Trial in gay Dallas man's murder again delayed, this time by publication of book about case

Richard Hernandez
Richard Hernandez

Earlier this month I reported that Karen Dilbeck, the girlfriend of Seth Winder’s father, had written a book about Seth, who’s accused of the brutal slaying and dismemberment of gay Dallas resident Richard Hernandez in 2008. I also reported that Winder’s first-degree murder trial, long delayed due to competency issues, was finally scheduled to go forward in early May.

Well now it appears as though publication of Dilbeck’s book, “Slipping Into Madness: The Seth Winder Story,” has further delayed Winder’s trial, which has been pushed back until August to give the prosecution and defense a chance to review the manuscript.

“Mr. Winder, the defendant, his dad’s girlfriend wrote a book on the case. We did not know that until last week, and so we’ve ordered the book, and both the defense and the state will be reading the book,” said Jamie Beck, first assistant criminal district attorney for Denton County, which includes the area of Far North Dallas where the murder occurred. “I think there were a couple of other variables [contributing to the delay], but that was the big one, because she’d interviewed the defendant and his dad, so everybody needed that information. It could be inculpatory, it could be exculpatory, it could be both.”

—  John Wright

Trial set for May in brutal 2008 murder of gay Dallas man Richard Hernandez

madcvr

Karen Read Dilbeck, the girlfriend of Seth Winder’s father, has published a book about Winder, who’s accused of murdering gay Dallas man Richard Hernandez in September 2008. Hernandez was brutally dismembered in his far North Dallas apartment, and the ensuing manhunt for Winder by Dallas police has already been the subject of an episode of A&E’s “The First 48.” Winder was initially found mentally incompetent to stand trial, but his competency reportedly been restored, and a trial is now set for early May, according to Denton County court records (although Dilbeck predicts the trial will again be delayed). Here’s what she told me in an e-mail about the book, “Slipping into Madness: The Seth Winder Story”:

“My part was written like I would have done as a reporter basically with lots of commentary form Rodney [Seth Winder's father] and then lots of information about schizophrenia. My desire was to point out our flawed system here.  I write to Seth in jail and I believe he really is truly schizophrenic. What triggered him to kill Richard, we’ll never know, but I truly think it was a cry of insanity. Of course I feel so much sorrow for it all. My desire in writing this book was to possibly help prevent such tragedies in the future. Richard tried to befriend the wrong person and probably just did not realize the depth of sickness in Seth. … Everyone likes to speculate on things without knowing the background of someone, but I know what I saw long before he killed Richard and he was definitely mentally ill.”

—  John Wright