Our card this week is Timothy Blair, the five of clubs from Kentucky.
When Timothy’s body was found on the side of the road in 2005, investigators launched
into action to find his killer, but their investigation quickly turned cold despite
the discovery of DNA evidence and the cooperation of his family.
Seventeen years later, Timothy’s mother persists in her search for justice, even with
the investigation being put on hold and overshadowed by a whirlwind of rumors that have only led
to dead ends.
I’m Ashley Flowers, and this is The Deck.
On Sunday, May 22, 2005, a woman was driving her car through a residential area in the
heart of Louisville, Kentucky.
That’s when she saw something lying at the edge of the sidewalk up ahead.
It was around 6 a.m., and so she couldn’t immediately tell what it was since it was
still dark out.
But when she got closer, she was shocked to see that it was a fully clothed, limp body
sprawled out in front of an empty lot on a corner.
Now this woman didn’t have a cell phone, so she sped to her friend’s house about
a block away and called 911.
When officers arrived, they found a man lying on his back with half his body across the
sidewalk and half extending into a grassy lot.
It was clear right off the bat that he was deceased, having been shot multiple times
in his torso.
But his injuries weren’t the only thing that stood out to investigators.
The man was dressed in clothing traditionally associated with women.
He had on a blonde wig, a green t-shirt with the phrase, my boyfriend is hotter than yours
in pink lettering, and a blue jean miniskirt.
He was barefoot, but there were pink flip-flops kicked off to the side near his body, which
they assumed were his.
And based on the positioning of those flip-flops, they thought that maybe he had tried to run,
but didn’t make it more than a few steps before he was gunned down.
They also found a matching pink purse near his body, but it’s never been said if there
was anything inside or not.
Police called the coroner out to the scene, and once he arrived, he was able to touch
the body, and he actually found the man’s ID on him, which helped identify him there
at the scene as 19-year-old Timothy Blair.
I don’t know much more about how the scene looked, but investigators thought that Timothy
was killed there and not shot somewhere else and then dumped, which to me means that there
probably was a lot of blood present.
But again, I don’t know for sure.
And unfortunately, scouring the streets for more physical evidence didn’t reveal anything
else of note, such as bullet casings or discarded items.
But the investigators did see something on Timothy that they hoped would help them solve
There was something, investigators still won’t say exactly what or even where on Timothy
it was found, but whatever it was, they believed that it would give them a DNA profile for
Our reporting team spoke with Lieutenant Donnie Burbrink of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s
He was a patrol officer at the time of Timothy’s murder, and while he wasn’t assigned to
work the case at the time, he’s actually the lead investigator today.
One of the first things we asked is if he could give us any more information on the
DNA that was found now.
But here’s what he said.
I don’t want to get into that because I don’t want to put that out there.
That’s one of those things that I want to see if the information that comes back actually
Whatever the source of the DNA, investigators knew how crucial it could be for solving Timothy’s
homicide, so they collected it to send to the crime lab for testing.
Meanwhile, officers started canvassing the neighborhood to talk to people who lived nearby.
A few neighbors did remember hearing several gunshots sometime between 3.45 and 4.15 that
morning, although nobody had called 911 to report them.
You’re also talking about an area that wasn’t unfamiliar with gunshots being, you know,
ringing out in the area.
So we don’t get a hundred people saying, yeah, I heard gunshots, because at this time I was
It’s 3.45 in the morning, 4 o’clock in the morning, not many people are up.
Even the party crowd by then is going home and going to bed.
Despite most people not knowing anything, they spoke to one woman that morning who walked
up to the scene and said that she had some information, not about the gunshots, but about
The woman, who I’ll refer to as Kathy, lived just a few blocks away from where Timothy
According to her, Timothy went by the nickname Timmy Joe, and he’d stopped by her house at
around 2.30 that morning with her goddaughter, Dee Dee.
Kathy had been asleep when the two walked in, so even though they woke her up, she was
still a little groggy.
