I went around and around about posting this, because I was worried about
spoiling the broth boring my readers. But I think this is worth noting.
Over the weekend, David Hanners, the Dallas Morning News reporter who did the early coverage of the Cook case, posted a long comment in response to Michael Hall’s post, “What the ‘Tyler Morning Telegraph’ Failed to Tell You about Kerry Max Cook”. The Texas Monthly blog promoted that comment to a full post (in the process cleaning up the formatting so it is more readable): that post is here.
Summarizing, Hanners also has issues with the daily paper’s coverage of the case, and doesn’t believe Cook is guilty.
I am probably one of the few people who has gone into Mr. Cook’s case with objective eyes. When I began looking into it, I wasn’t out to prove him guilty or innocent; frankly, I didn’t care. My reason for looking into his case was to try and answer a very simple question involving the administration of justice: Why did it take the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals nearly eight years to rule in his initial appeal?
Hanners also mentions a couple of things about the police investigation that I didn’t know, and are frankly shocking. The police apparently did not interview the victim’s co-workers until they complained, then “the detectives went out to the school and basically waited for people to come to them—in full view of Mr. Mayfield. [the other suspect in the case -DB]”
Then there’s the missing stocking. Police initially found just one sock at the crime scene. The prosecution claimed that the killer mutilated Linda Edwards body, and took body parts away from the crime scene in one of her stockings. Apparently, there were no body parts taken…
When the jurors in the first retrial had the trial exhibits back in the jury room, they opened the sealed evidence bag containing Ms. Edwards’ jeans, pulled them out and held them up. The “missing” stocking dropped out. The cops couldn’t even find a stocking in a pant leg.
And, now that there’s DNA pointing to someone else…
I clearly remember David Dobbs, the prosecutor handling the retrials, telling me prior to the testing that they were excited about the prospects of a test because the semen sample “could only have been left by the killer.” Those were his exact words to me, and I remember him saying it as if it were yesterday. So then the sample is sent away for testing, the deal with Mr. Cook is offered and accepted—and then the results come back showing the semen belonged to someone other than Mr. Cook. Suddenly, the prosecution’s story changes. Now they say, “Well, of course it was somebody else. But Mr. Cook is still the killer.”