A Documentary from Jean-Sébastien Desbordes, Matthieu Martin, Nicolas Berthelot (France 2 TV)
20 years later, Beaumont, the little town from southeast of Texas, did not disclose all its secrets about the murder case of Elmer Rode.
Are, the two convicted men, the real guilty?
Has justice really been made?
On December 25 1994, Elmer Rode the Dean of admissions of the prestigious University of Lamar is found dead at his house, with four gunshot wounds to the head.
The material evidences – or the political will – are missing in order to identify the suspects.
The case is sensitive: in the middle of an electoral campaign period for the U.S. House of Representatives, the private life of the victim is a potential scandal: he enjoys the company of young men, sometimes underage, and uses illicit substances.
The district attorney and sheriff office need to find the culprits as soon as possible to bury the whole affair.
This will be 2 young men from Beaumont, denounced by one of their friend, Mitch, himself embarrassed by an extensive criminal record.
Christopher and John, 20 and 17 years old, will be sentenced on the basis of this only key testimony: life sentence for Christopher and death for John. This latter, minor at the time of the offense, will get his sentence commuted to life in prison in 2005.
20 years later, mandated by the French association “Lutte pour la Justice” (Struggle for Justice), the UK based private investigator, Chris, made a new and complete investigation, starting from the beginning.
He comes back to Beaumont Texas, on the track of each witness at the time of the crime; walk the street up and down, and collects some interesting new information.
In this delicate investigation, Chris kicked out by some of the people questionned, reluctant about talking 20 years later, but others have shared old secrets with him that did not intrigued the police at that time.
In an exceptional manner, the team of 13h15 magazine has been able to follow Chris throughout his whole investigation and even meet John and Christopher Dewberry. Voiceless men, “white trash”, as the sheriff used to say about them. But two men who are claiming their innocence, tirelessly, for more than 20 years now.
On the trail of the secrets of this affair, Chris the detective will make a major breakthrough…