Cold Case Pinned on Ohio Soccer Mom
May 5, 2005 -- Melinda Raisch of Columbus, Ohio, hardly fits anyone's stereotype of a murderer.
Bill Wall, a police detective from the small town of Olathe, Kan., described Raisch, a mother of two, as a soccer mom living in luxury. "She's just your perfect neighbor next door," he said.
But this week, Raisch was convicted in the coldest murder case in Olathe. Twenty-three years ago, her first husband, David Harmon, was bludgeoned to death in his bed.
Raisch claimed two intruders had attacked Harmon looking for the keys to the bank where he worked. She claimed the intruders also hit her, and when she regained consciousness an hour later, she fled to her neighbors to report the crime.
Police soon found holes in the story and began to suspect she might know more. But they were unable to make any progress, and with few additional leads, the case went cold.
"This case was sort of an open wound to this community of Olathe," said Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison.
"It was a very, very brutal homicide, it was a senseless murder of a young man that had a lot going for him. Very religious, responsible good guy
And I'm betting that after all these years she'd quit looking over her shoulder. She was home free...or so she thought. Now she has to give up "the good life" and rough it. I just hate she got by with it for so long.
Interesting story and thanks for the link!
Originally Posted by cathieq
You are right when you say that she thought that she was home free.
She murdered him in a very brutal way instead of divorcing.
This is from page #2 of the link;
Then, on Feb. 28, 1982, police got a frantic call. Melinda said she and her husband had been sleeping when two black men burst into the room, and began bludgeoning her husband right there next to her in bed.
She said she gave the intruders the bank keys, and then they knocked her unconscious. She said she woke up an hour later, stumbled to her next-door neighbors and had them call the police.
When police arrived, several things struck them as peculiar. Melinda did not seem too concerned about her husband, they said, and she asked her neighbors to call Mangelsdorf, not her parents or her pastor. When Mangelsdorf arrived, just a few minutes later, his hair was wet even though it was the middle of the night.
The small, religious community was shaken by the news. It was a brutal crime David Harmon, then 25 years old, was beaten so savagely that his brain matter was splattered on the walls.
Police hunted for clues and time and again they found themselves turning to Melinda Harmon and Mangelsdorf as the only two people with any possible link or motive. But they could never find any physical evidence to support their suspicions.
Followed by a cloud of suspicion, both eventually left town.
The mills of the gods grind slowly, but.....
This was on TV not too long ago - Dateline or one of those shows. Pretty weird - she was having an emotional affair with Mangalesdorf (no sex or divorce because of religion), but after hubby is murdered they both went their separate ways, never hooked up. She remairred, seemed to live a good life. He remairred, had several children & his wife was pregnant when they went to trial (felt bad for her, seemed like a good woman), also seemed to live a good life.
Very good show, very interesting how LE was able to get the truth. I believe it was Mangalesdorf who did the actual slaying - but she was there & it was planned by both.
I saw that show... I think it was 20/20. I seem to recall that when the trial started, Mangalesdorf changed his plea to guilty to avoid the trial.
At least these people didn't get away with it... justice prevailed in the end.
Originally Posted by Marie
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.