Wayne Cordes / photo via Cordes' Facebook profile

A former county inmate is boasting he got a “get out of jail free card” after faking a letter purportedly from an eyewitness to the unsolved Mother’s Day murder of Aliquippa resident Rachael DelTondo.

The Beaver County District Attorney’s office gave Wayne Cordes a sweet plea deal in his unrelated criminal case, and immunity regarding the letter, in exchange for Cordes telling detectives everything he knew about it. Cordes then told officials the letter was bogus.

He submitted to an FBI lie detector test earlier this month, which revealed he was telling the truth about the letter, according to Cordes and multiple courthouse sources. In fact, Cordes said, many of the details he was able to include in the letter were inadvertently provided to him by county detectives’ questioning.

District Attorney David Lozier at first resisted a plea deal in Cordes’ case. But his defense attorney Gerald Benyo asked for sanctions against Lozier for the seizure of Cordes’ unrelated confidential defense documents during his jail cell search.

The day of the sanctions hearing last month, the District Attorney’s Office agreed to the plea deal and reduced Cordes’ multiple felony assault and burglary charges to misdemeanor counts of simple assault and unlawful taking — he was let out of jail the following week.

In an exclusive interview with BeaverCountian.com yesterday, 21-year-old Cordes of Hopewell said he concocted the letter as a way to get the plea deal.

Cordes said he got the idea after county detectives questioned him about a letter shortly after DelTondo’s murder. He had no idea what they were talking about, he said, but his brain went into overdrive figuring out how he could use it to his advantage.

“I didn’t know Rachael at all,” Cordes said. “I just seen everything on the news that some girl got killed, and a week later the detectives came to me and said Lauren (Watkins) sent me a letter.

“She never did, so I didn’t know where the fuck they got that information from but they were wrong. They put it right on my lap and it just happened.”

Lauren Watkins, now 18, is among the last people known to see her friend DelTondo, 33, the night of her murder. DelTondo was gunned down at the base of her parents’ driveway. Police have yet to make an arrest.

Lauren’s father, Aliquippa Police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins, was placed on paid administrative leave after his daughter was interviewed as a witness by investigators. He was also referred by a superior officer for departmental discipline after allegedly failing to heed instructions to not enter the crime scene shortly after the murder. He remains on leave.

Cordes said he did know Lauren Watkins, but his gripe is with her father, who was his arresting officer.

Watkins, his wife Stephanie, and daughter Lauren, all spoke with BeaverCountian.com on multiple occasions following DelTondo’s murder, although they did not return messages seeking comment for this article.

BeaverCountian.com published an in-depth investigative report about the “DelTondo Murder Letter” on June 12 in conjunction with a team of reporters for the Daily Mail out of New York City after Cordes’ cell and his defense attorney’s office were searched.

A second investigative report published by BeaverCountian.com on June 16 called into question the authenticity of the letter, which was allegedly included inside a letter mailed to Cordes by his girlfriend.

Rachael DelTondo’s mother, Lisa, told BeaverCountian.com that following its reports, Beaver County Detectives confirmed to her they had conclusive information that the letter was not authentic.

But Lozier commented to a Pittsburgh media outlet that the letter was not yet authenticated and could be critical to the investigation — failing to mention his office had information the letter was fake. His words led to anger in the police community that Lozier had put a target on their backs because the letter implicated a cop.

The letter led to a flurry of activity by county detectives who worked to obtain the original document, which had been torn in two by Cordes. Half was given to Benyo, who also had his offices searched.

Cordes said his plan was hatched when detectives interviewed his cellmate, who then told him it could be a “get out of jail free card.”

“I said, oh yeah? That sounds like a good idea.”

Since Cordes had no actual knowledge about the murder, he said he culled together information from a variety of sources to help concoct the letter.

“I had no idea (about) anything, about any of that shit. All I seen in the paper was that Watkins was involved and that was the officer that arrested me …. I knew a little bit about him from Aliquippa and from just being around. I didn’t like him so I had no problem making shit up against him ….

“I did know (Watkins’ daughter) Lauren. I was right across the street from her for a long time. I talked to a lot of people that told me things.”

Cordes claimed he also used the investigators as unwitting assets in his scheme. “The detectives themselves told me a lot of things I didn’t know the first time they talked to me.”

