Torture Death Shocks Illinois Town

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    I am way too naive, news like this still shocks and horrifies me.

    Torture Death Shocks Illinois Town

    By JIM SUHR – 18 hours ago
    ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Banished to the basement, the 29-year-old mother with a childlike mind and another baby on the way had little more than a thin rug and a mattress to call her own on the chilly concrete floor.

    Dorothy Dixon ate what she could forage from the refrigerator upstairs, where prosecutors say housemates used her for target practice with BBs, burned her with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away her skin.
    They torched what few clothes she had, authorities say, so she walked around naked. They often pummeled her with an aluminum bat or metal handle.

    Dixon — six months pregnant — died after weeks of abuse. Police have charged two adults, three teenagers and a 12-year-old boy with murder in the case that has repulsed many in this Mississippi River town.

    "This is heartbreaking," police Lt. David Hayes said. "It was almost as though they were making fun of the abuse they were administering. This woman was almost like living in a prison."

    Investigators put much of the blame on Michelle Riley, 35, who they said befriended Dixon but pocketed monthly Social Security checks she got because of her developmental delays.

    Dixon saw little, if any, of the money, Hayes said. For months she weathered the torment to keep a roof over her head and that of her year-old son, who weighed just 15 pounds when taken into state custody after his mom's death.

    "I've never seen an almost conspiratorial effort by a group of people to continuously torture someone until she finally died, then not really show any remorse," Hayes said. "It was just a slow, torturous, tragic way to die. I highly doubt Dorothy Dixon even knew she was dying."

    Riley, 43-year-old Judy Woods and three teenagers, including Riley's 15-year-old daughter, LeShelle McBride, are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated and heinous battery, intentional homicide of an unborn child, and unlawful restraint. Riley's 12-year-old son is charged as a juvenile.

    Riley, her daughter, Woods and 16-year-old Benny Wilson have public defenders who did not immediately return messages for comment. An 18-year-old defendant, Michael Elliott, planned to get his own attorney, court records show.
    All remain in jail on $1 million bond.

    Messages left with a Chicago-area sister of Dixon went unreturned, but neighbors, Hayes and newspaper accounts offer a mosaic of the months leading to Dixon's demise inside the small, white, blue-shuttered house.

    Riley and Dixon, police said, had lived in Quincy, a Mississippi River town about 100 miles north of St. Louis, Mo. Quincy is where Riley worked as a coordinator for a regional center that helps the developmentally disabled with housing and other services. Dixon was a client.

    For years, an impoverished Riley struggled raising her children. Her use of methamphetamine and cocaine brought drug convictions in 2002 and 2004. But with treatment and housing help from the Quincy YWCA, Riley put her life in order — so much that in February of last year, the Quincy Herald-Whig did a story on her comeback.

    Last summer, Dixon and Riley moved into the $800-a-month, three-bedroom rental in Alton about 15 miles north of St. Louis. From the start, neighbors Chad Hudson and Terri Brandt considered Riley trouble.

    "Michelle was evil, vindictive. Manipulative," said Hudson, convinced the teenagers were Riley's powerless minions.
    "She was angry, vicious," added Brandt.

    Riley considered Dixon her slave, making her rub Riley's feet until Riley fell asleep and forcing her to run naked around the house when she got in trouble, the neighbors said.
    "Being in their house was like being in a prison day room," Hudson said. "They just sat around the kitchen table and fought."

    There was little question that Riley ruled the roost.
    While doing fix-ups on the home last fall, landlord Steve Atkins saw Riley "barking orders" at the children and everyone else. Atkins joked to her whether he needed to call the Army and see if they wanted their drill sergeant back.

    "She didn't laugh about it at all," Atkins said. "Obviously, I hit a nerve."

    Atkins said Dixon generally kept to herself "but was always nice when she spoke to you." He saw no hints she'd been suffering or tortured.

    "I would have never, ever suspected something like this," he said. "It's definitely shocking."

    Police said Dixon was allowed out of the house but didn't say under what conditions. Hayes didn't know who the father of Dixon's fetus is.

    Hayes said things apparently came to a head Jan. 30, when investigators believe that Woods, during a dispute, beat Dixon on the head with an object Hayes wouldn't identify. The next day Woods found her dead.

    Hayes watched the autopsy and found her injuries disturbing. X-rays revealed roughly 30 BBs lodged in her. Deep-tissue burns covered about one-third of her body — her face, her chest, her arms and feet — and left her severely dehydrated. Her face and body showed signs of prolonged abuse. Many of her wounds were infected.

    None of the injuries, Hayes said, proved singly fatal to Dixon. Her system already was taxed by her unborn baby.

    "The autopsy sort of indicates her immune system just shut down," he said. "It was not capable of fending off any more."
    In the rental home's basement, Atkins said, he found spots of blood in a shower and tiny smears on the concrete floor, washer and dryer.

    "It's disgraceful the way this girl died, as kind and as sweet as this girl was," he said. "She didn't deserve to die the way she did. It's just terrible, senseless. It's just a total shame."




    Five people three of them still legally children, tortured a pregnant woman with developmental disabilities to death. Although the victim was black I have read nothing to lead me to believe this was racially motivated. It seems the original reason for taking her in, was greed. They wanted her social security checks. :12: How the torture started or why the mother enticed her children to participate in this is a mystery to law enforcement.

    As horrible as this is it's not that uncommon in the US to find people being intentionally vicious, cruel; and down right evil to other people.
    • Why do some people no longer have respect for human life?
    • More importantly why is this behavior increasing?
    • What can we do to stop it from happening again?
     
