The Jefferson Davis 8

From 2005-2009 in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, eight women are discovered murdered. All of the women seem to be connected to one another with their connections to sex work and drugs. However, this story has so many unknowns and possible corruption. Are the cops covering up for the murder (or murders) or is the serial killer still at large?

The Jefferson Davis 8

The eight women have become known  as either the Jefferson Davis 8 or the Jennings 8. I want to introduce you to each of these women before we discuss the local law enforcement and their prime suspect. 

Loretta Chaisson

The first victim of the Jefferson Davis 8 is 28 year old Loretta Chaisson. She was a mother of two who had struggled with addiction for a while. Despite her personal demons, she was always there for her children. The last time Loretta's brother saw her, she was getting into a car with Frankie Richard. Her friend also reported that the night she disappeared she walked to a local bar with her. While walking there, Loretta was spooked by something. She ended up handing her purse to her friend "just in case". Did she know that something was going to happen to her? This friend was the last one to see Loretta alive. On May 5, 2005, Loretta Chaisson was discovered deceased in a canal by a fisherman. 

Ernestine Marie Daniels-Patterson

30 year old Ernestine Patterson was found, only six miles from where Loretta Chaisson was discovered, by some people out frogging on June 18, 2005.According to her mother, Police do not seem to care about her daughter's murder. Due to her injuries, it took two months to identify Ernestine.

Kristen Gary Lopez

After 21 year old Kristen Lopez went missing on March 5, 2007, family and friends just thought she was out on a bender using drugs. Her friend, Jessica Kratzer, said that in the days leading up to her disappearance, Kristen was growing increasingly paranoid. On March 18, 2007, Kristen Lopez's bosy was discovered in a canal. 

Whitnei Dubois

Whitnei Dubois was only 26 years old when her body was discovered alone an abandoned rural road on May 12, 2007. She was known to have connections to sex work and drugs. She had been beaten beyond recognition.

Laconia "Muggy" Brown

In the days leading up to her disappearance, Laconia "Muggy" Brown felt that something bad was going to happen to her. She, like Kristen Lopez, became increasingly paranoid. She left her home on May 27, 2008 telling her grandmother she would return later that night. However, she never returned. Laconia was discovered around 3 am in the middle of the road. She was naked and had been covered in bleach. In addition to being the fifth victim, she also knew all of the four previous victims.

Crystal Shay Benoit Zeno

Crystal Zeno was a 24 year old loving mother and friend. She was a good person and knew the other victims according to her cousin, Sarah. It has been reported that she had recently started selling drugs prior to her death. Crystal's badly decomposed remains were discovered in a wooded area on September 8, 2008. The remains were identified using DNA.

Brittney Gary

The 7th and youngest victim is 17 year old Brittney Gary. Brittney was a cousin of Kristen Lopez. She was last seen around 5:30 pm on November 2, 2008 at a Family Dollar store. Her trip from her home to the store and back home should have only taken around thirty minutes. When she didn't return in that time range, her mother started calling her cell phone. She always answered the phone for her mom. Her mother instantly knew that something was wrong and she reported Brittney missing within 24 hours. Less than two weeks later, on November 15, 2008, the body of Brittney Gary was found hidden just off a road within 3 miles of where Loretta Chaisson was found.

Necole Guillory

Necole Guillory was the last known victim of the Jefferson Davis 8. Although she had led a rocky life, according to her mother, she was good in her own way. She was known to run in the same circles as the other 7 women. Leading up to her disappearance, Necole had been very vocal about the police being involved in the previous murders. She also felt that she was going to next. Necole even went so far as to say that she would not live to see her next birthday and she was right. Necole Guillory's body was found along Interstate 10 in Acadia Parish. It is also worth mentioning that she is a cousin of Terrie Guillory who we will discuss a bit later. 

Murder in the Bayou

In December of 2008, a task force of 14 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers were created to search for the serial killer that was in their midst. However, there were doubts that this was committed by one person.  

Author Ethan Brown wrote Murder in the Bayou and reported that multiple witnesses were naming specific law enforcement officers in the area that were involved with the crimes. Rumors of misconduct within local law enforcement community were known all around the area at that time. By 2009, all investigators involved with the task force were required to submit DNA samples due to the rumors of police involvement.

Law Enforcement Officers Gone Bad?

Terrie and Paula Guillory

Terrie Guillory was the warden of the parish jail. There were reports that he often made deals with the female inmates to help them legally for information or "favors". It had also been reported by multiple witnesses that Terrie had a sexual relationship with Loretta Chaisson despite being married. His wife Paula Guillory, was fired from the force for stealing money and drugs from the evidence room. She was a detective on the task force until she was fired. 

Johnny Lassiter

Johnny Lassiter was the Jennings Police Chief. He pled guilty to stealing drugs and money from the evidence room in 2014. 

Barry Davis

Jailer Barry Davis was accused of abusing inmates in the parish jail. He was also rumored to have picked up sex workers with his wife where they would later return to the Davis' home to use drugs among other things. 

Rickey Edwards

Rickey Edwards was Sherriff of Jefferson Davis Parish during this time. He quickly came under criticism for how he was handling the cases. Especially after making statements that they victims led high risk lifestyles after being accused by many for not doing enough to find the killer of the women. After the death of Brittney Gary, he announced the creation of the task force. 

Warren Gary

As an investigator with the Sheriff's office, you would think Warren Gary would've known better. He purchased a truck from an inmate, quickly detailed and resold it. The truck is rumored to have been used in connection with the death of Kristen Lopez. After being investigated himself, he was fined $10,000, cleared of criminal charges, and then promoted to head of the evidence room.

There are so many details in this case that it truly is hard to cover everything... but this section alone would make anyone wonder what the hell was going on within the law enforcement wothin the community. 

Frankie Richard

At the center of it all is Frankie Richard. A strip club owner with ties to sex work and drugs. It is believed that he knew all of the victims and had possibly had relationships with sis of the eight women. He was kind of the guy to go to in order to get what you need. Richard was also rumored to be a pimp. 

In 2007, he was questioned in regards to the death of Kristen Lopez. The inmate that sold the truck to Warren Gary was a known associate of Richard. He was eventually charged with second degree murder although the charges were later dropped once the witness recanted her statement. 

Frankie Richard died on March 22, 2020. At the time of his death, he said he was writing a book about Jennings. 

While there will always be speculation if these cases are truly the work of one killer or a group of killers with the killings not being connected... no one will ever truly know. However, the lack of confidence in the local law enforcement in the area makes many question if any work is truly being done on the case. Many family members feel that because of the women's lifestyles that the case is being ignored. 

If you have any information regarding the Jefferson Davis 8, please call the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff's office tip line at 337-275-8188.



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