Central Virginia's unsolved homicides
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 10:27 PM EST
By Carrie J. Sidener


Walter & Linda Coleman, Feb. 17, 1994

Flames crawled from the mobile home on Harris Road in Madison Heights on Feb. 17, 1994.

A neighbor saw the blaze and called 911 but when firefighters arrived, the mobile home was fully engulfed.

Inside, investigators found the bodies of Walter and Linda Coleman. Linda, 59, had died of asphyxiation before the fire began. Walter, 66, died of burns and smoke inhalation. The fire was ruled arson.

Investigators developed a firm suspect, but the problem became proving it.

Newspaper reports at the time showed that Chubby Chuck Pennix, nephew of the Colemans, was the prime suspect. He was never charged. Instead, he was charged with cashing at least one stolen check from Linda Coleman. He was charged a year later with attempted rape and two counts of robbery in an unrelated incident and sentenced to 22 years in prison.