Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,741,889 articles and books

Religious wife brutally killed.

TO their neighbours, Roger and Penny Scaggs had the perfect marriage.

The intensely religious couple had been together for 35 years and seemed very happy.

Penny, 54, even held classes at their local church, giving biblical advice on how to make marriage work. She said that a woman should love her husband unconditionally and obey his every order.

But there was a darker side to their seemingly perfect marriage. Penny's 58-year-old husband had strong sexual urges Noun 1. sexual urge - all of the feelings resulting from the urge to gratify sexual impulses; "he wanted a better sex life"; "the film contained no sex or violence"
 and when his wife could not - or would not - give in to them, he started an affair with a 28-year-old employee at his data processing data processing or information processing, operations (e.g., handling, merging, sorting, and computing) performed upon data in accordance with strictly defined procedures, such as recording and summarizing the financial transactions of a  com pany.

He later described this passionate liaison as "animal lust."

The affair raged for a year before violent tragedy struck.

Penny was playing the piano in the couple's luxurious home in Austin, Texas, when someone crept up behind her and viciously battered bat·ter 1  
v. bat·tered, bat·ter·ing, bat·ters
1. To hit heavily and repeatedly with violent blows.

2. To subject to repeated beatings or physical abuse.

 her over the head and neck with a heavy metal pipe.

Then, as she lay already dead on the floor, her attacker stabbed her seven times with a butcher's knife before snatching the jewellery from her body.

Roger Scaggs told police he found her when he returned home late from work. When asked what he thought had happened, he said that perhaps a vagrant VAGRANT. Generally by the word vagrant is understood a person who lives idly without any settled home; but this definition is much enlarged by some statutes, and it includes those who refuse to work, or go about begging. See 1 Wils. R. 331; 5 East, R. 339: 8 T. R. 26.  had spotted his wife's large diamond ring on her finger as she sat near the window, came in through the un locked back door and attacked her.

He spoke coolly and without emotion, apparently unaffected by his wife's violent death.

But that was the kind of man Roger Scaggs was. He did not show his emotions easily. Later, his defence would say he was dealing with his problems like a man.

However, he also caused talk by showing up at the funeral wearing a brightly coloured jacket emblazoned with a rampant eagle.

The murder weapon and jewellery were found the morning after the killing, in a skip behind Scaggs's office. They also found five latex latex, emulsion of a polymer (e.g., rubber) in water (see colloid). Natural latexes are produced by a number of plants, are usually white in color, and often contain, in addition to rubber, various gums, oils, and waxes.  gloves stained with Penny Scaggs's blood and inside three of them were near perfect latent fingerprints Impressions or reproductions of the distinctive pattern of lines and grooves on the skin of human fingertips.

Fingerprints are reproduced by pressing a person's fingertips into ink and then onto a piece of paper.
. All belonged t o Roger Scaggs.

Roger Scaggs was charged with murdering his wife. He denied it. But the news stunned stun  
tr.v. stunned, stun·ning, stuns
1. To daze or render senseless, by or as if by a blow.

2. To overwhelm or daze with a loud noise.

 their friends and neighbours, splitting them into two camps - those who believed he was a cold-blooded killer and those who did not.

It took two-and-a-half years for the case to come to trial, each side blaming the other for the delays.

One of the biggest blows to the prosecution was the disappearance of Vanessa Ferguson, with whom Scaggs was said to be having the torrid affair. She had closed all her bank accounts, cut off her phone and left town.

Both sides wanted to talk to her - the prosecution to confirm the existence of the love match, the defence that she saw their client at work at the time the murder took place. But all attempts to track her down failed. She had apparently vanished into th in air.

The DA believed he had a cast iron case. They had motive - the affair. They had means - the metal pipe and butcher's knife found near Scaggs's office. And they had opportunity - he confirmed he'd returned home for something to eat before going back to th e office.

However, the defence had some surprises for them. Material found under the dead woman's fingernails suggested she had fought with her attacker. DNA testing DNA testing
Analysis of DNA (the genetic component of cells) in order to determine changes in genes that may indicate a specific disorder.

Mentioned in: Acoustic Neuroma, Retinoblastoma, Von Willebrand Disease
 did not match it to Roger Scaggs.

The prosecution insisted this material was actually contamination at the lab from an unrelated case, although this was vehemently denied by their own expert witness.

The prosecution then had to put another expert witness on the stand to contradict con·tra·dict  
v. con·tra·dict·ed, con·tra·dict·ing, con·tra·dicts
1. To assert or express the opposite of (a statement).

2. To deny the statement of. See Synonyms at deny.
 their original expert.

This was all highly unusual as normally it is the defence who attack DNA evidence Among the many new tools that science has provided for the analysis of forensic evidence is the powerful and controversial analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, the material that makes up the genetic code of most organisms. , while the prosecution claim contamination is not possible.

And there was more. Investigators found a small hair on the knife which did not come from either the suspect or the victim. Unidentified fingerprints were found throughout the house. No attempts had been made to match head hair found in a hallway.

And a defence expert said it was unlikely for such clear prints to have been left on the inside of a rubber glove A rubber glove is a glove made out of rubber. Its primary use is in works related with chemicals where you want to protect the hands. Rubber gloves are worn during dishwashing to protect the hands from detergent and allow the use of hotter water.  after such an attack. If the killer had worn the gloves, he said, prints would have been smudged.

Lawyers insisted that the latent prints had been left in the gloves when Scaggs wore them while cleaning his private plane. The real killer had taken them while ransacking ran·sack  
tr.v. ran·sacked, ran·sack·ing, ran·sacks
1. To search or examine thoroughly.

2. To search carefully for plunder; pillage.
 the house and dumped them near Scaggs's office in an attempt to frame him.

Did Roger Scaggs brutally murder his loving wife to leave the way clear to marry someone else? Or was he the victim of shoddy shod·dy  
adj. shod·di·er, shod·di·est
1. Made of or containing inferior material.

a. Of poor quality or craft.

b. Rundown; shabby.

 police work and a frame-up by some unknown killer?

You decide...


Not guilty

Turn to Funday (pg??) for the jury's verdict
COPYRIGHT 1999 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 3, 1999
Previous Article:Dear Wendy: Sex life has lost its spice after divorce.
Next Article:Wrap up for a big cover-up.

Related Articles
Mirror Comment: Cross purpose at holy landing.
Cannibal taunts victim's family.
Jailed activist on hunger strike to protest conditions.
Wife free on hubby murder.
The definition of occupation.
Safe House.
The death of Imam Hussein.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters