« True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers

SHE IS EVIL-Judith A. Yates

2017-06-14 | 🔗
That woman is evil. She is evil!” Ejaz Ahmad was handsome, charismatic, and a self-made businessman. He arrived in the United States from Pakistan determined to fulfill his mother’s dying wish: to come to America, complete his education, and make his mark in the world. Settling in Memphis, Tennessee, Ejaz became owner of several businesses, father to a handsome boy, and a devout Muslim. The only thing missing in his life was a wife, someone special to protect, honor, and love. Leah Ward was a pretty girl, but a prison parolee with a history of drug charges, petty crime, and a questionable past. She led a flotsam life, drifting from town to city to state. When she was introduced to Ejaz Ahmad, she believed she had found the ultimate answer: a place to live, someone to take care of her, and money to spend. But what began idyllic soon became abusive and then dangerous for Ejaz. His friends and family warned him. And in May of 2003 Ejaz paid the ultimate price when family members found his mutilated body in a shed. SHE IS EVIL is a story of trust, abuse, religion, and murder. Of a kind man who tried to help a troubled woman and became the victim of abuse and, eventually, a heinous murder. SHE IS EVIL: Madness and Murder in Memphis-Judith A. Yates
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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E jobs. Ahmad was handsome. Like in a self made businessman. He arrived in the United States from Pakistan, determined to fulfill his mother's dying, wish to come to America Education and make mark in the world, settling in Memphis Tennessee Jobs became owner of several businesses, father to a handsome boy and a devout Muslim, the uh thing missing in his life was a wife, someone special to protect honor and love. Leah ward was a pretty girl, but isn't parolee with a history of drug charges, petty crime and a questionable past. She led a flotsam life, drifting from town to city, to state. When she was introduced to Ejaz Imad, she believed she had found the ultimate answer: a place to live someone to take care of her and money to spend. But what began idea like soon became abuse, and then dangerous for a jobs as friends and fam.
I warned him and in May of two one thousand and three e John is paid the ultimate price. When family members found his mutilated body in a shed, the books were feet. During this evening? Is she is evil. A story of trust abuse. Religion murder of a kind man who tried to help a troubled woman and became the victim of abuse and eventually a heinous murder book. It was featuring this evening. She is evil madness in Order in Memphis with my special guest Judith, a Yates, well into the program, and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. Judith a Yates. So thank you. Very much for asking man. I know it means a lot to each of his family that you're telling his story it it's an incredible story? Let's get right to just briefly, why and how how you came to want to write
this story and how you came in to be in a position to write this story. She is evil. Ok! Well, I have been a domestic violence. Prevention Edgecator cover twenty five years and the case intrigued me because with female to male, which is so rare, it is so difficult to. To find literally or sometimes impossible to to even investigate and to get numbers on, and then. Secondly, if it's nine hundred and eleven, I have movement I have friends from the Middle EAST and I believe Muslims and middle easterners are being lumped together all as the terrorists in negative, people and hating America, and I wanted to show the positive side of these people the positive side of the muslim religion. You and even the prosecutor told me that they worried about the trial, because the country was still
feeling from nine hundred and eleven attacks and each Osment and Lia was from America and white female and they actually worried about the outcome of the trial or even taking it to trial, because of that which, I think is wrong. Part felt like I needed to tell the story yeah, it's incredible, that that would be a factor to even considered by the district. Learning a couple years after two thousand and one obviously, but still we as we as the audience, will find out. Let's get to introducing some of the main characters, because this This is an incredible story and we knee as much time as we can to fully explore this. And so let's talk about. The jobs are mod. Originally from Pakistan, tell us about his family and how he made his way to America and why ok? Well, he talked born in February. One thousand nine hundred and sixty two and
his family had been to Paula slide where he was born and they had built up impressive. Numerous numerous businesses. Do you put a roof over their head to survive and They had many shops. He had a brother who were the jeweler. He had a sister who was a dressmaker and his Mother and father helps run the businesses for his father died early and his brother came to a job one night and said you need to go America and you make dreams. Your dreams come true, and he I said why are you telling me this at this time and she told him that she had saved a little bit of money, but she should have been sitting on herself so that he could go to America now. Each others already had a bachelors degree in engineering and she was telling him two percent of education.
And she died in his arms from a heart attack that night, so I could feel fulfilled his mom's dying, wish. He came to the United States, he learned English develop this kind of a renaissance man. He needs several languages, he had two degrees here and several successful businesses. And he was always looking into other avenues into other businesses, selling cars owning land. And in the mean time he would work another full time job and he also was completing his other degree. Now one important thing about Jacques was he was a devout Muslim. He didn't believe in drugs or alcohol, he worshiped every every time at the last he would go to the mosque and worship it mocks there locally in Memphis,
and he believed to help your community, because one of the important issues with the movement community is to help each other and also to respect you live to respect your family and that's what that's going to doctors about. He was a kind man. He was a nice man, his ex wife who is married to him twice her family, his friends. None of them told me that he had any kind of abusive or even hair trigger temper. And his mother in law and his wife had come from abusive household. They never Anything like that any job. It was just a nice nice guys very. Some intelligent now he could lose his temper, but it was never anything abusive, but absolutely no history of violence. Let's talk about
Ernestine Marsh and her daughter, Bonnie Garrett. And how and tell us about just how they met. How oars. Are your jobs met Bonnie through Ernestine, so tell us about that meeting and tell us about who Bonnie is and her background What we talk about, how they met in their relationship. Sure I love it. So it's a true my. Falling in love relationship, Ernestine had a friend It was from the Middle EAST and one day, He bought his friend any child over to the unattend, an artist eight daughter, body within the room, and she told me the minute she looked at huge odds, She said I'm going to marry that mad and then you know practical self kicks in and she thinks what are you talking about? You had a relationship, he left you when he found out you were pregnant. He was not a good person.
