Episode 5: Conflicting Stories
Someone Fatally Stabs Stacy Stanton inside her apartment on February third. This was violent brutal. On February third, Nineteen Ninety someone brutally murdered twenty eight-year-old Stacey Stanton inside of her second story apartment in North Carolina. Then cleaned up and disappeared the residents of manual have lived in fear. For thirty years, Stanton's killer has had one face and one name North Carolina investigators in mania police believe that someone is Clifton Spencer. But his prejudice, they absolutely have tunnel vision that it was the black man who killed the white woman keeping an innocent man convicted. NASA. Go. Good old. Man. And covering up more than one crime. For that guy I just really seriously. thinking. This is counterclockwise the investigation into the murder of Stacey Stanton. I'm your host Delia Dan. Mike, Brandon Stacy's ex boyfriend knew how to get into Stacey's apartment without having a key that is according to Joni, Newman and Susan corn ten women who were friends with Mike and Stacey and were in the Green Dolphin pub, the night before Stacey was killed. For some reason on the morning of February third. Mike told these women that he chose to go by Stacy's apartment but not enter at said that he had taken the coastline times of to her front door and laid it on the staff or some shit like that and excuse my language. And I couldn't understand why he would do that. And not going in because he knew how to get in without having a key. In his interview with police. Mike told detectives that he woke up early on Saturday morning and walked the short distance from Johnny's house over to Stacy's apartment. When he got there, he noticed her newspaper at the bottom of the steps. So we walked up and said it down near the base of the porch door and left he stated adamantly that he never went inside. But based on a conversation Susan had with Mike. After the fact Susan believes Mike did go inside that morning. I was left with the impression that he. that morning went to stacy's aspirin. Grab paper went in and found her he conveyed that to me and we never really did have any long discussions about. Did you ever wonder why if Mike had seen stacey dead that morning why he wouldn't have called the police right then and there it wasn't until two o'clock that stacy was found because his. Involvement and? Relationship with law enforcement, all of his life and his dad, he had a really horrible childhood and. I think he started getting locked up at twelve or thirteen and spent most of his youth and what at the on the wrong into law so there's no way he would have. No I'm not surprised. So. Essentially, what Susan just told me is that Mike conveyed to her that he went inside the apartment and saw stacey dead but didn't call police because he had a criminal history and fear of law enforcement. I wasn't sure I. believe that one hundred percent though. If Susan is right and Mike did go inside Stacy's apartment and see her body but just not tell anyone why would he have been so quick to speak to police on scene at three thirty later that afternoon. If he was apprehensive of or didn't trust the COPS, why would he have showed up at the crime scene at all? Why would he have given them a statement? Why didn't he just let them do their jobs and track him down later? It just didn't seem to add up to me. Despite Mike's questionable behavior. Susan still doesn't think he was involved in the killing. I really think Mike Brandon was who? Everybody thought that much more. So than than cliff. No because I knew Mike. Joni Newman and her brother David don't feel the same way about Mike David was in the pub the night before the murder and he and Mike were somewhat friends. Did you ever talk to Mike about this. Did he ever talk about it again with anybody? Not, because I was scared to say anything to ingles and Syria. Cuthbert. Everybody thought he did it and our people in the community like if we were all out together, they say stuff to him. So I don't I. Don't know. I don't think it was random. I just don't I think. I just always thought my it. The one thing Susan Joanie and David agree on is that they've never thought Clifton is the murderer. He was charged fairly quickly and. I don't know the fact that he pled. No contest was always an issue with the people around here. You know we just didn't see named. Never thought, he did it. Oh. Thought he was awesome. Did you ever feel that Clifton was involved in this not at all why? He just didn't seem like the type and that night he was I mean he warned Dronka seen in playing pool. Is always had good manners. I. Mean. He just didn't seem vicious enough to do something like that. These interviews so far were good but they're just three people in a very large pool of witnesses that were around in February nineteen ninety. I needed to know what everyone else who was questioned by police said they did after the crime. I spent hours poring over literally thousands of pages of documents on this case, and when I was finally done I realized that there were some serious discrepancies in several people's stories. But most important of all was a revelation I'd uncovered about Tina Stacy's co worker who was the person who discovered the murder. For the longest time I kept noticing her name and reports as just being Tina. No last name. But there was one handwritten paragraph from a deer county sheriff's deputy that had her full name written out some Tina's legal name in nineteen ninety was Evelyn Christina Bass. But I did a little digging and found out that bass was her married last name. According. To her marriage license, her maiden name was Evelyn Christina Brandon. Yeah in other words, Tina is Mike Brandon's sister. When I found this out I almost couldn't believe it I. Mean What are the chances that the person who goes to check on stacy and finds her murdered is the blood relative of the guy who dated Stacey and was involved in some sort of love triangle with her Now that I'd uncovered this detail about Tina. I. reread her police interview transcript about a dozen times I compared her version of events to Mike Patty and Joni statements and discovered key differences. Differences that leave a chunk of Mike's time in whereabouts unaccounted for. People ask me all the time. How do you juggle producing and hosting? 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When you're teamwork is effective nothing can stop you to start your free fourteen day trial go to Monday dot com today. On the night of February second leading into the early morning hours of February third. Mike Patty Tina and Joanie were altogether at the Green Dolphin Pub Mike told police that between eleven thirty and eleven forty five he left the bar by himself to go on a five minute walk. He said he needed to get away from Patty and only a few blocks from the bar. He specifically said, he didn't go to Stacy's apartment but no one ran into him while he was out. So he was his only witness. Tina told investigators that she remembered my leaving the pub for his walk but emphasized he was only gone five minutes. Now, here's where I found the first discrepancy. Patty told police that Mike left the bar, but she didn't see him again fifteen minutes not five. Mike told Patty later that he'd walk all the way to Tina's house in a development called. Harbour town. Harbour town is still around today, and if you map it from the green dolphin pubs old building it's exactly a thirteen minute walk. Patty told police that shortly after Mike. Walked out of the pub and didn't return her Joni Tina and a man with Tina named Terry left the bar into cars joanie and patty got into Johnny's truck and Tina and Terri got into Tina's car. A few minutes later Patty says that Tina Terry and Mike show up at Johnny's house together because Tina had swum by pick my cup because he had walked Tina's apartment. Here's where there's another discrepancy with that story though. Patty statement is completely different than what Mike and Tina told police. Mike and Tina. Mentioned anything about Mike Walking to harbour town. Their version of events keeps Mike with the group at the bar but patties version has mike absent from the bar from the time he left for his walk until he shows up at Johnny's house. On top of that Mike and Patty both told detectives that when the group left the bar everyone got into two vehicles but Tina said the group left in three vehicles. So either, Mike, went to his sister's house or he didn't it can't be both. There were either three cars that the group left in or they were too. It can't be both. These kinds of conflicting details might just be a bunch of drunk people's bad memories but to me, the inconsistencies should have raised questions for the FBI agents working the case. Nowadays Joni says, she can't set the record straight on any of this. She says many years of drinking and drug use have made it impossible for her to recall specific details like how many cars they drove or exactly how long Mike was gone from the pub. Was Plenty of drug use and a Lotta drinking i. mean that's what we did. We hung out in bars and did drugs all of us. Do you remember Mike leaving the bar for a period of time and then come. Do Honestly Think I. DO remember that I don't know how long or the time Saquon. What really frustrates me is that the guy named Terry. who was mentioned by everyone is being with Tina is only given a first name police never interviewed him and there isn't a single transcript or document with his full name on it Joni says, she has no clue who he was. I don't know carry him. And he was never spoken to by police that I can find I can't find a single interview with him and so do you know of anybody that would have been with Tina that night? That was a man? A mile trunk about. Terry. Because both Tina and Patty say his name. The only proof that I could dig up that Terry existed and was actually seen with Mike Joni Patty and Tina is a brief interview transcript from a gas station clerk. According to Mike after hanging out at Johnny's house for a little bit. He and Terry drove together to a convenience store in Manlio around twelve fifteen in the morning. were making a beer and Cigarette Ryan. When they got to the store Mike had forgotten his ID and the clerk denied the sale. Mike Got Upset and slam some items on the counter in frustration. Terry ends up using his idea to buy beer cigarettes and a bottle of V8, juice. Then the two men leave the clerk testified to all of this in her statement to investigators. So that's how I know. There was definitely another man with Mike I just don't know exactly who he was. Like I said, before the police documents I have show Terry was never interviewed and Patty didn't talk much about him in her statement either she only explained that the V. Eight juice he purchased at the store was for her. She said by the time, the group was at Jones, she'd stopped drinking for the night because she was pregnant. That's one reason I tend to think Patty's version of events could potentially be more accurate. Unless she was outright lying to the FBI agents. Her memory is probably clearer than everyone else's because she wasn't drinking as much alcohol. In all of this, the SBA agents tried to navigate the truth. But instead of comparing these people's statements side by side and grilling them on these blatant discrepancies, agents chose to do polygraphs. At the start of their investigation, the SBA I had only made Clifton and his essential Alibi Wayne Morris take a lie detector test but now that was changing. My offered to take a polygraph the afternoon of February third and repeated his offer again when he was questioned for a second time that night But, the S B I didn't actually perform a polygraph. Until ten days after the murder on February thirteenth. His results came back as inconclusive. This could be because he was already a convicted felon who was nervous talking to police or it could mean he was being evasive. We'll never know because the SBA I never made Mike take another test. Patty took a polygraph to, but not until March, I almost a full month after the crime. According to FBI paperwork a few minutes into the test patty became so physically ill that the instructor had to stop. On the bottom of the report, the S., B. I wrote that the onset of Patty's illness during the test was likely due to her pregnancy. By March First Patty would've been close to three months pregnant. So it's possible. She was having some physical sickness. Different, however, despite the fact that the S B I wasn't able to get any actual readings or even complete the test they never made patty take another polygraph. Richard Fugate, the man that had been at Stacey's apartment with stacy and Clifton earlier in the night was also given a polygraph and he passed with. Flying Colors. The instructor wrote that they found no signs of deception in any of his responses. What I find super strange though throughout the S B is Polygraph Test Parade is that agents didn't test Joni Tina or the mysterious Terry Guy. These seem like people you'd want to talk to to determine if they were telling the truth or hiding something especially Joni. Remember she said that she woke up between one thirty and two in the morning and she heard Mike and Patty fighting in her living room. How accurate was her memory about the timing of that as it turns out, I found two very important people who can help answer that. Ladies, we are living in an amazing time. Technology is driving so much of our lives and daily routines I know it is for me. Every morning I, wake up put on my smartwatch attracts my health habits, and throughout my day I give verbal commands shouting out to my Amazon Echo to update my calendar. It's nuts how much I rely on this stuff, but it's the future and it's keeping me sane. But even with all of this advancement, they're still one thing that's the same coloring our hair. 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Newman's house. Don told the S. B. I that earlier in the night patty had asked onto come give her a ride after don closed the bar. Don had Richard Fugate with her and Ray Griggs Patty's brother wrote a bicycle behind her car to Johnny's House. Don says when she arrived at Jones around two o'clock in the morning she and Ray. Walked up to the front door and knock. But nobody answered. The House was dead quiet. She doesn't mention anything about hearing a fight between people inside, which is what Joni says was occurring around that time. But maybe don got there shortly before the fight or maybe right after it. Still. That doesn't explain why no one answered the door. After knocking don says, she assumed patty wasn't there and so her enrages decided to leave. Don gave this information to police on. February fourth nineteen ninety. Ray Wasn't interviewed to corroborate the story until February twelfth more than a week later. Here's a voice actor to read through excerpts of raise interview with police. Definitely pay attention because he gave the FBI of rundown of his entire night and his interactions with people including Stacey Clifton and Mike. So on Friday, I saw stacey headed to the diner around four twenty five in the afternoon and later in the bar when I was playing pool around six thirty. She was drinking wine coolers and we talk for a little bit about my kid a lot of people started coming into the pub by then I remember was me Mike My Sister Patty Richard Fugate and a black guy named cliff spencer. Cliff, talking to Mike and he'd try to borrow money from them for drugs. After that he went to buy a beard started talking a couple girls. Little later Stacey started talking to Mike, I think I saw her in front of his face at least twice. She was upset and he told her he wished she would go ahead and leave. Couple minutes later she did. Cliff left about five minutes after. And then ten thirty. Yeah. Around ten thirty maybe was like eleven I saw Mike Joni Patty leave together but they came back probably after probably forty five minutes Over her Joni Ass Patty, what was wrong with adding shoes of set because her and Mike weren't getting along Johnny told me her and Patty left the bar during those forty five minutes and my sister cooldown. But she didn't say where Mike Win. I just left the bar between one and one thirty in the morning on a bike. I left went on did. She got in her car with Richard and another person I hopped on a bike. We all went over to Johnny's house and I walked to the front door knocked nobody answered. Si was that would have been between one, thirty, one, forty, five in the morning probably. Because no answer we all left. A dish, the Blake Johnny's, in Sutton, you back my house on Airport Road. The next time I saw Mike was between ten and eleven o'clock the next morning which Saturday? He came from a house in a red pickup truck. that. I saw him again later in the day between three and four o'clock. He. told me Stacey was dead. He was a totally different person. Race statements were helpful. But what he said didn't give me any closer to finding out where exactly Mike and Patty were between two o'clock in the morning and the next time there accounted for which is around seven thirty am. You See. Mike. told the FBI that he got up around seven o'clock walked over to Stacy's and took the newspaper upstairs. According to him he was alone patty stayed behind sleeping at Janis. He says after he dropped the paper off, he went to the Duchess of Deir Diner for breakfast. He ate then called Joni around seven thirty using the restaurants phone might what mayor when I got up? Fatty was. Mike ended up calling my house. And he was downtown at the restaurant that was downtown at that time. And wanted to borrow my truck that day because he knew I had to go out go out of town. You know he was trying to give me awake because he knew that I had to drive from my brother-in-law that day. And I think that's what he did was call me make sure I was awake and to he's a the truck. I asked Joni what she remembered Patty and Mike Look like the next morning. and. When I got up the next morning patty had the same clothes and she was not bloody or nothing like that. You know what? About Mike Mike I don't think he had the same Hoodie on like I thought. He had a different shirt on the next morning. Yeah because when I got up like I said he was gone already. and. He came back after I. Don't know after I woke up and talk to him. He come back got the truck. Patty was wearing the same clothing the next morning, but you're not sure if Mike was. I'm not I'm not a thing. It was about a Hoodie and I can't. I can't remember if it was if he had a Hoodie on and didn't before or. Ainley Leeann with a hoodie I don't remember A. hoodie that I can't I was trying to think of A. Fuzzy memory doesn't convince me one hundred percent, but still what she says can't be discounted. I wanted to verify if mike seeing the newspaper on his walk to Stacy's before he called Joanie was even possible and if so did anyone witness him moving it. Turns out someone did? According. To February, third log sheets for the vendor who supplied the Virginian pilot newspapers in Mankato the delivery drivers picked the papers up at four fifty one in the morning. In their statements to police, they told detectives, they're route included several stops before an is dare street. They estimated they're delivering your stacy's address occurred at five twenty in the morning. They don't remember seeing anyone in or around. Stacy's apartment or staircase at that time. which makes sense because if we believe Mike, he wasn't there until between seven and seven thirty, but get this the. Delivery. Drivers said they didn't deliver the paper to the bottom of Stacey staircase at all they dropped it off in the shared driveway, her apartment building and the home closer to the street. Stacey wasn't even a subscriber to the newspaper according to the Virginian pilot records the owners of the house in front of her building where the subscribers. The woman the newspaper was intended for was Mary midget. STACY'S LANDLORD More than a week after the crime the S B I interviewed Mary. Unfortunately I couldn't speak with her because she since passed away. But Mary told investigators that on the morning of February third she woke up at six thirty. News paper and sat on her back porch until seven thirty. She. Put the newspaper back in the plastic. It was delivered in and tossed it out her porch door towards the bottom of stacey staircase. Her Porch has a direct an obscure line of sight to Stacy's unit. Mary had a regular habit of tossing her paper over to stacy's because someone either Stacey or Mike would always retrieve it. Said, she saw Mike come by around seven thirty take the paper and up Stacey staircase, but he didn't go inside. Him coming by was an out of the ordinary according to Mary. But the fact that he didn't go inside was unusual. Mary's eyewitness account tells me two things. One Mike Story that he took the newspaper up the stairs at around seven thirty checks out and to whoever killed Stacey. Didn't leave the apartment between six thirty and seven thirty in the morning or else Mary probably would have seen them. Sunrise on February Third Nineteen Ninety was at seven Oh two am. So between six, thirty and seven, it would've still been dark outside. If. Someone had walked in front of Stacy's apartment in that half hour timespan. The floodlights on the building would have gone off and I have to think that would have gotten. Mary's attention. So I say all of that to say this. I think stacy was killed prior to six thirty that morning. Based on the autopsy report and stacy's approximate time of death combined with witnesses testimony Stacey died sometime between one and seven in the morning but which our is hard to know. The closest theoretical window I believe the killer struck in is in one o'clock to possibly five thirty. That's four and a half hours of unknown. Save Five, thirty and nine, six, thirty because remember at five twenty, the newspaper delivery drivers were on an-and is dare street delivering papers and they were in the driveway of the apartment building. They didn't report anyone walking around or lurking and looking suspicious at that time, and they certainly didn't tell police that they saw someone coming from Stacy's apartment. I mean it's always possible. The killer struck between five thirty and six thirty in the morning after the paper was delivered. But before Mary woke up. But still that's a really tight window of time. and. I also have to remember to that part of the timeframe between one o'clock and five thirty includes alleged fight between patty and Mike at Johnny's House yet somehow dawn ray who were standing on the front porch at around two am during this supposed fight didn't hear it. That just didn't make sense to me. How if a couple is having a knock down, drag out fight does no one except Joni here thing. And even more insane. How did no one here stacey being murdered or someone going up to her apartment? Thankfully, a shred of paper tucked away in police files was about to make my time line much more clear. And a new discovery about Patty Roe blows what I thought about this case wide open. She attacked a woman with a pipe wrench and beat her in the face and attempted to kill this woman. Be Sure to follow counterclockwise on social media and subscribe on Apple Podcast spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Counter. Clock is an audio chuck original show. Ashley Flowers, is the executive producer and all reporting and hosting is done by me Deandra.