Parramore Sanborn

Parramore Sanborn Then and Now

Male/White 38 at the time

Victim: Barbara Heilman

On October 12, 1983 Parramore Sanborn kidnapped, raped, sodomized, and murdered Barbara Heilman, a mother of three, in Henry County. He tore the victim’s hair, stabbed her nine times, and dumped her body alongside a country road.

Sanborn was originally tried and found guilty of capital murder on March 8, 1984. The court imposed the death sentence on March 16, 1984. The Kentucky Supreme Court’s reversal of Sanborn’s conviction in June, 1988 resulted in a new trial in October, 1989. Sanborn was again found guilty of murder, kidnapping, rape and sodomy in a retrial in Louisville Kentucky and sentenced to death May 14, 1991 in Henry County.

Melvin Lee Parrish

Melvin Lee Parrish Then and Now

Male/Black 34 at the time

Victims: Rhonda Allen, LaShawn Allen, Jonathan Allen 

On December 5, 1997, Melvin Lee Parrish stabbed and killed his cousin Rhonda Allen who was six-months pregnant, and her 10 year-old-son LaShawn Allen. Parrish also stabbed Rhonda Allen’s 5-year-old son Jonathan 9 times. The five year-old survived and was able to identify the killer as the person who stabbed his mother and brother to death. Parrish was trying to take money from the woman when the murders occurred.

Melvin Lee Parrish was sentenced to death February 1, 2001 in Jefferson County for the murder of Jonathan Allen. He was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Rhonda allen, 20 years enhanced to life for the attempted murder of Jonathan Allen and 20 years enhanced to 50 years for the robbery.

Brian Moore

Brian Moore Then and Now

Male/White 22 years old at the time

Victim: Virgil Harris

In Jefferson County in 1979, Brian Moore kidnapped, robbed, and executed Virgil Harris, an elderly man who begged for his life. The killer drew a gun on the victim as he was returning to his car in a grocery store parking lot. He commandeered the car and threw the victim down an embankment several miles away. Moore then shot Harris from point blank range on the top of the head, in the face below the right eye, inside the right ear, and behind the right ear. Moore returned hours later to remove a wristwatch from the body. Virgil Harris had been on his way to celebrate his 77th birthday with his adult children.

Brian Moore was sentenced to death November 29, 1984.

John Mills


John Mills Then and Now

Male/White 25 years old at the time.

Victim: Arthur Phipps

On August 30, 1985 John Mills murdered  his 79-year-old landlord, Arthur Phipps, during a burglary and robbery in Knox County.  This killer stabbed the victim 29 times and struck him in the head five times with a blunt object. He stole the victim’s change purse containing $4.60.

John Mills was sentenced to death October 18, 1996.

William Harry Meece

William Harry Meece Then and Now.

Male/White 31 years old at the time.

Victims: Joseph Wellnitz, Elizabeth Wellnitz, Dennis Wellnitz

William Harry Meece burglarized a family’s home in Adair County in 2003. On February 26, 2003 he shot Joseph andElizabeth Wellnitz and their son, Dennis Wellnitz in their home, in Columbia,KY.

Meece was convicted of 3 counts of Murder, Burglary in the 1st Degree and Robbery in the 1st Degree. He was originally indicted in Adair County , case 03-CR-00020. However, on June 30, 2006 a change of venue was entered and the case was moved to Warren County, case 06-CR-00656.

William Harry Meece was sentenced to death November 9, 2006.

David Eugene Matthews


David Eugene Matthews Then and Now.

Male/White 33 years old at the time.

Victims: Mary Matthews, Magdalene Cruse

On June 29, 1981 David Matthews burglarized the home of his estranged wife, Mary Matthews’, in Jefferson County. He executed Magdalene Cruse, his mother-in-law, by shooting her in the back of the head: she agonized and convulsed for 8 hours before dying.

David Eugene Matthews was tried and convicted on October 8, 1982. He was then sentenced to death November 11, 1982.

Donald Johnson


Donald Johnson Then and Now.

Male/White 22 years old at the time.

Victim: Helen Madden

Donald Johnson stabbed 61-year old Helen Madden 24 times in Floyd County in 1981. Before killing the victim, the killer mutilated her vagina and rectum with a ball point pen, bit her several times, and then disemboweled her with a knife.

This killer was arrested on December 1, 1989 and charged with murder, robbery and burglary. The charge of 1st Degree Sexual Assault was added later.

Donald Johnson was sentenced to death October 1, 1997.

James Hunt


James Hunt Then and Now

Male/White 56 years old at the time

Victim: Bettina Hunt

James Hunt shot his estranged wife Bettina Hunt in Floyd County November 30, 2004. When the officers arrived at the scene, they found the body of Bettina Hunt with bullet wounds to her arms, cheek area, face, and a wound between the bridge of her nose and left eye. The victim’s infant granddaughter was also in the home. The victim was pronounced dead at the residence. Troopers were advised that the victim’s estranged husband was involved in a one-vehicle accident approximately 200 feet from the residence. Upon further investigation and collection of evidence, James Hunt was lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center, charged with Murder.

Trial began on May 15,2006. The jury returned a verdict of Guilty to Murder, Burglary, Burglary 1st Degree, and Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree. Hunt was sentenced to Death on the Murder charge on July 28, 2006. Hunt consented to allow the court to sentence him on the remaining charges.

Benny Lee Hodge


Benny Lee Hodge Then and Now

Male/White 34 years old at the time

Victims: Tammy Acker, Roscoe J. Acker (strangled but survived), Bessie Morris, Edwin Morris

Case #1: On August 8, 1985 Benny Hodge, along with Roger Epperson, stabbed Tammy Acker 12 times with a butcher knife during a robbery at her father’s home in Letcher County. The victim’s body was found with the butcher knife stuck through her chest and imbedded in the floor. Also her father, Roscoe J. Acker, was strangled with an electric cord but he survived.

Case #2: This killer was arrested in Florida. Hodge murdered Bessie Morris and Edwin Morris during a robbery in their home in Jackson County on August 15, 1985. Mr. and Mrs. Morris were found with their hands and feet tied behind them. Mrs. Morris was shot twice in the back. Mr. Morris died as a result of a gunshot wound to his head, two blunt force head injuries and obstructed breathing caused by a ligature gag.

Benny Lee Hodge was sentenced to death June 20, 1986. He received a second death sentence on November 22,1996.

Leif Halvorsen



Leif Halvorsen Then and Now

Male/White, 29 years old at the time

Victims: Jacqueline Greene, Joe Norman, Joey Durham

On January 13, 1983 in Fayette County Leif Halvorsen, along with Mitchell Willoughby, executed a Jacqueline Green, Joe Norman, and Joey Durham. The teenage female and two male victims were killed inside a home they were remodeling. These killers shot the female eight times in the back of the head. They shot the younger male five times — in the back, testicles, right arm, left leg, and right temple. They shot the other male three times — in the back, in the chest, and in the back of his neck.

Leif Halvorsen was sentenced to death September 15, 1983.

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