Stephanie’s care.
    Clinton, though he denies the fact, is a little on the slower side, trusts easily, slow to react, tries to be “cool” is a genuinely kind man who makes many bad decisions, and has his priorities off kilter. I do know though that he is haunted by the murder of Kimberly and is genuinely and sincerely appologetic for his very small role he had in the horrific incident. It is easy to say what those kids, who were not actively involved could have and should have done. It’s another story when you are in that situation. I do not agree with how they handled it and not turning it into authorities immediately, or trying to find help but fear can make people do bad things.
    P.S. as sad as it may sound I think those twins were rewarded greatly by being adopted into a stable home environment, I hope and pray they are with a good family, either way I can assure you that they are in a far better environment than had ever been provided for them before.

  53. Really people? Clint and Stephanie? This post is about Kimberly. Not two people who should or should not have had kids. Stop disrespecting Kim’s memory and move your drama elsewhere. The comments on this post should be about what a wonderful girl Kim was. She was a brilliant light that was extinguished way too soon. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Show some respect.

  54. I must say that I feel as though you are all wrong! I write to Jessica at least once a week and I feel like she has come to terms with what she did and is truly sorry! Jessica is a victim in this as well. She is a victim of peer pressure had it been just her and Kimberly out there in those woods this would have never happened! Maybe all you judgemental people should try to remember being 17 and very naive! Did you stop and think that maybe she was afraid that if she didn’t do what the crowd wanted her to do that she would have died that night as well! Here recently she sustained an almost fatal injury in prison and saw her life flash before her own eyes! She has no friends except me and no family! God has taught us not to judge or we will be judge in the same way we judge others! Think before you say things!

  55. Wow! Reading the comment left by Tammy made me sick to my stomach. How do you defend a murderer of an innocent and sleep at night. I think I am just fine if God wants to judge me for judging an evil bitch. I am good with that and I can still sleep at night. Being 17 is no excuse. I remember being 17 very well and I wouldn’t have MURDERED someone because I was naive.

    Her being sorry doesn’t change what she did. And honestly I don’t believe nor do I care that she is sorry. She is sorry because she will live her life in a prison cell. Excuse me if I have no sympathy for that. She deserves where she is sitting for the rest of her life. If she didn’t want to spend her life in prison, she shouldn’t have taken someone’s life. I highly doubt you are going to find much sympathy for your “poor Jessica is a victim” cause. The fact that you even tried doesn’t say a lot about you. If it were your loved one she murdered, I doubt you would see things that way.

    And trust me I put plenty of thought into my words, however I can’t be so sure that you did the same. If you had, the words “Jessica is a victim in this as well,” never would have been spoken. How very very sad.

    • Jessagrl9 Where were you when Kimberly was killed? Were you in the field that night because unless you were then you don’t know what truly happened. If I am not mistaken it was Kimberly’s own cousin that started the whole Snitch thing and that bitch was given a lighter sentence along with everyone else top testify against Jessica. Jessica’s own grandmother even testified that Jessica wasn’t a violent person. She’s been a model Prisoner. Recently she almost died due to lack of proper safety equipment while working! Not that you care but the state of Pennsylvania is in the process of overturning Juvenile offenders receiving LWOP. Hell even Manson had the possibility of parole. Who are you to judge? I am a licensed psychiatrist and it has been proven that children 12-17 have no way of grasping consequences of their actions.

      • Tammy Bailey,

        Were YOU there in that field? If not, then you do not know either. And you are somewhat correct – Manson HAS the possibility of parole, but will never get it. And his original sentence (which was more appropriate) was death. If Jessica is truly remorseful, she has already apologized to the loved ones of her victim. Has this been done? Funny, other people who have been in prison with her have said exactly the opposite of what you have said. She has bragged about what she has done and is proud of herself.

