The Murder Board


 
Catherine with her murder board in Mountain View.

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.