Anatomy of Murder

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.

Pick up the Pieces (Jeanette Benson)

Pick up the Pieces (Jeanette Benson)

Tue, 28 Jun 2022 07:00

In this small Indiana town, murders are rare, but rumors run rampant. A sheriff nearing retirement sifts through different leads in his final push to solve a 41-year-old case.

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If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. If you imagine a brand new puzzle in a box with a cellophane wrapper around it, you lay it out on your dining room table, and in a given amount of time, you can put that puzzle together and homicide investigation. There's always pieces of the puzzle missing. Somebody's been inside there taking pieces out intentionally, accidentally, inadvertently, sometimes depositing pieces of other puzzles into the box that don't fit, and they're not even for this. Muslim. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Belasi former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of investigation, discoveries, true conviction. Is anatomy of murder. For today's episode, we spoke to Sheriff Clark Cottom of Sullivan County, Indiana. There is a lot of corn and beans in Sullivan County. Sullivan County is a community of about 20,000 people, so murder is not real common in this county, and unsolved murders are even more rare. And within Sullivan County, we're actually going to Farmersburg, which is just 15 minutes South of Terre Haute. Terre Haute is a city of about 80,000 people were known as the crossroads of America. You know, Scott, I have to ask you, before we started researching this particular case, had you heard of either city? I guess the best answer is no. I have not had the privilege of being in Farmersburg, Indiana, but it seems like a really nice place and maybe the reason that. It isn't a automatic, of course. I know of it is because farmers bear is a small town, and we're talking a small town of about 800 people. So it is less people in that entire town than any city block. You know, my high school in Bayside, Queens had about 3200 students, which is exactly 4 times more than Farmersburg had residents. Most of you who are not from small town may not believe that a homicide could happen there, but they do. And for our story, we're going to January 2nd of 1981. The residents were all bundled up. It was freezing outside. Remember, this is Indiana, it was January, and everyone is going back to work. Or they're returning those holiday gifts. Maybe the socks or that tie they had just received, they're all heading somewhere. And Sarah Benson, who went by her middle name, Jeanette, was among those people. Sarah Benson was married to a gentleman, Emory Benson. They were happily married. Jeanette and Emory were both 51 years old. They had raised their children and now were empty nesters. Jeanette was retired while Emery still worked at Hulman and Company, a grocery and tobacco company. He carpooled going back and forth to work at his job, at home and in company. On this particular day, Mrs Benson went to Terre Haute to return some Christmas gifts at a local mall. She, on her way home, had stopped at the grocery store. She had returned home right around 6:30 PM. It is now 7:00 PM and Emery arrives home and is dropped off by a coworker. The very first thing that he noticed when he pulled in the driveway is that her car was not parked in the garage or not even parked squarely in the driveway, that it was parked off to the left, and that concerned him. Entering the home through the garage, Emery quickly noticed that a small black and white TV from the kitchen was missing. He continued into the home and called out his wife's name a first time and then several more times without any answer. So he went back into their bedroom, saw that the bedroom had been ransacked, drawers were pulled out of the dresser and were actually setting on the bed. Tupperware totes that had been underneath the bed were laying empty. And Emery, for some reason, thinks that maybe Jeanette's been kidnapped. And so at this point Emery's getting more and more frantic. So he actually calls his neighbor a man by the name of Fred who comes over. And now they're both searching for Jeanette and the home itself. Just to describe it a little, it's a 3 bedroom, ranch style home. And so they're looking in the bedrooms and the neighbor Fred goes into a bedroom that wasn't used by the couple, and that bedroom just happened to have a light. It was burnt out so when you flicked the switch it didn't turn on. Fred had a flashlight and when Fred entered that room he saw Mrs Benson. Lying face down on the floor. That moment would remain frozen in time for Emory and Jeanette's neighbor, Fred. Sometime later, he would pen a letter to Benson's family just to let him know how much this affected him. I have a copy of that letter, and I want to read one section that really stood out to me. The front bedroom was completely dark. Found the wall switch, flipped it on but no light came on. I ran the beam of my flashlight through and around the room, and I saw her feet sticking out of a closet. I ran the beam up and she was laying face down in a pool of blood. I think I shouted. Oh my God, in here. Emery