She looked for love but instead became a statistic.

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Jami (photo source: imdb)

Jami

Jami Hagel was a pretty, outgoing 22-year old in 1986 when she first met Steven Sherer. Unfailingly happy and never moody, the only daughter of a family with three sons, she had been a feisty tomboy in her childhood and teens who had loved horses, baseball and climbing trees and was fearless. She delighted in her younger twin brothers and had a very close relationship with her mother, Judy, which never wavered, even into adolescence and adulthood.

The energetic girl matured into a caring and compassionate young woman who retained the bubbly, outgoing, and friendly nature of her youth. She…


A look into one of Georgia’s most notorious murders.

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Sara Tokars with her sons, Ricky and Mike (photo source: Atlanta Magazine)

The Murder

It was Thanksgiving weekend, 1992. Sunday night, November 29, was a quiet one in the Marietta neighborhood of Kings Cove, which housed comfortable, upscale homes that ranged from twenty years old to new. It was not long after 10 p.m. when one of the homeowners heard a knocking at his front door and opened it to two little boys, who were spattered with blood and holding hands. The older of the two told him that “a bad man shot my mom,” “a bad black man” with a “pirate gun.” He wanted the man to call his grandfather, who was a…


Greed and Arrogance Ultimately Led To His Downfall.

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Donnah and Mark Winger (photo source: CBS News)

The End of the Dream

When Donnah Brown married Mark Winger in 1989, it seemed the beginning of a fairy tale. Mark was a nuclear engineer for the state of Illinois making $72,000 a year (over $150,000 in 2020 coin) and Donnah worked as an operating room technician. The only thing that appeared to be missing was a family. When Donnah discovered she could not have children, the couple adopted a baby girl named Bailey in June of 1995.

Donnah took their new daughter to visit her mother and stepfather in Florida in August and upon returning to the St. Louis airport she took a…


A double homicide reveals a tragic conspiracy.

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Kevin, Patricia, Bart and Kent Whitaker (photo source: Malke Crime Notes)

December 10, 2003 was to be a day of joy and celebration for the Whitaker family of Sugar Land, Texas. Kent, 54 years old, the comptroller of a family-owned construction business, and his wife Patricia, 51 years old, a former elementary school teacher, were thrilled to hear that their oldest son, 23-year-old Bart, was graduating from Sam Houston State University with honors. The trio, along with 19-year-old Kevin, drove 10 minutes or so from their home in the Sugar Lake subdivision to nearby Stafford to dine at the popular Pappadeaux seafood restaurant. …


The Stuntman Whose Disappearance Was Unsolved for Nearly a Decade.

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Donald Jerome “Shorty” Shea (photo source: charlesmanson.com)

The Life and Death of Shorty

Like so many others, Donald Jerome Shea left his native state (Massachusetts) to journey to Hollywood for fame and fortune but like so many others, it wasn’t quickly forthcoming.

The strapping (6'2") and stocky Shea managed to score a few small roles but by 1954 found himself working at Spahn’s Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California. The ranch, originally owned by William S. Hart, had been used to rent out horses to filmmakers, and in the 1940s and 1950s, the ranch had been used to actually film westerns, both on film and television, capitalizing on the nearby Iverson Movie Ranch. …


Was she a progressive prosecutor or a progressive self promoter?

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Kamala Harris touted herself as a “progressive prosecutor” but was she really? Her public presentation and the historical record show a glaring mischaracterization of who she was and what she did in 2004 until 2015, when she was San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general.

Harris was first elected as San Francisco’s top prosecutor in 2004 and as district attorney, she pledged never to impose the death penalty, which defied the city’s police department and Democratic leaders who were then calling for the execution of a 21-year-old gang member who killed undercover San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza. …


The Second Worst Massacre in Georgia History, Leading to the Longest Serving Death Row Inmate in the United States

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Six coffins; six victims (photo source: riverroadccs.org)

May 14, 1973

Donalsonville, Georgia is a tiny hamlet in the southwestern corner of the state, 20 minutes north of Lake Seminole, 62 miles south of Albany and 36 miles east of Dothan, Alabama. Named for John Ernest Donalson, who built the first lumber mill in the area, kicking off the city’s growth, its economy was mostly agriculture, and home to 13 churches in the city’s roughly four square miles of land and the immediate surrounding area. The city has two schools (an elementary plus a middle/high school) and one public library. Two NFL players called Donalsonville home at one time and the…


Or How the Cancelled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today

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Photo source: Amazon

In celebration of The Brady Bunch‘s 50th anniversary, TV writer Kimberly Potts writes a Seinfeldia-like definitive history of the show that changed the family sitcom and made an indelible impact on pop culture.

There isn’t a person in this country who hasn’t heard of The Brady Bunch. Whether it’s the show they watched growing up, or the one their parents did — whether adored, or great to poke fun at — The Brady Bunch is unarguably one of the most enduring and inspiring TV shows of our time. …


Or How Harry Potter is Saving Me From the Madness of 2020

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(photo source: studiocode.org)

This adult wishes the wizarding world of Harry Potter were real. Yes, you read that right. I’m an adult who has been able to vote, purchase alcohol, and get insurance discounts on my vehicles for years — and did I have a trust fund with a 35-years or older clause for collection, I would have collected a decade ago. But I am entranced with Harry Potter, (Hog)warts and all.

I have enjoyed the movies for a number of years and had even purchased the first two books way back in 1997/1998, put them on my already-stuffed bookshelves, where they looked…


Or When a Perfect Stranger Hoped I Would Die

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(source: towardsdatascience.com)

When I was growing up — and this was before the internet, before Facebook, and before anyone had ever heard of cancel culture — differing opinions were considered a good, healthy thing. Debating was encouraged; asserting your position with facts, consideration and basic good manners. No one was name called or shamed for their opinions and you didn’t know who your neighbor was voting for unless they chose to put a sign in their yard or bumper sticker on their car. If you didn’t agree with their candidate choice it was okay because it’s America; everyone is entitled to their…

Lori Johnston

Writer, reader, margarita drinker. Currently looking for a “dare to be great” situation.

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