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, 18 Oct 2022 07:00
A mass shooting inside of a bar leaves two dead and a quick arrest of the gunman.
When he came in, he was worrying when those green army fatigue jackets. He had two handguns, then he had two sawdoth shotguns, two shoulder holsters, 50 rounds of shotgun ammunition, and about 150 rounds of 9mm and 38 caliber ammunition. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. I'm Anna Sige Nikolasi, former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of investigation discoveries, true conviction. And this is Anatomy of Murr. You know, so many true crime cases that are profiled in the media are really all about the who done it. And it's really interesting to me because I do think there's this misnomer that that is where or maybe the only place where the excitement factor lies. When looking at cases once you'll uncover who committed the crime, the next natural question becomes the why. And as we've seen, the answers are not easy to predict. Was it for money, was it for love or revenge, or was it just for the thrill of the kill? So today's episode is still a mystery but a different type. Today we're going to be really honing in on the why done it. So this case we interviewed Scott Davis and back in 2001, he was the lieutenant commander of the Special Investigations Division of the Elgin Police Department. Elgin is about 30 miles northwest of the Chicago City of Limits. We're going to Saturday, April 14, 2001. It's late at night actually just a bit past midnight and Scott Davis is getting ready to end his shift for the night. What is he shuffling the last few papers on his desk, he still had the radio frequency in his office tune to the patrol frequency. A call is dispatched that would change not only the rest of his night, the rest of his career. Around 1240 in the morning I heard a call in the radio go out of a shooting at a local tabern called JV's pub. And the two words that sprung to the forefront of that call were mass casualty. As you listen to the radio we could hear that officers were there in an unbelievable 30 seconds. They had numbers of people that were shot inside the bar. Those officers first on scene would begin to assess whether any shooters were still on scene and to begin to render aid. All the while attempting to also preserve evidence within a mass shooting crime scene. At that time I knew I wasn't going all of it 1240 in the morning that I was going to be there for quite a while. It was all going to be Scott who was going to be responsible for pulling in the various people, the units, the resources, everything that was about to be needed that night. As the watch commander for the patrol division was calling in the fact that they had at least 16 people shot, I knew that they were going to need all the resources available. His job there is to put resources together, oversee certain aspects of the investigation and make sure that things are being done in a timely fashion and things are being done correct. So Lieutenant Commander is a senior rank within a division but he is a seasoned investigator himself. I've been involved in a number of incidents whether I was in patrol division or detected division or even the special investigation division. But to have 16 people shot I don't think we had any similar type of case ever in our jurisdiction. JB's pub was a staple in the Elgin area and had been there for many years. It was the kind of place you can go in for a quick burger or spend hours at the bar with your friends. On the weekends it was a very busy place. I've been at JB several times. It was kind of a family type bar where couples and people go in just to have dinner. On his Friday Saturday night there probably would be 200 or more people in the bar at the time. When the gunfire first erupted bar patrons scrambled to get to safety, overturning tables, doing anything they could, many would make it with several lie injured not only from gunfire but hurt as a result of being trampled over. It was just an incredible scene. The first two officers who went into the tavern said that the place was a bloody mess. There were chairs overturned tables overturned. The bar itself still had gunpowder haze in the air and the floor was covered in blood. First officer on the scene he said that the haze inside the tavern was so thick he thought somebody had released a tear gas canister in there because it was just terrible. There was all over the floor and they were trying to make sense of what had occurred. Just hearing the way it was described to Scott from some of the first officers on scene walking into that bar which did have a distinct odor of gunpowder and seeing the results of that gunfire. The gunpowder was thick in the air like a fog. It was almost unbelievable to picture something that catastrophic had occurred in a place where people would go in to have dinner or have a few drinks after work was just overwhelming. There were a total of 16 victims, two of which were killed. And then there were the additional survivors who may not have had the physical injuries but suffered the emotional trauma. Another of the people had lasting post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly the people that worked at J.B.'s, whether they were waitresses or other bartenders, said that they couldn't go back working there because of fear of having another incident. And in this town some of the survivors were familiar faces to Lieutenant Scott Davis. I knew two of the survivors who weren't injured at the time but were in the bar when the shooting occurred. They were the parents of my youngest daughter's best friend. We shared vacations with each other, taking his daughter on vacation and my daughter going on vacation with them. So I knew them rather well and when they called me on the phone, during this case they recounted a basic tale of horror as to what happened. The physical wounds likely will heal the psychological wounds in a number of cases never do. People that have gone through a traumatic event, there isn't a template that people react with. In this case they just wanted to talk endlessly about what they experienced and in the fear, sleepless nights not being able to eat. In fact even not letting their youngest daughter out of the house for several weeks because they were afraid of something bad was going to happen. Within moments of arriving, first officers on scene would notice several of the bar patrons did have a man pinned on the ground and disarmed him from several weapons. They said they pinned him down and one of them was standing on his wrist where the gun hand was but he had a 9mm Smith and Wesson automatic pistol in his left hand. From all appearances they had subdued what appeared to be a lone gunman. His name was Luther Castile. Luther at the time of the JB shooting was a construction truck driver. He was 42 years old. What article that we read during our research stated that police found a note inside Castile's pocket that read quote she robbed my soul and it's unclear what that note meant or if it has anything to do with the shooting but it is something to keep in mind. When Castile was brought into the station it was the first time Scott would get a good look at this mass shooter. He was rather disheveled, stayed and beaten fairly well. Luther's one eye was almost closed, being black and blue. He also had what looked like a homemade haircut, a buzz cut but poorly done. He was dressed in a green army fatigue jacket and blue work pants and more surprising than what he was wearing was what he was carrying. He had two shoulder holsters and he also had about 200 rounds of ammunition in the pockets of his fatigue jacket. Just think about that for a moment, two shoulder holsters and two shotguns, 150 rounds for the pistols and 50 rounds for two sawed off shotguns. To me, sounds like a Rambo type character. And that's exactly it Scott. Unfortunately, that's just what I pictured when I was hearing about him, Rambo. He definitely had the wild look about him. His eyes were darting around, he was complaining about the treatment that he received inside the bar from the patrons who tackled him and beat him. He had a southern draw which sounded like either from Kentucky or Tennessee. It is the number of weapons and the amount of ammunition that is just very telling to me. I've had cases that the killer had two guns on him and multiple magazines to make sure that the intended target or targets were going to be shot or killed. But I've never had anything like this. It just says to me from the outside that this guy was going in with the objective to hurt as many people as he could. You know, I mentioned the Rambo description before but I kind of think he was armed like some bandolero. I mean, two shoulder holsters. The ability to discharge both handguns at the same time, two sawed off shotguns. It's like a scene out of a movie. I mean, cutting down everything and everyone in his path. And this is where Scott stepped in. He knows he's the shooter but he's also about to try to unpack the mind of a murderer. We sat him in a cubicle and that's when my personal involvement with Luther's Castile began. As far as physical evidence and eyewitnesses in this mass shooting, Scott had a lot to work with. We knew that it was Luther and Luther alone. He did the shooting, he was witnessed by probably about 200 people. So at this point, the who done it is not really a question at all. It's really the why. My basic question is motive and opportunity. Why did he do what he did and how did he do what he did? You want to be able to establish to a jury what had occurred, how did it occur and why did it occur? We construct in the shooter's movement as he approached and as he entered the bar could tell you a lot about a potential motive. Did he walk in and begin to spray bullets randomly? That would indicate his intention was to just take lives. Or did he walk in apparently with a purpose? Did he say anything? Did he step towards a specific group of people or a person and then just open fire? And that's an easy way to indicate that he had intended targets and the rest of the victims appear to be collateral damage. You always look at the suspect and the victims, what relationship did they have? Did they choose these people in particular or were they just two people who were there randomly? Now let's get a better picture of who the two murdered victims were. The first was Jeff Wheaties. He's a 38 year old divorce single father of two who was also the bar manager at JB's pub. Jeff was highly thought of by the people in the community. The things that Jeff did for them, whether it be just shoveling snow or watching over them or taking care of some of the other neighbors' children while he was watching his two kids. The devotion that he showed to his children was incredible. You know how to see this? The obvious question would be why Jeff? Did Luther Castile and Jeff know each other or perhaps was there an incident at the bar itself which made Luther angry enough to take his life? I mean that's what I'm thinking about you. I think that's exactly it. Whenever I hear that there is a homicide inside or outside of a dining establishment that has a bar in particular, I always come down to because so often you see it that someone has been thrown out of a bar where they've had words with a bartender and here the fact that it is the bartender, the manager, it just strikes me that it's very likely to come down to something that happened inside that bar. Jeff was shot once with a 9 millimeter in the center of his chest. It appeared that Luther had walked broccoli up to Jeff and shot him as soon as he walked in the bar. The other victim was 48 year old Richard Bartlett. He was a customer at the time of the shooting in JB's. And Richard Bartlett worked in the Elgin packing factory. He had a pet parrot named Bird and by all accounts he was a soft spoken man and his neighbor said that he was just the easiest guy to get along with. One of his neighbors, a tribute to him by saying that any time that she was out, Richard would always make sure that she got home safely and that she looked to Richard as kind of a father or a figure. Now as we mentioned that we knew that Jeff was Castille's target number one, apparently from the evidence, why would he also turn his guns on Richard? Was it wrong place, wrong time, or had he somehow gotten into something with this guy as well or was he there when Jeff Wheaties had gotten into it with him? Like you just don't know. You also have to look into the fact of the proximity of where Richard was to where Jeff was and remember Jeff's behind the bar Richard is sitting at the bar and it is possible that Richard was just hit with an errant round. Richard would shot once in the lower abdomen with a 38 caliber bullet. And so now it's time for Scott to sit down with Castille and begin his interview. You have this guy that has just sprayed the inside of a bar with just a countless number of rounds and now you have the investigator face to face with him. There's one opportunity to see if he can find out why this guy had just gone in and caused all this devastation inside. I said, well Luther, you're caught with four weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in your pocket. We have people that personally witness you shooting other people and why I'm here is trying to find out why you did what you did. And so while Scott has interviewed maybe upwards of 2,000 people during his career, this interview with this suspect was going to be different. I led Luther to an interview room. I said, you look fairly beaten up. That's when the basic rush of information came from Luther. Every person taking into custody has the right to remain silent, but Luther Castille decided instantly not to exercise that right. He was saying how forb guys that beaten him up in the bar, they had done this damage to his face and that he wanted them arrested for beating him up. And that's all he wanted to talk about. Yes, I am the victim. Make sure you arrest them, which really sounds almost ludicrous based on what he had just done. I then just waited for Luther to stop talking, but Luther was a type of person that believed that he could get one up on anybody and could talk his way out of almost anything. Luther laid out the entire story. How he went into the bar with his girlfriend who he kept referring to as Mallory. They had been in the bar for, I don't know, probably 2 or 3 hours. At the bar, he was disrespected by several women. He had been disged by several women inside the bar and he was tired of it. He was then kicked out of the bar by Jeff and he was enraged. And several hours later, he came back to shoot out the place. And now that was his side of the story. And eventually when the police interviewed all the different witnesses, they found out that Castile wasn't lying about any of it. That is actually what happened. But there are parts of the story that you begin to question about at least to his version of what occurred. Castile showed up at the police station wearing army gear. That is not how he looked when he first arrived at JB's pub. He purposely changed into that. But why? And on top of that, he had a buzz haircut and that also was not how he looked just a couple of hours earlier. So you have to ask yourself again, why? He was there with his quote unquote girlfriend. If that was the case, why was he hitting another woman? He kept on calling his girlfriend his Mallory. And again, I'm quoting his Mallory. But Mallory wasn't his girlfriend's name. We all know Castile's motive was to inflict as much damage as possible. But when investigators hear all of this, they start to realize that there is something else motivating. Something even stranger. So in Scottsack down with Castile, this is what Castile began telling him. Luther began by saying that his whole life has been basically a living hell. Life was basically against him. He grew up in Tennessee. He didn't have much of a family. Came to Chicago to live with other relatives. He said he had learned the life lessons on the street. He said that his whole life, that women will dress nicely or provocatively. When he starts to talk to them, they shut down completely. It don't want anything to do with them. You know, Scotter is such an Ick factor when you hear about this guy. But it was interesting to me that when he started to talk, it wasn't about what had caused him specifically. If there was an altercation with someone in the bar, it was kind of about women, which really talks to you know, while I'm jumping the gun a bit, it's going to be clear to me that he is a misogynist, right? He clearly hasn't something against whether it's a hatred or an anger towards women, just in the way that he talks about what he felt entitled to, by the way, certain women dressed or look to him. But it's almost like you can see that Scott Davis is starting to go down to this road. He's actually getting into this guy's head to see if maybe we can put together the pieces in some way of what might have led him to do what he did that night. And I mean that in like a bigger picture way, not just the actual trigger. Luther did tell us that he was in the bar. He stuck up the conversation with a couple of girls and they treated him rather poorly and thought that he was rather low-reputed that really just pissed him off. You know, in an investigation like this, it's so important to get the suspect to talk as much as possible and given Castile the opportunity to lay out his reasoning could be powerful evidence in a case. I think Luther thought himself as a playboy, as a type of Casanova. He would start conversations with other women in the bar by telling them that he was a professional photographer and that because of their looks, he wanted to take him back to his apartment to do a photo session. Most of the girls that he came to contact with, particularly that night, knew that he was a creep. They had wanted nothing to do with them. And now he goes from giving me theic factor to the total creep factor. I mean, now it's like a bad B movie that it's the guy who's posing as the photographer or saying that he's running a modeling agency, you know, just to try to get girls to go somewhere with him to do things that he wants them to do. Scott also decided to take another tact. You know, he wanted to find out whether Castile's history with women was ever documented in any potential relationships he may have had, including potentially domestic violence assault, or did he have any other criminal cases where the use of weapons were involved in a violent act? And he was surprised to find out that that was the case. He had been divorced approximately 1997 after about a seven year marriage with his previous ex-wife. He had two other steady girlfriends after that, but the one prior girlfriend was very afraid of him after he drank. As they continued to talk, at some point Scott flat out asked Castile about his appearance. I mentioned the fact that who did his hair cut? And he said he did, he said he did it before he went back to JB's bar. I said, what do you mean when you went back? He said that he originally had been in the bar earlier with his girlfriend of six days. He was able to count the days. We were together for six days, but he talked about going back. And for prosecutor, that opened a pretty big door. And I love the six days because again, reading into it, but my hypothesis at least is that this is a long time for him, that normally it often doesn't go past one day or even two. So that he's actually counting the time that this relationship at least is sustaining. His current girlfriend of six days, she was a waitress in another bar, which was basically down the street from JB's pub. So he spends time at the bar prior to the shooting with a girlfriend of just six days trying to pick up women, which doesn't work, made enough of a disruption to be asked to leave the bar. So then he goes home, shaves his head, grabs 200 rounds of ammunition and four weapons. I'd say you have an angry man who's looking for payback. You know, Scott, hearing about like the haircut, again, like there's something ritualistic about it. While we don't know yet what that is, it seems quite specific, right? It's not like he went back and packed himself up and got the holsters on or the guns. He went back and gave himself this very specific haircut. And it's almost like something, I don't know, it feels like I'm almost watching something on screen. But was clear was that after he had been kicked out, he very quickly did whatever it was. He did to put himself back together and then went straight back. Adding to the various interviews, not only with Luther Castile, but his girlfriend and other people of the bar, this is what Scott learned. Castile and his girlfriend left the bar together, they both had their cars in the parking lot. And then she followed Castile back to his apartment on the far east side of the city of Elgin. When they got back to his apartment, Castile told his girlfriend to go home and that's when an argument ensued between them. She said that was kind of common with Luther when he drank. And so she left to go back to her place. Luther then told me he went into his apartment and decided he was going to shave his head. And just like the movie Natural Born Killers. For those of you that don't know of Natural Born Killers, it's definitely this iconic movie and it's very disturbing. But the basic premise is Woody Harrelson plays the main character and he finds a love of his life who is very like-minded and they go the two of them on this rampage. Just a total violent killing spree. The movie includes a scene in a restaurant where handguns and shotguns are used to murder servers and patrons. He shaved his head to emulate this Mickey character, changed his clothes, put on the two shoulder holsters, put on the fatigue jacket, and he also had a gas mask that he had purchased. I think he believed that the gas mask would protect him from somehow from number one. The amount of smoke that was going to come from the shooting that he was going to do in there. Number two, he thought that there might have been no possibility that the police were going to use tear gas. I believe when he walked into the bar, the very first thing he said was, I'm a Natural Born Killer. It isn't the first time that this movie had been linked to actual other homicides. In March of 1995, two teens left an Oklahoma motel after watching Natural Born Killers and went on a shooting spree, taking pieces of the victim's clothing as trophies. Two years later, another incident, a student from a Kentucky High School returned to class with multiple weapons unleashing a fury of gunfire while referencing the very same movie. Looking actually on Wikipedia, it isn't like there's one or two copycat crimes to this movie. There are multiple, some on a much bigger scale, some on a smaller scale, but it was so disturbing to me, like kind of going through all of them, that they are very specific, sometimes in what they said, but how many times they had watched this particular film over and over again before committing their particular crimes? I've seen a lot of murders in my life. I've seen a lot of drive-by shootings. I've been associated with a lot of cases where people have died or scenes of multiple people being killed. I have yet to see anybody else emulate a character from a movie. Now, I think that do you believe that the movie could really have had an impact on him so much that he could emulate Woody Harrelson? I guess the simple answer is yes. I am not one to ever blame the film or the origin of these copycat crimes. I don't think there's any need for movies like this. It's not my form of entertainment. I'm certainly not going to blame the movie for his or any of these other crimes. But yes, I do think that it sometimes unfortunately feeds into someone emulating what they've seen and then goes out and does the real thing. There's obviously something that the person watched the movie that they are idealizing or that they're excited about or they think that, hey, that could be me. And while as skewed and problematic as that is, I look at it more as like not the why they do it, but a blueprint for their crime. Before we go any further talking about Castile and his possible motives, we want to focus back on our interview with Lieutenant Commander Scott Davis because his experience prior to law enforcement is sort of an odd path. Well, I was originally planning on a career in hockey. I had received a letter of request to attend the Washington Capitol's training camp, but as luck would have it, I hurt my shoulder and was not able to attend the training camp. At the same time that he was being recruited by the CAHPS, he'd also placed an application with the Barrington Police Department, which was 40 miles northwest of Chicago, and he was accepted. Scott was not able to ultimately pursue that dream of his to become a professional hockey player, but there were lessons that he learned on the ice that he brought with him to his job. Well, I was goalie and we had the other team trying to score a goal. That's about five people pressing in the offensive zone, but your own players, the five that you have, they want to block the shot, and invariably the shot goes off your player and on to the goal tender. That's really called a deflection, and it makes it rather difficult for the goal tender to see what's going on. I've got a pretty good working knowledge of the sport. I've been playing since junior high school. I'll even post a picture of me playing on my Instagram at Weinberger Media. And deflection in hockey terms is the changing of direction of the puck before it gets to the goalie, who may have been prepared to make that save, but at the last minute of player on the opposing team is able to tap the puck or sometimes the shot may deflect off of the goalie's teammates, which takes it off its natural trajectory. And I, of course, knew nothing about the term deflection specific to the sport, not knowing much about too many sports other than what I like to watch or not and the basic sense. But it is interesting to see how that is one of the ways that investigators deal with in a very different way. Based upon Luther's actions, it felt like a deflection. You're