Documentary uncovers new details on Glossip case
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
The documentary is called “Killing Richard Glossip” and each episode begins reminding viewers the next man to die on Oklahoma’s death row is living on borrowed time. Glossip has come within hours of execution three times. His last execution was stayed minutes before the lethal injection was to begin.
Since the last scheduled execution, the state’s death chamber has been inactive while an investigation into the troubled protocols and past mistakes are investigated and remedied.
During the delay in executions a team of documentary filmmakers have been working to create a series that will air on Investigation Discovery. The first episode is available online, but the second and third episodes introduce newly discovered evidence in the case and for the first time allows the public to hear from the detective responsible for investigating the murder of Barry Van Treese.
“When you plan something like this you're more involved in the actual killing,” detective Bob Bemo told Radial Media. During the interview producers had Bemo, now retired from the Oklahoma City Police Department, watch his interrogation he conducted with Richard Glossip on the day the body was discovered. “The stuff he's [Glossip’s] saying is just, that guy is such a liar he wouldn't know the truth if it hit him right between the eyes.”
Our efforts to contact former detective Bemo for an interview have failed. However, he spoke at length about why he first brought Glossip in for an interrogation. He said Glossip looked nervous at the scene and one of the witnesses, a security guard at the motel who is now dead, said Glossip gave a different story about the last time he saw Van Treese.
“He's very arrogant and very cocky he was one of those kind of guys that really irritates you,” Bemo said with a chuckle, “You know with his comebacks.” Bemo told the crew from Radial Media and Investigation Discovery he did not think Glossip was telling the truth “that is why I would get in his face sometimes. ‘Well I'll tell you what buddy,’ or something like that cause he irritated me a little bit.”
It was Bemo who, during the initial interrogation with the actual murderer Justin Sneed, introduced Glossip's name. Sneed, who in the initial interview with police did not even recall Glossip’s last name, had just been arrested when Bemo told him it would be easier on him if he confessed. He also suggested Glossip was involved before Sneed ever confessed to the plot.
“I can tell you this I’ve never done anything I felt was wrong you know,” Bemo told the Killing Richard Glossip crew, “I've never put anyone in jail that didn't belong there.”
However, court records would indicate that statement by Bemo may not be entirely accurate.
In 2009, after Bemo had retired from the police force, he was called to testify in a murder case he had worked in 1989. In that case he had arrested the common-law husband of a woman found murdered and disemboweled. Court records show he interrogated the man for more than four hours and was convinced he was a murderer despite the man insisting he was innocent.
The man spent more than a year in jail before prosecutors dropped the case. Prosecutors said Bemo, now 20 years later, was still angry that his ex-partner had “went behind his back” to tell prosecutors the man was innocent. In the 2009 trial, prosecutors questioned why Bemo never followed up on evidence a third person was at the murder scene.
It turns out police were ultimately able to match a bloody palm print and other evidence to a Roderick Webster. Bemo told the court he still believed the man he arrested was guilty and the man on trial was innocent.
Bemo said he knew he had arrested the husband for a crime that carried the death penalty. Prosecutors in 2009 questioned why Bemo’s investigation ended as soon as the first man he talked to was arrested.
Less than ten years later Bemo would again make an arrest that now has people questioning why more investigation was not done.
“I've done my job,” Bemo said of Glossip’s case, rebuffing concerns some of his cases are now being questioned. “Whether he [Glossip] gets executed or not is on them. Once it gets to that point that's not my problem. I've done what I was supposed to do now if they do it that's on them, so I sleep well at nights.”
Glossip’s defense attorneys are still looking for more information. They believe there are other witnesses to the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese who have yet to come forward. They also believe there are people who may have interacted with the murderer, Justin Sneed, and may be able to shed light on the ever-changing stories he tells about the crime.
You can contact Glossip’s attorneys through the website RichardGlossip.com or via a hotline set up for the case, 844-540-0171.