The Justice Files: A year later

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – It was a possible breakthrough in a 1995 cold case.

It was one of many Justice Files stories produced in 2019.

In 1995, Rosie Tapia was kidnapped and murdered. Her case remains unsolved.

In January, ABC4 discovered a possible witness who claimed a young man whose pants were wet walked by him in the early hours after Rosie’s disappearance.

Two months later, Michael Street an international recognized forensic facial imaging expert contact ABC4. Streed wanted to meet the witness and construct a composite.

The composite was put together at the ABC4 studios between the witness and Streed.

After completion, the witness who did not want to be identified was satisfied with Streed’s work.

“I’d say that’s around an 8 out of ten,” the witness said. “It is, it’s really close.”

The finished sketch was given to Salt Lake City police who later released it to the public but to date have yet to interview that witness.

Also in 2019, The Justice Files launched a segment called “To Catch a Killer.”

It’s designed to showcase a police investigation. In its debut, Richfield police gave ABC4 exclusive video and interviews of their suspect Ed Callison.

“After she died, I got her to there and took her apart because I couldn’t move her and I kind of had to get her to the fire,” Callison said in one of his police interviews.

Callison eventually confessed and was sent to prison.

Logan police also caught their killer in 2019. This is part of a conversation between law enforcement and Alex Whipple.

Deputy: Alex? Hey stop, stop right there. Put your hands behind your head right now Alex. Right now. Right now.”

Again, ABC4 obtained exclusive video of their interviews with suspect Alex Whipple.

Police: “I’m trying my best to find her.”
Whipple: “What? my f**** Lizzie is missing?
Police: “She is.”
Whipple: “What?”

Whipple was arrested and eventually admitted to kidnapping and murdering his young niece last summer. He is now serving a life sentence in prison.

Ogden police said Brian Housley was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
In 2017 he was murdered in a drive-by shooting and two years later, the case remained unsolved.

But according to his mother, maybe, his mission in life was just beginning.

“It was a hard thing but we knew we needed to let him go and do what he was supposed to do and that was to donate those organs for somebody else’s life,” said his mother Marcie Housley.

Longtime Utah high school football coach Ray Groth was in need of a heart transplant and got Housley’s.

“It’s really kind of hard to get (becomes emotional) I’m sorry,” said Groth. “It hurts when I think about it. But their loss was ultimately my gain.”

Forty years in prison will bring out an apology, like Brian Stack’s.

“There are not sufficient words to at least express the sorrow and pain I’ve caused,” said Brian Stack during his parole hearing.

In 1978, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Ray Pierson was gunned down by Stack during a traffic stop in southern Utah.

For family members, it’s hard to forget.

“Stack just stuck the gun out the window and turned it backwards and pulled the trigger,” said Pierson’s son, Cliff. “And hit my dad right in the heart.”

Ron Lafferty avoided execution when health problems claimed his life.
In 1984, the fundamentalist Mormon, along with his brother murdered their sister-in-law Brenda and her young daughter.

“Our family is grateful,” said Brenda’s sister Sharon Weeks. “We feel like it’s just as well that he passed on his own.”

October 2, 1985, was the last day anyone saw or heard from Sheree Warren.

“I tell him (son) that God’s watching over her,” Warren’s mother Mary Sorenson said back in 1992. “Her heavenly father is watching over her mother.”

You can always find The Justice Files stories by visiting ABC4.com and searching “Justice Files.”

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