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  • This Day in Crime History

    July 11: 2000: Sandra Tester, 25, was strangled to death and then her mobile home set on fire in Charlotte, NC. Her husband, Jimmy Tester, pled guilty and was sentenced to 12-15 years in prison. He was released on parole 6/8/2013 and ended parole on 3/5/2014.

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    Please remember when leaving a comment on my blog that all comments are subject to the blog owners discretion. I do believe in freedom of speech, however, that right is not absolute. Here are the rules: 1 - Please remember the victim(s) first and foremost. Do not come here to comment only on the offender(s). My blog focuses on the victim(s). Do not glorify the killer(s). No negative comments about the victim. NO VICTIM BLAMING. 2 - I will not tolerate hate filled speech, vulgar or derogatory remarks about a victim. I will remove comments that go against this. I will not remove comments just because they do not match my beliefs, in fact, I welcome them! However, that being said, I will remove those that I find offensive, argumentative just for the sake of starting an argument that does not add to the post, hate-filled speech, etc. 3-No comments in ALL CAPS, or CoMeNtS. They are rude and difficult to read. I have had many complaints about it so no more. 4-Comments must be in English only and easy to read (meaning no text language, shortening words, etc.). Have respect for those who don't do text messaging or other lingo. 5 - ALL COMMENTS LEFT BY COMMENTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND THEIR OPINIONS. THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE FACTS. NOR IS THE BLOG OWNER RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE'S OPINIONS OR FEELINGS. STATEMENTS MADE AS COMMENTS ARE OPINIONS, GIVEN FREELY BY THE COMMENTORS. If you have a question or problem with this, please feel free to email me (there is a link to my email above).

Update: Melissa Shook murder *Estranged husband Joseph Shook arrested for Melissa’s murder; held on no bail*

Unfortunately, I was not surprised to see this turn of events. It seems like lately every time a woman goes missing (and many times she is pregnant, although not in this case), it turns out to be her husband/boyfriend/ex-husband. It is normal and reasonable to look at the spouse/partner of the missing or murdered victim for these crimes, but many times the police are able to clear them right away.

However, in this case, that is not the case. This case has been firmly built on forensics. They were able to find duct tape, rope and a shovel. They were able to trace the sale back to the suspect, including being ID’d by the salesperson who sold the items. Plus he admitted seeing her right before she “disappeared”.

Investigators say they focused on Joseph Shook’s home in Alva on July 30 and found two rolls of duct tape, a bundle of rope, and a red handled shovel.Each was collected as evidence.

The end of one the rolls of duct tape was forensically compared with the duct tape recovered from Melissa’s body.

Investigators determined both pieces of tape had been a single piece at one time.

People need to learn that DIVORCE is far cheaper than murder and much more socially acceptable. If Joseph Shook really did kill Melissa, then he has just ruined the lives of so many people, including his children. They are now basically left as orphans. What a fine father there.

News Archive: Melissa Shook murder
Husband charged in murder of Melissa Shook
Man held without bond for estranged wife’s murder
Melissa’s Family Statement
Melissa Shook’s father calls man arrested in daughter’s death “a monster
Husband charged in woman’s slaying
Melissa Shook’s husband charged with killing her
Documents detail Melissa Shook’s shallow grave
Gruesome details of Shook murder revealed


Joseph Shook

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5 Responses

  1. Melissa’s family and the Lee County public in general should strongly pressure the Lee County’s Prosecutor’s Office to charge this man with first degree murder. There is clearly enough evidence for such a charge. If he is only convicted of second degree murder, he will probably spend less than 10 years in prison. The average time spent in jail for a second degree murder conviction in the state of Florida is less than 10 years ( even if the actual sentence is much more than that). I’m positive that this is not what her family would want. God help them if the Prosecutor’s Office lets him plea to a lesser crime than second degree murder. Unfortunately, the fight is only just beginning for Melissa’s family, and I pray that God gives them the strength to endure it.

  2. Thank you for the advise and I will be seeking 1st degree withthe death pently. Gary

  3. Gary,

    You’re welcome. You are not alone. My family had its own similar experience w/ the Lee County’s Prosecutor’s Office, the press, and the parole boards through the ’80s and ’90s. I know that you are going through an incredible amount of stress right now. Please know that I think of you and your family often. Melissa was a wonderful girl that every parent could be proud of.

    J–

  4. Gary,
    I do not know you or your family, I did attend a benefit a year or so ago in San Carlos, my prayer are with all of you, and I hope he gets what is do him for what he did to Melissa. Lets just hope they can get him into court before to much more time passes, he should have already been tried, convicted, and sentence to death.

  5. Any update on this? This case is at the two year mark and I can not find where this has gone to trial yet. My thoughts and prayers are with the Esckilsen family and the Shook children.

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