This is a big story that has been smoldering just beneath the surface for years now.
For newbies, Raynella Dossett Leath was once the wife of Ed Dossett, Randy Nichols' predecessor as attorney general. Ed, who was dying of cancer, met a very strange end when it was reported that he died after being stomped to death by milk cows. The story, IIRC, was that he'd asked to be wheeled out to the barn to see his cows and somehow ended up beneath their hooves. The whole thing always sounded more than a little strange to me, but it was accepted by tptb. The medical examiner -- Randy Pedigo -- ruled it an accidental death and word was that the widow collected triple indemnity.
Next thing we heard about Raynella, some guy who (and this is sketchy) had to do with the legally recognized father of a baby that Raynella thought was fathered by her late husband. Raynella called the guy to come down to her farm to discuss the issue. The guy said she took him down to the barn (hereafter to be known as the Barn of Doom), pulled out a gun and a legal document and ordered him to sign the kid over to her or get shot. He claimed that she took a shot at him; she denied it. She wasn't charged with anything.
Then, a few years later, her second husband ends up dead, shot in the back of the head. She said it was suicide; his family said it was murder and sued Raynella when they couldn't get her prosecuted (maybe because it didn't happen in the Barn of Doom). Now, years later, she has been indicted for Murder 1.
Raynella was an RN and a real badass. She gave me my first good cussing as a Journal reporter when I called her husband after 8 p.m. about a breaking crime story. Glad she didn't invite me over to the barn.
Seriously, it's strange that it's taken so long to get this indictment. Perhaps they should look into Ed's death, too. This has been very underreported locally, and has all the earmarks of a good A&E crime story.
And finally, Raynella has been released on bond. If she asks you to meet her down at the barn, just say no.
- Hello, Nashville? Anybody Home? (5 replies)
- Mark Harmon on American Exceptionalism (4 replies)
- Haslam's legacy (22 replies)
- The best states for bicycling (13 replies)
- Knox County Schools balanced calendar survey controversy (46 replies)
- State and federal complaints filed against Knoxville charity (19 replies)
- David Letterman signs off (2 replies)
- Good guys just stand out (1 reply)
- DTV Features Honor Air Knoxville and Eddie Mannis (1 reply)
- Boy Scout president calls for end to ban on gay leaders (2 replies)
- Haven't bragged about the SIL lately (3 replies)
- Politically connected defendant will plead guilty to a lesser charge (9 replies)