Victims of the State

 Seminole County, FL

Joseph Spaziano

Aug 5, 1973

Joseph Robert Spaziano was convicted of murdering Laura Lynn Harberts, an 18-year-old Orlando hospital clerk. She disappeared on Aug. 5, 1973. Her mutilated body was found along with another unidentified body in the Altamonte city dump on Aug. 21, 1973. The state's star witness, Tony Dilisio, a drug-addicted teenager stated during a hypnotized “refreshed memory” interrogation that he thought he recalled Spaziano describing the murder. Sixteen days before Spaziano's scheduled execution, Dilisio recanted his testimony. Spaziano was granted a new trial and he ultimately pleaded no contest in 1997 to second-degree murder in exchange for a time served sentence.  (St. Petersburg Times)  [1/07]

McLennan County, TX 

David Spence

July 14, 1982 (Waco)

David Wayne Spence was convicted of the murder of Jill Montgomery and sentenced to death. Montgomery, 17, along with Raylene Rice, 17, and Montgomery's boyfriend, Kenneth Franks, 18, were found murdered in Speegleville Park at Lake Waco. Three other individuals, Gilbert Melendez, Tony Melendez, and Muneer Deeb were also convicted in connection to the murders. Truman Simons, a night jailer who had unsupervised contact with inmates, largely developed the cases against all four.

Spence was executed on April 3, 1997. Marvin Horton, the police lieutenant who supervised the case, said, “I do not think David Spence committed this crime.” Ramon Salinas, the homicide detective on the case, added, “My opinion is that David Spence was innocent. Nothing from the investigation ever led us to any evidence that he was involved.” One of the inmates who testified at Spence's trial, Robert Snelson, said, “We all fabricated our accounts of Spence confessing in order to try to get a break from the state on our cases.” A pro-prosecution book, Careless Whispers by Dallas journalist Carlton Stowers was written about the murders.  (TJDP) (DP News) (JD)  [1/07]

New Hanover County, NC 

Christopher Spicer

Convicted 1973

Christopher Spicer was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Donnie P. Christian. At trial, a jailhouse informant, Charles Pennington, claimed that Spicer had confessed to him that he had committed the murder. The N.C. Supreme Court overturned Spicer's conviction when it was proven that Spicer and Pennington had never been cellmates. At Spicer's retrial, it took the jury only 15 minutes to unanimously acquit him.  (DRE)  [3/06]

Honolulu County, HI 

Thomas Spindle

Feb 5, 1982

(Military Case) Thomas Wayne Spindle was convicted by a U.S. Army court of the murder of 14-year-old Derek Kusumoto. Spindle had discovered Derek's body at the foot of a steep entryway into an underground munitions bunker at Schofield Barracks. Derek was the adopted son of Lieutenant Colonel Howard Kusumoto while Spindle was a Specialist Four, equivalent to a hard-striped corporal.  (IIPPI)

Van Wert County, OH

John Spirko

Aug 9, 1982

In order to get his girlfriend out of jail for helping him plan a botched escape attempt, John Spirko claimed to know something about the robbery, abduction, and murder of Elgin, OH Postmaster Betty Jane Mottinger. He heard about her on the TV news and read every newspaper article about her he could find. Spirko told authorities a web of lies involving fictitious names. When authorities suspected he was lying, he told them more lies.
Read More by Clicking Here

 Australia (SA)

Edward Splatt

Dec 3, 1977

Edward Charles Splatt was convicted of the murder of Rosa Amelia Simper. The crime occurred in Cheltenham, an Adelaide suburb.  (NetK) (Sydney Morning Herald) (Charles Smith Blog)

Robert Spurlock - See Marshall & Spurlock

 Australia (QLD)

Graham Stafford

Sept 23, 1991

Graham Stafford was convicted of the murder of 12-year-old Leanne Holland. Holland's body was found in Redbank Plains three days after she was reported missing from her home in Goodna. Analysis shows that critical evidence used to convict Stafford is seriously flawed.  (Video 1) (Video 2)

Penobscot County, ME 

Stain & Cromwell

Feb 22, 1878 (Dexter)

David L. Stain and Oliver Cromwell were convicted of the alleged 1878 murder of John Wilson Baxter. Baxter was the cashier at the Dexter Savings Bank and was found in the vault of the bank, wounded, gagged, handcuffed, and unconscious. He died a few hours after he was found. Following an initial investigation, the local townspeople were divided on whether Baxter committed suicide or was murdered. There was little evidence of an intruder, but some thought it unlikely that Baxter could have gagged and handcuffed himself.
Read More by Clicking Here

Jackson County, MO 

Richard Stallings

Jan 21, 1995

Richard Stallings was convicted of the murder of Donna Meredith. Physical evidence from the crime scene was either not investigated or results about it were withheld. Witnesses with axes to grind testified against Stallings.  (JD) (State v. Stallings)  [2/07]

 Ontario, Canada

Gary Staples

Dec 1969 (Hamilton)

Gary Staples was convicted of the murder of Gerald Burke. Burke was shot to death in the cab he drove while parked behind an industrial plant on Dunbar Ave. in Hamilton, ON. Staples' conviction was based on the testimony of his jilted ex-girlfriend who in exchange for leniency on robbery charges said Staples confessed to the shooting. Staples won an acquittal on appeal in 1972. He was officially cleared in 2002, after a retired judge and two law students found police had suppressed evidence of two witnesses whose testimony would have acquitted him. The Hamilton police force sent him a written apology. Staples also received an undisclosed amount of cash.  (Info) (IB) (CBC)

Cleo Staten - See Guntersville Four

Edgar County, IL 

Steidl & Whitlock

July 6, 1986 (Paris)

Gordon Randall “Randy” Steidl and Herbert Whitlock were convicted of stabbing to death newlyweds Dyke and Karen Rhoads. The defendants' convictions were based on the testimony of two substance-abusing witnesses who repeatedly changed their stories. Their wrongful convictions were brought to light after a journalism professor and four of his students reinvestigated the crime and uncovered new evidence. A state police lieutenant assigned to reinvestigate the case was demoted for concluding earlier investigations had blown the case and put the wrong men in jail. Steidl was released in 2004 and Whitlock was released in 2008.  (CBS News) (CWC)  [7/05]

Forrest County, MS 

Stephanie Stephens

May 1, 2001 (Hattiesburg)

Stephanie Stephens was convicted of the murder of her 59-year-old husband, Dr. David Stephens. David was chief of surgery at Hattiesburg's Forrest General Hospital. David appeared to have died in his sleep, while Stephanie slept next to him. However, two drugs were found in his system, Etomidate, an anesthetic, and Atricurium, a drug used to relax muscles during surgery for patients on life support. Without life support, Atricurium is lethal as it will paralyze a person's heart and lungs.
Read More by Clicking Here

Charles Stevens - See Duval Three

Robert Stewart - See Cumberland Four

U.S. Federal Case (NY) 

Martha Stewart

Dec 2001

Martha Stewart, a well-known domestic diva, was investigated for insider trading because she sold her shares of ImClone stock the day before the company announced that its cancer drug, Erbitux, was not approved by the FDA. The investigation revealed that Stewart did not engage in insider trading, but had sold them because her broker observed that the ImClone stock price was declining and that the company CEO was selling his shares. To protect themselves from a vague and undefined insider trading laws, Stewart and her broker doctored their story. Stewart was convicted of obstruction of justice for lying. For this offense to have any meaning, there must be a crime that she lied about and obstructed. The prosecutors presented no such crime. Stewart served five months of jail time and five months of house arrest. She suffered no apparent loss of reputation with the public.  (TruthInJustice)

Orleans County, NY

Stielow & Green

Mar 12, 1915

Charles Stielow and his brother-in-law Nelson Green were convicted of murdering their neighbor, Charles Phelps, and his housekeeper, Marjorie Wilcott. Green was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Stielow to death. Both men allegedly wrote or dictated confessions, purported to be in their own words, which they refused to sign. In addition, a ballistics report was presented which showed that the fatal bullets had come from a gun found in Stielow's home.

