Tommy Lynn Sells Sells his Sadistic Soul to Satan

Sells has been the subject of various documentaries and academic papers for 20-odd years. In the 1970s Sells was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. Robert Hare, a former criminal profiler for the FBI has ranked Sells at the highest level of “evil” on his Psychopathy Checklist, being 22. Sells’ sadistic crimes knew no boundaries where his victims were concerned. He slaughtered infants, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. He used knives, garrotes, a baseball bat, and guns. He used the bat on a woman who bumped into him on the street and neglected to apologize. He raped and ravaged innocent people simply because he could. All Sells needed was opportunity and his victim’s fates were horribly sealed.

tommySells and his fraternal sister, Tammy Lynn were born June 28, 1964 in Kingsport Tennesse. His mother had two boys before Sells and three more would follow. Guess Nina Sells never heard of birth control. The question of paternity followed Sells, although an insurance agent named William Sells was listed as his father on birth documents. However it was more likely that a used car salesman named Joe Lovins was his real father. Lovins bailed Sells out of a financial debt, and in return, Sells agreed to claim the children as his own in an insurance scam. I’d love to see that family reunion. At 18 months old Tammy Lynn died of meningitis. At the age of five, Sells was sent to live with Nina’s aunt, Bonnie Walpole,  Since Nina Sells seldom visited her son, Walpole offered to adopt him. Furious at the suggestion, Nina retrieved her son, an unfortunate development for the little boy.

At the age of eight, a man named Clark Willis began grooming Sells for a sexual relationship. Nina allowed her son to spend time with him. He took little Sells on day trips, and lavished gifts and cash on the child. Nina was happy to have Sells out of her hair and she allowed Sells to sleep at Willis’ home with increasing frequency. The man would later be identified as a pedophile who molested boys, including Sells, for years before he was caught.

Nina disciplined Sells in a brutal manner. She used coat hangers and belts to beat him for any reason. It took little provocation to enrage her and only seldom did Granny and Tommy_Lynn_SellsGrandpa intervene. Nina’s neglect extended to other aspects of Sells’ life. He drank alcohol with his grandpa at age 7. He smoked ditch-weed marijuana at age 10. He crawled into bed naked with his grandma at age 13, and he was forced to undergo a mental examination when he tried to rape Nina. By age 14 Nina threw her son out of the house and he began the life of a drifter, train-hopping and stealing as a way of life. Sells would remain a drifter for the following 20 years as he committed a string of hate-filled, brutal serial murders. Eventually the press dubbed him the “Cross-Country Killer.”

Sells killed “with no apparent motive and no common pattern,” making it very difficult for police to realize that the multitude of “coast to coast” murders were committed by one man, or even that the killings were related. Sells was a sexual predator. Many of his crimes included rape and sexual mutilation, and most of his murders began as sexual assaults. Sells’ sexual predatory urges intensified over time, as adolescent girls and petite women became his victims. Sells was a sexual psychopath who raped and murdered women and girls.

From 1978 to 1999, Sells crisscrossed the country by hopping freight cars, hitching rides
or stealing cars. He spent time in half the states in the union, begging or working as a carny, barber, mechanic and laborer. Sells raped and stabbed a pregnant woman to death, and in so doing, caused the woman to go into labour. Even as she lay dying, she was giving birth to her infant. Sells also killed the child. Later in interviews, Sells claimed he killed children because he “didn’t want them to go through what I went through,” referring to his traumatic childhood. His perspective, as a psychopath, makes sense: the egocentric psychopath is centered only on himself, unable to conceive of others as anything other than his/her extension. However the psychopath is unable to feel true empathy for his victim, making Sells’ claim of concern for his child victims a mere ruse.

5-1-Tommy-Lynn-Sells-in-priUpon his arrest 20 years after his killing spree began, Sells happily confessed to the murders, occasionally fabricating killings that never happened. In videotaped confessions, Sells displayed no remorse and seemed quite pleased with himself as he demonstrated to police how he entered victim’s residences. After several years in prison Sells presented a very different facade to Stefan Goquoight, a world-renowned expert on serial killers. During his interview with Sells, the serial killer weeps, “I can’t get rid of [the killings] they’re in my head.”  He tells Goquoight that the faces of the victims come back to him. “The faces, the screams, the terror, the pain, the smells, the sight of blood. I’ve done some real bad things and I live with it every day.”  

Yet moments later he places blame on his victims: “if you have a hotel room and you leave the door wide open and someone walks in and steals your camera, is that your fault too?” Sells explains his morbid logic using the example of a murder of a young woman he committed in an unkempt park in Kentucky. “If there hadn’t been that opportunity then I wouldn’t have took it but there was the opportunity and I seen it and I took it.”  Had the town’s mayor cut down the park’s bushes, “there would have been no hiding place for him.” The mayor will most definitely have to address the issue in his next campaign. When asked about the number of victims he claimed his response has typically been I didn’t make a notch on my gun belt like they did in the Old West. I figure 5 or 6 a year for 20 years. Multiply that up.”

Tommy-Sells-jpgSells claims he did his first killing at 15. It was a 7-year-old boy. “It was like a shot of dope. It’s like a heroin addict when you do that first shot, you want another one and another one.”  He spoke of that “rush”, the same feeling as if he had been using “dope” to a number of interviewers. Goquoight later stated that even with a window between himself and Sells, he sensed Sells was tightly wound and “ready to go off any minute.

By 1987 Sells was, in fact, a heavy drinker and drug-user. He preferred heroin but he took just about any drug he could ingest or inhale—crank, coke, acid, meth. He worked a few days or stole something of value, then used his earnings to buy drugs and get high. He was often in a daze although this certainly didn’t account for the murders. It was a 10-year-old little girl named Krystal Surles who brought him down. Sells’ botched attempt to murder Krystal by slitting her throat. The child survived and was able to identify him from a line-up.

