~ 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.

~ 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.

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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