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For those who reached this page looking for information on Suicide or Suicide Prevention, links and phone information appear at the bottom of this page - Press Page Down key for important information and phone numbers.

Not SuicideóMurder.

Presented are 5 cases that have come to my attention

"Anyone who commits murder and then attempts to make it appear as a suicide should be sentenced to harsher penalties than would otherwise be warranted.  Killing someone in this way is one of the more sinister things a person can do." 

Homicides disguised as suicides.  Family members of someone whose death is ruled a suicide suffer greatly as a result of the additional emotions involved in a death by suicide. 

To follow are just the cases I have learned about and I suspect there are 100-1000 more for everyone I have heard of.  As I learn of more I will post the information here.  In one of the cases below, the killer was slick enough to get his girlfriend to write down everything that was depressing her in life just prior to murdering her.  That note was then used by the police and medical examiner to justify their ruling of suicide.   The guy planned it that diabolically.  That is the case where the guy confessed after seeing the movie The Passion of Christ

Finally, we need to collect DNA samples from everyone who dies, to insure that as many of these unsolved cases as possible are solved and do not remain cold cases for eternity.  By burying people without taking these samples we stand to miss many cases being solved.  In the case of Dennis Raider, the BTK Killer from Wichita KS, what if he had died in a car wreck and been buried.  The BTK Killings would most likely not have ever been solved.

This idea has been added to the WhyNot.net Idea Database in January 2006 for public access.  View all of my current ideas by shift-clicking this link:  Shep S Why Not Website Idea Collection

On a lighter note, if I am ever found dead and it is ruled a suicide, you will know for sure it is a lie if they find any Little Debbie snacks still in my house.  If they have a 12 step program for Little Debbie snacks contact me!  With that in mind, please continue on and see the stories that have come to my attention.  I will add new ones from older cases hopefully and not new ones.  Truly devastating for an entire family. 


1st Story

Suicide Investigation Turns To Murder

POSTED: 5:43 pm CDT July 15, 2005
UPDATED: 6:06 pm CDT July 15, 2005
Although Lake Worth police said they found a suicide note near the body of Kris Anna Lee, 57, investigators now are treating the case as a homicide.
Kris Anna Lee
Lee's body was found July 6 inside her house in the small town northwest of Fort Worth. According to police, her grandsons, ages 16 and 18, found her body. The grandsons screamed for help, according to an NBC 5 report.

A neighbor responded to the calls for help.

"I knew CPR, so I was going to help her out as best I could," neighbor Melissa Baker said.

Lee was found shot to death. What appeared to be a rambling suicide note was close to her body.

Baker said she knew some of the contents of the note, such as, " the family's lies and stuff like that, and how it wasn't the boys' fault," Baker said.

She also said the handwritten note contained a plea not to blame the grandsons in Lee's death.

Lake Worth investigators said the message was not a genuine suicide note. They cited one piece of key evidence that led them to believe the case was a homicide.

Police said Lee's body had a gunshot wound to the back of her head.

"It's not the most likely or most probable place for somebody, if they're going to take their own life, to do a gunshot," said Brett McGuire, Lake Worth police chief.

Police said they are close to making arrests in the case, although they declined to name any suspects. Police are waiting for gun-residue and handwriting tests before concluding the investigation.

 
Virginia Haniwalt
Lee's mother, however, blamed the grandsons who found Lee's body.

"Those boys had to kill her, probably within the hour (of the discovery)," Virginia Haniwalt said. "And I think they probably had planned it because all her phones were disconnected."

The grandsons said they have been wrongly accused. Haniwalt said her daughter, who she said was a Christian, would not have committed suicide because of her religious beliefs.

The grandsons said they simply found Lee's body. They have hired an attorney.

If the case does turn out to be a homicide, it would be the first to occur in Lake Worth in about eight years.

2nd Story

'Passion' inspires confession to murder

By The New York Times  March 26, 2004

 

See a video of this story at the following link - Note: the quality is not that great but you can see and hear both the story and the mother of the victims thoughts about the situation, and the fact she never once believed it was a suicide.  This goes to show that all deaths should be approached as a murder at all times, and suicide rulings should only be the last, final resort. See the video by clicking:

http://mfile.akamai.com/8192/wmv/vod.ibsys.com/2004/0326/2952084.56k.asx

HOUSTON, TX -- A man who had gotten away with murder confessed to police after seeing "The Passion of the Christ" and talking with a spiritual adviser, authorities said.

