Monday, September 8, 2014

THE RELEASED FILES: The Note, A Young Man Ordered to Give DNA, The Unlocked Door - NEW INFORMATION HERE


I have reviewed the 300-odd pages of materials released by the Durham Criminal Court Friday the 5th. There's been fairly heavy mainstream media news coverage of what was shown in the files, which included the first public reference to a note left behind – written on a small white paper bag and found, according to the files, "on the center of the bed."


There are some aspects of the material on which I'd like to elaborate. I also have new, unreported information.

THE NOTE

An image of the note is seen below this paragraph. News of its existence is rather astonishing, really.

The murderer left a note? In my experience, that doesn't happen very often at all, unless there is also a suicide involved. First thing I have to ask is: why didn't this come out until two years after the crime? In case someone could recognize the handwriting? That question notwithstanding, take a look.


First, the words as laid out don't make sense. 
"I'M NOT STUPID 
BITCH 
JEALOUS"

If the actual murderer – or one of a pair of murderers – wrote it, one can understand that he or they may have been in a maniacal mindset, and that could be reflected in the note. The murder itself was nothing if not maniacally and cruelly out of control.

However, one can move the words around and also see, perhaps, "I'M NOT STUPID 
JEALOUS 
BITCH" 

Or: "I'M NOT JEALOUS 
STUPID BITCH" 

Both of those make more sense. 

But seriously, someone decides to take time to write a note before, during or after such a heinous crime, and it doesn't even come close to making sense as written? Who was it meant for? Faith? Well, wouldn't the murderer have already said that to her, while she was alive? Might the murderer not wondered if someone else could come at any time. It probably looked as if two people lived there.

So if the note was not for Faith, then for whom? For the authorities? For infamy? An emotional expurgation to the world? Maybe. Doubtful. Only if he killed himself, I'd think.

Why do it, then, if it can't even be understood? In fact, why do it at all? Does the murderer or note-writer, at least, want to get caught? Handwriting can be a major clue. As, of course, is DNA found in genetic material and other material left at the scene. 

--

Is the murderer really this reckless, as to leave an identifying trail of DNA clearly obvious to investigators upon arrival, as well as a NOTE that could be compared against handwriting?

I am not saying this perpetrator or these perpetrators had to be smart, by any means. He/she or they are cold-blooded and unhinged beyond belief. Maybe, too, the person who left the DNA and wrote the note was highly intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. Certainly seems feasible to me. That might explain it, yes.

Still, this note looks, well, suspect. Almost as if it were a red herring...left for some other reason than to reflect the real feelings of the killer(s). Left...to confuse.



Another reason why it deserves scrutiny: look at the "P" in STUPID. That "P" looks quite different, much more precise than any other letter in the note. Also, the "P" has a bit of a feminine feel, as I see it. A more intelligent feel, too.

Not for sure, just a feeling I get when looking at it. Either female, and/or someone very calm and intelligent. When writing the "P," at least.

Look at the difference between that "P" and, say, the "LOUS" in JEALOUS. Those letters are loose and kind of messy. Fact is, most of the letters in the note are messy, except the letters in the word STUPID. Very strange. 

Seems like "STUPID" was added later, perhaps.

I wonder if investigators have had a professional grapholologist examine this note. I'd think so. I'd hope so.



To me, it looks like this note could have been written by more than one person, and a person or persons who weren't even there at the time of the murder. Maybe even someone else was told to write those words...who knew nothing about the crime before or after. And: it was subsequently left there by either the actual murderer or, more likely, I'd think, someone else. 

In recent days, I indicated to a key individual close to the case that I thought the note was odd. The source communicated: "No comment." Which was a comment in and of itself.

This came at the same time I asked the source some other questions, which were answered.

True, it could be exactly as it seems: the murderer wrote that note, even with the notably precise, smart and somewhat feminine-looking "P." 

But leaving that note would be one of the most foolish things a murderer ever did.

Along with leaving DNA. But...he/she or they have gotten away with it, haven't they? For now.

--

Finally, is the person who left the genetic material, in fact, the murderer? I see reasons to strongly believe that – and the newly released information bolsters that in ways I hadn't seen before. But there still seems a modest possibility, to me, that it wasn't the same person. Or, there was more than one person present.

HANDWRITING COMPARISONS?


I was also informed by the key source that the source is not aware of any handwriting comparison that has been done. It's a source that I expect would know that...if it had been done. So, I cannot be sure.

But, if no attempts at comparison to certain suspects was done, why not? Maybe investigators aren't of the belief the note is actually penned by the primary or even a secondary perpetrator.

