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When forensic specialist Paul Holes arrives at the scene of a violent attack, he immediately collects and compares all the evidence to build a case against the attacker. What he finds both shocks and surprises him – and teaches him a lesson that he still teaches budding investigators today.

Guest: Forensic Specialist Paul Holes

Paul Holes is a bestselling author, podcaster, television host and retired cold-case investigator with the sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices in California’s Contra Costa County. In his 27 years as an investigator, Holes used his behavioral and forensic expertise in such notable cases as the Zodiac murders, Golden State Killer, and Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping. In May 2022, Holes published “Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases” – which became an instant New York Times bestseller. Paul teamed with the FBI and Sacramento DA to help identify Joseph DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer, the most prolific serial predator in U.S. history. In 2019, he teamed up with Oxygen to host ”The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes” and in November he’s launching a new original series with HLN called, ”Real Life Nightmare with Paul Holes.” 

Read Transcript

Yeardley: [00:00:06] Hey, Small Town Fam. It’s Yeardley. How are you, guys? I hope you’re all well and thriving. We have a great case for you today. Great, not only because it comes to us from Paul Holes, but great, because there is a twist near the end that will have you cheering in the car, or the kitchen, walking the dog, wherever you listen to your podcasts. Also, everything about this episode is right up Paul’s CSI alley, from blood spatter telling a story, to profiling the suspect. And it’s a cautionary tale.

[00:00:46] So, I had a listener call me out in a good way on Instagram a few weeks ago. She had just listened to the episode we did in Season 2 called Stalked, where I described the time I was stalked by a guy who was doing some work on the house I lived in at the time. I remember feeling so much guilt and shame back then for finding myself in a suddenly dangerous and unmanageable situation. I also remember even as my intuition was screaming at me, things are going off the rails that I felt compelled to be polite to my stalker.

[00:01:24] So, this listener who called me out, she was totally in my corner, and what she wanted me to know as well as every woman who’s ever been harassed or gotten a bad feeling about someone, “We don’t need to be polite to the predators.” This episode is the perfect reminder of that.

[00:01:45] Finally, it’s one of the last episodes we recorded with Zipper the cat, lounging on the dining room table with us. Zipper loved recording days. And as you’ll hear at the top, she would pay a visit to each of us at our respective microphones before most often settling down in front of one of the guys. We miss her so much. Here is, Sorry Charlie.

[intro theme music]

Yeardley: [00:02:20] Hi, there. I’m Yeardley.

Dan: [00:02:22] I’m Dan.

Dave: [00:02:23] I’m Dave.

Paul: [00:02:23] And I’m Paul.

Yeardley: [00:02:24] And this is Small Town Dicks.

Dan: [00:02:27] Dave and I are identical twins.

Dave: [00:02:28] And retired detectives from Small Town, USA.

Paul: [00:02:31] And I’m a veteran cold case investigator who helped catch the Golden State Killer using a revolutionary DNA tool.

Dan: [00:02:37] Between the three of us, we’ve investigated thousands of crimes, from petty theft to sexual assault, child abuse to murder.

Dave: [00:02:44] Each case we cover is told by the detective who investigated it, offering a rare personal account of how they solved the crime.

Paul: [00:02:51] Names, places, and certain details have been changed to protect the privacy of victims and their families.

Dan: [00:02:56] 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: [00:03:03] -out of respect for what they’ve been through.

[unison]: [00:03:06] Thank you.

Yeardley: [00:03:16] Today on my lap, I have Zipper. Today on Small Town Dicks, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dan.

Dan: [00:03:25] Hello.

Yeardley: [00:03:26] Hello. We have Detective Dave.

Dave: [00:03:28] Yeardley, Zipper.

Yeardley: [00:03:30] [giggles] Dav, as both of us like to call you. I can’t believe she’s not actually at your microphone that she’s on my lap. It won’t last.

Dave: [00:03:39] We play musical Cats here.

Yeardley: [00:03:40] We do.

Dave: [00:03:41] So.

Yeardley: [00:03:41] One musical Cat.

Dave: [00:03:42] The music will stop, she’ll land on Dan, [Yeardley laughs] rotate.

Yeardley: [00:03:45] And eventually, she’ll land on the one and only, Paul Holes.

Paul: [00:03:48] Hey, hey.

Yeardley: [00:03:49] Hey, hey. [laughs] So, Small Town Fam, it’s your lucky day, because today, we get a case from Paul Holes.

Paul: [00:03:58] Yes, we do.

Yeardley: [00:04:00] Very exciting. I have to say, it always feels like a special day when not that I don’t love our guests, I do. I’m deeply grateful for the stories they tell, but there’s something super special about it being part of this super inner circle with you, Dave or Dan.

Paul: [00:04:17] Well, I actually really enjoy being part of that inner circle.

Yeardley: [00:04:21] We love having you.

Dave: [00:04:23] I’m an expert at detecting deception. And–

Yeardley: [00:04:25] [laughs] Are you calling me deceptive?

Dave: [00:04:28] I’m just saying I got an eye on Paul today. [laughs]

Yeardley: [00:04:29] Okay. Well, as long as it’s not me. I am the voice of Lisa Simpson, how could I possibly be deceptive?


Paul: [00:04:38] But I had to think long and hard about what case to talk about today. This is a case that, if I were just to tell you, on the surface, simple assault and two burglaries, you go, “What? Is this case really going to entail, right?”

Yeardley: [00:04:52] [laughs] Sure.

Paul: [00:04:53] But as it unfolds, it is so much more than that. It was a case that I went out on very early on in my career. It was in March of 1995. It was very formative in terms of how I approached cases afterwards because even though, it’s very basic and elementary in some aspects, it’s perfect to talk about how physical evidence and how offenders’ behaviors that they exhibit while they commit a crime can inform you about who the offender is. This case I’ve used to train sexual assault homicide investigators on when I’ve taught modules in those courses, as well as I’ve taken it in front of Citizens Academy, because it’s a cautionary tale.

[00:05:44] Again, this was very early on in my career. I was a deputy sheriff criminalist. I had just come out of the academy, because I was the junior guy. I went out on everything. In retrospect, it beat me up, but I saw so much in such a short period of time. When I think back to this, I’m having to drive through this oil refinery, so that has a very nostalgic, sentimental vision. The fires are going off on the top of the stacks, and it’s just a surreal environment. We had a family of screech owls. They had a nest about 10 stories up. And so, I have just this memory, walk out to the van, and you hear the screeching, and you look up, and here’s an owl that’s just flying circles. I have so many cases where I’m being called out and that owl was ever present.

Yeardley: [00:06:37] I love an owl, to be honest. I love the sound of an owl.

Paul: [00:06:39] Oh, owls are amazing. Yeah, they’re amazing animals, and this was one of those cases. So, we get called out to this unincorporated area, middle of the night. The nature of the call and the way that we worked at this point in time is that, we had the experienced criminalist was a rotational on call person. That criminalist is who dispatch would call and provide the details. So, the experienced guy is one that got the information, and then he had to go around and call who his partner was going to be out there. Well, of course, the first person he’s calling is me. I’m the junior rookie guy, right?

Yeardley: [00:07:14] [laughs]

Dan: [00:07:15] The FNG.

Yeardley: [00:07:17] What’s that? Fucking new guy?

Dan: [00:07:18] Yeah.

Yeardley: [00:07:19] I remember.

Dan: [00:07:20] I’ve been that guy.

Paul: [00:07:21] Yeah.

Dan: [00:07:21] That’s how I met my wife.


Yeardley: [00:07:25] True. That is actually true.

Paul: [00:07:27] So, he’s just saying, “Hey, saddle up, we got a scene.” It appeared to be an attempt homicide. It’s not a homicide, but it’s a violent scene. So, we roll out to this unincorporated area, but this area is very populated. It’s right outside of a city in our jurisdiction. And so, it’s densely populated. Even though it’s unincorporated, it’s patrolled by the sheriff’s office. The victim, who I’ll call Lucy, she lived home alone, and it’s a standard just single-family residential home. I believe it was a two-bedroom house. So, she has an attached garage. She’s roughly in her early 30s in terms of her age. She had been attacked in her bedroom.

Yeardley: [00:08:14] And Lucy has survived this attack.

Paul: [00:08:16] Lucy does survive this attack.

Yeardley: [00:08:18] Okay.

Paul: [00:08:19] The circumstances is, she had been working as a nurse, came home late, goes to sleep. She just subconsciously senses a pressure on top of her. She wakes up, and there’s a masked man laying on top of her. His gloved hands are around her neck, and he’s saying, “Shut up, I’m going to kill you,” over and over and over again. So, of course, she struggles. During the struggle, they fall off the bed onto the floor, and that’s where it gets very violent. I’m not going to go into the details just yet about what happened. So, as I’m walking into the house, relatively speaking, this was a simple crime scene. Lucy, of course, does survive. On the floor in her bedroom, there was a knife and there was this old style microcassette recorder. So, this is pretty significant evidence.

[00:09:22] In the living room, right outside of her bedroom where she was attacked, in front of the fireplace is this duffel bag. It looked out of place. It didn’t look like something that belonged to her. I made a mental note of that duffel bag. I collect the evidence, I bring it back to the lab, and of course, the duffel bag is really what I am keyed in on. This was something that the offender brought with him. And it was, in essence, a kit to commit this crime. And let me give you some details of what I found inside this duffel bag.

[00:09:56] Lucy was, at one point in her life, an aspiring model, and she had headshots made. Inside this duffel bag were several copies of her modeling headshot. There was a Polaroid camera, a video camera, duct tape, pantyhose, woman’s underwear. It turns out it was her own underwear.

Yeardley: [00:10:17] It was Lucy’s underwear.

Paul: [00:10:18] It was Lucy’s underwear. Obviously, he’s fixated on her. There was a four-inch length of straight coat hanger, so it just had been snipped. I sat there and I was looking at that, I was going, “What is this for? Was he going torture her with it?” And then I thought, well, maybe he was expecting, sometimes, those bedroom door locks. They’re simple locks, but you just need something to poke in the opening from the outside in order to undo it. Obviously, there’s planning involved in this case.

Yeardley: [00:10:48] It sounds like a rape-murder kit with duct tape and pantyhose, which could easily strangle somebody. It sounds not good.

Paul: [00:10:56] It’s not good at all. I found a garage door remote inside and a loose residential lock key. I was just like, “I wonder.” So, I go out to Lucy’s garage with that remote. It operated her garage door, and then the key worked the deadbolt to the door that led from her garage into her kitchen.

Yeardley: [00:11:23] Oh.

Paul: [00:11:23] So, this offender literally was able to walk into her house, even though she had it locked up.

Yeardley: [00:11:30] And so, the question is, of course, how did the offender get Lucy’s garage door opener and her key?

Paul: [00:11:35] Yes. Now this starts to narrow the suspect pool. It’s somebody who must have had access to Lucy’s garage door opener. In the old day, you could, in essence, clone the door openers.

Yeardley: [00:11:55] Yes, Dan has spoken about that often with his car thieves.

Paul: [00:11:59] And there was this can of HurriCaine spray. Have you ever heard of HurriCaine spray?

Yeardley: [00:12:06] No.

Paul: [00:12:06] Neither had I. I was like, “What is this?”

Dave: [00:12:10] Is it like White Rain hairspray, you know?


Paul: [00:12:14] It turns out it’s a benzocaine spray. It’s something that numbs an area. But HurriCaine spray isn’t something that is available to the general public. It is used in the medical industry. When I was researching it, one of its primary uses was to spray in the oral cavity area in order to numb the throat, to suppress the gag reflex when they intubate for medical procedures. Who would have access to this? I’m also going, “What was he planning on using this for? Was he planning on putting something in the victim’s oral cavity?”

[00:12:56] So, the suspect is apprehended very quickly in this case. Even though, he did all this planning, he’s caught right away. So, there wasn’t a lot of mystery, as we’re starting to proceed with evaluating who did this to Lucy. The suspect, I’m going to call him Charlie. He was her pharmacology professor in nursing school.

Yeardley: [00:13:23] Oh, my God.

Paul: [00:13:25] She first met him during a pharmacology class in which he was teaching. And Lucy would typically sit in the front row of her classes, and she noticed that Charlie would be glancing at her. Lucy said, “This made me uncomfortable back in the day,” and this is three years before the attack.

Yeardley: [00:13:43] Oh, wow.

Paul: [00:13:44] She sensed something about him she didn’t like. And to me, I’ve always been a huge believer in women’s intuition. [Yeardley laughs] Yeardley, you have a sixth sense to evil. That’s the way I see it.

Yeardley: [00:14:00] I do think that’s true. What’s interesting is that, where I encountered somebody where I thought, there is something so dark and malevolent in there. But because other people were friends with that person, they were like, “Oh, Yeardley, you’re just overreacting.” I’m like, “I may or may not be, but I can tell you I will never, ever be alone with them.”

Dave: [00:14:20] I used to tell people all the time, “Trust your instinct.” If something doesn’t feel right, your body has evolved beyond your brain. Your body knows when the energy in a room is not right, or you’re in a situation where you’re like, “I’m not prepared to deal with certain things in this room.” So, trust yourself. If you feel it’s off, something’s off.

Yeardley: [00:14:42] Yeah.

Paul: [00:14:44] These glances that Charlie’s making at her while he’s instructing were just nothing that were sitting good with Lucy. But Lucy ultimately goes up at the last day of the class, and thanks him for teaching a really good pharmacology lesson. And Charlie gives Lucy his business card and says, “Hey, if you’re ever up where I work, feel free drop in.” He’s a pharmacist. Lucy doesn’t have contact with him for the next two years. She finishes nursing school, and is at the graduation party, and sees Charlie sitting by himself. So, she goes over and asks Charlie to dance. They get talking that night, and Charlie says, “Hey, I’ve been separated from my wife and kids. I’m lonely.” Lucy, who’s a divorcee herself, was sympathetic to his situation in life at that moment. However, investigation showed he was never separated from his wife. So, very early on, he’s starting the lies.

Dave: [00:15:45] Playing the game. Yeah.

Paul: [00:15:46] Yup, for sure.

Dave: [00:15:47] And he’s playing on that, Lucy is a kind, big hearted person.

Paul: [00:15:52] Yes. The next nine months after this graduation party, Charlie and Lucy do meet up for dinner multiple times, including at her residence.

Yeardley: [00:16:00] Oh, they started dating, kind of?

Paul: [00:16:03] Lucy was asked, “Were you guys in a dating relationship?” And she said, “No, he’s a friend. He wanted more, and he expressed that he wanted a more intimate and romantic relationship.” But she did not want that and told Charlie, “No, we’re just friends.” However, Charlie, when he’s interviewed, he said, “We had a sexual relationship.” Of course, lying again. Lucy has no reason to lie about this, and he has every reason to lie.

Paul: [00:16:47] So, now we get into how Charlie starts laying the foundation for carrying out, in essence, his fantasy. So, a couple of months before the attack, Charlie’s over at Lucy’s residence. He just is looking around the house and says, “Hey, you know, I’m quite handy. Do you have anything around here that needs repairs?” And Lucy says, “You know, that deadbolt from the garage into my kitchen, it’s hard to lock.” And so, Charlie goes and looks at it and he says, “Can I remove this lock? I think I can fix this.” And Lucy says, “No, I think the striker plate is just off. It just needs to be resituated, and then it’d probably turn easier.” So, Charlie backs away from that.

Yeardley: [00:17:37] The striker plate is the thing that the tongue of the lock goes into, to hold the door into the door jam?

Paul: [00:17:43] That’s right. It’s that metal piece. This lock though, this is where victimology comes into play, because Lucy didn’t have a key for that lock. Even though it’s her house, and she went in and out of that garage door all the time, she didn’t have a key. But what she would do is when she was in the house, she always kept it locked.

Yeardley: [00:18:03] So, on the inside of the house, it had a handle that could lock the deadbolt. But if you’re on the garage side, you need a key to undo that same deadbolt.

Paul: [00:18:11] That is exactly right. And most certainly, Charlie would know this about Lucy. So, if he needed to get into this house and he wanted to come through the garage, he needed to have a key. When Lucy was interviewed, we knew Charlie had a key to that lock. She told the investigators, I never gave him permission to do anything to that lock, nor did I ever give him permission to do anything with my garage door opener. Lucy does remember one time when Charlie would have had access to the garage door opener outside of her presence.

[00:18:54] When Charlie is being interviewed, Charlie did admit that two weeks prior to the attack, he went to Lucy’s residence when he knew she would not be home. And he went in to the garage, and removed the lock from that door, and took it to a locksmith to have a key made. And then he went back, and put the lock back on the door, and claims to have left a message on Lucy’s answering machine saying, “Hey, I did this just to help you out.” Lucy’s going, “He never left that message.”

Dave: [00:19:27] Is his claim that he just did it to surprise her as being a nice guy or that there was some coordination like, “Hey, today, I’m going to come over. I’m going to fix that lock for you”?

Paul: [00:19:37] Charlie’s claim is he was just doing this to be a nice guy. Even though Lucy didn’t want it done, he went ahead and did it himself just to help her out.

Yeardley: [00:19:46] Creep.

Dave: [00:19:48] I can’t imagine somebody, a friend of mine, or even somebody two or three levels beyond, just showing up to my house and starting to fix things. I’d say, “What are you doing and what do you want for this?”

Yeardley: [00:20:02] Yeah, that’s not okay.

Dave: [00:20:03] Yeah. So, Charlie is manipulating Lucy to make her think that, he’s this nice guy. He’s unassuming. He’s never going to be a threat. The whole time, he’s just trying to gain more access to the house.

Paul: [00:20:18] Yes. She has literally let this wolf into her residence. So, on the evening of the attack, they had planned to go out to dinner. But the day before the attack, Lucy had called up Charlie and said, “Hey, something’s come up. We can’t go out to dinner tomorrow night.” Now, this is where it gets really interesting from Charlie’s perspective on what he was intending to do. Once this dinner arrangement had been canceled by Lucy, he decided that he would do this surprise on Lucy that he had been planning for about a month. So, this special surprise would involve him getting into Lucy’s home and hiding, and then acting like a ghost or a robber, they would eventually laugh about this interaction and then have sex.

Yeardley: [00:21:16] What the fuck? I can’t. This is the worst idea ever. It is so alarming. Oh, my God, sorry for the outburst.

Paul: [00:21:26] And to clarify, Charlie had told Lucy, “I’m separated.” He never separated from his wife. He was married this entire time.

Dave: [00:21:35] I’m trying to picture Charlie as Joe Schmo walking down the sidewalk. What he might look like and what his mannerisms might be that I’m picturing this loner guy that has very awkward people skills, does not know how to relate to people, and is now using whatever he can to manipulate a situation. So, he has more access to this person who’s formerly a model and probably way out of his league.

Paul: [00:22:01] I would say that is very, very true. I would never expect those to enter into any type of dating relationship.

Dave: [00:22:09] Charlie lives in a fantasy world, period, to think that he’s got a shot at Lucy. Then on top of this, he thinks that creating this amazing surprise is going to be an ha-ha moment at the end, and they’ll just fall into each other’s arms and laugh about it. In Charlie’s reality, he thinks he’s being creative and romantic, and he’s not.

Paul: [00:22:31] This is Charlie coming up with the excuse for the attack. It wasn’t going to be this special surprise. Charlie developed a fantasy about what he wanted to do to Lucy. He claims he got this idea from watching the movie True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is a scene in there in which Schwarzenegger’s character breaks into his wife’s hotel room, and is wearing a disguise, and plays some sort of tape to her disguising his voice.

Yeardley: [00:23:06] [gasps]

Paul: [00:23:06] So, remember-

Yeardley: [00:23:08] Yes.

Paul: [00:23:09] -that little microcassette tape that I found in the bedroom. Well, on that tape was a character out of Beverly Hills Cop II saying, “Shut up, I’m going to kill you.” Charlie made this tape and looped it over and over and over again. Think about what Charlie is doing here. When Lucy is attacked, he’s got a mask on. He’s hiding his facial identity. He’s wearing gloves. So, he’s not leaving fingerprints. He’s literally strangling her when she wakes up, and he’s utilizing somebody else’s voice. Well, why is he using somebody else’s voice?

Yeardley: [00:23:54] Because she would know his.

Paul: [00:23:56] Exactly. If this was like an unsolved case, and all we had was the physical evidence, and all I’m going through is taking a look at this HurriCaine spray and I’ve got this tape and the person wore gloves, I can start to assemble a dossier on certain characteristics about the offender. The fact that the offender is using somebody else’s voice to communicate was like, “This is somebody the victim knows.” It’s, again, common sense. It’s obvious, but it’s illustrative of how physical evidence, crime scene dynamics, offender behaviors, and start to figure out who committed the crime.

Yeardley: [00:24:36] Right.

Dave: [00:24:37] You can see that Charlie is analytical. Charlie’s thinking about worst outcomes, and how to mitigate all the risk. So, he shows some sophistication, but at the same time, once he’s in the house, I bet the world was going 400 miles an hour for him, and that’s how you get a bag left behind.

Yeardley: [00:24:56] And Lucy didn’t react the way he had fantasized about. So, that’s, I’m guessing, threw a wrench into everything.

Paul: [00:25:03] Exactly. So, what was Charlie’s true intent? He is saying, “I wanted this to be a special surprise.” He’s trying to minimize the intent behind this attack. I will tell you, his intent was to sexually assault a bound Lucy, document that sexual assault with a video camera, polaroid camera, and possibly do various sexual acts in which he had fantasies about, thought that Lucy would not enjoy those. But he was going to use that HurriCaine spray in order to help facilitate some of these sexual acts that he was fantasizing about doing to Lucy while she was bound.

Dan: [00:25:47] Would that HurriCaine spray also maybe inhibit her ability to speak or yell?

Paul: [00:25:54] I don’t know. There’s a possibility, if it gets down further into, maybe the larynx area where the vocal cords are, but I don’t know. That’s a very good thought.

Dan: [00:26:06] I agree with Paul. That whole explanation about the fantasy of, “Oh, this was going to be a surprise,” that’s him just trying to avoid the worst consequences from the criminal side of this.

Dave: [00:26:18] Right. Give him a story that’s somewhat plausible in his mind. And so, you tell the investigators one thing.

Dan: [00:26:25] He was going there to rape her.

Paul: [00:26:44] During the interview, Charlie also talks about how the timeline went for him. Charlie gets to Lucy’s residence as he’s expecting her to get off work and be home by 11:00 PM. However, she had been held over on her shift and didn’t get home until 02:00 AM. So, Charlie was in her residence for hours before she got home. He claims he went into the spare room and just fell asleep, woke up at 03:00 AM, and found that Lucy had come home while he was asleep and was already in her bedroom. While he was in her house, he gathered up some additional items to help with disguising himself. And that included that he took a pillow and stuffed it into his sweatshirt to make him look fat, because he’s a very thin guy.

[00:27:35] While he was waiting for Lucy, that’s when he grabbed this large kitchen knife. That was Lucy’s own knife. It came out of her own kitchen. Charlie went out to Lucy’s garage and grabbed Lucy’s martingale for her horses. She was heavy into horses. Don’t know what his intent was, but that was also an item. This leather bridle for horses was also an item that was present inside the room. And this also speaks to, he’s got a fantasy on what he wants to do with this horse strap.

Dan: [00:28:12] I’m not familiar with horse tack. I think that’s what they call.

Paul: [00:28:16] That’s what they call it. I do know that.

Dan: [00:28:18] But I would imagine that there’s a look to it that’s somewhat like bondage, metal buckles and leather.

Paul: [00:28:25] Yes. After Charlie’s done all this, and he’s got his own little rape kit inside that duffel bag, he goes into the bedroom and carries out his special surprise for Lucy. During the struggle, they fall off the bed onto the floor, and that’s where it gets very violent. When I go in there, it’s a bloody scene. They had spilled down off of the bed onto the floor. There’s large blood pools. There’s a fair amount of blood spatter that has gone up onto the closet doors, as well as up onto the wall. A lot of blood smears. The alarm clock was on the floor, the telephone was on the floor, a lot of blood smears on these items. And a leather glove was present, which of course, is, well, that’s score, because obviously that’s from the suspect.

[00:29:17] Blood patterns are one of the best forms of evidence to illustrate various actions that have occurred. There’s a lot of controversy out there about blood pattern evidence, because people think it’s junk science. It really is not. It’s just that there have been some cases in which the blood patterns have been over interpreted by individuals that had no business doing any type of expert work.

Dave: [00:29:45] There are people in every industry that know just enough to be dangerous. Law enforcement is no different.

Paul: [00:29:53] And that can cause an innocent person to be convicted. Here, I’m looking at spatter patterns. When you get spatter patterns, that indicates that there’s been a blow to a pooled blood source. It’s like stomping in a puddle, and now you get the water spattering out, but you need to have that pooled blood source first in order to produce spatter. So, when I get up and talk about blood patterns to people, and I start talking about spatter patterns and how I can determine the minimum number of blows that were inflicted based on the number of spatter patterns, you always have to add at least one more blow. So, if I were to take a baseball bat and hit somebody as hard as I could in the head, will I produce blood spatter?

Yeardley: [00:30:42] No, not yet.

Paul: [00:30:44] No. Could it be a fatal blow?

Yeardley: [00:30:46] Sure.

Paul: [00:30:47] But I won’t produce any spatter. But now there’s a bleeding injury. And if I hit in that spot again, now you get that, poof. Now you get the blood spatter. If you have surfaces in which the droplets can be deposited on, now you have information in terms of direction and possibly how far away that blow occurred to produce that spatter pattern. So, I can say there is a blow in a three-dimensional space, let’s say to the victim’s head at this height in this spot in the room. So, that’s what I was doing as I’m going through the scene is taking a look at these blood patterns, and obviously bleeding injuries were present. I’m going to show you a photograph of the victim.

Yeardley: [00:31:33] Okay. I can’t see any injuries on her at all. It looks like maybe she got socked in the eye. Just for the listeners, the image, it’s a little overexposed. Oh, you mean that was the before picture? Oh, my God.

Dan: [00:31:50] Oh, my Lord.

Paul: [00:31:52] That is Charlie.

Yeardley: [00:31:54] [gasps] That’s Charlie? Oh, my God.

Dan: [00:31:56] Oh. Fuck, yeah, Lucy.

Yeardley: [00:32:01] Holy shit.

Paul: [00:32:01] Lucy kicked Charlie’s ass.

Yeardley: [00:32:04] So, all that blood is Charlie’s on the wall?

Paul: [00:32:07] Yes. This is why Charlie was apprehended so fast. So, Charlie was found unconscious lying on the victim’s bedroom floor.

Yeardley: [00:32:16] Oh, wow. She really wailed on him.

Paul: [00:32:20] Yes, she did.

Yeardley: [00:32:21] Go, Lucy.

Dave: [00:32:23] I love this woman.


Yeardley: [00:32:25] Damn.

Dave: [00:32:26] She’s like, “Oh, not today, you picked the wrong one.” That photo spectacularly shows how upset Lucy was at the trespass.

Paul: [00:32:36] Yes. And at the time, she didn’t know it was Charlie.

Dave: [00:32:38] Right.

Paul: [00:32:39] This is a stranger to her.

Yeardley: [00:32:40] Oh.

Paul: [00:32:42] She is literally fighting for her life and took things into her own hand. At one point, when I was looking at the knife on the floor that Charlie actually brought in, I thought Lucy possibly had gone out to the kitchen and grabbed the knife to go in and finish the suspect off. But turns out, no, Charlie had brought that into the bedroom, but he never got a chance to use the knife, because Lucy got the upper hand so fast.

Yeardley: [00:33:08] So, that answers my question. I was going to ask you, who called 911?

Paul: [00:33:12] So, after Lucy beat Charlie to a pulp, she ran out of the house, went to the neighbors, and 911 was called from the neighbor’s house. And so, now you have first responders coming, and myself and my partner are out there processing the crime scene. Lucy’s statement is, when Charlie is strangling her, remember, she’s got upper body strength. She’s out there, she’s got the hay bales doing the horses. And Charlie is not a big, robust man. During this struggle, while he’s on top of her, his gloved hand gets close to her mouth. She bites down on his thumb and Lucy says, “I felt Charlie’s weight immediately lift up off of me.” At this point, Lucy was able to grab Charlie and flip him down onto the floor. And in her words, she goes, “I reached up while I was on top of him on the floor, I grabbed the first hard thing, which turned out to be the alarm clock, and I beat him until I heard gurgling sounds.”

Yeardley: [00:34:15] Oh, my God.

Dan: [00:34:17] I love Lucy.


Yeardley: [00:34:19] Go, Lucy.

Dave: [00:34:20] [laughs]

Yeardley: [00:34:21] That is so not at all the twist we were expecting.

Paul: [00:34:25] Lucy was in a struggle for her life with Charlie. And fortunately for Lucy, she got the best of him.

Dave: [00:34:33] Charlie’s photo looked like he got stuck in a phone booth with a cobra.

Yeardley: [00:34:37] His face is so bloodied and swollen.

Dave: [00:34:39] She put him in the hospital.

Yeardley: [00:34:40] Yes.

Paul: [00:34:40] Right.

Dave: [00:34:41] Love it.

Dan: [00:34:41] Charlie lost in the game of fuck-around-and-find-out.

Paul: [00:34:44] [laughs]

Yeardley: [00:34:44] Yes, he did. Damn.

Paul: [00:34:47] Now, there was an injury to Lucy, and she had a very, very significant bite mark on left side of her neck. This bite mark hasn’t broken the skin, but the upper teeth have abraded, probably during the struggle when she turns and he’s biting down on her neck. Now, Charlie’s upper teeth are abrading her skin.

Yeardley: [00:35:12] Which means they’ve scraped along the flesh of her neck, right?

Paul: [00:35:16] Right. So, this bite mark, in my opinion, really illustrates Charlie’s violent intent. This is not, “I’m kissing you on the neck, Lucy.” He is biting down on Lucy’s neck hard. So, this is a rape.

Yeardley: [00:35:34] Yes.

Paul: [00:35:35] Charlie went there with the intention to rape, to sexually assault Lucy violently. She had turned him down repeatedly. So, he decided, “Well, I am going to take what I want,” and he came up with this elaborate plan. What was he inspired by? He was inspired by what he had seen in the movies. This is something that offenders do. I see it with staged crime scenes. So, when somebody is wanting to try to make a crime look like something else committed by somebody else, they rely upon what they have seen on TV or in the movies or now, of course, online to set that up.

[00:36:21] Offenders, particularly fantasy motivated offenders, they get their fantasies from the material that they consume, whether it be something like the movies or whether it be the pornography. This is what is so important when understanding your fantasy motivated offender is you have to, as an investigator, take the time to look at the material that could possibly be feeding these guys fantasies, because then you can recognize it sooner. Sharon Hagen, who’s a retired California DOJ Profiler, she very early on told me, “You need to see what they are seeing.” She would go to the old adult bookstores, and just start thumbing through those books just to see what these guys were seeing. And, of course, now, I didn’t go to any of the exotic bookstores doing that, but I’ve seen a lot of the various types of materials, particularly when you get into the paraphilias and the fetishes and stuff.

[00:37:21] When I see something that the offender is doing that is in that world, then I go, “This is not a vengeance attack. This is not a lover’s quarrel. There’s fantasy in this offender’s mind.”

Yeardley: [00:37:34] Unbelievable.

Paul: [00:37:49] Now, Charlie is charged with attempt homicide in this case, as well assault and the two burglaries, one going into her residence without her permission and removing that lock, and the second one going in to commit the attack. Charlie was convicted of simple assault, as well as the two burgs, but he is acquitted of the attempt homicide. Charlie got minimal, minimal prison time for this attack. What’s important in this case is he was not charged with a sex related crime. Back in this time frame in California, as well as across probably all states is that, for an offender to have his DNA sampled and put in the DNA database, they had to be convicted of a sexually related crime. So, Charlie never had his DNA taken and put in a database, even though this is a sexually motivated attack. This is a very serious attack. He just lost the battle.

Dave: [00:38:58] There’s two things here. The sex offender registry nationwide came about in 1994, I think, is when every state had to come online, have some version of a sex offender registry. You think about it, it’s only almost 30 years ago is when we first started registering sex offenders nationwide?

Yeardley: [00:39:16] It’s remarkably late.

Dave: [00:39:17] Right. So, the second part of this is intent is one thing. But for a prosecutor to prosecute a crime, you have to check certain boxes of that crime because of various aspects, maybe the victim in this case is not cooperative, you never get the opportunity to start checking those boxes. So, he never got close to committing a sex offense on Lucy, because Lucy handled him and beat the piss out of him. He never got close to an attempted murder, because he never got that far. It turned into, now he’s fighting for his life.

Paul: [00:39:57] Yes. Whereas nowadays in California and in many states, if you are arrested for a felony, you get your DNA collected. And so, now you’re at the front end of getting offenders DNA into the database in case they do reoffend. Here, in this case, with the amount of fantasy that Charlie demonstrated and the planning, I made the opinion, this guy’s going to reoffend again, and he’s not in the DNA database.

Yeardley: [00:40:27] Do you know if Charlie has since reoffended?

Paul: [00:40:30] I don’t know if Charlie has done anything else. I did check and as of, I believe, about six years ago, he was still a practicing pharmacist.

Yeardley: [00:40:41] Really?

Paul: [00:40:42] Yes.

Yeardley: [00:40:43] I also want to know what happened to his marriage. When this all comes out, what does your wife say?

Paul: [00:40:49] Charlie’s wife thought he was being railroaded and she stood by him.

Yeardley: [00:40:53] Oh.

Dave: [00:40:54] They go one of two ways. Either, “Don’t ever contact me again,” or “I don’t believe he’d ever do this. He said he’d never do this. I’ve never seen him do something like this. So, I’m going to stand by my man.” And God bless you. You’ve got a lot more faith in Charlie than I do.

Yeardley: [00:41:12] Indeed.

Paul: [00:41:13] In assessing the amount of disguise that Charlie went through to hide his face, his physical features, his voice, I don’t think he intended to kill Lucy. I do think he had intended to sexually assault, and scare her, and would get off on that emotion that he’d be able to evoke out of her, because now he’s taking power. She’s the one that’s been powerful in the relationship, “No, I am not going to do anything with you.” And now he’s going, “Well, I’m just going to take what I want.”

Yeardley: [00:41:46] Right.

Dave: [00:41:46] And he’s going to videotape it and have a trophy.

Paul: [00:41:48] Yes, absolutely.

Yeardley: [00:41:52] Do you think in this day and age that the attempted murder charge would be more apt to stick on Charlie? I mean, I take your point, Dave, that he didn’t get a chance to try to murder Lucy, because she beat the shit out of him. But his intention seems pretty clear.

Dave: [00:42:11] This is the old tale though, chicken or the egg. I can’t charge a crime that didn’t occur or was attempted to occur. Everybody knows what’s going on, but the law requires that you check these elements of this crime. And if you only check one and they require three, you’re never going to get to a conviction. So, they don’t even charge it because they already know. I don’t think, today, it would change the outcome at all. Lucy stopped these crimes before more serious crimes occurred.

Paul: [00:42:40] With Charlie, when you evaluate the elements of the crime, Lucy says, he was strangling her. Of course, strangulation can lead to death, but it also is often used to just control the victim up to a certain point. So, it’s hard to extrapolate it into homicide. Now, if he had taken the knife and had cut into her, had stabbed her, something like that and she survived, now you have your attempt homicide, because he has now done an element of murder in terms of carrying out what could be the infliction of a fatal injury.

Yeardley: [00:43:18] I think it does go back to what you all have said, Dan, Dave, about police are reactive, and that until the injured party is truly injured, you guys can’t intervene. By the time you’re able to intervene, it’s almost too little, too late.

Dan: [00:43:34] In this case, it’s unfortunate. I think Lucy’s got a really big heart and she’s a kind person, and genuinely didn’t want Charlie to feel like he was alone in life. He’d also lied to her about that stuff. And unfortunately, it probably prevented her from maybe seeing some red flags that he was stalking her and that he was infatuated with her. She probably knew it on some level, but it never rose to the level where she was that alarmed, where she’s like, “Hey, I can’t see Charlie ever again.”

Dave: [00:44:09] It’s human nature. This is a friend, you hang out in friendly situations. He wants more, she recognizes that, lets him know in no uncertain terms, I’m guessing that, “Hey, we’re just friends.” Nobody expects their friend to sneak into their house and attack them like this. So, there is that degree, “Well, I can handle this. It’s not out of my hands.” There’s another aspect where people feel like if they come forward and they report this, that somebody’s going to go, “You’re paranoid. He’s just being friendly and he just wants to hang out with you.”

Yeardley: [00:44:43] That’s it, that nobody will believe you, that you’re overreacting back to the women’s intuition.

Dave: [00:44:48] Right.

Yeardley: [00:44:49] Ah, I never get enough. I listen to a lot of true crime, sitting down with you, guys, it’s my favorite Saturday afternoon to see how you all connect those dots. I just find it endlessly fascinating. Thank you, Paul.

Paul: [00:45:07] Well, thank you for having me, Yeardley.

Yeardley: [00:45:09] You’re always welcome. Just I feel like the A team just got A++.


Dave: [00:45:16] I feel like you tricked me, but I’m okay with it.


Yeardley: [00:45:21] That was amazing. Thank you so much.

Dan: [00:45:23] Thanks, Paul.

Paul: [00:45:24] Thank you.

[show theme music]

Yeardley: [00:45:29] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and me, Yeardley Smith, and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave. Our production manager is Logan Heftel. Our senior editor is Soren Begin, and our editor is Christina Bracamontes. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor and the Real Nick Smitty. Our social media is run by the one and only, Monika Scott. Our music is composed by John Forest, and our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.

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