came running in. I got both of my arms around him and said no, don't go in. Fred wrote. I think if I lived to be 100 I will never feel so sorry for a man and so helpless as he sat and cried and said over and over for a damn TV set and a handful of quarters, that is all that was missing other than her purse. The autopsy determined that she died from a gunshot wound, actually 2 gunshot wounds to the left temple. You know, for police who arrived very shortly afterwards, they were now facing a homicide and their first steps were going to be processing the crime scene, making sure that nothing was disturbed. And one of the first questions they had was, did the assailant, whoever did this to Jeanette, did he or she know her or was this a stranger? You know, based on the photographs of the crime scene that I'm looking through, it's easy to establish that the front door was kicked in part of that door frame came apart right at the lock. And one other interesting fact, a shoe print, and we're going to have this picture on our website as well, can be seen visibly at the right of the door handle. The front door had been kicked open and it actually broke the wood frame of the front door. Looked to me like there was almost like multiple shoe prints, almost like someone's kicking, kicking boom that they got inside. This was forced entry, and the thing that that really says to me is that this killer likely didn't know their victim, or they certainly didn't know them well enough to have access through a key or to knock and be let in. Obvious to us that the killer was in more than one room. He took a television from the kitchen. He took jewelry from a bedroom. He pulled out drawers in two different bedrooms. He was inside a closet. There were things missing from the basement. Moving further into the crime scene photographs, the crime scene paints a more disturbing picture. Mrs Benson. She still had her coat on. In her right hand was a full sack of potatoes. In her left hand she was clutching her house keys. And the interesting thing about this is that she had a sack of potatoes and her car keys, and those are the things that she walked in, investigators believe, into her home with. And the fact is that they're right there. Where her body lie gives an indication that either that she was surprised by somebody or perhaps there wasn't enough time to react that she surprised the intruder. She didn't suspect that a burglar was inside her home. You know, I fully believe that is because here she enters the house with a cumbersome bag of potatoes. I mean, that is not what you would reach for and grab for if you were going to defend your home and property. If tells you when she came into the house that she didn't even have enough time to set the potatoes down on the kitchen counter. You know, I feel strongly that she was met pretty quickly by the assailant. The sack of potatoes really got me, Scott, because it says that how just in the most ordinary everyday moment, everything can change. I felt when she entered that kitchen that she was staring down a gun barrel because she didn't even have time to set her keys or the potatoes down, and the assailant has motioned or walked her into the back bedroom. She went into a bedroom that was unused and dark, and it's very likely that's because that's where the intruder told her to go and chose to end her life very quickly. Outside of the home crime scene, investigators will locate more clues once again shoe prints, but this time left in a fresh blanket of snow. And the thing about the shoe prints is that there is only apparently one set of shoe prints. So that leads us down the road that there was only one person acting alone, or at least inside that house, and the shoe prints wore a match, a visual match between the shoe print found on the door and the shoe print found in the snow. But Emery was able to give investigators probably the best clue early on in this investigation as he was dropped off at home. As we mentioned in their carpool, he noticed his wife's car was parked in an awkward fashion in the driveway. The left front and left rear tire were on the grass side of the driveway. And there had to be some sort of an explanation for that. They speculate that the reason that her car is pulled off to the left over into the grass. Is as she came home. She noticed this car in her driveway. And you can just picture it. If you drive into those of you that have a driveway, you pull in and now there's a car where you would normally park. So you almost maybe wedge yourself in a little differently and you're not at that. Straight on into the inside of the garage. And that's how they found her car. Yes, the car was strange to her. However, keep in mind that she knew that her husband, Emery, would catch rides home with other workers. She thought that it was Emery and his ride. Let me just add this most of us who use garages don't use the front door of the home, so it's possible that she's used to going into the kitchen through the garage and not using the front door at all. So when she got home that day, she utilized the garage and went in that way, never seeing that the front door had been forced open. So she may have had no idea that an intruder was inside her home. If you thought a burglar was inside your home, number one, you would probably back out, go over to the neighbors, and also the high school was right across the street and there were janitors at the high school, so she had plenty of options to retreat and call for help. Now that the fact that a vehicle may be entering this investigation, police immediately began to canvas the neighborhood to see if any of the neighbors may have seen a car in the area at the time of the homicide. The neighbor was interviewed that night and he said between 5:15 and 5:30 that night that he was sitting in his living room and he was looking E towards the victims residence and he saw a light blue car drive into the driveway. He said that the way it stopped, he could only see part of the vehicle. He couldn't see the whole entire vehicle. There's there's some bushes there. But he did see half of the vehicle. And that neighbor didn't just spot the car, they also spotted the driver. He says that he saw a tall, thin young man walk from that vehicle to the front door. Description That the neighbor gave. You know, while it seems so vague and could be anyone I really come back to, this is a small town of 800 and so in a town of 800 you are much more likely to know most people there. Or if it's not someone who is from there they are more likely to stick out and be able to be described to the police. The killer gets out, walks up to the front porch, knocks on the door, no answer. He goes back to his car and for whatever reason he ends up returning back to the front porch, where he kicked that front door open. And you say, well, what kind of burglar or what kind of perpetrator or killer would knock at your front door? What they're often trying to do is determine whether or not anybody's home or not. While any bit of information is helpful, there wasn't so much here for investigators to go on, but the search for clues wasn't over, it was just heating up. 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E-mail subscriber for even more perks, including a chance to win one of just 10 gold plated charm bracelets, joined the 5th anniversary party now through October 2nd. Download June's journey for free. Available on Android and iOS mobile devices as well as on PC through Facebook games. While investigators were on the hunt looking for Jeanette killer, her family, her husband Emery and her two adult daughters were feeling this devastating loss. That is something that completely changes your entire life, and it has for the girls. Of Jeanette and Emery were empty nesters by this point. Just think about the time that we're talking about January 2nd. So while not living at home, the daughters had just been together with mom and dad for the holidays. So while always to get news like that must be shocking, all the more so when you had just been with your mom. The leading theory at the time was that this was a burglary gone wrong, but no other homes in the area had been reported to be burglarized. So why the Benson has? The one thing that sticks out to me is that a lot of the burglary cases that I've seen, suspects don't normally arm themselves. They don't come in with a weapon. In this case, the suspect apparently knocked on the door and when no one answered, he went back to his vehicle, only to return a few minutes later, kicking in the door. So it makes more sense that. I knew somebody was not likely in the home, so why the gun? And while we don't know, I think that people that commit crimes, some choose to be quote UN quote prepared. It's only speculation about why Jeanette and Emery's home was targeted to find the real reason and the killer police needed more information. They already had one solid lead from a neighbor, but he wasn't the only witness. Daisy worked as a custodian at North Central High School, which is directly across the street from the Benson House. It's literally probably 100 yards. She was mopping and waxing the hallway and was looking N through the doors, and she says about 5:30 PM that a really light blue, older model car, she saw it go West on the road. And she sees this same car parked in the Benson's driveway. And there was a third witness who could provide even more detail. It was Fred Stalnaker, the same neighbor who helped Emery search the home, and the person who also found Jeanette dead in that spare bedroom. Fred had saw a little bit earlier in the evening. He described it as an older, light blue Chrysler. He said that it was a four door, and he described it as Robin egg blue. And there are several different 4 door sedans that could be a dodge, it could be a Chrysler, could be a Plymouth, that they're all cousins, if you will. They're all related. He said that he saw this vehicle around 4:30 PM, driving slowly. Down the road, this was literally about 1/2 a mile from the Benson House. And then there was a fourth eyewitness, too. A lady who was driving down the street. She saw a light blue or green car. Now, she did describe that vehicle as very, very shiny, and when she saw it, it had so much of a shine to it that she thought maybe the bensons even bought a new car. With several witness statements in hand, police want to get information out to the public about that car. Did anyone see this blue car before or after