April 18, 2009
May case in spotlight again
A notorious Bellevue, Iowa, murder case attracted the attention of another national television network. A production team from "Extreme Forensics," which airs on the Investigation Discovery Network, is in Dubuque and Bellevue this weekend taping an episode about Greg May's gruesome murder in 2001.
Friday, the New York-based team taped interviews with Jackson County and state prosecutors and with May's son, Don, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif., and has been actively involved in every aspect of his father's case.
The circumstances surrounding Greg May's murder are the stuff of lurid fiction -- a friendship gone sour, a chain saw bought to dismember a body, body parts scattered in a river and along a highway, the victim's head discovered in a bucket of cement, a killer and his girlfriend escaping to the West with the victim's valuable Civil War antiques and turning on each other when cornered.
Greg May, 55, shared a house on Bellevue's Riverview Street in 2001 with Doug "Moose" DeBruin and his girlfriend, Julie Ann Miller. In January 2001,
DeBruin was convicted of first-degree murder in April 2005 after prosecutors convinced a jury that he killed May one night in the home's kitchen and that he and Miller cut up May's body and scattered the parts. His skull was found at a Kearney, Neb., truck stop a few months later, but was not identified until 2005 when a forensic artist reconstructed the skull.
DeBruin is serving his life sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison. Miller, who was sentenced for perjury and theft, is serving in a federal prison in Waseca, Minn. She will be eligible for release in February 2011.
"We look for cases where forensics are integral to solving the case. We show the intersection of high-level detective work and cutting-edge forensics and this case has both," said Josh Koffman, a producer with Hoff Productions. Besides scenes in Dubuque and Bellevue, the team is taping in Des Moines, Kearney, Philadelphia and at a New York-area location.
In a tiny hotel room Friday, Koffman interviewed Don May on-camera for nearly three hours. Under hot lights and hooked up to microphones, May talked about the case from his father's disappearance and his family's frantic efforts to find him, to the murder trial and his current efforts to see Miller also tried for murder.
About DeBruin's life sentence for the murder, May said, "At first I wished Iowa had the death penalty, but now I see that jail is a prolonged living hell and I hope he suffers long and hard."
May plans to continue putting pressure on state and Jackson County prosecutors to re-examine Miller's situation.
"This was a completely insane, violent crime, so why did she get just a few years for minor crimes and not for murder? This was a team murder and there is as much evidence against her as against him," May said to the camera.
Koffman analyzed the tremendous current public interest in forensic science.
"It broke the pop culture barrier. It's now a cool technology to be used for purposes of good and the pursuit of justice," he said.
CBS network's "48 Hours" aired an episode about the case in January 2006.
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