August 17, 1979
Scans of original transcript
Webmaster note:Directly after the testimony of Helena Stoeckley on August 17, 1979, six witnesses testified on voir dire, in the absence of the jury and alternates, per the bench discussions shown at the end of Stoeckley's testimony. Jane Zillioux was the first of these witnesses to testify.
MR. SMITH: Jane Zillioux.
(Whereupon, JANE ZILLIOUX was called as a witness, duly sworn, and testified as follows:)
THE COURT: Get right on with it.
MR. SMITH: Your Honor, Mr. Segal and I have divided these witnesses, and Ms. Zillioux is his witness. If I begin that examination, could you permit him to take over.
THE COURT: All right, why don't you just make a statement as to who she is and then go right on into the questioning.
MR. SMITH: All right, Your Honor. This witness is Jane Zillioux. You already have the spelling of her last name. Let me get her address and so forth.
D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N 1:59 p.m.
BY MR. SMITH:
Q Where do you live, Ms. Zillioux?
A Miami, Florida.
Q How long have you lived in Miami?
A Since 1972.
Q Where did you live before you moved to Miami?
THE COURT: She lived across the street from this Stoeckley witness. I said get right on into the thing.
MR. SMITH: I am moving right to it, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right.
BY MR. SMITH:
Q Did you live near Ms. Stoeckley?
A Across the street.
Q In what city was that?
A Nashville, Tennessee.
Q Did you ever talk with Helena?
A Many times.
Q Could you state whether or not you ever talked with Helena any about the MacDonald murders which you have heard had occurred in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1970?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you remember any of the statements she made to you about that?
A Yes; I do.
Q Would you state for the Court the circumstances under which she made the statements and what she said?
A Yes; I will.
A Helena lived across the street from me in Nashville, Tennessee. She lived in a very small, white house, and the house was -- a lot of hippies lived there. I lived across the street. I was making a living as a freelance artist, and the rent was cheap there. Helena and I both sometimes worked for a small shoe store named Bonnie Shoetique.
It was on the corner of Belmont and Portland Avenue. There was a vacant lot between the hippie house and Bonnie Shoetique. Helena was around the neighborhood. I had known her for several months, and I had seen her on many occasions.
On occasion, we had worked together for Bonnie on Saturdays maybe when Bonnie would have a sale -- a big shoe sale. And I had -- my first meeting came -- I had a great big, yellow cat, and he used to wander out of the apartment, and she retrieved him for me one day.
That's how I got to meet her, and I thought she was a runaway. You know, she seemed very young to me. I didn't know how old she was. I never asked her. I just -- she looked too young to be away from home.
She was sick. She had hepatitis. On a lot of occasions when I would see her, she would be yellow. Even her eyeballs would be yellow, and one day -- I hadn't seen her for a few days and I thought, "Well, I better check on her." So I went over there.
It was in the evening. I don't know what day it was. I can't remember. It's been that long ago.
BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Can I just ask you one question: do you know approximately what month that would be in?
A Yes, sir; I met Helena first in September, and this was probably before Thanksgiving.
A Yes, sir.
Q All right, go ahead and tell us about that evening.
A I went to her house to see if she was all right, because I was worried about her. I hadn't seen her for a few days and I didn't know if those hippies were feeding her or not or how she was getting her food.
So, I went over and I knocked on the door and I called and I said, "Helena, are you there?" And she said, "Yes." She came to the door. It took her a few minutes, and, as she opened the door, she turned around, and I followed her into the house.
I went into her room. It was the front room right on the street. And she went over. She was weak and she was shaky and she sat down on the bed, and I sat down beside of her, and I said -- you know -- "I haven't seen you for a few days and I was worried about you -- you know -- are you all right?"
She said, "I've been sick," and I said, "Well, Helena, why don't you go home. You know, why don't you go home to your family and let them take care of you?" And she said, "I can't. I can't ever go home again."
I said, "Well, why?" She said, "Because I was involved in some murders," and she said, "My family don't want me around."
