Kenneth Lee Myers, 47, killed four women and then
took his own life between July 2 and July 3.
-- Angela Myers, the 25-year-old wife of Myers, of
-- Tabatha T. Brown, the twin sister of Angela
-- Vicky May Hook Brown, the 50-year-old mother of
Angela Myers and Tabatha Brown
-- Esther Baldwin, the 47-year-old ex-girlfriend of
Ken Myers, of Wagener
Sequence of events:
-- Myers arrived at his wife’s family’s home on
Daytona Road before 6 p.m. July 2 and fatally shot his wife, her twin
sister and their mother.
-- Tabatha T. Brown’s 7-year-old daughter witnessed
the murder of her mother and fled with her 1-year-old sibling to a
neighbor’s home nearly four miles away to call for help. The girl
identified the gunman as Ken Myers and described his vehicle to
police. The bodies were found by officers at 6 p.m.
-- After fleeing the Daytona Road address, Myers
traveled to Baldwin’s home on Big Branch Road and fatally shot her.
-- Deputies responded to a wellness check at
Baldwin’s home around 1 a.m. and discovered her body.
-- Myers was seen driving Baldwin’s vehicle and was
chased back to the Daytona Road home. Deputies opened fire on Myers
after he tried to hit them with Baldwin’s vehicle. Myers then took his
Suicide note and hit list:
News of a “hit list” surfaced from a Baldwin family
member who said she was told by an officer that Myers had a list of
about seven people he intended to kill. Aiken County investigators
later said a Wagener officer had been told by Myers that he would
“hurt certain people if he snapped.”
A suicide note written by Myers was found by the
Baldwin family in the vehicle he was driving at the time of his death.
The vehicle had been searched by the South Carolina Law Enforcement
Division. The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office has said the note’s
existence cannot be confirmed, but investigators have contacted the
family and asked them to turn it in. SLED would not comment because of
the ongoing investigation.
The Augusta Chronicle
Experts offer rationale behind killing sprees
By Bianca Cain - The Augusta
Saturday, July 9, 2011
It's hard to make sense of senseless murder.
When people such as Kenneth Lee Myers go on a
rampage and kill several others at home, work or school, some offer
the explanation that they "snapped." But experts who try to understand
what drives spree killings in the hopes of preventing them say there's
no such thing.
"Lots of times you hear in the media that a person
‘just snaps,' but when you have time to examine the facts you find
that generally isn't the case," said Roger Depue, the founder of The
Academy Group, a forensic behavioral consulting firm in Virginia. "You
find the person was harboring some anger and ill feelings or a
perception that the victims were doing something and deserved to die."
Depue, a retired chief of behavioral sciences in
the FBI, pointed to this as the possible reasoning behind Myers'
killing spree in Wagener, which left four women dead.
Police say Myers fatally shot his wife, Angela
Myers, 25; her twin sister, Tabatha T. Brown; and their 50-year-old
mother, Vicky May Hook Brown, at their Wagener home July 2. He then
killed ex-girlfriend Esther Baldwin, 47, at her home. He took his own
life after a police chase.
Before he acted, Myers talked about snapping, Aiken
County sheriff's investigators said. He told a Wagener police officer
he "would hurt certain people if he snapped." The officer considered
it venting and apparently did nothing. He recounted the conversation
after Myers and his victims were dead.
"When a person is harboring evil thoughts or
intense emotions they will seep out," Depue said, referring to it as
"The person will either intentionally make a
statement like that or will leak his desire," he said.
He pointed to a 1984 massacre at a San Ysidro,
Calif., McDonald's as an example.
"When (James Huberty) left home with his weapons he
said, ‘I'm going to hunt humans,'" Depue said. "Had his wife picked up
the phone and called 911 ... she might have saved a lot of lives."
Domestic abuse and violence are often warning signs
of someone harboring even more violent thoughts, Depue said.
In the Wagener case, those close to Baldwin
described Myers as "controlling" and "abusive." He kept her isolated
and refused to let her wear makeup or keep a job, they said.
Greg Loughlin, the executive director of the
Georgia Commission on Family Violence, saw Baldwin's murder as
Myers' way of being "controlling until the end."
It remains unclear whether Angela Myers was also a
victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband. Based on the
circumstances, it's highly probable, Loughlin said.
"When we look at fatality reviews, I haven't seen a
single case where the person who was killed wasn't taking steps to
separate," he said.
Why Myers returned to an ex's home is not easy to
"What that tells me is that this is a person who is
filled with rage and he doesn't want to leave this Earth until he has
taken out everyone who he blames," said Peggy Walker, the chairwoman
of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.
As in Myers' case, the suspect often has few
arrests or convictions, even though police have responded numerous
times. Loughlin attributes that to the "invisible gun" pointed at the
Loughlin advises that those in abusive
relationships find a domestic violence advocate to help create a plan
before trying to leave.
A history of neglect, being reared in an abusive
environment, alcohol and drug problems, and mental illness are all
factors common to abusers.
Since the Wagener slayings, three more killing
sprees have made national news.
On Thursday night, a Michigan man killed seven
people before killing himself.
His victims included two ex-girlfriends and five
members of their families, including his 12-year-old daughter.
On Thursday in Wyoming, a man was charged with
killing his three sons and his brother and wounding his wife. He was
taken into custody after a standoff.
Early Friday, a Canton, Ga., man killed his
girlfriend, their 4-year-old and himself, police suspect.
"They almost always have some sort of plan or
something they want to accomplish," Depue said of spree killers.
"They're holding somebody or something responsible for their state of
In about 50 percent of spree killing cases, suicide
is an end result, according to Depue.
South Carolina Killer Claimed Militia Training
By Bill Morlin - Splcenter.org
July 7, 2011
A man who went on a killing rampage in South
Carolina over the July 4th weekend expressed antigovernment
survivalist views and claimed to have trained with a militia in
Michigan, his former best friend says.
Kenneth Lee Myers, 46,
killed his wife and three other women with a 20-gauge shotgun Saturday
near Wagener, S.C., then tried to run over three police officers
before finally killing himself with the same gun.
Myers, a self-employed glazier, talked frequently
about the “militia training’’ he received in Michigan before moving to
South Carolina about a decade ago, his former best friend, Kenneth
McLeoud, told Hatewatch.
“He didn’t give me a lot of specifics and it was
kind of sketchy, but he said he’d undergone this supposed militia
training up in Michigan,” McLeoud said. “I thought he was just trying
to beef himself up … talking crap, but apparently not.”
Aiken County Sheriff’s Capt. Troy Elwell confirmed
that his office was looking into Myers’ alleged militia ties. “We
located several various weapons, no explosives, and no evidence of any
hidden survival materials were located,” Elwell said.
Myers fatally shot his 25-year-old wife, Angela
Myers; her twin sister, Tabatha T. Brown; and their 50-year-old
mother, Vicky May Hook Brown; about four miles from Wagener. He also
fatally shot his ex-girlfriend, Esther Baldwin, at another location
about four miles from the first murder scene.
As police responded, Myers steered his pickup at
three officers. The officers, who weren’t injured, were able to fire
gunshots at the fleeing vehicle. After a brief chase, Myers drove back
to the scene of the triple murders and killed himself with the same
shotgun he used earlier, as the deputies arrived, Elwell said.
Myers, who reportedly was having financial and
marital difficulties, had two daughters with another ex-wife, who
McLeoud said apparently still lives in Michigan.
McLeoud said Myers was heavily armed and frequently
acted erratically. “He was paranoid-acting, thought the end was coming
and the government was out to get him.
“He’d quote the Bible forward and back, and had
talked about becoming a minister at one point. But then out of the
blue, he’d act irate. He’d get real loud and vocal and angry.”
Myers’ collection of firearms included SKS and
AK-47 military-style assault rifles. He also had other rifles,
including a 30.06 and a .303, along with at least two shotguns, two 9
mm handguns, a .22-caliber revolver and a .38-caliber snub-nose
pistol. His rifles were equipped with night-vision scopes, and he had
night-vision goggles and a Kevlar bullet-proof vest, McLeoud said. He
bolted an older Kevlar vest to the inside of his truck for extra
“He’d always carry that snub-nose in his pocket,’’
McLeoud said he didn’t know whether Myers had made
new friends in the militia movement in South Carolina but knew of his
interest in becoming a Mason.