the murder occurred? And this is one of those scenarios that it's a great step to go to the media almost first because you know time is going to be of the essence. This person isn't on foot, they're traveling by a car. It's the type of place that people know one another or when someone is unfamiliar to them, so they want to get it out as quickly as possible. And this was before the social. Media Internet was on fire the way it is today, so the fastest way to do that was through radio and TV. There was a panic and fear that spread throughout the community. There was really heavy media coverage of this. They put out the description of this particular blue Chrysler and they ask if anybody knew of anyone, especially a young man tall in stature that may have driven a older blue Plymouth or Chrysler Corporation vehicle. Investigators efforts are about to pay off. A woman comes forward with information on the killer. Right down to the murder weapon itself, how she says the killer asked her to help him. There was a female that told a story that she took a greyhound bus out West and that she carried with her a paper sack that in that was a small handgun. She told investigators that the killer handed her the weapon and told her about killing. Annette Benson and wanted her to get rid of the weapon. He wanted her to dump it thousands of miles away from the crime. She names a particular suspect and she disposed of this gun. She did what the killer told her to do and disposed of this gun. The real question is, was she even telling the truth? Common sense would tell you if you've committed a murder in Sullivan County, Indiana, and you need to get rid of a handgun, you probably don't need to involve somebody else in it. That doesn't add up. But there is another side to it too. Killers often want to get rid of any evidence that is pointing to them literally away from them as quickly as they can. And that is why they do very often ask someone else to dispose of those things for them. And you and I've had actually the paper bag gun in the bag scenario, give it to someone to sell it to someone or to get rid of it, even in places like, you know, the city. And so while it seems less necessary out there in Sullivan. County, Indiana. It also strikes me, at least on its face, that it could be believable too. But then you need to look a little deeper at who this purported witnesses and does she have any other motive to speak falsely of this guy? The funny thing is, we just had that case in Washington DC where the suspect threw the murder weapon in the sewer in front of their home. So it's a great example of them looking for the 1st and best and quickest way to get rid of a weapon, not giving it to another. Person who could tell a story like this later and then get on a Greyhound bus and go 8 hours just doesn't make sense. You know, there is one thing is while investigators try to ferret out what they believe and what they don't believe, while they put certain information out to the media, they're certainly would not likely put out all you know. That is because most investigators and Scott I know you can attest to this. They believe in what's called this, like hold back information. You're going to keep certain items close to the vest because if and when you finally. You have your killer that you really know. That is the person involved. Because certain things they may or may not say only a person there who committed the crime would know. You know, honestly, I am very big on this. You know, there's the push and pull of giving information out to get information when you're working with the news media. You want to put enough out to get interest and get coverage, but you don't want to put too much out to lose the advantage in an interrogation or interview with a potential suspect. But. In this case, it seems like more than the norm got out quickly to the public. In fact, I've got newspaper articles. Then very next morning the days to follow, and the investigators at the time were releasing specifics about this particular case, telling how many times that she had been shot, where she was shot at, what part of her body taken into a back bedroom. So let's get back to this woman on the Greyhound bus who said that she actually was given the murder weapon to dispose of. So police need to find out and find out quickly if what she's saying is even true. Obviously police, they looked at her pretty heavily and looked at this male subject pretty heavily, and one of the things they do was a polygraph. She agrees to take one. She sits down. She strapped to the machine. The questions are asked in her polygraph. It was determined that she had fabricated the entire story. People step forward in investigations for all sorts of reasons. They believe they have valid information. That's all well and good, but in some cases people step forward because it brings them some sort of notoriety. Perhaps a few television interviews. I want to be on TV. We've seen this before. And another thing that drives these things sometimes is personal motivation, like vendetta. And you see it most often when it comes to personal relationships, you know, and that some people, they take that step of making. Up something criminal about that person to the police because remember, she named who this was and so I would certainly don't know what this person's motivation was. The most important thing is just how frustrating this is to the investigation, because it took their time away from legitimate investigation in trying to solve who it was that took Jeannette Benson's life. With the lack of any movement, the case goes cold. And of course you often hear people say how a cold case is a bad thing. Clearly investigators are constantly working in case, so the term cold case simply means to me I'm not ready to make an arrest, but I am still working towards that goal. In this case did get a breath of New Hope because in 2014, the Chief deputy from the county just north of Sullivan, who had a lot of experience in homicide, he runs for sheriff. He wins, and that person was Clark Cottom. And I'll say even though the sheriff is an elected law enforcement position, not everyone running for office has that type of experience. Maybe they worked drug cases, or maybe they work special victims or sexual assault cases, but Sheriff Kodom was a homicide guy through and through. I feel like I have a lot of experience. I mean, I don't know how to fly a rocket ship, I don't know how to do brain surgery, but I know how to investigate homicides. So it's now been 33 years since Jeanette was killed. Emery Benson, her husband, had passed away 15 years before. So it's only the two daughters that are left advocating to try to make sure their mom's case is not forgotten and that it gets solved. When I was sheriff elect, Mrs Benson's daughters reached out to me wanting to talk to me and set up an appointment. I did sit down with the Benson family and listen to what they had to say. You could see the pain the conversation eventually led to. Tears was just as real and as raw to them as the day that it happened. Sheriff Cottom had taken on tasks just like this before and had already solved cold cases in very similar situations. He was the perfect person to pick up that 5 inch thick file and dig in. Sheriff Cottom pours through all of the original evidence statements, leads everything about this case, and then he notices a few different things, but there was a picture of a clock that had been unplugged. This clock stopped at 5:57 PM, so my theory is is that he unplugged that clock with the intention of taking it, and buried in that case file is information about another suspect, one who is tied to a second death. What an investigator may have overlooked, then, could be the piece to the puzzle that solves the case decades later. And that was one of the first things that I did, pulling old files from dusty books in the attic. So now that Sheriff Kodom is in charge and he starts to pour through this case file, he is combing through everything that he has, looking at every angle and every twist and every turn throughout the case. And something that stood out to him was three young men. They were in their late teens, early 20s. These were three boys that were known around the area to local law enforcement, 3 boys that were into mischief. One of them actually had a reputation for going around and breaking into houses. That's what he did. He drove around the country, broke into houses, stealing things, pawning things. And most often when they do these kind of things, it's for money and to supply a drug habit. While in some cases past criminal convictions is a reason to give somebody a look, there would be more in this case, and it had to do with some statements that had been made in the past. Over the years, they made what you might call incriminating statements. That's why their name surfaced to the top. One of them came from a story of a young woman who herself went to go see the police because she was very upset by something I've been said to her. In one of these guys cars, they had been joyriding, literally doing Donuts in the parking lot of the high school that sat right across the street from the Benson home. And when they're driving, she says something like, hey, you better stop, somebody's going to call the cops. And the guy laughs and says, well, we don't have to worry about her calling. You know, for me, investiga, this doesn't really ring out as anything else except for a callous statement. I mean, this is a small town. Everybody knew where the Bensons had lived, and the fact that he would make this horrible statement is a far stretch from calling him in and accusing him of being the killer. But it's something just at least for the police to keep in the back of their head while they continue to look at these guys through and through. A piece of information be enough to connect all of the dots. One of the boys, his mother, drove a blue 4 door sedan. And here's where it does start to actually get bizarre. Remember, it's a small community, so rumors are on fire all the time, and certainly about this case. And it started to be known, or at least said, that one of the young men in that group of the three was about to come forward to police about Jeanette's murder. But. Then he died. And then people wondered if he was silenced before he was able to turn against his friend. Within about six months of the homicide, two of the three boys were at a local park and lake went out after the