How I Caught My Killer (2023) s01e09 Episode Script

There was a monster inside of him.


[mobile keyboard clacking]
NARRATOR: Sarah Butler,
she's on fire!
- She's the first member of
her family to go to college.
NARRATOR: An inspiration to
anyone lucky enough to meet her.
- Dancing and performing
herself, became her community.
NARRATOR: But when
she turns up dead
REPORTER: The young woman disappeared
right before Thanksgiving.
Her body discovered on Thursday
night in the Eagle Rock Reservation
in West Orange, New Jersey.
NARRATOR: a trail of digital
breadcrumbs left by multiple women
suggests this case
is much bigger
than just Sarah Butler.
WOMAN: One of our friends
had his telephone number.
This is his telephone number.
[phone vibrating]
NARRATOR: This is the
story of a hero
- A fourth woman, we're
told, managed to escape
after allegedly being attacked
by that suspect as well.
NARRATOR: who uncovers a horrific threat
stalking the streets of North Jersey.
- I know he just raped me.
I know he has handcuffs.
I know he had duct tape.
Now, what's the next thing?
This guy wanna kill me.
Eerie music playing ♪
MAN 1: She solved her own
murder from beyond the grave.
MAN 2: The fitness app on the
phone, it was overwhelming evidence.
I've been haunted by the visions
that I've seen with my own eyes ♪
And the only way to find you ♪
Is to open up the lies ♪
MAN 3: She did help
catch this killer.
NARRATOR: In the shadow
of the Manhattan skyline
is Newark, New Jersey.

It's here, on
November 22nd, 2016,
that the disappearance of
19-year-old Sarah Butler
sparks the fear that something
isn't right in northern New Jersey.
MAN: Maag interview, take one.
I'm Christopher Maag.
I'm a columnist for The Record
newspaper in New Jersey and USA TODAY.
Sarah Butler is a
19-year-old college student.
She grew up in
Montclair, New Jersey.
But she went away to college,
not very far, at New
Jersey City University.
It was only 10 miles.
NARRATOR: Like most kids her age,
Sarah does everything online.
So she joins a dating
app called Tagged.

On November 22nd,
while back home for Thanksgiving
break, she makes a connection.
Excited, she takes her mom's
minivan to go on a date.
- She's expected
home with the van
at 08:00 p.m. that evening.
By 08:05 p.m. that
night, on November 22nd,
Sarah's mother is worried.
Sarah's very punctual.
This is not like
her to not show up.
[clock ticking]
Especially since Sarah is
driving her mother's car.
NARRATOR: Sarah's sisters
and parents text and call
[line ringing]
but they get nothing back.
Uneasy music playing ♪
next morning,
uh, Sarah's mother goes
to Montclair Police
and reports her
daughter missing.
NARRATOR: The police
hear Sarah's mother out,
but in their eyes, there
isn't a lot to be done.
CHRISTOPHER: Montclair police
don't have any evidence of a crime.
Sarah Butler is barely an adult,
but she is 19,
and all they know is
that she's missing.
NARRATOR: But that's not good
enough for the Butler family.
Sarah doesn't disappear,
it's not who she is
or how she was raised.

- Sarah Butler grew
up not poor, exactly,
but not as affluent as most
people think of as Montclair.
She was really into dance.
There was a dance school around
the corner from her home.
Dancing and performing
herself became her community.
She's the first member of
her family to go to college
and she struggles.
She doesn't meet a whole
lot of friends in college.
She's also having
some money trouble.
And just paying for college is a
struggle for her and her family.
sticks it out.
College is important
to the Butlers.
Even if school's a struggle,
the future is bright.
So there's no good reason for
Sarah Butler to go missing.
[indistinct radio chatter]
Sarah's friends and family start
investigating on their own,
and they find nothing
until three days after
her disappearance.
CHRISTOPHER: November 25th, a friend of
Sarah's sister spots the family's minivan.
[siren wailing]
[indistinct radio chatter]
Sarah' sister and
some friends arrive
after the police
are already there.
And police are
searching the van.
Sarah's sister and friends notice the
same red hair that Sarah was wearing
the night that she went out.
That's a very important
piece of evidence.
So the parking lot where the van was found
is searched by police and a cadaver dog.
They don't find anything.
NARRATOR: The abandoned van
and hair proved to police
that something likely
did happen to Sarah.
As law enforcement dust
the car for fingerprints
and scours what they now
believe is a crime scene,
one of Sarah's
sisters has an idea.
CHRISTOPHER: Sarah's sister and
friends know all of her passwords
to all of her accounts.
So they get into her
Facebook, they get into Tagged
and begin to look for clues.
NARRATOR: It doesn't take long for
them to find a suspect of their own:
a man Sarah went to meet on
the day she went missing.
reaches out to her there,
his username is LilYachtRock.
After a very short
preliminary hello,
LilYachtRock writes,
"Sex for money?"
And Sarah Butler is taken
aback. She says, "Wow."
Then she says, "How much money?"
And they negotiate a little,
and a price is
agreed upon. $500.
And she says, "You're not a
serial killer, right? lmao."
NARRATOR: Sarah is cautious,
but college is expensive
and she needs the cash.
So she gives
LilYachtRock her number
and agrees to meet up.

later, on November 23rd,

LilYachtRock instructs her to pick him up
at a gigantic house in Orange, New Jersey.
NARRATOR: And that's it.
After that, all of Sarah's
communication stops.
This guy must know something.
So Sarah's sister and
friends make a plan.
They're gonna
catfish LilYachtRock.
Dramatic music playing ♪
CHRISTOPHER: They decide to make a
fake profile on Tagged for a woman.
They know that LilYachtRock is
offering a fair deal of money to meet,
so they're trying to
create this character
that fits the type of
person he's looking for.
NARRATOR: The trap is set.
So the women go to law enforcement
to share what they found
and what they've done.
CHRISTOPHER: The women are inside
Montclair Police headquarters
[phone chimes] when they
first get his response.
They freak out.
This is crazy.
This is the guy that Sarah
Butler went on a date with
the last time she was seen.
And he's right there.
He says, "Sex for money?
Wanna meet?"
NARRATOR: The detectives
love the hustle.
Now everyone works
together on a response.
- He is using the same
aggressive approach
that he used with Sarah Butler.
"Let's meet quickly.
Let's meet now."
They agree to meet him at
a local Panera Bread
[indistinct radio chatter]
but two Montclair police
officers go instead
[indistinct radio chatter]
and they do, in fact,
meet LilYachtRock.
[indistinct radio chatter]
NARRATOR: LilYachtRock is a
19-year-old New Jersey native.
Good looking.
- Montclair Police ask, "Can
we look inside your car?
Can we look inside your trunk?"
He says, "Sure."
tense music playing ♪
And they don't see
anything suspicious.
The police officers ask him to go to
the police headquarters with them.
[indistinct radio chatter]

And the officers
ask some questions.
Suspenseful music playing ♪
NARRATOR: He admits to meeting
Sarah on the night in question,
but says she dropped him off
and he never saw her again.
CHRISTOPHER: They've got a
person who seems eager to help.
He's not acting suspicious.
He doesn't seem
defensive in any way.
So they let him go.
back to square one.
A 19-year-old woman is missing,
and the Montclair police
are out of suspects.
But one week earlier, in
Elizabeth, New Jersey

[siren wailing]
even knowing it,
police have already met a victim
of the man responsible
for Sarah's disappearance
while investigating a brutal attack
that happened just 13 miles away.
MAN: Taylor
interview, take one.
name is Tiffany Taylor.
Unsettling music playing ♪
November 15, 2016, all
I remember is waking up,
in the back seat of a car,
to him raping me.
NARRATOR: What Tiffany experiences
is so horrifying and so brutal,
it will not only change
her life forever,
it will also shine a light
on the case of Sarah Butler.

Sea of fire ♪
NARRATOR: Seven days before
Sarah Butler disappeared,
33-year-old Tiffany Taylor's
connection to this story begins.
And the similarities to Sarah's
disappearance are chilling.
- So on November 15th, 2016,
Tiffany Taylor is
staying at the Ritz Motel
in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Burning still ♪
TIFFANY: I had got pregnant
with my second child.
I had got kicked
out of my apartment.
I really didn't have
anybody to turn to.
So I needed money
bad around that time
because I had to pay for this
room I had to keep up with
to keep a roof over my head.
I was meeting people
and taking their money
and doing whatever came to mind.
Whatever came to my my mind.
AUTOMATED VOICE: 500 feet slight
right toward New Jersey for 39 West.
- This area is just like
It just bring a lot
of memories back.
I'm having flashbacks
in my head.
[sirens wailing]
My friend, she was telling me that
one of her friends had needed a ride.
If I would give him a ride, he
would give me some gas money.
She gave me his phone number.
I started texting him.
I text him the address
to where I was.
He came.
I remember, um
he was standing right there.
I got in the car and he followed
and got in the passenger side.
And that's when I pulled off.
He was a tall guy, kinda slim,
and he had on like a ski mask
that fully covered his face.
And he had on gloves.
I didn't think it was strange
because everybody in Newark
and Jersey City area,
all the guys, they wear
ski masks and gloves
when it starts getting cold.
What I did was I
turned down this way
'cause he said he had
to use the bathroom.
And I pulled over right here.
I remember him asking
me for a cigarette.
He was really quiet.
I parked the car.
I gave him a cigarette.
Tense music playing ♪
And everything just went
kinda black at that point.
All I remember is waking up
in the backseat of the car
to him raping me
and choking me out
at the same time.
I remember turning around and
trying to scratch him in the face.
And he then handcuffed me,
my arms behind my back.
Then I saw him reach
and grab again.
And this time, he was
grabbing duct tape.
That's when I said to myself,
"Wow, this is not
just stopping at rape.
This guy wanna kill me."
But alive.
And Tiffany has a
lot to live for.
- At that point, it was
like prey trying to get away
from an animal
trying to eat them.
I had to get outta
that situation.
I was pregnant, and I
really wanted my baby.

I was gonna put up a fight
to the end.
If he was gonna kill
me, he had to die too.
I was not I wasn't beat.
With me crying and all that,
the duct tape started lifting
so I was able to
speak more clearly.
And I told him, "You know,
I left my phone in a room
"with all the texts
going back and forth.
Everything is on that phone."
I said, "When the
police find my phone,
they're gonna pick up on it quick
and they're gonna find you."
So he started panicking,
like, "Oh, no. Oh, no. I really
need you to get that phone.
I really need you
to get that phone."
The ride from where
the rape happened
and going back to the Ritz,
it seemed like it took an hour.
And it's, literally,
right there.
He got me out of the car and
pulled my pants and stuff back up.
I went up the stairs and
he followed behind me.
And I opened the
door really fast.
I darted in the room,
and I slammed the door on him.
I just remember him screaming, "Come
back out, come back out. You lied!"
And then I opened
up the curtain,
and I showed him that
I was out of one cuff.
I'm really flexible.
So, like, it's really easy
for me to get out of cuffs.
And I kinda gave him that look,
like, "Do you really think
I'm coming back out. Look."
And he ran off.

- Officers with the
Elizabeth Police show up.
[sirens wailing]
NARRATOR: Tiffany tells the
officers that she knows this guy.
She met him through a friend.
She gives police his name,
address, email, Facebook.
She knows practically
everything about him.
But they're only
focused on one thing.
CHRISTOPHER: They accuse
her of prostitution.
They threaten her with arrest.
And because they're hostile, she
knows that they don't believe her.
- I made it so easy for them.
They let this guy
just walk away.
They let him just
walk away, literally.
Nobody believes me.
as we could find,
no evidence was
introduced to suggest
that the Elizabeth Police
Department attempted to investigate
the assault against
Tiffany Taylor.
NARRATOR: And without
filing a report of any kind,
her attacker walks free.
- Seven days after Tiffany
Taylor was raped and attacked
and very nearly killed,
Sarah Butler goes missing.
NARRATOR: Sarah is missing.
Tiffany is savagely attacked.
But investigators
would eventually find
that they're not the only
women trapped in this story.
Far from it.
I'm standing helpless
by my window tonight ♪
Stars are shining but I
can't feel the light ♪
the end of 2016,
a chilling pattern emerges
in northeast Jersey.
But no one sees it yet.
Sarah Butler goes
missing on November 22nd.
November 15th,
Tiffany Taylor survives
an unspeakable attack.
But you all know
the truth ♪
further you look back,
the worse it gets.
I'm gone ♪

NARRATOR: October 22nd,
South Newark, New Jersey.
- On October 22nd, 2016,
33-year-old Joanne
Brown, known as London,
was outside a Popeyes
restaurant in Newark
WOMAN: Welcome to Popeyes.
May I take your order?
- when a man arrived
at about 01:00 p.m.
NARRATOR: And Joanne Brown
caught that man's eye.
A memory that still haunts
her friends to this day.
MAN: A, B common mark.
ASHLEY BATTLE: How you doing?
My name is Ashley Battle.
Me and Joanne,
we will forever be family.
She always just had
a heart of gold.
And she had us, Nesha and me.
first name is Farnesha.
I met Joanne Brown
in maybe, um, 2010, 2011.
She also went by London.
She was very pretty,
pretty hair, very humble,
bubbly personality.
ASHLEY: This is my
favorite photo of her,
'cause she's just so
vibrant, so happy.
You see the beautiful
smile on her.
You see the character
on her face.
Living with her foster
family, she got molested a lot
by her foster brothers, foster
cousins, foster uncles, aunts.
She was literally hurt
her whole, entire life.

FARNESHA: She just
wanted love and family,
that was all she was looking
for, I believe, for a long time.
Damn, this is a good life ♪
I wish I could've
froze it then ♪
ASHLEY: Her biggest dream was
to be a model and a mother.
Any time you see her,
you'd have thought she
was walking down a runway.
She's just trying to
make money to survive.
Some people don't
have other options.
NARRATOR: So on Saturday
afternoon, October 22nd,
when a good-looking, smooth guy in
a BMW rolls up looking for a date,
Joanne is game.

But when she gets
into this guy's car,
one of the women in the group
asks to use Joanne's phone
to make an urgent call.
- So Joanne handed off her phone
and didn't have
it as they drove.
departs with the client.
But just a few minutes later,
probably realizing she
doesn't have her cell,
Joanne borrows his phone.
She calls her friend Amina,
and tells her she's safe.
Two and a half hours later,
Amina gets another call
[phone ringing]
from the same number Joanne called
from earlier that afternoon.
- Amina picks up
and says
AMINA: Hello?
- And there's silence on
the other end of the line.
AMINA: Hello?
- And then the call ends.
doesn't get it.
Is Joanne calling
her? Is she okay?
If she's safe, why
doesn't she say something?
- Amina called several times
after that, and no one picked up.
NARRATOR: When Joanne doesn't
reappear later that evening,
Amina recognizes the importance of
having this guy's cell phone number.
- The next day, Amina went to Newark
Police to report Joanne missing.
NARRATOR: But law enforcement
doesn't take immediate action.
[siren wailing]
it's the same number
that Tiffany Taylor tries to
give police 24 days later.
OFFICER: And he just ran away?
TIFFANY: He ran away.
to the precinct,
I'm like, um, "I wanna
report a missing person."
The first thing they said,
"Well, was she a streetwalker?"
ASHLEY: Everybody
deserves help.
And they did not help that girl.
Police don't care
about women like that.
They feel like women like that
put their self in a predicament.
NARRATOR: Joanne's friends
feel ignored by police,
so they do their own sleuthing.
ASHLEY: We called
every hospital
to see if she even checked
herself in a psych ward.
Then called every jail that
she can possibly go to.
Are you afraid ♪
Or are you taking
a leap of faith? ♪
NARRATOR: Weeks go by.
- I was scared and worried.
NARRATOR: Joanne is
gone without a trace.
Her friends fear the worst.
I'm not one to judge ♪
But I'm not one
to sit and wait ♪
But there's no concrete
evidence of a crime
unless you look back
two months earlier.

Just two miles from where
Joanne went missing,
when another woman gets
into the same silver BMW
FIREFIGHTER: [over radio] All
right, we have a possible body.
NARRATOR: and is never
seen alive again.

NARRATOR: August 31st,
2016, northeast New Jersey.
The first woman in a
string of disappearances
goes missing.

A beautiful 19-year-old
named Robin West.

MAN: West interview, take one.
Reverend Leroy West.
I am associate pastor for
Bible Fellowship Church of God,
uh, in Philadelphia,
Robin was born
September 5th of 1996.
Very energetic, full of life.
The biggest thing that we
had in common was music.
That's what brought us together.
She was a free spirit.
If she decided to do something,
that's what she was
going do, you know?
And you couldn't
sway her either way.
time Robin is 19,
that independent spirit
finds itself wanting more.
So Robin and her best friend, Breneisha,
have a risky side hustle in Philadelphia
where they've grown up.
- Breneisha and Robin began
working as sex workers,
and they would pair up
to keep each other safe.
They would meet clients
online through websites
and then meet the clients at hotel
rooms around the Philadelphia area.
- Our children do things that
we may not like all the time.
They go astray. It doesn't
mean we don't love you.

NARRATOR: In the fall of 2016,
with Robin's 20th
birthday on the horizon,
she and Breneisha decide to head
up the turnpike to North Jersey
to celebrate.

- She and Breneisha
stayed at a motel
in Union Township in New
Jersey for a few nights,
but they ran out of money.
NARRATOR: Out of cash
to party and hang out,
they have an idea.
CHRISTOPHER: On August 31st,
Robin West arrived on
Nye Avenue in Newark
for her first night as a
sex worker on the street.
And so, at about 11:00 p.m.,
one of the first cars to
arrive was a silver BMW,
driven by a man whom Breneisha described
as young, good looking, and charming.
Robin got into the car.
NARRATOR: Robin and Breneisha have known
each other since they were 14 years old.
They've always been
there for each other.
And so, Breneisha does what
any good friend would do,
just in case.
- Breneisha says, "Take care
of my sister. I love her."
And as part of
this interaction
[phone camera clicks]
Breneisha takes a picture of the
BMW's license plate with her phone.
And the man and Robin drive off.

NARRATOR: Three hours later
[siren wailing]
at 02:00 in the morning,
seven miles from where
Breneisha sees Robin off,
there's a house on fire.
was a large fire.
DISPATCHER: [over radio]
- It became a five-alarm fire
with all the appearances of arson.
[sirens wailing]
Firefighters from five different
cities showed up to put it out.
FIREFIGHTER: [over radio]
NARRATOR: The body is
burned beyond recognition.
And with arson declared
as the cause of the fire,
the crime is now a
homicide investigation.

By 06:00 a.m., Breneisha
hasn't heard from Robin.
No texts. No calls.
CHRISTOPHER: When Breneisha
didn't hear from Robin,
she went to the Newark
Police 16th precinct
to report Robin missing.
She gave a description of the
man who was last seen with Robin,
and she gave the police
his license plate.
NARRATOR: Law enforcement in
Newark listens to Breneisha's story
and her concerns.
But, technically,
Robin is just missing.
So investigators choose
not to run the plate
and give Robin time to show up.

LEROY: We were texting her because
it was close to her birthday,
and we weren't
getting any response.
Her and I were close enough, to
where, if I text her or call her,
she would get back to me.
Still not hearing from her
or knowing where she was at,
you know, it it
became a real issue.

NARRATOR: Then on September
13th, a father's worst nightmare.
Two weeks after that
five-alarm house fire,
the body found in the flames
is finally identified.
It's Robin West.
LEROY: I screamed
and then, like,
slid to the floor.
She was strangled.
Someone dumped her body
in an abandoned house
and then lit her on fire.
She didn't deserve
to die like this.
NARRATOR: Police don't
know who's responsible,
but there's an answer.
It's with the woman
that started this story.

Sarah Butler,
the college kid from
Montclair who loved to dance.
She went missing
on November 22nd
after meeting a handsome
young guy from the internet.
After 12 long days of searching,
the Butler family is desperate
for news of Sarah's whereabouts.
Finally, the police secure
Sarah's cell phone records.
The detectives race to the last
location Sarah Butler's phone pinged,
a local park
called Eagle Rock Reservation.
CHRISTOPHER: They walked
across the property there
and hidden partially
behind a trailer,
beside a gravel parking lot,
there's a body.
NARRATOR: It's the
body of Sarah Butler.
She's been strangled
like Robin West.
Strangled with her own sweat
pants tied around her neck.

- Maurice and Christine, there has been
a steady stream of friends and family
here at the home
of Sarah Butler.
The young woman disappeared
right before Thanksgiving.
Her body discovered on Thursday
night in the Eagle Rock Reservation
in West Orange, New Jersey.
NARRATOR: The coroner finds DNA
lodged under her fingernails.
It's clear that Sarah
struggled with her killer.
But whose DNA is it?
Could it be the last guy she met with
the night she went missing, LilYachtRock?
The guy police talked
to and let go.
- LilYachtRock, who turns out
to be Khalil Wheeler-Weaver.
the 19-year-old
New Jersey native,
doesn't look like the kind
of guy who could hurt anyone,
but he was the last person
to see Sarah Butler alive,
and he drives a silver BMW,
just like the BMW Robin West
and Joanne Brown got into.
Tense music playing ♪
CHRISTOPHER: December 4th,
police execute a search warrant
on Wheeler-Weaver's house.
They find two cell
phones in his bedroom.
NARRATOR: They also
ask for his DNA.
Evidence was found
that she had skin that matched,
uh, Wheeler-Weaver's DNA
under her fingernails.

MAN: I couldn't help her.
It's the most hardest part.
I loved her, she knew that.
And I would do
anything for my baby.
- Rest in peace, Sarah, and
you will truly be missed.
ALL: Sarah.

December 4th, 2016,
Wheeler-Weaver is arrested for
the murder of Sarah Butler.
The next day, in an abandoned
house in East Orange,
contractors discover the
body of Joanne Brown.
It's the same abandoned house
where Sarah Butler met
Khalil Wheeler-Weaver
the day she was murdered.
And just like Sarah,
Joanne has been strangled
and wrapped in duct tape.
Somber music playing ♪
Joanne's friends,
Farnesha and Ashley,
finally get the call
they've been dreading.

FARNESHA: We went to
the detective's office
and I just heard
Ashley screaming.
- I had to identify her
body through a picture,
and it made me
sick to my stomach.

That guy strangled her
with her own jacket.
He burnt her up with cigarettes.
He just tortured her for hours.
NARRATOR: Investigators don't know
who tortured and killed Joanne,
but they will.
The night Wheeler-Weaver is
arrested for Sarah Butler's murder,
a man watching the local news
starts putting the puzzle together.
REPORTER: [on TV] Authorities
are waiting for autopsy results
before they pursue a lead
that they already have.
[phone vibrating]
TIFFANY: And I get this call
from my brother, saying,
"Tiffany, they got him.
They got him, Tiffany."
REPORTER: Some new
information tonight now,
in the death of a college
student from Montclair.
Police say they have arrested a
suspect in the murder of Sarah Butler.
- He forwarded me
the the link.
I saw it and I looked and
I said, "Yeah, that's him.
"They got him.
They got him."
REPORTER: Police believe 20-year-old
Khalil Wheeler-Weaver of East Orange
strangled Sarah Butler.
- I feel as though her
life could have been saved
if only the police
would have believed me.

