Corruption & How it Affects Pensacola

Corruption is a word people use but do not fully appreciate. Corruption means deviation from morality, honor and duty. It destroys political legitimacy. We have a system in place that puts trusted people in positions to make decisions for us and to keep our society the place it is. When that trust is severed for personal gain, we all lose. Not only have we been duped by a con-artist, but we have been  robbed of our ability to discern who is for us and who be against us.

A case in point is my interest in the Billings Murder case. As a person who wants to not only understand the tragedy of the murder of these two people, but to understand how the disposition of the case could have gone so horribly wrong. What evidence led to the incarceration of 8 people whom the state claims to be guilty, when the initial evidence points to an entirely different direction? Whether you believe my questions are legitimate or not, if I am barking up the wrong tree, whose time am I wasting besides my own?

Victimology is essential to law enforcement. Why was this person killed? Was it greed? Jealous? Business? Insurance Money? These all help gauge who committed the crime. Bud Billings lifestyle must be understood.  Here is an excerpt that perfectly describes the circumstance of this  case.

 “The Proximity hypothesis suggests that crime is less a function of life-style, but rather is based on close proximity…In a related concept is the equivalent group hypothesis, which points out that criminals and victims overall share similar characteristics because they are not entirely separate groups. People who commit crimes are probably at higher risk for victimization, both because of proximity to other criminals and because of their own lifestyles, which involve going out at night and associating with other young males who are involved in crime. In such associations, they place themselves at risk for becoming the victim of crimes themselves. Some support for this concept comes from research that indicates that crime victims as a group self-report a high amount of criminal activity. This hypothesis does not indicate that all victims are criminals, but that criminals as a group are at higher risk for becoming victims at some point because of the high-risk nature of their activities and associations.

So when I reached out to Andrea McDermott to gain some perspective as to what the situation around the family was at the time of the murders, I was surprised to get a response. It must be understood that I have reached out to everyone. Very few people respond for one reason or another. I told Andrea I got Bud’s FBI file last week. I am aware of the his conviction for trafficking in stolen vehicles in 1987 and some of the other “loosy lou” practices he had with odometers and cars that he acquired that “fell off a truck”.

I also shared my on-going suspicions about Justin and Blue. Andrea felt similarly. She asked me what I planned to do with the information she was giving me and I said I was looking for the truth, which is the truth. She reluctantly started sharing her perspective looking at the family from the standpoint of someone within the inner realm. After all, as Melanie’s lifelong friend, she was privy to many details that were innate to the family that strangers may never know. Certainly, she was unsettled by the dispensation of the case. There were elements that just did not jive with what she knew to be true and now her friend has been murdered and every fiber within her was screaming “there is a misrepresentation of the facts”. So when I asked questions, she answered because she believes people, who were at least accomplices in some capacity, got away with murder. She discussed things with Rick Outzen who wrote an article hinting at things but he never put the concerns she had out there. We all know Outzen’s integrity.  He wants the truth but only if it does not reflect badly on his buddies, Eddins and Morgan, which this would.

Andrea began telling me about how Bud’s bad heart and age had made his dealings in the car business laborious. He planned on shifting it to Blue and Ashley. After beginning to do just that, everything started falling apart. He realized they did not have ability to maintain this business and his hands in money laundering, which is a common knowledge fact among everyone around Bud, required that this business run in perpetuity to fulfill his obligations with Mexican criminal elements, or cartels. Ashley and Blue were going to get him killed, screwing with the Mexican’s money. So he took the business back from them. Blue and Ashley were on the verge of divorce. Blue was losing his “gravy train”. Bud’s intention was to sell off his business because that would be the only way out of his debacle.

Now the speculation comes in here. Do the cartels get nervous about the business changing hands with their participation woven into the fabric of the business or could Blue and Ashley have put their differences aside to try to reclaim the business from Bud? Either scenario creates a concern about Bud. Murder has been committed for far less motives than ensuring the perpetuation of financial stability by the cartel or Blue and Ashley.

