I have a complete lack of confidence around the credibility of John L. Smith. This is nothing new. I’ve had the same issues with his credibility since he published commentary articles about me that were full of errors in fact, and which omitted important facts. Kind of like the guy who spoon-fed him stuff about me to try to discredit me as a witness in a court case in which he was the detective. This guy’s name is Thomas Dillard, or TD Dillard or Tom Dillard — depending on whichever name he’s using on any given day. Dillard was a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police (LVMP or Metro) detective at the time and went on to become a private detective. He has a long and embattled history of unethical and inappropriate activity when it comes to trying to get convictions in his cases.
In three of the most high-profile homicide cases in the history of Nevada law enforcement, Dillard framed a number of people who ultimately were found to not be the murderers. Do you know the name Howard Haupt? How about John Harrison West? No? Maybe this one rings a bell: Ted Binion. Ted Binion was the son of Las Vegas casino magnate Benny Binion. Benny owned Binion Horseshoe. Ted worked there and was worth millions. The Horseshoe is still in operation in Downtown Las Vegas. Basic details of the three cases are:
- The murder of a 7-year-old boy at Whiskey Pete’s Hotel & Casino in Primm, Nevada. Dillard compiled a case of circumstantial evidence against Howard Haupt, the accused killer. Haupt just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Haupt was tried and found not guilty on all counts, and later sued Dillard and the Metro PD and won an $800,000 out-of-court settlement as a result.
- The murder of Beth Lynn Jardine, an Air Force airman who was bludgeoned to death in her apartment in the Nellis AFB area of Las Vegas. Dillard fingered John Harrison West as the killer. Turns out he wasn’t. Turns out Dillard withheld exculpatory evidence — you know, the kind that would exonerate you as a murderer. Dillard didn’t pass that along to the defense team. However, eventually the evidence came to light pre-trial, but West had already been jailed for a month. West’s life was ruined. He lost his job as a pharmacist, his certification, his reputation, and more. A member of the jury pool called Dillard “pure evil.” How’d you like to wear that label? But he was, and is, pure evil, in my opinion.
- The murder of Ted Binion, perhaps the highest profile case, still talked about today. Binion was the heir to the fortune of his father, Benny, who was the founder of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino. Dillard again built a case of circumstantial evidence, and in this case, a jury convicted Rick Tabish and Sandy Murphy. During their first trial, the defendants, were found guilty of murdering the casino baron. However the verdict was overturned on a technicality. The Nevada Supreme Court subsequently ordered a new trial, which lasted six weeks. The jury, after deliberating for some 18 hours, returned not guilty verdicts in the murder case, but did find the defendants guilty of conspiring to commit “burglary and/or larceny” as well as burglary and grand larceny.
Incredible, in the fullest sense of the word — as in NOT CREDIBLE.
It should be abundantly clear to anyone that former metro detective Thomas Dillard should also be known as a master of withholding exculpatory evidence.