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Welcome to If Not For God, stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Here is your host, Mike Zwick. If Not For God with Mike Zwick, today we have Pastor Steve Goode back on.
Not good, as some people say, but good. But he is pretty good as well. But Pastor Steve is actually the lead pastor of Northside Baptist Church over in Greensboro, North Carolina. And you've been doing that for how long now, Steve? Well, I've been with him for three years. I've been with him for three years. They still allow me to come to work every day. So yeah, but this is my passion now. God's just really... Back when I came to the church, initially when they asked me to come, I said, I'd rather pull the quicks from my fingernails.
No, thank you. They just kept calling. They were like a bad girlfriend. They just kept calling and kept calling and kept calling. And I just knew God really had laid on their heart that I was supposed to come.
I was ready to take a break. But once I met with their committee and their people, it's like, I don't want to be anywhere else. So you found your niche. Now, originally, I found this out that you're actually from lower Alabama. My wife is from Tallahassee, Florida. So you're not too far away.
Is that right? No, no, man. I've lived all over there. In fact, I was born in Tuscaloosa, which means that if I change to a different team, if I say, hey, I'm going to root for a different team, I drop dead. It's in you.
So I can't change teams. Gotcha, man. But you've been in North Carolina for how long now?
1978. So I've been here a long time. I mean, I was raised my formative years, you know, my teen years. We're all here. So I got in all of the most of my trouble here in this area. Well, that's pretty cool, man. And, you know, I've known Pastor Steve for a while. Pastor Steve does a lot with the homeless. But what a lot of people don't know about Pastor Steve is that, Steve, you were a Greensboro police officer for 11 years. And not only were you a Greensboro police officer, but you were actually on something called was it a true crime story? Is that right?
Yeah, yeah. In fact, there's been several I do like subject matter expert kind of work. And I've done them on several, several different series. All generally, they kind of gravitate toward the same stories, or the same cases because of their fascination with the particular cases and the details. But But yeah, it's been kind of it's been eye opening and, and I avoided doing true crime for a long time.
I mean, heck, I was able to avoid it for more than 15 years or stay away from it. And eventually what happened was, I was contacted by a particular media company. And they said, Hey, look, we would really like for you to talk about this case.
I finally agreed to do it. Now, there are some things that you go through in doing these cases, because these cases are ones that I personally work this particular case, we're going to be discussing today, I was neck deep in, I was there on the initial crime scene with the suspect that night. And so I would say about this particular case, when I was called to do subject matter expert work for a particular case, at first I thought, you know what, I really want to unpack this. Okay, you know, okay, you know, I don't care what any any officer says with the way that we we hide a lot in our lives. We had a lot from our families, because there's a lot we see behind the scenes that you just you just don't want to take home and you don't want to take the other people. In this particular case, I when I agreed to do it, I had to unpack it.
So and that's what I did. This was about the first time I ever talked about this particular case that we're going to be discussing. You know how we're teasing that not saying that it was I literally went did a five hour interview interviewer that talked to me that day was a psych psychologist. Okay, so they they know how to just they know how to ask the right questions and invoke responses they're looking for.
They know how to kind of pull and pull the taffy, so to speak. And I just remembered I felt like is this ever going to end? Because they started bringing up details and I began to have to remember details about this case. Yes, that I had I had packed in the recesses of my memory and I never wanted to talk about again.
Yeah. And I remember the day that this all came to a close and I was through with that first interview. I remember, I remember literally going home that night and not talking the entire night.
Wow. Because it had opened up a bunch of information that I didn't want to talk about ever again, because of the horrendous nature of this case. It even took me to a place because at the time, you know, I was battling with going into ministry. But when I saw cases like this, when I was involved in cases like this, and in particular, the person's name, we're going to be talking about today.
His name was Tim Butzkowski. Okay, and bus gal, and I'm glad you were able to pronounce that. For me, I wasn't gonna leave that with you.
No, no, no. But I did want to give you a verse before we got into this. Because when I was praying about this, and I was thinking about this, the verse that came to my mind was Second Chronicles 16 nine. And it says, for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth, to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him, you have done a foolish thing. And from now on, you will be at war.
So maybe not at war part. But when I thought about that verse, one of the things that I was thinking about Pastor Steve was that a lot of times there's many, many people and including ourselves, we do things and we know they're not right. And maybe we're, we think that we're getting away with something. But But God sees it all. And when I thought about that, it kind of reminded me of this case. Now, tell us about the case. Well, well, if I could throw in another verse for you, because let me tell you where the what verse comes to mind when I talk about this case.
Okay. And it's found in Jeremiah 17, nine, okay. Jeremiah 17, nine, it says the heart is deceitful, above all things, and desperately wicked.
Who can know it? And when when as we begin to look at what the horrendous nature of what people can do, you have to start thinking, you know, what is the human heart capable of absent from God, because it says here when it when it talks about the heart of man is is deceitful, above all things, it doesn't say a few things, it says it above all your heart and heart is a reference to them to the mind, the nature here, that's all packed together. When we are I mean, our hearts, our minds are capable of some of the wickedest and only one person can know it.
And that's God. I would even go as far as to say that in this in this case here, that apart from apart from God's control in our lives, his total control, because even Romans 323 says everyone has sinned and fallen short of God's glory. There is only one way we can find redemption and we can find a way through it. So here's why I'm saying this, what I'm about to say today, the evil that I'm about to reveal today is such that we are all capable of this kind of evil on it when we're unchained to our own ways. You know, when the Bible talks about in judges that everybody did what was right in their own eyes, that you're capable of anything. Well, when we look at our nation now, and we look at the nature of sin being accepted in the marketplace of commonality, whatever you want to call it, all of a sudden now we have now tried to rationalize a way and think for ourselves what we think evil is and what's not and what's acceptable and what's not.
And we now have normalized evil in our society. And even above that, though, even with that case here, in the case of Tim Botzkowski, this goes this goes back in the recesses of my mind. And this was what we're going we're going back to Sunday, November the fourth of 1990. We're going back to a time I remember it was it was the the early morning hours of 1990. I remember being on duty that night I was a street patrol officer in North East, northeast side of Greensboro, you were six years old, right? Yeah.
Yeah, I wish I wish. Yeah, but but in this year, I remember being on the street that night, I remember it was by by one or 130. You're tired, you're ready for a break, you know, maybe you're ready, ready to get something to eat, because you're trying to get your second wind because you got some more time left. That night, I got a call to go to to the hospital. And it was about a lady who was being brought in her name was Elaine Botzkowski. Elaine had allegedly been placed or drowned in her bathtub at home, literally drowned her in her bathtub. And she was being rushed to the hospital. I went there the husband was already there. His name was Tim Botzkowski.
And Tim had was literally he he was kind of list. He was kind of cold when I was there didn't have a whole lot of emotion whatsoever. But they were working on his wife in a triage room. She was not responding.
She's not responsive at all. They had tried CPR, they were continuing to try risk rate or like life saving resuscitation. They were doing everything they could to save her life.
And I noticed that the more they tried, the harder they tried there, they couldn't get any response. And there came a time where they finally called it and called Elaine deceased. And time of death on that made a time of death. But I remember that night, talking to the husband, Tim, and of course, Tim began to tell me Tim was more interested in telling me what happened, then grieving the fact that he just lost his wife.
Yeah. And she's she's laying there. She's laying there in a triage room, deceased. And he's just he's just thinks it's necessary to tell me all these details. He told me about how, you know, he had his wife, he heard his wife fall in the bathtub or heard a thump and he went in there and found her under the water. When I went in and saw Elaine, I noticed some things about her that night that just struck me kind of strange. I noticed marks across the app, her abdomen, these lined marks across her abdomen that just looked that looked out of place. I remember Tim talking about how he had, you know, he just that he just could not believe it.
But she literally was under the water in the tub. And, of course, what we found out in that as as the story unfolded, I was able to talk to him for about 45 minutes. I had him come down to the police department. We we had a long conversation. I interviewed him trying to find out what really happened that night.
Something just didn't set well. I'd even reached out to my other officer that was on a case with her name was Brenda. Brenda, by the way, has since passed away of cancer this time. One of the finest officers, I tell you what, she was she was definitely a chihuahua on a hill kind of officer. She was amazing.
And she was she took this case very serious. And we thought, I mean, we were going to figure out what happened. But I called her and I said, hey, you've been on the scene there at the house. And so it was an apartment.
They lived in an apartment in Yester Oaks in Greensboro. I said, can you tell me something about that bathroom? She said, yes, it's a bathtub in the bathroom. The bathtub has glass doors, meaning they they slide back and forth. OK, there's a sink there. And I said, really, I said, does that shower door have track marks on it?
Track like tracks that it runs back and forth. And she said, yes. Little by little, we were able to kind of come up with a theory of how Elaine had passed away that night. And she we knew that she and there are some other details, too. One thing about how she died that night is that it's it she this these marks that were across her chest looked as though someone was literally she was leaning against those tracks.
The tracks matched perfectly. So someone had to have been pushing on her while she was on the on those tracks. And just, you know, for those marks to be there, even a postmortem, those marks there that didn't that didn't add up. That didn't add up.
Secondly, we did some tests later. Brenda, in fact, Brenda, I remember it bothered her so much about what Tim was telling us and about the case in general. She went home that night or that or the next day and filled up her bathtub with water and got in her bathtub. She was about the same size as as Elaine, you know, by scale.
They were similar in size. She gets in her tub and she she realizes that she can't submerge herself under the water because every time she does all the water comes out of the tub. Okay, it's the same kind of tub, same same dimension scope. And she realized that it was impossible for the for the for someone to actually do that and get themselves under the tub.
It just it's it's an impossibility. All of these things were adding up. And not just not adding up.
So nothing really fit in this case here. Another piece of this case that began to really wear on me that night where there were three children in the house. These were all Elaine's and Tim's kids. That was Randy, Sandy and Todd. Randy, Sandy and Todd. Randy was the oldest. Sandy was the middle child. Todd was the youngest. And so three young children were in that house and they have now lost their mother. Okay. They've now lost their mother.
So so she's gone. I'm sitting we're sitting here realizing in all likelihood something's not adding up some of the ways that Tim's talking to us and what he's saying to us. And I interviewed him at all that time I interviewed him. There's things were not adding up. The pieces weren't coming together. And we realized we began to realize you know what he there's something's not that ours our primary suspect in this there's a suspect this is not an accidental death. This is a homicide. We came to that conclusion and we began to do everything we could to try to put to put this together to see and to follow through with this to see if things added up. The case was worked and worked by some of the five one of the finest detectives at the department.
I just leave his name out in this particular discussion because I haven't talked to him personally. But he if you were if the in the book that he's I think he's actually in a book by Fannie Weinstein called Please Don't Kill Mommy. Then it speaks more on it but the detective that worked this case one of the finest detectives in the department and we tried every way from sundown to follow through with this and to get a place to where we could charge Tim for for this put together all the evidence autopsy was done but the autopsy came back unable to determine.
If you haven't unable to determine as a cause of death on an autopsy you can't pursue any sort of of a murder case without running the risk of the case just falling apart. So we're very frustrated. I tell you what I'm and this is probably the most frustrated I've ever been in my entire career because I realized here is a man who has taken the life of his wife. He has ruined the hopes and dreams of his kids Randy Sandy and Todd because you got to realize something this it just wasn't a matter of of they've lost one parent that night. Eventually this is going to catch up with Tim. This is going to catch up with him and when it does he that means that Randy Sandy and Todd are going to have no parents.
They're going to be in a nutshell they're going to have to live the rest of their life with their grandparents but they're going to be orphans so to speak in their own home and it blew my mind. But for the time being it appeared as if he was off the hook. In his mind in Tim's mind he was off the hook. Now I will say this and I want to kind of give you one spoiler one spoiler about this case and what we're talking about because some of you may think man you're making a lot of assumptions here.
Well let me tell you this. This case was in 1990. I have I have corresponded with Tim as early as much as two years ago where he admits total responsibility for the death of Elaine. So he so he admits what he did. But here's what happened.
This was let's go back to 1990 because it's confusing but let's go back to 1990. He decides to up and move his whole family to Pennsylvania. Okay.
Okay. He starts another life in Pennsylvania and guess what. He goes out and finds another wife whose name is Mary Ann.
And you know what. Mary Ann looked almost identical to Elaine. It was uncanny when we go back and looked at it. I couldn't believe it because I was aware that Tim had gotten remarried.
We were still following him. And on top of that it appeared also in marrying Mary Ann that little by little she was a church girl. She was raised I mean that she was a girl she was a son sung in the choir had a beautiful voice. Randy Sandy and Todd loved Mary Ann. In fact Todd has even told me about Mary Ann. Todd said that it was almost like comforting to know that she looked so much like his first mom like his real mom his biological mom.
So that was almost a comfort to him. I almost felt guilty for feeling that way but they grew close to Mary Ann. It was not long after that think about a little over four years goes by and mysteriously something happens in Pennsylvania. One night Mary Ann's out by the jacuzzi and Todd evidently out by the jacuzzi and mysteriously Mary Ann goes unconscious at the jacuzzi. Tim calls for the police and gets the police involved and they come out to the scene immediately Tim goes into some of the same antics he went into before. But when all was said and done Tim then kills Mary Ann. He had killed Mary Ann that night and the tub had staged it. But Pennsylvania is able to make a quicker case because they're now they began to be aware of some things that have happened in the background and they were able to make a case in that started a chain of events for us because of that case opening up it reopened our case in North Carolina. We were finally able to bring Tim to trial here in North Carolina and get a conviction against him here in North Carolina. But it took Mary Ann's death for us to be able to make that case.
I mean it's one of the saddest. And right now you think about once again you've got Randy Sandy and Todd. I've spent some time with Sandy. I sat down and spent time with Sandy even as early as it's like two years ago.
I've sat with her in Raleigh and we had a long conversation about everything that happened. And I can tell from being around Sandy just how much this has impacted her life and what it's done to her personally and how it's made her so skeptical of all of the things that are happening out there in the area of relationships. I mean how can you ever trust. You can't trust your own father.
This whole case they had tried to stand behind him. They wanted to believe their dad. I mean wouldn't you want to believe your dad. You don't want to think your dad's capable of this kind of behavior or to actually take the life of your own mom.
It just makes no sense. What could the motive have been. And when all was said and done and here's here's the evil part of this the whole of all that we could determine his his motive behind both cases was money because he had gotten in some financial difficulty. He tried to file these insurance policies and it was all about money.
Everything about this case was all about money. So he literally because of his twisted desire to get some recompense or money out of this he ends up taking his wife's life thinking that little of it. Think about the sociopathic mindset that can take life like that. Now back to what the scriptures tell us. So Jeremiah 17 9 says this of our heart. So our hearts are wicked and deceitful. We are all capable of some pretty evil stuff apart from the saving knowledge of Christ in our life apart from him driving our every decision heart apart from the Holy Spirit being in us. We have we can do anything.
We're capable of doing anything even murder even murder even murder when we think about it. We know this David was a man after God's own heart. And yet what do we know of David. He was a adulterer. He was a murderer. He was all of the above.
He was capable of doing all those things. And yet God still says in the end about him that it was a man after God's own heart. So I think this is what makes it so important for Christians to spend so much time really developing their relationship with Christ. And I speak to Christians now I mean I want to speak to everyone out there but to Christians it's time to get serious about your walk.
Don't run to the passions and things that drive you you know but know that that there's so much that you need to work on outside. You know there's a passage and it's it's one of my favorite passages Steve and it's believe it's Luke 18 but Jesus put it like this he says there was a Pharisee and then there was a tax collector and they both decided to go to church one Sunday. The Pharisee is up in the church and he's looking at this other guy who's the tax collector but he's looking at the tax collector and he says Lord I thank you that I'm not like this other guy. He says I give ten percent of my money tithe I don't commit adultery. He goes on this list of all these great things that he does and then you've got this tax collector who's in the back he can't even look up he beats on his chest and he says God have mercy on me a sinner and Jesus said the second guy who beat on his chest he's the one who went away justified and so maybe some of us are listening today and you say gosh this guy's a terrible person he's a murderer but you know I'm not that bad but I mean could there even be hope for a murderer?
The answer to that is yes. If we're taught Ephesians 2 8 9 that we're saved by grace alone that means even a murderer can in the case of Botskowski Tim Botskowski he ended up serving his entire 25 years here in North Carolina. He served his sentence out like he served his sentence out. He just within the past year a little over a year he was transferred to a Pennsylvania prison almost two years transferred to a Pennsylvania prison where he is serving life for that sentence. He will be in prison the rest of his life. In our correspondence with one another he has professed and you know what I understand there is jailhouse religion and sometimes but he has professed Christ as his savior. The question is you know I just told you about how evil how sociopathic how vicious how how unhinged Tim Botskowski was in this murder case and yet what he is saying and I can only go by his testimony he's professing that he has received Christ as his Lord and savior and I say that knowing he'll never get out he's not getting out of prison he's there for life and he knows that yeah he knows that there's no he can appeal all day about this but there's nothing he can do he can't get out he's I think there was there are no appeals that will hold in the case there in Pennsylvania and even even so it would leave him little time because already he's getting up in age there's nothing else to do so I must by face value take him at his word that he's received Christ maybe he's like that tax collector who says I know I have a need for this beating on his chest I know that I'm messed up I know that I'm a murderer I know that you know but there's some people out there who who say Steve they say well I'm a pretty good person oh yeah oh I'm not a murderer yeah I'm not I'm not a murderer I you know I haven't killed anybody yeah that's the first thing we always do you know what every single time we we want to say something about how good we are we always think of the worst example possible you know we always go to the guy you know we think about it you know hey I'm hey I'm I I'm I'm not I'm I'm not this I can think of some other crimes I can even start thinking of political titles but I'm not gonna do that I'm not a but you know we want to do that but here's the thing we're clothed in the righteousness of Christ as believers so if you want to really try to justify yourself by your own works compare yourself to Christ see where you see where you end up and you'll find out that there's none righteous not not not one of us that is righteous not not even one and so if you're listening to this today or if you're watching it on YouTube I just want to ask you to pray with us at that Lord if you've never received Christ as your Savior and you've never committed your life to Christ I mean we were promised a lot of things Pastor Steve but we're not promised tomorrow no so if somebody's never given their life to Christ what would you say to them right now I would tell them I remember man we're taught in James 4 that your life's a vapor and your life is like here today and gone tomorrow but Christ has a way for you to have an eternal existence if you if you'll receive him and so we're taught in the scriptures that regardless of what you've done right now a lot of people don't come to church or they want dark in the doors because they feel like they just feel like they're not good enough or they got to clean themselves up first and what we're taught first and foremost is that we're saved by grace alone and Christ has a place for you he has a place for you at his table if you will receive him and and we'd love to be able to share step by step how you can make that decision in your life understand that Christ loved you so much that he gave his life for you so that you can have a bridge to salvation we'd love to share it with you absolutely and if you've never prayed to receive Christ as your savior if you would just pray with us right now dear Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner whether I've murdered somebody or I've ever even told a lie Lord I have missed the mark it says in Romans 23 23 like Pastor Steve said that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and I am a sinner Lord I ask you that you forgive me of my sins Lord and I commit my life to you Lord Jesus in Jesus name if not for God if not for God this is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-10 21:12:55 / 2023-05-10 21:24:10 / 11