- Collier Landry
"I Was At The Crime Scene!" Dr. Kenny Kinsey on Stephen Smith Case & Forensics at Murdaugh Trial
Dr. Kenny Kinsey, PhD is a well-known law enforcement professional with extensive experience in criminal investigations and forensic analysis. Dr. Kinsey has recently been involved in high-profile cases, including the murder trial of Richard "Alex" Murdaugh, where he played a crucial role in debunking the "two-shooter theory." Dr. Kinsey also discusses his current work with Bland Richter LLP and the family of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old who was murdered in 2015. He has been retained by the family to help investigate the case and find answers about their loved one's death.
Dr. Kinsey's expertise in forensic analysis and crime scene investigation has been instrumental in uncovering evidence and providing testimony in state and federal courts. During the conversation, Dr. Kinsey emphasizes the importance of integrity and doing the right thing, no matter the consequences. He also touches on the intergenerational trauma that can come with being in a powerful family, as seen in the Murdaugh case.
Dr. Kinsey's passion for helping families of victims find closure is evident throughout the episode, as he discusses his investigation into Steven Smith's death and his hopes of providing answers to the family. The conversation covers various topics, including the reputation of a law firm in the town of Hampton, South Carolina, that has represented a majority of cases in the area. Dr. Kinsey speaks about his experiences investigating death scenes, including those involving children, and explains how SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) differs from other police agencies in the state. He also touches on his plans for retirement and upcoming speaking engagements.
Dr. Kinsey also shares his thoughts on the recent revelations surrounding the addiction and crimes committed by Alex Murdaugh. He expresses disbelief in the idea that a lawyer could have consumed 340,000 oxy pills over a 12 to 14-year period without it affecting their work, and believes that the lawyer's addiction may have been under control at times or that he was straight during some periods.
Dr. Kinsey believes that the lawyer's actions may have been a result of losing the family legacy and becoming embarrassed. Throughout the episode, Dr. Kinsey emphasizes the importance of forensic science and the role it plays in solving crimes. He talks about the advancements in technology that have allowed investigators to gather more evidence and the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and forensic experts.
Dr. Kinsey also shares some of the common misconceptions about forensics that he has encountered during his career. The episode aims to provide listeners with a deeper understanding of the work that goes into solving complex criminal cases and the impact it has on the investigators involved. Dr. Kinsey's vast experience and expertise in forensic analysis make him a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the field.
The episode also serves as an opportunity to shed light on the importance of finding justice for victims and their families and the role forensic science plays in achieving that goal.
If you're interested in true crime, forensic analysis, criminal investigations, and murder trial this episode is a must-listen.
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So you've got all these pink boxes out in the road that different news organizations had painted, which I think is a little disrespectful to leave there, uh, in the, in the highway for everyone to see. Mm-hmm. But not only was it a little bit disrespectful to Steven and his family, they were in the wrong spot.
So it was, you know, it was personal gratification to be able to find that location. Testimony continued. Today in the most notorious criminal trial in Richland County history. Dr. John Boyle is accused of killing his wife, Maureen, and burying her body in the basement of his new home in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The 12 year old son finally took the stand as I heard a scream. I heard a thud was about this loud. We the jury, find the defendant guilty. When I was 12 years old, my testimony sent my father to prison for murdering my mother. This podcast serves as a type of therapy and reconciliation for myself, and it is my hope that it helps anyone who is experienced deception, betrayal, and dark trauma.
I'm Collier Landry, and this is moving past Trauma. Hey movers. Welcome back to another episode, another live episode of Moving Past Trauma. I'm your host, Collier Landry. And what, let's go on. I am really excited because we have a very special guest today is Dr. Kenny Kinzie from the Murdoch trial, who I am really just so excited to have on here.
And I want to give a, a shout out to my friend Jared Hardy, who, uh, actually is the one who introduced me to him. He was very moved by my story and my story of resilience and my father, uh, and the trial and what happened with my mother. And obviously there are a lot of parallels between, um, between my father and Alex Murdoch in a lot of ways that I've drawn a lot of comparisons to, especially with this case in a way where, um, there wasn't.
There wasn't this like, no pun intended, smoking gun, at least not in my father's trial. And I think a lot of the evidence in that trial got very convoluted. Obviously a massive influx of media, social media, uh, conjecture coming from all across the spectrum, really convoluted the justice system in a situation like that.
So it is, um, it is very, uh, interesting. To draw those comparisons, and that's what he and I are gonna talk about today. And also, of course, his newfound, uh, fame, because before this, he was, uh, you know, relatively unknown. He's been the law enforcement for 30 years, but he was relatively unknown up until this case, which obviously has gripped the entire nation, which is, you know, why I became familiar with it.
There's many docu now two documented docu-series about the case. And, uh, it was pretty, it's pretty interesting. So I am offering a April tax day special. If you sign up for a year of the Patreon on either the hero or thriver levels for the year, you get a 15% discount. On the Patreon and at the hero level, which is a $20 a month, you get a free t-shirt shipping included at the thriver level, you get a free podcast coffee mug or Mary Soul Super Chi, uh, mug or, and at the, here, at the survivor level, which is our lowest level, if you sign up for the year, you will get a free sticker.
Shipping is included on all of those. Uh, it's a great way to support the program. And what you get in my Patreon is everything that you don't see here on the podcast that you don't see here on YouTube, you get to, uh, sort of have more access to some of the things in my life. I have a lot of my father's letters on there.
I actually, also, you get access to me every month. I do live, meet and greets where you guys can, not only in you here, you can interact with me, but this is a face-to-face. You guys can ask me questions. Usually they go on for about an hour and a half, and I would love as more members join the Patreon family.
To do multiples of those a month and just get everybody involved because it's a great little community that we've cultivated here, and it's really, really cool. So it is a fun, fun family event. As Tara Newell says, I'm gonna be launching other lives and more episodes of the podcast that are specifically devoted.
