The FAQ: The Murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen
Was Byron Case ever told by Kelly Moffett that
she would "Make his life a 'living hell'"?
About one month after Byron Case was sentenced for the murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen, a student newspaper of a local community college ran an article about the murder trial,1 using Case's mother as its sole source; it checked no other sources, sought no opposing viewpoint, and repeated unverifiable slander against the trial's prime eyewitness, Kelly Moffett. One of the central points of the story is this statement:Top of page
On the witness stand at his trial, Case made a number of completely unverified and unverifiable statements about his accuser being his "traditional psychotic ex-girlfriend",2 but made no statement and presented no evidence at any time during the trial that she had ever threatened him in any such a manner, nor did he produce any witness who would have heard such a threat. The article in a junior college was the first and only reference to this claim. Case's web site, however, immediately leaped upon the quote as "proof" that Case had been framed."Friends of Case and Moffett say she was very bitter over the break-up. They heard her say she was going to make Case's life a 'living hell.' Case would tell you from where he sits, behind bars and sentenced to life in prison without parole, that in that, she succeeded."
When challenged to produce the alleged witnesses, the web site instead rewrote the accusation in the first person, claiming that Case had been threatened directly by Moffett in private, without offering an explanation why it had originally claimed that there had been witnesses to such an incident.
When further challenged to explain why Case had never reported such a threat to anyone nor raised it as an issue during trial, his supporters argued that Case didn't take such a threat seriously, as he wasn't aware that he "was a suspect", an odd claim, considering that there is strong evidence that he knew early on that he was under suspicion, and had already exhibited a great deal of concern -- almost paranoia -- about being accused.
In fact, it is highly unlikely that these "friends" who were originally alleged to have heard any "threat" against Case ever existed. Other than Justin Bruton, who introduced Case to Moffett, and Anastasia, who also became friends with her, none of Case's friends could testify that they knew Moffett at all. Case and Moffett had no close mutual friends beyond Justin and Anastasia, as he apparently kept their relationship compartmentalized from the rest of his life.
The truth is that Case always made a point of holding his girlfriend apart from his other friends and acquaintances, and told them unverifiable stories about her when she was not present; he told his mother (among others) that her father was a violent alcoholic who beat her,3 but never once had her confirm the story. Anastasia reported in her diary that she had been told by Case when she first met his girlfriend that he had said she was a "smack whore" at 13 and that he was trying to "rescue" her; Anastasia quickly came to disbelieve that story.
In short, no, Kelly Moffett made no such threat against Case. The idea that there was ever such a threat made was entirely Case's own creation, a lie pure and simple, believed and promulgated only by his most evangelical supporters and followers. The claim was first after the killer's conviction, claiming that mutual friends of his and his accuser informed him of the "threat" after the trial. Later, when unable to produce or even name any such mutual friends, he then claimed that the threat had been made directly to him, though he has never adequately explained why he failed to bring it up during his trial. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Case fabricated Moffett's "motive" out of whole cloth.