Hello and thank you for joining us on another update on the Ronnie Hyde trial for the murder of Fred Laster. We definitely have some news to share in light of recent documents concerning the trial; but first, let us update everyone on what has been happening behind the scenes here.
First, we are currently working on the website to give it a fresh look. This is in response to the upcoming trial of Ronnie Hyde. Only here will you get first hand knowledge of what is happening in the courtroom during Hyde's trial. I will be there, smartphone in hand, pounding away on Twitter. Along with the new upcoming Twitter account, we will have an RBS feed from Twitter for those who do not have a Twitter account. In a future update, I will be happy to break down what all will be covered in the feed.
Also, for the last month, myself and Richard Laster have been busy combing through thousands upon thousands of documents pertaining to this upcoming trial; hence why we haven't had a recent update since March. There have been some shocking discoveries made among the documents; however there are some that were of no surprise.
In the coming months, we will recount everything that was found in the documents and what our interpretation of the documents are.
However, in this update, I want to go over some stuff that was found in the documents and also help clarify any questions that were asked.
#1: In April, we received a tip-off from a close associate of ours in the news media that the State Attorney's Office of the 4th Judicial Circuit had revealed hundreds of documents from not only Hyde's murder trial, but also a slew of information regarding the case of the Lake City John Doe. Along with the tip, he provided us with some of the uncensored documents pertaining to the LCJD Investigation from 1994-2017. Among those, NSFW photos of the crime scene, which we refuse to release to the public out of respect for the family.
After hearing about the document drop, we attempted to get the full "trove" from our contact, but there was no way of doing this so we made requests from other news outlets to obtain the documents. No avail.
But because of the constant misinformation the news media has been making about this case, we believed that it was time to do some clarifications, and one of the things that would help is if we received the documents as well.
According to the laws of the State of Florida, when the defendant makes a request for discovery evidence, all of the court and investigation documents become public record and anyone can request them. Me and the Laster siblings I have been in contact with agreed that we should make a request to the SAO for these said documents.
The SAO was very helpful and within a month, we had access to well over 6,000 documents pertaining to this entire case.
We made discoveries about the case in these files that go back to 1994. First, we had seen how extensive the Columbia County Sheriffs Office had worked on the case from Day 1. Det. Mike Hodges made several notes about the days following the discovery; which included inquiries from numerous law enforcement agencies in the United States, parents and significant others who asked if the torso could have been their missing loved one, and requests from the media wanting to discuss this case. It was like a month long diary of events.
One thing that did stick out to us was the mentions of serial killer Gary Bowles and Richard Rogers, in particular Mr. Rogers. Numerous FDLE and FBI documents practically named Rogers a suspect in this case. For the longest time, his name was mentioned quite a bit. Testing was done on some of the evidence to see if Rogers was a suspect.
Rogers' case was a crime of passion and desperation. Dubbed the 'Last Call Killer', Rogers would skulk gay bars and clubs looking for young men to have sex with in the late 80's and early 90's. Afterwards, he would murder them, then dismember them. His crime in nature was what nearly sealed the deal on a charge against him for the murder of the Lake City John Doe. He was known to be in Florida in 1994 for a high school reunion.
He almost was charged with the crime. Almost. That was until a woman from Nassau County, FL came forward with information that would shift the gears in a WHOLE new direction.
In the end, Rogers was no longer a person of interest after DNA and latent print tests came back negative as having anything to do with Rogers.
We will have more on the documents in a future post.
#2: There was a "revelation" that Hyde was a foster dad to Freddy, his twin sister and older brother. Here is the real story: Hyde never was a foster father to them. There were times, according to Freddy's much older brother, that Hyde would manipulate their grandmother and con her into signing off on random papers. There is no proof so far that Hyde was a legal guardian to the kids, and that he had more than likely falsified tax documents to use them as tax write-offs.
Though Hyde was close to the two younger Laster boys, he never was close with Freddy's twin sister; which is raising eyebrows that he included her in his tax papers.
The news media has portrayed Hyde as a legit foster father. Though he was close to them, he was legally not a foster father. To be a foster parent, a representative of the State of Florida has to preside over this and that most of the time, this would include involvement from a judge. We do not believe this ever happened, and these claims of Hyde being a foster parent is void.
As the months continue, we will continue to investigate this claim.
In the meantime, that is all we have. Currently, Hyde is set to appear before a judge in August, with a trial date of December 3rd, 2018 in Judge Angela Cox's courtroom.
Court Proceedings on Hold; New Document reveals Brady Rule will not Affect Trial
Welcome to another update on the Ronnie Hyde trial proceedings. We have some small bits of information that may be appealing to some of our followers, however most of this update will more or less be uneventful. We will however, share some information that we have been combing through based on the last court visit that was made by Hyde and his attorneys.
First: We found out on Monday that Hyde will not be back in court for about 5 months. Unfortunately, we are not sure why Hyde isn't going to be back in court until August; but we are aware that there will be more documents coming out in the next few months that should highlight more about the upcoming December trial. Last month, we found out that more than just electronics and books were seized from the Hyde House in Jacksonville Beach. According to news sources, a court document (which we are still trying to find) unveiled that books on serial killers were found along with unidentified skeletal remains and Hyde's Last Will and Testament.
Right now, we are trying to figure out what the remains were and if they will be of any significance in this trial.
Also, a new document has come out, entitled State's Amended Response for Additional Discovery. The document details the names of every witness that will be participating in the trial in some capacity. This includes witnesses, potential living victims, experts, and forensic analysts. Most of the experts will be coming from the FDLE, FBI, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the University of North Texas Human Identification Lab.
New details are also coming to light about victim CS. Last month, we discussed his relationship to Hyde and who he was, without using his name. Now, with the recent document, it is officially revealed that CS is a family member of the Stalnecker family, perhaps the child of Rev. and Mrs. Stalnecker of Strength For Living Church. Our research suggests that the person in question IS IN FACT a Grammy-Nominated music producer who has worked with high profile musicians.
In the document, it states that: "In an email dated November 28th, 2017...we resolved the case in a way that I would consider to be favorable to Mr. S---------. One of the conditions of his deal is that he fully cooperate with your office." A deal was made to cooperate with this investigation in exchange for Marshall County, Tennessee authorities to drop drug charges that were pressed on CS a month prior. It was also suggested in a previous document that CS will prove to be a crucial witness in the murder investigation and will provide support in response to Hyde's alleged sexual abuses.
When we receive new details, we will make sure to publish them! Until next time, thanks for reading and we shall post more soon!
TRIAL UPDATE: State's Evidence Mounts Up as Hyde Faces Inevitable Downward Spiral; Meanwhile, Key Witness to Come Forward In the Trial
In the last few months, more information has been coming out in relation to Ronnie Hyde's past indiscretions. And as the pretrial motions continue, it does not look good for Hyde whatsoever. On the 21st of February, a document solidifies the fact that Ronnie Hyde may never see the light of day again.
The state revealed that there was another witness that will come forward in the coming months with redacted initials. According to the State Attorney's Office in a new document, this victim had been sexually abused and coerced by Hyde between 1986-1991. Additional evidence will be introduced that will include testimonies from the victim's family and close acquaintances, and evidence that was found at Hyde's home according to an FBI 302 report that was given to Anne Finnell''s office. The said evidence is more than likely the child pornography that was found in Hyde's home that has the victim's depiction in it. It also appears that more children have been identified in the photos that Hyde had kept at his home prior to his arrest, and will more than likely come forward soon through more notices of wrongdoing.
With that said, we would like to take you back to our last update, where we mentioned the involvement of a victim identified as C.S. We would like to clearly inform our readers about this person, and we ask that you think about what his true role may be in the trial.
C.S. was from Jacksonville, FL and met Ronnie Hyde through the same church that the Lasters attended: The Strength for Living Church. Having been heavily involved with the church because of his relation to a certain church leader, he more than likely had tons of contact with Hyde through the youth ministry.
Unfortunately for C.S., he would also become a victim of Hyde's; being sexually abused by him between 1992-1994.
According to a January 2018 document, C.S. was confined to a jail in Tennessee. After further research, we were able to identify C.S. and learn about his situation in the Smoky Mountain State and about him:
*C.S. was arrested on October 13th, 2017 on charges of Casual Exchange of a Schedule IV drug in Marshall County, Tennessee. His current status is unknown; however according to the same January 2018 document, it is possible he was able to reach an agreement with Tennessee Authorities on the charges in exchange for testimony against Hyde.
*We have also learned he is a high profile music producer who has a residence in Los Angeles, California and Nashville, Tennessee; helping up and coming rap artists. He has a track record that links him to Snoop Dog and P Diddy.
*The family of Fred Laster believes that he may have some damning evidence about Hyde's whereabouts the night of June 4th, 1994 and the morning of June 5th. Their basis is the document from January and previous conversations with Prosecutor Mac Heavener.
C.S. is expected to give a deposition soon.
As the case goes on, there is more evidence stacking up and not in Hyde's favor. Another recent conversation with Mac Heavener to a Laster family member revealed that there are other pieces of evidence that plan to be introduced; however at this time we do not feel that it is best to discuss this until the time comes that its introduced. We will keep you posted on that, but it will be something you do not want to miss.
Additionally, there are June Deposition hearings for Laster Family friend Vincent Jubito, Richard Laster, Sr. (Freddy's father) and CCSO Investigators Brian Rix and Mike Hodges. Mr. Jubito's hearing will be in Jacksonville; Richard Sr.'s in Live Oak; and CCSO Investigators at the Columbia County Sheriffs Office.
Until next time, be safe everyone!
TRIAL UPDATE: HYDE'S VICTIM COUNT STACKS UP; DELUSIONAL LAWYER KEEPS DEFENDING HYDE
EDIT NOTE: CLhas been changed to CS, an error on our end.
Sorry it's been a while, but first off, let me begin with HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The website is going through some new changes, including integrating into the new domain name www.lakecityjohndoe.com. We will be having new content and access to files from the Duval County Clerk on this website soon, so please stay posted.
TRIAL UPDATES: Hyde's victim count continues to stack up, and it is not looking good for him. Several months ago, we reported to you that he had an additional two victims aside from Freddy's murder that he sexually abused. According to court documents, one TL and a boy who we will call Joey, were sexually molested and abused by Hyde; including instances where they were forced to perform in front of a camera with Hyde behind it (essentially producing child pornography).
This week, we found out through recent documents that another victim has come forward with similar allegations against Hyde. The victim, known in court documents as CS, told Tennessee investigators that he had been sexually abused by Hyde between 1992-1994 when he was a member of the Strength for Living Church. This victim is currently serving time in the Tennessee prison system for drug charges. At this time, a deposition is pending on when CS will be able to answer to Florida attorneys and prosecutors. The document also discnloses that CL may be a witness and/or victim in relation to the homicide case.
A trial date for Hyde has been officially set for December 3rd, 2018; though this can be subjected to change.
Meanwhile, despite all of this, Hyde's defense attorney Anne Finnell, is continuing to fight for Hyde. The day after the trial date was set and the revelations of CS came up, her team asked the state to suppress any evidence indicating where Hyde may have been incriminating himself during his arrest and interrogation; indicating his right to an attorney was violated. According to an inside source, Hyde was talking freely to investigators until he froze up, asked for an attorney, and continued to freely talk despite his right to remain silent.
Additionally, the defense is asking for suppression of evidence found in his vehicle and in his home on 4th Avenue, supposedly because the search and seizure found nothing in relation to Freddy's murder; deeming the search warrants invalid and nothing to do with the case. Remember: Child Pornography was found in his home as well as other possible incriminating evidence that may place him at the scene of Freddy's murder in 1994. Sinking even lower, the defense also pointed fingers, blaming someone by the name of TL for Freddy's murder. According to the prosecution, there is absolutely no proof of this, as there have been established alibis.
We get it: Anne Finnell has a difficult job of defending Ron Hyde. However, when you get to the point where you are grasping for straws, there is a point where you need to stop, re-evaluate and ask yourself if its worth risking your reputation over...because lets face it Anne: THIS ISN'T CASEY ANTHONY! YOU ARE DEALING WITH A COLD BLOODED KILLER WHO DISMEMBERED ALMOST EVERY LIMB FROM HIS VICTIM!!!
Ronnie Hyde is due back in court in February
Fred Laster Laid To Rest In Private Ceremony
On Saturday, October 21st, 2017 Fred Laster came home.
After 23 years, the Duval County Medical Examiner released the remains of Fred Paul Laster to the family after a court ruling demanded that all parties cease examinations after September 30th. The ruling was made on September 20th in a court document that was passed down to all of the involved people in the case.
The service was a small event, with no media presence in accordance to the family's wishes. The service was performed at Oxley-Heard Funeral Home in Fernandina Beach. The burial took place at an undisclosed cemetery in Yulee, Florida.
Many from the Laster Family showed up to say goodbye to Freddy in a moving tribute to their loved one, who vanished in June of 1994. Twenty-Three years later, Freddy would be identified as the Lake City John Doe; who was found dismembered behind a BP Gas Station just north of Lake City, Florida. Ronnie Leon Hyde, 61, has been charged with his murder.
In the middle of July, #Justice4Freddy, the new Facebook page and hashtag has gone live. Though it is still a very young page, it has received over fifty likes within a month. For the followers who continue to keep the ear against the door on this growing story we say thank you.
I also want to add that soon, Freddy's Memorial Page on the website will be complete. I am currently working with family members to tell their intimate stories about Freddy and how he was in life so that everyone understands the beautiful life that Freddy led. At this time, the family is still working on a story to put up here and will let everyone know when it goes up.
As this all happens, a 32-page document was released last month by the Duval County courts detailing some of Hyde's transgressions. In it, it reveals that for the longest time, he had considered himself a nudist. Other informative contents in the document also reveal he spent nearly $1000 on child pornography from a film company in Toronto, ON, Canada; one of the reasons he was named in an international child exploitation case known as Operation: Spade. A couple of months ago, we were led to believe that he may have been involved in the worldwide child exploitation case known as Operation: PlayPen, which was released prior to the document being made available to the public. You can still read this well put article on our website under Special Reports.
Also included in this document, there are allegations of sexual abuse by Hyde, as well as detailed specifics of him producing child pornography using a camera with sound capabilities. There was also a story mentioned about how he enticed two young boys, one named Joey, to perform sex acts on another person and participate in the child porn films Hyde produced. It was also mentioned that Joey was Autistic and suffered from mental problems.
We are continuing to monitor the information we receive, and hope to get the information out in a timely manner.
Ronnie Hyde's next court date is set for later this month, where he will face Judge Angela Cox once more in preparation for his impending trial.
THE CASE FOR FREDDY'S REMAINS
As we continue to follow the updates regarding Ronnie Hyde’s potential trial, a new call to action began in the courtroom by prosecutors: release Fred Laster’s preserved torso to the family.
On August 20th, 2017, prosecutors during the pretrial hearing for Ronnie Leon Hyde (who just turned 61) called for Fred Laster’s remains to be released to the grieving family so he can be laid to rest. Doing so would also begin the next phase of the healing process for the family. Though the judge will take it into consideration, the likelihood of this happening may not be as good as we may think.
Because the torso will bring to light the severity of the crime, it is planned to be used for state’s evidence against Hyde, as well as expected testimonies from many key players in this investigation. But the real question to keep in mind is what would a physical torso do for this trial when there were extensive photographs taken of it?
As we covered in the original story about this case, blood testing was done on the torso and an extensive observation followed by famed pathologist Dr. William Maples. Then-sheriff of Columbia County, Tom Tramel, announced that over the counter medication was the only thing found in the blood test and that there was no indication that Laster was a smoker, drug addict or drinker. With that said, why does the state need his torso?
Dr. Maples covered a lot of ground regarding the damage to the torso. He went into detail where the dismemberments occurred, and also ruled out saw damage; stating the damage was caused by clean cuts from a kitchen knife. Additionally, Dr. Margarita Arruza performed an autopsy on the torso and made her rulings and recommendations. With that said, why does the state need his torso?
There has been no recorded trial where the physical body of someone was wheeled out in front of a judge, jury, witness, defendant and observers to prove that they were murdered. In fact, it would bring a morbid shock value to the courtroom if this ever happened (I don’t speak for other countries as I don’t have on-hand information about them; but I am certain that this hasn’t been the case in America). Would the state want to re-vicitmize the family by continuing to withhold Fred Laster’s body from them? At this point, it sounds like it’s better to the state than letting Hyde walk away scott-free.
But what is really at stake is the fact that the torso has been sitting in a freezer in the Duval County Medical Examiner’s Office for over 23 years. After 23 years, what good is it to keep the torso? If the state has an idea why they should keep it, they should make their case to the family very clearly, and it better be a good one. Otherwise, there is no reason why the state should maintain Fred’s torso any longer.
In Trayvon Martin’s case, they did not need to keep his body for state’s evidence. In Caylee Anthony’s case, they did not need to keep her body for state’s evidence. The Bundy victims, The Green River Killer’s victims, I can go on and on. None of their bodies never had to be kept for state’s evidence. So why this case?
Isn’t it time to allow the Laster family to close out one chapter of their lives by bringing Freddy home? Isn’t it time for Freddy to be laid to rest beside the rest of his family that preceded or followed him in death? The family says yes, but the state says maybe? How about a resounding yes! The state should have collected all the evidence it needed with photographs, technology and reports that law enforcement generated over a span of 23 years, so give Freddy back to the family and let him rest in peace!
ALSO: MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN A LAKE CITY MISSING PERSONS CASE
Ron Hyde stood before a judge on June 19th at the Duval County Courthouse. While in court, Hyde maintained his innocence and also waived his right to a speedy trial. With this move, it could take well over a year before this case sees a grand jury.
Early last week, Ron Hyde's longtime Jacksonville Beach home was demolished by a wrecking crew. The site was already deemed unfit and unsanitary to live in per the city code enforcement, and considered the property condemned. As the site was coming down, neighbors were pleased with the demolishing of "Freddy Kreuger's Home" according to one of his longtime neighbors.
Jason Futch has been following the LCJD and developing updates since 2011 while a student at Florida Gateway College in Lake City, FL. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon as a motorcoach driver for Northwest Navigator Luxury Motorcoaches.