But from what she remembered, while they were there, Dee Dee told her a story about how
they were harassed by some guys earlier that night, and the police actually had to intervene.
The two didn’t tell her much more about the incident, but they were a little shaken
up by it and said that they just needed a place to chill out for a bit and kind of collect
So they stayed for a few minutes and then left, after which she went back to sleep not
really thinking anything of it.
Since Dee Dee seemed to be the last person seen with Timmy Joe, officers wanted to track
her down and talk to her as soon as possible.
But first, officers still needed to find Timmy Joe’s family and notify them of what
When they arrived at his townhome, a young woman answered the door.
She said that her name was Keisha Stewart, and she was Timmy Joe’s older sister.
The two lived together along with her kids.
When they told Keisha her brother had been murdered, she was obviously devastated.
But before they interviewed her, she said she had to call her mother, Rosalind Blair,
who lived across the border in Indiana.
When our reporter spoke to Rosalind for this episode, she described what it was like getting
that call, a call that no mother ever wants to receive.
I was getting a call from Keisha, screaming and crying on the phone that Timmy was dead,
he had been murdered.
And I’m like, what are you talking about?
And the coroner takes the phone, and I said, I want to see my child.
He told me I couldn’t.
He’s in a biohazard area, and you can’t see him.
Rosalind agreed to meet them over at Keisha and Timmy Joe’s.
And while they were waiting for her, investigators started to get a clearer picture of who Timmy
Joe was from his sister.
He was the third of seven kids and was an openly gay man who occasionally dressed in
more traditionally feminine clothes as part of his self-expression.
He often went by the nicknames Paris or Yum Yum when he dressed up.
And like any family should, his family accepted him for exactly who he was, which according
to Rosalind, was the life of the party.
He was fun.
He’d always make you laugh on your worst day.
I remember when he was 17, they thought I had throat cancer.
He was the strongest one out of seven kids.
That I planned my funeral and everything.
He never dropped a tear.
He said, I’m right here.
And ended up coming back.
So he tore up all the paperwork.
He said, OK, enough of this trash now.
He tore up everything.
He wasn’t perfect by no means.
He made mistakes like we all do.
But he was mine and nobody had a right to take him.
When Rosalind arrived, officers asked them both if they knew anything about Timmy Joe’s
whereabouts earlier that morning.
Keisha said that she had last seen her brother sometime between 1130 and 1 a.m. when he had
left the house with Dee Dee.
And as far as Rosalind, she’d only briefly spoken to Timmy Joe on his cell phone while
he was out, but didn’t really know exactly where he was when they spoke.
And that’s when officers paused because they didn’t find a cell phone at the scene.
Keisha went on to say that she had called Timmy Joe several times the night before,
but each time it would ring and ring without an answer.
So authorities there noted that they would need to locate the phone and then continued
But that’s when suddenly Rosalind’s phone began to ring.
And when she looked down, it was Timmy Joe’s name that lit up her screen.
When our reporter spoke to Rosalind, she told us that she answered the phone hoping to hear
her son’s voice on the other end.
But when we spoke to Detective Burbrink, he said that it was Keisha who picked up.
Whoever answered, they both agreed that there was a man on the other end who asked for Diana.
Now everyone realized that he was talking about Dee Dee.
Diana was her given name.
But before the man could say anything else, Keisha jumped in.
Keisha starts automatically throwing accusations that you’ve got my brother’s phone, you know
who killed him, you’re the one, you’re involved, you and Dee Dee are involved.
And this guy is completely and totally clueless of what she’s talking about, has no idea.
After a few minutes of insisting he had no idea what she was talking about, the mystery
man hung up.
The call left the two women in a state of shock.
But investigators tried to get their conversation back on track before they left to pursue the
man on the other end of the line.
After they collected themselves, Keisha was able to fill police in on some of the earlier
parts of Timmy Joe’s evening.
She said that he had been at a block party in the neighborhood with Dee Dee while she
was hanging out at the house with her ex-boyfriend.
Eventually, the two came home, they got ready to go out, and they left on foot.
Keisha didn’t know where they went from there, and there wasn’t anything about their behavior
that stuck out to her as alarming.
Although, she did mention something about her own car that stuck out in her memory.
She said that it had been moved down a few spaces from where she remembered parking it
Now, she often let Timmy Joe borrow her car when he needed to, but as far as she knew,
he hadn’t used it since she last parked it.
And since he left on foot, there was no reason for him to have moved the car that night.
Now, she wasn’t sure what this meant, or if it meant anything, or if it was even related
to her brother’s murder at all.
But it was just weird, and she wasn’t sure who moved it, so she figured she might as
well mention it.
Other than that, though, neither Keisha nor Rosalind had anything else to add.
So investigators got to work on their other potential witnesses.
Specifically, they went to track down Dee Dee.
When they found her, she told them the same story as Keisha.
They’d been at the block party, then they decided to go out in downtown Louisville.
She even described the exact outfit that he was in, down to the blonde wig and pink flip-flops.
After they left Keisha’s, the two walked a few blocks toward downtown Louisville.
And that’s when they came across this guy coming out of a nearby bar.
They didn’t know him prior to this, but they were looking for a ride and thought that maybe
he could help.
Dee Dee described this guy as a white guy and middle-aged, and nice enough off the bat
because he agreed to give them a ride.
She sat in the back while Timmy Joe got up in the front and chatted with the man.
They go to Dino’s, which is a gas station, a well-known gas station here in Louisville
at the corner of 26th and Broadway.
And Timothy asks the guy that was giving him a ride for $4 to go in and buy a pack of cigarettes.
The guy gives him money.
Timothy and Dee Dee get out of the car.
They go into Dino’s.
They come back with cigarettes.
And then they start driving eastbound, coming back this way.
It gets a little murky here on the reasoning behind this, but they eventually get to 7th
and Broadway, which is about 10 blocks, 11 blocks from here.
And there’s a White Castle there.
And Timothy asked the guy to drop him off at the White Castle.
And the guy does.
Both Timmy Joe and Dee Dee get out of the car there, and they kept walking for a few
more blocks until they decided to take a break and smoke a cigarette.
So they sat down outside of the bank, and as they were resting, Timmy Joe started trying
to talk to this group of guys who had come out of a nearby club.
But their conversation was anything but friendly, because the men started hurling transphobic
and homophobic remarks towards Timmy Joe.
Well, there’s a group of guys that start yelling at Timmy, saying, you’re a dude, you’re a
dude, you look like a dude, I don’t know why you’re talking to us, you’re a dude.
And somebody actually throws a beer bottle at Timmy.
And the police were on patrol, and Timmy flags them down and says, this guy over here,
he just threw a beer bottle at me.
So the officers get out and basically tell everybody they got to leave.
We’re not going to stay in here and congregate, y’all got to go.
And that’s the last time that this guy is talked about.
Understandably, they were both a little shaken by the incident.
So that’s when they walked back to Dee Dee’s godmother’s house to take some deep breaths
and regroup before they left to continue their night out.
From there, Dee Dee told them nothing notable really happened, they just kind of walked
But all these years later, after reviewing her interview, Lieutenant Burbank isn’t so
sure about that.
Now, they started walking down Broadway again.
But the way they’re talking in the interview, Dee Dee, they’re kind of soliciting a little
bit, almost like they’re trying to get picked up for some cash.
But they weren’t together right next to each other.
So they could make money, they’d split up.
One went on the north side of the street, one went on the south side of the street.
And they’re walking, and they would talk to people.
And they would walk and talk.
Whether they really were soliciting or not, as they were walking, Dee Dee told investigators
that she ran into a group of men that she knew.
They were out partying and offered to take Dee Dee with them to their next stop.
And she agreed.
But she wasn’t going to just leave Timmy Joe without saying anything.
So she got his attention from the other side of the road and asked if he wanted to come
But he declined and said that he was going to stay out just a little bit longer.
