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High school sweethearts murder their newborn child

High school sweethearts murder their newborn child


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Young lovers Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson check into a Delaware motel. When the infant was later found dead in a trash container behind the motel, the strange and unsettling story drew national attention.

Grossberg and Peterson were high school sweethearts. Though Grossberg became pregnant during her senior year of high school, she managed to conceal the pregnancy from friends and family. Letters sent from Grossberg to Peterson during the fall of her freshman year of college reveal that as her delivery date approached, she was feeling resentful toward the unborn child and thinking about her options. “I am sorry I look fat and ugly,” she wrote. “I wish I could have my nice body back. All I want is for it to go away. I can’t get caught. I can’t. I can’t.”

After Grossberg gave birth, Peterson placed the infant in a garbage bag and whisked it out to a trash bin behind the motel. In an autopsy report, medical experts revealed that the baby was alive at birth and died of massive head trauma, which refuted the couple’s claim that the infant was stillborn.

Though prosecutors initially tried to pursue murder charges against Grossberg and Peterson, both eventually pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter. Peterson was the first to cooperate with officials, and in return he received a two-year sentence. Grossberg received the same sentence plus six additional months after agreeing to cooperate. At the sentencing, Grossberg said in a statement, “I put aside what was best for my baby, and that pain will be with me the rest of my life.”


Teen Confesses To Molesting Sister, Dad Executes Him

Jamar Pinkney Jr. was shot in the head Monday by his 37-year-old father, Jamar Pinkney Sr., who allegedly made the teen strip his clothes off and kneel in a vacant lot before he was killed by a single bullet.

The boy's mother, Lazette Cherry, told the Detroit Free Press that Pinkney Sr., showed up at her Highland Park, Mich., home after she told him that their son had made a startling confession.

According to Cherry, the 15-year-old had admitted to having "inappropriate contact" with his 3-year-old half sister.

"I called and told his father this isn't something you sweep under the rug," Cherry, who was unable to be reached by ABCNews.com, told the paper.

Pinkney Sr. began by pistol whipping his son in the living room where the teen lived with his mother before taking him outside, despite Cherry's pleas to stop.

The father marched the naked boy into the lot and made him kneel down. As the boy pleaded for his life and his distraught mother looked on, Pinkney Sr. allegedly executed the boy with a shot in the head.

Pinkney Sr. was charged with first degree murder and if convicted, could spend the rest of his life in prison. The judge entered a "not guilty" plea on behalf of Pinkney. He is also charged with three counts of felonious assault and one count of felony firearm.

Video of the arraignment shows a relative of the child being taken out of the court room after screaming "No, no, no," when Pinkney Sr. was led into court.

His lawyer, Corbett O'Meara, called the incident a "devastating tragedy."

"My client is in shock and in mourning, but is hopeful that his family will be able to come out of this in as whole a state as possible," said O'Meara.

O'Meara said that Pinkney Sr., who turned himself into authorities, had no previous criminal history and had worked "for years" as a letter carrier for the United States Post Office.


They seemed like picture-perfect high school sweethearts, but their toxic relationship ended in murder

He was a high school football player, she was a cheerleader in Knoxville, Tenn.

A high school cheerleader and football player's tumultuous relationship: Part 1

At Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, a Friday night in autumn means a football stadium bathed in lights and two teams battling it out on the gridiron in front of a sea of red and black -- everyone decked out in support of the home team, the Bobcats.

"(On Fridays) everybody's excited at school to see how well we do. It's what our school revolves around," said Seth Armstrong, a recent Central High graduate who played for the team. "It's exciting."

Out in front of the crowd, the marching band and cheerleaders keep the energy high, and in the fall of 2014, there was a new face on the cheerleading squad – a spirited 14-year-old freshman named Emma Walker.

“Emma really took cheerleading seriously,” said Lauren Hutton, who was a senior on the squad when she met Walker and the two became good friends. “She really loved doing it. It was one of her passions. She loved leading and she loved football games. She loved just being part of crowd appeal.”

Early that fall, Walker’s moves on the sidelines caught the eye of an older student, Number 8 – Central High’s wide receiver and then-junior Riley Gaul.

Raised by his mother and grandparents, Gaul was a top student and loved to play video games. Friends described him as a jokester, not the “classic jock” type.

“He was a little nerdy on the side,” said Zach Greene, one of Walker's friends. “A little to himself … from the outside looking in, you'd think he was just a normal guy.”

When Walker's parents first met Gaul, they said their first impressions of him were positive.

“Boy next door,” her mother Jill Walker said. “He came in very polite, very nice in the beginning. He was very likable.”

“I thought he was a very nice looking young man, well-mannered,” her father Mark Walker added. “We would let them have some supervised visitation. He could come over to the house… they would meet up after football games… to eat, and things like that.”

Emma Walker’s friends said she seemed happy with Gaul in the beginning. Soon, the cheerleader's social media accounts were filled with pictures of a seemingly perfect pair paddle boarding together, embracing and taking silly selfies.

In one post, Walker wrote, “Look how lucky I am.”

At first, the relationship seemed “just kind of normal," said Keegan Lyle, one of Walker's best friends.

“[Gaul] he didn't really talk to us, her friends, a lot,” she said. “But I was just like, ‘Oh he's shy’… it just seemed normal. But then after a while was when we got kind of concerned.”

Friends said they grew concerned because it became apparent to many of them that Gaul didn’t want Walker to hang out with anyone but him.

“He became kind of controlling over her, what she did, her activities,” Keegan said.

“He got more possessive and more clingy towards her, and wouldn’t let her do certain things,” Lauren Hutton added.

Over the next two years, Walker and Gaul seemed to become that other classic high school couple, the kind that was always breaking up and getting back together. Friends described “really dramatic” arguments between the two, often over text message or Snapchat posts.

Jill Walker said Gaul would always comment on what her daughter wore, telling her what she should and shouldn’t wear, to the point where she said she ended up saying something to Emma about it.

Then, Lauren Hutton said, things became “intense” between the couple. She said Gaul started waiting for Walker outside of the supermarket where she worked.

“He would just wait outside for hours,” Hutton said.

Lyle said friends told Walker that they didn’t like the way Gaul treated her, but “she just kind of brushed it off,” Lyle said. “She did her own thing.”

According to Walker’s friends, Gaul became aggressive, sending her Snapchat messages that said, “I hate you I hate everything about you” and “you’re the biggest bitch I’ve ever come in contact with.”

One message in particular alarmed Walker’s mother. “You’re dead to me… I’ll check the obituary… ---- you,” Gaul wrote.

“We, on one occasion, saw one [that said] ‘I’ll see your name in the obituary,’” Jill Walker said. ‘He wrote that to her, and we questioned him about it… and he said, ‘I was just angry.’ … and that’s when [I] started to get many more red flags.”

Walker’s parents decided to ban Gaul from their home and they took away their daughter’s cellphone to try to stop the teens from communicating, but it didn’t work.

“Riley gave Emma an iPod Touch and she texted him through the WiFi,” Walker’s friend Seth Armstrong said.

For every nasty message Gaul sent Walker, there was also a quick apology. “Emma, I’m sorry for however I act,” one message from Gaul said. “I love you more than words can describe,” said another.

Jill Walker said they advised their daughter to break-up with Gaul “several times.”

“But as you do that with a teenager, the more you butt heads, the more she is going to think he is in the right,” she said. “Because he had a way of isolating her and making her think that he was the only one.”

By fall 2016, Emma Walker and Gaul were still dating. Gaul had graduated and was an 18-year-old freshman at a nearby college by then, and Walker was in her junior year of high school, but their tumultuous relationship had continued despite her parents’ attempts to keep them apart.

