'Substantial development' in Rachel Cooke disappearance

Discussion in 'The Search for Rachel Cooke' started by "J_R", Nov 8, 2006.

  1. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee

    Moore has long rap sheet

    Updated: 11/10/2006 1:18 PM
    By: Reagan Hackleman

    Thursday wasn't the first time Michael Keith Moore was in a courtroom.

    Moore, 31, pleaded “not guilty†when he was charged with the murder of Rachel Cooke, 19, on Thursday. Cooke, disappeared in 2002 while jogging near her parent's home in Georgetown. Until Thursday her disappearance remained a mystery.

    Moore was expected to enter a plea of guilty Thursday to avoid a capital murder charge and the possibility of a death sentence. His defense team and prosecutors were surprised at his last-minute change of heart.

    In February, in the same courtroom, before the same judge, Moore pleaded guilty to the murder of Christina Moore, 35, in September 2003. The two Moores are not related.

    Moore’s rap sheet dates back to 1992 when he was 17.

    In 1992, he was arrested for criminal mischief. Two years later, he was arrested in Williamson County for aggravated robbery. Four years later he was arrested by Austin police for unlawfully carrying a weapon.

    Michael Keith Moore, charged with Rachel Cooke's murder, is no stranger to police.

    In 2001 and 2002 he was arrested for credit card abuse.

    In 2004 he was arrested twice. The first time he was unlawfully carrying a weapon. The second arrest was for the murder of Christina Moore.

    In February, he pleaded guilty in the Moore case and was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences.

    More than a year and half before Christina Moore was found murdered in her Round rock home, Cooke disappeared in Georgetown while jogging on Jan. 11, 2002.

    Almost four years later, Moore was charged with Cooke’s murder.

    "There were several things that Michael told us that obviously only the person that was involved in the abduction and probable slaying of Rachel could have known," Williamson County Sheriff James Wilson said.
    (emphasis mine)

    Anyone with information in the Cooke case should call (512) 818-0494, (512) 966-6561 or (512) 818-2184.
  2. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee

    Watch Sunday Morning's Firstcast - Exclusive Live Interview - Rachel Cooke's Parents

    Nov 11, 2006 08:40 PM

    We have an exclusive in the Rachel Cooke investigation. Sunday morning on Firstcast, KXAN's Sally Hernandez will sit down and talk to Rachel's parents. This is their first live interview after learning their daughter's accused killer has pleaded not guilty to the crime and may be playing a sick and twisted game with investigators.

    You can submit any questions you have for the Cooke family on KXAN.com. Just click on the "Contact Us" section. You can also email us directly at news36@kxan.com. Then watch Sunday on Firstcast from 7 - 8 and 9 - 10 for this exclusive interview.


  3. Kelly

    Kelly Member

    Here is Michael Moore's Tx Drivers License from www.publicdata.com. He is the only person with a drivers license at that address.

    Name MOORE,MICHAEL KEITH License number 005057725
    Address 201 FM 970 LOT 1
    DOB Oct 5 1975
    FLORENCE 76527
    Last transaction date Jul 30 2003
  4. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee

    The violent past of an icy killer

    Michael Keith Moore's record reveals remorseless brutality.

    By Katie Humphrey, Chuck Lindell
    Sunday, November 19, 2006

    The day after Michael Keith Moore killed a pregnant woman in her Round Rock home, he wassitting across from a detective at the Georgetown police station, answering questions about his suspected involvement in an unrelated rape.

    Moore wasn't summoned to the Georgetown station; he went on his own to confront the rape accusation, a notably brazen act for a man who had slit a handcuffed woman's throat only the day before.

    Still, such boldness conforms to the profile of Moore that emerges in court documents, parole records and conversations with those who have dealt with the 31-year-old, whose trouble with the law began at age 13 and who has spent almost all of his adult life behind bars.

    That past is one reason investigators take seriously Moore's recent confession that he raped and killed Rachel Cooke, a Georgetown woman missing since Jan. 10, 2002. It is also why Lampasas police are investigating Moore's possible connection to an attempted kidnapping 21 days before Cooke's disappearance.

