Pamela Dianne Duffey and William Everette Lane were murdered in 1980.

Pamela Dianne Duffey was only 21 years old when she died; photo source.

In November 1980, an archaeologist made a grisly discovery of a male and female buried in a shallow grave in the Mojave Desert in California. The bodies were naked, and it was clear that both had suffered a violent death. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a combination of gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma. The coroner estimated that the bodies had been in the grave for six to eight months.

With no way to identify the victims and with no witnesses who could provide helpful information, the investigators had no choice but to watch this double…


Life lessons from a giant, clumsy panda

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

When you’re young, deciding “what you want to be when you grow up” is an exercise you do often and joyfully. My 5-year old niece fluctuates between wanting to be an architect, an artist, or working in a nail salon. She is expressive, creative, and deeply feels all the feelings. I adore her.

When you are older, this same exercise morphs into “is this [insert current career] what I’m meant to be doing with my life”? This question can be fraught with anxiety and self-loathing as we experience burnout from our jobs or disillusionment from our life choices. …


Za’Zell Preston was studying to be a domestic violence counselor when she was murdered

Za’Zell Preston with one of her daughters; photo source.

On Christmas morning in 2011, William Wallace posed his unconscious wife, Za’Zell Preston, on a couch, put sunglasses on her, and told her two young daughters that their Mommy was drunk and had “ruined Christmas.” In reality, she had been dead for several hours due to a vicious beating the night before.

Background

Za’Zell Preston was born in Orange, California. She was a talented dancer who loved ballet and also a talented artist. However, before she could pursue either of these passions, Za’Zell became pregnant while in high school and gave birth to a baby girl. …


Wendy Jerome was 14-years old when she was raped and killed.

Wendy Jerome was murdered on Thanksgiving Day in 1984; photo source.

She was only supposed to be gone an hour.

14-year old Wendy Jerome was delivering a birthday card to a friend who lived nearby in her hometown of Rochester, New York. It was 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day of 1984, and she knew to be home by her 8 pm curfew. When 8 pm came and went, Wendy’s parents wasted no time looking for her. What happened next would haunt them for the next 36 years.

Wendy’s body was found behind a school less than a mile from her home. She had been raped and viciously beaten — and had…


Melissa Ann Poitra was an indigenous woman who vanished without a trace in 2005

Melissa “Missy” Ann Poitra disappeared in 2005; Photo source.

“I was 18 the last time I seen [sic] her,” wrote Jessica Poitra on Facebook on May 1, 2021.

She was referring to her sister, 28-year old Melissa “Missy” Ann Poitra, who vanished without a trace 16 years earlier in 2005. Even though the sisters lived apart, Jessica looked forward to Missy’s phone calls where her older sister would regale her with tales of her latest adventures. Then one day, the phone calls suddenly stopped. Jessica never heard from her sister again.

Background

Missy was a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and mother to a 10-year old daughter…


Monica Beresford-Redman was celebrating her 42nd birthday.

Mónica Beresford-Redman was from Brazil; Photo source.

Bruce Beresford-Redman was an Emmy-award-winning TV producer best known for hits like “Survivor” and MTV’s “Pimp My Ride.” But in 2010, his own life became like a reality TV show when he was accused, and ultimately convicted, of murdering his wife.

Background

Bruce and Mónica (née Burgos) Beresford-Redman married in 1999. The charming New Jersey boy and stunning Brazilian native were the picture of marital bliss and happiness at their wedding. Soon after, the couple welcomed two adorable children, Camilla and Alec.

As the co-creator and producer of some of America’s most popular reality TV shows, the Beresford-Redman’s certainly didn’t lack…


Marie Heiser vanished without a trace over 40 years ago.

Marie Petry Heiser vanished without a trace in 1977; Photo source.

William Heiser Jr. vividly remembers the day — nearly fifty years ago — he came home from boarding school to find his mother gone. When his father, William Sr., told him and his sister that their mother had “packed up her stuff and left,” he didn’t question it. Sure, some things didn’t add up. For example, her clothes and belongings were still there. But as kids often do, they accepted what their parents told them as fact and simply moved on.

Or they tried to, at least. Over the years, William Jr. occasionally wondered why his mother never reached out…


Dubbed the “Preppy Killer,” Robert Chambers strangled his girlfriend and claimed her accidental death was the result of “rough sex”

The “Preppy Murder” case is one of the most famous New York cases of all time; Photo source.

It was dawn on Tuesday, August 26, 1986. A cyclist enjoying a morning ride through Central Park stumbled upon a grisly discovery as she biked near Fifth Avenue and 83rd Street. Behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art lay the half-naked corpse of a young woman. Her underwear was found discarded nearby. She had been strangled to death, but the cuts, bruises, and bite marks all over her body suggested that she had ferociously fought back against her killer.

If this sounds like an opening scene to a Law & Order: SVU episode, it’s because this high-profile crime inspired the creator…


After brutally raping and murdering his victim, the killer went home to his sleeping fiancée and got married a few months later.

Christy Ann Mirack was only 25-years old when she was raped and murdered; Photo source.

I vividly and fondly remember my 20s. Moving out of my parents’ home. The pride in landing my first “real” job. The adventures of living with roommates. Late nights clubbing followed by lazy Sundays recovering. Most of all, I remember dreaming about my future and feeling excited and optimistic about what lay ahead.

I imagine Christy Ann Mirack felt the same way. The 25-year old teacher taught at Rohrerstown Elementary School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She had been ecstatic when she landed what she saw as her dream job. When she wasn’t teaching, Christy and her roommate enjoyed sunbathing on their…


A lesson in why not to be a greedy S.O.B.

Ed and Julie Post on their wedding day; Photo source.

Let me tell you a story about a man who almost got away with murder. The man’s wife had drowned in a hotel bathroom while the two were on a business trip. Investigators thought the death seemed suspicious. However, the man had multiple alibis during her death, and there was no direct physical evidence to suggest foul play. The man was in the clear.

At this point, he could have gotten his wife’s sizeable insurance money and gone on his merry way. But, no, that wasn’t enough for him. The man decided to sue the hotel to get even more…

Liz Jin

Attorney, motivational speaker and creator of unburythatbadass.com. Constantly striving to become a better communicator and storyteller.

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