Around Halloween that year, Walker’s parents decided to ground her - not allowing her to leave the house except to go to school and cheerleading. They started monitoring everywhere she went and, to their surprise, it seemed to work.

“She did become like her old self again,” her father Mark Walker said. “She would come out of her room, eat dinner with us, and socialize with us.”

Walker had even texted her friend Keegan Lyle to say she and Gaul were “done for good.”

“She just came to the realization that she deserved better,” Lyle said. “Then we're all like, ‘yes finally, it's happening.’ We're like, ‘What we've been waiting for.’”

But Gaul didn't seem to take the breakup well. While in his college dorm room, he swallowed a bunch of Vicodin pills and washed them down with alcohol in an attempt to commit suicide. His friends witnessed his mood swings.

"He would be off to the side, moping . (and) saying things like, 'Oh, I just feel so depressed. I want to hurt myself.' Blah, blah, blah, blah,” said Gaul's friend Alex McCarty. "Just things that he would just say a lot as a cry for help, I guess, in a way."

Then on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, Walker was allowed to attend a gathering at a friend’s house. Around 11:30 p.m. that night, her friend and classmate Zach Greene arrived at the house where they were hanging out and Walker pulled him aside. She told him she had been receiving strange text messages from a number she didn’t recognize.

“She's like, ‘Zach, I'm getting these really weird text messages [that say] Come outside alone if you don't want to see a loved one get hurt,’” Greene said.

She showed him her phone, he said.

"Go to your car with your keys," said one text message. Then, "Go alone," said another, and another said, "I've got someone you love. If you don't comply I will hurt them."

Greene said that Walker thought it was one of Gaul's friends playing a prank on her, but that she texted back, threatening to call the police. The text messages, however, became more menacing, Greene said.

"If you'd like to hear his crying and screams give him a call," said one message.

Greene said Walker started begging him for help, until he said, "Eventually she comes out and says, 'Zach, listen. They said they dropped Riley outside.'"

He and Walker went outside and sure enough, he said, they found "a body lying face down" in a ditch near the house. Under the glow from the streetlight, he said, they could see that it was Gaul.

"We finally get to him and he's pulling up his head, kind of, has this confused face on," Greene said. "Emma's like, 'Why are you here?' He's like, 'I don't know what happened' I don't know how I got here. I've been kidnapped. Someone dropped me off here' I don't know what's happening' Where am I? How'd I get here?' Holding his head like he got hit upside the head kind of. It was just very weird."

Walker was immediately uneasy, Greene said, and she didn't really know what to think.

"She's just like, 'We just broke up. Leave me alone,'" he said.

Seemingly dejected, Gaul walked off down the street, alone. He called his friend Noah Walton and told him he had been kidnapped that night, but Walton didn’t believe a word of it.

"He sounded like he'd been crying or he was sounding fatigued, I guess," Walton told "20/20." "He basically told me that these people knocked him out, took his car and threw him in a van and he didn't know where he was."

He said Gaul told him not to call 911 to report the alleged incident.

"He was just like, 'No, no cops. No cops,'" said Walton.

Additionally, none of Walker's friends contacted the authorities about the alleged kidnapping that night.

The following morning, Walker went home. But then she texted her friends, saying a stranger was at her doorstep.

“I’m home alone and somebody in all black walked down my street and came to my door and rang the doorbell over and over again,” Walker texted, adding “I thought I was going to die.”

She also texted Gaul, saying, “I hate you but I need you right now."

“I’m coming… I’m speeding just give me a minute,” Gaul texted her back.

When Walker failed to meet up with her mother that morning as planned, Jill Walker returned to home and found her daughter and Gaul in the front yard.

“[My first thought was] ‘You're kidding me. He knows he's not allowed here,’” Jill Walker said. “So I just get out and ask him to leave politely, and he says ‘no, I'm here to help . I'm making sure Emma is OK,’ and he's trying to talk to me, and I just said, ‘You know you're not allowed, you need to leave.’ And he did leave.”

Her daughter was visibly shaken, and thought it could have been a burglar or maybe even a stalker. Jill, however, wasn't convinced.

"I said to Emma, don't you find it odd that Riley was involved, or appeared at both events. She said, no it wasn't him Mom, it wasn't him," Jill told "20/20."

"He's trying to get her attention to talk to him. And going way overboard to do that," she added.

“I was worried and we were watching her,” Jill Walker said. “[On] Sunday, we followed her to work, followed her back home… to watch and make sure she was safe.”

By Sunday night, things seemed back to normal at the Walker household. Emma texted with her friend Keegan Lyle about a homework assignment, then went to bed a little after midnight.

A little after 6:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, Jill Walker went into her daughter’s room but she couldn’t wake her up.

"(I) said her name, didn't hear anything, bumped her leg, didn't hear anything," Jill Walker said. "And then looked at her face and realized . and checked for a pulse and couldn't find anything. I don't remember a whole lot from that. I know I called 911."

"I just tried to wake my daughter for school," Jill Walker told the 911 operator. "She's, she's 16."

"You said that she's nonresponsive?" the 911 operator asked her.

"Yeah," Jill Walker said, sobbing.

Police were sent to the Walker house. Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Nikki Bules, the lead forensic technician on the case, said the call originally came in as a possible suicide.

"When I first got there, I started my photographs on the outside of the residence. I walked in, photographed the interior of the residence. Walked into the bedroom photographed the bedroom," Bules said. "There was a hole in the wall. . It appeared to be a bullet hole."

"At that point, I knew that it probably was not a suicide," she added.

When Knox County Sheriff's Lt. Allen Merritt arrived on the scene, he said he started looking at the outside of the house and noticed a bullet hole in the wall that was "about shoulder high."

"It's just a small bullet hole. Just, you know, about the size of a ballpoint ink pen," he said.

He then located two shell casings outside the home, so he knew two shots had been fired. Walking around outside the home, he eventually found a second bullet hole on a different side the house at approximately the same height as the first.

"To an investigator, that tells me that the two shots were more than likely fired by the same suspect," he said.

Emma Walker, a beautiful and vibrant cheerleader, had been killed by a gunshot wound to the head after two bullets had been fired into her bedroom from outside the family's single-story home. One bullet had hit her behind her left ear and the second had lodged into her pillow.

"Once the detective got there, we were asked to leave the residence," Jill Walker said. "So obviously it had turned into a crime scene at that point. So they were wrapping tape around our house, and walking around outside, but we still had no idea what had happened to her."

When police started interviewing Emma Walker’s friends and family members that day, Merritt said the same name kept coming up over and over again.

"Everybody kept giving us the name Riley Gaul because of their relationship, because they had seen the way that Riley had treated her, the way he'd talk to her," Merritt said.

Gaul took to social media to mourn Walker, posting a series of tweets and a lengthy Facebook post. In one tweet, he wrote, "Rest easy now sweetheart. I love you forever and always."

"What stood out to me from these tweets immediately was the repetitive nature of him saying, 'I love you. I love you. I love you,'" said Madisen Keavy, a reporter at ABC Knoxville affiliate WATE who covered the story. "Only knowing those posts about him, if you just read that, if you just saw that, you would think that this was an ex-boyfriend who just lost his first love."

Walker's friends and family were devastated. The night after her death, they held a candlelight vigil at Central High, and her fellow cheerleaders released balloons in her memory at that week's Bobcats’ football game.

Gaul’s friends became concerned with his well-being. So following Emma’s death, they told detectives a secret Gaul had shared with his friend, Alex McCarty, the day after Gaul's alleged kidnapping.

