tv The Hunt With John Walsh CNN July 3, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
"declassified." zarqawi, the father of isis. see how the u.s. took down one of the world's most dangerous terrorists at 10:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. i'm brianna keeler in washington. poppy harlow will be back next weekend. have a great week. back in 1981, i had the american dream, the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs, and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye and never saw him again. in two weeks, i became the parent of a murdered child, and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache, i still have the rage. i waited years for justice, i know what it's like to be there waiting for answers. and over those years i learned how to do one thing really well, and that's how to catch these
tammy was a very good child. i've never had any other children. she was my one and only. i more or less raised her on the ranch. her stepfather, he was very strict on her. that's why she wound up leaving home. she wanted to go to the military. things happened. she had her boyfriend. she wound up falling in love. >> i was 18. tammy was 17 when we met. tammy was real outgoing, outspoken. fun.
she was real fun to be around. me and tammy had three kids together, two boys and a girl. >> she was a great mother. we got to go, like, shopping for girl clothes, and she did my hair and painted my nails. it was pretty fun. >> she was a good mom. she was real fun, outgoing. she loved to go hunting and fishing and camping. >> tammy when they first got together was like wine and strawberries, they were beautiful together. she was a stay at home mother. every day he got up and went to work, provided for his family. they never wanted for nothing. you know, not to say they didn't have hard times, but they went
through the hard times. like gravy flowing down a river, it just flowed off their back, because they dealt with it. so. >> about 8 or 9 years old, my dad broke his back and legs and had to lay up at the house for a while. >> he was on the job one day, and a crane, and he accidently got touched to an electrical wire, and it swing down to the concrete. >> and tammy had to go to work to fill in for the income. >> everybody talks about the recession. everybody talks about the economy. everybody talks about the one
percenters. but nobody talks about the fact that the vast majority of the people in this country are one paycheck away from disaster. and in tammy's case, when her husband, the main breadwinner, gets hurt very badly, and now he can't provide for that family. so what does she have to do? she has to get a job. >> tammy took to strip teasing to make ends meet. to support her family. i think she kind of got a little bit of flattery out of it, because people were paying attention to her. ron didn't like it. there was nothing he could do about it, because he was unable to work. and that's what she chose to do.
even i couldn't change her mind. because she said, i'm doing it, i'm doing it for my family, and there ain't nothing you can say about it. >> she's not trained to do anything. she's always been the stay-at-home mom. she's always been a housewife, she can't get a job, and she becomes a stripper. hard to imagine, but it was a way to pay the bills, to pay the mortgage, to pay for the groceries, and that put her into a different lifestyle, something that she had never been accustomed to, and that was the beginning of the unraveling of their life. >> and then we separated. i started seeing other people, and she started seeing him. >> tammy met william greer in a strip club. and he wooed her and gave her money. moved her into a nice house. he seemed very nice.
he invited us to the house for a couple of beers and to go four-wheeling. >> william greer was actually pretty good with us. the only thing i didn't like about him, i feel like he was always trying to buy us, because he had a bunch of money. so every time we went over there he was always giving us something. and on the weekends, there would be his two sons. when all the kids were there together we always had fun. we always got along. >> i went over there to stay with william and my mom. we had a good time. you really never could tell that he was like a bad person. he got angry sometimes, but he never took it to extreme in front of us. >> but shortly after that, it all turned tragic. he started beating tammy.
she come to my job site. she had a big black eye, black here. said he had beat her. and i said, okay, well maybe it was just a one-time thing. but it wasn't. and i told her, why don't you call the police. no mommy, he'll kill me if i do that. and then the next day he went out, he paid $400 for her to get her hair weaved and [ bleep ] and took her on a cruise. so, you know, he would like beat her and then buy her off. and she would accept it. >> she stole his truck and came down to see us one day, and she had, like, bruises and blood all over her. and we had no idea what happened.
and my dad didn't at first either. but she told my stepmom lindsay what he did. >> i guess she had one of his trucks, and he come over there, and i come out and met him outside. and when i -- when i confronted him outside, he said he was there, just there to get his truck. and i told him that was fine, that he could get his truck and for him to go. he fired a couple shots in the air when he drove off. i wish i'd called the police, i mean, i kind of regret it now. i came in from work, i guess, three or four days later, she had left. and that's -- that's i think the last time i had heard from her.
