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  • Khalid Jabara

  • This Day in Crime History

    August 12: 2016: Khalid Jabara was shot to death as he was getting his mail in his Tulsa, OK home. His next door neighbor, Stanley Vernon Majors, who continually harassed the family, was convicted and sentenced to LWOP.

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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).
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Psycho For Love: Steven Vargas killed his wife, Rebecca; Convicted, sentenced to 5 years to life; Up for parole now

From Vargas’ appeal: In January 1994, Steven and Rebecca Vargas married each other for the second time.   Less than a month into the second marriage, Vargas was eating lunch at an Ogden restaurant with his aunt, Vicki Pubela.   Pubela noted her pleasure at seeing the couple back together and asked him what he would do if his marriage failed again.   Vargas told her he “would kill Rebecca first.”   Pubela then replied that he did not really mean that, to which he responded, “Oh, yes, I do.”

Similarly, about eight months later, the Vargases had a fight at the North East Flagging Company, where the couple worked.   Immediately afterward, Steven Vargas told several witnesses, “If she ever leaves me again, I’ll kill her.”   Finally, in October of 1995, Steven Vargas and Gary Heward, a deputy Weber county attorney were discussing the O.J. Simpson murder trial, when Vargas stated, “If a black man can do that and get away with it, so can a Mexican.”

A month before Vargas’s conversation with Heward, Rebecca Vargas told Melinda McClain, Steven Vargas’s youngest sister, that she was considering leaving her husband.   Two months later, in November 1995, the couple told the Vargas family that they were divorcing.

On December 22, 1995, Robert Escobel, Steven Vargas’s half-brother, called Steven Vargas to arrange a visit.   During the conversation, “out of the blue,” Vargas asked Escobel if he would kill his wife:  “All you gotta do is, I’ll fly you down here, you can hit her over the head with a bat a couple of times.   She’s so small, she’ll die.   I’ll fly you right back.   You’ll be in and out in a few hours.”   Escobel refused, and his brother responded, “If you don’t do it, I’ve got something else in the works.”

Rebecca Vargas met with McClain three days later, on Christmas, at a local bowling alley and bar, Ben Lomond Lanes, for drinks.   The two were joined by Monty Vorwaller, a police officer whom Rebecca Vargas was dating.   Rebecca Vargas told McClain that in three days (December 28) she would be moving out of the trailer house in which she was then living with her husband and Mike Reid, his nephew, and into an apartment.

On December 27, Rebecca Vargas called Vorwaller and told him she was moving that day.   Around noon, Reid helped her load some cleaning supplies into her Jeep. She then drove to her new apartment, which was one of three apartments she and her husband maintained and managed.   After cleaning there for several hours, she returned to the trailer house, and Reid drove the Jeep to work.

After working until about 5:00 p.m. on that same day, Steven Vargas went to the Sand Trap, a private club, and then to Ben Lomond Lanes, where he talked with Garrett Bell and told him he was breaking up with his wife.   At about 6:15, Steven Vargas went home.   Before leaving, he told Bell he would be back at around 7:30 that evening to meet a woman;  however, he did not return.

At about 6:30 p.m., the Vargases and their two children ate dinner at a buffet restaurant in Ogden.   From this point until about 10:30 that evening, there are two versions of events.1  According to Steven Vargas, after eating dinner, the family went to a theater and watched the movie “Toy Story.”   At 9:00 p.m., they went to another restaurant to get drinks and returned home at about 9:30 p.m. At this time, Rebecca Vargas left to go check on her apartment.

However, the State contends that between 6:30 and 7:00 that evening, Steven Vargas’s nephew, Ryan Hawley, arrived at the trailer house to babysit the couple’s two children so that they could go out for the evening.2  Because Reid had driven the Jeep to work, the Vargases left in their other vehicle, an Oldsmobile.   At trial, the State theorized that sometime that evening between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., Steven Vargas attacked and seriously wounded his wife outside her new apartment, then left her for dead.   Afterward, he returned to the trailer house alone, arriving at about 10:00 p.m. He told Hawley that his wife had gone to make some minor repairs at her apartment.   Hawley left shortly afterward.

