In Memory: April 4, 2002
|In 1932, she rode
an old Indian Scout to and from the well on her farm
to get water for her family... A true "frontier
lady" in the very sense of the word, Granny Clark
never had what you would call an "easy" life...
Married to a man who beat her regularly in front of
the kids, watching as three of her sons drowned in
the Mississippi, and living through the hit-and-run
death of a daughter by a drunk driver, Granny Clark
still had the presence of mind to support those in
more need than she...
At the age of 92 she begged for, and finally received a ride on my motorcycle. (And then griped me out because it was a Honda and NOT an Indian) =) From that ride, she spent the next five years hounding my dad for a trike because she said she was getting tired of sitting around and wanted to get out of the house.... While a trike was out of the question, for obvious reasons, my dad finally relented and bought her a three-wheeled bicycle which was fitted with an electric motor so she could boogie down the road...
In the middle of the night, April 4, 2002 my granny's life was taken in a most horrifying and gruesome manner... That night, two men broke through her locked door, supposedly to rob her, only to leave her dead on her bed room floor, stabbed to death from over 27 stab wounds, and partially disemboweled in the process... To make an already unbearable tragedy worse, she was raped prior to the murder...
97 years of life, happiness and tragedy for this small, frail woman, culminated in her last vision of a man she did not know thrusting himself into her body, tearing her apart (literally) and then almost mercifully, killing her afterward...
To make this situation worse, and vastly more ironic, both my parents and I live on the same street as my granny...My mom and dad had previously moved her to the house next door to theirs, ostensibly to be safer, while my own house is about two blocks down the way... My dad and I taught granny how to handle a pistol and she had two in her house at the time of the rape and murder... Unfortunately, she was unable to get to either before the event happened... I passed my granny's house the morning that she was found dead, as I sometimes did, just to check up on her. I "knew" that if her house door was slightly ajar and the lights on in the house, then she was up and about...All seemed right until my dad stopped by her house later that morning to take her to breakfast... He found her laying in a pool of blood..... Dead.
Our small town police force did an outstanding job of trying to piece together the last minutes of my granny's life, and the crime was so heinous that the Major Case Squad from nearby St. Louis was called to lead the investigation. The response from the local police and Major Case Squad members was refreshing for me as I have never been a big fan of their work. After all was said and done, two scumbags were picked up and charged with her murder... The first, Lee Price, is a convicted sex offender, having served time for sexually abusing his 3 year-old step-daughter. The second, Richard Oliver, is a low level druggie and "drifter"... To add insult to injury in an already remarkable situation, Lee Price had been released from the Madison County jail just two weeks prior for failing to register as a sex offender. Held on a $25,000 bond, Price was released by the county judge on his "word" that he would return for sentencing at a later date... Oh yeah... He had recently moved into the empty house right next to my granny's days before the rape and murder...
Both Price and Oliver were caught within two days of the rape/ murder... Price was seen watching with the crowd as the Police conducted their investigation of my granny's murder... The material evidence, as well as eye witness accounts, are damning to the pair and it is my hope that the Court will see them for what they did and deal with them appropriately...
In the meantime, my dad and mom shoulder huge guilt in that my granny's rape and murder occurred only 100 feet from their house (they never heard a thing)... My father has post-traumatic stress disorder and still cannot sleep in his bed, nor can he speak of the rape and murder without losing composure... My wife and I shoulder guilt in that we also lived on the same street and should have known if a sex offender had moved in next to my granny (yet we did not)...
And worse of all... My Granny was alive when she was staring into her rapist's eyes!!! No one deserves to die like that!
fits this crime? Ex Illinois Governor, Ryan,
citing inadequacies in the defense of those facing
the death penalty, commuted all of the death
penalty cases in Illinois prior to his departure.
While the Prosecuting Attorney assures us that he
will pursue this case to conviction, and push for
the death penalty for both men, even that rings
hollow for me... Assuming they even make it to the
death chamber and have the toxic concoction of
fluids forced through their veins, they will have
died a much more dignified and serene death than
my granny! What punishment fits THIS crime? I do
November 9th, 2005... Lee Price, in a plea agreement offered by the Illinois State's Attorney, has pleaded GUILTY in the murder of my grandmother, Francis Clark. Richard Oliver worked out a deal with the Prosecutor to testify against Price and ended up serving "time served" for obstruction (Approximately 3.5 years).
The Clark family would like to once again thank the men and women of the Caseyville Police Department, the Major Case Squad, and the prosecuting attorneys for their hard work and diligence these three and one half years awaiting trial. We would also like to thank the people from all walks of life and from throughout the world who have contacted us during this long period to offer their condolences and words of support.
Due to severe incompetence within the Illinois State Police Forensics Laboratory in Peoria, Illinois, crucial DNA evidence directly implicating Lee Price in my grandmother's rape and murder was LOST! Without this key evidence, the prosecuting attorneys could not be assured of a "guilty" verdict in a death penalty case and offered co-defendant, Richard Oliver, a plea in exchange for his testimony against Lee Price. Oliver agreed and has been released from jail, having been charged with obstruction of justice. Once Lee Price was notified that Oliver would testify against him and that the case was flawed, thanks to the Illinois State Police Forensics Laboratory, he accepted a plea agreement of 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole or appeal. While the Clark family is thankful this predator will not be on our streets anytime soon, we find the conduct of the Illinois State Police Forensics Laboratory, and their blatant disregard for safe-guarding crucial evidence reprehensible! Once again, the people who are charged with "protecting" us have let us down!
Lee Price is serving his time at the Menard Correctional Center located in Southern Illinois.
Correctional Center 711 Kaskaskia Street PO Box 711
Menard Il-62259 (618) 826-5071
January, 2009... Lee Price, after standing in
front of the judge and admitting to the rape and
murder of my grandma is now complaining that he
was "coerced" into making a confession and is
asking for a new trial or reduction in his
sentence. He was a punk ass bitch then and is a
punk ass bitch now. Let's see how the "wheels of
justice" turn...stay tuned.
June 10, 2009... We sat in court this morning awaiting the scumbag, Price, to show his ugly his ass in court. Even though he stood before the judge and admitted to murdering my grandmother, Price has decided that prison just isn't "all that" and that he wants out... In that effort, he has filed multiple petitions with the court which boil down to three claims:
1. Price claims he was beaten while in custody at the St. Clair County jail by a guard which made him fear for his life and accept the plea.
2. Price claims that the two defense attorneys supplied to him failed to provide adequate counsel.
3. Price claims that he was under the influence of psychotropic medication at the time of the plea agreement which hampered his ability to understand its conditions.
sitting for a few hours, the case has been moved
back to late summer or early fall after medical
records failed to find their way to the courtroom.
SSSooo, the saga continues... I can only hope that
Price enjoys his accommodations and can only imagine
his great joy after "Bubba" finds that his
punk is back in the "Big House". If there is any
justice in this screwy world, Price will never live
to see the outside as a free man.
4, 2011 After
many delays, it looks like the end of December
will be the next time we see "Mr." Price in
court. As you can see from his pictures,
incarceration seems to have agreed with Price.
He sports new glasses, has had extensive tooth
work and his Hepititis C looks to be in check.
That's real nice considering our tax dollars
are paying for it and my Granny has been
rotting in a box for almost ten years...
UPDATED PIX OF LEE PRICE 4/8/09
UPDATED PIX OF LEE PRICE 12/4/11