Where is Ray Jennings Now? – Dateline is an American news magazine television show specializing in true crime stories, mysteries and investigations. Airing since 1992, it has covered various topics such as missing person cases and murders, celebrity scandals and political controversy. NBC Dateline stands out for its in-depth reporting and investigative journalism, which often features interviews with key players involved with its stories, earning numerous awards, including multiple Emmy Awards for its reporting. Aired on the NBC network since 1992, Dateline remains one of their longest-running and most popular programs.
In ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much,’ episode viewers are taken through the tragic murder of 18-year-old Michelle O’Keefe. Her body was discovered inside her car at a park and drive in Palmdale, California, after she had just finished filming a music video in Los Angeles and was on her way back home when it was tragically found inside. This shocking crime sent shockwaves throughout Palmdale as its investigation led authorities to Ray Jennings – the security guard who claimed to have discovered Michelle’s body. If you want to know about Ray Jennings and his current whereabouts, read below to get your answers.
Who is Ray Jennings?
At the time of Michelle O’Keefe’s murder, Ray Jennings was a father of five who had relocated from North Carolina to California in search of better job prospects as a security guard. Although he was generally seen as quiet and helpful, his colleagues were shocked when he became the prime suspect in an ongoing homicide investigation. On February 22, 2000, while on duty at a park-and-drive in Palmdale, California, he noticed Michelle’s car parked suspiciously between two other cars. On that night, though, Ray became suspect number one person to take into custody: her car had been found abandoned between two other cars!
When Ray arrived at the vehicle, he discovered Michelle inside, bloodied and partially undressed. Although she was still breathing, Ray did not attempt CPR or touch the body to avoid disturbing the crime scene. Instead, he called his supervisor, and together they investigated the vehicle before calling the police. At this stage in their inquiry, suspicions of sexual abuse were raised due to Michelle’s state of partial undress.
A witness, Victoria Richardson, claimed she saw Ray Jennings passing by the parking lot before hearing gunshots. Although forensic evidence from Ray’s uniform failed to connect him to the crime, police noted that he shared details about Michelle’s murder that only someone close to her would know. Based on circumstantial evidence, authorities issued an arrest warrant for Ray; however, he served in Iraq with the US army then. Upon his return home, however, police took him into custody, and an autopsy revealed Michelle had been shot to death.
Where is Ray Jennings Today?
Police initially suspected Ray Jennings of the crime based on circumstantial evidence; Victoria Richardson, a witness, claimed she saw Ray pass by before hearing gunshots. But his uniform failed to produce any forensic proof linking him to the incident. His first two trials ended in hung juries, but the third found him guilty and sentenced him to 40 years to life in prison.
After ten years in prison, Jeffrey and Clinton Ehrlich took up Ray Jennings’ case believing in his innocence. They presented new evidence suggesting two unidentified gang members may have been responsible for Michelle’s death. In 2016, Ray was released from prison, and his conviction was overturned the following year. Since then, Ray has kept a low profile, preferring to keep his personal life private.