Officers are called to a house on a quiet, rural street to investigate a noise complaint. When they get no answer at the front door, they go around to the back and see a woman lying on the kitchen floor, under a man who’s holding her down at knife-point.
Special Guest: Det. 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 Sherriff 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.
Yeardley [00:00:02] Hey, Small Town Fam. I’m so glad you’re here with me today. This episode is a story of brutal domestic abuse. Sadly, the circumstances of this savage crime are not new to our team. Detectives Dan, Dave, and our guest today, retired detective, David. This admission leads all three men to speak about the toll it can take on a person’s heart and mind when day in and day out, they see the horrendous things that human beings can do to each other. But all three detectives also conclude that it strengthens their resolve to keep the public safe and that law enforcement is not just a job for them, but a calling. Here is, The Monster in the House.
David [00:00:52] Once the scene was secured, we did search his vehicle. The handsets for the phones are in there. And there’s also a small grocery bag in there with some essentials like milk, butter, things like that, and these little Debbie cakes, just enough for two of the children. These were all relevant details.
Yeardley [00:01:15] When a serious crime is committed in a small town, a handful of detectives are charged with solving the case. I’m Yeardley, and I’m fascinated by these stories. So, I invited my friends, Detectives Dan and Dave, to help me gather the best true crime cases from around the country and have the men and women who investigated them, tell us how it happened.
Dan [00:01:41] I’m Dan.
Dave [00:01:42] And I’m Dave. We’re identical twins from Small Town, USA.
Dan [00:01:46] Dave investigated sex crimes and crimes against children. He’s now a patrol sergeant in his police department.
Dave [00:01:52] Dan investigated violent crimes. He’s now retired. Together, we have more than two decades experience and have worked hundreds of cases. We’ve altered names, places, relationships, and certain details in these cases to maintain the privacy of the victims and their families.
Dan [00:02:07] So, we ask you to join us in protecting their true identities, as well as the locations of these crimes out of respect for everyone involved. Thank you.
Yeardley [00:02:23] Today, on Small Town Dicks, we’re very excited. We have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dan!
Dan [00:02:30] Good morning.
Yeardley [00:02:31] Good morning. You’re looking well.
Dan [00:02:33] I feel well.
Yeardley [00:02:34] Good. And we have Detective Dave.
Dave [00:02:37] Good morning, team.
Yeardley [00:02:38] Hello, team member!
Dave [00:02:40] Yes.
Yeardley [00:02:41] We are so excited to welcome a new guest to the podcast. We have retired Detective David.
David [00:02:48] Good morning.
Yeardley [00:02:49] Good morning.
Dave [00:02:49] A new Dave.
Yeardley [00:02:50] A new Dave. If you can believe it, Small Town Fam, we have added another Dave to our awesome roster.
Dave [00:02:58] That’s probably the most.
Yeardley [00:02:59] Dave and–
Dave [00:03:01] We’ve had some Scotts.
Yeardley [00:03:02] We’ve had some Scotts, we’ve had a couple of Kyles now. Yeah.
David [00:03:07] Yeah. I think I’m older than him, I could be a classic Dave.
Yeardley [00:03:09] You think you’re older than our Detective Dave?
David [00:03:12] Yep.
Yeardley [00:03:12] I don’t know. I don’t know about that. But either way, I love classic David, classic retired Detective David as your official Small Town Dick’s moniker. It’s brilliant. We are using that. So, classic retired Detective David, tell us how this case came to you.
David [00:03:33] This one was very early in my career. This was actually within the first year. It occurred during my probationary period as a sworn officer. I had recently left the military and joined into law enforcement and had gone to the academy and was operating as an officer on my own, but I still was within my probationary period.
Yeardley [00:03:56] Does that mean that you’re still being supervised by a field training officer, but he’s not physically with you?
David [00:04:01] Essentially, but the supervisors on the shift would closely watch you. Now, we work with the same people every shift. So, we rotated onto our tours of duty one week at a time, all of us the same people, whereas a lot of agencies, some folks are off on certain days, whatever. We all came to work together and we all signed off together. Basically, everybody that was on the squad from the lieutenant on down, had all worked together, and they all had a vested interest in making sure that I knew what I was doing.
Dave [00:04:30] Probation, sometimes it’s a year, I think at our department, we’re up to 18 months now. In that year or year and a half of probation, the new officer is subject to a lot of scrutiny. Like, what kind of decisions are you making? Are you responding to the training you’re getting? In that period of time, varying agencies might have different policies that I can tell you anytime within your probationary period that, “Sorry, it’s not working out and go find another agency to work for.” It’s kind of a pucker factor time in people’s employment. Once you make probation, then you can relax a little bit.
