Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt for Justice (2019–…): Season 1, Episode 5 - Tommy Booth - full transcript

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

- Since 1997,

hundreds of college age men
have gone missing.


Almost all of the victims are
top students and athletes

who disappeared after
a night out with friends.

They are later found drowned
in a body of water.

Near where most of the bodies
are recovered,

smiley faces.

[dramatic music]

We all believe these deaths
may all be connected,

the work of an organized
group of serial killers.

We believe the victims may
have been drugged, abducted,

killed on land, and eventually
dumped in the water.

With the help of preeminent
crime and forensic experts

from all over the nation,

our goal is to uncover
new evidence

to reopen these closed cases
and compel the authorities

to investigate them
as homicides.

Like the case of Tommy Booth,

who was found dead in 2008.

A smiley face graffiti
was found

where Tommy's body
was discovered.

He's part of a cluster
of over 30 young men

who have died
in suspicious drownings

across the Northeast.

We believe that Tommy
may have been murdered

and could be a victim of
the Smiley Face Killers.

♪ ♪

[spooky music]

♪ ♪

- On January 19th, 2008,

24-year-old Tommy Booth went
drinking in a bar

with a group of friends.

Fourteen days later, his body
was recovered in a creek

directly behind the bar.

The medical examiner ruled
his death a probable drowning.

In the body recovery photo

were suspicious drag marks
and footprints near the body.

Smiley face graffiti
was found behind the bar

where Tommy was last seen.

Was Tommy's death a homicide

and could it be linked
to the Smiley Face Killers?

[somber music]

♪ ♪

- Now we're here
to investigate

Tommy Booth's case.

Tommy went missing 2008,
24-year-old male, white,

out drinking with his friends.

His friends are supposed
to be waiting for him

at the end of the night.

Tommy goes missing.

Fourteen days later,
he's recovered behind the bar

with elements that were
inconsistent with it,

uh, somebody who was
deceased for 14 days.

- When they found him,
from the recovery photos,

there were drag marks

and there were two sets
of footprints

on either side
of his body.

- If he's in the water
for two weeks,

how is that gonna--that
impression stay there?

This--for two weeks?

- From my experience,
over 20 years,

and seeing hundreds
of dead bodies,

this recovery photo leads me
to believe

that Tommy was placed
into this creek

and did not drown there
14 days earlier.

- And this--this
in particular,

this was even noted by
the medical examiner,

the drag mark to the head,
he calls it that.

- Right.
- And the footprints

on either side of the body.

- The medical examiner's

at the scene
of the recovery,

did an assessment
and she determined

that he was
in full rigor mortis,

which means that
he's still stiff.

- Rigor mortis is
the stiffening of the body

after death, which subsides
within 24 hours.

to the autopsy report,

Tommy was recovered in full
rigor, completely stiff,

which means Tommy was dead
for less than 24 hours.

But what really bothers me also
about the autopsy report

is you have no real levels
of decomposition.

Tommy's body should have
skin slippage,

the color should be
almost black,

and he didn't have any of that.

- The whole time he's out there
for that 14 1/2 days,

he should
have been decomposing.

That should have been
red flags, fireworks, cannons,

everything right there
that something is wrong

with this case.

- Check this out.
There we go.

In the back of a bar,
on a wall,

they found a smiley face.

♪ ♪

- So the smiley faces are
on the wall facing the creek.

- Exactly.

- The recovery photo of Tommy
in the creek,

along with the rigor
and lack of decomposition

and the fact that there was
a smiley face behind the bar

where he was recovered,

makes this case
ultimately suspicious.

- Well, the police, they're
going with the theory that

he got drunk,
separated from his friends,

somehow walked
the wrong direction,

and ended up a creek,

which then froze over

and it released him
two weeks later.

Scott Willoughby,
now captain,

he's in charge
of the police department.

We have a pretty
good relationship with him.

- Yes, and if we figure--if we
can show something

compelling to him,

I think we have a good shot
that he might, uh,

might flip it, you know?

♪ ♪

Good to see you guys again.

I'm sorry, uh, obviously
on these circumstances.

I met his parents in 2008,
shortly after Tommy's death,

and the mother always
had grave concerns

about Tommy's death,

that it was suspicious
in nature

and she thought
he was murdered.

- Maybe we could start off
by just telling us

what kind of kid Tommy was.

- Tommy was a good kid.

He was very sensitive
and very sincere.

He was a mama's boy
and he was proud of it.

He'd tell all his friends that.

- He was intelligent
and he could anticipate things.

He was artistic.
He was a master drywaller.

He was really good at it.

He joined the union and he was
starting to make good money.

So I-I mean his future
was starting to look

really, really bright.

- He was the glue, really,
that held our family together,

I feel, because it--it's such
a loss without him.

♪ ♪

- Let me ask you this, um...

When did you guys first believe

that Tommy went missing?

- I got a call from
my other son

and asked me if Tommy had
come home last night

and I said I didn't know
because I went to bed.

Well, at that point,
I knew something happened.

When I realized on that Monday
that Tommy was missing,

I just was frantic.

You know, those were, like,
the worst two weeks of my life.


You know,
just not--not knowing.

- When did you guys
first start doing a search?

Did you guys ever go up there
and look behind there?

- Yes.

- Yeah, I know Tommy wasn't
there for more than 24 hours

because his co-worker
had walked

up and down that creek
the day before.

- What was your friend's name
that did that?

- It--um, Bill.

- Bill?
- Yeah.

- So what did Bill tell you?

- He just said that he--he--he
walked up and down that--

the banks and he was,
like--and, you know,

he wasn't up top--
the top of the bank.

He was down at the waterline
and he just, like,

walked up and down.
He didn't see anything.

- He went up and down
and there was no sign of Tommy.

- Right.
- And then the next day,

then they found the body.

- Yeah.

[solemn music]

- We found Tommy in the creek

and I knew him--I thought
he was going to be found

in that creek and then
I just kind of lost it.

This was--that was
my little boy and...

it was just really hard
to even process that

and to me
it's still, like, right there.

It's like it happened
yesterday for me.

♪ ♪

I want to know what happened.

I--you know,
you need that closure.

It's hard.
I still cry every day.

- This case has always
bothered us tremendously.

- The thing that bugs me
is that

maybe a week before
he went missing,

he got a phone call
and he just kept saying,

"No, I would never
do that, man.

Oh, no, oh, no."

You know, it wasn't
a good phone call.

Tommy and I were very close,

but I know he didn't tell me

But--and the last time I talked
to his uncle, Brad,

he told me that Tommy was
looking for a new place to live

like thinking about moving
to Florida,

which I didn't know,
and just starting over.

- Did you ever have
a conversation with him where

he showed any reluctance
to--to stay in the community?

- There was just one time when
we were in the kitchen

and I don't know
what we were talking about,

but I remember Tommy saying,

"Well, I'll probably won't
be around much longer."

I said,
"Would you stop saying that?"

Um, and that's all
he ever said about it.

- So you're telling me soon,
at that point,

before Tommy goes missing,
he gets this phone call

where he's basically trying
to smooth over...

- Right.
- Whatever he's afraid of.

- Correct.

- Whatever Tommy was afraid of

was something of
a serious nature,

so much so that he was ready
to move to Florida.

- I'm hoping that,
sooner or later,

you guys are gonna be able
to figure out

what it is about our particular
case connected to

this Smiley Face thing
and how the other families

kind of fit
into the same way.

- What do you believe about
our Smiley Face Killer theory?

- I believe
there's something to it.

I mean, it's all the same.
Like, you know,

every story is exactly
the same.

They got separated
from their friends.

Um, you can't find them
for weeks.

They end up in the water.

When I first heard about
the Smiley Face Killers

and the detective told me
that there were smiley faces

under the bar,

I thought, "Well, yeah,
maybe this is something.

Maybe this is what happened."

- Scott Willoughby now is
the police chief.

He seemed to believe
Tommy's case was suspicious,

so we're hoping that he will
be open enough to listen

as new information
comes forward.

I want you guys
to feel positive

that we're going
to get something

to move this case forward
and--and--and get Tommy's case

investigated like it should've
been in the very beginning.

[suspenseful music]

- In 2008,

when Scott Willoughby
asked us to come down

and look at Tommy's case...

- How are you?
- How you doing, brother?

- Long time no see.

He was detective sergeant
in charge

of Tommy's investigation.

Now he is currently
the chief of police

of Ridley Township.

In the years since Tommy
went missing

and eventually found drowned,

the case has basically
gone cold.

- So what bring you guys back
to Ridley Township?

- Obviously, Tommy's case
has always been a case that

has bothered us tremendously.

- Yeah, it's been ten years now
since, uh, Tommy goes missing

and we finally find him
in the creek.

We've worked with, uh,

Tommy's mom
throughout the years.

We've always wanted
to provide an answer to her

as to, you know,
exactly what happened.

- Right.
- So like you said before,

Tommy probably
went out the back door,

'cause obviously he did not
come out the front door

with the camera.

Did he just walk out the
back door and, like you said,

drowned in the river
or was he taken out of there?

Was there any kind
of human intervention?

Tell us what you think.

- We know from our interviews
with Tommy's friends that

they had found
Bootlegger's Bar on a website.

None of them have ever been
to Ridley before

and none of them had
ever been to Bootlegger's Bar.

They drove from
Wilmington, Delaware,

in three separate cars.

We know that there was
a total of nine people.

There was, uh, six males,
two females, and Tommy,

um, that entered the bar
that night.

They were all seen going in
as a large group

on the surveillance video

and then they were seen
in the bar throughout

the course of the night.

We know that two of his friends
got in some trouble.

They were smoking marijuana
or something like that

and they were told
to leave the bar,

and then we know that Tim
was left with the, uh,

the task of taking Tommy home.

In Tim's statement, he says
that he looks through the bar

at the end of the night at
2:00 and he doesn't see Tommy.

Did he go out the back door?

But there's no cameras on the
back door, so we don't know,

and ultimately he's found
a couple of weeks later

in--in the creek face down.

The body looked
in pristine condition.

There was no signs of trauma
to the body.

His wallet was with him,

so we knew that it wasn't
a robbery.

I believe Tommy left the back
of the bar that night.

He walked out the back door.

The creek, in question, is
probably 30 yards away

from the back door of the bar.

I believe that he fell off
of that bank

and initially had landed
in the water.

The temperature had dropped
dramatically that week.

During the time that they
had done the search,

the creek was frozen,

and I believe that the body
was frozen under the ice.

As the case grew cold

and as--as we weren't getting
any other witnesses

or anyone to
come forward to say

that they saw Tommy
that night,

I was thinking, it--it--
could this be something else?

Is there something else
that we missed?

I went down there
and, sure enough,

there was a smiley face

and it was located on
the back of the bar,

a graffiti smiley face,

and that morning it was like
a holy crap moment.

[dramatic music]

- If there was something in
there 5'10", you'd see it.

If there was something
in there, you'd see it.

- One of the theories
out there is that

Tommy was under the ice.

- And that area wasn't frozen.

- You got something here, Doc.

So the smiley face
that was over there,

they paint it over and
there's another one over here.

- In the beginning,

I was willing to listen
to anything

and follow any lead
that we could,

even the graffiti smiley face,

but in order to believe
that theory,

you'd have to believe
that there was obvious signs

of foul play.

- It's going to be a tough nut
to crack because

he's already prefixed
on the fact that

Tommy's case is just a--
a tragic accident.

So we're going to need a lot
of evidence

to convince him.

- I just never could put
two and two together

that there
was foul play involved

in Tommy's disappearance.

There's no evidence that
says that this was anything

other than accidental.

But the fact that
the smiley face was there,

that's something else
for us to go on.

I would love nothing more than
to give this woman an answer,

some type of answer.

- So would you be willing
to look at new evidence

if we uncovered anything?

- Absolutely, absolutely.

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

- Willoughby said
he's open-minded

to looking at new evidence
related to Tommy's case.

At the same point,

knowing what I know about
Scott Willoughby,

he's pretty rigid
and by-the-book

and we have to show him
enough compelling evidence

in order to really
convince him

to move this forward.

We're hoping crime scene
recreation expert,

Scott Roder,
can shed some light

on what might've happened
to Tommy.

- This would be the best place
to go down, right here.

Step--step back, let him in.
There you go.

- Oh, there you go.

- Uh, what bothers you about
this particular case

as you sit here today?

- Tommy had a lack of any kind
of decomposition.

He's been missing
for two weeks

and he's found directly
behind the bar

when they supposedly did
searches up and down the river

and he wasn't there, then
he miraculously, 14 days later,

winds up right behind
the--right behind the--

- Now, but law enforcement
indicates that they believe

that he might've been dead
for up to two weeks

and that the frozen river
could've preserved his body.

Do you believe that there's
any kind of consistency

in that with regard
to your experience?

- No.
- Not at all.

If you freeze something,

the water expands,
it breaks the cell wall.

So when you thaw it out, it
decomposes very, very rapidly

and becomes mush.

- Right, which we don't see.
- And you don't see that here.

He should've been black
and bloated out here

and he wasn't.

This is what the
medical examiner commented on.

There is clear drag marks,
uh, from his head.

[spooky music]

You know,
his feet were upstream.

- Right, and I do recall in
the medical examiner's report

that they do say that his nose
and his chin was filled

with mud and clay and dirt
and little rocks.

- I just don't believe that
the water came down

and the water was strong enough
to make that head mark...

In that, uh, like that.

