August 19, 2017

Maryann Acker Appeal Is Approved

A big day coming up. This one is for Maryann, and for all of us who care about her future. Keith Shigetomi, her lawyer in Hawaii, has prevailed on the appellate court to grant oral arguments on August 31. This is rare. Three judges will rule on the fairness of Maryann’s last trial, when she was found guilty of being an accomplice in the murder of Larry Hasker and was subsequently sentenced to 125 years without hope of parole. (The first time around, she was sentenced to thirty years when they found her guilty of first degree murder. She served 27 years of that sentence before the conviction was “vacated.” After being granted full parole in California, she was whisked off to prison in Hawaii to serve out the 125 years. She must feel like a soccer ball, or maybe a tennis ball traveling at 400 mph. Whack!

But there were inconsistencies in the second trial brought by the prosecutors after that first sentence was “vacated.” Since she had served twenty-seven years of her sentence, they might have let the whole thing go, but their professional feelings were bruised and they charged her with murder all over again. Now Keith is trying to overturn the second conviction. Let’s all keep our fingers and toes crossed on August 31 and hope that those three judges in Honolulu do the right thing. Aloha nui loa.

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  1. Jeanie Brown says:

    Has there been a resolution? Is this still pending?

  2. Just finished reading the book, “Who Named the Knife” and was also searching to find out the results of this appeal.

  3. is where you will find the transcript of this appeal. I have a hard time reading legalese and am not 100% sure, but it appears to me that the courts are all about saving face. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like the appeal was not successful at freeing Maryann from prison.

    • Hey so what happened to her she get released or not I couldn’t find any updates please update me when you get any new info, would really appreciate that. Thanks

      • This movie really touched me. I believe that God in His wisdom puts people in the lives of those who need them most I am not completely sure who was more blessed here Linda or Maryann. I do know that both were cleansed by their interaction and that we have been given the message of being forgiving and open-minded thank you both. Judy

  4. The appeal was lost, the court was ruled to not have been in error.

    “On appeal, Maryann argues that she was denied her right to a fair trial …”

    For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the Circuit Court’s Judgment.
    DATED: Honolulu, Hawai’i, October 12, 2012″

  5. omg, I can’t believe this. I just watch the movie, got interested and read more about this case. Talk about being lost in the system! how much worse can it get(?!!)

    • Michael coker says:

      What do you mean lost in the system? What about Larry family! These two went on a rampage of robbing, murdering, and theft

      • Barbara Courts says:

        Michael, thank you for you support of Larry. His brother and I are friends, and no one tends to remember that truly innocent people lost their lives at the hands of two selfish, hateful people. Mary Ann is right where she belongs.

  6. I just finished watching the movie and was hoping to find a happy ending after all these years. Am I seeing that she is still in jail? Aren’t CA prisons over filled and people getting sent out early because of over population, with that being said why are others being held for decades that aren’t dangerous to others? It is amazing to me that in this day and age more light is not shed on women in prison that committed crimes against their husbands or lovers in self defense. It seems that there has always been a great deal of women serving life sentences for crimes that would be considered self defense under modern day situations. These ladies are not a danger to others on the outside. It seems that it would be a way to free up some prison cells for people that need to be locked up for more serious crimes that seem to be let go to run the streets. It’s a poor use of real estate. It seems like discrimination. There are many ladies that felt that the did not have a choice but to do what their man told them to do as though there were no other choices for survival. There are women that struggle with this today, so I can only imagine what it was like decades ago. There must be an answer….a solution. What can we do?

    Especially for what I saw for Maryann Acker.

  7. Found ths online…

    “Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Maryann Acker’s
    application for writ of certiorari filed on January 7, 2013, is
    hereby accepted and will be scheduled for oral argument. The
    parties will be notified by the appellate clerk regarding

    • Hey do u have any updates on her case, I couldn’t find anything, if u do know any thing new kindly notify me if u can

      • Craig robar says:

        Wow I was in Hawaii in1982 I watched the movie how in the hell could the American justice system
        Give her125 years is she free now i can not fathom what this woman has gone through

  8. I just watched the movie. So sad to read that she is still suffering.. I :((
    125 years of sentence after 30 years in prison is not justice, and but stupidity..

  9. What’s the name of the movie

  10. That wasn’t the movie I saw. The movie I just watched, which was based on the book by Linda Spalding, is called, “Of Murder and Memory.”

  11. After watching the movie I took it upon myself to do further research. I understand that Maryann was an accomplice to the murders but did not pull the trigger. I do believe she should serve time as she has done. With that being said life in prison is completely harsh. The justice system really needs to think further about this case……don’t they have to put teir head to the pillow at night??

  12. Linda, You opened the door on this to all of us via your book and subsequent movies. Why have you not commented in over a year?

  13. The subject involved is presented as a sympathetic character. Iam sorry for her. 27 years of her life are gone. However, Let’s not forget the victim, he’s not coming back to life after 27 years. His verdict, death, is forever. It’s important that criminals understand, when you take a life it might very well cost you yours.

  14. Well I heard she was released

  15. I apologize for my very tardy response to all of you who have been waiting to hear about Maryann! It’s very unfair of me to get you interested and then abandon my responsibility to you! But the good news is that Maryann is OUT. She is furloughed, which means not quite paroled but something very like it. She’s living in an excellent half-way house in Honolulu and enjoying every minute of her new life. “I saw someone riding a bicycle!” she told me, after her first outing. And where was she going? To costco (!) to buy groceries for the place she lives. I think that’s quite a big bite to take after 35 years locked away from the world, but she was happy to wander the aisles and see all the new things on display and to see the person riding a bicycle and to make a wilted spinach salad on her return. “How do you know about wilted spinach salads?” I asked suspiciously, since I haven’t the faintest idea how to make such a thing. “Oh, I made one when I was a teenager and I remembered it,” she answered gamely. I think she remembers every thing she’s ever eaten and has been waiting to have a stove and a fridge and a pot and a spoon. Thirty-five years!! Just imagine all that she’s missed and will have to confront. And that is what this fine half-way house is all about. She’ll learn how to get around by bus and where to apply for her first job and how to set herself up on email and how to find clothes she can afford. It’s a very supportive place and I’m glad she’s there, though it means I can’t see her until she can get a day pass. Maryann, after everything she’s been through, has a wonderful confidence. she is full of joy and curiosity and gets along well with people she meets. At the moment, the State Supreme Court is deciding whether to overthrow her last conviction. If so, she’ll be out of furlough really fast. the 125 year sentence was found to be unconstitutional, so it was set back to the original thirty, which made her eligible for a parole hearing. Which is why she is now on furlough. And I believe we all wish her well.

  16. She seems to have been very easy to lead. Hopefully she has taken time to learn about herself, think for herself and gain mental and emotional maturity during the years spent behind bars. Thirty-five years is a very, very long time for someone who did not pull the trigger, even though was there and watched, and never reported the incident. I sincerely wish for her a better future ahead, with many years of joy and enrichments that life can bring.

  17. I’m very glad that my book, and the movie that came out of it, have raised awareness of the injustices in our judicial system. Of course there are stories that are worse, sadder, more tragic – but Maryann’s story is iconic to me because she was young and took a great risk by marrying a man fresh out of prison and then allowing herself to give him control over their lives. She is a completely different person now – one of the sanest and brightest and most interesting people i know. She is now paroled and is working as a dog trainer, which is exactly what she was trained to be at CIW in California. She has new friends and a lot to look forward to and sees every day as a learning experience and challenge. thank you for your interest in her situation, for your concern and empathy. Linda Spalding

    • Marie-Jeanne says:

      I’m so happy for her!

    • Margaret Griffiths says:

      Wow Thanks for staying with your believes Linda and being such a support to young women who make a bad choice in her first act, the second act of life will mean so much to her and all the friends she has made and will make.

    • Cynthia G. says:

      YOUR book and YOUR movie mention details about the death of MY mother’s brother. We have tried contacting you many times regarding this and you FAIL to acknowledge us. We are still hurt by the release of the details of our loved one’s death when we had never even heard such details regarding his death ourselves FIRST. It’s a shame to turn on the tv one day and see a movie about the death of a family member and never knowing this type of material was even out there in the world. What kind of cold hearted person throws such sensitive information out there in the world for entertainment purposes, and even worse, for the purpose of excusing/disregarding what this woman has done to my family. She killed my uncle, and he suffered and died at a very young age, and all she got was 35 years taken away from her. How. Sad. NOT. You may or may not care but there is a family out there that hasn’t received closure over this murder case and is disgusted by Maryann Ackers, as well as you Linda Spalding for disregarding her actions, publicizing my uncle’s death, and then giving his full name away in your book AND movie without notifying us at all. I hope the universe comes around and brings justice to this situation one day for us.

  18. Wow! just got up at 4 this morning to watch my PVR’d movie about this. Now, at the wise old age of 70 I was transported back in time to a point where I was blinded by love to an alcoholic husband who lived in a very similar fantasy world of ‘The Big Deal’ like Linda’s ex. I was raised as a JW and could relate to Maryann’s upbringing as a Mormon. I was so trusting and innocently naive. Well, I finally escaped with my three young children to a better life. Congratulations to you Linda for for your caring and sharing and congratulations to you Maryann for hanging in there. May we all appreciate and enjoy the many freedoms available to us in this short life.

  19. Awesome blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums that cover
    the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of
    online community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let
    me know. Cheers!

  20. I watched this movie the other day not even knowing what I was watching until I realized that the story seemed familiar. It’s upsetting to know that a book and movie deal was done without any concern to the families that were involved. Even after all of these years no one has forgotten him but it is shocking to read the details of his murder especially since that type of information was hidden from us to protect us from hurting even more.

  21. Isabel Rodriguez says:

    I am the Neice of the other victim Cesario Arauza and I don’t believe her story she was an accomplice and a liar and took the life of an innocent man who was trying to be a good person and give them a ride to their destination my Grandmother and my family have never got closure over this but yet she gets to sleep comfortably at night I pray that God really gives justice at the end.

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  26. Merit Carnahan says:

    Dear Linda and Maryann,
    I just finished the book about both your lives. I was so happy to find this blog and realize that you had both grown and nourished each other at the same time during this process. I am especially pleased for Marianne to have found her life again, it is so easy to surrender to your life to a dominant person and not be able to reclaim it for years and years. May both your lives be happy now .

  27. When I was 18 years old, I knew Larry, his beautiful family and Kimberly was one of my best friends. Larry was my first true love and when I was told his body was found on my 19th birthday, my life was forever changed. But beyond my grief and sorrow, I witnessed first hand the devastation inflicted upon his good and strongly religious family. Larry was the first born son. There was so much promise in him. He loved to sail and to this day I can remember him climbing the mast of an old whaling ship, a huge smile on his face and his green eyes sparkling with joy.
    We had a close knit group of friends that did much of everything together. Larry and Kim suffered other hardships during their time in Hawaii but they both loved it there. His younger siblings were sweet and the look of bewilderment in their suffering eyes broke m;y heart. Why do the victim’s always get forgotten? I refused to purchase the book or watch whatever movie was made because I lived through it. And, I was not about to let some woman, who knew nothing about how wonderful Larry was, profit from such heinous acts.
    I sat holding hands with Kimberly, trying to offer solace when my own naive, 19-year-old heart was breaking too. Their actions destroyed so many lives and caused so much pain I truly care nothing about them except I wonder if they realize the pain is still with us, the ones who loved him, even after all theses years.
    Larry’s mother died of a broken heart. The Hasker family suffered again when another murder was visited upon them a few years later. After Larry death, they became broken people. Does anyone care about them or the family of Mr. Arauzza?
    One last thing, Larry was a beautiful human being, inside and out. He was a “rascal” and a prankster and he and Kimberly had one of the closest brother and sister relationships I have ever seen. He was kind and could be extremely gentle. He told me he loved me once and my heart soared as only a teen-age heart can with their first love. People who knew him loved him and I miss him to this day.
    I went on to have a 30 year career in law enforcement and can recognize sociopaths pretty; easily. I too went through the entire case file, read all the transcripts, examined the horrible crime scene and autopsy photos and does it really matter who pulled the trigger? How can anyone believe he defense of being so scared ot that snitch.that it cause her to become a murderer. In California there is what is called the Felony Murder Rule. They were both equally guilty and she should still be in prison. People who think she was not a willing participant should read the ACTUAL facts of the case.
    I wish Larry were still here. I wonder what he would have done with his life? I loved him and I still miss him.

    • Cynthia G. says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. It brings me comfort to hear the wonderful life he too lived. My uncle Cesario Arauza was an amazing, generous, and self-less man. We too were devastated to see how she’s been profiting off of the death of our loved ones and not to mention, worst of all, actually defending this murderer. May you always remember him and his wonderful life! Thank you for considering my uncle in your comment.

      Much love,

      Cynthia G.

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  29. Kelley Kirwan says:

    Mary Anne Acker is a liar! Her story about being forced to do those crimes is bullshit! All the chances she had to leave and turn him in she chose not too because she was do terrified, but when she gets caught driving a victims car she says she was actually running away from him when she got pulled over and had she not been stopped she would of gone to the police and told them everything! Whoever believes that must be an idiot! It’s a damn shame she got out and a shame also that Linda has allowed herself to be conned and has gone to so much trouble to help a cold blooded murderer and pathalogical liar escape justice!

    • Cynthia G. says:

      Please consider reading my comment. As the family of one of the victims, we are DISGUSTED by both Maryann Ackers and Linda Spalding. Maryann killed my uncle and Linda Spalding publicized his death without notifying us.

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