Astrid graduated with a Bsc Hons in Criminology and Psychological Studies in 2017 and currently works as a professional ghostwriter.
Small towns conjure up images of peaceful communities and safe havens to raise your children. They're viewed as places where everyone knows your name and no one locks their doors. So what happens when our view of small town living is shattered? Here we take a look at three unsolved small town murders that remain unsolved. Please note that some details may be distressing for some readers.
19-year-old cheerleader Jessica was described by her family as someone who was loved by many and had a great sense of humor. Her father said she was able to make anyone laugh with a silly face and was “just a sweet child.” It was a devastating shock when she was the victim of a truly brutal and shocking violent crime.
On December 6th, 2014, after leaving her mother's house still wearing her pajamas, she was found at the side of the road behind her 2005 Kia Rio. Having been doused in accelerant, she was set on fire and was found engulfed in flames near the tiny town of Courtland. After being airlifted to the hospital, she died of her injuries which consisted of third-degree burns to 95% of her body. The tragic death of Jessica was soon followed by a social media storm as armchair sleuths aimed to solve her murder, but to this day no one has been brought to justice for her death.
Eight first responders who attended the scene would later say she told them, “Eric set me on fire!”
However, one of the prime suspects who had been subject to a mistrial, not once, but twice, is Quinton Tellis, a man who had known her for just two weeks.
Be-Lo Triple Killings
Nothing was out of the ordinary at the Be-Lo supermarket on the sweltering June 6th evening in 1993. That was until a man entered the store in Windsor, a town of just 4000 people, and took all six employees hostage. He then proceeded to tie his victims up with duct tape before stacking them into piles and opening fire on them.
Bertie Country Sheriff John Holley would say, “It's the worst thing I've seen in approximately 31 years.”
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Tragically, three of the employees died while two luckily survived, albeit injured. Incredibly, one victim escaped completely unscathed and was able to call 911. He later told WITN that after the killings, the murderer told him, “Today's your lucky day. I'm gonna let you live, big man.” He describes him as being black, aged between 30 and 35, and he had a narrow-bridged nose.
There has never been a motive identified for the gruesome killings, nor has there been a suspect apprehended. Despite there being a $30,000 reward, no one has ever come forward. The survivors remain doubtful that the killer will be caught.
If anyone has any information regarding the case, you are encouraged to call Windsor Police at 252-794-3111 or the SBI at 800-334-3000.
The Girl Scout Killer
Known as one of Oklahoma's most notorious unexplained cases, the death of three girl scouts continues to haunt the community. It was June 13th, 1977, and a group of young campers were excited for the upcoming two weeks of woodland fun. However, it could never have been anticipated that on that first night, three of the young girls would be brutally murdered.
The bodies of three friends, Lori Farmer, 8, Michelle Guse, 9, and Denise Milner, 10, were found 100 yards from their tent having been raped and murdered. This prompted a local manhunt that saw the arrest of convicted rapist Gene Leroy Hart, who had escaped from prison four years previously. However, as can be expected, it was questioned why no one heard the killings take place. Especially as they happened so close to where the other campers slept.
Evidence tracing the murders to Hart included a single hair proposed to belong to a Native American along with various items he may have stolen from the camp. However, Hart insisted the police were trying to frame him and was consequently acquitted. He died two months later of a heart attack and to this day no further suspects have been identified.
If you have any information, no matter how insignificant, regarding the above cases, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your local police department.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.