    The attempt was made about 10 p.m., when the young woman pulled up in front of her Lampasas home after work. A pickup stopped behind her, and the man got out and struck up a conversation, Lt. Investigator Jody Cummings said.

    "He tried to grab her (while) out on the street, but after a short struggle she was able to free herself," Cummings said. "She fled into her house, and he fled" in the truck.

    Cummings said he later became interested in Moore based on the woman's description of her attacker. "I made note that, just based on physical similarities, that Mr. Moore can be a suspect in my case," he said.

    Moore is a high school dropout of average intelligence who fully believes he's the smartest guy in any room — part of his self-image as irresistible to women and intimidating to men, acquaintances say. He delights in toying with law enforcement and is so sure he can outwit investigators that he has dropped hints about his involvement in a crime and then reacted with anger and shock when they figured something out.

    He is most frequently described as unpredictable, arrogant and remorseless.

    According to his father, Ronald Moore of Houston, Michael Moore has been in trouble since he was 13 years old.

    Moore's juvenile record includes at least three arrests for burglarizing homes. He also was arrested for theft, for leading police on a high-speed chase through Waller County and for making a bomb threat at Leander High School in 1991. With his parents divorced, Moore was twice sent to Kansas, where his father lived, in 1990 — once after a January arrest for burglary and again after a May arrest for unauthorized use of a vehicle.

    Remorse, his father said, is a foreign emotion for Moore.

    "He has no guilt on anything he does; he never has," Ronald Moore said. "And he can stand in front of you and lie to you, and you cannot tell whether he's telling the truth or lying."

    When a young Michael Moore shoplifted, his father said he took Moore back to the store to return everything in front of the clerk and customers. The experience didn't faze the boy, Ronald Moore said.

    His family once sought a psychological evaluation, but Moore fled the facility before doctors could diagnose him, his father said.

    "You stand up for your kids. You stand up for them, but there's got to be a point when you say, 'No more.' . . . I reached that point," Ronald Moore said. "He's (in prison) where he belongs. It's where he started out in life at 13, where he was headed anyway."

    Three clear patterns

    A review of Moore's criminal history reveals three compelling patterns of behavior:

    •His inability to stay out of trouble.

    In 1993, Moore received a 60-day sentence, to be served on weekends, for using a BB gun to break dozens of home and car windows in Georgetown. Although the sentence also called for a 10-year prison term if Moore got in legal trouble again, he failed to check into jail for his first weekend stint. That's because he was being held in the Travis County Jail for punching his girlfriend and future wife, who is nearly 20 years his senior, and for putting a knife to her throat.

    Moore would spend the next 4 1/2 years behind bars, yet the lesson wasn't learned. Parole violations would land Moore in prison three times over the next seven years.

    •Much of Moore's legal trouble revolved around sexual misconduct.

    On Feb. 24, 2004, Moore's stepdaughter-in-law awoke to find him rubbing her leg in bed. Moore, who was arrested two days later for burglary and assault, knew she would be alone that night, Bettye Johnson testified at his parole revocation hearing.

    Moore has not been out of jail since. But at the hearing, his parole officer recommended that Moore receive a "sex offender evaluation" before being released from custody, noting that a previous revocation hearing also involved a sexual offense: rape.

    On Sept. 20, 2003 — three days before Moore would kill Round Rock resident Christina Moore, who is not related to him — he attended a Georgetown party, during which a 20-year-old woman reported being raped after her clothes were cut away as she slept. Moore was a suspect and met with detectives on Sept. 24 and Oct. 8. No charges were filed in the assault, but Moore's parole was revoked because he provided alcohol to two minors at the party.

    Georgetown police Detective Bill Pascoe would not comment on the interviews, saying the rape investigation remains open.

    Other questionable actions included writing sexually charged letters to his then-teenage stepdaughter from prison. Moore tried to cut off her shorts as she slept, stole her underwear several times and secretly videotaped her, according to court records.

    While he was in custody at the Williamson County Jail in 2004 and 2005, Moore manipulated the locks on his infirmary cell to have sex with at least one female inmate and to masturbate in front of others.

    •Moore is unintentionally self-destructive in his dealings with police.

    Four days after Christina Moore's murder, Michael Moore anonymously telephoned investigators to say that he had found checks bearing her name in a pay phone coin-return slot. It would be one of the most obvious clues linking Moore to the murder.

    The break came when Moore's stepdaughter-in-law approached sheriff's deputies in February 2004 to discuss Moore's break-in at her home. She also mentioned that Moore once claimed to have possessed checks bearing Christina Moore's name. When detectives played the audiotape of the anonymous caller, she identified the voice as Michael Moore's.

    Two days later, Round Rock police began questioning Moore about the murder.

    According to videotaped interviews with police, Moore volunteered to officers that someone might have reported seeing him in the victim's neighborhood, but he added that it wasn't true. Asked why someone would say that, Moore sat silently with his arms crossed.

    The detectives waited. Moore spoke again, asking if he would be charged or arrested and then continuing before they could answer.

    "This is exactly what I didn't want to happen," Moore said. "I knew something like this was going to happen."

    Moore's actions match behavior patterns frequently seen in repeat criminals, said Mark Young, a retired FBI agent who spent 15 years as a behavior analyst, or profiler, during 32 years with the agency.

    "One of the things that we have seen over the years with repeat or serial offenders, especially predatory offenders — even burglars and bank robbers — is they develop a sense of omniscience. They are all-seeing, and going with that is a narcissistic attitude that 'I am more powerful, I am smarter than the police,' " he said.

    "We see that a lot," said Young, now a law enforcement consultant from Dripping Springs.

    Truth or manipulation?

    Moore also voluntarily provided leads on Cooke's disappearance, speaking in enough detail to enable Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley to charge him with murder, alleging that he hit Cooke with a hammer and suffocated her.

    In his prison confession, Moore said he was driving around Georgetown in search of something to steal when he encountered Cooke jogging along a street, according to a source familiar with the case who asked to remain anonymous because the investigation is active.

    Moore said he struck Cooke in the head with a hammer, drove her to another location and raped her, the source said. He also confessed to throwing Cooke's body, wrapped in a tarp and weighted down with rocks, into Matagorda Bay.

    Under an agreement, Moore was to plead guilty to Cooke's murder and lead investigators to where he had left her body. He also would show where he buried her jewelry and other personal effects, but instead he pleaded not guilty on Nov. 9, reneging on the deal.

    Moore — who worked as a janitor, furniture mover and fireplace installer during the rare times he was out of jail — had reached a similar deal in the Christina Moore case in February. After a jury convicted him of killing the Round Rock woman, but before he was sentenced, Moore pleaded guilty in exchange for four concurrent life sentences. He also guided investigators to her wedding rings, which were buried near a cactus in western Williamson County.

    The question now is whether Moore's confession in Cooke's disappearance was the truth or a hoax.

    Investigators are working to build a case against Moore. Bradley has said that if Moore's description of Cooke's death is accurate, a capital murder charge, which carries a sentence of life in prison or death, is possible.

    "All you can do is evaluate the evidence that you have and, based upon experience, form an opinion that that is the person who we should be focusing on," Bradley said. "I continue to have a high level of confidence that the appropriate person we should be investigating is Michael Moore."

    Ronald Moore described his son as tough, the veteran of a number of prison fights. But murder seemed beyond the realm of possibility — until the evidence was revealed during the Christina Moore trial, he said.

    "I know they got the right person on that," Ronald Moore said. "This other one, I don't know."

    If Moore killed Cooke, he should be held responsible, even if that means the death penalty, Ronald Moore said. But it seems out of character that his son, whom he described as manipulative, would admit to the crime when confessing offered nothing to gain, Ronald Moore said.

    It's more likely that his son is relishing an opportunity to toy with investigators and prosecutors, and that's not fair to the Cooke family, he said.

    "I hope through all of this they get to the truth . . . because these people need closure," Ronald Moore said. "It's another one of his crimes, playing with those people's emotions."

  5. LurkerXIV

    LurkerXIV Moderator

    How frustrating for the Cookes!

    This wife of the criminal Moore must know something. I wish she would have the guts to stand up and say whether she saw him with Rachel's jewelry or other effects.
  6. Tez

    Tez Member

    I feel so sorry for the Cooke family. Hopefully, this piece of pond scum will decide to do the right thing in the end. The Cooke's deserve answers.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Cooke family.
  7. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Something broke in this Moore killer when he was very young. I have no idea, and I'm not trying to make excuses for him, but I found his father's story of making the young child return shoplifted goods in front of employees telling. That's about humiliation. Why would the father, who should love his son and, aware that he had developed a serious problem, respond by humiliating him in front of strangers? I understand what the father THOUGHT he was teaching his son, but what he did teach him is the father had very little compassion for his own child and that the son would never be able to trust the father to do right by HIM. Those employees were owed nothing in this, certainly not a spectacle like that. I'd have found it all very disturbing for my minimum wage and rather sadistic for the father to do. The father owed his child consideration and careful thought about how to HELP him, not HURT him. What else was done to this child leading down this road?

    I know there are sociopaths who just don't have certain psychological components, and maybe Moore's upbringing had nothing to do with his outcome. I just didn't like this story at all.

    Having said that, Moore is long past redemption. How he kept slipping through the system is beyond me. But that's also water under the bridge.

    What I'd want to know now is if the woman who said a man, possibly Moore, tried to abduct her, but who got away from him, can positively identify Moore as that perp. If she can, then they have a man who has a new pattern of criminal behavior that matches that of the kidnapper of Miss Cook. Because from what I see, Moore's previous behavior was to break and enter, peep, etc. His sexual assault victims were those he knew and whose bed he entered, for the most part. If memory serves, he didn't rape the Moore woman he was convicted of murdering, did he? Was it a burglary in progress? I may have that wrong. I'll go back and check it out again.

    At any rate, if it's not Moore who got Miss Cooke, then I'd be looking for the man in the truck who tried to get the other woman a few weeks before. There certainly could be more than one perp doing that similar crime in a college town, of course, but it's also possible this is the same person. If they never charged Moore for that one, then my guess is the victim can't make a positive ID, or there is some other complication, like an alibi.

    What's odd, too, is the cutting of clothes off the young, female victims while they slept. And yet, Moore lives with a woman twice his age? That's some heavy psychology there. Since there seem to be various step-daughters being assaulted by Moore, perhaps he went for the mom to get to the younger females, not uncommon in child predators. Not to mention, how many females does he get to rape before somebody locks him up and throws away the key? How many parole violations does he get, including rape, does he get before someone says, oh, we may have a problem here? Very sloppy LE, IMO, very badly done.

    Well, I'd be looking for that attempted kidnapping victim for a link to the truck, for a detailed description and police sketch/computer generated image. I'd nail Moore for that or be looking for another guy. Men don't just snatch women off the street out of the blue. There's history there, as well. And he's probably going to do it again if that's what he's built up to in his predatory life. He's going to try and try again and again, like Bundy, like any serial killer, until he gets his prey. And then he'll start over. Unless he's caught. In that respect, I hope Moore is the guy.

    If it's not Moore, if it's the same guy who got Miss Cooke, then he's done it again. And sometimes the pattern of serial predators is that they troll college and university areas, which are "target rich" for his preferred "type." Bundy did that, as well. We had a serial rapist in my town a couple of decades ago, and they didn't catch him until about the fifth rape, when they got lucky and the first LE responder parked himself at the front door and wouldn't let anyone in but EMTs until the detectives got there. They got a perfect fingerprint off the doorbell. Nailed him. He was a man who owned his own ironworks company in Atlanta, specializing in making wrought iron for custom building, which allowed him the freedom he needed to do his evil deeds. He was married and had a few kids, but his work allowed him to travel to various campuses in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. They found more victims, not previously linked to the same rapist. And it's lucky they got him when they did. His violence was escalating. His last victim here was brutalized. He really messed her up. He would have killed eventually.

    I'm no professional, though, so I may be off track, but I would so love to see this solved for the Cookes and to bring that devil to justice.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  8. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Ok, earlier on the thread, here's the description of the murder of Mrs. [unrelated] Moore, by Michael Moore:

    So this was more than a year after Miss Cooke disappeared. Plus, no sexual assault of Mrs. Moore that I can see, just a petty burglary the man tried to plan that went wrong when he had a witness to leave behind.

    It's not the pattern of the other two young women, as far as I can see.

    Of course, it could be something else he did on the side, but with his behavior of calling LE from a payphone to tell them about Moore's checks, his cleverly using the prison medical system to break the rules to have sex with females, plus exhibitionism...he's a man who wants attention in a bad way, wants recognition for being smarter than others, as those who know him said. But he's not stupid enough to volunteer for the death penalty if he's really guilty. Remember that he didn't use those checks, did he? He "traded" the wedding rings he took from Mrs. Moore to extended family and only tried to get them back when he thought he was going to be caught after his wife found the checks. Then he buried them. He couldn't quite bring himself to part with any of this, for some stupid reason, I guess thinking one day he might be able to sell/trade the jewelry, so he's not that smart at all. But he knew he couldn't take them outside the family or to anyone who might recognize them.

    So why would he confess to a crime he got away with scott free? Like his father said, what was in it for him? Obviously, as his "not guilty" plea in court proved, he wasn't doing it for altruistic reasons. He was playing with the court, looking for something to break the boredom of prison and get ATTENTION. That's HIS MO with LE.

    I don't think he's the guy who got Miss Cooke. If LE doesn't have a case without his confession and without any evidence he might show them, then they need to drop the charges, lock him back up and throw away the key. If he's the guy, he'll come back with something real. He will know he can't play the "trust me" card again, so he will have to give them something they can use as proof of his guilt.

    If he's not the guy...next.
  9. Freebird

    Freebird Active Member

    I gotta disagree with this. When I was six I shoplifted and was made to return the items to the store and face up to the owner/clerk/employee whoever it was at the counter. It was about letting me know how shameful it is to steal. I have never shoplifted since that time because I realized what I was doing to myself.

    I did the same with my older son who stole something and then left it under his bed for a couple weeks cause he was too scared to play with it. I called the store to let them know he would be returning stolen goods and they let me know they would have mall security put the fear of God in him. It did.

    I didn't come away thinking my parents had no compassion or loose faith in them.They wanted me to understand what you do in secret will at some point come to light and you will have to face up to what you do. In this world or another we will all have to face up to what we have done. I would rather learn my lesson at 6 yrs old here than before God when it's too late.

    I think it's telling that this man had no shame as a child for doing wrong things to others.
  10. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    I understand teaching a child about owning responsibility and that consequences have actions. But humiliation in front of people who do not even work for the store somehow seems to be more about bringing shame than anything to me. A minor needs to have an opportunity to make amends without paying for it by being publicly humiliated. That kind of spectacle can haunt a person beyond a reasonable punishment and restitution. It's particularly hard on teens, thought this article doesn't say how old Moore was at the time.

    You were six, and that's an easy age to impress a child with fear of retribution. Your son faced trained security, and that's not customers at random or employees who do not have that training to deal with children in such a situation. I agree that in both situations, the outcome was a good one.

    Personally, I don't have a problem with letting the son deal with the law and go to juvenile court. Then the lesson learned might instill the true consequences of continuuing that behavior when it can still make an impression on the boy. But juvenile court is a closed court and records are sealed for a reason: the full authority of a judge is a powerful motivation to a minor, but without the loss of face in a public way.

    As to having no shame, some people are very good at not showing shame, as a point of pride, even though they may feel it deeply. I taught students like that, and they weren't bad by definition. They considered it a sign of weakness and were trying very hard to live up to being "a man." Take that away from some young men, and they just respond by acting tougher. But deep down, they're humilated and they're angry.

    Well, it's moot with this man, at any rate. Obviously, nothing done worked with him. Like I said, maybe he was a product of his environment or maybe he would have been that way no matter what. I don't think the experts have answered that one yet.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice