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.

Top Down, Driving the Highway

Top Down, Driving the Highway

Wed, 20 Jan 2021 08:00

In pursuit of her dreams, a young woman heads west to LA, driving her blue convertible VW Bug. Will it be that very same car that later will help solve her murder?

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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. She had a lot of friends for sure. You know, wonder well what happened, if, you know, if I decided to not go to LA, if she just would have never gone there. And if she never went to LA, then none of this would have ever happen. I'm Scott Weinberger's, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Glassie former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction, and this is anatomy of murder. This is one of those cases, or one of the stories which begins like an inspirational Hollywood movie. A young woman from a small Midwestern town heads to Hollywood, start a career in the movie business. But the story turns into a real life tragedy and I had the opportunity to talk to Brian Bowie, who is the brother of Jamie Bowie, who is the focus of today's story. Definitely a lot of fun. Had a lot of friends who were, you know, also friends of mine and and we were always kind of looking out for each other on some level. Jamie Bowie was a 24 year old young woman from Oklahoma. She had recently graduated from Oklahoma University and she had the stars in her eyes and she was ready to pick up and move West. She had got a job in the entertainment industry and she wasn't going to do it alone. We loaded up her little Volkswagen bug and we drove from Oklahoma all the way out to California and we stayed with friends along the way. I mean, Scott, I can really picture that. Remember, when you're getting out of school and you're about to embark on your first job, you just are so bright eyed and opportunity is in front of you and you. It's just a very exciting time when people think about Hollywood and LA. It's the thing that people dream about sometimes from all over the world. And these two brother and sister, they were going to have at it and head out there, but they needed a car to get there. I think it was like a late 1960s, early 1970s. Volkswagen bug convertible. It's a VW bug. Bright blue white top. She had purchased it and really fell in love with it. The top was a little beat up, so I know my my mom paid to have the top redone so it had a brand new top on it. It had a few little engine problems so you know, we took it to the shop. And we can all think about those scenarios that sometimes a car takes on its own personality, whether it's from the movies and no matter how old you are, many people have heard about Herbie. The love bug there is from the standalone Transformers movie The Bumblebee VW bug. For me, the signature of having your first car brings an incredible amount of freedom. It was a fun car, in a sense, kind of represented her personality. Top down, having fun, kind of out there in the open, and it catches people's eye. You don't see too many of those out anymore. It was her pride and joy and this was the car that was going to take her and Brian into the life, hopefully of their dreams. And I just pictured that top down drive in the highway, music blasting and they were on their way. So the car was packed. I mean literally packed like a box. And so when we got to LA, we kind of poured out-of-the-box and took everything up to the little, you know, apartment that I was living in at the time. When Brian and his sister Jamie make it to LA, they each have their own apartment. Brian was still going to college, obviously being just 21 years old, and Jamie was starting this job and it was with a major Hollywood studio. When we first went out there, she worked with like, Mel Brooks, family, Ross, few other smaller folks. She would come home and tell stories about working with Mel Brooks and how he's exactly the same when he's working in the office. This was her first real full time job and it was a big opportunity. It meant everything to her. She was really excited. And now let's Fast forward to April 1990, because that's when Jamie was actually supposed to start a brand new job. And before she started that job, she took a little vacation to go visit one of her best friends down in Phoenix, AZ for Easter. And when she came back, she had plans to see Brian. So now it was time for Jamie to head back to Los Angeles and she was supposed to have somebody go along with her, but that friend backed out at the last minute, so even though she was driving alone and it was almost a 7 hour drive. Amy had to make it back to LA by the next morning because that was gonna be the first day of her brand new job. As she's heading back, Brian's actually at her apartment. He said he left track practice that day. He went to her apartment, he let himself in with the key that he had, and he was supposed to meet his sister. She was supposed to be home that night. And so I was waiting for her. She hadn't shown up. I mean, it was getting later. So then I went upstairs and just went to bed and thought, well, so she'll catch me when she gets in. As he was sleeping, he heard a sound what sounded like some keys jingling, doors opening, he's half awake. So I