A brutal murder. A primary suspect. But small mistakes made by fellow officers in the early hours of the investigation hinder Detective Lins’ pursuit of the man he believes is responsible for bludgeoning a woman to death in her driveway. But the investigation continues until Lins receives word that his prime suspect is dead. Or is he? Even in retirement, Detective Lins says he’s not ready to give up the ghost.
The Detective: Retired Detective Lins began his 31-year-career in law enforcement when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Military Police Corps in 1967 after he graduated from UC Davis. He served two years at the United States European Command in Stuttgart Germany, where he was promoted to first lieutenant, and commander of the military police station. Later, as a captain, he commanded the first post stockade annex at the now defunct Fort Ord in CA. His most memorable investigation in Europe was solving the case of the bananas missing from a 4-star general’s kitchen. Det. Lins went on to spend two decades as a deputy sheriff with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department, first as a patrol deputy and then as a detective working major crimes for 14 years. His final 7 years in law enforcement were as a District Attorney Investigator for the Monterey County DA, where where his assignments included major crimes and child sexual assault. During his law enforcement career he investigated over 40 death cases, with the majority being homicides.Read Transcript
Lins: [00:00:06] He kept extensive diaries of what he did, going all the way back to before he was married, and so we were able to gather all his diaries. There is no diaries existing during the period of the murder, before or after. It’s like those just disappeared. Gone.
Yeardley: [00:00:29] Hi, there. I’m Yeardley.
Dan: [00:00:31] I’m Dan.
Dave: [00:00:32] And I’m Dave.
Yeardley: [00:00:33] And this is Small Town Dicks.
Dan: [00:00:36] Dave and I are identical twins, and we’re retired detectives from Small Town, USA.
Dave: [00:00:40] Together, we’ve investigated thousands of cases. From petty theft to sex crimes, from child abuse to murder.
Dan: [00:00:47] case on our podcast is told by the detective who investigated it, offering a rare personal account of how they broke the case.
Dave: [00:00:54] Names, places, and certain details, including relationships, have been altered to protect the privacy of the victims and their families.
Dan: [00:01:01] 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, out of respect for what they’ve been through.
In Unison: [00:01:12] Thank you.[Small Town Dicks theme playing]
Yeardley: [00:01:25] Today, on Small Town Dicks, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dave.
Dave: [00:01:33] Present.
Yeardley: [00:01:34] Present. Indeed you are, present. And we have Detective Dan.
Dan: [00:01:39] Hello, Team.
Yeardley: [00:01:40] Hello, you. And Small Town Fam, we are so pleased to welcome back to the podcast, retired Detective Lins.
Lins: [00:01:48] Hello.
Yeardley: [00:01:49] Hello. Thank you so much for sitting down with us again. We always enjoy it.
Lins: [00:01:55] It’s always my pleasure to be here with you guys.
Yeardley: [00:01:57] Thank you. So, Lins, you have a really interesting case for us today. Tell us how this case came to you.
Lins: [00:02:04] Well, as in my previous cases, it seems like I’m always sitting in the office-[laughter]
Lins: [00:02:09] -when we get notified. So, this is July 21st, 1989. It’s a Friday, a little after 8 o’clock in the morning. It’s a regular workday, people going to work. And this witness drives by the victim’s house and sees the victim standing in her driveway. This witness comes back about 15, 20 minutes later from a little errand she ran, and sees the same woman lying in her driveway. She immediately thinks something is wrong and calls 911. And that’s where our marked units respond.
[00:02:47] It’s now 8:39 in the morning. I’ve been at the office for maybe half an hour. But communication comes over and says, “You better head down to Carmel, because we’ve got marked units. There’s a possible deceased woman lying in her driveway.” So, my partner and I are headed down to that location. And before I got there, the uniform deputies arrived, and they see the victim, whose name we later find out is Linda. Linda was lying on her back in the grass next to her car just off the driveway. Car door is open. Her head has been severely beaten. I can see holes in her head. She’s fully clothed, and she’s knocked out of her shoes. Her right ear is missing. It’s actually laying several feet away from her.
[00:03:40] And so, they go knock on the door of the residence and the victim’s daughter, Wendy, answers the door. She has no idea what’s going on. And the first thing that happens is that the deputy who is at the door puts her in handcuffs, which is shocking even to me. That was a little bit of a bad start.
Dan: [00:04:03] How old is Wendy?
Lins: [00:04:05] Wendy is 13 at the time.
Dave: [00:04:07] I mean, that’s just– it’s not something most officers would do. The decision to throw a 13-year-old in handcuffs without having additional facts, surprises me.
Yeardley: [00:04:19] Also, she lives there. So, she answered the door.
Lins: [00:04:23] Yeah, she lives there.[laughter]
Lins: [00:04:25] Exactly. Also, coming to the door was Wendy’s uncle, and he was handcuffed as well. His name is Michael.
Dave: [00:04:35] That’s not the way to get cooperation from people, is that you just come in like a wrecking ball and now everyone’s going in handcuffs. Let’s see what we got, slow things down, figure it out. You don’t just have to throw people in handcuffs like, “Oh, we have a murderer. First person I see is getting handcuffs.”
Yeardley: [00:04:53] Yeah, that’s ridiculous.
Lins: [00:04:54] Right. Michael was married to Linda’s sister, Diane, who also was there. Linda’s son, Jeff, Jr., aged 19, had been living there, but he wasn’t staying there because he’d gotten into an argument with his mother a few days previous to this incident, and was now living with his father about 15 minutes away, halfway between Monterey and Salinas. Just before I arrived at the scene, my supervisor, Sergeant Smith, told me that I would be the lead investigator. Once we got there, we saw Linda laying there on her back with a severely beaten head.
[00:05:34] One of the responding deputies pointed out to me there was a Little League style, aluminum baseball/softball bat that was spattered with blood and probably belonged to the victim’s daughter, Wendy. Linda still had her leather purse on her right arm. Wendy did play softball. She had several aluminum bats, several of which are kept in her father’s car. Now, her father would often come to pick her up and take her to softball practice. They’re not married. They were divorced seven years previous to the murder. And she was given custody of both of the children, both Jeff, Jr. and Wendy.
[00:06:13] One of the first things I do is, I go in and we start interviewing everybody on the inside. The uncle, Michael, says that he was there when Jeff, Jr. and Linda got into an argument. And Jeff, Jr. said to his mom, “I hope you die a violent death,” and left the house. Okay, here comes our number one suspect. The other person, Jeff, Sr., became a suspect almost immediately because Linda was to go to court on the 21st to a mediation hearing about Jeff, Sr., paying additional child support to Wendy. Jeff was supposed to appear in court that morning too. So, she was supposed to go to court that day. And she had left instructions with Wendy, which I saw, about which bus to catch to get downtown Monterey and what courtroom to go to.
[00:07:12] Wendy said when her mom left that morning, she just put the note in her bedroom and she was asleep when her mom left, had no idea anything had happened until the deputies knocked on the door and she was put in handcuffs. Linda’s ex-husband, Jeff, Sr., he was a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, and he taught metallurgy.
Yeardley: [00:07:36] What is that?
Lins: [00:07:37] That’s the study of metals and the technology used in submarines to make them invisible to radar. And Jeff, Sr. was supposed to work out at the gym at the Naval Postgraduate School before he reported into his office at 8 o’clock. We found that he checked in at 7:30 that morning at the gym. We served a search warrant at the Naval Postgraduate School, went to his gym locker, and it was covered in dust. [Yeardley scoffs] Everything inside his locker was covered in dust and we were able to put the date. We were able to write 7/23/1989 in dust.
Yeardley: [00:08:14] [chuckles] On his locker?
Lins: [00:08:17] Yes, in all the dust. So, he obviously had not been there. He’s establishing an alibi here by signing in at 7:30. There’s no sign-out. So now I’ve got some basic information, so the autopsy for that day is scheduled at 12:40. Once she’s at the autopsy, other than the massive head wounds she has, there’s no other visible trauma to her. We do the usual things, take fingernail scrapings, do a sexual assault workup. The right ear is missing. She has a skull puncture above her right eye. It’s an actual hole in her skull. She has a skull puncture to the right of her right eye, puncture to the left side of her nose, which separated a large amount of tissue. She had a skull puncture to the left of her left eye, and a large puncture to the right side of the crown of her head, which is right at the back of her head at the top. The damage to the skull was described as being massive. The frontal bones were smashed into several pieces and they pierced her brain.
Dan: [00:09:23] Were you ever able to determine what those puncture wounds were from?
Lins: [00:09:27] Yeah, doctor said they were from that baseball bat.
Dan: [00:09:30] I’ve been on a few bludgeoning deaths where the impact is so great that when the skull breaks or the facial bones break, that they snap further away from where the actual impact is, and they push out through the skin so it looks like a stab wound, but it’s really the bone that perforates the skin from the inside going out.
Lins: [00:09:52] Yeah. Now based on the position that her body was found, it appears that the assailant came up with the aluminum baseball bat. It appeared that the first two blows were to the crown of her head while she was standing with her back to the assailant. In other words, she was preparing to get into her car and drive away. So, he comes up and hits her twice in the back of the head, and rendering her probably unconscious and she falls out of her shoes and onto her back. And then, strikes her five more times to her face, basically obliterating her face. A lot of anger in that. Nothing is taken from her. Her purse is still there. Nothing’s taken out of the car, nothing. And the assailant leaves.
Dan: [00:10:36] The blows to the face say a lot to me. This is anger driven, this is personal. If you’re a burglar and you just want to incapacitate somebody, that first blow has done it. There’s no need for the other blows. But to strike her five more times in the face while she’s down on the ground and defenseless, that tells me somebody wanted to kill her.
Dave: And no effort to steal the car or her purse.
Yeardley: [00:11:01] Right.
Dan: [00:11:02] That’s just terrible.
Yeardley: [00:11:03] It’s pretty awful.
Yeardley: [00:11:19] So, Linda’s house is on a street with neighbors that are close by and across the street. It seems really remarkable that nobody saw anything in broad daylight like that.
Lins: [00:11:31] Exactly. This is between 8 o’clock in the morning and 8:30 when all people are going to work. And nobody sees anything, except that one witness who saw her standing outside her car, and then comes back and sees her laying down outside her car. We went to every house, knocked on the doors, nobody saw anything. So, Linda’s ex-husband, Jeff, Sr., shows up at the house. I talked to him a little bit. And he says, “Well, I don’t know how this happened. I was supposed to appear in court today. I just wanted custody of Wendy because Linda smokes marijuana around her all the time. Anyway, the case is not going today. So, I’m going to take my daughter back to my house.” And I said, “Okay, fine.”
Yeardley: [00:12:13] How old is Jeff, Jr.?
Lins: [00:12:16] He’s 19 at the time.
Yeardley: [00:12:18] Okay, so this custody fight between Linda and Jeff, Sr. is only about Wendy?
Lins: [00:12:24] Yes. Jeff, Sr’s. contribution to Jeff, Jr. ended when Jeff turned 18.
Yeardley: [00:12:32] But he’s living with his dad at the moment because he’s fought with his mother.
Lins: [00:12:36] Yeah.
Yeardley: [00:12:37] Got it.
Lins: [00:12:38] So, I’ve got two suspects. I’ve got Jeff, Jr. and Jeff, Sr. So, it was typical of the time, the district attorney’s office dispatched a victim advocate to Jeff’s house to help Jeff, his current wife, and his daughter and his son to deal with being the victim of a serious crime. It just so happened that the person they dispatched was my wife, Teri. [Yeardley gasps] This was her job in the district attorney’s office. Teri and I worked a lot of cases together. And as you can imagine, when a lot of those cases went to trial, the defense would just throw a fit, because husband and wife were working a case, but we were actually two different departments and two different aims.
[00:13:24] Anyway, my wife is at Jeff, Sr’s. house, where Jeff, Jr. is. And she calls me at the office and said, “You really need to get out here because the husband wants to really talk to you about this case.” An unfortunate thing happened. My supervisor at the time said, “Okay, guys, it’s time to go home.” And it’s like 4 o’clock in the afternoon, I’m going, “What?” Whenever we get a case like this, as you all know, you work this case until you can’t stay awake anymore. You work these homicides or serious crimes until you can’t go any further. So, I’m scratching my head and I pick up the phone and I call the chief of detectives, and I say, “I’ve got a problem here,” and he says, “Put him on.” An hour passed before we straightened that out, but we continued working that night until midnight. Unfortunately, by the time I get out to the house to talk to Jeff, Sr., he’s lawyered up and doesn’t want to talk to me.
Yeardley: [00:14:21] Oh, man.
Dave: [00:14:23] Can we pause for a second?
Lins: [00:14:24] Sure, can.
Dave: [00:14:26] I’m frustrated by two things right now. One is what we were just discussing with your immediate supervisor, who’s ready to bail at 4 o’clock. That’s unheard of.
Lins: [00:14:35] Yes.
Dave: [00:14:36] To just walk out on a murder investigation. Number two is, initial deputy has already got two people in handcuffs. It boggles my mind. I think everybody in law enforcement who has a handful of coworkers, we all know one, that would do something that is mind bogglingly stupid.
Lins: [00:14:59] Oh, I agree.
Dave: [00:15:01] When you showed up to the scene originally, are they still in handcuffs?
Lins: [00:15:05] No, they’re out of it by then, because I would have had them out right away anyway.
Dave: [00:15:10] Yeah, the lack of discretion, the lack of being able to read the room, and the way some cops, they connect dots, I don’t know how you got there. But no, I’m out of here because now I’m going to be listed on the lawsuit for the unlawful stop. What are you doing? [chuckles]
Lins: [00:15:27] Exactly. You wonder how they managed to get promoted, but this particular case, I think my supervisor, just lost all logic as to how to handle that. I think that he probably paid dearly for it later. But that’s another story.
Dave: [00:15:44] Because of this snafu with your supervisor saying, “Hey, let’s bail. We’ll tackle it tomorrow,” you’ve got a talkative suspect, and that kind of delay completely blows up the potential to gather more information that day, because the guy waits and waits and waits and goes, “You know what? I think I’ll take a lawyer.”
Lins: [00:16:06] Yeah, that’s exactly what happened.
Dave: [00:16:08] It’s devastating to a case.
Lins: [00:16:10] It was.
Dave: [00:16:11] And for our listeners, I hope you hear it in our voices, all three of us, every workplace has one or two of them and there’s no difference in law enforcement. Just morons.
Lins: [00:16:26] Oh, exactly.[chuckles]
Yeardley: [00:16:28] So frustrating.
Lins: [00:16:29] No, it is. It drives you nuts. I knew that was going to really devastate us and ruin the case and it basically did.
Yeardley: [00:16:37] So, you go out to Jeff, Sr’s. house ostensibly to chat with him, and he says, “Oh, no. I’m lawyered up.” So, do you have to leave immediately, because now he’s invoked his right to counsel?
Lins: [00:16:52] Yeah, basically, that’s what I did. But I talked to Jeff, Jr. a little bit while I was there and I was actually able to clear Jeff Jr. Because he had gone to his father’s house, he was working in a store in Carmela, a computer store as I recall. And to get from his father’s house, on the day of the murder, back to his job in Carmel, he had to take a bus, I was able to check with the bus driver and found out, yeah, he did get on the bus. So, we were able to eliminate him right away and concentrate more on Jeff, Sr.
[00:17:28] We also were using NCIS agents on his case, because the Naval Postgraduate School is part of the US Navy and their civilian investigators are naval criminal investigators. So, we’re actually using NCIS agents who don’t act like the ones you see on the TV show. [Yeardley laughs] So, they come in on the case with us. And because it’s federal property, I mentioned earlier on that we did a search warrant, that’s a federal search warrant, and they wrote these search warrants to check his locker and also Jeff, Sr’s. office. And Jeff, Sr. kept diaries, he kept extensive diaries of what he did, going all the way back to before he was married. And so, we were able to gather all his diaries. There’s no diaries existing during the period of Linda’s death before or after. It’s like those just disappeared.
Yeardley: [00:18:25] Wow, no diary entries on the dates immediately surrounding Linda’s death?
Lins: [00:18:31] No, gone.
Yeardley: [00:18:33] That seems fishy.
Lins: [00:18:34] Yeah. Anyway, I spent about 80 hours going through all his diaries. I found out that he wrote in some kind of a code that I was able to break about all his sexual conquest while he was married. Some of his sexual conquest took place in England where he spent some time, some all around the US, some there in the Carmel area. This gave me a list of women I could contact, which turned out to be very embarrassing to most of them, because not only did he keep a record of his sexual conquests, he took pictures.
Yeardley: [00:19:09] And were these pictures of their faces, or where they pictures of them in sexual acts?
Lins: [00:19:16] Of their faces in sexual acts.
Yeardley: [00:19:19] I see.
Lins: [00:19:19] I end up going all around the country to chase down these girlfriends. So anyway, I tried to run down this one woman that he was really interested in for years. And I find that she’s living around Maryland. But I’ve able to trace her to a place in Ohio and I go knock on the door, and these guys are in this room. And I asked them if they know this woman. And they say, “No, I don’t know her.” I said, “Well, if that woman shows up here, give me a call,” and he takes my card and basically, slammed the door in my face. I’m going, “That was weird.”
[00:19:54] So, my partner and I are back in our motel room at night and I get a call. It’s the woman. And she says, “I used to own that place. I’m friends with these people. The reason they slammed the door in your face is they had just recovered a Spanish galleon wreck off the North Carolina coast worth millions and millions and millions of dollars. And they thought you were probably mafia or something like that trying to get their treasure.” [Yeardley chuckles] Just the funniest side to the story about the things you run across.
Yeardley: [00:20:25] What?
Dave: [00:20:26] I’m going to need her name and address as well.[laughter]
Yeardley: [00:20:30] What was her name?
Lins: [00:20:31] Let’s just call her Sally. Sally told me she’d had an affair with Jeff, Sr., off and on over the years. And he wasn’t a violent person, but he did like to take pictures. So, we talked to the FBI, their behavioral sciences unit. They said, “Well, what you need to do is you need to start looking like you’re following him everywhere he goes and see if that loosens him up.” So, what we did is we took turns with NCIS, various guys in our department, some uniform guys would go in civilian clothes, and we’d give them certain hours of the day, “Just go by Jeff’s house, sit out there. And if he drives away, follow him aways and then peel off.” It’s an FBI tactic, they say works really well. And sometimes getting people to get nervous and perhaps say something or do something that will lead us to believe that we’ve got the right guy.
Yeardley: [00:21:23] This tactic is to intentionally let Jeff Sr. know that he’s being followed to make him antsy.
Lins: [00:21:30] Yes. One of the NCIS agents, a female agent, would go out and jog whenever Jeff went out for a jog, for example. Just get close to him and follow him and then peel off and just make him get really, really antsy. In fact, one thing we did, when Wendy was having one of her softball games, and Jeff Sr. left work to go watch it, we had search warrants for both of the cars signed by a judge, and we took both of his cars away from him. We were hoping to find Linda’s blood inside the cars. And, of course, that turned out to be negative. We’re just getting really super frustrated with this.
Dave: [00:22:05] I can imagine that’d be frustrating.
Lins: [00:22:07] It was.
Lins: [00:22:21] So, time goes by, in 1995, Wendy, comes by my office. She’s off to college now. I’m now a district attorney investigator. And Wendy asked me how the case is going and I say, “Well, I no longer have it. It is still with the sheriff’s office.” And she tells me basically, “Well, I think my dad did this. It’s just the way he’s been acting around me. He comes up to visit me all the time, and he’s questioning about what I’m doing. I don’t feel comfortable around him.” A year later, she calls me and says, “My dad’s dead. My mom says that they found him in a home he was living in in Pennsylvania.” I’m going, “What?”
[00:23:07] “He was decomposed, unrecognizable.” I go, “Wow.” I call the police department there. I don’t want to mention their name, because it’s really a bad cut here. I said, “When you guys found him, what was going on?” They said, “Well, there was an awful smell coming from his room. And so, we went in there. And here’s this decomposed guy. He’s got this unique t-shirt on. And so we call his wife and say, ‘We think your husband is dead.’ And his wife says, ‘What’s he wearing?’ He’s got this t-shirt with the unique design on it.’” Thinking to myself, “That’s really weird.”
Dan: [00:23:46] So, you’re saying they identified him based on the t-shirt and the t-shirt alone?
Lins: [00:23:51] Yes.
Dan: [00:23:52] Oh, my God.
Lins: [00:23:53] And I said, “Well, did you guys do anything with the body?” “No, wife said, ‘Just cremate him, please.’” You can imagine my words to who I’m talking to were not pleasant. I can’t believe that any police department would come upon a dead body, identify it with a long-distance call. This is in Pennsylvania. They call all the way to California. The wife identifies her husband over the phone based on a t-shirt. He’s cremated. They don’t take any blood samples. They don’t do anything, the police. There’s no positive ID except over a telephone.
Dan: [00:24:29] I feel like I’m getting punked.
Yeardley: [00:24:31] Honestly, if you saw that in a TV show, you go, “That’s the dumbest thing I ever saw. Come on. I’m smarter than that.”
Dave: [00:24:38] I’m waiting for you to tell me that the initial deputy and your other supervisor are now the chief and lieutenant at this other Pennsylvania police department.
Yeardley: [00:24:47] [laughs]
Lins: [00:24:49] So, I found his obituary, and it said, “Jeff died of natural causes in his home.”
Dan: [00:24:56] Can’t say that without an autopsy. And part of the autopsy is identifying you either take fingerprints, you take blood samples, you have to identify who we’re talking about.
Lins: [00:25:06] Exactly.
Dave: [00:25:08] He’s currently living in Zihuatanejo with Andy Dufresne and Red.[laughter]
Dan: [00:25:13] Doing fishing charters. God.
Dave: [00:25:16] If this was put to me in a script, or somebody said, “Hey, this is a movie I want you to watch,” I’d say, “This is completely unbelievable.”
Dan: [00:25:25] I assume that Linda’s murder is still an open case.
Lins: [00:25:29] Yeah, it is. In fact, I gave it to our cold case when I was in California last month to testify in that other case.
Yeardley: [00:25:37] Yes. Our listeners don’t know yet but that other case is coming down the pipeline. We’re just waiting on a few details to wrap it up.
Lins: [00:25:45] That’s right. I talked to the prosecutor last month, and he said, “Have you got any old cases?” And I said, “Yeah.” I gave him this one. So, they’re looking at it right now.
Dan: [00:25:56] Well, I mean, one thing you want to do is you want to see if you can track Jeffrey Sr. down.
Dave: [00:26:00] Familial DNA.
Dan: [00:26:02] Yeah. He’s smart enough to– if he did fake his own death, he’s got a new identity. You also wonder if he’s had any contact with his family.
Lins: [00:26:10] Yeah, I would imagine that his wife, Shelly, probably knows.
Yeardley: [00:26:15] The second wife?
Lins: [00:26:17] The second wife, yeah. Her name is Shelly. Jeff Sr., if he is around, he’s slipping in and out and keeping a low profile.
Dan: [00:26:28] Were you ever able to find any forensic evidence? I mean, anybody who’s been around Wendy probably has an explanation for their fingerprints being on a bat.
Lins: [00:26:39] Yeah, we tried to get fingerprints off that bat, but it was wrapped in that type of material, it’s almost abrasive. And it’s almost like sandpaper and it doesn’t take a print.
Dan: [00:26:51] A grip tape.
Lins: [00:26:52] Yeah.
Yeardley: [00:26:53] What became of Jeff Jr.?
Lins: [00:26:56] That’s a good question. When I was doing the cross-country trip, I did go visit him in Pennsylvania. And he even indicated then that he thought his dad might have done it, but didn’t have any more to say about it.
Lins: [00:27:26] My feeling on the case is Jeff Sr. found some guy, either dead or near death, puts him in his house, either kills him or the guy just dies naturally. To this day, there is no explanation as to what happened. It’s still an open case.
Yeardley: [00:27:47] Why was he in Pennsylvania?
Lins: [00:27:49] He worked at the Naval Postgraduate School there in Monterey for 24 years. Then, he took a job as Dean of Academic Affairs at Pennsylvania State University’s campus. At the time of his death, he was doing a textbook on metals.
Yeardley: [00:28:07] And where was Shelly and all that?
Lins: [00:28:10] She was living in their home 15 miles from Monterey.
Dan: [00:28:16] How long after the murder did Jeff Sr. move out to Pennsylvania?
Lins: [00:28:23] Now, the murder was in 1989. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1995 or 1996, where he took the job.
Dan: [00:28:32] Shelly and Jeff Sr. had separated at that point, is that correct?
Lins: [00:28:36] I don’t know if they were separated. I think they were still married. No indication that they were separated. She actually had a service for him in Salinas where her friends attended. It’s just all real hinky to me, the whole situation.
Yeardley: [00:28:51] It doesn’t sit right.
Lins: [00:28:53] It doesn’t. And who knows, since I turned it over to the cold case unit, maybe somebody there will be able to find him and run it down. And then again, we could be wrong. Maybe that was him who died.
Yeardley: [00:29:05] It’s so sketchy that you would allow there to be an ID over the phone based on a t-shirt.
Lins: [00:29:12] If my wife was out of town and died, I’m going to fly out there and identify her. I mean, you would think Shelly would have done that.
Yeardley: [00:29:20] 100%.
Lins: [00:29:22] I want to fly out, make sure it’s him. “But, no, go ahead and just cremate him.”
Dan: [00:29:27] The thing that’s a little odd to me is, he’s got a professional job. He’s an administrator at a university. And we all know that that kind of decomp where there’s so much decomp that you can’t recognize who you’re looking at, that takes weeks. For somebody not to have contact with him or him not show up to work or a meeting for that long is really odd.
Lins: [00:29:56] I don’t know why a follow-up like that wasn’t made.
Dan: [00:29:59] That question should have been answered by the initial death investigation by the police in Pennsylvania. The question of, “Hey, when’s the last time this guy has been seen alive?”, that’s one of the first questions you ask in a death investigation.
Lins: [00:30:13] Exactly.
Yeardley: [00:30:15] Well, Lins, I was going to thank you for bringing that to us but now I’m going to be up all night wondering what the hell happened and how are we going to get this guy who killed the lovely Linda.
Lins: [00:30:26] I’d really like to get an answer.
Dave: [00:30:28] Yeah, that one’s just– I’m frustrated almost from the beginning.
Yeardley: [00:30:31] Right?
Dave: [00:30:32] From the moment a 13-year-old girl goes in handcuffs, I’m like, “All right, now I am mad.”
Yeardley: [00:30:37] [laughs]
Lins: [00:30:38] In my 31 years of law enforcement experience, I’ve got a lot of cases that are kind of similar to that, but with better endings.[laughter]
Yeardley: [00:30:49] Thank you so much for spending time with us today and bringing us that case.
Dan: [00:30:53] Thank you, sir. Appreciate you coming on the show.
Lins: [00:30:56] Thank you.[music]
Yeardley: [00:31:02] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith, and co-produced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Logan Heftel, Gary Scott, and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor, and the Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin, with additional editing assistance from Jacqui Fulton. Our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.
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Yeardley: [00:32:18] That’s right. Your subscription also makes it possible for us to keep going to small towns across the country-
Dan: [00:32:25] -in search of the finest-
Dave: [00:32:26] -rare, true crime cases told-
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Dave: [00:32:32] So, thanks for listening Small Town Fam.
Yeardley: [00:32:34] Nobody’s better than you.