Lake Waco Murders


We would like to welcome to the club are most recent patriot supporters, Juliet and Shany's thank you so much for your support explicit content is found in this episode. Listener discretion is advised. Welcome back to the true crime fan club podcast. I'm your host Laney. When you think of Waco, Texas, you might think of the controversial college Baylor, or maybe you think of the home improvement show starring chip and Joanna Gaines, if you're a true crime listener and reader, you've likely heard of one of the most brutal murders to occur in the small city. Okay. On the show. Today. Waco, Texas is infamously known as the city where the ATF confronted religious cold called the Branch Davidians that led to a fifty one day standoff. The standoff ended after fire broke out and the Branch Davidian compound and seventy six men women and children were killed in the inferno. The way the ATF handled. The situation has sparked many discussions on government, overreach and law enforcement tactics. But it's not the only case from Waco that has led to philosophical musings the lake Waco murders of nineteen eighty two initially seem like straightforward case. But after the exoneration of one of the men sent to death row for the murders were left with questions about the initial investigation the convictions and about the death penalty. The summer of nineteen eighty two was a violent one for the city of Waco about a dozen people had already been killed that year in the city of one hundred thousand including two cops who had been gunned down the month before. However, if the only thing you knew about Waco was that it had a lake then you would think it was an ideal paradise lake Waco lies just inside the western border of the city. The Jill blue lake was created in nineteen thirty when the boss key river was dammed. Now, the lake is bordered by six parks with white sand beaches, the largest of the parks was speeco Ville, and it was a wonderful place to hike fish and camp. It was also the place where the bodies of eighteen year old Kenneth parks. Seventeen year old raylene rice an eighteen year old chill? Montgomery were found Jilin Kenna meta waco's Methodist children's home both suffered from dyslexia and cause trouble. At school and home the homeless opposed to help them get back on track for a while the pair dated, but we're later just friends right before her death. Jill had returned to her family home. However, she wanted to travel back to Waco in order to get some records from the Methodist home as well as pick up her final paycheck from being a tour guide at fort Fisher, her friend raylene offered to Dr Jill to Waco and her orange Ford Pinto on the day of the murder the girls picked up Kenneth from his father's house. It was Kennedy's father. Who would file a missing persons report with the police wants his son did not return home the next day today? We know that the men and women investigating crimes are just as important to take into consideration as the evidence they collect in a perfect world. Investigators would put aside their biases and look at every crime scene with an impartial. I, but we live in a far from perfect world. So when. A case becomes controversial. Like this one. Every person involved is put under a microscope patrol sergeant Truman Simon's would ultimately be the police officer most associated with the initial investigation of this crime officer Simon's was someone who even while his peers were moving into desk jobs love to work on the streets solving crime gave him purpose. And he was dedicated to that purpose. He was also someone who preferred to work alone. So he was able to follow his gut instincts and not have to explain himself to anyone around six thirty PM on July fourteenth officer Simon's responded to a call of a body that was found at speak Ville park near lake Waco, two men who were looking for a place to fish came upon what they thought was a mannequin propped up against a tree but upon closer inspection it became clear. It was a dead, man. The body was that of Kenneth Franks who had been. Reported missing earlier that day. Can it's orange shirt was covered in blood from the multiple stab wounds. He had an his chest. He was gagged with his hands bound behind his back. Whoever left him there had but his half tinted aviators back on his face. Officers looked at the photo of Kenneth that came with his report and felt confident that they had found him officers had a sinking feeling can it's missing persons report indicated that there should have been two young women from waxahachie with him officer Simon's took charge an order the other officers and deputies at the scene to spread out and begin searching. It didn't take long for the officers to find the body of raylene rice about seventy five feet away. She was naked except for her bra which was tied around her, right leg. Her hands were tied behind her back. And she was gagged she also had been stabbed repeatedly close by officers. Notice a bent knee rising above the weeds the knee belong to Jill Montgomery, like raylene. She was naked bound gagged and had been stabbed multiple times. Unlike raylene her throat had been slashed the autopsies of the victims painted a clear picture of what happened to them. Kenneth