Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Death of a Beauty King

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In November 1980, Dear received yet another tip prompted by the substantial reward. The informant, William Shear, implicated Vietnam War veteran Tom Mitchell in Dean's murder, naming him as the organizer of the deadly plot, Dear and Stowers reported. What interested detectives working the case was the fact that Tom "skipped town for Texas the day after Dean Milo had turned up dead," Dunne reported. What was even more intriguing was the discovery that Mitchell was a friend of Terry Lea King. Needless-to-say, detectives jumped on the new lead, meeting with the informant to gather more information.

Tom Mitchell
Tom Mitchell

During the meeting, Dear surprisingly managed to persuade Shear to go with him and detectives to Texas to confront Mitchell. While in Texas, Shear, outfitted with a wire, went to Mitchell's home and told him that the police were hot on his trail, and that he would remain quiet about his knowledge of the murder if Mitchell paid him several thousand dollars. Mitchell told Shear that he didn't kill Milo, although he had been offered money to do so by none other than Terry Lea King. It was an admission that led to his arrest, despite the fact that he never directly confessed direct involvement in the murder.

It didn't take long for Mitchell to crumble under police pressure and implicate Barry Boyd and King in the murders, during a police interview. His confession was followed by King's admission of involvement in Dean's murder. She stated that Boyd had offered her $10,000 to kill Milo. Soon thereafter, detectives located Boyd in Cleveland and arrested him. He too admitted guilt to his involvement in the murder and in the process implicated an unlikely suspect.

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