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The 5 things people get wrong about Alexis Murphy and Jesse Matthew

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

murphy_matthew_taylorALBEMARLE, Va. — Jesse Matthew Jr., age 32, sits in jail charged with the abduction, with intent to defile, of 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, and for the attempted capital murder and sexual assault of a Fairfax woman in 2005.

The DNA evidence that police sources say links Matthew to the Fairfax assault is also linked to the disappearance and death of Morgan Harrington, the Virginia Tech student who vanished in Charlottesville in 2009. Her remains were found 101 days later, on a piece of farmland roughly four miles away from where remains believed to be Graham’s were recently found.

Matthew has been linked to at least five alleged sexual assaults, and potentially several others that fall in line with a seasonal pattern, which has triggered a flurry of critics who believe Matthew is also connected to 17-year-old Alexis Murphy’s murder and abduction. Other cases are being re-examined.

One of those cases is Murphy,  who disappeared August 3, 2013, when she left her Nelson County home for Lynchburg, to do some shopping. Though Murphy has never been found, DNA evidence was recovered in the case, which ultimately led to the murder conviction of Randy Allen Taylor.

Taylor, who is serving two life sentences for the murder of Murphy, asked for a plea deal that reduced his time to just 20 years — if he revealed the location of Murphy’s body.

Recently though, Taylor’s attorney asked that Murphy’s car be tested for evidence that could link her to Matthew.  And he wants police to analyze social media accounts to determine if there were any connections between Murphy and Matthew.

Last month Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin stated there was no evidence Matthew was connected to Murphy’s disappearance.

Still, there has been an avalanche of public speculation.

Here are the five things people keep forgetting:

1. Taylor attempted to implicate another man, saying that man was with Murphy when she left Taylor’s camper. That man was cleared by police. We will not name him because he is not a suspect, but his name is not Jesse Matthew.

2. That man had cornrows, and allegedly sold Alexis Murphy marijuana. Repeat, he distinctly had cornrows, not dreadlocks as Matthew has. Again, that man was questioned by police, and found innocent.

3. That man drove a “burgundy Caprice with 22-inch wheels,” not a burnt orange Chrysler Coupe like Jesse Matthew drove.

murphy_matthew

4. The surveillance video from Liberty Gas Station the night Alexis Murphy disappeared shows her walking behind the back of an object some say looks like Jesse Matthew’s vehicle. It isn’t.

“FBI and Virginia State Police have re-examined that footage in light of these concerns and are confident that the orange object is not a vehicle, but a portion of a sign hanging from the window,” said Martin.

5.  People are forgetting the list of evidence against Taylor includes a bloody t-shirt found in his camper with Murphy’s DNA, eyelashes and ripped out extensions, her smashed cellphone found on his property and video of the two speaking at Liberty gas station the night she disappeared. That’s a lot of evidence, and wound up being enough for a murder charge.

The Murphy family has gone on record stating that they do not believe Matthew was involved in the disappearance and death of Alexis. Essentially, law enforcement is thoroughly checking all their bases. In addition to Taylor’s DNA, other unknown DNA was found inside Murphy’s vehicle. That evidence will be checked against Matthew’s DNA.

But the other above facts can’t be thrown out the window.

20 comments

  • Justinian

    Ok, I get it. However, I have thoughts on some of these five things:
    1. Taylor attempted to implicate another man, saying that man was with Murphy when she left Taylor’s camper. That man was cleared by police. We will not name him because he is not a suspect, but his name is not Jesse Matthew.
    ****Taylor attempted to implicate another man. The other man was cleared. How do we know for sure there wasn’t another person involved, someone Taylor may have been afraid to implicate?
    2. That man had cornrows, and allegedly sold Alexis Murphy marijuana. Repeat, he distinctly had cornrows, not dreadlocks as Matthew has. Again, that man was questioned by police, and found innocent.
    ******Again, are we taking Taylor completely at his word? Even finding her shirt and other belongings in his camper, could others be involved, including Matthew? We know Matthew is clever — if he was involved he may have purposely included an easy mark like Taylor to serve as fall guy. Did the police check for other DNA in the camper?
    3. That man drove a “burgundy Caprice with 22-inch wheels,” not a burnt orange Chrysler Coupe like Jesse Matthew drove.
    ******Sooooo, Jesse Matthew has access to only one vehicle? We already know that is not the case.
    The arguments are weak.

