Thursday, October 09, 2014

Vigo Co. Sheriff Dismisses Advance Indiana Report On Murder-Suicide As Sensationalism

Scott Samson's photo.
UPDATED: The Terre Haute Tribune-Star has an update on the tragic murder-suicide this past weekend that left a Terre Haute doctor, George "Scott" Samson and his newly-wed wife, Kelly Ecker, dead following a domestic dispute that occurred only minutes after the last wedding guests had left their home in eastern Vigo County. The Vigo Co. Sheriff's Department goes out of its way to dismiss a report on this blog and the Daily Mail as "sensationalism" at the same time virtually everything his investigation has turned up confirms what was reported here and on the Daily Mail.

Detective John Childs told the Tribune-Star's Lisa Trigg that he had not received any information from witnesses about a conflict between the couple prior to the shootings. After reading Advance Indiana's report, Childs dismissed a claim that fighting between the couple had escalated before the last guest left the home. "That's not true," Childs said. He also dismissed reports that George had told Kelly she would never get her hands on his money after the two argued over a prenuptial agreement. Childs, however, conceded there was a prenuptial agreement between the couple, although he said its contents were unknown. Vigo Co. Sheriff Greg Ewing criticized the reporting on Advance Indiana and the Daily Mail as "sensationalism." He attributed the couple's status as well-to-do professionals for giving "the tragic event a sensational quality."

Childs' criticism has a bizarre-like quality when the reader absorbs the rest of the Tribune-Star report. The story's headline reads, "Wedding guest states groom was irritated, left reception without bride." The story opens then by saying that "the reason behind a tragic murder-suicide early Sunday in northeastern Vigo County just hours after the couple had been married may never be known, authorities said Wednesday." Yet in the next breath the reporter tells us that police investigators had been told "there was tension between the couple earlier in the evening" and that George had left the wedding reception without his wife. Wedding guests had observed the dissension between the couple near the end of the wedding reception at the Ohio Building. A source told Advance Indiana that George had become particularly irritated when he learned that his credit card had been maxed out when he attempted to use it to pay for costs associated with the reception. Updated: A fact first reported on Advance Indiana regarding the credit card transaction at the wedding reception that angered George is now being reported by the Tribune-Star as well:
Multiple people at a wedding reception for George "Scott" Samson and his new wife Kelly Arney Ecker Samson knew that a credit card transaction by Scott was declined when he attempted to pay the bill for the reception at the Ohio Building in downtown Terre Haute on Saturday evening. That incident reportedly irritated Scott enough that he left the reception without taking his new wife with him.  
Guests also reported that tension was obvious between Scott Samson and his new wife during an after-party later that night at the couple's home on Creal Street in Lost Creek Township on Terre Haute's east side. They said the two were not speaking to each other.
Trigg reports that about a dozen guests went to Samson's home following the wedding reception and that guests had noticed the two weren't conversing. “Although some guests noticed [a] disparity between the couple, they say there were no indication[s] that the night would turn violent,” Chief Deputy Cottom said. "The last guest left the home at around 1:17 a.m.," Cottom said. “Before the guest left, she asked Kelly if she’d wanted to leave the home. Kelly declined to leave, and the two agreed that they would talk later.” Obviously, the guest was quite concerned about her well-being before she left if she asked her if she would like the leave the home rather than spend the night of her wedding with her newly-wed husband. Yet Vigo Co. Sheriff Greg Ewing told the Tribune-Star we'll never know the motive for the shootings. "There's nobody to ask," he said.

Trigg's report now says there were four 911 calls made by Kelly, which started only minutes after the last guest had left the home. The first call came in just before 1:30 a.m. There was no voice on one of the four incoming calls according to the report. Because she was using a cell phone, the dispatcher needed to input her address. The report says Kelly initially gave the wrong address, saying 4205 Creal Street rather than the actual address, 4025 Creal Street, which did not provide a match when the 911 dispatcher entered it into the system. Cottom said that the property did not have any signage identifying its address. Gunshots were heard on the last call in which Kelly's voice was heard. It is believed that George shot Kelly multiple times in the chest and neck in her 10-year old son's bedroom before going to the basement and taking his own life by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Sheriff Ewing defended his office's decision to release the 911 calls to the media, which if we're keeping score, did more than anything to add to the sensationalism of the story.

In another development, Sheriff Ewing told the Tribune-Star that between 90 and 100 guns were removed from Samson's home. "He said items taken included rifles, handguns, silencers and fully automatic weapons." The report says Samson was "registered as a firearms dealer with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and possessed a Federal Firearms License, or FFL, in order to buy and sell firearms, as well as to possess some of the weapons." “We talked to the ATF,” Ewing said, “and we mutually agreed it was best to seize the weapons for safekeeping. So they are secure until his estate can deal with them.”


Anonymous said...

but at least you were mentioned - readership is up and your irrelevancy factor is down

Anonymous said...

"Triggs' report now says there were four 911 calls made by Kelly, which started only minutes after the last guest had left the home."

Cops are pretty much worthless. I had to call 911 one time and waited over a half hour for a cop to arrive, then they showed up with several cop cars, because no single cop has the guts or competence to address any real crime without lots and lots of backup.

It would be better if we just called the current police "Revenue Officers" and took them away from all police functions. We could then create the "Security Service" to do the work police are supposed to be doing.

Anonymous said...

Security Service? Ahhhh...the SS...Germany tried didn't work...