Snapshot: The Ed Vidulich Murder - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Snapshot: The Ed Vidulich Murder

Ed Vidulich Ed Vidulich
Dexter Cox in court. Dexter Cox in court.

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Action News 5 Investigators have uncovered new details in the murder of a Memphis police officer.  It's a crime that involves an accused teenage killer, a veteran cop and sexually explicit photographs that may have triggered everything.

Memphis police say Dexter Cox murdered Lieutenant Ed Vidulich in January 2008.  Now, Cox is in jail, and the Lieutenant's daughter is revealing for the first time why she believes sex photos played a role in her father's death.

Courtney Vidulich is the only child of the 28-year police veteran affectionately called 'Big Ed.' She has never talked the murder of her father, who she was very close to, until now.  In fact, she said, she often imagines he is still alive.

"He's on vacation in New York, or he's in Florida," Courtney said she likes to pretend.

But Ed Vidulich is not on vacation.  Cox, who lived around the corner from the Viduliches and had a previous criminal record, is charged with killing Big Ed in January 2008, months after a break-in at the Vidulich home in July 2007. 

Police records reveal what Cox says was taken during the burglary: guns and sexually explicit photographs, including some depicting Vidulich.

Police say Cox told them five guns and what he called 'sex pictures' were stolen from Ed Vidulich's home, claiming to know because his friend pulled off the job in 2007.  Cox told police that in January 2008, he went to Vidulich's home hoping to get money and two charges against him dropped. His leverage? He had information about the July burglary and the alleged pictures.

On that day, Cox said, Vidulich's wife let him inside the home. She then called 'Big Ed,' who showed up and called police to get a statement from Cox about the July burglary.

Cox said he went back a couple of days later to get money from Vidulich.  When Big Ed didn't give him enough money, they got in a fight.  Cox said when Vidulich grabbed a knife, he picked up Vidulich's gun off the counter and shot him in self defense.

Courtney Vidulich doesn't believe Cox's story.

"If it had been self defense, he would have been in the hospital, and my dad would be here," she said.

Courtney has never seen the sexually-explicit photos Cox says were stolen from the home, but she does believe they exist.

"Whatever he did in his personal life that was his business, nobody else's. If that's what he preferred, that's fine," she said. "You don't kill somebody over pictures."

She is talking about the pictures now because she knows the topic will come out during Cox's trial - and a trial is exactly what she wants, for her father's sake.

"He deserves a trial," she said. "He deserves to get justice, regardless if he is here or not."

Courtney has returned to her father's home only once since the murder...

"For a sense of closure maybe, just to pull up in the driveway again," she said.

She wants closure, and for Dexter Cox to go to prison for the rest of his life.

Ed Vidulich's wife did NOT want to be interviewed for this story.  

Meanwhile, the Dexter Cox's attorney said he has not seen the pictures his client claimed were stolen from the Vidulich home.  No one will comment on where those pictures are - or if they still exist.

Cox is also charged with murder in two other cases, neither of which has gone to trial.

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