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Roundtree, GRU professor to discuss Reinaldo Rivera serial killer case on TV

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 5:52 PM
Last updated Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:13 AM
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Richard Roundtree vividly recalls the moment he discovered that he had a serial killer in custody.

Georgia Regents University professor Dr. Kim Davies will discuss the case of Reinaldo Rivera.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Georgia Regents University professor Dr. Kim Davies will discuss the case of Reinaldo Rivera.

It was in October 2000, and the Richmond County investigator was sitting across the table from Reinaldo Rivera, who was wanted in the rape and attempted murder of Chrisilee Barton.

Roundtree, now the sheriff, was working the case with veteran Investigator Wayne Bunton. He said he had a question burning in the back of his head. Witnesses had reported seeing Rivera leave the crime scene, only to return moments later. Rivera waited for about five minutes before leaving for the final time.
But why?

“His response was, ‘Because Marni lived so long,’” he said. “Me and Bunton almost hit the floor because we didn’t expect that at all.”

A month earlier, another victim of Ri­vera – Army Sgt. Marni Glista – was found clinging to life inside her home and died days later. Through further interrogation of Rivera, Roundtree and Bunton learned about the slayings of three other women: Tabitha Bosdell, Tiffany Wilson and Melissa Dingess.
Tonight, Rivera’s story will be the feature of an episode of Southern Fried Homicide, which runs on Investigation Discovery, a subsidiary of the Discovery Channel. The episode, Directions to Hell, will feature interviews with Roundtree and Georgia Regents University professor Kim Davies. It will air at 10 p.m.

A majority of the filming took place in February, with Roundtree and Davies narrating the story as they knew it. Crews filmed at Georgia Regents University, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and at a local bed-and-breakfast.

Roundtree, who had been a violent-crimes investigator for only a year, said the case sticks out in his mind because of how normal Rivera appeared. He wasn’t physically imposing and was often described as effeminate.

He was also very smart, which is why Roundtree said he thinks Rivera was successful at luring his victims.

During his interrogation sessions, Roundtree said, he was floored by how remorseless Rivera sounded as he recounted his crimes.

“You’re listening to this person talk about rape and murder like we would order a Whopper with cheese,” he said. “That’s how easy it flowed from him. He wanted to talk about it.”

Davies, the chairwoman of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Social Work, was called on to share her expertise in the field of murder and violence against women. She said the Rivera case is of particular interest because serial killers aren’t as prevalent in society as many might think.

Having been in Augusta during the time of the Rivera’s murder trial, she said, she took full advantage of seeing the anomaly firsthand.

“I thought, ‘Wow, there’s not many times, thankfully, that one has the opportunity to see the trial of a serial killer,’ ” Davies said. “I decided that I would go and watch as much as I could. So when I wasn’t in the class teaching, I was in the courtroom.”

Serial killers are rare enough that nearly 95 percent of all law enforcement officers will work their entire career without handling a single case involving one, Roundtree said.

He said the episode will try to send the message that heinous crimes aren’t restricted to large municipalities.

“What people have to see is that things happen here,” he said. “We get so complacent and think that crime can only happen in big cities.”

Echoing Roundtree’s sentiment, Davies said she is interested in exploring the long-lasting sociological impact of the case in the Augusta area.

“It’s atypical from a lot of other cases because most of the time we see women who are murdered, they are murdered by people they know,” she said. “This was something different. As a sociologist, (I was) curious about a case like this. What were the repercussions? What was going on in our community? How were people responding?”

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KSL
139726
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KSL 07/24/14 - 06:19 am
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1
KSL
139726
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KSL 07/24/14 - 06:28 am
2
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By the way, back then, many

By the way, back then, many of the migrant workers who helped with the seasonal agricultural jobs were black.

Stunned 2
5828
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Stunned 2 07/24/14 - 06:44 am
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0
I'm pretty sure that I saw him standing on the sidewalk in front

of the BI-LO on Bobby Jones Expressway once. It struck me as weird. Men just don't go and spend the afternoon standing in front of a grocery store. He was scoping the parking lot & watching people. He was there when I went in & there when I left. I thought 'what the H*** is that freak doing'. I gave him my 'I'll rip your head off if you approach me' look. Then - many months later I saw his picture in the paper and read about his killings.
Ladies: If something/someone is out of place: Beware!
I haven't seen any other man just standing in front of a grocery store watching people before or since. I get the hibby-gibbies every time I read about this man.

corgimom
36483
Points
corgimom 07/24/14 - 07:47 am
4
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I think he has far more

I think he has far more victims than what is attributed to him.

happychimer
19384
Points
happychimer 07/24/14 - 08:35 am
2
0
The day Marni Glista was

The day Marni Glista was attacked she had been grocery shopping at Food Lion on Wrightsboro Road. I did not work that day, but a bagger saw her standing in the parking lot and talking to a man who was in a van. The weekend before that, there was a party for her husband that Saturday, who was leaving for Iraq on Sunday. A group of people came through my line with food for that big party.

jimmymac
45368
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jimmymac 07/24/14 - 08:49 am
0
0
SICKO
Unpublished

I'm not familiar with this story. Glad that they finally got this sicko and he'll get the punishment that fits such heinous crimes.

palmettogreg
29
Points
palmettogreg 07/24/14 - 09:26 am
2
1
Don't forget your former reporter

The article doesn't mention that the Chronicle's former reporter, Greg Rickabaugh (me), will also be featured on the show since I helped cover the slayings.

Travis Highfield
310
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Travis Highfield 07/24/14 - 10:13 am
1
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Wasn't intentional, Greg.

Wasn't intentional, Greg.

raul
5509
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raul 07/24/14 - 11:06 pm
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0
knology.net listed the

knology.net listed the channel as 107. I kept getting WFXG Fox when I tried 107. Oh well.

happychimer
19384
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happychimer 07/25/14 - 07:25 pm
0
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I watched it last night and

I watched it last night and it was very good.

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