The riveting true account of a grisly crime and the unprecedented three murder trials faced by Fort Bragg soldier Tim Hennis.
On Mother’s Day, 1985, the bodies of Kathryn Eastburn and her two young daughters were found in their Fayetteville, North Carolina, home. Katie, an air force captain’s wife, had been raped and stabbed to death. Kara and Erin’s throats had been slit. Their toddler sister, Jana, was the only survivor of a bloody killing spree that terrified a community still reeling from the conviction, six years prior, of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald for the savage slayings of his pregnant wife and two daughters.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department soon focused its investigation on US Army soldier Tim Hennis. Detectives and local prosecutors built their case on circumstantial evidence and a jury convicted Hennis and sentenced him to death. But his defense team refused to give up. Piece by piece, they discredited the state’s case, exposing false testimony, concealed evidence, and prosecutorial misconduct. At a second trial, Hennis was found not guilty and released from death row.
But an even more stunning turn of events was yet to come. Twenty-five years after the murders, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation tested a crucial piece of DNA evidence from the crime scene. The shocking results led to an unprecedented third trial to determine Tim Hennis’s guilt or innocence.
From the initial discovery of the horrifying scene at 367 Summer Hill Road to the controversial change of jurisdiction that allowed Hennis to be prosecuted for an astonishing third time, author Scott Whisnant chronicles every development in this intricate, disturbing, and still-evolving case. Has the mystery of who killed Katie, Kara, and Erin Eastburn been solved beyond a reasonable doubt? Read Innocent Victims and decide for yourself.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I couldn’t put this down. The look at defense & prosecution teams was intriguing. The prosecution appeared to only want to prove their “ theory” as fact. Reasonable conclusions about evidence became an attempt to make it work for them. If it didn’t mold to their theory then they would ignore it. Their efforts to keep possibilities of other perpetrators from the defense was plain evil. I’m surprised that the ‘positive sperm sample’ they tested wasn’t challenged. All that was going on in that lab and how much time had passed should have been a red flag for a doctored sample being used. How hard would it be if someone wanted to have found a ‘used condom’ from Tim’s trash in any of the places he lived. He only had two kids, so it’s a possibility. Doesn’t it seem odd that he had such a different sample early in the original investigation and then many years later you have a ‘positive’? I really believe he is innocent but all the other pieces of evidence need to be tested. The prosecution is still getting its way by not wanting to get all the truth out there; being content to accept the ‘sperm’ and not muddy their water with anything else. Hope to hear more on this case.
Clear Narrative of an Astonishing Case
Very engaging and easily read description of the twists and turns of the investigation of a Fayetteville, NC multiple murder. The author who by profession is a reporter, fully develops the events surrounding the investigation, trial and conviction for capital murder of a young NCO stationed at Fort Bragg. The complexity of the events surrounding this process seems like very imaginative fiction, but everything is for real. Very interesting and emotionally engaging -- and with a real surprise at the end. Well worth your attention.