The murder of Susan Woods took place on July 28, 1987. The horrific tale of the murder case stunned the neighborhood.
They had grown close ever since high school. On April 6, they both shared the same date of birth.
Later, when one of these close friends was found dead in a bathtub, the other buddy was distraught.
Hayes had concerns about Susan’s ex-husband soon after the incident, but there was no proof of this in the police inquiry.
The Stephenville Police Department’s Lt. Don Miller resumed the investigation after the matter had been closed for around 20 years.
Everyone involved was surprised and in a state of disbelief at the revelation that followed.
Evidence Never Lies, a recent episode of Investigation Discovery’s “On the Case with Paula Zahn,” dives into Susan Woods’ heartbreaking story.
This episode depicts the heartbreaking crime through in-depth conversations with Woods’ parents, closest friend, and other others.
How did Susan die?
The horrifying discovery was made on July 28, 1987, in Stephenville, Texas, by Susan Woods’ father. At her home, he found his daughter’s lifeless body partially submerged in the bathtub.
After two or three days, the detectives came to the conclusion that Susan had passed away unexpectedly. After she died from respiratory difficulties, the doctors eventually discovered that she might have been drowned or strangled.
Sadly, there was evidence that someone had attempted to harm her improperly before her untimely death.
Susan was going through a divorce when she passed away. Susan’s best friend, Cindy Hayes, claims to have listened to a cassette tape left by Susan’s ex-husband, Michael Woods.
The words Michael made on the tape regarding Susan, her friends, family, and acquaintances were incredibly nasty and disgusting.
Hearing the audio made Cindy skeptical of Michael, as one might expect. Michael was the subject of the police’s attention as well, and they held him in suspicion for 20 years.
When they both played clarinet in the school band in high school, Cindy and Susan became friends. They once attended a Michael Jackson concert.
Cindy revealed that although Susan and her cousin Joseph Scott Hatley were not particularly close, they were both in the party that attended the event.
Cindy claimed that they only physically interacted three times. The investigation into Susan’s death turned up no significant leads.
When the police first arrived at the crime site, they discovered that Susan’s house had not been broken into.
They speculated that Susan might be acquainted with the aggressor in light of this. Lt. Don Miller of the Stephenville Police Department made the decision to reopen the investigation after 20 years passed without a resolution. All of us were horrified by what followed.
Who was Susan Woods killer?
Joseph Scott Hatley, who just so happened to be Cindy Hayes’ first cousin, killed Susan Woods.
Throughout the protracted investigation, Susan’s ex-husband Michael Woods was exposed to multiple interviews; nevertheless, nothing was learned, and the case went unresolved for 20 years.
Before divorcing, Michael and Susan were married for five and a half years. Michael moved to Indianapolis after that.
Michael was the primary suspect in Susan’s murder, despite the fact that their divorce was not yet official, according to the authorities. They tried to gather enough evidence to prove his involvement, but they were unsuccessful.
After twenty years, Lieutenant Miller made the decision to resume the investigation, relying on cutting-edge forensic DNA profiling methods.
He thought back to his observations of Susan and the scene of the crime, noting particular cues that suggested a possible struggle had taken place.
To find a match, DNA from cigarette butts and fingerprints taken at the site were compared to a database.
They were taken aback to learn that these tidbits of information lead them in the direction of Joseph Hatley, a peculiar suspect who had never before attracted the attention of the law.
Throughout the protracted inquiry, Susan’s ex-husband, Michael Woods, was subjected to countless interviews. However, nothing was learned, and the case went unresolved for 20 years.
The former couple were married for five and a half years before divorcing. Michael moved to Indianapolis after that.
On June 6, 2006, he was found in Round Rock and brought in for questioning. Hatley agreed to a plea deal and acknowledged killing Susan in 2007.
Hatley was released from prison after only 11 years, much to the chagrin and shock of the family, despite the conditions of the plea agreement providing for a 30-year sentence.
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