OH Pike County: 8 in Rhoden Family Murdered Over Custody Issue 4 Members Wagner Family Arrested#42

Status
Not open for further replies.

CrimewatcherGrandma

Active Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
158
Is FWR supposed to be FWF for flying W farms? If not, what is it for I’m not familiar with it? Thx in advance
My mistake. I thought it was Flying W Ranch. I'm from Texas and farms are usually smaller and ranches are usually bigger. Again my mistake, I just remembered the name of Fred's as being "flying" and the family initial and I guess my Texan came out.
 

KentuckyMama

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
261
Reaction score
2,183
I watched Boondock Saints last night. I think the reason the movie is part of discovery might be because of gunshots to the head on both sides. This is what they did in the movie. The brothers stood behind the victim and both shot at the same time. Pretty sure Dana was shot that way, maybe the others, except for KR, we done that way too. JMO
 

RAISINISBACK

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
3,324
Reaction score
16,968
GettyImages-901622642.jpg


Written by Laura Pettler, Ph.D., LPI

Last week on The Dr. Oz Show, we tackled the murders of the Rhoden Family in Pike County, Ohio. On the night of April 22, 2016, eight members of the Rhoden family were murdered in their homes across four crime scenes. While eight murders “at one time” meets the general definition of mass murder, my overarching opinion was that they were actually individual murders most likely committed by more than one offender at the same time. Not including serial homicide, generally speaking, murder is conflict resolution for the offender or offenders. Let’s take a closer look at the Rhoden family murders and my unofficial profile of the killer or killers.


There are many kinds of homicide, such as infanticide, mariticide, and uxoricide. That is the killing of an infant, husband by his wife, and wife by her husband respectively. Regardless of what type of homicide you’re studying, the best practice is to study across at least these four categories: Victimology, Crime Scene Dynamics, Homicidal Pattern, and Offender Profile. In many cases, aspects or elements of the latter can be derived from the first three. Let’s start with the victims in this case:

  • Christopher Rhoden, Sr. – Patriarch of the family; divorced from Dana Rhoden; father of Frankie, Hanna, and Chris Rhoden, Jr.; large marijuana growing operator on Rhoden family property
  • Gary Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s cousin
  • Ken Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s brother
  • Dana Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s ex-wife; mother of Frankie, Hanna, and Chris Rhoden, Jr.
  • Frankie Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr. and Dana Rhoden’s eldest son
  • Hanna May Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr. and Dana Rhoden’s daughter; mother to Sophia Wagner
  • Chris Rhoden, Jr. – Chris Rhoden, Sr. and Dana Rhoden’s youngest son
  • Hannah Gilley – Intimate Partner of Chris Rhoden, Jr.; mother of Ruger Lee Rhoden
Victimology tells us that all eight victims, in this case, share the common denominator that they are all part of the same family, except Hannah Gilley who is in an interpersonal relationship with Chris Rhoden, Jr. However, when delving into the victimology of each victim separately, that’s where we begin to learn who each victim is as an individual; if they are in conflict with anyone in their lives, factors that increase or decrease their risk of becoming a victim of violent crime, and their lifestyles. Chris Rhoden, Sr. and cousin Gary were killed in their home on Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s property, the location of an illegal marijuana growing operation, which increased their likelihood of becoming victims of violent crime. A mile away eldest son Frankie Rhoden and fiancé Hannah Gilley were killed in their bed as their infant son slept between them. The child was unharmed. Dana, Hanna, and Chris, Jr., were killed in their home also located on the same road. Finally, Ken Rhoden was discovered eight miles away dead in his home. Eight murders and four crime scenes later it begs the question: Who is in conflict with the victim(s)?

At first glance, it appears that Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s drug operation is the center of conflict for this family. However, there are alternatives to consider. Each individual has to be studied meticulously sifting through the evidence to determine if the preceding conflict is present. Based on my education, training, and experience as a forensic criminologist, my opinion is that the most common conflicts that preempt murder are affairs, divorce, custody, child support, sex, money, power, and anger. Clearly, most of these can overlap.

