On March 23, 2018, Wisconsin investigators discovered a puzzling scene that seemed to disprove a young woman's story of assault. They followed a set of footprints down this muddy road in Spring Brook, Wisconsin.
Stuck in the mud
On the road, investigators found this car stuck in the mud. In the back seat was the body of Alex Woodworth.
An artist's car
The distinctive car belonged to Ezra McCandless, Alex Woodworth's ex-girlfriend. She was an amateur artist and often used her car as a canvas.
Processing the scene
Ezra McCandless told officers that Alex Woodworth had attacked her in the back seat of her car. But when investigators began to process the crime scene, the evidence they found told a different story.
Most of the blood evidence at the scene was found outside of the car – contradicting Ezra McCandless' story that the attack took place in the car's back seat.
Alex Woodworth's sweater was bloodstained and punctured. He was stabbed 16 times and had virtually no defensive wounds, leading investigators to believe that Ezra McCandless took him by surprise.
Ezra McCandless says Alex Woodworth got on top of her in the back seat of her car and started cutting her clothes with a knife. This is her sweater.
McCandless' torn pants
Ezra McCandless' pants, shown here, were also torn. Prosecutors believe McCandless cut her clothes herself and staged the crime scene to make it look like Alex Woodworth had attacked her.
The "boy" injury
Ezra McCandless first told investigators that Alex Woodworth had carved the word "boy" into her arm, but later admitted that she did it herself – though she says she doesn't know why.
After the incident, Ezra McCandless ran down this muddy road in only her socks. She says she was hoping to find help at the farmhouse pictured here.
Along the road, investigators found Alex Woodworth's phone, which had been smashed. They believe Ezra McCandless took the phone to prevent Woodworth from calling for help.
The murder weapon
This knife was determined to be the murder weapon. Investigators found it along the muddy road where Ezra McCandless had dropped it.
At the crime lab
Ezra McCandless' car was taken to the crime lab. The bloodstains found in the car would be analyzed for DNA.
Ezra McCandless' defense attorneys pointed out a muddy boot print on the ceiling of the car, visible here, as evidence that a struggle had taken place in the back seat. The jury wasn't convinced. Ezra McCandless was convicted of first degree intentional homicide on November 1, 2019.