December 20, 1991, will remain one the darkest days of Lancaster's History. A young girl murdered and three people convicted. What had happened in a small town has gotten the attention of people from New York to Los Angles, even Universal Studios and actor/singer Will Smith. Could Lisa Michelle Lambert be lying to save herself from a life sentence? Is she being victimized, or is the public being victimized? The purpose of this website is to give the public factual information.
Seven years later, everyone still wants to know - who did it? Lisa Michelle Lambert was the first to be convicted, without a jury. She was sentenced to life imprisonment for first-degree murder. Tabitha Buck was the second to be tried and convicted, by a jury of her peers. Tabitha Buck was also sentenced to life imprisonment for second-degree murder. Lawrence Yunkin pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in exchange for his testimony against Tabitha Buck and Lisa Michelle Lambert. The prosecution contended that he had played a minor role in the murder.
April 22, 1997, Judge Dalzell a federal judge overturned the conviction on the basis that Lisa Michelle Lambert was actually innocent of the killing was framed by the East Lampeter Township Police Department. On December 29, 1997, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals would then overturn Judge Dalzell's decision. Lisa Michelle Lambert returned to prison on February 4, 1998. The Third Circuit Court ordered that Judge Stengel (who was the judge that convicted Lisa Michelle Lambert back in 1992) must rehear her appeal and make a decision whether or not she deserves a new trial or not, that hearing took place back in Lancaster. Judge Stengel heard from both sides, and after weeks of testimony Judge Stengel upheld his original 1992 conviction. Lisa Michelle Lambert remained in prison. Now, the world waits on an appeal that is in the U.S. Supreme Courts hands. There has not been a statement to when that decision will be reached.
-Judge Stewart Dalzell, pg. 79 of his 1997 Memorandum Opinion
Laurie Show, 16, was an only child. Her parents John and Hazel Show had been divorced for several years before Laurie's death. Laurie was a tall blondish-brown girl with bright blue eyes. She had a job working at a woman's clothing store from June to August 1991 at a local mall. She was well liked by her fellow students and her teachers. Her favorite things included Penn State Football and teddy bears. She was a sophomore at Conestoga Valley High School.
Tabitha Buck, (17) now 24, born in Alaska and grew up in Oregon. She moved to Lancaster County in October 1990. She enrolled at Conestoga Valley High School as a junior. She played the flute in the high school's band, and studied Child Development at a local Vocational Technical school. In November of 1991, she and her mother moved and Tabitha transferred to a different school district to complete her senior year.
(Lisa) Michelle Lambert, (19) now 25, is the daughter of Judy and Leonard Lambert. Her parents had thrown Michelle out of her parent's house. They had filed a police report, claiming she had stolen a coin collection form their home. She was also kicked out of her anti-social conduct. Her parents have described her as a "pathological liar and was very good at it." She owned a machete and frequently carried a knife. Michelle was romantically involved with Lawrence and they lived together. At the time of the murder, Michelle was six months pregnant. Michelle had a long history of harassing Laurie for briefly dating her boyfriend/fiancé Lawrence.
Lawrence Yunkin, (20) now 27, the son Barry and Jackie Yunkin. Lawrence attended and graduated from Lampeter-Strasburg High School. Lawrence learned roofing and carpentry skills on an Amish farm near where their family lived outside Strasburg, Pa for 16 years. When their family moved to Pioneer Woods Apartments, Lawrence had several part-time jobs. One of those jobs was being a lifeguard at the apartment complex where he met Michelle in July 1989. Barry Yunkin said this about his; "The true Lawrence Yunkin was a typical teenager not perfect, certainly no angel; but hard working and caring."
On Thursday night, Laurie Show's mother Hazel Show (photo); received a telephone call from someone who identified themselves as a guidance counselor at Laurie's high school. The person asked Hazel to meet her early the Friday morning.
Hazel Show left home around 6:45 a.m. to keep her appointment, but returned a short time later because the counselor never showed up. Before entering her house at 7:20 a.m., however a neighbor stopped her and asked her what was going on upstairs to cause so much noise. When Hazel went upstairs she found her daughter lying in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. A rope was knotted around her neck and her throat savagely cut. Laurie suffered a 5 inch slashing laceration to her throat another stab wound to her back which punctured her right lung, and another went about four inches deep to her spinal column. Her chest had been cut on the right side, between her ribs. Her head was bruised and she had 2 cuts on her scalp - both 2 inches long. On her hands were defensive wounds: 14 cuts on her left palm of her left hand and 7 on her right. There were signs of a "slight struggle" as a few items were displaced. However, there was no sign of forced entry into the residence. Police were called to the scene around 7:30 a.m. and arrived by 8 a.m. The area was cordoned off and the police were questioning a number of neighbors and teenagers. East Lampeter Township Police Department and State Troopers were conducting the investigation.
Late Friday evening, Tabitha Buck, Lisa Michelle Lambert, and Lawrence Yunkin were apprehended at the Garden Spot Bowling Center in Strasburg, Pa. Lawrence and Michelle were held in Lancaster County Prison for approximately 18 hours for charges not connected to Laurie Show's murder. Michelle was held under $100,000, on a simple assault charge related to an alleged altercation she had with Laurie at a local mall. Lawrence was had on a warrant for failure to pay a fine on a noise ordinance violation in Lancaster City. His bail was set at $265, and a hearing was also set for that charge. Tabitha was taken into custody and questioned about the apparent scratch marks they had observed on her. Tabitha claimed that she had got them in "a fight with two Puerto Rican girls." Police released her to her mother early Saturday morning, while Lawrence and Michelle were committed to the county prison because of their warrants. Police watched Tabitha's home in case she would flee.
After police felt they had enough evidence, Tabitha was arrested at her home. Roughly 36 hours after Laurie's death, the three suspects were charged in connection with Laurie's death. Michelle and Tabitha were charged with one count each of criminal homicide and criminal conspiracy and committed to Lancaster County Prison without bail. Lawrence was charged with one count of hindering apprehension or prosecution and committed to the same prison with bail set at $1million.
-Judge Lawrence Stengel, pg. 322 of his 1998 PCRA Hearing Opinion