17 Reporter Olivia LaVoice: Start from the beginning. How did Lloyd’s name even get brought up when Kathleen Heisey was murdered?
Debbie: Well, we, I, I know how the name got brought up but uh, we uh, the police showed up at our house the next day I think it was, uh and uh in fact I think it was the next day because I think my brother and his wife left that morning and they came in the afternoon and they started questioning Lloyd and some of the questions were totally inappropriate for someone in a professional job and I said why are you asking Lloyd these questions?
He respected Kathleen. They got along very well. He did not get along very well with the other principal and did not respect him and uh some of the things that he did. And I said in the middle of this, I said, “I’ll lay you money I know who is pointing fingers at Lloyd.” And Detective Haskins said, “Who?” And I named the other principal and he went and then caught himself.
He agreed with me, it was obvious he agreed with me, and for some reason they decided to focus on Lloyd and never looked past that.
I never heard any other name come up at all.
And Lloyd’s incapable of doing something like that in the first place. In the second place my brother and his wife were here. We were in the Sequoias all day. We didn’t get back ’til after 10 at night and I have gas receipts proving that.
I had receipts from a place in Tulare that we went after that. We went to the Sequoias, then we ate, and then we came home. And as far as the timeline, we weren’t even in town. But they continued to focus on Lloyd for some reason, which has absolutely wrecked our lives.
We tried to get the police to take Lloyd to trial to clear his name because he didn’t do it and there were four of us that were together 24/7 for a few days before my brother and his wife took off to go up north.
It has wrecked both of our lives and taken a huge toll on both of our health and I can remember leaving school one day and I pulled out from Kern Canyon Road and stopped at the stop sign on 178 and there was a huge tanker coming and I thought if I pull out all of this will be over. And I knew I was in trouble so I went straight to my doctor’s office because it wouldn’t solve anything. Everything would still be here and Lloyd would be dealing with it and that would be so unfair for him.
So it’s been extremely difficult and then 18 years later – you come to my door and start asking about this and I know Detective Haskins told us, Lloyd will always be a suspect on the back burner until they solve the murder. But when you only look at one person and don’t look elsewhere, you aren’t going to find anybody else.
Kyle Humphrey: If you think Lloyd did it, let’s go to trial, bring in the case, file the charges. And we asked for that repeatedly and they didn’t do it. But in a way, the failure to investigate, they got their result. Lloyd’s suffered every day since Kathleen Heisey was killed.
Olivia: Tell me a little more about, um, the alibi. This was the camping trip?
Debbie: It was not a camping trip. It was a day trip to the Sequoias.
Olivia: What’s the timeline? What day was that trip?
Debbie: It was the day that she was murdered.
Olivia: Okay, what day is that? Because I don’t have a specific date for the actual murder, I only have a date for when her body was found.
Kyle: They don’t give us specific dates for police reports. They’re not required to, so we can’t tell you what they think. But at the time based on what I’d seen printed and heard, the murder would’ve occurred at the time that Lloyd and Debbie were in the Sequoias.
Olivia: Well do you know what day that was?
Kyle: I could dig through a whole box of stuff from 12 years ago …
Debbie: 18 years ago.
Kyle: 18 years ago and try to find it on the search warrant, but I think it was covered by the media then too.
Olivia: Debbie, you don’t recall off the top of your head what day – maybe what day of the week it was – back in ’98?
Debbie: If you had to live through this horror story would you remember specific dates? I have just dug through parts of this box that is attorney client privilege that I have not looked at in 18 years and I, I don’t know, the end of the June, the first of July.
Kyle: It was enough that this alibi kept them from bringing charges.
Debbie: All I know is that the next day, the next afternoon around 5, my principal called me and said did you hear that Kathleen Heisey has been murdered and I said no and she said turn on the news, and that’s how we found out about it. And it was the next day.
Debbie: Most of us don’t understand something like this because we don’t live in that world and in that society and when this all happened, uh, it was uh, we had to hire Kyle, we had to come up with a good sum of money that we didn’t have at the time, but we were able to come up with it.
Debbie: It’s so foreign to us that we don’t understand it. It’s not something, like, that we live because we are up-right, up-standing citizens, and we abide by the law and we don’t understand that side of criminal law and it is, uh, and it is absolutely unbelievable what one goes through.
Debbie: It’s always there in the background and, uh, when you came to my door last week I was absolutely flabbergasted, 18 years later that this is being dug up when we tried to push to go to trial to clear Lloyd’s name. Lloyd and I, neither one wanted his name to be, always be, on the back-burner until they closed the case. I don’t, I can’t even tell you what it’s like to live through this. It’s absolutely unfathomable to those of us who are law-abiding citizens.
Debbie: What has been done to us, it’s, it’s absolutely unfathomable (cries) and I would not wish anyone to have to live through this and then for it to be dug back up when we’ve proved our innocence and obviously our innocence has been proved because the police wouldn’t be taken to trial and I don’t know what else to say- and I say our innocence because Lloyd and I are a team and we always have been, we’ve been married for 44 years now. And, uh, it’s not, it’s not Lloyd who was attacked. It was us who were attacked, because we are a team and we always have been. So, uh, do I think that this was just done to Lloyd? Hell no, it was done to both of us, him being unemployable because of this, did that affect us? Financially? Emotionally? Physically? It has devastated us and it’s something that we had nothing to do with and we proved it.
Debbie: No one that we have come in contact with, whether they were acquaintances we already knew or new acquaintances, no one believes Lloyd did it, absolutely no one, not even an inkling of, well, do you think he could have or is he capable of it? No, no one ever has had any thoughts that Lloyd did it and there have been questions of why didn’t they look elsewhere. There’s rumors of Mexican mafia and I don’t know what all, that’s the only one I’ve heard. But no, no one that we have ever run into has even had the slightest, uh, given us the slightest inkling that they think Lloyd could’ve done it.
Debbie: It came up again in 2013. Kathleen’s son came back to visit and took it upon himself to go through our neighborhood and knock on every door and say, “My mother was murdered 14-15 years ago and you need to know that the murderer is here in your neighborhood, and a lot has been done with DNA and I am going to make sure that he pays for my mother’s murder,” when he had nothing to do with it. Fortunately we were out of state when it happened. One of my neighbors called me to tell me about it.
Debbie: He was doing everything he could to discredit Lloyd among all of our neighbors. And you know what? All of our neighbors are still friends with us and we had no problems, no one blocked us out, nothing, because they know Lloyd’s character and they know the person that he is.
Olivia: So he was never arrested for this?
Debbie: No, that’s why we tried to get them to take it to trial. Arrest him. Take him to trial and clear his name. But they didn’t have the evidence so they couldn’t do it, because Lloyd did not do it. Period, end of story. And although I’m his wife and I’ll lie for him or whatever, according to the police department, the judicial system, my brother and his wife were there.
Debbie: He’s not anything but a kind, gentle person, who likes to help people.
Olivia: Was he ever arrested for anything else?
Debbie: Yes and I would defer that question to Kyle and let him deal with it. And he was arrested on what we feel are bogus charges in order to draw blood, when they had this letter that’s right here on the table, saying that they could have DNA, anytime they want. Anything they want – semen, hair, saliva, blood – they could have it.
And they arrested him on what we feel are trumped up charges. The judge was absolutely appalled and it was thrown out.