Thursday, April 27, 2006

Unsolved Mystery: Fiocco

I'm sure you've heard by now that the body found Tuesday in a Pennsylvania landfill is indeed that of TCNJ freshman, John Fiocco, Jr. Identification was made using dental records. Investigators now await DNA results for final confirmation, as well as toxicology results from an autopsy performed Tuesday evening. The medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death. There were no bullet or stab wounds to the body, which was badly decomposed and had sustained multiple fractures from the trash compacting system. Due to the fact that several pints of Fiocco's blood were found in the garbage bin, investigators believe that Fiocco was dead before sanitation workers removed the contents to a processing facility and, ultimately, the landfill.

The investigation is ongoing. Police have found no positive evidence of foul play, but consider the young man's demise a "suspicious death." State police superintendent, Col. Rick Fuentes, told the press that 'despite hundreds of interviews with students and university staff, police have found no one whose conduct seems suspicious. "We have no persons of interest," Fuentes said.'

As for myself, I'm beginning to wonder if investigators will be able to determine how John Fiocco, Jr. ended up in that garbage bin, but it's good to know that they haven't yet given up.
Investigators who have now been working on the case for more than a month say it could be weeks before forensic tests on Fiocco's remains yield clues that could shed light on the 19-year-old's final hours.

Police suggested that they were considering several possible scenarios that could explain how a drunken Fiocco ended up in a campus trash bin after a night of partying on March 25. But in a meeting with reporters at the college campus in suburban Mercer County, they declined to provide any specifics about where they might turn now.

Several questions cross my mind:

  • In additon to the blood found in and around the trash bin, was there, as reported earlier, blood found on the platform below the trash chute?

    A presence of blood there would indicate that he did indeed go down the garbage chute.

  • Were any hairs or fibers from Mr. Fiocco's clothing found around the garbage chute opening?

    This would obviously be another strong indicator that his body traveled through the chute.

  • Were Mr. Fiocco's fingerprints found inside the rim of the trash chute doorway, indicating that he might possibly have entered the chute of his own volition?

    While this seems highly unlikely, it must be considered. When drinking is involved, all judgment can and often does go out the window. However, fingerprints in that location would not necessarily prove that no one else was involved -- only that Mr. Fiocco was, at least, semi-conscious when he entered the chute.

    An absence of his fingerprints, in the presence of other evidence such as fibers, would give a strong indication that he was unconscious and, thus, put into the chute by one or more other people.

  • Have police found an explanation for the one wet sock found in the dorm room where Mr. Fiocco was believed to have fallen asleep? Was the other sock found with the body?

    The wet sock stands out as a puzzling thing to me. I'm curious to know if the corresponding shoe was wet as well and whether any of his friends have any knowledge as to how the sock became wet. Maybe there's a perfectly innocent explanation for it, and it has no relevance whatsoever to the case, but I'm bothered by it.

  • What is the proximity of the trash chute to the room where Fiocco fell asleep and was last seen by fellow students?

  • Was any commotion heard by anyone in nearby rooms?

  • Was any forensic evidence found beneath Fiocco's fingernails, indicating that he put up a fight?

I'm sure there are additional questions relevant to the investigation, but I'm out of time for now. I'll leave it to you, the reader, to ask the rest. Nevertheless, I suppose we must put our faith in the investigative team to come up with the answers. I hope that those answers are to be had and that the mystery does not remain unsolved.

Anyone with information is asked to call the New Jersey State Police Tip Line at 1-877-748-6577. At one time The College of New Jersey had set up their own tip line and email address. I'm not sure if those are still active, but the phone number and email address are listed in the last paragraph of my original entry on this case, entitled John Fiocco, Jr.

In addition to the North article linked above, the Philadelphia Inquirer has a thorough and informative article on the background and investigation.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Body Found: John Fiocco, Jr?

A body found in a Bucks County, Pennsylvania landfill may be that of missing TCNJ college student John Fiocco, Jr. Authorities have been searching the landfill since Fiocco's blood was found in and around a dumpster beneath his dormitory building on The College of New Jersey campus.

Updates will be posted as they become available. Please post any links in the comment section.

Update: 7:51 pm, CT

Officially, it still has not been confirmed that the body found today is that of John Fiocco, Jr., but the young man's family is in mourning and the lead investigator is referring to the discovery as a "significant development. "
TULLYTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The remains of a white man were found Tuesday in a Pennsylvania landfill where authorities have been searching for evidence related to the disappearance of freshman John Fiocco Jr., police said.While authorities wouldn't confirm the body of Fiocco had been recovered, the student's uncle said the family was in mourning and thanked police for "bringing closure" to the case."Johnny was caring, sensitive, smart and witty," Joseph Fiocco said outside the family home in Mantua Township. He asked anyone with information about his nephew to contact authorities. He would not answer questions.Tullytown Patrolman John Finby said the remains were found at 1:45 p.m. New Jersey State Police said they had made an important discovery at the landfill. Capt. Al Della Fave said there had been a "significant development" but would not disclose any further information.

It's a terribly sad day for all.

This brings to an end the search for the missing student. The truth about what befell Mr. Fiocco is yet to be learned. One can only hope that the medical examiner will be able to determine cause of death and investigators will be able to solve the mystery and attain justice, if necessary.

LINK to a previous entry on this case.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another Red Herring?

The more that comes out regarding Geoffrey van Cromvoirt and the allegations against him, the less likely it appears that he had anything to do with Natalee Holloway's disappearance. According to John Q. Kelly, attorney for Beth Twitty and Dave Holloway, the VBC T-shirt found on the beach has no connection to the case. The forensics aren't there. Beyond that, Geoffrey van Cromvoirt wasn't even working for his father's company at the time Natalee Holloway went missing.
In the photo on the beach, van Cromvoirt was working for the "visibility team," a unit made up of private security guards who work with police to patrol beaches, downtown Oranjestad and other tourist areas.

Van Cromvoirt worked on the beach patrol from August to December, 2005, said Rob Smith, chairman of the Aruba Hospitality and Security Foundation, which runs the program. Before the visibility team, the teen worked at a water sports company but left when business got slow. He returned to that job and left the visibility team when business picked up again, Smith said.

No one -- family, friends, volunteers -- NOT ONE of the persons who participated in the search for Natalee had ever heard this young man's name until his arrest last Saturday. All we have is rumors, innuendo, and a T-shirt that can't be connected to anyone.

Oh yeah, I shouldn't forget that recently released audio tape of Joran, Deepak, and Satish arguing about who is to blame for what happened to Natalee, and who lied about whom. It's all a bunch of finger-pointing and confusion. Does it mean that none of the three know what happened to Natalee? Or is it just three scared and unscrupulous boys, each looking to save his own skin by blaming the other? The only definitive thing that can be said is that interrogators were obviously lying to the suspects about what each of them had said regarding the others' involvement. It's a common tactic and doesn't appear to have accomplished anything in this case.

I don't think the Aruban law enforcement community is capable of redeeming their image and solving this case. It's just one ridiculous blunder after another. Joe Tacopina sure make the most of it; didn't he?

I'm really frustrated and aggravated by this investigation. Does it show?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Geoffrey (or is it Godfried?) van Cromvoirt

Rather than an addendum to my previous entry, let's just go with a new one. The New York Post is providing plenty of fodder for consideration and speculation. According to this article in the Post, Natalee's friends have told officials that Natalee spent time with Geoffrey van Cromvoirt earlier during her vacation, as well as on the night of her disappearance.

According to what Holloway's friends have told authorities, the blond-haired, blue-eyed van Cromvoirt was seen with their classmate after she left van der Sloot - the pals say they saw them in the Holiday Inn casino together. But when the casino's video surveillance tapes were turned over to police, investigators could find no sign of Holloway and van Cromvoirt, the source noted.

Van Cromvoirt's father is the security expert in charge of video surveillance at the

Aruban authorities are also scrutinizing a surveillance tape taken earlier on May 30 that shows Holloway arguing with a light-haired young man in a jewelry store in the Wyndham Hotel, according to the source.

They're trying to determine if the man is van Cromvoirt.

A source said police records indicate that "Natalee told her mom and others she was in love with a blond-haired, blue-eyed Dutch kid."

Holloway's mother assumed the youth was van der Sloot, though he has darker hair.
In contradiction, Beth Twitty told Greta van Susteren that she had never heard of the young man identified by Aruban authorities as G.V.C., and that there is no truth to reports that Natalee had become involved with a blond-haired, blue-eyed, Dutch national during her stay on the island.

It might be wise to take the Post's reports with a grain of salt, but more reliable organizations, such as the Associated Press and CBS News, are beginning to confirm some of what was originally published by the tabloid. Chief Prosecutor Karin Janssen's office confirms that G.V.C. was arrested on Saturday and is being held on suspicion "of criminal offenses that may be related to the disappearance of Miss Holloway and of offenses related to dealing in illegal narcotics." The Post, which appears to be getting their scoops from Diario (an Aruban newspaper owned by Jossy Mansur) also reports the possibility of additional arrests.

Van Cromvoirt, who is Dutch, works for his father's private security company, VCB [Video Camara Beveiliging] Security, which patrols the beaches outside Aruba's hotels to protect tourists. He was part of the team keeping an eye on the Holiday Inn where Natalee was staying the night she vanished.

Two more members of that security team are expected to be arrested shortly, the sources said.

Van Cromvoirt was picked up Saturday after police seized a white "VCB Security" T-shirt - possibly belonging to the suspect. Sources said the T-shirt has "forensic evidence" on it - believed to be specks of blood. Authorities in Aruba did not disclose what kind of drugs van Cromvoirt is accused of pushing - and whether Natalee had used them.

If anyone can translate Papiamentu to English, I'd be very interested in knowing exactly what this Diario article says. The online translators I've tried leave a lot to be desired. All I can make out regarding the T-shirt is that it seems to have been found near a kite surfing area. The area known as "Fisherman's Huts," just north of the Marriott resort, is well-known for it's shallow waters and prevailing winds, perfectly suited for kite surfing. As I understand it, this is the same area where Joran claims to have abandoned Natalee.

In an ironic twist, Fox News is reporting that one of Geoffrey van Cromvoirt's "friends" characterizes him as being more capable than Joran van der Sloot of doing harm to Natalee, stating that he has a habit of plying young female tourists with alcohol and drugs in order to take advantage of them. The same sort of things have been said about Joran, even as far back to a time when we knew him only as J.V.D.S.

Rumors have been floated as to whether Geoffrey van Cromvoirt has any connection to the former suspects in the case. Joe Tacopina, attorney for Joran van der Sloot, insists that his client does not know him at all. One report has it that Van Cromvoirt may have a passing acquaintance with Satish Kalpoe. It's also been said that he and Steve Croes are friends. Croes is the party boat DJ arrested last summer for making false statements to police. He came forward to police with the story that he'd witnessed two black security guards escorting Natalee outside the Holiday Inn after she was dropped off by Deepak and Satish Kalpoe and Joran van der Sloot. He claims that he decided (out of the goodness of his heart) to support the young mens' alibi after overhearing Deepak's telephone conversation at the Internet cafe where he worked. The possibility of a relationship between Croes and Van Cromvoirt leads me to wonder whom he was truly trying to protect with that falsehood.

In the course of her On the Record appearance, Beth Twitty brought up another important fact. Several of the surveillance cameras at the Holiday Inn were said to be not in working order when Natalee disappeared. Quite a provocative wrinkle, in light of the allegation that Geoffrey van Cromvoirt's father is in charge of that surveillance system.

Dan Riehl has posted a fascinating interview with an American acquaintance of Geoffrey van Cromvoirt at Riehl World View.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Curious Development

Over the Easter weekend, officials in Aruba made yet another arrest in the Natalee Holloway investigation -- arrest #8, if I'm not forgetting anyone. A nineteen-year-old Dutch national with the initials G.V.C. (variously identified as Godfried or Geoffrey van Cromvoirt) was taken into custody and has since been ordered held for eight days pending another hearing. Reportedly, relevant forensic evidence has been collected from a shirt, belonging to the young man, found on the south side of the island. According to Joran van der Sloot's attorney, G.V.C. has no connection whatsoever to his client. Joseph Tacopina suggests that police appear to be taking the investigation in a new direction.

This arrest has the potential to be a major development in the case. The New York Post reports:

Aruban cops have arrested Geoffrey van Cromvoirt, 19, who's father is the security expert in charge of video surveillance at the Holiday Inn where the 18-year-old Alabama student was staying the night she vanished, sources told The Post.

The younger van Cromvoirt works as a member of the island's High Visibility Team, which keeps an eye on the island's powder-white beaches 24 hours a day in a bid to thwart crime against tourists.

He was busted after authorities took into evidence a white T-shirt with the beach-patrol team's name on it from his dad's security group, the sources said.

For me, the first question that comes to mind is: Where has this t-shirt been for the last 10 months? If it's been in police possession all this time, why is it just now being connected to someone? If it was only recently discovered, can any forensic evidence found on it be considered reliable and probative of anything?

I admit to having difficulty considering the possibility that Joran van der Sloot and the Surinamese brothers, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, are without blame in the disappearance/death of Natalee Holloway. They've said and done plenty to merit the scrutiny of the hairy eyeball of suspicion. They recklessly and shamelessly pointed the finger at two innocent men, Mickey John and Abraham Jones, as the last to be seen with Natalee. They repeatedly lied to investigators, family and friends regarding the series of events during their time spent with Natalee. They lied so much that if they were to tell the truth now -- and perhaps they have -- no one would believe them. They have only themselves to blame for that. If it turns out that they are innocent (relatively speaking), they should have no expectations of an apology from anyone, in that regard.

Nevertheless, I must also acknowledge the niggling uncertainty I've felt since last August. When Joran first came out with the story that he left Natalee alive and well on the beach, I considered it just another variation in the litany of his lies. As I considered the cell phone and computer evidence that appeared to corroborate his story, I couldn't shake the notion that he might -- just might -- be telling the truth. Perhaps someone else came along after Joran abandoned her and did harm to Natalee. Perhaps, we, as well as Aruban law enforcement and the mainstream media have been looking in the wrong direction all along. Mind you, I've tamped that doubt down more often than not. Joran's absurd story about how he lost his shoes and the disparity between his and the Kalpoe brother's versions of how Joran got home were enough to evoke suspicion. But as the saying goes, truth is often stranger than fiction.

The arrest of G.V.C., to some degree, edifies the niggling doubt. I certainly haven't written off Joran, Deepak and Satish as suspects, but I'm open to the possibility that they are not the guilty party. It also injects a bit of optimism that the case might eventually be solved. It's still a longshot but better (I hope) than slim to none. I'm as interested as the next guy or gal in seeing where this leads.

I feel like I have more to say on this subject, but I don't have time to collect my thoughts just now. I've already taken so long to finish this entry that I'm probably way behind in coverage. I'll update later if necessary, or delete this paragraph if not.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

Jackie Peterson pretended at being the downtrodden .

It failed to attain for her the desired result.

She left in a huff.

Sound familiar?

Jackie Peterson suggested that Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge David Vander Wall look past the fact that she was appearing without a lawyer and that she might not have followed all the correct legal procedures.

“They know I was making the payments, and the estate profited unfairly from these payments,” she said. “The house was neglected and rundown. I'm not looking to prolong the close of this or to profit from it. I just want to be reimbursed.”

Judge Vander Wall was brief in his response. “I don't think there's any basis for a creditor's claim,” he said.

Justice served.

This is my favorite part:

Jackie Peterson had no comment after the hearing. When asked how Scott was doing, his sister, Susan Caudillo, responded: “He's an innocent man. How do you think he's doing?”
How deep is denial?


Links to more Laci Peterson entries:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dog and Pony Show

The circus continues in Aruba. In the center ring are the Dutch with a lame re-enactment. In ring #2, we have Aruban police, searching for a man who harassed beach-goers days before Natalee disappeared. And in the third ring are Julia Renfro, editor of Aruba Today, and Joe Tacopina, American attorney for Joran van der Sloot, juggling wild geese. Meanwhile, a new ringmaster is in charge. Gerold Dompig has given up his top hat, whip and megaphone to Adolf Richardson, former second-in-command in the Holloway (farce of an) investigation.

The show must go on!

Good grief.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Doctors Jeff, Anthony, Greg, and Murray

The Australian Catholic University is bestowing the degree of Doctor of the University upon The Wiggles for their contribution to childhood education. LINK to article.

I ♥ The Wiggles. My kids like 'em, too.

A Tangled Web, Part II

Neil Entwistle was arraigned this morning for the murders of his wife, Rachel, and infant daughter, Lillian Rose. Elliot Weinstein entered a plea of not guilty on his client's behalf. Meanwhile, the Boston Herald has more of the gossamer strands of Entwistle's tangled web detailed in recently released court documents.
Yesterday, in new court documents released, it was revealed that Entwistle told a different story to friends than he told authorities. He had told authorities he found his wife and baby dead, went to his in-laws’ home in Carver, could not get in, and then flew to England.

‘‘The defendant said to his friends that he had indeed been able to locate his mother-in-law’s place of business, told her of his discovery of the bodies, and then gathered with family back in Carver to mourn the news,” according to the Statement of the Case filed by Assistant District Attorney Michael Fabbri.

‘‘He also told his friends that once back at the Carver home, he began to feel left out,” the document said. ‘‘It was only then that he decided to return to his own family in England, going straight home after arriving in London on January 21, 2006.”

But according to court records, Entwistle did not go straight home to his parents’ Worksop home. Instead, he rented a vehicle, spent a night in a hotel located about an hour away from his parents’ home, and drove almost 800 miles around England before going to his parents’ home on Jan. 23.

This guy lived in a world of his own invention. Did he really expect others to join him there? I wonder if jail has been a rude awakening or if he's still enveloping himself in fantasy.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hodgepodge of Updates

A DNA match has linked Darryl Littlejohn, the New York bouncer accused in the rape and murder of Imette St. Guillen, to at least one additional attack.

NY1 News


Westport News has a lengthy article (with lousy format) about George Smith IV and his family's fight for justice on his behalf. His mother, Maureen, provides some background and insight. The rift between George's widow, Jennifer Hagel-Smith, and his family is acknowledged, but no further information provided.


Dave Holloway has written a book about the disappearance of his daughter, Natalee, and his experiences with the Aruban justice (Is that an oxymoron?) system. Read an excerpt of the newly released Aruba: The Tragic Untold Story of Natalee Holloway and Corruption in Paradise here.


Neil Entwistle is due to be arraigned for the murders of his wife and daughter, Rachel and Lillian Enwistle, in Middlesex Superior Court tomorrow .


And last but not least, Laci Peterson...

Kimberly Guilfoyle, host of Fox News' The Lineup, interviewed Ron Grantski over the weekend. She's written a brief article -- The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree -- regarding Scott Peterson and his parents and wants to hear what you think.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Dirksmeyer: More to the Story

It sounds like there is more someone would like to say regarding the relationship between Nona Dirksmeyer and her alleged murderer, Kevin Jones, but the Russellville Courier isn't, as yet, willing to publish it.
Sources close to the Nona Dirksmeyer murder case told The Courier Thursday about certain never-before released facts. However, after investigating the lead, The Courier decided to not publish its findings. Law enforcement officials involved with the investigation would not go on the record to confirm the information because of a conflict with "ethical and legal" boundaries.
Psst to whomever: I'm sure there are several bloggers who'd be willing to put it out there if you're anxious to have it published.

In addition to that little non-tidbit, it seems that, even after the arrest, the prosecutor is still dragging his feet in bringing the accused to justice. He's not interested in going to trial until January of next year. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt on the delay in taking Jones into custody, but I see no reason in holding off the trial for so long. The $250,000 bond, which Jones was quick to post, really irks me, too.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"We want those!"

Jackie Peterson wants $35,000 from Laci Peterson's estate as reimbursement for payments she made toward the mortgage, taxes, and maintenance of Scott and Laci Peterson's home after Laci and Conner were murdered by her son. I don't know whether Laci's estate has any responsibility in reimbursing Mrs. Peterson. If it does, it seems to me the estate should be required to pay no more than half that sum. Scott and Laci Peterson were co-owners of 523 Covena. Perhaps Mrs. Peterson should sue her son for $17,500. She'll have to get in line behind Sharon and Dennis Rocha. They have a $25 million wrongful death claim against the deathrow inmate, scheduled to go to trial in September.

Lee and Jackie also want Laci's $250,000 life insurance proceeds, which a judge granted to Laci's mother in December.

Have they no shame?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

John Fiocco, Jr.

After a night of drinking with friends at an off-campus party, TCNJ freshman John Fiocco, Jr. returned to Wolfe Hall where he was a resident of the 4th floor. Reportedly, Fiocco was intoxicated to the point that Amanda Samaha, a friend and 3rd floor co-ed, was concerned for his safety on the stairs and escorted him to his floor.
She guessed that was probably about 2 a.m. Samaha said she saw Fiocco go down one wing of the hallway as she went to meet a friend on the opposite wing.

About 30 minutes later, as she sat talking with a friend in the hallway, Samaha said they both saw Fiocco come out of the men's bathroom. He got a drink of water from a water fountain in the hall and offered some greeting to Samaha and her friend so routine that she can't remember exactly what it was.

"I left soon after that" to return to the third floor, she said.

Fiocco was last seen at approximately 3 am sleeping in the dorm room of another female student along with two other students. When the two awoke the next morning, John Fiocco was nowhere to be found. Left behind were his shoes and a wet sock. Rather odd. Even odder is the fact that police found John's blood in and around a garbage dumpster in Wolfe Hall. They sent fiber-optic cameras down a garbage chute that empties into the dumpster, but have given no indication that any additional blood was found in the chute or elsewhere in the TCNJ dormitory building.

When I first heard about this story, I pictured a sloping garbage chute from the 4th floor to the basement dumpster and imagined a drunken stunt or hazing prank gone awry. However, after seeing a photograph of the chute last night, I'm more inclined to believe that whoever put John Fiocco, Jr. down that chute had already done or intended to do him harm. A 2-ft x 2-ft opening leads to a vertical drop through a 3-ft x 3-ft shaft to a platform below, where a robotic arm sweeps the trash off into the dumpster. It was suggested by Dr. Larry Kobilinsky last night on Nancy Grace's Headline News program that Mr. Fiocco fell four stories to land on that platform head first. The blood reported as being found around the dumpster was actually on the platform. That's a horrific scenario, but it fits with what we know so far.

Authorities have been searching a Pennsylvania landfill for John Fiocco's remains and have tapped the state trooper academy for 15 recruits to assist in the grim task. It's likely to take weeks, if not months, to find anything. A team of 38 people searching 11 hours a day, four days a week, took nearly two months to find the badly decomposed body of Lori Hacking in a Utah landfill after her husband shot and disposed of her in a trash bin in July of 2004.

The dormitory was thoroughly searched by forensics teams, and the residents were interviewed by investigators. The College of New Jersey has set up an anonymous tip line -- (609) 538-8180 -- and an e-mail address,, and posted a reward for any information regarding John Fiocco, Jr.'s disappearance. Someone in Wolfe Hall that night knows what happened to Mr. Fiocco. Let's hope authorities are able to get to the bottom of it and recover the young man's body for his family's sake.

Nona Dirksmeyer

Nona Dirksmeyer, Arkansas Tech sophomore and beauty queen, was murdered in her off-campus apartment on December 15, 2005. Bludgeoned and stabbed to death between final exams, she was left naked in a pool of blood, to be discovered later that evening by her boyfriend, his mother and a friend. Until Friday, March 31, the greatest mystery in this case (among cybersleuths, anyway) was why the police were delaying in arresting their only suspect and even refusing to release his name. It was widely accepted that Kevin Jones, Nona's boyfriend of nearly five years was responsible for her death. The Russellville Police Department turned over their investigative report, requesting formal charges be filed against the suspect, to the DA, David Gibbons, in mid-January. As the months passed and it appeared nothing was being done to bring Nona's murderer to justice, public patience grew thin. Meanwhile, Gibbons blamed the delay on the wait for completion of forensic testing by the State Crime Lab and the FBI. Who can fault him for that? Isn't it better to be thorough than hasty in such a serious case?

Prior to Kevin Jones's arrest, there seemed little to write about regarding this case. It's always the oddities and inconsistent details that catch my eye. Granted, the circumstances of the discovery of Nona's demise were enough to raise my eyebrow, but there seemed little mystery as to who was to blame. It appeared that Kevin had slain his girlfriend in a fit of rage and concocted a scheme to deflect attention from himself and involve his mother and a friend in his device. Allegedly concerned about Nona because he hadn't heard from her all day, Kevin and his unwitting partners entered Nona's apartment to find the scene of a violent crime. 911 calls were made and the investigation begun. It didn't take long to narrow the list of suspects down. Within a week, evidence was being tested, statements had been taken, and polygraphs had been administered, narrowing the field to one -- Kevin Jones, though not publicly named.

Now that Jones is in custody, more interesting details have been released, and it's easy to see why Russellville's finest honed in on the boyfriend from the beginning.

  • Kevin Jones had allegedly last spoken to Nona via telephone at approximately 1:30 am on December 15. He received a text message from her at 9:07 am. There is no indication that he made any attempt to contact her again until 4:10 that afternoon. Yet by 6:30 pm (less than ten hours since he'd heard from her), he was so concerned that he enlisted the help of Ryan Whiteside, a friend who worked as a pizza deliveryman in Russellville, to check up on Nona. Upon learning from Ryan that Nona's car was at the complex, but she didn't answer her door, Kevin diverted his mother from attending a Christmas party in Dardanelle to accompany him to Nona's apartment.
  • Kevin was one of only three people who had a key to Nona's apartment, the other two being Nona and her mother. When he arrived at her complex with his mother, he couldn't get in because the front door was locked and he'd forgotten his key. He and Whiteside went around to the sliding glass door. It was also locked, but with some force, he was able to pry it open because the burglar bar was missing.
  • Upon entering the house, Kevin ran to Nona's body and laid on top of her, rubbing his hands in the blood, ostensibly to see how fresh it was.
  • Kevin volunteered to one officer that he watched a lot of Law & Order.
  • Kevin's bloody finger and palm prints were found on the murder weapon, a floor lamp laying in three pieces near the victim. He denied having touched the lamp after the body was found, and Ryan Whiteside's statement corroborates this claim -- Kevin touched only the body and a greeting card.
It appears obvious that he was attempting to corrupt the forensic evidence by laying across the body and rubbing his hands in the blood, but I'm curious about his handling of the greeting card. I suppose the significance of that will become more apparent in time. I'm even more curious about why Nona was nude. She had already been out that day to take a final exam at 8:00 am. It's safe to assume that she dressed appropriately for that. There was no sign of sexual assault. Did Kevin undress her to try to make it appear that was the motive of her perpetrator?

Aside from Kevin's behavior in response to finding his girlfriend murdered, the creepiest detail released is a text message that Kevin sent to Nona at 4:28 pm: "U ALIVE". That, in addition to his attempt to tamper with the crime scene and his spontaneous remark about watching a lot of Law & Order, causes me to question the impulsiveness of the murder. Perhaps, it wasn't strictly a crime of passion, but instead something that Kevin had fantasized about before -- an act that wasn't triggered until December 15, 2005. According to the autopsy, Nona Dirksmeyer died around 11 am. At 11:04 am, she received a text message on her cell phone to which she didn't respond. The content of that message is yet to be released, but I surmise it's possible that this was the touch-paper for detonation of Kevin Jones's lethal temper.

Informative articles about the case here and here.