Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WTOP: Ghosts Of the Catherine Fuller Murder

It was a notorious case, perhaps DC's version of the Central Park Jogger attack. A woman brutally raped and murdered in an alley at 8th and H Street by a gang of youths. The motive? The $50 cash she carried, and assorted jewelery and personal items. It happened in 1984. Twelve defendants went to trial, resulting in eight convictions (two others plead guilty). One died behind bars. Now the convicted parties are in court with new witness evidence that did not out at the first trial. They are seeking either a vacated conviction, or a new trial.

The original accounts of the attack are quite lurid. Some said that as many as 25-30 people gathered around and witnessed the attack with none intervening, and many participating. Mrs. Fuller (who weighed 99 pounds, and stood 5 feet tall) was beaten savagely, sustaining multiple kicks and punches. Someone violently inserted a foot long pole (or pipe) into her rectum hard enough to rip through her intestines and liver, but the official cause of death was blunt force trauma (Crime Classification Manual). At least one of the convicted apologized to the family. Admissions also happened in the Central Park Jogger case, in which all original defendants were years later exonerated when it became clear that she had actually been attacked not by a group of boys, but rather by a serial rapist who had actually put out the eyes of one of his victims. A case to watch for sure, but it's highly relevent here because the incident cemented in the minds of people the idea of H Street (and DC in general) as a dangerous and lawless place where hoods ran rampant, and anything might happen to anyone.

WTOP (May 10, 2011)
Washington Post (2001)
Homicide Watch DC (Feb 2011)
Fox DC (Feb 2011)
LA Times (1985)


Anonymous said...

Very bad news if these guys get out to walk H Street again. Just ask the old timers about them.

reflexive said...

maybe these convicts are innocent and justice does need to be correct, but it's not a case our city needs to relive.

Derek said...

FYI: That's the reason the park along H Street from 8th to 10th was taken out and the H St Connection was put in.

Anonymous said...

They need to be hang by they nutt"s and a pole in there behinds make them. Suffer. It's so sad to do something like that to someone mother. Put in jail a trow to key away .