Q What did you say or do when she said she was involved in some murders?
A I didn't say anything. I was just too shocked. You know, I expected a teenage confession like "I hate my mother," you know, or "I'm a runaway." I didn't expect that. I was horrified. I --
Q (Interposing) Did you do or say anything to express your shock?
A I did. I said, "Well, did you do it?" She said -- I'm trying to remember the exact words -- she said, "I don't know whether I did or not." She said, "I've been a heavy drug user and when you are on drugs, you do funny things." She said, "Drugs make you -- when you are on drugs, you do things that you don't think you did. Things you think you didn't do, you really did." She said, "I don't know." So, I said, "Well, why don't you tell me about it?" She said, "I can't remember."
But she said, "When I came to myself" -- she skipped, you know, a whole -- whatever it was -- I didn't want to hear it anyway. She said, "When I came to myself, I was in the rain," and she said, "It was raining," and she said, "I was terrified."
And when she said "I was terrified," she took her arms like this and she hunched her body over like this and the tears were running down her face and the mucous was dripping from her nose, and she was hysterical, and she was just crying.
I was trying to calm her down. I wanted to get out of there because I didn't know if she was on drugs or not, but I wanted to get out of her apartment because I was -- I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to hear that.
So, anyway, I said, "Well, who were you with?" She said, "I was with three boys." I said, "Did you know them?" She said, "No, I didn't know them." I said, "Well, why were you with them?" She said, "I was with them for the drugs." She may have said the name of the drug but, if she did, it didn't mean anything to me because I have never been around drug addicts, and I don't know anything or how they act. I don't know anything about that.
So, anyway, about that time, after I said, "Well, if you knew the names of these people, you could tell." She said, "But I don't know their names." I personally thought she did know their names but she said she didn't.
So, she grabbed hold of my arm -- my forearm -- and she said, "You won't tell; will you?" I said, "No, I won't." And just as quickly as I could, I got out of there, and I went back to my little apartment, and I thought about it for a few days, and I discussed it with Bonnie Hudgins, the lady who owns Bonnie Shoetique, and I said, "Did you know Helena was involved in some murders?"
She said, "Yes, I knew that." She said -- I said, "You know, I don't know much about it. She just told me it was in Carolina," and she said, "It was the Green Beret murders." I said, "Oh." She said, "Did you know Helena was working for the FBI as a narc?" I said, "I had heard rumors, but I am not sure." So, I called the FBI. I picked up the telephone after about three days, and I called the FBI, because I had thought about it and I was convinced that Helena had had something to do with this; and I thought, "Well, if I call the FBI, I'll have been doing 'my duty.'" You know, I didn't want to live in the neighborhood with her, and I didn't want to be around her, because I didn't know when she might freak out again.
So when I called the FBI I got the royal "Yes, ma'am, thank you, ma'am; we'll check it out, ma'am," and that was all.
I avoided Helena after that because I didn't want her to know that I had called the FBI, and I felt guilty because I told her I wouldn't tell -- but I did call the FBI.
Q Ms. Zillioux, when you called the FBI, did you give the name of the person that you were talking about?
A I told them that her name was Helena and she was involved in those murders in Carolina -- the Green Beret murders.
Q Did you give them an address as to where she was?
A Yes, I did.
Q Now, let me go back if I can for a minute over the conversation. You were describing where Helena was crying, that she was talking about standing in the rain, and she hugged herself?
Q Did she at any time look at her hands or say anything about her hands?
A Oh, well, I'm sorry. I just -- I'm not accustomed to speaking in front of people.
When she leaned over and she hugged herself like this, and she was telling me about standing out in front of the rain when she came to herself -- she was speaking with her hands.
So she flipped her hands like this, and she said, "So much blood," she said, "So much blood. I couldn't see or think of anything except blood," and she said, "I asked the boys to take me home. I had to get home."
I did ask her at that time, "What did you do with your clothes?" She said, "I got rid of them." I didn't ask her how she got rid of them. She just got rid of them. I didn't ask her any questions, you know.
