A Bit More on Jimmie Duncan

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Just a little follow-up.

The bite mark evidence was the only physical evidence the prosecution presented that purportedly linked him to Haley Oliveaux. But they did present other evidence, including jailhouse snitch testimony (a guy who said Duncan confessed to him), and some lacerations on the young girl’s rectum.

This evidence was all flawed, too (to put it mildly). I don’t want to give too much away, because as I noted, this is also the cover story for our April issue, and I go into the rest of the state’s case there. It should hit newsstands in a couple of weeks.

The point of the online piece was to introduce the video and give it some context, with respect to both West’s and Hayne’s broader legacy, and to the role the video and bite mark testimony played in Duncan’s case. But we wanted to keep the focus on the video, and not distract from it by getting into a drawn-out discussion of Duncan’s case.

But I do want to clarify that the bite marks weren’t the state’s only evidence against Duncan. But they were the only physical evidence. There was no semen, blood, DNA, hair fibers, or any other biological evidence on Duncan’s clothes, in the bathtub, or on or in Haley Oliveaux.

The only person who knows for certain if Jimmie Duncan is innocent is Jimmie Duncan. He and Oliveaux were alone together when she died. This case is in some ways similar to the Jeffrey Havard and Devin Bennett cases in that the incident in question was either a murder or an accident (Duncan all but admitted negligence in leaving the girl alone in the tub). So there will never be a DNA test–either to exonerate Duncan or to confirm his guilt. What is abundantly clear, however, is that he didn’t get anything approximating a fair trial. That, and it’s the most damning piece of evidence yet showing that Mississippi and Louisiana courts have been frighteningly deficient in allowing Hayne and West to testify for the last 20 years.

Speaking of which, Hayne testified in a murder case again today.

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29 Responses to “A Bit More on Jimmie Duncan”

  1. #1 |  ktc2 | 

    “and some lacerations on the young girl’s rectum”

    Damn, I bet those sick fucks did that just like the “bite marks”. There ought to be an additional charge for sexual battery on a corpse.

  2. #2 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    The only reason I haven’t watched the video yet is I’m at work, but I will at my earliest convenience. Thanks in advance for your hard work Radley! I’ll look forward to the story in April too.

  3. #3 |  SJE | 

    Hayne testified again today! WTF?

  4. #4 |  Lorraine Sumrall | 

    I’m just about at the point of making a sign, going to Jackson, and standing outside the Capitol. SHAME ON MISSISSIPPI, the judges that allow Hayne to continue to testify and the prosecutors without a scintilla of a soul.

  5. #5 |  Bob | 

    hey also had a jailhouse snitch testify? Imagine that! Jailhouse snitches are so reliable!

    And… by ‘reliable’ I mean reliably expected to lie for a reduced sentence…

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    my head is going to explode. you’ve documented enough governmental abuse in the past week to justify the next 3 revolutions.

  7. #7 |  Mary | 

    While I agree that the case against Duncan is tainted, at best, am I the only one apoplectic over the vastness of Hayne & West’s reach? They are potentially responsible for hundreds or thousands of Jimmie Duncans!

  8. #8 |  Judi | 

    Lorraine, I am READY any time. Just say the word!

  9. #9 |  Greg N. | 

    You may have mentioned this in the piece, but I don’t remember seeing it. Who taped the video?

  10. #10 |  Lorraine Sumrall | 

    Judi, “the word”. P.S. We should probably talk.

  11. #11 |  Benway | 

    A “Shame on Mississippi” sign at the Capitol? It’s 2009! We can make 100,000 of those signs on the internet for free–and link them directly to the video! You want to get these bozos prosecuted by the feds, as they truly should be? We need to take this viral. If enough people see it, the feds will be shamed into acting. I’m not kidding here. This is what the internet is good for.

    Oh, and Hayne & West taped the video. Apparently, it was common practice.

  12. #12 |  Greg N. | 

    Thanks, Benway. That’s the part of this maddening and disgusting story I don’t get. Why would Hayne and West film themselves breaking the law and framing a guy?

  13. #13 |  ktc2 | 


    I would guess either a) Ooops! I forgot it was running or b) pure hubris. The deep seated belief that they are doing what the state wants (which they were) and that they would never be prosecuted for it (which they probably wont).

  14. #14 |  Lorraine Sumrall | 

    Hayne and West weren’t concerned with their video. They operated answerable to no one, untouchable because the State was wholeheartedly behind them. I think someone should add Steven Hayne’s name as a synonym for sociopath in Wikipedia, don’t you?

  15. #15 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Radley wrote, “He and Oliveaux were alone together when she died.”.

    That doesn’t sound good. Might want to rewrite that, unless he admitted he was with the gal when she died. If he was with her, that still doesn’t look good.

  16. #16 |  Greg N. | 

    I guess hubris or complacency could explain it, but it’s so mind-bogglingly stupid that I can’t comprehend why one would do something like that.

  17. #17 |  Andrew | 

    That doesn’t sound good. Might want to rewrite that, unless he admitted he was with the gal when she died. If he was with her, that still doesn’t look good.

    It’s a fact that they were alone together, I believe. He was taking care of her and put her in the bath, then went to do other things, and he came back and she had drowned. That’s apparently what the evidence said before Dr. West stepped in (since he was originally charged with negligent homicide instead of capital murder).

    He was stupid, and negligent, and deserved the charge of negligent homicide, and likely should never be taking care of children. But it’s a huge step from that to manufacturing evidence for a capital murder conviction.

  18. #18 |  zero | 

    A “bit” more? That’s just tasteless, Radley.

