#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~
I love watching true crime shows…as long as they are about murder…, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 Each week, I blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.
One of my short stories, Blood and Breakfast, is about a crime junkie who gets a little closer to murder than she anticipated. You can buy the Kindle version here for only $2.00 Blood and Breakfast – It’s also part of a print book with 6 other scary stories: A Collection of Friday the 13th Stories…
See No Evil, Season 4, Episode 8, “A Date with Dalene”
Stockton, California, August, 2011
In July of 2011, twenty-three year old Dalene Carlson moved from Idaho to Stockton, California to live with her aunt and to attend school. On August 7, 2011, she and her cousin, Cecily, were supposed to go out to Finnegan’s, a bar they frequented. Cecily wasn’t feeling well, so Dalene went out alone. When she wasn’t home by 3:30 a.m., at the time her aunt was expecting her, the aunt called the police, but Dalene hadn’t been missing long enough for a report to be filed. Her cousin put out social media posts asking if anyone had seen her, and a volunteer search party was formed to look for her.
Something about the situation struck a chord with Detective Brad Burrell and he opened a missing persons case. Dalene’s cousin gave the detectives a photo she’d taken the evening that Dalene went out. In it, she was wearing ripped jeans and a brown and white striped top. The detectives headed to Finnegan’s. The bartender stated he saw her go outside at around midnight. They reviewed video surveillance and, recognizing her by her clothing, spotted her outside. They checked the feed in a hallway by the bathrooms and saw a man with a goatee put his arm around her. The took a photo of the guy and showed it to Dalene’s friends, who identified the man as Jason Gilley. Detectives went to the house where Jason lived with his grandmother and spoke to him. Gilley said he was supposed to give Dalene a ride, but he had to go because his son was sick. Jason said they should talk to Jacob, who she’d been dating. Dalene and Jacob had gotten into an explosive fight outside Jason’s house a few days earlier.
The police watch more of the video and see Dalene talking to man who they learn is Jacob. She seems angry and is gesturing, then she walks away. They bring Jacob in and he says that Dalene broke up with him that night. He didn’t want it to end, but she ended it. They learn that she sent a text to Jacob saying she wanted to keep partying. Since she would need booze to do that, they check video at nearby stores. They find her at a Food4Less with a man. They recognize him as Jason Gilley.
Detectives bring Gilley back in. On the show, the actual interview video was shown. The detective asks him again what time he got home.
Jason: “1:15 to 1:30.”
Detective: “We don’t expect you to know what you were doing at exactly every minute, that’s not reasonable.”
Jason: “Yeah. It’s not reasonable.”
Detective: “But we were able to view video cameras.” He placed his hand on Jason’s arm in a sympathetic gesture. “You didn’t make any stops at all?”
Jason: “Wait, wait… I went to Food4 less with Dalene and bought a bottle of Jager. I asked her if she wanted to come crash on the couch.” He said they had sex and partied some more. He pauses and gets choked up. Then he says that she wanted to go home and he was taking her home but they argued and she jumped out of the car. He said, “I don’t know. She just got out of the car. I think I even got some gas out there.”
The detectives are sure he’s hiding something. They press him. “What else has slipped your mind?”
Jason says no, no… The detectives ask, “Where are we going to find the body? Help us bring her home. She has a family. They deserve is, she deserves it. Come on, Jason, don’t do this.” Jason is quiet for moment then asks for a lawyer, so they have to end the interview. What they have so far isn’t enough to arrest him for murder. While the detectives don’t believe it to be true, Dalene could still be alive.
Since Jason said he’d gotten gas out where he left Dalene, detectives decide to search for video at gas stations in the area, though they feel it’s a long shot. At a gas station on the south edge of Stockton, they scan six hours’ worth of footage, covering the possible time Jason could have stopped for gas. At a little after 11 a.m. a silver car pulls up. They check inside footage and spot Jason at the register. His clothing is dirty, and he is seen brushing something off his shoulder. Jason gets back into the car but it doesn’t move. After 20 seconds, he opens the passenger door and slams it shut. Detectives believe that in Dalene’s haste to get out, she hadn’t closed the door properly, so he was closing it.
In mid-October, there is a break in case. In a field 20 miles south of Stockton, a farmer discovers a body. Police secure the scene and quickly establish that the body is that of a young woman. They process the scene with the greatest attention to detail. The victim has gunshots to the torso and head. They find scattered 22 caliber casings. They confirm the body is Dalene.
An informant comes forward and says Jason owns a 22 caliber gun. They confiscate it and a ballistics report shows it’s a match. They arrest him. Jason refuses to confess, but was convicted by a jury on October 3, 2013 of First Degree Murder with the special circumstance of kidnapping, and the use of a firearm. He was later sentenced to life. No motive was ever given but it was assumed that Dalene was upset that she and Gilley had had sex. There is a question as to whether it was consensual, but authorities couldn’t prove it wasn’t, so Gilley wasn’t charged with rape. Apparently, her reaction incited him to rage and he murdered her. It’s mind boggling to me that people can so easily be pushed to murder.
While in jail, Gilley was attacked. His mother, Debbie Cooke said her son was removed from protective custody and was beaten up that evening amid the general inmate population.
“I’ve heard it’s one of Dalene Carlson’s cousins in jail that assaulted my son last night,” Cooke said. “I’m very upset my son was assaulted when he should be somewhere where he is protected at this point.”
I’m afraid I can’t feel any sympathy for her son. There was no one around to protect poor Dalene from him, why should he be protected?