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

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by cathieq, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. cathieq

    cathieq New Member

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    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...”
    http://www.kthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=32494

    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....
     
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  3. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    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?
     
  4. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    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:

    [video=youtube;LPg764fEkN0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPg764fEkN0[/video]


    Here's various news links and other info:


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...cent-boy-12-confess-strangling-sister-11.html

    http://www.arkansasinnocence.org/thomas_cogdell.asp

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/jan/08/breaking-thomas-they-wouldnt-believe-me/

    http://www.todaysthv.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=32494

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/camden-ar/TFDSEKCCMR9RPJE1O

    Court records of Thomas' appeal:

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ar-supreme-court/1523741.html
     
  5. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    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.
     
  7. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    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.
     
  9. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    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?"

    :waitasec: 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.
     
  10. chinacat67

    chinacat67 Proud walking jingle in the midnight sun

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    I haven't seen the videos yet, but this stood out to me from the court records linked:

     
  11. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    Maybe because she would have been more likely to lawyer up if they'd zeroed in on her?
     
  12. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    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
     
  13. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Link to what I think is anti-SSRI (anti depressant meds) site:

    http://www.ssristories.com/show.php?item=1020

    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.
     
  14. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    - from: http://stju.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/how-arkansas-police-forced-innocent-boy.html
     
  15. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Some comments made by Thomas' grandparents on the Dr. Phil discussion board:

    Is Melody their daughter? I am guessing DIL - unless the grandmother's taken to calling her daughter 'Jones' in disgust.
     
  16. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN Active Member

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    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.
     
  17. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Another thing that strikes me as odd - Thomas states in his confession that he placed some 'trash bags' over his sister's head and -then- went to the living room to get the leash and tape off a table (where both items were conveniently lying side by side) to bind her with.

    He indicates that he may have suffocated her prior to this.

    He also indicates that he went and got the binding materials as he was afraid she'd get up and 'kill him'. Though an 11 yo outdoorsy girl could likely throw a mean punch if she wanted to - was he -really- so afraid she might "kill him"? The same little sister he was seen defending from neighbourhood bullies. Okay. Anyway:

    What I am led to imagine here is a kid saying, "I put bags on her head, -then- I got the cords.."

    And the cops saying, "Why didn't she get up?"

    Thomas: "Um.... "

    And the cops ever so kindly filling in that blank for him. Then:

    "So if she was not moving at that point, why tie her up?"

    Thomas: "Umm...."

    And then some more suggestions from the cops as to why and how that odd scenario might have played out.

    Not saying it -couldn't- have happened as stated in the confession. But when you add emphatic denials followed by a three hour untaped break and some 'friendly chat' followed by an oddly wooden confession...

    When you add the mother saying, "Protect me"..

    When you add the whisper to Jones, then, "Okay, you understand?... I did it."

    Etc, etc, etc....

    Added to all of that, and based on the oddness I percieve in his speech patterns and phrasing during that confession, I can't help but conclude Thomas' confession was probably both false and heavily coached.

    I truly think this crime needs to be re-investigated. NOT by those same cops.. And that someone needs to be prosecuted for Kaylee's murder.
     
  18. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    I can't be 100% sure Jones said 'she cleaned her room' - and I can't get the audio program to co-operate yet..

    But looking at the LE pics of Kaylee's room taken after they'd removed her, it seemed awfully untidy. No sheets on the bed.. though I am assuming LE took them. Still, it looks like a disaster zone.

    As to punishment - I think Jones had a lack of control.. in the car park of the -church- she slapped Kaylee hard enough to bloody her lip, and slapped her more than once, for not wanting to come home when she was told.

    Now, my daughter at 11 was a real handful, and I am talking -handful- .. cheeky, defiant, taking off... I understand how frustrating girls that age can be (she's much more delightful at 14, we seem to have gone through the teen angst a little early, ha).

    But slapping a child like that, and -hard- in the face... and doing it in the grounds of the church... this says to me that Jones had a hard time controlling her own frustration and anger in general.

    I was just looking at the time frames, too... 11 am discovery.. Kaylee dead 6-8 hours prior = 3- 5am roughly, as a TOD.

    Thomas says his mother woke him up on the sofa at 6am and told him to go to bed.

    He was -so- specific about the time.. "6 am"... I can't imagine my daughter being woken (after murdering her sibling earlier, no less) at 6am, being in any kind of state of mind to want to take notice of the -precise time- I woke her.

    More likely, she'd stumble to bed like a shirty bear disturbed from hibernation, with her eyes barely open. I just do not believe Thomas stopped to take a good, clear look at a clock.

    Then five hours passes, in which Jones doesn't wake her daughter or check on her. Then she suddenly decides, at 11am, to wake Thomas up so they can -both- go into Kaylee's room and give her some never-elaborated-on "surprise".

    How the cops didn't look at this sequence, in conjunction with all the other oddnesses, and see HINKY MOTHER I do not know. I just do not know.
     
  19. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    COGDELL, MELODY R 42

    Associated names:
    BELL, MELODY A
    JONES, MELODY
    NAPPER, MELODY A
    COGDELL, BELL MELODY
    COGDELL, MELODY ALIVIA

    CAMDEN, AR
    WISTER, OK
    FORT SMITH, AR
    HARTFORD, AR
    FORT WORTH, TX
    LOUANN, AR
    OLYMPIA, WA


    ----

    Alivia Jones (Napper) (Camden, AR)
    Female Age: 42 Principal
    My Places: mylife

    (ausgirl says.. same unusual middle name - same last name, town, age.. same person .. and wtf 'principal'????)
     
  20. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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  21. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if that's coincidence or if there are any police officers in common between the two investigations, or other common links? If there was a common link that would explain why the mother was over looked in favour of tunnel vision about the brother.
     

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