Monday, July 20, 2009

Husband kills wife, 5 others in two state rampage

A man seperated from his wife killed her, her child and 4 others in a rampage stretching across Tennessee and Alabama. Jacob Shaffer, 30 is charged with killing his 38 year old wife Traci Shaffer, her son Devin Brooks, and neighbor, Robert Berber at Traci's home in Fayetteville, TN, a comunnity of around 7000 near the Tennessee, Alabama border.

Robert and Devin were both 16. Devin and a 9 year old girl who wasn't home at the time of the killings were from a previous relationship - a 4 year old girl that Shaffer and Traci had was found unharmed at the crime scene. According to neighbors, the Shaffers moved into the home earlier this year.

After killing those 3, Shaffer went across the street and killed Traci's brother Chris Hall, 34, and Billy Hall, 58. Shaffer went 30 miles south to Huntsville, AL and killed someone at Hall Cultured Marble Granite, a business which Traci's family owns.

The Shaffers were no longer sharing a home but had not filed for separation, said 29-year-old James Wilson, who was gathering belongings from Traci's home in Lincoln County. He said he is the boyfriend of Shaffer's sister, Jennifer.

The Shaffers had a 4-year-old daughter, and Wilson said police told him the girl was home during the killings but wasn't hurt. Wilson told the AP that he met Jacob Shaffer when they were installing drywall, but they had stopped being friends about a year and a half ago.

Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said Saturday that his department was investigating three crime scenes and would not confirm the causes of death in what he called "horrendous" killings and "one of the worst crimes Lincoln County has seen." Autopsies were being performed Sunday and Wilson said police wouldn't tell him how the family was killed.

Helm said the family members died Friday night or early Saturday and that Jacob Shaffer was sitting on the porch of one of the houses when authorities first arrived. Huntsville police said information from him led them to the body at the granite business. They have not released the name of the sixth victim.

Shaffer is currently being held without bond at the Lincoln County Jail.

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