Now let’s take a closer look at the crime scene dynamics and characteristics:

  • Nighttime
  • Indoors
  • Close Range
When asking “why?” the answer is always the same…because it meets the needs of the offender.

So why nighttime? Because it meets the needs of the offender. The fact that these murders took place at night is telling because the offender or offenders is telling us he, she, or they wanted to ambush each victim when they were most vulnerable…while they were sleeping. Nighttime: provides natural cover, less risk of detection with fewer people traveling the roads, and most likely sleeping victims. Choosing nighttime tells us that the offender or offenders most likely were familiar with the routine activities of the victims overall.

Why indoors? Because it meets the needs of the offender. All of the murders occurred indoors as opposed to while the victims were at work, school, in the yard, driving, etc. Considering the alternatives compared to indoors, which is the easiest? That’s right. Indoors: closed-room murder, concealed, private, muffled, etc.

Why “close range?” And to be clear, I mean as opposed to a sniper type shot or more than 20 yards away outdoor type shooting. Same answer: Because it meets the needs of the offender. Sometimes this type of murder is called “execution style,” which means that the victims are trapped and cannot escape their attackers. Close range or in this case, execution-style murders, are usually carried out by firearm. The offender or offenders wanted to increase the likelihood of killing their victims by shooting at close range as opposed to from far away. Close range in each of the four homes tells us the offender or offenders had some familiarity with the floor plans of each of the homes.

Next, we can observe aspects of homicidal pattern from these crime scenes. These attacks while coordinated and synchronized, it is important to recognize that each individual victim is killed by aiming a firearm and pulling the trigger directly at each victim maybe one at a time, maybe at the same time. The murders were premeditated and well planned, resulting in organized crime scenes with the slight exception of Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s murder, which some might argue due to the wound pattern on the victim that Chris pushing back against the threat came unexpectedly by the offender or offenders, hence firing multiple times to stop the threat. Organized crime scenes are a symbol of the offender or the offenders wanting to remain in complete control. But there’s more…the wound patterns, we’re going to get to that.

Let’s look at location macro to micro: the murders occurred in North America in the United States. In the state of Ohio in Pike County on Union Hill Road on four specific properties all with mobile homes belonging to the same family. Behavior is purposeful, not random, except in some cases of where psychosis is present or other deficits. Therefore, the murders of these eight victims is deliberate, purposeful, and specific. The victims were targeted, not selected at random. In mass murder cases like the Los Vegas Shooting last year, those victims were random, yet part of the same group of “concert attendees” targeted by the shooter. The crime scene locations tell us that the offenders were familiar with Pike County, familiar with Union Hill Road, knew how to get in, out, around, and about with the least likelihood of being detected, etc. The offender or offenders knew the addresses of each victim, the directions for how to reach the crime scenes on foot, by car, or by other means like an ATV, horse, etc.

The wound patterns to the victims tell us a lot that helps us develop an Offender Profile. The crime scenes and wound patterns show us the offenders knew the victims especially in the case of Dana Rhoden, who suffered two gunshot wounds to each side of her head and a fifth under her chin. This wound pattern is extremely specific, the offender or offenders chose to shoot Dana in extremely specific locations out of anger? Maybe. Because she’s seen as the core of the conflict? Maybe. What we do know is that Dana’s murder is different than the others in terms of the wound pattern, which raises a red flag and directs us to ask the question: Who is in conflict with Dana?

As an expert in crime scene staging, one of the things I took into careful consideration was the sophistication, education, training, and experience of the offenders. The offender or offenders demonstrated ambition and dedication to carrying out the attacks on all eight family members in one night as opposed to alternatives, such as but not limited to over months or years. There were some elements of sophistication, education, training, and experience evident in the reported facts about the crime scenes and wound patterns because it appears all victims were shot in a similar manner, which required familiarity with firearms and in good practice. The execution-style shots to the eyeball methodology met the needs of the offender, but in some cases, I’ve seen shots to the eyes of victims that were not meant for their eyes, rather the shooter simply aimed for the heads and ended up shooting multiple victims in the eyes. Crime scene staging is a function of victim relationships meaning only offenders who have some relationship to the victims’ stage because they know they will be the most likely suspect, so they take precautions on the front end…and on the back end (which is where we catch them most often by the way). So did the offender or offenders insert elements of crime scene staging to detract attention from people the Rhodens knew towards pointing the finger at an outsider?

The fact that no children were harmed in the attacks demonstrated the offender or offenders’ personal boundary. Maybe they have children of their own, grandchildren, or work with children? These were all things I considered before the arrest of the Rhodens’ neighbors, four members of the Wagner family. When investigators would have studied Hanna May Rhoden, they would have discovered her daughter Sophia was fathered by Jake Wagner who sought full custody days before Hanna and her family’s murders. Custody was denied, but after Hanna was killed, Jake filed for full custody days after her death. Was Dana in the middle of this custody dispute, fostering it, shielding Hanna, providing resources for her that kept Jake from getting custody? Maybe. Regardless, whoever killed Dana Rhoden didn’t like her, was very angry with her, and wanted to see her suffer and cause her deliberate pain.

While other theories like the mafia, a drug cartel hit, a professional hitman, etc. swirled in the two years since the Rhodens were killed, asking the question, “who is in conflict with the victim?” seems to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I personally did not opine these murders were really a true “mass murder”, but instead individual murders all achieved on the same night to serve the same purpose: to keep a secret, take over their business, or to resolve some other conflict with one or more Rhoden family members in one fell swoop.

The four Wagner family members are now charged and the People of Pike County, the survivors of the Rhoden family, including the orphaned children, and law enforcement can rest a little easier knowing four allegedly violent, aggressive individuals are in custody removing their ability to harm any additional targets they might set their sights upon.

May justice prevail.



Forensic criminologist, North Carolina licensed private investigator, and IAI certified senior crime scene analyst, Dr. Laura Pettler is one of the world’s foremost experts in crime scene staging and domestic violence homicide. She is well known for her dynamic presentation style: With a background in show business, Laura calls her presentation style “edutainment” and believes that human connection is one of the most fundamental principles of leadership and being able to earn the respect of an audience. Additionally, Laura is known for her sheer passion for using her life to make a difference and for being a pioneer in staging research and cutting-edge homicide investigation practice
Wow there is a lot of good information in this article. Betty could we add this to the media thread?
 

RAISINISBACK

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
3,324
Reaction score
16,968
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The Rhoden Family Murders: An Inside Job

Armchair profiler is back...drawn out of hibernation by a new high-profile case in her home state of Ohio: the recent murder of the Rhoden family in Pike County, Ohio.

Right off the bat, I can say this isn't a cartel killing. While the family was involved in some illegal activity, that was not necessarily related to their deaths. A couple of things hint that this was an inside job.

The perpetrator had very intimate knowledge of the family. The victims were sought at multiple locations, and he had to know how to find each one. At each location, he was able to access the house without forced entry, probably because he had keys or knew where to find keys hidden on the property. Once inside the houses, he was able to move about without waking anyone - an ease that comes with familiarity.

The targeting of the whole family, including teenagers, is also a sign this isn't a cartel hit. Maybe that kind of thing happens in Mexico, but rarely in the US. Cartels are big businesses. They make a lot of money, and they are run by CEO type people, people who are very business-minded, not the hot-tempered gangsters you see on TV. Actually, a more accurate representation would be Gustav Fring from Breaking Bad, with his cool, calculating demeanor. And these organizations make very business-like decisions. The benefits of punishing insubordination (getting your money from them, sending a message to others, etc) must be weighed against the cost: drawing the attention of law enforcement to your operation. In Mexico, the cost is minimal because law enforcement is in the pocket of the cartels, so anything goes. But in the US, cartels must be much more careful to cover their tracks. If they are going to take out anyone, they are going to do so on a small scale. Target just the people who are giving you problems. Anything more than that - the murder of women and children - will become a big media sensation, and they don't need that kind of scrutiny. It hinders their ability to make money.

