Acadiana will once again be in the national spotlight. This time, with the case of The Jeff Davis 8. Showtime will air a five-part documentaries called ‘Murder in the Bayou’ starting September, Friday the 13th.
News 10’s takes a look at what the unsolved case.
Eight women were killed in a span of four years in Jeff Davis Parish. It’s been about 10 years since the last woman was killed and their murders are still a mystery.
“The first case that became part of what they call the Jeff Davis 8, or Jennings 8, occurred in 2005 with the first victim, Loretta Chaisson,” said Ramby Cormier, Investigations Division Commander for JDPSO
From 2005 until 2009, the case progressed from one to eight separate victims. Ernestine Patterson, Kristen Lopez, Whitnei Dubois, Laconia “Muggy” Brown, Crystal Zeno, Brittney Gary, and Necole Guillory.
“After the number of victims started to increase, the similarities between the victims started to increase,” explained Cormier. “The similarities between the victims and the associations were put together. Some of these victims in some ways knew each other, had some kind of contact with each other, it appeared that they were all related in some way.”
The investigation to solve the murders brought in help from all over, including the FBI.
“In 2008, at the time, Sheriff Edwards formed a multi-agency task force which formally had all these different agencies participating. Many had been involved before to some degree, but that was the formal inception of the task force.”
Cormier says their cumulative work led to several arrests, but no convictions. “In reference to the second victim, Ernestine Daniels, there were two arrests made. Unfortunately there were no convictions on that case. We also had arrests made in the third victim, Kristen Gary Lopez. Once again, there were no prosecutions.”
He tells News 10 the case remains open, and to this day they continue to receive tips and follow leads.
Cormier says with the premiere of the documentary series airing on Showtime, he expects more talk among the community and therefore, more tips.