        • I can tell you I wouldn’t apologize for something I didn’t do as well. I have read testimonies and plea agreements that the others got for pointing the finger at Jessi! I can tell you that I have been writing to Jessica for the, last 4 months and plan on visiting her. Do you have kids Jessagrl9? Probably not and thats why you can’t grasp the reality off unconditional love. And if Pennsylvania overturns the LWOP then Jessi will get out of jail. I am not quick to judge anyone because if you put someone else in the same situation they may deal with things the same way and peer pressureis a bitch!

          • Wow Tammy, you are some piece of work. I feel sorry for all of your patients. And yes I have three wonderful children. One of which I lost. So I know more than my share about unconditional love. But my children are young and already know more about right and wrong than you do.
            It amazes me that someone that does not judge a murderer would judge a person who thinks your justification of said murderer is disgusting. Bravo you should pat yourself on the back.
            And where was I that day? I was at home with my mother. It was mother’s day after all. However, I WAS friends with several of the people there. Notice the word was. I believe they should have all gotten charged and convicted of murder. They all took place in the events that led up to Kim’s death. They all helped cover it up. Had this not taken place in a small town, I’m sure they would have all been charged with far worse for their crimes. But there is nothing I can do to change that.
            Age is no excuse for what she did. Every person is responsible for their own actions regardless of their age, gender, race, whatever. People deal with peer pressure every day. They don’t all go out and murder someone. She made her choices, and she gets to live with them. It’s just too bad that she doesn’t have more company in the jail.
            If I were you I would be ashamed of defending someone like that. But hey that’s just me, I have a conscious.

  56. Tammy…WOW…Its not hard to realize 17! is an age where u know right from wrong! Peer pressure is a bitch?? Where u under peer pressure when u wrote ur dear sympathy for a KILLER!? That evil one deserves the punishment, as for u complaining about everyone elses punishment, I agree there, they all should get LIFE! Ps. I assure u, in PA, ur friend, the killer, will not ever step out side of prison. No court will ever say 17 and a killer should not be tried as an adult! U truely r a joke, I feel no remorse for ur killer friend at all! Ur killer friend will always Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death and Will Fear ALL Evil! AMEN!

  57. And how pathetic or low can u go and say, peer pressure is a reason to kill and not be punished!? WOW….
    PS. I have 2 children, and I know the true meaning of unconditional love! It does not mean u justify a killers behavior/actions! Maybe she shldve been the run to get help, OHHH wait…no she stayed behind to do the killing!
    Peer pressure at 17? Im more incline to believe everyone else, she/the killer was the bully!!! When u visit the killer, plz let the killer know, we, the majority , do not have no SYMPATHY for “IT”.

  58. There are over 400 children who have been convicted of Adult crimes in the state of Pennsylvania right now without the possibility of parole. That’s crazy. I never said that 17 year olds don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Children don’t have reasoning skills like adults do! Ican tell you I wasn’t out there in the field that night but I can tell you that I have read and read the case file and I truly believe that all of the people in that field that night were afraid of going to jail and one by one they all pointed their finger at Jessica because they didn’t want to go to jail so they signed sonething

    • Yes, that is crazy. Crazy that these teens (not necessarily “children”) knew right from wrong, yet chose to commit murder knowing that it could and would result in incarceration for the rest of their lives. No, personally I have no problem with LWOP for teens that commit murder. I knew at a young age that killing another human being was wrong. Those who get LWOP knowingly commit murder, planned before usually. I have no sympathy for them. And nor do I have sympathy for Jessica. She was the ringleader of this group. And that has been confirmed by people NOT involved in this heinous murder. Go ahead and defend her all you want, but NOT here. Here is a place to remember Kimberly, the victim. You know, the one you never mention. I know that all of your feelings and emotions are for Jessica and good for you. But go do it somewhere else.

      But let me ask you, would you have the courage (or stupidity) to go to Kimberly’s family and defend Jessica the way you do? If so, then you are a sociopath as well. Learn compassion for the victims, not the killers. When someone you love is murdered, are you going to defend the killer and forget your loved one??