    • Labpawsx12

      Thank you Justinian. Taylor said he did not know the man that Murphy brought to the camper. Police searched Murphy’s FB page, selected a man from her friends list and asked if that was him. Taylor said yes. Isn’t it possible that Taylor fingered the wrong man? He asked police to test the beer bottle the man drank from that was left at his camper. Why didn’t they? Why did LE and the FBI search his tiny camper twice (once for 6 hours) and never find his tshirt but a local rookie cop goes in a third time and all of a sudden the shirt is under the couch? A witness testified at the trial that she saw taylor, Murphy, and a black man with dreadlocks together outside of a parking garage. There was blood found in Taylor’s bed that did not belong to him or Murphy. There was DNA found in Murphy’s car that belonged to an unknown male. Dogs tracked Murphy’s scent from her car to the apartments near the movie theater. But then what?!?! Who had ties to those apartments? What landfill was the dumpster from those apartments taken to? I don’t think that Taylor is innocent but I certainly don’t believe that he acted alone. For instance, someone drove Murphy’s car to the theater parking lot. Taylor’s DNA was NOT found in that car. What about the stranger that Murphy was talking to on social media the same day she went missing? He asked her if she liked big guys with dreadlocks. To many questions we don’t know the answers to. IMO.

      • intrepidfemale

        Well said. I also find it very interesting that “shirts” continues to come up. Morgan Harrington’s shirt was missing where her remains were found, then turns up in the landscaping on the UVA campus. Alexis Murphy’s shirt is missing and then suddenly discovered in a place that had already been checked thoroughly. If the recent remains found are those of Hannah Graham, her shirt is missing, too.
        Additionally, Alexis’ body has not been found. I argue it is because they have been looking in the wrong place. What do you want to bet they find her in the vicinity of the others?

      • Eric Red

        The shirt was planted, that is the ONLY explanation. Who planted the shirt is open for debate. Was it LE or JM? I believe all the evidence was planted by JM, but that’s just my opinion.

  • Trina Wright

    I really do not like the media I believe it should be a law to let the police do there job and once all the evidence is finish then the media can report if you look at the some of the news these days they will have guilty before you really know whether they really are

    • Candace Skeen

      I agree with allowing the authorities to do their job. I firmly believe “all in due time” and not jumping to conclusions

  • Christy Burton Hudson

    As I recall Taylor implicated a third person….I believe I read that just last night…..I also believe cornrows and dreads could easily get mixed up by a white guy…..
    I believe the FBI is wrong about the pic too….I believe they don’t want to go there….
    Every piece of evidence I am aware of could easily have been planted….I thought that from the beginning…. And as I recall Taylor’s was searched several times, each time finding something different….any one of those items should have led to a thorough search….why wasn’t all found at once??? I believe she was there…maybe he is involved but I don’t believe he is alone

  • JH

    Are people missing the obvious here? DNA linked Harrington and the 2005 Fairfax case together (though the source was unknown at the time they were still linked forensically). Once the Alexis Murphy case came into play her vehicle, Taylor’s trailer, etc were checked and re-checked. At that time there was no forensic evidence linking all 3 cases (Harrington, 2005 Fairfax and Alexis Murphy) together and even recently both the NCPD and FBI issued statements that there is no connection. If Matthews’ DNA evidence (or the “unknown” forensic link) had been discovered with Murphy it would spread like wildfire and everyone would know oh, this mystery person was involved in ALL THREE cases–that did NOT happen. If information comes out NOW, this late in the game, linking Matthews’ to Murphy, law enforcement did not do their job initially. But the public will believe whatever the media says–great justice system. I enjoyed this article but clearly people still cannot use common sense to see the obvious. Thanks for trying though.

  • Doug

    I doubt Jesse Matthew had anything do to with Alexis Murphy because in my opinion Jesse Matthew’s preference was for white females, not a black one like Alexis Murphy.

  • Rahdee

    I originally thouht that too, but JM is connected to the disappearance of two black college girls too, I think from Norfolk area.

  • BO

    The cops are fighting hard not to look wrong.If they are it will come out in the form of Mathews DNA in her car.

  • Whatever

    What a weak article and I am in agreement with statements other commenters have made, who says RT was even telling the truth about this “other mans” description etc. Time will tell. God Bless the families of these poor girls.

  • Vastly Amused

    1) Why would Matthew, having escaped detection in the 2005 and Harrington cases, engage in an elaborate and complex scheme to blame a man there is no proof he even knew existed?
    2) There is NOTHING beyond Taylor’s self-serving story that this mysterious “cornrowed black drug dealer” even exists.
    3) Some people would rather believe in bizarre incredibly improbable hypothetical scenarios which hinge upon dubious chains of questionable events rather than the simple truth.
    4) Do none of those claiming Matthew is involved in this case recall that Taylor offered to reveal where Murphy’s body is, in exchange for a reduced charge?

    • Eric Red

      1. The police searched Taylor’s camper for six hours and didn’t discover a bloody shirt balled up under his bed. Only to be discovered later when he was in jail.
      2. A surveillance camera at the gas station where Alexis Murphy was last seen has an image of Matthew’s distinctive burnt orange car.
      3. No Taylor DNA was found in Murphy’s car which law enforcement claimed was last driven by Taylor.
      4. Alexis Murphy’s car was found was in the same vicinity of the abduction of Harrington and Graham.
      5. Ask yourself, would a young woman go to Taylor’s camper alone?
      6. Taylor claimed from the beginning that an African American man accompanied Alexis to his camper.
      7. Now that Taylor is convicted, what incentive does law enforcement have to cast doubt on Taylor’s guilt?

  • Candace Skeen

    I’ve been following Alexis’s case since August 5th or so since that time I’ve learned of other missing/assaulted girls from the same general area in Virginia! I just praybso deeply that Alexis will be found hopefully alive though more than likely not. However this family needs closure,..I need closure I became attached through various things I’ve only learned online and through social media through the “save the next girl” forums. I am so pleased that several girls have been recovered, albeit passed sadly bit they have a small measure of closure unlike the Murphy’s and although the family would be ,”shocked” to find DNA from Jessie L. Mathews not to clear Randy A. Taylor but to pressure him into saying what he claimed after his sentencing where Alexis’s body is, to say without a reduction in his sentencing like he tried to do during his hearing…I know that family despises him for that, but he is a liar and on one really knows if he does or not and I do not hold the family culpable for anything at this point for any decision they have made…I’m just praying daily for any resolve…

  • Jamar

    This article doesn’t really prove anything. It just reiterates things the cops and media have said.
    I feel like there have been enough things told, that I perceive as lies and hidden information, that I don’t trust anything that comes out about our local serial killers’ crimes.

  • Jamar

    One more thing…

    The image that shows Alexis walking by Matthew’s car… The cops claim it’s a reflection of a sign. Then why can you see Alexis’ mirrored reflection in it? If you go by what the cops say, then there is a reflection reflected off another reflection. What?!?!
    Btw, why does it take them so long to check a DNA match? It never seems to take as long in other cases as it has in regard to Hannah and Alexis’ connection to Matthew. Maybe they just don’t want to share the info., but I believe that the citizens have a right to know. We have to live with whatever screw ups the police might make.

  • Blackbeered

    “Evidence against Taylor includes a bloody t-shirt found in his camper with Murphy’s DNA, eyelashes and ripped out extensions, her smashed cellphone found on his property, and video of the two speaking at Liberty gas station the night she disappeared. That wound up being enough for a murder charge.”

    Pitiful … how those imbecile [grand, trial] jurists found that was enough evidence to convict of any crime is a disgrace.

    Prosecutors bring charges with sketchy ‘probable cause’ but, in this country, a conviction requires a much higher standard.

Comments are closed.