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Serial Killers Gary Lewingdon and Thaddeus Lewingdon

.22 Caliber Killers

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Serial Killer Gary Lewingdon

22 Caliber Killer

Mug Shot
Gary and Thaddeus Lewingdon spent most of 1978 committing a series of home invasions and brutal murders throughout Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas. Police were stumped until Gary was caught using one of the victim's credit cards at a local department store. Once in police custody, Gary soon confessed to his role and confessed to his and his brother's roles in the crimes.

The Victims

December 10, 1977
Joyce Vermilion, 37, and Karen Dodrill, 33, were gunned down outside Forkers Cafe in Newark, Ohio. Their frozen bodies were discovered outside the rear door of the cafe. Police recovered several shell casings from a .22-caliber gun, scattered around on the snow.

Later, for unknown reasons, 26-year-old Claudia Yasko confessed to police that she witnessed the murders and implicated her boyfriend and a friend of his as the shooters. All three were arrested and charged with the murders, but eventually let go after the Lewingdon brothers confessed to the crime.

    February 12, 1978

    Robert "Mickey" McCann, 52, his mother, Dorothy Marie McCann, 77, and McCann's girlfriend, Christine Herdman, 26, were found brutally murdered in Robert McCann's home in Franklin County. Each victim had been shot multiple times, mostly around the face and head area. Shell casings from a 22-caliber gun were found scattered around the bodies.

    April 8, 1978

    Jenkin T. Jones, 77, from Granville Ohio was found dead from multiple gun shot wounds to his head and other parts of his body. Also shot were his four dogs. Police again recovered shell casings from a 22-caliber gun.

    April 30, 1978

    Part-time security guard, Rev. Gerald Fields, was murdered while at work in Fairfield County. Balistic tests showed that the shell casings found at the Field's crime scene matched those found at the other crime scenes.

    May 21, 1978

    Jerry and Martha Martin were found shot to death in their home located in Franklin County. Martha was to turn 51 the day her body was discovered. Both Jerry and Martha had been shot multiple times in the head. Again, shell casings from a .22-caliber gun were found in the home.

    December 4, 1978

    Joseph Annick, 56, was shot and killed in his garage. The scene was familiar to the police, but this time a different .22-caliber gun was used in the shooting.
On December 14, 1978, almost a year after the first known murders, Gary and Thaddeus Lewingdon were charged with murder. Thaddeus received three life terms after being found guilty of murdering Vermillion, Dodrill and Jones. Gary was found guilty of killing eight of the ten victims and received eight life terms.

Thaddeus remained in prison until he died from lung cancer in April, 1989.

Gary was later transferred to a state hospital for the criminally insane, but later returned to Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville after he attempted to escape from the hospital. He died of heart failure in October, 2004.

After the two confessed, neither spoke much about their crimes or what motivated them to commit the brutal murders.

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