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Michella Welch and Jenni Bastian Murders: How Did They Die? Who Killed Them?

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To say that things in Tacoma were positively free-flowing back in the mid-1980s would simply be an understatement, but sadly, everything changed following the tragic deaths of two young girls within a short span. After all, as explored on ‘Dateline: Evil Was Watching,’ Michella Welch and Jennifer Bastian were killed five months apart in what can only be described as the worst ways imaginable. So now, if you wish to learn more about the same, including details of their brutal murders, the extensive investigations, and their (shockingly) different assailants, we’ve got you covered.

How Did Michella Welch and Jennifer Bastian Die?

It was 10 a.m. on March 26, 1986, when a bubbly Michella Welch decided to take her two younger sisters to Puget Park, oblivious to the fact that it would only end in despair. The petite 12-year-old had actually gone home to grab lunch for the trio at 11, and upon returning, she placed the food on a table and chained her bike next to her sisters’ before going to find them, never to be seen or heard from alive again. Her siblings later spoke to a babysitter for help, who immediately contacted their parents as well as the authorities, but it was just Michella’s body that was found at 11:30 that night.

Michella Welch and Jennifer Bastian

Michella was recovered from a ditch near a makeshift fire pit a quarter-mile away from the play area— she’d been raped, yet her cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and a deep cut to the neck. What’s more is that around five months later, on August 4, 1986, 13-year-old Jennifer Bastian similarly vanished while riding her bicycle at Point Defiance Park, which was mere miles away. She was last seen alive at 6 p.m., but despite extensive efforts, her remains were located in a wooded area off Five Mile Drive just three weeks later— she’d been sexually assaulted as well before being strangled to death.

Who Killed Michella Welch and Jennifer Bastian?

Because of the proximity and the similarities between the two horrific yet clear-cut homicides, the authorities came to the (reasonable) conclusion that a single individual was responsible. They did have a teen eye-witness in Michella’s case asserting the presence of a strange man under Proctor Bridge, who kept looking at the young girls on that ominous day, but he couldn’t be identified at the time. Even DNA was recovered from her crime scene/body, yet nothing concrete ever came to light due to the technology available back then. Jennifer’s clothes yielded similar evidence only when tested decades later.

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Gary Hartman//Image Credit: King 5 News

However, since the investigators were determined to attain justice for the two young girls more than anything else, they moved on as soon as DNA testing disproved their theory of there being a connection in 2013. They’d gathered every distinct sample from the crime scenes before running them against one another (as well as through the national database), but no match ever popped up. In short, it thus became evident that not only were there two different perpetrators but also that neither of them had any prior criminal history, pushing officials to use advanced technology.

From forensic genealogy to in-depth DNA analysis to familial genetic techniques, they essentially utilized every resource until they landed upon Gary Hartman and Robert Dwane Washburn as the two suspects. Upon being approached by the FBI in connection to Jennifer’s homicide in March 2017, the latter willingly gave a DNA sample, which proved to be a match in May 2018. On the other hand, the detectives stealthily collected Gary’s sample from a brown paper napkin after careful surveillance (of him and his brother), and that too came out to be a good match in June 2018.

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Robert Dwane Washburn

Therefore, after more than three decades, the first (and final) arrests in connection with Michella Welch and Jennifer Bastian’s case were made. While a judge convicted Gary of Michella’s first-degree murder following a bench trial in early 2022, Robert pleaded guilty to Jennifer’s murder in January 2019. They both apologized for their actions during their respective court proceedings, but the sad fact of the matter is that nothing they say or do now will change the past or make things better.

Read More: Where is Gary Hartman Now?

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Movie Reviews

Atlanta Season 4: Renewed or Canceled?

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‘Atlanta‘ is a comedy-drama series created by Donald Glover (‘Community‘). It revolves around the life of Earnest “Earn” Marks, a financially struggling single father who works as the manager of his cousin Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, an upcoming rapper. The series deals with several complex themes and real-world issues by focusing on African-American culture.

The series debuted in 2016 and has received critical acclaim for its writing, direction, and performances. With the show’s third season recently wrapping up, viewers must be wondering whether Earn and the gang will return to our screens with more insightful socio-cultural stories. If you wish to find out all the updates about ‘Atlanta’ season 4, here is everything we have gathered!

Atlanta Season 4 Release Date

‘Atlanta’ season 3 premiered on March 24, 2022, on FX. The first two episodes of season 3 debuted together on the same date, while the rest were released weekly. The third season concluded on May 19, 2022. Season 3 consists of ten episodes with a running time of 23–35 minutes each.

As far as the news of a fourth season is concerned, we have a delightful update for fans of the show. In August 2019, even before production on the third season commenced, FX officially renewed the series for a fourth season. The third and fourth seasons of the show entered production back-to-back, and filming on season 4 began by August 2021.

In February 2022, it was confirmed that the fourth season had wrapped production. However, at the same time, FX also announced that season 4 would be the show’s final outing. “Death is natural…when the conditions are right for something, they happen, and when the conditions aren’t right, they don’t happen. Things start to get weird…you can’t do too much. The story was always supposed to be what it was, and the story, it really was us,” creator Donald Glover said about the show coming to an end at a press event.

