tv Forensic Files CNN January 31, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm PST
and i also think i should have picked something out and i didn't. the surf and sand of central florida make this a popular vacation spot. but the area lost some of its luster in 1995, when a serial killer set up shop. after the fourth body was discovered, police knew an important detail about the killer. he had an unusual dog with an unusual drug habit. tampa, florida, is known not only as a tourist destination but it also has more thunderstorms than any other location in the united states. the name, tampa, is derived from
the native-american word meaning lightning. along with the tourism, there is prostitution. on october 20th, 1995, a pizza delivery driver discovered the nude body of a white woman in nearby clearwater. 42-year-old wendy evans was a crack cocaine addict, recently released from a mental health clinic. she was last seen hitchhiking in an area frequented by prostitutes. wendy had been beaten and strangled, but there were no signs of sexual assault. the body had been dumped, meaning she had been killed elsewhere. not surprisingly, a thunderstorm washed away possible evidence. >> all the small artifacts that we would ordinarily hope to find on someone with clothing on, we were doubtful we were going to get too much. we were going to have to use anything and everything at our
disposal, from microscopic examination to the use of light energy to try luminesce light that our eyes cannot see. >> detectives used lumenoscopy to examine the body that causes manmade fibers to glow or luminesce. a luma lite found several fibers on wendy evan's body, which were taken to the lab for analysis. the luma lite also revealed a few strands of dog hair. and about seven feet from where the body had been dumped was another potential clue, a possible result of the rain. a tire impression. using dental plaster, which hardens quickly into a flexible mold, police made a cast of the impression which was
photographed for analysis. the tread patterns were clear, meaning it was from a relatively new tire which had a small stone lodged in the tread. just one month later, police had another dumped body. two teenagers found the nude body of peggy darnell, a 40-year-old clearwater prostitute in the woods near a highway. she had been dead for at least a week, maybe longer. her body was decomposed to the point that no significant evidence was recovered. police believed the murders were committed by the same perpetrator, and they quickly searched for other similar crimes in their cold case files. they discovered another unsolved case. 16 months earlier, ladonna jean stellar's nude and decomposed body was discovered in a vacant lot in downtown clearwater.
the cause of death, like the other cases, was strangulation. ladonna was a former model, a waitress at a local sports bar and had previous arrests for prostitution. she was the single mother of two children. police suspected they had a serial killer at work, one that was one step ahead of their investigation. >> in his mind, he felt that he had denied us the physical evidence that would have tied him to a crime scene. the bodies had been taken to remote areas. they had been stripped of their clothing. they had been moved from the original crime scene. all these things he had done to prevent us from catching him, from finding evidence that would lead to him. >> investigators, fearful the killer would strike again, were racing against time. (woman) the constipation and belly pain feel tight like a vise.
how can i ease this pain? (man) when i can't go, it's like rocks piling up. i wish i could find some relief. (announcer) ask your doctor about linzess-- a once-daily capsule for adults with ibs with constipation or chronic idiopathic constipation. linzess is thought to help calm pain-sensing nerves and accelerate bowel movements. it helps you proactively manage your symptoms. do not give linzess to children under 6, and it should not be given to children 6 to 17. it may harm them. don't take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe. if it's severe, stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include, gas, stomach-area pain and swelling. bottom line, ask your doctor about linzess today.
their nude bodies dumped in deserted locations. with the passage of time between these three murders, police knew they were dealing with a killer who lived in the area and not a tourist. serial killers tend to hunt for victims close to where they work or live. although the victims were nude, the killer left behind some clues. scientists analyzed the fibers found on wendy evans' body. fiber specialist jerry serino discovered most were nylon but a few were made of polyester, all were triangular or trilobal in shape and all were dyed with the same chemical, pink. but this positive news didn't come in time to save another life.
on january 18th, 1996, there was a fourth victim. 27-year-old cindy pugh, who had recently moved to clearwater from maine was beaten, strangled to death, and her body dumped in an industrial area near a dumpster. again, a luma lite was brought to the scene and again it revealed the pink fibers. >> i can say that these fibers from the two different cases could have originated from or could have shared a common source. i think after all of the examinations that i conducted that the fibers in these cases were very solid evidence. >> another unusual piece of evidence was what looked to be a
piece of cigarette paper on cindy pugh's body. >> the piece of paper found on the breast of one of the victims that was about to blow off. it was barely sticking to the skin. >> the cigarette paper contained saliva enough to get a dna profile. but was the dna from the killer? dog hairs were also found at the scene. the dog hairs were sent to the fbi and identified as those of a pug. the pug is a toy-sized dog with a very low tolerance to heat, making them somewhat uncommon in states like florida. investigators sent photographs of the tire impression found near wendy evans' body to peter mcdonald, a forensic analyst who literally wrote the book on the identification of tire impressions. he recognized the tire immediately. >> i received the photographs and this was just amazing to me. it was a tire that i had designed when i was at firestone.
>> the tire was a firestone radial atx, last manufactured in 1992. these were aftermarket replacement tires used on small pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. police researched sales records on how many of these tires were shipped and sold in florida. and they got a break. the atx was not a best-selling model. and only one dealership in the entire state of florida had sold the atx tires in the last 12 months. $21. could something that small make
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terry jo lived with a boyfriend, 41-year-old james randall. >> we went to their address at night and we had a detective sneak up on the vehicle and identify the tires on the vehicle as being the firestone radial atx tires that pierreter mcdonald said they were. >> terry jo was a recovering drug addict and a former prostitute. james randall was a construction worker. terry jo also had a dog, a pug, that she would walk in the neighborhood. local prostitutes identified randall as a regular customer. police surveillance teams followed randall for days and followed him into a car dealership driving the vehicle with the firestone radial atx tires. >> not wanting to give away anything, the officer following
stayed in the background and the dealer took the two tires off and replaced them. then, the detective called me all excited. he said, pete, we've got the two rear tires. >> but investigators needed all four tires to get a proper match. so police devised a ruse. posing as an employee from the tire dealership, a police detective told randall that his new tires were defective. but if he brought his car in right away, he'd receive four brand-new tires for free as a gift for his inconvenience. >> that same afternoon, terry jo howard showed up with james randall and gave her four brand-new tires that the sheriff's office had purchased. >> the new tires placed on randall's vehicle were marked. >> we marked them in a certain
way so if those tires showed up at one of our crime scenes in the future, we would know for sure that they were the tires from james randall's truck. >> peter mcdonald studied the four original tires from randall's vehicle. tires have a feature called sipes, small cuts in the tread that grab the road in an effort to prevent hydroplaning. the molding process creates marks in these sipes, marks that can distinguish one tire from another. the sipes from james randall's tire matched those from the crime scene photos. and so did one other distinguishing feature. >> i found that the right rear tire, as chance would have it, was the best photographed tire, and there was a stone that was held in the groove in exactly
the same location that was recorded at the crime scene. the stone being held in the tire allowed for a positive identification. >> but police wanted as much evidence as they could gather and they wanted to examine the hair of the pug owned by terry jo howard. two female detectives knocked on terry jo's door saying they had a new dog grooming service and offered to wash her dog free as a promotion. terry jo accepted. >> terry jo howard let the detectives in the house and they washed the dog. at that time, they were able to pull dog hairs onto clean white towels and used them to compare the dog hairs from cindy pugh's body. >> scientists discovered that the hair from terry jo's pug was microscopically similar to the
pug hairs found on two of the victims. a background check on james randall revealed some startling information. in violation of his parole, randall fled the state of massachusetts after serving six years in prison for twice raping his first wife. >> james randall has been identified as a sexual sadist. that is a person who has to inflict pain on his sexual partner in order to obtain sexual gratification for himself. >> terry jo howard described randall the same way. >> he got really mad at me. i sat down in the chair and he was yelling at me, and he came over and he picked me up by my throat and pinned me up against the wall. that was the last thing i remembered until i woke up on the bed and he was on top of me
having intercourse with what i believe he thought was my dead body. >> inside of their apartment, police found more forensic evidence, more proof that the murders were committed here. >> i never felt so betrayed in my whole life. he was a master, master manipulator. vo: 85 percent of people who travel
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♪ james randall and terry jo howard were living together during the time police suspected randall was killing clearwater prostitutes. >> when they told me that they thought that jimmie was the one who was killing all the girls in the area, i was so shocked, i just started screaming. >> armed with a search warrant, investigators discovered a pink throw rug under the couple's bed. scientific tests found that the main portion of the rug was nylon. the fringe was polyester. the fibers were triangular in shape and the dye was the same as those on the victims.
>> because the fibers had so many different characteristics that i could examine and compare, that told me that either these victims came in contact with this particular rug or with a rug that is composed of the exact same fibers as this particular rug. >> in searching randall's home, police found something unusual. small bits of cigarette paper scattered all over the floor. evidence that their dog, the pug, had an unusual habit. >> terry jo howard's dog had a nicotine addiction and the dog would normally take cigarette butts out of the ashtrays and chew them up and spit them out and leave them on the floor of the apartment. >> terry jo was a smoker and would toss out her cigarette butts and the dog would pick them up and chew on them and so there were these little flecks
of cigarette paper all around. >> remember the cigarette paper found on cindy pugh's body that contained cindy's -- saliva? that saliva belonged to terry jo howard, proof the cigarette paper had come from inside their apartment. >> we believed it was one small piece of a cigarette butt the dog had chewed up and left behind that was attached to cindy pugh's breast unbeknownst to james randall, which was a major piece of physical evidence. >> prosecutors believed randall would pick up victims and take them back to the apartment when terry jo was gone. on the pink carpet, randall acted out his sadistic impulses, strangling the women during sex and killing them.
while there, the victims picked up carpet fibers and dog hairs, later found on the bodies with the luma lite. the cigarette paper, chewed by the dog, with terry jo's dna, was found on cindy pugh. when randall dumped wendy evans' body, his truck left the tire impression in the sand. terry jo confronted randall about all of this when she went to see him in prison. >> i kind of looked at him and said, why not me? huh? why not me, jimmie? and he looked at me and he started crying. he didn't want them to hear what he was about to tell me, which was, i hurt others so that i would not hurt you. >> at the trial, james randall's first wife testified against him.
her description of randall's sadism was chilling. >> i laid down and he tied my hands up behind my back with my shoelace. at this point, it was like, i didn't know if i was going to make it out of there or not. >> james randall was convicted of the murder of wendy ann evans and cynthia jean pugh and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms. >> i really wanted to see him die for what he's done. life in prison is not good enough for this man. he wanted to kill them. he knew he was going to kill them. and afterwards, after i did find out and i was talking to him, it didn't seem like it was that big a deal to him.
they were just prostitutes. they were just drug addicts. they were just women. the key to becoming a good cattleman is buying the right cattle at the right price. in the 1980s, one cattleman in missouri had a unique talent for choosing the very best cattle and paying very little for it. some of his farm hands however paid a very steep price. ♪ in chillicothe, missouri, the local barber shop is still the place to hear news and swap stories and even pick a few tunes.