Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Disturbing Case of The Disturbing Cleve Foster

Cleve Foster is scheduled to be executed by Texas on January 11, 2011. [Now scheduled for September 20, 2011.] [Now scheduled for September 25, 2012.] I've been recently keeping my eye on upcoming executions to see if there are any cases I should be scoring. There are quite a few sites proclaiming that Cleve Foster is innocent of the crime for which he is scheduled to die. I decided to take a look.

Foster's supporters, and there seem to be more than a few, make an interesting prima facie case that he is innocent. There is no forensic evidence trying Foster to the crime; another person confessed to and was convicted of the crime; that other person claims that Foster was not involved; and two witnesses claim they saw only one person enter and leave the crime scene.

Nonetheless, I think it is highly likely that Cleve Foster is guilty.

On the 13th of February in 2002, Cleve Foster and his friend / roommate Sheldon Ward were in a Fort Worth bar known as Fat Albert's. There they met Nyanuer "Mary" Pal. According to the bartender, Pal interacted primarily with Ward while Foster played pool until the bar closed at 2 AM on the 14th. The three walked to the parking lot where they talked for a few minutes. Pal left in her car, and Foster and Ward followed close behind in Foster's pickup. According to the bartender, they were right on her bumper.

Approximately 8 hours later, Pal's nude body was discovered in a ditch far off a road in Tarrant County. She had been shot in the head. DNA testing absolutely identified Foster as a contributor of the semen in her vagina, and identified Ward as possibly a minor contributor. DNA testing also identified Ward as the contributor of semen in Pal's rectum.

Pal's car was found in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she lived. The car was unlocked. Her cell phone was sitting in the front seat.

Pal's blood and tissue was found on a gun recovered during a search of the motel room shared by Foster and Ward. Pal's blood was found on Ward's clothes in Ward's car.

In the back of Foster's truck, police found numerous and sundry items soaking in cleaning fluid. The items included: 3 pairs of shoes, bungee cords, black gloves, a bicycle pump, a hatchet, a sheathed knife, 2 slingshots, a trailer hitch, coat hangers, a strap, a bleach bottle, and a liquid detergent bottle.

There is no doubt that Ward was involved in the killing of Mary Pal.

Ward Story #1

Within hours of the police collecting his DNA samples, Ward decided to move from the motel room that he had been sharing with Foster. Ward called a friend, Duane Thomas, and asked if he could stay with him. Ward told Thomas during that phone call that he was in trouble because he had killed someone. Thomas drove to the motel to pick up Ward. As Ward and Thomas left, Ward told Thomas that he followed a girl home from a bar, forced her into Foster's truck at gunpoint, took her out to the country, raped her, and blew her brains out. Ward did not mention Foster.

This freaked Thomas out sufficiently that he stopped at a store and contacted the police. Ward was promptly arrested. Ward provided an audiotaped statement to the police that differed in considerable detail from what he had just told Thomas.

Ward Story #2

Ward told the police he been drinking heavily and using cocaine on the night of the murder. He and Pal made arrangements to meet after Fat Albert's closed. He and Foster went back to their motel room where Foster "pretty much passed out" on the bed. Ward drove to Pal's apartment in Foster's truck and picked Pal up. Ward and Pal had consensual vaginal and anal sex on the front seat of Foster's pickup, then drove to the motel room where they had vaginal sex.

Ward and Pal left the motel room and drove around "a little bit." Ward recalled standing over Pal's body lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to her head and the gun in his hand. He dumped Pal's clothes in a dumpster, but couldn't remember where. He put his bloody clothes in his car at the motel, called  Duane Thomas, told him he had sex with a girl and killed her and asked for a place to stay. Just before moving out of the motel, he left a note for Foster apologizing for involving him.

In that note, Ward told a slightly different story still, adding details that, if true, would completely exculpate Foster.

Ward Story #3

In his note, Ward apologized to Foster for involving him in the crime, explained that he had drugged Foster with sleeping pills, and had Pal "ride" Foster while he slept. Ward then left with Pal in Foster's truck. Those details would explain Foster's semen in Pal's vagina, and would make Foster unaware of Ward's murder of Pal.

Foster Story #1 

The variety of Ward's stories was exceeded by Foster. In version #1, Foster claimed that Pal had never been in his truck.

Foster Story #2

In version #2, Foster conceded that Pal may have leaned inside his truck.

Foster Story #3

In version #3, Foster explained that Pal rode around in his truck with him and Ward, that they dropped her off at her car at the bar where they met.

Foster Story #4

In version #4, Foster explained that he and Ward followed Pal to her apartment. Pal voluntarily went with them to their motel room in Foster's truck. After taking sleeping pills and drinking beer, he fell asleep while Ward and Pal kissed. He awoke to find Pal performing oral sex on him. Ward told Foster he was going to take Pal home.

Foster Story #5

In version #5, Foster adopted Ward Story #3, the one that finally explained how his semen came to be inside Mary Pal, the one that explained how he could have been totally unaware of Ward's murder of Mary Pal.

