Rachael and Rickey Norton both experienced a rough start in life. Rachael spent much of her childhood in and out of foster and group homes, and Rickey committed some petty crimes as a teenager. They each lived in other states before moving to Utah when they were 16. Neither of them graduated from high school and met at a mall in downtown Salt Lake City. On July 8th, 2006, three years after meeting, they got married…


In 1990, twenty eight year old Tawny Sue Gunter was a daycare worker, working out of her home in Concordia Missouri. Concordia is a small town, with a population of 2,450 people as of the 2010 census. For working parents in the area, Gunter was one of the few choices they had to watch their children while they worked. Sandy and Billy Blankenship were one of several families that used Gunter’s daycare services. In the early morning hours of November 15th, 1990, Sandy dropped her two children off at Gunter’s home like she did every morning. Two year old Billy…


In 1980, Michele Dee Gates was 13 years old and living in Oregon, when she was suspected of drowning a four year old girl named Ruth Anne O’Neil, known as Ruthie to her family and friends. Because Michele was Ruth Anne’s babysitter and she had taken her for ice cream that day, she was brought in for questioning alone on two separate occasions. Police confronted her on some inconsistent statements she had given, after which, she admitted to drowning little Ruth Anne..

Michele’s mother Diane was a teenager and in an unstable marriage, because of this, Michele was being raised…


Phoenix Victoria Hope Sinclair, was born on April 23rd, 2000 in Manitoba, Canada to Samantha Kematch and Steve Sinclair. She loved watching movies and playing outside with her toys, she was also described as chubby by family and friends. By the time she was five years old, she wasn’t chubby anymore and didn’t spend time playing outside with her toys. This is Phoenix Sinclair’s story.

Shortly after Phoenix was born, CFS or Child and Family Services removed her from her parents because the two were deemed not ready to parent a child due to a past history of violence and…


Image courtesy of The Washington Post

Back in 1994, an 18 year old woman walked into a medical clinic in McHenry, Illinois seeking help. Her mother had just died, leaving her all on her own, with no other family to turn to. This young woman was cognitively impaired and vulnerable, living on the streets, alone. At the clinic, she met a 54 year old registered nurse named Linda LaRoche. LaRoche recognized right away that this young woman was impaired and took her into her own home in McHenry, a suburb of Chicago. LaRoche told her that she would help her get her high school diploma and…


The consummate evil stepmother, Stephanie Spitser, resented Scotty and was jealous of the time his dad spent with him.

Photo courtesy of https://www.lex18.com/

On November 25th 1992, Susanne Baker entered the office of Paces Creek Elementary school in Manchester, Kentucky, dawning a wig and glasses, asking to check a student out for the day. The school was holding a special lunch day for the kids for Thanksgiving, that parents and family were invited to. The student she wanted to check out of school was ten year old Donald Scotty Baker, who goes by the name Scotty. When asked what the occasion was by the…


Photo courtesy of Find a Grave

Emily Ward and her ex husband , Mitch Ford, were fighting over custody of their three year old daughter, Grace Lillian Ford. In the meantime, Grace was living with her father and his fiancé in Plano Texas. Child protective services had been called numerous times about bruises found on Grace and she had also been taken to the hospital due to a Benadryl overdose. Protective services didn’t take any action, as Mitch and his fiancé were able to explain away her injuries. Emily and her father, Doug were gravely concerned about Grace, so much so that they wrote a letter…


Photo courtesy of Facebook

Joe Stacy didn’t want to send his four year old son Ethan to stay with his mother Stephanie Sloop, and her fiancé at the time, Nathanael Sloop, but a court order told him he had to and he didn’t want to fight it anymore, so he agreed to it. He was worried that Ethan wouldn’t be taken care of while there, he even wrote to the judge and told him Stephanie was unstable. He also added that he was afraid that she would take Ethan and he would never see him again. Joe told a reporter that Ethan didn’t want…


Photo courtesy of Find a Grave

Five month old Benjamin Sargent died with his hands clenched and his eyes open after enduring unimaginable neglect in his final eight days alive. This is his story.

Benjamin’s case is reminiscent of another case that I wrote an article about, Sterling Koehn. The neglect and abuse this little one went through was as horrific and tortuous as what happened to Sterling.

John Sargent and Tracey Hermann were the parents of two children, a three year old daughter and five month old Benjamin. Benjamin was born on August 27th, 2007 in Peoria Illinois. Sargent and Hermann were having issues in…


Photos courtesy of The Charley Project

Tamara Lewison Goff, called Tammy by everyone who knew her, was 3 days shy of her 60th birthday, when she went missing. This was on July 12th, 2018 and nobody has seen her since that morning, when she got into her 2008, black Chevy Colorado pickup. She loaded her German Shepherd, Sadie in the truck and planned to go to her father in laws house, Tamara and her husband Bob had just inherited it along with an old cat named Mouse. She was going to feed the cat first, then take her dog, for a walk.

Bob and Tamara got…

Madeline O'Brien

Fascinated with true crime and love to write! So many ideas, but time is tight!

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