It was more than he was dragged
by his ankles,

his head used as a plow,
and it came this way,

and then the body
was eventually found here

like this.

As a homicide investigator,
looking at this scene,

tells me that this case clearly
should've been investigated

as a homicide first,

because all cases, especially
of a suspicious nature,

are supposed to be investigated
as a homicide first

and work backwards
until we prove otherwise

that it's an accident.

You can't go to a scene
and assume it's an accident.

- We'd like to put together
a 3D reconstruction

using a CGI model.

We're going to rebuild
the entire creek bed

to then test the totality
of the evidence.

I think that will put us really
ahead of the game

and coming closer to what
really happened to Mr. Booth.


- By using the medical
examiner's report,

the autopsy
and recovery photos,

and the drones that give you
an overview of the whole creek

and the bar area,

hopefully Scott Roder's

will give us
a comprehensive look

about what actually happened
to Tommy Booth.

But we also need to take a look
at Tommy's last known location.

[eerie music]

♪ ♪

- Okay, here we are.

- Last spot, right?

- Yup.
- That Tommy was in?

- Last seen location.
- All right.

The night
Tommy went missing,

he went up to Bootlegger's
which was in Pennsylvania.

My understanding is that
Booglegger's had one camera

at the front door.

The only footage we have
of Tommy

is going into the bar.

To my knowledge,
there was no other cameras

in Bootlegger's
the night Tommy went missing

that captured him leaving
the place.

Place hasn't been open in
I don't know how long.

You know?
But look.

Well, you get a stage.

Another door here,
you know, Doc?

[suspenseful music]

Backstage, Doc?

It's all there.
This is, uh, another corridor.

Take a look at this, Doc.
- Yup.

- This is where
you're moving out.

- This would be perfect.

Tommy Booth could've
very easily been abducted

from that bar that night.

You wouldn't even have
to take him outside.

- You wouldn't even have
to take him outside.

- Bring him straight

- Hey, Doc, check this out.

There's just
a whole nother spot.

- There are two different
avenues that he could've taken,

out the back door
or down through the basement,

where he would've been taken
off the property

and never seen on camera.

And there's the creek
right there.

♪ ♪

Wow, that's Ridley Creek
right there.

He was recovered about 150,
200 yards downstream.

♪ ♪

This is where the smiley face
was before.

- Where was that?
- Right in here.

- This is with the--
with the crown?

- Yeah.
Can we still see it?

- You can still see a lot
of it underneath it.

You got some here,
Doc, here.

♪ ♪

It's one of the guys.

Anything on this side, Doc?

So the smiley face that
was over there,

they painted over,

and there's another
one over here.

That was the crown.

- Yup.
- Right?

- And you can walk right--
right through there.

- And there's the creek.

We have to look at
every possible scenario.

Tommy could've been brought
down to the basement

from the bar and then moved
right out the back door

and no one would ever know it.

We don't know for sure
if this is what happened,

but we got to take a look
at all the possibilities.

♪ ♪

So this is just leading right
here to the water?

This is just one entrance?
- Yup.

- And it's actually clear.
- About a foot deep.

- If there was something in
there 5'10", you--you'd see it.

If there was something in
there, you'd see it.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

- Kevin Gannon.

- William Derr.
Pleasure to meet you.

- Bill Derr, a friend
of Tommy's mom and stepdad,

searched the area where Tommy
was eventually recovered

only 24 hours earlier.

I'm wondering if there's
any possibility

that Bill could've missed
seeing the body.

The beginning
of Tommy's search,

where Tommy first
went missing, did you hear--

when did you hear about it

- Tim told me that they were
going to search the--the area

behind the bar where he went
missing and so forth,

and that's when I said
I want to come help.

- When did--when did you
go down there?

You go down there
less than 24 hours

from when
Tommy was recovered?

- Yes, we started at
the bridge,

right by the intersection
at the front of the bar,

and then I worked my way all
the way down the creek

past the baseball field.

- So you went southbound

past that Widener field
where that baseball field was?

- Yes.

- Did you get close
to the water at--

- Right up next to it,
everywhere I could be.

- Everywhere you could be.
- I didn't see anything at all.

- If Tommy had been on
the shore there, you know,

would you ha--think you'd have
seen a body from the--the trail

that you took going south?

- I think I would have, yes.

- What--why are you so certain
that you would've--

would've seen it?

- Just from what Tim told me
from where they found him,

'cause Tim told me that where
they found him and I'd know,

I was standing right above
that spot.

- I have some pictures
of the recovery scene

and--and with Tommy.

Would you be willing
to look at that?

- Yes.
- I'm gonna show you these.

[eerie music]

This was the creek at the time.

Can you tell me does that
resemble the creek from--

you know,
less than 24 hours

when you were there
the day before?

- Yes.

- This is--these--
these are footprints.

Is this--could this
possibly be yours, 'cause...

- Not this close, no.

This is not my footprints
out here.

Mine would've been back here,

a little bit farther on
the shore.

- You think you
would've missed Tommy?

- I don't think I would've
missed him at all, no.

- One of the theories out there
is that Ridley Creek

was frozen solid and
that Tommy was under the ice

and that's why he is
so preserved and pristine,

and all the search people,

including yourself
the day before, missed it.

- That area wasn't frozen.

- No?
- No.

No, it was not frozen.

[haunting music]

♪ ♪

- He said he went off
by himself

and went up and down
the creek

and he said he did not
see Tommy at all

and then, on top of that,
I gave him the picture

and he says,
"Tommy was not there."

So I mean, that, to me,

is probably the most
compelling piece of evidence,

because he is
an eyewitness.

- And, uh,
correct me if I'm wrong,

but he was there
before Tommy was found.

- Yeah, Tommy couldn't have
been there for 13 1/2 days

if he wasn't there the night
before he was recovered.

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

- You know, Tommy's case is
starting to look more and more

like it's definitely
one of ours.

- Now you have
the autopsy report.

When he was found,
he was in full rigor.

He's not in full rigor
after 14 days in the creek.

- So where was he
for the other 13 days?

- And plus, we got
the smiley face graffiti

right at the location
where he was last seen.

- Right, but the one unusual
thing about Tommy's case

is he's the only victim
that we've ever investigated

that was actually in fear
of something.

The parents told me
that Tommy received

a suspicious phone call
only weeks before his death,

and he seemed to be
really scared about it.

- He got a phone call.
He just kept saying, "No,

I would never do that, man.
No, no."

It wasn't a good phone call.

- He was scared enough that
he was willing to pack up

from a great job that he had
and move to Florida.

I mean, you've got to be
pretty scared of something

if you're ready to just pack
and leave your family

and not tell them
why you're leaving.

- Could Tommy have seen
something or known something

that put his life in danger?

- Yeah, oh,
that's a possibility.

- Well, we need to dig into
his background,

his history with his friends.

- If we can find out what
the heck Tommy was afraid of

and who he was afraid of,

that could be the key piece
of evidence

that we can bring forward
to the police

to get Tommy's case
reinvestigated as a homicide.

- It's like his mind
was preoccupied.

Some of these guys were getting
into underworld stuff,

a little deeper than he was
comfortable with.

- He mentioned something
about guns.

- Did you finish
your investigation?

- What I do know is that it's
not an accidental drowning.

[haunting music]

♪ ♪

- We heard that, in the weeks
leading up to Tommy's death,

that he may have been afraid
of something or someone

and was thinking about
leaving the area.

I hope to find out from Harry,
Tommy's boss and friend,

what Tommy was really
afraid of.

What I'd like to know is
a little bit about

your relationship with Tommy,

what kind of a young man
he was.

- Tommy worked directly
for me for four years.

I do interior contracting.
- Okay.

- We got along great.

He never didn't call in, he
never didn't answer his phone.

- Would you consider him
one of your closest--

closer friends at that point?

- Yes, at that point, yeah.

- Well.
- He, uh,

came to my daughter's
birthday parties.

- What did your family think
of Tommy?

- They thought
he was a good kid.

- Yeah.

As the time got closer
to Tommy's passing,

I'm trying to pin down
what type of frame of mind

Tommy was in on those days.

- It's like his mind
was preoccupied.

He didn't know who
his real friends were.

He had told me that
he contacted his--

one of his uncles

and he was thinking about
getting away for a while.

- Did you ever meet
any of his friends?

- I did meet a couple
of his friends.

They were all from
Richardson Park.

It was a hard neighborhood.

There were cliques.

You were either in the clique
or you weren't.

Anybody got outed,
uh, did not fare well.

He mentioned that
some of these guys

were getting into, uh,
basically underworld stuff,

a little deeper than
he was comfortable with.

I personally think that

he had some involvement,

if it was minimal,
even social.

I think he had some involvement
that he wanted out of.

- Had you ever heard
any mention of

Smiley Face Killers here?

It's an organized group

that are into other
criminal activity.

- I didn't know that part.

- Oh yeah, that's--that's how
they fund themselves.

That's how gangs operate.
We know this.

Illegal groups, gangs, fund
themselves by selling drugs,

selling guns, and theft.

- Mm-hmm?

- If--if--if you have
more specific stuff,

now's the time to get it out,

because it's--it's
not gonna affect Tommy anymore.

- Right.
- Tommy's gone a long time.

- Right.

- And we're trying
to right this wrong.

- Right.
- 'Cause it--

you see what I'm saying?
- Oh yeah, yeah.

- So if you know
more specifics,

please don't keep it in.
Let it out.

♪ ♪

- Tommy had
had conversations with me

about them getting deeper
and deeper into doing things

like guns and drugs.

- Okay, so that--

- Uh, that was conversations
we absolutely had.

- Okay.
- Okay?

You know, it's certainly
common for guys

to have nefarious friends
and not necessarily to go in

as deep as their friends
are going.

- Was Tommy making money off
the drugs and the guns?

- I don't think so,
at all.

I get people that ask me
on a regular basis.

Has anything been found out?
Has anything been solved?

But nobody believes
it was an accident.


He couldn't have stumbled in
and drowned.

It's just not possible.

- With the new information
from Harry

that Tommy was afraid of
the crowd he was running with,

to me, it's a real possibility
that Tommy's case

is connected to our
Smiley Face Killers theory.

♪ ♪

[suspenseful music]

[line trilling]

- Hey, Mike, what's going on?
- How you doing?

- I'm all right.

- Spoke to Harry.
He said Tommy was running

with a crowd that
was possibly moving guns.

- Really?

- Seems like Tommy may have
been in over his head.

- This is a big deal.

This is kind of one of
those kind of groups where

they're gonna kill you
if you talk.

- You know, it's a gang.
- It is.

- When you're a weak link,
that's how things go bad.

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

- What we know from
Harry Porter, his boss,

he said Tommy's friends,

they were involved with some
type of criminal activity

with these guys.
They were involved with guns.

Tommy's uncle,
Brad Booth,

spoke with Tommy
the night he went missing.

Kevin Gannon.
- Hey.

- We need to speak with him
and find out

what Tommy may have confided
in him.

Just tell me about the night
Tommy called you...

- Right.
- And what compelled him

to call you and--and--
- Right.

- What did you sense from that?

- Initially, we just started
talking about

"What are you up to?"

And he said,
"You know, working,"

I said, "That's fantastic,"

and toward the end of the
conversation, he's--well,

I don't know some of the crowd
I'm with or other folks,

it's--it's probably not
a good--good situation.

He had mentioned something
about guns.

I don't know how it came up.

Um, I said,
"Well, you know,

what do you--what
do you mean by guns?"

And he said, "Well, some of the
guys' guns," or something.

I said, "Well, are they cops?"

And he's like, "No."

And I said military,
sportsman, whatever.

He said no, no.

Then I kind of
just said, "Well, Tommy,

"you ought to think about
changing your friends

or your environment."

My impression was he was
a kid--really good kid,

hard-working, but I know people
make mistakes in life

and you get in--
in tough situations.

He said,
"Maybe I should start anew."

So I did get the sense that,
you know, you know,

my sense was he was trying
to maybe extricate himself

out of that.

I said--I said,
"Come out, your grandmother

would like to see you."

He said, "No, I'm going out
with some--some friends

and we're going out tonight."

I said, "Okay,"
and then he hung up and...

at that point, I really
didn't think anything more

about the conversation.

- Do you know much about
our investigation?

Obviously, we've
been doing more cases

than just Tommy's
that are connected

to this Smiley Face Killer.

- Right, you know,

I'm always a bit of a skeptic
in terms of conspiracies

and--and things like that.
- Sure.

- But it's just
really mysterious that, uh,

someone around him
does not know some specifics.

- It might have been
some of his friends

got into it a little bit
and maybe--

"Yeah, okay, you know,
whatever, I'll go along"

And then he was, like,
"Wow, this is probably--"

- Serious.
More serious than I thought.

- "I'm not into this,"
you know?

And I think that's why he'd be
possibly reaching out to you.

- Yeah, yeah, and again, he's
not trying to alarm anybody

and that explains why maybe
he didn't talk to anybody.

You know,
looking back on it now,

maybe he was in some
pretty serious trouble.

- Something sinister, evil,
criminal was going on

that Tommy Booth
had to escape from.

We believe
the Smiley Face Killers

is a well-structured

that operates
on criminal activity

that have distinct cells
in different cities

throughout the whole
United States.

♪ ♪

So we have to explore,
is he part of, uh,

a bigger conspiracy?

What we need now is
some real scientific evidence

that we can bring
to Scott Willoughby.

- Hey, Doc.
- Hey, Scott.

It's good to see you.
- Hi, how are you?

- Good to see you, Kevin.

- Good to see you, young man.
How are ya?

Hopefully Scott Roder
and his crime scene analysis

will help us support what we
believed happened to Tommy.

Did you finish
your investigation?

- I did, I did.

Uh, so, you know, I've got
the presentation ready to go.

We've build a CGI model based
on all the data from the creek

and the photographs

and of course
all the information

that you've provided me.

- With this beautiful
presentation that you have,

what do you hope to achieve

when we meet with
Captain Willoughby?

- Well, I mean, my role here
is thinking very specific.

I want to engage him on
the--strictly the physical

and the forensic evidence as an
independent, uninterested party

what I think it means

as the most probable
sequence of events

for the cause of his death.

As I first looked at
this case,

I really tried to come into
this with no opinion

but then after looking at
the evidence,

what I do know is that it's not
an accidental drowning.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

- Hey, Kevin.
- Good to see you.

- Hi, good to see you.

- This is, uh,
Captain Willoughby.

- Captain,
nice to meet you, sir.

- Scott Willoughby,
nice to meet you.

- We need to prove to
Willoughby that Tommy's death

was not a tragic accident.

We're hoping that
the scientific evidence

will compel him
to investigate this case

as a homicide.

- Uh, Kevin and Doc asked me
to take a look at the--the--

just the physical and the
forensic evidence on this case.

What I did was,
back in July,

I met with Kevin and Doc over
at the, uh, Ridley Creek

where Tommy Booth was found,

and, uh, we took some
measurements and photographs

and I build a 3D model of
the scene where he was found.

So there's six components from
the evidentiary standpoint

that I feel are critical
for me to address,

uh, within the area
of my expertise.

On January 19th,
the prevailing theory is that

you know, he exits
the--the pub,

goes into the creek,
and then somehow

becomes incapacitated,

falls into the creek,
and drowns.

Over a period
of the next few days,

I guess a winter storm
comes through

and freezes the creek,

thereby concealing his body

from investigators
and search parties

and so forth, correct?
- Correct.

- I think one
of the first issues

that I think is important
to look at is

the bloating
and the decomposition

of the body.

If you're in the water
for 14 1/2 days,

uh, and you are in fact
a drowning victim,

I think the body would have
a much different appearance.

You really
see excessive bloating

and skin slippage,

which we don't see here
with Tommy.

So lividity, I think,
is an extremely important

aspect of this case.

The onset of lividity happens
after the heart stops.

The blood's going
to go toward gravity

and cause the--
the purple bruising.

As you can see here,
we've got points of contact

on the back of the head,
his back area, his buttocks,

and so forth
and that's fixed lividity.

That suggests
that when he died,

he was laying on his back
when his heart stopped,

and he was there for
a substantial period of time

for this lividity
to become fixed.

So I think this is
a critical factor

to suggest that he was not
a drowning victim,

but, in fact, he died
in some other manner.

♪ ♪

And then we have
the rigor mortis,

which I think is a really
important issue as well.

Uh, rigor mortis sets in
8 to 10 hours after death

and then it stay for
approximately 10 hours or so

before it subsides.

If he was, in fact,
in the creek for 14 days or so,

he wouldn't be all bound up
like that.

He'd be released.

He had, uh, fixed rigor mortis
in his jaw

and his upper extremities

and, you know, we looked at the
issue of--

okay, could him being frozen
have caused the lividity

to last longer than it would
normally last,

and the answer to that is no.

The tissue in a frozen body is
in the--is in the fatty tissues

and so forth whereas lividity

is in the muscles
and the joints.

So after taking a look
at this scene,

I think there's some
really important factors.

For example, you know,
we've got, uh,

what I think is a drag mark.

His feet are in a position
that would suggest

being dragged by his feet.

- Let me explain a couple
of things to you

about this photograph.
- Yeah, sure.

- This is a tidal creek, okay?
- Yes.

- The creek obviously works off
of the Delaware River

this here is a--just a small,
little sand bar area

that Tommy had floated to.

The water would run from this
way from right to left

on this screen.

His body would've floated down
directly into this sandbar

and got lodged.

- Well, how do you explain
the drag mark here?

- I--I don't think that
this is a drag mark at all.

I think this is just the tidal
water flowing around his body.

[suspenseful music]


- Let me--let me ask
a question. Yeah?

If you don't believe that
this was--

if this was a sandbar
caused by the water,

the medical examiner's
own statement

says that that whole trail
of--of sand and mud

was caused by Tommy's chin
and face being dragged

upwards against the stream
until he came to rest,

as--as Scott said.

- He was on his back
when he died

on a hard surface,

and there's no way to be on
your back on a hard surface

if you're floating in a creek,
um, and this is fixed lividity

so he had to be on his back
for 8 to 10 hours.

I believe that there is
enough evidence to suggest

that it's
more probable than not

that he was not
a drowning victim.

♪ ♪

- I'm not
a forensic pathologist.

I don't understand lividity.
- But would you--

- I have to defer
to experts to do that

I have to defer to my
medical examiners to do that.

- Yes.

- If Dr. Cyril, who I know,
if--if he was to come to me

and say this is
an absolute homicide

and if we missed something,

I'm man enough
to say that we'll go back

and we'll take a look at it.

♪ ♪

- It would be my opinion that
this case is highly suspicious

for foul play.

- Well, he spoke about it.

They spoke about what exactly
it was about

and it--well, you know,
it was about guns.

♪ ♪

[elevator dinging]

- Oh, hey.
- Hey, Doc. How are you?

Good to see you.
- Good to see you gentlemen.

- Captain Willoughby stated
that if Dr. Wecht

supported our analysis
of what happened with respect

to Tommy's death,

he would bring it forward to
his county medical examiner.

Yeah, I'd like to speak to you
about Thomas Booth.

You have the paperwork
in front of you?

- Yes, I do.

This is
a very suspicious death

of this 24-year-old healthy,
strong, big, young man.

Missing, uh, I think for about
14 1/2 days, right?

- Correct.

- Now the, um, medical
examiner's office there,

they did list the manner
of death as undetermined,

which I think
at that point in time

certainly was
the correct thing to do.

However, the, uh,
findings externally

are significant complicating

They comment that, um,
rigor mortis is present

within the jaw, arms,
and legs.

Rigor mortis is something
that begins to develop

a little bit
after two to four hours

and remains in place for about,

uh, 24, 36, 48 hours maximum.

There's no way in the world
that rigor mortis remains fixed

for 14 1/2 days.

It's not even a close call.

This raises a very strong,
highly reasonable, uh,

suspicion from a forensic
scientific standpoint.

It would be my opinion,
based upon a reasonable degree

of forensic
scientific medical certainty,

that this case is highly
suspicious for foul play.

- Dr. Wecht was very adament
about his conclusion

that, because Tommy was in full
rigor at the time of recovery,

that he was not deceased
for 14 days.

- This is a highly, highly
suspicious case.

No question at all.

- So you would say that
the detectives that

who we're going to meet with
should obviously consider

looking at this case again?
I mean--

- Yes, I'm certain they're
not going to be exuberant

about doing that,
coming in ten years later.

This is not a case that
can honestly be ignored.

♪ ♪

- It's time to update
Barbara and Tim

about the information we have
related to Tommy's case.

So I haven't seen you
in awhile,

so how have you guys been?

- Good.
- Yeah, it's been a--

- Hanging in there.

- So we had a crime
reconstructionist come in,

uh, Scott Roder,
and he did a whole presentation

on the prevailing theory and
what he believes transpired.

- Scott Roder came
to the conclusion that

Tommy was not in the creek
for 14 1/2 days.

I guess you're probably curious
about some of the information

you gave us to see
what we came up with

or who we were able
to speak to.

- Right.
- Absolutely.

- You know,
we spoke to Harry Porter.

- Mm-hmm.
- Which was like his mentor.

And then the most compelling
thing was when we spoke to,

um, Colonel Brad Booth.

- They did provide
some background information

along the lines of kind of what
you guys had been telling us,

such as Tommy was involved
in a--with a bad crowd.

- Well, he spoke about it.

They spoke about what exactly
what it was about

and, well, you know,
it was about guns.

- He actually reached out
for help from Brad

which ultimately leads me
to the conclusion

that he was in some sort
of trouble

and that he was looking
to get out of it

and perhaps he knew too much

and this was their way
of extinguishing it.

♪ ♪

- You know,
for the past ten years,

I have driven myself crazy
thinking thousands of scenarios

of what happened to him

and--and to have justice
would just be...

[somber music]

That's all I want.

I mean, I know I can't bring
my son back,

but I just really wanted
justice for him.

I'd be really grateful
to you guys.

You did all the investigating
that they should have done.

- And we're not finished
and we're not giving up.

♪ ♪

- Captain Scott Willoughby

that if you have
a forensic patholgist

that concurs with
your assessment,

I will bring that
information forward.

Dr. Wecht's analysis

should be enough evidence
for Chief Willoughby

and the medical examiner
to take a second look.

One way or the other,
I am not gonna give up

on this until Tommy's case
is reinvestigated.

♪ ♪

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