~ Art Imitating Life?? ~

Ethan’s article is definitely making the rounds and has generated a great deal of interest to other journalists.  Below are links to two recent articles that discuss possible parallels with the new HBO series True Detective (which I have not watched yet).

From the New York Observer:  Did the Jeff Davis 8 Inspire True Detective?

The similarities between this high-profile case and the otherwise overly-complicated weirdness of True Detective is no coincidence. Creator and sole writer Nic Pizzolatto grew up 30 minutes away from Jennings in Lake Charles, LA, where the cases were covered extensively by local media.

From uproxx.com:  ‘True Detective,’ The Jeff Davis 8, And The 5 Horsemen Theory

Earlier this month, Medium published a very lengthy, fascinating, and engrossing piece by Ethan Brown on the Jeff Davis 8, the unsolved murders from 1995 to 2010 of 8 women from Jeff Davis Parish, crimes that have long been connected to a serial killer. Before the piece, there was some suggestion that Nic Pizzolatto had perhaps gotten inspiration for True Detective from the Jeff Davis 8, and as a huge twist emerged in the narrative of the real-life case, the connection it has to True Detective has picked up more steam.

~Ethan Brown – The Jefferson Davis 8 Documents ~

The Jefferson Davis 8 Documents

From 2005 to 2009, eight women—all mired in the local sex and drug trade—were murdered in southwestern Louisiana. A federal-state-and-local taskforce has pursued a theory that this is the handiwork of a serial killer, and all the killings remain unsolved. But Ethan Brown’smulti-year investigation has raised serious doubts about such a theory and about the conduct and possible involvement of local law enforcement. Here are some of his case files.

Read more at link.

~ Ethan Brown – The Jefferson Davis 8 Documents ~

By:  Ethan Brown in The Jeff Davis 8 Killings

My Investigation Into the Jeff Davis 8 Murders

A look at the documents that informed the story

Through numerous records requests under Louisiana’s Public Records Act to the Louisiana State Police, the Jefferson Davis Parish District Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Jennings Police Department, I received thousands of pages of records ranging Sheriff’s Office incident reports and personnel files to District Attorney case files. Excerpts are now available here.

More at link.

~ Who Killed the Jeff Davis 8? ~

Who Killed the Jeff Davis 8?

Article by:  Author and Investigative Journalist, Ethan Brown

A serial killer has allegedly been preying on Louisiana prostitutes. But a new investigation reveals a far scarier theory.

Over the past two years, I have obtained and reviewed hundreds of pages of task force witness interviews, the homicide case files on several of the victims, the Jeff Davis Parish sheriff’s office’s and Jeff Davis Parish district attorney’s files on all of the victims, federal and state court records, and the complete personnel files of the cops and sheriff’s deputies at the center of the case. I have interviewed friends and family of all of eight victims, as well as some of the possible suspects.

The details of the Jeff Davis 8 case can be murky; the connections between victims, suspects, and police tangled. My investigation, however, casts serious doubt on the theory that the Jeff Davis 8 is the work of a serial killer.

One fact is clear: local law enforcement is far too steeped in misconduct and corruption—and this extends to the task force, which is dominated by detectives and deputies from the sheriff’s office—to run an investigation with the integrity that the murdered women and their families deserve after nearly a decade in which no one has been brought to justice.

Read article in it’s entirety here.

~ Jennings 8: Unsolved Murders Haunt Town, Police ~

Jennings 8: Unsolved murders haunt town, police

wwltv.com
Special Investigation
Posted on January 30, 2014 at 10:30 PM
Updated Friday, Jan 31 at 9:15 AM

In south central Louisiana, in a small town on the edge of Cajun country, a string of eight young women were murdered between 2005 and 2009.

They all knew each other. Some were related by blood, others shared apartments; they frequented the same bars and low-rent motels. They used – and abused – drugs together.

And one-by-one, they all became murder victims.

Their killings have gained national notoriety, often portrayed as the work of a serial killer. But police documents obtained by WWL-TV suggest a very different – and potentially more sinister – theory: that police somehow were involved in the killings.

A wide range of circumstances have fueled the rumors that police have blood on their hands, whether with a direct hand in the violence or by covering up the horrible acts of others.

The speculation starts with one basic fact shared by the victims. Each of the murders remains unsolved.

Given the violent nature of the murders and the hasty manner in which the bodies were dumped, the lack of progress in solving the cases seems suspicious to many local residents.

Read entire article at WWLTV.  Video included at that link.

~ Former Jennings Police Chief Accused Of Stealing From Evidence Room (Updated) ~

Johnny Lassiter

Recent updates:

11/14/13 Former Jennings police chief pleads guilty to malfeasance in office (American Press)

A former Jennings police chief pleaded guilty Thursday in district court to two counts of malfeasance stemming from the theft of drugs and money from the Police Department’s evidence room.

Lassiter was arrested in January after a state police audit found that drugs and money were missing from the Police Department’s evidence room.

District Attorney Michael Cassidy said $4,000 in cash, more than 1,800 pills, marijuana and codeine were missing from the evidence room.

“Only two people had keys to the evidence room — Mr. Lassiter and Chief Todd D’Albor.

Lassiter admitted taking the pills and tampering with evidence, Cassidy said.  His actions may have affected nearly 72 criminal cases, he said.

9/18/13 Court date reset for former Jennings police chief (American Press)

Johnny Lassiter, 52, was to appear Monday in 31st Judicial Court, but the trial was reset for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 14. Lassiter remains in an out-of-parish rehab facility undergoing treatment, District Attorney Michael Cassidy said.

He was arrested in January on theft and malfeasance charges after an audit of the department’s evidence room found that several items, including drugs, were missing.

Lassiter pleaded guilty to theft over $1,500, malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice charges in March. A charge of injuring public records has been dismissed.

He resigned as a police officer on Jan. 8, just three days before his arrest.

≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡

Former Jennings Police Chief, Johnny Lassiter, has been arrested and is being held on a $100,00 bond at the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center “for safety reasons”.

News Release – Region
Troop D
January 11, 2013

Former Jennings Police Officer Arrested

Jennings – Earlier this month, the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations assisted the Jennings Police Department with an audit of their evidence room. Our assistance was requested in order to have an independent agency present in order to ensure the integrity of the process after discrepancies were discovered by the Jennings Police Department.

During the processing of the evidence, it was determined that items were missing. A joint criminal investigation conducted by State Police and Jennings Police Department investigators revealed that 52-year-old Johnny Lassiter had taken items from the evidence room.

Lassiter had been employed as a police officer by the Jennings Police Department until his resignation on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

On January 11, 2013, Troopers arrested Lassiter for theft over $1,500, malfeasance in office, obstruction of justice, and injuring public records. Lassiter was booked into the Jefferson Davis Parish Jail then transferred to the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center for safety reasons.

Lassiter is being held on a $100,000 bond. The investigation is continuing.

LINKS:
http://www.katc.com/news/former-jennings-police-chief-accused-of-stealing-from-evidence-room/

http://www.americanpress.com/Former-Jennings-officer-facing-numerous-charges

http://www.kplctv.com/story/20568391/former-jennings-police-officer-arrested

http://www.kplctv.com/story/13005930/jennings-police-chief-reportedly-stepping-down

http://www.kplctv.com/story/13017717/jennings-police-chief-takes-voluntary-demotion

http://www.kplctv.com/story/11737933/police-investigator-swabbed-for-dna-in-jeff-davis-case

http://www.kplctv.com/story/10927506/deputy-fired-over-missing-funds

~ BRUTAL BAYOU ~

(Update 3/4/12:  Episode can be viewed here)

The JDP 8 unsolved female murders will be featured on Investigation Discovery’s new series, Dark Minds on Wednesday, February 29th, 10pm (check local listing for correct time zone).  The episode is titled BRUTAL BAYOU and below is the synopsis of the upcoming program:

Jennings, Louisiana is the largest city in Jefferson Davis Parish, about halfway between Houston and New Orleans. Around 11,000 people call this quiet rural town home, and nearly a third of the population lives below the poverty line. Continue reading

~ New Info Surfaces in Muggy Brown Case ~

According to the February 12, 2012 edition of the Jennings Daily News, police recently obtained new information on the Muggy Brown murder case. There’s not really too much information in the article but I’m posting a snippet below.

~ JDP Violent Crimes Synopsis ~

This is a cross-post from the jdpkiller discussion forum .  You have to be a member to read there but, out of the kindness of my heart, I am posting it here as well.  Long time commenter and retired Chicago PD Officer, Ketchum, compiled this chronological time line and synopsis from her own investigation as well as from various media sources.  Her synopsis is alarming not only in length but content as well.  I don’t know what the rest of you will think, but…..the list boggles my mind.  I find the amount and types of crimes and arrests excessive and many seem ‘violent’.  The fact that so many remain unsolved is unsettling.  Get comfy cause it’s a looooooong read!!!

Continue reading

~ A Serial Killer in Jennings, Louisiana – Part 12 ~

Behind The Yellow Tape – A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 12

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. Continue reading

~ A Serial Killer in Jennings, Louisiana – Part 8 ~

Behind The Yellow Tape – A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 8

Host:  Joey Ortega
Guest
:  Murphy Lewis (spouse of 1st victim Loretta Chaisson Lewis)
Airdate:  Fri, Jul 29, 2011

Recap of the show:

Murphy Lewis returned to the show for a second time to continue discussion about his wife’s unsolved case.  When asked why he had waited so long to speak publicly about his wife’s death and why now, Murphy explained that since he had no answers about her death he felt it was just wiser to stay out of the media.  He was also concerned that speaking out might have traumatized his children, who are his top priority, even further.  He also explained that the social climate has changed since the deaths began occurring and people are less trusting and concerned that law enforcement is not exposing evidence related to the deaths.

Joey asked Lewis what he thought had happened to his wife since he knew her better than anyone.  Continue reading

~ A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 7 ~

 

Guest:  Murphy Lewis (spouse of 1st victim Loretta Chaisson Lewis)
Host:  Joey Ortega
Airdate:  Fri, Jul 22, 2011

Recap of the show:

For the first time, after six years of silence, Murphy Lewis, the husband of Loretta Chaisson Lewis made a decision to speak publicly about his wife and her death.  Loretta, who is believed to be the first victim in a series of 8 unsolved deaths/murders in Jeff Davis Parish, was found May 20, 2005 floating in the east fork of the Grand Marais Canal a few miles southwest of Jennings.

Murphy was at work when he first learned that his wife might be deceased.  His mother had begun to hear rumors that a female body had been found and that it might be Loretta.  His mother picked him up from work and they began to check into the rumor but they would have no answers until four days later when law enforcement finally advised the family they had gotten a positive identification that the body was indeed Loretta’s. Continue reading

~ A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 6 ~

Behind The Yellow Tape – A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 6

Guest Dr. Maurice Godwin
Host Joey Ortega
Fri, Jul 1, 2011

Recap of the show:

Profiler, Dr. Maurice Godwin, was hired early in the investigation to look into the multiple, unsolved, mysterious deaths of several women in Jeff Davis Parish Louisiana. Questions have arisen as to whether the deaths are the work of a lone killer or if there are multiple killers. This show concentrates on whittling down some of the theories and Dr. Godwin provides a brief background about criminal profiling. A “profile”….be it geographic or psychological, is an investigative tool. It is not intended as a method of solving a crime but as a “tool” to focus an investigation.

Psychological profiling is based on crime scene behaviors only. Generally, the public does not understand that what is done to a body, the location of the body and the interpretation of those behaviors (or lack of behaviors at the crime scene) “paint a picture” of the type of individual who is committing the crimes. Continue reading

~ A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 2 ~


Behind The Yellow Tape – A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 2

Guests Kirk Menard & Stacy Dittrich
Host Joey Ortega
Thu, Jun 2, 2011

Recap of the show:

Kirk got involved in the cases approximately a few weeks before 7th victim Brittney Gary went missing. He was hired by 3 family members, is still active in the investigation and handles all 3 cases collectively. He was hired to do what family members felt Sheriff Edwards and his task force would not, or could not do, which is find and catch the killer(s). Asked by Joey if he was convinced these are serial killer cases, Kirk stated that he believes so based on the geographic profile and where the bodies were located. He believes there are one…..or a few…..of the same common offenders responsible.

Kirk explained that initially, LE thought he was was doing more harm than good to the investigation because he was a 3rd party and was not privy to any “inside” information. He clarified he was hired by family members for information gathering purposes only. His task was, and still is, to gather information “on the streets” from people that are skeptical or hesitant about contacting LE Continue reading

~ Break The Silence ~

For those of you that may not be aware, there was recently an excellently written Jennings Daily News editorial titled, The people of Welsh need to make a decision.  Although it is directed to the citizens of Welsh, I believe the message is applicable to ALL of Jeff Davis Parish considering the number of unsolved crimes and, particularly the many unsolved murders plaguing the communities there.

 The following excerpts from the editorial are the ones that stood out most to me and I hope they make a big impact on those of you that read them as well:

 It doesn’t take one person to decide the fate of a town; it takes everyone inside that town.

 If one person has information about any type of crime but refuses to share that information, they are allowing the problems to continue. They are allowing those people who choose to make others’ lives miserable the chance to cause even more chaos. It’s understandable to fear retaliation from those people and their friends and family. But it’s not okay to allow your town to continue crumbling under that fear. Continue reading

~ Jesse Ewing To Run For JDP Sheriff Position ~

Former Jennings City Police Sergeant, Jesse Ewing, has announced his intent to run for Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff.

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) -

He was fired from his job as Jennings Police Sergeant after he turned over criminal evidence to a civilian without permission from his supervisors. Now, Jesse Ewing wants to be sheriff of Jeff Davis Parish.

Ewing admits his history in law enforcement is not only his biggest asset, since  it shows he has experience; it could also be his biggest challenge, as he tries to overcome public perception that he was a dirty cop. Continue reading

~ Synopsis On BTYT Episode 1 – Godwin & Dittrich ~

I posted a synopsis of the first Behind The Yellow Tape – A Serial Killer In Jennings – Part 1 on the JDP Killer discussion forum and thought I’d repost it here on the blog for those of you that don’t follow the discussion forum or may have not had the opportunity to listen to the show.  I thought the show was great and agree with many that a 1-hour show would be even nicer and allow listeners time to call in.  Parts of the discussion that I found particularly interesting: Continue reading

~ Reminder ~

Quick reminder…..the Behind The Yellow Tape broadcast airs tomorrow night at 10pm (CDT).  Be sure to tune in!!!

~ Unexpected Surprise (5/6/11 update)~

I received an unexpected surprise when I logged on to my facebook account this afternoon!  It was an invite to a new blog radio show called Behind The Yellow Tape.  The reason I was particularly surprised, and now excited, is because the pilot broadcast will be an overview and discussion about the eight unsolved female murders in Jeff Davis Parish.  Special guest will be psychological and geographic profiler, Dr. Maurice Godwin.  Listeners are invited to call in with questions for Dr. Godwin. Continue reading

~ Remembrance Memorial ~

Staff from The Advertiser were in Jennings April 6th to document and photograph family and friends of the 8 female murder victims as they gathered in remembrance of their loved ones.   Members of a group named Parents of Murdered Children were also in attendance to offer their support to family members.

The memorial was organized by Paul Nixon (Kodiak Productions), who began work on a documentary about  Jennings, and  the unsolved murders, over a year and a half ago with the hope that continued coverage of the cases would re-ignite interest in them. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers

%d bloggers like this: