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Howard Witkin murder 3/22/1980 Santa Clara, CA *Ex-wife’s husband, Robert Howard Singer, convicted of his murder; Sentenced to LWOP*

remembering the victimsWitkin was shot to death on the evening of March 21, 1980, at his home in San Jose. Evidence from the crime scene showed that he was struck nine times in a hail of gunfire from a .22-caliber Marlin brand rifle at his front door. Bullet holes through the door suggested that he was first shot outside and then retreated behind the door, where he was hit by more rounds. An alert neighbor had earlier noticed two people in a faded gold, 1970’s model car with an out-of-state license plate (VNM 530) in the neighborhood.

Witkin, an executive at a Santa Clara glass and mirror factory, had been married to Judith Singer (defendant’s wife at the time of the killing), but the union, which produced three children, ended in divorce. At the time of the killing, Judith was married to defendant and had moved with him and the children to Flint, Michigan, where defendant that past December opened a soup-and-sandwich place called the Onion Crock Restaurant, in the Genessee Valley Mall.

Richard Powell, a security guard at the mall who had gotten to know defendant, testified that in late January or early February (all dates are in 1980 unless noted otherwise), defendant asked him if he knew someone who did “contracts,” explaining that his ex-wife was “soaking” him for money and that he would like to kill her. He seemed serious, asking again a couple weeks later, and apparently wanted the contract executed in California. Powell said he was not looking for anyone.

Kevin McCarthy, general manager at the Onion Crock, helped defendant open the restaurant and did all of the hiring and firing. He testified that in late February to early March defendant asked him where he could find a “hit man,” someone who could “waste another person.” McCarthy did not know what to say but did not turn him down. A couple days later, defendant had McCarthy accompany him to a local night club, the Aladden, where McCarthy knew the manager. Defendant told McCarthy to ask the manager where they could get a hit man. McCarthy obliged. Upon returning with apparently disappointing news, defendant said, “Let’s go,” and [226 Cal. App. 3d 29] they left. Then, a day or two later, defendant began pressuring him to help get a hit man. He mentioned money-as much as $10,000 to $25,000. McCarthy told him he would “take a wild chance and make a phone call.” He tried to call a friend in Detroit (who was not a hit man) but could not reach him. McCarthy was concerned for his job and so was trying to “humor” defendant, who appeared serious. He told him on a later occasion that he had gone back to the Aladden “to check again,” but in fact he had not gone for that reason.

One of the people hired by McCarthy was Gary Oliver, who started as a busboy and quickly worked his way up to cook. Defendant kept telling McCarthy “from day to day that he had to get that problem solved” and seemed obsessed with the idea. Eventually, though, he quit bringing it up. Then, on returning to work after taking St. Patrick’s Day (the 17th) off, McCarthy was surprised to learn from defendant that he had personally fired Oliver. (This was odd because McCarthy did all the hiring and firing.) That same month, sometime before defendant and his wife were to leave on a planned trip to California, McCarthy overheard defendant talking on the phone to someone about buying a low-priced car. Defendant and his wife left for California on learning that Witkin had died. While they were gone, McCarthy saw Oliver at the restaurant. Oliver was tanned, had money and nice clothes, and said he had been to California, where his car had blown up and had to be deserted. Defendant telephoned from California and, in the course of a conversation, said “that his problem had been taken care of.” McCarthy went to Michigan state police with his suspicions on April 1st.

Oliver, who had not testified at the first trial, testified at the second. Midway through the People’s case, he entered a plea to solicitation of murder (§ 653f), with a maximum sentence of six years expected, and agreed to testify. He recounted that defendant asked him in March if he would be interested in making $10,000 for killing someone for him. He kept “pestering” Oliver, who refused at first, and eventually gave him a slip of paper with Howard Witkin’s name and address on it.

