Together We Can Achieve Justice for Michelle! Testing from shwetha

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement believes without a doubt that Michelle's death was a homicide and still State Attorney, Brad King refuses to take this case to a grand jury. In March of 2012 the FDLE wrote to King: "
It is my office's opinion based on the facts of this case and your memorandum that this case clearly warrants an Inquest into the death of Michelle O'Connell…"

Important information in relation to the death investigation of Michelle O’Connell

1) Conflict of interest by investigating one of their own, the family asked for an outside investigation immediately after Michelle’s death.

2) Independent outside experts trash Sheriff David Shoar's handling of the case. They were not paid, and had no connection to any of the parties, unlike Sheriff Shoar's friends who he hired/paid and who did NOT EVALUATE the underlying evidence, only Sheriff Shoar's misrepresentations in his 153 page report.

3) Jeremy was given access and admits to reading the report before his formal interview at the Sheriff’s Department.

4) No testing was done to determine Jeremy’s blood alcohol level and he was allowed to sober up for 2 hours prior to being interviewed. Jeremy was also allowed to socialize with family, friends and coworkers before he was later  interviewed in a police car with his Sergeant present. Since when are people allowed to sit in on interviews. 

4) Dr. Hobin changed his mind multiple times and even amended Michelle’s death certificate to show the cause of death was Shot by other and the manner of death was homicide” 

5) Dr. Bulic’s contention re “no defensive wounds” cannot be asserted as such. NY Times and Frontlines experts, including a facial reconstruction expert that was consulted, viewed the cut and bruise above her eye as a defensive wound, and there are likely others, including: Michelle’s broken tooth (see autopsy photo) just to the right of her front tooth – and also other facial injuries such as the vertical cut on her upper lip. 

6) Dr. Bulic’s contention that the “measurement of the eye contusion to the mouth is the exact same” (he says 3 inches) is wrong. First of all the measurement of the gun’s muzzle to the top of the slide is not 3” – it’s 2 3/16 inches. Furthermore Dr. Bulic never measured the exact distance from Michelle’s mouth to the top of her eye – he only measured it on a photo, with her mouth closed -- which is almost certainly more than 3”. Dr. Bulic
opinion is almost forensically impossible. (New York Times and Frontline had a young woman Michelle’s height and weight put a replica of the gun in her mouth vertically and it came nowhere near the bottom of her eye, let alone above her eye. 

7) Guns recoil, they don't kick forward, according to real ballistics experts and tests shown on frontline.

8) Dr. Bulic’s contention that Michelle held the gun upside and vertically when she allegedly shot herself is inaccurate. As Jerry Findley has pointed out -- which Frontline and NY Times hired investigators to also test themselves -- If Michelle held the gun upside down the shell casings would have landed on the opposite side of the room from where they were found.

9) The bullet entered Michelle’s mouth on top of the tongue. Conventionally, that has been used to indicate a homicide and not consistent with suicide. Furthermore, some experts say a shot on top of the tongue suggests she may have been vocalizing when she was shot. This would collaborate the witness’s statements that they heard screams for help.

10) Re trajectory: Dr. Hobin noted the trajectory of the bullet was slightly down. Jerry Findley also made this point in his power point presentation, included in Rusty Roger’s power point. Recent studies have shown that a 
downward bullet trajectory is NOT consistent with suicide.

11) Two ear witnesses who passed lie detector tests say they heard a woman screaming for help, followed by 2 gun shots. Banks said neither he nor Michelle raised their voices that evening, this contradicts his statement.

12) Sheriff Shoar lied when he said in his report that the two ear witnesses were smoking pot that night, his dishonest attempt to discredit them. He has since withdrawn that charge and there is nothing in any records that back up this statement.

13) Dr. Bulic, the medical examiner, couldn't pull the gun out of a retention holster, so how could Michelle do that quickly when she had no experience handling guns. There were several rifles and shotguns that were nearby, it is unlikely that Michelle could defeat a level 3 retention holster especially in the little amount of time she would have had. It seems more likely if she was in fact contemplating suicide she would have chosen one of the other guns that were near her.

14) The placement of the shell casings suggest Michelle was shot by a left handed shooter, Michelle was right handed. The only other person in the house that night, Jeremy Banks is left handed.

15) Scene Reconstruction Specialist and Blood Splatter Expert, Dr. Jerry concluded: Ms. O'Connell was in a sitting or kneeling position when the shot was fired. The weapon would not have fallen in that location. The spinal cord was severed, precluding any movement of her hands after the injury.

16) Michelle fell back and did not change position. This is based on the blood flow on her face.

17) The blood on the duty belt is inconsistent with the lack of blood between her body and the duty belt.

18) The absence of blood on her left arm and sleeve is not consistent with her using her left hand to fire the weapon. This is based on the injury to the left corner of her mouth which would have left impact stains on her left arm had she used her left hand to fire the weapon.

19) The presence of impact stains on her right arm and sleeve is consistent with a defensive posture.

20) Ms. O'Connell's blood is located on the inside of the yellow t-shirt that  J. Banks had on that night, however, the photographs are not clear enough to determine the pattern type.

21) Jeremy Banks has a known history of anger and violence which gets worse when he is drinking. Jeremy had drank several “large” beers the night  of Michelle’s death as he states in his interviews and he states he rode in
the back of the car and Michelle drove home because Jeremy was too drunk to drive.

22) Danny Harmon, the owner of a local bar called Ring of Fire states that Jeremy visited his bar on the night of September 3, 2010 with a friend John Mahlow around 10:30 and was making disturbing statements about Michelle. Mr. Harmon states Jeremy said That B***h got what she deserved; he was moving on with his life and wasn’t going to let her bring him down anymore.  According to Mr. Harmon Jeremy was expressing frustration with Michelle’s family over there complaints about him updating his facebook status with the score of the Tampa Ray’s game, the family can collaborate this is something they had spoken with Jeremy about that day as they felt it was distasteful since Michelle had only died the day before.

23) A second employee of the bar Ring of Fire, Mr. Morgan Robinson has collaborated Mr. Danny Harmon’s story. Mr. Robinson says he served Mr. Banks and his friend John Mallow drinks that night and that Danny pulled him aside and informed him of the statements Jeremy had made.

24) No suicide note was found. When Michelle went sky diving in Hawaii Michelle took the time to write a note to Alexis just in case anything went wrong, it is very doubtful that Michelle would not leave a note and Michelle’s 
family and friends are certain that Michelle would never leave her young daughter behind as an orphan, Michelle looked forward to watching Alexis start kindergarten and see Alexis grow up to become a young lady. 

25) Michelle had recently made a schedule change at work for an upcoming CPR class. Michelle was recently promoted to fulltime with benefits at the childcare, this was a dream come true for Michelle and she was looking forward to getting benefits and a higher salary. Michelle was in the process of filling out health insurance forms. All of this suggests Michelle was planning for her future, not contemplating suicide.

26) Michelle’s boss that worked with her the day of Michelle’s death says Michelle was happy and upbeat that day and states that Michelle was extremely excited about her new promotion and was looking forward to advancement at her job.

27) There is a shirt with obvious blood clotting on it and what appears to be a gunshot hole through the shirt with possible GSR on it. This shirt was photographed on the bed above Michelle’s head and was later photographed in a pile of trash to be discarded. Amy Tigdon took the photographs, we feel she should be interviewed and questioned regarding this shirt and we also feel others at the scene should be interviewed to figure out who discarded it and why.

28) Michelle was packing her bags to leave and it was her decision to leave Jeremy. When leaving an abusive relationship this is one of the most dangerous times for a woman. 

29) Michelle’s daughter Alexis was interviewed by Melody Litton at the University of Florida Child Protection team. This interview concluded that Alexis was a victim of domestic violence by Jeremy and that Alexis was a
witness to her mother being abused by Jeremy banks. 

30) None of Jeremy Banks DNA was found on the weapon that was used in Michelle’s death. This was Jeremy’s duty weapon that he had worn to work that very day, it is unusual that it had none of his DNA on the gun.

31) Officers at the crime scene said it did not look good for Jeremy and that he would have questions to answer. Although this was the opinion of some of the officers, the crime scene was still not preserved and Michelle’s death was immediately deemed a suicide. SJSO’s premature assumption of suicide severally hindered the investigation.

32) Jeremy had only a very small amount of GSR on him, less than the size of a germ. This is unusual; typically if you enter a room within 8 minutes of a gunshot you will get GSR on your clothes etc. In addition, Jeremy states he held Michelle’s hand, if this is true he should have gotten some GSR on his hand from cross contamination. 

33) One of the officers that were on the scene, Deputy Maynard later stated that Jeremy smelled of a fresh shower.

34) Statistics show woman are more likely to commit suicide by drug over dose rather than by shooting themselves. Michelle had a pocket full of pills, more than enough to take her life. The pill bottles were in the top of Michelle’s purse and almost appeared to be staged, they were prescribed to Jeremy Banks. Her Toxicology report came back negative for any drugs.

35) Two lead detectives from St. Johns County Sheriff’s office that handled Michelle’s case had worked just three homicides between them, one supervisor had been disciplined for an “inept” investigation of an attempted murder, records show.

 36) Sergeant Scott Beaver states “I mean, I was in the homicide unit for a few years, and it didn’t add up but I didn’t do more investigation into this to see why things were like they were.” SJSO botched this investigation from the beginning and failed to preserve and collect several crucial pieces of crime scene evidence. Though investigators collected the gun, clothing and other evidence, they never tested it for fingerprints, DNA or gunshot residue. Officers also failed to canvass neighbors; failed to file required reports on what officers had seen that night; failed to download Mr. Banks’s cellphone data or collect and test one of the shirts he wore that night and also failed to isolate and photograph Mr. Banks before he was interviewed.

37) Hours before she died, Ms. O’Connell left her mother a voice mail message, saying she would call the next day to make breakfast plans. She also stopped for lunch at Christine O’Connell’s apartment and informed her
sister she would be leaving Jeremy; she went on to detail the negative history of the relationship and informed Chrissy of the abuse she had experienced.

38) State Attorney, Mr. Brad King asked a former medical examiner in his district, Dr. Steven Cogswell, to review the case. As a military pathologist in the mid-1990s, Dr. Cogswell had been criticized for concluding that Commerce Secretary Ron Brown had been shot in the head before his plane crashed in Croatia, killing all aboard. Air Force officials categorically rejected his finding. Asked about the O’Connell case in an interview, Dr. Cogswell said he could not recall it in detail.

39) Dr. Bulic never issued an official report on Michelle O’Connell’s death, stating he had not done so because the case was actually Dr. Hobin’s. He said he had looked into the case “out of my pure curiosity and to satisfy the many different people who came and asked about my opinion.”

40) In the prosecutor’s memo, investigators wrote that Mr. Findley had not considered the upside-down-gun theory. “That’s a lie,” Mr. Findley said. “I did consider that, and like I told them, I ruled it out fairly fast,” because guns recoil after firing and the shells would have ejected in the opposite direction from where they were found. That was affirmed in several tests conducted by Mr. Diaczuk, one of the specialists that looked at the case for Frontline.

41) During Jeremy Banks interview Agent Rodgers asks J. Banks if he agrees that the location of the gun could not have fallen in the position found and forensic experts have stated the gun was staged or placed. Agent Rodgers goes on to say, “Do you agree?” J. Banks replied (uh huh). Agent Rodgers asked J. Banks, “Do you see the logic in that?” (Banks responds, “Yes”) and  “Do you agree with that, though?” Banks responds again (Yes, by shaking his head). Jeremy answers yes to the question saying that he can agree that the crime scene was staged, this is extremely odd. Why was he never challenged or further questioned about this?

Please watch the PBS Frontline documentary: “A Death in St. Augustine” 

Read the New York Times investigation “
Two Gunshots on a Summer Night” 
Read the FDLE
request for a coroner's inquest. 

Michelle's Family and Friends would like to thank all 184,918 people who added their name to our petition and helped spread the word.
On September 30, 2014 Governor Rick Scott announced the reappointment of Michelle's case to special prosecutor Jeff Ashton. Thank you all!


Forensic Findings:

Excerpt from Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Special Agent in Charge, Dominick
D. Pape, to Florida's State Attorney Brad King on March 28, 2012:

"Dear Mr. King, After meeting with your staff on March 15, 2012 and reviewing your office's final memorandum, I understand your position that the facts as they currently exist do not support the prosecution of Jeremy Banks for any homicide offense. It is my office's opinion based on the facts of this case and your memorandum that this case clearly warrants an Inquest into the death of Michelle O'Connell pursuant to Chapter
936.003, Florida Statutes..."


Scene Reconstruction Specialist and Blood Splatter Expert, Dr. Jerry concluded: Ms. O'Connell was in a
sitting or kneeling position when the shot was fired. The weapon would not have fallen in that location. The spinal cord was severed, precluding any movement of her hands after the injury.
She fell back and did not change position. This is based on the blood flow on her face.

She was struck above her right eye by the front sight of the weapon.

The blood on the duty belt is inconsistent with the lack of blood between her body and the duty belt.

The lack of J. Banks' DNA on the weapon is suspicious because it is his duty weapon.

IF Ms. O'Connell fired the weapon, it would have to be with her left hand in order for the shell casing to land where it was recovered. Her left hand would be the weaker as she was right-handed.

The combat light was turned on, this requires two actions.

The absence of blood on her left arm and sleeve is not consistent with her using her left hand to fire
the weapon. This is based on the injury to the left corner of her mouth which would have left impact stains on her left arm had she used her left hand to fire the weapon.

The presence of impact stains on her right arm and sleeve is consistent with a defensive posture.

One shot was fired into the floor to the right and close to her body. The wound track is front to rear and slightly
There are two eyewitnesses who stated they heard a woman cry for help, then a shot, another cry for help, and

Ms. O'Connell's blood is located on the inside of the yellow t-shirt that J. Banks had on that night, however, the photographs are not clear enough to determine the pattern type.

The above information and the totality of the circumstances are not consistent with suicide,
they are consistent with homicide.

FDLE  investigation, Case # JA-73-1483, Serial #128 Univ. of Florida Child Protection Team Senior Case Manager concluded based on an interview with Alexis that:

"Alexis was exposed to Domestic violence by  J Banks, Alexis substained an injury from physical discipline by Banks,  which would constitute physical abuse, Alexis was present when Banks hit Michelle with a belt, and jumped on her Mother" 


Anonymous Commented:
Is that the deputy in his Sheriffs Office uniform? That can't be exemplary behavior?

Concerned Commented:
It  is very alarming to see he has abused a child and is still allowed to  be a police officer. These are the
people that protect us, pretty scary!!!

anonymous St. Augustine Commented:
I went to school with both Michelle and Jeremy. I do not in NO way think Michelle would have done this!!!! 
She needs justice!!!!

Shocked Scared Commented:
This case is so obviously a homicide covered up by SJCSO. They too should be  liable for Employing Jeremy Banks, who had warning signs as a dangerous person before he took Michelle's life. Is this why they worked  so hard to cover this murder? Is it for fear of liability? Shame on  you Sheriff Shoar. 

Sara Bruce Commented:
It is hardly  unbelievable that this police department (or any for that matter) would  cover something like this up to save face... and yet they expect/want  the public to support and trust them. How do I teach my children to  trust that the police are here to help them when they could possibly be connecting with a bad apple (or barrel of them in this case)?? Doing what is right reguardless of whether it is popular or bad press  producing should
take presidence... Justice for Michelle!

Jennifer Reyes Commented:
God gained an Angel, now St. Johns County needs a new inmate!!!! Justice For Michelle!!!

Riley Watters Commented:
Dear  Website Administrator, Please e-mail this link to Sheriff Shoar  DShoar@sjso.org, so that he may see the uniform he provided Deputy Jeremy Banks being disgraced. I am offended that he would even take a picture  while flicking the bird in HIS ISSUED SJSO UNIFORM !!! The Sheriff must see this. Maybe then the true colors of 
Deputy Banks will be brought to light. Is this what the tax payers of St. Johns County get when they call for assistance ?

Website Administrator Commented:
@Riley I will do that now!

Website Administrative commented: This is confirmation that Sheriff  Shoar received and read my message.. I did not recieve a reply. Your  message    To:  David Shoar   Subject: unhappy citizens of St. Johns County 
Sent:    Fri, 10 Aug 2012 23:52:51 -0400  was read on Sat, 11 Aug 2012 20:59:36 -0400

Bob Angley Commented:
Justice for Michelle.

Shelby T. Commented:
A  Haiku for Michelle: beautiful michelle love endures, we  pray for you  we lift high your name Will those in power hear our cries? Or will they  continue to gn over the weak and tired and poor, and ignore the rights   they say they uphold AND Constitutional oaths they swore to. You may  believe in  Karma, you may not. But when those in power rest at night,  do they sleep soundly? Many men in power fear doing the right thing in  fear they will lose heir power. We must never stop the peaceful  questioning of authority, through  peaceful manners. Remember the  dangerous plight of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who triumphed against the  tyrants and prejudice powerful. He must be the example  we follow in  our pursuit of justice for Michelle O'Connell. And we will always   remember the lives of those taken at the hands of Domestic Violence.  Keep  burning your candles of peace and pray for their families;  especially Patty  O'Connell. A mother who was walked through the depths  of hell to be heard but was silenced. She did not waver, she did not  give up. She will always seek peace and pray for those in power. God is  their ultimate judge, from whom they will  not be able to hide from. And  unlike those involved in this case he will not  cower or hide. He will  come forth and render justice. Do not be afraid. Our beautiful Michelle,  we lift you up and we hold you in our hearts. They can strip  us of our  rights, But they
can never remove our spirits and faith, and   commitment to you. Justice through peace. God Bless.

Bob Johnson Commented:
Two  years have passed with no action. It's time that "We The People" stand  up and be counted... We all need to send emails post every blog and work  the social media for all it's worth. Don't just do it once keep on   posting until everyone has seen it. We need to support the O'Connells in their quest for justice. Here is a place to start... Please send an  email to  bking@sao5.org all you have to write is "Justice for Michelle"  Also, please share this post. This could really make a difference in  getting a grand jury convened. PLEASE! Facebook could really make a  difference in this case.

Deon Gates Commented:
Justice for Michelle (and so many others just like her). 
J. O. Commented:
The  Betty Griffin House is correct in saying "It takes a community to end  Domestic Violence". This
statement begs local leaders, advocates, and  people like you and I to bring forth our stories so that victim's   rights are not wasted. Sheriff Shoar, State Attorney RJ Larizza,  and Brad King  (the power players in this case), refuse to talk about  this case. They know if they do they will be embarrassed by their actions. Additionally, they will be more embarrassed by their  inactions. The facts backed and supported by forensic  evidence, experts in respective criminal justice disciplines, and investigative  reports compiled by the Florida Department of  Law Enforcement all lead a  logical  and prudent person to probable cause. This probable cause supports the decision  to call for a Grand Jury. If it’s politics  they want removed, then a Grand Jury  is the best place to do that. The people hear the arguments. The people hear the  case argued by the FDLE  team, criminal justice experts, and here’s the kicker;  SJSO Deputy  Jeremy Banks’ attorney too. his is the definition of fairness.
The   decision to call a Grand Jury tells the people of this community, this  State,  and this Nation, that they will be heard and provided their  rights accordingly.  This is the fairest way for the justice system to  prevail. If an indictment is  reached, those who tried to sweep this case  under the rug will be held  accountable. But
more importantly,  residents of this town will regain faith in  the CJ system. A system  that is broke down right now. A system that is in need  of repair. A  system that can and must be turned around. Folks,
there is a  problem  when a young woman dies at the hand of violence and those who control   the process and decision making close the door to the notion of  accessibility to  justice. A Grand jury guarantees nothing more than the  opportunity to justice.  Shame on you RJ. You punted the ball  to another jurisdiction when you were first  and 10 at the Goal line of  doing the right thing. You had all the facts,  questions, and answers  you needed, yet you let your political connections guide  your decision  making. You can shell out money with clever slogans on signs that  you  place around town, but the truth is you are a politician. A true  prosecutor  never punts on first and 10, but you did! A true prosecutor  marches down the  field of justice until victory is obtained. You  entered your position on the  heels of corruption in 2008 and you must  now leave office under the same arena.  The time for change is now! A  new idea, a new commitment, and a new plan to put  people before  political futures is needed in St. Johns County. This Tuesday,  August  14th., don’t just send RJ an e-mail that he is no longer wanted, send  him  packing for good by voting for Stasia Warren. *** Please feel free  to share this on other blogs, news stories, and links. ***

Creekside Cruiser  Commented:
My  understanding of the States Attorney and his office was to represent  the public, the people who have an interest in seeing justice prevail.  Isn't Brad King the Chief Advisor to the rand Jury we all so desperately  call upon. Brad King has sufficient, admissible evidence. It's his job  to coordinate with law enforcement, not insult  them, and call their  work"theory." After all, its his own  jurisdictional, Former Chief  Medical Examiner, Cogswell, who won't author a report on his ruling of  suicide. He wasn't present at autopsy either. When did FDLE get to 
question his "theory?" That's right he gave an opinion, a theory, and  then disappeared into thin air. Did he put his explanation in  writing? Brad King, are you a former police officer yourself? If  so,that's not a conflict? Right now, your county has enough issues of  its own, no need to continue to dirty the water more in St. Johns  County. We will get justice in court, it will be criminal court. The day  you remove yourself from officoe, is  the day the legal system can come  up for a breath of fresh air. What is Brad Kings opinion in the  fact that St
Augustine States Attorneys Office Investigators wanted to exume her body. The fact they were ready to proceed with  recommending  charges to be filed. How then do you come to an entirely different   conclusion. Did you even have all the facts in March of 2012, from your investigator? Did he speak with the investigators from R.J  Larizzas office?  Where are those notes? Where is your offices work  product? You called the eye witnesses, "solicited" , however, the  polygraphs they passed were Secret Service/FBI standards, I dare you to  say, no deception indicted, was solicited.  You wouldn't dare, that  would be the end of your career, as a "career  politician." A grand jury  is the only way to prove that 20 unbiased people  can see all of the  evidence from both sides, and come up with their own "theory", I mean  conclusion.

L L  Commented:
This  whole story reeks of a cover-up. It amazes me how a badge can also serve  as a halloween mask!!! 2 shots fired? So is that the norm? So what you  are saying is that before someone commits suicide they fire a warning  shot? C'MON? This piece of human trash must be charged. Coward. Hiding  behind the badge...

Brad king Is a joke Commented:
Please email Brad King and tell him Justice for Michelle! His  email address is BKing@sao5.org I email him once a day!

Peg Wallace-Carlson Commented:
The  picture does not lie. It is  disgusting, shameful, and it proves that  certain persons can get a way with 
everything and not be held accountable.

Riley Watters Commented:
Any reply from Sheriff Shoar ??

Website Administrative commented: This is confirmation that Sheriff Shoar recieved and read my message.. I did not recieve a reply.

Your  message    To:     David Shoar   Subject: unhappy citizens of St. Johns
County  Sent: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 23:52:51 -0400  was  read on Sat, 11 Aug 2012  20:59:36 -0400 
Fire Shoar  Commented:
Shame  on you Sheriff Shoar. All of this evidence proves you  have a murderer  working for you and instead of firing him and apologizing, you  protect  him, to protect your own job. Once all of the evidence is out you will   have to face the people of St. Johns county. I hope you do the  right thing.

Vickie Wilson Commented:
there  is no justice when a corrupt county covers up an investigation into a  death, if it was YOUR daughter would there be an investigation? I was an  abuse victim and a piece of paper telling the perp to stay away does  not work! Exspecially when he IS law enforcement and to know he is on the street Are you kidding me? how will HE handle future domestic Calls, what right does he have to govern the county, this is horrible and  to her family I am so sorry that "Lady Justice" is so blind in this  case, furthermore the  picture of him flipping the
finger in his Offical uniform, says it all, We as  the people demand an unbias investigation, called a grand jury, we r getting the media involved alol the way to  Nancy Grace, she loves communities that hide behind the code of silence with the department. JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE NOW NOT LATER!

George K Commented:
Two deputies let go, one for stalking and one for domestic  violence but the one accused of killing Michelle is still on the force. Let it go to the grand jury and if he is innocent so be it. If he is guilty than let the law take its course but at least give the family some closure.  Especially if  the FDLE has asked for a Grand Jury Investigation  let the Grand Jury decide than  the pressure is off the sheriff and his office. Thank you

Deborah Jerolman Commented:
No mother shoots herself leaving her daughter behind by her own hand with her boyfriend's gun!!! People that sleep at night when they have committed  a murder or know that they are preventing JUSTICE in a murder case should know that what comes around goes around...eventually  YOU will pay for your crimes. A VICTIM'S LOST LIFE BECOMES AN ANGEL IN  HEAVEN. Michelle's life and voice should not be in vain on earth,  either. In God's eyes and hands......you can never hide

Victim  Advocate Commented:
The Florida  Legislatures Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability :
State  Attorneys are to represent the State  of Florida. State Attorneys can  generate a criminal case by several 
different ways:  Grand Jury  Investigations~The function of the Grand Jury in criminal matters is to investigate and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to  justify an  indictment against an accused. The grand jury must ascertain whether there is  probable cause that a crime has been commited by the person so accused. If it  determines the evidence is sufficient to  constitute probable cause, the grand jury issues an indictment on which the accused will be put on trial. The  voice  of the people(grand  jury) should ascertain whether there is
probable cause and  sufficient evidence, not just one man(Marion County State Atty Brad King) who happens to be an ex law enforcement officer, the same profession as  the person of interest. What would happen if a grand jury found probable cause and  sufficient evidence as proposed to them by  another State Attorney, ( without any  further investigating)and  provided an indictment? The Governor,Rick Scott, must put this issue, this distrust of law enforcement, this lack of safety for St. Johns County, this liability, before the people, he must intervene, and appoint  a Prosecuter to present the evidence as it stands accordingly, before a grand jury. Advocate for Victims: they're voices are longer  heard. 

Ron Guarnieri Commented:
This  death screams for the attention of Pam Bondi and everyone in law  enforcement and those who take an oath of office. It stinks and if you do nothing, you stink with it.

Oswald Mouse Commented:
Did  some research on the SJCSO policy manual. Policy 26.1.87 states  "conduct unbecoming an officer which may not be specifically set forth  in these rules and regulations" and policy 26.1.70 states performing  any acts or making any written or verbal statements which tend to bring the SJSO into disrepute or ridicule or which tend to interfere with the  reasonable supervision or proper discipline of the SJSO." Doesn't Banks  (above) violate these policies? (BTW) anyone can check out a policy manual..go get one!

D Bell Commented:
I have  just emailed  Sheriff Shoar AND State Attorney Brad King about this  disgraceful injustice! I am a resident of St. Johns County (and made  sure they both knew it). THIS is the face of law enforcement in St.  Johns County???! As a resident, I certainly do not feel safe with a man like this in the powerful position of law enforcement. He is obviously above the law. Our elected officials NEED TO DO THEIR JOB! If this man  is innocent, then he has nothing to fear.

Fight For Justice Commented:
So Drew Petterson finally convicted gives me hope that someday we will have Justice for Michelle.

ray glover Commented: 
get  them all out of office. put people in who care for the  well being of others instead of who is rep. or dem. lets take our country and our pride back. we have become a nation of wimps

Ryan Thompson Commented:
Get  Justice!!

Deon Gates Commented:
Michelle has PEOPLE who are going to see this through.

Elise Jaudon Commented:
This  incident has sent chills down my spine. As the mother of a 9year old son I can't help feeling lost. I try to teach my son that law  enforcement officers are here to help and protect us. What  am I  supposed to do when the very people that are bound by duty to  protect my  little one are quite literally GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER?

Ciara Morris Commented:
Michelle  was a fun loving person, she loved her daughter more than anything  in the world, our  slogan was "when one door closes another one opens,  you never know what tomorrow may bring" infact that was her myspace  profile about me section. Michelle loved life, I know in my mind and  heart that she wouldn't leave
Alexis but that is not what I base my  judgement on. I base my judgement on FORENSIC EVIDENCE. Yes evidence,  that is the important factor in this case... when Florida Department of  Law Enforcement did their investigation they concluded it as a homicide,  these people were the EXPERTS brought in to CLEAR Jeremy and they found  him GUILTY. Yet we are still denied a grand jury. Please add your name  to our petition to convene a grandjury. Justice should be served and we  all deserve to have this criminal taken off the police force.

Ivey Schulkers Commented:
I am praying for justice for Michelle and even more  for the daughter and family/friends left behind.

Anonymous Victim of SJSO Commented:
I  too have been victimized by the self-serving alliance between SJSO and  the state's attorney's office. I know just how you feel. I thought the  rapture had happened, I got left behind, and the devil was in charge. My  whole world was destroyed by the same cynical machine that uses  its power to cover up for Jeremy Banks. In my case, they used that same  power unashamedly and self-righteously to convict an innocent man. I  quickly learned,  as you have, that their idea of an "investigation" is  not a search for truth, it's just a way to stack the cards. The paper  will take whatever the pen puts on  it. Eight years ago, I watched  helplessly as a corrupt system took away my  husband, my family, my  home, everything. It's a daily struggle to move on, to get past all  that. Michelle's case opened old wounds. I have followed it  closely,  feeling so much rekindled anger
along with commiseration with Michelle's family. Imagine my horror and outrage when that murderer,  Jeremy Banks, showed up at my door in his SJSO uniform (which I've come  to detest) to take a routine police report on a minor issue. I told him  to get the hell off  my  property. I didn't need a police report THAT  badly. DON'T GIVE UP! Keep  fighting. You have a very strong ally that I  sadly lacked - popular opinion is  on your
side. There are a lot of  people out here who believe Michelle's memory got railroaded just to  save the hide of a bad cop. A murderer, whom they blithely send out in a  patrol car, with a gun, to "protect and serve". Why would  anybody  trust any of them?

Dori GArdner Commented:
Sounds  like this story has to become a Lifetime movie to prompt these  officials into finally responding with appropriate measures to pursue  Banks as the only viable suspect. Hopefully citizens will act sooner  and take advantage of the only options left to the public, as voters,  expressing the  results of this inaction, by making the
necessary  changes in the "power and control" officials that are chosen. People  must use their voices to demand accountability from everyone, regardless  of means or community standing. 

Gidget From The Block Commented:
I  pray for the O'Connell family, especially for Justice For Michelle.  Shame on you Sheriff Hoar (and that it his
original name before  he cowardly changed it) and the rest of your incompetent  officers/criminals. 
 Ashley Clark Commented:
I hope you get the Justice Michelle and her daughter  deserve. 

Tammy Chapman Commented:
My  most sincere condolences, I am sorry for your loss. I am writing  because your story has many similarities to a 2008 tragedy in St.  John's  County, when my son William was fatally shot. The conclusions of your private  investigator are intriguing in that they are so similar to the conclusions of  our (2) separate and individual private investigator(s) with regard to William's  shooting death. You have been fortunate in that the FDLE  has supported your inquiry. We were not so  lucky in that respect. However, we hold out hope that one day justice will be served. I would be happy to put your PI in touch with our  PI's if you thought there would be fruit to bear. Again, so sorry for your loss. With kindness The only way out is through.
Tammy  jac2312007@yahoo dot com

Carol Hock Commented:
 I pray for justice for Michelle.....♥ ♥
Weshall Overcome Commented:
the family should follow the deputy wherever he goes  to remind him he did  not get away with murder he has a family waiting for justice that will  never go away. God help us all God please help those in  power to correct  this terrible injustice. Pray for Sheriff Shoar, Brad King, R J  Larizza they must be blind or answer to a lower


Brian  Fisher Commented: 
The deputy accused looks like a typical "I'm Above The Law" jerk.

Web Administrator Commented: Brian Fisher, I had to edit off the last part sorry.

Persephone 4Justice Commented:
Does  anybody know the name of the New York Times reporter who's been  sniffing around this
story? I think we might find some help there with  enough pressure........
Post his/her name if you know it, or contact to  get it. Thank you. Keep fighting for the end of domestic violence.....

Insider  Commented:
The NY Times reporter was contacted by the family, that is  how the reporter became involved and that is why Shoar panicked and  investigated to throw FDLE under the bus before the family can get the  story out. Shoar wants to discredit FDLE but his alligations are untrue  and hold no merit.

Patricia O'Connell  Commented: 
Michelle your family and friends will never let Sheriff  Shoar close your Murder Case....We will
haunt him and knock on Justice  Doors until a God Fearing Person Opens the door. We Will Get Justice;  Sheriff Shoar cannot play God anymore......

Margaret Gradick Commented: 
Finally!!!!! Thank God.

Peg Wallace-Carlson Commented:
I ask God every day that we may celebrate JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE

Loveing Wife Commented:
My  husband was railroaded by this department when back in 1998 they knew  of a murder for hire plot that was
told to them twice by a man they were  trying to use to gain access to a drug family here. This department did  nothing to warn this man, he died at the hands of their so called  informant........and then they  tried to
push all of it off on my  husband. To try and save themselves. I pray  that one day there is  justice for Michelle and her family. This so called officer needs to be  off the streets before he hurts another woman and child. I have no use  what so ever for our local Sheriff's office.

Cynthia Sumner Commented:
I  feel SJCSO covers up alot of murders and yes Michelle needs to get  justice for what was done to her because now her daughter has to grow up  with out her mother  teaching her the things a mother should teach  there child. And i can speak this  very well because my sister they  ruled her as a suicide case as well back in 
2003 and her name was  Jessica Lynn Cheshire she left behind two children a boy  and a girl.  Please get justice for this family they need and deserve it they  have  waited long enough. R.I.P Michelle.

Deon G Commented:
Persephone,  Pressure the reporter? I don't think that's necessary. Just  keep telling the truth out loud,
persist, push, and keep faith.
Been There Far To Long Commented:
After  working at this place for all the years I did, I am truly not surprised  by the actions that SJSO has made in this case. There was a lot of  underhanded things going on there. Glad I left when I did. I knew Michelle in high school, and was really good friends with her brothers.  God speed on getting this case solved and the guilty party his just dues.

Anonymous Commented:
As  an attorney, here are a few suggestions for amping on the pressure on  this terrible State's attorney:
First, contact the state attorney  general - go above his head. Then, contact the department of legislative  affairs, here  http://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/CCE3D947208D664A85256CE000592D7A,  and
start an initiative to get a law on the books preventing situations  like this,  where the state attorney can ignore the recommendation of an independent investigation. Next, contact the Florida state bar  association
and report him   for an ethics violation. Also identify  other state attorneys in other judicial districts that are active  against domestic violence and bring this to their attention. There is an  association, http://www.myfpaa.org/ of Florida prosecutors, and I have  no doubt many of Brad King's colleagues would be outraged by this. So  get his superiors and other attorneys to lean on him. He can ignore you,  but he won't ignore people who can cost him his paycheck.

Richard Sinay Commented:
I  have never seen a bigger miscarriage of justice. It is obvious that he  forced the gun into her mouth with the first bullet misfiring and his  struggle to get  the gun into her mouth hi her in the eye with the  barrel of the gun.
He will go  down after the Frontline presentation. A  new investigation will find him guilty of murder.

Robert Meix Commented:
I  completely support your cause for justice for Michelle, and after  reading all the
information available have grave concerns for your  family and others in
the issue of domestic violence with law enforcement  personnel involved.
However I must comment that I believe the picture  you have of Jeremy Banks
making a offensive gesture detracts from the  website. It is not necessary to
lower the quality of the site with this  photograph. Just a regular photo
of Jeremy Banks would serve the  purpose. I wish you success in your journey for
justice.  Staunton, VA

Bruce Alexander Commented:
I'm  working with LAPD and I can tell this is homicide. It's horrible and  that guy need to
be arrested he shouldn't work in law enforcement agency  he is a  shame. As a captain and veteran of LAPD I will tell sherif to  resign because he is shame too. Thank you.

Wendy Patterson Commented:
This  is so horrible. It's hard to believe that in the US in 2010 such  an obstruction
of justice can occur and that women's lives mean so  little...Thank you so much for pushing this case forward! on behalf of all women.. and all people!

Open Eyes Commented:
First,  blessings and sympathies to the family for having to endure the loss  of their loved one under these
circumstances. Second, it is evident that  something seriously is amiss with this department, both the sheriff and  the officer involved. It is sad that the sheriff would compromise his  character, integrity, and reputation
to protect an individual who has  little self-discipline to control his own person. I noted from the Times  story that the sheriff is an outspoken Christian -- he will then know  well the words of Jesus (Matt. 25:40), "If
you do it unto the least of  these, you do it unto me." All the self justifications and  rationalizing will never erase injustice. The only comfort for the  family is that all involved (mo matter their motive) will one day stand trial for their actions. Funny thing about integrity and honor, no one  can ever take it away -- It can only be given away. The officer  involved, the sheriff,  and others gave theirs away to hide wrong-doing.

Sam Hogg Commented:
The  prosecutor had a duty to present this case to a grand jury, not made a  no file decision himself. Now that so many news stories have revealed  his close ties to area sheriffs and other law enforcement a new special  prosecutor should be appointed to present the evidence to a grand jury,  preferably one freshly chosen. If he will
not do it, then the sitting  grand jury can simply take the matter up on its own. It would seem that  the governor in appointing a new special prosecutor could include in his  order of appointment that all the evidence
"shall be presented, without  comment or recommendation" to a local grand jury. This can be done at  any time. There is no Statute of Limitation on murder. Charges of aiding  and abetting should be considered against
each of those persons who  dodged, bobbed, weaved, backfilled, diverted attention from,  hid or  mischaracterized evidence and who otherwise became accessories after  the fact.

James Roach Commented:
Just  read the NY Times article and watched the Frontline documentary.  The Sheriff's
determination to prevent charges being filed is beyond  appalling - and  the Sheriff's office gives Banks a standing  ovation! He should immediately resign. In addition, Brad King's  explanation for not charging
is so weak, it gives rise to the inference  that something else is wrong as well. Perhaps Shoar got to him, and just  like he apparently had gotten to Larizza. I am sure you have already  considered this, but the family should
file a civil case against Banks  if the county will not present it to a grand jury. Think O.J.  Simpson. Experts are expensive, but you can create a legal fund for  donations. Given the recent publicity, it may work.

