A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.
Wed, 13 Oct 2021 07:00
A family go-karting at an abandoned factory site find a skeletal hand. But before investigators can find the killer, they have to figure out who was killed. For episode information and photos, please visit https://anatomyofmurder.com/.
If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. When we took the skull out of the cement, it was like she was looking at me, you know? Like, hey, help me. You know, help me. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Dolazi former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction. It's anatomy of murder. So before we get started today, I just want to remind all of you. You can follow Anasia and I on our social media, at Weinberger Media and at Anasia nicolazzi for all the updated information about this podcast and we'd appreciate the follow today's story. It's a great example of some of the things that I so appreciate about this podcast. You know, when you hear about one of these cases, you can probably go to the Internet and you can look up the basics of who, what, where and find even some of the salacious details in a particular case. But today, we're going to be talking about twists and turns that you're not going to get anywhere else. And so much of that really comes down to how I view it as really the gift we're being given by those who participate with us and agree to be interviewed for this podcast. And for today's story, I spoke to Detective Tim Sassyk from the Ecorse Police Department, which is a smaller Michigan City just bordering the bigger city of Detroit. It's a little bit more than 2 1/2 square mile city. I describe it actually as like a precinct of Detroit. And while Ecorse is obviously a much smaller city, it does face Big city crime issues, as in Detroit, which repeatedly has been dubbed one of America's most dangerous cities. Then you start adding river reuse, our neighboring city and our sister city. We have three cities with little bit of infestation of gang issues and it's just gone back to the early 80s. It used to be that small towns where a safe haven from Big city crimes, but not anymore. The case for a detective, Tim Sassyk, began just a few years ago, on August 25th, 2018, when he got a very disturbing call, and it definitely was a first for this smaller police agency. We have had dead bodies before, but we had never had basically a skeleton. This one, just like it was a first for ecourse. I think it'll be a first for not only us, but many of you. We had gotten a call from a citizen. It was a father and a daughter. They were out there driving a go Kart. The location itself was an area that was an abandoned old aluminum factory. And it's just a cement flooring where you had patches of grass and a parking lot and all flat and it had been abandoned for over 8 years. Half Square Mile area and because there was a flat cement surface, he was teaching his children how to go Kart race on it. You know what I mean? That seems like the perfect place to do that, but on that day they would also discover it may also have been the perfect place for someone to dump a body. One of the kids located what he thought was a skeletal hand. And submit. So the callers obviously pointing the item out to the first responding officers and in turn they called out detectives me and you could both look at say, hell yeah, that's a real hand, but I I need a pathologist to tell me, yeah, that's a human hand and that's when you have to try and find the body that's supposed to be connected to this. As you can imagine, we wouldn't be talking about it today had it not been a human hand. So I just had him bag it the following Monday, which was two days later, the Wayne County medical examiner. They said, yeah, it was human. And then that's when you got the holy moment. You're like, there's a body out there. None of my old any other officers that I've ever heard of have just found a body part anywhere. You know, I go that's stuff that you see on TV. So let's talk about the find itself. The hand was deeply decomposed, indicating that had been there for quite some time. It looked like a thumb, your forefinger, and your middle finger, and a wrist. The ring finger and the pinky finger were missing. You know, even as we are talking this through, I'm looking at a photograph from the crime scene, a picture of the hand. And the first thing that I have to say is that it almost took me a few seconds to figure out exactly where it was. Because, remember, beyond the cement, there's all this grass. I can only describe it as this brush. I described it as elephant grass, like you're you're in a jungle. It's that thick. It's almost like stalks, and it's really hard to see anything. But if you look closely towards the ground, there is a. Dark grayish object and it took me a while to try to almost figure out the outline for myself. So for me, I almost just wonder how is it that the father and daughter just spotted the hand. The only thing that made it look human was it had actually 2 acrylic nails, one on the forefinger and one on the middle finger. And that was the first sign that the victim was likely a female. In general, more than not, females would have acrylic nails on their on their fingers and they were long acrylic nails, not short. And the hand was kind of small. We're not allowed to do the Sherlock Holmes and assume something. We have to actually have a little bit more than that. And that's why we always, unfortunately, you know, we have to, you know, ask doctors. So the question really remains, was a body there based on a suicide or an accidental death and an animal severed the hand from the body or is this a homicide? It could have been anything. We don't know what we have, but wasn't a fresh severed hand somebody severed hand, cut it off. That to me would be there is a serious injury or serious crimes happen for a person to lose their hand. I am actually looking at a picture of the crime scene and I would have asked the very same questions. And while you might be saying yourself, wait a second, if there's a hand, of course it's a homicide, well, there is a reason that there could be a body out there and then it's not homicide. It could be someone who doesn't have a home, who just had a medical condition and maybe died. A homeless person or a person down on their luck or even a drug addict can hide out, do some drugs and an overdose and then once again. Animals can just do what animals do and the hand does not remote to death. The first thing to lose a hand and survive, you know what I mean? You really don't know at that point of the investigation is this done by somebody or an animal and so to answer those things got obviously they have to figure out where is the rest of who's ever hand that is. Tim and his partner take the next step to determine if other body parts of this potential victim could be located in the same area. The area is actually pretty big. And again, we're talking about an area that was over 2 1/2 square miles of this tall, thick grass. We cut our arms and the grass was so sharp. You know, walking through this thing, I mean, literally it was over 8 feet tall and you can't see more than one arm length in. Likely challenging for a human search team, but a perfect challenge for a cadaver dog and a dog would be able to really get in the weeds, excuse the pun, but really be able to get at a level and get a cent at a lower level through that grass to be able to determine was there any more body parts in that area. And that is exactly the decision that Tim and his partner made. They reached out to the state police, who have a full-time cadaver dog to do the search, if you're into dogs at all, and really, who isn't? Especially we're talking about. Police dog send you over to our website and Eddie murder Cocom where we have a picture of the photograph of the dog. You know, I have to tell you that when I have had the various police dogs and cadaver dogs and evidence dogs in my cases, I've actually had jurors ask afterwards like we were waiting for the dog because people just love the idea of them and with good reason. On the podcast I have spoken before about my training. The dogs must go through about 1000 hours of training in order to be certified and listen to this. They can detect the scent of a body. Even if it's buried up to 15 feet below the surface at an accuracy of 95. And yeah, dogs are cute, but dogs can also be a great investigative tool. We went by this little patch about 60 feet by about 45 feet wide. It's about 2700 square feet. That's more than 10 single car garages, and he fake throws a ball into this elephant grass area. Next thing you know, not even 10 seconds in. He barked. And that was when Tim looked at me and says, you got a body. I was like, that's when I said, oh gosh. And then when the investigators followed where the dog had been and was barking. When the dog went in a little bit deeper, he sat next to this mound of hard cement. It looked just like molten lava, like somebody just threw a bunch of powder and then, you know, it just hardened over time. It was like really odd shaped. And that was when Trooper Jones goes, there's your body. We cleared a little bit of the area around this. They found human remains embedded in cement. And then you could see another hand skeletonized, which was manipulated upside down. As Detective Sasik got closer, it became clear that this was going to be a crime scene like no other. The murderer actually poured so much dry concrete on top of the victim that he turned her into a lunch box for animals for 7 1/2 months. Yeah, it took me a little bit to wrap my head around when Tim used the phrase lunch box, and it's really perfect phraseology because unfortunately that is exactly what this encasement, or the entombing of the body, became. Because portions of this person's body were encased, so they were hidden and really safe from the elements, but the rest was actually still sticking out, and that unfortunately made it easy prey for any animal. Let's talk about his terminology for a SEC, and I know I'm feeling probably a bit protective for a moment. I don't want anyone to think that that is being. Uncaring or lacking empathy. Remember, when you live and breathe this world of these type of crimes, we really need to sometimes just call it like it is. Animals in general, they don't really take food very far from where they capture it and it's usually less than 25 to 50 feet. But the challenge is now are, you know, it's encased in concrete. So how do you begin to process that and do you process it there? Just picture yourself trying to pick up a concrete brick, which I just had to do to stick under one my washing machine and they can be pretty heavy. And now you're talking about concrete of enough mass to potentially at least. The part hide a human body. You could see like a foot that was in a shoe. You know, when we're starting to move the cement around, you could see that a leg had been missing, dislocated from above, you know, the hip area. We collected all the bones we could, so that's when we had to widen our area. We know we're going to be looking. And so the decision really was to bring in two dozen other officers to then start doing a total grid search, deploy a drone to determine, is this all of the victim or are there other victims watching. The MSP used