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A young man’s trusting nature ends up having deadly consequences.

Special Guest: Detective David

When Detective David started out in law enforcement in 2002, his agency was so small they doubled as both police officers and firefighters, carrying their dual-purpose gear in the trunk of their patrol cars. After three years of doing double duty, David was promoted to detective. He has also served as a Patrol Sergeant and was elected Under Sheriff of his county in 2011. In 2013, David transferred back to detectives and finished out his career as an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, until he retired in 2018.

Read Transcript

Paul: Hey, Small Town Fam, this is Paul Holes. Make sure you subscribe to The Briefing Room with Detectives Dan and Dave. Season 2 is out now. Subscribe now and thanks.


Larry: I didn’t kill [beep] for what it’s worth. You can believe me.

David: I don’t. Either I’m dealing with somebody that is a cold-blooded natural born killer or I’m dealing with somebody that is afraid to tell me what happened because of the way the evidence looks.

Yeardley: I’m Yeardley.

Zibby: I’m Zibby and we’re fascinated by true crime.

Yeardley: So, we invited our friends, Detectives Dan and Dave.

Zibby: To sit down with us and share their most interesting cases.

Dan: I am Dan.

Dave: And I’m Dave. We’re identical twins and we’re detectives in small town USA.

Dan: Dave investigates sex crimes and child abuse.

Dave: Dan investigates violent crimes. And together we’ve worked on hundreds of cases including assaults, robberies, murders, burglaries, sex abuse, and child abuse.

Dan: Names, places, and certain details including relationships have been altered to protect the privacy of the victims and their families.

Dave: Though we realize that some of our listeners may be familiar with these cases, we hope you’ll join us in continuing to protect the true identities of those involved out of respect for what they’ve been through. Thank you.

[Small Town Dicks theme]

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

Dave: Good morning, team.

Yeardley: And we have Detective Dan.

Dan: Hello everyone.

Yeardley: And we are so pleased to welcome a new guest to the podcast, retired Detective David.

David: Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Yeardley: Thank you for joining us. So, Detective David, before you tell us about the case you brought for us today, tell us a little bit about your jurisdiction. How big is your town? How long have you been in law enforcement? We love to know all that stuff.

David: I’ve been in law enforcement since 2001 and I spent my career with three departments. I spent it with the state police, the city police, and the county sheriff’s office. That’s where this case came from is while I was working at the county sheriff’s office.

Yeardley: And how big is your jurisdiction, roughly?

David: The county that we live in is 8000 square miles and the county has 50,000 people in it.

Dave: So, in that county with that many miles on a typical, say, graveyard shift, how many deputies do you have working?

David: Maybe six.

Dan: So covers a long ways away.

David: Oh, a long, a long ways. Response time if you’re not in the immediate area, yeah, it could be a while.

Dave: And five minutes is a while when you’re in a fight. So, if you’re talking covers 20-25 minutes away, that’s an eternity.

Dan: Long time to be by yourself.

Yeardley: I can only imagine. So, Detective David, please tell us how this case came to you.

David: At the time, I was in an administrative position with the sheriff’s office that I was employed by. I was actually second in command. I was the undersheriff at this location and it was a very difficult transition for me to go from being a hands-on officer to being an administrative officer. I was constantly trying to be involved. I wanted to be part of it. Six months into the new term as undersheriff, a hiker found a dead body on a very popular bike path up in the mountains. It was on the weekend when it was found. I didn’t even hear about it for a day or two and then found out about it. It was handled by our detective division at the time.

Yeardley: Is that usual for a body to be found, but not everyone in the sheriff’s department is informed?

David: Well, when something would come in, everybody was very territorial, wouldn’t say nothing. The briefing type information was very seldom passed on. I’m not sure if it was just that’s the way it was or if there was possible animosity towards the new administration. So, we have the body and initially the investigators that were handling it tried to say that this individual fell and hit his head and received a blunt trauma to the head and died. The body had been out in the bike path for five to six days. Because that detective made that preliminary decision that it was a fall or an accident, there wasn’t adequate crime scene investigation done, basically none. So, then the body goes to the office of medical investigator and autopsy is done and it turns out that that person had been shot. Well, now that changes everything.

So, everybody backpedals back up to the crime scene. Of course, now we’re three weeks into the deal and how many people have gone through there and so forth.

Yeardley: Have you identified the victim at this point? Do you know his name?

David: Yes, John. And I knew John. He was like 23 years old. He was a homeless kid from another state. He had been in our state for a year or more. And like I told you, I was only six months into my new position with county sheriff. And prior to that, I was a patrol supervisor with the city that I live in. I came to know John in dealing with him on the street. He was a very likable kid. Had a little bit of mental challenge to him, but I would always go out of my way to help him out. I would go check on him and see how he’s doing. And he was always so glad to see me. Anyway, it struck a soft spot when I realized who the victim was. So now starts the investigation. The effort that was made was kind of haphazard.

Yeardley: How so?

David: Well, I knew where John was living and I kept indicating that our suspect Larry and his wife Jenny were the last two people to see John before he was found because John was living with Larry and Jenny.

Yeardley: If John was previously homeless, were they friends? What was their actual connection?

David: When Larry and Jenny were interviewed the first time, they disclosed that John was flying a sign on one of our big street corners, and they saw him and supposedly felt sorry for him and brought him to their house and befriended him. Then they learned subsequently that he was on disability and receiving Social Security benefits.

Dan: I’m assuming you asked them if they were aware that John was missing.

David: Yes.

Dan: And what was their explanation?

David: They’d gotten in an argument, so they took him to a homeless camp area and dumped him off and they never saw him again. The detectives bought that and I was like, “Where’s all John’s stuff?” “Oh, well, it’s still at the house.” A homeless person doesn’t abandon his prized possessions.

Yeardley: Right.

David: Guys, come on.

Dave: This is something that lots of agencies deal with is sometimes, and you’ve heard it from detectives in the past, where they take things at face value and don’t go the extra layer or two to corroborate things or ask a pretty common-sense question, like someone who’s homeless. They take their house with them.

Yeardley: Because that’s all they have.

Dave: Right. And they don’t know when they’re going to come back. They’re fluid in their lifestyle, so they might couch surf one night, but all that stuff comes with them because in that culture, everyone steals from everybody. So, you’ll have homeless people taking things from other people, like, “Oh, I need that,” and they’ll take it. So, these guys aren’t going to risk losing all that stuff by leaving everything that they prize behind.

David: Right. Homeless people carry their life on their back.

Yeardley: And Detective David, how long had John been living with Jenny and Larry before they dumped him off at the homeless camp?

David: By their explanation, it was about four months.

Yeardley: So, that’s a while.

David: Yep. So, I tried to stay in touch with the detectives and ask them how are they progressing? I told them, I said, “Larry and Jenny’s story is not solid as to what happened to John. You need to pick one of those two and that’s the one you focus on.” And in watching the initial interview that was done with Larry and Jenny, it was obvious that Larry was a very, very smart individual and very controlling, and Jenny was a very submissive spouse. In Jenny’s interview, there was a lot of “Larry said this and Larry said that, and I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to make Larry mad.” So, all the indicators were there as to who was piloting the capsule, so to speak.

