GA GA - Shirley, 87, & Russell Dermond, 88, Putnam County, 2 May 2014 - #13

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by KateB, May 16, 2015.

  1. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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  2. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

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    Lol, I was just coming here to post about the showing on 11/8/20. I didn't know it was on but my DVR recorded it. Those with satellite may want to watch it on demand or some may even find it online. It was on Real Life Nightmares. I got a better idea of the physical layout and surroundings on the show. Also they lived on a little finger cove and many of the homes looked like they had trees on the waterfront side which hid the homes somewhat. The Dermond's home was totally treeless on the waterfront side , so clearly open to viewing. But that may only be the angle of the photo that I saw.
     
  3. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    Hope I can find it sometime!
     
  4. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Previously posted this clip (to know what show to look for) cannot find a full download of the episode atm.
     
  5. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

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  6. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

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  7. ilovewings

    ilovewings Well-Known Member

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    It is on right now on HLN
     
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  8. ilovewings

    ilovewings Well-Known Member

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    I learned a lot from watching this program on HLN--- I didnt know Mr Dermond's head was never found----The only way this horrible crime will be solved is thru a tip--- otherwise I would have to say this was a perfect crime that will never get solved
     
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  9. Razz

    Razz Well-Known Member

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    GUILTY - TX - Jubal Alexander, 24, found decapitated, Angleton, 27 April 2016

    This was a case of a young man who was decapitated. (To retrieve a bullet) The perp was found after someone came forward with a tip. Seems JA was murdered because the perp thought he witnessed a drug deal. After a while, the perp went back to decapitate and retrieve JA's head because he had read the police can track a gun by identifying the bullet. Awful story.
     
  10. ilovewings

    ilovewings Well-Known Member

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    It is awful!!! The murder of the Dermonds is one of the most gruesome and seemingly senseless murders I have ever heard of: i don't have confidence they will ever find the killer/s-- hopefully some day a tip may come in to solve the case.
     
  11. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Interesting case. Thanks for sharing this!

    It appears Foyt (or his friend) googled "forensic gun ballistics" and accessed "6 Remarkable Ways Guns Can Be Linked to a Crime Scene". Also, I'm sure it's coincidence but the fact this was near a boat ramp, and the victim's head has never been recovered... is a bit unsettling.

    Zachary Foyt v. The State of Texas Appeal from 239th District Court of Brazoria County (opinion)

    jmo
     
  12. Razz

    Razz Well-Known Member

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    If the Dermonds were killed elsewhere, why bring him back and "stage" his body? I too believe it was a hit, but one to send a message.

    IMO, Mrs. D. was taken elsewhere to delay anyone finding her. Why? Because imo, she was being used as leverage. The perps of course knew she was dead but those who were receiving the "message" didn't know.
     
  13. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    I've always leaned to the "sending a message" theory. Early on I wondered if Mr D's head had been mailed to the intended person. But, how is it LE has no idea who might have been the recipient? I mean, if SS/FBI had a clue as to the receiver then they'd have an idea as to shooter (or at least who might have arranged these murders)... and, surely, by now, they'd have built a case against them. Or no?
     
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  14. PsychoBabble

    PsychoBabble Well-Known Member

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    Powerful “message” indeed! What on earth was in RD’s past that no one has uncovered???
     
  15. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Just came across this convoluted tale involving a severed head, and two bodies, only one of which was buried.
    The head was found near a walking trail sign and believed to have been left there to send a message.

    https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/arlington/article171342477.html
    September 06, 2017
    ''ARLINGTON
    A severed head found near a trail in Arlington on Saturday afternoon has led to the discovery of what investigators suspect is the remainder of the body and another buried in a shallow grave behind a nearby residence.''

    “We believe it was purposely placed in a manner to where it would be discovered by someone walking in the area,” Cook said.

    Next to the head was a sign that stated “La Raza Se Resreta y Faltan 4.” Loosely translated, the message intended appears to be “The race, or group, must be respected and there’s only four left.”
     
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  16. StarryStarryNight

    StarryStarryNight Well-Known Member

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    The HLN program strongly suggests the actual murders took place somewhere else and I have struggled to understand why the killers would take the risk of returning one of the bodies to the house. Also why risk being spotted near a public boat ramp trying to weigh Mrs D’s body down? Why not find a place in all the acres of forest in the county to dispose of both of the bodies? I don’t even think psychopathic thrill killers would go to that much trouble.
    So I agree with a lot of you, in that a message was being sent about something to someone. But in the HLN program they talk about checking all those possibilities both in Georgia and up north exhaustively and finding nothing that would warrant something like that. Nothing makes sense.
    I will throw out two possibilities.
    1) These murders were caused by a perceived slight the killer felt they had received from the Dermonds. Some small petty thing that nobody cares about but the unstable killer. The Dermonds may not even know the guy, or even remember the petty incident between them. I think this theory explains why there is so little to go on as there is very little to connect the killer with the victims, and returning a body would send a message and further humiliate Mr Dermond in the killer’s eyes. I think it’s not so great a theory for a number of reasons. It seems too planned and neat for someone this unstable. Secondly, he had to have enlisted help and although the “slighted” individual may have been all set for bloody revenge, his helpers might not be and it’s hard to believe that five years after participating in this brutal murder you wouldn’t be compelled to talk about it with someone.
    2) A murder was planned to send a message and a mistake was made and the wrong house was entered and the wrong people were killed. Someone else in that community was the intended victim. This would explain why the police cannot find any connection between the victims and the killers and why they can’t find any motive. There simply isn’t any. Maybe the message was received loud and clear by the spared victim anyway or maybe not but LE cannot connect the dots because there are none to connect.
    These are kinda wild but it’s what I’m thinking these days. Just my thoughts.
     
  17. TXTALL

    TXTALL New Member

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    I think they moved on too quickly from the Dermond's family members. It is extremely disturbing to think that a (or more than one) family member could do this to their parents, but it does happen. Look at the Menendez boys. That was a very brutal and disturbing crime.

    Let's assume this crime was staged to look like a particular type of crime. What would it be? I think most people would think "cult-like" because of the beheading. Within two weeks of the murders, one family says he believes it was the act of a cult. He goes on to say he does not believe it is random. How does he know? His parents were just massacred and what does he know about murder investigations.

    Robbery? No. Nothing was stolen even though there were many valuables easily available. Why no robbery. Is it was orchestrated by a family member, (1) those belongings are valuable to the him/her, and (2) items like expensive watches, etc. could lead back to the killers (probably hired).

    Who benefits? The heirs.

    A revenge killing? No. The killings appear to intentionally happen outside of the home. Why? The home is a valuable asset to an heir. Random killers, revenge killers, professional killers do not care about keeping the house clean and valuable.

    The beheading? To infer the "cult-killing" theory. But in reality, cult-style killings are usually not well thought out. They typically are sloppy and over the top with some type of symbolism related to religious or other cult beliefs. It might also explain why he was killed before the beheading. Maybe the instructions were to make sure he is dead before you do that. I do not think the beheading is a symbol of more anger towards the male victim than the female victim. I think it is totally related to the staged murder scene. Would hiding the female body in the bottom of the lake delay probating the estate? I do not think the intention was to hide Mom's body for any great length of time. Anyone who planned this very detailed crime would have done sufficient research to know that the body would eventually come apart in the water and be discovered. I think the manner of disposition of Mom's body was just another tactic to make the scene even more bizarre, but also to distract law enforcement from the home crime scene while they search for what may be a living hostage.

    Keep in mind the person most likely to pass a polygraph is a true psychopath. Not only do they lack any empathy for the victims, they have often convinced themselves that their crimes are justified for some bizarre reason. A true psychopath might just decide he is tired of waiting for the money and that the victims have lived a long life and it is time and, for some reason, that is okay.

    They need to look further. Particularly, the finances of some of the family members. For one, the lack of a reward from the family is a little disturbing to me. If they don't have the personal funds, they could have filed a request for the estate to post a reward. While you never want to just throw tons of money out there because it often triggers so many false tips that the investigators are overwhelmed, $55,000 doesn't seem sufficient in this case. Not certain, but I believe most (or all) of that reward came from the community.

    There needs to be a thorough investigation into the finances and businesses of the family members. It could be that a family member wanted to do as well as the Dermonds, but struggles. That person would probably have filings for several businesses and, although they might look successful, there will be signs that the businesses never come close to what the victims were able to accomplish. And, at this point in their life, the victims may have said no to requests for financial assistance.

    The truth is, the prosecutor does not have to prove motive and that should not be the focus of the case. This crime was planned out very thoroughly. The location of the home and access to the home by boat is not something random. It just didn't happen that way. There is no evidence this was a spur-of-the-moment robbery. In fact, the evidence almost rules that out. There were tools/weapons brought to the scene(s) specific to the acts that took place. The victim's head was not severed with a kitchen knife. The cut was clean. The cinder blocks and the bag they were in were not just something the killers stumbled upon. This was not a botched or abandoned attempt at extortion. Killers capable of these brutal murders are not going to develop a conscious mid-act.

    One killer or two? I think common sense tells us two, but that truly is just an assumption. One person, particularly someone who would be able to separate the victims because the victims felt comfortable with the killer, could have done this. Nothing says that both victims were in the garage at the same time. If one victim can be lured to the garage and then the other convinced to take a boat ride, one person could commit this crime.

    I can't really explain why Dad is shot, but Mom is hit with a hammer. My only thought it was a attempt to leave no evidence on Mom's body, or it was a younger relative who somehow thought the hammer was less violent to her. There may not be a rational explanation for that as this whole thing is irrational.

    While it isn't major in the scope of things, I would like to know if the female victim still had her wedding ring on. Such care was taken to preserve everything of value, I just wonder about her ring.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  18. ilovewings

    ilovewings Well-Known Member

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    I really like your thoughtful post and it makes so much sense. Being a true crime junkie what I have learned is that the cops sometimes rely too much on polygraph tests. As you pointed out, psychopaths easily pass them. The other thing i have learned is that there are good detectives ( smart ones) and some not so good ones ( not so smart ones) and maybe in this case these detectives just are not that smart. I have seen lots of cases go cold because details were initially missed. It sometimes takes decades later with different eyes and new detectives looking at the case to solve it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  19. wildebeest

    wildebeest Well-Known Member

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    From the beginning, I have thought the investigation should be focused on those who stood to profit from this crime. It’s the most obvious choice.

    IMHO
     
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  20. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    I don't really believe that RD was murdered elsewhere and then brought back to the house to behead him. That just seems like crazy thinking. Not that crazy thinking didn't go on in this case. for SURE.

    But SS seems to have developed a narrative based on that RD must've been shot in the head since they apparently found a tiny bit of GSR on his tshirt or something. That could've been from him, if he kept a gun in the house.. it could've been from the killers' hands if the killers had held a gun prior to killing him. Just because there was no blood spatter to indicate a shooting at the house, or other methods that would cause blood spatter, doesn't mean he wasn't killed at the house in a non-bloody fashion (ie strangulation).

    But if he WAS taken away (in his bathrobe, right) and then returned.. why returned.. would be to ensure that he was discovered dead. If they'd dumped his body in the forest to never be found, then wouldn't it take something like seven years for him to be declared dead? Take from that what you will. Who would that matter to?

    Also, I don't buy into that they never wanted SD to be discovered. They didn't weigh her down well enough to keep her down. They had the intelligence and precision and steady hands enough to cut a human head off in a cleaner type of manner, but oops, they forgot to calculate how much concrete weight it would take to keep SD's dead body in the water forever. And with all the trees growing in that lake, would she really ever have even hit the bottom, even if she was discarded in one of the deepest parts? They wanted these people found. imo.
     

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