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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - To collect insurance money
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 3, 2001
Date of birth: March 19, 1964
Victim profile: Heidi Ploof (his wife)
Method of murder: Shooting (.357 magnum revolver)
Location: Delaware, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on August 22, 2003

The Supreme Court of the State of Delaware

opinion 420 & 464, 2003
Gary W. Ploof

DOB: 03/19/1964

Race: White

Gender: Male

Offense: Murder 1st

Date of Offense: 11/03/2001

Sentenced to Death: 08/22/2003



Gary W. Ploof was a U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant stationed with his wife, Heidi, at Dover Air Force Base during 2001.

Beginning that year, Ploof had an affair with Adrienne Hendricks, a colleague with whom he worked part-time at a towing service. Ploof learned that effective November 1, 2001, the U.S. Air Force would provide $100,000 life insurance for military spouses. He was informed that he would be automatically enrolled unless he took affirmative action to disenroll.

Ploof told his supervisor of his intent to refuse the policy coverage, but he took no action to do so. Ploof also told Hendricks that she should plan to move in with him starting November 5, 2001 because he and Heidi were having marital problems, and Heidi was preparing to move out.

In truth, Heidi was not planning to move out nor did Ploof have any intention of rejecting the spousal U.S.A.F. life insurance coverage. Instead, Ploof intended to murder his wife soon after the life insurance policy became effective on November 1.

On November 3, 2001, Ploof drove with Heidi to the parking lotof the Dover Wal-Mart where he shot her in the head with a .357 magnum revolver. He did that in a way that (he believed) would suggest that she committed suicide. He also developed a scheme to mislead the police in the event that a homicide investigation ensued.

Security videotape of the Wal-Mart parking lot on the day that Heidiís body was found showed Ploof hurriedly walking away from her vehicle. Ploof also constructed an elaborate alibi by making numerous franticphone calls feigning his concern for his missing wife. One of the calls prompted a friend to search for Heidi on the dark country roads on which she would havedriven home from work.

Ploof even called Heidiís cell phone in an attempt to deflect suspicion of his involvement. He then hid the murder weapon on his property and asked friends to hold on to another pistol and a gun case so that they would not be found by the police.

Finally, he lied to police about his mistress, Hendricks, (suggesting that she was just a friend), about his weapons (maintaining that he owned no pistols), and about a life insurance policy in which Heidi was recently enrolled (insisting that he had no knowledge of the policy).



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