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Crime News Killer Relationship With Faith Jenkins

Florida Woman's Dogs Hold Key To Her Cold-Blooded Killer

Cathy Lamb was found brutally beaten to death by her husband Jeff Lamb on June 15, 2004.

By Jill Sederstrom

Cathy Lamb believed she and her husband Jeff were getting a second chance at love. 

The pair rekindled their romance just months before Cathy was found brutally beaten to death, with the couple’s three wounded dogs as the only witnesses to the violent crime. The dogs would be crucial to helping investigators unravel the baffling crime, revealing a bitter and deadly betrayal that left her grieving family stunned, according to Killer Relationship with Faith Jenkins, airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen.

As a teenager, Cathy had been shy and self-conscious of her weight until—with the help of her stepmother Bonita—she began to blossom, making a large group of friends at her Florida high school. 

“She made some really, really good friends down here which I think helped her a lot,” her younger sister Amber Rippeon recalled. “Our house was the one to hang out at.” 

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Among those friends was handsome 17-year-old Jeff Lamb, who felt an immediate connection to Cathy. Their relationship continued to grow and, two years after graduation, the high school sweethearts quietly tied the knot at the local courthouse, taking their family by surprise. 

“I think there were concerns about how young they were, but I think that there was also a lot of optimism,” Cathy’s aunt Shelah Crowley told the show. 

Although money was tight, the newlyweds embraced marriage, creating a home with their beloved dogs. Jeff worked at a local tow yard, while Cathy worked as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens.

But seven years into the marriage, Cathy’s family learned that Jeff had moved out after Cathy discovered he’d been cheating on her. 

Meanwhile, for more than five years, Cathy focused on herself and began to climb the ranks at Walgreens. 

A photo of Cathy Lamb, featured on Killer Relationship With Faith Jenkins 210

“She was super bright, very motivated, that’s how she was able to climb the corporate ladder,” her friend and coworker Caroline Kennedy recalled. “She went to be a lead technician and then when the district scheduler role opened up they offered it to her and she took it.”

Yet, Jeff still held a special place in her heart and the couple had never officially divorced.

“All the time Cathy was still so in love with Jeff, she was so attached to Jeff and didn’t want to date anybody else,” Rippeon recalled. “Jeff was her one true love.” 

It looked like the pair might finally get their second chance in 2004 when Jeff spent months romancing Cathy before they moved back in together in June of that year. 

Cathy Lamb is found dead

But just a week later, on June 15, 2004, Jeff told police he arrived home from work to take 30-year-old Cathy out on a date and found her dead on the floor of the couple’s home. “My wife is on the floor here. She’s bleeding all over the place,” a frantic Jeff said in a 911 recording obtained by the show.

Cathy’s body was found badly beaten just inside the front entry. 

“It appeared that some type of madmen did this or multiple people because the crime scene was so violent. Between blood and brain matter it was everywhere,” Palm Beach County State Attorney Patrick McKamey, now retired, told Killer Relationship with Faith Jenkins

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Detective Kim Bradley said she had never seen anyone “beat to that degree.” 

Inside, investigators also discovered Cathy’s two dogs with large wounds to their head and Jeff’s wolf-hybrid with a bloody gash to the neck. 

Jeff Lamb's lover comes forward

As they were trying to piece together the scene, investigators were surprised when a young woman in her 20s arrived claiming to be Jeff’s fiance, Joey. She told police she’d been summoned by Jeff’s mother who thought she could provide emotional support to Jeff in light of the tragedy.

“Jeff and I have been together for the last five years, dating off and on,” she told detectives. “We’re now currently…together.” 

She told police the couple had recently bought a new home, which they planned to close on at the end of the month. 

The admission stunned detectives, but Jeff insisted that he was no longer engaged to her and said they’d only talked about moving in together before he reconciled with Cathy. 

A photo of Jeff Lamb, featured on Killer Relationship With Faith Jenkins 210

“Joey didn’t like it when we were together because I still loved Cathy,” he told investigators. “They knew about each other, but they didn’t talk to each other.” 

Authorities wondered whether Joey may have killed Cathy in a jealous rage, but at the time of the attack, she had been working at a cafe in Juno. 

Jeff told investigators he had been working at a towing company until 5 p.m., before helping some friends move until around 6:30 p.m. He tried to call Cathy several times, but told detectives he never got a response. According to his account, it wasn’t until he returned home later that night that he discovered the grisly reason why his wife was unable to answer. 

Investigators canvassed the neighborhood, but were unable to find anyone who noticed anything suspicious the night Cathy was killed. 

“This person was a ghost,” McKamey said. 

Investigators believed they may have caught the break they needed when Jeff told them he had found a human tooth at the crime scene, but, frustratingly, the tip led to a dead end. 

Cathy Lamb's dogs lead to key break in case

The real break in the case ended up coming from Cathy’s beloved dogs. While Jeff’s dog had suffered a wound to his neck likely caused by one of the other dogs in the home, Cathy’s two dogs had been beat repeatedly in the head with an object. 

Investigators were also unable to find any human DNA on their mouths.

“The canine experts suggested the person that would have been striking the animals or striking the decedent was known to them and that’s why they didn’t go after that person, they turned on each other instead,” McKamey said.

They realized the only person who could have attacked Cathy without getting attacked by the dogs was Jeff. 

Their suspicions of the grieving husband grew when they learned he was on probation for embezzling money from his employer. As part of his sentence, he was required to pay around $20,000 in restitution. After Cathy’s death, he stood to gain $29,000 from her life insurance policy. 

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“Cathy’s life insurance policy would solve all of his problems,” Bradley said.

Jeff’s co-defendant in the embezzlement case, John, also told investigators that Jeff had once confided in him years earlier that he would like to have Cathy killed. 

“He was afraid that if he divorced Cathy she would try to take him for money,” John said. “He was pretty serious about it.” 

Jeff’s girlfriend Joey also turned on him after she told police he attacked her and put her in a sleeper hold. 

“Honestly, at this point right now, I’m going with everybody else thinking Jeff had something to do with it,” she said.

Jeff Lamb's Lies Unravel

Armed with the information from those close to him, detectives began to take a closer look at Jeff’s alibi for the night of the murder. They learned that while his truck was at the tow yard until 5 p.m., one of the employees did see Jeff driving back to the lot in Joey’s car. Her car had been at the shop that day for some repairs. 

Cell phone records also showed his phone had been near Cathy’s house shortly after the murder. 

Investigators concluded that Jeff had briefly left the shop, killed Cathy and then returned, later helping his friends move before returning to the home to find the body.

Cathy and Jeff Lamb’s Relationship Explained

The evidence against him was strengthened after a blood spatter expert found blood impact splatter on the dark colored jeans he had been wearing that night. A diamond earring Jeff claimed had been stolen that night was also found in the pocket of his jeans.

Employees of the tow yard also found the suspected murder weapon, a tire iron, thrown onto the roof of the building.

Jeff was arrested and charged with murder, two counts of animal cruelty, and attempted insurance fraud. He was convicted in September of 2006 and sentenced to life without parole. 

“She never saw it coming,” Kennedy said. “It’s just so tragic.”