In today’s episode, our team looks back on the case that led off our second season. It’s called “Girl for Rent” and it illustrates a critical part of policing: if the hair on the back of your neck is bristling, trust your instincts and investigate.
Original episode description:
Sgt. David and his officer-in-training are working the graveyard shift on a cold winter night when they scout out an abandoned lot in their small town that’s a well-known spot for illegal activity. As they approach, they see a car with its lights off and two passengers inside: a man in his 50’s and a young girl seated on the passenger’s side. Though there’s no crime in just sitting in your car, Sgt. David has a gut feeling that something is very wrong. What he discovers is even worse than what he suspected.Read Transcript
Yeardley: [00:00:06] Hey, Small Town Fam. It’s Yeardley. How are you, guys? I’m so happy that you’re here. So, here’s the situation. You know, when we plan a season of Small Town Dicks, we plan it quite far in advance. And our tiny, but extraordinary team works their butts off to bring you the best in true crime listening. And even with all of that, sometimes, the best late plans go awry. So, we don’t have a brand-new episode for you today, but we are going to dig into our archives and answer a question that we get all the time from you, our fabulous listeners, and that is what’s your favorite episode? Of course, it’s an impossible question. I get it all the time as Lisa Simpson when I’m doing interviews for The Simpsons. There’s so much to choose from. I can hardly remember half of it. So, it’s a terrible question, really.
[00:01:06] I feel quite the same about our episodes here on Small Town Dicks, but we’re going to attempt to at least select one, and to do that in the very best way, I’ve enlisted Detectives Dan and Dave to help me. So, I have with me, Detective Dan.
Dan: [00:01:25] Dan’s present.
Yeardley [00:01:27] [laughs] Dan is present.
Dan: [00:01:28] And I’ll be referring to myself in the third person from here on out.
Yeardley: [00:01:31] Oh, perfect. And I have [laughs] Detective Dave.
Dave: [00:01:35] Hi, there.
Yeardley: [00:01:36] Hi, there. And we thought while we can’t answer what’s your favorite episode, we can answer what’s one of your favorite episodes? And for your listening pleasure today, we have selected Girl for Rent. So, Girl for Rent is actually Episode 1 of Season 2. I wanted to ask Dan and Dave in particular, why this one sticks with you?
Dave: [00:02:03] For me, it’s just good policing. Sergeant David is being proactive. He’s got a recruit with him and is just doing what we do on patrol all the time. At least proactive patrol officers are doing is recognizing which cars belong where on their beat and understanding things that might be out of place. It’s just solid police work and it leads to a huge discovery. That, to me, is why we’re supposed to be out there digging.
Yeardley: [00:02:34] Right. I always think about how perfectly the dominoes need to line up in order for justice to be served, and that goes for a situation like Sergeant David found himself in as well, where so many things had to come together to create this perfect timing for him to discover this car and ultimately come to the rescue of this little girl.
Dave: [00:03:02] This is an occasion where a car just parked on a street somewhere doesn’t necessarily say, “Hey, police, you need to come talk to me.” But it’s suspicious circumstances. The police get called by citizens all the time saying, “Hey, there’s a vehicle down the street. It just seems suspicious. I don’t know what they’re doing.” We get sent suspicious conditions calls many times a day. Every once in a while, it turns into something. But it’s truly what the police’s job is to go out there and investigate on behalf of the citizens.
Yeardley: [00:03:36] It’s a version of the welfare check.
Dave: [00:03:38] It is. That’s all it is, “Hey, can you just go look into this?” It might be that the person just is waiting for a call from somebody and pulled off on the side of the road and is just waiting. But there’s other times where it actually is a citizen going, “I’m going to call the police because this doesn’t feel right.” Trust your instincts. We say it all the time. It’s not a huge ask for the police to come out in the middle of the night to investigate something that’s keeping you from falling asleep.
Yeardley: [00:04:07] Yeah. It might be the one tiny mistake that a predator makes that leads to a circumstance where you get to rescue a victim.
Dave: [00:04:16] Countless discoveries made that way on simple traffic stops or a cop just going, “Eh, I’m going to go talk to those folks and see what’s up.” Jaycee Dugard-
Yeardley: [00:04:27] Yeah.
Dave: [00:04:28] -somebody called in and said, “This guy’s being a problem on campus,” and ta-da. We’ve got proactive work from a citizen results in police activity, results in a horrible tragedy not made right, but at least we have a happy ending.
Yeardley: [00:04:46] Yeah. Dan, what about you?
Dan: [00:04:48] I go back to one of my original FTOs. His name is Mark. He always told me, “Your job as a police officer is to investigate. Go out there, be proactive and investigate.” That’s the bottom line. I think we’ve lost sight of the goal line to some degree when we are going to handcuff the police where they can’t ask some simple questions that are really– It’s a minor inconvenience for someone. I’m not detaining you, I’m just asking you a few little questions. It’s incumbent upon police officers to know the difference also. In this episode, Girl for Rent, I remember there being a little bit of pushback from what I recall.
Yeardley: [00:05:33] From both. So, both from the older man and from the little girl, they both are like, “What the fuck are you doing, cop?”
Dan: [00:05:41] Yeah. And one of the best lessons that I got, and you heard it over, over, over again through the academy, through your field training process, when you’re with coaches in the beginning part of your career is, if that hair on your neck is standing up, you should probably listen to it. It’s either trying to save your life or you need to take a step back, maybe look at it from a different angle, and reassess what you’re witnessing.
Yeardley: [00:06:08] And thank goodness, Sergeant David, he’s retired now, but he was such an experienced law enforcement officer that he was like, despite the pushback, even the denials from the little girl, this does not compute.
Dave: [00:06:27] He’s just got a very experienced and well-honed bullshit meter.
Yeardley: [00:06:33] Yeah.
Dave: [00:06:35] And that’s why I trusted that guy so much in tense, stressful moments, because you always knew what to expect from him that he’s going to do what he believes to be right, and he’s going to be pretty assertive about it. He’s the chilliest guy on call. You see sergeant David, he’s a tall, big dude. He’s so calm that I think it’s disarming to people like, “Oh, I thought he was going to come in like a polar bear.” And you’re like, “No.” He’s actually pretty reasonable guy. He just knows what’s right and what’s wrong.
Yeardley: [00:07:13] So, Small Town Fam, here is one of our all-time favorite episodes, Girl For Rent.[music]
Zibby: [00:07:22] Please be warned that the details of this case are graphic and may be difficult to hear. It is not an episode for young listeners.
Sergeant David: [00:07:32] He would tell her that, “My thoughts are your thoughts and your thoughts are my thoughts,” things like that. She just thought that that’s the way life was.[Small Town Dicks theme]
Yeardley: [00:07:41] I’m Yeardley.
Zibby: [00:07:43] And I’m Zibby, and we’re fascinated by true crime.
Yeardley: [00:07:46] So, we invited our friends, Detective Dan and Dave.
Zibby: [00:07:50] To sit down with us and share their most interesting cases.
Dan: [00:07:54] I’m Dan.
Dave: [00:07:54] And I’m Dave.
Dan: [00:07:56] We’re identical twins.
Dave: [00:07:56] We’re detectives in small town USA.
Dan: [00:07:59] Dave investigates sex crimes and child abuse.
Dave: [00:08:02] Dan investigates violent crimes. And together, we’ve worked on hundreds of cases, including assaults, robberies, murders, burglaries, sex abuse, and child abuse.
Dan: [00:08:10] Names, locations, and certain details of these cases have been altered to protect the privacy of the victims and their families.[music]
Yeardley: [00:08:27] Today on Small Town Dicks, we’re very pleased to welcome back Sergeant David. How are you today, sir?
Sergeant David: [00:08:32] I’m good. Thank you.
Yeardley: [00:08:33] And we have the usual suspects.
Dave: [00:08:36] Detective Dave.
Dan: [00:08:37] And Detective Dan.
Yeardley: [00:08:38] So, today, we’re talking about a case that you worked way back in 1991.
Sergeant David: [00:08:44] Correct. Yeah.
Yeardley: [00:08:45] Tell us how this began for you.
David Sergeant: [00:08:47] I was still in patrol at the time. I was a field training officer and had a recruit with me. We were working graveyard shift. I was showing around the city. It was like our second or third night together. During the training process, they put you with three different coaches, and I was the coach that was supposed to take him out. There’s a school on a main street, but behind the school is a big rural property that is going to be developed for a housing project. But the only thing that’s in there right now is the streets. At that time, the streets were in the cul-de-sac were all put in there and it was probably 50 acres, 60 acres of land back there, and it was a famous spot for people to go back and ditch stolen cars and for minors to drink. It was just a high crime area.
[00:09:28] So, it was about 2 o’clock in the morning, and a recruit was driving and I told him to pull into the back of that area to show him around and see if we could find anybody back there. It was late winter, early spring, I remember, and it was really cold out that night. As we pull down to the back of this property, I see a station wagon parked off in one of the cul-de-sacs, just backed in, looking out. I said, “Go down. There’s a car down there.” We went around it, and you can see two people in the front seat of the station wagon and pulled behind it and stopped. I said, “Go, contact the driver.”
[00:09:59] One of the good things about being a coach because sometimes they don’t think there’s only one cop in there, so you get to get out on the passenger side and walk up and see everything that’s going on in the car. I remember when I walked up on the car, there was this older man in his 50s. In the back seat was a wheelchair that was all folded up and the front seat was a young girl. As I walked up onto the passenger side, she didn’t know I was there. I looked down and I saw that she was just wearing a tank top, like a small little tank top and a pair of shorts that were like running shorts, and no shoes, no nothing else. Immediately, I just thought, “Well, this doesn’t look good.”
Zibby: [00:10:36] Because it was cold out.
Sergeant David: [00:10:37] It’s really cold out. She was young, and this guy was obviously way out of her age group. I was listening to my recruit, and he was telling their recruit that his parents owned this property back there and he lived just a short distance away and that at times he would come and check on it to make sure no one was dumping property or doing illegal things back there.
[00:10:58] I was listening to this, and watching her, and she was just pretty nonchalant. My recruit got the driver’s ID and brought it back. I met him behind the car and I said, “What’s his story?” He told me basically what I just heard that he was back there checking on the property. I said, “Did you ask who the girl is?” He said, “No, I didn’t ask that.” I said, “Well, let’s go find out.” So, go back up there and talk to him, and I’m going to ask her to get out of the car. So, I walked up and I knocked on the window and she looked up and saw me and I asked her to step out of the car. The thing that struck me most about her originally was how mature she was as far as her conversation with me. She was very matter of fact and she had this almost 1000-yard stare, adult like look on her face.
Yeardley: [00:11:45] And how old was she?
David Sergeant: [00:11:46] She was 11, I found out at this time. I noticed, when she walked out that she was only dressed like I described in these little tiny running shorts and this tank top, and I asked her what she was doing back there. She said, “I’m just back here with my dad.” I said, “That’s your dad?” She said, “Yeah.” I said, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” She said, “No.” I go, “What are you doing back here?” And she said, “Well, my grandparents owned this property. We’re just back here checking. My dad said he thought he saw lights, so we came out here.” I said, “Were you in bed when he came and got you?” And she said, “Yeah.” I said, “Okay, did you have time to grab clothes or what, because this is cold out here?” And then she goes, “Well, yeah, that’s why I don’t want to be standing out here, officer.”
Yeardley: [00:12:23] Oh.
David Sergeant: [00:12:23] She was stand-offish to me.
Zibby: [00:12:26] Wow.
David Sergeant: [00:12:27] I said, “Well, just entertain me for a minute. Where do you go to school, because it’s a school night?” It was 2 o’clock in the morning. She said, “I go over to this school right here.” She gave the name of the school. I asked her what grade she was in and she was appropriate for her age. I also asked her how old she was. She told me, “She had just turned 11 years.” But the whole thing was weird. So, I was at this point where I knew something was wrong. So, I just looked at her and asked her, “Tell me the truth. Are you all right?” She looked at me really indignantly and she said, “Of course, I’m all right. Why wouldn’t I be? I’m here with my dad.
Yeardley: [00:12:57] Wow.
David Sergeant: [00:12:57] Like, “Why are you asking me this?” So, I go, “All right, so get back in the car where it’s warm.” We took his name down, we took her name and date of birth down, and I went back and asked him, “Where his mom and dad lived and what their names were?” He told me, gave me an address that wasn’t too far away and we let him go. Got back and discussed the thing with my recruit like, “What was weird about that?” He really didn’t seem much weird about it, [chuckles] but it wasn’t too surprising for a recruit, I suppose. I said, “Drive over to this parent’s house.” It’s 2 o’ clock, 02:30 in the morning, but we’re going to wake him up anyway.
