Murder

Joslin Simms, the mother of Ray Simms who was murdered in May of 2005.
Justin Cook / justincookphoto.com/

Durham is a city on the rise. And over the past decade or so, it has established a reputation for its change and rapid development. 

But not far away from the city's booming downtown and repurposed factories  is a part of the city that is dealing with high crime rates and the losses of their young men due to violence and prison.

It is a tale of two cities: one prosperous and open to tourist and transplants, the other isolated and dealing with violence and drugs.

Joseph Sledge, photographed at Pamlico Correctional Institution in Bayboro, N.C. Thursday, February 28, 2013.
ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com

In 1976, Joseph Sledge escaped from an Elizabethtown prison and within 24 hours, mother and daughter Josephine and Ailene Davis were murdered. 

A child lays a candle around a fountain in memory of Dr. Feng Liu
Eric Mennel / WUNC

More than 200 people gathered outside on the UNC campus Wednesday night, less than a mile from the spot where Feng Liu was robbed and beaten last week. The vast majority in attendance were part of the Chinese-American community and UNC’s Pharmacy Department, where Liu was a professor.

The evening began with remembrances from friends and colleagues. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt offered condolences to those who knew Liu best.

Execution chamber
Wikipedia

Stephen Lich Tyler drove to Texas last week to witness the execution of his father’s killer, Ramiro Hernandez Llanas. Before he left, he spoke on The State of Things about his struggles with the decision to attend and his expectations of the execution. He returned to the studio today to talk with host Frank Stasio about the experience and how it shaped his perspective on the death penalty.

Lethal injection room
Wikipedia Creative Commons

On Wednesday night, the State of Texas executed Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, a man convicted of the 1997 killing of professor Glen Lich.

Hernandez-Llanas was an immigrant hired to work on the Lich property when he lured Lich outside the home and beat him to death. He then returned to the house and attacked Lich's wife.

Lich was not Hernandez-Llanas's first murder victim. Hernandez-Llanas had escaped from Mexican prison where he was serving a 25-year sentence for murder.

Cover of best-selling author Jeffery Deaver's new novel, 'The Kill Room.'
http://www.jefferydeaver.com/novel/killroom/

  Best-selling author Jeffery Deaver has garnered international acclaim through his murder mystery series of novels featuring former NYPD homicide detective Lincoln Rhyme.

lystrabooks.blogspot.com

  On Christmas Eve of 1963, a young woman named Lucille Rinaldi was murdered in her apartment in downtown Chapel Hill.  Later the same day, her husband Frank Rinaldi was arrested and charged with murder.

Over the next two years, the trial consumed the attention of the town.  Nora Gaskin was 12 years old when Lucille Rinaldi was killed. The case left an indelible impression on her. She is the author of "Until Proven: A Mystery in Two Parts" (Lystra/ 2013). She joins host Frank Stasio to discuss the novel she has written based on the murder.

In 1976, Joseph Sledge was accused of murdering a mother and daughter in Bladen County, NC. Because of the many limits of scientific evidence at the time, hairs found at the scene of the crime were identified as "Negroid." And because Joseph Sledge was a Black man, the hairs were linked to him. Over 34 years later, the use of DNA testing has been used to prove that those hairs were not Sledges'. 

Two people, one a former Raleigh school teacher, have pleaded guilty to plotting a murder-for-hire scheme in the Triangle. 

Two defendants in this case have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder for hire.  This was not your average shoot to kill murder. Nevine Elshiekh and Shukumbin Sherifi allegedly paid someone five-thousand-dollars to be-head witnesses from a terrorism trial in Raleigh.  Turns out they were paying an FBI informant. 

Laurence Lovette will serve the rest of his life behind bars for murdering UNC Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson. On Tuesday Lovette became the second man convicted in the killing. District Attorney Jim Woodall says in the four years since the crime, the Carson case has received attention throughout the country.

Jim Woodall: "I've literally prosecuted thousands of cases. One thing that made this case different is that it was so senseless. And then that Eve had such a bright future. She meant so much to so many people."

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