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, 15 Feb 2022 08:00
Miles of swamps and muck may turn out to be the watery grave of a missing mother.
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. Previously on anatomy of murder. On any normal case, if somebody goes missing, everybody's family, friends, they chomp at the bit to help out. In this particular case, it didn't feel like that at all. There's a neighbor of mine that was reported missing by her husband today, and her name is Violet Torres. Sid would brag about him spying on his wife. USA able to read the text messages that she was sending and to hear their conversations. No matter what lead we went with, always said came back in the picture again. She told me that she had tried to kill her. This is just a massive search all over the place and she told me that she told her the kids were going to be. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Belasi former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction, and this is anatomy of murder. Last episode, we started talking about the disappearance of Villette Torres. She was last spotted on surveillance video and by a witness entering her Miramar home in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 31st. But her estranged husband Sid, who was spending the night at the house, didn't report her missing until two days later. It was going to be a long weekend. Sitora's plan was to take the three kids and take them to Disney. He picks up the kids, and what he decides to do is take the kids. To see a movie. And then they go back to the let's house at 5:00 in the morning, she went inside that house somehow. And that's where everything happened. It really hit me, like, Oh my God, he was never going to Disney World. He planned this. So you're saying that the Disney trip was just a ruse so Violette would think the house is empty, right? They weren't supposed to be there. You know what? I did hear that, and I didn't even put that together because, remember, he was going to take him to Disney World. They're going to stay at the parents house. He claimed that was because the kids didn't want to go there. That was probably BS two, that it was just his way of not to say to the kids we're actually gonna go stay home because, remember, they're getting a divorce. He doesn't stay there, so he gets into the house and he's waiting there, just waiting for her to get home. Detective Jonathan Zeller and his team took over the investigation on day one. All throughout the investigation, you know, there was never any bank activity, no credit card activity, no cell phone activity. There was nothing. It's like she fell off the face of the planet. Suspected that something sinister had happened to her and that her husband Sid was behind it. It didn't matter throughout the whole entire investigation, no matter which rock we turned over or what not, it was always said tourists underneath that rock. Everything always came back to him. Her three young kids, remember, are still inside that house. They are with their father and just think of what it must have been like for them. How scary each moment, each hour that ticked by, and they had no idea where their mom had gone. In the early days of her disappearance, Detective Zeller and his team pulled together a massive search in the area of Volette Miramar home. They work with several agencies and used all sorts of investigative tools to look for volette, including cadaver dogs. Now, just to sidestep here, one of the highlights of my law enforcement career was working as a canine deputy. My partner, ZAR, was trained in both patrol and narcotics. And for those of you on my Instagram at Weinberger Media, I've posted a picture of us working back in the day. Over the years, the use of canine dogs in law enforcement has evolved from traditional search and apprehension to the ability to sniff out COVID-19. It all comes down to their smelling ability, which is 10 to 1000 times. Later than humans No2. Humans smell the same, but the scent of a decomposing body does. This was a big search with many officers, detectives, canines, you name it. The whole entire neighborhood was canvassed. Not to mention there's also canals or lakes in that area, especially behind her house. Brought the dive team out there. Were about the boats out there. I mean, we just went and looked through everything. And then there's a real find. Maybe a real clue. Maybe even villette. I remember this one clearly. So there was one particular search where they found like a garbage bag and it just stunk so bad. And when they tried to open it up, you know, they saw bones in there. Think of what investigators must have been thinking when they hear that come over their lines. But when they really look more deeply into that bag, it didn't turn out to be bullet. In fact, the bones were not even human bones. It was actually a dead chicken in there. Could not find anything, anything whatsoever. While the search is still on to find Vallette, investigators are also looking to build a case against Sid or rule them out. I'd really be hard pressed to think that there's anyone out there who isn't thinking to themselves. We know Sid did it, but did what? We don't yet have evidence of an actual crime. It's likely, but they're just not there yet. You need to be able to actually prove. Remember beyond a reasonable doubt, not only The Who did it, but the what happened, and in this case, that a crime. Actually occurred. The Penal Code doesn't include a charge for suspicion. Much more work needed to be done, so up to this point he's pretty much being cooperative. Now, while suspicious, he's still talking. It's very clear that he is jealous of these outside love interests, or at least relationship that his wife has had, as their marriage has slowly been crumbling. But what they soon learned from friends is that that obsessiveness has turned to manipulative. As an example, Sid had cancer, or at least is what he told many of his friends. That either Sid overlapped ever tell you that Sid had cancer or anything like that. That he told her that he was sick, he was very ill. Here's an interview between Detective Zeller and one of Six's friends. Now listen closely. The audio quality is not great. That's one of the reasons why she stayed with him, because his dad is saying that and I told her this and ask him to take you to the doctor with him. Do you you want to support him? You want to be with him, but he never took it. You will never knew for a fact that he was sick. In fact, he's he's healthy now. And that's when I said, listen, you know, I think that he might be manipulating you, but that was my impression. I hate to say it, but as I'm listening to these different things that are being uncovered and found out about Sid, he is a character I have seen before. And I use the word character because it's almost like if this was a script book, and I certainly wish it was rather than true life that you can start to tick off the boxes of some of the things we start to see when there's ultimately something explosive that spiraled and ends up as a crime. I even think about it on a case that we covered for true conviction. There was a woman by the name of Diana Duvet who was killed by her then boyfriend, a man by the name of Michael Jones, and I'll never forget. And I found out that one of the things they found out about his past, that his manipulativeness to get what he wanted and to keep the people he wanted close, was to actually go so far as to say he had cancer. So when I heard that here, it was yet another box being checked, you know, it is the woe is me factor here, and it's like I'm suffering. I've got cancer. My wife wants to leave me. How can people treat me this way? I'm a victim. Very often in these cases they want to portray themselves as the victim. When very often it is the other way around. He has cancer. I'm like, really? He has cancer. I mean, here's a piece of another interview with another friend of SIS that gives us even more of an inside look. I'll tell you this. I mean, not that I've spoken to his doctor or anything like that, whatever, but I don't think that he has any sort of cancer. Doesn't have I I think that is. That was a way of him getting attention. He lied. He never, ever had cancer. In the months leading up to bullets, disappearance sits controlling behavior was evident, especially when it came to her seeing another man. He was insecure, jealous and concerned he was going to lose her, but he was also with somebody else. In fact, investigators would learn he had several affairs. Sid was no Angel. OK? Here he is all angry or jealous that his estranged wife is dating someone. And here you have Sid dating multiple girls. So why is it OK for him and not for her? And that's funny, because you know what? When we found that new girlfriend, the latest girlfriend, he also told her at one point that, you know, that he had cancer. But he was cured. How did that happen? Oh, because he got the proper rest and nutrition. If you were truly loved the way that he claimed it was just about that, how are you off having these extra marriage dalliances on your own? But for him it just seems to, you know, surround himself like the puppet master in this case, with women. And she was just another one of them and he wanted to keep hold of her, but yet he could be going out and doing what he wanted with whoever he wanted along the way. That girlfriend, she reached out to the family and to us, and she had told us that Sid had told her that, you know, this is prior to her disappearance and the murder and whatnot. What she told us is that Sid had told her that his wife was dead. You have to wonder, was he just trying to say that at the moment to keep this woman on his arm, or is this really this foreshadowing that we're seeing before she was even gone? To say she's dead. He's filling in all the pieces of the homicide puzzle himself and he doesn't really need any help. Now, who says that? You know, I understand this is your girlfriend. She's probably well, what about your wife? And, well, she's dead, OK? As you would imagine, Velez case is getting much deserved media coverage. I'm looking at a story which was posted just days after her disappearance from a local CBS affiliate, and the first line reads, and I'm quoting the family of a missing Miramar mother says they are not surprised the woman's estranged husband has been named as a person of interest in her disappearance. You're probably not very surprised at all yourselves. But you might be surprised to hear the next thing that they released with that besides saying that Sid was a person of interest, they also released that 911 call that he placed where he says I did it. Did it so you didn't work. Often it is misconstrued that investigators release information because news reporters are pressuring them. And I'll say it right here for law enforcement, it is no mistake. It is a strategy. Because that is sometimes when someone knows that the police are on to them and that something very damning has come out, their mind starts to race. They start to make mistakes. They start to do things that are not as well thought out because now they're trying to think of a different tact. For example, remember, what is the big thing that's outstanding right now? No one knows where Villette is. So if he knows that investigators are on him and they're putting that out there, I don't know, maybe he starts to wonder if they've maybe even found Villetti's body. So does he. If he's the killer, go to the place where he may have dumped her. So not only does he implicate. Cell, but even more, the bigger thing would be that he would give that answer to her children as where their mother had gone. The more people that know SIDS at the top of the suspect list, the better chance that people even within his circle will come forward where before they may have been wavering, even though detectives Zeller had several opportunities to interview Sid, ask him direct questions, there are other investigative methods to get evidence directly from your target, including what is known as a controlled call. The phone will be a. The recorded conversation. Today's date is a witness agrees to call your target with you listening and recording. Now, I've done several of these and I could tell you if successful, it's powerful evidence. And in this case, his girlfriend agrees to call Sid. We have gone through a lot of types of evidence on a OM, but we have never featured this piece before. Not only are we talking about a controlled call, we actually have one. Hello, can you hear me? Looking at me, right? To protect the girlfriend's identity, we are not disclosing her name and we've added a filter to alter her voice. Everybody wants to know what's going on. So. But I finally got a couple minute breaks, so I figured I'd give you a call back. I know you've been trying to call, but I just am too busy trying to deal with this. You know and ever I know that there is a call about to be played. For me, the first thing I'm always thinking about the audio quality because again, it's not like people are sitting there on the type of mics we used for this podcast. So you know that if you can even hear it at all then that is step one. First check in the box. And again, these are not professionals. These are very often normal, regular everyday people that are placing a phone call. They are a person who the suspect or the person that is being looked at trusts. I was looking for two things. First thing is how calm. And collected with the girlfriend be. My second question would be, is he going to reveal anything? You know, because the last couple of texts I've got for you in the last couple of days you've been, it's just been weird, just you're still married. How are we supposed to, how are we going to get past that? I mean, how are we going to get past that? I love the initial tack taken by the girlfriend and obviously by investigators, which is like, how do you get to Sid? It was exactly this. I'm not waiting around. I can't deal with another heartbreak. I can't put my children through another heartbreak. If she comes back, what? What's going to happen to us? What's going to happen? I need to know now. I need to know what if she doesn't come back? I heard the 911 call and you said I definitely did it. What is that? They really knew that maybe the best way to get to him was to kind of dangle that she may be walking away until he can alleviate her fears that the relationship between him, Sid and her the girlfriend is now cemented because there is no longer anything between them to keep them apart. I totally agree the three words that always come up in these types of control calls is keep them talking. I mean the fact that she goes in and spends the first portion of the call. Not asking questions about the wife, about where she may be or what happened. It's about what about me? Can you get worse? I mean, what? What? You know, I don't understand. What? How are we going to move forward? It's about personal things with her warming him up and dropping his guard. Please tell me you need to know. I need to know what to do, because either we're going to continue or we're not. So when she does come around to the question of where is Violet, it feels more natural. It isn't like she's just going for the jugular in the 1st 30 seconds of this controlled phone call. I need to know if she comes back. What what's going to happen to us? What's gonna happen? I need to know now. I need to know. I'm sorry, but I can't. My heart. I can't deal with another heartbreak. I can't put my children through another heartbreak. You keep saying if she comes back that you're you're gonna you know, you're just going to hand over the kids. Is that on? And it's really quite well done that she wants to go through all the different scenarios to know only how it affects her. And will he alleviate her fears of that them being a part by somehow slipping and giving something that gives investigators the evidence that they're hoping to get? How long am I supposed to wait? You said if she comes back, you're gonna have her signed divorce papers. But what if she doesn't come back? Well, how long am I supposed to wait? Then, then now what? You know what? I don't know. That's a big question I still have. I don't know. Clearly, if he had murdered Villette, he is not sharing that information. Part of me is still nervous, OK? Part of me is still scared. OK? And to be quite honest, you know what I read? It's, you know, you waited three days and then I heard the the 1911 call and you said I definitely did it. What is that? I told everybody else. That's why I called it. The dog. Her mother. Alright. My mother-in-law. Alright. City is pretty good at doing the dance. I pulled myself back because I got hurt so bad. I think to myself, I don't want to get hurt again. He almost knows instinctively when to back up and switch gears, and you can watch him as his personality actually shifts, and in the end he isn't giving up much along the way. And then, once his girlfriend asks, point blank, the question we've all been waiting for him to answer. I'm sorry if if this ****** you off, but I have. I mean, did you have anything to do with it, I mean. Just please be honest with me. You know I love you. Just please be honest with me. 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. So now Sid's current girlfriend is working with police, and after 30 to 40 minutes into a conversation on the phone, she really starts to dig in. What actually happened to Violet? They're accusing you of killing your wife? I thought I saw it with my own eyes. You told me to look, everybody is saying that behind. Nothing to do with it, but what he said next got everyone's attention. Did you have anything to do with it? I mean, just please be honest with me. Through this stuff, you know, I can understand. Alright? This one is being, you know, what we're doing with them and that's all I can think of anymore. Alright? You know, I cannot stop. Nothing to do with it. My wife is still out there and what I can do is like, all of you guys can come and help me find her, alright? So she can go and go on with her life and her kids and her boyfriend. Alright? I pictured the investigators listening and then all of a sudden he just switches gears and he's talking directly to them being the police. If you think I murdered my wife, then take me to jail. If not, go find her. That's the catch me if you can sort of scenario. He doesn't actually know that they are tapping the call. This is yet another shift in the Sid Torres Gears of his mind that he's like, aha, maybe that's why she's doing it. So again, he's testing her too at the same time, but they basically know that the gig is up. At least at this point, it is much less likely that he is going to give up anything when it comes to vote. In several of the interactions with police, he seems to be setting up not only his alibis or his timelines, he's trying to control the investigation from his side, adding to his already established unusual behavior. Was this for less. Friends wanted to hold a candlelight vigil and more than 100 people attending the vigil, but some were noticeably absent. At any point was said there. No, he didn't show up at all. I cannot fathom under any circumstances, any legitimate reasonable excuse why he wouldn't be there. It is a vigil for his missing wife, the mother of his children in the church that they both attended. The Miramar Police Department did decide to hold a press conference wanting to elevate the awareness, especially in a missing persons case that could be tremendously helpful. Also most helpful is reporters having an opportunity to talk to family members. But here once again, Sid was a no show. We had another event where we distribute Flyers and this included family members, officers, friends, everybody and Sid was also invited to that and he did not show up. My question really is what was he doing to find her and I could also tell you what he wasn't doing organizing any search parties, putting up missing posters, going to the media and asking for the public's help, and finding his wife. Clearly he wanted everyone else to do something that he wasn't even willing to do when it comes to side's behavior. It isn't that he's becoming elusive or getting out of town, but he really just takes the sidelines and starts to almost wash his hands of it completely, which is also strange. Behaviour. When he made that 911 call, maybe in his mind that that 911 call was the only thing that he needed to do. Say, hey, my wife is missing and that'll be the end of it. No contact with police, no interviews and nothing like that. By this time, investigators had conducted dozens of interviews with Phillip's family members, friends, and coworkers, and a pattern of information was developing within those conversations that Sid had a mean streak. Sid had made it clear to investigators from the beginning that he was hurt about Villette seeing a coworker. He showed his insecurity and his vulnerability about that and the guys name the coworker remember, his name was Zoe. But Sid's emotions and behavior started to show themselves to be far more erratic. And violent. So I'll give you the example of a close friend of his that Sid confided in, and this is prior to her disappearance. You know, when he spoke to him, he told his friend that he wanted to kill Zoe in order to get him out of the picture. He told his friend also that if I don't have her, nobody will. Either she's with me or she's dead. And I keep one thing in mind too, he actually called up Zoe couple times and actually threatened him to stay away from his wife. Remember signing the letter, supposedly actually getting a divorce during this time she is open about the fact that she is seeing other men, but he still goes the length to see this other guy, to threaten him to stay away from his wife. The friend also told us that Sid had inquired about trying to obtain an illegal gun. It soon came to light that there was actually an incident that Fillette had told her friend that Sid had strangled her choked her to the point that she came very close to blacking out. What made you break up with him? And she said, well, you know, last year she said he was choking. He says what? He almost killed me because all I remember is I started like seeing colors and colors went to like black and I was losing my breath. Believing someone may have a tendency for violence isn't direct evidence. Getting information that an incident actually occurred is, and that's what police were able to uncover. And that wasn't the only time that that happened. There was a second time too. You spoke to the left one-on-one. She ever complain about anything physical? Once one day he called me, I would say the 7:00 AM on the phone and she was crying. She told me that that he got very upset and he pushed her and she fell on the sofa and then to the ground. So she ran upstairs, right to her bedroom and that's when she called me that that moment she was