These guys are talking about control.

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48 Hours Defending Your Life 10.15.05 Run Dates

10.15.05 48 Hours Defending Your Life

07.22.06 48 Hours Defending Your Life

12.29.07 48 Hours Defending Your Life




Links 10.10.05 CSI M 404 48 Hours To Life

Similar appearance to Dennis Rader BTK - Teeth Chatter

10.15.05 48 Hours CBS  - Jerry Jones Jr. on trial for the murder of his wife Lee Jones (Jerry acting as his own attorney) court proceedings.



Everett Washington

Ron Dersch

Joe Ward - Detective

Daniel Busbee

Graham Smith

Kim Jones

Beth Jones

12.03.88 lee murdered

Jerry Pharmaceuticals Sales - tried 3 times - guilty

Stabbed 63 Times

Graham Smith - neighbor





CBS News Dead Certain August 31, 2002 094259


"Logon to CBS to Listen to the 911 recording"


CBS News Dead Certain August 31, 2002 094259



Links 10.10.05 CSI M - 48 Hours To Life


10.15.05 Daniel Horowitz's Wife Found Murdered In Their Lafayette Home









10.10.05 Jerry Bonifacio American Soldier Killed in Iraq    

Lee - Daniel   - Links 10.10.05 CSI M - 48 Hours To Life

10.15.05 Daniel Horowitz's Wife Found Murdered In Their Lafayette Home - Lafayette Police Officer Jimmy Lee - heads an investigation with remarkable similarities.


10.16.05 Bus Accident Chippwea Wisconsin -


10.16.05 Toledo Ohio Nazi protest / riot



10.25.05 NCIS "Jerry Smith" -





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Defending Your Life

Oct. 15, 2005

(CBS) A Washington state wife and mother was brutally stabbed and murdered as she was preparing to take a bath in her home, while her husband was just feet away, in a nearby room.

Police immediately suspected the husband, who was tried twice on murder charges. Incredibly, those verdicts were overturned.

Then, he faced a third trial and took a gamble by defending himself. Jones faced three murder trials, and defended himself in the third.

Would his strategy work?

48 Hours correspondent Peter Van Sant reports.

oe Ward remembers the crime scene after Lee Jones was murdered in 1988. A homicide detective for the Snohomish County sheriff’s office, he was sent to investigate the killing.

"Mrs. Jones had received a lot of injuries to her body, all over her body. She had over 60 wounds. There were slashes. There were stabs," Ward remembers. "It looked like she had fought for her life in that room. And lost."

Ron Doersch also has ties to the case. He was the deputy prosecuting attorney who tried Jerry Jones Jr., Lee's husband twice before.

Jones told police he heard a noise, responded, and found his wife. As he ran down the hallway, he says, someone brushed by him and pushed him against the wall. He says as he tried to grab the knife his hand was cut.

Ward calls the story "unbelievable."

"Detective Ward begins to realize it just doesn’t add up and that he has the murder suspect right in front of him," says Doersch.

The first trial ended with a guilty verdict, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1999 that Jones’s lawyer had been ineffective and that the case should be retried.

48 Hours began following the Jones case after he was released, marking the beginning of an incredible legal drama.

A second trial, in 2001, also ended with a guilty verdict. Remarkably, an appeals court reversed that conviction, saying the jury didn’t hear crucial evidence.

Doersch says the last ruling left him angry and embittered. "As a prosecutor, there are certain things about cases that resound in your consciousness that affect you on some emotional level. This was one of them."

Meanwhile, Jones, facing a third trial, decided to represent himself.

A Family History

For almost 17 years, Kim Jones and her younger sister, Beth, have been on a mission trying to prove their father is innocent of slaying their mother.

"I loved my mother very much. And if I had any doubt whatsoever that my dad might have done it, I wouldn’t be standing by him like this," says Kim.

"There’s no way that he did this," adds Beth.

Both sisters say they have never questioned their father’s innocence.

