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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Investigation Discovery

TV show to feature Post Falls murders

In this 2008 photo, Kootenai County sheriff’s Sgt. Brad Maskell stands in the area where newspaper carrier Gary Loesch was murdered in November 1995. (SRarchives)

 A cable TV show on Saturday will feature the case of two fugitive North Idaho women who committed suicide in Arizona after America's Most Wanted detailed their ties to two murders.

 Tina R. Loesch (left) and Skye M. Hanson (right) were wanted for the 1998 murder of Loesch's mother, Barbara, and suspects in the 1995 murder of her father, Gary, when America's Most Wanted spotlighted them in November 2008.

Gary Loesch, who was killed while delivering copies of The Spokesman-Review, had written his daughter out of his will after she told him she was in a lesbian relationship with Hanson, according to previously published reports.

Detectives believe the women hired Bradley Steckman to kill Barbara Loesch, who was found dead in her hot tub with the TV inside. Steckman is serving life in prison for Loesch's murder and for the 1996 murder of an 89-year-old Pullman woman.

Police have long suspected the father-daughter rift and a $500,000 life insurance policy Tina Loesch took out on her mother were motives in the killings.

Post Falls police had been trying to find the women for years - they were last seen with Loesch's son, Kristopher, in Spokane in 2000. The night the program aired, Loesch and Hanson were found dead of suicide in their SUV northwest of Tucson. Police had no idea the women were in Arizona.

Lt. Greg McLean said Thursday that detectives still are trying to find Kristopher Loesch, who would be 21. Cadaver dogs have searched for his body in Arizona amidst rumors the couple had killed him, but his location still is unknown.

“We're not sure if he was dropped off somewhere before they decided to end their lives,” McLean said. “if he was, we haven't been able to find him yet.”

“It's just been a long-term investigation that in my opinion still hasn't been closed because we're still missing Kristopher,” McLean said.

The show airs at 9 p.m. as part of Investigation Discovery's new series, Deadly Sins. It features interviews with Loesch's brother, Charles Loesch, Paul Farina of the Post Falls Police Department and Brad Maskell of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. A channel finder is available here.

Past coverage:

Nov. 18, 2008: Murder suspects found dead in Arizona

Jan. 6, 2008: Missing women remain key in 2 murders

Cable TV show to feature Spokane case

The case of a retired Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who killed himself in Spokane after being accused of a 14-year-old murder will be featured on a cable TV show next weekend.

 A TV news crew found the body Ted Eugene Kirby, 54, in a pasture near his home at East 16th Avenue and South Carnahan Road in Spokane in July 1999. He was last seen alive on June 30, 1999, shortly after Los Angeles detectives investigating a 14-year-old murder came to Spokane to collect a saliva sample from him.

California investigators believe Kirby shot a sergeant, George Arthur, 37, to death in June 1985. Kirby was working as a deputy at the time.

The two men were reportedly romantically involved with the same woman at the time of the shooting, which occurred as Arthur was pulling his van onto southbound Interstate 5 in Los Angeles. Investigators believe Kirby was in the van with Arthur.

Arthur lost control of the car after he was shot, and it slammed into a freeway divider. Witnesses reported seeing someone crawl out of the wreckage and run away.

The crime remained a mystery until investigators were able to match DNA evidence discovered near Arthur's wrecked van to Kirby and obtained a new sample in 1999.

Kirby worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department until 1996, when he retired to south Spokane with his wife.

He had been working part-time as a baggage handler at Spokane International Airport when Los Angeles detectives approached him.

Los Angeles issued a warrant days before his body was found charging Kirby with captial murder.

Sunday at 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery will air “Blood on the Badge,” an hour-long episode of “Unusual Suspects” that explores the Kirby case and includes interviews with the victim’s coworkers and fellow officers with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.Find the channel here.

Past coverage:

July 15, 1999: TV crew finds suspected cop killer's body

July 14, 1999: Local man flees Los Angeles murder probe

Cable show to feature Yates serial killer case

The case of a Spokane serial killer who stalked prostitutes in the 1990s will be featured on a cable TV show next week. 

Death row inmate Robert Lee Yates, Jr., a former Army helicopter pilot and state prison guard, will be the subject of an hour-long episode of “Unusual Suspects” on Investigation Discovery, a sister channel to the Discovery Channel.

Yates (pictured) was a married father of five children when police detectives identified him as a serial killer who killed 10 women in Spokane between 1996 and 1998.

Yates confessed to 13 murders and was sentenced in 2000 to 408 years after Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker declined to seek the death penalty.

But the Pierce County prosecutor charged Yates with two murders there, and Yates was sentenced to death in 2002. He remains on death row at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

The cable TV show calls Yates the “monster in Spokane.”

A news release reads: “A multi-agency task force follows every possible lead, and they gather the murder weapon, a sketch of the killer, and even his DNA, but investigators still have no suspect. Finally, the reexamination of an old clue helps investigators zero in on the culprit. Can they discover the identity of this unlikely murderer before he strikes again?” Sorry to spoil it for you.

The episode airs Monday at 10 p.m. and includes interviews with retired Spokane County sheriff’s detectives Rick Grabenstein and Fred Ruetsch, as well as Detective John Miller of the Spokane Police Department, Lynn Everson of the Spokane Regional Health District, and retired sheriff’s Capt. Doug Silver.

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