June 8th 2013
“Everyone who knows Jacque knows she would never leave her children.”
For the background to this story click here
Update: June 6th 2013
Clay Waller has finally admitted in court that he killed his estranged wife Jacque Waller. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Waller was scheduled to go on trial for the murder on Sept. 9th.
During the victim-impact statement their son Maddox said in a recorded statement, “I wish you weren't my dad. I never want to see you again. … This is the last time you'll hear of me.”
Clay Waller agreed to show where he had hidden Jacque’s body under a plea bargain deal, where charges of first-degree murder were dropped to a second-degree murder. Although her family were not altogether satisfied with this, especially the lenient sentence, it gave them a possibility to have closure, knowing where their mother, daughter and sister has been laid to rest.
Jacque’s body was found on May 29th in Illinois, in a channel between the thickly wooded Devil’s Island, and the main bank of the Mississippi River. Cadaver dogs had earlier been in the area searching for her remains, but had not found her as she had been buried six feet deep and covered with fertilizer.
Clay Waller had dug the hole the day before in preparation of the planned murder. Devil's Island is accessible only by boat.
The funeral is to be held on Saturday June 8th.
Clay Waller will serve the entire 20 year sentence. He may also face further charges in Illinois.
Update December 20, 2012:
Jacque Waller’s family now know there will be justice for her murder. The date for her estranged husband Clay Waller’s trial on charges of murdering her is set for September 2013.
Update July 26, 2012:
Jacque Waller’s family finally has hope that there will be justice for her murder. Her estranged husband Clay Waller sat through a seven-hour preliminary hearing with compelling circumstantial evidence, and testimony after testimony pointing to him as the killer.
Click here to read about the hearing.
Clay Waller has a new defense lawyer. His previous defense lawyer is accused of domestic violence.
Update June 14, 2012:
Update April 24, 2012:
Update January 04, 2012:
Update January 02, 2012:
Jacque Waller’s body has still not been found.
On the 20th December 2011 Clay Waller’s father, James Waller Sr. passed away. Clay Waller, the only suspect in his wife’s disappearance, had confessed to his father that he had killed his wife, Jacque Sue Waller, and buried her in a hole he had previously dug. Unfortunately the confession told to an FBI agent was not officially given, and so the prosecutors cannot use the testimony. The alleged confession was made on June 2, the day after his wife disappeared.
James Waller Sr. died in a Missouri nursing home in Cape Girardeau, after a long illness being bedridden with diabetes, emphysema and pulmonary illness.
The confession was made when investigating a separate charge; an Internet threat Waller made on the website Topix against Cheryl Brennecke, Jacque’s sister and the guardian of his three children.
The murder charge has yet to filed against Clay Waller. Waller pleaded guilty to the charges of threatening his sister-in-law.
Prosecutors had attempted to obtain a legal transcript of his testimony to preserve his testimony in case he died. However Cape Girardeau Judge William Syler denied the request because no murder charges had been filed against Clay Waller. The father, James Waller Sr. is the only person Clay Waller has allegedly confessed to about killing his wife Jacque Waller.
This puts more pressure on the investigators to find Jacque’s body before filing the murder charge against Clay Waller.
There is still evidence of Jacque’s blood found on a piece of hallway carpet that had been cut away and hidden in the basement. More blood evidence was found on two walls. That the blood was Jacque Waller’s was confirmed by DNA tests.
According to an affidavit submitted by Clay Waller in court, Jacque fell down and was “thrashing around.” “She started bleeding like a ... a lot,” Waller said in the affidavit. Clay Waller said he later cleaned up the blood together with his wife. He told police he cut away and hid the bloodstained carpet so the landlord would not notice.
Clay Waller maintains he is innocent to Jacque’s disappearance and to murder.
Clay Waller will be sentenced for the federal charges of Internet threatening on January 3rd 2012.
He could face up to five years in prison, although he is likely to serve up to 10 months in a federal penitentiary. The prosecution plans to argue for a longer sentence.
Update December 12, 2011:
On December 7th Clay Waller’s attorney filed a memorandum stating that his client asked that his sentence on federal Internet threatening charges be six months prison, minus the four-and-a-half months he has already been in custody. Waller’s attorney wrote in the memorandum that his client deserves a lower sentence within the guidelines’ range because the offence is his first felony.
The federal prosecutor Larry Ferrell, on the other hand, believes the sentencing should consider of Cheryl Brennecke’s vulnerability. She is Jacque Waller’s sister and the guardian of Jacque and Clay Waller’s 5-year-old triplets.
Brenneke alerted law enforcement about Waller’s death threat against her on the online discussion board Topix. She said, “If my sister hadn't disappeared, I might not have taken him seriously, but since I know what he’s done. Yeah, I took it very seriously.”
Update December 04, 2011:
Clay Waller is at present in custody, in Pemiscot County Jail, after pleading guilty on October 3rd to threatening Jacque Waller’s sister on the online discussion board Topix. He is due to be sentenced for this on December 19th. He could face up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for the charge of making a threat against Cheryl Brennecke, who his Jacque Waller’s sister and the guardian of Jacque and Clay Waller’s children. However, in a pre-sentencing report on his federal conviction it was suggested he be given 6 to 10 months, but the prosecution will argue for a higher sentence.
His court appearance, for theft and harassment charges, has now been set for January 24th.
The prosecutor claims that Clay Waller’s father told police that Waller confessed, during a highly emotional meeting, to killing and burying his estranged wife Jacque. Unfortunately Waller said nothing about where he allegedly buried Jacque, although he did allegedly admit that he buried her in a hole that he himself dug with a shovel beforehand.
Because James Waller, Clay Waller’s father, is bedridden with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema, the prosecutor applied to court to preserve Waller senior’s testimony in case he dies before the start of the murder trial. On November 18th Cape Girardeau Circuit Judge William Syler denied the prosecution’s motion to preserve the James Waller’s testimony on the grounds that the murder was a “pending case,” since no formal charges yet been filed.
Police have searched the house where he was staying at the time of his wife’s disappearance, where they found bloodied carpet and carpet padding hidden in a basement crawl space. This matches a piece of missing carpet in the hallway. The blood has been identified with DNA to be from Jacque Waller.
On November 3rd, during road maintenance clearing brush along southbound Interstate 55 near Fruitland where Jacque’s car was found after her disappearance, her purse was found. Further searches found other personal items.
Update September 18, 2011:
Prosecution files affidavit that Clay Waller confessed to father days after his wife’s disappearance.
Clay Waller remains in custody. The judge considered Waller a threat to the community and a serious flight risk. The judge denied Waller’s bond request on the Internet threat charge.
Magistrate Judge Lewis Blanton also noted that he considered information that was presented at the previous week’s detention hearing about Waller’s alleged involvement in the disappearance of his wife, Jacque, who has been missing since June 1.
Clay Waller will go to trial on federal charges of making an Internet threat in October 3 2011 after waiving his right to a pre-trial motions hearing that was set for September 29.
Waller faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for a charge of transmitting through interstate commerce a threat to injure or kill. He also threatened to kill his wife Jacque Waller’s sister, Cheryl Brenneke, if she hurt his three children. Brenneke has custody of her sister’s children. The threats against her life are said to have taken place on the popular online discussion forum board Topix.
Clay Waller is a suspect in the disappearance of his wife Jacque Waller. Ccording to an affidavit from an FBI agent, Clay Waller spoke to his father, a few days after Jacque Waller disappeared. According to the affidavit, Clay Waller confessed to his father that he buried Jacque with a shovel in a hole had already dug.
Waller accepted a check for $55,000 from a company in April 2010 for construction work he never did. The harassment charge stems from a complaint made the week before his arrest by a former friend, who told police that Waller threatened to kill him. Prosecutors also allege Waller threatened potential witnesses in the Jacque Waller case
Update August 20, 2011:
There is no further news about Jacque Waller’ disappearance. Her estranged husband, Clay Waller, remains the only “person of interest.” Clay Waller is still in prison awaiting trial on fraud and harassment charges.
Update August 07, 2011:
Police said last week that, while Waller was communicating with them, he was not providing the specific answers to questions that they needed. According to the Southeast Missourian newspaper, Waller has not explained what happened after his wife walked away from his house on June 1.
The charge against Clay Waller for stealing $55,000 appears straightforward. He received an advance to complete a project, but spent the money on an unrelated project and is unable to reimburse the company that paid him. That’s fraud.
