Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard and Nancy Lyon

'Evidence' Crops Up

In the months after Nancy's death, Lyon forwarded to prosecutor Jerri Sims a stream of what he believed to be exonerating evidence.

Prosecutor Jerri Sims
Prosecutor Jerri Sims

First, he said he arrived home one day and found a message on his answering machine from a tough-sounding man — or a man pretending to sound tough.

The essence of the message was pure pulp fiction: "I got her, and you're next."

He gave the tape to Sims, who smiled and yawned.

A second piece of would-be evidence was mailed directly to police. It was more pulp fiction. In the typed letter, a hit man confessed that he pulled the murder at the behest of Bill Jr. He was ratting him out because he had failed to pay up.

A third bit of "evidence" was less funny.

In Nancy's belongings, Lyon found notes that his wife had made during incest counseling sessions.

One page included her jotted notes of words and phrases: "trying hard to have the June Cleaver family, busy, frustrated, anxious, demanding, controlling, too accomplishment oriented, hurts my family life." Toward the bottom of the page in the right hand margin were two complete sentences: "When I don't have power I feel inadequate," and "When I don't feel in control I get angry."

Immediately to the left of that final sentence was this notation:

"fear of Bill and what his

desires are—sex—sick sex—

incest issues w/me?—my girls?"

Handwriting analysts would judge that Richard Lyon added that notation, in an attempt to implicate Bill Dillard Jr., before passing the document to prosecutor Sims.


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