set up believing to believe that it's a standard shooting scene. People are going to be going to the hospital. There may be one or two people killed. You have a perpetrator who's arrested, but when Luther came in dressed the way he was with this homegrown buzz cut haircut that he had, yeah, that felt like a deflection right to my forehead. That was like a deflection with a hundred mile an hour puck. Before this moment, Scott had never seen the movie Natural Born Killers, but now this was at the center of this mass shooting investigation. And he was going to watch it again, again, and again. I wanted to get into his mind and try to determine what exactly was he talking about. Why did he shave his head? What was the reason for the rage that was inside of him? This profession never gets boring. You've never seen it all done it all because every case you have to do. So here he's watching a movie to try to figure out the mind of his suspect, the one he knows that at least committed this crime. And I think about it. I did this case that it was kind of a side case, an intimidating of a witness case off of a homicide case I did. And we really thought that they had used a scene out of the sopranos. And we had to watch it like over and over again to see if based on what they had said and what they'd done if we could pair it and ultimately were able to actually bring that film and use it during the trial in court. There was a lot of parallels between Woody Harrelson's character and Luther Castile. To me, both Harrelson's character and Castile were weaponized by the belief that society owned them. And that's maybe where he saw the connection. And that maybe it was their time. And that's the way maybe Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone wanted Harrison to be portrayed in that movie, but could still had his own version of it. So now as Scott is picking apart the movie frame by frame, he has another aha moment. I was looking for why that Luther called his girlfriend a six days his Mallory. And then people come here and they ask you who done this, you tell Mickey Mallory Knox, did it all? The female lead character in natural born killers was played by Juliet Lewis, who was Mallory Knox. Like you see how the name is coming right back full circle. And that is Woody Harrelson's girlfriend in the movie. I love you Mickey. You Mallory. Now, the girlfriend that Castile had remember for six days in his eyes at least is his Mallory. And it was interesting that when you looked into this woman, she didn't really share any characteristics at all with the Mallory character in the movie. The current girlfriend had a good job was supporting her kids, but because Luther was basically taking all his slides in life and interpreting them through this movie, I believe that's why he called her repeatedly his Mallory. As part of the investigation, Scott and his team would search Castile's apartment of the things on the warrant that would be certainly interesting to see is there any more weapons or ammunition. And for me, I'd be looking for potentially a manifesto of some time, some evidence of pre-planning, notes, drawing, maybe audio, anything that could lead to direct evidence of intent. You first conduct a search of what he had in the apartment, what kind of ammunition he had, what kind of other weapons he may have had. Did he actually cut his hair in his apartment? His hair is still there, his clippers still there. One neighbor say of Luther. Here's what they actually found. Scott did discover that Castile's apartment was like a minefield of junk. Dishes were still in the sink, there were beer cans that were strewn around. Odds and N's trash furniture all over the place. And going into the bathroom, we found that the clippers were still plugged into the wall and Luther's hair was still on the floor. But perhaps the most significant find was a VHS player and within that player, a VHS tape. And he did have a copy of natural-born killers. To get inside on what Castile was doing in the days leading up to the shooting at JB's bar, they interviewed the girlfriend and that would be key into learning his state of mind. And what they discovered when talking to the new girlfriend is that that relationship of six days was certainly not stable at all, nor was it flourishing. I was telling you, it was the best. She was basically with him because she felt sorry for him. Even when he was with her, he would hit on other girls and claiming that he was a photographer when his girlfriend of six days knew that he wasn't. But now it had gone to the point that she was becoming very afraid of him and that is what kept the relationship moving forward and why she hadn't broken up with him at least yet. The girlfriend told Scott that she felt his obsession with the movie, natural-born killers, was real. In fact, his girlfriend had told investigators that they pretty much watched every single day of their relationship, which as we've said, it was only six days. But every single day, he would drink and watch the movie, natural-born killers over and over again. You know, I think it is very clear that Castile had an obsession for this movie, but his obsession for the movie doesn't justify his actions. It's not like the movie made him do it, but it does likely indicate something deeper working within Castile's psyche. Lots of people are obsessed with movies, but they don't turn those obsessions into real life actions. Yeah, there's 75% of me that says there's no way that somebody's going to blame their actions on a movie. But there's 25% of me that's kind of like, well, maybe there might be somebody that's crazy enough to do that. You know, even here in AOM, we have covered multiple cases that we're dealing with obsession. People fixated on one loved one. They form these unhealthy ideas in mind, these very controlling one-sided relationships. But this is the first time, at least that I can think of, that we aren't anyway talking about obsession with a film. Remember, Castile had this girlfriend for six days, but he had clearly had a relationship with this movie for a much, much longer time. This is not the first time a shooting was motivated by a movie. In March of 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan as he walked out of the Washington Hilton. Hinckley later said he was motivated by the Lusional Obsession over actress Jodie Foster in her role in the movie Taxi Driver, saying he wanted to impress her by his plot to kill the President. But here's the big takeaway from John Hinckley's case in relation to this case. John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity. So what's going to happen now when Castile goes to trial? I believe in the bar that night that Luther Castile felt like once again, he was being done wrong. Being rejected, being asked to leave, Jeff became his focus and potentially Robert was just shot in the process. Yeah, I think this thing with the women was something he had encountered many times before. I almost look at it like this rage has been building within him for a very long time. It's whatever the words that he had with the bar manager, Jeff Wheaties. That was the thing that lit the match. I can't really figure out where Robert fits in other than really very much just wrong place, wrong time. But there was more to Luther Castile than just his fixation on the movie Natural Born Killers. The movie was released in 1994. What Castile had run ins with the law ever since the 1970s. He had a significant number of priors dating back to when he was 16 years old. He had been arrested numerous times as juvenile. He then been arrested, I think three times for armed robbery. He had been arrested for domestic battery and threatening his ex-wife with a weapon. The thing that stood out to me was the sheer number. This is someone had spent more time within the system than out. I think it's pretty clear also that Luther Castile had no issue committing violent crimes. The motivation for his prior crimes appeared to be money. Did this movie really have an effect? Or was this just a self scripted show? That's a question. By the end of 2001, it certainly wasn't the movie that was going to be going to trial. It was going to be Luther Castile. But how and is the movie going to factor in? We always, in the back of our minds, are trying to decide how this suspect is going to plead his case in court. Now, we don't know for effective whether or not somebody is going to plead insanity or diminished capacity or whether or not they're going to even say that the tape recording that we have at the time that we question them is true. I can't see how the movie doesn't factor in. Certainly, the prosecution is going to use it as saying this is the blueprint. There is going to be no reasonable doubt what he intended to do, which is kill and maim and seriously injure the people inside that bar. But I also think the defense is going to use it and say, hey, we are talking about a mind that must not be well because he has taken what happened on a screen and now transferring it to real life. Luther was originally charged with two cases of Capitol murder and 14 cases of attempted murder. Any one of those top charges could bring him the death penalty. He pledged that guilty. Castile's defense team offered up several theories. They called more than one psychiatrist who testified that because of the trauma that Castile faced all his life and the fact that he was an alcoholic, he basically was unaware of what he was doing. Now, of course, the state attorney's office put on psychiatrist and said the exact opposite. Luther was very talkative about what he did and why he did it. What his statement said matched the actions of what everyone saw of Luther Castile that night and that really put a hole in his defense. Prosecution presented its entire case. The defense presented their case. But the jury found Castile guilty of 35 of the 37 charges stemming from the pub shooting. To include, first degree murder on the deaths of Richard Bartlett and Jeff Wheaties. He originally got the death penalty but the sentence was overturned later when the governor commuted all death penalty cases to life sentences. Therefore Luther's case after conviction was life sentencing on all cases. But the story doesn't end there because there's another thing you should know about Luther Castile and that is that he has a twin brother. You know, as soon as I heard that he had a twin brother, I was like, wait a second. I think it was more just wait. Was it the brother who came into the crime? Was he going to say it's the brother? Because again, I have actually had cases like that that they have put the wrong twin in a lineup and has been ID'd and you can imagine the whole host of issues that then comes from that or brothers or sisters using the identification of the other one to try to get out from under. So it's like, all it is is like hands over your head and I just picture the complexity and the problems this just might bring for law enforcement and investigators in this case. As it turns out, Luther Castile and his brother had a lot in common more than just looks. Their lives followed the same criminal path. Luther and Frank were basically a crime wave in the near west portion of Chicago. Back in Chicago where they grew up, police would have difficulty in some of their investigations. The problem that Chicago PD had when it came to identifying them is that both of them looked exactly the same. So they believe that one brother took the rap for another depending on which case they wanted to associate with. But when it came to this specific crime, the mass shooting in J.P.'s pub, there was no question about mistaken identity. But his twin brother Frank was going to continue on with that reign of terror. His brother Frank had called the bar several times telling them that he was going to kill everybody in the place. He did that on I think two or three occasions. We sent Chicago PD out and they picked up Frank Castile at his house. You know what I say for me it's hard to make sense of this. Threatening people had no hand in rendering that sentence. This appears to be a man who just directed his anger at the bar hoping potentially that the threat would bring fear and keep patrons away. Yeah, I've never been able to figure this type of intimidation or threats out. While obviously it's always wrong, I can get it when you have two parties that have been at odds and now one commits a crime and you're trying to get the other one to stay quiet. But here it is like just complete innocence on every level who are just there having dinner, having drinks and now he comes up and commits what is this actual mass casualty. And those people and those families, this guy is going to call and threaten and scare and intimidate. You know, there is just no rhyme or reason or any motivation that I can even fathom. Even though both brothers were behind bars, one obviously for life without the possibility of parole, the fear in the community, the scars, the terror from this mass shooting were lasting. He has no idea the number of lives that he impacted. The lives of the kids that Jeff had, the lives of the kids that Richard had, the lives of all the people that were shot, that had the PTSD that had to go through all the years of counseling, the number of people that had physical therapy because of the injuries that they had. You know, reading some of the words from family members of the actual victims of this homicide and those that survived the crime, it really kind of brings back to the ultimate devastation of Castille's actions that day. You know, Jeff Wheaties, his mother basically said that, you know, every parent assumes that they will die before their child, right? Because that's how it's supposed to be and she talked about being robbed. And now what his two children would forever walk this earth without him. And Richard Bartless sister, you know, you could almost just hear it when she talks about when she would call her brother's phone number, she would have expect him to pick up the phone and all she would hear is his voice on the answering message saying, leave a message. And it was even survivors, family members that spoke, who their loved ones did survive physically, this mass casualty attack. And they just talk about the scene driving up and what really comes down to is that none of these people will ever be the same again. The husband of one of the survivors did address the court and I'm going to quote what he said. On Good Friday, 2001, my wife was shot by Luther Castille. Her left arm was lifted in front of her face as he shot her and the hollow point bullet wrapped around her bone and destroyed the muscles and nerves. And by blessing, the bullet was only a few millimeters off striking her in her left arm. Otherwise it would have hit her directly in the head. I pulled up my minivan after the shooting. Three patrons came to my home and woke me up telling me of that shooting. I handed my son to my wife's friend and found my wife bleeding out. She was taken away to the hospital and we didn't know for over two hours if she was dying, dead or if she was alive. Reading and thinking about their words, it really brought me back to an article that I read in researching this case, which was talking about in 2021, which was 20 years after the crime, that the nightmare is still lingered. Luther has no idea the amount of lives that he broke that day when he decided he was going to become a movie character. He just took so many lives and changed them forever. People that were there that night, whether they were celebrating or out for a meal or just to talk with friends, they went into that bar for one thing, but were forever changed by what happened inside that night. Cune 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?