No, we’re not talking about the iconic scene from The Shining (although that still sends chills down my spine).
Today’s topic is the brand new Investigation Discovery show, Redrum, and its first case. I’ve been seeing previews for Redrum for a few weeks, so with all the hype, I had high expectations.
For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. Redrum starts at the scene of the crime, reveals the killer, then the motive, and finally, the trigger event. It’s a good way to put the focus on the lives and motives of the killers themselves instead of the forensic information and trial tricks.
Scout’s Honor – Redrum premiere episode
In Lonoke, Arkansas, the Stocks are an average middle-class family. But like so many of these stories, there’s a dark secret behind the walls. Heath Stock and his father, are having serious issues (the show depicted his father as verbally abusive), and Heath has turned to drinking.
On January 17, 1997, Heath sat alone in his parents home thinking of all the misery between he and his father. He was also drinking.
“I was just watching TV and I started thinking about all the trouble my dad and I were having, I started crying and I started getting mad. I got the .45 my dad kept in his gun cabinet and another clip. I put the clip in my pocket. I carried the gun with me as I went from room to room, messing up the house. After I messed up the house, I tried to kill myself. I put the barrel of the gun in my mouth, but I couldn’t pull the trigger. I did this twice.” –Heath Stock police statement.
His younger sister arrived home and discovered Heath on his knees with the pistol in his mouth. Their parents arrived shortly after.
“I remember seeing the back of my mom and dad, and as soon as I saw my dad, the gun came out of my mouth and ‘pow’. I remember seeing my sister in the kitchen. She had the phone in her hand. I don’t remember her pushing any buttons. I remember looking at my sister and I knew she was gone. All of them were lying on the floor.” –Heath Stock
So what was the truth behind Heath’s pain? According to the show, a few days prior to the murder, Heath’s mother had caught him in bed with another man–Heath’s boy scout master, Jack Walls. What stood out to me was that this happened IN THE STOCK’S HOUSE. According to Redrum, his mother called Heath for breakfast, and when he didn’t arrive, went up to the room and found her son with the scout master. She later confronted him, and Heath told his mother Jack Walls had been sexually abusing him for years. He hoped his mother would do something, but she was in shock and nothing changed for Heath. Redrum cited this as the breaking point for Heath, with Walls driving home that his mother didn’t care about him, and that he (Walls) was the only one who did.
This immediately bothered me, because I couldn’t find anything about this in my research. Perhaps I wasn’t looking at the right place, but I can’t get passed how sloppy Jack Walls would have been to get caught in Heath’s bed. Most pedophiles–especially those as prolific as Walls turned out to be–are extremely cautious and calculating. Allowing himself to be caught in the kids house just didn’t add up to me.
Facts not included on the show:
Heath claimed he tried to bring up sexual abuse during his psychiatric evaluation, but that doctors put down their pens and acted as though he said nothing. His public defender also told Heath not to mention the abuse, that it was irrelevant.
In 1997, without the benefit of a trial, Heath pled guilty to all three counts of murder and received three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The investigation into Jack Walls would begin a month later, brought on by another boy who took a different route, confronting Walls in front of his own parents–and at gunpoint.The story has sparked national attention over the years. Heath Stock claims (and many believe him) that Jack Walls told him to commit the murders. That could be his attempt at a lighter sentence, but consider this:
Jack Walls insisted to be the first to visit Heath after he was arrested. He also stayed at the Stocks home after the murders to help “secure the crime scene” and asked investigators if Heath had implicated anyone else in the murders. Despite Heath’s claims, no one questioned Walls’ motives.
Years after Heath’s conviction, the investigation into Walls has led authorities to believe he abused over one hundred boys. He no doubt played mind games with Heath and the other victims, and while Heath isn’t shirking responsibility for the murders, he also believes he deserves a new trial. The prosecution–and the jury–may have judge Heath differently in light of the abuse, a crime Walls eventually pled no contest to.
Jack Walls is currently serving 3 forty-year terms and 3 consecutive life sentences for five counts of rape.
Overall, I really enjoyed the first episode of Redrum, although I’m not sure they got all of their facts straight. They may have taken some creative license, but they had a very complex case to cram into a 30 minute block.
So what about Heath Stock? Does he deserve a new trial? Should his story be heard by a jury, and his sentence reduced?
Into The Dark on SALE for 2.99 – Limited Time.
Stacy Green’s Into the Dark is a psychological thriller grounded in real lives and fears, built around convincing characters, and nicely woven around real places and intriguing mystery. —Reviewer Sheila Death.