Who Killed Estelle?



"Estelle Richardson" Estelle Richardson CCA Metro jail Gustavus Gus Puryear death murder homicide Corrections Corporation Nashville


$35,000 in Reward Money Now Available
in the Estelle Richardson case!


On July 5, 2004, Estelle Richardson, 34, a female prisoner at the CCA-run Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville, was found unresponsive in a segregation cell. She was declared dead that same day at a local hospital. An autopsy conducted by the State Medical Examiner's office found she had a fractured skull, four broken ribs and a damaged liver. Her death was ruled a homicide.

The day before she died, Estelle had been forcibly removed from her cell by four CCA officers.

When investigators arrived at the CCA-Metro facility they asked to see the videotape of Estelle's cell extraction the day before her death. According to the Attorney General's office, the investigators were told by CCA staff that the video camera had "malfunctioned," and no video was available. Yet when an investigator asked to see the camera and inspected it, it appeared to be in working order.

In Sept. 2005, four CCA officers Jeremy N. Neese, Keith A. Hendricks, Joshua D. Schockman and William Wood were indicted on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated assault in connection with Estelle's death. The charges were eventually dismissed in May 2007, largely because the timing of Estelle's fatal injury could not be accurately determined. A fifth CCA officer, Shirley M. Foster, who had allegedly injured Estelle three days prior to her death, was not charged.

The question remains: Who killed Estelle Richardson, and what happened to the videotape, if any existed, of her forcible cell extraction the day before she died? Her murder remains unsolved.


If you have information about this incident
you may be eligible for a cash reward up to $35,000!


$10,000 Reward for Videotape of Estelle's Cell Extraction

$10,000 will be paid to the first person who provides information that leads to the recovery and/or verifiable proof of existence of a videotape or video footage of the cell extraction of Estelle Richardson at the CCA-Metro Davidson County Detention Facility that occurred on or about July 4, 2004, the day before her death.

$25,000 Reward for Information Leading to Conviction of Estelle's Killer

$25,000 will be paid to the first person who provides information that leads to the prosecution and conviction of the person or persons directly responsible for Estelle Richardson's death at the CCA-Metro Davidson County Detention Facility. There is no statute of limitations for murder charges.

Read the Sheriff Department's Report Concerning
Estelle Richardson's Death!

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PLEASE NOTE: All information provided in connection with these rewards must be submitted in writing. You can e-mail: whokilledestelle@gmail.com or send a fax to: (866) 735-7136. For the purpose of determining the "first person" who provides information that makes them eligible for these rewards, the e-mail or fax received first will control.

While you can submit information anonymously, in order to claim either reward you must be willing to provide your name and contact information; to claim the $25,000 reward, you may be required to publicly disclose your identity if that is deemed necessary.


* Front page article in the Tennessean on Aug. 1, 2008 about the Estelle Richardson homicide case. Click here.

* The Estelle Richardson case has become an issue in the pending federal judicial nomination of CCA general counsel Gustavus A. Puryear IV. For more information about both Mr. Puryear's nomination and the Estelle Richardson case, please visit: www.againstpuryear.org.

* What does the Estelle Richardson case have to do with Mr. Puryear's judicial nomination? Just one example is available here (letter from State Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Levy).

* A two-part article on Alternet.org about the Estelle Richardson case is available here and here.

* A June 29, 2008 Tennessean editorial about Estelle's death is available here.

* A vigil to commemorate the 4th anniversary of Estelle's death was held on July 1, 2008 and was covered by a local news station. Please click here for the article, photos and video.

* To print or download the information on this webpage as a flier for distribution, please click here.


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This website is a project of Tennesseans Against Puryear, but relates only to the specific issue of Estelle Richardson's death as set forth above.

All eligibility determinations as to the requirements for and disbursements of these rewards will be made by the attorney who is holding the reward funds in escrow, in his sole discretion.