Police arrested HLN host Nancy Grace today for the gruesome 1983 murder of a young college student in Vermont.
Authorities say Grace strangled 22-year-old Josephine Walker, her college roommate at Middlebury College, with a piece of chickenwire following a heated argument.
The case was cold for decades, but new eyewitness testimony now puts Grace at the scene of the crime. Prosecutors say they spent several days gathering evidence and are now convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that the 53-year-old legal commentator is guilty.
"We were approached by an old homeless gentleman last week," explains Addison County prosecutor Jim Trotter III. "This guy says he saw Grace strangle the victim to death in her Middlebury dorm room, then drive three miles and throw the body into the ocean.
"We don't really have any physical evidence or anything like that, but our witness is pretty reliable. Plus, Nancy Grace just seems like a murderer, doesn't she? That was a big part of our calculation. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut."
Trial By Media
Grace is a former prosecutor who since 2005 has hosted an eponymous prime-time current affairs show that features prominent true crime cases. Although a ratings success, the show has attracted withering criticism for Grace's tendency to ignore the presumption of innocence and pronounce defendants guilty without knowing all the evidence.
In her own case, the evidence appears to be quite shaky. Although described in the indictment as Walker's roommate, there is no record of Grace ever attending Middlebury. She graduated from Mercer University, thousands of miles away in Georgia.
Additionally, 15 people say that they were with Grace at the time of the killing at her home in Atlanta, where she was throwing a dinner party. There is also no ocean within three miles of Vermont.
Inconvenient facts, however, haven't stopped several of Grace's peers in the media from proclaiming that she's guilty and demanding quick justice.
"This bitch should fry like bacon in the electric chair," says Dr. Drew Pinsky, Grace's colleague on HLN. "What kind of a sick human being would strangle a young, beautiful 22-year-old with all the potential in the world? I wonder if she was on drugs or something."
"I heard that Nancy Grace and the victim were lesbian lovers and her murder was a crime of passion," said CNN's Piers Morgan on his show today. "Apparently they were performing oral sex upon one another and right after they climaxed Nancy strangled her. That's just speculation of course. But it makes a lot of sense."
"Why are we even bothering with a trial?" asks Fox News's Greta Van Susteren. "I've never seen anyone so guilty in all my life. Just lock her up and throw away the key."
Meanwhile, the entire 2006 Duke Lacrosse team — some members of which Grace falsely accused of rape on national television — has issued a statement asking the media to stop speculating and let the legal process take its course.
"Rushing to judgement is something Nancy Grace would do," the statement reads. "We're better than that. We think America is better than that."
Grace is expected to be held in lockup over the weekend and brought to Vermont for arraignment on Monday. She continues to vigorously protest her innocence.