I find it amusing whenever situations like this happen and people concoct these scenarios based on things they see on TV or movies. In fact, you can often tell when people are lying when their stories have a movie-like quality to them. For most people, that is their only reference. Real life is much more mundane. That's why they call it the banality of evil


BBM

How true this turned out to be. Great article. Thank you Johnny.[/QUOTE]
 

Dudly

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
3,135
Reaction score
13,188
Wow there is a lot of good information in this article. Betty could we add this to the media thread?

This was interesting:
"I personally did not opine these murders were really a true “mass murder”, but instead individual murders all achieved on the same night to serve the same purpose: to keep a secret, take over their business, or to resolve some other conflict with one or more Rhoden family members in one fell swoop."
 

Ann99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2016
Messages
1,573
Reaction score
7,965
I watched Boondock Saints last night. I think the reason the movie is part of discovery might be because of gunshots to the head on both sides. This is what they did in the movie. The brothers stood behind the victim and both shot at the same time. Pretty sure Dana was shot that way, maybe the others, except for KR, we done that way too. JMO


You might be right about that.
It makes an horrific image.

In the movie, how, or why, did they use ammonia?
There always has been much speculation about why there were open windows at CRsr.
 

Cool Cats

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8,055
Reaction score
56,265
Interesting how he is holding that hand and finger. Almost like he is displaying that finger...
Yes. Almost seems strange knowing what we know now, that Billy put the scorpion tattoo above it and on it.

The prosecution has a photo of one of his tattoos that they turned over to the defense. Wonder if this is the tattoo?
 

sunshineray

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
4,034
Reaction score
31,616
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
69
I apologize if this was mentioned and I overlooked it. When the Go-Fund me was first set up, I personally saw a comment from Kendra R. She was concerned, and asked Jake "I thought you already had custody of Suds" Jake replied he did, and was just finishing up some legalities (Not his direct quote). Idk if we're allowed to post screenshots, but I might still have it. That always struck me as odd, and is around the time I started sleuthing his Facebook, paying closer attention. Like dying his hair, and him being asked by friends about it. That's when I personally started having uneasy feelings. As much as I didn't want to think so, right then and there I felt this was partly over custody, friendships soured, and jealousy. At this point Leonard had mention to the news about custody. This was when he said if they didn't release his sons truck, he was going to start talking. (I always wondered why they towed the blue car from Kenneth's as well) Leonard had already stated there had been a problem 2 weeks before, and cops had been called for problems. He was so frustrated. I now understand why he said " if they can live with it, so can I". Never made sense, now I get it. Especially watching his interview at James' bond hearing. Leonard said in that interview, when asked if he thought Jake was involved, he said Jake used to come to his house all the time, and now he wouldn't even bring his granddaughter over for her presents. Same interview where he states the cops told his said he failed his lie detector test, and texts being sent between Jake and James.

IMO and JMO, there's a difference in not knowing how to explain death to a young child, but completely isolating them from the entire maternal family. I had got curious about the other son gaining custody of his son as well. Looked into it, and the entire process of his custody battle is a whole other interesting tale.

Apologies for the long reply. And if I need to add those links, please let me know and I'll try to do so.

I hope it is okay to add a quote of a post I seen on FB since the arrests pertaining to premurder custody issue. I do have a ss but not sure that is allowed, and I do not want to invade nor throw that persons identity out on a public forum. But the girl stated " I had seen myself how controlled HR was. Her and I have had many talks. It got worse when she started dating Corey and they faked custody." So my thoughts are now that the forged custody documents did in fact happen before the murders. Please let me know if that quote is not allowed and I will gladly delete it or please delete if you want.
 

Cool Cats

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8,055
Reaction score
56,265
I hope it is okay to add a quote of a post I seen on FB since the arrests pertaining to premurder custody issue. I do have a ss but not sure that is allowed, and I do not want to invade nor throw that persons identity out on a public forum. But the girl stated " I had seen myself how controlled HR was. Her and I have had many talks. It got worse when she started dating Corey and they faked custody." So my thoughts are now that the forged custody documents did in fact happen before the murders. Please let me know if that quote is not allowed and I will gladly delete it or please delete if you want.

By Anne Saker, Cincinnati Enquirer

At some point, the families had a falling-out. Rhoden relatives have told The Enquirer Jake Wagner was abusive to Hanna Rhoden, the couple split up, and the subsequent custody battle had been acrimonious. Wagner family members disputed that characterization and said the custody arrangements was amicable.

Murders over child custody, though, are fueled by rage and an overpowering need to exercise ultimate control. Even DeWine, with a lengthy career in law enforcement and policy-making, said he had never seen a case like the Pike County murders over child custody. On Thursday, he told The Enquirer: "When this case goes to trial, people are just going to shake their heads."
 

Betty P

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
16,345
Reaction score
69,523
I watched Boondock Saints last night. I think the reason the movie is part of discovery might be because of gunshots to the head on both sides. This is what they did in the movie. The brothers stood behind the victim and both shot at the same time. Pretty sure Dana was shot that way, maybe the others, except for KR, we done that way too. JMO

That's interesting. It's been theorized that Frankie and Hannah Gilley were both shot simultaneously from opposite sides of their bed. With a 6 month old in between them. Both were shot at close range, particularly Frankie, and were asleep. Neither had time to sit up or move, so assume they were killed at the same instant. Sickening. They must have planned to stage each murder scene from something in the movies. Insane.
 

Dudly

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
3,135
Reaction score
13,188
I was trying find all articles that reference a Dana Coworker. I couldn't find anything on the phone call. However I came across this article and was reminded how strange it was Jake posted they were on vacation when they actually moved. Then he up and deleted it.

"Jake Wagner's Facebook page claimed he was on vacation in Alaska and Canada Monday morning but by early evening the photos had been removed."

Questions remain after Pike County massacre investigators search properties

There was also unsubstantiated comments that she stopped by a party of some kind before going home.
 

Tiff23fr

Verified Expert - Cultural & Behavioral Dynamics
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
6,810
Reaction score
49,406
.
That's interesting. It's been theorized that Frankie and Hannah Gilley were both shot simultaneously from opposite sides of their bed. With a 6 month old in between them. Both were shot at close range, particularly Frankie, and were asleep. Neither had time to sit up or move, so assume they were killed at the same instant. Sickening. They must have planned to stage each murder scene from something in the movies. Insane.

I didn't watch the movie, but read the script. There could be many possibilities, and it's even more sickening when you consider it in its entire context accompanied by possible "rumors" that have been generated. A few that stand out, with some words omitted:

SMECKER
I've seen burns like these before. They used silencers. Look at these entry and exit wounds. They're identical.
He stands up and gives a lesson to the now eager detectives. He points his two index fingers to the back of his own skull.
SMECKER
The two bullets went in here, through the top of the skull, criss-crossed and exited through the eyeballs. This one clue tells us three distinct facts. Number one... Duffy.
DUFFY
They shot him at a downward angle (makes connection). They put him on his knees.
SMECKER
Excellent! Number two
GREENLY
Uh. (thinking hard)
SMECKER
It tells us that he was the last to die. All these men, (fans across the corpses with his hand) Were carrying.
SMECKER
And number three, Dolly.
There were two shooters
SMECKER
Now stay with me, boys. What did they do to make two such identical wounds? Did one guy put him on his knees, pop a cap in, sit him back up and shoot him again the same way? No. Two men of similar height dropped this guy down, each put some iron to his head and boom

Further down scene:
SMECKER (throwing off investigation with added causalities)
Look, are you guys seeing the pattern here? We got big questions at both of these crime scenes, with no answers. WHY did they kill the guys in the other two booths? WHY did he do the bartender? It would seem unnecessary, even stupid.

Down script-
ROCCO
MEEE! ME! I'm the guy! I know everyone, their habits, where they hang out, who they talk to. I know where they live. We could kill everyone!

Diff scene:
FLASHCUT : He quietly enters the house and pulls a large bright-blue plastic tarp from his coat and spreads it across the floor in the hallway. We hear the sound of Sega video games being played. He pulls out two pistols with silencers and walk. He disappears into the living room. Two white flashes and the sounds of silencers. A hookerish looking mom enters frame in the B.G. in the kitchen. She is talking on the phone. She disappears from view. The man reappears and walks to the kitchen. A white flash and the sounds of silencer.
He walks right down the hall and halts right in front of us and listens. He goes into the room the wiseguys had entered.

THE MAN
I have a poker game at the house every Saturday with a couple of guys you know. Why don't you come down?

Rocco pulls a stun gun and zaps her with it. She goes down.

(Slo-mo) Two black leather boots slowly walk up the sidewalk and stop in front of the new, gray Ford Taurus then turn toward the house. Il Duce removes a white balloon filled with a few ounces of fluid from the pocket of his black trench coat. He throws it on the walk, the blood splatters. He picks up the remnants of the balloon and puts them back in his pocket and stands there waiting, looking at the house.

Vests Maybe-
Suddenly, he throws open his trench coat to reveal a special leather vest beneath. Six guns, all different, are holstered on the front of it: three on each side extend from just below his collar bones to his abdomen. Connor and Murphy don't hesitate. They each draw one of their now unsilenced guns from their shoulder holsters and aim, one arm over each of Rocco's shoulders. The Duke draws his top two weapons and aims.

In a frenzy the boys and Rocco get up and withdraw some spray bottles from their bags. The begin spraying all their own blood stains on the stoop and the front of the white house.

SMECKER
(in shock, and rage)They used ammonia... none of this is any good...You know what this means?! Even if we get suspects in this case, we got nothing... Nothing!
DUFFY
What? That's it?!

INT. ROCCO'S MOM'S KITCHEN NIGHT
Rocco, Connor, and Murphy are sitting around the table.They are numb with pain and silently sipping beers. Suddenly, Smecker comes on the news making an announcement that he is heading up the investigation to find the three of them.
Rocco shuts it off
ROCCO
What? (points to TV)What, that guy?
MURPHY
That's the guy that got us off the hook
CONNOR
And he is one smart man
ROCCO
They got nothing.
CONNOR
This guy is very sharp. If he hasn't figured us out yet, he will.
MURPHY
You bet your he will.
ROCCO
Well, I'd say that makes him a liability.
The boys look at each other.

There is much about the court room in the script as well and lady sitting in the front.

Here is the script:
The Boondock Saints script by Troy Duffy
 

ColMustard

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
552
Reaction score
2,475
GettyImages-901622642.jpg


Written by Laura Pettler, Ph.D., LPI

Last week on The Dr. Oz Show, we tackled the murders of the Rhoden Family in Pike County, Ohio. On the night of April 22, 2016, eight members of the Rhoden family were murdered in their homes across four crime scenes. While eight murders “at one time” meets the general definition of mass murder, my overarching opinion was that they were actually individual murders most likely committed by more than one offender at the same time. Not including serial homicide, generally speaking, murder is conflict resolution for the offender or offenders. Let’s take a closer look at the Rhoden family murders and my unofficial profile of the killer or killers.


There are many kinds of homicide, such as infanticide, mariticide, and uxoricide. That is the killing of an infant, husband by his wife, and wife by her husband respectively. Regardless of what type of homicide you’re studying, the best practice is to study across at least these four categories: Victimology, Crime Scene Dynamics, Homicidal Pattern, and Offender Profile. In many cases, aspects or elements of the latter can be derived from the first three. Let’s start with the victims in this case:

  • Christopher Rhoden, Sr. – Patriarch of the family; divorced from Dana Rhoden; father of Frankie, Hanna, and Chris Rhoden, Jr.; large marijuana growing operator on Rhoden family property
  • Gary Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s cousin
  • Ken Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s brother
  • Dana Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s ex-wife; mother of Frankie, Hanna, and Chris Rhoden, Jr.
  • Frankie Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr. and Dana Rhoden’s eldest son
  • Hanna May Rhoden – Chris Rhoden, Sr. and Dana Rhoden’s daughter; mother to Sophia Wagner
  • Chris Rhoden, Jr. – Chris Rhoden, Sr. and Dana Rhoden’s youngest son
  • Hannah Gilley – Intimate Partner of Chris Rhoden, Jr.; mother of Ruger Lee Rhoden
Victimology tells us that all eight victims, in this case, share the common denominator that they are all part of the same family, except Hannah Gilley who is in an interpersonal relationship with Chris Rhoden, Jr. However, when delving into the victimology of each victim separately, that’s where we begin to learn who each victim is as an individual; if they are in conflict with anyone in their lives, factors that increase or decrease their risk of becoming a victim of violent crime, and their lifestyles. Chris Rhoden, Sr. and cousin Gary were killed in their home on Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s property, the location of an illegal marijuana growing operation, which increased their likelihood of becoming victims of violent crime. A mile away eldest son Frankie Rhoden and fiancé Hannah Gilley were killed in their bed as their infant son slept between them. The child was unharmed. Dana, Hanna, and Chris, Jr., were killed in their home also located on the same road. Finally, Ken Rhoden was discovered eight miles away dead in his home. Eight murders and four crime scenes later it begs the question: Who is in conflict with the victim(s)?

At first glance, it appears that Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s drug operation is the center of conflict for this family. However, there are alternatives to consider. Each individual has to be studied meticulously sifting through the evidence to determine if the preceding conflict is present. Based on my education, training, and experience as a forensic criminologist, my opinion is that the most common conflicts that preempt murder are affairs, divorce, custody, child support, sex, money, power, and anger. Clearly, most of these can overlap.

Now let’s take a closer look at the crime scene dynamics and characteristics:

  • Nighttime
  • Indoors
  • Close Range
When asking “why?” the answer is always the same…because it meets the needs of the offender.

So why nighttime? Because it meets the needs of the offender. The fact that these murders took place at night is telling because the offender or offenders is telling us he, she, or they wanted to ambush each victim when they were most vulnerable…while they were sleeping. Nighttime: provides natural cover, less risk of detection with fewer people traveling the roads, and most likely sleeping victims. Choosing nighttime tells us that the offender or offenders most likely were familiar with the routine activities of the victims overall.

Why indoors? Because it meets the needs of the offender. All of the murders occurred indoors as opposed to while the victims were at work, school, in the yard, driving, etc. Considering the alternatives compared to indoors, which is the easiest? That’s right. Indoors: closed-room murder, concealed, private, muffled, etc.

Why “close range?” And to be clear, I mean as opposed to a sniper type shot or more than 20 yards away outdoor type shooting. Same answer: Because it meets the needs of the offender. Sometimes this type of murder is called “execution style,” which means that the victims are trapped and cannot escape their attackers. Close range or in this case, execution-style murders, are usually carried out by firearm. The offender or offenders wanted to increase the likelihood of killing their victims by shooting at close range as opposed to from far away. Close range in each of the four homes tells us the offender or offenders had some familiarity with the floor plans of each of the homes.

Next, we can observe aspects of homicidal pattern from these crime scenes. These attacks while coordinated and synchronized, it is important to recognize that each individual victim is killed by aiming a firearm and pulling the trigger directly at each victim maybe one at a time, maybe at the same time. The murders were premeditated and well planned, resulting in organized crime scenes with the slight exception of Chris Rhoden, Sr.’s murder, which some might argue due to the wound pattern on the victim that Chris pushing back against the threat came unexpectedly by the offender or offenders, hence firing multiple times to stop the threat. Organized crime scenes are a symbol of the offender or the offenders wanting to remain in complete control. But there’s more…the wound patterns, we’re going to get to that.

Let’s look at location macro to micro: the murders occurred in North America in the United States. In the state of Ohio in Pike County on Union Hill Road on four specific properties all with mobile homes belonging to the same family. Behavior is purposeful, not random, except in some cases of where psychosis is present or other deficits. Therefore, the murders of these eight victims is deliberate, purposeful, and specific. The victims were targeted, not selected at random. In mass murder cases like the Los Vegas Shooting last year, those victims were random, yet part of the same group of “concert attendees” targeted by the shooter. The crime scene locations tell us that the offenders were familiar with Pike County, familiar with Union Hill Road, knew how to get in, out, around, and about with the least likelihood of being detected, etc. The offender or offenders knew the addresses of each victim, the directions for how to reach the crime scenes on foot, by car, or by other means like an ATV, horse, etc.

