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November 2, 2018 40 mins

Melissa faces Don Findlay - the son of Jesperson’s last victim. Why has he been living a double identity for so long? What does he know about Keith? And can he forgive a person he sees as an extension of the man who brutally murdered his mother? 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Previously on Happy Face. How did Keith get away with
it for so long? Laverne A. Pavlonak is accused of
four counts of aggravated murder, rape, sex abuse, kidnapping, and
felony murder for the death of Tanya A. Bennett. Pavlonak
fed police anonymous tips that led to the arrest of
her long time boyfriend, John A. Sasnovski. Laverne was trying

to get rid of her boyfriend. She convinced them by
saying she had participated in the murder with John SZNASKI.
If it weren't for the anonymous letter, the case might
well have remained forgotten quote Honor. About January twentie picked
up Shania Bennett and took her home. The name is Tanya,

not Sonya Bennett, and she was killed according to the
experts who examined the body on the night of January one,
not Melissa. And I reached out to Jim McNeely, a
retired detective from the Maultnoma County Sheriff's Department. He knew
what he was talking about, and he had information on
those murders that hadn't been in the papers. Jesperson kind
of saw you as a partner in this. We were

conspiring to prove that he was guilty. There's always been
one person Melissa has been afraid to meet, the son
of Jesper, since last victim, Don Findley. We spoke for
a couple of hours and I was finally able to
convince him to meet you. And then no, no shame,

oh sh oh nfe through. There's an almost numbing quality

to hearing Keith describe his crimes. The details are almost
too horrific to fully absorb. We know the way he
tied women up, how he beat raped and stopped them
from breathing, and yet some seem more shocked to hear
how he tortured a cat than how many women's lives
he took. But over a period of five years from

Keith murdered at least eight women. His last victim was
Julianne Winningham, but Keith Hunter Jasperson decimated countless lives beyond
the ones he took, including that of Julie's son, Don Findley.
I'm Lauren Bright Pacheco and this is happy face from

I The Creation of a serial Killer by Jack Olsen.
The morning after I killed Julie Winningham, my eighth victim.
I drove to Vancouver, Washington to get my driver's license renewed.
On my way, I thought about moving Julie's body farther
from the road, but I decided it was too much bother.

I drove straight through to Baker City, Oregon, and played
a little cribbage. I made a few bucks and hit
on some of the women. I gave a couple of
Julie's old coats to a cute girl from Boise. So
who is John Finley and why are you so afraid

to meet him? John Finley as the son of Julie
winning Ham, my father's last victim. He was present the
entire trial of his mother's murder, and he faced my
father in court. I first heard about him by reading
the Oregonian and his statements in court. I instantly wanted

to meet him decades ago, and have made attempts to
reach out to him and been rejected. I had heard
that he wanted to do the things that my dad
did to his mom to me. Where did you hear that?
From a producer? When I had the show Monster in
my family? The whole premise of the show is to

connect perpetrators family members with victims family members, and the
number one person I wanted to meet was done. So
I had a producer reach out to him, and that
producer had relaid the information to me that he he
had thought about that, that he thought about harming me
in the same fashion that my dad had harmed his mom,

because he wanted revenge by taking something from your dad.
I think that he he vilified you quite a bit,
and he thought that you had this perfect, wonderful life
and that you had never suffered because of the harm
your father had inflicted upon people. And I told him

a little bit out your work and about the fact
that you really wanted You've spent your entire adult life
trying to atone for your dad's crimes and since. And
I think that he had never really looked at the
ramifications of your dad's actions on his family and his children,

and so he decided he was touching go. But he
said that he'd be willing to try. I mean, he
never gave me a guarantee that he was actually going
to show up. My hope is that it's it's several things. Honestly,

my real hope as I just want to say I'm sorry,
I want him to know how sorry I am for
what my father did. It's just true, true sadness for
what what happened. And I can't offer any restitution or

