Archive for the ‘Nona Dirksmeyer’ Category

Nona Dirksmeyer Murder Revisited

Last night, I happened to tune in to NBC’s Dateline and watched Keith Morrison’s report on the case.  When I first heard about Nona’s murder, I suspected her boyfriend, Kevin Jones.  The details released by investigators and reported by the Russellville Courier were the basis of my suspicion.  Last night’s report went a long way toward convincing me of how wrong I was in my suspicion of Kevin Jones.  If you missed the show, you can read the transcript at MSNBC.com and view some portions of the report via their video segments. 

I’m sorry to say that I’ve been forced to close the comment threads at this blog because of malicious activity.  As an alternative, I have created a forum for discussion of the Dirksmeyer murder at the Friction Powered Exchange, or FPX, as I like to call it.  Please, register and post your thoughts and any links to helpful information.  I’d particularly like to read the autopsy report, but I haven’t been able to find a copy online and don’t know if it is available to the public.

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7 Updates and a New 1

John Fiocco, Jr.’s parents have hired a lawyer, a private investigator, and Dr. Michael Baden to investigate their son’s death.

Baden said yesterday he has been on the Fiocco case for a few weeks at the request of the deceased 19-year-old TCNJ freshman’s relatives, who live in Mantua, Gloucester County.”The family wants to know why their son died and did anybody do harm to him?” Baden said, adding he has reached “no conclusions at all. We’re just in the process of gathering information.”

 

Good for them.

Lawyers in the Natalee Holloway case were in a New York courtroom yesterday arguing whether to dismiss or move the civil suit filed by her parents. They await a decision from the judge.

The Dorrian brothers, owners of The Falls, were slapped down hard by the State Liquor Authority for their offenses regarding the hiring of Darryl Littlejohn and lying to investigators of the Imette St. Guillen murder.

“He lied. He hedged. He ducked and weaved,” a police source said of Daniel Dorrian. “He did everything he could to avoid helping to find who killed this girl. All because he didn’t want to lose his liquor license. For money and greed.”

They may lose their liquor license. One can only hope. That should be the least of their punishment, in my opinion.

A Russellville detective opens up a little about the Nona Dirksmeyer investigation, defending his department against public criticism. There’s not really any new information in the article, but it’s interesting if you’ve been following the case. I think they did things right.

I hope I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that Tara Grinstead’s family is being taken for a ride by this so-called criminologist, Dr. Maurice Godwin.

Royal Caribbean is fishing with live bait again. Another passenger, Daniel DiPiero, has gone overboard, and, once again, their main concern is public relations. Daniel was drunk. It’s all his own fault, and Royal Caribbean’s hands are clean. Of course. Nevermind that nearly 12-hour gap between the time that a security camera captured Daniel going overboard and the time that the Coast Guard was notified. As you’ll remember, George Smith IV either fell or was pushed overboard during his honeymoon on a Royal Caribbean cruise of the Mediterranean.

Some members of the Peterson jury have their own book coming out this fall. I may read it if the opportunity arises, but I won’t be buying the book. Gloria Allred has made too much money on the case already.

www.tracytribble.com
The family of Tracy Tribble is asking for volunteers to help search for the 35-year-old redhead in western Iowa. She’s been missing from her Council Bluffs home since May 3rd. Or could it be May 2nd? Tracy was reportedly last seen by her husband before he left for work.

Stan Tribble told officers that he last saw Tracy before going to work at 6 a.m. When he returned home at 5:30 p.m., her car was still in the driveway, but she was nowhere to be found.

In addition to her vehicle, Tracy apparently left without her keys, purse, and cell phone. Her wallet, which contains her identification and a debit card, is missing from her purse, but there has been no activity on her account. Her dog was found wandering without its collar in a nearby cemetary. Contrary to the police stance that Stan Tribble is not a suspect, they have released a description of clothing that Tracy was wearing on May 2nd.

A coworker told officers that Tribble, 35, was wearing dark blue pants or jeans, a green sweater and a dark green jacket with a gray fleece lining.

Stan Tribble admits to police that he and Tracy had an argument the night before she disappeared, but denies assaulting her. Police have been called to the Tribble residence on more than one occasion for incidents of domestic violence, and last week filed charges against Stan for an April assault on his wife. Police have stated that so far there is nothing to indicate that Stan Tribble is responsible for his wife’s disappearance, but as the last to see her, he is certainly a person of interest. Police say that Stan has been contacting friends in trying to locate Tracy. Tribble was, at first, cooperative with investigators, submitting to an interview on May 8 and allowing them access to the home at 133 Benton St., but has since hired a lawyer and required a search warrant for further searches of the home. The results of the search warrant executed on May 11 have been sealed, so it isn’t know what, if anything, was found. Friend and former boyfriend Bryon Batchelder told reporters that the couple had had a bad argument the night of May 2 and describes Tracy as distraught afterward. Batchelder has taken a leave of absence from his job in Las Vegas to look for Tracy and doesn’t intend to return until she is found.

Another search is planned for this Saturday, and a $75,000 reward for information as to Tracy’s whereabouts is being offered. Anyone with information is asked to call Council Bluffs police at (712) 328-4764 or the non-emergency number at (712) 328-5737. Tracy’s family has set up a tip-line — (402) 218-1199 — for anyone who may be too intimidated to call police.

Christine Gaines, Tribble’s stepsister, said that the line was established to encourage anyone who might be afraid to call police with information about her sister’s disappearance.

“We hope that this line will open up some opportunities to find new information,” Gaines said.

Police have investigated a couple of tips received by the family, according to Gaines, but no new evidence has turned up.

Gaines also asked that if anyone in the community remembers seeing anything suspicious on rural roads in the last two weeks, to notify authorities.

 

I wonder if that rural road request is just based on a hunch or if it’s the result of something found in searches of the home and both vehicles.

Dirksmeyer: More to the Story

It sounds like there is more someone would like to say regarding the relationship between Nona Dirksmeyer and her alleged murderer, Kevin Jones, but the Russellville Courier isn’t, as yet, willing to publish it.

Sources close to the Nona Dirksmeyer murder case told The Courier Thursday about certain never-before released facts. However, after investigating the lead, The Courier decided to not publish its findings. Law enforcement officials involved with the investigation would not go on the record to confirm the information because of a conflict with “ethical and legal” boundaries.

Psst to whomever: I’m sure there are several bloggers who’d be willing to put it out there if you’re anxious to have it published.

In addition to that little non-tidbit, it seems that, even after the arrest, the prosecutor is still dragging his feet in bringing the accused to justice. He’s not interested in going to trial until January of next year. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt on the delay in taking Jones into custody, but I see no reason in holding off the trial for so long. The $250,000 bond, which Jones was quick to post, really irks me, too.

Nona Dirksmeyer

Nona Dirksmeyer, Arkansas Tech sophomore and beauty queen, was murdered in her off-campus apartment on December 15, 2005. Bludgeoned and stabbed to death between final exams, she was left naked in a pool of blood, to be discovered later that evening by her boyfriend, his mother and a friend. Until Friday, March 31, the greatest mystery in this case (among cybersleuths, anyway) was why the police were delaying in arresting their only suspect and even refusing to release his name. It was widely accepted that Kevin Jones, Nona’s boyfriend of nearly five years was responsible for her death. The Russellville Police Department turned over their investigative report, requesting formal charges be filed against the suspect, to the DA, David Gibbons, in mid-January. As the months passed and it appeared nothing was being done to bring Nona’s murderer to justice, public patience grew thin. Meanwhile, Gibbons blamed the delay on the wait for completion of forensic testing by the State Crime Lab and the FBI. Who can fault him for that? Isn’t it better to be thorough than hasty in such a serious case?

Prior to Kevin Jones’s arrest, there seemed little to write about regarding this case. It’s always the oddities and inconsistent details that catch my eye. Granted, the circumstances of the discovery of Nona’s demise were enough to raise my eyebrow, but there seemed little mystery as to who was to blame. It appeared that Kevin had slain his girlfriend in a fit of rage and concocted a scheme to deflect attention from himself and involve his mother and a friend in his device. Allegedly concerned about Nona because he hadn’t heard from her all day, Kevin and his unwitting partners entered Nona’s apartment to find the scene of a violent crime. 911 calls were made and the investigation begun. It didn’t take long to narrow the list of suspects down. Within a week, evidence was being tested, statements had been taken, and polygraphs had been administered, narrowing the field to one — Kevin Jones, though not publicly named.

Now that Jones is in custody, more interesting details have been released, and it’s easy to see why Russellville’s finest honed in on the boyfriend from the beginning.

  • Kevin Jones had allegedly last spoken to Nona via telephone at approximately 1:30 am on December 15. He received a text message from her at 9:07 am. There is no indication that he made any attempt to contact her again until 4:10 that afternoon. Yet by 6:30 pm (less than ten hours since he’d heard from her), he was so concerned that he enlisted the help of Ryan Whiteside, a friend who worked as a pizza deliveryman in Russellville, to check up on Nona. Upon learning from Ryan that Nona’s car was at the complex, but she didn’t answer her door, Kevin diverted his mother from attending a Christmas party in Dardanelle to accompany him to Nona’s apartment.
  • Kevin was one of only three people who had a key to Nona’s apartment, the other two being Nona and her mother. When he arrived at her complex with his mother, he couldn’t get in because the front door was locked and he’d forgotten his key. He and Whiteside went around to the sliding glass door. It was also locked, but with some force, he was able to pry it open because the burglar bar was missing.
  • Upon entering the house, Kevin ran to Nona’s body and laid on top of her, rubbing his hands in the blood, ostensibly to see how fresh it was.
  • Kevin volunteered to one officer that he watched a lot of Law & Order.
  • Kevin’s bloody finger and palm prints were found on the murder weapon, a floor lamp laying in three pieces near the victim. He denied having touched the lamp after the body was found, and Ryan Whiteside’s statement corroborates this claim — Kevin touched only the body and a greeting card.

It appears obvious that he was attempting to corrupt the forensic evidence by laying across the body and rubbing his hands in the blood, but I’m curious about his handling of the greeting card. I suppose the significance of that will become more apparent in time. I’m even more curious about why Nona was nude. She had already been out that day to take a final exam at 8:00 am. It’s safe to assume that she dressed appropriately for that. There was no sign of sexual assault. Did Kevin undress her to try to make it appear that was the motive of her perpetrator?

Aside from Kevin’s behavior in response to finding his girlfriend murdered, the creepiest detail released is a text message that Kevin sent to Nona at 4:28 pm: “U ALIVE”. That, in addition to his attempt to tamper with the crime scene and his spontaneous remark about watching a lot of Law & Order, causes me to question the impulsiveness of the murder. Perhaps, it wasn’t strictly a crime of passion, but instead something that Kevin had fantasized about before — an act that wasn’t triggered until December 15, 2005. According to the autopsy, Nona Dirksmeyer died around 11 am. At 11:04 am, she received a text message on her cell phone to which she didn’t respond. The content of that message is yet to be released, but I surmise it’s possible that this was the touch-paper for detonation of Kevin Jones’s lethal temper.

Informative articles about the case here and here.

Note Added May 3, 2008:

All comment threads have been closed at this blog.  If you wish to discuss the Dirksmeyer case, please do so at the forum:

Link to Friction Powered Exchange