By Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC
The following strange and fascinating cases bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “getting away with murder.”
- The Matrix Defense
In July of 2002, Tonda Lynn Ansley of Hamilton, Ohio shot and killed her landlady, claiming that she was part of a scheme to “brainwash and murder” Ansley. Shortly after the incident, Ansley told police, “They commit a lot of crimes in The Matrix.” Her attorney supported an insanity defense by arguing, “Our world is just an illusion generated by our machine overlords.” A jury of her peers found Ansley not guilty by reason of mental defect.
- Homicidal Sleepwalking
On May 23, 1987, Kenneth Parks got out of bed, got in his car, and drove 14 miles to his in-laws’ house, where he fatally stabbed his mother-in-law. After the incident, he got back in his car and drove to the police station to turn himself in, telling officers, “I think I may have killed some people.” Although everyone was skeptical about the sleepwalking defense, results of an EEG confirmed that Parks had abnormal brain activity indicative of extreme parasomnia. These findings combined with a lack of motive led to Parks’ acquittal in 1992. Continue reading →