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December 20, 2005

Case Against Serial Killer Tossed Out Because His Split Personality Hadn't Been Mirandized Before Confessing

Craig sends this newsblurb from the Merc:

...the Tennesseee Supreme Court dashed prosecutors' hopes of convicting Thomas Huskey as a serial killer. Courts had tossed out Huskey's confession (the centerpiece of the case), finding that incriminating statements were made not by Huskey, but by "Kyle," his alter ego, and although Huskey himself had been given a Miranda warning, Kyle had not.

I can't find the link to that story. This story, however, discusses the case, but doesn't mention the Miranda issue.

Good Lord All Mighty:

Thomas Dee "Zoo Man" Huskey once told authorities he killed four women.

Lawyers may debate it. Historians may reflect on it. But it now appears a jury will never decide it.

The state Supreme Court on Monday let stand a June lower court decision that guts the case against Knox County's first and only accused serial killer.


[Judge] Baumgartner's ruling, which was affirmed by the appellate court and left unchallenged by the state's high court, tosses out everything that directly ties Huskey to the 1992 slayings of four women.

Gone is Huskey's confession. Barred from use at trial is the "souvenir" jewelry authorities say he took from some of his victims and the rope they say he used to bind them.


Huskey's case is the most protracted in Knox County history and the most expensive in Tennessee history. It's been funded on the taxpayer dime. Isaacs and Moncier were appointed to represent Huskey.


Nichols is convinced that Huskey beat and strangled the four women, all thought to be prostitutes, and hid their bodies in a wooded area off Cahaba Lane in East Knox County. He is certain that Huskey turned from a rapist who stalked prostitutes and sexually battered them at a barn at the Knoxville Zoo, where his father worked as an elephant trainer, to a killer.

He points to the words from Huskey's own mouth to Knox County Sheriff's Office detectives and a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent soon after the bodies were discovered.

But the core issue has always been whether those words marked the confession of a stone-cold killer or the ranting of an insane man.

Huskey made his alleged confession via use of an alter ego, "Kyle," and his attorneys have long claimed he suffered multiple personalities.

Moncier insists that Kyle's confession to murder was a made-up tale designed by the alter ego to kill his host personality - Huskey. He says the details of Kyle's confession don't match up with crime scene evidence.

"There is certainly considerable questions in our minds whether Thomas Huskey did this or not," Moncier said Monday. "It has always been of great concern to Greg Isaacs and I that the only evidence in this case was the ramblings of an insane 'Kyle' and 'Kyle' never got the facts correct."

Nichols counters that jewelry belonging to some of the victims and rope similar to that used to bind the women was found in a bedroom of Huskey's parents' Pigeon Forge home, where Huskey was living.

He cannot use that evidence at trial because deputies arrived there via a flawed court document. Nichols had hoped the state Supreme Court would at least review his contention that Tennessee, like the federal government and many other states, should honor what's known as a "good faith exception."

Under the good faith exception, evidence obtained when officers believe the court order they are executing is legally sound should be allowed at trial even if it turns out the order was flawed.

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posted by Ace at 04:36 PM

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