Life lost at the Trinity

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The Crime

On April 3, 1996 Lisa Allison (21) took her parents 1988 Oldsmobile to the local car wash in Liberty, TX. She would be found the next day, floating in the Trinity River. She had 42 separate injuries including numerous skull fractures and a severed jugular vein.

On July 29,1996, Robert Morrow was arrested for the abduction and murder of Lisa Allison.

Numerous friends testified against Morrow. One even stating Morrow had previously mentioned how easy it would be to kidnap a girl from that very car wash and rob and rape her. Another friend testified that he had dropped Morrow off at the gas station across the street from the car wash the day of Lisa’s murder and yet another testified to seeing him later that evening covered in blood and scratches.

Morrow spun many tales about his whereabouts the night of the murder. The police were never able to confirm any of them. He then claimed another man was responsible for the murder and picked him up in the victims car after the murder had taken place, thus explaining why his blood and hair were found in Allison’s car. This “other man” was never found.

A jury convicted Morrow of capital murder in November 1997 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in June 2000. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.

Morrow continued to taunt the victim’s parents after his conviction. Even stating, with a laugh, that he already arranged to be cremated and have his ashes poured over Lisa Allison’s grave.

Four days before his scheduled execution he finally admitted to the murder of Lisa Allison. Although, he claimed she went with him willingly to smoke crack and after getting high she was killed during an altercation between the two. Even though Allison had no history of drug use and no drugs were found in her system at the time of death.

On November 4, 2004 , Robert Brice Morrow was executed by lethal injection at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, TX. His last words were,

“Mike and Ms. Allison, I would like to tell you that I am responsible and I am sorry for what I did and the pain I caused you all. I love you Earline and all of my friends that stood by me. I feel blessed to have had you all. Stay strong and take care of them kids. Set me free Warden. Father, accept me.”

He was pronounced dead at 6:35 p.m.

The Criminal

Robert Morrow was born 06/03/1957 in Louisiana. He was one of five children being raised by a mother and an abusive, alcoholic father. At the age of 9 he ran away from home to join the circus. A few years later, he returned only to then drop out of high school in the 10th grade.  He would later receive his GED.

As an adult, Morrow was convicted for forgery and was sentenced to five years’ probation. After violating the terms of his probation, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison. He served 20 months of that sentence from 1981 to 1983 before being released. Morrow also served time in Louisiana and South Carolina for burglary, grand larceny, and carrying a weapon illegally. As well as misdemeanor convictions for marijuana possession, marijuana delivery, and failure to identify as a fugitive.

Criminal Theories

As far as Morrow is concerned, this is pretty much speculation. From the articles I found regarding this case, I could determine what type of crime it was, obviously. But his reasoning’s weren’t exactly straight forward. If we look at his confession given days before his execution and take it as truth then it was merely an issue of wrong place/wrong time,

Four days before his scheduled execution, Morrow told a reporter that Allison went willingly with him from the car wash to smoke crack cocaine. As they were driving down an isolated road near the Trinity River, Allison’s car got a flat tire. She became upset with him for not changing the tire quickly enough, he said, and she stabbed him in the leg with a screwdriver. “I’m high on cocaine, and it blew my fuse,” Morrow said. “So, I knotted up and slapped her and beat the (expletive) out of her.” She then ran from him, so he chased her and dragged her back to the car, throwing her in the trunk so he could change the tire. “When I opened the trunk again, she came at my like a raving … maniac. So, I had to whop her upside the head with a jack handle.”

Lisa Allison’s father was a Liberty city councilman, and she had relatives in local law enforcement, including a cousin who was a deputy sheriff. “I knew who her family was,” Morrow said. “I was a convicted felon that had been to the pen three times. I didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. I did what I had to do.” He then cut Allison’s throat. “I wish it didn’t happen, but I can’t change it,” he said. “When you do drugs, there’s no telling what can happen. I did that night, and it got out of hand.”

Morrow said that he should not be executed for Allison’s murder because he did not kidnap her. By law, only murder cases that include an aggravating factor, such as kidnapping, are eligible for the death penalty.

http://www.txexecutions.org/reports/333-Robert-Morrow.htm?page=2

Now, if choose to assume this is a lie for his own benefit, (which it seems that way), then we are back to no clear reason other than it was easy for him. This leads me somewhere along the roads of Routine Activities Theory and Rational Choice Theory.

Routine Activities Theory

In routine activity theory, crime is likely to occur when three essential elements of crime converge in space and time: a motivated offender, an attractive target, and the absence of capable guardianship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Routine_activity_theory

1.Motivation: They want something
2.Suitable Target: They see what they want
3.Absence of Guardians: And there’s no one about

https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/Psychology-of-Crime-Why-do-people-become-criminals

On April 3, sitting across from that car wash, Morrow wanted something, he saw a suitable target, and there was no one really around to do anything about it.

