« Casefile True Crime

306: Case 261: Shari Smith & Debra May Helmick (Part 2)

2023-09-30 | 🔗
*** Content warning: Sexual assault *** [Part 2 of 2] When nine-year-old Debra May Helmick was abducted from the front of her family’s trailer in Richland County, South Carolina, there were immediate concerns that her kidnapping could be linked to the recent murder of Lexington teenager, Shari Smith. Those fears were confirmed when Shari’s sister Dawn received a chilling phone call directing authorities to Debra May’s body.  The news that a serial killer was on the loose had South Carolina residents gripped by fear. As the investigation ramped up, a breakthrough clue finally emerged. --- Narration – Anonymous Host Research & writing – Elsha McGill Creative direction – Milly Raso Production and music – Mike Migas Music – Andrew D.B. Joslyn Sign up for Casefile Premium: For all credits and sources, please visit casefilepodcast.com/case-261-shari-smith-debra-may-helmick-part-2
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Introducing the revolutionary mascara from cover girl that adds extreme volume of two three hundred percent more volume than their lashes new Last cleaned help here is the plant powered mascara made with seventy two percent natural origin ingredients and infused with cellulose plant fibres. Clean Tokyo, at green them, for your lashes, for less check me out lashes, that last up to twenty four hours, with no smudging no flaking and no clumps put the power plants to work for you with new lash blast, clean tobia mascara only from easy, breezy beauty. cover girl, our episodes deal with syria yes and often distressing incidents. If you feel at any time, you need support, please contact your local crosses centre for suggested phone numbers for confidential support and for a more detailed list of key
tent warnings. Place said the show notes for this episode on Europe or on our website today Episode involves crimes against children and wild beasts. suitable for all listeners. Married couple, Deborah orange sherwood homesick worked hard to provide a comfortable life for their three young children in made nineteen eighty five couple saved enough money to move out of the home, now been sharing with relatives and into space of their own. the shiloh mobile home park in south carolina, rich ones, candy provided modest, yet pleasant accommodation with just thirteen. Travellers on the property. There was a relatively close knit hard working community where residents looked out for one another by june the whole mix had been living at the trailer park for two months.
Their busy schedules didn't leave them much tonga socializing with the other tenants. They were starting to settle in on the other the noon. A Friday june. Fourteen Deborah prepared for her waitresses shift at a local barbecue rush wrong Her husband, sherwood, hadn't, yet returned home from he's construction job, so Deborah the little choice, but to bring her three children along for the drive Deborah and have a car, but her neighbor Vicki was happy to help out Vicki agreed to drop Deborah. Restaurant and then keep an eye on her kids until sherwood knocked off from work just as we're about to leave sherwood returned home six year old becky still wanted to go the drive but nine year old, Deborah may and three year old, woody decided to stay home. The youngsters said goodbye to their mother, then went to play outside while their father cooled down. In doors.
key morgan lived in a neighbouring trial off for doors down at around four p m he heard a noisy outside and looked out the window, a silver that ricky didn't recognize rapidly poured into the trailer park. It stopped neither to homer children who were playing at the front of their trial. A white male got out of the vehicle, leaving these motor running and the door open. He will diver and began speaking to the two children in his hand, appeared to why bag ricky didn't think much of it, assuming he was a friend of the family, but suddenly the man Deborah may around to the waist and rice back towards his car. Deborah may began, kicking and screaming The man threw her into his vehicle where Deborah may continue to scream and started. Kicking the roof by that
No, I'm ricky realised what was happening. It was too late. He raced outside, but the car sped passed him and out of the trailer park. three year old, woody, desperately scrambled under Nathan, nearby bush, shaking with fear when, asked what happened a tariff woody lighter explained bad man said he was coming back to get me. Sure would help make had been just twenty fade away. Getting changed in his bedroom, where the buzzing
if he's air conditioning unit drowned out, the sound of his daughters screamed, but a friend to a given him. A lifetime from work was sitting in the front room of the home ex trial off and overheard the commotion. he told sherwood what was going on and the two quickly re stay outside just quick enough to catch a glimpse of the silver car. It disappeared down old percival road a long rural stretch running through the heart of ritual uncanny thy job Ensure woods, france, car and gave chase, but the vehicle was a long gone. officers were alerted and assert for the nine year old kicked off immediately trailer park. Rest Ricky Morgan had gotten a decent look at the kidnapper describing him Aged in his early timid, thirty's, five foot, nine and weighing roughly two hundred pounds He had a brown receding. Hairline shore brown beard,
and was wearing shorts with a light. Colored sleeveless tab car itself had a red stripes down the sought and was possibly anointing. Eighty two or nineteen eighty three modal shift rely monte, carlo all pontiac, a grand prix tie attracts at the trailer park, work, consistent with it being a general motors model. Vehicle Ricky had caught a glimpse The south carolina license plate just long enough to say that it started with the lead a day. The whole makes website themselves. They had no known enemy, send couldn't. Give anyone who would want to harm their daughter Debbie may was an incredibly smart young girl who was obedient well behaved and little shy, not the time to speak to strangers. Although the home, it's mostly kept themselves neighbours described as a likeable family, no one had
noticed any other suspicious behaviour around the property, the only plausible explanation- seemed debate that Deborah may had been. The target of an opportunistic products, for investigators. There were a couple of details that caused particular concern. Deborah my whole makes abduction, Had occurred on the two way can a burst of sherry, smith's kidnapping right down to the hour The two girls lived roughly twenty four miles apart, both had been brazenly taken from the front of their own homes, while their parents stood near by oblivious to what was happening. Although there was an eight year age difference between sherry and Deborah may they shed similar physical characteristics, both were blonde with blue eyes.
