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.
Tue, 03 Jan 2023 08:00
A San Antonio detective sifts through misleading witnesses, dubious admissions and overlooked evidence to rectify a disturbing, decade-old investigation.
From everyone's descriptions of her, she was just a kind lady who lived a quiet life with her cats. And for her to be victimized like that, oh yeah, you get pissed. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. I'm Anna Sige-Nikolazi, former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of investigation discoveries through conviction. Solving a cold case sometimes happens from places that you would never expect, but you're always going to need two things. You're going to need to look at a case with fresh eyes and you also need to be dogged in everything you do. Hi, my name is Lisa Miller. I am a retired sergeant with the San Antonio Police Department. In 2013, Lisa was working in the cold case unit when detectives in homicide reached out to her at her partner looking for help with an active murder case. An elderly lady was attacked and brutally murdered and sexually violated in her apartment. She was a mom or a relative of one of our prominent families in San Antonio. They said, hey, can you guys do some research and see if we have any similar cold cases that kind of matched the MO of what just occurred to this lady? But actually today, we're not talking about that case instead another one Lisa came across. The victim was Susan Morris. During that research, I was very curious. I was curious about this case. It was a murder that happened in 2003. It was 10 years old at that time. And this case got under Lisa's skin for various reasons. One was obviously how heinous you're going to hear about the crime itself, but it was also the vulnerability of the victim. When I was reading that case, all I could think about is I need to find this guy. He has got to go. He has got to go. He cannot live in our society. In going through that cold case file, Lisa felt this case was actually solvable. What stood out to me was there was a suspect developed that was never prosecuted and I wanted to know why. You'll see very soon that Lisa has very strong feelings about the way the original detectives handled this homicide case. The lead detective in this case got promoted. And so his cases would have been turned over to whoever the new homicide detective was. And it almost looked to me like the new detective maybe got briefed on the case and just decided to leave it. When we talk about this quote unquote falling between the cracks, sometimes it's understandable, sometimes it's for good reason because of something that may develop or not. And sometimes it's just not. Naturally in a homicide investigation would be deemed a cold case when your run out of leads worthy of chasing down. And any forensics that could possibly bring a potential suspect to light are not just there. But let's be clear, that was not the fact here. And it appears to be based on what Lisa told us, the file just sat in limbo. He would like to think that that new detective would sit down and go over every aspect of the cases that he basically inherited. But there's a time constraint because as a new detective, he's getting thrown into the rotation. And now he's being assigned active murder cases of his own that he's responsible to start solving. I want to say it's easy, but it's commonplace when you inherit somebody else's unsolved cases, they're not a priority for you. Just picture your desk at home or in your office wherever you work, right? You put something down on the pile and then that pile starts to grow or at least if you're in my office, it grows pretty high. And you always tend to first go to the thing that's on top. Well, sometimes the things at the bottom just sit there for days, months, years. The problem is when you're looking at violent crimes, homicide, any crime at all is that there is a person attached to that file that's still waiting for answers. I took the file and read the whole thing and I went to my sergeant and I said, serge, let me reopen this investigation. He said, okay, if you want it. So let's go back to the beginning. Once Lisa began to dig into the Susan Morris homicide book, she was able to determine that on June 15th, 2003, several of the neighbors in that apartment complex started to smell something foul coming from Susan's apartment. And this wasn't just a complaint from one person, several people who in turn alerted the super. Of course he goes to the door. He knocks. There's no answer. Just picture that door almost creaking open and he's able to push the door open and step inside. He said the smell was overwhelming and he went to Susan's bedroom and tried to open her bedroom door, but there was something lodged up against the door. He had to really shove the door. And when he finally gets inside, that's when he found her. And he is the one who initially called the police. Susan Morris' body was already at a state of decomposition when investigators began to work the crime scene. And it was that decomposition that was a source of the foul odor originating from her apartment. It wasn't like you could just walk up and see a fully intact body. She had already decomposed to the point where plumps of her hair were falling away from her body and she was completely bloated. Susan was found lying in her bedroom. Nude from the waist down, her blouse and bra were pulled up. They noticed a pair of red