Friday, March 13, 2009


This article was brought to my attention and I was so amazed that I had to contact Ryn to ask her permission to print it. It was as if the words poured out of my mouth, her speculations were right on the money. We need people like her in our corner, the "Good ol'e boy country was certainly in full gear the night of September 16, 1972.

Hayden's Cold Case Hayday
January 04, 2009 by
Ryn Riddle

Setting Bond for Police Chief George Hayden in Jacksonville, NC the Alleged Murderer of Sgt. William Donald Miller
Could it really be a good ole boy's county?

I enjoy reading the Sunday paper, sitting on my couch with a warm cup of coffee in my hand. I enjoy the conversations my husband and I have together. Also, I particularly like when they become a discussion or debate - unfortunately for my husband I became enraged with
one newly solved cold case file.

Back in August of 2008 our local paper The Jacksonville Daily News, ran an article about a young girl who's father was murdered when she was one year old. I was saddened reading her poor story of growing up without her real father. I too grew up without my biological father as he was hit by a train when I was two years old. So I related to everything this poor girl was saying about missing her father. Her fathers body was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, see her father was a United States Marine.

Now if you have read any of my poems or articles you will know I am married to a United States Marine and believe me when I tell you the military is always close to my heart. The veterans that fought before my time, as well as the active duty of today. So when I am reading this article I find out the victim was a US Marine and he was shot down in cold blood my heart starts hurting. His body being found on a deserted road, - being shot in the back and in the head. Tears started flowing down my cheek while visions of this body were created in my head. Laying in the dirt, alone on a September evening. I wondered did he suffer, did he try to get back to his car? I have a great imagination and my mind really ran with this thirty six year old cold case event.

One month later a breaking news story Former police chief charged in 1972 homicide. What? A Police chief? And then the story thickens. Back in 1972 our victim who was active duty and married to a Marine, they both were stationed here at Camp LeJeune, NC. Our victim "Miller" returned from a deployment in Okinawa only to find his best friend (also an active duty marine) had moved in with his wife while he was deployed. Could you imagine the heart break? Your best friend moving in with your wife and family while you are deployed? I don't' know who to despise the most... the wife or the best friend... both were "Brothers in Arms". What happen to Semper Fi? Always Faithful?

Of course Miller did the correct thing - he kicked his best friend out of his house - amazingly his wife followed her new lover out the door. One month later our victim, a father of three, a United States Marine was found dead. NCIS and Jacksonville Police Department worked the case and had some leads like: Millers body was found shot in the head and back on Western Boulevard, about an hour after he was scheduled to meet with his wife, according to investigative reports. Hmm... something sounds fishy on the home-front however nothing was ever proven and the case went unsolved for 36 years. The little girls' lives where changed for 36 years.

The widowed wife was held up at the funeral by the best friend/lover - doesn't that just disgust you? Millers poor family - what did his Mom think watching the mother of her granddaughter fall and being picked up by the lover/ ex-friend? Little did the family know another shocker was just four months after Millers death. The widow Babbitt and the best friend Hayden were married.

Due to this love triangle the Sheriff's Department, the SBI, the Marine Corps and NCIS investigated the Hayden's for more than a year before Miller's homicide case turned cold. Investigators at the time could not find enough substantial evidence to arrest Hayden, according to the JAG letter. Amazingly when this cold case article was published in the paper – someone’s heart also broke - a witness to the crime.

News crews went crazy and my heart sank even deeper. Hayden (the lover) retired from the military after 20 years of service. He worked as a reserve officer for the Cape Carteret Police Department beginning in 1985 and joined the Carteret County Sheriff's Department shortly after retiring. He returned to Cape Carteret in 1994, all according to Daily News archived reports. Hayden joined the Belhaven Police Department in May 2001. He was fired as police chief in March of this year after an accusation he had been insubordinate to the town's manager, according to WITN-TV.

Here is a man, who for more than a year, was under suspicion for murder and he goes on to finish his career as a US Marine and then later become a Police Chief? What kind of world are we living in? Didn't anyone check the records before nominating Hayden to the position? Doesn't anyone do research any more? If you found out a man running for Police Chief had been investigated for over a year as a main suspect in a murder case would you elect him chief of police? Even if there wasn't enough evidence to convict Hayden, would you want him on your police force?

At this point in the cold case I am floored until the next day when I read: Miller's wife at the time of his death, Vickie Miller Hayden Babbitt, is expected to be arrested by Sheriff's Capt. Rick Sutherland and Naval Criminal Investigative Services Special Agent Dan Calin later today, said Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown. She also will be charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder, I knew it!! I knew she was involved. Grieving widow my butt!

WOW!! My heart is elated, they both got what they deserved, locked up - throw away the key. Finally!!! These two took a life needlessly - left a human being they knew and I assumed loved at some point in time to die in the dirt and then they walk around free for 36 years. Good Job CSI. The judge felt the nudge in his heart as well and stated bail was denied. Yes!!! My head is screaming inside, Yes Yes Yes, lock them up and throw away the key. Hurry let's get this trial over with and give them both a life sentence.

No,,, here comes another wrench... Former Cape Carteret and Belhaven Police Chief George Hayden, 57, of Portside Lane in Belhaven, was released on a $350,000 bond Nov. 7 What?? Excuse me? Why?? How?? I am fuming. I am ranting to my husband, I am calling my mother up long distance and hollering about the injustice and I even went so far to bring it up at the family reunion during Thanksgiving. My husband is so tired of hearing about this subject. I continue to fight for the Good Ole Boy rules coming into play. You know someone knew someone and then said - "Let him out" Let him spend a few more months with his family - if we put his house and his grandchildren's house up he won't skip, he is a good guy and will not leave his grandchildren high and dry. How do you know? He left Millers daughter high and dry without her real father. He didn't give Miller a chance to spend the rest of his life with his family - so why should we let him out on bail?? Because he is not a flight risk, we took his passport.

What do you think he could do in 3 months time in the computer age that he couldn't do in one night back in 1972? Then my voice raised and my husbands eyebrows raises at the same time. Now I am pacing in my living room - outraged - why let him bail out? Then ** poof ** the answers is right before me - its a good ole boys network. We live in a town full of retired military members and somehow we never grew out of the Good Ole Boy syndrome? Ohh give me a break.

He's running y'all - bet me - he is leaving - he is plotting - he will not stay here. Heck he doesn't even have to give up his own computer - you know he is plotting for another passport. I am amazed at our local Judge in our town of Jacksonville, NC. How could he do this to our community? To Millers daughter? What about the witness's safety? I thought this only happened on TV - guess I was wrong.

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