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Thread: Vanessa Reggettz (1979)

  1. #1
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    Vanessa Reggettz (1979)

    I need help guys I want to have a book written on the murder of my cousin and her kids 7,4 were there ages any help u guys can give would be appreciated....I just dont want them to be forgotten.....
    pauleric.png
    I have a case in my family that I feel would be worthy of your producers taking a look at. It has a triple murder and a forced confession from one man, then another confession from someone else. Then it has the release of one suspect, with the conviction of another. Then it has an overturned judgment and then a second conviction with a subsequent appeal.

    It took place in a small town, St. Albans, West Virginia, on December 13, 1979. Paul Reggettz III, 36, arrived back at his home on Chesapeake Avenue after working the night shift at the United Parcel Service in nearby Rand.

    Soon after he rushed into a restaurant a block up the narrow dirt road and pushed a dollar bill at a stranger and said “You’ve got to help me. My wife’s dead.”

    The police found a gruesome scene. Vanessa Reggettz, 26, was lying on the bedroom floor, beaten strangled, and stabbed with a pair of scissors. Their 7 year old son, Paul Eric, was found in the bathtub, choked with an electrical cord before being drowned. Their 4 year old daughter, Bernadette, had been strangled and was hanging from a cord strung over a door.

    Police deny any improprieties but Reggettz says he was bullied, threatened, knocked to the floor and had a gun held to his head. Finally, he says, after the shock of seeing his murdered family and being interrogated for 21 hours he confessed.

    Reggettz was taken back to the house and re-enacted the murders for police and then-Kanawha County Prosecutor Mike Roark, who later went to jail himself for unrelated drug charges.

    At that time the autopsy said the time of death was around midnight, well before Reggettz left for work at 1:45 a.m. Circuit Judge John Hey sent him to jail without bond.

    Ten months after the slayings and the day after Judge Hey refused to throw out Reggettz’s confession, John Moss, 25, told police he committed the murders. In jail in Cleveland, Ohio on other charges at the time, Moss was a former neighbor of the Reggettz family. He had been named in Reggettz’s indictment as a participant in the slayings but he wasn’t indicted then because he was 17 at the time.

    Tests showed that blood found in the Reggettz didn’t come the victims or Reggettz but did match Moss’s blood type. Moss was also linked to several items stolen from the home, two guns, a camera, and some dishes. The medical examiner then changed the estimated time of death to sometime in the early morning, after Reggettz had left for work. Prosecutor Roark finally conceded that Reggettz was 25 miles away, at work, and Judge Hey dropped the charges against him. He was released after spending 11 months in jail.

    Moss also contended that he was forced into confessing by the same state trooper who interrogated Reggettz, but Hey refused to throw out his tape-recorded statement. His defense lawyer argued that it wasn’t Moss who committed the murders but Reggettz, painting a picture of a volatile father with no affection for his family and a former motorcycle gang member who worshiped Satan. A jury deliberated 14 hours before they convicted Moss in 1984. He was sentenced to 3 life terms without the possibility of parole.

    In December 1988 the state Supreme Court reversed the conviction because of trial errors involving polling of jurors and a prosecutor’s prejudicial statement. In the new trial, held in 1990, before Judge Andrew MacQueen, prosecutors Steve Revercomb and Neva Lusk had to convince the jury of Paul Reggettz’s innocence as well as Moss’s guilt.

    In the retrial Moss’s tape-recorded confession was played to the jury. Moss admitted to breaking into the Reggettz home and strangling the family. He said he was looking for money. Acting on a tip, West Virginia state troopers tracked him to Ohio where he had been serving a prison term for shooting a woman bus driver in the eye, raping, and robbing her.

    John Moss, Jr. was again convicted and sentenced to 3 life terms without the possibility of parole, but the story doesn’t end there. On December 12, 2003 justices accepted an appeal of this case based on the questionable work of former State Police crime lab analyst Fred Zain.


    The facts that I have related have been found in various sources but I would really appreciate any help you may be able to give me in finding out more details.

    I can be reached by e-mail dstrattenfan@yahoo.com
    Last edited by dstrattenfan; 11-29-2012 at 04:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    That is a terrible tragedy!!

  3. #3
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    here are there headstones that a worker at the cemetery made for them because our family had no money it just saddens me
    Reggettz markers.jpg

  4. #4
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    I live not too far from this area. I have never heard of this. Such a sad sad tragedy.
    All women are angels, and even when someone breaks one of our wings, we still fly. On a broomstick. We are flexible like that.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by STORMIE View Post
    I live not too far from this area. I have never heard of this. Such a sad sad tragedy.
    I live in cross-lanes and the house (in St Albans) is still standing I have never had the guts to ask to go inside

  6. #6
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    So awful...I hope you find someone willing to take on the story!
    God created liquor to keep the Irish from conquering the world!

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    I like your sig. "Pop a Smurf"

  8. #8
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    I'm pretty sure Anne Rule and Mark Fuhrman both have websites. You could contact one or both of them and see if they would be interested in your story. I know Anne Rule is very accesible since I wrote to her via her website years ago and she answered me via email. She writes a lot of books about regular folks murders, not specifically celebrities as some others do. Maybe you could do a search and try to find any true crime authors who may live out in that general area or state? This was a horrendous crime and I hope you can find someone to help you out. Good luck, and keep us informed, ok?

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  10. #10
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    Sounds like you could almost write the book yourself. I'm sure you can gain access to public documents which give more details about this horrific event.

  11. #11
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    ^that's exactly what I was thinking too. I was intrigued just reading the details you posted. I bet you could do the story justice like no one else.

    How awful!!! I hope you do get the story out there so they aren't forgotten.

  12. #12
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    There are various blogs where true crime authors contribute. You might want to use the contact forms there. Here are a couple:

    http://incoldblogger.blogspot.com/ - from the site "In Cold Blog is a true crime blog founded by best selling author Corey Mitchell, and is written by award winning journalists, authors, criminal justice professionals and others."

    http://crimerant.com/ - written and maintained by Gregg Olsen and M. William Phelps (both published true crime authors).

    Hope this helps.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipitous View Post
    There are various blogs where true crime authors contribute. You might want to use the contact forms there. Here are a couple:

    http://incoldblogger.blogspot.com/ - from the site "In Cold Blog is a true crime blog founded by best selling author Corey Mitchell, and is written by award winning journalists, authors, criminal justice professionals and others."

    http://crimerant.com/ - written and maintained by Gregg Olsen and M. William Phelps (both published true crime authors).

    Hope this helps.
    Thank You so much!!!!

  14. #14
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    You are quite welcome. I hope something works out for you.

  15. #15
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    Intriguing story. I hope you are able to get a reputable author and publisher.

  16. #16
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    I hope you find someone to take on this story... do you think the right person is in Jail? or do you feel the killer is walking free somewhere.

    Where is the Husband now? Does he still live in the area; how are you related to them?

    Just a curious death hag here

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgtwngrl View Post
    I hope you find someone to take on this story... do you think the right person is in Jail? or do you feel the killer is walking free somewhere.

    Where is the Husband now? Does he still live in the area; how are you related to them?

    Just a curious death hag here
    Yes the right person is in jail.....Vanessa cut his hand and his blood was tested and it was his....here is his picture
    http://www.wvdoc.com/wvdoc/DesktopMo...b-6910f0e329db

    I personally do not know were Paul (husband) is. I think he is down south...

    Vanessa is my 3rd cousin.....Vanessa was my grandma's niece. I was raised with Vanessa's brother Timmy who was like a brother to me...I found Timmy dead on the floor from an overdose in 2001...He always said that a book should be done about the murders, and that is what my goal is

  18. #18
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    I know John Moss did a lot of bad things in his young life but I truly don't think these murders were done entirely by a 17 year old boy.

  19. #19
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    I started researching this case in about 2003 when my daughter Jennifer Reggettz looked up her last name on the computer. Her father and I were married in 1976 in Maryland (divorced 1996). 28 years later we find out that not only did he have a half brother but that he was a suspected murderer. In my research I found Pamela Gibson. She is an angel on Earth. With her help I tracked down every bit of information we could find about this case. She and her mother made these head stones for Vanessa and her children. Before that all they had were just paper markers. Super sad that it took all those years and some strangers for them to be remembered. Makes you wonder if an innocent man would forget about his murdered wife and children. John Moss is right where he belongs in prison but he was 17 years old at the time of these murders. I believe that he may have been in the house to steal but I truly don't think he murdered Vanessa and the children. I believe Paul himself died about 5 years ago. I still have all the court documents, death certificates and other research materials that I would be glad to share. My ex-husband George Reggettz changed his name to his mother's maiden name after all this came to light. He lives in West Virginia and I am out here in Washington state. ---- Deborah Reggettz Byron

  20. #20
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    You're kidding me right? His blood was found on the christmas presents he STOLE. HIS hand has a SCAR from Venessa fighting for her and her children's lives? You've got to be F'in kidding me right now. Do your research SMFH

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