Jeremy Cord Woods

You often hear that someone committed almost the perfect crime.  I often tease my husband telling him that I watch all the true crime documentaries to learn what not to do because the vast majority of those shows are based on cases in which people got caught.  This is a case that could almost qualify as the perfect crime and had Jeremy Cord Woods kept his mouth shut odds are possible that he would have never gotten caught.  He would argue later that in essence he had been "forced" by the prison system to admit his crime but in my opinion that was more of an excuse to have evidence thrown out than anything else.

Jeremy Cord Woods was living with eighteen year old Dawn Wallace in 1993 in Helena Montana. Dawn's seventeen month old son, Jaymes, also lived with the couple.  In June of 1993 both Dawn and Jaymes disappeared.  To be honest I am unsure just how much of an investigation was done into the case.  

Then in 1994 Jeremy was sent to prison for ten years after passing thousands of dollars in bad checks.  This had obviously been going on for a while because he would later say that the argument that led to the deaths of Dawn and Jayme had been over bad checks.  While he was in the prison system Jeremy volunteered to enter an anger management program.  The prison had encouraged this program and in doing so offered time off sentences if they completed the program.  It was in a meeting of this group in July of 1994 that Jeremy confessed to the murders of Dawn and Jaymes.  

A few weeks ago I did a case about a man who had a problem with alcohol and had began going to Alcoholics Anonymous.  While in a meeting the man had talked about how he had suffered from blackouts from time to time and that he suspected he may have killed a couple that lived in his childhood home.  Word got to authorities and the man was eventually convicted of the crime.  The argument within the court became about whether what was said in the AA meetings were confidential.  In the end the issue was a bit moot since the man had also spoke to others outside the confines of the meetings but it did bring up an interesting point about the meetings themselves.  In this case however it was said that it was made clear that the things said in the anger management program were not confidential.  

Jeremy would later argue that the program stated that in order for it to work properly and for him to successfully complete the program it required that the people confessed to all the things they had done in their lives.  While I agree with the concept, the fact of the matter is that no one made Jeremy confess to what he had done and in my opinion had he not confessed no one would have ever known and it would appear he had successfully completed the program. One could argue that Jeremy himself would know that he had not completed it successfully but that is another argument in itself.  But, just like the case in which I blogged about a few weeks ago, in the end the argument is moot because Jeremy did not keep his confession about the murders within the confines of the anger management meetings.  

Whether his confession as to what had occurred on June 28, 1993 was completely true or not will likely never be known.  As I said earlier, Jeremy would claim that he and Dawn had argued about bad checks that were written. He would admit that in the midst of the argument he had taken a power cord and wrapped it around Dawn's neck, strangling her.  He would then admit to taking a stereo cord and not just strangling seventeen month old Jayme, but hanging him from his crib.  He then took the bodies and placed them in a 55 gallon drum and dumped it in a deserted area near his home and the Helena airport.

After a two day trial in 1995 Jeremy Cord Woods was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.  His last appeal in 2005 was denied and according to officials his first chance at parole is not until 2056.

I always attempt to find the perpetrator of the crimes I blog about through the state or federal prison system.  I was unable to find Jeremy in any, although I am confident that he is still there. In 1997 he was moved from the Montana prison system into a privately owned prison in Tennessee with thirty-nine other inmates. I could find little about this system and I could not find Jeremy in the systems in Montana, Tennessee or even the federal system.  It does appear that in 2013 Jeremy attempted to sue the jail officials and/or the correctional facility in which he was housed.  According to the suit in August of 2012 Jeremy was attacked by a fellow inmate and hit over a dozen times.  Jeremy claims that the staff of the prison knew that this inmate had threatened him and did nothing about it.  He was asking for a $1,000 for every time he was hit.  His suit was obviously dismissed.  

Comments

  1. I have a step son who was accused and convicted of rape. Part of his parole was he had to go to classes and complete them. In this class everyone had to be at the same level. One of those levels was admitting guilt and taking responsibility for your crime. He has always denied he did this and spent 18 years (of 20) in prison for it. He was let out 2 years early. He wouldn't admit guilt in the class either and so the class couldn't move on. After 2 weeks they violated him for non-compliance and sent him back to prison to finish his last 2 years. So I don't know this man's circumstances but I do believe someone would admit some type of guilt to something they didn't do if they thought it would get them out early. Jmo

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  2. I knew both Dawn and Jeremy personally. They had been with my family and other friends at the lake earlier in the day of the murder. When Dawn went "missing" they assumed Dawn had gone off with an X boyfriend. There also seemed to be evidence of "bad checks" written in Dawn's name so that seemed both plausible and probable. The thing about the confession, is that the confession led authorities to the bodies in the 55 gallon drum that had been undiscovered. Obviously he could not know where the bodies were if he didn't have a part in the murder. So he wasn't "just saying 'anything' to get out early"

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    1. I was that X boyfriend you mentioned. Dawn called me a few days before she disappeared and she told me that she caught Jeremy writing bad checks in her name, he was getting physically violent with her, and that she was scared for her life. I pleaded with her to grab Jayme and go to her mom's house or my mom's house immediately. When the police showed up at my door (was living in another state at the time) a few days later assuming Dawn had come to my place, I told them what Dawn told me and that Woods was responsible for her disappearance (and I was not the only one to tell them this). The local police did a shit job investigating her disappearance.

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