The Fake Kidnapping That Was Not Fake And Was Definitely a Kidnapping And…

Back in the day, when I was blogging about crime all the time, I would’ve been tempted to really dive into the nuttiness that has recently come to light regarding the kidnapping of Denise Huskins, but honestly, I’m not feeling it today.*

It’s too crazy. From “The Hoax That Wasn’t…,” a post published by CBS’s Sacramento affiliate:

It started as a kidnapping investigation, then police called it a hoax. Now the FBI is saying the kidnapping of Denise Huskins was a real event, and that a man has been arrested in connection with the case.

A 59-page criminal complaint was released on Monday with the news of Matthew Muller’s arrest. It details him as a Harvard-educated former attorney who once taught at the prestigious school, but was disbarred earlier this year.

The 38-year-old is from Orangevale, and is a former Marine who suffers from Gulf War Syndrome and is bi-polar [sic].

Now just go read the rest yourself. Because I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been covering crime on a regular basis since 2004 and reading true crime tales since I was 11 or 12.

If you’re curious about the guy who allegedly conceived of this insanity, a friend tweeted some links she found last night:

(Edit: I want to note that the facts known about Matthew Muller seem to make the two links above line up, but the guy’s appearance seems to have changed in a marked way; enough to make me wonder if the first really is him. Error? Identity theft? Who knows? Anything possible in this bizarre situation.)

That’s a start, I guess.

*I certainly don’t rule out writing about this later, but last night I was just too locked in a state of “WHAT THE FUCK” to wrap my head around it.

Elderly Man Beheaded, Wife Abducted From $1M Lakeside Georgia Home (Updated)

Russell Dermond (AJC)
Russell Dermond (AJC)

Today in “Holy Hell, What?” crimes, this horror movie-level mystery.

Dateline Putnam County, Georgia, where county coroner Gary McElhenny tells the media that Russell Dermond, 88, was beheaded in his million-dollar lakefront home sometime between Saturday, May 3, and Monday, May 5. Dermond’s wife, Shirley, is missing.

Shirley Dermond is not a suspect. She is 87, and Putnam Sheriff Howard Sills told reporters that Mr. Dermond’s “body was moved,” and he didn’t “think an 87-year-old lady” could do such a thing.

The Dermonds lived in the gated and presumably secure Great Waters community at Reynolds Plantation. Investigators believe the person or persons responsible approached the Dermond residence from Lake Oconee, a central Georgia reservoir that ranges across Morgan, Greene and Putnam counties.

The Macon Telegraph reported that Sheriff Sills described the murder and disappearance as “baffling” and there aren’t that many clues as to what happened, so far:

There is no sign of forced entry to Russell and Shirley Dermond’s home where friends found his body about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

She was gone.

The cars are still there.

There is no sign of a struggle, either, inside the house…

To compound the mystery, security cameras inside the Great Waters community may have been for show, or perhaps poorly maintained, as they weren’t working at the time of the crime. The home was described as immaculate and nothing was stolen.

Based on the Telegraph’s reporting and some online searches, it’s hard to figure out why anyone would target an elderly couple like the Dermonds–and investigators have told the media they do think the Dermonds were targeted.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported today that the Putnam County Sheriff has asked the FBI to assist their investigation.

Edited to add: Missed while finding links earlier, this, from WSB, Atlanta’s ABC affiliate: “A law enforcement source told Channel 2 Action News that Dermond was beheaded and the head was not found at the crime scene.”

Links:

WMAZ
Putnam County Sheriff
Discussion of the crime at Websleuths.com