beach was closed. After hours. The park had a diving platform with two diving boards, both high and low, and the water below was about 10 feet deep and one of the boys went to the top of the high dive. The next thing that these kids all say is that they heard a thud and then a. Splash. Apparently the team had fallen off. The board tumbled down, hitting his head on the lower section of the platform. The guys who had now been up there, they all scrambled down and go into the water and they're swimming and they're looking and they're able to pull out their friend. They not only pull them up out of the water, but they're able to get them from the platform back to dry land. He's still breathing. They call an ambulance and he goes to the hospital, but soon after he gets there he's pronounced dead. The boy that died was one of the kids that was named as a suspect in the case. One of the boys that survived, and in fact it was the boy who ran up to the guard shack and called for the ambulance, was also a named suspect in this particular case. So what quickly came out of that incident was rumors and speculation that the boy that died. Was about ready to go to the police and tell what had happened that night at the Benson House. To me this makes an interesting story, maybe even folklore. But what evidence did investigators have anything that would be able to determine that this was a planned event? He was the only one up on that diving board, so no one to push him, nobody to really cause him to fall. So to me this just really feels more like an accident than anything else. Remember they said he went up there alone? If they were going to kill him, wouldn't they also lie about him going up there too? They might, but the timing. Is strange if you hear that someone is about to go to the police about this murder and then before they get there they end up dead. It sounds like a great working theory amongst people who live in a very small town. It's not uncommon that people who die after a homicide get accused of the murder. I've seen this in other cases before. Sometimes it's the community and sometimes, quite honestly, it's even the police who tried to connect dots that may not be related, and so sheriff caught him doesn't want to just rely on the papers in that file alone. Now that he's looking at this case with his fresh eyes on it, he sees if he can try to ferret out where he comes out on this bike. Re interviewing one of the guys, the one who actually had gone into the water, purportedly to try to save his friend. Now an old man, I perfectly interviewed him a couple of years ago in detail. A lot of the things he recalled were spot on with the statement that he gave as a teenager. There is something that leads me to think that this wasn't any sort of planned. Now second homicide at all, and it was this. They went to the efforts to save him. They made sure that they rushed to get the ambulance and get him to the hospital. Any chance he had of surviving was because of these. Same other guys. So if they're going to try to kill him to stop him from coming forward, wouldn't they have made sure that he died? You know, his story was is this when I have dove to the bottom of the lake to bring him up? What? I've wrestled and fought to get him up on the diving tower, but I have ran to call for an ambulance. So as you look back at this as an investigator, you have to look at this and think, you know, is it most logical that this incident that occurred at the lake is a murder? A second murder? With all the evidence that I've looked at, it does not look like a murder. But in the end, you still have to wonder, can this person be ruled out because they're consistent? Or are they just consistent about the death? But that in no way stops from potentially letting them be involved. In Jeanette Benson's murder, perhaps the best way to begin to confirm suspect theories is with defined forensic evidence. We've talked about rumors, speculation, eyewitness accounts, and Jeanette's case, but what about hard evidence during the original investigation? Fingerprints? Were collected at the scene and processed, but they did not present any results, any matches whatsoever. The homicide occurred in 1981, but now we're talking about 2018. I started in 1987 in law enforcement and we didn't approach crime scenes with DNA in mind. Now, in this modern day and age, we have solved many cases across this nation with touch DNA. In the 1980s, in order to perform DNA analysis in a crime scene, forensic investigators needed a blood or seam in stain about the size of 1/4. The sample size fell in the 1990s to the size of a dime, and then it became quote. If you see it, you can analyze it. Touch DNA does not require you to see anything or any blood or semen at all. It only requires 7 or 8 cells from the outermost layer of your skin. One of the things I did early on in this particular case was examine all the photographs, looking for any possible clue from a DNA perspective. There were some pictures of coins that were dropped near the front door. I would suspect as the killer carried his loot out the front door, he was dropping coins. And by the way, there was a coin collection that was missing from the Benson home. So how crucial could these coins be right now? The answer could be as easy as this fact. There is not a coin that exists that doesn't have touch DNA on it. It means that the killer's DNA might very well be right there on those coins. There were coins in evidence in 2018. We sent those coins to have them checked for DNA. Unfortunately, the report came back that there was insufficient DNA on the coins to be able to get a sample. The recovered coins were the best chance for Sheriff Cottam and his team to step forward to solving the decades old murder of Jeanette Benson, but the opportunity would fall short. The forensic examination of the coins could not collect enough of a sample to be tested, so that was kind of disheartening for these coins to have no recoverable DNA tells us that the DNA has degraded. Over the years. So the case has been investigated for years, decades. There have been eyewitness accounts and there's been these false leads and even a false confession, if you will. And so when we sit here today talking about that case, it is unfortunately still very open and unsolved. And we put this information out through local television, newspaper, radio and one of our more valuable tools nowadays, social media, we put this out every year. And our hope is that someone will come forward that has solid information. We are in a different age, you know of getting the word out there through social media, through podcasts, and relying on listeners that you just might know something or someone. And this one presents some unique opportunities of ways that you might be of help. Here's what it is. You might help in identifying a key piece of evidence. Remember, the police found that shoe print around the house and also on the door when the person, the killer likely kicked it in while the police. Actually still have photographs of that shoe print that they have never been able to identify the type of shoe to this day. I've had some experts look at the prints and we believe that it is a some sort of a soft sole shoe, maybe a tennis shoe. Now it doesn't have any particular brand name or logo in it. We're going to post a photo on our website to see if it's something that one of you or someone you know might be of help by identifying for the police. We have to keep in mind that this was the murder occurred in January of 1981. So the shoe itself was very likely produced in 1980 or somewhere in the 1970s. We don't know how long that shoe sat in someone's closet. We have no idea where that shoe might have came from. Those listeners out there that may have knowledge or technology of shoes, you know, from the 1970s, nineteen 80s era, maybe somebody out there is listening that would be familiar with. This particular shoe print style, so we would be very eager to match it up. Almost all these cases, someone somewhere knows something. Regardless where that information comes from, authorities are looking for any and all avenues to try to give the Benson family the peace of getting those answers. So we are throwing this case out to all of you. Sheriff caught him, wants you to know he'd like to hear from you as well as the Indiana State Police. Reach out at 812-268-4308 to the Sheriff's Office. Or the Indiana State Police at 765-653-4114. We want people to call in any information that they may know, but every once in a while we get information that is fresh and new. It's a new angle, something we didn't know before, something that might have been overlooked by the investigator 203040 years ago. The case is also finding some new challenges, a changing of the guards, so to speak. Sheriffs are an elected position with term limits of two consecutive terms, which is a total of eight years. In most states, there are no term limits on sheriffs, but there are three states that do an Indiana is one of them. Sheriff Kodom is approaching his retirement, and it's unclear what his plans are or it's unclear if the next administration will take up this case. I know a lot of investigators and you're talking to 1 right now, that when I retire there will be parts of my career that are very, very unsatisfied and unfinished. And that's the cold cases that I've been involved in. What is the value of a life? I've seen cases where someone is killed for giving someone a bad look. Where is the justice in the way these things occur? This is a woman who either surprised a burglar or was surprised herself for what? A black and white television? A few items under a bed? Why? And why are these questions still out there when somebody in the community likely knows some answers? Every time I drive by the Benson house, I look over and I look at that front door and I think what happened there. What happened? Those answers could lie in the hands of this community. I don't think I'll ever have peace when I drive by the Benson home. You know, and I can only hope this. I can only hope that the killer does the same exact thing. I hope that the killer drives by these houses as they look at him, that they have as many sleepless nights as the family has. You as the killer, understand that this is never going to go away. This is never going to be forgot about. They'll never be an anniversary where you're not reminded of what you did. 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.