  19. #19 |  Nick T | 

    #17 you’re exactly right. I don’t know if anyone out there is still defending these monsters, but likely any such defense would focus on Duncan being not that great guy to begin with.

    We need to remember the point here is not Duncan (not to say he has not been wronged) but it’s Hayne and West. This conduct is criminal and it casts doubts on every other case they were ever involved in. Many of those cases – even in ones in which they cheated and lied – surely must have caught the “right” guy but that is not the point. They desecrated the entire criminal justice system here. It must be redeemed.

  20. #20 |  Marty | 

    I’m not ready to critique Mr. Duncan’s parenting skills. This guy was in her life, taking care of her, and he grieved when she died. It sounds like he was doing his best.

    The prosecution, on the other hand, intentionally harmed this man. This is not a Mississippi thing- it’s across the system. Mississippi just happens to be one of the more careless and arrogant places we’re finding out about.

  21. #21 |  ktc2 | 

    Nick T,

    “They desecrated the entire criminal justice system here. It must be redeemed.”

    LOL. You’re kidding right? This is what the system does. These two are just two low on the totem pole “experts” for sale. This is happening EVERYWHERE in this country, just not as brazen and not yet revealed. This IS THE criminal “justice” system.

    Hayne and West are just guns for hire, shills. They system is the problem.

  22. #22 |  Nick T | 

    #21 – good point I should have said they desecrated the “principles” of the system.

  23. #23 |  Fritz | 

    Hi Marty,

    I’m not ready to critique Mr. Duncan’s parenting skills. This guy was in her life, taking care of her, and he grieved when she died. It sounds like he was doing his best.

    I’m as outraged as anyone about what West and Hayne did here. But Duncan’s parenting skills certainly can be critiqued. Leaving a 23-month old in a bathtub is simply inexcusable behavior. The negligent homicide or criminal inaction leading to another person’s death charges were probably appropriate here.

    I don’t mean to split hairs. I’m generally on your side here, and I wholeheartedly agree with this point:

    The prosecution, on the other hand, intentionally harmed this man.

    My hope is that West and Hayne will be convicted of any crimes they committed, especially those that led to the death of innocent men. And if so, I will have no problem sleeping at night with the knowledge that their rectums are being lacerated on a daily basis.

  24. #24 |  Judi | 

    Lorraine, e-mail Radley. I will send him an e-mail giving him permission to give you my e-mail address if he will be so kind to do so! Thanx!

  25. #25 |  Marty | 

    Hiya Fritz-

    ‘Leaving a 23-month old in a bathtub is simply inexcusable behavior.’

    Generally speaking, most pediatric drownings are looked at with a high index of suspicion. The easiest way to kill a kid is to toss them in a pool or leave them in a bathtub. You’re right, this is very bad. And deserves to be investigated.

    But, poverty is usually about poor choices and raising kids in poverty offers lots of opportunities for making poor choices. I’d never consider driving around town with my (if I had one) 2 year old daughter in my lap (baby air-bag!), yet it happens all the time. Usually, there’s no negative consequences.

    There’s no telling what else was going on in his world that night, but his poor decision caught up to him. I guarantee you it’s happening all over poverty America right now, too. How do you fix this?

  26. #26 |  Fritz | 

    Hi Marty,

    I agree that tragedies like this happen every day. He may not have been a bad person, but he made a very bad decision. And while these things can happen in any type of household, I’m sure the likelihood is greater in poverty-stricken areas.

    How would I fix it? I would liberalize the entire economy and allow people to exercise their freedom to start businesses, engage in trade, etc. I think it’s abhorrent that so many people face bureaucratic hurdles that deter them from cutting hair, fixing sinks, driving taxis, and other things, simply because those industries snuggled up with the government to increase the barriers of entry. The federal government has done such a huge disservice to our poor by putting these obstacles in place and creating generations of dependency.

    reason.tv has a great video along these lines called Slumdog Thousandaires.

    Unfortunately, I think we’re headed in the opposite direction under the Obama administration. Absent a “game changer” (gosh, I hate that phrase), I see poverty in America only becoming a bigger problem.

    Eh, how depressing.

  27. #27 |  betsy | 

    ok look i understand the awfull thing that haynes and west did with the dental impressions but…U DON’T KNOW THE WHOLE STORY! Read up on it online read court documents, he is GUILTY! Oh and I’m from here and we all know him!

  28. #28 |  marcella mendiola | 

    I too am “from here” and I knew him as well…You can’t honestly say that you thought he was some kind of child molester…He had is faults but keep in mind he was 23 years old. How many responsible wonderful 23 year old men do we really know? How many would you leave your kids with?? And no doubt, he probably had no business trying to babysit his girlfriends baby….But a bad babysitter does not a monster make. As for “court documents”, that’s what this thing is all about! I wouldn’t believe anything in our courthouse concerning this case.

  29. #29 |  C.C. | 

    After reading over all the comments I decided to ask a couple of people I knew that were once in Jimmie Duncan’s care.
    Now adults, with families of their own, this is what they had to say.

    “Chris and my mother lived together briefly. I was about 4 years
    old. I remember him being nice and fun. He built me a racetrack
    for my toy cars and he taught me how to ride my bike without
    training wheels! My mother passed away a couple of years ago
    but she always said that the crap they said about him was not
    true and that someone should help him!”

    “I was 4 and 5 when he was around my family. He always
    brought us pizza and took us to the store. I remember he
    sprayed my mom’s house for roaches and then took us all to
    the park while the house aired out. He was always nice to me,
    my sister, and my mom. I hope he gets a fair trial.”