drones to, you know, go over an area. So because this area was so big, it was just the best work I've ever seen done. I have to admit, I think that drones are so cool whenever I have seen them, you know, we have. Use them in the television show true conviction and I watched this one. They brought it to literally go up and look inside a chimney and it's so cool. But I felt like it was something out of this sci-fi novel, right? It's this little mini helicopter that almost like just freaks you out because it almost seems real. Like there's like there's a little person inside, but obviously there's not. And well, I thought it was really freaky. I couldn't get over it either, and I was like the little kid that wouldn't avert my eyes until it was actually put back into the box and left. OMG, nerd alert. As if you didn't all know that already about me, but true, so true. One of the drones is over $250,000. They can go up a mile or so in the air. You're like, holy crap. I mean these things think fly like 150 miles an hour. So you ended up that there was portions of this body bones that are still encased in the cement and other parts that are completely missing. Out of 206 bones, we found over 176. So there's only like 30 little tiny bones that we didn't find when we searched this area for, you know, three days. Think about the challenge of identifying whatever it is that they may be luckily find that person could be almost anyone would know that we can't get fingerprints, you know, because there's no skin. And they believe it's going to be female, maybe from Detroit, right? You know, in 2019, data from the national missing and unidentified person system showed that Detroit was in the top five cities for the most missing people. So just imagine the challenge at hand for whatever you're lucky enough to find. You know, I mean, we didn't know we had a missing person. We didn't know we even had a murder victim. We found like a cloud of cold legs. And then we found some bones, you know, that were like intermixed within the grasp. We found the skull. That was encased in cement. When we took the skull out of the cement, it was like she was looking at me, you know? Like, hey, help me, you know, help me. You know, this is where our case takes a very good scientific turn. And then it was the next day we went to the medical examiner and they had all these bones in his bag and Doctor Moore started putting together, I know, lighted table. And just the forensic anthropologist, a wild profession, amazing to me in and of itself. But it was just by chance that this particular forensic anthropologist, she happened to be working for the same county. And so she just happened to be there when the call came in. And she is actually a teacher at Michigan State. And she has gone to huge crime scenes like in other countries where they have mass burials. So she was like, I'm going and she showed up. And when you talk about reconstructing these bones into a human body, she put this body back together in 45 minutes. I was just in awe. And the results of her examination were stunning. She was able to determine the victim was female, in her 20s, more likely an African American, based on the measurements of the pelvis, femur and tibia. In addition of the acrylic nails meant the remains had not been there for more than a handful of years. But then on top of that, it's about to get into something I haven't seen before. Some of the next details you're about to hear is where, for me, this case takes its most dramatic turn. Remember, the body was encased in cement, likely poured over by the killer themselves. And even though there was no skin, just a skeleton, the skull gave investigators a clue that will leave you asking, how could this happen? You've heard of sketch composites, photo composites, and even clay composites, but in this case, the concrete poured over the skull of the victim still had the impression of a human face. That's right, a human face. And that was when they believed that they knew who we had. These are the creepy things, because when we took the skull out of the cement, the skull made an impression of her face. Literally. You could see the makeup in the cement. You know, in looking at this composite, I have to say it really just reminds me of the Egyptian wing and the Brooklyn Museum or any major museum that you've seen. And there's just something very, to me, very beautiful in the way that the people were preserved. And that's really what this looked like. Here it is. One of the more incredible ones that I have seen. It was uncanny. It was like she was looking at you. You could see piercing to her right cheek area. See the shape of her eyes, including, you know, you could see her eyebrows. It really is almost like you picture a black and white snapshot of someone with all the contours that you would see in 3D, and that is how lifelike the cement composite was. You know, the most dramatic portion for me was a single nose ring on her left nostril that was completely intact almost if it was undisturbed by the act of pouring the concrete, it made almost it feel. It almost didn't look real to me, but obviously it was unfortunately way too real. And that's when they got a hold of Michigan law enforcement Missing Persons Bureau. And they at that point they told us there was probably Alicia McQueen who had been missing because the picture that we had of her was also of her with the nose ring and the dermal piercing, and it was perfectly lined up. She was 27 years old. She was last seen in March of 2018, just about five months before the remains were found. But of course, in order to confirm this and make a positive ID, you need to do something a lot more