Story Summary

Death of Bourbon Street dancer Jaren Lockhart


Jaren Lockhart, 22, was last seen on Tuesday, June 10, 2012.  She worked as an exotic dancer at Temptations Gentlemen’s club on Bourbon Street.

Parts of Lockhart’s dismembered body washed ashore on the South Mississippi beaches.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 9 updates

captureWhat’s in a name?

For one of Jaren Lockhart’s suspected killers, an alias was either part of a con-job, or perhaps, something more monstrous.

Cops say before being arrested, suspect Terry Speaks used the alias “Leslie Rice”, “Leslie Allen Rice”or “Allen Leslie Rice”.

Leslie Rice also happens to be the name of an award-winning Australian artist, whose more famous works include paintings of decapitated and dismembered people. The paintings feature a decapitated head on a plate, body parts strewn about and morbid-looking works depicting death or pieces of human corpses.

It is not known whether this artist was the inspiration for Speaks’ alias or whether the painter is known by Speaks at all.

On Friday night, WGNO e-mailed the images of the paintings to the head investigator in the Lockhart murder, Detective Steve Saucier of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

Saucier said the images are “undeniably intriguing”, but that the sheriff’s office learned Speaks stole the name from someone he knew in his home state of North Carolina to commit identity fraud.

Perhaps it’s just another creepy coincidence.

Also, Jailed murder suspect Margaret Sanchez’s TV interview on ABC’s Final Witness this week has the attention of her interrogators.

Her previously recorded take on old New Orleans friend, Addie Hall, being killed and dismembered six years ago caused detectives to compare it to last month’s murder of Lockhart , who was found in pieces last month on beaches in Mississippi after leaving the French Quarter strip club where she worked.

The last people seen with the 23-year-old dancer, Sanchez and Speaks aren’t formally charged with murder but are prime suspects in her killing.

As for Sanchez’s TV interview on her butchered friend in 2006, Saucier says the show is now part of Lockhart’s murder investigation. He said Thursday that the sheriff’s office had requested from ABC and independent producers all raw footage and interviews used to create the program which aired Wednesday on WGNO.

“We can’t overlook these similarities as being a mere coincidence though it may be”, Saucier said.

Speaks is in federal custody and is expected to be delivered to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina on charges of failing to verify his sex offender status. He and Sanchez were arrested June 12th in Tangipahoa as suspects in Lockhart’s murder. Sanchez remains jailed in Tangipahoa.

captureDetectives in Hancock County say they are leaning on WGNO and ABC for key info in the Jaren Lockhart murder investigation.

It has to do with what aired Wednesday night and a suspect’s network debut.

Murder suspect Margaret Sanchez appeared in a previously recorded interview with ABC’s Final Witness, a crime show chronicling the 2006 killing and dismembering of Addie Hall, a French Quarter bartender, who was killed cut up and cooked by her boyfriend.

Detectives consider the episode part of the Jaren Lockhart murder investigation and have reached out to ABC and the show’s independent production company for all the raw video and interviews connected to the program which aired Wednesday night on WGNO.

Investigators have also asked WGNO News for a recent story filed on the Lockhart’s death.

Sanchez and her boyfriend, Terry Speaks are the prime suspects in the June murder and dismembering of the 23-year-old Lockhart.

As the two sit in jail suspected of murder–yet not formally charged with the Bourbon Street dancer’s death–Hancock County, MS investigators were interviewed about the case Thursday by WGNO News.

Sheldon Fox: Would it be safe to say that members of this department were glued to the televison Wednesday night? Commander Glenn Grannan: It would be safe to say that.

Fox: How cooperative have they been? Commander Grannan: If you wanted to talk about the weather they were very cooperative.

Fox: We’re almost a month removed from this murder and yet we still don’t have any formal charges against either of these two for this murder. Is this case becoming a cold case? Commander Grannan: No. Not at all.

Fox: Do you think at some point you’ll be able to charge Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez with murder? Commander Grannan: Absolutely. Yes, we’ll get it done.

captureHancock County investigators say while Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez aren’t saying much during questioning, Sanchez did vent over a Bourbon Street wedding she said she had with Speaks, a marriage that turned out not to be legit.

Detectives tell us Sanchez said she and Speaks were married earlier this year by a minister who also works as a doorman in Bourbon’s 300 block.

Cops who interviewed her said she was miffed when she later learned she wasn’t legally married.

Sanchez complained about having to pay the minister $100 dollars for the middle-of-the-street ceremony, deputies said.

According to investigators, the unofficial wedding took place in the same block where Jaren Lockhart worked.

Lockhart, Sanchez and Speaks were seen leaving Temptations night club last month days before Lockhart’s body parts washed ashore on Mississippi beaches.

captureA Metairie husband and wife say they feel used, abused and unsafe after having an on-the-run couple suspected of Jaren Lockhart’s murder in their house.

In an exclusive interview with WGNO News Wednesday, the anonymous Metairie couple said they housed Margaret Sanchez and her boyfriend, Terry Speaks the night before their June 12 arrest.

The interviewees didn’t reveal their identities because they said they were afraid for their safety.

The couple says they were unaware that days earlier, Sanchez and Speaks left Bourbon Street’s Temptations strip club with 23-year-old dancer, Jaren Lockhart, whose dismembered body parts later washed up on Mississippi beaches.

“We were best friends. I considered her my best friend for quite some time”, the woman explained with her husband by her side and their small daughter playing nearby.

Sanchez and the Metairie woman became friends in May of 2011 after meeting at Louisiana Specialty Hospital where the woman said they were treated for bipolar disorder.

“The last time we saw [Speaks and Sanchez] was the Monday before they were arrested. She packed quite a few bags, saying they were being evicted from her house and they were going to be staying the night with us.”

The unnamed woman, who with her husband contends they had no knowledge that Speaks and Sanchez could have had any connection to Lockhart’s murder also said Sanchez even brought up what was dominating the local news at the time: the fact that Lockhart went missing and had her torso, decapitated head and limbs found on beaches in Mississippi.

“‘Hey, did u hear about the stripper that went missing?’ She mentioned that a couple times.”

The Metairie couple said Speaks and Sanchez departed Tuesday after staying over the previous night, but not before dying their hair in the family’s kitchen and bathroom sink.

“Hindsight being 20/20, they were trying to hide from something,” she said.

Once it was learned Speaks and Sanchez were arrested as persons of interest in Lockhart’s murder, the Metairie couple called the FBI and would soon have several agents and police officers in their home.

A laptop and clothes were taken by authorities.

When asked if the FBI questioned her on whether she had met Jaren Lockhart, the woman replied, “yes, they had asked me, and no, I’ve never met her.”

Neither Speaks, who is a convicted sex offender from North Carolina nor Sanchez have been formally charged for the Lockhart’s murder.

sanchezWednesday on ABC the show “Final Witness” features Margaret Sanchez, a suspect in the death and dismemberment of French Quarter dancer Jaren Lockhart, whose body parts washed ashore on Mississippi beaches last month.  However, the interview is about an entirely different victim, Addie Hall, who was murdered in a French Quarter apartment owned by Leo Watermeier 6 years ago, at the hands of her boyfriend Zack Bowen.

Watermeier says, “I was probably the last person to see Addie alive besides Zack because she came to me and got me to sign a lease with only her name on it and then once she had that lease she went to Zack and said leave, the lease is in my name.”

Bowen and Hall gained recognition for refusing to evacuate the French Quarter during Hurricane Katrina.  They moved into Watermeier’s apartment just days before New Orleans police say Bowen strangled, dismembered and cooked Hall, then jumped to his death from the Omni Hotel.

According to NOPD Homicide Commander Lt Gary Marchese, “There was a note in his pocket directed to the police that said it wasn’t an accident.  He took his life to pay for the one he took and it has directions to send the detectives to the apartment where he said they’d find the dismembered body of his girlfriend.”

Sanchez was not a suspect in the case.  She was a friend of the victim, among a handful of others who will recreate her story on “Final Witness.”  The story of Bowen and Hall has been told by countless news stations and it’s even been written up in a novel, but what’s different about this version is that it’s told from the perspective of the victim.  “Addie shouldn’t be neglected, shouldn’t be overlooked in this because she’s the ultimate victim,” says Watermeier.  “So I think it’s good that they’re gonna try to make sure she’s not forgotten.”

It’s the last moments of life of a murder victim…remembered through the eyes of a murder suspect.

sanchezWhen you’re making your Fourth of July plans, be sure to include the new ABC program Final Witness on your schedule. The program looks at real crimes but tells their story from the victims’ perspectives. The show also interviews people close to the cases.

This week’s episode focuses on the death and dismemberment of Addie Hall in New Orleans in 2006. You may remember, Hall’s boyfriend killed her and then jumped to his own death from a French Quarter hotel.

It’s a chilling story. But wait until you see who ABC interviews as part of the program. Margaret Sanchez! The same woman who is linked to the death and dismemberment of a French Quarter dancer.

The program airs July 4th at 9:00pm on WGNO-TV.

captureFriends and family said goodbye Thursday evening to a French Quarter dancer who was murdered and dismembered.

Brandon G. Thompson Funeral home is where people came to remember 23 year old Jaren Lockhart.

Family asks media to remain off property during this time of sorrow.

One man was thrown out during the funeral and then taken into custody by Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. The man was released.

It was two weeks ago to the day workers discovered the dancer’s torso washed up on the shores of Bay St. Louis. So far no one is charged with the murder.

In custody are the last two people seen with Lockhart caught on surveillance camera.

Margret Sanchez’s bond was reset Thursday  from one million to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for harboring a sex offender.

Terry Speaks is awaiting extradition to North Carolina charged with failing to register as a sex offender.

The FBI now leads this investigation.

sanchezA spokesperson for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office confirms Margaret Sanchez faces a new charge of harboring a sex offender.

Sanchez is one of two suspects in the death and dismemberment of a French Quarter dancer. The other suspect is Terry Speaks. He is a convicted sex offender who now faces a federal charge for failing to register.

Neither Sanchez nor Speaks has been charged with the death of Jarren Lockhart, whose dismembered body washed ashore along the beach in Bay St Louis, Mississippi. Both are considered suspects in the case.

Monday, Sanchez was also seen by workers at a mental health clinic in Hammond, according to her attorney.

Last week, state and federal investigators searched the home that Speaks and Sanchez shared in Kenner.

captureA suspect in the killing and dismemberment of Jaren Lockhart will be sent to Surry County, North Carolina to face unrelated charges.

Terry Speaks is facing federal charges for failing to register as a sex offender since moving to Kenner.

The Surry County Sheriff’s Department says this isn’t the first time Speaks has skipped town.

He’s been charged with failing to register two other times.

The other suspect in the killing who had been living with Speaks remains in the Tangipahoa Parish jail.

Margaret Sanchez has a $1,500 bond but there’s a hold on her out of Hancock County, Mississippi preventing her release.