Ture Found Guilty In Huling Murders

Showing 1-3 of 3 messages
Ture Found Guilty In Huling Murders repost 2/2/00 12:00 AM
The following appears courtesy of the 2/2/00 online edition of the
WCCO-NewsRadio, local Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station web site:

Ture Found Guilty In Huling Murders

Jurors Deliberated For Two Days On 1978 Killings

ST. CLOUD, Minn., February 1, 2000 --  Jurors in the trial of Joseph
Ture for
the killing of a family in 1978 reached a verdict of guilty Tuesday,
WCCO-Radio
reported.

Ture was accused of the shotgun killing of Alice Huling and three of her
four
children in their home near Clearwater, Minn.

Ture already is serving a life sentence for the 1980 abduction, rape and
murder
of a 19-year-old West St. Paul waitress, plus a consecutive 30-year
sentence
for three Minneapolis rapes. He was convicted last year of the 1979
murder of
Afton, Minn., teenager Marlys Wohlenhaus.

While awaiting trial in the 1980 case, Ture allegedly told a fellow
inmate that
he killed Wohlenhaus, the Hulings and Melrose native Joanie Bierschbach.
Ture's
attorney challenged the confession.

Stearns County Judge Richard Ahles ruled at the time that prosecutors
could use
the confession, several transcripts of law enforcement interviews and
evidence
taken from Ture's car four days after the killings.

Ture was indicted in May 1999 in the deaths of Huling and three of her
children
-- Susan, 16, Wayne, 13, and Patti, 12. Another son, 11-year-old Billy,
survived by lying still in his bed after the killer shot at him but
missed.

No one was charged in the Huling homicides until the state Bureau of
Criminal
Apprehension's cold-case unit began reviewing evidence in 1994.

During the trial, Billy Huling testified about the night Ture came into
his
home.

He recalled how he was awakened early that evening by the sounds of a
struggle
and a shotgun blast in the lower level of the house. Alice Huling's
bedroom was
in the lower level, while the children slept upstairs.

He heard the killer ascend the stairs and then saw a man's shadow in the

doorway of the bedroom he shared with his brother, Wayne, who asked,
"Who are
you?" A light behind the killer produced a silhouette in the darkness.
What
happened next brought Huling to tears during the trial.

"The person standing in the doorway raised a shotgun from his side and
shot my
brother," he said. "I got scared and pulled my covers over my head and
laid in
bed."

He heard the killer's footsteps head toward Susan's room.

"There was a pumping action of the shotgun," he said. "And then I heard
my
sister start to scream and then another shot."

Huling's chihuahua, Dusty, was barking while hiding under Patti's bed.
Billy
remembered hearing that and the pump action of the shotgun again.

"I heard the person say [to Patti], 'It's OK, go back to sleep.' Then
another
shot."

The killer then came back into the brothers' room.

"I was probably getting even more scared," he said. "I was hoping and
praying
I'd hear the footsteps go down the stairs and leave the house."

But the killer came back for Billy. One shot flew by his ear as he lay
as still
as possible. The shotgun barrel poked at his stomach, testing to see if
he was
still alive.

"I heard the pump action again of the gun and another shot," he said.
This shot
was so close to his head that it produced an intense ringing in Billy's
ears
that grew after the killer again poked at him to see if he was alive.

"I tried to lay still," he said.

The footsteps finally descended the stairs, and the killer left the
house,
leaving Billy in the quiet aftermath of a bloodbath. One look at his
brother
and he knew immediately that he was dead. In his sisters' and mother's
rooms he
saw the same carnage.

The jury found Ture guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. He
will be
sentenced at a later date.
-------------------------------------------
  The following two news articles both appear courtesy of today's
Associated
Press news wire:

Wednesday, February 2, 2000

By The Associated Press / Statewire

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- Joseph Ture Jr. will be 74 before he begins
serving
any sentences in the 1978 shotgun killings of a Clearwater family.

Ture, who will be sentenced Monday on his 49th birthday, was convicted
Tuesday
of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Alice Huling and
children Susan, 16; Wayne, 13; and Patti, 12.

The four were shot to death in the early morning hours in their beds
inside the
Hulings' home. Another child, 11-year-old Billy, survived by huddling
under his
bed covers as two shotgun blasts narrowly missed his head.

Ture, who did not testify, is already serving two life sentences for
killing
Marlys Wohlenhaus, 18, of Afton in 1979 and Diane Edwards, 19, of West
St. Paul
in 1980. Those sentences will keep him in prison until 2025.

He is also suspected in the death of Joan Bierschbach near St. Cloud in
1979.
Her body was found five years later in a Mississippi River backwater in
Wright
County. Prosecutors there had said they would wait for the Huling
verdict
before deciding whether to charge Ture. They couldn' t be reached
Tuesday.
-------------------------------------------
Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Ture convicted in 1978 killings of Huling family, more charges could
come

Statewire

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- Joseph Ture Jr. will be 74 before he begins
serving
any sentences in the 1978 shotgun killings of a Clearwater family.

Ture, who will be sentenced Monday on his 49th birthday, was convicted
Tuesday
of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Alice Huling and
children Susan, 16; Wayne, 13; and Patti, 12.

The four were shot to death in the early morning hours in their beds
inside the
Hulings' home. Another child, 11-year-old Billy, survived by huddling
under his
bed covers as two shotgun blasts narrowly missed his head.

Ture, who did not testify, is already serving two life sentences for
killing
Marlys Wohlenhaus, 18, of Afton in 1979 and Diane Edwards, 19, of West
St. Paul
in 1980. Those sentences will keep him in prison until 2025.

He is also suspected in the death of Joan Bierschbach near St. Cloud in
1979.
Her body was found five years later in a Mississippi River backwater in
Wright
County. Prosecutors there had said they would wait for the Huling
verdict
before deciding whether to charge Ture. They couldn' t be reached
Tuesday.

It took Stearns County jurors, who got the case Friday, 10 hours of
deliberations to convict Ture of the Huling murders.

Defense attorney Mark Kelly had repeatedly attacked the credibility of
two
career criminals who testified against Ture. Jurors said they believed
them
anyway.

Ture sat expressionless as Judge Richard Ahles read the verdicts.

Jury foreman Charles Kern said jurors were persuaded in part by evidence

regarding an aluminum bar wrapped in a distinctive leather
steering-wheel cover
that was taken from Ture days after the killings.

The pattern on the bar matched enhanced photographs of bruises on Alice
Huling'
s body, Kern said.

On the night of the murders, Stearns County Sheriff Jim Kostreba was a
patrol
sergeant and was the first law enforcement officer to respond to the
Huling
home.

" It' s something I live with all the time, " Kostreba said. The last
couple of
months it' s all come back. It' s very difficult."

The Huling deaths had nagged at law enforcement officials and Stearns
County
residents for years as one of the most horrific unsolved murders on the
books.
Ture had been a suspect days after the shootings but was not charged
until a
Stearns County grand jury indicted him in 1999.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension' s cold-case unit began
reviewing
evidence in 1994. Investigators found information linking Ture, who was
already
in prison for killing Edwards and for three Minneapolis rapes, to the
Huling
and Wohlenhaus deaths.

In 1998, the Washington County attorney' s office tried to enter
evidence from
the Huling case into Ture' s trial for the murder of Wohlenhaus. A judge

refused, but Billy Huling did testify and some of the evidence used to
convict
Ture in the Huling case began to take shape.

Billy Huling, now a 32-year-old naval construction manager, was away
from his
California home on duty and was unavailable for comment, but his wife,
Marsha,
reacted with joy at the news.

Wohlenhaus' mother, Fran Wolhenhaus-Munday, also was pleased with the
verdict.
" This verdict really lifted my soul, " she said from her East Coast
home.

Georgia Huling, Alice Huling' s sister, was the only family member
present for
the verdict.

" I think the prayers have been answered, " she said.
------------------------------------------
  The following appears courtesy of the 2/2/00 online edition of The
Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper:

Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Ture found guilty of Huling family slayings
Jim Adams / Star Tribune

Joseph Ture Jr. was convicted of four more homicides Tuesday when a
Stearns
County jury found him guilty of killing Alice Huling and three of her
children
in an early-morning massacre on Dec. 15, 1978.

It was the third murder trial for Ture. He has been in prison most of
his adult
life for several rapes and the murders of Diane Edwards of West St. Paul
in
1980 and Marlys Wohlenhaus of Afton in 1979.

Ture, who will turn 49 next week, sat quietly in the district courtroom
in St.
Cloud as the four first-degree murder verdicts were read Tuesday
afternoon. The
jury took about 12 hours to reach its decision in the slayings that
shocked the
region in 1978.

He is to be sentenced Feb. 7 and could face four consecutive terms of at
least
17 years, attorneys said.

His new sentence won't begin until he completes murder sentences that
will keep
him imprisoned until at least 2025, when he will be 74.

Stearns County Sheriff Jim Kostreba was a new deputy and the first one
to
arrive at the Huling home the day they were shot.

The verdict brought a sense of relief, he said. "It's something you'd
like to
forget about," he added. "It would be interesting to know why he had to
kill .
. . the kids. . . . The murders were so brutal and senseless."

The jury convicted Ture, an itinerant mechanic, of beating and then
shooting
Alice Huling, 36, a divorced mother, in her home near Clearwater about 4
a.m.
on a cold night 10 days before Christmas. Then he climbed the narrow
wooden
stairs leading to her four children's bedrooms. He reloaded his shotgun
and
killed Susan, 16; Wayne, 13, and Patti, 12.

Only Billy, 11, survived, narrowly missed by the shots that whistled
through
his pillow. He played dead, and Ture stalked out.

Huling, now 32 and a Navy construction manager, returned from California
for
the trial, which began Jan. 11. His testimony helped discredit the
defense's
claim that the Hulings' neighbor, John Dwyer, was the shooter. Dwyer, a
Stearns
County deputy who has since died, had admitted having an affair with
Alice
Huling.

Billy Huling testified that he saw the shooter's silhouette in his
bedroom
doorway and that it was smaller than Dwyer, a close family friend, who
was too
tall to fit in the 6-foot doorway. He heard the killer talk and didn't
know the
voice, he said.

Defense attorney Mark D. Kelly said: "Our endeavor was not to prove
Dwyer did
it. It was to establish reasonable doubt that Ture did it."

Huling also testified that a toy Batmobile car found in Ture's car four
days
after the slaying looked like the one he and his brother used to argue
over.

Prosecutor Patrick Strom said other key evidence included a written
confession
that Ture had signed and medical experts' opinions that bruises on Alice
Huling
were inflicted by a specially wrapped club found in Ture's car. The
defense
attacked the credibility of Ture's former fellow inmate, Toby Krominga,
who had
drafted the confession. Ture signed all seven pages but said later that
they
were blank and that he thought they were to be used for a petition
against jail
food.

No one was charged in the Huling case until the Minnesota Bureau of
Criminal
Apprehension's cold-case unit began reviewing the evidence with
investigators
in 1994. They found the confession and other evidence linking Ture to
the
deaths and to the Wohlenhaus murder. Ture was convicted in October 1998
of
killing Wohlenhaus, 18.

He is one of the most prolific killers in Minnesota. Others involved in
multiple slayings include Khoua Her, who strangled her six children in
St. Paul
in 1998; Primitivo Juan Rivas, who killed his girlfriend, their four
children
and himself in Lonsdale in December 1999, and David Brom, who used an ax
to
kill four relatives in Rochester in 1988.

Ture also is suspected in the death of Joan Bierschbach near St. Cloud
in 1979.
Her body was found five years later in a Mississippi River backwater in
Wright
County. Wright County prosecutors had said they would wait for the
Huling
verdict before deciding whether to charge Ture. They couldn't be reached

Tuesday.
-------------------------------------
  The following two news articles both appear courtesy of the 2/2/00
online
edition of The St. Cloud Times newspaper:

2 February, 2000

Ture guilty of 1978 killings

By David Unze
Staff Writer

A Stearns County jury has found a twice-convicted murderer guilty of the
1978
shotgun killings of Alice Huling and three of her children.

The five women and seven men deliberated for approximately 10 hours
before
finding Joseph Ture Jr. guilty Tuesday afternoon on four counts of
first-degree
murder. Ture, who already is serving two life sentences for previous
murders,
sat expressionless as Judge Richard Ahles read the verdicts.

The conviction closes one of the most gruesome and long-unsolved murders
in
Stearns County history. Ture is scheduled to be sentenced Monday, his
49th
birthday.

"Obviously, we're glad it's over," said Stearns County Sheriff Jim
Kostreba. He
was the first on-duty law enforcement officer to respond to the Huling's

Fairhaven Township home in the early hours of Dec. 15, 1978. "It's
something I
live with all the time. The last couple of months it's all come back.
It's very
difficult."

Jurors first began deliberating Friday afternoon and reached verdicts
Tuesday
shortly after 11 a.m. Their verdicts mean Ture has been convicted of
murdering
six people, five who were younger than 20.

"You don't know if there's ever going to be an end after 20 years," said

Georgia Huling, Alice's sister. "You just go on with your life."

Billy Huling was away from his California home on naval duty and was
unavailable for comment. His wife, Marsha, reacted with joy at news of
the
verdicts.

Prosecutors Patrick Strom and Dan Benson left the courtroom immediately
after
the verdicts and were unavailable for comment late Tuesday.

"I'm disappointed in the verdict," said Ture's attorney Mark Kelly, "but
the
jury has spoken, and you'd have to ask them why they did what they did.
I hope
the community can attain some sense of closure from the verdict."

In attendance for Tuesday's verdicts along with Georgia Huling was
Corrine
Dwyer, whose now-deceased husband, John, was named as a suspect by
Ture's
defense. The two hugged after the verdicts were read.

Corrine Dwyer was asked if this finally vindicates her husband, who was
investigated by sheriff's officials in connection with the murders.

"I hope so," she said. "I'm sure in some people's eyes it doesn't. But
John was
a good and decent man. He always was."

Calling attention to Dwyer as a suspect also has worn on Kostreba, who
worked
with Dwyer at the time of the killings.

"That was the tough thing about this case -- that he and his family kept
being
brought up. But now, it's over for them as well," Kostreba said.

Kostreba, then a patrol sergeant, arrived at the Huling home to find
Alice dead
in the lower-level bedroom. She had been beaten and shot three times.
Upstairs,
he found 16-year-old Susan clinging to life and Wayne, 13, and Patti,
12, dead.
All had single gunshot wounds to the head.

Billy Huling, then 11, survived as two shots narrowly missed his head as
he hid
under his bed sheets.

The Huling deaths nagged at law enforcement officials and Stearns County

residents for years as one of the most horrific unsolved murders in the
St.
Cloud area.

Ture's indictment was met with praise by surviving Huling family members
and
advocates for other solved and unsolved murders. It also was met with
criticism
that taxpayer money was being spent to try a man who likely will never
get out
of prison alive.

Ture already is serving life sentences for the 1979 murder of Afton
woman
Marlys Wohlenhaus and the 1980 killing of West St. Paul woman Diane
Edwards and
wouldn't have been eligible for parole until 2025. Evidence of those
convictions was not allowed into the Huling trial, and jurors
interviewed after
the verdicts said they knew Ture was in prison but didn't know why.

While the verdicts were met with shouts of happiness in Billy Huling's
home in
California, it had much the same effect on the East Coast, where Marlys
Wohlenhaus' mother lives.

"When that verdict came in (Tuesday), it was truly like a gift from
heaven,"
said Fran Wohlenhaus-Munday. "The four indictments came in on the 20th
anniversary of Marlys' death. The trial started on Marlys' 39th
birthday. It
was just like she was in heaven pulling strings. This verdict really
lifted my
soul."

Wohlenhaus pushed to have her daughter's murderer brought to trial after
nearly
20 years with no answers in Washington County. It was in a 1998 pretrial

hearing there that evidence of Ture's possible involvement in the Huling

murders first was brought to light.

Prosecutors tried to admit the Huling evidence to show that Ture was a
pattern
violent offender. The theory was that Ture preyed on young waitresses,
which
both Edwards and Marlys Wohlenhaus were. Susan Huling also worked as a
waitress, and a confession Ture signed indicates that he became enraged
when
Alice Huling declined his request to date her.

Although Washington County District Court Judge Gary Schurrer didn't
allow the
Huling evidence into the Wohlenhaus trial, Ture was convicted of her
murder. In
the hearing before the Wohlenhaus trial, Billy Huling testified and some
of the
evidence that was used to convict Ture here began to take shape.

Some of the most damaging evidence, according to jurors in the Ture
trial, was
evidence Stearns County had in its possession since Ture's arrest four
days
after the killings. That was when Ture was discovered to be driving a
car
reported stolen from the Twin Cities.

He was interviewed by Stearns investigators about a metal bar they found
in his
car. Pathologists linked the bar, wrapped in a distinct leather
steering-wheel
cover, to a bruise found just below Alice Huling's right breast. Jurors
called
it the most incriminating evidence of Ture's involvement in the
killings.

Kelly criticized the prosecution's case, which included two career
criminals
who testified that Ture confessed to them and an Edina pathologist who
offered
his opinion about the metal bar only 22 days before trial in a
21-year-old
murder case.

"I'm encouraged by the fact that we were able to expose the fact that
the
prosecution's case included paid witnesses and self-admitted perjurers,"
Kelly
said.

The conviction is what matters for people like Corrine Dwyer, Fran
Wohlenhaus
and the surviving Hulings.

"Today is no special day, except it's the end of a long process and the
beginning of peace, real peace knowing that he's put away," Wohlenhaus
said.
---------------------------------------
2 February, 2000

Jurors: Metal bar, medical examiner testimony helped sway decision

By David Unze
Staff Writer

A metal bar and medical examiner testimony linking the bar to a bruise
on Alice
Huling's chest were key pieces of evidence that jurors cited in
convicting
Joseph Ture Jr.

Ture was found guilty Tuesday of the 1978 shotgun murders of Alice
Huling and
three of her four children in their rural Clearwater home. Although the
shotgun
used to kill Alice, Susan, Wayne and Patti Huling never was found, an
aluminum
bar was located in Ture's vehicle four days after the murders.

Billy Huling survived as two shots narrowly missed his head as he hid
under his
bed sheets.

Prosecutors argued that Ture beat Alice Huling with the bar before
shooting her
three times. Pathologists testified at trial about the metal bar, which
was
wrapped in a distinct leather steering wheel cover.

Dr. Michael McGee of Ramsey County and Dr. Daniel Davis of Hennepin
County said
the bar was either the object used to make the bruise below Alice
Huling's
right breast or the bruise was caused by an object exactly like it.

With so much of the other evidence having potentially multiple
explanations,
the bar and McGee's testimony stood out.

"The No. 1 piece of evidence that I couldn't get past was the bar and
Dr.
McGee's testimony," said juror Suzanne Torguson.

McGee didn't give as specific testimony about the bar as Davis, who said
only
that bar could have caused the bruise. But Davis' opinion was hampered
by the
fact that he hadn't been told Alice Huling was wearing clothes when she
was
hit. The first time Davis learned she was clothed, or saw photos of the
clothing, was when he testified at trial.

"(McGee) said if it wasn't that bar, it had to be one identical to it
with it
being wrapped in the exact same way," said juror Eric Notch. "That was
one of
the major things."

The digital enhancement of the bruise convinced some jurors that a
connection
could be made between the bar and the wound.

Ture's defense argued that the digitally enhanced photograph didn't give
jurors
more detail, only enlarged what they already could see.

Jurors believed otherwise.

One juror during deliberations told the panel how he had scanned into a
computer a photograph of a wedding dress. When he enhanced the photo
through
the computer, he could see a flower pattern in the fabric that couldn't
be seen
on the original image, Torguson said. That convinced jurors that Davis'
digitally enhanced photographs could show more than the smaller photos.

Jurors said other key evidence pointing to Ture's guilt included a 1981
four-page confession to the Huling murders and the testimony of a fellow
inmate
who said Ture confessed to him in 1998.

"We believed Randall Ferguson," Torguson said.

Ferguson was in prison at Oak Park Heights with Ture in the summer of
1998 and
testified that Ture admitted to and bragged about the Huling murders.
That
admission outweighed Ferguson's testimony that he previously had lied
while
testifying in a capital murder trial in Missouri. Ferguson's testimony
there
helped get a murder conviction and death sentence for the defendant.

"I guess I had a hard time with the fact that the defense could pick
apart the
witnesses that were felons, but we couldn't know anything about (Ture),"

Torguson said.

She didn't know about Ture's prior murder convictions, something that
wasn't
discussed in deliberations, Torguson said. Most jurors knew Ture was in
prison,
but didn't know why.

"It wouldn't have made a difference in my thought process," Notch said.
"But it
might have been for others."

The confession, which contained both correct and incorrect statements
about the
murders, was damaging. Jurors tried to identify what was in the
confession that
couldn't be found in newspaper articles published between the time of
the crime
and the drafting of the confession.

"There were parts that only the killer could have known," Torguson said.

The panel didn't give much weight to a Batmobile-type toy car, which
prosecutors said Ture took from the Huling home as a reminder of the
murders.
The popularity of that item in 1978 made it difficult to identify the
toy found
in Ture's vehicle as the same one Billy Huling used to have as a child,
jurors
said.


Ture Found Guilty In Huling Murders Nora Hiatt 2/4/00 12:00 AM
Please tell me that the death penalty is possible in this case?
PLEASE!!!

We cannot allow this person to continue to breath air better used by
someone else.  So cold blooded.

Nora

Ture Found Guilty In Huling Murders The *MIGHTY* (yet modest) Two Tub Man 2/5/00 12:00 AM
On Fri, 04 Feb 2000 03:14:10 GMT, Nora Hiatt <Nora...@sprintmail.com>
wrote:

BREATHE!!!   BREATHE!!!