In May 1985, Kathryn “Katie” Eastburn and her two daughters, Kara, 5, and Erin, 3, were murdered in their home, on the outskirts of Fayetteville, N.C., near Fort Bragg. Police found the military wife next to her bed, raped and murdered. Two of her three daughters were also stabbed to death, their throats cut.
It would take 25 years to bring the man responsible for the grisly slayings to justice — but not for a lack of trying.
The case would see a conviction with a man on death row, followed by his acquittal. And then over 2 decades later, with the help of DNA, a rarely used exception to double jeopardy, would finally see justice served.
On May 26, 1990, Marlene Warren was finishing breakfast with her 22-year-old son, Joseph Ahrens and his friends at her home in Wellington, Florida, when a visitor arrived at the door. She lived in the Aero Club, an upscale community with a private airstrip for use by Aero Club residents.
Marlene went to answer the front door, it was just before 11am. Standing at the door was someone dressed as a clown: red bulb nose, orange wig and painted face. The clown held a bouquet of flowers and two balloons — one emblazoned with a picture of Snow White and one that said “You’re the Greatest!” The clown held them out to Marlene Warren. And then shot her in the face. Marlene Warren fell to the ground. The clown calmly walked back to a white Chrysler LeBaron and drove away. Her teenage son found her lying in a pool of blood. Marlene Warren died two days later.
At the time, investigators said they had identified a suspect but didn’t have enough evidence for a conviction. No arrests were made and the case went cold — for nearly 30 years. That is, until the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received a grant in 2014, used to reopen some cold cases. A new investigation into the killer clown case was launched — and this time, new advances in DNA technology provided detectives with sufficient evidence to prove the identity of the person disguised as a clown.
Philanthropist Glen Davis was born into wealth. He happily worked in the family business eventually taking the reigns of the fortune after his father’s passing. In 1983 though, Davis survived an airplane fire that claimed the lives of 23 passengers. It was this life changing event that turned Davis to philanthropy.
Glen Davis went on to donate more than $20 million over 40 years to various environmental causes. On May 18, 2007, his life was cut short by a gunman’s bullet in a Toronto parking garage.
Despite hard work by the Toronto Police, the case went cold for over a year, until they received a break from a small time hustle arrested on unrelated charges. The story he told police unraveled a story of money, betrayal, greed, and a senseless killing.
On August 25, 2016, Toronto Police received a 911 call around 1 p.m. for a man bleeding heavily from a suspected stab wound on the residential street in Scarborough.
When officers arrived, they found the lifeless bodies of three individuals. A fourth victim was taken to hospital. They also took one person into custody.
Initially the police refused to reveal if there was any sort of relationship between those involved.
Toronto Emergency Services later confirmed two men and one woman were killed and the fourth victim suffered only minor injuries.
In the days following the killings, the public would learn that the victims suffered fatal crossbow bolt wounds. And that the victims and accused were indeed related. Who the accused was and details of his past criminal history would shock this quiet suburban community.
On the morning of June 30th, 2009, four female bodies were discovered in a submerged Nissan Sentra with a broken left taillight, in the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The Shafia sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with their supposed “Auntie” Rona Amir Mohammed, 53, were found dead under water in front of the northernmost Kingston Mills lock.
That same morning, three people showed up at police headquarters to file a missing persons report: Mohammad Shafia, the girls’ father, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, their mother, and Hamed Shafia, their 18-year-old brother.
Police initially believed that it was a tragic accident, but the more questions the police asked the family, the stranger their story became. What police discovered over the next three weeks would lead to one of the most high-profile murder trials in Canadian history. The case would shed a light on the ancient practice of honour killing and the clash of Canadian values and the integration of immigrants in Western society.
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