thought, well, it was her. And it's one of those things where you just kind of wake up a little bit and you recognize what the noise is. And so you kind of go back to sleep because it wasn't somebody breaking down the door, it was somebody unlocking the door. So it's just seems normal. OK, she's home. So Brian wakes up in the morning. No, Jamie doesn't find it that odd because she's starting a new job. Early riser, get to the job, get started. Cell phones weren't that prevalent, but that time, and I got a message from my mother. She was concerned that my sister. And checked in as time went on. You know, my mother called a few more times and and mentioned that she hadn't shown up and she was getting concerned. So it had a track practice that afternoon and I told the coach and he told me to go find out what's going on. When he came back, assuming he'd see his sister, but Jamie wasn't there. But what he did find at the apartment was things didn't look the same as when he left. Things were moved around a little. TV was the cord was wrapped up, all nice and neat, and it was sitting on the stairs waiting to be like boxed up and taken away, and quite a few of the things were as well, and it just didn't seem right. He saw clothes strewn all about. The radio in the apartment was gone, two VCR's were also missing, and answering machine was gone. I knew it was a burglary of some sort. So I got a hold of my friends at the time and we'd start calling the police. But when they called the police, they talked about the burglary, but they also said that Jamie was missing and they tried to file a missing persons report. And a few of you may be saying, well, we know what happened then. Yeah, initially they didn't want to do anything. They said it wasn't too soon and you know, it took a few more tries to finally get them in gear, and I think it actually took a call from the Mesa Police Department to finally get them going. Police weren't ready to just call it a missing persons case. They wanted to wait more time based on Jamie's age to see if she would contact, reach out, show up. You know, Scott, I don't even know how many times we've had the conversation when someone goes missing and family or friends report to the police, or at least try to. And police don't take that missing persons report. And I absolutely get it from their side because it's all about the numbers and resources, but it is hard to wrap your head around when we talk about these cases. Go off. And we know that so often there is really something amiss, at least in these. I mean, is there any sort of solution? Is there anything that can be done differently from your perspective that might aid these cases, the ones that really do need police to get involved from the beginning? Well, that really depends on how quickly they're escalated from uniformed patrol to the Detective Bureau. Then interviews would begin, then they would try to identify roots and they would look at credit card receipts when something is usual. Activity for someone, and that activity completely ceases. Then the red flags are raised. Jamie's family decided that they needed to be full steam ahead. Using mostly just on I-10. And of course, it wasn't just me, it was, you know, both my parents and my friends that were there. We're all going down I-10 and just handing out Flyers, looking to see, you know, maybe she broke down and drove off the road a little bit and she's still there. The rest stops the gas stations, the restaurants, to just ask if anyone had seen Jamie and they had pictures and they left Flyers, but that wasn't getting them anywhere, at least not initially. We heard from some people, some truckers, that they had definitely seen her especially going out there. And they started to give that information that, yeah, they thought they had seen someone that looked like her. They even had some motorists that said they thought they had seen her on the side of the road, maybe working on her car, but it really didn't lead them anywhere. You know, I was reading an article in the Los Angeles Times about this case, and I think it was her mom that gave the quote. We have no clues, no car, no Jamie. And it's been 8 days. I can only imagine the frustration and the heartbreak that you will when they know there's something wrong and they're getting all this information that she's out there, had been out there, and maybe there's a car trouble or something with their car, but they weren't really getting anything specific. But it was one of the detectives assigned to the case that, together with the family, came up with a pretty big idea. 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. Brian was so concerned that when he called his parents back in Oklahoma, they did not hesitate to jump on a plane and fly to LA to plead with the investigators that this was not the norm for their daughter Jamie. They met with Detective Pena, who was with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and had already been a few days that she was missing, and now this case had escalated to his Major Crimes level and he's a veteran. Detective who's used to handling these major cases, and his first suggestion would create the first big lead in this case. You've seen him out there on the road, you know we're talking about, and we see the word billboard. The decision was to put that billboard up, and that did begin to bring in some very important tips, and one in particular was crucial. So a tip came in from an eyewitness who told investigators they saw Jamie's blue beetle on the side of the road with its hood up. And remember, a Beatles engine is in the rear, so that would have been the hood in the back was up and the tips are also noticed something important. Some people mentioned that it looked like a couple was following her and I remember I was thinking, well, that's kind of weird. Who's the couple? Where they from? They saw another red VW Beetle was behind it. And two people were standing out with Jamie, and it looked like they were helping her with the car. So the obvious thing here is, who is that couple? And investigators need to try to find them because they're either probably one of two things. I mean, are they suspects or are they witnesses? Because there's no evidence here of any crime. We've all heard the stories of car trouble, which unfortunately leads down a bad Rd, no pun intended. And, you know, there's ravines. Did Jamie's car drive off the road? Did she have an accident? You know, was she in a ditch somewhere? Or did this couple know more than just maybe stop to help her fix her car? We found out that she had some car issues going out and one of the truckers that helped her out he remembers very vividly exactly the car her. But then on the on the way back, some motorists said that they, you know, saw her on the side of the road. Investigators looked at that tip. They determined that they were located on the border between California and Arizona, and that became the pin in the map headed West in the search for Jamie Bowie. And the weeks now turn into a month until we get to May 12th of 1990. And on that day, there is a worker out in a citrus Grove in Indio, CA. The worker is walking along like they probably did so many other days. They're tracking through the Grove, and when he looks down, he sees something he never expected when he came to work that day. There's a body. Face down in a ditch right next to a dirt Rd. And I hate to say it, you know, but she's been out there for a month and there is animals out there and she is left out in the open. So the state of decomposition was so high that they couldn't confirm who this young woman was, so they went to dental records. Those records confirmed the worst that young woman in the ditch was Jamie Bowie. My dad came walking out on the track and it's one of those things. You just know what it is. It's not something you want to hear. You just can't prepare yourself for that. Also, you know, wonder, well, what happens if, you know, if I decided to not go to LA, if she just would have never gone there? And if she never went to LA, then none of this would have ever happened. So let's unpack the crime scene a little bit. Here. The body was left in a ditch that had water running through it, so it was mostly skeletal remains that were found. She was fully clothed, and they also found some critical evidence, green shell casings from a shotgun that were found next to her body and underneath the body. This young woman had been shot twice, once in the back, once in the right arm, but she also had a fractured lower jaw, and it was fractured in three different places. And her right hand was missing. And then as horrible as that sounds, I believe based on looking through the Emmys report and some of the crime scene stuff, she probably put her hand up to defend herself. That's potentially when the blast 7 her hand. Horrible. Scott, one thing that I think about is she shot twice, but there's one shotgun shell. Clearly one shell casing was ejected from the weapon and it's likely the second shell casing from the second gunshot stayed within the weapon. But we talked about how important it is to try to gather evidence at homicide scene like this and the Sega and there really wasn't a lot to go with outside of the shell casing and the body itself. Tire tracks, footprints. Anything else that could lead investigators to a potential suspect just wasn't there. You know, these days we all depend a lot on surveillance cell towers. There wasn't a lot to go on here. So as we say in a lot of these stories, the case just goes cold. But obviously not for Jamie's family. I've been to some big funerals before, but I don't think I ever been to one that big. It was more people and I've, you know, seen it. Any one spot for for such a gathering? She had a lot of friends, for sure. It hit him pretty rough. It definitely did my mother for sure. She really wasn't quite the same. Ever since then, she's always been very nice and happy, but there are certain parts of her that were far more reserved and not as open as she was before. Investigators are looking, but now they're left with just nothing. There's really nowhere else to go other than she is last seen on a highway with a couple who looks like they're helping fix her car. But then that case, as you said, Scott, it really just goes cold. There was always speculation, but we just didn't know. I think in some ways that was kind of the the harder part is not knowing and not seeing things progress, but of being in it you you want information every day. And so if I didn't get it. For, you know, a couple of weeks and like, well, what's going on. And finding who killed Jamie could be the car. Jamie's car. Where is it? And then Fast forward until a year and a half later. Let's now move our timeline to August 1991 and police in Fresno, CA are conducting an unrelated investigation and they're in a salvage yard. And when they're in a salvage yard, they start to look at a particular car. It's a Volkswagen Beetle black. Now remember, her car was blue at the white top. You know Scott as a prosecutor. Dealt with all sorts of crimes along the way and different bureaus, but one thing I dealt with very infrequently was car theft. Did you ever work with these type of cases? And you know one of the main locations for auto theft investigators to go to is salvage yards because that's where these cars are stripped down and taken and sold. It is a routine visit for an auto theft Task Force officer to go to these salvage yards and to look at VIN numbers and in this case. A real sharp auto theft investigator was able to locate this beetle and determine that the VIN number had been replaced with another one. It's an old trick that auto thieves do by placing another VIN number on top of the existing one so the paperwork will match. When they attempt to sell it to a dealership or an auto salvage yard, they were able to remove the altered portion of the VIN and when they run the VIN it comes back to Jamie. Boy, the big breakthrough came when they they found her car. So now they have to figure out how to track down the person who ditched that car. It called Detective Pina up and said, I think you guys need to get up here to Fresno and to take a look at this car and potentially take it into evidence. So his next decision was to take a photo of this car and call a press conference and put it out there to see does anybody in the Fresno area recognize his car? And once again, Peter. It kind of exploded as far as information goes. A temperature call to say that his neighbor had that car in his yard sitting there for more than a month. He was able to give investigators the address. Investigators went to talk to that gentleman who admitted to them up front that he stole that car from a parking lot, and he wanted immunity to tell them more about where that car may have been connected to. And here's where it gets to me, really interesting, because while it's this kind of convoluted. Back story. It's one of the cool things about investigations when you start to going down that path, all the things that are uncovered. O let's go through this a little bit. So this guy admits that he had stolen his car because he wanted the engine for his own. He brought it to a mechanic to do that work. He was a guy by the name of Ronald Johnson. He was a mechanic who specialized in VW bugs, and when they spoke to him, he had a lot to say. He remembered the car, he remembered working on it, but more interesting to investigators was who he bought it from. He bought it. From a couple the man's name was Billy Ray Riggs, and he came in with his wife, Hilda. The couple had an offer that Johnson could not refuse, a great price on that blue VW bug with a white top. And before he left with cash in hand, Billy Ray Riggs signed a sales receipt and his wife Hilda, who followed him to the shop, was in a red VW Beetle. Let me say that again. The couple pulled up in Jamies blue. And a red VW Beetle just two days after Jamie went missing. I have to go back to Ronald Johnson for a second because just so it's clear, it's not like he bought this car and the VIN number came back to Jamie Bowie and he just never did anything with it. The car that he bought, that blue bug, it had Texas license plates, it had a Texas registration, it was titled in Riggs's name, and the VIN that was on that car came back to them. So remember when Scott talked about it being altered? It was only when investigators trained in that sort of identification really were. Able to uncover what was underneath. That's when it comes full circle and leads back to Jamie Bowie. But now let's get back to who are Billy Ray Riggs and his girlfriend Hilda? From the detectives and the Police Department we learned that they were really, really bad, bad people. Billy Ray Riggs was a career criminal. In fact, he was accused and charged with killing his own brother, but that case was later dismissed. He was convicted for an abduction and rape of a 15 year old child who told police that she was forced at gunpoint by Riggs and two other men. It was also known to be a member of the rolling 60s Gang, which is a violent LA County gang. So now they know who they are, but now they need to figure out where they are. It's not like detectives are looking for this couple in present day they're looking back in 1991. So Detective Pena thought of one of the best mediums that he could think of, that people paid attention to when they're looking for people. He went to America's Most Wanted. They had several episodes where actually they just kind of happened, like I said, a person of interest. And it was kind of unique that they would put, you know, something like that on somebody who wasn't actually wanted but was a person of interest. Call this guy Anna Sega primetime Pina, because this is the third time that he's turning to the media for help. And the first few times were very successful, and you and I know the guys that America's Most Wanted very well. I mean, this was an opportunity to get information about Jamie Bowie's homicide. So they got on America's Most Wanted. They talked about who this couple was and everything that they could find about them, and they just waited to see if a location would come in. And one day. It did. There was A at least one time that they they got a location and they went to it and that information was critical to a sighting and the sighting was in Los Angeles where Billy Ray Riggs and his wife lived and the information was only 30 minutes old. So the police go to the address and they are there. They are ready to kick down this door and to go inside and once they get in there, what they find was unexpected. Detectives from the LAPD and the US Marshals Service are staged outside of this apartment building. Bang on the door rush in and no Billy Ray Riggs and his wife, but a whole bunch of Chinese food that was still warm to the touch. The mail still sitting on the counter, but they weren't around. The TV was on America's Most Wanted or so as the story goes. So they got the tip with the police were after him and they left. Now, Billy Ray Riggs and his wife Hilda maintained a lot of gang affiliations within Los Angeles. So they were able to move from house to house. But within a week, on January 17th, 1992, the LAPD arrested the couple without incident and separated them to bring them in for interviews. They tried to speak to Billy Ray Riggs. He wasn't giving them much information. Scott, we know that so often when there is more than one person picked up and suspected to be involved in something that police pretty quickly. Look for who was the person they think is most likely to talk and give them information. So in the beginning, when they had Billy Ray Riggs and his wife Hilda in for questioning, they were just suspects in this homicide investigation. But on the way to the jail, the investigator who was driving her there had noted that she was being very chatty and wanting to tell her story. So that was opportunity to get her side of the story, which became critical to this investigation. And so now they had not two people suspected, but that they could actually link to the crime. However, it's only going to get you so far unless you have a way to get into the courtroom. They went to the prosecutor and they decided that they would offer her a deal right from the get go of 25 years to life if she laid out everything that she could about what happened in this case. So I want to take our listeners into the mind of a prosecutor and at assago when a homicide detective would walk into your office and say, I've got critical information from a Co defendant, but clearly an eyewitness. To a murder. How do you dissect that information and how do you determine how that should be used in the prosecution of a homicide? Well, the first thing we always want to know is exactly what that person had to say. And then we take that information and we look at it with the other evidence that we have, and sometimes we have to do more investigation to see if all the pieces fit. It's not like we just hear that someone's willing to tell us everything if we give them the deal. Well, you're never going to do it that way. First of all, you want to make sure that they are being credible and telling you things that you believe. Be true based on the other evidence or that you can go out and obtain based on what they say. But also just think about the argument if you walk into court with that. So wait a second, you made the deal and then they told you everything that you wanted to hear, well, that's going to be attacked, and rightly so. Right there. I'm going to put you on the spot for a second because you know, very often in the movies they depict that, you know, a husband or a wife can't testify against their spouse. Does that play into this? Because while you cannot compel. That person to give certain evidence. There's certain privileges here. First of all, if you do anything in front of someone else and that privilege is lost. And it's also there is various rules and different states about the privilege. And if that goes to statements, it doesn't go to things that people see. So here, a lot of what Hilda had to say, she was part and parcel of this crime. So the privilege did not come into play in this case. And so everything she had to say was really. Imperative that investigators and prosecutors could take that evidence and bring it into court. So investigators were rolling tape, so to speak, as Hilder sat down and told the story. And it's chilling. It's absolutely chilling. Hilda said that while she and her husband were driving from Arizona to Los Angeles, they saw Jamie Bowie and her Volkswagen at a gas station near Arizona. Now, she told investigators that Riggs was a VW mechanic and knew everything about the car and when they pulled over to help. Amy, he had set to Jamie that he knew everything about VW's and he was willing to help them and do whatever it took to get her back on the road, and she was really appreciative, Hilda said of the help. And the couple. They were with Jamie for quite awhile. According to Hilda, Riggs fixed Jamie's car upwards of 10 times as they followed her along the highway, and Riggs told Helda that he was happy to help Jamie each and every time because he was hoping to get a new customer out of this. But. After dark, his ideas changed. Griggs was tired of constantly helping Jamie, and now his intention was to rob her. But he made it clear, because she had been with them and seen them, that he was going to have to kill her also because she'd seen his face. And on the run, he was defended in a case in Texas, and he was concerned Jamie may be able to ID him to investigators and he'd be taken into custody for the Texas case. So now he had to make sure that no one was able to identify him, and that included Jamie. Billy Riggs was charged for the murder of his brother. And I think child abuse, if not he should have been because his own child ended up testifying against him. And we know that he abused one of his children. And I believe, you know, it's very good chance that, you know, he did the same with with Hilda. And then let's just think about this, because that evening the couple stops for dinner with Jamie and they're in California. Jamie paid for the dinner, and she also offered to pay the couple for all their work as soon as she got home and got to her bank account. Somebody helped her. She's going to help him back for sure. You know why people would want to take advantage of somebody on that extent? Somebody who's really. Trying to, you know, show some appreciation for them is sickening. Right after dinner, Hilda Riggs and Jamie walk out of the restaurant towards their cars. This is when Riggs decides to make his move. He pulls out a handgun and forces Jamie into the back of her own car. Now, Hilda told investigators that that gun wasn't even functional, but Jamie didn't know that. Hilda then says that Riggs told her to retrieve a shotgun from their car, and they all get into Jamie's car and start to drive. And they start driving down the road, and Riggs tells Hilda to stop at an ATM. And that's when Riggs forces Jamie out of the car to the ATM machine to try to withdraw money. He tries for $100. It's denied, then $50.00, then denied, then just $10. It's denied. Jamie had told Riggs that the account really didn't have very much money in it. Riggs got angry. They all got back into Jamie's car with Hilda driving, and they headed towards indigo. They're heading towards the freeway, Riggs tells held to switch gears and has her follow a dirt Rd. And then he tells Hilda to stop the car. Riggs gets out with Jamie. He tells him to turn the car around, and that's when Hilda describes hearing. One gunshot. And then too. Raise gets back into the car. They drove to a restaurant. They now pick up their car. The couple then drives to LA and using Jamie's keys, they try to get into her apartment that night. Remember when Brian said the first night that he was waiting for her sister? He heard keys jingling and then nothing. Well now it's all starting to make sense. Well, I'd like to know more about what they did that night. Did they really go into the apartment? I know they opened the door, they didn't lock it. So that was kind of my first clue that something was a little strange, you know? Because I was sure I locked that door for I went to bed, but then in the morning the door isn't locked, and I thought I heard keys to open the door. And she goes on to talk about how the next day the couple went in and stole things from her apartment. And you know, Scott, you shake your head when you hear all this. And Hilda said that, yes, she was involved in all this, but that she did what Riggs said because he abused her, that she was worried that he'd kill her if she didn't do what he wanted. And that's why she had never come forward until police now had her in custody and she didn't want to get in trouble for herself. I always think it's so hard to make heads and tails of that when you're talking about a crime like this. But it's her actions after the fact also. Wanna see that, I think play into it. Did she ever have an opportunity to get away knowing what occurred just a few hours prior? Was it her choice to accompany Billy Ray Riggs to Jamie's apartment and to open that door in the middle of the night and try to start removing all of Jamie's belongings? My thinking when I hear these things is unfortunately so often. That is right. It's exactly what's going on. And certainly we hear what Riggs? Had just done to Jamie. Is it going to shock anyone to hear that he also abused his own wife and that she just stayed with him? Not at all, I mean. So is she being honest about that or is she now trying to put her best foot forwards and maybe making more of the abuse than there is? Maybe. But when they started to look at all the things she said and all the details, they kept checking off 1 box after the other after the other. So now they know not only what happened to Jamie, but who? And with her agreed upon testimony, they had enough to charge. Willing to kill, willing to murder someone because they're worried about being arrested for something else. You know, that is pure evil. And in this case, I believe, even though Hilda did provide, you know, critical information and as you said, she checked off the boxes, her descriptions matched the evidence. The timeline matched the evidence. Her description of a conversation with Ron Johnson at the. Mechanic matched the evidence, the fact that Billy Ray Riggs signed a receipt at Ron Johnson's shop. Hilda recalled the entire conversation with Johnson. And by the way, Johnson and other people testified exactly that. It was Billy Ray Riggs. They looked at a lineup and that's them. So it's not a matter of if. I just don't know if we'll ever get to the why. And we think about this homicide, there's so many different layers of just. Incredible wrong. And I know I hate to use the word evil, but it fits into it here. I mean, Jamie had just bought this couple dinner and offered to pay them for their help. You know, I had a case myself that was very similar that I did with the colleague of mine. They called it the Good Samaritan case, and it was really similar in that it was in that case a young man offering to help the couple with car trouble when they too decided to rob him and execute him. And while investigators were able to go backwards and say that everything that had told them was accurate. They still had her do more. They told her they wanted proof that everything she was saying was right on the money, and so she helped the DA procure additional evidence. She helped them check and find that were in their possession now Riggs and held the two of Jamie suitcases and some of her clothing which they had taken from her. She brought investigators to a pawn shop where they recovered some of the electronics that the couple had stolen from Jamie's home. But now let's go to the trial for a moment. Prosecutors did not expect this coming where Hilda would be accused by Billy Ray Riggs of actually carrying out the murder and he was trying to stop her and we get that to all the time. You know when you have multiple people being charged with the same crime under this acting in concert theory that they've been some way worked together. Certainly when one person takes a deal and is getting a lesser penalty in exchange for their cooperation and testimony in a trial that the person who is on trial. Points the finger and says, Oh no, it's not me, it's really the person up there. And unfortunately, sometimes it works. But, you know, Billy Ray Riggs, he decided to represent himself during the trial, which right there brings a whole host of other challenges for the prosecutor, for the court. Why would he be so crazy as to want to represent himself? And then there's the other side of the coin is, well good because he's an idiot and you're going to represent yourself. You're going to have some serious problems later on in in defending yourself. You just can't do that. It's almost like he wants to go down for it. Let me just say this. As you've said at a sea, these are very rare occurrences where a defendant will represent himself, but just put yourself in the position as a family member of a victim or a witness in a homicide investigation to be cross examined by the person who was accused of committing murder. That is just impossible to put yourself in that position that's so difficult and that is exactly what happened here. Family members, investigators, witnesses, all cross examined by the man who police alleged at that time pulled the trigger. Allowed in court because that was a witness what I'd like to have heard it all in some sense you kind of do because you think, well, maybe I'll be able to make sense of it. Maybe if I hear what happened, it'll it'll make sense. Billy Ray Riggs, convicted of capital murder, sentenced to death. Hilda Riggs received the 25 years in the deal that she made with prosecutors. I asked Jamie's brother Brian about the convictions. There was some relief, you know, at least that there's a step for justice. A step for making sure the streets a little safer because he's been a danger to society for so long. Does it relieve the pain of losing a sister? No. That she can't do that. When I think about this case, I keep thinking about it as a young woman in her car. Her hair is blowing in the wind and she's listening to music and it's all taken from her so suddenly. But I love how Brian thinks about his sister, you know, and I like to think about it from the perspective of what she gives now. I have my daughter. She's 4, so we read her books every night, and a lot of the books were my sister's books as children's books. My sister painted a few things, but she's got her paintings, something in her room. Do I still miss or do I still miss, you know, talking with her and everything? Absolutely. You know, I think about the times they had. And Jamie's brother Brian spoke to me about the impact he believes his sister could have made in this society. She was a bright star in his life, a star that he will never think will dim. At least she did it. She moved out to LA. She got a job. One of the things she wanted to do, she did it. She was progressing. New things and doing what she wanted and that's that's great. I mean, you should do that everyday. Live life is as big as you can, as much as you can. Make a trip to to where you want to go. If you want to go to LA, go to LA, you want to do it, do it, give it a shot. Because you may not get a shot later on. TuneIn next Wednesday, when we'll dissect another new case on anatomy of murder. Enemy of Murder is an audio Chuck original, A Weinberger media and forseti media production summit. David is executive producer.