Who Killed Kim? Part Six: Coerced Confession? - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Who Killed Kim? Part Six: Coerced Confession?

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POPLAR -

In going over Barry Beach's confession, I noted something he told authorities in Louisiana.

"Barry, you said you went home, washed off, went to bed and tried to convince yourself you didn't kill her. Is it possible you've spent your entire life trying to convince yourself you didn't do it?" I asked.

"It would have been a whole lot easier to sit here doing time admitting to myself the truth and just going on like the rest of my buddies in here," said Beach.

"I've got all kinds of buddies in here Greg who committed their crimes and they'll tell you right now they're at peace of mind because they're six feet above ground, their victims are six feet below ground.

"I've never had that peace of mind. I know I don't belong in prison, and I do know the confession you're relying so heavily on right now is false," said Beach.

Kim Nees' killer had been caught, confessed, tried and convicted. This despite the fact there wasn't a shred of physical evidence or any eyewitnesses tying Barry Beach to her murder.

No one in the tiny town said they saw Beach the night of the killing.

So, it was his confession, and his confession alone, that put him in prison for 100 years with no chance of parole.

A confession Beach insists was coerced.

If you follow Barry Beach's story, he says when he became so afraid he was going to die in Louisiana's electric chair he lied. He says he told the biggest lie of his life. He told investigators he's the one who killed Kim Nees. He even told investigators how he says he did it.

So, after being told he would spend the rest of his life in prison without a chance for parole did he lie again?

Beach says no.

"Well actually Greg, I stated adamantly that the confession was coerced the moment I walked out of the interrogation room," said Beach.

Beach says after several days of interrogation, he broke and told lawmen in Louisiana, detectives Jay Vai and Alfred Calhoun, he killed Kim Nees.

It turns out a few months later those same detectives also elicited confessions from two other suspects in the murders of three women in Louisiana that turned out to be false.

DNA eventually led to the real killer in that case.

But when it comes to Beach's confession, it does seem to resemble the physical facts of the case in the killing of Kim Nees, and I asked Beach about the similarities.

"Last night I was reading over your confession, and I'm sitting here thinking here's a guy who's 1700 miles away from Poplar, Montana, and three and a half years have passed, and in his confession he basically says, one, Kim was driving her dad's truck that night when she was killed, and that you saw her at the gas station where other people had seen her at the gas station that night." I said.

"That marijuana was found in the truck and you said you smoked marijuana in the truck that night.

"That she was beaten to death with some kind of metal tool and you said you picked up a crescent wrench in your confession and hit her with it.

"The fact that she was dragged to the river, that's part of your confession and in fact she was dragged to the river.

"The fact that her car keys were missing and you said you took the car keys and threw them in the river along with the murder weapons.

"You'd have to say that to an outsider looking at a confession like this, that based on the physical facts of the case, it comes pretty close," I said.

"Not at all," responded Beach.

"Everything you just stated was common knowledge around Poplar, Montana, and especially around high school. Kim always sat at the Exxon station along with her age group.

"That was their parking lot of choice.

"My friend's parking lot of choice was the Conoco gas station two blocks down the street. We all had a different area of town where we parked and parked consistently," explained Beach.

"Everybody smoked marijuana, everybody was talking about the crime scene, even as early as the very next day there were a lot of facts about the crime scene that were well known.

"If you're gong to start judging the confession, and you're going to start judging its accuracy compared to what I say, then you need to go back to the nine points that were identified by sheriff Dean Mahlum as being issues that only the killer would know.

"Nothing that you just mentioned are listed in those nine points," insisted Beach.

So, I asked Beach to give me his bullet points of how his confession doesn't match the crime scene.

Monday night, only on the KULR-8 News at 10 PM, the critical elements of what Barry Beach says are at the heart of his claim he didn't kill Kim Nees, and how he says his confession doesn't match the forensic evidence at the crime scene.