Be Not Deceived: Indecent Murder in Indianapolis
Welcome to Crime Raven; true crimes, real-life stories from law enforcement, and issues crime fighters face. This blog highlights crimes researched by retired Detective Sergeant Mark Rein, using publicly available information, court records and personal recollections. Content may be graphic, disturbing, or violent. Reader discretion is advised. Suspects are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
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Brutus and his partner stood face to face in the living room of the painfully small two-bedroom apartment. It was dark save for the flickering television on one wall, but the light was enough for him to see the fear in her eyes. He wasn't worried. The pep talk where Brutus had laid it all out had gone well.
She agreed the plan was a good one. These were people who had screwed them over, tried to ruin their lives, but it hadn't worked. So here they were at the precipice. They were simply going to give them what they had coming. This was their play and payback's a bitch. And revenge is best when it comes with a cash bonus.
Brutus reached up and gripped the girl's shoulders. You ready? She nodded. Eyes downcast. Okay, we'll do it. Just like I said, it'll be quick.
Brutus paused long enough to see the second nod before releasing her. She picked up the TV remote while he retrieved the knife from the kitchen.
The girl raised the volume on the television slowly. Going for that sweet spot that would cover other noises Yet not be immediately alarming in itself she looked at the bedroom door Brutus was there, hunched over, one hand on the handle, controlling the size of the crack as he peered into the dark room beyond.
Brutus clutched the knife in his other hand. It hung down in front of him as he concentrated. The blade's silver flickering bright in time with the television. He turned his head, smiled, and nodded just before opening the door wide enough to slip inside.
The girl put the remote down and followed Brutus into the bedroom. She could see the woman laying asleep on her back a split second before Brutus jumped on top, straddling her chest while simultaneously pulling a pillow across her face. The lady barely got out a sound before it was muffled.
She began to struggle and thrash, but Brutus rode her writhing body, his legs pinning her arms down as his chest and forearms crushed the pillow onto her face. Once Brutus stabilized, he reared back, centering the knife blade, gripping with both fists.
He plunged the blade downward, using his weight to drive it through the pillow and into the woman's face.
Brutus laid over his victim as he felt her intentional movements turn to spasms and then to tremors. A couple of minutes later, she relaxed, and Brutus sat up. Still straddling the woman, he looked down at the knife hilt. Turned to the girl, standing a few feet away, and smiled. It's done. The girl, her expression flat, nodded.
What happened next was not part of the plan. Brutus and his partner had been sniffing around each other for a couple of weeks. He, the elder, was more forceful. She, the younger, impressionable with low impulse control. Having just broken one of the strongest taboos. They blew through others without thought. While the woman in the next bedroom lost her mortal heat, Brutus and the girl burned up their bed.
The completion of phase one meant the partners were locked in. There could be no turning back. But in phase two, the advantage had shifted. If phase one was an invasion, they would now be operating from their captured beachhead.
Yes, the peril of discovery remained. But Brutus now had the sense that the odds were in their favor. So, after a period of relaxation and more illicit sex, he directed the girl to make a phone call.
The old woman knocked on the apartment door, and the girl opened. They exchanged greetings, smiles; the girl stepping aside to allow entry.
And as she passed, the old woman asked, She's still in bed? And receiving a nod, the woman marched confidently past. Brutus slid from behind the closing door, trailing the lady as she crossed the apartment. He intercepted his prey in the middle of the living room.
The plastic bag held at chest level, gripped on each side with the opening facing down. He pulled it forcefully over her head. The gathered plastic functioned as a garotte, cinched tight by the lady's forward momentum. He jerked the slack out, twisting the excess into one fist, effectively sealing her head in plastic.
His training kicked in, wrapping his free arm around her throat, pulling her off balance, and spinner down to the floor. Brutus could feel shock and disbelief run through the old lady's body. There's almost no resistance as she collapsed. Even then, her struggle was pitifully weak, just a disorganized attempt to free herself. As she panicked,
Brutus felt nothing but contempt for her as she did the same act as the other lady.
Flailing, shaking, he'd heard people call that the funky chicken. Then she was all limp noodle. He was only sorry that she wasn't facing him. He wanted to look into her eyes. He wanted to be the last thing she saw in this life. She had been merciless with him. He bet she wanted to repent that shit now.
So with phase two complete and the women's body stacked in the bathtub, it was time to go shopping. Brutus's list included a reciprocating saw, industrial trash bags, shovels, buckets, jackhammer and rental car.
Phase three started with Brutus, sitting quietly in the most comfortable chair in the living room of a modest house in the city's east suburbs. Late afternoon sunlight filtered through the blinds, creating a dusky patchwork of light and dark. Brutus chair was cast in shadow. He had a little time to think. Almost done. The apartment was clean, as clean as it was gonna get. The car parked in the driveway outside was not outta place.
It would ring no alarm bells with nosy neighbors, and they would never know about his cargo. Thankfully, this was January, so everything was cool.
Brutus allowed himself to dream about the future. He was about to hit the lottery. It would be a new start. Of course, you can only play the fortune you're dealt. And in the game of life, he had been drawing shit for years. He lost so many hands that he forgot what winning felt like. But that was changing. Now, he controlled the cards. And if need be, he was going to deal himself some luck from the bottom of the deck.
After a little while, Brutus heard stirring in the back of the house. Floorboards creaked, the toilet flushed. A water faucet on, then off, a door open, and movement in the hallway. Brutus stood, a smile on his face.
The old man, a little stooped at ninety-one, and stiff from his afternoon nap, stepped into the living room and flipped the light switch.
Headed to the kitchen, he almost didn't see the young man a few feet away. And when he did, he looked up, a smile and recognition spreading across his wrinkled face. Oh, you're here. A little confused.
Brutus grinned back as a flood of rage washed over him. He stifled a laugh, closing on his prey while bringing the tool up. He thought, hammer time, as he smashed it down.
On February 8, 2005, St. Charles County Deputy Sheriff Anthony Hoisek. was conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 70, westbound, just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Deputy Hoisek spotted a sedan driving over the speed limit, weaving aggressively in and out of traffic without signaling. He had difficulty catching up to the car, and when he could finally start a traffic stop, the vehicle didn't pull over immediately, but made several cat and mouse evasive maneuvers.
The car abruptly swerved to exit the highway.
Say spread across the parking lot and then back into busy traffic on a side street., just as Deputy Hoisek was about to call out that he was in a pursuit, the car pulled to the side of the road and stopped. The deputy approached with caution. The vehicle, a mid-sized four-door with Indiana plates, had two occupants.
Hoisick noted that household property cluttered the back seats. The driver identified himself as 29-year-old Kenneth Allen Jr., producing a Florida driver's license and an Indiana ID card to back up that claim. The girl didn't have any ID, but told the officer that her name was Carrie Allen, Junior's 18-year-old sister.
She gave a home address in Noblesville, Indiana. When asked for a vehicle registration, he handed over a rental agreement. The paperwork showed that they checked the car out in Indianapolis with a scheduled return to Las Vegas. The long distance, one way rental was unusual. Deputy Hoisick thought that the couple in the car was unusually nervous.
The whole situation seems suspicious. His driving, the one way rental, the girl with no ID. He questioned them separately. The first interview was the driver, on the side of the road, standing between two cars. The deputy learned the driver was unemployed and was moving to Las Vegas to... Start a new life. As the passenger sat inside, Hoycik leaned into the window, speaking quietly. With the noise of passing traffic, the driver couldn't hear what they said. These interviews only increased the [00:11:00] deputy's suspicion that something was seriously wrong.
Next, Deputy Hoisek asked for consent to search the car, which the driver allowed. As he sorted through the contents of the back seat, he found several suspicious items. Credit cards and identification belonging to Leander and Betty Bradley. The driver and passenger volunteered the Bradleys had been their grandparents, but were deceased. A deeper dive into the trunk produced a bag containing a stash of jewelry and a large amount of cash.
There were also clothes and bedding that were alarmingly stained with dried blood. The contents of the car further intensified Deputy Hoisick's suspicions. Working through his dispatch center, he learned that the Bradleys were listed as still being alive. So he requested an Indianapolis police conduct a welfare check at the Noblesville apartment of Sharon Allen, the [00:12:00] mother, and the Linwood home of Leander and Betty Bradley, the grandparents.
The officer wanted to not only make sure that they were all alright but also to contact someone who could verify the driver and passengers' stories. Indianapolis police dispatched Officer Michael Horn. A welfare check request from an out-of-state agency is unusual, so he called Deputy Hoisick directly.
Upon hearing the circumstances of the traffic stop, Officer Horn agreed that the situation was suspicious. He arrived at the Linwood address, knocked, and received no answer. He ran a computer check on the vehicles parked in the driveway and confirmed that they belonged to the Bradleys. At that moment, a neighbor from across the street approached Officer Horn and said something is wrong in that house.
The neighbor explained that the Bradley home was the talk of the neighborhood. No one had seen the owners in weeks, but their grandchildren had been hanging around doing things that made people nervous.
Officer horn, with help from the neighbor, was able to break into the house. The officer walked through, seeing nothing immediately alarming, but noticed that part of the concrete slab in the basement had been recently re poured.
Horne called Deputy Hoisick back and described his observations. When he got to the part about the cars parked in the driveway, Hoisick asked the passenger to confirm that those were her grandparents' only vehicles. Instead, she exclaimed, He killed him and buried him in the basement. Confused, Deputy Hoisick asked, Who?
She replied, My brother killed them and he buried them and he killed my mother, but I don't know what he did with her body.
The passenger's revelation changed a simple traffic stop into a full-blown murder investigation. The brother and sister were taken into custody and quickly transferred to the St. Charles County Sheriff's Office while they impounded the rental as evidence.
Back in Indianapolis, police taped off the Linwood and Noblesville residences. While the Indy cops waited, investigators began digging into the prisoner's backgrounds.
For the first 14 years of his life, Junior was raised Indianapolis by his mother and father. Theirs was an unhappy marriage, burdened with financial problems, a new house, and when he was 11, a baby sister. The new child did nothing to slow the marriage death spiral, with mom Sharon and dad Kenneth Sr. fighting with increasing regularity.
Finally, in 1990, the unhappy couple split, in more ways than one. The agreement was that Ken Sr. would take Junior to live with him in Florida. While Sharon kept a baby sister in Indianapolis. Junior didn't react well to being separated from his mother, sister, and extended family.
He was rebellious through his teenage years and a marginal student. Shortly after Junior graduated from high school, he got married and joined the Marines. He didn't adjust to adulting well. He nurtured substance and gambling addictions and was abusive towards his wife. The gambling took over his life.
When he was still working, he took his paychecks directly to the closest casino. When he had no job, he would beg, borrow, and scrape just to feed his habit. One source of money that Junior regularly tapped was his grandparents, Leandra and Betty Bradley, who lived in the Indianapolis suburbs. Junior lied to [00:16:00] them, leading them to believe that he was just having cash flow problems common to young men. They felt sorry for him after the forced move to Florida, so they regularly gave him money. Junior's problems came crashing down on him in 2002 when he was convicted on multiple charges, including counterfeiting, theft, forgery, and credit card fraud.
He served two years in prison. His conviction opened his grandparents' eyes, who realized that he had lied to them for years and they had been enabling their grandson's addictions. They decided that tough love was the best course of action and they cut him off financially while he was still in prison.
Junior was 29 when he was released. Broke and with nowhere to go, he tried to cajole his grandparents into starting up monthly support payments again, but they refused. The Allen divorce, back in 1995, hadn't worked out well for Sharon Allen or her daughter. Despite the fighting over finances, the family had lived comfortably.
Once separated, Sharon could not maintain the lifestyle, and after losing the new house, was forced to live in government subsidized housing.
The daughter grew up surrounded by poverty. Fresh out of prison, Junior was forced to move in with his mother and sister in their small apartment. His new living situation disgusted him, and it wasn't long before he brought his little sister in on his plan to improve their circumstances.
During the afternoon and evening, following the traffic stop, Missouri police interviews and background investigation broke open the entire case. It turned out that Junior, bitter about being cut off, blamed his grandparents for his financial situation. He convinced his sister that they hadn't been exactly generous to her, either.
He told her that they were rich; they were old, and at the end of their useful lives, he said that they could take grandma and grandpa's money and start fresh. They would just have to kill them. She was shocked at first, but warmed to the idea as her brother talked. Their grandparents were old, after all, and it wasn't fair that they got to live in a decent house.
She agreed to the plan, as long as their mother approved. The problem was, when Junior described his scheme to his mother, she was not at all enthusiastic. She dismissed the idea of murdering her parents and warned him not to mention it ever again. Junior told Baby Sister about their mother's refusal, convincing her that the mother's knowledge of the plot was a liability for both of them.
One night, right before New Year's, and barely one month after his prison release, His baby sister turned up the television in their living room to cover the noises, while Junior crept into the bedroom where their mother lay sleeping.
Brother and sister left the bedroom exhilarated. They celebrated with vodka and sex in the only bedroom that didn't hold a corpse.
With their mother's dead body rotting in her bed, they found themselves on a clock. The smell from the room started almost immediately. And that had to be addressed before it attracted attention. The pair ransacked their mother's belongings. It was a pitiful loot.
They didn't get much because, quite simply, she didn't have much. Continuing with the plan, she called her grandmother, 76-year-old Betty Bradley. She told Betty that Sharon was sick and they needed help. When Betty arrived, Junior met her inside the apartment door.
Now with two [00:20:00] generations of women stacked in the bathtub, they went shopping. They had a complete list of items to help clean up their crime. The pair used their new purchases to dismember and wrap their mother and grandmother. They stowed the parts in the car. Fortunately for them, the weather the first week of January in Indianapolis is cold, slowing decomposition.
Junior drove the death mobile to the Linwood residence using his grandmother's keys. He let himself in. When he arrived, he found 91-year-old Leander napping in his bed. When his grandfather finally woke up and walked into the living room, junior attacked him with a hammer, crushing his skull and face.
With two buddies stashed in the car and one in the bathtub.
He used a rented jackhammer to open up a hole in the basement slab of the house. It took a while to open the concrete. Dig the pit, dump the bodies in, cover them and re-pour the slab.
With her brother disposing of the evidence. She kept busy on the computer. She liked the new, anything goes tack her life had taken. She invited several online friends to the house to party and have sex with her in junior. They were meticulous in their looting of their grandparents' financial assets. Leander and Betty Bradley had a liquid nest egg of about 200, 000. And it didn't take long for the grandkids to access it. Junior celebrated by feeding his addiction. He hit the paddle boat casinos on the Ohio River. Hard. He lost 60, 000 in four days.
After a couple of weeks of living in his grandparents' house and burning through their money, Junior grew restless. It seemed like they were on a new clock. It was only a matter of time before someone, friends, relatives, came looking. He preferred not to be here to answer uncomfortable questions.
Las Vegas, ground zero for a man with his proclivities, was calling. Fortunately, the trip would put almost 2, 000 miles between him and the people buried under the house. This was how, on February 8, 2005, they were stopped in a rental car headed west just past St. Louis, Missouri. They had made it barely four hours before getting caught.
After her initial admissions at the traffic stop, she and Junior soon found themselves in separate interview rooms at the sheriff's office. Her tactic was to blame everything on her brother. So she told the investigators everything she knew, while minimizing her part. She was just along for the ride. She loved her brother, but she feared him.
Junior held out for a while, denying all the investigators assertions about the murders. Eventually, under the weight of just the known evidence, his denial defense collapsed. Junior took what he saw as the honorable route, as if that was possible, admitting what had happened and agreeing with his sister that he was solely responsible and she had nothing to do with any of it.
Once the dam broke, he went through the planning and execution of every phase of the crime. He gave details of killing his mother and grandparents, including what they did before and after each. Junior sold the whole thing as a way for them to start a new life with money. After moving to Vegas, he explained, Once I felt like things were wrapped up, and I got pretty much all the credit cards I could, had all the ATM cards, that was when I was ready to just get on out of the area.
Back in Indianapolis, the police were talking to witnesses and [00:24:00] relatives about the situation. Early on, one of Leander's brothers provided the motive for the crime, confirming that his nephew was an addict. He said Junior was angry enough that he had threatened to kill the Bradleys, but no one in the family took him seriously.
The neighbors at both the Noblesville apartment building and the Linwood house recognized both siblings. The residents on Bradley Street knew there was a problem and had discussed it amongst themselves. In recent days, they had not seen Leander or Betty since just after the new Year yet there was a lot of activity in and around the house.
One neighbor, Doug Davis, saw Junior taking a jackhammer inside the sister, following the shovels in five-gallon buckets. Another neighbor, Merlin Andrews, when asked if he had noted anything suspicious, said, The whole neighborhood did. We all thought we should call him, just in case. And nobody did.
When the interviews in St. Louis were complete, the Indianapolis police got warrants for the search would begin the next day. Investigators were confident that this was the real deal, so they recruited a University of Indianapolis anthropologist to assist. It didn't take long to break through the concrete crust, and the odor that greeted them served as confirmation.
What followed was a painstaking cycle of photographing, removing, and examining the human remains piled in the pit below. The process, conducted in hazmat suits, was unpleasant, but necessary for two reasons. The status of the remains provided important cooperative evidence siblings had already confessed to.
And the dismembered bodies had to be identified and sorted for final processing. When it was done, the bodies of Sharon Allen, 54, Betty Bradley, 75, and Leander Bradley, 91, were positively identified. The siblings waived extradition and were shipped home. The Indianapolis prosecutor Carl Brizzi charged them with three counts of murder and a host of lesser counts related to conspiracy, financial crimes, and robbery.
Brizzi also announced that he would seek the death penalty for Junior, justifying the decision with these statutory aggravators. He had just been released from prison and was on parole. There were multiple victims. The deaths involved a robbery and mutilation of the corpses. The siblings may have thought that the sister would avoid charges, but they were wrong.
The confessions clarified that she was a willing participant. She may not have physically done the killings, but she was present, functioned as a lookout, and assisted in the aftermath. She was, however, spared the death sentence because of her age and a lack of prior criminal history.
After months of legal wrangling, the attorneys came to an agreement that would avoid a trial. The prosecutors were concerned that the facts were so heinous that the defendants would garner sympathy from a jury with claims of mental illness.
The deal was that the death penalty would be removed. Junior would plead guilty to three counts of murder. The judge sentenced him to life without parole plus 130 years. They now house him at the Pendleton Correctional Center in Madison, Indiana. A few months later, Carrie was sentenced to 38 years. The prosecutors asked for 100, but the judge cited her low IQ, passive demeanor, and her brother's influence as mitigators.
She is serving her time in Rockville Correctional Facility in Park County, Indiana. Leander Bradley, born in 1913, was an army veteran and a retired electrical foreman. His wife of 57 years, Betty, was a homemaker. The couple had two children, Sharon and a son, Ronald. Leander, Betty, and Sharon were buried together at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Indianapolis on February 19th, 2005.
Marcy: Switching to the discussion portion, let's start with why was this traffic stop so suspicious?
Mark: Police officers across the country will make thousands of traffic stops every day. Some of them will be targeted for a particular reason, like drunk driving, speeding, red light running.
Some will be driving concerns just observed by officers that are driving, say, between two locations. When I was working as a patrol officer in the city, I mainly pulled people over for things I saw them doing, or what somebody called them in for, like DUI or reckless or suspicious activity.
It's important to understand that most of these traffic stops will turn out to be mundane. Maybe they ended a ticket, maybe they ended nothing. For suspicious circumstances, you go out and there's nothing suspicious at all. You find out what the reason they're there is and you go on. There's not even a warning there.
A few of them will end in arrest for a crime and some will be a major crime. I myself have been involved in traffic stops, for murders, for armed robbery, burglaries, basically every violent crime. But despite the crazy videos on the internet, most stops are unremarkable.
Marcy: But officers know and are trained that any traffic stop can be the big one.
Mark: Yeah, officers are trained to look for, during the traffic stops, for what is abnormal. And in this case, it's suspicious to start with that the guy didn't pull over immediately.
So that's your first clue that something's up here. Now, people can be nervous and not want to pull over and you have these delayed driving, take a minute, and maybe you get the idea that, this guy's like kind of slowing down and maybe going faster at times and it heightens your awareness when they do pull over and you contact them, they're really nervous and don't know what, what to do for sure.
And that kind of stuff is normal, but what you're trained as a police officer to do is look for is this normal, or is it not? And the next thing that would have gotten my attention on the stop, especially in a situation where they're saying they're going to drive across the country, here's an older guy and a young girl, no ID, she looked young.
Like I said, they're on a long-distance trip. My concern, having worked where I worked, is was this girl a runaway? Was she abducted? Do her parents know where she's at? What's going on with her? And so those two things would lend me to believe I gotta dig deeper to find out what's really going on here.
They're moving to Vegas. There's no job. This is a rental car. All these unusual things. Why is your sister coming with you? You don't have a job there. You didn't have a job in Indianapolis. What's up with this? Then the next thing is what do you got in the car? I can see you got a bunch of stuff in the car.
Do you mind if I search to see what's in there? And, keep in mind this deputy, I probably would not have done that unless there was a real reason to, like looking for drugs or something. But keep in mind, this deputy is working traffic duty on a major interstate. Those guys, in addition to monitoring for safety and keeping the chaos on the interstate to a dull roar, are trained to interdict in drug trafficking and in human trafficking. So what he found was concerning, and he needed to dig further.
Marcy: Do you have a traffic stop that went way beyond what you expected from the beginning?
Mark: Yeah, oh yeah. Sometimes things fall into your lap. When you happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right information. There were times I can think about I bumped into armed robbers that I recognized, based on a locate description given from another part of town. And then there're the times that you figure out what's going on unexpectedly at the time. I remember I stopped out on a vehicle, we just had a snowstorm, and a vehicle went into the snowbank, which is pretty benign and not uncommon.
And I go up and I'm alone on, on a major roadway and it's getting later at night. There aren't many people around and there's three guys in this car and they're out trying to dig it out. And, I talked to them, they're cool, but they look really nervous that I'm there. You get this sense.
Within a range, what's normal, these guys seem really nervous. Usually people are joking around when the cops show up and they're, they did something stupid like driving in a snowbank. I check, the driver's license and as I'm walking by the car I notice there's a bunch of, like the officer on the stop, on the case we're talking about, there's a whole bunch of personal property in the back.
And what really got my attention is, there's a VCR and a short coaxial cable. And it looks like the coaxial cable has been pulled out at the wall. So you have a frayed cable there. And it's just sticking up next to the rear window where I can see it, like it's displaying itself to me.
So I go, okay, this is odd. And maybe it's, maybe there's no problem. I call for backup. And we pull them out from their digging, put them in the cars, and we start to talk to them. And the guy I get basically says, yeah, we just broke into a place and stole all that shit in the backseat.
Completely unexpected, but because of observations, we're able to crack that case. In fact, the guy that owned the place that they broke into was like out at a movie. And we went back and tried to contact him, contacted some of his neighbors. We knew he'd been broken into even before he knew he'd been broken into.
So that's an example of how you just bump into things and, based on your observations, you can break open a bigger case than you ever thought. I stopped out on a car in a snowbank and turned into a set of burglary arrests.
Marcy: Why on earth does a guy who just killed three people give consent to search his car?
Mark: Two reasons. A lot of guys, or bad guys, underestimate officers. Maybe they've had lots of contact with officers. The officers are casual and just didn't dig into stuff, and maybe they've gotten away with stuff in the past.
There's this underestimation of a cop's level of interest and the cop's level of attention to detail. They want to get through that contact and they also think that denying consent to search in that situation will be a big red flag. Like it's a flag that you've done something wrong.
So oftentimes people give consent because they just want to get past this moment and think you won't notice anything. It's important to notice, to know in this situation, that an officer's ability to search is limited by state and federal law. People don't really know where that line is.
In some states, you can pretty much search anywhere in the car if you're looking for weapons or have some bit of probable cause. And that's not so much the case where I worked.
Marcy: Alaska had really strong privacy protections that limited certain justifications for vehicle searches that would be totally fine in other states.
Can you talk a little bit about that?
Mark: Yeah, that's right. It's a side, but when I was in training and when I was a sergeant, we watched for these procedural issues when training people, especially with officers from other states. I remember one time as a sergeant; I went out on an officer who had stopped a vehicle and was searching a car.
It's common when you go up and say, hey, what's going on here? The officer gave me the rundown, and it turned out he had an inappropriate justification for that traffic stop. And I'm like, holy cow, wait a minute, tell me the whole situation. So it turned out he had a separate, there was a reason for him to make the search in addition to the justification that he had.
So we were able to the second legal justification for the search salvage that case. Lessons learned, but yeah, in general Alaska had pretty rigid privacy protections on stuff like traffic stops, more rigid than a lot of other states.
Marcy: What that officer was searching for would have been fine in the state that he came from, but in this, in Alaska, it wasn't fine, but he had a secondary reason.
That was legitimate. Yeah,
Mark: That's right. Yes. So there was legitimate reason in addition to what the officer at first conducted the search for. We didn't make anything up by any means, but if that had been the case and he hadn't had a justification in another, if the justification from the other state wouldn't hold up in Alaska, I would have said stop, right?
And we would have either we probably would have taken any contraband and applied for a warrant if that were the case and maybe gotten turned down or taken some action basically to correct that, that mistake.
Marcy: But the suspect in this murder case, he let that deputy search, and it seemed like that could have been an inflection point where the stop could have gone many different ways.
Mark: Yeah, the thing is, once the officer dug into these questions and started digging, there was no going back. He had to know the answer to these questions. He had to know. We had to verify who the girl was. And actually, in my experience, the difference between a great officer and a mediocre one is asking the question in the first place.
In this traffic stop, had that deputy been a slug, he could have taken the story at face value. Either, okay, you're driving too fast. I don't want to. I don't really want to know who the girl is; I don't want to know what's going on with you. I just want to issue the citation and away you go.
And but that's not what happened. A good officer is going to ask those questions and try and detect the deeper crimes if they exist. And sometimes they don't, or sometimes you don't detect them and you know that there's something suspicious, but the guy goes on his way and that's just the way it goes.
Marcy: But at some point, asking those questions could be dangerous because something could set that driver off and then suddenly the officer is in real
Mark: trouble. Yeah, you bet. And that's something you worry about working as a police officer. The idea that you can stumble into something that, and you have no awareness of what that, that person's situation is, what they may have just done, what their mental state is.
Especially with drug addicts. They can perceive you as being the guy or the, they can perceive you as being the thing that's going to keep them from their next high. And some people are desperate enough to kill over that. And because of that, you become hyper aware of people's reactions to your presence, particularly when you're in uniform.
Because to be attacked as a police officer be perceived as a threat, you don't have to be aware of that, of how that person's feeling. You just have to have your uniform on. The deputy that made this traffic stop did a great job and things could have easily gone sideways. I don't. You can't work as a police officer long before things go sideways.
The situation I talked to you about the, I mentioned the vehicle that went into the snow berm. Had that not been a horribly snowy day, these guys had just burglarized the house and stole all this property. They probably would have split, they probably would have run. But it's difficult to run in the deep snow, honestly.
So that's why we're able to round them up and arrest them. On the other hand, they could have attacked me. And I have been in some pretty serious situations, fights at traffic stops before.
Marcy: So, more on the searches. The Indianapolis officer tried to open a window to get into the house. Let's talk about the dangers of breaking into that Bradley home to conduct a welfare check. How are they able to do that? Or are they?
Mark: In this situation, there's an articulable reason for it to fear for the Bradley's welfare. There's blood in the car. The grandchildren say they're dead, but they're not listed as dead. Their cars are in the driveway, so it appears like somebody's living in the Bradley house. It wouldn't be my first choice on this, because, if this is as bad as you think, it could be, you're endangering a search warrant.
But my fear of going into this would be somebody... especially somebody who's old. This guy's 91, waking up as I'm breaking into the window and shooting me as I'm coming in as a burglar, unfortunately. Other than that, there's not a lot of concern with what happened with them going in.
And the idea is if you can go in and locate them, cool. You can, they may object to you coming in, but we're gonna try to explain why we did it. And while we have and we have some questions, and by the way, are your grandchildren telling the truth kind of thing?
But then again, if you go in and see something, you back out and you get a warrant like they did for a more detailed search.
Marcy: Is that common to go back and get a warrant after some evidence has been found?
Mark: Yes, it's common. It's not optimum. It's not. You want to get a search warrant before any searching has been done. You might end up having a court challenge as in this case, I'll talk to you about court, the court challenge in a minute, but the exigency was, it was the reason they went in, make sure that everybody's okay.
And then, and it turns out, there's lack of standing for an objection, but I'll talk to that here in a minute. And after the warrant, your subsequent fines are fine. It's protected. And in my experience, you can't go wrong with going back and getting a warrant to cover your subsequent fines.
Marcy: Is this something that you've ever done?
Mark: What, breaking in or getting a subsequent warrant? I've done both.
Yeah, for example, I was in an area of town called Spenard, and there was a call that there was a little kid outside of a house that was locked out of his house. And I go there and the kid is, I don't know, maybe he's six or eight, and it's getting dark. I'm a night shifter, so it's later.
And I talked to the kid, and there are no neighbors that know what's going on, and he doesn't know how to contact any relatives or anything, and the door is locked up and it's dark inside the house. And what I notice is there is a window up high that's a jar. I get up there and I break in through the window and go in and it turns out the mother has had a medical issue and is actually near death.
