Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers are demanding a new trial over allegations of jury tampering
Thousands of true crime enthusiasts, top investigators, media personalities and survivors have traveled to Orlando, Florida to attend the CrimeCon 2023 conference this weekend.
The Independent will be on hand for the event, which will include discussions with Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys; and Kerri Rawson, the daughter of BTK serial killer Dennis Rader.
The Murdaugh lawyers announced during their appearances at the convention that the family had no money to finance a second trial, although the lawyers offered to continue on a pro bono basis.
Additionally, Murdaugh lawyers suggested during a question-and-answer session that they may have identified a potential alternative suspect in the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
Meanwhile, murder victim Gabby Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, thanked internet sleuths for bringing attention to her daughter’s case.
“It’s thanks to all of you that we found her,” Nichole Schmidt said Saturday.
Key players in Alex Murdaugh’s murder conviction among speakers at CrimeCon 2023
Alex Murdaugh’s defense attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, spoke about the infamous South Carolina murder trial at CrimeCon in Orlando on Saturday.
The lawyers agreed 20/20s Eva Pilgrim for a wide-ranging conversation about “the criminal history of the South that captivated the world.”
Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife Maggie and son Paul earlier this year.
“This CrimeCon exclusive gives attendees a look into the defense strategies of Murdaugh’s legal team and the decision to call Alex as a witness – what many are calling a pivotal moment in the trial,” a promotional copy reads.
“The couple will share a first-hand account of the unexpected twists and turns, the challenges they faced, their time with Alex Murdaugh and what might come next.”
Attorneys filed a motion for a mistrial earlier this month, alleging jury tampering in Murdaugh’s murder case and requesting a new trial.
Andrea BlancoSeptember 24, 2023 02:00
Gabby’s parents and stepparents read excerpts from people who were affected by Gabby’s story
“Because of Gabby …,” her mother Nichole Schmidt read through tears on Saturday.
The short excerpt goes on to say from the survivor’s perspective that she never went back to the house because of Gabby, where it turned out her partner had a gun to kill her.
Gabby’s mother added: “She’s a hero, she’s saved so many lives. Even if she’s no longer here. She’s a hero.”
Andrea BlancoSeptember 24, 2023 01:00
ICYMI: What does CrimeCon offer?
The three-day conference offers diverse panels, immersive experiences and the opportunity to network with the greatest minds in the true crime genre.
Special guests will speak on a variety of topics including forensics, criminology, victimology, DNA and more. The sessions are led by experts trained in their field who provide information on the latest developments.
Investigators who solved decades-old unsolved cases reveal their secrets about their trial. Families of crime victims and survivors will share their stories, many of whom are seeking justice and supporting the true crime community.
Andrea BlancoSeptember 24, 2023 12:00 am
Dateline correspondent Josh Mankiewicz named CrimeCon mayor
The beloved journalist spoke on the panel discussion: Beyond the Headlines: Examining the Aftermath of Carlee Russell’s Fake Disappearance. Curiously, event attendees referred to Mr. Mankiewicz as the “Mayor of CrimeCon.”
Ms. Russell made headlines across the country after she disappeared on July 13 following a 911 call in which she claimed she saw a toddler running on the side of a highway in Alabama. But when police arrived at the scene, neither Ms Russell nor the toddler were to be found.
Ms Russell’s story was later debunked by police and she was charged.
Andrea BlancoSeptember 23, 2023 11:00 p.m
Missing family of geologist Daniel Robinson at CrimeCon 2023
Mr. Robinson, who earned a degree in archeology from the College of Charleston, disappeared on June 23, 2021, after appearing disoriented at a construction site and allegedly driving into the desert without explanation.
His behavior had been somewhat different in the weeks before his disappearance, but there had been no trace of him since; The geologist’s car was recovered almost a month after his disappearance, along with his phone, wallet, keys and the clothes he was last seen.
Mr. Robinson’s sister and his father, David Robinson, sit at a table at the crime convention and hand out leaflets with information about the missing geologist’s case.
Andrea BlancoSeptember 23, 2023 10:20 p.m
Special CrimeCon campaign raises nearly $9,000 for Gabby Petito Foundation
The foundation was founded by Gabby’s parents and stepparents, Nichole and Jim Schmidt and Joe and Tara Petito, to turn the family’s tragedy into meaning.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the warning signs of domestic violence and to support organizations that provide immediate and concrete help to survivors.
The Gabby Petito Foundation is CrimeCon’s CLUE honoree for the event’s Crimefighter of the Year award.
Andrea BlancoSeptember 23, 2023 9:50 p.m
The BTK murderer’s daughter reveals what she discussed with her father in prison
Kerri Rawson confronted her father Dennis Rader, also known as BTK, after it was revealed he was under investigation in at least two cases, years after he was convicted of 10 murders.
Ms Rawson, who advocates for victims and survivors, said she remained calm and then also pushed to talk about his crimes.
She said her father urged her to talk about Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger. They also discussed the two cases involving Rader, including Cynthia Kinney, who disappeared from a laundromat in 1976.
Ms Rawson said she told her father: “I love you, but this is out of my hands…”
“If you have done nothing wrong, I will do everything I can to protect you. But once you do, I will come back and nail you to the wall,” Ms Rawson said. “He’s been playing games for years, with me and with you…”
Ms Rawson also called on true crime fans in the audience to write letters to her father.
Andrea Cavallier September 23, 2023 9:29 p.m
Kerri Rawson receives a standing ovation as she takes the stage at CrimeCon
Kerri Rawson, the BTK killer’s daughter, took the stage on Saturday to talk about her father.
The huge ballroom at the Orlando Hotel was full, with almost every seat taken.
According to her website, she recently announced that she is working with investigators in various states to help them take a new look at cases that may be connected to her father.
On the Surviving the Survivor podcast, she said she confronted her father for the first time in 18 years and visited him in prison twice.
Andrea Cavallier September 23, 2023 8:41 p.m
Kerri Rawson opens up about being informed about her father’s murders
BTK murderer Dennis Rader’s daughter Kerri Rawson is one of the speakers at CrimeCon 2023, taking place this weekend in Orlando.
Ms. Rawson, a New York Times Best-selling author you’ve already spoken to The Independent about several high-profile criminal cases, talked about her journey to coming to terms with her father’s crimes and finding meaning in her work.
“18 years ago I never thought I would survive the night after being told my dad had BTK,” Ms Rawson tweeted on Saturday. “Nine years ago I started broadcasting my heart to the world. Today I’m talking to Joel Waldman @PodcastSTS & Laura Ingle @lauraingle about the current investigation into my father’s unsolved case.”
Andrea BlancoSeptember 23, 2023 8:20 p.m
Parents of murder victims attend CrimeCon 2023 to talk about their love stories
Parents of victims in high-profile cases gathered at CrimeCon to honor the lives of their loved ones and share their journey through the unimaginable tragedies they have experienced.
Murdered Gabby Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, and missing Daniel Robinson’s father shared a selfie on Twitter.
Ms. Schmidt led the effort to hold Brian Laundrie and his family accountable after their daughter disappeared before he was found dead by suicide. Meanwhile, Mr. Robinson has campaigned for greater attention to his son’s case and continues to do so more than two years after his disappearance.
Andrea BlancoSeptember 23, 2023 8:00 p.m