The FAQ: The Murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen
Did Byron Case tell false stories about himself or about anyone else?
Many of Byron Case's classmates at Lincoln Prep remembered his stories about how his parents took him to Australia and had made him panhandle -- he claimed to have played the accordian and violin on street corners -- for them while they lived a "hippie" existence until he was caught and "deported"; in a web diary many years later in which the story would have been a perfect fit but which his mother could have read as well, he acknowledged going to Australia with his mother after his parents separated, but made no reference to his earlier wild story. When he was 16, he tried to make classmates believe he was actually 21, and claimed on at least one occasion to have cocaine-induced amnesia.Top of page
The greatest single lie we know of that he told to Anastasia in high school was when he let her believe that they were good friends, and then viciously attacked her when she wasn't around, making it clear to a number of classmates that he considered her a "bitch". A mutual friend at the time, Daniele Fields, remembers that Anastasia when informed of Case's duplicity confronted him, and he flatly denied it. Anastasia confirmed the story with more than one classmate, and broke off her friendship with Case for the next couple of years.
Continuing the pattern of telling lies about someone only when they weren't there to catch and rebut him, Case told many stories about his new girlfriend, Kelly Moffett, before and after Anastasia's murder, and more than a few since his arrest and conviction.
When Anastasia first met Kelly, Case told her that Kelly had been a "smack whore" at 12, and that he was trying to "save" her. While changing a few details, he continued this story during his testimony at trial.1
Case's mother related the story that he had informed her that Kelly's father was a violent alcoholic who beat her, though it was clear from her tesimony that Case only told the tale when Kelly was out of earshot, and never got her to corroborate it.2 His ex-roommate Jamie Smith testified that Case had told her once when Kelly was coming over to to their apartment to talk with him that he was only letting her visit because she was living in a crack house and needed to use his shower and get some food to eat; when she arrived, it turned out that she only wanted to talk to him privately, but showed no need for a shower and asked for no food. Smith admitted under cross-examination that all she actually knew of Kelly Moffett was what Byron Case told her about Kelly.3 It is significant that Case kept Kelly away from nearly all of his friends, the prime exceptions being Justin Bruton, who knew Kelly first and introduced her to Case, and Anastasia. Every one of Byron Case's friends gained their perception of Kelly Moffett directly from Byron Case and the stories he told them about her.
In the months following Anastasia's murder, Case exchanged a series of emails with her family, in which he complained about how unfair they were being to him,4, attacked them for what he considered "unjustified spite",5 told a few variations on his alibi,6,7 and told stories about friends when he suspected them of disloyalty. In both instances, neither friend had in any way or at any time betrayed any confidence at that point, but Case himself displayed a great deal of paranoia about them. He twice attacked Tara McDowell, 8,9 who later testified on Case's behalf at his murder trial,10 and once attacked Anna Hunsicker,11 who administrated Case's website after his conviction, having taken it over from the person who originally set it up. He preemptively attacked both friends in order to build and strengthen his own alibi, in the same manner of his attacks against Kelly Moffett now.