“Relative Unknown” is the story of a dark family history, the Witness Protection Program, and the people it failed to protect. For nearly four decades, Jackee Taylor was hidden in WITSEC, also known as the Witness Protection Program. But she learns more about her family than she bargained for after a strange and violent incident and sets off to find out exactly what her father did to put all of them in witness protection.
“Relative Unknown” is 10 episodes, each around 40 to 50 minutes long. This C13Originals podcast was released in late 2020 by the creators of “Root of Evil.” On the C13Originals website, you can find images of all the characters in this story as well as nearly all of the belongings and news clippings that led Jackee down her path of discovery.
The tragedy of the Domes
It isn’t until the second episode that the purpose of the podcast emerges. The first episode, instead, is a prologue, the incident that sets up the rest of Jackee’s story. It first reads as a true crime podcast: a double murder-suicide in smalltown Texas leaves law enforcement reeling, but it is so much more than that.
Early in the morning of July 10th, a garbage man came across a burning home in Marion County, Texas. On the road sat a parked car with a man inside, just staring at the flames. The sanitation worker approached the car and asked the man inside if that was his home on fire, to which the man answered in the affirmative. In disbelief, he asked the man if he wanted to move farther from the fire and the man answered no, he wasn’t worried about the fire, but instead the bullets that were going to fly.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the still-burning home and the car, only now, the man inside of the car was dead. Paul Dome, they later found out his name to be, had shot himself in the chest with his own gun.
Firefighters fought the blaze for hours, unable to get close enough the home to inspect it for quite some time. But when they did manage to get close enough, they discovered a burnt body was inside of the house. Around the other side was a second charred corpse. Eventually, law enforcement discovered that the two people inside of the home were Paul Dome’s wife and stepson, Vivian Dome, 85, and Willard, who was already dying of brain cancer.
As it turns out, Dome had actually shot and killed his legally blind wife and terminally ill stepson days prior to the fire. A family friend who lent her story to “Relative Unknown” even stopped by the house to see Dome sitting in his living room the days after he killed his family. She didn’t fully enter the home, instead choosing to poke her head in to ask if Paul was okay. The situation was too bizarre for her, and she left quickly, but had she entered the home, she would have seen the other Dome bodies.
Clarence Crouch and the Witness Protection Program
But this is still not the story. Well, it’s not what we should be focused on. This story is about Jackee Taylor, the Witness Protection Program, and Hell’s Angels. People learned after Paul Dome’s death that he was not Paul Dome at all, but instead a Hell’s Angels member by the name of Clarence Crouch. Jackee Taylor is his daughter and the host of “Relative Unknown.”
Rather than just the crimes of her father, who was put in WITSEC despite being a convicted killer, this podcast is a criticism of the this U.S. Marshals Service. Crouch was a state’s witness in a Hell’s Angel’s member’s murder trial in the early 1980’s, and because of that, at 7 years old, Jackee was placed in Witness Protection.
Within the program, people’s identities are erased and therefore have a lack of legal documents that would allow them to participate in government programs like Medicare, disability services, Social Security. Even college admissions is made nearly insurmountable.
For 10 years, Jackee has strove to bring awareness to the problems with the program and help other protected witnesses who are struggling like she does and her father did. “Relative Unknown” is a fascinating look into the mysterious Witness Protection Program, along with being an incredibly well-told story about a deadly man and his family caught in the crossfire.