monster

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I spent a good six straight hours today, sitting propped up at the laptop, either editing or writing or researching agents or reviewing information for the book. My derriere is killing me! In one of my searches, I ran across this video of the current Assistant Attorney General arguing an appeal for reconsideration by the 9th Circuit of Michael Apelt’s successful grant of a new trial last year. It is stomach turning to listen to the sympathy argued by the other side, now, nearly thirty years later, escalated to claims of his father being a Nazi rapist, Michael being product of a rape, his being tied up and locked in the basement, blah blah blah. I have no doubt that most, if not all, of these “facts” as she states them, came from the murderer himself.

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I’m reminded of Jodi Arias–her claims of her victim escalating further and further from anal rape to pedophilia, which all were argued and allowed in court with a straight face. And yet people think these murderers don’t get “fairly treated”. Please.

Pardon the interruption there, I had to go excuse myself to pour a big fat glass of wine to deal with the crap I’ve waded through today. I do like the way the Judges handled the arguments though, for the most part. It was easier watching this, knowing the outcome (appeal overturned). I mean, I could be sitting here right now, knowing that monster was prepping for a new trial, which I would have to sit through and testify at AGAIN. And yes, I did appreciate it greatly when the Judge on the left referred to Michael Apelt as just that:  a monster.

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I found it interesting that the female Judge (and the one on the left), both indicated that all of these “poor little abused boy” (yes I can say that in quotes because I don’t believe it at all–poverty yes, abuse, no. I mean no one knows what makes a sociopath but I do know plenty of people who grew up with abuse and abject poverty who did not end up plotting to kill people and killing them–my husband for one!–sorry for the long parenthetical comment) arguments can split both ways. Meaning a jury or Judge could see that as evidence of “what created the monster” as that Judge said OR evidence to be more lenient. Nevertheless, the facts remain–the plotting, the execution, the cover up, the brutality. Hard to mitigate, but they sure are trying. What’s next? His Dad killed Jesus?

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So, IF you are so inclined and I know many of you are in terms of viewing legal dynamics, it’s kind of an interesting hour to watch. Here’s the video, direct from Pasadena:

 

It’s been a super productive day. I’ve not even showered. I woke up thinking it was Saturday and glad I had gathered groceries, as I like staying in here over the weekends when everyone else is out and about. I did my outing last evening, when I went to a new Korean spa and had this oldish Korean woman take out all of her frustrations on my skin during a scrub. Let’s just say, it wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve had. I cheated on my regular spa, Olympus, to check out a different one and I regretted it almost immediately. But my skin is super soft nonetheless and it was good to get out, even if it was raining. I picked up some things at an Asian grocery store and made myself a damn good poached cod dinner. Then I slept like a baby. I was so glad to wake up and realize I have one more full day! I’m in Heaven here, literally Heaven.

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I poached the beans and oyster mushrooms first in spiced milk, then poached the cod in the same and made a little lemon butter shallot sauce for on top. Yum-it was as good as a restaurant if I do say so myself-and basically a one pot meal! Ok, two.

Ok I’ll leave you with a snippet of some writing I worked on today. I hope it’s not a repeat as I’m doing a ton of editing right now. But anyway, here it is…some hard walks down memory lane. Again, the wine. With dedication to the friend in Santa Barbara who I mention here, who serendipitously called me today wanting to connect.

Cheers.

This was terrifying to me. Cindy was always my rock. I had never seen her like this before for so long. She seemed to be getting worse, instead of better. I’d experienced those feelings myself though, so I knew exactly what she was describing. My own breakdown had snapped me in half three years earlier, and I was only just stabilizing. I’d had a severe panic attack on an airplane headed to visit a friend in Santa Barbara, hoping the trip would cheer me up from a recent hard breakup. Consumed with claustrophobia, I’d demanded to be let off the plane, as it was taxiing toward the runway. In this day and age, I’d be arrested for my behavior, which was completely out of control even to me. I was a psychiatric nurse at the time and had no idea what was happening.

I made it to Santa Barbara but still wasn’t myself. I was also pretending. I found myself walking along the beach with my friend feeling trapped and claustrophobic because there were a few clouds in the sky. It was a terrifying time, which climaxed with the psych nurse being hospitalized in a psych hospital briefly a few months later. It took me several years of all kinds of therapies to work myself out of that nightmare. I knew first hand how these things take time to build, then more time to recover from, but I was still terrified seeing it mirrored in my big sister. I was desperately afraid of losing her, losing her strength. She was my everything.

I had found my footing for the most part by the time Cindy started to tumble, but it was incredibly distressing nonetheless.  I had developed some skills by then to help navigate her, and for the first time in our lives, I moved into Big Sister mode.