>> liberty county police called me. told me that they had found a pickup truck, described it to me. and i said, yes, that sounds like my daughter's boyfriend's truck. i said, where is my daughter? he says, we don't know. we just found this truck in the middle of a field. i said, i'll bet you he's killed my daughter. >> it was an accident, i love her with all my heart. i'd give my life in one second to have her back. >> can you tell me your full name? >> william jesup greer. wow. these are awesome! this is my dream car. yeah, i like this. i've been waiting to get in this.
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the truck was running. it was parked. it was in the water in the ditch. driver's door open, windshield wipers were turned on. it was pretty odd to us. there was a driveway next to where the truck was in the ditch. walked down there and heard a voice. saw a man coming out of the trees. noticed that he had no clothing on, other than a button-up shirt, which i thought was pretty strange. it's 40 degrees outside. >> oh, my god. oh. >> hang on just a second. you're good. >> oh. >> let me look. >> weak. >> you don't have any cigarettes, right? >> can you tell me, can you tell me your full name? >> william jesup greer. >> i can't -- >> william joseph greer.
>> he seemed very panicked. wild-eyed. we put him in the back of the car, tried to keep him warm, tried to figure things out. >> got any idea how you got here in the ditch? >> yeah, 55 miles an hour. i was going to see my wife. >> all right. >> it was an accident, i love her with all my heart, i'd give my life right now in one second to have her back. >> what was the accident? >> the gun just went off. >> he kept repeating himself that the gun just went off. i think he even mentioned, i watched her die, or something along those lines. >> i love her so much, i love her so much. i can't believe it, but there's a divine reason for this. she was ready, she was ready, but i'm not ready for her to go. i love her with all my heart. >> what is her full name, sir? >> tammy marie myers.
>> if you watch that tape, it will break your heart. you can see him coming to his senses out of that alcohol and whatever else stupor that he was in. so he starts to deny everything, and that begins the game between william greer and the criminal justice system. >> we found a phone in the truck. it was pink, sitting on the driver's seat. went through the address book, looking for anything that signaled maybe a family member. i found a listing for mom. called that. i told her, i have tammy's phone. found it in this truck. i described the truck. her mother stated that that was william greer's truck that i was describing. >> and i just, i collapsed. i told my husband, he killed her. he did it. >> the lady i was talking to on the phone, very frantic, very upset. she started telling me that there was a history of abuse, extreme abuse, physical,
emotional abuse between the two. so at that point i got with paul, let him know what was going on. and we just kind of put the scene on hold at that time. i had dispatch contact harris county sheriff's office to go out and check the address that the truck was registered to. they did go to the house. and didn't find anything suspicious. >> william greer was charged with public intoxication and also some outstanding warrants for montgomery county, which was the only thing that we could come up with at that time for him to be charged with. in order to charge somebody with a crime, you have to -- you have to have some sort of evidence that they actually committed the crime. we had a confession, obviously, but without some sort of
evidence, mainly, a body, dna, crime scene, something, there's -- there's nothing you can do. i believe he bonded out for everything. he may have paid a fine for the p.i., the the public intoxication. >> liberty county let him go on a damn p.i.? even if you're not sure this man's telling the truth, you think he's on drugs, aren't you going to find out that first? and if it hadn't been for that sergeant, dewey, i wouldn't have known a damn thing. because he's the one that called and told me, you know what i think, the son of a bitch is telling the truth. >> i got a call from her mother. said she had got a call from the police that they had found william, found him in his truck out there, and that he had -- he
had confessed murr. >> what we learned is what they heard on the night that tammy died. the boys were obviously traumatized by what they had seen and heard. ♪ it's here, but it's going by fast. the opportunity of the year is back: the mercedes-benz summer event. get to your dealer today for incredible once-a-season offers, and start firing up those grilles.
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william greer lived in this house, and he had a live-in girlfriend. her name was tammy esquivel myers. william also had two juvenile sons that lived with him, but he shared custody of the two kids with his ex-wife. her visitation time was the christmas break. which began on december 19th, 2006. on that date, she did pick up the two kids after school, took them to her house for the entire break.
when she brought them back on the 30th, they started getting scared. when they arrived at the house, she told them go ahead and go see if your dad's at home, they were just terrified to go up to the house, so they told mom, okay, mom, i don't want to go up there, because daddy shot his girlfriend. once the boys told their mom about the shooting, she then drove away from that residence and drove to harris county sheriff's office and told them what her sons had told her. >> they were typical boys to the extent that they didn't want to talk about it, but what we learned is what they heard on
the night that tammy died. what they reported is that in the early morning hours of that tuesday, before their christmas break, as they lay in their beds, they heard an argument going on between william greer and tammy. >> one child says that he heard greer grab tammy and slammed her against the wall. and drug her back into the master bedroom. and he said moments later, he hears the gunshot. and he hears his dad say oh, my
god, are you dead? are you alive? and he then heard tammy gurgling. >> the next morning, the boys said that they woke up, and as they were going to school, not knowing what to say or do, asked their father where tammy was. and the explanation in the early morning hours of that tuesday was that she'd gone to get her nails done. >> after the murder, which happened on the 19th, they stayed with their mother for 11 days. they hadn't mentioned anything about it during the break, but when it came time to come home, now they know, i've got to go back to the house where i know dad has shot someone. it's like, it's now or never. >> then the case went full bore.
maybe we don't have the body, maybe we don't have the witnesses, maybe we don't have a smoking gun. but we have two little boys who have helped turn in their father. but we better get busy finding tammy, and finding william greer. >> so i drive to the scene, start gathering information, and i saw blood spatter on the wall. and looking in the opposite direction of that, i saw a bullet hole in the sheetrock above the closet door that led into the attic. i observed the blood on the floor. as well as on the sheets. also saw blood in the living room. there were splotches in the carpet that appeared to me as if they had been attempted to clean up. we saw bleach bottles there,
carpet freshener and a carpet shampoo machine. >> one of the things that people of the people described that is he would have never shampooed his carpet. so the fact that that was out there indicates to me that either william greer on his own volition or someone at his request was going to try to clean up the scene. >> in and house had a exit door that led to a washroom, then another exit door that led outside. on both of those handles was swipes of blood. this made me believe that the body was taken out through that direction. >> we found some -- to best describe it as plastic wrap, the kind that when you're moving you wrap up your furniture with, and a roll of that was found at the scene. >> just an overall view of the scene, it appeared to me that somebody had been shot and killed there, wrapped in that cellophane wrap, and removed.
from the house. and taken somewhere. with all these facts, that was enough to file murder charges on greer, even though we hadn't located the body. >> the circumstantial evidence and physical evidence in this case, i absolutely believe is enough to prosecute and convict him. he is going to pay for this terrible crime whether they find tammy or not. the hotline lit up. the web lit up. people did the right thing and said this guy is in our town, but he always was one step ahead of the cops. a model needs vibrant hair color to light up the runway. schwarzkopf presents color ultime. it's color blend formula locks pigment in for brilliant, vibrant colors. discover runway colors that last.
several tips came in saying that william greer was actually living in new orleans and was working at a deli on bourbon street. so we drive there. we meet one of the tipsters that says greer had been living with him but had moved out two weeks prior. then all of a sudden he just left, and he didn't even pack all of his things. so after i left new orleans, i didn't have any leads as to where william greer was. until "america's most wanted" featured him a second time. >> every time we ran william greer's case, the hotline lit up. the web lit up. and every time, they missed him by that much, but he always was one step ahead of the cops. but the people and the public did the right thing.
>> i began receiving tips that greer was now living in georgetown, kentucky. i then coordinated with the local law enforcement in georgetown. they decided to go and make entry into the apartment. again, greer was gone. so the next tip that i got on william greer's whereabouts, the tips said that william greer was actually living with a female and this female's son. >> he was a real ladies' man. he had a pretty smile, he was a real gentleman. just -- everything seemed to be perfect. you know, everything.
i guess i misjudged it, but he was a real charmer. he was a real charmer. >> he really has a cunningness to him. it's almost a coyote-style kunning to him. he can go somewhere and change his entire demeanor, and he's right there, hiding in plain sight. he's the guy you get your sandwich from the deli. the guy who works for the roofing company, he's the guy who sits next to you at the church revival and gets baptized in the river. he's that guy. >> i was working at my dad's bar, and he started coming in as a customer. he always called himself "billy" and he said his last name was reneker. he was working for a contractor
like a block up from the bar. and they all -- when they would get off work they would all come to the bar and drink. we got along really good other than my son didn't take to him too well. at the time, my son was around 24, 25 years old. my son collects knives and swords. he's got like an arsenal. he's a big collector. so he felt that this guy was taking advantage of me, and he wasn't going to let anybody take advantage of his mother. billy had started coming to the house, like, as a guest, you know. he would leave and go wherever he was staying, and then it progressed to where he was starting to spend the night with me. the first night, my son didn't like it very well. and he barged into the bedroom with a sword and was going to cut him, was going to hurt him.
but it ended up okay. i mean, it all, thank god, it didn't get bad. >> people who love you have a great radar. and that son had that gut feeling. he knew one thing. he thought the guy his mother was dating was a creep, that he should make sure that that creep knew that if he touched his mother or did anything to her, there'd be consequences. if he touched that woman, my mother that i love more than anything in the world, you're going to pay for it. i think it was brilliant. >> everything seemed so perfect. and then he started getting really nervous when i would, like, go through a yellow light, i didn't come to a full stop at the stop sign, or if i started speeding, he'd get real nervous. >> in order for william greer to elude apprehension for this long, he is driving the speed limit. he is not getting involved in bar fights. he may not even be abusing women anymore.
he's doing whatever he can so that there's no record of him for a police officer to come in contact with him. >> you can only put on an act for so long, and i knew something just wasn't right. it just didn't sink in like, why are we talking about capital punishment? they ain't going to kill him for owing taxes.
you can only put on an act for so long, until pieces start falling and people start picking up on it and realizing something's wrong here. eventually told me that it was because he was wanted for tax evasion. i can remember the day we -- he was telling me about it. we was getting ready to get on the interstate, and i had went through the light. he was freaking out, i was like, what is your problem? he's like, well, you know, and
he started to tell me, and -- because i really started questioning. and he told me that he was wanted for tax evasion, and he owed so much money to the government that they were after him hot and heavy. and that he was going to go to canada and they couldn't get him up there. and i can remember him making a comment, well, canada will not extradite on capital punishment. which it didn't, i don't know why, it just didn't sink in like what are you talking about capital punishment? they ain't going to kill for owing taxes. and i knew something just wasn't right. it probably wasn't even a month after that that he disappeared. i was in a good mood. it was my birthday. i had to work, though, so i got
off of work at midnight, and i come home, and i was expecting a birthday gift, and boy, i got it. he wasn't there. he was nowhere to be found. he wasn't answering his phone. he had stolen some money that i had saved. i was saving to buy a new couch with. he stole some of my jewelry. i noticed it gone. and that's when i knew something was really bad wrong. my son did tell me that somewhere around 9:00, 10:00, he heard some mumbling and stomping around and noises up in the bedroom. and i guess that must have been when he was -- realized that he had seen himself on "america's most wanted" and realized that he would be turned in once we saw who he was. so he took off.
billy was never, ever violent, never violent. >> oh, baby. i'm so sorry. >> always calm. >> good-bye. >> always optimistic. >> i hope she's brilliant and happy and looking down at me. >> always tell me, it's okay. it's going to be all right. it just goes to show that whatever he was telling, whatever story he was giving, was all lies. i feel so bad for those children. i feel horrible. it hurts me inside to think that i was with someone that killed that woman and left them
children like that. sad. >> first, i commend kelly for having the courage to talk about it, to warn other women, to say to other women that may be watching this show, if you are being bamboozled and fooled and manipulated by william greer, get away from him, number one. number two, do the right thing, turn him in. make the call to "the hunt." we'll take care of it before he kills somebody else. >> one of the main things that we've done is try to find the body of tammy. not just for the prosecution of the case, but so that her family, her children and her ex-husband and her mother, can all know that she is in the ground where they can mourn her. we have had the use of cadaver dogs. we have had satellite imaging.
