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Thread: KS - Mystery of the dead mom

  1. #1
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    KS - Mystery of the dead mom

    Woman's death baffles Hutchinson police (Wichita Eagle)
    When the doorbell rang at the Hutchinson home the evening of June 14, the neighbor had no idea what he was about to encounter at a home nearby ó a 27-year-old wife and mother with two fatal gunshot wounds.

    Jennifer Heckel was loved. She had an accounting degree from Wichita State University, worked as group leader in human resources at Kroger corporate offices in Hutchinson and lived in a good neighborhood. The mystery is why and how she ended up gunned down by someone while her 5-year-old son was home with her.
    Her husband is said to have been working out of town at the time of the incident.
    She was lying on her right side, her head under a table.

    He reached down to try to feel a pulse, and Heckel's body was warm.

    But her eyes remained open. "I knew something was bad wrong," the neighbor said.

    "That's when I panicked."
    ---
    (more at kansas.com link above)

    Hutchinson is a town of about 42,000 people, an hour NW of Wichita.

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  3. #2
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    Much more also here, from the Hutchinson News:

    Detectives make homicide a priority but have few leads

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  5. #3
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    Hmmm, always seems a bit suspicious when the mother is killed, kid is home (unharmed) and father is away on business trip. Hello, Jason Young.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownRice View Post
    Hmmm, always seems a bit suspicious when the mother is killed, kid is home (unharmed) and father is away on business trip. Hello, Jason Young.
    This town is about 50 miles from me. Very hinky......

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  8. #5
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    Her obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kan...8462&fhid=4581

    Requiescat in pace.

    This crime must not go unsolved.

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  10. #6
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    A 5-yr-old is usually pretty together. Unless he somehow missed it all, he should be able to tell investigators something. Of course, they would have interviewed him already. I'm just wondering what he had to tell them.
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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Her obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kan...8462&fhid=4581

    Requiescat in pace.

    This crime must not go unsolved.
    I'm trying to get a sense of the family situation here. Her obituary says she was devoted to her 2 sons, and that she married her husband in 2009, 2 years ago. The son who was home at the time his mom was killed is 5, and the neighbor reports that it was this little boy who came to his door to get help. That same neighbor said the son told him he was watching TV, heard a shot, and found his mother on the floor. Husband out of town at the time. No mention of the other son in the home when this happened. What a horror for these children, especially the 5-year-old who tried to get help when he saw his mother on the ground.

    I bet most of us reading here could recall at least one similar case where a mother was killed in the home while her child(ren) were nearby, and the perp turned out to be the husband, a person expected to protect the child(ren) who lived in that home with him. Some have taken years to arrest and convict, yet others like them still commit such atroctities upon their families. I would say I hope that is not the case here, but gosh, my hope is simply for the criminal responsible to be found, arrested and convicted as easily as it was for them to gun down this young woman. At this point I don't care who it is, just get him or her!!
    One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.
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    Yeah, I had to read that twice - by "her two boys," the obit is referring to her son and her hubby, I think.

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    ---
    Heckel's husband and parents went first, tying ribbons at her home. Others followed along her street, hoping each pop of purple will help bring her justice.
    ---
    Hutchinson police say they have no suspects in Heckel's death, but have said they don't believe it was a random crime. Heckel was married for less than two years and had a five year old son.
    more here:

    Purple ribbons line street where Hutchinson woman was murdered

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    New Details Released In Hutchinson Homicide

    "Police said Thursday that they believe neither robbery or sexual assault were the motive behind the murder of a young woman inside her North Hutchinson home. Jennifer Heckel, 27, was found shot to death Monday night inside the residence at 501 Coronado."

    "We have some new information today that should help us in determining a motive for this crime," Hoover said. "It does not appear that this was a robbery or a sexual assault."
    <mod snip>

    http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/P...124027264.html



    So they haven't spoken with the husband yet....?
    Last edited by fran; 06-27-2011 at 09:25 PM. Reason: to abide by copyright laws

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    I hope they get this figured out soon. Such a lovely young woman.
    ~~~Cynical Optimist~~~

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  22. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie in Spokane View Post
    New Details Released In Hutchinson Homicide

    "Police said Thursday that they believe neither robbery or sexual assault were the motive behind the murder of a young woman inside her North Hutchinson home. Jennifer Heckel, 27, was found shot to death Monday night inside the residence at 501 Coronado."

    "We have some new information today that should help us in determining a motive for this crime," Hoover said. "It does not appear that this was a robbery or a sexual assault."
    <mod snip>

    http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/P...124027264.html



    So they haven't spoken with the husband yet....?
    BBM


    So, they haven't talked to the husband?

    Why not?!

    JMHO
    fran


    PS, fwiw, and OT! The Jason Young trial for the murder of his wife Michelle and unborn baby was declared a MISTRIAL today! fran ..............stay tuned..............

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  24. #13
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    As of late last week LE evidently hadn't spoken to the husband. Suspicions-wise, that's somewhat balanced by
    the fact that the husband and her parents participated together in placing purple ribbons in memoriam on her block.

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  26. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    As of late last week LE evidently hadn't spoken to the husband. Suspicions-wise, that's somewhat balanced by
    the fact that the husband and her parents participated together in placing purple ribbons in memoriam on her block.
    Yeah, I haven't seen anything yet that stands out. Everything seems like a normal, happy couple. I'm wondering if there is someone in her past that didn't want her married to Brian. After all, her son is from a previous relationship, per one article I read. I'm curious why they said she had two sons and was survived by the 5 yo at home.

    Just funny (weird) wording.

    KWIM
    fran

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    Quote Originally Posted by fran View Post
    Yeah, I haven't seen anything yet that stands out. Everything seems like a normal, happy couple. I'm wondering if there is someone in her past that didn't want her married to Brian. After all, her son is from a previous relationship, per one article I read. I'm curious why they said she had two sons and was survived by the 5 yo at home.

    Just funny (weird) wording.

    KWIM
    fran
    I can't remember if the son is from a previous relationship, although I assume he is, since he's five and they had been married less than two years. If so, that sort of thing can create tension in a marriage.

    The misunderstanding on the two kids thing resulted from the confusing obit, which said she was "devoted to her her two boys, Brian and Tanner" - in actuality, that's referring to her son, Tanner, and to her husband, Brian. (Which makes it sound like at least she was happy in the marriage.)

    This is going to be a tough case, I think, but Kansas has excellent LE.

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  30. #16
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    I've actually located a number of articles, but they really all seem to say just the same things. I was hoping to see some comments that could give a {hint} of something we're not seeing in the media. You'd be surprised how quiickly some of these things can come out.

    Her husband didn't seem to be hiding, no hint I've seen of him lawyering up (good sign IMHO!), even LE or was it the family?, wants to keep this story going so that they can find the killer. LE said, in one article, the family had given them some names they might be interested in. LE is checking them out.

    One thing is, one article said the doors were unlocked and even the garage door was opened when the neighbor came to the home when he was summoned by the child. I know that wouldn't happen here, but then, this is California! You leave your garage opened here and it'd be empty in no time! Even steal lawnmowers!

    Hope they locate this killer soon. Someone thinks they got away with murder. The may be in for a surprise! hopefully.

    JMHO
    fran

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  32. #17
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    I haven't been to Hutchinson in a long time, but it seemed like a pretty laid-back, low crime, place back then. I've no idea how Hutch has changed - it probably has more problems and tensions now, like the rest of us. It has 42,000 people, but, in Kansas, with our towns small and smaller, that's a bustling bigger city to most of us! Statewide, lots of people still leave their doors unlocked, even in this day and age. Maybe not in Wichita and Kansas City KS, but certainly most places.

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  34. #18
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    From what I have seen so far, IMHO, this is either a random act by someone who saw the unlocked doors, came in and was surprised by finding the wife there, shot and killed, without premeditation. Maybe startled? Aftwards, they got scared and ran. Neighborhood drug addict?

    OTOH, it COULD be someone from her past. We just don't know enough to determine anything further.

    I'm actually surprised LE told the neighbors not to worry and this wasn't random. Without any evidence of a domestic situation and NO suspects or POI, they don't know what they have. IF I was in that neighborhood, I'd be locking my door and be wary of strangers......................but that's just me!

    JMHO
    fran

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  36. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fran View Post
    I'm actually surprised LE told the neighbors not to worry and this wasn't random. Without any evidence of a domestic situation and NO suspects or POI, they don't know what they have. IF I was in that neighborhood, I'd be locking my door and be wary of strangers......................but that's just me!

    JMHO
    fran
    Yep, in my experience (not being a criminal, but following these cases ), LE only says this when they suspect the husband (regardless if they have publicly stated this or not).

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  38. #20
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    Hmmm....sounds like they have some confirmation that the husband WAS out of town, so they need to trace back his past few weeks to see who he interacted with. LE may not want to talk to him yet for fear of him lawyering up. Good investigators can piece together the recent doings of folks who they are unofficially looking at without questioning the actual person. There is no doubt in my mind they looking at the husband, whether they have talked to him or not. And if they haven't, shouldn't he be insisting on talking to them for updates on the case? This has hinky all over it IMHO.

    Gosh, I have gotten so hardened over the years by the cases I have followed here. I'm not especially happy about that either.
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  40. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownRice View Post
    Yep, in my experience (not being a criminal, but following these cases ), LE only says this when they suspect the husband (regardless if they have publicly stated this or not).
    Yes, most times this is the equivalent of "we know who did it but can't prove it yet". If they are wrong, woe to the neighbors and the police, however...
    Just my opinion, of course.

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  42. #22
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    I hope they catch who did this .
    Could be an ex of hers or her husbands and even a current flame .
    To do this at all is bad enough but with a child in the house ? even worse .
    "Don't pee on my head and tell me it's raining" ~Judge Judy

    Revenge is beneath me , but accidents DO happen .

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  44. #23
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    If it wasn't rape or robbery what's left?
    Jealousy is ugly and mean and this was a VERY mean crime .
    RIP
    "Don't pee on my head and tell me it's raining" ~Judge Judy

    Revenge is beneath me , but accidents DO happen .

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  46. #24
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    Holding my breath on this one.
    ~~~Cynical Optimist~~~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silkprint View Post
    If it wasn't rape or robbery what's left?
    Jealousy is ugly and mean and this was a VERY mean crime .
    RIP
    And, add to the fact LE said it's not random, don't be concerned. Obviously this is personal (they think).

    Maybe it's someone from the husband's past too - exgirlfriend/wife/stalker. The poor child. I can't imagine having a child see something like that.

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