Where is Beatrice Six’s Ada JoAnn Taylor Now? – Joseph White, Thomas Winslow, Ada JoAnn Taylor, Debra Shelden, James Dean, and Kathy Gonzalez were wrongly convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of Helen Wilson in Beatrice, Nebraska, and spent time in jail before being exonerated in 2009.
The conviction was based on five confessions taken under duress, with the fear of death if they did not comply. Furthermore, despite her analysis determining that none of the defendants on trial was a specific match to blood or semen recovered at the site.
Dr. Reena Roy, the Nebraska State Patrol forensic scientist who did blood and semen analysis, was never brought to the stand to testify during the case. The DNA evidence identified Bruce Allen Smith, an earlier key suspect in the murder who died in 1992, in 2008, and the Beatrice Six, who were all exonerated the next year.
Wayne Price, a police psychologist, convinced most defendants that they had suppressed memories of the crime. White, who maintained his innocence, demanded that the DNA evidence that led to their exoneration be examined and then filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of all six defendants against Gage County, Nebraska.
Which went to trial in January 2014; White had died in a workplace accident in 2011 by that time. A jury awarded them $28 million in July 2016. The county appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case on March 4, 2019. To pay the jury award, Gage County had to raise property taxes to the maximum amount allowed by law. After property taxes are received, the county is expected to make payments twice a year. In June 2019, the Beatrice Six, including White’s heirs, received their first payment.
The HBO documentary “Mind Over Murder” dives into the case’s background and how the arrests came about. Ada JoAnn Taylor was one of the first people apprehended, and she spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime she did not commit. So, how about we find out what happened to her?
Must Read: Helen Wilson Murder Case: Who Killed Her and Why?
Who is Ada JoAnn Taylor, and What is His Story?
Ada grew up on a cattle farm in Leicester, North Carolina, where she worked as a child. Her stepfather molested her until she was 11 years old, and she had a rough life. Ada was then placed in foster care, and she and her partner moved to Beatrice, Nebraska, in 1981. She was 18 at the time and pregnant with his child. Her partner left her three weeks later, so things didn’t work out for her. Ada eventually graduated from high school and attempted to raise her daughter independently.
Ada began seeing a psychologist after receiving a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. She gave up her parental rights in 1985 and relocated to Los Angeles, California, where she worked as a sex worker. Ada met Joseph White in the enormous South Californian city, and the two went to Beatrice because he wanted to help her battle for custody of her daughter. Helen Wilson, 68, was viciously raped and murdered at her house in the same town a few months later. Her body was discovered at about 9:30 a.m. on February 6, 1985.
While there was physical evidence in the case, the technology at the time-limited testing. The case stayed cold until former police officer Burdette Searcey began researching it and creating a list of suspects. In 1987, he was promoted to Deputy Sheriff. Burdette eventually met Lisa Podendorf, who stated that she saw police vehicles outside Helen’s apartment at approximately 7:30 a.m. on February 6, 1985, and that she remembered Ada confessing to the crime. Ada and Joseph, according to Lisa, were the ones who killed Helen.
However, Lisa’s time was two hours wrong, and Burdette had already discovered that Ada was with her parents at the time of the alleged incident. Ada was back in North Carolina with her family by March 1989, but she was arrested there on suspicion of murder. She initially told the police that she didn’t recall anything about the murder, but she was coerced into it. Ada, on the other hand, couldn’t recall even the most basic aspects of the crime.
Ada’s interview with a psychotherapist claimed, “In my intellect and in my heart, I know I wasn’t there.” Ada also said that she had misused drugs and drank excessively in 1985, causing her to forget a lot. But, after several interviews, she changed her mind. Despite Ada and Joseph’s blood types not matching the evidence collected at the site, the authorities continued to search for more evidence, believing that others were involved in the crime.
During the interview, Ada kept agreeing to several of Burdette’s suggestions, and she gradually came to feel she was implicated in the crime. Ada claimed that she held a pillow over Helen’s head to shield her at one time. “I know my father’s face has plagued me all my life because of my rape,” she added. I didn’t want her to see the face that would haunt her for the rest of her life. I had no idea I was murdering her.”
Where Happened to Ada JoAnn Taylor and and Where Is She Now?
Ada JoAnn Taylor and four other people subsequently pleaded guilty or no contest to their roles in the scheme, while Joseph was put on trial. They were all found guilty. Ada was sentenced to 40 years in jail after being convicted of second-degree murder. DNA tests revealed that none of the six were engaged in the crime until August 2008.
All of them had been pardoned by January 2009. Ada, on the other hand, had a hard time believing in her own innocence. “If I didn’t place the pillow on her head, why do I keep experiencing these thoughts and visions?” she once asked a friend.
Ada earned her GED in 2008 and took a couple of classes at a community college in Omaha, Nebraska. She intended to attend Bellevue University in Nebraska at the time. Aside from having a relationship with her child, Ada started going to church on a daily basis. Ada later admitted that she lied to the authorities because they said they had proof to establish her guilt.
“I should never have trusted what the detectives or the prosecutor wanted to say. I should’ve stood up to it. I despise myself for not standing up to it. I was forced,” Ada added. She received $500,000 for her erroneous conviction and $7.3 million in a civil suit in July 2016. Ada wanted to use the money to purchase a small house. Her principal source of income was disability benefits as of 2017, and she returned to North Carolina after being released.
The first episode of “Mind Over Murder” aired on Monday, June 20th, with subsequent episodes airing on Mondays. The show will premiere on HBO and will also be available to view on HBO Max.
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