afraid of him. And that's when the friends decided to go to the home himself to make sure she was OK. When he arrived at the Torres home, no one answered the door and that friend kept ringing the doorbell and banging on the door. And after a few minutes, Sid opened the door crying. The friend could also see volette when he asked her questions about what happened. Follett said that after she called him, Sid locked her in the bedroom, threw her phone under the bed, pinned her down, and began to choke her. I know why you never told me about it. I know why because even if it's city, they were gonna take him, you know, to jail. And he didn't want her kids to see that. She didn't want to, you know, to separate the family. She knew that if she did that and not at that moment, but previously, in one of many conversations, said she didn't want to break the family too, because that's what happened with her family. And the reason you might be asking of why that violent attack took place was because Sid was confronting Villette about finding out that she was dating another man. He was all set because Bill was being unfaithful to him. Well, you know, he's always been jealous about everyone, everyone, anyone and everything and anything. All these various stories about SIDS, erratic and violent behavior are beyond frightening, but it gets even more troubling. He also came up with several scenarios that kill bullet, and one of the scenarios was to hire somebody to make it look like a home invasion robbery and that she would get killed in during the robbery. This is probably one of the biggest ones. Sid asked the same friend that he confided in. You know, where is the best place to bury a body or hide a body? Why in the world you ask something like that? This guy is actually planning thinking it out. So think you asked you about you know where to bury a body, yes. Said even talked about a location where her body would be. More and more disturbing information was coming into police testimony from Sid's friend about how he wanted his wife to be dead and where's the best place to bury her body? These are all big things that, you know, just to to an average, normal person. They're like Jersey, and this guy has nothing to do with it. I don't buy it. Considering this was Florida, sit thought he had the best solution on where to get rid of her body and his friend jokingly suggested a location. As I do, we have the Everglades right here. The Everglades. The Everglades is really two things. It is this beautiful natural Wonderland. But it is also, by the same token, this humid, mucky marshland that goes on for miles and miles. It also is less than an hour away from Miramar, if she was indeed dumped or her body was dumped. And, you know, in the Everglades. Everglades is so big and vast. There's also some interesting facts to add to some context of just how often the Everglades are used as a dumping ground. As of 2021, there are more than 300 cases of unidentified bodies still waiting to be ID, of which 233 are still considered active cases. We say, you know, this is like a needle in the haystack. This is a little more than that. This is, you know, which haystack you know, whether it's in the movies, television shows or just books about true crime, the Florida Everglades has always been referred to as the perfect place to dump a body. You know, I started going there as a kid, and I've been there many times, but always when I picture it's the same thing. I pictured these Gray large reeds everywhere and a lot of muck. And I always think alligators. It's estimated the Everglades are home to more than 200,000 alligators. They're vicious creatures who are known to rip apart and consume human bodies, literally leaving not a trace for all we know. Is it possible that, you know, she may have been eaten by animals out there, you know, alligators or whatnot? That's possible too. I don't know. We just don't know where to look for that. It is not uncommon for law enforcement in Florida to respond to reports of an alligator sighting. In fact, I remember in the police Academy one of my instructors telling us a story on just how powerful and dangerous they can be. A Gators jaw snaps shut with the power of about £2000 per square inch. In recounting what happened in those 48 hours between when Villette went missing and when Sid called the police, there was a couple really interesting facts that came to light. At some point at night, he had told family members he was going on a pizza run. Before he left, he asked one of the family members there. Hey, where's the best place? You know that I can get some cleaning supplies? It's a weird question to ask, but I guess he asked it. He was gone for over an hour. The reason I bring that up is because what's he doing for that hour where the cousin lives? It's not that far from where the Everglades is at all. And there was still more. His daughter talked about 1:00 morning during those couple day time frame that he looked dirty disheveled and that it was very strange that they couldn't exactly account for where he had been. He claimed he had gone to the beach and slept in his car. So when you put those things together you have to wonder, was he in the Everglades or somewhere else? And why? But while the Everglades makes finding Violet if she's there much more challenging, all hope is not lost while the searches are going on there, Miramar police and other agencies are also doing multiple things to still try to find her anywhere and any way they can, and they find a clue. One of the biggest spines if you want to call that was was actually outside the house. And the only way I can describe it is that if you are looking at the house it is A2 car driveway. Her work van is positioned in such a way that you cannot park two cars in the two car driveway. To the left there is a tree there in the grass area and these landscaping pavers. What we found is that there were tire marks on those landscaping pavers and also white paint chips. Why do I say that is because if you look at side? Are he had a spare tire on his car and on top of that he had some damage to the bottom portion of his car as well. And what we assumed happened there is that after he killed her he had to take her body out of there. So we had to bring his car closer. Now because her work Van was parked in such a way that you couldn't park or get another car in there, you have to actually fit it in and by backing up the way he did he went over these landscaping pavers and gunned it because you can see tread marks. On the on the pavers. How would Sid explain why he would need to back his car up and roll over the pavers? It is the simpleness of paint chips, which is the type of evidence that I always get excited by because who cares, it's paint chips. But yet maybe, just maybe, if they put the other pieces together, this is the piece that just might mean everything. After we send those paint chips for analysis, it did come back. It was consistent with paint from his car. And with that, hold on, because there's still more. Remember when we talked about the fact that Detective Zeller had canine cadaver dogs deployed for the search? The canine team would hit on an area in front of the tourist's home. Or the collaborator actually started out going through the neighborhood and it just came back to not the neighbor on one side and not the neighbor on the other side. But it came from the let's home right in the driveway, right in the front of their home. That was already telling me, you know, this is not good. Why would the dog be hitting on the scent of a decomposing body in that area had there not been one there at some point within the last weeks? I believe this is a great piece of circumstantial evidence, something that Sid really may not have an answer for. When we got side car for a search warrant and we brought it back to to our department, you know, we had two separate cadaver dogs, one from our department and one from the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office. And separately, independently, one dog was sent to try to detect whether they could. With the car, the Miramar dog was the first one, and he actually jumped into the trunk and sat there, and that's one of his indications of an alert or a hit. The next dog, same thing. Also another hit in that trunk. So, you know, two separate dogs indicating the same thing. Her body was inside that car. And it is that piece again, not by itself, but when you start to put it all together, that now it seems clear that police finally have enough for arrest. It was pretty much the combination of everything at that point where like, you know, enough is enough and we obtained an arrest warrant for him and we made the arrest on him. You know, we talk about these cases, these circumstantial cases, often as a puzzle. And while they're still somewhat figuring out the order of what happened when, you're still kind of moving the pieces around. Now it is really clear you can at least see what that picture is supposed to be. And that means that when they have compiled all this evidence, now it's time to go get Sid and get them off the street. So when we arrested him at his parents home, he immediately immediately lawyered up. We didn't have a chance to interview him anymore after that. Sid Torres was charged with two basic but distinct crimes, the murder of his wife, Villette Torres, but also various counts relating on to all that spying that he was doing on her. So here we go. We've got the threshold for an arrest, and detective seller and his team are preparing with the prosecutor's office, a case. A case without a body anastagia nobody cases. They're difficult. This is yet definitely another hurdle, and it's a big one, but I don't see it as a wall that can't be climbed. And I think anyone that handles these no body cases, which I can tell you right now, I myself have personally never handled one of them. I have supervised them, I've been involved in them. I've watched other colleagues of mine do them, but I've never done one myself. And similarly, Detective Jonathan Zeller had also never done a nobody case up to that point. Usually in homicides we have a body that we deal with, but in this case we had no body and that was probably one of the most intriguing parts of this case. The perception is that these types of cases are challenging, and they are. However, when you look at the numbers, there's a pretty good conviction rate. Nationally. About 86% of nobody murder cases that go to trial result in convictions compared to all other murder cases. The conviction rates there are about 70%. We own ever. You have a circumstantial case that are no body case is going to be a different version of that. You have to make sure that the jurors are going to get it. So you try to explain it in the simplest of terms. We often use the example to prospective jurors of whether it is in fact raining outside. Maybe the jurors have not seen out the window. They haven't seen from themselves that there's rain. However, if a person walking into the courtroom is wearing a raincoat that is wet, they're holding an umbrella. Maybe there is droplets coming off their face. You could see that their clothing is wet. Well, then they are going to come to the obvious conclusion that is likely raining outside. And it is the same thing when it comes to nobody. She just didn't walk up and leave through the investigation. We know that. Her cell phone dead. No credit card activity, no banking activity, no flights out of the country. But in this case, Sid, who has shown to be an obsessive narcissistic master, manipulator of women, his wife, and of this investigation, he was going to do whatever he could to come up with a way to get out of these charges. But would it work? In July 2017, the case went to trial and the theory of what happened to Villette was this, that she had gone out with a coworker for the night that Sid had the kids and remember, he was very likely spying on her. And then he came home with the children and stayed there waiting for Violet. One of the features I told you about this spy software is that you have the ability to actually activate the microphone of the phone. This is just speculation, but maybe that's exactly what he did. Knowing that his estranged wife having dinner with a coworker, maybe he did activate that microphone. Maybe he did hear them doing something that, you know, just got him mad. Mad to the point where he just wanted to confront her. And that when her car pulled up he heard the latch on the door that he had placed there himself. So he knew that she was inside and then he confronted her and then most likely exactly like he had done before, he choked her and after she died he disposed of her body by using his car, the one that we see the paint chips with up on the pavers right by the house investigators. Eller explained in court that there was a female officer she was about the same size of valet that she herself could fit inside. Its trunk making the analogy that so could bullet. In this case, the defense didn't put much of a case up at all. They did, however, attempt to discredit the prosecution's testimony, including Sid's daughter, who heard the commotion on the morning her mother went missing. The defense tried to paint her as she's crazy, you know, that she hears things that didn't sit well with me at all. And that's just a different level of ick factor. His own daughter. Again, defense never has to do anything, but they chose that part of their tact was to go over the credibility of his young daughter, to say that she has her own issues and other things playing on her mind that would cause her to, you know, make this stuff up. And that's just a whole different level of awful to me. In the end, the joy found Torres guilty of second degree murder as a lesser included offense of first degree murder in several other counts due to the unlawful use of intercepted communications. I think we have to go back to Detective Jonathan Zeller for a moment. And the way that he handled this investigation. Detective Zeller was locked on his target, but not for the reasons you may think. Often the spouses of murder victims are the first to be investigated, and the majority of them are quickly cleared. But in the case of Sid Torres, who believed he was smarter than everyone else, all he ever did was continue to dig holes for himself and a shell game from the beginning that Jonathan Zeller was not going to fall for. This with your case. I had two goals that I wanted to accomplish here. One was to solve this case and find out who murdered her and that goal was accomplished. And goal #2 was to actually locate her body. And that is the one thing today that still bothers me is that I did not achieve the second goal of finding her body. And for Detective Zeller, that means that his work, his goal, was never completed. But several months later, in October, during Sid sentencing, another side of Sid appeared, not contrite, not admitting anything. One courtroom observer called it the crazy Sid. He requested to speak to President Trump and stated commander-in-chief, the Witch Hunt ends here. Please come and talk to me. Torres also wanted to speak to the First Lady and anesthesia. To me, this is once again the master manipulator at work. This time, his target was the criminal justice system. 100% I think that you just nailed it right on the head because it's on the one hand you're like, has this guy just lost it completely? Is he so delusional and his sense of self importance that he thinks he can summon the president or have access to him? But then when you think about, well, who Sid Torres is, well is it really just him taking this different tack that maybe seeing and living in a hospital might be better than prison? Here's a fact. In a sense, it did work, as the judge suspended the proceedings until further mental health evaluations could be done. But it didn't last very long. After those exams, they found he was competent to be sentenced, and the trial imposed a sentence of life imprisonment on the second degree murder charge, as well as five years imprisonment for each of the four electronic communication charges. Volette daughter, then 18 years old, made an impact statement at her father's sentencing and. We have been given that statement and we've read it, and I'll tell you that of the many, many things that stand out to, it is the obvious pain. But as she wrote it out, she typed in all caps over and over the word alone how her father has left her and her siblings alone in so many different ways. You know, we think about vallette. I think about this woman who is navigating these choppy waters of a marriage that wasn't working, and he was a man that she feared, but he was also the father to her children. But by killing her at his own hands, that left these children as orphans, the orphans that. They long ago predicted that they would ultimately be. The worst part about it all is that now the kids, not only do they lose their mother. They just lost their father as well. And that is the incredible crime, the cruelty in this all. 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 SETI Media, Ashley Flowers and Summit David are executive producers. So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve? Umm.