Brandon Woodruff /// 435 /// 436

39 comments

  • Jane Gruber
    Jane Gruber Cleves, Ohio
    I just finished listening to both episodes of Brandon Woodruff. I am leaning toward Brandon being innocent. For one, I agree with Nic and the Captain that he didn't have a fair trial and that there were other suspects that could have committed the murders. Why didn't the investigators investigate Mike more? He lied about the My Space post. Also, the time between when Brandon asked Robert to lie about the time they met up, could have been a cover up for a meeting with a love interest (although why didn't Brandon say that in his defense?). The fact that Mike's mom actually called the police about suspects for the murder (even when that information wasn't released yet) and covered up her number, should have been another sign that Mike (and his Mom) should have been looked at closely. I really hope Brandon's defense team can find a way to help him get a new trial.

    I just finished listening to both episodes of Brandon Woodruff. I am leaning toward Brandon being innocent. For one, I agree with Nic and the Captain that he didn't have a fair trial and that there were other suspects that could have committed the murders. Why didn't the investigators investigate Mike more? He lied about the My Space post. Also, the time between when Brandon asked Robert to lie about the time they met up, could have been a cover up for a meeting with a love interest (although why didn't Brandon say that in his defense?). The fact that Mike's mom actually called the police about suspects for the murder (even when that information wasn't released yet) and covered up her number, should have been another sign that Mike (and his Mom) should have been looked at closely. I really hope Brandon's defense team can find a way to help him get a new trial.

  • Joseph
    Joseph Indiana
    What I don't understand, or maybe I missed it, is that I didn't hear of any "smoking gun" nor did it sound like they could literally put him at the scene, or physical proof that he was there in the house. I also agree with the captain that Brandon had objects in his book bag that would have made him potentially embarrassed of what he was up to in FL, hence the reason why he flipped out on his friends.

    What I don't understand, or maybe I missed it, is that I didn't hear of any "smoking gun" nor did it sound like they could literally put him at the scene, or physical proof that he was there in the house. I also agree with the captain that Brandon had objects in his book bag that would have made him potentially embarrassed of what he was up to in FL, hence the reason why he flipped out on his friends.

  • Tammie
    Tammie OH
    Brandon DID not get a fair trial. So many more things should have been looked at more clearly.

    Brandon DID not get a fair trial. So many more things should have been looked at more clearly.

  • Shar
    Shar Allen, Texas
    It is very unfortunate that the state of Texas has many many wrongful convictions/poor representation/unfair trials. There is just as much circumstantial evidence that Brandon did not kill his parents.

    It is very unfortunate that the state of Texas has many many wrongful convictions/poor representation/unfair trials.
    There is just as much circumstantial evidence that Brandon did not kill his parents.

  • Ashley
    Ashley Springport, indiana
    He needs a retrial! A fair one! It's bulls***!! And there need to be consequences for some of the people involved in this!

    He needs a retrial! A fair one! It's bulls***!! And there need to be consequences for some of the people involved in this!

  • Ashley Taylor
    Ashley Taylor
    A lot of things in this case are just jacked up! And the whole, innocent until proven guilty, is a crock. Most of the time people form an opinion before they know anything.

    A lot of things in this case are just jacked up! And the whole, innocent until proven guilty, is a crock. Most of the time people form an opinion before they know anything.

  • Debby
    Debby Pittsburgh
    Wow, what a mess. I'm glad I wasn't on that jury. Actually, I wish I would have been, because I would have voted Not Guilty. There are a lot of things pointing to him being guilty, but the prosecution came nowhere near to making a case beyond a reasonable doubt. Like yunz said, I think "gay man in Texas" was pretty much the theme of the trial. The things that I thought went against Brandon were the missing time on the night his parents were killed; his asking a friend to lie about a time for him; him freaking about about the other dude snooping in his bag in the car; the dagger with his dad's blood on it. Perhaps the weirdest thing is the "anonymous" call from Norma Etherington asking if there were any suspects. Also, the lack of defensive wounds suggests that the Woodruffs knew their killer. Do yunz know if he took a polygraph? It makes my head hurt.

    Wow, what a mess. I'm glad I wasn't on that jury. Actually, I wish I would have been, because I would have voted Not Guilty. There are a lot of things pointing to him being guilty, but the prosecution came nowhere near to making a case beyond a reasonable doubt. Like yunz said, I think "gay man in Texas" was pretty much the theme of the trial. The things that I thought went against Brandon were the missing time on the night his parents were killed; his asking a friend to lie about a time for him; him freaking about about the other dude snooping in his bag in the car; the dagger with his dad's blood on it. Perhaps the weirdest thing is the "anonymous" call from Norma Etherington asking if there were any suspects. Also, the lack of defensive wounds suggests that the Woodruffs knew their killer. Do yunz know if he took a polygraph? It makes my head hurt.

  • Pamela West
    Pamela West Michigan
    I would be very curious about who lived in the double wide before the victims and any extenuating circumstances connected to the double wide or the neighbors. Had the home been purchased as a foreclosure? Prior Neighbor disputes? Was there insurance money? This is a tough case but if I were on the jury I think there is definitely room for reasonable doubt.,

    I would be very curious about who lived in the double wide before the victims and any extenuating circumstances connected to the double wide or the neighbors.
    Had the home been purchased as a foreclosure?
    Prior Neighbor disputes?

    Was there insurance money?

