My thoughts on the arrest of Wesley Hadsell

Anjelica (missing) pictured with adoptive/stepfather
Wesley Hadsell (currently in jail)
Source: Facebook
Today the adoptive father of Anjelica Hadsell was arrested on numerous charges -- none of which necessarily declaring him as a suspect in AJ's disappearance, however. Wesley Hadsell has been charged with four charges of obstructing justice, a charge of breaking and entering and a charge of possessing gun ammunition (illegal since he's a convicted felon) -- six charges in all, so far.

Before I begin with this post, I want to repeat that I have reserved judgment over whether or not I suspect Wesley in the disappearance of his daughter ( -- note -- readers have taken issue with me referring to her as his daughter, but that is how her family identifies with him). I have refused to judge him based on his past, because I am a firm believer in the idea that a person's past doesn't necessarily define every move they make in the future. However, I am also more than aware that human beings are creatures of habit, and with many personality types their past actions can very well be true indicators of their future actions. There is also the fact that I have a little experience in seeing an innocent person found guilty in the court of public opinion. When there is no evidence against someone -- no matter how suspicious you think they are -- it's wrong to go after them.

Back in 2012 when Anchorage woman Samantha Koenig went missing, her community united against one man, believing that he had to be responsible, based on nothing more than the fact that a restraining order had existed between them in the past. However, he was innocent. He never did anything to Samantha. She was the victim of serial killer Israel Keyes. Before the public was made aware of this shocking fact, the innocent young man had been made a pariah of his community and had even been thrown out of school. His family -- including his mother and siblings -- even received death threats. Had anyone actually taken out vigilante justice on this man at the time they would have been doing so against an innocent man, all based on his past and the crowd he ran with at the time.

So, ever since that case, I have been very cautious about how I express myself when it comes to people involved in these cases. There was a time that I would flagrantly throw out accusations at family members of missing or murdered people, but the Samantha Koenig case changed that part of me for the very reason that people can be falsely accused and put through hell on no evidence at all by a public that should wait for more details -- myself included.

Anyway, let's examine these new circumstances, shall we?

I believe Wesley lied to me. He insinuated during the interview on my podcast Case to Case with Chelsea Hoffman that police found Anjelica's jacket in the possession of a possible person of interest. However, the charges against him indicate that he broke into this person's home and searched through their belongings. Media reports reveal that Wesley Hadsell is the one who found Anjelica's jacket in this person's home -- a person who is not yet being identified. This is what he said during the 30-minute interview on my podcast:
"Lets just say that my daughters jacket, because I’m not going to beat around the bush, my daughter’s jacket that she was wearing when she saw me last, that someone recognized as she was driving as a dark navy blue color - something up top - obviously that’s the jacket, her Longwood softball jacket with her name stenciled in it, now that was found in this guy’s possession hidden in his house. Now the police did verify that information, never showed us a picture. That was on Saturday the first week. Understand that the case moved this past Monday, you know, they brought some new detectives on board."
As you can see (if you don't have time to listen to the whole interview), he insinuated in our interview that police or detectives had found the jacket. However, 10 WAVY News reports that Wesley Hadsell allegedly broke into this person's home and discovered the jacket himself -- not the authorities. Wesley said the following today: 
“I found my daughter’s jacket in his couch rolled up behind the cushion."
Clearly, the statement given to me and the statement made today are starkly different. These aren't just minor difference that can be explained away as him being nervous, or mis-remembering.

No. He lied to me.

Why would Wesley Hadsell lie about being the one to find his daughter's jacket? Why would he tell me during a live broadcast of Case to Case that police found the jacket and that he wanted it properly identified? Why are facts being reported differently now that he's being arrested?

To be clear, Wesley Hadsell has admitted to breaking and entering and finding the jacket supposedly belonging to his missing daughter. He admitted to digging through the belongings of the people who live in the home, and he admitted to punching their dog out of anger -- a deeply upsetting detail. Hadsell told police that he reportedly found Anjelica's jacket rolled up behind a cushion on this person's couch.

Did Wesley Hadsell plant evidence?

It's not a pleasant question to ask. I realize this. But it's also a valid question. Like I said, he lied me. Why wouldn't he get his story straight on whether or not police found the jacket? Why lie and say they did, when he's the one who did? The fact that he lied directly to me when given the chance to speak truth, plants the seed of suspicion -- a seed that already quietly and faintly existed, but he planted it personally and nurtured the growth of it.

Now his explanation is that he couldn't handle sitting so close to the home of the person who may have last seen her. He said he took it upon himself to break in and do his own little investigation. That's when he said he found the jacket -- but to me this all just reeks of dishonesty now. 

On the other hand, this could also be a big unfortunate turn of events that isn't what it seems (and right now it seems fishy as hell). Keep in mind that parents of missing people have been charged with similar crimes before, as do other family members and friends. When Heather Elvis disappeared her father's close friends were arrested for interfering with the investigation as well. My point is that it happens.  So it's possible that Wesley is still telling the truth about not harming his daughter. However, that doesn't change the fact that he lied. 

Back to the question at hand -- do I think he planted AJ's jacket at the unidentified location? I don't know, but if I were to speculate about it I'd say that it is damned possible. In fact, this tiny little suspicion comes from the fact that he told me during our interview that his brother took photos of someone who supposedly found pieces of AJ's credit/debit card. It seemed strange that he mentioned that point, as if he and his brother wanted to really nail down the point that they took photographic proof that it was someone else who found the evidence. I find it odd that anybody would have the presence of mind to do this unless they were really wanting a specific person or persons to look guilty of a crime, or if they were trying to deflect attention away from themselves. When he was interviewed after his arrest, Wesley denied planting the evidence before anyone would even ask him.

"I was just trying to make the evidence come to light. It’s not like I had the jacket, I didn’t plant the jacket, I didn’t know anything about that. It was the fact of the overwhelming information that led me there."
The last sentence stands out to me. Is he saying he knew the jacket was there beforehand? How did he know about the jacket beforehand if he did? His comments to the media -- his speech patterns -- are the same as with his interview on my podcast. It seems as though he makes a comment saying one thing, and then follows it up with a comment that casts doubt on his last one. Could this be a sort of nervous tick or reaction to being dishonest? Could this be his way of leaking? (click here to learn about leaking)

So, is it possible that Wesley (either alone or with the help of someone else) planted evidence in the case in order to protect himself or someone else regarding the disappearance of his daughter? Or, is this all just a big misunderstanding that comes from his inability to control his temper and trust someone else to have control of a given situation? Or, could it be a little bit of both? These are all thoughts to ponder.

Did Wesley Hadsell kill Anjelica Hadsell?

There are little red flags in this case that reach beyond Wesley's criminal past. However, his criminal past is a solid indicator that he does in fact have the capacity to commit acts of violence. While I have publicly spoken out against using his past to judge him -- and I still stand firm in that -- the fact of the matter is that he does in fact have this criminal past, and now he has absolutely, completely and totally implicated himself in the disappearance of his own adoptive stepdaughter AJ Hadsell. 

He didn't implicate himself in this crime by merely having this past from over a decade ago. He didn't implicate himself by refusing to answer questions about the incidents that took place a decade ago -- even though a lot of trolls on the internet have and are currently dwelling on his criminal record. 

He implicated himself when his story didn't add up -- when he began to over explain himself and when he began to lie. However, just because he implicated himself doesn't mean he is guilty of a crime beyond the charges he currently faces. Police have noted that he is not a suspect -- however he said in the following video that they accused him directly of knowing what happened to her. To me, that says all that needs to be said: This man is a suspect in the murder of his own adoptive daughter. But why aren't police being clear about that with the public? 
It's disappointing that Wesley Hadsell lied to me during our lengthy interview, but the interview served a valid purpose in showing that he is being inconsistent in his stories. But why is Wesley being inconsistent? Is he hiding a horrifying secret, or is he simply getting too caught up in the nightmare of having a missing loved one?

I'm still being observant. I'm still refraining from sharing a solid opinion on this case until I see some hard evidence from the authorities in Norfolk that goes in one direction or the other. However, I'm not going to hide the fact that there are numerous theories floating around in my mind right now about this case -- some involving Wesley, and some not involving Wesley. I'm also not going to hide that it looks goddamned suspicious for a man to be so evasive and deflective as Wesley is being, even though I'm aware that there could be many factors contributing to this that don't necessarily point to guilt.

I look forward to seeing what evidence -- if any -- Norfolk authorities have in this case. 


  1. Can you read the statements under this newcast posting and look at all comments made under all posters. One of the posters states she is a taxi driver and explains that she thought AJ was in her tax with other kids and one commenting on them living out in Chesapeake almost to the NC border. In your opinion, do you think it's a coincidence that now this is where the last search and findings were done today?

  2. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 21, 2015 at 10:02 PM

    Just read through them and see a lot of diff presumed sightings. Someone else said they overheard someone saying she's in Pennsylvania of all places. I hope investigators are paying attention to all the online activity since this is another one of those cases where a lot is being said online.

    I also hope someone with the Norfolk Police listened to the podcast to hear his comments.

  3. I really hope AJ comes home safe. Such a beautiful girl with a bright future. I don't really care about the dad. It's NPD's job to worry about who dun it. I'd love to know more about AJ and what kind of person she is. Why is all the attention on him? This shouldn't be about him at all, but he sure is making it that way by yapping to everybody. More about AJ, less about dad.

  4. Chelsea, you said that Jennifer and Wesley were together during your interview. Did you hear her in the background, speak to her directly, or did Wes just insinuate wedded bliss? Jennifer's former husband said in his blog that Wes was not staying at the house at the time of AJ's disappearance, and other statements point to this as well. So apparently, this was another lie. If you did speak to Jennifer too, did you get the feeling that she's standing by her man? And my guess is that not only did most of NPD listen to the podcast, so did the DA's office, the FBI, etc. That interview was a treasure trove for the prosecution.

  5. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 21, 2015 at 11:39 PM

    I haven't spoken to her, but he did insinuate that they were together. When we spoke after the interview he said that "my wife was listening," etc etc... but I guess if he's going to lie and mislead about evidence, he'd do it about his marriage.

    I give people the opportunity to either explain or implicate on my podcast and I guess we know which way he went...

  6. Some of the sisters' comments here on Disqus.

    Discussion on 307 comments

    Philly Teens Charged in Shooting of Dog Walker

    Wendy Mischelle Hadsell-Stokes a day ago

    Mommy and Daddy MUST BE PROUD!!!!

    And this! Ironic, since Wes admitted PUNCHING A DOG IN THE FACE

    Wendy Mischelle Hadsell-Stokes • 4 months ago

    I SAY JUST SHOOT THE BASTARD!!!! I am so tired of any and everyone no matter what age and race getting OFF hurting and KILLING our damn animals.... EYE FOR A DAMN EYE DAMN IT!!!!

  7. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 22, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    @spamelope there is really no reason to attack the loved ones of people involved in this case. I am sure that she is as upset as everyone else and is only trying to support her family member like anybody else would. None of us are happy when our loved ones do horrible things.

  8. Yeah, that was pretty trolllike of me. I deleted it. I was just furious at how she treated others in here. And then I was tripping on the irony. that poor pup was just doing its job.

  9. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 22, 2015 at 1:08 AM

    I can get pretty trollish too when I'm aggravated. :)

  10. Wendy Mischelle Hadsell-StokesMarch 22, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    Have an issue with me bring it to me... I just got off an 16 hour shift. Tired as hell but willing to discuss this.

  11. SophieCestLaVie2524March 22, 2015 at 6:03 AM

    Wendy, what is your reaction to your brother being charged?


  13. Jennifer N. Rash KeirleMarch 22, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    According to some news outlets, his hotel room was searched by police. Why would a happily married man be staying in a hotel? He has an awful lot to say about her disappearance and I've only seen her mother come on once. I know she runs the FB page too so maybe the spotlight is not her thing. I don't know...

    Things just don't feel right to me.

    And I wanted to point thing out that I thought it was very suspicious that he kept referring to AJ in past tense during his interview.

  14. Seriously? You couldn't even be bothered to type up a portion of your own shitty interview? You just copied and pasted from WS... Next time try doing your own legwork.

  15. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 22, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    I copied from a transcript of MY INTERVIEW that was given to me. Websleuths doesn't own my interview, lol. Fruitcake.

  16. I have been very vocal previously about everyone needs to focus on AJ. And about quoting events, past and present, accurately. But over the course of the past few days and these new events (starting with your podcast) I said to my husband, "omg, he just referred to her in past tense".... Also it appears that he is really coming across as a narcissist, even to the point that we KNEW he was going give a jail house interview.. I just do not know what to think anymore. I PRAY that AJ is found, and this family can move to closure.

  17. it is adorable that you insult others, yet anyone who disagrees with you gets the "block" button pressed by your fat Cheeto dusted fingers

  18. Well, no, not when you come in here all reasonable. lol I'm sorry I was snarky. I am very sorry that you are living a nightmare, through no fault of your own. I hope that you're as mentally prepared as one can be for the probable event that your brother is arrested for murder. My guess is that it will happen tomorrow. If I were you, I wouldn't torment myself by coming into forums discussing the case. You can't sway public opinion, and could instead fuel the anger of the populous. I'm not trying to infringe on your freedom of speech just telling you what I've observed from following cases like this for many years. I do wish you peace. But mainly, I want justice for AJ. This is just utterly tragic.

  19. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 22, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Also, lmfao @ "next time try doing your own legwork."

    When you "transcribe" someone's intellectual property without giving it proper attribution, you're committing plagiarism and are therefore *not* doing your own legwork. Just an FYI, but shoutout to Websleuths for feasting on the crumbs of my work. ;)

  20. Heroin dealers and abusers need to be investigated in Norfolk. My daughter's ex was abusive and threatened us. I am glad that I was able to get her out of Virginia before Christmas of last year.

  21. I think it's clearly evident by now that 2 plus 2 isn't adding up to 4. I would have to agree with many commentators that Wes, as vocal he may be, should most definitely not be the spokesman for the family or himself. He is very self-incriminating and more over, has proven he is willing to lie or contort the facts at hand to draw some type of attention, which is really out of character from a convicted felon. This is sad at this point and has proven itself to be such a distraction, that it has created problems for the police department working the investigation. I had to listen to his audio half a dozen times just to understand a few items. Much of what he has said points the finger in his direction whether right or wrong. Along those lines, much of what he has said in evidence on social media requires validation and clarity. Many of us locally have begun to ask "was AJ really seen on Monday?" Could all of this have begun earlier in the weekend before she was reported missing? There are still so many questions here. I would also venture to say that Wes's legal troubles currently are not helping the family or finding AJ. This was a deliberate emotional act without reservation to do this. For someone so attuned to the law and how police work, planting evidence and punching a dog is like standing in a thunder cloud wearing 12th century armor. Not the smartest move of the day. This all begs to question motive...and that will not help finding AJ...keep looking everyone...hold the faith....

  22. Wendy Mischelle Hadsell-StokesMarch 22, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    Thank you, all I can say is yes I have a ton of comments that anyone can pull. I am a HUGE ANIMAL ACTIVIST. I rescue animals and I have 3 of my own that I rescued. I will say this I do not CONDON anyone and I mean ANYONE hurting an animal for any reason. Right now I do not know what to think or feel. Mentally I am exhausted and I have read so much crap on the Web hearing my mother being called things that I will never understand. I will protect my mother and my son from harm because I know for a FACT they had NOTHING to do with anything as myself. I want ANJELICA home and I feel that is the most important thing right now. Every one should keep focused on that right now. My mind is going 1000 ways and I really do not know. How is anyone suppose to to feel especially a sister right now? I know I have lashed out at a few people but at the same time look how some of you have done or said things about my mother. You would have lashed out to if you were in my shoes. I can not apologize for what I have said out of anger I am pissed, mad, angery, hurt, confused want answers, and really I want to beat the shit of of something. Can you really blame me? Do you not think for one minute if this was one of my 3 kids (now also grown) I wouldn't be knocking heads to find them? You bet your ass I would. I would do anything, only difference though I do not have a record so, there wouldn't be all the talk as there is now like with my brother with if it was me in his shoes. So, yes I am upset, but at the same time I understand why people are asking questions. I just do not understand why we the family are being called some of the things like what my mother has been called.

  23. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 22, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Very well said. If anybody has anything rude to say to you after that, they can really just go fuck themselves. JMHO.

  24. There were no sightings. All these posts were created by Wes and his antisocial disordered family in an attempt to prove their POS relative Wes didn't kill AJ. Don't believe these pathological lying con-artists.

  25. He's a fearless, impulsive psychopath.

  26. That's not trollish. Wes' family's violent behavior says volumes about him. Read about psychopaths. Almost all come very warped families.

  27. Jennifer N. Rash KeirleMarch 22, 2015 at 9:14 PM

    Michelle, I said the SAME thing about past tense. Very suspicious...

  28. Coming from someone that works in healthcare, and married to someone with severe allergies, I do not believe that "pressured speech and involuntary snorts" is cause to accuse someone of being a "meth snorter"... and it is irrelevant as to whether or not he had anything to do with AJ's disappearance.

  29. Did anyone actually see her Monday morning in the home.

  30. Hi Chelsea. I just found your blog & WebSleuths because of the AJ interview w/Wesley. I've now seen comments from both locations indicating animosity between you. Would you mind explaining to a newb what caused it? Just a sentence or two is fine, and if you'd rather not discuss it, I understand.

    In regards to the case, what are your thoughts on his referring to her early on in past tense? Her 1st step dad who raised her from 1.5-13 gives us a window into what I think I would be feeling in the situation. He's grabbing at straws for any scenario *other* than Wesley being responsible, and is choosing to believe she'll be found safely/is kidnapped.

    Also, he stated that AJ did not call Wesley dad but rather Wesley. Have you had contact w/anyone other than Wesley who has confirmed that the family considers him her dad? Thanks!

  31. ChelseaHoffman.ComMarch 23, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    First, Websleuths:
    To be honest with you, I am not 100% sure WHEN they started in against me, but up until the past month I have never really said anything rude about them. That changed when I saw what was recently said about me in regards to my interview with Wesely Hadsell.

    However, from what I know, they don't like me because I speculate too much in my blogs. Meanwhile, all they do on that forum is speculate -- sometimes with the same theories I've concluded, sometimes not -- so I don't know why it's acceptable for them as a forum of numerous people to speculate about people -- and even go further than that by catfishing family members, etc etc for info -- but it's unnaceptable for me as a crime writer and independent profiler to do the same thing?

    Frankly, I have never had a thing against any of those people. I have always enjoyed the forum to an extent (except for when things get a little out of hand of course) and I have always believed that people like us -- internet sleuths, advocates for missing people, writers, etc etc -- should band together for the sake of the greater good, regardless of personal feelings.

    Well, I'm fed up with being badmouthed by a bunch of gossipmongering hags when I constantly say good things about them (until recently of course). This was really the last straw -- transcribing my interview and filling it with insults to me (such as claiming I sound like a 7yo with a voice changer -- an insult that makes no sense but is just plain rude and unnecessary), then coming to my blog and telling me to do my own legwork when they are the ones who transcribed MY interview while failing to properly attribute the interview to me -- which is definite plagiarism, not to mention catty and unnecessary behavior.

    There are people missing and there are unsolved murders out there that need our help. The fact that they have sunken so low so as to publicly bash me continually in place of looking for these people, to me, is indicative of highly immature people who have no business advocating for the murdered and the missing.

    As for Wesley Hadsell, I will be working on another post about all that shortly.

  32. i was under the impression that they were not living together. The reason i say that is that Wesley, during the Podcast, stated that he "dropped off" the red truck for his daughter and left the keys in the mailbox, knowing that she would need the truck on Tuesday. He said he did not see her that morning but she called him and wanted to get some money.

  33. Chelsea, I would like to add here that during the interview podcast with Wesley, in reference to AJ's jacket being found.... He stated "Somebody happened to see something maybe that they didn't want them to see... maybe a friend, you know, was hanging out with someone and there was a search warrant executed on this person and his house.. "Lets just say that my daughters jacket, because I’m not going to beat around the bush, my daughter’s jacket that she was wearing when she saw me last, that someone recognized as she was driving as a dark navy blue color - something up top - obviously that’s the jacket, her Longwood softball jacket with her name stenciled in it, now that was found in this guy’s possession hidden in his house.
    I got from this that he was implying that someone else had already seen the jacket or something that led them to the jacket without telling us that it was him

  34. I was curious about that also if her mom or siblings saw her that morning. What was her mood and conversations prior to her disappearance

  35. He's in jail on charges people receive bail on. The Norfolk Police Department is keeping him detained to prevent him from destroying evidence.

  36. Jennifer N. Rash KeirleApril 11, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    Chelsea, have you heard the latest news? They found AJ's body on Thursday. A very grim couple of days here in Norfolk.


Post a Comment

Leave your feedback, but keep it civil! Although you may comment anonymously, all comments are moderated before they are approved for publication.

Popular Posts