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.

"SECURITY" (Steven Gambles Jr.)

Tue, 31 Jan 2023 08:00

When a young man is gunned down, a security guard is quickly ruled the prime suspect. But, his statements send this case in a direction no one saw coming.

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And that's what I think the surveillance video does. Is it helps tell that story, helps tell me where I need to focus, where did my victim go, where did they come from, where did the suspect come from, and it just gets me there faster. That's what surveillance video does. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. I'm Anna Siga-Nicolasi, former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of investigation discoveries through conviction. And this is Anatomy of Murph. We have interviewed all sorts of people here for AOM, profilers, cold case detectives, undercover agents. They really have been all over the map. And this time we have yet another category included. This time it is a game developer. My name is Aaron Benzick, 2010-2011, created a project called Muncie, which is a real-world scavenger hunt using QR codes and virtual gaming and things like that. Aaron's grandfather worked for IBM and exposed him to computers at a very early age. And the tech bug continued through high school and even into college. I ended up working a lot of technology jobs in high school, in college, working for some large telecoms, some small startups, some video game companies, and kind of went down that path for a while. So while technology was something that he knew and cared very much about and kept his interest in, he decided that sitting behind a screen immersed in that virtual world wasn't where he decided his career path should follow. Somehow I kind of got a bug into law enforcement and so I just happened to randomly do a right along in the city where I lived. Play no Texas and I got instantly hooked after doing a right along and started my 20-year plus career with Point No Police Department. If I can't imagine doing anything else and I would do this job for free, don't tell my chief that. Because I always look at that like such a gift when you find a profession like that because you know, similarly I felt so much as my time of a prosecutor I would get up so happy to go to work every day and people used to think like, oh, you're full of it, that's just a great lie. I was like, no, it really is how I feel. And I really think that when you find that that is a different type of gift in and of itself. Now Aaron is a detective in the crimes against persons unit, but his expertise in tech plays heavily in what he does and in today's case. Our case begins less than two years ago on July 7th, 2021. Aaron responded to a call about a person who had been shot in the head. And our responding officers arrived, started coordinating medical assistance to a victim inside of a vehicle that they had observed, had crashed into a tree and had an apparent gunshot wound to the head. The area that the crime scene was located is a real hotspot in the Dallas, Fort Worth suburb known as the Shops at Legacy, which is really basically an entertainment district. It has upscale retail mixes of businesses, retail stores and restaurants. And it takes up, get this 400,000 square feet. That's the size of about seven football fields. It's a place where you're going to go on the weekend. You're going to go out with your family. You're going to go out with friends. You're going to go out with coworkers. And it's just a fun place to be. It's one of the nicest places in Plano. And it's one of our destinations where you're going to go and have a good time. I think at the scene, Aaron already knew that he had multiple 911 calls reporting the shooting. Several of those calls were still on location who were able to detail exactly what unfolded. One witness who had walked by when the murder happened and there was a shooting at the vehicle and after the shooting happened, the vehicle then crashed into a tree after the shoot. And one of the witnesses had spotted a person who was having some type of conversation with the victim before the shooting inside his Mercedes. They had seen a guy wearing a reflective vest. And one of the witnesses shared to me that it had the word security on the back of it. And they had seen him walking around prior to the shooting and that he had been seen running from the scene after the shooting. Now I want to see a kind of looking at the fact that such an identifiable piece of clothing, right? Well, this is a huge entertainment complex. Of course, they have their own security. I mean, think about it whenever you've been to a mall or any whether it's indoors or outdoors, there is usually some sort of personnel and whether they have a yellow jacket, the navy blue jacket with the yellow letters. Like that's where I thought right away, like was this someone that actually worked there or someone who was pretending that they did? You know, obviously when we get to the scene, we're looking at the vehicle that's crashed into the tree and we're taking a look at anything obvious inside from the outside. While there was an act of search for a single suspect, crime scene investigators would begin to process the victim's vehicle for potential evidence, ballistic, DNA, fingerprints, obviously, if the shooter touched the vehicle. Aaron and his team were also trying to confirm the victim's ID. Did it match to the license and registration of the vehicle still on scene? While what I've just described is standard procedure for any type of crime scene, this is not