I Dunnit

Here's how a Kentucky inmate conned Tempe cops and the County Attorney's Office into believing he'd killed a stripper, who really was a victim of the Baseline Killer

He says he told her it had.

Jackson says he also soon informed the Tempe cops that several inmates at the county jail were saying Mullins had tried to recruit them to phone Crime Stoppers with the same story that Curtis Maxie eventually left on the message line.

"I'm not trying to throw Tempe under the bus," Jackson says, "because I think, in her mind, Susan was trying to do the right thing. It was Mullins who was doing the wrong thing. But I will say that it's easy for me to look back at this whole thing and go, 'Dammit, dammit, dammit!'"

The Saddle Club Apartments in Tempe, where Georgia Thompson was killed.
Lilia Menconi
The Saddle Club Apartments in Tempe, where Georgia Thompson was killed.
Tape of the jailhouse interviews: Mullins selling Detective Schoville a wild bill of goods.
Tape of the jailhouse interviews: Mullins selling Detective Schoville a wild bill of goods.

It's a pity that every news story about Georgia Thompson's murder has referred to her as a "murdered stripper." Not because it's untrue — she had been dancing at Skin Cabaret, and she was murdered.

But Georgia was only 19 when she died, and, as such, was just starting to sort things out in her young life.

She was a friendly, sweet-faced girl from north Idaho, the sixth of nine children born to a middle-class Coeur d'Alene couple who got divorced during her youth.

As so often happens, the parental split was incalculably difficult on the children.

Though she continued to attend church, and was a good student at Post Falls High School for a while, Georgia's life started to spin out of whack as a teen.

Karen Blake, the mother of Georgia's first serious boyfriend, Jacob, told Tempe police that Georgia often ran away from home, and entered Job Corps in Mountain Home, Idaho, for a year when she was about 16. She earned her GED there.

Georgia attended classes at a community college near her hometown for a semester before dropping out.

How and when Georgia found her way to the world of exotic dancing is uncertain. But a girl named Tiffany who roomed with Georgia briefly in the summer of 2005 later told Tempe detectives that the pair previously had worked in a strip club on the Idaho-Washington border.

In late June 2005, Georgia packed up her Grand Prix and drove to Arizona for what she hoped was a fresh start.

She didn't have family here, and the only person she knew at all other than Tiffany was Mesa resident Kevin Pecora, whom she had apparently met on MySpace.

She and Tiffany moved into the Saddle Club Apartments, and both found work at the Hooters in downtown Tempe.

But Georgia worked there for less than a month before taking a job at Skin. She adopted the stage name "Felony," an odd choice for someone who never had been in any serious trouble with the law.

Georgia dyed her hair blond and cut it shorter. Her trademark was a fake white flower that she always attached to one side of her hair. She had no tattoos.

On July 16, 2005, according to Tempe police reports, Georgia's father, Bill Thompson, asked management at the Saddle Club Apartments to let her out of her lease because an unknown male was stalking her.

Management declined to terminate the lease.

In early August, Tiffany moved out of the apartment.

A few weeks after that, Georgia met Kevin Pecora in person for the first time, at a Tempe Laundromat.

On August 23, Georgia and some family members traveled to Texas to visit her ailing maternal grandfather. They dropped her back off in Tempe on September 1.

About 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 2005, Georgia hooked up with Pecora and a fellow Skin employee named Kat at the Acme Roadhouse in Tempe.

About 45 minutes later, the two women drove a few miles up Scottsdale Road to Skin in Kat's car. That fact would loom large in the shoddy account James Mullins later sold to authorities.

Georgia left her own car in the Acme parking lot.

The women had expected to work until Skin closed at 2 a.m., after which Georgia planned to spend the night at Pecora's apartment.

They signed in to work at 8:50 p.m. But business was slow, and she text-messaged Pecora at 11:41 p.m., "I'm leaving in 30 minutes."

Pecora didn't respond. Later, he told police he had fallen asleep at his apartment and missed her text-message and a subsequent phone call.

Shortly after midnight, a bouncer at Skin escorted the women to Kat's car. Georgia expressed frustration to Kat on the short trip back to her own car that she couldn't reach Pecora.

Kat later told police that she had seen her friend leave the area alone in her own car.

At 12:16 a.m., Georgia text-messaged Pecora, "So much for tonight."

Her home at the Saddle Club Apartments was about a five-minute drive from the Skin Cabaret.

About 12:30, two people inside the apartment complex heard one gunshot.

Minutes later, another resident decided to go to a nearby Circle K for cigarettes. The man was on foot in the north parking lot when he came upon a woman's body on the asphalt.

He leaned over and asked her if she was okay.

Then he saw the blood seeping out of her head.

It was Georgia Thompson.

The man sprinted back to his apartment, where his fiancée called 911 at 12:58 a.m.

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Black Widow
Black Widow

James Mullins is a good man who made a silly stupid mistake. His judgement was clouded by the stress of facing 25 years plus in prison. It made him make a compulsive decision that was not a bright idea although to him it seemed like the lesser of two evils. James knows that he was on the side of error and is truly and sincerly sympathic to Georgia's family and apologizes for his lack of thought and for giving the family false hope that her killer was found. James has honestly expressed his apologies to the family and the public servents that were involved.

brandon gomez
brandon gomez

they should of kept chuck.when he had that tempe street beat show on channel 11,it was always interesting and edicational.it taught me a lot watching him.

it's BULLSHIT how they fired him,he was a good cop.

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