any way the wind blows…

leeward - any way the wind blows…

Tell me if you have heard this before

While thinking about blogging my mind went in about twenty directions at once and this was one of the branches. I want to get back in the habit of writing often about any thing so I jotted down a quick list of spouse and girlfriend murderers.

If I can’t have her no one can:

O.J. Simpson  murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman and was famously acquitted in the bizarre trial that launched CourtTV with gavel to gavel coverage. O.J. had been abusive and controlling and couldn’t handle Nicole having a life apart from him.


Preppie George Huguely killed his girlfriend in an alcoholic and jealous rage. Yardley Love was a star lacrosse player at the prestigious University of Virginia. George was the boy born with a silver spoon who had serious anger issues. Their bright futures both came to an end when he beat her to death.

A wife and a baby cramps my awesome life

Rae Carruth was a star wide receiver at the University of Colorado and for the Carolina Panthers. He was living his dreams and had rock-star status in Charlotte. But he didn’t want to be saddled with child support and another baby. To remove the problem he set up  the strangest murder for hire plot resulting in the death of Cherica Adams. Rae’s unborn son, Chancellor, survived though he has cerebral palsy from the lack of oxygen while his mother was bleeding from gun shot wounds. The story of Chancellor and Cherica’s mother Saundra Adams is a beautiful ray of hope in the face of tragedy.

Scott Peterson had the all American boy next door life including his marriage to beautiful wife Laci. By all accounts the perfect couple; the perfect marriage. Then one Christmas Eve a very pregnant Laci disappeared. It seems a wife and a baby (Connor) stood in the way of his glamorous, make believe life as an affluent and successful ladies man. As the investigation unfolded over several months Scott’s secret life was revealed and the narcissist underneath the facade was exposed. He is currently on death row at San Quentin where he spends 23 hours a day in solitude. Plenty of time to reflect on the “perfect life” he destroyed. Laci’s family joined the fight for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act enacted in 2004.

Neil Entwistle hid his mounting financial troubles from his wife Rachel until he could hide no longer then he shot and killed her along with their young daughter, Lillian, then fled the country back to his homeland in the UK. He is now serving life without parole.

Michael Blagg described his family as ideal and everyone else agreed.

“Two years ago, I had everything,” says Michael Blagg, Jennifer’s husband. “I had a great job, wonderful family, incredible wife and daughter. Everything was going perfect for me.”

Prosecutors believed a secret life that included addiction to computer porn coupled with ongoing spousal abuse was about to result in Jennifer taking Abby and leaving Blagg. He couldn’t tolerate that and he killed them dumping their bodies in the landfill.

My secret life is more important

Steven Suepple was the underachieving brother in a successful family. A banker with a wife and four adopted children, financial struggles to keep up led him to embezzle more than a half million dollars from his employer. As his world was crumbling, he bludgeoned his wife and children to death and then committed suicide.

And then there is the bizarre story of Christian Longo. When his multiple cons fell apart, the wheeling, dealing, and scheming no longer fooled anyone, and the whole truth of the financial mess he created was unraveling he murdered his wife and children and fled to Mexico. There he lived the high life, partying and posing as New York Times journalist Michael Finkel. Longo made his way to the FBI’s Top Ten Wanted list. Longo is on death row in Oregon where he continues as a con-artist and extraordinary manipulator.

Sadie, Madison, and Zachary Longo

Beautiful, talented, successful Tara Grant was strangled by her underachieving controlling husband Stephen who was having an affair with the Au Pair. After the murder the tale of Stephen’s attempts to dispose of the body and elude arrest are odd and comical. Once again, the truth is stranger than any fiction. Several books have been published on this crime and the chase, confession, and trial. The best source is Grant’s confession after he was arrested frostbitten and exhausted in the Michigan woods.

The list goes on and on…


True Crime on twitter follow me! @leebrown @truecrimelibrary @bethkaras

Writers… READ and WRITE everyday

That’s the common advice and very useful.

So what am I writing? Recently just responses and cover letters in the pursuit of gainful employment. I’m feeling like I’ve been on a month-long essay exam. I would rather be writing for an employer and writing entertaining — if only for myself — blog posts. Alas, the search for a paying gig continues on.

What am I reading? Aside from having a new obsession with Twitter? Check out @pourmecoffee on Twitter, I love that handle, its perfect. In fact, I’m a bit envious that I didn’t think of it.

A fascinating life

In 2010-11 Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln, which I’ve interrupted lately for O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln and Shelby Foote’s The Civil War. I have also read recently White’s A. Lincoln. The Sandberg series was on our shelves when I was a child, one of Dad’s collection. The five volume set that was Mr. Sandberg’s life’s work can be intimidating. It has an honored place in my library. I’ve paused temporarily before the 2nd volume of Sandberg’s war years to get a little more context of the civil war in my mind. Hence the jumping around. Shelby Foote’s work is cited frequently in the History Channel’s series The Civil War. (If you ignore the reality shows about truckers and pickers, the History Channel is still quality TV.)

(When I started that preceding paragraph I was thinking to myself — I need topics. Hard to write about nothing! Rereading that paragraph, I see a dozen or more blog posts to work on.  O’Reilly’s book is a NY Times Bestseller, I can at least add my review to that conversation.)

“Well, I can’t think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow” – Scarlett O’Hara.

It turns out, we live in the old south near the little rail junction that became the site of two major battles.  The first occurred early in the war, both sides felt it would be over in one decisive battle.  They would fight for honor and glory and then all go back to their daily lives the next week. Folks packed picnic baskets and rode out from Washington in their Sunday finest to watch the battle.  Those folks were nearly trampled by the Union Army scurrying back up Centreville Road in headlong, disorganized retreat. Interestingly, this traffic jam is recreated every day as the battlefield is encroached by the main route for Virginia Commuters to DC.

A favorite gift in the Brown library is the fully remastered DVD collection of the North and South miniseries. The one with young Patrick Swayze. There are several scenes of the Battle of Bull Run (or First Manassas if you are a southerner) of the fine carriages and ladies and gentlemen out for an afternoon drive. This production is beautiful; the costumes are exquisite. It’s a must see, again.

Other varied interests

In case you think I am consumed by the Civil War and 150 year old politics — much more interesting than 2011 politics, I will say — I’ve also been reading this fall,  The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, Thirteen Fatal Errors Managers Make and How You Can Avoid Them by W. Steven Brown (for about the 41st read).

Also, reading (have read in last 90 days) a long list of true crime books. That’s an odd hobby, I know. If I missed following an investigation and trial live someone will write a book and then I can catch up. I can usually match the plot of Law & Order or Criminal Minds episodes to the real crime or crimes that informed the story. That’s an odd hobby, I know. Kind of a morbid fascination. Funny though, how many folks share my obsession. I have a couple of ideas to wrap up the Komisarjevsky trial and the Cheshire Home invasion case there are many subtle lessons in that story.


Alright, thanks for letting me brainstorm now it’s back to the job search…


I welcome comments, suggestions, a job interview… anything. I’ll get the coffee brewing.


Follows:   @CivilWarTrust, @PFFPetit the Petit Family Foundation,     and for football:  @MikeKlis – The Denver Post, @ShannonSharpe – needs no introduction Bronco fans