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    In episode 200 of Trace Evidence we examine one of the most shocking, disturbing and haunting murders in Texas history -- The Shocking Murder of Betty Williams.

    Odessa Texas, 1961. Seventeen year old Betty Williams goes missing from her bedroom sometime during the night. At first investigators don't believe there's any reason to worry, it's not uncommon for seventeen year old's to sneak out or run off for a few hours. As a matter of procedure, an investigator heads to Odessa High School to find out if anyone knew where Betty was.

    They could have never imagined what happened next. John Mack Herring, a popular football player at the school, and Betty's ex-boyfriend, makes a shocking confession. He killed Betty the night before and hid her body beneath the muddy waters of a rural stock pond. When detectives ask why, Herring simply replies "Because she asked me to."

    Herring explained that Betty had begged him to end her life, saying she was miserable and wanted to escape from this world. In Herring's own words, moments before firing the fatal shot, he asked for a kiss to remember her by, and Betty obliged. The media christened the crime "The Kiss and Kill Murder."

    The town rallies behind the good looking and smart Mack Herring, a boy from the right side of the tracks from a good family while they demonize Betty, a harlot who seduced a tender teen into committing a hideous and violent act. Even in death, Betty Williams was blamed for the horrible crime committed against her.

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    Episode 200 - Q&A Special. In this week's episode, as we prepare for the release of episode 200, host Steven Pacheco answers listener submitted questions covering everything you want to know from details about case, creation of the show and overall views of podcasting and true crime in general.

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    February 11th, 1988 - twelve year old Jie Zhao Li walks out of her family's Honolulu home to sell tickets for a school fundraiser. She never makes it back home. Within hours she's reported missing and investigators begin massive searches trying to track down the little girl or anyone who may have seen her.

    Soon witnesses come forward but their stories lead detectives in different directions. Some people saw Jie speaking to a man outside of the local 7-11 moments before her disappearance. Others claim to have seen her in the back of an old, yellow Chevy miles away and days after she went missing.

    While detectives quickly determine that the twelve year old was likely the victim of an abduction, their race against time hits dead end after dead end leading many to wonder if Jie is still alive out there somewhere, or if perhaps, her abductor took her life within hours of her vanishing.

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    This weeks episode takes a look at three major updates regarding cases previously covered on Trace Evidence.

    First we examine the details surrounding Annandale Jane Doe who, after twenty-five years, has positively been identified as Joyce Marilyn Meyer Sommers. Then we turn towards the release of new information and the announcement that investigators have narrowed their suspect pool down to one person in the 1982 abduction of Kelly Bergh Dove. Finally, we will discuss the results of the trial of Dawan Ferguson, charged with the murder of his nine year old son, Christian.

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    On a cool spring morning in May of 1984, fourteen year old Laura Ann Parker went off to Lindenhurst High School and never came home. While her parents pressed the police, and even the FBI, to track down the missing teen, their concerns were written off as it was ruled that Laura had chosen to runaway.

    For four long months James and Patricia Parker investigated for themselves. They gave out their home phone number, tracked down every lead from Manhattan to the eastern end of Long Island. Sadly, they never found a trace of their beloved daughter.

    Then, in September, a group of teenage boys came upon a grisly scene. In a local hangout, in the middle of the woods, they discovered Laura's skeletal remains beneath an old rolled up carpet. A cause of death could not be determined, but evidence as the scene suggested this had likely been a homicide and that Laura had died the very day she was reported missing.

    Now, urged to investigate the murder, the Suffolk County Police ran into a wall of silence from the community. No one wanted to talk, no one seemed to care. While some speculated that Laura had to have been killed by someone passing through town, investigators started to believe Laura may have known her assailant.

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    Nineteen year old Barbara Jean "Bobbie" Barkley arrived for a normal day of work at the pipe furniture store in Pinellas Park, Florida on Friday, May 29th, 1981. Less than three hours later she had mysteriously vanished.

    There were no signs of a struggle, no indications of where Bobbie may have gone. Left behind were her purse and her cigarettes; the only things missing were Bobbie and her 1973 Plymouth Fury. While, at first, her family thought there might be a reasonable explanation, investigators were immediately concerned.

    Less than a year earlier, two other women had vanished under similar circumstances from within the same area. Police found one body, but the other remained missing. Soon it became a race against time to determine if Bobbie had been targeted by someone she knew or if she'd fallen victim to a yet unknown serial killer.

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    On a warm, lazy Sunday afternoon, nineteen year old Pamela Tinsley decided to take a ride down to one of her favorite Oklahoma City spots -- Lake Overholser. She'd had a rough few weeks and really needed a break from the hectic rat race of life. She never could have imagined that she wouldn't make it back home.

    According to friends at the Lake that day, Pam accepted an offer from a man she didn't know. He's drive her a ride around the lake on his motorcycle and then drop her right back off where he found her. Pam agreed, but neither was ever seen again.

    For more than twenty years investigators believed that Pam had been abducted by this lone, unknown man until an anonymous caller changed everything. Quickly the view of detectives shifted from this stranger to the people who last saw Pam alive -- her so-called friends and roommates who may have had a reason to want to see her gone.

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    On a cold winter morning in March of 1970, Rock Creek, Ohio Police Chief Robert Hamrick radioed in that he was involved in a high speed pursuit. He never called in again. Hours later a deputy moving through the area came upon the scene of a hideous accident.

    Chief Hamrick was found lying across the front seat of his cruisers whose lights and engine were off. He had sustained massive head and chest injuries and was barely clinging to life. Despite being flown to Cleveland for emergency brain surgery, Chief Hamrick succumbed to his injuries just nine days later.

    While the Ashtabula County Sheriff's Department ultimately ruled Chief Hamrick's death to be the result of a car accident, rumors and speculation suggested something more sinister. Many believed there had been a massive cover up to conceal the truth: that Chief Hamrick was lured to that isolated stretch of road, ambushed and viciously beaten.

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    This week I'm crisscrossing the country, making my way to CrimeCon in Last Vegas. Taking a break from our usually scheduled episode releases, Trace Evidence brings to you an episode driven by you, the listener. Host Steven Pacheco answers questions submitted by listeners and also addresses the progress being made on Episode 195, set to release next week!

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    On a cool October afternoon in 2007, forty-seven year old Irina Malezhik walked out of her Brighton Beach apartment and mysteriously vanished. Nearly two years later, the FBI finally identified the prime suspect: Dmitriy Yakovlev. However, what they believed was an investigation into identity theft would quickly become something much more hideous.

    While the FBI dug into Dmitriy they quickly uncovered a complex history in which Yakovlev had been the last person to see Irina alive, but also two others; Michael Klein and Viktor Alexseyev. Klein, like Irina, has never been found. Alexseyev's dismembered remains were found just a few weeks after he was last seen alive.

    Quickly investigators uncovered a pattern; every two years someone Dmitriy knew vanished and within days he, and his wife, would reap the benefits of the missing persons bank account. It soon became clear that Dmitriy wasn't just an identity thief, but an active and previously undetected serial killer.

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    Forty-seven year old Irina Malezhik mysteriously disappeared from Brooklyn after leaving her Brighton Beach apartment in October of 2007. Employed at the time as a Russian translator for the Federal Court system, tackling cases involving the Russian mafia, many were concerned that Irina had been targeted by someone from the mob.

    However, as the FBI began digging into the case they quickly discovered that someone was using Irina's identity to make large purchases; expensive clothes, watches and linens. They'd even gone and withdrawn thousands of dollars from her bank account. That trail did not lead to organized from, but to a married couple with a direct connection to the missing woman.

    What began as a case surrounding identity theft quickly developed into something more intense. Soon, they discovered a second missing person tied to the married couple. Then, the dismembered remains of a third were also linked to the identity thieves. It became quite clear; this was not just a one off crime, but a series of murders and disappearances driven by greed at the hand of a yet unidentified serial killer.

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    Sandra Prince was well known throughout Florida's Bay Avenue for her dedication to the community, her craft real estate acquisitions and for being one of the nicest and kindest friends and neighbors you could ever want. For much of Sandra's life, things had gone just the way she'd wanted them to until the night she vanished.

    For months investigators struggled to gain a foothold on Sandra's life. Notoriously private, few people knew exactly what she was up to nor who she spent time with. Eventually, one name came to the surface: Earl Pippin. Pippin worked as a contractor for Sandra and, reportedly, had been in a relationship with her for close to five years.

    Nine long months after her disappearance, the Temple Terrace Police officially named Pippin as a person of interest in the case. The hunt for Sandra's remains began in earnest as detectives had few reasons to believe the missing woman might still be alive. Pippin, allegedly the sole beneficiary to her estate, valued at nearly $3 million, quickly became the central focus of their investigation.

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    In late December of 2005, fifty-nine year old Sandra Prince went missing from Temple Terrace, Florida. For several days, friends and neighbors assumed she had gone out of town to celebrate the New Year but when January rolled around and Sandra didn't appear, they grew concerned.

    Detectives working the case noted that they hadn't found any signs of a struggle, nor indications of forced entry at her home but the cell phone she always carried was left behind while her purse was missing. A notoriously private woman, investigators struggled to learn more about her as they tried to find anyone in her life who may have stood to gain from her disappearance. They had no way of knowing that a secret romance might be the key to discovering what truly happened.

    ***Breaking News*** After fifteen long years, an arrest has been made in the brutal 2007 slaying of eighteen year old Minot State University student Anita Knutson whose case was profiled in episode 137. In this episode we'll go through all of the details currently available and, as more information is released, a full length update episode will come out at a later date.

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    Seventy-six year old Walter Page was a pillar of the community in Manchester, New Hampshire. A resident for nearly fifty years, he and his wife Fae had built their home, raised a family and were now slowing down to enjoy a little more of their golden years. Just over a week before Christmas, in December of 1995 however, a series of threatening phone calls and a fiery attack would forever change their lives.

    Believing he had discovered banking inconsistencies, Walter began digging in to his Lodge's financial paperwork. Following a meeting with the then treasurer of the Lodge, Karl Bickford, as well as the president of the association, Conrad Ekdahl, disturbing things began happening. Ekdahl arrived home to find a homemade incendiary device wedged against his front door. Walter, among others, received a threatening call alluding to a bombing at his home.

    Less than two days later -- Walter was brutally murdered in the basement office of his home before the killer set the home ablaze. While investigators initially believed the crime may have been conducted in retribution for the conviction of an embezzler, they soon began wondering if perhaps the crime had been done not in revenge for a crime that had already been revealed but in order to conceal a crime which had not yet been discovered.

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    Eighteen year old Lynn Burdick mysteriously vanished from her evening shift at the Barefoot Peddlar, a small convenience store in her hometown of Florida, Massachusetts. After weeks of grueling searches headed up by law enforcement and Lynn's family, no trace of the high school senior could be found.

    By the beginning of summer, the senior prom Lynn hoped to attend had come and gone and, at what should have been her graduation ceremony, only an empty chair and a bouquet of yellow flowers marked her place. For the next forty years, the search for Lynn and the investigation of her disappearance would hit countless roadblocks and dead ends.

    Had Lynn been abducted by someone local, someone who may have known her? Did she fall victim to a yet unknown serial killer stalking the rural areas of Massachusetts or, was it possible, that Lynn was taken so she couldn't identify the man who had robbed the store that night?

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    Eighteen year old Lynn Burdick was born and raised in the small Massachusetts town of Florida. Throughout her life she worked hard in school earning high marks, dedicated her free time to volunteering for different fundraisers and charitable organizations and helped look after her mother. She was always there, reliable and trustworthy until the night she vanished.

    Scheduled to work the closing shift at a local convenience store, The Barefoot Peddlar, Lynn began her night without a worry. However, in the final hour before closing, Lynn disappeared from the store without a trace. Investigators quickly discovered the high school senior had likely been abducted during the course of a robbery.

    Massive searches were launched covering a fifty mile radius around the store; local and state police joined up with volunteers to scour the main roads, side streets and countless miles of state forests and difficult terrain. When a failed abduction earlier in the night came to light, investigators began to wonder if perhaps Lynn had been the next target.

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    On a warm Sunday afternoon in April of 1981, thirty-two year old Naomi Wilson walked out of her Cedar Rapids home, climbed in to her Ford Fairmont and drove off never to return. Two days later, her car was found abandoned at a local K-mart just a few miles away. There was no sign of foul play, no evidence of a crime and no trace of Naomi.

    Despite large searches through the area and a media barrage -- Naomi has never been found. As the years progressed, her story slowly evolved into one of the oldest unsolved missing person's cases in Iowa. Did she truly drive off that afternoon, falling victim to a yet unidentified assailant or is it possible the story we've been told all of these years was merely a lie to cover up something closer to home?

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    In this Special Update Episode we will revisit four cases previously covered on Trace Evidence which have had major breakthroughs in the past few months.

    In September of 2021, Chapel Hill police announced they had arrested and charged a suspect in the 2012 murder of UNC Chapel Hill student Faith Hedgepeth. Just last month, in December, investigators with the Miami-Dade Police officially closed the case of seventeen year old Daniel Jess Goldman who was abducted from his family's home in March of 1966.

    This month, January of 2022, South Yorkshire Police announced that they had arrested two suspects believed to be connected to the 2007 disappearance of fourteen year old Andrew Gosden. Finally, after thirty-six years, an arrest has been made in connection with the 1986 abduction and murder of four year old Jessica Gutierrez, taken in the middle of the night from her family's Lexington, SC home.

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    On the first day of Fall in 1972, thirteen year old Gail Joiner rushed home from school to her parents house in Thonotosassa, Florida. An hour later, the teen attached a leash to her beloved pet racoon's collar and strode out of the house to take him on his daily walk. She never returned.

    Despite exhaustive searches involving more than 200 people, not a trace of Gail was ever found. Within a month of her disappearance the case had grown cold and the investigation was scaled back. For the next decade, her case lingered in the limbo of joining other cold case files.

    Then in October of 1982, a confessed serial killer took credit for Gail's murder. After allegedly leading police to where he had disposed of her body, Gerald Stano retracted his confession and Gail's remains were never found. Had Stano been responsible, or was this another case of a murderer taking credit for crimes he didn't commit?

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    Music Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/