  2. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

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    njqt--I started to post this last night when I saw it. It is the MOST unbelievable thing I nearly ever read. Just heartbreaking in every way, and all these weird twists--with the Michelle woman getting off the methamphetamines. What I wasn't sure of was why Ms. Dixon was living with them. Was it just something she decided to do, like almost kidnapping her, but since she was a former client in the program, people just let her do it?
     
  3. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Group motivation, feeding off another's motive to want to cause harm. They need some serious psychological work.
     
  4. Guinea Pig

    Guinea Pig New Member

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    I cant believe this happens.

    In the state I live in we had a case called " The Bodies in the Barrels"

    8 victims where murdered - horrifically & put into barrells & hidden.

    I read the book later, a friend who is a policewoman gave it to me to read, I had to keep telling myself this is real.

    I dont care really what people do to themselves, but I care alot about what they do to others & to take advantage of some one like this ..........

    Do we really need people like this on the planet??

    & how disturbing that teenage girls would get involved. Can they really be rehabilitated?

    Its cases like this that warrant server penalties & NO lienency.
     
  5. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

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    YOu're not being naive, this is a new low in something macabre. Some other parts of the story don't make sense, though, like the landlord and neighbors would have seen more than they did and the 15-year-old son somehow seems to not have been able to fight the murderers off either.
     
  6. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    I have never understood how people can be that cruel to others. Reading that makes my skin crawl. How someone finds enjoyment out of torturing someone to death is beyond me. What makes me mad is that they will probably be declared insane and the taxpayers will keep them up the rest of their poor pathetic lifes. I'd love to flip the switch on one of these losers.
     
  7. omgiswatdeysay

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    Thats such a fucked up event. A family member of mine lives real close to where that happened, they couldn't believe that it actually happened. There are some sick individuals in this world. I mean really..how can a person do things like that to another? What is running through their minds when they ruin someone like that? Slavery? It wasn't even cheap labor that they were after, it was pure, simple, and cruel hatred. Shit like that makes me sick to my stomach..
     
  8. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

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    Michelle Riley, at least, ought to get life imprisonment and probably will. There's no rehabilitating her.
     
  9. D_one and done

    D_one and done New Member

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    damn i felt this one in my chest as i read it.

    i think that the roots of these kinds of problems begin in the family. good, nurturing parents are in short supply. some parents nowadays dont know how to raise children with standard and limits and respect for themselves and others. think about it: theres no way that a twelve year old boy would consider torturing a woman of his own volition. who else would he learn this from? blame on the violent media? perhaps, but still it should be up to the parents to establish right and wrong. when you have parents, who are supposed to teach and guide, that perpetuate incorrect actions, who else is there to tell a young child what is right and wrong? these problems, acquired and not corrected as a child, grow and fester to produce people that are capable of these kinds of things. at least thats one theory. there are a lot of factors to consider in every case, and the only bottom line i see is that some people are just plum crazy.
     
  10. camper joe

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    What sick twisted minds these people must have.
     
  11. Principessa

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    I agree. I wouldn't trust most people with a goldfish let alone a child, yet there they are having them every day. :frown1:

    I'm not so sure about that anymore. No 12 yr. old in your family or mine would do that but what about these other dysfunctional freaks? Who knows what they are teaching and not teaching their children.

    You don't learn this type of heinous behavior from Grand Theft Auto or Halo3. This is home learning or lack there of.


    Of course it's the parents responsibility to provide more than a roof, 3 hots, and a cot for their children. Yet many barely manage to do that. :frown1: Since many of the parents are morally and ethically bankrupt it's little surprise that they just allow their offspring to grow up without any regard as to teaching them the right path to tread.


    It's a good theory and I believe it to be true. Many of the people that grow up in situations such as this one end up with a personality disorder.


    there are a lot of factors to consider in every case, and the only bottom line i see is that some people are just plum crazy.
    I have so many questions on this case:
    Where was the victims family? Did they kick her out because she was developmentally delayed or because she was pregnant? She was pregnant! Who was the father? Was she raped? How & why was this Michelle person allowed to just take home one of her clients?
     
  12. checkin

    checkin Well-Known Member

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    Some years ago, maybe 10, in Addsion Ill. a woman was murdered and her unborn baby cut out from her dying body. The baby lived. The killers tried to cover it up, while trying to keep the baby as their own. We hear about this sick stuff because of the age we live in. Before the internet, alot of this stuff stayed local, and didn't reach out into the world. Just my 2 cents.
     
  13. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    wish I hadn't read this ...
     
  14. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Geez. I cried when I read this. That poor, poor woman.
     
  15. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    I wondered the same things myself.
     
  16. B_cigarbabe

    B_cigarbabe New Member

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    She must have really wonderful parents Michelle Riley.
    cigarbabe:saevil:
     
  17. Gillette

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    This question almost answers itself.

    Door #1 - 18 yr old boy
    Door #2 - 16 yr old boy
    Door #3 - 12 yr old boy

    Take your pick.

    People are scum.
     
  18. transformer_99

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    These are people that after the guilt is a mere formality of declaring and the sentencing is handed down, I could/would want to be the one to terminate their existences. These are the type of instances where the death penalty is clearly warranted and I have no issues with it. I don't even want to hear their excuses/motivations in a court of law. These are broken eggs and never will be fixed mentally. Prison as their life support system needs to be unplugged.
     
  19. B_jacknapier

    B_jacknapier New Member

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    Really, people have never had respect for human life. This behavior is not increasing. We can not do anything short of constant surveillance to stop this sort of thing from happening again.
     
  20. JC8

    JC8 Member

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    You are correct, sir.

    My brief time in law school exposed me to many a casebook filled with true stories far more gruesome and odd than any book of fiction or movie.
     
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