Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder and a Movie: The Jeffrey Lamb Case

Crappy Anniversary

It turned out that June 15 was the Lambs' eleventh anniversary. Lamb admitted that they'd had some problems, resulting in a separation, but recently he'd moved back in. That evening they had planned a celebration: dinner and a movie. He and Cathy were getting along again and were discussing a reconciliation.

Jeffrey T. Lamb
Jeffrey T. Lamb

That all sounded feasible, but Lamb could not be ruled out as a suspect, especially when another woman, Joey Lee Steidel, showed up looking for him, claiming to be Lamb's fiancée. Clearly, he had been lying to one or the other of these women. But it turned out that she, too, was married and had been living with Lamb off and on for the past five years.

When questioned about this, Lamb admitted he'd been engaged to her, but what made his story sound altogether hollow was Joey Lee's statement that she had come to the house because she had heard that something had happened there. Since no news reports had aired, the only way she could have known was if Lamb had called and told her — or she had known about it ahead of time. The entire incident now looked even more suspicious. In fact, Ms. Steidel seemed a viable suspect. If Lamb was indeed reconciling with his wife, she might have been possessive enough to attack Cathy to keep Jeff for herself.

Investigators had a few questions for her as well, and she seemed amenable to telling detectives what she could. She said he had worked all day as a waitress at the Hurricane café and then heard that there was some commotion at the house where Jeffrey was staying. He'd been evicted from his own place, but had signed a lease that month to move in with her. Her coworkers verified that she had been there at the café, but just to be certain, police also administered a voice stress analysis.

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