Both sides agree that at about 10:30 p.m., Steven Vargas telephoned Melinda McClain, asking if Rebecca Vargas was with her.   On learning that she was not there, Vargas asked McClain to check on her at the apartment, explaining he was unable to do so himself because Reid had taken the Jeep to work and his wife had taken the Oldsmobile to the apartment.   McClain agreed to go to the apartment.

At about 11:00 p.m., Melinda McClain and her husband David arrived at the Vargases’ trailer house.   Reid had just returned with the Jeep, as well.   The McClains told Steven Vargas that they had driven by the apartment and had seen the Oldsmobile parked out front. After talking for about forty-five minutes, the McClains prepared to leave, telling Steven Vargas they would drive by Ben Lomond Lanes to see if Rebecca Vargas had gone there, and, if they did not see her car there, they would again drive by the apartment.

Not finding the Oldsmobile at the bowling alley, Melinda and David McClain returned to the apartment.   They parked behind the Oldsmobile, which was still there, and knocked on the apartment door. When nobody answered, Melinda McClain began to walk around the building.   Before getting all the way around the building, however, she heard moaning.   She brought her husband to the northeast corner of the porch to listen.   In addition to the moaning, they also heard a low, calm, indiscernible, masculine voice.3  Melinda McClain also thought she saw somebody crouched over in the bushes;  however, her husband believed she was simply imagining things.   Based on what they heard, the McClains concluded Rebecca Vargas was having sexual relations with someone.   It was now about 12:30 a.m. The McClains left, went to a nearby convenience store, and called Steven Vargas, telling him his wife was at the apartment and “it sounded like she was having sex with someone.”   Vargas told them to “let her have her fun” and go home.

Instead of going home, the McClains returned to the apartment for the third time that night.   This time they heard nothing.   They went to Ben Lomond Lanes and then returned, once more, to the apartment.   It was now about 1:00 a.m. As the McClains approached the apartment, they discovered the Vargases’ Jeep parked next to the Oldsmobile.   They drove to an adjacent street and waited. Shortly afterward, Steven Vargas walked out from the east side of the apartment building wearing his robe and shaking his head.   As he approached the Jeep, he ducked down and appeared to wipe something off himself.   The McClains drove away without confronting him, but he saw the couple stopped at a nearby intersection.   Vargas pulled over in the Jeep, and the McClains got out of their car to speak with him.   He stated that he did not want his wife to think he was spying on her and asked them to not “tell anybody I was here.”   As they parted, he reiterated, “Don’t tell anybody I was here, and whatever happens, don’t tell anybody I was here.”   The McClains again returned to the apartment, for the fifth time that night, but heard nothing and went home.

At about 6:00 that morning, Vargas called the McClains and once more asked them to check on his wife.   Melinda McClain told him to call the police and ask them to go to the apartment.   He did so, but the police refused to send anyone over because Vargas said he had no reason to believe Rebecca was in danger.   He again called the McClains and they went to the apartment.

Melinda McClain knocked on the door and, after getting no response, entered the apartment.   She did not find Rebecca Vargas inside.   She then began searching outside the building.   As she came around the east side of the building, she found Rebecca Vargas’s body lying on the ground.   Rebecca Vargas was lying on her back.   Her sweatshirt and bra had both been pulled up to her chin, exposing her chest and abdomen.   The temperature that morning was about 20 degrees, and Rebecca Vargas’s hair, face, and clothes were covered with frozen blood.   There was a pool of blood by her head and a larger pool at her feet.   Nearby was a battery-operated lantern, a set of keys, and a cigarette lighter.   The lantern was covered in her blood and a clump of her hair.   Later investigation revealed that Steven Vargas owned a similar lantern;  however, it could not be found at his trailer house after the murder.   Steven Vargas’s fingerprints were identified on the lantern’s battery.

