New twists on the crime scene of the Ohio massacre
Cock fighting cocks, the evidence of a pot operation found on the site
Autopsy reports released Wednesday in one of Ohio’s most notorious unsolved mass murders turned out to be the mysterious massacre was carried out systematically and brutally.
The April 2016 murders of seven adults and one teenager, all members of the Rhoden family, in their Piketon homes still unresolved more than two years later.
The report found Christopher Rhoden Sr., the father of the teenager and the two others killed that day, was shot nine times and noticed that his body was consumed, “more than all the others.” He turned out to have had a defensive wound on his right forearm and that another bullet went through a door for him to hit, the Chillicothe Gazette reported. His body was found in the back bedroom of a trailer.
Gary Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden Sr. ‘ s cousin, was also found dead in the trailer, according to the Chillicothe Gazette. The report indicated a gun was pressed to his head, according to the newspaper.
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Christopher Rhoden Sr., the brother of Kenneth Rhoden, 44; his ex-wife Dana Manley Rhoden, 38; and their three children, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Hanna Rhoden, 19; and Chris Rhoden, Jr., 16, were killed in the massacre. Clarence ‘s Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20, was also killed.
Heavily edited versions of the reports turned out all but one of the victims was shot multiple times in the head. The information on bullet types were not released. Toxicology results were also blacked out.
Kenneth Rhoden was found dead in a camper at three kilometers from the place where Christopher Rhoden Sr. was shot, according to the Chillicothe Gazette. He died of a single gunshot to his right eye.
Dana Manley Rhoden, and her children Chris and Hannah, were found dead in the same camper. She was shot four times on the right side of her head and under her chin. Christopher Rhoden, Jr., was shot in the head multiple times, and Hanna was shot twice in the head. She was found in her bed with her 5-day-old daughter, according to the newspaper.
In a separate trailer, Frankie Rhoden and Hannah Gilley were shot in their bed. The 6-month-old son was found between them unscathed. Gilley had a bullet wound to her left eye. A second child in the trailer was also found unharmed.
The authorities suspect that there are multiple attackers in the massacre and that they were familiar with the area. Piketon is located 70 miles south of Columbus. The killers are believed to have worked to cover their tracks, authorities have said.
“Nobody’s seen anything like this,” Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk said Wednesday.
Christopher Rhoden Sr. had “a large scale marijuana growing operation,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine, sparking speculation that the murders were drug-related.
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The reports were released after the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously in favour of the Cincinnati Enquirer, saying Ohio law that allows reporters to view the preliminary autopsies and investigative notes, findings and photos.
As a “journalist submits a good request to review the preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings, suicide notes, or photographs of the decedent made by the coroner, the coroner ‘shall’ grant the request,” the court said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.