Lacey Spears, Salt Mom on Trial


Jury selection began Monday in the case of Spears, who was living in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., at the time of her son’s death. Garnett Spears died at Westchester County Medical Center Jan. 23, 2014, after being hospitalized, first at Nyack Hospital, several days earlier

Read more HERE

Following is a post I wrote about this case in June/2014

Munchausen by Proxy??

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30 Responses to Lacey Spears, Salt Mom on Trial

  1. Prosecution Opening Statement

    (I am not sure this video is complete)

  2. Losing Garnett the Great, Part 2: Two fathers; one real, one imagined

    (This is very interesting!!)

  3. Wow I only read the first part – will try to get to the rest soon. This woman is crazy…..

  4. sarah617 says:


  5. Thanks, Sarah…I have been checking on Lacey and knew they were deliberating. I wonder what she will get for a sentence. Was the verdict read via live stream?

  6. Dave Knechel says:

    If I ramble today, please forgive me.

    Some people in the field of writing might say there’s no such thing as writer’s block — that it’s all in the head – and the bottom line is that’s it’s nothing more than a temporary inability to produce original content.

    I know there are reasons why someone like me could possibly be at a loss for words because I’ve been in these situations before, no matter what you call it. Maybe I don’t feel like writing, for instance. Or I’m lazy. There are times when words just won’t come out right and, as far as I’m concerned, they flow like a one-legged duck trying to swim up a trickling stream. Another reason might be shock. Yes, shock. The shock and anguish you feel after losing a near and dear friend. That’s what happened.

    Doris Willman was the best and truest type of friend a person could ever ask for in life. Strong-willed, feisty, witty, intelligent, sensitive, caring, loyal and never afraid to tell it like it is or give me a piece of her mind, she suddenly left her quaint and comfortable home in Halifax yesterday morning and I have been wafting in and out of “surreality” since I got the news. How could I possibly write when I’m mourning the loss of my friend? Because I have to tell you about her and what she meant to me. What we did for each other. That’s why. Because she is THAT important!

    I met Doris on my Marinade Dave blog as I was sprawled out in a hospital bed with pneumonia. I posted a short article on Christmas Eve 2008 called Casey Anthony’s Christmas Tree. She left her first comment under the pseudonym detwill39: “I believe the slacks that were washed by Cindy belonged to Casey but I may be mistaken. Hope you feel better soon, Dave, not a nice time of year to be sick.”

    The next comment came two weeks later on a post titled Creepy Cryptic Casey. She wondered about the Casey Anthony/Zenaida Gonzalez connection and wrote, “Dave, your input on the above, PLEASE!”

    The rest is history. She was hooked on my writing and, with each passing day, her input grew and grew. As nice as she was, she was very demanding, and I respected that. I’ve always liked and admired independent women. She was fiercely so. She wanted answers and if I was ever going to be any good at the subject matter I was writing about, I needed to do my homework and provide her and every other reader with the facts. Cut and dry, but she recognized I had a way with words that made things clear and easy to read, like you’re right there with me. The more information I could provide, the more she could decipher. She wanted bits and pieces that could be used as evidence in the case. I dug and I dug and I dug, and it led me to exposing one State witness as a fraud. If I was driven, she helped make me a 4-wheel drive.

    While I was focused on the truth, so was she. On many occasions, our versions didn’t see eye-to-eye and we locked horns. Oh boy, did we! There were times when I felt like giving her the boot, but there was something about her spirited ways that wouldn’t allow me to let her go. She did leave and flaunt herself on other blogs for months at a time, much to my chagrin, but she always meandered back to mine. She even created her own and I was glad to help her set it up. What we developed was a love/hate relationship. We were like Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, oil & vinegar and salt & pepper, all rolled into one. The yin to my yang. She was my Sgt. Joe Friday with a cutting edge sense of humor. On the blog, we complemented each other like no one else. Ultimately, it was a true friendship type of love that grew because we really, really got to be the best of friends. I learned a lot about her family and she learned about mine. When my father passed away last year, she was right there, just as good friends always are.

    In April of 2010, Casey Anthony’s defense filed a motion demanding that Judge Stan Strickland recuse himself. It was based on two articles I wrote prior to the judge complimenting me in the courtroom. What’s interesting about this is that I had my share of 15 minutes of fame, but, most importantly, I was accused by some in the peanut gallery of secretly working for the defense to take down the judge in order to throw the case. Of course, it was nothing like that, but those Internet trolls went on the warpath, hellbent on taking me down. Who immediately came to my defense? Yes, Doris. She was a real warrior who stuck to her guns. As they attacked me, they turned their attention to her, too. They published her address and phone number. It hurt her tremendously. I reassured her that no one was going to get a passport to go to Canada. She was safe. Those people were all talk (which they were.) Don’t worry about them. They threatened to throw me off the courthouse roof. I knew better. Her? They were going to ram her wheelchair into a snowbank and leave her there to freeze. BABs they were called. Bald Ain’t Beautiful. When the trial ended, they disappeared into the weeds, like the vermin they were. By then, Doris and I were hardened and seasoned pros. Stronger than ever. Talk about growing pains.

    We went through a lot together and we were bonded, so bonded that we often spoke to each other by phone, sometimes every week. What was it about? Friends just being friends. Advice. Small talk. Certainly crimes! But what was it about her? How do you explain the way friendships develop and evolve? That she was forthright and honest goes without saying. We earned each others’ trust.

    Yes, Doris was in a wheelchair. On Sunday, when we spoke, she said she had searched and searched for the article she had written years earlier for Abilities magazine. There was no trace of it on Google. I told her I’d look, too, but she was quite the Internet snoopysleuth. Nope, it’s not there. Titled, Garden of Weeden, I couldn’t find it, either. She told me so. Smart cookie that she was. I called the magazine this morning but they only archive back to 2011. I read it once and it was a fantastic article, but I have no idea where. In an April 2009 e-mail, she told me, “I just wanted to explain why I do not discuss my disability but don’t mind showing off my abilities…LOL.”

    Doris was loaded with abilities and she had the ability to push me forward. On Sunday, she told me she loved me. I told her I loved her, too.” On Tuesday, she called me about the Charleston case and that was the last time we spoke. As much as the digital world is alienating people, we connected over the world of electricity. Call our friendship a “current affair.” (She would love that!) We never met face-to-face.

    How much I write in the future will depend on what intrigues me, but there are many things I want to cover. She complained that I wasn’t writing enough, yet she beamed when I did. I have one story I planned on writing and I expected to hear her thoughts on it. I think about it now and it’s like a void. I know I didn’t write just for her, but her opinion was always important. From now on, I am going to feel a charge zapping my through my brain, as if she’s poking me with a cattle prod, reaching out with one hand from a pearly gate, standing. There’s nothing I will write without thinking of her.

    “Get busy, Buster!” And from now on, I dedicate all of my future writing to the memory of Doris Willman. She was my perfect sidekick. Or was I hers?

  7. Dave Knechel says:

    After contracting polio in 1953, I faced the challenge of leg braces and crutches. By 1981, I became a wheelchair user with post-polio syndrome. By this time, my three daughters were quite self-sufficient and I had some blessed leisure time.

    Coming from a family of avid gardeners, I thought, why not me too? My knowledge of gardening was quite limited, except for minor chores back home in the family garden before I acquired a disability. I obtained a copy of The Complete Vegetable Garden by John Seymore. And a very compassionate husband, fortunately for me, was handy with carpentry tools.
    At first we erected four planters, measuring eight feet long and two feet wide with a depth of approximately 14 inches. These planters were supported by legs and cross braces to make an overall height of about 28 inches.

    The planters were placed parallel to each other, with ample room to manoeuvre the wheelchair between each one. Each planter was filled with purchased garden soil and peat moss. A lightweight garden hose took care of the watering needs. My first crops consisted of radishes, onions, carrots, beets, Swiss chard and tomatoes.

    There is an advantage to container planting: Because of the wide row system, radishes, carrots and the like can be spaced as little as two inches apart.

    A good-sized crop can be harvested from a confined space. Close planting also creates shading, eliminating most weeds while retaining moisture in the soil. Most crops require tilling the soil only to a depth of eight inches. This can readily be done with small hand tools. Cucumbers, a vine crop, can be trained up five-foot poles and still be within easy reach of a gardener using a wheelchair. The height of the planters enables the wheelchair user to garden with a minimum of exertion. You are also in a position to make eye contact with any garden pests — get a jump on the flea beetle before he lands on your prized tomatoes!

    My planters were so successful that my husband then built my “Garden of Weeden.” This garden is 45 feet long by 30 feet wide. With the exception of a small tool shed and gateway, two-foot-wide planters extend around the full perimeter. The central area comprises three planters measuring 10 feet by four feet, lawn space bordered with flowers, and a few small shrubs thrown in.

    A wooden walkway provides sufficient space to service all planting areas. A watering hose is mounted at each end of the garden.

    Unless you are a fanatic gardener like myself, a garden this size is an option rather than a necessity. Much success and pleasure can be derived from smaller ones.

    I can truly say my “Garden of Weeden” has been my utopia — a place where I can get lost in the magic of nature. Stress evaporates once I wheel through that gate and am in complete control of my surroundings. I spend so much time in my garden, I expect my wheelchair tires will one day take root.

    Like the saying goes, we have to “stop and smell the roses.” My philosophy is, “Let’s grow ’em!”

  8. Dave Knechel says:

    That’s Doris’s article, Garden of Weeden, written way back when.

  9. Tommy's Mom says:

    Beautiful Dave,absolutely beautiful,keep on keepin’ on and continue to make Doris proud.

  10. That’s lovely Dave. thanks for sharing. I knew she loved to garden. I don’t recall if she ever told me about the wheelchair but for some reason I wasn’t surprised when you mentioned it. My friendship with Snoopy started on your blog of course and grew Into daily visits to her blog. After the CA trial was over we started writing emails back and forth.

    If I was going through some personal stuff, she’d always lend an ear to my rants and would have some anecdotal advice – always funny. She would make me laugh out loud at something in every note she sent.

    In the beginning we talked about the CA trial, Jeff Ashton and the juror’s. Eventually she’d tell me about her daughters, her deceased husband and her life growing up on the farm. Sometimes a conversation we had through email would spill over into her blog. One time we were talking about maple syrup in an email then she posted some pictures on her blog and talked about how she learned to collect maple syrup from a tree when she was a kid. But mostly we talked about You Dave….. 🙂

    That is until……

    I had heard about the murder of Travis Alexander a few months after – just as Jodi was arrested. It piqued my interest so I did a little search on her. I was shocked at the amount of pictures she took of herself, to which all had that same eerie glassy-eyed stare. I immediately wrote to Snoopy and asked her if she heard about it. she was already on it and told me that 48 hours had taped a show. She didn’t know when it would air, but she’d let me know. We both agreed, those photo’s were haunting and spoke volumes about who Arias was. We both had the exact same first impression of Jodi’s narcissism. I was excited – here was someone who thought just like me! We knew very few facts at that time but we were hooked! A month later 48 Hours aired the story in Canada and a week after that it aired here. Snoopy teased me a little and wouldn’t tell me anything other than to watch it and then we could talk. I couldn’t be mad at her though, she was too funny about it and you know……feisty.

    Snoopy Sleuth truly lived up to her nickname. She was fantastic at getting information and providing a variety of links for the cases she blogged about – Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin among others. But she did her best work covering the Arias trial. No one provided more links to all the side stories (and there were many) connected to that case then Doris and her blog flourished because of it.

    I am still so sad and in shock to be honest. It took awhile to muster up the courage to come here. I loved Snoopy too and these past few weeks I think about her every day. I’m mad at myself for not writing to her this past Winter. I actually thought about it many times because I was very sick and I knew she would cheer me up. Unfortunately, I didn’t even have the strength to turn on my computer. If I had only known my time with her would be shortened.

    My heart and prayers go out to her family and to you Dave. I know how hard it is to lose someone you love. And this puts a big hole in your heart. Its just so damn unexpected and unfair. She was really special. I’m wondering what will happen now to her blog? Will it stay up? I’d really like to see some of the regulars come back and write stories about Snoopy. It would be nice to keep her memory going. If money is needed I would like to contribute.

  11. TommysMom says:

    Oh dear I’m just now hearing about Snoopy. I’ve been having some opportunities with my health and whether or not I would give up my house. I’ll miss Snoopy too, she was a great gal, and I always enjoyed coming over to this blog. I think you’d be good t keeping this blog going, just a thought.

  12. Hey TM sorry to hear about your health and other trouble. I hope you feel better soon. I am glad to see you here. I’m surprised there aren’t more regulars coming over to post condolences. I wonder if other subscribers know. Dave was kind enough to email me to let me know. I was very shocked when I read it. The more it sinks in the harder it gets. I think about her everyday now…. I hope more regulars will come and post. Somehow it feels better having someone to talk to about her.
    I don’t think Dave has been back since he posted but I hope he does. I’d like to know if the blog will stay up.

  13. sarah617 says:

    I’m shaking…..Am I reading this correctly? Something happened to Snoops?!? OMG! Can anyone tell me what happened? I’m like some of you: been away due to health issues. Not mine. Hubbies and parents.
    Snoops 😦 I’m speechless.

  14. Yes Sarah its true. Snoopy passed away. I don’t know how all I know is it was sudden.

  15. sarah617 says:

    Thanks Pippin for responding:

    I’m just totally lost for words; so this will be corny or weird.

    I wasn’t as close as some of her bloggers: but she personally emailed and corresponded outside of her blog with me. She made me feel special because of it. It made me feel like those that had past, that I loved dearly, had tapped me on the shoulder and said, “yes”, listen to her, you are free to express yourself: BUT, be prepared to back your statements up; Snoops is listening! LOL! She kept me on my toes! God be loving her right now! You got a good one God! Challenge her!

  16. Dave Knechel says:

    I will be back in to elaborate a little more, but Doris’s blog will stay up. I have found some comfort in going into the older posts and chats and reading all of the comments from her and everyone else. That’s what I would do if I were you. It helps. I have been very down over losing my great friend. I will never get over her. She was the best, and I miss her dearly.

  17. Sarah – that’s really sweet of you to share your story about your friendship with Snoopy. I’m so glad you told us. Snoopy made me feel special too. She was smart, intuitive, funny and the best kind of person you’d want to have as a friend. She wouldn’t let anyone come here and post nonsense. You had to be sensible with no b.s. She kept all of us on our toes and in her own way she brought the best out in all of us. I hope more regulars will come and share their feelings here.

  18. Dave. Its really really good to see you. I was about to send you an email. I already did what you suggested to Sarah – even went to your blog and looked at some of your older stuff. At first, I was looking for something new. I guess I needed to connect with someone who knew her. The only new one I saw was the memorial. I read it again, it kind of hit me a different way. It was like this overwhelming sadness for you. I started to worry about you because I know you’re feeling down and blue. (I’m right there with you) I wish we could sit down together in person and talk about her. I’d give you a big hug and tell you that it will be ok…. eventually.

    So hang in there Dave and please take good care of yourself. I’m relieved to hear the blog will stay up. If there’s anything I can do to help, if you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m moving to a new place this weekend (I’ve actually been moving boxes all month from my old house to here, a convalescent home, then some went to storage, some to the new place – which is also temporary….ha ha there’s just no rest for the wicked.) Once I get settled – should be a week or so, I’ll be 100% available if you need anything ok?

    btw – I hope you know she’s keeping an eye on you even now. I truly believe that nothing not even death will stop that girl from prodding you to keep writing. She will be that little voice playing devils advocate in your head, an old song playing on a distant radio…. or that sudden cool (Canadian) breeze across your face 🙂 She is your muse now Dave. And she still expects you to be the best you can be.

  19. Dave Knechel says:

    By Procol Harum

    This song has been a favorite of mine since 1969, when it was released. I hadn’t heard it in quite some time.

    I don’t know what it is about it that reminds me of Doris. Perhaps, it’s the seagulls or because it’s sad. She loved the sea and tall ships and all things maritime, so it’s most likely a combination of everything. After she passed away, it came storming into my mind like waves upon the shore and it’s been with me ever since. All I know is that I think of my dear friend every day and my heart still aches tremendously. Somehow, the song brings me calm.

  20. Karen C. says:

    Oh, My Lord. Not Snoopy. I’ve been thinking of her all week, saw something on TV about the Halifax Explosion and they interviewed an older lady in a wheelchair, who sounded just like Doris on the phone, and it’s been in me since to give her a call, so I check here and this.

    I’ve been through a lot of losses lately myself (older friends and family members, besides my sister and father the other year), and I was just too tetchy to go looking for more to involve myself with, emotionally- but really, this is such a huge loss- especially for you, Dave! I know how close you two were- I know what fabulously interesting conversations I had with her, late at night (a regular Owl she was!), so I can well imagine the quality of the back-n-forth the two of you would have gotten up to! Dang, Dang, bloody Dang.

    I’m glad you are keeping this alive, Dave- I’ve got my Dad’s voice still on his voicemail greeting for my Mom’s phone, and everyone tells me to keep it always! It’s hard, though. And again, so sorry this comes after your other loss- PLEASE give a call sometime, or email me- all is the same on that score, and my apologies for not keeping up with this Gang of Ours better.

    What a great Lady she was! What a character!

  21. Dave Knechel says:

    Christmas day marks six months since I lost my close friend. June 25. She wrote the following story many years ago and, just before she went away, we talked about republishing it this holiday season. It is an honor and a privilege to bring you her story. I don’t know when it was written, but please enjoy it. She was a very special lady and I’m so proud to have known her…



    By Doris Willman

    [Here is a story I wrote when I was a member of an Amateur Writer’s Club…got 2nd prize, probably because I had all the judges in tears. lol] The Fur Topped Boots


    Christmas was only two weeks away. As I sat by the window watching the snowflakes make their lazy descent to the ground, I was suddenly drawn into my past – to a girl of seven who was waiting for the arrival of Saint Nick. The memories came flooding back. I became that little girl again…

    The snow was falling and I was thinking I could make a snowman if enough snow stayed on the ground. Snowball fights were lots of fun too, but my older brother always chucked his too hard. When I started crying, Mom would make us stop.

    My dog, Patsy, was much more fun than Charlie, chasing and trying to catch the snowballs. When I went sledding, she would chase the sled and try to pull me off. If she succeeded, I would hug her and rub snow on her face.

    I found Mom sitting at the kitchen table looking at the Eaton’s catalogue and writing things on a piece of paper. There was a worried look on her face, almost sad at times, as Christmas drew nearer. I heard her telling Dad that there just wasn’t enough money to go around. I had printed my name beside the fur-topped boots on page 32 and wondered if Mom would notice. She would be even sadder if she knew how much I really wanted those boots.

    Patsy and I went outside to play in the fluffy white snow. I lay down to make an angel. Patsy tried to lick my face so I gave her a big push and she rolled over. She could make a dog angel.

    When Dad came home from work, we went to the hen pen and I gathered eggs while Dad gave them clean water and wheat. I wondered which hen would be our Christmas dinner, and decided it would likely be an old one who didn’t lay eggs any more. As usual, Mom would say, “How can I cook this tough old thing?”, but it was always delicious with stuffing and cranberry jelly.

    On Christmas Eve, I helped Mom put the pretty balls on the tree and decorate the house with red and green crepe paper chains. Some big parcels had arrived in the mail and I knew that they were filled with presents from my auntie Grace. I didn’t dare snoop in them because Mom would get mad at me.

    Dad said, “Santa’s coming down the chimney tonight. You better get busy and write a letter to him.”

    Well I sort of knew who Santa was, but in case I was wrong, I thought I’d better write that letter. The light from the kerosene lamp was poor but I pulled my paper close and wrote: “Dear Santa, bring me anything you want and bring something for my brother and mom and dad. Mom will leave you gingerbread and a cup of water. Love, Sarah” Then I put my letter inside of Dad’s big wool sock and set it by the tree.

    That night, lying on the soft feather tick, I said a prayer to Santa. I didn’t figure God would mind. I asked Santa to try and bring me the black boots with the soft fur, which were on page 32 of the big catalogue, because I hated having cold feet. When I fell asleep, I dreamed of walking in the boots on top of big snow drifts.

    On Christmas morning, Charlie and I raced to get our socks from under the tree. Reaching in, I pulled out a big red apple, a large orange and some nuts, but I loved the barley toys and ribbon candy best of all.

    Next came the present opening. Dad found socks in his, while Mom had some nice smelling powder and a pretty handkerchief. Auntie Grace had given me some tinker toys and a pair of mittens. Charlie was happy when he opened up the plasticene.

    I emptied the tinker toys out of the can and started to put them together.

    Suddenly, Mom said, “Sarah, look. There’s a present still under the tree. You are the smallest, can you crawl under and get it?”

    The present was wrapped in pretty red tissue paper with a big Santa Claus seal stuck to the front.

    “Hey, Mom, it has Sarah printed on it!” I exclaimed.

    “Well, open it up!”

    I tore off the paper and opened the box. Inside were the fur-topped black boots. I took them out and rubbed the fur all over my face. They were as soft as I knew they would be.

    I was so excited, I gave Mom a big hug and kiss, although I didn’t understand why she had tears in her eyes. I kissed Dad and Patsy, and I even kissed Charlie.

    Suddenly, the oven timer sounded and brought me back to the present, but I will always remember that Christmas and the feel of the soft fur atop those little black boots.

  22. Dave Knechel says:

    I still miss Doris. Every day.

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