 

diving in

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Happy Saturday Morning from the gorgeous Northwest! A beautiful sunny day here to wake up to after an interrupted night of sleeping. I crashed at around 11:30 reading Juan Martinez’ book in bed and I guess it was haunting me as I woke up again at around 3:30 and read more for another couple of hours then crashed again until 9.  That’s the beauty of being on no one’s time but your own, you can do these kinds of things and not bat an eye. I kind of like being up in the middle of the night when the world is dark and silent anyway, speaking of bats. 😉

A passage in Juan’s book really struck me so I dog-eared it to share here:

“The highlight of the 48 Hours interview was the assertion that she intended to take the witness stand and testify at trial. That told me that she was confident in her public speaking abilities and that she believed she was persuasive enough to make the charges go away just by telling her story. She was masterful in front of the camera, playing the part of someone who couldn’t have committed this murder. The way she could look straight at the camera lens and answer the interviewer’s questions with apparent sincerity was impressive. She clearly wasn’t going to be intimidated.

“I don’t believe that I am going to be convicted, she confidently told 48 Hours Maureen Maher, just as she had advised the interviewer from Inside Edition. “I don’t think that I’m going to spend one day in prison.”

I guess this stuck out to me so distinctly because of what I’m reading on our own trials. I spent much of yesterday combing through the extra materials I’d picked up at Cathy Hughes’ before driving up here. I had two full boxes from last year but thought I’d just take a look. She was kind to remove any terrible photographs that I might inadvertently run in to.

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I was shocked to see how lucky I was in what I grabbed because I opened one file that contained two kind of brief packets of interviews (I have thousands of pages of interviews). In that folder I found something I’d really wanted to lay my eyes on: the actual interviews at the time when both the men were arrested. I jumped to the end to see what this was because frankly I don’t have the time or interest in reading more of their made up bullshit that is in every interview for the two weeks prior to their arrest. The one that really steamed me was the German speaking burglary detective brought in for translation who clearly had sympathy for them and even put in his own personal observation that all three of the killing trio were telling the truth (he had to eat those words pretty quickly, but still).

It was fascinating to read the trap that was set for each of the brothers as the detective make a sharp about face in the curiosity portion of the questioning to the accusing portion.

Like Arias though, especially with Michael who I believe was always the mastermind and true malignant sociopath, they both didn’t flinch. Michael was cocky,demanding to be arrested so he could speak with a Judge who would most certainly agree and set him free. The arrogance oozes off the page as their violence is shoved in their faces and never ceases even when they are handcuffed. Since that day 1/6/1989, neither has seen the light of day outside incarceration. Good. That is satisfying also to reflect on.

I’ve said this before and will again: SOCIOPATHS ARE NOT EASY TO PROSECUTE. Even seasoned prosecutors like Martinez and Cathy Hughes say that and they aren’t kidding or exaggerating!

They almost and do get away with murder! Murder convictions are hard fought and that is all over Martinez’ book as he prepared for this trial. So when people talk about how the “government” has all the cards and blah blah blah it slays me. Death penalty cases are the hardest–high profile the most arduous ! It is NOT easy to get a sophisticated killer their just sentence for many reasons not the least of which, their lack of conscience and really emotion or fear at all, makes them very formidable all the way up to the handcuffs (and beyond which you will read in my book).

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It’s so fascinating to be reading Martinez’ book along side these twenty five plus year old documents though. So much is written about diagnosing personality disorders and when you start to compare them to each other it’s like they were molded from the same cookie cutter–their methods and robotic ways of being coupled with high degrees of intelligence and sophistication. Yet 18 years post conviction, we taxpayers spent over 10 million dollars for their supporters to attempt to prove Cindy’s killers are mentally retarded. Mark my words, had Jodi Arias received the death penalty, we’d be paying for that argument for her too somewhere down the line. But I digress…more on that topic to come.

 

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I’m finally kicking in to productivity-have an appointment with my writing coach and editor next week up by the Canada border so I’ll get to take a little road trip, moved my desk space around and created a new more ergonomic setup which I love, copied some pictures of Cindy from my printer to have around me (can’t believe I forgot those unless they are in one of my boxes I’ve not dug through yet), listened to some Juan Martinez interviews online (Vinnie Politan’s is the best),  read and reworked several of my chapters to send to the editor, read several hundred pages of documents and managed to make myself a delicious dinner in my kitchenette. Oh and I also changed the font on this blog as people were having a hard time reading it–is this better? I have a huge screen so kind of hard for me to tell. Please let me know if I need to tweak it again as that’s so frustrating!

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It’s Saturday and gorgeous outside so I’m guessing most of this area is just that–outside. Which makes me think other than taking a little walk later, I’ll stay in and on my groove today. I have everything I need and mostly this view.

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Yes I’m reading Juan’s book kind of slowly on purpose. It’s become a security blanket for me in an odd way. I’m feeling a camaraderie with Juan while reading it as I dive in the same darkness and remotely, he’s supporting me through his book. Most of you know I’ve met Juan Martinez many times and he’s been nothing but kind and warm to me as well as genuinely interested in me and our case. I have a special place in my heart for him. He’s one of the good guys.

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My sister’s murderers were convicted of premeditated first degree felony murder with three aggravating circumstances of cruel, heinous and depraved and sentenced to death in Arizona in 1990.

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Their accomplice who also conspired with them and was present at the time of Cindy’s death, who could have intervened, who enjoyed a celebratory dinner with the murderers on Cindy’s credit card shortly after stabbing and nearly decapitating her, was granted immunity for her testimony and walks free in Germany.  We the People paid for her lodging and living expenses for over a year before the trial came to court.  She, like the murderers, never paid one dime in to American tax coffers.

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Both brothers, although sentenced to death over two decades ago, remain alive.  Both have drained both AZ and Federal taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars in avoiding their fate.  One was released from death row being deemed “mentally retarded” after 17 years and as soon as the Supreme Court issued a ruling we can’t execute the “mentally retarded”.  Cindy’s name, nor her murder, were barely mentioned in court in that lengthy hearing to determine his new sentence.

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The murderers while on death row were afforded support ads that read like singles ads soliciting penpals, wives and money.  In one of them is a photo of the man who slit her throat holding her puppy.  Years after he was released from Death Row and in to General Population, his ad was still online purporting he was still on Death Row.  They are seen as victims and the true, innocent victim gets forgotten.

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We the People deem this an ok evolution for the worst of the worst in our society.  The ones we’ve created the ultimate punishment for receive the best legal assistance we have to offer.  And we pay for it.  It’s a lucrative business for many death penalty opponents who make money off this passionate issue while torturing surviving victims of families along the way, dragging them back to court to relive the crime decades later, accosting them in their own homes, being abusive to them in cross examinations.

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And We the People deem this an ok policy because we turn a blind eye.  We think once a trial ends the suffering is over for the family.  It is just beginning with the Death Penalty.  In some cases, such as our own, that’s when families are preyed upon most viciously.  I believe this is for one major reason: no one is watching at that point except those who care about the murderers.

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Picture my elderly father and I sitting alone in a courtroom day after day while attorneys filled the side behind the murderer as we listened to arguments championing feeling sorry for them–the men who conspired to kill my sister for one reason:  money.  The men who took her to the desert on December 23 with promises of a “surprise” which ended up being a knife and the fists of two 6’7″ and 6’5″ vicious murderers who beat her, stabbed her repeatedly and nearly cut her head off.  For her body to be found the next day on Christmas Eve.

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Yet death penalty opponents find ways to make US, her family, somehow responsible for the “suffering” of her killers.  Try winding your way through that system when all the support and all the attention has waned from a high profile case as ours was.  This exact treatment will happen to the family members of Travis Alexander should Jodi Arias receive the one and only punishment her crime deserves under the law:  Death.

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The paltry few hundred dollars allocated to our family for counseling and lost wages to attend the trial dried up long before our trials were over yet I’ve continued to support her murderers through both my federal and state contributions.  Not just their living expenses mind you. their MILLIONS of dollars in legal fees over the years.  And I’ve not received one dime from those monies for my time testifying, lost wages or God forbid any counseling support I’ve paid out of pocket dealing with the unending trauma the system has levied at me.

Just think about this.  Please, just think about it is all I ask.

What do we value?  Why do we deem this use of our own resources on our worst of the worst appropriate and necessary in the name of “fairness”?

What do you think is fair?

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quick follow up – signs

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I spent 3 hours this morning diving in to my past and in to the present with thoughts of the death penalty here in Arizona, my sister’s homicide and the Jodi Arias trial.

John, my fiance and I are attending the Sedona Film Festival right now and have signed up for so many films we don’t really keep track day to day of what we see.

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Imagine my surprise shock when we walked in to our double feature today with the theme not just around prison/prisoners but about Death Row and the Arizona State Prison specifically.

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The first film we saw was a short film, very well done, about a condemned inmate’s last meal.  It was called Meat and Potatoes (linked there) and I have to say, although done with a compassionate spirit about a death row inmate being served his last meal, it truly touched my heart.

The second longer documentary was A Place to Stand (linked there) about Jimmy Santiago Baca and his journey to poetry through, you guessed it, his time served in the AZ State Prison.  There were scenes and descriptions of Cell Block 6 there which is literally the first cell block where Cindy’s  killers were incarcerated in 1990.  Talk about surreal.

John kept holding me tight and squeezing my hands whispering “are you ok?” and “do you want to leave?” because of course he knew what I’d been writing about all morning.  One of the many blessings of having a caring loving Psychologist in my life–he’s so supportive.

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I was proud of myself that I was able to appreciate these films with no malice in my heart considering all the other things I was contemplating today.  I truly was able to embrace their themes of healing and compassion.  I do believe that those attitudes are important in this world.  My path related to these issues is a different road, at least right now.  But I’m glad I have a heart of compassion in general that still beats strongly on these subjects so injected deeply in to my own heart.

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I felt a huge weight in my chest, but I stayed through both movies and shared appreciation to the film maker of how they touched me.  All of this, to me, is a sign of my healing and I’m very pleased about that.

But really, talk about signs. Damn, I don’t know that I know totally what that was about but wow, it sure got my attention.

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Disappointed the jury did not reach a verdict today and found I needed a nap this afternoon to kind of process all of these things, including this space of limbo.  And my heart continues to open wide to the Alexanders and all of Travis’ loved ones tonite and will continue sending love and healing until this verdict comes in.

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I love you all out there for reading and sharing.  I feel very connected.

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the final jury – justice for Travis Alexander

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The second, and final, jury in the Travis Alexander murder is out right now deliberating his killer Jodi Arias’ fate.  The first jury hung in deciding her sentence after finding her guilty of first degree premeditated felony murder with the special circumstance of extreme cruelty.  I’ve spoken with some of those jurors and it is my personal opinion after some of those conversations, that they had a stealth foreperson who would not have considered a death sentence for her, although passed the gauntlet to become “death qualified”.  Whether he came in “death qualified” or not, he didn’t end up that way.  Those conversations will remain protected but this is my clear opinion.  It is also my opinion that the first foreperson was in contact with a member of the media, who reported his identity during deliberations and who was notoriously biased toward the defense in the Arias trial.  Again that is only my opinion based on conversations I’ve had and strange dealings I witnessed first hand from attending nearly every single day of that trial up through the delivery of the hung jury in the sentencing phase. 

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Here we are again, a year later with this first degree convicted murderer still unsentenced, still being championed for, still carrying out threats to murder her victim again and again in court, still ruling the courtroom through sophisticated sociopathic manipulation.

And We the People are funding it.  All of it.

Now on the front end here I will admit that I have ambivalence about this sentence, personally.  I will be completely ok for my own reasons with whatever sentence is handed down, hopefully today.  This is a relief for me but not one that Travis Alexander’s family has the luxury of experiencing.  They are invested in this sentence being the death penalty and if I was in their shoes, having been in their shoes, I would feel exactly the same way right now.  This has been a very long arduous road for them and they have endured far more torture after their beloved brother/nephew’s death than anyone I’ve ever seen in a courtroom. And I’ve followed several murder trials very closely.

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I attended nearly every day of the Jodi Arias trial in support of the victim’s family.

Jodi Arias deserves the Death Penalty straight up plain and simple.  In the State of Arizona, she could receive Life Imprisonment or Death.  In our law structure, the Death Penalty is reserved for the worst of the worst crimes.  This is an important distinction.  If there could possibly be any deterrent for evil in our society, there has to be a looming severe consequence that could cause a person to reflect upon before committing that crime.  The problem is of course that those personality disorders such as Arias and the men who murdered my sister don’t often reflect on much of anything.   They feel invincible, entitled and without a conscience so they will basically do whatever they think they can get away with.  And they typically believe they can get away with anything, including murder.  If they get away with it once, they will again so protecting society from this ilk is imperative no matter how you feel about the death penalty.

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The men who killed Cindy, my sister, were sentenced to death in 1990.  They were young men in their  20’s at the time they killed her in a nearly identical fashion to the way Jodi Arias murdered Travis Alexander.  She had a stab wound straight in to her heart severing two ribs and breaking the knife handle as it penetrated her alive body.  She was beaten, stabbed multiple times in the back and nearly decapitated; left like trash in the desert on the day before Christmas Eve 1988.  Trash that was a very high commodity to her killers who wanted it found so they could start collecting on the $400,000 insurance policies taken out on her life.  They manipulated a bank for a $2000 loan, convinced local luxury car dealers, custom home builders, fancy watch sellers that they were anything from international bankers to professional athletes.  They plotted an escape plan from jail before trial and a sophisticated plot to have two more women killed in an identical fashion to Cindy while they were incarcerated to make it seem like a serial killer was on the loose.  One of them got married while on Death Row.

Read about my sister’s murder here.

Yet 17 years after murdering my sister, an appeal was launched for them claiming they were both mentally retarded at the time of her murder.  Yes you read that right.  These men who had lengthy rap sheets in Germany from multiple burglaries, assaults, prostitution, violent gang rape and insurance fraud–all before the ages of 26 and 27–were being claimed as poor victims of the system with mental retardation.  Well, right after the Supreme Court issued a ruling we can’t execute the mentally retarded that is.

Read about the mental retardation appeal here.

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And it worked for one of them.  That hearing alone lasted seven years, cost AZ and Federal taxpayers (meaning ALL of you out there reading) over 10 million dollars to pull off.  It included digging up elderly witnesses who had not laid eyes on these violent killers for over four decades and flying them and their spouses to Arizona and forcing my father and I to testify again.  There was one finder of fact–a Judge Silvia Arellano who was notoriously against the Death penalty personally but a sitting Judge in a Death Penalty appeals process–who favored the murderers at every single turn.  In one of her most bizarre and dangerous rulings, she deemed that nothing could be admitted in this sentencing hearing–the hearing which would determine the sentence for the murder of my sister Cindy–that involved their lives after the age of 18.  Let me emphasize this.  There was no jury in this appeal–just one biased Judge who ruled nearly every argument in the favor of these murderers and who was the only finder of fact.  You think we weren’t terrified?   We were.  For the first time since her killers were arrested, we were abjectly terrified of their release and rightfully so.

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Let me spell this out, as they were both in their mid 20’s at the time they slaughtered my sister, any element of the crime could not be entered as evidence for the sentence for their crime.  Not one iota of evidence could be considered related to their CRIME.  How convenient for a retiring Judge who, in my opinion wanted to let her final swan song include releasing a killer from Death Row to make some kind of political statement.  She set it up that way and followed her own rules through the entire hearing.  I’ve said many times that the worst treatment my family ever received in the entire process of my sister’s murder aside from her death itself of course, was from Death penalty opponents in the name of life.  And we are nothing but grieving 100% innocent family members of a murder victim.

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Hence lies my ambivalence about Jodi Arias’ sentence.  I know what’s coming for the Alexanders should she receive what she deserves.  Arias is truly, in my opinion, the worst of the worst killer I’ve ever seen.  I’m comparing her to Scott Peterson who’s trial I attended, Dan Willoughby who was also released from Death Row in my State on a lengthy appeal/new trial( that I attended) after plotting a violent murder of his wife Trish, Michael Peterson who is also out of prison now on appeal after beating his wife Kathleen’s head to smithereens in a staircase, David Westerfield, a child killer who’s trial I followed online closely and of course Cindy’s killers Michael and Rudi Apelt.  Jodi Arias is scarier than all of those killers to me.  She is more dangerous and more vicious than any of those men from where I stand.   She has tortured her victim’s family far after killing him and from where I observe, she enjoys it.  Without a doubt, her crime fits the criteria for our worst of the worst penalty in the State of AZ:  death. Her crime is what the Death Penalty was designed for.

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Yet, once she is sentenced to death, she will be afforded the best of the best legal assistance like all the other death row killers.  Lawyers who oppose this sentence will use her as a pawn in their larger game of abolishing the death penalty and will soak up millions of taxpayer dollars fighting for anything for her.  Issues will be appealed for decades, the family will receive notices from the State for years documenting her latest strategies, she will receive worldwide attention from bleeding hearts who believe her to be the victim in all of this and Travis’ name will almost never be brought up in any of it.  She will be far more a burden on society financially and she will scheme and manipulate it to every inch of her life–which will be spared as she maneuvers there–having I believe a 1% chance of being executed, ever.

Do-gooders in her name will harass her victim’s grieving loved ones as happened to me on a cold December morning just three weeks before the anniversary of Cindy’s death. An investigator for her killers’ appeal showed up, uninvited and unannounced on my doorstep pleading for my help in the mental retardation appeal.  I asked her in to my house assuming she was someone representing our side, the side of right and justice, as I know the AZ Victims Bill of Rights details how someone siding with the murderers cannot approach me, legally.  Yet this woman knew that too because once I sort of came to and realized what she was there for, soliciting my help to release these murderers from death row, I pointed this out to her.  “You are not allowed to approach me legally” to which she replied “yes but I’m working under the Federal law so it doesn’t apply”.  She came prepared to justify her unconscienable invasion in to my space should I call the police on her.

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I kicked this doe eyed woman out of my living room but not after she was reduced to tears.  “I don’t know why I’m crying” she said, tears rolling down her face after I let her know that I was intending to decorate my house for Christmas that day which was why all the boxes were around her.  And reminded her that my sister’s bloody body was found in the desert on Christmas Eve.  “You are crying because you do have a conscience and you are looking in to the face of a real victim, not these murderers you are championing” after she tried her best to convince me that these sophisticated life long criminals were mentally retarded.

I then told her to vacate my house after walking in to my kitchen leaving her alone in my living room so not allowing her to see my full body shaking and my own tears out of pride.  “I’m leaving my card if you want to use it” she said before following my orders to use the same door she came in and I replied “Oh I will be using it–to report you”.

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And report her I did.  I contacted our prosecutor who immediately put me in touch with a Victims Rights attorney who wrote me right back on that very day, a Sunday.  She was seeking a specific case to use to argue to close a loophole these abusive death penalty opponents were slipping through to approach victims and this was it.  She educated me on another case where they ambushed a grieving mother of a murdered child in her own home similarly yet upped the ante saying if she didn’t cooperate with them, perhaps this murderer would be freed from prison and “if we can find you, he could find you”.  That was all I needed to hear to get on board.  Yes, this is the reality of what families face years later from these “do-badders” who champion our worst of the worst.  I went to lunch with a friend that December day who said, hours later “you’re still shaking”.  And I’m a badass strong woman but I was shaking for hours after this assault to my peaceful space.

My attorney, Keli Luther, and I succeeded in closing up that loophole that these murderer supporters were slipping through to accost victims’ families blindside in their homes so in the State of Arizona what happened to me will never occur to another victim’s family.  But really, why do we need to keep fighting for ourselves in the face of those who murdered our loved ones?  Really?

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Rudi Apelt, the man who wielded the knife that slit my sister’s throat from ear to ear on December 23 1988 for money, the man who served 5 years in Germany for a violent gang rape of a woman who was also left in a remote rural area, luckily alive but beaten as was Cindy, was deemed “mentally retarded” and released from Death Row in 2009.  He lives now in General population which is fine with me because we finally got one blessing in our favor–no one is fighting for his release anymore, unlike his brother who still remains on the Row.  We still get the letters monthly and they are still appealing the mental retardation decision although it was supposed to be “final”.  The State doesn’t get to appeal Rudi’s decision from that biased Judge but Michael gets to keep appealing it.  The scales swing far to the side of murderers at this stage and We the People pay for it.

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I was so disgusted after years of dealing with this mental retardation ridiculous agenda’d appeal that I wasn’t going to attend the final sentencing.  I was convinced Arellano would rule in their favor as she did every single other thing through her choreographed biased agenda and she would generously deem this throat slitting rapist/murderer a Life WITH Parole sentence as aw, bless his little sociopathic heart, there was no Life WITHOUT Parole when he committed this crime so he gets grandfathered in.  What this meant was this man had the chance of going from Death Row to parole in 5 years.  He had served 20 years of his sentence and it would be a 25 to Life resentence.  How special.

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Luckily, this now “mentally retarded” violent criminal was also convicted a conspiracy to murder.  Yes take a moment to let that sink in.  He’s “mentally retarded” yet still, legally deemed able to conspire to commit this heinous murder.  As topsy turvy as that is, thank God we had that conviction as well.  That meant 2 LwOP sentences but it wasn’t over yet.  His supporters decided in consistent fashion to push the envelope and ask those sentences to run concurrent so , still, he could be up for parole from Death Row in 5 years.

It was six simple words that got me back down to the Pinal County Courthouse on that empty desolate drive that day in 2009–“I think you should be there” my attorney encouraged.

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I stayed up until 2am the night before writing my Victim Impact Statement for this biased Judge who had truly assaulted my family herself through the legal system for years siding with these murderers.  I walked in to that courtroom flanked by my attorney and no one else and saw Rudi Apelt for the first time in two decades.  I began uncontrollably shaking all over as I sat there and endured a bizarre apology levied at me by his attorney claiming none of this was personal. Right, like the murder of my sister was somehow not personal to me.  It was personal allright and was getting ready to get far more personal to him having to listen to me letting him know what he had, personally, forced my family to endure.  I sat there stoned faced staring straight ahead resisting my own natural urges to accept apologies knowing this man was still strategizing, trying to break me down before I went up to that witness stand and kicked his ass all over the courtroom.  Which I did and you can read it below.

I was later told by the new AG representing our case at this time that Arellano’s ruling to run his sentences consecutive vs. concurrent was “all you”.  That if I hadn’t appeared and checked her on this decision as is what happens most of the time, she would have done what she wanted to do all along:  release a Death Row inmate back in to society or at least get him as close to it as she could.

Pardon my French when I say , just how fucking bizarre is that?

Hence, this is where my ambivalence on the Jodi Arias sentencing comes in. 

I know what’s coming. 

Not only will she have the best of the best legal help for the rest of her life on Death Row, she is smarter and more cunning than most killers and she will manipulate the system and continue to torture Travis’ family all on her own from prison. I mean what else does she have to do and she lives for the pain inflicted, that’s obvious to me.

