Where Facts And Controversy In The News Come Together In Truth
Monday, May 2, 2011
Officials Say Former WV Most Wanted TV Producer Is Not Credible In Sniper Case
Some of the people we interviewed agree with Palmer being the person who provided the killers names and motives behind the sniper shootings. But, according to at least one high ranking source very close to this case, law enforcement officials believe...“Andrew Palmer is irrelevant as far as any credible person in government is concerned.”
Since the arrest of Shawn Lester for the 2003 murder of Jeanie Patton, former WV’s Most Wanted & Chain-Breakers TV show founder-producer Andrew Palmer has publicly claimed vindication from law enforcements neglect early on to investigate his evidence in the sniper case. He recently came out in TV and Newspaper stories stating that it was his 2007 TV episode that first brought to lite all the true facts surrounding who the sniper was and why the murders occurred.
Palmer has been overheard stating that he may be in line to receive the reward monies, but according to him, he reportedly told a Charelston Newspaper reporter he feels the money should be donated amoungst the victims families.
He was quoted recently in an April 2011 Charleston Gazette article saying that police were not listening to him at the time. “They had the TV tuned to another channel and were so focused on suspect Brian Caldwell they didn't consider anything else. We told them who it was.” Palmer also claims that “We told them what it was over - an engine packed with drugs. We told them where it was stolen.”
The article reported that Palmer said he and an unidentified informant (Bobby Walker) provided evidence to the police that corroborated the story but police did not follow through with Palmer's suggestion, at least not immediately. “Maybe it took that long to get viable evidence that would stand up in court," he said. For now, Palmer is confident that the police have the right man. “I told them years ago, and I still know it,” he said. “My hat's off to the local law enforcement, especially Charleston. And for the family, I am glad closure is coming their way.”
Facts - Fiction Or A Little Of Both
In a 2009 story we published about unsolved murders in WV, (linked below) we asked one high ranking city official about Andrew Palmer and his credibility in that TV segment. “He is a nut case!” Now, in April 2011, and after the arrest of Lester as the sniper, we asked the same official the question again. “Andrew Palmer is irrelevant as far as any credible person in government is concerned.”
On the night of Lester’s arrest, Andrew Palmer e-mailed this author with the words... “how you like me now.” Which most doubtedly was in reference to our 2009 story calling his TV segment on the sniper killings into question? And, we named his confidential informant, Bobby Walker as the man cloaked in the TV interview.
Palmer claimed in that TV episode he had discovered new and explosive information that would break the case wide open. He claimed to know the names of every individual involved, but stated he would not name them on the air “I know their names, ha-ha, I know your names. Due to sensitivity of the investigation, I'm not going to release that, but you know who you are, I know who you are.”
He said police would not listen to him, so he went to the public airwaves to expose the fact that his unidentified informant held the key piece to the puzzle that would finally solve the sniper murders. Law Enforcement says he did approach them with information and they were investigating. They also asked that he not air the segment out of fear it would hamper their case.
Investigators close to the case recently stated that... “Shawn Lester was already a suspect back in 2003 long before Palmer brought up his name.” As far as Palmers cloaked informant who revealed about the car engine & drugs as the motive in the show, “Bobby Walker did have that information because he was the brother of the man who reportedly stole the engine. He also knew Lester and overheard conversation at the time of the killings. The only thing Palmer did was leak information we were already working on by concealing Bobby Walkers identity and going on air with it.”
Police also say discrepancies between the facts, and what Palmer aired on TV is... “where we believe the credibility ends and the side-show begins.” Palmers TV story that aired across WV “does not corroborate with all the facts we now have in 2011.” They feel that Palmer also embellished the story with claims of murder threats to potential witnesses and even claims that the killers were using toxic poison to carry out their threats. None of which ever materialized.
One theory Palmer claimed was that there was no connection between Jeannie Patton, Gary Carrier or Okey Meadows. Palmer stated that Patton was the only real target…“they threw the other two in the pot to make it look random.” Police say that there is a connection between the three victims.
Also, according to Palmer, this crime was carried out by a redneck gang known as the “Charleston 5.” The leader of the gang sought to murder Patton because her boyfriend had stolen a car engine that belonged to him. At the time, Palmers TV segment aired that… “It was told to me, he had lost something he loved, and now he was going to take away something this individual loved.”
Officers on the task force say they had no credible knowledge of a WV “redneck gang known as the Charleston 5” that Palmer claims is responsible for the murders. That it was Palmer who first brought that to anyone’s attention. As we reported in our September 9th, 2009 story, (linked below) there really was a group known as the “Charleston 5” that made national news across America. But, not in WV!
The only Charleston 5 gang that ever existed was a group of five men who were brought up on felony charges for conspiracy to incite a riot on January 19, 2000 in Charleston, South Carolina. The five men, Kenneth Jefferson, Rick Simmons, Peter Washington, Elijah Ford and Jason Edgerton, were union workers from two local longshore union’s.
Palmer fuelled the fire again in September 2008 when the skeletal remains of 33 year old WV native Timothy Wayne Sigman were discovered in Carter County Kentucky. Palmer had previously stated that Sigman was connected with the WV redneck gang and sniper killings. In August of 2007, Sigman's father Randy was a guest on Palmer's show. He went on air saying he believed his son was involved and urged him to turn himself in.
Charleston detectives did confirm it was the same Timothy Sigmon who Andy Palmer, labeled as a member of the Charleston 5. But they also said that Palmer and the television show appear to be the only link between Sigman and the killings.
In Closing… Losing Focus
To date, Shawn Lester, the man arrested for the murder of Jeannie Patton has claimed that he is innocent and that he is looking to clear his name at trial. In fact, in an April 17, 2011 article in the Charleston newspaper, Lester states that Patton was his friend and he didn't kill her…”The only thing to come of my arrest is the reopening of old wounds and the false hope that there may be some closure in the matter," Lester wrote in a letter provided to the Gazette. "Not to mention the time I will spend incarcerated on false charges, awaiting trial to prove myself not guilty.”
He goes on to write that…"I have nothing to hide as I have explained to law enforcement on several occasions and I would hope the public would remember the principle of someone being innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around," Lester wrote.
Andrew Palmer claims he has now been vindicated in the fact he had provided law enforcement with all the true facts surrounding the sniper killings. Officials on the other hand say Palmers… “Irrelevant as far as any credible person in government is concerned.” And that they were already investigating Shawn Lester, Marty and Bobby Walker and others beginning in 2003, which was approximately four years before Palmers story.
Some officials feel Palmers story clouded the true course of the investigation and compounded fact and fiction to boost the effects of the TV segment. Palmer believes officials ignored him and refused to follow the evidence.
What is relevant is that an arrest has been made in the senseless cold-blooded execution style murders of 3 human beings who also left behind family and friends to try and carry on with their lives while attempting to make sense of why….
We attempted to contact Andrew Palmer several times by phone and e-mail for his comments but were unable to do so.
End of Story
WCHS TV 8 Story On Palmers TV Segment
April 1 2011 Charelston Gazette Article
Shawn Lester Complaint Filed By Police
WV News Unsolved Murders In The Mountain State (Sept 9, 2009)