Words That Haunt


I don’t remember the exact words that Angie Dodge told her mother the night before Angie was murdered.

They were to the effect that she had done some stupid things.

I imagine her mom has repeated those words to herself every day since 6/13/96 when Angie lost her life.

Had she asked Angie what she was talking about, delved into the details of what she was saying, and found out the people involved in the scenario  Angie was describing, her murder might have been solved in a day.

Instead the murder has not been solved all these years later.

Chris Tapp, a friend of Angie’s, confessed in 1997 to holding Angie down while somebody else raped her.  This after grueling sessions of interrogation by the police, Tapp was eventually tried for her murder and convicted.  He served almost twenty years before a retired judge and others proved his confession was coerced.

The district attorney’s office was willing to drop the rape charge that he had been convicted of in addition to the murder charge, provided he admitted to murdering Angie.

The reason Tapp agreed to that plea was that he would be released for time served.

That was a strange twist because neither his DNA nor the person he named as having raped her and murdered her matched the DNA collected at the crime scene.

The DNA has never been matched to anyone in CODIS, the national DNA database, which means the person who killed Angie has never been arrested for anything.

In the ID TV program about this, the police took an unusual step by asking the subsidiary later acquired by Ancestry.com to see if the familial DNA matched any family members in their database.

Familial DNA for those not familiar with it, looks for family members with similar DNA as the DNA the police have, and then tries to link it back to anyone in that family who might have committed the murder.

There was a strong familial match which led to a person in that family, but that person did not match the DNA from the murder scene either.

We have an 18-year old of Idaho Falls, Idaho murdered for what reason? At this time nobody knows. And as the years move along and the case grows colder, the likelihood of solving Angie’s murder becomes more difficult.  In a few days it will have been 21 years.  In cold cases, extremely cold cases, the anniversary of a murder means very little to the police.  To Angie’s family it is an entirely different matter.

Angie’s mom in the beginning was convinced Chris Tapp was involved in Angie’s murder, even if he was not the lone participant.

Over the years as more information became more publicly known, she was convinced he had nothing to do with it, and instead championed for his release.

If the fact that a retired judge was willing to work on Chris’ behalf for his release had anything to do with it, you’ll have to ask Angie’s mom.

You’d think in all this time, the person who murdered Angie would have committed some sort of crime, even minor, and his DNA would have gone to CODIS, but, as I’ve said, that is not the situation.

And after this length of time, I don’t think the police are sitting and hoping he will come forward. If the killer’s conscience hasn’t bothered him in 21 years, I don’t think it will start bothering him now.

Perhaps if he is on his death bed and thinks a confession is his only salvation.  The problem with that is that many killers never believed in God in the first place, and whatever they do before they die, will have no bearing on the afterlife they face.

What could Angie have meant by those words no one knows for sure?

Some writers will guess as to what she meant, sometimes with what they want to disquise as facts, when there is not one shred of evidence connected to what they are writing.

To me that is vicious, casting the murder victim in the worst light possible.

Why do they do that? Perhaps for more readers I suppose.

That is not right, and I will not do it. If readers want pure fiction about Angie Dodge, they will have to go to other sites for that.

As always, if you have any information about this case, pass it along to me in a comment which will be kept confidential. If you do or do not wish for the police to know who you are, I will pass along the info to the police in whatever form you wish.  I protect any person who comes forward, and will not break a confidence.

If you were directly involved in Angie Dodge’s murder, that is something we will discuss in private comments between us.

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