Psychologist Dr. Frederick Gary Mears eventually presented court testimony for the State wherein he stated:

sells_010

  1. (1) Sells was “off the scale” in terms of the likelihood of future violence
  2. (2) His last murder victim, Kaylene Harris, 13, autopsy revealed postmortem wounds consistent with intentional mutilation
  3. (3) the nature of Kaylene’s non-fatal wounds suggested Sells derived pleasure from the murder
  4. (4) Sells qualified as an antisocial personality
  5. (5) Sells displayed a cavalier attitude during his videotaped confessions
  6. (6) his narrative re-enactment indicated a lack of emotion and indifference to death
  7. (7) Sells displayed no remorse for Kaylene;s murder
  8. (8) past behavior is the best predictor for future conduct
  9. (9) Sells’s criminal history demonstrated an escalation in violence over several years

Sells feigns remorse during his interview with Goqouight, attempting but unable to shed tears as he discusses his victims. His flat, pale blue eyes remain dry. His pity, if there is any, is for himself. Sells was put to death in Livingston Prison, Texas by the state of Texas in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Anatomy of a Killer’s Brain

Is it true that the brain of a killer is somehow neurologically different than that of non-offenders? Much speculation is ongoing about this hypothesis. Crime historians, forensic psychiatrists and neurologists are among the many professionals who investigate baumeisterpossible malfunctions in the killer’s brain. Comparisons between a random human brain of a non-offender and that of serial and spree killers have been made by several experts. Dr Roy Baumeister, a professor at Florida State University, doesn’t believe the brain’s anatomy is quite so cut and dried. He traces evil and fury, two common traits in pathological killers, to social rejection and isolation, particularly people who have been rejected for years by their peers. “What happens to rejected people is their emotions shut down. Most of the people who have committed most newsworthy crimes… have felt rejected and excluded by multiple people.” Baumeister believes this ongoing rejection changes people physically and emotionally, to the point where their ability to experience pain is considerably diminished. “Most people deal with [rejection]m in a more productive manner but for some people it leads to an outburst of violence.” The resulting brain anatomy changes, the endless rejection changes neural pathways and the brain doesn’t develop like most other people’s.

Baumeister has administered a simple (not sadistic) pain threshold test to (willing) subjects. A metal device pressed down on a finger until the subject indicated first mild then moderate and finally significant pain. At that point, Baumeister gave the false information to the subject that the results proved by the person’s mid-20’s s/he would become a social reject with few friends. After this gorgeous information, the subject was again tested and egad! the results showed a much higher pain tolerance. What the…? Baumeister’s theory suggested that it was not only the emotional but the physical ability to feel pain become “impaired” by the mention or reality of social rejection. Creepy. Sort of a fuck-you response to the world, if I may be so bold. Worst, the subject’s pain tolerance could lead to a failure to recognize and thereby empathize with other people’s suffering. Empathy prevents people from committing cruel acts against others.

large_M1X00086_7David Burkowitz – Son of SamThe Criminal Face of Social Rejection As a young adult, Burkowitz, an adopted boy, traced his birth mother after his stepmother died. He discovered his birth mother had kept a daughter but gave him away. He had no friends and had never had a girlfriend. One year after discovering what he viewed as his mother’s betrayal, Burkowitz went on a shooting rampage, The murderous rampage lasted 19 months and claimed 6 victims. The media and police attention was intoxicating for the man who had previously known nothing but rejection and isolation.

Marco Iacoboni, a neuroscientist at the University of California believes brutality may be the result of a malfunction in a class of cells called mirror neurons. The latter are iacoboni121208essential building blocks for socially acceptable behavior. The cells affect one’s ability to read and interpret other people’s emotions. Iacoboni gives the example that if mirror neurons are highly active in the brain, a facial expression would indicate distress. In healthy people the same neurons fire when a person observes distress in others. The inability to emphasize with these expressions and other pain signals in people makes violence more likely.Mirror neurons begin in the lobe of the brain that is responsible for muscle movement. The mirror neurons then sent emotional messages to another lobe of the brain that interprets the facial expression. This may be what makes empathy possible.

Iacoboni experimented with autistic children. Autism is a neurological syndrome that, along with many symptoms, presents the inability to respond in an appropriate social and emotional manner to various stimuli. Functional MRI scans revealed an impaired ability to mimic the emotions displayed in photographs of subject’s faces. Mildly autistic children easily identified pictures with various emotions, however the more severe the autism, the less successful the results. The results suggest that autistic children are less likely than non-autistic children to display empathy, although this isn’t to suggest that autistic children are prone to excessive violence. Working with children who are mildly to severely autistic children displays a wide range of social and intellectual abilities. Some of the autistic children I have worked with are highly intelligent but their emotional affect is impaired. These children are uninterested in social interaction and are quite content to work and play alone. Severely autistic children in my experience tend to interact more with adults, as limited as the interaction may be but this may also be due to a lack of opportunity to socialize with other children, along with a lack of interest in socializing with peers.

Hare_photo_2009[1]Robert D. Hare – FBI profiler believes it is a combination of both social rejection and physical impairment in the brain that may lead to violent behavior. What’s more, mental illness “is the key factor behind delusional killers who then lash out against a false reality.” However Hare is quick to mention that this combination is very rare even in killers. A prime example is Andrea Yates, the paranoid schizophrenic who drowned her five children in a bathtub when voices told her they were Satan’s spawn. At the time of the murders Yates may or may not have been taking prescribed medication for her illness. However Hare has also observed pathological killers who rely on their intellect to commit crime and avoid responsibility for it for some time. Diane Downs, the mother of three who shot her children, killing one, is an example of a subject Hare believed fit this profile. Hare describes her as “scheming” and “deceitful” and fully aware of the implications of her actions.

051109_andrea_yates_vsml.grid-4x2It is quite possibly that Yates’ brain, like some of those of mentally ill criminals, Dr Paul Thompson, a researcher at the University of California experimented with 12 schizophrenics over a 5-year period, taking MRIs to compare their brains with ordinary brains. Patients lost 5% of their brain tissue in the first year after diagnosis. Two years later there was “a massive avalanche of brain tissue loss that ends up at the front of the brain.”  The frontal lobes of the brain are responsible for reasoning and other high functioning. After 5 years, brain tissue loss added up to 1/4 of brain  due to schizophrenia. However the majority of schizophrenics are not violent, and if anything, may be more of a threat to themselves than anyone around them. It may be that in some schizophrenic individuals there is an impulse that makes them capable of violent acts and incapable of self-control.

Robert Shug is a researcher in the Psychology Department of the University of Southern California. He theorizes that the minority of violent schizophrenics, co-morbid with anti-social disorder, are prone to violent behaviour. Focusing on the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, Shug attempts to prove a deficit in this area. His experiment resulted in an impaired ability to respond to various sounds in the environment, such as an infant’s cry. They are at a dual risk for acting out in a violent manner.

Dr Randy Larson, at Washington University in St Louis, believes that jealous in men and women, a common trait in “love-triangle” murders believes “jealousy is a hard-wired emotion“, and “a direct line to the autonomic nervous system.” The latter initiates the “flight or fight response” in humans. Larson discovered that women registered a higher emotional response to the prospect of a romantic partner falling in love with someone else and men registered a higher response to the prospect of a romantic partner having sex with someone else. Criminal cases seem to bear out Larson’s findings.

fsg-crime-scene-response-unit-01Men and women mate for the same reasons: to pass genes to the next generation. Throughout history, men weren’t certain whose child his partner birthed, whereas women were obviously privy to this information. It might be that a primitive instinct in men to raise only their own offspring and no one else’s might trigger more anger about a sexual betrayal than that of emotional intimacy.

There appears to be much further work needed in this area if researchers are to make significant conclusions in the analysis of the criminal brain and violent crime. But MRI scans, the use of electrodes and other technology are of assistance in this area, as is the dedication of experts in the field.

 

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Sinister, Sinful Spiers Murdered a Grandmother in a Sadistic Manner

There don’t seem to be a lot of door-to-door salesman these days and that’s probably a good thing. It was always recommended to women home alone not to allow a salesman access to the home and thereby to themselves. In this sad account, a grandmother appears to have done just that and paid for it with her life.

Barrie, Ontario is a sleepy suburb in southern Ontario, a good 90-minute drive from clareToronto, my current place of residence. Barrie, a place I often visit for various reasons, and Toronto couldn’t be more different. You’d expect this type of murder might take place in a city with 3 million people. Barrie has a population of about 130,000, not the ripest hunting ground for a killer, but Clare Spiers thought otherwise. Massumeh Mimi Khonsari, a relatively youthful grandmother at the age of 61, and wife of the late prominent Barrie surgeon Homa Khonsari, had the misfortune to be at home babysitting her precious 11-month-old granddaughter and opened the door after Spiers rang the doorbell. No one knows how it was that Spiers, peddling windows and home renovations, forced his way into her home then managed to force Khonsari into her own car with the baby in her arms. Other residents of the leafy Shanty Bay Rd. area had turned him away from their homes. They felt uncomfortable with the way Spiers tried to push his way into their homes. Police speculated Spiers threatened the baby’s life if Khonsari didn’t comply with his commands. Placing herself at great risk, Khonsari would rather die for the child than let Spiers hurt her. It all rather reminds me of a sadistic version of Little Red Riding Hood, except the odious character of the wolf is triumphant in the end.

Spiers was born and raised in Orillia a half hour drive north of Barrie. From an early khonsariage no one wanted Spiers: he was farmed out to foster homes and reform schools since the age of 8 or 9. Many children endure horrors in foster homes; sexual and physical abuse, seldom being fed or bathed. It is quite possible that Spiers survived a number of dreadful homes although there may have been a few good ones in his history. Either way, his unhappy childhood simply cannot excuse the atrocities he committed against Khonsari. Incredibly, Spiers had already acquired thirty-four convictions in Canada and the U.S. before the murder. Somehow he was hired as a door-to-door salesman by a Barrie company and unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

Some of Spiers’ charges included robberies, B&E, rape, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and a prison break. Yet time and again a parole board deemed Spiers fit to re-enter society as a free citizen. In 1985, he committed a carjacking in New York against an elderly woman. She saved her own life when she jumped out of the moving vehicle. What’s a few bruises and scrapes compared to a murder? In 1988, at JFK Airport, he forced a woman into a remote area of the airport terminal where he raped her. Spiers was arrested and sentenced to six to 12 years. Eleven years later in 1999, he forced a Toronto prostitute to go with him to a construction site where he struck her repeatedly about the head with a rock. Ouch. Her injuries required 40 stitches and staples to close. Spiers received only three years for aggravated assault. Seriously. Three years and he could have killed the woman. Spiers committed increasingly violent crimes mere months or weeks after he was released from prison. Somehow there was a lack of communication among police forces in Canada and the U.S. In both countries, Spiers’ sentences were an insult to his victims’ pain and suffering. Somehow he kept securing a release from prison even after an ongoing string of violent crimes committed against women.

Khonsari, Homa and their three sons immigrated to Canada from Iran. Her husband, was chief of surgery at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. On that horrible May day, 1297581111986_ORIGINALDr. Khonsari had just left the house to play a round of golf after spending the morning at the hospital. Mrs. Khonsari was excited about having her granddaughter, Maya, for a sleepover that night. Mrs. Khonsari and Maya didn’t have very long to enjoy one another’s company. They were abducted from Garrett Cres. at 2:40 p.m. that afternoon. A contractor happened to call the house as Spiers entered and threatened Khonsari. Khonsari told him someone was trying to get into her car with her granddaughter. The contractor heard “a loud scuffling noise” before the line then went dead. Right away, he phoned both Dr. Khonsari and Barrie police. Alas, the well-intended call was in vain.

Mimi and Maya Khonsari were forced into a blue Audi to a wooded area in Oro-Medonte Township. A school bus driver noticed what appeared to be a “commotion” on the passenger side. Alas, the driver failed to intervene or to contact his home base. The Audi turned off on a concession road. In a quiet, wooded area, Mimi Khonsari was strangled with a piece of binder twine then, while still alive, she was stabbed repeatedly, her neck sliced open. “She was essentially murdered twice,” the coroner testified. Spiers then left Khonsari where she lay and drove away with Maya in the car. Spiers drove to the Bayfield Mall in Barrie. Two women saw him get out of the Audi, leaving a young child in the car. He headed to a coffee shop where he smoked and paced the sidewalk without entering the shop. When Spiers noticed the women staring at him and the infant he drove away.

Spiers parked behind an apartment building, placed Maya on the floor of the Audi and tossed away the keys. He left Maya unharmed, called a cab and went to the Rooster’s Bar. He paid the cab driver with money from Mimi Khonsari’s purse, A neighbour, Allison Miller, commented, “somewhere deep inside him he had enough decency not to harm that baby.” Khonsari’s body courtroom-sketch-of-clare-spiers-sentencingwas found at 8:30 that night and Spiers was arrested on June 19, 2004, in Prince Edward Island on a Canada-wide warrant for breach of probation. It was not yet discovered that he had murdered KhonsariHe had flown to the east coast province  to see his newborn twins. Sweet God. Twins. Hopefully the woman who was in an intimate relationship with Spiers will prove to be a considerably better role model, and won’t unleash two more Spiers’ in the world.

On Dec. 13 that year Spiers was charged with Mimi Khonsari’s murder. The murder weapon was never recovered. No motive was ever offered but then again no motive was needed. Spiers was a psychopath and a sadist who attacked lone women with no means of defense. He simply was and is a savage killer. What motive was needed? In 2007, three years after Khonsari’s murder, a jury found Spiers guilty of first degree murder. However, the Ontario Court of Appeal tossed out the verdict after learning the prosecution had improperly”vetted” the jury. In this case, the Crown checked into the personal backgrounds of jurors before they were selected for trial. The intention was to weed out jurors with alcohol or mental health problems, or those who were considered “disreputable.” The higher court said the Crown had no bad intentions in the process but the Crown’s actions “tainted” justice. Most definitely I am inclined to agree. Weed out people with mental illness or alcohol addiction? Sounds like a slippery slope into George Orwell’s 1984 to me. As a result of the Crown’s carelessness, it would take another 7 years before Spiers would go on trial for Khonsari’s murder,

Ten years after Khonsari’s murder, Spiers was finally convicted to life in prison for the second degree murder of Mimi Khonsari. Rather than bear the expense of another trial, the Crown agreed to allow Spiers to plead guilty to the lesser charge. Justice Ian Nordheimer offered Spiers the chance of parole after serving only 7 years in 2021. Seriously. Has Ontario learned nothing from the ongoing release of this prisoner? Nordheimer defended his decision by stating that offering parole as early as 2021 didn’t guarantee Spiers would actually be granted parole. Well, isn’t that a huge relief (roll eyes in head).That means in 7 more years, the Khonsari family will once again re-open deep wounds as they attend Spiers’ parole hearing. Should there be more than one parole hearing (one hopes), the family will have to continue their ongoing fight to maintain justice and keep Spiers behind bars where he belongs, for the murder of Mimi Khonsari.

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Suburban Madness Ended in Suburban Murder

Sometimes victims aren’t very nice people. They aren’t people it’s easy to pity, no matter what they’ve suffered. In fact, Clara Harris (32:28), a Columbian woman, was a “wonderful human being” who “lost it” only once and paid with her life behind bars. Pretty, educated, a dentist and married to a wealthy dentist named David Lynn Harris, Clara seemed to enjoy the American dream

clarain, of all places, Friendsville, Texas. The Harris’ dental practice was very successful. They had a ski chalet in Colorado. The couple was raising three children, twins, Brian and Bradley and David’s daughter from a previous marriage. It was Clara who had rekindled David’s relationship with Lindsay. David hadn’t spent much time with the little girl since his divorce and Clara helped him to forge a relationship with her. David doted on his pretty wife and became a good father to all of his children.

The Abuse
Of course, dreams are just that – dreams. When Clara was only six, her father died. Her mother had struggled to put her daughter through school. Clara became very perfectionist and placed great stress upon herself. It didn’t help that David was abusive. He was arrogant, self-indulgent and a cheat. His image was very important to him. He drove an expensive car and owned two a massive, beautiful houses, but that wasn’t enough for the dastardly dentist. Soon after the birth of his boys, he began an affair with his pretty receptionist, Gail Bridges. David didn’t bother covering his tracks. He didn’t care if Clara found out about the affair which she did after one of David’s employees simply told her about it.

The Affair
When Clara found out, she was utterly devastated. She was faithful and devoted to David. She couldn’t understand his betrayal. She couldn’t accept that her status in the community had been belittled. To be fair to her husband, Clara had often ignored David’s needs. She was exhausted with keeping up to the many professional and personal demands of being Clara Harris. David felt neglected and spent more hours at the office where a flirty, attractive Bridges was happy to keep him preoccupied. It had taken months for Bridges to break down David’s defenses and she finally succeeded. Bridges became determined to convince David to divorce Clara and marry her. Clara hadn’t realized how far the affair had gone.

She’d already lost her father years earlier. She was determined to keep her husband. Now obsessed with her husband’s love life, Clara couldn’t stop wondering about Bridges. She demanded information about her and David was happy to comply. He listed several attributes about davidBridges that he felt were superior to his wife: breast implants, petite, small feet, slim, all things David declared Clara wasn’t. Nice guy.  Poor Clara went on a crash diet and started running on the treadmill daily, losing 15 pounds in order to compete with the mysterious Bridges. She had sex with the loathsome David up to three times a day. She bleached her light brunette hair blonde and got liposuction in an effort to make herself more attractive than Bridges and replace her in David’s affections but to no avail. The affair continued anyway.

The Murder
Finally, Clara’s work seemed to pay off and David seemed to take notice of his wife. He told her he would break off the affair with Bridges. He promised Clara he would take Bridges out for dinner and tell her the affair was over. Suspicious about his plan, Clara hired a
private investigator who informed Clara that David had continued the affair with Bridges. He photographed David at a hotel with his mistress. In one sense, this was a smart business move. In Texas, all assets in a divorce are shared 50/50 unless a spouse can prove infidelity. Then, assets rise to 90% for the offended spouse. However, Clara preferred to keep David. One night, Clara herself tailed her husband and his mistress to the Nassau Bay Hilton Hotel.

Initially, Clara planned to confront her husband, but instead she lost control and viciously attacked Bridges. Hotel employees broke up the fight momentarily until Clara twisted away from their grasp and returned to bite Bridges. Well, she was a dentist. Finally she was escorted to her Mercemoviedes-Benz. In the parking lot, David held the enraged Clara’s head to the ground in an effort to stop his wife from attacking his mistress. Meanwhile his daughter looked on at the terrible spectacle. When David and Gail turned to leave, Clara got into her car and struck down her husband as her teenage stepdaughter, Lindsay, sat in the passenger seat, screaming vainly at Clara to stop. Then Clara reversed the car and ran over her dead husband again. Most of David’s ribs were fractured. The left side of his chest collapsed, puncturing his left lung and heart. It was a horrific moment Lindsay Harris would never forget. Worse, the entire, brutal attack had been captured on tape.

Clara Harris went on trial on January 22, 2003. Weeks later, she was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.  This wasn’t surprising, considering how brutal the video of Clara running down her husband must have looked. Clara went before a parole board in 2013. Her appeal for early release after serving 10 years was denied. She is eligible for parole again in April 2015. A made-for-tv movie about the Harris case called Suburban Madness was aired in 2004. Many women have advocated on Clara’s behalf, stating David Harris got what he deserved. I strongly disagree. Clara Harris did not have the right to enact vigilante justice. She should have divorced the louse and taken 90% of their mutual assets. That would have served as justice.

 

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Jealous, Jessica McCord was a Merciless Murderess

Revenge is the number one motivator for murder. It is a very powerful, instinctive drive in a disturbed psyche. In Morgan County, Maryland, Jessica McCord was a pretty brunette who knew how to lure boys with her charm and physical attributes. In spite of this, she was viewed as “goth” and, even in a group of kids known for their antisocial natures, not completely accepted. Jessica was weird. At a young age she roped in Alan Bates . It wasn’t long before Jessica got pregnant and the teenagers were married in a shotgun wedding. The Bates family didn’t like McCord from the start. She appeared to be very controlling, especially after the jessicaring slid on her slim finger. After McCord got whatever she wanted, she still demanded more. Jessica gave Bates another daughter, but she remained bitter in her marriage. Bates wanted to make the marriage work but McCord made it impossible. She suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissism. Usually these disorders are a result of severe childhood abuse, especially psychological and physical. Jessica’s father beat both Jessica and her mother. Eventually daddy dearest killed a Tennessee woman. Lovely. At the same time, McCord was well aware of her own controlling behaviour and to an extent, able to control it. She did however, exhibit pathological jealousy and paranoia, believing Bates was cheating on her when he wasn’t. Jessica also complained about being a housewife. She felt she was too educated for that and she wanted to “be someone.” On one occasion she tried to stab Bates with a butcher knife. He just made it into the bathroom and shut the door.

Bates finally divorced his pathological wife. It killed him (pun) to leave his daughters with her and he worked hard at gaining child custody. McCord used her teenage daughters to

BATEStorment Bates. In doing so, she also hurt her children but failed to see the damage she caused. Her intent was to antagonize Bates by refusing to allow him access to his daughters and telling the girls that it was Bates who didn’t want to see them. Nasty. Throughout her bitter vengeance, McCord enjoyed occupying the spotlight and being centre stage in her own family melodrama. She changed the girls’ names and placed them in a different school so Bates couldn’t find them. When Bates found his daughters, she home-schooled them. McCord was even jailed for contempt. While she rotted there, McCord plotted to kill her ex-husband and his new wife, Terra Klugh. At some point during the acrimonious divorce, Jessica became pregnant with another man’s child. She had another daughter and when the relationship with the child’s father soured, he simply left his child with Jessica, refusing to fight for custody. He knew instinctively that to cross Jessica was to play with fire. Ultimately he saved his own life. That wasn’t all the men in Jessica’s life however. She had yet another child by a third man who also opted out of a court battle for child custody. Jessica Bates had to be the most fertile psychopath in Alabama history.

Bates finally knew a happy marriage with Terra, a pretty, red-haired and kind-natured woman. This aggravated Jessica no end even though she had met someone. She couldn’t stand the thought of a happy Bates. By now she lived in Hoover, Alabama with her new husband, Jeff McCord, a policeman. She used her typical controlling nature to turn her new husband against Bates. She told to kill Bates and Terra. In this marriage, McCord had Jeff-Jessica-McCordfound her perfect match. McCord actually came up with a plan to do away with the two unfortunate victims. Perhaps he thought this would keep his nagging wife off his back. Completely understandable. The day of the murders, Jessica invited Terra and Bates into the house to wait for the girls. McCord entered the room, walked up to Terra and shot her in the back. He fired at Bates four times. Two corpses lay on the McCord’s floor. Jessica simply watched and enjoyed the show.

McCord and Jessica drove the bodies to a remote rural area in Georgia. There he set them on fire and left them in the trunk of a car Bates had rented. The idea was to make the murder look like a car-jacking gone horribly wrong. I never understood the concept of setting a body on fire. Clearly, dental records will inevitably reveal the victims’ identities. I suppose the McCords hoped burning the bodies would slow the eventual investigation into the murders. Or maybe they were just stupid enough to think that the car fire would completely cremate the corpses. Whatever. Jessica found the whole thing quite exciting. That made Jeff happy. The happy couple drove home for a night of raucous sex. Ick.

mccordInvestigators easily traced the car to the Birmingham, Alabama airport, where the Bates’ had rented the car to travel to the McCords’. Investigators attempted to interview the McCords at their home. When they refused to open the door, police forced their way inside. Someone had attempted to “remodel” the family room. Police observed the new floor tiles and new wallpaper, but the work had been done in a rush. The wallpaper wasn’t even close to being aligned. Investigators removed it and And when they removed it, they found a bullet hole in the drywall. Uh-oh. A minute amount of blood was found on the glass coffee table. How careless. Even under arrest, Jessica was cold as ice. She was determined to regain control over her life – something she’d unsuccessfully tried to do since her teens. The D.A. commented “I’ve prosecuted some very mean and bad people. Jessica McCord is at the top of the list because she is truly evil.”