"He ended up telling me. that he was so fearful for his life that he had stolen his grandfather's gun and he showed it to me," McCarty relayed to “20/20”. "I was very worried. . He reassured me over and over again that he was the farthest thing from suicidal. He was just so scared of these people who were out to get him, were out to get Emma."

But Walton, another friend, also told detectives that Gaul had asked him how to get fingerprints off a gun.

"He said he was asking for his roommate," Walton told "20/20." "I told him, 'Obviously not and not to ever ask me anything like that again.' And he said, 'I know. I know. It was for my roommate. I thought it was weird.'"

Detectives brought Gaul in for questioning on Monday about his whereabouts during the previous 72 hours. Gaul said he thought he had spent Friday night at his friend Noah Walton’s house.

During his two-hour police interrogation, Gaul didn’t referred to Emma Walker by name, only calling her "the girl."

"The girl, she texted me," Gaul told detectives.

"The one that passed away," Gaul said.

“When I first met him (Gaul), I thought he might've been a grieving boyfriend,’ Det. James Hurst told “20/20.” “When we got into the interview room and sat down, I felt like there was a dark side. He didn't have a whole lot of passion or concern.”

Gaul told detectives he had been trying to speak with Walker that weekend, but she wouldn't engage with him.

"But she said if I would help her write her paper, she would talk to me," Gaul told detectives. "And (Sunday night) I used one of my friends' phones on campus to call her."

"Our phone call didn't go very well," he said. "She just told me a bunch of cruel stuff, and she blocked his (friend's) number."

Afterward, Gaul told detectives, he went over to his grandparents' house briefly and then drove back to his college. Once there, Gaul said, he broke down and cried for "two, three hours" in his car over breaking up with Walker.

But, as he was describing this in the interrogation room, Merritt said Gaul was "emotionless."

"His interview was probably one of the most disconnected. It almost seemed rehearsed, deliberate," Merritt told "20/20."

At this point, detectives said they knew from McCarty that Gaul had shown his friend his grandfather's gun. Gaul's grandfather, who had kept the gun in his car, had reported the 9mm handgun missing prior to Gaul being questioned.

Detectives asked Gaul about the gun, but he told them he didn't know where it was. He denied showing it to McCarty and also denied asking Walton about removing fingerprints from a gun.

Then detectives asked to see his cellphone and Gaul asked them if he was a suspect. “Should you be?,” the detective responded. But Gaul continued to deny having anything to do with Walker's death.

When Gaul left the sheriff's office, McCarty said he started getting text messages from him, asking why he had told the police about the gun. In text messages, Gaul asked his friends not to speak to the police anymore.


Catelynn Lowell & Tyler Baltierra: The History of Teen Mom's Most Enduring Couple

Dario Alequin/INFphoto.com

Nine years ago, the odds weren't exactly in Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra's favor.

Catelynn, who described her mom April as "pretty unpredictable," had lived in 13 different houses since she was born in 1992. Tyler's dad, Butch, had been in and out of prison. Oh, and April and Butch, both single when they met through their kids, had ended up marrying each other, making Catelynn and Tyler step siblings.

But as the teens pointed out, they had met first. (And Tyler lived with his mother.)

The high school sweethearts in Algonac, Mich., had been dating for three years, since the seventh grade, when 16-year-old Catelynn found out she was pregnant.

That news would seemingly lead to "cue the hysteria," but when 16 and Pregnant premiered on MTV in 2009, the show—which introduced the world to six pregnant teens that first season—first featured Catelynn at 16 weeks along and already talking adoption.

She knew she was having a girl, but, as she pointed out to her friends, "I've talked about keeping it, but there's not really a lot of good things about keeping it. Like, there is, but there isn't."

What has to be one of the hardest decisions to make in life, in a nutshell—because sometimes kids, with the benefit of not yet having too much life experience, are more adept at boiling a subject down to its essence without even trying than most adults.

Frankly, Catelynn found the idea of giving her baby up for adoption scary, but the prospect of parenting even scarier.

Catelynn's story always stood out from the rest of the 16 and Pregnant, and then the Teen Mom, pack because she and Tyler were the only couple from all of the franchise's installments to go the adoption route. And they continue to stand out as the only original couple from the earliest days of the surprise hit series who are still together to this day. (Mackenzie and Josh McKee from Teen Mom 3 married in 2012 and also remain together.)

They celebrated 13 years together this summer, and have now been married for three years. They are also now parents to daughter NovaLee Reign, born in January 2015, and—after weathering a miscarriage earlier this year—are now expecting another child together.

Each only 26 years old, they've still got a long way to go, but they've been through more than most couples their age, from the shocking news of Catelynn's first pregnancy to having to stay strong in the face of their parents' objection to their decision to adopt, to dealing with that guilt trip and the inevitable emotional aftermath of their decision once their daughter was adopted, to Catelynn's battle with depression.

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"I want my daughter to have a chance at life," a then 17-year-old Tyler, his still-boyish frame swimming in baggy hip-hop-inspired clothes, told his dad when Butch fiercely objected to the idea of adoption. "I just don't want her to be raised the way that she's going to be raised."

To Catelynn, as they continued to talk it out, Tyler said, "I think keeping the baby would totally ruin us. I don't think our lives are very stable to raise a child."

"I don't care if anybody's there to back us up," he added, when Catelynn expressed hope that their family would support their choice. "There's no one else's opinion that matters to me, especially my dad."

They didn't really know anything about adoption, yet, but once they set on that course, the couple started doing their research—including just how involved they would be allowed to be in their daughter's life down the road, or if theyɽ even be able to see pictures.

It would depend on the agreement with the other family, of course. It was touching to see Tyler and Catelynn, just kids themselves, project their hopes on the people who would end up raising their baby. Tyler wanted the guy to have a college degree. Catelynn preferred a stay-at-home mom.

Brandon and Teresa Davis, who stood out to them right away, ended up being the right fit for Carolyn Elizabeth, the baby girl Catelynn gave birth to on May 18, 2009, and has since always referred to as Carly.

Before Catelynn was induced, Tyler wrote a letter to their child, explaining their decision and ensuring her that her birth father would always love her.

"The thought of what kind of dad I wanted to be, and what you deserve in life, just didn't mix," he wrote. "I think about you every day, you are everything to me. I don't want you to ever, ever think I didn't want you."

When the first season of Teen Mom premiered in December 2009, Catelynn was the only teen of the group who was not dealing with the challenges of taking care of a baby, but rather coping with the decision to give her baby up.

Brandon and Teresa were that probably fairly unusually couple who agreed to give Catelynn regular updates on Carly. She and Tyler would celebrate Carly's birthday (from afar) and had yearly visits. But the initial understanding between the families has caused its fair share of drama over the years. Brandon and Teresa, who later adopted a baby boy as well, eventually started to pull back from the arrangement, first not wanting Carly to appear on Teen Mom anymore as the child was getting older, and then telling Catelynn in 2016 that they didn't want her even talking about the adoption anymore on camera.

All of which transpired on camera, of course. "My relationship with you comes before my relationship with MTV, period," Catelynn was seen telling producers. And when she told Tyler over the phone, he offered a sweeping assessment of the situation. "We should've never done an open adoption," he lamented. "We should've stuck with the closed and we should've never signed up to be on TV."

But the ties that bind remain.

In 2016 Cate told E! News that their relationship with Brandon and Teresa remained strong, they were still visiting Carly once a year and she got to text with her and see picture all the time.

Carly made NovaLee a Valentine's Day card last year, which Catelynn proudly showed off on Instagram. She naturally became the resident voice on Teen Mom for the pros and cons of adoption and the forever-feelings that come with being a birth mom and then not an active parent.

But she was never in it alone. Tyler was always there for her, and continues to be there for her, though obviously their relationship would never qualify as having been easy—for a number of reasons, their tender ages being only one.

Tyler's own guilt consumed him at first and, with Catelynn also struggling, there was major tension. Their first attempt at living together with Tyler's mom didn't work out, and Catelynn ended up moving back in with her family. And the adoption continues to haunt them in the form of their parents, with April picking a fight with her daughter even when they were shopping for prom dresses.

The couple graduated from high school in 2011 and Catelynn enrolled at Baker College to major in social work. Tyler proposed in 2012 and they bought a house in Michigan together, but then he up and went to New Orleans, where he was auditioning for commercials and trying to become an actor. They sometimes brought their issues to Twitter, engaging in heated exchanges that left fans wondering what their relationship status was.

By Thanksgiving of that year he was back home with Catelynn and their two dogs.

"We're just a normal couple. We're not the perfect princess story," Tyler explained to In Touch. "We get in arguments and we say things that we regret. We apologize and move on."

They had originally planned to get married in 2013, but they ultimately determined, with the help of couples counseling, that they weren't ready for that next step. But in 2014, Catelynn became pregnant again. This time, the couple knew they were going to become full-time parents.

Just weeks before they welcomed daughter NovaLee in January 2015, Tyler surprised his fiancee with a sparkly new engagement ring.

"She's the best thing that has ever happened to me," Baltierra wrote on Instagram a few days before Christmas. "She's everything I want that I never knew I needed. She's the most selfless, kind hearted woman that I'm lucky enough to call mine."

Also in 2014, the couple penned a book together, the aptly titled Conquering Chaos, which came out in March 2015. The couple have also started a baby clothing line, Tierra Reign.

They ended up tying the knot on Aug. 22, 2015, at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Mich., in front of family and friends including fellow Teen Mom stars Amber Portwood and Maci Bookout.

At the same time, however, Catelynn was battling severe postpartum depression and anxiety, and in 2016 she spent a month in treatment in Arizona.

"I decided I needed to get help from talking with Tyler and realizing that I maybe needed something more intense for myself," she told MTV News that September. "For some reason, I just had a light bulb moment where I was like, 'Maybe I need extra help.'"

Her world remained on edge, however, when she returned home and Tyler, who was being unusually nasty to Cate about her weight, a topic of sensitivity for her as seen on Teen Mom, was also depressed. "I'm always thinking negative all the time," he tells Cate. "It's a lot like how I felt when I was a kid. I can just feel it… I know it. All the s--t with my dad again. It's pushing me right over the edge."

When she told him it didn't seem as if he was sad all the time, Tyler said he was, and asked Cate if she was blaming herself for his depression. "Yeah, I am," she said. "I also jump to the worst thing possible."

At the time there were also rumors swirling that Tyler had been cheating on her, which the couple seemingly joked about on social media early last year, with Catelynn tweeting, "Well since it's out in the open @TylerBaltierra did cheat on me. He's busted." To which he added, "Well it goes both ways. Sometimes I booze while she cheats, sometimes she'll booze while I cheat. It just depends on the day of the week."

Um, laughter's the best medicine?

Catelynn continued to struggle, however, and in November she checked into treatment for depression again after considering suicide.

"Incredibly proud of my wife. when she thought she had no choices left, she reached out & decided to LIVE today! My life would be desolate without her in it. You are beautiful, strong, worthy, & loved @CatelynnLowell #KeepTalkingMH," Tyler tweeted his support.

She was home by New Year's, and into Tyler's waiting open arms. He had admitted he was having a tough holiday season without her, but he took comfort in being with NovaLee and watching her open presents.

At the same time, he was determined to win another battle that was on his mind. Today he showed off the before-and-after pics after losing 26 pounds in five weeks.

"Eating healthier just feels better & obviously looks better hahaha lol BOOM! #LifestyleChanges #Goals," he wrote.

This year will continue to be about changes and goals for the family, as Catelynn also announced this week that she's going back into treatment, barely three weeks after checking out.

"Well they say third times a charm. " she tweeted Jan. 17. "I'm going back to treatment people for 6 weeks to work on my trauma and getting on different meds. THANK YOU @TylerBaltierra I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. You are my light!! And nova you are my sunshine #KeepTalkingMH."

When Tyler turned 26 in January, with Catelynn wrote on Instagram, "SCREAMING Happy Birthday to my main boo, my best friend, and my lover. 26 has never looked so good! Thank you for all you do for Novalee and I. Your an amazing father and THE best husband! I love you so much!"

Then, with time flying, Novalee started preschool. "#gettingbig," indeed.

In March, Catelynn opened up on Kailyn Lowry and Lindsie Chrisley's Coffee Convos podcast about how she was managing her depression post-treatment, sharing that she seemed to finally be on the right medications and "they seem to be working really well. It all stems from the trauma in my past, so I'm going to have to keep digging deep into that."

And Tyler, who has now lost 40 pounds since embarking on his weight-loss journey, has been there, while also realizing that his own health is essential to making the overall equation work.

On their third wedding anniversary last month, Catelynn posted some photos from their wedding and wrote, "Happy anniversary to my husband! We have had some really rough times and some amazing times. I wouldn't want to go through this life with anyone but you. Happy 3 years and I can't wait for many more! I love you."


Contents

Background Edit

Diane Zamora and David Graham met at a Civil Air Patrol meeting at Spinks Airport, near Crowley, Texas, when they were 14-year-olds. Zamora said she wanted to be an astronaut and Graham wanted to be a pilot. They began dating about four years later in August 1995, when they were both high school honor students. [1] Zamora was a student at Crowley High School, and Graham was a student at Mansfield High School. [2] About a month after they began dating, Zamora and Graham announced their engagement to their families. They planned to marry after their college graduations. [1]

Graham went to school with Adrianne Jones, who was on the cross-country track team with him. Jones, whose nickname was A.J., was also an honor student. She had plans to attend Texas A&M University and was interested in becoming a behavioral analyst. Her family included her mother Linda [1] her father Bill and two brothers. [3] Graham claimed that on November 4 he had given Jones a ride home from a regional meet and that during the ride he stopped the car and they had sex. [1] During her confession to police, Zamora said that she believed it was this night when Graham came over to her house, carrying a stuffed animal and having "this look in his eyes that was horrible, he looked so scared." [4]

In Zamora's confession, she said that about a month later she questioned Graham about other girls, including Jones. They got into a fight when he pressed her to study for the SAT. Graham then said that he had not had sex only with her, but also had sex with Jones. Zamora began screaming and hitting her head against the floor, shouting, "Kill her, kill her." She said that beginning December 2, they tried to get in touch with Jones and Graham continually tried to calm Zamora down. [4] Graham said in 2008 that Zamora told him that she would kill herself or leave him if he did not kill Jones. [5]

Although they were goal-driven and intelligent, Zamora [a] and Graham [b] each had issues "beneath the surface" that were reflected at times in their behavior. Court TV said that, "from a surface view, no one would have expected that Diane and David would become a lethal combination. Although they both continued to advance in the military, their single-minded quests for recognition covered up deep-rooted problems leading to obsession and murder." [2]

The crime Edit

According to Graham, he and Zamora planned to kill Jones and put her in a lake with weights tied to her body. He called Jones on the night of December 3, 1995, and arranged to drive her to Joe Pool Lake while Zamora hid in the hatchback of [1] her car. Zamora said in her confession that they arrived at a spot by the lake after 12:30 a.m. on December 4. She said that when Graham stopped the car she came out from the hatchback and asked Jones if she had sex with Graham. She claimed Jones said that she had, but hadn't enjoyed it because she felt guilty. Zamora became enraged. [4] Zamora and Graham both said in their confessions that they got into a struggle, Zamora hit Jones on the head with the weights, and Jones fought back. She got out of the car and ran into a field. Graham shot her twice with a 9mm handgun after she fell down. [1] [4] [5] According to Zamora's confession, when he returned to the car, Graham said, "I love you, baby, do you believe me now?" [4] Shortly thereafter, Zamora asked what they had just done, to which David answered, "I don't know. I can't believe we just did that." [4] They cleaned up [4] and/or disposed of their bloody clothes and went home. [1] Zamora and Graham each said that she then cleaned her car that had blood in it, and that at that time Graham was vomiting. [1] [4] She wrote in her calendar for the day, "Adrianne 1:38 a.m." [6]

The investigation and arrest Edit

Jones' body was found in an open field on Seeton Road, near Joe Pool Lake, on December 4. [1] She was brought in to the medical examiner as a Jane Doe. It did not appear that she had been sexually assaulted, but it was clear that she had been shot and had "blunt traumatic head injury". The shooter had stood within a few feet of Jones when pulling the trigger. The second bullet was fired when the killer stood right over her, hitting her right between the eyes. Her body was positively identified to be the missing Adrianne Jones when the medical examiner received a photograph of Jones. [7]

After the murder Graham went to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and Zamora went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. While there she confessed to the murder to her two roommates, who contacted the authorities at the academy. [1] [6] The Grand Prairie police were then contacted, and Zamora and Graham were arrested for capital murder on September 6, 1996. They were held in the Tarrant County Jail. [1] [8]

Graham was interrogated for 30 hours, during which he confessed to killing Jones. [1] Zamora also confessed to the murder during her interrogation by the police. [6] The key details of the event were similar each said that Jones was killed because Graham had sex with her, she was taken to a remote lake, and she was hit over the head by Zamora and shot twice by Graham. [3]

Both later recanted their confessions. [6] Graham said that he was not guilty of killing Jones, but helped cover up the murder, which he claimed Zamora committed by herself. Zamora claimed that Graham committed the murder by himself. [6] A 9mm handgun, alleged to be the murder weapon, was found in the attic, which could be reached through David Graham's bedroom. [6]

The police had investigated the case for nine months. [8] Law enforcement officials associated with the case have stated that the sexual encounter between Graham and Jones did not happen, but was invented by Graham. Sgt. Alan Patton of the Grand Prairie Police Department stated: "For those who don't remember, this was a totally brutal, unnecessary murder. David had lied to Diane about an alleged sexual tryst that never happened with Adrianne Jones. If he had said, 'I was just kidding, I was just trying to make you jealous', Adrianne Jones would still be alive today." However, Graham has since admitted that his original confession was accurate and the only reason he lied about the sexual encounter not happening was because of his defense lawyer's advice. [5] [9]

The trial Edit

Zamora's two-week trial began in February 1998 in Fort Worth with Judge Joe Drago presiding. [3] Linda Jones, Adrianne's mother, asked that the death penalty be removed as a sentencing option from both trials. [10]

During the trial, Zamora admitted to being at the scene of the crime, but denied participating in the killing of Jones. The Naval Academy Midshipmen to whom Zamora confessed and another witness stated that she showed no remorse over Jones' death. [3]

The case received national media attention, providing Court TV with some of its highest ratings ever in its film coverage of the trial. Some of the interest centered on whether Zamora was the submissive victim or the jealous driving force behind the murder. Under Texas law, murder is the intentional killing of another human being, while capital murder includes murder with an underlying felony of kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, or obstruction. In this case, the prosecutor believed that Jones was deceptively lured from her home by Graham asking her for a bogus date, or she would not have been in the car. Moreover, the couple committed obstruction when Zamora allegedly ordered Graham to stalk Jones into the field and to shoot her so that she could not tell the authorities.

The jury was asked to deliberate on the charges of capital murder or the lesser charges of assault, kidnapping, or false imprisonment. On February 17, 1998, after more than six hours of deliberations over two days, the jury found Zamora guilty of capital murder in the death of Adrianne Jones. Because of the Jones family's request that prosecutors not seek the death penalty against her, Zamora received a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment and would be eligible for parole after 40 years. [3]

On July 24, 1998, after a separate trial, a jury found Graham guilty of capital murder. [8] During the trial, Wendy Bartlett, also on the track team, and Coach Lee Ann Burke stated that Bartlett was the one who drove Jones home after the meet on November 4, and that Graham had left earlier, leaving Jones and Bartlett to put away equipment from the meet. [11] Graham did not drive Jones home on the night he claimed to have had sex with her, lending credence to his later recantation. However, he ultimately repudiated his recantation, saying his lawyer had pressured him to lie, and again claimed to have had sex with Jones. Adding that to Zamora's story about Jones admitting to having had sex with Graham when Zamora asked her about it just before the murder, it might be that Graham and Jones had sex at some other time. [12] [10] He was sentenced to life imprisonment. [8]

David Richards, Zamora's attorney, used the testimony from Bartlett and Burke as the basis of an appeal for Zamora. The petition, made in 2005, stated that the prosecution withheld this information during Zamora's trial. "From these witnesses, the state knew, and should have known, that the testimony it sponsored in support of a sexual encounter between Jones and Graham was probably false." [11]

Due to the prominence of the case, in 2015 Tarrant County, authorities chose to keep the paper court documents of the case as historical documents even though they have been digitized. [13]

Incarceration Edit

Zamora was transferred from a jail in Fort Worth, Texas to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She was initially held in a state prison diagnostic unit in Gatesville, Texas in February 1998, [14] then held at the Murray Unit, also in Gatesville. [15] At one point she was held in protective custody at Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, but she was later moved to the general prison population in the William P. Hobby Unit near Marlin. As of 2018 [update] she is back in protective custody in Mountain View. Zamora, opposed to her placement, filed a civil rights complaint with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the complaint was dismissed. [16]

Graham was held at the Ellis Unit near Huntsville after the trial. [17] In 2016 he was held at the Darrington Unit near Rosharon. [18] As of 2018 [update] he is held at the Allred Unit in Wichita Falls. [16] He is currently enrolled at the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary's inmate seminary in order to become a pastor behind bars. [ citation needed ] In 2008, Graham said that his confession to the police was correct and expressed remorse for killing Jones. He also said that if he had it to do over again he would have pleaded guilty to murder. [5]

Zamora got to know Steven Mora, a fellow Texas inmate, through the mail. He had committed auto theft and burglary and was in prison for threatening someone related to one of his cases. Although they never met in person, the two decided to get married and petitioned Bexar County for a marriage license in 2003. [19] A wedding ceremony was performed on June 17, 2003. Zamora's mother and a male friend stood in for the imprisoned couple in the county's first proxy marriage, which was performed by a judge in San Antonio. [20] They were divorced in or around 2008. [10]

Zamora was interviewed by Stone Phillips on Dateline in a show broadcast in April 2007. Her appeals were exhausted, and with her lawyer's permission she took a polygraph test administered by Dateline. Her new story was that Graham and she had been breaking up, and that Graham was using the murder to "tie her to him". She noted that she obstructed justice by cleaning the car afterwards and was an accessory after the fact however, Zamora pointed out that the jury had convicted her of intending to kill Jones, which she denied. When she took the polygraph, the administrator repeatedly told her to stop her exaggerated breathing, a counter-measure for such tests. He said that he believed he had enough to actually say that Zamora had failed the crucial question on whether she had intended to kill Jones. Two other independent polygraph administrators, who were not at the test, were contacted by Dateline and asked to review the results they said that they could offer no opinion due to counter-measures. Zamora responded to Phillips that she was nervous and hyperventilating despite being told all the questions in advance and reviewing them with the administrator before the test. [21]


Taraji P. Henson opens up about lying to her 9-year-old son about his father’s brutal murder

On her new podcast, Taraji P. Henson recalled the tough time she experienced with telling her young son that his father was murdered.

The 50-year-old “Empire” star opened in Wednesday’s episode of “Peace of Mind with Taraji” about the difficult decision she faced upon learning that her ex-boyfriend, William Johnson, was killed.

“My son’s father was suddenly taken, murdered, when he was 9 and I didn’t know how to tell him that,” Henson revealed to co-host Tracie Jade Jenkins. “I couldn’t tell him he was murdered.”

Johnson, Henson’s high school sweetheart, was 33 when he was stabbed to death on Jan. 26, 2003. The Washington Post reported police cited a brutal confrontation over slashed tires escalated and led to his death.

The Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning actress confessed to being unable to tell her child, Marcel, the truth. Instead, she lied and said his father “died in an accident.”

″I didn’t have the balls — it wouldn’t come out,” a tearful Henson replied. “It was in the paper and I didn’t know how to tell him. He was stabbed to death, it was the worst way you could die.”

Marcel, now 26, eventually learned what happened and confronted his mother.

“Later on in life, he found out and he came back to me and was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me my daddy was murdered?’ And so then we had to get therapy,” Henson shared.

The conversation was then turned over to the show’s guest, therapist Sierra Hillsman, who provided tips on how to properly have a difficult conversation with a young child.

Hillsman advised that the best way to talk about sensitive topics with children is to use age-appropriate language and to explain “there are situations where people do evil things to other people.”


Teen parents, then separate lives — and now a family reunited

These former sweethearts married in later life, then found the daughter they gave up for adoption.

A recent walk past Everett Municipal Court brought to mind a love story, rather than traffic tickets or misdemeanors. It&rsquos the place where Karen and Dennis Vinar were married.

They were featured in this column on Valentine&rsquos Day 2015. Once high school sweethearts in Brownton, Minnesota, they had reunited decades after their teen courtship. When Dennis Vinar found Karen Lehmann online through LinkedIn, she was a widow living in Monroe and working at the Bramble Home Store in Everett. Long divorced, he lived in Minnesota. Both had raised families.

With their long-ago romance rekindled by phone calls and email, Vinar and Lehmann were married Jan. 22, 2015. Everett Municipal Court Judge Timothy O&rsquoDell, who later retired, performed the ceremony.

There&rsquos more than Herald readers learned three years ago. The couple&rsquos story is told in a 2016 book, &ldquoHow Did You Find Me … After All These Years?&rdquo They co-authored it with Jean Voxland, the daughter they gave up for adoption in 1961, and Jean&rsquos husband, Andrew Voxland.

&ldquoDennis and I started dating when I was 13 and he was 15. I got pregnant at 14 and gave birth at 15,&rdquo Karen Vinar said Wednesday from the couple&rsquos home in Northfield, Minnesota.

Their daughter was born Aug. 13, 1961. A few months earlier, Karen had left their small hometown to stay in a Lutheran Social Services home for unwed mothers-to-be in Minneapolis. She&rsquoll never forget the day her daughter was born.

&ldquoDennis was in the hospital, he signed the birth certificate,&rdquo she said. &ldquoBoth of us held her briefly. My parents were there and they held her. We handed her over to the nurse, that was the last I saw of her.&rdquo

Other than memories, all they had was a photo of their newborn taken at the hospital.

Dennis Vinar had asked Karen to marry him all those years ago. Her parents objected, &ldquosaying we were much too young,&rdquo she said. When Dennis was home from U.S. Army duty in Germany, he again proposed marriage. Karen, then studying interior design at the University of Minnesota, said no. Both eventually married others.

After their 2015 wedding, Dennis suggested they search for their daughter &mdash now a 56-year-old mother of three grown daughters. At first, Karen was reluctant to disrupt their daughter&rsquos life. &ldquoBut he finally said, &lsquoI found you. My life would be complete if we found our daughter,&rsquo&rdquo Karen recalled.

She had named the baby Denise, after Dennis. Even knowing the adoptive parents would change it, she said, &ldquoevery time I heard the name Denise I&rsquod look around to see if that may have been her.&rdquo At last, she agreed to search. They started with Lutheran Social Services in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The agency had Voxland&rsquos married name because she had checked her file for medical information. The Vinars were asked to write a letter to their daughter, which the agency kept. They included photographs.

Jean Voxland and her husband live in Kenyon, Minnesota, not far from her birth parents. The agency sent an initial letter, which only said a family member was trying to reach her. The Voxlands thought it might be a scam, and nearly threw it away. Andrew Voxland did some detective work. They learned it was the adoption agency reaching out.

&ldquoHow Did You Find Me … After All These Years?&rdquo tells the story of former high school sweethearts Dennis Vinar and Karen Lehmann reuniting, marrying and finding the daughter they gave up for adoption as teens. (Courtesy Karen and Dennis Vinar)

With permission, the agency sent Jean the letter written by her birth parents. It was May 31, 2016, when they all met, with a caseworker, at a Lutheran Social Services office.

&ldquoFor me, having been sought out at age 54 was a bit of a shock,&rdquo said Jean Voxland. &ldquoI grew up in the little town of Hayfield, Minnesota.&rdquo Her adoptive mother has died, but the father who raised her is living. She was also raised with an adopted brother.

After her first child was born, Jean Voxland thought about searching for her birth parents. &ldquoIt never crossed my mind that I&rsquod have the opportunity to meet both of them &mdash and they&rsquod be married,&rdquo she said.

Today, she and her birth parents get together most every week. As a way to process her emotions, Jean started writing about the experience. While chatting, she and her birth parents and husband all decided to write the book together.

&ldquoIt is a good story and it is a true story,&rdquo Jean Voxland said. &ldquoI feel like there&rsquos been divine intervention here. For the four of us to get together the way we did, everybody had to be in the right place at the right time.&rdquo

With her first husband, Karen had raised a son. Dennis had three other children.

&ldquoThe family has increased,&rdquo Karen Vinar said. &ldquoWe now have five children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.&rdquo And Jean, she added, &ldquoabsolutely looks like her dad.&rdquo

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460 [email protected] net.com.

&ldquoHow Did You Find Me … After All These Years?&rdquo tells the story of former high school sweethearts Dennis Vinar and Karen Lehmann reuniting, marrying in Everett in 2015, and successfully searching for the daughter they gave up for adoption as teenagers in 1961. The book is available on Amazon.com or at www.howdidyoufindme.com.

  • You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing [email protected] or by calling 425-339-3428.
  • If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to [email protected] or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
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&ldquoHow Did You Find Me … After All These Years?&rdquo tells the story of former high school sweethearts Dennis Vinar and Karen Lehmann reuniting, marrying and finding the daughter they gave up for adoption as teens. (Courtesy Karen and Dennis Vinar)

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'Sleepwalking' killer Scott Falater still wracked with guilt over murdering wife

Falater's sleepwalking defense made sensational headlines in the '90s.

TV producer’s romance with star surgeon begins against better judgment: Part 1

Scott Falater has been told many times how he murdered his wife, Yarmila Falater.

He’s heard the gruesome details of how he stabbed her dozens of times in the family’s backyard and shoved her body into their pool from the officers who arrived on the scene, investigators and through court proceedings, including testimony from a neighbor who says he saw him commit part of the crime.

Falater was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced in 2000 to life in prison, but to this day, he maintains that he doesn't remember committing the act. His defense’s argument has always been that Fataler killed his wife while sleepwalking, which fueled sensational headlines at the time that he was the “sleepwalking” killer.

