Ten Worst St. Louis Crimes of 2013

Categories: Crime

7. John Paulsen: Hotel Employee Shot Dead While Driving Home

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John Paulsen's parents believe their son (left) was simply in the "wrong place" at the "wrong time" when he came across Lorenzo Milton.
John Paulsen, the popular and charismatic catering director at the Chase Park Plaza, was driving home from work early in the morning of July 21 when he pulled over in south St. Louis to put the roof up on his convertible. That's when prosecutors say 22-year-old Lorenzo Earl Milton came up to Paulsen and demanded his personal property before fatally shooting him in the chest and arm. Milton wouldn't be caught for another three months. Milton's older brother is also wrapped up in the crime. According to police Ronald Milton, 29, tried to stop a witness from "snitching" on his brother by pulling out a gun and wondering aloud if he should kill the informant.


6. Mother Posts Facebook Warning Before Being Stabbed to Death

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Michelle Rowling had a bad premonition about her ex's release from jail. Unfortunately, she was right.
When Michelle Rowling heard her abusive on-again-off-again boyfriend was being released from jail, she posted to Facebook a terrifyingly accurate warning: "So if anything happens to me tonight, just let my kids know I loved them dearly and tell my momma I love her," she wrote online. Five days later police found the 25-year-old mother stabbed to death in her East St. Louis, Illinois, apartment, adding a new level of horror to her final Facebook premonition: "The police....LOL I'm [going to be] gone 'bout the time they come." Her boyfriend, Montrell Cooper, turned himself in a few days later. Police say Cooper slit Rowling's throat and beat her up on a previous occasion, but the Illinois attorney's office couldn't lock him up when Rowling testified on his behalf and chose not to cooperate with law enforcement.


5. James Crocker: Landowner Kills Canoer For Peeing on His Property

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James Crocker: Don't piss him off.

Cue the banjo-picking tune from Deliverance. A float trip on the Meramec River took a tragic turn in July when a property owner -- allegedly angry about a man urinating on his shoreline -- pulled out a gun and shot the alleged trespasser in the head. The suspect, 59-year-old Steelville resident James Crocker, told cops, "It's my property, and I was going to protect it." But Loretta Dart, the widow of victim Paul Dart, told media that her husband was just trying to defuse the situation. "My husband tried to calm the guy down," she told reporters. "He went to the guy's arm to try to stop him, but the guy jerked back and popped him in the face." She added: "I hope he rots in Hell. I hope the man that did this to my husband rots in Hell."


4. Justin DeRyke: Uncle Murders Niece After She "Scratched" Him

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Justin DeRyke had acted suspiciously ever since his niece's disappearance.
Willow Long disappeared from her Matson, Illinois, home on September 7. Days later the seven-year-old's body was found wrapped in plastic under a bridge, her throat slashed and her hands covered in defensive wounds. Her uncle, Justin DeRyke, had acted strangely from the moment the girl went missing. Ultimately the 22-year-old DeRyke gave police a bizarre and disturbing confession in which he admitted to stabbing the little girl while claiming it began as an accident. DeRyke told authorities that he chased Willow outside their house after she had scratched him, drawing blood. During the chase the girl tripped and fell, causing a stick to impale her neck. He said that "he had to end her suffering," according to a probable-cause report. DeRyke then allegedly got a knife, slashed her throat and stabbed her in the heart about five times.

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26 comments
Almas Farmhouseantiques
Almas Farmhouseantiques

I think we need to be reminded and we need to do something Like take back the country from the 1 percent so people have opportunity to advance themselves. We need to retake our civil rights and get rid of the democrats and the Republicans who have sold us out.

Marshall Patrick
Marshall Patrick

More and more good citizens are going to be packin heat, when these shit bums try to hold them up/ quick stops/rape/car jack/ Metro Link robing's ect. ect. it's time we band together and show these thugs we are a Force to be feared in 2014........GOD bless us all with good health and a Blessed HAPPY LIFE

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

There were a lot more than ten murders this year. Each as bad as the other.


Does killing someone over $30 make it worse than had he gotten $50 from the register? What morals does this speak of the RFT editorial staff? Murder over $30 or $30G is murder. Does the RFT understand the murdering for $30G? Please explain how that is much better than than the murder over $30.

Kevin Griffin
Kevin Griffin

What a horrible article. Why would you want to remind people of this? Get it together RFT.

Blake Harris
Blake Harris

Dannielle Gillam, you don't give warning shots, that's the kind of shit you go to prison for, if you fear for your life you shoot em right in the face or chest

Brian Bradley
Brian Bradley

I had a hunch that John Paulsen's murder would be on this list. I hope justice prevails in his case. He is dearly missed.

Dannielle Gillam
Dannielle Gillam

Do the research and you'll see what I mean.. also everyone on the bank was drinking. And the warning shots made them practically charge him with rocks in their hands to hit him with. Also I should point out that the wife said they were up in the woods on his posted private property when they were told to leave.. and they argued and refused and they became violent.. so forgive me if I am wrong (which I am almost 100% that I'm not ) but when did self defense become a crime? Oh yeah and his mugshot that you see was also taken after his wounds were healed. Read the initial police reports he had cuts to his face and had his own blood on him as well as splatter from the man he shot

Dannielle Gillam
Dannielle Gillam

Not saying anything to start anything.. but the crocker deal is pretty messed up seeing as he was assaulted with rocks and was facing 40+ people on the bank and fired 3 warning shots. Then he shot the person who charged at him to take the gun... plus his wife changed her story from the initial report to the one she told in the court room.... I'm not a licensed expert only because I dropped out of school because I couldn't afford my final semester. However, I know the county this happened in well and it was high profile and the county is notorious for saying guilty before actually investigating the facts and the witnesses

Bill Taden
Bill Taden

Not much better than shake & bake RFT...

Sarah Anne
Sarah Anne

Disturbing is an understatement!! Our society is f'd up!!

Kristin Payeur
Kristin Payeur

Ok the one about the dog is horrible......but the one about the four month old baby is probably the worst thing I have ever read!!!

Dalton Mason
Dalton Mason

Um....aren't there always a ton of murders in stl? Just sayin.

Emily Phillips
Emily Phillips

The woman who burned the dog needs to be burnt herself.

Matt Weaver
Matt Weaver

Darreal Fentress fatally stabbed Kyle Roberts in the neck at Lacledes landing and was only charged with voluntary manslaughter but the news barely batted an eye towards it.

Jeanne Miller Kiefer
Jeanne Miller Kiefer

I'm sure she's out free and already torturing another animal. No rights for animals at all..... makes me sick

Craig Mitchell
Craig Mitchell

I don't think I need to see that burned dog photo, never again. I don't even know what happened to that woman, because I didn't want to chance poisoning my life again by viewing the photo of what she did to that dog. If she didn't get the appropriate punishment, I suspect a big wall of kharma is gonna fall on her at some point. That's usually the way it works.

3419Ferguson
3419Ferguson

As a psychologist, I have to say that Jack Kevorkian did give the elderly relief from their pain since they are good people and God will still take them to heaven but Adrienne Martin is a devil and she is sick and she will be in hell in a handbasket and in prison, she will hang herself anyway so just save taxpayer's money by giving her a rope so she will hang herself in a cell. Things need to make sense instead of playing politics and wasting America's money. Don't you agree?

3419Ferguson
3419Ferguson

Adrienne Martin mentioned that she believed in satan and that she tried to commit suicide by jumping off a building recently. It is sad that this is the world in which we live in.

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