Myers subscribed to the views and philosophy of the
John Birch Society and regularly read its publication New American.
“He once offered me a copy, but I wasn’t particularly interested.”
McLeoud said he went on several kayaking trips with
Myers on the North Edisto River and Black River near Columbia, S.C. On
at least four of those trips, Myers took along waterproof, military
ammunition cans stocked with survivalist supplies, including
“He’d bury them along the river bank or string them
up with ropes in trees that would be used for deer stands,’’ McLeoud
said. “He’d tell me, ‘This is how you prepare for things if the shit
hits the fan.’’’
McLeoud recounted several incidents in which he was
threatened by Myers.
On a kayaking trip a few years ago, Myers, who was
driving, pulled a 9 mm pistol and pointed it at McLeoud’s head.
McLeoud pushed his friend’s hand away and eventually grabbed the gun,
causing Myers to scream, “It’s loaded! It’s loaded!” McLeoud recalled.
Then, in October 2009, as he returned home from
work, McLeoud said he was summoned by Myers. McLeoud went to a camper
trailer on his neighbor’s property, where Myers had donned a head
flashlight and was holding one of several cats he owned. The cat had a
puncture wound, and Myers blamed McLeoud and his family.
“He grabbed me, threw me against the wall, and then
out the door of the camper, throwing my glass of tea at me,’’ McLeoud
said. “He then pulled his snub-nose .38 from his pocket and said if I
ever stepped back over here, I’ll kill you and your family.”
When his wife heard the commotion and responded,
McLeoud said she also was threatened by Myers. McLeoud said he and his
wife called the sheriff’s office, but when deputies arrived, Myers
apparently had fled into the nearby woods and couldn’t be located.
McLeoud said he was frightened and scared when deputies asked him if
he wanted to press charges. Shortly after that incident, he and his
family moved elsewhere and ended all contact with Myers.
Myers' victims were on hit list
Friends of last casualty say man intended to kill 7
people, not just 4
By Carole Hawkins - The Augusta Chronicle
Monday, July 4, 2011
Kenneth Myers set out to kill seven people Saturday
but was stopped before he got to the last three, a relative said
Dinah Baldwin, of North Augusta, a sister-in-law of
Esther Baldwin -- Myers' former girlfriend and his fourth and final
victim -- said police told the family that Myers had a written "hit
"One of the policemen told us down there (at Esther
Baldwin's house) about it. The people who were killed and Chris
(Myers' son) and two more were on it," Dinah Baldwin said.
She didn't know the last two names but "we were
told it was two drug dealers that had sold Angela (Myers' wife) meth,"
On Monday, two days after Esther Baldwin was
killed, Dinah Baldwin and other relatives wondered aloud why police
didn't go to her house as soon as they knew Myers was a suspect in a
"Why didn't they check on her?" Dinah Baldwin said.
"They'd been called to that house before. They knew that there had
been problems there. When we confronted the SLED (South Carolina Law
Enforcement Division) officers, they didn't even know anything about
Baldwin, 47, was found dead from a gunshot wound to
the neck about 1 a.m. Sunday inside her home near Wagener just hours
after Ken Myers apparently killed his wife, Angela M. Myers, 25; her
twin sister, Tabitha T. Brown; and their mother, Vicki May Hook Brown,
Police later spotted Myers in Baldwin's stolen
truck and chased him to his wife's house on Daytona Road, where he
All five were killed with 20-gauge shotgun slugs,
according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.
Relatives say Esther Baldwin was terrified of her
The relationship of 7 1/2 years was good in the
beginning but soon became controlling. Myers made Esther quit her job,
Dinah Baldwin said. He wouldn't let her out of the house. He wouldn't
let her cut her hair or wear makeup. He threatened her life and once
held a gun to the head of her daughter, Adreann.
A year and a half ago, Myers left Esther for
Angela, who became his wife, but he continued to make harassing phone
calls to Esther. He stole her truck for the first time in November.
After that Baldwin slept on the tile floor near her front doorway,
hoping and praying he wouldn't come back.
"It really scared her. It scared her more than
anything," said Adreann Attaway, Esther's daughter. "She had a chain
and a lock at the end of her drive. He had to cut the chain to get the
truck out of there. After that she tried everything she could do to
get the bills paid off so she could move."