Watch the full story on “20/20” FRIDAY at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

“All I can say is I do not know what happened. I do know for sure I never planned it. There was nothing for me to gain from it,” Falater told “20/20” in a new exclusive video interview from the Yuma Prison Complex -- a rarity in the Arizona prison system.

“There’s no one else I can place the responsibility [on]. It’s on my shoulders, I accept that and I have to move on,” he added.

Falater, who has never denied killing his wife, said he’s never been able to forgive himself.

“I doubt I ever will,” he said.

He went on to say that he thinks “about what she had to go through that night, and the pain and the terror she had to feel. I can't even fathom.”

“We were meant for each other,” Falater continued. “I never doubted that and I still don’t doubt that. So, I will miss her until the day I die.”

Falater believes he’ll never be released from prison.

“I don’t expect it,” he said. “I really have no plans to go anywhere but here.”

What Scott Falater says happened the night he killed his wife

Friends and family members told “20/20” in previous interviews that the Falaters were a devoted couple, happily married and involved in the local community of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Yarmila never expressed any dissatisfaction with her marriage,” her friend Marci Blau told “20/20.” “I would say, ‘Come on, Yarmila, there's gotta be something that drives you nuts,’ and she would just say, ‘Nope, no, he's just a really great guy.’”

Scott and Yarmila Falater, who he sometimes called “Yarm” for short, had been high school sweethearts. They were both raised Catholic but later converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Scott Falater said his wife “was a great mother, a great wife,” his best friend and someone who had been with him his entire adult life.

Their son, Michael Falater, has long maintained that he had a “very good childhood.”

“I had a father that worked hard and supported the family and a stay-at-home-mom who was always there when I came home from school,” he told “20/20.” “I never saw my parents argue or fight or yell at each other. It was a very loving home.”

On Jan. 16, 1997, Scott Falater said he and his wife woke up around 3 a.m., to what sounded like someone walking on the gravel outside of their bedroom window.

Scott Falater said he got out of bed and looked around the family’s Phoenix home, but didn’t see anything unusual. He went back to bed, but said he got little sleep that night.

The following day, Scott Falater said he worked a full day at his job as an electrical engineer for Motorola and then came home to have dinner with his wife and their two kids. After dinner, Scott Fataler, who taught a daily early morning religious education class before work, said he prepared a lesson he planned to give the next day.

Scott Fataler said his wife had asked him to fix their pool filter. At about 9 p.m. that night, he said he went out to their pool in the backyard and tried to fix it, but because it was late and dark, he said he gave up. When he came back inside, he said his wife was asleep on the couch, so he kissed her goodnight, promised to fix the pool filter the following day and went to bed.

“I was really exhausted and crashed in bed,” he said. “I would guess it was between 9:30 and 10:00 [p.m.].”

The next thing he said he remembers was standing atop the stairs in his pajamas as a police officer, with his gun drawn, yelled at him to keep his hands visible and get on the floor.

A neighbor sees a horrific sight, calls 911

The Falaters’ neighbor, Greg Koons, has a very different version of what happened the night of Jan. 17, 1997.

Koons’ girlfriend at the time, Stephanie Reidhead, told “20/20” they were getting ready for bed around 10 p.m., when Reidhead said she heard “moaning or crying” outside.

Koons later testified at trial that he went out to investigate, during which he looked over the wall between his and the Falaters’ property and saw a woman lying on the ground, moving slightly. Koons told authorities he at first thought she had passed out drunk, but then he says he saw Scott Falater drag the woman over to the pool, roll her into the water and hold her head underwater.

Reinhead told “20/20” Koons ran back into his home, saying that Scott Falater was drowning his wife and called 911.

When Phoenix Police Department officers Joel Tranter, Steven Stanowicz and Kemp Layden arrived on the scene, they found Yarmila Falater floating apparently lifeless in the pool.

Stanowicz said he could tell from the amount of blood in the water that it was a bad situation. As soon as he pulled her out, Stanowicz said, “I knew that she was gone.”

“I’ve never seen a shark attack in person, but to me, it was reminiscent of a shark attack,” Tranter added.

Then, Tranter and Layden noticed Scott Falater moving around upstairs. While Stanowicz tended to Yarmila Falater, Layden said he rushed in and pointed his gun at her husband, who was coming down the stairs. Layden told him to get on the ground.

“I was hopelessly confused at first,” Scott Falater told “20/20” in a previous interview. “ I kept asking, “What is going on. All they would do is yell,‘Get down, shut up.’”

Tranter said he asked Scott Falater if there was anyone else in the house. Scott Falater told him there were four people: him, his wife and their two kids.

“At that point, I'd already observed his wife in the swimming pool … so that surprised me,” Tranter said.

As officers moved around the house, they found Falater’s two kids asleep in their rooms, unharmed. Michael Falater, who was 12 years old at the time, said an officer told him his parents had a fight and that his mother was dead.

“I went to bed as a 12-year-old kid with a happy life and I woke up to a police officer telling me that my mother died,” Michael Falater said.

Scott Falater was led away in handcuffs and taken to the police station for questioning. At this point, he said he still didn’t fully understand what had happened to his wife or how he was responsible.

“It just didn't seem real,” Scott Falater said in a previous “20/20” interview. “I'm not sure that I was 100% coherent while I was sitting in the police car. I'm not sure that even until I got to the police station that I was 100% convinced that Yarm was dead.”

Phoenix homicide detective John Norman interrogated Scott Falater when he came in, peppering him with questions about what happened, but Scott Falater said he couldn’t remember harming his wife.

When Norman pointed out that he had blood on his neck, Scott Falater said he didn’t know it was there. Norman also told him that his wife had been stabbed and that a neighbor had seen him drown her in the pool, which seemed to stun Falater, but Norman said he wasn’t having it.

“I'm not going to buy his story when I got an eyewitness watching him drown her. No. His story was hogwash,” Norman told “20/20.” “The only thing I believed about his story was that his name was Scott Falater.”

The sleepwalking defense

Scott Falater was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for his wife’s death.

Two years later, in 1999, “20/20” interviewed him in jail while he awaited trial. In that interview, Scott Falater maintained that he loved his wife and that he was still struggling with what happened.

“I accept the fact that the neighbors saw me do the physical act. Would I have consciously and intentionally killed her? Absolutely not,” he told “20/20” at the time.

“20/20” was also there during one of Falater’s jailhouse visits with his two children.

“I recall him telling me that he loved me, and that he hoped one day that he could come back and be my father,” Michael Falater said, looking back on that moment now as an adult.

When Scott Falater went to trial in June 1999, then-Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Juan Martinez sought the death penalty.

The prosecution’s argument was that Scott Falater was wide awake when he killed his wife.

During the trial, chief medical examiner Dr. Philip Keen testified that Yarmila Falater had been stabbed 44 times, and that “most were defensive wounds but some were fatal.”

The bombshell testimony came from the Falaters’ neighbor, Greg Koons. Though he did not see the attack, Koons testified that he saw Yarmila Falater lying on the ground near the pool and that Scott Falater was walking through the house, turning lights off and on, and wringing his hands. He testified that he watched Scott Falater put gloves on, roll his wife into the pool and hold her head underwater.

Faced with Koons’ damning testimony, Scott Falater’s defense attorney, Mike Kimerer, originally planned to have him plead guilty by reason of insanity, but then Scott Falater’s mother and sister said they remembered that he used to sleepwalk.

They said it happened when he was under a lot of stress, whether it was school in his youth or later on when he was planning his wedding while working full time.

“There were several times . he came down the stairs, fully dressed, and walked into the living room, and he was all ready for school and it was like midnight,” his mother, Lois Wilcek, told “20/20” in a 1999 interview. “Then one time he came down the stairs and he was probably 15 or 16 … and he was stark naked…. The next day, you'd ask him about it or talk to him about it [and] he had absolutely no idea that this happened.”

Scott Falater’s sister, Laura Healy, said there was one time when he was about 20 years old that she encountered him sleepwalking in the kitchen, headed for the back door. When she moved to try to stop him from going outside, Healy said he “grabbed me by the shoulders and just tossed me.”

“He looked just so angry. He looked almost demonic,” Healy told “20/20” in 1999. “I have never seen him look like that -- never.”

Scott Falater insisted he didn’t remember any of these instances.

Kimerer built a defense around Scott Falater’s sleepwalking episodes, which Scott Falater admitted even he initially believed was far-fetched.

“I didn't question him [my attorney] or push him hard at the time, but inside I just felt it was a bunch of B.S. It was very simple and pure B.S. and it had no basis in reality,” Falater told “20/20” in 1999. “This sounds to me like a Twinkie defense.”

But after consulting with sleep experts, and agreeing to undergo a sleep study of his own in an Arizona hospital, Falater was on board with Kimerer presenting that argument at trial, including that Falater had been stressed from overwork and a lack of sleep, which caused him to sleepwalk and kill his wife.

He called two of the world’s leading sleep experts of the time to take the stand, Dr. Roger Broughton and Dr. Rosalind Cartwright. Both testified that they believed Scott Falater killed his wife in his sleep and that in a sleepwalking state, if she disturbed him, he could have seen her as a threat, prompting him to unknowingly attack her.

The defense called two of Scott Falater’s cellmates to the stand, who testified they had watched him sleepwalking in their cell.

Both of Scott and Yarmila Falater’s kids also testified and described a happy childhood with their loving parents.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Martinez had a detective who had searched the Falater home on the stand describing the moment he found bloody clothes in a food container and a bloody hunting-style knife in a spare tire storage area in the back of Scott Falater’s car. The police said this was evidence that showed Scott Falater hid his clothes and the murder weapon, had tried to wash off the blood on him, and had changed clothes.

On cross-examination, Broughton acknowledged it was unusual for a sleepwalker to carry out so many actions during a single episode.

The prosecution’s own sleep expert testified that he believed Scott Falater had to have been awake when he killed his wife because he claimed there had been too many complex actions for someone in a sleepwalking state to do.


3 Little Miss Nobody


In a small grave in Yavapai County, Arizona lies the remains of Little Miss Nobody. She was found just off Alamo Road on 31 July 1960 and believed to have been between 5 and 7 years old. The little girl&rsquos hair had been dyed and her finger- and toenails painted red. Since she had not suffered any broken bones, her cause of death remains undetermined, but officials agree that it was homicide.

Investigations over the years have proved unfruitful. No suspects were ever arrested, Little Miss Nobody has never been identified and her relatives never found. In 2018 the case was reopened, as investigators are hoping that modern technology might help solve the mystery. [8]


You know everything about each other, and that can be a very good thing.

Once you’ve been through so many of life’s changes together, there’s not much you don’t know about each other. Maybe for some that would take the excitement out of the relationship, but for many of us who married our high school sweethearts, it just makes our love deeper, and more raw and unfiltered in a way. “Our joys and sorrows are shared, rather than related to each other,” my friend Courtney explains. “We grew up together. There is no veil. It was ripped off long ago.


Gangs of Edinburgh: The baby-faced assassin and childhood sweethearts who fuelled bloody street war between crime families

It was 10.50pm on a Saturday when a masked man walked into the packed Marmion pub, a sawn-off shotgun gripped in both hands, and opened fire.

In moments, one man had suffered fatal wounds and a second lay badly injured as the shooter fled into the darkness.

He would be pursued through the streets by a mob who chased him from the Edinburgh bar. They beat him brutally in the face with the butt of his own weapon.

Jamie Bain had been cornered only yards from his front door after launching the gun attack that shocked the city in April 2006.

Fuelled by cocaine, Bain had targeted relatives of his partner Dionne Hendry, a member of the notorious Hendry clan with its reputation for violence.

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Their star-crossed relationship had sowed the seeds of that night, and years later, the volatile union was still a source of bad blood between the families.

Bain wed Dionne in 2014 in a high-security prison where he is serving a life for murder, with one Hendry family member describing it as a “marriage made in hell”.

In the months following the ceremony, Edinburgh was again rocked by violence, with the jailhouse nuptials feared to have sparked fresh animosity.

Among the incidents, Dionne’s Range Rover was blasted with a gun and a hoax bomb was left on her doorstep.

She and Bain had been childhood sweethearts at Liberton High School, and she described him later as a “bit of a poser but a good guy to me”.

Dionne fell pregnant with their first child at 16 and the couple later had a son.

But by 2006, Bain, then 22, was part of the city’s underworld and embroiled in a feud with an Inch-based cocaine dealer.

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Police had warned Bain his life was in serious danger just weeks before the Marmion shooting.

Bain himself claimed he’d been attacked with a machete, run over by a speeding car and almost stabbed in front of his two kids.

Amid this turmoil, Bain assaulted Dionne on the morning of April 22, leaving her needing hospital treatment for bruising to her cheekbone and nose. Police believed he feared reprisals from members of Dionne’s family.

Bain spent that evening bingeing on cocaine at a flat party in Garvald Court before setting out for the pub on Captain’s Road.

His pal Bernard Young provided him with the stolen shotgun while another friend, Richard Cosgrove, accompanied him to the bar.

James Hendry, then 27, was first to be hit by Bain, face concealed behind a hockey mask, only seconds after being handed a drink by a barmaid.

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Then Bain turned the gun on boxing champ Alex McKinnon, 32, Hendry’s brother-in-law, who died from his terrible injuries.

Bain spent a week fighting for his life at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after being set upon outside and later underwent plastic surgery.

At his trial, his defence team, led by Donald Findlay QC, claimed Bain’s memory for the months preceding the savage beating had been erased.

Speaking from prison after being convicted, Bain said: “I honestly can’t remember anything. Alex was a good friend so I can’t understand why it would’ve happened. I cried when I was told he was dead. He was a good guy. I wish I could remember. At least it might give me some kind of explanation.”

Bain – dubbed the “baby-faced assassin – was ordered to serve life with a minimum of 22 years.

In 2007, he launched a court battle to become the first prisoner to have sex behind bars in Scotland. He planned to lodge legal papers to fight for the right to “conjugal visits” from Dionne.

Seven years later, the couple tied the knot at Shotts Prison.

A Hendry family member said: “This is a marriage made in hell. How Dionne – now Dionne Bain – can flaunt the death of Alex McKinnon by marrying his killer is beyond me. They are welcome to each other.”

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In 2008, Dionne’s younger brother had been jailed for nine months for assaulting Bain’s mum, dad and sister.

It was feared the marriage had reopened the feud between the families and, in September 2014, an explosion in violence rocked the city.

A family house in Moredun was sprayed with bullets. The terrifying attack came just days after an 18-year-old man was left with serious facial injuries after being beaten in Gilmerton.

Then Dionne’s Range Rover was hit by gunfire, leaving a large hole below its private registration plate. A drum of petrol with shotgun cartridges strapped to it was left on her doorstep.

The homemade device also had a Liverpool FC scarf tied to it along with the scrawled message: “Time’s running out, lad.”

On the same night, a second bomb was left beside the Inch home of an associate of Bain, while a house in Gilmerton was hit by gunfire.

Top news stories today

The survivor of the Marmion shooting, James Hendry, was jailed for 40 months for culpable homicide after killing former Royal bodyguard Edward Dooley with a single punch in 2008.


Watch the video: The Sweetheart Murders (May 2022).