McCrady Case Review

"The Bare Truth"

By

Bonnie M. Wells

Issue Number Eight:

The Marathon Sightings

Actually, this issue has already been covered pretty well on my page titled Little Hocking. But, for the sake of clarity, I will repeat some of it here and try to break it down even more.

{material copied from Little Hocking page in this color}

The Marathon Service Station and Convenience Store was owned and operated by the brother of a Belpre police officer. A lot of cops hung out there in their spare time and even pitched in and helped make pizza's for the store!

One man testified that he remembered seeing a trooper at the service station the morning of September 19th. He didn't recall what the trooper looked like so he couldn't really give a positive id on Jackie McCrady.

A clerk recalled a trooper coming into the store that morning and paying for gasoline, but she couldn't recall the vehicle he was driving. She did say that when she saw Jackie McCrady's picture in the newspaper she thought it was not him because the guy she remembered looked older than Jackie.

Jackie had just turned 31 a few days before Jenifer disappeared.

The man that remembered seeing a trooper pumping gas into a red blazer testified that he didn't pay much attention to the officer, but did get a good look at the vehicle.

When asked if he thought he could pick the vehicle out of a photo lineup he said he thought he could.

The defense produced pictures of Jenifer's red Chevy Blazer, as well as others, some of which were pictures of Jackie's Commanding Officer, Robert Dunn's red Chevy Blazer.

The witness looked carefully at the pictures presented to him in the court room. You could tell he took the situation seriously and wanted to be sure of his identification of the vehicle he'd seen at the Marathon that early fall morning in 1996.

He didn't hesitate. There was no confusion as he selected the pictures that showed the vehicle he'd seen the trooper pumping gas into. It was Robert Dunn's vehicle!

I remember my husband asking about the trial when I went home that night. And I remember telling him that if the prosecution continued the way it was going, Jackie McCrady wouldn't even need a lawyer because they were destroying their own case! I was wrong.

Two people had said they didn't think it was officer McCrady, because "he looked too young," and "it wasn't Jenifer's vehicle."

The words of both witnesses must have sailed right past the jury!

I've heard it said that sometimes, memories improve with time. I always thought they were talking about personal things like bad relationships that a person finally got away from. But, I was wrong again. The principle obviously applied in the McCrady case too.

One witness testified that she was standing at the counter speaking to the clerk, who was a friend of hers, when this mean, nasty looking trooper came into the station. He walked past her and the clerk and went into the rest room. The woman claimed she turned to her friend and said that he looked mean and she certainly wouldn't want to run into him along the road.

The cop supposedly came from the rest room and to the counter where he paid for gasoline he'd just put into his vehicle ... a vehicle that was not noticed by either women.

At this point, the witness said she looked at his name tag ... as he stood directly beside her... and noticed it said McCrady.

The other woman who was actually facing the officer said she didn't notice a name tag on his uniform, but did notice he did not appear dirty or unkempt.

The witness who stood beside the cop testified that she spoke to the man and asked if he was "having a bad day," to which he replied...

"Yeah, but it's fixin' to get better."

The defense didn't waste any time going after this witness.

They were well armed with copies of the woman's statements to investigating officers within days of the supposed event.

The woman had told those officers that she saw the cop come into the station but had noticed nothing unusual or out of the ordinary except she said she told her friend that he looked mean and that she wouldn't want to be pulled over by him.

Well, most Highway Patrol cops are not overly friendly people. Primarily because they have a job to do and the last thing any cop needs or wants is to be accused of favoritism. Letting one speeder go because he knows them, while nailing the next because he doesn't know them. Most people in positions of that sort are very careful to make sure that no one can accuse them of improper actions.

I even took the great chance of proving this to myself at the McCrady trial. The court gave us a break and I waited until Judge Boyer came past me and asked how long she said we were to be on break.

The woman immediately stopped, repeated my question...loud enough so that everyone could hear it and then answered so everyone could hear it. I appreciated that.

And then I wondered if anyone realized why I'd done that. Of course they didn't. No one cared why I did it.

Regardless, the witness finally admitted to the cross-examination of the defense that yes, she had told the officers that there had been no conversation between her and the trooper that morning. And that she had heard no conversation between the cop and the clerk.

He just paid for his gasoline and left.

By trial time her entire story had changed. When McCrady's attorney asked her about the sudden memory she said she had "forgotten" about the conversation "in the beginning" but remembered it months later!

I was surprised that the woman's testimony was not thrown out or that something wasn't done with her. But not here ... not if it helps the state's case. And I must admit, I seemed to be the only person in the entire court room that was offended by the woman's testimony. None of the news reporters seemed to see anything at all wrong with it ... or several other things that I found distasteful or unethical.

{End of copied material}

Now the thing that bothered me about the 'Marathon Witnesses' in 1997 is still the thing that concerns me more than 13 years later:

The prosecution painted a really grizzly picture of Jackie McCrady.

They said he came home from work, found his wife already in bed, reading a book, and they believed an argument began and at some point, Jackie McCrady slipped into a steroid rage and murdered his wife. {No, there was NEVER any time period in which they could show that Jackie McCrady had steroids in his system .... but that didn't matter}.

First they contended that it was a 'spur of the moment' murder, and was not premediated -- then, they turned around and convinced the jury that the man had plotted and planned the murder! They said he tied her up, went to the storage area where he kept his retired revolver, got it, came back to the bedroom and shot her.

Now, this supposedly all happened around 2 or 2:30 in the morning.

He then 'panicked' - according to the prosecution. Grabbed the old quilted bed spread from their bed .... {keep in mind, these people made nearly a hundred thousand dollars a year. So yeah, I'm sure they had the same bed spread that they'd used for 5 or 6 years.} ... wrapped her in the blanket .... then ran to another storage area and retreived an old sleeping bag that no one had ever seen him have or use before - even though it was manufactored back in the 1980's, ... shoved her and the blanket into the sleeping bag, zipped it up, tossed it over his shoulder, grabbed his flat edged shovel, and carried her out to her own vehicle ..... no, wait a minute .... he put a plastic trash bag over her head at some point here .... no, I might have to back up and completely redo this section because 'before' he stuffed her into the sleeping bag, and maybe before he put the plastic trash bag over her head --- or wrapped her in the comforter - he carved the letter V into the palm of her right hand!!! --- well, I guess that's irrelevant .... just as it was back in 1997.

Okay, so now he's on the road, and headed straight for Little Hocking ... it must be about 3 or 3:30 a.m. by this point, so he has to hurry. It will be daylight before long and his children will wake up and discover neither parent is home. So, he drives like a maniac in Jenifer's blazer, still wearing his uniform, to an old oil well access road, where he drives up the road, weeds sticking to the bottom of the blazer, berry vines scratching the paint on both sides ..... up the old road he goes without headlights!! Can't turn his lights on because he could be seen from across the highway and even from the house located on the property that he's going to bury his wife on .... dammm, driving in the dark is rough. But he made it.

He gets out, still in the blackness of night, in a heavily wooded area and starts to dig a grave to the right of the road .... but after a few minutes he realizes that he's hitting roots from a tree that is some 15 feet away -- but hell, it's dark so he probably couldn't see the tree, right? ... so, he switches sides of this 'road' he's sitting on, and walks into even heavier thicket and digs the grave right at the base of a big tree!! Didn't hit any roots there .... but I wonder what he's going to do about all those tears in his uniform from those damned berry vines? Not to mention all those wood ticks {and yes, I can prove that area is tick infested. I've taken people down there several times and we always have to pick the wood ticks off of us.}...

He tosses his wife into the makeshift grave - dug with that square shovel - covers her up as quickly as possible. It's now between 4 and 4:30 a.m. and he has to get his ass back to Belpre before daylight.

I don't know how he got Jenifer's vehicle turned around.... never was able to figure that out, and neither was anyone else. I guess that's why it was NEVER mentioned in the court room.

Never the less, he got out of there somehow, and got headed back up the road .... only to discover that the blazer needed gasoline!!

He selects the Marathon station where he knows the owner and most of the cops that hang out there, but, it is early in the morning, so he doesn't think any of them will be there. He's right.

He pumps the gas ... and while he's pumping it, the milkman arrives for his morning delivery to the station .... this happens about 6 a.m folks .... so okay, he's at the Marathon about 6 a.m. .... and he goes inside to wash his hands and pay for his gasoline .... and here's where we really get lost....

Here's a state trooper in full uniform. He's just busted his way through trees, briars, vines, woodticks, mud and dirt, dug not one but two graves, and NO ONE saw anything unusual about his appearance or his uniform!!! No sweat; no dirt; no tears; no ticks; no mud or grass .... NOTHING unusual. His uniform wasn't even wrinkled!

Okay, so I'm honestly thinking to myself .... hell, he may have taken the uniform off and dug the grave in his underwear .... sounded logical to me!

But then we have the problem with that witness who 'forgot' that she'd seen him for nearly a year. Yeah, we should have had a real problem right here .... but we didn't.

That 'witness' was taking her daughter to school that morning. Her daughter went to Warren High School ... same school I attended, my daughter attended and my grandkids attended. School takes up at 8:00 a.m.

So, now we have a trooper who has been 'hanging out' at a service station for more than an hour!

It's broad daylight by this time too, and here he is lollygagging around Little Hocking! He could be seen by anyone at any moment now, so he races for Belpre. He has to get there before his kids get up .... well, he has to do something with that blazer, and he obviously doesn't have time to wash it. He'll just have to park it somewhere and walk home...

No problem. He just parked the vehicle down at Civitan Park, where there are dozens of people walking by this hour, and he got out, took his shovel or shovels out, slung them over his shoulder; grabbed Jenifer's shoes and purse, tossed them over the other shoulder, and down through Belpre he went .... and got home and back in bed before the kids woke up .... and nobody saw him park the blazer or walk through town ... in full uniform, carrying a woman's purse, her shoes and at least one shovel.

Then again -- I still wonder why he took one pair of her shoes but left another pair in the vehicle, along with her work uniform? Wonder why he did that?

But then, I'm still wondering why he hid one pair of her shoes and one purse up in the ceiling over the garage. The woman probably had two dozen pairs of shoes. Wonder why he didn't just toss the shoes into the closet with the others? Same was true about her purses. Why didn't he just take out whatever he wanted or needed out of her purse, trash what was left and toss the empty purse into the collection that she obviously had? {{ better read The Real Dummy on my September page! Think this little stunt was an open 'brag' that nobody ever heard except me. Wake up people! Wake to hell up before your turn comes!}}

McCrady's attorneys called several people as witnesses who walk or jog at Civitan Park daily. They started at approximately 5 a.m. and ran all the way through 9 a.m. on the morning of September 19th, 1996. None of the people saw the blazer parked - cross ways of two parking spots, down at the loading/unloading boat dock area - at Civitan Park during any hours between 5 and 9 a.m. on the 19th, so, at this point the prosecution simply switched tracks again and claimed that McCrady had taken the vehicle home and hid it until after 9 a.m.

There was a problem with this theory too. The defense called other people as witnesses who walked at Civitan later in the day. NO ONE saw that blazer parked there until the morning of the 20th!

Belpre P.D.'s shift change was at midnight. The blazer was found by Belpre police officer Ben Cross as he made his fist sweep of Belpre after coming on duty at midnight on September 20th. There was no grass, weeds, mud, scratches .... absolutely NOTHING that indicated that vehicle had ever been on that old access road. And by the way, the tire tracks by the gravesite didn't match any of the McCrady's vehicles....

Bill Joy testified that he'd been leaving the Nappa Store right at 9 a.m on the 19th, and came out onto Lee Street just in time to see Jenifer's blazer turning right onto Lee and heading up the hill toward Putnam Howe Drive. He came up behind the vehicle close enough to see that it was Jenifer driving the vehicle. He said he knew it was Jenifer because of her hair. He told the jury that he thought Jenifer was running late for work because she never slowed down and ran the stop sign at the end of Lee Street and dove out in front of a big truck! He said he thought to himself, 'if she keeps driving like that she's going to kill herself or someone else.'

Jackie McCrady was not home at 9 a.m. that morning. He was out with his children, dropping them off at day care and the babysitter.

Personally, I didn't think Bill Joy saw Jenifer McCrady. I thought he saw a man wearing a woman's wig, and whoever that man was, he recognized Bill Joy's vehicle and knew he couldn't let him get close enough to see that he not only had a wig on, but he had a full beard on his face!!!

Jackie McCrady had reported that several items were missing from the house. He thought Jenifer had packed up a few things and left him. He said he'd used her hair dryer that morning, but by the time he came home to check on her - since she had not reported for work - the hair dryer was gone, and so was some luggage, some money they had at the house, some of her clothing and other personal items.

I just wish he'd checked to see if his .357 revolver was there at that time, because I was betting it wasn't!

The way I have it figured, whoever killed Jenifer had access to her home for weeks {if not months} after her death, because her car keys were never found, and there was a house key and a garage door opener on the key ring.

But, they got their conviction .... which opened the door for future action .... and all is well that ends well here in Washington County Ohio, where the ends do justify the means....

Or so they say .....

Sincerely,

Bonnie M. Wells

The Purse Packin-Shovel Totin' Trooper

The Real Dummy

In 2002 Tom & Jan Barrett {Jenifer McCrady's parents} were granted a $30.9 million dollar wrongful death case judgement against Jackie McCrady. It was granted to them by Judge Susan Boyer in Washington County, Ohio:

Issue Number Nine:

Link will work when I have the article finished and posted.

She Saw Jackie McCrady

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

The Shots Were Heard, Page VII

September Page

This page posted: 2/17/10 // BMW

Bonnie M. Wells @ bmw_fastasu@yahoo.com