Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Mindy Schloss

Justice for Mindy Schloss and Della Brown


Over the years Wade had held fast to his claims of innocence in the Brown murder. Now, the prosecutor would use Wade's guilt in the Schloss murder to garner a measure of justice for Della brown. Since Alaska does not have the death penalty, Prosecutors told Wade they would try him in federal court, therefore opening the possibility of a death sentence were he found guilty. In a plea agreement Wade confessed to the murder of Mindy Schloss in order to avoid the death penalty. He also confessed to the murder of Della Brown. The details of his confession to the Brown murder were as grisly as those of the Schloss murder.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, "A decade ago...Wade found Brown passed-out drunk, then murdered her in a rage after robbing and raping her."

During his confession, Wade set the grisly scene. After coming across the unconscious Brown in the filth and garbage of the shack, he looted her of her possessions, tore off her clothes, and raped her. After the sexual assault, Wade took a large rock and crushed Della Brown's skull, leaving her half-naked body amidst the refuse of the shack.

Joshua Wade in court
Joshua Wade in court
After tearfully sputtering out a pro forma apology in court, Wade became defiant. According to reports, U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline called Wade "a heartless, selfish human being."

"Don't push it, man," Wade told the judge, according to the news reports. "I don't give a [expletive] about you. Don't sit there and push it."

Wade's father was stunned by his outburst. When reached for comment, Greg Wade said, "I was so impressed, I thought there was real remorse with my son. Then he opened his mouth. Then he showed his true face."

Ultimately, given his opening comments, Wade should have been happy, or at least relieved with the verdict. Earlier in the trial, when Judge Beistline inquired about Wade's desire for his trial to commence, Wade responded with similar eloquence. "I'd like to know," he had sputtered according to the Anchorage Daily News, "if these [expletives] are trying to kill me. I don't want to be left in suspense here, man."

Wade is expected to spend the remainder of his life in prison.

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