Real Name: Diane Washer
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Covington, Kentucky
Date: July 20, 1994
Details: On the evening of July 20, 1994, thirty-nine-year-old Diane Washer and her estranged husband Jimmy had an argument about money. Diane had received an $10,000 SSI settlement because of her bad back. As she tried to get to the phone, Jimmy tried to attack Diane, so she hit him with the phone and called 911. However, by the time police arrived, Jimmy had left. Diane told them that she was okay and she left. Shortly thereafter, Diane vanished.
A few days later, Jimmy asked Diane's family where she was, but they had no idea what had happened to her. A few weeks later, Diane's daughter Lisa went to her home and discovered that she had left behind pills that she needed to help her back pain. She knew something was wrong. On August 24, her family reported her missing, and investigators soon focused on her husband Jimmy as a suspect.
Suspects: Jimmy Washer became the prime suspect because he never reported his wife missing. Jimmy took a polygraph, but the results were inconclusive. He was never ruled out as a suspect.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the August 21, 2001 episode, about Dr. Emily Craig. The case was already solved by the time it was aired.
Results: Solved. In the summer of 1997, three years after Diane vanished, deputies searching for an illegal marijuana field found a crushed skull and several other bones in a creek in Boone County, Kentucky. Further searches of the area turned up a total of seventeen bones. The remains were brought to a forensic anthropologist named Dr. Emily Craig, who found that some of the bones had flesh on the end. She determined that the death was between 12 and 36 months (1 to 3 years) before the remains were found. She found that the victim was a 35-40 year old woman who was about 5'3". A bone from the victim's lower back apparently had arthritis, or some sort of back pain. The victim had also suffered from massive head trauma at the time of death.
Police soon found a match to the profile: Diane Washer. In June of 1998, she was positively identified through DNA testing. An informant came forward to claim that a local house painter, Larry Ray Freeman, was responsible for Diane's death. When Freeman was brought in for questioning by police, he confessed that he and Diane got drunk and then went joyriding. He claimed that he lost control of the car and Diane was ejected from the passenger seat. Freeman then took Diane's body and threw it into the creek. This was an area where he had been raised. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to twenty years in prison. He has since been released. However, he was returned to prison on unrelated charges in 2017.
- Man charged in '94 death
- Man pleads guilty to manslaughter - Says woman died when car crashed
- Sentence delayed in manslaughter
- 20-year term not enough to satisfy slain woman's family
- Freeman v. Kentucky
- Larry Freeman Inmate Profile