Dan: So, when Larry and Jenny are being interviewed the first time, are they separated?

David: Yes.

Dan: Okay, so are you watching in real time?

David: Yes.

Dan: What’s your impression of Larry in the interview? You said he was smart, but what’s his demeanor?

David: We’re all trained in the indicators of deceit. It was very obvious that he was very arrogant. He didn’t seem to hold anything back, but he was very assertive that he was telling the truth. And I learned later that he was way above average intelligence. It appeared to me that he was challenging the officers.

Dave: He felt like he was the smartest person in the room.

David: Definitely. It was like, “Catch me if you can. I’m better than you, I’m smarter than you. You’re not going to get me in a corner.” That was the impression I got.

Yeardley: Were Larry and Jenny employed? Did they have jobs?

David: Larry was the ex-veteran. He was released from the armed service after committing a felony. Jenny, at the time, she was working at a local pizza place, fast food pizza place and delivery place. And Larry, he worked at a car lot. John, when he moved in with them, he didn’t work. Like I said, he was on Social Security.

Dave: I’ve got a couple of questions going back to the crime scene, John doesn’t strike me as someone who would go out for a pleasure hike.

David: Right. And the location is far from a street corner. He didn’t have a car. He’s a homeless person. Somebody would have had to have taken him there.

Dave: Right. And leaving major intersections eliminates his revenue stream. So, I’m wondering, how was he dressed and what kind of pictures were taken out on the scene? Was it thorough?

David: Yes, the pictures were very thorough. It was summertime, it was warm. Our victim was dressed in a T-shirt, long pants, and tennis shoes. I believe he had a ball cap too if I remember correctly.

Dan: You mentioned that one of the investigators surmised that he took a fall and that’s what caused the injury to his head. Is there a ledge or a cliff nearby?

David: There kind of is, there’re locations where he possibly could have fell, where he was found, he would have had to have fallen, got up and traversed a little ways and then collapsed. There was nothing for him to fall from where he was.

Dan: But you don’t have a blood trail.

David: No.

Dan: So, where he’s fallen, that’s where his injury occurred.

David: Right.

Dan: I’m just trying to crawl inside this investigator’s head, because when a person just falls from standing up, and even if they hit their head on a rock, you usually don’t get massive trauma to your head. I mean, the skull might fracture, but it’s not going to be caved in. There probably won’t be that much blood.

David: Sure. And looking back at the photos, it was obvious there was a lot of things that was missed. I didn’t realize this until I went through those photos with a magnifying glass so to speak.

Dan: Any shell casings?

David: No shell casings.

Yeardley: But then again, the original investigators thought that John had fallen and it was an accident and not that he had actually been murdered.

David: Exactly. So then once we got the result about there being a gunshot wound, then we go back and look, and of course, they don’t find any shell casings. Now, did they really look or did they just look around. I have my opinions on the job that was done and I wasn’t pleased with the job that was done.

Dave: And this scenario is a defense attorney’s dream, because you’ve got these days between when the body was there, when it’s discovered, and now several days later, where you go back out and go, we got a crime scene out here. How much foot traffic has gone through that area?

David: Exactly. Okay, so now you find shell casings. Well, officer, can you say those shell casings were deposited there before or after?

Yeardley: Right, because it’s been three weeks.

David: Sure. I’ve gone to that scene numerous times afterwards. That’s what we do. And people go down there shooting all the time. So, the case is going nowhere. No suspects. We start hearing from the family, we start hearing from John’s dad and John’s sister. They’re further along in their theory than our detective division is. And the reason being is because somebody was communicating with John’s dad and John’s sister, pretending to be John.

Yeardley: Oh, oh.

David: When they were communicating, John hadn’t been positively identified. So, John’s dad gets a phone call on Father’s Day. The person on the phone, it’s a male’s voice. He says, “Hey, I just wanted to call you. Wish you happy Father’s Day.” And John’s dad says, “Well, thank you very much, but you’re not my son. Put my son on the line.” And so, when he says that, the phone’s disconnected. And John’s dad knows where he was staying.

Yeardley: Which is with Larry and Jenny.

David: Exactly. Well, I learned shortly after that John’s sister has been communicating on Instant Messenger with somebody using John’s site.

Yeardley: It’s curious to me that John is homeless but connected to social media. I don’t know. It seems incongruous.

David: Well, the reason it’s socially connected was because he moved in with Larry and Jenny. They enabled him to do that.

Yeardley: Oh.

David: So, the sister gets a hold of me and tells me, “Somebody’s been communicating, pretending to be John on Instant Messenger.” Well, John’s dead.

Yeardley: But she didn’t know that at the time.

David: Correct.

Dave: And whoever killed John is trying to keep him alive.

David: Sure.

Dan: That way, nobody’s looking for him. There’s nothing amiss.

David: That’s right. So once John was positively identified, now there’s no more communication. After I hear from the dad and the sister and they’re concerned about no progress being done on the case, my hands were tied. I wasn’t given much authority. So, when I would start hearing from the family, I would direct the calls to the sheriff. Let’s see if anything will change. The sheriff finally did get tired of fielding the phone calls, and he asked me, do you want to take the case.

Dan: Exactly what you’ve been waiting for?

David: Exactly.

Yeardley: So now you’re finally in charge. What’s your first order of business?

David: So, I start looking up Larry and Jenny. I started researching them to see who they are and start trying to figure this out because we’re playing a chess game.

Yeardley: Are they known to law enforcement previously?

David: Larry, yes. He was under investigation just before John’s death for making death threats to his boss.

Yeardley: Oh, dear.

David: So he was interviewed by the city police department at this time, in which he’s a felon. He admits to being a felon. He admits to shooting a gun a week ago.

Dan: Which you can’t do in Detective David’s state, if you’re a convicted felon, you can’t even do target practice.

David: That’s right.

Dave: So based on the way the city police handled Larry in this case, I’m guessing he was never arrested for unlawful possession or use of the firearm.

David: Nope. Meanwhile, we move on. And when I research Larry and Jenny, I learn about Jenny’s parents, and I make some phone calls to them. And they know that John was living with Larry and Jenny. And mom is very interested. Mom is disabled. She’s in a wheelchair. She’s grandma. Because Jenny has a young child, a young boy.

Yeardley: Is Larry the dad of the boy?

David: No. And mom starts telling me she’s concerned about the grandson being with Larry and Jenny. She don’t like Larry, I think, because Larry is controlling, Jenny can’t do anything on her own. If she does, she gets in trouble, but she can’t get Jenny to deviate from Larry. So, she’s concerned about the grandson. Jenny’s mother starts telling me, “I’ll do anything to get my grandson in my custody.” And so, I start asking about Larry and Jenny. And what does she think? She says, “Well, I really think that Larry killed John. I’m not sure about my daughter. I’m not sure if she’s involved or not.” And I said, “Well, have you talked to her about it?” And she says, “Yeah.” I said, “Has she ever done anything or said anything that makes you think she might be involved?” And she said, “Yeah I just directly asked her if she’s involved with the death of John.” And she says, “Mom, I couldn’t kill anybody, but I do want to drink the blood of a freshly killed person.”

