View Full Version : NY NY - Michele Anne Harris, 35, Owego, 11 Sept 2001
02-10-2006, 08:33 PM
Michele Anne Harris
Above Images: Harris, circa 2001
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
# Missing Since: September 11, 2001 from Owego, New York
# Classification: Endangered Missing
# Date Of Birth: September 29, 1965
# Age: 35
# Height: 5'2"
# Weight: 100 lbs.
# Hair Color: Blonde
# Eye Color: Brown
# Race: White
# Gender: Female
# Distinguishing Characteristics: Tattoo of a flaming sun
on right ankle. Pierced ears. Breast augmentation.
# Clothing: Khaki shorts, white sneakers, a navy blue polo
shirt with red and white striped collar with "Lefty's" logo.
# Jewelry: Gold and silver watch and numerous rings, earrings
and bracelets. Two chain necklaces (one of the necklaces
has a religious pendant on it).
# AKA: Michele Taylor
# NCIC Number: M-351840030
# Case Number: SP Owega 01-270
Details of Disappearance
Michele was last seen at approximately 9:30 pm leaving her place of employment in the vicinity of the 400 block of Broad St. in Waverly, NY. She went to visit a friend in Barton, NY and left at approximately 11:30 pm to go back to her residence in Spencer, NY. Her vehicle, described as a gold 2000 Ford Windstar Van with NY dealer plates, was located the following morning near her residence in the vicinity of the 300 block of Hagadorn Hill Rd. in Spencer, NY. The keys were in the ignition.
In October 2005, her husband, Calvin, was charged with her murder. Michele's body has not been recovered.
02-10-2006, 08:35 PM
Calvin Harris, 44, today in Tioga County Court for a pre-trial hearing, waived his right to a speedy trial and agreed to the September trial date.
Prosecutors say Harris killed his wife, Michele Harris, who disappeared Sept. 11, 2001. The couple has four young children.
Harris was indicted on a single count of second-degree murder, a felony, on Sept. 30 -- a little more than four years after Michele Harris, 36, vanished after leaving her waitressing job at a Waverly tavern the evening of Sept. 11, 2001. Her body has never been found.
Calvin Harris remains free on $500,000 bail, set by Tioga County Judge Vincent Sgueglia, who will oversee his trial in September.
02-11-2006, 09:55 AM
How convenient that she disappeared on the day that the World Towers came down. I am sure that would have been his his claim - that she was lost in them. Unfortunately, he probably didn't know that she had been seen AFTER the towers had come down. Well, maybe he can claim that someone else killed her and made her body disappear.
02-12-2006, 11:02 PM
How convenient that she disappeared on the day that the World Towers came down. I am sure that would have been his his claim - that she was lost in them. That's doubtful. Owego, the town Michele disappeared from, is like 200 miles away from NYC. Besides, I don't think he thought that far ahead.
I do believe, however, that her case would have got more coverage if it wasn't for 9-11 happen. I mean, we have a wealthy, attractive, blonde suburban soccer mom vanished into thin air. The news media likes that.
Less than a month after a judge threw out a murder indictment against Calvin Harris related to the 2001 disappearance of his estranged wife, a second grand jury has re-indicted the Tioga County businessman on a single charge of second-degree murder, court officials confirmed Monday.
Harris will be arraigned on the charge today in Tioga County Court in Owego, officials said. The 45-year-old Spencer resident remains free on $500,000 cash bail set after the first indictment in September 2005. Broome County Judge Martin E. Smith will oversee the high-profile case, including today's arraignment.
A clerk in Tioga County District Attorney Gerald Keene's office said Monday the district attorney would not comment on the case.
In January, Smith threw out the initial murder indictment on the grounds that the grand jury proceedings conducted by Keene were improper.
Harris' Binghamton-based attorney, Joseph F. Cawley Jr., declined comment Monday afternoon because he said he had not seen a copy of the latest indictment.
Michele Harris vanished sometime between 9:30 p.m. Sept. 11, 2001, and the following morning, when she was reported missing by an acquaintance, police said. The then-35-year-old mother of four had left her waitress job at a Waverly tavern at 9:30 p.m., witnesses later said.