scientific than just a visual look, such as DNA or dental records that unfortunately were not possible. We had called her sister, who was the one who made the missing police report out of Detroit. We tried to find out if she went to a dentist. Well, she went to some dentist that didn't keep medical records, so we had no dental records and they ultimately couldn't get DNA because of body deterioration. The way that the animals tore her apart in a way that she was degraded in a way that the cement ate away at her. It actually unfortunately, it destroyed almost the DNA that you could try to extract from bone marrow. And Scott, obviously as we know how important that factor is ultimately going to be. I mean, DNA is such a great tool, but it's not the only tool. Alicia's sister was able to identify the clothing that was still attached to her body, but it's still not enough because someone's having a specific type of jacket or a specific type of boot. Other people have those items as well. But now, while investigators do have an idea of probably who this is, they still need to now determine who killed her and if indeed this is even truly a homicide. And to understand that, they're going to need to understand what led. To release his disappearance. Alicia McQueen grew up in Michigan and Taylor MI, which is a low crime, quiet, peaceful community. She had multiple siblings and like many of them, she moved to Detroit in later life where she got married and she ultimately had five children and she was raising them in Detroit. She was living with the father of four of her children until after 10 years. That relationship unfortunately just went bad, and after that she moved into an apartment with her sister and that's where she was living at the time she disappeared. She was said to be kind, free spirited, fun, outgoing, sweet and funny, and she was smart and also could be very entertaining. She was reported missing on March 8th, 2018. That day was a normal day. According to her family, Alicia was in the house with the kids all day long. Her sister left for work and around 8:00 o'clock. She said she was going to make a quick run to a local gas station and that she would be right back. It shouldn't take her that long, she said, seeing she was only going to walk a few blocks. Get there. And that was the last time anyone would see her. So now it was an official missing persons investigation. Now, according to Alicia's family, the police didn't take it very seriously. They didn't do enough as far as they were concerned. The family felt they were given the runaround and that calls were ignored. And while we can't speak to that, we can speak to the sheer numbers of what investigators are up against. So ultimately they went to Crime Stoppers. They left Flyers all over the city to try to get any leads. You went to Facebook, and I've read to some of the. Social postings that her sister left and they truly are a cry to get the word out and try to find the sister, the mother that they loved and who had just literally vanished into thin air. The police moved on with their investigation in Detroit and started talking to family members. And of course there's the ex-husband and his name was Gregory McQueen. The finding was when the sister makes the missing persons report on March 8th, they interview him on the 10th. Into their relationship, remember? We knew that it was certainly love gone wrong after 10 years, but it was also much deeper and darker than that. You know, he he beat her there married for a while. Maybe it's just because I just never understood that I I never even raised my voice when I argued with my ex-wife when we were married. So I just it's just not in me. I just don't get it. Investigators learned that Alicia had been an abusive relationship with him for years, and we're not going to get into the details, but we can leave it at this. It was definitely not just physical abuse, which there was. There was mental abuse that just kept rising, but it really didn't come to the surface until much later. You know, relationships go wrong and you hear about sometimes it's abuse that leads there. But there were allegations of stalking and of texting, not only to Alicia but the people she was close to. It was most definitely, you know, volatile. You know, unfortunately in this society that there's that thing called, you know, economic abuse as well. Economic abuse is 1. The abuser creates financial dependence as a means of control. Victims and survivors are often forced to choose between staying in an abusive relationship and poverty or even homelessness. Economic abuse is a very common reason why victims stay in abusive relationships. And even more than just the fear, it is the abuser literally holding the purse string over their partner's head saying, do what I want or I am not going to give you money. And remember, when it comes to a parent, it's not going to be so much for themselves, but for the children. And that's exactly what happened here. You know, whenever I hear about these cases of abuse, they are one of the ones that just sit with me in such a different way. So often these relationships is abuse. It is really silent abuse, and it's often hidden because just think about it from yourself, right? Let's not even talk about the more serious aspects, but any relationship you've ever been in. I can certainly say it and admit it to myself that you know, the partner raises their voice and you're out in public and the first thing that you do is just like. Because you don't want other people to hear right, and it's not you that's saying something wrong or raising your voice, but there's that level of embarrassment. So now let's go into upping