Archive for May, 2013

Robert O’Block reports that for almost nine months 16-year-old Skylar Neese of  Star City, West Virgnia, was missing.  She had vanished without a trace.  Friends and family posted fliers all over town, at gas stations, on utility poles, and even in tattoo parlors.  There was nowhere you could go in this small town without seeing Skylar’s face.

One night last summer she sneaked out of her bedroom window, and was spotted by a security camera getting into a car, willingly, at the end of the block.  While there were some in this town of fewer than 2,000 people who thought she ran away, others never believed that theory.

The police investigated many leads, but to no avail.  Finally, nearly nine months after she disappeared, one of Skylar’s friends came forward and confessed that she and another girl had plotted to kill her.  This confession stunned everyone, including the investigators who had spent many hours working on the case.

Based on court documents, the two girls were charged with luring Skylar out of her family’s apartment in the middle of the night, stabbing her to death at a moment that was previously agreed upon by the two girls, and then concealing her body under some branches in a Pennsylvania township approximately 30 miles away from her own home.

The pair not only spent time with Skylar’s mother after the murder, but they even assisted in the search.  One of the two assailants, now identified as 16-year-old Rachel Shoaf, has now pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and is currently in a juvenile detention center waiting for her sentencing.

The other girl’s name has not yet been released due to the confidentiality of juvenile court.  At this time, they are unsure whether the second girl will be tried as an adult, as Shoaf was, or as a minor.

In the court file on Shoaf, prosecutors advise that they plan to request a 20-year prison sentence, but it’s possible that she could get as many as 40 years under the law.

Local barber BJ McClead is astonished that two teen girls could keep up this type of deception from July to January.  McClead went on to say that “some of the criminals that are locked up for life aren’t that hard.”

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Brought to you by Robert O’Block.


The image above is one of Robert O’Block’s groundbreaking Whodunit? posts. Robert O’Block, PhD, is the founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.

The following story is brought to you by Robert O’Block.


Robert O’Block has found a link with live updates on the trial for Jodi Arias. This case is currently on a verdict watch as the Jury is supposed to release their verdict at 3:30pm ET.

Jodi Arias is accused of killing her former lover Travis Alexander. Arias has admitted that she slit his throat, stabbed him over 27 times, and shot him in the head. Arias has told multiple stories, including in an interview with Inside Edition where she stated that she was at the crime scene but that he was murdered by home invaders. Arias claims she was able to escape but never called the police as she wanted to pretend it never happened. Arias has also previously said she was not at the crime scene, though her DNA was found. Later on, Arias admitted that she did kill Travis, but says it was in self defense and she did not originally tell police because she wanted people to have positive memories of Travis. The prosecution claims that the murder was pre-planned, as Arias had rented a car and a gun from her grandparents’ home had gone missing just weeks before. The gun, a .25 caliber, is the same type of gun that was used to kill Travis.

This case has gained the most notoriety since the trial of Casey Anthony. Part of the reason for the allure is the relationship between the two. Travis was Mormon, and Jodi became Mormon shortly after meeting him. However, based on the evidence of photos, texts, and e-mails, it appears that their relationship was far from innocent. A camera with explicit photos was found at the crime scene in the washing machine, the washer having ran through a cycle with the camera inside. The camera also contained pictures of Travis in the shower posing for photos, and then of his body on the ground in blood just a short time later.

The country anxiously awaits as the jury decides the fate of Jodi Arias. For more information and to view the main source of the story, click here.

Brought to you by Robert O’Block

Robert O’Block, PhD, is the founder of The American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.