Oliver in turn solicited Andrew Granger, saying he was getting $5,000 and would give him half. Furnished with money by defendant, they bought a shotgun for $300 and a 1970 or 1971 gold Chevrolet Malibu (license plate VNM 530) for $450. They registered the car in the name of Dennis Liquia, a friend who accompanied them there, and promised to give him the car when they were through with it. (Liquia testified to the sale and arrangement, and a Michigan sales clerk testified to Granger’s purchase of a 12-gauge shotgun.) The car ultimately had to be abandoned in San Jose, but Granger and Oliver brought back the license plates and gave them to Liquia. [226 Cal. App. 3d 30]

Oliver and Granger drove to California with the newly bought shotgun and a .22-caliber gun which Granger had. They reached San Jose on Thursday, March 20 and drove around Witkin’s home to stake it out that night. The car broke down the next day, and Oliver had Granger place a long-distance call to ask defendant for more money. Defendant spoke with Oliver and told him they would get no money until the job was done. While stranded there, they met Tom Maciolek and Maciolek’s girlfriend Heather. They stayed with them that night (Friday the 21st), explaining their plans.

Maciolek gave them a ride to Witkin’s house that night. They dropped Granger off near the house and parked. Granger returned saying he thought he had done it. He related ringing the doorbell, shooting Witkin when he emerged and then, when Witkin went back in and slammed the door shut, shooting through the door, trying the door and finding it locked.

The next morning, Oliver and Granger called defendant from a phone booth. Defendant asked Oliver if he did it, and Oliver said he thought so. Granger asked for money to get home, and defendant sent a Western Union Moneygram the next day. They left the shotgun with Maciolek and returned to Michigan by bus. After they got back, defendant called Oliver from California to congratulate him and said he would “take care of” (meaning pay) him when he got back. Defendant thereafter sent Oliver $500 a week, part of which Oliver gave to Granger. (Western Union employees and records verified that a “Stewart Granger” in Flint, Michigan wired $600 to Andrew Granger in San Jose on March 22. Public records did not show a Stewart Granger living at the address given by the sender.)

Granger did not testify live. When called to the stand, he invoked his privilege against self-incrimination, apparently because his appeal was pending in this court, and was ruled unavailable. His testimony from the first trial was read into evidence.

Granger’s account closely tracked Oliver’s except that Granger was kept in the dark about the target of the enterprise until he and Oliver reached California. Until then, Oliver had said that they were after a dope dealer who sold to kids. Once across the California border, Oliver showed Granger pictures of Witkin and a piece of paper with Witkin’s name and address on it. Also, Granger had no direct contact with defendant until he spoke with him on the phone just before the murder, after the car broke down in San Jose. Granger came to know that the one hiring them (referred to as “Bob” or “Mr. Big”) was Oliver’s boss in Michigan and that the victim was the boss’s wife’s ex-husband. “Bob” told him on the phone, after the murder, that he would send the money in Granger’s name so that there would be no record of his employee Oliver being in San Jose. Granger used a .22-caliber [226 Cal. App. 3d 31] Marlin-Glenfield rifle which he brought along as a backup to the shotgun they bought.

Killer Says Lawyer Had Sex With Wife, Asks New Trial
Attorney says his impotency made alleged affair impossible
People of California v Robert Howard Singer 1990
Lawyer’s Affair Wins Man a New Trial

Unusual Suspects: Kill Now Pay Later

Robert Howard Singer – convicted, sentenced to 25 years to life; released in 2004
Judi Singer – convicted, sentenced to LWOP
Andrew Lee Granger – convicted,


CDCR#: C36469
Age: 56
Admission Date: 10/01/1981
Current Location: Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility
Main Phone: (619) 661-6500
Physical Address:
480 Alta Road, San Diego, CA 92179


Update: Hruby Family murders *Alan Hruby pled guilty to 3 counts of first degree murder; Sentenced to three consecutuve terms of LWOP*

dv awareness

Hruby Family

John Hruby, 50
Tinker Hruby, 48
Katherine Hruby, 17

Murder In The Family: Alan Hruby charged with killing his father, mother and sister after he confesses to their murders
20-year-old pleads guilty to killing parents, sister; faces 3 life sentences
Duncan man pleads guilty to murdering family, receives life sentences
Alan Hruby Pleads Guilty To Killing His Parents, Sister
Oklahoma Man Pleads Guilty to Killing His Family
LIFE: Alan Hruby pleads guilty to triple murder of parents, sister; set to spend 3 life terms behind bars without parole

Alan Hruby

Murder In The Family: Bonnie Harkey “The Pecan Queen” and her caretaker, Karen Johnson, were murdered for her money; Her stepson, Bruce Harkey, and several others were convicted of her murder


Bonnie Harkey and Karen Johnson
Bonnie Harkey and Karen Johnson

Find-A-Grave: Bonnie Katherine Sawyer Harkey
Bruce Harkey on Trial for Capital Murder
Woman Kidnapped, Buried Alive, Was Victim Of Murder- For-Hire-Plot
Co-conspirators are sentenced in San Saba County double-murder
A Tree Is Known By Its Fruit
The death of the ‘Pecan Queen’
Bonnie Harkey, Texas Pecan Queen, Killed By Grandson
Man gets life in prison in ‘Pecan Queen’s’ death
‘Pecan Queen’s’ grandson gets life in prison for her death

Dateline: Queen of the County
Blood Relatives: No Bones About It

Bruce Harkey – convicted, sentenced to LWOP
Carl Pressley – convicted, sentenced to LWOP
Lillian King – convicted, sentenced to 45 years in prison



SID Number: 04505208
TDCJ Number: 01924278
Race: W
Gender: M
DOB: 1952-04-09
Maximum Sentence Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
Current Facility: POLUNSKY
Projected Release Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
Parole Eligibility Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE

HarkeyBruce info



SID Number: 04819668
TDCJ Number: 01925562
Race: W
Gender: M
DOB: 1983-09-06
Maximum Sentence Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
Current Facility: TELFORD
Projected Release Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
Parole Eligibility Date: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE

Offense History:
Offense Date: 2012-03-25
Sentence Date: 2014-05-15
County: SAN SABA
Case No.: 5729
Sentence: 5555-55-55 (LWOP)


Lillian King

SID Number: 50031973
TDCJ Number: 01925495
Race: W Gender: F
DOB: 1986-10-11
Maximum Sentence Date: 2057-03-26
Current Facility: HILLTOP
Projected Release Date: 2057-03-26
Parole Eligibility Date: 2034-09-25
Next Parole Review Date: 09/25/2034

Offense History:
Offense Date: 2012-03-25
Offense: MURDER
Sentence Date: 2014-05-15
County: SAN SABA
Case No.: 5755
Sentence (YY-MM-DD): 45–00-00

Deadly Duo: Monique Kitts and Karl Michael Howard killed Monique’s husband, Corey Kitts, for the insurance money; They are now sentenced to LWOP


Corey Kitts
Corey Kitts

Corey Carl Kitts obituary
Victim identified in homicide
Addis continues murder investigation
Pair sought in 2010 West Baton Rouge murder
Third suspect in 2010 Addis murder arrestedMurdered man’s wife and 2 others indicted by grand jury
Assistant D.A.: ‘Monique Kitts, you are guilty of killing your husband’
District attorney: Monique Kitts’ motive in killing husband Corey Kitts was $549,000 life insurance
Accusations of infidelity aired out in day 2 of murder-for-hire trial
Star witness in murder-for-hire trial: ‘I knew they wanted someone dead at that house’
Jury finds Monique Kitts, Karl Howard guilty in murder-for-hire case
Monique Kitts cries out after hearing guilty verdict in murder of husband
Monique Kitts sentenced to life in prison for her role in the ‘murder for hire’ plot to kill her husband

Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall: For Better, Or for Murder

Monique Kitts – convicted, sentenced to LWOP
Karl Michael Howard – convicted, sentenced to LWOP
Corey Knox – getaway driver, co-operated, pled guilty, sentenced to time served

Corey Knox
Corey Knox


Monique Kitts

Offender Name: MONIQUE O KITTS
Offender ID:633804
Date of Birth:04/27/1969
Age: 46
Race: African American
Gender: Female
Custody Status: In Custody
Location of Offender:Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women


Karl Howard

Offender Name: KARL M HOWARD
Offender ID:633805
Date of Birth:12/01/1983
Age: 31
Race: African American
Gender: Male
Custody Status: In Custody
Location of Offender:Louisiana State Penitentiary

Deadly Duo: Heather L. Horst and Aaron W. Allen charged with killing Heather’s husband, Staff Sgt. Brandon Horst

Brandon James Horst
Staff Sgt. Brandon James Horst

St. Paul police investigating man’s death
2 Indicted In Sgt.’s Murder, Including Victim’s Wife
2 charged in fatal shooting of Minn. National Guard sergeant
Wife and her friend charged with murder in shooting of St. Paul National Guardsman
Heather Horst, wife of Minn. National Guardsman, charged in his murder
St. Paul wife, alleged accomplice accused of plot to murder Guardsman
Wife, friend charged in Minn. guardsman’s killing

Heather Horst and Aaron Allen

Heather Leann Horst
Aaron William Allen

This Day in History: Kitty and Jose Menendez murder 8/20/1989 Beverly Hills, CA *Sons, Lyle and Erik Menendez, were convicted, sentenced to LWOP*

Jose and Kitty Menendez

Find-a-Death Kitty Menendez
Find-a-Grave Jose Menendez
The History Channel
Menendez brothers face possible death penalty
Menendez brothers convicted in parents’ murder 16 years ago
The home where the murders occurred
CrimeLibrary: The Menendez Brothers
The Mendendez Brothers
Jose Menendez IMDb profile
Wikipedia: Lyle and Erik Menendez

Blood Brothers: The Inside Story of the Menendez Murders
They Said We’d Never Make It
The Private Diary of Lyle Menendez: In His Own Words!
Bad Blood: The Shocking True Story Behind the Menendez Killings

History’s Mysteries: Infamous Murders: Inheritance Killers
Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills
Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Murders
Biography: Mrs. Menendez

Menendez home 722 Elm Drive Beverly Hills, CA

Joseph Lyle Menendez – convicted, sentenced to LWOP
Erik Galen Menendez – convicted, sentenced to LWOP


Lyle Menendez

CDC#: K13758
Age: 45
Admission Date: 07/03/1996
Current Location: Mule Creek
4001 Highway 104
Ione, CA 95640
(209) 274-4911


Erik Menendez

CDCR#: K14101
Age: 43
Admission Date: 07/03/1996
Current Location: RJ Donovan
480 Alta Road
San Diego, CA 92179
(619) 661-6500

Caren Courtney Koslow murder 3/12/1992 Fort Worth, TX *Stepdaughter, Kristi Koslow, gets 2 friends, Jeffrey Dillingham & Brian Salter, to murder her parents; father, Jack Koslow survives*

dv awareness

Caren Koslow

Appeals court declines to hear Kristi Koslow’s appeal
Jeffrey Dillingham #669
Pro Death Penalty
Texas Execution Center Execution Report: Jeffrey Dillingham
Inheritance scheme participant executed
Murder in Ritzy Neighborhood Plays Like Classic Mystery Novel
Significant Cases
Murderpedia: Jeffrey Dillingham
Murder of Caren Koslow
Stepdaughter accused in murder of socialite left nothing in will

Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice: Koslow
Behind Mansion Walls: Rich Kids

Kristi Koslow [stepdaughter] convicted; life sentence; eligible for parole after 27 years
Jeffrey Dillingham – convicted; executed Nov. 2000
Brian Salter – convicted; life sentence; eligible for parole after 27 years

Jeffrey Dillingham

Kristi Anne Koslow – convicted, sentenced to life in prison, eligible for parole in 2027
Brian Dennis Salter – pled guilty, sentenced to life in prison, eligible for parole in 2027
Jeffrey Dillingham – convicted, sentenced to death; executed 11/1/200=


SID Number: 04702187
TDCJ Number: 00677795
Race: W
Gender: F
DOB: 1975-02-14
Maximum Sentence Date: LIFE SENTENCE
Current Facility: HOBBY
Projected Release Date: LIFE SENTENCE
Parole Eligibility Date: 2027-03-27

Offense History:
Offense Date: 1992-03-12
Sentence Date: 1994-06-30
Case No.: 0522275AR
Sentence (YY-MM-DD): 9999-99-99


SID Number: 04690371
TDCJ Number: 00678090
Race: W
Gender: M
DOB: 1972-04-30
Maximum Sentence Date: LIFE SENTENCE
Current Facility: ALFRED HUGHES
Projected Release Date: LIFE SENTENCE
Parole Eligibility Date: 2027-03-24

Offense History:
Offense Date: 1992-03-12
Sentence Date: 1994-07-12
Case No.: 0522362AR
Sentence (YY-MM-DD): 9999-99-99

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