Monday, August 8, 2011
Kent Heitholt Murder: Ryan Ferguson or Michael Boyd?
at 7:12 PM
I watched Dateline NBC on Friday (Mystery on Halloween Night) and long before Kathleen Zellner identified her person of interest in this case, I noted odd behavior in one person, too. The same person: Michael Boyd. His behavior was unusual. When he talked about the murder of his boss, Kent Heitholt, he grinned away.
Yes, he grinned: True and sincere.
Boyd laughs as he tells us about the night Heitholt was murdered. He tells us he laughed at a stray cat scratching at Kent Heitholt's tires and laughed as he drove out of the parking lot about that silly cat. He even talks about being called back to the scene where Heitholt's body laid slain, and he says as he fights a smile (see photos below), "Seeing him lying there, you're just like...(grin) I don't know... I'm sorry, um..."
Boyd covers his face as this point. He says, "It's just..." as he shrugs his shoulder signifying a non-verbal "I don't know."
Why is he having such a hard time keeping a smile off his face? This is disturbing to me.
How can anyone think back to the night a murderer came within feet of you, and your boss got murdered, and the memory puts a smile on your face? I just don't get that. It's a red flag.
Most people who crossed the path of a murderer would feel negative feelings even when recollecting it years later. And many, though not all, would feel some sadness about their boss being murdered.
Could it be nervous laughter? It could be, but when I see nervous laughter, I often see hugely conflicting emotions because the person doesn't want to laugh, but they do. In between, however, I typically see more supportive expressions of how a person really feels, which I am not getting from Boyd. Boyd doesn't even contradict his smile with appropriate words of sadness for his colleague. I don't see any negative emotions at all.
Heitholt's murder was a personal attack, if you want my opinion, by someone who knew him. He was beaten over the head many times and strangled. A random stranger is not likely to strangle someone for a watch and car keys. It makes no sense whatsoever.
Heitholt obviously fed the stray cats at night after work as cat kibble was found scattered at the scene, and you have to wonder if someone knew that, and they were waiting for Kent to feed the cats and attacked him-- as a big man like Heitholt would not easily be vulnerable to this sort of attack. He was towering in stature. Whoever attacked him took him in a vulnerable state and likely knew where and how to find him vulnerable.
Ironically, Boyd tells us he did wait for Kent that night. Well, one time anyway. Another time he changed his story. Was the waiting story too close for comfort? You sure do wonder.
When Boyd is asked about being the last person to see Heitholt alive, he says, "I didn't see anybody come through, or uh..eh...you know...that looked suspicious." Notice how he changed his story mid-sentence? This is called self-censoring. It's a common hotspot for deceptive people. They change their thoughts mid-sentence as they catch their misleads.
Boyd was also asked if anyone was in the parking lot and he says it was only "me, him and the cat" in that parking lot. As he says it, he smiles again and gives us a deep laugh. Clearly, Boyd is not consistent.
Zellner shares her suspicions of Boyd as well--that Boyd was not getting rave reviews from his boss. Zellner says, "He felt very bitter about the way he was treated, very angry and I think something happened in the parking lot in a split second that triggered a rage."
From what I see, I tend to agree with Zellner.
Dateline reports that not long after the murder that Boyd moved away and took job at another paper some 170 miles away. I wonder why he left?
Boyd tells us, "A decade later, this still hurts" as he laughs again. What hurts, I wonder. He was never a suspect nor looked at questionably that I know of until Zellner pointed her finger at him, so why is there pain? According to Dateline, he wasn't close with his boss.
Zellner has identified that Boyd's account of where he was and what happened that night has changed several times. And all Boyd has to remember is one short brief encounter. How hard could that be?
The first time he told police he ran into Kent while walking through the parking lot. The second story according to Dateline is that he was waiting in his car, listening to music and drove up to talk to Heitholt. Why does Boyd have two different stories? If you are honest, you only have one memory, and you don't confuse things like this. But this is not the only story Boyd gets confused.
Boyd also had problems recalling what car he drove that night. First he told police it was a red Plymouth. Then he said it was a blue Oldsmobile. Now he says he can't remember. When asked about it, Boyd says, "I don't remember driving the blue car that much."
I believe he knows exactly what car he drove that night and he doesn't want people to check into that blue car. Clearly, Boyd's answer leaves you questioning him and ironically, according to Dateline, his blue car has "gone missing".
Boyd also has trouble remembering who was in the parking lot when he spoke to Heitholt that night. When Dateline asked Boyd who was in the parking lot that night, Boyd says it was just him, Boyd and the cat. That's what he told the police, too, originally, but once Ryan and Chuck were arrested his story changed--saying he saw two people in the parking lot like the custodial crew reported from day one.
For two years, Boyd didn't remember that until Ferguson and Erickson's arrest? Boyd even said that he almost ran into these two people as he left the parking lot (supposedly laughing about the cat scratching the tire). I don't believe this.
When Boyd was questioned why he didn't tell the police he saw two people when he was first questioned, he said, "Because they asked me if I saw anybody suspicious...and I...just...they didn't look suspicious to me."
Compare that to his earlier statement where he self-censored himself: "I didn't see anybody come through, or uh..eh...you know...that looked suspicious."
Boyd is asked by Keith Morrison, "Do you feel the need to tell people I'm innocent? I didn't do it?"
Boyd says, "I would like them to know I didn't, and Kent's my friend. And you know, he was a wonderful guy....you know, and...there is no reason for anybody to want to hurt him."
When he says this, he has a strange look on his face. I'd call it a strained face. Why is he strained when he says these nice things about Heitholt? It is as odd as his smile and laughter when he talks about seeing Heitholt's slain body in the parking lot. His answer seems like a ramble to me, when I would expect a solid and strong denial about wrong accusations! They are eerily missing.
Boyd says there is no reason for anybody to "want" to hurt Heitholt. I find the word "want" interesting here. Did someone want to kill Heitholt, or did they lose their temper and kill him? These are two totally different motives that could result in murder, and I find it odd that Boyd chooses the word "want". It's highly notable. According to his co-workers, Boyd and Heitholt had a contentious relationship.
And last when Dateline talks to Boyd about the arrest of Ferguson and Erickson, Boyd told us he was "relieved" by it, and I believe him when he says it. This was one of the biggest hot spots for me. If he relocated over 170 miles away, why on earth would he be relieved that his bosses killers were finally arrested? Is Boyd someone who worries about the public at large and I am unaware of this? It would be interesting to hear from Boyd's friends.
I agree with Zellner that he needs to be thoroughly investigated. I don't trust him. I tend to suspect that Boyd may have waited for Heitholt that night. I think he knew Heitholt liked to feed the cats after work, and he wanted to talk to him about something--something that was obviously upsetting him. If it was just idle chat, why wouldn't he have done it in the office earlier? Something was on his mind to wait for his boss at 2:00 a.m.
I wonder if we will ever know what that was... It's time to set Ferguson free!! Ryan Ferguson is a good man who is not deserving of this injustice put upon him so unfairly.