After the convictions, further investigation by a newspaper showed that both the confessions and ballistics report were fabricated. Both men were illiterate and the confessions included language beyond their comprehension. The two detectives who obtained the confessions were hired on a contingency basis. They would be paid only if they solved the crime. A dictograph machine recording of conversations occurring during the alleged confessions provided clear proof that no confessions had occurred and showed that the detectives, the sheriff, and undersheriff had lied under oath. In addition, ballistic analysis showed that the state ballistics expert had also committed perjury. No official was punished even though Stielow came within an hour of execution. Both Stielow and Green were pardoned in 1918.  (CWC) (CTI)  [8/07]

Will Stiles - See Vaught, Stiles, & Bates

Milwaukee County, WI 

Robert Stinson

Nov 3, 1984

Robert Lee Stinson was convicted of the murder of a neighbor, 62-year-old Ione Cychosz. The victim was found beaten and stabbed with eight bite marks on her. A forensic odontologist, Dr. L. Thomas Johnson, determined that the perpetrator likely had a missing upper front tooth. Police visited Stinson as part of a neighborhood canvass and he lived in a home adjacent to the yard where Cychosz's body was found. A detective on the case, James Gauger, recalled, “My partner told him a couple of jokes, and Stinson laughed.” When they saw a missing tooth, “we knew we had our man.”

At trial, Johnson and another forensic odontologist, Dr. Raymond Rawson, testified that Stinson's teeth matched bite marks found on the victim's body even though Stinson was missing a tooth in a place where the bite marks indicated a tooth. Johnson testified that the bite marks “had to have been made by teeth identical” to Stinson's and that there was “no margin for error in this.” Rawson called the bite mark evidence “overwhelming” and said “there was no question there was a match.” Rawson would later give provably erroneous bite mark testimony against an Arizona murder defendant named Ray Krone.

On appeal in 1986, Stinson argued he was convicted solely on inadmissible bite mark evidence, but the appeals court upheld bite mark evidence in their legal decision, Wisconsin v. Stinson. According to one expert, the decision was the “crown jewel” of legal opinions that forensic odontologists pointed to as validation of bite mark analysis as an approved science.

In 2005, the Wisconsin Innocence Project accepted Stinson's case and developed two kinds of new evidence. First, DNA testing of saliva found on the victim's sweater revealed a male profile that excluded Stinson. Second, the WIP arranged for the bite marks to be re-examined by a panel of four nationally-recognized experts, Dr. Gregory Golden, Dr. David Senn, Dr. Norman Sperber, and Dr. Denise Murmann. Using modern methods, the panel unanimously concluded that Stinson's teeth could not have inflicted the bites. Due to the new evidence, Stinson's conviction was overturned in 2009 and charges against him were dropped. Stinson was released after serving more than 23 years in prison.  (Chicago Tribune) (Law Review) (AP News)  [3/10]

Patrick County, VA 

Dennis Stockton

July 1978

Dennis Waldon Stockton was convicted of murdering his friend Kenny Arnder. Arnder's body was found in North Carolina, but Stockton was tried in Virginia based on the assumption that Arnder was killed there and his body was moved to the North Carolina side of the border. Stockton was convicted solely on the testimony of Randy Bowman, a convict, who in many respects was a more likely suspect in the killing. On appeal in 1995, Stockton's attorney presented affidavits from Bowman's former wife, his son, and a friend, stating that Bowman admitted to committing the murder. The affidavits had little effect and Stockton was executed two days later on Sept. 27, 1995 by lethal injection.

Stockton's case is the subject of a book entitled Dead Run: The Shocking Story of Dennis Stockton and Life on Death Row in America by William F. Burke, Jr. and Joe Jackson.  (TWM)

Hale County, TX 

David Stoker

Nov 9, 1986 (Hale Center)

David Wayne Stoker was sentenced to death for the murder of David Mannrique (Manrique), a clerk at an Allsup's convenience store in Hale Center, Texas. Mannrique was shot three times and robbed of $96.81. No physical evidence placed Stoker at the store or established that he owned the gun that killed the victim. Five months after the crime, Carey Todd told police that Stoker had confessed to him and had given him the murder weapon, which Todd then gave them. At trial, Todd denied under oath that the prosecution gave him any incentives to testify against Stoker. However, Todd had felony drug and weapons charges against him dropped later that same day. He possibly faced being charged with Mannrique's murder had he not been willing to finger someone else. Ronnie and Debbie Thompson also testified that Stoker had confessed the murder to them.

Ronnie Thompson later recanted his testimony. Thompson said he had signed the statement written by his wife, Debbie Thompson, without reading it because she claimed Stoker had raped her, a claim he later found to be false. He claimed prosecutors threatened to try him for perjury if his trial testimony differed from his affidavit. During Stoker's trial, his wife left him to move in with Todd. Both she and Todd then each received half of a $1000 Crime Stoppers reward for naming Stoker. Police Chief Richard Cordell had testified there was no local Crime Stoppers, but later admitted he was one of the group's founders.

