Linda Slaten scenario: Murdered Florida woman’s son hung this picture on his bed room wall, in no way realizing he was standing in front of his mother’s killer

September 4, 1981 was the day these men say their childhood finished. Jeff Slaten and his more youthful brother, Tim, experienced been awakened by Lakeland, Florida, law enforcement officers, and explained to their mother experienced been murdered.  Law enforcement hustled the boys exterior, but Tim, however in his pajamas, caught a glimpse of his mom.  She experienced been raped and strangled.

“I noticed the full criminal offense scene appropriate then and there as a 12-calendar year-aged child,” Tim Slaten tells CBS Information chief investigative and senior national correspondent Jim Axelrod. “You are unable to unsee that,” claims Axelrod.  Tim, with tears in his eyes, suggests he “even now sees” the image of his lifeless mother, and knows he usually will.

Prior to and following Linda Slaten’s murder, Tim Slaten’s football coach, Joe Mills, would often drive Tim to and from football practice. Coach Joe grew to become a part model for the boy, who proudly hung up his football team photo, with the coach standing driving him, in his space.

Tim Slaten

To this working day, the Slaten brothers feel grief and guilt, for not hearing anything at all that evening, for not coming to their mom’s rescue.  “I (would have) died  died that night time tryin’ to save my mom,” Jeff Slaten claims. “But I did not listen to almost nothing.  And it is really so difficult to dwell with that.”

“48 Hrs” and Axelrod report the story of the brothers’ search for justice in “The Betrayal of Linda Slaten” airing Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10:01/9:01c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.  

Quickly following the murder, Jeff and Tim moved in with their grandparents.  For all those 1st horrifying times, the overall relatives slept in the very same space.  It was their grandfather who rarely slept. He was standing guard all night with a shotgun. 

Tim and Jeff Slaten
The Slaten brothers straight away moved in with their grandparents. They experienced to experience a new truth of everyday living without having their mom. A couple of months immediately after their mom’s funeral, the brothers returned to faculty and acquainted actions. “Remaining with pals and just commenced dwelling existence all over again, I guess,” claims Tim. “You know, going back again to football.”

Jeff Slaten

A handful of months later on, the boys ended up again in faculty, and Tim was again taking part in football, his favored sport.  “Just attempting to are living everyday living yet again,” he claims.  His teammates and coach, “Mentor Joe,” ended up constantly supportive, normally rooting for him.  Mentor Joe, 20 at the time, was a young man Tim had seemed up to. He often drove Tim to and from football observe — a regimen that had started off nicely just before the murder.

For yrs, Tim Slaten proudly hung his group football photograph in his bedroom, taken just a single thirty day period immediately after the murder.  The photograph was also a reminder, he states, of a thing his mother experienced taught him:  to keep relocating ahead and hardly ever give up. 

Right after the murder, Lakeland investigators experienced gathered a rape kit and lifted a palm print from Linda Slaten’s bed room window, exactly where the killer experienced entered.  Detectives had questioned a slew of suspects, like Linda’s abusive ex-spouse, Frank Slaten.  Even her personal son, Jeff, grew to become a human being of curiosity, telling Axelrod, “Lakeland Law enforcement, they was interrogating me all the time.”

But no just one was charged.  In advance of long, the scenario went chilly and stayed that way for nearly 4 many years.  Jeff Slaten suggests, he believed for positive he’d choose his final breath devoid of recognizing who murdered his mom.

But extraordinary improvements in DNA technological know-how renewed hope, and that thoroughly stored rape kit exposed an not likely suspect, Joseph Clinton Mills — Mentor Joe.

“48 Hours” stories on the practically 40-year investigation into the murder of Linda Slaten


Now these car rides to observe took on new this means.  So did Tim’s group soccer picture, which sickens him today.  Since standing specifically guiding Tim is the gentleman he the moment trustworthy and admired, Mentor Joe.  He would typically check with Tim how the scenario was going. Was there any information?  Were there any new qualified prospects?  Mentor Joe was talking to a 12-12 months-aged boy, striving to keep tabs on a murder investigation through the son of the murdered woman when he understood particularly who did it.

“I’ve been carrying the killer’s photograph in my dwelling this entire time and by no means had a clue,” Jeff claims. “He’s a cold-hearted monster, that is for guaranteed.”

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