Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Real Life Crime that Gripped You

by C.L. Phillips

Time for a confession.  I've been reading the crime pages of all big newspapers of late.  Don't know why.  Guess I'm looking at story a different way and considering how real life impacts the stories I'm writing.


What's the one true crime story that impacted your way of looking at the world?  Changed what you believe?  Made you reconsider what you write?

This post is a bit of an intertwining of the questions I asked recently about whether you believe what you read in the paper, and Ramona's gripping post about whether you know a killer.

I'll give my example, very close to home.  My assistant coach for a kid's team (sport unnamed) was caught lifting funds from another sports organization to the tune of several thousand dollars.  The person I thought I knew could have never done that.  And the economy wasn't even bad. The opportunity presented itself, a rationalization appeared and bingo - welcome to crime city.  Another example, someone I knew in a non-profit organization helped herself to several hundred thousand dollars over several years.  The good news?  She was stealing from a politician.  Does that make it any better?

The amazing part?  The woman who stole less than ten thousand dollars did more time than the woman that stole *much* more.

What about you?  What stories hit close to home for you?


Jenna said...

I tend to go for the missing persons cases. We had a thirteen year old girl go missing from our neighborhood some years back. Without a trace, never seen or heard from again. The parents are still hoping she'll turn up; the rest of us are pretty sure she won't. And no, she was not a runaway. Someone took her, and got away with it. And because it was in the neighborhood, it was personal. I still pray for Tabitha, seven or eight years later.

Patg said...

The Pederson/Grigsby killing spree has presently got me watching for all new info. They are now back in Washington awaiting their first trial.
I'm willing to believe anything like you mentioned about stealing. I had a good client that worked for the city and she took great trips every year. Been stealing for years. And she seemed like the nicest most fun loving person.

Gina said...

I represented a woman in a juvenile court case concerning temporary placement of her minor children during a period when she would be unable to care for them. Generally, the other parent must be notified in these circumstances but my client claimed to have no idea where her husband was. He had disappeared some time before; someone may have seen him in another state. A year or so later it came out that she and her teenage son had killed him. I never found out all the details, but it's my understanding that he was abusive, so they shot him and cut him up and burned the pieces, except for the head, which the family dog took outside and lost, thus leading to the eventual discovery of the crime . . . And yet, when I was dealing with her, she seemed like a perfectly normal person with some family issues.

Joyce Tremel said...

Yikes, Gina!

Unsolved cold cases like the Boy in the Box have always fascinated me. I hate the fact that some cases are never solved.

Ramona said...

Sorry, I'm late.

I've been following the missing baby--Lisa Irwin--case in Missouri. The story from the parents seemed off from the beginning. Every day it gets more muddied and less plausible. Now the mother admits to being in a blackout during the disappearance, and not a sign of the child.

I always wonder what it's like for the cops looking for a missing baby, when they have their own kids at home.

C.L. Phillips said...

Everyone - thanks for the comments. I'm heading to google to check out all the cases you mentioned.

Happy hunting!