bring his mom back, and my my sorrow for his
mom's loss isn't enough. There's nothing I could give him,
but I definitely want him to know how sorry I am.
I think that's the best I can offer. That's all
I can offer. Let it happen. Look at I mean,

this is the place to be picked. I mean this
is this is adorable. Okay, so we're looking at the
most adorable little seaside cafe that's actually sitting on the water.
And to get there you have to walk on this
kind of metal grade that rocks back and forth. The

cafe is this cheerful turquoise blue. It sits not by
the water, but on the water. I think it's going
to be an interesting meeting. He picked it, he picked
this location. This feels very friendly. I don't know, I'm cheerful.
It's peaceful. It's hard because I'm because I don't know

what I'm gonna walk into the water. Oh my gosh,
Oh my gosh. Walking on this, I was like walking
on still. I'll be right there. Don asked that we
not roll audio until after they've had a chance to meet.

I think that's him. I think I think he's behind me.
He's got his arms crossed. I'm gonna turn turn my back,
so I'm stead you meet with Lauren. I'm glad Lauren's
meeting with him first. He he looks. He looks tense. Huh.

I like the location he picked. I gestured for Melissa
to come over, and she had to cross this metal
plank to get back from where she was standing on
the water to me. And Melissa is shaking so hard

that the entire thing is trembling as she's walking because
she's so nervous. And she walks up to Don and
without saying anything, he opens up his arms and they embrace,
and Melissa just starts sobbing. It was one of the
most beautiful moments I think I've gotten to witness as

a producer. There was such a vulnerability and strength on
both side of that hug, and it is if it
ripped open a scab on Melissa's soul. She just sopped. God.

It was when he hugged me and just stretched his
arms and he hugged me. It felt like the wash
of forgiveness purified my heart, like it just melted away
my anxiety, an anxiety that was interwoven in my fibers

of my being. Like it, I didn't realize how tense
I've been walking my life until he hugged me. And
it was like this relaxation and solace that I've never
felt before. And it was something that I thought I
could seek in religion and find that solace through a
forgiveness of a loving God or and to say, you know,

but when Don hugged me, it was like, all as well,
the past is washed away and I'm free. I'm forgiven
and free to walk my life as I need to walk.
That was a lot. Yeah, if you're gonna do it,

you gotta do it right. We don't do it at all,
And it's got to come out, girl, sorry, And it's
gonna be the hardest because this whole time, I can
only imagine what your thoughts are sitting back, Like I said,
I've put myself in your shoes and I can't imagine.
But maybe I am the missing Laon and you know,

I can't even put myself in her shoes, Like I
don't even know I don't know how you did it.
I don't know how you're here, like I. Um, we
settled into the cafe, but for more privacy, we decided
to head back outside to a quiet bench overlooking water. Um,

so I'm in a better spot. And what questions do
you have first? I mean, I'm sure you've been pondering.
I think that I would like to to know first
as Um, I briefly met your mom. Okay, yeah, I'd
like to whatever you want to tell me about your mom?

And UM, well, my mom stayed here in Chamis with
her mom and was tossed between her dad, who lived
in California, where I was born and raised. She wasn't
an educated woman. She was a very energetic, positive, venturous

walked her own path, but because of her own education,
she had to do certain things to get by in life.
I mean back in the day. She supposedly had married
a truck driver just as big as your father, but
he was from Arkansas and they got divorced. So my

mom had me, and she wasn't around a lot in
my life because she was on her own little journey
and was scared of the family who raised you. My
dad's mom, my mom's step mom and my mom's dad.
Why my dad worked all the time. What did he do?

My dad was regional manager for an auditing company and
they got divorced. Dad got custody. Mom wasn't around, and
she traveled the United States and like to do her
own thing. Everybody loved her. She wasn't a drunk, she

wasn't an alcoholic or drug addict. She This is the stuff.
The media don't know what I'm about to tell you.
No one knows this. I haven't told anybody because they asked,
but they don't. It's all been about unfortunately, it's been
about you and your father. When these people tell me

what they're promising me, right, I was under the inflat
once that I'm supposed to help people, but the little
thirty second segments aren't long enough to help people. One
of the things Don wanted to clarify that he believes
the media got absolutely wrong was his mother, Julie's relationship
with Keith. As we know, Keith broke his rules for Julie.

It was the first time he'd killed someone he dated
and really knew. In fact, when Keith introduced Julie to Melissa,
or talked to Melissa, about her. He'd referred to Julie
as his fiance, but Don takes issue with this. My
mom was living in Utah. I talked to her on
February eleven, because her birthday was February twelfth and mine

was February. There was no talk of your father. My
mom was not in her relationship. She was living with
a girlfriend and a kid. She was telling me that
she was on her way down here to campus to
visit with their mom. She had met your father prior,

and she knew how to work the truck stops because
she drove truck and did her thing, and he offered
her a ride to hear he must not have had
any pickups because they hung out in town for a
couple of weeks. Okay, they were not in her relationship.
You can hear in Don's voice how angry he is

about the idea that Keith and his mother were ever together.
There's also a pain that comes from the constant reminders
of his mother. Everywhere he goes, He visits places she frequented,
and he drives past the scene of her murder on
a daily basis every day of my life since then,

I tried, I have the track by every day I
go fishing in the beautiful cornch I gotta drive right
by it. I didn't run. I faced it head on.
I can't crush my heart. The long haul trucker told

the Clark County Sheriff's Office detective by phone that he
strangled Julianne Winningham while raping her in the sleeper car
of his rig after gagging her with duct tape. Winningham's
nude body was found March eleven, dumped down a bank
of a viewpoint along Highway fourteen in the Columbia River Gore,
four miles east of was Ugo. The scenery wasn't the

only reminder of his mother's murder, So is his name.
After his mom's death, Dom changed his name to Leroy.
It's actually part of why he was so difficult for
me to track down. I had to go through Leroy
to get to Don. We asked him a little bit
about why he chose that name. I was living in

San Diego, working at a car wash, had friends in
bands and uh, just living a fun life. I was
looking pot doing drugs. I was up for three days
when I got the phone call at work. I went ballistic.
I pulled off kitchen sinks, punched wood. Then I walked

home and I fell in the middle of the main
street and cried. So this is where Leroy comes into play.
I came up here for the trials. I got a
job telemarketing. They asked me if I had a nickname.
I said Leroy. They put Leroy up on the board,

so I started telling people my name is Leroy, even
though they're seeing me every day on the news. I mean,
not only did I not know anybody, but I found
a job in a place to live to be able
to see this to the end. My family was not
there for me. No one's ever asked me if I
was okay. I want to know what happily you found
out you came up here. Why did you have to

go to the board. Well, the reason I had to
go to the morgue was because my mom wasn't around
a lot in my life, and I had to physically
see her that way to know that she's dead, or
otherwise I would still think she's on a you know,
traveling around doing her thing. Because we didn't talk that often.
She wasn't around a lot. I'm going back to how

you had to see your mom. I can't imagine you
you saw her after what? Yeah, I don't even know
what she looked like. Yeah, I want to I want
to know. I want to know because you have to
see it. I want to know what you saw. All right, Well,

I show up. It's underneath the jail. It's really like
the movies. Long long, long, long, long long long. They
open up a room, white walls, silver table. My mom
has a sheet covered up to her neck. I see

from her face a mark from here to here. That's why,
as black as day's night, I see shrub marks on
her cheeks from where she rolled down through the berry briars.
H I also see the top of my mom's head,

just sitting on top of her head because they did
the optopsy on her brain, so it was just there.
That's the last time I saw my mom. What do

you do with those images? Mask him? They go away.
She was such a beautif lady. He stuck his fist
down my mother's throat to make sure she was dead,

dug taped her, suffocated her, raped her, carried him around
in the cab of his truck, drove up the mountain,
lost her like a piece of garbage. And the next
time I see her, she's like that. I truly can't

explain the anger and hate I've had over the years
towards this, but I've had to put I had to
put it past me. I had to because otherwise I'm
not going to be happy, and I need to be happy.

I was wearing just my shoes and a shirt when
I headed east. I knew she would wake up soon
and then she'd really no terror. I breaked hard at
a stop sign and heard her grunt. She tried to
get into the front passenger seat, but fell to the
floor and cut her forehead on the seat pedestal. A
little pool of blood formed. I reached down and patted

her on the back and said, nice of you to
join me, Julie, and stay there until I stop up ahead,
and then you'll find out what's going to happen to you.

Melissa and Don had been wrestling with the past for
so long, trying to come to terms with its impact
on their lives, and they were both eager to share
their experiences. I don't know what you know. I don't
know much, but I don't know what you want to know.
The Feds, everybody, they figured out what trucking company he

worked for. And by the way, I see that trucking
company every day on the road. So you can imagine
my thoughts going through, you know, Okay, and it's got
to be hard for us. So they found out what
trucking company you've worked for. He was on a run.
He was going to go pick up a load in
New Mexico. Okay, okay, So they called Haney. They said

he's gonna be in New Mexico. The local police went
there with the Feds because it's out of jurisdiction. Did
the blood urine and something else sample for him? They
have to bring it back here to test it. Before
they get back, he calls in. He says he tried
to kill himself by eating a bottle of Thailand. All

they go back, they arrest him, and the trials start. Yeah,
the detectives came up to Spokane and they questioned my
mom and then they didn't tell her anything. Then she
said to my brother or sister and I your dad's jail.

Then my brothers like for what it is, she said,
for murder. I just remember just feeling like this is
this is not real. He had I went to my
my cot like down on him. Did I just cried
the whole night. He had wondered who it was, what happened,

how did it happened? He had a pictured a million
different things in my head, and I wanted answers. Nobody
would just tell me. I just wanted to know. And
that's why I started looking at the Oregonian and reading everything.
And it was hard to read it, but in a way,
it was kind of, you know, blessing it disguised, because

I don't know if I could have handled hearing it
from your words in real life. I think just reading it,
there was a there was a state of removal, you know.
I was somewhat removed when I could read from a distance,
what was happening over here? What was happening with your life? This?
Sor B four right, pick a right? This is where

it happened. What is this? This is a spot. It
used to be an empty lot until two years ago.
I thought she was found on a road. Hold on,
I'll show you if you stop right here. This was
an empty lot and his eighteen wheeler was parked right here. Okay,
the bar he was at is just not even at
quarter of a mile up the road. My grandmother, my

mom's mom lived three blocks up the road. So his
truck was parked here. Okay, this is where he did
what he did to my mom right here in this
lot with it was parking lot though, yeah, parking lot.
You know. There was no store here, There was no
nothing here. His truck is right here. My mom comes

from the bar up the road. They talk about the
money issue. He what was the money issue? What could
explain to me? So basically, after listening to your father
and saying how one of the victims asked him for
money after he was already done with her, that reminded

him of his wife and that's what made him snap.
And I remember him saying this in one of his interviews. Well,
my mom went to the bartender and he was too busy.
My mom needed some money. Came to jess person, your dad.
My mom had gotten into a car accident. Your dad's

signature was on the bible to sell. My mom came
to town with him. They were hanging out. I'm assuming
my mom had a car. My mom was working. Something happened.
She went to your father for money, asking him nicely
because she wasn't a you know, a gold digger or anything,

and he snapped where we're going next is on Highway fourteen.
He drove six miles out on Highway fourteen, pulled over
and threw her out without no rings or nothing, just
starcass naked, and then came back, got his trailer and
drove off to New Mexico. But your dad, your last freedom,

was your dad in this town for three weeks. Give
her take. Did your grandmother ever say that they were
talking about getting married again. My mom would never got remarried.
I know it for a fact. That came up through
your father because my mom, as you can see, she
was a very beautiful woman. She was a findhearted, good soul.

And that's why your dad, you said, he broke every
rule that he ever had set for victims that he
was going to do this. Dude, right, My mom broke
every rule because of her soul, her heart. You know,
he felt something different with her. The truth when it

comes to Keith is always in question. Weeks later, Melissa
still had doubts about the nature of Julian Keith's relationship.
Our producer Noel also made the trip to Washington State
to meet Don. This idea of Julie being his fiancee
kind of keeps coming up, and it's sort of like

been called into question a few different ways by her son.
For example, he Don right off the bat said that's
not true. But there's a lot of he said, she
said stuff in all of these tales. You kind of
were skeptical of that too. The only thing that makes
me not skeptical of them being together as the last
time I saw my dad. The last time I saw

my dad was at a diner, and he brought up
that he was going to buy me a car, a
red Pontiac, and that he was going to buy a
house on the beach and that Julie and him would
live there and then I can move in with him.
And so the sense that he was putting this future

with Julie makes me think that he saw something different
in Julian, that he wanted to settle down and get married.
But you remember what we discovered that that wasn't his dream,
that was her dream. And Don kind of talked about
how this is something she always talked about, wanting to
have her son back with her living in the beautiful

places in California, because my mom and him travel from
Utah to Hear and they knew each other prior so
he knew her dream, so he was telling me your
mom's dream the last time. Her last words to my
dad or what about your kids? When she was pleading
for her life, And I know she was trying to

appeal to the man and not the monster. The fact
that she was saying that makes me, you know, obviously
I know why she was pleading what about your children?
You know, to try to ground them back into hey,
you're a dad. But she was and this is again,
this is your father's version, and we don't know what

her last year really were. And in the Jackalson book,
your father claims that she was saying, hey, wait, you
know what about your children? I was going to be
basically their mother, And one of his final insults to
her is do you think I would let you raise
my kids? But she wasn't good enough. But again it's

this ongoing theme that you've pointed out that your dad
has to degrade all of his victims in some way,
shape or form, that they had it coming. Absolutely, So
the truth is I don't know. What we do know
is that Julie wasn't rundered by my dad. Her title
of fiance or girlfriend or friend is not relevant really

I think I think it's relevant and that it's it's
the one that he interacted with outside of just a
killer victim relationship, at least as far as what we know. Well,
I know they were friends. I think that's what they
were friends for years, and that's what I think haunts
me more than the fiance title, is that this was

a multi year relationship, not one of his fleeting girlfriend
situations where someone he barely knew and if he could
do that to her, he could do that to anybody
from I the Creation of a serial Killer by Jack Olsen.

I said, you don't love me, Julie, you never have.
She sniffed and said, what about your children? I was
going to look after your kids. I laughed. I said,
you can't even look after yourself. How could I trust
you with my kids? I was thinking, how do I

keep running into these kind of women? All this time,
She's staring at me with tears in her eyes. I
removed the tape around her ankles, but I left the
tape on her arms so she couldn't go after my
eyes with her long fingernails. Oh, I want to ask

what you don't have to an clarifying Okay, what were
your mom's last words was that said, have you wondered that?
I've never thought about that for the simple fact of
maybe that the fact that she was duct tape and
suffocated and didn't have a last word. So I've never

thought about what my mom's last thoughts or words were.
In my head, she asked him for money and that
made him snap, and that's how my mom ended up dead.
So that is my interpretation. My mom said something yesterday when, um,
he's he tries to shame my mom by publishing their intimacy,

their sex life, and um, I said to my mom,
and doesn't that make you feel victimized? You know, like
that that's doing this And she said, well, it's not true,
And I thought, yeah, we only have his word for
what happened because he was the only us and there
and the person who did that. And so but I

