Episode 21: DNA On Bloody Conch Shell Cracks Case (2001)
2:40PM Jan 18, 2023
cold case unit
Welcome to Just curious media. This is that's a crime. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
All right, so we are back for another crime.
Yeah, we're getting into the gruesomeness. Again.
I know you're resistant. But trust me go with it.
Yeah. Well, because if we get to see a guilty party apprehended I will be, I'll be vindicated.
Exactly. I know you like that. And today we're breaking down the True Crime Story of the DNA on Bloody conch shell cracks case. And 2001.
Jason, honestly, I did have to google conch shell. Okay, I wasn't certain what type of shell and then when I saw it, I did one of those. Oh, okay. Yeah. Now I know what that is.
The only reason I already knew what it meant was because of the movie Lord of the Flies. What happened? I didn't see that. Well, they pass a conch around, and that person has the floor and can talk. So it's kind of a pivotal thing. And, and so it doesn't kill anybody, the conch, but I remember it vividly. And I know how it's big and, you know, hard and constructed and could cause damage. So when this came across my radar, actually, Sophia shared this with me. I'm like, wow, that's interesting. And I know you're really big on DNA. And we've talked about this. And I think this is, I mean, this is a tragic tale. At the same time, it's triumphant in a way. And I think there's so much of this happening now behind the scenes. I mean, you follow DNA more than I do. And I could see how there's probably just going to be case after case like either exonerating people or convicting people. And it's fascinating to me.
Yeah. Well, Forensic Files is my main. That's been my main show. Yeah, I could binge Forensic Files. By the way, there's a lot of episodes I don't even think I've seen probably half of them. And I've seen plenty. But you know what, this kind of taints conch shells, because this is one of these shells you can put to your ear and hear the ocean. Yeah, a nice, peaceful thing. And now it's tainted, tainted by this person.
I'm sorry. So I'll get you a conch shell for Christmas.
I appreciate it. See if we can work that out. I want to hear the ocean.
So a 53 year old Massachusetts man, David Reed was recently charged in the murder of his 41 year old half sister, Rose Marie Moniz, who was also a single mother. Now, Moniz was beaten to death in her New Bedford home in 2001. And the case went cold. until 2021, when Reed's DNA was found on the murder weapon, a conch shell,
I have never heard of anything oceanic, used as a murder weapon.
I know and what a horrific way to die. You've seen the photo of this. Shell. It's very gruesome, very sad, but thank goodness is we're talking about DNA technology is playing a role in these cases. I mean, this was a cold case for 20 years, and I'm sure there are some far longer than that, but that's a long time. And they couldn't figure it out. I mean, I'm shocked that there was no suspects didn't lead anything. Here's this innocent person, single mother. And yeah, tragic. And we're gonna go through some of the details and where this case went. And it's kind of fascinating.
Yeah, and something that's brutal. And then the suspect in the end being a half sibling. Yeah. I mean, this was a long time coming.
Exactly. So on March 23 2001, Rose Marie Moniz, his father arrived to take her to a doctor's appointment. Inside he found kitchen items all over the floor and the contents of her purse scattered before finding his daughter dead in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor. Horrible. Sal. I can't even imagine how devastating that is for anyone to find someone dead, let alone your child.
Yeah, I mean, it's so it's horrible enough to find a stranger? Yeah, let alone a loved one, let alone your daughter. Oh, terrible. This is terrible.
Yeah, I mean, we don't even get into the child that she had. This is more about justice, because what's done is done and it's incredibly sad. Well, the brutality of the crime was revealed through the autopsy which showed trauma to her head including skull fractures and cuts, blood emanating from both ears, a broken nose and broken left cheekbone. A release stated it was determined that Miss Moniz had been bludgeoned to death with a fireplace poker a conch shell and a cast iron kettle. Well, odd choices now brutal choices.
None of them weapons. Exactly. It's not a knife or a gun. It's not a it's not hell. It's not even a baseball bat. No odd choices.
Her purse was emptied out on the floor and an undetermined amount of cash was stolen and is out. Of course, this is beyond gruesome. And quite often these violent and murders just don't add up too much money for the killers. I mean, what did this person make off with? What could have been in her purse?
Probably 4050 bucks probably at the mall. Exactly.
It's not a key to a safe deposit box is it's not that type of thing. It's like these are random acts or something gets escalated. I don't even know. But it's like, not thought out. Well thought out. I'm just shocked. They got away with it for as long as they did.
Well, Jason, obviously I'm no professional detective. But right away. I'm seeing that this murder was personal. Yeah, that's what that would imply the brutality to multiple choice of items to use to murder now, but then I think trying to cover it up and make it look like a robbery by stealing from the purse or on things around. Yeah, let's make this look like a robbery. But yeah, this thing was a very personal I think you can tell that right away. Yeah,
and this is again, 2001 is not too far in the past at the same time. It's a long time technology wise. I mean, this day and age people have ring cameras. If you don't have one, your neighbors have one. And that person was leaving a very different time there was a window where you could just kind of pop in and out and no one recognizes someone and no one saw someone and then that goes cold. So thank goodness for DNA.
Adjacent neighbors ring camera throws a ring camera, but a security camera. That Colorado case the guy that killed his wife and three kids. It was a neighbor's camera right that showed the truck going to saw that
guy doing weird activity. Exactly. Now more and more people have them and things are like it's hard to miss. So unfortunately, Miss Monet's his family and friends had no answers. The case went cold for after two potential suspects were excluded, neither of which were read. Who by the way. So I have to say this is beyond disgusting. But read served as a pallbearer at Moniz, his funeral. So here this person is David Reed kills his half sister tells no one of course. Now he's at the Funeral Act and like his close family person. I mean, no guilt. What type of person can do this?
This is absolutely horrible. And by the way, I don't want the phrase half sister to downplay the relationship because I'll tell you, Jason, I have half siblings. Yeah, but we don't think of each other or refer to each other as half. Those are my brothers. Those are my sister. You're right. This man killed his sister. Yeah,
I'm gonna have I'm only saying what's in the articles. But you're
I know that. You're Oh no, I know. But this man,
like third cousin. This person grew up with this person and all and
then he is a pallbearer that killed me. I was speechless
when I horrible horrible. So then in 2019, Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn's cold case unit went back through the evidence of the murder, according to a release and why don't you take the release for us?
It says autopsy photos of the victims face show that the victim had suffered numerous abrasions and contusions, which suggested that the spiny exterior of the conch shell made contact with the victims face that suggested that the perpetrator would have to put his fingers inside the opening of the conch to hold it as firmly as was needed to strike the victim with extreme force. Wow. Again, what an odd choice is it just it happened to be there. Was it by her nightstand? Was it a souvenir from their childhood trip to the Jersey Shore? I mean, this is just an odd an odd choice. I mean, horrific Of course, being beaten to death, probably one of those brutal ways, painful ways. Disgusting ways to go not quick, obviously. Yeah,
well, there's a fireplace poker, there was the cattle, it was probably a fight that just dragged on who's this grabbing things hitting? She may have hit back. I'm assuming he wiped blood off some things. But then the conch of course has that you know, where you listen to the ocean, and bloody hands. And there is a photo which you could see online, which you also saw. The photo had blood though on the conch itself, but I guess more had seeped in. But whatever there was playing his day, which brings a question. I'm like, wait a second, how come someone wasn't testing that initially? Now, he may not have had his DNA tested. And they may not have anyone to go off of I don't know. But this is 2001. I mean, there was DNA in the OJ trial. And that was a long time before that. So it just begs the question to me,
mid 80s, I think is with DNA started being popularized. Right, I think around them. And not to mention, if you have your hand inside the country, whatever if your fingerprints and so
there's that too, right? Yeah, but 2001 they weren't thinking, hey, there's blood on this. Can we pull this off? Yeah. Because I mean, if you've never had your fingerprints done, and you've never had a DNA sample, I guess it'd be hard to find that person right. They didn't know they had nothing to match it to.
I'm just reminded Jason of an old I don't know if it's an urban Imagine. Yeah, but it's the way to avoid paying taxes is to never start paying taxes. I mean, who's going to test that out? Maybe somebody has I
wish I knew decades ago. So yeah,
if you're a young person, I don't know, maybe you want to be a guinea pig and see if that actually works.
So now David Reed, who would have been around 33 years old at the time of the murder, had actually been indicted in September 2021 In connection with a 2003 attempted murder and robbery charge and that was against Maribel Martinez alegria also in New Bedford, Massachusetts. So he got away with it once so why not strike again?
But this doesn't say the relationship right?
No, it does not. So I'm assuming not a sister half sister cousin, just someone he knew random act. We don't know the relationship.
So this person is just sometimes you give a person What 1% For b, what's a crime of passion? Maybe you have a history with this person we don't know about you give half percent for that. Who's this person? A new person? Is life. A girlfriend? Probably coworker? Yeah, some sort of connection. Yeah, this guy needs to be off the streets.
Agree. Now. alegria had been hit in the head with a tire iron and pretended to be dead while the perpetrator stole her pocketbook. Wow. Smart move on her smart. Yes, read was arrested and charged with the crime in 2003. Then posted bail, skip the trial disappeared.
Okay, so he's on the lam. He probably has what a bail bondsman bounty hunters after him.
Dog the Bounty Hunters after? Yeah, so District Attorney Quinn shared the fact that Reed's DNA sample was on file because of the alegria case, which allowed his cold case unit to make the DNA match.
So this guy is not only a horrible person, he's also now stupid, because conceivably, if not for this recent case, he'd be out there, he would have gotten away with that murder of his sister.
Yeah, because again, wow, what's his blood on the conch when there's no connection? Yeah, somebody's blood is here. We don't know who someone's blood. So here we go, something connected. So Quinn would also make the following statement. So
he says thanks to the efforts of my cold case unit, along with detectives from our state police unit, and New Bedford police, we were able to bring some sense of relief to the victim's family, all of whom suffered for the past 20 years from not knowing what happened to miss Moniz. This case highlights what we are doing in regards to Cold Case homicides and rapes in our effort to bring justice to the families of victims and the entire community. Yes. I love that word, justice. I really do.
Yeah, no, I mean, that's what this is. You're never gonna get her back. But they have answers. I mean, it's tragic. People sit around saying he was appalled there. That was her half brother, brother, how could he have done this? I mean, he is still alive, they can probably get some answers if he's willing to talk. I mean, I'm sure there's guilt coming out of him. Who knows how many of the bad things he's done are connected to at this point in time. I mean, his story went on and on. He was caught, and then he went on the lam again. But essentially, it was because of this other case now, alegria has passed on since then nothing to do with the crime just be due to time. But thank goodness that happened, it was caught, because otherwise you're never going to make that connection.
But you know what this brings to mind Jason is in a case like this in particular, where this person killed someone, and got away with it for years, then tried to kill so he now has attempted murder. That's true. What has he successfully gotten away with? That? We don't know? That's, I
mean, there's so many other things like, oh, you know what, this ties to him too? And, yes, at least he's behind bars. Now. There's justice as we talked about, there's closure, hopefully, long overdue closure for Rosemarie Moniz, his family and friends, and knowing that this technology out there, so it can act as a deterrent for people let's hope. Let's help that people think now like, well, everyone's got a ring camera or some sort of security. If I do this, my DNA is probably on something. You just hope that it just starts to put up more barriers that these senseless crimes can hopefully lessen.
You know what, Jason, I'm a big proponent of civil liberties. But what this brings up is this concept of ascertaining people's DNA. So recently, I think the deal is if you're a felon, if you are, I think, I don't know even though if it's whether you're convicted of a felony, or if you're arrested for a felony, they have a right to take your DNA, but I know somebody who's picked up on a drunk and disorderly charge, and I think a resisting arrest charge in a local beach town. And they took this person's DNA, and it was not a felony.
Yeah, that's crazy to me. But I guess that's Probably gonna start grabbing everyone's DNA at some point. Okay, you know
what I? It's Gattaca. Okay, look, on one hand, I like that a security camera can help to catch a criminal. On the other hand, I don't like that there's cameras everywhere. So it's one of these things I know, catch 22 I don't want them taking everybody's DNA, but same time. Oh, how satisfying. Is it if a murderer is caught, you know? So it's one of the things we have to struggle with in balance as a society and as individuals.
Yeah, absolutely. I was drawn into this right away, and I'm sure we'll get to cover more of these types of crimes over time. Hopefully, sometimes the other direction where someone is exonerated it was it this person, I actually prefer those. I want that story. Yes. Here's someone who has been snatched out of society paying for a crime he or she truly did not commit, which everyone in prison says they're innocent, as in the Shawshank Redemption, yes. But then here's that person and, and they're forever changed, and they might even get some money, but just start to live their life. They're never gonna get it back. I love that story, the story of redemption and, and so I hope we cover some of those as we come across them. But and this is very recent. I was shocked at this was November 2021. It's crazy.
Yeah. And you know what, I definitely would like to have more information because we have no information. What led up to the murder, was it a fight, right, a dispute about something? Were they fighting over money? Do they have a long history was there? I mean, you know, when it comes to siblings, you don't know what went on in the past. I know, I used to have a friend who had an incestuous relationship with a sibling for years. And now she's in therapy. So we don't know what what happened in people's lives. We don't know what led to something like this
based on the second crime, but that we know of that he just tried to take money or he did take money, I should say, didn't kill her hit her with tire on which could have killed her just as easily attempted murder. Yeah, but he took the money. I think it could have been something about money or this that it was probably something minor that just went once it crosses that line, which is just horrifying horse.
I think that the whole taking the money thing was to make it look like a robbery. That's what you want to do. If you kill somebody in a moment of passion, your sibling, your wife, or girlfriend, whatever. You got to cover your tracks right away. And I think you've got to try to make it look like a robbery. I've seen this time and time again, I would be more likely to think that he's just trying to cover his tracks that he's actually trying to get 40 bucks, and he's willing to kill somebody for the 40 bucks.
Yeah, that's true. We don't know. And we'll never know. And but yes, please,
please keep this guy off the streets because you know, you follow true crime. Jason, you and I talked about this before. You follow the timeline. You look at the parole, and these people are walking the streets today. Yeah. This guy should not be walking among us. No way. No,
you don't put this guy back on the street. And then you keep the guy that was peddling weed. In prison. You know, don't do that. Keep this guy locked up. He's already killed. One person, innocent person tried to kill another and we don't know how many more were in his path.
Yes. And don't let this ruin conch shells for you. Because I'm telling you, I grew up with a couple of wonderful conch shells up on our shelf. I didn't know that was the term. And yeah, we listen to the ocean. It's something I love to do. As a matter of fact, I had a wonderful idea of making headphones of conch shells. And you're just listening to the ocean in stereo. Wouldn't that be great? So yeah, don't let this taint your relationship with conch shells. It is a wonderful gift from the ocean by the way, it's a form of oceanic snail shell. Right. So interesting choice of weapon but I still appreciate the bounty of the see.
Oh, Rosemarie Moniz, rest in peace rest in peace and hopefully your family friends have some closure your child's moved on in life and hopefully been productive and some of this behind them and until the next crime sell.
Yes. And hopefully something that has no gruesome murders. Yeah,
we mix it up. We cover all things.
What are we going to get another misdemeanor?
What do we cover?
We cover everything from a misdemeanor to a murder. And I'm realizing that I kind of like hanging out.
Estimators I don't blame you. We shall be visiting more of them. So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to that's a crime wherever you get your podcast. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
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