lunes, 4 de abril de 2011

Holly Harvey and Sandra Ketchum "Kill, Keys, Money and Jewelry"




Holly Harvey, 15, had lived with her grandparents Carl, 74, and Sarah, 73, Collier at their Fayette County home in Georgia for just four months when she decided that she had had enough. Holly had no intention of going to church as her grandparents had hoped or conforming to the rules imposed on her. Nor did she want to give up her one true love: Sandra (Sandy) Ketchum, 16, whom she was forbidden to see. She was going to live her life the way she deemed fit. So in the summer of 2004, she recruited her lover Sandy to assist her in a gruesome plan, which they believed would allow them to gain freedom and be able to stay together forever. Their devious plot would eventually lead to the brutal murders of both Colliers.

On September 17, 2003, firefighters and police rushed to a burning house on Detroit's east side. Inside one of the bedrooms, sitting in her recliner, was Bertha Atkins, 64. Her remains had been battered and burned. Atkins had been hit with a claw hammer, which pierced through her upper lip and tongue. She had then been doused with gasoline and set on fire.




Holly decided that she was not going to allow her grandparents to interfere with her decision-making any longer. She was going to live her life the way she deemed fit. So in the summer of 2004, she recruited her lover Sandy to assist her in a gruesome plan, which they believed would allow them "to gain freedom and be able to stay together forever," according to the Associated Press. Their devious plot would eventually lead to the brutal murders of Carl and Sarah Collier.

According to Jon Shirek's 11Alive.com article, the Colliers believed their granddaughter was up to no good, and they began to fear her. Holly had become increasingly abusive towards them; she had even begun to make death threats. It was so bad that Carl even approached his adopted son, Kevin, sometime in late July and told him that Holly wanted him dead, according to the report.
Neither Holly nor Sandy were secretive about their evil intentions; the girls were brazen enough to tell their friends that they were going to kill Holly's grandparents. Moreover, both girls were actively looking for a gun, asking whomever they knew about how to obtain one so that they could carry out their plans. Although they did not succeed in finding one, they didn't let it hamper their plans. On August 2, 2004, the two girls finally decided to act out their threats.



Carl and Sarah Collier

That evening, Sandy Ketchum, who had sneaked into Holly's basement bedroom the previous day, talked about killing Holly's grandparents. The girls reviewed their plan in detail, which had been broken down into four key steps. Just in case, Holly wrote the "to do" list on her arm in ink. The list read, "Kill, keys, money and jewelry," according to Shirek.

The two girls began to smoke marijuana, hoping to lure the Colliers down into the basement with the smell. It didn't take long for Holly's grandparents to react. When Carl and Sarah reached the room, Sandy was already hidden behind the bed armed with a knife. Holly was also clutching a knife, waiting to lunge at whoever came at her first.

When the couple entered the room, an argument quickly ensued, and Holly stabbed her grandmother in the back. Carl and Sarah managed to wrestle her to the bed, trying to prevent her from stabbing her grandmother again, but Holly shouted for assistance. Sandythen leapt from behind the bed and got involved in the struggle.

During the attack, Sarah suffered more than 20 stab wounds to her chest and back before dying. Although Carl had also been stabbed repeatedly, he was able to run upstairs to the kitchen, where he tried to call the police. Holly chased after him and cut the phone lines. Rochelle Carter reported in The Atlanta Journal and Constitution that Carl tried to stop his granddaughter by throwing a coffee cup at her, but it didn't work. Holly caught up to him and dealt the final fatal blows that left Carl lying face down on the kitchen floor in a pool of his own blood. He had sustained around 15 stab wounds to the chest and neck.



The Collier home



Carl Collier's truck

After the brutal murders, the two girls scoured the house for money and jewelry, and found only the latter, which they placed in a bag along with some clothes and other items. They then grabbed Carl's car keys and took off in his dark blue 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. The two blood-soaked girls immediately drove to Griffin, Georgia and telephoned a friend named Sara P. (last name undisclosed), 16. They then went to her house. While there, Holly and Sandy explained that they had been mugged to account for the blood on their clothes, Sara later explained in an interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. After the girls washed up and changed their clothes, Holly told Sara what really happened. Upon hearing the truth, Sara ordered the girls to leave her house and then informed her parents of the alleged murder.




