(Albuquerque) Eight days after Girly Chew Hossencofft disappeared, Linda Henning spoke with her good friend, Mary Alice Thomas, inside Henning’s home. Revealing a sword and an unforgettable tale, Henning explained that she’d recently been “appointed queen of the world” and that she must prepare to use the sword in upcoming battles with other queens. “This is what I have to fight my battles with. Do you know where I can take classes?”
Thomas provided the bizarre account of the sword and Henning’s alleged claim to royalty during Thursday’s testimony in Henning’s murder trial.
Thomas also testified that Henning has anti-government views and often spoke about a fast-approaching “Great War” with space aliens.
Thomas testified that she helped Henning hide five gold disks from police after Girly Chew Hossencofft’s September 9, 1999 disappearance. Thomas says Henning told her the disks contained a formula for a serum which causes “cell regeneration” and would actually help planet earth recover from an alien attack. Thomas says Henning claimed the formula came from Diazien Hossencofft, the missing woman’s estranged husband.
Thomas also explained that on the week of September 12, 1999, Henning told her Ms. Hossencofft had been kidnapped and killed. She said Henning, though, never admitted to having any involvement in the crime.
Thomas said Henning added that Hossencofft’s three-year-old son, Demetri, had also been kidnapped, killed and decapitated. Thomas said Henning explained that the boy’s head had been “cryonicly frozen and sent to Malta.”
Demetri Hossencofft is not dead and was not kidnapped.
Cutting through the sensational testimony, prosecutors also asked questions aimed at linking Henning directly to the murder scene and others charged or convicted in the case.
Thomas said that shortly after Ms. Hossencofft’s disappearance, she was in a car driven by Henning. She said Henning let her know where Diazien Hossencofft had lived by pointing to his white house as they drove by.
Thomas says that while Henning continued to drive, she read the tabloids aloud as Henning often liked her to do. “I felt her take a left turn,” which was not the way to my house, Thomas explained. The next moment, Henning pointed toward the apartment complex where Ms. Hossencofft lived, Thomas said. “That’s ‘D’ Hossencofft’s wife apartment (complex),” Henning allegedly explained.
Thomas also testified that on September 1, 1999, she had dinner at Henning’s home with Henning and Diazien Hossencofft. She said that Bill Miller arrived later and joined in the dinner.
Earlier this year, a grand jury indicted Miller on five counts of tampering with evidence in this case. His court date has not been set.
In the days and weeks following Ms. Hossencofft’s disappearance, Henning’s appearance spiralled downhill, stated Thomas. Still in September of 1999, Henning confided, “I feel like I’m going to be shot and hurt very seriously,” said Thomas.
*Thomas says Henning asked her not to share some information with investigators, advising Thomas that she could “plead the Fifth.” Thomas says, later, she was not truthful with a Grand Jury because she wanted to protect Henning. Thomas faced charges of perjury, harbouring a felon and tampering with evidence before she was granted immunity in exchange for her cooperation in this case.
Thursday’s witnesses also included Mr. Hossencofft’s divorce attorney, Felissa Garcia Kelley. Kelley testified that she vaguely remembers seeing cuts and bandages on Henning’s hands shortly after Ms. Hossencofft disappeared.
Henning’s attorney, Gary Mitchell, says, “It’s interesting that no police officers ever noticed cuts or bandages on Linda’s hands while they were questioning her (before her arrest).”
After excusing the jury for a noon recess, Judge John Brennan considered whether or not to allow a heated letter from Henning to Kelley into evidence. The letter was written by Henning after Ms. Hossencofft’s disappearance. In it, Henning alleges that Kelley had betrayed Mr. Hossencofft and that there will be a “judgment on your life.” As the prosecutor and defense attorneys debated the issue, Kelley–still sitting on the witness stand–grew visibly upset and turned her back to the court for several minutes as if composing herself.
In the end, the judge ruled against admitting the letter into evidence.
In addition to Thursday’s talk of threats and aliens, there was science. Amy Smuts, the scientist who analysed DNA in this case, was the first witness of the day.
Smuts previously examined and tested a human hair found on a blood-stained tarp containing Ms. Hossencofft’s clothing. She stated that the hair matches the DNA profile of Henning’s hair. Putting that finding into context, Smuts said that the hair has a similar DNA profile to 81 of 1,961 Caucasian hair samples in the FBI’s data base (which consists of about 5,000 DNA samples).
Smuts added that no hairs from Mr. Hossencofft or Miller were found on the tarp.
Diazien Hossencofft arrived at the Bernalillo County Detention Center in Albuquerque around 10am Thursday. He’s been serving a life sentence in Wyoming for his murder conviction in this case.
Henning’s defense team recently filed a motion to have Mr. Hossencofft transported to BCDC so that he would be available to testify. It appears the defense will begin calling its witnesses on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
*For the Record: When I initially posted this story, I wrote, “Thomas says Henning persuaded her to lie to investigators.” One reader tells me the wording suggests that Henning “asked” Thomas to lie. There is no record that Henning asked or suggested that Thomas lie. She did advise Thomas that she could “plead the Fifth.” To eliminate any possible confusion, I have rewritten that sentence in this story.