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.
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 07:00
Two women murdered hours apart, and a community on high alert. How an unsolved double homicide from years before gives the clue needed to solve them all. For episode information and photos, please visit https://anatomyofmurder.com/.
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Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. We've had a couple of things that have gone on in the last 24 hours. You always think that you've seen it all and heard it all. Tell me about what happened. And then something like this happens. What is it that you're telling me that you did? This guy had just confessed to killing four women. 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. You know, all throughout my certainly my elementary school years, I always remember how each day started in class and it started with us saying the Pledge of Allegiance. And there's something about the last four words of it. That I kept thinking about when I thought of today's story. And those 4 words are and justice for all. No matter who you are or what your station in life is, that here we're all supposed to get that same level of equality, equal treatment under the law. Before our story, I spoke with prosecutor DJ Hilson from Muskegon County, Michigan. So I walked in the door August 1st, 1999. I haven't left. And, you know, one thing I have to say is that he has such a love of the profession that it really stood out for me, not only in the things he actually said to explain that, but just the way he talked about his work in general. I'd worked for a civil firm prior to going to law school and thought maybe that's where I was going to end up and ultimately fell in love with prosecution. I had always been kind of enamored by law enforcement anyways, and so it was like a perfect storm for me. You know the phrase when it rains, it pours for investigators. That is what this case is all about. It's October 14th, 2004, and residents in the small town of Muskegon Heights, MI, would wake up to a cold and rainy morning. Investigators had no idea that they would be faced with multiple murders and the killer in just a span of 24 hours, and it starts with Anna Lawson. She was well known in the neighborhood at the time of her death. She was 63 years old. We are all complex beings, but to try to simplify some things about Anna Lawson. She is described as a sweet middle-aged woman and one of the things she was known for was helping others in her community. She was someone that didn't cause any problems and wasn't a problem to anybody. In the early hours of October 14th, police are called to the scene of a suspicious death called by a close friend of Anas who was not able to reach her on the phone, which was unusual. A friend of Analysin who actually had stopped by Anna's house, even though it was just a little after midnight, and noticed that the front door was ajar. This young lady sees the house in absolute disarray and saw some blood around the door and ran out of the house. That's what prompted her to immediately call police, and when police arrived at the scene and they went through the home, it didn't take long before they found Anna Lawson. Police arrive, they start looking through the house and they don't see her right away. Which is interesting because as you walked into this house, the first room you walk into is kind of the living room area. Where Anna actually was, though, she was under kind of a sheet or a blanket, as well as some couch cushions. She had been strangled and stabbed. So the officers literally walked past that scene, and it's ultimately one of the officers discovers Anna's body buried under these cushions and blanket. You know, Scott, we've had this conversation before about what it signifies when someone is covered or found under a blanket, but this one speaks to me a bit differently. What are your thoughts? Normally if a body's covered up, you know, we've seen people putting blankets or putting a pillow under a victim's head usually means that they're related or they know the victim. They don't want to really see what they've actually done yet. This feels a little bit different, but it's very early on to make any determination for me. When we often talk about someone being covered with something to cover their face, it's usually done in a way almost gently, if such a thing can be said after a homicide, but almost that the person doesn't want to see the face of the person that they have murdered. But here it's almost like this to me. Sloppy attempt to hide the body almost in a quick let me see if I can quickly try to cover my tracks again. It's sloppy, so it's not going to work. One of the friends of Miss Lawson had. Told police that Miss Lawson's car was missing. It was not parked in the driver where it would normally be in and immediately the call went out to be on the lookout. There's a couple of other things that investigators notice at this crime scene. It's quickly determined that she's been strangled and stabbed, but also an important factor is there's no forced entry into her home. So it wasn't like the door was kicked in in order to gain entry, which oftentimes suggests that it was somebody that she knew. Muskegon Heights has a population of roughly 175,000 residents. The city is an urban center within the state of Michigan. Back in the day, Muskegon Heights was a very, almost affluent area, very close to some of our medical centers, and wasn't uncommon for doctors to live in that area. And over time, businesses left things in the downtown area shut down, became a little more desolate, and now, you know, is in the process of trying to get back to those glory days of what it used to be. It's only four square miles with a very small footprint in the state of Michigan. It requires a fairly small Police Department, the police force itself at the time, and certainly even today. It is relatively small, but it also has some of our more violent crimes that occur. And in 2014, the agency had only two detectives on staff. Think about that for a moment. You have over 100,000 people often tell people that Muskegon County is got big county problems on a small county budget and so there are a lot of different resource limitations and homicides are not new to Muskegon Heights. In 2014, a couple found 36 year old Rebecca Bletch dead on the shoulder of a road. She had been jogging and she was shot several times. In the head and police at the same time were looking for her killer. Right around that time we were coming off the heels of a particularly violent summer. A year prior to that, a girl working at a local gas station had gone missing. So all these things are swirling and still fresh in investigators head while they're processing the crime scene of Anna Lawson's murder. So just imagine as the investigators, you're working a fresh homicide of Anna Lawson and you're still processing that scene and you're developing a list of contacts she has and acquaintances. And it's just six hours into that investigation. That's when the second call comes out of a discovered body, the woman by the name of Judy Bushman. And when they went to that home, they found that it was occupied by another woman who lived alone. She was also middle-aged, a longtime resident of Muskegon Heights. The call comes from Miss Bushman's daughter. She is concerned because she had spoken to her mother the night before, was checking up on her that morning, and was unable to make any contact with her. And it worried her enough that she asked her significant other to go and try to look for her mother. He ends up kind of breaking into the house, if you will, through a screen window and walking around and seeing the house in disarray and discovering his mother-in-law on the floor of her bedroom with what appeared to be a rope around her neck. When police entered the home, they found the victim and they were able to establish that rope had not been attached to anything, so they quickly ruled out death by suicide. Based on the condition of the room, it appeared the victim was involved in a violent struggle with her killer and also potentially post murder. The house had been ransacked, so there's nothing on its face that's necessarily going to be easy for investigators to figure out if they are connected at all, if one was first or if one was second. Is there any? As I always say. Connective tissue and when even when I look at the modes of murder, while they both involve strangulation, one of them seems to be manual and the second seems to be with this secondary object, this rope, and you have to look on the surface of whether time and distance play a role here. There isn't a great distance again between these two locations. You're talking anywhere from 6 to 10 blocks apart, and I'm looking at a Google map right now and in distance. There are a mile apart, which would be about a 3 minute car drive and about a 15 minute walk. Investigators don't know of a connection between these two women. Because these two women did not know each other, they didn't associate with one another. But let's look at victimology, and let's break it down the similarities and the differences between Anna and Judy. They both lived alone, and while they both were killed in a similar way, in the early stages of this investigation, it was treated as two separate homicides. They're really working right now at this point that there isn't a connection. So when conducting your victimology investigation and who your victims are, lots of information comes up and the majority of it's helpful. But you also may learn some other things about the victim. And in this case, investigators found out that both Judy and Anna were set to have sold prescription drugs outside of their homes. It appears as though that if either one of these women knew who you were and you had that affliction for pain pill, they would sell one to you. And let's sidestep for a moment, because so often, you know, people think that if they hear that someone was doing something untoward, that maybe that somehow puts the women at somehow at fault for what happened to them and not at all. This in no way should make you care any less. It's yet another factor that investigators need to look at to see if they're homicides are related. The fact remained that there was a violent killer on the loose, and in Muskegon Heights, that community was in fear. We're not looking to put the community in panic mode, but this is a small department. It's two detectives, so you've got what they've been dealing with for the past 6 to 8 months now we're adding not one, but two homicides discovered right around the same time and almost a similar location without any real leads as to who would do these to these women. Was this a robbery gone wrong? Because very often when you have these home invasion type things. At least death in a home, that's what they're going to be left with. But there was no indication that in Judy Bushman's home that there was anything missing. So the big question right away is, are these two cases connected? Because if so, you don't just have one horrible homicide, but you may have a serial killer on the loose. Everything was kind of pointing, at least initially, pointing in that direction. You wonder who will be next. With this case, it's actually who. Was his or her first? So let's take a pause on Analysin and Judy Bushmans cases for a moment, because we're going to go back in time for a bit to 1989. Also, Muskegon Heights to discuss another murder. Remember, Muskegon Heights is only a town of four square miles and as it turns out, there was a decades old homicide that remained unsolved and you will see shortly. Probably realized we wouldn't be bringing it up unless there was a connection. For this homicide 1989, we're going to be talking about a home that belonged to the Herrera family. The Herreras lived in a, I'd say, a relatively small home. The matriarch of the family was named Linda. She lived there at the time with her grown adult daughter, who was named Cynthia and who was married. Linda also had a son named Celestino. Now the herreras were known around town for always having a open door policy. They welcomed people into their homes, especially around the holidays. It wasn't an area that wasn't necessarily known for its high volume of crime or violence. In June of 1989, Celestino headed over to his mom Linda's house to discuss some big plans for July 4th BBQ. When he gets to the home, the house is dark. He begins knocking on the door, knocking on the windows, and calling on the phone, which bring no results, no contact with his mother. That's when he decides to call 911 to do a Wellness check. One of the local officers at the time receives a call from our Central Dispatch indicating that there's a complaint that wants to make a report, and they're at a local restaurant. The officer goes to take the complaint and happens to be Celestino. When police arrived, he asked them to break into the house as he didn't live there or didn't have a key. He wanted them to enter the make sure that everything was fine, but the officers felt they didn't have enough evidence that someone was in immediate danger, so they declined. 2 days later he would convince a friend to enter the home and that friend would discover two bodies, the body of his mother Linda and the body of his sister Cynthia. The house is in disarray. The phone lines have been disconnected, and by disconnected they appear to have actually been cut. It's important to tell you the square footage of the house was less than 1200 square feet. It's clear that the bodies had been there for a few days because the officer notes that there was a strong odor in the House, goes to one of the bedrooms and finds both women on the floor. Now both victims, mother and daughter, are laying in the same room. In the bedroom. There's a lot of blood, and it appears to investigators very quickly that based on looking at where the blood is pooled in the room that it's in, that the murders must have occurred in that same room in the bedroom. And Cynthia's cause of death was multiple stab wounds. And for the mother, Linda. She was shot and stabbed. Well, I think right away you would think that there's more than one person involved because they're in the same location, they're in the same bedroom, if you will, and they're literally lying on the floor next to each other and there is one sign of forced entry, or at least potentially, and that's one broken window screen. You got two different weapons at play that I would think. One of the first things you might think about is that there are more than one person involved in this and the possible murder weapon are at least as to one was found in the home. The gun of the 25 semi automatic pistol, and there was also a knife, a kitchen knife that they believed at least could have been the weapon in the stabbing. Point in time that I've been involved in an investigation or trial where you've got somebody that's been stabbed multiple times. There always seems to be some sort of, I'll say, connection or emotion tied to that. You know, in particular depending on where the stab wounds are and how many there are and how forceful they are. So now you have one stabbed and one shot and stabbed. So is that going to lead to two different perpetrators or is it 1 perpetrator that started with one weapon and then went to the other? You know I've seen cases at a Segal where a perpetrator came into the home unarmed and the victim inside the house would try to arm themselves to protect themselves and they would be disarmed by the intruder and the intruder would end up using the gun on them clearly at this point. We don't know if that is the case, but certainly that could be a factor. Now they're going to first look at those closest to Linda and Cynthia, and that very quickly led them to Celestino. He told the officer at the time. Hey look and I broke in if you will. Went through a screen window, walked around the house, noticed it was in disarray, noticed that the phone cord was cut and didn't see my mother or sister. Here is the first big turn in the investigation for me. His story was that he entered the home, saw it in disarray and left and never noticing the bodies of his mother and his sister lying dead. How would he miss such a sight? That house is 1200 square feet. How could he not? Have noticed his mother and sister lying dead with lots of blood on the floor. Now they weren't covered by anything and by no means is this a big house. It doesn't even make sense to me. Because if you are willing to break in to try to find your mom and your sister, that just when you see things in disarray that you're going to leave, well, isn't that going to make you look all the more closely and maybe frantically for them? It just starts to defy common sense to me. It was known that there was a little bit of a falling out between Linda and Celestino's mother and son, that he had been upset over the relationship that his sister and their mom had. Once Linda's son, Celestino came clean about what really happened on that day. He called police and he did agree to submit to a polygraph exam. As he's walking into the polygraph, he tells them for the first time that he in fact did see the bodies the first time he walked in the house. Now police had a new set of questions on that polygraph and it was a great opportunity to ask them and when the test results were in. He was being truthful. It's always hard to try to find the logic sometimes in this business and the common sense when you hear things like that. But in his mind it was better for him not to say anything and let somebody else discover the bodies. Now on the one hand, it makes you, your head almost snap around to say, well, did he do it? What else are you lying about? But it also goes to a fear factor of knowing that the Polygrapher will likely detect that deception if he hasn't admitted that much. So I almost start to wonder, while who knows why he didn't tell them that initially. But it almost goes towards the fact that while there's going to be a story somewhere here that he isn't actually the killer. But also, within that same conversation with the investigators, he quickly gave them some critical information. They asked him, if it's not you, who do you think would have a reason to kill your mother and your sister? Celestino immediately points the finger at Leon means, who at the time was married to his sister Cynthia. Now, investigators believe this is a solid lead. They quickly determined that Leon means had been seen at the house on that day when the murders were committed. And furthermore, when investigators checked the fingerprints that were recovered on the telephone in the House, they were in fact confirmed to be the fingerprints of Leon means. But there is a caveat here. Obviously it wouldn't be unusual for his fingerprints to be in that home, being a relative and married to Cynthia, but it did give investigators an opportunity to quickly run those prints. Which gave them instant results. Leon had been serving time and the only reason why he was around during this time period is that he actually had escaped from custody. So it didn't take long for investigators to realize not only that Leon means had a criminal past, that he also just recently escaped a Correctional Facility and it was during a a transport and escaped from the transport vehicle. So he was serving time in prison and was a fugitive on the run and ultimately was being, I guess, housed, hidden, whatever term you want to use in this family home. But let's just think about the variables here. So did he escape to go specifically to commit this crime? Or did he escape and then go to his wife's home, his mother-in-law's home, to try to avoid detection? And now someone came there to do something to him? I mean, there's so many possibilities swirling, but that escape really seems to be a likely centerpiece of it all. Leon was kind of a jealous guy, and it was no secret that Cynthia, who was married to Leon at the time, was engaged in some extramarital relationships. And that in itself could have been the motive for murder. And Linda being in the home and likely coming to the aid of her daughter perhaps, is how she became innocent collateral damage. And right then and there 1989, Leon means was charged with the murders of both Linda and Cynthia. But when he was sentenced sometime later, he was only sentenced on that original fugitive, the escape charge. So right away, why not prosecute him for the double homicide? My only guests, and this is totally a gas, is that they had issues with the murder cases. They were able to secure a stiff sentence on the fugitive charge and let him go to prison for that and not necessarily take a chance at the murders. You know, lots of questions about the forensics and assiga. Did the prosecutor feel comfortable enough that the 25 caliber gun was in the home before Leon means went in there? The knife potentially was there as well? Do you feel they had enough circumstantial evidence to really move forward with the prosecution? I'm always hesitant to really put my opinion out there when I haven't done a deep dive through the actual file, because it can sometimes be those little details that really push you one way or the other. But on its face, what I heard both from DJ Hilson and also in our own research, no, I don't think they had it. I think they had some big pieces of circumstantial evidence. They had motive. Potentially they could place him there. But you know, that's it because both of these women lived in the same house. There was no indication that there was. Strife between Mr means and Linda. The mother, more likely than not was going to turn out to be a wrong place, wrong time. We often talk about what the defense must be thinking in a potential trial. And you know, I'm sure the defense would bring up Celestino as a potential suspect. To divert the attention away from Leon means not only is it a great point, Scott, but when I think about it, he is the one who actually we can show broke into the home. And now while he said it is to try to find his missing mother. My sister is it? Or did he break in to commit these crimes? Let's put a pin in the cases from 1989 and go back to 2014. Remember, the case regarding the Herrera family is not on police radar. It's 25 years later. So the police have put out a be on the lookout or Bolo for Anna Lawson's car and they're also looking for witnesses to develop a name, and a name does come up. Police were receiving tips about who may be involved. Lea means name appears again. They learned he actually, while not romantically involved, was staying at Judy's home as a guest. She had an extra bedroom, he needed a place to stay and he had been living there now at the time of this incident, he had not been living there, but there was that connection there. Investigators concluded that he was very familiar with the home, with the layout and likely would have been let in by Judy with a knock on the door and Anna Lawson. Leon had been seen at Anna's house again as a guest and now we have confirmed a connective tissue and so now police are actually on the hunt was a sale observer tip that came in that that talked about Leon means maybe making his way towards the Grand Rapids area, which is. East of us. And it doesn't take long before they find Anna Lawson's car. Now, as it turns out, with the BOL out for the vehicle and his description, he was found sleeping in the car in a I won't say desolate area, but an area in the city of Muskegon, near Muskegon Lake, and that's where he was apprehended. And there was also something that stood out to officers. Leon means was wearing a flannel shirt, remember, that is going to be huge in this story later on. So he's now taken into police custody and he is brought down and interviewed at the police station. A couple of things that have gone on in the last 24 hours, right. OK. Do you want to tell me what it is that you remember about where you were at and what you were doing within the last 24 hours? This is some of the recording of the exchange between investigators and Leon. Means the thing that I want to do, but I'm also gonna treat you like human beings. I don't wanna disrespect you in any kind of way. Detectives were going to have an opportunity to talk to Leon means, now the prime suspect in two homicides. Building a rapport with him would be key. Would he be honest and would the details he provides match the evidence? That is job one for these investigators walking in. When you get a chance to watch a police interview, especially an interview of a homicide suspect, you just never know what's going to happen. Let's talk about you. You never know how the initial exchange is going to go. You never know how they're building up. Rapport is gonna go there by herself. You know how long you're gonna do the dance. Tell me about what? Let's talk about you. I always love thinking about strategy in these cases, and while each investigator can only speak to what he or she was thinking when they went in to talk to a subject, one thing is usually the same is that they just want to keep the person talking. It is so important to have that rapport and and I'm watching the video of his interrogation with officers and you could instantly see that Leon means he's got both elbows on the table, he's leaning forward, he's talking very softly and he is ready. To spill it, he is ready to give officers a full confession. I'm not. I'm not playing with stupid. I just want to know that I want you to understand that, right? That know you got that? You know what I'm saying? Goodbye. It's important, and it was important for the investigator to level with him. Someone who has spent 20 years behind bars already knows how the system works and already would be able to detect whether the officer was inexperienced in his questions or really whether the officer wanted to get to the truth and was being honest in his inquiry. To Leon means, you know, I want to make sure that you are comfortable talking to me. Understand that we both have to talk to each other. Does that make sense? It makes a lot of sense. It didn't take investigators very long. It was almost as if Mr means just wanted to get it off his chest almost immediately because this interview is relatively short. With you, you are basically partying together, right? Smoking weed, OK? He already told the investigator right at the top of the interview that the night of violence began at the House of Judy Bushman. He went to her house for a drink, and when he left, he realized that he had left his cell phone behind. They got into a physical altercation and according to Leon means, Judy Buschman began to fight back. You know, I've heard it. And when you say you say you did it, what is it that you're telling me that you did? I feel you. OK. And do you remember how you killed it? I believe you. I did. With a court. In graphic detail, he goes to tell investigators that Judy attempted to flee. She went into her bedroom, means gave chase, caught up with her. Said no, no, no, don't do this. Wrapped a cord around her neck and strangled her to death, telling the investigators quote. As well as the end like it did. It wasn't supposed to end like this. Man and I regret in the end. You know, there's things about his story that just that have the ring of truth but also don't make sense at all. You know, when he talks about asking her for the money and she said no, well, he said that he knocked her down and that's when she started to fight back. But I really look at it as more about someone who quickly goes to rage. Remember, we're talking about multiple individuals. All these victims are women. And this man Leon means that thinks that he can go and ask for and is somehow entitled to get what he wants, and that if he doesn't get it, he goes right to being physical. And if she had dared to fight back, I think that easily could have gotten him going. But do I also think that it could even be? How dare they not give him exactly what he wants? I gotta believe that it's out of anger, because the way he describes it, there doesn't seem to be much of an exchange at all. From logic, it doesn't seem like it would progress that far. Now, in that confession he tries to sidestep some responsibility, claiming that it was when crack was first introduced on the streets. He started to use crack for a very first time, and he said it just made him crazy. Let's assume he was even high on crack at the time. Ken, voluntary intoxication be a defense? Well, partially, not fully, but even then you need to be able to show that you were so under the influence that you didn't know. Right from wrong at all. But yet here where he took these steps to cover up the crime and to make his escape? Well, that shows that he clearly knew at the time what he was doing, even though police found Anna Lawson. First it was Judy Bushman who he confessed was his first victim. Then the questioning turned to the murder of Anna Lawson, and the detective who led the interrogation had some Intel about means health. You definitely have. Forget it, right? Because you're sick, too. You got you. You got what? Kidney cancer. And so I can tell you, man, I I can tell you that you need to get all of this off of you. So that you can have peace. Because if he is in dire health and he knows that the end is at least likely near well, then he doesn't have long to be held accountable at all. That's a really good point. Lot of things. I think that you know what your destiny is from this point on. Exactly. And and let's do this. Let's clear it up. He literally leaves that murder scene and makes his way to Anna Lawson's house. Yeah, you did that, didn't. Just knocked on the door and was hoping that Anna would have some methadone pills that he could have. And once she refused once again, like in the murder of Judy Bushman, Leon Means grabbed Anna Lawson, wrapped a cord around her neck and strangled her to death. And then ultimately decides to take Anna Lawson's vehicle because he was bleeding from his hands and didn't want to be seen. During the interview with Leon means investigators had already gotten a tremendous amount of evidence in his confession of the murders of Judy Bushman and Anna Lawson, but they felt that means intentions were to come clean. So why not take that opportunity to bring up the 1989 murders of Cynthia and Linda? Tell me what happened in 89. Of the house. That was kind of a, I would say, shot in the dark. But he's already confessed to two murders. What's another two? And so they took a shot and hit it out of the park. Tell me what happened that day. And I got here, you open the door for me. He said that he in fact had escaped from prison and he had been hiding out at the home of Linda and Cynthia. He describes her going to the bedroom. She was lying on her back. He stabbed her. She just stabbed it for no reason. For no reason. It was because he was dating a guy during the time that I was out of, I was hiding at the house. That's right. You know, she was dating some guy while I was having it the house. I couldn't afford to come out and say nothing because, you know, I had escaped. He had become upset after learning that his wife, who was Cynthia, was dating another subject while he was incarcerated. Mother-in-law Linda is in the house at the time and so he had gotten up, removed the gun because he knew where she kind of hit her gun, which was under the couch and shot her once and then placed the gun back under the couch cushion. And just think Celestino Linda's son had been under suspicion there, a cloud of suspicion for decades. And now, in a simple conversation with investigators, Leon means confesses to four murders. I think to everybody's surprise, it didn't take long for the detectives to get from him that he in fact had been responsible for the murder of Linda and Cynthia Harris. So we already know that Leon means is arrested and he's charged in these four murders. But on the first day of trial, there was more unexpected turns. We literally walked into court anticipating a jury trial and I was confronted with they wanted to do a bench trial. Obviously, I don't see if you can talk about what that means. Well, in every case there is a choice between a jury trial and there is a bench trial, which means that the judge is going to be the fact Finder and who will come up with the ultimate verdict. Now, I can tell you, in every homicide case I ever tried, I think it's accurate to say that I never did a bench trial. I don't think, and they do happen, but it's rare. It's only in certain types of cases that maybe because of the notoriety or for example, if it is a child homicide. That a defendant may choose a judge to be the arbiter of the facts because they think it is such a heinous allegation that a jury will be so turned off that they won't even be held to the strict conscripts of the law. So I started with the Ana Lossa investigation. And as the trial begins, the prosecution calls its first witness, who was a friend of Anna Lawsons. She gets up on the stand and they show her a picture of Leon means on the day he was arrested wearing that flannel shirt. And she described that flannel shirt that Mr means had on belonged to Anna Lawson. So this really is almost a gotcha moment, because now for DJ Hilson, it's got you for felony murder, because under felony murder, he was saying that this homicide in the course of a robbery, and now they have this larceny, they actually have a shirt that belonged to Anna right on his body. So it is a win win check check right there. Being in the courtroom, you could probably feel a huge shift in the case, sort of the oxygen going out of the room for the defense. I get through the 1st witness and all of a sudden Mr means has changed his mind. He wants to plead, he wants to plead to both ladies first degree murder. For Miss Lawson and Miss Bushman, he was sentenced to life without parole. Both counsel to life without parole sentences. And after being sentenced on those two murders, he now pled guilty for also the homicides of Linda and Cynthia Herrera. For Linda and Cynthia Herrera, he was sentenced to a term of years on 2nd degree murder. I see and justice for all on 2 distinct levels in this case. One is that the herrerra homicides went unaccounted for for so long, and so no matter the number of years and no matter that it didn't impact the time that he would face in prison, by that public accounting of saying I am guilty for each one of the four, well, that there is injustice for all. And we also look at the way that these homicides occurred and whether the motivation was because they wouldn't sell him prescription medication. Which is something that people might shy away from talking about. I think one of the things that's podcasts that we say each one is the same, each person, no matter their lifestyle, the circumstances it should be, and justice for all. While the conviction brought justice to three families, Celestino Herrera, who was the prime suspect early on, talked about how that cloud of suspicion followed him for decades, telling a local reporter after the conviction of means. I've eaten and slept with this for 25 years. He was very thankful that he was able to serve some justice for his mom and his sister. Had Leon means been identified, captured and convicted for the 89 murders back around that time, he would not have been able or available to commit those other two murders in 2014. If the first two didn't haunt you and the second two didn't haunt you, I'm glad he's behind bars for the rest of his life, because I don't know where this guy would have ended up had it not been the case. Earlier in the podcast we talked about another Muskegon Heights woman who was shot and killed in the park, but as it turns out, she was killed by someone else, a possible serial killer. But that is another case for another time. TuneIn next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. Murder is an audio Chuck original produced and created by Weinberger Media and for steady media. Ashley Flowers and Summit David are executive producers. So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve? Umm.