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Yet I stand firm believing this is the correct sentence for her for two big reasons.  First, it’s the law.  Her crime fits this punishment like no other.  Killers should not be allowed to shuttle around their crimes by manipulating the system no matter the crime and this is the sentence she deserves under the LAW.

She and her team–including paid experts who lied under oath for money and were willing to twist the truth for some kind of retirement plan ridden on the backs of murder victims and one member of the media this defense team used throughout–have unconscienably attacked this victim’s reputation and his family for the benefit of this murderer.  The Judge has allowed the worst treatment of victims I’ve ever witnessed in a court of law through the six years this has taken to get to justice.  The victim blaming and bashing allowed born solely from the mouth of his murderer, an admitted pathological liar and CONVICTED KILLER is a phenomena that We the People should never see again, much less pay for.  And still her crime qualifies for the ultimate sentence clear as day.

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And, perhaps more important to me, it’s what Travis’ family wants to see and I stand with them in pure solidarity.  And if they need me as appeals pull them through the ringer here in AZ as they have my family, I still stand strong with them then in solidarity.  In the meantime I will keep shouting to the rooftops that this victim trashing/blaming strategy has to end sometime.  It’s so far beyond an adequate defense or fair trial.  That has been long gone and bloated beyond recognition here.  The collective fear of the Death penalty in our culture has created a monster and the only ones suffering, the absolute ONLY ONES SUFFERING are the loved ones of the victim.  Oh and the taxpayers who foot the bill for the murderer to the tune of millions and millions of dollars in legal fees–not housing or execution fees–legal fees. 

The very ones who cry about how expensive the death penalty is, are the ones making bank off it it–at our expense.  When does it end? 

I say right now. 

I say this trial be used as a pivot point.  Enough is enough.  When will some politician come forth and claim Travis Law that limits the amount a victim can be blamed for their violent death at the hands of another.  That fiction can be sold as fact while murderers are protected and coddled through the court system.  I don’t have a clear solution, I just know that clearly what’s happening is wrong.  And it needs to end.  Now. No grieving families need to be retortured over and over again by the system.  It’s not what our Founding Fathers intended I am completely sure.

May justice come today for Travis Alexander.  And then may the healing process, finally, not end but begin for his family and loved ones.  Let’s be clear, it never ends, there is no closure.  But at least they can begin to heal once this bitch is sentenced to anything.  And I’m also a testament to the fact that healing is possible.

May Travis Alexander’s killer’s name be forgotten as soon as possible.  In fact, let’s let the forgetting begin today.

Rest in peace Cindy and Travis–your lives meant something to me.  And to many others.  We will forget your killers but we won’t forget you.

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My Victim Impact Statement which was published here:

Why have I chosen to take time out of my busy schedule once again to drive to Florence to give this impact statement? I ask myself the same question as I honestly don’t think anything I have to say will make much difference or cause much impact toward the decision on resentencing this defendant but the question always is “can I live with myself if certain decisions are made and know I’ve said nothing?

So, here I am with a few things to say.

I don’t intend to get in to the impact this crime itself has had on me personally or on my family. Partly because I don’t think it’s necessary at this stage and partly because I think it could potentially do more harm than good. I’ll let you fill in the blanks on how losing your only
sister/ your oldest daughter on the day before Christmas impacts on a family. To a vicious senseless murder for money.

I will tell you the impact of this particular hearing and decision over the last several years has had and has the potential to have on me and my family.

When the men who murdered my sister in this cold blooded plot were sentenced to death, we were told there were two options in the State of AZ — Life with the possibility of parole in 25 years and Death which meant they would never get out of prison. Of course, no matter how we might have felt politically about the death penalty, we knew these were young men and would still be as violent and dangerous in 25 years, perhaps more so and the Death Penalty was the only sentence that insured the public’s and our safety from them forever. We were
warned that in time, the tables would turn, the victim would be forgotten and the murderers would be seen as victims. Well that time has come, over 20 years after the loss of my sister. It’s still hard to fathom but it’s the absolute reality now.

I am here to remind the court who the true victim of this crime was, and still is. It was my sister Cindy who was my only sister, fourteen months older than me, whose life was taken for one motive: money. On the day before we were to fly home for Christmas on Christmas eve 1988. I was 29 years old and she was 30. We grew up together with each other to lean on as we lost our mother at a very young age. She was kind and truly an innocent and the defense in both trials could produce no evidence about her in a derogatory way — there simply was none. She was like a lamb to slaughter with the men who murdered her — Rudi and Michael Apelt.

