New KSL ‘Ransom’ podcast follows shocking 1995 murder case of 12-year-old boy

May 15, 2024, 5:49 PM | Updated: May 16, 2024, 4:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — An FBI Agent with ties to Utah is still haunted today by a 30-year-old murder, kidnapping and ransom case of a 12-year-old boy.

The shocking case is the story behind a new KSL nine-episode podcast that came out Wednesday called “Ransom – Position of Trust.

It happened September 12, 1995, in the small town of Conroe, Texas, located just 40 miles north of Houston. The story gripped an entire nation as the community, police and volunteers searched for McKay Everett, 12, who suddenly vanished from his home. His father then got a phone call from a woman with a “raspy” voice demanding $500,000.

Days later, McKay was found murdered, and the suspect shocked everyone.

Hilton Crawford was a former policeman and a trusted, beloved, family friend of the Everetts. McKay even called him Uncle Hilty. That’s why when McKay went missing his father called Crawford for help and guidance.

“He calls Hilton thinking; my good friend will know what to do. Well, it looks as though his good friend had our victim in his trunk at the time,” said Donnie Miller, who has ties to Utah and was an FBI agent on the case.

To this day, even after all he’s seen in his nearly 40-year career, this case still haunts him the most.

“Hilton Crawford was a dear friend to this family. He secreted the darkness in his life beneath a very bright, shiny, demi gloss of an exterior,” Miller said to KSL TV. “How could you do that to your best friend.”

Miller said he still has a hard time saying McKay’s name.

“I think I’ll see his face the rest of this life, maybe the next. I still have a really hard time repeating his name,” he said with emotion. “Violence in so many corners, but this one, or two other children [cases], they just slay me every time I think about it.”

It was Miller who got the woman on the phone to confess to making the ransom call. That discovery led to the arrest of Crawford.

“What she told us led us to the search warrant, which led us to the arrest warrant,” he said.

Miller’s son Austin Miller had heard of this case from his dad and thought the story should be told. He started investigating it approximately four and a half years ago and then pitched the story idea to KSL Podcasts.

“The deeper I dove into it the more interesting I found, and I think there are some questions that need to be answered,” he said. “Ransoms are extremely rare, especially by someone who was considered a pillar of the community.”

The podcast is hosted by season TV journalist Art Rascon, the brother of KSL’s Dan Rascon. Art Rascon covered the case when he worked for the Houston ABC TV station.

“It’s a story that captured the attention of the entire nation. All eyes on Conroe, Texas,” Art Rascon said. “No one would ever dream and think of this type of scenario playing out, where the culprit, the perpetrator of this is someone who is known so well and so loved by that family, and by that young boy.”

He said there are still unanswered questions.

“The reason this one is so relevant today is because this mother still does not feel to this day that justice was served,” Art Rascon said. “What you’re getting in this podcast are fascinating interviews, insight that hasn’t been heard before, from the same investigators who investigated this, who uncovered it, who found out who the perpetrator was, who discovered the 12-year-old boy, who figured out how he was trying to escape from the trunk of a vehicle. It’s a terribly tragic story of betrayal and greed and destroyed relationship, but it’s a story that the mother says we need to tell.”

Click here to listen to “Ransom – A Position of Trust.”

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New KSL ‘Ransom’ podcast follows shocking 1995 murder case of 12-year-old boy