suffered twenty stab and cutting wounds in his left neck and chest the instrument used on him was a single edged blade between one half and three fourth inch wide and four to five inches in length. The overall direction of the wounds were from above downward from front to back and slightly from left to right. His blood alcohol level was zero point zero for nine percent and his drug screen was negative. It was concluded that Kenneth died from multiple stab wounds with wounds one through eleven causing the most significant internal injuries and hemorrhage raylene had eleven. Stab wounds on her neck and chest the blade that was used on. Her was the same as ably used on Kenneth and Jill she also had a bridges on her. Right. Thigh and her right labia majora, and my Nora there were also contusions found on the interior wall of her vagina like Jill railings rape kit was negative for Jackie relation. But it's clear that both women were sexually assaulted by the injury sustained to their vaginas. Release blood alcohol level was zero point zero four five percent and her drug screen was negative. It was concluded that she died from multiple stab wounds on her neck and chest. Jill had three cutting moons on her neck and fourteen stab wounds in the left. Chest. Jill also had five cutting wounds on her right hand and fingers which seemed to me to be defensive wounds. The bleed that cost her wounds was the same as the one used on Kenneth. There was a red contusion on her vagina. But her rape kit was negative for Jackie relation. Her blood alcohol. Level was Ciro point zero one three percent in her drug screen was negative. It was concluded that Jill died as a result of the multiple cutting and stab wounds in her left chest and neck from the start there requestioned about the crime scene. Detectives learned from Kennedy's father that the girls had picked him up the day before. But after that there were no sightings of the trio. Police had no idea why the bodies were found on the other side of the lake where Ray leans car was parked. Police found empty beer cans next to her car. But could not lift any fingerprints aggressor around the girls bodies was flattened as if there was a struggle. But there was no murder weapon and very little blood. There was also no evidence of a boat or tire tracks that could show police how the body's got their police were baffled by the lack of evidence officer Dennis buyer would leader say as a police department. We were totally unprepared for the complexity of this case the murder shocked Waco PD who had rarely seen a scene so bloody and sadistic officers Simon's kept coming back to jill's body. His instincts told him that she was the main target, and that is how he intended to focus his unofficial investigation. The death of the three teenagers. Also shocked the community who woke to headlines from the Waco tribune-herald reading man to teenage girls found stabbed death at lake park. Police say bodies. Bound girls nude the murders caused panic and Waco with some believing. The murders were the work of Satan worshippers Waco PD wanted to solve the case quickly in order to quell the worries of their citizens. The case was assigned to PD Lieutenant Marvin Horton who was ahead of a seven-man task force investigating the murders. They were bombarded with hundreds of tips for days. It seemed like their phones never stopped ringing. But none of the tips ever panned out. Despite not being officially assigned to the case officer Simon spent his free time at the lake searching, the woods and talking to people. This didn't surprise the other officers officer Simon's was known to be of very dedicated policeman. Especially with cases that affected him officer Simon's found out a few weeks later after looking at the case file on another officer's desk that the case had gone inactive investigators had developed a few suspects. But there was not enough evidence to make any arrests when he saw the case was going cold officer Simon's asked chief, Scott if he could take over the case, the two men had a history and did not like each other. But officer Simon's made a very convincing argument to chief Scott and because the case had to be solved quickly. The chief agreed officer Simon's would have the case solved in oheka. Week the next day officer Simon's along with officer Dennis buyer pulled all the police reports about the case and began to comb through them. They wanted to make sure that all leads were exhausted before they moved on. It wouldn't take them long before they came across a tip from seventeen year old. Lisa cater who had lived with Kenneth and Jill at the Methodist home. Lisa had pointed the finger at Muneer deed, a twenty three year old immigrant from Jordan. Who had ran a convenience store across the street from the Methodist home Monnier walked with a limp, and was nicknamed lucky officer Simon's and buyer looked into this lead. They found out that there had been an altercation between Kenneth and Muneer. Kenneth had come into manure stored curse at him using racial epithets and to make fun of his limp. The source of his anger was sixteen year old Gill Kelly, another teenager at the Methodist home Gail often frequented Muneer. Store and Muneer developed a crush on the girl the feelings were not mutual the officers also heard from several witnesses that after finding out Kenneth was murdered Muneer laughed and said he was glad the boy was dead. Later that afternoon officer Simon's and buyer track down Gail in order to interview her during the interview officer Simon's asking if anyone had ever told her she looked like Jill Gail nodded. But officer buyer would later admit that he didn't see the resemblance still this detail was something officer Simon's would mentally file away later that night. A frantic Gail called officer Simon screaming he did it. He did it after composing herself. Guilt old officer Simon set Muneer took her and a friend to a gory movie afterwards, he confessed that he killed Kenneth Jill. And Ray lean though he apologized and said, he was joking Gail. Didn't believe him the next morning officers Simon's called chief Scott with the information he received from Gail he wanted to move in on manure as soon as possible because he was scared Muneer would flee the state seeing as the Bank was currently closing on this. Home despite his partners confidence. Officer buyer didn't share the same enthusiasm. He didn't think there was enough evidence to arrest manure and several other investigators agreed with him chief, Scott ultimately agreed with officer Simon's and Mugniyah was brought in for questioning that night. Muneer was shocked by the accusation and proclaimed his innocence. But this did not deter officer Simon's from getting the information. He wanted. He believes them near was too small to commit the crime by himself. So before his interview with the near officers Simon's gone back in touch with Lisa and Astor, if she could think of anyone who would have committed the crime with Muneer Lisa told officer Simon's about a man known as chilly real name, David Spence who was a mean. Biker guy who hung out in years convenience store back to the interrogation officer Simon's asked Mounier if he knew David and manure said, yes officers. Emmons new then he had his man. While he was on break. From the interview officer Simon was approached by Sergeant Robert fortune, another investigator on the case surgeon fortune new David's bents, he had just been arrested with his friend Gilbert Melendez for cutting teenage boy on the leg, and then forcing him to perform oral sex on Gilbert because David was arrested for a violent crime that involved a knife and sexual assault. He felt more sure that he was on the right track. A theory began to form in his mind one that would influence the rest of the investigation officer Simon's believe the true target was Gail but attack Jill by accident because they looked alike raylene in Kenneth were just collateral damage. Officer Simon's was convinced Muneer cracker pressure and confess instead maneuvers family hired a lawyer his lawyer push for a polygraph test and officer Simon's agreed after three hours of testing the polygraph operator concluded that Mugniyah engaged. No deception officer Simon's was humiliated by the result. How could he have been so wrong? Officer Simon's was the only one in the WPA WP that was surprised by the results. The other officers had over time come to distrust officer Simon's tendency to follow his gut. He was also not well liked because he was a loner in a job that needed. It's officers to collaborate to the other officers. This was evidence of officers Simon shortcomings, he called evidence shady manner, and he was prone to fixation. It wasn't long before officer Simon's enacted another plan. He was still certain that Muneer was guilty. And he was certain that David and Gilbert carried out the murders with him. He asked chief Scott for transfer to the county jail the request confused the police chief because it meant a cut in pay and status, but peeing nonetheless granted officer Simon's request this officer Simon's right where he wanted to be David Spence was awaiting. Trial for aggravated sexual abuse in the county jail. Officer Simon's would use that time to get a confession from David before he left the force officer Simon's went to talk to David at the county jail. He brought officer buyer with him David was talkative and friendly and the two fell easily into a conversation div. It had no idea that officer Simon's considered him a suspect. He told the officer at the time of the murders. He worked at a hardware store. Next him in years. Convenience store, David's girlfriend Christine jewel worked in manure store. David offered to have Christine ask around about the murders. And he would pass along the information to officer Simon's David though, a violent criminal was lonely in jail. So it was easy for officer Simon's to get close to him. Once he started working at the jail. The two men talked constantly about the lake Waco murder. Among other things David seemed to really enjoy talking about the murders spent his lawyer for the sex abuse case, Walter Reeves, bent, David not to talk to officer Simon's. But he didn't listen even after officer Simon's told David he was a suspect in the murders. David kept talking to him. Sure. He was shocked about the news. But since he hadn't been charged with anything he thought it was okay to keep conversing with officer Simon's in January an inmate named Kevin Michael told officer Simon said David had been bragging about the murders. He offered corroborating detail such as the shoelaces used to bind Kenneth Kevin also hinted that Gilbert Melendez was involved David had meant Gilbert through his older, brother. Tony David in. Tony went to school together as kids. This was just the break that officer Simon's had been looking for soon more inmates. Dan to come forward with stories about David's admissions, one claim to have her David say the killings were part of a satanic ritual. Another claim that a man named lucky hired David and Gilbert to kill the girls because a dishonored him rather than take this information to chief Scott officer Simon's instead went to waco's new district. Attorney Vic fizzle the thirty one year old newly-elected DA was looking to make a name for himself. It already shaken up the DA's office by implementing new protocols as well as installing a security system so sophisticated that people took to calling his office for Faysal after listening to what officer Simon's had to offer Fazl said that the testimony from the other inmates would most likely be dismissed as hearsay officer Simon's was undeterred. He knew the key to getting the confession. He needed was his friendship with David officer Simon's continue. Cultivate, his relationship with David David began to rely more and more on officer Simon's. He would often call him late at night after getting off the phone with Christine terrified, she was going to leave him when she finally did David had to be given a shot of Thorazine to calm down. Now, David's only friend in the world was a man trying to link to a triple homicide. It was during this particularly vulnerable time that officer Simon's began to offer David an explanation. Maybe David had a split personality and his evil have chilly had committed the murders. David acquiesce to the idea. But said he didn't remember ever killing anyone. He would always stop short of confessing eight months after the murder DA all put together a task force despite some hesitancy concerning officer Simon's methods. He included him in the task force along. With two other officers familiar with the case, officer, Salinas and buyer. The three men grew distant after officer Simon's began working in the jail to combat that officer Selena's and buyer work the streets, while officer Simon's continued working in the county jail by this time officer Simon's had set his sights on Gilbert Melendez, David's accomplice, and the aggravated sexual assault case Gilbert had been given seven years for his role in the sexual assault. Case gilber like David and Muneer denied any involvement in the murders. But officer Simon's remain undeterred the success. He had with David just made him want to press. Gilbert, more officers Simon's told Gilbert that the case was heating up, and it may be in his best interest to testify against David in order to avoid the death penalty after allowing Gilbert to stew for a few hours with this information officer Simon's. Came back to a much more cooperative. Gilbert, I was out there. He said when officer Simon's asked if he would talk about David's involvement Gilbert replied, I'll testify by this time David had been sentenced to ninety years in prison for the aggravated sexual assault case officers Simon's setup a recorder for Gilbert's confession Gilbert told him that he and David had been writing around and David station wagon drinking and smoking when they happened upon the three teenagers. They entice the trio with the promise of beer, and we'd then drove them to the late Gilbert, then said that David raped in stab Jill then releasing and then finally killed Kenneth after that the two men drove the bodies to speak Ville and dump them there. Officer Simon's was excited about the confession. But it was not without its flaws for starters, the station wagon. The paris. Supposedly drove around was not purchased by David until two weeks after the murders. Officer Simon's went back to Gilbert to clear up his statement. He would even drive him to the crime scene over the next two days. Gilbert gave three statements all of them with discrepancies officers Simon's chalk this up to Gilbert drug addicted mine, but the other investigators were not as confident about the confession as officer Simon's was after two polygraph test that seemed to confirm Gilbert's confession. He then recanted entirely. No matter he was still sent to prison. Officer Simon's got another break in April nineteen eighty three. He was contacted by system DA net Butler who told him that they would soon be able to prove David's involvement in the murders. Butler was a big proponent of forensic. Odin tala, Judy and provided him with a mold of David's teeth and pictures of bite marks on the girl's bodies Campbell compared the mold with the bite marks and declared that David Spence was the one who put the girls officer Simon's now had the forensic evidence. He needed to bring David to trial. Not only did this confirm what officer Simon's believed all along. But it also won over de Faysal by this time. They added a fourth suspect Gilbert younger brother, Tony at the time. Tony was wanted in Corpus Christi on robbery and rape charges. Waco PD Haldeman to question him about his brothers. Crimes Tony insisted that he was in Bryan on a painting job. But officers heard him say he was in Waco on November twenty first nineteen eighty three a McLennan county grand jury indicted, Muneer, David Gilbert and Tony for the lake Waco murders in April a district. Judge decided the order of the trials would go like this. I David then Gilbert, Tony and Mounier. I'm going to pause the case right here. So you can hear a word from our sponsors. Is there something that interferes with your happiness or is preventing you from cheating? Your goals better. Help online counseling is there for you. 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When Judge Alan kept in nine the motions hunting fuller went so far as to send a thirty three page letter to the FBI and the US attorney's office asking them to step in there, please. When unheard the case against David was delta, another blow when Tony Melendez agreed to plead guilty and testify against David an exchange for a life sentence. David's lawyers could think officer Simon's for this abrupt turnaround officer Simon's had been visiting Tony in jail and interrogating him. Until he finally broke down David trial began on June. Eighteenth nineteen Eighty-four the courthouse was packed with media and spectators eager to witness a trial. The state claimed that Mugniyah had hired David and the Melendez brothers to kill gale. But they had mistakenly killed Jill because she looked so much like gale seven prison inmates testified that David bragged about the killings while in jail. They also claim that they were not receiving anything and exchange for their testimony. The entire case was circumstantial until Homer Campbell. Took the stand Campbell testified that using electronics enhance autopsy photos and the mold of David's teeth. He could conclude with reasonable certainty that David was the one who left the bite marks on the girls bodies. David's attorneys tried their best. They wanted to introduce evidence showing the crime could have been committed by two different men. The defense had a theory that the crimes were committed by James Bishop a former Waco resident who had moved to California right after the murders, and then was arrested for raping and attempting to kill two high school girls and running Breton a man who had been seen and bloody clothes after a night fishing on the lake. The judge however ruled the evidence irrelevant and would not allow the defense to bring it to trial. It took the jury only two hours to find David Spence guilty of capital murder. Three days later, David was handed the death penalty knowledge after David's trial. Gilbert contacted officer Simon's he wanted to make a deal to avoid the death penalty in January nineteen eighty five Gilbert road out a sixteen page confession. Pled guilty for two life sentences and agreed to testify against my near Muneer trial began on February twenty fifth and lasted twelve days during his trial over forty. Witnesses testified many of them also having testified during David's trial, the most damning testimony came when Gilbert Melendez took the stand to tell the court that Mugniyah promise David five thousand dollars for killing gale it took the jury less than two hours to come back with the guilty. Verdict. Muneer was also given the death penalty. An October of that year. David was back in court. This time being tried for the death of Kenneth his first trial was just for the murder of Jill again testimonies against David included jailhouse informants as well. As built Melendez brothers despite a few inconsistencies between the brother stories of what happened that night David was found guilty of the murder of Kenneth and given the death penalty. Because the four men were safely behind bars. DA Faysal declined to continue prosecuting the city of Waco was grateful for the convictions and DA Faizal was riding high. However, he would soon come crashing down. Thanks to the Dallas TV station W F A when it ran a ten part investigative series on DA Faizal and his office. Some of the accusations against his office included dismissing DWI charges in exchange for money. Amongst many other things Faysal claimed it was just a smear campaign on him. But the damage was done in June nineteen Ninety-one Muneer Dev's murder conviction was overturned by the court of criminal appeals. After hysterectomy peels went nowhere. Muneer studied law books and typed out long cases. Trying to understand the rhythm of law writing. Eventually he managed to write a one hundred and fourteen page writ of habeas, corpus. The last appeal that can be made by death row inmate while not perfect Mugniyah was able to make his case about his unfair trial. The court agreed and granted him a new trial based on the fact that any jail informant who testified against him was hearsay. David's appeals in nineteen Ninety-one are not going as well as nears after all appeals were exhausted. He was given an execution date of timber seventeenth nineteen Ninety-one, but the fight for his life wouldn't in there, Texas has a high number of executions every year. So a federally funded. Nonprofit organization was begun by anti-death penalty. Activists the Texas resource center opened in Austin and offered pro Bono legal help to death row inmates to young lawyers who worked for the TR at the time were rob Owen and roll schoneman. They met each other while working on death penalty cases with the ACLU or the American Civil Liberties union, the lawyers who worked at the TRC have very heavy caseload and one more added to Robin roles. Plate was David, Spence. They received the case on Labor Day nineteen ninety one forty five days before David was scheduled to be execute. It'd the more. They looked into the case the Moore, flabbergasted. They were at David's conviction. It was well known in legal circles that evidence such as jailhouse testimony and bite. Mark forensics were unreliable. They also felt that the Waco police department did not do their due diligence and looking at other suspect one such suspect a man named tab. Harper was seen at the park the night of the murders. And had bragged about killing three people on October sixteenth. A mere fourteen hours before David was supposed to die Robin role filed a one hundred sixty four page writ claiming that after six weeks of investigation. They found evidence of state misconduct, including withholding exculpatory evidence and relying on a very dubious investigation. The court ordered a stay of execution until December nineteenth in order to give the state time to respond. The lawyers had bought themselves some time and intended to use it to track. Down all the jailhouse informants who testified against David one of those informants. Jesse Ivy testified that David had talked about killing the teenagers. Now, he was telling Robin role that David Denver said any of those things he wrote in an affidavit, quote, the murders made me very angry. You could say that Truman Simon's and Ned Butler put the facts of the case in my mouth, and I put them into the mouths of the other guys in jail another inmate Kevin Michael explained how he knew the details of the crime when he testified against David quote, many times Simon fed me specific pieces of factual information about the crime. And then later asked me to relate the information back to him for one of my statement. Officer Simon showed Kevin pictures of the crime scene, which is how he knew about Ray leans brawl being tied around her ankle, the lawyers also found two other informants who did not testify, but we're offered leniency and favorable treatment. If they testified against David another piece of evidence, they attacked was the bite Mark evidence. The interviewed Lieutenant Horton who stated in an affidavit that the medical examiner initially ruled that the marks gills breasts were not bite marks. It was only after she looked at photos and spoke with that Butler that she changed her mind. They also hired Thomas Krause, the former president of the American board, a forensic Odin tala Judy to provide expert testimony on the bite Mark evidence. Krause deduce that Homer. Campbell's methodology was well outside of the mainstream. The lawyers also found that two months after he testified against David Campbell took impressions from an unidentified dead woman. And declared without a doubt that she was a teenager from Florida who had been missing the teenager later turned up alive Robin role filed a supplement to their habeas Ritz with the court of criminal appeals the judges denied their appeal their last option now was the federal courts on December eighteenth one day before David was scheduled to die the lawyers filed for a stay of execution as well as a federal habeas corpus petition citing twenty-five grounds for reversal. The judges granted both in April nineteen Ninety-two. The federal court denied David's petition for habeas corpus relief desperate Robin role filed a motion to amend the judgment and four months later. The courts granted them in evidence. Yeary hearing around this time, rob accepted, a job in Kentucky and left the TRC. A new lawyer Joel short stepped in to help roll roll had been. Periodically meeting with the Melendez brothers for their help. While they told them they lied in their statements. They refused to go on the record the reason for this is that they were slated to testify against Muneer and his retrial. They were promised help with their paroles. If they did the night before New Year's trial. Something very surprising happened Tony Gilbert had been brought to Fort Worth to testify. They got the opportunity to see each other for the first time in ten years after talking the brothers refused to take the stand against my near this completely changed the outcome of the trial after two weeks of testimony Muneer was found not guilty because they chose not to testify rollin decided to visit the brothers again to ask for their help. Each other recanted their confession Tony learned about the crime for media and officer Simon's he chose to plead guilty and. Order to avoid the death penalty. Gilbert also learned about the crime from media coverage. He went further to say that he was actively coached by officer Simon's during his statement in order to make it believable role was astounded by what he was hearing the icing on the cake was a statement he received from chief Scott who claimed an officer Simon's brought no less than five separate confessions to his office. This gave chief Scots have veered doubts about the confession, Lieutenant Horton. Also casting doubts on officer Simon's methods. Saying quote, I heard Truman Simon say to Gilbert Melendez Gilbert, we're going to turn the recorder off now and get our story straight. And then we'll turn the recorder back on. I remember thinking that that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard an investigator say. In October nineteen Ninety-three role in Joel filed all the paperwork. They had for David's case they felt confident that they would be granted a new trial on February sixteenth nineteen ninety four the cortra-. Sponsored by saying they felt there was not sufficient evidence to grant David a new trial role tried again and filed with the fifth circuit court of appeals in December nineteen Ninety-four in September nineteen ninety five the R C had a shuttered stores due to congress no longer willing to fund the nonprofit agency role wouldn't let this stop him. He got a new job at the capital punishment clinic at the university of Texas law school and continue to represent David pro Bono in March nineteen Ninety-six the fifth circuit turned down David's appeals while the court recognized some evidence had been withheld from the defense. They felt it wouldn't have been enough to change the outcome of the trial and febru-. Ury nineteen Ninety-seven David received his new execution date, April. Third nineteen Ninety-seven by this time David had resigned to his fate role. Try to gain a part in from governor George Bush's office. He met with two of the governor's legal aids. After explaining the case one eight told Raul you've convince me that something seriously wrong with Waco law enforcement. But you haven't convinced me that Spence's innocent on the morning of April third David met with his loved ones, including his ex wife, one of his sons and his brother he was executed via lethal injection at six thirty two PM. He was pronounced dead. An October nineteen ninety eight Gilbert Melendez died in prison from complications of HIV Mounier Deeb died of liver cancer in nineteen ninety nine in January twenty seventeen Tony Melendez the last of the. Four men implicated in the murders of Kenneth Franks jail. Montgomery and raylene rice died in a prison. Hospice at the Michael unit and Tennessee colony the prison will not release a cause of death due to privacy laws. Also in two thousand seventeen Spence his sons Jason and Joel Spence brought a lawsuit against the state claiming that Texas bribed witnesses coerced confessions and use junk science in order to secure a conviction against innocent men for the murders at lake Waco, the complaint claims that newly discovered testimony new scientific methods and evaluations and hit an evidence up hold all of their defenses. They reason that if Deeb was later acquitted for the crime than the other men should have been acquitted as well, the spent brothers point the finger squarely at officer Simon's claiming he was desperate to make the case that his theory and was willing to do whatever he could in order for the DA to secure. Moore conviction the bite Mark evidence. That was later used to convict Spence was later deemed unreliable by the Texas forensic science commission and thirteen hundred page report. They released in two thousand sixteen the commission concluded that the overwhelming majority of existing research does not support the contention that bite Mark comparison can be performed reliably and accurately from examiner to examiner due to the subjective nature of the analysis. Another damning claim from the lawsuit is tape recordings from Clinton county district attorney Vic fizzle prove that he colluded with Spence's court appointed lawyer in order to secure a conviction. The Spence brothers are asking for compensation for wrongful imprisonment attorney fees and full pardons for all defendants as a February two thousand nineteen. There's no update on the status of the lawsuit. There's so much to this case that I didn't have time to cover. If you're interested, please check out the Texas monthly article, the murders at the lake I would also recommend the book careless whispers, which won the Edgar award in nineteen eighty six. The book was written by Carlton towers and had officer Simon's as the protagonist. It's a great way to see the case the way officer Simon's dead. Okay, fan club members as I conclude this episode. My one question to you is how will you sleep tonight? Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed the Sepah sewed, please be sure to leave us a positive review on apple podcast or your podcast player of choice. It really does. Help us out. You can find us on most social media platforms Twitter at TC FC pod. Facebook dot com slash t CFC podcast. You can also find on Instagram TC FC underscore podcast. And of course, our website is true crime fan club dot com. If you have an episode request, send us an Email, TCI pod, Angie, mail dot com music for the show was provided by we talk of dreams who created custom use it. Just for us. Check him out on Twitter at we talk of dreams or we talk of dreams com. Content warning at the top this show was provided by Tyler Allen hosted the minds of madness podcast this episode of true crime fan club was written and researched by Brittany Martinez.

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