The cases were from May 2005 – August 2009, under the term of the former Sheriff, Ricky Edwards. He formed a task force in 2008 that included members of the FBI, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Attorney General’s office, Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, Southwest Regional Crime Lab, FBI Behavioral analysis unit, Jennings Police department, the Calcasieu Parish Forensic investigative unit, and the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s department. Necole Guillory’s case is actually an Acadia Parish case that was attached to the others by the media and social media.
I was a member of that task force in 2010 as Lieutenant of CID for the Louisiana State Police. The notion of a cover-up or conspiracy is absurd. I can assure you that the former Sheriff wanted these cases solved as much as anyone. He had a small detective division with inexperienced personnel and realized he needed help, hence the task force was formed.
When Sheriff Ivy Woods took office in 2012 I retired from the State Police and came to command the Criminal Investigations Division and continue the investigations of the 8 victim’s. Another member of the task force, Detective Ramby Cormier, former violent crime task force member from the neighboring Sheriff’s office was also kept on the investigations. None of the detectives from the former administration are working for us now. We have assigned new investigators to work under the command of Detective Cormier and are continuing to follow leads in these cases. Sheriff Woods supports our investigators and we will continue to work on these cases until they are solved.
To answer your questions:
Where does the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office stand on the alleged cover-up conspiracy by local JDPSO law enforcement regarding the Jennings 8 murders?
I can assure you there was no cover-up. Everyone involved in the cases when the task force was formed wanted to solve these cases. It was unfortunate that a fictional story by an author that compiled incidents from the 1970's to 2000, including murders that occurred in Calcasieu Parish in the 90’s to try and discredit police.
Where does the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office stand on Frankie Richard as a potential suspect in The Jennings 8 murders, particularly with his arrest in connection with the death of Kristen Lopez? He was never actually arrested for the death of Kristen Lopez. He was in jail on a rape charge, that was later dropped by the District Attorney’s office. You apparently received bad information from the fiction novel by Ethan Brown.
Why did the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office drop charges on Frankie Richard and cease their investigation into his possible involvement as a murder suspect?
The Sheriff’s office can’t drop charges on anyone. We present a case to the District Attorney office and they accept or reject the charges. Frankie Richard is still a person of interest in these investigations, we have not ruled him out of any of the cases.
What is being done in the investigation to solve the Jennings 8 murders or have the cases been closed indefinitely?
The cases are still active and open. Detectives work on leads as they come in and review old interviews and examine evidence results from the two crime labs. I can’t divulge much more than that in these cases obviously we don’t want to put out something that only the persons involved would know and may be the key to solving a case.