Thomas Winslow worked with Helen Wilson’s granddaughter Jan at the Beatrice Good Samaritan Center. He’d felt burdened by guilt. “Do you know how it was at work . . . when Jan was crying on my shoulder and not to tell her?” he says. “Do you know how low that makes me feel because I’ve held it for this long?”
After the murder of Helen Wilson, Burdette Searcey, a former investigator for Beatrice PD who was working as a farmer, launched his own investigation. He interviewed a number of former confidential informants who assisted him in identifying several people who frequented the area of Wilson’s apartment and the list included Thomas Winslow.
Others were Debra Shelden, Ada JoAnn Taylor, Joseph White, Cliff Shelden, Mark Goodson, Beth Johnson, and Charlotte Bishop.
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 gave Burdette the permission 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.
Meet Thomas Winslow, One Of The Beatrice Six
Thomas Winslow was first interviewed by Burdette Searcey in 1985 while conducting a personal investigation. At the time he claimed he was at work on the night of the crime, but Searcey had determined that was false. On 13 February 1989, he was in the prison for unrelated felony assault charges.
This time, he was admitting to Burdette that he had lied about his whereabouts and claimed he had loaned his car to Ada, Joseph, and Cliff Shelden on the night of the crime. On 14 March 1989, Burdette and Sheriff DeWitt, and Deputy Smith went to Lincoln, Nebraska to take another statement from Winslow.
He told Thomas that he would persuade a judge to release him on his assault charge on a non-cash bond.
Thomas claimed that on the night of February 5, 1985, while driving his car around Beatrice with Taylor and White, he heard Taylor and White discuss robbing an older woman. He admitted that Ada and Joseph dropped him off at Bishop’s apartment and returned his car the following morning.
Then, Burdette told him that a witness saw him in the car with Ada, Joseph, and Beth at Wilson’s apartment building, he admitted that was true. Thomas admitted that he wished not to mention it because he wanted nothing to do with the crime. After 44 minutes of break during interrogation, Thomas confessed that Taylor, White, and Johnson went into Wilson’s apartment. He said that Taylor and White attacked Wilson and that he panicked and left with Johnson.
By the time the video recording of Winslow’s interview begins, he has already accepted the blame. He says that he was pressured to accompany the two others to Wilson’s apartment and then fled when he heard Wilson scream.
Ada had also identified Thomas as a part of the crime.
On 17 March 1989, police arrested Thomas for murder and took him to the Gage County Jail. There he recanted his previous statement and shared that he was a witness to the Wilson murder and instead said that Taylor and White came to his apartment with blood on their clothes.
He said, “This story is the true one and if you don’t want to believe it that’s fine. I’ll go back to my cell, I feel better now because it’s off my chest”.
Thomas gave his blood for tests but he didn’t have B-type blood which police found at the crime scene. Another suspect Cliff Shelden admitted that Thomas had told him about the Helen Wilson murder and his involvement along with Ada, Joseph, and Debra Shelden. Likewise, James Dean, Burdette brought in for investigation confessed that he witnessed Taylor, Winslow, and White sexually assaulting Helen.
Does Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow Appear On HBO’s Mind Over Murder?
According to HBO’s Mind Over Murder IMDB page, he doesn’t receive any credit for his appearance. So, he is not appearing on Mind Over Murder.
Where Is Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow Today?
On December 8, 1989, Thomas Winslow entered a no-contest plea to a charge that he did “aid, abet, procure or cause another to cause the death of Helen Wilson intentionally, but without premeditation”. He received charges of 50 years in prison.
Appeals in the case were repeatedly denied by Nebraska courts, until late 2007, when White and Winslow finally obtained DNA testing on semen from the crime scene.
Based on the test results, White’s attorney filed a motion to vacate his conviction. The motion noted that Taylor had recanted her trial testimony as false. In addition, Lawyers for White and Winslow said that Shelden and Gonzalez also recanted their trial testimony.
On 17 October 2008, Thomas was resentenced to time served and released.
Thomas also stated that he felt compelled to travel to that apartment, which he claimed was a pattern in his life. He added, “I have to make friends, or I’ll get insecure. I’ll get scared because I feel like I can’t make any friends, so I’ll do anything”.
According to Burdette Searcey’s memoir, he had been bullied in school. Like Ada JoAnn Taylor, he previously also psychologist Wayne Price as a therapist. He also attempted suicide and Price gave him a diagnosis of depression, writing that he “does seem to obsess about not hurting others. He focuses on the discomfort of others and tries to make everyone feel better”.
In 2017, Thomas told The New Yorker, “Part of the reason we pushed through the emotions was because of Joe White”. “He gives us the extra strength. He was stronger than us all the way around”.
For more than a decade, Thomas was regularly rap*d in prison. “I just shut down,” he told the New Yorker. “I was just trying to maintain”.
Jerry Soucie, Thomas’s attorney, told Thomas the news of his innocence. Jerry told New Yorker, “What I got from him was that he was afraid to be innocent. It meant he’d spent nineteen years rationalizing”.
Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow Age
In January 2022 Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow turned 56 years old. The year of his birth is 1966.
Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow Wife
Burdette Searcey also stated in his memoir that Thomas Winslow had dainty, feminine features, curly blond hair, and big hands, which he waved in the air when he talked. Searcey considered him bisexual and reported that he and Joseph White had had “sexual confrontations with each other.”
Whether Thomas Winslow ever married is a mystery as he kept himself away from the public eye.
Is Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow On Facebook?
No, Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow is not on Facebook.
Where Was Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow Born?
Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow was born in Beatrice, Nebraska.
How Much Money Did Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow Recieve After Wrongful Conviction?
Beatrice Six Thomas Winslow received $180K in compensation for his wrongful conviction. Then he received $7.3 million as a settlement against Gage County for wrongfully convicting him in the 2016 decision.