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

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

  1. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy&Gabby

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    Sills hopeful new lead may lead to Dermonds’ killers

    May 10, 2021

    EATONTON, Ga. — It’s now been seven years, and still authorities have not caught the killer or killers or Russell and Shirley Dermond.

    [..]

    Although he can’t say much about one of the latest leads that he is following in the open murder investigation, Putnam County Sheriff Howard R. Sills said he is optimistic that it will finally be the lead that will solve the case and bring to justice those responsible for the May 2014 killings.


    “I’ve been working on some technological things that did not exist in 2014,” Sills told The Union-Recorder during a recent interview. “And I have obtained some data that, with the help of the FBI, we have analyzed. I am now waiting on some additional data to see if that possibly matches up with something that could lead us to a suspect or suspects.”

    [..]

    The sheriff said the new lead is the closest concrete-type lead that he has had since he spearheaded the double-murder investigation.

    He said he had looked into lots of other leads in the past, but they didn’t pan out.

    “And this one might not pan out, either,” Sills said. “I just don’t know yet.”

    [..]

    The sheriff finds out about any such tip immediately and he acts on it right away.

    “For instance, if I find out Joe Blow was arrested in Tifton, I then find out what cell number he had at that time,” Sills said. “I put the Vi-Cap on it within a month.”

    Sills said the Vi-Cap Program is one used by the FBI.

    “You can put the particulars of a case into the Vi-Cap Program and then anybody in law enforcement can call the FBI and say they have X Y and Z, and would they check By-Cap to see if there is anything else like it,” Sills said.

    [..]

    “I sill think that the killers came there to get something from the Dermonds, and either the Dermonds wouldn’t give it to them or they didn’t have it to give to them,” Sills said. “That’s what I think.”

    He also theorized that the killings could have possibly been due to some type of grudge from many years ago.

    “Sure, it could have been, but I can’t figure out what that grudge could have been,” Sills said. “If it just hadn’t been four days before the Mr. Dermond’s body was discovered, then we might have known more than we did right away. It doesn’t do a detective any good to worry about what could have been, would have been or should have been.”

    _______

    See link for leads previously investigated by Sheriff.
     
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  2. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy&Gabby

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    Unsolved double-murder of Putnam Co. couple to air on TV

    Nov 2020

    Sills said he believes that Russell Dermond’s decapitated head was taken by the killers so authorities could not retrieve the projectile that was fired from a gun to kill him.

    “He was already dead when they decapitated him with some sort of very sharp instrument,” Sills said. “We’ve never been able to find his head.”

    Sills said he took the film crew to the lake area and the vicinity of where the crimes took place back in July, but not to the actual house, where Russell Dermond’s corpse was found by one of his neighbors, Hewell Wynn. After making the grisly discovery of his friend, whom he reportedly had not seen in four days, he went back to his home and had his wife, Peggy, call 911 to report the death of Russell Dermond to a dispatcher with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office in Eatonton.

    A copy of that 911 audio recording was requested and given to The Union-Recorder as well as the 911 audiotape recording of a fisherman who called authorities to report the body floating on Lake Oconee. The body turned out to be Shirley Dermond’s.


    The Wynns and the Dermonds had been friends ever since the Dermonds moved to Great Waters.

    Days earlier, both couples reportedly were to have joined other friends to watch the Kentucky Derby on television.
     
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  3. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    'Seems he's been working on this "new technology" since May of last year. But, new data could be hopeful.

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

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    I've been watching more than my fair share of crime shows and forensics shows lately (love watching 'forensic files', among others). It has been striking me how often it is shown how police dig so damned hard into cases.. and reach out to other police organizations and specialists in other areas, all across the USA, to assist them in cases.. seems to happen a LOT. It amazes me how far they went in some cases, to find a killer, even if decades later. Amazing work.. and seems that there has to be at least one committed detective who had the wherewithall to make it happen by reaching out. I know it's not just TV because sometimes some of these cases are so interesting that I'll look them up on the net, and find they are indeed a true case.

    So if we have a country sheriff who thinks he's the cat's meow and thinks he has done the most stellar job that could possibly be done (and then some!), and who doesn't 'like' his state's bureau of investigation, and who doesn't seem to want to ask for help from anywhere except for his old buddies who he knows will pat him on the back and say, 'hey good job SS, even I wouldn't have thought of THAT!).. how likely is it that this case will ever be solved? Maybe SS has become too attached to this case, blurring his professionalism and vision, and maybe he should hand the entire case over to an independent policing organization to have an independent look at it all? If I was the family, I'd be demanding it. imo. This case is really irking me.
     
  5. ilovewings

    ilovewings Well-Known Member

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    Like you, I watch true crime shows a lot over many years: I watch detectives like Joe Kenda and other detectives who, like Kenda, exhibit a high level of intelligence, tenacity, cooperation, and compassion- they are dogged in their pursuit of murderers and they do everything they can to bring justice to victims. And then there are detectives who don't exhibit those qualities: some are just lazy, others are biased to the point of having tunnel vision (as in the spouse did it- no matter that the evidence may lead in another direction)- and some are just not that smart-- so many of these cases go cold---some never get solved- I hope this case does not fall in that category but I don't have a lot of confidence in the level of investigation by the police in this case.
     
  6. Peppery

    Peppery Well-Known Member

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    RSBM

    I’d love to know how he reconciles this theory with the house being left in pristine condition.

    If someone was so desperate to get something they thought the Dermond’s had that they were willing to kill two people to get it, why wouldn’t they look around for it? Or even more likely, ransack the house top to bottom for it?

    Even if it wasn’t something tangible there’s always the chance info was written somewhere. Plus if you kill the only two people who have the info, you just screwed yourself over.

    What in the world could this item or info be that their kids didn’t know about and Sills can’t find, yet the murderer did and a couple nearing their 90’s would be willing to die over?

    No, this is one of the least likely motives imo.
     
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  7. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy&Gabby

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    Why wasn't the house ransacked? HS opines the murderer(s) could have been holding an old grudge. Maybe they sought the location of somebody from the Dermonds.

    I recall the only thing taken from the home was a table lamp that was moved to the garage. Seems to me that the murderer did not want to be detected -- not even using the overhead lights inside the garage. MOO
     
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  8. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Somewhere along the line I missed that a table lamp was moved to the garage :eek:
     
  9. Bootsctr

    Bootsctr Well-Known Member

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    It was in the Real Life Nightmare program on HLN. It would seem it went from a lamp shade being tilted to a lamp being moved to the garage.
     
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  10. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the info! Obviously, I haven't watched. Hmmm... interesting... wonder if HLN got it wrong or ??
     
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  11. Bootsctr

    Bootsctr Well-Known Member

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    If I remember correctly, it was Sheriff Sills who came out with the information about the lamp on the show. I was surprised he gave up that information.
     
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  12. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy&Gabby

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    Funny at least to me -- had I not know the history of this case and Sheriff Sill's own, proprietory history with the investigation, he gives off a somewhat nice impression on the HLN segment! :eek:

    MOO
     
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  13. watcher9

    watcher9 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting about the lamp!

    Maybe SS told the truth about finding a lamp on a table with the shade being tilted but had left out the fact that another lamp had been taken to the garage? Maybe the bulb was out on the first lamp? Why take a lamp to the garage? Maybe because the lights overhead were blocked by the cars and more closer light was needed to aid in the decapitation? Maybe someone to hold it while another person did the cutting? No flashlight - not prepared in advance.

    Just another thought - lamp cords are never very long and receptacles in a garage are never where you need them. It extension cords were not hanging up in the garage, maybe they had to open drawers to find an extension cord/s long enough to reach the body? Somewhere there may be some fingerprints or DNA?
     
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  14. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    I still have not been able to find that tv show, although I have looked a few times. Does anyone know where it can be viewed?
     
  15. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    In searching for the HLN show, I found this, dated recently (May 9, 2021) by Levi Page:



    Mystery on Lake Oconee


    Levi Page dives into a chilling mystery on Georgia's Lake Oconee.
     
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  16. MrsWatson

    MrsWatson Well-Known Member

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    This is a horrific case! Those poor people. To reach that age, and die in such a terrifying way. May they find peace. And justice.

    I find it shocking that the GBI and FBI weren't called in very quickly. The multiple locations, alone, I think would easily justify it. I find it curious that their family is not pushing LE harder for a new look at the case. Or maybe they are, and we just don' t know that? The family has been very quiet, though.

    It does not sound to me like LE has any idea of who committed these awful crimes. This does not seem like a home invasion type of crime, people are usually robbed of all sorts of valuables in those situations. It doesn't feel random to me. Another poster mentioned some sort of family secret. I think that's a good possibility. These were two elderly people; not to be callous, but how much longer were they going to live? Almost like punishment? They were not going to die peacefully in their sleep?

    I apologize if I am re-hashing. I just came across this and I haven't read all 29 pages of the thread.
     
  17. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    I would love if they would have someone with fresh eyes revisit the reasons as to why some have been put aside as POIs/suspects, ie the most likely candidates.. ie the thing about following the money which comes up in so many cases, perhaps? Or the thing about how first they should rule out those closest to the victims and then branch out from there.. I'm not feeling really confident about SS's reasoning for not pursuing the closest people. I believe because they passed lie detector tests, etc.?
     
  18. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the new youtube that I posted just above, Levi Page had posted this short little newspaper article regarding Mark Dermond's murder (note Shatik Hinnit as his killer):
    Mark Dermond newspaper article Shatik Hinnit.png
    I am now very confused. The name of the accused above did not sound familiar to me at all, and when I looked up the name of the person convicted of killing Mark, it is a completely different name. Wondering if the man has aliases, or.. where did that initial name come from?
    ----
    Major v. State

    Annotate this Case

    632 S.E.2d 661 (2006)

    280 Ga. 746

    MAJOR v. The STATE.

    No. S06A0810.

    Supreme Court of Georgia.

    July 13, 2006.

    Carl P. Greenberg, Atlanta, GA, for Appellant.

    Paul L. Howard, Jr., Dist. Atty., Bettieanne C. Hart, Asst. Dist. Atty., Thurbert E. Baker, Atty. Gen., Elizabeth A. Baker, Asst. Dist. Atty., Vonnetta Leatrice Benjamin, Asst. Atty. Gen., for Appellee.

    *662 MELTON, Justice.

    Following a jury trial, Troy Major appeals his convictions for murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict.[1] We affirm.

    In the light most favorable to the verdict, the record shows that, on the evening of August 30, 2000, Mark Dermond and Grady Harris drove to the Neal Street area of Atlanta to purchase drugs. Paula Heard immediately approached Dermond's car and asked him to buy a rock of crack cocaine for her. Walter Thomas Martin then approached the car to sell the drugs to Dermond. At that time, Major and his co-defendant, Cedric Mansa, approached the vehicle. Major walked to the driver's side of the car where Dermond was sitting, demanded his money, and shot him multiple times. Later, Martin testified that he had observed Major carrying a gun, and both Heard and Mansa identified Major as the shooter. Dermond died as a result of gunshot wounds, and Harris was injured.

    This evidence was ample upon which the jury could conclude that Major was guilty of the crimes for which he had been convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S. Ct. 2781, 61 L. Ed. 2d 560 (1979). Major's contention that the evidence was conflicting and that the witnesses who testified for the state were not credible does not change this result, as "resolving evidence conflicts and inconsistencies, and assessing witness credibility, are the province of the factfinder, not this Court." Hampton v. State, 272 Ga. 284, 285(1), 527 S.E.2d 872 (2000).

    Judgment affirmed.

    All the Justices concur.

    NOTES

    [1] On September 29, 2000, Major was indicted in Fulton County for murder, one count of felony murder with aggravated assault as the underlying felony, one count of felony murder with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as the underlying felony, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and the related count of felony murder were severed from the other counts of the indictment and dead-docketed by the State. Following a jury trial conducted on November 5-9, 2001, Major was found guilty of all remaining counts of the indictment. The conviction for felony murder was vacated by operation of law. See Malcolm v. State, 263 Ga. 369(4), 434 S.E.2d 479 (1993). On November 9, 2001, Major was sentenced to life imprisonment for malice murder, twenty consecutive years for aggravated assault, and five consecutive years for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Major filed a motion for new trial on November 29, 2001, and an amended motion on April 15, 2004. The motion was denied on April 5, 2005, and Major filed a notice of appeal on May 2, 2005. His timely appeal was docketed in this Court on January 9, 2006 and submitted for decision on the briefs.

    Major v. State
     
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  19. fred&edna

    fred&edna Well-Known Member

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    Well, interestingly I found a Florida inmate by another name (not Major) who used the alias Shatik Hinnit.
     
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  20. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    I also found something in FL, some guy who had quite a list of aliases, one of which was Shatik Hinnit, but none which were Troy Major.
     
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