True Crime Factor Interview: Tonya Craft

accused_coverA ring of the doorbell on May 30, 2008 would forever change the world of Tonya Craft. Outside of her North Georgia home stood two detectives waiting to inform the mother of two that she had been accused of the most heinous of crimes.

By the time Craft stood trial in April 2010, she faced charges on 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated child molestation against three children, including her own daughter. Additionally, the two-year ordeal had cost Craft custody of her children, her beloved job as a kindergarten teacher and over half a million dollars in legal and defense fees expended by Craft and her family.

On May 12, a jury found Craft not guilty on all 22 charges. In the process, serious doubt was raised about the validity of the charges against the former schoolteacher due to perceived corruption, unprofessional conduct and other questionable behavior by those involved in bringing forth the allegations as well as numerous public officials tasked with the subsequent investigation and prosecution of the case.

Today, Craft is a consultant on child abuse cases and is scheduled to graduate from law school this spring. She regained custody of her children following her acquittal and has re-established a strong and healthy relationship with both of them.

Craft has documented her story in a memoir titled Accused, which was released this past September 1. The book is available for purchase from BenBella Books here or on Amazon at this link.

Tonya Craft graciously spoke with me at length on the afternoon of February 28 to discuss her trial, rebuilding her life following the acquittal and her decision to author Accused.

(Special thanks to BenBella Books and Michael Wright of Garson & Wright Public Relations)

Please click on the “Play” icon below to hear the interview:

Five Dead, Including Gunman, in Washington State Mass Murder

murder_suicideCBSNews.com reports that a man who fatally shot four people in rural Washington state yesterday – including at least three family members – has been identified as 51-year-old David Wayne Campbell.

Campbell’s victims included his wife and her two teenage sons. Mason County Coroner Wes Stockwell was withholding the identity of the fourth victim pending notification of relatives. A 12-year-old girl was able to escape the home where the murders took place and was not shot.

Campbell called a police officer he had previously encountered yesterday morning and confessed to killing his family. Following a three-hour-plus standoff, Campbell emerged from the home and shot himself in front of police.

Please visit the above link to read more.

 

Four Dead, Fourteen Wounded in Kansas Shootings

excel_industriesCBSNews.com reports that four people are dead and fourteen others wounded following a shooting in and around the Excel Industries manufacturing plant in Hesston, Kansas yesterday.

According to Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton, the gunman – who has been identified by a law enforcement source as Cedric Ford, a painter employed at Excel Industries – participated in two other shootings nearby as well as a shooting in the plant’s parking lot before opening fire inside the building. It is unclear whether or not Ford was still working at the plant at the time of the shootings.

Walton said Ford himself was killed by the first officer on the scene, who entered the building and shot Ford.

Ford reportedly also carjacked a vehicle before reaching the plant, shooting and wounding the driver.

No motive for the shootings was known at the time of this writing.

Please visit the above link to read more.

 

Missing: Sheryl Sheppard

sheryl_sheppardCourtesy of the Hamilton Police Service:

Description
Sheryl Sheppard, born in 1968, slim build, blonde hair, blue eyes, 5’4” (163cm), 106lbs (48kg)

Heart tattoo on her ankle

Circumstances

Sheryl has not been seen or heard from since January 2nd, 1998. On that date her fiancé dropped her off at an adult entertainment establishment in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Her mother reported her missing shortly afterwards.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hamilton Police Service, their local police service or Crime Stoppers.

Please forward all inquiries and information regarding this case to:

Hamilton Police,
D/Sgt. Victims of Crime Unit at
905-546-4962

 

Missing: Bronwen Burnham

bronwen_burnhamThe Toronto Police Service has released the following:

The Toronto Police Service is seeking the public’s assistance locating a missing girl.

Bronwen Burnham, 17, was last seen on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 12:30 p.m., in the Jarvis Street/Wellesley Street East area.

She is described as 5’4″, 180 lbs., with short dirty-blonde hair. She was wearing a blue parka, salmon-coloured pants, black Sorel boots, and possibly carrying a knapsack.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.

 

Missing: Jamiee Lee Miller (Updated)

jamiee_lee_miller_3_picturesCourtesy of the Barrie Police:

Barrie Police is seeking the public assistance in locating a missing woman from the City of Barrie.

Jamiee Lee Miller was last seen by family and friends on Saturday, October 3, 2015, and was last heard from via text message on Thanksgiving weekend. Her disappearance has left family and friends concerned for her well-being as this is out of character for her.

So far in the investigation, police and her family have received no information on her possible whereabouts and are increasingly concerned for her well-being.

Investigators are actively speaking with witnesses as the investigation continues.

Description:

Female, white

5’4″, 115 lbs.

Mole on right cheek

Teeth in poor condition

Dark hair, mixed with various colours. Known to wear a black wig with red streaks

Numerous tattoos, although must significant ones are:

Left Arm – Barb wire

Left Hand – Tear drop

Right Arm – Green clover & lady bug

Right Hand – Words “love” and “family”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Barrie Police Service Criminal Investigations Bureau at (705) 725-7025, ext. 2129, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.tipsubmit.com.

(Update: The Barrie Examiner reports that human remains discovered this week have been identified as that of Jamiee Lee Miller.  Authorities have ruled the death as a homicide)