To reading my father's letters and sharing some more intimate details of my life. And, uh, and then every Thursday we're gonna continue having these guest interviews and it's gonna be really exciting. So a lot of really cool content, your support helps make all of it. Possible. Thank you so much. I digress on that.
Let me take, uh, some questions from any channel members that you guys have. I know I had done a post earlier in the members section earlier today and you guys came through and, uh, and had some questions, so I'd love to take those before. Uh, Dr. Kenny joins us. I'm gonna, I've also broke these glasses today.
The, the lens popped out. It's really funny. Merchant memberships, Patreon, and some amazing merch. Oh my. Let's get it, sister. Thank you Brenda Fisher. Uh, also when you join the Patreon, you get 10% off merch. So if you want more merch, like Tana bought some merch today. Thank you so much for your support. You get free shipping over $50 and you also get 10% off all.
Through the Patreon channel as well and forgetful. Lucy, please hit thumbs up everyone, if you're enjoying the live, please. Thank you so much. Uh, hi from Arkansas. Danielle says, I'm sure you looked fine. Call your, oh, you're funny, Danielle. Lovely glasses. Yes. Yes. Black widow, or they are, they, they're a little janky.
These are the, uh, these are the, um, janky, uh, uh, Amazon reading glasses, five for $15. Um, oh yes. So, uh, Mary Hernandez, you saw Tara New and I on surviving the survivor, uh, Joel and Carm. Well, Carm lost her husband, Joel lost his father last week. So they are in our prayers, but they're back obviously doing lives, and I'm back in the swing of things.
Can't hold them down. Have I, uh, John Swindler. Well, t thank you so much. I'm glad you loved the merch. You are a big fan and you love how comfortable the t-shirts are. Uh, John Swindler, have I ever visited South Carolina? Yes, I have. So is Myrtle Beach in South Carolina or North Carolina? I, I'm gonna sound terrible.
I I know that sounds terrible. I think it's in South Carolina. So I've been to Myrtle Beach and I, uh, had quite, quite a, uh, quite a time in Myrtle Beach. I mean, like what do you go on spring break or I think we went on summer break or something, so, oh Lord. Oh, tins fly. You saw my music video. Oh God. That's.
Like nine years ago I did that for a project. That song was actually given to me. I think I talked last week about Billy Ray Cyrus a little bit cause I had done music videos for him. And, uh, that he gave me that song to sing off a record that he never released. And I rewrote it for guitar and voice as part of a, a film competition that we filmed on the way to going to a show in Las Vegas, Nevada called the n a B Show, national Association of Broadcasters, which sister and I go to the prison with.
That would be my half sister, who is my father's daughter. And it was the first time that we were all together. Tin Floyd. Will you ever tell us about your dad's affair? Yeah, I will get to that more in the, the podcast. Uh, more about my life and more. In the lives that I do and in the Patreon. Um, and I, and again, I'm, I'm trying to really figure out a, a really good arc for this program as it starts to really blow up more on my personal story and also more on true crime and my perception in mental health and things of that nature that really, that I think are really, really important to me.
Because we, a lot of you liked the episode about the tape, which was the interview with the, in prison with the pastor, and that's what I have. I have another two, two interviews with my father here that I've gotta record episodes on. Your emphasis on mental health is so needed, and I am thankful that you wanna help others.
Thank you so much, John Swindler. I'm gonna post that comment. Thank you so much, John Swindler. I really appreciate that, for acknowledging that. Looks like I'm wearing my t-shirt. Yes, I am. But this is actually the older, this is actually the moving past murder t-shirt.
The moving past murder t-shirt, uh, before I changed into moving past trauma. So I, I didn't, I didn't know what this mer was gonna be like, but these t-shirts are really, really comfortable. Kathleen Walsh says, that's the one I have. That's so great. Thank you so much. Yes. Great quality T-shirt. Thank you.
Thank you, thank you. That's an interesting question. No, would be the short answer. These are things that I don't, that I don't necessarily think about that, uh, you guys are naturally curious about. For me, it's just my life. But, um, I was, one of the things when I set out to make my film a murder in Mansfield, I was very, it was a real driving force because I think when you're, when you are trying to, and really understand and rationalize why people do what they do, you know, i e violence of that nature.
I think we all feel that there has to be a reason for it. Right. And I think that that is one of those situations when you are tr trying to really understand and comprehend what's happening. Y you want to justify it. You want to, you want to, and, and this is part of our rationalization. I did it, you know, a TED talk about this for those of you who have seen it.
But where we're, we get very caught up in the why of why tragic things happen to us. It's just human instinct. We're trying to be empathetic and we're trying to understand, right, okay. There has to be a reason why my father behaved the way he did. And I really dove into that to try to find an answer because I thought that my father was very abused and I thought there were all these things, or that had happened in his childhood.
And I came to find out that what I had thought had happened didn't. And I think that that for me, in my journey, that was one of the things, it was one of the things that I really had to process and understand of. Okay. There's not a necessarily a reason for this behavior. And I remember, you know, sitting across from him at that table in prison, I, I, that was sort of one of the things that kind of chilled me to my bones, if you will.
Oh, there he is. Kenny is here. Guys, here we have Dr. Kenny Kinzie joining the program. Hello Collier. Thank you for having me, friend. Hey man, what's, what's going on? I'm so grateful to have you on the program, my friend. It is my pleasure, sir. I hold much respect for you and your journey, and I can just tell you, for me, it has been a wild ride, wild, unexpected ride.
Oh, yes, it has. Oh, I, I, you know, that was one of the things when we connected, we, we discussed, did you know when you got involved? In the Murdoch trial because you were called specifically in by the prosecution to debunk the two shooter theory, is that correct? Well, actually, Collier, I was called in to look at a specific piece of evidence, and it's been so, it's been beat up so bad down the road that I'm not going to mention it.
It wasn't brought into trial. Mm-hmm. But that was my sole purpose to look at this piece of evidence. They had a great expert looking at it, and we had a difference of opinion. I didn't call that expert wrong. I just laid out the reasons I could not form that same opinion. And the next thing you know, I'm wrapped up in it and I am the expert standing.
