One of The Worst Cases You Will Ever Read About: The Horrific Murder of Suzanne Rossetti | Part One

(Suzanne Rossetti. Picture credit:

 I've covered quite a lot of murder cases on this blog and each one has been difficult to put from paper to screen, I always feel a sense of loss and sorrow for the victims and their families and in my latest case this week, I felt a profound sadness and anger at what happened to a young 26 year old girl who had a heart of gold. I was surprised that this horrendous case had not been covered by other blogs or others in the true crime community but hopefully my piece will inspire others to write about Suzanne and the monsters who took her life in the most evil and unimaginable way. 

This is such a horrible story to tell but it's part of my job to bring you these cases, the ones you may know about and the ones you might not know about. I feel we don't get enough credit in the true crime community, yes, there are those who have jumped on the true crime bandwagon to make money and then there's people like me who just want to make a difference, all I've ever wanted is my own books on the book shelves, not my name up in lights. It is us in the true crime community (the serious content creators) that bring awareness to these cases, we blow the dust of the case files, we remind the world what these killers have done and we remind the world of the beautiful lives they stole. We care about the victims and their families and if it had been one of our relatives that had been so cruelly taken, you best believe that we would not want that to be forgotten....ever. The police move on to another case and the world moves on, time moves on but for the families and friends of victims, their sorrow continues and their loved one or loved ones can never be brought back. 

This case took me a while to put together because I had to get a lot of information from America including books and other materials. I managed to get a copy of Ronald J Watkin's incredibly harrowing and moving book 'Evil Intentions' (which I could only get ordered in second hand from America) which has been invaluable in my research in this case. 

This story is going to be a heartbreaking journey for the reader as it has been for me as the writer. I have to warn you that the details are very harrowing and you will experience a mixture of emotions along the way from sadness to anger to shock to sadness again. As I always try my best to do in my posts, I will try to be as sensitive as possible without shying away from the facts of the case. So please be aware that I will be sharing disturbing details in the following posts. 

I want to start by talking about Suzanne, who she was and give you a flavour of what she was like as a person. Suzanne was born on the 3rd of May 1954 in Saugus, Massachusetts (USA) to the most amazing parents anybody could ask for, Peter and Louise. She had a brother (Peter Jr) and a sister (Donna) and the family were very down to earth, hardworking and independent. The Rossetti's were very academically focused and believed in hard work. Suzanne and her siblings would focus on their studies but also took part in any housework that needed done. The family had the perfect balance of work and praise, when the kids did well at school or did their chores as asked, Peter and Louise would take them out for ice cream as a reward. They were strict but fair and it was all done in a very loving, encouraging and nurturing way. 

All of Suzanne's guidance from her parents worked wonderfully because she shone at school from being incredibly gifted at her school work, making the honour roll as well a being a cheerleader and into other sports, she was well liked and popular. The future looked bright for Suzanne. 

As the years rolled on, Suzanne was turning into a very beautiful, talented woman even though she was often shy when receiving compliments and didn't think of herself as pretty. She was not conceited in any way. Her friends and family would affectionately nickname her 'Suz'. Despite all of her achievements and looks, Suzanne never really knew her worth and much preferred to big up the achievements of others, she certainly took on that humble, down to earth and kind-natured approach that her parents often had. 

So that was the kind of person that Suzanne was, caring, focused, kind-hearted and an achiever. She'd graduated with flying colours and by the time January 1980 rolled around she found herself at a happy place in life, sure she wanted to start a family and told friends that she wasn't sure if she would ever meet the right man for her but apart from that, she was up for a promotion for the Pharmaceutical company that she'd been working for in Phoenix, Arizona where she was now living at this point. She had an amazing social calendar and a tight group of friends. She was active with sports as she always had been and regularly attended church. Life couldn't have been better in Phoenix for 26 year old Suzanne Rossetti. She was extremely proud of her parents and family and they were extremely proud of her. Suzanne was always so supportive of her parents and always kept in contact with them especially as her father, Peter had suffered with his health over the years. 

It was on the cold. dark Wednesday night of January the 28th in 1981 that Suzanne was getting ready to meet her parents but decided to stop off at a convenient store to get some chewing gum. Little did she or anyone know what lay ahead of her was a horrific nightmare that nobody could have foreseen. 

Whilst Suzanne was in the store, two men by the names of Jesse James Gillies (20) and Michael David Logan (27) were outside watching. Both were from the wrong side of the tracks, both were the worst type of guys that you would wish to meet on a cold, dark night or any night for that matter. 

Jesse James Gillies was evil personified and had quite the criminal career despite only being 20 years old. His mother made it clear from the day that he was born that he was an unwanted child, she just couldn't bring herself to love him. Jesse had caused sheer hell to everyone around him since childhood with his erratic behaviour, petty crimes and utter disrespect towards his mother and grandparents. During his childhood he was moved from place to the other because nobody could handle him. He'd spent time in Juvenile Hall and stole a car all before the age of 12. He was in and out of prison and now here he was in 1981, out of prison yet again but on the promise that he would finally turn over a new leaf and work on a ranch and that is where he met Michael David Logan.

It was like the friendship from hell because Michael David Logan was also bad news in a big way, he was an escaped convict and like Jesse, he had a long list of trouble and convictions behind him. He was from a rough background and was a racist who drank heavily. He was also involved in petty crime and these two forged an alliance and it was a very dangerous one indeed. 

These two men were going nowhere in life despite their young ages, they'd already left a trail of destruction behind them and now here they were on the night of the 28th of January 1981, watching the beautiful, young and promising Suzanne Rossetti with nothing but evil intentions in their minds. 

Continued in part twothree....

Further Reading & Sources are included in part three of this case series. 

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