TRACY BEATTY VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Bad to the Bone
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MW is Dr Michelle Ward, the interviewer and narrator ;
TB is Tracy Beatty, the death row inmate;
Tamara is Tamara Beatty, his daughter;
LW is Lieanna Wilkerson, Carolyn Click's neighbor;
Carolyn Click, aka "Callie", is Beatty's deceased mother.
MW- It began as a hostile mother and son relationship. I want to find out what can drive a man to kill the woman who gave him life. I'm Dr Michelle Ward. And I'm a criminal psychologist and trial consultant. I've researched hundreds of criminal cases, determined to find out what drives people to kill. But no amount of research beats meeting the killer face to face. Using techniques I've honed through my career, I'm going to take you into the mind of a murderer.
In 2003, 62 year-old Callie Click lived alone in Whitehouse, Tx. but had lots of neighborhood friends. Her granddaughter says she lit up the room.
Tamara- (01:36) She always had a twinkle in her eye, she always read the Bible and believed a lot in God. And she just was a pretty amazing person.
At the age of 19 Callie had one son, Tracy Beatty, and worked hard to raise him on her own.
Tamara- My grandmother was a single mother and she worked two jobs, she did everything she could to make ends meet.
From birth, Beatty was a difficult child (photo of TB around 5 yo where he seems to have vision problems).... and things only got worse as he grew up. But no matter how hard they fought, Tracy was Callie's only child and despite warnings from loved ones, she refused to give up on him.
Tamara- (02:41) She loved him no matter what and she forgave him despite everything that he'd done.
But on November 25th, 2003, everyone's worst fear came true when a raging fight between mother and son ended with Tracy Beatty strangling Callie to death in her own home. He was convicted of capital murder in 2004 and sentenced to die.
(03:20) I'm on my way to Texas death row to interview Tracy Beatty. From what I've learned, this is the kind of guy who has never been able to control his impulses and urges and he responds to every situation the exact same way: violence and aggression. I mean this guy strangled his own mother!
Tracy "Trey" Beatty has been on death row for ten years. During my case research I learned that Beatty's last state appeal was denied. I'm hoping he'll be more honest about his crime, knowing that he'll never leave prison alive. We're allowed thirty minutes for set-up and only one hour for the interview so I've got to work fast.
MW- Hi Mr Beatty, I'm Dr Michelle Ward. How are you feeling today?
TB- I'm allright.
(04:32) Right away I notice that he has a nervous twitch. In fact his whole demeanor is cagey and restless. I can also see that his arm is covered in an angry red rash.
MW- I see that you're bleeding a little bit. Are you okay?
TB- They say that I've got some kind of a fungus growing on my skin right now.
MW- It looks really uncomfortable.
TB- It's allright. Itches a little bit.
(04:54) I'm going to have to tread carefully because he seems unpredictable and impulsive. If he gets agitated he could stop this interview instantly.
MW- Why did you want to do this interview?
TB- Hell, I'm getting close to my execution date.
MW- Are you scared?
TB- Nah. I'm tired of being locked up like an animal.
According to recent studies, less than 2% of roughly 180,000 convicted murderers in the US today have killed a parent. It's chilling to think I'm sitting right across one of them today. I'm glad for this protective glass between us.
MW- When you were strangling your mother, were you at any point like "Oh my God! This is my mother!"?
TB- Naah, naah, I was still pissed off. She was still a bitch.
(05:44) Beatty's voice is devoid of emotion. He's not expressing any regrets or remorse. Those rare killers who murder their mothers often have one of the following in common: many suffer from mental illness, others were once abused by their mothers, or there is money to be gained from the crime. From my research it doesn't seem like Beatty falls into any of these categories.
MW- My goal is to understand how you ended up here but in order to do that it's best for me to start at the beginning and ask you about your childhood. Has anybody in your family ever been in prison?
TB- My grandfather's brother.
MW- Was it a violent offense?
TB- Nah... Yes, yes, he, um, he raped his own daughter.
MW- He raped his own daughter?...(scary music) Yes, that's pretty violent!
(06:36) The fact that his own uncle committed such a violent crime against an immediate family member suggests a genetic predisposition to violence in this family.
MW- How about your father?
TB- I've never met him.
I tried to dig up information about Beatty's father but there's no trace of him and Callie never spoke about him to friends or family. It makes me wonder if his father was a violent, angry man too.
MW- Did you feel like you were violent, growing up?
TB- (07:03) I got into a lot of fights.
MW- Tell me about your relationship with your mother when you were a child.
TB- (07:25) She... my mother was a control freak. She wanted to control everything I did. And I was one of them unruly little bastards that wouldn't be controlled. I mean all you gotta do is look at the woman's background to see that she was a bitch. Nobody could put up with her for a long period of time.
MW- And you just called her a bitch.
TB- She was always a bitch when nobody else was around. The woman I knew wasn't always the woman that was seen in public. She'd act two different ways. She'd act like the nice grandmotherly type in public, and then be a bitch when we got home. That's why we never got along.
As a mother, it was Callie's job to discipline Beatty. But when she did, he'd lash out in a rage. It's clear that he struggles to express himself, even when he's not upset. So I can imagine that in a moment of anger, that frustration would boil over into a rage, just like a small child throwing tantrums.
Beatty tells me that by the time he was adolescent, he was doing serious drugs.
TB- (08:31) I was alright 'til the 8th grade, then I started getting into all kinds of trouble.
MW- When you were doing drugs and drinking?
MW- So what were your drugs of choice?
MW- Even in 8th grade?
TB-I just wanted to... I just wanted to get high. (smiles)
Beatty was already a rageful, maladapted kid. Meth is a drug that can alter the normal functioning of the limbic system. That's the part of the brain that processes emotions like anger, so the meth was amplifying and distorting the anger he already felt. Beatty tells me he dropped out of high school at 16 and two years later he had his first serious arrest.
MW- Tell me about the first time.
TB- When I was 18.
MW- And that was for...
TB- DWI and evading arrest.
MW- You ran or you drove?
TB- I drove. They said I tried to outrun the cops but I didn't. They came up behind me and rammed the back end of the car and I pulled over.
Beatty was arrested and fined, the first of a series of minor offenses that would span the next few years. Meanwhile Beatty made some efforts to land on his feet and rein in his bad behavior. Around that time he decided that he couldn't stand to be around his mother anymore because she drove him crazy. So he moved out of the house and cut off all contact with her. He went to trade school and became an electrician.
When he was 19, Beatty met his wife Dolores through a mutual friend.
Tamara- (10:14) My mother was 17 so he was her first love. He had the most gorgeous blue eyes that anybody could ever see. I mean he was a very good looking man. I know that she was completely in love with him.
After only four months of dating they got married and soon had two children.
MW- You had a couple of daughters?
TB- Tiffany and Tamara.
MW- How did you feel about them?
TB- They're good kids, I mean they don't bother anybody.
MW- (10:46) Did you love them?
He says he loved his girls but he has no expression and a "flat affect". He seems very emotionally stunted. I feel that Beatty is only capable of expressing himself one way: through violence. And in fact my research has revealed horrifying allégations that he abused his daughters.
MW- How did you treat them when you were around them? I mean, did you beat your kids?
TB- I don't believe in spanking kids. There are other ways to discipline children.
MW- So you didn't beat them?
MW- I've read that you have put cigarettes out on one of your daughters.
But Tamara says that her father is lying.
Tamara- (11:33) My aunt had said one day that I was in my crib and had soiled my pants, and he proceeded to pick me up and slapped me because I had dirtied my diaper. He did put out a cigarette on me as well.
Tamara was too young to remember and only found out about her father's abuse from other family members years later. Her mother never said a word about it. I suspect Beatty was violent with her too and like many abused women, she chose to suffer in silence.
Tamara- (12:05) The one thing about my grandmother and my mother, is that neither one of them, throughout my entire life or childhood, and even to this day, my mother ever spoke an ill word about my father regardless of what the circumstances were at that time.
But not only did he harm his own daughter. His cruel and violent behavior was directed to anyone who crossed his path. It was only a matter of time before it turned lethal. He was a violent and angry man who made a habit of lashing out to those closest to him. Now I've learned through court records that his two daughters weren't the only children he tortured: in 1984, Beatty almost killed his 18-month old niece.
MW- Tell me about that.
TB- (13:05) I had two lamp cords. She kept going over there and grabbing it, pulling it back and forth, listening to the little chain rattling. I got up, telling her about four or five times. She didn't want to learn... the easy way, so I said "To hell with it". The next time she came back to do it she pulled the wires up against her stomach and they touched each other and just arced.
Tamara- (13:30) I don't think it's the truth, I think he's lying about that. He was watching her and he electrocuted my cousin with an extension cord. At which point she almost died.
I don't think that Beatty necessarily got pleasure out of hurting his niece. I think he just hurts anyone who irritates him. But even now, decades later, he can't admit what he did.
MW- You didn't do that?
TB- No! I was responsible for her, you know, I was babysitting, but it wasn't my decision. (Does he mean he had no choice, he was left alone with the child?)
MW- And it was not from you?
TB- No, it wasn't from me.
Beatty's personal history suggests that he has almost no empathy or emotional attachment. He even lacks the instinct to protect his own family. Instead he targets them for violence, especially if they're weak and vulnerable. After he electrocuted his niece, CPS got involved and they gave Beatty's wife Dolores an ultimatum.
(14:30) Tamara- CPS came in and they told my mother that either she had to leave him or she was gonna lose her chidren. She chose her chidren.
MW- Dolores filed for divorce right away, after less than five years of marriage.
Tamara- (14:42) He was pretty abusive to her as well. It was probably a door that she was waiting for God to open.
Beatty was convicted of seriously injuring his niece and sentenced to four years in prison. He was released early on probation.
TB- Back then it was overcrowded and they would let people out early. I mean you come down with a 15 year sentence and you're gonna leave after 4˝ years.
MW- I see, I see.
But in 1988, after more than a half-dozen incidents with authorities, 27 y.o. Beatty was busted for auto theft and this time he served almost five years in prison. When he got out of jail, Beatty had no money, no job and no place to live. So he moved back home, the only place in the world where he was still welcome.
MW- Tell me about it.
TB- Everything was going fine, she wasn't bothering me, you know, she was leaving me alone.
At first, Beatty kept busy doing odd jobs in town, but what little money he made, he spent going out at night and drinking. And this behavior didn't sit well with his mother. Before long it was the source of their constant arguments.
TB- (16:07) It's still the same thing, the same combative relationship, man. Me and her just couldn't get along.
MW- Were you starting the fights?
TB- Not really. But she was pissed off talking "You haven't changed at all, you're still doing just what you wanna do and the hell with everybody else."
LW- It was always just verbal, it waas always just yelling. I think she was trying to control and he was just not going to be controlled.
Callie may not have realized it, but she enabled her son every time she opened her door to him. Bad behavior was met with nagging, but also a hot meal and a place to sleep. Beatty knew he was dependent on his mom, but he resented her for it and resisted her control.
Tamara- (16:55) You could see that she was upset but he was her only son and she loved him no matter what.
According to a police report, in 1992 Beatty and Callie had a huge blowout.
MW- What had you been fighting about?
TB- Me coming in late. She got pissed off because I came in at like 4:30 in the morning. She started screaming "If you're gonna be staying here, you're gonna have to have your ass in at such and such a time!" I thought "Woman, I'm not no damn teen aged kid anymore!"
Callie was probably hard on Beatty because she wanted him to turn his life around. But once agitated he couldn't reel himself back in so she played a dangerous game of Russian roulette with him. The tension between them finally exploded into brutal violence.
Tamara- (17:46) The story I heard from my grandmother was, his parole officer was coming and she wouldn't get up and clean the house up to his standards, which initiated a fight.
TB- I lost it. I just completely lost it.
(18:09) Callie told family he threw hot coffee in her face and then nearly killed her with one punch.
TB- When I hit her, she went down and hit the door of the cupboard and it messed her up.
Tamara- He beat her and put her in the hospital.
We already know his limbic system which controls emotions is likely impaired, perhaps from some combination of genetics and drug use. So his rage goes from zero to 60 in a flash. After the attack, Callie pressed charges against her son and Beatty was sent back to jail.
Tamara- (18:46) She was scared for her life. Pressing charges was probably the only way that she was able to protect herself from him, knowing that he would be incarcerated again.
Beatty was sentenced to ten years in prison, and this time he had to serve all of them.
MW- How did you feel about that?
TB- Oh I was just pissed off. 'Cause she was all the time trying to get me sent back to prison.
Tamara- He was obviously very angry with her, to put him back in incarceration. He had a lot of time to sit there and be angry and dwell on it.
So even though it was his own fault he was back in jail, he blamed his mother, and as Beatty sat brooding in his cell, his anger grew. And when he was finally released, that rage would be released with lethal consequences.
(19:42) I'm halfway through my interview with deathrow inmate Tracy Beatty and from what I've heard so far I'm beginning to think he'll never stop blaming his mother, and take full responsibility for his crime. I've just heard that in 1992 when he was 27 y.o. he hit his mother so severely she nearly died.
MW- And your mom pressed charges against you.
MW- So now you're back in jail. That had to make you mad.
TB- Yeah. I didn't see her for about eight years.
MW- Did she ever come to see you?
TB- (20:11) She came down one time with my daughters. And it hurt, man! I mean they were right there and I couldn't reach out and hold them.
MW- So you love your girls?
MW- Did you want to see your daughters?
TB- That was the last time. I didn't want to see them no way in prison no more.
This is the first time I've detected a glimmer of emotion in Beatty. But he seems to be fighting it. It shows me he's not completely devoid of feelings. He's just extremely low on empathy.
Tamara- (20:43) I don't think that he knows how to love someone.
During his decade in prison, Beatty's mean streak got worse. Dept of Corrections records tell me that over the course of his incarceration, he was involved in 16 different incidents, including assaulting a prison guard.
Tamara- (21:05) He's beating people up, he's beating prison guards up, and I wouldn't be surprised if he even killed on the Inside. I guess he felt like he had nothing else to lose, he was already in there.
In prison, people are always controlling you, and Beatty hates that. He lashes out at the people who irritate him like children, his mother, and now prison officials. Beatty got three additional years for his assault on a guard. And except for a few letters to his daughters, Beatty had no contact with his family for more than ten years.
On october 23, 2003, Beatty was due to be released on parole. Meanwhile Callie was desperate for reconciliation with her son. I'd call this "pathological altruism" on Callie's part. She hoped against hope that she could save her son, but she ignored her own safety in the process.
Tamara- (22:08) My grandmother always wanted to have a relationship with him again and the last thing she wanted to do was to make amends with her only son.
LW- She told me that she wrote to the parole board asking him to be paroled to her home, and I said "Have you lost your mind? Why in the world would you want him to come back here?" And her answer to me was "I have to! This is the last chance we have for a mother-son relationship."
Tamara- (22:44) She herself was not concerned about the anger he might have towards her.
MW- Despite his seething resentment towards her, Beatty moved back with her because he had nowhere else to go.
MW- How were things when you first moved back with your mother? Did you argue every day?
TB- (23:00) Not for the first two or three days, but after that, yeah.
LW- They had some terrible fights and it was awful. You know it's just stupid disagreements but it would just escalate to a screaming match between the two. He said "I just can't do anything right to please her." Maybe she was trying to make him into something he was just never gonna be. She might have been a petite lady, but she was a scrapper, she was a fighter...
Callie was hellbent on rehabilitating her son but her tough love approach on top of his humiliating dependence on her was just stoking the fire of Beatty's rage. Beatty tells me he realized he made a mistake moving in with his mother.
MW- Why did you think it was a mistake?
TB- (23:42) Because I knew she hadn't changed at all.
MW- What do you mean?
TB- She was still a bitch.
MW- Did you hit your mom when you guys would fight...
TB- No, no.
MW- ... with each other? Did it escalate to physical violence?
TB- No because I usually walked out.
LW- He just took off down the road, stiff legged, straight-backed and angry, and I think he was just putting some space between him and her.
I think that Beatty tried to walk away because by this time, he understood he had poor control over his impulses. He was on parole and didn't want to go back to prison. Lieanna, Callie's neighbor, was concerned that she wasn't safe with her son.
LW- (24:23) He's a pretty scary-looking guy. He has a tear-tattoo and he's pretty rough-looking and I thought "Hoooh!"
MW- To defuse some of the tensions at home, she decided to offer Beatty some work around her yard.
LW- I was kind of scared but you know, I thought it was gonna help my friend to get him out of the house. He'd mow my yard, he'd cut some limbs and do some stuff like that for me to give him money so he could buy his own cigarettes. He didn't want his mom having to pay for his own cigarettes. And he was always very respectful. He had a spare key for my house so when he was doing yard work he could get water, something to eat, use the bathroom, whatever he needed. He proved himself trustworthy.
Beatty tells me that Lieanna's efforts to intervene made his mother angry.
MW- What happened?
TB- (25:14) I came in and she started bitching because I'd been over at Lieanna's house. That's one of the things about her that people don't understand. Her and Lieanna were like best friends before I paroled there. But she didn't want anything to do with Lieanna anymore, 'cause she interfered, you know. All she had to do was leave me the hell alone, and she wouldn't have it that way.
Lieanna agrees that Callie seemed upset.
LW- I don't know if she wanted to be the only one to help him, and resented me helping him. I don't know, I wish I knew. It definitely hurt our relationship. I'd leave cards on her door step, I would call and she wouldn't answer the phone when she knew it was me.
As the weeks passed, Beatty started to drink and using meth again.
Tamara- (26:05) I think if my child was drinking and doing drugs, and not doing what they were supposed to be doing, I would be on my child too.
After a month of trying to set her son on the right path, Callie finally realized her efforts were hopeless. On november 25, 2003, the fighting got so bad Callie told him he had to find a new place to live.
LW- She just couldn't take it anymore and she was getting scared. She'd had enough.
MW- She had actually asked you to leave.
TB- (26:37) She told me I needed to find another place to stay. She wanted me out by the time I totally discharged my sentence on the 16th of December. She said "I don't want you here after that".
MW- Did that make you mad at her?
TB- (shrugs) I didn't plan on staying there long anyway.
MW- So it didn't bother you that she kicked you out?
Wait a minute! Beatty had no money, no place to stay and no real job and he was still on parole. He had to be furious about getting kicked out! In his mind he'd been a good son, trying to restrain himself when she wound him up. Tamara was scared to death about how her father would react to her grandmother kicking him out.
Tamara- (27:28) I was very worried about her. I could tell from the tone of her voice that something wasn't right. My words to my grandmother were "He's probably going to kill you." And she said "Tamara, if that's what's supposed to happen, then it will happen."
My time with death row inmate Tracy Beatty is running out but I'm getting closer to discovering what drove this man to kill his mother Callie with his bare hands. I've learned he's been violent since childhood, and his anger issues have intensified over the years. And on November 25, 2003, two days before Thanksgiving, he reached a breaking point when his mother gave him three weeks to find a place to live. That afternoon Beatty started drinking and then went to Lieanna's house.
LW- (28:24) When I got back from work he was waiting on the front porch same as always.
Lieanna noticed nothing unusual about him. In fact she invited him in and gave him something to eat.
TB- We'd eat and watch that CSI Law and Order until 10 o'clock. Then I would leave and she'd go to bed.
LW- After he left at ten o'clock to go home I went into the kitchen and noticed an empty wine bottle sitting on the counter. I had no idea he had drunk the whole bottle of wine.
(28:53) Beatty tells me he'd barely opened the door when his mother started in on him.
TB- I'd been drinking all day. When I went in I was drunk. And she started bitching and raising hell, you know, talking about all that kind of (bleep) "Dopehead don't give a damn about nobody but myself" and all that (bleep). I didn't feel like hearing it. I told her that's fine, you're sitting there talking about all the (bleep) you want to, I'm out of here. I'm going to the bedroom to lay down and go to sleep. Wait and talk to me about this crap tomorrow. You know I'm drunk. Wait 'til I'm sober and then we'll talk about it."
Beatty was impulsive, drunk, and now his mother had taken away his only motive for self-restraint. Callie picked the worst possible time to poke this bear.
MW- So did she kind of have it coming because she was poking at you?
TB- (29:41) I was just trying to get the hell out of the living room. That's what I intended to do. Go to bed. And she wouldn't have it that way. She jumped up and grabbed me by my hair. When she did that I grabbed her by her throat and told her she's gonna let me go 'cause I was gonna beat the hell out of her. Instead of letting me go she kneed me in the nuts. When she did that, I don't know, I just lost it.
MW- (30:15) This is the first time we see Callie get physical with him. And it triggered a new level of fury within Beatty.
MW- What happened?
TB- I strangled her.
Strangulation is a brutally intimate mode of killing. Litterally squeezing the life from someone. When Beatty was done with her, Callie lay lifeless on the floor. He'd finally found a way to shut her up. Then he went to bed.
MW- Did you think she was still alive?
TB- (30:58) Yeah. I went to bed, went to sleep. Next morning I woke up, went down the hallway and she was still laying in the same place. I knew right then she was gone.
MW- Were you upset?
TB- Yeah. I mean people, they don't realize what it's like. Man, I never intended to kill her.
This is another rare moment of emotion. So I'm going to follow this path and see if I can find any glimmer of remorse.
TB- I couldn't believe I'd done something like that. I didn't know I was capable of doing something that... that violent.
MW- You clearly are feeling very emotional about this, now.
TB- Yeah, you know, I wish... I'd give anything to go back to that night, you know, do it all, do something different.
Beatty's getting a little choked-up here, but I can't tell if it's for his mother, or the fact that he's now on death row.
MW- So were you still mad at your mom even after you killed her?
TB- (32:05) Yeah, I was just pissed off 'cause I knew that she was gonna get what she wanted: me back in prison, you know.
He's done an emotional 180: from a moment of possible remorse, to now saying she'd goaded him into killing her just to put him back in jail. But Beatty's callous actions didn't end with him murdering his mother.
MW- What did you do then?
TB- (32:31) I undressed her and put her in the bathtub.
MW- Why did you undress her?
TB- (32:36) Because she had blood all over her clothes. She stayed in the bathtub for two days.
MW- And what was the reason for that?
TB- I had gotten a job!
MW- So you thought you needed to go to work?
TB- (looks puzzled and says nothing)
MW- You just murdered your mother and you're worried about your job?
TB- I don't know, I just went to.. I mean, I went, I went... kept going to work...
MW- And you thought you'd get away with it?
TB- I don't know.
He's flustered here, and caught off guard. His limited range of feeling is truly striking. It's as if it just occurred to him now, that leaving his mother's dead body in the tub is the wrong thing to do.
MW- You still have this problem that you have your mom in your house. Did you have a plan at this point about what you were gonna do with the body?
TB- (33:40) I didn't know what to do. I knew I had to get her out of the bathtub.
What Beatty does next would shock even the most depraved criminals I've talked to in my career.
LW- First thing he thought was, "How can I carry this out?" Not "How can I make this right?" but "How can I get away with this?"
So far, death row inmate Tracy Beatty has shown no remorse for killing his own mother. In fact, he still acts like she had it coming. He just admitted to me that after strangling her he went straight to work.
TB- (34:23) I had gotten a job with a construction crew building power lines up there. I kept going to work to make things look normal.
But he still had a big problem: what to do with the body he'd left to rot in the bathtub.
TB- I didn't have any experience in that kind of thing, you know... so I didn't know what the hell to do.
MW- So what did you do?
TB- I dug a little shallow grave and put her in it.
Beatty added cat litter and garlic to the grave, to hide the odor and avoid detection.
MW- How did you mark where you buried your mom? I mean burying her at the house makes it more likely that she's going to be found?
TB- Well she had said all along that when she died, that she wanted to be buried there, on top of the little hill where the house was.
MW- So you were honoring her wishes.
He's trying to convince me that this was some sort of tribute to his mother. But I think he dumped her body there because he didn't think anyone would look for her. Meanwhile he went to a neighbor's house for a Thanksgiving dinner. Guests noticed Beatty was acting nervous when they asked about Callie.
LW- (35:46) Trey kept getting up and going to the door, and looking out the door across the street, then coming back and sitting back down. He ate the meal and then he was gone. He left in Callie's car and we all knew that something was up with that because she never let him drive her car. Ever!
Tamara- Once I got the call from her neighbor saying that he was driving her car I contacted Smith County to have her investigated as a missing person.
Meanwhile Beatty was seen getting drunk and high with some junkie friends. Beatty used his mom's credit cards to fund his partying and he maxed out Callie's account. As days passed and Callie didn't come home, Lieanna was so alarmed she decided to see for herself.
LW- (36:41) I waited until Trey was gone one day and I went to Callie's house and went in to look for any sign of any foul play. Then I found little specks of blood all over the floor.
Lieanna told police everything she learned. Police went looking for Beatty. On the morning of december 19, they found him outside a cousin's house, asleep in a stolen truck.
TB-(37:18) I woke up with a guy on the other side of the window, looking at me with a gun and I'm like "Uh oh!" "Get out! Show me your hands. Put your hands up! Keep your hands visible!" and all that crap.
MW- Did you know right then what they were there for?
TB- Yeah, I kinda figured.
During custody, Beatty didn't confess or reveal the location of his mother's body. In fact he made a desperate last ditch effort to avoid getting charged, making up stories to explain her disappearance. In many of them he said a man named Junior had killed his mother.
MW- You said that Junior killed your mom, and that you killed Junior?
TB- (38:00) I told them that I dumped the bodies in Cedar Creek Lake. I figured that, you know, they can't find the bodies.
MW- ... and then another story where Junior buried your mom and you killed Junior and threw his body in the lake.
TB- Yeah. Hell, I don't know. I was so drunk I couldn't keep everything together.
MW- These were just stories that you made up...
TB- Yeah, coming out of nowhere.
These drunken stories offer a clear window into how Beatty's mind works. Violence is so natural to him, he tries to cover up a murder with another murder. I think Beatty told these stories for two reasons: 1) he wanted to blame the murder on someone else so he wouldn't have to take responsibility. And 2) it bought him more time while he sent police on a wild goose chase. With little evidence, Beatty was released while police looked for proof of his guilt.
Tamara- (38:51) I think that he knew at some point that he was going to get caught. He probably wanted to have as much time out free as he could before he got caught.
For five days, police looked for Callie and Junior, Beatty's made-up killer. They used cadaver dogs and searched the lake where Beatty had said he had dumped their bodies. But he couldn't keep up with the holes in his chaotic lies under police questioning. One month after he killed her, Beatty finally cracked and told police where her body was.
Tamara- (39:36) It was Dec. 23rd, the day before Christmas eve. we received a call from Smith County, they had found my grandmother's remains in a shallow grave next to her mobile home. I got on my knees and started crying.
LW- I didn't believe that he was capable of killing his mother. I never dreamed that he would go that far.
(40:04) On Dec. 30th, 2003, Beatty was charged with capital murder. The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to die by lethal injection. I don't think this murder was planned, but Beatty committed a shocking crime, betraying the first and most fundamental moral attachment to our mothers.
MW- Do you think this is where you belong?
MW- Where do you think you belong?
TB- I don't know.
MW- Do you think you belong in prison?
TB- Yeah, for doing something like I did. I have to accept responsibility for it, you know.
TB- "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."
Beatty has exhausted all of his state appeals. And in 2014 he was denied a federal appeal. His execution date is likely to be set very soon.
MW- Do you want a stay of execution or are you ready?
TB- I'm ready. I'm sick of this, sick of being locked up like an animal. I mean you're sitting in a 8 foot by ten foot cell, you know, 23 hours a day.
Beatty holds neither his mother's nor his own life in any special regard. Sadly, I don't think Beatty will ever recognize the person he took from those who loved her.
Tamara- (41:32) She has six amazing great-grand children now that she would be more than thrilled to be around and she's missing out on. She was a remarkable lady, she was very strong.
LW- She had the biggest heart of anyone. I have no doubt that she loved him and that she would forgive him tomorrow. She was that kind of person.
MW- It's been years since Beatty's seen or heard from his daughters. But now Tamara says she plans to see her father one last time, at his execution.
Tamara- (42:08) I would like for my face to be one of the last faces that he sees. I am glad that he got the death penalty and I feel that justice has been served once he's executed. Do I have mixed emotions about my father being put to death? Yes. I just hope that he has somehow found God and asks for forgiveness. I'm sorry that he did what he did, and I mean (voice breaks) I do love him and I forgive him. That's it.
MW- Your daughter wants to to be at your execution. Do you know that?
TB- Which one?
MW- Tamara. How do you feel about her wanting to be there?
TB- If she feels like it's necessary for her to have closure, then, you know, I ain't got not problem with it.
MW- Thank you Mr Beatty. I appreciate you doing this.
TB- Allright, thank you.
MW- As I wrap up this interview, I recognize it's easy to get a confession of murder from someone who has no value for human life. When it comes to the brain, all men are not created equal. I believe Beatty was a bad seed, born with a psychological deficit he couldn't overcome. He's incapable of processing the emotions or controlling the impulses that have driven him to violence throughout his life. That's why he is where he is today, behind prison walls.