      • You talk about Kimberly and yes I’m sorry that Kimberly isn’t here. It’s a tradgedy but it was Kimberly’s own parents who fought so that Jessi didnt get the death penalty. Yesterday, in Kentucky a man was released from prison after serving 14 years for a murder he didn’t commit. Back when the trial was going on the victims brother testified that he committed the crime. Now 14 years later it was the victims brother who recanted and helped this man to get released. All I am saying is when the crime is fresh and people are faced with going to jail or prison, sometimes they lie to keep themselves out of trouble but as they growup they tend to wanna right their wrongs. Maybe there are some people who didn’t tell the WHOLE story about Jessica just becsuse they didn’t like her or they had been snubbed by her. One day maybe the truthwill come forward!

    • What I was trying to say is that everyone of them got a deal for testifying against Jessica. I truly believe that Aaron Straw was abusive and had control over Jessica. We have been corresponding for about6 months and I have learned alot. She was working and got hurt on the job recently and now is having to recieve physical therapy because she almost lost her hand due to the laack of safety equipment given. Have any of you ever given her a chance? She is a very sweet girl who was abused and controlled. I’m not God nor a judge therefor I don’t pass judgement on anyone.

      • Tammy,

        Once again you talk about Jessica’s accident “on the job” and how horrible it is. Do you realize that millions of people NOT in prison get hurt, many seriously or even critically or fatally, every year and yet don’t have the money to take care of it? Jessica is getting free health care, free physical therapy for her injuries. Many do not get that privilege. But of course, this murderer is the one that matters, huh? You obviously believe that Jessica is not responsible for her own actions and should not even be in prison, but that is your opinion. She was convicted and has to pay the price for her actions. You obviously have the right to your beliefs, and others have their rights to their beliefs. But you still do not get that here, the victim – Kimberly, is the most important one. You barely even mention her in either of your 2 replies today! And that mention is linked with Jessica. Please learn compassion.

  59. Tracy Lewis is not Kimberlys cousin. I am engaged to her brother. That info. is false.

    • Emily,

      I have found that information in several places that state that Tracy Lewis, Kimberly’s cousin, was involved. Including Find-A-Grave.

      • It was her cousin. I went to school with tracy lewis who went to prison for this and she doesn’t have a brother. Emily must be confusing her with a different Tracy Lewis.

  60. Well yesterday I recieved a letter from Jessi and she was telling me that SCOTUS has made it unconstitutional to give juvenile offenders LWOP. She is truly scared to death at the possibilities of release. I must say I don’t blame her considering how judgemental people are.

  61. I, too was one of Jessica’s classmates and remember being in the library at the same time she was, before the murder. She was always very loud, very angry. I made a point to steer clear of her, because frankly, she frightened and intimidated me. I do not doubt she was the “ring-leader” during what happened in the gallows that night.
    Plenty of kids are raised in a less than ideal environment, and do not turn out to be killers. I think she was, is, and always will be evil and deserves to spend the rest of her miserable days incarcerated.
    …and physical therapy for a murderer? Wow. I vote to let her hand (or whatever was injured) shrivel up into a deformed claw that is as ugly as she is on the inside.

  62. I was born and raised in Clearfield. Kim was in my grade and we were in girl scouts together. Jessica was in my sisters grade but I didnt actually know her. Kim was a very nice young girl. I think of her and her family often. I went to her veiwing in Curwensville and I remember there was a stuffed animal on top the casket. Her mom gave me a hug. After things calmed down her mom had a support group and I was able to go with a family friend a few times. I had a button with Kims picture on it, I’m sure I still have it around somewhere. I knew a a few people involved with this. It was such a horrible time and no one in Clearfield will always remember it.

  63. […] Kimmy Dotts, Age 15………………………..May 10, 1998 […]

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