Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Support Us
Our SuperFam members receive exclusive bonus content for $5/mo Support Us


A violent double murder that made headlines in a far away town has Detective Matt going undercover. After hearing the suspect might be on the run in his town, Matt posts up near a seedy motel to track him down. But the suspect escapes with the help of a family member. This leads Matt to do one of the most brazen acting jobs of his career in hopes he can catch a killer.

The Detective: Detective Matt

Detective Matt grew up in Pennsylvania. He joined the police department shortly after graduating college. He worked in patrol at first and then moved to the street crimes unit before he started as an undercover narcotics investigator. He went on to join a DEA task force and worked to infiltrate a group threatening a major political party’s national convention. He received a medal of valor for his efforts. He moved to another state and worked as a deputy for several years and is now retired from law enforcement.

Read Transcript

Yeardley:  Hey, Small Town Fam. It’s Yeardley. How are you guys? I hope you’re having a swell time wherever you are and whatever you’re up to. Today, we have returning fan favorite Detective Matt on the microphone. Matt’s caseload, as you may remember, was mostly undercover. And while today’s case didn’t see Matt pretending to be someone else for months, it is still a true test of his dedication to the task at hand. Catch the bad guy. I remember when we were recording this one, thinking it could easily be an episode of your favorite cop show on TV because there is a murderer, a fugitive, maybe accomplice after the fact and law enforcement has to get really creative with how they’re going to catch the killer, which is where Matt comes in.

 Also, at around the 23-, 24-minute mark, I say that I would never take the bait that Matt is dangling in front of this potential witness who knows the suspect. And as I listened to the final edit, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of you would agree with my objections. And then I thought, well, how many of you would say, “Lighten up, Yeardley.” So, do let us know in the comments. Now here is On The Line.


 Hi there. I’m Yeardley.

Dan:  I’m Dan.

Dave:  I’m Dave.

Paul:  And I’m Paul.

Yeardley:  And this is Small Town Dicks.

Dan:  Dave and I are identical twins.

Dave:  And retired detectives from Small Town, USA.

Paul:  And I’m a veteran cold case investigator who helped catch the Golden State Killer using a revolutionary DNA tool.

[Small Town Dicks theme]

Dan:  Between the three of us, we’ve investigated thousands of crimes, from petty theft to sexual assault, child abuse to murder.

Dave:  Each case we cover is told by the detective who investigated it, offering a rare personal account of how they solved the crime.

Paul:  Names, places, and certain details have been changed to protect the privacy of victims and their families.

Dan:  And although we’re aware that some of our listeners may be familiar with these cases, we ask you to please join us in continuing to protect the true identities of those involved-

Dave:  -out of respect for what they’ve been through.

[unison]:  Thank you.

Yeardley:  Today, on Small Town Dicks, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dave.

Dave:  Hello, Yeardley.

Yeardley:  Oh, hello. You’re first today.

Dave:  I am.

Yeardley:  [laughs] We have Detective Dan.

Dan:  Hello, team.

Yeardley:  Hello, you. And saving our inhouse celebrity host for last, we have the one and only Paul Holes.

Paul:  Hey, hey, how’s it going?

Yeardley:  [laughs] I just want you to know, listeners, when I said that, he rolled his eyes at me. [Paul laughs] And Small Town Fam, we’re so super excited. We have a fan favorite returning today. We have Detective Matt.

Matt:  Hello, my favorite people, and thank you so much for having me back.

Yeardley:  Hello, Matt. It is so great to see you. Small Town Fam, newbies and veteran listeners alike, you’ve all raved about Matt in the past, as well you should. His cases are worth a listen or a relisten if it’s been a while. Just to refresh, Matt has given us Politically Incorrect from Season 10. That one is a great case about political corruption, where Matt goes undercover as he often did. There’s Deep Cover from Season 11 and Charlie Bear in Season 13, which is a heartbreaking case about a brutal murder. And Matt, you are back today with another phenomenal case from your long and storied career. But hey, before we get started, you’re retired now, aren’t you?

Matt:  Yes, I am very thankful to be retired now.


Yeardley:  Good. Oh, good. [laughs] You were in it for a really long time. And your caseload, most of it undercover, is unique. And as you’ve shared with us very generously on this podcast, takes a quite heavy toll on you personally as well.

Matt:  So, and I know I’ve told you this before, all of y’all, but I credit Small Town Dicks to quite literally saving my life. Part of the reason I retired was because I had to medically retire. I had a very bad lung infection and no immune system, so I wasn’t really recovering at all. It turns out there was a lot more to it, and I should have known this. I was suffering from PTSD from some of the stuff I’ve done without treating it or doing the right things to get it resolved. It was just getting worse. And it was getting to a point where it was taking me over to elaborate a little bit on it.

 When I finished Deep Cover, the second long-term case, about a month after that case, I went to the doctor, and my blood pressure was going from 190-200/105, and I could not get it down medication. I was in good physical shape. There was nothing in terms of that. And so, it barely ever got below that even on some pretty big medications. I was getting it down to the 160s was the best I could do. Up until about three months ago, I had to go off of all blood pressure medication because my blood pressure was too low. And now I’m averaging about 110/70.

Yeardley:  Go, Matt.

Matt:  And a lot of that was dealing with it, which wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for this show. And actually, thank you to all the listeners, because a lot of the comments and actually, hey, people understand, people respect what I did made a huge difference. So, I will continue to say thank you in about every time I see y’all.

Dave:  We’re happy to be a part of it. Your stories help us too, to relate how things impact you throughout your career, and it lets us know, “Hey, I’m not the only one dealing with that as well.” Every detective we talked to has got some form of this and it’s validating to me at least.

Matt:  I appreciate that as well. Thank you.

Yeardley:  Yeah, absolutely. We’re so grateful. The guests we have on this podcast, as well as the usual suspects, Dan, Dave, and Paul, the amount that you’re willing to share with the listeners is incredibly meaningful, and I do think that our audience appreciates and respects that so much. And even if they haven’t done the job, you guys have done, there’s a common thread in vulnerability, and there’s great solace in feeling like I’m not alone, in feeling as though I don’t know where I’m going or where I’ve been or actually have I done anything with my life. So, thank you so much for sharing. Always, it’s incredibly generous. And now, Matt, please tell us how this case came to you.

Matt:  So, I’m going to start with where this case began. And before I do that, a little prelude is, of all the undercover work that I’ve done, I think this is about the best job I’ve ever done [laughs] and you’ll get why.

Yeardley:  That’s saying a lot. Because, as I said, your previous cases were jaw dropping, so I can’t wait.

Matt:  Well, I just don’t know how I managed to accomplish. I don’t know if I could do it again, but we’ll get into that later. [laughter] So, at this time, winter of 2005, the area I work is called David Three in Charlotte, and it is considered the worst area of Charlotte. Most violent crime, most drugs, most prostitution, every violent crime out there. This is where it’s happening.

Yeardley:  Is David the name of the part of the city or is David Three just the name that your department gave to that section of Charlotte?

Matt:  That’s just the department. In New York, I’m sure everybody’s heard this, where they have different precincts for different areas. In Charlotte, David Three is a precinct, for lack of a better word.

Yeardley:  Got it.

Matt:  So, I had started in patrol in David Three. Then I grew into– they basically almost created a position for me, and it was a street crimes type position, and I had gotten a reputation for being able to work informants even when I was on patrol and being able to find dope. So, the position that they put me in, I was doing undercover work, a lot of narcotics work, a lot of prostitution work, and also working a lot of informants, that kind of thing. And if we had a problem child in the neighborhood, as we would call it or a violent offender would be a better way to put it. That was in David Three. They would say, we need to take care of this, and that would be my job.

 So, this case started in New Hampshire and it started out with a very horrific crime. Our suspect, Craig, stabbed his wife, Lynn and his kid, Dennis and they both died. Craig is a very, very bad guy.

Yeardley:  And how old was Craig?

Matt:  Craig was in his 40s.

Paul:  Was this in a heat of the moment type of homicide or was this something that it appears that Craig planned and he ended up killing his wife and kid.

Matt:  So, it does not appear to be preplanned. What the DA told me, Craig went into a massive fit of rage. The number of stab wounds in Lynn was horrific. And before that, he has a very lengthy criminal history, everything from selling dope to other aggravated batteries. We all know somebody never starts with just killing somebody. There’s always battery before that. They have violent tendencies. It’s usually a lot of domestic violence, that kind of thing. So, this is the guy that we’re dealing with. He doesn’t value human life. So, this happens in New Hampshire, and within 24 hours, Craig disappears from New Hampshire. And obviously, when it’s a murder, everybody is hands on deck. We have to find this guy and we have to get him locked up as quickly as possible before he does it again. That is going to always be the thought process. So, New Hampshire does their due diligence and is working to try to figure out where this guy may be. And one of the steps we use is what I call pinging the phone. Keep in mind, this is 2005. Cell phones are a new thing, but they still have some technology.

Yeardley:  I was actually going to ask you about that. Now, when you ping a phone, you can actually get quite close to where the person is. But back in 2005, they did this triangulation thing where it was much more general, wasn’t it?

Matt:  Correct. So, basically, back then, you’re just going to get a general area enough to be able, in this case, say, “Oh, well, he’s in Charlotte, North Carolina,” and that’s all you’re going to get. It’s not going to be much better than that. So, New Hampshire has their issue. Craig makes a mistake. He uses a payphone in David Three calling back to somebody in New Hampshire. They get wind of it. And so, now they got the number for the payphone. Now you can find out exactly where he’s at. And the pay phone was on the street in my district. So, we get the street where it’s at, and it’s actually right in front of a motel. And a motel that I am very, very familiar with that I spend a lot of time working at.

 A lot of dope, in and out, a lot of prostitution going in and out. This is going to shock you, but they’ll rent rooms by the hour.

Dave:  No way.

Matt:  I know. I can’t figure out what that’s for though. One of these days, I’ll figure it out.


Matt:  To give you an idea of this motel, one of the first homicides I ever worked was at this motel. A guy was taken and his head bashed into the heater at wintertime. And then the heater was turned on full blast and they left.

Yeardley:  Oh, my God.

Matt:  It wasn’t until the two rooms on each side could not take the smell any longer that we were finally notified. The guy had been there for four to five days with his head in the heater, with the heater on full blast.

Yeardley:  So, they don’t have regular cleaning service is what you’re saying?

Matt:  [laughs] Not so much, no. That’s literally one of the ones I can still taste it from the smell.

Dave:  Everybody raise your hand if you’ve been in a crime scene like that.


Matt:  Yeah, exactly.

Dan:  I know Paul hasn’t, but the rest of us have.


Matt:  So, we decide we’re going to sit up on this motel and see if we can see Craig. And we literally spend three or four days just sitting there and pretty much 24/7 to describe this motel. It’s off of a main road in Charlotte, but it only has one entrance in. Now, if you have the front side, you’re good to go. There’s a gas station where you can sit, see the front, sit in your warm car and enjoy life and just watch the cars coming in and out. And anybody that’s on the front side. If you’re on the back side, it’s a little bit different. There is a hill behind this motel and it’s a wooded hill. So, if you want to see the back, there’s only one place you can be, and that’s in this little wooded area.

 And if you don’t remember, I said this was the end of 2005, beginning of 2006, which is wintertime, and it’s cold. So, whoever got that job at night, which half the time was me, because at this time I had the beard and the long hair, looks gruffy. So, if somebody did see me in the woods, they’re going to be like, “Oh, it’s just a homeless guy camping,” so it works out.

Dan:  Now, are you in plain clothes at this point or are you wearing a modified uniform?

Matt:  No, I’m pretty much all plain clothes. I had a vest. If we had to do something where we all had to go hands on, that just said police on it, and I’d wear a balaclava on my face. But, yeah, I was looking shady all the time. So, three days of sitting back behind this motel and not seeing anything, there was one guy that we thought maybe one time that had shown up, but we couldn’t be positive. We come back from that, and we got a problem. We got Craig in our city. We’re confident he’s here from the payphone, but we don’t know where he is. So, we come up with a plan B. And like I said, I’m very familiar with this motel. So, I take a trip out there and I meet Candy. And Candy is one of our local prostitutes. At this time, Candy doesn’t yet know I’m a police officer.

Yeardley:  So, candy just thinks you’re a client?

Matt: Yeah. And so, with a lot of the cases I work, it’s important that I pick up sex workers in order to make arrests and develop other cases as well. So, Candy and I go for a ride in my car as we discuss business terms for actions. We get pulled over by the police and she ends up in handcuffs for prostitution. And then I explained to Candy, “Hey, I’m an undercover cop, you solicited me. We have a problem but today’s your lucky day because I don’t really want to send you to jail.”

[Break 1]

Yeardley:  So, Matt, you’ve busted Candy for prostitution, but you’re willing to drop that charge if she is willing to give you information on Craig, because Candy conducts business at this hotel, and you have good information that Craig has also been at this hotel.

Matt: Thats correct.

Yeardley:  And so, this kind of trade off, dropping minor charges for information, is often how you develop informants, isn’t it?

Matt:  Yeah. This is your bread and butter when you’re working street level narcotics. Prostitutes are one of our best sources, and they always have information. Most of them have a narcotics habit of some sort in this area, usually crack cocaine. So, Candy doesn’t really like the idea of going to jail. She thinks there are better things that she could be doing than spending her time locked up. So, Candy’s like, all right, whatever you need. And I explained to her that we have a very bad person in the area and that I heard that he was staying at that motel. I showed Candy a picture of Craig and she immediately, “Oh, yeah, I spent some time with him about a week ago.”

Dan:  Does she recognize him as Craig? Has Craig used his real name?

Matt:  Yes, Craig had used his real first name.

Dave:  Matt, you’re very familiar with this motel. Did you have the kind of relationship with management where you could call him offline and say, “Hey, do you have anybody booked into the motel under Craig’s name?” Or we had other motels that were like, we’re not cooperating with the police ever. So, you have to get creative and you have to go outside and find sources because if you go to the door of the office, you’re going to get stone walled.

Matt:  If I went to the front door of this office, Craig would have known immediately that I went to the front door of this motel. They would have called him immediately and let him know, “Hey, police are looking for you”.

Yeardley:  So, let me ask you a question. If this motel clerk is one of the ones who is not likely to cooperate with police and he’s harboring Craig or Craig has rented a room there, is it a crime for this clerk not to give up Craig?

Dan:  It really depends on the state and our state if the motel clerk knows that the person that we’re looking for has a warrant and they hinder us in any way in getting our hands on the person we’ve got a warrant for, then, yes, they can be charged with a crime. But every state is different. It’s nuanced. There’s a lot of plausible deniability built in there, I would imagine. So, it’s complex.

Matt:  Yeah. So, I’m meeting with Candy. Candy says, “I was with Craig a week ago.” She’d gotten him some crack cocaine. They had built a bit of a relationship. So, I got a bit lucky. So, Candy tells me that three to four days ago, Craig’s third cousin, Stacy came and picked him up and he was going to be staying with her. Candy thought that Stacy lived in Charlotte, but was not positive. So, we’re at a dead end at that point. Now we’re like, oh, crap, we don’t know who this third cousin is. Called New Hampshire. New Hampshire has no idea. So, it’s back to the drawing board. So, there is a system in the computer called CLEAR. CLEAR and LexisNexis, they’re two of the same different things, but they are a godsend for police work.

Yeardley:  It’s not the same CLEAR as at the airport, is it? Where they scan your eyeballs?

Dave:  These are just names of databases.

Yeardley:  And what do they do?

Matt:  So, you can run somebody’s name. So, in this case, we ran Craig’s full name with his date of birth, Social Security, check that we’re law enforcement and it gives us a whole report. Now, it gives you every car he’s owned, his arrest history, his friends, any accounts he’s had, and it gives all his associates and best of all, family. So, it becomes tedious at this point because you’re literally going check by check by check. Some of the relatives, it may not give addresses or anything like that. So, you have to take that name and then plug it in to find out, do they have a driver’s license in Charlotte that kind of thing.

Yeardley:  So, if the relative of your suspect, if their address isn’t listed in this clear database, then you might check with the local DMV to see if you can get their address that way.

Matt:  Yeah. And you just go name by name by name to try to find out who Craig may be with.

Yeardley:  Can I ask you a question, Matt? How does Candy know that Craig is staying with his third cousin? Does Candy know Stacy?

Matt:  So, Candy does not know Stacy. Candy does know that Stacy came to that motel and picked him up and took him away.

Yeardley:  So, Stacy picked Craig up and somehow they were introduced, like Craig said, this is my cousin or something.

Matt:  Correct. So, we find Stacy under CLEAR, and sure enough, she has a driver’s license in Charlotte. Perfect. Now it’s back to doing surveillance, which if you ever done undercover work or, well, pretty much any type of case for the most part, when you’re trying to find somebody, you spend more time in your car just waiting to find them than I would like to leave. That’s why we eat a lot of junk food. It’s not healthy [Yeardley laughs].

Dave:  Those are some of the longest shifts when you’re just sitting there.

Matt:  Yeah. So, we’re sitting on Stacy’s place and we see Stacy come and go. So that’s a positive. Hey, we’ve got the right place. Let’s just stay on it. So, three more days go by of sitting on this place and no sign of Craig. Stacy is the only person coming from this place.

Yeardley:  And how old was Stacy?

Matt:  Stacy was in her 30s.

Yeardley:  Okay.

Matt:  We go back to the office. We got to come up with a game plan either a knock and talk, which a knock and talk would basically be, we just go up to her door, knock and say, “Hey, this is who we are, we’re looking for this person, can we come in and look for them?” Which is a very viable option used a lot of time. We were not comfortable with that. We thought Stacy is not going to give up Craig.

Yeardley:  Why don’t you think Stacy will give up Craig?

Matt:  She picked him up from this motel. She knows something’s wrong. So, chances are she knows he’s wanted for murder. She’s already agreed to let him stay there. What are really the chances that she’s going to let us come in there and look for him? This is where my greatest UC part comes in. We decide to go a different route and let’s make a call to Stacy because we did get her phone number off of the clear report. So, we’re like, we can place a call to her when we know she’s at home and just keep her on the line for an extended period to see if we can hear a male voice in the background, get a little more information that way. So, I was like, all right, that seems possible. We can at least give it a shot and see what happens.

Yeardley:  And what’s the premise of the call to Stacy, is this a cold call?

Matt:  This is a complete cold call. And Stacy, we look her up, no criminal history. There’s no wedge we can put in there. Stacy appears to be your average citizen, so we’re going to have to play this one really, really well.

[Break 2]

Matt:  So, I agreed to make the call and I spend a couple times game planning. All right, how am I going to do this? What am I going to say? How do I just keep Stacy on the line? So, I figure, all right, first of all, I got to come up with a reason why I called this number. So, I figured I’m going to ask for somebody that’s not Stacy and start with that and see if I can get her to open up and just have a conversation.

 So, I pick up the phone, take a couple deep breaths in there, and give her a call, and I say, “Hey, is Linda there?” And Stacy’s like, “Who?” And I said, “Linda. This is Linda, isn’t it?” And she’s like, “No, this is Stacy. I don’t know Linda.” And I’m like, “Are you sure? Because I just met Linda the other day. We were supposed to go on a date. She gave me a number. We really, really hit it off. Is there any way, can you think of any Linda, you know?” And she actually starts to crack a little bit. Like, you can hear it in her voice. The original voice was, this isn’t Linda, very standoffish. And Stacy goes, “I’m thinking, but I can’t think of a single Linda that I know.” “Oh my God, you got to be kidding me,” I said. We hit it off so well, I haven’t dated anybody since my wife died.” And that was a key statement right there. Because then you got that little gasp. I’m like, all right, we got this. We can do this.

Yeardley:  Stacy is nibbling at the hook.

Matt:  Right, exactly. And then I was like, “Well, I thank you so much for your time.” And I said, “You sound so pretty on the line, and I have never said that to anybody.” And Stacy bit, perfect. She’s like, “Oh, aren’t you just the sweetest thing?” And keep in mind, this is Charlotte. You know, everybody’s got that southern twang thing, so add that into that. And then she’s like, “Well, what date were you supposed to go on with Linda?” I was like, “Well, I was just going to get a bottle of wine, and we were just going to have dinner and talk and get to know each other better.” And she says, “Oh, that sounds like a great date.” Now I’ve got a different idea.

 And this is what I’m thinking to myself without asking my sergeant for approval, what if I was able to set up a date with Stacy at Stacy’s house? and that way I could see if Craig is at Stacy’s house. It seemed like a genius idea to me. So, I talked to Stacy for a while longer, and we’re really hitting it off and seems like we have a lot in common since I keep agreeing with her. [Yeardley laughs] Finally I said, “What if I picked up a bottle of wine and some food and come over to your place and we can get to know each other?” And Stacy says, “That sounds like it’d be a great evening.” And I said, “Well, give me a little while. I got to get off work, and then I’ll come over, I’ll call you when I’m coming to your house.” And she says, “All right, I can’t wait.”

Yeardley:  Oh, my God. I just want to say, in a million years, I cannot imagine doing that. And now, especially having done this podcast since 2016, I’d be like, fuck no. [Matt laughs] First of all, who says you sound pretty when they’ve never met you? No, it’s a hard no.

Dave:  You’ve seen this movie before.

Yeardley:  Oh, my God.

Matt:  [laughs] Again, my greatest undercover work I’ve ever done. That’s why we are right there. [laughs]

Yeardley:  Incredible.

Dan:  Matt’s a closer.

Matt:  [laughs] The second hardest part was convincing my sergeant that this was a good idea. [Yeardley laughs] Because I’m explaining to my sergeant that I’m going to go see Stacy inside her house. You guys are going to be as close as you can get without being obvious in the van to rush out and come rescue me if necessary, and arrest Craig if he’s there. What can go wrong?

Yeardley:  So, you still think Craig might be in Stacy’s apartment or in her house?

Matt:  Correct. And it is a house. She has a house that’s on the south side of Charlotte.

Yeardley:  And you want your team to be nearby so that if Craig squirts out, they can grab him.

Matt:  Boom. Piece of cake.

Dan:  And you’re wired up?

Matt:  Correct. And I have my cell phone. And I said, “Well, you know what? I’ll send a text, like, “Hey, all good.” And as soon as I say, all good, you all come in or at least knock on the front door, and I’ll make sure it opens.” [laughs] I mean, that sounds like a good plan, right? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Dave:  There are some holes, yes.

Matt:  What?


Matt:  You sound just like my sergeant. So, I explained this to sergeant. Now, keep in mind, this sergeant had been my sergeant for a while. He’s listening to my idea. And originally, he’s like, “No, we’re not doing that. That’s a horrible idea.” After a very long conversation, I finally wore him down to where he’s like, “All right.” His thing was, “They’re not going to be in the van. They’re going to be in the side of the house.” If they get spotted, they get spotted, he doesn’t care.

Yeardley:  So, your sergeant wants his team to be two seconds away instead of around the corner, for instance, in case something goes wrong.

Matt:  Yeah, that was fair enough because we are dealing with a psychopath. When I say psychopath, I’m talking about Craig.

Dave:  Are you carrying on this?

Matt:  Yes.

Yeardley:  Where do you hide your weapon?

Matt:  So, it was tucked in my waistband. I had a shorty, and that’s just a subcompact. But, yeah, this time I cared because I don’t think I could have talked my sergeant into. “Nah, I don’t need a gun. It’ll be fine.” So, the team lines up on the side of the house. I get a bottle of wine and some food. I think I may have gotten Harris Teeter sushi, if I remember correctly.

Yeardley:  Which is risky. You don’t know if Stacy likes sushi? Maybe she likes all her food cooked.

Matt:  That’s very possible. I wasn’t really thinking about that though.


Yeardley:  Matt, earlier you said you’d fit in well on the lookout behind the motel because you were scruffy and bearded. Did you clean up at all before you knocked on Stacy’s door?

Matt:  So, that’s actually a great question. Yes, I actually cleaned up because of that very reason. Fitting the environment. If I look nicer in this one, Stacy’s not going to throw me out. If I look homeless, less chance I’m getting in that front door. So, yeah, I trimmed the beard. I didn’t get rid of it, but I cut it down to where it looked nice. And then I just combed my hair, made sure it looked somewhat presentable even with long hair.

Dave:  Matt’s probably wearing Drakkar Noir or Aqua Velva-


Dave:  -something that just pleases the ladies.

Matt:  So, knock on the front door. Stacy answers the door wearing a lingerie-top and pajama shorts.

Yeardley:  Oh, no, no, no. Oh, God. I want to sit Stacy down and make her listen to this podcast, so she doesn’t answer the door to a complete stranger wearing lingerie. Not to mention, it’s the dead of winter. It’s freezing outside.

Matt:  Exactly. So, she’s expecting a good time.

Dan:  Netflix and chill.

Yeardley:  Oh, God. [Matt laughs]

Dave:  2005. Did we even have color TV back then?

Matt:  [laughs] This was VCR and chill, or blockbuster and chill, I guess. So, go in and pop the wine, pour a couple glasses, get to talking.

Yeardley:  How do you even begin? What do you guys talk about?

Matt:  The main topic of conversation was how my wife died. She definitely felt bad for me that I lost my wife.

Yeardley:  How did your wife die, supposedly?

Matt:  Car accident.

Yeardley:  Oh.

Matt:  Nothing super creative. I went kind of bland on that one.

Yeardley:  Better than a long, drawn-out illness, I suspect.

Matt:  Exactly. So, the way the house is set up, you walk in, and there’s the kitchen on the right, dining area on the left, and past that is a living room, and then a small hallway that led back to bedrooms. And within a few minutes, out comes Craig from the bedroom, just as nice as can be guy, introduces himself pretty much, “Hey, I’m staying with my cousin for a while.” Meanwhile, I’m trying to get my phone out of my pocket, not drop it, not shake to death, that kind of thing, and holler at my team outside and say, all’s good, and quick. They’re at the door, knocking on the front door. Went to the front door and said, I’ll get it.

 [laughs]Even though it’s Stacy’s house, I think by the time it hit her that I just said I would get her own door, it was too late. At that point, doors open. Craig is in plain sight. So, they come in and put him in handcuffs and say, “You’re under arrest.” And then I explained to Stacy that this date was not going to happen, though I appreciate everything, and she seems like a very nice lady, but that the person staying with her has murder warrants. I did try to ask her, “Did you know, he had warrants.” She said, “No. I had no idea.” I don’t think she was telling me the truth. But she wasn’t about to admit that. “Oh, yeah. That’s why he was hiding here.”

Dave:  For me, personally, [laughs] if I’m on the run, multiple states away from where I committed a double murder and I’m staying at somebody’s house and they bring in a complete stranger, I’d be asking, what the fuck are you doing? I don’t want anyone in this house. It’s one of those dynamics that I think most people could recognize.

Matt:  Well, like Yeardley said earlier, no matter what, if I talk to my third cousin, they’re like, “Oh, I have a date coming over.” And I just talked to him on the phone for the first time a couple hours ago. Well, yeah, he’s not coming over. [laughs]

Yeardley:  Matt, how soon before the cavalry arrived to arrest Craig? How long were you in that house with Stacy having a glass of wine?

Matt:  For about five minutes.

Yeardley:  Oh, really fast.

Matt:  Yeah. It did not take long at all for him to come out. I don’t know if heard the cork pop and thought, “Oh, I could use a glass of wine,” but it definitely did not take long.

Yeardley:  What was Stacy’s reaction when the cavalry breaks into her apartment while you’re on your faux date?

Matt:  First, it was shock, and then she had to get over the shock. I genuinely felt a little bit bad because Stacy was expecting one thing, and I had no reason to believe she’s a bad person besides harboring the murderer. But that’s different. There did not appear to be any surprise except for a little bit of play surprise about finding out Craig is a murderer.

Yeardley:  So, you don’t think she was actually surprised that he was a murderer?

Matt:  She knew. I’m confident she knew. Number one is Craig’s family. And word had to have spread pretty quickly throughout all the family. And then, top it all off, Stacy is picking Craig up from one of the worst motels in Charlotte, maybe the worst motel in Charlotte. So, two and two, she had to put it together. I think she was more surprised that this wasn’t a date. And I explained afterwards too that my wife didn’t actually die, which I was hoping I didn’t get bad karma from that too, because I feel like that was a horrible thing to do. I was married at the time.

Dave:  You totally catfished Stacy.

Matt:  [laughs] That’s a crime today, isn’t it?

Dave:  I don’t know what it is, but Stacy probably felt betrayed.

Matt:  A little bit. But I did try to talk to her afterwards and apologize to her and just explain. We really felt Craig needed to be taken off the street, so were scared for other people’s safety, including hers, that he might do something to her. Domestic violence was his forte.

Yeardley:  And not to get too personal, but are you still married?

Matt:  I am still married, yes.

Yeardley:  Okay. Okay.

Matt:  Which is shocking with all the stuff I put her through, but anyway.


Yeardley:  We’ve met your lovely wife. She’s amazing.

Matt:  Yes, she is.

[Break 3]

Dave:  So, you guys have scooped up Craig. What’s his attitude and posture as you guys take him into custody? Is he ranting and raving?

Matt:  First, he was in complete shock. When they came in and put cuffs, he was still trying to process everything in his head and he didn’t say anything. The only comment he made was, I had to leave New Hampshire because of what happened. That was the only response.

Dave:  Did he invoke, did you guys just wait for New Hampshire authorities to fly down and try to get an interview on him? You guys kind of take a step back. Your job is to get him into custody, not to interrogate, because you don’t know the intimate details of what happened up in New Hampshire.

Matt:  Yeah, you just hit the nail on the head. I mean, we stayed in contact with New Hampshire and they wanted to do the interrogation, rightfully so. I don’t have any complaints or anything. I would be the exact same way. Like you said, they know everything about the case and I don’t. I could send this down the wrong road and totally mess up their investigation.

Dan:  It’s pretty common when you’re in law enforcement. You get a BOLO, be on the lookout, or you have a direct conversation with an outside agency from another state. They’ll tell you, “Hey, I’ve got PC, probable cause for this person. If you grab him, don’t question him. I want to question him” or you’ll get other directions sometimes in a BOLO, you can ask him questions if you want. That’s fine. Typically, though, it’s especially on a big case where you’ve got a homicide where those little details are really going to matter. That outside agency will say, please don’t question them. So, advise them of their rights when they go into handcuffs and wait for us to come down and we want to interview them.

Yeardley:  So, Matt, did the agency from New Hampshire come down to Charlotte to question Craig, or did you send Craig back up to New Hampshire?

Matt:  We send Craig back up. New Hampshire will pay to have him extradited immediately, especially in that case. They want to get him up there quick.

Yeardley:  Did you get called to testify against Craig?

Matt:  Yes.

Yeardley:  When you testify against Craig, what’s his affect in the courtroom? Is he just scowling at you because you’re the guy who got him nabbed?

Matt:  No, he had a very blank look the entire time. Besides being shocked in the beginning, once he composed himself from there was zero remorse. He definitely didn’t care about what he did. Remorse would only be, damn, I got caught. There is a look like on the street when you’re about to get in the fight with the guy, when he has that thousand-yard stare, when he doesn’t see you’re like, crap, this is not going to end well. It was that look all the time for this guy. It just did not go away.

Paul:  Now, Matt, you may not know the details of the double homicide, but you opened up saying Craig had a history of battery and DV, I’m assuming on his wife. Does it look like he killed his wife and then went into a different room and stabbed his kid or were they all in the same room at the time that he’s killing them?

Matt:  I believe they were all in the same room and leading out onto the front porch from what I remember the DA telling me.

Paul:  You’ve got a double homicide and then Craig leaves the state. In essence, there’s almost an admission in his post offense behavior in terms of leaving the state. Obviously, when Craig is taken into custody, you’re handling him with the mindset that New Hampshire needs to talk to him for their double homicide. Craig does not sound like he’s very evidence savvy. Do you know if New Hampshire found any evidence either on his person or within his possessions at Stacy’s place or stored in a bus locker or anything like that.

Matt:  And I didn’t know this till speaking with the DA when I got down there, but they had a ton of evidence. Craig left everything in the house fit of rage and the easiest ones are when they just do it out of rage because they don’t hide anything it seems like, everything was still there.

Paul:  Did they actually charge him with a first-degree murder, two counts?

Matt:  Yes, they did. And they did get the conviction as well with the jury.

Yeardley:  And so what sentence did Craig end up getting?

Matt:  Craig got life.

Dave:  So, start to finish, from the time you guys are informed by New Hampshire, “Hey, Craig is somewhere in Charlotte,” to the time that you’re putting cuffs on him at Stacy’s house. How many days?

Matt:  Little over two weeks.

Dave:  Good work.

Matt:  Took a little bit longer than I would have liked. I mean, obviously you want that one quick, but we were working pretty much 24/7 for that. So, I’ll take it.

Yeardley:  Did Stacy have to testify because Craig had stayed with her once he left New Hampshire?

Matt:  No, they did not bring her down. They used me to testify to his whereabouts in Charlotte to prove that he continued to try to evade.

Dan:  What if they would have put you and Stacy up at the same hotel up in New Hampshire?

Matt:  See, I don’t like your jokes.


Yeardley:  Matt. You mentioned at the top of this case that you feel like it’s your finest undercover work. Tell us about that.

Matt:  So, number one, and everybody’s going to call BS on this, but I’m actually very, very shy, a bit of an introvert. So, UC work goes against everything I guess I should be, but anyway, it works for me. That’s where the failed actor comes in.

Yeardley:  Oh, that’s right. I remember you told us in a previous episode that you thought about becoming an actor.

Matt:  Yeah. Aren’t a lot of actors supposedly introverts?

Yeardley:  Oh, yeah, we are, mm-hmm 100%.

Matt:  So, that’s where it comes from. [Yeardley laughs] But anyway, to pick up the phone and have to draw out a conversation with someone, I didn’t think there was any way I could pull it off. So, that’s why I kind of like, wow, that is definitely my finest moment.

Dave:  It’s the dulcet tones.

Yeardley:  Indeed. [Matt laughs] Mellifluous voice.

Dan:  I think you figured out your retirement gig now. You can just go into telemarketing. [Yeardley laughs]

Matt:  I’m glad you said telemarketing. I thought you were going to tell me to start calling up women.


Yeardley:  In the other undercover work that you have shared with us, you had to cozy up to some pretty bad dudes, and while you had to get really close to them, there wasn’t any romantic component to it. Was it nerve wracking to go basically on this blind date with this woman even though you knew you had an ulterior motive. It was for the greater good. Do you get nervous when you do stuff like that?

Matt:  Oh, 100%. Especially this one, because you’re knocking on the front door, and I’m thinking to myself, what crazy person is allowing me to have a first date after just talking on the phone and spitting all that stuff out? So, yeah, I had no idea what I was walking into.

Yeardley:  Matt, I am so fascinated by this undercover work, and it’s a little bit like being an actor, except the stakes are way higher for you because I’ve said it before so many times, even if I suck in a role, nobody wants to kill me [laughs] at least not that I know of.

Matt:  [laughs] I don’t know. I heard directors can be very mean.


Yeardley:  It’s true.

Dave:  Right, Let’s talk about the worst directors. No, you can’t do that.

Yeardley:  No, you can’t. And critics can end your career. And then there’s the audience, who takes no prisoners.

Dan:  I’m glad that in this case, obviously, Stacy, you’re unwitting. She just wanted to make out with you. She didn’t want to kill you. [Yeardley laughs] Maybe enjoy a glass of pinot or whatever red you brought.

Yeardley:  Or a yellow tail. [Matt laughs]

Dan:  The great thing about your work is you have to think on your feet. And Matt came up with a plan, and it worked. Simpler is better.

Yeardley:  Right.

Matt:  That is very true.

Dave:  Flirtatious Matt gets the job done.


Matt:  Yeah. That is something I’ve never been called before. Even my wife, she still makes fun of me because the night we met, I hardly talked to her. Anyway.


Dave:  Matt’s wife is spectacular, as well.

Yeardley:  She is. We got to meet her when we all convened in Florida, it was the first time we’d met you in person, and we got to go out to dinner with you and your lovely wife. I have such respect and admiration for what you did for your entire law enforcement career, and I personally am glad that you’re done and spending time with your family and getting to heal your heart and your soul.

Matt:  Well, I appreciate that very much. Thank you.

Paul:  Thanks for that story, Matt. Great job.

Yeardley: : Thank you so much.


Yeardley:  Small Town Dicks was created by Detectives Dan and Dave. The podcast is produced by Jessica Halstead and me, Yeardley Smith. Our senior editor is Soren Begin, and our editor are Christina Bracamontes and Erin Phelps. Our associate producers are the Real Nick Smitty and Erin Gaynor. Gary Scott is our executive producer, and Logan Heftel is our production manager. Our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell. And our social media maven is Monika Scott. It would make our day if you became a member of our Small Town Fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at @smalltowndicks, we love hearing from you.

 Oh, our groovy theme song was composed by John Forrest. Also, if you’d like to support the making of this podcast, hop on over to, for a small subscription fee, you’ll find exclusive content you can’t get anywhere else. The transcripts of this podcast are thanks to SpeechDocs and they can be found on our website, Thank you SpeechDocs for this wonderful service. Small Town Dicks is an Audio 99 production. Small Town Fam, thanks for listening. Nobody is better than you.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]