the ante of physical abuse or what is termed coercive control, which is so much of what we are seeing is actually going on in these relationships. It is people actually trying to submit their will over others in a way to make them do what they want. And that is hidden from the outside. So it can be your neighbor. It doesn't matter how much money you have or your. Education. It happens all around us. And unfortunately, you know, Scott, you termed this once as a pandemic in its own right, and I really think that is the best word of terminology I've ever heard to describe it, because it's exactly that. It's an extreme threat. It happens way too often. We see more and more of these domestic homicides since the pandemic. It's concerning. You're trapped for one reason, and now you may be trapped for others. Being in 32 years in law enforcement, I see it and I sometimes I just don't understand it. I'll get these guys that abuse their wise and they have daughters themselves. And then I ask him, I go, man, some dude snapped around your your daughter, what would you do? And you're like, well, I'd kill him. I'm like. But you're doing the exact same thing to somebody else's daughter. You know? Usually that shuts them up. What are they? Learn anything from it? Not so much. And for investigators, if this was going to be a domestic violence homicide, they need to look closer at Gregory and Alicia the night she disappeared. She was like going to CVS. The cell phone records showed that she was meeting up with Gregory. They had video of her getting in his green pickup truck. So according to McQueen, he told police he did see his wife on the night she disappeared, and he claimed they had consensual sex. And then he says he came back and dropped her off, and that was the last time he had seen her. Detroit had actually done a search warrant on his pickup truck where they got DNA from the seat. They did find traces of DNA of both Alicia and her husband in the vehicle, but of course that is easily explained and not of significance. But there is something about his vehicle. Another detail that is going to factor very highly into her disappearance. But they also got submit out of the back of his truck, which you can't really test cement to where you know if it came from the same batch or not, but it once again, it's that it was just there. And on the night she disappeared, Alicia texted her daughter, Green F-150 McQueen drove a Green Ford F-150. Was she texting a sign? That text in and of itself, to me, is so ominous because if I'm telling someone where I am and if there's no problem, I'm just telling them right? I'm out with so and so be back soon. She is texting in some sort of code, almost as if she is giving this message of letting someone know except the person, hoping the person she is with doesn't know what they're doing. Which to me really only makes him continue to rise higher and higher to the top of the suspect list. On top of that, he had a criminal record. He's no stranger to being in trouble. He had three felony convictions on his record. That are now digging deeper and deeper into Gregory McQueen and his past. Beyond the abuse, they learn a very different story, something that has nothing to do with this relationship turning fatal at all. It actually had something to do with Alicia sister. Alicia McQueen, her husband, was actually in jail for a home invasion. In January of 2018, two months before Alicia McQueen disappeared, a masked man broke into her sister's house, where Alicia and the kids were staying. He waited behind a door and then violently attacked her sister. He pistol with the sister and pistol whipped Alicia McQueen, and he was wearing a mask. While the family couldn't say conclusively who the masked man was, Alicia knew who he was all along. Next thing you know, Alicia was like, you don't think I know who my husband is? She's looking at these eyes in the mask. She knows her. She lived with this man for 15 some odd years. You know, they actually make a police report against him for this home invasion. And after investigators interviewed the family, McQueen was arrested for the crime. So if anyone's thinking the fact that he may have been in jail, the fact of the matter is we already know. He was released from jail on March 1st prior to her going missing, and we have an admission. In a statement to detectives that he was whether that night. So it places him in an opportunity to commit a crime to question the obvious one that's being asked out there right now as well. But how does this home invasion itself plant her disappearance? Clearly she could be a witness in that home invasion case, so if she's not around she can't testify now it's way beyond and different from the love gone wrong. If he can't have her, someone else can. Or jealousy leading to the crime if he is the one. Responsible she is the person that could potentially put him in jail for many, many years because remember, this is a guy with a criminal past. I believe Tim said that this would be his fourth felony offense if convicted, so that could lead to a lot of extra years behind bars. Head starts trying. You know, we were heart back together. I guess we were heard saying, hey, you need to have your sister drop these charges. Well, hey, my sister isn't dropping the charges. Well, they started hanging out. You start to I start to try to put the pieces together in my head so you know that they are together that night. Not only did McQueen say it, but family members ultimately confirm that too. So you have to wonder, well, is he trying to get back together with her? Is he trying to convince her to not testify if there's ultimately a trial, or to say she made a