shorts lying next to Susan's partially nude body. Take note of those red shorts now because they do play a significant role later on. They also made this unusual recovery. There's a bottle of coffee creamer lying in between her legs. After the medical examiner was called eventually an autopsy was performed and they were able to conclude that Susan Morris died of his fixation. It was not a strangulation, it was a stixiation and she had a whole lot of trauma to her mouth that bled profusely. So she was smothered, not strangled. But there was still more and we're going to tell you a bit about what the medical examiner found, not to upset you and we will tell you right now it is gruesome and graphic. But you also need to hear it to kind of understand the type of crime and in that the type of attacker. Inside Susan Morris' body the medical examiner found an object that had been inserted inside of her post mortem which is after death. And that was another item that likely came from her refrigerator. It was a mustard bottle and it was found inside her stomach walls. So I know my first reaction in reading that in the report on a scene that I mean there is a sexual component to this homicide and clearly a sexual predator was responsible for this murder. Thankfully it's very rare to see these type of things which is basically this like necrosatism which is that people do things to other human beings after they are already dead and obviously it's sadistic right and it goes to yes like these sexual crimes but of course we know they're not about sex, it's about domination, degradation, control. It is a very different type of killer that investigators are dealing with in this case. I was terrified that this guy was still out walking among us, that we had a brutal murderer in our city and he had never been brought to justice. There was evidence of sexual assault so a sexual assault kit was done as well. Her known former boyfriends and several other suspects were developed and their DNA was taken and it was all compared to her sexual assault kit. The apartment itself was a small two bedroom only about five or six hundred square feet. There were piles of clothing everywhere. Really what the difficulty came in now was that it was going to be very hard for crime scene to process the area because as they're scouring the scene for clues like just think about how difficult it is in an atmosphere like that to kind of make heads and tails of what's inside, what should be there and what might have potential evidentiary value. It's always super challenging for evidence collection teams to determine what may be there for an hour or what may be lying on the floor for a month. You always think about the most valuable thing that can happen in those situations is the photographs that are taken and it's probably in part based on my own experience and I always think about like certain case I've had in one in particular that it was at trial that I actually saw something in a photograph that we had never noticed before because there was just so much stuff in that apartment. Crime scene never noticed it, no one ever noticed it was there but it became super important and critical which is why documenting the inside of these crime scenes as police originally find them can sometimes be the very thing that makes or breaks a case later on a trial. Crime scene technicians waited through Susan's cluttered apartment and picked out the things that they believed would be of great evidentiary benefit. They did a fantastic job collecting evidence, they collected a beer can that was found in her bedroom sitting on a nightstand. Let's learn a little bit about our victim Susan Morris. Susan was a 50 year old female, she had two children, she didn't have much of a social life and she did have two previous boyfriends both who were looked at early on. Some all accounts, she was a very sweet lady, a very kind lady. It seemed like the majority of her social life involved hanging around at the jack in the box that was just down the street and maybe ordering a small meal and then dragging that meal out sitting at one of the outdoor tables so that she could converse with people when they came by. There were other things about Susan Morris that again some of them weren't documented but they just came by way of interviews with people that knew her. She appeared to be a bit of a loner, she was someone that did not come from many financial means, she ended up being on public assistance which often referred to as SSI which you know people can end up getting those benefits for various reasons. There did not appear to be any history of drug or alcohol use but she lived in an area that was known for a lot of vagrancy, drug users, homelessness. At the time of a murder, Susan was also having a difficult time with her 17 year old son who wasn't living there but days before the murder they had a violent altercation inside the apartment where Susan pulled a knife on her own son. Force him to leave the apartment so he was staying with friends. You know what I say to me that incident obviously is of interest and it's something I would dive into in the initial set of interviews but just on the surface the sexual and sadistic component to the homicide would lead me down to different paths. Well of course it's like ding ding ding ding he's going to be prime suspect but it's exactly that when you look at the type of crime and the sadistic nature and some of the things done even past us that's a different type of killer that is not what you normally see in any domestic situation that is in any way retaliatory or by heat of passion. Knowing exactly what had occurred to Susan Morris on the day of her homicide Lisa was so concerned that this person was still out on the street wanting to make sure that they didn't go out and potentially harm somebody else. He is a danger to society. Who is he and where is he and I need to do everything I can to make sure he doesn't hurt anybody else in society. And Lisa's strategy in looking at her cold cases is really to look at it like she would any other case that had just happened as recently as right then which is really to start from scratch. I just reopened the case and looked at it with fresh eyes from my own viewpoints on things and not try to look through the case through someone else's eyes. I didn't care what their conclusions were I wanted to start that investigation for myself from the beginning. As Lisa looks through the case files she has allotted her disposal crime scene photographs, witness interviews and here's the most surprising thing of all. She also had a confession. So in 2005 our cold case detectives actually fielded a phone call from a jailer at a prison down in Beville who said hey we haven't inmate his name is Michael daily on. At the time De Leon reached out he was already serving time in prison for murder that he committed on February 5th 2003. Four months before the death of Susan Morris. He Leon was 42 years old and he was also known as a substance abuser specifically crack cocaine. He is from San Antonio and he's in our facility for a murder. He committed in 2003 and he wants to talk to detectives and confess to committing a murder that he said was a lady named Susan Morris. So obviously this brings up so many questions like first of all who is this guy Michael De Leon and so wait did he just on his own call and say that he wanted to confess to this crime that no one had apparently been looking at for years and if he did confess why didn't that close the case which then lead you back to the confession was what he was saying even true. You know as we've covered on AOM so many different times people already serving time in prison confessed to committing crimes all the time for all sorts of reasons. Now normally they want something in return. He wants to trade his murder confession for being reclassified as a homosexual and in order for that to happen he needs to be transferred to a different facility. We don't have a homosexual pod at our facility here in Beville. It is a known fact in prisons that inmates get attacked for many things. It could be their religious beliefs and also could be the fact that they're a convicted sex offender or even murdered a child. Those issues easily spark retribution from other inmates. But here's something else to consider because it happens all the time. People say all sorts of things that sometimes aren't true to be moved to a different facility. So you might say well why is that and I can tell you from knowing the system quite well that it is because certain areas are thought to be better as far as you get better meals or the conditions are better. The facilities themselves are better. It comes up a lot that all of a sudden someone will say hey, I am hearing voices when there's no evidence of that all. I am thinking about self-harm, no evidence of it all. Doesn't mean it's not true. So obviously corrections need to take it very seriously to see if what this person is saying is real and if so they need to make sure they act appropriately. So they also need to navigate what is his motivation here and is what he's saying about this recategorization need even true and then is the confession that he is claiming he is willing to trade true also. The original detectives that caught the Susan Morris case went to the facility in Beville to speak with D. Leone. Michael D. Leone's confession was pretty detailed. Mike D'Leone confessed that he was in Susan's apartment that he had bought some crack in the neighborhood. He went to find somewhere to smoke it and saw the door of this apartment was open. So he went inside. He thought the apartment was abandoned. It was so filthy. He recalled that the bed didn't have any sheets on it. That is a pretty good intimate detail for investigators to confirm something unlikely to be released in any public statement by police. And remember the beer can that crime scene investigators had taken from Susan's apartment? Well D'Leone said during this confession that he was drinking a beer. And he was drinking a beer and said he left a beer can on the nightstand. And then he heard a lady come in the apartment and he thought she was talking to her cat. He said he hid in the hallway and when she came around the corner he grabbed her and put his hand over her mouth, wrapped his arm around her throat to hold her still. When going through the report and going through the Emmy stuff, I'm thinking about what D'Leone confessed to. So knowing what we know about the crime scene, is that consistent with the confession? And I say yes. But here is where his story differs from what investigators knew. He said she stopped moving so he just laid her down in the hall and then he left and he left his beer on the nightstand. He claims he left Susan dead in the hallway with the super found her in the bedroom. And he drew a picture of the apartment, the detective said okay, well you did something else to