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‘That’s Manson-Style’: Suspicion Fell On Son When Oil Heiress Was Stabbed 26 Times In Florida Home
Authorities looked into the circumstances surrounding heiress Jill Halliburton Su's September 2014 murder in "Floribama Murders."
On September 28, 2014, Jill Halliburton Su, 59, was found dead in her bathtub by her son Justin Su. The 20-year-old Broward College student initially told 911 that she’d killed herself.
Then he saw that her hands were bound. “She looks so cut up … Someone killed her,” he told the emergency dispatcher in a recording obtained by “Floribama Murders."
Justin had called his father, Nan Yao Su, a University of Florida professor and termite-management authority, who rushed home from his office. The couple had just returned from an overseas trip.
Justin’s blood-stained clothes were collected as evidence before he was transported to the police station, along with his father.
Near the master bedroom “the smell of blood in the air was very strong,” said Det. Paul Williams, of the Davie Police Department. Dresser drawers and jewelry boxes had been searched and an alarm box in a closet had been ripped out. Investigators also found that a pillow case was missing, likely used to carry away the stolen items.
Jill was found in a bathtub. Her hands and feet were bound. It was clear to detectives that she was the victim of a ferocious attack, as she’d been stabbed over and over.
A search of the home revealed that a back door had been kicked in to gain entry. Blood evidence indicated that Jill had tried to run but was pulled back into the house.
When the bathtub was drained, the alarm box was found, as well as a large blade with a serrated edge, which was sent to the crime lab for analysis. Another knife was found outside the front door of the upscale home.
Investigators learned that Justin collected knives, making him a person of interest early on in the case, reported the New York Post. Suspicion was exacerbated by Justin’s “troubling inconsistencies” about the morning’s events, according to investigators.
“You always start with the person obviously who discovered the body and until they can be eliminated usually they're suspect number one,” Det. Williams told producers.
In a separate interview, Nan Yao Su told officers that while he was at work he realized something was wrong even before his son’s call. He had remotely checked a live security camera at his home using an app. He saw a figure in his home and then the feed went offline.
“His original statement to me was this person looked white,” said Det. Williams. “He was holding up a white pillowcase and he felt that it might have been Justin.”
Interviews with Justin and his father reveal a strained relationship between him and his parents, according to “Floribama Murders.”
As investigators dug into the case they considered Jill’s background. She was the grand-niece of the founder of the billion dollar Halliburton oil empire.
Despite her affluence, friends said that Jill was “very down to earth, very sociable" and known for her local volunteer work.
Between her wealth and her husband’s success, “there was a lot of pressure for Justin to succeed,” according to detectives.
Justin was steadfast in his denials as he was grilled by detectives. “I’m not gonna let you put away an innocent person,” he told investigators in the recorded interview.
A review of Justin’s cell phone records, along with security camera footage at Broward College, revealed that Justin was not at the house when his mother was slain, according to investigators.
Investigators began to theorize the crime was a robbery gone bad. They believed that Jill was probably sleeping and was awakened by an intruder.
A neighbor reported that her dog started “barking like crazy at the front door,” according to investigators. “She saw what she thought was somebody dragging a package back inside of the residence.”
Detectives hoped that the autopsy report would shed more light on the case. “The medical examiner explained that she had 26 wounds,” said Assistant State Attorney Maria Schneider, adding that the cuts were concentrated in her torso, while there were defensive wounds on her arms and fingers.
Investigators questioned the number of wounds. “That’s what you call overkill,” said investigative journalist Bob Norman. “That’s Manson-style.”
Detectives focused on how the killer obtained access to the gated community. Nan Yao Su told officers that Justin had had a party while he and Jill were away. The party guests were questioned, swabbed for DNA and eventually cleared by investigators.
Nine days after the murder, the crime lab had matched genetic material found at the crime scene to then-20-year-old Dayonte Resiles, whose DNA was already in the system as he already had a rap sheet for burglaries. His DNA was found on the broken-in glass door, a knife and a belt used to bind Jill.
Justin and his father didn’t know Resiles, who was brought in for questioning. Resiles refused to speak with officers. Detectives informed him that he was going to be charged with first degree murder.
Investigators learned that Resiles had allegedly gone to homes in Davie ostensibly to offer home services, according to “Floribama Murders.”
Resiles’ burglary arrests had a pattern, according to defense attorney H. Dohm Williams. Resiles would knock on doors to see if somebody was home, and if they weren't he’d break into the back and burglarize the house.
Resiles reportedly targeted affluent homeowners and would spread the riches of his crimes to others less well-off. “He was basically seen as the Robin Hood of the community,” said Det. Williams.
On July 15, 2016, Resiles’ pretrial hearing was set to begin, but the case took a shocking twist when Resiles made a brazen escape from the courtroom, launching one of the most intense man hunts in South Florida history. Seven of Resiles’ friends were arrested for adding the escape. “It was continued chaos for days,” said Norman.
On July 21, Resiles surrendered without incident. Two months later, he went on trial for Jill’s murder. Prosecutors emphasized the brutality and that Resiles stabbed Jill over and over to make sure that he left no witness.
The defense team countered with the fact that the victim’s husband had told police that the home invader was white. Their client was Black.
In December 2021, the court proceedings ended in a mistrial after jurors completed deliberations without reaching a unanimous decision.
In March 2022, Resiles was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
At the sentencing hearing, Nan Yao Su confronted Resiles, saying, “In my mind you do not exist.” Justin Su called his mother’s killer a “psychopath.”