In April 2016, the wife of a police officer in Griffin, Georgia was shot twice inside a locked closet. She survived, but with no recollection of the incident. As a result, that night’s events remain a mystery to this day. Brendan Keefe, the Chief Investigator for 11Alive in Atlanta, takes listeners inside this perplexing cold case of The Officer’s Wife.
Brendan’s Journey Covering the Officer’s Wife Case
Brendan serves as the Chief Investigator on a team of eight investigative journalists at 11Alive. He also co-anchors The Reveal, a weekly program featuring long-form reporting from the 11Alive Investigative Team. He has received Peabody, duPont, and National Murrow awards for his investigative work.
Brendan heard about The Officer’s Wife case in 2016 when he was working on a corruption case in Griffin, Georgia. Soon after, Brendan’s team obtained the case records through a public records request. They decided to feature the case on The Reveal in November 2016. Later, in January 2020, the team produced The Officer’s Wife podcast, a deep dive into the details of the case.
A Cold Case Without a Death
The Officer’s Wife podcast takes listeners on a journey of discovery, with each revelation more shocking than the one before. The story involves the unhappy marriage of a Georgia police officer (Matthew), his wife (Jessica Boynton), and their two children. After Jessica learned about Matthew’s extramarital affairs, she prepared to divorce and leave Matthew. One night in April 2016, Matthew called 911 to report gunfire in his house. Police who arrived on the scene found Jessica inside a locked closet with Matthew’s service gun beneath her collapsed body.
Jessica survived, but cannot recall what happened. Matthew testified that Jessica was suicidal and that he believes it was a suicide attempt. However, there is strong evidence to counter his claim. Jessica, on the other hand, believes Matthew tried to kill her and frame it as a suicide. A grand jury ultimately cleared Matthew of such allegations.
A Botched Investigation
This case brings up a number of puzzling questions. For example, how could have Jessica fired two shots in an attempted suicide? Was she really suicidal if only Matthew–and no one else–claimed that she was? Moreover, Matthew’s actions and words surrounding the shooting are suspect. For instance, he had also stolen Jessica’s overnight (or “getaway”) bag just before the night of the shooting.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) work on this case also raises eyebrows. Matthew and Jessica’s neighbors had apparently heard guns hours before Matthew called 911, but the GBI waited several months to interview these neighbors. Brendan believes that GBI’s investigation tried to reach the conclusion that Jessica tried to commit suicide, rather than seeking to solve the mystery.
To this day, Brendan and his team do not know what happened in Matthew and Jessica’s apartment that night in April 2016. Brendan believes the GBI did very little to help bring out the truth. This case remains cold–even though the main players are alive.
Where Are They Now?
Today, Matthew has given up his career as a police officer. It is unclear what he is doing today. Jessica is now engaged and recently gave birth to a third child with her fiancé. Matthew and Jessica share custody of their two children.
Brendan believes that Jessica is happy now. Even though she still cannot remember what happened that night in 2016, she is doing her best to move on and start her new life.
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