tv Forensic Files CNN June 21, 2014 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
sleeping, a 50-year nightmare for many of its citizens finally maybe waking up. to what? time will tell. up next, a murder that stumps even veteran detectives. >> it was a nasty, nasty crime scene. >> and the crime that offers few clues. >> there were no signs of any struggle or fight. >> was this a sex crime by a jilted lover? >> her body was positioned in a way that was very sexually suggestive. >> it's hard to imagine anybody is capable of something like this. >> until one man's words reveal a twisted motive and a killer with a bizarre past. jacksonville, florida, with its warm, sandy beaches and subtropical climate, was the perfect place for 25-year-old corey parker to attend college.
she liked it a lot better than the cold winters of her hometown of rochester, new york. >> corey was beautiful. she was very tall. she had a presence about her. some of our best times together was a girl's night in, you know, rent movies and go hang out at the house. >> corey worked her way through college as a waitress. during the thanksgiving holiday of her junior year, she didn't show up for work, so her fellow employees were concerned. >> they thought immediately that something was wrong. so the manager directed one of the cooks to go by her apartment to check on her. >> her apartment door was locked, but her co-worker looked inside and saw her body on the bed covered in blood. >> this crime scene was one of the worst that this county has ever seen in terms of its just gruesomeness.
there was blood all over her bedroom, all over her body, almost as if it had been painted on her. >> the scene appeared to be staged. >> corey's body was positioned in a way that was very sexually suggestive. she was nude. her legs were spread apart. there's every indication that there was a sexual motive to this crime. >> interestingly, the autopsy found no evidence of sexual assault. >> corey parker was stabbed 101 times. of those 101 stab wounds, i believe 54 were postmortem. overkill does indicate to investigators a relationship between victim and perpetrator. >> police learned that the night before her murder, corey spent the night at a local bar with friends. witnesses said she left around 1:00 a.m. the clothes corey wore to the bar were folded neatly at the
bottom of her bed. >> we also know that she had prepared herself for bed and crawled in her bed, so we know she wasn't attacked until after she was in bed. so either he was waiting in her bedroom closet, or he let himself into the apartment. >> investigators found a gold plated zippo lighter in corey's bedroom. although corey smoked, none of her friends recognized it. investigators dusted the lighter for fingerprints, but none were found. >> it became apparent to us that there was no way that that was corey parker's lighter. >> inside the kitchen of corey's apartment, police found a blood stain on the kitchen counter next to the sink. and on the windowsill above the sink both inside and outside. this led police to believe the killer entered and exited the apartment through the kitchen window.
>> the reason we believe the killer didn't go out the door was because of the light that was outside. the kitchen window offered the suspect a way to both get in and out of the apartment without being illuminated. >> corey's phone records revealed that a former co-worker, 27-year-old eric jones, had been calling her repeatedly before her death. >> he had been asking corey out for some time. she had been telling him no. >> employees at the restaurant told us that he had an obsession or an infatuation with her and was continuously talking to her when she'd come to work or trying to ask her out. >> jones had no criminal record but acted bizarrely when interviewed by police. >> not only did he have a history of mental illness by his
own admission, but he told police officers that he had fantasies about raping and killing women, which clearly jumped out at law enforcement. >> he described sexual fantasies he had about corey. some were fairly violent. >> he even told investigators how he would have murdered corey had he been given the chance. >> he described how he would have slit her throat early in the murder so that she couldn't scream for help, and that description was similar enough to how she was really killed that it, again, raised police suspicion. the medical examiner who [ female announcer ] there's a gap out there.
that's keeping you from the healthcare you deserve. at humana, we believe if healthcare changes, if it becomes simpler... if frustration and paperwork decrease... if grandparents get to live at home instead of in a home... the gap begins to close. so let's simplify things. let's close the gap between people and care.
the medical examiner who performed corey parker's autopsy found no signs of sexual assault, but corey had been stabbed over 100 times. there were numerous defensive wounds on her hands and arms, proving there had been an intense struggle. >> our theory was that corey parker fought for her life in order to prevent a sexual assault. >> investigators found several
foreign hairs in corey's hands. one had an intact root. >> the fact that the hair had root material on it and was not from her would allow you to at least presume that that hair had to be obtained forcefully. >> dna testing revealed the blood in the kitchen came from the same person as the hair in corey's hand. surprisingly this dna did not match the prime suspect, eric jones, corey's co-worker, despite his bizarre behavior. the dna from corey's apartment did not match any of the dna profiles in either the state or national criminal databases. in the search for corey parker's killer, investigators discovered that she had just started dating someone new. his name was david wilt. but it didn't take long for investigators to eliminate him as a suspect. >> he was out of state at his parents' house for thanksgiving,
and so, you know, he had a very solid alibi. >> investigators interviewed everyone corey spoke with at the ritz bar on the night of her murder. most of the people corey saw that night left the bar before she did, but one friend, tiffany smith, stayed with corey until 1:00 in the morning. tiffany told police they both left the bar at the same time in their own cars and went their separate ways. but tiffany told friends that wasn't the only contact she had with corey that night. >> she said she called corey from her cell phone around 2:00 a.m. and corey answered the phone. she said when corey answered the phone that corey was asleep and she asked her what she was doing. corey said, i'm sleeping. >> tiffany also told friends she drove to corey's apartment around 4:00 a.m. and knocked on her door, but no one answered so
she left. >> her statement that she went by corey's house puts her at the crime scene during the time that corey could have possibly been killed. and that added to that suspicion that she could possibly be involved. >> but when investigators checked tiffany's cell phone records, they made a startling discovery. tiffany didn't call corey after they left the ritz bar. but why would tiffany make up a story like that? >> everybody was talking about the possibility that maybe she was sexually interested in corey. tiffany mentioned to me in just a very casual conversation that she had been vicarious. >> tiffany had a real true affection for corey. >> in addition, tiffany told friends things about the crime scene that had not been released to the general public. >> she was describing the state of the victim's body and the
scene without having been privy to either photographs or a walk-through of the scene. they thought it was certainly suspicious. >> tiffany denied any involvement in the murder, but when asked to provide a dna sample, she refused. >> the fact that she did not willingly give up dna or hair samples lead the police to believe she had something to hide. i'll help you look. maybe you left them in the bathroom again. it's just the strangest thing... the warning signs of alzheimer's disease, may be right in front of you. it's alright baby. for help and information, call the alzheimer's association or visit alz.org/10signs to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up.
that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. ♪ but we're not in the business of naming names. the volkswagen passat is heads above the competition, the fact is, it comes standard with an engine that's been called the benchmark of its class. really, guys, i thought... it also has more rear legroom than other midsize sedans. and the volkswagen passat has a lower starting price than... much better. vo: hurry in and lease the 2014 passat s for $199 a month. visit vwdealer.com today.
even though corey parker press friend, tiffany smith, insisted she had nothing to do with corey's murder, she made untruthful statements about her activities on the night of the murder. she also refused to provide a dna sample. >> she actually put herself at the crime scene in one of her statements. >> but scientists found a surprising piece of information in the blood evidence left by the killer. they found the telltale "y" chromosome. a "y" chromosome is present only in men. >> we did develop a male profile from a blood sample from a point of entry or exit into the apartment. we were optimistic that this could be from the suspect. >> so tiffany was eliminated as a suspect. >> they believed that tiffany was saying things to kind of
inject herself into the investigation to make her seem more important than she was. >> investigators believe tiffany learned details of the crime scene from a friend who worked on the emergency crew. police were forced to consider the possibility that corey's murder was a random act, perpetrated by a man with an uncontrollable hatred for women. eventually police performed dna tests on 38 men, co-workers, fellow students, former boyfriends, with no success. >> i was very concerned that they would never solve the case, and what i learned from watching other crimes is that the longer it goes on, the less likely it is to solve a crime. >> 18 months passed, and police continued to work the case, poring through the file, re-reading the police interviews. to generate new leads, police offered a reward for any new
evidence which would lead to a conviction, and it generated a lead. some employees of a local steakhouse a few miles from corey parker's apartment called police to report that a co-worker, robert denny, behaved suspiciously after corey's murder. >> he just seemed to be upset, was crying, had come into this restaurant one day and told them that his child had been killed in an automobile accident in texas and that he needed to get back home. >> denny's co-workers responded generously by raising money so he could return to texas to attend his son's funeral. >> after collecting that money, the owner of the restaurant went over to give the money to his sister when he was told that robert denny did not have a son and that that story was fabricated. >> and there was something else about robert denny.
he lived in the same complex as corey parker, with a direct line of sight into her apartment. >> robert denny told some co-workers about this woman that lived in an apartment below him, and he began to talk about how he would watch her. and even went so far to graphically describe that he would masturbate while watching her. >> when police decided to question denny again, his sister told police that he'd left the area. >> she had actually kicked him out of the home she shared with her husband because of his odd behavior, staying up all hours of the night, his, what she described as an addiction to pornography. she told one law enforcement officer that she had awoken to him looking over her bed and staring at her. then police learned another
disturbing piece of information. robert denny's older brother was serving a life sentence in texas for stabbing a woman 97 times. >> corey parker was stabbed hundreds of times. what are the chances of two men coming out of the same family committing such heinous and atrocious murders, and was he trying to emulate his brother? imagine if everything you learned led to the one job you always wanted. at university of phoenix, we believe every education- not just ours- should be built around the career that you want. imagine that. a woman who loves to share her passions. grandma! mary has atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat not caused by a heart valve problem. that puts her at a greater risk of stroke.
rome? sure! before xarelto®, mary took warfarin, which required monthly trips to get her blood tested. but that's history. back to the museum? not this time! now that her doctor switched her to once-a-day xarelto®, mary can leave those monthly trips behind. domestic flight? not today! like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce afib-related stroke risk. but xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem that doesn't require regular blood monitoring. so mary is free of that monitoring routine. for patients currently well managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke. xarelto® is just one pill a day taken with the evening meal. spinach? grazie! plus, with no known dietary restrictions, mary can eat the healthy foods she likes. don't stop taking xarelto®, rivaroxaban, unless your doctor tells you to. while taking xarelto®, you may bruise more easily and it may take longer for bleeding to stop.
xarelto® may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. xarelto® can cause serious bleeding, and in rare cases, may be fatal. get help right away if you develop unexpected bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. if you have had spinal anesthesia while on xarelto®, watch for back pain or any nerve or muscle related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any conditions, such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. switching to xarelto® was the right move for mary. ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. no regular blood monitoring; no known dietary restrictions. for information and savings options download the xarelto® patient center app, call 1-888-xarelto, or visit goxarelto.com
18 months after corey parker's murder, investigators found robert denny 800 miles away in maryland, where he was living with a 52-year-old married woman. >> robert denny had struck up an e-mail relationship with a married woman and eventually had convinced her to let him come up there and live with her and her husband. he and this woman had a sexual relationship right under the husband's nose. >> when police questioned denny, they told him they were investigating his possible involvement in a different crime, hoping he'd let down his guard. >> they told him they were investigating a potential allegation that he had been involved in a fight in easton, maryland, which they thought he would voluntarily give his dna to prove he had not been involved in the fight. >> and we were not leaving easton, maryland, until we got his dna.
>> this proved to be harder than investigators anticipated. denny smoked during his interrogation but always made sure to keep the cigarette butts. detectives offered him a bottle of water, but he wouldn't touch it. finally, they asked him to sign a document saying he refused to provide his dna. >> we asked him to put the letter into envelope and seal the envelopes. he refused to seal the envelopes and basically told us, look, you tried three timeses to get my saliva on something. first the cigarette butt, then the water bottles and now the envelopes. seal it yourselves. is there anything else i can do for you? >> so investigators put denny under surveillance. at his home and at the computer store where he worked. he took a cigarette break every 45 minutes but was careful to keep the evidence.
>> when he smoked his cigarette, he would put out the butt and put the butts in his pocket so they could not be collected. >> two days passed, and investigators finally got a break. just after a brief rainstorm, denny came outside to smoke, but this time he did something different. >> he walked around and then all of a sudden began spitting on the sidewalk. not once, not twice, but six times. >> because of the rain, the saliva was sitting on top of the rain water making it easy to collect. and the barrier helped reduce contamination. >> it was very easy to designate where it was. >> the same as testing for a hair or blood stain or semen
stain. >> the results left no doubt. the unknown dna from corey parker's apartment belonged to robert denny. >> the fact that he denied ever having been in her apartment made this evidence all the more incriminating. >> and there was one other piece of evidence that implicated denny. the gold plated lighter found in corey's bedroom. he said it wasn't his, but a former girlfriend told police it was his lighter. >> she was able to identify the emblem on it. she was positive that was his lighter. >> prosecutors believe robert denny was obsessed with his beautiful neighbor, corey parker, and monitored her comings and goings. he also looked inside her apartment whenever he could. prosecutors believe denny saw corey get ready to go with her
friends on the night before thanksgiving. then armed with a knife and wearing gloves, he entered corey's apartment through the kitchen window. the evidence suggests he hid somewhere, possibly in her closet, and waited for her to return. corey had no hint that anyone was inside and went to bed. that's when denny attacked. but corey fought back. in the process, she pulled out some of his hair which contained his dna. his lighter slipped from his pocket during the struggle. he stabbed her repeatedly. at some point, he cut himself and bled inside his glove hand. as he left the apartment through the kitchen window, he left a blood smear on the windowsill,
providing his dna. robert denny went on trial for first-degree murder. the jury deliberated for 45 minutes. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree as charged. we the jury further find the killing was done with premeditation. >> since he was only 17 years old, a minor, when he committed the crime, denny was sentenced to life in prison without parole. >> methodical in cleaning up, he was careful and he almost got away with murder but for that one drop of blood and hair that he shed that he didn't ever expect to be discovered. >> this girl was a very likable, very intelligent, very beautiful 25-year-old that had a bright future in front of her. she came from a good family and had a good social network. had everything in the world to live for.
Uploaded by TV Archive on