Dan R. Leach's viewing of Mel Gibson's cinematic depiction of the last hours of Jesus, along with the discussion with a family friend, led him to walk into the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Department earlier this month and confess to killing Ashley Nicole Wilson, Detective Mike Kubricht said.

A coroner had ruled her death by hanging a suicide,

Wilson's body was discovered Jan. 19 in her apartment near Richmond, southwest of Houston. All physical evidence pointed to suicide, Kubricht said, and the 19-year-old had gone off anti-depressant medications because she was pregnant.

The pregnancy apparently was the motive, Kubricht said, because Leach believed he was responsible and did not want to raise a child.

Leach, 21, wore gloves and left none of his own DNA behind, Kubricht said.

"He was very, very meticulous," Kubricht said. "It was very well-planned and well-executed."

 

Case 3 - Another Case of Mistaken Suicide Ruling maybe - 12/2004


Photo
Scott Rogers The Times

Steve and Kelly Comeau speak about the death of Jennifer Barber-Corbin, their neighbor and friend in Bogan Gates subdivision in Gwinnett County.

Neighbors mourn young mother's death
Friend says he saw husband hours before wife was shot


The Times

A close friend of a Buford woman found dead Saturday said he saw her estranged husband leave her house earlier that morning.

Steve Comeau said Wednesday that he saw Jennifer Barber-Corbin's husband, Barton Corbin, pull into the couple's driveway at around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. He left 25 minutes later.

"I said to myself, 'I hope he didn't do anything stupid,'" Steve Comeau said in a news conference from his home. "It just seemed odd that he was there for such a short amount of time."

Jennifer Barber-Corbin, 33, was found dead in her Bogan Gates home later that morning with a single gunshot wound to her head. A revolver was lying on the bed nearby when police arrived around 8 a.m., Gwinnett Police Cpl. Dan Huggins said.

Though police at first ruled the death a suicide, they now believe it to be a homicide. Corbin, a Gwinnett County dentist, is not a suspect in the case, though he is wanted for questioning, Huggins said.

"We are in contact with his attorney, but he has yet to provide a statement," Huggins said. Attempts to reach Corbin were unsuccessful.

Steve Comeau's wife, Kelly, said Corbin likely is staying with his family.

Corbin's dental office in Dacula will be closed for the rest of the week due to a death in the family, a recorded message said. It added that Corbin will return to work Monday.

An office spokeswoman for Lakeshore Mall Dental Group in Gainesville said Corbin worked there part-time until October.

The Corbins' 7-year-old son found her body and woke up Comeau and his wife, Kelly, the Corbins' neighbors and best friends, at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the couple said.

Kelly Comeau found her best friend's body and carried the Corbins' 5-year-old son back to the Comeaus' house.

"There was nothing I could do," Kelly Comeau said.

She and her husband were so close to the Corbins that the Comeaus named their neighbors the legal guardians of their only child. But they were not aware of a similar incident in 1990 that left a Wilkes County woman dead.

Corbin also was a "person of interest" in that unsolved homicide in Augusta. Dorothy Hearn was found dead with a single gunshot wound to her head, Sgt. Scott Peeples of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Like Barber-Corbin, police also thought Hearn killed herself but later thought the death was homicide. Authorities have not determined why Hearn died, Peeples said Tuesday.

Peeples would not comment on the relationship between Hearn and Corbin, who were both students at the Medical College of Georgia. Corbin graduated in 1990, according to his dentist office's Web site.

"With this other information coming out, I don't know what to think," Steve Comeau said.

The Corbins' sons are with Barber-Corbins' parents and nearly 40 relatives who are in town for funeral services, Kelly Comeau said.

The family has setup a memorial page for Jennifer can be found at: Jennifer Corbin

Staff writer Rick Lavender contributed to this story.

CASE 4 - Doctor Who Worked for US Government - LSD Given to Him

A doctor who used to work for the U.S. Government died as a result of an experiment by fellow agents.  His death was covered up and labeled a suicide as a result.  Only many years later did the truth come out and the family was informed of this ill-planned experiment by his government co-workers.  Dr. Frank Olson died a horrible death and his family suffered for years as a result.  See more information about Dr. Olson, his family and the incident that occurred, as well as the continuing work of his son to share his Dads story with the world through a website dedicated to his Dad, on my "Favorite People" page.   Very intriguing story.


5th Case, And It Gives Insight Into What Kurt Cobain's daughter Might Feel Like Growing Up Without Her Dad

Harold "Buddy" Vest

Herb Vest was not quite 2 years old when he lost his father. And, 58 years later, the pain still lingered. Correspondent Harold Dow reports on this 48 Hours Mystery that was originally broadcast Feb. 12, 2005.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Suicide is a very selfish thing. And it leaves survivors, I believe, with a certain amount of guilt. It's unreasoned guilt, but it leaves the survivors with that feeling," says Herb.

"There's nothing worse than to believe that your father was a coward and would voluntarily leave his wife and baby."

"Why didnít we know something was wrong with him? Why didnít we catch it? Why didnít we see something?" says Ruth Vest, who was just 23 when she became a widow. "I had had a really easy life, you know, a fortunate life. And I didn't know those things happened to people."

The suicide of Harold "Buddy" Vest took everyone by surprise. The 25-year-old had just returned from World War II. He and Ruth had just bought a new house, and he was starting his own cabinet shop in the small town of Gainesville, Texas.

This should have been the best time of their lives. But on the night of June 27, 1946, Buddy told his wife that he would be working late. Around 2 a.m., Ruth started to get worried, and went to her neighbor, Lawanna Howard, to look for her husband at his cabinet shop.

The cabinet shop was empty and dark except for a light behind the locked bathroom door.

"You unlocked the door, and we went in, but we couldnít get in the bathroom," recalls Lawanna, who met with Ruth for the broadcast. It was the first time in 58 years that they had seen each other. "I was scared to death."

They went back outside and found a man to help pull the door open. "I don't remember if he said anything," says Ruth. "I knew that when he looked at me that he (Buddy) was dead."

On the other side of the bathroom door, Buddy was hanging from a thin leather belt. "I think my brain just completely shut down," says Ruth. "I couldn't accept it."

Ruth, in a state of shock, immediately took her son, Herb, and moved back to her parentís house in Henrietta, Texas, 65 miles away. Within 12 hours after finding her husband's body, she left Gainesville, never to return again.

But from that point on, Ruth said she was determined to keep this terrible secret from her son.

"We played this cover-up game with each other for another 40 years," said Herb. "And just a few years ago, about five or six years ago, Ruth told me that he committed suicide. And I told her that I already knew that."

Herb had actually discovered the truth about his father's suicide when he was 11, when he found some old family letters in the attic.

"And then that question that began that day would haunt me the rest of my life. Why would this man commit suicide?" asked Herb. "After all, this is my dad: somebody I never had the opportunity to play baseball with, somebody I never had an opportunity to pat me on the back and say 'You did a good job.' You always wonder what might have been."

And still, there are more clues to be uncovered. Herb and his mother are having additional DNA testing performed on the envelope containing Smith's letter. The first tests found an unknown male's DNA on the flap.

Herb's mission is far from over, but it has brought him closer to his father, the man he never knew. "Before, I always talked about my father, but now he's 'Dad' to me," said Herb.

But now, Herb knows the truth: that his father was a victim.

"I feel like he'd be proud of his little boy that went on and got to the bottom of it, albeit 60 years later," said Herb.

This week, Herb Vest increased the reward to $100,000 for information about his father's murder. Herb also says he will pay for the defense of anyone charged in the murder, if they come forward voluntarily.

Link to Complete Article: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/06/23/48hours/main703749_page2.shtml


For anyone who is depressed and needs to talk to someone, call 1-800-784-2433.  They offer 24 hour communication and local resource information in your community.

AND, if you know someone who has threatened suicide and don't know what to do, see this page:

http://www.preventsuicidenow.com/suicide-can-never-be-a-secret.html

"Suicide: a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

 


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