Cordes said he used all of the information he had garnered to make up a story that he felt could plausibly be believed … at least for a while.

“I had to take an educated guess, but it was a good guess, I guess … Everything worked really well, even if it was fucked up.”

Cordes took on the persona of Lauren when creating the letter, as if she had written the letter to him. In his fictitious tale of the night DelTondo died, Cordes’ “Lauren” implicates her parents in DelTondo’s murder.

Cordes said he fed the false story to his cellmate, who physically wrote out the letter with a red pen. Inmates only have access to writing utensils they purchase from the jail’s commissary and the store does not sell pens that write in red ink. It was one of the details that originally caused detectives to believe the letter must have originated from outside of the jail.

But some staff in the facility use red ink for paperwork.

“My celly (cellmate) went down to medical and got the red pen there,” Cordes explained. “Since we only had black pens we try to get other colors.”

Cordes’ ploy worked, leading homicide investigators on a wild goose chase and sparking international headlines before prosecutors granted the man a plea deal in his case if he told them what he knew about the letter.

His deal with the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office also granted him immunity from prosecution for any criminal wrongdoing he may have done in connection with the letter – charges that could have included obstruction of justice.

“I got my plea deal,” said Cordes.

After Cordes revealed the letter was fake, prosecutors asked him to undergo a polygraph examination to confirm what he was saying about the letter.

“I passed a lie detector test by the FBI,” said Cordes. “The first time their little machine was broken. They had to get another one.”

Courthouse sources independently confirmed to BeaverCountian.com that Cordes submitted to a polygraph examination, that he made a second appearance after technical difficulties interrupted the first test, and that the test showed he was being truthful in his confession.

Attorney Benyo also confirmed to BeaverCountian.com his client’s assertions about the test. “As part of his negotiated plea bargain, Mr. Cordes volunteered to give true and accurate information to the county detectives concerning the DelTond investigation. Mr. Cordes appeared on two occasions to take the polygraph, and it is my understanding that the results confirmed the information he provided to the county detectives.”

DelTondo’s mother Lisa said her family had been close with the Watkins family and the letter caused her considerable grief. “Me thinking Kenny Watkins could have had anything to do with my daughter’s death made me crazy.”

Lisa did not hold back in expressing the rage she feels toward Cordes for interfering with her daughter’s murder investigation and dragging the Watkins family through the mud.

“He was smarter than the district attorney. Can you believe it? This whole made-up thing. I can’t imagine sitting there in a cell and figuring this out. To me he’s almost brilliant in a bad way … He’s evil … I think he’s a psychopath, or a sociopath, or narcissist. He’s something … He sure did play the county detectives, and I still don’t hear anything from them … My soul is fractured, nothing is left but hate.”

Cordes expressed regret for adding to Lisa’s sorrow.

“I didn’t think it was going to affect the case so much. I didn’t think about any of that. The only thing that was on my mind was getting out,” he said.

“I definitely feel really bad. I wish I didn’t do what I did. I didn’t realize it would affect someone that was grieving like that. I didn’t care about the fucking cop because he’s a piece of shit in my eyes.”

Cordes said he did regret the impact the letter had on Sgt. Watkins’ wife and daughter. He also brought up the impact his fabricated letter has had on his own life.

“I am trying to get a job. A lot of people know about that shit. It is hard to get a job now.”

What follows is Wayne Cordes’ fictional letter in full, crafted by Wayne to appear as if it was written by Lauren and sent to him in jail:

I bet you’re surprised to hear from me, especially after what happened that night with my dad catching us and then you going to jail. I tried talking him out of it but he wouldn’t change his mind about it, not after us being shot at he said. If only he’d seen how you hid me behind you to protect me that really showed me how much you cared about me and showed what kind of man you are.

You’re the only person I can really trust with my life right now. I can’t say too much in case they read your letters but Kaylee said they don’t. I think I’m in serious trouble and I don’t know what to do. My mom and dad got me into all this with this girl Rachael. They wanted me to get information from her but they wouldn’t tell me why. I figured it has to be important though because my dad gave me a new phone and said I have to text him from it instead of using mine. I swear I didn’t know anything Wayne, you know me I’d never do anything on purpose to hurt anyone, this is all so crazy.

We went to Hanks and then drove around. When I dropped her off I called my mom like they told me to, and she told me to find a spot to park in and my dad would meet me. That’s when I heard the gunshots and seen her fall. I started to speed away I was so scared, but my dad called me and told me to stop because he was right behind me so I stopped and let him in. When we got to the end of the street he told me to stop again and I swear it looked like he had a gun but I’m not completely sure, he got out and gave it to this guy in the car he had me stop behind. I really think he shot her. He took the phone back that he gave me. He said if I told anyone what really happened I could go to jail.

I think they already know cause we went right back to her house the cops had just gotten there and even though they tried to stop him from going under the yellow tape he kept going anyways he said he had to get close to see that she was really dead. They’re asking all kinds of questions now and what if they find the other phone or the gun. Will they really send me to jail? I don’t want to be part of this. They can’t send me if I tell them what really happened. I’m only 17 I can’t go to jail!

I never thought my dad would ever do something like this. Please don’t let him find out I told you. I don’t know if I can trust him anymore Wayne… I don’t want him to try and hurt me too… Just write Kaylee back. I’ll go get the letter from her. Please make sure you shred this letter up after you read it. I really can’t go to jail… You’ve been in trouble before, you know about the law. Please tell me what you think I should do. I really need you on this one Wayne…

Lauren Watkins

BeaverCountian.com’s Contributing Editor Lori Boone contributed to this report.

See Also:

Timeline: The Murder Of Rachael DelTondo

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.


  1. We need to get a hold of Dateline and Lester Holt…You can’t make this shit up!!! WOW!.. Good reporting JP!!

  2. Holy shit balls, Benyo for DA. Hell Cordes for DA. Anybody but LOZIER. Man how dumb is that guy? Damn man what a sucker

  3. Did Benyo know that he was making up this story to get a plea deal? If so he is complicit in this “play”. If he did not know then he also got played by the “genius” Cordes. And to quote the article, “Attorney Benyo also confirmed to BeaverCountian.com his client’s assertions about the test. “As part of his negotiated plea bargain, Mr. Cordes volunteered to give true and accurate information to the county detectives concerning the DelTond investigation. But he did not give truthful and accurate information!!!.
    It also appeared that Losier initially resisted a plea, that is until Benyo threatened him. Something fishy here. So now is the time we hear from all the Benyo bootlickers, lemmings and zealots.

    • Looser is an idiot. Benyo did what any competent attorney is supposed to do. He defended his client vigorously. And he would have slaughtered Looser in the court room. Cordes walked because of Loosers incompetence. The guy is a fucking MORON..

      • Exactly, ricimer…So, Gringo, you mean to tell me that all Defense Attorneys should be held complicit when they know they are defending guilty people. They are paid to defend, not blindly believe! I do not blame Mr. Benyo for playing his cards against an inept Lozier. Cordes is the POS liar here. I wonder what lies in front of him now. Does the plea deal go away?

    • Felicia my dear, Can you read? I never said Benyo should not defend his client vigorously, or blindly believe!!! And I never said that an attorney should be held complicit when they defend a “guilty” client. You either have the brain of a five-year-old or your head is up Benyo’s ass.
      Consider this from NOLO:
      “Criminal defense attorneys have a duty to zealously represent their clients and guard their confidences. However, they also have a duty to the court not to present evidence that they know is false, fraudulent, or perjured, whether it’s coming from the defendant or a witness whom the lawyer knows intends to lie. A lawyer who knowingly uses or presents perjured testimony risks serious consequences. Under the profession’s code of ethics (the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar Association), doing so subjects the lawyer to discipline—and quite possibly, disbarment”.
      And this from The Rules of Professional Conduct (Pa. Supreme Court):
      “A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law”.
      So a lawyer has a duty to have his client “not lie” on the record, correct any issues or report the problem to the courts.

      • Hey you just described Beaver Counties very own District Attorney Looser. And you did it very well.

  4. *Cordes got away with “13 counts of felony and misdemeanor charges.”
    *The DA avoided sanctions from the searches.
    *Rachel’s murderer got away with murder.
    *Lawbreakers 3:Victims 0

  5. Lozier was only concerned about protecting his own ass, just as the police were. Rachael’s family should file civil suit against cordes for extreme emotional distress. To use a deceased person for your own gain is disgusting. Do us a favour Wayne. Move out of the county. Trash like you we don’t need. We have enough around here.

    • No, her family needs to file suit against the county, and how this whole investigation has been handled. Cordes is just a scapegoat, an actor in their whole f’d up twisted scheme. Big time cover ups. Let’s face it, that police dept isn’t being investigated for being the pillars of society.

    • Your comment is a little over the top, but I agree that Cordes is pretty stupid for bragging about getting one over on law enforcement. He should probably just go away quietly and be thankful for the second chance, especially since he didn’t deserve it. Being clever isn’t the same thing as being smart.

      • He was only clever because the d a and his detectives are not. That speaks to the ineptness of Loser and gang. Pitiful.

  6. Am I the only one having trouble believing this …if Cordes was that smart, a “genius” why is he in jail.

    • He may be a smart kid. Too bad he never used his brain to do good with his life. Instead he beats someone with a ball bat and outwits our dumbass DA. He only had concern for himself and his own ass. Worst part is he’ll always be looking for easy fast money by whatever means necessary. This won’t be the last we hear this young man’s name for brutal assault.

      What a waste of brains. Of course he hates Watkins since thats who charged him for the ball bat assault. Wouldn’t have mattered which cop filed the charges. He’d be talking shit on whoever the cop was.

      Karma is a bitch Mr. Cordes. Hope you’re prepared for the the kinda karma that’s coming your way.

      • You should probably have all the FACTS before running your mouth. Its AMATUER HOUR IN BC… hey BeaverCountian, lets be like the BC Times and report only half the story.

      • Agreed.
        The kid is sharp but a loser.
        This doesn’t make Benyo look very well either gettting a thug back on the streets to abuse women!
        Come DA office, maybe you need to hire some people that have common sense.

  7. Ok, let me get this straight, he made up this letter AFTER the detectives questioned him in jail, yet he states he didn’t know Rachael. Then why the hell would they be questioning him to begin with?? I’m sorry, but I call bullshit on this story. If he passed the lie detector, and he states there never was a letter till afterwards it just doesn’t add up, but boy the overtime on this fake letter investigation sure did!!! Open your eyes BC Detectives… lie detector the Watkins clan!!

  8. The ‘true real’ good people of Beaver County deserve protection and justice. And you will find there are those strong freedom fighters who are honest, and true and just, outstanding brave citizens who have the courage to come forward to fight and expose the degradation and the injustices that the filthy few who breed the corruption and bigotry that has brought the hatred and fear that is plaguing our community. There is power in numbers, and power to the people!! The good always prevail.

    • @Kevin… i wish more people would stand up and be heard… or more would stand united with those that have come forward. I can’t tell you how many people i have run into who tell me things they know but then do nothing about it. I’ve said a million times there is STRENGTH IN NUMBERS! Even if they went to a council meeting to support Piroli and Mottes would be a good thing.

      • I too was one who dealt in dope peddling and crime, when I was a young foolish, ignorant heathen. I had loving, God fearing parents. But the ‘street game’ lured me. I had no one to blame but myself. Many of my hoodum friends are dead or in jail. Only the grace of God, and the prayers of loved ones rescued me. I could have been counted among the ‘filthy few’. That’s was 30 years ago! This opiate crisis is an equal opportunity war. It takes no prisoners. Our community must unite, and I believe the answer is in the hearts and minds of those who have escaped this epidemic.

  9. This wasn’t Cordes’ first romp through the justice system and it probably won’t be his last based on his life history thus far. People are bitching that what he did was so horrible….well, um, yeah…he is just that kind of person and you are all expecting boy scout behavior.

    So, let’s place the blame here where it actually belongs. Had Lozier and his band of merry little detectives not conducted an illegal search and seizure, the DA wouldn’t have been in the position of having to give this deal to Cordes in order to avoid a sanction hearing that he knew he was going to lose. Letting Cordes walk isn’t great publicity; but it’s not as bad as losing in a sanction hearing when you’re a DA with no criminal law experience.

    The DA was incompetent for authorizing the search in the first place.
    The County Detectives were incompetent in both their search and interrogation techniques.

    Both of these things make the case for eliminating the detectives from the payroll and using PSP going forward along with voting Lozier out of office.

    So quit blaming Cordes…he is a piece of shit and that won’t likely ever change. Lozier and the detectives set all the pins up for him..Cordes just knocked them down. Show me an honest inmate who wouldn’t do the same thing if the opportunity appeared on their doorstep wrapped up in a great big bow with a card signed “XOXO, hugs and kisses, from your bud, the DA.”

    One thing though has never been explained and it might be germane to the overall situation. Why after the search of Cordes’ cell did his original attorney, Steve Valsamedis, recuse himself from the original case against Cordes which had nothing to do with the Deltondo investigation?

      • He would have already paid the retainer in order to have been represented by Valsamedis in the first case. It wasn’t until the Deltondo case came into the Cordes situation that his lawyer bailed. So, that tells me that a sudden conflict arose and the most logical would be that Valsamedis was already representing someone else associated with the Deltondo case and therefore couldn’t represent Cordes. Two possibilities come to mind, Couch or Watkins and if it is one of these two the next question is why since they haven’t been charged with anything. Kind of makes me think that perhaps Watkins (pick one, father or daughter, it doesn’t matter) is expecting to be charged and has sought early representation. Perhaps JP can get his hands on the motion that was filed to see if it explains in any detail to the court why he could no longer represent Cordes.

  10. Wtf am I missing..? He had no idea about a letter that Lauren sent him until the detectives question him about it. His “celly” then writes the letter after the interview in which apparently the incompetent detectives gave him too much info? Where’d the rumor of the letter start then? And it’d be a real shame if Gerry is walking around with his chest puffed out if he played in this game

  11. So…Loser got bitch slapped by a punk ass bitch.
    Again…I ask…How much more can Loser Fuck this up?!
    Frank “The Bow Tie” looks like a fucking Rhodes Scholar to Loser!

  12. I’ve never said this until now, but it is literally the first thing that has come to mind after reading this inane, ridiculous story.

    I am embarrassed to be from Beaver County.

  13. The DA and detectives are a complete disgrace and disservice to this county and it’s people. The only case they can solve are the one dropped in their lap. They should all be impeached for impulsive, ignorant incompetence.

    • I can’t help but wonder what happened to Raven. I hope he wasn’t stricken with an illness, I’d rather he be Masters than that. Curiouser and curiouser.

      • Yeah I been wondering myself. I miss his comments here. Sometimes he just gets fed up and takes a break from the madness.

    • More like they only solve the ones that do not involve their lined pockets. Just like the Officer Naim case. They use their influence to put the blame somewhere else…

  14. A lawyer experienced in criminal matters and investigations would know that an investigator should never GIVE information to an interviewee, only GET information from them. For Lozier to claim that the Beaver County Detectives are here to keep us safe and that we should be thankful that they’ve piled up 400 hours of OT on our behalf is enraging. David, you and your ‘detectives’ are incompetent, you have to know that. This would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

  15. CONGRATULATIONS to NEW BRIGHTON POLICE for putting Dana Penny in the county jail. Times says he’s from Ambridge. Aliquippa police have been raiding homes in Aliquippa only to find that he’d just stepped out. Then there was the home invasion last month from which he got away but his partner was killed. His reign of terror and drugs was successful while in Aliquippa, but New Brighton was his downfall. Give those police a raise! Now, let’s hope the county doesn’t make a shambles of the prosecution.

  16. I dunno Lisa, I think you should take a long hard look at the Watkins!! Although they are and Wayne, saying the letter is fake, who really knows, but Wayne and the Watkins!? If he could play the DA he could play a lie detector test! That’s why they stopped using them to convict people of crimes, it’s not reliable enough.
    But, fuckin way to go Wayne!! You have me rolling on the floor! ACAB!!!!!! But the way he describes the situation is creepy af! I don’t trust the cops and still to this day, think they had Rachael killed.. the whole timeline of Lauren dropping her off, then she shows up minutes later with her dad… how was he close enough to her to be back at the scene that fast? That’s the only situation that makes sense to me. They tested the jeters for fun shot residue, but I bet they didn’t get it from Watkins anytime close enough for there to be any on him! Get real police in Aliquippa and get these goons out!

    • I do believe you may be RIGHT ON the ticket. Too bad more people dont have brains in their heads. They are EXACTLY why BC will never get better. Feed them some shit and they eat it on up with no rationale…

  17. “Cordes said he got the idea after county detectives questioned him about a letter shortly after DelTondo’s murder.”

    Two things:
    – Where is the follow up from the beaver countian on this statement? Why would the detectives knock on his cell in the first place?

    – Why are our detectives asking this asshat leading questions? Did they really just go in there like it’s amateur hour? If so, pretty soon anyone with half a brain and ill intent is gonna figure out that they can get away with murder here.

    • Well someone else has gotten away with murder in the past, case in point Naim for one. Beaver County is loaded with good old boys who work together to screw with the people and get away with murder, drunk driving, leaving the scene of an accident, theft, drug trafficking and rape. If Beaver County gets rid of the good old boys there will be a change, but don’t hold your breath.

  18. 400 hours of overtime for this crap??
    How many leads to they have?
    Is anyone even a suspect?
    Is it this easy to get away with murder in Beaver county??

  19. or was he paid off to say he wrote it himself????? the fbi should come in and give every last one of the police officers and the watkins family lie detector tests!

    • The PSP and FBI should have been on it from the beginning. When Percavaille tried to have the PSP take over, look how they destroyed him with BS that anyone with a fraction of sense could see through. Then everyone praises Sealock for having the corrupt BC detectives “take over”. THEY ALREADY HAD THEIR HANDS IN IT SO WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU. Why wouldnt Sealick insist the PSP or FBI. Think about all that has come to light, BC is the pocket liner for far more than just the local yocals, a. k. a PAWNS. It will never cease to perplex me how DUMB AND IGNORANT folks around here are. No wonder BC is sucked dry.

  20. The District Attorney asked the Court for a “gag order” before I had possession of the entire letter from Mr. Cordes. When the “gag order” was put into place, the only person or entity with an entire copy of the letter was the District Attorney’s Office.

    Once the “gag order” was issued by the Court forbidding my discussion or mentioning the existence of the letter or its contents to anyone, it was impossible for any investigation of the letter’s authenticity to take place.

    The violations of Mr. Cordes’ Constututional Rigjts and the failure to follow the Rules of Criminal Procedure are documented in the Motions I filed with the Court. This case was defended and resolved on procedural grounds.

    Based upon the District Attorney’s extreme actions as to the letter and the “gag order” effectively barring investigation by me into the letter’s authenticity, there was every appearance that the letter was authentic. Why would the District Attorney make such a big deal over this letter if it knew it was “fake’?

    I did question aspects of the letter and its authenticity, but litigation of Mr. Cordes’ criminal case ended before my questions could be answered or investigation performed due to the “gag order”.

    I note the actual content of the letter was never used to assist in Mr. Cordes in any manner. This case was resolved based upon violation of the Constitution Rights and violations of the Rules of Criminal Procedure by the District Attorney’s Office and that what was presented to the Court.

    • So your client is once again lying? This time to the Beavercountian. He claims that his letter fabrication is what got him the plea but you claim it was based on procedural errors. So counselor, are you claiming that you did not use his fake letter as part of the plea deal?
      Did you at any time know that he had fabricated the letter and lied to the DA or investigators. When did you find out about his version of the events?
      Please remember you are still under oath.

      • You didn’t quite understand the explanation that was provided..Mr. Cordes was still entitled to have his constitutional rights preserved and when Lozier violated them the moron for sanctions was filed. Whether Benyo knew anything about the content at that point is irrelevant as it doesn’t change the fact that Lozier conducted an illegal search and seizure.

  21. Mr Benyo
    There are 7 reasons that constitute grounds for removal of a district attorney from office. Do you believe, like so many commenting here that this farcical, seemingly inept, excuse for a professional meets one or more of the criteria to begin the process of removal from office of the District Attorney?!? If so would you be so kind in sharing any pariculars within legal, moral and or ethical manner. Thank you

    • Mungo. A primary election will take place in 8 months and a general election six months later in November 2019. The voters of Beaver County will select a District Attorney at that time from the candidates who pursue that position. District Attorney Lozier was elected to a 4 year term in 2015 and he will be a candidate in 2019. Other candidates will present themselves and the taxpayers and voters need to decide what they want from a District Attorney and how that office should be run. Each candidate should be examined as to criminal experience and what direction they intend to take that office.

      Beaver County has Police Chiefs being arrested, Federal Investigations into governmental corruption, at least 2 Grand Jury Investigations, a structural deficit in the county budget that will result in double digit tax increases, 7 union contracts to negotiated and widespread distrust of county government in general. Taxpayers and voters have enough facing them and plenty of areas to express themselves publically.

      It is my opinion that change of leadership decisions must be made in the voting booths of Beaver County and not within the legislature in Harrisburg or any courtroom.

  22. Some guesses and opinions:

    First, I don’t believe that the letter was fully written by Cordes, or for that matter, fully conceived by Cordes. An apparently relatively uneducated 21-year-old young man with his background would not write in fairly complete, grammatical, mostly mechanically “correct” sentences. With help, or prompting, maybe, if the cellmate were somewhat educated in writing. If it were dictated, it would be even less accurate.

    The letter contains five equal paragraphs, each with a different content. A “story” with a beginning, rising action, climax, denouement, and ending. Sorry, but that doesn’t pass a smell test for the same kind of improvising person. And to be improvised and dictated to be scribed in red ink by another person? Nope, sorry.

    The writer uses ellipses (…) four times in the last paragraph, an advanced punctuation and rhetorical device – a pause for reflection and emphasis. An uneducated 21-year-old? Nope. This person has likely written before, and is probably experienced. This was likely done intentionally.

    And the draft was made in red pen, without any errors or cross-outs or omissions? Nope, first drafts don’t usually come out error-free. They are revised, repeatedly. This is pretty close to a final draft.

    Most graduating seniors from public high schools are functionally illiterate in writing. Unless Cordes was good in high school and maybe attended some college, this is about as atypical as writing can get for a high school graduate with little writing background.

    The letter is signed with both the first and last names of the girl. What girl does that when writing to a friend? No, this is unintentionally melodramatic and phony.

    Without the videotapes or transcripts of the interviews and polygraph test, it is impossible for a third party to determine if Cordes answered correctly or under which conditions produced the “truthful” results.

    Nope, my last guess is that there was someone else involved. Someone fairly good with words and writing, but also good enough to make it look “not too good.” Someone who would not turn up in the interrogation or polygraph questions. It seems to be a group effort, or a dumbed down effort to fool. And if so, then someone else might be guilty of obstruction of justice.

    It just seems to be too good to be true.

    Or not, if all my guessing is wrong.

    • Raven,

      Great comment, Raven. I was thinking very similar thoughts. My initial, unorganized thoughts while reading this letter:
      1. No way!! I don’t buy that this kid wrote this well developed letter.
      2. What’s with the questioning of Cordes in the first place about some “letter” written shortly after the murder but BEFORE he supposedly wrote this letter? What letter? We need more info.
      3. Why would Lauren need to write her full name, when the letter kept referring to her dad arresting Wayne?
      4. I don’t know Lauren, but does anyone who has talked to her really believe that she wrote this? Especially to the extent to justify the DA’s office extreme reaction of an immediate gag order and the stupid illegal seizure of documents from Gerald Benyo’s office?
      4. Where is the interview with the “celly” to verify the story?
      5. Why would the “celly” go to such lengths to free Cordes?
      6. This whole letter seems like a sham and is too contrived to ever be believed.
      7. What? “Cordes said his plan was hatched when detectives interviewed his cellmate, who then told him it could be a ‘get out of jail free card.'” Why would there be a ‘get out of jail free card’ at that stage of the game? How could someone anticipate that the DA’s office would screw things up at Benyo’s office? So many things had to line up.
      8. “His deal with the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office also granted him immunity from prosecution for any criminal wrongdoing he may have done in connection with the letter – charges that could have included obstruction of justice.” Why give so much? Wasn’t it enough that he got off from the charges he was originally arrested for?

      This article only brings more questions than answers to me, and has my mind racing!

    • You know who usually writes fairly well, detailed, grammatically correct sentences?………..Police Sergeants!

  23. Anyone following the Deltondo murder has to realize now that this case will likely NEVER be solved. Cordes’ story should be the final nail in the coffin of the most inept DA in history, Stonewall Loser. The county commissioners must cut off the head of the snake by demanding that the DA’s merry band of SUPER DICKS be eliminated at once. This will save the county over 1 million easily with NO affect on public safety. There are by readers accounts here over 21 unsolved homicides in Beaver County to date. While we dwell on others let’s not forget the unsolved ones in Quip that I doubt anyone is investigating. These inept wannabe’s can’t solve that last few hot cases and forget about any luck on the cold cases unless the PSP takes over. Time to eliminate the DA’s overpaid, money grubbing cowboys and let the PSP take over with professional skills. This is SOP for all but 2 counties in PA. We have the largest squad of wannabe gumshoes in the state. let’s see the stats on their effectiveness. The only thing they do is round up the usual drug suspects to pad their numbers. We see by the results being brought out on this site that they are a waste of taxpayers monies but a boon to those who scoop up these overpaid p[positions at the expense of the elderly and poor citizens. If you do not understand this then wait till you get your tax increase next year. The commissioners have failed miserably at reigning in spending and cutting a bloated payroll of Friends and Family Inc. Taxpayers must unite to end this corruption. Elections are coming up soon so please study the options wisely. This is my last rant as I am leaving for greener pastures far from the corruption and madness of this county. Good luck to the suckers left behind.

    • Well, Mungo Jerry, I think some minor things have been overlooked here. One of the simplest English teacher checks for plagiarism or authorship is to simply take the composition away, then ask the writer to write it again. It doesn’t matter what he/she SAYS about the authorship. You can even supply the same facts that were written about in the original. A person’s writing is like fingerprints, and it can’t be faked. It might take a writing professional or good computer program to note the style, or difference, but it is there. If it is determined as faked or forged or copied, then go looking for the source. Where did the person get the original? How many people could have supplied Cordes with the original? Friends, family, acquaintances, the cellmate or the librarian at the jail. Who did it? It didn’t do itself. And, if it was done once, it can be done again. And if another source of the same writing is found, ask questions. One catch — don’t give them a get out of jail free card until you are sure.

  24. Upset he did that because it’s hard to find a job now. Guess it’s a double edged sword. Would of been tough with those felonies to!

  25. I’ve been lurking here for several months now (since news of the murder of Rachael DelTondo reached me clear out here on the Left Coast) without commenting on any of the articles. As a former Quip, I’m still trying to figure out who the players are what with the nicknames and “Family & Friends” references. It all sounds pretty incestuous to me. BUT, that self-serving letter! Someone help me here…what does the opening paragraph even mean? Was Lauren involved with Cordes & Kaylee in some criminal way…being shot at? Have to agree with Raven & Anonymous. No one writes in complete sentences with no cross-outs or inserts in a first/final draft nor ends with Love, first and last name.

  26. I don’t believe this letter has any real bearing on solving the murder. It got this man out of jail, but no doubt he will be arrested again for a brand new string of felonies. He is free to make more bad choices and then blame it on whichever policeman arrests him.
    What is important is that it is evidence of the broken legal system in Beaver County. That deserves our attention.

  27. Maybe a little off main topic here but just about every related article that is posted here involves the ” Watkins ” and so much has been dug up with everyone else I am curious as to why if The Beaver Countian has interviews the Watkins , why was it never published ? It seems as if everyone and everyone surrounding the events are interviewed and published. Yet, I read where a report was conducted by Beaver Countian with the Watkins , so JP why have we not heard anything from this or these interviews ? With this family name showing up in almost every twist and turn in this case , I am questioning why this interview with the family was never published here if it was indeed conducted? All this talk about cover up and covering for folks , yet its come to everyone’s attention that an interview done with the Watkins seems to exist , so my question is why has it not been made public ? I am in no way making accusations that this media outlet is covering for anyone , please do not take me wrong … I am just wondering that if this interview was conducted sometime back, what is the reason it has not been published and made public like everything else has been on here. Thanks in advance for any information you are able to bring forth on this matter.



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