Susan, what was it? And he said no I didn't do anything else to her, I left her in the hall and they said no, you're lying, you did something else. And he said hey, somebody else may have come in behind me and done something to her but I didn't do anything else to her. D'Leone denied ever sexually assaulting Susan. So I think I guess the question is could he just be lying about this murder? And I think of course the answer is yes. To me at this point it is a question that investigators must consider and here's why, while it sounds extremely likely that he was in the apartment, could he be familiar with Susan's apartment from a prior visit not on the day of the murder? And since he's already facing murder charges in another case, why not use Susan's case to leverage that favor? Well detectives went back to San Antonio and they were able to match fingerprints that were found on the beer can that was found inside Susan's apartment to D'Leone. So they reached a conclusion, one of two things, one he was lying that he didn't sexually assault her or two he may have been in the apartment with someone else and his buddy is the one who actually did the sexual assault after the murder and he just didn't want to give his buddies name up. Ultimately the original investigators decided not to move forward with the prosecution or Michael D'Leone. Then I sat down with him and I said why was this case not solved? Oh he said personally I think the guy is lying, I think he saw Susan's murder on the news and he knew her and he had been in the apartment before and I think this is a false confession and he was just using it so that he could get recategorized and moved out of that bevillain prison. Was that enough to go into a courtroom and ask a jury to come back with proof beyond a reasonable doubt based on this and this alone? Lisa wanted to understand who D'Leone was and could he be capable of both Susan's murder and a brutal sexual assault? The murder D'Leone was already in prison for was a violent murder with a sexual assault. We already know that he is a sexually motivated murder. He already fits the profile of the person that I'm looking for. Okay, you hear that now and it's like okay wait a second. Now we need to look at everything this guy is saying so differently just based on who he is right because of course you can't use propensity the fact that someone has committed a crime before his evidence in their new crime unless it's in specific circumstances. But the fact that it is a homicide with a sexual assault component and like you said I think you said it was in what four months before that does start to make me look at him very differently and want to know much more. It's about patterns right and when investigators look at potential suspects they look at their behavior in past cases but there is something else. Michael D'Leone committed the murder and then called 911 several hours later to confess. And remember they're only looking at him for Susan Morris because he is called and says he wants to confess. Well now we know that in the prior crime he did the same thing. Is this going to be some sort of an mo or modus operandi that can be connecting those dots later? But Leesa just based on profile he is at this point starting to fit about the type of person that Leesa believes killed Susan Morris. Leesa was well prepared to handle a case like this because of her specific experience handling SVU or special victims unit cases. I was a special victims unit investigator for four years before I moved over to the murder detail in homicide and I had a lot of success interrogating suspects in sexual assaults. And they have to be handled with kid gloves. I spent a lot of my off hours time researching sexual deviance and how to handle them and what they respond to their backgrounds, their childhoods, all of those things had to be delved into before you could even start talking about the crime that you were dealing with. And neither of the detectives that interviewed him had that experience or that training. Leesa had vast experience with these types of sexual offenders and it's how you approach them, how you talk to them and how you get them to cooperate which is so different than most other defendants. The thing that's unique about sexual deviance, they will confess to a murder before they will confess to their sexual deviance. They know that sexual deviance is an absolute taboo in society and they are not going to just voluntarily spill out their deviance to you. You have to spend hours with them. They have to trust that you understand them and that you don't judge them and that you will actually agree that their sexual deviance is perfectly normal before they'll even start talking to you about their deviant behavior. A lot of that is just knowing when to wait. I can tell you the first 40 minutes that I would have spent with a sexual deviant would have been talking about anything and everything except that murder. Delion was definitely looking good as a prime suspect in Susan's murder but there was a problem. After going through the original detective's timeline, Leesa discovered an issue with Delion's statement. You had witnesses saying that they saw her Thursday evening. This guy had been arrested at three o'clock in that morning. He was already in prison at the time of the murder. Well, holy hell, I got a problem. While going back and looking at the timeline that the original detectives had put together, you had witnesses saying they sold her orange juice Thursday evening. They saw her in the swimming pool. There's no way he was available to do the murder that afternoon. Or that evening or any time after that. So it's like, well, we got a problem. What other suspects could there be? Ex-boyfriends were already ruled out. But what about Susan's son? Remember that we spoke about an alleged knife attack Susan committed against her son. Could that have sparked his rage? Well, how do you know her son didn't murder her? You know, why did you rule the son out? That was fascinating to me. It didn't seem from the file and where at least what Lisa could find that detectives had never interviewed Susan's son, at least not as a potential suspect. He was 17 at the time. And like I said, he wasn't staying with her. The detectives didn't delve into it at the time. They interviewed him and never collected his DNA. He was interviewed as a family member, never as a suspect. Lisa wanted to be systematic about her investigation and she was not done with Delio yet. She wanted to be crystal clear on the timeline. You have to look at three components. Motive means an opportunity. You don't have to prove what someone's motive is in a murder trial. You don't ever have to prove the why. That's not one of the legal standards, at least not in the state of Texas. You need to understand what someone's motive is so the case makes sense. So I already knew it was sexually motivated murder. We already knew the means. It was done by his hands. So now I got to make sure that this particular suspect had the opportunity to do the murder. So what was the timeline according to the witnesses? So let me go back and read these witness statements to see exactly what they said. The maintenance man said he knows for a fact he last saw Susan on Wednesday night. She was swimming in the pool. She always swam alone by herself at night and I went out and told her it's time for me to lock up the pool so she got out of the pool. He could say with absolute certainty that he saw her on Wednesday night the 11th. One from Jack in the box said they saw Susan Morris by Arne's juice on Thursday June 12th. The other witnesses, the majority of whom were homeless people or transients, all drug users, were not that concrete and when they said they saw her they would say I think I saw her Thursday. So let's just stop here and look at those two words and the two words are I think because I cannot even tell you the countless times I had this conversation with witnesses because a lot of people use that type of vernacular I think. And so it means one of two things. It means they either aren't positive so it is qualitative like yes that's what I think happened but I'm not sure so I'm just going to say I think or it's just a manner of speech like some of us may say um or and and because those two words when you're reading that page later to me means they are not positive or that certainly can be something that a jury would be fair to assume from the words alone. Or I think I saw her Friday or I think it was Thursday morning that she came and bought that orange juice. I think it was Thursday and that's where their words were all tight in that manner. I think it was I believe it was or they would just give a general time frame. Clearly there's a void of actually knowing and thinking that you know. Remember her body is found days later so it's not like people are being asked the next morning like did you see her last night. I think that's an easier thing for people to remember either yes or no. Where if you're saying days later when did you ask her it's a lot of well I think it was Thursday I think it was Friday. However the maintenance worker who had seen her swimming in the pool well again he had reason to know when it was because he knew the days that he worked he knew her patterns he knew where he was and when he was. So you know just on its face I take more stock in what he's saying in the definitiveness of that statement but I certainly think that since you have these questions that Scott we are talking about this at all it means why you should never in this case at least go with the confessional loan unless they have other pieces of evidence so the prosecutor can walk into that courtroom and say it's not just a statement there's other things here that show proof beyond a reasonable doubt. So in this case Lisa decided to go back to the crime scene photos and the video that they had and a few things did immediately stand out to her in that search. And there are several things that are screaming to me. Now we all know that the entire apartment is deemed to be a crime scene you know this is an apartment cluttered. Previous investigators focused on the items found in the bedroom because that's where Susan was found. However, Dalyun said the attack originated in the hallway. So now you're going to focus in on everything that was in the hallway not essentially everything that is with the body in the bedroom. I know her body was found in the bedroom with a pair of red shorts next to her but if you look at the crime scene photos you will see that she was wearing flip flops and they're lying in the hall but very spread out not like somebody stepped out of them like you would normally see. And it's almost like the victim was lifted off the ground and kicking her feet throwing the flip flops in different directions. And next to those flip flops is a pair of denim blue jean shorts. You know when I heard her talking at this I was like wait what they had always been focusing on these red shorts and the bedroom which is actually when you hear her talk about it chilling. They're lying in the hall. That caught my attention because as cluttered and filthy as the rest of the apartment was there was nothing else in the hall except those blue jean shorts and those flip flops. So I'm looking at that and I'm like she wasn't wearing those red shorts when she was attacked. She was wearing those blue jean shorts. The blue jean shorts were never tested for DNA. This was just missed or never analyzed a pair of blue denim shorts like this is potential bombshell evidence. The hallway was the actual murder scene. I mean the whole apartment was the murder scene yes but they focused on her body in the bedroom and didn't really pay that much attention to the rest of the apartment. It's like they made the assumption that she was attacked in her bedroom and she was not. There is something called tunnel vision in a homicide investigation and it can lead down a very bad path on one end of the spectrum a solvable case can go nowhere. On the other end targeting a suspect with blinders on could lead to a wrongful conviction. As she's staring at these photographs and putting the pieces together she starts to see and make out something else. I literally blind those photographs up on my desk to try to make it look like the floor plan of the apartment. You could see a drag mark on the carpet. Now I was able to tell that she was moved from the hall into her bedroom. And Lisa wasn't the only one that had focused when she looked at it on the hallway because the original evidence technician apparently did too. He looked over his shoulder down the hallway and saw this big mound of dirty clothes in the doorway of her son's bedroom and a pair of blue jeans caught his eye in the middle of all that filth. Earlier we were talking about the blue jeans shorts that Susan was possibly wearing during the assault. But here we're talking about blue jean pants, not the shorts and they aren't in the hallway. They're next to Susan's son's bedroom. He walked down that short hallway and saw a pair of blue jeans laying on top of a pile of other dirty clothes but they caught his eye because there were stains on both knees of those blue jeans. So let's get back to Susan's son for a moment. Again, because the post-mortem sexual assault or at least some of the sexual crime was perpetrated after she was dead while that doesn't likely fit into a domestic incident. Again, we can't have that tunnel vision either and nor can investigators so they need to still look at him. And those jeans were found on a pile of jeans in his room. When I went and pulled a list of all of the evidence that was in the property room and started sorting through it myself. And I picked up that pair of blue jeans that the evidence technician had retrieved from Susan's son's bedroom and I held him up and I was shocked. The blue jeans had blood on both knees and near the zipper and she believed the jeans belonged to the killer. And so I'm looking at him and I'm like wow, those really looked like blood stains on both knees to me and there's blood along these zipper and waistband area that somebody was bleeding. Their hand was either bleeding or they had blood all over their hand when they took these blue jeans off. The blue jeans have potential evidence which requires forensic testing to lift and identify any DNA. But just using her eyes, Lisa can already make one determination. Susan's son, even though he was 17 years old at the time, he was six feet tall. He was a big tall, lanky boy. Those blue jeans were 32-30s. I said why would a 17 year old boy who's six feet tall be wearing 30 length blue jeans for an inseam? As you can imagine, Lisa was incredibly excited about this fine. I was like hopping around. These are the murderers pants I know they are. Please bring me some DNA with the victim and my suspect. And this is a big moment. And it's like oh my gosh, we have these literally basically in our hands and we just might be able to now figure it out. It's been 10 years. There's a family waiting and sure enough, two months later, I get a call from the crime lab. And they say those pants have a mixture of blood from Susan Morris and a mixture of Michael Dalyon and even more interesting detective Miller. There is an enormous sperm stain at the crotch of those blue jeans. Bingo. Huge moment, so while in his statement, Dalyon said he had no idea about any sexual assault component, those pants would contradict his statement to police. By this time, Lisa had already been chosen to work on a fugitive task force with the US Marshal Service. And even though she wasn't hands on inside the homicide office at the San Antonio Police Department, she was still working this case. I took this cold case with me physically to my new office. That case had already been this handled once. It was not leaving my hands until I saw it to the end. And I love that because while she is still technically in the unit, she's now put on a different assignment, but she knows she's getting close and she's going to make very sure that this case doesn't get overlooked or sidelined again. I refused to allow anything else to happen to this case. I knew I had to finish it to the end. Now is the time when Lisa can sit down with Dalyon. He has admitted to murdering Susan before, but being it merely denied the sexual assault. And that question mark in the investigation put a pause on bringing him to justice, now armed with forensic evidence. Could she get him to admit to everything, including a motive? He was willing to talk to her and talk to him then she did for up to four hours. What you're about to hear is Lisa's account of being face to face with a sadistic killer. And to me, it sounds like a scene in silence of the lamps where Clarice meets the infamous Hannibal Lecter. He was a very mild manored and extremely intelligent man. Some of the first comments he made was, oh, I see what's going on here. He said, two guys down the first time to interview me, but now you think that by sending two women, that would be a softer touch to myself. I'm like, oh, this is going to be an intellectual battle with this guy. I love those. This is my forte guy. And I'm going to play you like a piano and you're not even going to know it. So let's go. When she sat down with him, De Leon made it very clear to her that he didn't want to talk about the homicide. At least he said he wasn't willing to talk about it without his lawyer. I don't care if we really talk about the murder or not. I'm there to get background information on him. I'm there to look for his motive in this murder. And I'm going to satisfy that motive by delving into his background. I had the theory that whoever did this murder hated women and took out his anger towards women on Susan by violently assaulting her with things that he literally took out of her kitchen refrigerator. She was getting a lot of information. She was learning a lot of the psyche of Michael De Leon. He talked a whole lot about his mom and always with reverence towards her. And he told us that he had been married before and that he was always disappointed in the type of clothing that his wife chose to wear. And he said, I don't understand why she wouldn't just wear pretty little flower dresses like my mom used to wear. I know Scott I have to say when he says that thing about flower dresses like his mom used to, like, I just wanted to get up and go take a shower. It's all going into someone that definitely has deep seated issues when it comes to women. He idolized his mom, right? No one was good enough to fill her shoes. For him, she was the perfect woman. That is a twisted view and it's a clear indication to a potential motive. Mom is Madonna. Mom is the Virgin Mary. Mom is to be revered and placed on a pedestal. I'll use his word. Women are less than human to me. They are humanoid. So by the end of the interview while he didn't talk about the homicide itself, Lisa was quite sure that she had gotten exactly what she'd come there for. I want to say after four hours of chatting, I was pretty much satisfied that I understood his psyche. Lisa was going to file charges with a district attorney. So she contacted both Susan's sister and her daughter to give them the news. And I said, I want you to know I found your mom's murder and I'm going to be filing this case with the district attorney's office. She was very, very quiet. There was silence. And then she said, my grandpa has been waiting 11 years to hear those words, Detective Miller. And I am turning around and I am going to his house right now and I can't wait to tell him. See I just got goosebumps replaying that phone conversation with her. That was one of those times where you do put yourself into the shoes of the people that you're dealing with. I mean, my heart aches thinking about a man who once had a little girl who grew up and was brutally murdered. Michael De Leon was indicted on first degree murder charges, but because he was already in prison, he was allowed to take a plea bargain. They indicted it as just the first degree murder. They were ready to go to trial on it. But since he was already in prison on that 30 year, they allowed him to take a plea bargain for 12, which put him locked up for 42 years. He wouldn't be released somewhere around 80 years old. I think that is a life sentence. Before I give my final thoughts about the victim in this case, which is always our primary focus in every episode on the podcast or television show that Anisee and I produce, I wanted to talk about Lisa's deep concerns about the way the case was first handled and that, of course, is her perspective. To our knowledge, no members of the department were disciplined in this investigation. And it seems that multiple things were overlooked or assumed. But we would like to give credit to those individuals who did have the insight to focus on the pieces that made the complete picture for justice. Because that evidence technician that showed up, I actually called him when the case got solved and thanked him profusely for doing an excellent job. And I think about this case and I think about Susan in particular. No, she was clearly vulnerable. In many ways, she's the type of person who had been sidelined by society. But of course, her life matters the same as anyone else's. And for Lisa and her partner and those that brought this case finally to justice, they clearly knew that too. It is the story of how her own father reacted to the news of De Leon's conviction, the relief to me, which only reinforces the importance of solving these cold cases and highlighting the true impact for many families who remain hopeful. They too will see justice. Tune in 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 Frisetti Media. Ashley Flowers and Sue Middavid are executive producers. So what do you think Chuck? Do you approve?