Archive for December, 2006|Monthly archive page

What was missing?

The following post at a forum dedicated to discussing the Michelle Young murder investigation has stirred up curiosity and inspired quite a bit of speculation — some of it absurd, in my opinion.

yes, i know her. no, she wasn’t at work when he called. yes, there was really a fax. yes, it was for a gift of some sort for Michelle. yes, she was at their house alot & yes, like a nanny to her niece. yes, he has stayed at inlaw’s house since murder. yes, he was out of town when the body was “found.”

nothing stolen? ask jdub if he noticed anything missing at the funeral?

i think he’s guilty as sin & hot-shot lawyer (previously partners with John Edwards-just stating a fact- i like john) will not get him out of this one.

The way I see it, a few posters at Websleuths are on the right track.

What ( rather who) was missing?

Michelle’s mother told us:

My name is Linda Fisher, and Michelle Young is my daughter. We are shaken and heartbroken over the tragic loss of Michelle. She’s the wife, a sister, a granddaughter, and most importantly the mother of my only granddaughter, Cassidy (sobbing).

I’m asking for anyone who has seen or heard anything — as trivial as you might think it is, anything — to please come forward and help find the person who murdered our daughter…my daughter.

I also want to thank, or take the opportunity to thank, everyone who has given their love and support to us during this horrible time. And I want you to please understand that our family is in mourning, and we appreciate the privacy to grieve.

And I have great faith in the police that they will help find the person who is responsible for taking our Michelle away from us. I love her. (sobbing) I love my Michelle, and she’s gone.

Thank you.

Where is she now and why is she being kept from the Fisher family?

Questions, questions, questions…

Six weeks into the investigation of Michelle Young’s murder, Wake County officials continue to keep the bulk of the details close to the vest. It’s frustrating for those of us on the outside looking in, but certainly understandable as necessary to protect the integrity of the investigation and avoid trying the case in the media. A string of particular questions circle around in my head, and I wonder just what it is about each one that is vital to solving the crime and apprehending the perpetrator. Why do investigators and/or prosecutors release certain details yet keep so many others out of the public domain?

  • What time did Jason leave home on November 2?We learned from a news report quoting, Rhett Fussell, a friend of the Youngs that he left in the evening for an early morning sales meeting in Virginia, but the exact time of his departure is, as yet, unpublished. We also know that Jason had a very brief conversation with investigators on the day Michelle’s body was discovered. Did he make a statement as to what time he left? If so, surely investigators have done everything in their power to either substantiate or disprove that claim. Is there some discrepancy between the two? Or is there unaccounted for time between his departure from the Youngs’ Raleigh home and his arrival at the Virginia destination?
  • Where did Jason spend the night of November 2-3?Did he check in to a hotel in the same Virginia city he was to make a sales call in? Or did he stop short and spend the night somewhere in between Raleigh and the destination point? In either case, it’s conceivable that he had time to return to Raleigh, kill Michelle, and still make it to the Virginia sales meeting on Friday morning.
  • What was the location of the sales meeting?A poster at the CourtTV forum who claims to have some inside knowledge put forth that the meeting was to be in Roanoke, but officials have never publicly made clear the location nor indicated if Jason actually kept the appointment. Failure to keep the appointment would be a devastating blow to his alibi, but keeping it would not necessarily solidify it. Depending on the chronology of his departure, hotel check-in, and the sales meeting, he may have had ample time for a round-trip to Raleigh to commit the crime.
  • Who sent the mysterious “fax”?Meredith Fisher, Michelle’s sister, told officers that she had received a voicemail from Jason Young on Friday morning, with a request for her to go to the house and pick up a fax. This excerpt from a November 30 warrant seems to suggest that the document does exist:

    The victim’s sister came to the house to retrieve a document, which was on the printer, located next to the computer. The document had been printed from that computer.

    Of more interest is the fact that this document was of notable mention in the Probable Cause section of a warrant to search a Dell computer belonging to Michelle Money. Does this suggest that Michelle Money sent the document that Meredith was asked to retrieve? If so, we can reasonably conclude that Meredith had no knowledge of the affair between her brother-in-law and Mrs. Money. That could indicate that Michelle Young was also in the dark in that regard. Or if she was aware, she had only very recently learned of it.

  • What were the plans for the coming weekend in the Young household?Friends of Jason have laid out for us his purported plans for the early part of the weekend. ConcernedCitize at the CourtTV forum gave the following account:

    Jason left home Thur. Pm to go to Va. I do not know the exact time he left but know it was in the evening. He had a meeting there Fri. AM. He checked into a hotel there and called Michelle at around 11 PM that night when he had arrived. He spoke to her and all was fine. He had his meeting Fri. Am and then as had been previously planned, drove to western NC to his mom’s house where he’d planned to have a short visit and spend the night before returning to Raleigh the next day. People are very confused over the sequence there because the press has published so many different things. He went to VA, spent the night, had a meeting in the AM, then as planned drove to Brevard.

    The author twice qualified that the trip to Brevard had been planned in advance. Why the emphasis? It seems of great importance to the author that we are not left with the impression that Jason’s decision to visit his mom was a spur of the moment notion. If the visit was unplanned, did his parent’s know before learning of Michelle’s murder that Jason was coming? If they learned of both at the same time, I can certainly see why his stepfather was so insistent that he retain an attorney before speaking to investigators.

    On the other hand, a pre-planned trip to Brevard seems rather sinister in the context of Michelle’s death. It’s been reported that Fridays are Michelle’s flex days at Progress Energy, and she wasn’t expected in that day. Wouldn’t Jason’s parents have loved to see their daughter-in-law and, especially, their granddaughter? If Michelle had a doctor’s appointment that day, she could have rescheduled and gone along to enjoy a weekend in the mountains with her family. Why would Jason leave them behind and give Meredith the impression that Michelle would be at work that day?

    One more thing that calls into question the side-trip to Brevard is the fact that Saturday was Homecoming for the NCSU Wolfpack. It’s common knowledge that Jason is a big fan and has been a season ticket holder, fully engaging in tailgating and other Wolfpack festivities — even hoisting up little Cassidy, dressed as a miniature NCSU cheerleader, in mock cheerleader lifts at games . Would his parents even be on his mind on Homecoming weekend? Would he take the time to drive hours out of his way and miss out on any part of the Homecoming hullabaloo?

  • How was Jason notified of Michelle’s murder, and what was his reaction?Jason’s step-father claims to have broken the news:

    “I met him in the yard and told him what happened,” Gerald McIntyre, the stepfather, said from his home in Brevard.
    “He went plumb to his knees.”

    According to friends, the family, after learning of the murder, elected to tell Jason when he arrived rather than devastating him with the news while he was driving and alone. However, Wake County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison, told Greta van Susteren of Fox News that his office notified Young. As I’ve stated before, the falling to his knees bit seems rather contrived as an immediate response. It conveys acceptance rather than stunned disbelief, in my opinion. Why would he be so quick to accept such shocking news? Did he ask about the welfare of his 2½ year old daughter, Cassidy? Did he display any concern as to her condition or whose care she was in? I’m hopeful that Sheriff Harrison sent a representative to personally notify Jason Young of Michelle’s murder. His initial response to that news could be very telling.

  • What was the murder weapon?Has it been located and recovered? Have marks on Michelle’s body allowed examiners to determine what type of instrument was used? Is there any evidence tying the weapon to the crime and/or to a suspect?

I believe that investigators have the answers to all of these questions and probably more. And I believe that what they know in that regard led them to focus on Jason Young as a suspect in his wife’s murder early on in the investigation. They said almost from the beginning that it was not a random act. I wonder why.

Update: 1:25 pm CT

Another question just occurred to me. Why did Wake County authorities recently release part of the warrants relating to the case? Specifically, why did they reveal the adulterous affair between Jason Young and Michelle Money. Mrs. Money has reportedly been very cooperative and fully answered all of investigating officers’ questions. So why offer her up to the media and public scrutiny? Perhaps, she’s a bit of a decoy, in that there are other girlfriends that Sheriff Harrison would like to keep under the radar, so to speak.

Young Timeline

I am in the process of creating a detailed timeline of the Michelle Young case using information gathered from news reports, search warrants, and forum postings. All input is welcome and appreciated. Just post it in the comment section, and I’ll add it to the calendar.

You can navigate to the timeline using the following link.

Michelle Young Timeline

In addition, a link to the timeline has been added to the LINKS section in the right sidebar of this blog.

Update: 5:58 pm, CT

A few readers have expressed confusion over why some events on the timeline appear out of order. That’s due to a shortcoming of the calendar format. If an event is not linked to a specific time, the calendar will automatically list it above the events that include a time. For instance, the conversation between Jason and law enforcement officers on November 3 appears above the actual discovery of the body by Meredith. It is not meant to indicate that the former occurred before the latter. The only way I can correct that is to estimate a time for each event.

Editing Note

The post entitled “What Next?!” has been removed from this blog. I consider the allegation on which it was originally based to be completely false. Although I declared it untrue in an update, it seems much more fair to do away with the entry completely and eliminate the potential for perpetuating false stories.

Why am I not surprised?

It seems ol’ Jason has a girlfriend. Or maybe I should state that in the past tense. Jason Young had a girlfriend in Florida. That rumor proved true, not that I ever doubted it. The only thing that even slightly surprises me is that we found out about it so quickly. My guess is that investigators are getting nowhere with Jason Young as far as cooperation from him. This information should pull the legs out from under a lot of the support he’s been getting and put Jason on notice that the gloves are off.

Excerpt from the News & Observer article:

According to the search warrants, Jason Young was in almost daily contact with Michelle Money of Ocoee, Fla., by phone or e-mail in the three months before his wife’s death. Investigators seized two cell phones from Jason Young’s Ford Explorer and asked the phone companies to turn over call records and voice mail on the accounts, according to the warrants.The warrants also show that investigators seized several records related to travel by Jason Young, including a US Airways baggage claim ticket and a receipt for a United Airlines flight to Denver in October. Other seized items include Young’s credit card statement, a computer hard drive and file folders containing a will, insurance information and other papers.

 

The trip to Denver in October could have been when Jason met the Florida woman, or it could have been a romatic getaway for the couple disguised as a business trip. While pregnant Michelle stayed home with Cassidy, Jason may have been romancing his girlfriend rather than celebrating the third anniversary of his marriage with his wife. Brings a whole new spin to that “leather purse for a third anniversary gift” story, doesn’t it? I’d like to hear “just the facts” explanation for that. If there is a cookie cutter for cads, it should be marketed with the mugshots of Scott Peterson and Jason Young on the packaging.

Regarding Michelle Money (yes, she shares his wife’s first name), I give her the benefit of the doubt. Unless and until otherwise proven, I assume that she is in no way involved in Michelle Young’s murder. It is quite possible that, like Amber Frey, she contacted North Carolina authorities upon learning that her boyfriend was married and his wife and unborn child had been murdered. Regardless, I hope that investigators have gotten full cooperation from Ms. Money.

The News & Observer article goes on to state that Meredith Young was contacted through voice-mail by Jason to go over to the house to retrieve a computer print-out. So that clears up the great fax debate. I expect the media attention to this case will pick up pace now that the cad is out of the bag (bad pun, I know). I’m sure there’s plenty more known about Jason’s activities that is being held back in order to protect the investigation. Keep me posted and I’ll try to do the same.

Update: 5:06 pm, CT

Well, it appears that these two Michelle’s may have been “friends” going back to college, if not even further back than that. Michelle Money has former addresses in Raleigh, NC, as well as Port Jefferson, NY — just a hop, skip and jump from the Fishers’ hometown of Sayville.

It all goes back to Laci…

I suppose the OJ Simpson trial was my introduction to following crime stories. It was everywhere, and everyone was talking about it. We didn’t have CourtTV in my community then, but even CNN ran gavel-to-gavel coverage of that trial. There was no getting away from it. But the Laci Peterson case is the one that I always go back to. It will never leave me. Believe it or not, a few of the finer details have gotten a little fuzzy with the passage of time, but I can still picture in my mind the various photographs and video clips that introduced us to Laci — her brilliant smile and her effervescent charm. She had the same impact on almost everyone who caught a glimpse. It isn’t likely that any of you who watched the memorial video set to Brown Eyed Girl have forgotten it nor the emotions it evoked. I know I haven’t.

And neither has the prosecution team. Birgit Fladager recently spoke about the case to a gathering of Kentucky lawyers.

Fladager played a tape yesterday that jurors never got to see because of restrictions on the number of photos prosecutors could show the jury. It showed several photos of Laci Peterson from childhood to adulthood, with Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison — Laci’s favorite song — and later I Will Remember You by Sarah McClachlan playing in the background.

At the beginning, the judge tapped his feet to the upbeat Morrison song as he watched the tape in his office, Fladager said. He was silent at the end, she said, and the defense lawyers stared down at their shoes.

“When you watch this, keep in mind there is a guy who supposedly loved her,” Fladager said of Peterson before she played the video for Kentucky prosecutors. “And she died in a horrible way. And he showed absolutely no emotion to what you’re about to see. Which told me then that he never cared about her. He never cared about anybody.”

Peterson deserved all the scorn and wrath he got from the public for the simple fact of what he did to Laci, Conner, and the Rocha family. But he couldn’t stop there. His coldness, both before and after the fact, made it that much easier to condemn him.

Lately, I’ve been silently questioning myself and what I do here on this blog. I didn’t have my own blog when the Peterson investigation and trial were ongoing, but I participated in discussing it elsewhere. I believed early on that Scott Peterson was responsible for his wife and unborn son’s disappearance and murder. I didn’t have the internal conflict about discussing the case that I’ve been experiencing lately. I consider Jason Young the prime suspect in the murder of Michelle Young and her unborn son. I have suspicions as to the car accident that killed another of their unborn children. But what if I’m wrong? Am I persecuting an innocent man — a grieving husband and father — and those who love and support him by writing about my suspicions on this blog and elsewhere? That thought troubles me. So I intend to rethink the case. I’ll try to look at each item of evidence and reported fact more objectively and give unconfirmed rumors the proper weight.

Still, my primary concern is the victims. If I can do anything to facilitate justice for Michelle Young and her babies or to support her heartbroken family in even the smallest way, that is what I want to do. I know my chances of accomplishing either are slim, but slim is better than none. Of course, I feel sorry for Jason’s family and what they’re going through. I understand their need to support and defend him. And even if he proves to be the murderer, I will still expect them to support him. I just hope they handle it with more grace, more dignity and, most importantly, more compassion for their daughter-in-law’s family than the Petersons did.