Host: Joey Ortega
Guest: Kirk Menard & Michael Dubois
Airdate: Fri, Sep 16, 2011
A little ‘disclaimer’ prior to the re-cap…..due to my own time constraints lately, the following was basically typed out without much regard to sentence structure, grammar or punctuation. In other words…..it’s rather raw. None-the-less, I trust that all reading will get the full gist of the interview. I was ‘alerted’ via several emails, AND phone calls, that if I hadn’t listened to this particular show yet….I REALLY needed to soon. It took me a little longer than I would have liked it to but, I did finally listen to it. I have to say, those that ‘alerted’ me about the show WERE right! Parts of it were quite surprising and really ‘eye opening’ and some of it rather shocking I must say. As always, besides my feeble, typed re-cap….you can listen to the show in it’s entirety and verbatim at the link provided above.
Recap of the show:
Joey Ortega was joined on this show by Michael Dubois (brother of 4th victim Whitnei Dubois) who has stirred up controversy in his own right. People have questioned whether Mike was looking for publicity or if he really was on a “crusade” to find his sister’s killer.
Kirk Menard mentions that his end of the investigation has slowed down somewhat due to the upcoming Sheriff election. There is concern that whatever tips might be submitted at this time might fall on “deaf ears” until a candidate is in office. He does still have one employee that works undercover in an attempt to continue to gather information. His agency still submits any new tips/leads to the Task Force but now just pretty much gets a “thank you” whereas in the past (prior to the election in progress) they might be asked to try to gather more info on the tip…..go back to the source and ask additional questions. KM was more or less kept at a distance prior to submitting his DNA sample and feels that after he was ‘cleared’ the TF pulled him in closer and at times, even emailed him for information…..and that they were willing to taking any information they could get.
MD continues to “hit the streets” with KM and when he’s not with KM he is “hitting the streets” on his own and tries to follow up on everything he hears. As mentioned earlier though, info is slow to come in due to the election as well as the ongoing ‘fear’ people have about ‘talking’. People are so afraid of retaliation their lips are getting “tighter” and “tighter”. Intimidation is used to discourage people from ‘talking’.
Joey asks “intimidation from who”? MD says “from LE”. They do not want people talking to anyone other than them if they have info on the cases. Some of the things that come out LE just doesn’t want to hear because sometimes it’s info that’s damaging to LE themselves.
Mike explains that he got more involved in the investigation because of the murder of his sister, 4th victim Whitnei Dubois. He felt LE wasn’t doing enough, people were hesitant to speak with them and did not trust them. He found though that as he searched for information regarding Whitnei’s death, he began to learn information regarding the unsolved deaths/murders of several other females in Jennings.
JO asked MD if he felt LE corruption and/or incompetence might be slowing down and/or hindering the investigations. MD said he didn’t want to “play into” the big conspiracy theories that are out there but that he does believe there is a lot of corruption and ineptness in local LE and believes that is a very big part of the problem as far as the investigations. He feels the corruption dates back many, many years and a lot of people just want to “turn a blind eye” to it.
KM explains that at one point, not too long ago, because the crime rate was so out of control, the LA State Police were sent into Jennings to assist local LE. He mentions that even now LSP can occasionally be seen patrolling the area. He does not know if outside assistance was needed due to lack of local manpower or due to lack of experience. Another JDP town, Welsh, has recently had to call in the LSP as well to assist in crime control. KM alludes to just how bad, and out of control, the crime is in those two quite small communities that it became necessary to request outside assistance.
At one point MD had drawn up a list of unsolved JDP murders, which at the time totaled 13. He described the cases as just basically collecting dust. JO asked if there ha been any movement in any of the cases and MD replied there has been none that he’s aware of…..nobody speaks of them or says much about them. He wants justice for the 8 murdered women but realizes the families of other murder victims would like to know their cases are being worked as well.
Dubois believes investigators are at a standstill with all of the cases though and are not sure what to do at this point. He does not understand why local authorities would request outside assistance to help control crime in the area yet, are hesitant to bring in outside assistance to aid in investigating the numerous unsolved murders. KM concurs that the homicide investigations do appear to be at a standstill.
MD says that when it comes to the ‘Task Force’, his personal opinion is that there is no so called Task Force…..there may be 1-2 individuals actively working the cases but that’s it. That has been one of Dubois’ biggest issues with the Sheriff and the way the investigations have been handled. He asks the question, “where is our Task Force”? He feels a lot of the victim families don’t even know who their detectives are on the Task Force or have even heard from them. Mike cites Murphy Lewis (spouse of 1st victim Loretta Chaisson Lewis) as an example. Investigators did not speak with Murphy until several years after the death of his wife.
Mike stated that he frequently passes by the Task Force (TF) headquarters but doesn’t notice any activity there. He asks again, “where is the Task Force” and what does it consist of? Initially there were 12-18 people assigned to the TF which sounded great and looked good on paper but now, where are they……what are they doing….are they working day and night?
JO told Mike that he continues his attempts to contact Sheriff Edwards regarding the TF because all other contacts he has made direct him back to the Sheriff for answers. Each time JO has contacted the New Orleans FBI field office, who were at least initially involved as per the one and only TF press conference, he has to explain the case and why he’s calling. There does not appear to be one FBI Agent in charge of the JDP cases. They will not answer the simple questions, “is the TF still around”, “how many are on the TF”? They direct JO to contact Ricky Edwards who will not return JO’s calls.
Dubois says that while the FBI may have, and possibly still do, provide outside resources to local investigators…..as far as he’s aware, there are no FBI agents in the JDP area actively questioning local residents about the murders.
Kirk brings up the point that Acadia Parish LE is actively involved in investigating because 8th victim, Necole Guillory, was found in that parish. KM has personally spoken with several witnesses/family about Necole’s death and most all of those people have told him that the Acadia Parish lead detective remains in regular contact with them. Whereas he finds just the opposite in JDP and people telling him detectives have not contacted them. Kirk says it’s interesting the difference between the two parish’s investigations.
On the subject of Necole Guillory, JO mentions that she was a first cousin of former JDPSO Jail Warden, Terrie Guillory. Terrie’s ex-wife, Paula Guillory, was a law enforcement officer as well and at one time was assigned to the Task Force investigating the murders. Joey also mentions that Terrie was one of the officers that responded to the call when Mike’s sister’s body was discovered on a gravel road. Mike says he wasn’t sure about that but Joey says that he was looking at the police report and it reflects that Terrie was on the scene. Kirk adds that Terrie Guillory can be seen in newspaper photographs that were taken at the crime scene.
Mike states that it’s interesting about Terrie because he has a very “shady reputation” around ‘there’ as far as being involved with a “lot” of the girls. He believes Terrie’s interest in the cases were beyond just interest as a law enforcement officer and there seems to be a lot of red flags concerning him. A lot of “the girls” have said that when they were being released from jail Terrie would give them his phone number and tell them to call him and he would tell them he wanted to come see them (not in a law enforcement capacity).
Joey says that he’s heard similar rumors about Guillory but in all fairness, reiterates at this point they are just rumors. There was a recent rape accusation against Guillory however after further investigation, it was determined that allegation was false and charges were subsequently file against Guillory’s accuser. Joey has contacted Guillory about coming on the radio show and hopes he will consider the invitation to tell his side of the story.
JO finds that although Guillory is not directly involved in the murder investigations, his name does seem to come up frequently. Mike says even though Guillory wasn’t involved in the investigation he was, on his own, taking in witnesses and questioning them on video and audio recordings. Mike and another unnamed person were brought into CID at one time and were questioned by Guillory and Dubois felt the questioning should have been conducted by a detective rather than the Jail Warden, Terrie Guillory. Afterwards, Mike began to have some suspicion about Guillory was the one questioning him and the other witness. Joey asked Mike what Guillory’s line of questioning was. He said they were asked about things they knew about girls “on the streets” and about the murders. In Mike’s opinion, Terrie’s MAIN line of questioning seemed to focus on if any of the girls had spoken about Terrie personally….if any of them had mentioned about meeting him in specific places.
Kirk believes there is substance to Mike’s opinion of Terrie’s peculiar line of questioning because according to one of his “sources”, Terrie, as well as ex-wife Paula, were seen frequently visiting what Kirk referred to as a “hot house”. He doesn’t know what they were doing there but……they were seen there on several occasions. Joey said he could understand why Paula might have been at the “hot house” since she was on the TF at one time and was in LE but that he was more concerned about why a jail warden (Terrie) would be hanging out there. Also why he would be questioning the bereaved brother of one of the victims and wanting to know if his sister, or other females, talked about him (Terrie) to Mike or the other witness.
Mike and his mother were the last family members to see his sister, Whitnei, alive and provided a brief recap of her movements at that time. She was at his house on May 10, 2007, during the day and brought clothes she needed to launder, took a bath, ate a meal and then spent a few hours visiting with her mom, Mike, and his girlfriend. She did leave the house at one point but came back later that night. Mike was asleep in bed when his mother woke him up around 1-2 am. She was crying and said that Whitnei had come back to the house, stayed for a little while and that Whitnei had stolen her mother’s medicine and then left. Mike’s mother stored her medicine in a little pouch she kept up under her pillow.
Mike got out of bed and looked around for the medicine and determined that the meds and Whitnei were indeed gone. As far as he knows, she left his house, walked around the block one street over to where Frankie Richard lived and that’s the last place they knew she had gone. Frankie has also admitted in a KPLC-TV interview that was publicly aired that he indeed saw Whitnei “a few hours before her death or before she was found” whatever that is supposed to mean time line wise.
The family did not hear from Whitnei at all the following day (May 11) which was not unusual as it was common not to hear from her 1-2 days at a time. The following morning (May 12) two detectives (one being Jason Chretien – Dubois couldn’t remember who the other was) and the JDP Coroner (Richard Dupont) came to the house to let the family know that Whitnei had been found dead earlier that morning at approximately 7:30 am.
Joey asked Mike if he remembered what the meal was they had eaten with Whitnei on the day they last saw her. He said his memory was foggy on that detail since it had been so long ago but that if he remembered correctly, it was a smothered chicken dish and likely they had rice with it. Joey confirmed, based on information he has, this was correct…..that Whitnei had “intact” grains of rice and chunks of white meat consistent with chicken in her stomach according to the autopsy. Joey mentions that although he is not an expert in digestion, the autopsy finding seems to suggest that Whitnei died not long after that meal…..likely within hours of having last been at her family’s house.
Kirk mentions that he was told by one witness that had seen Whitnei earlier in the day, same day she was at her family’s house, that she was told by the JDPSO that they had LOST the written witness statement she had previously submitted. The witness did not feel like going back to the JDPSO and writing another statement. Kirk also got a call from another witness…..the person that actually found 7th victim Brittney Gary, saying that he had picked up some type of little railroad medallion beside Brittney’s body which he gave to one of the detectives at the scene. The witness had received a call from one of the detectives telling him that that evidence (the medallion) had been lost as well. That particular witness also told Kirk & Mike that he was told by LE to leave town and never come back!!!
Mike recounts going back out to scene where Brittney was found along with Kirk and the man that found Brittney’s body. The witness went through the details with them of where he found her, how she was placed, etc. He also told them that after authorities investigating the scene had left that day, he went back out to the scene with another person and they found a couple of evidence bags sitting on the gravel road that investigators had neglected to take with them prior to leaving the scene. The witness and gathered the bags and brought them to the JDPSO and told them they had left the bags sitting in the road. That’s when the witness was told to leave the area and NOT come back!!! (WOW……my comment!!!!)
It was discussed between Joey and Kirk WHO was in charge of evidence at the time; namely Warren Gary, and additionally that Warren Gary also had been charged with an “ethics violation” in regards to purchasing (and quickly re-selling) a vehicle that was thought to have been used in the transport of 3rd victim, Kristen Gary Lopez’s body. There was also another very quick mention of other evidence being lost in some type of flood in the area where evidence was stored by LE.
This was not included in the discussion but I did want to add that Paula Guillory, who was on the TF at the time, was also accused of stealing, tampering, compromising??? evidence related to the arrest of Frankie Richard and family, in a case not directly connected to the murder investigations but, ultimately led to an ‘outside’ investigation and her subsequent firing from the JPD. The outcome of that investigation has never been made public (translation = swept under the rug). My personal question is ….. was Warren Gary in charge of evidence at that time as well?
One other subject that was brought up during the interview/discussion was about the well known television show, America’s Most Wanted. While it may have been widely known that producer’s of that show were interested in featuring a segment about the unsolved JDP murders…..what is not as widely known is that Sheriff Edwards refused to cooperate with producers thus resulting in AMW only posting about the crimes on their website versus them being able to highlight the crimes, in more detail, on their popular, weekly and nationally televised show!!!