Rational Choice Theory

The position of Rational Choice Theory is that criminal behavior is no different from noncriminal behavior in that it is conduct that persons intentionally choose to undertake (i.e., they are not compelled or forced to do crime), and the reason that they choose to commit crime is that they think it will be more rewarding and less costly for them than noncriminal behavior.

http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/criminology/theories/rational-choice-theory/

Again, this is very close to Routine Activity Theory. The only reason he committed this crime is he wanted to. He wanted something and it was easier to take it from Allison by force then go about receiving it by honest means. Of course, the price of his crime was far higher than he probably imagined.

Conclusion

From what I can tell about Morrow, he seemed to fit the bill for most stereotypical criminals. Rough childhood, low education, history of drug abuse. His crimes escalated as he made his way in and out of the correctional system with no apparent remorse. Eventually, he ended up across the street from that car wash and whether he thought he would just rob her for drug money or did have every intention of killing her that day, we will never know. But we do know, he saw something he wanted and he took it.

Sources:

Post Script:

Phew! I did it guys! I researched and wrote and completed a thing when I said I would. Please, please, if you did you read this, I could 100% use feedback. This is my first time doing something like this and I really don’t know if this was the best way to do it or not. Week to week this will be a learning experience. I hope you bare with me while I get my footing.

Follow me on Twitter @AndytheWriter33 for updates on my upcoming posts. You will also likely see me retweet cat and dog videos. But who doesn’t enjoy those?

Thanks so much for reading and letting me know how I am doing.

Change of Scenery

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Huh. Okay, so that didn’t exactly go as planned. I was so hyped up to come up with SOMETHING to write about here. I even thought I chose something. Then I spent the first half of the week last week trying to do research to have something to write about on here for Thursday. Then life happened as it always tends to do to me and I didn’t post anything at all last week. I’m disappointed in myself. Which lead to me feeling defeated on multiple fronts.

But, here I am. I am hyping myself back up again. I am not sure my idea is really going to work. I kind of started thinking about my interests and what I would want to know more about that would also help me in my writing.

As you may or may not know, I graduated college with my degree in Criminal Justice. It is still something I find very interesting. One of the things I wish I had spent more focus on while in school was the psychology part of it. I’ve always wanted to know why people commit crimes. I learned about the crimes and the system for dealing with them. How to solve them all that. But, I want to know what drives people to commit. I feel like if we can spend more time on that focus in general, maybe we can lower crimes rates? Maybe, we can stop them before they happen. Of course, we can never know what someone else is thinking. But if we can take a step and look at the situation from a different view, maybe we can help people so they don’t feel like they need to commit.

Now, my books tend to be more focused on killers rather than pety theft so I started thinking, okay why do people kill other people? There are a lot of theories. Some I had already learned about but could use a refresher and others I didn’t know much about. I am still not entirely sure how I am going to take this question and make it a blog. Maybe each week I will cover a different theory? I can then use real life killers to show each theory? This could work, right? If I just keep pushing through and get myself focused and stop letting myself be so dang lazy.

I guess the first step is figuring out how to write a blog hahaha just kidding, clearly I have no interest in learning that. I am just going to do this, whether it is the correct way or not. Each week, I will talk about a different theory of why people kill. I will include examples and discuss if they really fit the theories. Yea, I think that is what I will do. Studying different theories and killers (not always serial) will be a help in my writing as well. I can use the research to better build my killers. See, all in all, I will make this work out!

Check back next week for the official first blog post in my Creating a Killer series!

You can also follow me on Twitter @AndytheWriter33

I will try and start posting stuff on twitter related to the theory of the week.

Drum roll please

I have written 3 days in a row this week! Not always a lot and not always on my main book but it’s the writing that counts. Right?

I think listening to these podcasts (and a couple audio books which is new for me) has gotten me back into it.

This week my writing has been more focused on the idea of doing a collection of short stories written in the first person. I chose first person because I am hoping if I do it sort of like I am writing in a journal (except everything is made up) then maybe it will flow easier. Then I can go in and edit as needed. The goal is just to be writing. Nothing more.

Also, I need to give this blog more of a focus. At the moment, it is just the same shit different day. Maybe if it requires me to do research/hw than it will actually be more helpful in helping me move forward in my writing. Like, maybe I can research writing styles explain what they are and then write an example? It will be a struggle to stick to that for sure. Especially for me who has no self discipline. I have gotten better when it comes to spending money and eating out. Maybe I am ready to tackle being more productive. Doing something because I said I would do it even though no one is paying me to do it, or grading me on it, or hell even watching.