Dan [00:05:08] That was the green light for me to take vacation. Once I got off probation, I didn’t take a day off for the first year, because I was on probation, I didn’t want to give them any reason to get rid of me. I waited until a year and then right after I got off probation, I signed up for my two-week vacation.
Yeardley [00:05:30] You probably need that time to decompress after so much scrutiny.
Dan [00:05:34] It’s stressful.
David [00:05:35] But the way it was set up there before your probationary period was up, we were supposed to spend at least two tours, which were two-week shifts working with investigations. The idea being that you’re learning what investigators or what detectives need from you as a patrol officer. At the point where this particular case occurred, I had not done my tours with the detectives yet. My time to rotate in there, we had shortage on patrol, things like that. So, this kind of came about right around that time when it was getting close to the end of my first year. And it just so happens, I did a lot of the follow-up work on this particular case.
Yeardley [00:06:12] Interesting. I do feel we hear that a lot because you’re expected to produce the same high level of work product as a big city, but with many fewer resources. And so, we hear that quite a bit like, “Yeah, we only had two people on that night for the next month.”
Dave [00:06:27] Yeah, common problems for small agencies is staffing and moving resources to backfill holes that, say, somebody got injured or they’re on family leave. Now, you’ve got to move this person from this patrol division over to detectives to backfill this position and vice versa.
Yeardley [00:06:43] Yeah. Interesting. Okay, carry on.
David [00:06:46] In this particular case, each member of the squad had one person per zone in the city. This occurred about 6 o’clock in the evening. Two of my squadmates that worked in patrol zones just south of me received a call of a possible disturbance at an address that we had absolutely no call history on whatsoever. Nobody had ever called the police from there. There’d been no police contacts with these residents. A lot of times when these kind of calls are dispatched out, if you have a good dispatcher, they will include that information. But one of the details that came out also, when the call was initially broadcast, was that this was a third party that was calling in about their neighboring property.
I had been on the job long enough, it didn’t take long to develop that sense that a domestic violence call from within the home is one thing, but when you’re getting a domestic violence call from a third party, a lot of times that’s when officers are in a great deal of jeopardy because no one in the home really wanted you there. And when you show up, there’s a very good chance that all parties involved in the domestic violence will all turn on that officer. We had a very good dispatcher. She notified the officers that this is a third-party call, but also added that there’s no call history, and that will become significant as we progress here. So, the two officers responded. They actually went to the residence of the neighbor.
Yeardley [00:08:13] What’s the neighbor’s name?
David [00:08:14] Connie. They met with Connie, and Connie informed them that Tim and Kate that live next door had three children. One of the children aged 12 had come to her house and asked her to call the police and call an ambulance because dad had hurt mom real bad. The child was still there with Connie. Two officers reported that they were going to go check out things next door. Now, my role at this point was simply when I hear a domestic is going on and both of my partner’s zones are open, I kind of move to a position in the city where I can respond to calls in their area while they’re busy, and also get to them if things get really bad.
Dan [00:08:55] You’re the closest cover unit.
David [00:08:56] That’s correct. And being probationary, I wanted to be on time. That was always my biggest nightmare, is not being able to get to a partner on time. I had bad dreams over that over the years.
Dan [00:09:07] Oh yeah.
David [00:09:08] We could hear radio traffic between my two partners talking and one said they were going to go into the front, just kind of look around, look through the doors and windows just to see what’s going on. The other one was going to go around the back of the house and just see and listen, listen for the shouting. The officer who went around the back, he didn’t hear anything. Then, the officer that went around the front suddenly came up on the radio and said, “I’ve got him on the front. I’ve got him in the front.” And then, within a minute and a half, both officers called back and said one in custody and then called my call number, the tone of his voice said, “Move. Come quickly.” And then, they called the supervisor and same thing, “Move.”
Dave [00:09:47] You start calling for resources like that, other officers are like, “Okay, more than half the shift is ending up in the same place, something big happened.” Accurate?
David [00:09:56] Accurate.
Yeardley [00:09:57] David, is this property quite rural, what’s the kind of lay of the land?
David [00:10:02] This particular area was out there a little bit, city limits was our jurisdiction. But because the outlying areas were so rural, we had a patrol jurisdiction in a one-mile circle around our city limits as well, and we regularly responded to calls there.
Dave [00:10:18] So, you’ve got large lots on each property. I’m guessing they’re spaced out a fair distance as compared to what would be happening within a mile of your downtown area.
David [00:10:29] Correct.
Yeardley [00:10:30] Which means if the neighbor can hear that dispute, that is some bad stuff going down.
David [00:10:35] She didn’t hear a thing. She had never seen a sign of anything until the child came over.
Yeardley [00:10:41] Oh, I see, of course.
David [00:10:42] The neighbor, Connie, had only been living there about four years. The location where the domestic occurred, they had been living there approximately 12 years going back. Like I said, there had been no call history, no indication that these people have ever had any kind of contact with the police at all at this address. This whole thing was very unusual.
I arrived, I went down there, and one of my partners, they’re standing in the doorway, and they have this male subject in handcuffs, and he’s covered in blood head to toe.
Dave [00:11:12] That’s Tim, correct?
David [00:11:13] That’s correct.
Dave [00:11:14] Is there any indication that the blood’s from his own injuries?
David [00:11:17] I could not tell at that point. As you know, when you get there on something, where you desperately trying to get there because you think something’s really bad, I’m looking for my other partner. I could see a lot of blood and of course, the partner that was escorting Tim to his car, he had some blood on him as well. And he just kind of nodded my way. He said, “He’s okay. Get the kids.”
Yeardley [00:11:39] So, the officer handling Tim says that your other partner’s okay and tells you to go inside and get the kids?
David [00:11:46] Yes, ma’am. He just indicated towards the house and I went inside. There were two children sitting in the living room. The layout of the house, basically, it was a working class home, so the front door opened up and it opened up immediately into the living room. Beyond that was the opening to the kitchen. I could see somebody laying on the floor. Their lower torso was towards the living room area. And I could see a large amount of blood, but I couldn’t see the upper part of the body was laying in the kitchen. And there were two children sitting on the couch just as I’d opened the door and I just indicate, had them come on out.
Dave [00:12:25] What kind of affect or behavior are the kids exhibiting at this point?
David [00:12:29] Their behavior to me was very eerie. I wouldn’t say they were spacey, I wouldn’t say anything like that. They looked numb.
Dave [00:12:39] Like shock?
David [00:12:39] Yeah.
Yeardley [00:12:40] Just blank.
David [00:12:41] Just blank.
Yeardley [00:12:42] Wow. So, we have the 12-year-old at Connie’s and other two children roughly?
David [00:12:46] Approximately ages seven and five. So, 12-year-old was a boy, the 7-year-old was a boy, and the little girl was 5. So, I quickly escorted them out of there and put them in my patrol car. i took them and parked over at Connie’s where they could be with their older brother, and then basically took all my instructions from our supervisor, basically securing the crime scene and we waited for detectives to show up.
Dave [00:13:13] In that time, I’m sure you’re having conversations with the first two officers that arrived, is there any indication that Tim resisted arrest or it resulted in a fight?
David [00:13:23] Just like the children, both of the officers seemed a bit numb at that moment. So, I didn’t really question him at the time, but it was later discovered that, no, he didn’t resist a bit.
Dave [00:13:32] Gotcha. So, this isn’t blood from a fight with the police?
David [00:13:35] Correct. Later, we determined that when one of my partner’s went to the front door, it was a glass storm door, he could see right in and just as he was looking, he could see Tim on top of Kate. And Tim kept repeating, “I told you, I told you, I told you.”
Yeardley [00:13:53] Kate is Tim’s wife?
David [00:13:55] Yes, ma’am. While Tim was saying that, he was working a knife. He wasn’t stabbing, but he was working a knife, he could clearly see it. It was one of these large folding buck knives. We later determined Tim worked in one of these– It was basically a box-making factory. And so, he was constantly bundling and having to cut bundles and things like that. So, this is something he carried to work with him every day.
Dave [00:14:18] And when you say working a knife, I get an image of what I imagine that action to be like a sawing or cutting-through-type action?
David [00:14:28] That’s correct. He was straddled over the top of her, she was on the floor. He was up towards her head area and was working the knife.
Yeardley [00:14:36] On her body?
David [00:14:37] That’s correct.
Dave [00:14:38] I’ve looked inside houses on disturbance calls where they’re not aware that the police are on the property. And it’s telling, like David said, officers that take the time to stop and listen, learn a lot about what’s happening inside a house before you ever get eyes inside a window. So, I can imagine the police officer looking in through that door and seeing what he’s seeing, and it’s partially obscured, is an “oh shit” moment that a police officer is like, “I need help. I need someone up here around front with me right now. Let’s go.” That’s a “what the hell am I seeing” type moment. And you already know what you’re saying, but it’s horrible.
David [00:15:18] Yeah. I don’t think anybody was able to wrap their heads around what they were seeing immediately. It wasn’t until the detectives arrived and our supervisor arrived. Of course, he had done his time in investigations. They had seen similar things, and even they seemed stunned by what had happened. Basically, Tim had beheaded Kate in front of her children.
Yeardley [00:15:39] Oh, my God!
Dave [00:15:41] I mean, the brutality, and he has no idea he’s getting watched by a police officer. He’s just going to work.
Dave [00:17:49] So, the officer makes entry, what has he encountered?
David [00:17:53] Based on their later statements, both officers entered right at the same time. Of course, they had their weapons drawn, immediately gave commands to get up, drop the knife, get off of her. And he immediately stood up and obeyed their commands. Put his hands behind his back. Of course, one officer covered him, while the other one cuffed him and just walked him out.
Dave [00:18:13] And once you get him in handcuffs, then somebody’s got to go check on Kate.
David [00:18:17] That’s right.
Dave [00:18:16] And that moment is–
Yeardley [00:18:22] I can’t imagine.
Dave [00:18:14] Yeah, I can’t imagine either. I mean, just the horror of seeing what a human being can do to another human being, it’s just disgusting.
Dan [00:18:30] I’m going back to experiences that I’ve had on huge calls, homicides that we’ve had and that first look where you see the victim, and what goes through your mind just gives you some flashbacks, for sure.
Dave [00:18:44] Imagining the last moments and the fear and the experiences and the thoughts that are going through the victim of a violent crime, that’s what infuriates me about people that do those things because they don’t give a shit. And just to be doing that in the presence of children, in the presence of any other human, but especially with children in the house to be doing that gives you a glimpse into Tim’s state of mind as well.
Yeardley [00:19:11] Right. But hang on, Detective David, are you saying that those children were sitting on the couch the whole time their father was attacking their mother?
David [00:19:22] Yes, ma’am.
Yeardley [00:19:23] That is unimaginable! I can’t– I’m– Oh! Okay. All right. Go on.
David [00:19:31] So, when the investigators arrived, that’s when the supervisor said, “Well, I think it’s about time that you caught up on your final phase of your probationary period.”
Yeardley [00:19:41] Just going to throw you into the fire?
David [00:19:42] That’s correct. It was a very cut and dry crime, obviously. But there was some time-sensitive things that we had to take care of. There was a great deal of investigating that had to happen and had to happen fast. What are we going to do with these children? How did things progress to this point? Why did the children not report this? Why was there no call history? Obviously, placement of the children at least temporarily was a priority. That’s where we centered most of the investigation on.
Dan [00:20:11] So you’re trying to find out if they’ve got family nearby?
David [00:20:14] Yes. And given the savage nature of the crime, where did Tim learn this behavior? Obviously, we don’t want to put these children with somebody that trained Tim or developed him. There was a great deal of confusion over whose parents lived nearby and it turned out, it was Tim’s parents. Kate was from an entirely different state and her parents lives in another state.
Yeardley [00:20:38] And Detective David, the savageness of this crime, as you say, does that lead you to believe that there was probably domestic abuse before this incident and it just simply had gone unreported?
David [00:20:49] Yeah, I mean, even at that time of this news, I know that people don’t just do this. This is usually some type of progression. You just don’t one day just decide to wake up and behead your spouse. We were certain that we had definitely walked into something that had been going on for a while.
Dave [00:21:07] And it gives you an idea about older brother, oldest child, he sees this, and he’s probably seen domestic violence before, but dad’s got such a control on the house that the kids know never to call the police. “This is between your mom and I.” But it gets to the point where a 12-year-old says, “I have to do something. We’re so far out of bounds here, I have to go get somebody here.”
Yeardley [00:21:32] Yeah. Meanwhile, the young ones are just completely numb and sitting on the sofa. They’re not in a puddle weeping. They’re just–
Dave [00:21:39] I can’t imagine.
Yeardley [00:21:40] I mean, it’s awful.
David [00:21:42] Yeah, this one was extra disturbing in that while they had the numb expressions on their faces and things like that, you could tell that they had seen very similar things, but only one of them got up and went next door, which led to the question, why go all the way next door?
Yeardley [00:22:00] Good point.
David [00:22:01] Why not pick up a phone inside there? Well, we began looking around the house and we noticed that there was not a single phone receiver there. We could find the base for the phones. We couldn’t find any phone receivers.
Dave [00:22:11] And this is pre-cellphone days?
David [00:22:13] They weren’t as essential as they are now. I think I might have had one of those old bag phones in my car.
Yeardley [00:22:21] That is so creepy that you have the phone base, but no receiver. That is a real statement.
Dave [00:22:27] Again, it gives you a little glimpse into Tim’s control over the house.
David [00:22:30] Absolutely. Like I was saying earlier, we were looking at family members. Where did this guy learn this? Our particular area had fewer placement locations for children. Always, the desire is to keep the children in familiar circumstances. Obviously, we don’t want them familiar with what they’ve been living in. So, that was a real concern. I can remember determining that school was out.
Yeardley [00:22:55] Was it summer break?
David [00:22:56] Yes. And the children had been home for several days. They rarely played outside. Connie said they were the quietest children she ever lived around. But they were always very polite, well-mannered children every time she saw them. She said Kate was one of the sweetest people she’d met. When we continued interviewing Connie, we found out that earlier that day, she had taken Kate grocery shopping.
Yeardley [00:23:22] Did Kate not have a car or license?
David [00:23:25] They only had one car. Of Course, Tim took that to work with him.
Yeardley [00:23:28] Of course.
David [00:23:29] They had gone grocery shopping earlier that day.
Yeardley [00:23:31] Kate and Connie did.
David [00:23:32] That’s right. I asked Connie, “Did Kate give you any indication that anything was going on, that an argument or anything like that?” She said, “No. I took her to the grocery store because I was going shopping as well, and brought her home and dropped off the groceries and we hadn’t been home very long.”
Yeardley [00:23:49] Meaning both women hadn’t been home very long before Kate’s 12-year-old son ran over to Connie’s and said, “Call the police. Daddy is hurting mom.”
David [00:23:58] Yeah.
Dave [00:23:59] Had Connie had any interactions with Tim or made any observations?
David [00:24:03] She said he almost never spoke. He’d walked out and get his vehicle and then he would go to work or wherever he’d go and come back, and he might raise a hand and wave at her if she waved him first, but other than that, he didn’t speak to her. So, she wasn’t as familiar with him. I remember her saying that he just had this angry look on his face a lot like he was just agitated. But other than that, no, no contact.
Dave [00:24:27] Gotcha.
Dan [00:24:28] Going back to the crime scene, what else did you see? You talked about no receivers, but phone bases.
David [00:24:34] That’s right.
Dan [00:24:34] Is this attack occurring in just the one room? Does it all happen right there in the kitchen, or is it an attack that goes throughout the whole house?
David [00:24:42] We later determined everything occurred within five minutes of Tim’s arrival home from work. The attack occurred as Kate was coming out of the kitchen into the living room to greet him. We subsequently determined from the forensic interview of the children that when Tim would come home from work, basically, everyone was expected to be there to greet him in the living room. And that’s why they were there, sitting there. Where they were sitting was very much part of that crime scene, but we’d also found the large folding buck knife laying there. But basically everything was contained right there in the little stoop between the living room and the kitchen.
Dave [00:25:25] All three children forensically interviewed?
David [00:25:27] Yes.
Dave [00:25:28] And I’m sure they all had their own angle and perspective on this. I’m curious about the 12-year old that at some point, he goes, “All right, it’s time to bail and go to the neighbor’s house right now.” What led up to him having to leave the house?
David [00:25:42] So, to the best that we could determine, and certainly we’re speculating to some degree, but what we did learn for a fact was that Tim would rotate who his favorites were.
Yeardley [00:25:54] Of the kids?
David [00:25:55] Of the kids and of the wife, there would be one or two members of the family that he would really just shower with gifts, praise, and love. And this always seemed to change from month to month.
Yeardley [00:26:09] Is that a typical domestic violence kind of controlling technique?
Dave [00:26:15] It’s a behavior modification technique. This is how you keep everyone in line in your house. You always want to be on the good side, that way the negative attention isn’t focused on you. And Tim does it, to incentivize people to fall in line and do what he wants and what he requires. Of course, I’m speculating. I don’t know Tim and Kate, but that’s the dynamic that we see in these situations.
Yeardley [00:26:38] Divide and conquer.
David [00:26:40] Exactly. There are those that are on the receiving end of the abuse at the time, they’ve also got to wonder if the ones that are receiving the extra attention and the love are going to basically tell on them, or just inform on them and bring more abuse down. And that’s basically what we gathered, the 12-year-old was apparently on the out cycle at the time, had recently received his share of abuse. And the schools, they were very proactive and getting the message across that it’s not okay for parents or anyone to abuse you sexually, physically. And they had just had an officer come into the school and talk about those kinds of things. And of course, the 12-year-old later said during one of the forensic interviews that he felt like they were living pretty much like everybody else.
Dan [00:27:31] It’s just their normal.
David [00:27:33] Yeah.
Dan [00:27:35] This is what life is like. I don’t have to call the police because this happens in every other household. Child abuse investigations, it’s common children have certain light bulb or aha moments sometimes when they go to a friend’s house, and mom and dad in the family eat dinner together at the dinner table and it’s cordial. There’s no tension. Kids have a moment like, “What’s going on here? This isn’t at all what life looks like in my house.” And those are situations that are dangerous for guys like Tim because now the child’s got exposure to, “Oh, that’s how the other side lives, and maybe we’re the ones who aren’t normal.” This is the value of having officers in schools. I love that in this case, you’ve got a officer who presents to children in schools and there is a benefit to that.
David [00:28:28] Yeah, it ended a very long period of captivity for these children basically their entire lives.
Yeardley [00:30:27] So, had the school heard of abuse prior to this near decapitation of Kate?
David [00:30:34] No.
Yeardley [00:30:34] None of the children had spoken up?
David [00:30:36] No indications at all. The children had never said a word how physical he had ever been with them, I don’t know. But I do remember from the medical examination of Kate’s body, all of the broken bones that had healed back over, over the years, and all of the other damage to her body, scars, things like that were always in places that wouldn’t be apparent.
Dave [00:31:02] So, do you guys dig into this history, she’s got these healed fractures of bones, were there correlating visits to the hospital or to the doctor to address these or were these untreated?
David [00:31:12] Several were untreated. We found a few trips to the emergency room here and there, but for those injuries, at that time, they were not very apparent as to the cause. It could have been from falling or it could have been from somebody hurting her. So, it would have been difficult for an ER doctor to pick up on the fact that it was abused. And the visits were so far apart that nobody would really pick up on that pattern. Several of these broken bones healed on their own. No splintings, there had been no treatment at all.
Dan [00:31:42] And there’s no call history at this house.
David [00:31:44] None.
Dan [00:31:45] So the last thing Tim is going to do for Kate is say, “Hey, sorry, I broke your wrist. Do you want me to drive you to the hospital?” Because they only have one car, and I’m guessing that he always has the keys on him.
David [00:31:56] Yeah, and I’m glad you pointed that out. Once this scene was secured, we did search his vehicle, the handsets for the phones are in there. And there’s also a small grocery bag in there with some essentials like milk, butter, things like that, and these little Debbie cakes, just enough for two of the children.
Yeardley [00:32:16] Oh, my God!
David [00:32:18] And all of these things were significant factors in the subsequent prosecution. We wanted the district attorney to be able to present this in the light of just how severe and extreme this man had made things for these people, and these were all relevant details. So, we had determined that Tim’s rage when he had arrived at home, he saw Kate coming out of the kitchen with an empty grocery bag as soon as he walked in the front door. He had told her he will not leave this house. The kids will not leave this house. We found out that the kids said she had asked him for several days for the car so that they could go to the grocery store or if he would pick up some groceries. They had had a pretty severe argument, and he had made several threats to her earlier that morning before he left for work. And he told her, “If I find out that you’ve left his house or these kids have left this house today, it’s going to be bad.” Like I said before, Connie said that she took Kate to the grocery store.
There was almost nothing in the refrigerator, except for what Kate had purchased that day. And she had just finished putting these things away when Tim got home. And he saw her and just launched onto her.
Dave [00:33:36] So,she’s five minutes earlier getting the evidence– Well, I mean, he’s gonna see what’s in the refrigerator anyway, but I mean, if that doesn’t give you a picture into what life is like with Tim.
Dan [00:33:47] Even though she knows that it’s a very real possibility, it’s almost a certainty for her that she’s going to face some punishment, she still feels the need that she has to go to the store to put some food in the refrigerator and in the cupboards for her kids.
David [00:34:02] That’s right.
Dan [00:34:03] Just being a mother. She’s being a mother.
David [00:34:06] Right.
Yeardley [00:34:06] In your investigation of Tim, do you find out what his history is? Who taught him this?
David [00:34:12] The best we could do was speculate. We know that he was an only child. When we interviewed his father, his father did mention that Tim was always a very selfish boy. And that’s the most we got out of him.
Dan [00:34:25] No indication that Tim’s father ran his household the same way?
David [00:34:29] No. Tim, when he was interviewed, he gave no indication that he was ever abused. A lot of times you’ll find that kind of history.
Yeardley [00:34:37] Right. What was Tim like during his interview, did he say why he did what he did?
David [00:34:43] He didn’t cooperate a great deal, but he didn’t hide what he did either. “I told her,” that’s all he said.
Yeardley [00:34:50] Good God!
David [00:34:51] I told her.
Dave [00:34:51] And that’s what he’s saying when he’s discovered by the police is that he is on that “I told you not to.”
Yeardley [00:34:57] I told you not to defy me and you did it.
Dave [00:34:59] And this is the price.
Yeardley [00:35:01] And so were the children able to stay all together when they got placed?
David [00:35:05] Yes, because we erred on the safe side and made sure that they were sent out of state to her parent’s place. Even they told us that they might hear from their daughter, Kate, maybe once a month in, had not seen her in person in over two years, and had very limited contact with their grandchildren. They’d made plans to come see the grandkids, only to be told it’s not a good time, everyone’s sick, or they tried to fly everyone down to see them only to be told, “Something’s going on. We’re just not going to be able to make it.”
Dave [00:35:41] I’ve got such a picture in my head of this house. This image of what the inside of this house looks like and what Kate’s role is, and how that house appears.
Yeardley [00:35:51] What is that image?
Dave [00:35:52] I think Tim is a neat freak and wants everything exactly the way he wants it. Nothing out of place. I picture him walking around doing like dust checks, like a room inspection.
David [00:36:03] Yep, very accurate. Like I said, there was an expectation for when he arrived at home. And it didn’t matter if he came home early from work and they weren’t expecting him. They’d better present themselves in the living room. Absolutely everything had a place, everything was in its place. You’re absolutely accurate. Especially his toolshed. There was zero indication that those children had ever ventured anywhere near it. As a parent, I couldn’t leave anything laying around at my kid wasn’t trying to adjust something. Even when they were really little, you’d find things dangerously close to a light socket or something.
Yeardley [00:36:39] Sure. I need to lick that.
David [00:36:40] Yeah, absolutely. And very few toys.
Dave [00:36:43] I think if you spoke to most law enforcement personnel and medics that go to a house, that we all have an idea of how Tim was described that it wouldn’t surprise anybody that that’s what the inside of the house looks like.
Yeardley [00:36:59] Right. Did you speak to any of his coworkers to see if he was pleasant on the job or he was a real prick? Or what?
David [00:37:06] Based on everything, he was really quiet, good worker, kept to himself. Of course, he never attended any of the company barbecues or outings or anything like that. They knew he was married, knew he had a family, but nobody had ever seen them.
Dan [00:37:19] This shows you what abusers do. We’ve heard multiple indications that Tim isolates family, even isolates Kate and the kids from her family, because he’s got to minimize any exposure to the kids disclosing to Kate’s parents that life is not good at home. So, if Tim can isolate everyone in the house and keep them from talking to anyone else, he can run this household the way he wants to. No phones in the house, Kate doesn’t have access to a car. These are all big red flags that we all recognize. These are questions that if you are a victim of domestic violence, or you know somebody who’s a victim of domestic violence. I would hope that the police officer who may show up at your house when a neighbor calls or you finally have the courage to call, these are questions that the officer needs to be asking.
Dave [00:38:14] Well, I’m curious, did they have any house pets?
David [00:38:16] I don’t recall.
Dave [00:38:18] We see in domestic violence that they’ll also abuse house pets. While they’re taking it out on humans, they also target pets. And so, you go one layer deeper, and you get pets that either die or are severely injured and end up at veterinarian clinics. That’s another piece that we look at, and it’s something to be aware of that it might not just be the kids getting abused. Sometimes, it’s the pets. Sometimes, everything in the house that’s got a heartbeat, gets something from a guy like Tim.
Dan [00:38:50] Or, if Kate’s got her favorite shirt, her favorite book that she loves, they’ll damage those things, anything that the abuser can hold over you to manipulate you and make you fearful. They’ll use it. And I’m guessing Kate had no access to finances either.
David [00:39:10] No, only Tim was on the accounts. These were all things that the district attorney presented during sentencing. Kate had nothing with her name on it at all.
Dave [00:41:06] So, Tim’s interview was fairly short I’m guessing. You said he wasn’t really cooperative, but he didn’t hide anything. So, you choose to take this to trial, or does he take a guilty plea?
David [00:41:16] He didn’t plead right away. I think his attorney did make an effort to explore the mental insanity defense.
Dave [00:41:24] Like he just snapped?
David [00:41:25] Yeah. But I mean, this guy clearly demonstrated enough of his faculties to get up, go to work to isolate the family, the measures that he took to isolate them, they didn’t hold water. There was no sympathy for him in the community and not in the courtroom, either.
Yeardley [00:41:41] So, he did take it to trial?
David [00:41:42] There’s always going to be proceedings. Ultimately, there was a guilty plea.
Yeardley [00:41:46] And what did Tim get?
David [00:41:48] He was in jeopardy of the death penalty, and I believe he got pled down to life without.
Yeardley [00:41:53] Life without parole.
David [00:41:55] Yes, ma’am. There was no sign of contrition, no statement from him, no remorse, no excuse. Basically, that entire group of human beings in his household, they existed for him. And if they displeased him, he had every right to do what he wanted to. That’s the way he saw things. No feeling, no emotion, no indication of anything. Based on what I’ve heard since then, a model prisoner.
Yeardley [00:42:20] Geez.
David [00:42:22] Probably hasn’t found anybody to abuse.
Yeardley [00:42:24] I was going to say.
Dan [00:42:25] Not in there. He’s probably terrified in there.
David [00:42:27] Yeah, I would imagine, especially when you’ve got somebody that’s abused children, or women, usually there’s more than one convict in there that’s got a problem with those kind of people.
Dave [00:42:38] Right. You want to pick on someone your own size, Tim? Yeah. So, family-wise, Kate’s kids are now adults, any indication on how life is going for them?
David [00:42:49] Lot of therapy. A lot of therapy, but I did manage to do some exploring. And the 12-year-old is in his 30s now, has a family. And based on everything I can see on their social media accounts, things like that, they’re living well. And I noticed that he had two family members on his social media profile, I would assume that those were his younger siblings. I didn’t get too deep into it but seems like everybody moved on.
Yeardley [00:43:16] That’s a miracle.
Dave [00:43:18] And the officers, the first two before your arrival and your supervisor’s arrival, was there any lasting effect? I mean, this is a small town, that’s not something you see every month, every year, every five years. Sometimes not even in a career, you won’t see something to that degree. Any lasting effects with you guys that were on scene dealing with this?
David [00:43:39] We did have an EAP system or an employee assistance program. We were all required to go and speak with one of the counselors. If there was any continuing counseling, I wouldn’t know about it, but all continued doing their job. One thing that does stand out about us, we never talked about it amongst ourselves. It was that bad.
Yeardley [00:44:00] Interesting, because sometimes our detectives say the only people they talk about it with are law enforcement, because you all are the only ones who truly understand what it means to go and encounter the worst of human beings every single day. That’s literally your job.
David [00:44:15] And that was what was unique about this one. We didn’t want to talk about it. I was talking about it on the phone prior to coming up here. It made me wonder again, how could anybody be that savage? That mean spirit, where does it come from?
Dave [00:44:28] You mentioned you have kids now, were you in a relationship at the time of this crime?
David [00:44:33] I was married, yes. We did not have children at that time.
Dave [00:44:36] Okay, and you come home that night, how’s the first five minutes of walking in the door and seeing your wife?
David [00:44:41] Anytime anything’s heavy, we had a heavy night or a heavy shift or whatever, I didn’t go right home. I’d usually try to decompress, get my mind on something else or read. There were a lot of things, especially in the early years, that I didn’t take home simply because I was afraid that she would push me off the job. Because I felt like I was a good cop, I felt like I was needed. But also, I didn’t want to have that conflict between home and my job. And so, I think over the years, there were some negative consequences to that decision of not sharing. Ultimately, we are where we are from our experiences and the things we decided to do or not do.
Dave [00:45:21] It’s definitely a balance when you’re in a relationship is how much do I share? Did I overshare? And now, have I infected my partner with all this poison that I took in all day? So, it’s a balance.
David [00:45:35] I mean, there’s a lot to that. I mean, there are things that I know both of you wish you didn’t have in your mind now, or you wish you had never learned about things that you’d wish you had never seen, you wish you could unsee. If somebody could surgically remove those, you’d probably be the first in line. I know I would be.
Dave [00:45:53] Yeah, I’m thinking of several right now.
Yeardley [00:45:56] Would you say that being a police officer has changed you? And would you say that your wife would say it’s changed you?
David [00:46:04] Well, she’s no longer my wife. That was an argument that we had, that being a cop had changed me. I think the biggest thing is our interests went in separate directions. As law enforcement officers, we carry a fear, and that fear comes from knowledge, seeing things that we know others don’t see, experiencing things that others don’t experience and can’t. Going into law enforcement, people told me, “You’re going to see things that nobody sees,” you dismiss it, but then when you live it, there’s no way it’s not going to affect you. You can easily slip to the side of paranoia. Especially when my children came along, I was terrified.
Yeardley [00:46:43] That something awful would happen to them.
David [00:46:44] Absolutely. I have twin girls, and 11 months later came their sister. So, I insisted, anytime we got out of the car in a parking lot, all three of them held my hand, all three, so we kept safely in the store. I was always, I think, maybe a little bit too protected and it’s all because of what I’ve seen.
Dave [00:47:05] When you know what’s out there, how many people that you’ve come across at a scene have said, “Well, that only happens to other people,” and you know that not to be true, that you’re not so naive as to think that it couldn’t happen to me when we just know better.
Yeardley [00:47:19] Right. Well, classic retired Detective David.
Yeardley [00:47:25] I love this title that we have bestowed upon you. What a tragedy. But it’s perfectly clear why that case has stuck with you all this time. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.
David [00:47:36] Yes, ma’am.
Dave [00:47:37] Thank you, sir. Thanks for being here.
Yeardley [00:47:40] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith, and co-produced by detectives, Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Gary Scott and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate produces are Erin Gaynor and The Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. And our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.
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Dave [00:49:07] So, thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.
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