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Take me back to that deal. The car's been found, but the girls are nowhere to be found. We just needed to find them. What are you most fearing at this moment? I know something's wrong.


It was at that convenience store. It was the last those girls were ever seen.


He came in and he said, carol, we found them. He said, they're both dead. Carol was found. But what went through your heart? We didn't know what to do. The murders of Tracy Hollett and JB Beasley.


Both of them were shot. Executions out. Their hands were trying to cover their face. The only homicide that I ever turned around and had to walk off.


What did you make of that? You saw them here lost, and then you hear that they've been gunned down. It was devastating. People were scared. But this happened to anyone else's teenager.


Did you have a serial killer? Don't know.


16 years after the girl's murders, there's an explosive new tip.


You probably can provide information to that. Correct? And pretty much all hell breaks loose.


From that point on, they were just normal girls. And they left the house for an hour and a half, and they were murdered.


It was a hazy morning back on August 1, 1999, here in Ozark, Alabama. A paper boy out on his route says he recalls a black mazda parked here along the side of the road. Little does he know that this street, that car, and the two girls riding in it would make front page news for years to come. Ozark, Alabama, is a small, sleepy town. Its population is about 14 to 15,000. It's located in what is known as the Wiregrass region, is composed of western.


Georgia, eastern Alabama, and northwestern Florida.


We call it the wiregrass because of the particular grass that grows here. It looks like wire. It's very briar. It sprouts. It's through this little southern town that 217 year old girls, Tracy Hollett and JB Beasley, just days away from beginning their senior year of high school, are driving late one night. JB was funny, charismatic, incredibly talented dancer. Traci was a majorette. She had a 4.0 GPA. She was a Sunday school teacher.


Tracy, I hate to use the terminology like you're all american girl, but she just was.


Tracy was very inquisitive, happy. Never met a stranger. You were a widow when she was young. It was just the two. Her dad was killed when she was four years old. Almost three years later, I got remarried, and she and Mike just hit it off, you know, from day one, you go on to have two other children, two boys. How did everybody get along? Wonderful. She'd do anything for them. And then there's 17 year old JB Beasley. JB was just busy. I mean, busy, always in a dance class or cheerleading, practicing a game. JB started dancing with me at the age of 13. It was so clear that she belonged on the stage in the professional world of dance. After a falling out with her mother in the fall of 1998, JB moves in with her dance teacher, who eventually becomes her guardian. Having her was a dream come true, because I didn't think I would ever have children. We cooked together, went shopping together. Anytime JB could be at the mall, she was at the mall.


Saturday night. Tracy was working at JCPenney. She had her shift until 09:00 p.m.. JB was off that day. It was her 17th birthday.


JB wanted to know if Tracy could go with her to a birthday party. And I said, tracy's curfew is 1130, and I don't bend on her curfew. And she said, oh, we'll be back by then. This was a monumental birthday. 17. That's your last year of the real teen. Teen years, you know, before college and all of those things she was celebrating. JB decides she wants to spend her birthday at Tracy's. They're gonna have a sleepover, and they're gonna go the next day to church together. JB did have her own car. It was a gift from her father. It was a black Mazda 929 that she loved, and JB kept that car spotless.


JB picked up Tracy around 09:00 p.m. They went back to her house to change, and they were going to go to a field party.


A field party is a bunch of teens, their cars, and a bonfire. It's a place for teens to hang out and laugh and have fun.


They don't make it to that party. They get a bit lost. They turn off into the wrong field.


Those country roads are not well lit, so it's not surprising that they were lost. The girls eventually pull over to a gas station in Ozark, and they speak to a woman in the parking lot who gives them directions back home.


They ask for directions back to the US 231. You take a right out of the parking lot, and then you take a left onto us 231. The directions couldn't have been simpler. Gps or no, it's a little bit past 1130. Tracy's curfew is 1130. She calls her mother.


I had just got home about 1130, and the phone rang at 1135 and it was Tracy. And she said, mom, we're in Ozark. And I said, tracy, ozark? She said, yeah, mom, we took a wrong turn. We never found the party. We're on our way home now. So that was it. And that night was a bust. And as far as you knew, they were on their way back home. She said, we've got directions. She didn't talk like anything was wrong, you know, there wasn't any fear or anything in her voice. We said, we love you, you know, to each other. And I went on to bed about 1230.


That phone call with Tracy's mom was the last anybody was able to talk to either of those girls.


I woke up about between 430 and five, and the kitchen light over the stove was still on. So I got up, and Tracy and JB wasn't there. Was that unusual for her? Oh, gosh. And the phone hadn't rang anymore. You know, she hadn't called to say we were going to be later.


Some other worst nightmare. Tracy and JB should be sleeping in the living room. They're not there. She wakes up. Her husband, Mike. Mike immediately gets in his car. He drives to Ozark because that's the last place she was when they heard from her. Doesn't see them.


Was looking in the ditches to see if maybe they'd had an accident. And you were here? Yeah, I was still at the house. And I called both hospitals, called the state trooper office. Tracy's mom calls the police, who put out an alert to be on the lookout for JB's car. Was awakened with a phone call from Carol, asking if I knew where the girls were. I knew in my gut that if they were supposed to be home at a certain time, they would have been there. What are you most fearing at this moment? I know something's wrong. This had never happened. Maybe mother's intuition or. Or whatever. I knew something else was keeping Tracy from getting in touch with me. Nobody in this Alabama town, not even the paper boy who passed what appeared to be an abandoned car on a quiet street, could imagine what's about to come. I would watch lifetime movies, and I would see things like this. And then all of a sudden, it's me. And then an eyewitness comes forward, somebody who actually saw the girls that night at the gas station. How much do you think about that night?


Dothan is a busy, bustling hub in southeast Alabama. The city of Dothan, Alabama, is just 30 minutes down the road from its much smaller rural neighbor, Ozark. But Tracy Hollett made that phone call.


To her mom, Dothan is contemporary southern highway city. It's about 70,000 people.


We're very proud to be the peanut capital of the world, and that is celebrated every October with the Dothan peanut festival.


In Dothan. The peanut is a big deal. It is the big cash crop of the area. If you drive around town, you'll see they have a lot of peanut statues. Dothan for being a big city, it has a small town feel, and everyone gossips. Everybody goes to church together. Everybody knows your grandmother's banana pudding recipe.


And it's here where Tracy Hollett and JB Beasley meet. By junior year, they're fast friends. They had a beautiful friendship. They loved just driving around, listening to Britney Spears. JB loved fix people up. You could hear Tracy saying, that's too much lipstick. And JB would say, no, no, it's perfect. Be still. I'm trying to put your eyeliner on. And I would be in the living room dying, laughing. Like so many of the local kids in the 1990s, JB Beasley and Tracy Hollett hung out here at the Wiregrass Commons mall. Tracy worked at the JC Penney, and JB was a frequent shopper until one summer night, just miles away from this familiar place, when the girl's story would take an unthinkable turn.