Then he was mean. Why are you even looking- and she said that I just knew when I looked in his eyes, there was something there yeah now. This is years later when she- and I are talking when I'm interviewing her and you can still see it in her eyes guys in her body language. She was very much right away with the job and he drives kept looking at her. And I would look away to talk and then he looked at her and she said it was just even electrical across the room and they began talking to John attacked her out, and she said you know. The first date was a move, and she said I can't even remember the name of the movie because they were just so Intel. So did emotional. You know the heart everything with his wrapped up into each other.
And then you talk about, I'm sorry. Go ahead. No sorry go ahead. Oh that's! That's how they met in that how they got along and they did not move in together because it was against his religion. It is against the muslim faith to move in or cohabitate with a woman. That is not sure, your spouse or a like family relatives, but they just you know everything about each other and Barney's friends. What I found was interesting what they were asking her. We don't muslim men beat their wives, don't they make you a secondary citizen She said no. It was important to his heart, but they walk side by side because that's who they were, they would side by side partners and she said with interesting to me: Is if she had begin dating someone who was of the Baptist space in the jewish faith,
no one would ever say he's a Baptist adapter speed. There was. It is interesting. She said how that just automatically came out and that people felt justified in asking for that. Now you talk about that, she didn't have a problem with people's criticism, or there lack of open mind, but there was differences despite well. There was differences certainly coming from Pakistan, somebody raised in America and tell us what religion that she had come from Bonnie and also what problems if any rose in this idyllic marriage, at least it started in the beginning. Ok, well they married and money always identified as a Christian, and she told each other from the start. I am not interested in converting
L'Islam, because that would make me feel like a liar. I would be lying to you, your friends, your face to my face. If I ever interested in in changing my religion. Now she did job which is hijab headscarf when she was at the and she did where the heat, along with some of his friends, came over out of respect and sometimes easy? It would, you know, become almost exasperated with her because he would say: well, she is showing she is wait her leg and they would say the jealous. That's how it is here. You can wear shorts. You know you can wear short skirts and he had an issue at times with those boys and he would ask Ernestine. In Bonney.
Mister about it and if she wore a sleeveless shirt, you know. Why did she have to show her arm? But he was also learning at the same time, the difference between western and eastern culture Now Bonnie would tell him I'm sorry. I am not interested in becoming a ludlum and it causes a lot of rift between him. Now they had a child is Jordan was muslim name with hiring and They were a very loving three happy family. It Alex was raising Tyreek as Muslim and they would go to Mog and he told me he said you know I would go to marks on one. Ok and then turn around to go to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints the next day. So he got sort of a well rounded education there, but you
The three of them were very happy very much in love. They love their son. If you grew skate videos of the family together, you could just see it. However, you guys didn't want somebody. He could worship this go to the mosque. With a partner in every other way, except that she was she Tell him I'm not going to lie to everyone and say you know, I'm looking and unfortunately that caused a rift. Between MMA divorce. The thing that happened, though too she was taking advice. They were together for seven years as you right and she was taking advice on that. She should Dial on grounds of desertion would speed up the proceedings and wouldn't the cost of the attorney. So just tell us, despite this, you know that this difficult divorce proceedings- how was he jobs under these kinds of conditions in terms of anger in terms of his treatment of hers,
original son, Drake and his their son, Jordan tell us how. All his behavior changed or how? What was his behavior during this time? There's very few stressful time, an tell us what happened in this split and how he felt about it. Ok! Well, when he did have a son from uh fire relationship, Nance Drake, each odd immediately took him under his wing and be cause Drake's. Natural father was also middle. Eastern is odd, opposite direct remarks and taught him about the relation in of Islam State and his history and his background in his culture and bonnet again, feeling sort of hemmed in with uh legal marriage. She began thinking. Ok, what if he just turned out to be abusive, what if he everything
it's all fine and dandy. Now then, a couple of years ago s down the road they have another auntie. Bonnie came from abusive background, his father was abusive and she felt like no matter where she turned we're going to go bad for the first time they divorced a friend told her. If you take it on the grounds of desertion, it'll go, through. The court won't have to worry about custody and you can just sign. Find your name on the line and get out of there, and she said what would be were staying out of this whole whole met. Is she had e job served uh I would have just come back from Pakistan visiting relatives right, so they divorced, but he would call her. She would call him look would be in tier
and they eventually reconciled and got back together and at no time was he abusive with he hitting her pushing her even threatening to the fucking time natively again you know she she piled one on grounds of desertion, saying that you know she said. I would think that I could somebody to give advice and on and on file, and she ran into an old friend. They did a lot of talking, they started dating and he propose what he just heard about this, because he feels very close to her family. They have become his. You know I did states family and he showed up at the door and he was in tears and he said you know. How can you marry him? You know we love each other and she was saying well, you know this is just how it does this is
how my life is going and at one point they exchanged words and he said well then used to not have custody full custody of Charlie exploding. And they exchanged every word and he you know they were telling him a job to calm down. You need to leave a deep breath come back and let sit down and talk because it was so uncharacteristic of him to be so upset, which happened. He calm down. He called he apologize to the family and stay Bonnie married a Another man and it broke his heart. He would he would be in tears and he would say please come back to me At one point, we didn't find that marriage was going each. I said to her prom with me. You will make yourself happy or leave him.
Well by now, Bonnie has another child by her second husband, and she said I cannot. He is the father of my child and eat replied as I was as I very emotional between them it's again at no time which he fearful, he would You know he raised his voice over this argument that he never struck at her. He never struck at the family, for it. Jordan. And she maintained a friendship even know her husband really was not ok with it whatsoever. She was adamant that she keep this connection and not just because of the child, but because of the friendship, Right right, they love each other very much. They respected one another and I think so my regards would would you know, wish and cross fingers that maybe one day she'll come back to him.
And what really field it was when she did Mary's husband, and is art, museum and even when he would drop Jordan Tori Cough at the house, because he with. Here. We get Jordan on the weekend because of Jordan School. He would come to get on the weekends and They would invite him into the house and he said no, because it would be disrespectful to go to Bonnie and her new husband's home and he being the Ex husbands. Now of course the new husband you know, but Bonnie had to sit down and explain to him their heart several times is left the love I have for each shot is different from the love I have for you. The entrepreneur in Asia is that he has lots of rental properties and, ah, after this he finally realises that ball
he's not going to come back to him. He is dejected, but he has some properties and he buys a house. And continues his rental properties, but he has a house on Sea Isle, ST and nice bungalow, brick bungalow. You say and he's got this business eagle imports, selling swords, and Kinds of souvenirs and things so tell us about this home and still what is his state at that time is visiting with Jordan. What's a relay, should be has with Jordan at this time and what does Jordan I've? Of course, in this book you talk about all the recollections of joint about of his father. What kind of father is the to Jordan in it despite being this Muslim? What like as a father in America with this one thousand and eleven year old boy. Try to very good father. He had regal import, he would go to Pakistan and purchased.
Items and then bring him over here and sell them into the store, and it was everything from clothing to knickknacks through the course swords, and he taught Jordan how to run the business, how to run a business. He taught him how to work. A register had to wait on customers how to make sure customers had the best customer service and he taught Jordan about his history. He took him to Pakistan several times and they met all kinds of families, aunts and uncles and cousins, and then he would take him to historic site and tell him about the history and the history of the people at history of the religion. He was just a very well rounded, no man. He worked with him with the languages, and then, when Jordan was at his house, he he would tell
you know, if you can get me on. The notes are in talking manner and he would tell him you can be anything in America. You want to be, you just have to want it and and go for it, and that was probably you know my. I think, one of the biggest. If you can get the child itself a thing and that's exactly what he gave Jordan and so they got along well. He lived in the house on C dial and you know Eval purchase that house in the hopes that Bonnie would come back he and Bonnie and Jordan can live as a family in your comb and it's not in a horrible part of men it's more of a middle class area, one thousand nine hundred and fifty s. Bungalow home brick, nice yard, like backyard, and he maintains to the letter home, add rental properties. I also sold vehicles here,
His friends would go in together and they would purchase cars off his lot and they would get there. You can and I will work on the vehicle and then they would put that they would turn around and reached out, and if he had friends that needed a car, he would give him one of the vehicles and if he had friends. Needed a place to stay or a job. He would find a place in one of his businesses, for example, here Anna fish market that not only so fresh fish but also had little restaurant inside, and he had a good friend that would show up and say you know I need money, I need help. Any child could give him a job a vehicle and gave him a place to stay in the house on Sea Isle as long as he wanted now, Utah talk about this generous care.
Work that has very generous and helping people out, and this leads to an introduction to a woman through a friend and he tells Ejaz about this. Womans predict so tell us what this friend says about this woman and who does he meet? Tell us about those ok easy, I ever said had a mechanic. Now again, this mechanic was not. Much of a mechanic is one of those guys that you know. Oh no he's working on my car and people would say God. Why are you hiring him? Why do you let him work on your vehicle? He does not know what you're doing and he just would say he needs help. He needs the money and he's learning and so He would have this fellow work on the vehicle and a new mechanic shows up with a pretty blonde haired girl uh.
He was born in one thousand nine hundred and seventy six. She was raised in and around the small southern Tennessee counties around Memphis and the mechanic told you, God look she's she's had hard like he's living on that she doesn't have money, she doesn't have food. All she needs is someone to just help her out and at the same time Leah is telling you guys to be a night, it might green, but it just seems like things happening to me and- and I can't because in my dream and if I just had a chance and a place to live in someone who believes in me all of this was a life, because but at the time LEO was on parole. She had just been released from prison for doing extent for selling drugs. She was a known drug attic. She was supposed to be living in.
Halfway house in Memphis, I'm I'm guessing Leah, probably just decided that that wasn't her style four thousand, following all the rules now she only had four months to go in her parole. Little is a take a pathological liar? She was also very violent individual when she was in school. She was in trouble for fighting. She was writing very sexually charged notes: the boys men she was keeping a journal of her sexual exploits. She was sneaking out at night, skipping school drinking, using drugs and She was in and out of mental health hospitals. You know she came for the home where the parents with solid blue blue collar workers using but for whatever reason, Lia just you know she had to break rules and she would sneak out at night uh. She would fight with her parents. She had at least two
stolen vehicles on her record. She still her brothers truck, crashed it. She still her grandmother's card and a bunch of checks from her mom's checkbook crash that car wrote hot checks, so here's Lia just kind of I don't think you know around she. There's in Memphis, somehow she knows this mechanic and I'm thinking what probably happened is he said: hey listen, I know this guy and they went to job this house. Well, if you're just listing for her story and she's a pretty girl she's a nice girl, she can sell her Well- and he got this well, I have a house day in until you get on your feet, it's not in the best of neighborhoods, but you can stay there and what's interesting is a couple of weeks later is your contacts or he says I did not feel safe with you.
Living in that house in that neighborhood and your you know a female all on my own. What he does it he liked her stay at his house, but he explained to her. I'm. I can't live under the same roof. Someone I'm not married too, I'm not my blood, but he moved out to a friend and is Leah. His house to stay in, and so she called him quotes gets on feet mean he's giving her a car. She working, it he's buying her things and the next thing you know he's In her way, through school and I'm going to teach autistic time, we assert she's going to school, but she was also stealing his items that he he sells in his store the score.
In coin collection and knickknacks, she's snuggling, those out of the house to turn around and pawn, and that's when things just started, going downhill and that relationship. She is also not told him her actual status of her. Whether she's married or divorced so tell us about a little bit this layer reward, because as far as the jazz is concerned, she's divorced but tell us her real status right. She one of the lines he tells, but she was divorced. She had two children that lived with her parents and they were raising them until she got on her and hurt court. Children would come and visit later on in the story after they've wed and then play with Jordan and such well. She tells you guys, you know she's before
then should be high. He was abused. We had to run the table self. None of that was true. She was still married to Larry. Actually, And Larry was waiting. You two children, Becaus MIA, basically ran out on him and then sent before you know it. She gets charged with a drug charge, she goes to federal prison and Larry is still raising their children. One of the things that I thought was interesting too is Leah, was abusive to lay great and she was very abusive, their two children. She would hit laree. She lie get him. She will attack him people in life on him. She was sleep. Hang out at night. She would disappear for days. And they had no idea where she was until she would just show up. She was using drugs. She was drinking, so she was, you know,
I had a conversation with Laree on point and I said: do you know? Do you realize at one point you could have been shot and he said yes and that's what scares me. He said I never stop thinking about that. So No she's telling him one thing: she's telling everybody else, another thing, and yet she's living a completely different life than what she's telling anyway. So she's out using drugs. She's out selling drugs she's run with that. You know bunch of fairly well end up, improving and and while her children were growing up, not really knowing her because she's just those poor dick in their life, but She did a lot of talent. Tell us how much she does tell she's willing to do. I mean you write about how she's willing to wear the headscarf at certain times. And willing to be married in the Muslim in a muslim ceremony, so tell us how far she
rose, and but what is it for just for a fact or how Guap We're willing issue to adopt some of this religion norm a not for him to have her as his wife and to want to have merry in the in the muslim mosque. What did she do to secure this seal? This deal. Well with this is kind of what I think is interesting about. Leah is Leah still lookout for Leah, but also anytime, to go. Her know that her very, His phone, his family, very conservative parents, the prosecuting attorney, told me this also She felt it might be a way to kind of snub her nose at this small town community. She came from her ultra conservative parents growing up
religion was so important and you weren't supposed to do this and you weren't supposed to do that. I thought, It is a way of of what the way of her kind of thing yeah watch this and he did Donnie he job. Did Mary in the muslim ceremony each has came to her. Instead, perhaps. We could learn to love one another. He was a very successful businessman. He was very intelligent. He was very kind. He had his american family here Bonnie and her parents, but he did you have a wife and children to kind of make his life complete and I think that's what he was hoping to find one. It would get married, they would fall in love and they would have it's wonderful, happy life together, so she agreed and you know I've always been interested in different religions in different lives and pushing great famine. The movements traveling she begins to
really good job she's, not wearing as much makeup. She won't smoke in public. You know she's kind of taken on this role and Meanwhile, she is still married to Larry to steal back at home. Well wondering where she is waiting her two children. What is the relationship with Leah and Jordan? According to Jordan, Jordan told me that she was always very kind to him, a perch visiting and she was taking in somewhere binding something she would always includes How did he get there at the house? You know she. She didn't make him feel like a stepchild. Are you know not per child- and he says now even off and then he That was they. They got along fine.
But every now and then we would pull these little things strange, behavioral center, for example, she dumped him off at the mall. You know these little kids and kind of disappeared and then came back to the mall, put them up and had a job On the phone going well, I don't know where they are. They just took off on me, so she would pull these little reindeer games with with the kids. Jordan said he never saw them physically fight. He said you know he would hear them fight in previous years and squabble but he said to me at that age. You know parents had squabbles parents argued, but you know he told me he said I never saw him strike Lia or even attempt to know she did see Leah punched each other in the chest,
and some of each of his friends were telling me stories of how me ahead. Once call custom in the eye giving him a bruise under his eye. She had shoved him pushed him no country in the arm. These kind of things, because we had a hair trigger temper and even her parents would have needed because she would just shoot it is flip. You know and the next thing you know there's fifty cups is. She was in high school when she pulled right on the ball. I and she was angry at him because he had pushed her and made to fall down and everybody laughed and she was angry because she said he made her look like an idiot, so she came back to school with a knife looking for him and that's one of the times that she got scooped up by the law and take an additional she had his hair. Today
paper. That is so unpredictable she was doing things like taking money out of his account without permission things: but it slowly but surely he had for. It's like Johnny Smith Junior, which was a witness at the wedding, and he didn't see his friends some to some of his friends all the time. But later, as did you write in the book, these are people are questioned and had Alton in incidents with the jazz talking about his married life. So tell us, a little bit about what was characteristic about is married life. What was her behavior like? Did she stay at home? Or was she out partying and what did
do about it. When he found out was he was working as a nurses, aide and going to school also, and she would. This is different. It's very strange behavior like if she was choosing home health care and should be staying with the patience and she would Collie JIVE and just say I think this man is, going to try to write me up so scared. I think he's going to try to grab me. I'm so scared to be here by myself as she get him all worked up and he would call the home health care company and they're saying so there is no way we would put in one of our pages I'm tired when our employees life in danger and he would just get so upset because in his mind, Leah was in a very dangerous situation? Any minute announced that she could be sexually assaulted, another kind of the things that she would pull these little games yeah.
Each of each of its friend pop up in different. He was having lunch yeah, one of his very best friend and the friend Business Secretary when she showed up at the restaurant. Yes, you know waiting all kind of pain, be cause there. He set with another woman and then every time he was on the phone with business. She would accused him of cheating and her his friends he's. All his friends would tell her is. Yours is not cheating on you, it is against his religion and he would not cheat on you and she would just insists that he's out there saying every female walking by or or when a woman walked into the store or under the car alive and he's after her, but that could be. You know that part is when the trees he was a very polite gentleman. He did the expectations that he would step
really, not interested in being with another woman in dating anybody. Besides his wife and she was, you know She was pulling all of these little games and one of his Johnny saw her chevy yard and hit the job, and he saw her temper go off now. Here's something, I think is really very interested in this whole story: disease. I've had a goat that he kept in the backyard and the goat dies an easy at from Pakistan and he's a practical man. So he slaughters to go for food and, let's just went off on that- and she says to his eyes: how would you like it? If someone killed, you
and cut off your head and Johnny said to this day. You know years later he can hear her say it. We can see it. He said it's just would give him chill cold icy chill, so she was sure so unpredictable. What was Bonnie's impression? You spoke to her, and it's in this impression is in the book But initially, what did she have to say and how much of the concern or her opinion did she share with Ejaz, again huh her friend. You still had great feelings for so was impression, and what did she say? What did she share with him about Leah? What you got a bunny was happy that easy has had found someone because he told her he had married,
and you know he wanted to start a family and she was divorced and had children. So funny was happy for him and they still had Jordan together and both of them would split at the in Jordan and she will. She will have to be This is well. He introduces and she's hearing these rumors also that each I've just seen this woman name Leah. She go and meet Leah, and she said, instead of just a regular handshake, Lee had a drug, her fingernails across Bonnie's palm and they went to shake hands and she said I could steal it. I could feel it and she said I knew right away. She did not like me and she goes inside and she tells her husband.
Something is wrong with that woman. Well, what what I don't know she said I can just feel it and she told her friends and family. She said she is going to take him for everything he it had a lot of money. You know we live very simply. You dress nice, and he kept it up very well green. He had a lot of dollars and he he would carry a lot of cash around also and she told her family. She said You know kind of well we've done at this time, and you know she had, something's going on in her life, but she was hearing different family members saying what you just said: there's any shops in path and her sister Johnny Joe remembers. The last time she spoke to his yard. She said I heard you got married He just said: oh no, no John, she is bad. She is very, very bad. I have to get rid of her and she thought
Ok, I wonder what's going on, you know it is that sort of both reaction and. He he and body would talk, and she you know he could tell her. He made a huge mistake and he's gotta get out of this. This marriage and he's also finding out he's finding out that his bank account is dwindling, he's finding out that, for example, had apprised coin collection now the thing money here and there in the house, with the lights items that he had put aside for Jordan, which is jewelry items from the store legal import. All of that was suddenly gone and, of course, we'll within nine. Yet yet, who else could it into an account in need of telling friends? You know again, she had gotten into my account and she has taken money.
And he says to his friends. What should I do? What should I do and his very best friends that you have to do with in your heart? I can't tell you what to do and he would tell his other friends. I have to get out of this because it is bad and I think, in his heart he shot thought that he could help her. And then we find out about the drug which he has. He wants nothing, to do with that. He finds out not the drinking and again is your- is wanting nothing to do with that? around the children and then find out. Why is on parole and she just broke parole? She had to take a urine test and it turns out dirty so now, she's gotta go back to prison and that sort of set the wheels in a different direction because but when she said, I want nothing more to do with this.
And he's hearing other things as well. All his friends are advising him. Anybody, that's close to him, like you say, is advising him warning him I'm telling him also. He finds out that she does have a history of mental illness and she's bipolar again things that she didn't disclose to him correct right right. She was, he was telling friends, he said you know he found out that he took she took medison, and that was fine, but she was not taking her. Medison and so she was acting very bizarre and vary wildly now I so we didn't go into the middle health of Leah in the book simply be cause, I'm not a doctor. I don't want to ask someone. You know third opinion on what's wrong with her. Is she by Cole? because she did that, because we live in and out of Mental health hospital. She was actually diagnosed with several different disorders, and
Leah would not speak to me and I only had access. So many medical records do the HIPAA laws, so I'm not about is saying. Well, I think she was because it's not my place, but she she finally did. Yes, I yes and yes, I'm doing that and I'm using drugs and now I've got to go back to prison. Then he finds out, oh and by the way, I'm also still married to my first husband. So it just all sort of like crashing down. You talk about a week mentioned Johnny Smith Jr on April 12th. He called the jazz, haven't spoken to him for a little while, but untypically, Lea Ann the phone and quickly hung up. You said he's Not here he left for Pakistan now tell us if he thought this rang true and just briefly, as for people,
may not remember what was going on the cup, Years later, after nine hundred and eleven in terms of anybody considering traveling to countries like Pakistan right now it it did hurt him to know that it was not safe for him to travel home. Those were his blood. Relatives in Egypt was very. Most of his family there and be cause of after nine hundred and eleven he knew that, no matter how law abiding you were. If you were movement, if you were on that part of the wall, you were going to look at, you were going to be questioned, you were going to be watched and he just help with cell and say that he is there a lot of his friends just quit, traveling because they felt it was stolen. They put them. So you know,
call or Bonnie or someone would call him and say you know he just did not have a cell phone either so they're calling the home phone in there saying Is he jogs there? Oh no he's on the West Memphis for for cars to buy cars. Ok. When will he did that um will probably be back tomorrow. Ok! Well, we You have to call me well he's not going to be back for awhile and they kept reading okay. This is very strange because one you talk with only pale beyond this. We Jordan, if he was going to Leave the country plus they knew that because of nine hundred and eleven he just was afraid to travel now he did make little day trips to too little towns and such around Memphis to purchase car. Are there or to look at vehicles? Is that, but if he would
going to be going for over a day or very long. He would always tell them. He would always kill Jordan, so they're trying to call each other trying to get ahold of him. Johnny Smith has gone to Florida for vacation. He comes back and every time he would call me would say. Well he's he's going to Wegmans he's gone here. He's gotten following through this, but he's going to Pakistan and Johnny Spanking Edison even make sense, Becaus click. She would just hang up on him and so she's telling everybody different stories, and I think because it's this time Leah still thanks, even though the the news might be tightening, You can get yourself out of this because she always has before and yet the family is going. This doesn't even make sense. You wouldn't do this without telling him you know, especially him going out of country out of state anywhere and they will
call and say: ok. Well, have you seen my dad? Have you seen my son in law? Have you well now. He didn't tell me where he was going. So all of this is is starting this or did take place in April now the last that anybody knows of the holy a onesie daughter is after she went to her hearing since she broke parole itself was saying: ok, this is enough. This is enough. I want out. He gave her some money, and he put her up in one of the nicer hotels in Memphis and I'm sure he did that and his family agrees Becaus. She had kids, it was not about to put her out on the street right. He had friends. Tell him just gay wearable Grover output, her things out, and he said that she has children and he didn't. You know he loves her kids too. He didn't want to do that in a little while.
So you know, beginning April, people are starting to try and get in touch with him. There start to Paul, they even go to help. Nobody is answering not and you know the line with maintained maintain because he was very particulars about how his his house in his home look, but the rest of it just seems like everything. Kind of spiraling downhill. As far as whoever is taking care of the house there's junk on the car court, the backyard not maintain, so it's just everybody to start saying. Ok, this is weird. Now Bonnie tried to file a missing persons report, long quickly told her he's an adult baby did go to Pakistan and she's, like that. I just have a feeling: well, maybe he bill by car, then you're just missing him. She said no, I just have a feeling and they told him well, you know if if they investigated every feeling and Memphis TN
They would never have time to go, quote, unquote, real crime. You know they can't just say well. Lady feels like something bad happened, so you know it seems like everywhere. They turn we're getting nowhere. You also talked about Ejaz told the close friends that he took her to this hotel that she had kept the key and was back in her house. So that's a serious. It was that he wanted her out, but she was had a key, and so he was saying I gotta get rid of her. I gotta stay away from are going to get away from her. He had told friends right. She had dropped her off at the hotel. You know: ok, goodbye, here's, the money Thea and by the time he He went back home, she had returned to the house broke into the house. Verbalize it took everything of value that she could grab. I thought
It's almost like you know, I can never get out of here and Ernestines told him get a restraining order and he said well what is illustrating on it. So she explained it to him and he's thinking. Ok, I guess I'll have to do that and she said each US tape friend with you, so they can explain it to you and he was she believes he was at that point. Thinking! Ok! Well then, this is what I guess is what I have to do to get out of here. But, of course you know, they're not actually saying one another she's not going to his house is iceberg they're doing a lot of talking on the phone because he still trusts Ernestine and he still still shares a lot of. Thank you have her. Now the Jordan and Bonnie Ernestine are concerned.
They can't get ahold of Jordan's Father Lee's, telling him various stories so they go over there. One time and then they go over there again tell us when they go over there? The circumstances and the discovery? Ok. Well, while Leah is too calling everyone on all these Rangers game stories. She's also packing his stuff up. She selling it she's selling all of the cars. She's telling the people who always in jaws written money will just give me the money and of course it did. You know, if you don't know what's going on and he does this house. Oh ok, his life going to collect rent from now no big deal and she's going to the neighbors you want to buy some of this. Picture he's. Moving back to Pakistan, we're getting a divorce and neighbors Supporting ok, there's a moving truck there. It was just enough to know if it's just one of those,
oh yeah, they were moving truck in the neighbors yard. I get there moving against that sort of behavior and we're kind of you know timed it. She put all of the stuff that she couldn't sell. A hop in a storage shed. Public storage, she signed a lease performance when she would be getting out of prison and then on May the third two thousand and three she finally had to record in and she reports to a federal holding facility in Tennessee, so she can begin hearse in it. Also on may the first finally Ernestine says Ok, that's it we're going over to the house living to find out. What's going on and Jordan says what can I go and she said sure come on, he didn't call. Traffic over the House in Sea Isle. The house is closed out. Ok, this is weird. They go to the side, a bunch of junk on the side sidewalk there under
park court Atlanta on the back backyard is trash and there trying to see through the windows which are the blinds, are shut very tightly with Jordan images to see through the client window, and he says all his stuff is gone and stuff from his store is gone. So earthlings goes across the street and she asked a neighbor and the neighbor says: oh well, that lady had a moving fan out there a couple of days ago, but you know I think about it. I haven't seen the man that lives there, so they exchange phone number. At that point, if they're going back through car, a little girl in the neighborhood said paid, I got the chicken in their backyard. Well, that's Jordan! Him that's a pet chicken and he says you know
that's not home, and Lee is not here. Who's gonna feed him and take care of him. So he goes to get to the cage and get the check to bring it to an extreme NFL round the corner into the backyard, but it's snowing so bad and you know during the Can you do that smells bad? What each offers a metal shed in the backyard where he just kind of keep various and sundry items signs in car parts and two old motorcycles and it's sort of a catch all area and it's also worth Jordans Chicken had her neck, And Jordan is going bad.
It's early may in in the south in Memphis, and I spoke with one of the investigators who said definitely smell bad, however, because we win because of the weather because of its oil, the traffic you're not always going to be able to well where that self nail be coming from, so they go to the backyard and the chicken runs into the shed well to go after his chicken and put him in the page. Jordan move some boards out of the lake where the doors were originally the n winning chats. We just put some wood up against empty Doral, open door and there's an old phone eggshell mattress on the ground that looks very out of place
or that it is now and bearable, enjoy the full one hundred there and Ernestine. The matter is, and there is he's not the body where, where had shot him twice mayor several days later, she decapitated him. She wanted to be a concern, drive his body out for this year. And stepped into the shared covering it with that mattress and she had also wrapped a black plastic bag around the body and they found his ten year. Old son finds his father's headless corpse rotting in the shed and They go across the street, notify the neighbor again and that's when law.