It was roughly 3 a.m. when Dee Dee said that she drove away in her friend’s vehicle and
saw Timmy Joe for the last time, only three blocks from where his body would eventually
Not talking to anybody, not really doing anything, just by himself.
And then there’s the gap between that time, that Dee Dee last season, and where they find
Timmy Joe deceased.
I think it’s important that we show our belief based on the investigation.
We don’t leave Diana’s involved.
I think it’s just important to show people’s cooperation to eliminate them in an investigation
that is to say when people don’t cooperate, we need to key in on them.
Notably, Dee Dee also never mentioned Keisha’s car.
So investigators thought it likely didn’t have anything to do with Timmy Joe’s death.
So filling in that gap, the timeline between when Dee Dee drove away and when Timmy Joe’s
body was found became investigators’ top priority.
But then they got another call from the man who had Timmy Joe’s phone.
That man, who I’ll call Charlie, told investigators that he’d been the one who had given Timmy
Joe and Dee Dee a ride on Saturday night.
He was also the man who had spoken to Keisha and Rosalind earlier that morning.
Now, he gave the same story as Dee Dee, from that stop at Dino’s for cigarettes to dropping
them off at the White Castle.
And he was able to explain why he had Timmy Joe’s phone.
Problem is, Timothy had let Dee Dee borrow his phone.
She’s in the back seat, he’s in the front seat.
When they get out, they leave the phone in this guy’s car.
Charlie said he didn’t realize that they had left it, and so the next morning when
he went out to his vehicle, he was confused when he found an unfamiliar phone on the rear
It had a bunch of missed calls, so he went ahead and called the most recent number.
But when Keisha accused him of harming her brother, he panicked.
He’s on the expressway, gets off the expressway to go to his house, and takes the phone and
throws it out the window.
He said, I don’t want any part of this, I’m leaving.
After he threw it away, he didn’t plan on calling the police.
But when he got home and turned on the news, he saw a report about the murder of a young
man named Timothy, which he connected to the name Timmy Joe he remembered Keisha saying.
It was then that he connected the dots and decided to call authorities.
After his interview, police determined that Charlie wasn’t involved in Timmy Joe’s murder.
But they still needed him to find the phone that he had chucked out the window in case
there was anything of note on it.
He led police to the location where he tossed it, and luckily they were able to retrieve
Right there on the side of the road.
But unfortunately, it didn’t give them any helpful information.
We didn’t have the capacity to take full downloads on phones like we would do now.
But we know for a fact, Timothy didn’t have his phone at the time of his kill.
So that phone, while it’s great that we have his phone, we know it wasn’t with him.
He wasn’t communicating with anybody prior to that on that phone.
With the phone being another dead end, investigators were hoping to find some physical evidence
from the autopsy.
Timmy Joe’s cause of death was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds to his chest
His time of death was estimated to be somewhere between 4 and 4.30 a.m.
And while Lieutenant Burbank didn’t reveal the results of the toxicology report to us,
he said that nothing serious stood out to him in that.
But there was something else that did catch investigators’ attention.
Or rather, the lack of something.
If you’re assaulted before, you’ll see the bruising, the disheveled hair, you know, all
those different things that normally happen within a fight.
You see that.
None of that’s documented on anything from the medical examiner’s report.
So it doesn’t appear that anybody jumped out and started beating on Timmy Joe and then
The fact that there wasn’t evidence of an assault pointed towards the murder being a
But there was something about that that just didn’t add up.
In a drive-by, there’s usually something like shell casings left behind.
So either whoever killed him stopped to clean up after, or they just got really lucky and
all the casings wound up in the car and not on the road.
It was early in the investigation still, but investigators were inching toward a brick
They decided to spend the next few days interviewing Timmy Joe’s other friends and family to
try and stir up some new information.
We start talking to other people that Keisha and Roslyn are giving us, saying, these people
might have information.
These people might have information.
So we just start talking to everybody that they come into.
We talked to one of Timothy’s friends named Daryl, and he says that he heard that it was
a Bronco that pulled up on him and a bunch of guys got out and beat him up and do all
Well, the medical examiner’s notes don’t match up with that because there was no significant
trauma to Timmy Joe’s body.
Roslyn told investigators about another person that she thought might have been with Timmy
Joe at some point that night.
It was a young woman and her boyfriend.
Lieutenant Burbank calls this young woman Jenny.
Roslyn suspected that they were involved in the murder, but when investigators tracked
them down, they quickly cleared them, although the boyfriend did admit to having seen Timmy
Joe out that night.
So we go interview the boyfriend and we’ll call him Billy.
Billy’s interviewed and Billy says, I saw Timmy Joe around 13th and Broadway and he
was having words with somebody.
So they weren’t fighting, but it was really loud words to the point where he thought that
maybe he needed to intervene.
But it looked like it started to settle.
Now investigators aren’t sure that this was actually Timmy Joe that he saw because the
timeline of this sighting was off.
Billy said that he saw Timmy Joe around 11 or 1130, but according to all of the other
testimonies that they had gathered, Timmy Joe hadn’t even left home by that time.
Also Billy said that he was on a bus when he spotted Timmy Joe, like he saw him through
the window as the bus was going by.
So it is totally possible it was someone else entirely.
But just to be sure, Billy gave investigators a description of the man Timmy Joe was allegedly
He said he was a black man about 6'1 or 6'2, maybe in his late twenties, but he really
couldn’t give them any more identifying information.
It’s really never brought up again from what I could find.
It’s just, hey, we, me and Jenny had nothing to do with this.
You know, this is what I saw.
This is the last thing that I saw.
Investigators were quickly running out of leads.
It seemed like Timmy Joe had seen plenty of people that night, but no one had been around
at the time of his murder.
So they decided to circle back to Keisha’s concerns about her car, just to make sure
they were covering all their bases.
She consented to a search.
So on June 2nd, they combed through it, looking for any evidence that might suggest Timmy
Joe had been inside the evening that he died.
So obviously we wanted to look at that and see if maybe there was anything in there that
really led us to believe that it might be involved somehow.
But there’s no evidence whatsoever that shows that this car has anything to do with Timmy
There’s no blood in the car.
There’s no DNA in the car, in the trunk, where you would normally take a body and put it
in there if you killed somebody inside of a house.
None of that’s there.
After the car came back empty, the case went cold.
They still had the DNA, and although he couldn’t pinpoint exactly when, Lt. Burbank told us
the DNA from the scene was uploaded to CODIS, but there were no hits.
The tips stopped coming in as well.
For more than a year, investigators were just stuck.
But then, in December 2006, Rosalind walked into the Louisville Metro Police Department
with what she said was a new lead.
And she pointed her finger straight at someone who had been involved in the case since the
Rosalind told investigators she believed her daughter Keisha had something to do with Timmy
You see, in the last year, Keisha had given up custody of her kids because she claimed
to have some health issues and unstable housing.
Two of the kids went to their dads, but the other two, including Keisha’s seven-year-old
daughter who I’ll just call Anna, went to stay with Rosalind.
Well, when Anna arrived, she immediately said that she had to tell her grandma something
about Timmy Joe.
She told the whole story as to what happened in her house.
And mommy was fake crying and mommy was lying when she was talking to you on the phone.
And she said a guy by the name of that lived there had been touching her and that Timmy
and him got into a fight.
We bleeped the man’s name, but we aren’t done talking about him, so we’re going to
call him Jerome.
Rosalind recounted Anna’s story of hearing two gunshots inside the home on the night
Timmy Joe died, and she went downstairs to see what was happening.
She says that’s when she saw her mom, Jerome, and her uncle in the living room.
Timmy was laying on the rug because she had come back downstairs, that’s what she said.
And Timmy was laying on the rug and that Keisha had the gun in her hand.
She said there was a guy there that looked like Timmy.
I said, hmm, and they made her go upstairs.
Now there is a discrepancy here between Rosalind’s account and other reporting on Timmy Joe’s
case, specifically from an article by Philip Bailey for Leo Weekly.
