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article imageInquest into Jehovah's Witness's death: Homicide or Suicide?

By JohnThomas Didymus     Oct 15, 2011 in Crime
Seattle - A Jehovah's Witness whose wife of eight years, within a month of divorce, remarried a man in his congregation, is testifying by speakerphone in a Lewis County Coroner's inquest into the death of his wife.
Mark Liburdi, according to The Seattle Times, discovered, soon after divorce, that his former wife, now Ronda Reynolds, owed the IRS $15,000. Unknown to Mark Liburdi, his wife had been using retirement funds to pay back disability checks she collected from the state while she was a trooper in Washington State's Patrol.
After he divorced Ronda in December 1997, Mark Liburdi sold their home in Grays Harbor County. When his ex-wife began asking him to send her share of the proceeds from sale of their home, Mark reminded her of the trouble with the IRS.
According to The Seattle Times, Mark, while testifying by speakerphone in Lewis County coroner's inquest into the controversial death of his ex-wife, said, on Thursday, that his ex-wife, after engaging him in an argument for about a year over her share of proceeds of the sale of their house, suddenly called him on phone one night and said mysteriously,
"Forget about it. You don't owe me anything."
Investigators suspect 33-year-old Ronda Reynolds might have committed suicide soon after she called her ex-husband. But the Lewis County Coroner's office has changed its mind several times over the cause of Ronda Reynold's death. Ronda died of a gunshot wound to the head, but the coroner is vacillating over whether her death was suicide or homicide. But after former coroner Terry Wilson settled for suicide, the deceased's mother Barb Thompson, brought a lawsuit against the coroner's office which she won in November 2009. The court ordered the coroner to review the case.
Warren McLeod took office as coroner after Terry Wilson. The Seattle Times says Warren McLeod's inquest into Ronda Reynold's death is still uncertain of the cause of her death. The inquest, however, has the information that on the night Ronda called her ex-husband and said, "Forget about it (the money). You don't owe me anything," she got into a row with her new husband Ron Reynold, after he (Ron) found he had a credit-card debit of $25,000. Ron decided he was returning to his first wife.
According to testimony by Laura Reynolds, Ron's mother, Ronda called her three times that night saying she couldn't go on living without Ron. Everything seemed to favor a conclusion of suicide, but homicide expert Vernon Geberth, giving expert opinion opened up new possibilities when he insisted the evidence of Ronda Reynold's death did not suggest suicide. In Gerberth's opinion, according to The Daily News Online, it was a "staged crime scene," that is, a homicide dressed up as suicide. Gerberth's opinion is based on many lines of evidence.
The Seattle Times refers to evidence in the death of Ronda Reynolds which investigators are looking at — a message in lipstick with a Spokane phone number which read "I love you, call me," which handwriting experts believe was Ronda's handwriting. The phone book close to the message was opened to airlines. also reports a line of evidence that investigators are looking at:
"Ron Reynolds was left-handed; Rhonda was right-handed. Independent experts...say that is no small point."
The Seattle Times reports,
"Ron Reynolds, principal of Toledo Elementary School, and his three sons who lived with the couple at the time of the death — David, Joshua and Jonathan — are not testifying in the inquest, citing Fifth Amendment rights to avoid possible self-incrimination as suspects. They were 47, 10, 14 and 17, respectively, when Ronda died."
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