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Thread: AL - Pastor ARRESTED for Brutal slaying of wife Karen Shahan

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    AL - Pastor ARRESTED for Brutal slaying of wife Karen Shahan

    Alabama pastor's wife and member of church choir is found brutally murdered on couch in family home. (Daily Mail)

    • Karen Louise Shahan, 52, was found dead at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday after she failed to show up to work
    • Victim is married to Reverend Richard Shahan of First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
    • Shahan's husband was away visiting the couple's son when the grandmother was killed
    • Police have not divulged how Shahan died but said it was clear she had been murdered
    • No suspects identified; unknown whether the slaying was a 'random burglary gone bad' or something more sinister

    The story, with pictures, at the link.

    Timeline/Media thread: [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10097690#post10097690"]AL - Pastor, Richard Shahan, ARRESTED for Brutal slaying of wife Karen Shahan - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community[/ame]
    Last edited by Salem; 01-05-2014 at 12:38 AM. Reason: added link for timeline/media thread.


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    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/07/...slain_wif.html

    Picture of Karen, may she rest in peace and justice be swift.


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    Curious. Found on the couch- so no struggle with an intruder? Any signs of forced entry?

    And, as much as I hate to say this, timeline verification? Estimated time of death?
    Six-year-old Shannon Sherrill disappeared from her front yard in Thorntown, Indiana in October, 1986. Someone knows where she is......

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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Alabama pastor's wife and member of church choir is found brutally murdered on couch in family home. (Daily Mail)

    Karen Louise Shahan, 52, was found dead at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday after she failed to show up to work
    Victim is married to Reverend Richard Shahan of First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
    Shahan's husband was away visiting the couple's son when the grandmother was killed
    Police have not divulged how Shahan died but said it was clear she had been murdered
    No suspects identified; unknown whether the slaying was a 'random burglary gone bad' or something more sinister

    The story, with pictures, at the link.
    If it wasn't a "robbery gone bad" and was "something more sinister", <modsnip>
    Last edited by Kimster; 07-29-2013 at 10:45 AM. Reason: no evidence that one person or another is responsible

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    This is both sad and terrifying. Its bad enough that she was killed, and I hope it wasn't someone close to her that she trusted. It seems like murders are an everyday thing now. Someone has a dispute with someone and they just kill the person. Its a crazy world nowadays!

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    First Baptist Church Press Release

    July 25, 2013

    First Baptist Church of Birmingham is saddened to announce that long-time church member Karen Shahan died on July 23, 2013 in Homewood, Alabama. Karen Shahan was a member of the church choir and the wife of First Baptist Church's Children and Families Pastor, Rev. Richard Shahan. Karen Shahan's body was discovered in the couple's Homewood residence on the morning of July 23, 2013.

    The cause of Karen Shahan's death is undetermined at this time. The Homewood Police Department is investigating the circumstances of the occurrence. No further information relating to the police investigation has been made available to First Baptist Church of Birmingham.

    Karen Shahan is survived by her husband and the couple's two sons, Kyle and Colin (Elizabeth) and two grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements: Visitation will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, July 27, at First Baptist Church of Birmingham. A memorial service will follow at 12:00pm.

    In lieu of flowers, the Shahan family requests memorial gifts be made to First Baptist Church of Birmingham's Children's Ministry.
    http://www.myfoxal.com/story/2293363...rs-wifes-death

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    Since calling the police was the immediate action of the coworkers, I suspect they had some knowledge of her being in a possibly dangerous situation. Women confide in each other, even if all they say is "call 911 if I don't show up for work".

    MOO


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    Is this the same church that was bombed in the 60's?

    eta - I see it probably isn't the same one now. But I'd be looking into people with grudges against the church, maybe..

    The attack seems very personal and angry - but who'd hate a parson's wife -that- much?

    Of course, it could be a random thing.. and they tricked their way in.. but worth checking out enemies of this church anyway.
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausgirl View Post
    Is this the same church that was bombed in the 60's?

    If so, it seems there's been a very long history of trouble with local white supremacists....
    That was the 16th Street Baptist Church.

    First Baptist Church: http://fbcbirmingham.org/

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    Yup, wfgodot, just edited my post - not the same one. I saw 'Birmingham' and 'church' and thought it may have been.
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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    I know that the detectives always have to question the spouse/family first...but I just wanted to say that I've gone to First Baptist of Birmingham church since it opened in the 1980's. Richard and Karen haven't been there that long but they've been here for years. I've known both of them very well. Richard is a wonderful man who loves God more than any I know. Karen also loved the Lord as much as her husband does. Richard led my son to the Lord when he was 9 years old, he also baptised my son. Our church is hurting so much. So if it's possible...please, please, please keep in mind that there are people who love websleuths and but we also love Richard and Karen. Thank you


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    Quote Originally Posted by kahne9 View Post
    I know that the detectives always have to question the spouse/family first...but I just wanted to say that I've gone to First Baptist of Birmingham church since it opened in the 1980's. Richard and Karen haven't been there that long but they've been here for years. I've known both of them very well. Richard is a wonderful man who loves God more than any I know. Karen also loved the Lord as much as her husband does. Richard led my son to the Lord when he was 9 years old, he also baptised my son. Our church is hurting so much. So if it's possible...please, please, please keep in mind that there are people who love websleuths and but we also love Richard and Karen. Thank you
    would be devestating...thoughts with you all....
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    The street where Shahan was killed is quiet but not particularly close-knit because most residents rend rather than own their homes, neighbors said.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2aE0gfOeL
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    There was a typo in the article but I believe they wanted to say rent rather than rend. More chance for crime if neighborhood is mostly rentals, people move in and out faster. Neighbors don't know each other and aren't as invested if they are leaving soon.

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    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/07/...slain_wif.html

    Quoting the above article below:

    The slaying has sparked concern in the community since police have not said whether they believe the killing was random. The street where the Shahans lived is quiet, but not particularly close-knit because most of the residents are renters and change frequently, neighbors said. Several neighbors told AL.com they had never seen the victim. First Baptist owns all of the homes on that circle.
    The above article does not say that the entire neighborhood is renters, just that particular street. On the contrary, I would say the majority of the neighborhood is homeowners in that part of town. Many of the homes in that area rent out basement or garage apartments because I've known several people who rented those (in my younger days).

    Samford University (a private college) is right up the street from the church as is the large offices of Southern Progress, the company known as Southern Living, Cooking Light, Progressive Farmer as well as others. All these are within under a quarter of a mile from the church.

    Mrs. Shahan worked at Hobby Lobby (a very large arts and crafts store...I think might be a national chain) at the location which would have been maybe a mile or two, at most, from her home. Lakeshore Rehab, a large and nationally acclaimed Rehab center, sits across the street from the church and very nearby Brookwood Medical Center, a major hospital is also located, again less than a mile away.

    This is not a transient area. I assumed the church owned all the homes on that street so that church staff could rent and live near the church. The street is directly behind the church and the church sits on Lakeshore drive as does all of the businesses I mentioned other than the hospital.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGIRecovered View Post
    Since calling the police was the immediate action of the coworkers, I suspect they had some knowledge of her being in a possibly dangerous situation. Women confide in each other, even if all they say is "call 911 if I don't show up for work".

    MOO
    I thought the same thing when I read all the articles. Her body was found at 11:15 am which is quite early. I don't know what time she was scheduled to be at work but I think Hobby Lobby opens at 10:00 am so I wouldn't think she was scheduled before 9 am. I just don't think I'd be that quick to sound an alarm if a co-worker couldn't be reached within a couple of hours or so. They could have had an emergency and been unable to call into work because of that.

    To call the police and ask for a welfare check just seems odd when she had only been late showing up that same day. Usually people only ask for welfare checks on persons who they have been unable to reach for several days for over a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClemiFern View Post
    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/07/...slain_wif.html

    Quoting the above article below:



    The above article does not say that the entire neighborhood is renters, just that particular street. On the contrary, I would say the majority of the neighborhood is homeowners in that part of town. Many of the homes in that area rent out basement or garage apartments because I've known several people who rented those (in my younger days).

    Samford University (a private college) is right up the street from the church as is the large offices of Southern Progress, the company known as Southern Living, Cooking Light, Progressive Farmer as well as others. All these are within under a quarter of a mile from the church.

    Mrs. Shahan worked at Hobby Lobby (a very large arts and crafts store...I think might be a national chain) at the location which would have been maybe a mile or two, at most, from her home. Lakeshore Rehab, a large and nationally acclaimed Rehab center, sits across the street from the church and very nearby Brookwood Medical Center, a major hospital is also located, again less than a mile away.

    This is not a transient area. I assumed the church owned all the homes on that street so that church staff could rent and live near the church. The street is directly behind the church and the church sits on Lakeshore drive as does all of the businesses I mentioned other than the hospital.
    Thanks for this info about the area. Helps make things clearer. My son lived and worked in this area when he attended Samford and worked at Valleydale church.i have a question about First Baptist. When I think of a First Baptist in any town, I think of the oldest, largest church in the area. But I read up thread that this church was formed in the 80s? Could you clarify that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by killarney rose View Post
    Thanks for this info about the area. Helps make things clearer. My son lived and worked in this area when he attended Samford and worked at Valleydale church.i have a question about First Baptist. When I think of a First Baptist in any town, I think of the oldest, largest church in the area. But I read up thread that this church was formed in the 80s? Could you clarify that?
    You're welcome. Birmingham consists of many suburbs and Homewood is one of them.

    The First Baptist Church location on Lakeshore Drive was built in 1986, according to the church website. I believe it was formed much earlier in the actual city of B'ham. It is a very large church but definitely not the largest church in the area. Birmingham and suburbs is home to many very large churches, hence this area being known as " the Bible Belt."

    Valleydale Road, which is also located in Homewood, is home to a completely different type of residents. It is mostly apartments and condominiums and is located nearer to a less desirable part of the area. Birmingham is very diverse and this particular location (Lakeshore Drive) is only about a mile from very elaborate homes (some mansions) and it is also only a couple miles away from crime ridden areas. The area itself is simply upper middle class, not wealthy, not poor, an older and more established area.

    I don't usually get interested in these stories but this one just made my radar go off. Hoping I'm wrong about my feelings. I probably watch too much true crime on tv...lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClemiFern View Post
    You're welcome. Birmingham consists of many suburbs and Homewood is one of them.

    The First Baptist Church location on Lakeshore Drive was built in 1986, according to the church website. I believe it was formed much earlier in the actual city of B'ham. It is a very large church but definitely not the largest church in the area. Birmingham and suburbs is home to many very large churches, hence this area being known as " the Bible Belt."

    Valleydale Road, which is also located in Homewood, is home to a completely different type of residents. It is mostly apartments and condominiums and is located nearer to a less desirable part of the area. Birmingham is very diverse and this particular location (Lakeshore Drive) is only about a mile from very elaborate homes (some mansions) and it is also only a couple miles away from crime ridden areas. The area itself is simply upper middle class, not wealthy, not poor, an older and more established area.

    I don't usually get interested in these stories but this one just made my radar go off. Hoping I'm wrong about my feelings. I probably watch too much true crime on tv...lol.
    You and me both, but I'm having the same feelings! Yes, lots of very large churches in the area. My son attended Shades Mtn until he got the job at Valleydale.

    So this First Baptist relocated to its present location from Birmingham? ( I know its all Birmingham, but these communities are separate, yet together...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by killarney rose View Post
    You and me both, but I'm having the same feelings! Yes, lots of very large churches in the area. My son attended Shades Mtn until he got the job at Valleydale.

    So this First Baptist relocated to its present location from Birmingham? ( I know its all Birmingham, but these communities are separate, yet together...)
    Yes, that's correct. It was once located in downtown B'ham until the former AmSouth Bank bought that property from the church and built their home office location there. AmSouth is now Regions Bank. Shades Mtn. Baptist is a HUGE church in the suburb known as Vestavia Hills but is only 2-3 miles from Birmingham Baptist on Lakeshore Drive. Shades Mountain probably has one of the largest congregations in the whole city.

    All the suburbs (which are each separate cities in themselves) intertwine within the area and all are known as Birmingham. Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook area all closely connected. Hope this helps everyone get a feel for the layout of the area where it happened. Very hilly, green and lots of trees, not a typical city type atmosphere. It's very lush, green and a very beautiful area.

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    Yes, it's very pretty, and a good area. Still have family in the area. It's not the kind of area where you think of things like this happening.


    Thanks so much for your description of the area.

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    Easy access to that house

    Not to nit-pick bevause it's not really relvevant to this sad and mysterious story, but Valleydale Road is NOT in Homewood- its much farther South and mostly in Shelby Co. You are referring to Valley Avenue where once somehwat upscale apartments (and lots of students) have given way to a different demographic mix and there is a good bit of crime over there about 2-3 miles away.
    The victim's home is one of about 6 on a quiet cul-de-sac, but it backs up to the 1st Bapt. church parking lot. An intruder could have easily come onto the property from the parking lot and not be seen by neighbors. The church is on a busy street- 4 lanes. Lakeshore Dr. as already mentioned. I work practically next door to there.
    I am very curious as to time of death- that would explain a lot I think. No indication of cause- which is strange. But, police have not warned residents and nearby students of a killer on the loose so they must think they know who did this and that it is not a random event.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClemiFern View Post
    You're welcome. Birmingham consists of many suburbs and Homewood is one of them.

    The First Baptist Church location on Lakeshore Drive was built in 1986, according to the church website. I believe it was formed much earlier in the actual city of B'ham. It is a very large church but definitely not the largest church in the area. Birmingham and suburbs is home to many very large churches, hence this area being known as " the Bible Belt."

    Valleydale Road, which is also located in Homewood, is home to a completely different type of residents. It is mostly apartments and condominiums and is located nearer to a less desirable part of the area. Birmingham is very diverse and this particular location (Lakeshore Drive) is only about a mile from very elaborate homes (some mansions) and it is also only a couple miles away from crime ridden areas. The area itself is simply upper middle class, not wealthy, not poor, an older and more established area.

    I don't usually get interested in these stories but this one just made my radar go off. Hoping I'm wrong about my feelings. I probably watch too much true crime on tv...lol.
    Last edited by BhamAdGal; 07-29-2013 at 12:38 PM. Reason: misspellings

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    Quote Originally Posted by BhamAdGal View Post
    Not to nit-pick bevause it's not really relvevant to this sad and mysterious story, but Valleydale Road is NOT in Homewood- its much farther South and mostly in Shelby Co. You are referring to Valley Avenue where once somehwat upscale apartments (and lots of students) have given way to a different demographic mix and there is a good bit of crime over there about 2-3 miles away.
    The victim's home is one of about 6 on a quiet cul-de-sac, but it backs up to the 1st Bapt. church parking lot. An intruder could have easily come onto the property from the parking lot and not be seen by neighbors. The church is on a busy street- 4 lanes. Lakeshore Dr. as already mentioned. I work practically next door to there.
    I am very curious as to time of death- that would explain a lot I think. No indication of cause- which is strange. But, police have not warned residents and nearby students of a killer on the loose so they must think they know who did this and that it is not a random event.
    I stand corrected and apologize for my mistake. You are 100% correct in that Valleydale Rd is in Shelby Co and yes, I was thinking of Valley Avenue... just got a bit confused.

    I have searched and searched for the article I read a few days ago where a neighbor mentioned hearing a loud sound coming from the Shahan house around 10:45 on Monday night. I have not be able to find it again but hopefully somebody else will print it before long. I haven't seen any other news on this other than the interim pastor (Dr. Carter) from the church who said in an article today that one of the policemen said it was one of the most brutal murders he had ever seen. Still haven't seen a time of death reported and yes that would be a good thing to know.

    Thanks again for your correction. Have a good evening.

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    Well, the police surely know how long Mrs. Shahan had been dead. If the murder was that brutal and they officially have no suspects, shouldn't the Homewood police have the community on high alert? It is frustrating not to be given any more information about this. Any idea of the manner of death? sounds like a personal situation vs. random stranger.
    Quote Originally Posted by ClemiFern View Post
    I stand corrected and apologize for my mistake. You are 100% correct in that Valleydale Rd is in Shelby Co and yes, I was thinking of Valley Avenue... just got a bit confused.

    I have searched and searched for the article I read a few days ago where a neighbor mentioned hearing a loud sound coming from the Shahan house around 10:45 on Monday night. I have not be able to find it again but hopefully somebody else will print it before long. I haven't seen any other news on this other than the interim pastor (Dr. Carter) from the church who said in an article today that one of the policemen said it was one of the most brutal murders he had ever seen. Still haven't seen a time of death reported and yes that would be a good thing to know.

    Thanks again for your correction. Have a good evening.

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    I agree with you. If it were a random "brutal" murder, I would think they would have the whole city, maybe even county on high alert. I think they have a suspicion what might have happened and are just waiting for the right slip up or for a confirmation. I am still feeling "murder for hire" but could be something else. "Brutal" to me says knife wounds/stabbing or worse, but not a simple gunshot or even several gunshots. Typically stabbing or mutilation is personal rather than random unless it's a serial killer and again I think they would have alerted the city if that were the suspicion. That's just my personal opinion on this.

    I also think they would have had a press conference to give more information if they really thought this was random. They are most likely trying to trip someone up.


    Quote Originally Posted by BhamAdGal View Post
    Well, the police surely know how long Mrs. Shahan had been dead. If the murder was that brutal and they officially have no suspects, shouldn't the Homewood police have the community on high alert? It is frustrating not to be given any more information about this. Any idea of the manner of death? sounds like a personal situation vs. random stranger.

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    Interim pastor consoles congregration. Nice picture of Karen. Says she was found on the couch.

    http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2...es_congre.html

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