Date of Alleged Crime
|Newport County, RI
Claus von Bülow
Claus von Bülow was convicted of two counts of attempting to murder his wife, Martha "Sunny" von Bülow. It was alleged that Claus had on two
occasions injected Sunny with an overdose
of insulin causing her to fall into a coma each time. The alleged
crimes occurred at the couple's estate, Clarendon Court, in Newport, RI.
Sunny was a former princess because of her first marriage to
Prince Alfred von Auersperg. She was also the daughter of a utilities
magnate, George Crawford, and had inherited a reported $100 million from him at age 4.
Sunny had two children, Alexander and Ala by Prince Alfie and
another daughter, Cosima, by Claus. Claus was a British socialite and
the son of Danish aristocrats.
had worked as a personal assistant to oil magnate J. Paul Getty.
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Dec 31, 1843 (Cranston)
Irish immigrant, was hanged on Feb. 14, 1845 for the murder of Amasa Sprague,
a Cranston textile factory owner and the brother of
a U.S. Senator and a future Rhode Island Governor. Gordon's innocence is detailed in a 1993 book,
Brotherly Love by Charles and Tess Hoffman. (Info)
|Providence County, RI
Feb 19, 1982 (Woonsocket)
Raymond D. "Beaver" Tempest, Jr. was convicted of the murder of Doreen
Picard. The murder occurred at 409 Providence Street in Woonsocket,
Rhode Island. Picard was a third floor resident of this address and
her brutally murdered body was found in the basement. A first floor
resident, Susan Laferte, was also found in the basement. She had also
been severely beaten, but had survived. Evidence seemed to indicate
that Laferte was the intended target of the attack which was interrupted by
Picard. Both victims had been beaten
by a 28-inch length of galvanized pipe.
year-old daughter, Nichole, had apparently witnessed the assaults. At
various times when Nichole was at social gatherings that included a man named
Donald Dagesse, Nichole made statements to the effect that Dagesse was the
man who "boomed" her "mama" or asked him if he was that bad man who "boomed
mama." Dagesse also made incriminating statements to different people.
Dagesse had an alibi, but there were eight different inconsistencies with
it. When asked in the hospital to identify her assailant, Laferte
repeatedly was able to write down the letters D, A, and a Y or a G. A
detective then recited several first names, but Laferte did not respond to
any of them. A nurse asked her if the assailant was Donald Dagesse and
Laferte nodded her head yes. She was asked two more times by the detective if
the name was Donald Dagesse and she nodded yes each time. Laferte
later had no memory of the assault or of being asked her assailant's name.
evidence against Dagesse, the investigation went nowhere from late 1983 to
1987. Beaver Tempest's brother, Gordon Tempest, was a Woonsocket
police officer and in 1987 he arrested Stanley Irza, the brother-in-law of
Captain Rodney Remblad, the chief of detectives. From Irza's arrest
apparently had it in for Beaver. Remblad would also use the case as a
stepping stone for his promotion to Woonsocket Chief of Police. In the
years that followed, the frame-up of Beaver Tempest
proceeded, with a complex tale of police convincing witnesses to lie,
police manipulation of the press, and police convincing more witnesses to lie when
the lies of previous witnesses were exposed. By 1992, Beaver Tempest
was arrested, tried, and convicted of the crime. He was
sentenced to 85 years in prison. His brother Gordon was convicted of
perjury for disagreeing at Beaver's trial with "facts" presented by false
Aug 11, 1989
Jeffrey Scott Hornoff, a Warwick
Police Detective, was convicted of bludgeoning to death Victoria Cushman
with a fire extinguisher and a porcelain jewelry box. Following the murder,
Hornoff denied being anything other than friends with Cushman. Detectives
knew otherwise and Hornoff soon admitted that he had two sexual encounters
with her. Hornoff's alibi was that he was at a party with his wife and
friends on the night of the murder. People at the party confirmed his
presence. A grand jury considered the evidence, but did not indict him.
The Rhode Island
State Patrol took over the investigation in 1991 and Hornoff was indicted in
1994. At trial in 1996, the prosecution dismissed his alibi, saying he
slipped away from the party and returned without anyone noticing his absence. Hornoff's initial claim of only
having been friends with Cushman was presented as evidence that he tried to
cover-up the murder. Hornoff was sentenced to life in prison and, in 1999,
the Rhode Island Supreme Court unanimously rejected his appeal.
it was time for Hornoff to abandon hope. But then a miracle occurred. On
Nov. 1, 2002, Todd Barry walked into the attorney general's office and
confessed to murdering Cushman. Barry said he was consumed with guilt that
an innocent man was serving time for a crime that he committed. Barry's
confession revealed how the murder investigation had focused exclusively on
Hornoff. Barry lived near Cushman, had dated her on and off, his name and
number were near the front of her Rolodex, and he was known to her friends.
Yet he was never questioned about the murder, either by the Warwick PD, or
by the state police.
Hornoff was soon
released and cleared of all charges. In 2006, Hornoff was awarded $600,000
plus $47,000 a year for life from the City of Warwick. He may also be
awarded additional money from the Rhode Island State Patrol. (American