Did Jeff Pele really massacre his family?
For 32 years, most people have thought that the Suleiman Lakeville, Ind., Teenager referred to his paternal father, stepmother, and two younger sisters as “The Prom Night Murders”.
But a Just released 20-episode podcast, Counterlock, Digs deeper into homeowners and suggests that Pelé’s father had a shady past in South Florida involving drug cartels and murderers who might have been caught with him in Indiana – and his son was probably devastated by the flawed trial happened.
The bodies of Rev. Robert Pelley, his wife Don and Don’s daughters Janelle and Jolene, aged 8 and 6, respectively, were considered family shotguns on the night of April 29, 1989. A horrific search in his house was made the next morning – just hours after the high school prom – by parishioners of the nearby Olive Branch Church.
At first the police thought Bob Pelé killed his family and turned the gun on himself.
But the case never closed, and cold-case detectives began to suspect Jeff. He was finally arrested in 2002 at the age of 34, married a child and worked for IBM.
Prosecutors at the time claimed that the then 17-year-old Jeff was angry that his father forbade him from driving to dancing as a punishment for bad behavior. He said he committed the murders, then moved to the Gray Ford Mustang in 1984, picked up his date Darla, and moved to the prom at the local Elks Lodge.
Pelé was convicted in four counts of murder in 2006 and sentenced to 160 years in prison. He is serving time at the Wabush Valley Correctional Facility in Terre Haute, Ind.
But Jeff Pelley was convicted solely on circumstantial evidence. The murder weapon was never found, nor were any shell coverings found at the scene.
The most compelling evidence presented to the jury, according to the podcast, was the testimony of neighbors and church members, who said that Bob Pelley told them that Jeff could join Prom, if he fired him and that he would not be going to prom. -Act to be allowed to go into activities. The fact that Jeff took himself to prom and went to the post-prom indicated to him that he must have murdered his family to do so.
Pelé’s sentence was also overturned on appeal in 2008 before being reinstated in 2008. He always maintained his innocence and his lawyer, Frances Watson, a professor at Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law and a wrongful conviction expert, asked the judge for a status conference on June 25 to present a new evidentiary hearing Going to court for Pelé’s hopes could lead to a new trial.
Watson has asked prosecutors for items of evidence that were taken from the crime scene in 1989 that Jeff’s trial attorney never gave in 2006. Watson in particular wants him to turn on Bob Pele’s camera, which he believes took the photo to him on prom night.
Watson told The Post that no other evidence has ever been presented to the jury – a reliable witness named Tony Biehler who went to the police in 2003 after Jeff Pelley’s arrest and advised him of a conversation with Bob Pelley In which he stated that he was afraid that he and his previous actions in Florida would result in his family being killed.
Investigative reporter Delia D’Ambra, the podcast host and producer, spent a year watching the murders, including hours of visiting people familiar with the case in Lakeville and storing more than 6,000 documents.
D’mbra is careful to avoid saying whether she thinks Jeff Pelley is innocent or guilty, but said that she is deeply rooted in Bob Pelley’s former life in Fort Myers, Fla., Where she is the entire Landmark financial The institute oversees the computer processing component of the network. a Notorious bank Who at that time was involved in the smuggling of cocaine and money laundering from South America.
Watson told The Post, “He worked with these connected banking institutions at the Central Processing Hub and the Feds called it a ‘candy factory’.”
D’Ambra found even more people who had information about Bob Pele’s dark side.
D’Ambra said in the post, “There are witnesses who have come forward to say that Bob Pele left Florida because he was afraid of the people there.” “He moved from Florida to Indiana very suddenly in 1986.”
“I think Pelé left to remove himself from the situation,” D’Ambra said. “I think he was horrified and knew that he shouldn’t know anything.”
At the same time, Bob Pelley was friends with his Florida churchgoers (he was just a parishioner at the time) who had connections to local real estate developer Eric Dawson, who was Assassination style in 1988 Still in unsolved condition. Dawson did most of his business at Landmark Bank.
D’Ambra said he believed Jeff Pelley’s trial was “outlined” because evidence and information related to Bob Pelley’s past had never been investigated.
Pelé’s half-sister, Jessica, has written a memoir in 2019,I am jessica“She is married to Bob Pelé, describing how she was bullied by Jeff after her widowed mother, Don. Jessica was sleeping the night her family was killed and her book indicates that she thinks Jeff killed the family.
Jeff’s biological sister, Jake, was also out that night, but believes Jeff is innocent and maintains a website, Justice for jeffIn which she says that the police could not even point a finger at the crime scene.
Watson says, “At first, one asks if he did it?” But once you start turning the rocks you find facts that point to Jeff’s innocence. This is a crazy story. “