Black Gold Runs Blood Red in Texas: Finale

Last week we left wondering who in the world owns Janice Willhelm’s 7-acre farm just outside of Centerville, Texas. Her husband, Gerald Willhelm, had died mysteriously less than a week after he gave an interview to the media. While there is no one left to contest his sudden heart attack and cremation, Janice’s family still fights for justice in this greedy land grab.

Although, the lawsuits were still pending Gerald’s will was quickly probated and pushed through the system. He left his wife’s farm to a blond banker from town and one of the witnesses that signed off on Janice’s forged will. While the banker’s mother swears her daughter just had a “Father/Daughter” type relationship with Gerald Wilhelm, Janice’s family refuse to believe such a thing. It will be proven in court one way or another, but in the meantime, Janice’s children are still fighting.

Janice Willhelm’s will was a blatant forgery, and this has been verified by two different handwriting experts. The will was pushed through without the children’s knowledge. This is one battle for the Robeson family, but sadly, there is more.

Morris and his wife Mable raised their grandson as their own child and treated him accordingly. Unfortunately, this seems to have driven a wedge between their eldest son and their unofficially adopted one. Before Morris’ murder, the uncle began to wage war on the grandson, and it continues to this day. After the death, Mable sold her grandson a part of the property on the contingency that she could live out her days in the home. Of course, he agreed. This, unfortunately, drove the wedge deeper causing the uncle to file lawsuit after lawsuit trying to pry the property from his nephew’s hands. The vindictive man even used his own mother’s name to file a lawsuit. When contacted, however, Mable was shocked by it and demanded that it be dropped. If I went into every detail of this family feud, this blog series would last for another year. After reviewing all the evidence, I am left with one question that I will relate to you.

Was this uncle so greedy that he would cause, or allow the murders of his own father and his sister?

When his daughter was caught talking, she was suddenly found dead in her home from an overdose. Yes, she was an addict, but it seems strange nonetheless. Everyone that crosses the uncle seems to end up in endless litigation or six feet under the Texas dirt.

This case continues and continues to fight for justice. This case has been appealed all the way up to the Texas Rangers only to hit a brick wall there as well. The only hope at this point may be the FBI and the media. If you have been a victim of corruption in Leon County, Texas, you can visit http://texaspubliccorruption.com/ and submit your story anonymously.

Don’t let the saying “Texas Justice” stand for bullying by corrupt officials. Let Texas Justice stand for truth and the good ole’ American way. 

Black Gold Runs Blood Red in Texas: Part 4

Janice Willhelm

Part four of this saga leads us back to the beginning of this tragic tale; the strange death of disabled, Janice Robeson Wilhelm. Just to recap, Janice was found dead from a gunshot wound to her neck. She was sitting up in her recliner with her hands tucked neatly under her lap blanket.

The .45 caliber bullet entered the back left-hand side of her neck and traveled downward passing into her lungs and severing her spinal cord. This caused instant paralysis. Despite this, the authorities would have you believe that she threw the gun six foot away from her chair, and tucked her hands back under her blanket.

Below are two pictures of the crime scene. The only changes that were made to these photos are the addition of the blacked out portions hiding the graphic details of the deceased’s wounds.

Notice the following:

  • The gun is laying 6 – 8 feet away from the deceased. If this had been a suicide, then the weapon would have fallen directly beside the chair, not six foot away in front of the couch.
  • The shell casing is found several feet away behind the couch. Again, this wouldn’t be the case in a suicide. The casing would have landed in the chair or amongst the blankets.
  • It has been reported that the blood under the recliner was already coagulated. Why? If this happened as Gerald claimed, then the police arrived 12 – 15 minutes later then there is no way that blood would be in such a state.
  • A gunshot residue test was done on Janice Wilhelm’s hands but was somehow lost in transit between the Dallas Medical Examiner’s office and the Leon County Sherriff’s office.

