In this episode, retired agent Richard Denholm reviews the missing persons investigation of Jessie Davis, the 9 months-pregnant girlfriend of Canton, Ohio police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. Rich led the case as the supervisor of the Cleveland Division’s Canton Resident Agency. The disappearance became a national news story.
The Starks County Sheriff’s Office invited the FBI to provide assistance with interviews of witnesses and subjects, and the polygraph examination of Cutts, after which he agreed to show the agents where Davis’s body was buried. Cutts was charged and convicted on seven counts involving the homicide of Davis and her unborn child.
Rich also talks about the connection this tragic case had with the investigation of the murder of another 9-months pregnant woman, Laci Peterson.
Rich served in the FBI for 22 years. He began his career as an enforcement attorney at the U.S. Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C. and practiced there for four years before joining the FBI. Throughout his FBI career, he led significant, high-profile investigations including public corruption, white collar crime and violent crime. He received the Attorney General’s Award in 2003 for leading the investigation of a U.S. Congressman. Rich served as the FBI’s Deputy Director to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Fusion Center and led efforts of federal law enforcement to share intelligence across all agencies of the U.S. Government. He is a certified FBI law enforcement instructor and has taught courses of instruction to all levels of federal, state, and local law enforcement.
Special Agent (Retired)
Richard Denholm II
8/1995 – 3/2018
“One of the searchers that the reporters kept keying on was Bobby Cutts. Bobby Cutts was a Kent, Ohio police officer, and he was the boyfriend of Jesse Davis. He was the father of the boy who was found in the apartment, and we also believe that he was the father of Jesse’s unborn child. Bobby Cutts was out with the searchers and they kept showing him breaking down in tears, taking a knee, pouring water on his head, crying. He’s just obviously distraught that Jesse was missing.”—Retired Agent Richard Denholm
Since his retirement from the Bureau, Rich continues to be very busy. He is an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society. He is also a director at A1C Partners, delivering advisory services, intelligence analysis, and lifecycle program management support for mission critical federal programs at the intersection of law enforcement and intelligence. He also manages his own law practice Denholm Law PLLC and is the author of two texts books. Investigating and Prosecuting Corruption: An Anthology helps students learn about the history of corruption in the United States and around the world.
The following links are to articles and court documents related to the murder of Jessie Davis and her unborn baby by Bobby Cutts Jr.
The Plain Dealer – 12/18/2007: Bobby Cutts admitted to killing Jessie Davis, prosecutors claim
The State Journal-Register – 2/5/2008: Bobby Cutts’ friend testifies that she saw victim’s feet, didn’t ask questions
The Repository – 2/13/2017: Bobby Cutts Jr.: I was selfish
US District Court – Northern District of Ohio – 4/23/2014: Cutts v. Smith
Listen to another FBI Retired Case File Review case review where a woman was murdered by her boyfriend: