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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

[WA] Mother of former Trooper Ronda Reynolds never gave up

From today's news:
...The Problem Solvers learned of a mother's long struggle to prove her daughter didn't kill herself. She believes something more sinister is at work, and we have uncovered evidence and found experts who are convinced that what was ruled a suicide, was actually a heinous crime...

Ronda Reynolds
My daughter, Ronda Reynolds, 33, was discovered dead of a gunshot wound to her head, in Toledo, Washington, on December 16, 1998. She died on the floor of her master bedroom walk-in closet, following a heated argument with her husband... That evening, Ronda phoned to tell me that her marriage was over, and she was coming to visit me in eastern Washington, where she would sort things out and form a game plan. She had made plane reservations for the next day, and David Bell would take her to the airport. When deputies arrived at the house, they found her bags and makeup kit packed and ready to go and a phonebook open to airline listings...

From Justice For Ronda
...I could get on with my life if Ronda had been killed in an accident. I could even have accepted suicide, if it truly was suicide. But having to deal every day with a police cover-up – reading and rereading the case file, finding investigative mistakes and reading the blatant lies that have been manufactured to conceal those blunders, keeps the wound of my loss open with no chance of healing. To live without closure is unbearable. To let a politically corrupt law enforcement agency lie, cover up, and disregard a human life to benefit their self-image is unacceptable. The Lewis County Sheriff's Department and all other law enforcement agencies in our country need to be held accountable for their actions, so that no other parent, ever, will have to experience this type of indescribable nightmare.
Barbara Thompson -- Ronda's mother

[For copyright reasons I'm only posting excerpts of the following article, but the original article will likely remain online. If it becomes unavailable and you want it, email me.]
Experts: Investigation botched; former trooper was murdered
Story Published: Apr 29, 2008 at 11:09 PM PDT
By Tracy Vedder
Apr 29, 2008
Who pulled the trigger that took the life of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds? Was it suicide? Or was it murder? The Problem Solvers learned of a mother's long struggle to prove her daughter didn't kill herself. She believes something more sinister is at work, and we have uncovered evidence and found experts who are convinced that what was ruled a suicide, was actually a heinous crime. After 10 years, much of the original evidence in Ronda Reynolds' death investigation has been lost or destroyed. So to understand what happened we returned to the scene of her death. We talked to new experts and the original detective on the case. All believe authorities botched the investigation in calling it a suicide. "It was a murder in 1998," says former detective Jerry Berry, "it's a murder today." They believe it's murder set to look like suicide. "That's a rearranged scene," says forensic pathologist Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, "that's a staged scene." Ronda had been a state trooper and firearms instructor. She left the patrol to work in private security... That night, Ronda booked a flight to her mom's in Spokane. Scene photos show she'd packed her bags, and left a message to her husband on the bathroom mirror: "I love you, call me."Within hours, Ronda was found dead... "I believe she was murdered," Ronda's mother said. However, quoting from police reports, Ron Reynolds told investigators the day and night before her death, they "were talking about separating" and she'd been "talking about committing suicide"... We tried to talk to Ron Reynolds, but he didn't return phone calls, and his attorney says he will not do an interview... "The first red flag was the gun being in her left hand," says Berry... Another oddity: No fingerprints on the weapon. "There should have been at least smudges somewhere on the gun, but there was nothing," said Berry. "It was clean." Berry admits he and the department made mistakes which caused them to lose critical evidence. For instance, he wasn't allowed to interview the three Reynolds boys until two months after Ronda's death. But he still thought the case could be solved. "Every piece of circumstantial evidence screamed murder," he said. But seven months after Ronda's death, Ron Reynolds' attorney wrote the department insisting they remove the cloud of suspicion and close the case... Berry says the sheriff's office caved, closing the case as a suicide over his objections. "They just basically wanted me to let it go, leave it as a suicide and move on and take on other cases and be done with it"... Early this year, Ronda's mother asked forensic pathologist Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds - who's no relation - to review the case. With 2,000 autopsies and 30 years of practice to his credit, the Problem Solvers asked him to review it again - for us. "This is not a self-inflicted wound," says Dr. Reynolds... Ronda's mother Barb Thompson has given up expecting anyone will ever face charges. Now, she just wants Ronda's death certificate changed from suicide to homicide. "She definitely deserves that," she said. We've asked the Lewis County Sheriff to explain their reasons for closing the case as a suicide. They've refused. They did ask two outside organizations to review their investigation of Ronda's death. The Washington State Attorney General's homicide team agreed with Lewis County, calling it suicide. The former commander of the New York Police Homicide Task Force found this was a staged crime scene and murder.

Justice for Rhonda

Excerpt from Chapter 5 of the book, Justice for Ronda, by Ronda's mother, Barbara Thompson


  1. Is there anyone out there that knows (or even think you know) one bit of information about Rhonda's death? There must be SOMETHING OR SOMEONE!! My comment is as people who's sister, aunt or daughter live on beside us, please share THIS bit of knowledge. We don't have a BLUE WALL SEPARATING US from our loved one. Rhonda's family does.

  2. Lewis County sheriff's office has a long standing case of hiding behind lies. In 1996, a man I used to babysit for was shot by police as they said he came at them armed. It was later found he had nothing in his hands. The man who pulled the trigger was the man sleeping with the descendants wife. In 1998 Lewis County Sheriff's office testified in a drug case stating that they used a civilian in an over cover ring to bust drugs. When the detective was questioned on the stand, he admitted to not seeing this civilian in the supposed drug dealers house, they did not strip search the civilian who by the way was doing this to get a lesser sentence to her own drug charges, and her car was not thoroughly searched. The actual detective advised he was several miles away sitting in an undisclosed area. The person who was charged with the drug deal was an honor student working two full time jobs and had met the civilian just one week prior at one of the full time jobs.
    Lewis County has not been able to really solve a case on their own for years. If you want real answers ask Former FBI forensic pathologist Johnson to review the information. He is now retired and active in the local Latter Day Saint church in Toledo. Elder Johnson has had to rework many cases for Lewis County.
    DON"T let them push this under the rug because they are lazy! The county is also under investigation by the DEA because if their involvement in meth, heroin, and marijuana rings. DEMAND each service record of every officer involved. Detective Berry is now dead of course but others are not. My prayers and my heart are with you. Good luck!

  3. Detective Berry is not dead. Talked with him today. He is alive and well. So if the writer of the Nov 4th note screwed that little bit of information up..what else did they make up, lie about or just get wrong? Gotta wonder.

  4. If the author of the Nov 4 comment made 1 mistake it might also be just that - one mistake.

  5. Why would she fly somewhere that's a 6 hour drive? From Toledo it would take 2 hrs to get to an airport.

  6. She didn't own a car or maybe doesn't like to drive long distance. And what has that got to with the price of rice in China?

  7. We have many cars, live in Chehalis and have family in Spokane and we PREFER to fly. By the way it's not 2 hours to get to the airport. Depending on the time of day it's a little over an hour. Some people don't like to drive over the passes (in December) even if they have transpertaion that can make it. It can also be cheaper to fly we've gotten tickets for $60 pp before.

  8. First of all it is a known fact that roads from Toledo to spokane are often very difficult to travel in the winter.....perhaps she didn't want to drive under wintery conditions with her emotions in turmoil. Under normal conditions it is about a 6 hour drive but in the winter it can be twice that with delays trying to get over the pass. So a 2 hour trip to an airport and a half hour flight seems logical to me.

  9. I have followed this case from the beginning and I would suggest that everyone return to the documents of the 911 call made by Ron Reynolds.

    IF you study the scanned documents you will find the discrepencies and a direct path toward... JUSTICE FOR RONDA

  10. To all the women who like myself who have walked through domestic violence or still walk in physical and verbal abuse of any type. Hear this my sisters-we are valuable,we should be loved,we deserve the best in life,we should never allow someone to make us feel less than who God made us! No man should ever be allowed to control what we say, what we eat, what we can buy, who we can talk to, what we can say, what we have to do for them to be tolerated. When any of this happens it is time to get out.

  11. You are not alone, we stand strong along side of you. The abuse of power within so many City and State Police has run out of control. No more awareness it is time for ACCOUNTABILITY. God bless you my sister.

    Rosaura Torres

  12. Wake up Lewis Co. This just scares the heck out of me! This justice system is BAD! Bad people hurting GOOD people. If Rondas story is not enough to get your attention in this county I dont know what will! I pray for change and TRUE JUSTICE for Ronda.

  13. Keep pushing. More officers deaths that are thought to be suicides, I'm convinced have a high likelihood to be murder.Good luck.

  14. To the person who sent a comment saying you are afraid, did you want me to post that here on the blog or try to find the person that you wanted to read it. I can do that for you - I think I can find that person.

  15. It takes 2 hours to get to seattle airport- pretty easy search to see that...How sad that this happened and it is an embarrassment to have a sherrif department so corrupt.

  16. I am an American University of NLP certified NLP Trainer. According to everything I learned from studying NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)the eye movements in correspondence with the subjects being spoken of by the son on 48HRS MYSTERY indicated A)he is right minded {not left}... and B)he was recalling killing her during the interview. This should be looked into by LAW ENFORCEMENT!
    I will gladly provide the learning materials, which back this up, upon request.

  17. Hello everyone, I will be creating a long needed Facebook page with Barb Thompson's blessings. In response to the reason why someone would rather fly than drive?, If you just found out your daughter was killed, there's no way I could drive. Why speculate., She was in no way to drive herself., This is common sense. Very glad this page is here.


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