published Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

GBI confirms Parker was a homicide victim

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Illinois case mirrors Parker's

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Husband of missing dispatcher Theresa Parker says he's been singled out unfairly

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LaFayette officer charged with making false statements in Parker investigation

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Pond draining comes up empty

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Benefit for missing woman seeks smiles

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Police believe Sam Parker dumped his estranged wife’s body behind a cornfield in Chattooga County 3 1/2 years ago, but even after the autopsy they can’t tell how she died.

“You’ve got to take into account [Theresa Parker’s] body was out in the elements for 3 1/2 years, subjected to many circumstances,” Walker County, Ga., Sheriff Steve Wilson said Friday.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Friday a medical examination showed Theresa Parker, a former Walker County 911 dispatcher, was a homicide victim. But the exam could not reveal what specific injury caused her death, GBI spokesman John Bankhead said.

“It’s rare to determine the cause of death when you have a skeleton that’s been out in the woods this long,” he said.

Earlier this week, Chattooga County Sheriff John Everett said Theresa Parker’s skull appeared to have a hole in it. Bankhead said it was not a bullet hole.

Her husband, Sam Parker, was convicted of murder last year even though her body had not been found.

Investigators don’t think the new findings will help Sam Parker in the appeal that he filed shortly after he was convicted.

“It doesn’t change the verdict at all,” Wilson said.

Sam Parker, a former LaFayette, Ga., police officer, was sentenced to life in prison and is housed at the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville.

His attorney, public defender David Dunn, could not be reached Friday for comment.

A farmer found Theresa Parker’s jawbone in a dry creek bed last week. The rest of her remains were found nearby.

Bankhead said an anthropologist and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kris Sperry examined her bones earlier this week at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta.

Based on the exam, the investigation and the circumstances surrounding Theresa Parker’s disappearance, Dr. Sperry classified her death as a homicide, he said in a news release.

The remains were taken to the South Crest Chapel of Lane Funeral Home on Friday where the family will plan a service, said her sister, Hilda Wilson.

“I’m just trying to make the arrangements,” she said.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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rolando said...

The GBI claims she was a homicide victim but do not know how she died or what specifically killed her???

What kinda Bureau Agents do they have down there...the kind who cheated on their entrance exams?

Here's a clue from a fed -- If they don't know how she died or what killed her, how can it be murder rather than an accidental death? Like falling in the river and drowning while drunk, for instance. Or justifiable homicide? Did they look upstream for a knife or a gun she might have threatened him with?

No, the fix is in. The cop did it whether he did it or not.

Interesting, this. The state finds a defendant guilty of murder in some degree without producing positive evidence that she is dead [her body], proceeds on circumstantial evidence alone and carries the day. Once in jail and the body found, the state -- in order to defend their conviction and jailing of the guy -- pontificates that he killed her even though they don't know how and the body bears no signs of being a murder victim...thus upholding their holy writ of guilt.

Once again, I MUST stay out of that state and that county in particular.

It would not surprise me to learn the court washed its hands afterward...they should have, with the filth of raped Themis on them.

October 2, 2010 at 1:18 a.m.
whatever said...

I'm more inclined to blame the article writer than the GBI, homicide is often a catch-all classifications for cases where they can't conclude it was a natural death.

October 2, 2010 at 1:30 a.m.
rolando said...

This is the second report written on this, whatever. But yeah, guilt is assumed down there. It's easier since fewer decisions are involved.

There are many classifications of homicide but murder has only two degrees. Homicide, per se, isn't necessarily illegal. Justifiable, for instance.

October 2, 2010 at 1:45 a.m.
podiebell said...

If either of you were from around the La Fayette area then you would know that he is guilty. There was no doubt in anyone's mind here. The La Fayette Police Department and the Walker Co Sheriff's office are both extremely corrupt. If the GBI had not come in and taken over, Sam Parker would have never even been called a suspect. Parker was close friends with Sheriff Steve Wilson and even went through the police academy with him.

October 2, 2010 at 1:50 a.m.
whatever said...

I'm not speaking as to the guilt, I'm simply addressing the classification as a homicide, which should not be taken as overly meaningful. It is not at all uncommon to use homicide to cover such uncertain circumstances.

And actually, murder itself is classifiable along several degrees. There are even places where they use the term "third-degree murder" though they may be different in meaning. It's really just a matter of terminology rather than a real difference.

Much like say, belt rankings in martial arts.

October 2, 2010 at 2:04 a.m.
dt4c said...

The crookedness of Walker/Catoosa Co/Ringgold/Lafayette has been going on for years and will never change. Law enforcement in those counties are gestapo. Until the feds come in and clean house and keep a constant eye on things it will never change. He probably killed her because he knew his buddies would bury the case and it almost worked.

October 2, 2010 at 8:02 a.m.
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