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The 1980 "Sweetheart Murders" in Davis, Ca, was on 48 Hours Mystery

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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-29-07 02:05 PM
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The 1980 "Sweetheart Murders" in Davis, Ca, was on 48 Hours Mystery
this past Saturday.

One of the perps had been living a normal life (i.e., not killing anybody else, at least as far as we know) for the past 20-something years. He committed suicide after law enforcement talked to him about the case.

"Other than a smattering of traffic violations and small-claims cases, Joker Joe was a model citizen in his 20 years in the greater Portland area, most of them in Beavercreek. He was not known to law enforcement in a region where even the smallest skirmish with the authorities is remembered. Remarried after divorcing his second wife in the mid-1990s, he seemingly had a bright future when detectives from Sacramento County knocked on his door Nov. 19, 2002. Joe, his wife told them, was at work. She then phoned her husband. There are two detectives from Sacramento who want to talk to you about your brother, she said to the man she often described as the most perfect, loving, wonderful husband.

... But Joker Joe visibly shook in his mechanics jumper at Kuni Cadillac in Beaverton as detectives told him about new leads in the case and the names Riggins and Gonsalves and that there was ongoing DNA testing. Even though it was mid-November, sweat poured out of him. Joe was clammy. Joe knew something. Something that ate away at his conscience and had nibbled on his soul for most of his adult life. Now the joke was on the joker. Joe was so rattled he left work early. My brother, Joe muttered to a co-worker as he set down his tools, is in big trouble for something that happened years ago...

Joe was a part of a multistate detective blitz in which Hirschfield family members were confronted, including a mother in failing health who nearly went into shock when she heard her oldest was a murder suspect. The following morning, after the Sacramento detectives left Beavercreek, Joker Joe said goodbye to his wife, left his triple-wide, and headed, as he always did on workdays, to fetch his car. But instead of driving his 1994 Subaru to work, he guided it into the barn and closed the door behind him. There, he methodically attached a hose from the cars exhaust pipe to its interior. Joe climbed inside and rolled up the windows. He started the engine. And in the same barn he may have had flashbacks every time he slit the throat of an animal, he took long, deep breaths. He died quietly, and alone. His wife found him when she went into the barn to feed the sheep. Beside him lay a brief two-page note addressed to her that made reference to the murders.

It said, Its only a matter of time before they find my DNA, too. "

I wish the show had gone into more detail about that. I'll have to read the book.

In THE BROWN'S CHICKEN MASSACRE case, one of the perps went for years after the murders and had no run-ins with the law. Which of course doesn't mean he didn't DO anything that would draw their attention, but it makes you wonder. What is it with some of these people who commit horrible crimes, and then, seemingly, go on to leave a relatively normal life?

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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-29-07 05:14 PM
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1. Thank you!
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lavenderdiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 10:14 PM
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2. this was re-shown recently
Edited on Mon Aug-08-11 10:22 PM by lavenderdiva
and I had DVR'd it and watched it last night. It was certainly an interesting case, and one that made me wonder about these 2 brothers involvement. The way the program left it, the scraggly-haired brother who was arrested, his DNA matched the evidence left on the quilt in the van. I didn't really understand why his brother would then commit suicide?

Apparently Richard Hirschfield was arrested for these murders back in 2004, and has been sitting in jail, his lawyer filing motion after motion and continuance after continuance, and doing a bang-up job of delaying the trial. The trial just got pushed back AGAIN until January 2012. At this rate, most of the witnesses and maybe even the defendant will be dead by the time this guy ever gets to trial. 7 years in jail without a trial? Has anyone ever heard of anything remotely similar?

I'm still confused by the brother's suicide- did he have some part in these murders? In his suicide note, he stated, 'It's only a matter of time until they find my DNA.' Very weird indeed.
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Little Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-09-11 08:30 AM
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3. I only caught the end of that. Did the married step-brother
actually murder or was he just a accomplice in hiding the bodies? He seemed to have some sorta conscience and was probably haunted by those secrets for his entire life.

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