Early that morning, Delta police Department put out the Bolo for the car and the two girls. Within a couple of hours, one of the patrol officers in Ozark actually spots the car, runs the tag, and shows that it is, in fact, the vehicle that they were looking for.


And they said, well, the car has been found. The car is not locked. In fact, the driver's side window was down. And they said, but the girls are nowhere to be found. You must have been frantic. It was very tough.


Their purses are there. Their wallets are there. Tracy's keys are there. The money's in the wallet. There's no sign of theft. Very odd. There didn't appear to be any struggle. There was nothing out of the ordinary. In other words, it's like they just walked away from the car.


JB's car was found on Herring Avenue, not far from the last place where Tracy had called her mother.


There are a lot of houses around there, but right where they parked, it was a short street. There were no houses right there. There was all woods.


Are there theories as to when they first find the car?


Do they know anybody around here? Number one, is there a store around here that they may have walked to? There's a hospital down the road. Could they have walked down there?


Maybe the car broke down, and they just didn't think about it. They got a ride. That's really all we could do, was speculate. We just needed to find them.


The chain of command made the decision to do what they call close patrol. You keep a vehicle in the area until further notice. Close patrol continues for two or 3 hours, and the girls don't show back up. There's no sign of them. Nothing really happens until alton miller dothan police comes to the scene himself. He gets frustrated that there's no news yet.


Alton was real close friends with Tracy's dad. He says, carol, I've heard all about this, and I'm going up there. So he went to ozark and got a cop to take him to where it was.


He said, I just had a feeling when I hit the scene, you know? And Alton, I think, had been an investigator for a number of years, and he said, I just had a gut feeling something was off. He decided to pop the trunk after learning that it had not been popped yet. He just went a step further in, thinking, okay, I'm gonna pull the trunk and see if I can find anything that will link us to where they might have gone.


He said his wife had a monster. And he said, there's a trunk release in here. It was on the driver's side door.


I think it was to his surprise, as well as the other officers, that they were laying there in the trunk of both shots. Both of them were shot execution style. You could tell their hands were trying to cover their face, as if they knew that they were about to be shot to death. That crime scene that trump those two girls is the only homicide that I ever turned around and had to walk off. When you see that the innocence in a life that's just been snatched away, that's hard to swallow.


How did you get the word Alton? He was the one that told me. He came in, and he said, carol, we found them. He said, they're both dead. I thought it was a dream. You know, I thought, well, surely I'll. You know, this is a dream, and I'll wake up in a minute. But Mike got back, and he and I just held each other and cried. You know, we didn't know what to do.


We have two victims that are in the trunk of a car, killed in a horrific style. We know that we need to find answers.


Investigators head to that gas station where Tracy made the phone call to her mother, and it's there where they find surveillance video and a tantalizing lead in.


This case, the white truck pulled up at the pumps. We knew the girls were here at that time. That white truck was there. The search was on for this white truck. All right, we are rolling.


My name is Deborah Pearson. I am the news director here at WOlff FM.


WOLF FM News with Deborah Pearson.


Good morning, Wolf news. Time is 1150 in the news this hour. I've been telling the stories of the people of the wiregrass for the last 31 years. I was paged by my news director that there was a story brewing in the Ozark area. So I went up that morning for the press conference. Everyone was there, all local tv and radio stations.


From evidence that we gathered in the preliminary investigations, both victims were shot after they were placed under Trump.


You're just blown away. It's not a big crime city or a big crime area. So for something of this magnitude to happen, it was just unbelievable. Take me back to that day, August 1, 1999. There's a black car parked here. What condition are the girls in?


Both were faced up. One head was on one end of the car, the other head was on the other end of the car. They were laying side by side. We found one shell casing laying on top of one of the girls, which really gave me the idea that they were shot while they were in the trunk. At first glance, their clothes, from about mid thigh down, was wet and muddy. There was mud on the backside of the car, like they had the mud on them and got into the trunk. JB's jeans in particular, are muddy. Her socks are wet, which told us that at some point during this encounter, that they were kneeling or down on the ground to get mud in some of the areas of leg. One of the things that was really fascinating was there was no mud around the area where the car was found. Right. It was solid ground. We completely combed this area for the second shell case and to see if the shooting took place here. I noticed that there was blood dripping out from under the car. So when I looked up under, you could see where the blood had blown back up under the car, which meant the vehicle was in motion after the girls were dead.


So they were shot someplace else, shot.


Somewhere else, and brought to this location.


Do you find a murder weapon?


No, ma'am, we did not.


Investigators believed that there was a secondary crime scene where the crime actually took place. They looked everywhere. They're looking at a baseball field close by. They're looking under a water tower where it was muddy. There was no evidence to be found.


So you had to start then running down leads upon leads upon leads upon leads and to officers credits. I mean, they did that. They were able to locate the big and little store where they discover that Tracy had made the phone call to her mother that night at 11:38 p.m. Right here where the ice box is.




Is where the phone was back then.


Did they have a surveillance camera inside the store?


There was a camera, but the camera was not a rolling camera. You got still shots, like, every 3 seconds. You can see a clip of a car that matches their car, and it's right in front of the door.


So you see evidence of them leaving at the same time the girl's car is captured on camera. There's another vehicle that catches the attention of investigators.


There was a white, appeared to be a Toyota pickup truck sitting at the gas pumps. You never see anybody get out of the truck, which was, you know, kind of odd. The police want to figure out who's driving this white pickup in rural Alabama. It's like asking who's wearing a Yankee cap in New York. I mean, everyone's driving a white pickup truck.


Did you suspect that? Could be somebody. Suspected?


Well, we didn't know. It looked promising in that they were there the same time the girls were there. Through different channels, they ended up finding the person that was there at the store. He said he had pulled up to the pumps with intentions of maybe getting some gas, but eventually drove off but didn't remember seeing the girls.


So the white truck turns out to be a dead end. But investigators do catch a break when eyewitnesses from the night the girls disappeared come forward. News four did talk with two women who last saw the girls while they were making their phone call home and trying to find their way back to Dothan. We stopped there for a soft drink. They started asking my daughter for directions. We tracked down that woman, Marilyn Merritt. Well, they explained that they were trying to find a birthday celebration. They never made it there, and then they needed directions to go back home. When you heard that these two girls were murdered, did you know right away those were the two girls that you had met? Yes. Because. Because my daughter, she remembered them? Yes.


We received a phone call from Miss Merritt, which is very significant in the fact that she's the only one at that point that remembered seeing them at the big little.


Was there anything unusual about them? No. Did they seem distressed? No, except for concerned about, you know, making it home. It was really dark. And back in 1999, Marilyn's daughter tells the local news about an eerie feeling she had that night. While we were there. It was really dark, and I happened to glance over behind the building where the railroad tracks were, and I had this thought in the back of my mind about who could be possibly lurking around. Did you leave first or did the girls leave first? We left first. So when they were here, did you see them interact with anybody else? Did they seem to be meeting anybody here? No, they seem to be on their way home. If I were able to do it over again, I would have stayed there until they finished their phone call and followed them out to 231 at least, and made sure that they were on the right track. Funeral services have been set for the two young girls. Tracy Hollett's services will be tomorrow. Services for JB Beasley will be on Friday. You had to prepare for funeral. How do you do that for your baby girl?


We just went through the motions. And then it's after it's over, and then it's me and Mike and the boys there. And that's when reality hits. That's when you notice the void. You go out and Tracy's car is still in the driveway and you know Tracy's not there. You got two little boys here, eight and ten. You have to try and explain why they don't have a sister anymore. I ordered daisies, loads and loads of daisies to put outside the front of the church for everybody to take one. I didn't stay to see them put her in the ground because it was unnatural. I can't imagine anything worse for a parent than to lose a child like this. They had everything going for them. And then the next day, they're gone. It's more than I could comprehend. The families are grappling with their heartbreaking loss, and detectives are digging away. Then, out of the blue, what appears to be a promising witness enters the picture.


What's the first thing out of his mouth when he saw them? Girl, he said, I'm going to go talk to this girl. Real time. Welcome, mystery enthusiasts. If you're a fan of uncovering hidden clues and solving mind bending mysteries, then you're in for a treat with June's journey. The thrilling detective game set in the mesmerizing world of the roaring twenties. Dive into the glamor and intrigue as you engage your sense of observation to find hidden objects. From the parlors of New York to the sidewalks of Paris, each chapter unravels a collection of dazzling hidden object spectacles, testing your detective skills to the limit. Go deep into the mysteries of June's journey, navigating through intriguing chapters. The thrill of solving each puzzle will keep you coming back for more. The storytelling is absolutely captivating. You'll be hooked from the first chapter, whether it's during your commute or a cozy evening at home. June's journey is your new go to game. Make sure you've got that Internet connection ready for an uninterrupted detective experience. Discover your inner detective when you download June's journey for free today on iOS and Android.


Some folks don't stop searching till they find the truth. If you've got a detective's eye, June's journey is the game for you. Play as June Parker in a gripping murder mystery. As you find hidden objects to help solve her sister's death, you'll hunt for clues in hundreds of beautifully illustrated scenes set in the roaring twenties. New chapters are added weekly. Find your first clue by downloading June's journey today, available on Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as on PC through Facebook games. Well, today was the first day of classes at Northview High School, the first day of school. Following this past weekend's tragic turn of.


Events, there were two notable absentee on everyone mind. The tragic shooting death of two seniors has school officials preparing to help other students deal with their grief. That first week is just the week from hell. It's supposed to be the beginning of senior year. Big day for everyone. Instead, they have a week where Dothan police comes in. They give everyone questionnaires about what they're doing that weekend. Then you have visitation funeral, JBL visitation funeral, Tracy, I mean, it doesn't get any worse than that.


Their friends were shocked, absolutely shocked and terrified. Parents were afraid if this could happen to JB and Tracy, this could happen to my children. This could happen to anybody. Everybody's thinking there's some predator out there. Yeah, people were scared to let their kids go out. I mean, I was so scared, I wouldn't even stop and get a paper at night.


The community was. Things changed. Kids didn't go anywhere by themselves for a while. I mean, they were always in pairs or more.


People are really upset. They are not going to feel safe until this perpetrator has been caught.


You really don't know what you've got. I mean, did you have a serial killer? Don't know.


I think parents held their kids a whole lot closer because nothing like this had ever happened in Dothan, Alabama.


This was really a multi agency deal from the start. We had the Alabama State Bureau of Investigations. You had Dothan PD. You had Dale County Sheriff's Department, Ozark PD, the FBI. At some point in time was involved. After the crime agencies did establish a tip line. Somebody's got to be there to intake reports and to listen to people walking through the door saying, hey, I heard this, or I heard that. I heard a guy say he knows what happened. That's one of the most powerful sources of information is the public. As the days went on and that there was nobody arrested or identified as a suspect, that's when there was very much community engagement posters put around all over town.


Investigators are hoping these people, pictures of the girls and their car might make someone somewhere remember something.


They were working day in and day out trying to find solutions there. They had a lot of help and a lot of eyes and hands on board.


Was that important to you to go out and talk to the media? Very much so. There was a lot of times, you know, we didn't really want to.


The parents, one of the murder teenagers, made an impassioned plea for justice this afternoon.


Come forward if you have any information. If you know anything, you know that we might help us in this so that Tracy and JB can rest in peace. You know, it's not about me. Never been about me. It's about Tracy. In the weeks since the murders of Tracy Hollett and JB Beasley, investigators have searched herring Avenue and anywhere else they can.


I really don't feel there is a road in Dale county that we have not driven down. We were getting tired, just mentally. It was 12 hours a day, 14, 15 hours a day, seven days a week.


Desperate for Leeds, a reward fund is set up, and donations roll in from the Alabama governor's office and the community.


At one point, it got to around $50,000, you know, for this year. It's a lot of money. It's a lot of money for any area, but especially around here.


The first break in, this was September 1, about a month or so after the girls were found murdered. Police talked to Johnny Barentine, a part time mechanic in the area. He had made a late night trip to a store the night of the murders and claims to have seen something that might be relevant to the case.


I'm gonna let you just talk in sequential order.


This video of Barentine's police interview is grainy and hard to hear. It goes on for nearly 4 hours.


You came up here as a witness in this case. You probably can provide information to us. Is that correct? Yes. It starts off, I was just going out for milk. He says that he was hit by a black pickup truck at the crime scene around 11:00 p.m.. Then it becomes, well, maybe I saw the girls in the parking lot.


Some of the details in Baron Tyne's story just aren't adding up. So investigators keep pressing and his story changes.


All I know is I picked somebody up. I can't exactly remember who. Did he carjack you or you got you letting me. Involuntary. He just asked for a ride. And then where he wanted to go. He wanted to go to the store. When he got to the store, what's the first thing out of his mouth when he saw them?




They said, I'm going to talk to these girls.


