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Alec Devon KREIDER





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Juvenile (16)
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: May 12, 2007
Date of arrest: June 14, 2007 (after his father told police that he had confessed to the killings)
Date of birth: February 4, 1991
Victims profile: Thomas Alan Haines, 50; his wife Lisa Ann Haines, 47, and their son Kevin, 16
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole on June 17, 2008

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Alec Devon Kreider (born February 4, 1991) is a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania teenager who was convicted for the three murders of a Manheim Township family on May 12, 2007.

Kreider is now serving three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. A controversy remains as to the validity of Kreider's convictions. Judge David Ashworth denied Kreider's post-sentence challenge to his consecutive sentences. The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed Ashworth's denial. Kreider filed a petition under Pennsylvania's Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act on December 8, 2009. The issues raised in the PCRA raise serious challenges in his case.

Background of Killings

The victims, Thomas Alan Haines (age 50), an industrial-supplies salesman, Lisa Ann Haines (age 47), a preschool teacher, and their son Kevin, a high school sophomore, were found on May 12 at their house in Manheim Township after their daughter Maggie, a student at Bucknell University, was awakened by a noise in the middle of the night, "smelled blood," and was told by her mother to go for assistance. Alec and Kevin were in the same German class and were reported by a fellow student to be "close buddies". Alec attended the family's memorial service on May 19, 2007.

Murders, Police Response & Investigation

On the morning of May 12, 2007 Kreider allegedly entered the Haines' residence without force. All three victims died from stab wounds. The daughter, Maggie, escaped physical harm. She ran from the home and across the street to a neighbor who called 911 for help. Communication between the neighbor, the call taker at 911, and the dispatcher caused extreme unnecessary delay in police response to the "unknown disturbance". The official timeline notes that it took the first responding officer nearly 12 minutes to arrive from a distance of 4 miles, in the middle of the night with no traffic barriers. Police say this delay had no bearing on the survival of the victims.

The parents were found in their bedroom and Kevin was found at the opposite end of the upstairs hallway on the floor outside his bedroom. According to police reports bloody shoeprints enter the parents bedroom and then to the common upstairs bathroom where a supposed shoeprint was found on the linoleum in front of the sink. Police presume the murderer attempted to clean up at the sink as blood was also found therein. Bloody shoeprints appeared on lower carpeted steps as the perpetrator exited. Blood transfer was found on the rear sliding glass door exited to the rear of the house.

The law enforcement investigation began around 2:40 a.m. on May 12, 2007. The victims were declared dead shortly after 5 a.m. by deputy county coroners. Autopsies were performed two days later. The day after the murders bloodhounds tracked "a strong scent of fear" along a path that led down the hill to PA Route 501 and north to a ice cream/fast food restaurant where the scent vanished. Police presumed the perpetrator had a vehicle waiting and used it to escape. Despite the tracking by bloodhounds, authorities dismissed the 1.5 mile trail they followed in a direction opposite the alleged path taken by Kreider now presented by law enforcement. Upon Kreider's arrest all information associated with the bloodhounds was dismissed, as it did not match law enforcement's new theory. Police say, "the dogs made a mistake."


During a month of intense national and regional media coverage and speculation, including tracking by bloodhounds and an intensive search by PSP cadets, Kreider was arrested on June 16, 2007 after his father, Timothy Scot Kreider, informed authorities that his son had confessed to the killings two days earlier.

Police said Kreider was a friend of victim Kevin Haines (16), a fellow sophomore at Manheim Township High School. Kreider pleaded guilty to three counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole on June 17, 2008. His age prevented him from being sentenced to death due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Roper v. Simmons (2005).

A financial reward offered by the Haines family remains unclaimed.


Teen Arrested in Pennsylvania Family's Slaying

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

LANCASTER, Pa. —  A high school student broke into a Lancaster home last month to kill a classmate and went on to slay both the teenager and his parents, police charged Saturday.

Alec Devon Kreider, 16, of Lancaster, was arrested after his father told police that he had confessed to the killings, Manheim Township Police Chief Neil J. Harkins said at a news conference.

Kreider and the teenage victim were friends and fellow high school sophomores, officials said. Authorities described Kevin Haines, 16, as the intended target, but declined comment on a possible motive.

"This was not a random act," said Lancaster County District Attorney Donald Totaro, who added that authorities believe Kreider acted alone. "He broke in with the intent to kill."

Thomas Alan Haines, 50, Lisa Ann Haines, 47, and their son were found stabbed to death on May 12 at their house in a leafy neighborhood in Manheim Township. Their college-age daughter ran to get help and survived

Margaret "Maggie" Haines told police she was awakened by a noise at about 2 a.m. and went into her parents' bedroom, where she said she found her father lying on the bed and her mother sitting nearby. The mother quietly told her to get help.

