Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Crystal Todd Murder Case

Investigations and Suspicions

Bonnie Todd told The Sun News she was sure her daughter's killer was someone she knew and trusted. "I've always told Crystal, 'If anybody ever captures you, it doesn't matter if you're going 55 mph down the road, you open that door and jump out. It's better to be broke all to pieces than to be killed.'"

Chief Harris confirmed what the family already suspected, that Crystal probably knew her killer. "We do not feel that Crystal would have ridden off with someone she did not know. She was not a person to take up with someone she did not know.  It was her habit, and it was not the norm for her. We're looking at everyone as suspects and we're eliminating them from that point on.  We do not have a prime suspect."

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SLED logo

The police had already interviewed more than 100 people, as well as 50 of Crystal's schoolmates. Aiding in the investigation was David Caldwell, a behavior analyst with the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Caldwell's specialty was creating profiles of killers and going into crime scenes where there were no suspects.

"He's spooky in that he's uncannily accurate," said SLED spokesman Hugh Munn, about Caldwell. "He'll say, 'Based on the evidence, here's the type of person you're looking for.' It really has been quite beneficial on a number of cases."

Caldwell and SLED agents Mike Anderson, Campbell Streater and Ben Thomas were of valuable assistance to Knowles and local police. Each man had years of experience investigating major crimes.

Investigators undertook a major hunt for the murder knife and asked people to turn over their knives for inspection. Some did so voluntarily. Everybody seemed cooperative, but the authorities still had no suspect.  Knowles and Caldwell believed that some person or persons had knowledge about the murder and were fearful for their own safety. Many in the community mentioned they feared they were in grave danger, especially the teen-agers. The school system and parents did all they could to assuage the fearful and upset teens through the provision of counselors and making sure the youth were closely watched. Suspicions rapidly grew among the citizens, feeding the paranoia.  

"How can you keep anything like that a secret?" said Bonnie Todd, reported the November 23, 1991 edition of The Sun News "If I knew somebody had done something like this, I'd tell on them so they could get him before he gets somebody else. I wouldn't want to see anybody else's daughter dead." Bonnie Faye missed her daughter very much and mentioned she could not stop thinking about her. "She's never been away from me very much.  We've always been together. I tell everyone to be careful because there's a maniac still out there.  We don't know who that devil is. If they don't catch him, he's liable to get somebody else.

More than 1,000 students, friends and family members attended Crystal Faye Todd's funeral. Several of her closest male friends acted as pallbearers. Through all of this, a team of county and SLED investigators continuously worked rotating 16 hour shifts in the hunt for her killer.


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