One of the biggest challenges in this case has been figuring out the various relationships between the parties.
I've tried various methods to build my "murder boards" - but, unlike the red string used in detective shows, I prefer a system of color-coded Post-Its. I began by drawing lines to indicate relationships - black indicated family; red indicated romantic relationships and broken red lines meant that a couple had broken up.
But the further I got into the case, the more I realized that the relationships were MUCH more complicated than I thought - and the multiple links meant that my colors often overlapped. For example, Jennifer rented a house to J.B. and was good friends with Cindy, Chris' girlfriend. She was dating Justin and knew Casey through work. Jennifer is also a cousin of Nick, who was Danielle's longterm partner and the father of her children. Since Nick's parents legally adopted Chris, Chris was more than Rebekah's friend: He was basically part of her extended family.
It's a lot. And we've heard several requests from listeners for a way to keep everyone straight. So, I've tried to make a simplified version of the board to illustrate the relationships between people we mention on the podcast. Hopefully, it will be helpful as you continue to follow the case.
REBEKAH GOULD: Murder victim.
DANIELLE: Rebekah’s sister. Rebekah had two older sisters as well, Tiffany and Gabby.
SHIRLEY: Rebekah’s mother. She and LARRY, Rebekah’s father, are divorced.
LARRY: Rebekah’s father, who is a local dentist in Mountain Home. He divorced Rebekah's mother SHIRLEY and has since remarried.
NICK: Danielle’s ex-partner. Nick was very close to Chris before Rebekah’s murder – in fact, his parents TIM and MARY legally adopted Chris.
CHRIS: Was friends with REBEKAH, and grew up with her, DANIELLE and Danielle's ex-partner NICK.
JENNIFER: Worked at Sonic with CASEY. Rented a house to JB. Friends with TERESA and CINDY, CHRIS' girlfriend at the time of Rebekah's murder.
JUSTIN: Rebekah’s boyfriend through high school. They dated for several years. Was dating JENNIFER at the time of Rebekah’s murder, and Jennifer was pregnant with his child. JUSTIN is now re-married.
BRIAN “KEITH” BANGS: Jennifer’s ex-husband, who was convicted of murdering her parents. He is currently in prison serving life behind bars without possibility of parole for the murders.
J.B.: Rented a house from JENNIFER. Used to be friends with CHRIS, and was friends with REBEKAH also. Dealt drugs and sold pot to REBEKAH.
CINDY: Chris’ girlfriend at the time of the murder. CINDY was also close friends with JENNIFER.
CASEY: Rebekah’s boyfriend at the time of the murder. Rebekah was staying at Casey’s home, which became a crime scene.
JESSICA: Cashier at the Possum Trot. She was the last known person who saw Rebekah alive other than her killer.
ALICIA: Her ex-husband JOEY managed the Sonic in Mountain View.
BRUCE: Manager of the Sonic in Melbourne, where Casey worked, at the time of the murder.
TERESA: Friendly with JENNIFER, REBEKAH and CASEY. Worked at Sonic with REBEKAH and CASEY.
LARRON: Worked at Sonic. Very good friends with Casey at the time of Rebekah’s murder. Was out with him on the night of September 20, 2004.
PHILIP: Larron’s roommate. Also worked at Sonic and was friends with Casey at the time of Rebekah’s murder.
B.J.: Friends with Larron, Philip and Casey. Was out with this group of guys on September 20, 2004.
SHAWN: Friends with Larron, Phillip, Casey and BJ – part of the crowd out on Monday, September 20.
GEORGE: Local journalist who was one of the first people on the scene at Rebekah’s murder.
A.K.: Local journalist who did a series of articles on Rebekah’s case.
DENNIS: Works for the Arkansas State Police. Lead investigator in Rebekah’s case.
MARK: Original investigator in Rebekah’s case before the case was given to Dennis. Head of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Arkansas State Police.
HOLLY: The prosecutor.
DON: Former prosecutor in Izard County.