Rosalind was clear in saying Keisha was the one with the gun in her hand, but the Leo
Weekly article states that it was Jerome who did the shooting.
Regardless of the discrepancy, Rosalind went on to say that Anna told her that she watched
from her window upstairs as her mother and Jerome took the rug with Timmy Joe’s body
inside and placed it in the trunk of her vehicle before driving off.
Now, Rosalind said that she was skeptical at first because Anna was young and maybe
she misremembered what she saw.
So she asked Anna if she was sure.
I said, well, how did you know it was Timmy?
She said, you know, Nana, Timmy was big and tall and he had his wig on.
She said, and I could see his hair.
She said, after they left, mommy called me downstairs and she beat me and told me, I
better not never tell you.
When Rosalind finished her story, investigators were stunned, but they were also hesitant.
This was the biggest tip they’d gotten in over a year, but they couldn’t rely solely
on Anna’s testimony.
Not to mention investigators on the scene already determined that Timmy Joe wasn’t
Remember, they thought that he was shot right there at the scene.
Sure, they could always be wrong, but investigators thought the evidence just wasn’t lining up.
Well, you have to take that seriously because her story, it has validity to it.
It sounds legit.
Problem is, she’s young.
You can’t, you and I talking right now, we can have a conversation.
I can ask you questions.
You can answer those questions directly.
But with a child, seven, six, seven, eight years old, you can’t do that.
You have to do a special type of interview.
You have to do a forensic interview.
And the forensic interview is very delicate because you can’t just ask the questions.
Even though interviews with children about tough topics can be challenging, a child interview
specialist spoke with Anna on December 13th.
She told the story with the same details Rosalind had initially relayed to police.
But a few things stood out.
They try to pick up on key phrases.
Key phrases that a normal child would not use in the standard conversation.
If they’re using verbiage that doesn’t fit their education level or their age level,
those are prime signs that this kid has been told specific things to say.
In the forensic interview, she alluded to there being some phrases that were utilized
in the interview and that that wasn’t normal.
That wasn’t a normal vernacular for a child of that child’s age.
But investigators couldn’t fully look into Anna’s claims.
You see, the townhome where she said all of this happened had been torn down earlier that
So they couldn’t even search it for physical evidence if they wanted to.
And since the search of the car back in June 2005 hadn’t yielded any evidence that Timmy
Joe had been in the trunk, their skepticism only grew.
Still, just to be sure, they crossed all their Ts and dotted all their Is.
They brought Keisha in for an interview.
She even agreed to take a polygraph, which she passed.
And you all know how I feel about polygraphs and how unreliable they are.
But with those results and no physical evidence to implicate her, there wasn’t a case against
But still, they decided to look into Jerome.
He was Keisha’s ex-boyfriend who still hung out with her every once in a while.
And while investigators did track him down for an interview, Lt. Burbank wasn’t sure
if they learned anything substantial.
I know they interviewed him, but I couldn’t find any documentation as to what the interview
And there was no documentation of, like, a polygraph?
Not with this, not with this second person, no.
And this was a significant piece at the time.
It seemed like a pretty good lead.
Problem was, it just didn’t pan out.
Like I told you before, Keisha passed a polygraph.
Now, can you pass a polygraph and still be guilty?
Absolutely, you can.
But when you take into consideration all of the other stuff that was looked at, it doesn’t
appear that Keisha has anything to do with this.
She has no motive for doing it.
So investigators were back to square one, where they remained for months and then years.
They said they did their best to keep the search for Timmy Joe’s killer going.
And Rosalynn kept her ear to the ground and brought up new names of people that she thought
might be involved.
But none of them panned out.
A few years after her initial claims, Rosalynn came forward and said that Anna made a shocking
confession to her.
She said, uh, oh yeah, Nana, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.
Yes, because I was mad mommy gave me up.
Oh, I said, so you made up that whole story?
I said, I don’t believe you.
There’s going on.
I said, you’re going to be an adult and there’s going to come a day that this is going to
come back and bite you in your butt.
Why are you lying?
That’s my mother.
I have to protect my mother.
What are you protecting your mother from?
It’s my mother.
So one of my sons was here.
I said, so you’re sitting here in the car.
I said, if I go in there right now and kill Elliot, your uncle Elliot, I said, is that
Why would you do that?
Why are you protecting your mother?
Why are you lying?
Rosalind remained convinced that Keisha, at the very least, knew something about Timmy
Joe’s murder, because she fully believes what her granddaughter told her in 2006.
And this is part of the investigation that did and still does deeply trouble Rosalind.
She thinks the police department made a horrible mistake not believing Anna simply because
she was a child using words other kids her age wouldn’t use.
She said that was Anna, incredibly smart, with a vocabulary beyond her years.
And she suggested that the failure of police to listen to Anna’s story points to a larger
issue within law enforcement, viewing children as unreliable witnesses just because of their
Even as Rosalind clung to the story her granddaughter had told her, police moved on to a different
lead, one that they thought was more promising.
In 2012, they got a hit from CODIS on the DNA sample from the scene.
Lieutenant Burbrink wouldn’t reveal the name of the man who was a match.
What we know is that he had been incarcerated for something else, hence his DNA being put
But before they went to visit him, they told Rosalind his name and asked if she knew him.
Now, she said she didn’t.
So they go see this guy, and during their interview, they ask this man if he had been
with or knew a man named Timmy Joe or a man who occasionally dressed in traditionally
This guy denied all of it, repeatedly.
That is, until they showed him a picture of Timmy Joe dressed in feminine fashion and
But when she shows him a picture of Timmy Joe dressed as a woman, he has a visceral
He has a reaction that shows.
Despite that reaction, the guy still claimed not to know anyone fitting Timmy Joe’s description.
So that’s when investigators switched tactics.
They asked the man if he knew anyone named Rosalind, and he said yes.
He told investigators that in 2005, he’d had a casual relationship with a woman named
Rosalind who lived in the same housing complex as Timmy Joe’s mother.
But this wasn’t enough to build a concrete connection.
The complex that she lived in was big.
There were like 500 residents at the time of the murder.
So they thought the chances of there being two Rosalinds living there in 2005 wasn’t
totally out of the question, especially when Rosalind had already denied knowing this guy.
I can’t tell based on the case file whether or not we know for a fact the Rosalind he’s
speaking about is Rosalind Blair.
I don’t know that.
So I don’t want to assume his DNA is on Timmy Joe or something that Timmy Joe is carrying
simply because we think that this guy and Rosalind had some type of relationship.
I don’t know that to be fact.
We went back to the DNA and asked Lieutenant Burbank about that, though.
And he said the DNA wasn’t strong enough evidence on its own, because he said if this
man did know Timmy Joe’s mom, then the DNA could have easily been a transfer due to proximity,
such as maybe sharing a laundry basket.
We start talking about DNA, and obviously that’s a buzzword.
People hear DNA, they’re like, DNA, man, they’re going to knock this one down.
It’s not necessarily the case.
There’s a lot of factors that go into where the DNA was located, how it could have been
located and how it could have been transferred from point A to point B.
I don’t have enough information from the return results on what we got.
And if we were ever able to determine whether or not this guy might have had a legitimate
reason to have DNA where we found the DNA.
So I’m real hesitant on putting that out there because I don’t have enough information
to be able to intelligently say this is what it was.
Now our reporter reached out to Rosalind to confirm whether she knew this guy.
And again, she said she didn’t.
In fact, she said that she lived in Indiana in 2005, not the apartment complex police
claim she lived at.
So if the man did actually have a relationship with a woman named Rosalind at that complex,
it couldn’t have been her.
But at the same time, Lieutenant Burbank makes it seem like the DNA could have ended up on
Timmy Joe in a totally innocent way, which doesn’t seem possible if this guy and Rosalind
both say they don’t know each other.