There were a media concerns that Deborah may could have fallen victim to the same fate as sharing at the time of her kidnapping. Nine days had passed since Sherry smith's body had been discovered and despite their time, less effort investigators, when no closer to identifying her killer weight, Ricky Morgan was shine. The suspect sketch of sherry's of doktor and just similarities to the man who had taken Deborah may old, The man Ricky witnessed was younger and stockier with dark, hair and beard He also drive a completely different vehicle. It was, but I did that sherry had been forced into our attack is car at gunpoint, yet Deborah may had been physically grab. if the two attacks. Why to end this prompted another tariffs: possibility we if Sherry's killer had inspired copycat if the same
perpetrator was responsible for both adoptions police held a great concerns for Deborah mays welfare. They wasted time in launching a full scale investigation with office? This from surrounding counties called into assist while helicopters survey overhead if the smith Kay said toward them anything. It was that the pope, try to thrive on power and attention investigated therefore anticipated that if the same person was responsible for both crimes, it was a matter of time before he contacted Deborah maize. Family But there was one issue the whole makes didn't have a phone if the nine year old had been targeted at random, the perpetrator likely did No! This! Instead. Investigators monitored the phone in the manages office of the trailer park, but the days take to buy and the kitten
but remained silent when the smith family found out about Deborah maize abduction. The first thing they did was pray for the whole makes they told reporters we new, when we lost sherry, that no one could give us as much comfort as god that was able to strengthen us and want to pass that alone. Unlike the smith family, the whole makes refrained from making any public appeals they were too traumatized. A word was unable to cope with the fact that his daughter had been taken while he was me made his away and he wept uncontrollably. He's waft, Deborah sunk into a date. Depression blocking out from stress and requiring medical care They clung desperately onto the hope that Deborah may would be found alive, but the very real
possibility that that may not be the case. Left them crippled with the stress sherwood, refused the ladys other two children out of he saw it when he finally summoned the strength to speak. To a report for the columbia record. He said you ve gotta go out there and you never know what he might do up. Until this point, the competent sketch of sherry smith, the doktor, had been withheld from the public. desperate for leads. The decision was made to release it for the first time it did an overwhelming response. With the abduction of second, the young girl from neighbouring counties, the already fearful community, because increasingly paranoid, everyone was viewed with suspicion. Police tipp lines rang off the hook, with locals, wanting to report everything from psychic visions to their own personal theories.
Officers who were already working around the clock to try and solve sherry. Smith's murder was thrown into a spin with the introduction of a second, possibly linked case hours. Of We shall investigative time went into trekking, license plate numbers as tits those reported every suspicious beat Man driving a car similar to the ones witnessed during the abductions complicating matters further was the fact that both kidnapping send the dumping, Sherry's body had taken place, indifferent jurisdictions, leading to wishers when it came to communication and coordination between the different law enforcement agencies. One of you show appeared on the news, he stress evident, as he told reporters we are on an eighteen year, will work schedule. Now we just can't. Really much more.
with the room, a meal swinging into overdrive and wreaking havoc on both investigators and the public lexington candy sheriff James mats took a media vow of silence, refusing to speak about either case until substantial progress was made. Although investigators were treading with caution in case both abductions, doctrines whirlwind, they still had no evidence to confirm this. Deborah may help makes case being treated as a missing person investigation and hopes continued to behold that she'd be found alive. Just like I had with the smith case. The community rallied behind the whole makes within the outpouring of support in the form of food financial donations. It was impossible for rather parents not to put themselves in the hell, make sure with the one woman remarking.
every time. One of my children walk out that door. I pray to god that they'll come back safely. Sherwood, homeric, told reporters. He was optimistic that investigators would solve historic case within a couple of days but buddy time, Sherry's kill. I made contact with the one smith on Saturday june, twenty two Deborah make had been missing for right days. This is the call aroused don't smith. If she had quote heard about double May Henrik investor it is listening in hung onto he's every word. Dawn was aware of the young girls kidnapping. That shape splendid, no real. Rising. He had mispronounced Deborah may surname the kola corrected himself And said how make this time Doorn responded that, yes, she did now about Deborah. May okay, now listen carefully!
Her sister's killer go one north well, one west turn left page festival, road or bills, grill guy threatened half miles through gilbert turn right last. The road before you come to stop saw not to not road Go through chain and no trespassing sign go fifty yards and to the left go ten yards Deborah may use waiting. God forgive us all. The location the kola had described was in lexington county, roughly forty miles west of the smiths sign and a third, miles from the whole makes. the manner in which he given directions was so similar to the way he described the location of sherry's body. That offices.
The sending on the scene had a little doubt as to what they would find their fault when the instructions took them to a remote location in the back roads outside the small town of gilbert, where they live? Did they know trespassing sign as described it led down a hill that back onto a wooded area at the bottom of the lay the body of Deborah may homeric as well. Sherry smith. Deborah maize body was severely decompose to the point that her exact cause of death couldn't be ascertained However, the residue of adhesive material in her hair indicated that she too had a likely being suffocated. the nine year old was still dressed in the same clothing. She'd been wearing at the time of her abduction, pinstriped shorts and eleven de colored t shirt.
The level of day composition meant it couldn't be determined whether she'd been sexually assaulted, but evelyn found on her body indicated, there was a sexual motivation to the crime Deborah may was still wearing the same pair of cotton, underwear she'd, been dressed in on the day of her kidnapping bought over the top, was up air of adult women, silk bikini braves, when criminal profile. I John Douglas HURD this detail a gave him further insight into what kind of perpetrators they were dealing with, as explained in his book when a killer coals Doug. suspected that the killer wouldn't feel particularly good about taking a child victim with sherry smith. He could convince himself that the two had some kind of reasonable relationship. Without this delusion he would. actually feel somewhat ashamed of his actions
alkalis believed it was likely that the adult underwear belonged to another of the killers victims by putting them on Deborah may, it was possible he was trying to Diminishes guilty about attacking a child, the Cool placed two, don't smith, was traced to pay phone outside of kentucky fried chicken fast food restaurant in the south carolina ten of santa roughly seventy two miles from where Deborah maize body was found, as was the case with all previous calls the killer, had left them and no discernible clues, but with the dish of a second to body and a second crime saying investigate is where able to a together a few more details about the perpetrator remote location, where Deborah maize body was found added further white to the belief that the killer lived locally like the masonic lodge where sherry's body was dumped
this, wasn't that kind of location one would just stumble upon by accident. Furthermore, the fact that he'd sky these crimes among three different county supported the theory that he had knowledge of forensic proceedings. investigators believed he'd intentionally spread he's offences between jurisdictions, knowing it would hinder the event. Delegation by this point, twenty two days had passed since Sherry smith had been abducted. In that time, the perpetrator had successfully pulled off a second, adoption and two murders. He d made multiple calls to sherry, smith's family and wanting whose report I charlie case. Yet, despite unrelenting efforts made by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the f b. I know prime sauce backs, had emerged
On his latest call to don't smith, the killer didn't disguise he's voice. This indicated two possibilities: either he was getting sloppy or he was getting cocky The hell makes was saved from having to view their daughters body by identifying her based on her clothing instead as soon as Deborah homesick saw the pink hair clip she'd placed in her toward his hair before leaving for work on the day of the abduction worst, Nightmare was confirmed as the grieving parents came to terms with their loss. A press conference was held for police to break the news to the public Sheriff James match reluctantly confirmed what everyone had being fearing since Deborah may was taken a cereal Hell I was on the loose met urged parents to remain vigilant, saying
I dont want to frighten anybody, but, as you sheriff. It is my duty to tell you that you should exercise extreme caution during days trying times the suspect sketch was revised to reflect the sightings from both kidnappings and was published in old local papers. It showed a wide heavyset neo aged between twenty eight and thirty five. With long a chair, and a dark beard, although if proof Allah, John Douglas, as assumptions were anything to go by the perpetrators. Physical appearance would likely have changed since these crimes break kicked off. Might be losing or gaining wise, looking on can't and could be drinking heavily. If members of the public were paranoid before they were now well and truly petrified penny to parents divide first, but in a community programme about child safety. While concern
citizens sort out self defense classes and continued port, even the most remotely suspicious activity. People called the police to voiced concerns that their families could be targeted. Next tippler switchboards were completely overwhelmed with unsubstantiated rumours with police becoming so inundated that they threatened to post. The cute. Anyone who deliberately hindered the investigation as a journalist margaret I shea road in the state newspaper other crimes have shot the public conscience and other murders have provoked coming. did he but On have so completely gripped the middlemen, seen intense pervasive fear, as have the abductions and deaths of sherry smith. Then Deborah may help the terror. as circumscribed. The lives and thoughts of thousands consumed with the stock and dreadful knowledge that about a killer
or killers where at large driveway, no front yard. No poor law, pond no place where children play could be ashamed to be safe, anymore. Despite the killer claiming a second victim and the ongoing concerns that don't smith could be targeted next, the Smith family agreed to go ahead. The stage to memorial, service fisheries birthday has planned on tuesday june twenty five undercover, mrs strategically placed themselves around the cemetery while covert security odds, lay in wait income. is anyone tried to cause any harm when, the service ended dawned. look one of sherry's cherished stuffed koala, sent placed it on her grave.
Various members of the press were there to report on the event in the hopes the media attention would reengage they kill off to make further contact speaking after, It's too the columbia record, Bob Smith said the only way they coat was through their belief in god. Hilda righted save in harder today, knowing that this is the day you gave birth, and she's, not here with you knowing she's not ever going to be here with you again. The following day. Was Deborah maize? Funeral over three hundred people gathered to mourn. The loss of the smart young girl, who dreamed of becoming a teacher or school principle. The presiding minister told those in attendance. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We are afraid, angry and confused.
We are all sad and broken. We are afraid for our children We don't feel safe in their front yard. We distrust every stranger, we ask When will it end convinced? that the killer could be among the crowd, plain clothes offices, with Positioned around the cemetery, while a police helicopter sir but I've had meanwhile shares His grave so was severe around the clock and the license plate of every vehicle that passed by was taken down, but the trap didn't appear to be working. No one made any attempt to take the stuff to koala. Nor had the killer made a peep. all that didn't matter. On the same day that Deborah may homesick was laid to rest specialists were found.
The way I would run Sherry smith's last will and testament through an electronic detection upper It is known as an as that machine with the use if graphite and as the can got the images that aren't visible to the naked eye, chaz indentations left on paper Yes, dad revealed several lightened impressions on cherries last will on testament on same pad. She used to write her letter. Someone had In what appeared to be a grocery list That wasn't all there was, the string of numbers looking closely. Investigators realised what they were looking at. A phone number case file will be back.
Shortly, thank you for supporting us by listening to this episode, sponsors habits. a part of who we are and shape ass into, who were becoming some good and some are not so good breaking those bad habits can radically change your life for the better and that's why wegg I too have fumes sponsored this episode, fear is an innovative award nominated device that helps you break bad habits instead of electronics. it is completely natural instead of vapor, fume uses flavored air and instead of Full chemicals theme uses all natural, delicious flavors. Your few come with an adjustable airflow dial and is designed with movable parts and magnets for fidgetting, giving your fingers a lot to do, which is helpful for distressing, and anxiety, while breaking your habit.
If you're using theme for the first time, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how flavorful and fresh it is also incredibly well, designed with real wood and lot white. So it not only tastes good but looks good to holding yourself hostage with your bad habits is the worst crime you could commit it's time to break a bad habits and elsewhere it's a fume can help. Fume has served over one hundred thousand customers and has thousands of success stories. There's, no reason that can't be you in future, in accelerating humanity's break up from destructive habits, but picking up the journey pact today head to try fume dot com and use code case file to save ten percent off when you get the journey pack today, that's try. A few em
dot com and use code case file to save an additional ten percent off your order. Today. Days. Episode is sponsored by acorns acorns hopes you and your kid save and invest the best part. There's no expertise required. Investments are automatically put into diversified portfolios based on your risk. Tolerance Collins even has exclusive financial education content for your whole family. I know first hand how important it is to save for the future. When you have kids and I found acorns to be a crucial tool, the sooner you start investing the more chance your money has to grow over time. From acorns ma yokes do grow head to. Acorn dot com, slash case file to download acorns to start saving and investing for your future. Today, paid testimonial and may not be representative of all clients. Compensation
provides an incentive to positively promote acorns view. Important disclosures at acorns dot com, slash case file. Investment advisory services offered by acorns advises llc, an essay say Just that investment adviser brokerage services provide. Goodbye. Acorns security, L, l sake annesley say registered burka dialogue and member of F, I n r, a slash. Yes, I pay say no more. Information visit acorns dot com. Thank you for Listening to these episodes adds by supporting sponsors. You support case file to continue to deliver quality content. The discovery of a latent phone number on sherry, smith's foreign, The letter was a major breakthrough, but there was just one problem
Only nine digits of the ten digit phone number were visible in together, we could make out the first three digits two zero five. This the interstate area code for alabama, the next three digits were right. Three seven, which was the local exchange huntsville alabama city, roughly three hundred and eighty miles west of lexington, but of the last four digits I may three were visible. This was only a minor setback, invest the guy is realised. The missing number could only be one of ten auctions. They tried every possible combination and cross check date, one against phone records to identify Any of the huntsville numbers had communications around the lexington candy area. One of them had why the investigator dialed. The number.
a friendly standing man answered, he sounded like he was in his twenties or thirty's, but His voice didn't match the killer. He said his name was Joe shepard and that he was Nation that an army base, which he had left in recent wakes bottle. ass. If he knew any one in south carolina Joe said Yes, he's parents live then salute a candy. Fifty year old. Ella shepherd was an electrician hay and he's. wife. Sharon lived near like Mary leslie ten miles from the home of sherry smith and just two miles the location where Deborah my home makes body was found. Investigators immediately, descended on their own bodies, soon as they met the couple it was blatantly
Lobbyists Adele s didn't fit the profile of sherry and Deborah may kill off. For starters, he was older and didn't match the suspect description. Secondly, had a squeaky, clean criminal record with no prior run ins with the law. Thirdly, he and sharing were happily married, going against the belief that perpetrator would be alone with a history of firewood relationships. Although the shepherds were caught off, guard by the police presence thing in Ellis demeanor indicated that he was nervous when If they knew about the recent abductions and murder is happening in the area. The couple said yes, We were aware of them, but they bailing out of town, time that each incident had occurred and they didn't know all the details. They could think
of no reason why their sons, phone number could have appeared on the final letter written by one of the victims investigators described the behavioral profile of the killer to the shepherds and implored them too. Thank you There was any one they knew who fit that description. The two which changed and knowing glance over the past month Sharon and Alice had been away travelling. One of Alice's electrical assistance had been house sitting for them during that time. The couple had left him a list of phone numbers on yellow legal paper that he could call in case of an emergency one. Those numbers was for their son, Joe, as this shepherds considered the criminal profile. They realised just how many of those factors matched their house it ah, but at what Until they were played a recording of the killers voice that they knew for sure.
dirty son of a bitch Alice said that Mary Jane bell. thirty six year old. Larry dream, though, was a south carolina local, just like the profile anticipated he'd once being married with a child, but the relationship ended in divorce, after which bells ex wife and son re, like hated into state Bill had previously served in the moraines, but was discharge in a year after he accidentally shot himself in the knee while cleaning he's gone since Then he'd had a range of jobs, including prison, god line reservations, clerk and electronic contractor which of those background revealed that ten years prior he had approached a young woman at knifepoint and tried to force her into his car, a passer by either the woman screams and called the police.
Who arrested, though, as he tried to flee bell, played a guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to five years in Peru. is a sentence that was ultimately suspended in favour of him, paying a one thousand dollar fine eight months after this failed attack, belle was in colombia when he saw a woman sweep and fall in the process of helping her to her fate, bell, flashed a gun and tried to force the woman into his car. Again. She fought back and bell was arrest he played a guilty to a sword and battery and was sentenced to five years in prison. A mandatory psychiatric report concluded that the likelihood of bell re offending was very high. In one cancelling session heat, the psychiatrist. I feel
controllable, urges to attack females and want help. Before our really heard someone. Regardless, two years into his sentence, he was released. A couple of years later in nineteen. Seventy nine a ten year The girl began receiving abstain, phone calls in which the kola detailed various sex acts he wanted the two to perform together. He seemed to know where the girl lived and threatened to stop by her house The girls mother eventually recorded the cause, and they were traced back to bell again. He pleaded guilt. But was only given a two year suspended sentence. by the time of this smith, hell make attacks. Larry Jane, Had spent the past three years living with his parents on shall island in, like Mary, he read
they saw his twelve year old child and may and made by doing casual electrical jobs for various contractors. nl us into Sharon. Shepherd asked a bell if they wanted to house it, while they travelled physics wakes he jumped at the chance. But when bell picked the couple up from the air, Upon their return, they were a little taken aback. in the short amount of time. They'd been away bell had lost about ten pounds had stopped shaving. And to look to generally exhausted and on can't. He seemed a bit out of it all he wanted to talk about. The kidnapping and murder of sherry Smith Sharon had asked him to save any news about the case, so she could catch up on the events when she got home but to her surprise, bell had gone above and beyond clipping newspaper article, From every newspaper in the area where,
A shepherd saw the revised sketch of the suspect they paused. It looks remarkably similar to Larry dream, though they can. fitted for a moment whether he could have something to do with the crimes but quickly shook this thought off. Although bill could be a bit strange and spaced out at times, they believe, Tat there was no way he was capable of anything so heinous It was generally a quiet reserved person who had never given them or any one else, any cause for concern. These knew him to be kind and gentle, the top of guy. You could count on for help and who made a great fishing body. As one former coworker later told, the charlotte observer, was away, smiling and laughing. He was the most likeable person you ever knew.
Alice shepherd tried to dismiss the idea that bell could be involved in the recent murders, but. similarities. He bore with the suspect, sketch nagged at in light. One not ellis, felt compelled to check on he's gone. He kept a loaded pistol at home and had told bell about it in case he needed for protection while they were gone, but the gun wasn't there less called a bell and asked about it. Bell explained that he'd kept the peace Still under the mattress of the guest bed, he'd been sleeping in Larry, went the guest room and lifted the mattress. There lay a call They have hostile a magazine, cover was a blonde woman dressed in bondage gear and placed in a crucifix position beside the magazine was Ellis has gone. He picked it up.
It had been recently fired On the morning of Wednesday june, twenty six nineteen eighty five larry jane doe These way to the shepherd task to begin a day of electrical work, he was having a grey buick riviera, a car that didn't match the vehicle you in either of doctrine ass. He approached and in his action a police car cut him off and an officer placed him under arrest without incident. In societies. Vehicle offices found a double edged nor on the passenger. Sate bill appear to be caught off guard, but not completely surprised. Asking seem Can I call my mama was taken into custody, while such words were executed at the shepherds home the guest room that
had been staying in was meticulously clean. It up here, to have been recently dusted and vaccines, and the bed linen was freshly washed. when investigators removed the shades especial he's a machine determined that the mattress top up was stained with a mix of urine seamen and blood. The blood was Taipei The same type is Sherry smith's red father were also found. The These were compared to read fibers found on sherry's body and determined to be a match. Forensic investigators spent twelve hours painstakingly examining their property in the bathroom they found seeks. Blonde has confirmed today a match to sherry's. A search warrant was also executed at the lake framheim of those parents who are up standing
well regarded citizens in their local community, unsurpassed Finally, two investigators bells bedroom was meticulously organised. He at a large pornography collection, with a focus on bdsm as Each of these dress, her drawers, revealed a bag of women's underwear with one pair of silk braves, similar to those that Deborah may homesick had been dressed in also Found was a shade of postage stamps features commemorative duck decoys the same the stamp used to mail, sherry smith's last will and testament. Meanwhile, least combed through the surveillance photos taken from sherry's grave in one they saw a cop on the roadside right. Neither grave driver never got out of the car. A search of the licence plague revealed that was registered to none other than life.
Worry Jane bell. Case file will be back shortly. Thank you for supporting us by listening to this episode sponsors soft quality. Kashmir, daphne iii, those behind the not brand in twenty thirteen, not unchanged cashmere industry by creating heirloom quality sweaters that were more colorful, more accessible and more sustainable than ever before. They are incredibly soft. Knitwear is responsibly sourced, surprisingly, affordable and crafted in modern, yet timeless styles for every season, from classic sweaters to chic dresses. Madam has something for him her and more take fifty percent of it, not him. Jocko. With code soft fifteen that soft fifteen an n a a d, a m dot c o, don't let stale.
limited means of communication. So you down with arching eggs, audio visual technology, thicker my store, spark and engagement in your organization. Our experts will taylor solutions unique to your business schedule, a free consultation at the modern office dot com. Thank you for listening. To this episode. Dad's by supporting our sponsors, you support case file to continue to deliver quality content. The circumstantial evidence against the bell was stacking up, but to secure a conviction, investigators, were hoping for one thing in particular a confession, but upon questioning belle repeatedly denied any involvement in the murders of sherry smith, though Deborah may homework. Told interviewing detectives this
Larry, jean bell didn't do it it's the bad larry Jane bell. I know for a fact that Larry Jane bell did not do that. Today's poor women, I'm not lying to you I'll, do everything I can to help you, but I can't confess for someone else when pressed further bells All I know is that the Larry Jane doe sitting he couldn't have done such a thing, but there's a ban Larry, Jane bell that could have. He then made an odd request: could he made with sherry's family. Hilda dawn courageously agreed and were taken into the interior, station room. began to mumble that the person sitting before them could not be capable of such quote. Ungodly things.
While he admitted to feeling some form of guilt. He made no confession bell, told hilda. If I'm directly responsible for this crime, I apologize if I've brought tragedy into your lives and tragedy. myself. I don't know what to say to you. I just can't believe I've done those terrible things. The mother and daughter made it very clear to bell that they knew he was the man responsible for killing sherry he's denial filled dawn with disgust at the very least. She hoped he'd, be man enough to own up to his actions and apologize regardless hilda told him. I don't hate you. There is not enough room in my heart for more pain. After interviewing friends and family members investigators
could find no evidence to indicate that Larry dream bell and Sherry Smith were known to one another. Prior to my thirty one, nineteen eighty five, it appeared that sharing Had simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time on the The noon of sherry's disappearance bell had been in downtown lexington dropping his mother at a doctor's appointment. He had luckily caught sight of harry. Is she got into her car after her friends pool body and made the decision to follow her home from there. Although bell had probably been fantasizing about pulling off such a crime for a while, the attack was somewhat opportunistic When sherry arrived at her house and got out of her car to check the male bell likely approached her brandishing a gun and demanded she get into his car back at the shepherd house. He answered
From a friend who worked as a waitress at a local restaurant bells, parents had just arrived for dinner and she invited bell to come join them. Bell said: he'd rather sayin and watched the college world series baseball game. Instead, at this point, investigators believed sherry was tied to the bed. Terrified of sexual assault, likely proceeded cherries, eventual murder at four fifty eight. I am the time that dull told the smith family. Their souls became one. During the search of bell's bedroom officers found a business card for a topsoil company located on old percival road directly across from the trailer park. Whether homesick family lived. The company belonged to bell sister Diane Diane,
and her husband occasionally high at bell to do some work for their business investigators. Theorized the bell caught sight of nine year old, Deborah may homesick, while working for his sister and had targeted her because of her blonde hair and the fact should be easy to control. from the outset of the investigation criminal profile as believed the serial killer would kate trophies, if he's victims, despotic Sensitive searches of bells home and vehicle nothing belonging, two sherry smith, though Deborah may homesick was found, but was no denying larry jane bills, obsession with the two cases not only had he kept the extensive collection of newspaper, clippings, fisher and shepherd Neighbor recalled that bell had been eager to bring up sherry's kidnapping the day after it happened. He claimed to be a good friend of the smith. Family
and had made the odd comment she's dead now. The neighbour hadn't thought anything of it at the time, but he did notice one thing. Bell had always sported a full beard the day After sherry's kidnapping, he was clean, shaven. Questions remained regarding the vehicles used in the abductions, the only car linked to bell was the great buick had been driving at the time of his arrest two days. Prior to this, a cranberry colored abuse The regal had been found abandoned in a hotel car park. Assert reveal did had been reported stall when in april and the thief had never been apprehended. but there was no evidence inside to link it to bell. Nor could him the guy is find the silver colored general motors vehicle used in the abduction of Deborah may help make. However,
one bell was arrested. Offices searched his car. And found a license plate in that trunk that didn't match those on display. The witness to Deborah amaze abduction, recalled the kidnappers license plate, beginning with the lead a day. The plating side bells vehicle red say a six zero for news that an arrest had been made in the smith helmet case was met with mixed reactions, woman. of the community breed the collective sigh of relief that someone had finally been held a cannibal. Those who knew bell wherein disbelief, neighbours and former colleague struggled to come a hand that the friendly and lockable person they knew could be capable of such crimes. Many were convinced that police had caught the wrong guy but investigators had no doubts after
putting out some complex jurisdictional issues. Larry J Belle was officially charged with the kidnapping and murder of both Sherry smith and Deborah may help make both cases would be tried separately. Both carried the possibility of the death penalty. There was something else that investigate is needed to get to the bottom of woe. I was being transported for one of these court hearings. He turned to one of the accompanying offices. bell said that he wanted to speak to law enforcement in charlotte city in the neighbouring state of north carolina, saying, oh to tell them some things about a missing girl named cindy. Twenty six year old sandy coronet was an insurance, adjuster and part time model who lived in east charlotte.
On Sunday november, eighteen nineteen eighty four sandy had dinner at home with her fiance, who then left to spend the night at his own home. When sandy failed to shop at work. The next day with no explanation police went to her house to conduct a welfare check. The house was empty, but the television was on the contents of sandy's purse being dumped under her bed, but nothing was missing. Besides a single atm cod- and there was no sign of a break in or a struggle based on clear. Missing from her covered, it was deduced that sir and he had been wearing a navy blue for lower jogging sneered. At the time of her disappearance police can did whether she could have been attacked upon returning home from IRAN, but those who knew sandy said she often wore her running clothes when lounging around the house, however, that yours,
I said she was not the time to ever open the door to a stranger. This raised the possibility had sandy in abducted by someone she knew for day see invested I disservice searched the surrounding areas, but no sign of sandy cornet was found trace, was put on sandy's missing atm cod, providing what appeared to be a breakthrough when it was revealed that the key had been used several times. That amount in charlotte by a man and woman. They suffer what I've done identified. Fine and sandy's case. Eventually white code, that all changed: ancillary Jane bell, unprompted away, began telling the accompanying officer on Monday. God is going to reveal to me where sandy coronets body is he said her hands would be folded in prayer position, just like with Sherry smith.
