> On October 29, 1973, 14-year-old student Natalia
> P. Semler was tortured and murdered by 23-year-old
> John S. Gilreath on the grounds of the Madeira
> School in McLean.
> Tasha, as she was called, was 5 feet 1 inch tall,
> while Gilreath was 6 feet 9 inches tall. Gilreath
> gagged and tied up Tasha using scraps from a
> blankets, then used a Phillips-head screwdriver to
> stab Tasha a number of times in addition to
> molesting her. She would eventually die ten hours
> later of a combination of shock and exposure. Her
> father, a diplomat, would discover his daughter's
> bound, partially nude body on the grounds of the
> school early the next day.
> Gilreath had recently been released on August 29,
> 1973, from the Psychiatric Institute of
> Washington, where he had been treated since June,
> 1972 in lieu of a 20-year prison sentence for the
> abduction and molestation of another 14-year-old
> girl from the Madeira School.
"Later that day, Mrs. Harris RECEIVED A LETTER FROM A STUDENT WHO HAD ONCE BEEN INJURED IN A HAZING ACCIDENT AT THE SCHOOL. After the accident, Mrs. Harris developed a strong affection for the girl, and the two had enjoyed a close relationship ever since. The letter was critical of Harris' handling of the disciplinary affair, and that criticism affected her deeply. She thought, "if she thinks I failed her, too, I had really blown the whole thing."
Maybe the Gilreath's were clutching at straws with this defense...but hazing WAS going on at Madeira. And if it had been the cause of a death, it would have destroyed the school. No one talked about these things publicly in 1972. And Gilreath was a prime suspect, he had been convicted of similar violent acts in the past. I'd say he did it, but I want to know more about the hazing.