04-03-2008, 01:51 PM
Bumping case up. Does anyone know the outcome of the charges and trial?
04-20-2008, 08:38 AM
06/08/2007Harris found guilty of second degree murder; DA to seek maximum prison term
BY SCOTT KULAH http://images.zwire.com/images/spacer.gif
OWEGO, N.Y. -- It was just one word that will change so many lives forever -- guilty.
His attorneys tried to console him, but Calvin Harris could do nothing but sob after the jury delivered the verdict.
Found guilty of the second-degree murder of his wife, Michele, who disappeared on Sept. 11, 2001, Calvin Harris, 46, will now face prison time -- but how much is the next question.
Tioga County, N.Y., District Attorney Gerald Keene said following the trial that he may recommend Calvin Harris receives the maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
"I think that the maximum sentence would be appropriate because not only what he did to Michele but what he did to his kids by taking their mother away," he said.
Harris, who left the courthouse in handcuffs and in the custody of the Tioga County Sheriff's Department, had his bail revoked and is slated to return to the courthouse for his sentencing on Aug. 24 at 8:30 a.m.
Greg Taylor, Michele Harris' brother, said after the verdict came in, "It doesn't really bring closure. I'm glad Cal is where he belongs now; but, until we find her body and get her property there is no closure.
"Hopefully Cal will someday tell us where she is and have some compassion for our family," he added. "He took so much away from us."
As Keene and special council for the prosecution Thomas Kline left the Tioga County Courthouse in Owego, N.Y., the district attorney said he was pleased with the jury's decision, and that the extensive amount of evidence investigators provided was key in getting the conviction.
"I don't think it was any piece of evidence," he said. "I think it was a combination of everything -- especially the blood evidence -- there was no other explanation for it."
He also said the time frame of the conviction, which comes nearly six years after Michele Harris was last seen, was necessary so the defense could not argue that she had gone somewhere and can still come back.
As for Michele Harris' body or a murder weapon, Keene said it will probably never be found.
"Where he put it, that's where she is and that's where she's going to stay," he said, referring to a comment that Calvin Harris allegedly made to Michele Harris prior to her disappearance, when he told her that if he killed her no one would find the body and it wouldn't be pinned on him.
The prosecutor also said Judge Martin E. Smith made a good decision by not allowing certain background information to be submitted as evidence or testimony during the trial.
With Harris now incarcerated for an undetermined period of time, it is now unclear what will happen with the custody of the Harrises' four children.
"I hope they are going to be with relatives that will provide them with support and love," Keene told the media as he walked out of the courthouse Thursday.
He also thanked the jury -- which deliberated for about five hours -- for their hard work in the recent weeks.
"It takes some courage on their part to look at the evidence and say even though there is no body and there is no weapon, it's still obvious that this is the man who killed her," Keene said.
Defense attorney Joseph Cawley Jr. said Harris was "understandably upset" and that although the jury worked very hard, they are very disappointed with the outcome of the trial.
Harris' trial began on May 23. The jury made its decision after hearing testimony from 48 witnesses and observing 253 pieces of evidence.
Scott Kulah can by reached at (570) 888-9652; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
07-03-2008, 07:08 AM
ďIf a tree falls in the woods and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?Ē
I have no prejudice to either family but I have an opinion to what may have happened the night of September 11, 2001. I am curious to what all of you think about it. The only information I am basing my opinion on is from what I read in the Press & Sun, Morning Times, and The Daily Review. Also, pictures can tell a story as good as or better than the words printed around it. Like they say, ďA picture is worth a thousand words.Ē
Calvin bringing pictures of his kids to court with him was a prop for the jury to see just before they decided his fate. It is just like an adult dressing up for court to appear innocent (as if you shave and get a haircut you couldnít possibly commit a crime) and a child dressing down to look younger so the court wonít view the child as an adult.