My first assignment for myself, is to come up with what exactly this blog is going to be. I will probably also go back to doing my posts on Thursdays instead of earlier in the week so I can have more time during the week to research and prepare since at the moment my weekends are very busy with job#2. So, tune in next week to find out what in the hell I am doing here!

Are you as excited as I am to find out what this blog will become? Follow me on Twitter @AndytheWriter33 and maybe you will get some hints!

P.S. Like True Crime? I recently listened to an audiobook called Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan. It is still unsolved and just oh so weird! I will probably do some more digging and see if I can find out if anything else has been discovered since the book was published 9 years ago. Maybe it stirred up some new interest. I will let you know.

Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean

Bear with me, I’m tryin here.

I very much meant to post yesterday. I got distracted by watching Breaking Bad instead…oops! Of course, if you are someone who needs me to post on a regular basis than I have probably already lost you since I like to go months at a time without saying a word apparently. Okay, anyway. So, podcasts.

For a long time I just could not get into podcasts. My brain has to commit fully to listening to them and it turns out social media has ruined me for this. I cannot just listen to something without doing anything else. My brain gets bored and wanders. Recently, one of my friends told me about this podcast called The Magnus Archives by The Rusty Quill. It was the first time I tried a podcast that wasn’t strictly an informational podcast. It is entirely fiction. Each episode is 30 minutes or less. I got hooked almost immediately. In fact, I binged it and got caught up to real time episodes within a couple of weeks. Now, I have to wait week to week for new episodes but boy do I still love it. Anyone who is into creepy paranormal stories should totally check it out! It is very well done. (side note: if you like creepy paranormal stories that are from real life, you should 100% checkout my friends podcast called Ghost Emoji! They talk about all sorts of stuff and delve into the history behind the stories. It is very relaxed and silly and easy to listen to. I am still getting caught but I have enjoyed every episode so far. So listen! Ghost Emoji!)

So anyway, I got into this and it has really been helping me get my juices flowing for wanting to write again. While, I am still hitting a wall with my main book, it has kept it at the front of my mind. I am thinking about writing every day. Coming up with stories. But whenever I try and write them down they go no where. I have decided that as long as I am writing something everyday eventually I will write more and then I will be back in the swing of things.

I also started painting and sketching again. I have this grand idea that any creativity is good creativity and it will eventually lead me back to my book…sooner or later something has got to lead me back to my book. I am staying positive. I will get there. It will get done. If it is total crap and everyone hates it oh well. At least it will be done. I will have finished it.

Blerg, I don’t really have much else today. One of these days…

Don’t forget to check out the Magnus Archives by Rusty Quill and of course Ghost Emoji by my cool friends Taylor and Becca!

Follow them on Twitter

@TheRustyQuill

@GhostEmojiShow

You can also follow me

@AndytheWriter33

Listening to these podcasts has made me feel like I need a catchy last word/phrase…we will see what I come up with and maybe I will have something clever to wrap all this up with next week!

Remember that time…

when I was writing a book? It has been a long while since I have worked on it at all. It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. As usual, I was too embarrassed to tell you that I wasn’t writing. So, I stopped writing all together.

I started carrying my book around with me again about a week ago. To and from the office. I carry it in my backpack with the hopes I will pick up again soon. I often wonder what it would be like to actually finish it. I wonder if anyone would actually want to publish it or if I should try and self publish. Then I remind myself I haven’t even finished the dang thing so what’s the point in worrying about publishing it. If it isn’t finished, no one can read it. No one can judge it. I think that is the root of my writer’s block. I guess that is probably the root of everyone’s writer’s block.

Fear. Fear of not being as good as I think I am. Fear that my story is same ol same ol and no one will want to read it because it has been done. There are a million books about serial killers. I like to think mine is different. I tell myself, mine is different. I tell myself if Twilight can be a huge deal than so can I. It’s all about timing right?

I wonder what it will feel like to actually finish my book. Not necessarily the being published part (which I can assume will feel awesome!) But just the part where I actually finish it. Where I actually say, “Okay. this is done.” I wonder how much longer it will take me to get that point. I guess the longer I put off working on it, the longer it will take to get that point. Duh.

So, where do I go from here? Do I make another list of goals? Or do I just force myself to start? The lists haven’t really worked much in the past. Which is weird because they help me do chores. Maybe if I make the things smaller? Easier to cross off? But wasn’t already doing that? I guess I could always scroll back down my posts and take a look at my lists. See what changes I can make to be more successful. Maybe I could just choose a block of time from the day and tell myself that is when I must write? No matter what is going on, what I am doing, that is when I must stop everything and write.

I will say, I have high hopes for the new year and getting shit done. I am finally to a point where I can quit my second job. December 30th is my last day having 2 jobs. I will go back to living a life where I have weekends to rest/relax/be productive. I am hoping that once I’m not exhausted all of the time I will start feeling better. Once I start feeling better, I can be creative again. Plus, I will have 2 full days I can dedicate, if needed, to writing. I don’t want to put it off till then though. I really want to start again now. I really really really really want to start writing again. Maybe if I just keep repeating that to myself. Maybe if I wake up every morning and look at something telling me I should write. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Well here goes nothing…

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think it’s been a long time since I posted on here? It has been just as long since I posted on Twitter. Follow me @AndytheWriter33 and wait in suspense for me to say something fascinating!

thinking about things but not actually doing the things

Can someone please stand behind me and smack me in the back of the head until I write? At this point, anything would be better than the nothing I have managed to get down. What in the hell is wrong with me? I always do this. I’m productive for a couple of weeks and then just fall flat. At least I know I am not the only person struggling to write….it should make me feel better but it doesn’t. I am hoping once I start sleeping again I will be able to focus again. Just gotta start sleeping again…easier said than done.

sorry, I just can’t do this today….twitter me? @AndytheWriter33

I don’t wanna lie but I don’t wanna tell you the truth…

I’ve done it again.

Today is the first day I have written anything this week and my second draft deadline is quickly approaching. I am only hurting myself by not writing. April 1st will be here and if I have nothing to show for it then….I don’t know, I mean, like I said already. It will only hurt myself if I continue to put this off. The longer it takes me to write this book, the more chance someone else might do it first. What if by the time I finish there are too many books like this and no one will care for one more murder mystery? Is that possible? Will people ever get tired of murder mysteries? My luck, they will get tired of them right when I finish. Good thing I have a few other things on the back burner haha no for serious though that would be really upsetting. I should also really prepare myself for the fact that I don’t know if anyone actually gets their first book published do they? The again, I can always self publish…so yea the point of this train of thought is I better hurry up and finish this thing before someone else does!

But it has been a successful day. I am working on a scene where the main character learns to shoot a gun for the first time. Since I have only done this 2 times in my entire life and they were a hand full of years ago (yikes actually more like 2 hand fulls) I spent the first half of my day watching YouTube videos of other people going to gun ranges for the first time. I want to be sure I use the correct terms and descriptions. I am almost tempted to have one of my friends take me to a range so I can really see and feel what my character is feeling. Like my character, I have never been a fan of guns.

They make me uncomfortable and, not to get too political, they are entirely too easy for people to get. The thought that school shootings are so common now breaks my heart. School is hard enough as it is to get through socially. They shouldn’t have the added fear of “what if someone shows up with a gun today?” or the fear of going to any kind of large gathering or going to the mall, or even going to church for fucks sake! Anyway, I digress.

So, yea, I have been watching people shoot guns today. Even though I am not a fan of guns doesn’t mean a reader won’t be and I want to be sure I am as accurate as possible. I do not want to just try and go off the cuff with it. It’s also why I chose to watch videos of people shooting for the first time. That’s the visual I want to be able to portray. Not someone who has been shooting for years. Someone who is nervous and has no clue what it’s going to feel like when they pull the trigger that first time. For me, the first time I shot a gun, I was 18. My boyfriend at the time had recently gotten a gun and wanted me to know how to use it. I was nervous around guns then but not in the same respect as I am now. There weren’t as many mass shootings back then. I didn’t have the knowledge I have now. Even then, I could feel the power of it. When I pulled the trigger for the first time I actually teared up a bit after. It sounds lame but the thought that pulling that trigger could potentially take someones life away is a big feeling. It’s a huge deal. And the fact that it happens daily is terrible. Shit, sorry, I didn’t mean to get back on that. It’s hard not to though. We live in such a weird scary time. Talking about guns is a big subject. Blek okay shaking that off. Where I meant to go with that was I can remember how nervous and over whelming shooting a gun was. But I don’t remember much after pulling the trigger that first time. Which is why I am considering giving it another shot…(okay, I swear that pun was not intended).

I feel like I need to end there because I am just going to keep going off on gun control and I am not trying to get political with this.

I’m gunna try and do some reading now. Harry Potter is currently trying to figure out what the second trial will be. He was just told to take his egg hint to the baths…will things get kinky for our main character??? Just kidding, I know they won’t, I’ve seen the movies. But I will say I am enjoying the books. Halfway through Goblet Fire. I need to hurry and finish because I am already behind on my reading challenge. I literally gave myself 2 books a month and I have 8 days to finish this one AND another one! Yea….that isn’t going to happen. Why am I the worst at meeting goals? I will have to read 3 books next month.

Follow me on twitter? @andythewriter33 at the very least, you will see when I make a blog post.