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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    AR - Kaylee Cogdell, 11, murdered in her Camden home, 7 Aug 2006

    This is local news for me and all I can find out so far:

    It was just before noon when Camden police received a 911 call from a house on Waco Street. Inside officers found the body of 11-year-old Kaylie Cogsdale. Police questioned the girl's mother and another juvenile living in the home...

    "...one detective told me that it was certainly not a break in. It was an inside doing, and he said that's the strangest thing he'd ever seen...

    The Camden News is a subscription only site and though I try to cut and paste....I'll try again..... The news out is that the little girl was tortured for quite a while before her death and they have taken her brother into custody....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    It is horrible and not strange when you look at a dysfunctional situation. This child was between a rock and a hard place. I am so sorry that no one understood. It makes me so angry. But, she is dead and all the platitudes in the world won't bring her back.

    How can we make a difference in a child's life?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    AR - The Kaylee Cogdell case - Unsolved? Or not?

    Many apologies if there's already a thread on this case, I did search several times but found only a couple of brief posts on other threads.

    Sorry also, if this is in the wrong place. It isn't exactly "new news" but it deserves some discussion, I think, and I had no idea where else to post it!

    It's had a lot of media attention due to being featured on Dr. Phil last year. The DP episode focussed on Kaylee's then 12 year old brother Thomas Cogdell having made a false confession due to (what to me is pretty obviously) police coercion.

    ** Do feel free to move/delete the thread if necessary! But I'd like to discuss this case.. if not here,then somewhere!

    At 11am, August 7, 2006, Melody Jones and her 12-yo son Thomas Cogdell entered 11 -yo Kaylee Cogdell's bedroom to find her dead by suffocation, with two plastic Walmart bags tied over her head, her hands and feet bound - among the items used to bind her was the family dog's leash.

    Thomas confessed to Kaylee's murder after several hours of intense (apparently not quite kosher and very leading) interrogation, some of which he asserts was not on tape.

    He eventually served 2 years in a juvenile facility between 2008 - 20010 for 2nd degree murder and was then released due to a finding that he was not fully aware of rights when being questioned.

    An apparent stranger's DNA was found on the cloth tape measure used to bind Kaylee.

    Thomas, now 18 (or maybe 19 by now?) says he thinks his mother killed Kaylee.

    Though he was released from prison, he has not been cleared of the crime and to date, no-one else has been charged.

    If Thomas didn't kill his sister --- who did?

    There's a lot here that piques my interest.

    Thomas made some fairly damning statements in court. However, I am not at all convinced the mother didn't throw her son under a bus, she has said and done some really odd things.. but I'll wait to see if I'm double-threading before I go into that.

    The Dr. Phil show is pretty interesting, in many regards:

    Here's various news links and other info:






    Court records of Thomas' appeal:

    Last edited by bessie; 08-19-2015 at 05:44 AM. Reason: repaired link

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I remember reading about that case ages ago. Personally I think the mother did it, and even if I'm wrong she should certainly have been a suspect. Having one suspect sign away the Miranda rights of another suspect is extremely unfair, its the type of legal loophole that should be closed in cases where parents have the same means, motive and opportunity for a crime as their sons/daughters.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    My hinky meter was going off when I saw the mother's police interview, and her later interview on Dr. Phil.

    "I don't remember" is the catchphrase of the guilty, and her claim to being out of it on meds the night before made me squint. As did her calling Thomas into his sister's room to "give Kaylee a surprise" that morning, though what that surprise -was- exactly was never spoken of again.

    As far as I can tell, none of Thomas' DNA was found on any of the items involved. An unknown man's DNA was found on the tape measure -- but was that from a shop clerk or someone else unrelated handling it at some point? Whose DNA was that? What kind of cells did it come from? Was the mother's DNA on any of those items? Did anyone else have a key to the house?

    So many questions..

    I think maybe a LOT of stuff never got investigated properly because they had an insta-perp.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Yes, a 12 year old insta-perp who was in the very unfortunate position that the most likely murderer had veto power over his Miranda rights. Not difficult for experienced police officers to get a confession out of a 12 year old with no attorney present.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    And that's why he was released in 2010, if I'm not wrong.. the Miranda thing - though I think the main reason given was that Thomas didn't understand properly what 'waiver' meant, since the cops explained it quite poorly.

    Never mind that he was threatened, badgered, coerced and led, with no lawyer present. And yeah - the mother being a suspect thing.

    I think the way the cops behaved was rather strange, tbh.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Looking at the excerpts from the police videos of the interviews with Jones and Thomas, a couple of things strike me:

    Jones totally throws her son under a bus.. she says in one breath he wouldn't do it, then the next she's going on about his "anger problems", "he worries me.." , "he zones sometimes when he gets mad", and such, and then she says: "Is it procedure to think it was the brother?"

    What a peculiar way of phrasing that question, in that situation.

    Jones apparently asked Thomas to "protect her" prior to his interview. Then we have him whispering in her ear after his interrogation, right before he does what the cops ask and confesses to his mother that he killed Kaylee.

    Then he says, with this expression of concern on his face as he looks at her, "Okay, you understand?" *pause* "I did it"

    Jones nods to that, seeming very calm for someone who's just been told her son murdered her daughter the night before..

    Thomas says earlier in his interview, when asked about finding his sister's body, "Well, my mom went there and yanked the bags off my head." (bbm)

    Maybe just a slip of the tongue, but that made me sit up a bit.

    His body language after the break in taping, as he confesses, says quite a lot, also. He's holding himself and rocking for self-comfort, and the words he uses in the confession seem very "coached".

    But why would the cops zero in so hard on the 12 yo and not the mother, who admitted to being bipolar and intermittently on meds - also going into fugues at times.. Was it just that Jones made her own doubts about Thomas so clear to them? Idk.. it all seems odd to me, as I said.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Southern Girl in the Northeast
    I haven't seen the videos yet, but this stood out to me from the court records linked:

    by failing to disclose a tape recording of an interview the police officers had with Chico Spinks, an acquaintance of T.C.'s mother, which allegedly contained exculpatory statements regarding T.C.'s guilt
    T.C. claims that Spinks told the police that T.C.'s mother had admitted in her sleep to killing Kaylee. However, the police record reveals that Spinks told police that T.C.'s mother sat up in bed and began talking about Kaylee's death, using different voices for Kaylee and T.C. Such a statement alone neither exculpates T.C. nor inculpates his mother.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    But why would the cops zero in so hard on the 12 yo and not the mother
    Maybe because she would have been more likely to lawyer up if they'd zeroed in on her?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Good point, Cappuccino.

    Maybe you guys can help - at the part of the video where Thomas is confessing to Jones, he says he "didn't want to kill her", "it was an accident" and says he's sorry -- then Jones says something listed as [Unintelligible] on the transcript, to me it sounds like, "She cleaned up her bedroom."

    Anyone hear it differently?

    And I'm -really- eager to make out what he said to his mother in that whisper. All I can make out so far is "the truth" and "protect". If I can figure out how to run this through an audio program (with my very fail video-to-audio skillset) I'll try to get it clearer. Unless someone's a whiz at that stuff and wants to give a shot? :B
    Last edited by Ausgirl; 01-15-2013 at 03:36 PM. Reason: 'untintelligible'. sleep time methinks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Link to what I think is anti-SSRI (anti depressant meds) site:


    The article above has a little more info on the family, including that Thomas was on Zoloft at the time of Kaylee's murder, and had recently had his dose doubled.

    I wonder if there's a doctor who'd back that up?

    Other comments state that Thomas was reading at college level at age 10, and preferred to read and play video games, as opposed to Kaylee who was active and outdoorsy.

    Neighbours state that the kids had a hard time fitting in with the neighbourhood, and Thomas was quite protective of his sister, and would stick up for her when she was bullied.

    The kids' father was apparently 'in Germany' and didn't attend Kaylee's funeral. He also did not pay child support.

    I just get the feeling this family was struggling hard on many levels. The mother acts very suspiciously, much of what she says doesn't add up at all and seems very self-protective in her actions toward Thomas at the time of his arrest and also later in the Dr. Phil interview (saying she was on meds and doesn't recall things clearly, etc..) so it's really easy to lean toward her complicity in Kaylee's death.

    I wonder how the children were disciplined in that house. The slip Thomas makes regarding how the mother "took the bags off my head" (not Kaylee's) could be just a slip or it could hint to something far worse.

    I think it's also telling that Dr. Phil asked Thomas' lawyer whether Kaylee could have been suffocated by a heavy person and the lawyer stated that yes, the ME who did the autopsy thought that Kaylee could have been suffocated by being pushed into a pillow by a heavy person (this is not verbatim, btw) - of the mother's weight.

    It's hard to look at the mother and see someone capable of an elaborate ruse, but it's not hard to see her throwing her son under a bus. He'd only do a few years..

    But I don't think, somehow, that this is all there is to it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Melody Jones admitted to police she had repeatedly smacked her daughter the night before her death when she refused to come home as she had been told. They ignored her confession that she was on Social Security disability due to mental illness, including bipolar disorder, and that she sometimes failed to take her medicine.

    Steve Drizin, a lawyer with the Center on Wrongful Conviction of Youth, said: 'The interrogation is one of the most riveting examples of psychological torture I have ever seen.'

    But prosecuting attorney Robin Carroll to the Appeal: 'No evidence or court holding has been forthcoming to cause my office to doubt anything done in the case, or its basis.'

    - from: http://stju.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/...ocent-boy.html

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Some comments made by Thomas' grandparents on the Dr. Phil discussion board:

    Replied By: debsharris1 on May 13, 2012, 8:29AM
    My grandson would never hurt anyone or anything he is the most respectful child I have known he has never give me or his grandfather any trouble at all. Jones should pay for hte crime done to my granddaughter

    Replied By: spharri on May 11, 2012, 9:12AM - In reply to cwat51
    Tom can't be brought up on charges again. The high courts threw out the lower court finding and never refiled new charges in the next thirty days. so he is safe and they will have to get past the angle that looks over my grandson Tom Dorcy Corbin is a pit bull that wont back down from bullys. God bless her for all she has done.

    no jury
    Replied By: debsharris1 on May 10, 2012, 2:46PM - In reply to kathleen27
    they down graded this case so there would not be a jury. They knew that thay would lose. But you can't demand a jury trial in court with a minor.

    Replied By: spharri on May 11, 2012, 8:39AM - In reply to kathleen27
    there was no jury. they know that they had no evidence to show that anyone did anything. so they droped it from murder one. and held it for a juvinal judge. That way we could not have get this case to people that use their heads by the way I'm toms grandfather not someone taking a guess
    Is Melody their daughter? I am guessing DIL - unless the grandmother's taken to calling her daughter 'Jones' in disgust.
    Last edited by Ausgirl; 01-17-2013 at 06:12 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    He certainly seems innocent. I can not imagine LEO putting aside the rights of a 12 year old boy, when they had no evidence against him.

    The 'mother' seems like a piece of work and I agree that what was said about her taking the bags off of his head, was suspicious and speaks to how she may have punished the children.

    There was also the statement that his sister had cleaned her room. Heaven help these children and what they may have endured.

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