Friday, May 18, 2012

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: I Read it on the Internet: Superbike Murders - Part Two

Note: The phrase "I read it on the Internet" is included in this original post because at the time it was written, Sheriff Wright had claimed I never worked with the department and everything I know of the case "I read on the Internet." Clearly, I did NOT get my information from the Internet but from police files but if Wright was willing to make that statement, I was willing to write exactly what "I read on the Internet."

The first place any profiler or detective should start in doing an analysis of a case is with the crime scene, not with gut feelings, tips, rumors, or even suspects. The crime scene tells us exactly what happened and often, why it happened, and then who most likely made it happen.

Sometimes the department will keep secret exactly how a crime went down in hopes that when they interview a possible suspect, that person will describe the scenario and, if it matches what actually happened, the detectives will have a good clue that this person knows more than the general public as to the crime elements. However, after almost nine years and no suspect in sight, the Superbike murders would be better served getting the truth out to the public and seeing what it shakes out. For this reason, I feel the forwarding of the case will be helped by an accurate description of what occurred. Also, since Sheriff Chuck Wright and the Department have repeatedly put forth a theory that is clearly not based on any evidence I read on the Internet and has had no problem laying out their version of the order of the shootings, I will follow their lead and do so as well.

To get an overview of the crime scene and Department's conclusions, you can view location of the scene and description of how they say it went down with this television offering by Geraldo Rivera.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Department (SPSO) is adamant from what I read on the Internet that the shooter came in the back bay door of the business shot Chris Sherbert first as he was cleaning up a motorcycle, then went through the swinging door into the shop and encountered Beverly Guy leaving the bathroom or the office and shot her, and then shot Brian Lucas and Scott Ponder as they tried to escape out the front door. As I read on the Internet, seventeen rounds were fired requiring a changing of clips. The Department has never explained or at least I never read it on the Internet just when the shooter did this in the midst of shooting the three in the front room and there is no explanation, if he had to change clips at that point, why the two men didn't escape further while he was doing so. They have never explained when the shooter shot them in the bodies and when he shot them in the head. They never explained why, if the shooter mixed his ammunition with eleven silver casings and seven brass (as I read on the Internet) and he shot the victims from the back of the store to the front, each of the victims (except Guy) ended up with a bullet in the head that had a brass casing (as I also read on the Internet).

I believe the Department's refusal to explain  (as I read on the Internet) that oddity lies with their need to develop a scenario that matches their theory that the unknown guy in the composite first went after the employee cleaning up the bike he was supposed to buy and then went after everyone else. Not that this makes great sense because if you come in the back way and start the shooting there, you are unaware of who is out front and by the time you get there, other customers may have come in. Besides, your anger should be with Scott Ponder and he should be the most important target and normally a killer would choose him to start with. Perhaps the thinking is that the perpetrator didn't want his vehicle seen so he parked in the back and came in that way and then went back that way to his vehicle. Nothing wrong with this theory and, in fact, it still could be true if the guy walked past Christ Sherbert to the front, did his shootings, and then return to get Sherbert. But, the detectives, from what I read on the Internet refuse to even allow for this possibility and I think this stubbornness lies in their desire to make Sherbert the first victim of the guy in the composite and, in doing so, choose to ignore the ballistics evidence. But it is terribly important as it shows exactly what the shooter did and why as you will see.

From what I read on the Internet, I propose this scenario of how the shootings went down:

The behaviors of the victims clearly indicate Beverly Guy was shot first. If the killer had been intent on shooting Ponder or Lucas first and pulled out a gun in the front room, he would likely have shot the men where they stood considering how close the shooter was to these two men. However, the killer shot them only after they were in motion, running toward the front door in order to escape. Something clearly set them off and this would be the shooting of Guy. Once that shot (nickel casings) was fired directly at Guy’s head (she turned away) and then chest, the shooter being face to face with her, the men made a break for it.  The next shot hit Brian Lucas in the backside causing him to collapse in the door, with Scott Ponder leaping over him; then the shots to Ponder’s back took him down to the ground (all nickel casings). He changed clips to the brass magazine.

At this point the shooter knew there was one more person he needed to deal with and he turned and went back through the swinging doors into the work area. There was music on in both the front and back so it is questionable as to whether Sherbert actually knew the others had been shot down. It is possible he did hear the shots but by the time he realized what was going on, the shooter had already entered the back of the shop. The shooter fired as soon as he came through the swinging door approximately from the area of three bikes to the left of Brass Casings 21 and 22. The trajectory is in perfect line with the back storage room where the bullets went through the boxes. The shooter’s position would be in the general area where the crescent wrench with the black handle was found should Sherbert have thrown it at the shooter in a desperate attempt to stop him. This evidence is proof that Sherbert did see him coming and that the shooter was coming at him from the swinging doors. He was the final victim, not the first victim. Sherbert likely was ducking behind the motorcycle he was working on as soon as he saw the killer coming toward him with a gun.

 He then moved in on Sherbert who had no way to stand up from behind the motorcycle and run out the bay door without getting shot. The shooter came up over him and shot him in the back and chest and then capped him with a shot to the head.  

The shooter then returned to the front of the business to finish off his victims. He shot  Lucas once in the head. It is during this time (or while the shooter was in the back) I believe Ponder, still alive but knowing he was not going to make it, dialed 33 on his phone and pressed send, attempting to reach his wife with a final goodbye and, perhaps, an attempt to identify the shooter to her. Ponder appears to have pushed himself up on his knees with his left arm and dialed his phone with his free right hand and pressed the send button at 2:52. This was likely very within a minute or seconds before the shooter capped him in the head.  I do not agree with the theory I read on the Internet that Ponder dialed the phone number while running in a panic over his friend and through the glass front door. I have attempted to recreate this scenario and found it impossible to hit the three buttons on the phone while in this kind of motion. The shots in the head of all four victims apparently ended their lives within seconds as there is no evidence of movement after the last four shots were fired. 

At 3:12 PM, the emergency phone call to 911 comes in from Noel Lee.

This scenario is very important in determining suspects. The scenario shows exactly when the shootings occurred and the time it took for them to go down and what the likely motive was. I will be discussing motives and persons-of-interest based on this scenario an all I have read on the Internet in my next blog post.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

May 18, 2012

Harkening back to the writing styles of the earlier American authors – John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, and Carson McCullers, "Only the Truth" is a story of soul searching, a psychological mystery which examines the question, “Whom should one love and when should one quit doing so?” Billy Ray, a lonely and rather slow, uneducated African-American man living in the mountains of Arkansas, runs across a mysterious young woman at the railroad tracks. She asks to go home with him and Billy Ray takes her with him as she requests. He comes to love this woman, Charlene, unconditionally. She is the only woman he has ever loved, and life is finally good for Billy Ray. Then Charlene shoots the neighbor and burns down the neighbor’s house. His happy life destroyed, a confused and devastated Billy Ray is at a loss. Is the woman he loves “just a troubled girl” or a psychopathic killer? Billy Ray sets out on a quest to find the truth, only the truth, whether it leads him to be able to save Charlene from a death sentence or it frees him from her spell.


Anonymous said...

Châpeau, Mme Brown :-)

Don Corbett said...

Well done Pat!

Anonymous said...

WOW Makes since Pat! Whats the issue with Sheriff Wright that he will not bring in reinforcement from the FBI/SLED as the family has requested many times over the last 8 years. It is apparent, the case has gone cold! Is it ego, a coverup or shame that no one has been arrested? Sheriff Wright should seek whatever resources he can and solve it on his clock while he is "still in office". He inherited this case we all know, but he could help get resolve maybe with outside resources!
What is a shame> is the person and the Sheriff that gave and released a composite drawing over 8 years ago then came forth 8 years later and gave another sketch and reported "This is the guy of interest". "This is our man"!
Out of curiosity did the artist that drew the picture the first time ever have an inkling that Sheriff Coffey then Sheriff Wright and the person that gave the description ever know he was not happy with the first sketch? Why did it take over 8 years before sketching the second one or did the same artist not sit with this person face to face and do both? Was the person that gave the description of the so called person of interest not sitting directly face to face with the artist? If so why not and why didn't he speak out immediately and keep on making changes at that moment> instead of 8 years later. This is BULLSHIT as know one could see a person one time and 8 years later give a description good enough to say this is our man. Think about it and try this scenerio, Could you or anyone reading these blogs do it!
Also, early into this case it was reported that the 911 caller had called seeking motor cross tickets and Beverly told him she had them there on the desk. Was they ever found and put into evidence?
Was there ever a ballistic and polygraph testing done on these two individuals? If so then these two individuals could have been ruled out in the very beginning and they would not have to be taking a lot of heat !!!!!
Just because these two are known as good citizens of the community, don't keep them from being a person of interest or suspect as with everyone else to include family/friends/strangers.
Apparently there was and still is some pretty crappie investigative work done on this case and our local sheriff's department is willing to take a lot of negative feedback from the people that care about the deceased. Please Pat, keep on reading on the "Internet" and surely something will come of this BS mess of an unsolved crime in Spartanburg County.

Anonymous said...

A terrifying and convincing explanation

Anonymous said...

On the other article someone posted this post....

"Anonymous said...


May 16, 2012 10:24 AM"

Anyone know what "LR" meant?

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! hope my ears are stopped up or somebody in trouble!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I sure wish you were around in 1986 in Spartanburg County! The power of MONEY runs this town!

Anonymous said...

It is my opinion, these's articles are nothing more than,as stated in this posting and others of Mrs. Brown's under the comment section, a witch hunt. Or better yet, a ploy to keep this investigation in the public eye, hooray to the Lucas family for their endless battle. If any of the victims were my child or family member, I hope I would be so diligent, until I had closure. That being said, the last I heard/read the victims families were happy with AMW airing of the crime, the way the victims and Superbike Motorsports were portrayed along with the timeline of the murders. Now interject a retired, out of state detective (who may be the best in the business, for all we, the public, know) and a criminal profiler (who has said nothing to the public of her findings in Aug 2009 until now(shoddy police work, incorrect shooting order, etc) for whatever reasons). What I am getting from these postings is that we are some po' dunk area that has Boss Hogg for a sheriff and Rosco P. Coltrane investigating this horrific crime. When in fact we voted out Boss Hogg and replaced him with Sheriff Wright. I thought most citizens of Sptbg county were please and happy with the job our Sheriff was/is doing to clean up our streets? With exception of this crime another Sheriff mishandled. Yes, I agree all families, business acquaints, and friends should all be reinvestigated with new eyes from a higher office in our jurisdiction, county, state or federal. Not a retired detective and profiler who are friends of a victims family working pro bono to further their careers. If you have evidence fine enlighten the proper people but to accuse and name someone without physical evidence is not the way our judicial system works, thank God. I have never found four people murdered and don't ever want to know how I would sound on a 911 call. We, the public, are judging a man on 3 maybe 5 seconds of a 911 clip that we heard on the news or AMW.... Is there more to 911 call that we have not heard? I too was at Brian's, Beverly's and Scott's visitation and several times I saw people talking to the families of the victims and to the widows who all were laughing at some point (maybe at some story being retold about their loved ones) but that is no reason to suspect strange behavior on their account. If I'm going to dispel all of the sheriffs findings, for opinions of the author, then we can all go back to the rumor mill shortly after this senseless crime took place. And if I am to believe everything I hear and read then am I reading the above posting correctly when she states that Beverly was killed first?! If that's true then I have to assume that Scott was a fast runner, that he would run for his truck, his safety and not check on the welfare of his own mother? That as romantic as it sounds, he would call his wife and not 911 as shots are being fired as he also sees his best friend and right-hand man getting shot? That does not sound like Scott Ponder I knew. I pray that the truth will come to light for the victims families that so deserve all their questions answered, I don't believe this is the right way of finding the answers but then again I would grab on tightly to anything or anyone that might shed some of that light in hopes of closure and justice for those responsible. May the Lord be with you all and see you through to the end of this horrific ordeal you have endured thus far.

Pat Brown said...

To the last Anonymous,

I am always amazed at the quickness of some to kill the messengers rather than look at the facts in front of them. It is also pretty sad that when people work pro bono, paying their own way to help on a case and give their time without asking for money(I myself spent $1000 to go to Spartanburg and gave up about 100 hours of my time which is more than two weeks of working for free and that was before this all started up now. I know Don has likewise given much of his time and money.

Clearly, neither of us is after "fame and fortune" off of working this case. No one even knew I was in Spartanburg because I never told the media nor anyone else. And I can guarantee you, here is more headache associated with working cold cases than any glory. Most cold cases are screwed and never will be taken to prosecution, so it is usually a futile effort.

So, why did I speak out now? As I stated elsewhere, I was shocked upon working this case that obvious persons-of-interest and evidence were never followed up on. I hoped, however, after profiling this case, the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Department would pick up the ball they dropped and no one would ever have heard from me or about me. As a matter of fact, this case would probably go in the bin of cases I have worked no one knows about because I still have detractors who claim I have never worked with a police department; I am rarely given credit for case assistance by police departments unwilling to say they got help from outside law enforcement.

Three years passed and I still hoped the Department would pursue the case properly. When the Sheriff went public with that stupid reworked composite (memories do NOT improve after eight years) and claimed this man KNEW what happened, I also KNEW the Department failed any proper followup and that is when I went public.

Anyone with a brain can see that the Department did not handle this case properly with the evidence I have shared that, as your honest Sheriff states, I read on the Internet. Noel Lee SHOULD have been properly investigated whether it turns out he had anything to do with these homicides or not because that is the way a proper investigation is done. Simple facts like the tickets Lee claims to have been picking up do not appear on the evidence list and the Sheriff's Department never pursued that lead. Either Noel Lee is lying about the tickets' existence or he took them from the scene which is a crime in itself and very bizarre behavior, along with going to the event that you were supposed to attend with your dead "best" friends just a day later.

Your anger should be with a Sheriff and a department who have failed to serve their citizens properly, not with two people who are trying to help the families and justice. But, maybe you just aren't interested in justice at all.

MaryK said...

Kudos to you Pat. I enjoy reading your blog immensely. I think it is wonderful that you are speaking up. I was stunned to hear the 911 call and immediately could not believe how calm the caller was nor his use of the word "apparently" in saying "apparently they've been shot". No way would an uninvolved person say that! I would have yelled "They've been shot!!! Send help!".

Anonymous said...

Hearing the 911 caller, does anyone hear the plea for "emergency" >NO > Signs of deception!. Because the 911 caller already knew it was not an emergency > all 4 were dead. As he reported they are all apparently dead" Also, he had already been inside (even though the killer could still be in shop) and made the determination no Emergency was needed, as they were all laying in a pool of blood!

His whole demeanor was that of a complete idiot, Guilty or not where was his thinking. (In his pants thinking with his little head? As he was told by his girlfriend >don't leave the scene someone might have noticed him and - or- I had to see if others are inside as well! And placed the call from inside of using his cell phone that he had on him! Who shows this kind of behavior> Narcissistic, Psychotic or complete idiots >they do nothing wrong anyway!

Where and what the hell was a detective thinking! This should have been there number one suspect.

OH, and the last known person in the shop and seen them alive gave a composite drawing (Via Telephone call with an artist) that he was not happy about and 8 years later the new Sheriff has another composite drawing done. WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING when he reported "OH this is going to be our man of interest"

Eight (8) long and struggling years for the families to deal with why and who did this crime and it takes a criminal profiler to open the can of worms and give details of how the Sheriffs department has failed this case. And Sheriff Wright denies that the profiler had access and was reading all this off the Internet> Who the hell in the sheriffs department would have put findings on the internet ?

Yes we are all aware of Sheriff Wright inheriting this case, (he reminds everyone of that quit often) but he has showed lack of consideration to everyone through his own failures. Once he became aware of neglect on this case he should have done everything within his powers to correct and follow with any and all leads>first for failure to interrogate Noel Lee and witness that gave a shandy composite.

Now for Sheriff Wright to state a professional profiler don't know what she is talking about, just looking for a fame :(

If and when the public becomes aware of the latest allegations and the Sheriffs department (2 Sheriffs) to accurately investigate/interrogate the two prime suspects in a timely manner it is not going to be good. Someone mentioned Damage Control> nope time for change.

I am sure Sheriff Wright was made aware when he took office of how things had been squashed on this case. But, while on his tenure he and now detective Wm. Gary has not made any progress, in fact it is a "cold case".

Sheriff Wright ran on a platform to catch criminals and prosecute to the fullest. The department is catching thief's and drug addicts everyday, but there is to many cold cases involving severe violent crimes and need more man power. This is Sptbg Counties first and only quadruple homicide and 8 years later know closer in solving!

Now Sheriff Wright was recently promoted (based on his running the Sheriffs Dept. within budget limits) to being the Warden for the County Jail with a hugh salary increase and an over crowed jail. Did he not have enough responsibility at Sheriff trying manage a large staff of employees, trying to solve crimes that county council added more all for the sack of the almighty dollar. "Money Talks and Bullshit walks"

Sheriff Wright talked the talk for awhile!
Who Governs the Sheriffs Department anyway!

He has been asked many many times to invite the FBI/SLED and get this case solved. Is there corruption so bad in the dept. that he found (and has turned blind) that he don't want to bring it to life or what.

Sheriff Wright needs to be held accountably for his and his employees actions regarding the failure and neglect of properly handling this case. Back off and let a real profession do your job!