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Saturday January 31st 2015

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Latest issue of the IN

Latest issue of the IN

Top 50 Stories of '00s What do you think is top news story of the past decade? Here are our selections, plus an additional 75. Winners & Losers One elected official will have a Sunshine law complaint filed against him or her. State Attorney's Office will ... A&E FEATURES Getting [...]

Top 2009 IN cover stories

Top 2009 IN cover stories

The Independent News is built on solid cover stories that either offer a behind-the-scenes look at top news stories or investigate issues that truly impact our quality of life. The year 2009 may be remembered as one of our best reporting years. From the murders of Bud and Melanie Billings to the [...]

Billings case: Friday, July 17

Billings case: Friday, July 17

BODIES ARE LAID TO REST Friday, July 17 Before the funeral of Bud and Melanie Billings, attorney Crystal Spencer and the family hold a press conference outside the Liberty Church. Spencer tells the reporters, “As a result of the intense speculation regarding the motive of the crime, I have [...]

Billings case: Thursday, July 16

Billings case: Thursday, July 16

MEDIA MINEFIELD Thursday, July 16 It has been a week since Bud and Melanie Billings were killed. The seven men who the authorities believe are responsible and one female accomplice have been arrested. The media wants to know why, what was the safe taken from the home and why are the FBI and DEA [...]

Billings case: Wednesday, July 15 part 2

Billings case: Wednesday, July 15 part 2

MAKING MONEY Wednesday, July 15 Jean Duncan and her boyfriend Glenn Burnett come around 6 p.m. to the ECSO to proved statement to Investigator Tama Barber., who interviews them separately. Duncan tells Barber that she had known Pamela Wiggins (who she calls Pam Long) for about eight years [...]

Billings case: Wednesday, July 15

Billings case: Wednesday, July 15

Search for Pamela Long Wiggins Wednesday, July 15 The Sarasota Herald Tribune opens the day with an article on Patrick Gonzalez cyberstalking in his ex-wife and in-laws, “Suspect in slaying of Pensacola couple haunted Sarasota family.” Gonzalez had met Katie Herkel when she was a student [...]

Billings case: Tuesday, July 14 part 2

Billings case: Tuesday, July 14 part 2

MEDIA CIRCUS Tuesday, July 14 At 6 p.m. Sheriff Morgan appears on “CNN Headline Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell.” After teasing the viewers about segments on the death of pop star Michael Jackson and the latest episode of the Jon and Kate melodrama, Velez-Mitchell milks the Billings [...]

Billings case: Tuesday, July 14

Billings case: Tuesday, July 14

“We Have Found Them” Tuesday, July 14 Sheriff Morgan creates a new stir on Tuesday morning about the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Agency. It begins during a live interview with Meredith Vieira of the “Today Show.” When asked whether robbery [...]

Billings case: Monday, July 13 part 2

Billings case: Monday, July 13 part 2

OKALOOSA GANG OF FOUR Monday, July 13 At around 2 p.m. Okaloosa Investigator Jeremy Peaden surveys Gary Sumner’s business, 5th Dimension at the 8 and 9 Duval St. in Fort Walton Beach. The area consists of a warehouse with two units inside. He describes it as a “local vehicle customization [...]

Billings case: Monday, July 13

Billings case: Monday, July 13

NINJAS ON VIDEO Monday, July 13 The national media onslaught is in full swing. The ECSO parking lot is filled with media vans. Sheriff Morgan’s day begins with interviews on Good Morning America, CBS Early Show and Today Show. At 5 a.m. Morgan tells GMA that the robbery “was carried out [...]

Billings case: Sunday, July 12 part 3

Okaloosa Traffic Stop Sunday, July 12 As the press conference is ending, Okaloosa County deputies stop a 2004 Cadillac Escalade bearing Florida tag G76-9KJ and distinct Fifth Dimension emblems on both the rear windows at the intersection of McGriff Street and Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach, [...]

Billings case: Sunday, July 12 part 2

Billings case: Sunday, July 12 part 2

CONTRACT HIT Sunday, July 12 Shortly after 7 p.m., a warrant for Wayne Coldiron is issued charging him with murder. Investigator James O’Hara, along with several other investigators and patrol units, go to 210 Yokum Court in Brent area to pick up Coldiron. The units secure the perimeter. [...]

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