Saved by a Hair Clip

Pictured: Jason Befort, Heather Muller, Brad Hekea and Aaron Sander

The night of December 14, 2000 is a night H.G (referred to by initials only) will never be able to forget. That cold night in Wichita, Kansas should have been a fun and relaxing evening for schoolteachers H.G. and her boyfriend, Jason Befort (26). Unknowing to H.G., Befort had purchased an engagement ring and was working up the courage to “pop the question.” The couple was enjoying a low-key evening with Befort’s roommates Brad Heyka (27) and Aaron Sander (29). Sander’s ex-girlfriend and friend of the group, Heather Muller (25), was in attendance as well. Sander and Muller had recently decided to end things in their relationship, with Sander being called to the Priesthood. Likewise, Muller herself had recently felt called to become a Nun.

After eating dinner and watching T.V., the two women did not feel like driving home, so they decided to spend the night at their friend’s house. Later, while lying in bed, Befort and H.G. saw the porch light come on. They then heard unfamiliar voices in the house. All of a sudden their bedroom door burst open and a man appeared, holding a gun. He walked over to the couple and tore the covers off of them. A minute later, H.G. saw a second man with a gun, leading Sander into the room. The men rounded up the group and made them all undress. The captors led them to the mini bar where they made them perform grotesque sexual acts with one another. When Heyka could not obtain an erection he was beat mercilessly and thrown in the closet where the others joined him.  Through the night, both H.G. and Heather Muller were raped repeatedly by the two evil men. These men had not come just for sex; they also wanted everyone’s money. They allowed the men to get dressed and one by one they led them to an ATM where the victims were forced to withdraw all of their money and give it to the criminals. When it was H.G.’s turn to go, she was only allowed to put a sweater on. On the way to the bank, her captor asked H.G. if she had liked having sex with them. Trying not to make the man even angrier she replied she had liked it. He then asked if his partner was better than her boyfriend. Again she replied, “Yes.” H.G. finally got up the nerve to ask the man if he was going to kill her and her friends. He simply replied “No.” H.G. pressed the issue saying “You know, you can have whatever you want. Please don’t hurt us. Do you promise you’re not going to shoot us or kill us?” The man again simply replied, “Yeah.”

When they made it back to the house, H.G. was put back in the closet with Heyka and Befort. She overheard one of the men asking Muller, “Whose is this?” To which Muller replied, “It’s probably H.G.’s, but she doesn’t know about it yet.” Sadly, H.G. later found out they were talking about the engagement ring Befort had bought for her.

A short time later, H.G. was ordered out of the closet. The man who took her to the ATM noticed her earrings and asked what kind they were. H.G. told him they were not real, but he could have them. The man declined the earrings. H.G. was visibly shaken so the man told her, “Relax, we’re not going to shoot you yet.” Just then panic ripped through H.G. as she remembered the promise he had just made to her in the car. The vile man then ordered H.G. to her hands and knees where he raped her both vaginally and orally. As soon as this rape was over, H.G. was led into the bathroom where she, once again, witnessed Muller being raped by the other man. Once the man was finished with Muller, he raped H.G. again. It was at this time that H.G. was able to get a good look at her assailant. He was shorter than the other man. She also made a mental note of what he was wearing.

When these horrible acts were finally over, all five victims were escorted to the garage where Sander’s car was located. The perpetrator’s ordered all the naked victims into the tiny trunk. When all five of them would not fit, the taller aggressor told H.G. to accompany him to Befort’s truck. Meanwhile, Muller got in the backseat of the Honda and Befort, Heyka and Sander were told to get in the trunk of the car.  Once on the road H.G. asked the man where they were going and he replied they wanted to drop the group off in a secluded area. They finally slowed to a stop at a soccer field.

The two men ordered the five men and women to kneel down on their knees in front of the car. With tears in her eyes, H.G. shouted to Mueller that they were going to be shot. Once they were lined up, one of the attackers pointed a gun at the victim’s heads and fired, shooting all of them one by one. H.G. saw the man she loved, Jason Befort, fall to the ground right beside her. She braced herself for her turn. She felt the force of the bullet against her head, but to her surprise she did not lose consciousness or fall to the ground.  She had miraculously been saved when the bullet ricocheted off the hair clip she had used to secure her hair! A second later she felt someone kick her, face first, to the ground.  H.G. lay there, playing dead. She was terrified to make any movement and hoped her attackers would get in the car and leave. H.G. heard the car engine start and then the car eased forward and ran over all five of them. Again, H.G. unbelievably survived the car’s force.  She finally saw the car drive off down the road. H.G. lay there on the cold, snow-covered ground. She was in shock and not sure what to do.  She called out to her friends, “Jason? Heather? Aaron? Brad?” Sadly, not one answered.

H.G. steadily rose to her feet. She knelt down by her boyfriend and saw there was blood coming from his head and eyes. She took the only item of clothing she had on, her sweater and wrapped it around his head to try to stop the bleeding. She walked over to her other friends but realized there was little she could do for them. She needed to go for help. H.G. looked around at her surroundings and saw a house with colorful Christmas lights hanging from the house. She hopped over two fences, ran down a dirt road and across a highway where she finally made it to the house. She rang the doorbell and pounded on the door until the owners opened it. They let the frightened and injured woman inside and called 911.

H.G. was able to give the police a detailed description of what her attackers looked like. When police got to the soccer field they pronounced the other four victims dead. When the police returned to the house where the assault took place they found that after they left their victims for dead, the intruders returned to the house. They stole what they wanted and in the process they stabbed H.G.’s beloved dog, Nikki, to death.

Jonathan and Reginald Carr

One question still remains: Who in their right minds could carry out such violent acts? That answer came the morning after the murders. After watching a news broadcast and hearing the description of Befort’s truck, a resident spotted what he thought to be Befort’s truck at his apartment complex. Another resident at the apartment complex became suspicious and contacted police when he helped a man carry a large T.V. into his apartment. This man was Reginald Carr (22). Likewise, a mother whose daughter had just begun dating a man by the name of Jonathan Carr (20), found a ring in the packet of Carr’s pants. This ring was H.G.’s engagement ring. She also called the police. They rushed to the scene and arrested Reginald and Jonathan Carr for the torture, rapes and murders of five people. DNA tests linked the Carr brothers to the scene of the crime.

During questioning Jonathan, curious about capital murder, asked what would happen if he and his brother were convicted of the crimes they had been accused of committing. The officer answered that capital murder could carry the death penalty.  Jonathan asked how they could die if given the death penalty. The officer responded that they could die by lethal injection. “Do you feel anything [from that]?” Jonathan asked. The officer replied, “We’ve never been able to ask anyone.”

In October 2002, Jonathan and Reginald Carr were convicted of the sexual assault of H.G. and the murders of Jason Befort, Brad Heyka, Aaron Sander and Heather Muller. Both men were sentenced to death, although they are appealing their cases. Unfortunately, since the state of Kansas has not carried out the death penalty since 1965, it is likely the Carr brothers will escape the death penalty and spend the rest of their lives in prison. This has caused an outrage in the state of Kansas and some wonder if justice has truly been served for the victims of the heinous crime.


Tim Carney Missing Flyer

I have been watching a lot of shows on Netflix lately. Of course, I love most of the true crime shows and documentaries. I am addicted to watching Disappeared on the Investigation Discovery channel. This show is about people who seem to vanish into thin air. There family and friends are left to wonder what happened to them. Many of the cases featured on the show do not get resolved, which would drive most viewers crazy. I find these shows particularly interesting because I can go back and research the cases that intrigued me the most. Unfortunately, of the cases that are resolved, the majority of missing persons are found to have been killed.

There are the few instances when foul play is not involved. There are individual’s out there who run away and want to disappear. These are the most fascinating episodes to me. How could someone just leave their life? Even if I were going through the most difficult circumstances, I could still never abandon my loved ones without so much as a note telling them I was alive and okay.

In season 2 of the show, I watched an episode that featured Tim Carney. In 2004, Tim lived in Butler, NJ. He had a usual routine of waking up at 5:00 AM and going to a prayer meeting at his church.  After finishing the meeting he would go to his job. Tim had a loving family living nearby. In interviews for the show, his family said he had been somewhat distant with them since he joined his church. However, they did not suspect anything to be particularly wrong until he went missing. They now suspect the church was trying to keep Tim away from his family.

On the morning of September 28, 2004 Tim called his boss to say he would be late for work. That phone call was the last anyone would hear from Tim for seven years. It seems Tim wanted his loved ones to believe that foul play had been involved in his disappearance. He dumped his wallet in the parking lot of his favorite restaurant. Tim also abandoned his car near Newark airport. The police examined video surveillance footage at his bank. They eventually saw a man who looked like Tim making a withdrawal.  In the video Tim seemingly does not want to be noticed. He was wearing a baseball cap pulled down to cover his eyes. He also did not make eye contact with anyone. When the police checked Tim’s bank account records they found he had withdrawn all but 100 dollars from his account.

Tim’s family was frantic. They posted missing posters with Tim’s picture all around town. They also placed ads on billboards encouraging people to come forward with any information involving the case. Finally, a break in the case came weeks after his disappearance when someone said they spotted Tim at a bar near the airport.  Yet, after many extensive searches of the area, law enforcement decided to put him on the national database for missing persons. Meanwhile, his parents were heartbroken. They, of course, thought the worst case scenario imaginable. All that was left to do was to wait for news, be it good or bad. His family just wanted closure.

Closure is what Mr. and Mrs. Carney found on September 23, 2011. Tim’s parents received a call from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office telling them they had located and spoken to Tim.  Sadly, Tim did not want the police to disclose his whereabouts. His parents say they are confused as to why he does not want to be in contact with them, but nonetheless they are happy Tim is safe. His parents also said they did not regret conducting the extensive search for their son for so many years. As of this writing, it is believed Tim resides in Chicago, IL.


Why I am here

I am one of those people who are fascinated by the act of crime. Yet, I normally don’t share this information with many. Upon learning out that I like to read about murderers, most people find this strange, if not outright disturbing. They wonder why I subject myself to reading story after story of the most violent crimes in history. Most suspect this would affect the way I see humanity. They think I surely have to have something wrong with me to want to read stories like this. To tell you the truth, I am not sure why I find these stories so appealing. I guess it could be  the shock and excitement I feel after reading about Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy and Dennis Rader. Although I come away with a feeling of sickness and sometimes fear of living in this world after reading about societies most hated criminals, I still like researching and pouring over both old and new cases. I am in total disbelief that someone could not only think of committing these brutal acts, but actually carry them out. Yet as disturbing and horrifying as it may be, something draws me to these sickening stories. Most importantly, I feel us, as a society, need to keep the victim’s memory alive and one way to do that are by telling their stories, gruesome as they may be. I am also interested in how the criminal mind works. What is it that drives people to the place where they commit murder, rape or even theft?  What type of mind must one have to commit these horrible acts? Is it something they are born with, a genetic disorder or a mental illness? Is the desire to live a life of crime a product of how one is raised or the environment one is raised in? The most important question of all: is committing a crime something we are all capable of?

To answer some of these questions, I decided to pursue a criminal justice degree. I went to school for a year but with much thought; I decided to discontinue my education. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the classes I was taking. However, I realized there are limited career options for someone with just an associate degree in criminal justice. I highly respect what police officers do, but I am not cut out for that type of job. I thought of finding a job as a paralegal, but again, I am not sure I would want to do that either.  So, here I am, a thirty year old who still has no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

For now, instead of trying to figure all that out, I am going to write about the cases that have affected me the most. No, it is not something I will make money doing, but to write about the most violent criminal acts, strange as it may be, is my passion.