GUILTY NC - Tim Hennis on trial in the '85 Eastburn murders, Fort Bragg

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by crimson3, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. crimson3

    crimson3 Sandy

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    Hello. This is my first post so please take it easy on me if anything is done incorrectly ;) . This crime took place in Fayetteville NC in May 1985. The mother (Katie) and two of their three daughters were killed in their home. Tim Hennis was tried and convicted of the murders but after a new trial a few years later was released. I haven't heard if there have been any new developments, arrests or anything have come about in the years since. There is a book written about the case called "Innocent Victims" by Scott Whisnant San
     
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  3. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Did this crime occur on an Army Base, or out in the civilian community? Were the victims or suspects military persons? What details do you have?
     
  4. Hollow

    Hollow Former member

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  5. crimson3

    crimson3 Sandy

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    The crime did not take place on a military base but in the civilian area of Fayetteville but very close to Fort Bragg. The victims' husband was in the military. The man accused but later released was also in the army stationed at that time, at Fort Bragg. Just as Hollow posted, all I was able to find online was that trivia game relating to this case. I read the book several years ago and just thought I would look to see if anything was ever discovered about the case. I thought someone here at websleuths may have more current info (the book was published in 1993). I couldn't find anything on the North Carolina websites involving unsolved crimes about this case.
     
  6. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    The link features the story of this case mainly from the position of the Defense Lawyers as they presented their case. It is quit obvious, however, that the Prosecutors believed strongly in the case against him. In their minds and the minds of the police investigators, this was a SOLVED case, never a COLD one. Even though the suspect was found Not Guilty in a subsequent trial, it would seem that there is no official incentive to pursue the case further.

    The story is a fascinating one, and there are some interesting theories presented in the end. It would be interesting to see what DNA would say about the case today.
     
  7. crimson3

    crimson3 Sandy

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    They read your mind Richard.


    November 10, 2006


    RALEIGH, N.C. -- A retired soldier recalled to duty so he could be prosecuted for a 21-year-old murder and rape of an Air Force officer's wife and daughters says he didn't do it. That's according to his attorney.

    Timothy Hennis, charged yesterday with three counts of premeditated murder and one count of rape, was acquitted in a civilian retrial held after being convicted and sentenced to death in 1986 by a Cumberland County Superior Court jury. www.nbc17.com/news/10292049/detail.html
     
  8. Shadow205

    Shadow205 New Member

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    Military officials on Thursday charged Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis with murder and rape in connection with the May 12, 1985, slayings of Kathryn Eastburn and her daughters -- Kara, 5, and Erin, 3. All three were stabbed to death in their Summer Hill Road home near Fort Bragg, and Kathryn Eastburn was sexually assaulted before being killed, authorities said.



    Hennis was convicted of the crimes in 1986 and was sentenced to die. But he won an appeal of the conviction and was acquitted in his 1989 retrial.



    Cumberland County investigators said in September that DNA evidence unavailable for testing in 1989 connected Hennis to the murders.



    Because double jeopardy prevents the state from retrying Hennis in the case after his acquittal, the Army recalled him to duty and ordered him back to Fort Bragg so a military court could examine the case.

    more at the link http://www.wral.com/news/10293562/detail.html
     
  9. Karanjeff

    Karanjeff New Member

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    Geez..... I don't know what to think after that little tidbit! Gosh this story is amazing! Usually I can pick out the murderer at least on tv in the first five minutes but this ones got me stumped! I would really like to see this DNA evidence that they have. How do you explain all the witnesses, finderprints, and the shoe size difference? Maybe the dude had sex with her and then left with the dog. I just can't get past the van and this Cone guy ...... something just isn't gelling right for me. Oh and the post card code and the winn dixie guy giving two different stories about his scratches. And what about the freaky babysitter? And why leave the baby untouched? BUT-I loves me a mystery!

    After reading this stuff and in allof the forums it just makes me wonder how in the world do some of these people get so far gone and so messed up? Some days I just can't get back on this website because of the terrible things that people can do to each other. I am so freaked out sometimes when I take my children out into the world. It just saddens and sickens me so at the same time.
     
  10. evelyn24

    evelyn24 cray cray

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    The movie "Innocent Victims" is replaying today on Lifetime. The movie, of course was made before the new DNA showed Hennis connected to the murders.
    This is one of the most interesting cases to come along in awhile. Hennis was first convicted and spent 2 years on Death Row. His conviction over turned and he was aquitted on a second trial.
    Now after all this time and this case being used by the anti death penalty advocates, it seems Hennis indeed could very well be guilty.

    His article 32 hearing was delayed in March and should be happening in April or May..2007.
     
  11. evelyn24

    evelyn24 cray cray

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  12. NewMom2003

    NewMom2003 Former Member

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    Hennis now is 49. He remains the only suspect in the May 9, 1985, murders of Kathryn Eastburn, 31, and two of her three daughters — 5-year-old Kara Sue and 3-year-old Erin Nicole — in their Summer Hill Road home. A 22-month-old was found alive in her crib.

    http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=270086

    Does anyone have any insight or opinions on this case?

    I've seen the movie and I'm trying to hunt down the book.

    This is a very interesting turn of events. I can't find much on the internet. I wonder what DNA evidence they have.
     
