Stacie Pannell

The gruesome discovery of a bludgeoned body at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Prentiss County, terrified the students. Stacie Pannell’s life was cruelly cut short in October 1985, when she was found murdered in her dormitory room. ‘Crime Scene Confidential: Speaking for Stacie’ on Investigation Discovery focuses on the information gleaned from the crime scene and how the killer was eventually sentenced to prison.

Stacie Pannell’s Cause of Death?

Stacie Dianne Pannell, of Ripley, Mississippi, was the oldest of three siblings. The 18-year-old was described as a friendly individual who always attempted to assist others. Stacie joined the band rifle team at Northeast Mississippi Community College after being a member of her high school’s rifle drill team. At the time of the incident, she was a freshman living in Murphy Hall, an all-female dorm on campus.

Stacie Pannell

Amy Wheeler, Stacie’s roommate, arrived at the dorm at around 2:30 am on October 8, 1985, to discover the door locked and Stacie not responding. Amy then entered the room next door where Stephanie Alexander was residing. Stacie’s body was on the bed when she entered her room via the hall bathroom. The teen was naked below the waist and lying on her back, wrapped in sheets. Stacie had been bludgeoned to death, a pillow had been placed over her face, and she had suffered severe head wounds.

Who was Stacie Pannell’s killer?

The way Stacie Pannell’s body was discovered led the police to initially suspect sexual assault as the cause of death. They assumed the intruder entered and exited through a hole cut in the window screen. But contrary to what was depicted on the show, neither a sexual assault nor defensive injuries were found during the autopsy. Tommy Osborne, Stacie’s then-boyfriend, was investigated by the police, but he was dismissed as a suspect.

Stacie Pannell

After a while, the case ran into a brick wall until the authorities sought outside assistance. When Steve Rhoads was the police chief of an Illinois suburb at the time, he was renowned for using a novel method of investigation in which he read the body language of the suspect to determine whether or not they were telling the truth. Rhoads spoke with Stephanie, who was in the adjacent room at the time of the murder, as part of the investigation.

Steve was convinced after questioning Stephanie for a few hours that she was telling the truth about a few things and knew more about the murder than she was letting on. After being pressed, Stephanie finally admitted to killing Stacie following a disagreement. Stephanie claimed in the following statements that she went to Stacie’s room that evening to talk and that they exchanged words about Stacie’s boyfriend, Tommy. When Stephanie said Stacie didn’t want her to hang out with Tommy, the argument turned violent.

Stephanie claims that during the altercation, she struck Stacie with the rifle and then staged the incident to make it seem like a sexually motivated assault. Soon after, she was accused of murdering her roommate. Stephanie later asserted, however, that Steve had planted the lie in her head and that the confession had been forced. Stephanie was found guilty of manslaughter and given a two-decade prison sentence in January 1988 after a judge decided against suppressing the confession.

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