Sandra Cantu Murder: Family of Melissa Huckaby Speaks

Tracy, CA- On Easter Sunday, The Family of Melissa Huckaby, accused in the kidnapping and murder of 8 year old Tracy resident Sandra Cantu, held an impromptu Easter Service at Clover Baptist Church.

Yes, you read that correctly. The family of the woman accused of murdering a child and stuffing her teensy frame into rolling luggage and lobbing her into an irrigation pond,  held services celebrating the resurrection of Christ in the very church Police believe Sandra lost her life at the hands of Melissa Huckaby.   

Spin Cycle

I will be honest. This article may end up being mostly editorial. I pride myself on being as factually objective as possible when I am writing or reporting on a case; but 9 months stomaching the Anthony’s spew their spin may have done me in. If you are one of those people that saw Cindy Anthony for the very first time and calld BS, then your already on that isle with me in the Cantu case following the press conference of Huckaby’s family.

Other than the blatant need to sanitize the family dynamic  and a small lovely child is involved, there are no parallels to the Caylee Anthony case.  With the exception, perhaps, of George Anthony’s recent quote:


Above caption is my unsolicted advice slash/ request to the Lawless Family and their known associates.


You should know that we are perched and ready for you are to tell us how “out of character” this was for Melissa Huckaby and how loving of a Mother she was.  Here’s a thought.  Actual loving and responsible Mother’s do not murder babies, steal things repeatedly, and might even throw in the means to support ones self in the last few years. On Sunday, Brian Lawless, 48,  defended his daughter:


“I just can’t comprehend. There are no words,” “She just always had an extra patience with her. Never raised her voice. Never yelled. Never struck her,” Brian Lawless said. “She was that same way with other children. She loved other children.”

So.. I have a few question for the Lawless family.. If your so dumbfounded Melissa could be capable of this, why has Huckaby’s 5 year old daughter been staying with Judy Lawless since the day after Sandra went missing? Please do not expect us to buy that tired “planned vacation” line. Is it possible this child can provide some answers to police as to what happened to Sandra as well as other patterns of her behavior? Tracy Police has stated that Madison Huckaby was not at the home when Sandra Cantu went there that fateful March 27th.  Huckaby was scheduled for sentencing on a probation violation for theft on April 17th; Was this some sort of family intervention based on concerns for her own daughter that prompted the attack on Sandra?

 BOTH Brian and Brett Lawless are on the schedule as Worship Team participants at their FBMC parish in Bellflower for Easter Sunday services, over 5 hours away from Tracy, CA.  What made them pack up the Mission Mobile, hi-tail it to Tracy following Melissa’s arrest and call the press from the car?

I cannot say whether Lawless-Huckaby comes from a “good home” or not. I can only say that I will not stand by while the family of Sandra Cantu has to drive past this crime scene with a front lawn full of folks asking press to report how this girl cannot possibly be capable of what she is being accused of and what a wonderful mother she is. Here is what I am willing to accept on their behalf, until further information is known about what happend to “Sunny” Sandra Cantu:

As the Family of Melissa Lawless Huckaby, we would like to ask the public to pray for the Cantu family, as well as ours, as we begin the quest for answers as to what happened to Sandra; and any possible role Melissa may have played in her death. It is unfathomable to us that she could be capable of what she is accused of and would ask that the public withold judgement until the facts of this case are known.  Out of deep respect for the Family of Sandra Cantu, this will be our only statement until we have an opportunity to meet with Melissa and members of the Tracy Police Department.  We would ask that our privacy be respected during this this time of grief for our family.

Wouldn’t it be a refreshing change for a family to encourage their loved one to be cooperative with Police, admit their wrongdoing and not take the opportunity to make this about “them”? I do not care to villafy any person’s family that has no involvement in such a heninous act, either directly or peripherally, but I dont care to give them an opportunity to use it as a pulpit either. We are resonable people that are aware that you don’t get to pick your family. If you interject yourselves to defend a child killer, your putting yourselves out there for the scrutiny and the public closet search and we are damn good at it.



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  1. JmBrdy says:

    I don’t know what’s sicker. What Melissa did or the family holding services in that church. What a smack in the face to the Cantu family. How morbid of the Lawless family. This family is floating on a river in Egypt with the Anthony’s called De Nile. Gimme a break. There’s no way you don’t know what your daughter/granddaughter/niece is like.

    It’s bizarre to sit in that crime scene on Easter…. just strange. Almost like they chose to celebrate the event rather than mourn and respect Sandra peacefully. As if a sermon would cleanse their family’s sin away. Perhaps they mistakenly assumed the sound of the Tell-Tale Heart would be quieted by a loud praise on Easter.

    I’d vacate that church and tear it down creating a memorial to Sandra if a family member of mine did that. I’d never hold an Easter party/gathering of family 2 weeks after my neighbor’s child was murdered in my church by my relative. No way. Sick.

  2. Lizbeth says:

    “Wouldn’t it be a refreshing change for a family to encourage their loved one to be cooperative with Police, admit their wrongdoing and not take the opportunity to make this about “them”?”

    How do you know that they haven’t done that? I personally think they have, beginning with the Lawless’s being questioned which was probably their first knowledge of Huckaby’s involvement. Personally, I think it all unraveled pretty quickly, compared to other cases. And I think her family probably had something to do with it by being cooperative. I do not think they tried or are trying to cover things up or make excuses for her. They are speaking only as people who love her and are shocked and saddened by both their daughter/granddaughter doing this and also by Sandra’s death.

    I don’t quite understand what it does for you to be angry with them. What I mean is, I don’t understand how it helps anyone or betters your own life.

    I don’t quite understand what it does for you to be angry with them. What I mean is, I don’t understand how it helps anyone or betters your own life.

    What a provoking question you ask:

    a few things, I say with respect. Before you mass-fling comments, You should consider checking additional news resources. Connie Lawless if in full defense mode, not to be confused with “you’ve only heard one side, my grandaughter is professing her innocense” SO.. they have not accepted my recommendations. They wish to hold court, let’s let them.

    To your answerless question, I answer: I am not angry with them, at the moment they maintain a level of healthy cynicism, I hate that in child rape and murder charges, my bad.

    To answer your question as to how it betters my life: I get to tuck my kids in, every night. That means I made a different choice for a lifestyle befitting my children and I do my best to educate others to protect their own from monsters, and those that make excuses for them.

  3. Lizbeth says:

    Coolio-good comments. I also didn’t think much of the fact she said the girl was “abused.” Murder = abuse. I mean, isn’t a child being kidnapped and killed pretty abusive?? I believe that is what she is saying. Sandra was abused. She was killed which is about the worst kind of abuse there is.

  4. Lizbeth says:

    Nika- Lane Lawless did NOT kiss Sandra!! Please get your facts straight. Some other neighbor kissed her (can’t remember his name).

    Your “theory” is based on pure speculation and assumption, not on any proof or facts. Maybe you can be patient and wait for the trial and what the police, attorneys, and detectives uncover or have already uncovered.

    Just because Mr. Lawless is a pastor, does not mean he abused his granddaughter, or any of the other things you have theorized about him.

    And your comments almost sound as if Mr. Lawless is “guilty” because, in your theory, he abused his granddaughter, and thus, she did what she did because of it; thus, he is more guilty than she is.

    No one (as far as we know) made her do what she CHOOSE to do. It was her choice. And as for Mr. Lawless abusing her as a child, there is not one iota of proof to that. In fact, it sounds as if she was a normal, happy child from the way friends and relatives described her. Who knows, but don’t go making someone guilty based on things you don’t even know or have any proof of.

  5. Lizbeth says:

    Kevin d b,
    Even beautiful and/or educated people commit crimes and kill people. There are many cases of both educated and/or nice-looking people (Scott Peterson, Mendez brothers, the young actor and his wife who threw the couple of the yacht not long ago, the list goes on) and people from wealthy families or who lives in nice towns (Columbine murderers, some of these men on the 20/20 shows who’ve killed their wives, etc) who’ve commmitted crimes, including murder. What’s in someone’s heart isn’t much affected by their looks or their education. Their brain might be affected, to an extent, but not their heart.

  6. meregoddess says:

    lizbeth, take a deep breath. Perhaps you can testify on behalf of Melissa in her criminal case or even better on behalf of the Lawless family in the civil case? If I am EVER (Lord Forbid)put in the position that one of my children or my husband are found to be part of something heinous as this you will NOT find me supporting their immoral actions in public or private! I will always love my children but I will also never support or cover up something they do. Especially if it involves murdering and raping an innocent child. Now, GOD is really the person that Melissa and her cohorts( if indeed there are any) have to ultimately face up to. I try not judge people (though I find I fail at this daily and I just keep trudging diligently ahead)however when it comes to the abuse, neglect, and murder of children I JUDGE and I DONT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT. Every night as I read stories, give baths, and kiss the warm cheeks of my children I thank God that they are safe for another day. Every day I have to protect them from people like Melissa and HER FAMILY as well. Even if they only knew that she was mentally unstable or if they knew more THEY SHOULD HAVE NOT LET LITTLE KIDS COME OVER or LET THAT BABY CONTINUE TO LIVE THERE! They are guilty in that they stood by without action. Perhaps guilty of more. we shall see wont we? Hopefully the truth will come out so that Sandra’s family can rest easy. Once again my prayers are for Sandra at peace with God and for her poor family trying to find solace in the midst of this terrible time.

  7. amber says:

    Meregoddess…I completely agree with you on your last post #56.
    Even if the family was not “directly” involved. They were involved enough to know she was not stable.
    People wake up, these are our children we are supposed to stand up and protect them. Not turn a blind eye on these type of things. I truly hope the Tracy community doesn’t get a false sense of securty just because one monster is in custody. There are monsters all over and we need to be the ones to stop these awful things from happening to our children. I can only pray that they catch all involved in this crime, and whatever other “monsters” they have uncovered with the Tracy 60.

  8. Scoop says:

    Hey, Blink!

    I thought they didn’t hold church services in that location anymore?

    An IMPROMPTU service smells fishy to me.

  9. kellybear says:

    to MackiezMom,
    about post #41

    on there is a huge list of posts. one “lady/mother” who uses the name WATCHFUL has posted 20 plus times blaming the entire ordeal on Sandra’s mother because she let her walk across the street to her friends’ house to play. Of course there are a hundred of us who post that we don’t agree…Sandra knew the lady who did this to her – so even if her mother did walk her over there – how can a parent prevent a crazy/disgusting person from doing horrible things?

    This “mother” goes on to insult all the posters – saying everyone on the forum has the education of a 5th grader, etc etc.
    It’s quite offensive. I’m sorry people resort to pointing fingers when we don’t understand the motivations of sick people. I am also sorry that you have had to experience this behavior or accusations that your son was to blame :(

    It disgusts me that people can’t have respect for the families and let them grieve and come to terms with the sad reality that has been forced upon them, while their loved ones are stolen from their life….I wonder how people become so evil

  10. wade j says:

    I’m an avid fan of L&O and have personally seen some of the strangest cases that have made the paper (years ago), but, I haven’t seen one of these yet. Empty vacuous specis characters like Casey Anthony are a favorite subject on L&O because they are capable of killing and apparently acting in a sociopathic manner of being empathically removed from the murder, but, this one with Mellisa is so over the top. I have seen the eyes of a murderer like this before, she is now burried (in her grave, in a grave yard). She died on Oct 27th, couldn’t take one more Halloween. She was in a lot of pain from what she was doing. She didn’t actually end a life physically but certainly did spiritually and psychologically speaking, yes, child molesting, ritualized child molesting. I don’t really care if it is voodo or not, it’s all criminal. This Mellisa seems similar, behavior up there with Jack the Ripper but crys in court. I’m not one for denying her rights to a fair trial but I’m not the court and I’m not stupid and I know what I see. I would not comment if things were not so clear. Behavior of such caliber leaves a trail, usually a big one. I haven’t been able to get better info on the other children that may be involved. I wish someone had a decent datelined series of events website for this kind of case. So, there has to be something missing from the public spotlight on her behavior, it’s not like someone can just commit such a crime out of the blue. Someone knows something or is possibly involved directly. That someone will burn if they withhold information, it cathches up with you. I hope these cops follow up. In my case (which I litterally walked into just like a spider web) I did try and even had people behind me but the criminals were connected to say the least, and they were right, the case floundered. I would be more specific but even years later I would be starting a fight to go much further. David Berkowitz admitted he was in satinism and still wont’t give up names. I would talk more if it made or could make a difference. I can still sting if it comes to it, but for what reason? So……… The upside is if there are players in Melissa’s story seem to be loosers and if there is anyone else involved then the story doesn’t go far as organized crime goes. That doesn’t diminish the crime at all, just limits the scope if there is more to it. I had to be somewhat brave when I was dealing with it and I hope that anyone like these parents who are now coming forward about possible other charges know it is worth it to stand up and be counted. Of course they should have when it happened if they knew.I had a friend who as a child was mollested in an actual creepy little castle,Templar paintings on the wall, a real dungeon (the shallow minds of patriachall power trippers), he could have survived that but his parents traded prosecution for cash and he blew his head off when he was 27. He was one of the most liked guys in our orbit and I’m proud and gratefull to have had his aquaintance. He looked just like and was very much like the character “Friend” in the classic flick “Zardoz”. I’m not saying I think satinism is involved with Melissa but something is. Talk about getting a life. It is demonic irregardless and I hope these cops can show it for what it is, what ever that may be. Her memorial is happening as I write this, I’m grateful for all who showed and cared and demand clarity, evil needs darkness to do it’s thing and lets all call on some light, lots of light. Keep thinking folks.

  11. MackiezMom says:

    To Kelly, Post #59,

    Yeah, this apologist moron posting to the Tracy Press, using the nick MaybeNotToDumb…something like that… “If Sandra’s mother had been watching her.” and “Sandra’s mother was the catalyst that cause dher death…”. My God… first of all, the person responsible for murder is a murderer, and letting your child walk 3 city lots away is not negligence. She accused Sandra’s mother of being negligent. It really infuriated me. Some holier-than-thou woman who proclaims herself from Tracy, has one child, 28-yrs-old. She kept on, and on… “You should feel sorry for Melissa, and what about HER poor family!” And as soon as I checked her, she accused me of “You’re just as bad as MH”. I told her that I seldom said this, but if ever there was a person who deserved to know the feeling of the loss of a child, it was her… The nutjob accuses me of threatening her kid. Yeah…sure…right. Nah, I was saying that if she knew the loss of a child, she sure as hell wouldn’t be sympathizing with child-killers and child-rapists.

    Anyway… my sympathy is reserved for the family who lost the child. For that, I make no apologies. And for the apologist sympathizers… what is it that Blink says about people who defend child killers? :)

  12. deena says:

    It infuriates me, that people would have the nerve to be so shallow and not look any deeper than to blame Sandra’s family. HELLO!!! even if Sandra’s mother had walked Sandra herself to go play with one of her friends, MH was the mother of one of Sandra’s friends, a Sunday School teacher, living with her Pastor grandfather, (and possibly a city councilwoman grandmother), in their neighborhood for a year. This was not like Sandra was out on the highway 2 miles from home, this was a small trailer park and she was basically only a few driveways away. Sandra’s mom could have been the most cautious of parents, but anything short of never ever letting Sandra out of her sight may have ended in the same fate. So to those Holier-than-thou people even trying to blame Sandra’s family…you need to step off your pedestal, because no one can completely protect their kids from sociopathic killers and molestors, we can only do our best and pray for their safety.

  13. Jocelyn says:

    The truth of the matter is that the church Melissa is a part of is an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Tracy. This group is a wider network of churches all around the US– a religious sect. They are becoming more well-known for severe child abuse and molestation all over the country. I was born and raised in this sect and as a survivor– am doing my best (as well as others) to spread the word about what’s going on behind closed doors in some of these churches. They are very restrictive and their child-rearing methods can be excessively rigid and just plain abusive. Something about this case is really messed up. I would wait to see what unravels before making any judgments. My guess is that there is a lot of history here.

    If you’d like more information about the abuse in this group you can go to my website: To get a birds-eye view of what’s being promoted in some of these churches go to the home page and look for “Sermon Audio Sermons Promote Overt Illegal Activity” and read the sermon quotes. I think you will be horrified.

  14. Holle says:

    Ok…wait. This isn’t making any sense to me. So was the daughter home that day or not? If the daughter wasn’t home that day then why would MH ask the sibling to stay with her daughter while she went to the church? I am so confused.

    She lied. The sister was never there except to look for Sandra. GMA says she was only gone for one hour to the church. LE has said that Madison was not there that day.

  15. elizabeth says:

    Why was Lawless-Huckaby’s story of being raped as a teen by police never mentioned on this site? See Below from news reporter:

    A few women who have known Huckaby for much of her life provided some insight last week that I think explains a lot about her. A policeman had raped her 10 years ago, she confessed to her friends. Huckaby claimed a Cypress, California, cop handcuffed the then-18-year-old, shoved her into the backseat of his car, and assaulted her. The story, corroborated separately by a few friends who knew Huckaby at different times in her life, told me they had heard this same account from her. Orange County records show that Huckaby also told her story to police, who exonerated the officer after a brief investigation and closed the case. That summer, Huckaby wore long-sleeved shirts, despite the desert heat, to cover up the self-inflicted slashes on her wrists. She tried to kill herself at least once.

    A friend Huckaby met in vocational school told me last week that she remembers vividly the moment Melissa told her about the alleged rape. Huckaby’s face turned red. It wrinkled as she tried and failed to fight back tears. “It was the first time I had seen her angry,” said the friend, also a 28-year-old single mother. “That’s sort of how I knew it must be true—because she’s normally so laid-back, but this just triggered something just to talk about it.”

    Elizabeth, I would appreciate it if in the future you did your homework before making an allegation. Check your facts, your mistaken.

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