Filed under: domestic violence

Missing From Fort Bragg: 2nd Lieutenant Holley Lynn Wimunc

The soldier currently missing from Fort Bragg has been identified as 2nd Lieutentant Holley Lynn Wimunc, age 24. Holley Wimunc was part of Charlie Company and assigned to Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Hospital. Wimunc vanished Thursday morning. Her apartment was burned; authorities have determined that the fire was set. Wimunc’s car was still in the complex parking lot.

She was known to be going through a divorce. Early Friday, Raleigh’s WRAL-TV reported that Wimunc had once filed papers with the court to protect her from her estranged husband, John Wimunc. On her Facebook account, accessible only to her friends, Wimunc had begun calling herself Holley James (presumably her maiden name).

Wimunc claimed that her Marine Corporal husband “held loaded 9mm to my head; choked me. Threw me around living room…” While her allegations certainly make her husband a good suspect, the Fayetteville Observer published an article that stated, in part:

Wimunc’s husband, Marine Cpl. John Wimunc, was questioned by police Thursday, according to a Marines spokesman.

Maj. Cliff W. Gilmore, spokesman for the 2nd Marine Division, said Cpl. Wimunc was released back to his battalion Thursday after the Marines made him available for interviews.

The Marine Corps is keeping tabs on Wimunc’s whereabouts, Gilmore said…

The Observer also reported that Holley Lynn Wimunc was educated in Iowa, at St. Ambrose University. She was in the Army Nurse Corps and had been at Fort Bragg for nearly a year.

There are some elements in this missing persons case that make it difficult to ignore any possible connection with the June, 2008 murder of Spc. Megan Lynn Touma:

  • Both Touma and Wimunc were in the Army, and both were medical specialists — Touma worked in dentistry.
  • Touma was from Kansas. Wimunc was from Lafayette, Louisiana, but was educated in Iowa — a tangential Midwest connection.
  • Holley Wimunc and Megan Touma shared the same middle name, Lynn.
  • Wimunc was just one year older than Touma.
  • Touma and Wimunc were in perilous situations where their personal lives were concerned. Megan Touma was divorced and pregnant by another man who was already in a relationship, and Holley Wimunc was estranged from husband John, whom she alleged to be abusive.

The map embedded below illustrates another interesting detail of the Wimunc disappearance — Google indicates just 1.4 miles between Cross Creek Mall and Wimunc’s apartment complex at 142 Wayah Creek Drive in Fayetteville.

View Larger Map

John Wimunc, based on the claims made by Holley when she filed for court-sanctioned protection, might be an excellent suspect in his wife’s disappearance. But he’s not in custody right now, simply under observation. That could show a lack of convincing, hard evidence pointing towards a domestic answer to the riddle of Holley Wimunc’s disappearance.

Does Fayetteville, North Carolina have a serial killer, after all?

If there is a calculating serial at work, targeting women of a certain age, appearance, and profession, did he send the mysterious, Zodiac-like letter to the Observer?

If he did, I expect another letter soon.

The Touma murder and Wimunc disappearance may only be connected by the singular motivation of men who think murder is the best way out of a relationship. A single serial killer would be easier to deal with, in a way — all the possibilities are focused in one phantom psycho. Take him off the street, and that particular deadly path is at an end. Domestic homicide, however, is a much larger problem, one as old as human relations. We can’t put it away and remove its power to wipe loved ones from the face of the Earth. A serial killer is, at the very least, a concrete answer to the huge question of why such things happen.

Violence between two people who once pledged their love to one another is far more widespread, and ultimately, a problem that seems to elude any easy answers.

Links:

Holley’s MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hollister024. Not much there anymore, if there ever was. Her “About Me”: “Hey, i’m your all american girl. funny bitchy and crazy. I’m 24, in the army…and hoping to get deployed soon :)”

This post will be updated and revised as needed.

Something is Going On in Fayetteville, NC…

Something strange and disturbing may be afoot in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Either a killer who harkens back to Northern California and the late 60s is truly at work, or a number of men have decided now is the prime time to rid themselves of troublesome women. Both possibilities are pretty damned spooky, in their ways. WRAL in Raleigh is reporting today that a Fort Bragg-based female soldier is missing and her apartment was burned.

Spc. Megan Touma, the pregnant soldier found murdered in a Fayetteville motel on June 21, was associated with a medical specialty. The newly-missing soldier’s name and rank have not been released, but according to WRAL, “she was believed to be assigned to Womack Army Medical Center.”

The missing soldier didn’t show up for work on Wednesday, and members of her unit went to check on her. They discovered a burned-out apartment. The fire was determined to be arson. In fact, cops were already processing the scene when the apartment building was evacuated for fear a new fire might break out, perhaps from accelerants still on the scene.

This missing soldier was going through a divorce, and authorities are seeking her husband for questioning.

The immediate question that may come to mind if you’ve read about the Zodiac Killer-like letter that accompanied the murder of Megan Touma is whether or not this is perhaps a second salvo in a serial killer’s war on the public in general and young military women, in particular.

Logically, though, another possibility presents itself: another psychopathic male has been following events in the Touma case and found himself “inspired” to take a novel and homicidal approach to his own problems with a woman in his life, perhaps hoping that the drama surrounding the Touma investigation might serve to help cover his tracks.

At the moment, my money’s on the latter explanation for this new Fort Bragg female soldier in peril. If another letter arrives in the mailroom at the Fayetteville Observer, I may change my mind. I’ll update and revise this post as needed.

[Hat-tip to Mysteriew at Websleuths.com.]

Hans Reiser Saves Himself From the Absolute Fiery Pit of Hell

Make no mistake about it: Hans Reiser is going to hell. I mean, if you believe in that sort of thing, then the one-time boy genius and innovator in super-duper special computer filing systems is definitely a prime candidate for the worst Satan and his imps can offer. But Reiser may have saved himself from the very worst depredations Lucifer can offer a calculating, malignant narcissist like him by helping authorities in Oakland, CA recover the body of Reiser’s murdered wife, Nina Reiser. 

The Russian-born beauty vanished in September, 2006. We now know that her then-estranged husband Hans killed her. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Reiser strangled his wife during a fight. After a good deal of wrangling, Reiser recently took a plea deal: second-degree murder, 15 years to life, as long as he cooperated with investigators.  

On Monday, Reiser led police to Nina’s 4×4 grave. From the Chronicle:

The remains that Reiser revealed Monday were found about 4 p.m. buried on the side of a steep hill off a deer trail between Redwood Regional Park and the Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, less than 200 yards behind a house on Skyline Boulevard…

I didn’t follow the Reiser case all that closely because it took so long for things to happen. But if you clicked the link in Hans’s name in the first paragraph above, you know I did follow it. As much as anything, I was curious as to how a man as bright and successful as Reiser could do something as profoundly stupid as murder his wife. You’d think I’d learn. I’ve been reading true crime since the 70s, and writing about it since at least 2004. 

I mean, most people can understand great anger, to some degree. ‘Crimes of passion’ do occur, and our legal system even acknowledges this. But Reiser apparently put some thought into what he did, buying true crime books, concocting a back story, an alibi, and a barely-plausible explanation for Nina’s disappearance — he said she’d fled back home to Mother Russia.

This was a guy who was completely at home on the Internet, who fancied himself not just a groundbreaking programmer, but a writer, even a poet. Evil didn’t seem to be a big feature of his past behavior — prior to marriage, that is. 

The chances are good some of these seemingly positive qualities — the pretensions towards poetry, etc. — also reflected Reiser’s overweaning self-regard. There are vain people and then there are viciously narcissistic people, who can’t begin to grasp why they are not rulers of all they survey; I suspect Hans Reiser was one of the latter, since a fully psychopathic killer would have had some trouble really achieving some of the things Reiser was known for. People throw the word “narcissist” around a lot, use it to describe a wide variety of behaviors, but in this context it has a very clear meaning.

Other examples of the kind of narcissist I’m talking about might be Neil Entwistle, Scott Peterson, or Rabbi Fred Neulander. The conundrum of narcissists is this: most of them don’t kill, and to most who know them, they aren’t just nice people; they’re great people. Funny, charming, seductive, charismatic. A good number of famous people probably fit the narcissistic template to a T. It is only when a narcissist begins to lose that which is most important to them that things fall apart. That’s why so few celebrity meltdowns are big surprises. Those frequently come after a celebrity’s career has faltered, their star faded — what happens then is the components of the fuel most precious to a narcissist are gone — adoration, approval and love.

Hans Reiser’s marriage to a beautiful woman had failed, big time. He didn’t snap. I doubt there was anything impassioned about the murder, at all. He simply decided to exact a form of revenge, because no one was going to take what he saw as rightfully his — his children, his money, perhaps even some of his reputation. He would eliminate the problem, much as he might delete a line of code. Reiser was trying to debug his life, and get the narcissist’s operating system up and running again. In doing this, he revealed how such vanity makes idiots of everyone who gives into it — Reiser thought his background as a wunderkind primed him to go up against a police force. He probably thought he was smarter than every cop he ever spoke to.

Maybe he was, if it came to knowing the arcane ins and outs of the Linux operating system’s file structures. Reiser’s IQ was probably higher than any one cop’s, true. But one cop never puts the case away, in the real world. There might be a main actor, or the cop who gets a big break in a case, but in the end, Hans Reiser was actually up against the entire department. I once wrote that “Nina Reiser Couldn’t Win” because both the men in her life were all whacked-out in some way or another.

Fortunately, in the end, it was Hans Reiser who couldn’t win. He may have saved himself from perdition by giving those who loved Nina a chance to give her a proper burial, but still, one can only hope that if there is a hell and levels of horror therein, Hans Reiser still makes it to one of the levels where the flames do indeed burn hot, and eternally slow. 

Brief Break from Hiatus: Neil Entwistle Guilty, Faces Life in Prison

Neil Entwistle was found guilty today in the shooting deaths of his wife Rachel and baby daughter Lillian. The jury rejected the killer’s claim that Rachel committed murder-suicide.

Six women and six men took 11 hours to find Entwistle guilty on 2 counts of first-degree murder and firearms charges. First-degree murder warrants a mandatory life sentence in Massachusetts.

I found it stunning that Entwistle’s defense didn’t call a single witness. They had no rebuttal witnesses, no experts of their own to counter the State’s forensic investigation. They had nothing. In the end, it was a typical psychopath’s move — just keep lying, saying you’re innocent, blaming someone else — in this case, Rachel Entwistle — and maybe someone will believe you.

Today, the jury said no, we don’t believe you. Off to prison you go.

I think this is the point where a Briton might say something like, “good riddance to bad rubbish.”

[Link: Boston Herald]

From Huff’s Crime Blog: Neil Entwistle… Pimpin’

Michele R. McPhee’s book about the Entwistle case, Heartless: The True Story of Neil Entwistle and the Cold Blooded Murder of his Wife and Child, hit bookstores on June 3, 2008. I haven’t read the book yet, but I picked it up tonight and plan to read it over the next few weeks. In this blog entry I am reproducing much of pages 120-123 of Ms. McPhee’s book. Mainly because I wrote most of what you will read on those pages.

Yes, Ms. McPhee did reference Huff’s Crime Blog as the source, and the passage she quoted is in italics. In fact, I signed a release sometime last Autumn for Ms. McPhee to use a quote from my blog. After I signed the release I heard nothing more from the author, so I almost convinced myself that she’d decided to use other sources.

I almost never grouse about such things, but you know, a free copy of something where such a nice little chunk of my writing was quoted would have been polite. Still, the book was only $6.99, so I guess I can’t complain that much.

As usual, the following is basically reproduced as is from the first posting in Huff’s Crime Blog 2 years ago. A few links were dead, so those were simply removed. If you have Ms. McPhee’s book, you will see that she quoted the following entry beginning at “Neil Entwistle, the 27-year-old Briton” and ending with “the facade of ‘the happy family.'”

*****

Neil Entwistle… Pimpin’

February 12, 2006

By Steve Huff

I don’t intend the title of this blog entry to be funny, either. Reader Mike made a comment on a previous entry about Neil Entwistle, the 27-year-old Briton now accused of murdering his wife Rachel and their infant daughter Lillian on January 20, 2006, in Hopkinton, MA. Mike left, as readers of this blog have thankfully done numerous times lately, a very interesting link.

Certainly one of the first things I did upon seeing www.srpublications.co.uk linked to Entwistle was check the registration (whois) info on the domain.

Next thing I did was look it up via The Wayback Machine.

But Mike took a closer look. Specifically at the record made of the website on May 31, 2003. You should know before you click that link that there is a nude photo of a young woman on the page, so consider yourself warned.

What is more interesting in reference to Neil Entwistle, listed as the registrant of srpublications.co.uk beginning in September of 2002, is the text accompanying the nude photo:

– FREE UK SEX – FREE UK SEX – FREE UK SEX – FREE UK SEX –

We are setting up a Discrete UK Sex Contacts network. To get the service up and running we are offering completely free membership to all who are interested. In addition, once the service has a large number of subscribers, you will be eligable for a generous discount on any fees…

It appears he set up a separate e-mail address for this pursuit — freeContactInfo@srpublications.co.uk. The main page for all archived versions of the site shows that some of the dates have asterisks (*) beside them — that denotes a change made in the site. It appears that the site was changed again on December 5, 2003, and I can only guess that at that time the “Discrete Sex Contacts” advertisement was removed. At that time, it seems as if Entwistle must have decided to focus on marketing “The Big Penis Manual,” as it is then referred to as their “flagship product.”

This May, 2003 version of Entwistle’s srpublications.co.uk page is perhaps only significant in how it might relate to the portion of this story that has apparently been most startling to anyone following developments lately… that aside from being in a financial crisis, Neil Entwistle supposedly stated prior to his arrest that there were perhaps sexual issues in his relationship with Rachel.

To me, it seemed that we were perhaps seeing the first hints of the real problem, if Entwistle did kill his wife and child. A pathological narcissist, a psychopath, would be quite accomplished at masking his less savory behaviors by his twenties, if he was of above-average intelligence. But the pressures of supporting a family combined with a lack of gratification physically would quickly produce cracks in that mask. As would moving to a new country, far from the usual support systems.

And I also feel that the slant of these websites tells something about the self Neil was perhaps keeping secret from many people all along. I was struck by the constant appeal to the most base needs… it indicated to me that the person behind the site felt that was the quickest way to earn easy money because perhaps such things, particularly the porn, might be appealing to them, as well.

The reason the story of Neil Entwistle allegedly murdering his wife and child has gripped so many people is because it speaks again to the difference between appearances and truth. Rachel’s “Knight” was really a porn webmaster who even tried to get a service for swingers off the ground… perhaps even an escort service, though it is hard to tell from the “discrete” blurb quoted above. It doesn’t mean Neil was one (a swinger), himself, but it does show where his head was a good deal of the time.

I wonder how well a lovely wife and beautiful baby girl ever truly fit into the picture such a man had of his life… if they ever did, at all. It would have been mighty hard to hook swingers up for free if you spent the rest of your time fashioning the facade of “the happy family.”

UPDATE, 2/13/06, 12:46 a.m.

It is official — readers of Huff’s Crime Blog kick ass. Mike got his props earlier in this blog entry, now kc made a great find by combing through Neil Entwistle’s srpublications eBay offers. I’ve added this to my list of known or likely Entwistle sites found here. Here is the entry just added to that list:

  • www.moneyhound.biz. Whois info.

    Registrant:
    Mark Smith
    10 Heslington Rd
    York
    YO10 5DD
    GB
    phone: +44.19051111111
    (fake number, I’d guess.)

    Domain Registration Date: Fri Jun 13 13:20:53 GMT 2003
    Domain Expiration Date: Mon Jun 12 23:59:59 GMT 2006
    Domain Last Updated Date: Tue Aug 09 16:28:48 GMT 2005

I’m honored that some pretty sharp cybersleuths see fit to post such things on blog entries here. Finds like these only help us to dig deeper into the story and try to grasp at least a little of that which may always elude us — why these terrible things happen, what paths people take to such ends.

UPDATE, 2/13/06, 2:15 p.m.

Huff’s Crime Blog reader Charlie picked apart the new find by kc noted above, and in doing so he spotted a link that might as well be titled, “Neil Entwistle, Spam King.” That’s right — as in, e-mail spam, that crap you delete daily. This site was linked from www.moneyhound.biz.

Using 50megs.com, a free site-hosting service, Entwistle mounted another version of srpublications sometime in 2003. This man, whose in-laws, it was reported today, thought he was some sort of “secret agent” stated baldly what this particular page was about:

I can show you how to Make REAL Money with Paid to read e-mail programs! Not pennies per month but DOLLARS per day! You will learn, absolutely FREE , how to mulitply your paid to read e-mail earnings so that you will get a paycheck EVERY month from ALL of your paid to read programs.

Imagine – the 1st of the month rolls around and you get 10 checks from 10 different paid to read e-mail programs – ALL of them in excess of $50! Some of them over $100! My friend – THAT would be worth reading a few e-mails. You could even get 15 or 20 checks – it all depends on how much you want to work setting up your own, personal Multiplying E-mail Business.

If you decide to spend just a little time today – then within a month you can be getting a check from 2 or 3 different “paid to read” companies. However – if you decide RIGHT NOW to spend several days getting your Multiplying E-mail Business set up – THEN you could be getting as many as 20 checks EVERY MONTH!

Pop quiz: what kind of marketing scheme is this?

It’s simple: when I help you set up and build YOUR Multiplying E-mail Business – it helps me to further build MY Multiplying E-mail Business….it’s that simple. As you prosper – so do I. People helping people – that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

Is it a pyramid scheme, multi-level-marketing, or just plain stupid? In the Boston Herald article linked above (hat tip to fellow crimeblogger K. at oncrime.com), it was reported that Entwistle’s business card was a folded piece of paper held together with tape.

Sounds more all the time like the mask he wore was never really that well-constructed, after all. He wasn’t a secret agent, he was a lousy spam-king and wannabe pimp for U.K. swingers.

The robotic comment on the Entwistle familys’ home page, www.rachelandneil.org, “from the happy family,” has bothered me since I first saw the web page. Precisely because it seemed to be just that — robotic. What was written was what the avaricious and adolescent mind behind the boyish good looks felt others wanted to see, not understanding how false it would ring. That taped-up paper business card seems now to symbolize his entire life, right up to the moment the tape came unstuck on January 20, 2006.

LAST UPDATE ON THIS ENTRY, 2/14/06

My latest article at Court TV’s crimelibrary.com is about this aspect of the Entwistle case and how it may relate somewhat to Neil’s activities as portrayed in the recently-released affidavit for searching the Entwistle home in Hopkinton. Please click through and take a look!

From Huff’s Crime Blog: Neil Entwistle… Running Cons?

The following was first posted in Huff’s Crime Blog on January 24, 2006. I am basically reproducing the post as it has appeared for the last 2.5 years, correcting links that are dead or outdated and only the most glaring spelling or grammar issues. In these entries written when this story was first breaking there will be factual errors, and incorrect speculation: deal with it.

As I re-post entries here, I take them offline at Huff’s Crime Blog. Google may think one blog is a spam blog if it catches what look like duplicate posts.

For daily coverage of the murder trial of Neil Entwistle, see:

EntwistleMurderTrial.com.

*****


Neil Entwistle… Running Cons?

January 24, 2006

By Steve Huff

In this entry I wrote yesterday about the deaths on or around January 21, 2006 of Rachel Entwistle and her infant daughter Lillian Rose, in Hopkinton, MA, I related that Neil Entwistle, age 27, is a person-of-interest to authorities.

Entwistle is British. He is likely driving a BMW. He appears to be rather tall and nice-looking, boyish. He and Rachel met while she was doing a year of college in Great Britain. They were married in 2003, and had little Lillian in 2005. Lillian Rose was 9 months old when she was murdered. A single bullet entered the abdomens of both mother and child, and apparently was the cause of death. They were found in a bed in the home the Entwistles were renting at 6 Cubs Path in Hopkinton.

I posed the idea that perhaps Neil Entwistle was the same Neil Entwistle listed as the registrant for a scam website, millionmaker.co.uk. If he was, perhaps that website, if it were indeed the scam some on the internet perceived it to be, would ultimately figure into the “back-story” of how Rachel and Lillian Entwistle ended up dead in a nicely-appointed home in a Boston suburb.

Some readers have done sleuthing of their own and added some fuel to this fire.

First, a reader who wished to remain anonymous pointed me towards Embedded New Technologies Limited.

There isn’t much there, really, except this:

Neil Entwistle
119 Swan Drive
Droitwich
Worcs
United Kingdom
WR9 8WE

The same information for a Neil Entwistle as can be found here. The link takes you to registrant info for www.rachelandneil.org, the Entwistle family site. What was “Embedded New Technologies,” and what was Entwistle doing with it? Hard to say, as the name could mean anything. Also hard to say because it would appear that the “Embedded New Technologies” pages were created in July of 2005. Yet not long after that, the Entwistles appeared to move to Massachusetts.

More information from a reader who posted the following in the comments for my last entry about the Entwistles. A poster using “BJ” for a screen name wrote the following:

The same “Millionaire” software is listed on transactions for ebay user “srpublications” located in Worcester, UK. The last dozen or so entries are negatives saying it is a scam…

Here is an example of what “srpublications” was selling on eBay — “The MILLIONAIRE MONEY MAKER Quick Setup.”

Recall, from millionmaker.co.uk:

With MillionMaker you can be sure your investment will pay off, and best of all, there’s no waiting years for your return on investment (ROI). We will show you, step-by step, how to successfully promote your adult internet business and generate at least $6000 per month, within the first six months…

Sounds familiar to me.

The eBay feedback for srpublications was, to say the least, interesting. Beginning in early January of this year, 2006, the feedback from buyers was uniformly negative.

  • “Relisted Studio MX 8 as “unsold” when in fact ALL 20 copies were sold. WARNING!!”
  • However, there were negative notes being struck back in August of 2005, as well: “was sent 2 illegal copys NOT originals as stated + the serial is obsolete as wel(l)…” The seller responded, “Buyer should have asked if unsure. We have changed advert to be less misleading.” Note the usually British usage of the word “advert.” Rachel Entwistle was an American.
  • The feedback that caused “BJ” and yours truly to raise our eyebrows was left on January 8th of this year:

  • “Rachel Entwistle is a thieving Liar do not buy here!!”
  • “Rachel Entwistle lives in Worcester 4 gods sake!Where’s my goods?”
One idea gleaned from this is that perhaps it was Rachel Entwistle who was deceiving people, scamming, and somehow she was tracked down. However, that stretches the limits of my credulity, personally. Rachel was a teacher, and for the last 9 months, a stay-at-home mother. Neil, however, was an I.T. man, who is supposedly even now not actually “on the run,” but perhaps simply traveling to various ‘job interviews.’

I keep thinking of Christian Longo. One of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in the last year was by Michael Finkel, True Story. It was Finkel’s story of getting to know Longo after the man was arrested while masquerading as… Michael Finkel. Longo was an affable charmer with a knack for salesmanship and scamming people. Before he murdered his wife and three children, he had a long pattern of dishonesty, ranging from tills not balancing in stores where he worked to the theft of large pieces of construction equipment. Longo would say all the right things, go back to church, and just do it again. Finkel’s book is a fascinating peek inside the author’s head as well as Longo’s, as for a year or so the two forge an odd sort of friendship via the phone and the occasional jailhouse interview. Longo almost had Finkel charmed into believing there was no way such a man could be cold-blooded enough to kill his family. Until Finkel sat through Christian Longo’s trial.

Maybe Rachel Entwistle had no idea her name was being used to sell scam software for srpublications.

Perhaps she found out, and that was the beginning of this story.

***** (I’ve been asked why I still blog when I am now being paid to write, and am in a good position to eventually perhaps even sell a book. Readers like the anonymous person who sent me the “Embedded New Technologies” page and “BJ,” as well as a great number of people making comments on blog entries lately are why I keep doing this. Thank you.)

UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.

It is with little to no surprise that I report that CBS 4 in Boston, MA is now relating the news that Neil Entwistle may no longer be in the U.S. From the article:

Flight manifests are now being looked at to see if her husband flew out to England. CBS4 reached out to officials at Scotland Yard, who say they are unaware of any ongoing search.Neil has been out of town since Friday. His wife and daughter were found Sunday…

Some might say that if Neil Entwistle was the killer of his wife and child — and he is only a person of interest at the moment — then his getting out of the country is a shame for a number of reasons. One of them the fact that should he flee to any location in the European Union, it is highly unlikely that he will be brought back unless Massachusetts is a non-death penalty state. I do not, off the top of my head, know whether or not that state has the ultimate sanction. If it does have the death penalty, I certainly don’t know the last time someone was executed there. And the truth of the matter is, if Neil Entwistle did indeed murder his baby daughter and wife in cold blood, no small number of Americans would be glad to see such a criminal on death row.

UPDATE, 6:36 p.m.

A sharp-eyed reader named Diane spotted the following.

A Neil Entwistle registered the domain millionmaker.co.uk on May 14, 2004. Here is the address information given at the time:

Registrant:
Neil Entwistle
Registrant type:
UK Entity

Registrant’s address:
10 Heslington Rd
York
YO10 5DD
GB

Registrant’s agent:
No agent listed.

Relevant dates:
Registered on: 14-May-2004
Renewal date: 14-May-2006
Last updated: 19-Dec-2005

There was also a millionmaker.net. Here is the whois info for that domain:

domain: millionmaker.net
created: 27-Oct-2004
last-changed: 27-Oct-2005
registration-expiration: 27-Oct-2006 (…)
registrant-firstname: Mark
registrant-lastname: Smith
registrant-organization: MillionMaker
registrant-street1: 10 Heslington Road
registrant-pcode: YO10 5DD
registrant-city: York
registrant-ccode: GB

There could be more than one logical explanation for this. Perhaps MillionMaker was indeed a business with more than one employee, and Mr. Smith took care of the second domain registration.

That, or Neil Entwistle had a rather lazy approach to using an alias.

Here are a couple of other domains registered to someone who listed their address as 10 Heslington Road in York. The following could be of no significance whatsoever, but at the moment, who knows?

  • On October 28, 2004, ‘Mark Smith’ created the domain deephotsex.com.
  • October 4, 2004 saw Mr. Smith creating the domain thebigpenismanual.com.
As I was making this update, the same reader sent a note letting me know the following — Rachel and Lillian Entwistle were murdered with two bullets, not one, and Neil Entwistle has been located. From Boston.com:

Neil Entwistle, a 27-year-old British citizen, has spoken to police but Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley would not reveal his whereabouts late Tuesday. She would only say he is outside the U.S.The bodies of Rachel Entwistle, 27, and her 9-month-old daughter, Lillian, were found in a bed in their home on Sunday evening. Neil Entwistle remained a “person of interest” in the homicide investigation Tuesday, Coakley said. He has not been called a suspect. There have been no arrests…

Why would Entwistle be out of the country if he was job hunting? Perhaps “Mark Smith” knows.

FINAL UPDATE, 12:41 a.m. 1/25/06

Thanks to Kathy for pointing this out.

mrtheteacher” became a member at eBay in June of 2005.

“mrtheteacher” made only one purchase, and received three identical feedback notes. It would seem the screen name was created for the sole purpose of buying the item.

From an eBayer to whom you have already been introduced, “srpublications.”

Kathy states it best in her e-mail pointing this out to me:

I’m not done looking checking out all the feedback names, but it looks to me like he was buying from himself on Ebay in order to raise his feedback as a reputable seller–so that it would be easier for him to screw people out of their hard-earned money.Yep, Steve, this one not only smells rotten, it IS indeed rotten…

[Editor’s note: “mrtheteacher” has transactions on his account since this was originally written — most recent was in March of 2008 — I have removed direct links, as I now feel fairly sure it wasn’t a dummy account created by Entwistle to boost his feedback.]

In fairness, I can’t say I know the above to be true. But it makes plenty of tragic sense. The charming sociopath, the Christian Longo, Scott Peterson, Michael Peterson, is the most stealthy and well-concealed. How could such a great guy be so dishonest? How could he perhaps even be violent? He seemed to treat his wife and child(ren) so well.

In front of others they do, because they are playing a role, 24/7, and sometimes even these kinds of men don’t realize they’re acting. Until the pressure mounts, usually from the collapsing house of cards they’ve made from lies to resemble a life, and they drop the mask for the ones who trust them most. After that, there are just more lies, and they are already quite good at that.

Matthew Gretz Confesses to Murdering Kira Simonian

Matthew Gretz pleaded guilty today to 2nd degree murder. He killed his wife, artist and grad student Kira Simonian. In court on Monday, Gretz said, “I stabbed and intentionally killed my wife.”

Gretz beat his wife and then stabbed her several times in her neck and chest.

He faces up to 25 years in prison.

I first wrote about Kira Simonian’s murder almost a year ago: “The Murder of Kira Simonian.” I didn’t say it outright, but I believed he was good for it, and of course, got grief for that — but that comes with the territory.

Finding out my intuition was correct isn’t usually a good thing, though. It wasn’t here, because based on some comments received when I first wrote about Kira’s murder, some of Matt’s friends are no doubt shocked beyond words at his confessing to his wife’s murder. It seems like Gretz had nothing in his past that predicted homicidal behavior. His plea doesn’t really explain what happened, either, and I admit I’m curious. But at least he came clean, in the end.

Thanks to Eyes for Lies for the tip.

From Huff’s Crime Blog: Rachel, Neil and Lillian

Briton Neil Entwistle, age 29, will soon be on trial for the January 20, 2006 murders of his wife Rachel and their baby girl, Lillian. I’ll be commenting regularly on the trial for a Boston-area publication (actually, the news outlet in question is in Framingham). More on that later this week.

I’ve decided to re-post some of the original Huff’s Crime Blog entries about the case here. Some links will be broken. Where ever possible, I have used the Wayback Machine to reproduce those links.

I also wrote about the case for Court TV’s (now TruTV) CrimeLibrary.com.

“Rachel, Neil and Lillian” was first published on January 23, 2006. The original can be read here. I wince a little now when I read some of the things I wrote 2 years ago, so I’ve done some minimal editing. Please note that the entry you are about to read was originally written when very little was known about the Entwistles. It wasn’t even public knowledge at the time that Neil Entwistle was from the UK. He was in the wind and could have even been dead.

*****

The Boston Herald reported the following on January 23, 2006:

Police are looking for the husband as a “person of interest” in the murders of his wife and infant daughter, according to Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley.

Rachel Entwistle, 27, and her daughter, 9-month-old Lillian, were found dead in their rental home at 6 Cubs Path Sunday at 6:30 p.m. after police responded for a well-being check.

Relatives went to the home Saturday for a planned dinner party but no one answered the door. On Sunday, relatives called police (…)

…[A]s the bodies were being moved, police discovered the wounds from what is believed to be a single small-caliber bullet that passed through both the mother and daughter’s torsos, according to Coakley (…)

Coakley said Rachael’s husband, Neil, also 27, has been traveling since Friday. She said police have some leads as to where he may be.

Relatives had last spoken to Rachel on Thursday.

The family had lived in the house for just 10 days on a short-term lease.

Coakley said Neil Entwistle was an unemployed computer worker who had moved to Hopkinton looking for work with a local tech company. He had several interviews planned.

Neighbors said they had not yet met the couple, who had been married since 2003…

In photos, the Entwistles are a handsome, approachable pair. Both of them, Neil and Rachel, have winning smiles, and Lillian is cherubic.

The Entwistles had a family webpage, the address is here — http://www.rachelandneil.org/. Lillian Entwistle’s page can be found here — Lillian Rose Entwistle.

I found the story of Rachel and Lillian being found murdered in their newly-rented home, when it was only a couple of hours old, in terms of public awareness. Even as I write this, there could have been developments in the story.

It would appear that one or both the Entwistles were British nationals, or at the least lived in the UK. From the page about their wedding day, in 2003:

Wedding in America:

Priscilla and Joseph Matterazzo request the honour of your presence at the marriage of

Rachel Elizabeth Souza and Neil Entwistle

On Sunday August tenth two-thousand and three at five o’clock in the evening, Second Parish Church of Plymouth, Manomet, Massachusetts.

Reception to follow the ceremony at Plimoth Plantation, Gainsborough Hall.

England Reeption:

Novemeber 1st, 2003…

Photos of Neil and Rachel can be found on this page — Mediterranean Cruise, Christmas, 2004. There you will find photos of the couple looking happy and rested. Rachel is petite and slightly round, Neil appears to be tall and fit. Neither of them seem to have a worry in the world.

The following quote from the Entwistle’s homepage emphasized my own impression that one or both of them were British:

The three of us are doing well and are looking forward to the coming holiday season. The Baptism was wonderful and Lilly looked perfect. She even managed to recite the Lord’s Prayer with us.

Lillian is now crawling with confidence. She’s enjoying three meals a day of her Mummy’s homecooked food and is already eating a variety of finger foods.

Enjoy the newest photos from Lillian’s Baptism and the build up to Christmas. Be in touch….we love hearing from you! Love, the happy family…

Neil Entwistle’s computer acumen shows in the webpages if you visit that site — they are all elegantly designed and easy to navigate. In the Firefox web browser, if you right-click while on the page and select “page info,” you will see that the page was either created or last edited on Christmas Eve, 2005.

The Entwistles had a guestbook for their tastefully-rendered webpages. There are notes there like the following, from “Mum and Dad” Entwistle:

Hello darlings, the wedding was elegant. Neil you were the perfect gentleman. Rachel you were stunning. We are very proud of you both. We love you from mum and dad…

The first question is always, ‘how could such a thing happen?’

Even though Neil Entwistle is a “person of interest,” that in and of itself does not mean he actually murdered his wife and child — it could simply mean they were found dead on the scene and he was nowhere around — and the police are interested in making sure he is still alive and not in danger himself.

This story is still developing, and will be updated as needed on the bottom of this blog entry…

UPDATE, 11:07 p.m., 1/23/06

A reader pointed out new comments found in the guestbook at rachelandneil.org. These comments have obviously been made since the news of Rachel and Lillian Entwistle’s deaths came out:

NEIL, YOU COWARD, EITHER OFF YOURSELF OR TURN YOUR [Sorry Ass] IN AND FACE UP TO WHAT YOU’VE DONE. WHY BRING A LIFE INTO THIS WORLD JUST TO TAKE IT AWAY? WHY, “DADDY?”

I found the comment striking because it showed me that perhaps one person seemed to accept rather quickly the idea that Neil Entwistle should be the person of interest in this case. There are later comments that are more even-handed, not seeking to assume anything yet. Then again, this person may not know the Entwistles at all, and simply be assuming because the police are seeking Entwistle that he is the culprit.

Though Neil Entwistle’s career was said to be in computers, so far his footprints on the Web are few, and what is to be found doesn’t tell much. There are postings to discussion groups about coding, javascript, etc. There is an interesting post in a discussion group named scam.com. Both Dan Riehl and I discovered this, and I don’t know about Dan, but I’m not sure what to make of it. The first post, made on January 18, 2005, asks others if they think this URL is scamming people — www.millionmaker.co.uk. The link will take you to an archive.org file for the site, as it appears to no longer be online. Someone posting to scam.com did a whois on the domain and here is the information their search returned:

Domain Name:
millionmaker.co.uk

Registrant:
Neil Entwistle

Registrant’s Address:
Friar Street
Office 270 79
Worcester
WR1 2NT
GB

Registrant’s Agent:
Schlund + Partner AG [Tag = SCHLUND]
URL: http://registrar.schlund.info

The reason this site is interesting is because of the possibility that it is scamming people, and also because of the kind of opportunity it offers. From millionmaker.co.uk:

We are offering you the opportunity to make this dream a reality by tapping into the multi-billion dollar adult internet business.

With MillionMaker you can be sure your investment will pay off, and best of all, there’s no waiting years for your return on investment (ROI). We will show you, step-by step, how to successfully promote your adult internet business and generate at least $6000 per month, within the first six months…

So far, mainstream media reports indicate that Neil Entwistle and his wife and child were living in a $2700 a month rental home and that Entwistle may be driving a BMW. Though Rachel Entwistle was a teacher in the U.K., she was not yet employed here in the states.

Neil had an eBay profile (big thanks to Kathy for that find!) and the only item one can easily determine he bought recently was a high-end Sony/Ericsson mobile phone. He appears to have bought items in the past users there who are “no longer registered,” with names like femuk02 and webbsthelenscouk, but there could be no significance to Neil Entwistle’s eBay purchases at all. Additionally, the Neil Entwistle who registered the millionmaker.co.uk domain name could be a different man, entirely. The registry agent is the same for Entwistle’s known domains, however it is a very large agent. The Entwistle who registered rachelandneil.org has different contact info from the registrant for millionmaker.co.uk.

But if it was the same Entwistle, and it was a scam that had made him enough money to come to the U.S., could the site now being offline indicate that Entwistle’s scam was known to either authorities in Britain or the United States? When police seem to believe a man like Neil Entwistle could have murdered his wife and child in cold blood, does the possibility that he was living a kind of double-life enter the picture? On a messageboard discussion I began about this case, someone quickly made the observation that Rachel Entwistle’s pleasant smile made them think of Laci Peterson. My first response to that was sarcasm, since the Peterson case seems to come up any time a young mother disappears, or is murdered, but then it hit me that there could be a kind of pattern, one embodied in the Peterson case, at work here. A handsome and intelligent man, one who can ably attract smart and good-looking women, who himself is never really the same person twice when he looks in the mirror. A man who has learned to mask the inner void with charm, until one day the rage subsumes everything — that, or the vanity. When Christian Longo killed his wife and children in the Pacific Northwest a few years back, it was a case of a smooth-talking, highly presentable young man letting his usually well-concealed psychopathic self make one decision too many. Longo had a history of seemingly minor crime. The factor in Longo’s criminal history that never changed was that his crimes were always for his own gain, and his remorse was never sincere. His killing his family wasn’t that strange if one considered that he’d always tried to do things to make his own life easiest and most pleasant of all, and if that ultimately meant getting rid of the wife and kids, permanently, then to a psychopath like Longo that was a no-brainer. A handsome psychopath, whose legitimate talent in the business world was sales. John Emil List, who murdered his family in the early 70s and then was on the run for almost 3 decades — not the glad-handing narcissist that Christian Longo seemed, but still, a man who reduced everyone else in the world to abstractions, problems to be dealt with. List erased his family from the balance sheet like the accountant he was.

If Neil Entwistle is not dead somewhere himself, I suspect he will prove to be some combination of the men above, with his own wrinkles born of apparently being a native Briton thrown in the mix. Perhaps, given the legendary emotional restraint the British are so often teased about, the cultural wrinkle may prove to be a talent for hiding his antisocial side, his antisocial actions. If Entwistle is the person who killed Rachel and little Lillian, I would be surprised if he does not also prove to be the webmaster for millionmaker.co.uk, and surprised if that site does not somehow figure into the back story here.

Maine Gothic: A Boy and His Mother

Even Maine’s most famous horror novelist couldn’t make this up. Well… he could, but it’d probably be too disturbing, depressing, and tawdry for him to bother.

Just before midnight on Sunday, Matthew Audet, age 22, called police in Lewiston, Maine. He told them his 47-year-old mother Debra wasn’t breathing. According to police reports, Matthew Audet said his mother might have attempted suicide. She’d “grabbed her own larynx” and “might have choked herself out.”

Police found Audet in the apartment he shared with his mom, kneeling on a mattress beside her body. Debra Audet was unresponsive and had no pulse.

Matthew Audet was sticking to the suicide story. His mom had tried it before, he told police. Audet demonstrated what he meant to the officers on the scene by grabbing his own throat with both hands and making gagging noises.

Cops naturally wanted Audet to come down to the police department, but they made it clear that he wasn’t under arrest. Audet’s response was odd — he stuck out his arms and pressed his wrists together, saying, “I’m ready.”

The cops didn’t handcuff Audet. He persisted, walking to the police cruiser with his arms behind his back, wrists touching.

Also living in the apartment with Audet and his mother were Matthew’s wife, Kayla, age 19, and a man named Jaime Arsenault, age 30.

Once police talked with Kayla Audet, a different story came to light.

Debra Audet didn’t commit suicide.

Everyone in Apt. 4 had been drinking that night, according to Kayla. She and Matthew were tossing back 40s, but Debra Audet’s drinks of choice were “Night Train” and “Mad Dog 20/20.”

Mother and son were drinking together in Debra’s room. Kayla wasn’t with them. She and Matthew had been having problems. Matthew drank too much for Kayla’s taste, among other things. She told Matthew that she wanted to leave him. An intense argument ensued, culminating in both dashing their wedding rings against the wall.

Kayla took a shower after the fight, then went to her room to gather her belongings. She heard Matthew calling for her.

She ignored his calls at first, but finally she went to Debra’s room to see what he wanted. That was when she saw Debra’s pale form, the dead woman’s tongue protruding from her mouth.

Kayla Audet was scared. She went to the bathroom to grab a few things, and Matthew followed her, saying, “I killed my mom.”

Matthew made a half-hearted attempt to keep his wife from leaving, but she did leave. Kayla went to a friend’s house, where she told her friend what had just occurred in the Audets’ apartment. Shortly after Kayla arrived, they heard the police cars going to the Audet residence, so Kayla went back to talk with the cops.

The most bizarre aspect of the story would come from the friend with whom Kayla sought refuge, identified in police reports as Regan Tims.

Tims told investigators that Debra Audet had a sexual relationship with her son. Tims said the relationship may have begun when Matthew was a boy, 8 or 9 years old. Regan Tims’s story grew even stranger. She’d talked with Debra earlier that Sunday, she said, and the elder Audet had recounted an argument she’d had with Matthew over a separate relationship.

That relationship, according to Regan Tims, was between Debra Audet and Matthew’s wife, Kayla. Tims said that Ms. Audet’s relationship with Kayla began while Matthew was doing a stint in the military.

Police reports indicate that investigators got Kayla Audet to confirm her relationship with her mother-in-law. Kayla said she had no ‘specific knowledge’ of a sexual relationship between Debra and Matthew.

In the end, Matthew Audet seemed to come clean about what happened in his mother’s room. He told of the drinking and hanging out with his mom, and of how she’d begun to harangue him. He wasn’t working enough, she had cancer and they’d be sorry when she was gone, and… Kayla was cheating on him.

That was it, for Matthew Audet. The police report states that he grabbed his mother, thinking he’d just “calm her down.” In the end, ‘calm down’ allegedly meant Audet’s hand on his mother’s throat for at least 30 seconds.

An autopsy on Debra Audet confirmed that she’d been strangled.

Sources and links:

Murder at the University of Arkansas: Takatak and the Insubstantial Pageant

From the Northwest Arkansas Times:

What began as a welfare check Sunday morning led to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol arresting a Fayetteville man suspected of killing a University of Arkansas student.

Zachariah Marcyniuk, 28, faces a charge of first-degree murder for the death of Katherine Wood, 24.

After receiving calls about a disturbance at the Colonial Arms Apartments on 1211 N. Leverett Ave. in Fayetteville, police found a purse outside the complex. The contents of the purse led them to Apt. 11, where they found Katherine Wood, deceased. Less than an hour later, police began seeking Zachariah Scott Marcyniuk. Marcyniuk had some sort of relationship with Katherine Wood, and he had a criminal history.

Writing as takatak777 (for you intrepid reporters ganking this blog’s research: link goes to an entry where Marcyniuk posted his name, address, and phone numbers) on Livejournal, Marcyniuk devoted one of his first blog posts to one of the events in 2005 that netted him time in the Fayetteville court system. He’d had a bad breakup with someone named Sarah, and for whatever reason, Marcyniuk made things worse:

this is the official story, in black and white: Two weeks ago I broke into HER apartment, when she wasnae (sic) there, in order to retrieve MY stuff (items that were mine, not items that I had given to her as gifts and such). The cops came knocking as I was trying to fix the doorjamb, after I had swept up the mess on the kitchen floor. With four guns in my face I was arrested for breaking and entering, and attempted theft of property…

Marcyniuk described his jail stay. He then tried to explain himself, seemingly blaming his ex in the process:

So how does one come to this? Why did I do what I did? For some, the answer is easy to understand (as they have been there before), for others it’s incomprehensible. I think she knows why this happened, because she understands me all too well, and she knows (somewhere deep inside) that her actions were going to hurt me eventually. Right now, I can say with all honesty that, besides the split second I actually used my forearm to force the deadbolt to seperate from the wall, I was never all that angry. Just hurt, and wanting to make a clean break (that she wouldn’t let me have) from her.

Fayetteville Police were unclear as to the relationship between Marcyniuk and murder victim Katherine “Katie” Wood, but alleged killer and victim knew each other well. Marcyniuk was in Wood’s top friends, and he’d left numerous comments on Wood’s MySpace profile (link to copy of the page). She was also in his list of friends and a frequent commenter on his page, where she left images and YouTube videos in addition to what appeared to be responses to messages Marcyniuk left for her.

Wood also blogged on MySpace, titling her page “insubstantial pageant.” She wrote an entry on January 4, 2007 that could have been in reference to Marcyniuk, who was fond of Kung Fu movies:

I’ve waited four days for this, but here it is: the obligatory New Years blog.

So 2006, what is there to say…it’s over, but it was good. In fact, it was pretty damn good. I made it through what was probably my most difficult semester of classes with no serious GPA indentions, made a lot of artistic progress, and even managed to build on my personal life. (girls, when the cute ticket guy badgers you about the world cup, badger him right back, accept his tekken challenge, and pretend to have a vague interest in kung fu films…it works everytime).

Katie Wood was an English major at the University of Arkansas. One of the last entries she posted in her MySpace weblog in October of last year hinted at the writer inside:

It will be difficult to force myself to go to class, it will be impossible to stay awake if I succeed in attendance. Weather like this is only good for sitting on a squishy couch and flipping through magazines while drinking tea until you fall asleep to the quietness. All I can think about is a blanket made of purple yarn (every cool, rainy day should be dedicated to old lady’s who knit) and the solitary yellow glow of a lamp near the sofa. I’d give anything to escape this incandescent lighting…

While Zachariah Marcyniuk had an extensive presence on the Web (see the end of the entry), his abandoned Livejournal may have been the most revealing document he left online. Marcyniuk spoke constantly of his ex, Sarah, even after he’d begun doing community service for convictions related to his actions after their breakup. Much of what he wrote sounded like the ramblings of a stalker:

way to go for stubby, ugly guys Sarah, really…he’s smaller than I am, for Buddha’s sake!!…and twitchy (but really, his short limbs are what stuck out to me – just like Tommy)…and, well, he’s just an unattractive douchebag – end of story, but you seem to specialize in that kind of guy recently…there’s not much to him, but that’s probably how you want it right now…I thought it was really funny how he was trying to appear threatening with his little stencil knife…

[…]

Wanna see how much those other guys care about you?..How many of them have really tried to get you to go back to school?..How many of them say ‘No, let’s NOT drink or smoke pot anymore, or go to some pointless stupid party or bar, and let’s start getting our shit together’?…How many?..What – NONE OF THEM?..Well, that’s how much they care about you Sarah – I respect you enough to want YOU to make yourself a better person…

Other posts around the same time in Marcyniuk’s LJ indicate he was actually doing community service for the crimes he committed after breaking up with the woman with whom he was still obviously obsessed.

Was Zachariah Marcyniuk stalking Katie Wood? It doesn’t seem a stretch to ask the question, for it seems like he didn’t learn much of a lesson from his run-ins with the law after breaking up with another woman 3 years ago.

The Arkansas State Medical Examiner will determine the cause of Katie Wood’s death. Zachariah Marcyniuk was being held in Oklahoma late Sunday, pending his return to Arkansas to face a charge of 1st degree murder.

UPDATE, 12:02 p.m. ET

Thanks to Monika for pointing this link out in a comment: “Katie Wood.” The link goes to a blog at ZenandJuice.com. The blogger was apparently friends with Katie Wood. She wrote about her friend’s death and in the process she clarified Zach’s and Katie’s relationship: “The last time that I talked to [Katie] was Thursday March 6th, around 12:30pm. She IM’d me, asking me if I could call her phone, because she couldn’t find it. There was no answer – it went directly to voicemail.

“She said that she suspected that Zach took it, and he’d been ‘acting crazy’. They had been dating for awhile, and recently broke up, but were still friends. While we were talking, Zach wrote her back saying that he didn’t take it and had no idea where it was.”

Sources, links: