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S31.E07: Reality Kills (Victoria Rickman) 2017.11.11

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In the early morning hours of Sept. 13, 2013, Victoria Rickman called 9-1-1- to report she had repeatedly shot her boyfriend, Will Carter Jr. She said he raped her. Rickman said she shot to stop the attack.

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Detective Benton should focus more on procedures & cases and less on her fedora. (Hat Squad??) I wouldn't think it possible a detective could annoy me more than a person guilty of murder, but she managed to accomplish that feat.

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Maybe it's because I'm ill and in pain, but this episode was awful. I've followed this story for quite awhile, and started because of claims about Detective Benton being a liar for the purpose of the television show. I've never watched that show but had an online friend who is a gun enthusiast complain about her claims of the gun obviously being reloaded, when it held 13 rounds. That was my introduction to this case, and Detective Benton is a piece of work and I fully expect to see future cases effected by her shoddy investigations.

However, Victoria Rickman's phone was a treasure trove of evidence which resulted in her conviction, and the show barely touched on it. She saved everything and she had flirtations and feuds going on everywhere. I appreciate that 48 Hours didn't beat her flirtations and sexual posts to death, like almost every other article did when reporting about this case, but at the conclusion of the episode, I don't think it is clear why she was convicted. Here is a Crime Watch Daily article that discusses the video she filmed that helped convict her, and this show barely touched on. According to that article, this is the text:

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Then the prosecution drops a bombshell: Video of the incident shot by Victoria herself with her cellphone. It shows her trying to get back inside William Carter's home just moments after she says he raped her.

"Get the [----] out of here. Seriously? Go! I don't want to do anything but get you out of here."

"Why are you naked? Who are you on the phone with?"

"We know one thing for sure, he wasn't naked because he raped her because why would she have to ask that question?" said prosecutor Sheila Ross.

The prosecution shows the rest of the 60-second video, saying it doesn't look like an encounter between a woman and a man who just raped her.

"You just showed up at my [----] house and I told you not to be here."

"I did not. You told me to come here."

"No, Tory, I didn't tell you to be here. Get the [----] out of here. I'm scared of you. You terrify me. You're already doing this. Get out of here."

"Why are you acting like this?"

Victoria refuses to leave.

"Right now, open the door. All my [----] is upstairs."

"No it's not. There's nothing upstairs. All you are is a toxic web of lies. Stop it. Get off of me."

"Stop."

"I'm not letting you in my house. I'm gonna call the [----] police."

"Do it."

There were many other texts that were released briefly at one point, but the State successfully got the websites to remove them after it was determined that they were not supposed to have been released. They involved her sexting with other people while she claimed she was in a relationship with Carter, along with claims of other people physically and sexually assaulting her, but nothing like Det. Benson alleged. Two awful women, one of which is responsible for investigating crimes and the other who is a murderer. I expect a bit more from 48 Hours then this watered-down reporting of facts. Maybe this should have been a two-hour episode. Dateline stretches 30 minutes of material into two hours all the time. Bah. 

Edited by Christina. Reason: Shouldn't try to spell on opiates.
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Detective Benton should focus more on procedures & cases and less on her fedora. (Hat Squad??) I wouldn't think it possible a detective could annoy me more than a person guilty of murder, but she managed to accomplish that feat.

A thousand times this.  I would have been nice of her to at least show some humility (or at least embarrassment) about how things she said about the case during the reality show turned out to be flat out wrong.  Instead, she dug in and made it honestly seem like she was just out to get Rickman, when the truth is that Rickman's guilt was not really a question.    

Edited by txhorns79.
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Thanks @Christina for the post.  From what was shown on the eposide, I would have found her not guilty Judy on the shoddy police work.  

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Gah - I seem to remember seeing that fedora-wearing famewhore on some show a long time ago.  Couldn't stand her then, either.

She's lucky her shenanigans didn't throw the case.

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The cop reminded me of Jayma Mays which made me miss Trial and Error where that cop would fit right in.

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Gah - I seem to remember seeing that fedora-wearing famewhore on some show a long time ago.  Couldn't stand her then, either.

Both detectives (Summer Benton and Kevin Leonpacher) are on many of the First 48 Atlanta episodes. Detective Benton really looked incompetent on this particular case, from not ordering the toxicology tests to her stubborn refusal to admit the gun hadn’t been reloaded. Hopefully there aren’t enough errors that would warrant a retrial.

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Detective Benton really looked incompetent on this particular case, from not ordering the toxicology tests to her stubborn refusal to admit the gun hadn’t been reloaded. Hopefully there aren’t enough errors that would warrant a retrial.

That really killed me.  She was demonstrably wrong about the possibility that the gun may have not been reloaded, but she absolutely refused to admit error.  IMO, that kind of cop is the scariest.  If she refuses to admit to an obvious error in a case where the defendant's guilt does not appear to be an issue, it's scary to think how she might respond in a case where there are real questions.       

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5 hours ago, LGGirl said:

Thanks @Christina for the post.  From what was shown on the eposide, I would have found her not guilty Judy on the shoddy police work.  

Wow. Goes to show how different that perceptions can be because I think Victoria's as guilty as hell.  Even accounting for the fact that Detective Benton is wrong, the tactical reload is irrelevant to me, whether Victoria did it or not.  The fact is she hit him 9 times.  He was on the bed, clearly incapacitated.  At that point, she is not defending herself.  She is choosing to execute him.

I also think the cell phone video on her phone is very damning for her.  She is at his house.  Even if he did ask her to come there at some point, he's clearly heard asking her to leave his house and saying that he's afraid of her.  The fact that he's naked is irrelevant.  The fact that he's talking on the phone is irrelevant.  Her refusing to leave is very relevant.  Whether her stuff is in there or not doesn't matter.  It's his house.  If she wanted to go get the cops and pursue the issue, then fine, but she needed to leave when asked.

That whole thing with the former cop was hinky.  That was an indication to me that she was very manipulative with men because she could get them to believe her.  I also think there's more than a decent chance that she inflicted some of those bruises on herself.

Victoria reminds me very much of Shayla Hubers from Kentucky, who also shot and killed her boyfriend.  Summer Benton may have issues of her own, but I think there's enough without her opinions and whatever to convict Victoria.  I think it's entirely possible that the jury could have set everything Detective Benton said aside and STILL convicted Victoria.

Edited by Ohmo.
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One thing I am curious about is how he came to be at the house, they never mentioned a text or phone call between them that night. Still think she is guilty.

Also, if I was staying at my friends house I would not have the audacity to ask them to leave their home and stay somewhere else because I wanted to be alone. Um get a hotel if that's the case.

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7 hours ago, Ohmo said:

I also think there's more than a decent chance that she inflicted some of those bruises on herself.

On her phone, there was evidence that the bruises she was claiming happened as a result of the rape actually existed up to three days before. She had photographed herself in the mirror multiple times a day, and the bruises existed before that date. It was indisputable that many bruises were there the day before, and there were some photos that appeared to have bruising three days before, but they couldn't say 100% because of the lighting and shadows. 

13 hours ago, LGGirl said:

Thanks @Christina for the post.  From what was shown on the eposide, I would have found her not guilty Judy on the shoddy police work.  

While watching, I kept thinking that they would get into everything in the second hour, only to realize it was only one hour long. I knew she had been convicted quickly, so when the show said they sent the jury back to deliberate with only a few minutes of show left, it was clear to me that all we were getting was this water-downed version of the facts. They were talks back when the case was turned over to the jury about how detrimental it would be, since it was a Friday at 4:00 pm and it was a holiday weekend. There were several legal reporters who thought it may bring an appeal issue, because the jurors would rush through to be home for the three day weekend. 

Based on what aired, I wouldn't have been surprised of an acquittal or hung jury, because they didn't show us the evidence that made the conviction a practical slam dunk. Her phone had a lot information that the jurors saw but we viewers did not. 

Just like Jodi Arias and Shayla Hubers, a lot of the information was released calling her a sex symbol that could manipulate men by her feminine wiles. Almost every article discussed her looks and how she had men wrapped around her finger because of her looks, and many thought the men on the jury wouldn't believe a pretty woman could kill. There have been several trials, in real life, where a victim's look caused the jury to be more lenient. Jodi Arias, for example. In the first trial, the jury foreman said that Jodi was too pretty to kill, and it ended up hanging on the sentencing portion. 

Detective Benson still sucked at her job, though. 

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Benton was the chief detective on the case wasn't she?

How does she not know that toxicology reports were her responsibility to order?

This show did her no favors.  If I was her boss I'd fire her.

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5 hours ago, CaughtOnTape said:

Benton was the chief detective on the case wasn't she?

How does she not know that toxicology reports were her responsibility to order?

This show did her no favors.  If I was her boss I'd fire her.

Her excuse was that it was her first case in Cobb County.

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18 hours ago, CaughtOnTape said:

How does she not know that toxicology reports were her responsibility to order?

I'd think that that would have been explained to her when she started work there, although admittedly I'd never heard of it being a detective's responsibility to order medical examiner toxicology reports.  Where I live (FL) that's completely the ME's responsibility, although the detective may have input if there are specific drugs that should be looked for.  A general tox screen is run on most, if not all ME cases that require an autopsy, especially in a homicide.  It seems odd to me that in a homicide case nothing would have been run without the detective specifically ordering it.  I'd think the ME would have needed toxicology answers in order to write a detailed autopsy report.

Definitely not excusing other aspects that are problematic though, her stubbornness, refusal to admit mistakes and tendency to jump to conclusions is very dangerous for a cop, especially a homicide detective.  

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On 11/13/2017 at 7:30 PM, biakbiak said:

Her excuse was that it was her first case in Cobb County.

I think it was Dekalb County? Either way, she's a terrible detective and should be fired. 

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I am so glad the jury got this decision right!  I'm a binge show watcher & usually spend time between episodes googling different aspects, opinions & trying to find more facts from the trials, etc. (It's way too hard to include every detail, witness, etc in an approximate 45 minute show)  Ms Rickman seemed to be very accustomed to playing the victim & turning on the tears to gain sympathy,  etc.   Thank Goodness the court system saw her for what she is..

The show that was filming had nothing to do with it & is not to blame.

As to the negative comments regarding Det. Benton, I can understand people's frustration, but 1, she was not on trial & 2, they could throw out all of her testimony & the defendant would've still been found guilty. (9 shots hit him regardless)

As far as no toxicology on the 'true' victim, alcohol or drugs that was or was not in his system at the time of his murder would be irrelevant. He was not the one who committed a crime. 

& regarding the comment about the jurors, oh my, SMH. This case was basically cut & dry. (Not alot to deliberate) I also would never believe there'd be 12 citizens that were miraculously all picked for the same trial, who all agreed to shun their duty to give someone a fair trial & have a unanimous vote of guilty, just so they could begin their holiday weekend. (If that were the case, why not all vote Not Guilty)

Sorry for my long comment, but I've become so frustrated w/the whole victim-hood mentality lately. (They're only making it more difficult for 'real' victims of abuse & rape to be taken serious or get the help they need & deserve)

Peace to Will Carter's family & friends.

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