Sara P. on TV with Diane Sawyer

A short while later, Sara called the police and tearfully told them what the girls had done. Following up on the call, the police immediately visited the Colliers' home and found the bodies of Sarah and Carl. Shirek quoted Fayette County Sheriff Randall Johnson, who said, "I've never seen a crime this serious in 28 years that I've been sheriff, of this magnitude, on kinfolks." An arrest warrant was secured for Holly and Sandy, and officers quickly set out to find them and the stolen truck.



Sheriff Randall Johnson

In the meantime, Holly and Sandy were at the beach on Tybee Island, located outside of Savannah, Georgia. While there, they met two brothers, Clayton, 22, and Brett, 14, who had just moved into a new house with their parents several hours earlier. The two girls, using the pseudonyms Jessica and Casey, told the brothers they had nowhere to go, and one of the girls mentioned that her grandmother just recently passed away, according to Tracey Christensen in an August 2004 article. Christensen reports that one of the girls claimed to have her grandmother's jewelry in her possession and asked Clayton to pawn it off for her, so she and her friend would have money. However, Clayton wouldn't do it

Having no money and nowhere to sleep, the girls asked if they could stay at the brothers' house. The mother of the two young men gave permission for the girls to spend the night with the family. The next morning, those in the household awoke to more than two dozen police officers at the front door. Holly and Sandy had been traced through their mobile phone transmission signal.
The family stood in complete shock as Holly and Sandy were arrested for the murder of the Colliers. As they patted Sandy down, they discovered she had a knife in her pocket. Christensen quoted Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office as saying that officers were led to believe that there was a "possibility the girls planned to kill the boys' mother in order to steal her car." Luckily, the family escaped injury.

At the time of the arrest, Holly surprised officers when she laughed as she walked past them. Jordan stated in his report that Holly acted "callous and cocky," showing no remorse for the horrible crimes she committed. On the other hand, Sandy Ketchum did show regret for what she had done, and told officers that she would fully cooperate with them in their investigation.




The Colliers had their hands full with Holly, who proved to be even more rebellious than her mother. She repeatedly tried to run away, although she was always brought back. No matter how much love and compassion the Colliers tried to show their granddaughter, they were rejected. It was clear that Holly was a deeply troubled young woman.

Following the murders, investigators found a poem written by Holly at the crime scene, which revealed valuable insight into her mental state leading up to the crimes. According to the Associated Press, the poem "described how depressed she had been and that she cried herself to sleep." Even more troubling was a line of the poem that read, "All I want to do is kill," the report stated. And kill she did.

Sandy also suffered her own problems growing up. Shirek suggested in an August 2004 11Alive.com article that her mother abandoned her when she was 15 months old. After that, she had three stepmothers, "including one who was accused of physically abusing her." Having been abandoned or abused by the women closest to her in her family, Sandy looked for female companionship and acceptance elsewhere. She believed she found it in her relationship with Holly. The "love" Sandy received from her became so important in her life that she would do anything not to lose it -- even kill.

On August 5, 2004, the girls appeared in bulletproof vests before a Fayette County magistrate court judge to hear the charges filed against them. Holly and Sandy were charged as adults with two felony counts of murder and two counts of malice murder. As the counts were being read aloud, Holly and Sandy sobbed, as if finally realizing the extent of their crimes.




Holly Harvey in court

In accordance with Georgia state law, the death penalty does not apply to their case, because Holly and Sandy are under 17 years of age. If the girls are convicted of the murders, they could face up to life in prison. After the charges were read, the girls were escorted to two separate detention centers, where they remained until their bond hearing.
Two weeks later the girls appeared before a Superior Court judge to find out if they could be released on bond. During the proceedings, Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan testified that Sandy was deeply affected by the crimes she committed. Shirek reported that Holly and Sandy "were not only denied bond for felony and malice murder charges but also faced new charges of armed robbery." The judge declared the girls a flight risk and said that he would accelerate the time before trial.

In February 2005, Holly and Sandy appeared at the Fayette County Superior Court and waived their rights to formal arraignments. In doing so, the girls thus entered pleas of not guilty. Their trial date was set for March 21, 2005, but it remains unclear where the trial will take place. The girls' lawyers could file a motion for a change of venue, due to the enormous amount of media attention the case has drawn.



















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