Q Did she say anything about not wanting any more connection with those clothes?
A Yes, she did.
Q What were her words, if you can remember?
A I said, "Well, why -- you know, why did you get rid of them?" She said, "Because they were the same clothes that the woman in the case was supposed to have been wearing."
Q Now, did she say who were the persons murdered either not by name or --
A (Interposing) She said a woman and two small children.
Q Did she ever mention something about her wig?
A Yes, she had -- she told me she had on her blonde wig and her white boots. I know that they were white plastic-leather boots because before that when we had been working in Bonnie's Shoetique, she pointed the boots out to me -- a pair that was in the store; and she said, "I had a pair of boots like these, and I loved them, but I had to get rid of them."
Q Did she say anything about whether she was wearing the wig while she was standing out there in the rain?
A Yes, she did, because she didn't know -- it was -- from her account it was raining heavily; and she was afraid her wig would be ruined, and she was worried about the wet wig.
Q Now, you said that during the time that she was telling you these things she was crying, is that right?
A She was hyterical, and then she would pause, and then she would get herself under control; and then she would lose control again. It was very bad for her and me too. It was heavy. It -- you know, it was hard for me to handle.
Q And when you say "lose control," what do you mean --
A (Interposing) Sobbing, crying, you know -- holding herself, grasping her arms, her stomach, you know, tears coming down her face -- blubbering, incoherent.
Q What was her -- I'm sorry; are you through?
A That's all right.
Q What was her condition when you left; I mean what was she doing?
A She was laying on the bed crying when I left. There were people who came in. This was a hippie house, and the bed was like this. The front door was where the judge was sitting, and there was another door directly over at this side.
A The two of us were sitting on the bed, and on at least two occasions that I know of hippies came to the door and she screamed at them, "Get out of here, get out of here." And she was screaming, you know, for them to get out, you know.
Q In other words, she did see other people when they came in and she reacted to their being there?
A Yes, sir.
MR. SEGAL: I have nothing further on the witness at this time. That is the offer we make in this regard.
MR. BLACKBURN: Let me ask just a small number of questions, Your Honor.
C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N 2:12 p.m.
BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q Ms. Zillioux, I think you stated that she was almost incoherent while she was talking to you?
A At times periodically.
Q When you went in to see her at first, what was her condition?
A Shaky. She was sick with hepatitis.
Q You don't know whether or not she was taking any drugs at that time?
A I am sorry, sir. I have never been around people on drugs, and I have no idea what they are like. Even today, I couldn't tell you. If you were on drugs, I couldn't say to anyone that you were on drugs because I really don't know.
Q She said that she was involved with the murders; did she?
A Yes, sir. She said, "I was involved in some murders and my family don't want me around."
Q Did she actually say that she killed somebody or just say that she was involved?
A She was involved.
Q She did not define what the term "involved" meant?
A No, sir, and I didn't ask.
Q You said something -- I am not sure I got the full thrust of this, but she said that drugs make you think --
A (Interposing) Drugs do funny things to you.
Q Tell that very slowly.
A Okay. I may have gotten my words mixed up. "Drugs do funny things to you. When you are on drugs, things happen you think didn't. Other things that did happen, you think didn't happen that you think did." It is kind of a tongue twister, but those were her exact words, you know.
Q You may have answered this, but let me ask it anyway with respect to that remark: did she ever say anything like, "Sometimes drugs make you think that you did something -- "
A (Interposing) That was not what she said.
Q She never said that?
A No, sir.
MR. BLACKBURN: No further questions, Your Honor.
MR. SEGAL: Thank you, Ms. Zillioux. You may step down.
THE COURT: Did I understand you to say that she stated that she did not know whether she committed a crime or not?
THE WITNESS: Well, this morning in the Courtroom --
THE COURT: (Interposing) Listen, I want to know what she told you -- did I get this down right -- "I don't know whether I did it or not," is that what you said?
THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: That is what she said to you?
THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Call your next witness.