First responders arrived at a complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in April 1996, only to find Jim Ross lying unconscious in a pool of his own blood just outside his apartment. Although Jim was still breathing when authorities shifted him to a hospital, his injuries proved too severe, and he passed away while under medical care. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: Primal Instinct’ takes the viewer through the horrific incident and follows the investigation that figured out the truth. If you are intrigued by the details surrounding the crime and want to know more, we have you covered.
How Did Jim Ross Die?
A resident of Colorado Springs, Jim Ross was 39 years old at the time of his death. His neighbors mentioned that Jim was a loner and kept to himself most of the time. Besides, the police learned that although Jim was married previously, his relationship soon hit an obstacle, and the former couple decided that divorce would be the best course of action. Still, even while living alone, Jim made the most of his life, and his acquaintances had no idea about the tragedy that ended up claiming his life.
On April 3, 1996, police officers arrived at a local apartment complex, where they noticed a trail of blood leading to one of the apartments. Right in front of the apartment door lay Jim Ross in a pool of his own blood. While medical examiners noticed that there were several gunshot wounds on the victim’s body, they soon realized that Jim was breathing and had him shifted to a nearby hospital. Upon venturing into the apartment, authorities noticed that some furniture was lying on the floor, indicating a struggle. Moreover, they even came across a large knife sheath, but the real weapon was nowhere to be found.
Interestingly, there was not even one speck of blood inside the apartment, and with no signs of forced entry, the police ruled out burglary as a motive. Meanwhile, Jim grew weaker as hours passed, and his injuries proved too severe for doctors to treat. Eventually, he passed away at the hospital, and the autopsy determined that death was caused due to multiple gunshot wounds.
Who Killed Jim Ross?
When 911 operators received the call about Jim Ross’s death, the caller identified himself as Dennis Michaels and claimed he had shot the victim. Dennis, who turned out to be Jim’s roommate, even turned himself over to the authorities but insisted that he shot his friend in self-defense. While the police initially believed Dennis, a polygraph test soon alleged that he was not answering the questions truthfully. However, a twist in the investigation soon revealed the reason behind the failed polygraph, as detectives learned that Dennis had been diagnosed with paranoid Schizophrenia. In fact, the diagnosis led to him getting fired from the army, and doctors mentioned that the condition had a negative effect on his mental health and cognition.
On the other hand, detectives discovered that Jim Ross had a criminal background and was even arrested after a domestic violence incident involving his ex-wife. The ex-wife mentioned that Jim had a short temper and would often resort to threatening others with his knife if things did not go according to his wishes. Hence, believing that Dennis might have acted in self-defense, law enforcement officers searched around his apartment before locating the missing knife in a nearby wooded area. Forensic evidence on the knife proved that Jim had used it shortly before his death, and investigators realized that Dennis shot his friend dead only after being threatened at knifepoint.
Where Is Dennis Michaels Now?
Once investigators got a clear idea about the chain of events that led to Jim’s death, they tried to find out if Dennis acted in self-defense. Subsequently, a deputy district attorney listened to Dennis’ version of the events, and after consideration, the police determined that not only did Dennis act in self-defense, but his mental condition played no part in the incident. Hence, they decided not to charge the accused, and Dennis was allowed to walk free. Since then, Dennis Michaels has embraced privacy and prefers to keep his personal life under wraps. He also maintains a minimal presence on social media, making it difficult for us to pinpoint his current whereabouts.
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