Hunting and serial murder
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1997:
CADIZ, Ohio––Hunting season is
when perversely slain bodies are found, and
not just the bodies of animals.
Danny H. Jenkins, 51, of East
Akron, was charged on October 8 with shotgunning
two of his bowhunting buddies,
brothers Duane and William Lockard, 60 and
61, of Suffield.
Jenkins’ alleged motive, the
Harrison County Sheriff’s Department told
media, was robbery. Both Lockards were
known to carry large sums of cash.
Drifting between Ohio and Florida
for many years, Jenkins was within days of his
arrest also questioned in connection with the
November 19, 1993 buckshot murder/robberies
of Florida deer hunters Don Hill, 63,
and Gregory Allen Wood, 35, in the Osceola
All four victims were shot at close
range from behind.
A search of local newspaper archives
for background on Jenkins discovered that in
November 1994 he claimed to have been
among the hunters who discovered the skeletal
remains of a still unidentified teenaged girl
beside the Berlin Reservoir in Deerfield
Township––but Portage County prosecutor
Victor Vigluicci said Jenkins was not among
the hunters who reported the find.
“We’re certainly looking at it,”
Vigluicci told Akron Beacon Journal s t a f f
writer Cheryl Powell.
On November 11, Powell reported,
“Portage County investigators might also look
at Jenkins as a suspect in the unsolved deaths
of Lisa Watters, 32, and Andy Hussey, 31,
said Gordon Hussey, a lieutenant with the
Portage County sheriff’s office and father of
Andy Hussey. Their bodies were discovered
near where the unidentified girl was found a
year later. Both were shot in the back on
November 6, 1993, with a high-powered rifle.
Jenkins had several high-powered rifles,” said
friends, who placed him nearby, hunting, two
days before the Watters and Hussey murders.
A high school dropout, Jenkins was
arrested twice as a juvenile, including for auto
theft, and 13 times as an adult, including for
assault, domestic violence, forgery, abusing a
police officer, malicious destruction of property,
drunk driving, and drug offenses. Twice
he was arrested in possession of firearms. A
local diner owner told Powell that Jenkins also
boasted of having killed a man in Florida as
result of a soured drug deal. Yet Jenkins
seemed popular with fellow hunters.
Police the same day charged David
W. Butler II, 17, with killing Roger Sanders,
43, of Port Washington, Ohio. Sanders’ body
was found, shot four times in the head, four
days after he vanished while coonhunting.
Tuscarawas County sheriff Harold McKimmie
said a second suspect was sought. McKimmie
said Butler lived with Sanders and was
Sanders’ daughter’s boyfriend.
Randy Creech, 24, and Joshua
Sizemore, 19, both of London, Kentucky,
were charged with attempted murder on
October 29 for their involvement in the shooting
of Sgt. Randy Brumback, a state wildlife
officer who allegedly caught them hunting deer
out of season in the Daniel Boone Memorial
Forest. A third member of their party,
Clayton Delaney Cawood, 25, surrendered to
police later, and was additionally charged with
shooting at state police detective Joey Peters,
Died with boots on?
Clearly no accident, but with no
reported suspects, was the stabbing and burning
of avid hunter Roy Dixon, 52, of
Modesto, California. “Authorities first
thought a car wreck killed Dixon on a lone
hunting trip,” Associated Press recounted a
month afterward. “But later, investigators
found multiple stab wounds on his battered and
burned body. Sexual paraphernalia also were
found littered around the scene. Dixon left his
home the evening of October 13, telling his
wife of 31 years that he would be back in a
couple of days. His campsite was about 80
miles east, so it should have taken him two
hours to get there. But six hours later and 18
miles short of Dixon’s destination, residents in
the town of West Point called 911 after hearing
gunshots,” which turned out to be from
ammunition in Dixon’s flaming vehicle.
According to Calaveras County sheriff’s
detective Robert Mortimer, Dixon was
wearing a t-shirt and longjohns, but his pants
were pulled down to his ankles. Sheriff
Dennis Downum said sexual paraphernalia was
found near the remains, but there was no evidence
Dixon had been raped. Dixon’s wife
Kathi, 49, said Dixon was well-known in
West Point, but residents told police they had
never seen him before.
Questions also resulted from the
October 27 discovery of the remains of a man
and a pair of boots at the Tiger Creek Hunting
Club near Houston, Texas. The man had
apparently been shot through the skull, possibly
with a gun found nearby.
Old questions were finally answered
on October 21 in Montrose, Pennsylvania,
when Stephen Scher, M.D., 56, was convicted
of murdering hunting buddy Martin Dillon,
30, back in 1976. Scher, then divorcing his
first wife, two years later married Dillon’s
widow. Scher had for 21 years claimed
Dillon’s death was an accident that occurred as
Dillon tripped over his own shotgun while
rushing to kill a porcupine.
On October 4, in Houlton, Maine,
hunter Joseph Rodweller, 40, was convicted
of assault and criminal trespass for allegedly
pointing his loaded rifle at two property owners,
telling them they could easily become
“hunting accidents” for ordering him away.
Such cases suggest passing off murders
as hunting accidents may be getting marginally
harder, but deer season brought more
than a few other “accidents” that seemed to
raise doubts among those near the scene.
Werner Langer, 41, of Maxville,
Ontario, was charged with criminal negligence
and careless use of a firearm on November 14
for allegedly shooting Keith Flaro, 29, of
Martintown, as Flaro set beaver traps from a
canoe. Flaro survived the shooting, but bled
to death when Langer didn’t fetch help.
Ottawa Sun writer Ron Corbett called Langer’s
story “almost implausible.”
Wrote David Johnson in the October
28 edition of T he Morning Tribune i n
Lewiston, Idaho, “Authorities continued to
investigate what they are calling a ‘hunting
fatality’ that claimed the life of 32-year-old
John D. Ivey of Orofino,” a guide reportedly
killed in a weapons handling accident two days
earlier by a first-time client, Norman
Reinbold, 35, of Ashburnham, Massachusetts.
Johnson didn’t indicate why he put
‘hunting fatality’ in quotes. A former prison
officer, Ivey was reportedly “the father of two
young children by previous marriages and
engaged to be married again.”
But Winston Churchill advised,
“Never attribute to malice what may be
ascribed to stupidity.” That seemed to explain
most hunting accidents this year, as most
years––and hunter safety courses may not help.
On November 8 and 9, for instance, one 15-
year-old Arkansas boy killed his stepfather,
Jeffrey Leroy Walters, 33, of Van Buren, and
another killed his friend James Shearburn, 16,
of Alma––both in campground gun handling
accidents. In Medford, Wisconsin, a 12-yearold
boy killed Eric J. Sorge, 27, by shooting
an arrow into his throat and chest as Sorge
walked beneath his tree stand. At least two of
the boys and possibly the third had recently
completed approved hunter safety courses.
Defenders of hunting often argue
that few human victims are nonparticipants––
but Theresa Poynter, 13, was playing her clarinet
in her own living room November 10
when a deer slug hit her chest and nearly killed
her. She called to her mother, Kathleen
Poynter, who barely survived a similar shooting
at about the same age, then collapsed.
Three hunters were questioned.
Kimberly Kay Banks, 29, of Lynd,
Minnesota, earlier that day took a deer slug
between the eyes as she drove her car near her
home. She survived.
In Lanark, Ontario, a deer slug hit a
kitchen counter, and on November 11, one
day later, a rifle bullet hit a deck where a nineyear-old
and an 11-year-old were playing.
Hunting columnists all over the U.S.
and Canada trotted out numbers showing that
far more humans are injured in bicycling,
swimming, and football per 100,000 participants,
but neglected to note that bicyclists,
swimmers, and football players all generally
participate for far more days than hunters hunt.
It was no surprise that Michigan state
representative David Jaye (R-Macomb County)
linked his chance of re-election on November
25, in mid-deer season, to the number of
hunters who cast absentee ballots. His platform,
Jaye told Hawke Fracassa of the Detroit
N e w s, was that his opponent had voted 14
times to spend more for education as a county
school board member, while Jaye had voted
25 times against educational funding.