Shocking crime stories rocked the country in 2018, from Chris Watts’ brutal triple murder of his wife and two young daughters and the kidnapping of Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs to Bill Cosby getting thrown in prison for sexual assault and Redmond O’Neal facing decades in prison for attempted murder. Click through RadarOnline.com's gallery to read more.
Cold-blooded Colorado dad Chris Watts shocked the nation when he confessed to the August murders of his wife, Shanann, 34, and their two young daughters, Bella, 4, and 3-year-old Celeste. Watts, 33, had strangled Shanann and smothered the girls before he buried his wife in shallow grave in a crude oil field where he worked and stuffed their kids’ bodies in oil tanks.
It emerged that before the brutal crimes, Watts had been cheating on Shanann with multiple women, including Nichol Kessinger, who he facetimed with from the crime scene hours after the murders.
Shannan’s parents, Sandra and Frank Rzucek, recently gave an interview and described their horror at what their son-in-law had done. Sandra called Chris the “devil,” confiding, “We did scream at God, yes we did. The devil comes to you in any shape, size and form and can be transformed into anything.” Frank mused about how Watts became the man who killed his family: “That’s the big word – why? He must have snapped because there’s nothing else I could figure out what happened to him.” Watts was sentenced in November to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Iowa college student, Mollie Tibbetts, 20, was found dead in a cornfield one month after she went for a jog on July 18. An autopsy revealed she died from “multiple sharp force injuries.” According to the documents obtained by Radar, when Cristhian Rivera allegedly spotted Tibbetts running in the secluded town of Brooklyn, Iowa, he parked his Chevy Malibu, got out and ran alongside her.
Rivera later told police he “got mad” and “blocked his memory” of what happened. Prosecutors claimed Rivera “caused the death of Mollie Tibbetts, that he acted with malice aforethought, premeditation, willfulness, deliberation, and specific intent to kill.” He has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
The kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs and the brutal murder of her parents has continued to baffle and frustrate law enforcement. Closs disappeared from her family home in Barron, Wisconsin, during the late hours of Oct. 15 when her parents, Denise and James, were shot to death in what investigators call an “execution-style murder.”
Though the killer and kidnapper has still not been caught and Closs’ whereabouts remain a mystery, the case took a bizarre turn in late October after Kyle Jaenke-Annis, 32, was caught and arrested for sneaking into the Closs home and stealing the teen’s clothing, including her underwear. He was charged with felony burglary and felony bail jumping, according to documents obtained by Radar.
Reality star Lyric McHenry was found dead in the Bronx early in the morning on Aug. 14 following a night of partying in Manhattan to celebrate her 26th birthday. Lyric, who according to friends was an aspiring producer, appeared on the E! reality series EJNYC, which followed around Magic Johnson’s son, EJ, and his pals. According to an affidavit obtained by Radar, McHenry died of an overdose cocaine, alcohol and heroin. Her body was dumped on the street on purpose, resulting in a criminal investigation.
According to a criminal complaint, video surveillance, phone records and witness interviews obtained by police resulted in 29-year-old Alexis Mejia-Ramirez’s arrest for concealment of a corpse and tampering with evidence after they seemed to show he and “two other male individuals” allegedly attempted to hide Lyric’s body by placing it on the sidewalk located at Boscobel Place and Undercliff Avenue. He has pleaded not guilty.
In September, sexual predator and former television comedian Bill Cosby, 81, completed his fall from grace when he was sentenced to spend anywhere from three to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of drugging and raping Andrea Constand. He is now housed at a maximum-security prison in Pennsylvania.
Former Smallville actress Allison Mack, NXIVM cult founder Keith Raniere, and four others face possible time in jail after they were charged with racketeering and other sex-related charges for allegedly blackmailing, threatening and assaulting women, allegations they deny.
Actress Catherine Oxenberg claimed in her tell-all book that her daughter, India, was one of 36-year-old Mack’s sex slaves. Oxenberg claimed Mack instructed women to have sex with 58-year-old Raniere and “granted” the women permission to “enjoy” it. However, Mack would then supposedly turn on slaves because of jealousy.
In a massive Olympic scandal, Dr. Larry Nassar was found guilty in February of sexually abusing over 150 female patients after he tricked them into believing he was treating their injuries. He was sentenced to 175 years in prison. “For all those involved, I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control,” Nassar said when he entered his guilty plea. The sentence will start after he serves 60 years on child pornography charges.
In May, Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal’s son, 33-year-old Redmond O’Neal, went on a crime spree that left at least two Los Angeles men critically injured and got him slapped with attempted murder, robbery and drug charges.
During the course of one wild spring week, prosecutors claimed O’Neal attempted to stabbed a man with a glass bottle and punched another man in the Palms area of L.A. On May 4, in Venice, Calif., he allegedly stabbed two men in separate attacks. Three days later, O’Neal allegedly threatened an employee at a Venice Beach coffee shop and, on May 8, prosecutors said O’Neal brandished a knife at an employee at a convenience store in Santa Monica and demanded cash. If convicted of the crimes, he faces over 20 years in prison.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Steven E. Pitt, 59, was shot dead on May 31 when he was leaving his office building in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Pitt often consulted with the Phoenix Police Department and he worked on the infamous JonBenet Ramsey homicide investigation. According to police, witnesses heard “a loud verbal argument and they heard shots.”
Just a day after Pitt’s death, Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, were shot and killed at a law firm in Scottsdale. Then 72-year-old life coach Marshall Levine turned up dead at his office. Two other gunshot victims, Mary Simmons, 70, and Bryon Thomas, 72, were also found around the same time.
In the end, police determined that Dwight Lamon Jones, 56, was loosely connected to most of the victims through a divorce he had gone through almost a decade before and he was seeking revenge on anyone connected to the ordeal. When cops went to confront him at the Extended Stay America hotel in Scottsdale on June 4, he opened fire at them before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.
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