Terminally Ill Man Confesses to Grisly 1995 Cold Case Murder via Decatur Police Department
via Decatur Police Department

Detective Sean Mukaddam, a violent crimes investigator with the Decatur Police Department, could never have predicted that he would answer the phone one day to hear someone confess a crime that happened over 20 years ago. However, more than anything, he was relieved to finally complete the ending of the cold case murder of 26-year-old Christopher Alvin Dailey, giving the family some closure.

Detective Mukaddam received a phone call from Johnny Dwight Whited, who remorsefully wanted to get some things off his chest. The now 53-year-old is terminally ill, and apparently wants to set some of his past wrongs right. Although the Alabama man wasn’t sure what date or year, Whited knew details of the murder that only the killer could know.

Terminally Ill Johnny Dwight Whited Confesses to a Cold Case Murder

Whited told law enforcement the site of the murder, recounting how the murder happened with his story lining up with the existing evidence. However, there was no potential motive since Whited and Dailey seemed to not have known each other. But using the description of the location from Whited, investigators were able to scour every Decatur homicide since the 1980s, finally connecting him to Dailey’s body on April 26, 1995.

The unsolved murder of Dailey involved his body accidentally being found by a couple of teenagers in a wooded area of Decatur, 75 feet from a major logging road. His 1983 Toyota Tercel was found submerged in the Tennessee River. He had a single gunshot wound in the head.

Police mentioned in a statement, “Despite the extensive investigation, a suspect was never developed in the case. In the years that followed, the case was revisited several times for leads.”

Cold Case Closed

And despite his terminal illness, Whited was arrested and is currently being held on $15,000 bond. His defense lawyer, Griff Belser, had no idea about the murder, as he was representing Whited who was already awaiting trial for a methamphetamine charge. Whited also had a history of arrests for traffic and drug offenses, including one for a possession of crack cocaine pipe just shy of three weeks after Dailey’s body was found.


Detective Mukaddam said, “He was remorseful. He was embarrassed about certain things. He wanted to get it off his chest,” and in telling Dailey’s family, “I was able to give them closure after 25 years. I turned the last page and closed the book that they wrote.”

Watch: Mom Charged With First-Degree Murder After Wet Wipe Found Inside Infant’s Throat

Lauren Pineda is a writer with a background in music journalism and pop culture. Her best writing comes from her passion for storytelling and connecting her audience. She lives and breathes any live music show or art event and enjoys listening to peoples’ stories.
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