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Old 12-19-2017, 02:30 PM   #106
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Just watched this one again. Reading through the whole thread, one of the early posts that suggested there was a deeper conspiracy, stands out and that brings me to the issue of motive.

If Donny masterminded this himself and got 2-3 of his numbskull friends to actually do the deed, you can argue for anything.........Donny was abusing one or both of his sisters, was jealous of the attention, wanted to collect on insurance........you name it.

If however, he was part of a larger plot, then motives like abuse or jealousy just don't fly in my mind - other potential parties don't have the kind of 'skin in the game' personally to make such motives likely.

That would leave money and for more than just 2-3 friends of Donny's to be involved, I would think the sum would have to be large. A larger plot would also lend credence to the possibility that Julie's 'accidental death' was no accident at all.
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Old 12-19-2017, 03:00 PM   #107
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Always racked my brain trying to come up with a compelling argument for Donny's innocence, and I have always come up empty handed. Here are screenshots from the articles featured in the segment.
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:59 AM   #108
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I love how in the article Donnie says that he doesn't know who killed Jill and Julie and....... that's it: speaks volumes to how much he cares about his stepsisters. There is a better chance that both David Dowaliby and Patti Stallings are guilty than he is of being innocent.
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:33 AM   #109
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Interesting to read in that article that Donny's original defence attorney made a statement that he would step down if he felt his client wasn't innocent and then proceeded to step down. Even though he likely stepped down for other reasons, there was obvious concern that statement could influence the jury.

Would really love to see the trial transcripts for this one to try and figure out how the jury could have voted on an acquittal. Even though the defence leaned heavily on the eyewitness sighting of the two other men at the scene, I still don't see how the jury could get past all the other damning evidence, such as the shotgun shells and the gas can.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:16 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinW
Would really love to see the trial transcripts for this one to try and figure out how the jury could have voted on an acquittal. Even though the defence leaned heavily on the eyewitness sighting of the two other men at the scene, I still don't see how the jury could get past all the other damning evidence, such as the shotgun shells and the gas can.
I don't either.

I guess, like the article says, Julie dying in that freak medical accident at the hospital is what saved Donnie. She couldn't testify. Even so, the rest of the evidence should probably have been enough. But Julie's death was the difference.
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:50 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinW
Would really love to see the trial transcripts for this one to try and figure out how the jury could have voted on an acquittal. Even though the defence leaned heavily on the eyewitness sighting of the two other men at the scene, I still don't see how the jury could get past all the other damning evidence, such as the shotgun shells and the gas can.
I totally agree. All I can think of is that maybe the jury didn't know what Donnie's exact role was (pulled trigger/lit fire or arranged for someone else to do it for him) and that is why they acquitted. But the amount of evidence against him is so damning. I still can believe one eyewitness sighting about possible other suspects would be enough to get him acquitted where there is so much pointing to his direct involvement in this case.

I guess the only other question is motive: why would he kill his sisters and set the whole home on fire? But again, who cares about the actual motive when there is so much evidence against him that clearly shows he had planned this out.
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:44 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinW
Would really love to see the trial transcripts for this one to try and figure out how the jury could have voted on an acquittal.
Might have been an example of jury selection and far superior lawyering on the defense side. Note the mention in the article that three of the jurors went out for dinner and drinks with Donnie and his attorneys after the verdict. That means they really made a connection in the court room. Very rare for a death penalty case. We don't really know how Donnie comes across in person because of the way he asked to be shown during the segment. Maybe he's smiling and charismatic, or knew to be when his life was at stake.

Jury selection is seemingly trickier upon change of venue, which this case featured. If you know what to look for it can be a massive advantage. O.J. never would have been acquitted if that case had been tried in the jurisdiction where the murders occurred.

Donnie Hansen needs one of those really horrible prolonged deaths, like when half of your body is being eaten by insects and the other half suspended in slow progressing acid.
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:38 PM   #113
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Was a motive ever determined in the murders? I always felt that Donnie killed Julie and Jill out of some debt he owed for drugs, kind of like the Jordan family arson/murder case.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:02 AM   #114
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I can't believe that the fingerprinting of the gun is what saved Donnie. Was that, coupled with the neighbors sighting of the two men, really enough to drum up reasonable doubt? There has to be more to this case, although usually UM did a good job at tipping the scales in favor of the defendant in the segments of "did they or didn't they".
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:26 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCars1986
I can't believe that the fingerprinting of the gun is what saved Donnie. Was that, coupled with the neighbors sighting of the two men, really enough to drum up reasonable doubt? There has to be more to this case, although usually UM did a good job at tipping the scales in favor of the defendant in the segments of "did they or didn't they".

I agree - after my last viewing of the segment, I should've quoted these two posts (from page 2 of this thread). Donny could've hatched a plan to kill his family and collect on insurance, but these two posts make me think there might've been a slightly more sinister conspiracy/motive afoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebit
it was donny.
and he didn't do it alone.
i grew up knowing him as "uncle donny" with no idea of this case. his daughters were like my cousins. my family kept him incredibly close for years before he, completely out of the blue, moved to happy camp, oregon.
when i was 10 i found a vhs recording of a segment about this case on the old show "hard copy." it was after that that i learned of a phone call made to my father by my grandmother in the early hours of the morning the night it happened claiming that "donny ****ed up" and that it "needs to be fixed."
i cannot attest to whether or not the shotgun was my fathers, but i believe that it was in some way connected to him and i believe that the murders are connected to my father's family in more ways than that.
to this day, every one in the town of willow creek, not just his parents, view him as guilty, 100%.
also, as for julie's "freak medical accident" in the hospital: that was no accident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebit
...actually, his daughters are younger than i am, and i was born over a year after this case. the last i knew of him, he still had his girls and took them with him to oregon.
i have no idea what his name is now, or if he still resides in happy camp. he could never be convicted anyway thanks to double jeopardy...though i would like to see some of my family members held responsible for their hand in these murders.
during the trial, it was stated under oath that the first person that donny called after the incident was his friend, my father, which actually was a lie. as i stated previously, it was my grandmother who called and alerted my father...donny called her first. to me that's strange, to call the mother (whom you're not close to) of your friend first thing and then lie about it in court?
also: my whole family knew the location of the murder weapon before the police did...actually the morning that donny tried to retrieve it from the workshop, it was my aunt (who he was staying with before he got arrested) who set the alarm clock for him. there was also a huge fight within my family regarding the gun, it's location and donny's desire to retrieve it.
this was all lied about in court, as well as the fact that my dad's family more or less hid my mom from the trial so she wouldn't testify (because it would create discrepancies in my father's family's testimonies).
AND i think it's also interesting that the night that donny stayed with his parents was right before a planned trip to set up drug connections in redding, ca.
although donny can no longer be held accountable for his actions in this case, i think that the other's involved should be. namely:
Jeffery Cyphers
and
Helen Cyphers.
i want to see them brought to justice.
i just wish i knew the extent of the hand that they played.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:17 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Awsi Dooger
Jury selection is seemingly trickier upon change of venue, which this case featured. If you know what to look for it can be a massive advantage. O.J. never would have been acquitted if that case had been tried in the jurisdiction where the murders occurred.
Agreed. In fact, the late Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi faulted the prosecution team for transferring the OJ Simpson case to Los Angeles, arguing that the jury was biased in Simpson's favor. He cited this transfer as one of the contributing factors in Simpson's acquittal.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:51 PM   #117
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This post from 2 years ago is very insightful. I like the theory of Donnie having a drug debt, and this plan was concocted as a way to get money fast to pay off the debt. It would explain the 2 men seen standing outside the trailer when it was on fire and it would also explain why Donnie's mother saw him screaming outside at someone to get away from their trailer. Plus, his mother says she saw him (but he didn't see her) standing at the edge of the sofa yelling at someone and then chasing them, so where was the shotgun at this time? If Donnie was the triggerman (and was working alone), and he just got done shooting his sisters and dumping the gun, why pretend like he was yelling at someone who wasn't there?

The defense's theory was, in Donnie's words, "ludicrous". Although I do find it odd that UM went out of its way to show that theory in re-enactment form, considering how guilty Donnie came off. So here's my new theory:

The 2 guys seen outside the trailer show up to make sure Donnie goes through with his plan. They set the fire inside the trailer, and unbeknownst tp them, one of the sister's wake up. One of the guys gets trigger happy, and shoots her. The other sister wakes up and she too is shot. Donnie freaks out and starts yelling at them to get out of there (what his mom witnessed). I think the intention was for, at least, Betty and Hans to die in the fire so Donnie would collect on their life insurance. He would have had to have split it with his sisters, but he could've gotten enough money to pay off his debt. The only problem with this theory is the shotgun. If Donnie was going to burn the place down, why feel the need to use a shotgun as a backup plan?
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:41 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCars1986
This post from 2 years ago is very insightful. I like the theory of Donnie having a drug debt, and this plan was concocted as a way to get money fast to pay off the debt.
That seems like the best explanation for what happened. I have been fascinated by the case and as best I can tell, the only reasonable doubt is whether he acted alone or with two accomplices who actually did the dirty work. The fact that he borrowed the gun and bought the ammo tells me how knew what was going to happen and had no problems committing quadruple homicide.

If I am ever falsely accused of a serious crime I know I'm calling his lawyer, that's for sure.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:37 AM   #119
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Almost zero doubt Donnie Hansen committed the crime.

Anyone know whatever happened to him or where he is today?
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Old 04-04-2018, 12:20 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCars1986
This post from 2 years ago is very insightful. I like the theory of Donnie having a drug debt, and this plan was concocted as a way to get money fast to pay off the debt. It would explain the 2 men seen standing outside the trailer when it was on fire and it would also explain why Donnie's mother saw him screaming outside at someone to get away from their trailer. Plus, his mother says she saw him (but he didn't see her) standing at the edge of the sofa yelling at someone and then chasing them, so where was the shotgun at this time? If Donnie was the triggerman (and was working alone), and he just got done shooting his sisters and dumping the gun, why pretend like he was yelling at someone who wasn't there?

The defense's theory was, in Donnie's words, "ludicrous". Although I do find it odd that UM went out of its way to show that theory in re-enactment form, considering how guilty Donnie came off. So here's my new theory:

The 2 guys seen outside the trailer show up to make sure Donnie goes through with his plan. They set the fire inside the trailer, and unbeknownst tp them, one of the sister's wake up. One of the guys gets trigger happy, and shoots her. The other sister wakes up and she too is shot. Donnie freaks out and starts yelling at them to get out of there (what his mom witnessed). I think the intention was for, at least, Betty and Hans to die in the fire so Donnie would collect on their life insurance. He would have had to have split it with his sisters, but he could've gotten enough money to pay off his debt. The only problem with this theory is the shotgun. If Donnie was going to burn the place down, why feel the need to use a shotgun as a backup plan?
Thanks for bringing this up - always had a hunch there was more to this.

My take on the shotgun is that it wasn't Donnie's idea to use it, but one of the 2 guys/"debt collectors" wanted it on hand. If the fire didn't kill his sisters/parents or they otherwise tried to put it out, one of those two would step in and kill everyone there - thereby insulating Donnie, ensuring he would still get the life insurance payout and they would get paid whatever he owed them. Like you said though, one of them got trigger happy. That didn't necessarily trip them up - leaving the shotgun behind though did.
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