Police Theory of the Case

In an effort to prove that Foster must have participated in the murder of Mary Pal, they argued that Pal was killed elsewhere and transported to the spot she was found, far from the road. They argued further that Ward could not have done this by himself, that Ward was only 5' 6" tall and weighed only 140 pounds. Mary Pal, by comparison was 5' 7" tall and weighed 130 pounds. Foster on the other hand was 6' 0" tall and weighed 225 pounds.

They claim also that there was no blood splatter consistent with a gunshot wound to the back of Pal's head, that there was no pool of blood consistent with a such a head wound. (They did not apparently claim that there was no blood, only that the blood was not spattered and pooled as expected of a head wound.)

They noted as well that the soles of Pal's feet showed no evidence of walking to the location, and that her arms were raised as if she had been carried by her arms and legs.

Foster's Rebuttal

Foster and his supporters attempt to convince others of Foster's innocence by accepting Ward's story, the one told by the note he left behind. The evidence that Foster helped carry Pal to the location where she was found is not particularly overwhelming.

To buttress Ward's story (#3), Foster's supporters argue that the crime scene photos show the area to be exceptionally bloody, inconsistent with Pal being killed elsewhere and carried to the scene. One writer claimed to have a copy of the crime scene photos and claimed further they disproved the police theory. I emailed that person, asked for a copy, and promised to properly account for what the photos showed when I wrote of the case. I still await a response to that request.

To further buttress Ward's story (#3), Foster's supporters argue that two witnesses say they saw one person chase Pal into the woods, and the same person emerge from the woods. That story turns out to irrelevant at best and bogus at worst. I believe it does harm to Foster's case to continually promote it. Here's the skinny on those eyewitnesses, including the details Foster's supporters keep from their readers.

Jalissa Polk and her nine-year-old daughter informed police that, on either February 12 or 13, at about 8:30 PM, they were arriving home when Polk saw a black, 4-door mini-blazer-type car parked near the driveway entrance to her apartment complex. The driver's door and the rear passenger door were open. There appeared to be hand prints smeared on the front windshield. Polk saw no one inside the car.

Once Polk was inside her apartment, she heard a gunshot. Her daughter, Candice, ran inside and told her a man was chasing a screaming woman. Candice told the police she saw a black man and a black woman yelling at each other near the car. The woman was nude and the man had gun in  his hand. The man chased the woman across the street into the woods. She heard a gunshot, and then saw the man run back to car.

There are numerous problems with the alleged eyewitness testimony. The car described by Jalissa Polk and her daughter looked nothing like Pal's car, Ward's car, or Foster's truck. The two witnesses described a black assailant, though Ward is white. Most significantly, perhaps, they describe Pal as being murdered around 8:30 PM on February 12 or 13, but the bartender saw Pal alive at 2 AM on February 14. Whatever Jalissa Polk and her daughter may have seen, it was not Ward chasing Pal.

The Kicker

I'm not sure how I would have voted had I been a juror at Foster's trial. It would depend, of course, on all the information provided at trial, not just the summary I have been able to compile here. I would be suspicious of Foster's ever-changing, self-serving stories. On the other hand, I would find wanting the police evidence that Foster must have carried Pal to the murder scene. There was less evidence still that Foster had participated in the killing. I believe they would have convinced me that Foster more than likely was involved in the murder, but I'm not sure they would have proven it to me beyond a reasonable doubt. I would have been angry and frustrated as I struggled with my vote.

As a researcher, I learned something I would not have learned as a juror, at least during the guilt / innocence phase of the trial. I learned something about Foster's past behavior that had a more powerful impact on me than any other instance of a defendant's past behavior. I learned that Ward and Foster killed another woman under similar circumstances just two months prior to the Pal murder.

In a statement Foster gave to the police (which was admitted into evidence only during the punishment phase of Foster's trial) Foster spoke about a previous murder allegedly committed only by Ward. He claimed that in December 2001, he and Ward had consensual sex with Rachel Urnosky, a young woman they both had just met in the parking lot of Foster's former apartment complex. Foster and Ward left Rachel's apartment and returned to Foster's truck. Ward then returned to Rachel's apartment for a short while. Days later, Ward showed Foster a newspaper clipping about the murder of Rachel Urnosky.

It's extremely likely Foster was lying about Urnosky participating willfully in three-way sex with imperfect strangers. Urnosky was a recent college graduate. She had moved from Lubbock to Fort Worth to work as a manager in a store at a nearby mall. She had just that month become engaged to a young man she met while in college. That young man lived in the same apartment complex as she did. She had in fact just stopped by her fiance's apartment that evening, and asked his roommate if he needed any laundry done. She was murdered on her way to do the laundry.


I've taken a quick look at all prisoners in the United States with a scheduled execution date. The only one I found that that seemed to have a case of actual innocence was Cleve Foster. The first stories I read seemed to make a decent case that Foster had been wrongfully convicted and was in danger of being wrongfully executed. As I worked on the case, particularly as I read through the appellate rulings, Foster's case crumbled and the State's case strengthened. I was still, however, on the fence (leaning towards guilt) when I came across the information about the murder of Rachel Urnosky two months earlier.

