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  1. #1

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    Michelle Lyn Michaud - California Death Row


    Vanessa Lei Samson, 22




    Summary of Offense:

    On September 18, 2002, Michaud and her ex-boyfriend, James Daveggio were sentenced to death in Alameda County for the abduction, rape and murder of a 22-year-old Pleasanton woman, Vanessa Lei Samson, in December 1997, in a minivan rigged for torture. The Sacramento couple kept Samson inside their minivan, rigged with hooks and ropes, where they repeatedly tortured her with curling irons while driving east toward the Sierra Nevada. A motorist found Samson's body two days after the murder, face down in the snow, about 30 feet down an embankment alongside a road in Alpine County. She had been strangled.

    For more on Daveggio, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...rnia-Death-Row

  2. #2
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    December 12, 1997

    Pleasanton wakes up to big-city fears



    PLEASANTON - It's an idyllic, big little town, this suburban city of kid soccer leagues and mega-businesses, nestled in a valley of gentle hills.

    New tract homes, shopping centers and business parks dot a landscape that only a couple decades ago was farmland. Drawn by its dozens of parks and top-ranked schools, families have been moving here in droves. In the past 25 years, the population has more than tripled, to nearly 60,000, making this city in southeastern Alameda County one of the fastest-growing in the Bay Area.

    Yet, despite its growth, Pleasanton prides itself in being a family town. Historic Main Street, with its outdoor cafes and antique shops, harkens back to the turn of the century. Crime is so low that kids ride their bikes to school, and cops have time to give tickets to jaywalkers. Everything is pristine and orderly. Even the lawns don't have leaves.

    "It's Mayberry with good restaurants," said Susan King, 39, pushing her 1-year-old through downtown in a stroller Thursday afternoon.

    But what was unthinkable here happened just last week, shaking many residents' sense of security.

    Vanessa Lei Samson, 22, was kidnapped while walking to work at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 2. She was found strangled and sexually assaulted on a snow bank in remote Alpine County.

    On Wednesday, the police chief here announced the arrests of a couple accused in the kidnapping and rape of another young woman, a college student from Reno. One of the suspects, Michelle Lyn Michaud, 39, confessed to FBI agents that she and her lover, James Anthony Daveggio, 37, had also kidnapped Samson.

    Daveggio pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges in connection with the Reno kidnapping. A trial is set for Feb. 3. Michaud was to be arraigned on Friday.

    Pleasanton investigators are still gathering evidence before filing charges in the Samson case.

    What is especially unsettling for residents here is news that the couple had trolled the city looking for a victim. According to police, Michaud admitted that they parked outside Foothill High School, where Daveggio was briefly a student in the 1970s, drove past elementary schools, and were poised to nab two young girls before spotting Samson.

    "You can expect something like this anywhere," said Lynn Gazell, 50. "But I would put Pleasanton last on my list."

    In a recent poll, 97 percent of the residents here said they feel "very safe," said Mayor Ben Tarver. Random violent crime is not nonexistent, he said, but it is something folks have been lulled into believing happens someplace else.

    "Even though Pleasanton is a big town, it feels like a homey, down-home kind of place, where you can trust your children to walk to school," said Joann Loitz, 51. "It's a loss of innocence."

    Some, though, were not completely shocked by the crime. A BART station opened here months ago, bringing San Francisco, 35 miles and another world away, far closer. And located at the crossroads of interstates 580 and 680, with its booming businesses, Pleasanton is hardly a hideaway.

    As Pleasanton becomes more of a big city, residents predict, some big-city problems are inevitable.

    "This town is growing up," said Raul Morales, 35.

    "Maybe growing up too much."

    At Foothill High, first-period teachers broke the news to 1,400 students that the killers had stopped outside the sprawling campus.

    Students were advised to use common sense walking about town, and to use the buddy system whenever possible, said Sheila Flynn, the assistant principal.

    And they were reminded that Pleasanton is not immune from the real world.

    That was the hardest lesson of all.

    "I thought "Oh my God, it could have been us,' " said April Lindeland, 16, a junior.

    "I just think this is fairy tale land, like nothing bad can happen here," she added. "There's more monsters in my fairy tale now."

    Source

  3. #3
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    January 21, 2002

    Accused Samson Killers' Trial Begins

    OAKLAND —It was Thanksgiving 1997, and, like many families, the Samsons gathered in their home.

    Their one-story house on Siesta Court in Pleasanton was a clean-cut American clich‚ surrounded by the manicured lawns of another safe suburb.

    At the Samsons', celebration was in order. It was a departure from usually hectic lives filled with work, school and errands- a point not lost on Christina Samson, who was overjoyed to have her husband, Daniel, son Vincent and daughters Nicole and Vanessa together.

    Just hours later, a short distance away , a shaken teen-age girl sat in a room at the Candlewood Hotel in Pleasanton. She had been molested, the victim of a crime she later told police that Michelle Lyn Michaud had warned would take place.

    James Anthony Daveggio, Michaud's boyfriend and the man who has since pleaded guilty to forcing the girl into a sex act, was nearby.

    "It was the biggest shopping day of the year and would be the best day to kill somebody," the girl recalled her attacker saying just after midnight, court records show.

    Police say Daveggio and Michaud soon began to hunt a new victim.

    Six days later, Vanessa Samson was dead.

    Opening statements in the trial of Daveggio, 41, and Michaud, 43, for the murder of Vanessa Samson are scheduled to begin Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland. They could face the death penalty if convicted.

    Michaud is accused as well of sexually assaulting two Tri-Valley teens, charges similar to those Daveggio pleaded guilty to in October.

    Nov. 30, 1997

    Daveggio and Michaud drove to a Hayward Kmart, according to court records. They were familiar roads for Daveggio, who had grown up not far away in Union City, where he went to Logan High School before transferring to Foothill High School in Pleasanton in the 1970s.

    He later completed classes at the Sequoia Institute in Fremont, earning mostly high marks in the school's diesel engine program.

    About a decade after attending the school, Daveggio, a bartender and biker known as "Frog," was cruising the aisles of the discount store to the north with his prostitute girlfriend, records show.

    The pair took their purchases to Motel 6 in Pleasanton, where they checked into Room 137. Michaud's green 1994 Dodge Caravan was parked outside.

    A day later, police say, the pair began their search in earnest. The green van parked in front of Foothill High School, potential victims were scouted, former Pleasanton police Chief Bill Eastman later told reporters.

    The couple drove to Livermore later that day, stopping at Not Too Naughty on First Street, where a security camera captured their 10-minute visit to buy a ball gag and a cassette tape titled "Submissive Girls."

    Dec. 2, 1997

    Daveggio and Michaud were out early on what court records revealed the couple referred to as "adventures" and "huntings" - and what police said was a search for a victim. Two young girls were spotted, but then came Samson, Eastman said.

    Not wanting to be late for the clerical job she had held for only weeks, Vanessa bid farewell to her mother and left for SCJ Insurance Services with her backpack and bag lunch. She had paged her sister, who was staying with a friend and had offered a ride the day before, but she hadn't heard back.

    That was not a problem for Vanessa, 22. The Ohlone College student regularly turned down rides to work, preferring to walk the short way to Gibraltar Drive.

    It was foggy and cool as Vanessa set out about 7:30 a.m. She strolled to Singletree Way, headed east and then walked another six blocks to where the road slices past Kern and Page courts.

    Roofers working at a house on Page heard a "desperate scream," then a door sliding closed, Alameda County prosecutor Angela Backers said in court papers. Looking down the street, they watched a green van inch away.

    Two hours later, Michaud turned up in Sacramento, where she had grown up after a vagabond military-family life. There was money to be had from a waiting welfare check.

    After a stop at a check-cashing store, she continued east to South Lake Tahoe. Michaud had business the next day at Douglas County Courthouse - a court date for writing bad checks.

    Later that morning, the van steered into the parking lot of the Sundowner Motel at South Lake. Manager Mukesh Patel checked them into Room 5 but noticed nothing out of the ordinary, investigators were later told.

    But inside that room Samson's brutalized body would be pushed to the edge, author Robert Scott would write in "Rope Burns," one of two books published on the case.

    It was there, Scott wrote, that Samson was tortured before being forced into a van and driven along Highway 88. Near Crater Wash, she was strangled with a length of rope and dumped in the snow.

    Dec. 3, 1997

    A day had passed and the Samsons and their friends were in a panic. For Christina Samson, it had been a sleepless night following a grindingly slow day since she had heard a message from Vanessa's coworker asking why she hadn't come to work.

    She had a "funny feeling." It was simply out of character for Vanessa to not show up for work and fail to go home.

    Still she remained hopeful. Vanessa had a good friend in Davis who had planned to come for Thanksgiving but could not make the trip. She might have gone to see him.

    But no, family friend Raul Guilliarte had not heard from Vanessa, he told the worried mother.

    In a frenzy, friends called friends, and others called hospitals. Nobody had heard from Vanessa since she left for work the day before.

    Fliers were crafted. Vincent Samson stayed home from his San Francisco job to help search for his little sister. They had to do everything; he had failed her, he told officials, records show.

    Two hundred miles northeast, FBI agents bore down on the Lakeside Inn in Stateline, Nev. Two days earlier, a college student had pegged Daveggio and Michaud in a police photo lineup as the couple who had snatched her in September from a Reno street and raped her before dumping her in a remote area of Placer County.

    They drove a van, she told police, one similar to the van now parked at a casino across the street from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

    Agents knocked on the door of Room 133. Michaud was arrested seconds later.

    They went to the casino, where Daveggio was playing a slot machine. He was cuffed and hauled away.

    Daveggio and Michaud were arrested for the Reno rape and kidnapping, a crime for which they were convicted in 1999. Soon after, authorities announced the pair were prime suspects in Vanessa's kidnapping.

    Dec. 4, 1997

    With a chaplain in his front seat, Vincent Samson headed home to break the news. Two days had passed since his sister left him with too many questions, and now he had the answer.

    "You are going to present your parents and sister with information that will change their lives forever," he said to himself, he later told officials.

    Vincent fell through the door with a detective behind him. Christina now knew the answer, too.

    "They took my daughter away," she said, according to court records.

    A trucker had spotted the body down a snowy embankment about 10:45 that morning, officials explained. "Ness" was not coming home.

    Source

  4. #4
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    September 18, 2002

    Two sentenced to death in rape, murder of Pleasanton woman

    OAKLAND, Calif. _ James Anthony Daveggio and Michelle Lyn Michaud were sentenced to die Wednesday, nearly five years after snatching Vanessa Lei Samson off a Pleasanton street, raping her and then dumping her lifeless body in a snow bank.

    In separate and emotional hearings, those who loved the young woman told the one-time couple of the shock, horror and pain they had inflicted on their daughter, sister and niece. Their acts were depraved and devastated many more lives than were present in the courtroom, speakers said during angry, solemn and tearful testimony.

    Source

  5. #5
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    Hmm, I was just watching a documentary of these two. A little Google and voila:
    You can write to her if you want. Apparently, she doesn't get much mail... I wonder why?


    http://www.writeaprisoner.com/Template.aspx?i=z-w96070

  6. #6
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    I just watched last night's episode of Deadly Women titled Kinky Killers. Michaud was profiled along with Debra Brown. Reaffirmed my belief that women are just as deserving of the death penalty as men. The episode will air again on Sunday 11/11/12 @ 1:00 p.m. EST on ID.

    (I know that is Football Time for most of you. Set your DVR's! )
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  7. #7
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    Does anyone have any video/Tv links for this case as I can find very little on You Tube thanks
    Justice delayed is Justice Denied !

  8. #8
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    Michaud's case on direct appeal has been fully briefed before the California Supreme Court since Ocotber 11, 2012.

    http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.g...doc_no=S110294

  9. #9
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