Rebekah Gould’s killer, William Miller accepted a plea a few weeks ago to 40 years in prison. He spoke exclusively to Angelia Roberts in this interview.

This story is the result of an exclusive interview granted to journalist Angelia Roberts, who previously worked for the Batesville Guard. She has covered the Gould murder extensively over the last 16 years, including conducting personal interviews with several member’s of Gould’s family through the years.
Roberts has been an award winning journalist for 30 years, 18 at the Guard. Convicted killer, William Miller sat down with Roberts after his conviction that resulted from a plea agreement. He spoke about his confession and perhaps, as a way to clear his conscience , apologized to the family before heading to prison.

By: Angelia Roberts, Special to the SRC

William Alma Miller lurked in the shadows, watching, listening and believing he had pulled off the perfect crime.
But his secret came to an end 16 years later when he agreed to talk to an Arkansas State Police investigator.

Hours later, the 2004 Rebekah Gould murder case was solved.

Questions answered
For almost two years William Miller’s daily routine has consisted of jail cuisine, frequent phone calls with his mother and occasional visits from his attorneys.
Just days before his scheduled jury trial, his defense team asked for a plea.
The family agreed.
Many of their questions were answered in a previous hearing when Miller’s attorneys argued his confession should not be allowed into evidence.
Family members learned more about what happened on the day Rebekah died, how Miller entered the residence by asking to use the phone and struck her multiple times with a piano leg, then disposed of her body.
It was an intense three days of listening to Miller boast about how he had driven by the Izard County Jail with her in the back of his pickup and threw her body off the side of the road.

They also heard Miller brag about his income, how he was considered a “King” in the Philippines, where he lived with his second wife and two children, and how he was able to fool “everyone” for years.

The plea
Circuit Judge Tim Weaver has seen his fair share of murder convictions and plea agreements.
Before sentencing he always asks the standard questions.
“Are you pleading guilty because you are guilty?”
“Are you satisfied with your legal representation?”
He then follows up with making sure they have not been bribed, coerced or promised anything for their plea.
Miller’s answers followed protocol with the standard yes – he was guilty – yes – he was pleased with his attorneys and assured the judge he read and agreed to all the conditions.
He then apologized to the family.
With court adjourned and Miller sentenced to 40 years in prison, he agreed to meet with Rebekah’s father, Larry Gould and sister, Tiffany Moore.
As they sat face-to-face, Miller told them how he watched Rebekah take her last breath and at the last moment tried to save her.
That was a lie.

Family connection
William “Billy” Miller was born and raised in Texas.
He was approximately 4 years old when his mother, Linda, was reunited with her biological father, Claude McCullough, who lived in Izard County.
That reunion came with new family members and Miller said he grew up mesmerized by the adventures of his grandfather and the tales he would relay to him, both real and imaginary.
“The first time I met my grandfather, I thought he was six feet tall. As far back as I can remember he had adventures to tell.”
Young William felt loved by the McCullough’s who helped fill the void of an absent father who worked off-shore. When he was home, it wasn’t a happy one, Miller said.
Visits to Izard County held a special place for him, but if there were any close connections to his McCullough cousins, there were no stories because most of his hero worship centered on his grandfather.
“My grandfather and grandmother were here. I adored them. I loved them very much.”
Claude McCullough would live 14 years after Miller’s 2004 visit to Izard County.
Long enough to be part of the accusations, pain and misery William Miller heaped on the McCullough family, especially his other grandson, Casey, who was cleared early on by investigators, but remained tainted in the public’s eye.
During 16 years of freedom, Miller admitted he allowed people to point fingers and falsely accuse Casey because it kept the focus away from him.
Miller seemed more concerned on how his grandfather would react.

“He’d be disappointed in me… very disappointed … horrified.”

Search Underway
In 2004 news traveled fast that the residence where Rebekah Gould had been staying was a crime scene.
Flyers with her picture were being distributed to anyone who might have seen her or have any information where she might have gone as volunteers searched along Hwy 58 from the main highway to Guion.
The state police were busy trying to piece together what happened in the last hours she had been seen.
Anyone and everyone that had been in contact with her, near the residence, or could have a possible motive was being checked out and hope dimmed that she was no longer missing or hurt.
As the days passed, what started as a search was looking more like a recovery.
A week later Rebekah’s body was found.

Investigators would chase hundreds of dead ends, travel several states, interview countless suspects as weeks turned into years

Miller talks
Almost from the time Miller sat down with Special Agent Mike McNeill with the Arkansas State Police and started talking, he didn’t stop.
McNeill had made the trip to Oregon where Miller was visiting his mother and brother; all three had agreed to chat with him.
Throughout the taped interview, Miller takes on a variety of personas from having a god-complex to being remorseful to constantly bragging about his ability to “fool” everyone.
But, to those watching the story unfold, it’s obvious Miller is the spider caught in McNeill’s web and the more Miller talks the more important he feels.
Miller still maintains he saw through McNeill’s ploy from the moment they met and willingly gave information to help solve the case.
His need to continue fooling people kept him talking for hours and as he gave a timeline of events, it matched with what McNeill believed to fit the narrative of the person who killed Rebekah.

Miller, who had been Number 6 on his list of possible suspects – moved up to Number 1.

Shortly after Miller was sentenced and returned to his cell, he still wanted to talk.
He claimed his attorneys were frustrated with him because they wanted to take it to trial, but at the last minute he opted for the plea.
Prosecutors were ready, subpoenas had been sent and they were confident in not only a guilty plea but a lengthy sentence.
Facing a class Y felony that carried a range of punishment from 10 to 40 to life, Miller opted for the 40.
That decision took away his right to appeal and meant he would have to do 70 percent of his sentence before he would even be eligible for parole.
The meeting
Miller did not know Rebekah Gould.
The first time he laid eyes on her was Sunday afternoon when he stopped with his mother to chat with Casey McCullough after making a trip to the grocery store.
He recalls Rebekah came to the door when Casey came outside to speak with them and Casey said he had to go.
Miller said he then went back to see if Casey or some of the others could help him load furniture, but no one was home.
“Later that night I went back and asked Casey to help, but he said, ‘I’m busy. I’m busy.’”
That was the second time he saw Rebekah.
On Monday morning Miller went back to the McCullough residence, parked his truck behind the house and knocked on the front door.
Rebekah was alone.
“I knocked on the door and that’s when I went in and everything bad happened. I asked to use the phone and I did something bad then. She said something to me and it just infuriated me.”
To this day, Miller maintains he doesn’t know what was said, but blames his explosive anger issues from his childhood when his dad would “beat him in the head.”
“It was kind of like what my dad did to me. I did that to her.”
Miller said he was frantic and shaking when he took her body out of the trailer along with a suitcase containing the bloody sheets.
“My DNA would be on her shirt because I was crying so much.”
While officials had no DNA to tie him to Rebekah’s death, Miller offered them more evidence by telling him where he disposed of the missing suitcase that held even more evidence.

The suitcase was still there.

Miller claims he’s had issues since the age of 14.
“I was molested as a child by a family friend and raped by a man that was in the family.”
Miller is adamant that he did not rape Rebekah, but does admit he has been accused of sexual assault more than once.
One, involved a woman who claimed he assaulted her child, but he points out it was unfounded and he was never charged.
“I come from off-shore and get yanked down to the police station and when they gave me the time-frame I showed them my time-sheet showing I was working off shore.”
Miller then said there was another claim.
“ A girl cousin said I did stuff that never happened… Her older brother wrote letters to my future wife saying I was a child molester.”
He denies any misconduct with children even though child porn was found on his phone along with photos of Rebekah’s headstone.
Miller explained he downloaded the headstone photo from the Internet and said he talks to her through the photo about how it’s time he came forward so everyone can have closure.
Miller says all the right things about how sorry he is for the pain and suffering he caused everyone, but his attempt to portray himself as a person who needs to pay fell short when he arrived in Izard County and hired a team of lawyers to defend him.

Off limits
When it comes to his mother, Miller finds ways to change the subject unless it’s about how many times he’s been there for her and helped her move to different locations.
A direct question, such as “When did your mother know?” is deflected to how he alienated himself from everyone and worked all the time.
On the day of his arrest, Miller asked to speak with his brother and mother who both had different reactions when they realized the interview was taking a different turn from simple questions and answers.
Jeremy Miller was shocked and worried while Linda Miller had no reaction when her son put his arms around her and told her he loved her.
Miller claims it was because his mother is a diabetic and was in a trance.
It’s unclear when Linda Miller knew her son killed Rebekah Gould, but when contact was made with her in Oregon, she claimed William was not in the states even thought he had been there for several days.
Later, she claimed she lied because she wasn’t sure it was a legit officer, but immediately contacted William saying something to the effect, this needs to be dealt with.

Moving on
The only time Miller was questioned in the death of Rebekah was early on in the investigation.
His name had been added to those who had been by the residence and the investigator assigned at that time wanted to know if he had any information.
The decision was made at state police headquarters to ask Texas to assist in order to save money, time and manpower and because there were no real red flags with Miller only arriving in Izard County to move his mother.
Miller said he didn’t feel he was in any way being looked at as a suspect when Texas officials showed up at his door.
“The only questions they asked were about Casey, such as, “What kind of guy is he?”
Miller said he stayed in Texas for years after Rebekah’s death.
“I didn’t take off or run. … People said I fled the country, but I stayed in Texas for 10 years after it happened. Then I started working overseas and that allowed me to travel all over the world”
Work was his escape and he felt safe in the middle of the ocean.

“If somebody was coming, I would see them.”

The last word
With Miller hours away from moving to his new home at the ADC, he addressed the pain he caused Casey McCullough from the time Rebekah was murdered.
“Casey never suspected me. No one suspected me, no one.”
“Now he’s not going to have people hounding him anymore. It will come to an end.
“I’m sorry for what I’ve caused the family up here. I’m sorry for taking Rebekah, the girl he was in love with.”
“I’m sorry to the Rebekah Gould family. I’m sorry to the McCulloughs for the pain and hurt and everything I caused everybody. My family are victims too.”
“I had to lie and keep lying and lying to everyone I ever loved.”
In an effort to right one wrong, Miller is adamant that Casey had no involvement in Rebekah’s death.
“Casey loved Rebekah. He was devastated. It was just me; I kept a secret.”

Time to serve
Circuit Judge Tim Weaver’s parting words to Miller was that he hoped he spent every day of the 40 years his attorneys had requested and the family agreed on.
Less than 24 hours after saying he had killed Rebekah Gould, Miller was no longer an inmate at the Izard County Jail.
During his transfer from Oregon, Miller remarked how it took an army of people to escort him to the airport, as if he had achieved celebrity status.
His exit from Izard County Jail consisted of less fanfare.
Dubbed “Miller the Killer” by local inmates, he will become just another face among the hundreds who are incarcerated for heinous crimes.
When asked if he would be a person of interest in any other crimes, he responded with, “No. This is a one-time thing.”

• Miller told both the family and later reiterated the statement he had tried to save Rebekah at the last moment by using CPR

• The medical examiner testified to the cause of death and there was no indication CPR had been performed.

• Miller claims Izard County tainted the crime scene by allowing “Izard, Stone and Sharp Counties” access.
•Izard County Deputy Charley Melton was the first person on scene. He entered the residence along with Casey McCullough and pointed out something was amiss in the bedroom. Melton said they immediately exited and he contacted Sheriff Joe Martz. Melton secured the scene until the Arkansas State Police arrived.

Cleaning supplies
• Items used to clean the scene were already there and believed to be purchased previously by Linda Miller at the request of Casey McCullough’s father (Bobbie). It was not unusual for him to ask Linda to get groceries and cleaning supplies.

No alibi needed
• Authorities said there was no reason for Casey McCullough to return home the day in question because he would have been stranded since his vehicle was in Batesville.
• Casey McCullough was cleared by three state police investigators, more than one lie detector test and by Miller’s confession and statements afterward.

• All physical evidence from the 2004 murder case will be kept in evidence for 99 years which is required by law.