The crime scene, as described by Rae-Harper, is as follows:
http://www.thehinkymeter.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1387&start=850Julie Rea has told this story hundreds of times. But no matter how many times she tells it, the story never makes sense.
She was asleep in her own bed when she heard a child scream. This child sounded more terrified than her son Joel ever did, no matter what kind of nightmare engulfed him.
She slipped out of bed and padded across the hall into the 10-year-old's room. The light from the hallway illuminated his bed enough that Julie could see it was empty. She called out his name.
Suddenly someone bounded over the bed and brushed past Julie. Was it Joel? Wearing a mask? Why wouldn't he stop? He was desperate to get away from her, to escape. Julie chased him down the hall, past the living room, through the kitchen. He broke through a glass door leading into the garage. "You shouldn't do that, it's dangerous," Julie thought, as he crashed through a second glass door into the back yard.
He turned and started swatting Julie, trying to shoo her away. He was strong and wild-eyed. He definitely wasn't Joel.
They scuffled briefly--she remembers grabbing his legs, his arm around her neck, her face on the ground. She was surprised at how hard he was hitting her. Then he was off, walking toward the woods, pausing briefly to remove his mask. She caught a glimpse of his profile, then she ran the opposite way, toward the nearest neighbor with lights on. "Joel's gone! Joel's gone!" she yelled, pounding on the door. The neighbors called police and reported the kidnapping.
After what felt like forever, police and paramedics arrived. The police went to Julie's house while a paramedic bandaged her arm. Then an officer came and said someone else needed medical attention.
It was Joel. He had not been kidnapped; he had been killed. His body was found on the floor between his bed and the wall. Joel Kirkpatrick had been stabbed to death in his own room, his own bed, apparently with a steak knife from his own mother's kitchen.
In the days and weeks and months to come, investigators found no sign of forced entry into Julie's house, nothing stolen, no fingerprints, and no one with any motive to kill a 10-year-old boy who was by all accounts exceptionally sweet, considerate, and bright.
Julie tried to move on with her life. She left Lawrenceville, the little town where her son was murdered, and rented a duplex in nearby Bloomington, where she continued her studies toward a PhD in educational psychology. To deal with her constant overwhelming fear, she installed security lights outside the duplex, planted thorn bushes under every window, and bought a German shepherd named Nosyt, already trained as a personal protection dog. More than a year after Joel's murder, she went out on a blind date. She and Mark Harper fell in love and got married.
But while Julie lived in fear that the killer would return for her, law enforcement officials in Lawrenceville zeroed in on Julie. On October 12, 2000--three years almost to the day after Joel died--a special grand jury indicted Julie for murder. After a two-week trial at which she was represented by an overworked public defender, Julie was found guilty and sentenced to 65 years in prison.
The prosecutor, Ed Parkinson, later told reporters that Julie was convicted by "her ridiculous story"--the one that never made any sense. In an interview broadcast on the TV show 20/20, Parkinson said, "To believe her, you would have to believe that this assailant came into her home in the middle of the night in dark clothes, hiding his identity by the use of a mask, for the sole purpose of killing a 10-year-old boy. And after he accomplished his result, he pulled off the mask to reveal his identity to her. Nonsense."
He dismissed the notion that someone else could have committed the crime: "No one in this world except Julie Rea fits the killer."