Sunday, December 6, 2015

Remembering Kelli Bordeaux...

No, I didn't actually know her.  I did happen to live near Fort Bragg at the time she disappeared, on April 14, 2012.  I remember hearing her story and reading about her online.  She was a pretty young woman, a 23 year old private first class in the Army who had a bright future.  Then one night, while partying at a now defunct Fayetteville, North Carolina bar called Froggy Bottoms, she disappeared.

48 Hours recently aired a program about Kelli Bordeaux's case...

For two years, no one knew what had happened to Kelli.  She had seemingly vanished into thin air.  In August of this year, Nicholas Holbert, a man who had been convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child in 2002 and had spent six years in prison, pleaded guilty to first degree murder in Bordeaux's death.  He will spend the rest of his life in prison.

I had sort of forgotten about Bordeaux after Bill and I left North Carolina in 2013.  It had looked like a case that would never be solved.  I happened to see the episode of 48 Hours by freak accident this morning after listening to, of all things, "Mormon Rap" by the Walter and Hayes Band.  

Extreme dorkiness...  

I woke up with this song on the brain, so I watched it on YouTube.  Then I noticed the link to Kelli Bordeaux's 48 Hours episode.  I doubt there's a connection, other than the fact that I like to watch videos about true crime.  As soon as I started watching 48 Hours, I quickly forgot about the ridiculous "Mormon Rap" song.

What ended up happening in this case was pretty amazing.  Basically, a newly licensed private investigator and bounty hunter named David Marshburn informally investigated the case.  He befriended Holbert, got him to spill his guts, and eventually got him to show him where the body was.  While I think Marshburn was really smart in this case, I have to wonder if now that he's been on national TV and explained exactly how he trapped Holbert, if maybe he hasn't limited his powers.  While guys like Holbert probably don't read the news or watch TV shows like 48 Hours, the smarter criminals might.  It may be harder for him to get other criminals to trust him and spill their guts.

But at least Marshburn was able to help the Fayetteville police find Kelli Bordeaux and lay her to rest.  I'm sure her family is very grateful.  

As for Holbert, I think the punishment fits the crime.  It sounded to me like he killed Bordeaux in a fit of rage.  He had given her a ride and she called him a child molester.  He hit her and knocked her unconscious; then when she woke up, he hit her again until she died.  Had he stopped at just the first strike, he would have been guilty of a misdemeanor.

Holbert deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life, but he doesn't sound to me like a total sociopath.  Based on the 48 Hours episode, the murder had weighed heavily on his mind.  He didn't have a home or a job and was having trouble living a straight life.  No, that's not an excuse for what he did, but he clearly was looking for a friend.  He trusted Marshburn and is now cooling his heels in prison, which is where he belongs.  I don't think the death penalty would have been appropriate in this case.

On another note, had Marshburn not taken it upon himself to seek out Holbert, I have to wonder if this case might still be cold.  He did a good thing by getting involved, even though in most situations, the cops would not have liked it.  In this case, Marshburn was a big help.  Clearly he picked the right career.


  1. I'm really glad Marshburn did what he did for whatever reason he did it. In the end, i suspect that the lure of the proverbial fifteen minutes of fame has, as you suggested, limited his ability to accomplish the same thing so easily again.

    This is totally unrelated, but do you think the Jonbenet thing will ever be solved?

    1. At this point, it would surprise me... but stranger things have happened. Maybe someone will figure out why she was killed and who did it.

    2. my guess on the Jonbenet thing is that the one thing that might conceivably shed light on the matter is if her brother comes up with anything now that he's an adult, although I'm not sure if it ever be in his best interest to do so. I know that some later DA absolved the three family members who were in the house of any guilt whatsoever, but I'm not sure I necessarily believe that.

    3. I can't believe how long ago that case was...


Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.