When police arrived a short time later, they found the parents dead in their bedroom and the son in a hallway.

Kreider went to the home intending to smother Kevin, but instead stabbed him in the neck and chest, according to a police affidavit. Thomas Haines was stabbed in the chest and his wife in the abdomen.

Kreider, who attends Manheim Township High School, was charged as an adult with three counts of murder. He was being held without bail following an arraignment Saturday.

Defense lawyer John A. Kenneff said he has asked to postpone a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday, but otherwise declined comment.

Kreider allegedly confessed Tuesday to his father, Timothy Kreider, who went to police Thursday evening. Police spent the next two days investigating before making an arrest.

Police had previously interviewed the suspect, who continued to go to school until it let out for the summer.

"He was certainly someone who had been looked at and interviewed by police," Totaro said.

The Kreider family does not plan to comment, their lawyer said.

"The Haines family remains and will continue to remain in the forefront of their thoughts and in their prayers," said lawyer Robert Byer, who attended the news conference.

Police previously said that they found the family's back door open, and nothing taken from the house. Kreider was also charged with burglary.

Kevin Haines was a sophomore at Manheim Township, where he was a member of the German club and Quiz Bowl team.

Maggie Haines, a 2005 graduate of Manheim Township, had returned home just days earlier after finishing her sophomore year at Bucknell University.

Thomas Haines was a salesman at Motion Industries in Lancaster, while his wife taught at Lancaster Brethren Preschool.

Several people coming and going at the Kreider home, about two miles from the crime scene, declined comment Saturday.

A police forensics unit visited the home Friday night, neighbor Alan Isacson said. He did not know the family, but said he was relieved by the break in the case, which had led police to advise residents to lock their doors.

"Any time a murder is solved, it's good news," the 37-year-old Isacson said.


Teen gets life in family slaying

June 18, 2008

LANCASTER (AP) — A teenager who wrote in his journal about having a compulsion to “kill people” was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing a classmate and the classmate’s parents in a middle-of-the-night attack inside their home.

Alec D. Kreider, 17, displayed no remorse and offered no explanation for the grisly murders of Tom and Lisa Haines and their 16-year-old son Kevin, despite emotional statements by family members and the judge’s repeated offers to let Kreider to speak on his own behalf.

“He is a deviant, cowardly triple murderer,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman told Judge David Ashworth shortly before he sentenced Kreider to three consecutive life terms without parole — one for each count of first-degree murder to which he pleaded guilty.

Kreider’s lawyer described his client as “a child” and urged Ashworth to make the sentences concurrent.

“He’s going to spend not only the rest of his childhood behind bars, he’s going to spend the rest of his life behind bars,” said David Blanck of the county public defender’s office. “He knows that.” Kreider, a friend and 10th grade classmate of Kevin Haines at Manheim Township High School, was wearing dark clothing and wielding a hunting knife with a four-inch blade when he entered the victims’ suburban Lancaster home through an unlocked door around 2 a.m. on May 12, 2007, Stedman said.

Kreider, who lived with his mother about a 10-minute walk away from the Haines’ home, attacked the victims in their bedrooms — first the parents and then Kevin, Stedman said.

Maggie Haines, Kevin’s sister and a Bucknell University student who was at home that night, awoke to the sounds of a struggle in Kevin’s room and rushed to her parents’ room, where her father was lying on the bed and her mother was sitting up. Maggie escaped and ran to a neighbor’s home to call the police.

Kevin Haines “put up a significant struggle for his life,” but finally succumbed to 11 stab wounds and 15 other cuts, Stedman said. His throat had been ripped out.

The horrific nature of the crime shocked this community in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, and fears that a killer was on the loose became an unwelcome part of life as the police investigation stretched into weeks. Sales of home security systems in the area spiked in the weeks following the slayings, said Allen Leed, the lead investigator for the Manheim Township police.

Kreider was finally arrested after he confessed to his father about a month after the murders. He also confessed to a fellow inmate at Lancaster County Prison, where he has been held since his arrest. He has never confessed to police, but their case was buttressed by an assortment of physical evidence, including the murder weapon, shoes that left matching footprints in the home, and DNA.

Kreider wore an open-collared white shirt, black trousers and black shoes to court. Outwardly calm, he gave terse answers to the judge’s questions during the two-hour proceeding and did not make eye contact with members of his family or the victims’ family.

Stedman read excerpts from a journal that Kreider wrote after the slayings, in which he expressed a “want/need to kill people” and admitted having “murderous thoughts.”

When the inmate who heard Kreider’s cellblock confession asked Kreider whether Kevin Haines was scared during the attack, “he laughed and said ’very,’” Stedman said.

Three members of the victims’ family testified about the pain of their loss and how the murders have disrupted their lives. Among them was Maggie Haines, who appeared in a video recording that was played in the courtroom on a screen about 10 feet from Kreider.



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