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  • Rasmussen-Ruetten, Sherri: (February 7, 1957 - February 24, 1986): Sherri Rae Rasmussen was just 29-year-old when she was brutally murdered in 1986. She was bludgeoning and then shot to death in her home just 3 months after getting married. She worked as a nursing director at Glendale Adventist Medical Center located in Glendale, California. Her death went unsolved for nearly 24 years until DNA evidence from saliva found in a bite mark on Sherri's body pointed to the murderer as being the ex-girlfriend of her new husband. The ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Lazarus, was a 26-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. At the time of the murder, police believed that her death was related to a botched burglary attempt with two things being missing, her new car and ..... her marriage license - a presumably odd thing to steal? Read the story about the death of Sherri Rae Rasmussen as a 48 Hour Mystery - "One of Their Own."

  • Schuler, Diane: (1973 - July 26, 2009):  Diane Schuler was a devoted wife and mother of two beautiful children who was involved in a two vehicle collision on the Taconic State Parkway near Briarcliff Manor, New York, which killed eight people including herself. According to reports, Ms. Schuler was driving a 2003 minivan from a campground trip and went the wrong way on the Parkway traveling 1.7 miles in the northbound lanes before colliding with 2002 Chevrolet Tracker killing three men who were inside. Controversy remains on why Ms. Schuler was traveling the wrong way on the Parkway; however, he autopsy report shows that she had a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.19 and had THC, the main psychoactive substance found in marijuana, in her bloodstream at the time of the accident. Her death was the result of multiple internal and external injuries. There were many witnesses including bystanders at the campground, a McDonald's restaurant, and a gas station who testified that Ms. Schuler appeared well and and did not appear intoxicated. However, in the  hours leading up to the crash, there were reports by other drivers on the Parkway that Ms. Schuler's vehicle was driving erratically, and tailgating and honking it's horn at other vehicles. Ms. Schuler was also seen on several accounts  bent over at the side of the road appearing that she was vomiting.  Also, in the minutes prior to the accident, there was a call placed to Warren Hance, who is Diane Schuler's brother, by one of his daughters. Emma Hance stated,  “Daddy, there is something wrong with Aunt Diane and she is having trouble seeing and she is talking funny, she is slurring." At that time the vehicle was parked on the side of the road just past the Tappan Zee Bridge tollbooth. Mr. Hance called the cell phone back and told his sister to stay on the side of the road and not to travel any further until he arrived. Moments later, the car was spotted traveling in the wrong direction in the passing lane on the northbound side of the Parkway, and then subsequently collided with the other vehicle. Killed in the crash included Ms. Schuler, her daughter, Erin;  her nieces,  Emma, Alyson, and Kate Hance; and the three gentlemen in the other vehicle, Michael Bastardi, his son 49-year-old Guy Bastardi, and their friend, 74-year-old Dan Longo. Diane Schuler's son, Bryan, survived the accident; however, sustained severe injuries. It was reported that Ms. Schuler did consume alcohol on the camping trip, but not on the day of the accident. It was also reported that she used marijuana. This statement was confirmed by her husband as he told investigators that she did use marijuana occasionally. Her sister-in-law reported that she was a heavy drinker and smoked marijuana regularly. It was noted that  Ms. Schuler had a history of diabetes, and also suffered from an abscess shortly before the accident; however, the autopsy itself did not report any 'medical reason' for the crash. View the whole story of the accident View the Autopsy Report  View the Police Report

  • Sousa, Carlos: (September 26, 1990 - December 25, 2007)  Carlos Sousa was an unfortunate young gentleman who was taunted and was mauled by Tatina the Tiger, at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day in 2007. The following document contains autopsy report and toxicology report of Mr. Sousa and the tiger, in addition to the police report of the incident. The manner of his death was listed as blunt force injuries of the head and neck, many punctures and scratches to his head, neck and chest, skull and spinal fractures, and a cut to his jugular vein.

  • West, Donda:  (July 12, 1949 - November 10, 2007) Dr. Donda C Williams-West was the mother of rapper, singer, and record producer, Kanye West. She died tragically from complications resulting from plastic surgery that she had undergone. The procedures involved both abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a "liposuction," and breast reduction.  Her own physician, Dr. Andre Aboolian had advised West against having this type of surgery for fear that he health condition at the time would put her at risk for a heart attack. She was referred to another physician for the surgery. The autopsy report lists several contributing factors as the cause of death including coronary artery disease, aspiration of emesis causing pneumonia, bandaging of her torso resulting in constriction, abnormal hemoglobin variant (not sickle cell), and the use of pain medication.   She is buried in Arlington Memory Gardens in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

  • Whitaker, Skyla:  (April 5, 1997 - June 8, 2008) Skyla was a young girl who was tragically murdered along with her friend, Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker. She and Taylor was gunned down by a unknown assailant/assailants as they walked along a rural dirt road in Oklahoma heading to Taylor's house.  Skyla's body was found alongside the body of her friend in a ditch. She was shot multiple times in the upper extremities, chest, abdomen and head.  On December 9, 2011, 25-year-old Oklahoma man, Kevin Sweat, of Henryetta, Oklahoma, was charged with the murders of Whitaker and her friend, Taylor Paschal-Placker.

  • Whitman, Charles (June 24, 1941 - August 1, 1966) Charles Whitman was a student at the University of Texas at Austin who went on a rampage and began a killing spree from The Main Building on campus. The Main Building also known as "The Tower" is at the center of the University of Texas campus and spans 28 floors. On August 1, 1996, Whitman killed 13 individuals and wounded 32 others during the campus rampage.  He was perched in the 27th floor observation deck which allowed him clear view of the surrounding region. The campus rampage was stopped when Austin police officers, Houston McCoy and  Ramiro Martinez, shot and killed Whitman on the observation deck. In addition to the campus victims, Whitman murdered his mother and wife the evening before the campus events. In a suicide letter left before the shootings, Whitman wished that an autopsy be performed on his body. the autopsy revealed fatal gunshot wounds to the head, neck, and chest, in addition to a brain tumor located just above the brain stem. Charles Whitman is buried in Section 16 of the Hillcrest Memorial Park in West Palm Beach, Florida. (More information can be found at Wikipedia)

  • Wuennenberg, Austin: (Death: July 5, 2009)  Austin Wuennenberg was a Cast member of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and operator of the Purple Monrail the evening of July 5, 2009 when he was killed. According to the NTSB, at about 2 a.m. on July 5th, a Walt Disney World monorail train, designated the Pink train, backed into another monorail train, designated the Purple train, near the Ticket and Transportation Center monorail station. The operator of the Purple train was fatally injured; the six passengers on that train were treated at the scene. The operator of the Pink train, who was transported to the hospital, treated and released, was the only one aboard that train at the time of the collision. Prior to the accident, the Pink train had been instructed to detrain all passengers at the TTC station and then to operate without passengers past the station and a switch to a point where the train could be backed through the track switch from the Epcot loop over to the Magic Kingdom loop. The operator of the Pink train moved the train past the track switch and stopped. The Pink train was then instructed to back through the track switch, towards the Magic Kingdom loop. At about the same time, the Purple train, which was inbound to the TTC station, was instructed to stop at the station to detrain passengers. For undetermined reasons that are currently under investigation, the switch had not changed position needed to allow the Pink train to be routed to the Magic Kingdom loop, which resulted in the Pink train backing down the same track it had just come from, putting it on a collision course with the Purple train. The Pink train passed through the TTC station and struck the Purple train while it was outside the station. There are indications that the operator of the Purple train had brought the train to a stop and had attempted to put the train in reverse prior to the collision. To this point in the investigation, no anomalies or malfunctions have been found with the automatic train stop system or with any mechanical components of the switch or with either of the trains.




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