When Calvin first heard the jury announce he was guilty he cried out ďNo, No, No, Oh God NoĒ, that was the reality that he was not going to get away with Micheleís murder. Moments later there is a picture of him being escorted out of the courtroom with the same expressionless look on his face as he had during the whole trial, that was the wheels turning as he tries to plan his next course of action. Thatís just my opinion though.
Everyone knows what the United States, and the rest of the world for that matter, went thru on the morning of 9/11/2001. Only two people know what really happened that night at the Harris estate. It would have been very easy not to draw too much attention doing things out of the ordinary that day.
One must understand Mr. Harris had access to numerous vehicles from the Royal dealerships. Searching for evidence of foul play in Micheleís van and/or Calís pickup, only, doesnít seem like enough searching to me. On occasion car dealers need to decrease the lotís inventory and one way, besides selling the vehicle, is to send the vehicle to the scrap yard to have it destroyed and collect money for the raw metal.
I donít know exactly what happens to vehicles after they have been destroyed. I am guessing they may be ground up and melted down to be recycled into something else. I am sure someone could provide that answer. Letís just assume the vehicles are melted down. I donít think it would be a far stretch of the imagination that Mr. Harris could take a vehicle (V1) off one of his lots, maybe park it at the end of his driveway in such a way as to block the entrance so Michele couldnít drive up. The Harris driveway is fairly long and secluded. Keeping her at the end of the driveway would reduce the possibility of his children hearing a struggle. She would then exit her vehicle (V2) to see why there is a car at the end of the driveway blocking her path. At that time, Mr. Harris could have overpowered Michele, restrained her and forced her into the trunk of V1. Mr. Harris then could have driven V1 back to the dealership where it would be placed on a car carrier ready to go to the scrap yard Cal then could pickup his own vehicle and return home.
Remember, this is September 11th 2001. Most people would have the terror attacks on their mind and might miss clues, mistakes made by Mr. Harris, or anything out of the ordinary and certainly would have trouble recalling anything not related to the attacks. Therefore if the body was in a vehicle on a car carrier it would go unnoticed because there could be a good possibility these cars would not have been inspected for unusual items before being scrapped. Chances are, if the vehicles are checked at all, it would have been done prior to being loaded onto the carrier.
Now these cars are off to the scrap yard where they, and their contents, will be crushed. If Michele was inside one of these vehicles her bodily fluids would somewhat be absorbed by other materials such as fabrics and foam cushioning inside the car as well as anything Mr. Harris may have wrapped her in.
The small amount of blood found in the garage and kitchen home probably had nothing to do with the murder. If Michele or one of the children cut themselves in the garage it would be reasonable to believe that they would go to the kitchen to tend to the wound. Maybe Brian Early should have been asked by police if he had noticed any recent injuries on Michele that may have created the blood spatters in the garage and kitchen. Hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately the police made some mistakes by not questioning more people right from the start. As a police officer, one should not try to prove a suspect committed a crime but instead disprove all suspects until only the guilty suspect or suspects remain. The scene was not initially considered a crime scene until the blood evidence was found. This also means any evidence of a struggle at the end of the driveway my have been compromised by numerous vehicles entering and exiting the driveway. Assume the worst until you can rule it out in order to preserve the crime scene.
While the police were focusing on the Harris property as being the only crime scene, they may have been loosing key evidence. I didnít hear about any of the dealerships being searched. I didnít hear about the local scrap yard being searched. I didnít hear about an inventory discrepancy check at any of the dealerships to show there might have been a car missing from the lot. This is all speculation but in hindsight it would have been something to consider.
I do not think Brian Early would have harmed Michele. I think Brian cared for her too much, something Cal did not. I also think that even if Brian had murdered Michele, the body would have been found by now. Crimes of passion are harder to cover up because they are usually not well thought out. These crimes are committed on a spur of the moment and after the act is done the assailant has to figure out what to do with the victim and evidence linking them to the crime. I feel there would be way too much room for error even when the world was looking the other way. When Calvin stated to Michele, if he were to kill her, he wouldnít need a gun and that no one would find her body and that no one would be able to link the murder to him that is probably when he was developing a plan to take Micheleís life. The idea was already there, that is why he said what he did. Now he just needed to calculate exactly how and when to do it.
