The Stranger


The entrepreneurial spirit is resilient and us bank is here to make sure that no matter what unknown pops up business owners know that we have their back because problem solvers are the ones that keep us all moving forward by finding ways to close gaps even when distances are being kept everywhere so whatever you need to adapt and evolve your business u. s. bank is here to support you u. s. bank. We'll get there together. Equal housing lender member. Fdic the draft in tavern could be seen as drive by some with its data decor but to locals in the seaside town of bremerton net. Dive bar was like the tied with folks. Drifting in drifting out it had been that way since the nineteen fifties and over the years it grew to be more than just a bar. It was a communal watering hole. A place of sustenance for the soul. A place to be accepted where the bartender didn't judge and wasn't stingy with the poor and in the early nineties for fifty. Seven year old maryland. Hickey that was exactly what she was looking for. A place where everyone knew her name and so it was that september night in nineteen ninety. Two this diversion of cheers welcomed maryland. Or the elvis lady. As she was called. I can imagine suspicious minds playing on the jukebox and at five foot tall shooting shit and she played pool her outgoing personality and trusting nature drawing people to her. If only she'd been just a little bit more suspicious that night as she started talking to a young man a stranger that folks later would recall seeing but nobody knew his name. After last call maryland and the young man with that collar length. Reddish brown hair stumbled out of the drift in together and got in a cab. They drove for just over a mile before they were dropped. Off at maryland's apartment. It would be the last time maryland was seen alive found. Her did on the living room floor with a pair of scissors shoved through her heart and she had been strangled to death. The only clue they had was the sketch of that stranger. Who seemed to disappear without a trace until new technology revved up a case that had gone ice cold a dna profile found at the scene of the crime matched dna from the scene of another murder. Cheryl bear was found stabbed sexually assaulted and slashed to death. After almost thirty years would too cold case. Detectives finally get some for not only maryland but cheryl van both of them die right after or during the fact that both of them an ended up with have. I'm caroline massaro with kim shepard and this is the scene of the crime. I love a good dive bar caroline. I think it every town i've lived in. I've found some hole in the wall place and they're all so unique. Like what are the dive bars. I really liked was really popular with the biker crowd. Not like hell's angels but like the retired guys who decided to get a little crazy by a hog and wildfires. Have you seen the house. I live out their life. Long biker dream that was in arizona. Another dive bar that i really loved was in denver and it was actually a drag bar with a tiny little stage in the corner but it had a super cool rat pack vibe with the best jukebox on the planet. And right now. There's a super cool bar. That's not too far from me. That has a pool table friday night karaoke but also this really big outdoor space. That's great for playing lawn games and having a bonfire. I can tell like is getting to you here like you've ever been to since you were like twenty one. Oh man. I love me a good dad i do too. I mean they each have their own personalities but one thing i think they all have in common is aside from the liquor can show up as you are. You'd be totally authentic yourself and the regulars love you for that but on the flip side of that is the fact that these are also the places that attract people who are new to town or drifting through who might not have any local ties and who might have something sinister on their mind goes to show like detective work can be so like yeah. There's people driven and drifted out. It could be somebody that you know you know and it could be somebody who just happened to be there and is now gone and so this dive bar really had a special place in the community. I could just picture maryland going there and just really finding people and really you know. She lived about a mile away. It was the location for her to hang out. She'd love gin rummy and she could walk home and she had a rough night and i think that dive bars really get a bad rap but i think that everybody has a story from a dive bar so i really wanted to showcase that but this episode. I talked to our friend. Detective mardi garland you know. We are working with him on solving another cold case that we covered in our fallen angel episode. So it's the same cold case detective. Who just so passionate about these cases and this was a real win. And i don't want to scoot my own plot but you know it's really. I'm hoping that we can have the same success. And i say we loosely that they were able to figure out this cold case as in the fallen angels episode that we did but i will say cam. I really got into the weeds of this case. Not only interview on just this. I know the we do we all do i do. It was actually really pleasant trip my daughter and i. We took the ferry over from seattle to bremerton to pick up ten hours of this interrogation video. It was kind of a nice escape and bremerton is such a beautiful place. I've been there for a long time. And if you're not obviously in seattle that's how you get there you take a long fairy and basically it's just beautiful on the puget sound. It's amazing and it's amazing to me. How many people actually do live overrun bremerton and then work or frequently visit seattle. It's not like it's so separated that it's a completely separate community from seattle. There's a lot of crossover there will. And a few years ago. The city leaders in bremerton actually pushed to campaign targeting millennials to live and work in bremerton rebranding that hour-long ferry commute to seattle as relaxing and productive when compared to dealing with all of the traffic in seattle which during open haven't had to deal with but it's kind of slowly coming back is a nightmare. Way better i think about other cities in their mass transit. Like the metro or bart in california. Or you've got the new york subway system it all of those are so loud and crowded and the ferry really isn't it really is a pleasant experience in most of the time so old school. I don't think they've changed. Anything since i was like the the seventies when i would go there as a really little kid like you. Just get on. They've got it down you either. Go go have some irish stouter up cars. I mean it's it's like a little excursion it's a little fun trip that some people do every day. Yeah but in the early nineteen nineties. Bremerton was considered kind of more blue collar. The largest employer in the town is the navy with both a naval base and naval shipyard and talk about being a place where people can drift in and out without anyone knowing their name. I mean being a navy town remers and has more than its fair share of short term residents and folks drifting through. Yeah so the drift in was a bar that were is bar. It's still in existence is close to the ferry docks. it was a mile away from maryland's home and it was a big part of her community. As i said not just because they serve these stiff drinks. But it just has a great vibe and her last night in the fall of nineteen ninety-two people would see her. In conversation with this young man played pool and there was like a huge age difference. You know. I mean it's not like it's totally uncommon to see like a man in their twenties talking to a woman who was fifty seven. But you know she was huge regular there. I'm sure that it caught their attention that she knew she was talking to a younger guy. And when the bartender gave last call they remembered maryland leaving with this young man and maryland. Guest didn't drive so she took a cab home in the taxi. Driver remembers dropping her off with this mystery man at just a little bit after two in the morning and even though she lived alone maryland was the type of person to be out and about in the community and she was really plugged in with her neighbors when no one saw her. The next day you know friends began to worry. Not only did she have a medical condition that caused concerned but also because you know she was just the type of person to be extremely visible in her community and so when her apartment was like shuttered with no one in sight that really raised alarm bells. Officers were called to arisen because she hadn't been seen for a couple of days and she was real well known in. The neighborhood was seen often with her door open. Kind of saying hi difference as they went by so after two days and no maryland. Her friends called the police to do a welfare check on her when they got to her door. No one answered so they used a pocket knife to china the window to gain entry and they found maryland on the floor and she wasn't moving found her did on the living room floor with a pair of scissors show through her heart and she had been strangled to death and she had been the obviously sexually assaulted as well. So this case rocked the community on many levels in one thousand nine hundred eighty two. There just weren't a lot of murders in bremerton. And then the horrendous nature of this crime just fueled the fear and this is before dna although the detectives did a really good job of securing the scene collecting evidence and pounding the pavement talking to witnesses. The only real clue was this stranger. Who was he. The bartender helped them put together a sketch that was widely circulated but weren't able to find him. No one at that bar. That night knew his name and no one came forward to identify this stranger. Who was thought to be the last person to see. Maryland and those police sketches. I was looking up some information on them. Because i've always been curious about how accurate they really are. Well we've seen those newscasts words to circles for eyes and nose and like a you know a smile and it goes from that extreme to the other extreme of super detailed. yeah and sometimes they match perfectly with the who winds up being prosecuted and found guilty in sometimes they look like a completely different character and yet that is the person who perpetrated the crime so according to an article i was reading online. Police sketches are not known for being very accurate. There's something like between five and ten percent accuracy most of the time now so really low but what they can do. Is they help jog people's memories and if there's a particular like scar or two or certain kinds of hair something really specific about a person. They can that in the sketch so even though like most of the sketch might not really look like the person will have these really piercing blue eyes and they got that right. Even if there's just one part of the sketch that's correct. It can help jog people's memories and in fact. Timothy mcveigh was arrested because of a police sketch because he was pulled over on a traffic stop and the officer of the state trooper had seen the sketch and there was a connection. Made there and you know the timothy timothy mcveighs from the Oklahoma bombing right right and so. The police sketch played such a crucial role in that case. But there's so many times when they're just so inaccurate and it it could be because you know could be a new sketch artist. Who maybe just isn't that good at it but it can also be a lot a lot of times. What it really is. is the witnesses. When you're freaked out. You know your brain is not functioning at one hundred percent so victims. A lotta times. Can't give a really accurate description of the person who may have assaulted them or some other crime and even witnesses. you know. you're not looking at somebody thinking. I'm going to have to police schedule later. Let me catalog all the details of their face. I mean it's just not something that we typically pay that close of attention to but there might be like one detail like i noticed you caroline beautiful blue eyes so if i were to do a police sketch that might be the first thing i would say and i think it must have been extremely frustrating. That even though it's kind of small town a big town but it's a small town vibe that nobody knew his name. It's it's kinda surprising to me. And i think it could have let investigators or lead investigators down the thought process that. Hey maybe this is. Somebody who was just had drifted in and drifted out. There is a certain look to people who are in the navy right especially in the ninety s. I mean they were pretty serious about the tight high and tight haircuts. Kind of guy didn't say if he looked like that they might just assume he was with the navy and of course he's they hadn't seen him before because he's in an no he definitely had that was part of his reddish brown hair and it was kind of like long little bit on the longer side. Kind of feel like it was more kind of like a mullet. Kinda but i but i. I don't know if it was a malicious longer. So it definitely was not somebody that you would typically think in the navy longer hair so the case goes cold over a decade goes by but detectives hadn't forgotten about maryland's case and suddenly although it's counterintuitive to think about it time was on their side because the evidence in that case it had been meticulously collected and stored and four years later in two thousand six. Dna samples were resubmitted to the washington state patrol crime laboratory for testing this time because of how much dna had progressed they were able to get a full profile. And that would be so exciting to get that call. It's like a modern day. Sketch of the murders genetic profile. We get a cold case hit two. Dna that have been submitted by another detective at the time from the red kit. So we get a good saulat dna match and they put it into the full profile. Put it into kotas and it gets no hit grid. Dna sample full sample. But no it doesn't match anybody. So it just sits in rows around in rattles around rattles around in quotas for years to come. You know it's interesting because technology came so far that they were able to resubmit that dna and get a profile on it years later. There's actually a lot of movement right now in an effort to use dna to create police sketches rooms. See like what color is do. They have kind of hair did they. Have they have a strong jaw. Line did they. Not those are things you can see when you look at dna markers so that's something that is in the works and i wouldn't be surprised if we saw that. Start to be used before too long because they could tell what. What color is all of that. But in this case it had to have been so frustrating. 'cause like we've done cases before where they have a dna profile but it's not the perfect profile here. They have really strong. They know they just need to find this person. But here's where it gets interesting at least another decade later. Investigators learned that the killers dna had also turned up at a crime scene in boise idaho. It was linked to the murder of a woman named cheryl barrett about two thousand seventeen ish. I am assigned the case because kotas calls us up and says good news we got a hit and they send us the details on the hit in the hit is to another unsolved murder not to a person so now we've got two murders with the same full the a profile but neither matched to an actual human being because we don't know who that person is shaking right now. I'd be like celebrating. We gotta hit and then you look at it all and you have the you have a hit with two different crimes. To women brutally murdered in k. Yeah so detective. Garland is now working the case and he finds out that not only do both crime scenes have this dna profile but also similar murders. She was also stabbed and also strangled in fact her headed been nearly cutoff. She was nearly decapitated during the attack on her to nearly cut her head off. I think about the time and the strength and the anger and the rage tension that has to go into that. I mean that doesn't happen by who accidentally cut a little deeper than i thought. I mean that had to be a real attempt to make that happen is just the yeah. So you're dealing with somebody. Who's you know the rage that's inside this guy. What he he had plunged scissors into maryland chest. And there's going to be some other gruesome details that i was kind of on the fence as to whether or not to include them. But it's like it's part of the resolution of the case so anyway i asked to type of garland about what his thoughts were at this time in terms of profile you have two very similar cases you have dna but who is this suspect. Psychologically were thinking just like everybody else i think. Probably ninety percent of of law enforcement or non law enforcement. Would we've kind of put you into these. Categories are geist either dead or he's in prison for something else along those lines because we're thinking why would we have these cases that are now twenty plus years old and have grateful. Dna profiles and nobody to mess them to in all you think of this guy went on head of diamond committed other murders or did other things that we would eventually caught him in the intervening twenty years or we would least have other matches out there that we would be matching to if he led this spree of bodies across the us so is probably either adverse or he is Somebody who's been in jail for some other crime that he didn't have to have his dna taken from it if you're familiar with this but there are a couple of odd states out there where they don't take your dna until you're released from prison so you can go to prison for twenty five years and never have given your dna until the day you're released and then it gets matched to something. So those are kind of the odd cases that are i think colorado. Maybe it's one of those but so those are the kind of things that you think. Well maybe he falls into that category where he was convicted of some serious crime. In one of these states put into jail and now we're just waiting until at some point as the inane staking. Yeah i guess that would make sense. I mean if you've got them in jail they're not going anywhere they're not going to be committing any more crime until they get outs. That's when it would be really important to make sure you have their dna but then you can leave all these cases unsolved because somebody's in jail who you didn't take friday. I the pluses and minuses. To i i use of doing the. I don't think. I think they need to change that immediately. Because like think of all of the detectives that are working their butts off on these cold cases and it's like they're person could be imprisoned right now. It's a no brainer. why wouldn't you just get them into quotas. I just feel like it should be in there immediately. Yeah i i guess i look at the prison population and how large it is and we're kind of a task that would be what kind of expense that would be and i mean i don't know maybe it should happen but i i guess i can understand why there would be an argument that it shouldn't. I could see both sides of it. Yeah i mean. I hope so kim. Here's where the gumshoe detective work comes into play. I detective garland calls up detective. Monte iverson from the boise police department and they do what he calls a detective. Go fish when i was assigned to cold cases it was one of the cases that got assigned and the first thing i did was pick up the phone and call over to the detective in boise. Who now is different detective than had been working at at the time our other ed been working and his name is monty in and i got on the phone together and we decided you know what we know. That detective goldfish is already been done. But let's maybe there's been names added your case file or my case file. That are different that let's go through it and so we did that and we found that one of the names that had been originally sent over to him to have compared to their case. File the person who sent it over had reverted the name at put the middle name in place of the first name in vice versa. And so that's why they hadn't gotten a match and so when we did it. A second time went through those names one by one. We found one name that matched with their case file. And my case file. That's crazy you know no matter how good you are. Human error can lead to mistakes. That can have such huge consequences. I'm so glad that he decided to go back. And go through all those steps again even though they'd already been taken. Yeah i mean the whole fresh set of eyes. Let's look at everything. And now they have two cases to kind of compare and stare back and forth and as it turns out this. The name that was on the slip of paper wasn't maryland's purse shoot written down lee miller and his phone number. No notations about it. No reason for it to be there. No nothing in. It'd been photographed and catalogued but nothing had ever been done. As far as follow up on it. Nobody ever tried to figure out why his name was on a scrap of paper in her purse. Which i'm not gonna fault the detective for it because when you're going through a woman's purse you just never know what you're gonna find in little piece of scrap of paper with a name written on the bottom of the purse. Who has any idea that would have anything to do with her murder. I would find it. Surprising murderer would allow his name and phone number be written down by someone. He was planning to victimize well. I think you can't control everything when when you know. He did even know that it was in there. Will you had to give his name and phone photographs. How would she get it. Won't we'll have to lee. Miller wasn't a suspect in either case at the time but he was the only person that was in both of their case files. He was on that. Scrap of paper and maryland's purse and he was in the idaho case file. Because apparently a lee miller had bragged about the murder of cheryl. The reason that it came up in his case file was because this guy had gone to jail for something else in while he was in jail way back in the nineties. He had mentioned to his cellmate. they had started talking about. What's the worst thing you've done. What's the worst thing you've done. Do you think you could kill anybody. You know as as guys will do while they're in jail and he said well not only. Could i kill somebody. But i did kill somebody. And he proceeded to tell him about this murder that he committed in boise only months earlier while this cellmate then went and talked to a police officer about it in the police actually rigged up the cellmate with a recording device. And santa back in there to talk to this guy about it and he at this point says i don't know what talking about you must be making this up. I never said anything like that. You need to quit bother me. And obviously he was kind of onto it or realized that he had said too much the first round and so they dropped it way back in like ninety five two years after the their murder. They dropped it because they didn't have anything further to go on. This guy didn't have any other links to put him in the case file other than this celie who'd the admitted to it. Yeah i get that you want some some cell cred like we were talking about the last episode. Yeah but why wouldn't you just lie about murder. Say you did something you didn't really do but to go through and described something a crime that you have actually committed. Seems like a really stupid move. So i could see where the investigators might say. Will we don't know that he really did it. I mean he bragged about it. He said he did it but maybe he was just bragging about a he heard of to sound cool well and not only that but this is back in the nineties so they didn't have any dna profile. They didn't have the other lincoln. That other case of his name and another murdered woman's pocketbook and he denied it and we're dealing with the jailhouse inmate who you know they. They lie right. I mean so. We'll talk wire wasn't he or did they. Off the wire. He they were tickling the wire. No he didn't get it on the. Oh hold him. And then when the stool he had gone and said hey. I've got some information. And so they had him. I'll rigged up on the wire and then of course he didn't say anything. I don't have anything to do with the murder and so this was like. Yeah so maybe. He's smart enough to realize that this is odd. Why is he asking me about this again but you know what. Yeah but it's like. Why do they do this. I of course had a new. Marty wasn't gonna be able to like explain to me why they do this but i had to ask the question. Why would you confide. This is the hardest thing to figure out and it happens so incredibly often. I don't know. I heard one person talk about at one time. And it's like you know wouldn't be any fun if you won the lottery but you're the only person on earth and you couldn't tell anybody about it because you'd have all his money and no place to spend it all this clout in no place to tell anybody about it and it's almost like these guys feel like man. I literally got away with murder but if nobody ever knows about it. You know what's funny getting away with murder and so they feel like i gotta brag about it or a half to tell somebody to kind of get this cloudiness mystique to kind of revel in it. I understand what he's saying and he's probably right but it's so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that like you commit this murder but what fun is if you can't tell anybody and yet it happens yeah So often and walk. I mean it's like why. I don't get it. So on top of that though mardi notices something else in his file a seemingly insignificant tip that when paired with a scrap of paper with a name and number and the knowledge that the name is also in that other murder case file similar to maryland's case becomes something brand new tip called in anonymously that said i know this guy named lee miller and he works at the mcdonald's in all and he knows a little bit too much about the murder. That happened in bremerton. And it's a anonymous tip that was phoned in and two for the life of me. I can't find any place where it'd ever been followed up on. And so i just sat there all these years. That's so sad. How so that came in beck nineteen ninety-two. Yeah a lot. I don't know if it was exactly ninety two but close. Yeah what. I happened because there was like tons of media attention. What is specific tiptoe for it not to be followed up on him and you got the guys full name and where he works. It'd be pretty easy to call the guy. Yeah you know. There's so many things going on and investigations that we can sit here and you know quarterback it but it's like who knows who knows but when we always talk about these types of cases these are the little tips that when you you don't see the whole puzzle but it's like they can go back and they're like oh wait a second. And that's what's so amazing about the evolution of a cold case and so they look up. Lee robert miller and find that he is now a fifty four year old man. Living in boise. Idaho miller would have been in his twenties at the time of maryland. Hickeys murder. So it's jiving up with the the young man that she was with so that jives with the sketch that they did and they found out that miller had lived in bremerton around the time of the nine hundred ninety two murder. So kim with no dna matches and kotas. You're in your detective armchair you just pulled that little side lever your foot stills kicked out. What do you think they do net. Oh man i'm thinking back to the many staff at case that we cover when they had a co worker sneak in and grab a cop killer had us yesterday to get his dna. We find out. Lee miller still living in boise idaho. And he's still alive and he's just doing his thing living his life in so they dispatch a group of guys to follow him around and sure enough. He discards a cigarette and repetition sample Sample still got the picture on my computer of the smoking cigarettes but on the on the sidewalk the detective took before he snatched it up. It's one of my favorite pictures. It shows how fresh it was. Because it's still smoldering before you even up. I think just just perfect. It's like the smoking gun absolutely and it was a match now. They had to get to work building their cases and that meant evaluating the evidence in both cases and get their ducks in a row before they arrested him. Who had the better. Dna sample the idaho cases. Dna profile came from a blanket but their issues. When you have a semen stain on a blanket is like getting the sample off of a blanketed the motel. It could have been somebody that was there six months ago or a year ago. We don't know it's very interesting that there and obviously if it shows up to murder scenes like this does it adds significant. But it doesn't say that he was there at the time or in near proximity to win. This murder happened whereas ours. We can pretty safely that he was with our victim within forty eight hours of when she died the dna on the blanket. Talking about the motel room know. It reminds me of this seedy motel. That i stayed at once in vegas and we found the husks from sunflower seeds. Like the shell. Dirty shells under all the sheath. My like the bed had been made with fresh shoots on top but there were still sunflower shelves in the bet. It was the most. I don't know why but it like no barf and we ran out of there and did not stay the night. You know what you are spun on. Because i actually remember seeing this thing and i could never see it so every time i go into hotel room i think of this unfortunately and maybe i shouldn't share this because i don't want to give this to someone else i'm going to. Yeah so they just basically sprayed looming all on on your typical decent hotel room and it lit up and it was like. Oh my gosh with body fluids and you don't know where the fluids are coming from where he could be saliva or could be anything so i mean it's just you know when you stay at people's places when you stay at a hotel. It's like you know you just kind of have to put that out of your mind buffet. But the seeds gross. Kim like i have gone back and forth and i actually reached out to you because that's helped me make the decision here because it's just such a horrendous awful detail and yet because of when you're putting together a cold case and it's like what is going to be your strongest case. And so because they did have his profile on the blanket in the idaho case. That doesn't mean that. He admitted that he was there. But it didn't mean that he murdered her right. It didn't mean that he's sexual who brutally sexually assaulted her. And so in the case in washington in maryland's case not only had he sexually assaulted her and he plunged scissors through her heart. He had violated her with a hairbrush in it. Is that hairbrush. That absolutely puts that dna profile at the time of her death based on the forensics of how she died and when she died it left zero. Doubt that the person who left their dna was also her killer. So i went back through the pictures and i was able to isolate one picture. That was taken at the scene where you can see. Maybe a quarter of an inch of that hairbrush that still outside the body that the offender had not been able to shove inside and i talked to the dna scientists. About what what. What about if we just tested this tiny little end of this hairbrush. What do you think about that. And he said you know what it's a murder case it's unsolved for this. Many years it to me will do again. And doggone it if i didn't get a semen sample of the very tip of that hairbrush. That was still sticking outside of her body in that matched lee miller as well so this brush was just used violate her but it was still there when they found her remains. It was still inside of her. Yes it was and so it's it's interesting though during the zoom call that i had with detective garland. He saw the reaction on my face to this. I mean he described all of the other. Horrendous things that maryland had undergone and just say that cut did not include all of the horrendous detail because yeah it was pretty grotesque. Yeah it it really was and we talked about that like. There's just a certain details in case that when you hear them it's just it. It just puts you a kind of the edge if it isn't bad enough to talk about a woman being raped in her own home in being strangled and then being shoved a pair of scissors through her heart as she's dying or is already did. It's funny because you know. We talked about all those things prior to the hairbrush. But then when i told you about the airbrush you're like oh my god and i could see the reaction you on your face there and it's just like it almost takes it to this new level like as if this person wasn't bad enough now they've just reached a new level of some kind of sadistic pleasure that they take in this whole thing. Yeah i mean. I think it goes to show that that rape is not a crime of sexuality is a crime of violence crime of you know. He wanted to see the pain on her face. He wanted to see her humiliation and he fed off of that and he used anything that he could get his hands on including a hairbrush to do it. Yeah and ultimately. Here's the thing about the cold cases too. Because detective garland took that extra and had that they still had it all these years later that hairbrush and he took the extra step and was like. Hey let's get this tested. We need to make sure that we have an iron clad case and there was just no way that this defendant or this suspect could squirm out of being there at the time of her death. At that point we knew our case. It's very much stronger than their case was and so. I was able to get a murder warrant based on that evidence so january. Twenty nineteen mardi flew out to boise with an arrest warrant in his hand and for the first time he met detective. Monte iverson from boise and though they were literally meeting for the first time they become close to their work pulling the cases together and going this back and forth but it must have been like a really kind of weird scenario of like. You're meeting someone that you've been really having their best hangnail and the excitement your i can't imagine like okay. We've got this. We've got basically let's go get. Let's go get her guy right so what they did basically is that they pooley miller over in a traffic stop and while they were doing this they weren't doing it. They were devising a plan of how this is where we talk about how this is. This is chess isn't checkers. They wanna get a confession because they have really solid evidence. But it's like it's gonna save everyone. Yeah and it. Can you imagine a trial with all the horrific details that we've heard about this and what he did to these women being heard by a jury and courtroom. I mean that is just her family hostage. Continue to endure so of course. That's on their minds so it had been over twenty years since the the murders of maryland and cheryl i. I can't even imagine what he was thinking. Well we thought he got away with it. Yeah and then when they pull him and bring him in like what you know. There was no doubt that he must have been shaken in his boots. Looks like any regular old fifty. Two year old guy who's kind of lived a little bit more. Go rough life in. He presented very friendly. And like joe average neighbor and he was raising his two daughters a by himself and he was holding down a job in was just a regular do is nothing in his life. That would raise any kind of red flags or anything. What about the fact. That as far as we know these are the only two murders that he's been connected to and they were thinking either. This has to be somebody who's dead or in jail because no other murder seem to have been committed. I mean what was he doing in all in the last twenty years i think he was just living his life going back and forth. You know he'd looked like he'd been ridden hard. And whatever that put away wet horse. That was like i really comment. It's literally physically wet. Okay so he had been in jail but he hadn't been out for a long time. He had these two daughters that he was raising. I think that there's like since we've seen mind hunter. And all these shows like a database that you can just put in certain things. And i just think that there is that but i also think it's not as organized am so they were pulling him in thinking. Yeah everything matches up to this guy. But did he do other things we don't right. Yeah the two that we know of batch. Say yeah so i'm gonna play. There was ten hours of interview. And i wanted to share just a little bit here because i think it kind of speaks to a couple of things. They're asking him about his relationship with maryland. But there's this dance that's going on between him and the investigators and like he's like i'm sure trying to like. How much do they know what's going on. Because he's trying to act like he's just joe schmo so there's a couple of things going on which i want to pick apart when after i play this to her council things are at her place and usually there's some new sleep on the floor. Okay and then you go on the floor okay. Did you ever vase. There did or not drinking a lot back then. I know some things are and some things come back. I mean. I remember going to the arcade all the time when i was growing up and hanging out down there and i still remember some of my friends and the lowlander going to sustain. Everybody always thought that he did it for insurance when birds because he was mike. You know it's it's just trying to change the subject trying to talk about anything other than what the detective wants to talk about trying to give yourself any kind of out. Like the whole. I don't remember much of drunk a lot. And he's like. I would sleep on the floor when i would remember but in a world like i feel like your patients. It's so tedious like we can't even like if our phones don't turn on instant like whoa what's going on right like i can't even imagine ten hours of that. Like that would be so grueling of him like trying to be like on the laundromat. I think they got back. You know you're you're having to go in his time line. Yeah and he knows that will end the detectives. No the gruesome disgusting unbelievable things that he did to these women and they have to sit there and play nice. They do not only an. And we're gonna get to that in a minute. Because i find that to be completely fascinating. They look they want him to look at a picture. And it's the crime scene photo and they're like cure borrow my readers because they're all about the same age right like really weird dynamic where it's like. They know what he's done and in spite of that they know what they need to do right. They know so. They have to be patient. They have to be list. They have to listen and build rapport but at the same time. They have to get him back to the meat which is that. He raped tortured. And murdered cheryl in maryland. And then i remember. This was so frustrating. You and i had such a hard time with this With the case that we did on ingrid line the date and the guy said that he blacked out. He didn't remember anything and it was such a cop out and this is so satisfying because detective garland will end up turning the screws about the blackout. Excuse you're going to to stand up an account of what happened here and that's your story. I remember because i blacked out. I must've been blacked out. Because i just don't remember i don't remember is that it's going to be your story and i'm going to stand up and say why didn't you ever go back to where housing kardashian. Why didn't you ever go back to her house. The second round. They're having sex that night. Go back way you play four with her again way. You ever have any of her friends about her again. I don't remember plant pool. You did play pool. There any played that night that you guys read the bar you played. I had with it. They're playing pool. So why didn't you ever play waiting. You ever dream with her. Yeah why didn't you ever ask anybody about for again. I'm in virginia. The guessing back in the nineties is not that big of a town that was given major news. You're gonna run into somebody is your about this lady that killed so even if you didn't even need in blackout desiccated can't tell me for the next year and a half as you were still in bremerton washington. You didn't hear about her not sushi that the jury is going to have. I understand that. And i'm getting what you're saying. I don't have any memory of this. I am so impressed. The whole field of that line of questioning is so different from what we heard earlier. I know and it's almost like they have flipped a switch in their own personalities to decide. Okay we can really be our true selves now can be the detectives again. We don't have to be this guy's friend anymore. We've gotten as far as we're gonna get. We've got as much as we're going to get. Now get to say what we really think. Yeah that's so. Brilliant like yes. If you blacked out you'd be rough one but you wouldn't never talk to that person again. You would never go back there. You remembered something horrible happened. Otherwise why wouldn't you ever go back. Why would you never talk to this person who was dead. No i know. But i'm just saying that's why he. He claims that he never knew that she was dead. That's what he's saying. But then why would he never tried to reach out to her again so you might be thinking that they have you know why do all this. They have an what appears to be a pretty ironclad case with all this dna the jailhouse confession about cheryl's murder and knowing he lived in bremerton the time. Yeah the the witnesses that put him in at the drift in with maryland. A confession to a coworker at mcdonalds. Who called in that tip with that paper. But the reality was the idaho. Case was pretty much all circumstantial but they're. Da looked at their case. Man all we got really is dna on a blanket in the scene. We've got no witnesses putting him there. In fact six months after they in their boise case within six months they arrested somebody for that crime and they had actually put him in jail and come across some other information that they ended up letting them go but they had already arrested somebody for that specific murder. It sounds like probably what it was is. People had seen her drug dealer boyfriend. Go into the scene and find her dead and then he fled and so they actually went out and arrested him on that charge so their case at a bunch of other hurdles that they really felt like we. Just don't have enough to arrest this guy with just the the scene and having such a strong other suspect is gonna make it that much harder for them to convict anybody else of the crime because it's going give the defense and immediate you will. What about this guy. Yeah i mean circumstantial. Evidence is powerful. But it's also really scary when you're innocent. According to an associated press reports. Floyd parker had been convicted in the death of another woman almost fifteen years earlier. Who was killed in. The same way cheryl two months after the arrest. They let him go because of a lack of evidence but it's just scary how he didn't have anything to do with us and yet you know. He could've looked like. Hey he's he's good for people living arrested and spent thirty years in jail for lunch at some point. During the interrogation the tables turned and miller would admit to killing cheryl but he said it was an act of self-defense. Apparently now he remembers well he remembered enough to know that it was that he said it was self defense. And it's a really interesting thing. Apparently there was a candy bar that they had gotten miller and they said why. Don't you use the candy bar as a knife to show us the struggle of you. Defending yourself against cheryl and so they're standing in front of me facing one another and monte holds up this candy bar knife in his hand and he says was about here about here and and lee justice. Hanson knows about here and he says okay. So i'm coming towards you. When he takes a step towards lee miller and lee reaches out and grabs his hand in this fluid motion and absolutely turns a candy bar. Shoves it right into maltese chest. Just exactly like his victim had been killed with his knife shift right through chest and it was so shocking in so quick that it made me stand up out of my seat like i was witnessing you know an assault or something in front of me it was just it was very shocking and louis kind of at the point he he realize you know that it all happen quick and he's like hey am sorry you know what i mean to upset anybody but it was almost like he was literally reliving that moment when he showed that knife into her chest if her head was almost cut off in the things that you claim i must have blacked out and i don't know what happened there you know so he always had this kind of blackout story that he went back to but in a way that would support his claim of self-defence wouldn't it if he was able to go through the motions and show them yeah. This is how it could've happened. I think that the way that he did it made. It seem more like he was murdering her than than self defense and in that moment like they were just expecting him to be like. Hey get away you know that kind of. Here's the candy bar. And he suddenly like without the viciousness and the violin. Yeah ray came you saw. He took off the mask and kinda lost himself. Lincoln and i think that that happens where people think they're smarter. They think they're gonna get away with inter or they think they're going to say the things that will get them and then just naturally just mess up and that's exactly what he did with this candy bar. I asked marty what it was like. Seeing miller go from this joe average to a cold blooded killer. The great part of it i think was and i probably watched in half a dozen times after that is what a great piece of evidence or you know if if we had ever had to go before jury you know it seems like you could put out that thirty second clip and build up and just show them that little chunk and i think that every person on that jury would be able to imagine him doing that. Exact same thing with a knife and not thinking twice about it. I mean for lack of a better term. It was just amazing to watch him kind of turn it on and turn it off like that and become back to this regular guy. Kind of apologetic. Jeez sorry and i hope i didn't alarm you know kind of afterwards and showed you how he was truly. The psychopathic could live one way. One moment in a different way of different. Move jekyll and hyde mia for sure. So at some point during this interrogation you know we talked about how you know. They're besties and it got as say shit. Got real getting down to brat pack for another. Talk about I i don't remember doing going playing cards and drinking and having sex with this lady and there is ample and then those things happen. And i have witnesses and neighbors there. I have a bartender with the night that she died. I haven't kind of kept driver. That has you in the taxicab with her. As the only person that got drop with her that night at her apartment at about two ten in the morning of are closed and then vow three hours later comes in the door and into cone. comfortable forget. Can we've gone already about three hours there. Where lacking you cling into apartment. She's never seen alive again. She's found dead for several hours at your siemens anger. Dna on harebrained idea. So at the end of the day miller made a deal he admitted to murdering cheryl barrett. And according to this plea deal. He was sentenced to twenty five years he took an alford plea to second degree murder in maryland's case and an alford plea is not a guilty plea. The defendant asserts they're innocent but acknowledges the evidence against them as so overwhelming they would likely be found guilty by a jury so defendants will agree to an alford plea to get a lesser sentence without admitting guilt so they went in there thinking he was going to get twenty years for both of these in court. He said quote after drinking and using drugs on the night in question. I don't have memories of it. But i do remember stabbing miss barrett and i want to plead guilty. Because i feel that i am guilty. I basically have no defense for this. And then the judge in washington could have signed off on that twenty five year sentence for both murders but instead when it came to maryland's case in washington. She sentenced him to seventeen more years. Because of the brutality of the crimes once the judge decided that that was what she was going to do with she's longer gavel in. It was all over with kind of this moment in the courtroom where it almost stopped the breath that everybody who's in there because nobody expected it and when she did it and she crashed down her gavel at the end of it after she'd made the ruling she looked over me. 'cause i'm sitting all by myself over in the jury box and gave me this. Just the faintest wink like yeah. We got him. Don't worry about it. We're gonna take care of things you know kind of thing and i just thought that's just awesome. I just. I just really appreciate that. She understood the gravity of case instead. This guy is not somebody you should be out amongst regular people anymore. I love that. I i do wonder a couple of things one. Would they have gotten that alford plea. If they knew that he could be sentenced to more than twenty five years when they were expecting twenty-five years when they entered that could they go back and say never mind. You know a hand. That was what i said to mardi two like. Why would he did. He know that this could happen. Why would you sign that if you knew. And he's like yeah they warn. You can just kind of hope that the judge is going to be on your side and just sometimes that happens. You know where the judge is like. Okay so i think they thought he was going to get twenty five years and part of the plea deal was that he wanted to do his time in idaho because of his his family that was there and so i think that's okay rolling the dice. You know as a wonder about whether the fact that it was a female judge had any effect on the fact that that she decided this was so horrendous and needed more time You know it's hard to say because you would hope that a man would would do the same because of the horrendous nature of the crime in what they did. But yeah i mean how could it not and i love our. I guess my. I loved how detective garland was kind of fan. Girling over the judge like which she cracked her galilee. I just love that so much. But there's another kind of interesting thing i just wanted to talk about. For a second. As detective garland was kind of summing up in our interview after the interrogation they flew lee miller back to washington state and detective garland was kinda topping about the nuts and the bolts and then he talked about when they were on the airplane. And this was just a really. He said this offhand. I mean not really anything related to the case but it was just kind of an interesting detail. We flew from boise to seattle and as we got up in the air. You know. we're kind of bank. And coming out of boise turning towards seattle each turns over and he looks at me and exist normal. And i said oh yeah. They always do this. Coming out of boise not always take off in south. Then you have to turn real heart and go back. North seattle was okay. 'cause i never been on an airplane before and this is this one only airplane dripping ever taken in his life and it was to go to prison for the rest of his life when i just thought man. There's some irony there. I don't know it's just very interesting. What struck me about. That is the way that miller looked. Detective garland for comfort in that situation. And how he did comfort him he did settle his mind and i would have said like no what are they doing. Are we going down. I gotta job. That is so has to be a time so depressing and frustrating and angering and everything else. I would take the opportunity when it came. Yeah but i think that this this whole relationship. It's very unique. That can be forged. This is not the first time we've talked to an investigator who's talked about this kind of like weird bond that's established between the suspect and the investigator. There is this unusual bond that develops between in detective when you spend you know. Ten hours in a room with somebody sharing a meal and talking about the most intimate details of their life. You kind of develop this odd. I wouldn't say friendship but kind of kinship inasmuch as they develop the trust in you that they're willing to share these things with you that they would never if you would ask them at the beginning of the interview. They never say that they were planning on admitting. And you know you have to of overcome that and you have to develop this bond and that bond is a real thing at least on their side. I mean there's been many times where i've been asked you know. Are you going to be there court date. Because i want to make sure they're like you're supporting m. friend and not realizing yeah. I'm gonna be there. But i'm going to be at the table on the other side of the room on your side. You know kind of thing because there's this interesting dynamic that develops between people when they spend that much time talking about intimate things that you know. Only the two of them know that will one because they were there one. Because they've studied the case for many many many hours. It reminds me of like stockholm syndrome. But instead of it happening between somebody who's being held captive and a cap door. I mean in a way it is right. I mean the police are holding this person captive. But it's it's not unintentional psychology and we know how to use this aspect of human psychology. Where there's this desire to connect and be understood by another human being and use that to our advantage. Yeah and i think to being let down by the system. I don't know what lean billers childhood was like. But i feel like i can make some assumptions that maybe he didn't have the best childhood and maybe he didn't have a mentor in his life. And we know that. Not having a mentor. In a child's life is one of the biggest usually your parental figure. But if you don't have that like a coach or know somebody in authority who kind of shows you the ropes and shows you things and i wonder these detectives the could be considered a mentor to them. You know and that's because the victims were both of them. Older women older than him yet cheryl was forty. Nine and maryland was fifty seven. Yeah so i wonder too. If that's like you said looking for that parental figure. Yeah may maybe. The same goes for his victims. He looking for women to fill the role that maybe wasn't filled when he was a kid. Like you said we don't know about his childhood but it does seem like there's some kind of mom issues. How definitely in back to your question like could he have committed other crimes in that database at magic database that we always think that exists in the world where we can find out if there's a profile for this person. Apparently millard never went into the y. Of his crimes. But marty did look back through some records and found that lee was named person of interest in a home invasion rape case that was never solved back around the same time in the same neighborhood as maryland but never convicted of it and it happened. Only three months before maryland was never killed in. It's almost like you can see us. Working his way up to this or he had been committed this rape and this woman had come back to accuse him of it so he had determined in his mind. Okay i'm not gonna leave victims alive to point a finger at me anymore. I'm just gonna kill them after these rains which makes me again think there could be other victims out there absolutely and when detectives asked him if there were any more murder victims he said quote. I don't know i hope not. And if you're wondering why. Maryland had that scrap of paper with lee miller's every every you're asking me about that earlier the answer came from that tip that was called in said he was looking for a place to stay bremerton not impossible anymore and i knew maryland new a lot of people downtown so i told lee i would passes name along the maryland and she would contact him if she ever found a place for them to live and that's why his name was on a scrap of paper in her purse. So interesting how things. Come around. And this guy worked at mcdonalds with lee miller. That was the mcdonald Connection that somebody had called in and said you know. Hey this guy. Who works at the paul go. Mcdonald's they leave. Miller knows a little bit too much about the case and also the connection to that piece of paper in her purse. So it's It's interesting when you kind of get to see the whole puzzle. Pieces fit together after you're able to see the finished product and it's another layer to this tragedy. It suggests that maryland may have called him and asked him to meet her there to talk about. Maybe she'd found a place that he could stay in. Bremerton said if memory serves me correctly that there was. They didn't have any evidence to support that she had but they didn't have evidence to support that she didn't and the thing too is that she was doing him. A solid rights. Right might help him out. Yeah he didn't even know who this person was who who's was calling him to be. I mean assuming there was a phone call made. He wouldn't have known who she was. I just think about how just horribly unlucky she was. Yeah the lynch pin in this case wasn't just the dna but the relationship and partnership in sharing information between detective garland and detective iverson which is ironic because so often the stories that we hear in law enforcement are like of them not working to get it right. And i just love this relationship that developed like. When i was talking to detective garland he was like when monte called him just to tell them about the dna match. He's like oh dude. It's not him and marty's like what he's just kidding it's in celebration like this camaraderie. That i wish we could see more of an and mari speaks to this. It's funny that you say that because i watched dramas on tv or movies or whatever they always play this. You know the fbi comes in and takes over my case in darned fbi. And i'm so mad. You know as the local detective in in in the they're always trying to avoid the fbi. Taken their case in in inter jurisdictional angst that we have. And it's so funny. Because i've been a cop for twenty years in being a detective for ten years and i've never ever had anything that resembles anything ever happened in one of my cases and i've worked with the fbi on a bunch of cases in fact these particular murder cases. They've offered a lot of help and done. Dna step forest and done backgrounds up force. And it's always tell me what you want. I'll go do that. And i'll bring it back to you and then you tell me what else you want. You know this great resource that they allow us to tap into that. They're just happy to do anything to help us on our case that they can without any obligation to quote unquote. Give it up or to give them all the glory or you know. They are hardly even mentioned in most of our cases but just a a report here or report their about collecting this or interviewing that person her but sometimes those are so big pieces that we aren't able to do ourselves because of a cost or a jurisdiction or things like that it becomes a super helpful. And i think that that in my experience is the norm as opposed to Being the exception. I think he's totally right. But let's be honest. I mean if we're talking about an investigation where everybody gets along and shares information and they find the killer. It's not as interesting. It's not as compelling of a story. It just isn't yeah. We'd like to hear about strife and conflict in overcoming and beating the odds and twists and turns and so we don't usually hear the stories like this where everybody worked together and a great outcome but it does happen so often well and that's what i love about. The podcast is that we can highlight that chasing those headlines of like click bait right this. Actually you know you had two people. Pounding the pavement working together and i wanted to end this with maryland. Son robert hickey. To k tv be news. But i've been waiting for twenty six years for this very day to happen. And when i got that call at all right we have something we finally adds up. Team in boise right under our freaking noses is the killer and i'm glad that detectives did a hell of a job and kept at it and openness cold case because if it wasn't for them he would have never been caught and for that. I'm thankful he deserves everything he gets. And that's what i wanna see. I want justice twenty six years worth your only have one mother one he took. It can never replace that ever. Yeah you can hear the the years in his voice now. But i was just telling my son the other day you will always be my little boy and he will always look at his mother the way a little boy looks at his mommy. You just tell in the way that he talks about her. And i'm so happy that he was still around to get the closure that he needed. Yeah i mean he had when i was watching the a piece that they had the package from k. t. v. he has this photo album that has all of these the new stories. And that's you know kind of this shrine to his mother and it's like you know we can't forget what people go through in these families in the cold case and to know that just on so many different levels like they cared to continue picking up the torch and there were so many detectives along the way like if they had collected that dna evidence so meticulously. This case would not have been solved right. So i'm so happy that they had the outcome that they did. And i'm so grateful to detective. Marty garland that he is he's so forthcoming and honest about his conversations with the suspects. Yes sometimes we have to be friendly with them as much as it's distasteful and disgusting. It's what we have to do to get our job done and so to have people out there like mardi garland who do that work but then also are willing to be so open and honest about it with us so we can understand our world a little bit better and understand the whole psychology of of crime. A little bit better is phenomenal. I just wanted mentioned that. Thank you. Detective garland I should write him like a little. Thank you notice. I think you just gave it to him. Gave if you come across a story that you think is really fascinating. Maybe you haven't heard very many people talking about it or maybe you have. But you don't feel like you've heard the whole story would love to dig in a little deeper so feel free to reach out to us at scene of the crime. Podcast dot com. You can also find us on facebook instagram twitter. And i wonder if we should ever do tiktok a mean feel like i'm a little old for ticked up to be honest here a little old for tiktok but it's so popular on how i feel like i'm already so pulled apart with all these different like my daughters are on instagram. I'm on. I don't want it to be like on facebook but i'm on facebook that age bracket i know i still the only moms on facebook. Where like to see us on talk. I'd be willing to entertain that possibility but at the same time. Like i do sort of feel like there'd be a learning curve for me her well that at least you're not calling the tiktok no see i knew when it was still a. That's how old school tiktok a a musically account. I don't even know what musically is. It's what tiktok okay. Well i'm carol. Was oreo with kim. 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