TRANSCRIPT: TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA – Season 2; Episode 9 – “Contradictions and Coincidences”

TRANSCRIPT S2E9: Contradictions & Coincidences

00:00

[ARCHIVAL SOUNDBITE]

WOMAN: Did you kill Meredith?

AMANDA KNOX: No. I did not [slight chuckle] kill Meredith.

NEIL/VO: If you noticed in this interview with Amanda Knox, she appeared to laugh when asked if she murdered her former roommate, Meredith Kercher. If you actually watch the video you’ll see her smile. It’s not the typical behavior of someone who’s experienced a tragedy such as this. And that’s exactly what triggered one of the most well-known murder investigations in recent history. The lead prosecutor in Italy where the murder took place told the makers of the documentary “Suspect Her” the same thing.

[CLIP OF MAN SPEAKING ITALIAN]

NEIL/VO: What he’s noting here is that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend were behaving at the scene with, quote, “an affection inappropriate for the moment.” Throughout the investigation observers made similar observations about Amanda Knox. Where everyone else was upset, Amanda seemed to have either no emotion or an inappropriate emotion.

[CLIP]

One of the friends said to Andrew, “I hope Meredith didn’t suffer badly.” Amanda said, “Of course she fucking suffered. She had her throat fucking cut.” This police officer in this disclosure said, “Amanda and Rafael were kissing each other, and she was performing cartwheels and doing stretching exercises.” Of course she did it, she’s mad. She’s a complete and utter loon, but who behaves like that?

NEIL/VO: Based on this suspicious behavior the authorities relentlessly investigated Amanda and her boyfriend, and ultimately they were sentenced to twenty-six, and twenty-five years in prison, respectively for the murder of Meredith Kercher. After several years in prison they were acquitted and released, and a burglar named Rudy Guede whose bloody fingerprint was found at the crime scene was sentenced for the murder. So, what happens if someone who’s close to a crime presents like they’re guilty, but isn’t?

This question has been running through my head often, as we look deeper into Susan Park, the mother of Elaine Park. She also presents suspiciously. She appears to have little remorse, her statements are inconsistent at the very least, and her behavior is odd, as if she has a hidden agenda. But as in the case of Amanda Knox, suspicious behavior does not equal guilt, and there’s still no proof of what, exactly, happened to Elaine. Yet every time we speak with Susan our suspicions grow.

You’re going to hear about a lot more suspicious behavior, but let’s take for now one example. Susan’s whereabouts between the time Elaine went to her ex-boyfriend’s house on Friday night, January twenty-seventh, and left his house, just before dawn the next morning, never to be seen again. This is Ann Marie asking her about it:

ANN MARIE: If you weren’t home she could’ve gone home and you would’ve never known.

SUSAN: I was at Jeff’s. So on Thursday, 3:41, on the twenty-sixth, I was with Jeff. I get a phone call, “My m– Mom, my car battery died.” So, Jeff and I we go to her, to rescue her. We find out the gas was out, too. So, because that incident, Friday night, Saturday night, middle of the night I came home. I even told Jeff, I said, “You know, I’m worried, because she’s having car problems. I need to go home.” I think I did that consecutively, maybe like two-thirty or two o’clock or something, or three o’clock sometime. And as I remember, there was no trace of Elaine. There was no trace.

ANN MARIE: Can I ask a quick question about that? If she had car trouble why would it be better if you were at home? Because if you were with Jeff he could help you.

SUSAN: I don’t know, I was just kinda like thinking, um, just, I have to be home. I was worried about her.

ANN MARIE: But she would call your cell phone, correct?

SUSAN: Yeah.

ANN MARIE: So, it’s interesting to me that you would want to be home.

SUSAN: I just wanted to be home for her. In case she needs me, or– Just worried.

ANN MARIE: Yeah.

SUSAN: Just worried. You know. I just couldn’t relax so I just would– just come home, and just– I don’t know.

ANN MARIE: You wanted to be by yourself, basically.

SUSAN: Yeah, I just wanted to be home with a– I don’t know. Like, if you put it that way, you know?

ANN MARIE: Yeah–

SUSAN: –I don’t have an answer.


05:32

Episode 9; Chapter 18: Exhibit A

MIKE: All right. Hey, guys. Jayden, you wanna come sit over here with– Neil’s on speaker.

JAYDEN: Okay.

[VOICES:] (Hi, Neil.)/(Hi, Neil.)

NEIL/VO: After the cadaver dog search the Glendale Police Department reached out to Mike and I to set up a meeting with the team. Since then, we’ve been preparing to share everything we know and have gathered with the detectives investigating Elaine’s disappearance. None of us have met with the police before about anything like this, so we work with Jayden, and with several contacts in the FBI. With their help and additional research we prepare a PowerPoint presentation composed only of facts backed by evidence, such as audio, video, screenshots, and photographs. We feel that the police will be more likely to listen to facts than theories. The theories will lead to them.

JAYDEN: We’re here to talk about, you know, obviously the case. So, we’re gonna move kind of away from Divine. Those leads were run down. We don’t feel like there was any furtherance toward that series of leads. We were looking at exploring wider, other suspects in the case, when something really sort of triggered a change in the sentiment, and we started to look more closely at both the current state of things, then we started looking more at Susan, Elaine’s mom.

NEIL/VO: One of the reasons the focus of the investigation has shifted is because the clock is ticking. If there’s any physical evidence in Elaine’s room this needs to be collected before it’s rented out. And as uncomfortable as it is to consider Susan through this lens, her behavior merits further investigation.

ANN MARIE: We have compelling information about her background. About lies and contradictions that she’s told. Lots of suspicious activity. And finally, and most importantly, physical evidence. And then I would just bullet point it down. So, that’s– that’s Exhibit A. Then, B. We go on to lies and contradictions. The most compelling contradiction that we find is the most important place where you shouldn’t have a contradiction, which is her alibi. And then we talk about, these were alibis that she presented, and this is how many times she changed it. We have recordings of her saying this. Then, next, let’s talk about her reasons for deleting Elaine’s text messages. Another compelling point is we’ve found that the door knob to Elaine’s bedroom was fractured in a way that’s consistent with somebody kicking the door down from the outside. When confronted, we have her on tape about how it is Elaine slamming the door shut.

JAYDEN: I mean, the dogs are compelling on their, on their own, but what really doubles that down, is the alibi, one. And the door knob. To me–

MIKE: You mean the cracked door knob?

JAYDEN: –high, highly significant, the door knob. Now, that’s like a double, because the door knob alone looks really bad, but when you ask Susan about it, it looks really bad.

ANN MARIE: Then I’d say I’m moving on to some suspicious activity, the other category we’re going to outline–

NEIL/VO: Ann Marie then lists the items: cleaning Elaine’s room in the days after her disappearance, cleaning and putting away the items found in Elaine’s car, disabling Elaine’s phone by trying the password “F-U-C-K” for the last attempt, not telling the neighbors Elaine is missing, and so on.

ANN MARIE: –that kind of thing. So I do agree–

JAYDEN: Renting the room–

ANN MARIE: Yeah–

JAYDEN: –and it all leads to what we just said: Elaine’s not coming back.

INGRID: Neil, we also just realized that Elaine’s Facebook, uh, it was wiped. Clean.

NEIL: What?

INGRID: Yeah. When it comes to the logging [sic] information. So, every time you login from different location, or, it just tracks your loggings.[sic]

NEIL/VO: What Ingrid’s referring to is Elaine’s Facebook login history, which shows the devices which login to her account, as well as the location, date, and time of the login. We’ve been going through the accounts and data Susan gave us, and on March first, on Susan’s phone, there’s a reminder that states: “FB login history.”

But when the team checked Elaine’s login history, they saw that there were no login history items for Elaine prior to this date. The first login that’s recorded is for March third, a month after Elaine’s disappearance, and two days after the calendar entry. So this means that either Elaine’s login history was deleted prior to that date, or for some reason — and I’m not even sure that this is possible — her login history was turned on after that date.

JAYDEN: And so we checked, uh, everybody’s Facebook here, and like, I, I never login to Facebook, really, except for just looking at stuff like this, and it’s got back, like, two years or more of my logins from all different devices, even after I’ve changed my password. So there’s really no way of getting rid of that, other than to go in and actually, like, hit a button that’s next to it that says, “Delete this entry.”

NEIL: Got it. And we do know that Elaine’s been on Facebook?

INGRID: Yeah. Yeah.

JAYDEN: Oh, yeah.

NEIL: Holy shit, man.

ANN MARIE: Uh, yeah–

JAYDEN: I mean, we don’t know that it was her.

NEIL/VO: What Jayden’s referring to here is that even if the Facebook data was deleted, other people may have been in the account investigating besides Susan, so it could have been someone else that did it. The team then covers many other items they found that seem suspicious or contradictory, all of which we want to present to the police. With everything else we’ve investigated up to this point we’ve been able to get some resolution, but with this angle we keep getting more questions than answers. Questions that may be out of our experience level to answer.

11:50

ANN MARIE: I’m gonna have to take a break right now to, um, to take care of some baby business, so I’m going to turn over the note taking responsibility to Ingrid and to Jayden and–

INGRID: No– no problem.

JAYDEN: I think we’re keeping simultaneous notes.

INGRID: Yeah.

NEIL/VO: The night before our meeting with the police I call Mike and Ann Marie to express my discomfort about bringing this information to the authorities. I can’t imagine the pain a parent must feel when their child goes missing, but at the same time, my empathy ultimately lies with Elaine, and I know I’d want someone to turn over every stone to find me if I went missing.

NEIL: Just even presenting this to the police, it’s so uncomfortable.

ANN MARIE: We’re not trying to look at Susan. I don’t– I, I think that like we– we’ve always said, you know, people grieve in ways that are different. Um, a person’s gonna grieve differently from the way that we would grieve, and a mother can mother in different ways, and sometimes un-mothering is a way of mothering. And we’ve always been open-minded about what her actions could possibly mean, it’s just that we started this investigation looking at everybody, um, and we followed the data to– you know, down every trail. We started at looking at rappers and, and uh, the Comperes, and–

MIKE: We followed everything she said.

ANN MARIE: We sent a, an investigator to track Lolo. We followed everything she said, and we followed everything we found, and it led to logical conclusions that were data-backed. And we were able to, to get closure on a lot of loose threads. The only loose thread is Susan, which we desperately want to clear. We want to see an explanation for why she’s been behaving so strangely, but every time we keep looking to get the answers that we would like to see, we actually see dark things that confirm suspicions that we want to erase, and we can’t help it. That’s just what we find. And when you start putting together every piece of information that she has, it doesn’t paint a picture of clean innocence. It all kind of just adds up in this tangled, awful tapestry that, like, we all wish we could unsee. We have to follow every thread until there’s no more thread to follow.


16:37

Chapter 19: Go Time

NEIL/VO: On the day of the police meeting the Malibu team met near Mike’s house, and we all drove to the Glendale Police Station together.

[SOUND OF WAZE NAVIGATION]

JAYDEN: Yeah, Waze tells us to–

NEIL: All right, so Waze is just, ah, yeah, u-turn here, obviously, to then take the 101–

MIKE: –take the 101 to where–

NEIL/VO: As we drove, we passed the spot on the Pacific Coast Highway where Elaine’s car was found.

NEIL: It’s odd that we’re just driving past– and I’m recording, of course– it’s odd that we’re driving past the exact point where Elaine disappeared. But here–

NEIL/VO: It almost seems as if every time we’re passing this location, we’re talking about Elaine and trying to figure out what happened to her. Hopefully this will be the break in the case that her friends and loved ones have been hoping for.

INGRID: Oh, gosh–

NEIL: All right.

INGRID: Okay. It’s happening.

NEIL/VO: We nervously pulled up outside the station–

MIKE: Uh, this is Glendale Police Department.

NEIL/VO: We parked–

INGRID: Okay.

NEIL/VO: –walked inside.

MALE: Let’s do it. Same room?

NEIL: Everybody.

NEIL/VO: And were escorted upstairs. Our nerves weren’t settled any when the officers asked to speak with each of us individually, and then as a group. In the end we met with the detectives for a total of three hours. During that group meeting they listened as we ran through the different scenarios we’ve mentioned, and what we knew. We talked about the Divine accusations, and they seemed to feel they looked into and cleared him. We spoke about Lolo, and they said they’d also follow up and interview him. And then we turned to Susan. As with the other possibilities, we ran down our biggest concerns. In this case, there were a number of contradictions and coincidences, much of it new information we discovered while preparing for the meeting. We’ve put them together on a timeline of the period before, during, and after Elaine’s disappearance, and we explained that there could be completely innocent reasons for any of these items. Here’s a condensed version of that timeline.

NEIL/VO:

  • MAY 2016, eight months before Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Elaine is involved in an auto accident as a passenger in her friend’s Sadie’s car. Outside of Elaine cutting her hand while trying to help occupants get out of another vehicle, neither Elaine nor Sadie appear to have been injured in any way. Shortly afterward, Elaine’s mother helps her file an insurance claim which Elaine refers to via text to her mother as quote, “fraud.”

MIKE: So you guys weren’t really hurt?

SADIE: No. I mean, her hands were like bleeding, and I guess sh– she was more sore after, but during it we weren’t hurt at all. But I think it was more of an insurance thing for Elaine and her mom.

NEIL/VO:

  • JUNE 2016, seven months before Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Elaine and her mother begin fighting over the money. Elaine texts her mom that once the insurance check arrives, quote:

“–it either better be linked directly to my checking account, or if it’s a physical check, directly in my hands. The full amount. I’m going to call the office and make sure you’re not pulling any snake shit, either.”

  • JULY 2016, six months before Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Elaine and her mother get in a fight because Susan is pushing her to go to a chiropractor appointment to support their insurance claim. The fight culminates in multiple angry texts from Susan to Elaine, eight of which include the word “DIE” in capital letters, followed by thirteen exclamation points.
  • DECEMBER 2016, one month before Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Susan has recently lost her job as an assistant. Elaine, who was spending most of the school semester sleeping at her friend Daisy’s apartment, begins staying at home again. Elaine is also no longer working. She and Susan send each other approximately sixty-eight texts arguing about money, usually amounts between two dollars and thirty dollars. Meanwhile, Elaine’s father ends the unofficial child support payments that he was giving to Susan.
  • JANUARY 4, 2017, three weeks before Elaine’s disappearance:
    • The attorney representing Elaine in the insurance claim sends the insurance company a letter demanding, as the letter puts it, “a settlement of $18,000.” On or around this same day, Susan applies for a passport renewal. Her last passport appears to have expired in 2009, eight years earlier. There could be any number of innocent reasons for this, and she may have been trying to get a new passport for awhile, but the timing is odd, and it’s something we’d like to look into further.
  • JANUARY 23, 2017, five days before Elaine’s disappearance:
    • After a counteroffer of $4,000 from the insurance company, a new letter from the attorneys representing Elaine’s claim demands a $15,000 settlement. This same day, Susan sends Elaine the following text: “Fucking messy bitch.” It’s unclear what exactly led to this text, but it’s part of a consistent pattern of toxic, angry, messages between mother and daughter.
  • JANUARY 27, 2017, the day before Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Elaine borrows $20 from her mom, telling her she’ll pay her back at 6PM, after she gets money from her father later that day. Unfortunately, from this date forward Elaine’s phone did not backup to iCloud, and the phone was disabled after too many passcode attempts, so we don’t have any further data on communication with her.

JAYDEN: Susan had possession of the phone. I advised her not to enter any passwords– my instruction, ah, as a– as the investigator. Uh, she entered, um, multiple passwords and, and at that point, once she did that then, you know, I was a little more strenuous in saying, “Okay, we’re gonna take possession of the phone.” So, we did that. However, shortly after that she contacted me saying that she had information of what the password was, or– or, or may have– or may be. I tried to get her to not push us forward on that, uh, but she insisted and so we consulted with our attorney, and ultimately end up, you know, entering that password, and that password that we entered at, you know, at her direction, uh, was ultimately the tenth incorrect password, and the phone was placed in a recovery mode.

23:58

NEIL/VO:


    • Around 8:10PM, on the night before her disappearance, Elaine arrives at Divine’s house.
    • At 9:54PM, Susan goes online to check the State Department website’s Passport Application page.
    • Meanwhile, at Divine’s house around this time, Elaine and Divine go to a late night movie.
  • JANUARY 28th, 2017, the day of Elaine’s disappearance:
    • At 12:43AM, Divine and Elaine return home from the movie theater. Susan initially tells us that she’s at her boyfriend Jeff’s house, then says she can’t remember where she was that night. Then finally determines that she left Jeff’s house and returned home around 3AM because she was worried about Elaine.

ANN MARIE: Can I ask a quick question about that? If she had car troubles, why would it be better if you were at home? Because if you were with Jeff he could help you.

SUSAN: I don’t know, I was just kinda like thinking, um, just, I have to be home. I was worried about her.

ANN MARIE: But she would call your cell phone, correct?

SUSAN: Yeah.

NEIL/VO:


    • At 6:04AM, security cameras show Elaine leaving Divine’s house. Her car exits the gated community at 6:06AM, and this is the last time she’s seen.

That night, Susan did something that surprised us. Something we were recently able to confirm on her phone bill, and are sharing for the first time.


    • At 11:58PM, on the same day her daughter disappears, Susan calls the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station where she lives, to ask about reporting Elaine missing.

NEIL: When was the first time you contacted, just, called any police?

SUSAN: I contacted– first call I made was, um, Saturday. You– Sunday morning? I could check my phone record, but I think uh– and Jeff knows all about what’s going on.

NEIL: Right, right.

SUSAN: I think it was on Sunday. Or either Saturday evening.

NEIL/VO: There are two concerns, here. The first is, she made this call before contacting any of Elaine’s friends, local hospitals, or even the last person she knows for a fact that Elaine saw that day, her father. And secondly, she stated that Elaine would often disappear for days at a time.

SUSAN: She leaves– she go– she leaves, two, three days. Comes whenever she wish to. She never tells me where she goes.

ROSEMARIE: Have you ever called the police before because you were worried about her?

SUSAN: No. That was the first time.

NEIL/VO:

  • JANUARY 30th, two days after Elaine’s disappearance:
    • At 9:40AM, Susan makes what is apparently the only contact with someone Elaine knows to ask about her daughter’s whereabouts. She messages Elaine’s friend Sadie on Facebook, saying that she’s worried about Elaine, and notes that Elaine took all of her makeup and her traveling blue duffle bag, and may be staying with her boyfriend.
    • At 10:30AM, just one hour later, Susan calls the attorney representing the accident claim.
    • At 11:48AM, Susan called the La Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station again, then calls the Glendale Police Department to file a missing person’s report.
    • At 3:10PM, she again calls the attorney representing the accident claim.
    • At 4:25PM, an officer comes to her home to take a missing person’s report. It states that the last text message from Elaine was at 9:05PM, the night before her disappearance. These messages, and all of Susan’s messages with Elaine, have since been deleted from Susan’s iPhone. You may recall that Susan gave two different stories for deleting them.

NEIL: Oh, do you have the texts that you sent her?

SUSAN: I only have it in the uh, uh phone record– Verizon record.

NEIL: Oh, you don’t have it on your phone?

SUSAN: No, I don’t have it on my phone. I have a problem with-– whenever I take care of something–

NEIL: –Uh-huh

SUSAN: I wanna– I delete it.

NEIL: Oh, you’re OCD–

NEIL/VO: When it was pointed out that she said Elaine hadn’t responded to her texts, she changed the story to the following:

SUSAN: I used to have Samsung. You lock the message that you wanna follow up. You lock it, so it doesn’t delete. So, that’s how I accidentally deleted Elaine’s, ah, texts.

NEIL: Yeah.

NEIL/VO:


    • After taking the report, the officer then calls Elaine’s father, Ray, and this is how he first hears that Elaine had disappeared. You may recall that Elaine told Susan she was going to see her dad to get money, the evening before she disappeared. So again, it seems odd that Susan apparently didn’t speak with him before contacting the police.

NEIL: When you found out about what had happened, uh, where were you and how did you find out?

“RAY”: The Glendale police officer just called me Monday afternoon, and he asked me, “When was the last time you seen Elaine?”

20:14

NEIL/VO:

  • FEBRUARY 2nd, five days after Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Susan and Jeff drive to Calabasas to speak with the Comperes. They also go to the Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station and request that the officers there ping Elaine’s phone.
    • At 1:16PM, around this same time, Susan makes another call to the attorney representing the accident claim.
    • Around 2:30PM, police retrieve the last ping from Elaine’s phone, hitting a cell tower at Corral Canyon Road in Malibu, five days earlier.
    • Later that day, officers locate Elaine’s car on the Pacific Coast Highway with all four doors unlocked, the key in the ignition with the electrical turned on, and with Elaine’s phone, computer, the remaining money from her father, and her baby blue duffle bag all in the vehicle.
  • FEBRUARY 15th, eighteen days after Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Susan’s new passport is issued. This may be a coincidence. Perhaps she did have travel plans we’re unaware of, but we’ve been unable to find any record of them.

We plan to ask Susan about all of this, but first, in case any of it is of any significance, we want the police to speak with her first.

  • MARCH 21st, seven weeks after Elaine’s disappearance:
    • Elaine’s name is signed on a release of all bodily injury claims, so the insurance settlement can be released. The final amount is five-thousand dollars, split evenly between the attorney, the medical provider, and Elaine.
  • MARCH 31st, two months after Elaine’s disappearance:
    • On Susan’s phone calendar, at 9:00AM she notes: “HIDE IT.”
    • At 10:30AM, members of the Malibu team visit to see Elaine’s room for the first time.
    • On her calendar at 1PM, after they leave, Susan notes: “PUT BACK HIDE ITEMS – SHED.” Of course, this could be something unrelated to Elaine, and a personal matter, but it at least merits looking into further.
  • MAY 6th, three months after Elaine’s disappearance:
    • A cadaver dog search is completed of Susan’s home. There is an alert in Elaine’s bedroom, as well as interest in Elaine’s bedroom, her closet, a hallway closet with cleaning supplies, and the outdoor storage shed.

During the weeks between meeting Susan and the cadaver dog search, we realize that many of the key items we’re looking for have been deleted, removed, cleaned, or otherwise made inaccessible, shortly after Elaine’s disappearance. Elaine’s bedroom has been cleaned, painted, and put up for rent, with some of the furniture given away, or otherwise disposed of. Elaine’s car has been leased, and all the items in it have been washed and put away, including the contents of her bags. It’s worth noting here that police had already processed the vehicle. Elaine’s Facebook login history has been apparently deleted. All of Susan’s texts with Elaine have also been deleted, and Elaine’s iPhone has been disabled.

After presenting this to the Glendale police officers, we add in the history of conflict between Susan and Elaine, as well as other details that are not suited to be shared publicly just yet. We stressed again that we’re not saying this information means Susan knows what happened to Elaine. Certainly, far from that. There could be innocent explanations for all of these. What we are saying, is that just as Divine merits further investigation than what appears to have been done, so too does Susan.

###

NEIL/VO: As the meeting concluded, the detectives said they’d need to gather any relevant information using their own methods, in a manner that can hold up in court. They said they can’t just get on the stand and say, “Well, Mike told me this.” The detectives concluded the interview by telling us, “It’s gonna take us a little time to catch up, but once we catch up, then it’s go time.”

NEIL: Let’s just discuss everything, in general.

ANN MARIE: So, just– I’m glad that we showed them the PowerPoint. I’m glad– [crosstalk] –go through it–

MIKE: I’m glad- I’m glad we just went through the whole thing.

NEIL: Yeah. Yep.

ANN MARIE: They can see how it’s organized. They like it as like, the Cliff Notes [sic].

NEIL: I feel– I feel like, exactly what I expected. They’re solid. I mean, better than I expected, to be honest.

MIKE: Yeah.

ANN MARIE: Yeah.

NEIL: They’re solid. They’re into it. They’re committed. Some of the stuff, we’re– a few things we’re showing, I can’t remember what they were, were really blowing their minds. Seems like, I think what they’re going to start doing is bring in for multiple interviews–

MIKE: But you know what, though? I– I feel good about letting the police do their shit.

NEIL: I do too.

NEIL/VO: This was it, we thought as we drove home. We could return to our normal lives, and justice would be served. However, that would prove not to be the case.


34:48

Chapter 20: Headquarters

INGRID: All right.

NEIL: Alrighty. Cool.

INGRID: Let’s– let’s just make it separate, let’s just make–

NEIL: Yeah, we can get everything– so we can get everything separately.

NEIL: Oh-hey, hey.

SUSAN: Hi.

NEIL: How are you?

SUSAN: Fine, how are–

NEIL/VO: We’re back at Susan’s house. And this is incredibly awkward, given what’s recently occurred. However, after learning that it may take awhile to obtain warrants, we’ve realized that if someone’s going to rent Elaine’s room it should be someone who isn’t going to disturb anything else there. And that someone is us.

SUSAN: So, um, you know, Jeff painted and everything. I put her clothes back, her shoes.

NEIL: Okay.

SUSAN: Um, and all her belongings are still in my area in my room.

INGRID: Ah, okay.

SUSAN: And Dustin, and Dustin says that, um–

INGRID: Aww, how cute little outfit–

SUSAN: Dustin says that, uh, his work is so, like the timing is so weird that he might have to start sleeping here–

NEIL: Okay.

SUSAN: So, I’m gonna have to make that room Dustin’s room.

INGRID: That’s cool.

NEIL: Yeah.

INGRID: We’ll wait ’til the cat comes back here.

SUSAN: It’s that so many people are allergic and, and like, I- I just couldn’t–

INGRID: –so sorry. Hey, I really, I told Dustin that if– the cat always has a place in my home.

SUSAN: Oh, they’ll come over– they’ll come here. It’s okay. So, do you want me to, uh, put this desk over there?

NEIL: Wait, let’s take– let’s take a look.

ANN MARIE: [CROSSTALK] We could use it, we would totally use it, and any furniture that we need, I’m– part of our job today is to see what we need, and we brought a lot of supplies–

SUSAN: Oh, okay.

NEIL: –Yeah, we brought some stuff.

ANN MARIE: –but we, yeah, have a lot of supplies, and then we’ll see whatever furniture we need–

NEIL: Yeah. So, that– that second desk was hers though, right? 

SUSAN: Yeah.

NEIL: Yeah, if you want, you could even maybe bring Elaine’s stuff back in here–

ANN MARIE: Yeah.

SUSAN: Yeah, it’d be nice to have Elaine’s stuff here.

NEIL: Yeah, yeah– [AD NAUSEAM]

ANN MARIE: Everything here. Everything– Jayden’s stuff, um it’s just going to be such a good headquarters for all of us–

SUSAN: Yeah, I– I believe in that.

NEIL: You know what, honestly? I’ll say it does feel good to have this room used for Elaine.

SUSAN: Yeah. I– I’ll feel the same way. ‘Cause I’ve been in my room in dark, and you know–

NEIL: Yeah.

SUSAN: I’ve been doing all that, and like, “Wow, this is good–“

NEIL: Oh, so, on the prac– on the practical side, uh, I just uh, brou– printed a lease out online, so we can bring that by. We just figure we’d do six months, uh, and then go month to month.

37:17

SUSAN: Oh, my gosh.

NEIL: ‘Cause we wanted to do it officially–

[3-WAY CROSSTALK]

SUSAN: You know what, you know what? You know what? One little thing up, I don’t wanna be, I, I don’t wanna deny, I’m not the type to accept the– reach out, monetary stuff. ‘Cause–

NEIL: Yeah–

SUSAN: –’cause, you know, um, this is my first ever to reaching out monetarily. I, I– it’s not me.

NEIL/VO: Ingrid and I return later with the lease. The plan is to use the room as a headquarters for all of our efforts to find Elaine. It seems like a more appropriate use of Elaine’s space than having a stranger live there. So, whether or not anything happened here, and whether or not Susan knows more than she’s letting on, this feels like the right thing to do.

INGRID: Here you go.

NEIL: It’s La– La Crescenta

INGRID: What’s the zip code?

SUSAN: 9-1-2-1-4

INGRID/SUSAN: –2-1-4

NEIL: Owner is, ‘Susan.’ Oh, you gotta change it, we said first of the month out of five, rent’s due– the rent’s due on the fifteenth of each month. And we all sign. Just initial it and date it. Initial and date it, and— Should I sign it there–

NEIL/VO: And now our job is to wait. To preserve Elaine’s room, and hope the police take some sort of action to find out if anything happened here.


NEIL/VO: Thank you for listening. Next week on Thursday, we’ll be releasing a special bonus episode. Then we will return for the final episodes. This is still an active investigation, and please keep in mind that the police have not named any suspects, and everyone mentioned should be presumed innocent. We are sharing this step-by-step documentary of our experiences while searching for Elaine Park with you in hopes that this podcast leads to justice for Elaine. We urge you not to form any conclusions about anyone, or anything mentioned, until you’ve heard the whole series as it unfolds in it’s entirety. We are reading and looking into every tip that arrives, so if you have any information regarding Elaine Park, her disappearance, or any of the parties that have been mentioned over the course of this series, you can email us anonymously at LiveDieLA@tenderfoot.tv, or call us anonymously at 213-204-2073. When possible, I’ve posted images and videos that may help give you a visual picture of some of the information collected in each episode. You can find these on our social media accounts: @LiveDieLApod.

[CREDITS]

✦❖✦

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