I get there and call the medics and we get her taking care of and we take care of the kid and stuff.
But that's a good example of how sometimes you just gotta go in and check things out, and it turned out the woman was inside,
Marcy: I dispatched you to that call.
Mark: Yeah. When I think about had I, that's one of the, if I just did okay let's put this kid somewhere and I'm not breaking into this house.
Had I not done that woman would have died. I think about that.
Marcy: And following up with a search warrant, have you done that?
Mark: Yeah, there, there are a lot of exigent circumstances, entries that police make that require follow up with a search warrant. There's, like I had a guy who beat the crap out of a woman in an apartment building and we, when we arrived, you could hear her inside.
And when we knocked on the door, everything got quiet. Now, it sounded pretty bad when I was outside, so I got extra units there, ASAP, give me units, code, and we booted the door and went inside, and it's funny because we go in there, and the guy had beaten his girlfriend so bad she had blood all over the floor, and he threatened to kill her if she said anything when we were outside the door, and he had poured Paint all over the ground, and it was white paint.
And the white paint was designed to cover up all the blood she had spilled on the ground. So here I am in my dark blue and black uniform. The guy meets us after I boot the door in; the guy meets us at the door and we're fighting and my uniform is covered with white paint. We're both covered with white paint.
And fun was had by all. Now, so now we get her. She doesn't live there; we hook him up, and now somebody's got to go downtown to get a warrant so we can process this scene, right? So we have all these observations from inside based on the exigency of the situation, the emergency situation. But we can't just go in and search the place now. We have to get a warrant so that we can process it.
That's a great example, a very common example. of how we would go in, make some observations based on the emergency, and then we have to go back and get a warrant so they can process and get all the evidence that will ensure a conviction for him.
Marcy: As a side note, you are extremely famous for your expertise in kicking doors in.
Mark: Yeah, I'm not a small guy, and there was a while there where I came probably in my time of patrol about 65 doors. I was young. It's a fun thing, a fun kind of stat to keep. But I like going to places where people needed me and going in the door first was one of those things, right?
Back up your people around you.
Marcy: One of the interesting things about this case is it crossed jurisdictional boundaries. It seems like the request from St. Louis could have gone really badly if they didn't receive it and act on it with the energy that they gave it.
Mark: Yeah, this case was handled very well and how you'd want it to be handled. As I mentioned, it could have been handled by not asking questions in Indianapolis. Those Indy cops could have gone, knocked on the door and walked away and this would not have wrapped up like it was.
The person-to-person contact, that Indianapolis officer, I wonder what this is about. It's unusual, a call from one state over. And I found this to be true in many aspects of my career. And not only with other jurisdiction I, once I learned this, I used it.
I would send a case over to the prosecutor's office. And if you just send the paper over, that's easy to ignore, right? So I started going over and selling my cases if I had them ready, to prosecutors that I knew. And that's a way to get them invested, right? You sell it; they buy in, they're on board, and they're gonna use their authority to, to help you and you're gonna help them work together.
And that's what happened when the Indy cop called the deputy. One said, this is what I got. The other said, yeah, this is suspicious. And now they're both on the hook.
Marcy: So what's been your experience with multi jurisdictional cases?
Mark: What I just said holds true.
Good cops are similar wherever you go. You tell the story and you get the feel for the other guy. And if you get the sense of them thinking, that asshole isn't going to get away with that. You're, it's going to turn out fine. I have been disappointed.
But for the most part, I've had great experience working with state troopers and the smaller PDs in my state as well as out of state jurisdictions. I can think of a homicide case that I helped work as far away as Florida. Most of that, the out-of-state stuff, was in the drug realm.
Also, conversely, if I got an out of jurisdiction request, I always make contact with the with the requesting officer for two reasons. Number one is safety. By having that conversation, you might find out how dangerous the people are, involved are, what the concerns are, and you also might. You put yourself on the hook because you think about you feel like, ah, that guy's not getting away with that living here now.
The second thing is, are professional reputations on the line? And I wanted to do everything that was possible. I don't want anybody walking away saying that, that police department sucks. And just and that's possible with just one contact, right? How often do you call that department over there?
And when you call them, they suck. I didn't want that to happen on my watch,
Marcy: yeah, the good extremes and the bad extremes always stick with you longer. So talk about Junior's sociopathy and anger. How could he so easily just kill his mother and grandparents?
Mark: Yeah. Actually, I've known a lot of people that I thought, Yeah, this could happen to them. This could be them. The thing is, he didn't see that the problem was his fault, right? His, it's what his grandparents did by betraying him, cutting off his money. I had a professor tell me, and this stuck with me because it's so true.
These people think differently than you and I. They don't worry how they look. They don't feel bad about hurting someone or ripping somebody off. They look at the world in terms of, and this is a quote, so what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine, if I can get it. And as far as Kenneth's relationship with his mother, she betrayed him also.
She sent him away with his dad to Florida and it didn't go well. Then she refused to kill her parents, so Kenneth couldn't get their money. I think it as sad as it is. I think that stabbing her through the face is a pretty good indicator of how angry he was at her, but notice he stabbed her through the face only through a pillow.
So it's not like he looked her in the eyes. He did that. He was a coward. He tried to smother and then he jammed the knife into her head, which is pretty cowardly. As she's laying in bed, trying to sleep.
So with Carrie, I think there's some indication she was impressionable, not too bright. She grew up under her mother's thumb. There's some mention that she resented that control the mother had on Carrie. They lived in crappy conditions, which Carrie blamed on her.
And Kenneth stepped in, took mom's authority away by murdering her. He promised to be a better leader, promised her a new life, and she just went with it.
Marcy: This crime itself is actually pretty dumb. Three people are gonna vanish, but there's lots of people living in the area, relatives and neighbors.
Like eventually somebody's gonna figure out something's wrong, and start asking questions and the police are gonna get involved. One of the first patrol officers noticed immediately there was new concrete in the basement slab. And Junior had threatened to kill the grandparents loud enough that other relatives knew about those threats.
So he sold this as some big complicated plan. You'd think that if he really had planned all these details out, especially if the planning was commensurate with the brutality of the crime, but in the end it just seems almost unbelievably stupid. In a plan
Mark: yeah, it's just dumb. It really reminds me of some of the crimes I saw that were committed by drug addicts.
My, there was one time my team's working a project in the high drug area. There's a stabbing murder committed in the center of the area we were watching. It turned out the guy who did it was out of prison on an ankle monitor. Duh they, okay, who did it?
We think it might be this guy. Isn't he an ankle monitor at home? No, we can track his ankle monitor. He actually took a city bus to a block away, and he's on the city bus video a block away from where he committed this knifey murder. It was a drug related thing.
This guy just didn't care. It wasn't a big plan. He was just angry and dope addled brain. This is real fiend behavior. They have no concern for outcome or consequence. And I see that in this case. These suspects are going to be caught in St. Louis or in Vegas. It was just a matter of time. It's almost a gift to a homicide detective. The dots are not difficult to connect. This guy's out on parole. You can't just leave the area. They're going to come looking for you. And like I said, they're going to connect those dots.
And there was a mountain of evidence to condemn them back in Indianapolis, no matter how far they got.
Marcy: There's definitely a domestic violence aspect to this whole case, which is really sad.
Mark: Yeah, from the victim side it is, it's extremely sad and you see this with especially parents and siblings who have a drug fiend in their lives and here, obviously, the mom and the Bradleys loved him.
The mother allowed him to stay with them despite, even after he's shooting his mouth off about wanting to kill people and stuff despite his obvious problems the grandparents are supportive until it's obviously time for tough love I don't think anyone wanted to believe that this guy was capable of what he did and, so nobody wanted to contact the police because getting him in more trouble was the last thing he needed, and the families I know that have people like that in, in them are just treading water , trying to get by, doing what they have to do to protect themselves hoping that person gets better, hoping that person grows out of it, hoping that person gets effective help with the problem.
I think just in this case that they underestimated how bad it was and it went deeper than just simple addiction. There is a depravity, it's serious depravity here that is way beyond the norm.
Marcy: So there was no trial in this case, so we don't need to talk about that. The sentence seemed right for him, but people have criticized the term that Kerry got as too lenient.
Mark: Yeah, the prosecutors asked for 100 years and she was given just under 40 with other kind of stipulations that really keep a 40 year term solid.
So her first eligibility for parole, and hopefully she doesn't get it, is in 2024, which is just right around the corner. And that just doesn't seem like there's enough time. There are lots of peripherally involved accomplices to multiple murder, like robberies that involve multiple murders, who would love to exchange sentences with her.
It's easy to be involved in a multiple murder homicide as an accomplice that wasn't directly involved and get life in prison also. But she didn't get that. And like I said, that, that would, that's the envy of a lot of the people that do.
Marcy: Do either of them have the right to appeal?
Mark: Yeah, they had a right to appeal and there was an appeal and it was denied.
In, in fact, bring up the appeal, even in that Kenneth had no shame. His appeal was actually based on the idea that he had a privacy interest in his grandparents' home. So the initial search and all the evidence should be suppressed. It. It's not surprising the judge completely slapped him down, basically saying that a criminal can't claim a right to privacy while committing a home invasion robbery and murder.
Marcy: Geez. You said that this case really caught your attention in terms of how senseless and sad it was. The grandparents were targeted because they stopped giving him money. And the money they did have saved really wasn't all that much. He kept talking about this new life, but they weren't rich. There was no way they were going to get away with any of this for 200, 000.
Mark: Which he spent 60, 000 of like in the first four days in the casinos, which is crazy. Yeah, all of those things and the brutality of it stabbing mom in the head, smothering grandma, crushing grandpa's skull just outrageously deplorable. I've done a lot of these cases, and this is one of the more horrible detail wise, especially because of the family aspect of it. It's hard to think about, military vet, retired a couple who've been together for almost 60 years and to end up the way they did is tough to think about.
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