Jessica and Jeff McCord were convicted in February of two counts of murder. Jessica will die in jail as she has no chance of parole. Now prison guards control Jessica’s every move, a complete reversal from her life as a free woman. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty, but alas, it wasn’t to be. The only crime a young Alan Bates committed was to fall in love with a sinister woman. The unfortunate man paid for his mistake with his life.

 

 

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Barbaric Bundy was a Bastard Butcher

I’m not especially interested in Theodore Robert Cowell Bundy’s crimes. He’s been called the poster boy for serial killers. Is there any such thing as a poster boy for that? Let’s hope not. I suppose this refers to his good looks, charm and intellect. It also refers to the fact that he was a sadistic killer of many women and a little 12-year-old girl. The latter is the one that really upsets me. I’m more interested in the psychology of Bundy. His childhood background in particular is of interest to me. Most information on his early life seems quite scant. It is repetitive and generally includes the following facts:

His paternity was undetermined. Bundy was born in 1946 at the Elizabeth Lund Home For Unwed Mothers (now the Lund Family Cente in Burlington, ann6Vermont), in 1946 to Eleanor Louise Cowell. His paternity was attributed to an air force veteran named Lloyd Marshall. However Louise claimed his father was a sailor named Jack Worthington. In the 1940s, army men were everywhere, considering the Second World War had just ended in 1945.  Years later, investigators would find no record of the name Worthington in Navy or Merchant Marine archives. Either Louise was lying or this “mysterious” man had lied to her. Some family members expressed suspicions that the father might actually have been Louise’s own violent, abusive father, Samuel Cowell. I’m inclined to believe the latter. That would explain a lot. Louise remained at the Home for 8 weeks before she returned to the Cowell house of horrors.

During the 1940s in American history  when a young, single woman got pregnant, she brought great shame upon her family. For the first three years, Bundy lived in louise1Philadelphia, with his maternal grandparents, Samuel and Eleanor Cowell. Strictly religious, they were disappointed in their 22-year-old daughter, a prim department store clerk, when she had their grandson out-of-wedlock so they raised him as their son to avoid the social stigma of illegitimate birth. Family, friends, and Bundy were told his grandparents were his parents, and Louise was his older sister. Now that’s weird. It’s not reported whether people actually believed this lie. Of  course, if Samuel Cowell had raped his daughter, then he was indeed Bundy’s father.

The discovery. From a young age, Bundy sensed he lived a lie. Somehow Bundy discovered that his sister was actually his mother. His cousin showed him a copy of his birth
certificate after calling him a “bastard”. Where the cousin got his birth certificate, I can’t say. Years later, he told biographers that he himself found the birth certificate. That seems more likely. Ann Rule, famed true crime author, worked with Bundy. He expressed anger toward Louise all of his life for having lied about their relationship. His sense of identity was shattered. He felt badly betrayed. This discovery may have occurred when he was in university and his first girlfriend had just broken off their relationship, leaving him devastated. His earliest suspicions in life had been confirmed and his world came crashing down around him.

Samuel Cowell. Bundy told Rule that he “identified with”, “respected”, and “clung to” his grandfather, not a good admission. Samuel Cowell was a tyrannical bully. He hated blacks, Italians, Catholics, and Jews. Cowell also beat his wife and the family dog. He threw Louise’s younger sister Julia down a flight of stairs for over sleeping. I’m certain he did other terrible things to his daughters. Only the Lord knows what he must have done to his grandson. Cowell may have been mentally ill, as he spoke aloud to unseen people. On at least one occasion he flew into a violent rage when someone questioned Bundy’s paternity.I think I can guess the reason foryoung1 that. One of the many dysfunctional behaviours in this family was a deep shame over Louise’s unwed motherhood, yet Louise’s own incestuous father may have been Bundy’s father, technically making Cowell his son’s grandfather. It’s no surprise that Bundy was confused about his identity from early childhood. The Cowell family worked hard at appearing “normal” to other people. Later in life, Louise talked about her Christian upbringing, yet she never alluded to the incest and violence she suffered at Cowell’s hands.

Eleanor Cowell. Bundy described his grandmother as a timid and obedient woman who periodically underwent ECT for depression. She became agoraphobic toward the end of her life. I’m surprised she wasn’t frightened of staying in the house with her husband. Clearly Eleanor was an inefficient mother and grandmother. She didn’t attempt to leave the role of abused wife. She ignored the incestuous relationships her husband had with her daughters.

Early signs of pathology. Bundy displayed disturbing behavior, even at the early age of three. Julia recalled waking up one day to find herself surrounded by knives. Bundy stood by the bed, smiling at his frightened aunt. Bundy roamed his neighborhood as an adolescent, picking through trash cans, looking for pictures of naked women. He read detective magazines, crime novels, and true crime stories of sexual violence. He especially liked pictures of dead or maimed female bodies. Sometimes he doodled pictures of raped and dead women in his schoolbooks. Bundy also tortured animals, an undisputed sign of a psychopath. Bundy consumed alcohol and “canvassed the community” at night, looking for windows with open drapes so he could watch women undress, or “whatever [else] could be seen.”

Ted_Bundy_HS_YearbookBundy told biographers that he “chose to be alone” as an adolescent because he was awkward at interpersonal relationships. Actually Bundy was uncomfortable around his stepfather after his mother married and preferred to be alone at home. He also had to babysit his younger siblings on many occasions. Bundy claimed he didn’t have friendships. “I didn’t know what made people want to be friends,” he said. “I didn’t know what underlay social interactions.” Tellingly, Bundy knew no personal need to bond with other people. He lacked the empathy and sincerity needed to build friendships. High school classmates claimed Bundy was”well-known and well liked”. They remember a popular, pleasant, if somewhat shy, boy.  Bundy didn’t have girlfriends however and didn’t ask girls to go out on dates with him. He was too awkward to risk rejection, something that might have filled him with rage even at that early age. Bundy insisted he was terribly shy, filled with self-doubt and was often teased by bullies in his junior high school. Clearly he didn’t remember his high school popularity. It was his unhappiness in his middle school years that resonated in his memory.

A budding psychopath. By high school, Bundy was arrested at least twice on suspicion of burglary and auto theft. Many people close to him suspected him of petty thievery. It’s quite likely this was true, considering his two arrests. Stealing without any sense of guilt is a common trait in a psychopath. He gets a thrill from the excitement and danger that stealing offers. Bundy’s dishonesty evolved from stealing small things at work to burglarizing homes for televisions and other items of value. There is no evidence as to whether Louise or Johnnie attempted to rein in Bundy’s behaviour. Probably they didn’t know how to discipline their increasingly wayward son and chose to ignore his troubled behaviour. Bundy’s behaviour has been analyzed by several forensic psychiatrists and one was of the opinion that Bundy was “not like other children, he looked and acted like them, but he was haunted by something else: a fear, a doubt — sometimes only a vague uneasiness — that inhabited his mind with the subtlety of a cat. He felt it for years, but he didn’t recognize it for what it was until much later.”

Johnny Culpepper Bundy. In 1950 Louise changed her surname from Cowell to young22Nelson. Extended family members told her to leave the  Cowell home with Bundy. She left for Philadelphia and lived with her cousins Alan and Jane Scott in Tacoma, Washington. In 1951 Louise married Johnny Culpepper Bundy, a hospital cook. Johnny Bundy formally adopted Ted. Johnny and Louise conceived four children of their own. Ted remained distant from his father. He complained that his stepfatherwasn’t very bright“, anddidn’t make much money.” Bundy was nasty and surly toward Johnny Bundy. His contempt for his stepfather and unhappiness about his paternity contributed to other psychological problems. Why it was that Bundy disdained the kindly Johnny and claimed respect for the violent Cowell is a mystery. Bundy’s name by then had changed from Cowell to Nelson to Bundy. His head must have been spinning. He was a confused and angry little boy.

Louise Bundy For her part Louise Bundy believed in Bundy’s innocence until the night before his execution when he finally told her the truth. Ted Bundy does not go around killing women and little children!’ she told the Tribune in 1980 after Bundy was convicted. ‘And I know this, too, that our never-ending faith in Ted – our faith that he is innocent – has never wavered. And it never will.’  She stopped defending her son after he made several of death-row confessions. During Bundy’s trial for several rape-murders, Louise stated “my Christian upbringing tells me that to take another’s life under any circumstances is wrong. And I don’t believe the state of Florida is above the beloved God.” Her pitiful response to Bundy was “You’ll always be my precious son.’ 

In 1999 Bundy was linked to the 1961 disappearance of eight-year-old Ann Marie Burr in Tacoma. Louise barked at the News Tribune:I resent the fact that everybody in Tacoma thinks just because he lived in Tacoma he did that one, too, way back when he was 14. I’m sure he didn’t.’ What a bizarre conversation to have with the press about one’s son. I doubt Louise was “sure” about anything at all to do with Bundy. Quite like the manner in which he’d discovered the identity of his real mother, Bundy shocked and devastated Louise with the truth about his crimes. He also waited until the last moment of his life to tell her. The sins of the Cowell family had been visited upon her son and returned full circle.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wicked Warmus Used a Warped Way to Wipe out Betty Jeanne

Carolyn Warmus
Carolyn Warmus
was a gorgeous, wealthy 25-year-old blonde, about 5’10”, with perfect measurements. In her late teens she modelled for money although she hardly needed it. She was a PhD. – Papa has Dough. Her father, Thomas Warmus, was a self-made millionaire in the insurance business. Wherever she went, men rubber-necked to look twice warwmusat the willowy blonde. For her part, Warmus was well aware of her charms and reveled in them. It was all about her. But her upbringing had been troubled. She was grew up in Birmingham Michigan, the privileged suburb of the incredibly ugly city of Detroit. When she was only 8 years old her parents divorced. Thomas left Warmus’ mother for another woman, an event that had a profound experience on the little girl’s psyche. Having been her daddy’s little princess, this devastated Warmus, especially when she was forced to live with her mother. Mommy Dearest wasn’t as attentive or warm towards her daughter as Thomas had been. She was a socialite and was seldom at home with her child. What’s more, animosity between Warmus’s parents continued for years. There were many court appearances and disputes over custodial issues. However Thomas became even more successful and in 1990, he was worth over $150 million. Not to show off of course, but Thomas acquired a fleet of jets, several homes and dozens of cars. For her part, Warmus lived with her mother until 18, then moved out and never looked back. But those involved with Carolyn were not kind when it came to describing her. Some of her past friends, said recently, “People remarked about her mental stability, called her “ditzy” and “schizo.” Some of Carolyn’s co-workers stated she had several personalities and “she was a nut!” Clearly, such a profile did not bode well for her future.

Paul Laven
Warmus attended the University of Michigan and entered into a series of disastrous romantic relationships. Perhaps it was due to her father’s infidelity with her mother, but Warmus was obsessed with her boyfriends even resorted to hiring private detectives to warmusdetermine their whereabouts. An ex-boyfriend named Paul Laven, obtained a restraining order against Warmus after she pursued him and his fiancée relentlessly. It was believed she attempted to run over his fiancée but the woman saw the approaching car just in time and avoided it.  That wasn’t the only thing Warmus did: she called Laven’s friends, and wrote Laven a note, falsely claiming he had gotten her pregnant.  That’s a little weird. Wouldn’t you just know Warmus obtained a degree in – wait for it – psychology?

Paul Solomon
Warmus’ life went on without Laven. She decked herself out in the finest clothes from Gucci and Prada. She dined in upscale restaurants. Warmus looked like a woman who “stepped out of Vogue.” It carolyn-warmus-4wasn’t long before Warmus was up to her old tricks. After an affair with a married bartender (I mean raise the bar, girl) she hired a private detective, Vincent Parco, to trail her after he broke it off with her. During this time, Warmus, an intellectually bright woman, earned her Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She wanted to teach children. Seriously. Her charm and credentials landed her a job at Greenwich Elementary, in Scarsdale, New York. Here she met Paul Solomon, a fifth grade teacher. Eventually, at school family gatherings, Warmus met his wife Betty Jeanne and daughter Kristan. A married man? With a kid? Oh hurrah. That’s just the type Warmus liked. Warmus practically forced herself into the family’s life, becoming a big sister to little Kristan. She took her on shopping sprees and bought her pricey gifts. Now, that’s definitely weird. Weirder still that Solomon and Betty Jeanne permitted it.

The Affair
The affair began not long after Warmus met Solomon’s wife. For whatever reason, Warmus wasn’t interested in single men. Perhaps they were too easy as targets. Warmus liked a challenge. Over time she was happy to let Betty Jeanne know about the affair, writing her
nasty notes that stated Betty Jeanne was no competition for her; Warmus waswarmus far superior in beauty and Betty Jeanne didn’t have a chance in keeping her husband. Nice. Although she wasn’t happy about the affair, for her own reasons, Betty Jeanne didn’t leave Solomon. Perhaps she was determined to work it out. That was her death knell. Warmus and Solomon met every week for dinner at a place called Treetops, Yonkers. On one occasion Solomon happily received oral sex from Warmus in the parking lot before they had dinner. If anyone had walked by and noticed they would have had dinner and a show that night.

The Murder
Early in the evening of January 15, 1989, Betty Jeanne Solomon called 9-1-1, screaming “he’s going to kill me!” That sentence – “he” became a significant detail in police
investigation, believing “he” referred to Paul Solomon. Later, it was revealed Warmus might have been disguised as a man when she murdered Betty Jeanne. When the call was abruptly disconnected but police but found nothing because the reverse dsolirectory had an incorrect address. Incorrect. Seriously. A misprint in the telephone book might have helped Warmus to kill Betty Jeanne. Then again, by the time Betty Jeanne made the call Warmus stood over her and fired several shots – 9, to be precise. At 11:42pm, the body of Betty Jeanne Solomon was found in the family’s living room. She was pistol-whipped about the head and had nine bullet wounds in her back and legs. Naturally Solomon fell under suspicion. His lukewarm alibi was that he’d been out bowling with friends. After police checked on the time he’d been bowling with the time he arrived home and found a discrepancy, Solomon spilled about the affair with Warmus and admitted that he’d been with Warmus after he went bowling. Naturally he hadn’t wanted to tell police he’d been having an affair. That didn’t look too promising.

The Stalker
Solomon however, remained a “person of interest“. Police tailed him and observed his comings and goings on a daily basis. Nothing suspicious alerted them in Solomon’s
behaviour. Instead, it was Warmus who alerted the radar. For one thing, she attea-murderous-affairnded Betty Jeanne’s funeral. That was weird. She made an appearance that made Solomon look, at the very least, awkward. Over the following weeks, Warmus ingratiated herself into Solomon’s family even more. She spent weekends with Solomon and Kristan, making them dinner and acting more like Solomon ‘s wife than his girlfriend. Over time, Solomon, who felt overwhelmed, broke off his relationship with Warmus. Weeks later he became involved with a new girlfriend, Barbara Ballor. Warmus of course was furious. Once again she began  her obsessive behaviour, stalking Ballor and Solomon, After dating for some months, Ballor and Solomon took a vacation together in Puerto Rico. Incensed, Warmus the Weird actually purchased a ticket and followed them to the same hotel. She left notes at the reception desk to be passed onto Solomon, insisting that he join her in her hotel room. Needless to say, Solomon began to fear for his safety. He and Ballor packed up and left PR early. When Warmus discovered Solomon had left, she took a different tack and contacted Ballor’s family, informing them that Solomon was suspected of shooting his wife 9 times.

The Trial
Back in the States, Warmus’ behaviour became even more unhinged. Meanwhile police continued their investigation into the Betty Jeanne murder. They discovered Warmus had detobtained a .25 caliber Beretta pistol with a silencer from the sleazy Parco before Betty Jeanne’s murder. Detective Richard Constantino checked calls made from Warmus’ home phone and he discovered one made at 3:02pm was to Ray’s Sport Shop in North Plainfield, New Jersey. The only female to purchase .25-caliber ammunition that day was Liisa Kattai from Long Island. When questioned, Kattai denied being in the shop or buying ammunition. It was determined that Kattai’s driver’s license had been stolen while she worked a summer job. One of her co-workers was
Warmus. Police made an arrest and Warmus paid her own bail at $250,000.00. A disbelieving daddy posted her bond on February 2, 1990.  Warmus’ initial trcarolyn-warmus-3ial was held at the Westchester County Courthouse. She arrived looking deadly (pun) in a very short pink mini-skirt, with matched tight pink jacket and a pink sunhat. Black stiletto heels and a black purse completed the ensemble. Warmus held her head high as reporters snapped photographs. She reveled in the spotlight. Solomon testified, “She said it was difficult finding good people to date. I said I would be so happy to dance at your wedding and see you happy. She said ‘What about your happiness, Paul? Don’t you deserve to be happy?” Twelve days later, the jury announced they were deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of conviction.  The judge was forced to declare a mistrial and Warmus strutted out the door in  her stiletto heels.

The Conviction
In January 1992, a second trial began. A new piece of evidence allowed the second jury web2new insight into Warmus’ behaviour . A bloody cashmere glove she owned had been recovered at the brutal crime scene. The fibres on the glove matched gloves the idiotic Warmus hadn’t thrown away. This time the jury took six days to decide Warmus was guilty. Judge John Carey stated Warmus was guilty of a “a hideous act, a most extreme, illegal and wanton murder.” Warmus received 25 years to life in prison. This time, even daddy’s money couldn’t save his little princess.

**Update** Today, the glamour and youth are gone. I suppose several years in prison will do that to even the prettiest woman. Warmus isn’t one to be idle. She probably would have carolyn-warmus-6stalked the jury from prison if she’d been able. Instead she’s waged a one-woman campaign to free herself from prison claiming, “Justice will come about only if the true facts of the case come to light.” If you are so inclined you may aid Warmus in her quest to bring true facts to light and contribute to theJustice for Carolyn Warmus Fund. Apparently, daddy doesn’t feel so inclined.

 

 

 

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