An interview, was arranged between bell and authorities in charlotte, during which he ranted for twelve hours saying that he was the most gifted man in the world and that god zapped messages down to him. He claimed everything he knew about. Sandy coronet was revealed to him by god. Investigators did some digging and realised that at the time of sandy's disappearance larry belle, lived just four miles from sandy's home in charlotte's, mint hill district. The two were vaguely known to one another, having met at a party years prior through a form, a boyfriend of sandy's who work With bell had eastern airlines just a few weeks after sandy, vanished Belle moved away the theft,
a man of sandy's disappearance didn't fit with bells ammo, but he was able to give accurate details about the atm withdrawals that had never been released to the public. They'll, quickly rose to the position of prime sauce backed, but investigators failed to find any concrete evidence linking him to the crime. but sandy cornet wasn't the only one. During his twelve. Our interview bell hinted at having knowledge about two other cases involving young women. though he didn't mention the individuals by name investigators. Look into other unsolved cases from around charlotte at the time bell lived there and found to that matched his ammo. Twenty one year old, Denise porch, who lived with her husband, had an apartment complex in south west charlotte, where she also What does the residential manager at eight,
On Monday July, twenty one nineteen, seventy five, her husband returned home, from a day out to find a note from Denise from earlier saying, she was going to show an apartment to a prospective tenant. The television and air conditioner was still on Denise. His purse was inside and her car was still parked outside. But there was no sign of Denise herself nor was there any sign of a struggle, the He's went by without a single trace of dna surfacing or anyway, being held accountable for her disappearance at the time. Mary, Jane bell lived just three hundred years away on thursday december eighteen, nineteen, eighty, the body of Seventeen erode Beth, Marie hagen was found dumped in the woods name until she been strangled within electrical cord bell,
leave to just one mile away Finally did this put him within the vicinity of both unsolved crimes, but like sherry smith, then, Deborah may well make Denise porch and Beth Hagen were blondes who fit those preferred victim type. In September nineteen, eighty five acting on a tip off police the sand peered at the topsoil company on old percival road owned by Larry, jane bells sister and brother in law. Since Patients were raised that the bodies of sandy corner toward the nice porch could be found there. The search turned up nothing. Not a single piece of evidence was found. Linking bell to wait are of the three code cases
by the time bell's trial for the kidnapping and murder of cheri smith commenced in February nineteen. Eighty six public interest in the case hadn't dissipated. Curious members of the public lined up outside the courthouse of vying for a seat inside with two women naval breaking into a fight El arrived with the shaved head and a homemade badge pinned to his shirt that red I am the victor. I am innocent bill defence lawyer didn't deny that he's. Client was responsible fisheries kidnapping, but said there was no proof that he was guilty of murder. why the lawyer argued that, though, should be found not guilty due to mental illness. According to the lawyer, the multiple cool.
The bill had made to the smith family were proof that he was mentally unstable, delirious and out of touch with reality. He asked the jury. How many rational people who had abducted someone and who may have caused the death would call. the family collect, so the coal could be traced the prosecution argued that anyone out of touch with reality would being capable of tormenting cherries family. The way that dell did. They believed that those mentally unstable behaviour was all an act and that securing a conviction of not guilty on account of mental illness would be a victory for bell. as one psychologist who had spent significant time with bell testified. He wasn't mentally ill. He simply had no conscience and derived sexual pleasure from the pain of others,
the prosecution loya asked the jury. The quest, in his simple weather, Larry, Jane doe could follow the law or whether or not larry, Jane doe would follow. The law from the outset of the trial bells conduct in court was unpredictable and disruptive. He interrupted proceedings by calling out nonsensical comments when one so collateral testified that he was a sadistic sexual davy and even though it was in his defence bell, turned to the press rose and sad If you will believe that mona, Sir, is a man. In a risky move for the defense bell also took the stand. He wouldn't sit down so
saying there are no chairs at the gates of Hell. He refused to answer even basic questions such as his age, instead repeatedly saying silences golden. At one point: he told the press, I'm so confused ain't. We haven't fun later. He turned to the jury and said food for thought. Gifted dumb. Or a fruitcake you pick one, but if the defence hoped that pudding fell on the stand would prove to the jury, how irrational he was. Their plan failed closing arguments that took the jury less than an hour to deliver diverted guilty on both counts outside A reporter asked bell how he felt about the verdict he responded.
Silences golden my friend bill. Sentencing took place two days later. At one point, he turned to dawn smith in court and asked dawn. Will you marry me? My singing angel look into my eyes my holy angel, he told the jury from the top of my head to the tipps of my fate on lasting adorn Elizabeth smith. I should like to take her hand in holy matrimony. That's the only thing. I'm guilty of The prosecution had implored the jury to impose the death penalty, saying if this isn't that type of case in which the state should seek the death penalty and expect the death penalty Then there is none the jury agreed for the kids. Having and murder of sherry smith Larry Jane
was sentenced to death. It was over a year before the family of Deborah may help make finally got their dying cord and couldn't come soon enough. Young woody homesick continue to struggle in the wake of his sisters. Murder He was plagued by nightmares caused by witnessing the kidnapping and was constantly terrified that the bad man would come back to get him. He refused to go anywhere alone. The helmet, had no doubt that police had caught the right person, as reported by the on the record, when woody,
I saw a Larry James bell in court during the smith trial, he turned to his mother and said he's the man that took Debbie the hell makes prepared themselves for bell's court romantics after he once again pleaded not guilty to Deborah mays, kidnapping and murder, but they didn't bother, in contrast to the previous trial dull, remained silent throughout the proceedings, showed no emotion. The defence did call any witnesses introduce, any new evidence or put bell on the stand again. took the jury just one hour to find Larry Jane bell guilty on both counts and again he was sentenced to death.
As bell sat on death row appealing, he sentences police were saved a tip off from a young man who claimed he's conscience, had been eating away at him for years accord to this informant in nineteen. Eighty four at the age of fifteen hay and a friend were hitchhiking along the interstate eighty five highway in cherokee county georgia, Larry Jane doe, picked them up and took them who are location in four miles off the highway bell. Allegedly led them to an abandoned well, where he showed the two in ages, two dead bodies. According to the informant bell, warned if you don't do what I say, that's what will happen to you. Investigators, weren't sure what to make of the claim, but the timeline matched with sandy coronets disappearance, so they weren't taking any chances
If, though, was indeed responsible for sandy's death, they needed to work fast to secure a conviction before his execution, despite a ease pass Since this alleged incident, the young man was able to retrace his steps through the rural roads and thick woods of charity candy. He couldn't recalled the exam, the location of the well but remain Then it was near an old ranch style farmhouse and a wooden bridge. Leading a search party of thirty offices, dozens of abuse- and wells were located and through approach, of elimination, investigators Only in on one water was pumped from the well and Tat camera was used to search within No human remains were found. Throughout his time on death row, those questionable behaviour continued. One psychiatry once found him night,
And washing himself with the water from the toilet bow, he claimed to be the second to Jesus Christ and that he bathed in is our neuron, because it was wholly water. He told another psychiatrist that there was a bird in he so who had been sent to him by god. According to bell, he could memorize, even the most complex medical textbook in one night. As the years went on cancer Were raised that, though, would be founding competent for execution due to mental illness once had exhausted, all appeals accompanied see hearing was held. Determine whether he was mentally fit the job concluded that bell was able to control his mental illness and exaggerate he's problems when it benefited him and therefore, was competent for execution. sheriff james mats told reporters. News nineteen. Here
when did the families of two beautiful young ladys. He ruined the immunity of lexington and greater colombia. Larry Jane belle deserves to die and he should have done. A long time ago,. Bill was given the option of lethal injection or electric chair hate. Who's the electric chair reasoning that there was similarities between the would have the chair and the wood of the crucifix. The exit you sure, was scheduled for Friday October for nineteen ninety six, just over eleven years after he's arrest for the murders, Sherry smith's fan I chose not to attend, but several Sherry's friends gathered outside the prison gates holding candles memory Deborah may hill, makes me. They are told news. Nineteen report is that she felt she owed it to her daughter to be there.
While she genuinely believe that Larry Jane bell was mentally ill shield, I believed he knew right from wrong and wanted to see him punished for the pain he d caused her family. Belle gave no last words if anyone thing about the crimes against sandy cornet, Denise, porch or death hagen. He took that knowledge to the grave. for the home in family, life was never the same after the day that Deborah may was kidnapped her sister Becky, who, on the day of the adult Had chosen to drive to work with her mother instead of staying behind to play with her siblings continued to carry guilt for not being there had Deborah may. in the lead up to those execution, Becky right. A statement about the impact. Of bells crimes, saying that Deborah
I was a sweet innocent girl never been beyond her childhood years. Becky explained. She had so many hopes plans into dreams for the future. Just all shut it right in front of my five year old eyes. The girl Father sherwood homeric began drinking heavily to escape Peace, overwhelming warming he'd spend hours Just sitting and staring at photos of Deborah may shortly after his murder sherwood lost his job altogether. He had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized where he received a treatment to overcome he's alcohol abuse. His wife worked part time in a struggle to keep up with the bill centre. Kate food on the table but it wasn't enough and the whole makes eventually lost their home, but
surrounding community wasn't going to. Let them go down without a fight the dance of lexington and ritual and counties rally together to raise money to help their home ex get back on their fate, a chair, Send for the fund. Raising committee told the columbia record. Debra me he'll is not the only victim here, her family still, Suffers every day they should have to worry about whether they have a roof over their heads too. Conditions improved for the whole makes sherwood endeavours married, you didn't survive and they divorced laid up to bells execution Debbie, Maize, mother found comfort in her daughters favour a dull named scotty, whom she again sleeping with in the wake of the crime she told her report off for the state. It's not like having her with me, but it's the next best thing.
In sherry, smith's last willin testament, sherry and assured her family, some good will come from this. The smiths clung to this sentiment But them that final, let our provided more closure than any legal outcomes. Cherries, father bob continued to serve his chaplain for the sheriffs department. At one point He accompanied officers when they had the unfortunate task of notifying another couple that their daughter had been killed. When the agonized father of the victim realise to Bob was Through his arms around him, Bob tearfully totter report offers prison fellowship that the Two had an immediate bond saying, god. Had me there for a reason. In the years following sherry's murder persist
the dawn, went on to win the is south carolina beauty contest. She became a public figure spreading her message about the importance of keeping faith. No matter what life throws away Or appearing on the true crime tv show, I witness dawn said. In her final moments, Sherry didn't choose, fear. She chose faith and curry.
which losing sherry made me realize every day that what I have is a gift god's given me and I have the decision. What am I going to do with it? I'm going to choose faith. Soft quality cashmere, that's the ethos behind and not a brand in twenty thirteen, not unchanged
cashmere industry by creating heirloom quality sweaters that were more colorful, more accessible and more sustainable than ever before. They are incredibly soft. Knitwear is responsibly sourced, surprisingly, affordable and crafted in modern, yet timeless styles for every season, from classic sweaters to chic dresses. Madam has something for him her and more take fifty percent of it, not him. Jocko. With code soft fifteen that soft fifteen an n, a a d, a m dot c o a moment of calm by american nationals, because if your business throws in problems where the insurance company, that's here, with solutions, american national property and casualty company and affiliates springfield Missouri.
Transcript generated on 2023-10-01.