The wound patterns to the victims tell us a lot that helps us develop an Offender Profile. The crime scenes and wound patterns show us the offenders knew the victims especially in the case of Dana Rhoden, who suffered two gunshot wounds to each side of her head and a fifth under her chin. This wound pattern is extremely specific, the offender or offenders chose to shoot Dana in extremely specific locations out of anger? Maybe. Because she’s seen as the core of the conflict? Maybe. What we do know is that Dana’s murder is different than the others in terms of the wound pattern, which raises a red flag and directs us to ask the question: Who is in conflict with Dana?

As an expert in crime scene staging, one of the things I took into careful consideration was the sophistication, education, training, and experience of the offenders. The offender or offenders demonstrated ambition and dedication to carrying out the attacks on all eight family members in one night as opposed to alternatives, such as but not limited to over months or years. There were some elements of sophistication, education, training, and experience evident in the reported facts about the crime scenes and wound patterns because it appears all victims were shot in a similar manner, which required familiarity with firearms and in good practice. The execution-style shots to the eyeball methodology met the needs of the offender, but in some cases, I’ve seen shots to the eyes of victims that were not meant for their eyes, rather the shooter simply aimed for the heads and ended up shooting multiple victims in the eyes. Crime scene staging is a function of victim relationships meaning only offenders who have some relationship to the victims’ stage because they know they will be the most likely suspect, so they take precautions on the front end…and on the back end (which is where we catch them most often by the way). So did the offender or offenders insert elements of crime scene staging to detract attention from people the Rhodens knew towards pointing the finger at an outsider?

The fact that no children were harmed in the attacks demonstrated the offender or offenders’ personal boundary. Maybe they have children of their own, grandchildren, or work with children? These were all things I considered before the arrest of the Rhodens’ neighbors, four members of the Wagner family. When investigators would have studied Hanna May Rhoden, they would have discovered her daughter Sophia was fathered by Jake Wagner who sought full custody days before Hanna and her family’s murders. Custody was denied, but after Hanna was killed, Jake filed for full custody days after her death. Was Dana in the middle of this custody dispute, fostering it, shielding Hanna, providing resources for her that kept Jake from getting custody? Maybe. Regardless, whoever killed Dana Rhoden didn’t like her, was very angry with her, and wanted to see her suffer and cause her deliberate pain.

While other theories like the mafia, a drug cartel hit, a professional hitman, etc. swirled in the two years since the Rhodens were killed, asking the question, “who is in conflict with the victim?” seems to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I personally did not opine these murders were really a true “mass murder”, but instead individual murders all achieved on the same night to serve the same purpose: to keep a secret, take over their business, or to resolve some other conflict with one or more Rhoden family members in one fell swoop.

The four Wagner family members are now charged and the People of Pike County, the survivors of the Rhoden family, including the orphaned children, and law enforcement can rest a little easier knowing four allegedly violent, aggressive individuals are in custody removing their ability to harm any additional targets they might set their sights upon.

May justice prevail.



Forensic criminologist, North Carolina licensed private investigator, and IAI certified senior crime scene analyst, Dr. Laura Pettler is one of the world’s foremost experts in crime scene staging and domestic violence homicide. She is well known for her dynamic presentation style: With a background in show business, Laura calls her presentation style “edutainment” and believes that human connection is one of the most fundamental principles of leadership and being able to earn the respect of an audience. Additionally, Laura is known for her sheer passion for using her life to make a difference and for being a pioneer in staging research and cutting-edge homicide investigation practice

Incorrect info there - HG not "intimate partner with Chris Jr.". (bbm)
 

Jacqueline

Angel
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
50
Reaction score
272
Ann99....You said to refer to Billy's Scorpion tat on his trigger finger.

I thought you and others might want a quick way to see Billy's scorpion tattoo. Click on this link and it's the 2nd photo down. Goes right to his controversial trigger finger tattoo. Makes it easy to see...No muss no fuss!

Wagner Arraignments

Sorry Ann99....I meant to include your post with my response but I accidentally cut it off and can't get it back on here. Your post about the SCORPION AND FROG.
It's alittle blurry
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top