Skip to main content

tv   Forensic Files  CNN  April 25, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am PDT

11:30 pm
people need to pay attention to because this could happen to anybody. >> without melinda's efforts, let's face it, clarence elkins would still be in prison. up next, a college coed is left for dead in a lovers' lane. >> the blood is consistent with her being struck up to ten types. >> there were plenty of suspects, but very few answers. >> these samples could have originated from 20% of the population. >> was it a random murder or jealousy? >> if he couldn't have her, nobody else could. >> for decades, the case went unsolved until now. >> he is a cold-blooded killer. >> they wanted to solve this. >> at the end of a long day in may of 1984, a farmer in tennessee made a startling discovery.
11:31 pm
>> he noticed some clothing lying in the field. there was actually a body lying there. >> the victim was a young girl wearing only a bra. her body was covered with two pairs of jeans and a dark jacket. one pair of jeans was hers, the other was a pair of men's jeans. >> also there's a black jacket across her body with a sleeve tied around her neck and a pair of panties that she was clutching in her right hand. >> she was identified as 18-year-old laura salmon, a local college student. >> her life was stolen. her life was stolen. and in such a horrible way. >> the autopsy revealed laura salmon died of blunt force trauma to the head. the murder weapon appeared to be the rocks found near her body. >> the blood on those rocks and other material was consistent
11:32 pm
with her being struck up to ten times in the head with those rocks. >> the medical examiner found evidence that laura had consensual sex sometime before the murder, most likely unrelated to the crime. >> we knew that ms. salmon had been involved in an intimate relationship with someone within 24 or 48 hours prior to her death. there were no injuries that would be consistent with forcible rape. >> on the men's jeans found with laura's body, scientists found semen from a different individual, presumably the killer. earlier that day, laura worked at her cashier's job at kroger grocery store. records show she left the store around 1:00 pm. she was supposed to be at an appointment at middle tennessee state university but she never arrived. >> she was supposed to go to
11:33 pm
mtsu campus to check on her grades and meet some of the office personnel over there. after that, she was supposed to go to her grandmother's house to go swimming. >> investigators found laura's car near the store, miles away from the murder site. investigators found no fingerprints in the car, but they did find a foreign hair. they also found dirt in the wheel wells. >> the fbi lab determined that they were consistent and that there was a high probability that that vehicle had been on that road by the crime scene. >> dan goodwin was laura's friend and had been out with her a few nights before the murder. >> i just asked her if she'd like to see a movie. and we wound up going to the movies on sunday, may 27th, of 1994. went and saw a matinee show of "the natural" with robert redford. >> at the funeral, dan goodwin promised laura's mother that he'd help find the killer.
11:34 pm
>> and she just grabbed me and hugged me and said, please help me find who killed my baby. >> what they really needed was to find the owner of the men's jeans. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one in oil. because hydraulic fracturing technology is safely recovering lots more oil and natural gas. supporting millions of new jobs. billions in tax revenue... and a new century of american energy security. the new energy superpower? it's red, white and blue. log on to learn more.
11:35 pm
11:36 pm
11:37 pm
laura salmon's body was found in an area which often served as a lovers' lane for high school and college students. >> people went back there to party, have bon fires, make out, that sort of thing back there. >> witnesses placed laura at a local nightclub on the night before her murder where she was dancing with an unidentified young man, but investigators couldn't locate him. the first suspect police interviewed was laura's high school boyfriend, kyle gilley. he had a reputation as the jealous type, but claimed he had an alibi. >> kyle gilley's alibi had been that his stepfather was a witness to the fact that he was home the day of the murder. >> next, a woman in nashville, tennessee, 40 miles away called police with a possible lead. she claimed she'd been date raped by a man named john
11:38 pm
taylor, and during the ordeal taylor mentioned laura's murder. >> the alleged victim said that her attacker had threatened her by saying he would do the same thing to her as he had to laura, or words to that effect. >> when questioned by police, taylor denied the sexual assault and denied mentioning laura's name. however, a background check revealed taylor attended the same university laura did. >> he was a member of the same health club, he attended the same fraternity gatherings, functions, as laura. >> and taylor was near the university on the day of laura's murder. >> taylor had somewhat of a history with being violent towards his girlfriends or female companions. that, too, added to his possibility as a suspect. >> fbi analysts compared taylor's hair to a foreign hair they found inside laura's car. >> we received a report back
11:39 pm
from the fbi that the hair recovered from her vehicle was consistent with john taylor. >> at the time, mitochondrial dna testing of human hair was still years away. so it was impossible to know for certain if this was taylor's hair. >> we can never get that one key piece of evidence that can place him with laura salmon on the day of the murder. >> and the men's jeans found at the murder scene had a waist size of 30 inches and a 36-inch inseam, too big for taylor. ultimately, investigators concluded a single hair was not enough to charge him with murder. >> though all of that evidence pointed to him, there was still no smoking gun and nothing to actually tie them together. >> and there were other suspects too. in all, police investigated over
11:40 pm
100 other suspects, with no success. >> i made a promise to her at her grave that i would see that justice was done. i didn't really know how i would carry out that promise, but that's the last thing i could do for her. >> but lourine mackey's promise went unfulfilled and 16 long years passed. in the meantime, dan goodwin began a career that would eventually lead to law enforcement. >> after graduation, i became a newspaper reporter, first at the shelbyville paper and then i moved quickly to the daily news journal in murfreesboro, where i became the police reporter in short order. i wrote a series on unsolved murders in 1997 that included laura's case. but all along i knew i was more interested in police work.
11:41 pm
>> several years later, dan left journalism and became a police officer. the first cold case he was assigned was laura salmon's murder. >> i didn't become a law enforcement officer to work on this case. but it was always on my mind. so i was quite happy that i got to assist bill sharp on this case. >> one of the first things dan goodwin and bill sharp did was to send all of the evidence to the forensic lab for testing. >> obviously through the advancement in science, through dna testing, maybe we could find the donor of the biological material and match that with our killer. >> while dna testing was under way, sharp and goodwin pursued a new lead which supposedly came from a local high school student, now almost 16 years after laura's murder.
11:42 pm
>> in 2000, a student at oakland high school was overheard talking about the laura salmon case, saying that his father had killed a girl and thrown her body in the quarry. >> the student's father, david patterson, had a police record for aggravated assault. but by the time the rumor circulated, patterson was dead. >> he himself was shot to death. we decided, of course, that we had to investigate that lead. >> they asked patterson's children to voluntarily submit dna samples for testing. >> testing on david paterson's dna or that of his family, which produced a presumptive profile, showed no possibility of him being any of the male dna profiles that was present at the scene of her murder. >> investigators also contacted john taylor, who had been an earlier suspect in laura's murder. his dna also did not match. and dan goodwin himself provided a dna sample.
11:43 pm
he'd gone out with laura just a few days before the murder. goodwin maintained it was a casual date and said the two weren't intimate. >> since i took her out to the movies just four days before and knew her, they decided it would be advisable to test my dna. it was tested, and i was not present at the crime scene. >> but at least the investigators had the killer's dna and were closer to finding him. a lot closer than they knew. it's amazing. new crest hd gives you a 6x healthier mouth and 6x whiter teeth in just one week. it gets practically every detail. that's why it's called hd. try new crest pro-health hd. so are you up for whateverht, happens next? yeah! check it out. the perfect beer for stepping outside for some old school fun. my goodness... aaaahhhhhh!
11:44 pm
pac-maaaaaaaan! goooo! ♪ no! yeah, riley! ♪ we have a winner! what is going on?!?! wait, i can freeze my account. [touch tone] introducing freeze it, from discover. it allows you to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds if your card is misplaced. not here... ♪ and once you find your card, you can switch it right on again.'re back! [touch tone] freeze it, only from discover. get it at get ahead of the curve with t-mobile. and get your hands on the new samsung galaxy s6 edge all for just zero down, now nothing is holding you back. get it today. at t-mobile.
11:45 pm
11:46 pm
there goes my satellite signal. get xfinity. it's perfect for rainy days. you can just pull up your shows, curl up in a duvet, maybe even draw up a bath and see where the night takes you. that sounds real nice.
11:47 pm
bill sharp and dan goodwin pored over the original case file of laura salmon's murder and found one name that caught their eye, kyle gilley. >> gilley was laura's high school boyfriend, a year younger than her. >> gilley was originally a suspect but was eliminated since he had an alibi, one corroborated by a family member. but they found a curious note in the case file. there had been a witness who contradicted gilley's alibi. >> she identified kyle gilley driving laura salmon's car approximately a half mile from the road that led to the quarry, which led to where laura's body
11:48 pm
was recovered. she was able to identify kyle through a photo lineup as well as laura's car through a photo lineup. >> this lady saw him, looked at him closely, she drove by him, said he was just staring straight ahead, just a blank expression on his face. >> and they also discovered that gilley had a propensity for physical violence with girlfriends, particularly laura salmon. >> he would get mad at her, grab her by the head, start banging her head into cars, school lockers, whatever was at hand. he would punch her. on one occasion, he broke out both of her front teeth. >> another incriminating piece of circumstantial evidence was the pair of men's jeans found at the crime scene. kyle was approximately 6'2" tall, and the jeans would have fit him. >> the tbi lab did examine the
11:49 pm
rustler blue jeans in 1984, and they were able to determine there was some blood on there. however, as to the type of stains that were present and the possible cause, they did not make any determination at that time. >> under a magnifying glass, crime scene reconstructionist jerry findlay found tiny drops of blood embedded in the fabric about 1/32 of an inch in diameter. it was medium velocity impact spatter. the kind usually produced when someone is hit with a blunt object. >> medium velocity is an instrument being wielded by a human. for example, a baseball bat or a rock or something like that. it's not going to generate that much force. >> the blood stains were clustered above the knee, indicating the assailant was kneeling as he attacked. >> so whoever was wearing those jeans was in close proximity to the point of impact at the time of impact.
11:50 pm
>> and dna testing confirmed the blood on the jeans was laura's. police tracked gilley down in florida, where he was twice divorced and working for the manatee county public works department. he also had a police record with arrests for aggravated sexual battery, attempted burglary and resisting arrest. when questioned by police in florida, gilley once again denied any involvement in laura's murder. >> during that interview, kyle admitted that the jeans were probably his. when we asked him about blood spatter and the fact that we had an expert that could testify that the killer wore these jeans, kyle gilley requested an attorney, and the interview, interrogation, stopped. >> with a court order, investigators obtained gilley's saliva sample and sent it to the lab. did gilley's dna match the semen sample on the jeans?
11:51 pm
>> we got the results back on the 16th anniversary of laura salmon's murder. testing showed kyle gilley was the donor of the dna that was on the men's rustler jeans that was found draped on the body. >> that is what we were looking for. we could put kyle gilley in those jeans. we could put kyle gilley at the scene of the murder. >> but what was the motive? making a fist something we do to show resolve. to defend ourselves. to declare victory. so cvs health provides expert support and vital medicines. make a fist for me. at our infusion centers or in patients homes. we help them fight the good fight. cvs health, because health is everything. i am rich. most weekends, you'll find me on my mega-yacht, which i bought from a mattress chain mogul, who could no longer afford the monthly payments.
11:52 pm
yes, i am rich. that's why i drink the champagne of beers. the beautiful sound of customers making the most of their united flight. power, wi-fi and streaming entertainment. that's... seize the journey friendly.
11:53 pm
11:54 pm
tosleeping mask - oh, and this is the xfinity tv app. he can watch his dvred shows from wherever he wants. hey have fun. make some friends. all right? did i mention his neck pillow? [inflating noise] watch your personal dvr library wherever you go with the x1 entertainment operating system.®
11:55 pm
16 years after laura's murder, her high school boyfriend, kyle gilley, was arrested and charged with her murder. laura's mother says she told the original investigators that gilley killed her daughter. she said his jealousy was out of control. his jealousy was out o control. >> i told them why i thought it was him or i knew it was him, and i was very frustrated that they didn't take that seriously. >> for the record, no one is willing to speculate why the original investigators didn't look deeper into gilley's alibi. it was clear to the cold case unit that gilley should have been the prime suspect all along. >> he's callous, cold-hearted, and had no more thought of killing laura than stepping on a bug. from the time he killed laura, he thought nothing else of it.
11:56 pm
he is a cold-blood killer. >> gilley and laura dated in high school, but gilley was a year younger and when laura went off to college, she made a new set of friends. >> he didn't want her to have any friends, and when she got to college, he would go over there and stalk her. >> family and friends implored laura to end the relationship, but she was terrified. >> i tried to get her to go and get a restraining order, and she was afraid to go because she was afraid of what he would do to her. >> when she dated other men, gilley felt threatened. >> kyle was very jealous and very possessive. we feel like that was the motive for the murder. that if he couldn't have her, nobody else could. >> the night before her murder, laura told friends she had a date with a friend and the two
11:57 pm
went to a local nightclub. investigators believe gilley knew laura was dating others and may have followed her to the nightclub. >> that unknown dna was the motive. that kyle was jealous and possessive and found out that she possibly was seeing somebody else. >> prosecutors believe that gilley and laura had planned to go swimming on the afternoon of her murder. kyle coaxed her out to the deserted lovers' lane where they talked, then argued. according to the forensic evidence, gilley struck her in the head repeatedly with a rock and blood spattered on his jeans. prosecutors think gilley saw laura's blood on his jeans, which is why he left them there. but those jeans contained other biological evidence with his dna.
11:58 pm
on that day, gilley wouldn't have known anything about that, of course, since dna testing was still years away. a witness saw gilley driving laura's car away from the crime scene. why the original investigators gave this information less weight than gilley's alibi is yet another mystery. in september of 2006, kyle gilley went on trial for murder. his defense claimed the presence of another man's dna was proof that someone else was at the crime scene and that individual killed laura. >> the jury never fell into the trap of thinking the unknown dna was a plausible other suspect. >> the jury found kyle gilley guilty of murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison. dan goodwin finally kept the promise he'd made to laura's mother at the funeral.
11:59 pm
>> i don't think miss mackey will be around when kyle gilley is eligible for his first parole hearing in september of 2042. i'll be 83 years old, but if i'm alive and if my partner bill sharp is alive, we'll be there to testify against releasing him. >> 20 years is a long time to wait for justice. the evidence in the case never changed. it just took that long for forensic technology to catch up with the killer. >> cold cases are difficult. the positive side is that forensic science is constantly advancing so that what we couldn't do 20 years ago, now we can do. >> i cannot recall during my time in the district attorney's office a case that's ever been worked this hard, that so many hours had been put into. >> in 1984, we were at a stalemate. we didn't have the dna, the
12:00 am
forensic evidence, to convict. in 2000 we were able to, through the forensic evidence, put kyle gilley at the scene. we showed that kyle gilley was the killer. without the forensic evidence evidence there's no conviction. up next, a young woman makes a desperate plea for help. >> she was very shook up. >> before vanishing without a trace. >> we knew then that something rotten had happened. >> police think they solved the case, until it takes a turn no one expected. >> it's just hard for a lot of people to believe. >> i almost got sick. >> it was the ultimate betrayal. >> oh, my god. he was a monster in disguise. >> she got murdered for obeying the law. customers at the men's club in charlotte, north carolina, could occasionally get a little raucous, but the employees were trained to handle those situations.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on