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.
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.