The harassment charge is weird. According to the probable cause statement for that charge, Clay Waller threatened to kill Gary Hill and his wife Cassandra on July 27, 2011. Cassandra phoned the police saying that Waller was banging on her door. Waller had called her earlier in the day saying he would be waiting for her when she came home.
It is alleged that Waller said he was going to kill Garry Hill because Hill had killed his (Waller’s) wife, Jacque. He then threatened that he would kill both Garry Hill and his wife Cassandra. After that threat Cassandra heard Waller banging on her door. It was not clear from the court documents why Clay Waller would have accused Gary Hill of killing his wife.
Update August 06, 2011:
There is still no news about Jacque Waller.
When her estranged husband Clay Waller’s attorney Scott Reynolds was resisting arrest in January 2010, for violent domestic abuse, he shouted at the police, “I'm Scott Reynolds, the attorney. I've been practicing law for 20 *expletive* years.”
Last week when police were questioning his client Clay Waller, Reynolds shouted at the police, “I've been at this for 22 years, and I've never been denied access to a client like this.”
Scott Reynolds Mugshot
Scott Reynolds sounds like a bellicose stuck record.
(Personal Note: When I was at school my English teacher taught us that people who swear do not have command of their mother tongue. It has to do with a lack of vocabulary.)
Update August 02, 2011:
Jacque Waller’s estranged husband, Clay Waller, was questioned by police for seven hours following his arrest Friday night on charges of felony stealing by deceit and misdemeanor harassment. The Police said the arrest and charges are unrelated to the June 1 disappearance of Jacque Waller. If convicted, Waller faces 5-15 years in prison on the felony stealing charge and up to a year in the county jail and a fine up to $1,000 on the harassment charge.
Clay Waller Mugshot
Police say that Clay Waller, who was the last person to see Jacque Waller before she disappeared, is still being un-cooperative in helping investigators who are looking into disappearance of Jacque.
Update July 28, 2011:
The situation is unchanged. The police are waiting for results of the samples sent to the state forensic laboratory.
Jacque Waller’s estranged husband, Clay Waller, remains uncooperative with police during questioning. He still refuses to say where he was and what he did in the evening hours of June 1, the night Jacque vanished.
Clay Waller does fish for information about how the investigation is going and offer to help, while refusing to cooperate. Strange behavior.
Update July 26, 2011:
Jackson Police Chief James Humphreys said that the searches so far haven’t yielded any clues. However there is hope that there will be a breakthrough his week. Some results from the laboratory analysis are due this week.
Update July 25, 2011:
Over the weekend the 23rd and 24th July about 140 volunteers searched in various locations in the Cape Girardeau area for Jacque Waller or any evidence of her. They included people on horseback as well as cadaver dogs. By the end of Sunday, the teams have searched in more than 15 locations. No signs of her were found.
Update July 23, 2011:
Samples from the house Clay Waller lived in on the day of Jacque’s disappearance have been sent for lab analysis. The samples are in the lab’s queue waiting for analysis so it will take some time before the results are out. Some tests can take a long time, for example DNA analysis. The samples do include blood.
Meanwhile Clay Waller’s attorney is not making a good impression. He is a little over the top in trying to convince the media his client is innocent. He is saying more than he needs to say, sounding almost guilty himself. Maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t?
Clay Waller has since moved from the house at the corner of Woodland Drive and North Neal Street, in Jackson, Missouri from where his estranged wife, Jacque Waller disappeared.
On the day she went missing, June 1st Jacque Sue Waller the 39-year-old mother of young triplets, met with her attorney and her estranged husband, Clay Waller, to finalized their divorce. After years of living in an emotionally abusive relationship she finally took the only right decision, to end a toxic domestic abuse relationship, by divorce.
Jacque agreed to meet Clay Waller afterward at his home to pick up their 5-year-old son Maddox. So she drove to his home at the corner of Woodland Drive and North Neal Street, in Jackson, Missouri. Clay Waller has since moved from that address.
The problem was that their son was not there when Jacque arrived. Maddox was with a “babysitter” who happened to be Clay Waller’s girlfriend. Was this a ruse by her husband to lure here to his home, so he could murder her? Jacque’s parents, sister and friends appear to think so. The police seem to have their suspicions as well, as he is a “person of interest” who is “less than cooperative,” “not real forthcoming” and “un-cooperative.”
His comment and reason for declining interviews is, “What can I possibly say to change peoples’ minds?” This says a lot about his attitude. It is not about him changing peoples’ minds, it is about him helping find his missing wife.
Driving past volunteers searching for Jacque and flipping his finger at them, doesn’t do too much to change peoples’ minds either.
A court has again denied Clay Waller any visitation rights. He has not been allowed to see his children since the week Jacque disappeared. The triplets Maddox, Avery and Addison, are being cared for by their aunt Cheryl Brenneke, where Jacque was staying for her safety, after leaving Clay Waller in March.
Jacque’s sister Cheryl Brenneke said Jacque was the victim of domestic abuse and Clay Waller had threatened to kill her sister in the past. After she moved out of their home in March for her safety, he continued to harass her repeatedly with threatening phone calls. His threats were made against her to stop her from filing for divorce.
Clay Waller refuses to give interviews. His attorney Scott Reynolds is guilty of domestic abuse, and didn’t succeed in murdering his fiancée because she had removed bullets from his handgun. Reynolds said, “Clay Waller misses his wife and hopes she is found OK. He had nothing to do with her disappearance and sympathizes with her family.”
Jacque’s parents, Stan and Ruby Rawson, told Good Morning America that their daughter had been the victim of abusive domestic violence.
Mr Rawson said, “The police are operating on the assumption that something must have happened, that's for sure. I am operating on the assumption that something did happen, and have no doubt in my mind about what happened.”
Jacque’s mother Ruby Rawson said she confronted her son-in-law on the night of Jacque’s disappearance. “I asked him what he'd done to her and he said ‘I didn't do anything.’
“I said, ‘Yeah, you did and you know you did, because of all the threats you've been saying to her over the last year.’
“He said, ‘I have never threatened her.’ And I said, ‘Yes, you did, and we knew it all along.’”
In an interview with police immediately following Jacque’s disappearance, James Waller said that they had a heated argument before she left his home on Woodland Drive on foot. He said, “She walked out mad.” He then left his home, returning two hours later. He still refuses to say where he was and what he did during those two hours.
According to James Waller, Jacque’s blue Honda Pilot was gone by then. The vehicle was later found abandoned on Interstate 55 near the Fruitland exit, three miles from her estranged husband's residence, with a flat tire, in what police suspect may have been a scene staged to look like an abduction. Her business cards were found on the 13th June strewn about near a mailbox in Fruitland, Missouri, about five miles from where her car was abandoned.
Clay Waller has had contact with Law Enforcement occasionally for various reasons. He has been aggressive, threatening, controlling and abusing over some years. This got worse during the last year. Jacque feared what her husband would do if she ever left him.
In a reaction showing public feelings towards molesters and abusive spouses, similar to the reaction towards Casey Anthony, the Florida mother acquitted of murdering her toddler, Clay Waller’s 1993 Nissan pickup truck has been given a paint job. Insulting terms, which included child molester, dirt bag and killer had been spray-painted on his truck.
Abusive relationships are best avoided by getting to know your prospective spouse over a longer time period. Narcissistic abusers can be the most charming people you can meet, but once they feel they have a hold on their victim their behavior turns nasty. The victim is confused as there was a charming person before. Keeping heir victim off balance and controlling their partner, emotionally and psychologically, their partners often remain with the abuser for a long time, even defending them.
“We never dreamed we would be in this position," Jacque Waller’s mother Ruby said. "We keep thinking, you're going to wake up and all this nightmare is going to be over. But it's never over.”
This is a typical statement made daily across the country by numerous domestic abuse victims and their family members.
Do not tolerate domestic abuse. For victims; be aware of the signs of an emotional abuser. For family members, parents, brothers and sisters; be aware of the signs of emotional and verbal abuse.
But He Never Hit Me
by Jill Murray
But I Love Him
by Jill Murray
Free Yourself From an Abusive Relationship
by Richard Kraus
The Verbally Abusive Relationship
by Patricia Evans
What to Do When Love Turns Violent
by Marian Betancourt
Time's Up: How to Escape Abusive and Stalking Relationships Guide
by Susan Murphy-Milano