Everyone who has looked into Jill’s death has a theory on the case – and on the role her husband, Mike Wells, may have played in an incident that remains shrouded in mystery. For some, the suspicions took hold almost immediately. For others, the initial seeds of doubt were tremors that grew over time.
In Colorado, anyone can hold the job of county coroner – you don’t need a medical degree or any special work experience. Just as the family of Jill Wells found out how crucial the coroner can be in a death investigation, so have others in cases around the state – cases initially thought to be accidents or suicides that turned out to be something else.
In every report, every interview about Jill Wells death, her husband said she was prone on the ground, target shooting with her left index finger on the trigger. First responders to the scene say they were shocked to learn that. They’re now talking about what one described as the “Aha” moment. It’s why some of them are now talking about the case at all. Find out why on this episode of BLAME. Join the discussion https://www.facebook.com/groups/590724054462662/
Eight Episodes into BLAME and we a hearing a lot of feedback from people connected to the case. We want to hear from you too. Who should we be interviewing? Where should we look next? Have we missed something? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page 9Wants to Know or use #BLAMEpodcast.
If Tanner Wells is to believe he didn’t shoot and kill his mother, he needs to wrap his brain around the fact his own father may be to BLAME. We needed to know if what we were uncovering would be damaging to a young man who had already been through so much. We shared everything we’ve learned about the death of Jill Wells with a forensic psychologist. Should Tanner know about a system that failed his mother? Something we try to answer on this episode of BLAME.
“She was so positive, and that’s why we never knew anything was going wrong”
To understand everything that was going on prior to Jill Well’s death her friends say you need to know about who she was and what she talked about in her most intimate moments with friends and family. With her faith playing a more and more important role in her life, those closest to her talk about the chasm forming in a marriage that ended with a gunshot her husband said was fired by the couple’s 6-year-old son.
They say hindsight is always 20/20. But in this case hindsight could mean the difference between an accident and murder. Years after her death, Jill Well’s sister convinced a new investigator to look into the case. He did all the work investigators didn’t do in 2001. Ballistics. Interviews. And, an autopsy. He was ready to ask his prime suspect “the ultimate question” when the investigation changed forever. What that new investigation uncovered, and what those involved think could still happen to change, who’s to BLAME.
The three people who accepted Mike Wells account of how his wife Jill died, reflect on the investigation that they left behind 15 years ago. What do they remember about that day? Did they question the story that her son pulled the trigger? Why didn’t they ask more questions? Whose ultimate decision was it to accept that 6-year-old Tanner Wells was to blame?
What did investigators really know the day Jill Wells died? Did they know enough to definitively put the blame on a 6-year-old boy? We pull the one box of evidence off the shelf of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s department to see what investigators knew and didn’t know. Then, we put a veteran law enforcement officer on the spot, does he think enough was done to investigate the death of Jill Wells?
No fingerprints, no ballistics, no autopsy. And now, 9Wants to Know uncovers several life insurance policies, one taken out just before the shooting. Jill Wells sisters have been asking questions about how their sister died for years but they’ve never heard what we are about to tell them. Investigative reporter Kevin Vaughan walks them through the evidence and the back story he’s uncovered that brings into question Mile Well’s theory that 6-year-old Tanner Wells is the one to blame.