Julie Griffith, the Reidland, Kentucky, wife who was shot and killed and left to die in her burning home, is the next tragic story to air on Dateline NBC. Her husband, Keith Griffith, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for her murder.
In Dateline's Friday night episode, titled "Consumed," correspondents will review the case of how a loving mother ended up dead on the smoldering floors of her country Kentucky home. Viewers will get to hear all of the salacious details that they could have been ripped right out of a book or a true crime movie.
Dateline NBC will take you all the way back to that cold night in January 2014, when police were dispatched to a home located at 307 Tudor Boulevard in Reidland that was engulfed in flames. The fire lasted for almost an hour before detectives could get inside to investigate. It was there that they found the body of 55-year old Julie Griffith, a wife and mother who was inside the home when the blaze started. What could have been quickly ruled a terrible accident turned out to be a murder plot gone wrong.
The truth revealed that Julie Griffith, aka Julie Lane Kennedy Griffith, had been shot to death and that the fire was set to cover up the murder. Julie's husband, Keith Wayne Griffith, was not home at the time but was later contacted by police to inform him of his wife's death. According to Keith Griffith, he was at a hotel in another part of Kentucky. He seemed surprised and distraught that he had lost his home and his wife.
Interrogation video shows that Keith Griffith was cooperative as he spoke with detectives. But as they investigated him further, they learned that he was a man with an agenda. That agenda was to get rid of his wife in order to be with his new love, Deanna Cloe.
Deanna Cloe, who looked like a younger version of Julie Griffith, had known Keith for quite some time. He relentlessly pursued her, lavishing her with expensive Coach bags, beautiful flowers, and other expensive items. To Deanna Cloe, Keith Griffith seemed charming and genuinely nice. To anyone else, it was obvious that he was willing to do anything to have sex with her.
Deanna seemed aloof and uninterested in him physically or romantically. When she first met him, he looked like an overweight middle-aged man with a potbelly. But, he lost about 100 pounds and paid more attention to his appearance, making him look like a much younger and more handsome version of himself, Dateline NBC will show.
And with those changes, he wanted to make even more. He wanted to buy Deanna Cloe a nice property in Indiana and make a life with her. However, Deanna never had any intention of being with him, according to her. It appeared that she only liked the gifts. She also claimed not to know that he was married and never checked his Facebook profile to learn more about him, a fact that Mark Bryant found hard to believe. WPSD-Local6 summed up the heated exchange in court during cross-examinations.
"'So all this time you were around him, you never checked his Facebook?' Bryant asked. 'No,' she responded. 'You're a trusting soul aren't you?' Bryant asked. 'I am to a fault,' Cloe said."
"'Why didn't you stop this relationship?' [Bryant] asked. 'Because I enjoyed his friendship,' Cloe said. 'No, you enjoyed his gifts clearly,' Bryant quipped back. 'That's your opinion,' Cloe responded."
Keith Griffith was eventually arrested and charged in the death of Julie Griffith. Prosecutors say a timeline showed that the once-respected husband and father checked out of the hotel for hours before he finally returned. When all was said and done, Keith Griffith finally admitted that he had killed his wife along with her two dogs. In his tearful statements, he said that he loved his wife and that she was his best friend. He claimed not to know what happened to make him commit such a vile act.
Whatever happened, it shouldn't have ended this way. Julie and Keith Griffith were high school sweethearts and were married for 36 years before she was killed. Friends remember them as a couple they often spent time with on the golf course and in other activities around town. Julie Griffith's distraught children wanted to hear from Keith Griffith's own mouth that he had killed their mother.
Plan on watching the Julie Griffith, Keith Griffith story on Dateline NBC tonight at 10/9 p.m. central.
[Image via McCracken County Sheriff's Offica/Facebook]