OFFICER: And he just ran away?
TIFFANY: He ran away.
I knew I had to do something because
I didn't get away for nothing.
So I started to open my mouth.
REPORTER: Victor Butler holds
his wife as she wipes away tears,
watching 20-year-old Khalil Wheeler-Weaver
face charges in their daughter's murder.
84 days, in 2016,
Sarah Butler, Robin West, and
Joanne Brown are murdered.
Tiffany Taylor barely
escapes with her life.
Might not see
the light again ♪
But I won't stop trying ♪
- I knew I had to do something.
So I started going to that court
and letting them know who I am.
tells the prosecutor,
"Khalil Wheeler-Weaver
did this to me too."
- Tiffany Taylor was able to
establish the common modus operandi
through each of these cases.
He wraps their
mouth in duct tape,
he rapes them,
he strangles them.
It's a very specific way
of attacking someone.
And so, police realize that Joanne
Brown and Robin West fit the model.
NARRATOR: After Tiffany
establishes a pattern,
investigators dig into recent
unsolved murders in the area
and find the evidence collected
by the women in this story,
evidence that was largely
ignored at the time.
- One of our friends had
his telephone number.
This is his telephone number.
CHRISTOPHER: Robin's friend took a
picture of Khalil's license plate.
- They already knew his name.
I gave them everything,
he walked away.
- I never, in a
million years, think
that I would be involved
with a serial killer.
That's scary.
CHRISTOPHER: Khalil Wheeler-Weaver,
born and raised in New Jersey,
he was viewed as an outsider,
bit of a nerd.
He came from a good family.
NARRATOR: But no one could've
imagined the darkness lurking within.
TIFFANY: I feel like there
was a monster inside of him
because I saw that
other personality too.
The The quiet guy.
The kid.
What happened
to that kid?
justice takes time.
There's a lot of
evidence to sort through.
Three murders,
one attempted murder.
It's three years till the trial.
Finally, in September
2019, it happens.
CHRISTOPHER: He was facing three counts
of murder, one of attempted murder,
rape, arson, and desecration
of human remains.
The evidence going into
the trial is very damning.
TIFFANY: I had to
testify against him.
The first time that I saw him
in court,
I remember I jumped
out of my skin
and I I felt like
I couldn't breathe.

But that scaredness went
to madness.
I wasn't gonna let him get away
with what he did to me.
He had to go.
NARRATOR: Investigators have plenty
of evidence on the women's phones,
but they've got Khalil
Wheeler-Weaver's phone too,
and it connects every dot.

CHRISTOPHER: He tracked and
found women using his phone.
He plotted ways to kill
them using his phone.
Everything was with his phone.
And what's interesting
about this case
is how these women used
his tools against him.
NARRATOR: It's like he turned
his own phone on himself
and pulled the trigger.
- The murders that he committed,
his cell phone put
him at every location.
He never cracked.
No facial expression,
no remorse,
no nothing.
But when you have a
mountain of evidence
that's pointing in your direction,
you know, you can't deny that.
I mean, when they brought
the cartons of evidence,
there was It was
so high. [laughs]
You know, there were so many
boxes of stuff against him.
You know,
how can you sit there and
say it it wasn't you?
NARRATOR: That mountain of evidence
takes three months to present at trial.
But it only takes the jury two hours
to determine Wheeler-Weaver's guilt.
WOMAN: As to count one,
what is your verdict?
WOMAN: Count two?
WOMAN: Count three?
on all 11 counts.
Somber music playing ♪
- I didn't feel like I had the
power until sentencing day.

I tried everything I could do to
make sure that the people heard me
and that he was
gonna be locked up.
Him saying that he
still didn't do it
makes me feel like he has no
type of remorse about it at all.
On sentencing day
is when I felt the power.
That's when I felt it.

- 25-year-old Khalil Wheeler-Weaver,
now sentenced to 160 years in prison.
- The purpose of
this sentence, again,
is that this defendant
never walk among society again.

REPORTER: Khalil Wheeler-Weaver accused
of strangling this teenager to death.
Mawa Doumbia vanished in 2016
after she left her home in Newark.
Police say digital evidence connected
her death to Mr. Wheeler-Weaver.
Uneasy music playing ♪
ASHLEY: There's a lot of Black
girls that have been missing.
There's a lot of sex workers
that have been going missing.
Have he been doing this?
Because don't nobody just wake up today
and just wanna just kidnap four people.
He could've done this
to many other girls,
and this is all
y'all know about.
NARRATOR: The possibility that there
are even more women who lost their lives
is haunting.
But the actions of
these four young women
and their friends
caught a killer.
absolutely true
that the women who were
victims of Wheeler-Weaver
and women who put themselves in the
path of becoming his next victim
stopped him.
Without their intervention,
it seems likely that he would've
murdered many more women.
Somber music playing ♪
- This is all I have right here.
Her ashes are inside this cross.
She died in 2016. I have
not taken this off yet.
I want people to know
how much she was loved.
You know I miss you already ♪
I don't know where
my head is lately ♪
Have I lost my mind? ♪
But I know that
I have a secret ♪
And it's only mine ♪
And the only way to find me ♪
Is to open up the lies ♪
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