any similar type of investigator who's leading this case. This is one with a real specialty, a tech savvy detective who approached this scene with another perspective. So while an area like this is going to have presumably many people that are coming in and out and that presents challenges in an investigation, it also has something very much on the upside. Think about the number of stores, shops, restaurants. What would many of them in this day and age have? Well, the first investigative thing that I'm thinking of after getting the initial information is what security cameras are covering this area. It's an area that I had worked previously as a flip patrol officer, doing community policing and was extremely familiar with the area, camera coverages in the area, improvements they had made to security and things like that. So the first thing that I'm thinking is I want to know what security cameras have covered this murder and where they lead me. And then I'm also familiar with the camera inside of the minimart that covers the door that could also provide some value. And it would be the camera inside this minimart that would help reveal some key elements to the shooting and the moments leading up to it. And this is where a timeline to a murder would be developed. I look at the video from inside the store, that's the first video that I see. And I'm able to watch it right there at the machine and it is inside looking through a door to the outside. And I'm able initially to get some information that the victim had arrived and parked his vehicle in the minimart all about maybe two hours before the murder happened. I am actually able to see that there is a person wearing a yellow reflective vest walking around for a period of time. And then I am able to see that person come up to the driver's side of the door when the murder happens. So the fact that the presumed killer walks up to the driver's door, never takes anything from inside the car. It doesn't look at least on the outside, it's got like a robbery. You know, all I could think about is, you know, there's something of an interpersonal dynamic going on here, at least from the way it looks like. So just based on the surveillance video alone, it does look like no confrontation took place moments before he pulled a weapon out of his pocket, leveled it at the victim and fired a single shot. So you'd have to assume that it's a personal targeted attack. But then if we go back a bit more in time, the victim's car had been out there at the shops at Legacy. Remember, it's a large entertainment complex for some time, you know, definitely more than an hour. And there was no indication from what investigators could see that he was having a problem with anyone. We see him standing in the back of the car. You know, there are other people on the video that many mart has customers going in and out. They were some of the customers that we saw in video walking into the many mart, buying something, walking back out to the car and leaving. But there are no interactions with anyone else. There's nothing that can be seen on the video. You know, there is no known problem or interaction with anyone that could have caused any kind of problems. You know, as Aaron was watching the video on the seagull, I'm sure he was looking for any body language that may have indicated that perhaps this was an attempted arm car jacking. The suspect tried to open the door or is this an argument at some point that led to the shooting? You know, those are two completely different stories. But I think they both have to be considered in looking at this case. Now the highest resolution CCTV cameras can record at 704 times 480 pixels. And yes, guys, I'm definitely like reading that off a page because I would never know that if I wasn't being given those facts by somebody else. In this case, I executive producer. But the thing about these security cameras, they can record at 1080p and 4K and we all know the various jargon that's thrown around. But even in those 8 million pixels, there is sometimes something so small, you know, so tiny, like seemingly innocuous, that it would be almost imperceivable. And that is going to be the motive behind this murder. That had Stephen Gamble's done to result in his murder. With these who done it cases, it's what is going to be the small thing that opens up that case that you're reccoment. That's the whole thing you're thinking of. Which one of these paths is going to get me to the suspect? Before we get to the motive, let's go on to identify our victim. The victim was 32-year-old Stephen Gamble's junior, the son of a well-known community member and minister. Stephen was a business owner, photographer, designer, and entrepreneur. He was never married or had any kids, but he did have a girlfriend. In fact, Stephen was at the shops at Legacy because he had a date. But if they had met up for dinner at the same location that the police were now called to, why wasn't she around when Stephen was murdered? We may contact with his brother who is in town, as well as his girlfriend. Investigators were able to locate Stephen's dinner date from that night, and she detailed the plan was to meet up with the shops at Legacy, and that she would be parking her car not far from the minimart and would walk over to meet Stephen at the store. He set the few things in the trunk of his car, just getting situated for the evening, and then they both walk off together to the restaurant, which was only just a couple of locks away. Where they go and enjoy their dinner. According to the girlfriend, nothing about their evening seems suspicious. It was simply a comfortable dinner. There was no arguing. Those are the questions we asked. Those are some kind of disagreement, maybe Stephen would take a phone call and see if you have any problems with somebody else outside of the dinner date. Everything was described as having a nice, relaxing, enjoying, laughing, comfortable night. But according to the girlfriend, they had part of ways right after their dinner. She went to her car and he went to his. There was no problems that we could find that would lead to Stephen Gamble's being murdered. By 11.30 pm, something obviously did happen because Stephen Gamble's was found dead near the minimart where he had parked his car. Confirming the story would be one of the first things I would do. Confirming that they had dinner talking to any eye witnesses or employees that we were able to confirm some of those details. One of the first questions I would have is this, why not park near the restaurant? Was this a rendezvous between two adults that was supposed to be secret? What about you? I think for some reason, maybe it's because I'm reading murder mysteries lately, is that I started thinking about in a book, is this some elaborate setup? Where did they meet? Was it on some dating app? Had they met in the grocery store? Maybe she's part of some plot just to get them there for someone to come and kill them and while likely it isn't going to work out the way. That's all I could think about with some sort of spy movie in the back as I was thinking about it. It was absolutely an investigative thread that we had to consider. Was this something that caused any kind of problems or led to anything? Well Aaron was able to go to the restaurant and he also was able to confirm that the dinner dates account his girlfriend was correct. We interviewed employees and managers at the restaurant and we have really good surveillance coverage that really covers Stephen Gamble's arrival to the shops of legacy, going to the restaurant. At the end of the night we see him walk his dinner date back to her car and then we see him return to his vehicle where he was shortly murdered. So since they're able to confirm that as she said she went to her car and left and he had gone to his, you know, does that rule her out? And you know on its face got sure unless she is part of something bigger and that they don't yet know about. I just think it's way too early to check that box yet. Yeah, of course we know that she's not the shooter but we'd also have had cases where somebody brings someone as you said out of the city to a location and is having somebody else do the dirty work. The property management had a high definition camera covering exactly where the murder happened that was able to answer a lot of the questions that I had investigatively. So cameras are going to play in yet another way shortly afterwards because on another camera Aaron was now able to spot his suspect. During this time the best way to describe the suspect is that he's walking around like he's hunting and he is focused. He's circling around Stephen Gamble's car. He enters it at one point. You can see him opening up the center console of the vehicle, taking things out of the vehicle and it looks like he's putting them in his waistband. That video clearly shows the suspect entering the vehicle and searching for something and finding it. There's so many possibilities. Was it his identification? You know, sometimes people leave their wallet or drive a license in a car if they don't want maybe to lose it when they're going out. Was it some other property? Just based on the video you can't tell for sure but Aaron was able to verify this one fact that Stephen Gamble's own to gun. He did keep a firearm inside the center console of this vehicle and that firearm was not inside the car. It's interesting. So we check with family members. It's nowhere. It was in that center console and it's now gone. So it's possible that Stephen was murdered with his own gun. It's becoming more evident based on the video evidence that this is a killer lying in weight. It has all the characteristics. You see the person pacing, waiting. And then the suspect gets back into the victim's vehicle and is in the back seat of the victim's vehicle hiding at the point that Stephen and his dinner date walk past the vehicle. And it's a very chilling video to watch. And it feels very targeted, very specific. This is just horrifying. What really got the hair on the back of my neck to actually stand up was when he gets into the back seat of Stephen's car. All I could think about is, you know, as a teenager, maybe this is because they're at this entertainment complex. I started thinking about going to the mall as a teenager. My mom will be saying like, make sure you check the back of your car. You know, before you get in, it's something I still do to this day. And it's because of the scenario just like this. This killer has a problem with Stephen gambles and is hunting him. And once you see Stephen in his dinner date, walk past his car and go to the dinner date to vehicle. You see the killer get out of the vehicle. And then he continues to kind of troll around and he just looks like he's hunting. Waiting for the moment that he would return to the car, leading to some type of confrontation that would occur. It's almost like he's thinking out like, am I going to get him when he walks up? Wait, wait, I can be in the car when he comes back. Wait, he's not coming back fast enough. So now he gets out of the car. It is really the purposeful premeditated intent that is so abundantly clear in every action this person does. At which point the suspect walks up to the driver's side window. He doesn't walk up at the weapon drawn. He walks up with his hands in his pockets and sealing something. And there's not an apparent argument, but there's a conversation. You can see Stephen returning the dialogue of what the conversation is. And then the next thing you see is that the suspect pulls the gun out of his pockets. Then the shooter, raising a weapon and firing a single shot only inches away from Stephen as he sat in the driver's seat of his car, targeted personal. After the suspect fires a shot, he then initially leans back towards the vehicle like he's going to continue to engage with Stephen. Stephen had already put the car in gear in drive and it rolled slowly after he was shot and struck a tree. So the eyewitnesses' stories are confirmed based on this compelling videotape evidence that the shooter was dressed as a security guard. It was pretty clear that the Lord's security were on there. You just can't ignore it. And so my first investigative question is, is there supposed to be a security guard out here? Aaron knew he would quickly try to determine what security company was responsible for that location and who was working that night in the area of the mini-martin. Why would a known security guard who was patrolling an area then murder somebody in a place where they're expected to be? It was very confusing to me, but here I am watching a video of a person wearing a security guard jacket and doing some extremely suspicious things leading up to the murder. And if there was a checklist of things not to do before you commit a crime, one of them would be don't wear something so identifiable like here is that yellow jacket that screams security for anyone and everyone to see. We talked about how these cold and calculated murders are not often committed by people who have the sensibility on how not to be noticed or stand out if their intentions are to get away with murder. Would somebody be wearing a security vest simply believe that they would be blending in? Not likely. I mean, one of the points of wearing a reflective vest is to be seen. It was confusing like how the world is a security guard and to just pull off a random murder and think they're going to get away with it when they're supposed to be there on the property. So as Aaron starts to dig deeper, he does find out that there is supposed to be a security guard on the property. There are a security firm working with the neighboring police officers and there are assigned to patrol that complex really at all times. He gets in touch with the company and they say absolutely we have someone assigned there and yes, he was supposed to be there tonight, which is the night Stephen Gampels was killed. The same evening that I started this murder investigation, I'm getting logs from this security guard. Just a few minutes before the murder occurs, he checks into a restaurant around the corner for more of the murder occurs, which puts them in pretty close proximity around the time of the murder. It almost doesn't get better than that. I mean, this could be their guy, right? You know, at this point, all of the investigative attention is on this one singular suspect. However, some suspicious things occurred once we reached out to them and they tried to reach out to their security guard. They advised that they made contact with their security guard and that he immediately told them he was not there, he disappeared, then was resigning from the company. I knew I'd get an opportunity in this episode to raise a big red flag. Well, here it is. He was in close proximity and now he's disappeared and told his boss he's quit and not coming back. So now this is just like the blam moment of it all because they have electronic records that show otherwise that he was there when he's saying he was never there at all and now he's resigning. Is that going to be just coincidence? You know, as a prosecutor, we're going to look at that at least potentially as consciousness of guilt. But basically, it's like you're not saying you committed the crime, but it's something that later on when you put other pieces together, we're saying, well, it is because of your guilty conscience that you do or say certain things. Well, again, it's way too early to tell and I strongly wouldn't be ready to walk into court, but this certainly is something that I would like to have in my arsenal in the courtroom if it ever gets that far. You know, your prime suspect who is usually a dependable security guard is missing. How do you ever done that in the past? It leads me to my first suspect as I've got to investigate the security guard who is assigned to this property supposed to be here and has now reported that he's left. I've got to learn more about him and learn as he my suspect. Another thing that is working for investigators here is that security companies maintain great records. Not only when it came to where the guards are in checking in the locations, but everything investigators needed to know about the specific security guard, including his name, his picture, and potential places where they could find him. They provided this the identification of the person who's assigned to the property. And my first investigative task was I assigned our surveillance unit to find that person. Find out where they are, get eyes on them as investigation continues, and start learning everything we can about the security guard. But there was an issue. Well our surveillance unit was able to locate them and they put eyes on them and their first report to me was concerned of Detective Benzick. This guy does not look like the guy on the security camera. This was just the wait, what moment of this? You have him checking in. He's now mysteriously quitting. But now it's not the guy. Then what are the possibilities? Because is he having someone else go and do his job for him? You're like, what the heck is going on? Their first feedback, I was a little resistant on. I'm like, well, this camera's up pretty high, you got a factor in the angles and things like that. And they responded to me, no, no, no, you don't understand. He doesn't look like the guy. It's not the guy. I'm like, oh, okay. So I paid a little closer attention to what they were talking about and they started sending me some surveillance photographs and they were correct. This was not the same person. As bizarre as it may be, I'd be asking if we can get any other eyewitnesses from the scene to agree that the assessment that the physical characteristics just don't match. You know, was there any forensics or any latins found at the scene that you can do a comparison? It's too early to really tell. So it's one thing if someone was just wearing a security jacket. It's another if the person who's supposed to be there digitally checked in. And now he may not be your guy. That's totally bizarre. So while this actual security officer now seems like a dead end and so maybe the case is going nowhere, remember, Aaron is a detective, but he's a detective with a mind of a gameist. And you wouldn't think that gaming and investigating have an awful lot in common, but in actuality, they do. There's certainly a pursuit of the unknown is following this puzzle piece. It's putting them together to see what the puzzle looks like. And there's usually something very small that unlocks a case. It's the thing that solves the case. It's the Eureka moment. So right now, Aaron is just on level five before he gets to the big boss, a number of friends with a game here, because he still has to find out if the security guard isn't the man in the video. Why did he quit his job so abruptly after Steven's murder? Great question. After finding this information, I've got a mystery. I don't understand this. So the best way to solve this mystery is to go to the security guard who started out as my suspect. We know he's not our murderer because he doesn't match who we see on the surveillance video. But what is going on? Why is he disappearing from the property supposedly? Why is he threatening to quit after being contacted? And we need answers to that. So now when they sit down with the guy who is at least opposed to be on duty and they talked about what they're investigating to homicide, he was very quick to be like, oh, listen, that is not me. But what he says surprises them all, he's like, listen, we find out that the security guard assigned to that location had been committing fraud for multiple weeks and had been staying at home during his assigned shift. And he would use his phone to self report into locations that he actually wasn't at. And he immediately confronted us and told us, you know, I've been lying on my time sheets. I haven't actually been on the property. I'm able to do this in my app. I check in at these different locations to make it look like I'm working and I just stay home. I must admit, this was not the twist I was expecting. And in true AOM fashion, you know, it's a mystery that had me really wanting to dig in further and to get really to the bottom of it. I mean, wow, what a twist. It's the type of thing that if you hear you're like, come on, guys, like you're almost overriding the plot, but again, it is the truth is often stranger than fiction. And that is exactly what we're seeing here. And then when Aaron looked into his story, he was able to confirm everything this man said. You know, the funny thing about investigating homicides is that when you're talking to someone who hasn't committed a homicide, they have no problem telling you about all the other crimes they did that was not homicide. But I also pulled his phone records to verify that he had been at his home, which was, you know, approximately 40 minutes away from where the murder happened and that he hadn't been anywhere in the area of the murder during the time of the murder. So maybe this is the time when Aaron doesn't go to the next level, but instead hits the reset button and starts the game over. But this time he already knows the playing field. He knows what's ahead. So rather than going left, he'll go right. You know, we're about 24 hours into the investigation. I've got to work with the only thing that I have at the moment and that's surveillance video. And that then takes a focused tracking of surveillance video. So they decide to expand their video analysis farther. So there is a large swath of land beyond the stores all around here. You have each and every store in the complex, the restaurants, well, there's apartment buildings, there's streets, all sorts of places that may have the digital evidence that they need to find their actual killer. We had our digital media specialists respond and they collected volume of some amounts of data, not knowing what would be valuable and what wouldn't, but just trying to collect as much as we could before it would disappear. And my investigative thread now is that the thing that's going to lead me to the killer is following these cameras and figuring out what more information I can gather. The reality is even to this day, not all surveillance systems are the same. And while most may not be the best quality, storage is often a problem. Here's an example. Ring cameras which are really popular don't save your video unless you buy a subscription. So basically they operate just as a live camera. Many investigators hope that these cameras would not only record these videos but save these videos. And in this case, he really needed to find the right system to give him the right amount of evidence. Several of these cameras aren't good quality. It's at night, it's dark, it's kind of hard to see. And it's a lot of work to track these cameras. It's not just like one central area in the office where they have the cameras. A lot of them are situated in remote closets of parking garages and several apartment complexes will have multiple closets with cameras that we have to go through and identify. And another thing that these consumer surveillance videos do is they often re-record over what they've captured. Myself and a partner detective worked late late into Friday night trying to piece together as much as we could. And we got the suspect fleeing into an apartment complex area. And then the next morning is when we had our Eureka moment. Sure enough, when they start to look a bit farther out, they find something quite interesting in the interior stairwell of a neighboring building. From an interior stairwell camera, I see a suspect wearing all black, running up the stairs very quickly. And I start looking at what they're wearing. And they appear to be wearing a black sweatshirt with the words thrash shirt on the front. But the thing that's interesting is that he's not wearing a jacket that says security, so that is not matching the killer's clothing. And they have a backpack that's stuffed full of something and they appear to have some kind of item dangling down. They definitely are going to have to do some digging to see if this is yet another red herring in this investigation. I immediately have my attention drawn to this person and I want to know more about the stairwell. Aaron's getting closer to tracking the suspect's egress, but as he's shuttling through the footage, he decides to look instead for his ingress. In other words, he knows how he fled into the building, but he wants to know more about what happened before he went in. So what I do is I take that same camera and start rewinding the video back further prior to the murder. About two hours before the murder, I see the murder walking down the stairs, wearing the yellow reflective security jacket, walking down the stairs prior to the murder. And at that point, I have a reek of moment. This is my killer. I have him on video. He lives in this building. He lives in the building. And we just think about that. It's not that you see your killer. You see him walking by, but you're able to piece together that you now not only can identify him, but you know where he lives. I get with our intelligence unit detectives. I think my killer lives in this building. Find me everything you can about the people who live in this building. And they start researching previous calls for service and identify through previous police contacts that Jordan Jacobs lives in that apartment building and that he has prior employment as a security guard. They have a name, Jordan Jacobs, a 24 year old man who lived in the building near the shops at legacy. It's extremely clear that Jordan Jacobs is the person who pulled the trigger and killed Stephen Gambel. This is investigators first confirmation who the alleged killer is. I don't want to lose this person. I don't want him to kill anyone else. I don't know his motives for killing, but I know that a member of our community was lost and I don't want anyone else to be lost. So we assign surveillance units on Jordan Jacobs as I'm continuing my investigation. You know Scott, I think about a really interesting piece in this investigation is that technology has played a huge role. It's helped them rule people in. It's helped them rule people out. He's been able to track not only who the killer is, but where they live. That's all using technology. But the thing that they still don't know at all is the why. And that is really a huge mystery here. Why is Jordan Jacobs over at Stephen Gambel's vehicle? Why is he walking around in the security guard jacket? It's work for Aaron all along within the investigation and it's no surprise that he would once again turn to the surveillance evidence. But this time he's not looking for a man in a security jacket, but in a hoodie that says thrasher. Prior to Jordan Jacobs walking down in the security guard jacket, I see him walking up the steps with a female associate, not wearing the security jacket. And he appears to be very casual with his girlfriend going up and down the stairs. And I didn't know where they had gone or where they had been coming from. But one of the detectives assisting me in this investigation, she started looking at the surveillance video that covered where the murder happened and she identified something extremely important. So this investigator was able to identify Jordan Jacobs and his girlfriend and she can see that they actually walked past Stephen Gambel's before the murder. They were some of the customers that we saw in video walking into the mini-mart, buying something, walking back out to their car and leaving. I had seen the killer on surveillance camera earlier in my investigation and had no way to know that he was actually the killer. But the thing that they don't see is no contact, no conflict. He just looks like another customer walking in and then back out. You know up to this point, Anisega, my only theories were some type of motive involving jealousy and acts or potentially that they knew each other. It's interesting because clearly nothing happens between them there, but it at least puts them crossing paths. So they were in the same place before Jacobs now goes up presumably and shoots Stephen while he's back in his car. So did they cross paths some point earlier or now see one another again from something that had happened long before? There's lots of questions swirling about what was going through at least Jacob's mind when he passed by Stephen Gambles. Jordan Jacobs is wearing the thrash hood he is, he walks out. And then about 10 minutes later, he's wearing that security guard jacket out and he is out on the hunt. We do know that Aaron has had a lot of success in collecting a number of critical surveillance videos and his tech-savvy approach has paid off. But to move this case forward, he'll rely on the art of the interview to unravel the rest of this mystery. When I sit down with Jordan Jacobs, he is black today is a cold, not worried about anything. He first tries to give me a story about, oh, you know, I've been accused of Jordan Jacobs name, someone else had my name and I've been connected to investigations and just a now of everything. You know how to say in your time in the prosecutor's office, did you ever come again someone using the excuse like, I know there's a videotape, but it's someone else or I know you have a name, but it's someone else with my same name. I think I've heard just about every variation of all of those. You'd be surprised how often people come up with stories just like that and you hear is it it's actually my twin. So it looks like me it's someone else using my name, but what he doesn't realize is they have these pictures that also show that it was him. You know, for me it was always a combination of not only the words, but the body language. I mean, they may be saying one thing, but the body is saying another. So based on all the information we're able to piece together to confirm that Jordan Jacobs is the killer. We arrest him as he's coming outside of his apartment with his girlfriend and we take him into custody, transport him to the jail and my partner detective starts immediately talking with the girlfriend. So while they've already spoken to the woman that Stephen Gambles had gone out on the date with now they're going to try to speak with Jacobs girlfriend and that interview, if she's willing to speak with them, could be the key that investigators are missing. The girlfriend shared that Jordan Jacobs had told her that he didn't like how Stephen Gambles had looked at her and that she was not to talk to him. And I know from the video that Stephen Gambles wasn't looking at anyone. He wasn't trying to talk to anyone, he was simply meeting his date to go out to dinner. And Jordan Jacobs told his girlfriend, I'm going to rob him and give him something to look at. A perceived glance that led to an execution style murder and that's important to say, there is no other evidence at all that it was anything than that. My reaction is just, huh? It's almost like this bomb exploded in that split second and it really there is no rhyme or reason to it at all. But unfortunately it is all too common of a scenario that those of us in this line of work have seen. Jacobs girlfriend sent a text message to her friends that night warning them about him. She said, and I can read it to you. She said, girl, Jordan is out of control. He's trying to hit a lick on some boy over here in a Mercedes. I'm telling them to not do that and stop trying to rob people. You just got to have to wonder is Jacobs just making up the story about, hey, he looked at you the wrong way and that's why I'm now going to go rob him. Did he really just see dollar signs when he saw Stephen Gambles maybe get out or get back into his Mercedes? Or is he really just looking for trouble and quickly jumped to the, oh, he looked at my girlfriend the wrong way. So I'm going to get back at this guy and here's how. He said he was going to hit a lick as you know, and I see his street slang for robbery. Was he just showing her that he didn't like the way that a man looked at her or he was protecting her as her boyfriend? She lost herself for a minute when she found out that a murder had occurred. And you know, she was Jordan Jacobs girlfriend. She knew he wasn't a good guy, but she's not okay with somebody being murdered. And at that point when she found out someone had been murdered, she became our most important witness. And she said this is not okay. Investigators now get the search warrant for Jordan Jacobs apartment. They found multiple guns, but not the gun used to kill Stephen Gambles. Now earlier Aaron did not have on his top list of things that he had to get done quickly was get inside of Stephen Gambles car. But now that he had a more intimate look at what actually occurred that night, he decided to think better of his list of priorities and he wanted to get inside and process the inside of Stephen's car. I am thinking about touching DNA. When I see Jordan Jacobs on surveillance video inside that car multiple times, so our criminalists processed the vehicle and we do identify Jordan Jacobs DNA on the rear passenger door of Stephen Gambles Mercedes. But that DNA was located on the outside of the vehicle. And even though video surveillance showed the killer rummaging through the car and even in the glove box, a potential point of challenge if this goes to trial that no DNA was found within the vehicle. But I think that that challenge can be easily answered with common sense because touch DNA similarly to fingerprints or these chance impressions, right? So you touch something and maybe the cells are left behind your DNA or maybe not. And surfaces are more susceptible to that sort of residue for lack of a better word. But you know, they have the video that shows them inside. If you just think about it, if you are opening up the passenger side of a door, will you are putting more pressure with your fingers to open up? Or inside if he's kind of just looking like who knows if it's more of his jacket or a sweater or whatever it is that's touching the areas in the car or really not touching much at all. So it's definitely an argument I would love to have presented in the courtroom. Yeah, that's really well said, Anaseiga. You know, the concerns were easily outweighed by the mountain of surveillance evidence, the testimony of Jordan's girlfriend and other forensic evidence. You know, it's fair to say that Aaron was feeling pretty confident as the case moved towards a trial phase. The night that we made their rest, my first notification is to Stephen Gamble's mom and dad to notify them that we've identified who killed their son and that he's under arrest. And he's off the street. Mom and dad find out their son's been murdered. They want to know what are the circumstances. And I was able to very confidently tell them that their son hadn't been committing any crimes. He hadn't been doing anything wrong. He was simply going to dinner with a dinner date and was murdered doing nothing wrong. Fourteen months after this homicide, the case went to trial and Jacob's did not deny killing Stephen Gamble's. Jordan Jacobs presented the defense of, that is me, I did kill Stephen Gamble's, but it's not Capitol murder. It was just murder. While someone might say, well, isn't that a crazy defense to admit to one part of a crime, but not the whole thing? And really not, because it really comes down to the difference in penalties, you know, different degrees of the same crime carry different potential sentences. So it could be for homicide, depending where you are anything from a set amount of time to determine it, 15, 20, 25 years. It could be something that maybe doesn't have life on the end if it's a lower level. And remember, in certain states and remember here, this is in Plano, Texas, you might also be looking at not only life without the possibility of parole, but the death penalty, if indeed, Capitol homicide is found. On September 28, 2022, Stephen's parents finally got the answer they were looking for in their son's death after Jacobs was found guilty of Capitol murder. Through the prosecutors' work in explaining to the jury the facts of the case and the elements of the offense, Jordan Jacobs was not found to be believable, and the jury convicted him of Capitol murder. Technology plays an obvious big role in this case, but it also highlights that technology only gets you so far that it also relies heavily on people. But at the end of the day, you still have to be a detective. You still have to talk to people. You still have to knock on doors, and you still have to have face time with people. And like in this case, where we have surveillance video telling us that story, but for me, it's really important, my partner detective, talking to that girlfriend and building the rapport of what we're here for and that somebody got murdered and that we want her on our side. And the detective was able to talk to that person and get that information, which is really important and helpful in confirming what technology was telling us. Aaron continues to leverage his experience in investigations and technology to benefit families of cold cases in the form of a nonprofit called solvethecase.org. The goal of this nonprofit is to take some of the experiences I've had investigating homicides, where there's value in bringing families and victims, community-slues, detectives, altogether to look at some of these unsolved cases that have either gone on for years or for fresh and kind of looking at what are things that haven't been done, what can be done, building out digital case files for these things. There's not enough law enforcement to get these cases done. We need to find a way to multiply our stuff. And that's what the goal is going to be with solvethecase.org. You know, we look at a motive like this, glancing at his partner the wrong way. You know, I've termed certain homicides the nonsense ones and that's not to make light of them at all, but this over perceived glance will, that's even worse. If that even happened at all, Stephen Gamble's lost his life in an instant. And obviously that is devastating for so many people that he left behind. Stephen Gamble's was an individual who was spending his night enjoying a dinner date. He was doing no crimes, he was doing nothing wrong. He had come to a nice place in the city of Plano to enjoy an evening with a dinner date and going to a nice upscale restaurant. But I also in this case think of the person who caused it. You know, if that person has such a low value of human life that they would do something like this, I think it's something that they could quite possibly do again. And so obviously that person needs to be held accountable. The society also needs to be protected from him. And here like in so many other unfortunate cases like it, hopefully that's what law enforcement, prosecutors, the criminal justice system are able to do. Kune in next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio chuck original. Produced and created by Wineburger Media and Fracetti Media. Ashley Flowers and Sudmit David are executive producers. So what do you think Chuck, do you approve?