Robert Groner Commented:
Why  doesn't the O'Connell family sue Jeremy Banks for the wrongful death  of Michelle? It sounds like the
evidence is strong enough to establish  liability (in a civil case, the burden of proof is lower than in a  criminal case). If Banks is not going to jail anytime soon despite best  efforts, at least he should be ruined financially. For any who  recall the O.J. Simpson case, after he was  acquitted of murder, a jury  awarded a judgment against him for the wrongful  death of Nicole Brown  Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Tim Davis Commented:
They  are toast ! the DOJ will fix a lot of issues at SJSO..............about  time......... 

Raymon Prusak Commented:
I  read that the Deputy whose gun was used in this obvious homicide  recently married. I hope she doesn't end up as a "suicide" as well. The  lengths that the pathologists went in trying to explain their  theory of  suicide would be comical if they weren't covering up a murder. To think  that a obvious killer is in a uniform and badge patrolling the streets  of this county is frightening.

Henry C Commented:
After watching Frontline/New York Time report on PBS. I fully believe the nation will respond in demanding justice. Justice will prevail when  enough people put there collective hand on the scales of justice to  counter the
corrupt political authority that has so long favored  prosecutors protecting police over citizens and police protecting their  own from laws that they are dutifully sworn to uphold. The pressure is  now this sheriffs
department and prosecutors enabling them. Hopefully  you will get justice and a new sheriff in town.

Becky Lowe Commented:
I  read the New York Times article today hoping that in the end Michelle's  family would be able
to receive a chance to have citizens weigh the  evidence, which was not already irretrievably lost, and decide whether  Mr Banks was guilty of murder. But the people who do not CARE about  finding justice seem to
have won out. The opportunity to find out if a  jury of his peers believes Banks is guilty  or innocent will not be  granted,unless we the people insist upon it and fight for it. Shoar,  King and the others in power in this area of Florida seem to be  used to  acting with impunity. They are probably shocked that the nation is  able  to hear about this case.Many informed citizens know that people go to trial with much less circumstantial evidence against them. For  Christ's sake, and I mean  that respectfully, there are two credible  witnesses who passed lie
detector  tests given by the FBI who contradict  the conclusion that she killed herself. Also why would she be leaving  him voluntarily and still want to kill herself. That makes no sense at  all. Even Mr Banks said she
wanted to leave him.  It seems that he had a  controlling, violent personality and was not going to let  her leave  him. We've all heard of the type . But let's allow a jury to decide. It's bad enough they botched the evidence that could have proven guilt or innocence, now let's not ignore the evidence that is still available.

James T Commented:
At  a minimum this case deserves a grand jury. The current medical examiner seems quite incompetent. The sheriff needs to be voted out of office.  Jeremy Banks should not be allowed to be employed in law
enforcement--if  nothing else we can prove he was drinking in possession of a firearm.

Kate Corbin:
Really,  the situation for Michelle and ANY situation of potential wrongdoing  can be boiled down to this simple
truth...When people or institutions  become defensive when asked questions, and refuse to DIRECTLY address  questions to the questioner's satisfaction, they are hiding something.  Otherwise, they would be helpful and willing to openly address all  questions and concerns to get to the truth. Manipulative techniques to  avoid addressing questions directly include changing the subject,  getting angry, putting up other obstacles (particularly administration  "requirements" before information can be turned over), or acting like a  victim, etc. Resist backing down from these techniques and find a  way for the truth to be found.\

Demlari Fransson Commented:
Yeah,  look, any moron can see that the evidence does not match the official version of events. This coward is a textbook version of a power-hungry good ol'   boy who loves to abuse people, especially those  weaker than him.... and this is why he became a cop - because in some  places, like St Augustine, you don't need to have integrity or be a decent and honest human being to be a cop. You just have to be in with the right crowd and then you get to abuse and bully (and murder) anyone you want and get away with it. Justice is coming for you, Jeremy.  Can you feel it? Justice is coming for every one of you that helped bury this  case. Can you feel it? Yes, I'm sure you can :)

AnoNameMouse FerJustice Commented:
This  is insanity! SOMEWHERE up the flagpole of "justice", surely there's an  individual/organization w/ the ability
to override this caricature,  Shoar. So many illogical conclusions, so many questions simply  ignored, & those "interviews" w/ Banks & Hines?!? Cringeworthy  factor ten! If you or I were on the scene of such a tragedy (a  clearly suspicious one at that), would that WE  be treated so  nonchalantly & jokey--while still she lays in a body bag!  Ohhh, I  too have personal experience w/ the brazen heinous conduct of a  FL sherriff's office, & it's sickening & frightening. I pray  sooner than later the family drums up necessary support for a thorough, proper, impartial investigation & justice can finally be served!

11/25/13 Adam White Commented:
very  disturbing; interesting that Brad Kings is purported to reside or work nearby -- is he totally objective here? Prosecutors like to win and hate to lose  and they are risk averse; losing even the just case does not further their careers; taking on the entire police department of a county and losing would potentially end Brad King's career; for him to fall back on the so-called medical "experts" who opined that the  death was a suicide regardless of the fact that their conclusions were unsupported and riddled with mistakes was simply the easiest thing for Brad King to do and keep his job and chance of career advancement  within the State bureaucracy.

11/26/13 ThePublic IsWatching Commented:
This  story makes me so sad and angry at the same time. What an outstanding  job FRONTLINE and THE NEW YORK TIMES have done in their investigative  reporting. Congrats on getting the word out. The broader
public needs to  know what happened  in this case. They WANT to know. They WANT ANSWERS!  JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE!!! Link  to article --
Link to  FRONTLINE documentary -->  http://video.pbs.org/video/2365128108/

11/26/2013 Carrol Wolverton  Commented:
After  spending eight years as single parent counselor for what was then St.  Augustine Technical Center, my sentiments go with the O'Connell family.  My heart goes out to all involved.

11/26/2013 Joseph Pendleton Commented:
Why  in the world isn't the Department of Justice involved? Jo Nesbo, there  is a / through
the o stated in his book THE REDEMEER that in most  countries, including the US,
the police have the largest percentage of  murderers of any other group of
workers. I have written and asked for  his sources. I recently wrote and
have not heard back but hope to. With  that information, if it turns out to
be the  case, I would imagine that  patterns would be Federal crimes and
therefore the DOJ could get  involved.

11/26/2013 Alexander Zinke Commented:
First,  please know, family, that Lexi is in my heart. Perhaps if there is a special after-school activity or camp or such, I could contribute some financially. Love to Lexi. Second, please let us know what we can  do--emails, letters, etc.--to get action on this injustice. I am so sorry. I am domestic abuse survivor--lucky for me, he didn't have a gun. Love, Zondie

11/26/2013 Warren Celli Commented:
The  real problem here is that government and law enforcement — of all  stripes — has been taken over by, and now works exclusively for the  corporations and the business community, not the common folks. Shoar’s  blustering stance in this botched investigation is a testimony to how  brazenly arrogant they have all become and how untouchable they now  believe they are. Take note of those who defend him, they will be the  same merchant class that hijacked the Saint Augustine city government  through a pattern and practice of creating patently unconstitutional  laws that Shoar and his goon squad SAPD cops then selectively enforced.  It was as Chief of the SAPD that he was schooled in smoke and  mirror erroneous report writing. He was a poor student then as he is  now, still doing grade school quality work. You can gain some insight  into his character in this old issue of the BANNED and CONFISCATED pro  FREE SPEECH and pro CIVIL RIGHTS newspaper, the “Saint Aug Dog”... 

  And you can read the new Fountain of Baloney™ web site here... 
  http://fountainofbaloney.com/index.html The New York Times and  Frontline, when push comes to shove, will constrain themselves to  the law enforcement issue only  as they too owe their souls and  existence to
the same corrupt governmental dynamic. They can only go so  far. Do not expect miracles. If you really want justice here you are  going to have to organize and get out on the streets and boycott the  business community and shun the crooked cops until your demands are met.  My deepest sympathy to  all of the family and friends.

11/26/2013 Anna Morrocco  Commented:
I  think this is a travesty. I have many questions about this case. I have  worked as a therapist for domestic violence and I can honestly say this  was a recipe for murder. Let me explain: 1) Family states that there is  knowledge of domestic  violence between Jeremy and Michelle. 2)  Michelle has advised her family that  she is leaving her abuser. 3) As  the pictures show from the concert Jeremy looks angry, something is  bothering him and he is also drinking. Michelle is having a  good time  and she is not letting his mood upset her, which causes more anger for   someone who is controlling. 4)Michelle sends what SJCSO states "cryptic"  texts.  No not really. If he is acting the way I suspect he was acting,  giving her  intimidating looks and acting mad, she could have had  an inner sense of  "something bad is going to happen to her when she  tries to leave him". 5) A  controlling man is not going to give up on  what he thinks is his property and an  argument ensues. 6)Domestic  VIolence becomes lethal when the  victim tries to  leave and that is  where the abuser feels they have lost  control and becomes  excessively  violent and would rather see the person dead than alive. It is my   theory that Jeremy, being intoxicated, his anger heightened is upset  that  Michelle is going to leave him. She enters the house and they  argue. She goes to the bedroom to get away from him and locks the door.  She refuses to open the  door. He kicks it in and she grabs for his  gun. He sees this and it makes him  even angrier. She is on the floor on  her knees (as picture insinuates she was  low to the floor and the way  her legs are angled and that she did not hit the  side of the bed when  she fell backwards). He threatens her with the gun and could have pulled  her hair and placed the front of the gun against her head,  thus  causing the round light at the bottom to press into the crease of her  eye.  He could have been threatening her that he could kill her and get  away with it.  The abuser wants her to be scared. He has to have power  of her since  he feels he  has lost it. Someone in fear is not going to  hit someone with a gun when the  other person has the advantage. He continues to point it at her face she screams  for help and she whacks it out of her face and screams for help, the gun goes  off. That is the shot that goes to the floor. He then regains control again  probably with pulling her hair shoves the gun in her face and shoots her in the  mouth. There is cut on her upper lip. Her hands could have been holding  his  hands in trying to push away where there would not be defensive  wounds. Also,  maybe that is why she has gun residue on her hands. A  SJCSO statement about "No  one would let someone put a pistol in their  mouths", NOT TRUE. Some victims  become passive hoping that the violence  will end and that if I just do as they  say I won't get hurt. Not  everyone acts and think like a police officer. Trauma  is a tricky  thing, some people cope differently. The angle of the fatal shot  would  be just right for someone on their knees and the abuser above her with  the  gun in her mouth. He then wipes the gun clean, takes one of her  hands and make  sure her fingerprints are on the gun and then make it  look like it dropped.  Think about it, she is standing up on her  knees to commit suicide? She grabs it  with her left hand and then  shoots with her non-dominant hand? Plus, what about  him stating that he  was holding her RIGHT hand and that is why he got gun  residue on his  hand. Remember, medical experts stated that she shot her self  with the  LEFT hand. Why would I take  my non-dominant hand and use my dominant   hand to stabilize it? That is very questionable. He, though, is LEFT  handed. RED  FLAG! The SJCSO did not do what they should have done.  Their protocol should have been such where it protected the rights of  the victim and the off duty  police officer. He should have been taken  directly to the station to be  questioned and another outside team  should have come in and assisted in the  investigation. Not  everything is what they seem. There were many mistakes and  conflict of  interest mainly
on the sheriff's part. No one wants to believe that  one  of their own could do such a thing, but it is possible. Yes, statistics  show  that suicides outweigh the murders, but in this case all the  officers just  assumed it was a self inflicted wound. The SJCSO really  missed the mark: 1)  SJCSO should have asked her family has she ever 
attempted suicide in the past 2)  Only 30% leave notes behind 3) Women do not always shoot themselves in the face  or head, not for vanity reasons, but for their family, they do not want to hurt  them more  (Ohio  State). 4) Was Michelle impulsive 5) FIrearms and pills are top suicide methods for women. Isn't it interesting that she should have  both on  her, such as 50 pills in her  pocket, but the pill bottle has  no
finger prints on  them. Plus, no trace of pill showing in her system  only alcohol. Interesting. I  am sure Jeremy learned of this in his training as all emergency officials are  taught about suicide statistics. 6)He is drunk and is acting uncontrollable. RED FLAG, 7)Arguments during the day. RED FLAG 8)Past Domestic Violence, RED 
FLAG 9)  Sheriff friends with his parents and knows then for a VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY  long time. RED
FLAG Also, Sheriff Shoars report really is a report that tries to  debunk every critic of this investigation and he tries to discredit all that  contradict his departments findings. Even though his department did a half-assed  
investigation and did not interview witnesses, family, or the suspect. The  evidence wasn't even tested. How can you defend a case with "shorty" case  work???? I am sorry Sheriff Shoar sound can travel. I am  very sure that the two  witnesses did infact hear the cries for help. I  am really ashamed of the SJCSO  and the "Good Ole Boy"
politics that go  on. Even our news paper is scared of getting involved. I really wish  someone of high stature such as Mark Fuhrman,Dr.  Cyril Wecht Dr.  Michael Baden, or even Dateline, 48 hours, or the ID channel  picks this  story up and does their own investigation. Kudos for the NY Times and   PBS for standing up for
what is right. Michelle's needs JUSTICE! Just  remember Drew Peterson was a police officer and when his wife died of  suspicious circumstances his police department covered up for him. IF  Dr. Michael Baden investigated
the death of Drew Peterson's third wife  and got a conviction, hopefully someone will contact him to do the same  for Michelle and get concrete evidence to put Jeremy where he belongs -  behind bars! God Bless

11/26/2013 Kim Lingle Commented:
I  was assaulted by a wealthy, influential man in St. Augustine this past  April. I refuse to call it
'domestic violence' because I think that  minimizes the act. I'm not a VICTIM of domestic violence; I was attacked  and assaulted. It was a miracle that the SAO filed charges. It was a  miracle that he plead to
one felony. It was strongly due to the fact  that an attorney from OUTSIDE of our District was over-seeing my case. I  had to sell my home and flee Florida this  past September to escape  retaliation from the SJSO. SA
Deputy Chris France told me (directly)  that he grew up with my abuser, and that he was a 'good guy', that  I  shouldn't pursue any violations of the multiple restraining Orders  (more specifically, that he wouldn't) and
that SEVENTH CIRCUIT SO'S  PROTECT IT'S  JUDGES. I have VIDEOs of my attacker violating the  Restraining Orders and Injunctions while POLICE STAND BY AND WATCH.  Deputies don't make the call to NOT  enforce
Orders, State Attorneys do.  I will support you and your family in any way possible. I pray that God  grants you Peace.

11/26/2013 Unbiased P Commented:
Watching  the Frontline TV show. God Bless Michelle. I am not  familiar with  the facts. A civil case threshold is 51% probable, and your county  should vote for Sheriff on this basis. There is no statutes of limitations here, and the complete truth will prevail eventually

11/26/2013 Margi Young Commented:
From  Michigan ... saw the program on front line. Appalled at the corruption of st Augustine sheriff
shoar allowing this murder to be covered up.  Look at the evidence and stand up for the truth. I pray you are not  reelected. God will judge.

11/26/2013 David Elias Commented:
I  saw the frontline report on this investigation. Perhaps it's not enough base a judgment on this case. But seeing the doubt raised by numerous  experts says to me that this case was botched. Perhaps Jeremy Banks got  away with murder, this time. But if this man is indeed an abuser people  claim he is, if and when he does this again, he will be caught. And you  can bet the enabling behavior of his department will only prove me 
11/26/2013 Lt. Hulk Commented:
When  initially interviewed in the police car Jeremy was asked by the  detective," did you  drink tonight". He answered yes, Bud Light, "BIG  ONES" and they laughed.  That is rather odd behavior by the suspect and  the
detective. That department is  systematically narcissistic. The leadership needs to be replaced. Jeremy should  be terminated for looking at the report. Texas can lend you some homicide  investigators and get to the truth.

11/26/2013 Ron Murphy Commented:
Wow.  I'm horrified. I'm not from that area but I just gotta ask? How in the world did 1. The sheriff get his position and 2. The D.A. get his  position?!?  I'm sorry but they both sound like the two biggest  uneducated
redneck idiots I've ever heard! I feel so bad for the family.  I hope the people of St. Augustine will take matters into there own  hands and not allow this police behavior continue. Just remember... 'ask  not for a lighter burdern, but  broader shoulders' take care of this  people of St. Augustine!

11/26/2013  Lori Torres Commented:
Praying for justice for her & her family.

11/27/2013 AnAngry N.FL.Resident Commented:
This  is a horrible miscarriage of justice. That Officer Banks is back "on  the job" should send fear to the hearts of all St Augustine residents  &  especially any young women he attempts to date! The  Sheriff's Dept has
closed its' ranks and is protecting its' own as  revealed in that secret video made during their "retreat". Shame on you  Sheriff Shoar & all your conspirators that you would harbor this  dangerous man - who's
supposed to serve & protect. God will punish you all...Justice for Michelle & her family.
11/27/2013 Jessica J Commented:
I am so sorry for your lose and for the continued difficulties you face. I  am a survivor of abuse and I am lucky to be alive. My abuser was not a  police officer. He raped me and two other underage girls and when I  went to
the police they took a note and nothing else happened. This  cycle cannot continue, domestic  violence is wrong and this was murder. I  will tell her story to everyone I know.  I will ask them to sign your  petition.
I wish there was more I could do. Don't  give up.

11/27/2013  D. R Commented:
I  watched the Frontline program tonight. Have no fear O'Connell family  justice is on the way. There are many
troubling things with this case.  But one really sticks out and will be investigated. Because it goes  beyond officers and the department protecting each other. When does a  special prosecutor basically contradict firearms
EXPERTS based on his  experience with firearms? He has some explaining to do. Justice will be  done and when that happens I hope some peace will come to your family.

11/27/2013 Don Fymbo Commented:
I do forensic reconstructions. Could you email me a copy of the medical examiners
official autopsy report Donaldfymbo@comcast.net

11/27/2013 Derek Sneden Commented:
I  just watched the Frontline special that covered this case and it  sickened me, yet again, to observe the complete disrespect for human  life and justice that occurs when a law enforcement officer evades a 
competent investigation whiles hiding behind a blue wall that would have crashed down on the victim had the roles been reversed. When the people we hire to uphold the laws are not subject to any consequence of law  or order, "We the People", as a society, have failed our dying Constitution. Prayers to Michelle & Alexis and may the rest of the   family... Keep up the righteous fight

11/27/2013 Bob Johnson Commented:
This case is disturbing. Cops should never be allowed to investigate there

11/27/2013 PBSviewer InKansas:
I  just watched the Frontline report and am so appalled by how the case  was so badly mis-handled! My sister
is a detective so I know a little about how Michelle's murder would have been handled. I believe she  was in fact murdered. You and your cause have my prayers and it is my  hope that the Frontline investigation will cast the right light on all  of this and get the outcome that you deserve. I also far for any other  young woman/ women that may become involved with Jeremy Banks. He had  for now gotten away with murder once and he will not
stop. Some other  woman is going to end up hurt or worse.

David Nicholson Commented:

11/27/2013 Jeffrey Norris Commented:
I  just saw the Frontline story on this horrible case of injustice. I feel  so badly for Michelle and her family. What a slimy cop, sheriff and  others you have there. The Buddha said: "Three things cannot be  long hidden: the
sun, the moon,  and the truth." Enough time and  pressure will allow justice to prevail! There  just now needs to be many  more charged, criminally! RIP Michelle.

11/27/2013 Debbie Broeker Commented:
Have you thought about filing a civil suit against Jeremy Banks? The burden  of proof is less than for a criminal charge. It wouldn't put him in  jail, but at least your family would get some sense of justice in this case. My
sympathies to you all.

11/27/2013 Jennifer Chen Commented:
So there was no actual investigating by any officer? Just go by the word  of Jeremy Banks, he is one of us. Stunning. His story does not add up.  To family, I stand with you in calling for justice. FYI, I am in NY, 
where this story ran in the Times. A big spotlight is on this story;  the pressure is on.

11/27/2013 Joseph Daglish Commented:
Why hasn't anyone mentioned the fact Banks had a prescription for the drug  hydrocodone, a
much abused opiate based highly addictive drug which  combined with alcohol can produce angry outbursts. According to Deputy  Debra Maynard when she questions him, he pounds dents into the police  cruiser. Is this a
guy in deep shock and grief or a drunken drug induced panic. I am so sorry for your loss. We can never forget what happened.  We all must insist on justice for Michelle. Joe

11/27/2013 Lynn Jackson Commented:
It is abundantly clear that Michelle's death was not a suicide. Why those who are in charge of enforcing the law can't or won't see it is a huge  mystery. They  are either incompetent or negligent in carrying out  their duties,
and either  should be a scary prospect for the citizens of  the county. The obvious answer to  getting to the bottom of this is to convene a grand jury, and let the truth finally come out.
11/27/2013 Hardman 57 Commented:
to  protect and serve? yeah sure, to protect their own ass and to serve  their police buddies. it
is not very comforting to know we have such  people as this policing us. would you want the foxes investigating who  has killed the chickens in the farm yard?

11/27/2013 The Devil Wears SJSO Green Commented:
My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the O'Connell family. I am so sorry you have lost Michelle. I watched the Frontline episode last  night. I was appalled and disgusted about the investigation, and the way  it
was handled...it's sad how JB gets to live freely and to think SJCSO rewards the murderer by supporting him...Really??? Justice4Michelle<3

11/27/2013 Sophie ABE Commented:
This  is why I avoid FL. There is something wrong in the water. I just  watched FRONTLINE on
PBS. This is SAD. We need JUSTICE for Michelle  now!!!!

11/28/2013 Lance
Robinson Commented:
After  watching the Frontline episode about the murder of Michelle, I can  only hope your desire for justice is satisfied before Jeremy Banks  murders again. That he has temper issues, a badge, and has gotten away  with murder -- at least once already -- does not bode well for his present or future girlfriends, nor the citizens he arrests, pulls over or otherwise interacts with. That the neighborhood wasn't canvased nor  the testimony of the neighbors, who heard cries  for "help" twice, acted upon, nor FDLE brought in from the start (plus all of  the other errors  in this case, like interviewing Banks in a squad car) makes me feel like a federal, not state agency, should be brought in to re-open the  case.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

11/28/2013 DM Bennett Commented:
first  if it was me i would file a civil suit against the deputy the sheriff  and the entire department this would
allow depositions of the deputy the  sheriff medical examiners police officers detectives and so on  second i would contact the department of justice and request an  investigation into the violation of the victim's civil rights by the  deputy and also the sheriff the department the medical examiner etc the  deputy is suing fdle for violating his civil rights yet the real victim  is ms o'connell she is dead and her civil rights have truly been   violated i would want to get the federal government involved

11/28/2013 Jim Shroyer Commented:
Without a doubt, this case should go to a grand jury. If it does not, the guardian of Alexis should commence a wrongful death action against Jeremy Banks. A money judgment against him is a poor substitute  for a conviction for murder,  but it is better than nothing, which is  what we have now, given the disgraceful  conduct of the Sheriff of St.  John's County and the equally disgraceful conduct  of the State's  Attorney who refused to refer the matter to a grand jury.

Concerned Commenter:
I  just watched the Nightline report on this case and I want to extended my condolences to all of you. It is a shame that this is happening and  nothing is being done. The sheriff should be ashamed as should several  others - I think that it is wrong that they call themselves police officers. If it was known that Officer Banks had a bad temper, he should never have been made a police officer.  All officers, no matter where they are at, should be screened carefully before hiring. And if the pressure of the job takes its toll, then he or she should be  
pulled until they are fit for duty again. This is gross misconduct and I hope  that justice is soon gained for Michelle no matter what that  justice turns out  to be. Keeping you all in my thoughts

11/29/2013 Jeffrey Froment Commented:
I  just watched the frontline special on this case and I firmly believe  that jeremy had something to do with michelles death its to bad that the st.augustine's sheriffs department did not do their job as law  enforcement and automatically said jeremy had nothing to do with the case shame on them for me the evidence proves that jeremy committed murder and now michelles brother scott is on his side seems like a lot  of brain washing going on in florida please reopen this case for the  kids sake

11/29/2013 St. Augustine Citizen Commented:
This  is redneck justice. No thinking person could possibly accept this  outcome without losing sleep at night. I am not completely surprised by  the conduct of small town law enforcement, though I would have expected  better leadership and competence from SJCSO. What I am truly baffled by  is the burden of proof for a Grand
Jury investigation as outlined by  Brad King. In the Frontline documentary he says on film that in order to  send the case to court, he must be able to determine beyond a  reasonable doubt that Jeremy Banks is guilty of
homicide—not probable  cause, "beyond a reasonable doubt". Here is the transcript: BRAD KING,   State Attorney, Florida: "My goal and my role was to determine if I  could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he
[Banks] committed a  homicide." Is this a formal standard, or just what King thought should  be the burden of proof? This cannot be right. It will be a good day when  this case goes to court, and Shoar resigns.

11/29/2013 Linda Thompson Commented:
Justice for Michelle and her family!

11/29/2013 Michael Jones Commented:
Shoar  In my opinion should not just be voted out, he should do hard time  for impeding a murder
investigation and obstruction of justice. I would  like to see a grand jury change his status from sheriff to codefendant.  If found guilty Banks should not do time, he should be drug behind a  horse until he begs to be put out of his misery. If Shoar is indited  Make Shoar watch then do the same to that slimeball. I will donate a  horse if they need one. Put a sign on the horse  JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE.  anyone at Shoar's resort speech that applauded when he had  Banks and Michells brother stand up should be looking for work. By applauding   they supported the cover

11/29/2013 Iris Weber Commented:
Very clear case of cover up and corruption. Hope justice will prevail.

11/30/2013 Candy S Commented:
Have  read about this case when it happened. Caught the PBS story. First  why didn't they take boyfriend straight to station to interview him after they realized he had been drinking{besides the fact it was his 
weapon used}. Must have been the FACT that they had a comedian female officer who questioned him in  car " Love the FACT that you can hear her laughing "Tall beers" must be her fav.  Plus they let his stepfather  talk
to him first .Who called him ? Didn't realize  that his cellphone calls were never checked. The stage overkill to me personally was the pills in her pocket...and his prescription bottle was placed on top in her pocketbook .Whose fingerprints were on them ..or any? Was brother questioned  about where they were sitting at concert. Security cameras or should have  announced to public "If you were at this  concert.  Please check your photos to see if pics of "The three there  were photobombed in any pics. These would help  just to show facial  expressions and moods. If the two women were smoking pot  ..who cares!  They both passed lie detector. Did everyone else involved take one. I  personally would rather have 2 smokers to testify rather than a  policeman whose SERVICE WEAPON was clean after his girlfriend just used  it to kill herself? I will Pray
if anyone knows ANYTHING to give it up.  This will save the taxpayers $$ plus it will not tarnish the WHOLE  DEPARTMENT ..Plus the wonderful state of Fl. We don't need another  scandal. Praying for the family.

Donna Martin Commented:
Dear  Family of Michelle, I fear that even a grand jury won't get the justice  you deserve, remember in your state Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman  both walked.The police botched the case, even the
sheriff admitted that. The prosecutor was correct that a conviction would probably be  impossible. If it's not too late, did you consider a civil suit against  the county and Mr. Banks? At the very least Banks is guilty of 
negligence that led to Michelle's wrongful death. Keep up the pressure, but if what you think is true, who knows how far Banks and his  supporters will go to protect themselves? Be careful. The state can  remove the sheriff and Banks if the voters won't or can't. I hope that  happens before Banks hurts someone else.

11/30/2013 Jamie P Commented:
I'm  from Toronto, Canada and just watched the amazing documentary on Frontline. Just wanted you to know that your story is touching people all over the continent - the more people know that know about this, the  closer you'll be to seeing justice.

12/01/2013 Joseph Beasley Commented:
I  know first hand about POLICE and POLITICAL CORRUPTION, CONSPIRACY,  and COVERUPS. My heart goes out to you all!!! It is time for AMERICANS  as a WHOLE to stand up for WHAT IS RIGHT!!! Have You ALL heard
of the  march on Washington?  I PROPOSE A MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE FROM ALL OVER  AMERICA AND DEMAND ACTION!!! If  there is anything that I  can do to help  all of you just let me know at  yobeasley@gmail.com (ONCE AGAIN MY  HEART GOES OUT TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS) JOSEPH (JODY) of Lexington  SC.

12/01/2013 Clara Waldhari Commented:
Two  suggestions: 1- Organize  and hold a candlelight vigil for Michelle  in December 2013; family should
pick where 2- Those who participate in the Pilot Club's Lights of Love (luminarias) aglow in front of city  hall, buy one for Michelle O'Connell this years and every years she goes  without justice.

Catherine Taylor Commented:
Jeremy is guilty and I pray that they find justice and convict him. Not only  for Michelle but also for her daughter. People like Jeremy make it hard  to trust police. It was MURDER, no loving mother would take her own life  to leave behind her baby.. Justice for Michelle!

12/03/2013 Betsy Bowen Wrenn Commented:
My  husband and I watched Frontline last night with friends, and I will  post a  message on Facebook urging all my friends to see it, read the NY  Times story, and visit this website. Our deepest condolences for your  tragic loss and what  suffered since. The truth will out! In solidarity, Betsy Wrenn

12/03/2013 Ma P Commented:
I  just watched the PBS video about Michelle's story. Oh please justice  for Michelle. What goes around, comes
around for Jeremy and the sheriff.

12/03/2013 Jen Klise Commented:
Hello,  The world is with you! The good ole boys are out of their league. In  the meantime. I think you should have a way for us to submit donations  to a fund for Michelle's daughter. Or frankly for the family. I cannot  imagine the impact this has had on your lives. I also think you should set up a facebook page for the cause. Best, Jen

12/04/2013 Outraged Texan Commented:
I  just watched the online Frontline episode, and am shocked  and appalled  by this case. The tragedy this family has endured has been compounded by  local law enforcement incompetence, denial, and arrogance. Clearly,  Jeremy Banks is a murderer. Yet the "good ole boys club" (apparently up  to and including the governor) down there won't even convene a grand jury?! This is a farce on an epic scale and Brad Kind should be  penalized
for professional misconduct...or better yet, fired! I truly feel for the family and hope against hope that justice prevails for  Michelle. PS - How do you fire everyone involved in this  malpractice?  Protest in the
streets? DO IT!!!!!

12/09/2013 Dan Goldman Commented:
I  learned of what happened to Michelle as a result of the Frontline and  New York Times investigation. As an attorney, I was wondering whether or  not  Michelle's family has brought a civil action against against, among 
others, Jeremy Banks. There was no mention of a civil case in the New York Times article or the Frontline episode.

12/09/2013 Gerard D  Commented:
Why  doesn't the family sue officer Banks and the police dept. Officer Banks  service weapon wasn't locked as it should have been from what I saw.  thanks Gerald

12/09/2013 Donna Skipper Commented:
Vote out Sheriff Shoar and maybe then a new Sheriff will re-open this MURDER case.

12/09/2013 J HeroJ Commented:
Even  the most basic of persons trained even slightly in people-reading know  that this guy killed
her and that the other cops are covering it up.  What I don't really get is the brother, now back with these scum.

12/10/2013 M I Commented:
I saw this case on Frontline. It is incredibly sad. And shocking at how brazen the Sheriff's Department has behaved. Is there a wrongful death  lawsuit planned?  What about a federal probe of the Sheriff's Department? I am confident one day Michelle will get justice.

12/11/2013 Alan Caswell Commented:
This  case is unbelievable. Best of luck and hope to Michelle's family.  Never, never, never give up. Jeremy Banks WILL get what he deserves.

12/13/2013 Barry Cooper Commented:
The.  FBI should investigate this case. Michelle's daughter should not grow  up being told her
mother committed suicide if this was not the case. It  may have been an accident, or manslaughter or murder but what ever took  place that night should be investigated by a competent , independent law  force such
as the  FBI. She was denied her civil rights if she did not  kill herself. she was denied her right to life.

12/24/2013 Ed Slavin Commented:
Justice for Michelle O'Connell in 2014! Ed Slavin easlavin@aol.com www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com

12/26/2013 Calvin Howard Commented:
Based  on the facts presented in the Frontline episode, I believe there is a  compelling argument  that any case that involves alleged or possible domestic violence  involving a member of local/county/state law  enforcement should be pursued by federal (FBI) officers with an emphasis  on possible civil rights violations. Because the system of  reporting violence is designed the way it is, there is no buffer for  spouses/partners of law
enforcement personnel, therefore there is always  the possibility of biases in how cases are investigated and  or prosecuted....

01/02/2014 Allison Burnett Commented:
I  watched the Frontline documentary last night on Frontline and my blood  is still boiling. What is it about Florida that makes it so hard for common sense and justice to prevail? Why would a girl about to commit  suicide scream help between shots? And why would it take two shots, for heaven's sake? I pray that you get justice for Michelle! it sickened me  to see the murderer standing up at that cop convention with your son,  both
being cheered like heroes.

01/09/2014 Megs Boyce Commented:
Of  the total domestic violence homicides, about 75% of the victims were  killed as they attempted to leave the relationship or after the  relationship had ended.

01/11/2014 Sheila Foley Commented:
The  first step is to take up a serious grass root campaign to oust Sheriff Shoar. Rot begins at the top. You have a corrupt officer at the  helm which in turn enables corruption below. Jeremy Banks is  literally getting away with murder, but he is not the only officer  committing a crime. There are a lot of accomplices in this murder. The  officers who arrived on the scene, the medical examiners and district  attorney. They are all accomplices to
murder and at a minimum should be  charged with obstruction of justice. Why aren't the O'Connell family  suing Jeremy Banks in civil court like OJ Simpson? If Jeremy Bank  gets one penny from that case he is filing, every
penny needs to go to  them.

01/12/2014 David Sabine Commented:
I just watched the episode of Frontline that covered this horrible incident. I am so sorry for the pain it has caused. I sincerely hope that a jury will someday weigh the evidence of this case. As it was presented, it left me very suspicious of the official conclusions. It is my opinion that, even if Jeremy Banks did not pull the trigger himself, he is still responsible for her death in that he did not secure his weapon properly. I would advise you to seek counsel in bringing a civil suit against him and the Sheriff's office for his negligence. If Deputy Banks failed to follow department policy as I have been led to understand than he should be held accountable. I don't pretend to know the facts of the case but it is my opinion that if any one of the contributing factors, anger, alcohol and a readily available firearm were removed from the situation the outcome would have been much less tragic. It is my sincere hope that your family finds peace.

01/2014 Rank Hank Commented:

01/26/2014 Caroline C Commented:
Jeremy Banks is guilty - it is a massive coverup. Why don't they focus more on the statistics that show a women is at her highest danger level in a domestic violent relationship when actually calling it off and trying to leave her partner, the risk of harm and/or death increases immensely - his frustration and anger instead of being visibly upset shows that too, he's more frustrated and  disappointed in himself - that he "lost it" than actually is upset for her demise. His co-workers all know his violent tendencies and outbursts too - does it have to take him killing
someone else before he gets what he deserves?

02/05/2014 Consciousness Failing Commented:
Aphrodite Jones should look into this one. It's apparent that the judicial system all over the state of Florida is in need of review. I'll cite the George Zimmerman and Casey Anthony cases. Common sense tells me something fishy went on that night in that house. It should be fully investigated for the little girl who list her mother. It's no big leap to think a officer of the law would be capable of something like this. I think a fellow officer indicated that night she smelled alcohol on Jeremy when she arrived on the scene.

