Man convicted of killing wife 20 years ago

Nov 30, 2012 Full story: The Kansas City Star

A jury on Thursday convicted a St. Louis County man of killing his wife and dumping her body in a septic tank more than 20 years ago, officials said.Douglas Howery, 60, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1992 disappearance and death of his wife, Betty Ann Howery, 44, of St.

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Lynn Kempen

Ozark, MO

#1 Dec 3, 2012
This is an example of judicial travesty. A cause of death could not even be determined, and Mr. Howery was convicted based COMPLETELY on circumstantial evidence. The highly accredited forensic "authority" who based her decision on the report from the person who actually examined the bones, deemed the case a homicide based SOLELY on the fact that the remains were found in a septic tank, when the fact is, the septic tank was a 2-1/2 or 3 foot square hole in the ground, in an overgrown area on their property that was a hazard that the owner of the property, and others feared someone could fall into. From the very beginning, the ball was dropped by authorities in this case. Shortly after Betty Howery went reported missing, 2 men, potential suspects, approached the Hwy Patrol officer, looking for Mrs. Howery, at the edge of the property. These men asked if the officer was "looking for Mrs. Howery." That officer had absolutely no recollection of that exchange, even after examining his own police report (perhaps because they were suspects that he failed to follow up on.) Another man with troubled business connections with the deceased and the defendant, had already been found guilty of shooting someone, with a condition of his probation being that he "not shoot anyone else." So that man certainly had ability to shoot another person, and cause to cover it up if he did. SO MANY questions and possibilities were never raised by the Defense. The fact is we will NEVER KNOW what happened to Betty Howery. The Defense failed to explore the possiblity that it was simply an accident, or even an accident that ended in suicide (her falling in an abandoned septic tank on the overgrown property, after her husband told her the marriage was over, injured and unable to even call for help, in the cold of a February night - she might have even taken her own life (explaining the spent bullet in her own gun, found there with her.) The fact is - we will NEVER know. There is no closure in this case. The "justice" is merely superficial, as the facts and possibilities were not fully disclosed to the jury, and the authorities were guilty of "dropping the ball" at most every level of their "investigation." It's simply a very, very sad case, that will never be determined with even reasonable definity. A jury of 11 woman and 1 man, in a highly emotional case such as this, did not provide the male defendant a jury of his peers. This case exemplifies the travesty that is called "justice," in our criminal court system.

Maryland Heights, MO

#2 Feb 5, 2013
Apparently she couldn't call her place of employment herself to report "taking a vacation day" either. He did that "for her" How do you explain that? From what I understand, the cause of death was "blunt force trauma to the head" - not a gun shot wound. I think Dr. Case's expertise can tell the difference from "homocide and suicide". For God's sake..suicide? Yeah right...every day we hear of someone throwing themselves into a septic tank hoping to hit their head just right and/or beating themselves over the head in suicide success. Who were the "2 men" that approached the Hwy Patrol? Who witnessed the "2 men" approaching them besides the Hwy Patrol? Sorry...but the comments about "the troubled business man" being referred to as "capable" doesn't and wouldn't bring a guilty verdict. Charles Manson was probably "capable" also. Amazing how so many are in for the "CSI Effect". Circumstantial isn't always "circumstantial". If I was the husband, I would've hired my own PI to find out what happened to my wife. Why didn't he?

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