Nov 29 2006
11:33 pm

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.

Anonymous's picture

This is pretty amazing to me

This is pretty amazing to me as I had Ms. Dossett as a nursing instructor at UTK and she was one of the best instructors I had while at UT. I guess it just goes to show she definitely has a different side to her.

tonto's picture

Two Heads on Many People

Unfortunately, this woman needs to see a good psychiatrist. I think it's a GREAT idea for CourtTV. I will contact them. This is a fascinating crime story. It reminds me of the case of Melanie McGuire on CourtTV - the one who chopped her husband's body up, put his body parts into three of their 'own' suitcases, and dumped him over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge! OMG! Yo, Melanie, wasn't kickin' him to the curb good enough? Google her. It's another wacked out story.

TP39's picture

This is an intriguing case

This is an intriguing case to keep up with. Does anyone know if CourtTV or any local station will carry the upcoming trial of Leath's murder.

StaceyDiamond's picture


Her daughters seem to have been very successful. This case is fascinating and she certainly seems suspect. I was not even sure if Pedigo was still alive, his involvement makes it more interesting.

Anonymous's picture

Dossett Press Coverage.

What even happened to our Constitutional right to a speedy and fair trial? If the Dossett Laeth case has been dragging on for years . . . why? Sounds like there isn't a very good case. Often when the press smells a story, it is because it has already smelling because of corruption by the media. As far as not talking to the press, after seeing the negative innuendo comments in Bbeanster's Blog, I would find it hard to consider that person less than objective, so why would I consider even talking to them. To continue nearly daily harassment is to me cruel and inhumane. I thought the laws in America considered someone innocent until proven guilty . . . ooops sorry, I forgot, except in the eyes of the press. Either prosecute the lady or quit and go home.

Anonymous's picture

People are inocent until

People are inocent until provent guilty. Watch Richard Fisher in court. He is all "smoke and mirrors", no facts, just alot of ranting and raving.

Remember, jury service is an honor and as such should be taken seriously. Too many jury's this day and age rely on emotion and not facts to decide a case. Emotion is not a reason to return a guilty verdict, only evidence and its got to be more than Richard Fisher's "smoke and mirrors" routine.

Good Luck Raynella

Brenda Williams's picture

Raynella Dossett Leath

I know I'm sounding like the families/friends of other alleged killers, but I cannot believe that Raynella would EVER do something like this. I was a nursing student at UT and Raynella was my clinical instructor for several semesters. She was in fact elected our class favorite and she spoke at our graduation/pinning ceremony. I gave the speech introducing her and remember how much I admired and respected her as a student. She actually kept our class motivated and helped us through difficult times as young nursing students in a not so user friendly nursing curriculum.
You are going to have to prove to me that she did this because I'm on her side at this time 100 percent.
May justice, whatever that turns out to be, be served.

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