    This is a tough case but if I were on the jury I think there is definitely room for reasonable doubt.,

  • Chris Dobransky
    Chris Dobransky Westport, CT
    Did Brandon’s bag with his cloths in it ever found? What happened to it? If it was not found what was Brandon’s reasoning for it going missing? The bag is the key.....

    Did Brandon’s bag with his cloths in it ever found? What happened to it? If it was not found what was Brandon’s reasoning for it going missing? The bag is the key.....

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    This bag presumably was brought back to his dorm and emptied there. They never proved that anything incriminating was actually in the bag but of course presented at trial that Brandon reacted strangely when someone tried to open it. In my opinion, it was just as Brandon says he didn't want to be "outed" to his schoolmate Robert or it was a bloody knife, shirt, and shoes. Cheers Nic

    This bag presumably was brought back to his dorm and emptied there. They never proved that anything incriminating was actually in the bag but of course presented at trial that Brandon reacted strangely when someone tried to open it. In my opinion, it was just as Brandon says he didn't want to be "outed" to his schoolmate Robert or it was a bloody knife, shirt, and shoes.
    Cheers Nic

  • Theresa
    Theresa wylie, tx
    Interesting to me that Royce City is about 10 miles from Rowlett (thinking of the circumstantial conviction in Darlie Routier case).

    Interesting to me that Royce City is about 10 miles from Rowlett (thinking of the circumstantial conviction in Darlie Routier case).

  • Debby
    Debby Pittsburgh
    Good point, Theresa. Another shady case. I'm glad I don't live in Texas (no offense lol)

    Good point, Theresa. Another shady case. I'm glad I don't live in Texas (no offense lol)

  • Amy
    Amy KCMO
    I agree he definitely didn't get a fair trial nor did they even lay out a clear motive. Just bc he is gay is not a motive. Especially since his parents seemed to be accepting of it. Yes he did and said Some suspicious things but that doesn't make him a murderer!

    I agree he definitely didn't get a fair trial nor did they even lay out a clear motive. Just bc he is gay is not a motive. Especially since his parents seemed to be accepting of it. Yes he did and said Some suspicious things but that doesn't make him a murderer!

  • Shelly G.
    Shelly G. Indiana
    I just came to comment on the music - WTF was that about? You asked!

    I just came to comment on the music - WTF was that about? You asked!

  • Lauren
    Lauren Lawyer Land
    Hi guys. Innocence project attorney here. I haven’t formed an opinion on whether Brandon is innocent or guilty. But I have just a couple of notes/thoughts on things that came up in the episodes. First, on average, murder cases take 2-3 years to go to trial and the defendant is held in jail for the duration. This is more often than not because both sides are litigating important pre-trial motions (and therefore the defense essentially waives the right to a speedy trial). My guess is that this is what happened in Brandon’s case. One really horrible problem in our system is that wealthy defendants can get out on bail while they’re waiting for trial - not because they’re any less of a risk but simply because they’re wealthy and can afford it. Lately people have been blaming bail funds when a non-wealthy person gets bailed out and commits another crime, but what people don’t seem to realize is that in a lot of instances, the prosecutor could have argued for no bail if that person is dangerous. It’s not the bail fund’s fault, it’s our weird cash bail system. Secondly, attorney client phone calls are never supposed to be recorded. Where I practice, the department of corrections has my phone number logged as an attorney number so that when clients call me, the recording system shouldn’t be utilized. If a call is accidentally recorded, no one is supposed to listen to it and the recording is supposed to be deleted. However, because of cases like this, we all tend to assume they’re listening to us and we try not to talk about sensitive info on the phone. This has been extremely frustrating in the time of COVID because we can’t go talk to our clients in person. We have started using Zoom to have meetings, but given that all of my clients are deeply paranoid because of their experiences with the system, they don’t trust that either. It’s an uphill friggin battle 24/7, 365. I hope Brandon gets the legal assistance he deserves.

    Hi guys. Innocence project attorney here. I haven’t formed an opinion on whether Brandon is innocent or guilty. But I have just a couple of notes/thoughts on things that came up in the episodes. First, on average, murder cases take 2-3 years to go to trial and the defendant is held in jail for the duration. This is more often than not because both sides are litigating important pre-trial motions (and therefore the defense essentially waives the right to a speedy trial). My guess is that this is what happened in Brandon’s case. One really horrible problem in our system is that wealthy defendants can get out on bail while they’re waiting for trial - not because they’re any less of a risk but simply because they’re wealthy and can afford it. Lately people have been blaming bail funds when a non-wealthy person gets bailed out and commits another crime, but what people don’t seem to realize is that in a lot of instances, the prosecutor could have argued for no bail if that person is dangerous. It’s not the bail fund’s fault, it’s our weird cash bail system. Secondly, attorney client phone calls are never supposed to be recorded. Where I practice, the department of corrections has my phone number logged as an attorney number so that when clients call me, the recording system shouldn’t be utilized. If a call is accidentally recorded, no one is supposed to listen to it and the recording is supposed to be deleted. However, because of cases like this, we all tend to assume they’re listening to us and we try not to talk about sensitive info on the phone. This has been extremely frustrating in the time of COVID because we can’t go talk to our clients in person. We have started using Zoom to have meetings, but given that all of my clients are deeply paranoid because of their experiences with the system, they don’t trust that either. It’s an uphill friggin battle 24/7, 365. I hope Brandon gets the legal assistance he deserves.

  • Richard Pniewski
    Richard Pniewski Thornton, Il
    I'm kind of thinking that he did it - the attempt to get someone to lie about the time, the knife, and the fact that the killer knew he had the time to wash up and clean where he had washed up put me in that state of mind - but there is a mountain of reasonable doubt. If I had been on the jury, there's no way I could have voted to convict. (From what I have read, by the way, his sister is quite convinced of his guilt.)

    I'm kind of thinking that he did it - the attempt to get someone to lie about the time, the knife, and the fact that the killer knew he had the time to wash up and clean where he had washed up put me in that state of mind - but there is a mountain of reasonable doubt. If I had been on the jury, there's no way I could have voted to convict. (From what I have read, by the way, his sister is quite convinced of his guilt.)

  • Mark
    Mark UK
    Fascinating case and one I'm going to read up on. Thanks for a great show! I think we are all in agreement - regardless of which side of the fence you fall - in regards to Brandon not getting a fair trial. I get he may have been covering his tracks, by killing them when he had apparently already left, but I just don't see why Brandon would shrink that window of opportunity - to between 9.30 to 11pm - when he could have killed them at any point that evening. I also don't believe he's smart enough to plan it that well but then stupid enough to ask Robert to lie about their meeting time. I did notice someone mention a love interest and that initially crossed my mind too. Was the time cover up related to that and, when it came to talking to cops, he just didn't want to reveal his sexuality for fear of being persecuted (I know, ironic!). It does, though, look very suspicious. Case reminds me alot of The Staircase and an over reliance on someone's sexuality as a motive and one where you can see both sides of the story!

    Fascinating case and one I'm going to read up on. Thanks for a great show! I think we are all in agreement - regardless of which side of the fence you fall - in regards to Brandon not getting a fair trial.

    I get he may have been covering his tracks, by killing them when he had apparently already left, but I just don't see why Brandon would shrink that window of opportunity - to between 9.30 to 11pm - when he could have killed them at any point that evening. I also don't believe he's smart enough to plan it that well but then stupid enough to ask Robert to lie about their meeting time.

    I did notice someone mention a love interest and that initially crossed my mind too. Was the time cover up related to that and, when it came to talking to cops, he just didn't want to reveal his sexuality for fear of being persecuted (I know, ironic!). It does, though, look very suspicious.

    Case reminds me alot of The Staircase and an over reliance on someone's sexuality as a motive and one where you can see both sides of the story!

  • Tammy
    Tammy Glasgow, Scotland
    1st of all.... I LOVE this podcast! You guys have the best voices to listen to. I have tried hundreds of true crime podcasts n end up switching off after 5 mins because I just can't handle their voices. The voices are so important especially when listening to true crime stuff so well done for that haha. Secondly...... I agree 100% with everything you guys said. He did not get a fair trial at all & I can't believe it got as far as it did! You guys looked on to this for a week & you saw that...... The lawyers had 2.5yrs & they made their shady shit stick! Something seriously wrong here! The ultimate thing here for me is what you mentioned at the end about the hair! Why wouldn't they test that! Shady shit! Keep up the good work guys. You make my commute to work & back here in Scotland very interesting & enjoyable even when the weather is horrible which is most days.

    1st of all.... I LOVE this podcast! You guys have the best voices to listen to. I have tried hundreds of true crime podcasts n end up switching off after 5 mins because I just can't handle their voices. The voices are so important especially when listening to true crime stuff so well done for that haha.

    Secondly...... I agree 100% with everything you guys said. He did not get a fair trial at all & I can't believe it got as far as it did! You guys looked on to this for a week & you saw that...... The lawyers had 2.5yrs & they made their shady shit stick! Something seriously wrong here! The ultimate thing here for me is what you mentioned at the end about the hair! Why wouldn't they test that! Shady shit!

    Keep up the good work guys. You make my commute to work & back here in Scotland very interesting & enjoyable even when the weather is horrible which is most days.

  • Helsey
    Helsey sydney Australia
    wow this case is a fence sitter but im sure im not the only one getting splitters, however if i was on the jury i wouldnt have been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt so i personally would have gone " not guilty" . A new n fair trial is the only answer someone killed them ,someone needs to pay even if its Brandon. cheers 🥂

    wow this case is a fence sitter but im sure im not the only one getting splitters, however if i was on the jury i wouldnt have been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt so i personally would have gone " not guilty" . A new n fair trial is the only answer someone killed them ,someone needs to pay even if its Brandon.
    cheers 🥂

  • Heather
    Heather Mckinney,Tx
    I am so disgusted and upset. I know exactly how these small towns act and how blatantly prejudice they are toward homosexual people. There was no evidence at all that Brandon was angry with his parents!!! There was evidence that Mike was angry with Brandon and there was a feud going. I strongly believe there may have been something between Mike and Brandon or even just anger that Brandon came out. Also I believe Brandon’s parents may have accused Mike of being gay or Mike thought this. Possibly, Brandon’s mom could have called Mine gay just to anger Mike’s mom. In a small homophobic town, this is a huge deal. The prosecution had very very weak motives. Brandon loved his parents. Brandon was gay, so he probably didn’t want to let everyone know what he was doing. There are secrets they keep. Finding out that Brandon was in a porn video. So what, I highly doubt this would have changed things with his parents, if they ever did find out. Debt and dropping out of school. OMG that means absolutely nothing. Lying about your parents to fit in, haha. Seriously, lying about your parents to cover up embarrassment, not a motive. Do you know how many kids do this!?!?!? The debt, 3-4 thousand dollars, laughable. If Brandon wanted money, he could have kept doing porn and buy his own truck. They had no case against Brandon, none! I’m sick and angry! The jurors should be in jail.

    I am so disgusted and upset. I know exactly how these small towns act and how blatantly prejudice they are toward homosexual people. There was no evidence at all that Brandon was angry with his parents!!! There was evidence that Mike was angry with Brandon and there was a feud going. I strongly believe there may have been something between Mike and Brandon or even just anger that Brandon came out. Also I believe Brandon’s parents may have accused Mike of being gay or Mike thought this. Possibly, Brandon’s mom could have called Mine gay just to anger Mike’s mom. In a small homophobic town, this is a huge deal. The prosecution had very very weak motives. Brandon loved his parents. Brandon was gay, so he probably didn’t want to let everyone know what he was doing. There are secrets they keep. Finding out that Brandon was in a porn video. So what, I highly doubt this would have changed things with his parents, if they ever did find out. Debt and dropping out of school. OMG that means absolutely nothing. Lying about your parents to fit in, haha. Seriously, lying about your parents to cover up embarrassment, not a motive. Do you know how many kids do this!?!?!? The debt, 3-4 thousand dollars, laughable. If Brandon wanted money, he could have kept doing porn and buy his own truck. They had no case against Brandon, none! I’m sick and angry! The jurors should be in jail.

  • Thomas
    Thomas Staunton Virginia
    Please do an episode on Nathaniel bar Jonah

    Please do an episode on Nathaniel bar Jonah

  • Ellisbee
    Ellisbee Calif
    What struck me odd from the very beginning was Brandon’s wording about his parents. He said “they” loved me, they loved me and my sister unconditionally, they were nice people, they were well liked. He never once said I loved my parents or I miss my parents. I watch a lot of crime shows and listen to crime podcasts and surviving family members always express their love for the deceased.

    What struck me odd from the very beginning was Brandon’s wording about his parents. He said “they” loved me, they loved me and my sister unconditionally, they were nice people, they were well liked. He never once said I loved my parents or I miss my parents. I watch a lot of crime shows and listen to crime podcasts and surviving family members always express their love for the deceased.

  • mG
    mG tX
    Openly gay son that shoots porn in North Texas? There is no way the family was okay with that and I have a feeling they cut him off. He killed them in the hopes that he would inherit the truck and the money. There is no reason why he would tell the guy he was picking up to lie about the time. I have no doubt that he did it.

    Openly gay son that shoots porn in North Texas? There is no way the family was okay with that and I have a feeling they cut him off. He killed them in the hopes that he would inherit the truck and the money. There is no reason why he would tell the guy he was picking up to lie about the time. I have no doubt that he did it.

  • Michele
    Michele Massachusetts
    The American Justice podcast is dedicated to this case. It’s a very in depth look at everything . I can’t imagine that Brandon did this.

    The American Justice podcast is dedicated to this case. It’s a very in depth look at everything . I can’t imagine that Brandon did this.

  • Stephanie
    Stephanie F
    Quick correction, it’s Lake RAY Hubbard.

    Quick correction, it’s Lake RAY Hubbard.

  • Nick
    Nick Indiana
    This may seem trivial to sum but as a current Police Detective who has worked multiple Death Investigations, some of my main questions are 1.) did the Dad still have chewing tobacco in his mouth at the time he was shot? 2.) Is it truly feasible for Brandon to get lost to account for the made up time and how many times had Brandon been to the new house? (It is said Dad went to pick up Pizza so it doesn't seem like the new family home is in the middle of no where) 3.) What did the "Anonymous" Tipster give for her reason of making the call and can their where-abouts be accounted for on the night in question. I'm siding on like a 60/40 that Brandon is guilty because after years of investigating crimes, "coincidences" are very far and few between and this case has a handful which benefit or are at the hands of Brandon.

    This may seem trivial to sum but as a current Police Detective who has worked multiple Death Investigations, some of my main questions are 1.) did the Dad still have chewing tobacco in his mouth at the time he was shot?

    2.) Is it truly feasible for Brandon to get lost to account for the made up time and how many times had Brandon been to the new house? (It is said Dad went to pick up Pizza so it doesn't seem like the new family home is in the middle of no where)

    3.) What did the "Anonymous" Tipster give for her reason of making the call and can their where-abouts be accounted for on the night in question.

    I'm siding on like a 60/40 that Brandon is guilty because after years of investigating crimes, "coincidences" are very far and few between and this case has a handful which benefit or are at the hands of Brandon.

  • Sarah
    Sarah Colorado
    Thanks, Captain and Nic for discussing this case! I'd never heard of it before, and while I get that there are some damning circumstantial things for Brandon...the fact that Norma Ethrington called police about the murders the DAY after (before anyone knew the Woodruff were dead) & blocked her number along with Mike's blatant & damning lie about Brandon's MySpace page--my God, if that isn't damning evidence that she or Mike were involved, I don't know what is! How in the world were neither investigated? Clearly, they were involved here. Ugh.

    Thanks, Captain and Nic for discussing this case! I'd never heard of it before, and while I get that there are some damning circumstantial things for Brandon...the fact that Norma Ethrington called police about the murders the DAY after (before anyone knew the Woodruff were dead) & blocked her number along with Mike's blatant & damning lie about Brandon's MySpace page--my God, if that isn't damning evidence that she or Mike were involved, I don't know what is! How in the world were neither investigated? Clearly, they were involved here. Ugh.

  • Cathy McElhaney
    Cathy McElhaney Garland Tx
    Hey guys! I just listened to this episode. I have been with Truth & Justice since the beginning (Serial Dynasty days) and I started writing to Bob's cases. His season 3 case, I have become extremely close to...a man named Jesse Eldridge. When I first heard about this case about a year ago, I mentioned it to Jesse...he said Brandon was in the same unit as him and that he is shady. He said if Brandon didn't do it, he knows who did or he was involved somehow. Brandon was not well liked at that unit and has been moved. Fate and Royce City are not far from me, but I don't remember hearing about it when it happened. I tend to lean towards innocent on this, but like y'all, I am not convinced either way. I could not have convicted him if I had been on the jury. Thanks for presenting this case! I wonder if anyone has contacted the IPTX on his behalf...

    Hey guys! I just listened to this episode. I have been with Truth & Justice since the beginning (Serial Dynasty days) and I started writing to Bob's cases. His season 3 case, I have become extremely close to...a man named Jesse Eldridge. When I first heard about this case about a year ago, I mentioned it to Jesse...he said Brandon was in the same unit as him and that he is shady. He said if Brandon didn't do it, he knows who did or he was involved somehow. Brandon was not well liked at that unit and has been moved. Fate and Royce City are not far from me, but I don't remember hearing about it when it happened. I tend to lean towards innocent on this, but like y'all, I am not convinced either way. I could not have convicted him if I had been on the jury. Thanks for presenting this case! I wonder if anyone has contacted the IPTX on his behalf...

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    @ Nick 1. Yes the way the crime scene/bodies descriptions read - tobacco in lip 2. This is a small city population of 13k - they lived outside of town in the new home. I do not know what pizza place Dennis picked up from. However mapped from their new home 5545 county road 2648, Royse city to where all of the fast-food joints are in town is an 8-minute drive. This general area is consistent with the timeline. 3. This is an excellent question... I'm guessing here but this likely was to report the missing gun from Morgan Lee's parent's house. It appears that no one bothered to question the whereabouts of the caller or persons close to the caller that also had access to that gun. Thank you Nick for the ?'s - send more if you go them. Cheers Nic

    @ Nick
    1. Yes the way the crime scene/bodies descriptions read - tobacco in lip
    2. This is a small city population of 13k - they lived outside of town in the new home. I do not know what pizza place Dennis picked up from. However mapped from their new home 5545 county road 2648, Royse city to where all of the fast-food joints are in town is an 8-minute drive. This general area is consistent with the timeline.
    3. This is an excellent question... I'm guessing here but this likely was to report the missing gun from Morgan Lee's parent's house. It appears that no one bothered to question the whereabouts of the caller or persons close to the caller that also had access to that gun.
    Thank you Nick for the ?'s - send more if you go them.
    Cheers Nic

  • Nick
    Nick Indiana
    That "tobacco in lip" line really throws me towards his guilt. May seem silly and a trivial piece of evidence, and presumptively with out knowing for sure, but 97.3% of men are not going to fall asleep with a chew in. If Dad did, most wives are not going to let their husband fall asleep with chew in on their front room couch sitting next to them with a spitter in their hand. This leads me to think that at least Dad was awake. With out having been at the scene and seeing if you can hear the side door open while in the living room, it is hard to tell if you could feasibly "sneak" attack someone with out them noticing. ASSuming that the suspect was moving freely about the house with little attention from Mom and Dad, who were focused on the TV and used this to effect the sneak attack . Does it happen to say which way or angles the bullets entered from or possible distance they were fired? Most people are naturally going to go away/flinch from the sound of gunfire and I know Mom was leaned into Dad's side like she was going to shield herself.... So just a theory is that if Mom was leaning into Dad more than likely the shooting occurred straight on or from Mom's side, shooting Dad first and then Mom. How does this correlate with the layout of the house in regards to the side/back door? This could go down a 3,000 word rabbit hole so I'll just end it now and move onto this week's episodes. Keep up the great work, I've listened to about 100 different True Crime Podcasts while at my desk "working" during down time and True Crime Garage ranks up there in the top 5 for sure and I'm a regular listener.

    That "tobacco in lip" line really throws me towards his guilt. May seem silly and a trivial piece of evidence, and presumptively with out knowing for sure, but 97.3% of men are not going to fall asleep with a chew in. If Dad did, most wives are not going to let their husband fall asleep with chew in on their front room couch sitting next to them with a spitter in their hand.

    This leads me to think that at least Dad was awake. With out having been at the scene and seeing if you can hear the side door open while in the living room, it is hard to tell if you could feasibly "sneak" attack someone with out them noticing. ASSuming that the suspect was moving freely about the house with little attention from Mom and Dad, who were focused on the TV and used this to effect the sneak attack .

    Does it happen to say which way or angles the bullets entered from or possible distance they were fired? Most people are naturally going to go away/flinch from the sound of gunfire and I know Mom was leaned into Dad's side like she was going to shield herself.... So just a theory is that if Mom was leaning into Dad more than likely the shooting occurred straight on or from Mom's side, shooting Dad first and then Mom. How does this correlate with the layout of the house in regards to the side/back door?

    This could go down a 3,000 word rabbit hole so I'll just end it now and move onto this week's episodes. Keep up the great work, I've listened to about 100 different True Crime Podcasts while at my desk "working" during down time and True Crime Garage ranks up there in the top 5 for sure and I'm a regular listener.

  • Llonella
    Llonella Bahamas
    I like Crime Junkie but I feel that you guys do a much thorough report on all the cases that you present. I prefer True Crime Garage, the first crime podcast that I ever started listening too.

    I like Crime Junkie but I feel that you guys do a much thorough report on all the cases that you present. I prefer True Crime Garage, the first crime podcast that I ever started listening too.

  • Rae
    Rae Waukesha
    I’m trying to understand the droplets of blood from the bodies straight to the guest bathroom... makes me say “hmmm”. If that is in fact the way the crime scene was left, it opens up a few more questions. Thanks for another great episode guys!

    I’m trying to understand the droplets of blood from the bodies straight to the guest bathroom... makes me say “hmmm”. If that is in fact the way the crime scene was left, it opens up a few more questions.
    Thanks for another great episode guys!

  • Scott Poggensee
    Scott Poggensee Dallas, Texas
    Hi everyone. This is Scott Poggensee -- Host of the American Justice Podcast where we cover this case in a 28 episode season. I've studied and analyzed this case more than anyone, even Brandon. Because of the format here, I can't go back and respond to each person individually, but I'll just list everything below. If you would like to check out my podcast, just search for American Justice Podcast on Stitcher, Apple, or Spotify. You can also listen on YouTube or check out the website www.americanjusticepodcast.com We cover all of the information below in great detail. Nic and The Captain did a fantastic job! Can't thank them enough!!! Okay, here goes: @Jane Gruber and all of the other people that just had comments, but no specific questions. You are absolutely correct. This is a truly circumstantial case. The problem is that the true story is not what the prosecution presented to the jury. All of the "circumstantial things" can be explained other than Brandon being off on his time. Let's take them one by one. 1. There's no getting around the fact he was off on his times. He was a 19 year old kid that didn't even own a watch. Time wasn't important to him. Many people have said that he was the kind of kid that would call you at five if you had an appt with him at five and tell you he might be there by seven. That type of thing. Especially when he got around his animals. And he was at the Heath house letting the dogs out, playing with his parrot, moving the trucks, etc.. Just a lot of stuff he had to do that was more than the 30 minutes he agreed it. It actually took him closer to 1-1.5 hours to get everything done he needed to do. He just couldn't remember that from a week prior and agreed with Ranger Collins when Ranger Collins suggested it was 30 minutes. 2. The "dagger". Yes, the two foot sword had Dennis's blood on it, but A- It was Dennis's sword, so that makes sense. B- It if was used in the murders, there would be Dennis's and Norma's blood on it. You simply cannot UNMIX blood once it's mixed together. C- It was forensically proven that the sword was not the murder weapon. D- The friend that identified this two foot sword as Brandon's has since recanted and admitted it was not the small dagger that Brandon owned. 3. Robert asked Brandon to lie about where he was. Robert admitted at trial on cross examination that this was not actually what happened. He admitted that Brandon asked him to figure out what time they met at Denny's because he could not remember, and then ASKED him "Was it 9:30?" And then when he said no it was 10:30 (Robert was over 45 minutes off on his time as well), then Brandon agreed to that. So that was the Robert story. 4. The bag. There's several things about this bag that were not brought out. The biggest thing is that the police recovered this bag and tested it for DNA. They found nothing. If Brandon put his bloody clothes in there, or the "dagger", or anything that contained ANY blood whatsoever, there's no way that they wouldn't have found SOMETHING. They found Brandon's DNA, but nothing from Dennis or Norma. If it was cleaned with bleach or whatever, they would not have found Brandon's. Also, the bag not only had gay porn in it, but it had BRANDON'S gay porn. The movies that he starred in. So that is why he did not want Robert OR Alex OR James finding it. Sometimes things are just private. 5. Norma & Mike Etherington - There were several things that were not brought up because of time restraints, I'm sure. But here are a couple of other things. A- Mike said he was in home the night of the murders by 12:30 am, without question. Yet when the police finally got the phone records six months later, Mike had made a call close to the crime scene at 1:59am. B- Mike told Ranger Collins that there was a computer missing from the crime scene. How did he know this information? Even the police didn't know. The family didn't know. NO ONE knew there was a computer missing from the crime scene except for Mike and his Mom. C- Norma Etherington not only called the day after the murders to give information on the "Woodruffs murders", but it was specifically to point the finger at Brandon. Why do this unless you're trying to point the finger away from yourself? She had no information about the crime itself, but rather just character assassination. D- Mike make a call when the Rangers were out of the room during his interview with Joe Hagaman, fellow shitkicker. He made several incriminating statements, but the biggest one I think is when he told Joe, "You can’t just sit there and say it’s him. It’s not like you’re straight up saying, 'Oh yea, Brandon did it.'" So it definitely seems like he's coaching Joe on what to say. There were other things he said that I believe were inculpatory, but you can hear all about that in Season 1, Episode 14 on my podcast. 6. The jailhouse snitch. William Pardun suggested that the gun was thrown in the lake, not the other way around. When Brandon heard that they thought it was the Lee's gun, his attorneys told him all about it. It was a replica. It was a revolver. It had wooden handles. Etc.. But William told Brandon, "If I had a gun like that and committed murder with it, I'd throw it in the lake." So Brandon asked him, "Well, wouldn't a gun with wooden handles float?" Brandon was thinking and HOPING it would float so they could go retrieve and ultimately hopefully it would help prove who actually killed his parents. The State tries to make this statement out as Brandon doesn't want the gun found, when it was exactly the opposite. 7. Time to trial. The case would have actually gone to trial in 2007 if it wasn't for the Sixth Amendment violation. Everyone was ready for trial and they were actually picking a jury when the DA's were listening to Brandon's Attorney Client calls. This created a futher 1.5-2 year delay. And it was actually THREE and a half years after the crime, not two and a half like Nic said. Oct 2005 to Mar 2009. 8. Brandon's and Norma's truck. There's been a lot made out about Brandon "coveting" Norma's truck. The only thing that Brandon liked about his mom's truck that he didn't like about his was that it worked. Brandon's truck was in disrepair and his parents actually told him to take the newer truck back to school so they could fix/sell his Dodge truck. There's so much misinformation out there about this truck, but several of the family and friends agree this was the case. @ Nick 1. He had "traces" of the tobacco, but not actual tobacco. So basically some of his spit contained traces of it, but there was no "chew" in his mouth. 2. Yes, Brandon notoriously got lost. And they didn't have GPS on every phone back then. So it's very possible. The pizza place Dennis went to was 8 minutes away as Nic said. 3. It was later determined that the "Anonymous" caller was Norma Etherington. She was calling to tell the investigators to look into Brandon because he was a liar and had an "alternative lifestyle". She never explained why she used the *67 and it was never investigated by the police as to what her whereabouts was because they were laser focused on Brandon. 4. I was able to hire a crime scene reconstructionist. We cover this extensively on my podcast. @Cathy - We have contacted IPTX but they have not as of yet been convinced to do anything. We keep trying, but they want DNA cases. @Rae Amen! If anyone has any questions specifically they would like to ask, please let me know. As I said, I've studied this case inside and out. There's not much I haven't looked into, if anything.

    Hi everyone. This is Scott Poggensee -- Host of the American Justice Podcast where we cover this case in a 28 episode season. I've studied and analyzed this case more than anyone, even Brandon. Because of the format here, I can't go back and respond to each person individually, but I'll just list everything below. If you would like to check out my podcast, just search for American Justice Podcast on Stitcher, Apple, or Spotify. You can also listen on YouTube or check out the website www.americanjusticepodcast.com We cover all of the information below in great detail. Nic and The Captain did a fantastic job! Can't thank them enough!!!

    Okay, here goes:

    @Jane Gruber and all of the other people that just had comments, but no specific questions. You are absolutely correct. This is a truly circumstantial case. The problem is that the true story is not what the prosecution presented to the jury. All of the "circumstantial things" can be explained other than Brandon being off on his time. Let's take them one by one.

    1. There's no getting around the fact he was off on his times. He was a 19 year old kid that didn't even own a watch. Time wasn't important to him. Many people have said that he was the kind of kid that would call you at five if you had an appt with him at five and tell you he might be there by seven. That type of thing. Especially when he got around his animals. And he was at the Heath house letting the dogs out, playing with his parrot, moving the trucks, etc.. Just a lot of stuff he had to do that was more than the 30 minutes he agreed it. It actually took him closer to 1-1.5 hours to get everything done he needed to do. He just couldn't remember that from a week prior and agreed with Ranger Collins when Ranger Collins suggested it was 30 minutes.

    2. The "dagger". Yes, the two foot sword had Dennis's blood on it, but A- It was Dennis's sword, so that makes sense. B- It if was used in the murders, there would be Dennis's and Norma's blood on it. You simply cannot UNMIX blood once it's mixed together. C- It was forensically proven that the sword was not the murder weapon. D- The friend that identified this two foot sword as Brandon's has since recanted and admitted it was not the small dagger that Brandon owned.

    3. Robert asked Brandon to lie about where he was. Robert admitted at trial on cross examination that this was not actually what happened. He admitted that Brandon asked him to figure out what time they met at Denny's because he could not remember, and then ASKED him "Was it 9:30?" And then when he said no it was 10:30 (Robert was over 45 minutes off on his time as well), then Brandon agreed to that. So that was the Robert story.

    4. The bag. There's several things about this bag that were not brought out. The biggest thing is that the police recovered this bag and tested it for DNA. They found nothing. If Brandon put his bloody clothes in there, or the "dagger", or anything that contained ANY blood whatsoever, there's no way that they wouldn't have found SOMETHING. They found Brandon's DNA, but nothing from Dennis or Norma. If it was cleaned with bleach or whatever, they would not have found Brandon's. Also, the bag not only had gay porn in it, but it had BRANDON'S gay porn. The movies that he starred in. So that is why he did not want Robert OR Alex OR James finding it. Sometimes things are just private.

    5. Norma & Mike Etherington - There were several things that were not brought up because of time restraints, I'm sure. But here are a couple of other things. A- Mike said he was in home the night of the murders by 12:30 am, without question. Yet when the police finally got the phone records six months later, Mike had made a call close to the crime scene at 1:59am. B- Mike told Ranger Collins that there was a computer missing from the crime scene. How did he know this information? Even the police didn't know. The family didn't know. NO ONE knew there was a computer missing from the crime scene except for Mike and his Mom. C- Norma Etherington not only called the day after the murders to give information on the "Woodruffs murders", but it was specifically to point the finger at Brandon. Why do this unless you're trying to point the finger away from yourself? She had no information about the crime itself, but rather just character assassination. D- Mike make a call when the Rangers were out of the room during his interview with Joe Hagaman, fellow shitkicker. He made several incriminating statements, but the biggest one I think is when he told Joe, "You can’t just sit there and say it’s him. It’s not like you’re straight up saying, 'Oh yea, Brandon did it.'" So it definitely seems like he's coaching Joe on what to say. There were other things he said that I believe were inculpatory, but you can hear all about that in Season 1, Episode 14 on my podcast.

    6. The jailhouse snitch. William Pardun suggested that the gun was thrown in the lake, not the other way around. When Brandon heard that they thought it was the Lee's gun, his attorneys told him all about it. It was a replica. It was a revolver. It had wooden handles. Etc.. But William told Brandon, "If I had a gun like that and committed murder with it, I'd throw it in the lake." So Brandon asked him, "Well, wouldn't a gun with wooden handles float?" Brandon was thinking and HOPING it would float so they could go retrieve and ultimately hopefully it would help prove who actually killed his parents. The State tries to make this statement out as Brandon doesn't want the gun found, when it was exactly the opposite.

    7. Time to trial. The case would have actually gone to trial in 2007 if it wasn't for the Sixth Amendment violation. Everyone was ready for trial and they were actually picking a jury when the DA's were listening to Brandon's Attorney Client calls. This created a futher 1.5-2 year delay. And it was actually THREE and a half years after the crime, not two and a half like Nic said. Oct 2005 to Mar 2009.

    8. Brandon's and Norma's truck. There's been a lot made out about Brandon "coveting" Norma's truck. The only thing that Brandon liked about his mom's truck that he didn't like about his was that it worked. Brandon's truck was in disrepair and his parents actually told him to take the newer truck back to school so they could fix/sell his Dodge truck. There's so much misinformation out there about this truck, but several of the family and friends agree this was the case.

    @ Nick

    1. He had "traces" of the tobacco, but not actual tobacco. So basically some of his spit contained traces of it, but there was no "chew" in his mouth.

    2. Yes, Brandon notoriously got lost. And they didn't have GPS on every phone back then. So it's very possible. The pizza place Dennis went to was 8 minutes away as Nic said.

    3. It was later determined that the "Anonymous" caller was Norma Etherington. She was calling to tell the investigators to look into Brandon because he was a liar and had an "alternative lifestyle". She never explained why she used the *67 and it was never investigated by the police as to what her whereabouts was because they were laser focused on Brandon.

    4. I was able to hire a crime scene reconstructionist. We cover this extensively on my podcast.

    @Cathy - We have contacted IPTX but they have not as of yet been convinced to do anything. We keep trying, but they want DNA cases.

    @Rae Amen!

    If anyone has any questions specifically they would like to ask, please let me know. As I said, I've studied this case inside and out. There's not much I haven't looked into, if anything.

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    This is fantastic. Thank you for posting and answering questions! Cheers to you Scott! Nic

    This is fantastic. Thank you for posting and answering questions!
    Cheers to you Scott!
    Nic

  • Will
    Will Dallas
    Is it possible the Ethringtons planted the knife in the barn....?

    Is it possible the Ethringtons planted the knife in the barn....?

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    That's a good question. That would be complicated though. This was Brandon's knife. It was at his dorm and then later found in the barn. I think the knife question really comes down to if it were in fact the murder weapon than Brandon has got to be guilty. Cheers Nic

    That's a good question. That would be complicated though. This was Brandon's knife. It was at his dorm and then later found in the barn. I think the knife question really comes down to if it were in fact the murder weapon than Brandon has got to be guilty.
    Cheers Nic

  • Ali
    Ali London
    Probably completely unrelated, but will share anyway. I went right down the rabbit hole on this one and tried to look into his “new” friends to see if any of them have, for example, acquired convictions since 2005 or anything of interest and Alex Rulli died in 2013 (I don’t know why) and then his brother died a year later! Probably totally unrelated but I didn’t expect to find this!

    Probably completely unrelated, but will share anyway.

    I went right down the rabbit hole on this one and tried to look into his “new” friends to see if any of them have, for example, acquired convictions since 2005 or anything of interest and Alex Rulli died in 2013 (I don’t know why) and then his brother died a year later! Probably totally unrelated but I didn’t expect to find this!

  • Lisa Kirk
    Lisa Kirk Canton, Texas
    I can not get over the attorney client privilege violation here. Whether he is guilty or not, that violation can't possibly be ok in anyones book.

    I can not get over the attorney client privilege violation here. Whether he is guilty or not, that violation can't possibly be ok in anyones book.

  • Scott Poggensee
    Scott Poggensee
    @Will in Dallas: it's not only possible but we believe probable. The sword presented at trial was proven to NOT be the dagger that Brandon owned. Medieval Times says it was not the one he got from them, and the horse trainer that Brandon worked with that gave him the dagger said this sword presented at trial was NOT what he gave Brandon. He said this in a sworn affidavit. In addition to that, there would be forensic evidence at trial that proves that this sword was not the murder weapon.

    @Will in Dallas: it's not only possible but we believe probable. The sword presented at trial was proven to NOT be the dagger that Brandon owned. Medieval Times says it was not the one he got from them, and the horse trainer that Brandon worked with that gave him the dagger said this sword presented at trial was NOT what he gave Brandon. He said this in a sworn affidavit.

    In addition to that, there would be forensic evidence at trial that proves that this sword was not the murder weapon.

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