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Crime News Cold Justice

Find Out Where Some of Cold Justice's Biggest Cases Are Now

There's a reason veteran homicide investigator Steve Spingola called Kelly Siegler "the Taylor Swift of cold cases" in the Season 7 updates special episode. 

By Jax Miller

That’s a wrap for Season 7 of Cold Justice, airing Saturdays at 8/7c on Oxygen, but solving crime is a job that never ends.

How to Watch

Watch Cold Justice on Oxygen Saturdays at 8/7c. Catch up on the Oxygen App.

In a Cold Justice update special, tenacious Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler sat with some of the series’ most familiar faces, including homicide investigator Steve Spingola and legal expert Murray Newman. Together, they looked back at their efforts to crack the coldest unsolved cases across 121 episodes and 28 states.

Said efforts have resulted in an impressive 60 arrests and 26 convictions and counting.

Here are the cases featured in the Season 7 finale and where they are now:

Small Town Secrets: Barbara Mendez

In Season 5, Siegler joined Cpt. Terri Hook of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin to investigate the April 1992 murder of Barbara Mendez. Mendez, whose daughter Christy Mendez Wadas and stepdaughter Amber Gregg joined Siegler for the Update Special, was bludgeoned to death in 1982.

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Mendez’s husband, Robin Mendez, was long suspected of using a pry bar to beat Mendez to death as she closed the bank where she worked and then staging the scene to look like a robbery. The husband was believed to have been motivated soon after Barbara learned he’d groomed and abused their daughter’s 14-year-old friend, who later became the star witness in the case.

Kelly Siegler sits with Barbara Mendez's family and Terri on Cold Justice Episode 712

Cold Justice assisted in Robin Mendez’s 2018 arrest, and, according to his daughters, he died in May 2023 while serving life behind bars.

“As his child, there’s always a dichotomy,” said Christy. “On one hand, I wish restoration could have happened; there’s always a longing, but at some point, you realize it’s probably impossible. On the other hand, there’s a relief that there’s no fear that he’ll be out.”

He Said, He Said: Erika Case

In Season 2, Siegler and the team helped solve the 1998 murder of 19-year-old Erika Case of Vigo County, Indiana. Siegler, who keeps all her cases close to heart, wondered at the time, “Who would hate her that much to want to kill her in such a horrible way?”

The teen had been housesitting when someone stabbed her more than 30 times. Her killer, Clinton Mackey, later confessed to the murder after Case reportedly rebuffed his advances.

As seen in an interrogation video published by Cold Justice, Mackey admitted: “I walked in that house, I grabbed the knife, and I walked on over, and I killed her.”

Mackey was handed a 40-year sentence, and according to Siegler in the Season 7 special, he died by suicide in 2019 while serving his term. The Terre Haute Tribune-Star reported he died by hanging.

A Mother’s Dying Wish: Carrie Leonard

In 2019, Cold Justice headed to Hernando County, Florida, to learn who fatally strangled 21-year-old Carrie Leonard. Leonard’s skeletal remains were discovered in 1999, two years after she was last seen leaving a party with male friend Anthony “Tony” Ford, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Little exists online about the case, though she was found dead in an orange grove in Brooksville, about 55 miles north of Tampa, according to Bay News 9. In Season 5, Episode 15, Steve Spingola had quite a bit to say about the suspect.

“He leaves, he flees, he lies to the cops,” Spingola said.

“In 2020, Tony passed away,” Siegler said in a brief about the case. “Carrie’s case is now considered closed due to death of offender.”

RELATED: Cold Justice, Killer Relationship, and More Oxygen Shows Returning for New Seasons

Dying Declaration: Ida Houston

In Season 4, the 1991 murder of Ida Houston had Siegler and company narrow in on two suspects: Houston’s daughter, Gabrielle Houston, and Gabrielle’s boyfriend, Kareem Grant. Both were accused of fatally shooting the mother on the steps of her home, purportedly because they hoped to cash in on Ida’s life insurance policy, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“Her daughter, Gabrielle Houston, died in custody,” Siegler said in the update. “Gabrielle’s boyfriend, Kareem Grant, pleaded no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to 24 months’ probation and one year in jail.”

It was part of why Spingola, sitting in for the finale special, called Siegler “the Taylor Swift of cold cases.”

“I always tell people, ‘Kelly’s got plenty of room in Hell for you when she convicts you,’” Spingola told Siegler. “You’ve educated a whole group of people out here that I think can go out here and solve some of the crimes.”

Valentine’s Day Violence: Heyzel Obondo

In 2020, the Cold Justice team assisted in the arrest of Earl Antonio Joiner for the February 2016 murder of mother-of-two Heyzel Obondo. Obondo was found shot to death on her bed in her Fort Myers, Florida, apartment, leaving her two young daughters without their mother.

Strip club receipts, texts, and surveillance video would lead the investigators to Joiner’s arrest.

Fort Myers Police Department Detective Maalisa Langton joined Siegler virtually and said she was “so grateful” to Siegler and the Cold Justice team.

Joiner pleaded no contest to charges of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Obondo’s girls currently live with their doting grandmother and uncle.

“Such happy little girls,” Langton said of the children. “So smart. So full of life.”

Shot in the Dark: Ricky Luebbert

60 Arrests Made Out of 117 Cold Justice Cases: "It's a Miracle"

In 2022, the team headed to rural Texas County, Missouri, to investigate the 2007 homicide of hardworking, single father-of-two Ricky Luebbert. Someone had shot the victim with a long-range rifle, causing two bullets to pierce through the window of his trailer’s living room and kill him in his home.

“This was no hunting accident,” Spingola said at the time. “It was a cold-blooded assassination.”

Suspicion landed on Tommie Whetzell, who was then married to Luebbert’s ex-girlfriend, Alice Mader. At the time of his death, Luebbert and Mader were embroiled in a contentious custody battle over the children.

In the update special, Siegler let audiences know Whetzell was arrested in 2022. But in April 2024, he passed away in the hospital, just weeks before he was slated to go to trial on charges of first-degree murder, per The Houston Herald.

Horror in the Home: Jackie Hogue

In Season 5 of Cold Justice, investigators examined the 1994 rape and murder of mother-of-four Jackie Hogue, who was found dead in the bed of her Potter County, Texas, home. Hogue sustained two gunshot wounds to the head before being discovered by her teenage sons, and Hogue’s dog, Chainsaw, was also found severely beaten.

As previously reported by Oxygen.com, Hogue’s ex-husband, Jesse Hogue, was arrested in 2019 for her murder.

Although the suspect was extradited from Colorado to the Lone Star state to face charges, Kelly Siegler said in the Cold Justice special that he took his own life in August 2020.

RELATED: Cold Justice Aids in Arrest of S.C. Couple Suspected of 2015 Halloween Quadruple Murder

Trail of Terror: Rhonda Richardson

In 2022, Kelly Siegler and Steve Spingola investigated the murder of corrections officer and mother, Rhonda Richardson, who disappeared while searching for her dog in San Jacinto County, Texas, on May 21, 2019. She was found in a forest near her home, and though the body was already decomposed, investigators said she’d been scalped.

Neighbor and registered sex offender Robert Clary told investigators that he found the body but denied ever being with Richardson along the trail. Witnesses, however, stated otherwise.

Per the Cold Justice special, Clary pleaded guilty in April 2024 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Still of the Night: Nori Jones

Season 3 featured Siegler in Pocatello, Idaho, to cover the 2004 case of Nori Jones, who was stabbed to death in what appeared to be a home invasion. D.N.A. later connected the crime to Brad Compher, and in March 2024, a jury found him guilty of murder.

The Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office named Cold Justice for helping them charge Compher.

“Justice for Nori Jones and the family was a long time coming,” Siegler then told Oxygen.com. “The Bannock County Prosecutors and the Pocatello P.D. never gave up, fighting through the many legal procedural issues they dealt with for so many years. We thank them, and we all mourn the world losing Nori too soon and so tragically.”

According to Siegler in the Cold Justice special, Compher is currently awaiting sentencing.

Deadly Affairs: Stacey Devine

Kelly Siegler sits with Stacey Devines Family on Cold Justice Episode 712

During the Q&A, fans asked why so much domestic violence turns into murder.

“Because there’s a misconception out there that it’s easy to leave,” Siegler said. “We live in a world where a once-loving partnership can turn to violence, jealousy, greed, suspicion, and anger. All can lead to something truly tragic.”

Such was the case for hardworking mother Stacey Devine, who, in 2016, was discovered strangled to death in a Jonesboro, Arkansas, ditch. Devine’s husband, Charles Devine, with whom the victim was involved in an abusive relationship and headed for divorce, was found guilty of murder in October 2022 and sentenced to 30 years behind bars.

Devine’s children, Emonie and Emanuel Allen, and Jonesboro P.D. Sgt. Kenny Oldham, joined Siegler for the Cold Justice Season 7 finale.

“My experience with police officers?” Emanuel said of those who investigated his mother’s homicide. “They made me a promise, and they made sure they followed through with it.”

Trip to Nowhere: Evelyn "Laverne" Mackey

Siegler sat with Cold Justice legal correspondent and defense attorney Murray Newman before looking back at the Season 3 case of Evelyn “Laverne” Mackey. Mackey’s 1981 disappearance in Hernando County, Florida, went unsolved for years, with Mackey’s 13-year-old daughter led to believe that her mother abandoned the family.

“Her mom allegedly leaves her one day and never comes back,” Siegler said then. “She grew up her whole life without her mom.”

Eventually, Mackey’s husband, Mearl Mackey, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

“He was sentenced to 10 years and died behind bars,” Siegler stated in the update.

Holiday Homicide: Jerry Humphrey

Police in Stafford, Texas, enlisted Siegler and Cold Justice — including Abbey Abbondanolo — to examine the 2003 homicide of tow truck driver Jerry Humphrey.

“Tow truck drivers and repo men are a very special breed, especially here in Texas,” Siegler said in the Season 6 episode. “They work in rough neighborhoods, and they are always ready for a fight, but Jerry Humphrey could have never prepared for the way he was murdered.”

Shortly before Christmas, Humphrey was shot to death in his bed while his wife and kids were out of the home.

Cold Justice helped place Humphrey’s former employee, Angel Amescua, at the crime scene, and he is currently awaiting trial, according to Siegler.

RELATED: Texas Man Pleads Guilty in Murder Case Investigated on Cold Justice

Double Life Discovered: Johnnie Allbritton

In 2020, Siegler headed back to Texas to reopen the 1984 murder of 65-year-old rancher Johnnie Allbritton, who was shot five times with his own shotgun in his Leon County home. With the help of retired homicide investigator Johnny Bonds, the team investigated his 84-year-old wife, Norma Allbritton, on camera, and she was soon arrested for her husband’s murder.

“Since then, her son and alibi witness, Randy Clinkscales, was found dead,” said Siegler. “Norma has broken her hip and was placed in a nursing home. Her case is still pending.”

Family Betrayal: Stephanie Eldredge

Kelly Siegler sits with her Family on Cold Justice Episode 712

In 2019, Siegler set forth to solve the murder of mother-of-three Stephanie Eldredge. Eldredge vanished from her Idaho Falls, Idaho, home — which she shared with her boyfriend and his half-brother — in 2007. The woman’s body was found wrapped in electrical tape and buried in a shallow grave three years later.

The brother, Kenneth Jones, confessed to killing Eldredge following an argument, in which he allegedly told a cellmate that he suffocated Eldredge, placed her in the trunk of the car, and disposed of her body in the Ammon foothills.

Siegler said in the update that Jones pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and concealment of a body and was sentenced to 10 to 21 years in prison.

During the conclusion of the Cold Justice finale, audiences got to meet Siegler’s husband and two daughters, all of whom are also lawyers. Like many to follow Siegler and her hard work, daughters Samantha and Kelsey, as well as husband Dr. Sam Siegler, commended the Cold Justice host for her unceasing determination and fight for justice when not taking jabs at Siegler’s fashion sense and Texan accent.

“I like to see how you actually make a difference, and I also appreciate how you still keep in contact with the families and help them along the way and navigate next steps,” Samantha told her mother. “It’s not just a show. You truly are helping people.”

Catch up on all seven seasons of Cold Justice on Oxygen.