When Michella Welch (12) and Jennifer Bastian (13) were atrociously slain back in 1986, it genuinely shocked everyone in their Tacoma, Washington State community to their very core. After all, as profiled on ‘Dateline NBC: Evil Was Watching,’ the innocent young girls were snatched away in broad daylight just five months apart, only to allegedly be used for sexual pleasure before being murdered. However, the most baffling aspect is that these matters were never connected — so now, if you wish to know more about Michella’s assailant, Gary Hartman, in particular, here’s what we know.
Who is Gary Hartman?
Born around 1952, Gary Charles Hartman never really had an easy or comfortable life growing up owing to a myriad of domestic issues, according to his attorney’s claims in court. His father supposedly started giving him pure alcohol while he was still a toddler to “make him a man,” whereas his mother got him addicted to prescription pills by the time he was 10. Not only that, but he allegedly also dealt with years of both sexual as well as mental abuse, which affected him to such an extent that there was a time when he couldn’t even tell the days apart, let alone what he was doing.
Gary was reportedly at this stage of his life – addicted and struggling with his mental health – when he attacked the pre-teen, following which “he convinced himself he did not do this.” Just three years later, though, in 1989, he turned over a new leaf by getting sober and obtaining a license as a registered nurse to help others, yet none of it could change his past. Therefore, when DNA evidence linked his gene pool to Michella’s rape and murder 30 years after the fact, officials placed him (as well as his brother) under surveillance until a sample could be obtained. Gary’s DNA – taken from a brown paper napkin – came to be a match in June 2018.
Where is Gary Hartman Now?
Gary Hartman, a then Western State Hospital community nurse specialist, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder as well as first-degree rape within weeks of this new evidence coming to light. He’d never moved away from the general region, meaning he was almost immediately booked into the Pierce County Jail on a $5 million bond. More importantly, having pled not guilty, the four-time husband and father of two daughters proclaimed his innocence for a long while. That is, until “he woke up at some point in the county jail with the realization that he was the one who committed this atrocious act [on Michella],” according to his defense attorney.
Thus, during Gary’s bench trial, his team and the prosecutors agreed upon several incriminating facts concerning the case, driving the latter to state, “I believe the defendant has done everything he can to almost plead guilty.” Nevertheless, to counter the claim that he’d forgotten about his actions, they revealed that Gary felt the police surveillance on him and told a co-worker, “30 years ago he had done something terrible, and he thought he had been discovered.”
Hence, after less than two hours of testimonies in March 2022, a judge convicted Gary Hartman of first-degree murder and sentenced him to 26½ years in prison. The first-degree rape charge was dismissed. “There are no excusing conditions for your behavior. You are guilty of one of the most malignant and depraved crimes,” the judge remarked before handing him the maximum possible penalty, which means that the 70-year-old will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. As of writing, it appears as if he’s in the process of being moved to a state facility.
“I’m so sorry,” Gary had said in court while sobbing. “I’m so sorry. God knows I’m so sorry. That doesn’t help. I’m just sorry.”
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Are Zach and Tori Roloff From Little People, Big World Still Together?
The long-running documentary reality show ‘Little People, Big World‘ follows the lives of the Roloffs, a family of six of whom three people have dwarfism. The show highlights their day-to-day struggles, a significant part of which is striving to be accepted for who they are. Ever since the reality series premiered on March 4, 2006, Matt and Amy Roloff, along with their four children, have won the hearts of many people through their inspiring attitude towards life.
Matt and Amy’s oldest kid is Zach Roloff, who also happens to be the only Roloff kid with dwarfism. Zach’s journey on the show garnered more attention when Victoria Elizabeth AKA Tori became a part of his life. Even though the pair have had their fair share of highs and lows, they have found their way back to each other every single time and eventually got married. However, fans are curious to know if their marriage has stood the test of time? Well, let’s find out what Zach and Tori’s relationship looks like at present.
Zach and Tori’s Little People, Big World Journey
In a special episode of season 10, Zach and Tori’s romantic relationship was introduced to us. 20-year-old Zach was a soccer coach for many young students when he first met 19-year-old Tori. The pair first met in 2010 at Roloff farms during pumpkin season and bonded over their shared interest in soccer. Soon, they started dating, and Tori got more involved with the Roloffs.
At first, Zach’s parents, Matt and Amy, were concerned about their son, but as they got to know Tori better, they couldn’t be happier for him. Inspired by Tori’s ambition and achievements, Zach prepared his resume and started looking for job opportunities again. The Roloffs even invited Tori to join them on their family vacation to Australia. After four wonderful years of getting to know one another, Zach and Tori got engaged in April 2014. In July 2015, the couple finally tied the knot on the family farm.
Nearly two years after Zach and Tori’s wedding, they welcomed their first child, Jackson, on May 12, 2017. Like his father, Jackson has dwarfism too. On November 19, 2019, Zach and Tori’s daughter, Lilah Roloff, was born. Despite the several ups and downs, the couple got used to parenthood. So, are you wondering what their relationship looks like at present?
Are Zach and Tori Still Married?
Yes, Zach and Tori Roloff seem to be happily married. However, the couple faced a major setback in March 2021, when Tori had a miscarriage. Despite the tragic circumstances, the couple stuck together and got through it, probably making their bond even stronger in the process.
On the other hand, things between Zach and Tori and the former’s father, Matt, got a little complicated due to negotiations over the north side of the family farm. Matt was adamant about not selling the land to his son. Eventually, the young couple stopped visiting the farm altogether and completed their move to Washington in October 2021. However, Zach received a lot of criticism from fans for using his son, Jackson, to break the news to Matt and his girlfriend, Caryn.
Nevertheless, things started looking up for Zach and Tori as they were blessed with their third child, Josiah Luke Roloff, on April 30, 2022. The couple is pretty active on social media and doesn’t shy away from posting about their personal lives. To reiterate, it appears that the married couple is very happy with each other and loves spending time with their adorable children.
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Are Amy and Chris From Little People, Big World Still Together?
‘Little People, Big World’ is a reality series that explores the lives of the Roloff family, headed by parents Matthew “Matt” Roloff and Amy Roloff, who have dwarfism. They have four kids – Zachary “Zach” Roloff, Jeremy “Jer” Roloff, Molly “Mol” Roloff, and Jacob “Jake” Roloff – of whom only Zach has dwarfism.
Since the show started in 2006, fans have avidly watched how the Roloffs navigate their lives. Though Matt and Amy were together for a significant chunk of the show, they got divorced in 2016. Later, viewers saw Amy in a romantic relationship with Chris Marek, who got married in August 2021. Naturally, fans are curious to know if Amy and Chris are together and how their journey has been so far. Luckily, we have all the answers you need!
Amy and Chris’ Little People, Big World Journey
Despite the dynamic between Amy Roloff and her then-husband Matt Roloff, all was apparently not well within their marriage. The two apparently separated in 2014, and the divorce was finalized in May 2016. The split caused many fans distress, who had come to view the Roloff family close to their hearts. However, viewers were soon greeted with Amy’s foray into singledom. During one of the episodes of season 16 that aired in December 2016, Amy described how she met Chris Marek to her daughter Molly.
“I’m having a good time,” Amy said. “You know, I had a couple of pool parties. I had, like, 40 people here. No, I probably had, like, 50 people here. Then this guy Chris that I met, he came to the party too. We got to talking and he invited me to go on a motorcycle ride. Oh, I’m having a ball!” Later in season 17, during a day out with her friends, the mother of four shared how she hadn’t thought she’d ever be in a relationship with someone who does not have dwarfism.
“I just never thought someone who is average size would be interested in me,” Amy admitted. She continued, “I just really want him to never question or doubt the relationship because I’m a little person.” The reality star gushed, “I just have a good time. I have fun with him. I never thought I’d be dating as a grandma, and it’s nice to experience that and be with someone.”
Thanks to social media, fans have been constantly updated on Amy’s happy moments with Chris. Given their strong bond, many can’t help but wonder how things have shaped up for the couple. Are they still together? Well, here’s all you need to know!
Are Amy and Chris Still Together?
Yes, Amy Roloff and Chris Marek are indeed still together. In fact, since the inception of their relationship, the two have grown even closer. Fans were delighted when Chris Marek decided to propose to Amy on September 18, 2019, a day after her birthday. The happy woman could not contain her sheer joy regarding the proposal, which she gladly accepted.
Amy and Chris tied the knot on August 28, 2021, at the Roloff Farms in Hillsboro, Oregon, where Amy once lived with her ex-husband Matt. Since their nuptials, the two have continued sharing life updates over social media. It is evident that the two are happily in love and quite delighted with the opportunity to be able to spend their lives with each other. Such a happy union is one to be cherished, and we wish them all the best for their marriage and future.
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