Recently we told you about Ethan Brown’s magnificent investigative report on the Jeff Davis 8 and how that case may have influenced True Detective. In the event you’re unfamiliar with the report and the case, here’s the gist: for years prostitutes have been turning up dead in and around the southwestern Louisiana town of Jennings, which sits in Jeff Davis Parish, and for years local authorities have claimed that a serial killer is to blame. But Brown’s exhaustive, meticulously reported piece alleges that something else may be at play, namely that the prostitutes may have murdered by local law enforcement officers.
As you might imagine, the Sheriff of Jeff Davis Parish, Ivy Woods, is none too pleased about all the attention his sleepy little neck of the woods is suddenly getting, so he released a statement expressing resentment for “out-of-town journalists” and “a author of fiction stories” who are “trying to paint our parish with a broad brush that insinuates we are corrupt.”
Recently our office has come under fire by an investigative reporter from New Orleans and a author of fiction stories. They have written some very negative articles involving the Jeff Davis Sheriff’s Office, including the Multi-agency Investigative Team (MAIT) formed under former Sheriff Ricky Edwards on the eight deaths that occurred in our area from 2005 to 2009. They have drudged up investigations and incidents, some going back thirty years, insinuating corruption in our Sheriff’s Office. Well, I don’t dispute the Sheriff’s Office has had problems, but the past is the past.
When you elected me as your sheriff in 2011, I promised to bring professionalism to the department, which included having integrity that is beyond reproach, and gaining the respect and trust of our citizens. We have worked hard at this and will continue to do so. Having said that, I would like to say I resent out-of-town journalists trying to paint our parish with a broad brush that insinuates we are corrupt.
As your sheriff, I want to insure the victim’s families and the public that we are continuing to work on these eight investigations. I have the utmost confidence in the people I have assigned and the members of the MAIT from other agencies. They will continue the investigations into these deaths until all leads are exhausted. I also would like to make it clear that the MAIT and the law enforcement personnel working these investigations are not hiding anything. We are doing everything possible to solve these cases. It is unfortunate out-of-town journalists are taking information and twisting it to support a fictional conspiracy theory to gain followers and sell a story.
“The past is the past,” you guys.