There are people that I am not too fond of and if they were to go missing I wouldnít be too upset if they were never found. On the other hand, if I were the main suspect in their disappearance, I would try my best to find them and to find the real truth to what happened if only to take the attention off of me. I would not just sit back and let others accuse me of a crime I knew I did not commit. I think Calvin was pretty confident he had pulled off the perfect crime and that no one would be able to link him to Micheleís disappearance so he probably did not feel the need to assist in the search. In fact he probably found it amusing that everyone was looking in the wrong places. Every day that passed he could feel a little more confident because he would know any possible evidence was being lost to the elements or forgotten.
Based on what I have read, heard, or seen I think I have given good explanations as to how Mr. Harris could have killed his wife Michele while leaving no evidence of a weapon or a body to ever be discovered. I donít believe there was any true blood evidence since the police didnít check the scrap yard. The weapon would have been Calvin himself abducting Michele and the car crusher used to crush the car her body was placed in. The body itself would now be lost forever after being crushed and melted down for recycle. There would be no need for anyone to help Mr. Harris and he wouldnít have to forever trust someone with a secret that could destroy his life. Sending cars from his dealerships to the local scrap yard may not be out of the ordinary. Therefore pulling off the act of murder in that way would not be very hard and once it was done and the body was gone he would be home free.
Angel Who Cares
02-14-2010, 12:34 AM
48 Hours Showcases Cal Harris Case
Story Created: Feb 12, 2010 at 5:42 PM EST
(Story Updated: Feb 12, 2010 at 5:44 PM EST )
The CBS news program 48 Hours Mystery shines a new spotlight on Tioga County this weekend. It updates "A Time to Kill" with an in-depth look at both of the Cal Harris murder convictions.
Kevin Tubbs was a key witness for the defense in the case against Cal Harris. Harris, of Spencer, was convicted twice of murdering his wife Michele in September, 2001. Her body has never been found. 48 Hours Mystery is profiling the case this weekend.
Complete with an interview with Kevin Tubbs. The first guilty verdict against Harris was thrown out after Tubbs came forward, claiming to have seen a woman fitting Michele's description, hours after prosecutors allege she was murdered.
In an exclusive, 48 Hours Mystery spoke with members of Michele's family. They say they're worried about Michele and Cal's 4 children. The Taylors say they barely see the children. And they want them to know their mother didn't just disappear.
Watch The Video: 48 Hours Showcases Cal Harris Case 1:57
The CBS news program 48 Hours Mystery shines a new spotlight on Tioga County this weekend. It updates "A Time to Kill" with an in-depth look at both of the Cal Harris murder convictions. Action News reporter Gabe Osterhout spoke with the 48 Hours correspondent about what viewers can expect.
48 Hours Mystery: A Time to Kill
A Mother Vanishes from her Upstate N.Y. Home the Day After 9/11; Was it the Perfect Time for a Crime?
Feb. 13, 2010
This story originally aired Nov. 10, 2007. It was updated on June 24, 2008 and Feb. 13, 2010.
*Article is Pages 1 - 5
Tioga County in upstate New York is the kind of place where people go to escape the problems of the big cities. So when 35-year-old Michele Harris disappeared, it mystified State Police Captain Mark Lester.
"A murder in Tioga County, it’s a pretty rare occurrence… For an actual person to go missing and not be able to find 'em is extremely rare," he said. "And normally, you would expect at some point along this way we're gonna find her … And we still haven't been able to find her remains." In the early morning hours of Sept. 12, 2001, Michele’s van was found at the end of her driveway.
"There was a gut feeling I think right from the get-go that something was wrong," Lester told "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Erin Moriarty.
Lester said getting a search under way wouldn’t be easy. "It's the day after 9/11. We had just sent 500 or 600 troopers to New York City the night before. Most of our canines had been sent to New York City. Most of our aircraft was working with New York City. So, trying to gear this thing up quickly wasn't happening as easy as it normally would." Adding to the pressure was that Michele was the wife of Cal Harris, a prominent businessman, from a wealthy and influential Tioga County family.
It was a fairytale romance, and no one was happier than Michele when she married Cal and became pregnant. By the time she was 33, Michele had four children under the age of 6. Cal provided well; the couple lived on a 252-acre estate, complete with a private lake.
Then Michele discovered Cal was having an affair. Cal and Michele tried to save the marriage, but in January 2001, after 10 years, Michele filed for divorce.
According to Shannon and Michele's brother, Greg Taylor, Cal did not want the divorce. Greg, said it was a bitter split as Michele fought with Cal over money - demanding a full accounting of his businesses. "There's no way that he was gonna let Michele take his family money. There was no way that that was gonna happen," Thayer explained. The situation was made even worse because the couple was forced by the courts to continued sharing the house.
On Sept. 12, 2001, the world was focused on the thousands missing in Manhattan. In Owego, N.Y., 196 miles away, there was another disappearance that might have been overlooked, if not for a call to state police investigator Sue Mulvey from Michele Harris' divorce lawyer. "And he said that she hadn't come home, which was totally out of character for her," Mulvey recalled. "And he was concerned for her well being."
What happened to 35-year-old Michele Harris, who vanished in the early morning of Sept. 12, 2001? If she’s dead, where is her body? Michele's family and friends weren’t the only ones who suspected Cal Harris killed his wife; so did the police, but there simply wasn’t much of a case.
Without a body or a murder weapon, there's no cause of death. In fact, there's no proof that Michele is dead at all. What the police did have were tiny drops of blood in the kitchen and the garage. And then there was Cal Harris himself - what he did after his wife disappeared and what he didn’t do. The local state police was now back to full strength and convinced Cal had buried Michele’s body, focused the search in and around the Harris property; they used helicopters in the air and dogs on the ground.
The search went on for a year, then two. After four years and no sign of Michele, investigators felt it was now or never. "The case wasn't getting any better. There were really no new significant leads or evidence coming in," Lester said. "But win, lose or draw, this case had to go to trial."
So on Sept. 30 2005, Cal Harris was arrested and charged with Michele’s murder. But how much of a case is there? Defense attorney Joe Cawley is confident Cal Harris will never be convicted. Nothing has quite shaken the calm of Owego, New York like the murder trial of Calvin Harris. It took nearly six years, but Harris’ trial finally began on May 21, 2007.
Harris, out on $500,000 bail, came to court from the house where authorities believe he murdered his wife almost six years earlier.
"It was blood spatter, so that it wouldn’t come from a bloody nose dripping or a cut finger," D.A. Keene explained. Henry Lee testified that the tiny drops of blood found on the kitchen rug - more than 40 of them - are more evidence of an assault. He testified that the blood stains were more consistent with spatter than dripped blood. And a square stain of blood on the rug that could have been left by the murder weapon. "People don’t drip in square patterns," explained Keene. Dr. Lee also told the jury that the blood -that looked bright red in photographs - had to be fresh. Harris Defense Attorney Bill Easton disputed that. "Dr. Henry Lee never examined that blood. He bases his opinion solely on his examination of photographs," he pointed out.
"So Dr. Lee saying it's within a few days we think is simply incredible. That may be his opinion, based on hunches, based on his experience. It’s not based on science," said Easton. And beyond the blood, said the defense attorneys, there is no other physical evidence to tie their client to Michele’s disappearance or death. There's no body and no murder weapon.
Harris also chose not to testify at trial. So on June 6, 2007, after two weeks of testimony, the case went to the jury. Will the holes in the case against Calvin Harris add up to reasonable doubt? His attorneys are counting on it.
With the case in the hands of the jury, Cal Harris' friends Tracey and Kevin O'Hara were feeling confident. "It seems like Cal would have to be Houdini to fulfill this crime the way the prosecution said he did," said Tracy. "I thought, finally, in just hopefully a few hours, maybe in a few days, this is finally gonna be behind Cal," Kevin said, believing his friend would be acquitted.
