Investigative Report Sheds New Light On Jennings 8 Murders
On the same day 27-year-old Lacie Fontenot's body was found near a water tower in Lake Arthur, an investigative reporter published an article shedding controversial new light on the unsolved murders of eight women in Jefferson Davis Parish.
No official word from law enforcement indicates Fontenot's death relates to the Jennings 8 killings — which happened only 10 miles north of Lake Arthur from 2005 to 2009 — but the coincidence is hard to ignore after reading Ethan Brown's detailed nexus of corruption in a parish that's got decades of unsolved homicides on the books.
Brown's "Who Killed the Jeff Davis 8?" weaves a tangled web between the victims, police and the South Jennings underbelly that asserts the official "serial killer" story involving the murders couldn't be more obviously misconstrued.
I could tell you more,” she tells Brown, “but I’m scared. I’m scared for my own life.
All eight victims, Brown points out, were involved in drugs and prostitution in Jennings — a well-publicized fact. But what's never been made public, he writes, is the women's role as informants for Jennings police, which reached a turning point when a drug raid ended in death at the hands of an officer.
Beverly Crochet — whose unarmed, drug-dealer brother was killed in the raid — said the killings “started right after” an officer shot Leonard Crochet dead in April 2005.
"I could tell you more,” she tells Brown, “but I’m scared. I’m scared for my own life.”
The first victim, 28-year-old Loretta Lynn Chaisson Lewis, was discovered in the Grand Marais Canal May 20, 2005.
Brown's article also details a man named Frankie Richard's involvement with both the victims and police. Richard was not only a self-proclaimed "dope addict, a coke head, meth head, alcoholic, no-good sonofabitch" and friend of the victims when the murders were happening, but also a suspect in the case and a lucky beneficiary of police misconduct.
It's alleged in Brown's article that "law enforcement may have disposed of evidence in critical murder and theft cases" against Richard, who's been named by witnesses for killing Kristen Gary Lopez and Whitnei Dubois — the third and fourth victims, respectively.
"Whatever the truth, these eight women, and their surviving families, deserve a fresh inquiry by an outside investigative body."
Along with citing recorded evidence that pins involvement on Jennings police — including former sheriff's Deputy Danny Barry, who died one year after the last victim, 26-year-old Necole Guillory (like Fontenot, also from Lake Arthur) was found — Brown also pieces together interviews and public records to illustrate how mismanaged law enforcement has cheated the victims' families from achieving justice.
As the U.S. Department of Justice intervened when police shot dead and burned the body of Henry Glover in the 2005 wake of Hurricane Katrina (those officers have since been acquitted of the charges), Brown is calling for intervention in the Jeff Davis case.
"My investigation raises a number of very real questions about the prevailing serial-killer theory of these murders," Brown writes, "and it also indicates that local law enforcement is a hindrance, not a help, to a resolution being reached. Whatever the truth, these eight women, and their surviving families, deserve a fresh inquiry by an outside investigative body."