Buried in the Backyard (2018–…): Season 1, Episode 10 - Hog Trail Murders - full transcript

After a husband and wife realize their dogs have been dragging human bones into their backyard, cops learn that a serial killer is using the nearby woods to indulge in his dark fantasies.

In 1996,

a Florida couple
was horrified

when their dog dragged home
a ghastly surprise.

It was a human skull.

It was the first
in a series

of unspeakable

in backyards
of Florida homes.

He was just disfigured.

I never seen anything like it.

Everyone in Southwest Florida

is wondering
where this monster is.

And the unimaginable
only got worse.

When I got closer I could see
his genitals had been removed.

I was really concerned
'cause now we have two bodies.

It was a race against time.

We went all out in a 24-hour,

surveillance on this guy.

We had a serial killer.

And if he gets away from us
and kills again,

how do you live with that?

Susan and Wayne Brown
were up with the sun

on the first day of 1996,

enjoying the solitude
that came with living

in a secluded part
of North Port, Florida.

It was 5:30,
6:00 in the morning.

We have two hunting dogs.

Like he does every morning,

my husband let the dogs
out of the dog pen.

It was when they get out
of the pen,

my husband saw the dogs
very curious about something

at the base of a palm tree.

So he went over there
to investigate.


I was in the kitchen,
I could hear him.

I was thinking, "My God,
what is happening to him?"

At that point,
I ran down and looked
to see what was going on.

I went over there to the base
of the palm tree to look

and there it was.

A human skull.

My first initial thought was
just, "My God! My God!"

And I thought,
"What's happening?"

And he goes,
"We need to call the police."

Six, six, seven.

Officers were quick to get
to the Browns' backyard.

And the more they heard,
the stranger the couple's
story became.

We told them the dogs had
been bringing bones home

for about a month.

Been picking them up
in the yard.

And it's like,
"Well, they got a dear,
or somebody dumped a cow,

or somebody's horse just died
and they couldn't bury it

so they, you know,
dumped it out there."

When investigators
examined the bones,

they came
to a gruesome conclusion.

They found arm bones,
leg bones,

a lot of little bones.

They were human.

The horror sank in.

Who had been
so grossly disposed of

in the backyard
of their Florida home?

I had no idea
where those bones came from.

North Port Police Department,

they went back into the woods,

where they found the rest
of the remains.

The remains were decomposed.
They were just basically bones.

They did not find
any clothing.

They didn't find
any personal items.

They didn't find anything
except the bones.

My gut told me
that we got a problem.

And it doesn't take a rocket
scientist, I guess,

but it was scary.

It didn't take long
for news of the bones

in the Browns' backyard
to spread through the quiet
town of North Port.

This case was shocking

to everyone
in Southwest Florida.

It's a place where people
go to retire.

They go there
to enjoy the water.

It's beautiful.

So there was a real feeling

of pall in the air.

Nobody had a clue.

It's all speculation,

and no one's gonna be able
to recognize that person,

and it presents
a whole slew of challenges.

The medical examiner's office
came out.

He collected the bones

and transported them back
to his office for examination.

Medical examiner determined
that that was a white male.

He was probably
25 to 35 years old,

about six foot three,
heavy build.

While the medical examiner
couldn't determine

exactly how the victim died,

he did declare it
a homicide

when a disturbing clue

A series of knife marks
on the pelvic bones.

We were really concerned,
at this point.

Who was behind
the grisly crime?

in any investigation,

everybody's a suspect
until you prove otherwise.

Suddenly, Susan and Wayne
were being eyed

as potential suspects.

The police came,

you know, guns drawn
and sneaking up in the yard.

Then they started
questioning me.

"Where were you?"
"I was at work."

"Where do you work?"
"Local hospital."

They were suspicious of us
because we did not call 9-1-1.

We called the regular
police number,

and that we were very calm
when we called.

Local law enforcement
interviewed the Browns,

and through their interviews
and their questions,

they eliminate them
as any suspects.

Just crazy.
Just crazy.

We knew we were innocent.
What are you gonna do?

If the Browns were innocent,

how did the human remains
end up in their backyard?

And how long
had they been there?

At that point we didn't know
who the person was.

All they knew was
it was homicidal violence.

North Port Police Department
interviewed everyone they can
as far as leads.

They checked the Missing Persons
and tried to identify them
that way,

but they come up empty.

You know, there's
a mother out there,

and you know he's got family

Whatever happened to him?
It's sad.

Four months
into that investigation,

detectives Ricky Hobbs
and Mike Gandy answered
an alarming call

30 miles away in neighboring
Charlotte County.

There had been another
terrifying discovery

in the backyard of
a new housing development.

I learned two county employees
were taking a break or something

but they were just walking
around in the wooded area

from a nearby paved road.

And they stumbled
upon a skull.

It's out in the middle
of nowhere,

and it's just not a place
that people go very often.

When I responded
I went into the woods

and went back about 50
or 100 feet

and that's where
the skull by itself
was laying on the ground.

We went in and started to look
around a little bit

and then I found the torso
of a human being.

We assumed that that torso
went with the skull

that was found
by the county workers.

Just from experience,

we knew that the torso
was there a week or so

or maybe a little longer.

There was no telling what other
horrors awaited detectives

in the backyard
of this development.

Not too far away,
I found the remains of a pelvis.

Though seasoned detectives,

it was impossible
for Gandy and Hobbs

to make sense of the scene.

And with each step,
it became more surreal.

I saw something
off in the distance

about a hundred feet
that caught my eye.

And as I approached this thing
under the tree,

I could see a--
part of a hand sticking out.

Just the fingertips.

So I didn't know whether I had
a homeless guy there.

It appeared to be a carpet
padding laying on top of him.

As I got closer,
I could see

what appeared to be blood
on the hand.

And I called out
to Lieutenant Gandy,

"Hey, I've got something
over here."

I lifted up the edge
of the carpet padding,

and what we had
was another body.

Body of a white male.

He was what we call fresh.

Only been there
10 or 12 hours.

He had ligature marks
around his wrists.

Ligature marks
around his neck,

and ligature marks
around his legs.

And what detectives discovered
next was ghastly.

He was completely nude

and his genitals had
been surgically removed.

There was a grisly murderer
out there

who was tying people up
to trees.

Where nobody
could hear you scream.

In 1996, after a dog
dug up a human skull

in a North Port,
Florida backyard,

investigators unearthed
the remains

of an unidentified victim.

Four months later, detectives
in neighboring Charlotte County

discovered the gruesome remains
of two more bodies

in the backyard
of a new housing development.

As I got closer, I could see
his genitals had been removed.

I've done this
for a long time

and I've seen some
pretty bad things.

This ranks up there
with the top of them.

Our theories on why
the genitals were removed

was that they're taken
to remove evidence.

If you're performing
a sex act on someone,

you're gonna leave DNA.
You're gonna leave something.

So by removing
that particular item,

you're not leaving
any evidence.

It was scary to know

that we were dealing with
someone capable of doing that.

And it made me wonder
how difficult it was gonna be

to catch this person.

A skull, a torso,
and a fresh body.

Were the remains
of these two victims

the work
of one ruthless killer?

Or was this simply
a gruesome dumping ground?

The fresh body that we found

had just been put there
maybe the night before.

Who fell prey to these
atrocious crimes?

Investigators worked quickly

to identify
the most recent victim.

Well, we were able to recover
fingerprints from the victim.

We were able to take those

and run them
through a database.

And when we did that,
we got a hit that they matched

a white male identified
as Richard Montgomery.

None of us could
really believe it.

You know, I think
it took a while to sink in.

The pictures
still haunt me.

He was just disfigured.

I never seen
anything like it.

Badly beaten.

Just 21 years old.

Richard Montgomery
was barely an adult.

News of his senseless murder
crushed his family and friends,

especially his buddy,
John Jaccoud.

I mean,
I can't talk about it.

It's been really hard
on me.

Rich was living with his sister
and his brother-in-law

and they had a young child.

And they,
they took care of Rich.

They all took care
of each other, really.

Rich was such
a great uncle.

You know, and he's always
eager to help the family,

and he was there for them.

Like most kids his age,

Rich hustled through life
always chasing a buck.

He was very eager
to make money.

You know, there were some
construction jobs and things.

You know, but this,

to contribute and help out
with the family.

Mostly, John and Rich were
just a couple of kids

without a care in the world.

We'd talk about cars
and jobs and girls

and things that 20-year-old
people talked about back then.

He was, you know,
tall, thin, good hair.

He was really good
with the women.

They loved the way he was.

He was just so full of life
and people--

all people loved him,
you know.

We just wondered
how something like that

could even happen
to Richard.

He just did not deserve it.

As Rich's family and friends
struggle to figure out

why such a loved guy
was so viciously murdered,

were desperate for answers

to these grisly crimes.

They started by trying
to identify the victim

found in the same yard
as Rich.

These two bodies that we found

were probably feet away.

When the torso was found,

the back tissue
was still there.

It was kind of preserved because
it was laying on the ground.

When they rolled the torso over,

there was a tattoo
still visible on the back.

We basically made
that tattoo public

to try to find out anybody know
a person that has this tattoo.

It was a bewildering case
for investigators,

who needed to act fast
to catch a killer.

But first they had
to meticulously comb
through the crime scene.

We're probably not gonna find
anything that's gonna jump out

and say, "You got it."

It's gonna be microscopic.

So we gotta be very careful
on what we collect,

how we collect it,
how we process the bodies.

We did not find any clothing
in the area.

We did not find
any murder weapon.

We only could assume

that the person responsible
for murdering these people

took their clothing
with them.

Hours into their
painstaking search,

the detectives finally
discovered a possible clue

on the mutilated body
of Richard Montgomery.

When he was swabbed,
they found a paint chip

down by his hip.

The paint chip was collected

along with other fibers
and hairs.

Until the evidence
was analyzed,

detectives could only hope

it would provide a link
to the killer.

But a search of the backyard

did reveal an even
more perverse MO.

We were able to find rope marks
on the trees.

You consider
the victim's height,

the victim had ligature marks,

at the same levels
as the trees,

like people were tied to it.

And he was rubbing
into the tree.

We've got a person who's
basically tortured these people.

Within hours,
word of the horrific scene

was circulating
through the community
of Charlotte County.

As the facts trickled in,
we were all wondering,

"Who is doing this?
What is happening"

They just knew that
there was a grisly murderer

out there somewhere who was
tying people up to trees

out in the middle of nowhere.

Where nobody
could hear you scream.

As detectives began piecing
together clues

about this crime scene,
they suddenly recalled
the bones

found four months earlier
in a North Port backyard.

I called North Port PD.

And told them, I said, "Hey,
look, we got two more bodies."

At that point
we started comparing notes.

On our crime scenes,
on our victims,

and everything seemed
to be the same thing

on all three bodies.

They were all laid out
in the woods.

They were all naked
with no clothing, no belongings.

Was it possible all three
deaths were the work

of the same sadistic killer?

We went back out
to the Browns' backyard,

and looked around and we found
the same ligature marks

on the trees up in North Port.

In an instant,

the detectives greatest fear
was realized.

Now what we have
is a known serial killer,

and we know
that it's gonna happen again

if we don't catch this person.

In the spring of 1996,

in southwestern Florida

had a serial killer
on their hands

when bones and mutilated bodies
started turning up

in rural backyards.

To catch the person
behind the horrific deaths,

investigators first needed
to know who was being targeted.

Richard Montgomery

was their only
identified victim.

We found out Richard didn't
have a lot of money.

His family didn't
have a lot of money.

He drank a lot.

He stayed wherever
he happened to be that time.

But he had a group of friends
that he would hang out with.

Last time I saw Richard
he was just hanging out.

It was just like a normal night.
He might've had a couple beers.

And I think someone busted
his chops a little bit
about money, you know.

Richard just told us
that he had a way to make money.

He told his friend
he had a gig where he was
gonna go make $200

real quick and he'd be back
in a couple hours.

He didn't give any details

and he really was
very vague about it.

It didn't seem like
it was a big deal, you know.

The last time Richard was seen
was by a couple friends of his.

He was standing
on Royal Road and 41

like he was waiting
for somebody.

Rich's trail went cold

on the side
of that rural road.

Investigators began
to speculate.

Did someone persuade Richard
to meet up

with a promise
of a paying job?

And was that person
his killer?

While we were working
on this case,

we would update the media
as much as possible,

and keep the public informed
and to generate leads.

The publicity turned up
a critical lead

about the tattooed torso
found near Richard's body

in the backyard
of a housing development

when a frantic mother reached
out to detectives.

We received a call
from a lady

who said that she hadn't heard
from her son for a while

and he had a tattoo like that.

And we were able to identify
that it was Kenny Smith.

25-year-old Kenny Smith had
recently moved to the area

from Naples, Florida.

He would stay
at flophouses, missions,

do anything for a beer.

Though the bones found
in the Browns' backyard

had yet to be identified,

a victim profile appeared
to be emerging.

Young, impressionable white men
eager to earn a buck.

Much like Richard Montgomery.

It appears he lured most
of his victims with money.

Some of the victims because
of they're being transient,

they would do things
to make money and so forth.

Richard might not have been
the smartest guy, you know,

and he was easily persuaded,

but he wasn't looking
to get in trouble, you know.

But just very eager
to make money.

The urgency to solve and stop
these killings was palpable.

And investigators quickly
set up a task force.

The criminal profiler
came down,

reviewed all of our evidence
and our pictures,

and determined,
in his opinion,

that the same person was
responsible for all the crimes.

He said he was most likely
a sexual sadist.

Basically someone
who gets sexual arousal

from everything
that he's doing to these
other individuals.

For weeks, detectives Gandy
and Hobbs worked tirelessly

to catch a presumed
serial killer.

Everyone in Southwest Florida
is looking at each other

and wondering
where this monster is.

With every dead-end lead,

investigators fear the killer
might strike again.

And then a tip
from an unlikely source

broke the case wide open.

David Payton was an inmate

at the Marion County
Correctional Institute.

What Payton told investigators
was that he was down
at Fort Myers.

And a guy pulled up,
offered him some beer,

and they got in the car
and started driving away.

David Payton said the person
that picked him up,

he gave him some beer,
he gave him some Valium,

he gave him some marijuana.

And then he said the man
offered to pay him

for nude photographs

with some bondage,
being tied to trees.

Eager to make a few bucks,
Payton went along with it.

Payton says that he made
a turn down a road

and then cut back
into the woods.

Moments later, the car hit
a mud puddle and got stuck.

Payton had asked, "Well, I can
go back there and push it out."

He said the subject's demeanor
totally changed.

Very authoritative,
"No, you stay here."

The man barked at Payton
to get behind the wheel,

while he got out to push.

That's when Payton
made a terrifying discovery.

Payton looked around
the backseat of the car.

That's when he saw a rope,
saw a tarp,

and a knife on the floor.

Now he's concerned.

He came to realize

that this was not
about photography.

This was about violence.

This was about murder.

As soon as they pushed it
out of the hole,

Mr. Payton just floored it
and took off.

He said he was afraid
for his life.

Payton's head was spinning
with fear, booze, and drugs

when he was pulled over
by the cops in Fort Myers.

By the time he was found,
the car had been reported

That's what Mr. Payton
was charged with, that and DUI.

Payton tried to explain
his harrowing ordeal

to the officers.

Mr. Payton had a fairly
extensive record.

They didn't believe him.

After we learned
this incredible story,

we did a little bit
of research.

The car had been reported
stolen hours earlier.

The car was actually reported
stolen through Charlotte County.

So I went back,
found Mr. Payton's arrest,
pulled the reports,

and the car belonged
to a Daniel Conahan, Sr.

But the person that reported it
stolen was Daniel
Conahan, Jr.

They learned 42-year-old
Daniel Conahan, Jr.

was a former navy man
who moved to Florida
from Chicago

and lived with his parents
in upscale Punta Gorda.

We ran a background check
on Daniel Conahan.

He had been in the military.

He had had a dishonorable

We spoke with the naval
criminal investigation service.

Come to find out he had
had two investigations.

He had been out on the beach,
supposedly approached
some other sailors,

and hit a guy with a rock.

For us it was a red flag.

Now we've got some indicators
there's some violence.

We learned that he had
employment at a local hospital

as a licensed practical nurse.

Once we learned that he had
a medical background,

the thought crossed our mind
about the genital mutilation.

And how clean
the incisions were.

Now I'm thinking
we've got a suspect

who could be responsible
for what's going on.

After hearing a bizarre story
from inmate David Payton,

investigators were eyeing
42-year-old local nurse,

Daniel Conahan, Jr.,
as a possible serial killer.

After they learned Conahan's
violent past,

investigators turned
to an old friend of his

for more evidence
he might be their guy.

We tracked down one of
Mr. Conahan's old roommates.

And during his interview,

he had indicated that one
of Mr. Conahan's fantasies

was having to do
with sexual bondage.

If Conahan was the guy,
he's gonna kill again.

So we could not
let that happen.

So we went all out
in a 24-hour,

seven-day-a-week surveillance
on this guy.

We wanted to see where he goes,
what he does, who he contacts.

The first goal is to see
if we can catch him

trying to hurt someone
or establish what
his pattern is.

To see if his pattern
would match the MO

of what we believed we had
with these murders.

Dozens of eyes followed
Conahan's every move.

It was a time consuming
process, but it paid off

when the team began noticing
his strange patterns.

Making U-turns,
and right turns, left turns.

Just to make sure nobody
was following him.

He would drive
through homeless areas

where transients
would hang out,

bus stations,
anywhere he could

to make contact with people
that were on the street.

We think that he was doing that
to find people

who wouldn't be missed.

Conahan's patterns
were suspicious

and aligned with what
investigators were looking for.

He made contact with several
different people.

And of course that would get
everybody's hair

on the back of their neck
raising, because we were scared.

"My God, is he gonna
pick this guy up?"

Mr. Conahan was a hunter.

It was almost like
he was a starving animal
looking for food.

Detectives needed
to come up with a plan.

And designed one
that was risky,

but could ultimately
bait Conahan into a trap.

Once we found out
what Conahan was looking for,

we decided that we would
put out some decoys.

And we did that
in several places

where we knew
Conahan hunted.

My supervisor came to me
and asked me to do
some undercover work.

I was asked because I fit
the profile

of the last known victim.

The last victim
was similar to my age.

We were already
surveilling the suspect,

so we knew that he went
into the park.

I knew what he looked like.

So, I just went on foot
with a hidden bug on me,

and tried to make
contact with him.

The undercover team anticipated
a long anxious night.

but Clemens was in the park
mere minutes

when thing started
heating up.

I went into the bathroom and
basically as I was walking out,

Daniel Conahan
was walking in.

And as soon as he saw me,

he turned around and walked
right back out and followed me.

He was on me right away.

Kinda walked slowly
and he approached me,

and we just started
making small talk.

I made up a name

and told him that I had taken
a bus from Georgia,

and I wasn't familiar
with the area.

I didn't have
any family here.

We just walked together
side by side,

just chatting, small talk.

The vibe that
I was getting from him

was that he was
interested in me.

He was obviously familiar
with the park

because he led me
to about the deepest
portion of the park.

And then he asked me
if I ever hustled before.

I said,
"Yes, of course."

And then he propositioned me
for sex.

Basically asked me if I wanted
to make a quick 20 bucks.

Of course I said yes,

because if I would've said no
it would've been suspicious.

I asked him to see the $20
and he said he didn't have it.

Then at that time
he wanted the two of us

to go for a ride
to the ATM,

and then we would get
the money.

We did not want Scotty to get
into the car with him,

because we could
not control that.

That was nerve-racking.

We're close by but we're not
standing right there with him.

And he's not armed.

Clemens didn't get
into the car,

and coyly asked Daniel
what else he'd like.

He wanted to take
naked pictures of me

and he would pay me.

And he wanted to do this
in the woods,

and he explained to me

that there would be bondage.

Yeah, I'm thinking,
"Wow, this is the exact same MO

that he was doing
to these other victims.

We were afraid that if
he felt something was wrong

that he could just go off
and do something real quick.

That would harm
the detective.

On a hot and humid
Florida night,

an elaborate undercover
operation was reaching
a pivotal moment.

Undercover cop Scott Clemens
just lured suspected
serial killer

Daniel Conahan, Jr.,
into his trap.

He told me that he wanted
to take pictures of me naked,

and he wanted to take them
in the woods.

At the time,
our policy was, you know,
you can't get naked.

So I told him
I didn't have time,

that I was in a rush
to be somewhere else.

After I kinda shut him down,

I think he started to become
a little suspicious of me.

Conahan suddenly stopped
his advances toward Clemens

and took off, and the operation
was shut down for the night.

But after
so much surveillance

and plenty of probably cause
on Conahan,

investigators already had
a backup plan in place.

We conducted a traffic stop
on U.S. 41 in Punta Gorda.

I explained who we were

and that we were investigating
these crimes,

and that his name had come up
in these crimes.

And that I would like to sit
down and talk with him,

if he would be willing
to do that.

To my surprise, he agreed to--
to talk with us.

The stakes were high

and investigators knew
a confession was key.

Afraid of spooking
their suspect,

they didn't haul him
into the station.

We had already set up
a motel room

that was wired
with video and audio.

So we went into the motel.

In the next room was a team

that was monitoring
this conversation.

- Would you like
some water or something?
- Yes, I would.

Yes, no problem.
Got some right here.

He was friendly.
I think that he thought

he was probably the smartest
person in the room.

And I think
that's why he decided

that he would talk to us.

I was nice to him, I didn't put
any pressure on him.

He was obviously nervous
because under the table--

We had a tablecloth.

You'll see that tablecloth
moving rapidly.

That's him patting his foot
underneath the table.

I asked him
if he'd ever taken part
in bondage with anyone.

Conahan had no idea
investigators knew otherwise.

I think he underestimated our
investigation to that point.

He had no clue
how massive it was.

How much information
we had.

I understand that,

but let's get beyond
the embarrassment--

Detectives waited until
they knew they had Conahan

backed into a corner,

then hit him
with another surprise.

We had obtained enough
probably cause

that Conahan could be connected
to these crimes,

that I was able to obtain
a search warrant.

While he was
being interviewed,

that's when we processed
his house.

We picked up
some of his clothing.

We actually found
a quarter inch rope,

pliers, paring knives,

A lot of the items
that would normally be
in a murder kit.

There was another small

but potentially significant
piece of evidence

the team was hoping
to link to Conahan.

One piece of evidence
came from the body
of Richard Montgomery.

When he was swabbed,
they found a paint chip
down by his hip.

When we served
the search warrants

on Mr. Conahan's
blue car,

we also collected
samples of paint.

The samples, along
with the other evidence,

were rushed out
for testing.

Investigators at the motel
were hoping

to skillfully pull a confession
out of Daniel Conahan.

I thought maybe once he knew

I caught him in some lies
or some untruths

that he would maybe give me
a little bit more information,

but that didn't happen.

Eventually I can tell
he's getting tired,

he getting to the point

where he may be feeling
a little bit threatened.

So I decided that it was time
to shut the interview down,

because I wanted another
chance to interview him.

So I wanted to leave
on a good note,

and that's the way
we ended it.

- Y'all set?
- Yeah.

A little frustrating that
we didn't get a confession,

but we were
in the right direction.

Very well.
Thank you for your time.

Certain Conahan was behind
the grisly murders

of Richard Montgomery
and two other victims,

detectives kept close tabs
on him.

They were waiting for the test
results of the paint chip

or for Conahan
to make a misstep

when another haunting story

I was approached
by a detective

from the Fort Myers
Police Department.

He says, "You know,
we had one just like that
down in Fort Myers."

And I said, "Excuse me?"

He says, "Yeah, we had just
like that, but ours lived."

And I said, "What?"

In 1996, detectives
in Florida were closing in

on Daniel Conahan, Jr.,
a suspected serial killer.

They finally got
a major break in the case,

after another victim
narrowly escaped death.

This victim was picked up,
taken to the woods,

given narcotics.

Lightly tied to a tree
and then cinched.

He took some pictures,

and then given the excuse,
"Well, I gotta adjust this,
adjust that."

And the next thing you know,

the guy's pinned up
against a tree.

Victim was able to stay alive
by pretending to pass out.

We showed this detective
a photograph

of Richard Montgomery's

And he said,
"My God!

Those injuries
are identical

to the injuries
that my victim had."

Detectives give him a photo
array of six photographs.

And as soon as they laid
that line up on the table,

he put his finger and boom.

That's him.

That was Daniel Conahan.

We had more than
sufficient evidence.

The judge agreed.

And we arrested him.

We charged him
with the attempted murder

and rape of this other victim.

Daniel Conahan was safely
off the streets.

But to charge him
with the murders
of Richard Montgomery

or Kenny Smith,
investigators needed
more evidence.

During the examination at
the medical examiner's office,

Richard Montgomery
was swabbed.

They found a paint chip
by his hip.

When we served the search
warrants on Mr. Conahan's car,

we also collected
samples of paint.

We were able to process
those paint samples.

And these two particular
samples matched.

That paint chip puts
Mr. Conahan's car
with Mr. Montgomery.

That was huge.

We were able to establish
we had physical evidence,

we had his MO,
we had enough at that time

that we charged him
with the murder
of Richard Montgomery.

It was a big relief
to a lot of people

and a little bit of closure
to what happened to Richard.

It just makes you wonder
the depth of his insanity,

'cause at the bottom of
this there's definitely

a very sick, twisted mind.

With the help of one
fortunate survivor

and the collection
of evidence,

detectives pieced together
exactly how Daniel Conahan

carried out
his horrific crimes.

Mr. Conahan would pick 'em up.

They would be going
back into the woods

under the guise
of posing nude.

In a bondage scenario.

And he'd offer them anywhere
from $20 to $100, $200.

He would call it
light bondage,

which would be ropes tied
around them very loosely.

He had a method somehow
of cinching those ropes

to where his victims
could not protect themself

and could not fight back.

he would strangle them.

Without enough evidence

to tie him to the murder
of Kenny Smith,

Daniel Conahan, Jr.
stood trial

for the murder
of Richard Montgomery

on August 9, 1999.

Mr. Conahan pled not guilty
all the way up.

He never admitted anything.

After an eight-day trial,

Conahan was convicted
of first-degree murder.

When it came time
for his sentencing

the jury ultimately decided
he should receive
the death penalty.

Investigators never learned
the identity of the John Doe,

whose bones were found
in Susan Brown's backyard.

And, sadly, they believed even
more unidentified victims

were killed by Conahan.

During the investigation,
we estimated

that there probably
16 victims out there.

To try to understand why a sick
killer like Daniel Conahan

does what he does
is anybody's guess.

You see a need to control.

And you see that with a lot
of serial killers.

A whole lot of people
remember him.

And that's something that's
gonna be part of the history

and lore of-- of that place
for generations.

Jean Jaccoud chooses

to remember his close friend
Richard Montgomery,

and the life stolen
from him far too soon.

I really spent a lot of time
trying to forget

about exactly
what happened to him.

What I let people know
about Richard is that,
you know,

he would've made
something of himself.

He really would have.

He would've had everything
everybody else has.

That's all he ever wanted.

Have a life and,
and it was taken.

That was taken from him.