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JERRY "MIKE" WILLIAMS: Florida vs. Denise Williams for murder of husband in 2000 *GUILTY*

Discussion in 'Courtroom' started by noZme, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member



    NoZme - After reading about Mike Williams for two days, now, I don't think he was anywhere near the lake that day. What can be done in the State of Florida to get that case reopened? It needs to be taken back to the very beginning.
     
  2. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    NoZme - is there anyone named Doug Fryer connected to all of this?
     
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  3. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  4. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    activerain.com

    This is Lake Seminole in Sneads. It's beautiful. You can camp, ski, swim, jet ski, or just have fun. The fishing on the lake is great.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Red

    Red Well-Known Member

    I think 'someone' else put his boat there, not him.
     
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  6. Red

    Red Well-Known Member

    Thankfully murder has no statute of limitations
     
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  7. Red

    Red Well-Known Member

    If the boat and truck were ditched at the ramp, someone would have run the risk of being seen. Another reason I feel someone else ditched it off he beaten path.
     
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  8. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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  9. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tallahassee/obituary.aspx?n=warren-d-merrell&pid=152549915

    Warren D. Merrell Jr.
    1942 - 2011

    Warren D. Merrell, Jr., born February 14, 1942 Etowah TN, called to be with the Lord July 13, 2011. Warren graduated from Etowah High School, Class of '60, obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee followed by a Master of Science Degree in Transportation Engineering from Yale University '65. After 6 years with the Tennessee Department of Highways, Nashville, TN, Warren served the State of Florida for 38 years in the Department of Transportation, Tallahassee, FL. Warren's service extended to his church as a Deacon, member of the choir, Encouragers Sunday School and multiple committees and ministries. Warren's pleasures included traveling the world with his wife and family, fishing, University of Tennessee sports and spending time with his 5 beloved grandchildren. Warren is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Sylvia (Johnnie) Merrell, his parents, W.D. and Azalea Merrell, his daughters, Deanna (Cliff), Denise (Brian), Deborah (David), Darla (Robert), his brother, Doug Merrell, his grandchildren, McLin, Anslee, Parker, Ian and Owen, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Funeral Service will be held Monday, July 18, 2011 at 2:30 p.m., at the Thomasville Road Baptist Church, 3131 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Private interment will be at MeadowWood Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift may be made to the Thomasville Road Baptist Church Building Fund, the Lighthouse Children's Home or WFRF-Faith Radio. -

    See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ta...-d-merrell&pid=152549915#sthash.lsGSrUjf.dpuf
     
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  10. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    I am not familiar with that name.
     
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  11. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    http://www.thecountyrecord.net/arch...sappeared-to-Feature-Missing-Duck-Hunter.html

    Episode of "Disappeared" to Feature Missing Duck Hunter

    Monday, November 28. 2011

    [​IMG]

    An episode of the television show "Disappeared" will air tonight, Monday, Nov. 28, featuring the story of the duck hunter who vanished on Lake Seminole 11 years ago. The show airs on ID - the Investigation Discovery channel - at 9 p.m. CT.

    According to the show's website, 31-year-old Jerry Michael Williams is a successful businessman in Tallahassee when he reportedly goes out on a solo duck-hunting trip to Lake Seminole and disappears. Searchers find his truck, his boat and his shotgun, but they can't find Mike. It is assumed he is the victim of a tragic boating accident but officials are perplexed that his body doesn't surface. Mike is the only drowning victim on the Lake who has never come up.

    Lake Seminole is infested with alligators, and some of the searchers begin to pass along a frightening theory of what might have happened to Mike. They tell his mother that alligators must have eaten him. But she doesn't buy that explanation. While she hopes her son is alive she begins to think he may have been the victim of murder, not misadventure.

    When odd items like a pair of waders, a jacket and a hunting license with Mike's name on it, suddenly pop up on the lake six months after Mike disappears, insurance investigators begin to ask questions. Just a week after they are found, Mike's wife uses the discoveries, as evidence to back up her petition in probate court to have Mike declared legally dead. The judge grants her request, and Mike's widow receives all of Mike's assets and cashes in on life insurance worth at least one and a half million dollars. She later marries Mike's best friend, the insurance agent who sold Mike a million dollar policy just six months before he went missing.

    Mike's mother lobbies law officials to investigate Mike's disappearance. It takes three and half years, but finally the Florida Department of Law Enforcement picks up the case and opens an investigation. Other agencies join in but though they find lots of grounds for suspicion of foul play they don't have much hard evidence to go on. All these years later, Mike's widow and best friend aren't talking. Most daunting of all there is no body, no trace at all of Mike. Without proof of foul play, an insurance fraud investigation sputters and dies. Yet investigators become more convinced than ever that Mike Williams is a victim of foul play and that the original story that Mike disappeared on Lake Seminole was an elaborate setup, created to distract law enforcement and his family from the truth about what really happened to him.

    Tune in tonight for more on this story area residents have been following for over a decade.
     
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  12. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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  13. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestig...Missing-Duck-Hunter-Mike-Williams-Dec-16-2000

    Missing Duck Hunter Mike Williams/Dec. 16, 2000
    Mike Williams of Tallahassee, Florida, was reported missing on Saturday, December 16, 2000. He had reportedly gone duck hunting alone on Lake Seminole (Sneads, Florida) in the early morning hours of Dec. 16th. When he didn't return home by noon, his wife called family members who went looking for him. Take note that the temperature at that time was in the 20s and the lake water temperature was below 50. A search was conducted on the water as well as from the air, but nothing was found. His boat was found the next morning very near the primitive boat landing, where the truck and trailer were parked. The helicopter pilot had spotted it on Saturday, but due to the close proximity to the searchers, he thought it belonged to one of those searching. No search was ever done on the banks of Lake Seminole in that specific area. Law enforcement, especially the wildlife officers, concluded that Mike had hit a stump, was thrown out of the boat, drowned and later eaten by alligators.
    Anyone who knows anything about alligators knows that gators CAN NOT eat when the temp is that low. They do come out for sun, but it is physically impossible for them to eat. The search was called off about two weeks later with no physical evidence regarding Mike, except for a hunting bootie and cap, discovered later.
    The "grieving widow" held a memorial service for her missing husband, then petitioned a judge to have him declared dead in only SIX MONTHS. She used the argument that gators had eaten him and the evidence that conveniently popped up about a week before the judge declared him dead. Waders and a pristine Arkansas hunting license (not laminated and on paper) in a jacket pocket miraculously were found in the location where Mike supposedly drowned. The diver who found these items -- after being directed to the spot -- is now cooperating with law enforcement.
    Mike's mother never believed he was in Lake Seminole and that he had been the victim of foul play. She even considered that he might have suffered a head injury of some sort. She persisted that something was wrong and two years after his disappearance, a criminal investigation was begun.
    Mrs. Williams was threatened by her daughter-in-law that if she (Mrs. Williams) did anything to get a criminal case opened, she would never see her granddaughter again. To this date, Mrs. Williams has been denied any contact with Mike's only child.
    The "grieving widow" collected over $2 million in life insurance money -- and there are questions regarding the upgrade of one policy and the purchase of another. She is now married -- after living together for some time -- to her late husband's best friend, who was also their insurance agent. His father owns an insurance business in Tallahassee.
    Now that the public is involved and talking, the heat has been put on these "persons of interest." Missing posters are taken down by someone hours after they are put up.
    Anyone interested in this case can log on to the Tallahassee Democrat website and peruse their blog on this case -- as well as read the entire, well documented article by Jennifer Portman.
    If anyone out there knows anything about Mike Williams, please tell law enforcement immediately. Mrs. Williams only wants her son -- and her granddaughter -- back.
    Thank you for your time.
     
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  14. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestig...Missing-Duck-Hunter-Mike-Williams-Dec-16-2000

    Missing duck hunter
    07-24-2007

    The latest development in this case involves person(s) pulling down missing posters. Mike's mother and a few friends have been putting up generic posters asking for help in finding Mike. She can only put these up on weekends, because she keeps kids from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., doesn't drive and is helped by this circle of devoted friends. Within hours, the posters are down.
    BUT, on Sunday, July 22, a photographer friend set up surveillance and caught on film someone pulling down the posters -- within 30 minutes of them being put up. Turns out, the culprit on Sunday was the sister of a "person of interest." The posters say nothing about anyone but Mike and his mother seeking information of his whereabouts.
    Why are these people taking them down? Guilt? Shame? Who knows.
     
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  15. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestig...Missing-Duck-Hunter-Mike-Williams-Dec-16-2000

    02-28-2008

    http://tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll...=2008802270348

    The mysterious disappearance of Mike Williams seven years ago is getting fresh scrutiny as a possible case of insurance fraud.
    "The circumstances surrounding this case raise many serious and troubling questions," said Mark Schlein, senior attorney with the state Division of Insurance Fraud.

    No suspects have been named in the case, but law-enforcement officials have said they've identified "people of interest."
    Williams had life-insurance policies with two companies when he vanished Dec. 16, 2000, past investigators have said.
    His best friend, insurance agent Brian Winchester, wrote him a $1 million policy about six months before he disappeared, investigators said. Six months after the Tallahassee real-estate appraiser was presumed to have fallen from his boat and drowned in Lake Seminole while duck hunting alone, his high-school-sweetheart wife had him declared dead. Denise Merrell Williams, investigators said, collected at least $1.5 million in death benefits.
    In 2005 she married Winchester, whom she has known since preschool.
    The couple did not respond to requests for comment for this article. In the past they have said in e-mail statements that they loved Williams and have asked that their privacy be respected.
    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement in recent weeks has taken the lead role in what has come to be considered a case of foul play. Since the Tallahassee Democrat first wrote about Williams in December 2006, public interest in the case has been intense, fueled by an ongoing Tallahassee.com forum where armchair sleuths speculate about the mystery.
    "This case is being worked to its fullest extent," said Chris Hirst, assistant special agent in charge of FDLE's Tallahassee office. "There is nothing short of doing everything that we can do."
    FDLE officials would not discuss details of the agency's new look at the cold case.
    Schlein also declined to give specifics on the rejuvenated insurance investigation, which was opened in 2004 but went nowhere. Under new division director Vicki Cutcliffe, appointed by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink in August, the Williams case is now a top priority.
    "I looked at a number of cases that the detectives felt were important," said the 30-year law-enforcement veteran, who spent a decade working undercover for the Broward County Sheriff's Office and most recently served as a major with the state DOT police. "This was a particularly interesting case. I think it deserved a new look, a fresh look."
    Investigators once thought the five-year statute of limitations on insurance fraud ran out in November 2006. But Schlein, who was hired in the fall, said the limit can be extended for three years under certain circumstances.
    "We reviewed the statutes, and we are satisfied we are not prevented from charging an insurance-fraud-related charge if the evidence were there to support it," he said.
    The division, he stressed, is committed to finding out what really happened to the affable, hard-working young father, whose daughter was 18 months old when he disappeared.
    "If it turns out that while we have an investigation of insurance fraud it leads us to other crimes, we have jurisdiction to look at those, too. We go where the evidence takes us," Schlein said. "Right now we are searching for the truth."
    First, the alligator theory
    Since 2004, when the tenacity of Cheryl Ann Williams forced a second look into her son's disappearance, investigators with FDLE, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the state attorney's office, the insurance division and most recently the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have worked on the vexing case.
    Because Williams' disappearance was not considered suspicious until later, potentially valuable evidence was never collected, making it difficult for investigators to back up their theories with proof.
    "I wish we would have known from the start that there were insurance policies and who wrote them," said retired Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Curt Perry, who worked the scene early on and said nothing seemed strange at the time.
    Fish-and-game officers and local deputies who first worked the case assumed they were dealing with a straightforward drowning, but many began to have doubts when Williams' body failed to surface. He is the only presumed drowning victim never to have been recovered from the lake, investigators said.
    Looking for an explanation, they said an alligator must have eaten the body. But herpetologists have since said reptiles are dormant in the winter and don't eat much, let alone a 180-pound man without leaving a trace behind.
    After two months of exhaustive searching, the conservation commission's final report said there was no evidence of a boating accident or that Williams drowned in the lake. The report concluded: "Mr. Williams is still missing."
    Still, the alligator theory stuck. That's the explanation Leon Circuit Judge John Crusoe accepted when he signed Williams' death certificate. No one at the time contested it. Williams' mother, who holds out hope that he ran off and is alive somewhere, said she would have argued against having her son declared dead if she had known about it.
    The insurance perspective
    Investigators today don't think Williams died in the lake.
    Some have suggested someone staged the scene at the Jackson County lake shore and planted the scant evidence later found, including a hat, flashlight and jacket with one of Williams' hunting licenses. A pair of pristine waders popped up in what had been the middle of the search area a week before Denise Williams filed the death-certificate request.
    Winchester wrote life-insurance policies for Williams through Kansas City Life Co., investigators have said. While Williams also had a policy with Cotton States, they said, the Kansas City Life policies are the only ones mentioned in Denise Williams' court petition.
    Dick Ropp, vice president of customer service for Kansas City Life, said last week he was not aware of the fraud investigation and was not at liberty to discuss the claim.
    Florida State University insurance professor Keith Jones, asked to comment on customary insurance-company practices, said the amount of Williams' policies does not seem excessive considering his salary, which his mother said exceeded $200,000 the year he disappeared.
    Once the court granted a death certificate, Jones said, swift payment by Kansas City Life would not be unusual.
    "The mere fact that they can't locate the body isn't necessarily something the insurance industry would care about," Jones said.
    But an insurance company likely would take interest, he said, if Williams turned up alive on a beach in Acapulco or if the beneficiary of the insurance policy were found to be involved in his death.
    "Whether it was an accident or homicide, it doesn't matter," he said, "unless the beneficiary committed the crime."
     
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  16. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

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  17. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    On the Disappeared program, Cheryl stated 30 people have drowned in lake Seminole, Mike is the only body that never surfaced. Also she spoke with the top person regarding alligators at Florida State University who told her it was impossible for him to be eaten by alligators because they don't eat in the winter. Alligators live off their own fat in the cold months, not needing to consume new food. Mike didn't drown in the lake, in fact I don't think he even made it to the lake that day. It's very suspicious there has never been a search at the Winschester's residence. It's a very rural area.
     
  18. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member



    I agree completely, Scorpio. I am seriously wondering if Mike was killed at home, the night before, and the boat was staged at the lake. The 5 HP Go Devil mud motor was full of gas. According to the manufacturer, if it had been on when Williams fell out of the boat, it would have stayed on, with the boat running in circles until its fuel was exhausted
     
  19. Red

    Red Well-Known Member

    Have we heard heights of other individuals, specifically Denise and Brian? Wondering about the adjustments of mirrors on truck when it was driven to last location. Was it found reversed to the lake? Thinking about adjustment of rear view mirror for reversing with trailer.
     
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  20. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Interesting irony.....

    According to Denise Williams, on the morning of December 16, 2000, her husband awoke early, leaving the house on Centennial Oak Circle with his boat in tow well before dawn to go duck hunting at Lake Seminole, a large reservoir approximately 50 miles (80 km) west-northwest of Tallahassee along the Florida–Georgia state line, where three other streams merge to form the Apalachicola River. The couple had plans to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary that night in Apalachicola.

    [​IMG]
     
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