believe what he did to my mom it's true because
of the way his actions in his wording. And now
after you telling me how your father is, that's why
he was supposed so specific in court. Yeah, I mean,
can you imagine my rage hearing this man say he
stuck his fist down my mom's throat to make sure
she was dead, no, no, and then I left her

in the back of my truck for eight to twelve
hours before I disposed of her body, so the autopsy
come from that. I came up here on an airplane
and I went to every bar across this whole city,

all the way looking for your father. I didn't know
who did it, because they didn't know at this time,
because this was less than twenty four hours after finding
my mom. I went on isstion to every bar, who
are you looking for? What did you think you're looking for?
With you? I don't know, I, like I said, I

literally had been up for three days a day prior.
You're just going in hoping that you would just see
somebody and they would you would know. I'm assuming I
I can't answer that question because it's so long ago,
you know what I mean. But I remember one night
in the beginning singing karaoke Pat Benatar singing, hit me
with your best shot, like to the whole you know,

hit me? Come on, bring it on? You know what
I mean. I'm facing this head on. You know what
I mean? Do you think you got something for me?
Bring it on? Bring it on, Bring it on. Julie
was found absolutely by chance when a local resident stopped
to take a scenic picture by the winding roadside where

she'd been tossed, discovering her naked and beaten body. Um
so here comes to twenty one mile, keep going, I
know it all. See that turnout right there, come not
this one with the next one, because you gotta think

about it. He has an eighteen wheeler truck, so he
has that space to turn around right to go back
and get his trailer. Yeah, and if he goes any farther,
he's into Commania County. So he pulls over right now.
You gotta understand the hillside, it's twenty some years different
than it is now. So he pulls his truck over.

This is where they found my mom's cigarette butts and stuff.
And so what he basically told me was after he
did all that, he opened up the door and threw
down there like a rag doll, right down there. And
if you look, let's go out there. Imagine these trees
right here, not over own twenty years ago, right, someone

stopping to take a picture. He just happens to live
up on the hill. He stops to take a picture,
looks down this terrain and sees my mom. So your
dad pulled over right here disposed of her to get
over this. Uh well, if you think about this, your

dad's truck is an eight team wheeler. Correct. Your dad
is two d and fifty pounds at the time. He
knows how to drive a truck. He can get this
close enough, open the door. Your dad could throw a
hundred pounds like it's nothing. I'm sure tumble down. Remember

I told you the brush marks on her cheeks from this.
So I came up here, I came kicking with you.
I came looking for anything I could find just out
of share. I don't know what. And this is really thick. Yeah,
like I said, twenty years it probably wasn't as high,

you know what I mean, The toss wouldn't have been
as far, and they would never have found her. How
would they have found her? By the grace of God
that you were saying earlier doesn't exist. He made that
man stop and take a picture, because no one ever
stops here, No one no. Because there's not really a
scenic view either the river because the trees are blocking

the view. To even take a picture like this, one
would be where I would stop to take a picture
This isn't scenic at all. So what made that person
stop to take a picture? Who lives right up here
every day? That is strange that they would just come
down here and take a picture. If they live here
and see this view every day, Why did that happen?

That's one of the questions. They had nothing to do
with it. They didn't help your dad or any But
why did the universe tell that person to stop right here?
Because it was time for it to stop. He needed
to be stopped. And if your mom, if your mom's
body wasn't found, he would still be out there today.

All Chris good So faults in all just secret comminations.

Now we can take out our hearts, talk them time
and to tie it bits. Happy Faces a production of

How Stuff Works. Executive producers are Melissa Moore, Lauren Bright, Pacheco,
mangesh Ha Ticketur, and Will Pearson. Supervising producer is Noel Brown.
Music by Claire Campbell, Page Campbell and Hope for a
Golden Summer. Story editor is Matt Riddle. Audio editing by
Chandler Mays and Noel Brown. Assistant editor is Taylor Chacoin

Special thanks to Phil Stanford. The publishers of the Oregonian
newspaper and the Carlisle family AH Chris volts loeous serve

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