That discovery disturbed me no end, and still does. It told me I was probably looking at the the type of case I most dread. I most dread being a juror on a case in which I believe the defendant to be guilty, and believe he may commit horrific crimes again in the future, yet believe that the State has not met its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

I present my Actual Innocence Scorecard to the right. I scored him at 9 out of 100. In cases where I believe there is a reasonable chance of the person's actual innocence, I oppose the death penalty. In cases where I believe there is no reasonable chance of actual innocence, I neither oppose nor support the death penalty. In this disturbing case, I stand mute on the issue.

Initially I identified the earlier victim as Rachel Omosky. A reader who claims to have known Rachel informs me that her last name was Urnosky, not Omosky. I had no trouble confirming that the reader was correct and I was wrong, as was the United States District Court in their opinion for Foster v. Quarterman. I appreciate the feedback. I have corrected my post accordingly. I offer my condolances to the reader for the loss of her or his friend.

ADDENDUM (23 Sep 2012)
Clearly I do not accept Cleve Foster's claims of innocence. With respect to the impending execution of Preston Hughes III of Texas, however, I believe him to be absolutely innocent though in grave danger of being executed. After a 6 month investigation, 60 posts, and 90,000 words, none of the evidence of his guilt withstands scrutiny.

For a 3 minute 30 second video summary of his case, please click here.
For a text summary of his case, please click here.

It is not too late to save an innocent man from the needle.  Cleve Foster is not that man. Preston Hughes is.

ADDENDUM (25 Sep 2012)
Cleve Foster has been executed by the people of Texas.


Anonymous said...

Guilty. Obviously the jury privy to much more info than u made the right descision. Good riddance.

Minnie said...

Thank you for this analysis of a difficult case. It is so much easier to take an ironclad stance concerning innocence or guilt than to take a rational look at the evidence as far as it can be known. As an outsider I have sometimes been shocked at the virulent statements posted with regard to death penalty cases in the USA. This blog is indeed a welcome counter balance to emotional outbursts littered with vituperative remarks and spelling errors.

Anonymous said...

i am still skeptical if cleve is innocent or guilty. a friend of mine use to write cleve. cleve told her one story but i have also read sheldons confession which says something totally different.

Anonymous said...

have come to realize that just because you find cleves seaman on this girl does not mean that he was a part of killing this girl. this is in part on what i had mentioned eariler today. God has made me realize this. i know it may to late to save him

Anonymous said...

If there is even a slight chance that this man is innocent the execution should be stopped. I would rather see a guilty man go free than an innocent man executed. What kind of society do we live in? How do our officials sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

Its a classic GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!! The sad thing is there will always be two stories and nobody will ever know what REALLY happened. Two women and two rapes with his DNA found, explain that...
While everyone blames the judicial system, God is in Control! There is a rhyme and reason for everything. I hope he has admitted to his wrong doing and "made it right" with God. My heart goes out to all the families.

Anonymous said...

Rachel's last name is spelled "Urnosky." I knew her, and have no doubt in my mind that she would not have participated in consensual sex with either of these men, much less both at the same time. That part of his story confirms to me that he is lying in that case, and most likely in the entire Pal case.

Anonymous said...

Thank u. I will always read ur blog.

Anonymous said...

I have been following this case for some time. I know Cleve Foster and I have to say, I too, looked thru everything that I could find and I too Beleive that he is guilty, both murders.

I just read that the Supreme Court stayed his execution.

What hurts the most is that I know his family and what this has done to them, tho really, they are blind to the truth.

Except, those of us who know the family, including some family members...we do see.

Anonymous said...

I was a recruiter in FW from 1998 -2001 and knew Foster. He was a psycho then and wouldn't doubt he did any of this. Dig a little more, find out why he was kicked out. You won't be surprised to see a pattern. Can't believe his discharge didn't come up in trial. If you spend over 20 years in the Army you retire. You don't just get put out, and as and E7 it has to be pretty bad to get the boot with over 20.

Anonymous said...

i am a friend of a woman who at one point was writing to cleve foster. from what she told me that cleve wrote to her was that cleve and sheldon went to marys apartment where they had consendual sex. cleve left and had no idea what happened after. to read sheldons testomony on this the two stories are different.

Anonymous said...

review this link

DJ Cornelius

Anonymous said...

Anonymous. I was a recruiter too. You messed with Cleve sending him on goose chases and still haven't gotten over the axle greese that you got on your ear when he got even with you.

You are the psycho-

Anonymous said...

Guilty!! How is the Pal going to ride him when he was drugged with sleeping pills, think about it, would that make his private part be in a relaxed state.

Anonymous said...

I can hardly get a erection drunk and still able to walk, how can you ejaculate when passed out way did that happen

Anonymous said...

I known Cleve Foster since 1987 and served with him in the Army Reserve and Desert Storm. I no that he very capable of commiting murder and manipulate people to believe him when he says he innocent. Ask him about the girl while he was serving in Desert Storm that he got pregeant and she had a abortion. So do not let him fool you.

Anonymous said...

tell us about the pregnant girl. How does getting a girl pregnant mean that you are a murderer? Is there more to the story that we should know?

Anonymous said...

Your analysis is very helpful and thorough. I'm not 100% convinced he is guilty of the crime he will be paying the ultimate price for but I am convinced that once he's gone, the world will be a safer place. It's a very scary person that can commit such horrific crimes and continue to walk among the innocence as if he belongs there.

Anonymous said...

Maybe people should look at what Cleve Foster has done in the past. Desert Storm for him was counting bottles of water because he could not be trusted to be left alone with any one. But yet he tells everyone how much of a hero he became over there. It insults the Soldiers that actually sacrfice there lives. What kind of combat strees he was there after the war was over. So tell me is he believeable hell no.

Anonymous said...

Foster had a horrible record in the Army. He was given the option of either leaving or being court marshaled. And this did come in at trial during the sentencing trial.

It's bad enough that these two young women were raped and murdered but they also trash their reputations, too.

Anonymous said...

I was following his story. He is my penpal. Whether he is guilty or not, one thing I know for sure, God still loves Him. Jesus came to die for sinners. There is no sin too big that God cannot forgive and there is no heart that is too hard that God cannot soften it. I am still praying for him. Let the Lord's will be done. His execution is soon...he wrote to me, 'I am saved by grace. I will meet you in heaven.' GOD FORGIVES AND ACCEPT EVERYONE WHO COMES TO HIM.

Anonymous said...

What kind of bloody endorsement is "God still loves Him"? First, if you were talking about Cleve, you should not have capitalized the "H" in "Him", and if you were talking about God you were being vaguely redundant, if not a tad blasphemous.

I agree that this is one of those "Golly if you knew everything" its obvious he's guilty, the question is what was the jury allowed to see and what was deliberately withheld. Given the sanitized version of events that often appear in the motions and in the postings of the "Cleve is innocent" movement I would probably have had to say there wasn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt he was involved. However, since the jury apparently thought there was and convicted him, his past bad acts came into evidence in sentencing, and this is where that behavior doomed him.

Sure, after hearing all that it's fairly obvious that he and his buddy were a rape murder couple with him being the dominant player and the other defendant willing to take the rap for him the submissive once you have heard that testimony, and after hearing it I for one would have had NO trouble voting for the death penalty and if I'd voted guilty with some reservations over the weakness of the states evidence, those reservations would have vanished.

I still wonder what it was, aside from potentially his looks and demeanor, that caused the jury to tip to the side of a guilty verdict in the first place.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment on my post. I am sorry for the typo. "God still loves him." I was talking about Cleve. God still loves him.

John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out the post of someone earlier who said "Its a classic GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!! The sad thing is there will always be two stories and nobody will ever know what REALLY happened."

If it is sad that we will never know what really happened, how can you be so sure he is guilty, guilty, guilty?

Let me ask something of the people who support the death penalty: What do the following countries have in common?

China, Iran, Iraq, United States, Afghanistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia

Those are the countries that practice capital punishment more than any other country. Are you proud of the company we keep? Don't you think it's time we joined the civilized world?

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis. Have you on my favorites. Cleve Foster seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know people like him that would not commit such a horrendous crime as rape and murder. The guy I knew always had a bump on his head and was a "fraidy cat" when it came to the issue of violence against another. Last I knew of him was that he lost and eye when tripped and fell, totally drunk. If Foster is like my friend, he's a loser even if he doesn't want to be. I have the death penalty where there is sufficient proven evidence against an accussed person.

Anonymous said...

Well, Cleve is getting another Stay. It just came out. Due to the change of the cocktail and something about some public comment and debate, not being done in this matter.

Again, I know him, I have known him since he was 12. Sheldon may have pulled the trigger in this case. However, Duke, as we called him. Was very much there, involved. When the first woman was killed, and if he was innocent he should have turned Sheldon in, but why didn't he? because they raped this girl and then she was murdered. He was arrested for this, but he didn't go to trial because he was found guilty of the second rape and murder. Then we have woman # 2, the one he was found guilty of ....He may not have pulled the trigger, but he was there, and knew of it. He turned over the gun. A woman was killed during the rape of her, he knew what was going to happen, sure as I am sitting in my chair and typing this.

I have researched everything I could get my hands on, for his family and for mine. To seek out the truth. I didn't like what I saw, not at all.

Anonymous said...

"John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Yep, and there's no better time for Cleve to get started on his eternal life, than right now.

The christian viewpoint of salvation cannot be used as a post-violence get-out-of-jail-free card. In Cleve's case, I have reasonable doubt that he has "come to Jesus" because he continues to express his innocence, and no remorse. I guess I'm saying that if I was guilty of such a crime and later came to view myself as saved by the grace of God, I'd want to own up to what I had done and to praise God. Instead, Cleve praises God, and in the next breath says, "BTW, I didn't do it."

Do you think God is fooled by Cleve?

I could also ask why anyone would believe in a God that would accept Cleve into heaven, but consign his victim to hell... but that's a question for another time.

Anonymous said...

"Let me ask something of the people who support the death penalty: What do the following countries have in common?

China, Iran, Iraq, United States, Afghanistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia

Those are the countries that practice capital punishment more than any other country. Are you proud of the company we keep? Don't you think it's time we joined the civilized world?"

What are you 13, parroting what your rich parents tell you? Your comparisons, and your rhetorical question about joining the civilized world are ridiculous and undermine what is otherwise a legitimate concern.

I have concerns about the death penalty, but not how it is applied in the US.

First of all, in all of 2010 there where 46 executions in the US; a country with a population well in excess of 300,000,000 people. That's a fraction of the number of executions in places like China and Iran... and I guarantee you that none of the executions in the US were because the accused disagreed with the government.

Executions in the US are confined to the most serious, heinous, and disturbing crimes. The US is so cautious about who it puts to death that Daniel Wayne Cook, who tortured, raped and murdered two victims almost 24 years ago was today also given a stay by the Supreme Court, so that there is enough time to determine if the drugs planned for his execution are "safe".

Anonymous said...

Luke 23:38-43

38There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.”

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.

Anonymous said...

Man, I'd think Cleve would like paradise a lot more than death row... why's he fighting so hard?

For that matter, why would anyone who has been "saved" not immediately commit suicide?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful analysis.

I began reading about C. Foster b/c of the stay as a result of the pentobarbital. Then I read that the Supreme Court might hear his appeal on his conviction and wanted to read more about the case. I'm generally opposed to capital punishment b/c of the inequity in the justice system but as a single 20-something woman this guy makes my blood run cold. I can't tell you how many guys prowl for young women in bars and then to follow them's too much!

I believe that the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold his conviction and if they do not I hope (and believe) that Tarrant County will begin proceedings to convict him of the FIRST rape/murder that he committed. It is a shame that he appears innocent simply because his partner-in-crime was dumber than him and did the grunt work (pulled trigger).

Lastly, being a child of God does not absolve (sp?) anyone of proper punishment. The questions here are about guilt and punishment; the question is not about forgiveness, atonement, or any sort of free pass!

--M in Houston, Texas

Anonymous said...

Lethal injection seems to good for this guy. Change of the cocktail is a stupid reason for a stay.

Anonymous said...

Oops...I meant to say Lethal injection seems TOO good for this guy.

Anonymous said...

Foster was convicted of murdering Mary Pal. Any argument for or against his innocence outside of that court case is free to look at all the evidence. In the killing of Rachel Urnosky, Foster's claim of innocence is based on her having consensual sex with Ward and Foster. Foster was 38 at the time. Urnosky was 22. He was a failed career army sergeant. She had recently graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech. He was going nowhere. She was engaged to be married.

There is no doubt in my mind that Foster and Ward together murdered both Rachel Urnosky, and then two months later, Mary Pal.

Rachel Urnosky photo:

Rachel Urnosky obituary:

Mary Pal pic:

Anonymous said...

More direct link to photos of the victims.



Anonymous said...

I knew Duke for. Very long time. He lived in carlsbad nm where he married his first wife,shortly after there wedding Foster began hitting and verbally. Abusing his wife. Duke was a womanizer. Even tho he was marrid he had lots of affairs.he was an alcoholic and a pot head, I worked with him in the oilfield this is how I know him. He would pride himself on how he could have any woman he wanted even tho he had a wife and a child at home. He told us he never wnted another child due to he had another one in killeen tx which he wanted nothing to do with.Duke is a sick man and had a history of abusing women he dated for long periods ofr time. He went to the gulf war as a clean up crew/waterboy. Here we never new he got a woman pregnant and she had an abortion while he was still married.. would love to know who that woman was. Just from knowing him and. Working with him, we all knew he was frull of crap and we believe he is guilty of these crimes!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a college professor who ran across this blog by sheer chance. I have no connection to anyone involved. I'm against the death penalty on general principles, but I strongly feel Mr. Foster is guilty of the crimes he's been convicted of.

I have not read as much as you have about this case, but I find it distressing that several key issues have not been mentioned while other issues have been repeated ad nauseum.

(1) Were there drag marks on the ground where Pal's body was found? What about footprints? If her body were found within 8 hours of the murder, in a ditch (which I presume was made of dirt) then surely forensics would have determined whether Pal walked there or not. And whether Foster and Ward had both been there. This hasn't been mentioned.

(2) Was there any expert testimony as to whether a man can physically maintain an erection and ejaculate while unconscious? It seems implausible to me, but I'm not an expert.

(3) Was Urnosky raped? Since Foster is claiming consensual sex with Urnosky I assume Foster's semen was found in her vagina, but often autopsies can determine if trauma had occurred alongside the sexual transaction.

I haven't read the trial transcripts, just a few blogs and news articles. To me, the Urnosky case is more damning in many ways. Here you have a 22 year old newly-engaged honor-student who spends her summers doing Christian missionary work, "agreeing" to have sex with two men she just met in a parking lot. Sounds fishy.

Mr. Foster claims that it's just a coincidence that his semen is found in the bodies of young women who are later found raped and murdered with the same weapon found in his motel room. Talk about your bad luck...

Anonymous said...

with reading this. it sounds like neither cleve or sheldon can get theirs stories straight. if you are innocent like cleve claims he is he would not keep changing his story. from what cleve told a friend of mine they all had consentual sex. and with what he says about being a guinea pig whith the stuff he is to die with. he is not a guinea pig because they have used this stuff before

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: The Supreme Court rejected Foster's petition and the stay was lifted. The date of execution is September 20 2011. Wish it was sooner.

Anonymous said...

This disgusting loser is GUILTY!! he would not had chgd his story so many times if he was innocent his friend/partner in crime was an even dumber loser then him since he was willing to take all the blame they were some weird probably homo wanna be serial killers who stupidly made dumb mistakes if u honestly wanted to get away with a rape & murder why would u not wear a condom that goes to show how stupid they both were && i agree with the other comments abt the young lady who was murdered on her way to do laundry no young lady who had a great life ahead of her would actually agree to have sex with these two scumbags everything that comes to these losers trust me they deserve it.

P.S HIM BEING PUT TO DEATH THIS YEAR IS GOOD NEWS FOR THE VICTIMS FAMILIES yes i know && understand he had family as well but he put them in the position of loosing opinion

Anonymous said...

For starters it is possible to "get off" while drugged even with sleeping pills because it isn't your brain function alone that gets you hard. It is your body and recognizing specific touches. To say that you can't get it up while drunk....Maybe need to see a doctor.. How do you think that men and women that drop to the level of date rapes or other methods get their person to function... It is the body that responds to the "familiar" touch... Nothing to do with being conscious. A friend of mine was raped and didn't even know that it happened becauase she was drugged with sleeping pills.... So learn your facts about something before you comment. I thought I knew Sarge, I would love to think that I knew him... I am not sure really which way to go. But if they are looking into the evidence that it takes two to move Mary because of Shelton's hight and weight compared to hers... Hmm well I know many smaller guys that can pick up guys twice their size and they are pushing a buck 20 so That is possible for him to do it especially if he "trained" even as joking around with ANY soldiers. I have seen a 120 pound soldier pick up a 243 pound soldier with a bunch of crap on him and made it look easy. So there is a shadow of a doubt that it could be true of Cleve's innocence. I am not the jury nor Cleve's final judgment!! All I can say is that what I am hearing is ignorance and that there are possible things for Shelton to have done on his own. I mean come on I am a 160 pound female and I can pick up my 210 pound brother several ways. So I don't buy that Shelton was too weak to pick her up on his own.
I truely hope that the State of Texas isn't executing an honestly innocent guy for another ones actions. Nothing I read in them stated that he with out a doubt murdered Mary "Pal" So what he had sex with her doesn't mean he killed her nor raped her. I haven't looked into the other lady's case completely because he is not really on trial for her and as far as I know nothing in that case proves him 100% guilty or where there isn't a shadow of a doubt!! I thought that if there was a shadow of a doubt in a case of execution that execution was to be denied. Well I guess I am wrong and they are just there to do their "jobs" when it comes to being on the jury. It is a scary world that a group of peers can hear some harsh "evidence" and just want someone to suffer like the victim instead of serving justice for these ladies!!! If they truely are guilty then they are doing the right thing by death row but come on if he is truly innocent and they find that out later down the road would any of you pushing for his execution feel bad for killing another innocent. That alone is what keeps me from wishing him the death penalty. Then look at the ones that have all the proof of murder or rape and they are out walking around because they can afford to pay for their "freedom"!!! Another thing too is look at how many men and women do stupid things before they get married who is to actually say what either one of these women agreed to. Is anyone really around their friends 24-7 to know what they truley would or wouldn't do. I mean come on no one knows ALL of your secrets. So I can't say that that was or wasn't the case. This is just my opinion that doesn't have to be read or agreed with but felt I owed it to myself to state this. Sorry if it affended anyone. Not meant to.

Elizabeth said...

The jury was charged with determining whether the state had met its burden of proof at trial. You give yourself the tougher, some would say impossible, task of determining if Foster is guilty or innocent, something no American jury is asked to do.

tsj said...


Not quite. I give myself the task of determining whether the person scheduled to die has a reasonable possibility of being factually innocent. If I determine, in my mind, that the person might be innocent, I will oppose the execution. Depending on the circumstances I may make my opposition known to the appropriate Governor or clemency board. If I find no chance of factual innocence, I stand mute regarding the propriety of the execution.

I am not opposing or supporting the death penalty. I am opposing the imprisonment and execution of innocent people.

In a few cases where I am convinced a person is wrongfully imprisoned (even if not facing execution), I expend hours, months, and even years to help free the person.

Anonymous said...

Who by water, who by fire and who by lethal injection. On Rosh HaShana it is written and some folks don't even make it to Yom Kipper before it is sealed.

The big regret on many of these folks reproduce prior toeing taken out of circulation. Cleve has a son who been terrorized and traumatized by tow parents and is a set up for being a dangerous violent criminal as theorized by criminologist Lonnie Athens (The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals). This episode (the execution of his father) will not help to humanize him or others his life has impacted. It is so sad that kids are damaged in pregnancy by maternal substance abuse and then born into and remain in a family that is criminally and abusive.

Cleve, I would not wish execution on anyone or on any country. I hope that if this goes through this time your passing is painless and relatively anxiety free. To the family I am sorry that Rick Perry is out of control and that his is going to be painful. The only solace I can see in this is that the anticipation and anxiety may resolve and the grieving can begin

DANEgerus said...

For a death penalty opponent you present a very unbiased evaluation. I am impressed.

If it is any consolation, for every execution 3-18 lives are saved, through the deterrent effect of such executions.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell is Rick Perry "Out of control?" He is doing his job, upholding the will of the people of Texas (70% of Texans are pro death penalty). Foster has been found guilt by a jury of his peers, and is going to suffer the consequences of his actions. If you want to blame someone, leave Perry alone and blame the one who is responsible. FOSTER!!!!! He chose to be where he is. His actions placed him on death row, not someone else.

Anonymous said...

Cleve Foster is an absolute liar and did not give Rachel a stay of execution the night he raped and murdered her. Rachel was a wonderful young woman that I knew in college. She had big plans for her life that did not include an idiot like Cleve Foster. For someone so ready to kill people, he sure is scared to die himself! I hope the Suprme Court will give these families some closure and am sick of their decision today!

Anonymous said...

So, I have a slightly different question in this matter. Why did the criminal justice system allow Ward, an admitted murderer, to live another ten years? Ridiculous.
Justice should be swift and Gov't employees should get to work!

Anonymous said...

Who allowed these degenerate losers into a country club? Even for an evening?
We have much higher standards back East.

Anonymous said...

- A woman disappears, leaving her car doors unlocked, her cell phone on the front seat and turns up dead 8 hours later.
- The last 2 people seen with the woman both left traces of semen on her body.
- Neither one of the 2 suspects is able to provide a credible account of what happened. Foster changes his story 5 times.
- The best explanation Foster can give for his semen being on the woman's body (1 of 5 different stories), is that his friend had this woman arouse him with oral sex, then ride him while he slept. This after giving him extra sleeping pills, so he would pass out because he wanted to take the truck.

I'm siding with the jury on this one.

I would think that the hardest thing about the death penalty is the final moments leading up to it. If so, this man gets to receive his punishment multiple times. Maybe God had something to do with that.

My hart goes out to both victim's families.

Anonymous said...

As a college friend of Rachel's, I can absolutely guarantee that the claim of consensual sex between the three of them is a bald-faced lie. Knowing Rachel's character, I would be skeptical to hear she had had consensual sex with even her fiance prior to marriage. If you'll go back to the investigation reports as well, the police did find evidence of rape in Rachel's case. So whether or not this guy "pulled the trigger" or not, he is at least guilty of rape and indirectly responsible for at least one young woman's death.

Anonymous said...

These murderous scumbags all deserve to die. They kill people and then beg society to spare their lives. It makes me sick. I say good riddance to the scumbag. If a man desires sex with a female, it should always be consensual, never forced. This scumbag not only forced her to have sex against her will but took her life afterwards. I hope he burns in hell forever.

Anonymous said...

Foster received 3rd stay of execution by the Supreme Court with indefinite time-table for appeal consideration.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the "quiet innocent" types are the most wild sexually. I understand that on Rachel's bed, DNA from four different men was found including male pubic hairs. It doesn't prove that she was wild and, I'm not saying it is bad but that maybe people didn't know Rachel as well as they thought.

I am sympathetic to Rachel's family but the Uronsky's appear or are being portrayed by the press as the most blood thirsty people one could imagine. I pray for them as they do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ our savior.

Anonymous said...

I no Cleve is guilty he was active duty and got put out for pulling a knife and threating a cashier while trying to rob him. I seen him abuse women i know him since 1987 the girl that had abortion was threaten and his temper when you didnt do what he wanted was bad I not God but with him gone women will be safer. and for all who thinks he such a nice guy just watch your back. Cleve can not stand it when a woman has more status them him like I had during the time we served together. and i still in the Army been 31 years and still going.

Anonymous said...

...Beyond a shadow of a doubt...if you're going to execute someone.
Be careful of the company you keep.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

" DNA testing absolutely identified Foster as a contributor of the semen in her vagina, and identified Ward as possibly a minor contributor. DNA testing also identified Ward as the contributor of semen in Pal's rectum."
He was there and she is dead ? DNA doesn't lie . Both were seen at the bar with her then following her from the bar . How can you even THINK he could be innocent people ? He was there rather he pulled the trigger or not.

