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.
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
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
Or: "I'M NOT JEALOUS
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. My cell is 919-219-0042.
My mailing address, for any information – anonymously provided or not – is:
1818 MLK, Jr, Blvd., Ste 282 - Chapel Hill, NC 27514