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Life Without Parole – A Different Story – 4 (Guest Blog By BWR)

December 21, 2014

Kansas v. Dana Chandler

First of all, Kelly is under the weather, so until further notice, Paul (@the 13JurorMD) and I (@realBWR) will be attempting to prevent you guys from going into withdrawal. I know I speak for Paul when I say that Kelly has a special gift I don’t have, and want her to know that, this Christmas, she has given me more meaningful gifts of life than I imagined a year ago. Kelly, I am praying for you and that you feel comforted by the worldwide family you now have. We are separated only by physical distance so the emotional distance is nonexistent. We all only want you to be up to writing this blog when you can. Semper Ad Meliora (“Always Towards Good Things.”)

This doesn’t exactly count as Sick F-ck Saturday. I was at my Son #1 High School holiday concert and, during intermissions/changes of choirs, got to thinking about what to write next. If you’ll forgive me, I’d like to write about 2 cases very similar to Stabby’s. Some of you may have heard of it via local coverage, “Snapped” or the like. One thing I daresay you haven’t heard is the aftermath. And that is, ultimately what I want to “sting” at the end. No peeking, stay with me to the end!

I would like to start with Dana Chandler first. Dana Chandler was a Colorado divorced woman in her 40’s. She had a teenage daughter, Hailey, and a Son, Justin. The ex-husband, Mike Cisco, moved to Kansas. He, unfortunately, clashed with daughter Hailey, which went unresolved at the time of his death. He met and fell in love with a woman named Karla Harkness after the tumultuous divorce was finalized. He was awarded sole custody of both minor children.

Dana, hearing of their marriage plans (sound familiar), became enraged. Her 2 children, now of adult age, didn’t think twice of their mother’s weekend plans. The evidence shows:
– She filled gas cans necessary to leave Colorado to Kansas and exit without a trace.
– She shut off her cell phone, making her untraceable.
– She told authorities she went camping in the Rocky Mountains, although the entrance had surveillance cameras recording front and back license plates. Hers were not recorded.
– Her landline went unanswered.
– The TV program 48 Hours hired 2 retired NYPD Homicide detectives, who strongly suspected Dana.

The crime:
Mike and Karen went gambling the night of July 6, 2001. Enraged with jealously over the impending wedding, Dana drove from Colorado (sound familiar?) and hid in their Topeka, Kansas bedroom closet drinking several bottles of wine. She was a chain-smoker, and went outside to repeatedly to smoke and discard the butts. Finally, she heard them come home. She hid in the master bedroom closet. Once asleep, she came out of the closet and shot them both 10-12 times. She left the wine bottles in the closet and the butts outside.

In light of not being detected by by the Ranger Station at the Rocky Mountain entrance, something of note was: there were rampant wildfires present when she should have been. Yet, she never mentioned them. Her daughter Hailey, convinced her mother was culpable, tape recorded their calls, to no avail. The case went cold.

10 years later, Dana moved near her sister in Oklahoma. A new District Attorney (DA) was sworn in at Topeka, KS. He was convinced Dana was responsible. They went over every piece of her story and the limited evidence. The lack of her mention of the wildfires, her explanation of the gas cans for “a helpless couple” and, filling them up when her trip was complete were one thing. The fact that she traveled from Topeka to Denver not in the linear, horizontally logistical manner, but literally in a square method, added to her lack of credibility. Ironically, one leg straight north from Topeka went over a body of water, which gave her ample opportunity to discard the gun, bloody clothes. She was out of phone range for approximately 24 hours. Sound Familiar x 3?

10 years almost to the day later, on July 25, 2011, she was arrested in Oklahoma (living with her sister) later was convicted and sentenced to, according to Her Honor – Judge Nancy Parrish, according to the Topeka Journal, to the maximum of 50 years, consecutive for each murder.

Why this case? I *honestly* think Stabby got her Eistein-y idea about going off the radar from Dana’s caper.

Edit note: Can you imagine if she had left a palm print in the closet?!

Next I will write about a similar, “If I can’t you, no other female will…..”

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