Jonny Barantine says the man gets in the backseat of JB's car, telling the girls he'd show them a shortcut to the highway. Barentine tells police he follows in his car until they come to a stop, then says he witnesses a violent confrontation.


I heard girl saying something to him that pissed him off. He pissed her hollering, what are we doing in the woods? I thought he was going to silver. Correct. Okay. He puts both of them in the trunk. Hear the two shots? Does he slam the trunk and jump in your car somehow? No. As he shuts the trunk, then he comes to the car. So let's go. So now I got a guy, he's told me this story. He's put himself there. He witnessed the murders. He didn't try to stop the guy. The DA at the time said he watched it happen. He's an accessory. I can't let him walk out of here. Ain't no arrest for two counts of capital murder, Tracy. What? He says, his claims in the interrogation, it's a ride. They elicit a confession that he was at the crime scene. I think it's reasonable to ask if this was a real confession. It was quite obvious to me. It just wasn't ringing true in my mind. I'm thinking, you're so full of crap. He was so vague about so many key points. I mean, if you were there, you're gonna be a lot more detailed than what this guy was being, but we gotta look into it.


So investigators look for the man Barentine said was actually responsible for the murders. But with the details he's given, they have no luck finding a suspect.


We spent weeks and weeks going through everything, and it just wasn't true.


The community's reaction was they weren't sure. People in Ozark who knew Johnny Barantine felt like he could not have done anything like this. He's lived in Ozark for almost all his life. They don't know nothing. About this man. It's not right. You've got to know this person. He's a very good man. He's got a two and a half year old son. He's not capable of doing this to no 17 year old girl. As Johnny Berentine prepares to face a grand jury, a bombshell announcement. It was shocking to find out that there was a piece of the puzzle that we did not have. It's the lead investigators have been waiting for. But it raises serious questions about the man they've got behind bars. Police have arrested Johnny Barantyne in connection with JB and Traci's murders. And as he prepares to go in front of a grand jury, suddenly, a stunning development. JB and Tracy's clothing, sent to Alabama's department of forensic science for testing, now offer a crucial clue.


They find semen on JB's sweater, on JB's bra, on JB's underwear, but there's.


Nothing found on Tracy. Johnny Berentine was awaiting trial when they discovered the DNA. And they said, will you submit a DNA test? And he said, absolutely.


Of course. It comes back, no, not a match on anything.


There was a lot of pressure for Ozark police to get this solved. The community wanted this solved. Baron Tyne is released, cleared of any involvement in the murders. Authorities say he appeared to make up the story, hoping to claim the reward money. It was shocking to find out that there was DNA left on JB, but also a piece of the puzzle that gave me a little more hope of finding who did this. There's DNA found on JB Beasley's clothes. How critical was that?


Yeah, absolutely critical. Not only DNA was found, but it was semen. We believe, in fact, that it was a rape and murder that took place. The DNA becomes this benchmark. Now we basically have a person, a DNA profile of who committed these murders. Once they collect the DNA and they enter it into CODIS, and then it's ran against any individual who has been incarcerated before. Nothing comes to fruition as far as a suspect. Over the years, they test probably 100 people. If it's not a match, they just let them go.


When the murder's not initially solved, the community became frustrated. They were frustrated because there was still no answers. People have a lot of questions about the initial investigation, like why did it take officers nearly 5 hours to open the trunk of the car? Some say that was critical. Time lost.


Look at it this way. We learn through trial and error, you know, we evolve as even law enforcement, you know, that's a thing going in Ozark. Now, if you find a vehicle abandoned, what's the first thing you gonna check? There are legitimate criticisms of how the police handled the crime scene. The police don't keep a log of who's entered and exited the crime scene. They didn't wear gloves, so they contaminated the crime scene.


Is that a valid criticism? I mean, could there have been some contamination? That would make it very difficult to pinpoint a suspect.


They may not have gloves on. There's a lot of things that could possibly happen. Did anything happen that we felt like contaminated the scene? No, absolutely not.


With leads drying up, the families know they've got to keep the case in the spotlight. And for that, they turned to the national media. In 2001, Cheryl, JB's mother, went on Maury Povich to tell her story.


JB's mother, Cheryl, is with us today, and I want to go get her. I think she's backstage.


You could tell. I just wanted to cling and hang on him, you know, like, you know what I'm feeling and you just hurt, that's all.


You know, America's most wanted. We were glad to get on the program because, you know, it's nationwide. You never know what somebody might have heard, you know, anything about the murders of Tracy Hollett and JB Beasley. Do the right thing. Please call 1800 crime tv tonight.


And investigators in the case are also getting creative, hoping to come up with some fresh leads. At some point, they have you meet with a hypnotist. Yes. Just think about relaxing every muscle in your body.


Hypnosis. You can maybe get a little more detail than what you got before. Something that may be resting in their.


Subconscious drift and flanked to a deeper level. Now, there's a calendar in front of you showing 1999.


It didn't reveal anything that came fruition as far as extra leads.


So you go for years and nothing has happened. Both of my boys would ask us something, and then it was always in the back of their mind. You know, they watch tv shows, and in that hour of this tv show, somebody's always caught. They didn't understand that. I mean, and the years just started piling up.


Was never a situation where investigators were sitting on their hands. They usually were running down leads, but the leads led to dead end or nowhere.


There was no information. There was nothing other than the memorials that were taking place. I don't see how people could do this and have a conscience and go to sleep at night. You know, I keep praying every day that the Lord will just make it impossible form to sleep I've never wanted them to be forgotten. That's why we would get out here every year, no matter what the weather was, we'd be up there at those crosses. You had to keep it alive so people wouldn't forget. There was still somebody out there want.


To make contact with Renee Crumb in regards to the Beasley Holland cold case.


And then in 20, 1516 years after the girl's murders, there's an explosive new tip. I do know, sir.


She simply said that a former police officer had confessed to killing these girls.


He said that he screwed up, never should have killed her.


And pretty much all hell breaks loose from that point on.


And a DNA discovery heats up this cold case.


And now to a cold case that's possibly been cracked.


We had whited all this time, and all of a sudden, we have a hit. We've got the exclusive view behind the table every day right after the show, while the topics are still hot, the ladies go deeper into the moments that make the view the view. The views behind the table podcast. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm Andy Mitchell, a New York Times bestselling author. And I'm Sabrina Kohlberg, a morning television producer. We're moms of toddlers and best friends of 20 years, and we both love to talk about being parents, yes, but also pop culture. So we're combining our two interests by talking to celebrities, writers, and fellow scholars of tv and movies, cinema, really, about what we all can learn from the fictional moms we love to watch from ABC audio and Good Morning America. Pop culture moms is out now, wherever you listen to pop podcasts. When I heard JB and Tracy were shot execution stout, that was like a whole nother level of evil. Whoever did this is still out there.


Let's get some names on a sheet, and let's get back to work.


He said that he screwed up. He was gonna lose his baby. He never should have killed her.


It was huge. When you have rumors that members of their police force were potentially involved, what.


These rumors do is it reinvigorated law enforcement to start working on the case again?


A savage individual.


Intentionally kidnapped these juveniles.


And you put lead on me.


Were you worried that this black man, your husband, is being accused of murdering two white teenage girls? Yes. It's a setup.


A lot of locals thought, this is a black man who's been railroaded by the police. This is to kill a Mockingbird 2.0.


Is it plausible that he could have connected with this girl that night, had sex with her? She turns up dead hours later. He had nothing to do with it.


Not guilty.


That is not. That's not Coley. This is not happening. Maybe you were living with somebody you just didn't know.


Two teenagers left Dothan to go to a birthday party, but never reached their destination.


The police are working desperately to find who killed Tracy Hollett and JB Beasley.


You got 17 year old girls. They were shot and killed in horrific style. Jamie plans to get a business degree and then opened her own dance studio.


They had everything going for them in one day, and then the next day, they're gone. You're just blown away. How could this happen? Who did this?


They find semen on JB's sweater, on JB's underwear.


The DNA match was key, but nothing turned up. There were no leads. There was no information, and that just every lead went to a dead end. There was still somebody out there. With each passing anniversary, this roadside memorial filled with flowers, angels notes for the girls, seems to grow, and so do rumors about who's responsible. But one rumor is about to hit the wiregrass like wildfire. In 2015, a blogger posted a story of someone who claims to know who killed JB Beasley and Tracy Hollett. The person making the allegations published on that blog is a woman named Renee Crum, who's wrongly identified as a police officer.


Renee Crum is from Ozark. From a young age, she always had aspirations to be an officer. Renee Crumb's story is that she heard a confession from a former officer at a party.


It's a story that Renee tells police and will later be captured on this police body camera video.


So how did your name even, I guess, get brought up in all this?


I don't know, sir. Renee says she was at a party one night with the officer in question when he made the startling admission. He drank his cooter brown under his mouth, said he done it. He said that he screwed up. He was going to lose his baby. He never should have killed her. Everybody kept him, man. Don't worry. We got your back. Don't worry about it. Who in the world would know this and have that type of information and not say anything for years? He said, you open your job. I believed him. But then, you know, I got a guilty conscience. It was the anniversary of their deaths, and, you know, he's all over Facebook.


There just became this element of, well, it has to be a cover up or they would have already solved it. People just were like, oh, okay, well, that makes sense. Cause I've always thought it was a police officer. It was huge when you have the agency leading the investigation with rumors that members of their police force were potentially involved, because, as you can imagine, small town rumors proliferate.


But there are a lot of questions about these allegations, including why would the girls be targeted by a police officer? Well, on that body camera, Renee tells the investigators she has an answer for that, too.


He didn't say why he did it or how he did it.


They were dating, and she pissed him.


Off after reading JB's diaries. I mean, there's no, hey, by the way, I'm seeing this cop in Ozark or, you know, I mean, none of her friends had heard anything about her, been in a relationship with some cop in Ozark or anything like that. We specifically went to several different Ozark officers residences and got detailed statements about that night. Any involvement, any knowledge of the girls, DNA, prints, everything, all of them were run down. There was nothing, evidentiary wise, nothing.


Investigators say they never found any evidence that JB ever dated a police officer, and they say there has never been evidence to suggest that anyone in the Ozark Police department was involved in any kind of COVID up. We got tired of the rumors, you know, that's what it was, was rumors. If you don't have anything concrete, you know, then don't say it, especially not to us. Whoever did this is still out there. The former officers named in that blog post deny any involvement in JB and Traci's murders or a cover up, and they file a defamation lawsuit against Renee Croix and the author of that post. After the blogger declares bankruptcy, the lawsuit is eventually dropped. What these rumors do is it reinvigorated law enforcement to start working on the case again.


It was a hot topic, and everybody wanted to see something happen with that case. I always felt like we were going to solve the case. That was the thing that helped us drive forward and keep going. I became involved in the case in 2017. At the time, our chief, Morris Walker, created another task force to look into it.


Detectives are also looking for any scientific breakthrough that might help push their investigation forward, and they get one.


Law enforcement now identifying 72 year old Joseph James DeAngelo as the Golden State killer. So I was sitting at home on a Sunday, and they started talking about the case in California with the Golden State killer. They say cutting edge DNA testing allowed them to make a match. So I thought to myself, I'm like, this information would be great. And so that following week, I started making some phone calls just to get information, to know how we would go about doing some of this, he decides to employ genetic genealogy to create a family tree from the sample and try to find the donor that way. Our hopes were that we could come up with a block of names. Let's get some names on a sheet. Let's get back to work.


Five months later, in 2019, Chief Walker gets a report back with a list of names that could be linked to that DNA left on JB Beasley's clothes.


I remember seeing one name that stood out. I get a phone call back. They just asked me, was I sitting down?


And this is a match that takes everyone by surprise.


I was blown away. You had right away.


I was happy. Got my husband. I got my kids. You know, we're both working. Jeanette McCraney is living the life she'd always imagined in Alabama. Two accomplished children, a happy marriage of 18 years with her husband, Coley McCraney, a long haul truck driver. I'm thinking, all right, I'm living an american dream here. You know, my kids are growing up in church. They're seeing their mom and their dad do the right thing. It's a big year for the McCraneys. Coley, an ordained minister, is trying to start his own church. Their son is off at college, their daughter just honored at a debutante ball. I felt like we had everything together, you know, it was good. And then 2019. Yes, things change. Coley gets a phone call. Yes. He says, we need to go to Tozark. I need to see Marlos. I said, who's Marlos? He says, a guy I went to school with.


Marlis Walker is the chief of police in Ozark at the time. He decides to employ genetic genealogy to try to find the murderer from that.


DNA sample from 1999. Ozark police have zeroed in on a list of family names linked to that mystery donor, and there's one name that Chief Walker recognizes.


I was looking at the list, and when I saw the name McCraney, it stood out, because I knew of McCraney in my community. When we were in high school, he was fairly smart, and I remember him being an athlete. He played on a football team, and we would play basketball together.


Coley McCraney grew up in Ozark. He and Jeanette lived there early in their relationship before moving to Dothan. In Chief Walker's mind, getting a sample from his high school classmate might move the case forward and inch him closer to a possible suspect.


And I just told him I was looking into the case of JB and Tracy. He asked Coley to come in to look at the family tree. He asked Coley for a sample.


Was there any concern when you're going to the police department? No, none at all. Coley looked at me and he said, I have nothing to hide. I said, yeah, we got nothing to hide.


Chief Walker takes a DNA sample from Mister McCraney and then has to send that to our Alabama department of forensic Science. And they tested that DNA profile that we already had on file from 99. I get a phone call, the lab to ask me, was I sitting down? And they said, well, we don't have to look any further match to the DNA. And I was like, really? Now? I was blown away. Every once in a while, when you're fishing for a needle in a haystack, you find it. Coley's working. He's a truck driver. And then when he's on his way back home, he's arrested. Mister Chloe McCraney?


Yes, sir.


You do have the right to make a silence. Anything you say.


Can we have this referral law? I start calling him. No answer. A couple hours go by, and my phone rings. And he says, is this Mister McCraney's wife? I said, has Coley been an accident? And he says, no. And I was like, okay, is he in trouble or something? I mean, I'm confused. He said, yeah, he's in big trouble.


They bring Coley in, and they take him to an interrogation room.


My name is Lieutenant Bryan.


They ask if he knows the girls. Oh, he told you about the girls, right? Yes. It's the girls that were murdered, right? Yes. And he says he doesn't know them. You ever seen them? Met them? No, sir. We basically been conducting surveillance on you ever since you came in and consented, given your DNA sample. Do you remember that? Uh huh. Why me? Well, I think you know why. Mister McGrady, talk to me. Your DNA is a match. Where we're at now, Crossroads is finding out from you what happened. Find out from you? Do you want the evidence to speak for itself, or do you want to speak for the evidence? Okay, Mister Buckra. You serious? Yes, sir.


Coley says he thought he was simply helping out with an investigation. And now police say his DNA from when he was 25 was found on JB Beasley, one of the murdered girls.


I can tell you are nervous as I'll get out right now. Should not be. I got handcuffs on. What I want to know from you, just like everybody wants to know, Coley, is how it happened and exactly where's why it happened. Where's the lawyer? There's no lawyer here. Let me explain. There's no lawyer can change any facts of the case. Okay, where do you. We haven't called a lawyer. Coley never admits to the murder. They put photos down of his family. Crime scene photos. Girls, Coley. So we're not going to lose a lawyer? We can do a lawyer if you want. A lawyer? Absolutely. A savage individual intentionally kidnapped these girls, these juveniles. Viciously raped one of these juveniles. And then intentionally, premeditatedly executed both of these girls. I'm telling you what's going on. And you putting that on me. Coley, you're the only one who can give the truth. So where are I going to hear from you? Where are they? Right here. The lawyer. So you want your lawyer? Yes.


He appeared to be recognizing that he should have an attorney.


That can be open to interpretation by people. That's why it needs to be unequivocal that he's asking for an attorney.


He stays in the room all night. Is that typical? Do you hold people in a room this size for that long?


We don't. But it's also not typical to have two girls that are murdered of this magnitude. And left in the trunk of a car as well, though, Miss McCraney.


I walk in, they have Coley sitting in a chair, and he's crying. Coley kind of grabbed me. And when he grabbed me.




I'm sorry. When he grabbed me, he was crying. I wiped his face and I said, no. I said, nobody gets this tired of you. How did the kids react? It's a moment I never forget. Desmond fell to the floor. I'm sorry. As he was crying, Alicia said, at 16 years old, she said, I will not cry over this. She said, and y'all stop crying. We know who our dad is.


Testing. One, two, three. Testing.


The community was divided. You had two sides. He couldn't have possibly done it. The other side. DNA doesn't lie.


A lot of locals thought, this is a black man who's been railroaded by the police. This is to kill Mockingbird 2.0.


Were you worried that this black man, your husband. Is being accused of murdering two white teenage girls? Yes. And the first thing I said was set up. That's it. It's a setup. I proclaim my husband's innocence, and I am here to be his voice. It's kind of like the world stopped. That's not cold. This is not happening.


This is a special report from WDHN News. Ozark police believe they have the man who murdered Tracy Hollett and JB Beasley. This was one of the biggest cases in our state, and now to a cold case that's possibly been cracked with the help of DNA evidence. And we had tons of media outlets, from newspapers to tv to radio. On March 15, 2019, investigators located and arrested Coley McCraney.


Marlowe's told me we've arrested somebody. The DNA was 100% match. You know, we're just dumbfounding. That moment was surreal. You resolve yourself that you're never going to know something, and then you do probably, you know, another thousand questions popped up in my head.


To the family, let me say this. You hear this report referred to as a Cole case. What I hope you recognize today is it was an open case, and on, because it wasn't simply about convicting Coley McCrane. It was being able to tell the story of what happened and to refute the rumors about what didn't.


To prosecutors, the DNA match is key. But they've also learned that back in 1999, the McCraney's lived less than a mile from where JB's. And when he denies ever knowing or coming into contact with the girls during his interview with police, investigators say the DNA is proof that he's lying. Coley McCraney was charged with capital murder and rape. He was a total surprise. The hundreds and hundreds of leads in the case, not one of them had Coley McRaney's name. I personally was taken aback. I knew Coley McCraney's son and his wife. He was a minister in the town, so it was shocking. He's just always extremely involved. I mean, if there was a school function, he was there. If there was a sporting event, he was there. I just remembered it just being so surreal.


There was a lot of doubt in the community. A lot of locals thought, here's another black man being set up by the police. Through the course of the 20 years, you dealt with so many different things that people were saying about the case. So this was another one in their mind where you had a black male and two white girls, and maybe they got it wrong. One thing that set a lot of people more confident in it was the DNA. People say, well, Mister McCraney was set up. Well, I mean, if you were going to set up somebody for a crime, this would not be the person that you would set up for the crime. Right?


McCraney uttered one brief statement when we asked what he had to say.


I'm not guilty.


Coley was charged initially with capital murder. That's a tough case.


It's a death penalty case.


When you hear that there's a DNA match in a case. Most people think it's case closed just.


Because this gentleman's DNA was on one of the ladies and did not make him guilty of murder. I had to see more.


And no murder weapon was ever found?




What connected him to the crime scene other than the DNA, not a thing. No doubt McCraney's DNA found on JB Beasley is a bad fact for the defense. Presenting evidence that somebody else might have killed the girls is now critical to their defense. Remember those unsubstantiated allegations about a former police officer admitting to the murders? Well, they're about to take center stage again in court.


Miss Cron had come forward to the police. She had given a statement to the police.


He said that he screwed up. He's gonna lose his baby. He never should have killed her. Willing to perjure myself under the stand if I go? I had been torn because I knew something and kept my mouth shut because I was threatened. Renee Crumb is clear on that tape that she intends to lie in court if she's called to testify. I don't want an innocent man to go to prison. But then I got my family to worry about. If Tony McCraney's got to go to prison to save my family, then he's got to go to prison to save your family. At a high stakes and tense pretrial hearing, defense attorneys argue that the jury needs to hear her story. But when Renee Crumb takes the stand, she claims she has a mental illness, a brain injury, memory loss. She tells the defense attorney, quote, let me straighten it out right now. I lied, flat out. I lied, period. I don't remember squat.


When someone says I am flat out lying. A judge has really the duty to make sure that that stuff doesn't come into evidence. There was nobody that made a tangible connection between either JB or Tracy or any member of the Ozark police department. A woman that Coley's legal team had hoped would help their case changed her story. The judge rules that Renee Crumb's testimony is no good. She impeached herself and he throws it out.


What went through your head when you heard that she changed her story? This lady has kept this story the whole time, yet you all of a sudden, I made it up. She said she was going to be a hostile witness to the investigator. Lady, you didn't lie. You're scared. There's a difference. Investigators insist that there's no evidence that anyone in the Ozark police department was involved in the girl's murders. And police say they have no evidence to back up Renee Crumb's claims that she was threatened about her story. So you head into court with this capital case not being able to present an alternate theory. Are you feeling less confident?


I am. We were hamstring. We were tied. We inch closer and closer to opening arguments. In the case of Coley McCraney, there are two versions of this story. Either Coley is arrested years later for a murder he had nothing to do with, or he's a cold blooded killer. The first ever criminal trial of a former president is underway in Manhattan. It's one of potentially four trials facing former President Trump as he makes his third bid for the White House. What do voters think about his culpability? And would a guilty verdict make a difference in the election? I'm Galen Drew, and every Monday and Thursday on the fiveth politics podcast, we break down the latest news from the campaign trail. We sort through the noise and zoom in on what really matters using data and research as we go. That's Fivethirtyeight politics. Every Monday and Thursday, wherever you get your podcasts, as in previous campaigns, it's the economy, stupid. We'll be looking at that this morning.


First, though, it's the news, stupid.


It is the economy, stupid.


It's not the economy, stupid.


It's national security, stupid. It's the hair, stupid. In 1992, one of the best known pieces of presidential campaign wisdom was born. It's the economy, stupid. But was it actually the economy that won Bill Clinton that election? In a new series from the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, were taking a look back at conventional wisdom from past elections with a critical lens. Where did that wisdom come from? And does it hold up today? Find the campaign throwback series in the five hundredthirtyeight politics feed, wherever you get your podcasts.


Finally, after four long years of sitting in the county jail, Coley McCraney is brought here to the Dale county courthouse. A confederate statue right out front. Inside, twelve jurors, three of them black, are about to hear the state's case against him. This trial was highly intense. It had been 24 years. They wanted to know if this was actually the killer of JB Beasley and Tracy Holland. The atmosphere in the courtroom was very tense. I could hear my heart beating in my ears.


We're so used to trying cases and, like, there's like five people in a courtroom. I mean, the place was packed and it was standing room only.


This is a case that was 20 plus years old, DNA evidence present. Now, no eyewitness no murder weapon. What do you think happened that night?


The evidence shows that Chloe McCraney was at the big little store, forces himself by gunpoint into the backseat of their vehicle, has them drive to a remote location that was wet and muddy. There was mud on the inside of JB's pants, which was a very interesting detail because would indicate that her pants were pulled down, which goes to indicate that she was raped in the mud.


DNA evidence certainly proves there was some kind of a sexual encounter. But murder? How do you make the leap to murder?


There's got to be a reason why the girls were killed. It's not something that's hard for a jury to conclude, that an individual that would rape a girl in a muddy field would make sure that his crime could never be uncovered. Dramatic developments today in the Coley McCraney murder trial. His wife taking this stand, Jeanette is.


Actually called to testify by the state because they say she helps place her husband at the big little. That night you called Jeanette McCraney to the stand. How important was she to the state's case?


Critically important, because she provided that one link, and that was that Coley McCraney himself and his vehicle were located at the big little store on the night the girls were last seen.


She testifies that Coley came home before 01:00 a.m. And says his car battery had died. She says she went with him back to the gas station to jump it. Prosecutors cast doubt on whether you could really remember the details of July 1999. Believe me, I don't forget. All the defense needs is reasonable doubt that maybe, just maybe, somebody else came in contact with the girls that night. And there's one key witness, they say, who helps their case. Remember that 18 year old paper boy out on his route who spots JB's car. Well, when he testifies for the defense, it appears there could be more to the story.


The Dothan Eagle paper boy testified that around 215 230, he notices the Mazda 929. The first time he sees it. The flashers are on. No other cars are there. Loops back around with his father. Patrol car. An Ozark patrol car is by the car at the end of his route around 07:00 a.m. As he's leaving town, the car has moved. It's now on his carrying in Jane's, where it was eventually found at nine in the morning. He testified not just that that car was moving, he testified that he saw other vehicles with that car. The jury got to take that into consideration, but there just was no other evidence to corroborate anything he was saying. He had a traumatic brain injury at some point in time in his life and couldn't remember his kids names. An interesting turn as a murder suspect took the witness stand.


Some would argue it's dicey to have a defendant testify in a case like this.


We had a gentleman that was charged with a double homicide that was looking at the death penalty. And for us to sit there and not let him tell his story would have been trouble. The courtroom becomes very hushed when Coley takes the stand. It's very dramatic. He walks up, sits on the stand, and he gives his version of events.


Coley McCraney stuns the entire courtroom, revealing for the first time that he'd actually met JB back in 1999 at the mall. He testifies that she called herself Jennifer and that he gave her the number to his parents house.


He asked her to call, claiming that she called right on the day of her birthday to want to meet him at that big little store.


He claimed she didn't show up, and then he came back out later, and his car broke down. So he happened to be in the parking lot at the same time as JB and Tracy. He says he offers to show them a shortcut home, and then along that route, he says, they stop at another gas station where his truck is parked.


There's a bed in the truck. They have a brief consensual sexual encounter, and JB and Tracy drive him back. And he gets home right before 01:00.


A.M. At which point, he says he returns to that gas station with his wife to jump his car, but never sees the girl again. If you'd have known these girls, you would know that there's no way this story happened the way he said it did. Well, to start with, Tracy wouldn't have sat there. She'd have got out and went inside and got a phone and called her daddy to come get her. And JB would not have left her in that car. Is it plausible that he could have connected with this girl that night, had sex with her, she turns up dead hours later? He had nothing to do with it.


Why is that so unbelievable? For example, my wife and I have relations at 06:00 she's killed at lunch. Does that mean that I killed her? No. I've never seen DNA pull out a gun. Never.


You've heard your husband's story. Is it possible he could have done something that he just regretted, and now he's a different person? No, ma'am. Coley is Coley. It doesn't change. It's a capital murder case. Your husband could be put to death. Yes. How scared were you? I was terrified.


And now both sides prepare for closing arguments. You either believe the state or you believe Coley McRaney. And if you don't believe Coley McCraney, the only verdict you can return is guilty. And this is one of the most watched trials the wiregrass has ever seen. The case has gone back and forth in the Dale county courthouse for nearly four years. Now. If you ask Coley and Jeanette, they fully expected that Coley would be returning home that weekend.


We had talked about what we were gonna do that evening when he came home. You know, we were ready celebrate, you know? Didn't happen that way. No, ma'am.


A jury has finally reached a verdict of guilty in the case of Coley McCraney.


What was that moment like when you heard guilty? I was. I was in shock. I mean, all of a sudden. We've waited 24 years for this, and finally somebody's gonna be held accountable.


We lost two precious girls. They didn't have the opportunity to be able to grow up and experience life in a remarkable way.


When they read guilty, I fell forward, and tears just streamed down my face, and I lost it. But then, you know, people started telling me, oh, now you've got closure. No, I don't. They found this guy guilty. But now where do we go from here? Coley reached for me, and he kept saying, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. He's not supposed to be coming home. I'm sorry. And we just embraced each other. The day after that guilty verdict, Coley McCraney's defense team, along with friends and loved ones, asked a jury to spare his life.


You can Monday morning quarterback it all day long, but once that guilty comes in, you better have your ducks in a row, because otherwise, a man's fixing to die.


The stakes couldn't have been higher. Alabama actually has one of the highest rates of death penalty convictions in the country. Now you're literally begging them to allow him to continue to live. There's no preparing for that.


It only took the jury 13 minutes to sentence him to life behind bars.


He got life without parole. Was that any comfort to you? It was because that's, to me, God's saying, okay, we can spend this around. We can work with that. He chooses to testify. Yes. There are some people who say that didn't help him. If he hadn't testified, those same people would have had something to say. And he's the only one that can tell his own truth, you know, can't nobody speak for him. So we wanted to speak to Coley McCraney. He called us from his Alabama prison. This is a prepaid collect call from an incarcerated individual at Alabama's department of corrections. Hi, Mister McCraney, it's Deborah Roberts from ABC News 2020. How are you?


I'm fine. How are you, Miss Roberts?


I'm good. I'm good. It's been a little more than a year since you heard a jury say guilty. Do you still remember what that felt like?


Absolutely. Every day. I'm still confused. I mean, it's hard to accept and hard to believe.


You surprised people by saying that you knew JB Beasley, that you had met her, that you had a consensual sexual encounter with her. There are those who suspect you just made that story up just to sort of COVID the DNA connection.


Well, sadly, um, when people are looking for a villain, it's not hard to just point the finger in whoever you want.


You didn't put it together that the girl you said introduced herself as Jennifer was that girl who had been found dead?


No, I didn't.


Did you expect that you would see her again after that night?


After that night, I had no expectations. Because. Because a lot of girls that I hooked up with, sometimes we get back together, sometimes we didn't.


And why would somebody want to kill them, in your view?


I know one thing. Why would I want to kill her? I had no. I mean, there's no reason to hurt her. I mean, I got numbers all the time from girls. You know, I was at a transitional phase in my life, so I was.


Stating a lot of own a gun at that time?


No, I didn't. Never have. You can't find a person that will tell you that I'm violent. I challenge anybody to do that.


Did you kill these two girls?


No, I did not.


Did you harm them in any way?


Absolutely not. They can call me a chief, they can call me a dog. They can call me a lot of things at that time, but they cannot call me a chiller.


Are you hopeful that you're going home?


Yes, I am. Tonight, the defense team of Coley McCraney is aiming for a new trial.


Coley McCraney's conviction is not the end of the story. You truly believe that you will get out of prison?


I do.


I think this murder will forever be in the minds of people in the wiregrass.


But I don't have to think about it anymore. But that doesn't stop me from thinking about it anymore. I want answers. I never got my answers. The only answer I got was, I know who did it.


He's in prison right now for life. Do you still have hope that he's coming home? Oh, I know he's coming home. I feel like we're being used for a purpose. As hard as it is is, we're not gonna stop. And once I was afraid to speak. Now I'm like, bring it on. You've filed an appeal. What are you arguing?


The fact that we were not allowed to present any third party evidence is a hindrance to us and did not give us a fair trial. The defense is simply grasping for what they don't have, and that's tangible evidence showing that Coley and Khomeini didn't commit this crime. It's very fair to play this trial over again and say, what if Coley were a white male at that time? I think it would have seemed more reasonable to the jury that it was consensual sex. Race was the elephant in the room that nobody wanted to talk about.


After losing Tracy, angels became your memories. Her son's school class started giving us angels that first Christmas. I said, she's up there with. With her daddy. She's up there with her stepfather. One day, I'm gonna be up there with them, and then none of this stuff won't be matter. Oh, you are so pretty. JB was a gift. It's the most beautiful gift. JB's last solo that she performed was uninvited by Alanis Morissette. It's a haunting kind of song. She loved that song. I had made a promise to JB that I would bring the solo back. The first time that I saw the dancer perform, I saw almost a split screen in my mind. I could see JB, her movement. At the very end, she signs JB. And I knew JB saw it, and I knew she approved. JB has never been forgotten by that school because a scholarship named after her is now given annually to a promising young dancer. But a sad remembrance that both girls, JB and Tracy, would have been 42 years old this year.


42. Just incredible. Meanwhile, Coley McCraney is awaiting a decision from Alabama's court of criminal appeals. His wife, Jeanette, drives three and a half hours once a month to visit him. That is our program for tonight. I'm David Muir.


And I'm Deborah Roberts. From all of us here at 2020 and ABC News, good night.


As in previous campaigns, it's the economy, stupid. We'll be looking at that this morning.


First, though, it's the news, stupid.


It is the economy, stupid.


It's not the economy, stupid.


It's national security, stupid. It's the hair, stupid. In 1992, one of the best known pieces of presidential campaign wisdom was born. Its the economy, stupid. But was it actually the economy that won Bill Clinton that election? In a new series from the five hundredthirtyeight politics podcast, were taking a look back at conventional wisdom from past elections with a critical lens. Where did that wisdom come from? And does it hold up today? Find the campaign throwback series in the five hundredthirtyeight politics feed. Wherever you get your podcasts.