Yeardley: What, like, in all seriousness, she meant that?

David: Yep. I mean, I had the same reaction that you just had. I said, “Excuse me? She said that in those words?” She said, “Yes.”

Yeardley: Oh, my God.

Dave: We got a problem.

David: And so, grandma is really concerned about her grandson, so let’s utilize this.

Yeardley: And how old is the grandson?

David: At that time, he would have been about five or six.

Yeardley: He’s very small.

David: Yes, very small. Just getting ready to start school. And so, I’m talking to the mother-in-law. I said, well, “I’m concerned too for the boy, I want to do what I can to help you.” So, I said, “I want you to stay in touch with them. Don’t let them know you’re talking to me. And keep me filled in on what they’re doing.” Even though Larry is controlling Jenny, when Jenny can she’ll call mom. Jenny will start telling her what Larry’s doing, but she won’t do anything about it. So that’s the information I need coming back at me. And by now, it’s been considered a cold case.

Dave: How long removed are we from the homicide?

David: We’re a year down the road, and Larry and Jenny are living in another state several states away. So, once I start getting really rolling, I’m thinking down the road, Okay, I know who did it. I know that he was shot. I don’t know why or the details. And I need a weapon. How am I going to find this weapon? I know it’s a 40 caliber because I got that from the autopsy. And the bullet was sent to the crime lab, and they said, yes, it’s a 40 caliber. So now, I’m starting to go, well, it’s been quite a while. So, I’m thinking, okay, if he took that weapon and he’s as smart as I think he is, he’s going to get rid of that weapon. So, I’m going, okay, I have to expect the worst and I’m never disappointed.

How can I put this together without having a weapon? The next best thing is to try to prove what weapon it could have been. So, I’m combing through reports and I remembered a burglary report that Jenny’s parents made back prior to John’s death in which their house was burglarized and oxycodone was taken $2,300 in cash and a 40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. And so, I went to interview the dad and I said, “Was there any forced entry?” He said, “No.” I said, “Did Larry and Jenny know how to get in your house when you weren’t here?” He said, “Yep.” And that pretty much linked it up for me as to who took that. The final question. “Did Larry know where you kept your gun?” “Yep.”

Yeardley: After the burglary, was any investigation done?

David: No.

Yeardley: Why not?

Dave: Well, there’s also plausible deniability. Larry’s probably been in this house before. His fingerprints, DNA, all that would be expected to be in this house.

David: Exactly. So now I got to try to go backwards in this. I need to be able to prove it was that gun-

Yeardley: -that killed John.

David: Yes. Well, it was bought legitimately so we could take it all the way back to the manufacturer, because the manufacturers make test fires of that gun that they can say, this slug that we still have was fired from the handgun that the father-in-law ended up with. So I’m thinking along those lines for final identification. So, then I went back to the father-in-law and I said, “You need to tell me someplace where you’ve shot your gun, where I can find a slug from your gun, and it only be your gun.” He said, “Oh, hell, that’s easy. I accidentally shot it through the floor of my trailer.”


David: And I said, “This trailer.” And he said, “Yes.” He says, “Right there, that hole.” And he pointed to a hole in the kitchen. I went and put my coveralls on and got my flashlight, and I went down there and I found that slug.

Yeardley: Oh, my God.

Dave: Dug it out of the ground.

David: Ah-ah.

Dave: Nice.

David: When I came out, the mom is sitting there watching. So, now I’m going, okay, we just now turned it up a little bit because she’s going to call and tell them that I went under there and found that slug. So, the next morning, I get a call from Larry at my desk. He says, “I’ve made several calls to the sheriff’s office over the last year and left several messages because I was trying to help them solve the case involving John. And I never got any phone calls back.” My brain is just going fast now. It’s smoking. There’s no reason for him to call me, except he hurt from the mother-in-law.

Dan: He’s trying to get out in front of it.

David: He wants to know what direction I’m going, what I’m thinking, and see if he can get out in front of it, come up with some an alibi or an explanation.

Yeardley: Did he bring up that you’d found the bullet under the trailer?

David: No, he didn’t mention anything to me about the slug because he wants to use mom. He thinks mom is in his corner. But she hated Larry. She would talk to her daughter and then Jenny would tell Larry. So, I’m talking with Larry, and I’ll remember this forever. He says, “I’ve tried real hard to cooperate and everything, and nobody wants to call me back. I just want to see this case go away. I mean, I just want to see the person responsible get caught.”

Yeardley: Oh, shit.

David: Yeah. What a perfect Freudian slip. So, then I said, “Well, Larry, I really appreciate your help and I appreciate your interest, and let me let you know for sure that it’s not going to go away, and I would hope you would continue to cooperate.” He reached out to me, so now I want to keep that going. If I can let him think I’m going another way to where it reinforces his idea that he’s in control, that he’s got this all figured out better than I do, that’s exactly what I want him to believe. I don’t want him to think I’m coming after him yet because I’m not ready. So, I goaded him into saying, do you still want to help?

Dave: I can’t figure this out by myself. I need your help.

David: Yes. I need any input you may have. You may have the little clue that’s going to put me on the person. So, I want him to throw bullshit clues out there so that I can let him think, “Yeah, you’re sitting here?”

Yeardley: Sure. Next to you. Not across from you.

David: Yeah, not across from me. So, I asked him, “Would you be cooperative enough to go down and give a DNA sample to the county sheriff there where you are?” He says, “Well, do I have to?” I said, “Well, no, but remember you said you want to help out, I’m going to need it because when I find the right killer, the defense is going to point the finger at you, so we need to keep you in the clear.” So, he says, “Well, if you think that’s the best thing, I’ll do that,” he can’t backpedal now because that’s going to make him a suspect. So, I said, “Okay, well, I’ll get the sheriff to come by and collect a sample.” So, I established communication with the county sheriff where they are and we get the DNA from him and Jenny.

Sheriff actually knows these folks pretty good because they stand out on his radar too. It’s that law enforcement instinct. There’s something not right with these folks. And they just live right down the street from the sheriff’s office. And the sheriff says, “I can just open the front door and look down, tell you if they’re home.” I said, “Okay, keep an eye on them. Let’s just see what goes on.” So, we let things rock along. Well, then I hear from mom and she says, “Things are not good at Larry and Jenny’s house. Larry’s wanting to divorce and he’s going to go back to the state where he’s from.” So, I’m going, “Okay, heat’s turning up. I need to do something.” Now, they were at a location where I couldn’t be around them every day.

I could ask for a consensual interview, but people that are guilty usually don’t do consensual interviews. So, I got to figure out how I can interview these two without letting them talk to each other. Because if they talk to each other, one’s going to tell the other one what the questions were and they’re going to start structuring their alibi. So, when mom tells me that Larry’s fixing to split up from Jenny and move, I jump on a plane and fly to the location where Larry and Jenny are living. I let the sheriff’s office know there that I’m coming. And he says, “Well, what plan you have?” I said, “I don’t have a plan.” We gotta watch. We gotta do street police work. So, we start watching the house. And chief deputy says, “Jenny went to work this morning.” She’s at work. Larry’s at home with the boy,

Yeardley: Jenny’s five-year-old son.

David: Correct. Says that’s his pickup in the driveway. And he says Larry has a suspended driver’s license, which is an arrestable offense. If he gets in that vehicle, we got him. We didn’t have to wait 45 minutes and [Yeardley laughs] he come out and got in that vehicle and drove. We pulled him over. And the chief deputy says that he has talked to Larry before about him not having a driver’s license and told him, “If I catch you again, I’m going to arrest you.” So perfect timing. He takes him into custody. He’s got the boy with him and I think there was another gal in the truck, a friend of theirs.

And so they were making arrangements for the gal to have the kid and to take the vehicle and go straight back to the house because there was no insurance or none of that stuff on the truck. So, during this time, the chief deputy put Larry in the backseat behind me, and Larry’s sitting in the backseat, and he asked me, “Why are you here? Are you wanting to be a deputy here or something?” And I said, “Yeah, something like that.”

Dave: So, Larry has no idea who you are?

David: He saw me one time, but it was right when everything was intense and he was having to focus on his initial interview. So that’s immaterial. You don’t remember that stuff.

Yeardley: And it’s a year ago.

David: Yeah. So now he’s in the backseat on a traffic violation. So, we have a little conversation. I said, “Yeah, what’s the community like here?” He said, “It’s a small knit community. Everybody knows everybody’s shit.” And I said, “Well, I’ll keep that in mind if I decide to be a deputy here.” [Yeardley laughs]

Dave: You’re just on a ride along.

David: That’s it, just a ride along. I never even turned around to giving my face. I just talked, looking forward.

Yeardley: You’re not in uniform, are you?

David: No, I was in plain clothes. I didn’t have jurisdiction there.

Yeardley: Right, of course.

David: But I had an agency helping me out that did have jurisdiction. So, we’re only four blocks from the station. When I get back to the chief deputy’s office, we’re talking and Larry’s in the Holden cell, and my phone rings, and lo and behold, it’s the mother-in-law. She said, “Jenny called me.” And I said, “Really? Is she okay?” And she said, “Yeah, but I just found out Larry’s been arrested. I’m worried about my grandson. Do I need to go up there and get him?” I said, “I don’t know. If you talk to Jenny, tell her to call me.” We got off the phone and it wasn’t 10 minutes before Jenny calls me, and she’s upset. She said, “Larry just got arrested and I don’t know what to do. And I think, I’m going to go bail him out.”

I think, “Oh, no, I just got him in the trap. I can’t have that happen. I can’t let him out yet.” I thought real quick, I said, “Okay, it’s time to play my cards.” And I told her, “Jenny, I’m up here where you guys are. I’m here in town. You need to come see me.” And she just hit the panic button and she starts crying hysterically. She said, “I don’t want to go to jail. I don’t want to go to jail. I don’t want to lose my son. What am I going to do?” And I said, “Listen, calm down, come see me. Don’t think about that yet. I don’t know that you’re going to jail, but we need to talk.” So, she shows up. I do the interview with her and in the first part of the interview, she went right back to her original alibi story.

Dave: Because it worked before.

David: Yes. I never played bad cop with anybody. I always played good cop. May take me two times, but if I play good cop with you, you’ll talk to me again. If I scare you or intimidate you, everybody will say, “I want my attorney.”

Yeardley: It closes all the doors.

David: Oh, yes. Without a doubt. So, I played the good cop. She was very emotional, and if she’s going back to the original story, which is no involvement, why is she emotional? She’s emotional because she knows she’s lying. So, I said, “Okay, let’s take a break.” The chief deputy says, “Let me talk to her a little bit.” I said, “Okay, record whatever you say to her.” Chief deputy said, “I’ll take her out for a cigarette.” So, he took her out for a cigarette and she started trying to tell him the same old story. And he says, “You know, Detective, came a long way to come talk to you today. He knows you need to be truthful, and you’re not being truthful. He said, think about your son. You need to be truthful.” So, she had told him that, “I will. I will tell him the truth.” And so did the recorded interview with her and she was very emotional, very upset.

David: I want you to tell me what happened to [beep] and do not leave out any details.

Jenny: We did get into an argument.

David: Of what?

Jenny: We calmed down and– [sobbing]

David: Stay calm. Stay calm. It’s okay.

Jenny: [beep] [crying]

David: Do what? [beep]

Jenny: [unintelligible [sobbing]

David: [unintelligible Calm down. Okay. Calm down. You’re okay? So, [beep] your husband shot him?

Jenny: Yes.

David: Take your hands away from your face. I need to be able to hear you.

Jenny: Yes [crying]

David: Okay. Where did this happen?

Jenny: [beep].

David: All right. You’re okay? You’re okay? Did this happen around [beep]?

Jenny: I don’t know the exact date, but yes.

David: But that’s the date that, was it dark when it happened?

Jenny: Yes.

David: Did the three of you all drive up there together?

Jenny: [sobbing] It was dark when we got there. Everything was calm, and we were just going to go for a walk. I was peeing in the bushes. And I heard, I looked and–

David: What did you see?

Jenny: [unintelligible And I was screaming, “Oh, my God. Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God.” He was shot and dead.

David: Speak clearly. I can’t understand.

Jenny: [beep] I couldn’t see anything because we were married, and if I said anything, I would go to jail too because I was there.

David: No. That doesn’t mean you’re going to jail. Let me ask you some real important questions right now. When you guys drove up there, did you know that was going to happen?

Jenny: [crying] No, I didn’t know. I didn’t know.

David: Okay. At any time did [beep] tell you he was going to kill?

Jenny: No, no. [crying].

David: Okay. All right. You’re okay. Did [beep] say why he shot him?

Jenny: He just wanted to know what it would be like.

David: He just wanted to know what it would be like. Is that what he told you?

Jenny: Yes. He doesn’t want to do it again. He wouldn’t want to do it again.

David: So when it happened [beep] and him weren’t in a fight or anything?

Jenny: No.

David: Did you see him shoot him?

Jenny: Only the second time. I didn’t see the first one. I heard– [crosstalk]

David: How far away from him was he when he shot the second time?

Jenny: [unintelligible

David: That isclose as you and I are.

Jenny: Maybe, maybe a little further.

David: Did [beep] take anything off pockets afterwards?

Jenny: His phone.

David: He took his phone? What happened to his phone?

Jenny: [beep] Maybe throw it off the window? He promised me. I’m not going to jail for this.

David: For the murder.

Jenny: Yes.

David: If everything you told me is true, you’re not going to jail for this murder if you haven’t left nothing out.

Jenny: I haven’t left anything out [crying].

David: Listen to me. Listen to me. Calm down. Listen to me. You did not pull the trigger, correct?

Jenny: No, no.

David: You did not plan this, correct?

