Kill, Keys, Money, Jewelry
The Holly Harvey and
In the un-humbled opinion of one, Poetic Justice...
On Thursday, April 14, 2005, Holly Harvey pleaded guilty to two counts
of malice murder and was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.
She will be eligible for parole in 20 years. Sandy Ketchum was sentenced
to three life terms for murder and armed robbery, to be served concurrently.
She could be eligible for parole in 10 years.
Holly Ann Harvey had occasionally stayed with her grandparents, but in April 2004 she moved into their suburban Atlanta home full-time. Holly's mother, Carla Harvey, was sent to prison on a drug conviction that month and the 15-year-old was to be raised by her grandparents, 73-year-old Sarah Collier, and 74-year-old Carl Collier.
Carl and Sarah Collier
Outwardly everything seemed normal, but apparently Holly, who'd been using drugs and having difficulties at school, was suffering miserably inside her grandparent's house. At the center of Holly's troubles was her 16-year-old lesbian lover, Sandra Ketchum.
In a poem, Holly describes how depressed she'd been and how she constantly cried herself to sleep because the Colliers had ordered her to stop seeing Sandy Ketchum and insisted she stop using drugs. Holly's poem also contained the words, "All I want to do is kill."
Despite her grandparent's rules, on Wednesday, August 2, 2004, Holly snuck Sandy into the house so they could spend the night together in Holly's make-shift basement bedroom.
The following day, when the girls were arrested for the murder and armed robbery of Carl and Sarah Collier, police officers found a quickly written "to do" list scrawled on Holly's arm. It read: kill, keys, money, jewelry.
Sandra Ketchum and Holly Harvey
Holly and Sandy were huddled in
the Collier's basement smoking marijuana laced with cocaine. They were quietly
discussing the murder of Holly's grandparents -- when they heard them
approaching. Ketchum quickly hid herself behind a bed.
Alerted by the smell of the drugs, the elderly couple made their way down the stairs to investigate. When the Colliers confronted Holly, she suddenly pulled out a knife and began repeatedly stabbing her grandmother in the chest.
Carl moved in to protect his wife. Overcome, Holly yelled out for her girlfriend's help. Sandy emerged from her hiding place wielding a knife and joined Holly in stabbing Sarah Collier to death. Carl tried to get to a phone but the girls chased him down, finally killing him in the kitchen.
Carl Collier had at least a dozen stab wounds. Sarah Collier suffered over 20 wounds.
After executing Sarah and Carl Collier, the teenagers executed the rest of their plan. Drenched in blood, they located the dead couple's car keys, stole their truck and drove into the darkness. Holly and Sandy had decided to escape to the Georgia coast, stopping first at a friend's house to change clothes and shower.
The plan worked. Fayette County authorities tracked the killers through the night as they excitedly called friends from a cell phone. Sheriff Randall Johnson remarked, "Ive never seen it more cruel than this one."
Why Holly Harvey desired, designed and carried out the brutal slaying of her own grandparents is a question that will never have an answer. No level of drug abuse or fit of rage could account for it.
Basically, it appears the two teenagers killed for money.
Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan of the Fayette County Sheriff's Department offered reporters his opinion. He said Holly was emotionally distraught by the forced separation from her lover. Jordan commented, "She wished for everyone to suffer the way she suffered." Sandy Ketchum's reason for going along with Harvey's demented violence is also unclear. "I believe the evidence at trial will be that the motive was to gain freedom and be able to stay together forever," Jordan said.
Why the murders happened will likely remain a mystery, but exactly WHAT happened is frighteningly clear.
On August 3, Holly and Sandy were located on Tybee Island. 25 police officers descended on the area. When the lovers were arrested, they were at the home of two brothers they'd just met. Holly had told the boys she needed cash and wanted to sell off some jewelry. The jewels of course were Mrs. Collier's, stolen by Holly and Sandy after the killings.
Bruce Jordan told reporters Holly laughed at the amount of police attention garnered by her double-murder. "She was callous and cocky. She is the coldest and most heartless individual I've ever interviewed. It almost made her giddy to know we had brought that many people to arrest her," Jordan said.
Nearly 1,000 mourners gathered for the Collier's funeral. The community was shocked and disturbed by the senseless slaughter and the case quickly surfaced in the national press.
Defense lawyers for the teenagers argued before Superior Court Judge Paschal English that bad publicity generated by graphic police reports have prevented them from getting a fair trial.
Harvey and Ketchum
Holly Harvey and Sandra Ketchum
are charged -- as adults -- with armed robbery, plus two counts of felony
murder and two counts of malice murder for the deaths of Carl and Sarah Collier.
Unless a plea bargain is reached, they face a maximum sentence of life in
prison without parole.
Hollys attorney, Judy Chidester, said the two will be tried seperately because Sandy has given statements to authorities that may be damaging to her clients case. Sandy's attorney, Lloyd Walker blames the system. "The evidence shows that a lot of people have failed Sandy," Walker said. "Up until now, everybody, including the state, has failed this child."
When asked about the bizarre "to-do list," the three bloody knives, and the bloodstained clothes police found when the teens were arrested, Walker admitted: "They have a very strong case."
The trials have been scheduled for late March but likely won't begin until Spring of 2005.
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