Loretta Lynn Chaisson Lewis was 28 years old when she was found dead on May 20, 2005. The scene was a canal in rural Jefferson Davis parish in Louisiana. This marked the beginning of a 4-year killing spree that police believed was the work of a "common offender."
Necole Jean Guillory was found on August, 2009, near Interstate 10. She was the last of eight murder victims. What prompted the onset of the killings, as well as why they ended can only be known with the identity of the killer.
As of early 2022, no one has been charged with the murders, and in 2019, Showtime aired a 5-part series, Murder in the Bayou.
Jennings only has a population of 10,000, which leads one to believe someone out there knows something.
Police still receive tips about the case, but none have resulted in new evidence or suspects.
The name of the victims are Loretta Lewis, Ernestine Daniels Patterson, Kristen Gary Lopez, Whitnei Dubois, Laconia “Muggy” Brown, Crystal Benoit Zeno, Brittney Gary and Necole Guillory.
There was a thread of commonality between these women. They knew each other, or in some cases were related. Their life was full of risk since they prostituted themselves, and hung out in the south side of Jennings, known for its crime and poverty. They had criminal records and according to the book, Murder in the Bayou, “all eight of the victims snitched for local law enforcement about the Jennings drug trade.”
A common meeting point was Boudreaux Inn, where drug deals were carried out and prostitutes would meet their clients. It's closed and shuttered now.
Ethan Brown, the author, visited Jennings in 2011. He met David Deshotel, a drug dealer who was crippled after a gunshot wound left him with a limp. He'd dated two of the victims. Brown interviewed him in the evening, and the next morning he found out the man had been shot inside his home.
If he was shocked by this unexpected turn of events, it grew when he arrived at the crime scene and found people wandering in and out of the house. The police had not secured the scene, and it was obvious any type of evidence that could have been recovered was lost. He wrote that later he learned this was the norm for investigations in Jennings.
With more research he came across allegations that officers had sex with some of the victims. It also appeared evidence was tampered with, where a truck where one of the victims had her throat slashed, disappeared from the parish entirely.
A sergeant and prison nurse who voiced their concerns, found themselves without a job. Brown wrote, “that most if not all of the Jeff Davis 8…witnessed other murders. Indeed, women who provided information on the first few cases wound up victims themselves.”
They were killed in different ways. Some were asphyxiated and two had their throats slashed. For the most part, the bodies were found in isolated, rural areas, often near large ditches or drainage canals, in rural Jefferson Davis Parish. Guillory’s body was in a more visible area in neighboring Acadia Parish.
In 2014, Brown published his book. Jefferson Davis parish sheriff, Ivy Woods made a post on the department's website pointing out that it was mostly fiction because it insinuated corruption in the sheriff's office.
Many of Brown's contacts in Jennings also turned on him, and one who was connected to the case told him, “I’ve already heard more than once that you’ll never get that book out. You can take that however you want to.” From then on, he decided it was prudent to interview witnesses outside the parish, and he refused to get out of his car.
In 2019, Frankie Richard, a former strip club owner, pimp and drug dealer who was connected to the eight murdered women was arrested on drug charges and for soliciting prostitution. He died on March 22, 2020, age 64. His niece Hannah Conner and him were considered persons of interest in the murder case as far back as 2007.
Source - RollingStone
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer