Towanna Brinkley, Arthur Lee Sanford: ‘Fatal Attraction’ Profiles Case Of Virginia Mother Who Was Found Dead In Fire

The Towanna Brinkley-Arthur Lee Sanford case will be featured on the next episode of Fatal Attraction. Fatal Attraction is a weekly crime documentary program that airs on TV One on Monday nights. Most of the cases featured involve an African-American or black victim. This week’s episode involves the case of Towanna Brinkley, a Newport News, Virginia woman who was killed by her boyfriend in 2003. The case went cold until 2010 after renewed interest in the case led police back to Sanford. Juror finally found Arthur Lee Sanford, of Portsmouth, guilty of second-degree murder in 2012. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Today, he still sits in a Virginia correctional facility.

Towanna M. Brinkley was found dead in her Virginia apartment in 2003. Law enforcement officials found her shoved into a closet after responding to a fire call at the residence on Sundown Lane. Neighbors told authorities that they heard a scream about nine hours before the fire broke out. Police believed that the screams came from the victim. First responders stated that Arthur Lee Sanford told them he had been knocked unconscious by intruders. Sanford, who sustained burns in the fire was transported to an area hospital. After his release, Sanford disappeared and tried to stay under the radar.

Towanna’s family members say that Arthur Lee Sanford was a dangerous person who should’ve never been allowed in her life. They tried to warn her that Sanford had been convicted of murder years earlier, but she believed that Arthur had changed, and that he was the “perfect” man for her. What captured her was his intelligence. Arthur Sanford was smart and very articulate. Prison records show that Arthur had been convicted of murdering a previous girlfriend in 1983. In that case, his girlfriend, Shirley Cook, was also stabbed to death about 13 times in the chest. Her teenage son witnessed the murder. For that crime, Arthur Sanford served almost 20 years in prison. He had only been out or prison for eight months when he met Towanna Brinkley, according to The Daily Press.

Prosecutors believed that Arthur Sanford had most likely argued with Towanna before he stabbed her to death. An autopsy report indicates that the victim was stabbed 17 times in the chest. By all accounts Towanna Brinkley was a sweet and caring single mother who loved her son dearly. According to family members, she was not the type of person who to become embroiled in fights. For the rest, watch Fatal Attraction Monday night at 10/9 central to see how Virginia investigators brought the killer to justice. TV One recently aired Fatal Attraction episodes related to the deaths of Leslie Davis and Laqecia Herring.

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