January 30, 1961: A Knox County grand jury indicted Vincennes officer Archie Foreman for the murder of Sergeant Orrel Manuel Jr., as well as the wounding of Officer James Mallory.
Date: November 17, 1978
Place: 5725 Crawfordsville Road in Speedway, Indiana
Claim to Infamy: Four young employees, Daniel Davis (16), Mark Flemmonds (16), Jayne Friedt (20), and Ruth Ellen Shelton (17), were abducted from the restaurant when they were closing up for the night. Their bodies were discovered two days later in a wooded lot in Johnson County. Ruth Ellen and Daniel had been shot to death, while Jayne had been stabbed twice in the heart with a hunting knife. Mark died choking on his own blood after receiving a blow to the head. Although robbery is the presumed motive, less than $600 was taken from the registers. Additional money in the girls’ purses and the store safe was left untouched.
Current Status: Unsolved
Random Disturbing Fact: Daniel was new to the Friday night crew. The girl who’d previously worked that shift quit the week before, and he took her spot. It was his first ─ and last ─ Friday night working until close.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is encouraged to call the Indiana State Police (317) 232-8248 .
“I’m very aware of what’s happening. I know that Mr. Agan isn’t. And I told him to make his peace with God… And, after waiting those few minutes, then Dave said, ‘Oh, kill the motherfucker.’ I then stabbed Mr. Agan and Dave took another snapshot. I stabbed Mr. Agan, then I stabbed Mr. Agan a couple or three times. I don’t know how many times. I just did them very quickly. And then Dave came over and then he took the knife from me and he stabbed Mr. Agan while he masturbated. And after he stabbed Mr. Agan a few times, then Mr. Agan went limp.”
– Larry Eyler, in a confession he gave to the court while pleading guilty to Steven Agan’s murder*
*Eyler’s alleged co-conspirator was found not guilty
“My mom said I could strangle her or use my crossbow. It was up to me.”
– Hans Dieter (John David) “Butch” Witte, describing the conspiracy to kill and dismember his grandmother Elaine. Sentenced to a twenty-year manslaughter term for taking part in the murder, Butch was released in 1996.
Name: Joseph Weldon Brown
Known Aliases: (none)
Date of Birth: November 24, 1954
Claim to Infamy: Brown murdered Evansville resident Ginger Gasaway when she broke up with him and demanded the return of her car. After killing her, he dismembered her body with a reciprocating saw and discarded it in pieces around Posey, Gibson, and Warrick counties. While serving his life sentence for Gasaway’s murder, Brown confessed to killing thirteen others. Although some of the details he provided were able to be corroborated, no additional bodies were found to verify his claims. In 2011, he strangled another inmate to death at Miami Correctional Facility at Bunker Hill.
Indiana Connection: A native of Cynthiana, Brown was no stranger to Indiana law enforcement long before he murdered Ginger Gasaway. In 1977, he kidnapped, robbed, and assaulted a friend in Owensville. He had served 18 years of a life sentence for that crime when he was released to kill again.
Current Status: Serving life without the possibility of parole at the Westville Control Unit
Random Disturbing Fact: When the saw blade he was using to dismember Gasaway’s body broke, Brown walked into Home Depot splattered with blood and gore and calmly demanded an exchange. It was given to him, no questions asked.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t know Sylvia that well. It was just a casual relationship.”
– Ricky Hobbs describing his “relationship” with Sylvia Likens, the girl he helped torture to death. Among other sadistic acts, Ricky helped brand the words “I’m a prostitute and proud of it” into the girl’s stomach with a needle.
“There is altogether too much cunning and humbug in this land. Honesty, sincerity, and righteousness last the longest. Where they are found to be on both sides everything will be all right.”
– Serial killer Belle Gunness, in an excerpt from a love letter she wrote to Andrew Heiglein. Heiglein was lured to her LaPorte farm under the guise of marriage, then robbed and murdered.
“It’s a good thing you caught me…there was going to be a blood bath.”
– Confessed serial killer Joe Brown to Sergeant Rick Reed, Evansville PD
Name: Robert Jeffrey (“Jeff”) Pelley
Date of Birth: December 10, 1971
Claim to Infamy: On Sunday morning, April 30, 1989, four members of his family were found shot to death in their home. More than seventeen years later, Jeff Pelley was found guilty of their murders. His only known motive was that he wanted to go to his prom’s after-party but was grounded. The killing of father Robert (38), stepmother Dawn (32), and stepsisters Jonell (8), and Joleen (6) was known in the press as “The Prom Night Murders.”
Indiana Connection: Jeff attended LaVille High School in South Bend. Until their deaths, his family lived just outside of Lakeville, where his father served as reverend to the parishioners of the Olive Branch United Brethren Church in Christ.
Current Status: Serving his 160-year sentence in Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
Random Disturbing Fact: The Pelleys had two other children, Jacque and Jessica, who almost certainly escaped death simply because they were sleeping-over elsewhere the night the murders occurred. The sisters are divided on the question of their brother’s guilt. Jacque believes he is innocent.