There are so many questions about this detail that I just don’t have answers for, and investigators
After all of that, the lead just fizzled out.
The case went cold yet again, and it remains cold to this day.
Lieutenant Burbank was assigned the case in 2013 when he transferred to the Homicide Unit,
but he wasn’t able to stir up anything new.
Keisha isn’t considered a suspect or even a person of interest by detectives, although
Rosalind remains convinced that she knows more than she’s saying.
And while most people today wouldn’t even blink at Timmy Joe’s sexuality and expression,
the culture back in 2005 wasn’t as open.
So our reporter asked Lieutenant Burbank if he’s considered whether the murder could
have been a hate crime.
I think that I’d be naive if I didn’t believe that his lifestyle led to this in some capacity.
How much that is, I don’t know.
Is that sickening?
Yeah, it is.
But I think it does play a role in it.
But I have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to be able to say that with any definitiveness.
I cannot tell you, yes, this is absolutely a hate crime.
Of course, they can’t 100% confirm that Timmy Joe’s death was motivated by hate,
because it’s unsolved.
They don’t know who did it.
But considering all the factors — he was gay, he was a black man in Kentucky in 2005
who dressed in traditionally feminine clothing — there are elements that make a hate crime
seem pretty strong.
And we can’t forget that Timmy Joe was harassed by that group of guys Dee Dee says they saw
outside the bar.
So if they were aggressive to him for just being himself, who’s to say someone else
didn’t do the same thing later that night?
Now if you remember Maggie Long’s story that I told you a few weeks ago, they weren’t
sure that that was a hate crime either.
But they were able to look at the surrounding circumstances and say, we don’t know for
sure, but there’s a high probability that her race or gender had something to do with
the way she was killed.
So even though law enforcement isn’t convinced, I’m not ready to take it off the table.
And to top it all off, as of this recording, Timmy Joe’s case isn’t being investigated
The Louisville Metro Police Department’s Cold Case Unit only has three people assigned
to more than 600 cases, and it’s undergoing a total overhaul of its procedures for calculating
which cases to prioritize based on, quote, solvability.
Even with a positive DNA hit, Lt. Burbank told our reporter where Timmy Joe’s case
falls on that list.
Unfortunately, I’d say that Timothy’s case right now would rank towards the bottom.
And I hate to say that, but just to be 100% transparent and honest, that’s where it would rank.
Policy and procedure don’t matter to Rosalind, though.
For good reason, she was upset to hear Lt. Burbank straight up say that her son’s murder
is at the bottom of his unit’s investigative priority list.
She suggested it’s time for LMPD to bring Keisha and Anna back in for interviews since
so many years have gone by.
Or maybe it’s time they re-interview the man whose DNA was found.
Since Lt. Burbank took the case, he and Rosalind have struck up a professional but strained
relationship as 17 years have passed with no closure for the family and no justice for
17 years is a long time.
I don’t know if Lt. Burbank told you how many times I’ve called and he says, I just admire
Do you really think I’m going to go away?
Not until the day I die, and you better hope I don’t find that door back.
But I think that there’s a lot more to Tim’s case that maybe Tim got mixed up in.
Maybe we can save some other people because we can’t save my son because he’s gone.
These people need to be brought to justice.
And I am depending on Lt. Burbank and his gang and people out there that know what happened
to Timmy to come forward and tell the truth.
He has nieces and nephews that he’s never seen.
He wasn’t there when I had my lung surgery and I know he would have been there.
He’d have been there with me.
Rosalind and all the other people who loved Timmy Joe deserve answers.
And someone out there has the answers to bring his loved ones some peace.
So please, if you have any information about Timothy Blair’s murder in 2005, you can call
the Louisville Metro Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 502-574-5673.
Or use the Digital Crime Tip Portal link, which you can find in our blog post for this
episode on thedeckpodcast.com.
The Deck is an AudioChuck production with theme music by Ryan Lewis.
To learn more about The Deck and our advocacy work, visit thedeckpodcast.com.
So what do you think, Chuck?
Do you approve?