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'Cold Justice' recap: Kirby's Speed Shop

Season 2 | Episode 3 | “Kirby’s Speed Shop” | Aired July 11, 2014

This week we travel to Columbus, Georgia, to investigate the 10-year-old cold case in the death of William Kirby Smith, owner of Kirby’s Speed Shop.

Yolanda and Kelly are talking country accents and good old boys as they head into Georgia, and Kirby Smith definitely was one of those good old boys. NASCAR-loving, dune buggy–driving Smith was killed on March 7, 2004, as he returned to his business after a day with his son.

Unlike many of the cases Kelly and Yolanda have investigated, this one is still fresh enough that there are lots of witnesses to talk to, but the big question will be, can they get someone to say more than they ever have before?

Their first stop is at the Columbus Police Department to meet up with sergeants Randy Long and Matt Blackstock. Additionally, Kelly has asked two friends from Houston, homicide investigators Alan Brown and Abbey Abbondandolo, to come help interview witnesses.

Sgt. Blackstock was the lead on the case originally, so he briefs the team. Kirby Smith was shot in the back of the head and with $800 in his pocket, so they’ve ruled out robbery as a motive right away, but considering how well liked Smith was, they’ve had a hard time finding anyone with a reason to kill him. The couldn’t find any indication that he was involved in anything that might have made him a target.

That doesn’t mean they don’t have suspects to consider.

First up is estranged wife Becky Smith Haynie, because they were going through a very nasty divorce at the time of his death. The battle included custody, a prenuptial agreement and property—plus, Kirby was killed the day before he was going to see his lawyer to finalize the divorce. He also had a $250,000 life insurance policy.

Next up is Heath Haynie, who was dating Kirby’s wife at the time of the murder and married her three months after her husband was killed. Additionally, it was discovered that he was joking around by asking for information on what it would cost to have someone killed.

The final suspect is “Bull” Phillips, who’s being considered because of his relationship with Becky. He was in love with her and desperately wanted to make her love him, so could he have killed Kirby to please her? He had a relatively low IQ, and they wonder if Becky might have manipulated him into killing her husband.

However, all three suspects have pretty solid alibis, so it’ll be all about confirming those alibis.

With that information, Kelly and Yolanda go visit Kirby’s daughter, Heather, and his son, Dustin. They both have nothing but wonderful things to say about their dad and how generous and kind he was; however, Heather doesn’t have positive things to say about Becky. It seems Becky was very jealous of the time Kirby devoted to his daughter, to the point that Becky put taps on Heather’s phone and even sent back Heather’s wedding invitation, so her father wasn’t at the wedding. Wow, that’s insane. Poor Heather.

Heather also said that her first thought when she found out her father was dead was that Becky did it, and Dustin says that Becky was anything but consoling at the funeral, going so far as to ask about property and such as they were grieving.

Okay, I’m just gonna say it: What a bitch. Who does that to people? Makes me mad.

From here, the team goes over to Kirby’s Speed Shop to look at the actual crime scene.

From what they can tell, there were no signs of a struggle, and Kirby was seated at his desk with his back to the door, so they think he must have been comfortable with whoever it was to let them get so close. Additionally, there were powder burns and soot on Kirby’s clothes and body, so both shots were contact wounds. The way it looks is that the shooter shot him once in the chair and then shot him in the back of the head when he was on the floor to make sure he was dead.

Now it’s time to talk to the witnesses.

Kirby’s coworker Lee Shepherd says that the last time he saw Kirby was the day before he found Kirby at the shop. He said Kirby told him he thought he and Becky had made a deal. Becky wanted $20,000 and her dune buggy and they’d call it even. He goes on to say that he witnessed Beck hit Kirby and that she even went after him with a tire iron.

More witnesses talk about how Becky would threaten Kirby and tell him she was going to kill him. Everyone they talk to says she threatened him all the time. She even admitted to the police when they interviewed her that she said it, but she says it was just talk.

They then move on to looking into Heath, and find out that he’s no charmer either. His former wife says that Heath and Becky did all kinds of things to torment her. They made her life a living hell, and she thinks Becky’s got something on Heath to keep him in line and act this way.

When Alan and Abbey talk to Heath, he’s super-congenial. In his mind, Becky was the victim, and he never really talked to Kirby. He’s allll about how he knows he didn’t do it, and he knows in his heart Becky didn’t do it. His story hasn’t changed from before, so it may be that his only crime is being too in love with Becky.

It all comes back to Becky, it seems. The team wants to focus on Becky’s actions the day of the murder. Mainly the phone record, which shows that not only did Becky call Heath right around the time Kirby was killed, but she got 29 phone calls from Bull Phillips on that day, calling her eight times between 9 and 9:15 p.m., which would have been right around the time Kirby was killed.

Which means it’s time to find out more about Bull. Witnesses confirm that he was definitely Becky’s puppy dog and would do anything for her.

But what made me say “wow” out loud was what Becky’s mother said about her: that when she first heard Kirby was dead, even she thought Becky killed him. She says that Becky manipulated Bull, and he would have done anything she asked. Becky’s sister goes on to say that she thought Becky led Bull on and manipulated him, the way she does most people.

Wow—when even your mom and sister think this badly of you and will say as much to the cops, that’s harsh.

When they start looking into Bull’s alibi, it’s looking more and more possible that he could have killed Kirby. He went by a friend’s house around 9:30; she says he was very distracted and and she thought it was odd that he called to ask and “drop by.” So it looks like he was trying to create an alibi.

At this point, the team is feeling very solid on the idea that Becky orchestrated this entire murder and used Bull as the shooter. When they talk to her coworkers about her behavior at work that night, they even say that she was “hysterical.” Crying and then laughing and then crying again.

At this point, Kelly has her, “Oh yeah, we GOT her” face on; however, Kelly still thinks that if they can find out whether Becky and Bull had a sexual relationship, that would tell her more about why he would shoot Kirby.

That means it’s time to talk to Bull.

Bull says that, yes, they had sex a few times, but nothing regular. He also says that he’d never have done anything like kill to please her, and that they were just friends—that he wasn’t in love with her. But when they start to poke holes in his alibi, he gets upset and ends the interview.

Between being able to confirm Heath’s alibi, the shakiness of Bull’s alibi and everything they’ve learned about Becky, it’s time to prep the case for the D.A., because they feel they have enough circumstantial evidence to prove Becky was the mastermind and Bull was the trigger man.

After they present the information to the D.A. (I can tell you I left a few details out of this recap because I don’t want to be too long-winded, but they have a lot of small but very good points that add up), the D.A. says she feels they’ve given her everything she needs to take this case to trial.

But there is one more person we need to talk to: Becky. As Kelly puts it, they want to give her a chance to dig her hole a little bit deeper before they arrest her. Well, she doesn’t dig deeper, but we sure do get a glimpse of what a piece of work she is. Kelly and Yolanda aren’t the only ones smiling when the cops show up and slap the cuffs on her.

An hour later, they arrest Bull, and it’s all tears and hugs when Kelly and Yolanda stop by to tell Kirby’s kids.

Y’know, in her original interview, Becky said that she thought whoever killed Kirby deserves to pay for that.

Yep, Becky, you sure do.

Cold Justice airs Fridays at 9/8C on TNT.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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