• Rod Kackley

Out With The Trash: Colorado's Garbage Can Killer, A Shocking True Crime Story

A grieving husband in Colorado told police two years ago that his wife Amber Lynn committed suicide. To spare their children the anguish of finding their mother’s dead body, Keith Zotto told the police he stuffed her body in a garbage can in the garage.

Police showed up at the home of Keith and Amber Lynn after Amber’s mom reported her daughter missing, July 2, 2019.

Keith, at first, said he and the kids hadn’t seen Amber for two days. According to Keith, they’d had an argument, and she left the house. He hadn’t seen her since.

He came up with the fanciful tale of how Amber committed suicide after police found her body, buried in trash, alongside the gun that killed her, in a silver metal garbage can.

Neither police nor prosecutors bought that story for long. Laura Wilson, the chief deputy district attorney, told the jury of Keith’s peers they shouldn’t either.

Wilson spent five days laying out her case, charging Keith with murdering Amber Lynn. She nailed it home during her closing arguments.

“Amber begged for her life and put up her hands, but he pulled the trigger,” Wilson told the jury. “He literally threw her away and left her to rot.”

The jury’s verdict came May 12, 2020: Guilty of first-degree murder. That means Keith will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole. In other words, he’s sentenced to die behind bars.

“This man had no regard for a human life, even when it was his wife and the mother of his children,” John Kellner, 18th Judicial District Attorney, said in a statement.

“He stayed in that house with those kids, knowing their mother was dead in the garage. And rather than take responsibility, he tried to pretend his wife committed suicide, and he somehow panicked, hid the body, and then forgot what he had done.”

Homicide On The High Seas

A research vessel finds a woman’s decomposing corpse floating in the Tyrrhenian Sea, about twenty miles off the Italian shoreline.

Cruise ships frequent the area. Investigators’ best guess is that she came from one of those boats. But which one? And is it a case of accidental death, suicide, or even murder?

Investigators soon discovered one fact that narrowed down the search: Only one boat reported the possibility that a passenger had gone overboard. So she had to have come from the Island Star.

The mystery of how she died was also swiftly solved. For one simple reason, it had to be a case of homicide. You see, there was no water in her lungs. So, whoever killed her, did it before they pitched her into the sea.

So, someone murdered this woman while both were aboard the cruise ship. Hundreds of people were on board the Island Star. Who was the killer?

Police focused on the ex-husband because it’s a sad fact that you are often killed by the one you love.

But Italian authorities don’t want anything to do with this case. Who wants it? How about the DA in Orange County, California.

Another perplexing question: Why should the DA’s office in Orange County, California, prosecute a murder that occurred off the coast of Italy?

Prosecutors first would have to convince a judge that they had reason to prosecute a murder that occurred off the Italian coast. They would also have to deal with the fact that their star witnesses were thousands of miles away when the woman went into the water.

What complicated the prosecution’s case even more was the propensity of their star witnesses to change their stories. Both had reasons to turn on the suspect. Would the jury believe them?


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