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Old 07-25-2010, 09:07 PM   #31
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On a completely serious note, I wonder what made her suddenly snap. No matter how broke or stressed she was, chances are she didn't become a sociopathic murderer overnight. It seems plausible she would've been on drugs to be not thinking clearly at the time.

In the reenactment, she tells Eddie "Do you think they're just gonna hand over the money?" Even when I first saw it, I was thinking Why wouldn't they? At least ask! The segment also said how close the Harveys were to Cheryl, I wonder if perhaps they didn't like Eddie, and that put some strain on the relationship?
Hell, the Harveys were portrayed as such nice people and so loving of Cheryl that even if she had robbed them at gunpoint and took their money, I have a feeling they still wouldn't have turned her in! They probably would have kept trying to convince her to change her mind and do the right thing, or allowed her to use the money to solve any problems she might have had before they even considered telling the police.

I just do not see how she possibly thought that killing them was necessary! But the fact that she took her children along while she did this and then abandoned afterwards indicates one of those complete unexplained mental breakdowns that none of us could ever understand.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:14 AM   #32
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Kadramas - thanks for the info. That's actually not very long from now at all (makes UM seem so long ago! "2020" sounded like the far future in the early 90s), I can see Eddie getting out maybe due to his mental capacity, but that seems like an injustice to not give Cheryl life. Especially considering Tennessee is probably a bit more on the Bible Belt/Conservative side.

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Hell, the Harveys were portrayed as such nice people and so loving of Cheryl that even if she had robbed them at gunpoint and took their money, I have a feeling they still wouldn't have turned her in! They probably would have kept trying to convince her to change her mind and do the right thing, or allowed her to use the money to solve any problems she might have had before they even considered telling the police.

I just do not see how she possibly thought that killing them was necessary! But the fact that she took her children along while she did this and then abandoned afterwards indicates one of those complete unexplained mental breakdowns that none of us could ever understand.
I agree, I've thought that too. Joe's brother in law even said in the beginning of the segment, how they didn't even get a gun for the gas station because they were so trusting. Of course robbing them at gunpoint would still be bad, but obviously much better than what she did. Even if she was determined to pull a gun, I wondered why she didn't do that instead of coercing Eddie to kill them (and even he protested at first). The only explanation to me is she was on hard drugs and not thinking rationally. Most people (even smalltime criminals or in the heat of the moment) wouldn't commit cold blooded murder against two family members who loved them.

I actually would be interested to know Eddie's side of the story more. Sure, he seemed a little shady himself and limited intelligence, but probably for the most part was an ok dude and not a sociopath.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:51 AM   #33
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Yeah, I have thought of writing to Eddie, to see how he would respond and what he would say? I personally, while I of course despise what he did, but I do not think he is a sociopath or a truly 'bad guy' in the sense of the word. I think he was like a puppy being led around by Cheryl. Eddie had a 7th grade education and seemed to understand and think along the lines of a 12 or 13 year old which was the age he last attended school.

Wooten pled guilty and got two concurrent life with the possibility of parole sentences. The thing that ticked me off was they pled Cheryl out to the same plea deal even though she was behind the whole thing and especially regarding how much she betrayed the Harvey's, threw Eddie under the bus and went out on the run for a year. But she got the same plea deal Eddie did, concurrent life with the possibility of parole sentences. At that time in Tennessee, there was not LWOP so if she would have taken it to trial she would have either got the death penalty or life with the possibility of parole although if she would have got life, at sentencing she probably would have got back to back life sentences.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:53 AM   #34
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Cheryl Holland, born June 14th, 1964 is now 46 years old and is in the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville. Her parole eligibility date is currently listed as May 26th, 2020.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:16 AM   #35
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Yeah, I entirely agree. He probably was like an "advanced 12 year old" (i.e. same thought process just with more life experience). The irony is, that's probably what made it easier for Cheryl to convince him to kill the Harveys, while also being one reason he broke down relatively easily in the police station when they questioned him about discrepencies in his story.

I also despise his actions (he was intelligent enough to know right from wrong) and while he's far from innocent, I don't think he had quite the evil intent Cheryl did. Like I'm sure he never would've concocted a plan to kill them on his own.

Yeah, I think they shouldn't have been sentenced equally either. Even though Eddie was the triggerman and didn't try to stop her (that actually seems the most upsetting to me), there's no question Cheryl was the mastermind.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadrmas15
Yeah, I have thought of writing to Eddie, to see how he would respond and what he would say? I personally, while I of course despise what he did, but I do not think he is a sociopath or a truly 'bad guy' in the sense of the word. I think he was like a puppy being led around by Cheryl. Eddie had a 7th grade education and seemed to understand and think along the lines of a 12 or 13 year old which was the age he last attended school.
This helped provide the context for one of my all-time favourite unintentionally funny lines on UM: "Eddie, first place, not got that much education".

Anyway, I'm sure that when Cheryl was missing, a lot of people probably assumed that Eddie killed her and totally made up the whole story about her manipulating him to kill the Harveys. However, it became pretty clear that he didn't have the intellect to dream up a story like that and just did exactly what he was told.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:20 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldschooler81
On a completely serious note, I wonder what made her suddenly snap. No matter how broke or stressed she was, chances are she didn't become a sociopathic murderer overnight. It seems plausible she would've been on drugs to be not thinking clearly at the time.
One does not need to kill to be a psychopath. The vast majority of them don't kill, and they live more or less normal lives. However, they'd ready to do anything, even to go as far to cheat, lie, steal, threaten, and even kill, if they feel it is the only way or the best way to either get rid of someone or or to gain something.

Plenty of psychopaths use drugs... it only makes them more erratic and more extreme faster. But it's not because you are high on drugs that you are incapable of plotting a murder for profit.

That she didn't even considered asking them to borrow money and just decided to straight having her relatives murdered to steal their money, and doing so by manipulating her dim-witted husband to do the deed to clean her hands of any responsability and use him afterwards as patsy, is stone cold psychopathic and hallmarks a total absence of empathy for her victims and an utilitarian, exploitative viewpoint towards others. Most people do not escalate to kill coldly someone for profit like that. That she did shows, to me at least, that she had at least a swiss-cheese holed conscience.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:58 PM   #38
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Here's my two cents:

1) There was no need to kill the Harveys. Cheryl knew when they were at work and simply could have slipped into (or broken into) their house and taken the money w/o killing them.

Although she would have been a suspect in a burglary, it's doubtful that people that have $150K in cash in their home would want the unwelcome attention that reporting a theft would cause.

2) Cheryl's irrational thought processes, her aged look and her lack of remorse are all behaviors and conditions exhibited by junkies. I have no problem believing that she was either a heavy user or an addict.

3) This (the drug use) could possibly explain the 800lb gorilla that even UM danced around: If she owed anybody money, who was it and what was it for?
The police would have had to discover that Cheryl owed either gamblers or a dealer money within days of linking her to the crime. Or Eddie would have known and given that he told the police everything else, he would have told them that.

4) Attempting to burn down the house and yet removing the bodies made little sense. Either burning down the house w/ the bodies in it or not burning the house and hiding the bodies would have accomplished what she was trying to do w/o having alerted anybody to the fact that a robbery had taken place.

That's another reason that the drug hypothesis holds water,IMO. The thought process used to make the above decisions seem like a "good decision" would have to be skewed by something. It may have just been greed and stupidity...but it seems like more.

5) I doubt that Eddie nor Cheryl will be released during their first parole bid (and probably not their second). They MAY get released toward the end of their sentence, but they shouldn't hold out much hope for that.
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:06 PM   #39
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I have looked under the Tennessee DOC website and i cant find her? Has she been paroled or died?
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:23 AM   #40
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I just did a search and found that she and Ed Wooten are still incarcerated. However, like was mentioned earlier, their parole eligibility dates keep moving up as time goes on.

Cheryl will be eligible THIS SATURDAY, 12/3/16!
Ed has been eligible since 3/11/16, but either didn't have a hearing yet, or wasn't granted parole.

Has anyone ever uncovered what happened to the money? I know there's been plenty of speculation about her owing drug debts, but I find it incomprehensible that drug dealers in or around a small town like that would have let her get $100,000+ in debt to them (in 1990 dollars, mind you). She already had borrowed $ from other family members for fake medical treatments according to the segment, so the total debt actually would've been more.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:36 AM   #41
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Has anyone ever uncovered what happened to the money? I know there's been plenty of speculation about her owing drug debts, but I find it incomprehensible that drug dealers in or around a small town like that would have let her get $100,000+ in debt to them (in 1990 dollars, mind you). She already had borrowed $ from other family members for fake medical treatments according to the segment, so the total debt actually would've been more.
Good question. Cheryl was arrested while she was working at a convenience store, so she obviously wasn't living the high life off that $150,000 and likely didn't have it any more. I'd love to know what happened to it.
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:52 AM   #42
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I never thought Cheryl Holland and/or Eddie Wooten were drug addicts or dealers. I think that the couple was probably strapped for cash simply by virtue of not being well-educated and working the poorly paying jobs available to them in the area (or, perhaps, being unemployed). I seem to remember Cheryl had a couple of young children at the time as well.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:40 AM   #43
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I knew I had seen a drug angle in one of these threads before. Glad to see I just didn't pull it out of thin air. Still 50/50 on that scenario though.
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Old 11-29-2016, 02:04 PM   #44
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Quote:
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I never thought Cheryl Holland and/or Eddie Wooten were drug addicts or dealers. I think that the couple was probably strapped for cash simply by virtue of not being well-educated and working the poorly paying jobs available to them in the area (or, perhaps, being unemployed). I seem to remember Cheryl had a couple of young children at the time as well.
That sounds entirely possible and I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. Whatever the reason, growing up watching UM, you learn right away that there are endless excuses/reasons people give when we try to comprehend why they did such horrifying things. And many times, it seems we'll never truly get an answer.

Why did that trucker try to flatten Jay Durham into a human pancake? Why did that Connecticut man shoot "Carol" in the face when the only thing she was guilty of was...driving to work?

Sometimes, the answer might be nothing more than some people are evil.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:50 PM   #45
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Quote:
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That sounds entirely possible and I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. Whatever the reason, growing up watching UM, you learn right away that there are endless excuses/reasons people give when we try to comprehend why they did such horrifying things. And many times, it seems we'll never truly get an answer.

Why did that trucker try to flatten Jay Durham into a human pancake? Why did that Connecticut man shoot "Carol" in the face when the only thing she was guilty of was...driving to work?

Sometimes, the answer might be nothing more than some people are evil.
I agree wholeheartedly. I think back to when I decided to specialize in criminal law and it was undoubtedly shaped by cases just like these (and specifically the Montana double homicide covered in the Dannion Brinkley psychic segment.) I entered into this field because I wanted to 1) help society and 2) ultimately understand why people do the things they do.

It's rare, but I would say that in about 5-10% of my cases, we see horrible things happen because someone wants to hurt someone else. Plain and simple. No other reason. Some people really are just evil.
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