Horseman rides feels off the currency and begins the research and investigation. Now she Leah thinks did she, is basically got out, are an alibi she's, not these bright criminal and A lot of her behavior seems quite crazed, but she soon becomes a the suspect, obviously, and they know where to find her and they go to question. Her just as she think she's got she's in. In hiding now and has an alibi so tell us about, overreaction to the questioning you talk about a sergeant Norris tell us about what happens once they get her as a suspect, and then they get her for questioning right. Well, as you know, you know this because
we had to cut back or committed a crime, that's not being a bit. There are just days and days and days of investigation those people to talk to there's interviews, there's receipts to be found. Well, Leah thinks she's going to a federal facility to do the rest of her little four months. Marshall scoop her up and take her to down town, Memphis and within a very short time she confesses, but she also says that you just was very little to her made her wear that the job made her being Muslim. A ballistic trigger temper, With beating her regularly, she told the story that he went busting, into the bedroom, knocking the door for ten years choked her grab the direction. I don't remember how she shot him
she doesn't remember the shooting, and you know she starts this self defense doing and I'm sure in part. You know she saying to herself. Ok, if I can say except the fence, and it was a domestic relate, ship violent relationship and then I'm going to get away with this, and so she starts telling the tale county Johnson, Chicken little man and and you know she was just woman trying to escape, and he had to shoot her way out because she was running for her life. But the investigation self wanted nothing for that, because there was nothing wrong, with the house, there were no doors off hinges. There were no signs of tampering Stiller, no signs of a door being knocked off in hand and then replace noble. I'm glad no broken locks. No,
looking doorknob everything that she was saying happened physically showed that it was a lie. And then, of course, people that they begin interviewing people about Leah about easy eyes, and You know. Ok, they've got elected for this, but what is the real story? And that's what you know again? It slowly start I'm feeling like an onion. Here's what's really going on and set with her story app. Oh well, I wasn't abused woman and I fly we had enough, and I had to shoot him well so there's no marks on her skin. There's no marks is that kind of abuse she's, not showing the typical responses or or signs of the interviews,
email and then, of course, is finding out will wait a minute. She was abusive in the situation. She was abusive toward her ex husband and her story just basically fell through. They also, we didn't mention that he she had shot him twice once in the heart once in the stomach and Maybe we didn't emphasize this? She took his scrotum and penis and cut that off and who, in this investigation, you talk about this assistant Da Pamela Fleming, and I see the district attorney and she, in both of them together, have to do an investigation again to prove or. Just prove her claims completely to be able to do this case. 'cause no case is a slam dunk and they talk about their discovery of the crack and the meth, and then all the things that they discover to not support,
for case her tale of abuse at the hands of e jobs, so tell us what they do find about Leah and her behavior in this marriage. What one of it let the stories that I found very interesting if they were very hands on investigators- and you know you have your crime scene photos of the shed in that house and where there is a correlation to everything and so they're, literally taking it step by step and saying. Ok if she took the body to the shed, how did she do that alone? So PAMELA told me they went to the house and they're looking to shed it actually closer to the house. Then, you can see in the crime scene photos and she says you,
so I'm moving furniture across the carpet. I put something slick in between it and it slides better. It slides well and she I bet that you know and they're looking at the crime scene photos at the same time and she says I think it's doable. I think she had him on that plastic was dragging his body and round it up into the shed and covered it up with it. Eggshell mattress, and so that's one of the things that they discovered and Leah showed up too. I believe it's appearance and she is shaved off her whole head. Is it ball that looks like you know? She just fell into the hedge clippers and, as the proceedings begin Leah curls up into a ball on the floor in a fetal position
And stayed there during the whole, the whole middle part, and so we have a kind of the battle but of the of the court system there for a while. Just because of her very strange behavior. She she became pregnant. While she was awaiting trial and again. She playing it with the right during and she was in the Mental Health Hospital create valuations. Still, as you know, you have to be evaluated to see if your legal in Spain to begin proceeding. Do you work for her valuation? She claims she was raped, but the storages goes all over the place and They believe that it was someone that was an employee of the jail, and she made up this whole links is. I was in the house,
it only you know here. I am the victim again of this system and she just got it. So it's a constant. This whole very strange story that did not hold up so this hey she still insisting that she was raped, while, while in the Mental Health Hospital um she had child she gave it up for adoption and they said you know they bill. Want a pregnant woman understands because of the way a jury would be at no matter what she's done. Also it could be very expensive if they in the trial in India has to go into labor having a child. You know just everything: it could hurt her hill, it hurts file, so they had to wait until she had that child and so there it is, you know very strong, change. Big are things that kept popping up in her behavior in her actions and then she kept writing the judge. You know,
long drawn out letters about all she wants to do is be a mother to her children and a house per child, and you know Padma, the only because I'm just yes, I killed him, but I'm just a battered woman that was standing up for my rights and she realizes she even sent the judge pictures of her kids. So it was just always very you know, and you know, health what it is very bizarre behavior wasn't Lingus still trying to play by her cards to get out of this because he always did it always was able to talk yourself. Leah is streetwise she's very street smart and you know hardly believe that she thinks ok, if I can just keep talking and keep playing these games. You know like the jaws missing. Can I help? How long does she think this story is gonna stand
Pakistan or he's a need to see their westminster. He just left, he just missed him, you know, and did she not think someone would find a dead body in the backyard in the metal shed in the summer of Memphis wow? It will just stay there until and I'll take care of it. When I get out, I could see her thinking that I'll just take care You know when I get outta here and she. Quote never remembered what she did with his head, as well. She drove around and she threw it in a dumpster She just doesn't remember where, after she shot him, she went for a walk. She said she just went, for a walk around the neighborhood. You know: where did she put body parts? She doesn't remember yeah
we're going to do it all like you know. Witnesses came forth. Instead she had parties in that house, but that dead body she kept it for awhile to get in the bathroom, and it was a fifty dial. You know one of the very small bathroom at the body in there I mean, while she had parties yeah, there were people going in and out. There's a used condom sound when they discovered the bodies and they look through the house. There was, you know so Obviously she you know she hasn't. So there was a cake, there's a happy birthday cake in the trash so people were there, they were celebrating how they did not. You know she she's got away with it. Basically and that's, Only if banks- and you know she would tell People- will fridge- went out mean in the refrigerators that really sent to help us is refrigerator with working.
She is a no woman had been executed since hundred in Tennessee Correct correct: there's only data on death row in Tennessee. Well now she has a public defender. She doesn't have the funds, he has a person named Kathy can't and you have PAM PAMELA in this case and along with the Missy Branham, then Paula, Fleming and they're prosecuting this case.
