Wednesday, September 19, 2012

“It was a horrific act.”

Ohio Rape Victim Burned Alive - Three Suspects Charged
Re-printed from a story at New York Daily News on September 19th 2012
LaFonse D. Dixon, Monica Washington, Katrina Culberson, involved involved in the rape and murder of Celeste Fronsaman.
LaFonse D. Dixon, 33, Monica Washington, 24, Katrina Culberson, 20 involved involved in the rape and murder of Celeste Fronsaman, 29.

In the late summer of August 2012, a scene out of a modern horror movie unfolded in the peaceful, rural Ohio countryside. A shambling form, barely in a shape or a form that could be accurately described as human, shuffled from side to side screaming in agony.

It bobbed unsteadily along the gravel shoulder of an idyllic rural highway. It shambled alongside green pastures and chirping songbirds, unsure of it's destination or it's ability to get there. This wobbling thing's fire-blackened flesh peeled down it's back in charred coal black and bright pink layers.

It was as if this creature was an over-sized moth. A burned moth that had accidentally brushed too close to an open flame and was gravely wounded for it.

From the giant moth's neck hung an improvised noose that dangled and shook with each painful and exaggerated step the burned moth took upon the oblivious, chalky gravel highway embankment.

The serious problem here is that this was no Hollywood production. No work of fiction. This was a crime.

It was a crime completely unheard of in sleepy Muskingum County, Ohio. The story of this crime would even raise an eyebrow in the hopelessly hard slums of urban Chicago, the inner city of Philadelphia and in the decaying old ghettos of Detroit.

This burned moth was not an errant demon that had painstakingly clawed it's way free from a dark circle of Hell one handful of earth at a time. This was not a devil that was still half-covered in brimstone and fire-scarred now freely walking upon the Earth.

This was a woman. A woman whose name was Celeste Fronsman.

When a car finally passed her Fronsman suddenly flung herself at a stranger's vehicle and shrieked for help. The driver, who spoke to the Zanesville Times Recorder, said, "It was something out of a horror show.".

"I caught her and picked her up in my arms," the man told the newspaper. "I told her I was going to lay her in the grass and knew then that God had put me there for her."

Fronsman was conscious enough to tell the man that she had been beaten and raped.

Celeste Fronsman was determined to be the victim of an incredibly vicious rape, allegedly perpetrated by two women and a man. The suspects, former friends who by their own admission to court officials during proceedings frequently used crack cocaine together (please see Ohio.com), were LaFonse D. Dixon, 33, Monica Washington, 24, and Katrina Culberson, 20.

Celeste FronsmanSince their arrest in mid-September 2012, two of these suspects have made statements to the press. Katerina Culbertson stated "Being addicted to crack has led me from one bad thing to another." and claimed, to Ohio reporters, that she was both the "best friend" of Celeste Fronsman and also that she took part in the murder before her Defense attorney silenced her.

The male suspect, LaFonse Dixon, stated "I'm just a drug dealer just trying to sell my drugs...". (please see Ohio.com)

These suspects allegedly followed the gang rape of Celeste Fronsman by attempting to strangle Celeste Fronsman to death but failed. The three then allegedly doused the broken and half-dead body of Celeste Fronsman in gasoline and set her aflame.

It is unknown at this point how much time passed between the point when Fronsman was burned alive and she was found by a good Samaritan by the roadside, with burns covering 80% of her body.

On August 28th 2012, two days after Celeste Fronsman was found by police - she died, comatose, in an area hospital with burns covering nearly her entire body. Authorities in Ohio searched for suspects for four weeks until their investigation provided information that led them to three individuals who are now in custody.

Currently, these individuals have been arraigned and charged with Rape and Murder. All of the suspects have extensive drug related and theft convictions. All have pleaded Not Guilty as of this publication date.

NOTES: The title for this post comes from Muskingum County Sheriff Matthew Lutz's remarks to the press regarding the capture of all three of the Canton rape-murder suspects.

References:
Canton Representative, Second Woman Charged In Gruesome Murder
New York Daily News, Death Penalty Possible In Canton Rape-Killing
WCPO Channel 9, Man Pleads Not Guilty To Horrific Rape And Murder