One – The Murder of Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye was an American musician who gained worldwide fame for his work with Motown Records. He was fatally shot by his father, Marvin Gay Sr., on April 1, 1984, at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles, California. Gaye was shot twice following an altercation with his father after he intervened in an argument between his parents. The wounds were fatal and he was pronounced dead on arrival at the California Hospital Medical Center.
Gaye had a bitter relationship with his father, Marvin Gay Sr., since his childhood. Marvin Sr. was a Christian minister who was a strict disciplinarian and often physically punished his children. He was also a crossdresser, which was widely known in the family’s Washington, D.C. neighbourhood and made the younger Marvin a target of bullying.
After his Sexual Healing Tour in August 1983, Gaye returned to the U.S. to nurse his mother, who was recovering from kidney surgery, and moved into his parents’ residence a home which he bought for them in 1973. During his stay, Gaye’s father was absent. That October, his father returned from a business trip in Washington during which he purchased insurance on his family’s previous residence. Initially, Gaye’s sisters Jeanne and Zeola lived in the house before Marvin Sr. returned to the property, and left shortly afterwards due to the growing conflict between father and son. For the next six months, the two men struggled to keep their distance from one another. During one quarrel at the house, the elder Gay called police to have his son leave the property. After staying with one of his sisters, however, Marvin returned to the property stating to a friend of his, “After all, I have just one father. I want to make peace with him.” Jeanne Gaye later told David Ritz that her father had told her if Marvin ever touched him, he’d “kill him”.
In the days prior to his death, Gaye’s parents had arguments mainly over a misplaced insurance policy letter. The day before his death, the arguments spread to Gaye’s bedroom. Angered by his father confronting his mother, Gaye commanded Marvin Sr. to leave her alone; Marvin Sr. complied without incident and there was no violence that night, but Marvin Sr. continued yelling throughout the house.
At approximately 12:30 p.m. on April 1, 1984, an impatient Marvin Sr. shouted at his wife about the document. Gaye shouted back downstairs, telling his father if he had something to say, he should do it in person. According to Alberta, Gaye’s mother, when Marvin Sr. refused his son’s request, Gaye warned him not to come to his room. Marvin Sr., however, instead charged upstairs to the bedroom to verbally attack Alberta over the document, causing Gaye to jump out of his bed and once again order his father out of the room. When ordering did not work, Gaye, enraged, reportedly shoved his father out of the room into the hallway then began kicking and punching him. Gaye reportedly followed his father to the bedroom and, according to his mother, continued to kick him brutally. Eventually, Alberta separated Gaye from his father and returned him to his bedroom.
Minutes later, Marvin Sr. entered his bedroom, returning with a .38 pistol, pointed it at Gaye and shot him directly in the heart. He then stepped closer and shot him a second time at point blank range.
After considering the amount of drugs in Gaye’s system, and pictures of Marvin Sr.’s injuries during his final fight with his son, Judge Ronald M. George agreed to grant Marvin Sr. a plea bargain. As a result, he pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge. On November 2, 1984, Judge Gordon Ringer sentenced Marvin Sr. to a six-year suspended sentence and five years of probation. During the sentencing hearing, Marvin Sr. tearfully told the court: “If I could bring him back, I would. I was afraid of him. I thought I was going to get hurt. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I’m really sorry for everything that happened. I loved him. I wish he could step through this door right now. I’m paying the price now.”
TWO – Winona Ryder Arrested for Shoplifting
Winona Ryder, is an American actress and film producer. She is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award and has been nominated for two Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.
On December 12, 2001, Ryder was arrested on shoplifting charges in Beverly Hills, California, accused of stealing $5,500 worth of designer clothes and accessories at a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. She signed two civil demands in the security offices of the store, before she was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department, binding her to pay for the stolen and surrendered merchandise, as permitted under California’s Statute for Civil Recovery for Shoplifting. Los Angeles District Attorney Stephen Cooley produced a team of eight prosecutors and filed four felony charges against her. Ryder hired noted celebrity defence attorney, Mark Geragos. Negotiations failed to produce a plea bargain at the end of summer 2002. Joel Mowbray from National Review noted that the prosecution was not ready to offer her a no-contest plea on misdemeanour charges.
She was accused of using drugs during the trial, including oxycodone, diazepam, and Vicodin without valid prescriptions. She was convicted of grand theft, shoplifting, and vandalism but was acquitted on the felony charge of burglary. In December 2002, she was sentenced to three years of probation, 480 hours of community service, $3,700 in fines, and $6,355 in restitution to the Saks Fifth Avenue store, and she was ordered to attend psychological and drug counselling. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox reviewed Ryder’s probation report and noted that she served 480 hours of community service, and the felonies were reduced to misdemeanours on June 18, 2004. She remained on probation until December 2005.
Ryder explained later in an interview that the incident occurred during a difficult time in her life when she was clinically depressed. She also stated that the heavy pain-killing medication that a physician practicing quackery had prescribed for her significantly clouded her judgment. The doctor who prescribed the medication was Jules Mark Lusman, who subsequently had his medical license revoked by the Medical Board of California for unethically catering to “the demands of wealthy and/or famous drug-seekers for prescription narcotics which would otherwise have to be obtained on the street”.
Three – The Murder of Selena
Selena was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. Billboard magazine named her the top-selling Latin artist of the 1990s decade.
Selena and her family appointed, Yolanda Saldívar as manager of her boutiques in early 1994. Eight months later, Selena signed Saldívar as her registered agent in San Antonio, Texas. After the agreement, Saldívar moved from San Antonio to Corpus Christi to be closer to Selena but December 1994, the boutiques began to suffer after the number of staff for both stores had decreased. According to staff members, Saldívar often dismissed employees she disliked and made erratic decisions. According to Selena’s father, Abraham, the staff later turned their attention to him and began informing him about Saldívar’s behaviour. By January 1995, Selena’s fashion designer Martin Gomez, her cousin Debra Ramirez, and clients had expressed their concerns over Saldívar’s behaviour and management skills.
According to Selena’s father, in January 1995, he began receiving telephone calls from fans who said they had paid for membership in the Selena fan club and had received nothing in return for it, and he began an investigation. Abraham discovered that Saldívar had embezzled more than $30,000 via forged checks from both the fan club and the boutiques. He held a meeting with Selena on the night of March 9 to confront Saldívar. He presented Saldívar with the inconsistencies about the disappeared funds and told her that if she did not provide evidence that disproved his accusations, he would involve the local police. He then banned Saldívar from having any contact with Selena. However, Selena did not want to dissolve their friendship; she thought Saldívar was essential to the success of the clothing line in Mexico. Selena also wanted to keep her close because she had bank records, statements, and financial records necessary for tax preparation.
Saldívar delayed handing over the bank statements and financial records by saying she had been physically and sexually assaulted in Mexico. Saldívar, along with Selena, appeared at a medical clinic on March 31, 1995, for a brief check by the doctor. Afterward, Selena again met with Saldívar in her hotel room at the Days Inn in Corpus Christi. At the hotel, Selena demanded the financial papers. At 11:48 a.m., Saldívar got a gun from her purse and pointed it at Selena. As Selena attempted to flee, Saldívar shot her once on the right lower shoulder, severing an artery and causing a severe loss of blood. Critically wounded, Selena ran towards the lobby, leaving a long trail of blood. She collapsed on the floor as the clerk called the emergency services, with Saldívar still chasing after her and calling her a “bitch”. Before collapsing, Selena named Saldívar as her assailant and gave the number of the room where she had been shot. Meanwhile, Saldívar attempted to leave in her pickup truck. She was, however, spotted by a responding police cruiser. She surrendered after a nearly nine-and-a-half-hour standoff with police and the FBI. By that time, hundreds of fans had gathered at the scene; many wept as police took Saldívar away.
Selena was dead on arrival at the Corpus Christi hospital. The attending emergency room physician decided to attempt to revive her. Cardiologist Louis Elkins continued the treatment and performed surgery based on the emergency room physician’s decision. Doctors were able to establish an “erratic heartbeat” long enough to transfer her to the trauma room but after 50 minutes of surgery, she was pronounced dead from blood loss and cardiac arrest at 1:05 p.m.
In October 1995, a Houston jury convicted Saldívar of first-degree murder and sentenced her to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years in 2025. Life with the possibility of parole was the maximum prison term allowed in Texas that could be imposed at the time. In 2002, under a judge’s order, the gun used to kill Selena was destroyed and the pieces were thrown into Corpus Christi Bay. Fans and historians disapproved of the decision to destroy the gun, saying the event was historical and the gun should have been in a museum.
FOUR – Jared Fogel
Jared Scott Fogle is an American former spokesperson for Subway restaurants and convicted sex offender. After his significant weight loss attributed to eating Subway sandwiches, Fogle was made a spokesperson for the company’s advertising campaigns from 2000 to 2015.
Fogle first came to media attention in April 1999, via an article published in the Indiana Daily Student written by a former dormmate about Fogle losing 245 lb (111 kg) by exercising and eating a diet of Subway sandwiches. Subsequently, Fogle was featured in a Men’s Health magazine article, “Stupid Diets … that Work!” According to the article, Fogle had become obese – at one point weighing 425 lb (193 kg) through lack of exercise and eating junk food.
Fogle changed his eating habits upon the switch to eating at Subway by eating smaller portions that were free of high-calorie condiments such as mayonnaise. While following this diet, he lost over 200 pounds (91 kg). A Chicago-area Subway franchisee took Fogle’s story to Subway’s Chicago-based advertising agency.
Fogle started to appear on commercials all over America. Anyone living in America between 2000-2015 would know who he was.
In 2004, Fogle established the Jared Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on raising awareness about childhood obesity through educational programs and tools provided to parents, schools, and community organizations. He would travel all over the US giving talks at schools and other speaking engagements.
Fogle, a pitchman for Subway at the time, was attending a health event at a school in Florida in 2007 when the incident occurred, Herman said. She was covering the event for a local station when Fogle made a random comment.
“He told me that he thought middle school girls were so hot,” Herman said. “I was in shock … I actually was questioning, ‘Did I really just hear what I think I heard?’ I looked over at my cameraman … and he was just astounded,” she said.
When Rochelle Herman first heard Jared Fogle’s alleged off-color comments about young girls, she was so disturbed, she knew she had to do something, she said. Herman said she notified law enforcement authorities, and the FBI asked her to wear a wire to record her conversations with Fogle. Herman saw Fogle numerous times over the years, and his comments and admissions got more brazen, she said. “He talked about sex with underage children,” she said. “It was just something that he really, really enjoyed,” she said.
For years, she said, she worked undercover with authorities to gather evidence against Fogle. “He trusted me for unknown reasons,” Herman told CNN. “He had said to me numerous times over the course of years about having sex with minors.” He got so comfortable with Herman, she said, he included her children in their conversations. “I had two young children at the time, and he talked to me about installing hidden cameras in their rooms” she said.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough as the FBI needed hard evidence in order to put Jared away. It was only when Russell Taylor (who was the head of his foundation) and his little child pornography operation was busted that the FBI caught a break and managed to get what they needed to search Fogle’s house.
On July 7, 2015, the FBI and Indiana State Police investigators raided Fogle’s Zionsville, Indiana, residence; computers and other electronic equipment were removed from his home. The same day, a spokesperson for Subway announced that the company and Fogle had mutually agreed to suspend their business relationship; subsequently, Subway removed all references to Fogle from its website.
Following Fogle’s arrest, the FBI also subpoenaed a series of text messages made in 2008 between Fogle and Subway franchisee Cindy Mills, with whom he was having a sexual relationship at the time. In these messages, Fogle talked about sexually abusing children ranging in age from nine to 16, told her to sell herself for sex on Craigslist, and asked her to arrange for him to have sex with her 16-year-old cousin. Mills’ lawyer said that she had alerted Subway’s corporate management about the text messages, but that they had responded that because Fogle was not a Subway employee, there was no violation. Subway representatives said they had no record of Mills’ allegations. On November 19, 2015, Fogle formally pleaded guilty before federal judge Tanya Walton Pratt. In a statement, Fogle apologized for his crimes, saying that he wanted a chance to become a “good, honest person” and “redeem his life” after being ensnared in a life of “deception, lies and complete self-centeredness.” According to Dr. John Bradford, a forensic psychiatrist who testified for Fogle’s defence team, Fogle suffered from a compulsive eating disorder for several years before losing weight, and replaced food with a sense of “hypersexuality,” which included “mild” or “weak” paedophilia. That diagnosis was not accepted by experts in the psychiatry field and was criticized by Pratt and on social media.
Fogle was sentenced to 15 years and 8 months in prison and is not eligible for parole until after 13 years.
FIVE – Michael Jordan’s Father murdered
James Raymond Jordan Sr. was the father of Hall-of-Fame basketball player Michael Jordan.
James Jordan Sr. was born in Wallace, North Carolina, on July 31, 1936. While attending Charity High School, he met Deloris Peoples and the two eventually married. They went on to have 5 children, James, Larry, Deloris, Michael, and Rosyln.
A lifelong basketball fan, Jordan Sr. played a large role in inspiring his son Michael to become an athlete and travelled the United States to follow his son’s career, first at the University of North Carolina and then with the Chicago Bulls.
It was the summer of 1993, the Bulls had just won their 3rd straight Championship, Michael Jordan cementing his place as one of the greatest ever basketball players.
On July 23, 1993, while returning home from a funeral, Jordan Sr. pulled over on US Highway 74 just south of Lumberton, North Carolina, to take a nap.
Daniel Andre Green and Larry Martin Demery spotted the car Michael had recently purchased for him (a red Lexus 400). Green and Demery shot Jordan to death while he slept in his car and then stole the vehicle. The men had no idea whom they had murdered until they began stealing the dead man’s belongings, including two NBA championship rings gifted to James from his son. Due to using James’ cell phone to make calls, the two were caught quite quickly after the car was found.
His body was found on August 3 in a Bennettsville, South Carolina swamp, but was not positively identified until August 13.
After their arrest, Demery said that they had planned only to tie up their victim and that Green pulled the trigger for no reason. Both were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for this and other violent crimes. The accusation was based only on Demery’s testimony, when Green did not testify. Defence counsel Woodberry Bowen said Demery had everything to gain by lying that Green was the triggerman, and that Green’s testimony put Demery closer than he earlier admitted.
In 2018, Christine Mumma, executive director of the Center on Actual Innocence, said evidence showed Green did not commit the murder. Green claimed Demery merely asked him for help disposing of the body. On August 3, 2018 Superior Court Judge Winston Gilchrist ruled on several motions and set a December date for a hearing. On December 5, Mumma asked Gilchrist to allow a closer look at evidence that could lead to a new trial, and Gilchrist said he would rule later. Gilchrist said on March 6, 2019, that he would not grant Green a hearing, and Mumma said she would appeal.
Deloris runs the James R. Jordan Foundation, which was started in 2000, in his honour as a way to carry on his legacy and give back to underprivileged youth.
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Marvin_Gaye
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winona_Ryder
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selena
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Fogle
CNN – https://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/21/us/subway-jared-fogle-informant-child-pornography-allegations/index.html
TV Over Mind – https://www.tvovermind.com/reason-jared-fogle-investigated-fbi/
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_R._Jordan_Sr.
Crimeola – https://crimeola.com/new-wrinkle-25-year-old-murder-michael-jordan-father/