Post by Maddog on May 23, 2021 23:31:52 GMT -5
Your observation is extremely intelligent. This does "scream personal."
I strongly doubt drugs were involved. For three reasons: 1) Even though marijuana was found in the trailer, none of the victims had marijuana in their systems, and there are no other indications they were involved in the sale of drugs. I doubt a pregnant 30-year-old victim like Elaine is going to be smoking pot while pregnant; 2) I remember seeing a show once with a cold case out of Iowa where the victims were savagely beaten to death (nowhere near as bad as this case) in a trailer. They asked a retired detective if he felt the case was drug-related and he very quickly said no. He reasoned that in the drug-related homicides he had seen, the killer(s) usually very quickly killed the victim and fled the scene just as quickly (and invariably, a gun was used all on victims). While Keith was shot, the remaining victims were bound, gagged, and beaten; and 3) Nothing in the background of the victims indicates they had sold drugs. They were church-going, and Keith was trying to raise money for his son's college fund through non-nefarious methods.
Your point about a thrill killing and serial killing is also a good point. The fact that Keith's penis was severed and never found: that is something I have never seen in a thrill killing or any serial killer case.
One of the investigators in 1997 felt that there were two possible motives: 1) Drugs; 2) Sex-related.
I am leaning towards the second. There was some discussion on Reddit (and I agree with this), that this could have been someone who was rejected as a lover by one of the victims at some point, someone who was incredibly jealous of their relationship, or there was a tryst of some kind going on. Again, I am not trying to malign any of the victims: I want that to be absolutely clear. Any three of these sub-theories would account for the incredible amount of rage involved. If it is someone who was previously connected to either Elaine or Keith through a past relationship, they would have had to have convinced a second person to help in the killings (which is the only problem with this theory, but stranger things have happened - it's possible that the primary killer (assuming there is more than one killer) was able to find someone else who really hated the Dardeens.
A person from a prior relationship could also account for: 1) Keith's severed penis (this motive is the only reason I can think of anyone mutilating his genitals); 2) The lack of forced entry (keep in mind, a woman in distress did try to access the Dardeen trailer to use their phone, and Keith wouldn't let her in, either Elaine or Keith would recognize a former lover); 3) I could see this accounting for the killer(s) killing the newborn, as well. The reason is, they could have seen the newborn as a product of Keith and Elaine's relationship and that would have set them off.
It's easy for me to figure out why there was no forced entry: the killer(s) flashed a gun at one of the victims and that gained them access. We know a gun was used in these homicides. I have very little doubt as to how the killer(s) entered, and after further discussion, I suspect that a sex crime or a jealous lover was the motive.
The killer(s) had to be from the area. It's the only thing that makes sense to me.
Re-publicizing this case will help big time, and a reward may help, too. New leads may help uncover evidence not previously known (for instance, when William Bradford Bishop was added to the Ten Most Wanted List, it was learned he was having an affair at the time of the killings).