Clyde Hedrick’s “Killing Fields” Trial. Recap Day 1

Yesterday 4 witnesses took the stand in the murder trial of Clyde Hedrick’s. Hedrick’s is charged with the murder of Ellen Beason almost 30 years ago. During that time period he is named but not charged in the murders of 4 other women, Heidi Fye, Laura Miller and 2 Jane Doe’s who have never been identified. Hedrick’s is suspected in the possible murder/disappearance of dozens of women and documents filed by the States Attorneys Office claims he has admitted to killing 4 or 5 other women.

We first heard from Jay Coffman an Officer with the Dickinson Police Dept. He was the officer Candy Gifford took to the location where Ellie’s body was. He painted a detailed picture of the isolated area for the jury.

Next up was Candy Gifford who was Ellie Beason’s best friend. She left Ellie at the bar with Hedrick’s the night she was murdered. Candy also admitted that although she was married she was having an affair with Hedrick’s that continued even after he showed Candy Ellie’s body. Riveting stuff for the jury.

Next up was Morton Grant an officer with the League City Police Dept. He was present when Ellie’s body was exhumed in 1993. His role at trial was to establish that Ellie was not dropped or mishandled while being exhumed. This was a preemptive strike by the state as the defense is going to try to say that Ellie’s skull was not bashed in by their client, Clyde Hedrick’s, but was dropped during autopsy, or by the funeral home and the damage to her skull was postmortem.

Last witness of the day who will also be first witness back on the stand this morning was Special Task Force FBI Agent Richard Rennison. He explained to the jury his passion for cold cases and took them through the timeline. He is an excellent witness who talks directly to the jury, and they’re listening. He debunked Clyde’s theory that Ellen went swimming and drowned while he sat in his truck and drank a beer and smoked a joint. Clyde claims he found Ellen floating face down but Rennison quickly debunked that theory for the jury pointing out that a drowning victim doesn’t float on top but sinks to the bottom. It takes days for a body to eventually float to the top. He also pointed out jokingly asking the jury what kinda man would sit in his truck alone while an attractive woman, who was allegedly attempting to seduce him, swam alone and naked in the lake. Although it was a joke it resonated with the jury.

Clyde Hedrick’s looks like he’s rather be anywhere else other than here in court as the defendant in a murder case. He’s agitated, rocking back and forth and nervously eyeballing the jury and those of us in the gallery. The only thing he won’t look at are the photos of a dead, decayed and skeletal Ellen Beason.

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