Terminally Ill Alabama Man Confesses to Decades Old Homicide Cold Case

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
November 24, 2020US News
Terminally Ill Alabama Man Confesses to Decades Old Homicide Cold Case
Johnny Dwight Whited, 53, from Alabama in police custody. (Courtesy of Decatur Police Department)

An Alabama man who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness confessed on Wednesday he allegedly killed another man decades ago, solving a cold case murder, police said.

Johnny Dwight Whited, 53, contacted the Decatur Police Department on Nov. 18 because he wanted to confess to the murder and tell police he was responsible for the death of 26-year-old Christopher Alvin Dailey in 1995, the department wrote in a news release.

Dailey died from a single gunshot wound 25 years ago and “despite the extensive investigation, a suspect was never developed in the case,” according to the release.

The case was revisited multiple times over the years as detectives searched for leads, but was never solved.

A violent crime investigator with the Decatur Police Department told local outlet AL.com he was originally skeptical after a police secretary told him about Whited’s confession.

“You’re always leery,” Detective Sean Mukaddam told the network. “I thought it might be a prank call. But it quickly developed that this was the real deal.”

According to the police statement, the suspect told investigators detailed information about the cold case that matched all the evidence and information.

The suspect has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and wanted to “lift a weight from his chest,” authorities said. Mukaddam told AL.com the suspect has been “remorseful.”

Whited has a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple traffic and drug offenses, The Associated Press reported, citing online records. One of his offenses was for the possession of a crack cocaine pipe less than three weeks after Dailey’s body was found.

Dailey’s body was discovered by two hunters in April 1995 with a single gunshot wound to the head. His vehicle was also later found partially submerged in the Tennessee River.

Whited has been charged with murder and was taken into custody by Decatur police officials. He is being held at the Morgan County Jail on a $15,000 bond. The department noted that the “defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.”

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