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The Background of the Murder of Laurie Show

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.

In making a pact with this devil, Lancaster County made a Faustian Bargain. It lost its soul and it almost executed an innocent, abused woman. Its legal edifice now in ashes, we can only hope for a Witness-like barn raising of the temple of justice."

-Judge Stewart Dalzell, pg. 79 of his 1997 Memorandum Opinion

The Background of Each Individual

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."

The Death of Laurie Show

Thursday, December 19th, 1991

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.

Friday, December 20th, 1991

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.

Friday Evening, December 20th, 1991

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.

Saturday, December 21st, 1991

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.

"We firmly believed in 1992[1] that Lisa Michelle Lambert drew the knife across the throat of Laurie Show, causing her death. She was the only person with the level of emotion, the focus of purpose and the clear opportunity to have performed that dreadful act. There is no question that Ms. Lambert is not, and never will be, 'innocent' of this crime."

-Judge Lawrence Stengel, pg. 322 of his 1998 PCRA Hearing Opinion

My Webpage Links

Michelle's 1992 Trial
A day by day account of what took place inside the Lancaster courtroom.

Michelle's 1997 Federal Hearing
The famous habeas corpus hearing, where Judge Dalzell freed Michelle.

Michelle's 1998 PCRA Hearing.

Judge Stengel's 1998 PCRA Verdict
Judge Stengel denied Michelle's PCRA appeal. Read his 322-page opinion.

1998 PCRA Hearing Verdict Articles
Read the articles surrounding Judge Stengel's decision.

Your e-mail Responses
Your letters to me.

More Links
Links to interviews with Michelle, Tabitha, and Judge Stengel. Along with articles from the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

A large list of related website rings, that this website belongs too.

The Boardroom
Read and post messages.

The"Is Lisa Michelle Lambert Guilty?" CHATROOM
An open discussion of ideas, opinions, and current events regarding past trials and hearings. PLEASE REMEMBER, before you can chat you must register and pick your own handle. I am sorry, but this is not my decision for you to do this. My handle will always be: PuckUSMC. See you there!

The Mysterious 29 Questions
For the first time available on the internet, Michelle's questions to Lawrence.

The 20/20 Transcripts
From the 20/20 special, "A Killer in Disguise."

Michelle's Yearbook Photo
See her freshman yearbook photo.

Places To Go and Things to Read and See

Lambert v. Commonwealth of PA
This is the official website of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of PA.

Schander Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP
The Law firm that represents Michelle.

Lancaster County Court House
Find information, orders, rulings, opinions, and decisions by Judge Stengel for matters relating to the 1998 PCRA hearing.

Contact Info.

I encourage you to send any of your thoughts, questions, and opinions. If you want me to post your emails, please tell me in your e-mail.


This website was selected the Pennsylvania Destination of the Day award, on December 21, 1998

You are the person to visit this site, since July 1998.

© 1998-2000 Stephen Drehoble. All Rights Reserved.

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