Skip to comments.Cliffhanger: Was Newlywed's Cliffside Death an Accident or Murder
Posted on 08/10/2008 9:59:32 AM PDT by Oyarsa
TRANSCRIPT By Keith Morrison Correspondent NBC News updated 9:09 p.m. CT, Mon., June. 11, 2007 This report aired on Dateline Monday, June 11
HOMER, ALASKA - It was the question that wouldnt go away. The question that haunts many people even now.
Lary Kuhns: People would ask, Hey, whatever happened to that case with the lady on the cliff?
Her name was Wanda the lady on the cliff.
Jay Darling: Everybody asked what happened. And everybody seemed to scratch their head when I said, I dont know.
Farrah Tittle: I dreamed about Wanda every single night. And in several of those dreams, I always felt like Wanda was trying to tell me something.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
From the link:
Lary Kuhns: He says, Did you find Wanda? And I said, Yes. Whatd she say?
Keith Morrison: Whatd she say?
Lary Kuhns: Whatd she say?
Keith Morrison: And surely he knew that she had fallen to her death.
Lary Kuhns: Well, any logic and common sense, yes. He also asked the doctor if Wanda had said anything before she died.
Maybe the man didnt know it was a thousand feet down that cliff. That no one could have survived such a fall.
But why were his first words “what did she say?”
Why not, “How badly is she hurt?” or “Is she alive/dead?”
Lary Kuhns: This does not smell right. Doesnt smell right at all.
So trooper Kuhns began to poke around for any motive Jay might have had for getting rid of Wanda. He called Wandas mother Ollie.
Ollie Wood: That was the first thing I told him, was there was a lot of insurance.
Shortly after they were married, trooper Kuhns discovered, Jay had taken out two separate insurance policies on his lifeand two on Wandas. The total coverage was a million dollars for each of them.
But there was more: before she married Jay, Wanda had bought a $60,000 policy of her own, naming her parents as beneficiaries.
Farrah Tittle: She felt good about that. Because she just felt like she was trying to prepare for the worst. And Jay immediately wanted her to change the beneficiary on that policy
Keith Morrison: To him.
Farrah Tittle: To himself.
Keith Morrison: So she did.
Farrah Tittle: She did. But she wasnt happy about it.
But assuming that he didn’t know a fall from such a cliff would be fatal, why were his first words what did she say?
Why not, How badly is she hurt? or Is she alive/dead?
Farrah Tittle: Jay indicated to Wanda that he was going to buy a kayak and fake his own death in the Gulf of Mexico.
This was shocking information. If Farrah was right, Jay had come up with the ultimate scama plan to fake his own death and then hide in another country until the insurance was paid to his compliant wife.
Keith Morrison: Did you advise her about what to do?
Farrah Tittle: Yeah she, she was really worried. And I told her I just thought that was crazy.
Keith Morrison: Why didnt she walk the other way? Why didnt she leave him at that point?
Farrah Tittle: I think that she probably thought she could talk him out of it.
This was very strange. A man tells others about his plan to fake his own death in order to collect insurance. And then his brand new wife falls off a cliff?
Finally, in 1998, trooper Kuhns brought Darlings insurance scam, the one that began with the plan to fake his own death, to the attention of the FBI. And in 2002, Darling was charged not with murdering Wanda, but with mail fraud for trying to claim insurance money after her death. He pleaded guilty.
The sentence: 40 months in prison.
Was this the end of story? Not quite.
To digress, is that Cockney for Hollywood?
from the link:
For three days they reviewed the evidence, and counted the votes again and again. Finally, they had agreement.
Jay Darling and Wandas family steeled themselves for the verdict.
JUDGE: We the jury, duly empanelled and sworn to try the above-entitled cause do find the defendant Jay R Darling not guilty of the crime of first-degree murder as charged.
There were gasps in the courtroom. Not guilty.
Jay Darling never collected a dime on any of those insurance policies. As for Lary Kuhns, he’s no longer a state trooper — he’s now an investigator with the Homer, Alaska police department.
It shouldn’t be an I believe in a trial, it should be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This was on ID yesterday, and one of the jurors said the same thing. She knew he did it, but it wasn’t “proven” to the standards required by the law.
I saw this the other day and I really felt sorry for that woman. By all accounts, she was a good person who just wanted to get married and have kids. She deserved a lot better.
an article over a year old, what brought this up
I never agreed with the saying “I would rather see 10 guilty men go free than have one innocent man convicted”.
The reason being that once you try someone for a crime and they are found not guilty there is no remedy to retry that person for the same crime. On the other hand, if an innocent person is found guilty there is a remedy to right the wrong.
This man is clearly guilty. His plan to murder her the day before failed, so he killed her the next day. It is obvious as plain as day.
he thought he was going to get custody of Cindy's two boys from her first marriage... however, she had legally filled out paper work to leave the boys to her best friend--this was done way before she met the second husband--who, by the way, only pretended to be a widower Christian man because he knew she was a Christian... she didn't know he had been watching her and learning about her at her sons' Little League games...
he was furious when he found out he was not getting custody of the boys... he treated them horribly... a couple of books have been written about the incident... this happened to Washington... he killed his first wife in Texas or Oklahoma... he is in prison in Washington...
Slow day in the emergency room. Late afternoon the police and orderlies wheel in a middle aged, unconscious man. We try to revive him, he's dead, he's been dead for 20 minutes.
Then the dead man's buddy walks in and asks about his friend.
He's told his friend is dead (the blue-tinged body is laying on the floor at his feet), and that we'll see to that his body is taken to the funeral home.
The Buddy says, "Well, I hope he'll be all right...when he comes to, tell him I'll be back to visit."