Tag Archive for drugs

Me and My Big Mouth

Shortly after she committed her first murder, Anna Jeannette Humiston told a friend that if she wasn’t caught this time, she would kill again.
 
Fortunately for us, Humiston was caught and convicted and sentenced to a minimum 25-year term in the California prison system. It’s unlikely that Humiston, who was 17 when she helped beat Teresa Ann Holloway to death, will ever get out of prison, because she exhibited a cold-blooded character that is startling in its ferocity.
 
What is particularly ironic is that Humiston helped kill Teresa Holloway because she was afraid that Teresa would talk too much about another planned murder. Instead, it was Humiston’s big mouth that got her arrested.
 
Authorities found Teresa’s body in a drainage ditch outside Balboa Park in San Diego in May 1991, but the events that led to her murder began a year before when Humiston met 18-year-old Robert Jurado and the pair became lovers. Through Jurado, Humiston met Brian Johnson, Denise Shigemura and Teresa Holloway, who was living with Johnson. All of the group were more-than-casual drug users.
 
Around the beginning of 1991, after Teresa became pregnant, Johnson threw her out of their apartment because she refused to stop taking drugs. To make the rent, Johnson took in Doug Mynatt, a drug dealer who began dealing large quantities of drugs to Jurado, who resold them.
 
Jurado had a habit of making enemies, as did Mynatt, and by April 1991, the tension in the group had almost reached the boiling point. Trying to keep track of who hated whom requires a score card, but suffice to say, it was only a matter of who hit the others first.
 
Sadly, everyone decided that the first person who had to die was Teresa Holloway, because as Humiston would say later, “she asked too many questions and was not a good liar.”
 
On May 14, 1991, Johnson, Shigemura and Jurado discussed killing Mynatt in a three-way telephone conference call. As an example of the type of rocket scientists planning this crime, Johnson was in jail during the call.
 
The three conspirators agreed to kill Mynatt during their nearly 3-hour telephone call.
 
The next day, Johnson called Jurado and gave him the green light to take out Mynatt before Johnson left jail. At the same time Shigemura warned Johnson that he needed to talk to Teresa, because she apparently knew about the plot and “was asking questions.” While Johnson talked to Teresa, who by this time was about 4 months pregnant, and warned her to keep her mouth shut, Jurado and Shigemura agreed that Teresa had to go because they feared she would warn Mynatt.
 
Jurado told Humiston, “We’re going to have to do Terry, take her out.” He also made some “chopping gestures” with his hand, she said later.
 
Jurado got some plastic wire used for weed trimmers and wrapped it around his neck.
 
“This will do,” he told Humiston.
 
Shigemura was living in a halfway house because she was still under sentence for a drug conviction had to be “home” by 9 p.m. Humiston and Jurado were going to drive her there and they wanted to take Teresa with them, but she declined to go. Eventually, she was convinced to ride along.
 
At the time, Shigemura, like Humiston, was reluctant to kill Teresa. She told Jurado he could not “do this, this is a friend.” She told Jurado she wanted nothing to do with the killing, and Jurado said it would happen after she was dropped off.
 
Shigemura was driving, with Teresa in the front seat and Jurado and Humiston in back. When the car got on the freeway, Jurado reached forward, wrapped the wire around Teresa’s neck and began strangling her.
 
Humiston and Shigemura both yelled something like “Rob, what are you doing?” as the car swerved across the freeway. Teresa was fighting back and at one point she cried, “Why are you doing this to me, why are you doing this to my baby?”
 
With the car careened down the highway, Jurado pulled Teresa into the backseat and began pummeling her with his fists. He eventually reached into the rear of the car and got a jack handle.
 
As if it was a message from the gods, the car began to break down and Shigemura pulled over to the side of the highway. With Humiston and Shigemura pretending to repair a tire, Jurado pulled the unconscious body of Teresa from the car and dragged her to a drainage ditch. He began hitting her with the tire iron.
 
Holloway’s skull was shattered and her jaw was broken. Her injuries included numerous track-like abrasions on her face, arms, hands, legs and feet caused by a threaded device such as a pipe or scissors jack, lacerations on her head, a human bite mark on her back and ligature marks around her neck. The wounds showed Holloway was trying to cover herself as she was being hit. She also had hairs clutched in her fingers.
 
Sometimes he missed and the sound of the jack hitting concrete could be heard, police were told in confessions.
 
The killers pushed the broken down car away from where the body was laying and walked to a nearby convenience store where Jurado and Humiston washed the blood from their hands with ice Shigemura bought. They called for a ride and Humiston admitted to Shigemura that she had struck Teresa.
 
“She pissed on me,” Humiston said.
 
The friend who picked them up recalled that everyone looked shaken and Humiston looked as if she had been crying.
 
Apparently a good night’s sleep restored Humiston’s demeanor, because the next day she called a tow truck to collect her car and while she and Jurado and Shigemura were waiting for it, she joked about the murder and said it was necessary to protect herself. Humiston later said she did not “feel all that guilty.”
 
The killers paid for the tow with money from Teresa’s purse. After the car was recovered, Humiston was ready to move on to the real target — Mynatt.
 
“Let’s take care of it,” she told Shigemura.
 
Ironically, Teresa was killed because she talked too much, but it was Humiston’s mouth that got everyone arrested.
 
Humiston told two friends about the killing because she “couldn’t keep it in,” and those people went to the police. Four days after the killing, Humiston, Jurado and Shigemura were arrested. At trial, Humiston tried to play the innocent bystander role, but no one believed her.
 

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

When Penny Cheney went to the hotel room of Jimmy Wayne Jeffers in October 1976, it is safe to assume that her drug-addled brain was preventing her from thinking clearly. Otherwise, she would have remembered that Jeffers had previously tried to kill her and that he was probably even more angry with her since she had ratted him out to police for dealing smack and stealing.
 
But the lure of a heroin fix from her former boyfriend was too powerful — like the dose he gave her — and it cost her her life.
 
In an ironic twist of fate that is one of the best examples of letting the punishment fit the crime, Jeffers also died of a drug overdose — this one administered by the State of Arizona in 1995 while he lay strapped to a gurney in the state prison in Florence.
 
Jeffers was awaiting trial for drug offenses and was incarcerated in the Pima County Jail in August 1976 when he received a copy of a police report revealing that Penny had informed the Pima County Sheriff’s Office that Jeffers was dealing drugs. On the margin of the report, Jeffers wrote “Penny was only one that knew this.” It was at that time that he decided to kill her.
 
He wrote a kite to another prisoner in the jail, offering “some quick cash” if the prisoner would get rid of Penny and another alleged stool pigeon known as Fat Boy.
 
Demonstrating his profound ignorance by assuming that notes between prisoners were somehow privileged communications, Jeffers handed the note to a jailer for delivery. The jailer instead read the note and turned it over to his supervisor. The note read in part:

Name your price and it will be paid the day after it is in the papers. I want to do it myself but I am not sure they will set bond. If they do it will take a couple of months. I am in a hurry. I don’t want her to get out of town. An O.D. would be fine. Nice & clean.

Jeffers did manage to get bonded out and in October, he was living at a local motel with a friend named Doris when he made contact with Penny. Acting on instructions from Jeffers to get lost, Doris left the two former lovers alone, sitting at the motel’s pool for more than an hour until it began to rain. She waited in her car for another 30 minutes before returning to the motel room.
 
Jeffers answered the door armed with a pistol which he pointed at Doris’s head. He ordered her into the room, telling her to sit down and shut up.
 
Penny was lying unconscious on the bed. Jeffers took out a syringe and injected something into her hand, swearing at the woman who was obviously in the stages of a drug overdose. Seeing Penny foaming at the mouth, Doris, a licensed practical nurse, recognized that Jeffers was deliberately causing Penny to overdose.
 
“I’ve given her enough to kill a horse and this bitch won’t die,” he told Doris.
 
Doris checked her pulse and saw that Penny was still alive.
 
“Are you going to help her?” Doris asked.
 
“No, I’m going to kill her,” Jeffers replied, unbuckling the unconscious girl’s belt and wrapping around her neck.
 
“Stop it,” Doris said. “She’ll probably die anyway.”
 
Jeffers shrugged her off.
 
“I’ve seen her this way before and she’s come out of it,” he said. Jeffers proceeded to strangle Penny and told Doris to check her vitals again.
 
Penny was dead.
 
Jeffers then picked up the gun and directed Doris to inject Penny with more heroin, taking photos of her. He also took photos of Doris choking Penny.
 
“This will prove you were an accomplice,” he told her.
 
They then moved Penny’s body to the bathroom and stored the corpse in the bath until burying it in the Sedona desert.
 
A month later, Sharon Galarza, a friend of Penny and Jeffers was arrested on prostitution and drug charges and called Jeffers to suggest that Penny had also set her up. Jeffers, the criminal genius who did not think his prison letters would be examined, handed police a recorded confessionto Penny’s murder
 
“Well, nobody has to worry about her anymore,” Jeffers told Galarza in her jail phone call. “She’s gone. I killed her.”
 
He also warned Galarza not to tell anyone, because he didn’t act alone.
 
A few days later Jeffers invited Sharon to his hotel room with the promise of heroin. When she arrived, he assaulted her by holding a butcher knife to her throat. At knifepoint, Galarza was forced to inject herself with heroin.
 
Jeffers was subsequently convicted of receiving stolen property and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Shortly after, he was convicted of federal firearms charges and sentenced to 20 years.
 
While Jeffers was in prison, Galarza was arrested on drug and prostitution charges, and in return for a nolle prose for her own crimes, told what she knew about Penny’s murder.
 
Jeffers was convicted of Penny’s murder in 1977, and was executed in 1995.
 
Demonstrating that he was a real class act until the end, his final words consisted of a string of profanity, and he died with his middle finger extended toward the witnesses.