TPS E14: Annie Ross Cold Case Murder Solved – Jim Engen – Thingspolicesee

TPS E14: Annie Ross Cold Case Murder Solved – Jim Engen

In this episode Steve sits down with retired Police Captain Jim Engen.  Jim takes us through the brutal murder of Annie Ross in 1974 and the cold case that followed for 40 years.  When Jim made captain at the La Palma Police Department he re-opened the case and began a vigorous investigation.  After many hours, several donated, they were able to finally track down the murderer and arrest him. 

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Patricia Ann Ross known to all of herfriends as Annie was a female Caucasianborn on August 14 1943 in ArizonaAnnie was well liked by everyone whoknew her known to be reserved sometimesquiet but genuinely friendly andthoughtful to everybody she knew herlife came to a tragic end on December11th 1974 after she was violentlysodomized and strangled inside herapartment bedroom in La Palma Californiathis is things police seize first anaccount with your oast Steve Gould Jimingen thank you for coming on thepodcast again my man sure thank let itbe here with you all rightexcited to have you back on I kind ofknew I was gonna have you back onbecause right before we recorded thefirst interview you’re like the secondinterview I ever did right before thathappened I had overheard a co-workertalking with you and they they just saidin passing hey I saw your crime watchdaily it was it was unbelievable I can’tbelieve that cold case murder right awayI was like all right so this will be Jimwe’ll come on twice and besides thatyou’re very well-liked as guests thatI’ve had you’ve got a great responsefrom the listeners they they want morecaptain ingen so I’m givin the listenerswhat they want and you out you also havethis this is an incredible cold casemurder story and I mean it’s over 40years old your big part one of the leadinvestigators in in solving it so it’sfascinatingI watched the crime watch daily Icouldn’t look away so I thought it’d bereally fun just for you to kind of delveinto into this case and tell us how itwentsure thing Steve and let me tell youthis I’m very humbled by your listenersand it’s it’s nice to know that I’mactually well-liked out there all rightso to begin with you know the questionis the question is you knowwhat makes a case a cold case and reallywhen it comes to homicides if the caseis not solved or a suspect identifiedwithin the force first 48 hours it itbecomes less and less likely that thecase is going to be solved as that clockticks this case went cold for a longperiod of time detectives workedtirelessly on this case from from theminute they were called to the scenehundreds of people were interviewed andas a result of those interviews therewas no known suspects so when youknowing all that when you look into acold case you start working you theremust be a slight feeling of hopelessnessthat someone else has gone through thisthing all those people interviewed howare you ever going to solve this youmust feel like that a little bit rightyou do you do feel like that a littlebit but let me tell you something as acase gets colder and colder and you puta fresh set of eyes on it and keep yourmind open because as police officerswhat we tend to do is we tend to werevery suspicious people by nature rightand what we tend to do is come up with atheory and prove our theory you’re kindof married to it that’s yes okay theother thing is on this particular casein general was a feeling that hey youcan only put the most experiencedinvestigators on this so what I’m tryingto say is you just have to keep an openmind so what I’m really anxious to talkabout with this case is when I firstwhen I first became involved in it youknow way back in 1996 where the case was21 years old41 years old right but you think aboutwhat was happening in 1996 well DNA wasbrand new it was extremely expensive butit gave investigators so much more to goonyou know fingerprints was the latestgreatest thing but when DNA came to thescene it just changed everything and weknew at that time that we are going toget and and this is an all in lawenforcement in general as we knew thatwe were gonna have a lot of cases saltright so I’ll take you back on into 1990when I first was hired la palma is avery small community it’s got apopulation of about 17,000 thedepartment at that time was 26 sworntotal staff of maybe 35 for the city soa police officer in a small townprobably as you know steve is that isthat we do everything sure from fromdriving around in a black and white toactually investigating law hats we hadat that time two investigators and asupervisor and the detective bureau soanyway I’m just a young officer in factI started off when I was a reserveworking part-time there literally forfree but I just you know was just gladto have a job there I’m glad to have youknow so because I I knew I was doingwhat I wanted to do but I heard aboutthis case it was La Palma not a wholelot of homicides maybe one every coupleof years but we investigated our ownhomicides we didn’t give it to theSheriff’s Department she investigatedeverything so that’s an option I knowwhere where I’m from in Massachusettsprobably to save the small towns budgetsthere’s a Massachusetts estate filledwith tiny towns with their own littlefiefdoms they all have their own chiefsthere’s only three cities that caninvestigate murders I think because itwould suck up all of our resources likeit sound like I worked for had never hadmurders and if it had won bothdetectives would just be that’s allthey’d be doing so we were actually thatwas forced upon usand mass was the state police would comein and we could do like a parallelinvestigation but we couldn’t run ourown so you guys even though you weresmaller you still were able to do thatyes and the other good thing about aboutin Orange County and Southern CaliforniaOrange County the Sheriff’s Departmentand the agencies work together okay soin other words in this particular casewe were in charge of the investigationbut we were provided all resourcesnecessary by the Sheriff’s Department ohthat’s great free of charge so that’stip that was typically the culture inOrange Countyevery agency cleans up their own theydon’t hand it off to anybody so I hearabout this case and I and I knew it wasour city’s only unsolved case and it wasI heard about all the theories behind itI heard oh yeah it was probably TedBundy who happened to just be comingdown here because that was right at thebeginning of his his reign of terrorright there was all this thought that itwas either one somebody who knew herroom was close to her or to a serialkiller in the area who happened toventure down here our way so those werethe theories one of what police did atthat time that was so valuable and sohelpful to the conclusion of this casewas that they had talked to so manypeople so we had a list of names that weknew hey it’s time to go back andcontact these people so anyway backingup I had just rotated into the detectivebureau in 1996 DNA was up and coming andI remember the I was asking thedetective sergeant about it about thiscase and saying I and I asked him youknow I’m young I’m just rotated in thedetective bureau I have absolutely noexperience so I said Sarge would it beokay if I went to the evidence room andlooked through the any green thingsmurder evidence and he’s sitting as yeahyou know knock yourself out see what youcan find out any green thinks was thename of her business right any greenthings was the name of her business sheokay so so when she moved out here fromArizona she met a gentleman by the nameof Mike green and they opened up a plantstore in Artesia well she lived in LaPalma Mike Green wanted Annie to runthis business because he had another jobso he was just interested in being 50%owner so she says well if I’m gonna runthis job I I want to work closer towhere I liveso they found a little place in La Palmaabout a half mile from her apartment andshe opened up the business therewell clubs name any green things and Itell you this yeah any green thingsbecause her name’s Annie Mike Green sothere you go and she wasn’t plant loverbut all of that plays a part in thiscase it really does because that was onesmall part of many parts that actuallyled us to solving this case and it wasit was something to put together okayI’ll tell ya so anyway I’m going throughthe evidence boxes and I’m I’m seeingyou know Kodak photos of Annie when shehad got made a recent trip with heryounger brother and his wife to solvingsolving I just came back from thereSolvang California that must have beenspooky looking through those photos itwas something but you know it it playeda part in me being able to identify withher see Annie didn’t have a big familybut by the time by the time I wasstarted looking in this case both herparents had passed her younger brotherhad put this away so she really didn’thave family so so there was there was nothat there was no follow-up or a wholelot of interest in the family and heyyou know what are you guys doing to getthis thing solved Juliethere was just yeah there was just nocommunication cuz that that does play abig part when families get involvedthey want to they want this to come to aconclusion of course okay well we didn’thave that in this case so it was aboutus being able to identify her with herso I’m going through these boxes ofevidence and I’m looking at it photosand I’m and I’m looking through hercheckbook I’m looking through her ledgerI’m I found a couple of books with awhole bunch of shorthand writing in itand I’m thinking wow what are those saywho was she seeing what was important toher so I as I’m going through each pieceof evidence and remember this we’retalking the early 70s this is 1974 I wasnine years old when this happened rightbut you know the days of macrame and andI think anybody that grew up in that erawould completely understand what I’msayingfinding in evidence cigarette buttsChivas vodka bottles all kinds ofdifferent things still with thefingerprint powder on all of thosethings that they were testing back thenbut then as I’m going through evidence Ipull out a manila envelope I open it upand I’m being careful I’ve got I’mgloved up I don’t want to contaminateanything and I’m I I see envelopes orthey’re just like letter size envelopeslabeled unknown blood so then I gotcurious so I’m going through theseenvelopes and I see unknown blood foundon inside of bedroom window unknownblood found on kitchen cabinet unknownblood found on bathroom door all kindsof different things so then I reallystarted getting into this I pull thereport and I’m going through this thinghow was she found what’s the timelineand is your sergeant backing you withthis or is he kind of rolling his eyeshe got to the point where he startedrolling his eyes okay because he goesnow come on detective we have cases thatoccurred here in 1992 solve sure so thisis like your side hobby kind of the sidehobby and yeah I literally I’ve come inon a Saturday okay and just look atthese things and then about six monthslater we get a memo from the OrangeCounty crimeand in this memo said if any agency hascold cases unsolved cold cases not thisis just off a memory here if you haveblood or DNA or samples bring them on inwill test them so there we go I knew Iknew we had five envelopes of blood soI’m getting excited that’s awesomethey’re probably backed up by six monthsnow exactly so got the evidence preparedone of the other detectives prepared atesting request a DNA testing requestand we submitted it to the crime lab andabout three months later agency gets aphone call saying we’ve identified someblood and it’s got the Y chromosome andthat’s from a male so we knew it was inAnnie’s blood so therefore ah we have amale unknown and that’s what we have sowhat do you think we’re thinking they’remore than likely the suspect more thanlikely the suspect so right away westarted thinking hey we’re gonna submitthis it’s gonna go in the nationaldatabase and we’re gonna we’re gonnasomebody that’s probably in prison it’sgonna identify him we’re gonna have thiscase salt well that’s what we thoughtrightno hits nothing well it’s time OrangeCountyhad started up a new unit calledtrackers and trackers was made up ofretired detectives or retiredinvestigators that look into cold casesso the case was given to them to followup on so that went for a couple of yearsand is that your your agency givespermission for that we had to givepermission for that okay because Ieventually I rotated out out ofdetectives and back to Patrol in 1999 soI wasn’t involved with the case butbelieve me I was thinking about it soanyway it died out with trackersthere was no luck again they werelooking at they were looking atserial killers you know they werelooking at anybody who would be mostlikely a suspect because in fact all ofthe people that they had that we thatwere spoken with or interviewed back in1974 were interviewed again Henry wererequested to voluntary submit avoluntary DNA sample and most of themdid write they want to cooperate youknow you get your citizen wants tocooperate they’re there they’re gonna doit so anyway still nothingso then the thought was all this guy’sprobably dead or he’s out theresomewhere and he’s old now and he hasn’tcommitted any more crimes you know casein pointcase in point right now the Golden Statekiller you know that guy did ever had areign of terror in the 70s and 80s andthen he stopped and then there wasnothing but what got him DNA well nowwe’re gonna move forward to 2005 and Iwas a brand-new sergeant so now I’m incharge of detectives what do you thinkwas the first thing on my mind yeah surehey we’re gonna reopen this case but wewere busy we were understaffed as manyagencies were at that time so about twoyears went by so finally in November of2007 I had I had some new detectivescome in in experienced and we were downit up down to a point where hey we canstart putting a little time in this so Igot full buy-in from management yeah youknow what if you want to start lookinginto this thing go ahead so I officiallyreopen this case so you guys had apicture of what had happened yes thatday are ready to look at yes we did sowhat I got what I did was I I had my twodetectives and then I brought in acouple of reserves and also a couple ofofficers from our admin support unit satdown and in the bureau and talked aboutthis case gave me an overview of it andsaid okay who’s interested inreally looking into this and I all handswere raised so what I did was I made Iprovided copies of the originalinvestigation to everybody I said youknow the only way we’re really gonna doany of this is if you know we’re willingto work on our own time on some of thiswell you know anyone’s a most chaoticthat’s great but you know I I would justas soon get paid for it and and that’sokay that’s completely understandablesure so I had this one detective PaulBrack Edina he he was just you know hewas eager and he goes Sarge you knowwhat I’ll if you want to work on theweekends on this thing I let’s go I’m inlet’s do it so anyway everybody broughtthe case home and in the in the thedirection was we’re gonna highlightevery single name in this report everyname and we’re gonna make that listwe’re gonna find out who was talked whowas spoken to who wasn’t spoken to youwe scoured through reports we scouredthrough transcripts we scoured througheverythingI mean names addresses that were inAnnie’s address books everything we cameup with quite a list but we had thankGod for Nexus Lexus or in LexisNexis useme thank God for thatwhat is it well it’s like a it’s apublic access Information Center I guessis what you want to call it that’s notthe exact name but basically it helps usidentify people where they used to liveand where they live now and phonenumbers is an address and everythingokay so that the whole goal was let’sfind out where these people are now andyou know sure enough you know now we areabout 36 years into this people areliving all over the United States surenowso we went through the the list and andthe main list was to find out who wasn’tspoken to you well this one name came upand I’m just gonna touch a little bit onthis because it turned out to be nothingbut well is actually something butturned out to be a guy that Annie wasseeing name came up in a transcript herbest friend was interviewed March of1975 just to follow up and try to getany any more new info and this guy’sname came up then and I won’t give thethe full name I’m just gonna call Johnokay he’s he’s a doctor up in Arcadiaorthopedic surgeon and what we had foundout through talking with the best friendback in 1975 is they would get togetheronce every six months you know for anight outyou know just dispense together a littlefling gotchawe knew that according to the friend shewould go to his place or he would cometo her place so let’s talk to him firstso called him up and found out yep infact he was a practicing orthopedicsurgeon up in Arcadia and I asked him Isaid does the name Annie Ross ring abell to you he paused he said no can Isee let me ask you something I recentlysaw a list that put surgeons at the topof the list for narcissist was that inyour mind at all thinking like oursurgeons there’s a certain kind ofperson that that becomes a surgeondoesn’t have a problem cutting the humanbody you open oh yeah was that your mindthat was in my mind yeah that was in mymindyeah we’re thankful for them but they’relow they’re a little off you know yeah Imean that that was totally going throughmy mind okay so he he claimed that hehad no recollection of that name so Iasked I said hey do you mind if we comeout to your place and talk to you and hesaid you know I’m really a busy kind ofguy but if you need to I don’t see howI’m gonna help I said believe me you maybe able to help so he agreed about 30minutes later we got a call back no Idon’t think I can meet with you today sohe kept called my lawyer Shanehanging around changing it around didn’tcall his lawyer at this point right so Ias tenacious investigators do I continueto call him say hey whatever will everwork for you I don’t care if it’s amidnight I don’t care where you want tomeet let’s just just want to talk to youso finally he agreed he says okay hesays you know I’m gonna be home forlunch I lived in San Gabriel and youknow he gave us a 15-minute window wellI made sure that I was right if we wereright in the area so you know we weren’t40 minutes away we were two minutes awaythen he tried to get out of it again andI said look you know we’re just here wejust want to spend a couple minutes withyou so finally agreed so we get to thehouse and he’s in his scrubs he’s atlunch and shook his hand tan was reallywet and clammy so right away Ralph atbat he seemed very nervous right we sitdown at the table in his living room andI break out a photo of Annie and Ihanded him the food I said do yourecognize her no don’t recognize her atall ask some more questions and and andand he he I could see he was starting tobead sweat on his forehead or he had toget up several times and we had to pullthe hold on put a hold on the interviewso finally after about 30 minutes ofquestioning him pot we popped thequestionso John you know we we would we wouldlike to see if he would be willing togive us an elimination DNA swab becausewe’re we’re asking for DNA fromeverybody we talked to and he was thefirst person that said no so what do youthink we’re thinking right mm-hmm we maybe on to something so we’re excitedabout it I get a hold of the prosecutorthe DA at the time it was a deputydistrict attorney his name is LarryYellin he’s now on the bench work in thebench for Orange County he was excitedwhen when we told him we reopened thisas any resources you need you got so weknew we had that help so first thing wetell him is hey we talked to this guyhe’s refusing to give us a DNA sample sowe want to get a warrant he said nowhold on there he goes just becausesomebody doesn’t want to give their DNAdoesn’t mean that we can go ahead andget a warrant for it rightand I said yeah you know that’s true soI talked to Paul brekkie dead and I saidwell fine if he’s not gonna give us hisDNA we’re gonna get it so the followingnight we we parked across the streetfrom his work he exits his work he goesbebop and around gets in his car drivesdirectly to a liquor store so we parkedabout 300 feet away and just watch walksin the liquor store comes out with alittle brown bag oh geezalright so now he’s sitting in his carparked at a golf course and we couldtell he’s drinking from a cup so hefinishes this and we’re thinking whatthe rule is this guy doing discards thecup drives away well not only that buthe had some cigarette butts as well sowe beelined it got the cup got thecigarette butts submitted it to thecrime lab and boom they got DNA off ofit it’s like a movie gym it’s awesomeso we’re thinking hey boy we justreopened this case and in a week we gotthis thing solved right so submitted itguess whatnegative all right so we were bummed butit just motivated us even more and thisis where it were kind of led us to beingon the right track the day he the dayand he was murdered was he involved atall was he there we all we knew was hewas in the area we knew that he he wasan orthopedic resident at that timeworking in Long Beach right off the 605freeway so he wasn’t that far so wefigured we figured that he was close toAnnie’s shop when she hadin Artesia so we figured they were closeand that’s probably have a met butthere’s more to this story because we welater determine why he was notcooperating with us but anyway wefocused our attention to in otherdirections so we’re scouring throughthis report thinking okay you know let’slet’s not let’s look at it like this wedon’t care if they’re dead we want tojust identify this person so we had a anofficer julian gonzales was working withus at the time former marine worked forhe was investigated with NCIShe got NCIS on board and the reason hegot NCIS on board was because they haveagents all around the country so theirtheir mission was to contact people whowere out here at the time who knew Annieand get voluntary DNA swabs from themand so out they went and they were doingthis while Paul I’m a detective rockyOdetta his first name is Paul I’m gonnarefer to him as Paul because his namesold well last name is so long Paul andI were gonna focus on okay let’s let’sfigure this out now let’s say that it’sjust somebody who happened to be in thearea well page 34 in the original reportthere was an unrelated incident thatoccurred back in it was probably twoweeks after the murder and it wasinvolved an apartment tenant who livedin the same building as any so thisapartment complex is a multi-unitapartment complex each building had fourto six apartments in it so Annie livedin a six room building at the verybottom floor right in the center therewas an incident with another apartmenttenant who lived above and to the sideof Annie so if you look if you’relooking at it you’re looking at aboutdefeat distance okay so the unrelatedincident was that a woman who livedright across the breezeway from thisapartment in it saw two men this is thiswould have been December 28th sees twomen exit the apartment and this was athe apartment number was forty five tensees two males exit it and then try toopen her she felt like they try to openher doorso she got a little concerned but shedidn’t she didn’t make a sound so thetwo men just left so she didn’t reportit but when one of the investigators wasup there knocking on doors still tryingto find witnesses from homicide she sayshey this weird thing happened and shedescribes this incident to the detectiveso luckily that detective went to thelead investigator and said hey you knowthis guy and I could say his full namehe was a witness Paul Williams who livedin 4510 was with another guy unknownname and he denied totally denied tryingto open this woman’s door so then whathappens is the lead investigator Vincechiapas sends another detective guy bythe name of Tom powers and this is nowthis is December 28th 1974okay Tom powers goes to 45:10 talks withPaul Williams and Paul Williams hequestions Paul about trying to enterthis apartment and he says I have noidea what you talk about that’s that’swhat’s in the report and then Tom powerssays well who you with he says well Iwas with my friend Larry Stevens where’sLarry he doesn’t live here he lives inBuena Park off this street called TaylorStreet living with the priety family andthat’s it so the lead investigator VinceGianna and and Tom powers go back up thefollowing day and re-interview PaulWilliams and they described in thereport on three sentences that whenspeaking with Paul Williams he appearedto be somewhat nervousthey questioned him about Larry Stephensand they and that’s it I mean it’s likewho’s Larry Stephens where does he liveand then BOOM no other known follow upwith Larry Stephens there could havebeen we didn’t know but what we did knowwas Paul I go hey let’s go talk to PaulWilliams where’s Paul Williams now wellwe found out he was living in LakeHavasu right off right off the river soone weekend we hightail it out to LakeHavasu off-duty completely off the clockand knock on the door and Paul Williamsanswers the door friendly and so wequestion him finding out okay what washe doing and first thing we wanted to dowas what do you think get his DNA rightokay so and he says absolutelyvolunteered it so so then we asked welllet’s uh who’s Larry Stephens hey guysuh let me tell you about Larry Stephenshe said yeah I said well when was thelast time you spoke with him he goeswolf funny I haven’t really hadn’tspoken to him since 1974 so we wanted tofind out who was this Larry Stephens guywell what we did find out from from PaulLewis was this that Larry was a big-timemarijuana smoker and back in 1974 thatwas a crime it’s not now it was a crimethen and he started telling us a storyabout how Larry would frequently go tohis apartment you know and and they werefriends and you know all he wanted to doa smoke pot Paul Williams didn’t likethe pot so Larry would go up there andhe had said that when detectives came totalk to him on on December 28th they hadthe detectives had said hey we want youto take us down to get Paul Williams hisfingerprintsand Paul said they got a little bitirritated with the detectives and saidlook here’s his name here’s his addressyou go find him yourself I’m not goingwith you so so one of the investigatorswas a little irritated with Paul I guessthis is what he felt and he said thetech had asked him hey where’d you getthat stereo and then Paul says I boughtit and then the detective says you got areceipt for that oh boy and he goes youknow what you guys can get out of myapartment right now sure so they did soyou gotta understand back back in thosedays those detectives they had an ideawho they thought of might be they werefocusing on Annie’s semi boyfriend atthe time this guy by the name of BobJohnson because Bob Johnson that nightturned up at the party that she wassupposed to go to with blood on hisshirt but anyway they would look theywere looking at him that day inez daycould you summarize that quickly for thelisteners oh okay what was happeningwith her that day yeahall right so so Annie had she was havingsome problems with her business and herand Mike green decided that they weregonna go ahead and sell the businesswell she wasn’t having much luck with itso on December 10th the day before hermurder she had two women Donna Davis andCarolyn tozerwho were both now deceased agreed to buythe business for $3,000 they met Annieat her apartment the night before soDecember 10th they had a little partyand they agreed so they gave her a checkfor $2,000 so they gave her two thousandof the three thousand that night so backthen that’s good money that’s good moneyback then so she was excited about it soshe decides hey I want to get togetherwith my with my best friends so he gotSherri Rosen Bob Johnson her semiboyfriend and then Sherri Rosen’sboyfriend at the time by the name ofPaul Walters they were supposed to onDecember 11th they were supposed to haveto get together so what happened on theday of the murder is Anniehelps Carolyn Tozer and Donna Davis doan inventory at the business and aboutnoon and he says look I got to make aquick run to the bank she goes to thebank comes back they can complete theinventory at about a quarter to 5:00 andhe says look I got to get goingI got a hot date tonight but it mightturn out to be lukewarm oh boypremonition premonition so they see herleave at 5:00 p.m. and then no one hearsfrom her again and she was supposed tobe at this party in Seal Beach at sixo’clock to show up with a pizza sixcomes by she doesn’t show sherry Rosenher friend begins to get worried 6:30comes by nothing so she starts callingher every 15 minutes phone rings noanswer so finally she told her boyfriendPaul Walters hey can you go back trackmaybe Annie broke down can you pleasebacktrack to her apartment to see if shebroke down so she gives him a keybecause she had a key Danny’s apartmentis a did a lot in those days and hebacktracks ends up at her apartment andfinds her car parked in the carport hegoes checks the door it’s locked heknocks on the door no answer he entersthe apartment with a key all the lightsare off all the curtains are shutcompletely dark in the apartment hemakes his way into the room calling outfor Annie he can see a figure in the bedhe turns the light on and notices itlooks like Annie is sleeping face downwith her head just above the covers hegoes to the bedside he removes thecovers and find out that she’scompletely nude no clothing at all hechecks her pulse no pulse this is nowabout 8:00 p.m. they just he discoversher deceased so that’s when we werecalled to the scene and he was Walterswas a he was a state conferenceyeah Paul Walters was a was aa fairly young rookie California statepolice officer okay at the time so sonow we have we have a window and whendetectives at the time do a good jobthey get all the interviews they puttogether a timeline they did figure thatthis homicide occurred between 5:00 p.m.when she got home and 5:45 as theytalked to the neighborsjust real quick briefly neighbors hearda door open and shutright after five o’clock the next-doorneighbor’s right after that they heardthe dog barking which was unusual shehad a little she had a little like alittle crossbreed dachshund hairydachshund or whatever fairly small theyheard the dog barking for about 15minutes then the barking continued andthen the barking got muffled well duringthe initial crime scene investigationthey found this dog alive in a dresserdrawer unharmed which is a crazy factbecause the suspect is willing tohorribly sodomized a woman with aforeign object in strangle her to deathyeah but does not kill the dog correctcorrect so here’s what they find nowmind you this is 1974 they got theSheriff’s Department the crime sceneinvestigation team to come out so thisis what they find in in the thecondition of the apartment was she’sfacedown on the bed it appeared that shehad some marks on her neck herfingernails on both hands were bentupward there was blood on the dresserdrawer on the one found where the dogwas found there was blood found on theinside window there was blood foundabove a light switch in the bathroomthere was blood found on the bathroomfloor the tub was wet on her oneleg was shaven one leg was unshaven theyfound blood in the kitchen so with thatfive different areas where they foundblood so they determine okay so it lookslike she was in the bathtub there werethere was a there was a there was a cardfor Thomas eNOS Pizza so we knew thatokay she was gonna go ahead and orderthe pizza she hadn’t done it yet so weknew that okay she was in the bathroomshe was either showering or in thebathtub shaving her legs when when shewas accosted and then she was strangledbrutally solemn sodomized and left fordead that’s really what they had wellthis is 1974 thank God they collectedblood well back then they collectedblood to type it type A or type O+o-negative AAB what have you okay sothey saved it in the plastic bag theysaved in the plastic bag and how longcan you test DNA and blood for justdefinitely as long as you have well aslong as it doesn’t as long as it doesn’tdegrade and luckily in this case it wasplaced in an envelope and it was placedin a dry area and it was it was put in apaper envelope so there was no plasticso there’s no way there was no moistureget in work could degrade so we welucked out Wow so I’ll go back to LarryStephens – Larry Stephens so we’reinterviewing Paul Williams we startedquestioning him he told us about Larryand said he was divorced said he was nota violent guy he was divorced he haddivorced in 1972 and he was reallydistraught about his divorce he said herecalled once at one incident where hegot in an argument with his his at thetime ex-wife her name we’re gonna callher Frances and police apparently werecalled and then no more no furtherinformation I said okay so asking askingmore questions – Paul and I asked Paul Isaid did you ever tell Larry Stephensthe police wanted to talk to him andthen he goes as a matter of fact I didhe said the day the detectives came upto question him Paul and when heprovided them with Larry Stephensinformationhe told Larry the police wanted to gethis fingerprints and he said that Larryhis Larry’s reply was there is no waythe police are gonna take myfingerprints and then I said okay sowhat happened is you know interestingthing that you say that because rightafter I told him that he recalled thatbecause this guy had a great memory thatsounds like he said he goes he said youknow he mu I think he moved down to SanDiego and got a job on a fishing boat sohe go okay so you know we’re starting toyou don’t get more and more what’s goingon well we want to go talk to Francisshe was currently living in Riverside atthe time so after we were done PaulWilliams provided his DNA samples we gotthat we drove down to Riverside that hernot written we took him drove down toOceanside that same week and we talkedto Francis we didn’t call her we justwanted to show upthis is his Lori Stevens Expo HarryStevens his ex-wife okay so we we hadsome information on herso we knock on the door she answers wetold we identified ourselves asdetectives up in La Palma and then firstthing we want to ask her is did you everrecall back then a murder in La Palma Iguess she was living in Buena Park atthe time city right next door and shewas not never heard of anything so whatwas the last time you saw Larry and thatshe rolled her eyes and she goes Ihaven’t seen that guy since 1974 well soshe starts painting a picture of himvery different from what Paul Williamstold us violent when he would get he shedescribed him as a misogynist a hatredof women he was brought upwith two older sisters who apparentlyabused him said his mother abused him sonow what we want to do is we want tofind out okay what was Larry doing atthe time well she said she hadn’t seenhim since 1974 in fact she said shethinks the last time she saw him and shewas she was doing the math and it wouldhave been May of 1974so as we’re questioning her she goes doyou think that she goes are you possiblylooking at Larry Stephens as a suspectin this and I said no not a suspect wejust we want to find out we want to geta timeline here find out what he wasdoing and she says okay she goes wellshe goes I’m gonna tell you right nowdetective you guys are on the righttrack Wow and because his his method ofoperation or we call em Oh whenever hewould get upset and get angry and getenraged he would choke heryikes so she was so deathly afraid ofthis guy so she describes this incidentlast time she sees him back in May shewas telling us he would stalk herwant to find out who she was with shewas so afraid of him that she went outand bought a gun and she kept it withher in her purse and she said I didn’tcare if I was gonna get arrested forthis I was afraid of Larry you know thisguy was just follow me around all thetime so finally one day she says enoughis enough so she goes to confront him hewas living with his mother she goes toconfront him he comes around the side ofthe house and starts to get aggressivetowards her she takes her gun out of thepurse put it between his eyes and pulledthe trigger and the gun jammed Wowshe said that Larry was oh my godand and he took off and he had net andshe had never heard from him since thenso here’s what we found out by trackinghis movements we found that took a jobon a fishing boat in early January 1975moved down to San Diego goes down to SanDiego works on a fishing boat and thenfrom there moves up to Santa Rosa sohe’s out of the picture now so what dowe have we have somebody that we couldput in the area at the time of thehomicide we have someone who is known tobe aggressive we we know that he gotwind of this murder from his friend Paulwho he had never talked to you sinceleaves the area and remains out of thearea so now that’s all we have so okaywe we positively identify him well hisname was misspelled in the report whenthey when they listed his name is LarryStevens they they spelled it with a Vnot a pH and we confirmed that it was apH I Stevens the appropriate way then wefound out that he had an extensivearrest history nothing for a felony or Ishould say a couple of felonies he hadbeen arrested by the Santa Rosa PoliceDepartment a number of times wasinvolved in some domestic violence withhis current wife so we knew that thisguy was not a good guy and we also knewthat he didn’t like police officers hethat he wanted to fight with policeofficers right now we’re looking at aguy who’s like 65 years old this time sowe get these reports we put in ourpackage together and we’re thinking whatdo we want to go do well what you resisthim okay now now this is this is 7 mmweight this would this would have beenno we’re up to about 2009 now ok ok sowe know we want to talk to him but wealso know that we don’t want to just goknock on this guy’s door and say heywe’re looking to we’re looking into acold case would you be willing tovolunteer your DNA for him he was aspecial case right we didn’t want him toknowso we enlisted the help of Santa RosaPolice Department we gave them thedetails and they didn’t have theresources they didn’t want to just gofollow this guy around andsurreptitiously conduct his DNAwell then we reached out to Departmentjustice and they were interested becausethey were trying to put together acold-case training for agencies who haveunsolved homicides and we gave them thedetails on our case and they were realinterested in it well unfortunately youknow I’m only a sergeant at that timeand I think some internal politics gotinvolved we had a personnel shortage butwe were ordered off the case you’rekidding mewe were ordered off the case because wedidn’t have the resources even then I’msure you had your opportunity to lay itout to management and even then welleven then so here’s what they’rethinking ofthey’re looking at it as we are graspingat straws they were excited about thatfirst suspect the first person that wehad identified we’re excited about thatthe doctor the doctor but when that thatwhen that didn’t pan outthey’re thinking well you know thesedetectives are just grasping at anythingso you know what what I did was I gookay that’s understandable so I put itfor vacation and that vacation wasdenied and so I saw the writing on thewall they knew or that at the time I’mjust gonna say administration knew whatwas up my sleeve and they just I thinkthey just wanted to control the thingsat that point so understand the thedepartment was understaffed they wantedcases investigated that were you knowrecent cases that have a better chanceof being solved and I ended up rotatingback to patrol an interesting thing wasan interesting thing they gave me thefile and said here’s the file have at itbut I couldn’t I couldn’t get authorizedto go anywhere do anything we had atraining set up with DOJ or wereactually I should say a training suchmeeting because we were gonna try to getagents to go follow this guyand get his DNA and let’s get it testedsure well you know 2011-2012 comes I endup promoting to captain in 2012 but Iwas in charge of operations not serviceswhich detectives fell under at that timePaul was working patrol well in 2014 nowwe’re going to see that’s where herotated back to detectives and then Itold Paul I said ok I go we got to startgearing up because I think we’re gonnawant to maybe gohey Larry Stephens a visit so we we kepton tracking his movements there captainyou get a little June I’m a captain Igot a little juice nice so we’retracking his movements we’ve he’s stillliving up thereit’s Sequoia Gardens mobile homecommunity up in Santa Rosa and but nowI’m a captain so I’m off this I’m offthe streets well we had a we had anumber of people leave the agency so wewere low on numbers through attrition soyou know just things kept stacking up onus so just as Paul and I were gettinggetting ready to to go to the next stepand hey if it’s not Larry Stevens wedon’t know who it isso let’s go let’s go collect you know adiscarded cup something in the trashlet’s get this DNA let’s get this overwithwell no sooner did that happen I get aphone call from the crime lab and Jeanboutonniere forensic scientist JohnPutin area and we have been workingtogether and she goes she goes Jim wegot a hit on your cold case and I’msitting down and now I can feel I’mthinking oh my gosh we’re gonna find outif this is Larry Steve and I and I askedhere I go John is it Larry Stephensthere was blank over the end of thephone she goes how did you know thatWow and you talk about I meansomeone who feels I everybody out therefeel vindicated yeah the olderadministration had since retired anywayI’m I’m thinking my god I cannot believethisit’s Larry so first thing I did was Paulwas actually he was up in the Bay Areagoing to training so first thing I didwas call him and I go Paul you need tosit down he was why I hope just sit downI’m gonna give you some news he goesokay shoot I said got a hit on a coldcasehe goes it’s Larry in itI go we were right it’s Larry so now theDA’s office I get an email from the DA’sofficeLarry Ellen still doing homicides hegoes sends me an email we need to startworking right now we got to get him wegot to get him pinned down to the areawe got to find out and I just let him Iyou know just this was like a longwooden I get on the phone with him I’mtalking he’s you know telling me thisone you know boo-boo-boo-boo and I saidLarry Larry Yellin I said we’ve got youcovered we’ve already got it in allreports we have him pinned down to thearea we have him at the apartmentcomplex we got himor he must have love and he said oh mygod so let’s have a meeting so we had awe had a meeting we put we put togetherquite a lengthy PowerPoint on on wherewe were in the investigation what we haddone we had our list of suspects LarryStephens the doctor John and then PaulWilliams Larry Stephens his friend ourthree people and this is kind of for theDA to issue for the DA arrest warrantright well there was no warrant issuedat that time so the way it worked outwas we presented to the DA’s office whatwe had so the goal was okay Larry Ellensaid okay I’m gonna file we’re gonnafile this case however I want you to geta statement from him wellhe had been arrested Larry had beenarrested a few times well what happenedwas where we got our ID from him was hewas involved he was a heavy drinker wellhe and his wife were heavy drinkers andthey would drink pretty heavily after 2p.m.we knew that we need to wait for fiveo’clock yeah who needs away for fiveo’clock right so anytime he’d drink he’dget violent well police were called tohis house I guess he was chasing hiswife with a knife next-door neighborscall the policeSanta Rosa police show up to me twofemale officers and if I can sayanything about these two officers was isthey are incredible and let me tell youwhy they had every okay they show up onscene and larry has got a butcher knifetelling egging these officers on come upand get me and they’re you know gunspointed put the knife down put the knifedownLarry standing up you come get me youcome get me well they had they had everysingle opportunity to use deadly forcebecause he was being a threat but theydidn’t they took out their tasers andthey tased him and he immediately gaveup so they got him into custody wellproposition 69 he’s arrested for afelony what are they gonna do they’regonna collect his DNA they collected hisDNA at the hospital and they booked himon felony assault charges that is prettyI mean these tasers only work were halfthe time so you got a guy with a knifethe fact was like it was like someonewas keeping him alive so that he couldwrite rot in jail right so mind you thisis March of 2015 we got our DNAnotification our cold hit in May May15th of 2015 so anyway this guy had ahistory of fighting with police and Itold Larryyelling I said well we’ll go ahead andyou know get it get a get a pre arrestinterview but I said he take a look hehe’s got a booking photo of him stickinghis tongue out at the booking officeryou know and and this was from an arrestI think that it occurred four yearsbefore that so he’s not a young man sohe’s not a young man he’s still nuts andhe’s nuts so I said we’ll do our best sowe put together a team we coordinatedwith Santa Rosa Police Department and soJune 1st of 2015Paul and I were along with a DEAinvestigator went up to Santa Rosa metwith Santa Rosa members of Santa RosaPolice Department and the plan was thisthe plan was because of the history wehad on him was hey we’re gonna get himwhen he’s sober and we want to try tocontact him when he’s away from themobile home maybe going for a walk andluckily there was a Santa Rosa officerwho had a Bobo home two doors away fromLarry Stevens and his wife perfectservice so they were set up so we hadthe place completely under surveillancewell at about one o’clock in theafternoon here on the radio up he’sleaving his he’s leaving his mobile homewearing a blue shirt and white shortsgoing for a walk so we decided okay nowis the time so we drove to the front ofthe complex as he’s walking around theclubhouse I see him I get out of the carand I go Larry he goes yes I said LarryStevens right and he says I am indeedand right away we knew hey we got himhe’s soberhe’s probably gonna want to talk to usso I asked him for his permission I saidwe’re detectives down from SouthernCalifornia we’d like to ask you a fewquestions if you don’t mind is theresomeplace we can go and talk if you’rewilling he says sure so he goes let’s goto the clubhouse so we go into theclubhouse and there’sthere’s some ladies there playing bridgesomething and a probably not a good ideato be in here so he goes out let’s goout by the pool area so we went to thepool area sat sat at a pool or a tablewith an umbrella it was hot and humidthat day and I could just tell you Iremember Santana was playing so the moodwas set so what was our goal our goalwas to just keep him talking let himtalklet him step on it if he’s going to wellwe knew right away this guy is a veryintelligent guy and we knew right awayhe knew why we were there and he wasthinking to himself I’m gonna I’m gonnasnow while he said well what what we didwas our strategy was we’re gonna talk tohim but we’re not gonna focus on himwe’re gonna focus on Paul Williams hisfriend so the first thing we asked himwas hey when was the last time you sawPaul Williams Paul Williams yeah hepitched a no-hitter I haven’t seen himsince 1974 okay so we started asking himquestions about how often would he go tothis apartment was there anybody else heknew in that apartment did he know anywomen in that apartment did he ever goin anybody else’s apartment besidesPaul’s so those were what the questionswere and he denied going into anyone’sapartment except for Paul’s he wouldhave no reason to go in anybody’sapartment except for Paul’s he didn’tdate any women he didn’t know any womenexcept for just Paul so he admitted togoing there but and as we were askingmore questions about Paul about 30minutes in the interview he we had askedhim a couple question about Paul andthere was another guy a guy by the nameof Chris who was who place he wasstaying at when this homicide occurredso we were able to ask me enoughquestions find out aha hestaying here for two weeks this is whenhe the this was how it played out so itwas all making sense and he was puttinghimself in the right areas so all thatwere just making our case stronger andstronger and stronger and then finallyhe says he goes what’s all this tripdown memory lane detective I said heyyou know what I go no case goes unsolvedand we thought you might be a greatwitness and help us outhe’s I’m more than happy to help you outhe goes so you’re telling me is thiscase about Paul or Chris he said wellyou know it could be so he’s thinking tohimselfaha they’re not looking at me foundmyself a patsy so then we startedquestioning okay let’s get his movementsso when did you go down and work on thisfishing boat Larry he goes all I wentdown working on this fishing boat wouldhave been Thanksgiving of 1974 alsoNovember yeah about November of 1974 sowhat he’s doing is he knows when thehomicide happened because he knew theevents he had a clear recollection ofthose events and he knew that he didn’twant to put himself there on December 11himself in the boat earlierwanted to put himself on the boatearlier so as we were going to wrap upthe interview I I get I show him apicture of a van II so I I said Larrytake a look at this picture and see ifsee if you recognize her and he looks atit and he starts getting real animatedand he says ah yeah I know her I knowwho she is I said yeah who is she Larrythis is the neighbor of SamanthaStephens from bewitched that’s a forthose of you who have been around longenough that was a that was a televisionseries called bewitched with ElizabethMontgomery so and I glanced over at Pauland Paul’s kind of got a smirk on hisface and he is just oh yeah he goes I Idon’t know I don’t know if I’d haveanything to do with a girl like thatI said why is that he goes uh she’s shejust you know I don’t know if I canreally get myself involved with anactress okay alright so is that it wasyou know finally got down to the pointwhere I said you know it’s time to wrapthis up so I stand up I positionedmyself directly behind Larry who’ssitting on the chair and I put my handson his shoulders and I said Larry wouldyou please put your hands behind yourbackyou think he asks me anything no Paulputs the cuffs on him and says you’reunder arrest for murder and what werethe words out of his mouth okay can yougo please tell my wife you know and heknew he knew he wasn’t going back howdid how did that feel it felt after allthat time I’m just thinking about Annieand I’m thinking about you know this isone of those cases where you know amurders the statute of limitations neverendright it never ends and at that time allthe work that we put into this all ofour volunteer that we work we put in isbut I was thinking mainly I cannot waitto call John her brother and say John wemade an arrest so great so I did laterthat day but anyway he Larry immediatelyinvoked Miranda which means that as soonas he read his rights he didn’t want totalk but while he was in prisonor why he was in jail waiting for trialhe wrote his current wife a number ofletters that incriminated him in thismurder which helped during the trial hewas convicted in March of this yearfinally he never took the stand the jurytook two and a half minutes indeliberations really just to go in thereand sign the guilty and in science signthe guilty verdicts for all 12 so itdidn’t take very longand as he was being read the verdictLarry was just cleaning his glasses withno expression on his face he must figureI stole all that time I still lived alife so Larry when he moved up to SantaRosa from San Diego in 1977 got a jobwith the post officeworked for the post office and retiredin 2012what is with postal workers my thoughtsexactlyso a lot of effort went into this case Iwhen I called John he was pretty takenback at her brother when I call him hewas taken back and he thanked us for thehard work but he had put this thing awayhid there his parents Annie’s parents amother died of a broken heartnot long after the murder she died of abroken heartfather passed away not long after thatand John had just put this away Jim whatwas what was there ever a why revealedby the killer never a Y here’s here’swhat we’ve we’ve learned and and youknow it’s we are not psychologists butwe always want to find out you know themo why why did he the mo and and themotive you know why did he want to dothis well we we have a pretty good ideaof why he did it if you look at it aphoto of his first wife Francis when shewas in her late 20s early 30s and ananny if you if you put them togetheryou have a you have a a woman who isvery small in stature for nine to fiveone barely a hundred pounds very humblenice facial features but they lookedvery very similar we knew that Larry hada very bad breakup with Francesaccording to Larry Frances was having anaffair with this guy Chris Friday who inthis and and this is Larry’s claim wegot out of the interview with him weknew that he was living with Chris atthe time that this murder happened Chrisat the time was married so all of thesethings we figured were brewing in himwell the two-week period that he wasliving with Larryhe would go frequent Paul Paul Williamsapartment we figure Paul Williams hadgone to his parents house that night andleft just before five o’clock Larry wasthere and we figure Larry we figure thiswhole thing was brewing he was upset atChris for breaking up the breaking upthe marriage being cause of it his witweasels in the interview we figured thathe saw Annie arrived home and saidthere’s Francis she goes in theapartment she had a Natur she wasnotorious for leaving her door unlockedhmm so we figure he saw her in his mindhe’s thinking Francis he enters theapartment dogs barking right away wellthere was there was a fecal matter dogfecal matter found right by the frontdoor so we figure he opens the door togo in dog freaks out poops right thereby the front door he makes his way intothe bathroom and catches Annie in thebathtub interrupts her while she’sshaving her legs he is a he’s a fairlybig guy he renders her unconsciousimmediately because per the per thepathologist she was alive when she wasbeing brutally sodomized we figure hegot an object from the kitchen which iswhy we found blood on the kitchencabinet whatever he used he took withhim he took him with him that day so hecomplete committed this act and left nowI mean he also to ripdatian for smoking pot and you youcould’ve been hi drunk well it could’veknows what a little bit any of thosethings but we figured that his his thatmarijuana would make you dragon exactwhat drugs he was taking right marijuanaactually had the opposite effective itactually make you relaxed but throughthe letters that he wrote to his thirdwife Susan from jail pretty muchconfirms what we felt the motive wasbecause he had said in one of theletters of reason he did it was becauseof Frances so we kind of figured hey youknow this is these these were the eventsprobably that led up to it but only hewill know and I would love theopportunity now that the case has beenadjudicated he has the opportunity toappeal we don’t know if he’s appealed ityet but when that goes away then it’s heshould die in prison yeah he should diein prison he got life the thing of it ishe had he was sentenced under 1974guidelines which for murder at that timewas seven years to life not 25 to lifeWow you couldn’t prove specialcircumstances which made him eligiblefor parole but I highly doubt he’s gonnasee the light of day because I will beat those parole hearings it’s not gonnaleave me at all so it was you know therewere a lot of lessons learned and maybesomeone we could talk about another timethat they were lessons learned in thiscase but it just goes to show you if youkeep at it don’t let it go be tenaciousbecause investigations you have to betenacious I as an investigator well Ithink I was a little over the top butwhenever I would leave for the weekend Iwould take files with me just in case Igot a phone callor I need to do a little follow-up justin case well the same thing with thisone it’s like hey let’s do this okaylet’s go let’sdo that okay let’s go never now thisisn’t worth it that’s not worth itbecause that’s what happened in thiscase was the mindset was this was aserial killeror this was some done by somebody whoknew her in our case it was somebody whohad the opportunity right and had apotential reason and his behavior ofwhat he his behavior after the murderbased on what his friend told us that’swhere you start putting the piecestogether and you realize hey you know wemight be grasping at straws but this isa pretty big straw yeah so there wasloose ends left but you guys had a wholedifferent mindset that helped you awhole different my nose made thedifference tonight a couple months ago Iwas we were talking about investigationI was doing and I was kind of tellingyou about it venting maybe and you saidbecause the guy had flipped on me andturned into a bad can of it and you saidyou should never you should try not tomake up your mind mid investigation Ihave to believe that that was a lessonyou learned in this case as well oh yesit was very cool Jim this is aincredible case you guys were tenaciousinvestigators on it congratulations onsolving that and thank you so much forsitting down with me and laying it allout really appreciate ityou’re very welcome thanks Jim

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