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Author: csteiger

Ten Years Ago

 

 

 

 

 

My phone just reminded me, with “Your photos from this date…” November 6, 2009, was a Friday, I was in my office working my sixth 20 hour day in a row trying to find out who ambushed and killed Officer Tim Brenton.
Tim’s funeral played out on the flat-panel TV above my desk, when Detective Tim Renihan of the Intelligence Unit walked up.
“Hey Cloyd, I just got a call from an apartment manager I know from a case. She told me she has a tenant at her building in Tukwila who has a car like the one you released to the news. He never covered it before, but the last couple days he put a cover over it.”
I pulled up the driver’s license photo of the tenant, and looked into the smiling face of Christopher Monfort.
I liked this lead. I liked it a lot.
I sent Bob Vallor, Rolf Norton and Gary Nelson to Tukwila to sit on the car while I got a search warrant.
Jeff Baird from the prosecutor’s office ran uphill the block from the courthouse to my office. We just sat down to draft the warrant when we heard over the radio of shots fired at the Tukwila address. Baird and I jumped into my unmarked detective car and raced to the scene in rush hour traffic. We arrived to pandemonium. Fifty or more police cars, and SWAT pointing rifles into the scene.
A while later, Monfort was wheeled past me, a bullet wound to his face and another in his chest. I didn’t think he’d survive. It was several hours before we could enter his apartment, which was booby-trapped with home made bombs.
I didn’t get home until five AM the next morning. Monfort survived, (though was paraplegic). We spent the next five years preparing for a trial that would last more than eight months. In the end, Monfort committed suicide in prison.

This is one of the cases I wrote about in my book, Homicide:  The View from Inside the Yellow Tape.

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The Toll Podcast

In 1975, a little girl went missing in Springfield, Missouri.  Two months later, her murdered body was found in a shallow grave.  The case is still unsolved.  I took part in a podcast about this tragic story.  (I’m in episodes 1,2,3,5,6  and referenced in episode 8).  Listen to the podcast here.

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Ten Best True Crime Books

The list of the Ten Best True Crime books to obsess over was posted by The Manual, (themanual.com).  The titles included In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, The Stranger Beside Me, by Ann Rule, Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi, and my book.  I am beyond humbled.  The link to the site is here.

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Unidentified Human Remains

There are tens of thousands of dead people recovered in the United States that have never been identified.  With modern DNA technology, there is no reason for this to be.  I was recently interviewed by the local CBS affiliate in Seattle about this issue.  You can watch that report here.

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The Truth Shall Set You Free

When I was involved in lengthy interrogations guilty people accused of murder, they inevitably got tripped up. They made up the answers to the questions I asked, thinking they’d be able to convince me they didn’t do it.
The problem is in a long interview, they forgot what they said earlier, and contradict themselves later. I could sit back and wait until it was long enough since the suspect made a statement, and then slip a question in about the same fact. They’d always give a slightly, but significantly different answer because they couldn’t remember what they said earlier.
When I pointed that out to a suspect, he’d (it’s almost always a he) say, “I didn’t say that!”
I’d say, “Yes, you did.” because I remembered. He would insist he didn’t.
“This is being video recorded,” I’d say to them. “We can play it back.
If you’re telling the truth about an event, you can tell it over and over again. There may be minor omissions, but you can pretty much recount the event. When you lie and say things off the cuff, you cannot.
I talk about this to detectives to whom I’m teaching Interview and Interrogation.

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Unidentified Found Human Remains.

  Police ask public to assist in identifying remains found in 1993.

 

There are more than twelve thousand unidentified found remains in the United States. That’s twelve thousand families who don’t know what happened to their loved ones. Many were found years ago.

If you have a loved one missing and you haven’t already, go to NAMUS.gov and request a DNA kit to submit close family members of the missing person to compare to these unnamed people.

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