  13. NewMom2003

    NewMom2003 Former Member

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  14. kaybee

    kaybee New Member

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    Hi,
    I actually own this book (it's somewhere in a box in my garage) and read it quite awhile ago. I remember thinking that there were an awful lot of coincidences involved in this case. Tim Hennis got the dog from this woman, and a few days later, she and her children are brutally murdered (and I have to warn you, the crime scene descriptions are seriously disturbing--especially the descriptions about the children). Tim was seen burning items in a barrel in his backyard the day after the murders, and someone ID'd him as looking very similar to person seen leaving the Eastburn residence in the very early morning hours after the murders. I wish I could remember more about this case--maybe I'll go fish the book out and read it again. I remember there was some catch in the book about a neighborhood woman who was delivering the papers and passed a van parked at the Eastburn residence and a man (whom she said was NOT Tim Hennis) carrying a full garbage bag out of the house before daylight around the time of the murders. Apparently, while Tim Hennis was under investigation (and possibly already in jail), this woman (who remained quiet out of fear) was being stalked by someone who kept calling her & saying that he knew where she lived and that he'd be right over. Apparently Katie Eastburn had received some calls similar to this before her death. Half-way through the book, I was convinced that Tim Hennis committed this murder, and then the last half of the book I started thinking maybe it was a case of mistaken prosecution. I think of this case once in awhile, and I still flop back and forth on whether I think Tim Hennis had anything to do with it.
    Anyways, I'll go try to find the book and see if there was any potential DNA evidence left at the scene and get back to you.
     
  15. MistyGirl

    MistyGirl New Member

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    I remember reading and hearing about this case....I think they even made a movie about it if I remember right.

    I found this article http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/674587.html

    I have a question they aquitted him.....so doesnt that mean they can't retry him? Or is that only if you are found "not guilty" is not guilty the same as being aquitted?
     
  16. kaybee

    kaybee New Member

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    I am under the impression that Hennis cannot be retried in the civilian court system, but he can be tried under the military court system (sounds like they are trying to court martial him--I don't know if this will result in jail time or just a loss of military retirement benefits). If it is his DNA, I feel like he deserves a huge amount of jail time for the pain he inflicted onto that poor family.

    In another case that occurred in Fort Bragg, Jeffrey MacDonald was initially pursued and acquitted under the military justice system, but years later was tried and convicted in the civilian court system. I hope I have this info right, but it's what my recollection is--that double jeopardy applies within either the civilian or military courts but not across the two.
     
  17. kaybee

    kaybee New Member

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    The book is called, "Innocent Victims" by Scott Whisnant. Just skimming the first few pages, it looks like there was "intact spermatozoa" found on Katie Eastburn. I'm just thinking, it must have matched the DNA tests if the military is coming back to get him 20 years later. Wow--I'm glad they tested these samples. I bet if this guy really did this, he's been sweating it out over the past twenty years hoping that they would never have the resources/time to go back and test these samples.
     
  18. NewMom2003

    NewMom2003 Former Member

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    Thanks for the replies!! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one interested in this case.

    kaybee, surely it's the DNA from the sperm sample. I would think they would have to have something very compelling to court marshall him after all these years.

    I also remember from the movie that the Eastburn babysitter was obsessed with Jeffrey MacDonald. She wrote to him and spoke with him on the phone, etc. Kind of a coincidence. :waitasec: Do you remember if that is discussed at length in the book?

    My library doesn't have the book so I'm going to order if off of Amazon.
     
  19. kaybee

    kaybee New Member

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    The babysitter connection to Jeffrey MacDonald is touched on in this book--she corresponded with him in jail and she thought he was innocent. I believe she was also a drug informant for the police department, so maybe she had some connections to the seedy darkside of the town. They are some parallels between the MacDonald murders and the Eastburn murders--a tip of a latex glove being found at the crime scene, the fact that it happened in the same community (albeit more than a decade later). I think they even got one of the criminalists from the MacDonald case to look at some of the blood impression evidence at the Eastburn crime scene, and he seemed to think it was a "MacDonald copycat" type murder perpetrated possibly by the babysitter or people connected to her. The investigators didn't really pursue this theory and kept their focus on Hennis (sounds like they did the right thing!).

    Newmom, I have to warn you. The book is fairly well written, but the description of the crime scene really disturbed me--I read this book when my daughter was ~ 3-4 years old (she's 15 yrs old now), and what this animal did to the children just broke my heart and all I could think about is what if something like that happened to my own daughter? I just say that because it sounds like you also have a young one at home (based on your user name) and I can tell you that those images stayed in my head for weeks after reading that book. Anyways, just thought I would give you a heads up on that part.

    I'm really glad there are other people interested in this case. Despite all the books I've read, this case is one that has stuck in my head, along with the Jeffrey MacDonald murders as well--maybe because the brutality inflicted on such innocent babies.
     
  20. NewMom2003

    NewMom2003 Former Member

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    Thanks kaybee. :blowkiss: I may re-think getting the book then. I have a hard time when it comes to crimes against children. I have to admit that I followed a link from WS to another website a few years back about Darlie Routier's case. It had the actual crime scene photos of her two sons and I couldn't get the image of those sweet boys in death out of my mind for the longest time. I wish I had never looked at those pictures. :(

    This case just sounds so interesting because of Hennis being convicted, then acquitted, and now court martialed (sp) all these years later. That and the parallels to the MacDonald murders have my curiosity peaked.

    Thanks again for all the info and advice!
     
  21. kaybee

    kaybee New Member

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    Thankfully, there aren't any crime scene photos in the book--just family photos which are still heartbreaking to look at. It's just the written description of the condition the girls were found in. I would still get the book if I were you--I think if you just skimmed the first chapter and skipped any paragraphs that started with those details then you would be through the worst part. I have a pretty active imagination--my mom had the book "Helter Skelter" with the crime scene photos and when I was in third grade, I picked up the book and looked through it and started reading it (I've always been a murder-mystery buff). I was so scared for the next three weeks I had to sleep in the same bed with my older sister--my mom threw the book away, she was so mad at me!
    I'm going to reread this book since the case is in the spotlight again & maybe we can run our comments by eachother.
     

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