Category Archives: True Crime

Shelley’s Story

We all blame the driver in a DUI crash that injures or kills people or damages other’s property. But sometimes the problem isn’t just one person.

With a DUI crash, we typically turn the other way if we aren’t directly affected. We read stories and we get angry at the person who was driving drunk.  In this case, it was Shelley Rose who drove drunk and killed innocent people.

It’s her fault, right?

Well, the story is so much more complicated than that.

No one dreams of growing up and becoming an alcoholic and killing people in a drunken or impaired car crash.

But some of us—all of us, actually, at times in different circumstances of life—need roadblocks, boundaries, mentors, tough love—to save us from ourselves.

Instead, Shelley Rose was her own worst enemy. Unfortunately, she had several partners in crime, including those sworn to protect us.

This is the story of how Shelley Rose arrived at that fateful Thanksgiving Day 2018.

Jada’s Story

On Thanksgiving Day 2018, Jada Bright, a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi woke up early and headed south from Hattiesburg to spend the holiday with family outside New Orleans. 

It was Jada’s first trip home since her father died from cancer earlier that year. She had worked late the night before, waiting tables at Patio 44, and was excited to have a couple days off to spend with loved ones and not worry about classes or work.

Also that morning, 45-year-old Alabama businessman Evans Vincent, who had long been estranged from his two teenage sons, headed west, planning to spend his first holiday in a decade with his sons in Texas. His car was loaded with Christmas and birthday presents for his boys. 

48-year-old Shelly Rose, a Mississippi transplant living with friends in Lake Charles, had spent the previous two nights in jail—in two neighboring Mississippi towns, having been arrested for a 4th and 5th DUI-although the small town police chief made the decision—on Thanksgiving eve to charge her with the lesser offense of public drunkenness because it was far less paperwork to process. 

Shelly had only had her driver’s license back one month from it having been suspended for a previous DUI in Florida. 

A stumbling and still disoriented Shelly “bargained” her way out of lock-up in Ellisville, Mississippi.  A police officer took her to the tow yard to retrieve her rented Dodge Caravan after hours. And she was released in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving—still over the legal BAC limit and handed the keys to the rented van she had damaged while driving intoxicated. 

At 10 a.m., she spoke to the family friend, Marsha, who had been expecting her for two days, not knowing she had been drinking again—and had been arrested.  Marsha told Shelly when she got back to Lake Charles, it was time to find another place to live. Her patience had worn out. 

She would be the last person to speak to Shelly.

Shortly after 10:20 a.m., Shelly got on the interstate at the off-ramp near Lumberton, Mississippi. Kristy Thompson, a Hattiesburg realtor, headed to Slidell with her boyfriend, saw Shelly headed straight toward them and veered into the other lane. Kristy quickly let down the window, waving frantically to get her attention to warn her she was headed the wrong direction. But Shelly never looked over. As Jason rounded the bend in I-59, Kristy was already dialing 911. “Someone is going to die right now,” she screamed, trying to explain to the dispatcher what was about to ensue.  The traffic was heavy just a few hundred yards in their rear-view mirror.

There was nothing they could do.

Season 2 Episode 1: Alcohol, Intoxicants, “Accidents” in America

The second season of Telling Lives, I chose to explore the continued societal problem of DUI and impairment in American culture and examine how to affect change.

I’ll share stories from around the country—in Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Kentucky and other states—going back to the worst DUI crash in American history that killed 27 in 1988—to a police chief and father who lost his own daughter weeks before her wedding—and a father out walking who was killed—and his own daughter was left without her father to walk her down the aisle at her wedding this year.  

I’ll also share stories of the good that can come from choosing the right course before tragedy strikes and what taking that path leads to—I talked to a nationally-renowned chef whose DUI at age 21 made him seek rehab and redemption in Christ and he hasn’t touched alcohol since. 

I have looked at data from a dozen states and talked to people involved in DUIs from every angle—victims, survivors, perpetrators, police, friends, doctors, bartenders and more.

These stories bear witness to America’s drinking and drugged driving problem and how we got here—why don’t we treat impaired driving like the serious crime it is after the first or even second offense—and why we must, especially in the current political climate of more states every year legalizing the use of marijuana. 

My prayer is that listeners will empathize and be encouraged to make choices that don’t hurt themselves or kill others—-that choosing to do the right thing will become the American thing again. 

This season is dedicated to the memory of Jada Bright.

Episode 10: Awaiting Justice for Angela

Angela’s best friend shares her memories of Angela’s terrifying visit to the Mahned Bridge and the last few weeks before she went missing and the weeks afterward when it seemed so many mistakes were being made.  Also, Debra has encounters with Stephen Lindsey and Larry Posey years after Angela’ disappearance, which couldn’t have been more different.  Finally, where Angela’s case stands today and what law enforcement is currently doing in the case.

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Episode Nine: New Millennium–new detective and technology come on scene

Nearing the new millennium, a new breed of detective coupled with major advances in technology impacted the Angela Freeman investigation.  For a brief moment it looked like answers might finally be available to explain just what happened that night at the Mahned Bridge.

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Bonus Episode 2: Points of Clarity and Listener Questions

Join us for an in-between episode round table discussion!  We take answer your questions and provide a couple of points of clarity about the content previously released.

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Episode Eight: Friends Come Forward

Since the podcast began, we’ve had several more people who knew Angela Freeman reach out to us with information and memories that we will share with you in this episode—including  a woman who has come forward with information she says she overheard when she was 12 years old about what happened to Angela.  This is the first time she has spoken publicly about what she overheard.

Bonus Episode: Q & A with the Telling Lives team

Join us as we answer questions related to the disappearance of Angela Freeman.

If you have questions about the podcast, or would like to share your thoughts on Angela, send us a message at  We might answer your questions on a future episode!

Episode Seven: Declaration of Death

After seven years, authorities urged Angela Freeman’s family to formally declare her deceased.  A service was held, but the grieving process continued as Debra and Bill Stewart’s marriage crumbled.  In this episode we’ll also look at statistics on missing persons and two other newly cold cases in Mississippi.

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