Add another dimension to this. Justin. What is Justin’s story? He had a fight about a week before where he was relegated to a trailer on the property–not to be in the house. What was the fight about? We can imagine money or Justin’s future as a 20 year old. There are a number of different things that create friction between a father and his son. But what makes this situation different is the reasoning of this fight. This fight was about Justin inappropriately touching of one of the special needs girls. That was the fight and is a pattern of behavior that spans back to inappropriate acts with Nikki, Ashley’s daughter with CP. There was an inappropriate relationship that was there that made military school necessary to get Justin out of this house. At roughly $2-3K in SSI, state assistance via cash and food stamps PER KID, if someone in the house is “suspected” of inappropriate behavior, those kids are going to be taken by the State. Justin was a loose cannon and a liability to the family.

This becomes a Pandora’s box of issues within the house. Over the years, Bud was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with some of the older girls in the house. Ashley made the statement to people that she had been raped as a young teenager. Sex abuse does not “pop” up in a house. It is typically learned behavior. People who were sexual abused will either sexually abuse others or they will internalize their rage and self destruct without proper therapy and in some case that happens in lieu of therapy. So to hear that Bud was accused in the past is not unbelievable because both Justin’s and Ashley’s actions are manifestations of sexual abuse and the common denominator is Bud.

Actions taken by Justin immediately after, led the people closest to him, Ashley, Patricia Bosco, and Cambra Lee, question whether he was involved. They all accused Justin to the police regarding his behavior prior to and after the murder, but no one has to take their word for it. Look at the Youtube videos. Within minutes of his parents’ brutal murder, Justin is calm, emotionless, talking a bullshit story and when tested, he has gunshot residue on his hands. A thing that is not easily transferable. I found this info on the FBI.gov site (https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/may/the-current-status-of-gsr-examinations).

  …A comprehensive analysis of the sample can eliminate false positives, leaving GSR as the only possible source. In this area, recent research and studies in the search for false positives have only brought about increased confidence in characterizing particles as GSR.

Justin showed up after deputies arrived. That is documented. He had neither access to the gun at his parents’ home (as he contends) nor the bodies of his parents that are the only reasonable explanations of transfer gunshot residue. In the absence of that, the trace amount is pertinent. The deputies dismissed this because of an overgeneralized understanding of the crime scene and a flimsy excuse of handling of fireworks. In some cases, fireworks have some forms of gunpowder in them, but the testing used would not pick up this type of powder as it is organically, chemically different that true residue left by a fired gun. Primarily different in the shavings of metal that are microscopically ejected in the process of firing a gun. An excerpt from the following book, can more carefully explain this fact.  Scientific Foundations of Crime Scene Reconstruction: Introducing Method to Mayhem, By Jon J. Norby

So you have these people in the inner circle of Bud Billings who had issues with Bud. To eliminate them WITHOUT investigating any angle or scenario pertaining to them is just reckless. Law Enforcement 101…the people closest are the ones who are more likely to be involved in any act of violence. They have intimate knowledge of people, routines, possible reactions and overall circumstances which can be exploited in opportunistic timing. That is not just TV logic. That is criminalistics.

Color me surprised when Andrea mentioned to me that she had been warned that talking to me may not be a good idea. Why? I am just looking for some understanding of the crime. Who is ok with a justice system that allows people involved in a murder to go free? Is it really wrong to want to see the guilty people punished? In this case, new people, implicated into the crime means that some of the people accused were wrongly accused. I say this because we have X number of participants in this crime. If you put the people that admit to being there, the ones linked to the crime by corroborating evidence (not false confessions) and people now believed to be involved, knowing the circumstances of the family, the entire narrative put out for public consumption, begins to fall apart. The next question is why? Why was a false story with bits of truth sprinkled delivered to the media? Why would law enforcement (ie Sir David) misrepresent facts about this crime? Why is it a problem to bring the actual facts to light? Who benefits by not investigating this crime?

Let’s go back to these pictures:

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Outside of this case, how many times have you seen Sheriff Morgan hug and console a grieving family member after a murder? I would wager that number is zero. If the public did not know it prior to this case, these pictures speak volumes.  There seems to be a personal relationship here. These people were not strangers thrown into a situation who were not known to each other. Pensacola is a small town. I can link together one particular link in Arety Kapatanis. Arety was a supporter of Morgan’s first election and she was close to Bud Billings. Had someone come to Morgan with the best interest of the family, perhaps in a PR situation, asking that the family laundry not be aired in this investigation? Possibly. But that should not prevent it from being investigated.

