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

Far afield from Maxie's version, Mullins says a Mexican guy and Maxie had left him alone in the strip club, which was when he had negotiated with Georgia for sexual favors.

"Did she have any other jobs or was going to school?" Schoville asks.

"She said she was a waitress somewhere, I think," Mullins says, recalling the part of the Maury segment that shows the actress playing Georgia at a restaurant.

Craig LaRotonda/Revelation Studios
Georgia Thompson, about a year before her September 2005 murder.
Georgia Thompson, about a year before her September 2005 murder.

He says he had met Georgia on the street about a block from the club.

"Did she drive?" the detective asks.

"We never made it to a car. Not one time did we make it to any car whatsoever."


Mullins says he was carrying about $8,000 in cash, and "she saw a lot of the money that I had on me."

He says Maxie had the Cadillac "about three blocks down the road. He was with another girl."

Mullins says he "ended up shootin'" Georgia.

"Where'd you shoot her at?"

"In the head. Had to be the front, because she was facing me."

That's also straight from the Povich show, which erroneously had depicted the victim bleeding from a shot into her forehead.

"I gotta be honest with you," the detective tells him, "there's a lot of issues that don't add up."

For sure.

Knowing Georgia had left the Skin Cabaret with fellow stripper Kat that night, Schoville asks Mullins if he'd seen her with any other woman.

"Not that I remember . . . I do remember her saying she had a boyfriend, though."

That's another Maury tidbit.

Schoville asks if Georgia had attempted to rob him in "a parking lot or an open street."

"I think it was an open street. I just ran."

Wrong answer.

Mullins insists he tossed the gun into a Dumpster before "I ran to Maxie, where Maxie was at, told him to get the girl out of the car because we had to go."

About half an hour into the interview, Detective Schoville launches into yet another riff:

"I need to give you some of my hand because you've been pretty honest with me. It didn't happen in an open street, okay? You guys moved quite a ways from the strip bar. I don't know how you did it, but I know you did because she was seen leaving the parking lot.

"You were there . . . Georgia leaves and goes to another parking lot where she was killed. It's not where you're telling me she was killed. . . . It's about a 10-minute drive. So it's not that you walked three blocks, okay? Something else happened in there if you can fill that in for me."

Mullins doesn't bite.

Scottsdale-based forensic shrink Steven Pitt says of the detective's interview technique, "The real dark side of this situation is that she's ignoring salient facts and only focusing on getting a confession. You can't pick and choose things you want to hear just because you have someone making a confession of some sort. But all this detective was thinking about was collaring the guy. Columbo, she's not."

Says Paducah's Eric Jackson, who observed the interviews, "Mullins had gotten where they were when he shot the girl all wrong. Obviously, that wasn't good. About the best scenario I could think of was that maybe he's holding off telling everything trying to get a better deal."

Two days later, on January 4, Detective Schoville gets a second shot at breaking Mullins down.

"You told me it happened outside the strip club," she tells him. "It didn't. It happened quite a ways away. . . . There's how you even got to her apartment complex."

That's the first mention of the true murder site. Again, it has come from the cop, not the suspect.

"You're saying it happened three blocks away, and it really happened several miles away, and that's the void that's gonna make you kind of look like you're more cold-hearted. . . . So did you follow her when she got dropped off to pick up her car at the Acme Roadhouse? Did you get dropped off? Did she say, 'Hey, follow me?'"

Mullins mumbles a non-response.

The detective says she would like to "clarify" a few things, such as "just after the shooting, where was the car at? I mean, was it in the same parking lot?"

"Which car?" Mullins asks, a fair question since he never has mentioned being anywhere in a car with Georgia.

"The car you left in."

"The car that I left in? I suppose it was probably still there."

"No, no," Schoville says.

Grasping at straws, Mullins now says he had stopped somebody on the street soon after murdering Georgia Thompson:

"I paid them to take me back. He just took me back to wherever he thought it may be."

"You just said you got out of her car," Schoville says.

"Of a car," he says.

"Was she in the car with you?"


Now, we're talking.

"She actually drove you?"

"Alone. Yes. She picked me up afterwards. . . . When we left the club, she picked me up."

"Did she tell you she's taking you back to her place?" the detective asks. "Where did you think you were going?"

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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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