What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)

Classroom Cruelty

January 30, 2024 Jameson Keys & Caroline Season 2 Episode 4
Classroom Cruelty
What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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Our dialogue recounts the harrowing path of two premeditated murders.  The first case involves the 2021 murder of Spanish teacher, Nahema Graber, in rural Iowa. The second the 1975 case of Debbie Gamma, a student whose life ended at the hands of her English teacher, Raymond Payne.

 https://www.the-independent.com/news/world/americas/crime/nohema-graber-jeremy-goodale-willard-mille-b2448484.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeremy-goodale-iowa-teen-sentenced-killing-spanish-teacher-nohema-graber/

https://www.dailyamerican.com/story/news/local/2020/12/02/teacher-raymond-payne-who-strangled-erie-student-debbie-gama-in-1975-dies-at-sci-laurel-highlands/115798806/

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1030825753624417&type=3

Contact us at: whatweloseintheshadows@gmail.com



Background music by Michael Shuller Music

Speaker 1:

Good morning and welcome to what we Lose in the Shadows.

Speaker 2:

A father-daughter true crime podcast.

Speaker 1:

My name is Jameson Keyes.

Speaker 2:

I'm Caroline.

Speaker 1:

Good morning Caroline. How are you Good? How are you Very good. So are you all caught up on your NFL Super Bowl matchup yet?

Speaker 2:

I like the Taylor Swift team.

Speaker 1:

The team's Swifty has made it to the Super Bowl.

Speaker 2:

Oh my God, have they? Yes, oh my goodness, I might actually watch if she's there. Is she performing? That would be sick, oh my God.

Speaker 1:

No, Usher is performing.

Speaker 2:

Interesting Should have been Taylor Swift.

Speaker 1:

Although how old is Usher now? He's like 95, isn't he?

Speaker 2:

He's probably younger than you.

Speaker 1:

That would definitely be younger than me. No, he's. I don't know how old he is. What is he? He's like 30 or 40?

Speaker 2:

He's probably 45, pushing 50. Right no?

Speaker 1:

actually, taylor Swift is performing in Tokyo the day before the Super Bowl, so she has to get on her personal jet and fly back to Las Vegas, where the Super Bowl is going to be.

Speaker 2:

I had a friend who flew, whose dad was a pilot and who flew Taylor Swift. Sometimes he flew for private jets and stuff. He said she was nice yeah. I forget to it's nice, I don't. I never expect it from famous people.

Speaker 1:

I'm still rooting against Team Swifty and the Kansas. City. They seem to win all the time.

Speaker 2:

Oh, do they? Yeah, again, I have literally never paid attention.

Speaker 1:

Only her relationship with Travis Kelsie is the only way to make the football.

Speaker 2:

Trigger warnings for today are rape, strangulation, battery, murder and femicide Yikes. School and educational spaces are supposed to be some of the best places for many people. They should inspire children and adults alike. However, some of the spaces are tainted with toxic, hateful people. We see this on the news and on social media the epidemic of school shootings that take place in schools across the United States. These, however, do not fall into that category of school shooters. Today, I wanted to discuss two stories of how entitlement and rage took the lives of people that deserve to have peaceful existences, and how they met their murderers in one of the places we all deserve to feel safe in School.

Speaker 2:

November 2, 2021, not too long ago, noema Gramer was taking a walk in Fairfield Park. Fairfield is a small Iowa town about 100 miles southeast of Des Moines. Please silence your phones, thank you. You're going to be kicked out of the theater after this One morning. Noema was born in Jalapa, mexico. She had been a high school Spanish teacher in Iowa at the time of her attack. After school, 66-year-old Noema drove to the park for a walk. She got out of her car and she started on the trail around 4 pm. Not long after that, two teenage boys jumped out of the brush and started beating Noema with a baseball bat.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

After the boys finished attacking Noema, they stole her car and witnesses saw them driving it away from the park around 45 minutes later. Her car was found later another day I think abandoned by the side of a rural road. Jeremy Goodale testified later saying that they, him and his friend, had planned to murder her for about two weeks before the actual incident.

Speaker 1:

Wow, how did they know her?

Speaker 2:

Now get this. I'm glad you asked Over a bad grade in Spanish. Oh my god, I'm so serious. I'm so serious. How insane is that Pretty?

Speaker 1:

insane, what the hell.

Speaker 2:

She was their Spanish teacher. She wasn't even Goodale's Spanish teacher. She was Miller's Spanish teacher the other boy.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

Anyways, we'll get into that. Goodale was an accomplice to Willard Miller, who was the one who had the bad grade. He testified that Miller struck her first and then he delivered the fatal blow. After that they dragged her off of the trail and into the woods. They had brought a wheelbarrow as well, attempting to cover up their teacher's body.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

All over a grade, goodale decided that this was a good thing to talk about on Snapchat. Of course, of course. Yeah, that was where some of the evidence was found that they used against him, I think murderers are often morons. There's another true crime podcast called Gruesome. I think it's them at least. Yeah, they always say they love a stupid criminal, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I love a stupid criminal, literally it's so funny Also shameless plug for that show, because I love them. Someone who he was friends with on Snapchat let the police see what Goodale had posted, which basically implied his confession of what they had done to his teacher or to their teacher. Not only the implied confession was posted on Snapchat, though. The investigators got a search warrant for Goodale's Snapchat account and went through it looking for any additional evidence, of which they found tons, I know he also posted about how they killed her, how they disposed of her body and how they intended to cover it up with a wheelbarrow. Miller was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 35 years. Andrea, which Miller was not the one who posted on Snapchat, so this was the one that had the bad grade. And then Goodale was just along for the ride Like what the hell.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, never trust a guy named Willard.

Speaker 2:

Willard? What If your name is Willard and you feel personally attacked by Jameson? Then that's okay. Andrea Blanco and Gustave Killander wrote for the Independent that Judge Sean Showers told Miller your horrific actions led to the death of Noeima Graber and her family will never be able to fill that void, Adding that he may have considered handing down a sentence of life imprisoned without the possibility of parole if that had been allowed within the parameters of the state law.

Speaker 2:

A 2016 law in Iowa banned sentencing without parole for juvenile defendants, For better or worse, I guess. I mean I don't really see the point in letting this person out. I mean, obviously they're unhinged. Sure, no one would ever do that, and you know what I mean. Goodale was sentenced to life with a possibility of parole after 25 years, which is not, yeah, I assume, because he testified against his friend at some point and ultimately himself testified against himself. Both boys have been ordered to pay $150k in damages to the Graber family, though I don't know how that's going to happen with them behind bars. I don't know if it's on the shoulders of their parents now. I don't know. That case very interesting.

Speaker 1:

Wow, interesting A couple of things there. The fact that they brought a wheelbarrow, it's so strange. Well, not even a tarp and it's premeditated.

Speaker 2:

Oh, it's 110% premeditated.

Speaker 1:

So you can never say, because he said two weeks in advance. You brought a wheelbarrow. You prepared for it two weeks in advance, so you've taken your defense attorney part of what they said. Well, it was an act of passion. No, it was an act of premeditation.

Speaker 2:

Right, which is why they got first degree murder, not second, because I think second is like an act of rage.

Speaker 1:

Right right.

Speaker 2:

And then is it third or fourth that say manslaughter.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Second case I wanted to discuss today is the same but different, so the opposite. This one is a teacher killing a student.

Speaker 1:

Oh wow, it's very interesting. That's very unique, right? You didn't see that much.

Speaker 2:

No, no, I think a student killing a teacher is more unique actually than a teacher killing a student. So the other case that we're going to be discussing is the disturbing murder of Debbie Gamma. This is an older case, so it happened in 1975. You may remember, actually, because you would have been like what? 18 at that point somewhere around there In 1975?. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I would have been 12.

Speaker 2:

Same thing? Yeah sure. A young teenage girl named Debbie Gamma was enrolled at Strong Vincent High School in Erie, pennsylvania, and, like most students, she had a favorite teacher. Her favorite teacher was named Raymond Payne. He was her English teacher.

Speaker 2:

One night in August of 1975, debbie Gamma was doing what many, if not most, 16-year-old girls and boys honestly do at some point in their lives arguing with their mother. Always, I was one of the worst, so I really can't fault her. Also, I can't fault the mother, because raising a child is really difficult, I'm sure, and leads to a lot of conflicting opinions, especially at that age. So Debbie was irritated and she stormed out of the house. Her mom assumed that she was going to calm down and come home, but that didn't happen. Debbie's mom started looking for her later on and looking for her at friends' houses, calling community members who may have seen her recently. No one knew where she could be. She's passed and her mother grew more and more concerned. After a few days, debbie's mom received the worst news that she could ever get Her daughter's body had been found and she was deceased.

Speaker 2:

Debbie was found in Casa Uego Creek in Crawford County, which is roughly 40 miles away. You know where it is. She was also found in suspicious circumstances, so she had wire wrapped around her neck, her hands and her feet. She also either had had sex this was a quote or likely, due to the state of her body that they were found in, that she had been sexually assaulted. They said that it could have been like a consensual, but I'm like I don't think so. Like what? And then all of a sudden she gets murdered. That doesn't make sense. You know what I mean? Like, I'm just like I don't like that, but this was written yeah, this was wire sort of.

Speaker 2:

Well, that, but also, like I think they're trying to say like she could have like, had sex like, and then ran into someone who murdered her. Yeah, but I'm just like that doesn't seem very likely. But anyways, whatever, that's what it said and I think it was written a long time ago, obviously. So the ME, so the medical examiner could not figure out which of the two it was, so it left up. It was left to possibly either the police were struggling to figure out what had happened. All of their leads, which were far and few in between, were dead ends. So after a few months Debbie's mom, betty, hired a PI, a private investigator. His name was Daniel Barber, and he started tracking down leads, settling on a promising lead, her high school English teacher, raymond Payne. Betty says police were not quick with their investigation. But after a few months they tested the wire against wire they found in Raymond's possession and it was a match. The police then arrested Raymond.

Speaker 2:

This is where the case gets strange. So going back with Raymond like a little bit of his history. So he was a creep. He was kicked out of one school in Bradford, pennsylvania, for misconduct with a student, which is very vague, but I assume it means being creepy to a student right. Somehow we got a job at a different high school, which is concerning Erie Public School District denies knowing anything about his history, which is odd because it's super simple to track and even if they were unaware of his misconduct in Bradford, people had already started complaining about his odd behavior with students in Erie, which again the public school system claims to be unaware of. But multiple people had complained to the public school system.

Speaker 1:

Right. I can remember there was a teacher that ended up being arrested for inappropriate actions with students and came to find out that he had been guilty of that in other places before. That. That's crazy. Well, keep in mind at that point in time, there is no internet References. If you leave a reference of former employer, you may have skipped an employer. You may have it was a lot more vague, that's so interesting. Back in the 60s, 70s, even as far as the 80s.

Speaker 2:

And also they didn't take it as seriously, which is crazy.

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean, if it was. If it was a student maybe you mean Well, so it may be the reason because they didn't classify things quite in the same way, right?

Speaker 2:

yeah.

Speaker 1:

You know there's the whole, that whole period of time. There was the whole. Well, was she dressed inappropriately?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, literally so ridiculous.

Speaker 1:

You're victim, you know.

Speaker 2:

Blaming, yeah, blaming, the whole time.

Speaker 1:

Disgusting.

Speaker 2:

So he was said to often molest young girls by grooming them to perform sexual favors during lunchtime. People recalled him right, it's horrible. People recalled him putting a piece of paper over his classroom window to the hall and closing the blinds to that lead outside during lunchtimes. Yeah, like he was a pervert.

Speaker 1:

Yes, he was Yep.

Speaker 2:

Debbie was known to be one of the girls who would visit with her English teacher pain during lunchtime, and it's rumored that they had a falling out at the end of school during the year of 1975, only a few months before Debbie would be found dead. Raymond admitted to tying her to a tree with said wire, but he said he didn't kill her. Sure, right, exactly. So in 1997, he did plead guilty to murdering her, though it's very conflicting, I don't know. He just went back and forth. Three judge panel decided that his story of not killing her seemed unlikely, because why would he tie a student up to a tree and just leave her in the woods? And then she died Like I don't know. And then she no, actually, and then she was thrown into the river. Strange, he was sentenced to life in prison.

Speaker 2:

There was a student who went to school with Debbie, named John Laskaris. It is said that they were using drugs, him and Payne, his teacher, together, and that the two of them raped and murdered Debbie together, even sicker Yep. They strangled her with the wire and then dumped her body into the creek. So his property was very close to that creek where she was found, and John Laskaris testified for the police against Payne Payne then claimed his innocence from behind bars, after already saying that he was guilty, but also saying he wasn't. He has an entire blog dedicated to his lies. It's crazy. I won't even mention the name because it doesn't even deserve a look. Of course. He appealed his case and went through long appeals, a long process, before finally being denied for his appeal In the end of 2020, he died after testing positive for COVID in jail.

Speaker 1:

What a shame.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, not too broken up. John, however, walked away from this case without any charges. Wow, how old was he? He was a child. He was a child, he was 16, but still, this is 1975. Isn't that insane?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it is insane.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, I don't know how this happened. It was like the 70s and men were running the world. I don't know. I really have no idea. You know what I mean. That's so crazy.

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean, I don't think the laws had caught up at that point in time with the terrible things that people were doing. So if someone was a teenager, well then they're just not fully formed mentally, so they didn't know what they were doing.

Speaker 2:

Of course they knew what they were doing, but it was murder. You know what I mean. That's so intense, it's not like stealing, right. Anyways, so moving on to unverified information that I found on Facebook, because I was really researching this case, from someone who said that they are related to the Gamma family. They said that John Laskaris was found guilty for a different murder, possibly up to three murders, one of which was his girlfriend.

Speaker 1:

So he's a serial killer.

Speaker 2:

Yep, basically, but I think it's safe to say he finally got what was coming to him. If that's true, wow, and those are the cases that I have brought for you today.

Speaker 1:

Wow, they're both equally as awful.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's very scary. It's so scary and it's just so strange to me because I don't know. Sometimes I work in schools and I just can't imagine the rage. You know what I mean, because the kids are annoying, sometimes, yes, but typically okay, and it's hard to imagine that a child would murder their teacher or a teacher would murder a student.

Speaker 1:

They're both equally as bad, obviously. I mean they're horrible but it's crazy. But at the same time the adult, the teacher, right. Yes, that seems to somehow be a little worse, because I think so too, kind of, kind of.

Speaker 2:

But I mean, at the end of the day they're both horrible, they're both murder, but I mean it's not I don't know, because they were 16, the boys they should know, obviously they should know not to murder people.

Speaker 1:

Well, they should have been tried as adults.

Speaker 2:

They were. They were, but they still. Even though they were tried as adults doesn't mean they are, so I guess they can't get the sentence of an adult, but they were tried as adults, if that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

Right, Well, but I mean in the last story, even though it happened earlier.

Speaker 2:

Oh my God, it's so crazy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's like well he got off scot-free and was able.

Speaker 2:

I did not believe that.

Speaker 1:

The supposedly the things that happened afterwards the murders and so on was after that initial event right. So by not punishing him as an adult, you were complicit in those murders.

Speaker 2:

Yep, Exactly, Wow. But even even like children, even if children murder people or other children, they are still tried and they're still found guilty and they still have a sentence or some kind of punishment Anyway. So he literally just wasn't tried. Wow because he cooperated with the police and they were just like okay, thanks. Wow, it's crazy and I know they wanted to get that teacher but still obviously it didn't like obviously that's not just a one-time thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I don't like the fact that people make these plea deals and then get lesser sentences or no sense at all. We talked about Jeff Rebson a few-, right, he made episodes back and the fact that he came to some agreement with the local district attorney in Florida and for some of the worst things you could possibly do, which is harming or sexually abusing a child, he got 13 months in jail and basically he was able to go into work every day. He just had to sleep there. That's so incredibly ridiculous and the whirlwind that that brings with it is all the all the lives that were ruined and damaged by his activities. After the fact, you had him in 2005. You had him.

Speaker 2:

It was too early. They didn't care. They literally just didn't care. They like back in. I feel like it was back like before me too, maybe like a little bit before that like that's when it started like they really started cracking down on like sexual predators, but before that I feel like it was just like it's your problem. You know what I mean?

Speaker 1:

No, not necessarily. It really depended on the victim. You would get the full wrath of the courts and everyone else. Depending on the victim, yeah, if it was a, it was a woman or a girl of color. If it was a girl that was of you know native origin, yeah, you know, they might get completely left out in the cold. Exactly, it was a young blonde girl taken from you know a wealthy family. You're going to get the whole media circus. You're going to get the full extent of the law and that sort of thing. I think we're better nowadays. Maybe deal with things a little more even handedly.

Speaker 2:

I think more even handedly, but I still know that many people fall through the cracks. Like we still see it.

Speaker 1:

It's tragic. It sounds like that teacher never had any business being a teacher.

Speaker 2:

No, obviously not. I mean Jesus.

Speaker 1:

Well, I can remember when you were in elementary, oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

I'm sorry, is it elementary?

Speaker 2:

school.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was elementary, that there was a gym teacher, that was arrested for sexually abusing children. Yes, and he had been able to go from the job where he was accused of doing that. They didn't prosecute him. He moves there to another job where he has still has access to children. So even then in the you know, in the 2000s, right, oh yeah, it's insane. There should be some system where you are marked, you know, for the rest of your life as a child molester as a pedophile.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what's it called? It's the sexual predators list.

Speaker 1:

I don't envy people in the legal world.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's very interesting. Yeah, yeah, it's, yeah, it's crazy.

Speaker 1:

You've never been on a trial, have you? Yeah, you've never been called as to like jury duty or anything.

Speaker 2:

I haven't been on trial. I have been to court for peace orders and restraining orders that I've loved it against others and I've interpreted in those kind of settings so kind of.

Speaker 1:

So on trial technically means that you're being the one being.

Speaker 2:

Oh, so no, I was of course. I've never been prosecuted.

Speaker 1:

Right, I would want to declare that up, have you no?

Speaker 2:

Why did you ask that no?

Speaker 1:

no, no, yeah, If you've ever been in jury, duty, right no?

Speaker 2:

I haven't Thank God.

Speaker 1:

Interesting experience. You're called in there. They tell you you're going to be sitting for a jury, potentially in a big pool of people for days right.

Speaker 2:

And they pay you minimum wage.

Speaker 1:

They don't even pay you minimum wage.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they do.

Speaker 1:

I thought, they pay you a small stipend or something of that for the day and they give you a meal allowance right, a meal allowance, yeah, so, yeah, so they'll take care of your lunch or something. After the fact, you'd be able to apply to get the lunch paid for. But if you're chosen for a larger trial, then that's something completely different. You know, you can be sitting there and you're part of a jury. They go through and they pick so many jurors and then they each attorney has the ability to rule out a few people. Right? I don't like that person. I don't like that person Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then you end up with your jury of 12 and you end up with a few extra folks, just in case you know, something happens.

Speaker 2:

Someone gets.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but no, I've never been part of a. Well, no, that's not true. I was part of a trial one time that I was sitting on the jury, but after the first day, after the first day, they, they, they came to an agreement, so it was. So what kind of like trial was it? It was an abuse case.

Speaker 2:

It was a husband and wife domestic violence case Gotcha.

Speaker 1:

And I was surprised. I was surprised I was still on the jury, yeah, and because they asked, they said, you know, they asked me a question about domestic violence and I'm like, well, yes, I would definitely convict if someone would prove to be abusive to a spouse, absolutely. So I was surprised I wouldn't, wasn't punched out at the end of that one anyway.

Speaker 2:

They probably were just like. But he's a man, so Bites a man yeah. Better than a woman, because we know they're going to lead with their emotions. I can literally hear the conversation that they had. Gosh, I would honestly if I was ever in that situation. God forbid, I do not want to go on the jury.

Speaker 1:

It's inevitable. It's inevitable.

Speaker 2:

If you couldn't hear that that was me knocking on wood, Literally. I feel like if I was in that situation, I'd be like, yeah, no, I could definitely, you know, see both sides for sure, and then, when it gets down to it, be like you're going away.

Speaker 1:

But you know what, honestly, you would probably love that the whole jury duty experience because you could sit there and read for hours on end while they're deciding if you're going to, but I wouldn't get paid very well, so I'd have to literally miss pay to go and sit there.

Speaker 2:

Gosh, I would be so irritated. No, that would not be fun.

Speaker 1:

If you work for a corporate entity, jury duty is part of the thing. So if you're chosen for jury duty, you're still paid your daily wage.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's not me, Unfortunately, that is not me. That maybe. Ok, hopefully I don't get that, unless I do find myself in that kind of a job, which may or may not happen. We'll see.

Speaker 1:

But to any last predictions on the Super Bowl.

Speaker 2:

Taylor Swift is going to win.

Speaker 1:

Taylor Swift so by that. I assume you mean the Kansas City Chiefs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

As for me, I will take the San Francisco 49ers.

Speaker 2:

Follow the show on whatever streaming site you're listening on.

Speaker 1:

And remember. All of the source material will be available in the show notes.

Speaker 2:

And follow us on Instagram at what we lose in the shadows and let us know if you want to hear a specific case.

Speaker 1:

Or if you just want to give us some feedback.

Speaker 2:

OK, join us in the shadows next Tuesday. Bye.

Entitlement and Rage in School
Disturbing and Complex Murders
Jury Duty and the Legal System