Rhoden Family Murders


I have been following the Pike County, Ohio case because it is local and the “hillbilly” family dynamics is interesting.  I use the term hillbilly not as an insult but to describe the way of life.  I, myself, am a “hillbilly”.  I grew up in southern West Virginia and can relate to the small town atmosphere and cultural mores.  My life in rural Appalachia was rough.  I know poverty firsthand and what it means to be thankful for what you have.  When I see interviews with the locals from Pike County, I can relate to them.  I was one of them once.  You can take the girl out of the holler, but you can’t take the holler out of the girl. I grew up on Backus Mountain in Meadow Bridge, West Virginia; population less than 400.  We lived in a … Continue reading →

The Twisted Life of Gypsy Rose Blancharde

A few weeks ago, a friend posted on my Facebook about a missing persons/murder case in her hometown of Springfield, MO.  The mother of a disabled girl was found stabbed to death in her bedroom, and the disabled daughter was gone – nowhere to be found, and her wheelchair was left behind.  A strange message was posted on the Facebook account that they shared.  That in itself caused me to give the ol side eye.  Gypsy Blancharde was allegedly in her late teens yet shared a Facebook account with her mother?  The message posted said “That bitch is dead” followed by an equally disturbing “I fucken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET INNOCENT DAUGHTER…HER SCREAM WAS SOOOO FUCKEN LOUD LOL.” When friends of the Blanchardes couldn’t reach them by phone, they became worried that something was wrong.  It … Continue reading →

Doctor Indicted in Murder of Deanna Ballman

Ali Salim, 44, a New Albany, Ohio ER physician who previously worked at Knox County Hospital was indicted in the murder of Deanna Ballman and her unborn child by a Delaware County grand jury.  He was arrested at his home yesterday without incident.  I wrote about Deanna’s case last August when she went missing. Deanna disappeared on July 31.  She told her mother that she was going to clean a house in New Albany.  She had answered an ad on Craigslist.  She  left her two children, ages 1 and 3 years, with her mother in Pataskala.  Deanna had just moved back to the area from Colorado where she was an Army Reservist and was going through a divorce.  She was also nine months pregnant with a baby girl she planned to name Mabel Lily. When Deanna did not come home … Continue reading →

Cold Case: Bill Comeans

Cold cases tear at my heart strings but when they involve the unsolved murders of children, they are even more upsetting.   Bill Comeans was 5 days from turning 15-years old when he was murdered in Columbus, Ohio.   He was a student at Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio.  I attended this high school and Bill grew up in my neighborhood.  Everyone who knew him had nothing but glowing comments about him.  He was a  thoughtful, loving kid with a giant heart.  He had a paper route that he got so he could use his earnings to buy a piano.  Every year he played Santa Claus for the neighbor boy.  It brought him great joy to spread kindness to others, but someone wanted to harm Bill.  That is what is so unbelievable about this case.  Bill had no enemies … Continue reading →

A Lesson in Forgiveness

About 20+ years ago, I lived in eastern Ohio and had a friend who was a student at the local Catholic university. That summer, two men broke into his home that he shared with two fellow students.  They violently assaulted his two roommates. Fortunately, he was able to slip out of a bedroom window and run to a neighbor’s home to call 911. During the short time that it took police to arrive, the perpetrators kidnapped his roommates and drove off in their vehicle headed for the Pennsylvania border, where they marched both boys up the hill and shot them.  It then took 10 years to get convictions for their crimes as the Ohio Supreme Court overturned both murder convictions because of a jurisdictional issue.  They were retried in Pennsylvania and both are currently serving life sentences for their crimes. … Continue reading →

Murder Plot Foiled

Grace Dillman and her boyfriend, Robert Best, who she met on the internet in 2009 were arrested and charged with attempted murder for a plot to kill her father. The pair had been planning the murder for a month.  Last week Grace called Best in Indiana where he lived and told him to come to Ohio.  He drove for hours and arrived at the Gahanna home in the early morning hours where they stood over her father several times ready to attack.  Their plan was to slit Grace’s father and mother’s throats and stage the scene to look like a home invasion. At some point during the knife attack on Mr. Dillman, Robert Best learned that Grace had been untruthful about the circumstances that he was led to believe warranted the need to brutally murder her parents.  It was then … Continue reading →

Remembering Jessica Sacco

Matthew Puccio seems to have taken center-stage in this case, and because of his eagerness to tell the media what a bad ass he is, and how he had such a bad life – the victim in this tragedy is taking a backseat.  Jessica Rae Sacco did NOT ask to be murdered as Puccio contends.  She was viciously attacked in her home, and with the help of four other monsters her body was desecrated and thrown into a ravine like trash.  Matthew Puccio is a sociopath.  He is playing the media because he finally is “somebody” – even if it means he is loathed and hated.  This is probably the first real attention that Matthew Puccio has experienced in his life. While Puccio was in Texas he met Jessica on Facebook.  It seems like Facebook was a place where she … Continue reading →

The Last Word

When Josh Powell brutally attacked and burned his children to death last week, I was too angry to even write about it.  I was angry that Child Protective Services would take the kids to HIS home for supervised visits.  I have never heard of such a thing.  It is always done at a neutral area or at the Department of Social Services so that the kids are in a controlled environment.  I assume that there will be lawsuits, and Washington‘s laws regarding how they handle custodial issues and supervised visitation will later reflect the outcome of this litigation.  At least I hope that change is forthcoming before other children are slain by their parents or custodians. Josh Powell was a monster.  A cold and calculated monster who planned the deaths of his children, and likely murdered their mother.  The home … Continue reading →


This will be short and sweet, but I wanted to post this.  The FBI has defined individuals used by the media as: Individuals utilized by the media to comment on serial murder cases include both experts and pseudoexperts. Experts are identified as academicians, researchers, retired law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, and retired law enforcement profilers who have developed specific knowledge and experience in serial murder investigations. Pseudoexperts are self-proclaimed profilers and others who profess to have an expertise in serial murder, when, in fact, their experience is limited or non-existent. The media will recruit talking heads, whether true experts or pseudoexperts, to offer their opinions on current cases, when they have no official role in the investigation and no access to any of the intimate facts of the case. When individuals appear in the media and discuss ongoing cases, … Continue reading →

Implied Credibility = CRAP!

I realize that I at times have some colorful descriptions of the people and activity that I see on the interwebz, and am surely called a few choice names myself, but the lack of intelligence by some in the true crime community is mind boggling!  After giving it much thought lately – people are just outright dumb asses.  I honestly believe that the internet is becoming a gathering place for mentally unhinged and socially stunted individuals.  The general consensus is “if I read it on the interwebz and it’s on the TV then *grunt* it must be true!”.   No one wants to do their research anymore.  They are happy to just swallow whatever said talking head spits down their throats and call it a day.  The internet is filled with CREDIBLE information if people would just look for it … Continue reading →