LYNDON, Kansas (KSNT) – Back in 2012, police searched everywhere imaginable in the small town of Carbondale for any trace of a body, a body with a missing head.
“I couldn’t believe somebody could to that to a human being,” said Tom Gerety, victim’s brother.
For Gerety, he first heard about the case while watching the news. He had a feeling the body missing was his brother.
“About a month or so later, we got a call they needed DNA, and I found it in the baby book, took them the hair,” said Gerety.
It was a match. James Gerety, who went by Jim, had been beheaded by James Paul Harris.
When it came time for a trial, prosecuting attorney Brandon Jones says it was a case where everything was working against him.
“Because we had no body, we had no cause of death or no manner of death, we didn’t know how this person was killed,” Jones said.
Those factors were not the only ones that made this case difficult. It was the credibility of witnesses.
“When we went to prelim, our key witness was extremely difficult, refused several times to testify,” Jones said.
When we asked Tom if he would ever be able to trust the justice system again, he simply said, no.
The skull was found by a women in 2012, according to court documents Harris was using the skull as voodoo ritual.