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The Murder of Analissa Monares-Leon

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Just before 5 a.m. on an October morning in 2007, shots were fired into the West Dakota Avenue home killing Analissa Monares-Leon.  Analissa was a 7 year old in Tucson, Arizona. She is said to have been sensitive, courageous, and loved helping other people. Analissa loved school and her smile could light up a room.  That night Analissa was sleeping on the living room couch when shots were fired. She was struck and killed. According to police this was not a random shooting but no further details were provided to say why they feel this.  Neighbors say that there was a Chevy Tahoe and an Oldsmobile sedan in the area around 1:30 that morning. They also reported seeing 2 men under 25 in the area (one was wearing a baseball cap) just after the shooting. If you have any information regarding the murder of Analissa Monares-Leon, please call the Pima County Attorney Tip Line at 520-882-7463 Sources: KOLD Tucson.com Cold Cases Tucson.com 2008 Article Tucson.com 2007 Article

The Murder of Ashley Oakland

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Just before 2 p.m. on April 8, 2011 an employee of Rottlund Homes heard from inside the model townhouse in West Des Moines, Iowa. When he went inside he discovered the body of Ashley Oakland. Ashley Oakland was a 27 year old realtor who was kind and very trusting. She would spend her free time volunteering with different organizations including Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Iowa. Her murder shocked the community and made national headlines for weeks after. However, despite this, the case went cold quickly. There was no evidence to indicate that there was a struggle before she was shot. Ashley had also sent text messages only a few minute before it is believed that she was killed and nothing seemed out of the norm. Her family believes that she knew her killer and they will never give up looking for who killed Ashely.  Due to her love of volunteering and giving back to the community,  the Iowa Association of Realtors helped to develop the Ashley Oakland Star Playground which op

The Murder of Monica and Dalton Rollins

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On September 16, 2002, family members became concerned that they had not heard from Monica and went to her home on Sugar Hill Road in Heflin, Alabama. It was then that the body of 36 week pregnant Monica and her son, Dalton, were discovered. The only survivor was Monica's 2 year old son who was hiding in a closet with a flashlight. Monica, Dalton and her unborn baby had bee. Killed several days before.  Police have not released cause of death or hardly any other information regarding this case to the public.  In 2015, the Alabama State Attorney's Office stepped in to assist with the case. At this same time police said that they were looking into something related to the murders that had been known for some time. Yet, again, no further detail was provided. The state that the case is still active.  If you have any information regarding the murders of Monica and Dalton Rollins, please call the Heflin Police Department at 256-463-2291.  Sources: Alabama Unsolved WBRC Alabama Attorn

The Disappearance of Leigh Occhi

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In Tupelo, Mississippi as Hurrican Andrew entered the area 13 year old Leogh Occhi disappeared.  The morning of August 27, 1992 was a stormy one. Vickie, Leigh's mom, was reluctant to let her stay home by herself but her grandma was supposed to pick her up soon for the open house at her school. Leigh was a smart, sweet girl who was about to start the 8th grade. This was the first time Leigh Occhi had stayed home alone so when her calls went unanswered her mom became concerned.  By 9 a.m, Vickie had reported Leigh missing to police. She had left their home on Honey Locust Drive around 7:45a.m. and left work early when she couldn't get Leogh on the phone. When she got to the house the garage door was open and the light was on indicating someone had just opened the door. Leigh was nowhere to be found.  As police investigated the scene, they did not see any signs of forced entry. However, there were fresh, wet blood stains in the home. Blood was found on the walls, carpet, bathroom

The Disappearance of Amber Swartz Garcia

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In Pinole, California on June 3, 1988, 7 year old Amber Swartz Garcia was playing in her front yard. Around 4:15 p.m. Amber was abducted from her own yard where she had been jumping rope.  That day Amber and her mom were expecting friends. Amber Swartz Garcia was dependent on medication for migraines and was hearing impaired. It was outside of the norm for her to play outside alone but this afternoon her mom made an exception. While Amber was playing in the yard, her mother, Kim, was inside cooking dinner. The friends arrived and when she realized Amber wasn't there they immediately began searching. Amber's hearing aid and her medication was still at home. The day after she was abducted a pair of pink socks were found in a nearby park. Her mother believes that they are Amber's.  Unfortunately this wasn't the first tragedy to hit the Swartz Garcia family. Amber's father, Floyd "Bernie" Swartz was a police office killed in the line of duty before her birth. 

The Murder of Jeanette "Charlie" Atwater

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On January 16, 2000 the body of Jeanelle "Charlie" Atwater was discovered in the trunk of a car that had been on fire around 3:30 that morning.  The discovery of her remains came after firefighters put out the car that was on fire in the Metro Park area of Billings, Montana. The 1987 Cutlass was registered to Jeanette but how did the mother of three come to be in the trunk and who started the fire.  The night that her body was discovered, Jeanette "Charlie" Atwater had been at a local bar on Main Street with some coworkers. Prior to that, the group had been at a local bowling alley for a work party. Last call was around 2 a.m. and that was the last time that she was seen. No one saw Charlie leave. By 2:15 a.m. the parking lot of the bar was empty.  There was a gas station where an interesting person came in around 3 a.m. There was an unidentified white male who came in and bought one dollar of gas and took some matches from the counter. Police did in fact find a gas

The Murder of Trish Haynes

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Trisha Haynes had recently moved from Florida to New Hampshire in the summer of 2018. Shad had been living in the Grafton/Dansbury area when she disappeared in May or June of that year. After not hearing from Trisha in a while and not seeing any social media activity, her family became concerned. That was not like her especially not cashing checks that she would need to cover her living expenses. This is when they called police and the search for Trisha Haynes began. For the next four months, multiple police agencies were involved in the search for the missing woman.  Authorities had focused in on an address on Main Street in where Trisha was living with Douglas Smith and his wife, Ashley. Douglas has a lengthy criminal history including sexual assault, burglary, resisting arrest, and various other charges. When the property was searched, K-9 units were also brought in. Finally in September of 2018, the body of Trisha was found in a washing machine in Grant's Pond which is in Graft

12 of the Absolute Best True Crime Books

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I'm taking time off from researching and writing for a bit but wanted to share some of my favorite true crime books, podcasts, tv shows and documentaries. I'm compiling a list of new unsolved cases to cover and will back to our normal posts soon. There is a true crime renaissance going on right now. Podcasts and investigators turn to crowdsourcing to find new leads in cold cases. Webslueths and Reddit have created an army of Keyboard Detectives. While there are tons of web pages with endless information, here are the absolute best true crime books out there. In the genre, there are authors that are very well known for true crime, like Ann Rule, and others who are lesser-known. Sometimes that one-off book by an investigative journalist is better than a book by a seasoned author. I hope you find a new case to look in to with the list below! The Books 1. Little Lost Angel by Michael Quinlan  is the book that started it all for me. This case happened 30 minutes from my childhood

The Murders of Lyric Morrisey and Elizabeth Collins

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July 3, 2012 was a day that forever changed the lives of the Morrisey and Collins families. This was the day that 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and her 10 year-old cousin, Lyric Morrisey disappeared. Lyric Morrisey was a very active young lady. She was being raised in Evansdale, Iowa most of the time by her grandmother, Wylma, and her aunts. While Lyric had as much of a normal childhood as she could, it was entangled with her parents being in and out of the picture due to their drug addictions. Despite these challenges, Lyric was still a kid doing her best. She loved the band, One Direction, and the outdoors.  Elizabeth Collins was the younger of the two girls. She was said to be shy with a few exceptions. She was rambunctious when playing hockey, softball and around her friends. That is when this shy girl talked... a lot. Elizabeth also had great love for animals.  July 3, 2012 Around noon that summer day, the girls got on their bikes and told their grandma Wylma goodbye. The girls wer

The Disappearance of Judith Hyams/Judy Carole Himes

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On September 14, 1965, 22 year old Judith Carole Himes was last seen in Coral Gables, Florida. At this time, being pregnant and not being married was a huge no-no. And this is the situation that she found herself in. Even as a divorcee, this would have been so frowned upon in the 1960s especially since she came from a wealthy family. It would have been brought shame and scandal to all of them.  Judy was a medical technician who lived with her parents. The morning of September 14th was the same as most mornings. She left for work after breakfast but instead of going to work, she withdrew $300 from her bank account, rented a car and headed to a location that only a few new about. She did call a friend and say that she was leaving work early. During this time before Roe v Wade, abortions were illegal yet she made an appointment in an illegal clinic for one. She was heading to this clinic that was ran by a Hungarian immigrant, George Hadju. Three weeks later, her rental car was found in At

The Murder of Fiona Yu

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In 1997, Arizona University student, Fiona Yu, was sexually assaulted and murdered. Over 20 years later and such little information is out there about this unsolved case.  Fiona was a 21 year old student who was studying accounting and was in her senior year. She was renting an apartment in Tempe, Arizona with her roommate. Around 4:30 pm on August 7, 1997, a neighbor saw Fiona riding on her bicycle around the neighborhood. That was the last time she was seen alive.  Approximately 90 minutes later, her roommate returned home to discover Fiona on the second floor clinging to life. She had been strangled and later died from her injuries. Police were able to collect DNA from the scene.  20 years later and that DNA was able to rule out a few suspects but ultimately no solid leads have ever developed. That is when police, who had never given up on the case, turned to a newly developed DNA technology. Parabon NanoLabs was able to use the DNA evidence with Snapshot DNA Phenotyping. This provi