Blatant Lies:

Gerald claims in the 911 call that Jan killed herself because she was out of pain medication and they couldn’t afford more. This was proven false. The crime scene photos clearly showed Janice’s medication sitting on the table beside her chair, and the toxicology reports state she had pain meds in her system at the time of her death. Also, the children were able to prove that not only were Janice’s medicines mostly covered by Medicare, and the small remainder only amounted to a $5/month copayment.

The report states that Janice left a suicide note. It was later determined that the so-called note was nothing more than a diary of her symptoms and the medications she had taken. These standard nursing notes were what they claimed to be a suicide note.

Final Proof of Homicide:

July 2001:

Janice Wilhelm was admitted to the Baylor Richardson Medical Center surgery. A large tumor measuring 4″ x 4 3/4″ x 3″ was removed from the upper portion of her left arm leaving the muscular tissue and tendons severely damaged. This surgery saved her life but left her dominant arm nearly useless. Janice would no longer be able to lift her arm above her chest.

June 2015:

Vincent J.M. Di Maio, M.D. a forensic pathologist out of Dallas, reviewed Janice Wilhelm’s medical records and determined that it would be impossible for her to have committed suicide in such a manner. 

Aftermath & Motives Revealed:

The family waited for word of a will but were repeatedly told that Janice didn’t leave one. Then, suddenly within a couple months of her death, Janice’s will was quietly pushed through probate court.

After fighting to get a copy of her mother’s will, Janice’s daughter was surprised at the supposed signature of her mother. It wasn’t even close to her mother’s signature, and yet there it was, and two people had witnessed it.

Finally, it was determined that both so-called witnesses had not seen Janice sign the documents at all. They were pre-signed before being presented for a witness signature. 

Why would anyone want seven acres of farmland in this area? Oil

Despite the will being a blatant forgery and the lawsuits pending, Gerald Wilhelm signed off, and the oil companies came in. An oil well and a gas well were fully functioning within a year of Janice Wilhelm’s death. The Clayton #1H well generated $400,000 worth of royalties within the first eight months of its existence. Can we say motive?

Cold Case did a segment on this case in 2010, and Gerald Wilhelm actually agreed to an interview but refused to let it be recorded because of the pending lawsuits. Strangely, he was dead within a week after the show aired. He supposedly died of a heart attack, but there was no autopsy, and he was cremated before anyone could request one.

I wish I could say that was the end, but there are a few more twists in this homicidal tale. I will leave you with one question.

Who owns that land and oil wells now?

I will give you a hint. It’s a toss-up between a blond banker, a ranch hand, and a false witness. Mix that with an extramarital affair, a vindictive family member, and big oil, and you will have the tale coming next week.


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation, or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


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Janice Willhelm

Black Gold Runs Blood Red In Texas: Part 3

 

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For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the series, here is a quick rundown. The family patriarch, Morris Robeson is found dead from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. (Date of Death: 11/20/2000) Oil will be discovered on Morris’ property in the future. Who will cash in? That will depend on who survives.

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Morris’ neighbor is a highway patrol officer who stopped by the crime scene. Joe Weaver was off-duty and told the family the other officers were surprised to see him. He immediately noticed the scene wasn’t being handled as a homicide, but rather a suicide. Weaver was suspicious and began his own separate investigation.

Morris and his wife Mable had raised their grandson, Wayne Robeson as their own and would treat him as their third child. Weaver spoke with Wayne and wanted to know the whereabouts of one Gerald Willhelm. Gerald has a strange story to tell, but his story will be coming later.

Morris Robeson was a veteran of WWII and had been struggling with neck and upper back pain associated with degenerative disks in his spine. This had reached the point to where he was no longer able to trim his own hair with an ear/nose trimmer. This trimmer was weighed recently to give the reader a reference point. The trimmer weighed less than 2 ounces. Yet, despite the V.A. records to prove Morris Robeson’s disability, the authorities continue to label this case a suicide. To further plant doubt in your mind, the gun used to kill Robeson was a .38 Colt revolver with a 6-inch barrel. This weapon was weighed as well. Its weight was just under 1lb.

If a man cannot lift 2 ounces, how can he lift a 1lb-object, twist it up behind his head, and pull the trigger?

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After the death of his neighbor, Joe Weaver continues his investigation over the course of several months, but his truth-seeking venture was cut short late in September 2001. If the Morris Robeson case wasn’t strange enough, here are the facts of the alleged suicide of Joseph Weaver.

On the day before his death, Joe’s wife picked up her daughter and their son from school. Joe’s step-daughter reported to her guidance counselor that Joe had molested her. (There has never been any proof of this claim, and it seems to just come out of the blue.) The wife tells her son to call Joe and ask him to leave the barn and go into the house. Yes, this is what it states in the report. Why was he in the barn? Why were these allegations brought up just now? Why was Joe’s young son the one who had to call his dad and tell him to leave the barn? Could Joe not decide to walk to the house on his own?

Why was he “holed-up” in his barn in the first place?

If that wasn’t unusual enough, the wife then calls Sherriff Price to go to the house and check on Joe. Price states he arrives just in time to see Joe Weaver walk slowly out of his barn and toward the house. He supposedly stopped before getting to the house, pulled out his service revolver, and killed himself. To this day the authorities have denied all FOIA requests stating there wasn’t a police report written. No crime scene photos were taken.

This is proven false, however, when an anonymous witness sends a picture of the first page of the police report on Joe Weaver’s death to the family.

Why did Joe Weaver want to talk to Gerald Wilhelm? Why would all of this occur just a few years before the big oil boom in Centerville, Texas? Who has the farm now? How would Wilhelm con his way into the Robeson family? Why would his father-in-law be killed less than a year later? Hold on, guys. Chaos has settled down upon the Robeson farm like a tornado.

 

Black Gold Runs Blood Red in Texas: Part 1

 

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Janice Willhelm

One suspicious suicide in a small town may not be unusual, but five deaths within a square mile of each other? Within a year an oil boom hits Centerville, Texas and the deaths are all swept under the rug. While a hand full of people get rich, the family members of the murder victims are left with nothing but questions. Usually, when someone writes a story they start at the beginning of the tale. This bloody tale starts in the middle and expands exponentially in every direction. This case will take a few weeks to tell, so hold on for this Texas-sized tale of murder, forged wills, and oil wells.

December 8, 2010:

911 dispatch receives a call from Gerald Willhelm of Centerville, Texas. A strangely calm husband reports that he believes his wife has shot herself and that blood is pouring from her neck. One article states a distraught husband calls 911. I have listened to the call and he does not sound upset at all. He says they were asleep in their recliners and at some point, she woke up and shot herself in the neck. The authorities arrive and quickly rule the death as a suicide. Case closed. Investigation complete. Not really.

 

The .45 caliber bullet traveled into the neck at a downward trajectory, passing through the lungs, and immediately severing the spinal cord through the 7th vertebrae. This would cause instant paralysis, so why do the crime scene photos show Mrs. Willhelm’s hands neatly tucked under her lap blanket? Where did the gun land? Six feet away the gun was laying on the floor pointing away from her chair. The spent casing landed behind the sofa.

 

If Janice was a physically capable woman, she would have to hold the gun upside down, press it to her neck with her elbow wrenched out above her head. This might be possible IF you omit one very important fact. Janice Willhelm had a tumor on her left arm the size of an orange removed. This surgery took much of her muscle tissue and damaged the nerves in her arm making it impossible for her to hold her arm above her chest, much less over her head. This is not conjectured on the part of grieving family members. This fact is corroborated by medical documentation. Janice could not have held that gun. Her daughter claims that Janice had a life-long fear of guns and wouldn’t be holding one at all.

 

Gerald Willhelm claims his wife was out of pain meds and killed herself because they couldn’t afford to get more. Crime scene photos show her medications are clearly sitting within arms reach of the deceased. To further dispel this accusation, UPS had recently billed the couple for their prescription delivery service. She was on disability and this covered most of her medications and she had worked out a co-pay deal with the drug companies for the remainder of the fees. Janice Willhelm was not out of pain medication and if anyone doubts this, they can refer to the toxicology reports that clearly shows medications in her system at the time of death.

 

Black Gold:

Almost immediately after his wife’s murder, Gerald Willhelm quickly pushes his wife’s will through probate and quickly leases his wife’s land to a large oil company for drilling. Reports state the royalties of this well accounted for nearly half a million dollars within the first eight months. Strange, but not necessary a crime, right? Wrong!

Janice had two children; a daughter, and a son. Both children had been suddenly written out of their mother’s will several months before her death. After fighting to get a copy of this will, the kids were surprised to see their mother’s name. It was nothing like her signature. A child could see the differences. They send this document and several handwriting samples to two different specialists. Both adamantly claim this will to be a forgery. Not only do they claim Janice did not sign this document, they say the handwriting looks like Gerald’s.

 

If that isn’t enough to make you wonder about this case, then next week I will jump into the suspicious death of Janice’s father and the money Gerald conned from his first wife before she died. See you next week. In the meantime, I will be wading neck deep in this case of greedy oil men and corrupt officials.

 

When Rumors Destroy Cold Cases – The Jennifer Harris Story

Jennifer+Harris

Small town America might be a great place to raise a family, but sometimes it isn’t the best place to die. Many rural communities lack the resources and experience to solve major homicide cases. When you add in the rumor mill of small-town gossip and the loss of major evidence, some people wonder if the case is solvable. Such is the case of Jennifer Harris from Bonham, Texas.
Jennifer Harris was a vivacious 28-yr-old with fiery red curly hair. Everyone around the community loved her including two men; Rob Holman and James Hamilton.
Holman was Jennifer’s childhood sweetheart. They were married shortly after high school and it looked like a happily ever after situation. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the case. The couple had a rocky relationship and some even claim Rob had abused Jennifer. It hasn’t been confirmed whether this was physical or verbal abuse and no police reports were ever filed.
As time passed and Jennifer went to college the couple began to grow apart. Rob enjoyed the laid-back pace of Bonham, Texas while Jennifer was enjoying living in the city. Things began to fall apart even further when Jennifer met James Hamilton in the massage therapy school she had been attending. The two hit it off and decided to open a business together. That wouldn’t be all they did together and soon Jennifer was living in the city and seeing James while Rob moved back to Bonham.
Hamilton was living with the mother of his two children and had a baby on the way but was insisting on marrying Jennifer. Jennifer refused and was quickly losing interest in Hamilton. By early 2002, Jennifer had lost her massage business with Hamilton and was facing bankruptcy. What does she do? She looks up Rob, who had a new girlfriend by this time. It didn’t seem to matter. The couple frequently met and slept together. All this soap opera style drama would lead up to Mother’s Day, 2002 and a mystery that has haunted Bonham, Texas for sixteen years.
Jennifer visits a friend during the early evening hours of May 12, 2002, and leaves around 8 pm. She wouldn’t be seen alive again. A woman takes her dog out for a walk down a lonely country road and notices a dark green jeep abandoned at the side of the road but thinks little of it until she sees it again the next day. She calls the police. The Jeep is quickly identified as belonging to Jennifer Harris. It would be a long six-day search before a fisherman would discover Jennifer’s lifeless body in the Red River.
The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicidal violence but couldn’t determine the exact cause of death. Her body had been severely decomposed, and her uterus was missing. This is where the rumor mill of small towns kicked into overdrive. As soon as that story was released theories ran wild. Friends of Jennifer Harris said she had confided in them about her pregnancy, but there wasn’t any hard evidence to verify it. Could she really have been pregnant, and the murderer removed her uterus to destroy evidence? This is what the townsfolk claimed. It would be years before her autopsy would be reexamined. After this examination, it is determined that Jennifer’s uterus was indeed missing, but so were other organs and body parts. The latter examiner determined that Jennifer had suffered some sort of severe injury that left her organs exposed to fish and turtles in the river.
Both Rob Holman and James Hamilton were initially interviewed by police and were named as possible suspects, but no arrests were made. Hamilton claimed he was at an Mc Donald’s over an hour away on the May 12th. After reviewing the case files new investigators and consultants are discouraged by the way this alibi was handled. It wasn’t verified properly, and no one ever pushed it. Rob Holman, on the other hand, claimed to be out driving around for over five hours on the night Jennifer disappeared. Hamilton supposedly passed a lie detector test, but Rob was never given one. To make matters worse, most of the evidence, in this case, has either been lost or damaged when the storage pods got wet. The clothing that was found was lost and so was her laptop. Nobody was even sure if the jeans and t-shirt were even Jennifer’s.
This case has more twists and turns than a roller coaster so hold on, there’s more. Jerry Harris took notes on the case from the beginning and was determined to find justice for his daughter. This meticulous record keeping brought up a sinister revelation years later. Two months after Jennifer’s body was found her ex-boyfriend, James Hamilton called the grieving father to ask about Jennifer’s life insurance policy. In all the case files, this is the only reference to an insurance policy. I have many questions about this. Was there actually an insurance policy taken out on the life of Jennifer Harris? If so, who was the beneficiary? Was there money paid out? Who received it? None of this has been reported. If the beneficiary was Rob or James then that would supply the investigators with a serious motive for murder. Who knows if this lead was even followed? The case file for Jennifer Harris is so slim no one knows what leads were followed and which ones weren’t.
A year later, a woman is watching the news when she hears about the Harris cold case. Incredibly, Deborah Lambert hadn’t heard about the case. She quickly called the police and gave a recorded statement. Deborah and her mother had driven across the Red River Bridge on Mother’s Day a year earlier and had witnessed a frightening scene around 5 pm. She vividly recalled a red-headed woman being rough-housed by three men. Deborah said she made eye contact with the woman and saw terror in her expression. Her mother said, “that girl is about to be raped and killed.” Deborah claimed she was too afraid to call the police at the time. Deborah claimed two men were wearing jeans and one man was wearing shorts. Because of the time discrepancy, the original investigators dismissed Deborah’s statement completely. The new team doesn’t dismiss it so quickly. In reality, the time difference can be explained. Most people don’t continuously watch the clock. Deborah and her mother could have traveled across the bridge later than she remembered, and or Jennifer’s friend could be mistaken on the time she left her home.
Jennifer’s younger sister Alyssa and her filmmaker husband Barry has taken up the case along with private investigator Daryl Parker and the new sheriff Mark Johnson. Everyone hopes to find justice for Jennifer. This case was recently highlighted on the show 48 Hours. Hopefully, the renewed interest in the case will generate some leads. If Deborah Lambert’s statement is correct, there could be two other men out there that know something about this case.
At one point, the local D.A. was accused of being involved in the murder of Jennifer Harris. This rumor was completely unfounded but based on the fabricated fact that her uterus was missing. Authorities researched this rumor extensively and found absolutely no connection, but the D.A. still lost his job over this case.

 

This case was so mishandled that people wonder if it can be solved at this point. I believe it can, but I have many questions. Here are a few of my questions and theories.
– Is it normal for a body to decompose so quickly in the river, or was she partially mutilated before her body was dumped?
– I would like to know what happened to Rob. Did his second marriage fall through? Is his wife/ex-wife still alive?
– Did a forensic team investigate Jennifer’s Jeep?
– Has anyone checked Jennifer’s online footprint? Yes her laptop is missing, but surely her accounts would still be there. Everyone had a MySpace account. If someone remembered Jennifer’s email address then they might be able to reopen the accounts and see who she was talking to at the time of her death.

My suspicion and theory:
Rob Holman claimed Jennifer had called him and wanted to see him on the evening of May 12th. He told the police that he refused to meet her because he had plans with his new girlfriend, but when asked for an alibi Rob said he didn’t have one. He was out driving around for four hours that night.
Ok. What is it then? Was he with his new girlfriend, or was he out driving around? Also, I looked up the historical weather data for that day. It was rainy, overcast, and pop up thunderstorms all evening. Who drives around in thunderstorms? Curious.

I have reached out to Sherriff Johnson and Daryl Parker with questions about this case. I haven’t heard back from them as of this writing, but I will update you all when I get some answers to my questions. As always, if you have any information regarding the murder of Jennifer Harris, please contact the Fannin County Sherriff’s office at (903) 583-2143

The Austin Bomber’s Reign of Terror

Three weeks of terror comes to a close when the Austin bombing suspect, Mark Conditt commits suicide by detonating one of his own creations in his vehicle as the swat team approached. This should be the end, right? No. Along with the bomber’s death comes more questions. Why? How? Are there more bombs waiting to detonate?

Austin is known for the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” but now this saying seems inappropriate. Nails tearing through human beings is not the definition of weird Austin was looking for. Random targets ranging from fathers to teens, to elderly women was not the definition of weird. One victim’s grandfather described how nails were embedded in his grandson’s kneecaps. This is not weird. It’s sick. How can someone slaughter a 39-year-old father on his front porch? Neighbors say they have never seen so much blood. What about his daughter? I hope to God she wasn’t there to witness her father torn to shreds by this monster. No. This isn’t the end of the terror.
After researching online, I have assembled a crude timeline of these events. I will try to relate the facts and minimize my emotions, but I will not guarantee anything.

 

March 2, 2018 – 6:50 am – 1100 Block of Haverford Dr. Austin, Texas:

Anthony House, a 39-yr-old father, steps out of his front door and notices a package left overnight on his porch. It’s a beautiful Friday morning in Austin. He doesn’t know the moment he leans over to pick up the package that his life is over.
A loud explosion rocks the neighborhood and rattles the windows across the area. Nails shoot everywhere. Neighbors rush to help the man but to no avail. Paramedics arrive on the scene, but Mr. House dies shortly afterward. He leaves behind an 8-year-old daughter and a legacy of a loving father.
House was the stepson of Rev. Freddie Dixon, former pastor of the United Methodist Church for over 22 years. At first, police think of this as an isolated event.

March 12, 2018 – 4800 Block of Old Fort Hill Dr. Austin, Texas:

Draylen Mason, 17 and his mother stood over their kitchen table as they opened a package that had been left on their porch. No thoughts of death entered their minds. Moments later the bomb exploded killing the teenager and severely wounding his mother.
Mason was an accomplished bass guitarist with the Austin Youth Orchestra. He traveled with his music and competed with his oversized instrument. His conductor was quoted as saying, “Draylen could have accomplished anything.” The talented musician was set to attend the University of Texas in the fall. His mother is in bad shape, but doctors believe she will survive.

 

 

March 12, 2018 – 6700 Block of Galindo St. Austin, Texas:

A press conference is held to relate the events of the murder of Draylen Mason. Within moments of the conference, another package explodes wounding Esperanza Herrera, 75.
Herrera was visiting her mother who required care daily. Without a thought, she picked up the package as she entered the house. Nails exploded through the poor woman in an instant. She would survive the terror, but without several fingers and a leg. It was later discovered the package was intended for another address and had been delivered to the house by mistake.
By this point, police are wondering if the bombings are a hate crime. The first two victims were African American, and Herrera was of Hispanic descent.

March 18, 2018 – 4800 Block of Dawn Song Dr. Austin, Texas:

Two unidentified white males in an affluent part of town are walking along Dawn Song Dr. and accidentally crossed a tripwire. The bomb detonated sending the two men to the hospital, but they will survive. The officials told everyone to stay inside their homes and kept the neighborhood under lockdown until 10 am. Even school buses weren’t allowed in.

This bombing occurred six hours after the authorities held a press conference pleading with the public for tips and information. Some wonder if this was a response to the police.

March 20, 2018 – FedEx bombs:

Two separate packages were left at separate FedEx facilities one in San Antonio and the other in Austin. As a package traveled along a conveyer belt it detonated and wounded a FedEx employee. The package had been addressed to Austin.
The second package was discovered in an Austin facility but was removed by a HazMat team without incident.
This is when the bomber made a critical error. He was not only seen on surveillance videos delivering the packages, an outdoor surveillance camera recorded his license plate.

March 21, 2018 – Red Roof Inn, Round Rock, Texas:

As authorities close in upon the 24-yr-old suspect, Mark Conditt he jumps in his vehicle and takes off down the road a short way. As the police box in his vehicle and the SWAT team move in, he detonates yet another bomb and takes his own life.

This should be the end, but as more information becomes public, the more questions are raised. Conditt seemed to be raised in a normal Christian family. He was homeschooled then attended a local community college. His family is in shock upon hearing the news. Police found a 25-minute confession video Conditt recorded the night before his death. It seemed he was more interested in detailing his bomb-making skills than he was about his motives. He professed to be a psychopath and said, “I wish I was sorry, but I’m not.”

Another disturbing twist:

Conditt graduated in 2013 and his proud mother posted it on Facebook like any mother would. She also stated he was considering going on a Missions trip before attending college.

How does a boy go from a mission trip mentality to slaughtering people with bombs? I will keep you posted on this case as it progresses.

Supposed Suicide – No Investigation **WARNING: Graphic Crime Scene Photos**

Joshua Robinson was found hanging from the swing set in Amsler Park on February 16, 2006. Just shy of his 20th birthday, this man hadn’t shown any suicidal tendencies, wasn’t on medication for depression, and although he had been a drug user in the past, wasn’t on anything. Toxicology reports would prove this.

Why would this man commit suicide? His family and friends vehemently declare he wouldn’t. After viewing the crime scene photos it would seem impossible for him to end up in such a peculiar position.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Backing up. What are the particulars in this case?

First, you have a 19-year-old man who ends up dead. He is 5′ 8″ tall and weighs a 185 pounds. Joshua Robinson lived with his mother Cynthia and his brother Michael in McGregor Texas. He had been dating a woman named Kayla for a while now but her family was not happy about it. On many occasion, Kayla’s grandmother would refuse to let Joshua see her granddaughter at all.
The night before Josh was death a woman appeared at Cynthia’s home and threw a fit wanting to talk to Joshua. He was not home but when Cynthia mentioned the possibility of Kayla being pregnant the woman became irate and threatened to have Josh were arrested for statutory rape. Cynthia would later discover that this woman was none other than Mary Casareza; Kayla’s aunt.

When Joshua made it home that evening his mother related the story to him. He immediately went out to visit Kayla’s family and to smooth things over. When he came back he vented his frustrations on his mother and decided to go for a walk to cool off. This was a standard practice for him. It was not unusual for Joshua and his mother to have a row, nor was it unusual for him to choose to walk around the perimeter of the nearby Amsler park.

When Joshua didn’t return home in the morning Cynthia was worried, but that fear became a panic when her neighbor found a man hanging from the swing set in the park and made a frantic call to 911.

Here is where things become even stranger. When one hears of a person hanging from the swing set one automatically pictures the victim hanging from the crossbar above his head, but this is not the case. Viewing the crime scene photos, one is struck by the strange position of the body.

(ATTN READERS: If you have the stomach for it, scroll to the end of this blog and you will see the crime scene photo.)

For those who can’t handle the crime scene photos at the end of this post, I will try to explain them. First of all, he is on his knees, the chain is partially wrapped around his neck, and oddly the seat of the swing is flipped upside down upon his back. He is not facing forward as one would assume. His body is angled towards the swing next to him with his feet turned inward and angled towards the exterior poll of the swing.

In order to land in this position, this man would have had to climb up on to the cross beam on the end of the swing and dive inwards towards the swing. At 5′ 8″, this would be very difficult to do. After obtaining pictures of the swing set, I am startled to realize that the A-frame crossbar is missing. (Also strange: shortly after this event, the city removed the swing completely)

If this were the only discrepancy, in this case, one could assume that gravity and physics could have played a trick upon us, but this is just the beginning of the discrepancies.

Here is the timeline for this case:
5:15 a.m. – A jogger sees the body hanging from the swing set and in a panic dials 911
5:35 a.m. – The police were dispatched to the scene
5:36 a.m. – The police radio into dispatch that they are on site

Former officer Walter Kirby claimed to be the 1st officer on the scene. His report states that he ran to the body to check for a pulse and found none. The only problem is there is no record of his car being dispatched to Amsley park until 6:48 a.m.

According to their own statements all 4 officers that were on site claimed to not have known the victim and yet 8 minutes later they called in and ran a “Wants & Warrants” check on the victim. How could they have run this check if they had no idea of the victim’s identity?

If this where the end of the discrepancies one might excuse this case, but this is only the beginning.

At the autopsy, one would figure the medical examiner would label the cause of death as “Death by Strangulation.” Instead, the M.E. found something unusual about the cause of death. The bruises from the chain around the victim’s neck were only surface deep.
There was no damage to the tendons and muscles in the neck and the neck itself was not broken. The victim was not strangled by the chain around his neck. Therefore, the M.E. initially ruled the cause of death as “Undetermined.”

This ruling was changed when the medical examiner received a report from Detective, Kory Martin. It contained three things.

1. The victim was a drug user
2. He had a fight with his mother the night before
3. It was an apparent suicide (chain vs. neck)

Somehow this was enough to change the medical examiner’s report from an undetermined cause of death to suicide.

Cynthia’s arguments on these points:
1. Although Joshua had been arrested as minor for possession of marijuana, his toxicology reports came back clean he had no drugs or alcohol in his system. (For the record: I have seen the toxicology report)

2. As for the argument with his mother, this was a common occurrence but they had a very loving relationship otherwise.

3. The chain only left surface bruising, not enough to cause strangulation.

Another strange twist, in this case, was the odd bruising that appeared upon the body after death. The victim had bruising to the tips of his fingers on his left hand, and bruising upon his right bicep and shoulder as if he had been clawing at the chain. If he were choking, why didn’t he stand up? That was all that was required to release the pressure.

Studying the autopsy reports:

5’8″  male – 185 lbs.
The neck was not broken, no obstructed airway. No damage to the strap muscles in his neck.

What caused this man’s death?

Here’s a little anatomy lesson for you:

The lungs are covered with a thin membrane, called parenchyma, this is where the Alveoli are. Alveoli are tiny lung capillaries covering the lungs. These tiny vessels burst, causing ‘reddish-purple spit to drip from mouth. The chest cavity fills with blood causing congestive heart failure, or as in this case, death by suffocation. The official diagnosis: Red-purple parenchyma with pulmonary edema

How does this happen?

When a person is lying face down and a heavy object is placed between the shoulder blades, this puts pressure on the diaphragm. If the pressure is too great the Alveoli burst causing suffocation.

Could a knee have been placed in the middle of his back?

This would have been my first question as an investigative journalist and armchair detective. Why then, wouldn’t the authorities investigate this as a possible homicide until proven otherwise?

What follows appears to be a small town police force refusing to investigate a murder. Maybe they were understaffed? Maybe they had already come to their own conclusions because the victim had been labeled by his criminal record? Who knows, but what follows is even stranger than the story so far.

All four on scene officers were forced to resign within three months of this event. No public reasons were given. To make things look even worse, the interim chief of police resigned within the year. Why? We may never know.

Synova’s two cents:

While I was raised to respect law enforcement, I find all of these discrepancies hard to swallow. I fall short of thinking there was a massive police cover-up, but I find it strange that no one investigated Kayla’s family. Could there have been an irate brother or cousin that resented Joshua? She certainly had an aunt that did.

Twelve years a poor mother has struggled and fought to have this case investigated. Her emotions have run wild, she has spent years trying to drink away her sorrow. Sure her son wasn’t perfect and he had a criminal record, but does that mean he deserved to die without the basic rights of all Americans? Did he deserve to be labeled as a thug and therefore he gave up his right to have his death investigated? I think not.

If someone reading this has compassion for a grieving mother, and possesses the ability to get this case reopened I think it is your responsibility to do so.

 

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**Warning: Graphic crime scene photo below**

 

 

 

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