In 2005, Jones and his daughters faced round three and this time, he would be represented by the man he says knows this case better than anyone: himself.

Jones admits he didn't have any legal training, but says he thought he could exonerate himself. "If they can get a feel for me as a human being, then they’ll be convinced that I am not capable of murdering anyone," he said.

And he would be going toe-to-toe with the man who prosecuted him twice before, Ron Doersch.

To try to ensure a fair verdict, this jury wouldn’t hear about Jones’ earlier trials or convictions.

It was Lee Jones' beauty that first caught his attention back in 1970, when Jerry was stationed in Vietnam, serving in the Air Force.

Says Jerry, "I encountered the most gorgeous creature I’d ever laid eyes on in my life."

He says it was "love at first sight."

They married in Vietnam, and their first child, Kim, was born there. Within months, Jerry’s tour ended and Lee left her family behind and moved to the U.S. to start a new life. The couple had two more children, Beth and Thomas.

Jerry retired after 20 years in the Air Force and the family moved to Bothell, Washington, just outside Seattle.

Jones’ daughters say their parents were in the prime of their marriage. "They were always hugging each other. They were always kissing. And they were very close and very happy," says Kim.

Jerry became a successful pharmaceutical salesman, while Lee was a busy housewife, raising three children.

The Murder

On the night of December 3, 1988, Jerry and Lee were at home with four-year-old Thomas. According to Jerry, Lee had put their son to sleep, then went to the hallway bathroom to take a bath. Jazz music was playing from a radio in Jerry’s study, across the hall in the master bedroom. His shower was running in the adjoining bathroom.

"I heard this horrible scream. One loud, piercing scream. I’d never heard anything like that before in my entire life," remembers Jerry.

He says he raced toward the bathroom door and recalls that, as he moved closer, he saw a knife coming out of the doorway.

He says he recollects colliding with an intruder and reaching for the knife. "And in the process, I suffered some cuts. I’m knocked back. I hit my head against the wall. Boom. Fall to the floor. And I’m seeing these black and white flashing lights."

When he got up, he says, there was nobody in the hallway. "I immediately went into the bathroom. And I encountered the most horrible situation I’ve ever seen in my life."

Jerry says he found his wife in the tub, struggling and trying to speak. "I can recall this chattering sound of her teeth."

He called 911 (audio), telling the operator his wife had been stabbed multiple times.

"Her eyes were wide open. And she was looking right at me, and I realized that she was losing her life," Jerry recalls, crying.

Amid the blood and chaos, Thomas woke up. "I went upstairs and I found my mother," he says. "She was in the bathtub, and it was bloody."

Det. Ward was the lead investigator and says it was one of the most violent murders he had ever seen: "All I could see was that I had a wet and bloody man with a hand wrapped in a towel, and a dead wife in the bathroom."

"We don't have any witnesses that saw anybody run from the house. We don't have any DNA. There's really an absence of any evidence of an intruder murdering Lee Jones and then fleeing," Ward adds.

Jerry says he thinks police had already made up their mind: "Lee is dead. Jerry’s at home. Case is closed."

And he insists he didn’t murder his wife. "They didn’t do an investigation that night. And within two hours, I found myself under arrest for something I didn’t do."

The Prosecution

Prosecutor Doersch remembers his native Queens, New York, neighborhood, where his parents owned a delicatessen for some 35 years. It is a long way from Everett, Washington, but for Doersch, there is a close connection.

"I think Ron saw Lee Jones as someone similar to his Mom," says Doersch’s wife, Mara Rozzano, also a prosecutor.

"My mother was an immigrant and she always spoke with heavily accented English. She was about 5’4". And her name was Elizabeth and everyone called her Leah," says Doersch.

Doersch says he was determined to get justice for Lee Jones.

As he began this third round in court, he was feeling the pressure. What if Jerry Jones, a self-taught lawyer-wannabe, who Doersch had convicted twice before, won this case?

"That would be hard to swallow. That would be tough," says Doersch, admitting he thought Jerry may be a good attorney.

But Doersch believes his opposing counsel was also his best evidence, noting, "The strongest piece of evidence is Jerry Jones. He is still here. He is still alive."

He told the jury about Lee’s defensive wounds, the blood spatter in the bathroom, and the cuts on Jerry’s right hand that Jerry says were caused by the intruder.

Jerry says the cuts were consistent with a defensive move, but a forensic expert testified the cuts more likely occurred when Jerry’s hand slid off the knife handle as he allegedly stabbed Lee dozens of times.

Jerry countered with his own expert. "My fingerprints were not on the knife, my blood was not on the knife, and my DNA is not on the knife. How on earth is it possible to stab someone 63 times and yet leave no physical evidence whatsoever?"

Doersch says he thinks Jerry rinsed off the handle of the knife, fully aware that there would be fingerprint testing.

The jury also heard that Jerry let crucial minutes pass before calling 911.

Van Sant asked Jerry why he didn’t immediately call police, while his wife was in the tub, bleeding to death.

"I don’t get it either," Jerry said.

But Doersch says he believes he knows why: In the midst of everything, Thomas came upstairs "not once, but several times, as far as we’re able to tell. And at this point, Jerry hands are already full. He’s got a dying woman. He’s got cuts on his hands. And here comes this kid."

Jerry took Thomas back to his bedroom.

"If you didn’t kill Lee, why in the world would you have taken your young son back downstairs and left him there when you don’t know whether or not the killer is still in the house?" Van Sant asked.

"Well Peter, you’re presuming, of course, that I’m thinking clearly, coherently and logically at this point in time," Jerry responded.

But Doersch insists there never was an intruder, and that Jerry knew Thomas was safe downstairs.

But Thomas came upstairs again, and this time, Jerry took his son to his next-door neighbor, Graham Smith.

"Jerry said that he was watching TV, he was hit over the head. And when he came to, he found Lee bleeding and stabbed," Smith testified in court.

Jerry told his neighbor he was struck on the head while watching TV, but told police he collided with the intruder. But he insists his stories aren't contradictory.

"I didn’t tell two different stories. My response to him was, ‘I hit my head. And when I got up I found Lee bleeding all over,’" says Jerry.

It was only after he returned home from Smith’s house that Jerry finally called 911, but he gave them the wrong address.

Ward believes Jerry’s mistake was an intentional delaying tactic. It took police ten minutes to find the house and when they went inside, they discovered Jerry, wet and bloody.

A forensic scientist testified to scenarios of how the crotch area of Jerry’s jeans became stained with Lee’s blood. Doersch says he thinks Jerry was sitting on top of his wife, holding her down while stabbing her.

Not true, says Jerry. In fact, he says, if he wanted Lee dead, he had his chance. It was during a rough period in their marriage, when the couple separated. Lee had attempted suicide, overdosing on sleeping pills. Jerry found her and rushed her to the emergency room.

The couple soon reconciled and their daughters remember how their parents had gotten very close.

But Lee’s friends, Barbara Sleeper and Mary McNaughton, say right before she was murdered, Lee was looking for a way out. "Jerry and his daughters can say anything they want to. He can talk about how in love he was and that they, you know, were reuniting and everything else. But I knew that she wanted to get divorced," says Sleeper.

The Defense

Jerry insisted he knew who really killed Lee, and he was to put him on the stand. For more than 16 years, Jerry has insisted that Daniel Busby is his wife’s real killer.

Doersch says there is no evidence that Busby, then 15, was involved. "There is no connection, basically, between Danny Busby and the crime scene that night. All the DNA evidence tends to exclude Danny Busby."

But Doersch knew Busby’s tough-guy presence would vastly complicate his case. He remembers thinking, "He’s kind of a loose cannon and I’m concerned about that."

At the time of Lee’s murder, Busby was a friend of Beth Jones, and she says he had a crush on her. She also remembers him as a neighborhood loudmouth.

Jerry says Lee didn’t like Busby. "She didn’t want him associating with Beth. Or calling Beth or coming to the house. ...We know he has grown and developed into a very disturbed, vicious, uncaring, brutal person."

For the first time in three trials, Jerry was allowed to tell the jury about Busby’s troubled past, a history of violence Jerry says included the night Lee died.

He directly confronted Busby about his assaults against ex-girlfriends, and threats to kill people.

"Would you describe yourself as prone to violence?" Jerry asked Busby on the stand. "I have been in the past," Busby answered.

Jerry says when he sees Busby, he sees a disturbed, violent person.

And he says Busby’s uncontrollable temper erupted after Lee banned the teen from visiting and calling Beth.

Jerry claims an enraged Busby was looking for Beth the night of the murder, but found Lee, instead. "And he viciously stabbed and slashed and attacked her over and over and over again that night."

But there is no physical evidence or a witness that links Busby to the crime scene.

In court, Jerry asked Busby if he had ever growled at Thomas like a lion or tiger to frighten him. "I don’t recall," Busby answered.

"Are you saying that never happened?" Jerry pressed Busby.

"No. I’m saying I don’t recall," Busby replied.

Jerry claims Busby growled at Thomas prior to going upstairs and murdering Lee.

But Doersch believes, if there was any growling sounds that night, they came from Jerry himself.

Then there’s Busby’s long history of violence against his girlfriends. He testified that he had physically abused some of them.

And things got worse for the prosecution when those former girlfriends took the stand.

"He was both verbally and physically mean," one stated. "He would just kind of snap and change personalities. He’d be so furious," another ex-girlfriend told the court.

Doersch acknowledged that the women were sympathetic people and that there was no question that Busby put them through hell, but said Jerry was using Danny Busby as a convenient scapegoat.

"On any occasion, did he, in your opinion, seriously try to kill you?" Doersch asked one of Busby's ex-girlfriends. "No," the woman replied. "Danny never threatened you with a knife or any kind of weapon, did he?" Doersch asked. "No," she answered.

Doersch says the challenge would be to draw that line between Busby as a 15-year-old and as an adult. "If the jurors decide that he is volatile enough to have done this, well, then, the case is lost."

The Faceoff

Kim, Beth and Thomas all agreed to testify on their father’s behalf, and all wanted to help free their dad. To do that, Jerry counted on their testimony to put Busby at the crime scene.

Beth testified that Busby frequently growled at Thomas like a tiger prior to the murder, and Thomas testified that, on the night of the murder, he heard a loud, growling sound.

While Beth, Kim and Thomas stood by their father, Jerry knew it was his testimony, and not his childrens’, that jurors really want to hear. So, as his own attorney, he decided to take the stand and come face-to-face with Doersch, a confrontation 16 years in the making.

"Once I knew that the case was coming back, it was clear to me that there would be some sort of faceoff," says Doersch.

But Jerry says he didn’t look at it as a match between Doersch and himself. "I looked at it as an opportunity to present the evidence to a jury of twelve people and prove my innocence."

Before Doersch faced Jerry, a public defender assigned by the court to advise Jerry urged Jerry to explain his bizarre behavior after he discovered Lee had been stabbed.

Asked if and how he got wet on the night of the murder, Jerry testified that he heard water running in the master bedroom shower and went to turn it off, when he realized he was bleeding.

That’s not the story Jerry told at his first trial, and Doersch believed he had caught Jerry in a lie and whipped out transcripts, reading Jerry’s own words back to him. "I open the shower door and start reaching in and turn the shower off and step in, clothes and all, I let the water run from the top of my head down the front of my body," Doersch read.

After just a handful of questions, Doersch retreated, surprising Jerry. "I believe he was fairly convinced that he had lost the trial," observes Jerry.

Why didn’t Doersch go after Jones more aggressively? "Just because I have a stick to hit him with doesn’t mean I’m going to hit him with it," he says.

But Doersch used that stick in his closing statements.

"Exhibit one for the state is Jerry Jones, because he is still here. He is still alive," Doersch said, adding, "Danny Busby is offered up as the bogeyman and he was not. And he did not kill Lee Jones. We know who did. And it is Jerry Jones."

For the Jerry and his family, their long battle to win his freedom came down to one final argument.

"Jerry Jones’ name is on that ballot, not Danny Busby. It’s outrageous. It just doesn’t add up. I had no motive. I was not a violent person. I was not an explosive person. I’m the person you see standing before you today," Jerry told the jury, emotionally.

But Doersch thinks Jerry’s tearful closing was rehearsed, not genuine. "I think what the jury got to see was Jerry Jones acting in closing."

And for the third time, Jerry Jones’ fate was in the hands of a jury.

The Verdict

After a grueling three-week trial, jurors reached a verdict in just four-and-a-half hours.

The short deliberation worried Doersch but, moments later, the verdict was read: guilty as charged.

Jurors remember a tense courtroom as they filed in with their verdict. "I looked at Jerry Jones. And I looked at Ron Doersch. I think both of those guys have had a very personal role in this thing for the last 16 years," one recalled.

What was Jerry thinking as he heard the verdict? "You just shake your head in disbelief and, ‘What on earth are they thinking?’"

For Doersch, getting a third conviction was a tremendous relief, and he believes justice was served again. "It was served in 2001. It was served in 1989. It’s the right verdict."

Jurors say they didn’t buy Jerry’s version of events.

"We went through everything and it just didn't fit," says one juror, who questioned Jerry’s explanation for the cuts on his hand.

Jurors also didn’t buy Jerry’s story of only hearing a single scream, as his wife was being stabbed 63 times in the next room. "I've lived in a split level house myself. I could be downstairs and hear stuff going on upstairs in the bathroom. I think there was a terrible struggle. And, I think you would a heard that all over that house," a female juror remarked.

The jury also thought the 911 call was off. "On the whole 911 tape, he never cried," one juror remarked. "And then, he would put down the phone and run and go do this. And, put down the phone and run and go do that. When you’re on the phone with 911, you stay on the phone," another commented.

And what about Busby, the person Jerry claims is the real killer? While jurors found Busby unlikable, they also felt there was no real evidence linking him to the crime scene.

"He was being very honest about the fact he had hit a few women, he had pushed their head into the steering wheel. He admitted to everything," one juror said.

It was Jerry Jones they didn’t believe.

Five days after being convicted, Jones returned to court for sentencing and for the third time, his daughters asked for compassion

"Everyone talks about how much we love our dad. But they seem to forget how much we loved our mother," Beth Jones said.

But for Pam O’Keefe, Busby’s mother, Jerry Jones didn’t deserve sympathy. "The evil started the night Jerry Jones murdered his wife and the next day when he accused my son of doing it."

No one knows how years of being vilified affected Busby’s life, but his mother believes Jerry needs to be punished for all the lives he has damaged.

When it was Jerry’s turn, he seemed remorseful. "I wish Danny Busby’s name had not come to mind. I have no reason to bring his name into these proceedings."

The judge then sentenced Jerry, for the third time, to 25 years.

Yet, just a few months later, back in prison, Jerry Jones is defiant once again. Asked if he owes Busby an apology, Jones says, "No. I do not owe Danny Busby an apology, and none will be forthcoming."

"I think it's entirely likely that, at this point, he's managed to convince himself that he did not commit this murder," says Doersch. For him, the battle against Jerry Jones is over.

And Doersch is moving on: Instead of prosecuting, he’ll be enforcing the law, as a deputy sheriff.

But the case that has consumed Doersch’s life for so many years will be much more difficult to leave behind. "I don't know that anything we can do in a courtroom can really put the dead to rest. Clearly, the family has been damaged, I think, beyond repair by what Jerry Jones did. So in terms of whether Lee Jones can rest, why, I hope she can rest. The rest of us, I don't think can."

©MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. 


Dead Certain

August 30, 2002

(CBS) Jerry Jones spent a decade behind bars proclaiming his innocence after being convicted of killing his wife. And with the help of his devoted daughters he got a second chance to clear his name.

But as 48 Hours reports, Jones' freedom was short-lived. Two years after his release, he was again facing murder charges.

In 1988, the Jones family seemed to be living the American Dream. Jerry, a successful pharmaceutical salesman, and his wife Lee were raising two teen-age daughters and a young son. But on the night of Dec. 3, Lee Jones met a gruesome fate when she was stabbed to death as she prepared to take a bath in their suburban Seattle home.

Jerry Jones says he is innocent of his murder his wife Lee . 

Shortly after Lee's death, the stunned and grief-stricken children were hit with another tragedy: their father was being charged with murder.

According to Jerry, the night of the murder he heard a scream coming from the bathroom and ran down the hallway to investigate. "And my vision, my focus, my attention was just riveted that it's a knife," said Jerry as he described his encounter with an intruder that evening. "And we just more or less meet in the doorway and collide."

He claims he was cut on the hand and knocked against a wall. When he came to, the intruder was gone and he discovered Lee bleeding to death in the bathtub.

His story didn't convince the local authorities. "There was no evidence of anyone else having been in the house or having left the house," said Detective Joe Ward who worked on the Jones case.

Jerry's story also failed to convince a jury. At his 1989 trial, Jerry was convicted of first-degree murder.

"He's been accused, convicted and sent to prison...for something he didn't do," believes Jerry's daughter Kim. She and her sister Beth have fought tirelessly to clear their father's name.

They believe their mother's killer is a neighborhood teen-ager, Daniel Busby, who they say was obsessed with Beth.

Since Lee Jones' murder, Busby has been convicted of more than 20 crimes, including assaulting one woman.

But in the initial murder trial, Jerry's lawyer failed to present any evidence about Busby. Kim and Beth believe their father never would have been convicted had that information been available to the jury.

Two years ago, a federal judge gave Kim and Beth hope. The judge set aside Jerry's conviction and set him free, ruling Jones didn't get a fair trial.

After a year of freedom, Jerry again found himself facing a murder charge for the death of his wife.

Kim and Beth redoubled their efforts to fight for their father. They raised thousands of dollars for his legal defense fund, mounted a national public relations campaign, and rallied dozens of supporters.

Before the second trial, Jerry Jones was confident because he knew the jury would hear testimony from Daniel Busby, the man Jones says is the real killer. "What's at stake is putting to rest what has been a nightmare for us over the last 12 years. Losing my wife, the children losing their mother is a horrible thing," said Jerry.

His daughter was not as confident. "For 12 years, I've lived my life on a roller coaster," said Kim. "I'm scared to death. I'm scared for my father."

Prosecutor Ron Doersch planned to tear down Jerry's story about his confrontation with the alleged killer. He said the lacerations on Jerry's hands the night of the murder were not consistent with defensive wounds: "The cuts tell me that he was stabbing her, the knife slipped, he kept on stabbing her, the knife slipped, he kept on stabbing her, the knife continued to slip."

At the second trial, Daniel Busby was brought to the stand and grilled by the defense lawyer over graphic letters he wrote indicating his infatuation with both Beth and Lee Jones.

Busby failed to crack under the pressure of the witness stand but his testimony was seen as a boost to Jerry's defense.

But would it be enough to sway the jury?

After two years of freedom, Jerry Jones is again at the mercy of a jury. And his daughters prayed they won't have to see their father taken away for a second time.

After deliberating for just six and a half hours the jury came back with a verdict: guilty. Jerry Jones was sentenced to 25 years. Counting the 10 years he already served, Jerry could be eligible for parole in six.

Two weeks after his conviction, Jerry spoke with 48 Hours from jail still proclaiming his innocence. "If I had done the murder, I would have confessed a long time ago and saved myself and my family all of this agony," said Jerry.

"Everyone who knows me as a person and as a human being knows I am...not responsible for this crime."