From the book “Pensacola’s Finest in Pictures”
Corpus Delecti. What is it? A loose translation is concrete evidence. For a homicide detective, that often means that to charge someone with murder, you must have…a dead guy. Without a dead guy, it’s impossible to convict someone of murder…maybe. But not for Dennis Waldron.
Dennis was born in Billings, Montana. After he moved to Pensacola, he joined the Pensacola Police Department in 1980? He served as a patrolman, a vice investigator, and a field training officer. But the detective bureau was his thing. He worked frauds, burglaries, thefts, assaults, etc. He also worked murder cases.
When he heard that Ronald Fleming had killed a girl, he tried to find the body—unsuccessfully. But he didn’t give up. His instincts led him to believe that she had died, and that Fleming killer her.
Some detectives are good at strategy. Others are persistent. Dennis was both. Using his unique tactics and sheer doggedness, he compiled enough evidence for an arrest, an indictment and a conviction. Because of Dennis’ work, Ronald Fleming never saw freedom again.
For a detective to make a case in which a defendant is convicted of murder and sentenced to spend the rest of their life in prison is quite an accomplishment. To make a case without a body is unheard of…unless you are Dennis Waldron.