Seven murders that seized
attention, stirred emotions

By Daniel Silliman


All of the county's 43 murders last year were tragedies. All 43 grabbed newspaper headlines and TV airtime. Some, however, seemed to especially attract attention, raise curiosity and stir emotions. Here are a few:

Ani Hacardyan Rose, a 36-year-old German native, was stabbed to death in the kitchen of her home, while her two daughters cowered in a back bedroom. Police arrived on Sept. 16 to find a bloody knife in the kitchen sink, as if it were just another dirty dish.

Rose's husband, 38-year-old Demetrio Patricio Rose, of Panama, was charged with murder.

Ani Rose had applied for a protective order against her husband, and it had been rejected by a magistrate court judge. She was appealing the decision, and had a court hearing scheduled for a month after her murder.

The couple was in the middle of a divorce, and there were two years of documented domestic violence between the two.

John Perry, Jr., 43, was found wrapped in plastic and carpet behind a green trash bin, a week after his girlfriend allegedly stabbed him to death on July 13. Misty Rose, a 29-year-old mother of two, told police the couple lived together in a Tara Boulevard apartment, and had an "abusive relationship." Rowe said Perry accused her of sleeping with other men, and the two got into a fight.

Reportedly, Perry's last words were "You stabbed me." His body was found when neighbors reported a foul smell.

Donald Ray Skinner, a 49-year-old truck driver, was ambushed and shot to death at a trucking depot on June 9. He was shot four times, in the early morning, in the depot's parking lot, before he died while asking his attacker, "Why?"

Police have arrested Skinner's wife, Carolyn Allene Skinner, and her boyfriend, Farmers' Market Police Officer Charles Alan Smith. Police and prosecutors alleged the two, motivated by lust and money, conspired to murder Donald Skinner.

Troy Marine, a 35-year-old car mechanic, was shot to death in his home in front of his three children, during an attempted robbery.

He was shot once in the stomach and died on his bed at his Hampton home. Police have arrested three men and one teenage girl for the murder, and said the break-in may have been drug-related, or may have been motivated by a $400 debt.

Cynthia Hyman, a 49-year-old maid at an extended-stay motel in Stockbridge, had tried to help the 56-year-old man accused of stabbing her to death. She had lent him money and had tried to sell jewelry for Alfonso Mason, a former bank executive who had fallen on hard times.

Allegedly, Mason resented the maid for reminding him his rent was coming due, and stabbed her five times in the stomach in a storage room, on March 8, killing her. Other residents of the $190-per-week motel told detectives they heard screaming.

Geneva Strickland, 68, was found bound and gagged in the bedroom of her burned-out Jonesboro home, after firefighters put out the blaze on Oct. 31.

She died of suffocation and smoke inhalation and was allegedly killed for the cash she kept in her home. Family members remembered Strickland as someone who never met a stranger, was always befriending people and working hard.

James Spear, a 37-year-old Floridian, was shot to death while stripped down to his underwear in the bathroom of a cheap motel, pleading with a prostitute for help.

Allegedly at the Stockbridge motel to smoke crack cocaine and sleep with the prostitute, on Jan. 20, Spear was shot and robbed by the man who sold him the drugs, according to police.

Detectives arrested Calvin Jermaine Harmon, a 27-year-old who goes by the street name "Caine," after finding Spear's vehicle parked in front of Harmon's house and finding a gun stashed in the crawl space beneath the residence.