The Crime of the Century-a shocking true story
Publisher: Black Rose Writing ISBN-10: 1612963072
Release Date: January 30, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-1612963075
Page Count: 238 Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Nook
Tagline: This 1982 case terrified a small Ohio town, destroyed two families, and sent an innocent man to deathrow.
Blurb: The residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, but only one was railroaded, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead.
What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’. 18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant and horsewoman, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen crossing a trestle bridge. Within fourteen days, their mutilated torsos and severed heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
With an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against Richard Lloyd. The three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, fairytale theories, and forensic mishandling.
This heinous crime shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, destroyed two families, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, and of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.
Summary of “THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY”
The residents of Rolling Hills, an economically ruined bedroom community of the Appalachian region of southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of missing teenage sweethearts, Shane Shoemaker and Babette Lloyd, were pulled from the murky and meandering local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, including relatives, ex-lovers, Satanists, and the Devil's Disciple’s motorcycle gang, but only one was railroaded, Babette’s stepfather, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead. The rumors of his and Babette’s incestuous relationship only electrified the townsfolk and local authorities’ hatred against him.
What really happened on that cool autumn evening of 1982? What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’. 18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant, horsewoman, and aspiring computer programmer, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen walking toward the C&O Railroad tracks, crossing a trestle bridge that overlooked the river, near an infamous 52-acrea cornfield. Twelve days later, a search party found their mutilated torsos. After another two days their heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
Richard Lloyd was the main suspect from the beginning. It took nearly a year, but in an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against him. A financially motivated local mistakenly fingered Richard, accusing him of forcing the teens into a car at gun point. The police alleged Richard then killed the victims at his mobile home seven miles from Rolling Hills, with his wife and other step-daughter as witnesses. They accused him of dismembering the victims before transporting them to the Rolling Hills cornfield for burial. The state insisted a ancestral relationship between Richard and Babette existed, and the reason for the jealousy killings, and Richard’s immense hatred for Shane Shoemaker. Richard’s multiply lies, his lust and jealousy for Babette, weapons availability, the hypnotized “eyewitness” and a disputed footprint expert bolstered the states misguided case against the now dubbed “evil stepfather.” Most of what was presented at the three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, melodramatic fiction, and forensic mishandling.
As a resident of Rolling Hills, Ohio, I, JoAnne Myers contrived “The Crime of the Century,” through case documents, newspaper clippings, signed affidavits, witness testimony, interviews, police reports, theories and rumors.
This heinous crime not only shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, but destroyed two families, marriages, careers, friendships, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, of human injustice at the highest level, of one man’s perseverance to prove his innocence, and gain his freedom from death row, and righting a wrong.
Richard Lloyd was released on appeal after sitting on death row for five years. Prosecutors opted not to re-try him, but Lloyd and his family remained under a cloud of presumed guilt for 28-years. In 2008, two career criminals were indicted and convicted for the homicides.
NOTE: All names and places have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty.
At 5:45 pm., Chief White used his walkie-talkie, to radio Lt.
Phillipes, who stayed at the command post with Richard and Nancy. Only a few short words were needed.
“We found something, but we don’t know what it is,” said the chief. What searchers found . . . was unthinkable.
Just 150 yards north of the railroad trestle spanning Bottle Neck River, Sheriff Reynolds and one of his deputies reported “something entangled in debris,” near their small boat.
The officers initially said they believed the object was an animal carcass. Once it was dislodged and floated down stream, they realized it was human.
The officers then followed the remains and discovered 30 yards south of the first torso, the second torso was located. Both torsos were reportedly snagged against brush along the riverbank just west of The Regency Supply Company. Both torsos were reportedly nude and so badly decomposed, officers said they were unable to determine their sex.
Upon the discovery, Jack Jones broke down and was seen “running and screaming” from the area. The remains were pulled to shore and coroner Rausch was summoned to the riverbank.
Law enforcement personnel cleared the immediate area of non-official personnel. Afterward, they stationed themselves around the perimeter of the area while the bodies were examined.
Many searchers, upon leaving the crime scene, were overheard by reporters asking one another “Are the authorities looking for one killer or two?”
After his initial examination of the bodies, the coroner said he was unable to rule on the cause of death or what sex the torsos were. What he did say, was that if one man committed both murders, it was “during a great rage” and by someone with something “very personal” against one, or both, of the victims.
Sheriff Reynolds reported an empty purse found, but did not know if it belonged to Babette. He told reporters, he did not believe the bodies were the missing Rolling Hills teens. Richard Lloyd told reporters that, when he and Nancy heard the bodies might not be that of Babette and Shane, they were relieved, and said, “That comment gave me and Nancy a speck of hope.”
The discovery of the bodies shocked and silenced the group of volunteers. Most returned to the Kroger parking lot after the first torso was found. Some remained silent, while others were seen conversing in hushed tones, telling reporters they “expected the search to turn up nothing.”
Sheriff Reynolds was placed in primary charge since all evidence at that time, pointed to the murders being committed outside of Rolling Hills’s corporation limit, which is the point of origin that the sheriff’s office jurisdiction begins.
When officers carried a body bag from the river, Lt. Phillipes approached “the quiet couple.” He claimed Richard calmly asked, “Is it them?”
At first Phillipes said, he did not know how to answer, but admitted it was two individuals. He told them the remains might belong to a young Columbus area pair, Chris and Peggy Lerch, reported missing around the same time as Babette and Shane.
Phillipes said Richard then asked if he could view the bodies, saying “me and Nancy need to know if it’s our daughter.”
Phillipes said he told the couple, “not right now.” He claimed Richard then asked, “Are they all chopped up?”
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