While production on the fourth season is complete, a release date hasn’t been announced just yet. Considering that season 3 premiered roughly seven months after wrapping production, it is likely that season 4 could follow a similar schedule. Therefore, ‘Atlanta’ season 4 could release sometime in Fall 2022, at the earliest.

Atlanta Season 4 Cast: Who can be in it?

‘Atlanta’ season 3 stars Donald Glover as Earnest “Earn” Marks, a single father working as a music manager; and Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, a rapper slowly finding success. Lakeith Stanfield plays Darius X, Alfred’s right-hand man, while Zazie Beetz essays Vanessa “Van” Keefer, Earn’s on/off girlfriend and mother of his daughter. Hugh Coles (Socks) and Tobias Segal (Earnest/E/Boat Man) appear in recurring roles, while Liam Neeson and Alexander Skarsgård guest star as fictionalized versions of themselves.

For the fourth and final season, Glover, Henry, Stanfield, and Beetz are expected to return. However, given the tonal shift of season 3 in comparison to prior seasons, the fourth installment could feature a revolving roster of recurring and guest stars. However, we could see familiar faces such as Khris Davis (Tracy), Isiah Whitlock Jr (Raleigh Marks), and Adriyan Rae (Candice) reprising their roles from previous seasons to help bring the story to a conclusion.

Atlanta Season 4 Plot: What can it be About?

‘Atlanta’ season 3 takes a different approach in comparison to previous seasons by featuring standalone episodes intercut with the stories of Earn, Alfred, Van, and Darius. The third season follows the quartet in Europe as Alfred tours several cities. Meanwhile, Van finds herself on a journey of self-discovery. As the narrative progresses, it becomes evident that the standalone episodes are part of Earn’s dreams.

The fourth season will likely see Earn, Alfred, Van, and Darius returning to Atlanta. Alfred could continue to struggle to deal with his fame, while Earn might try to become financially independent. Van could find a sense of belonging while juggling the responsibility of being a mother. We are likely to learn more about Earn’s dreams and their connection to the events around him.

Read More: Is Atlanta Based on a True Story?

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Is Rodolfo Dead or Alive in Who Killed Sara?

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Netflix’s ‘Who Killed Sara’ (original title: ‘¿Quién Mató a Sara?’) follows Alex Guzmán’s hunt for his sister’s killer after he is wrongly convicted of the murder. Released from prison after 18 years, Alex sets his sights on the powerful Lazcano family, who are complicit in the titular character’s death. However, the deeper our hero digs, the more shocking the revelations.

What starts as a seemingly simple mystery becomes a complicated exercise in plot twists as Sara’s death is tied to increasingly ominous conspiracies. After a point, things begin to get violent as multiple important characters face shocking ends. Season 3 is fittingly tumultuous and, at one point, sees Rodolfo fighting for his life. So what happens to the eldest Lazcano sibling? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Rodolfo Dead or Alive?

Rodolfo is possibly one of the most tortured characters in the show’s expansive roster of melancholy characters. While Alex has to suffer 18 years in prison, Rodolfo spends that time racked by the guilt of letting Alex take the fall for him. Rodolfo also spends most of his life under the thumb of his belligerent criminal father, César Lazcano, and, for a time, seems poised to follow in his footsteps. However, once Alex begins revealing the Lazcano family’s dark secrets, Rodolfo grows increasingly distant from César.

By season 3, Rodolfo is completely on Alex’s side and wants to help solve Sara’s murder. Since César has by now abandoned the family and absconded with their remaining wealth, Rodolfo also wants revenge from his father. Along with Elisa, Rodolfo becomes the second Lazcano sibling to actively help Alex track down Sara’s killer. Of course, the task becomes increasingly dangerous, and in the final showdown at the Medusa headquarters, Rodolfo is shot by a security guard.

Rodolfo is shot in the abdomen as he tries to save Sara’s daughter, Lucia. The security guard who shoots Rodolfo is subsequently killed by César’s signature bullet between the eyes. However, it is too little too late as the eldest Lazcano sibling slowly bleeds out on the ground. Chema and Elisa watch helplessly as Rodolfo dies. Fittingly, the last name he says is Sara’s.

Rodolfo’s death, though tragic, is also highly poetic. The eldest son has always borne the burden of his father’s crimes and repeatedly tries to redeem himself by helping Alex. Ultimately, Rodolfo sacrifices himself to save Lucia, who is Sara’s daughter and, therefore, Alex’s niece. Since Lucia is the spitting image of her mother, Rodolfo actually thinks that he is looking at Sara in his final moments and, seeing her, seems to be at peace.

Rodolfo’s death is the last straw for the Lazcano family, which subsequently almost entirely breaks up. Elisa and Chema have made it clear on multiple occasions that they want nothing to do with their father. Since Rodolfo was the only one who craved his father’s approval, his death also seemingly pushes César to finally confess to his crimes. As shocking as Rodolfo’s death is, it is also a fitting end to the story. It is also worth noting that since César is Lucia’s father, she is actually Rodolfo’s sister. Thus, by the end of season 3, the Lazcano siblings gain a member (Lucia) and also lose one (Rodolfo).

Read More: Where Was Who Killed Sara Season 3 Filmed?

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