Wednesday, February 25, 2015

To Love Honor and Betray Movie

The Movie To Love Honor and Betray was a true crime movie based on Cathy Stroup. The movie stars Crystal Bernard and James Brolin.  The real names were changed to Ted and Melissa Brennan. The made for tv movie debuted on the USA Network in May 1999.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pomona County Superior Court Murder Case

A Brief Timeline in the Murder Case of Catherine Stroup

April 5, 1983 Catherine Stroup is found Dead

July 1984
Allen Leach, 22, and Paul Curtis Leach, 21were arraigned on murder charges surrounding the murder for hire plot of the Hawthorne woman.

October 1988
The son in law, Michael Seawright, is implicated in the murder for high scheme. He is not officially charged at this time.

Peter Leach, the triggerman, is convicted

April 1992
Michael Seawrights murder trial begins after 9 years. He was considered the mastermind of the plot.

July 1992
The jury is deadlocked at first. The trial then ends with a hung jury. The Prosecutors decide to try the case again.

June 1993
The case goes back to trial

August 1993
Michael Seawright is finally convicted and sentenced to life in prison

Extra Tidbits
The murder happened at 3555 W. Rosecrans Ave.

Peter Leach held a heart shaped pillow to muffle the sounds when he shot Catherine

The trial was held in Pomona Superior Court

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hawthorn Slaying ( Son in Law has Mother in Law Murdered)

Notes On the Day of the Murder of Catherine Stroup
by Traciy Curry-Reyes

Remember in the movie where the mother is seen arguing with someone, and a neighbor passes by to hear the commotion? Well, in the real story this argument was really between Cathy and her son earlier in the day. And it was actually the maintenance man who heard the fight. Later on that evening the next door neighbors, also having heard the fight, began to hear more commotion, such as thumps and bumps against the wall, and scuffling. It would later be known that this was the actual murder taking place. They used a heart shaped pillow from the house to muffle the sound of the gunshot. Stroup later returned home after drinking some shots of alcohol at a bar nearby only to find his wife murdered. He ran to tell some of the neighbors that his wife had been shot, but they misunderstood him to say that he shot his wife. This is how he ended up being arrested and convicted of the murder. After he was acquitted, Sherryl would ask "if it wasn't you then who could it have been?" He responded that he did not know, but he would not rest until he found out. Afterward, all kinds of weird things began to happen. His whole collection of guns was stolen. One ended up in a pawn shop, which indicated that Seawright had something to do with it. Seawright became even more estranged and began staying more in his trailer that was somewhat isolated from the main city. (this is the inspiration for the cabin scene in the movie) As far as the making of the movie, Jim Stroup and his daughter, Sherryl had the chance to speak with the writers of the movie. They both told there side, and were both equally shocked at the outcome of the movie. Each was paid $3,500 for the movie.

Life since Cathy's death and the making of the movie

James Stroup has been married a few times. He is now married to a very nice Spanish lady. They live in California. Catherine Stroup aka Cathy was his second wife, and his third wife died of gallbladder surgery. He is not in the best of health, but he his very happy with his newest wife. His son and has been in and out of trouble. And his daughter Sherryl lives in Vegas somewhere and works for a gas station...or it at least that is what he heard last.

Monday, December 26, 2011

To Love, Honor, and Betray Based on a True Story Jim Stroup and Catherine Stroup

 Some Notes about the True Case of Jim and Cathy Stroup
by Traciy Curry-Reyes

James Stroup aka Jim Stroup is up in age now, but he remembers the case very well. I asked him about the movie and how close he felt the movie was in portraying the truth, and he felt the movie was no where near the actual case. The movie was very Hollywood, he thought, and it depicted in no way the real city of Twentynine Palms. First, Twentynine Palms is a gritty neighborhood. Lots of drugs, lot of meth houses, and unsavory people according to Stroup. It was then and it is now, not a good place to live. The place where the murder occurred was actually a very tiny apartment with only one big great room with no working phone; not the lavish home we see in the movie. Mr. Stroup explained that the apartment there in Twentynine Palms was actually a weekend place that they used. They actually lived in a trailer a little further out in the desert. I started asking him about the part in the movie where the daughter is actually the one trying to solve her mother's murder, but here is the kicker...the daughter had nothing to do with trying to find her mother's killer. The pieces of the puzzle were put together by the father himself. And everyone around the case, the father, the prosecution, the neighbors, everyone who knew the case well said that the daughter most likely knew about the murder before hand. This has not been proven in a court of law. This is the opinion of many surrounding the case. According to the actual killers, the specifics of how the robbery would take place were discussed in the presence of the daughter, Sherryl. I have not had the opportunity to speak with Sherryl, and I am sure she would disagree. But, what we do know is that Sherryl actually supported her husband the entire time that he was under suspicion, and she still carries his name...Seawright. Stoup and his daughter have nothing to do with one another. The last time he spoke with her was about 8 months according to him; she called out of the blue and said "hey, it's me." and Mr.Stroup responded "well, what does me want." He said that he went on to tell her that he wanted absolutely nothing to do with her or her children. There is alot of bad blood between them since the trial. Stroup said they were all devastated to learn that it was Michael Seawright that had orchestrated all of this. Even after the brothers were convicted, no one suspected Seawright. In fact Stroup indicated that he was really glad to have Seawright around to handle the business. Now that he looks back on it, he realizes that Seawright played them all. He made a point to keep up with the case. Every time the police came around, Seawright had to know everything that was going on. He even read the murder book of the case (this is a book attorneys use to compile a case. Includes all the evidence and angles of looking at the case). In fact, Jim Stroup said that "Michael was more interested in the murder book than I was." But, the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together once the gun used in the murder turned up, and Seawright was named as the person who stole the gun from Stroup. The problems between Jim Stroup and his daughter started when she started dating Seawright. James Stroup never trusted Michael; he knew that Michael was a good con man. But it was his wife Cathy that fought for Michael. It was Cathy who suggested that Michael work for them, and she took Michael under her wing and treated him as a son. All for him to end up murdering her the way that he did.

Keep Reading (here)

Other Cases of Men Who Kill Their Wives

For extra reading here are a few other cases of men who kill their wives that are not associated with the movie or the story above on which the movie was based. 

Ohio 1996

  In 1996 Jenifer Mccrady was missing. According to her husband, police officer Jack Mccrady II, he returned home, and Jenifer was nowhere to be found. The only items that he found were her wedding band, her luggage and some photos. Police did not suspect foul play in the beginning. Only a few days later her car was found in a parking lot. There were no signs of a struggle. Crime scene technicians processed the scene, but it did not seem as though a crime had taken place.  It seemed as if she had just left town. Close friends and family knew that something had happened to her. They agreed that she would never leave her children. She had spoken to friends about problems in the marriage.  State Trooper Jack Mccrady had recently filed for divorce. During the investigation a woman came forward stating that she had seen a patrol car in a remote area, and that for some reason it struck her as very strange. Police officers investigated the location and found a mound . Once the mound was unearthed a foul odor emerged, and they found the remains of Jennifer Mccrady. The body was clothed in pajamas. She was shot in the head. Her husband Jack Mccrady was a suspect in her murder. The officer was placed on leave. A search of their home uncovered a revolver. The same type used to kill his wife. They also found dirt covered shovels. Forensic examiners found that the fibers from the home matched the fibers found at the scene, which indicated that she was murdered in her home.  An examination of the soil found on the shovels and the samples taken from the grave site matched. Ohio State police officers arrested Officer Jack Mccrady for the murder of his wife. He is currently serving out his sentence in prison.