Martha Ivery’s Sentencing – Part One

Hi, Folks!

I’m back home now, after attending Martha Ivery’s sentencing in Syracuse, New York, on Wednesday, November 29th at 4:00 P.M. in Federal Court for the Northern District of New York.

I had put off buying my ticket until the last possible minute, in case the sentencing was postponed yet again, but finally, there I was, walking into Reagan National Airport, ready for the four hour flight to Albany, changing planes at JFK. Four hours turned into 11 because of fog and weather conditions at JFK. Once we finally took off from Reagan, I wound up scrunched into my seat next to a large foreign lady who not only sat with her arms and knees spread, she took off her SHOES, John Candy style (believe me, I thought of Planes, Trains and Automobiles frequently that day!). When I finally got off the plane at JFK, I walked into an airport filled with people, all experiencing delays, and all grumpy as hell. Discovering that my connecting flight was as delayed as everything else was some comfort, so I bought and nibbled a chicken sandwich. Luckily, I only ate about half…

When we finally were boarded onto the small prop plane headed for Albany, I was seated next to a delightful young English lady with a beautiful baby girl, just old enough to stand up holding on to things, with a headful of golden curls. This child could have modeled, she was so cute. Unfortunately, the day had taken a toll on the kid, and shortly after I’d sat down, she began vomiting…copiously. I have one of those sympathetic stomachs. When my own kid would barf, it never bothered me, but that must be some kind of essential mom-hardwiring, because when the little girl started in, I really, really thought that half a chicken sandwich and I were going to part company.

The flight attendant, seeing my green countenance and gulping attempts to hold back my gorge, hastily moved me. But it was a small plane, and the smell quickly permeated the entire cabin. Right as I was seated in my new seat, we were informed that we’d be on the runway for at least another hour before takeoff…

The things I do for SFWA and Writer Beware, I swan!

At any rate, I did eventually get to Albany, which was the important thing.

The FBI researcher who “made” the Martha Ivery case, whom we’d worked closely with for about six years now, is Paul Silver, and he is the unsung hero of this story. Without Paul taking an interest in the case, Wednesday’s sentencing would never have happened. (See some of the first blog posts I ever made in this blog for some of the “history” of the Writer Beware’s efforts to get law enforcement to recognize the crimes Martha was committing.)

When I’d learned that the sentencing would actually be held in Syracuse, rather than Albany, Paul very kindly offered me a ride up there. I saved quite a bit of money flying into Albany rather than Syracuse, so I owe Paul yet another debt I can never repay. We had a late breakfast, then hopped into his car for the two-hour drive up. As we drove along beside the Erie Canal, we talked, reviewing the case, reminiscing about the years of working on this case, recalling our interactions with the victims, and hoping they would finally gain some closure from seeing Martha put out of commission. We were hoping she would get at least 51 months in Federal Prison, but we knew that her attorney was trying, even at this last moment, to say that Martha should be given no jail time because she was too mentally ill to realize she’d been committing a crime. Having dealt with Martha for all those years, and been on the receiving end of her threats, I wasn’t buying that, and neither was Paul. All we could hope was that the judge would not buy her new “defense.”

We arrived in Syracuse with plenty of time to spare, thanks to MapQuest, and the parking gods were kind. It was my first time visiting a Federal courtroom. It was a far cry from my country traffic court! The wall behind the judge’s seat was red and white marble, with a huge bronze seal for the Northern District of New York centered there. The observer benches were upholstered in an attractive pale flowered pattern. They floor was carpeted, some shade between turquoise and teal. All of the desks were polished hardwood. The room was 12 stories up, and overlooked the city and the city plaza where the Christmas decorations were shining brightly as the sky darkened.

Paul and I were the first people into the courtroom. We sat down in the observer’s area, on the left (prosecution’s) side and waited. When the Assistant US Attorney who was prosecuting the case, and the Victim-Witness Coordinator entered, they came over to speak to us and shake hands, and thank us for our work on the case. They seemed prepared to counter the defense’s assertions that Martha was not capable of discerning right from wrong. The Victim-Witness Coordinator had brought statements from some of the victims that had requested they be read, but the case had been postponed so many times that none of the victims had shown up…apparently they all thought it would wind up getting postponed yet again. But not this time.

The next person to arrive in the courtroom was Martha Ivery’s defense attorney, Mr. Mott. Martha and her husband, Thomas Ivery, came in a few minutes later. Martha sat down on the defense side, next to her attorney. Her husband was the only person who came to be with her.

