In researching this old case I noticed a number of similarities to the Casey Anthony case.
Mel Ignatow forced Brenda Schaefer to strip, photographed her in suggestive positions, raped, sodomized and beat her before killing her with chloroform.
PT alleged that chloroform was used on Caylee.
Former girlfriend, MaryAnn Shore led the investigators to the grave site, where Schaefer's badly decomposed body had been buried for over a year. The autopsy showed she had been abused, but any DNA evidence, from blood and semen, had decomposed.
Caylee's body was badly decomposed after lying in a flooded woods for 6 months.
One section of the recorded conversation between Ignatow and Shore contained the following dialogue by Ignatow: "That place we dug is not shallow. Beside that one area right by where that safe is does not have any trees by it." In court, the jury decided that one word on the tape was "safe", not "site", as the police believed. This led the jurors to conclude that the discussion involved a buried safe.
Jurors got hung up on single pieces of evidence instead of putting it all together as a unit.
Furthermore, Shore, the prosecution's star witness, wore a tiny miniskirt to court and laughed during her testimony, undermining her credibility in the eyes of the jury. The defense argued that Shore, not Ignatow, had killed Schaefer.
Casey's DT undermined and slandered witnesses. When GA became angry because JB badgered him on the witness stand jurors took his reaction to mean guilt.
In light of these considerations and their own desire to get the trial over with before the coming Christmas holiday, the jury acquitted Ignatow.
Reports are that someone on the CA jury had a cruise planned a few days later during the week following July 4th. They took less than 11 hours to come to a decision of 'Not Guilty'. In that short time they ate meals, took breaks, and were supposed to go over their Instructions as well as the evidence.
The judge was so embarrassed by this verdict given, that he took the unusual step of writing a letter of apology to the Schaefer family. Schaefer's parents died before the trial began. According to some family and friends, their deaths were premature due to the heartbreak and stress of Schaefer's murder.
Casey ripped her family apart on the witness stand and I believe that GA and CA will divorce due to the stress.
Ignatow was brought to trial for perjury in his grand jury testimony. Knowing that he could not be retried for the murder because of double jeopardy, Ignatow confessed in court at his perjury trial. He turned to Schaefer's brothers in court and said that he had killed her, but that she had died peacefully.
One can only hope Casey winds up back in jail for something.
Ignatow served five years of an eight year sentence for perjury. The state later prosecuted him on perjury charges for testimony he gave in a case against Schaefer's employer for threatening to kill Ignatow if he didn't tell where Schaefer was. He was sentenced to nine years for that perjury charge.
Casey was only convited of Lying To LE and will walk out of jail with 'time served'. She may be appealing even that light sentence!
Mel Ignatow was released from prison for the second time in December 2006. He returned yet again to Louisville, living in a home four miles from the house where he murdered Brenda Schaefer.
Though I'm sure Casey will never return to live in Florida, she may rekindle the relationship with CA.
Whew! This was very time consuming. I hope there are no typos!