Caitlin Rickard: Singing, murder hit close to home

As I was going through the normal motions last week and taking in my nightly programming I noticed something—two things—that were in our area.
Mar 12, 2014
Caitlin Rickard

As I was going through the normal motions last week and taking in my nightly programming I noticed something—two things—that were in our area.

Just a hop, skip and a jump from Wilson County sits Gallatin, but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all that. What you might not know, however, is that Gallatin was featured in two of my regularly scheduled programming from last week.

It’s coincidence or ironic or whatever that something so close would even be in one, but hey, stranger things have happened, right? But low and behold a few nights later I found myself back in Gallatin again on a completely different show under completely different circumstances.

First came on Wednesday night watching American Idol. Though I’ve known one contestant was from Gallatin for a while hometowns have been a bit overshadowed by the hoards of other hopefuls vying for the judge’s attention. (As a side note, there are also three contestants in the top 12 from Alabama, so I was a little distracted focusing on my Bama roots.)

However, now that the contest is down to the final 12 and the live performance shows, we finally got a more intimate look at each contestant one-on-one and we got to go home, literally, with Ben Briley, as this past week’s theme was “home.”

Briley previously just squeaked into the live performance round of the competition, beating out another singer in a head-to-head “America’s vote” after the judges couldn’t decide between the two.

Now, three weeks into the live shows, Briley so far has found himself sitting pretty in the competition. He’s obviously yet to go home and hasn’t made the bottom three at all, meaning he’s at least been in the top 10 in votes the past two weeks.

From day one, the 24-year old country and southern rock crooner has been one of my favorites (I’m biased toward country singers and those awkward and different alternative types) and has previously taken on hits such as “Stars,” “Soulshine,” and, my favorite, a crazy energetic sped up version of “Folsom Prison Blues.”

And you know, I think Briley also helps himself out by adding a little humor to the competition. While other contestants seem stiff and are often told to “loosen up” by the judges, Briley is as cool as a cucumber and is known for adding in some comedy to his interviews, comments and previously filmed clips played back on the show.

Following Briley’s nights on Idol on Wednesday and Thursday I tuned in to watch Cold Justice on TNT on Friday, per usual.

This show completely differs from Idol and is an unscripted reality show drama that follows a former Texas prosecutor, Kelly Siegler, and a former crime scene investigator with the Las Vegas Police Department, Yolanda McClary, as they travel across America, stopping in on small towns to investigate unsolved murders and cold cases. 

The cases are touch-and-go and range in dates, some dating back to the 1980s, and aren’t always solved even with the additional help and experience of Siegler and McClary. Fortunately, the team has been able to solve or bring forth an indictment in about half of the 16 episodes aired so far.

The duo has previously helped out in Dickson and Chattanooga.

Last week the show made a stop in Gallatin to investigate and help solve the murder of Lydia Guiterrez, 27, who was suffocated and stabbed to death in 2010 in front of her children.

McClary and Siegler stopped in Gallatin in January for two weeks and assisted local officers in reopening and reviewing the cold case with a fresh pair of eyes. Though the two were able to help authorities uncover new evidence and bring a fresh perspective and ideas to the crime, there unfortunately was not enough to make an arrest in this case.

Though I love my murder mysteries and crime shows, I’m perfectly fine with them staying as far away from where I am as possible. Well, come to think of it, not just the shows, but the crimes in general, too. 

But I’m all for a little homegrown talent representing the south for all of America to see.

I know I said he’s doing fine so far, but let’s see if we can’t help out a local talent even more and support Ben Briley by watching and voting for him Wednesday nights on American Idol on Fox.

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.


Log in or sign up to post comments.