The discovery of Evelynne Derricott’s dead body at her home in October 2011 had the authorities scrambling for the killer. The beloved grandmother seemed to be the victim of an attempted burglary, but it was many years before the culprit was brought to justice. Investigation Discovery’s ‘On The Case With Paula Zahn: Hammer and Dust’ features Evelynne’s case and how DNA evidence played a crucial role in arresting the killer. So, if you’re curious to find out more, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Evelynne Derricott Die?
Evelynne lived alone at her residence in Tooele, Utah. The 69-year-old married Brent Derricott in 1970 and had two daughters: Candice and Cathlynn. She had lost her husband in 1997 but continued to live in the family home. Evelynne worked as a transportation officer for more than two decades, retiring a couple of years before the incident. She was a well-known figure in the neighborhood and had been enjoying her time off when tragedy struck.
Sometime before noon on October 7, 2011, Evelynne’s neighbor went to check on her. She was worried because the 69-year-old hadn’t been answering her phone. The neighbor saw the door was unlocked and noticed Evelynne’s body by the stairs in the doorway. She immediately called 911. The authorities noted that Evelynne had been brutally murdered; she was hit in the head 14 times with a hammer found at the scene.
Who Killed Evelynne Derricott?
The authorities realized that there were no signs of a struggle or forced entry into the house. As per the show, nothing of value was missing apart from Evelynne’s heart medication. But the garage was a different story. It seemed that the killer left in Evelynne’s car, providing the police with a lead to follow. Apart from the bloody hammer, the other piece of evidence found was a shoeprint on a ladder in the garage.
The police then focused on finding the car. They learned that Evelynne’s phone was also in the vehicle, so getting an approximate location became easy by pinging it. A day after the crime was reported, the authorities found Evelynne’s car in Kearns, Utah, more than 30 miles from her residence. Her phone, along with her purse and other belongings, was inside. After this, the steering wheel and the hammer were sent through for touch DNA analysis.
Examination revealed that the same unidentified male DNA profile was present on the hammer and the steering wheel, confirming the killer acted alone. However, there were no matches on the database at the time. The authorities had to wait until 2016 to make an arrest. At the time, they used familial DNA analysis to locate people related to the unidentified profile found.
By assembling a family tree, the police eventually zeroed in on Rogelio Diaz Jr. He was related to someone already in the database. Furthermore, Rogelio matched the suspect profile the authorities had, and as per the show, his listed address was in the neighborhood where Evelynne’s car was found. Then about 23 years old, he was arrested in May 2016. However, Rogelio denied having anything to do with the crime and claimed he never set foot inside Evelynne’s house or car.
Where is Rogelio Diaz Jr?
The authorities believed that Rogelio was surprised by Evelynne while he attempted to burglarize her house. So, he hit her in the head several times in a panic and then fled the scene. In December 2019, just before the trial was about to start, Rogelio pleaded guilty to reduced charges of manslaughter and aggravated burglary. He received consecutive sentences of one year to fifteen years and five years to life, respectively. Prison records indicate that Rogelio remains incarcerated at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah.
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What is Angelyne’s Net Worth?
Ronia Tamar Goldberg, also known as Angelyne, is an actress, singer, and model who was born on October 2, 1950, in Chmielnik, Poland. Her parents were Holocaust survivors who survived the most horrific form of human rights violations while in Skarżysko-Kamienna German Nazi concentration camps. After the liberation by allied forces, they lived in Poland […]
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Is Angelyne’s Jeff Glasner a Real Journalist? Where is He Now?
‘Angelyne‘ is an addictive biographical drama TV series on Peacock. Created by Nancy Oliver, it delves into the intriguing life of Angelyne, a model and media influencer, who became a pop culture icon in Los Angeles during the 80s. Apart from her rise to stardom, the show also captures the perspectives of those who know her up close and how they impact her journey.
One such person is Jeff Glasner, an entertainment journalist, who sets out to find out the secrets Angelyne fiercely protects and drastically changes her life. The realistic portrayal of the character makes the audience wonder whether Jeff is based on a real person. Let’s unravel this mystery together, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Jeff Glasner a Real Journalist?
In ‘Angelyne,’ Jeff Glasner is a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter who writes an explosive article about the sensational celebrity’s childhood and family. For his research, he spends time with her and records interviews, but when she refuses to divulge anything substantial about her life and beginnings, he decides to conduct his own investigation. In reality, Jeff’s character is based on journalist Gary Baum, who works for The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2017, Gary wrote and published an elaborate article that details Angelyne’s humble beginnings, before she became famous as the “Billboard Queen” of Los Angeles. Earlier, he wrote a profile article for her in 2015, but as per him, she dodged any questions about her parents or other topics like religion and her upbringing. In his 2017 article, Gary shared that in the fall of 2016, he was approached by a man who went by the pseudonym, Ed Thompson. He was a federal government employee who undertook paid assignments as a hobby genealogist on the side.
For his personal interest, Ed decided to find out about Angelyne a few years earlier and then contacted Gary, who was researching her. He provided the material he had collected over the years from public databases, including her yearbook pictures, as well as the immigration, marriage, and death records of her parents. All this information helped prove that Angelyne’s original name was Renee Tami Goldberg (earlier known as Ronia Tamar Goldberg). She was born in October 1950 in Poland, to Jewish parents who were Holocaust survivors.
Ed’s findings also revealed Angelyne’s tumultuous childhood as well as her brief marriage to Michael Strauss during her high school days. After her divorce in 1969, her original name resurfaced in 2016, when she discreetly petitioned to change it to Angelyne legally. However, in the legal document, she mentioned being a resident of Louiseville, Kentucky, and claimed to have been born in 1962. Since all this data was different than what Ed had shared, Gary tried contacting Angelyne’s friend and assistant Scott Hennig for clarity.
To Gary’s disappointment, both Scott and Angelyne reportedly rubbished the data provided by Ed and discouraged him from pursuing the matter any further. Luckily, when he continued looking for clues, he found an advertisement for a trophy engraving company that matched the residential address which Ed had found earlier. Moreover, Gary managed to track down Angelyne’s former husband Michael Strauss, who then confirmed all of the journalist’s findings and provided a fitting conclusion to his research.
After so many months of hard work, Gary’s article got published in August 2017 and received a massive response from Angelyne’s fans as well as the other public, who till then, were highly curious about her life. His written piece is one of the most accurate feature articles on the media icon’s illustrious life and has provided the base for the show’s narrative.
Where is Gary Baum Now?
Presently, Gary Baum works as a senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter, where he has been working for more than ten glorious years. Priorly, he worked with Angeleno Magazine for almost seven years, after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 11, 2022
Gary has written articles on several other relevant topics, such as the clearing of tents for unhoused residents in Los Angeles for film shoots, Jewish studio heads in Hollywood history, and investigative pieces on prominent public and administrative figures. Though he is highly active on the professional front, he seems to be rather private on social media about his life. As far as we can tell, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his family.
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