One of the Beatrice Six, Ada JoAnn Taylor, links to the murder of Helen Wilson, 68. Only a few months after Ada returned from Los Angeles to Beatrice Helen died. On 6 February 1985, Helen lay in her Beatrice, Nebraska, apartment having been sexually rap*d and murdered. On the day of her death, her relatives visited her. That evening, they left her at her flat. Her sister discovered her the next morning at 9:30 a.m.
The investigative team extracted semen on swabs taken from the victim’s body. Moreover, the victim’s clothing and bedding also contained bloodstains. Investigators also detected three fingerprints in Helen’s home, one on a knife and two on a door frame.
Blood testing failed to link the suspected individuals to the initial inquiry, they failed to make arrests. For this reason, authorities remove Bruce Allen Smith from the suspect list.
Meet Ada JoAnn Taylor, One Of The Beatrice Six
Burdette Searcey, a former investigator for Beatrice PD who was working as a farmer, launched his investigation. He interviewed several former confidential informants who assisted him in identifying several people who frequented the area of Wilson’s apartment and the list included Ada JoAnn Taylor, also a first suspect reportedly admitting to murdering 68-year-old Helen.
Burdette believed that the murder was the work of more than one person. His primary suspects were Joseph, Ada Joann, and Thomas. Two years after Helen’s murder, Jerry DeWitt became sheriff of Gage County. After his appointment, he hired Burdette as a deputy sheriff.
Jerry and the Gage County attorney Richard Smith permitted Burdette to begin a formal investigation into the Wilson murder. Searcey held a woman named Lisa Podendorf as his prime witness. Lisa had claimed that at 7:30 a.m. on February 6—while police cars were parked at Wilson’s apartment—Ada JoAnn confessed to her that she and Joseph had committed the crime.
Lisa commented that the night before the crime, she saw a car. In the car, she saw Ada Joann, Thomas, Joseph, and Beth parked near Wilson’s apartment. Charlotte Bishop, another suspect of Burdette provided a similar statement claiming that Ada JoAnn admitted to committing the crime to her.
Police arrested Ada Joann on 15 March 1989 after Burdette Searcey finalized the arrest warrant. They arrested her from North Carolina where she was living, on March 15.
After seeing photographs of the crime scene, Ada developed a new theory: she was Wilson’s protector. She said that she had picked up a pillow from the couch and held it over Wilson’s face. It was an act of compassion. “I know with my rap* my father’s face has haunted me all my life,” she said. “I didn’t want her to see the face that would haunt her.” But she was so agitated that she pressed too hard. She said, “I did not realize I was killing her.”
Thomas was previously interrogated in 1985 by Burdette before the formal investigation. At the time he confessed that he was at work on the night of the crime, but Burdette had determined that was false. On 13 February 1989, Thomas admitted he had lied about his whereabouts and claimed he had loaned his car to Ada JoAnn, Joseph, and Cliff Shelden on the night of the crime.
Thomas later claimed that on the night of February 5, 1985, while driving his car around Beatrice with Ada Joaan and Joseph, he heard Ada and Joseph discuss robbing an older woman. Two suspects allegedly dropped Thomas off at Charlotte Bishop’s apartment and returned his car the following morning.
Initially denying his involvement in the crime, Thomas later told Burdette that he, Ada JoAnn, Joseph, and Beth went to Wilson’s apartment. He added that Ada Joann and Joseph attacked Wilson and that he panicked and left with Beth.
When Burdette interrogated Ada Joann on 16 March 1989, about her admission to local law enforcement that she was present at the crime. Ada explained that she made the admission only after North Carolina police told her she was there. During her interrogation by Burdette, Ada had difficulty recalling basic facts, such as the time of day of the crime and the type of building in which Wilson lived.
Ada told Burdette several times that she had a personality disorder that was not being treated, and that she abused drugs and alcohol in 1985. She also opened up about attempting suicide and that she intended to inflict bodily harm on herself.
She also said she could not remember “much of ‘85 at all” while claiming Joseph was her father who was only a year older.
When Burdette asked Ada to admit confessing to Lisa and Charlotte, Ada initially denied talking to any of them about the murder. After a break in interrogation, she agreed that she might’ve discussed the Wilson murder with both of them.
Ada named a man named “Lobo” an alias for Joseph, who allegedly committed the murder. Furthermore, she also added that Joseph performed a trick with money that he ripped in half (a torn half of a $5 bill had been found at the scene) and that there was an additional person named “Beth” present during the murder.
She also agreed to write a letter to Cliff Shelden admitting her role in the crime, that the murder was committed in an apartment building and not a house. Ada’s account of how the event happened shifted each time that she told her story and she now identified Thomas as a participant in the crime.
Burdette again interrogated Thomas who shared this time that Ada and Joseph arrived at his apartment with blood on their clothes. Blood from Taylor but she didn’t have B-type blood found at the crime.
Cliff Shelden submitted a taped testimony on April 12, 1989, after three and a half hours of questioning, alleging that he got a letter from Taylor three to four months after the murder in which Ada acknowledged involvement in the crime with Thomas and Joseph. He also stated that Thomas informed him about the Wilson murder and that Ada, Joseph, Thomas, and Debra Shelden were present.
Cliff also confessed James Dean’s involvement in the murder. However, Dean denied any involvement. Later, Dean admitted his presence at Wilson’s homicide along with Taylor, Winslow, White, and Debra Shelden. On 17 May 1989 Dean revealed that he witnessed Ada, Thomas, and Joseph sexually assaulting Helen.
Dean kept on revealing new information with each additional interrogation.
On 16 July 1989, Dean shared that he saw Joseph carrying a stack of money in his hand, and heard him tear a five-dollar bill in half. Ada also admitted that Joseph tore the 5-dollar bill.
Does Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor Appear On HBO’s Mind Over Murder?
Yes, Anna JoAnn Taylor appears on HBO’s Mind Over Murder. Actress Cara D’Adamo played her role in the series.
Where Is Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor Today?
Ada JoAnn Taylor waived extradition and was taken to Gage County Jail where she was charged with murder. Taylor was sentenced to 40 years in prison and was sent to the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women. A psychiatrist at the prison wrote that she suffered from “flashbacks and re-experiences of her crime.” She felt as if she were capable of more evil than she’d realized. The psychiatrist wrote, “She is fearful of losing control of her mind.”
Appeals in the case were repeatedly denied by Nebraska courts, until late 2007, when Joseph and Thomas finally obtained DNA testing on semen from the crime scene. On 15 October 2008, Joseph White’s attorney filed a motion to vacate his conviction. The motion noted that Ada JoAnn had recanted her trial testimony as false.
Prosecutors confirmed the results matched the profile of Bruce Allen Smith. The first major suspect immediately after the murder. But later-disgraced lab analyst Joyce Gilchrist tampered with the lab report that helped him to rule out a suspect. Authorities failed to prosecute Smith because he had died in Oklahoma in 1992.
After four years in prison, Ada wrote to the judge who had sentenced her: “Sir, I’m very sorry for the mistake I made in my life in 1985. I cannot bring Mrs. Wilson back but I pray every day that you and others can find it to forgive me.” She also wrote to Wilson’s granddaughter, apologizing for causing her pain.
Joy Bartling, a friend in prison, said that, when Ada didn’t receive a reply, she kept asking, “How come they won’t forgive me?” Bartling told her, “You have to forgive yourself.” Bartling assured her, “You didn’t have any intention to suffocate her. You were protecting her from seeing what was going on.”
Ada was released on 10 November 2008 on Parole. She had served 18 years in prison. After her release, Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor moved to a halfway house in Omaha and struggled to convince herself that she had never met Wilson.
Ada had plans to buy a home if settlement money came through. The few weeks after the trial ended, she had been living with a family from church, sleeping in their seven-year-old daughter’s bedroom.
Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor Age
In 2022, Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor is 57 years old.
Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor Job Now
After coming to Beatrice from North Carolina, Ada Joann Taylor enrolled at Beatrice High School.
Is Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor Married?
At the age of 18, Ada JoAnn Taylor was pregnant with a child with her boyfriend. She followed her boyfriend to Beatrice, Nebraska in 1981. Three weeks later, her boyfriend left her. She brought up her daughter Rachel by herself.
Ada JoAnn started seeing a psychologist named Wayne Price who diagnosed her with a borderline personality disorder. She was impulsive and emotional, and, in 1985, he recommended that she surrender her parental rights. Taylor trusted Price and agreed. ” ‘It takes a stronger mother’s love to let go than to hold on’ is the only way I can describe it,” she said.
She gave Rachel up for adoption and moved to Los Angeles, where she supported herself by doing sex work.
A few months later, Ada returned to Beatrice with Joseph White who had been making gay pornographic films in L.A. JoAnn reunited with some of her high school friends who were sexually unconventional, poor, and self-loathing. They started making low-budget pornographic films.
Rachel, who grew up in the middle class, disapproved of her. Rachel is a wife now and Ada thinks her son-in-law felt no different.
At the time of her arrest, she was newly married with a 14-month-old baby.
Did You Know — Ada JoAnn Taylor was a closeted lesbian. She wore blue jeans and men’s black button-front shirts and she earned a reputation in the town as a bully.
How Much Money Did Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor Recieve For Wrongful Conviction?
In a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against Gage County, the jury awarded Ada JoAnn Taylor $7.3 million.
Where Was Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor Born?
Beatrice Six Ada Joann Taylor was born and bred on a cattle farm in Leicester, North Carolina. Authority initially removed her from her home at age eleven. Her stepfather repeatedly molested her, and she spent her adolescence in foster care.
Is Beatrice Six Ada JoAnn Taylor On Facebook?
No, Beatrice Six Ada Joann Tylor is not on Facebook.