Prosecutors claimed that a shell casing found in Stoker's car linked him to the murder weapon. However, Stoker did not own the car until months after the murder. A federal appellate judge concluded that Todd was just as likely the murderer. It would appear, however, that Todd is more likely the murderer, as the only reliable evidence in the case is that Todd possessed the murder weapon and knew that it was used in the murder. Stoker was executed on June 16, 1997.  (TJDP) (CPIT) (Atlantic)  [8/08]

Palm Beach County, FL 

Gilbert Stokes

Aug 15, 2000 (Belle Glade)

Gilbert Stokes was convicted of murdering 18-year-old Jyron Seider during the robbery of a Belle Glade, Florida street dice game. Stokes was a member of the “Dogs Under Fire” gang while Seider was not. An appeals court overturned Stokes's conviction because the prosecutor repeatedly tried to create the impression that Stokes was motivated to kill Seider because he was a non-gang member. No evidence supported that assertion and it was clear that Stokes socialized with non-gang members. The court stated, “Here, the State lacked strong evidence and it is questionable, under the facts of this case, whether the jury would have found Stokes guilty without hearing evidence of his DUF membership.” The appeals court also overturned the conviction because the trial judge improperly allowed a detective to give hearsay testimony that alleged witnesses who did not come to court to testify had implicated Stokes in the murder.

DNA evidence and two eyewitnesses linked the state's star witness, Leon Harrell, to the murder. The two witnesses said that Stokes was not involved. Police originally arrested Harrell for the murder, but they were unable to make a case against him before his constitutional right to a speedy trial ran out. At Stokes's second trial in 2006, Harrell refused to testify against Stokes unless prosecutors promised him leniency on unrelated drug charges. Prosecutors then offered Stokes a plea deal which he accepted on advice of his attorney. Though he maintained his innocence, Stokes pled guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault in exchange for a 12-year sentence. He had already served five years and could be released before he served another five. According to Stokes's attorney, it is “better to be 32 and walking the streets than 65 and making license plates.”  (JD) (Sun Sentinel)  [2/07]

 Kern County, CA

John Stoll


John Stoll was convicted of 17 counts of child molestation involving six children including his five-year-old son. Two of Stoll's codefendants won their state appeal 15 years before he did. His own appeal was denied in part because of a mistake his lawyer had made during the trial—failing to introduce a psychologist's finding that Stoll showed none of the telltale traits of a pedophile.

Of the six kids who had testified against Stoll then, five—now grown— recanted at a hearing. Only his son Jed continued to insist that his father had molested him, though under questioning he could give no details. Stoll's conviction was overturned after he served 20 years of a 40-year sentence. His charges were dropped.  (Justice: Denied)  [6/05]

Alameda County, CA

John Stoppelli


(Federal Case)  John Stoppelli was convicted of drug trafficking in an Oakland federal court. Internal Revenue Agent W. Harold “Bucky” Greene determined that Stoppelli's fingerprint was on a package of heroin seized in an Oakland raid in which four men were arrested. Greene found fourteen matching ridge characteristics. The four men said he was not involved and, on the day of the raid, Stoppelli had registered with his probation officer in New York, 3,000 miles away. An FBI lab later determined the print did not match Stoppelli. Stoppelli then sought a new trial, but his request was denied, because the FBI analysis was not “new” evidence, just a reevaluation of “old” evidence. U.S. President Truman commuted Stoppelli's sentence after he had served 2 years.  (Justice: Denied)  [1/07]

Polk County, FL 

Jeffrey Streeter

Apr 1980

Jeffrey Streeter was convicted of a crime for which he was never arrested. Streeter went to the local courthouse in Bartow, FL on July 15, 1980 to pick up his brother who was due to be sentenced to probation on a robbery charge. Also at the courthouse was an attorney named Warren Dawson. Dawson represented defendant Lee Marvin Anderson who was being tried that day on misdemeanor charges of assault, battery, and resisting arrest without violence. Dawson did not believe that witnesses against Anderson had any independent recollection of who Anderson was. To prove his point, Dawson asked Streeter to do him a favor and to sit at the defendant's table during the trial where the defendant usually sits. Streeter agreed and sat in the defendant's chair. Anderson, the defendant, meanwhile sat in the spectator's section of the courtroom.

After the non-jury bench trial began, three prosecution witnesses identified 19-year-old Streeter as the person who committed Anderson's alleged offenses. According to the testimony, the assailant was angry that Francis Garell's car was parked too close to his and knocked Garrell down. Streeter subsequently testified he was not Lee Marvin Anderson. He even showed the judge his driver's license. Dawson told the judge that Streeter was not the defendant, and called the real defendant, Anderson, to the front of the courtroom and Anderson identified himself. According to Dawson, the judge would not even listen, he would not even hear from Anderson.

The judge, Edward Threadgill, Jr., dismissed the assault and resisting arrest charges against Streeter because the presented testimony did not support them. However, he convicted Streeter of battery and sent him to jail. Streeter was subsequently released from custody after spending 18 hours in jail. His conviction was dismissed two weeks later.

Streeter and Anderson were both black. In regard to his incorrect identification, Garrell, 67, said that there were few blacks in Johnstown, PA where he worked before retiring to Florida. “Since he was sitting at the defense table, I just assumed that was the man. So did everyone else. If they had the real man up there I couldn't be certain I could identify him. It happened three months ago and it was getting dusk.”  (Newspaper Accounts)  [12/08]

J. C. Strickland - See Curbow & Strickland

Clark County, WA 

Reshenda Strickland

Mar 21, 2003

Reshenda Strickland was convicted of shoplifting based on the erroneous eyewitness ID of store manager Kathy Hanna and loss prevention officer Dawn Porter. After the conviction, a review of the store's video surveillance tapes showed that Strickland's sister, Starlisha, who had claimed to be in Atlanta at the time of the crime, was the actual thief. Strickland spent three months in jail.  (Seattle PI) (Columbian)  [10/05]

Maurice J. Sullivan - See Sisson & Sullivan

U.S. Federal Case (IN) 

Percy B. Sullivan


Percy B. Sullivan was convicted of passing counterfeit money after being identified by eyewitnesses from Evansville, Vincennes, and Terre Haute, IN. He was sentenced to four years of imprisonment. Some time later, another man named Tyler was arrested who admitted passing counterfeit money in the same cities about the time charged against Sullivan. When the identifying witnesses from these cities were shown Tyler's and Sullivan's pictures and asked to pick out the culprit, all promptly picked Tyler, even though Tyler bore little resemblance to Sullivan. U.S. President McKinley pardoned Sullivan on May 12, 1898.  (CTI)  [11/07]

Ramsey County, MN 

David Brian Sutherlin

Mar 2, 1985

David Brian Sutherlin was convicted of rape after the victim said he resembled her assailant at trial. In 2002, prosecution initiated DNA tests exonerated him and implicated another man. The other man could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations. Sutherlin is the only known person exonerated because of prosecution initiated DNA testing.  (IP)

 Harris County, TX

Josiah Sutton

Oct 25, 1998

Josiah Sutton was convicted of carjacking and rape based on a DNA test that was erroneously evaluated by Christy Kim of the Houston Crime Lab. Sutton was denied a request for an independent DNA test, but an independent investigation of the Houston Crime Lab brought errors in his case to light. Retesting confirmed Sutton's claim of innocence and he was released in 2003. In 2005, he was awarded $119,000.  (IP) (HC) (JD)  [10/05]

Montgomery County, TX 

Larry Swearingen

Dec 1998 (Conroe)

Larry Swearingen sentenced to death for the strangulation murder of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter. Trotter disappeared on Dec. 8, 1998. Swearingen was one of the last known persons to see her alive. He was arrested three days later on outstanding traffic warrants and put in jail. An extensive search for Trotter was organized, but her body wasn’t discovered until Jan. 2, 1999. She was found in the Sam Houston National Forest by a couple of hunters – in an area that had been already searched three times. Swearingen was still in jail at this time.

Following the scheduling of Swearingen's first execution date for Jan 2007, he began getting medical science on his side. Unanimous medical opinion, based of various signs of body decay, is that Trotter could not have been murdered until some time after she disappeared and after Swearingen was put in jail. One pathologist puts the earliest possible date of Trotter's murder as Dec. 18, another puts it at Dec. 23. Dr. Glenn Larkin, a retired pathologist, said “No rational and intellectually honest person can look at the evidence and conclude Larry Swearingen is guilty of this horrible crime.”  (IIPPI) (Texas Monthly)

Lee County, NC 

Donald Edward Sweat

Feb 23, 2007 (Sanford)

Donald Edward Sweat was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. He was sentenced to 93 to 121 months of imprisonment. Sweat's alleged victim, John Hunter, was assaulted between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. near his mailbox at the intersection of Cletus Hall and Buchanan Farm Roads in Sanford, NC. The assailant struck John several times in the face, breaking a cheekbone and his jawbone. John's brother, Joe Hunter, had driven John to the mailbox and told the assailant to stop, but the assailant threatened to kill him if he did not get back in his car. The assailant then threatened to kill John and slashed his arm with a knife, cutting the sleeve of his coat and requiring him to get nine stitches on his arm. The assailant left the scene and the Hunters drove 1 1/2 miles to John's house where they called the police at 9:08 p.m.

Sweat lived with his aunt, Vonnie Hall, across a five acre lot from John Hunter's mailbox. Between 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Hall pulled into her driveway behind a car driven by Sweat's friend in which Sweat was a passenger. She reprimanded Sweat and his friend because out on the road they had been driving closely behind her with their bright lights on. According to Hall, Sweat “started acting crazy” and argued with his friend about having his high beams on. Sweat went outside and Hall watched him walk down the road in a direction away from the intersection with the mailboxes. Sweat came back to the house and said, “I can't satisfy nobody. I hurt everybody I see.” He began giving his things to his aunt such as a watch and jewelry he was wearing and items in his pockets, including his wallet and a fold-up razor blade. Hall stated he used the blade to cut dogs' ears. Sweat went outside and began yelling, then asked his friend to take him to jail. The two men left. Magistrate Randy Carter testified that Sweat came to his office and stated that he “wanted to turn himself in, that he had hurt somebody, and he needed to be locked up.” Carter called the Sheriff's office and police soon charged Sweat with assaulting John Hunter.

At trial, neither John Hunter nor Joe Hunter could not identify Sweat as the assailant they saw. The only description they had given of the assailant was that he was a man or a boy. Sweat's defense asked for a directed verdict of acquittal due to insufficient evidence, but it was refused. On appeal in April 2009, the North Carolina Court of Appeals agreed with Sweat that the evidence was insufficient and reversed his conviction.  (State v. Sweat)  [7/09]

 Union County, NJ

James Sweeney

Oct 14, 1926

James Sweeney was convicted of the murder of John Ens, a postal truck driver. The crime occurred during a robbery of $151,300 from Ens's mail truck at Sixth St. and Elizabeth Ave. in Elizabeth on Oct. 14, 1926. Sweeney was convicted because of eyewitness error and a false prosecution informant. He was cleared in 1928 after the actual robbers were discovered.  (CTI)

Shelby County, AL

Patrick Swiney

Dec 10, 1987

Patrick Swiney was convicted of murdering his wife, Betty Snow Swiney, and her ex-husband, Ronald Pate. One night, when Swiney was approaching his house, he blacked out, stating that he felt as though he'd been hit on the head with a baseball bat. He awoke in his house with a serious bruise on his head and with the rifle he kept in his truck lying near him. He found his wife and her ex-husband lying on the floor, shot dead with bullets assumed to have been fired from the rifle.
Read More by Clicking Here

 Cook County, IL

Michael J. Synon

Feb 26, 1900

Michael J. Synon was sentenced to death for the of murder of his wife. She was beaten to death in their Chicago residence at 240 S. Green St. Synon's ten-year-old son testified against him. In 1901, it was proven that Synon was four miles away from the scene of his wife's murder and he was released.  [7/05]

 Australia (SA)

David Szach

June 4-5, 1979

David Szach was convicted of the murder of 44-year-old Derrance Stevenson, an Adelaide lawyer. Szach, then 19, had been in a gay relationship with Stevenson for three years. Stevenson's body was found in his freezer with a gunshot wound to his head.  (NetK)

 Australia (VIC)

Christopher Szitovszky

July 1, 2004

Christopher Leslie Szitovszky was convicted of the murder of his 58-year-old father, Peter Szitovszky. The victim was nearly decapitated with an ax outside his home between 3 and 4 a.m. in the Melbourne suburb of Wheelers Hill. An appeals court acquitted Christopher of the murder in 2009 on the grounds that the evidence against him was insufficient to convict him.  (NetK)