It took the jury less than four hours over two days to reach a verdict. Michele’s friend, Cindy Turner said, "When the verdict was read, you could feel the courtroom on the left of us - all of the Harris family just dropping. It was like dominos. And the crying from Cal." Guilty. Calvin Harris was convicted of the second-degree murder of his wife, Michele.
"I think I had to wait a minute to digest it," Michele's father, Gary Taylor said. "I mean this is the man that killed my daughter with his bare hands. He deserves everything he got." No one was more shocked than Cal’s attorney's, Bill Easton and Joe Cawley. Asked why he thinks the jury convicted Cal, Cawley tells Moriarty, "I don't know. I don’t. I wish I had a good answer for that."
Six of the jurors were willing to explain. To me the evidence was overwhelming," a male juror told Moriarty. "There was just so many little pieces that just come together to make the whole puzzle." They say that Cal's own actions gave him away. "Why wouldn’t you join in the search? Why wouldn't you stay home from work that day? Why wouldn't you be questioning those police saying, 'Hey, you know, let’s look here. Let’s try this, let’s do that,'" a female juror remarked. "He never did any of that."
And that little bit of blood played a big part. "If they wouldn’t have found any blood, he would have gotten away with it, I think," the male juror said. And if Michele was killed in her own home, the jurors said that eliminated the other possible suspects. "We followed the lines of evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt, we believe he did it," another female juror said.
But then, two months later - just days before Harris was to be sentenced - a new witness came forward. "I thought about it. And I say, 'You know what? Maybe you just need to step forward and tell 'em what you'd seen,'" Kevin Tubbs told Moriarty. "I think [Cal Harris] is innocent."
Tubbs, a local farmer, said six years earlier at dawn on the morning Michele disappeared, he drove past the Harris driveway and saw two vehicles. "There's a man at the back of the pickup. There's a woman at the side of the pickup. She was a blonde-haired woman. It appeared that she was crying. And it appeared that he was a little upset," he explained. "And it's a woman that I believe was Michele Harris." And the man who was with her? Tubbs described him as "a young man. He had a dark complexion. He had dark hair; he had a white T-shirt on."
But the judge believed Tubbs and threw out Cal Harris’ conviction.
District Attorney Jerry Keene vowed to prosecute him again. In the meantime, Harris was allowed to go home on bail for the next two years. Finally, in July 2009, Cal Harris once again went on trial for the murder of his wife. After a nearly three-week trial, it took the jury almost 10 hours to finally agree on a verdict. It was guilty. Again.
For Michele’s family, the verdict was bittersweet. "The kids are the ones that are going to suffer for all this, but it was Cal that did it. He’s the one that’s responsible and he needs to pay for what he’s done," said Gary Taylor. But after nine years, what they still want most is to find Michele and bury her. "I want Michele back and a little closure to this," Gary Taylor said. "And put her down with her mother and, and I'll be good."
*Much...Much....More At Link!
*Cal Harris was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He plans to appeal for a third trial.
*The four Harris children are living with Cal's aunt.
*The search for Michele's body continues.
Michele and Cal Harris with two of their four children.
Cal Harris on the stand during his second trial for the murder of his wife, Michele.
*I'll post the CBS YouTube link asap!!
Full Episode Video: A Time to Kill February 13, 2010 42:50
in Full: A mother of four vanishes from her upstate N.Y. home the day after 9/11. Was it the day for the perfect crime? Erin Moriarty reports
Cal Harris Trial: Appeal Denied
By Alice Maggiore
By Bryan Mercer
Jul 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM EDT
07-28-2011, 01:31 PM
I am relieved he will not get another trial. Maybe someday he will tell where Michele is.
Might someone kindly tell me how to become a verified local so that I may help with this case? I realize it is old, and I realize it is cold, but that is only more of a reason that someone needs to revitalize things. I'd love to help, but know not where to begin. Thanks!
12-26-2012, 06:21 PM
Sorry to be dumb, but could someone please link me to Michele's page on the Doe Network? I can't seem to find it.
03-01-2013, 03:29 PM
Sorry to be dumb, but could someone please link me to Michele's page on the Doe Network? I can't seem to find it.
I didn't see anything on the Doe Network.
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