Akron, Ohio, is where Hannah Hill was born. She recently received her high school diploma and was well-liked with many friends. She held a secretary job over the summer. She wanted to enroll in college in the fall after saving money and purchasing her first vehicle.
Hannah, then 18 years old, arrived home from work on May 19, 1999, to spend the night alone. After receiving a call a short while later, she left her parent’s house at 10:30 pm, promising her mother Kimberly that she would return later. Kimberly observed that Hannah appeared sad as she walked away.
The Hannah Hill Murder: A Case of Police Negligence
Even though Hannah didn’t return home that evening, her family wasn’t concerned. They guessed she had spent the night at a friend’s place. That is until her supervisor called the following day to ask where she was. Jennifer, Hannah’s buddy, called other friends they had in common to ask if anyone had seen Hannah.
Nobody has. Her relatives reported her missing and included information about her vehicle in the report. The police did not act right away. They assumed that all children Hannah’s age tended to disappear for a day or two with their friends without telling anyone.
When the police got a call about an abandoned car, they weren’t worried because they hadn’t yet filed the missing person’s report. Instead, a traffic officer was dispatched to give a parking penalty. They were unaware that it was Hannah’s automobile.
After looking inside the abandoned vehicle for a week after she vanished, the police discovered Hannah Hill’s body in the trunk. Her legs had been wide to reveal her, and she was completely naked from the waist down. Her pager and keys were discovered in the vehicle.
Examining the Hannah Hill’s Body
The night Hannah vanished, the police decided to try to follow in her footsteps. They talked to Brad O’Brien, who had initially encouraged the police to look for Hannah. Brad’s arms had scratches, which the officers noted and inquired about.
He acknowledged that they fought before she vanished. The bond between Brad and Hannah occasionally involved violence. They cohabited for a while, but she moved back in with her parents because of how they got along.
Hannah had already experienced emotional and physical abuse at the hands of Brad. Despite this knowledge, there was no evidence linking him to the incident. Hannah had been assaulted, and her death was brought on by manual neck compression suffocation. She had scrapes, bruises, and bite marks on her face and arm.
There was proof that she had s*x before passing away, but there was no way to tell if it was voluntary. However, the demeaning manner in Hannah’s body was posed, leading the authorities to suspect that she had been s*xually assaulted. On her lips, they discovered white powder as well.
The cops found a suspect after looking through her phone records: Denny Ross. He knew Hannah, she’d been to a few of his house parties, and her boyfriend, Brad O’Born, had spent a few months living with him. The police knew Ross, who had admitted to distributing cocaine after being captured selling drugs to undercover cops. Instead of incarceration, he was placed on probation.
The Investigation Points To Denny Ross
Ross’ arm was cast when police arrived at his flat to question him. He said that during a fight, he broke it. The day Hannah vanished, Hannah’s friend Jennifer called him to check whether he had seen her. She received a no from him.
He acknowledged to authorities that Hannah had visited him the night she vanished when they questioned him. He also revealed to the police that she was furious about Brad and that they had had a kiss and other actions.
According to Ross, Hannah reportedly left Ross’ flat at 1:30 in the morning and was sober. She had been drinking when she passed away, according to the autopsy. Later, police arrived with a warrant. When they searched his house, they discovered Hannah’s underwear, pants, socks, shoes, and handbag in a garbage bag.
Mistrial Caused By Jury Misconduct
Denny Ross was convicted in June 1999 for assaulting, raping, and strangling Hannah Hill. During the trial, the prosecution showed the jury evidence demonstrating that Hannah’s face wounds had traces of the same elements found in Ross’ cast, sulfur and carbon.
The defense said that Ross had no reason to kill Hannah and that the garbage bag had been planted. They talked about her abusive relationship with Brad and the abrasions they discovered on his arm. Numerous witnesses who had previously witnessed him dragging Hannah by the hair and hitting her testified to the jury.
Due to juror misconduct, the judge declared a mistrial, and the court declined the request for a retrial in 2002 because the initial jury returned a not-guilty decision. The Hill case underwent years of state and federal appeals after a judge declared a mistrial in 2000 due to one juror’s alleged misbehavior. The attractions centered on the double jeopardy issue.
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Denny Rossi is Facing Retrial For A Second Attempted Murder
Following several appeals, the ruling was overturned in 2008. The State was permitted by the Supreme Court to retry Ross, who appeared in court again in 2012 to answer to the murder allegations.
This time, the prosecution’s case was significantly more robust thanks to Jennifer Tittle’s testimony, a different Ross victim, and DNA proof. Hannah’s underwear and pants were found to be stained with Ross’ blood and sperm. She also had his DNA beneath her fingernails and on her clothes.
During the retrial, the jury was not informed that Denny Ross had received a 25-year jail sentence in 2004 for the assault, rape, and attempted murder of Jennifer Tittle, whom he attacked and raped while holding a knife to her throat.
Title testified before the court, telling them that when Ross attacked her, he punched her so hard that it broke both her jaw and collarbone. She claimed to be dead when Ross tried to strangle her. She overheard him say, “Oh, f***, she’s dead,” when he thought he had killed her. Never again, Like Hannah, Jennifer was raped, beaten, and strangled.
Ross was convicted of killing Hannah Hill thirteen years after the crime. He was given a life sentence with a minimum of 19 years to serve.