02/16/2014 Kathii Mosher Commented:
What a sham! The Sheriff needs to be removed from office and actual charges against him as well for this coverup. Jeremy Banks is a coward and a murderer!  Someone in the right position needs to get this mess clear
ed up. I am so tired of corruption in this world.
02/18/2014 Chris de Ocejo Commented:
Hi, My name is Chris. I'm a recent law-school grad, and I just saw the Frontline doc on Michelle. First, my deepest regrets. This should not have happened. And the events after her murder should DEFINITELY not have happened. I would like to  offer my help, such as it is, to your cause in any way I can. I also would like,  if you don't mind, to ask some questions. The Frontline documentary shows what  appears to be a crime-scene photo which, when I saw it, raised a thousand nit-picky questions. I'm pretty sure they're questions you or experts have already considered or are just the product of a naive layman's mind; but on the off-chance they're not, and because convincing a lay-jury someone murdered her is going to be necessary at some point, I ask that you humor me a bit. If nothing else, I hope the questions provoke more questions. The image in question, shown in the Frontline doc, shows Michelle's body, specifically her right hand, next to the alleged-suicide weapon, which is
resting against a policeman's belt. The image presented, upon casual glance, appears to show that Michelle fired the weapon from her right hand, and fell backwards. There are, however, some things in the photo and mentioned in the Frontline report that appear to contradict such a conclusion. (1) The documentary never presented anybody's argument for the "first shot," evidenced by the bullet-hole shown in the film. Did the crime-scene investigators, or subsequent FDLE investigation, ever account for it? Why an alleged-suicide missed her entire head and fired into the floor, then got it all correct and killed herself? (2) One of the crime-scene photos in the film shows the entrance to the room in which Michelle allegedly killed herself. Now, testimony from Mr. Banks was that he broke down the door after hearing shots fired, and one photo in the Frontline doc appears to
corroborate this account. But- another doesn't seem to do so. A photo shown in the doc, from the kitchen area into the bedroom, shows no sign of forced entry - no damage to the lock or door-frame or paint-of-the-door-frame of the bedroom. Now, Banks may claim to have entered through another entry, but if he broke into the room from the direction of the photo shown in the documentary, the photo appears to show not-so-much as a scratch on the door-frame. (3) A  photo of the body shown  in the documentary seems entirely inconsistent with suicide. To wit: (a) Semiautomatic firearms recoil BACK, UP (relative) to the firearm), and ever-so-slightly to the opposite side from which the spent cartridge is ejected. Newton's Second Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Does the entry-exit wound in Michelle's skull support this? (b) Michelle is alleged to have either (i) placed the weapon upside-up in her mouth and fired; or (ii) placed the weapon upside-down in her mouth and fired; or (iii) held the barrel of the weapon just outside her mouth and fired. If she held the gun outside her jaw (iii), there would be evidence of GSR, expanding cordite gasses burning the lips, and possibly
even physical damage to and on her teeth. If held outside the jaw, one could expect to see more GSR on the front of the teeth rather than the back and more burns on the lips and outer  gums than inner gums, mouth and
tongue. If the gun was held between the jaws,  the recoil of the shot should have caused some slight damage to her teeth as the metal collided with the enamel, with greater damage to the side experiencing  greater recoil (top jaw if the gun was held right-side-up, opposite if  upside-down). Did any of this show in the ME's report? If the gun was held  upside-down (ii), Michelle would likely have had to use her thumb to fire the  weapon (as demonstrated by the confirming ME in the Frontline doc); is the  position of her hand in the crime-scene photos consistent with this? And if she  had held the gun right-side-up (i), she would almost undoubtedly have
used her  index finger to fire the weapon; again, is this consistent with the crime-scene  photo? I have limited info and no crime-scene investigation experience, so treat  this as a layman's guess, but: Either way, the photo (shown on the Frontline  doc) doesn't seem to corroborate this, as best I can tell. (1) Pretend to hold a  gun in your mouth and pull the trigger. Imagine what happens to your body as the shell is discharged. Well, the head moves back and up, slightly, from the force  of the bullet; the abdomen, pulled slightly along the spine by
the skull moving  backwards, falls dorsally, onto its back; AND THE ANDS/ARMS MOVE BACKWARDS.  Your body opens up ventrally. The crime-scene photo in the Frontline doc shows Michelle's right-hand PALM-DOWN, index finger out. I've been trying to think of  how the physics of a self-inflicted gunshot through the mouth could allow
that,  but most positions I can imagine seem pretty contorted for someone allegedly  locked in a room by herself committing suicide. (2) Same photo shows the alleged-suicide weapon with the barrel+maglite pointing up (toward the ceiling),  handle/magazine resting against the floor, firing-pin cocked, again with  Michelle's right hand palm-down, index-finger extended. Again, I'm trying to  imagine the physics of this gun in the hand of a suicide who is falling toward  their back, as is alleged in Michelle's case. My first concern is how the weapon  came out of Michelle's hand. I have a neuromuscular disease, and I know a bit  about how nerves and muscles react from personal experience. When a nerve stops  telling a muscle to contract, there is a "refractory" period. This is actually  pretty easy to demonstrate: tense a muscle, and then let go without tensing any muscles that pull in the opposite direction. The muscle will remain a bit tensed  for a brief period of time, or even somewhat permanently (for example, unless you lock your knees, your legs bend ever so slightly). If you're firing a  gun,  the fingers of your hand are tensed around the handle and trigger. It is going to take time for those muscle fibers to relax, even if the nerve-signals get cut  off immediately. This isn't rigor mortis, its just the natural tension we all  have in our muscles. So again, imagine you've just fired a pistol into your mouth. Your head is
moving backwards, your body is moving backwards, your hand  holding the gun is being flung OUT and AWAY from the direction of the gunshot. The fingers holding the gun are *NOT* open and loose; there is still residual  tension holding the weapon. Which means that the weapon should still have been  close-to or in Michelle's hand *IF* she had shot herself. *OR* let's suppose  that the crime-scene photo is accurate, and that Michelle's hand fell palm-down.  The palm would have held the handle of the weapon, and absorbed the energy of  the gun hitting the ground and bouncing up. The likely scenario in this case,  from basic physics, is that the hand would have contained the handle, absorbed  the shock of the weapon hitting the ground, and *HELD THE GUN IN HER PALM* or  under her palm or pretty damned-near her palm. I could be wrong - and very  possibly am wrong, since I'm going on my common-sense and common-sense isn't  necessarily correct, especially my common-sense - but it seems to me the gun  should be underneath, or at least closer to, the palm-down hand that fired the  weapon. And finally, the image shows the barrel+maglite of the weapon resting against the policeman's belt, pointing up, with handle/magazine resting on the  ground, butt of the gun facing away from the body. If the gun fell from her hand, what are the odds that it fell out of her palm-down hand, fingers clenched  around the handle, onto the service-belt, with the barrel facing up toward the  ceiling and the butt of the gun facing away from the body? The gun does not  bounce on the ground and fall flat; it allegedly bounces on the ground and ends  up with barrel+maglite pointed skyward. Then consider the fact that the photo shows Michelle's right index finger outstretched. It is not in any way aligned with the firing mechanism of the pistol; in fact, it and her
entire hand is 180  degrees from the angle at which the trigger would have had to have been pulled.  Consider: a person shoots himself in the mouth. Somehow, the arm/hand lands  palm-down. The gun drops from their hand. Try mimicking a pistol in your hand,  your hand thrown out by the force of the shot and somehow palm-down. What is the orientation of your mimic-pistol? Isn't the barrel in a palm-down situation toward the feet of the body, the butt toward the head, simply because that's the  way the hand would have held it as it dropped? The other way makes sense ONLY  with the palm facing up. UNLESS there has been tampering with the crime scene.  Speaking of which, who's giant-friggin' feet are in the crime-scene photo(s)?  And the other set of feet/legs in the other photos? Considering both are in what  appear to be uniformed-officer shoes and *NOT* unnatural-death investigators (homicide detectives, CSI technicians), or at least wearing some sort of gear to  protect  the integrity of the primary crime-scene, please tell me there is at  least a LOG of who these
people were, when they got there, and what the hell  they did beside stand around, contaminating the scene. I doubt St Augustine (my folks live nearby) has many homicides, but even a 1st grader who's seen CSI  knows how to ensure the integrity of a crime-scene. There's no excuse for police doing any different, even if they're responding to "one of their own." Anyway,  if I can help you to seek justice in any way beyond signing the petition, please  let me know: I'm glad to use what expertise I have to help out.

02/1/2014 Chris de Ocejo Commented:
I'm a recent law school grad; if I can be of help with my legal training, please let me know. Also, is it just me or are the crime-scene photos (as shown in the Frontline documentary) inconsistent with Banks's story? There are a bunch of details in the photos - like the position of Michelle's hand and the position of  the pistol - that
don't add up if you buy the suicide story, but with other circumstantial evidence point to, minimally, tampering with the scene.

02/20/2014 Former SJSO Commented:
I wish I could write Dateline and tell them what was said around the office. Of course it would only be considered hearsay so it would do little good. But I  agree that it was covered up because of the
mistakes made during the investigation. 



02/27/2014 11:51am

CNN- Anderson Cooper will air a special on the death of Michelle tonight at 8pm eastern time on channel 35 for Comcast users.

Stuart D Faulks
08/14/2014 7:47am


I just now saw the documentary about Michelle's case and, to be honest, I am very angry right now. The way this case was handled is beyond belief. My intention is to do what I am able to, to see this case reaches its true conclusion...that Michelle was murdered.

Is there a link to the evidence and transcripts of this case? I would be very interested to read everything which is available. Corruption in Florida is by no means a new thing, as I am sure you are aware. For as long as Rick Scott is the Governor, sadly, little will change.


Stuart D Faulks

08/31/2014 2:58am

On the photos broadcasted on the frontline episode on this case, why does it appear her finger is broken and they show that pic 20 times, and that is not mentioned. Isn't that a submission hold?

01/18/2015 4:46am

I am on the same boat as you, I kept screaming at the tv "why didn't they test both Michelle and Jeremy's hands for gun powder residue!?"

Kramer Richardson
01/30/2015 11:07pm

This most likely won't get posted. I've watched the documentary, she was smiling with her brother that night, she would of told him if she felt like banks was going to hurt her that night. I think there's a lot of points people are missing, clearly the text messages to her sister show signs of depression and thoughts of suicide, have any of you listened to Paramore? Most of the songs are about relationships.... she had past signs of depression and it comes back frequently As i have experienced all my life. I think it's pretty sad how people can quickly rule out suicide yet there is no sufficient evidence it was a homicide other than biased family statements. If I killed myself right now no one would suspect it, some people fight depression.

Matt B
02/08/2015 11:06pm

Any idiot can see he murdered her.

08/28/2014 11:19am

what I see of the crime seen photos tells me he was standing or sitting on the bed behind and over her while she was laying on the floor facing away from him, he had her by the hair so tight with his left hand that his thumbnail made the injury on her eye, he then reached over her head and shot her in the mouth while the gun was being held upside down due to his bodys position in relation to hers during this crime.....also, the fatal shot was not from the gun that was found on the scene....everything but the barrel anyway!...he used another identical weapon, but used the barrel from his gun that he left on the scene!......this is very likely how he pulled this off.....fooling investigations, and his fellow officers!....but not me and my insight!...I know cops clean their guns all the time and can disassemble and reassemble those weapons in the dark.....he just had other parts to rebuild the weapon he left on the scene!

08/28/2014 12:18pm

MICHELLE HAS GUN POWDER STIPULATIONS ON HER FINGERS!!! THESE ARE DEFENSIVE WOUNDS!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LOOK AT THE CRIME SCENE PHOTOS ON A LARGE HD TV!!!!. BLOW THESE PICTURES UP AND SUBMIT THIS FINDING AS NEW EVIDENCE THAT WARRANTS A NEW INVESTIGATION!! That gun was pointed at her and shoved into her eye. (Causing the bruise that is consistent with the tip of the gun barrel) She screams help as (First "HELP" scream heard by female witness) she instinctively grabs the barrel pushing it away and downward as he fires it, the bullet hits the floor below her, the shell lands on top of items to her left. Then she screams again (Second louder "HELP" scream heard by the same witness) and he put the gun to her mouth and fired again (Second shot heard by witness followed by silence until she heard sirens). It would be impossible for her to have any gun powder stipulations on her fingers if she shot herself. Thus the stipulations had to be caused by the first shot and its obvious she didn't shoot the floor with one hand while her other hand was a few inches in front of the gun barrel and in the line of fire.
MOTIVE? There is a reason he shot her in the mouth and its not just because she was screaming for help it was also because of what was in her pocket! What happens to his law enforcement career if everyone finds out he is hiding an opiate addiction? Think about why she had his empty pill bottles in her purse but the pills in her pocket? She had no drugs in her system and even had a very normal amount of alcohol in her blood (0.08) for somebody who just went to a concert so its obvious she wasn't struggling with any form of addiction. The fact that those pills were in her pocket like that and they weren't for her own consumption is a HUGE clue as to what was taking place leading up to her murder.

Question it all
09/01/2014 10:13pm

Why if supposedly if she had the gun upside down was the shell found on her right side? If the gun was indeed upside down the shell would be on her left. Total bs

01/18/2015 5:00am

I just watched the documentary and broadcast and I can't help but feel livid at the nonchalant manner this case was investigated, the interviewer of Jeremy had a friendly chat and jeremy even made a joke about the bud lights and he giggled, his girlfriend is dead!!! He gigglin!? this was a recollection Jeremy's perspective of what happened not a investigation, and quite simply why weren't both Michelle's hands and Jeremy's hands tested for gun powder residue!? Also the cuts on her face aren't consistent with the gun being held upside down they're consistent with the gun being shoved in Michelle's right side of the face consistent with Jeremy being left handed, and the fact that the neighbors said that from the time they heard a yell for help to the time the sirens were heard it was 15 minutes plenty of time for Jeremy to stage the scene and come up with an alibi, then why wasn't his 911 call submitted to a psychologist specializing in emotional expression, the voice of Jeremy on the 911 call, and the fact that he said on the call in a completely different tone then the one he initially called with and the fact that he got upset when the operator called him "mam" he said, "I'm a sir" why get upset over such a small mistake when your girlfriend is laying dead!!? ok I'm be honest, I'm one of you" wth is that!? And he goes on to say "ok I'm tell oh truth I'm one of you" wow I'm baffled how this man has yet to be convicted, if I was her brother i don't know what I'd do, my heart deeply goes out to the family.

01/25/2015 2:35am

Michelle hands should have been bagged at the scene and then her hands should have been tested for gun shot residue..(Jeremy Banks like O.J SIMPSON got away with MURDER-And Michelle's Brother sold his sisters soul for his job back on the St John Sheriffs office and Sheriff David B Whore your a disgrace of a human being for not properly investigating this Shooting.

01/28/2015 3:41pm

I just watched this story on Frontline and I wanted to say my prayers are with you and your family that soon some way some how you will get justice. Im sorry you guys have to go through this just knowing all the facts Homicide is beyond obvious. May her soul rest in peace and her daughter grow to know how much she was loved by her mother. I dont know you all but I love you GOD BLESS and her story isnt unnoticed. Again sorry and know justice will be served.

02/27/2015 1:51pm

Just a thought,
Is it not possible that when Michelle and Banks switch seat at the concert , Banks could have sent those text message. If he was angry and planing to hurt Michelle as a deputy he would know to leave some sort of good - bye statement. I would also think there are security cameras at the concert.

03/21/2014 10:45am

my heart goes out to your family on the sad loss of michelle , i pray that justice will be done ,

Kelly mccormick
02/13/2015 3:57pm

I am a Canadian who just read this case of murder or suicide and I have never commented on anything in my life but felt I had to say something here. I am embarrassed for you Americans what are you thinking. I would be embarrassed to be apart of this police force and generally to be American its a complete out rage that a young girls life has meant so little to the police force that was meant to protect her. And the chief that gave that speech with the murderer and brother of the victim he should retire cause he is a disgrace as a human being he has no remorse that this has happened on his watch. But mostly just to be American and have this happen is an embarrassing thing

christina duffy
03/21/2014 6:03pm

I watched a documentary on this case today and find it hard to believe. I am not surprised they closed ranks, if the real truth about the investigation comes out - heads will roll I hope you will find someone with courage to take them on and get justice for Michelle.

I am from the UK wish I could do more to help

nick buchanan
11/23/2014 11:12pm

Hi I also watched the documentary and i was shocked of the theory of the police and the coroners. It's clear to any one that this was not a suicide and it was a homicide let the jury decide.

I'm in Adelaide Australia so all i can do is to give you is the confidants to continue for justice for Michelle and I'm sure you'll get some great help till justice is done.
best of wishes. Nick.

03/23/2014 4:49am

To the O'Connell family....I am very sorry for your lost.....and how justice has failed you. Please contact the FBI...have them re-investigate the case, I watched in horror the sheriff's department cover up and politics of Florida under Rick Scott. I watched the case of Michelle....on Frontline...Please reach out to FBI,,,and have them do another criminal investigation....

Rich Bosworth
03/23/2014 8:49am

Hi, writing from the drenched UK....saw a PDS Special last night concerning this and felt the need to email the Police station with my thoughts....I just watched the programme outlining the murder of Michelle O`Connell and I will be actively seeking votes to go towards the petition to see that a) Jeremy Bank is no longer protected from prosecution by you and b) that the appalling injustice committed by your Department is challenged and rectified
Here in the UK this has caused quite a reaction as it has elsewhere and it is only a matter of time before you find yourselves again under the media spotlight. I suggest you `come clean` before it`s too late as this is so wrong I honestly don`t know how you can sleep at night

ST CO Citizen
04/15/2014 12:17pm


04/18/2014 9:09pm

Just watched first 6 minutes of Dateline and Banks is lying. In law enforcement there are interview techniques that show when a person is lying. In the first six minutes his body language show tell tell signs of deception. Email me for more if you would like.

04/18/2014 10:04pm

I am going through the exact same thing with my mother's murder. I would love to get in contact with the family. How would I go about doing this? My email address is whatajoke56@live.com

Heather Wooten
04/18/2014 11:41pm

Just saw this story on Dateline, I am a central Fl. native, and was so disturbed by this story. Especially with it being so close to home. I think it is insane that this case hasn't gone to trial. There are so many things that don't add up. Jeremy Banks comes across so arrogant and callous. Sheriff Shoar isn't any better. There is someone who knows, and sees all, and I pray for Him to grant justice to this family; and that he brings the truth to light, because something just doesn't feel right about this outcome. This case NEEDS to go to trial! I pray it will.

04/18/2014 11:46pm

Even the neighbors heard two gunshots and heard cries for help. St. Augustine Police Sheriff even looked guilty of covering up the whole thing on dateline. That police department is corrupted. Even the brother switch sides what a coward, they must have offered him a lot of money. I think its very pathetic that Jeremy and the brother are trying to sue the other Florida investigators for possible false information. I just hope Michelle gets Justice. FURTHER INVESTIGATION HAS TO BE DONE!!!!!!!

charlotte warner
04/19/2014 12:49am

did anyone ever ask SCOTT why he changed his clothes.you'll notice in the picture at the concert Scott is wearing a white t-shirt and a checkered dress shirt
when they show him leaning against the police car he's wearing a yellow shirt or something on the front I just watch this on Nightline on April 18, 2014 and that was the first thing I noticed don't remember anyway asking question why changed his clothes. it just seems like he would have had a little bit of blood and somewhere whether he did it or not?

Charlotte Warner
05/25/2014 1:33pm

You would think after writing this post about Scott changing his clothes I would have gotten some kind of reply or something. I know it's a little late to get the clothes he had on, but you would think even the DA could reopen this case with all the evidence that has been put on this blog. Even the changing of clothes is enough. There is either a bunch of dumb people out there even though we know it was a cover up. Hopefully when that police captain retires, someone will have the balls to reopen the case. Watch out Scott you can always be tried for murder!!!!

charlotte warner
04/19/2014 12:54am

he never mentioned that he changed clothes before he went out and sat on his motorcycle doesn't seem like he had enough time. like the lady officer said smells like you just cleaned up for took a showerI can't believe no one noticed he had changed his clothes!

04/19/2014 12:54am

Most Police abuse their spouses.

Diane Neiman
04/19/2014 2:37pm

I just cannot get Michele off my mind , this was NO suicide PERIOD , her brother should be ashamed of himself , he sold her soul to get his job back . I also have a legal background and would gladly go there to help in ANY way possible. I have seen cases brought to trial ( and found guilty ) on much less than what they have on this vile being . Please never ever give up , I will be following this case until he is in a prison for the feast of his life. Sad to read they are now investigating the FDLE officer of the year because he did not agree with the sad excuse for a sheriff. Keep the faith , we are all here to help !!! Hopefully Jeremy will finally grow a conscious and confess #never gonna happen. This is a fight that CAN and MUST be won . GOD the family and especially Lexi ! The court of common sense knows what happened and I pray that he will be brought to justice!!

04/19/2014 5:53pm

04/19/2014 6:26pm

One theory I have not heard explains away the primary reason for the Sheriff calling this a suicide. If her final texts were taken out of context the whole case for suicide goes away. In many cases of abuse the victim is warned that there will be greater consequences if they try to leave the abuser. If she had been threatened in this manner but finally decided that she could no longer accept the terms of the relationship she would likely want to leave while her child was safely at another location as she was on this night. She might very well have sent those final texts in case Banks make good on his threats to harm her. She had told many people that she was scared of him and probably would have confided in her brother as well had he not been best friends with Banks. This case screams for justice and I hope the family gets it in the end.

04/19/2014 9:26pm

I watched this episode & I am in disbelief that with the evidence they did have whether it was very little or not would allow this man to get away with murder. My personal opinion of the text messages from Michelle to her sister that night which were pinned on a reason for her committing suicide, were actually cries out for help. I think that he threatened to kill her if she left him & she feared that was gonna happen which is why she sent those texts. He mentioned in a statement that on the drive home that she would have her brothers come help her get her things & then he asked were they breaking up & she said yep. His words. If I remember correctly, one of the texts stated "if" anything should happen to me. If she knew she was gonna kill herself, then why would she use the word if. Lastly on the text messages, why would her very last message be " I'll be there soon"? I'm very disappointed in the brother who would betray his family just to get his job back. That may not be his reason for doing what he did, but it's my opinion.

04/20/2014 12:33am


Sarah Robinson
04/22/2014 12:26pm

I'm very sorry for the loss of your sweet Michelle. I watched Dateline last week and can not believe that murder charges were never brought against Jeremy Banks. I will gladly sign the petition and pray for your family. God Bless.

Sylvia Kidd
04/22/2014 2:04pm

There is no doubt in my mind Jeremy murdered Michelle. What about the witness in the neighborhood who heard her screams? Sad that her brother had to change his views on the case to get his job back. Wake up brother, you are a disgrace!!

04/24/2014 7:38pm

I watched this story on dateline last week and I believe this is an outrage that a police officer can get away with murder. My heart and condolences go out to your family.

04/26/2014 3:33am

Im so tired of all the cases that are decided guilty or not guilty by the prosecuter or state attorney at the very beginning of the investigation. They decided up front that it was a suicide and botched the evidence what little there was didn't even canvase the neighbors like they do in a case they would believe the defendant was guilty, I am so tired of it and quite frankly it scares me if I was ever arrested for something I didn't do.
I am so so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter and sister please do not give up. As I read all these replys so many people have such insight and even just commen sence that she was mirdered. Do not give up the fight. Start a fundraiser. Even people in a whole nother country believes he is a cold blooded murderer so raising money would be easy.
Again I'm so sorry for your loss. Get justice for Michelle and God Bless the family.

good point
11/05/2014 12:53am

I don't live in the same state. I am from the U.S. My 16 year old told me this and it blew me away. Verdicts from top to bottom have been talked addressed to our teenagers in high school as protocol for current events recent history. If my 16 year old can tell me how misleading leading and not weighing objectives are why doubt Florida is in for it. Calling it suicide ahead of time is what we want judge. People trust prosecutors like they do governors, they don't so why should I has changed. Teaching high school is better than this. They are just as guilty for having tolerated him as a co-worker, they live in a dream for some reason that God called and blessed Florida to be the retire establishment. Abraham Lincoln comes to mind that jerk, taking credit for something asked for and we found done, not by man. So believe it Dr. Phil. Banks didn't make an appearance because he can't deny he's retired. They'll get him, no later than April 2015 on this murder crime and Scott will be regretful but guilty for retiring ahead of time too.

04/29/2014 12:37am

I emailed Sheriff Shoar the photograph of Jeremy Banks flipping the bird.
I cannot believe the Sheriff's Office would champion a man who would display such vulgarity in a Sheriff's uniform.
This case deserves--in the very least--to be heard by the grand jury.

My heart goes out to Michelle's family.

05/05/2014 3:47pm

My condolences at the loss of Michelle. I share in the outrage of what appears to be a gross miscarriage of justice by the Sheriff's Office of St. Augustine. One thing I don't understand and haven't found an explanation for is Michelle's brother and his change of heart on the matter or why he believes he was treated unfairly by the FDLE investigator. Has there been any news on this?

05/06/2014 5:46pm

Oh my.....I have read all I can get my hands on concerning this case. It is so evident Jeremy Banks murdered Michelle. I am speechless as I dwell on the fact this person is wearing a uniform, sworn to protect the community. I cannot wrap my brain around how this obviously corrupt Sheriff can disregard his own officer making obscene gestures to a camera while in uniform. This speaks volumes to his character and lack of respect for the position he holds. This case screams of police corruption and political agendas. I pray for justice. What is done in the dark is always brought to light. Never stop. Never be silent. Fight for her. Fight for her daughter.

05/07/2014 4:52pm

I moved to St. Augustine about a year and half ago. What a wake up call when it comes to the good old boys club here in so many ways. I have been warned by long standing residents here that the sheriffs department is worthless and do not get in their way. The key here is to keep the story alive and never ever give up. Truth and justice need to prevail.

05/08/2014 2:03am

To Michelle's mom and family:

The love you have for your daughter and sister is very touching. You cared about her and loved her. I want you to know that it echoes how
much Michelle had to live for. Many victims of domestic violence do
not have families or even friends who care about them as you do.
Many are alone and betrayed by the very institutions set up to help them Including law enforcement and shelters. Many are forced to return to their abusers because they are trapped. But Michelle knew she would have your support. This is why I believe she did not end her life. Please file a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Commission http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/TBPetitions/Pages/IndividualCommunications.aspx#proceduregenerale
Thank you

08/15/2014 11:27pm

The O'Connell Family sincerely appreciates the kind words of hope and dedication to our story.

tom winn of st johns fla
05/09/2014 12:24am

Jeremy Banks was drunk and murdered Michelle. Chief Shoar and all FDLE and officers involved with SJCSO did a poor job of their cover up. The list of i;;ega;procedures during the investigation is not suprising. These cops are NOT your friend. Banks will eventuallt become a liability for shoar and he will be dropped by shoar like a bad habit- the Banks goes to jail wher he will make new friends. The publicity and outcry wont go away and shoar will give up Banks to the courts. Watching all the footage of the incompetent SJCSO cops and the documnted evidence that Banks was allowed to see what they had AGAINST him should not suprise anyone. I watcj tjese cops all the time- shoars little dance at the IMax showed him to be the liar that he is- but like all arrogant demi gods their time runs out and Banks will keep the heat on SJCSO untill it is expedient and shoar sacrifices him on the altar of public pressure- so write or call Speedway Road and complain. You have nothing to fear from these inept security guards so speak up for Her!

05/10/2014 10:06am

Similar story to Molly Young who was murdered in il, determined to be suicide though died after texting from ex-boyfriend got her to his apartment. Timeline were not right by police. The victim lay dead in his apartment while he called his parents law enforcement people and he would not let the police in. They had to get a warrant. Police reported no knowledge till a specific time but neighbors say canvassing before then about homicide.

05/19/2014 8:09am

I would really like to get in touch with anyone in Michelle's family or legal team. My best friend "suspiciously" died last year, and her family and friends are fighting the same fight that Michelle's did in the beginning. We are at a brick wall. My heart just breaks for Michelle, her daughter, her family and friends. We know how it feels. We know how it hurts. I hope he is finally brought to justice. In the end, he will be judged, and have to pay for his actions.

Kimberly Coppage
05/25/2014 1:44pm

The texts were not a suicide note. If you're going to kill yourself, it gets more specific, especially with a child. The texts are "just in case" something happens. Did she even know how to shoot a gun? Wouldn't there be something on her hands? What was he doing sitting on his motorcycle? Way too many question to be "case closed"! No prints on his gun, changed shirts, maybe even showered? How long lapsed between the woman hearing the shots and the police arriving? Should have been almost instant! This definitely needs to go to trial and he isn't guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then and only then should he walk free. I hope the family knows, if he is guilty, he will have to answer to his maker someday. Very sorry for your loss.

Denis J. O'Connell, Sr.
05/28/2014 2:10pm

NOT directly related to this young lady! I have come upon Dateline's piece TWICE in mid-stream so have NOT seen the entire piece in one sitting. Left with a question - Did they do a gunshot residue test on both her hands?
I have lost 2 sons over time. I cannot share the family's pain but I do understand it.
Peace. Denis.

06/18/2014 2:10am

I can't believe that nobody thinks it's suspicious that the brother got fired but as soon as he changed his story, he got his job back....if he didn't change his story, he would never have worked in law enforcement again??? Talk about your good ol' boy network.

I'm sure someone pointed it out to you...but those text messages----how do you know Michelle had her phone? It's quite possible he took her phone if he was was control freak and it could've been him texting, which would prove it was premeditated. Good luck! I hope he and the sheriff to jail!

Bianca Fernandez
06/26/2014 3:11pm

I am very sorry for your loss and from all angles this definitely looks like a cover up. I am so sorry. My cousin who was only 21 years old died earlier this year of a gun shot wound and the night before he had called the police and filed a report saying someone was threatening him with death. He even called his father and told him this. They automatically treated it like a suicide and now comes to light the gun shot wound was not close range. I really hope you find justice. This system protects the abusers more than the victims.

07/26/2014 4:42am

Saw the Frontline Documentary tonight(072414). Here are my disjointed thoughts:
1. The Sheriff is the Largest employer?!?!?. Many in the area are
employed including members of the O'Connell family. What does
that say about the power that can be wielded.
(a) The Sheriff was overheard by Michelle's mother to have
stated that FDLE will not find anything.
(b) He discredited the FDLE agent and attacked the agent's
(c) He discredited the two[neighborhood]witnesses who were
interviewed by the FDLE agent.. The FDLE apparently caved
into the Sheriff's pressure. What is that all about?
(d) The Sheriff/his office has stonewalled[FRONTLINE] on
access to documents related to the case.
(e) He fired Michelle's brother for speaking out early about the
investigation and later brought him, publicly, back into the
fold to a standing ovation with the ex-boyfriend( who was
returned to duty)..
(f) Watching the video of the Sheriff speaking to an auditorium
full of sworn and civilian personnel left me with the
impression of a cult leader speaking to his followers...and
these people Will follow him, right or wrong, including,
now, Michelle's brother.

2. Thirty-three years in law enforcement just seems to mean that he is well skilled in shaping and manipulating the world, around him, as he sees fit., which may not be consistent with "public safety", "protect and serve", incarcerate and rehabilitate.

3. If the Sheriff is the largest employer in the area, does that mean people, like Michelle's brother, have to suck it up and shut or risk not having any livelihood/employment? Do these people "'owe" their "souls to the company store"[the Sheriff]?

4. "Be afraid, be very afraid!" This type of behavior by law enforcement agencies, to protect its own, is on going everywhere.

Tenneille Trees
08/14/2014 9:15am

I feel for your family. My sister was a murder victim from domestic violence, I know what your going through. I really hope justice is done, it very disappointing and quite scary that the people who are supposed to protect the public obviously aren't. It was a conflict of interest from the start !!!!!

08/16/2014 7:23pm

I left a comment here months ago and it was never posted. If you want justice you will not get it with petitions, you need to incentivize the bullies...
I discuss it here... make Respect Residents Rights and Direct Democracy go viral and you will get results!


08/17/2014 10:16pm


Saw the Frontline Documentary (072414). Here are my disjointed thoughts:
1. The Sheriff is the Largest employer?!?!?. Many in the area are employed including
members of the O'Connell family. What does that say about the power
that can be wielded.
(a) The Sheriff was overheard by Michelle's mother to have stated that
FDLE will not find anything.
(b) He discredited the FDLE agent and attacked the agent's efforts..
(c) He discredited the two[neighborhood]witnesses who were interviewed by the
FDLE agent.. The FDLE apparently caved into the Sheriff's pressure. What is
that all about?
(d) The Sheriff/his office has stonewalled[FRONTLINE] on access to documents
related to the case.
(e) He fired Michelle's brother for speaking out early about the investigation and
later brought him, publicly, back into the fold to a standing ovation with the ex-
boyfriend( who was returned to duty)..
(f) Watching the video of the Sheriff speaking to an auditorium full of sworn and
civilian personnel left me with the impression of a cult leader speaking to his
followers...and these people Will follow him, right or wrong, including,
now, Michelle's brother.

2. Thirty-three years in law enforcement just seems to mean that he is well skilled in
shaping and manipulating the world, around him, as he sees fit., which may not be
consistent with "public safety", "protect and serve", incarcerate and rehabilitate.

3. If the Sheriff is the largest employer in the area, does that mean people, like Michelle's
brother, have to suck it up and shut up or risk not having any livelihood/employment?
Do these people "'owe" their "souls to the company store"[the Sheriff]?

4. "Be afraid, be very afraid!" This type of behavior by law enforcement agencies, to
protect its own, is on going everywhere.

08/18/2014 8:30pm

Does anyone know whether or not jeremy banks was subjected to a polygraph? It is a shame this poor young woman was murdered when she had her whole life ahead of her.

Kacey Smith
08/24/2014 3:50pm

I live just outside of St. Augustine near the St. John's River. I have looked all over the Internet for any updates concerning this case and have found nothing. The investigation was flawed from the start, Officer Banks was shown special treatment and procedures were not followed during the on scene interview. These are just a few examples of why this case needs to be investigated by a third party, preferably one with no ties to florida so it will be truly independent because I think the problem goes up to the top if the dept.

08/24/2014 11:04pm

Law enforcement: You do yourself no favors by protecting people like Jeremy Banks. It means that the public will grow to distrust, fear, and despise you. Is that really what you want? This kind of thing isn't supposed to happen here. I am ashamed. Justice for Michelle. TO the family: please post email and phone number of those I need to call EVERY DAY to register my outrage.

08/26/2014 10:47pm

Did anyone investigate the text messages that were sent from the concert? Maybe Mr. Banks sent them and was setting up a suicide scenario.

08/26/2014 10:55pm

I'm not believing this. How scary & what a corrupt system. These people who claimed it was a suicide seem so apathetic & unintelligent. Fools. My heart goes out to the family who truly knew precious Michelle.

08/26/2014 10:59pm

Is it possible that Michelle's brother re-joined the police force to get inside information on the case? Maybe he is working "undercover" on his own.

08/26/2014 11:02pm

I am curious. Was both your daughters cloths and hands tested for gunshot residue? Was his hands and cloths also tested?

08/26/2014 11:02pm

The scariest part of all this is that her brother would side with the SJSO just too have his job back. The police seem to indoctrinate their officers almost like a cult. Anything to protect the cult, right guys?

08/26/2014 11:11pm

I cannot believe my ears and eyes !!! This is soooo wrong . I am oissed off!!! I cannot understand the lack of justice and investigation here . I was just in St Augustine not too long ago . Never realized this was going on . Idea:: why not file a civil suit against him ? Like they did to OJ ?? My daughters name is Alexis too. I wish your family peace and JUSTICE. I will spread the word about this to everyone I know .

08/26/2014 11:11pm

I am a retired homicide investigator. I just watched the Frontline Documentary. I don't know what happened. But, If the gun was fired as suggested, how does one of the Shell casings land to the left of the body. The evidence is not consistent with the explanation. There are alot of unanswered questions. My heart goes out to the family for this tragic loss.

08/26/2014 11:12pm

Jeremy Banks is a lowlife dirty cop, liar and murderer. A classic "blue code of silence" corrupt law enforcement cover-up.

08/26/2014 11:20pm

I have watched thee Frontline report at leasst 3 times for Michelle, and my heart goes out to her daughter Alexis and your entire family. I strongly encourage that the DA office get involved and seek thru the evidence, and see that Jeremy Banks had something to do with her un-timley death. The sheriff office tumbled in their investigation. And will not admit fault in any way. Bring justice fir Michelle.

08/26/2014 11:40pm

I'm so sorry for her people:) I hope that one day soon justice will be served on way or another. Hopefully karma will get him, and the assholes who protected him.

notshocked at all
08/27/2014 12:02am

How can anyone be shocked in this day and age of yet another police corruption case? Nor can anyone be shocked about yet another domestic violence case resulting in murder. What is bewildering to me is that women still go out with cops while knowing alcoholism, violence and protecting the brotherhood is THE way of life for cops. Anybody want to put money on if this victim's vile piece of crap brother beats &/ or emotionally abuses his "loved one?"

kate oaks
08/27/2014 12:23am

Wouldn't it be something if brother Scott's motive to rejoin the force is to obtain evidence against Banks, who will slip up sooner or later. If there are any corrupt sjc deputies then they should be watching their backs...crazy to trust somebody who would flipflop like the brother did.

08/28/2014 5:47pm

I don't know what else he could possibly do to slip up. There's tons of evidence already in this case. What we're dealing with is Southern corruption.

Chris Kayser
08/27/2014 10:12am

Perhaps justice needs to be found in civil court.

Robert Packer
08/27/2014 7:08pm

Well I can't say I'm surprised by any of this.You see I lived in the very corrupt town of St. Augustine and experienced the lawless atmosphere and the corrupt cops. But it goes way beyond the cops. The town approves of the behavior of their out of control police department and that goes back to the history of the very violent civil rights struggle in that town. I can't count the number of times I sat around with locals who delighted in the way the police and the Klan violated the rights of blacks and beat them.

If you want some measure of peace get out of the area. I did and it turned out to be a wise decision. North Florida is brimming over with negativity.

Joe bright
08/27/2014 8:18pm

Most women do not shoot themselves in the head.( a beauty thing) tho some do but...the eye wound was not an ejected shell, get real. My guess is a first contact of the barrel. The excuse about no defensive wounds and she let the gun be put in her mouth doesn't hold water either. How many times have we seen prisoners beheaded, shot, or walk quietly to the electric chair without fighting. Also maybe not the first time she had that gun in her mouth ? Maybe she just prayed he wouldn't since he didn't last time

Jay Jay
08/28/2014 8:09am

Was the cop ever given a lie detector test?

If the US Attorney General can investigate a killing in Ferguson, MO could he not invistigate this murder?

08/28/2014 4:22pm

Bingo. That's exactly what I was thinking. At the very least, her civil rights were violated - why can't the Federal Gov't get involved?

08/28/2014 4:28pm

There is no way Michelle committed suicide. Her poor daughter and family. I hope she gets justice and that murdering creep gets what coming to him.

08/31/2014 3:51pm

This case is deja vu for my family. My aunt "committed suicide with a gun" and it was ruled "suspicious". There was confusion over which hand had held the gun. The only difference in this case is that individuals had military background.

09/09/2014 1:47pm

Ive seen alot of LEO over the years but SJCSO epitomizes the stereotype of the Bufford Pusser. Jeremy Banks is a murderer, and when he becomes a REAL liablity for Shoar- they will indict him with " new" evidence and away he goes. Life is full of punks and felons like these guys- dont expect anything and you wont be dissapointed

09/10/2014 12:10am

Sheriff shoar is a ignorant arrogant criminal just as much as the murderer who roams free to shield this fool who patrols the streets as the punk coward he is
.Anyone with half a brain who knows about guns sees from the evidence the poor woman victim could not have done this to herself.Bloodspatter.etc.Coverup

09/10/2014 12:14am

Someone who has just lost someone he cares about so horrificly does not joke during a investigative interview .As for the 911 call cmon phoney actor

09/10/2014 12:17am

Too many inconsistincies.A normal citizen would be on death row by now.Reeks of cop scandal.The animal
will get his .He still works a dangerous job and karma exists

09/26/2014 11:28am

I am here to stand up as well for all the Injustices that continues to happen everyday by the power struggle and control issues done by law enforcement all over this country! Many questions have been crossing my mind that how in the world can you become a police officer “knowing all the law as much as a lawyer" in 8 weeks of police academy training? That to become a NFL referee you have to have 10yrs of training/experience along with mental and other evaluations to be able to make a fair balanced call over 2 teams fighting for a pigskin to reach to opposite ends of a field for a goal ! So also something else that Troubles me that How can any law officer be able to have a cook out "BBQ"or watch TV with the possession of a substances/alcohol a still able to have a firearm by their side? The last I knew that Under the ATF law that anyone in possession of any substance/drug or an alcohol of any kind that it is unlawful to own or possess a firearm ! Because they are not a separate business or above the law! They work for the people the last I knew! Which brings another question I have to wonder that How in the world can a 18yr old have the mental capacity to handle a stress like situation or to do a proper investigation when they "to me" are not near the age to "handle that kind of job " having a badge/set of keys and firearm "same goes for the FBI! They Should be a legal age like being able to buy alcohol! Seems to me they should go under drug testing as well a mental health testing often and make the reports public and then to seek different therapist for each evaluation to remain biases a fair! Yes I know to some that may read this could find it off the wall but to me that's the only way to keep these idiots whom have control issues an "have not grown up enough to be a cop “to keep them from out behind a the wheel of a police car/badge an or weapon !! Maybe we need to make some changes in our law with the Protect and Serve? What bothers me the most about the Frontline story is that When Banks was interviewed the 2 times once just mins/ 1 hr. after the 911 call they made jokes with chuckles he had been drinking Tall Boys Bud Light and then again in the room no remorse !
Yet there is more that goes on across the country with other like incidences where police offices commit a crime and how funny no charges are ever filed!
Like the Office from Detroit “made 911 calls” Stoned from make marijuana brownies and never was charged with “manufacturing, possession , and more" also officer ties girlfriend to chair takes a gun shoots around her head in a basement wall? No charges! Officer drunk driving 3 different times hitting parked cars and no charges! Another officer selling illegal firearms to public and no charges filed! This goes on and on and on! Why they are criminals themselves we see it hear about it and yet it still goes on an all the political officials turn a blind eye!
Look at the officer that beat the L.A Women and they settled out of court for 1.5 mills and he was to resign but no charges filed? So that means he can be a cop out of control someplace else??
Whose next to die or be beaten by the Protect and Serve? It’s best to protect yourself from the powers at hand when you are to trust them in so many ways! How can you trust this system ?

Eric F. Schmaltz
09/26/2014 5:53pm

I listened to the podcast of this story earlier today and I am amazed that this tragedy has not been followed up with criminal murder charges against this low life piece of shit. Just listening to his 911 call was enough to convince me he killed her. I encourage everyone to listen to the call again. He is a terrible actor and didn't fool me for a second. And him chuckling with a supervisor in the police car about how much he had to drink while the so called "forensic" team is standing over Michelle's dead body made me want to scream out loud. I sincerely hope this monster is charged and put in prison for the rest of his worthless life. So far he's gotten away with domestic violence and murder. What's next Florida?

09/29/2014 7:55pm

The answer is right in front of us. Jeremy Banks admits to looking in the investigation file to see what was happening "on the other side."

If Michelle committed suicide, as he states, why would he have to look in that file?

Why? Because he was nervous.

Ellen Reich
10/04/2014 12:55pm

I too just read the NY TIMES article today and then watched the Frontline investigation. It is outrageous that Jeremy Banks has not been prosecuted. I sincerely hope the re-publication of this information will reinvigorate some course of action that will at least give our jury system a shot at justice.

Further thoughts:

I tried to add my name to the change.org petition and the link was not working.

Also, thinking about the OJ case - is there an organization that would take on a wrongful death civil suit against Banks? It wouldn't be enough, but it would be something.

Finally, thank you to the Times and Frontline for both spotlighting this specific case as well as demonstrating the depth and bredth of systemic problems surrounding domestic violence within law enforcement.

I have yet to shake off the anger prompted by such able journaliam. And rather than shake it off, I would prefer to channel it; any suggestions?

James T.
10/08/2014 7:44pm

Get that murderer into prison as well as all who helped cover up this crime! They are just as guilty! Enjoy being a former cop in prison and maybe the lethal injection penalty coming your way, killer! Bring peace to this family by letting justice prevail!

Brian Tunney
10/12/2014 4:47am

The duty weapon was perfectly cleansed of the officer ever touching it? More than baffling, this is highly suspicious.

How did it get in the holster in the first place ?

This Police agency has no training in how to investigate ... ie; questioning Banks at the scene and all co-workers involved... ? That is beyond poor judgement and insufficient training. At best it's careless and invites suspicion and at worst, it's blatant cover-up 101.

His pills in her purse .... yet no drugs in her system? Is this staging for the killer to make it seem more likely she was depressed?

If this agency did it right from the get-go, the answers might be more clear on how and why this happened.

tom winn
10/14/2014 9:49am

IMO- banks is a murderer and the rest of those involved from SJCSO to FDLE are liars and incompetents. This kind of thing always comes out in the end. 2016 is election time for shoar- vote him out. Banks? give him a cup and check his substance levels- guys that beat up on those weaker get theirs eventualy

10/24/2014 10:05pm

Just want to send love and prayers to your family. I hope (when/if) you are ready you will reach out for support from groups of other homicide survivors. It can be healing to know that you are not alone. It seems like Michelle was very lucky to have the family she had and you were very lucky to have her in your life, even just for a short time.
Take Good Care.

John Coburn
11/03/2014 4:06pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I am personally touched by this. I lost a cousin to "suicide" who was found by her abusive husband whom, coincidentally, she was about to leave. My cousin never received the justice she deserved. I pray your loved one will.

Margo D
11/03/2014 4:07pm

Has anyone spoken with any of his former girlfriends to see if
he was violent with them? I would bet he was ... with all of

Priscilla White
11/03/2014 7:17pm

I have seen enough homicide and suicide shows of true story's such as On the Case..20/20..and so on, to know that this case is CLEARLY A HOMICIDE, Just cause he is a cop means nothing he is a monster JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE O' CONNER!!! GOD BLESS HER FAMILY I'M BY YOUR SIDE

11/03/2014 8:26pm

I can hardly believe this still remains a suicide. Too many, way too many inconsistencies. The biggest one for me was the fact that the gun was found in the cocked position. Not to mention it was on the wrong side of the body for a right handed person. Then there is the injuries to the inside of her mouth & the fact that her tongue was hit really cries out, just as she was apparently trying to do. So much for justice in the south. This cries cover-up in triple decibel's...

11/03/2014 11:24pm

I just watched the Dr Phil special. Wow, how obvious can it get, I'm sorry that this happened like it did. I really am sorry, it's just impossible that I could see how this could have been a suicide. I just don't think you deserve to have your country tell you that it was. Disgraceful, but it's just what people make it and unfortunately there are some who fill authority roles who should not and you shouldn't have to suffer for it. You deserve so much better, and she knows that.

11/03/2014 11:42pm

I think her boyfriend should be tried OUTSIDE that obviously corrupt police station that has covered his wrong doings from day one! EVERYTHING about this case screams loud and clear that he is guilty and I hope and pray the day comes where he will face charges of murdering this beautiful woman, mother, daughter and sister...And shame on her cop brother and sister-in-law who stand by Jeremy (or whatever his gutless name is) when they should be standing on the side of his sister!!! If they dont believe he murdered his sister, then I have some swamp land I wanna sell them in Florida and a bridge I have for sale in Brooklyn!

E Flowers
11/06/2014 5:02am

I recall seeing Michelle's story some time ago. It was always in the back of my mind. Seeing it on Dr. Phil brought the anger and frustration all back. I literally jump around inside everytime I hear Her family needs to "fight" to get a fair honest look at her OBVIOUS murder (NOT suicide)!!! I can't believe there is anyone (other than the murderer) who can call this case closed as a suicide no questions asked. My family and I all pray Michelle receives some justice. Has everyone forgot about her precious daughter? Forget the adults, her baby girl should not grow up having ANYONE say her mother willingly left her behind by killing herself! God Bless your family and I will continue to follow your story in hopes I will soon see her "suicide" turned rightfully into a homicide!!!

11/09/2014 4:04pm

Is there a petition on line that we can sign to support a fair and impartial investigation regarding Michelle's death?

01/09/2015 3:36pm

Thank you for your request to sign our petition, there is a petition on change.org the web address is www.change.org/inquestformichelle
I am not sure if you can still add your name, the case was REOPENED in September!!! And that is all thanks to the petition and some new witnesses that gave statements. You may still be able to sign it, the more names on the petition the more it will push the Special Prosecutor to look at ALL of the evidence. Thank you very much for your interest in the case and taking the time to look at the evidence and sign the petition. God bless you.

01/15/2015 3:08pm

Quite a bit of this does not add up. Jeremy said he heard the shots, called 911 and then kicked down the door...how would he know if she shot herself in the face, if he hadn't seen her yet. Also, his pills were in her pocket, mentioned quickly and never brought up again. Motive for something...she had his pills and he wanted them back. He was angry when the police showed up as he saw how ridiculous the scene was...and didn't take his pills out of her pocket, but no one even questioned the fact that she was right handed and obviously did not shoot herself. Is her left finger broken...how high was his BAC as he stated quite proudly he had bud lights...big ones? Hopefully, as he is now trying to sue the FDLE all of the evidence will be put into play and the outcome will be reconsidered.

11/21/2014 6:17am

A few things really stood out for me in the Frontline story.

There was no mention of the 911 call, the call is significant. Mr. Banks goes from a whining, crying, "my girlfriend shot herself," to an authoritative "send someone down here now!," the 911 operator was able to inadvertently get Banks out of character by call him a man.

Second, women don't commit suicide by gun normally, and considering she was leaving him, I don't see a motive to kill yourself, it just goes against human nature.

Third, it's hard to get past the testimony of the two neighbors. Michelle screaming help between the two shots can only mean she was being assaulted. This item alone is enough to convict this man.

There are dozens and dozens of other issues that stand out like a sore thumb and all point to the fact that Banks is a murderer.

If they had tested Michelle's hands for gun powder residue, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

This police department is more crooked than a dog's rear leg.

01/13/2015 1:56pm

Many things stand out to me as well. One of the most unbelievable things the "coroner" stated was how he believe the gun was held upside down when she shot herself. That has to be one of the most unbelievable things I have ever heard in my life. And for a real doctor to sit there with a straight face and say that is just incredible. It makes me wonder how many other cases he has destroyed.

Ankita Pandey
12/08/2014 3:16pm

I came to know about Michelle O'Connell from the episode of dateline. If the images shown on dateline are the true images from the crime scene. There is no doubt that it is a homicide. Its logical. If Michelle would have killed herself, the gun would never be placed the way it is in images because after shooting herself she will not have energy to put back the gun to the place where it is in images.... the gun should be in her hand. Secondly, for a right handed person to pull a trigger with left hand is really hard and difficult. And people with suicidal tendency generally don't plan their suicide, they do it in one go... so the subconscious mind of a right handed person will never pull trigger from left hand.
And if we talk about msgs she has sent to her sister before her death.. proves nothing in favor of her being suicidal, trust me every person when going through dark phases of life, tend to discuss the worst fear of their lives with their family and friends. That proves you are depressed and want someone to take care of you and not that you are suicidal. That cop is getting away with a murder. There are so many moles in the case. Whatever i heard on dateline is sufficient to prove that she was killed and did not commit suicide. but no one is trying to look or they are trying to suppress the investigation..,

12/21/2014 11:12pm

Did anyone catch on to the same thing I caught?
Why were they so eager to do a lie detector test on the two women but no test was done on Jeremy Banks. If they believe that their lie detector test is accurate then wouldn't this test be done on Jeremy.
This case is so well covered up and every man and woman who is covering up this case is and if not, more guilty! I am so very disappointed in the brother for allowing his SISTERS death be ruled a suicide. What kind of man is he? My heart goes out to Michelle's daughter, mother and sister. Time will send this man to jail.

Sarah J
01/11/2015 8:10am

Yes! And why was he allowed to sober up for 2 hours? They knew he was obviously intoxicated, yet his statement is taken as is while the witnesses are slandered as pot smokers. Epic fail.

Miss Cheyenne
01/11/2015 2:57pm

@ Pam:

I completely agree. The brother's actions are sickening to me. I also asked the same question, what kind of a man is he? Family gatherings for this family have to be three times as hard with his actions.

Ethan Dickenson
01/14/2015 6:57pm

I'm not willing to throw the brother under the bus because we don't know what the circumstances are. He was the primary person driving for an investigation at the start. It makes me think the St. Augustine Sheriff's office either has something awful on him... or threatened his other sisters... there is corruption here and it's causing people to behave in ways that seem very odd to most of us. There are reasons for these behaviors... the behaviors alone are the most odd thing about the story... There are so many people exhibiting such weird behaviors... something awful is going on here.

01/06/2015 8:28pm

If the Saint Augustine police truly believed Banks didn't murder Michelle, than they wouldn't be afraid to let a grand jury hear evidence. What a sick perversion of what the police are supposed to do...I certainly wouldn't feel protected and they are only serving one person...Banks. If justice doesn't happen in this case, let's hope karma will.

Don S
01/08/2015 4:26pm

I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful young woman. I believe her texts were not one of a suicidal person at all. I think she was a person who was fearful of an abusive man with a gun and thought he may kill her if she left him.

And how many people fire a practice round prior to shooting themselves? I'm not buying this garbage at all.

01/08/2015 10:58pm

It saddens me so much. I'm out of words, I watched the documentary in hopes there was a prosecution. To hear that he was protected and set free sickens me to my core. I'd love to give him an eye for an eye. Too bad I'm not a cop.

01/09/2015 3:20am

I believe that this was a homicide and that the evidence presented on frontline indicates more than reasonable doubt about the events that transpired. The lack of a thorough investigation by the Saint Johns Sheriff department is appalling. The Disregard of the expert testimony and evidence presented demonstrates the ignorance and total incompetence of both Sheriff Shoar and his entire department. Why was Jeremy Banks not given a polygraph test like the two women who reported hearing gunshots on the night Michelle died and why was there no gunshot residue test performed on Michelle. How can proper investigative procedures simply be ignored and thrown out the window when the person in question works in law enforcement. I believe that evidence shows that Jeremy Banks is a killer and that the Saint Johns Sheriff's department employees and harbors a murder.

01/09/2015 11:01am

I watched a documentary on Netflix last night about this case. It really disturbed me and I think there needs to be further investigation. My condolences go out to the family of Michelle. I do not believe this was a suicide.

01/09/2015 3:18pm

I just watched Frontline's report on Michelle's death. First of all, I am very angry and all I have to say, after that, is that this deserves to go to a jury trial. He has nothing to fear if, after ALL the evidence is presented, he has done nothing wrong. I have a feeling he is and should be very afraid. So sorry for your family's loss.

01/10/2015 12:43am

The people of St. Augustine and surrounding communities need to start protesting the corruption of this Police Department. If it can happen to Michelle it can happen to you!!

01/10/2015 6:54am

I fully support a new inquiry into this scum of a cop. I just watched the first 15 mins of that pbs show and am astounded at how this filth still walks free. Just listen to the 911 call where he is imitating an hysterical boyfriend who just found his newly ex-girlfriend dead with 2 gunshots? What, she shot the floor to make sure the gun works? Come on, and when he can't be understood by the dispatcher his entire tone, and general influx change on a dime. That is sociopathic. Not to mention the look on his face in the pictures from their evening together that night and she broke up with him? Really!!??? Another case of corrupt police looking after their own. Justice for Michelle!

01/10/2015 12:24pm

From Barrie, ON....I cannot believe that even if this is "an apparent suicide", why was he not even cited for having his service revolver unsecured? The case was not handled by the book....shame on you all....putting your own needs above the needs of child who has just lost the most important person in her life.

01/10/2015 5:44pm

I am sitting here trying to find the words.

I am so angry. As I sat at my desk watching Frontline: A Death in St. Augustine, I couldn't believe what I watching. I became sick to my stomach. I am utterly ashamed of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Department. How dare any of them call themselves a police officer. How they conducted their investigation, what am I saying?? There was no investigation. Not only should Jeremy Banks stand trial for murder, but each and everyone of the officers at the seen of the crime that night should also be held accountable and reprimanded . They should be made an example of. When conducting a police investigation, at all times procedure should be followed precisely, no matter what the situation is, who it is in regards to, and what your initial thoughts are immediately following your first appearance at the crime scene. Fucking ridiculous. I am still shaking my head in disbelief. Michelle, I am so incredibly sorry. As fellow human beings, and as the people sworn in to serve, protect, and ensure your voice is heard, we let you down. I only hope that someone in the position to make this right will have morals, values, and ethics strong enough to stand up and defend you no matter what the cost. If I could, I would. Much love to you and your family from myself and my family. Never give up.

Sarah J
01/11/2015 8:08am

I just saw Frontline, and upon further reading (for both sides) I'm just disgusted. My heart goes out to the family, I am in tears and obviously can't imagine or begin to fathom how frustrating, infuriating, and heart breaking this must be for you. But I also thank you for your courage and perseverance - it's people like you that refuse to be silent and let these stories go quiet. The energy and work you are doing is a fight to keep those who have power accountable, and people on the other side of the tape shouldn't live in fear of speaking up, nor ever give up. My heart goes out to all of you, I wish I could say more to comfort you. Regardless, you are a beacon.

Louise Murray
01/11/2015 11:14am

I came across this tragedy watching Dr Phil. I wasn't shocked to see the family being ignored by the police! Especially when the perpertrator is one of their own! We see it here every day in Northern Ireland regarding cover ups from the violent days of The Troubles! I hope that you get justice for Michelle as it will also give hope to other families in similar situations! I also hope that the family can reconcile their divide ! God bless you all.

Miss Cheyenne
01/11/2015 2:53pm

The saddest part of the Frontline documentary, is the fact the Michelle's brother is now siding with the Sheriff. His presence at that gathering for Jeremy Banks is disgusting. He turned his back on his family to get his job back with an organization that murdered his sister. How do you sleep at night? Integrity is obviously not a required trait for that police department.

01/12/2015 3:46am

Wow... just watch the PBS special. It's very upsetting to see the Sheriff even speak about the case openly at the end. He knew the killer's parents for a long time. Therefore he must protect his friends kid. Unbelievable...

01/12/2015 3:32pm

Just saw this tragic case on Netflix via Frontline. A lot of great points were made.

What I found telling was, in the interview the boyfriend did in the police cruiser outside his home, where he told the Sgt he had bought BUD LIGHT to drink earlier in the night, and jokingly said 'the big ones' - that is not the voice or demeanor of a grieving boyfriend. It was the voice of a sociopath.

Same applies when he made the 911 call all hysterical and distraught, then when the dispatcher mistakenly calls him 'mam' and insults his manhood, he gets offended and suddenly becomes in the zone with a deep voice and corrects her and tries to dominate the conversation, then he goes back to being all hysterical and distraught again.

The interview at the station was a joke too. It was all a bad acting job by him, and should have raised red flags.

As for the texts Michelle sent the night she died, she knew he wasn't going to let her break up and just move out. That there would be hell to pay. Mixing beer with Oxycodone can make you very irritable. Jeremy was on Oxycodone and had been drinking that day/night, and he obviously planted his RX pills in Michelle's pockets and placed his empty RX bottles in her purse.

Jeremy was pissed at the concert, he'd been drinking, was taking narcotics, had a temper, was an abuser of women, they had a bad relationship, and she wanted to end it. It was all a recipe for disaster.

They fought once they got home. And being the controlling macho man he is, Jeremy pulled his weapon and pistol whipped Michelle in the eye and mouth then made her get on her knees to beg for mercy. The struggle for the gun explains the first - missed - shot in the floor (carpet). The second shot is the one that obviously killed her.

That's when he stuck the gun in her mouth as a form of sadistic control and executed her in cold blood. I believe she reached up again in defense - or out of defiance - and tried to grab the gun.

All of this is consistent with the shot to the top of the tongue and her other facial/oral injuries. The forensic evidence discovered and noticed by real (not corrupt) LEOs and investigators is staggering and points to a clear homicide, and not suicide.

You cold tell by the crime scene photos that Jeremy staged the evidence. The gun did not look natural the way it was propped up on the holster.

Jeremy definitely wiped/cleaned the gun and staged the crime scene before calling 911 in order to cover his tracks. I think he draped or wrapped the t-shirt (seen on the bed w/ gunshot hole and blood) over the gun and his hand before executing her, that explains the lack of DNA on the gun or GSR on Jeremy.

The t-shirt also restricted the spent shells from flying around the room and allowed Jeremy to locate and place them in the crime scene at his discretion. If a proper autopsy was performed, they would have found fibers from the t-shirt embedded in Michelle's mouth.

The investigation - by all Florida agencies - was an absolute joke, but the cover-up by all involved was tragic and shameful. The corrupt good ol' boys in the State of FL will never do anything to clear this case up. The only shot the family has in solving this case is getting the federal authorities involved.

Just because you wear a uniform, it doesn't make you a Saint. Hopefully karma comes around to Jeremy on the mean streets one night.

01/16/2015 11:22pm

I could not have written this post any better myself. Totally agree with every word.

Sara Weston
01/19/2015 8:39am

Great post! I found it very informative and the whole thing leaves more questions than answers.

01/19/2015 10:32pm

Huze24, I agree with everything you pointed out. I haven't read many comments and others may have pointed out similar points....but I love how you mentioned his voice during the 911 call. I immediately picked up on him getting pissed off during the call when his masculinity-even gender was questioned. Also during that call, it stood out to me how he back tracked at one point and said "ok, honestly I'm a deputy. I'm one of you guys" Why "honestly"? I think it was a Freudian slip.....because he was acting the pivotal scene that would determine the next 25 yrs of his life. Also, forensically....all the red flags going up is shameful....that they weren't addressed in the official report....like lack of his dna and fingerprints on HIS weapon. WHY WASN'T HE IMMEDIATELY TESTED FOR GSR???!!! This is such a blatant cover up, all those officers protecting Jeremy Banks should be ashamed. And that he has the audacity to sue others?!?!?!?! Blows my damn mind. He couldn't just feel lucky enough to get away with murder, is he really so narcissistic and disillusioned to press his luck. He belongs behind bars, and so does that whole sherriff's force for obstructing justice.

Marilou van Hal
01/13/2015 3:31am

This whole investigation just totally stinks - I cannot believe what your family has had to go through. The injustice of it all…After watching the documentary I searched the case again to make sure that SOMEONE is re-opening this case, and I was so relieved to see that they are. There is one truth and God knows what it is and I will be praying that it will be revealed once and for all for your family and dear Michelle. xoxo

01/13/2015 10:37pm

worked around a lot of cops in a volunteer emergency service capacity. There personal lives are more screwed up then the average Joe. The Law only applies to everyone else.

01/14/2015 12:07pm

OMG JEREMY BANKS is now a member of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Department SWAT team??

Ethan Dickenson
01/14/2015 6:49pm

I just watched this Frontline episode... I am dumbfounded appalled and completely aghast at the behavior of the St. Augustine Sheriff's department and even the FDLE... are you kidding me??? Something has to be done.

I don't know what happened but.. because of the actions of the sheriff's department... obviously they are covering something up. The most damning evidence is the behavior of the Sheriff's department. Are you kidding me? Every one of the officers involved in the initial investigation (especially the sheriff himself and the suspect's Sargent and the officer who did the initial interview in the cop car and the officer who did the interview in the 'room with an echo'...) should have charges brought upon them for negligence and gross misconduct. In my mind, there is only one reason for trained professionals to behave this way... terrible corruption within the St. Augustine Sheriff's department. The most outrageous 'I can't believe it' moment was at the end of the Frontline episode when the sheriff held a big 'talk' in a lecture hall at a hotel... the things he said... about them having 'nothing, nothing...' even if taken out of context in some way... is completely absurd and utterly damning and just plain strange behavior. Are you kidding me Sheriff??? How can he know anything about the law and make statements like that at a taped, departmental, public funded, meeting??? just completely bizarre behavior... I would expect a strung out crack head to know better... honestly... this is the strangest thing I've ever seen...

Amy Emke
01/14/2015 11:09pm

I just watched the Frontline documentary, and I feel sick about how this family has been treated. I hope they finally get justice for their daughter, and I am praying for her brother to find himself. My heart is with you all.

Carol Gambill
01/15/2015 1:23am

Email me to discuss a story I ran across.... Thanks.

01/15/2015 7:29am

that frontline special left me feeling so ill. the wildly creepy, uh, pro-jeremy speech by that crooked cop was a fitting way to end a story that so deserves its new beginning.

something(s) i noticed: jeremy banks' 911 call. in the wake of his ridiculously artificial-sounding cries that he THINKS his girlfriend might have shot herself (which is already an odd thing to say if all had occurred the way he'd later claim), and after the operator mistakes him for a hysterical female, jeremy abruptly abandons his character voice and says, "listen, i'm going to tell you the truth..." whooooops! nasty slip, there, JB, announcing you're ABOUT to be truthful, as opposed to WHAT, guy? are you not thus offering a CLEAR ADMISSION THAT WHAT YOU'D ALREADY SAID - THAT MICHELLE HAD KILLED HERSELF - WAS A LIE?!?!

(sorry for the caps; i'd have preferred italics)

hopefully the next time that sheriff pats jeremy on the back, they'll both be wearing orange jump suits.

Alice Followill
01/15/2015 11:09pm

I as well just watched the Frontline documentary others have said and probably better than i could about the Case. The one thing i just wanted to add is how does her brother live with himself. He could have gotten a job anywhere.

01/16/2015 11:21pm

If this case had involved some one other than a fellow officer, it would have been treated as a homicide from the start. I'm curious if Michelle had experience firing a pistol because most people that shoot themselves are experienced in using them. No one fires their first and only shot into themselves. I just saw this on Netflix. I hope there is justice for Michelle in a court of law or in god's court. Banks seems like a violent drunk. His 911 phone call will not win him an Oscar. He sounded hysterical until the operator called him ma'am and he corrected her in a calm tone. How did the doctor that theorized that the gun was held upside down even get into medical school let alone pass? I can't believe that her brother turned his back on her just to get his job back. I read that this case is being reopened. Hopefully this time an impartial organization that didn't spend countless nights drinking Bud Lights "big ones" with the prime suspect will get it right.

01/17/2015 2:14am

Dorothy Johnson said to "Call the building dept at 904-827-6800" for an application for a permit of assembly. Everyone should apply as often as possible at 4015 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine, FL 32084. This is the address of the sherrifs dept. legal civil disobedience is about the only recourse for corruption.

01/17/2015 3:21am

For me, hearing the perpetrators voice change during the 911 call, after the 911 operator called him "maam", is most damning. He knows he's guilty, it is his soul that is in great jeopardy, along with every single person who covers for him.

01/17/2015 10:22am

huze24.... you NAILED it.

Angela Asher
01/17/2015 11:17am

My husband and I just watched Frontline: A Death in St. Augustine and are just sick over the outcome of Michelle's death investigation or lack of an investigation!!
I don't know if it will make a difference now but intend to help spread Michelle's story as far and wide as I possibly can....she deserves at least that much!!
I pray that you will get justice for Michelle, her beautiful daughter and her family!!!

01/17/2015 10:15pm

Since when do the cops not think that the boyfriend/husband did it? Since when to they not confiscate clothing, test hands for gun powder, and request a lie detector test? The 911 call sounded so fake and phony. He was pissed and drunk and shot her. He knew she was going to break up with him that night which was why he was ticked at the concert. I wish her brother say no way are your getting in the car with that a hole.

What cop believes the boyfriend getting dumped, just says "ok". Where's the usual suspicion? Where's the skepticism? Since when do they take the survivor's word for it? Where's the police work here? Shame, shame, shame.

He's do it again.

Her texts read that way because she was afraid and feeling fatalistic. A lot of people afraid of spouses almost give up and will tell family if anything happens to me....and I always wonder why didn't they leave? They knew, so why didn't they leave, but people don't. She knew she would die at his hands not hers.

And since when do women kill themselves by shooting themselves in the face. Men used guns. Women use pulls and there were enough to kill herself that night.

Shame on them.

01/17/2015 10:18pm

Since when does a suicide fire twice?

03/06/2015 8:08am

Well on top of that there was witnesses said they heard her yelling help, then the first shot was fired, then help again and then the second was fired, which led to silence. The witness agreed to a lie detector test and in which they passed. But its funny because that makes his 911 call false. He said she locked herself in the bedroom then he called her name & she shot once & then again. Why didn't they hear that part & why would she be screaming help if she was the one behind the trigger. I wish her family the best of luck for finding justice. Its pretty obvious who the killer is and I cant believe law enforcement's would protect their own to this extent when the evidence is pretty clear. God bless.

Shelaine Reynolds
01/18/2015 10:05am

I just watched A Death in St Augustine. I can bearly believe the injustice. I do believe it because I know cops are all corrupt. But, this is agregious. Clearly, he killed her. What can I do? How can I help? Her innocent daughter - not knowing what happened to the mother that loved her so much. Never knowing how it feels to have a mother. That man should not just die, he should be tourtered and then die. Sick, sad, narcissistic bastard.

Shelaine Reynolds
01/18/2015 10:14am

There is no statue of limitations on murder. We need to get this guy. Before he does it again.

darrin wade
01/19/2015 4:00am

So sad saw on netflix the family of Michelle is forever in my prayers until justice is done.best of luck

Sara Weston
01/19/2015 8:36am

I find it appalling that the police didn't indidn'tate this. With the failure of the police to do their job it shows some type of corruption I am glad the governor order a new investigation.

Barratt Mckibbin
01/20/2015 6:14pm

I just got done watching this documentary on Netflix and i was thinking based on the wound to her eye and the gunshot on the floor that there was some correlation. Perhaps there was a fight he came after her with the gun, they struggled and the gun went off and the recoil of the gun sent the gun hitting her eye. She yelled for help again and he shot her and ended her life. He cleaned off the weapon and then called the police. Any body else think that this is how it may have gone?

01/24/2015 12:58am

It is clear that the corruption that exists within the St. John's Sheriff's Dept has been an absolute disgrace. This is true not only toward the communities they serve, but of any civilized society that rightfully expects decency, trust, and honor to be upheld as crucial social elements for the preservation of our union as civilized human beings. Each of us who are outraged by this case understand this implicitly, and as such, each of us are obliged to take a stand against corruption wherever it exists.

As evident from the handling of this case it is dispicably clear that Sheriff Shoar and his Cabinet at the St John's Sheriff's Dept are woefully incompetent and cannot be allowed to continue leading law enforcement within the communities they serve. I call on the good citizens of St. Augustine to petition heavily for their dismissal, and I call on all of us throughout the U.S. to join them in support of carrying this through. None of us can afford corruption and incompetence within any law enforcement agency, no matter where it exists outside of our own communities. To be sure this is not just of grave concern for the good citizens of St. Augustine; this is of utmost concern for all of us so that safety and trust may be preserved throughout our great land. Thank you.

01/26/2015 12:33am

To the friends and family,

I am sorry for your loss. I can see your pain and I cried as I watched the frontline program regarding Michelle's case. Her death is a horrible tragedy.

I can't make a statement as to suicide or homicide because I don't have the educational background to make that determination in writing.

I will express that the way the case into Michelle's death was handled from the beginning was biased. It should have been handled by an impartial third party. For that, I truly believe she was wronged (obviously aside from her untimely death).

My heart goes out to you.

01/27/2015 11:29pm

Hi I just saw the documentary about this case and all I could think of was that I can not believe how unfair the decision on this case was. My deepest sorrows go to her family. I'm very sorry that your daughter's killer is not behind bars. I hope you will get justice for her. Don't give up.

01/28/2015 3:22pm

I look at this story and I cry. I see pain. I see many arguments about this case to be had and that alone proves that it requires attention. I hate the thought of a cop capable of murdering someone they should cherish. Is that hate only because of the glorification of cops in movies and on tv? Probably. The reality is everyone is different in their own way. Some cops good some bad. They will defend each other but they should ask themselfs why. I seen a lot of anger first hand from cops and have been wrongfully treated by cops. So I know their arrogance prone. All the while I had watched the the frontline show I was waiting for the conclusion but it never came. So we must bring it by signing this.

01/31/2015 1:04pm

I am sickened by the miscarriage of justice that took place in Ms. O
Connell's case. The good ol' boy network encouraged by incompetent Sheriff Shoar is a despicable insult to Michelle's memory. I wish you the best in finally convicting Jeremy Banks, who is a classic example of an abuser.

02/04/2015 11:07pm

I was just wondering if anyone has ever said anything about his change of clothes? The responding officer stated he smelled like a fresh shower. The picture taken of the concert shows him in a grey sweater with a white or grey shirt underneath. But, in the video of him at the scene with respoders he is wearing a yellow shirt. I was wondering if it is said anywhere about a change of clothes, if not when did he have time to change clothes between rushing into the house after hearing the gunshot and calling the police for help.

I Wonder
02/08/2015 11:14am

I noticed a comment about Jeremy possibly showered before the police arrived. Does anyone know if records of water usage would show a spike around this time?

02/19/2015 9:25pm

Water records will likely not show when water was used, just how much. However, if he showered, it should have been checked like maybe detectives looking to see if the tub or shower was wet, where was the clothes he was wearing from the concert, is there a wet towel. But now we will never know.

02/10/2015 2:08pm

A law suit woul be the best thing to happen now. Civil court is not held to the same standards as criminal court. Remember OJ? If the Deputy sues it could backfire on him. However if Michelle's family sues for wrongful death - the evidence can come out.

02/19/2015 9:22pm

I am a LE officer and I have watched the documentary as well as done a lot of research on my own and I have one question.

Did Banks change clothes? If so, where is that in any of documentaries/ report from SJSO? The pictures taken just a few ours prior to the incident Banks is seen wearing a black button up shirt with a white in color, undershirt. When officers arrived on scene, he was wearing a yellow cool-aid shirt. Banks states that two other persons were there prior to the incident so what clothing did they see him in? Did he change after they left but before police arrived? Was his clothes he was wearing prior to this seized as evidence? Was his pants and shoes? If so I can not find that information but if it was it would likely clearly provide evidentiary value to definitively prove one way or the other.

It would appear, Banks is not being completely honest and unfortunately law enforcement lost their chance.

02/23/2015 2:33pm

i thank i know what he did
they came home she told him i am l leaving you and they got in the fight he hit her with the gun and than went she was out cold he wide the gun with a cloth then put her hand on the gun and pull the tigger if the gun was upside down it would never
leave that mark those cops out their is stuid they will never see that one of their owe is a killer if he use that gun everyday his fingerprint would have been on the gun but it wasn,t you just let a killer go free that is fuckup read between the line people he told on himself went he told people at the bar that bitch got what she deserve hey he is a women beater and a killer and he would go to prison i can do a lot better then those cops can send me all of michelle o,connell files i will fine something in those files that the cops did not fine

03/01/2015 1:30pm

please, please consider a civil suit against the murderer. The burden of proof has already been reached and you can garnish his wages for the rest of his life. Make him suffer. Please!!!

Jewel A. Lee
03/05/2015 9:36pm

Knowing as much as I do about the state of Florida, there is nothing to admire about any of the local or state officials there. The State's Attorney General and Sheriff's Department is Guilty of aiding and abetting a criminal.

More than 'mistakes' were made in the so-called 'investigation' of Michelle death. A murder was ignored. There was no investigation only another example of incompetence, bread in a corrupt state.

03/11/2015 11:31pm

Clealy this whole so-called investigation stank from the get go !!!! A GSR should have been done on both !!! And let us clearly remember the fact that a recoil does not go forward !!!
This is a clear cut case of abuse gone bad... she had mentioned that she was leaving him that very night... maybe with his temper (which was already stated he has a bad temper by one of the cops )... maybe this and his ego could not handle this fact. As far as the bruising on Michelles eye, it clearly looks like she was hit with that gun... and the screams for HELP ( which were heard by neighbor, who were tested by lie detctors, and proved not to be lying ).
Your justice will come.. have faith that the whole damn country has not gone to hell... maybe ust a thought, can you not bring all you have to the FBI... I mean a Sheriffs deparment gone bad... all covering it up... maybe you have already tried this avenue.. in which case I dang well hope the FBI has not chosen to see a blind side as well.
God be with you ...

03/12/2015 2:45am

If they were fighting, the way her body is laying, he back handed her with the gun - that is why the wounds on her face and how she ended up laying on the ground the way she did. He is left handed and striking her on the left of her face. And the gun was clean from DNA.

John Smith
03/12/2015 11:57pm


I just saw the Frontline episode and have been reading up on the case. Banks is GUILTY as hell!

I am independent researcher who has worked on more than a few murder cases over the past 12 years. In addition, since ’06 I have researched the New World Order. Here are some DISTURBING FACTS that EVERYONE should know:

Most law enforcement guys are Freemasons.

Masonic oaths trump ALL other oaths, including oaths of office, marital vows, and oaths to uphold the Constitution.

At the lower degrees, Freemasons take a blood oath to cover for/lie for/protect their Masonic brothers in all cases except murder and treason.

At the Royal Arch degree, Freemasons take a blood oath to cover for/lie for/protect their Masonic brothers in all cases including murder and treason.

The Masonic colors are blue and gold. (See the Dr. Phil show’s background colors?) This is where the phrase “the blue line” (thanks to this case, now frequently referred to “the blue wall”) comes from.

The “magic number” of Freemasonry is 33. Note that Dr. Phil’s episode covering this case originally aired on *November (11) 3*. (11 x 3 = 33)

Sheriff Shoar stated at the SJSO’s meeting at the Renaissance Hotel (see Frontline episode), “There is no way that Jeremy Banks had anything to do with what happened to Michelle O’Connell, and I would stake my *33* years in law enforcement on that.” Another 33! This is “hidden in plain sight,” and it is no coincidence that Shoar threw out the 33 right after his insistence that Banks is not guilty.

This case has all the earmarks of a MASONIC COVERUP. Since Freemasonry extends to the highest levels of law enforcement, it is very sad but I am not confident that this will end well.

03/13/2015 3:06am

I can't believe that her BROTHER SOLD himself so cheaply!! What kinda brotger is he!!?? THANK U NETFLIX, PBS, FRONTLINE FOR MAKING A SHORT FILM ON MICHELLE's life!! God bless her child!

03/14/2015 10:23am

Have you considered having the inside of michelle's pants pockets tested for Jeremy's DNA? This would indicate to me that he placed the pills there to stage suicide. suicide. Really? ?? God speed in getting justice for the baby girls mother. Not much mentioned about him mixing alcohol with these pills. Why did he have them and for how long? I see an addiction issue which is why she was leaving I assume. Look for the clues they DONT talk about or address. There may lie the answer.

03/19/2015 2:18am

I just watched the front line episode on netflix my family lives near taht part of FL I saw that the case was opened back up in 2014 I was wondering if anything changed and if the sisters and mother still talk to the brother I can not believe that he stood up with Jeremy at the end knowing that man he is standing beside killed his sister if anyone had any info I would like to know I will be praying for the family I could not imagine going threw something like that and not being able to get help and trust where you should be able to


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