As stated earlier, I'd want to have a graphologist take a look at the note, as well; perhaps that was part of the early-on FBI profile.

THE YOUNG MAN WHO DECLINED TO GIVE DNA

There is a narrative in the files about the then-roommate of the man who the files show came to to get Faith's roommate, Karena Rosario, not long before the murder. The files state Jordan McCrary left the apartment with Rosario at 4:27 a.m.

The files also state that a "cellphone dump" shows that the cellphone tied to McCrary's roommate at the time, Jacob Beatley, showed up as making a call at 4:15 a.m. – which, according the documents, "fits the targeted location, date, and time frame specified in the cell tower dump." It does not say who or what number may have been called.


----
Police talked to Beatley, and the files indicate he said he had been at the club where Faith had been in the "early morning hours," but that he "drove home after leaving the club, where he stayed for the remainder of the night."



Police scrutiny was raised, as Beatley "may have known" that Faith was in the apartment alone, or would be, after McCrary picked up Karena Rosario. And why did his phone show up as being used in the "targeted location?"

Investigators asked Beatley to provide a DNA swab for comparison. He was hesitant. The records show that a few days later, Beatley emailed police to say he "did not want to submit a sample of his DNA.:


** However, I have learned from a key source that Beatley DID provide DNA after a court order was drawn up and served...to compel him to do so. 

It appears it was no match, of course.

So, what does that tell us about Beatley, exactly? It says the genetic material found near Faith's body was not his.

ALIBI

I still wonder what Jordan McCrary and Karena Rosario told police about Beatley being at home in Chapel Hill...when they arrived there from the apartment after leaving Faith alone (with the door "left unlocked," as the files say).

Again, according to the files it was 4:15 a.m. when Beatley's phone shows up on that cell phone dump in the "targeted location." I don't know what the parameters of the targeted location were, but Beatley and McCrary's apartment at the time was in the opposite direction from the club, The Thrill, as Karena and Faith's apartment.

I visited that W. Longview St. apartment over the weekend and was told neither McCrary nor Beatley live there anymore. I left not fully convinced.

THE UNLOCKED DOOR

Finally, why wouldn't Faith have gone behind Rosario to lock the door when Rosario apparently left at 4:27 a.m? Well, Rosario has apparently told police that Faith was sleeping.



Okay. So if Faith were asleep, should Rosario not have locked the door? I understand there may have been some issue with the key or a not having a key on a door that I believe may have been recently replaced or repaired, but if there were a key problem, should Rosario have not woken Faith up to make sure she locked the door when her roommate left?



And, if Faith were so deeply asleep that she could not be awakened (which seems unlikely) – and Rosario did not have a key that worked – maybe she should have stayed at home, even? Or, ask McCrary to stay there with her? Was the lock broken?

--

Rosario and a female friend discovered Faith's body late the next morning. 

As an aside, on the 911 call (which I have written about previously), there is no mention of this rather shocking note on the center of the bed. Seems it would be hard not to see and hard for the caller, Rosario, not to say something to the dispatcher about it. 

Something like: "There's a note here!" 

Who knows, maybe it could have offered a clue right away to the murderer's identity or whereabouts. 

Sure, it's possible she didn't see it, and possible she felt no need to mention it, but in the call Rosario mentions other details she was noticing...besides Faith's body.

--

Is the unlocked door the primary, even only reason someone – or more than one person – was able to enter the apartment and murder Faith Hedgepeth – after 4:27 in the morning? Seems distinctly possible.


Wow. Talk about a tragedy. Talk about an irreversible, deadly situation.

Unless that's what these two women normally did. I guess that's possible. Or, the lock was broken.

--

I posit that it would be an incredible coincidence if a "random" person (or someone stalking Faith from outside the apartment that very night...hidden in the woods across the way) would walk up to that apartment after 4:30 a.m. (in plenty of artificial light, by the way) – and just by chance find the door unlocked...just when he wanted it to be. Or hoped it would be.

Could have happened that way, sure. But....




If a man was supposed to visit Faith – and Rosario did not know – who would that be? If it were someone who had reason to know the door was unlocked and he could go in, wouldn't that person likely be someone who has been become known to police and given DNA?

I want to know, as anyone would, why that door remained unlocked when Rosario left. It would be helpful to hear her explanation. Did she just not pay attention, or was she unable to? 

Was McClary there at the door with the departing roommate – did he notice or think about leaving with the door unlocked?




Because: Faith Hedgepeth was violently murdered two years ago after someone...came right through that door.

                              ##

There is a $40,000 reward in connection with solving this case. A 24-hour number has been set up. 919-614-6363.
--

My email is writerdude1@gmail.com. My cell is 919-219-0042. 

My mailing address, for any information – anonymously provided or not – is:
Tom Gasparoli
1818 MLK, Jr, Blvd., Ste 282 - Chapel Hill, NC 27514












Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Father’s Story on Son, Hedgepeth Case

He messaged me on Facebook and asked me to call. I knew who he was. I called.

He’s the father of a college-age young man who’d been very close to Faith Hedgepeth nearly all his life. They’d been boyfriend and girlfriend at times.

In September, 2012, the UNC-Chapel Hill student was murdered in the apartment where she was staying in Chapel Hill (in a Durham County segment of town). The case is a prominent one.

The son of the caller is also someone that police called in for very tough questioning on at least two occasions – and they got a DNA sample from him, too - as part of the attempt to find out who murdered Faith.

The DNA must not have matched. Police seem to believe the DNA evidence in this case is the murderer’s. Not everyone in law enforcement is 100% convinced of that.

 The father contacted me right after I had written about the murder in another venue. We talked a good bit about an aspect that interested us both, and then I told him I had to ask some hard questions about his son. It's the job.

“That’s fine,” he said. “Ask me what you want.”

Then he added: “But let me say this first: if I ever thought my son was involved in killing Faith, I’d be the first man to put him in my truck and take him down to Chapel Hill to the PD. I didn’t raise my kids that way. I knew Faith nearly her whole life, since she was itty-bitty. I care about her. I want to know who did this. If it were my son, I’d know by looking at him, and so be it. I’m the one who told him Faith was gone.”

It’s said to be common knowledge in Faith’s tiny tribal community in Hollister, NC, that early on, investigators looked at the son intently. People know.

Investigators have looked at many young men intently, most of them in greater Durham and Chapel Hill – still here or who were here at the time. 

The father told me about one of his son’s first interviews with police. The father said they’d asked his son to take his shirt off so investigators could look for scratches, marks, anything to suggest he’d been in a struggle. I assume they found none.

The son told his dad that in another interview with police, a detective repeatedly and harshly said: “You need to give us a name. Give us a name.

The son told his father he kept answering: “I don’t have any name. I don’t know anything.”

My primary remaining question about the father’s son related to alibi. The father confirmed some facts I’d been told. Without going into great detail, the alibi doesn’t seem completely solid, from about three a.m. to six-thirty a.m.

I’m told the son did not have a car. If involved, he’d have to have driven someone else’s vehicle to the Durham County-Chapel Hill line, or have gone there with someone else driving. From a logistical standpoint, at least, it seems feasible. Feasible doesn't mean likely.

The father said: “My son has had some really rough times, emotionally, since Faith’s death. I have been worried about him. I know my kids. If he was lying, I’d know it. Believe me, Faith Hedgepeth was dear to me and my family, and so many others. No one had the right to do this. If my son and I find out who did, well….”

He went on. “What I want most is for someone to say something, and get this case closed. Has to be more than one person who knows the truth. Just has to be.”

Could the phone call to me have been some kind of ploy, some way to deflect suspicion? I really doubt it – the father likely would have called long before he did.
The man answered every question without pause. 

I did ask that the son give me a call. He hasn’t yet – and maybe he won’t. He might not be ready to talk about it yet. Or ever. The son knows I can find him if I felt compelled to ask him something. I don't, right now. Not sure I ever will.

The son does know the column is being published and is not fearful of that.

His father went on to tell me stories about Faith playing on his street as a child – about driving her home from UNC from time to time – after she grew up. He said, as I have heard many times before, that Faith Hedgepeth was a shining light in the tribal community, with a wonderful future.  People were and are immensely proud of her. Always will be.

And, the father said: “Before you ask, the police wanted my DNA, too, so I gave it to them. I’ve got nothing to hide.”

Somebody does. Somebody has everything to hide, and everything to lose. I doubt he/she or they will stay free forever.


You can reach Tom Gasparoli at tgaspo@gmail.com or 919-219-0042. Texting is fine, too. I do not have to know your name to listen to you, or your message - or read your words, of course. Or to meet with you. You can mail me something at 1818 MLK, Jr. Blvd., #282. Chapel Hill, NC 27514.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

THE 911 CALL TRANSCRIPT IS HERE

I have listened to and transcribed the 911 call in the Faith Hedgepeth murder case. The transcript begins down below the last photo shown in this post.

I have a copy of the recording but will not post the audio right now. For a number of reasons, I just think that’s best. A few very short excerpts from the call can be heard on abc11.com. Many of you have probably heard/seen that story.

--

The emergency call that September morning was placed by the young woman who indicated that she came home and discovered Faith “unconscious” in the woman’s apartment bedroom – with “blood everywhere” - late on a Friday morning.

The roommate was a UNC-Chapel Hill student with whom Faith was living at the time.  I have decided not to use her name in this particular post, though many know it.

Two law enforcement sources have told me they believe that another young woman, a close friend and UNC student (also a friend of Faith’s) arrived with the roommate at the apartment. The distinct impression left by the 911 recording is that the 911 caller is alone in the apartment, except for Faith, who is lying apparently motionless on the bedroom floor.

I have reached out in the past to the second woman who may have come to the apartment with the roommate – in hopes of speaking to her…and received no reply.


-- 

The audio of the call is difficult to deal with because of its essential proximity to the scene of Faith’s death, the discussion with the operator of Faith’s perceived condition, the unremitting crying the caller displays, and the sense I had of several comments that appear focused more on logic than loss. Just a sense I had. 

There was a lack of spontaneity conveyed at times, too, in my view.

Who can say how any of us would/should react in that situation? Still, I found a few aspects of the call surprising, and in some cases perplexing. That can often be the case with these calls, though. 

I’ve heard scores of 911 recordings over my career. It is usually all but impossible to draw meaningful conclusions from them, except where statements may conflict with facts later learned and confirmed.

Mostly, I think it’s beneficial in this case for the reader to have his or her own natural reaction to the transcript. I do intend to do a little more reporting that stems from the call, so I may add more thoughts at another time.  

A central reason to publish this transcript is the hope that it might stimulate someone who knows something to…say something. The Chapel Hill Police Crime Stoppers number is 919-942-7515. There is a reward for the right information.

The crime was unconscionable. Indefensible, too, if someone is hiding something that could help Faith and her family find justice. Not to mention: murder once…and, well, murder is certainly possible again.

This case is a public safety issue, no question.

--

I was struck that Faith’s name was never mentioned in the recording. Her name is nowhere on the 911 call, over 7 minute, 42 seconds. The word “friend” is mentioned by the caller only once, in the caller’s very first sentence. The word “roommate” is never mentioned.

Despite the near constant crying displayed, several segments of the call – from a content standpoint – also seemed somewhat…distant, maybe? Again, just a sense I got. It’s one person’s opinion. The high tension and likely shock of the moments could explain almost any sort of reaction by a person who’s present at such a scene.

--

It’s been almost two years since Faith died...and this 911 call was made. No arrest. No conviction. Someone who knows something critical hasn’t talked. Yet.

The murderer/murderers/any conspirators before or after the fact…should not remain unidentified one more day. Not one more day.  

-------------------

911 TRANSCRIPT

This is my transcript, not an “official” one by authorities. There may be mistakes I have not caught. I have edited out a very small amount of information that I thought should not be circulating in the public domain. About 50 words were cut, total, and not all from one place. Just some back and forth with a few personal facts stated. The deleted portions do not involve the primary substance or purpose of the call.

---

“Op” is the 911 operator/dispatcher. “C” is the caller. The caller sounds as if she's crying pretty much from beginning to end.

11:01:44 a.m.    -   September 7, 2012

 – Phone rings

Op: Durham 911, where is your emergency?

C: Hi, um, I just walked into my apartment…and my friend she's, like, she's unconscious.

Op: Okay, what’s your address, ma’am?

C: I live at Hawthorne at the View. Um.

Op: Give me the address.

C: I just moved here. I might forget it.  Oh my God. It’s, um, 56390 Chapel Hill Rd. in Durham.

Op: Ok, repeat it to me…to make sure I’ve got it correct.

C: 56390 Chapel Hill Rd.

Op: Okay, you say your friend is unconscious.

C: She’s unconscious. I just walked into the apartment…and it looks like there’s blood everywhere. I don’t know what’s happening.

Op: Okay, listen to me. Listen to me. Somebody’s already sending the ambulance, okay. I need to get some information from you. And I’m going to tell you how to help her, okay?

C: Okay…I don’t know.

Op: How old is she?

C: She’s 19.

Op: Okay.

C: I don’t know. I don’t want to touch her, but….

Op: Listen to me. Is she breathing?

C: I don’t know.

Op: You need to check. Is she breathing?

C: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

Op: Okay, listen to me.

C: There’s blood everywhere.

Op: There’s what?

C: There’s blood everywhere.

Op: Okay.

C: I don’t know what happened.

Op: Okay. Is she on her back? Or is she laying on her stomach?

C: She’s on her back, but… like, I think she fell off the bed, cause she’s like…off the bed. There’s blood all over the pillows, like – in the comforter. I just don’t know what happened.

Op: Okay. Alright. Listen to me, alright?

C: Is someone coming? Hurry.

Op: Yes. I’ve got somebody coming. I’ve got somebody coming. I need for you to help her. I need for you to go up to her…we need to see if she’s breathing or not. Okay?

C: I don’t think so.

Op: Okay. Listen to me. Go up – the paramedics are on their way. I want you to stay on the line. I’m gonna tell you what to do next, alright? Are you right by her now?

C: Yes.

Op: Okay. Listen carefully.

C: She’s not moving.

Op: She’s not moving, okay…

C: No.

Op: Okay. Will you touch her arm? Tell me. How does she feel?

C: She’s not moving.

Op: Okay. Ma’am, we need to find out if we can help her or not. You’ve got to do as I’m asking you…so we can help hr.

C: Okay.

Op: Okay. If you can, lay her flat on her back…remove any pillows.

C: Lay her flat on her back?

Op: Lay her flat on her back. Remove any pillows.

C: Okay.

Op: Okay. Kneel next to her. Look in her mouth for food or vomit.

C: There’s blood everywhere.

Op: Okay. Kneel next to her and look in her mouth for food or vomit.

C: There’s blood… (Unintelligible)

I’m sorry. I’m really trying.

Op: It’s okay, honey. It’s okay, hon.

C: There’s blood everywhere. I don’t know where it came from.

Op: Alright. Alright. Listen to me. When you touch her, how does she feel?

C: What?

Op: Does she feel warm?

C: No, she feels cold.

Op: She feels cold. Okay.

C: Yes.

Op: Okay, alright.  Don’t touch anything else. Okay? Don’t touch anything else.

C: (Unintelligible) Hurry.

Op: Okay, they’re on their way. I’ve got police on the way to you. I’ve got medics on the way.

C: I can’t believe this.

Op: Okay. What room is she in?

C: She’s in my bedroom.

Op: Okay. I want you to go back into the living room. Okay?

C: I don’t know what’s going on. Like…there’s stuff in my room that, like, was not here before. Looks like someone had came in here.

Op: Okay.

C: It really does.

It looks like someone came in here. Because…I don’t understand.

Op: Listen to me. Don’t touch anything else in the room.

C: I’m not touching.

Op: I want you to leave that room and go into the living room.

C: I did.

Op: Make sure the door is unlocked. So somebody can get in. So that the medics and police can get in when they get there.

C: It’s unlocked. When are they going to get here, though?

Op: Okay. They’re their way, honey. They’re coming as fast as they can.  You just stay on the phone with me, alright? 

C: I am.

It looks like someone had been in there because…she’s not like this at all. I don’t know why she’s bleeding.

Op: I’ve let them know. We’ve got everybody on the way to help you.

You just… you sit down on the couch and don’t touch anything, okay. You just sit down.

C: I’m not touching anything.

Op: Okay, okay. I just want you to sit down…because the police and the medics are gonna be there.

C: Okay.

Op: They’re coming just as fast as they can, alright?  

C: Okay.

Op: You just stay on the phone with me…you just stay on the phone with me.

C: Are you sure they’re coming?

Op: Yes, ma’am. They are on their way.

C: I just can’t believe this. Someone had to have been in there.

Op: Okay. We’ve got first responders on the way. There’s a fire truck coming. There’s a medic coming. And the sheriff’s department is on the way to you.

C: Okay.

Op: You just stay on the phone with me…until somebody gets there with you.

C: Okay.

Op: Okay…how old are you?

C: I’m 20.

Op: You’re 20. Okay, hon. You’re doing alright. You’re doing alright. You just stay on the phone with me.

C: I see the police. 

Op: You see the police?

C: Yes.

Op: Okay. You let me know when they get in there with you…then you can talk to them, alright?

C: Okay.

Op: I just don’t want you to be alone right now.

C: Okay.

Op: Okay. Just stay on the phone with me.

C: Okay.

(Background noises)

Op: Are they in there with you? They coming in?

C: Yes. Thank you.

Op: Okay, hon. Alright. Bye, bye.

C: Bye, bye.

###