McCrady Case Review

"The Bare Truth"


Bonnie M. Wells

Issue Number Seven:

The Shots Were Heard

The McCrady trial was the first trial that I'd ever attended, and a lot of it came as a surprise to me.

I'd heard people say that real trials were not like tv scenes of Mattlock .... well, I knew that, but still, I thought when you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it meant exactly that. I was soon to realize that no one could tell the whole truth, not if their life depended upon it, could anyone have told the whole truth! If the judge or the prosecution didn't stop them, then the defense did. I never heard so many chopped up; bits and pieces of 'truth' in my life!

But, I sat there and took notes, watched the people who were testifying, watched the defense attorneys and the prosecuting attorneys; the judge; all the cops in the room; the jury and the news reporters ..... mostly because so many were watching me!! I still have no idea what that was all about, but, if it pleased them, then I guess it was alright with me.

When they began talking about McCrady shooting his wife with a .357 Magnum; inside their home, while their two little boys slept right above them, I really perked up. Those children would have been blasted from their beds with such a gunshot .... but, no, I was wrong. Apparently neither child had heard the gun shot. Amazing, I thought.

Then a witness took the stand who said she'd heard a noise .... but, she couldn't actually recall if it was on the 19th of September or if it was before that date .... or after it, for that matter!

She claimed to have heard this noise around 2:30 in the morning, and actually thought it was a vehicle backfiring as it went down the hill behind her house .... a street that led down to Stone Road.

I went to the McCrady property on my way home from court that day, and looked at the distance between the two houses. From where the witness lived to the McCrady house was probably a couple of hundred feet .... maybe more, depending on where the bed rooms were situated inside each house. The witness said she had her bedroom windows open, but the McCrady windows were supposedly closed.

I was inclined to believe the noise had in fact been a vehicle backfiring .... but that is not what the state wanted the jury to believe so they set out to convince them it was Jackie McCrady shooting his wife while she lay sleeping in their bed .... well, that's how it started out anyway ....

Then the story changed, and maybe she wasn't asleep after all because there was evidence that she had been tied up with .... well, the story changed again here .... first the state's expert witness claimed that she was tied with something soft that didn't cut into her flesh {and I thought of pantie hose or something like that} ... but then, the very next day, they put this same expert witness back on the stand and he testified that Jenifer had been bound ... wrists and ankles ... with something like flexicuffs, and that she had fought so hard against the restraints that her wrists were all cut up and bleeding.

Wow, I thought. Wonder why they found no blood ANYWHERE in the house, vehicles, or anywhere else.

But, back to the gun shot. If they tested McCrady's retired service revolver to see if it had been fired recently, I never heard anything about it. I assumed too much time had gone by .... 12 days is how long she'd been missing. Maybe that was too long, I didn't know.

They had a shell casing that -- in the beginning -- was supposed to be the casing from the bullet that killed Jenifer .... but, that changed too .... well, it had to, you see...

Sheriff Robert Schlicher had learned of a man in Michigan who was a ballistics expert. This man was so knowledgeable that he had worked for the U.S. government, Israel, and several other governments around the world. He was one of the best. The sheriff called him and had him come to Marietta to help them prove that it was in fact Jackie McCrady's .357 Magnum that had killed Jenifer. They were having some trouble proving this because someone had altered the barrel of McCrady's gun. He said he didn't do it ... after a day or so in that court room, I believed him!

Anyway, the expert traveled to Marietta; ran his tests and went to the sheriff and told him that he DID NOT have the murder weapon!! The sheriff promptly informed him that he was no longer welcome in Marietta and that he was to catch the first flight out and never come back!! Yeah, that's how it is in Marietta, Ohio. I know. They have been trying to run me off for years. I'm just too damned stubborn to go....

Their little secret was exposed when the defense learned of this witness and brought him back to testify for them!! He told what the sheriff had said to him and he also told us that he'd been all over the world, but had never been treated as badly as he'd been treated by that sheriff in Marietta, Ohio. I knew how the gentleman felt.

They finally decided that it didn't matter if the shell casing came from the bullet that killed Jenifer .... nor did it matter where that shell casing did come from .... although they admitted that they had tested every gun within Jackie McCrady's reach ... including his father's retired service revolver {Yeah, Jackie's father had been a deputy sheriff in Wood County, West Virginia until he retired} and the casing matched nothing ....

Meanwhile, my brain was spinning. What if that casing did come from the bullet that killed Jenifer. How had it gotten into Jackie McCrady's gun box with the revolver? Who put it there and why?

And, who had altered his gun so that ballistics could not be ran on it? Again - why had they done this?

For awhile the state seemed to have ol' Jackie by the b---s, but then it slipped through their fingers, just like everything else did.

They found 'metal shavings' in a vacuum cleaner bag and yep, they had him. He'd bored out the gun barrel and then was stupid enough to clean up the shavings with his own sweeper, and although he had 12 days in which he could have changed the bag and thrown the 'evidence' away, he didn't do it. Yep, they had him, and I began to doubt my own convictions of his innocence .... then along came the truth, and I was back on track!

The metal shavings did NOT match the metal in Jackie McCrady's gun .... NO MATCH! Just like the carpet fibers; tire tracks; and everything else.... nothing matched in this stupid case.

As with Dave Garvey's actions, no one made much of a deal out of the fact that Deputy Brian Schuck had taken Jackie McCrady's revolver from the evidence pool; placed it into the trunk of his car and took it home with him!

When Sheriff Schlicher learned of this, he sent another deputy to Schuck's home to get the weapon .... some four hours later. It was later learned that the weapon had been altered to prevent ballistics. Had the trial been anywhere on earth except Marietta, Ohio, that gun would NEVER have been admitted into evidence in that court room. But, we were in Marietta, and although Jackie's attorney's had tried to get a change of venue, Judge Susan Boyer flatly refused. Even when the entire potential jury pool admitted that they had heard of the case and believed McCrady to be guilty 'before' the trial, no change of venue was to be granted.

Rumors ran rampant for years after the trial and conviction of Jackie McCrady.

I had one woman look me right in the eye and tell me that Jackie & Jenifer's oldest child 'remembered' his daddy killing his mommy, and that Jackie had actually taken the children down there with him to bury her!

I was shocked. There wasn't a word of truth in that, and whoever was telling that lie should have been horse whipped as far as I was concerned.

The oldest child was 5 and the other child was about 2 and 1/2 years old when their mother was killed. It was horrible, and my heart broke for the little ones .... but when Marietta got finished with the children, they had lost their mother, their father, their paternal grandparents, their home and even their name!

I had already read EVERY interview that had been conducted with the McCrady children right after their father was arrested, and neither child reported anything even remotely close to hearing a loud bang that night or any other night.

Some people said they were too little .... too young to tell people what they had witnessed. I thought this was nonsense, but until 2007, and the murder of Jessie Marie Davis in Akron, Ohio, I had nothing to support my theory. When Jessie was murdered by her cop boyfriend and rolled up in a rug and taken from the home, the first words out of her 2 year old child's mouth were .... "Mommy's in the rug!"

Yet, the McCrady's had a 5 year old that couldn't tell his grandparents, authorities, school teacher or anyone that his mother had been killed, rolled up in a blanket, stuffed into a sleeping bag and then taken, in the middle of the night and buried .... and he'd been there to see it!!! Hahaha, if it wasn't so serious that would be laughable.

The oldest is approaching 18 years old now. He'll run across this web site some day. When he does, he's welcome to contact me.

When I learned that there was no blood found anywhere around the McCrady property, and that Jenifer had a plastic bag over her head, and that there apparently had been no blood spatter or blow back from the penetration site, and when I learned that there were dark finger prints around her throat, I said to my friends and anyone else that would listen .... "Jenifer McCrady was smothered to death with that plastic bag and shot after she was dead. That's why there was no blood. And I don't think anything that happened to her occurred inside her home." I do think most of it was in Belpre, but not in her home. No, it was down the road about 7/10ths of a mile from her home!

It took awhile, but finally the information was brought to me and laid right in my lap .... as it usually is. My theory was making more sense all the time.

I believed the woman who had seen someone walking at Civitan Park who she thought was Jenifer McCrady should have been allowed to testify in that court room. I believed she had in fact seen Jenifer McCrady that September morning around 6:00 am. And I believe the bearded man beside her on a bicycle abducted her -- possibly used chloroform to render her unconscious and then loaded her into her own vehicle and took her to his [already] chosen place of captivity, where she was bound, hand and foot, and gagged before regaining consciousness.

And when I learned that someone had heard {2} gun shots down on the property where Jenifer McCrady's body had been found, I was convinced that my theory had been right all along. Jenifer was not shot in Belpre. She was killed there - by smothering. But she had been shot in Little Hocking. A year later, an incident in Little Hocking would go even further to convince me that I was right.

See: All The Martin's Aren't Purple

In the nearly 14 years since Jenifer McCrady was murdered and buried just a couple of miles from my home I have taken numerous people to the oil well access road. And I've spent all these years wondering where the second bullet is .... where is the casing from it?

I don't know why 2 shots were fired, but I do know they were heard, and they were heard from quite a distance away. And I know that the sound of a .357 Magnum being discharged inside a house would wake any child or any adult, and they would remember it and be talking about it the next day.

I have always had a theory about the two shots. I believe the reason he fired two shots was because he wanted a casing for himself. He wanted one to put into Jackie McCrady's gun box, which he did, and he wanted one to keep for his trophy case.

And where is the bullet? One was in Jenifer's head ... fired from approximately 18 inches away -- just about the distance one would expect if the body was lying on the ground and the shooter was standing over it -- same thing as was evident in the All The Martin's Aren't Purple case. But, where is the second bullet? Did it lodge in a tree somewhere? Was it shot into the air, or was it shot into the ground?

That bullet could go further in proving that Jackie McCrady didn't kill his wife than anything I can think of. It would match the one in her head because the gun was not altered until after the murder, and that's {IF} it was in fact McCrady's gun that fired the bullet .... which I've never been convinced of that.

My suspect can access almost anyone's home if he wants to, and he is so skilled at stalking people that he knows their daily routines well before he ever makes a move against them. He was seen watching the McCrady house as far back as 1994 and 1995, so no one needs to tell me that he could not have gotten Jackie McCrady's gun out of that house without being noticed. The gun was stored away. It was not the gun he carried while on duty. It was his first revolver and when the .357 was retired Jackie bought it back from the Highway Patrol and kept it. About the only time he ever used it was if he and his father went to the shooting range with some of their fellow officers and shot just for fun.

The gun could easily have been taken from the home, altered and then put back. No one would have known. And if it was {not} the gun that was used to shoot her, {which I don't think it was} then his reason for taking the gun was to alter it so no one could prove it was not the gun that fired the bullet. However, the state's expert said it was not Jackie McCrady's gun that fired the bullet from the shell casing in his box! And I believe the man was right. My theory fits like a hand and a glove with his findings. Jenifer was not shot with her husband's gun. The killer has his own .357 Magnum, and he's used it a time or two since .... but no one saw it except me, and I obviously don't count.

All The Martin's Aren't Purple

Carol Gordon Shot

February 13, 2010

I'd been working on this new series for my web site for only a few days when the first email arrived.

It concerned another case that had involved a so-called accidental death -- but one which I have never believed was an accident. The person sending the email wanted me to call them, and so I did.

Right off the bat I knew I was talking to someone that was important to the case in question, but beyond that I had a gut feeling that there was more to the story .... I was right.

J. and I talked for several hours that night. We skipped from case to case, and realized that we had several things in common, and knew several people in common. Still, I wondered why our paths had never crossed before .... then I discovered that they had crossed before, and if things had not worked out the way they did neither one of us would have been here to talk to each other because we would have both been killed, at the same time, in the same place, without ever knowing each other. Yes, it was a strange feeling.... very strange in deed.

Of course, we eventually got around to the McCrady case. J. remembered the case but didn't recall many details. She thought Jenifer's husband was a Belpre cop. I informed her that he lived in Belpre but was a State Trooper.

It was along about this point that she told me something that made my heart race ....

She said that back when Jenifer was missing -- before she'd been found dead -- J. and her mother delivered news papers in this area. One morning, around 4 or 5 am, after Jenifer had been missing 3 or 4 days, the two were driving down the highway, getting ready to turn onto Township Road 298 here in Little Hocking when the glass on the passenger side of their vehicle shattered!

Neither woman could figure out what caused the window to shatter. Several days later Jenifer McCrady was found up on the old access road ....

J. said it has bothered her ever since because she thought it had been a spiritual message telling her that Jenifer was up there in the woods and needed help. She felt as if she had failed Jenifer.

I told her that she had not failed. Jenifer was not alive and needing help. She was already dead when she was taken to the old road to be buried.

Then I told her that I had waited for more than 13 years for this information!

"Two shots were heard up in those woods," I told J. I've looked and looked .... tried to get people with metal detectors to help me .... but, since I didn't have the money to pay them, no one was ever interested .... still I searched onward alone.

But now I think I understand. I think I know where the other shot went. Once again, J. is lucky to be alive. It is only by the grace of God that the bullet didn't penetrate the window and kill her. Instead, I'm guessing it had lost so much velocity that all it was able to do was crack the window.

I wish I'd known at the time it happened. I would have taken a broom down there and swept the entire area myself until I found that bullet, and even today, I'd almost guarantee it matches the one found in Jenifer McCrady's head.

But, as is always the case .... I'm too late. As my husband said, it probably became lodged in the tread on some big truck and it's hard to tell where it ended up.

I guess I just have to be satisfied with the fact that I can now account for the second bullet .... the second shot that was heard.

By the way .... the man who heard the shots never told it in that court room. He never testified at all. They wouldn't have listened to him anyway .... they wouldn't listen to anything or anyone except whoever helped them railroad Jackie McCrady into prison.

Pictures of the highway, taken from up on the access road:

Issue Number Eight:

The Marathon Sightings

Starlight Inner-Prizes.Com

McCrady Review Cover, Page I

Gunshot-No Blood & Maggots In Hair, Page II

Forbidden Testimony, Page III

The Dark, Three Inch Hairs, Page IV

The Pink Carpet Fibers, Page V

The Shovels & The Grave, Page VI

September Page

This page posted: 2/16/10 // BMW

Bonnie M. Wells @