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'48 Hours Mystery' broadcast generates leads on 1992 Benton murder

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

(Photo)
1992 murder victim Mischelle Lawless
(Submitted by Scott County Sheriff Department)
Before the "48 Hours Mystery" broadcast on a Benton, Mo., murder case came to a close Saturday, dispatchers at the Scott County Sheriff's Department began receiving phone calls from people with details on the 1992 murder of Angela Mischelle Lawless.

Now, more than two days after the segment, even more e-mails and phone calls have come in, and the information is new, said Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter, giving him and the Lawless family even more hope they will find the real killer.

"Yes, it's encouraging," said Mischelle Lawless' mother Esther, of Benton, in a phone interview Monday. "That's the main reason me and my children did the interview with them."

Lawless, 19 at the time of the murder, was shot three times in her vehicle on the Interstate 55 offramp near Benton.

Walter reopened her case in 2006 after suspecting that Joshua Kezer, who was serving a 60-year prison sentence for the crime, did not murder Lawless.

Kezer was exonerated by a Cole County circuit judge last year and recently celebrated his one-year anniversary of being released from prison.

Walter said the e-mails and phone calls that have come in since Saturday have been from all over the United States.

People are providing the sheriff's department with names Walter said he's never heard before in reference to the case and new dates and times pertaining to the case.

"We've had actually two or three people, they've said this is what we know, can we sit down with you and give a statement? They went so far as to say they'd come to court to testify," Walter said.

While some phone calls have been from people who've heard information from others, the details they've provided is still important, as it can confirm some details already brought forward.

Walter said he asks callers who've heard details of the murder from others to provide him with contact information of the person who originally told them what they know.

Walter said he's making arrangements to meet with individuals who've called saying they have new details in the Lawless murder.

"Some of them are not local, some of them are from the area. It's not something I can get done in a day or two. It's going to take some time," Walter said. "I really, really appreciate people coming forward."

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

Benton, MO


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what a sad case, how could anyone else be suspected of this murder except the boyfriend?

shot three times in the head, no sexual assault

no robbery? who else would she stop the car and

talk to except him? my take: she went to his

house that night, he was planning to break up

with her, she faked a pregnancy, he became enraged

and tried to get her to have an abortion (although

she wasn't pregnant), he knew he couldn't get rid

of her at his house, he followed her home and killed her. his DNA found under her fingernails?

time for the cuffs.

-- Posted by retrotx on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 8:40 AM

WOW!!! you should have been a detective. Don't you think they have looked at all that. There is a bigger story to uncover...

-- Posted by redhawk1 on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 8:58 AM

retrotx :Don't you think that angle has been looked at by the Sheriff's dept already? I'm just asking, if it was that easy why would they have made a 48 hrs mystery out of it and why would it take this long to solve. It has also been said she had more than 1 attacker, so who helped him? The title of the episode was "The girl who knew too much" so if they boyfriend did it, What did she know about him that would make him want to kill her? This is WAY more in depth than some high school romance gone bad!!

-- Posted by SpongeBob on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 9:03 AM

I thought their was Damning Evidence against

Three or four people Invalved.

The Judical System Screwed up once really big.

I'm sure they don't want to make the same mistake twice.

-- Posted by dtak10 on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 9:32 AM

Anyway having two daughters myself and can't understand how anyone could be that Evil.

I hope they catch the real Scum,

And He or They Burn!

-- Posted by dtak10 on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 9:37 AM

This is nothing to do with Sex!!!! It has everything to do with DRUGS !!!!! In the end we will know what "The girl who knew Too Much" really knew. Go Rick Walters!!!!

-- Posted by NowMy2cents4U on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 10:04 AM

Just give me thirty minutes alone with each suspect and I'll tell you who the killer is!!! Surprised that hasn't been done by a family member yet.

-- Posted by Bond 007 on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 10:15 AM

I have heard (gossip talk) the boy who claims he was the one to 'find' the victim had a friend with him earlier that night. That married friend knew Mischelle and could have been angry w/ her. Didn't 48 Hours interview the new sherrif and didn't he mention there were probably 2 people at the crime scene by looking at the blood trail/struggle? The boy who rushed to the sheriff's office that night to report the car on the ramp changed his story way to often for him not to have been involved.I think he came back to the crime scene to make sure she was dead, and that is when another witness pulled up and saw the man with his head in Mischelle's car. (Go online and see the extra video of his story on 48 Hrs website cbs.com)

So many involved w/ this case should be ashamed: 1)The sheriff,who said upon retirement, this was the high point of his career: solving this case and getting a conviction. Some career! 2) The prosecuter who still claims Kezer is guilty. Blood was not on the jacket Kezer wore. Who tested the "blood" on the jacket that ended up NOT being blood, which we don't find out until after a conviciton was made? Bozo the clown or Capt. Kangaroo? And who allowed it to be admitted into evidence? Kezer's attorney had to be asleep durinig court.

-- Posted by bargal on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 11:46 AM

I think the brothers Mark & Matt Abbott are the prime suspects. Exspecially Mark! What was he doing there in the AM hours.......tell me that. I think the only reason he went to the police station was to cover his tracks, thinking that the police would find evidence of his presence, so he went there to say he found her....so BAM ...now there is a reason his finger prints are all over the place. I knew these brothers when I was growing up and the only words for them are PURE EVIL! Everyone knew they were bad, and knew not to cross them. The talk around town is that this poor girl knew of some drug dealings of Mark Abbott and was going to tell the police, so Mark stopped her in her tracks. Mark Abbott needs to rott in jail!

-- Posted by lorie umfleet on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 2:01 PM

I predict its the Abbott boys and the boyfriend. I bet they all conspired together!

-- Posted by coolbeans08 on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 2:22 PM

I've lived in this area my whole life. Practically everyone I know is a Republican. You can't even go to church without having it crammed down your throat. I'd like to hear one of my friends, neighbors, or fellow church members explain the actions of Kenny Hulshof. After all, they all campaigned vigorously for him. And in what I consider the ultimate betrayal on his part, he's not even man enough to admit that what he did to Josh Kezer was wrong. In fact, he still maintains that Kezer is guilty.

-- Posted by Sameolesameole on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 2:29 PM

Is Matt and Mark Abbot still in jail for drugs?

-- Posted by Bob63780 on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 2:56 PM

Bob63780, according to casenet, Mark's address was a prison in Wisconsin not too long ago (child support case). Also, he was seen in shackles on the 48 Hours show that aired.

Secretsister, yes, yes, yes! I feel the same way about Hulshof. Everyone at my church had the bumper stickers, Pro Life/Hulshof. Yeah, pro-life, as long as you aren't talking about Josh Kezer's. Wouldn't vote for Hulshof for the world. He hurt himself much more politically by not coming forth and admitting he made an error. "It's my story and I'm sticking to it," didn't cut the mustard during his last campaign. I can't believe he chose to run for office knowing the case was being investigated.

-- Posted by bargal on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 3:08 PM

this is so much like the local law they were quick to put Josh away for 20yrs and why do we keep putting these guys in office? The state should pay Josh for all those painful years we put him away shame on we the people for putting up with this. Even the sherrif said the local cops rode him about this case.

-- Posted by dpl on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 3:39 PM

RETROTX you are an idiot! That is way to many ifs!

-- Posted by Jax12 on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 4:13 PM

I was stunned to see 48hrs. I thought the case was handled badly, I was raised around sikeston and I remember how I use to feel so safe there.that was 45yrs.ago..I believe that mark killed her and he needs to have frontier justice and save tax payers from trials that could prolong his breathing... get real missouri he is no good.

-- Posted by VEGAS ANNIE on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 4:51 PM

secretsister & bargal...DITTO!!!! I can't stand that my fellow (former) Republican church going pro-life brothers & sisters still voted for & to this day will tell you Hulshof is "a fine man!" He should also be sued along with Ferrell by Josh Kezer for HIS part that HE played in obstruction of justice in this case. My heart breaks for Kezer & I admire his faith that has allowed him not to be bitter, I don't think I could be so forgiving. Josh Kezer has more faith in his little finger than the hypocrites of the "family values" republicans & the pro-life church attendees could ever HOPE to have in their lifetime! Bless you dear Lawless family for all the heartache your family has endured since Mischelle's murder. I hope & pray that one day soon your family will the answers for all your unanswered questions & justice will soon come for Mischelle's killer(s).

-- Posted by hardknocksdegree on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 9:03 PM

Littlebear,

You are lumping all of the "family values" republicans and the pro life church attenders into your small minded view of that group of people of which i happen to be one. With those values i hold dear, i could not support Holshof in this case and support Josh. You just can't paint everyone with the same brush. If you do you are worse than what you think these folks represent. I tend to think you are an idiot because you have a closed mind, or lack thereof.

-- Posted by semolover on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 9:47 PM

Littlebear,

You are lumping all of the "family values" republicans and the pro life church attenders into your small minded view of that group of people of which i happen to be one. With those values i hold dear, i could not support Holshof in this case and support Josh. You just can't paint everyone with the same brush. If you do you are worse than what you think these folks represent. I tend to think you are an idiot because you have a closed mind, or lack thereof.

-- Posted by semolover on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 9:47 PM

Semolover,

I believe in family values. I'm pro life and a church attender. I'm proud that you have enough sense not to support "Hulshof". What I'm saying is I'd just like to hear some of our upstanding community conservatives step up and admit that their guy dropped the ball on this one. I'm not surprised that you start off telling us what a great person you are and then end up calling somebody an idiot.

-- Posted by Sameolesameole on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 10:05 PM

Semolover,

I believe in family values. I'm pro life and a church attender. I'm proud that you have enough sense not to support "Hulshof". What I'm saying is I'd just like to hear some of our upstanding community conservatives step up and admit that their guy dropped the ball on this one. I'm not surprised that you start off telling us what a great person you are and then end up calling somebody an idiot.

-- Posted by Sameolesameole on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 10:09 PM

semolover, you really missed my point completely!!! When I said my fellow (former)Republican church going pro-life brothers & sisters I literally meant MY REAL brothers & sisters...my real "family" who don't speak to me to this day because I wouldn't vote for Hulshof & they & their families were, they shut ME out of the family!! So I guess if that makes me an idiot...I'd rather be a small minded idiot than go along with my family "just to keep the peace." Trust me, I still value my true "family values" friends, the ones who have helped me get through this very difficult & trying time. Trust me, I don't "paint everyone with the same brush", I was simply speaking about MY brothers & sisters!!!

-- Posted by hardknocksdegree on Wed, Mar 17, 2010, at 1:08 AM

All I want to say is there are a lot of murders out there in the black community where the wrong person is in jail. They are not spending all our tax dollars on their case to get the real killer. They leave the wrong one in jail just because it's another black man off the street. Bring up the case with Shekiah Mitchell-Robinson. The wrong person is in jail and the killer is living off her insurance money doing what her want to do. Everybody know who killed this girl.

-- Posted by babygirl25 on Wed, Mar 17, 2010, at 2:50 PM

retrotx thats the dumbest theory ever.

-- Posted by wandadear on Wed, Mar 17, 2010, at 4:55 PM


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