Anonymous said...

You mean a man can be asleep and still get an erection and ejaculate? What a lie....

Anonymous said...

I say get it over with already... His time is LONG overdue!

Anonymous said...

I guess his semen magically jumped into her (the victim's)vagina. The other suspect's semen magically appeared in her anus. And then to top it off, she shot herself, and then walked to the place she was found. To sum it all up.....


Anonymous said...

Whether he killed these women or not, he was there, and forced sex upon them and rode with an admitted killer. He could have stoppped it, suposing he didn't kill them himself. Either way, he let those women die. Don't let the door hit you on the way out buddy. Those women didn't get three extra chances. Be a man and own up to it. Do us a favor and leave our world.

Anonymous said...

I am truly delighted to glance at this website posts which contains plenty of valuable facts, thanks
for providing these information.
my page :: Aruba

Anonymous said...

Dear Skeptical Juror,

Cleve Foster is dead now. The article is here:


anonymous writer.

Anonymous said...

this is what i am getting from many posters;
"When these guys were jerking off privately she sneaked in and collected their semen and put on her vagina. To make matters worse for these innocent fellows she stole one of their guns and shoot herself"

this is what makes a lot of sense to most posters.

Anonymous said...

I was a juror in the Foster trial. One of 9 men and 3 women. Many of the folks on the jury had a military backround as did Mr. Foster. I have been following this website and the Foster appeals process for many years. I did not want to post anything until after the process was over and it is not my intent to get into a debate about it. However, I assure you that everyone on the jury took their responsibilities very seriously and that there was no doubt in anyone's mind that he was a material participant in both of these murders. After the trial I met the family of one of his victims. They were very decent people who simply wanted justice done for their daughter. I hope now that it is over the victims families can get closure and that Mr. Foster is in the place that God intended for him.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful letter. I am sure that you took your job very seriously. It must be hard to vote to kill someone even if they are guilty. I pray that God forgives all who kill, eespecially jurors who are doing their duty according to the laws of man.

Anonymous said...

If you would answer, what part did the two people had to carry Mary Pal play in the conviction?

Anonymous said...

As I said I really don't want to discuss the specifics of the case however I can tell you that whether one or two people carried the body was not a significant factor in guilt or innocence. The jury recognized that a strong person (regardless of his or her size) is capable of carrying an amount far in excess of their individual body weight. I myself can carry significantly more than my body weight.

Anonymous said...

I oppose the death penalty, but am no fan of Foster. Nevertheless, so far as the murder of "Pal" is concerned, there just wasn't enough evidence to convict, much less impose the death sentence. The only thing one could be fairly certain of is that Foster knew more about the murder than he let on.

I'm surprised the ostenibly intelligent author of this blog accepts uncritically the absurd suggestion that a man passed out on sleeping pills after a night of drinking could have left semen in the victim. That's just preposterous. Obviously, Foster had sex with the victim, so you have to wonder why he lied about it. However disturbing this is, it isn't conclusive evidence he was involved in Pal's murder.

Based on the information here, it would seem that Foster almost certainly raped Urnosky and either witnessed or participated in her murder. This makes it more likely that he may have been involved in the Pal murder, and that perhaps the psychiatrist who thought Foster had the makings of a serial killer may have been on to something.

I'd say the skeptical juror's characterization of this case as a nightmare scenario for a conscientious juror is spot on. Foster was almost certainly a very dangerous man and he probably raped and killed Urnosky.However, the prosecution most certsinly did not meet the burden of proof to convict, much less to impose the death sentence in the Pal case

Anonymous said...

"Executions in the US are confined to the most serious, heinous, and disturbing crimes. The US is so cautious about who it puts to death "

I have to wonder then why were so many people exonnerated and continue to be from death row? A lot of these men freed were minorities and as one myself, I always have in the back of my mind that this could happen to me.

I believe in justice like any decent person and I also beileve that both tha victims and their families deserve it. However, when there is a SHRED of doubt regarding the guilt of the convicted, the execution should not proceed.

Was Foster a chiorboy? Absolutely not. In fact, he was a scumbag. However, you can't exceute someone for being a scumbag. Yes, he was there, but as mentioned, there was simply not enough to convict him for murder.

Anonymous said...

I was 14 at the time Mary died. I stayed up all night waiting for her to come home with a jumbo jack with cheese and curly fries as she always did for me. Mary came to the US as a refugee from Sudan. She worked hard went to school and stayed out of trouble only looking to accomplish her goals for a better life. When those two pieces of shit took Mary's life they didn't think anyone cared for her and loved her. She had 8 younger siblings at home who loved her dearly. It hurts me to see the journalist and others on here make Rachel seem so innocent but not Mary. She was as innocent as could be. Soft spoken and even losing her virginity that night because two white pieces of shit thought they could do as they pleased and get away with it. I wished Foster and Ward would have lived the rest of their worthless lives suffering in prison cause death is too easy. I hope they're burning in hell as they deserve to be. May Mary's soul rest in peace.

Post a Comment