mistake? And so if she isn't back together with him, and if she's not agreeing to not be the one to name him or be the witness against him in a case, well then maybe the only choice left, at least in his mind, is to eliminate her altogether. On March 7th, he comes over, picks her up to get something to eat. She never comes back. And here's your thing. Without her identifying him as the home invader, the sister can't say, hey, that was my brother-in-law. Only Alicia can identify him. And so now McQueen is not being looked at just for her disappearance, but also now for a possible homicide. And this is an opportunity to talk about one of my favorite pieces of evidence. I know it's yours, Anna Seeger as well, which is digital forensics, and it plays a very big part in this investigation. Gregory's bond was contingent upon him wearing an electronic GPS tethered around his ankle. So he goes to jail, he bonds out, and he's not a tether. OK, so this is the where it really gets weird. Investigators analyzed the data from that tether and could pinpoint his movements to the exact addresses in Ecorse. So once we found the body, we were able to really, really go to the tether records, which actually he went to our location three times within 6 feet of that body. That is a big development. There's no reason for you to be in the middle of a field 6 feet away from where we found your wife. But now there's still a problem that Tim Sassyk faced. He still couldn't positively ID Alicia as the body that is found out there, even though they ID the property. That wasn't good enough for the Wayne County prosecutor. Us as cops, we look at it and we're like, they identified this. We have the face that's inside this cement I'm looking at. That's more than a probable cause for me, but unfortunately, they want much more. They want in the DNA. And for the prosecutor, remember it's going to ultimately have to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a homicide. We have to prove that a person was murdered and that the person who is sitting in that chair, if there's a trial and the defendants chair is the one who committed it. So you have to actually prove the person that we are saying is the one dead is in fact that person. I want to talk about the common sense factor here because sometimes it's just common sense doesn't always play in the courtroom. She's missing, she's off the radar. She's not calling anyone. She's not using her credit card. She's not using her cell phone. They have the evidence in the body find, but it's not something that a prosecutor can take in the court and say that this in fact is a homicide and that person that they believe is involved in the disappearance is charged with murder is a difference in your heart as a cop for as yours. I was I I knew he did it. You know, some murders don't just just can't solve and those. Those rip at you. It's really hard to Monday morning quarterback these cases because you never know every piece and you need to know them all. But here's the thing, we obviously prosecute cases, homicides when you don't even have a body. But here they just didn't feel, based on these circumstances that they had quite enough. And without proving it as a murder, it's just, it's a body dunk, which is actually your laugh is just a state misdemeanor. It's not even a punishable by more than a year in jail. They might not even prosecute. And for that reason, forgetting the homicide for a moment, the prosecutor ultimately offered a plea to McQueen for the home invasion, but he didn't take it. And the only reason that I can imagine is why it because is you have to prosecute those cases within a certain amount of time. It's called 3030. It's speedy trial issues. So you can't just have a case out there for years and years without either prosecuting the person taking the trial unless they plead guilty. And so McQueen knows that after a certain amount of time, that clock is about to run out. And in this case, it was ticking. Fast, you know. He'd been around the block. He knew if I don't say. They're gonna have to keep proving stuff and all I have to do is make it till September when the case against me for this home invasion gets dropped and I'm out of here. So I want you all to picture a second that McQueen is in a courtroom in front of a judge refusing to take a plea. He was like steadfast against. It proved that I did this home invasion, you don't have a witness, blah blah blah. The doors open up and I went into the court and in one of his hands he's got an arrest warrant and that arrest warrant was for murder. All the court officer, when he's done here, I'm taking him to book him for a murder. So he really doesn't need to worry about this case right now. He did not like me that much that day. As it turns out, they were able to make confirmation on the ID of Alicia McQueen and the way they did was DNA. And how they got the DNA is so fascinating. I love this. This is like one of my favorite pieces of this case. Remember back early in this podcast we talked about 2 acrylic nails that were found with that detached hand. And what they did, which was totally cool, was they drilled 2 of the nails that were adhere to the hand and then they melted on the glue and they extracted DNA from skin cells that was actually stuck to the nail in the glue. And that came back to a positive ID to Alisha McQueen. As prosecutors, we always, you know, roll our eyes at the CSI effect, but this is for real, exactly why they had a show in the 1st place, because some of this stuff really does exist. That was crazy. That is totally crazy. As many years as you do this, you just never see it all. And I had never seen DNA obtained like this. The story doesn't end there. Something no one ever expected happened. Next you actually skate. The details of what happens next is something right out of a Hollywood movie script. So they're in the courtroom and Lincoln Park and they're going through this problem cause exam, which is really just an exam where the judge has to decide whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to move forward. The prosecution, Gregory McQueen, is looking for more than just a decision from the court. He's looking to make a break. Well, we also had another car Jacker that we were doing an exam on that day. Well, the court officer. Just walking the car Jacker back. So the holding cell, well, when they go to put him in the holding cell, they take his handcuffs off. That's when Mr McQueen was in the holding cell with no handcuff sign. The next thing you know, they attack the court officer. So we're in the court, we hear the tussle and we see two court officers running towards the back. And next thing you know they say they escaped, but then what happens next is pretty extraordinary. So now I have a murderer who just escaped out of the court and is actually outside and it's not a gated court. And I have a car Jacker out there running. Just a reminder, we are in the dead of winter in Detroit, MI, and it was a morning of a huge ice storm. We had freezing cold temperatures. That means whether you're on the roads or on the sidewalk, getting around, even on foot can be really difficult. So you have two prisoners wearing Wayne County Green fatigues and flip flops. So we take off running after them and, you know, kind of comical because they bend the corner and they're hauling *** but they're not going anywhere because they're slipping in their sliding picture like an old black and white movie where someone runs outside and there's and they're slipping in their sliding and here they are trying to run for their lives. And where they ran, they literally ran across like a Southfield Rd, which is like a four lane highway with an island in. In between. So I hop into a £40,000 salt truck and I was like, I don't care what you have to do to get me across there. You got to get me across there like this. Kids looking at me like, what do you mean? I'm like, I don't care if you got to push these cars out of the way, that's a murderer right there. Well, the court officers tackle Mr McQueen and one of our officers tackles the other guy that was there for the carjacking. And the bad guy actually gets the cops gun. Well, I slide on him, get the magazine out, and he caps one round off and then we ended up subduing him. You know, Scott, when we think about it, you know, someone escaping is obviously rare. You know, I've had it a couple times myself and it's always one of those things that it stops and makes you swivel your head at not only the gall of the person, but to think that they're actually going to be able to remain out there very long. It's true. It definitely happens and there are a lot more attempts, thankfully, than successes. And in this case, when Tim finally got a hold of McQueen, he questioned him and I looked at him. I said, are you OK? He goes, yeah, I'm alright. Oh man, why did you do that? And he said I had nothing to lose, Detective Tim. I had nothing to lose. In April 2019, just before McQueen was set to go to trial at 30 years old, McQueen pled guilty to second degree murder and to the dismemberment of Lisa Mcqueen's body. In May of 2019, he was convicted and sentenced to 27 to 40 years in prison for those crimes. He apologized. He said you didn't want to do this to his kids. He I know he talked about his kids during his sentencing as. I'm sorry that I won't be able to see you. Like I won't be able to see you. I won't be able to raise you. Do you know what I mean? He never apologized for what he did to their mother. Ever. But clearly he was just thinking of himself. We see it all the time. It's unfortunate. And there's a set of kids who had nothing to do with this except love their mother and probably love their father, and now they have neither. On this case is that it really ended up being the perfect storm of multiple resources that ultimately led for justice for Alicia McQueen. I'm a Baker of justice cake. I took a whole bunch of evidence that people helped me obtain. And I just baked it. I think it's an interesting take. I mean, you take all the ingredients, your leads, your evidence, your interviews and your own perception of exactly what happened. And you could bring it all to the prosecutor like you and Asia to make into a winnable case. That's all the ingredients that went into bake this case into a conviction. And I think we have to come back around to the domestic violence. Not only that it sounds like she suffered in her life, but ultimately, at least in part, brought about her death. We cover so many cases over the years and within this podcast about women and even men who died at the hands of a partner in a domestic violence homicide now October, every year's domestic violence month, and you can't get someone out of a relationship that they don't choose to get themselves out of themselves. But I just say to everyone out there that maybe it's a good reason. To take a look around you and give support to someone you know. And if by chance it's you, there's nothing that you have done to bring on that abuse. Take a deep breath, protect yourself, and give yourself the strength to leave. TuneIn next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio Chuck original produced and created by Weinberger Media and for study media. Ashley Flowers and submit David are executive producers. So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve?