In The Case Of Richard Glossip – Making Deals With The Devil

09.13.2017 by @WinterwoodGrace


In January of 1997, Barry Van Treese was found murdered his room at the Best Budget Inn, a hotel he owned in Oklahoma City. Justin Sneed, the hotel maintenance man, admits he was the person that used a baseball bat to brutally beat Van Treese to death. Beyond that, facts, details, and evidence become rather murky. The investigation appears to have been suspect based even before Barry Van Treese’s body was found. Initially, he was reported as missing, and suspicion began centering on Richard Glossip, the hotel manager, while searching for signs of Mr. Van Treese. Although initially Glossip did not point to Justin Sneed as a possible perpetrator, he eventually related to law enforcement his account of what happened that night in relation to Justin Sneed. By this time, Sneed had disappeared from the property, and wasn’t found for a week. Ultimately, Sneed confessed and was arrested for the murder of Barry Van Treese. A week later, he implicated Richard Glossip as the mastermind, claiming he was the unwitting victim in a murder-for-hire scheme orchestrated by Glossip. In exchange for a lighter sentence, Sneed agreed to testify against Glossip. The end result was life imprisonment for Just Sneed in a medium-security prison, a death sentence for Richard Glossip, and a pervading sense that justice had not been served in this case.

In an interview given by Justin Sneed to The Frontier in 2015, Sneed expands his account yet again, something that has become the norm any time he speaks about the case. However, if you disregard everything Justin Sneed says about the murder and the involvement of Glossip during this interview, a rather disturbing trend comes to light. He briefly discusses problems he had before moving to Oklahoma, as a young impressionable 19 year old boy. He claims he was coerced by friends in a bad crowd, he claims he was coerced by his girlfriend, and he never once takes any responsibility for a single thing he has done wrong. Throughout, he continues to point out that he was a young impressionable boy being taken advantage of. Further, he doesn’t feel that he should still be in prison, because it wasn’t his fault that he was pressured into killing a man. There is no show of remorse for the death of Mr. Van Treese, and no horror at his own actions. Just the constant drum beat of victim mentality at the unfairness of it all. This is who the state of Oklahoma decided to make a deal with. A remorseless murderer. Regardless of any truth to the allegations of coercion, this is the only man that swung the bat, killing Barry Van Treese. Medium security prison. Life without parole.

The state wanted Richard Glossip for this murder, and this is what they gave in order to get him. To be sure, Glossip’s behavior was questionable during the investigation, and he too appears to have changed his story at times. The question of Richard Glossip’s guilt or innocence is not the point here. That is a battle for courts and lawyers, as we the public don’t have enough information to make that decision. The known facts are that there was no physical evidence tying Glossip to the actual act. He didn’t swing the bat. He has been convicted of orchestrating this murder, planning it, and setting events in motion to see his plan carried out. But he did not swing the bat. Richard Glossip was given the death penalty, not once but twice. He is currently on borrowed time, as executions have been halted in Oklahoma for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean he won’t eventually be executed. It simply means he won’t be executed today. The halt on executions could be lifted at any time, and Glossip could receive a new date for his execution. Without digging any further into this case, these facts alone make the execution of Richard Glossip questionable. Disturbing on it’s face, the state’s assertion that a mastermind should die, while a murderer should live is beyond reasonable comprehension. Especially when you consider that this occurred in Oklahoma City, a place beleaguered with scandal and claims of corruption. The legacies of Joyce Gilchrist and Bob Macy live on, and the city is still under clouds of suspicion, not trusted by many that work or reside there.

This is not justice for Barry Van Treese or his family. This is merely a case of let’s-execute-someone and call it justice. Justice would have been a proper investigation into his death. Justice would have answered some of the many unanswered questions in this case, rather than creating more unanswered questions. Justice most certainly would not have made a deal with the devil in order to capture a different criminal. Remember though, that investigators liked Richard Glossip for this murder from the start, before they even knew there was a murder. That should scare anyone. Oklahoma City has developed quite the reputation for shoddy police work, and suspected misconduct in the prosecutor’s office. That alone should warrant a fresh look from outside eyes into the case of Richard Glossip. If he is as guilty as they claim, they should welcome those eyes, and stand strictly on the merits of their case. That hasn’t happened so far, and many suspect it never will. Nobody can know what the future holds for Richard Glossip, but ask yourself honestly, does he deserve to die while Justin Sneed lives? Is that really justice? Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t.



  • mm
    Grace Winterwood

    Freelance Journalist

    Journalist at Outspoken conservative hoping for a better life for my children and a new AC system by spring! Contact me at and @winterwoodgrace on Twitter.

  • Show Comments (5)

  • Kim

    Smdh! Their sentences need to be swapped.

  • Glenda

    The police did not do their job. There were 2 other pppeople in that room who need to tell the truth. There is new evidence and witnesses. Don Knight needs to bring that forward. He should also take a listen to the new evidence others have uncovered. An innocent man should not have to die. This is a sham. Mary Fallin will always have this on her. She should do the right thing. Justin just needs to finally tell the truth. He was influenced by Cliff Everhart and others. This is a sham. This is going everywhere until justice is finally done. Good article.

    • Betty

      Glenda agree completely with all you say. Richard Glossip was the fall guy here. He had nothing to do with this and the admitted murderer Justin Sneed languishes in a medium security prison, while innocent Richard Glossip sits on death row. More investigations have to be done. But I doubt Oklahoma will bother. Shame on them. I wish Justice Stephen Breyer would write something to Governor Mary Fallin, he knows Richard Glossip is innocent.

  • Wayne Fournerat

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE!!! I was not only Ricky Glossip’s first trial lawyer, I was also the trial lawyer for the real mastermind behind the murder of Barry Van Treese. Richard Glossip had nothing to do with this murder. Follow the original $25000 covered in blue dye and you will see what is really going on and who is responsible for Barry’s death.
    Look at Don Knight’s news conference dated July 13 2015. Notice when he mentions ‘yes, there was a drug dealer…$23100 with blue dye on it’.
    That actually $24100.covered in blue was recovered from thevtrunk of Barry Van Trees’s car when murdered. If that $24100 covered in blue belonged to Barry Van Treese and his family as Ricky’s public defenders and Don Knight suggest,THEN WHY DID DONNA VAN TREESE IMMEDIATELY RETURN ALL OF THE $24100 COVERED IN BLUE? She knew where that money came from when I interviewed her and she was scared.
    What you have is a cartel that was operating out of first the Continential andvthen the safe zone was movedvto the Best Budget Inn. Wayne Fournerat 214 994 2165

  • Brenda

    Such a miscarriage of justice…. Ricky Glossip should never have ate his last meal ONE time yet alone THREE times! This treatment is inhumane! Shame on you Oklahoma and Shame on you, Mary Fallin! Especially you! I can only hope the Ricky is able to “hold on” until the 2018 elections and that a new governor will take another look at Ricky’s case and see it for what it truly is!

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