[00:13:33] So, we drive over to the parent’s house and knock on the door. This woman comes to the door and I ask her if she’s so and so. And she said, “Yes.” I said, “Do you have a son named Hank?” She said, “Yeah, I do.” “Where does he live?” She asked me why I was asking. And I said, “Well, we found some of his stuff in the property you owned behind the school.” She said, “I don’t own any property behind the school.” I said, “Oh, I was under the impression that you owned all the property behind the school and where they’re developing.” She goes, “No, I don’t own that.” I said, “Okay, well, that’s fine.” I did ask her one more question, if she had a granddaughter. She said, “Yes, I do have a granddaughter named Julie.” And I asked her, “How old she was?” She didn’t really know. That’s the thing that was interesting about it. She goes, “Oh, I think she’s 10 years, maybe 11 years. I’m not really sure.” I said, “Okay.” So, we left. One of the things that I did after they went home– [crosstalk]
Yeardley: [00:14:21] You mean Hank and Julie?
Sergeant David: [00:14:23] Right. We went over there about an hour to make sure their car was there, and he was telling the truth about where they lived, for sure. We got all that confirmed. She, in fact, did live there with him. Throughout the night, we’re talking about this case with my recruit, and I wrote an information report based on everything that I observed that night. I did that because I knew something was wrong, but I just couldn’t do anything about it that night. Our dispatchers have access to the school registry of everybody who’s in school in the two cities around here of every school. The thing that really, obviously confirmed what I was thinking was correct was we looked in there and there was no record of her under that name being at any school.
Yeardley and Zibby: [00:15:02] No Julie.
Sergeant David: [00:15:04] No. Ni Julie anywhere, with that name and that age. We checked not only our city, but the neighboring city, which is well over 100,000 people, and no record of her anywhere
Zibby: [00:15:15] So, when you ran Hank’s name, did you find anything?
Sergeant David: [00:15:15] He had a record. The interesting thing about his record, in 1979, he’d been convicted of sex abuse of a minor in a neighboring county. Then I knew something was really wrong.
Zibby: [00:15:29] Oh, my God.
Yeardley: [00:15:31] If he had a record for sex abuse of a minor, how was he even allowed to be near one?
Zibby: [00:15:35] Yeah.
Sergeant David: [00:15:36] This is pre, having to register being a sex offender.
Yeardley: [00:15:38] Oh, wow.
Zibby: [00:15:40] Right. I guess, there was a time when you didn’t have to register.
Sergeant David: [00:15:43] Nowadays, he would have had a prohibition from being around minors or anything like that. Maybe not his own daughter, but– I just had this feeling the whole night that something was really wrong here, especially the way she acted. I’d been in the police game for probably about eight years or nine years at that time. It was right before I transferred detectives, but I had enough training, enough experience to know that there was something really wrong. She was distributing all the symptoms of somebody who had been just, either beat down or totally brainwashed is what would be a good–.
Dave: [00:16:17] Grooming?
Sergeant David: [00:16:17] Grooming. Yeah, groomed to an extent that I don’t think you hardly see very much in your career.
Yeardley: [00:16:22] Because she had such presence about her. She was so well spoken.
Sergeant David: [00:16:26] Very articulate. She spoke almost like an adult.
Yeardley: [00:16:29] Yeah.
Sergeant David: [00:16:29] And was, like, indignant when I asked her if she was okay.
Yeardley: [00:16:49] So, you have a bad feeling about this situation. What do you do next?
Sergeant David: [00:16:55] So, I write this report up with all my observations. Then one of the detectives that I knew worked those cases back there was an experienced guy, and I took it personally back to him to talk to him about it.
Yeardley: [00:17:04] This is Detective Jefferson, right?
Sergeant David: [00:17:06] Right. He was really interested in the case, and so he started doing research about the people that were involved, Hank and Julie. He tried to find birth record of Julie everywhere in our county and couldn’t find one. There was no birth record anywhere of her.
Yeardley: [00:17:21] What?
Sergeant David: [00:17:21] Over to him, he was not listed anywhere of being a father of any kids in our county or in our hospitals or anything like that.
Zibby: [00:17:29] No record of Hank being Julie’s father biological or not?
Sergeant David: [00:17:33] No.
Yeardley: [00:17:34] But he was listed as a resident of your county.
Sergeant David: [00:17:36] Yes.
Zibby: [00:17:36] So, now do you and your team start looking into these past sex abuse charges against Hank?
Sergeant David: [00:17:43] Yes. Detective Jefferson gets this information, and he realizes what it is and starts digging into it some more. Because of Hank’s past sex abuse and he had completed post-prison supervision on that which really was a joke about how much time he did for the first one, and that was involving a nine-year-old girl in a neighboring county. In part of his psychological evaluation after they’re going to let him out on parole, he has to talk about that case. This guy had displayed a really bunch of not only predatory symptoms, but real narcissistic symptoms. He basically tells the psychiatric board that, “Yes, she was nine years, but she was really mature for a nine-year-old.”
Zibby: [00:18:26] Oh, my God.
Sergeant David: [00:18:27] One of the things that the detective did find that was really disturbing was he’s running this guy’s name as far as records through our children’s services and everything like that trying to find her, and finally found a record that he had a child at that time. It was when she was between five years and six years old, a prostitute called children’s services, and basically made a report, what we would call– We have these reports come in all the time. This is the infancy of that program, and so they didn’t really get reviewed properly, in my opinion, knowing what I know now. But basically, what she said was that, Hank had hired her to come to her house for services, and the services she performed that day were to use a vibrator on herself in front of a five year old or six-year-old girl so she could, “Know what a woman is for.”
Zibby: [00:19:12] No.
Yeardley: [00:19:12] Oh, my God.
Sergeant David: [00:19:14] And that was in the narrative of this report. This is five years prior to when we find her behind the school. And so, there’s all kinds of signs going on at this time in this little girl’s life where the state could have intervened and didn’t for whatever reason. We came to find out that the children’s services didn’t even go out and check.
Zibby: [00:19:32] You’re kidding.
Sergeant David: [00:19:32] No.
Zibby: [00:19:33] This was in a neighboring county?
Sergeant David: [00:19:34] This was in our county.
Zibby: [00:19:36] Wow.
Yeardley: [00:19:36] And are you able to put together that the five-year-old or six-year-old that the prostitute was performing in front of was in fact Julie?
Sergeant David: [00:19:43] No, we weren’t, because they never went out.
Yeardley: [00:19:46] Right.
Zibby: [00:19:47] But that was your assumption.
Sergeant David: [00:19:48] Yeah.
Zibby: [00:19:48] Mm-hmm. By the way, was this all coming to light in the same night?
Sergeant David: [00:19:53] No, this is coming– I would have talked to the detective probably the next morning when they came in. I was getting off graveyard at the time. So, I would have gone and talked to him either the day of or the next day.
Yeardley: [00:20:05] So, now that you have all this information about Hank, what do you do with it? Because when you come upon him with Julie, they aren’t actually committing a crime.
Sergeant David: [00:20:17] Well, finally, he is able to get enough information to do a search warrant for some type of sex abuse based on his prior record and based on the fact that he was with a minor again at these weird hours. It’s pretty thin knowing what I know now, but it’s better than not doing anything at all. The only other thing we could have done was to go out and knock on his door and ask her and him if everything was all right. It had probably been more of the same of what we got behind school.
Yeardley: [00:20:42] Right.
Sergeant David: [00:20:44] So, this search warrant gets served. They’re both home. I got to go along because of initiating the case, and it was good education for me at the time too. But she separated out, he’s separated out, and he’s just in total denial, “It’s my daughter,” it’s this and that. They started going through his paperwork and records. One of the things that they found in her room actually was a handwritten note. It was handwritten by her, obviously, and it had a list of sex acts. There’s probably a dozen at least on there.
Yeardley: [00:21:17] Oh.
Sergeant David: [00:21:18] Some of them were childish in what they did describing, but along with all of them at the end was a dollar figure how much they were.
Zibby: [00:21:26] You’re kidding me.
Sergeant David: [00:21:26] No.
Yeardley: [00:21:27] Oh, God.
Dave: [00:21:28] It’s like a menu of services.
Sergeant David: [00:21:30] It was a menu of services. At the very bottom, she had drawn an erect penis that was obviously ejaculating and written guaranteed underneath it.
Yeardley: [00:21:38] Oh, my God.
Zibby: [00:21:39] What?
Dan: [00:21:40] What was the condition of the house?
Sergeant David: [00:21:42] It was neat. It was a neat.
Dan: [00:21:43] Not like the typical drug search warrant house that we go into?
Sergeant David: [00:21:47] No. The house is well kept. She performed a lot of things around the house, because she obviously was very well schooled in that.
Dave: [00:21:56] She’s an employee?
Sergeant David: [00:21:58] Pretty much. Yeah.
Zibby: [00:21:59] So, you mean– [crosstalk]
Yeardley: [00:22:00] Like domestic.
Sergeant David: [00:22:01] Yeah. And that’s one of the reasons she had her, I think, too was not only– Ge treated her like a wife.
Zibby: [00:22:06] She took care of him.
Sergeant David: [00:22:07] Yeah.
Zibby: [00:22:08] Can I ask about her room? Was it a girly room? Was it a typical–
Sergeant David: [00:22:10] Oh, no.
Zibby: [00:22:11] No? What was it?
Sergeant David: [00:22:12] No.It was real sterile. She could sit there and tell you about the migration of whales because she read about it or something like that, but she didn’t have stuff like little girls would have in her room.
Zibby: [00:22:25] Yeah.
Sergeant David: [00:22:26] She just didn’t know any better. We found that he had been making frequent trips to Vegas and Reno, and so now everything’s really coming to light. This is before we had a Child Advocacy Center also, where we take an interview with child. So, our interviewing with children at that time was not what it should have been actually. But we also know that people who have been subjected to this abuse don’t necessarily tell right away.
Yeardley: [00:22:51] It’s so disturbing.
Zibby: [00:22:52] What happens to Julie at that point?
Sergeant David: [00:22:55] They took her to a separate place somewhere. Children’s Services got involved at that point to foster care.
Zibby: [00:23:01] What about Hank?
Sergeant David: [00:23:01] He gets arrested. Actually, he doesn’t get arrested right away because we’re still trying to put together stuff and talk to her. She never would divulge in anything. The note, doesn’t know anything about that.
Zibby: [00:23:12] Julie just ignored it, even though you said you had the note?
Sergeant David: [00:23:17] Yeah, I think she said it was just a joke at that time.
Yeardley: [00:23:19] Oh, my–
Zibby: [00:23:19] Oh.
Dave: [00:23:23] And you think about it, it speaks to the type of programming and grooming that this guy poured into this girl’s life to get her to where she is, “This is the story. You stick to it. This is your answer for this type of question.” He did a, I hate to say, a great job, but that’s what these guys do. They get people to cooperate with them. They’re manipulative.
Sergeant David: [00:23:43] We ended up getting enough information where he confessed to digitally penetrating her at times and also having her perform oral sex on him.
Yeardley: [00:23:52] Oh, God. And when you say digitally, you mean with his finger?
Sergeant David: [00:23:56] Right. And he was in a wheelchair at the time, like I said, 50 years old. I didn’t know what his health situation was, but it was the same way when the prostitute was there too, because she described the guy as being in a wheelchair and having her perform for this little girl. She said, “He never touched me.”
Yeardley: [00:24:12] That’s disgusting.
Zibby: [00:24:14] Oh, God.
Sergeant David: [00:24:15] To me, the most fascinating and interesting thing about this case as far as how the hell could you get away with something like this was how he got control of this little girl. We were able to find during the records of the search warrant, the name of a person a couple of counties away from here who Hank was writing periodic checks to, I think it was $1,100 a month. In the research of her, she is listed as the birth mother for Julie in this neighboring county. The father listed on the birth certificate is Hank, but the birth mother is much younger. When they went to interview her, they found out that she had a baby, she’d been in a car accident and had some pretty serious head trauma during this wreck. She was an acquaintance of Hank’s, but never did they were ever together.
[00:25:07] We basically found out that Hank purchased Julie from her after her accident when she was just two years old for a parcel of land and an agreement to pay some kind of money where she would keep getting for disabilities over watching the kid basically, because she got disabled in an accident. I think the state was going to pay her a stipend every month to help with her child.
Yeardley: [00:25:29] Right.
Sergeant David: [00:25:30] He said he would take over the care of the child, which would mean she would not get that money, which means he was going to make up for it out of his personal account every month, along with giving her a parcel of land in that county, so she could put her trailer on it.
Yeardley: [00:25:44] A parcel of land and a stipend for her kid? That is unbelievable.
Zibby: [00:25:49] It’s a living nightmare.
Dan: [00:25:50] And if you think about it, $1100 a month in 1991, that’s significant.
Zibby: [00:25:55] Right.
Sergeant David: [00:25:56] So, he basically had Julie since she was two years old.
Yeardley: [00:25:59] But was he actually her biological father?
Sergeant David: [00:26:02] No.
Sergeant David: [00:26:02] We found out he had falsified the birth certificate and basically purchased this little kid, so he could make her into what she was when we found her.
Yeardley: [00:26:10] Oh, Jesus.
Zibby: [00:26:11] Did the mother have any idea?
Sergeant David: [00:26:13] No. She was really not coherent.
Yeardley: [00:26:16] Because of the accident or she was a drug addict or–?
Sergeant David: [00:26:18] Because of the accident. I don’t know how upstanding a person she was before that accident. She had no family. Nobody was looking for this girl. She was just a lost little girl who got purchased by a pervert, and God knows how long she would have been like that.
Zibby: [00:26:33] It sounds like at least once you uncovered the situation, the investigation was fairly straightforward, no?
Sergeant David: [00:26:40] Well, the investigation went on for almost a year after that. He got arrested. He was in jail. They were still trying to figure out what went on with this little girl. They had several interviews with him also. But what basically happened with her was after he purchased her, he completely shielded her from the outside world. She had never been to school. He had not let her socialize with anybody else. But he homeschooled her. He homeschooled her. She could read. She was very smart. It’s like, if you grew up and you thought that this is what people do as far as the sexual stuff, she knew no different. She knew nothing different, and she didn’t think anything of it. And then obviously, she’s going to have to adjust her real life sometime. He couldn’t let her have friends because she would realize that, “Hey, my friends dads don’t do all this crap to me.” So, she just thought that was the way the world was from her short little life.
Yeardley: [00:27:31] Oh, dear.
Sergeant David: [00:27:33] She was totally, basically brainwashed. He would tell her that, “My thoughts are your thoughts and your thoughts are my thoughts,” things like that. So, she just thought that that’s the way life was, and that’s why she was so stand-offish to us, because she saw us as an intrusion into her life when we were trying to help her.
Dave: [00:27:52] So, they pegged your bullshit meter that night on the traffic stop.
Sergeant David: [00:27:55] Oh, big time. The bad part about that night was I knew she was going home with him and I couldn’t do anything about it. I thought about actually taking her and taking her to foster care, but it’s like, “How do I write this up?”
Dave: [00:28:07] How do I explain that?
Sergeant David: [00:28:08] Yeah. Looking back now in what I know now in my 33 years of experiences, I probably would have done it because if somebody like that you spook sometime, they’re so narcissistic, they might just get rid of her because they’re really not tied to her.
Sergeant David: [00:28:23] I wouldn’t able to sleep that day thinking that. I didn’t think that at the time, obviously, but nowadays I would say, “No, no, we’re going to go with that kid before he figures out. We’re onto him.”
Zibby: [00:28:30] How would you pull that off? Do you have to have grounds or can you go off of like a gut instinct this is not right?
Sergeant David: [00:28:36] On something like children, yeah, you can go off on a gut instinct. You might get in trouble for it, but to me, that’s worth it.
Yeardley: [00:29:01] When you arrest Hank, Julie gets put in foster care while you continue this investigation?
Sergeant David: [00:29:07] Yes.
Yeardley: [00:29:08] How does she react to that?
Sergeant David: [00:29:10] Children’s service did a good thing. They got her involved with a psychologist as he actually is in jail at this time and they’re working on his case. There’s so many charges nowadays that could be given to him, but he’s only charged with sex abuse, sodomy, and providing pornographic material to a minor based on the stuff we found. He also had a lot of porn that he would show her. Instead of watching Lion King, they would know Debbie Does Dallas all day.
Yeardley: [00:29:37] Oh, God.
Zibby: [00:29:37] Oh, my God.
Sergeant David: [00:29:38] So, they start slowly working with her, and she gets integrated into school. That was another issue for her because she had never been socialized, but she was really smart kid, pretty kid, and she was really trying. I give everybody credit her for pulling through it and whoever was working with her at the time because it was a slow process.
Yeardley: [00:29:58] Was Hank accountable at all?
Sergeant David: [00:30:00] He had actually pled guilty to the two felony charges. They threw out the providing the porn charge for some reason to–
Yeardley: [00:30:08] What?
Sergeant David: [00:30:09] Probably to expedite the sentencing.
Yeardley: [00:30:11] Uh-huh.
Sergeant David: [00:30:12] He actually pled guilty before she was through her therapy and was sentenced to prison term of only six years–
Zibby: [00:30:18] That’s it.
Sergeant David: [00:30:21] Yeah. Which is for those two crimes, you can ask Detective Dave that we now have minimum mandatory sentences for things like that. He wouldn’t have seen the light of day at his age-
Zibby: [00:30:30] Nowadays.
Sergeant David: [00:30:31] – with those two. If this was our case nowadays, we’d still be charging him. It’s just one of those things that it was not that we didn’t think it was serious at that time. It was just we were doing what was going on in the legal system at that time. The real failure there, I think too, is also that this guy had done it in 1979 and been convicted of it and was out again. You look at how parents would look at something like that, “Why is he even out here?”
Zibby: [00:30:59] Yeah.
Sergeant David: [00:31:00] That’s why we have minimum mandatory sentences now, because frankly, the judges in this state sometimes have not meted out sentences that are protecting anybody.
Zibby: [00:31:11] Well, the system’s evolved since then, certainly.
Sergeant David: [00:31:13] Sure. And you can ask Detective Dave or Detective Dan, people that are predatory sex offenders like that, you’re not going to ever cure them. They’re not going to be cured, “I don’t care what anyone says.” You think about the people who got victimized after the system had them and you’re looking at, “Why am I paying my taxes to you? You’re supposed to protect this.” It’s really frustrating.
Yeardley: [00:31:31] Did you ever piece together everything that happened to her when she was under his ownership, if you will?
Sergeant David: [00:31:38] About a year after she was separated from him and he was sent off to prison, she finally divulged basically what was happening with her. It was basically tons of sex abuse by him selling her services to people not only in this town, but mostly out of town. They would go for a week at a time to Reno. I don’t know, at the time how he advertised her if he had this underground group of friends. We never did figure that out. But they would get a motel, and she would entertain men who came there to have sex with a child.
Yeardley: [00:32:14] Oh, God.
Sergeant David: [00:32:15] That was how she basically grew up from the time she was probably five and a half years till when she was 11 years.
Zibby: [00:32:22] In her account of things a year after the fact, was she relaying this information now with a newfound perspective? Was there sadness? Was there an emotional response to what she now understood wasn’t right?
Sergeant David: [00:32:39] Yeah, she did. She actually invited some of us involved in her case to her graduation.
Yeardley: [00:32:43] Really?
Sergeant David: [00:32:45] When she graduated high school, it was actually really an acknowledgment by her that she had probably not been very nice to us when we were just trying to help. She also, I think, realized too that the life she was in was not right and by any means right, and was trying to just do everything she can to normalize it. She faced some tough stuff at school because I think it got around what her past was. I really don’t know how, because we take a lot of effort and try to shelter kids from that. That’s another reason. I think maybe this sentence was what I consider so very like because they didn’t want to put her up there and drag her through that. This is before we have a lot of the protective measures we have now for children.
Yeardley: [00:32:45] And what did Hank have to say for himself?
Sergeant David: [00:33:30] Hank is very narcissistic. Part of his parole, he got paroled about six months early was that he could not come to this county anymore because Julie was still living here. He wanted to visit Julie.
Yeardley: [00:33:40] Oh, no.
Zibby: [00:33:40]: Are you kidding?
Sergeant David: [00:33:40] No,
Yeardley: [00:33:41] Fucker.
Sergeant David: [00:33:41] He actually told the parole board that he would like to visit her still because he has a, “Bond with her.” Part of his parole and part of the argument was that he could never come to the county again. I think that they did that. They didn’t really say why in their findings of that, but I think they did that because they realized what this guy did was so awful and off the wall that we haven’t sensed him enough, we haven’t punished him enough, or something like that and they hadn’t. So, they tried to banish him from the county to make, I don’t know, who feel better
Yeardley: [00:34:13] Did it work? Because you can’t really regulate impulse control.
Sergeant David: [00:34:17] No. For all the things he did, it should be obviously, you’d have a no contact order with her. But they had a real difficult time arguing why he had to pass through this county to drive to the coast, he’d be in violation or he had to pass, whatever. He actually, I think, prevailed on being able to come to the county. But the fact that he even argued just astounds me because he– [crosstalk]
Zibby: [00:34:40] Yeah, the audacity-.
Yeardley: [00:34:41] It is disgusting
Zibby: [00:34:42] -is completely absurd.
Sergeant David: [00:34:43] And the fact that he wanted to see her again. At that time in her life, she had grown up and was well into high school. I’m sure she wanted nothing to do with him. That’s the last person. I know why he wanted to see her. He wanted to try to bring her back to the fold, I think, but she was probably getting too old for him anyway.
Yeardley: [00:35:01] That’s disgusting.
Zibby: [00:35:03] Do you know where she is now?
Sergeant David: [00:35:04] I do. Yes.
Zibby: [00:35:05] Is she okay? [giggles]
Sergeant David: [00:35:07] I do know, I’ve kept a little bit of tabs on her. She’s got a good life. She’s married, and she went to school, and I think she’s just fine. I don’t know that, but from the look– [crosstalk]
Yeardley: [00:35:19] She’s made the best of a really awful situation.
Sergeant David: [00:35:20] She really has, and she survived it. I think she realizes that and that part of it is good. But this guy stole her childhood. Even though she’s not dead, he took a big part of her life, probably the most important part of her life away, a lot of your good memories and things like that, and they’re full of nightmares, I’m sure, and knowing now what is normal. The fact that he could walk away from something like that with what I consider not even a slap on the wrist is crazy to me.
Zibby: [00:35:52] It’s miraculous in a way when you hear that somebody’s even slightly well-adjusted after going through something like that. It sounds like her spirit, like, she’s really intelligent in a way, I hate to say it, but a good student of life. So, if someone’s saying, “This is how it goes,” it sounds like– Once she was out of that situation, she took to it and thought, “Okay, I’m going to readjust and try and be a good student in this direction.” Does that sound accurate?
Sergeant David: [00:36:16] No, you’re right. I got that sense from her when I talked to her that night. You’re scary smart for being out here this time of the night dressed like that. She wasn’t even like a child when she talked to me out there. It’s like a 30-year-old saying, “Why are you bothering me, Officer?” That’s one of the biggest things that struck me. I think she was probably, genetically a smart person. She was born that way, an intelligent person, and obviously a strong person, because it took her that long to come basically unravel what was wrong with her and explain to everybody what happened and trust people enough, because I’m sure he tells her all the time, “Don’t trust people. Don’t trust the police. All they want to do is take you away from me” and is more and more isolation of her. I think that once she realized that that wasn’t the way it was, she let her guard down and just basically gave herself over to letting it all out.
Yeardley: [00:37:08] That is remarkable though that you could. if you’ve been in that lifestyle since you were two and the only person you’ve had any real contact with is telling you don’t trust anyone to find a way to actually trust others is really speaks to her character.
Sergeant David: [00:37:23] Yeah, it does. Other than the sexual acts, he wasn’t physically beating her or anything like that. I’m never going to say treated her well, but he provided for her.
Yeardley: [00:37:34] He fed her
Sergeant David: [00:37:35] He fed her and he taught her to read and write and all those things. She was good at that, because I think she was smart to begin with actually.
Dan: [00:37:42] He didn’t have to beat her down because she was a blank slate when he got her.
Sergeant David: [00:37:46] Correct.
Dan: [00:37:47] She’s two years old. So, he basically just reprograms her right there, and there was nothing else you had to wipe off of her mind.
Sergeant David: [00:37:54] Yes.
Dan: [00:37:55] She was easy to control.
Yeardley: [00:38:18]You said there’s some remarkable stuff in the report that you gave us. Even though we can read it ourselves, we always love to know what you firsthand have to say about what’s in it. What are some of the things that you remember that stand out?
Sergeant David: [00:38:31] Well, it gives a synopsis of the case, and it talks about his previous case with his nine-year-old. After being a cop for 33 years, if a layperson read that, he would be like, “What is wrong with our system that this can keep happening?” The fact that had she not run across law enforcement at some point, where would she be right now?
Yeardley: [00:38:49] Sure.
Sergeant David: [00:38:51] Because that’s the thing that scares me about it is because that this could be happening a lot. And like you said, when her usefulness is gone, at some point, he has to turn her out into the world. She’s going to grow up. What’s his plan then? She’s going to go out to the world and realize, “You have been an asshole extraordinaire for how many years?” He can’t do that. These are the kind of people who murder people.
Zibby: [00:39:16] Right.
Sergeant David: [00:39:17] Absolutely. Because they cannot afford, they can’t keep them forever. And at some point, either he’s going to be gone or she’s going to be gone.
Zibby: [00:39:24] It’s so random how you came upon them that that’s what’s so striking. It’s like you were in the middle of basically of a coaching session, and you went to an area that happened to have a lot of riff-raff, and then you saw this and thought, okay, it’s a teachable moment potentially that turned into this major reveal that you certainly weren’t out looking for specifically. So, it’s painful to think about how these things are happening in corners of the world where we’re just not looking or wouldn’t think to look or don’t have an opportunity to look.
Sergeant David: [00:39:58] Another thing I was thinking about is why were they back there in the first place?
Yeardley: [00:40:01] Yeah.
Zibby: [00:40:01] Yeah, that’s a good question.
Sergeant David: [00:40:03] That never got answered to me. I’ve thought about that a lot over the years. I honestly think that he had her back there dressed that way because they were going to meet a client.
Yeardley: [00:40:10] Oh, God.
Zibby: [00:40:11] Oh, shit.
Sergeant David: [00:40:12] Because there’s no other reason for him to be back there. He didn’t own the property.
Yeardley: [00:40:16] It was02:00 in the morning.
Sergeant David: [00:40:16] It’s 02:00 in the morning, and she’s dressed in this little tiny clothes, and she’s just sitting there, and they’re sitting back there waiting for a client. He doesn’t want people like that to come to his house because he knows what happened with a prostitute before. Someone’s going to say, “Hey, this guy’s a weirdo. I know I’m a prostitute, but he’s worse, way worse than I am.” I don’t think anyone would not agree with that, but I honestly think that that’s what was going to happen. Someone was going to come and pick her up.
Zippy: [00:40:42] Yeah.
Sergeant David: [00:40:43] Or, they had just dropped her off.
Dave: [00:40:45] There’s times where the public says, “These cops are harassing me.” This is a perfect example of the police are paid to be nosy. This piques his suspicion early on. It doesn’t pique the recruit’s suspicion because he doesn’t have that kind of background where his filter is developed like Sergeant David is. But the cops are paid to be nosy, and they’re paid to look into things a couple layers deeper than somebody might want. It’s all with good intentions. Their heart’s in the right place. But when you pick up on that, “Something’s not right. I need to do something about this.” He writes an info report, touches base with the detective. That’s the follow up. That’s the good police work that develops into pulling this girl out of that environment.
Zibby: [00:41:29] Yeah, I was just thinking that. Thank God, you were the kind of officer then and certainly now to trust that instinct enough to investigate it, as opposed to your recruit who was still in training, of course, and his radar wasn’t as attuned, so to speak, and he may have missed it.
Sergeant David: [00:41:45] Well, hopefully, that’s what you pass on to recruits is to trust your instincts, because they’re there for a reason. If the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up, then trust them. Don’t worry about offending somebody at that time. You can apologize later if it ends up being totally bogus, but I knew that this was bad to the point where I wish I would have taken her.
Zippy: [00:42:04] Right.
Yeardley: [00:42:05] What about Hank’s parents? After you arrested Hank, did you ever go back to them and say, “Hey, she’s not your granddaughter”?
Sergeant David: [00:42:11] I never did.
Zibby: [00:42:12] Or, do you think they were covering for him?
Sergeant David: [00:42:14] As I remembered, they were protective of Hank, because they obviously knew about his other prison term for being a pervert with a nine-year-old. Some of you don’t know who Colombo is, but Columbo was-
Yeardley: [00:42:28] I do.
Zibby: [00:42:29] I do.
Yeardley: [00:42:30] [laughs]
Sergeant David: [00:42:30] -a bumbling detective who bumbled his way, but he did it for a reason. Sometimes when you act you don’t really know, you get the information that you want without alerting those people that you’re really digging into something that involves someone they might be protective of. That’s what I did. I just act I didn’t know. “Oh, I thought you guys I looked at the tax record or something and I thought you guys owned that. I must be got it too close,” because this was pretty close to their house actually.
Dan: [00:42:54] I’m curious. You and your recruit talk about this. So, there’s the initial contact in the cul-de-sac, and obviously your radar is going off. Is the recruit really picking up? Is he starting to absorb what you’re trying to give to him?
Sergeant David: [00:43:09] He was really fresh and really green. A lot of times, recruits, their coaches get on their ass about stuff like their officer safety set up and things like that. All they’re worried about is what I’m thinking about what they’re doing. So, they want to—[crosstalk]
Zibby: [00:43:21] Impress you. sure.
Yeardley: [00:43:22] They want to impress you. Sure.
Sergeant David: [00:43:23] And I’m looking past all that. Once that happens that, we got other stuff to do than worry about how you’re standing by the car. [Yeardley laughs] So, we really didn’t talk about it a lot till it was all done. I wrote the report, and then we talked about it. I remember telling him, I said, “This is going to be bad. I guarantee you.” He actually agreed with me at that point. Now that he remembered her being out there on the school night, and she was registered nowhere, and basically there was no record of this little girl.
Zibby: [00:43:51] That must have been a huge moment in his early career, because I know that if that were me, I would have been like, “Holy shit. That was the moment when I learned a ton about policing.”
Sergeant David: [00:44:02] Yeah, we all do. I did. All those things that you do when you’re in patrol — Actually, every day, you’re always learning something you never know it all, but they shape your philosophy of what you do today. This is actually one of the most satisfying cases I’ve ever been involved with. Not that I wish I would have found her when she was two years, because when he was falsifying the birth certificate, but the fact that getting her away from him, I think that he didn’t get punished nearly enough.
Yeardley: [00:44:28] But you followed a hunch. You followed the hairs on the back of your neck and saved her life
Dave: [00:44:33] This guy served a previous prison sentence. A lot of people will talk about, “This guy got 50 years for all these crimes. How does that help? All we’re doing as taxpayers is paying for this guy.” Well, back then, we didn’t have the sentences. Those charges that he was charged with on this case would have been over 30 years in prison serve every day of it in our state nowadays. Back then, judges had a lot of discretion on what they were going to sentence someone to. So, you might have one judge who’s a little bit more liberal and believes in people more and believes that they can be rehabilitated. This guy has already served a prison sentence. How much rehabilitation really went on when he was in prison, or was he just waiting, “I need to get out so I can resume my activity”?
Dan: [00:45:19] Or, he’s crafting his new—
Dave: [00:45:21] Plan.
Dan: [00:45:22] His new plan.
Sergeant David: [00:45:23] Well, in his case too, he shows up as this 50 some year-old man in a wheelchair, “How harmless am I? I’m not the boogeyman.”
Yeardley: [00:45:32] Sure. How harmful could he be?
Sergeant David: [00:45:33] “What am I going to do?” What you just already did, you’ve already done it. [laughs] Sometimes, we need to punish a little more and forgive a lot less, I think, because that guy should have never been back out after the first one, actually, and the second time, for sure, he should have never been out. And then to waste the time with the court of appeals for his parole hearing, so he can drive through the county. To me, it’s a travesty about what we’re paying taxes for on this guy. I know he has got rights, and I totally respect that, but so does little Julie. She has a lot of rights that got taken away from her.
Dave: [00:46:03] So, this girl, you think about what she experienced– And this guy, if you can treat just a human, even an adult, the way this guy was treating this girl, much less now you’re treating a juvenile, a child, from the time that she was two years or three years, all the way up until she’s 10 years or 11 years, if you can treat someone that way, is that person really rehabilitatable? Can you redeem that person?
Zippy: [00:46:26] It’s a question that I think is up for debate in certain people’s minds, because they’re not so exposed to these characters over and over and over and over again.
Dave: [00:46:35] I think that’s why the police– Some will say, we’re skeptics or cynics, but we are exposed to the worst of people. People, when they’re in jail, they always say, “I’m going to get my life straight when I get out. This is the last time I’m coming back to jail.” Certainly, there’s a few situations where people go, “Okay, I’m not going back to prison,” and they get their life right. But we are realists. We understand that the nice, warm fuzzy, the hug, “Oh, he’s redeemed and he’s saved because he went to prison and he learned his lesson,” those are few and far between with the people we deal with.
Zippy: [00:47:07] Well, and you’re risking the well-being of a child of another victim, potentially.
Dan: [00:47:12] We passed over it fairly quickly. But you were talking about Hank and how Julie keeps getting older. Every year she gets older, and at some point, she’s too old for him because he’s got a wheelhouse as my brother likes to call it when he’s interviewing these sex offenders, “What’s your wheelhouse?” His wheelhouse is like 5-year-old to 10-year-old girls. So, she is going to get too old for him. Just like you said, he’s not going to want her to give him up. He’s going to kill her, throw her away. He’s going to make sure that he can continue his activity because he doesn’t care about her. He cares about her age demographic.
Yeardley: [00:47:47] Right. What it does for him, whatever that does for him.
Sergeant David: [00:47:51] His clientele, that’s one thing that never really got touched on, unfortunately, was his– There could have been some really good charges of compelling prostitution, taking a minor across state lines. This guy should never saw the light of day after he was hooked up for this thing originally.
Zibby: [00:48:08] And I loathe to think about the customer base.
Sergeant David: [00:48:11] Yeah. That’s one thing that I know now from my experience, we had been digging into that for years. We would have taken everyone we could in something like that.
Dave: [00:48:19] There’s cases where I come into work and Sergeant David says, “Hey, I got one for you. Let’s talk about it after briefing.” We make a project out of someone because we recognize, and I’m sure these touches on his experience. We’re going to dig to the end of this case, so we make sure that this guy gets everything he deserves.
Yeardley: [00:48:36] Because there’s more than just the guy and probably the girl, small girl involved.
Dave: [00:48:40] Right. There’s a bigger picture out there.
Yeardley: [00:48:42] Dave, I have a question for you. Given the level at which Julie was groomed, how long would that take?
Dave: [00:48:50] Dan touched on it already. The guy received a child in her formative years where she’s just learning about life. The only experience she has to draw on is what this guy exposes her to or what answers she’s supposed to give. I’m sure that he had talked to her about if we ever get contacted, this is the story that you tell. She knows that when the recruit is speaking with Hank at the driver’s window that she’s hearing all this and she knows when she gets out to talk to Sergeant David that she needs to parrot back exactly what the answers were. So, at five years, probably not as well rehearsed as she was when she was 11 years, but it’s a process. These guys spend so much time. They’ll spend years before they actually ever abuse the child, because they want to make sure that they get this child to the point where when the abuse actually occurs that the child’s not going to reveal to anybody what happened.
Sergeant David: [00:49:48] I would be willing to bet when he saw the police car pull around behind, he was already telling her what to say. These are the people I told you about, “Julie, don’t let him take you.”
Dan: [00:49:58] Well, and you think about it too. He’s been taking her across state lines to presumably rent her out to other men. Can you imagine her being in a room by herself with some strange man? I would guarantee that you figure out pretty quickly how to think on your feet. If you’re scared, you’re able to talk your way around things. Just the life experience that she was exposed to in those early years of her life, just out of survival would be amazing.
Sergeant David: [00:50:28] Which is why she was so adult like when I talked to her.
Yeardley: [00:50:31] Right. Was he related to the nine-year-old girl that he had been gotten a sex offense conviction against?
Sergeant David: [00:50:37] No, he was not.
Yeardley: [00:50:39] And do we know if she lived with him as well?
Sergeant David: [00:50:42] I don’t know that. No.
Dave: [00:50:44] And I bet you there’s some things he learned about that experience. That girl was not under his control. That girl had access and exposure to other people that’s how the disclosure probably came out. He learned, when the child gets around other people, they tell on me, so I’m not going to let the next one have any exposure to anybody. Children and other adults that have the like mind as him, they want to sexualize this child, but she’s not going to have any contact with the outside world because that results in him going to prison.
Yeardley: [00:51:15] And where is Hank now?
Sergeant David: [00:51:16] Hank’s dead. He died in 2007.
Zibby: [00:51:19] What from?
Sergeant David: [00:51:21] Well, I don’t really know what his physical ailments were, but he would have been like 67 years I think at the time, when he would have died.
Zibby: [00:51:27] So, some sort of natural. It’s not like he took his own life.
Sergeant David: [00:51:30] No.
Zibby: [00:51:31] Thank goodness for minimum mandatory sentences coming around, because I still cannot believe that he spent no more than five years in prison for buying a child, brainwashing her, and sex trafficking her for the first seven years to eight years of her life. He spent less time in prison than he did years spent ruining her life.
Sergeant David: [00:51:53] They’re really light sentences. I look at it now what people get for those things and I’m just thinking, “This has to be wrong.” Then I had to go back and do some research when we had this new ballot measure come through to get minimum mandatory sentences, and it was three years or four years after this incident.
Zippy: [00:52:09] Was he registered this last go around? Once he was back out in society, was he registered as a sex offender or that still hadn’t–?
Sergeant David: [00:52:15] That hadn’t taken place either.
Zibby: [00:52:16] Shit. So, did anyone have an eye on this old fucker?
Sergeant David: [00:52:22] Only to the extent of what his parole was at the time. He was off the parole from the original one when he purchased Julie. So, to me, it’s a failure. That’s why we have our sentencing measure, because people don’t trust the judges to be– They get some lawyers put on a big show about things. They need to stick to the facts about things and look at the future and look who else might be victimized. Every parent who has somebody who’s victimized by someone who’s been released from prison for the same thing has to be just wondering what they’re paying taxes for.
Zibby: [00:52:53] Yeah. Gutted.[music]
Yeardley: [00:52:58] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and me, Yeardley Smith, and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave. Our production manager is Logan Heftel. Our senior editor is Soren Begin, and our editor is Christina Bracamontes. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor and the Real Nick Smitty. Our social media is run by the one and only, Monika Scott. Our music is composed by John Forest, and our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.
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Yeardley: [00:54:13] That’s right. Your subscription also makes it possible for us to keep going to small towns across the country–
Dan: [00:54:20] -in search of the finest-
Dave: [00:54:21] -rare-
Dan: [00:54:22] -true crime cases told-
Dave: [00:54:24] -as always, by the detectives who investigated them. So, thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.
Yeardley: [00:54:30] Nobody’s better than you.
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