Research Blog

Welcome to Robin’s Investigative Research Blog!

Each week,  she posts about true crime cases similar to what you’d see on investigative news shows. Her focus is on crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Most cases have an outcome, few are positive. You decide if the outcomes are just. 

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Disclaimer:  All data and information provided on this site is for information and research purposes only and not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. Criminal cases may have been appealed or verdicts overturned since a case was researched.  All information is provided on an as-is basis. The opinions expressed by individuals providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Robin Lyons.

Gunslinger At The Middle School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

School violence, when it takes a deadly turn, is hard to comprehend. For as long as there have been schools, there have been fights between students. But school violence now happens far too frequent.

BLOG POST #121: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving middle school students.

Because it was an intensely cold winter morning, the middle school started two hours late.

Better To Have Stayed Home

The 14-year-old student skipped his morning classes to prepare for his afternoon assault.

Before leaving for school, he armed himself with his father’s fully loaded weapons; rifle, revolver and semiautomatic pistol. He strapped to his chest and waist three belts of additional ammunition and packed a speed loader for the revolver.

He removed the inside pocket on a long black trench coat to conceal the rifle as he walked to school. The news reported he looked like a gunslinger.

Armed and ready, he entered his fifth-period algebra class and shot his intended target, a classmate who did not survive. It’s unknown why he targeted this boy.

The next two victims, two more classmates, were shot as they dropped to the floor to crawl under their desks, one survived with extensive injuries.

When the teacher cried out, “No, no,” he shot her as well, she also did not survive.

That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger – Friedrich Nietzsche

Upon hearing the gunshots, a P.E. Teacher ran into the classroom. He dove toward the injured teacher. The shooter told the P.E. Teacher to stand up, or he would shoot another student. He did and then talked the shooter into allowing a few students to assist the injured teacher out of the classroom along with a diabetic student.

The student who survived went on to become involved in Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE).

Nowhere To Run

Police tried to hostage negotiate with the shooter which resulted in escalating his agitation.

Deciding he needed coverage in case there were snipers he told the P.E. Teacher to stand near him and put the end of the rifle in his mouth. When the heroic teacher appeared to comply, the shooter wasn’t expecting the teacher to grab the gun and pin him against the wall. He then told the students to run.

The police stormed the classroom and handcuffed the shooter.

Juvenile Or Adult?

The shooter’s case was sent to adult court, where he pleaded insanity.

At the trial, the defense team had an expert testify the shooter suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. The prosecution also had an expert testify he suffered from dysthymic disorder, hyperactivity, and clinical depression. He was taking Ritalin at the time of the shooting.

The 14-year-old troubled boy was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree attempted murder, and 16 counts of aggravated kidnapping.

Without Parole: With Parole

He was sentenced to serve two life sentences plus an additional 205 years without the possibility of parole.

However, in 2012, a U.S. Supreme Court ruled people younger than 16 could not receive life sentences without parole. Twenty-one years after the shooting, a judge resentenced him to 189 years.

Worth mentioning: Juvenile court makes a decision to keep a case or move a case to adult court based on the best interest of the juvenile or the public, and taking into account eight standards set out in Kent v. the United States also known as the ‘Kent Factors.’

(1) The seriousness of the charged offense and whether protection of the community requires prosecution in adult court.

(2) Whether the offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful manner.

(3) Whether the offense was against persons or property.

(4) The prosecutive merit of the case.

(5) Whether the defendant had an adult accomplice.

(6) The defendant’s sophistication and maturity.

(7) The defendant’s prior record.

(8) The prospects for adequate protection of the public and rehabilitation of the juvenile in the juvenile system.

My heart goes out to all families who have suffered because of school violence. And my sincere condolences go to those who have lost a loved one.

What do you think about this case? Your relevant comments about this post or any of the other posts are always welcome on the website.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thank you for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Should School Teachers Be Drug-Tested?

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #120Why aren’t school teachers drug tested? I don’t know of any school districts requiring teachers to pass a drug test, before or during their employment. If you know of one, please email me with the district name and location.

Schools typically require safety-sensitive positions, such as a bus driver, to pass a pre-employment drug test. And more often than not bus drivers are also required to undergo periodic and random drug and alcohol testing.

BLOG POST #120: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 27-year-old second-grade school teacher with a drug problem.

A Classic Case

Too often a person prescribed pain medication for an injury of some sort becomes a drug addict. Their physician stops treatment, but the addiction remains. And then they turn to illegal drugs to self-medicate.

Teachers are not immune to the downward spiral of drug abuse.

As with most drug users, they get sloppy either by choice or by accident, and then they get caught.

Busted!

The second-grade teacher used a co-worker’s computer to access Facebook where she had communicated with someone on Messenger about using and selling heroin. She left the Messenger program open. The co-worker found it and reported what she’d read to her administrator.

The school administrator removed the teacher from her classroom and called the police. In the police interview, she admitted to drugs in her possession. She also admitted to pawning two of the district’s iPads for drug money and stealing from ‘field trip money.’

Her purse contained Methamphetamine, Heroin (described as black tar) and a sublingual film identified as Suboxone, a prescription medicine used to treat adults who are dependent on opioids.

She also had multiple empty and loaded syringes some with exposed needles, multiple small empty plastic baggies, multiple small broken and empty balloons commonly used to store narcotics, and two bent metal spoons with burn marks.

Her Life Is Forever Changed

Days before her arrest, she submitted her resignation to take effect approximately two weeks later, one day after the school’s final day of classes. During the interim, the school placed her on paid administrative leave.

The former teacher accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to drug possession and embezzlement. The judge sentenced her to 10 years in prison and payment of restitution.

She lost her career and at least ten years of her life to drugs.

Her prison term may be reduced if and when she completes a program designed to help women deal with drug addiction.

What do you think about this case? Your relevant comments about this post or any of the other posts are always welcome on the website.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Friendly Danger At The Elementary School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #119

Hello, friends. Thank you for spending some of your busy day or evening to read my post.

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, by now, you know schools unknowingly employ pedophiles. And there’s not much we can do about it until it’s too late. In my opinion, parents need to talk openly with their young children about ‘stranger danger’ and ‘friendly danger.’

Something as weird as an employee taking a picture of your child’s feet (see linked post) should raise a BIG red flag. Barefoot in First Grade

BLOG POST #119: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving an elementary school’s teacher’s assistant.

What do the websites Dark Moon and King of Future Dreams have in common?

They are the two member-only websites where a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant exchanged photographs of children being sexually abused.

Who’s Watching The Employees?

In 2006, he began working for the school district as a substitute teacher’s assistant, at both middle school and elementary school levels. Several months after he started he was moved to a permanent position.

In 2014, the teacher’s assistant began exchanging pornographic images with an undercover police officer in New Zealand. The New Zealand Police Department forwarded the obtained information to the local law enforcement agency.

High End Of Criminal Culpability

Many of the 40,000+ pornographic images found on the teacher’s assistant’s home computer showed prepubescent males being sexually abused. None of the pornographic images were of students from the school where he worked.

There were however, non-pornographic images of students from his school that he had either taken or copied from Facebook posts. He used these images as avatars on his file-sharing accounts. Others on the sites made comments about the sex acts they wanted to perform on the children depicted in the avatar photos.

At the sentencing, the U.S. District Court Judge said, she had worked in the field of computer forensics for nearly 16 years, and could say with some confidence that someone in possession of more than 40,000 sexually explicit images and videos of children is at the high end of criminal culpability for this particular offense.

No Compassion: No Empathy

A jury convicted the former teacher’s assistant of conspiracy to make, print, or publish “any notice or advertisement seeking or offering” child pornography. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

The U.S. District Court Judge said, “To gain gratification looking at pictures of children being tortured is not the type of thing someone with compassion and empathy would have.”

Victim Impact Statements

Parents of the children whose images were used as avatars wrote in their victim impact statements – they felt they had “failed” their children because they were unable to protect them. Very sad.

Parents also wrote, the impact of the defendant’s violation of their trust is that they “question everyone’s motives…don’t relax…and live in a tense world wondering who else wants to bring harm to [their] children.”

We no longer live in a world where children can safely play outside unattended all day and into the evening long after the street lights have turned on. My heart goes out to all families whose children have suffered because of a sexual predator working at their school.

Worth Mentioning: The former teacher’s assistant filed a motion to appeal the substantively unreasonable sentence in light of mitigating factors such as his lack of prior criminal history, age, education, his cooperation with law enforcement and the likelihood that he will re-offend. The appellate court upheld his sentence.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Attack In The High School Girls’ Restroom

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #118Social media, electronic devices, and constant contact have become a necessity to many. To those who aren’t addicted or dependent on social media and their electronic devices, the allure is baffling.

In the recent news, a 17-year-old girl was on trial and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide—all through texting.

The amazing, lightning-speed internet can be a blessing and a curse. Parents should regularly monitor what their children are doing and saying on the internet.

BLOG POST #118: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving four high school girls.

Everyone Watched—Nobody Helped

Three teenage girls left the high school cafeteria in search of another who presumably had posted something on social media that angered the girls on the hunt.

The three girls found who they were looking for in a school restroom. One of the angry teens posted a photo on social media and wrote “bouta fight her,” followed by several emojis indicating the person was laughing so hard she was crying.

The victim was punched numerous times by one assailant and kicked by another. The third attempted to pull the primary aggressor away from the victim.

Electronic Evidence

Dozens of girls watched the fight, and at least two recorded parts of it with their cell phones.

It seems cruel for anyone to have recorded the fight. Turned out to be a good thing, the recordings were used as evidence in the case. Plausible deniability goes out the window when there’s a video of the crime.

However, it is disheartening that nobody tried to stop the fight or help the victim.

When A Fight Turned Deadly

Unbeknownst to the three aggressors, the victim had a pre-existing heart condition. Her heart couldn’t handle the level of stress associated with her attack, and she did not survive.

The Medical Examiner determined that she died from a cardiac incident that she was vulnerable to because of a pre-existing heart condition, but the cardiac incident would not have occurred if she had not been assaulted.

Consequence Of The Unlawful Act

The primary aggressor was charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide and Conspiracy 3rd Degree in the death of the classmate. The two other girls were charged with Conspiracy 3rd Degree. All cases remained in juvenile court.

For there to be Criminally Negligent Homicide, the death must be the natural and probable consequence of the unlawful act and not the result of intervening causes.

The defense argued a reasonable person of the Respondent’s age and experience would not expect injury much less death to result from a fight. The judge disagreed and found her guilty on both counts.

The judge found one of the other two girls guilty of Conspiracy 3rd Degree.

The judge said, “While it may be true that [the victim], due to her condition would have died from a multitude of stressors, until such an event occurred, if at all, she had a right to live one more day, one more week, one more month or year, until her time, without a contributing cause of another.”

The judge also said this was not a fight between two teenagers squaring off to settle some mutual grievance, but rather, an act of violence initiated and carried out by the Respondent over a perceived slight on social media.

The judge sentenced the primary aggressor to six months in a secure residential program for female youths. She was banned from social media, community supervision until she’s 19, and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service with an emphasis on serving young people who have been abused or bullied.

The girl who kicked the victim was sentenced to 18 months of community supervision and 300 hours of community service.

My heart goes out to all families who have suffered because of a school crime. And my sincere condolences go to those who have lost a loved one.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Summer Is A Great Time To Discuss School Threats

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #117Schools are out for the summer, but there has never been a better time to talk with your children about making a threat toward their school. During the summer children are away from outside influence, they’re relaxed, not under any pressure, and seem more willing to ‘talk.’

BLOG POST #117: This week, I’m sharing research on specific criminal cases involving students ages 11-18.

Recently, there was a report on the news about a young man calling in a bomb threat to his girlfriend’s employer so she could get off early. Here are a few examples of the real news children are hearing about, it’s no wonder they might try something similar:

*Market employee and friend cook up bomb hoax to leave work early

*Man accused of making bomb threat to stop girlfriend from seeing ex

*Man Calls in Fake Bomb Threat to Get Out of Work

Acting Out Is Acting Out

Idiotic Adults aren’t alone in making threats; Students make as many if not more threats as adults do.

The common thread between adults and children making threats is they think they’ll get away with it. Some even use disposable cell phones. In the end, they ALL get caught.

The Ohio Juvenile Court Judge said it best, “Good grief, what in the world is going on?”

Some of the students referenced in this post are from one small county in Ohio and were mentioned in an earlier post. Idle Threats

A Threat Is A Threat

A threat can be a written note, text to a friend, a phone call, or a message using any social media platform.

If a person says or writes words that in any way express harm to another regardless of the intent, “I want to blow that place up” or “I’d like to kill (teacher),” even made in the heat of the moment, IT IS STILL A THREAT.

Threats can be disguised in clever antics as in this yearbook sentiment. The full quote referenced from ‘The Office’: “No, I am not going to be proposed to in the break room. That is not going to be our story. Should have burned this place down when I had a chance.

Orange Is The New School Uniform Color

During a two-week period at the end of the school year in 2016, schools in one small county in Ohio dealt with close to ten threats. Schools were in lock-down; schools were evacuated. Thankfully, none were credible.

Nonetheless, each threat requires a significant amount of law enforcement resources to investigate the seriousness of the threat.

Several of the underage students in the small Ohio County spent more than one week in a juvenile detention center while a threat assessment was conducted. For their crimes, students were sentenced to between 20-25 days of community service, required to write letters of apology, their parents were required to pay restitution, and most were expelled from school.

Help Your Child Before It’s Too Late

Often, 16-year-old’s and 17-year-old’s cases are moved to adult court, receiving lengthy jail sentences and occasionally prison.

Before the new school year arrives, talk with your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren about what constitutes a threat and the possible consequences associated.

No parent wants to believe their child is capable of committing an act of violence against their school. Here’s an excellent resource every parent should read. Children also display the warning signs reference in this article but act out in ways other than shootings, such as making a threat. School Shooters :Warning Signs

Why do you think students make threats against schools and staff? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

 

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon