Mahaska County appears just like a peaceful, quiet place.
“This really is rural Iowa,” Michael Berrier, a police officer using the Iowa Division of Criminal Analysis, told “Killer Brothers and sisters,” airing Fridays at 8/7c on Archiweekend. “Murders don’t occur and banks rarely get conned.”
His friend John Quinn echoed Barrier’s sentiments.
“Mahaska County, it is among the safest counties within the condition of Iowa,” he told producers. “It’s just full of good people, Iowa people. They refer to it as ‘Iowa nice.’”
However in 1997, a vicious crime spree demonstrated things aren’t always “Iowa nice” here.
On June 11, 1997, police were contacted with a player and landlord, Joe Hollop, within the capital of scotland- What Cheer, Iowa. His worker-tenant, Barb Garber, 52, had — abnormally on her — not proven up for work that morning. When police visited her home soon after 9:30 a.m., they found the doorway unlocked and Garber, relaxing in a seat together with her breakfast in achieve, shot two times within the mind and two times within the chest.
Investigators found .22 caliber covering casings nearby and noted her eco-friendly Ford pickup didn’t have. A neighbor stated that they’d seen an unusual vehicle in Garber’s front yard around 5:15 a.m., leading police to take a position there were two suspects involved.
Because the police were just starting to investigate Garber’s murder, they heard within the radio the Gibson Bank, just eight miles away, have been conned of $65,000 by two white-colored men in ski masks and coveralls soon after 10:00 a.m.
Nobody think it is a coincidence.
A Ten-year-old girl saw the vehicle the bank robbers drove to the bank: a blue sedan. It had been neither the unfamiliar grey station wagon observed in Garber’s front yard at 5:15 that morning, nor her truck.
But there are just three roads in or from Gibson, along with a search by deputies along individuals roads found the sedan, abandoned on the gravel road from one of these. The officer who thought it was recognized it as being owned by Gibson resident Island Schultz, 18.
By 11:00 a.m., the deputy, Quinn along with other officials were at Schultz’s residence, unsure if she would be a participant or perhaps a victim but, in Quinn’s words, “very concerned on her safety and welfare.”
These were to be: Schultz’s body was discovered in her own family room. She’d been shot both at the back of her mind and her brow. There have been .22 caliber covering casings on the ground.
“I have not supported coincidences and getting one homicide in a tiny province inside a five-year period is unusual,” stated Berrier. “Getting two murders along with a bank robbery all inside a circle of eight miles? At this time, we understood i was dealing with similar people.”
A neighbor saw a eco-friendly pickup parked outdoors the house around 9:30 a.m.
Law enforcement held a press conference to describe the crimes towards the public around the mid-day of June 11, and immediately had a tip from the man who saw resident Jamie McMahan driving the pickup on that day, that they was certain the unemployed 22-year-old couldn’t afford.
McMahan and the stepbrother Chris Kauffmann, 18, were familiar towards the local police: Mahaska County Sheriff Chief Deputy Paul Degeest known as them “typical teenage boys.”
McMahan’s mother and Kauffman’s father met up in 1979 and finally married. The boys increased up together in Oskaloosa, Iowa — a town of then about 10,000 people around 25 miles in the aforementioned crimes.
“We’d several about 30 kids who ran the roads together,” Nikki Loffredo, a childhood friend from the boys, told producers. “I was just like a bicycle gang. I was terrors.”
Both Lofreddo and former Des Moines Register reporter Kirsten Scharnberg-Hampton told “Killer Brothers and sisters” McMahan was the outgoing, charismatic (and engaging) older brother, while Kauffman would be a quiet, non-sports kid within their circle that Loffredo referred to as a “dweeb.”
“Both of these stepbrothers were beginning to build up a more in-depth relationship,” stated Scharnberg-Hampton. “But each of them were in bad places also it really was only a occur.”
Kauffman had just finished senior high school with apparently couple of prospects and several buddies who “ran the roads,” and McMahan had lately lost his job in a local plant. By the beginning of the summer time, the 22-year-old McMahan was spending time with 18-year-old Kauffman and the senior high school -age buddies, and both, based on Lofreddo, used to do drugs.
Condition investigators visited the boys’ home the very next day, shocking their parents, who stated they did not know much about McMahan’s buddies, but understood he’d been spending time with Kauffman frequently.
The buddies they did know were contacted and told police something the mother and father were not conscious of.
“Within the this past year, the 2 siblings began stepping into meth,” Lofreddo described. “All kids which i understood within the capital of scotland- Oskaloosa were either onto it, which makes it, selling it. And when you didn’t, you had been far and couple of between.”
Additionally to researching the brothers’ drug abuse, police found that McMahan had lent a friend’s grey station wagon in May and came back it on June 11. McMahan had lent although not yet came back exactly the same friend’s .22 caliber hand gun.
Government bodies announced on June 12, after matching the covering casings in Garber’s and Schultz’s murders, the boys were suspects.
Schultz’s family and buddies understood both of them: Her closest friend, Amanda Fenton, stated these were buddies with McMahan, as well as Schultz’s grandmother, Sonja Schultz, had met him.
Then, on June 13, two local families contact police: Their 16-year-old kids have been missing for a few days, and also the parents were sure these were with Kauffman and McMahan. Which was confirmed with a subsequent tip from the local hotel worker who’d seen the boys with two women in the hotel at about the time from the murders. He stated they’d showed up inside a grey station wagon, however the boys returned to get the women inside a eco-friendly pickup.
On June 21, the girls’ parents known as back: Their kids had came back home securely. In interviews with police, the teenage women stated that they “partied” with McMahan and Kauffman in the hotel around the nights June 10. The boys left each morning but selected them up around noon inside a eco-friendly pickup — with a lot of cash. The boys desired to drive to Florida and look for the amusement parks using the two teenagers.
For a few days, McMahan and Kauffman spent the money “constantly,” stated Quinn — but when the foursome reached Walt Disney World in Orlando, the women wondered how they’d really come across a lot money. Once they requested, McMahan said excitedly that he’d conned a financial institution and 2 people have been wiped out. That disturbed the women a lot they stated they took it home.
Rather, McMahan dropped the 2 off within an orange grove in nearby Kissimmee, Florida, put cash their way, and drove off. The women required a train to Iowa.
Fox’s “America’s Popular” did a segment around the boys at the end of June 1997 — it aired two times, based on the Tampa Bay Occasions — which led to some advice on June 30 from the lady in Pensacola who recognized the18 wheeler. The Pensacola police thought it was parked behind expensive hotels, and hotel staff confirmed the boys have there been — with a brand new third person.
The Pensacola police known as in the SWAT team along with a hostage negotiator, after which known as the boys’ room. The 3rd man ended obtaining the telephone.
“He states that he’s a hitchhiker, got selected up, they’d been doing copious quantity of drugs, alcohol, and merely getting a celebration,” Quinn described. “All of the sudden, Jamie McMahan grabs the telephone and it is yelling in the hostage negotiator.”
Ultimately, McMahan released the hitchhiker, then left Kauffman leave, and lastly gave themself up. Police found $29,000 in cash — under 1 / 2 of what they’d stolen 19 days before — along with a .22 caliber hand gun.
Kauffman eventually confessed. He stated the 2 made the decision to take advantage of the financial institution for the money to cover their meth habit, but yesterday, they saw Garber driving her pickup — that was the type of vehicle McMahan have been wanting. They adopted her home, and McMahan told Kauffman they’d use her pickup to commit the robbery.
The following morning, they used a trick about requiring Garber’s phone and when inside, McMahan told Kauffman he’d to kill Garber to be able to prove themself. He did, he stated. Requested whether he felt bad, Kauffman told police, “No, not necessarily. It’s the thing it is.”
They required Garber’s pickup, however, based on Kauffman, McMahan made the decision he desired to ensure that it stays following the robbery, so that they needed another vehicle. He considered Island Schultz and also the two drove there. Kauffman told McMahan he wasn’t likely to shoot Schultz, too, so McMahan shot her at the back of her mind, then in her own brow, and required her vehicle.
The boys were extradited to Iowa.
The attorney representing the boys, who have been billed with federal counts of irritated robbery and carjacking and 2 condition counts of first degree murder, negotiated a plea to assist them to steer clear of the dying penalty. They received existence sentences in federal court and consecutive existence sentences in condition court, guaranteeing neither would ever get free from prison.
McMahan didn’t: In November 2017, twenty years after his conviction, Jamie McMahan wiped out themself in the cell in a federal prison in Florence, Colorado, based on the Oskaloosa News. Federal Bureau of Prison records indicate that Kauffman, now 42, remains incarcerated in McCreary Federal Prison in Kentucky.
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