"There's somebody out there," Eric Baxter said on the night of Aug. 20, 1998 a few minutes before he was shot to death in Dickson, Tennessee, according to the true crime show Cold Justice which aired Tuesday, October 1. Acclaimed prosecutor Kelly Siegler and famous investigator Yolanda McClary revived the investigation into the unsolved murder of the owner and manager of a store who was shot multiple times approximately 15 years ago inside his home.
His mother Joy was shocked to find his body later that evening. With no murder weapon, no DNA and no eyewitnesses the former Houston prosecutor and Las Vegas police investigator definitely have their work cut out for them in this one. The show which airs each Tuesday evening on TNT features the two seekers of justice investigating unsolved cases in small communities across the U.S. only upon the request of local law enforcement authorities.
As they launch their weeklong investigation into this case which has turned frigid, Siegler and McClary discover that Baxter was talking on the telephone with his friend Rhonda Talbert only minutes before messengers of death from a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson Special handgun penetrated his body. He was talking on the phone at 10:30 p.m. and determined to be dead at 10:59 p.m.
As they interview Ms. Talbert, they discover that during his last phone conversation on this earth he said, "There's somebody out there. The dogs are barking."
During their investigation they interview Jerry Ragsdale who said he had a 10-year relationship with the deceased and also worked for him in one of his stores. After conferring with Tennessee Detective John Patterson they eliminate Ragsdale as a suspect in the case.
After interviewing Tommy Wortham, who was a former law enforcement officer and also an employee of the Baxters they elicit informaton including the facts Wortham was frustrated because the Baxters had backed out of a deal for him to buy an interest in their business and had lost his job as a law enforcement officer when his boss had lost an election. After talking to other officers they determined Wortham owned a .38 caliber handgun and made statements which other people contradicted.
Based upon their investigation in conjunction with Houston detective Alan Brown and Tennessee detective John Patterson they decide to present their findings to local District Attorney Dan Alsobrooks. Near the end of the show they meet with Alsobrooks who said, "I was at the crime scene and I've always thought this was a case that could and should be solved. I think the grand jury should hear the case with the goal of an indictment.
The case was presented to the grand jury as a result of the new investigation. According to the show, they neither indicted nor no-billed the case. Instead they referred it back for further investigation.
While no final resolution to the case has yet been reached, the investigation by Siegler and McClary has resulted in moving the case closer to a possible resolution in the future with the new evidence uncovered.
Siegler said, "The good thing about re-opening investigations is that as circumstances change over the years people sometimes change their stories as to what they know."
McClary said, "There is a murder every 36 minutes in this country. If any local law enforcement agencies want our help they should contact us."
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