I can understand trying to preserve family dignity completely and maybe as a favor, Morgan agreed to spare a family as well as other people close to his money (ie Arety) from the public ridicule of having to put the Bud’s businesses in public like the career of laundering money, the entire business with the cartels, the “inappropriateness” of relationships in the family, Ashley’s marriage that is falling apart, Blue being halfway out the door after the business debacle and the other general family dysfunction. This is the general state of the family at the time of the murder, according to Andrea. Why wouldn’t she have reservations when none of these things have been looked at and had to have something to do with the intimacy of this crime?

The damnedest things about all of this is that Andrea, like myself, can’t seem to express these concerns because of a narcissistic Sheriff who slam dunked this huge case in less than 1 week’s time. He did this without a point person heading the investigation effectively, without records of interviews, without investigators conferring with each other and all of them on their own little mission within this three-ring circus and while Morgan is making hourly appearances on the news. Suddenly while people are scrambling around a phone call comes from a man who is concerned the van on TV is his that he sold to Terri Poff. But the truth of the matter is they have a van in close proximity to the crime scene that is abandoned. They already have it.

Being good investigators, someone checks it out. They approach a mentally unstable man who has been up for 3 days cooking meth in the van they are looking to investigate. Of course, his reaction was panic. Of course, he was trying to cover it and after seeing the news, he thinks he is going to be linked to this murder. He’s a paranoid schizophrenic. He would have thought he was being linked if the van had looked nothing like the one on tv. He was high and paranoid. During this time frame, Patrick’s  (Gonzalez Jr.) name came up in the ECSO. This leads to a shit storm of speculation of involvement. Then after hours of interviews Lenny confesses to the crime in some way. He would have confessed to most anything after the number of hours of interviews, which were unlogged, catalogued or recorded in any way. This is the point where just enough truth and speculation merge with opportunity. I say that because no one could predict the reaction, sleep depravity and severity of the mental illness of Leonard Gonzalez Sr. That was pure luck and it was the catalyst that propelled the story of Morgan’s first official high profile case, that was solved with all the deputies going 60 different ways up until the moment Tama Barber swears, under oath and cross-examination, that they encounter people telling them about the suspects on TV. A measure of ye Old Sheriff that corrupts the investigation by having everyone and their mother seeing and knowing something. It also denies justice when people who haven’t even been questioned are put on TV and asserted as being the people who did this horrible crime. From that point on, investigators chase the story on the news to which they find enough truth to railroad 8 people while leaving the people with the motives, Ashley, Blue, Justin & Cab, and people with incriminating evidence in their possession that cannot be explained away, Hugh Wiggins, who had the gun, bloody gloves and the only thing taken from the robbery. Would you find comfort if this were the case and it was your family on a slab? Why would anyone think Andrea’s questions or mine are a threat to anything? If we believed space aliens did this, no one would give it a second thought, right? But because the speculation IS possible and because this does make sense, it threatens the status quo of what Pensacola knows about this crime. It also dents Sir David’s armor that he shined up real pretty for the cameras. Would he really look back at his investigation as a genuine effort find justice? HELL NO!

They Were Meant to Get Caught

In looking at the elements of this “well-planned” home invasion from Patrick’s perspective would any of us do the the following things:

1. Use a mentally unstable, chemically dependent father as any part of the crime. A man that will crack under pressure and who has been willingly absent the majority of his son’s life. Highly suggestible and paranoid, he believes everyone is “after him”.

2. Use a pieced together 1979, 1982, & 1986 Dodge van without brakes or reverse, as a good “getaway” vehicle.

3.  Commit a crime with knowledge of surveillance cameras that are not deactivated.

4.  Tell a number of people about the crime prior to committing it, knowing that gossip spreads like wildfire in Pensacola/Gulf Breeze

5. Use 4 people out of 8 that were strangers  whose trustworthiness had NOT been established nor were they close friends. Gary Sumner knew Pat for 3 weeks. He introduced him to Donnie Stallworth, Rakeem Florence & Frederick Thornton. Not knowing these guys from Adam, give them guns, tell them secrets and expect the kids to be able keep from cracking.

6. Allowing a known addict, Wayne Coldiron, be involved. He is a strung-out addict. Coldiron tells everyone Patrick did this and he was with him. Right off the bat. Just a bit too easy.

7. Putting as many people as possible in a house at one time. The chaos and the number of people exponentially increases the chances of leaving evidence behind as well as having someone crack.

8. Shooting 2 people that could have been easily incapacitated without a weapon. As someone who has been trained from childhood to defend themselves with their body, who trained people to fight back against any size attacker, going in solo to “take care” of the adults would have been the way to go and then bring others in after or as needed. This would lessen the liability to the one person we can all trust above all others–ourselves.

The vehicle and 6 unpredictable people entering into this plot would be absurdly ridiculous for a well thought out plan. Unless the plan was to have the people entering the house get caught….

This is the worst devised plan ever! Especially for Patrick. He was arrogant and a big talker, but he is intelligent. When you lay this all out, who would be dumb enough to go into this? The one person he trusts–Pam Long Wiggins–is just as screwed as he is. Her hubby, Hugh blames everything on the 2 of them.

The Billings’ Murders: An Editorial by Sue Bradley

As I’ve said before, this blog is about getting “Justice” for those that didn’t get it. In Pensacola, Florida, it appears that this is an impossibility for some. If you are not well liked in Pensacola, and you are not in the political clique, then you get accused, convicted and sentenced without a shred of evidence.
Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. and I were not friends in the past and because he has been a hot head with a big mouth, so many people don’t think it matters whether he’s innocent or not. I’m here to tell you that no one regardless of the majority’s opinion should be sitting on Death Row without any evidence against them. If this was you, or a member of your family that this happened to, then wouldn’t you want them to have every opportunity to have a fair and just trial? I don’t believe this has happened in the Billings Murder Case. Not for Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. or any of the other co-defendants in this case.
I believe, that 5 years later, there are more questions than answers. I challenge any of you reading this blog to take a good hard look at the evidence in this case. I believe you will find that the murder has gone unsolved!

One person in the case got immunity for turning states evidence. Has anyone with a brain looked at the statement of that witness? It is a FARCE….plain and simple. The witness talks in circles. He contradicts his testimony over and over. He actually corroborates statements made by Gonzalez, Jr., in his first police interrogation, concerning the Mexican and Gulf Coast cartels. No one believed Gonzalez, Jr. even though he said he feared for his life and the life of his family. However, the witness is given immunity while proving no insight or evidence.
This witness is the only person that has actual physical evidence against them. As an intelligent person, I don’t understand it. Is there a cover up that needs to be investigated? If there is, then who do we get to listen and review the evidence? Who is powerful enough to get to the bottom of this case?
Most of this case is open for the public to review. Do “we the people” really want to see another person die for something they didn’t do? I certainly don’t. I have no stake in this case. No one involved is related to me nor am I receiving anything for the time I spend on this case. I–simply as a fellow human being–believe in the justice system and believe that the guilty should pay for their crimes. However, I believe that in this case, Justice has not been done. I believe innocent people are in prison that shouldn’t be and I believe anyone that takes an unbiased look at the evidence will see that.

Family; Don’t Turn Your Back on Them

images  oprahlarge_BillingsFuneral

So with everything pointing to the fact the Billings’ were involved with cartels. Despite Morgan’s hot air, it is apparent that this is more than a home invasion robbery. I want to focus on the family. My interpretation of family are people who you grew up with, who raised you, day in and day out. Not necessarily blood but people who would put their lives down for you. Justin Billings doesn’t seem to feel that way about his parents. For that matter, neither does Ashley or Blue Markham. Byrd was funding Blue’s business; he was Ashley’s step dad that provided her with a more normal life than she’d ever had before. But none of these people are what they seem. Blue Markham was involved with this cartel according to everyone involved; he participated on Byrd’s behalf.

Let’s get this straight.  Justin was in contact with someone on the fringe of the cartel minutes after the murder as well as days before. Blue Markham is in cahoots with Cab Tice, Hugh Wiggins and whatever evil they are peddling—drugs, guns, humans. None of these people are ever charged. Cab and Blue walk away from this crime without being thoroughly investigated. Hugh Wiggins tells the police NOTHING and walks away from an armory of federal gun charges plus whatever charges for covering up a murder after the fact.

DOES ANY OF THIS MAKE SENSE??

Think about this for a minute. The people closest to this family are not investigated; they gained all the estate. Why were they not looked at more closely? What kind of investigators don’t go to the heart of the investigation? It’s simple they were told to stand down. This case was much bigger than the murder of Byrd & Melanie.

Empathy & Justice: An Editorial

I wanted to take this time to address a few important issues with respect to me & this case. Does any one know the feeling of running late on a rainy Monday and having a flat tire, with no spare on a busy road and no one stopping to help?  Of course. Everybody has those days. You couldn’t buy luck. Everything cosmically falls apart for no apparent reason.  Imagine having that day in perpetuity. How bad would that day be if you got stuck with that day as your “Groundhog Day”? We all feel bad for that person, because we understand how that feels.  We have walked a mile or more in those shoes. This is empathy. We feel the pain because we have been there.

Justice. The great equalizer–in theory. We all like to see Lady Justice with the scales balanced and the good guys wearing their white hat prevailing at the end of the day. We all like to see the bad guy behind bars and throw away the key.  But we all know also that justice is supposed to be blind. With those blinders comes the inevitable injustice or various shades of gray that make up the overwhelming distance between “cosmic right” and “cosmic wrong”.  In this gray space lays the Billings’ murder case.

Was Byrd Billings & his family victimized? Yes but they were also predators.  Are all the people involved in this case guilty?  None of them were angels. But does that make them guilty? And guilty of what? The reality of this case is entirely the gray area between right and wrong. Patrick Gonzalez was a thug; he was an addict; he was involved in illegal circles with varying degrees of criminality, but if he didn’t commit this murder, is it justice to say he should be in jail for the other illegal acts he did commit or could have committed but for this case?  Possibly. The case could be made for that, but does he belong on Death Row? No!  Strangely enough, this isn’t the answer most people have. I was appalled by that.

I have been told that it is justice that he is on Death Row even if he didn’t murder those people because he was a criminal with intent to harm others if nothing else by reckless disregard.  Patrick, just like most of the other alleged conspirators, was associated in something bigger than himself. Honestly, a great deal of people who are involved in this cases on the periphery are just as associated with this bigger evil as well. They sat in front of the jury, soaking up the spotlight with crocodile tears. If Patrick belongs where he is, so does Blue Markham, Justin Billings, Cab Tice and most certainly, Hugh Wiggins.

Who among us would put their entirety of their lives on display for the public? All the domestic disputes, evictions, traffic violations, misdemeanors, etc. Who among us would put all their dirty laundry on media display and come out looking rosy? Yet these men were and still are. The bad decisions, choices, and associations are there for their legacy to echo. I find that people like to point fingers as to not have others look at them.

Do I like Patrick Gonzalez? I never did prior to this case. I couldn’t stand him. Is it ok to just let him be killed by the state because I didn’t like him? No! Is it ok to let karma swallow him up for crimes he could have committed or didn’t get caught doing? NO! I don’t know about anyone else but when it comes to Death Row, I would like to be damn sure he is the right guy. After reading all my other  posts, is it possible that something besides the “official story” could have happened?  Most definitely. Would you want your life hanging in the balance, when your actions might have been improperly perceived?

Where is the “Classy Lady” Evidence?

I know it’s not a stretch to find that paperwork in a high profile case goes missing. There is one report that encompasses the entire case. There is one document that will illuminate everything anyone needs to know about who killed the Billings’.  One document that seems to be tossed aside by everyone as “impertinent”.  It exists and it’s an elusive little bugger, but it is the Holy Grail of this case. This one document will show who the good guys and bad guys are. You might be surprised by the result.  It is the single most important evidence that exists in this case. What is it? It is a DNA report of a pair of gloves on the “Classy Lady”.  Byrd Billings’s blood is on those gloves. How do you suppose it got there? Could it have been any other time when he cut himself in the presence of Mr. & Mrs. Wiggins? Not likely. Whose DNA is on the inside of the glove? Well that’s the “humdinger”.  It is Hugh Wiggins’s DNA.

 

Now what that tells me is that Hugh’s hand was in that glove when Byrd Billings was bleeding.  From the security photos, we know the only one within proximity to have bloody hands would be the shooter. So who does that make the shooter?  Patrick Gonzalez? Nope. This report that is “impertinent” or “irrelevant” is the smoking gun. Why was it never admitted to any case?  Wouldn’t that shift the blame a little? Is this thinking unreasonable?  Why hasn’t anyone jumped up to say “here’s all the evidence we need”?

 

The reason is simple. Hugh Wiggins drew the “get out of jail free” card. He was allowed to pass go & collect his $200 from the feds.

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