The victim was not and still is not the man, Rudi Apelt, who is being resentenced today. The man who wielded the knife that slashed Cindy’s throat from ear to ear leaving her to be discovered by a young boy in the desert on Christmas Eve.. Rudi Apelt, who has served another prison sentence for a violent rape of another woman in Germany. Rudi Apelt
who conned many women throughout the Phoenix area during the months prior to the murder of my sister for money, use of their car, a living situation in their home, procurement of goods, all of these actions performed ALONE and not in the presence of his brother or any other familiar person to him. All of these facts are clearly documented in the trial transcripts. He is a violent man, a repeat offender and took the life of my sister for money. I do not believe he demonstrates any signs of mental retardation in the commission of this crime–quite
the contrary, in fact. Sophisticated, calculated and cold-blooded homicide are not adjectives I would ascribe to the mentally retarded.

I am here also to tell you the impact that just this one hearing lasting several years has had on my family. My 78-year-old father was required to testify and cancel a prepaid trip to China because the Court would not consider a 2-week postponement of the original hearing
for this which he was required to testify at. This postponement was the one and only thing my family ever asked of this Court in the many YEARS leading up to this hearing and it was not granted. This was perhaps my father’s only opportunity to go to China for the rest of his lfe.
Yet the defense in this case was granted delay after delay over a period of years causing me and my family to be inconvenienced, put plans on hold, prepare ourselves emotionally only to be told yet another delay for the defense for years upon years.

I opened my door one December day, 3 years go, ironically the same day I was planning to decorate my house for Christmas which you can imagine what a task that is for me year after year seeing my sister’s bloody body was discovered in the desert on Christmas Eve morning, only to find an advocate for Rudi Apelt misrepresenting herself to me and asking for my cooperation with this very issue–the mental retardation hearing. And this advocate bald-faced lied to me in my own home assuring me that this murderer, if reversed in sentence, would be
resentenced to life WITHOUT parole. Yes of course she knew this was impossible due to sentencing guidelines yet chose to manipulate me in this way. What did I or my family ever do to deserve this kind of treatment? Laws have been changed now to disallow the abuse of victims in this manner in the State of AZ because of this heinous situation I endured.

My father and I endured sitting in a courtroom often being the only representatives on the side of the State while onlookers filled the side of the defendant hoping obviously to glean some kind of clues for arguing their murderer clients were also mentally retarded to avoid the ultimate penalty.

I have personally learned that in addition to the tides of sympathy swinging away from the murder victim to the murderer over the years that the “worst of the worst” in our society, once on Death Row, receive the “best of the best” when it comes to legal assistance. I am
convinced that a death row inmate has a greater chance of being released from prison than a “lifer” serving a term for a nonviolent crime, simply because more people care about those on Death Row. The murderers also receive free websites which read like singles ads soliciting donations, penpals, wives and the like. When the “serial shooter” claimed to desire the death penalty in his sentencing hearing this year, I completely understood what was motivating him — and it most certainly wasn’t a possibility of execution.

My one consolation with this preposterous ruling/resentencing is that finally Rudi Apelt will receive what he deserves. Which is to be forgotten, finally. I have no doubt that those helping so fervently over the years will drop him like a hot potato once he no longer holds the prestige of Death Row status and he will fade in to the woodwork with all the other violent common criminals in the general population. Until of course we are asked to appear at parole hearings. Then we will be forced to remember him and his violence once again. When do we ever
get to let this go? Do we?

Finally, I did not come all the way down here with any delusions that my words would have any true impact whatsoever on the outcome of this hearing. Biases have been shown throughout and I hold no fantasies that my family’s feelings and wishes will fall in to consideration. Yet let it be known, we all have a certain degree of terror at the thought of
Rudi Apelt ever being released from prison due to a possible switch to concurrent sentences where he could have the possibility of actually being paroled. Yes that terrifies my family and me personally. This again is the man who took my sister in to the desert, and among other
violent acts, slit her throat. Then enjoyed a celebratory meal with his co-murderer/conspirators at a restaurant using her credit card right after commiting the murder. Call it what you want, but I call that nothing but a DANGER TO SOCIETY. His sentences, at the very least,
need to remain CONSECUTIVE to protect society from his violence. Call him mentally retarded, call him an imbecile, call him an idiot savant, whatever you wish. But call his behavior what it has been: VIOLENT and DANGEROUS.

The reason I did come though is in hopes that down the road, whatever decision is reached as a result of this resentencing hearing is REVIEWED by hopefully a non biased individual who has no political agenda at stake. Then that a sound decision will be made then that will prohibit this dangerous individual Rudi Apelt from ever being released from prison again. And to allow me and my family to finally move forward without ever having to worry about him again. And to hopefully get to begin to live a life where we get to focus on remembering my sister’s life and not her violent death.
Dandelion blowing in the wind