Jenny: No.

David: You did not move the body afterwards. Correct?

Jenny: No.

David: All you did was throw the phone away because [beep] told you to?

Jenny: Yes.

David: Did you dispose of anything else?

Jenny: Clothes and shoes.

David: Your clothes and shoes?

Jenny: All of them, mine and [beep].

David: Okay.

Jenny: [unintelligible throw my shoes away.

David: Why did he want you to throw the shoes away?

Jenny: He said it would link us with our footprints.

David: Okay. And did you throw those clothes away because you were afraid?

Jenny: He said if he got in trouble, I would go to jail.

David: Okay. That’s important that you tell me that.

David: It was hard to understand what she was saying. And so, I was trying to make her say it again and again, say it more clear. I wanted to get everything. I can’t snakebite somebody. I can’t tell you I’m going to help you and then turn around and jerk the rug out from under. I can’t do that. So, I told her down the road, we’re going to have to talk again. I don’t know what’s going to happen for sure, but I guarantee your cooperation will get you a long way. So, Jenny gave me the pertinent details of what happened that Larry had shot John. She told me, where.

Yeardley: She laid it all out.

David: Yeah. In Jenny’s interview, after she admitted to her participation and what her and Larry did, I asked her, “Where’s the gun?” She says, “Dick’s got it.”

Yeardley: And who’s Dick?

David: He’s a friend of Larry and Jenny. He was a friend with them in the town that I’m from. Larry and Jenny and Dick all moved, but they went different directions. So, I said, “Where’s Dick?” And she tells me the location, which is another state different from where they’re residing. I said, “Do you have Dick’s phone number?” And she said, “Yes, I do.” I said, “Give it to me.” So, she gave me Dick’s phone number and I called Dick on the phone a couple of minutes later. I said, “Dick, this is Detective investigating Larry and Jenny.” I said, “Do you have a 40-caliber gun that Larry gave you?’ He says, “Yes, I do.” I said, “Do you have it right now?” And he said, “Yes, I do.” I said, “Well, let me tell you what to do. Listen very closely. I want you to sit there and stare at that gun. Don’t touch it. Don’t let nobody else touch it. Don’t let nothing happen to that gun until the police department in your town come and get it. I’m going to call them as soon as I get off the phone with you. If you do anything different than what I just told you’re going to be testicles deep in a homicide investigation.”


David: He says, “I kind of thought something bad happened with this gun.” And I said, “Okay, keep your distance, but don’t let nothing happen to that gun.” So, I contacted that police agency and they got the gun. So as soon as I had that gun in custody, now I can use that in my interview with Larry.

Yeardley: That’s a huge piece of your puzzle.

David: Oh, God, yes. Once I got Larry arrested, I was communicating back to my jurisdiction to get the warrant started.

Yeardley: And the warrant you’re talking about is the extradition warrant?

David: Yes, it’s the warrant that would be issued in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, where I was working, and then that warrant would have to be forwarded up to that jurisdiction, and he would be arrested on that by those officers not me.

Dave: Because Detective David can’t arrest in another state.

Yeardley: Right.

David: So, as soon as I had everything, we got it signed in our jurisdiction, put into NCIC and faxed up to where we were so that there was no delay. If he bonded out, we couldn’t lose him.

Yeardley: What’s NCIC?

David: National Crime Information Center.

Dave: That’s basically the clearinghouse for all law enforcement related info. So, say somebody that I’m looking for is across the country, and you’ve got a warrant for them, when they run that person’s name through any law enforcement database, NCIC, it comes back and says, “That person’s got a warrant and it’ll give nationwide extradition or limited extradition.” It gives those kinds of details.

Yeardley: I see.

David: So, now we’ve got Larry in custody in another room. Jenny’s been released. She’s left. She hasn’t been allowed to talk to Larry at all. So now it’s time to interview Larry.

David: So, I go in and start talking to Larry, and he’s sitting at the table, and I walk in and I sit down. I said, “Do you remember me?” He says, “Yeah. Weren’t you the guy in the front seat this morning?” And I said, “Yeah.” And then I handed him my business card. He reads my business card and he says, “Oh, so that’s what this is about.” Yeah, Larry, that’s what this is about. I’m here to talk to you about John.

David: You are in custody on traffic-related issues, is that correct?

Larry: Yes.

David: Okay, because you’re in custody, I want to talk to you about something else. I’m going to go ahead and read you your rights. Have you been arrested before?

Larry:. Yes

David: Do you know what your Miranda rights are?

Larry: I know what they are, yes.

David: Okay. So, I’m going to read them to you anyway. Before I ask you any questions, you must understand you have the right to remain silent. Do you understand that?

Larry: Yes.

David: Anything you say can be used against you in court. Do you understand that?

Larry: Yes.

David: You have the right to speak to an attorney for advice before I ask you any questions and to have an attorney with you during questioning. Do you understand that?

Larry: Yes.

David: If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. Do you understand that?

Larry: Yes.

David: And that you understand all these rights. Are you willing to answer my questions?

Larry: Depends on what you ask.

David: Okay.

Larry: Fair enough.

David: Fair enough? Yeah. If I ask you a question, I’d appreciate you telling me. I don’t want to answer that instead of lying to me. Fair enough.

Larry: Yeah.

David: A gun got taken from [beep] house. Do you know anything about that?

Larry: I don’t.

David: So you didn’t have nothing to do with the disappearance of that gun?

Larry: No. What I understand that thing went missing before I was with [beep].

David: It didn’t. That’s neither here nor there, remember [beep]?

Larry: Yeah.

David: We sent body to OMI for autopsy.

Larry: OMI?

David: Office of Medical Examiners.

Larry: Okay.

David: Okay. We recovered a projectile from his head.

Larry: Okay.

David: And then I got to talk with [beep] about his gun. He accidentally shot his gun through the floor of his residence.

Larry: Okay.

David: He gave me consent to crawl underneath his residence and I went down and found the cartridge that went through.

Larry: Okay.

David: I got both of those and I sent them to the crime lab. Did you hear about me finding that cartridge?

Larry: No, but I’m listening to you. [laughs] I mean, I can put two and two together. They graduated high school and I was 14. It’s not that hard to [crosstalk] what you are saying.

David: So you got two and two [crosstalk] so now I’ve got a cartridge from a deceased individual. But the information we have, you were the last ones to talk to him because we couldn’t find anybody else to talk to him other than you guys. You were the last ones. We got a projectile out of his head. He died from a gunshot wound to the head. Then I got a projectile that I found underneath [beep] house. A [beep] gun is gone. You knew about the gun in his house, you knew he had it and you had access to the house. The gun disappears, [beep] ends up dead, the projectile comes out of his [beep] head. The projectile from under [beep] house that was fired from the gun that’s missing gets sent to the lab and compared. What do you think the results were?

Larry: Since you brought it up, they probably match.

David: Okay, but you’re saying you didn’t have nothing to do with the disappearance of that gun?

Larry: No, I did not.

David: Okay. Do you really want to go there?

Larry: Do I really want to go there? Yeah, I didn’t. I was on parole when it disappeared. It was like–

David: It didn’t bother you enough, you still shot guns.

Larry: I shot one gun, a .32.

David: It don’t– I mean one in hundred is still felon in possession.

Larry: And I don’t even think I was on parole when I shot the .32.

David: I think you were, but anyway. We’ll move on from that. I get the projectiles up to the lab then I find [beep].

Larry: Okay.

David: And guess what [beep]?

Larry: What?

David: The gun you gave him.

Larry: I didn’t give [beep] a gun.

David: You didn’t?

Larry:: No.

David: That’s not what [beep] says.

Larry: Okay.

David: So all you got to do now is convince 12 people that A, that you didn’t give that gun to [beep], B, you didn’t shoot [beep].

Larry: Okay. Not hard to do.

David: Good luck.

Larry: Can I ask a question now? So, I’m under arrest for that too?

David: Not yet.

Larry: Okay? That’s why you guys stopped me and arrested me on bullshit traffic stuff. I didn’t kill [beep] for what it’s worth. You can believe me. You can choose not to. But I didn’t kill him. And as far as [beep] goes, I don’t know where he got the gun. It’s that simple.

David: But he does know where he got it. That’s the whole thing. He does know where he got it.

Larry: I didn’t give it to him so–

David: This one is going to be a pleasure to try on your stance right now. It’s going to be a pleasure because I got two things to look at here. Either I’m dealing with somebody that is a cold blooded, natural born killer or I’m dealing with somebody that is afraid to tell me what happened because of the way the evidence looks. There’s a whole number of things that could have happened up there. There could have been an accident. There could have been a fight. I know that [beep] was bipolar. He had anger problem. He was off his meds and drinks on top of that. I know he can go off like that. I knew [beep] long before you met him because I was in the city police department over there. I knew his family. So, I can see something happening. I can see [beep] what living there with you [beep]. And “Hey, I don’t know, maybe there was something going on. I don’t know.” I’m leaving myself open to everything.

Larry: I didn’t have anything to do with it.

David: Well, the evidence is sure looking like you did. Like I said, this is strictly business. I’m here for you. And if for whatever reason– I’m just going to leave it at this. For whatever reason, you want to talk to me and you want to get in a different position than where I have you sitting right now. If you want in a better chair, I will come help you get in that chair. That’s it, that’s it. That’s all I’m going to say [crosstalk]

Larry: I didn’t do it. But okay.

David: I was ready for him to say, “I’m done, I don’t want to talk anymore.” But by then I had the warrant written. So, we’re sitting there talking and I didn’t tell him through this interview that his wife had given him up. I just told him everything that I had, minus her disclosure.

Yeardley: When you say you don’t tell him that Jenny has disclosed, but are you using the details that she’s disclosed to you to tee him up?

David: No.

Yeardley: No. So, you have enough evidence where you are now seeding him with provable lies as you all say?

David: Yes. So, we discussed things like his explanation of what happened to John that they got in the argument, he dumped him off, and he was never seen again. We discussed, why wouldn’t John come back and get his belongings.

Yeardley: So you’re using his original words against him.

David: Yeah.

Dave: That had never been challenged before.

David: Right. Yeah. Larry was sure he got away with this because so much time had passed and nobody called him. So, he keeps denying everything and he’s doing real good for a hot chair interview. He’s looking me right in the eye. He’s not sweating. He’s very good at it. And so, we’re starting to get close to the end and I told him, “I know you did this, and I have enough evidence to charge you. I just need to know why you did it.” I said, “This is my theory. Either something really bad happened that you’re afraid to tell me about, an argument, maybe it was an accident,” I don’t know. I gave him all kinds of outs because I had the wife’s disclosure so he could say, “Oh, it was an accident, blah, blah, blah.” It’s not what the wife said.

Then I’d turn it around on him later. He didn’t take it, none of it. I told him, I’m looking forward to taking this one to trial. I want to see you convince a jury you didn’t do this. After I unload everything that I have here, he says, “Well, okay.” We parted and I got on the phone real quick and told him, print it.

Yeardley: Print the warrant.

David: That’s right. Go sign it. Get it in front of a judge quick. And so, they did. And once I told the chief deputy there that I was doing that and it had to do with the homicide, now we have a public safety issue where they won’t release him. They have to give me time. I was standing there when the chief deputy served him.

Yeardley: What was his affect?

David: “Oh, this is bullshit. Are you kidding me?” And I said, “No, not at all. Trust me, I’m not kidding. This is for real.” And I said, “You know what, Larry? You go think about this. I’m going to be here one more day.” I was going to give him every opportunity to clear his conscience and to try to do something, maybe to help him because it was not looking good. Well, I never heard from him. The chief deputy took him to his arraignment on the traffic violation that got him initially arrested. And while he was waiting to be arraigned, the chief deputy told me that Larry just broke down and sobbed like a baby and told him, “The detective’s right. I did it all.”

Yeardley: Wow.

David: Yeah. So, I’d just gotten home and I said, “Well, you just tell him I got the message and I would be meeting with him as soon as he gets back.” So now he’s top priority. It’s not just the normal extradition process. He goes to the top of the list. We get him back here now.

Dave: Some of these extraditions, you’ll have somebody that gets arrested eight states away from where we are, there’s no con air unless they’re a high prized target. They hop on a bus and they start going west or east or wherever they’re going, and they go to the next jail where there’s an extradition. They pick them up. They might stay overnight. The bus line might not continue for a couple of days because that’s not their schedule. So, they stay in this small jail for a couple of days. The next bus comes, picks them up, they go to the next station. I’ve had extraditions take 14 days.

So that gives Larry a lot of time to consider how he’s going to approach this interview with you and how he’s going to craft this story to either minimize his crimes or build these lies that hopefully the detective buys.

David: Exactly. So, we put Larry’s extradition top priority, and we did not use a contractor for that. We justified going and picking him up ourselves. The convenience about that is if I can send transport officers to go get him, and I tell him, “Buy this guy dinner.” You can’t take him in a restaurant, but get him whatever drive through fast food he wants, take good care of him. If he wants to stop and smoke a cigarette, be careful, but do that, because that means a lot to these people.

Dave: They want to be respected.

David: Sure. Everybody is somebody. I don’t care what they did. If you lose sight of that, you’re not going to get very far with them. You don’t have to agree with what they did, but they’re still a human being. They’re somebody’s son, there’s somebody’s father, they’re somebody’s whatever. So, he gets back. By now he’s read everything. Now he knows that his wife gave him up in the whole nine yards. First, he does an interview with me under Miranda advisement and tells me everything. So, we started talking about representation. I said, “Have you got a public defender?” And he says, “No, I’m going to represent myself.” I said, “Excuse me.” Well, this puts a whole new twist on this to me. This is crazy. Now I have to wait till his arraignment. So, he’s arraigned. The judge asked him, “Can you afford an attorney?” And he tells him, “No.” He says, “Well, do you want attorney appointed for you?” And he says, “No.” And the judge goes, “Well, what do you plan on doing?” And so, he gets up there and tells him that he wants to represent himself, that he wants to plead guilty.

Yeardley: So, what is there to represent if you plead guilty?

David: Well, that means that there’s not going to be a trial. Now the judge starts thinking, competency on this guy because nobody pleads guilty without an attorney to murder one, because he’s charged with murder one. And so, he tells, “Larry, even though you want to represent yourself, I would feel it’s an injustice if you do not have an attorney with you during this, and you consult with your attorney, and if your attorney has no objections, then that’s what will happen.” And Larry tells him, “That’s fine, you can put whoever you want next to me, but I’m representing myself. That’s my constitutional right and I’m going to do it.” Like I told you, the guy is very, very smart. So, when he does this, I start researching this guy. I start talking to him more. Since he’s going to represent himself, I can talk to him anytime I want to.

Dan: His attorney’s right there.

David: Yeah, right there. And everything he says can be used against him. And if he wants to not talk to me, he can’t. So I’m going to use this to my advantage. So, I told him, “You know what, Larry? There’re some other things I want to talk to you about.” So I did a very nonpractical approach. I spent a lot of time with this guy. I would go get him out at the detention center and take him to lunch and let’s go talk. I asked him, I said, “Tell me about your life.” He’s eaten this up. He tells me how smart he is, that he got his associate’s degree when he was 15 and he got his master’s degree when he was 17.

Yeardley: What did he study?

David: Psychology. So, we had a very good rapport. We were a first name relationship. As this progressed, Jenny gets arrested because I can’t forget her. Her role in what she told me during the interview was Larry took the cell phone from John and took all John’s personal possessions. Told her, “You go dispose this stuff.” So, she disposed it and she disposed the shoes and the clothes that Larry and Jenny were wearing when it happened.

Yeardley: Does that make her an accessory?

David: Oh, definitely. But I need her to testify. So, in speaking with the DA, we decide, let’s do tampering with evidence on her, which is a considerably lighter sentence, so that we got her as ace in the hole. Even though he’s taken a plea, he can revoke that plea at any time and decide to go to trial on it.

Yeardley: How long does he have to do that?

David: All the way up until sentencing.

Yeardley: Oh. So even though he’s pled guilty, that timeline isn’t sped up.

David: It’s strictly up to the court how the judge wants to schedule things, how fast they want to move it forward, and the judge always has to try to not give any grounds for an appeal. We want to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed because even on a jury conviction, the first thing out of the defense attorney’s mouth is, “We’re going to appeal,” especially homicides. Homicide is always appealed, but this guy’s representing himself. So anyway, I got Jenny arrested and she’s brought down. In talking with Larry, now he knows everything that she’s done and even in some of his interviews he says, “You would have never caught me if Jenny wouldn’t have told you.” So, I’m going, okay, “He’s got a lot going on in his head.”

So, Jenny also tells me about being raped by Larry while she was unconscious on opioids alcohol. And I said, “Do you want him charged with this?” And she said, “Yes, okay if so.” I did up the documents and I say, “Hey, Larry, you know, I’m going to come get you, we need to go talk and I’ll probably get you some lunch. And I know by the way, you’re also being charged with rape.” And he’s going, “By my own wife, she can’t do that.” And I said, “Yeah, she can, she sure can. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean it’s your right.” So, he got charged with that and then he also got charged with being a felon in possession and tampering with evidence also. Because she told me too that he picked up the shell casings right after the incident and they just left John laying there.

They made no attempt to cover it up, nothing. So that made me think how diabolical Larry is, how much he thinks he’s smarter than everybody else, who kills somebody intentionally and leaves the body to be found.

Dave: In Jenny’s interview she said Larry killed John just because he wanted to see what it felt like. Did you buy that?

David: Well, I don’t know. I didn’t put a whole lot of credence in that. Larry apparently remembered that because he told me the same thing. I just wanted to see what it feels like to kill somebody.

Yeardley: Even if you’re kidding, that’s horrific.

David: After I’ve charged Larry with the criminal sexual penetration and the assorted crimes, of criminal in possession, tampering with evidence, I bring him in for another interview and I happen to be holding a folder when I bring him in. He says, “Are you putting more charges on me?” And I said, “Larry, have you committed any crimes that I need to know about?” “Nothing that I’m going to confess to.” And it’s like, “Okay.”

Yeardley: That’s not really a no.

Dan: Does he say that with a smile on his face?

David: Yes. And I’m just like, “Okay, I need to look a little further.” Well, during one of these many interviews with Larry, and this was after he asked me did I have any more charges on him, he says, “I want you to do what you can to get my case adjudicated as soon as possible. I want to get to prison and start my time.” Who says that?

Dave: Somebody who’s tired of talking.

David: Somebody who’s tired of talking and who doesn’t want anything else to come out. He wants to get to prison and be forgot about. And I’m going, there’s something this guy has. There’s something else. So, we get him adjudicated and just before sentence is passed on him, he says, “After my case is adjudicated, I want to do one more interview with you.” He says, “I want to help you do your job better.” And I went, “Okay, how?” He says, “Well, I want to give you some insight into the minds of people like me so you can understand why we do the things we do.” Now, I thought that’s a very profound statement. I’m going, okay. Has he done this before?

Yeardley: You mean murder?

David: Yes. So, I contact an FBI profiler because I’m believing he’s done this somewhere else before, and maybe this profiler can come up with something and figure out where we need to look. And so, this profiler says, “Oh, yeah, I sure want to be in on this.” And I had talked to Jenny before, asking her, “Are you aware of Larry doing anything like this before?” And she says, “No, but I don’t know what happened in his life before him and I got together.” So, now I want to get to the why. So, I’m theorizing, did Larry at some point tell John about anything else he’s done? Does John know something? In one of the conversations with the mother-in-law, she told me that John had come up to her one day, and he says, “Someday I need to tell you something really important.”

Now, what does this little homeless guy need to tell her unless he knows something that would put Jenny in danger? So, I tell him, “Okay, we’ll do this interview.” So, we do this interview, and Larry starts talking, and he makes reference to tattoos that he has on his arm. He’s got three tattoos of skulls, three separate skulls on his arm. He says, “All these skulls tell a story.” He makes reference to this one particular skull. He says, “This one is for John. Each one of these skulls are mementos of people I’ve killed.”

Yeardley: Oh, shit. He’s a serial killer.

David: Yes. So, he points to the tattoos and one has a cracked skull with fire around the top of it. He says, “This one I killed and then I burned him.” And he told me how he killed these people, why he killed them, but he wouldn’t come out and say when or where. I asked, “Are you going to tell me any more details about when or where?” He says, “No, you got to figure that one out.”

Yeardley: Wow.

Dave: He loves the game. This is a psychology piece of him saying, all right, you’re so good. You figure it out. I give you a little carrot.

David: Yep. I had to ask him things like, “Do you think you can commit the perfect murder?” He says, “I know I can. I have. If it wasn’t for my wife, you wouldn’t have caught me on this one.” The FBI profiler, after we walked out of that interview, “She just says, man, this guy’s just like Ted Bundy.” I started looking into Ted Bundy and they’re very similar. Their attitudes, everything. I’m going, well, okay. Now, he’s told me about these other two. One he shot. He says that the guy tried to run over him and he shot him. I said, “Well, if he tried to run over you, that was self-defense. Did you report it?” He says, “No.” I said, “Why not? It was self-defense.” He says, “Well, I didn’t think I’d get through with it because of how many times I shot him.”

I said, “How many times you shoot him?” He said, “Till the gun was empty.” So, yeah, that might be hard to do self-defense on that. And then another one, the one that he burned, he said that, “This victim had hurt a close friend of his.” Now, I don’t know if he meant physically or just took advantage of him emotionally, and he lured him to a place, and he said, “I hit him and knocked him down, then I got on top of him and I choked him.” I said, “Did you kill him by hitting him or by choking him?” He says, “When you squeeze a person’s neck hard enough, you hear it pop”

Dave: The hyoid bone.

David: Yep. And so, he either reads a lot of stuff or he really did this. And the thing that got me is nobody does three skulls one arm. Those are mementos. I truly believe that Larry did these things. So, he is in custody in Department of Corrections.

Yeardley: How many years did he get?

David: 30 to life.

Yeardley: Okay.

David: It’s a life sentence in my state. Nobody has ever paroled off a life sentence in my state. So, there’s something good there.

Dave: So in this situation for John, what do we determine actually happened to him?

David: Okay, so Larry tells me that him and Jenny loaded John up one day and they were going to go to a local casino. Well, they diverted and went down to this trail instead. And supposedly this came from both Jenny and Larry’s mouth that when they were driving that Larry and John were arguing about stuff. And finally, John asked Larry, “Are you going to take me out here and kill me too?” There we go. Now’s coming the motive.

Dave: So he’s in the car. He makes some statement about, “Are you taking me out here to kill me too?” At that point is when Larry’s saying, “He forms the intent, I got to kill this guy because loose lips sink ships.”

David: He’s already done this, because in obtaining all the information from Dick and Jenny about how the weapon was acquired, because remember, I told you that Larry had given the gun to Dick. Well, he had given the gun to Dick after he stole it because he’s a felon. He can’t be caught with that gun in his possession. So, they tell me that both Jenny and Larry said that they went to Dick’s house first and picked the gun up.

Yeardley: Before they went on this drive.

David: Yes. Then they went back to their house and picked John up. Larry told Dick, I need the gun because a friend’s dog got run over in the mountains and I need to go put him down.

Dave: Gives you a little insight into how he respects John, what he views John as.

David: It gives that and how much planning he actually did. And so, then when he brings the gun back to Dick, he gives it to him. He says, “I owe you two bullets. The gun still shoots real.”

Dave: Wow.

Yeardley: Wow.

David: So where John was found, he had to go about a half mile walk.

Yeardley: From the trailhead or the parking lot area.

David: Yes. So, if John thought he was going to be killed, why did he go with them down there? Well, supposedly they had a case of beer and they were going to go down there and drink. John’s alcoholic and I don’t think John took it real serious that Larry was going to kill him. It might have been just a drunken talk. If John was awake, he was probably under the influence. That’s just the way he was. So they go down there and Larry says that, “They’re walking. And once we got to a place that I kind of liked, I pointed the gun at his head from about 5ft away and pulled the trigger and he went down.” And then according to Larry, Jenny ran up and says, “What are you doing? What’s wrong? And starts going, baby, baby, baby, he is getting up.”

And he was standing back up, starting to come back up from his knees. And he was bent over. And Larry says, “And I walked up and I shot him in the back of the head.” But there was only one bullet wound. I theorized that the first one missed, but the muzzle blast from that distance caused him to drop down. I’ve never been shot at that close. But if it just grazed him, he’s going to feel the pain and the muzzle blast and the heat and the noise is going to cause him to duck. It’s just a reaction you can’t prevent. So, he goes down and then he shoots him again and he collapses. And that’s when they clean up the scene and take off. Jenny says the same thing that when it happened, he went down and then he was starting to get up and she went to John saying, “Baby, baby.”

Yeardley: Oh. So, in Larry’s recounting of events, he thought Jenny was saying baby to him. But when Jenny tells it, “She says she’s calling John baby.”

David: Yes. And then she turns to Larry. “Why did you do that?” So, do I think maybe that there was a physical relationship at some point between Jenny and John? Yeah, I do.

Yeardley: You do?

David: I sure do. It just goes along with the lifestyle these folks had and it also goes with John going to the mother-in-law, calling her mom. So, he’s got some affection for Jenny. But for Larry’s explanation of shooting John just to see what it feels like, he’s already seen what it feels like. In the minds of serial killers, if they don’t get caught, they keep doing it.

Dave: Got to refresh that feeling.

David: Got to get that fixed.

Yeardley: Right. Did you ever follow up on Jenny’s comments about wanting to drink the blood of a freshly killed person?

David: Yes. So, they went so far as to come up with an alibi for Jenny, if needed, in which they recruited a guy from a local outlaw motorcycle group, Charlie. And Charlie practiced the Wiccan philosophy and that’s what Jenny was involved in. They came up with an alibi that they were going to use for Jenny that would remove Jenny from even being at the crime scene, that she was going to have been with Charlie practicing the Wiccan stuff. But Jenny gave it up and put herself at the crime scene.

Dave: For somebody trying to avoid being considered a suspect, drinking blood doesn’t exactly scream innocence.

David: Yeah.

Yeardley: I mean, wow. Before we wrap up, I just want to ask you about John’s family. What were they like? Were they close? And how did they react when you put Larry away for John’s murder?

David: He was very well loved by his family. During this investigation, I got to meet John’s dad and I talked to the sister on the phone. The best day in my career. I’ve had a couple of them, but the one that I really remember the most was calling that family and telling them I got them arrested and to hear them cry on the phone. Thank you so much. And I’ll remember that because I went, “Wow, this feels good” to have Larry try that hard to circumvent the justice system and think he got away with it. But just don’t stop, don’t miss anything. That’s the skey to good police work, is you don’t stop.

Yeardley: Right. That’s amazing. What an incredible case. Thank you so much, Detective David. This was really remarkable.

David: It’s been a pleasure doing this.

Dave: Well done. Good work and trusting your instincts and leaving no stone unturned.

Yeardley: Small Town Dicks is produced by Zibby Allen and Yeardley Smith and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave.

Zibby: This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Yeardley Smith, and Zibby Allen.

Yeardley: Music for the show was composed by John Forest. Our associate producer is Erin Gaynor and our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.

Zibby: If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show, head on over to and become our pal on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @smalltowndicks. We love hearing from our Small Town Fam, so hit us up.

Yeardley: Yeah. And also, we have a YouTube channel where you can see trailers for past and forthcoming episodes.

Zibby: That’s right. If you choose to subscribe, you’ll be supporting our podcast. That way we can keep going to small towns across the country and bringing you the finest in rare true crime cases, told, as always, by the detectives who investigated them. Thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.

Yeardley: Nobody’s better than you.

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