Esther called the police several times, Attaway
said, but Myers was never charged.
Dinah Baldwin was watching the 11 p.m. news
Saturday when she heard of a triple murder in Wagener.
"I just raised my eyes and there he was, a picture
of him," Dinah Baldwin said. "I called Esther; she didn't answer and
that wasn't like her."
Dinah Baldwin woke her husband. They called Attaway
and another sister and drove to Esther's home. The family also made
several phone calls to the police, but said that when they arrived at
her house, there was no sign that anyone had checked on her.
"Her TV was on. One light was on and her truck was
gone," Dinah Baldwin said. "We sat there a few minutes, because we
thought Aiken County was coming and they never showed up."
The family went into Wagener and found SLED agents,
who went to the house and found Esther's body.
The family doesn't know why Myers might have killed
the four victims, but the history of disturbing behavior was long.
"Ken, I think, was involved in drugs pretty bad,"
Dinah Baldwin said. "Esther was financing everything. Everything they
bought was in her name because his credit was really bad."
Esther, the baby in a close family of seven
siblings, was a bubbly, happy person who had begun to love life again
after being free of Myers, Dinah Baldwin said. She hoped to pay off
all her debts soon and move away from him.
"We tried to get her to move to North Augusta,"
Dinah Baldwin said. "We just didn't get her here quick enough."
There were still no answers Monday from law
enforcement about what might have touched off Myers' killing spree.
Wagener police officer Michael Rushton -- who was
among the officers trying to capture Myers on Saturday -- told The
Aiken Standard for Sunday's edition that he had known Myers for eight
years and that he appeared to be a loving father to two grown
children. He said Myers had told him that the bad economy had cut into
his auto glass repair business and that he had been having
relationship troubles with his wife.
"At one point in time, whenever he tried to evade
us, I saw his face for a brief second, and you could tell he was a
different person," Rushton said. "He had gotten to the point where he
thought he had nothing else to lose. He figured he was done for, I'm
assuming, and I really hate that he had done what he had done."
Gunman kills his wife, her twin,
mother-in-law... and his ex before turning gun on himself
July 4, 2011
A gunman is believed to have gone on a shooting
rampage that led to the murders of his wife, her twin sister, his
mother-in-law and his ex-wife.
Kenneth Myers, who was rumbled by police having
allegedly gunned down the four women in Wagener, about 40 miles east
of Augusta, Georgia, turned the gun on himself after a car chase.
The 46-year-old was driving his dead ex-wife's
vehicle when deputies gave chase yesterday morning - they believe he
was trying to escape to Alabama, according to Aiken County Sheriff's
Captain Charles Barranco.
Police officers aimed several shots at Myers as he
attempted to ram their cruisers before the chase ended back at the
home where deputies found three people fatally shot at around 6pm on
Myers then apparently pulled the trigger again and
Tim Carlton, Aiken County Coroner, identified the
dead as Myers's wife, 25-year-old Angela Myers, her twin sister,
Tabitha Brown, their mother, 50-year-old Vicki Brown, and Myers's
ex-wife, 47-year-old Esther Baldwin.
All four victims were killed from single gunshot
Police officers were gathering information from a
handful of other people who they thought could be potentially targeted
by Myers, when they found him and he fled.
On Saturday and last night detectives worked around
the clock to piece together why Myers - who friends insisted was not
aggressive - went on his alleged killing rampage.
Mr Barranco said: 'It's hard to say at this point
in the investigation why those people were killed.
'We need to try to find some answers.'
Investigators uncovered some threats Myers made to
people in the past, but people who have been interviewed hitherto said
they did not believe he would be violent, the Sheriff's Captain said.
And neighbour Robin Halsey said that only days
before the deaths Myers had been discussing how he was looking after a
'little stray dog'.
'He was talking about how he was going to catch it
and take it home and try to save its life, and he was saying, "I don't
see how people can just throw a stray dog out on the street,'' she
The first three bodies were discovered in a
secluded, rural home near Wagener.
And deputies going to check on another person
living nearby discovered Mrs Baldwin's body about seven hours later.
Kenneth Lee Myers