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.

Wrong Man (Eugene Elliott Dickerson)

Wrong Man (Eugene Elliott Dickerson)

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 07:00

A young man is gunned down soon after the town’s big high school basketball game. An officer plays an unexpected role in untangling the mystery.

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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. It's hard because you sit there and you you're thinking. These kids, they were at a ball game, one play, one watch, best friends and everything is great. And then. This happens. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Delizie former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction, and this is anatomy of murder. For today's story, we're going to take a deep dive into a world so mysterious that only an insider can truly comprehend its dangers. And taking us on this journey is Jen Eskew, a former state trooper with the Commonwealth of Virginia. It's a tomboy is always adventurous, as always wanting to do things. I always wanted to stay active. You know, for some of our law enforcement interviewees, they always knew from the time they were young that was the career path they hoped to achieve. But for Jen, that wasn't the case. Going through school I got out was a degree in therapeutic recreation, and I started working in a nursing home and I loved it, but I kept wanting to do something more. And this is going to sound so corny, but I really did need to be a part of. Something bigger than me, where my job wasn't the same sitting behind a desk every day and where what I was doing had some sort of impact. Like many young people starting out in their lives, she sought the advice of someone she had always looked up to talk to person. I always talked to my dad and I said the problem is I don't know if they hire females you know, because I mean you just saw few on TV but like Cagney and Lacey or something and my dad is like they hire females. The thing is, they have to. It's by law. I said I'm going to put in with the city of Norfolk and the city of Richmond, and he said you need to put in with the Virginia State Police. And I was like, I'm sure they don't hire them. I've never seen one. I don't think I'd ever seen a state trooper that was under the age of 50. You know, and he just, he shook his head at me and he goes, if you're planning on doing this career, then you need to go. You get all the information so you know what you're about to apply for. I think it's and if you're going to do this, then make up your mind and do it. And I just thought that that coming from her father was such a confidence push that I loved it. I started with this Virginia State Police in 1986, working in Staunton, VA. And what happened in Stanton, specifically on February 15th of 1990, was going to change her life forever. But it started not with her, but with two young men, Keith Scott, who was a high school senior, and his best friend Eugene Elliott Dickerson, who went by Elliott, who was a freshman at a nearby college, Marshall University. The two guys had been best friends for several years. They both liked to play ball. I kind of call them in town, country boys, because that's what they were and they like to spend their time together when they could. Elliott was back in town to see his best friend Keith play in a basketball game for Stanton High School against their rivals from Waynesboro. And this was the event in the town as far as sports, you know the high school rivalry, so a lot of the people in the community had gone to see the ball game. The gymnasium was packed. Keith was the team's star player and Elliott was not gonna miss the biggest game of the year. His name was well known as far as when people talked about basketball. Everybody was just talking about what a great talent he had and was positive that he was going to be going off to college on a scholarship. And for Elliott, nothing made him feel better with all of the attention that his best friend was getting for it. And two things to note 1. Stanton won the game, and two, that Keith was the leading scorer that night, as he often was for those games. So the two friends decided to go out together afterwards. But they couldn't ride home together because the team rules were that Keith had to ride home on the bus with his team, so Elliott said he'd meet him up later at Keith's home. They caught up with one another on their St. They are outside of Keith's home, which he shared with his parents. That home had a porch on the front and they were getting into Elliott's car. But then they solved the small red Isuzu amigo. It's kind of a small Jeep type vehicle. They saw that on their St, kind of circling around. The people in the red Isuzu jumped out, started pointing guns and yelling at him and ordering them to get out of their vehicle. There were five people in the car. Three jumped out with firearms, the one on the passenger side in his hands a scoped long barrel rifle. The other two suspects had exited from the driver side. The two were also armed, one with a small 32 caliber handgun and the third exited armed with a 9 millimeter Uzi submachine gun. They were pointing these and yelling get out of their vehicle. They both got out. And Elliott was on the sidewalk side and his friend Keith was on the street side. So while both of them are very unfortunately in this together, they are separated by this car, so neither is really exactly sure what is happening with the other. You know, they weren't aware of what was happening to him other than the fact that this was people pointing guns at him, yelling at him. The gunmen were ranging in age from a young teenager to a man in his mid to late 20s. And they were on the side of the vehicle that Elliot had gotten out of. So when does he go? I must imagine that there was a lot of confusion going on right there. And then, you know, a couple of things that come to my mind is, is this a robbery or a targeted attack? That could absolutely be the case. But again, there was also this big game that night and Keith was the leading scorer on the winning team. And how much of a rivalry was this? And so for both young men, you know, originally had their hands up and then they were getting to the ground, at least Keith was, because they're just being ordered to do things and they were trying to do what they were being told. And there was a lot of yelling going back and forth, but mostly from the men with the guns accusing Elliot of being in a fight, accusing Elliot of taking something that belonged to them. But here's the thing. Keith and Elliott had no idea what they were talking about. This made no sense to them at all. They both know that they're in a bad situation with what's happening. You know, they don't know who these people are or why these people are confronting them with guns and accusing them of stuff that they don't understand. The suspect with the rifle was yelling at one of the other suspects, asking him as he pointed towards Elliot. Is this the right guy? To which he stated I'm not sure. He doesn't think it's the right guy. He thinks it might be somebody else and this might not be the right guy. This is not the right teenage boy I'm looking for. This was the first indication that this was likely a targeted attack. They were looking for someone who they believed may be Elliott, and as the frantic scene continued to unfold, the gunman, who was being asked if they had the right guy, answered back. I don't think so. But he was being commanded to shoot him anyway. They then at very close what I call point blank range where you just can't miss, shot Elliot five times in his upper torso and head. While Elliott lied bleeding on the sidewalk, the gunman jumped back into their car and speed away. Elliott, with his injuries as severe as they were, tried to climb up on the porch step of Keith Scott's family. The parents come out and Elliot is speaking with Keith's mom. He's asking her to help him and not to let him die. You know, he's he's trying to claim the life when he's talking to him. And of course Mr. Scott is trying to get him into the vehicle to take him to the hospital, which is just, you know, it's not far, a few blocks and you know he's talking to him as well. He asked his dad not to let him die. And what it started out on two friends getting together after this joyous victory of the game ended up with Elliot not making it out of the hospital. He was pronounced dead while he was being treated. It's hard because you sit there and you you're thinking. These kids, they were at a ball game, one play, one watch, best friends and fishing together, hunting together, riding around, talking to girls together. They've done their whole life together. And he's a freshman in college. Here's his best buddy who's, you know, high school and everything is great. And then. This happens and. Doesn't know why. He doesn't know why. He's just been shot. Based on the way he's asking his questions, he doesn't know why someone just killed him. Even more than three decades later, Elliott's murder still shakes Jen to her core. I asked her. You know, why is it that right now you're getting so emotional about this as you're talking about Elliot's murder, and what she said was not something I expected at all? It was supposed to be me. That was supposed to be me. The guys that killed him. Their plan was to kill me. At the top of the podcast, we talked about taking you inside a Dark World, which is not often talked about publicly. It's a form of police work. We rarely get this type of perspective. When Jen started with the Virginia State Police in 1989, there were only 34 female troopers working at the agency, and within three years, only three years on the job, she got a unique offer. They asked me in 1989 this summer if I would be willing to work an undercover assignment a long term, and I said yes. I I think I said yes, the fastest I've ever said yes to anything in my life. And I loved hearing Jenna's. Why? Because when people hear undercover, they say, well, why did you want to do it? And for her, she looked at all of this as an adventure and just all the different things within law enforcement she wanted to try. Was very excited to get a chance to do that. I became the very first full-time undercover female for the state of Virginia. Antigo. I know. For me, Jen had me at hello? I mean, I'm not kidding. What an incredible accomplishment. But as you can imagine, the work wasn't always glamorous. They use me as bait for a serial killer one weekend. The Colonial Parkway killer, a lovers lane murderer. He or she or whoever this is a he, from everything we know, was also known as the lovers lane murderer. And basically it came down to four couples being killed in secluded areas that were all thought to be, you know, lovers lane type quiet areas. And there were similarities about it that they decided it must be the work of one person. So we were in a place where the very first couple that was associated to this had been killed. So basically you spent 8 hours in a car making out with a special agent that you didn't know, and it's all pretend, and it's all being recorded, both audio and video, and you're trying not to laugh during a lot of this stuff. But Jenn's mission in Stanton was a whole different scenario. Her supervisors knew she was sharp, she was quick on her feet, and the county was facing an increasing St level drug problem. Crack cocaine had arrived in Shenandoah Valley, and they told us there was an increase in violent crime and robberies and burglaries, larcenies. They were having a lot of people seeing them dealing out on the street, open air. Little kids were showing up with the crack pipes at school for show and tell. True story. It was beginning to concern a lot of these people in this community. They just weren't ready for this, not on that level. And they needed to attack it from the inside, offering her a position in a six month special operation, a deep undercover role blending in with local drug dealers as a buyer and a seller of drugs. And so much more well went from being Jennifer Clark to being Jamie Lee Baylor. And that was the name I made-up. And identified by Lee. If you wanted to get my attention or talk to me, you called me Lee. I really thought it was fascinating, just even the way she spoke about Lee as this separate human being, even though it was her. Lead personality was not a pleasant person, but then as a drug addict, you wouldn't have been but so pleasant. You know, I wasn't getting into anybody's, like, deep life listening to their problems. I was there to buy drugs. So Lee's personality was rather abrupt. Small or larger city is being able to infiltrate a drug gang is an incredible investigative tool to take down a violent organization. But make no mistake, this is by far the most dangerous police work. And I was working, I guess you'd call it semi deep. Kind of an immersive type undercover operation for six months, primarily buying drugs from gang members to outlaw motorcycle gang members, redneck dealers and marijuana. A little bit of everything, all the way to going into and buying drugs from midnights. You know, when people often think about undercover agents and going into the underbelly, they usually think of cities, right? That that's where they are. And yes, of course there's more of them there because there's more people in cities. But, you know, certainly don't think about it in more small town or small city, Virginia, but it really is so much more prevalent than we think. Well, I've worked several tactical operations, drug stings and warrants. It did not include assuming a new identity and infiltrating a violent drug network. I will say to be good. You need to be able to gain the trust of the very people you're trying to take down, and even the simplest mistakes. Perhaps somebody recognizing you from your real life could end your life right there. Just think about that mentally. It is exhausting, and it's why most of these deep cover operations are shorter term assignments. And I've always been fascinated by undercover work. I mean, just the psychological play that goes into being good at it. And as a prosecutor, I was assigned to work with undercovers for probably over a year in a narcotics grand jury. So I would work with them day-to-day, have to look at their cases before going to the grand jury, and had a lot of time to talk with them. And I always thought asking them and hearing their answers about the psychological toll that it sometimes takes on having this second identity, basically parallel to the person, the law enforcement officer. That you really are was just fascinating and always gave me such respect for them as people choosing this part of law enforcement work. Jenna's main goal is to infiltrate a drug gang and collect enough evidence to take them down. And so how it really goes is this. I mean, in the beginning, you're going to be a stranger, so you don't know if anyone's going to sell to you at all. And so you're going to be most likely a user. So you're buying these small amounts, and as someone sells to you, you go back again. And then you slowly work your way up to different players, maybe higher up in the organization as you start to say, hey, I have some money and I want to buy bigger purchases. And in the end, you're trying to work your way all the way to the top to try to take not just the lower level St guys or girls down, but to take the entire operation with them. And Jed wouldn't be alone in this mission. She did have another female undercover working with her, somebody who was just fresh. Out of the Academy. And there's a reason for that. The fact is that if you are not known or had not been seen in uniform in that town or surrounding area, chances are you may not be noticed by a drug dealer who may have been stopped by you or written a ticket by you, you know, months before. So getting somebody or what they call a boot out of The Academy Is extremely helpful. They were going to place us together, living in a Federal Housing project, and we both had undercover cars that were kind of ragged out, sports cars. They weren't in the best of shape, but that was a great way for people to ask us for a ride to go someplace and a great chance for us to ask about, you know, locating dope. And that kind of worked out. Months meeting dealers and buying drugs and meeting more people and buying even more drugs, befriending the dealers, trying to find out who they are, getting the drugs from the whole time that you're trying to buy the drugs, document the evidence, know who it is you're buying from, where you're buying it at the date the time, all of those things still has to get documented. So I always try to keep in my jacket like a little notebook, a little tiny one, and a pen and I would go in the bathroom. Jot down notes really, really quick. Then I'd write, wrapped the drugs up inside a little piece of notepaper and I would put that in a specific pocket from that point on. I didn't put any more drugs in that pocket that day during that outing of buying and sometimes I'd have 6810 pockets full of drugs. And she was primarily focused on the three gangs that were kind of leading the charge and doing the most work in that area and they were known as the Beeper Boys. And can you guess why? His guys all were pagers, and that was sort of unique. Page. If you wanted dope but then some little fancy code, you know, 11, ooh, that's that's a secret. And when you did that, they call you back at whatever payphone you were at because you could actually get a call at a payphone and you just had to keep other people away from it until you could get the call back. And then you made them someplace and buy your dope. But that was why we called them the beeper boys. Then you had this local gang that were mostly into guns. You know, they would take guns from down South and they'd use them to go up. More than they would take those guns and trade them for narcotics to bring them back down and sell. And then there was this third gang, referred to as the Papa Ford gang, Lee Rosa Ford senior. But everybody called him Papa Ford. And Papa Ford had a massive family of children. He had kids probably from ages 30 down to like 5, and most of them were boys. So Papa Ford's boys ran the drug operation. He oversaw everything that they did, but they were actually out on the street. Doing the dealing. And his sons were raised to be violent. The Papa Ford gang was especially difficult to infiltrate. And that really was a different type of challenge to her because this gang in particular was also selling heroin. And she had been told there was no heroin in the area. But then she was told, no, no, no, that's not actually true. People that are in the know know that you can buy it because people are using it, and this is where they're getting it. So it was her mission to make as many buys as possible, starting with the small ones, to try to get on the inside of this gang. To try to get their heroin trade taken down. To buy from him, I would have to send an informant in to see Papa Ford. I wasn't allowed in the house. We tried several different ways and just couldn't do it. Chen knew that if she wanted to buy up the line, find the sellers who were loading off the biggest amount of quantity, she would have to change up her tactics. You know, if I don't spend bigger money, that person is never going to speak to me. They don't want to buy. They're not going to sell me a $50.00 bag. They don't do that. I'm going to have to spend at least 300 just to even get them to look at me. Back then, that was good money, 300. And while she is working day in and day out to make these buys to try to get herself up the chain for her law enforcement goals, she also started to draw some what might be termed negative attention. Papa forward had suddenly decided he didn't trust us. He didn't trust me. He didn't trust my informant, Jimmy. Jimmy was the CIA or a confidential informant that both Jen and her partner have been getting Intel from during the operation, and what he told them would send off alarm bells. Something was wrong with us. According to Papa Ford. He thought we were snitches or we were narcs, but somehow or another, we needed to be taken care of. They needed to remove. And the date that this conversation happened was February 15th, 1990, the same day Elliott Dickerson was killed. For months, Jen and her undercover partner had infiltrated a dangerous drug gang in Stanton. But in February of 1990, that trust seemed to be in question. Things were already happening that were weird that we couldn't understand. One of our informants overheard multiple **** ******* from different gangs talking about her. Sign. That's a horrible sign. What are they asking? They must be concerned about something to do with you that didn't make any sense. Those guys, at the time, they weren't doing these gang battles between each other. They each had their own territory. I kept thinking of The Sopranos right when the different families were getting together that they would even work in unison for a potential goal, when there was a bigger threat to their world of their trade and their money laundering and everything else they were doing. This is the. Almost exact same thing, except they are the local narcotic dealers. The different groups are gangs that are now getting together for this unified purpose of making sure that someone that they don't trust for whatever reason is not a threat to their money making operations. And it can really only be two things they're concerned about. Are you a snitch or are you an undercover cop? And as soon as I'm aware of the conversation and what's taking place, we happen to run into another young man by the name of. David Turner, he was a nice local kid. He had heard that the Ford family was calling us snitches and he was in our car telling us. He said, you know, you guys can lay low, just call me, you call me and I'll get you a dope. I'll, I'll bring it to you, you know, you just you just deal with me for right now until they cool off. That maybe if I left for a few weeks and let things cool down that the Ford Boys would calm down. And the problem is that once there is that distrust and worry about whether she's a snitch or even law enforcement, they are going to get rid of her. And the way they're going to do that certainly isn't pretty. And one of the most troubling signs to confirm what the CIA was telling her is the Ford Boys were no longer willing to sell them dope. And one time all of them are together in this little small red vehicle and they're being rude as hell and you know. It's like not now, you know, get lost. I mean, the looks I was getting from them if looks could have killed how out of fallen over right there because they definitely were looking at me in a different way. And remember their sole purpose in this narcotics create is to make money. So they are rarely turning people away. And that really confirmed the suspicions based on what the informant had said that here she had been buying from them for months at this point. And all of a sudden on this day, the same time she hears that they are not trusting of her and they kind of are. Worried about who she is that they won't sell to her at all? You know, this is an important crossroad in the investigation and you can look at it two ways. First, the threat is real and they do have some type of information that you're either a snitch or a member of law enforcement and that is truly dangerous and you need to shut down the operation and get to safety. And here's another side though. Perhaps they don't have any confirmation of either, but only a suspicion. And how you react to that will confirm that for them. You know, just think how terrifying it must have been for Jen. Like, even though she is trained and even though she has a specific goal or mission we all have seen, unfortunately homicide just takes an instant and you're never quite sure where it's going to come from if there is this threat. You know, when anyone hears there is a price on their head or a hit or anything, you're going to do what you can to protect the person. But can they do it in time, like the race is on and she doesn't know how serious they are about the threat or how quickly they plan to act? And so we have to leave the city. We don't want to be anywhere near where the Fords might see us. I go out to this little small bombing pop country store and get on the payphone there, trying to reach my topside guys. Topside is another word for handler on the law enforcement side. Somebody who is not an undercover role but is overseeing your movements when possible. Whatever I was doing in a drug deal he was listening to every time I went out to do any work I had on a body wire transmitter and so in his car. They had all of the set up there to actually make the cassette recording so that he could record this information and listen to everything that was going on. The top side is really your overseer and your over protector. They are your lifeline. And again, I'm sorry to reference a different show here because I'm just thinking about it. Like even if Scott's talking, you know, for those of you that have not seen it, you need to the wire. And I think part of the reason I was always so fascinated with it is that it talks about these families, just individuals working within. Particular narcotics gangs, including then the operations that are used undercover to try to take them down. And you could really see it in real time really as Jen was talking, including the topside agents got, you know, the person who was tasked with being the person on the outside to protect the one on the inside. In this case Jen, they would be your first call. Anna Sega. Once you learn that your cover has been burned and certainly if your life is in danger and you would need some sort of extraction, we were having a hard time. Paging them. I'm calling them. I'm paging. I can't get ahold to him. I'm not hearing back. I'm hanging out this payphone. I'm now worried because I know that the Fords are really thinking about doing harm to me, and I'm not sure that it's safe to actually go back to my undercover apartment because everybody knows that's where they live. They they know. So there's no way to hide there. And I need to be someplace, and I don't know what to do with the informant because his life is in jeopardy. And am I supposed to drag him around with me as the rest of the night? I mean, you know, I need somebody to give me. Some guidance and I needed to reach them. Finally, I hear back from my topside agent, Charlie, and I think he'd detective out of Waynesboro, and they tell me that there's been a shooting in Stanton. Remember, it's February 15th, 1990. You know, they're telling me a little bit about the situation she learns about the young man, Elliott Dickerson, a freshman in nearby college who was stopped by a group of teenagers and young men, one of whom shoots him. And what stood out to his friend, who witnessed the entire thing? Was the car the attackers were driving, and as soon as he said it was a small red vehicle, kind of like a Jeep. I was like, that's the Fort, that's them. I said they left here like 30 minutes ago and everything is happening so fast. And then I realized I was with the Fords. I saw them getting into the vehicle. They obviously had their firearms at that time. So you have to start to say, well, wait a second, is this even adding up at all? Because if they're gunning, no pun intended, for her, for Jen, and they're mad at her based on what the informant said, well, then why is this teenager Elliot? Shot and killed. And your reason behind the shooting just didn't make sense at all. The information was that they were already suspicious of Jen and her partner and would likely want to take action against them. But what does this have to do with Elliott or even Keith Scott? If it had something to do with basketball rivalries, why wouldn't you shoot the basketball star? Why did you gun this guy down? And so here's where it starts to come back around as far as actual motive, because Jen now starts to hear around town. That one of the four boys, a 15 year old by the first name of Clevon, had actually got into a physical altercation earlier that night. Clevon and some other folks were down at the Ciro's Pizza, and I guess a lot of people were actually at Ciro's Pizza hanging out after the ball game or right around the time of the ball game was just ending. Allegations made were that he was in a fight with two males that were teenagers to early adult age maybe. And not only did clevon lose that fight and the pair flee away, he also dropped more than $3000 worth of crack cocaine. That bag got lost in this fight out in this parking lot and someone picked it up. Clavon just assumed it was, you know, one of the two people that he got in the fight with. Those guys took off and left. And so Clevon was definitely upset and definitely angry. And he always had an angry personality. You never saw him when he was a happy kid, you know, at 15 had he was very aggressive, very, very mad at the world, bitter. So now it's a loss of face and he's embarrassed by having losing the fight, presumably in front of other people. But now we're also talking about money and not a small amount and certainly not back then. And whether the people he was in the fight were the ones that actually took it or he just dropped it in someone else. He lost. And it was absolutely going to tie the two together and try to find the person he'd had that fight with. I guess. He asked around as to who they were or try to get some information and somebody said, you know, they're from over in Stanton and. You know, that's the rival ball team, remember? Because the Stanton played Waynesboro in Waynesboro. So Cleavon let his brothers know what had happened. The next thing was we're gonna get our guns, we're gonna go, we're gonna find this guy, and we're gonna kill him. So now the plan was to find the two boys that had fled and the Ford Boys piled into a red truck. In the car was John Bostick, who was 28, Mishon Ford, who was 26, Tyrone Ford, who was 23, Clevon Wilson, who was 15, and Lorenzo Williams. They are just driving around town angry and anyone that even potentially could have been looked anything like they were going to be the targets of this crew. Then I run into the 13 year old Ford boy and he is telling me clevon is going off the hook and I was like, what do you mean? And he said he hadn't gotten a fight. He hadn't gotten a fight. I'm liking, OK? That's what's wrong, he said. I don't know, somebody, somebody going to pay, somebody going to die, somebody going to pay. And so, as these five are driving around town looking for the guys they've had a fight with, the people they actually find are Elliott and Keith, who are now sitting in Elliott's car. Never have heard anybody say that they were asking Elliot Dickerson for money or for the drugs. They just were yelling at him and accusing him, and he didn't know what he was being yelled at or being accused of. All of a sudden, the guys in the rediscuss you start ordering, yelling for Elliot to keep, to get out of the car. And as they do that, they're pointing guns at them too. I'm sure Mishawn, who's already killed somebody before that, he's probably charming right in, because they're all yelling. Everybody's just telling clavon, you know, pull the trigger, do it. Killing, do it, do it now. Has become crystal clear now is that this seems to be a case of a tragic mistaken identity. Keith and Elliott hadn't done anything. Keith and Elliott were just best friends hanging out. Everybody had been at the ball game, you know, Keith had played in the ball game, had a great game. Now his best friend from college is home to hang out with him for a little bit. They're going to go riding around. I'm sure they were going to go talk to girls. It was, you know, I'm sure there was some after game party someplace, even though it was a Thursday night, they were teenagers. And they weren't caught up in this thing. For me, even though it was obvious to the shooter that Elliot was not their original target, not the person who was involved in the scuffle with the Ford Boys, they took his life anyway. Was that simple for them? When I think about that and I think about what they did that night. And if I could have just been there. You know. I don't know if I could have stopped it if I had been standing right there, but I would have done everything possible and maybe somebody on in the four boys would have died. Maybe it would have turned it around and went the other way. Maybe the bad guys wouldn't wouldn't have had that moment. Maybe they would have lost. It's so easy for people to play. The would have, could have, should have game. But no one can say that there's anything Jen could have done differently in the situation that would have stopped this group from taking Elliott's life. But here's one thing that is certain if it weren't for Jen, police would not have been able to identify that the assailants were the Ford brothers. You know, I named them off the the ones that I knew in the car. You know, there's John Clevon, mishawn, Darren. I said there's another person and I said the little red vehicle. It's a Isuzu amigo. Jen knew that. Red, a zuzu amigo, even remembered it carried a temporary tag. I know there were mad. I know what they had been discussing. I also know that Cleveland had gotten in a fight and he was going off in just one conversation with Jen. They were able to. That names the vehicle, a potential motive, all of which led them to obtain a probable cause affidavit to make an arrest. And this is at the very same time police were still processing the crime scene. They know exactly the vehicle, not just one other people on the street that scene, but they know from me and they also know who they're looking for and they are letting all the police agencies in the region know and they are searching for them. They started a manhunt flat out. So easily this case could have gone cold. Keith didn't recognize or know any of the people. No one knew why the shooting had happened. And we often talk about on the streets there's this code of silence, especially when it comes to groups or gangs that don't think twice about taking an innocent life. So I have to think that if it weren't for Jen's, information may well have been very scarce. They started locating him and rounding them up, and they started recovering firearms that were meeting the description. Within 24 hours, members of law enforcement had rounded up most of the Ford crew. Four of the five in the car were located and arrested. Cleveland Wilson took a plea deal and got 40 years Mishan, and Tyrone pled guilty and received 20 years. John Bostick's charges were later dropped and Lorenzo Williams was never located. When, while they're doing the manhunt, this is when myself and Jesse had to disappear. And once this homicide happened, the operation was completely shut down. But not for the prosecution. I mean, they were able to make so many different cases and all the things that Jen and her partner had accomplished in the months before the recordings, the documentations, the buys that they made, people went to jail. This case was talked about from the narcotic side as the largest drug bust that the Shenandoah Valley had ever seen up into that point. You know, I sit back and I think I get it. I understand that, that Papa Ford raised those boys to be vicious vermin, but they became adults and they could have walked away from that. It might have been hard, but they could have and they didn't. They stayed in it. They liked being mean. They like being evil. They liked controlling and hurting people. And they like slinging drugs because drugs made them money and they didn't have to work. It gave them power. I wish I could have stopped them. I wish I had had the chance. You know, when I think about this case, it really strikes me how just things can change in an instant and I just think it's the reminder. To take advantage of each moment with those we cherish. Elliot Dickerson never had a chance to defend himself or even understand why he was looking down the barrel of a gun. Keith Scott never made it to the NBA and he still struggles to this day over the death of his best friend. His team would go on to win the high School championship in 1989, but missing to root him on the standout Star's biggest cheerleader who was silenced forever. And here's his best friend telling you just how great you are doing and how you can do it. And they're supporting you. And that just got taken from him, ripped away from him, and he watched him dying, you know? We were sent there because Stanton, they said they had a drug problem and the idea was to try to cut back on some of the crime, some of the violence, to lessen it. And I just. I hate that it ended with a murder. 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.