This blog is about real crime, focusing on female killers, and female criminals in general. This is a new blog, so it's probably going to take me a while to get everything together, so please bear with me a while.

 

Judge orders trial in Orange County rape/murder cold case

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — A woman accused of taking part in the killing of a man who allegedly raped her has been ordered to stand trial for murder. The woman rejected a plea bargain deal on a lesser charge.

Dr. Patricia Esparza listened as a former Irvine police officer described the body of Gonzalo Ramirez, the man she’s accused of killing. His body was dumped along a road in Irvine in 1995.

The investigator, Laurence Montgomery, testified the 24-year-old had suffered more than 30 slashes, cuts like a meat cleaver, to Ramirez’s upper body.

"One particular injury to his right wrist was a cut in the skin as well as the bone that actually went through the bone, so the bone was broken," said Montgomery, a witness for the prosecution.

The prosecutor alleges the Esparza, a 39-year-old psychology professor who was 20 in 1995, played an active role. But Esparza claims she was the victim: Ramirez raped her in her dorm room.

Esparza says she told her boyfriend, Gianni Van, about it two weeks afterward.

"He was angry and upset," said Michael Kendrick, an investigator with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Authorities suspect Esparza and Van, along with Shannon Gries, Kody Tran and his wife Diane Tran, conspired to kill Ramirez.

Diane Tran pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter last month.

"Diane Tran told you that during this discussion, the defendant nodded her head in agreement regarding the plan to kidnap and kill Gonzala Ramirez," prosecutor Mike Murray said to Kendrick in court Wednesday.

"Right," said Kendrick.

According to the investigator, Tran told him that Esparza and the other defendants went to a Santa Ana bar, where Esparza pointed out the victim.

"They would follow the victim out of the club, and then they would stage a traffic accident by rear-ending him," said Kendrick.

Authorities allege the victim was taken to Tran’s transmission shop, where he was tied up and beaten.

In a previous interview, Esparza says she was forced to watch, but denied any involvement. She claimed the rape and the trauma of that night forced her to shut down.

"All I knew is that these people were dangerous and I just needed to stay quiet," said Esparza at a news conference on November 20, 2013.

Esparza was living in France with her husband and daughter before her arrest. She rejected a deal last year to plead guilty to manslaughter. The judge ruled Wednesday that there is enough evidence to try her for murder.

Esparza remains in custody. She’s expected to be back in court on March 11.

Woman allegedly beats 2-year-old in Palmdale

Suspect identified in Alturas mass shooting

Ruth Ellis

Wikipedia Article

Ruth Ellis (9 October 1926—13 July 1955) was the last woman to be executed in the United Kingdom, after being convicted of the murder of her lover, David Blakely.

From a humble background, Ellis was drawn into the world of London nightclub hostessing, which led to a chaotic life of brief relationships, some of them with upper-class nightclubbers and celebrities. Two of these were Blakely, a racing driver already engaged to another woman, and Desmond Cussen, a retail company director.

On Easter Sunday 1955, Ellis shot Blakely dead outside the Magdala public house in Hampstead, and immediately gave herself up to the police. At her trial, she took full responsibility for the murder and her courtesy and composure, both in court and in the cells, was noted in the press. She was hanged at Holloway Prison, London, by Albert Pierrepoint.

Adrianne Hockett

Article

Former Houston high school teacher Adrianne Hockett, was found guilty on one count of sexual assault of a child. The victim, a 15-year-old special needs student reportedly met with 26-year-old Hockett in her apartment where the two engaged in sex, drank beer and smoked marijuana.
Prosecutors described Hockett as a woman “thirsty for sex” who gained the trust of the boy’s mother by offering to tutor him.

She was sentenced to six months in prison, 10 years probation and a $10,000 fine.

Colorado teacher gave ex-student love letters, emails during relationship

Abbie Swogger

Article

Abbie Swogger was a 34-year-old teacher’s aide at Highlands Senior High School in Harrison, Pennsylvania, when she was arrested and charged with 39 offenses, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors and possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine.
According to reports, Swogger rented a hotel room where police found under-aged teens, beer, marijuana, and an open condom wrapper. The teens were said to have been Swogger’s son’s friends.

She later admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old boy, which police said she then asked them, “How serious is that?”

Swogger was also accused of trying to get two underage girls to the hotel room for sex.

In May of 2009, she accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to 11 of the 39 charges and was sentenced to three-six year jail term, followed by 36 years of probation. She will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

When sentenced, Swogger told the judge, “I’m sorry I was not the role model I should have been. I’m really sorry.”

Update: 2/21/14

Back to one post a day for now. Things have gotten busy, and I need some time to rebuild the queue.

If you have links to any local stories you’d like me to check out… please feel free to submit. :)

Antoinette Frank

Wikipedia Article

On March 4, 1995, Frank and Lacaze visited Kim Anh, a Vietnamese restaurant in New Orleans East. After midnight, as the employees cleaned the closed restaurant, Chau Vu, sister of two of the victims, went into the kitchen to count money. She entered the dining room of the restaurant to pay officer Ronald A. Williams II, who had been working night-detail, when she noticed Frank approaching the restaurant.

Frank and Lacaze had been at the restaurant twice earlier in the night to get leftover food to eat. When Chau had let her out on the last visit, she could not find the front door key. With Frank returning again for a third time, Chau sensed something was very wrong, so she ran to the kitchen to hide the money in the microwave.

Frank entered the front door using the key that she had taken from the restaurant earlier, and walked quickly past Officer Williams, pushing Chau, another of Chau’s brothers, Quoc, and a restaurant employee into the doorway of the restaurant’s kitchen. Williams started to follow asking them what was the problem when shots rang out.

As Frank turned back to the dining room of the restaurant, Chau grabbed Quoc to hide somewhere. Lacaze had been behind Officer Williams and shot him in the back of the neck, severing his spinal cord, instantly paralyzing him. The officer was shot again in the head and in the middle of his back, as he lay on the floor.

Chau, Quoc, and the employee hid in the rear of a large walk-in cooler in the kitchen, turning out its light as they entered. They did not know the whereabouts of Chau’s and Quoc’s other sister and brother, Ha and Cuong, who had been sweeping the dining room floors when Frank entered the restaurant. From inside the cooler, Chau and Quoc could partially see the kitchen and the front of the restaurant. Chau initially could see Frank looking for something in the kitchen. As Frank moved out of Chau’s line of vision, additional gunshots were fired. Quoc next observed Frank searching where the Vus usually kept their money. Quoc saw Frank walk to the part of the kitchen where the bodies of his brother and sister were later found.

Frank and Lacaze were shouting and demanding the money. Ha and Cuong did not know where Chau had hidden the money. Twenty-one-year-old Ha was shot three times as she knelt pleading for her life and seventeen-year-old Cuong was shot six times and pistol whipped. After Frank and Lacaze left the premises, Quoc emerged from the cooler and ran out the back door of the restaurant to a nearby friend’s home to call 911 to report the murders. Chau tried frantically to call 911 on her cell phone, but, being inside the cooler, she could not receive a signal.

Frank dropped off Lacaze at a nearby apartment complex, both knowing that there were witnesses left behind. Frank heard the 911 call on her portable police radio saying that an officer was down at the Kim Anh restaurant. She returned to the scene, parked in the rear, and entered through the back door of the restaurant. She made her way through the kitchen to the dining room where Chau waited for help at the front door. As Chau bolted through the restaurant’s front door to the safety of arriving officers, Frank immediately identified herself as a police officer. Chau told Frank that she knew what she had done and cried to the officers that Frank had committed the crimes.
Chau and Frank were questioned in detail while seated at different tables in the restaurant. Frank was taken to police headquarters for additional questioning, where she later confessed to the crimes along with LaCaze. Frank and Lacaze were arrested and charged with first degree murder.

20 years since Robin Row killed her husband, 2 kids