Unlike her other times in court, Martha did NOT wear a sweatsuit. She wore a black blouse with a tan and rust colored pattern on it, over a black sweater or tee, black slacks, and black running shoes. Her hair was longish and black, brushed back over her shoulders. She’s 58 years old. If she was wearing makeup, it was very subtle.

(I was dressed in a pantsuit with a turquoise blouse, and Paul was wearing a suit.) All of the lawyers looked, of course, just like lawyers. One could have picked them out in a crowd.

There were also a couple of US Marshals present, and the usual court reporter type individual who was recording the proceedings. And a gentleman that I suppose was the bailiff.

About fifteen minutes after the hour, the door opened and the judge entered. “All rise,” said the bailiff, and we all rose to our feet.

(To be continued…)

-Ann C. Crispin


  1. Lama Milkweed is NOT DEAD; ALMOST. In fact, she has recently publicated her book-her 14th CASINO CHILD; KING OF THE SLOT MACHINES, and is acheiving high acclaim for not only her writing career, but her lifetime serving humanity. In HOSPICE and at home, still writing books,, painting, and a professional slot machine technician. HERHOLINESS; THE MOST VENERABLE LAMA RIMPOCHE, MISS PROF. MILKWEED L. AUGUSTINE PHD DD is alive, and although not fighting and in agonizing bone marrow pain from a lifelong marrow disease, and repeated bouts of debilitating cancers all through her emacitated body, she is here and only GOD has anything to say about THAT!
    If you looked around the internet, perhaps you would see this very famous individual; her recent book of nonfiction, DYING AND LOVING IT, published last year made her mark.


  3. Hi Ann Crispin!
    Its me, Lama Milkweed L. Augustine PhD, the main assisting VICTIM of Martha Ivery and friend who worked exclusively with FBI Agent, Paul Silver, who was very close with me. In fact, he knows and has a copy of the books, the CAHIN SAW MAN III, there was a nameless dedication to him at the end of this series of books-THE CHAIN SAW MAN TRILOGY. My 14th book, CASINO CHILD; KING OF THE SLOT MACHINES will be published soon. I am so glad that she has received supposedly what was comming to her. I will never forget when I was interviewed by reporters in the TIMES UNION in New York. It was a privilege and a pleasure in working with you and knowing you Ann. My wonderful books are well known as I have one in the Holy Vatican-THE MILKWEED PROPHESY which won me a nominee for the PULITZER in 2008.
    I am back in HOSPICE.
    Lama Milkweed L. Augustine PhD

  4. You rock!

    I totally admire the dedication and tenacity you bring to this fight. You protect the innocent, punish the wicked and bring evildoers to justice.

    All you need now are the capes!

  5. Ann,

    As someone hoping to be published in fiction sometime in the future, thank you so much for this.

    You and Victoria are warrior princesses in my book.


  6. Good stuff, can’t wait for the rest of the details. I have to wonder just how shocked this scammer felt when she realized that she really was off to jail, especially since (despite the recent WorldCom and Enron convictions) fraud is usually a light sentence, and often just probation.

    Tari Akpodiete

  7. Oh, come on. Do you honestly think she would have reported it differently if it was a large English lady vs a delightful young foreign lady?

    You are correct that English is foreign, unless you’re English. It’s also a specific description of one known type, as opposed to the generic “foreign”.

    For example:
    I wonder if there is any fruit for lunch.
    I had an orange for lunch.

    The fruit is non-specific. We don’t know what kind of fruit it is. The orange is known and specified.

    Let me know if you have any more difficulty with this.

  8. anonymous said: What’s wrong with you? Why did you leave out the mustache, flabby arms, and fashion victim angle?

    Possibly because those didn’t apply? Just guessing, here.


  9. To the anonymous poster: Of course it couldn’t possibly be that Ann couldn’t tell which country her first seat mate was from but could tell with the English woman because of her accent, now could it? 😛

  10. …large foreign lady
    = Sat with her arms and knees spread
    = Took off her SHOES, John Candy style
    What’s wrong with you? Why did you leave out the mustache, flabby arms, and fashion victim angle? Would have really hit home. Especially next to —

    …delightful young English lady
    = Beautiful baby girl (but of course!)
    = Headful of golden curls (aaaahhh!)
    = Child could have modeled (ooohhhhh!)

    God forbid they could have been described as “large lady” or “delightful mother”. And, last time I looked, “English” was foreign as well. Interesting Freudian slip.

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NOVEMBER 29, 2006

Martha Ivery Sentenced

DECEMBER 4, 2006

Martha Ivery’s Sentencing — Part Two