I did not watch a lot of the trial. I watched little highlights. I saw your testimony. I thought, oh, this is, this is really interesting. Bits and pieces, right? Catching it through YouTube and, and different platforms. You did a, a whole, and correct me if I'm wrong, a whole reconstruction of what happened there at the kennels.
I did, and I'll tell you my report's out there because the, uh, defense filed a motion and put my report out there. So it's no secret I was hired to look at a shirt. I was, I was hired to Look, look at that's, that's right. The infamous shirt because a splatter and I remem Oh, now I remember. That's right. Cuz that was before I was even following the trial.
Yes. I just, yes, sir. Saw something. Oh my goodness. The shirt. That was it. And, and I said, you know, I'll help you. Uh, I, I'll do anything to help law enforcement. I'll look at it, but I'm gonna give you an honest opinion. And one thing went to another, and in a few days I was in the war room and I was with those great men and women that put that case together.
And here we are five months later. That is so cute. It was the shirt because I remember, oh, this is so funny. I remember seeing, because I became familiar with the Murdoch trial because my, uh, my adopted mother, Susan, she was very into it, and she lives in Ohio and she has friends in in the Carolinas. And she w was very, very into it.
And it's like, oh, were you watching this? And I watched a documentary called, uh, low Country, the Murdoch Dynasty, which is on HBO O Max. And I'm as a documentary filmmaker. I am very, uh, anything that comes outta hbo, I'm like, if it's a documentary, Sheila Evans over there, not to get in the entertainment industry, but like they do a wonderful job at HBO o of making great documentaries and.
It caught my attention and I watched it and, and it was actually the thing at the very end of the last episode when he's on the phone with Buster Murda and he was talking to Buster about, because his girlfriend didn't want to come to the phone. And then he was saying, remember when mom, uh, mom used to get buzzed up?
Cause he was talking about drinking. And Mom used to get buzzed up and, and Buster's response was like, yeah. And I was like, oh my goodness, this sounds like my father to a t And I, and I tweeted on Twitter, I went, this, this guy sounds just like, I think I made a video on it. And I, I just, something in my initial reaction of like, he reminds me of my psychopathic father.
And then, I saw the thing about the shirt and the spray of blood, I believe is what, what you guys were discussing. Mm-hmm. And how it could come. What, and I just remember going, this is some nonsense because it, it, it reminded me of the concrete splatter with my father's case that was on the wall. Right.
Which they, you know, when they were down in the basement, that was the thing that was, oh, because the whole basement was redone. Right. So my father had buried my mother underneath the floor, covered with indoor outdoor carpeting, shells, repainted, everything. It was that one concrete splatter. And that became a sort of point of contention, well, how did you see that?
What is this? Why did you dig up the bo You know what I mean? With the defense? Right. And I just remember thinking kind of, does it always come down to a splatter? I mean, and, and just the way that, uh, they, the, the posturing. That defense attorneys or attorneys in general do around these things to just completely throw a jury off.
And I just was like, it's mild. Well, you know, I was really, really careful Collier not to throw any of those original experts under the bus because I hold them in high regard. Yeah. Why? Why they made their call. That that doesn't really affect me. And like I said, I didn't say they were wrong. I just said I can't form that opinion.
And you know, I said these guys are gonna tell me the pound sand. They'll never talk to me again. I'll be the enemy of the ags office and my friends at sled and look at me five months later. You know, it worked out. I was able to help those guys, uh, secure a conviction and I owed all that to the jury and those men and women that put the case together.
But that's a really good. Outlook of how you behaved, of how you conducted yourself. Not not behaved, but how you conducted yourself. Because you're a professional. You're not gonna engage in, in these, you know, low ball tactics and you're gonna do your job because you also realize that you're gonna have to work with these people again.
And I think that a lot of times when in, in, in my analysis of looking at true crime cases, there's a lot of vitriol in the public. There's a lot of vitriol with, with, um, with, uh, There's a lot of vitriol with, with observers of these cases, content creators saying, well, why didn't they do this? Why didn't do they do that?
And they have to understand that y'all are part of a community that needs to work together to get justice, whatever that looks like, whether somebody is innocent, whether somebody is guilty, whether a family is trying to, to get answers for their lost loved ones, which we'll get into in a moment. And I think that, uh, that is something that is really the people just don't take into account.
So for you to do that, obviously, I mean, you've had 30 years in law enforcement, but you're from Georgia, you're not even from South Carolina, correct? No, sir. I'm from South Carolina. Been here, here my whole life. Oh, okay. Yes, sir. Why did I, I've been here my whole life for some reason. It's probably the accent.
I dunno. That's what it was. There we go. Because I have such good knowledge of, uh, of southern accents in Southern California. Oh, that's funny. Um, so, so talk to me about how your life has literally changed five months later. The whirlwind of this entire fiasco friend, I met, uh, Jared, and he introduced me to you.
And I've met so many, I've always, my whole career in, I'm telling you by design, I have stayed away from the media. Uhhuh completely. Uh, I appreciate him when we have cases, you know, missing children, that kind of thing, where you need information and you use them to your advantage. But me, myself, I have dodged interviews, accolades, that kind of thing.
So I was a little standoffish. But I can just tell you it has been a hundred percent phenomenal. Uh, I'm like, people want to talk to me. Uh, the social media thing, I never was on social media and I'm up on all the platforms now, and the response has been phenomenal. Uh, I tell everybody, you're not really talking to me in real time.
Now you're talking to my agent, which I have been sleeping with for 27 years and married to for 20. But every night we have to go through my list of questions and we sit there and we answer people. And, uh, it has just been wonderful. Collier, I, I couldn't ask, you know, here I'm looking for the sunset. I couldn't ask for a better time, and it's kind of given me a renewed push.
You know, I'm, I'm ready to go a couple more years, maybe not carrying a badge and a gun. You know, I'm gonna drop the badge part. I'm still gonna carry a gun, but, right. It's, uh, it's phenomenal. I got people reaching out, want me to help 'em and, and you know, sometimes they don't want the real answer. I'm just the real answer kind of guy.
I can be wrong, but I'm not going to tell you something that I know is wrong. Yeah. And it, and it just humbles me. And I feel honored that, you know, a lot of people, as I mentioned in the, one of my sayings, they don't know me from a can of paint, but they are, they are. I mean, lots of folks call you, lots of people.
It's, it's, I'm inundated with, people want me to just look at their cases and I have lawyers, you know, calling me, wanting to give me retainers and I'm like, look, I will review your case, but I don't want any money right now. Uh, let's, let's look at your case and see if I believe I can help you. Because I'm not that guy.
I'm not that guy to take your money non-refundable, you know, and, and not be able to produce for you, or at least not give you what I think's a good work product. So it is, it's been wonderful. It's allowed me to keep my integrity and, uh, I look forward to the next 10 or 12 years. I really, really do. That's incredible.
And I think what you just said with the integrity part is, you know, I, I don't want to get into the state of ethics and the world around us, but that's something when I talk to, like, you know, especially young people, right? Young men and women who are trying to navigate through life. And you know, when you're 20, you don't think about when you're 40.
Lisa, I didn't, I didn't think, didn't think I was gonna make it to 40. I didn't plan, I didn't plan on making it to 40, and then I become a father. And now you've gotta make it, you know? Yeah. I remember just even just processing my own journey. Like I, I, I'd be lucky if I made it to 40, I don't even think I thought that I was gonna make it to 30 just to everything that I've been through.
Right. And just to be vulnerable about it, I suppose. Not like I've ever said that out loud, but I, um, I, I talk to them about the decisions that you make, how, that you wanna be. You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and, and absolutely at the end of the life. And I think about like, when I was a child, making that decision to testify against my father, going to law enforcement and saying, Hey, this is like, something's up here.
And, and getting that one detective to ultimately listen to me, how key that was and how I now look back at that. And I don't have, I have no, I have no regrets about what I did. If I, and I say to people, and this is very morbid and people will get mad at me for saying this, but if I walk across the street and get hit by a bus tomorrow, I'm gonna leave the world with a smile on my face.
And not only because of the things I was able to do out of what I, what has happened to me as a child, and, but also just because I did the right thing. And I'm like, I, I know what that, that was. And, and I think so many people lose, lose sight of that. And I think that's what really intrigued me with the Murs is, you know, did you know them at all?
Like, I mean, I'm sure you had to of being in South Carolina, right? I have heard of the Dynasty and I actually, my mother, uh, she's no longer with us, but she lived in Hampton. She was a police officer. Oh, okay. And I knew, I knew who the Murdochs were and I knew the father. I knew Mr. Randolph. I tried, I mean, briefly.
I tried a murder case with him in oh seven and he seemed like a great guy. It was quick, fast, in a hurry. I was on the stand, off the stand. They got a conviction. It was over. And I remember going, I've never seen a trial operate this way. I didn't question it then, but I mean, it was, it was almost, this is the way it's going to be.
If they don't believe you, they're not gonna believe the evidence. I was on the stand. 15, 20 minutes I was down. That was it. And that is the only connection I ever had. I know, uh, Alex's sister, I worked with her briefly. She's a victim's advocate. Okay. And a very nice sweet lady. I worked with her for a couple years, but other than that, my exposure to them was minimal interest.
Interesting. Cause I, I come from a small town, it's called Mansfield, Ohio. And I, I lived there ever since I was five years old. Right. And I, I think about, you know, the, and I, and I talked about this, like the intergenerational trauma, and I remember when I was watching those documentaries, like the family being in power for, you know, a hundred years or something.
I mean, you think back to the early 19 hundreds, late 18 hundreds. Yeah. And the, and the solicitor's office. And I just thought, you know, it always goes back to absolute power. Corrupts Absolutely. Right. Yeah. And why do you, so do, did they, even if you didn't know them personally, did they have, were they liked or were they feared or A little bit of.
because I don't know what they say in the films and, but like, that's a movie. So I don't know if that, if they're just pouring it onto the cameras or not. Well, you don't want to cross them because they're, they are very powerful with their law practices and, you know, the one way to hurt somebody is sue 'em and take every dime they have.
Yeah. They're really, really powerful in that aspect. But it's like, you know, we have a, we have a senator here who's a very good defense attorney in my area. It's hard to find 12 men or women that he's never done a favor for to sit a jury. So it's kind of the same way. It's, it's hard to find someone in Hampton or the surrounding area that, uh, the Murdoch family hasn't done something good for, but then you don't want to cross 'em because it's quick, fast, and in a hurry.
I mean, the legal way, I, I don't know about all the other. Bull jive, but yeah, you know, the legal way, they will really hurt you. And, and that's in your pocketbook. Yeah. I mean, if you, if you can hurt them the legal way, why, why would you go about They're very bulls. They're very ef Yeah, they're very effective.
You know, some attorneys sue for tens of thousands, you know, you can look at their record. Uh, and, and there's a lot of awesome attorneys, powerful attorneys that's involved in this whole process. But I'm speaking of them in specifics. You know, their, their, their loads were big, their awards were big. And it's, it's great when you're, when you have that many connections, when you have to see the jury, that's got to say whether you get paid or not.
And it just went on forever and ever. And I think, uh, mark Tinsley said it, who I have mad respect for in the trial, when you have the majority of the docket. When you are, are, you represent a majority of the docket. It's hard to say you're not getting paid Paul when you are the majority of the docket in that area.
Wow. And what was his role? Was he like the leader? Because, because the, the brothers are lawyers too, is that whole family. They're all involved in legal business. Right, right. It was, it was started by their grandfather in the early 19 hundreds. Yeah. But now they have three or four partners, uh, in the firm and him and his brother Randy, and I think they were all equal.
I'm not sure of that. I think they were all equal. Yeah. P I M P D. I just thought it was weird because he's pimped. I was like I said, I said, is this pimped? I, I said, this is the, I I mean this is, uh, those are things that I always say. That's how you know God has a sense of humor. Absolutely. Absolut.
Absolutely. But I mean, they were, if you really felt you were wrong, That is the firm you would go to. That's true. And you know, the per capita income in that area is something like 17 or $18,000 a year. So they're big money, big, big money. It's a very rural area. It's not a lot of jobs, not a lot of companies and businesses there.
And, and they just, they helped a lot of people. I, I can't take that from 'em and still helping a lot of people, you know? Uh, but you, I understand you don't want to cross them, especially in the courtroom. So they weren't all bad then. Oh, no, sir. They did a lot of great things from what I understand. And that's lies the problem is hard to find a juror that that firm or one of those guys or one of those other great attorneys that's still there, hadn't done something for you or a family member or somebody, you know.
So it's almost like complete control. Hmm. That's wild. That's wild. It's a dynasty. And I didn't quite understand it because I didn't watch any of the documentaries or anything until after the trial. I didn't wanna bias myself or, you know, preconceive some notions. So I, uh, binge watched everything for about two weeks and I'm like, wow, this is a, this is a big deal.
I mean, I, I got friends that would love to be in that position, you know? Yeah. I, but you know, I always take it with a grain of salt because it's like, those documentaries are, let's just keep it real. Those documentaries are really by, by us city folk. You know what I mean? And we're, we don't under, you know, we, you know, and mostly people that live on the coast, right?
So we have sort of, you know, we have different ideas of what corruption looks like. You know, what those things that we put our own spins on it, I think, you know, for good or bad. But I think, uh, you know, when. You see it, it's just, it. I was like, I, I was like, there's gotta be more, even more to this. But they, you know, they, because they do overdramatize with true crime a lot, but that's very, very interesting.
And they just, they, they had a good reputation too. Cause they make it sound like, oh, it's all bad. They're, oh, they're, they're doing all kinds of shady business, which I don't doubt, you know? Of course. Absolutely. Power corrupts. Absolutely. Um, so now leading up to the, so before this case, obviously, and it just, because I mean, this has completely transformed the town, right?
I believe so. Especially Coan. Not so much Hampton, where the actual office is at. Mm-hmm. But this put coll on the map. I mean, this was major tourist attraction news trucks as far as you could see them. Yeah. Food trucks, you know, it, they, they actually couldn't feed enough people. So all these food trucks come in.
Hotels. I mean, they don't have a lot of hotels in Walterboro. I'm sure all the hotels had plenty of business. Uh, it was a big spectacle really and truly, and I think they did wonderfully. The town of Walterboro welcomed everyone in and it was really for a bad situation. It was a warm environment.
And that's why have all those people left or are they hanging around till August till new things happen or the, the situation with Steven's family, which we'll get into in a second. Are they or did they all just pull out? Now it's like, okay, now we're back to normal. I mean, is it back to normal? I rode through yesterday.
I'm actually helping them with a, uh, another case, not a big case, but I'm helping them, men and women down. They're just giving 'em a little guidance and I rode through there and, uh, it looks normal, but I bet you, you let a date come out for the white collar crimes. And the circus is back in town. I can, I can assure you, and they will meet the challenge.
I'm, I'm, I've never seen a small town react that well and, and ad-lib and make everything work, but it really, really was a great place to visit during this spectacle. Yeah. Then you think about like, well you gotta tell c Creighton waters too. I got guitars behind me. He can play. Ah, I am, Hey, I put that on the list.
I'm looking over your shoulder. I'm putting it on the list. Yeah. I love to, I would love to speak to him. I, it's so funny cause I saw him playing guitar. I was like, is that the guy? I'm like, oh. And as a musician, I went to music school. Uh, I'm like, oh, that must be just feels so good to be done with this trial and just be like, I just wanna jam out and just not think about anything right now.
Oh, your, I was with him so many nights down there and I, I, I can't tell you the wild, mad respect I have for Creighton. And Ag Wilson, but Creighton, as Mr. Wilson said, was the guy in charge. And I can't tell you how many nights I spent down there, uh, you know, beating different theories and, and, and working on presentation and that kind of thing.
And he always had two or three guitars sitting in the corner and a little, a little. And I said, dude, are you playing these? He's like, every chance I get, well, I've spent hours and hours and hours with him and I've never seen him pick one of 'em up. So when I seen the video circulate and I said, he really can play.
Yeah, he's really pretty good. Oh yeah. So he'd been playing for, I was like 15 or something. Oh yeah. He's a wild man. He is a wild man on the strings. Uh, I, I saw him, uh, video of him at St. Patrick's Day Festival here in Columbia, South Carolina. He is ready for the big time. He's awesome. That's so cool. How is, so, I mean, obviously this is probably the, was this the biggest case of your career?
It was the most, uh, publicized case. I wouldn't say the biggest. Yeah. I've had numerous double homicides. Mm-hmm. And I've had, you know, uh, connected people and, and help, you know, you don't always get the same homicide with a serial killer, but me and my teammates at SLED have worked, you know, homicides due to a serial killer.
So I, I wouldn't say this is the, the biggest one, but it's definitely the most publicized. So for you, what was the most personal case if you, if you wouldn't mind sharing children? Yeah. Child, children tear me up. Uh, and they say God will only give you what you can handle. Yeah. And I can say, call your, and, and, and I want to go on the record.
You know, everybody thinks I've worked 850 plus homicides, that that's not true. And I testified 850 death scenes. Uh, you know, some of 'em is accident, suicide. Unexplained, uh, you know, homicide, but only about a dozen children. And out of all those numbers, and I am so thankful, you know, that, that I was able to handle it.
It's always tough when it's a friend. I've worked several suicides for friends. Mm, uh, several police officers that I knew. Uh, those always touch you, you know, uh, suicides of law enforcement, like law enforcement, police. Oh, yes. Yes, sir. I, I've worked law enforcement suicides and I've worked just general friends that weren't in law enforcement that, you know, at one time or another had told me I'd never do that if I do what You investigate it.
And, and I did. And when I did, they did do it. So, I mean, I've come to understand that fine line that we all walk, and it may be chemical, electrical, hormonal, whatever, but any of us can step over that line at any time. And if you don't have interventions sometimes that's what happens. And, and I've come to understand that.
So what do you think is the balance, because as you just said, 850 death scenes and then how the children affects you. And again, God doesn't give you more than you and can handle, we've all heard that before. But realistically, how do you cope with seeing that much? Cause if I can do my math correctly, that would be, what, 30 a year?
Over a 30 year career? Well, and actually it's 20, it's actually, it's 22 years. 20 0, 22 years. I've only worked crime scenes 22 years. I've been in law enforcement for 30, but, uh, for several years, you know, we, I, I would respond to 125 to 150. And what we did, we had a, a primary backup system. So we had a partner.
And this scene, you were primary, and that means you do all the politicing and all the decision making. And the partner, the, the backup is your, uh, your gopher. You know, I, I we call it something else that starts with a b and ends with a ch but that was your gopher. And then the next crime scene you would swap.
So if something happened to one of you, you were both involved. And I actually had a partner that was very near and dear to me who passed away from an illness and I inherited all of his scenes that I've worked with him, but I inherited them all. Hmm. And up till about two ye I've been going from sled 12 years and up till a year or two ago, I was still testifying for, for my buddy Bruce.
So, wow. You know, it, it works out and it's a good system because if something happens, as long as nothing doesn't happen to you two together. You've always got someone that can hold that integrity and testify to that evidence. So I did, you know, several years, a hundred plus in a row, four or five years.
And then it was, you know, like you said, you know, 30 here or, uh, you know, 25 here or whatever. But, uh, and one year here in my county, we had, uh, close to 30 homicides. And for every homicide we had a suicide. And then for every suicide we had two to one, uh, industrial accident. So I, I mean, you, you add 'em all up.
And I didn't really keep a list. I just update my CV every once in a while. And, uh, yeah, it, it could be way more than that. I, I don't know, but, uh, I, some people said, uh, they had a expert that was a consultant for, uh, one of the shows, and I'm not kicking him in the knee, but, uh, he's been in the business 24 years, 12 years as a civilian.
And 12 years as law enforcement. And he had this wild number up in the 20 thousands. Wow. And, and, and I said, I asked the, uh, producer for this particular show. I said, do you realize that is a crime scene every day, seven days a week for 24 straight years? I said, that's not possible. Uh, many crime scenes last three, four multiple days.
You have to have downtime. Those numbers are not possible. So I've always tried to keep true numbers and I'd rather undercut 'em than, you know, fabricate or overcut 'em, you know, uh, overproduce 'em. But, uh, you gotta look at a person's numbers. And when I talked with that producer, she said, wait a minute.
Let me do the math. And she come back. She said, and this guy's younger than me. She's like, yeah, you're right. Those are numbers. I said, and that's like a sheriff or a police chief. Claiming the homicides that happened in their department. You know, I worked seven, you know, one of the big cities, Chicago, I worked 700 homicides last year.
No, you really didn't. Your men and women worked them and you're using that number, you know, in your resume. And, and I'm not blaming them, but uh, my numbers are true numbers, boots on the ground, you know, hand sanitizer afterwards. My numbers are true numbers. Wow, that's interesting. Well, hey, I guess it, it's true to form in all, all aspects is all very political and all, all about a man.
Yes, sir. That's wild. That's wild. So, um, speaking of, of cases again, uh, with children, you are now, well actually let me, uh, let me ask you something. So you said you left sled 12 years ago. What are you, you, so you were a part of sled and just for those of us that I'll let you explain what is the difference between SLED and everyone else?
SLED is the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, commonly known by the acronym sled, and it is our state police, it's our version of the state police. It's like the, uh, G B I in Georgia or the S B I in North Carolina. They, uh, handle all the counter-terrorism. They own the only police laboratory in South Car.
Well, no, we have a couple more. They own the State Police laboratory. Uh, they're an accredited agency, hundreds and hundreds of men and women, and they are assisting agency. They're the ones that put out the flyers and they run the, uh, all the computer programs, uh, N C I C, that kind of thing. That filters down from the F B I.
And they are our version of what some states call the state police. They have jurisdiction in all 46 counties. And they run all kind of federal task force. And, and they partner with everyone. And if you're a small department with no resources or limited resources, you call them and they're coming. And that is, that is their role.
And I was there, I worked my whole life to get there. I worked for a wonderful man by the name of Robert Stewart, who's still in the game. Chief Stewart is a famous, famous chief and a very fair man. And he runs a consulting business now, also when I get to see him occasionally. Uh, but he, he was great. He brought me up, he hired me, he gave me a great package, uh, when he brought me in because I already had several years under my belt.
And it was just phenomenal. And then came the, uh, stock market problems and, and the economy of oh nine and 2010. And, uh, I hung in there a little while, but I had, my son was born in oh seven. And, you know, everything hit and they started cutting out overtime and they limited the use of your vehicles. And I was in, you know, four or five counties a day and a newborn here at home.
My wife was trying to, uh, take care of. And I had missed all that time with my daughter growing up. And I said, I can't do it again. So I came back home and, and opportunities opened and then my sheriff decided to run for office and he asked me if I'd come back and I thought about five minutes, I've worked for four sheriffs and two of them ended miserably for the sheriff.
But, uh, this is a good man I work for now. And, and he gave me a great opportunity and I came back and I always said I'd never come back unless I was running the department. I'll never get back in sheriff if I wasn't running the department. And a year down the road, you know, I'm his number two and I'm running the department and he's the politician and, and it's just worked out.
It's, it's been wonderful. It's been a wonderful ride and I don't really regret any of it, but my heart will always be a sled agent. It'll always be with the men and women at sled. So, is Sled basically the sort of the state equivalent of the F fbi? I, yes sir. Yeah, they are our, they are our equivalent of the F B I.
There we go. Uh, somebody just asked that, so I put up on the screen that that was under Yeah, that was what I, that was sort of my understanding too, but I'd much rather have you explain it than me, that's for sure. Uh, okay. So, so obviously you're involved in another case, which, which, I mean, the, the rabbit hole of the murdochs just sort of just keeps going and going, going.
I mean, it is the gift that keeps on giving for the tabloids and everyone, and I just watched a recent interview with you on court tv. About this exhumation that happened last weekend in your involvement in the Steven Smith case. Are you feel comfortable talking about that a little bit? Oh, ab absolutely.
If we get to a point I can't talk about, I'll stop. Okay. Absolutely fair. Um, so I guess one of the things that caught me in your interview was exactly when you were explaining this road and I can't remember, or something River Run Road. I believe Sandy Run. Sandy Run Road. Mm-hmm. And how you were explaining it is in the middle of nowhere.
Yes, sir. And uh, and I, you know, I, like I said, I grew up in Ohio and I know what those middle of nowhere roads look like. And I think one of the things that I thought was interesting is I had seen the statement that had come from SLED a couple of weeks ago where they had said, we've always been ruling this as a homicide.
Was that news to you? I, I believe, I believe we're everyone is losing something in translation. I believe they are investigating it as a homicide. Uh, as far as I know, the original death certificate still says undetermined. And there's only, you know, there's only five things that could be a suicide, a homicide, an accident, uh, undetermined.
And they're oh and natural. There. There's one more. There's only five. So undetermined is what they put when they just can't figure it out. And I'm not the one in charge of this thing now, and I'm not the one that makes that determination. Sure. But to me, undetermined is better than getting it wrong. Yeah, absolutely.
It's better than getting it wrong. It's saying I have some reservations we need to do a little bit more investigating. But I definitely think there's a. A reason, a probable reason to frame this as a homicide and see where it takes you, because obviously it was framed as an accident and it got 'em nowhere.
So look beyond that, and if it comes back towards something else, then you've covered all the bases.
Interesting. So then the conjecture saying that it was ruled as like vehicular manslaughter or vehicular, is that just, is that just nonsense? Well, anytime in South Carolina we have a, a charge that's failure to render aid you if you leave an accident without rendering aid. And it is, uh, I can't give you the statute outta my mind, Collier, but it's the same principle as basically a manslaughter.
If you hit someone and you don't stop and offer aid or try to get help, it's a pretty severe charge. I mean, if I'm not mistaken, you could get 15, 20 years for it. Yeah. But, uh, at bare minimum, and, and like I've told, many of the reporters that I've taught with, they, they try, they wanna box you in and I don't blame 'em.
That's their job. Yeah. I'm really not going to say, you know what I believe, because if I believe I have let the Smith family down, I've gotta go in here with an open mind and I've got to consider everything. Yeah. And, uh, I will tell you that there's some things that are suspect, some visible things that are out public.
Mr. Uh, Mr. Smith's positioning in that road, you, you mentioned, uh, the lack of, uh, damage to his clothing, his cell phone in his pocket, and it's not busted up. I mean, those are, those are things that I, I broke mine on the office floor. You know, I dropped it and cracked my screen. Uh, so whatever the truth is, I wanna be a part of it.
If, if possible, uh, if I don't want any glory, you know, if, if it's something I can do, can help sled, I want to do it. I just want to see a smile on Ms. Smith's face, and I want to know that the family has a little bit of peace. And, and that's it. I, I didn't seek, you know, some of the haters on social media, you know, oh, he's a big celebrity now.
He's getting all this money. So I, I haven't got, I've received anything. Not one penny, not even from the Murdoch case yet. Now I've gotta check coming, but it takes a little while to get paid through the state process. Sure. But none of this, you know, I didn't run down Mr. Bland and Mr. Richter. They had the faith in me to ask me to help.
Yeah. And just like with my men and women at work, Man, I pushed the glory off to somebody else. And I, I, I'm just thankful if I was able to help you and I'm thankful if my efforts didn't hurt you. So that, that's what I live for. I, I, I've got a pension that I could sign tomorrow and one month from the day I get a check.
It's not about the money from me. It's about doing good for somebody. And a lot of times it's somebody you don't understand or somebody you don't know. And I think if all of us did just a little bit more of that, I think it might be a better place. And I'm not trying to get all, you know, huggy, kissy on anybody, cuz everybody knows that's not the kind of guy I am.
But I really think with the, uh, atmosphere, you mentioned it earlier with the vitriol and, and what we deal with today. I just think if we understood a little bit more about somebody that we know nothing about. Yeah. I, I think it would just be a better place for all others. You know, I go back when you think about the vitriol, and I just remember watching Alec Murdo leave the courtroom to get into the van, to, to, to go to the detention facility, and somebody yelled Busters next.
I was like, man, like what? I feel sorry for the Murdoch family. Yeah. I feel sorry for Buster. I prayed for Alec. Uh, you, you know, I look you, you got God's law in man's law. And no matter what, you can make yourself right with God, but you still have to satisfy man's law. And I didn't make the decision guilt or innocent.
That's the job of them, 12 men and women. But I respect their position and had it been the other way, I would've still respected it. And that's our system. And I, I truly believe in it. Co you. I, I believe in it. It's funny, I have a friend who works in Homeland Security. He was, uh, before that, before dhs, he was in the FBI and d a, I mean, he's been life, life.
He's, he's been like, I've been a cop my entire life, as he says. And he, he will tell me time and again, call your. It is, and he just bitches about the government all the time. And now at the, the level of incompetence, what I'm sure you can relate to, but he deals with Yes, sir. And he, he, he has this great quote that he tells me, and I, I will not say his name, but he's, he's a dear friend of mine and he is, we talk about conspiracies and he, he works in New York City, so he's in a major metropolitan area in the world.
And he talks about conspiracy theories with me sometimes, or I'll just run something by him, like, Hey, what do you think of this? And he goes, Collier, the notion of a conspiracy is that the people who are perpetrating said conspiracy actually know what. What have any clue what they're do actually doing.
He's like, these people can't even get my paycheck right sometimes. Yeah. How do you think that they are going to cover up two planes flying into towers in lower Manhattan and nobody's gonna find out? How do you think that that's possible in the day of the internet with all these, I mean, he just, he says, cuz he gets really annoyed about nine 11 conspiracies and Oh yeah.
Yeah. He just, he just gets really frustrated and he just get, he's like, it's so incompetent. And then in the same breath he says to me, but as screwed up as it is, it is still, I believe the best system in the world. And I say that all the time. Absolutely. And, and even with all this media con like, and I think that people lose sight of the fact that let's take the murders.
The, the, the vial and vitriol that has come out, let's just say like that comment towards Bo referring to Buster, and somehow with the Steven Smith case, right, because online sleuths think X, Y, and Z, let's say from their investigations, that type of conjecture and that type of propaganda actually works in other countries.
Right? Right. And that's what people don't seem to understand. That's really scary. And I interviewed Amanda ael, uh, a few months ago, uh, on another project and you know, obviously her whole ordeal and just in Italy, and there's a lot of people that are very polarized, who's a very polarizing figure. I understand because of the media conjecture surrounding that case.
But they, the Italian court had. Arrest. Tried and convicted a man who said that she had nothing to do with it, who committed that murder, right. Of Meredith. And I think she was convicted tw two or three times, or they tried three times after. So she was convicted a year after he goes a year and a half after he goes to prison, mind you, for the murder, wi with her, with her boyfriend.
And then they retried her and convicted her again, and then did it again. And then she was finally exonerated and I, and I use that as an example. And she was in prison for four years. Yeah. And I use that as an example of like, that's what happens if we didn't have the justice system that we had in this country, that we have these protections.
I know that it is very there. There's a lot of politics involved. There's a lot of money that is involved. And I think back to my father's case and my father having, you know, a a l defense super legal team, defense team at his disposal, And I think about, about what that could have looked like in like, let's say the OJ Simpson case where he did have the highest power lawyers in the country defending him.
And I think about, I'll take that any day of the week. Then somebody can say, I heard a rumor that this person did this and this, and then you go to prison for it. Exactly. Exactly. Collier, I can't tell you how many times, uh, myself or one of my coworkers would look at, uh, just say a, a latent fingerprint for instance.
You never know where that print's gonna go, but if it doesn't meet a certain standard, you're sure that is Kenny Kinzie's print, but you don't quite have enough to call it. The tie always went to the. Always. Well, we're not going to call that, you know, I mean that, that's the system that I know. I read and see stories about other systems where people have been hemmed up and there's no doubt they're bad police, just like they're bad prosecutors and doctors and lawyers, and every segment of our society because police come from our society and we don't have a perfect society.
So why would we expect all of our police to be perfect? But what I do know is the majority of the men and women, it is still the most honorable job, in my opinion, in existence. And if you look, we, we spoke on the phone a month or so ago. If you look at the 20 to 30 documented citizen contacts a day with every man and woman, 700,000 plus every man and woman in this country, the citizen contacts they have every day that don't end bad.
Where they don't have to shoot someone or, or they don't take a life or they don't plant evidence. I would still challenge anyone to check those statistics because it's still, it's still an honorable profession. Yeah. Honorable. Why do you think, why do you think distrust in law enforcement has been so, I mean, j just so rampant, man.
We've done some bad stuff. Call, we, we have, you know, we haven't made it easy on ourselves and you got one bucket of bad apples. But because of, uh, social media and, and, and not just social media, but technology in general, you're fed that all day. You're fed it all day. So, and, and this is what I lecture on, if I may, uh, Our marginalized members of our marginalized communities are scared of the police because they've seen us do some bad things.
You can't dress it up, you can't put lipstick on it. It's still a pig. Yep. Period. And it's bad. And then you've got the increase in ambush deaths of police officers. I'm not sure the current numbers, but between 2011 and 2015, when I did my research, it was 87% increase. Wow. So you've got the marginalized community that rightfully doesn't trust the police.
And then you've got the police that are jumpy because they're dying. And when you have crisis or conflict, it just does not end well. It doesn't end well. And so I I, I don't think either one of them as a whole or wrong, I just think we've got to find another way. I tell people, look here, get paid. Cut your video on, on your phone.
If you come across that guy, videotape it, get an attorney and get paid. Don't get dead, get paid. If he's a bad police officer, there's nothing that good cops want to do worse than get bad cops out of there. But across this nation, across this nation, Collier, I, I believe this, with every d n a cell in my body across this nation, the men and women that carry badges and guns are, for the most part good.
They're, they're for the most part. Good. Yeah. And if I didn't believe that, I couldn't do it anymore. Yo, I, I, I just getting sensitive, knowing you as briefly as I have it, I, I would believe that I would go to the other side if I didn't believe that. Yeah, the dark side. The dark side. So let me ask you, so let me ask you a little bit about this Steven Smith case.
Yes. So you're, you're brought on, and you know, this is, again, you know, it, it sucks. And, and you know, when we were discussing about Murdoch's conviction, one of the things that you and I touched upon, and we'll get to Steven in a second, sorry. But is the addiction aspect of all this, and how you said, when that judge said to him, I, I don't believe that you committed this crime, I believe that it was the person that you created.
Mm-hmm. Do you think it was it was drug fueled? I believe drugs were part of the equation, but if you look at the amount of money and the cost of the drugs, It's a big deficit in there. It's a whole lot more things that maybe weren't uncovered or maybe wasn't brought forward, but I don't believe a person on that much medication for that long could do the tangent, uh, stringent legal work that Alec Murdoch did.
I, I just, I don't believe it for a second. I believe there were probably times rough spots in his life where, you know, he dealt with that issue. But I don't think it was a 24 7 thing. The, the addiction wasn't a 24 7 thing. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. I do not. Oh, so you think he was, there could have been times when he was straight.