we have done everything we know to do. >> i knew that there was a field, a clearing up beyond the backyard of that residence, where greer lived with tammy. i did have the cadaver dog go out to that area. and search, with negative results. didn't find any bodies. i then decided to go to that scene where he was arrested. due to the fact that he told the liberty county officer that he was going to tammy's grave to lay on her grave and pray, i thought maybe that area was close to where he was arrested.
so i then set up for the same canine cadaver dogs to search that area as well. and there was also bodies awarded there, so i had our dive team to come out. we didn't find anything in the water. didn't find anything in the whole area that was searched. to this date, we've never found tammy's body. >> it's the hardest thing in my life. i mean, i've had nightmares about her body. she's out there rotting away.
that it could be torn apart by dogs, could be worms crawling in and out of her. that, i can't talk about. >> every victim i've ever met has said the same thing. i need to have my loved one home. i need to put that cherished person to rest. that's what her family wants is to find tammy. the not knowing is still killing them. i went through that for two weeks, looking for my son. and when they finally found a part of him, at least i had somewhere to go and to pray for him, to honor him. that's what tammy's family is looking for. to find her remains and put her to rest. really to put her to rest. she wants justice. she wants the man that took her daughter away to pay for it. >> and it's only by putting him in custody that we can take him to trial and have him take responsibility for what he's done.
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since tammy died, i've had seven mini strokes. i can't work no more. major depressed. i've been in and out of psychotic hospitals. i tried to commit suicide once. >> she will always be heartbroken. she will always be the parent of a murdered child. she wants one thing. justice. she wants the man who took her daughter away to pay for it. until that person is found and held accountable, you can't move forward. she is in limbo right now. in that limbo waiting. waiting for us to catch this creep. >> it's been several years. but i've lost no interest in this case. and it's one of those cases that kind of stick with you.
and i want to catch greer. and i don't plan on stopping looking for him. >> i don't think at that tammy can rest in peace or her family can properly mourn her until we have him in custody and until he accounts for his deeds. and it's only by putting him in custody that we can take him to trial and have him take responsibility for what he's done. >> i really, truly have been covering this case for too many years, way too many years. and he has to be caught. needs to be caught tonight, before there is another tammy. because there will be another tammy. somebody out there knows him. somebody out there will recognize him. and that person needs to do the right thing, because this lowlife needs to face the music. everything starts the day he's caught, and i hope that happens right now.
>> i don't want to say that i wish he would be done the same as he did my mom. because that is a sin. but i really hope that he gets life in prison. and that he don't have an easy life. because he put me and my mom and my whole family through a lot. >> this tattoo says tammy. it's to have my daughter close to my heart, it's over my heart. every day to have her close to my heart till the day i die. she will always be here. heart. >> william greer is missing a toe on his right foot. he has a history of smoking, drinking and frequenting bars, is well-mannered and often charming, but he can be
aggressive when intoxicated. if you've seen william greer or have any information as to his whereabouts, remember, he may be armed and dangerous, please call 1-866-the hunt. or go online at cnn.com/thehunt. we'll pass your tip on to the proper authorities and if requested will not reveal your name. >> if greer's watching now, i still want him to know, not going to stop looking for you. i want you to turn yourself in. you want to say that this was an accident, you didn't mean to kill tammy, if that is true, come and tell me that. tell me where tammy's body is. give some closure to tammy's mother. and her kids.
if you have any sympathy, at least give us that. back in 1981, i had the american dream. the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye, and never saw him again. in two weeks, i became the parent of a murdered child, and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. i still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers. and over those years, i learned how to do one thing really well and that's how to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice.