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To get a look at the people in places we're talking about in this show and to find out how you can call or email in a tip, visit our website. Down the Hill podcast, Dotcom. Was there a signature in this crack, like would you would you characterize something as a signature? I would say there were two or three things. I'd say at least three. For the last eight months, as we've been putting the show together in our private conversations, we've gone over plenty of hypotheticals and scenarios.


You've most likely been doing that to based on information we can't prove and police won't confirm. This information, though, is brand new and it's on the record. We're told the killer left the signature, at least one, maybe even a few. It's an element of this crime that tells us more about what sort of crime scene we're looking at and what kind of killer investigators may be facing.


Police are also examining this Snapchat photo, it was taken just before both girls disappeared. I made the announcement that the girls have been found and that was not to a good end.


We are investigating this as a crime scene. We suspect foul play.


Law enforcement is saying that one of the girls actually took video on her iPhone. They say it was right before she was murdered. It's amazing that we have a video. We have a still photograph. We have sound. We don't know who this person is. It could be half of the white males in Carroll County to the killer who may be in this room. We likely have interviewed you. We know that this is about power to you and you want to know what we know.


One day you will know this is down the hill, the Delfi murders. Part one, two or three things, I'm Olins, Andrew IDN, along with Barbara McDonald in twenty seventeen after the discovery of the bodies of Abby and Libby.


There was, as we know, a flurry of law enforcement activity, crime scene techs, police deputies, FBI. But there was also a man by the name of Robert Ives who stood at the edge of the crime scene, taking it all in. At the time, I was the prosecuting attorney of Carroll County and the man responsible for the prosecution. But that change at the end of twenty seventeen, Robert Ives retired and handed the reins over to the current prosecuting attorney, Nick McClelland.


We've made attempts to speak to McClellan, but he hasn't responded to our requests for an interview. So Robert Ive's, he's a middle aged man, salt and pepper hair, glasses. His family has lived in Delfi for a long time, like civil war long. We met him at a beautiful three storey house that's been a part of his family for a century. He led us to the kitchen where we all sat in creaky wooden chairs in front of a brick fireplace and hearth as we listened to AI's recount his story.


Our conversation led to places we really didn't anticipate, and we had lots to follow up on the plan we had went out the window. That's why you'll hear questions for me, Barbara. And a third off Mike voice our producer Dan Semenovich. From Ive's perspective, crime scenes in Carroll County are generally routine. He says it's usually pretty clear from the jump who did what, but that's not the case here.


You were quoted as saying that the evidence for the crime scene was odd. What do you mean by odd?


Well, in one sense, any murder scene is probably odd, but again, this is where I have difficulty because I'm not sure what all has been released.


There were a variety of things at the scene of the crime where I guess I would ask you to talk to the state police about that. They have to decide what's going to be released and what's not going to be released. It was just not it was just not your normal. A person was killed here. Crime scene. That's probably all I can say about it.


Maybe you could answer that in a more general way without being specific to this this crime scene. We have our ideas about what a typical crime scene is. A person was shot in the head. The bullet casing is here, but in general to you would make an unusual or odd crime scene.


I follow along with your example, the very first case I handled as a prosecutor turning back in 1987, 1988, a fellow shot his wife in Deer Creek, Indiana, and he pinned her up against the refrigerator, shot her in the back of the head. She fell on the floor. He shot her twice more in the chest. So you had a dead person with three bullets in them. They were dead.


He was seen at the scene, you know, things like that.


All I can say about the situation is Abian liberties, that there was a lot more physical evidence than that at the crime scene, and it's probably not what you would imagine where people think that I'm talking about. It's probably not. And so because of unique circumstances, which are all unique circumstances of a crime or a sort of signature, you think, well, this unusual fact might lead to somebody or that unusual fact might lead to somebody. And I wish I could tell you, but again, that's up to the state police.


There was nothing that seemed similarly identical that you think, well, this is modus operandi.


I know if you're familiar with the term modus operandi where sometimes criminals will use a commit a crime in such a way that it's so distinct that it acts as a sort of signature for them.


Was there a signature in this crime? Like would you would you characterize something as a signature, like without telling us what it is?


I would say there were two or three things that I'd say at least three experts question in a different way, even if there are any active cases out there that you could say yet this is like this. Are there any like just generally famous famous cases or famous murders that you could compare this to?


Yeah, I'm not the best history of serial murders person, but I will say this initially I thought and I think most people thought and I still think that it was probably somebody local because it's just not a tourist spot. It's just not somewhere where anyone would be lurking. It's such an unlikely place to be. You've all been there. It's not that famous. It's not like people come there and hang out and, well, maybe I'll catch two girls here by themselves.


I tend to think it was a local I still tend to think it's a local, but a part of me also, as other people speculated, think maybe it was a random murder. Maybe it is a serial killer and it's a horrible thing. But part of me hopes, well, they'll catch somebody committing some other crime or having committed some other crime. And as is sometimes happened in the past, they'll serial killers, they'll confess to this crime.


People ask me, do I think it'll be solved? And I do think it'll be solved because it's so odd and so unusual. And people are so compelled to talk about the terrible things they do, I think that either this person will talk about it to someone or alternatively, they will commit another crime and get caught and hopefully confess to this one, either because they want the fame or alternatively because they're trying to make a deal. So I don't know.


I'm not an expert on the investigation of serial killers.


If if this person does act again. And that is something that Superintendent Carter asked at press conferences, you know, who's next? He asks himself that all the time. Do you think those signature items would. Still, I think potentially that. That one or two of those things could pop up again. Yes. Have you seen the video? Yes. What we've been told by by Sheriff Lusby and Kim Riley, they haven't told us how long it was.


They haven't told us too much about what's on it. But they've told us what it was like for them to watch it in their current relationship. You know, they still go back to it. Well, how would you describe your thoughts about.


Well, there's two things about it. And I think this is pretty well understood now. But in the early days, people would always question why don't they enhance this?


And I would explain to people it's a still frame from a video on a cell phone camera where he's not fully in the frame. So there's very few pixels making up the video of this fellow.


That's why it's so blurry. The best people I'm aware of did their best, but there's only so much you can do. You only have so much data. The audio is unbelievably good considering the circumstances. You're outdoors and people are fairly far away, though. He's pretty close. Probably when they got that audio, there's there's just there's less additional information that I think people would think there might be. That's that's all I'd say about it. Robert Ive's gives us a lot to process here perspective about the crime, new details about the scene, and he makes it clear he's no expert on the mind of a serial killer, if that, in fact, is what we're dealing with.


So we found someone who is Mary Ellen O'Toole, spent twenty eight years at the FBI and over half of that time was in their behavior analysis unit. You probably recognize the names, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Gary Ridgway, the Green River killer. She worked on both of those and many others. So, Mary Ellen, one of the things that we specifically wanted to talk to you is about signatures. Can you tell us what signatures are in a in a general sense?


Certainly signature behavior is behavior that the offender engages in at a crime scene that is over and beyond what is necessary to complete the crime. And it generally is behavior that is satisfying to the offender, whether it's psychologically satisfying or sexually satisfying behavior. The interesting thing about signature behavior, especially if you're talking about a series of crimes, is that the offender will generally attempt to repeat the signature behavior, not the M.O., the modus operandi.


That's something different. But the offender will tend to repeat the signature behaviors because that's why he's committing the crime in the first place.


I'm curious, from your research and your expertise, is it common to have multiple signatures? Is that is that normal?


Well, it's certainly possible to have multiple signatures at a crime scene. Again, if we go back to the definition, it is unnecessary behavior at a crime scene. Generally, when you have multiple signatures, it's because you have a series of crimes. And so at this point, what we have is a double homicide. And whether or not there were other crimes out there, it's still unclear. But if there is behavior at that scene that is not necessary to the crime itself.


So it could be sexual behavior, it could be post-mortem activity.


But if there are signature behaviors, yes, you can have more than one or two signature behaviors.


Are signatures typically things that happen after the murder, or is there a typical time that the signature would happen?


In my experience, signature can happen at any point before or during or after the crime. So, for example, predatory behavior in some crimes can be a signature post-mortem mutilation after the murders can also be a signature. So it could it could occur anywhere within that temporal time frame of the crime.


In our chat with the prosecutor, you described it as odd. And he also said that there was a lot of physical evidence. And I know that that's kind of a broad term. But I'm curious from your standpoint, as somebody who's been to, you know, hundreds of these kinds of scenes, you know, what does a lot of physical evidence mean? What does odd mean?


So I wouldn't know what his definition of odd is odd to me and to this prosecutor can be two different things. So let me give you a few ideas of what maybe odd behaviors might be. It could be, again, post-mortem mutilation. What's done to the victims after they've died, after they've been murdered. It could include redressing the victims. It could include dismemberment. It could include insertion of foreign objects. It could be the placement and the replacement of the victims bodies.


So it could be any along that continuum, basically could be almost anything. It could be the infliction of damage to the victims, both before death or after death. It could be, again, engaging with victims in a certain way that is considered odd. So it could be a wide variety of behaviors.


Can you talk a little bit about how, why or when a killer would stage a scene? Would that be considered a signature?


Well, it depends on what you mean by staging a crime scene. So staging a crime scene in in the world that I live in means that the offender is making the crime look like something that it's not because they want to point investigators into a totally different direction because they're concerned that they could be identified as a suspect. So some people may say use that term staging to mean that the offender manipulated the bodies, put them in a pose that was maybe sexually arousing for him, manipulated the body several times to sort of go along with whatever his sexual fantasies are.


That's that's different than the traditional staging of a crime scene. Staging tends to be done most often by someone who knows the victims. But if you're talking about a scene where the offender spends time there, interacts with the victim post-mortem and engages in behavior for his own sexual gratification or pleasure, I wouldn't refer to that as staging.


That's post-mortem activity.


That was Mary Ellen O'Toole, a former profiler with the FBI, and to be clear, we're not saying that the examples of signatures Mary Ellen uses were found at this crime scene. She's not saying that either. We just don't know. So we did check in with Indiana State Police about the signatures and their response is what it's been from the beginning. We do not comment on what was or was not found at the crime scene. Part two, a crime like this before retiring, Robert Ive's was the chief prosecutor in Carroll County and in 2017, the one who would be shaping a case against Dabi and Libby's killer.


He's sharing with us some of his experiences from those early days in the investigation.


Were you ever presented with possible suspects? Not in the sense of somebody said, Rob, do you think there's enough evidence here to charge this person? But in the sense of. We have this and this and this. What do you think? Yes, there was some of that and I would go so far as to say there's at least one person, probably a couple out there that I could believe could have committed the crime. But, of course, I would never discuss such a thing because you to accuse somebody if something is to destroy their lives.


As I've told you before, I not even close to thinking it's more likely than not that any particular person that I'm aware of committed this crime, not even close.


You mentioned that especially in the early days, you were involved with drafting a lot of affidavits for search warrants and she put some sort of number on how many of you were involved with?


Dozens. I mean, a lot. There were a few search warrants. There weren't so many search warrants, but there were lots of subpoenas in this case. We were trying to get cell phone locations or numbers of cell phones or identities of cell phone numbers, things like that, and similar things during that period of time.


And we cranked out a lot of that, but it didn't lead to anything significant.


Let's talk cell phones for a lot of people who follow this case, the locations of cell phones, specifically the ones near the modern Highbridge at the time of the murders is a meaty topic of discussion. Whose phone is pinging where and why? That was a major point of interest for investigators, too, and how that all works. There's more to it than you might think. A frustrating thing, and this is probably difficult to explain in the course of podcast, but the the law on searches with relation to cell phones and cell phone locations was evolving right at the time this was going on.


And I think some of the people discussing it. Didn't always understand, like they would say, well, if you want to know a cell phone location, why don't you get a search warrant? And the problem with that is let us take this case is a perfect example. There's a tower near the crime scene and cell phones pinged off that tower around the time of the crime. We would like to know who they pinged off, said, well, why don't you get a search warrant?


Because there is no probable cause to believe that any particular phone is going to tell us anything about the crime. There is no probable cause. You can't there is no people act like a search warrant is easy to get. No, because we don't think any particular phone is a criminal. But if we want to get a pool of twenty five people who are in the area and therefore could possibly have committed the crime, you have to find out. And this is the difficulty of the modern electronic world, of course, to look in your phone.


I think clearly that's a search warrant situation. That's your private property. That's like opening your house or going in your car, you know, person. But the location, your phone, I certainly understand people's concerns about their privacy. Why can the government figure out where I am? But on the other hand, when your two little girls are dead and you want to find out who was nearby in the last two hours, it's terrible not be able to get that information.


And the idea is we'll just get a search warrant that's not logically or legally practical. And so this is something society has to think about more because cell phone location data can for a case like this, which is a lot of what I was doing at that time, could potentially be really valuable because, you know, Carroll County, three hundred eighty square miles. Twenty thousand people, very few people were out near that crime scene at that time.


It's not like a Monday afternoon. You were going to ping on five hundred phones, right.


That period of time. There are a lot of feds looking at those cell phones, too.


There were more FBI agents here than people can imagine in my entire career. There was never in my entire career one tenth as many FBI agents as who were here simultaneously.


A lot of people thought in the beginning that maybe they were lured there or had been communicating with somebody and had, you know, a meeting time or something and that there could be a link like that. That seems unlikely to me.


And you're not the only one we've talked to who's kind of characterized that two to three day period of like we're going to find this guy. But I'm curious how long before everybody was kind of like this might take longer than we thought?


I don't think there was ever particularly that feeling. I mean, after a few weeks, I'm sure people were feeling disheartened. There were so many leads because of the phone in system and the tip system and social media and things like that. Police officers came from all over the state of Indiana and would come and spend a day or two and they would just hand them assignments and guys would go out. And so I can tell you, in the very early days, time would be a lead.


The lead officers would get really excited. I've got to be they would because they think, well, surely about to crack this because there were what seemed to be potentially valuable leads, but they just didn't leave anything. I don't know. There's ever any point where they go. It's going to go on for a long time. I think it was more like, well, I surely we're going to get something soon. And that went on for a long time.


I, I can't speak for the thoughts of the people who are actually doing the investigating. I mean, people like Tony Ligget and Kevin Hammond have spent endless hours on this case far more than I did. And so you worked on this case for ten months.


Eleven months, yes.


But particularly there was probably a stretch of a couple of months where it was it was really intense because it isn't that there weren't always things to do, but there was a period where we really were cranking out a lot of discovery material or investigative material, as I say, subpoenas and search warrants.


And in that flurry of activity, did you think? We're going to get this wrapped up well, with a crime like this, if you'd asked me at the time, I was said within two or three days we'll have figured out who did it and have a charge filed. But the traditional crime, a murder in Carroll County or I think in rural Indiana or probably rural America, is generally a crime of passion. And the suspect is obvious. And it turned out there was no obvious suspect.


And even though at the crime scene there was a lot of physical evidence of one sort or another, which would lead normally to logical paths and investigation, it never led to a particular person. So I was surprised. I am surprised. I thought surely we would figure out who did it. And we really couldn't do so, and we had some good leads there, sometimes there was at least one person who was blowing off on the Internet who was it was total baloney that if you were taken seriously what they're saying, you might have thought they committed the crime, but they didn't.


In fact, it was a person under age.


So you didn't have like two or three people you were looking at early on, like it's definitely one of them?


No, I could imagine that there were people that came up in the course of the investigation that could have possibly committed the crime. But I certainly never had anybody. I thought it was more likely than not committed the crime. You mentioned earlier on a few minutes ago about, you know, in the hours after thinking this was kind of a two to three days, you'd probably be able to have somebody in custody. Are there any reasons why you thought it was that time frame?


Well, only in the sense. This sense is that I've been involved in a county this size, probably as a murder every two or three years. And I've been involved in the prosecution of numerous murders. And there may have been 20 years ago an unsolved murder involving a couple that were found in a burned out car. I can't think of another unsolved murder when people died under violent circumstances. We knew who did it or we were pretty sure we knew who did it very quickly thereafter.


It's usually obvious either they're right there or the person with the motive. You know, a fear in law enforcement is the obvious person didn't do it, which is what a lot of crime fiction is about, but generally the person who obviously did it did, in fact, do it. And we didn't find that person. And that was surprising to me. But in hindsight, knowing that this is not your ordinary case right after this or in the months after we had a love triangle murder, it was just absolutely classic.


And you knew who probably did it. And it was just a question of putting the pieces together. It was obvious. And that's generally the way a murder goes. The best of my knowledge, we never had a stranger murdered while I was prosecuting this prosecutor, turning this county over the course of several different times this year, 18 years, there was never a murder where.


The victim didn't know the perpetrator prior to the crime. We'll be back with more from Robert Ive's.


Part three, plenty of physical evidence back now to former Carroll County prosecuting attorney Robert Ive's giving us a look at the early days of the investigation.


One thing that people don't understand is the investigators make decisions about releasing evidence and not releasing evidence because they don't want to give the game away. And if a person does confess, they want to know that the person is not giving a false confession. They're not seeking publicity. They're not mentally ill. And so I don't know what all the reasoning of the people in charge of the investigation is, but I'm just a lawyer. I would leave it to them to determine what's the best things to release and not release.


So we'll just try to be really careful about it.


Right. And also helps with the tips. They can better identify what might be a really good tip. Of course, somebody knows telling them something that has not been released.


Right. If they. Yes. If somebody calls in a tip and knows something that the public doesn't know. Correct, that makes it a tremendously good tip. Right.


Was the physical evidence you're talking about, was that one of the reasons why there seemed to be a feeling that this would be a few days before you had been able to make an arrest or have someone in custody? I think any time. A teenage girl was found murdered or a junior high girl, and they were teenagers, was found murdered. I think we would expect to find who did it within two or three days, any time. So that was the main reason I say that, the fact there were two girls and as I say, the fact there was.


Plenty of physical evidence, it wasn't very mysterious. How do I? If if a person is simply killed, like I was describing it first, then, you know, OK, this person was killed, this person was killed with a gun. There's more to it than that. That's all I'm saying.


One thing that Sergeant Riley told us is the crime scene was complicated in that. You know, there are people out there searching, you know, things that we would think of, like maybe someone spit, whatever, and obviously we know the crime scene is huge, starts at the bridge. It goes to where the bodies were found, even just generally. Have you ever dealt with a crime scene that large with that many complicating factors before?


As I told you, I've only dealt with a few murder cases, but. Generally, a crime scene, a murder crime scene here has been in a room, it's been in a place, yeah. So I can't recall one that had a big outdoor circumstance away from a house. Yeah, there's a lot of you're right. Those are some factors.


And whatever Sergeant Riley says is so Kim Riley is an excellent police officer. And that's also true. The crime scene is unquestionably contaminated. Almost crime scenes are contaminated to a certain extent, you know, on the subject of DNA.


And the police have said nothing to us about DNA in this particular case. We want to ask about that. But just in your experience, the role of DNA in a case like what people think about the and everything about the CSI thing, like, you know, something that there's just like it's not that simple, is it?


No. You know, we have incredible technology and there's contact DNA. So people even touch your clothing. But of course, lots of people touch your clothing. So there's lots of DNA and it may not be there at all in. When in sexual assault cases, I mean, semen and the DNA from semen is tremendous evidence, but you have to have that and then you have to have somebody you can identify with blood, blood, DNA is tremendous evidence because the perpetrators of crimes often leave their blood at crime scenes for a variety of reasons.


But when you're just thinking, oh, there's contact DNA, somebody brush somebody, somebody touch somebody, well, that's really there's a really a lot of stuff there to sort it out, find out particularly if it's unknown and then to match that unknown. And even if it is an unknown person, that doesn't mean they committed the crime. And you look at these two, I mean, these are two girls, their school day. I mean, there's no telling how many people's DNA might be on their clothing.


We've talked a lot about this crime and it being the possibility of one of those crimes where the person who committed it just managed to step into all the right places to avoid being arrested, not necessarily a mastermind that had some sort of grand scheme that has allowed him to get away with this. Would you characterize this crime as something where the guy just, you know, I think kept in all the right places?


If you look at the overhead photos of this area, there was maybe one house. It could look down and see the crime scene and it's unlikely anybody would be there. But, yeah, this was a daylight crime. It appears almost certainly a crime during daylight in an area where people could have come along and. I just can't see it as a big master plan. It'd be a crazy master plan. I think it's more. Person committed a horrible crime and then they took off and nobody or if anybody saw them, we haven't been able to pinpoint it.


You know, people were seen coming and going. And there are some witnesses that we may well have seen. And I say we someone may have seen this person leaving the crime scene or going to the crime scene, but we've never been able to put that information together with enough evidence to show who that person was and that they committed this crime.


I do not believe it was a planned crime, that personally it doesn't make any sense for me for it to have been a planned crime because you couldn't know unless there's something else out there, you know, is this luring thing, as I told you and I hope the state police said this, I don't lose any evidence. They were lured out there. I think they just decided to go for a walk. They were great friends. They just thought, it's a nice day.


Let's go walk the trail. I think that's all it happened. And so for somebody to be there right then to know they'd be there, I don't believe that I wouldn't be shocked if it turned out I was wrong. But I don't believe that someone knew that they were going to be there to walk by.


You look at it, especially after you get past the creek, you're in the trees. It's almost like the perfect trap in a way. If someone walks out there, you're already out there.


No one's going to see if you're on the far side of the bridge. There's not a logical place to go. When you think about this in hindsight, you think, well, the girl should have run two different directions. Of course they should have. But that's easy for us to say.


Yeah, no, you're not even sure I would think of that at my age and certainly not at thirty.


And then to be up so high for her to pull out her phone and to film this or to video, it was an amazing thing. It's really heartbreaking about this is she did this thing. We have this unbelievable evidence, video and sound of this person and to not be able to catch that person. And I we didn't talk about that previously, but of course, for the police, that's what stunned. How can we not figure out who this is?


How are you going to have video and audio of a person about to commit a crime and not be able to figure out who is something of a TV show? After five chapters, here's where we are. Police won't say how Abby and Libby were killed, but the crime scene has been characterized as odd. And we know the killer left signatures at that crime scene. We also know that Libby took a video of her killer approaching them on the bridge. We've even seen and heard parts of it and no one knows who he is.


Police have released a still photo. And soon we'll learn about a couple of sketches. And despite a nationwide effort to locate the man on that bridge, no one has been identified. And state police ask who's next? So now you have to this point, all the information that's been released in this case, plus a little bit more that wasn't.


But in order to connect all of those dots for all of that information, to make some sense, you need to go there.


And then up on the right, we will come upon that red gate. That is the nature preserve entrance. And that's where Kelsey dropped Abby and Libby off.


So next time we're making that trip, we're taking you to Delfi. Down the Hill is written and produced by Barbara McDonald, Andrew and Me and Semenovich with original music and scoring by Chevaux, Sir, and production support from associate producers Michael Dudley and Keeling. If you want to see the people, places and things we're talking about. Visit our website down the Hill podcast Dotcom. Brian Bell is HLN senior director of programming and Tyler Moody is the vice president of the Warner Media Podcast Network.


Sherry Seldes is our senior production manager.


A lot of folks at HLN and CNN worked very hard to help make this show go. And we want to give a big things to them to also a special thanks to the people of Delphi and the members of law enforcement who are in charge of solving this crime. And most importantly of all, we want to thank you for listening. We hope you join us next time.