In July of 1982 Detroit was rocked by the news of a twisted murder that took place within the city. 33-year-old Robert Beckowitz was sitting next to his girlfriend, Jeannine Clark, and watching the TV show “Benny Hill” when his friend James Glover came up behind him and shot a .45 slug into the back of his head. What happened next and why is a matter of conjecture. While ingesting copious amounts of drugs, the pair spent the next three days mutilating Beckowitz’ body. Both Clark and Glover posed for pictures while using a hacksaw on the body. They also posed with the body in many other demeaning and sexually exploitative positions while they and the body were nude. By the end of the third day Beckowitz’ limbs had been removed from his body, as well as his head. He was also stabbed over 80 – 100 times.
Clark finally called the police and told them of the crime, insisting that Glover forced her to take part in the grisly events. When the police moved in to arrest Glover he appeared heavily sedated on a mixture of illegal drugs. Once the legal proceedings began Glover faced charges of mutilating a corpse, using a firearm while committing a felony, and second-degree murder. All told, the penalties threatened to send Glover to prison for life. Glover plead not guilty by means of mental incompetence but that was dismissed after Glover underwent a psychiatric evaluation- which opened him up to be tried.
Clark ended up arrested herself for a parole violation in relation to a bank robbery she aided in. After seeing Clark’s beaming face posing with her boyfriend’s body in several pictures, along with images of Clark actually committing mutilation to the corpse, the prosecution decided to try her for the crimes of desecrating a body.
Glover pleaded not guilty, but later admitted under oath that Clark’s story of being held captive had merit. However, both Glover and Clark testified that Clark had freely left the house several times, then returned without alerting anyone as to what was unfolding. She even bought additional film for the camera the pair was using to record their crime. Clark tearfully declared that she was unable to hurt Beckowitz and told Glover she’d rather die than slice up her lover’s corpse. The prosecution countered this by showing several pictures of a smiling Clark toying with Beckowitz’ body. They pointed out to the jury that Glover was hobbled with spinal damage and he needed a cane to simply walk, therefore Clark had to have helped move around Beckowitz’s large body.
Glover ultimately changed his plea to guilty, with the promise of having the chance of being sentenced to life in prison removed. He ended up being given a sentence of 30 to 50 years in prison. Clark was handed a term of 6 ½ to 10 years. The images of their horrific crime are readily available in the dark corners of the internet.
This story is only a few weeks old, but the circumstances involved certainly fits within the normal confines of subject matter that is covered in this article series. Shannah Boiteau and her boyfriend were traveling from Wisconsin to California on June 22nd of this year when the couple were passed by a cop car near St. Cloud, Minnesota. This seemed to spook Boiteau and she suddenly jumped out of the car and raced into the brush and woods that lined the highway. It is thought that she was concerned that she was going to get in trouble for violating her parole as she had been recently drinking. Shannah has not been seen since.
An independent witness saw Boiteau run into the woods, so her boyfriend is not considered a suspect in her disappearance. She was not wearing shoes at the time she ran into the trees and her purse was left behind in the car. Her family is holding out hope that she somehow hitchhiked and may be somewhere between Wisconsin and California hiding out from investigators. I’ll have more on this case in later editions of this series if more comes out on this story.
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