Rebecca Vargas died from repeated blows to the top of her head, which extensively fractured her skull and resulted in swelling of the brain and loss of blood, as well as hypothermia.   Some of the blows were inflicted while she was either standing or sitting upright.   These injuries were located toward the back half of the top of the skull, and the weapon that inflicted these injuries was not found.   The more serious injuries, however, were located toward the front of the skull and were inflicted while she was lying on the ground or pressed against a stationary object, such as a wall.   Dr. Maureen Frikke, a forensic pathologist and the State’s expert witness, testified that these injuries could have come from the lantern found at the scene.   Dr. Frikke could not determine whether the injuries were all inflicted in one attack or in two separate attacks, as the State contended at trial.4

Dr. Frikke concluded that Rebecca Vargas likely survived for several hours after the initial attack and was lying on her stomach for some time.   She was discovered lying on her back, however, and the pool of blood at her feet was several feet away from any of her injuries at the time she was discovered.   Thus, someone had moved her body after the initial attack but before Melinda McClain discovered it.   Again, at trial, the State contended that this occurred when Vargas returned to the scene of the crime at about 1:00 a.m. Additionally, Dr. Frikke found that some of the injuries to Rebecca Vargas’s face occurred after her death.

Shortly after the discovery of the body, the McClains went to the Ogden police station.   At about 8:30 that same morning, Steven Vargas also went to the police station, explaining that he was there to pay traffic tickets and fees for expired license tags for the McClains.   Upon Vargas’s arrival, Officer Scott McGregor told him that he needed to talk to him.   Vargas agreed to answer questions, but was not informed of his wife’s death.

For six hours, the police intermittently, but extensively, questioned him about his whereabouts the previous night and his relationship with Rebecca Vargas.   He never asked about his wife or why he was being questioned, although he was read his rights and asked how to contact Rebecca’s family.   Vargas confirmed that he had driven by the apartment the previous night, but asserted that he had remained in his car and not stopped.   Later, however, he stated that he did get out of the car and went around to the east side of the building.

A subsequent search of the trailer house and Jeep revealed that the clothes Steven Vargas wore to the apartment the night before had been cleaned.   Additionally, in the Jeep, police noted that the driver’s side floor mat was “unusually free of leaves and cleaner than the rest of the jeep’s floor areas, including the other floor mats.”   Nevertheless, the police found leaf fragments under the driver’s side floor mat.   On one of the fragments, they found blood that matched Rebecca’s DNA.

Steven Vargas was later arrested and held in the county jail.   While there, two inmates alleged that he confessed to the killing.   Don Baize was in jail on a charge of attempted murder.   Following a conversation with Vargas, Baize asked his probation officer to talk to prosecutors about a plea bargain in exchange for information.   The State agreed, and Baize gave a statement that Vargas had told him, “I knew Becky was going to leave, she was seeing someone else, it drove me crazy, and that is why I killed the f* * *ing bitch, I beat the f* * * out of the bitch.”   The other inmate, Jeff Combe, was a previous acquaintance of Vargas’s and was in jail on forgery charges.   According to Combe, Vargas confessed the killing to him to “get it off his chest.”   He allegedly told Combe that “I won’t put up with her leaving me for a cop [i.e., Vorwaller].   I warned her if you ever leave me again I will kill you.”

A jury convicted Vargas of murder, and he appeals.

Ogden man arrested in wife’s bludgeoning death
Vargas found guilty of 1st-degree murder in December 1995 beating death of wife
Man seeking parole in wife’s death says he killed her
Man gets 5-to-life term for killing his wife a year ago
Stephen Vargas admits to killing wife years after her beating death in 1995
Next parole hearing for Ogden killer Stephen Vargas set for 2026
State of Utah v Stephen 2001 (conviction and sentence affirmed)

Movies/Documentaries
American Monster: Backyard Daddy

INMATE INFORMATION

Offender Number: 121479
Offender Name: STEPHEN ELLIARD VARGAS
DOB: Tue, 6 Sep 1955
Height: 5 Feet 9 Inches
Weight: 230
Sex: M
Location: UTAH STATE PRISON
Housing Facility: WASATCH
Parole Hearing:
Aliases:
LEFT FIELD
STEPHEN ELLIARD VARGAS

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Monsters Among Us: Bruman Stalin Alvarez savagely killed his boss, Mark Richard Aldridge, and then 4 members of the Goff family; Sentenced to 6 consecutive terms of LWOP


The Goff family, from left: Andrea, Scott, Irma, David, Alyse and Sheri

Victims
Dr. David Marc Goff, 46
Andrea Robyn Goff, 22
Sheri Helene Goff, 19
Alyse Renee Goff, 14
Mark Richard Aldridge, 30 (no picture)

Find-A-Grave: Dr. David Marc Goff
Find-A-Grave: Andrea Robyn Goff
Find-A-Grave: Sheri Helene Goff
Find-A-Grave: Alyse Renee Goff
5 found slain in D.C. suburb
Five bodies found in upscale suburb, laborer held
Painter held in bloodbath; Doc, 4 others slaughtered
2,000 mourn a family’s loss
Handyman is charged in slayings of 4 Potomac family members, painter
Court papers outline slayings in Potomac
For Potomac family, the unspeakable came home
Painter pleads guilty, gets life in 5 slayings at Potomac home
Killer asks for a new trial in 1995 Bethesda murders
How the Goffs Moved On
Wife, Mother of Goff Murder Victims Talks About the Killer

INMATE INFORMATION

Last Name: ALVAREZ
First Name: BRUMAN
Middle Name: S
Date of Birth: 04/09/1975
DOC ID: 257455
Holding Facility: Western Correctional Institution

The Jenny Jones Show murder: Jonathan Tyler Schmitz shot & killed Scott Bernard Amedure after he announced that he had a crush on Jonathan on The Jenny Jones Show and Schmitz felt humiliated; Being released from prison 8/21/2017


Scott Amedure

Find-A-Grave: Scott Bernard Amedure
Talk-Show Guest Is Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder
‘Jenny Jones’ talk-show killer gets 25-50 years
Jenny Jones defends her show in lawsuit
Sword and Scale: The Talk Show Murderer
‘Jenny Jones’ killer, Jonathan Schmitz, to be released from prison
‘Jenny Jones’ killer to be released from prison
Findadeath: Scott Amedure
Online Exhibits: Scott Amedure
Murderpedia: Jonathan Schmitz
Murder of Scott Amedure

Movies/Documentaries
The Jenny Jones Show

INMATE INFORMATION

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
MDOC Number: 253222
SID Number: 1791696W
Name: JONATHAN TYLER SCHMITZ
Racial Identification: White
Gender: Male
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Green
Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: 160 lbs.
Date of Birth: 07/18/1970 (47)

MDOC STATUS
Current Status: Prisoner
Earliest Release Date: 08/21/2017
Assigned Location: Parnall Correctional Facility
Maximum Discharge Date: 12/17/2037
Security Level: I

ALIASES
None

MARKS, SCARS & TATTOOS
Tattoo- Upper Left Shoulder – harley davidson

PRISON SENTENCES
ACTIVE
Sentence 1

Offense: Homicide – Murder, Second Degree
Minimum Sentence: 25 years 0 months 0 days
MCL#: 750.317 Maximum Sentence: 50 years 0 months
Court File#: 95138448-FC
Date of Offense: 03/09/1995
County: Oakland
Date of Sentence: 09/14/1999
Conviction Type: Jury

Sentence 2
Offense: Weapons – Felony Firearms
Minimum Sentence: 2 years 0 months 0 days
MCL#: 750.227BA Maximum Sentence: 2 years 0 months
Court File#: 95138448-FC
Date of Offense: 03/09/1995
County: Oakland
Date of Sentence: 09/14/1999
Conviction Type: Jury

Monsters Among Us: Convicted sex offender, Danny Ross Giles, raped and killed Patti Berry; Sentenced to 47.5 years in prison; Also linked to Tracey Brazzel disappearance – are there any others?

Victims
Patti Berry, 26 [7/31/1995]
Tracey Elizabeth Brazzel, 22 [5/27/1995 Everett, WA]

Rapist, murder suspect near release may be confined
Arrest Made in Two 17 year-old Cold Cases
Major Break in 2 South Everett Cold Case Murders – Patti Berry and Tracey Brazzel
Sex offender charged in 2 Everett killings from 1995
Sex offender arrested in 1995 Snohomish County killings
Man arrested in 1995 cold case murders
Man convicted in 1995 Wash. murder
Man convicted in 1995 Wash. murder
Serial sex offender sentenced to 47.5 years for ‘brutal, savage’ murder
Man convicted of murder denied new trial in 1995 death
Washington Supreme Court won’t review 1995 murder of Everett mother
State of Washington v Daniel Ross Giles 2016 (affirmed conviction and sentenced)
CharleyProject: Tracey Elizabeth Brazzel
Judge affirms murder charge in 1995 disappearance
WA – Tracey Brazzel, 22, Mill Creek, 26 May 1995

Movies/Documentaries
On the Case with Paula Zahn: Unanswered Questions

INMATE INFORMATION

DOC Number: 923602
Offender Name: GILES, DANIEL R
Age: 49
Race: White
Location: Clallam Bay Corrections Center

Psycho For Love: Chris Hansen killed his wife, Nanette, and tried to make it look like she was kicked by a horse; Got his son, Scott to help, too; Both sentenced to 60 years in prison

Death Plot Laughed Off Montana Neighbors Share Grief, Guilt After Abused Woman Found Dead In Her Corral
State of Montana v Scott Michael Abe 1998 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
Court upholds barnyard murder conviction
State of Montana v Chris Leonarad Hansen 1999 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
DeBorgia murderer dies in state prison
Inmate found dead in state prison
Man who killed stepmother to be paroled from prison

Defendants
Chris Hansen – convicted, sentenced to 60 years in prison, died after 5 years
Scott Michael Abe – convicted, sentenced to 60 years in prison, parole in 2/2017

INMATE INFORMATION

Murder In The Family: Shanda Crain killed her parents, George Lander Sr. and Bobbie Jean Spears to get money for her video poker habit; Sentenced to LWOP


George Lander and Bobbie Jean Spears

Woman convicted of killing parents
Jury Deadlocks On Execution For Woman Who Killed Parents
Shanda Spears Crain v Johnnie Jones, Warden 2006 (habeas corpus dismissed)

Movies/Documentaries
Snapped: Shanda Crain

INMATE INFORMATION

Offender Name: CRAIN, SHANDA S
Custody Status: In Custody
Age: 51
Location: Louisiana Department of Corrections
Race: White
Contact Facility: Louisiana Department of Corrections

Psycho For Love: Former Police Sergeant James Allan Kulbicki shot and killed his mistress, Gina Nueslein over child support; Sentenced to LWOP


Gina Nueslein

Baltimore policeman charged with shooting girlfriend
Woman ‘scared’ of officer, court told at his murder trial Sergeant is accused of shooting ex-date
Court overturns officer’s conviction in ’93 slaying
Kulbicki trial has taken heavy toll on the survivors of Gina Nueslein
A Murder Conviction Torn Apart by a Bullet
Family spared third ordeal
Ex-cop to get a new trial
Ex-Baltimore Cop Convicted In Mistress’ Murder Granted Retrial 20 Years Later
Prosecutors assessing retrial in murder case
Officer’s murder verdict stands
Supreme Court reinstates 1995 murder conviction of Baltimore cop
Supreme Court reinstates murder conviction of former Baltimore police officer
State of Maryland v James Kulbicki 2015

Movies/Documentaries
Double Jeopardy

INMATE INFORMATION

Last Name: KULBICKI
First Name: JAMES
Middle Name: ALLEN
Date of Birth: 09/18/1956
DOC ID: 2539663
Holding Facility: Western Correctional Institution

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