And of course, if you move as you write, the defense is using the defense of self defense. So how does this proceed and what is is your behavior as the trial process. Seeds, tell us a little bit about the trial. Well there in the tile, she was very quiet and I said dude she did not take the stand. Analyst says she was. She was surprisingly com say you know hardly any words publicly very good murder in her husband, Larry. Here's through the grapevine of lids on trial for murder. What so he shows up he watch is with the trial itself only took a few days. You know each other's loved ones are in there watching the trial needed and she was very calm and collected and
is she playing the the same, would abused person you know which is playing the victim. You know only only only I really know, Tennessee prisons retained the ability to reduce Denton sing based on good behavior when someone is incarcerated and they don't have for. Oh you just out when she she didn't receive the death penalty, she would save lives. However, in order to be released on their behavior, she has to have a spotless record inside prison which she does not have. You know LEO, can't follow. The rules outside approving you certainly can't follow him inside she's been caught with a deadly weapon. She's been caught, numerous clients for failure to obey orders, or you know, he was out of bounds in one area. So you know even something as simple as staying love it. There yeah he's going to cross the line,
but I'm getting ahead of myself here, that the trial itself, she was just very hung collected and then they found her guilty. She turned and looked at Jordans and her. I feel his fears and she and that's when I know she stood and then they handcuffed her and and she left the room and that's the last that I did not do that. Jordan, his family protocol and now she's incarcerated and uh. We're sending her record behind bars is is clear, going to be Lee, it could be released in in twenty fifty and she'll be in her early 80s, but she she's there for life she's not going to be released before she he's writing a property to become a legal eagle, an she bring up a lot of arguments and such to be released, but it's like a happen, but
and the sentence was life without the possibility of parole right. She got a life sentence and there she sits in the utility prison for winning and see it makes get life sentences for first degree murder. They have to serve a minimum of fifty one years into mistakes right and they're only going to be eligible for a fifteen percent reduction during that time period they're only going to be eligible if they had that good behavior and do what they're supposed to prove that they can follow the rules and actually, basically what it can be. Sandwiches really is just getting happening. What about Bonnie and her son Jordan? What I know there's no. Such thing as closure. What did the did at least a trial rehabilitate? Not that the his his father,
really seriously had is reputation tarnished by this woman. But what was the? Where were they at at the end of that trial, Bonnie and Jordan? Of course, a trial is brains, some whatever closure, no at least Leah would put away. So she couldn't hurt anyone else like she hurts that and their biggest concern? Feisty is why they want to know why she did it. Why didn't she just walk she's ever a handful of money. You know he gave her a place to stay. It's is the hotel. You know why didn't she just walk? Why did she have to kill him? Why did she have to do it so brutally? You know here's the good man who did the best he could uh huh, believing that he could help her and he could make help make her a good person. And what is she
do shooters around she shoot. So she killed him he's a dead body in the house birthday. No, she she beheads him. She lose the body out and stuff it into a shed. You know like it was nothing. And then just goes on her merry way to do for four months and get out and then what you know why? Why would someone do that? And now you and I know, is as professionals that there's never an answer to the wife right yeah, there's never really an answer and of course, when you're exploding into yes, you know you had no idea that years from now. You would have a love in murder in there you are watching the trial. You know you wanna know. Why did you do this? You know he never hurt you and of course you know when someone is the victim of a crime
victim survivor kind, your life is divided into two places for the crime and after the crime, and it changed a lot of the way. Of course they they've looked at life in general. Some of the family members report that they don't like that in public. They don't feel safe in public. You know there rather stay at home, and of course you know, there's there's a high rate. Of alcohol is and enjoy the views in person to have lost a largely to a crime, so it's sort of all around the board now Jordan is going to college artistically, is very much like a job is very kind he's intelligent, he's a very soft spoken man, He's got such a good heart and to come out of this, you know to be who is staying alive.
About both ways: the Charlotte race him and his grandmother and his family life skills- and you know he said if I hate her, I'm only hurting myself and how I She, I think, she's learning a lot about herself particularly wants the book to come out learning other parts in her soul and in her heart never mind that she wasn't aware until this time period, of course, the a lot of anger quickly, there's a lot of sadness. For her and then there's even a little bit of compassion. You know what I don't have going up what happened her mental health So what happened to her physical effects? That would make her do this, and
I asked him if you could say something to her. If you could talk to her, would you and everything. And the family said yes now. If you will, I, like you, so maybe let me think about it. I don't know, but unfortunately I don't think there ever going to get eight hundred am play the game whole in fucking made me commit to being which, by the way, I think part of the reason she beheaded him Is because of the movement religion? The body has to be buried. Whole. And I'm wondering if that's not one of the reasons why she did what she did is also the kind of some her notice that him and religion yeah and it seems like this story is in terms of reason again
There is no real logic or logical reason, but seems a mix of when you put crack in math. Ah, mental illness even a little, a little bit of crack in a little bit of meth and a little bit of mental illness and you mix it all up and on awards sort of intentions to marry this guy, like a sucker, she did go, comply, it seemed, but just to be able to seal the deal. So it's the mix, but certainly she is evil- is an appropriate title. I want to thank you very much for coming on and talking about. She is evil madness and murder in Memphis, for those that might want to Look at your other work or find out more about this. Do you have a website? You do Facebook tell us how people might get in touch with you and find out more about your work,
learn to go all over the social media thing and whereas, before I was like ok this computer, if I said she is going to blow up I'm all over the social media, but you can go to truecrimebooks dot, net or Judith a gate dot com. For more of my work, one that moved and I'm all editor easy, called true crime case files magazine, you can also find this death adamant. Facebook and twitter in tweet, we talked and all of those other social media, great, thank you very much for coming on taking the time to talking about, she is evil Thank you very much for this interview and you have a great evening. You see this a Saturday. Thank you. Thank you. Judy goodnight, motorist, insurance group and Brickstreet Insurance have come together to create a better one: stop shop for agents and policyholders in
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-31.