October 15, 2009

Update on the Hennis/Eastburn Murder Trial


In life, you can always count on death and taxes . . . and the sometimes painfully slow wheels of the judicial system. 

Back in April, I wrote a post with then-recent updates on the Tim Hennis case.  For that post go here

It now looks like the court martial has once again been postponed, this time until February 22, 2010, per the Fayetteville Observer.  The postponement, once again, of the trial certainly doesn't say guilt or innocence to me but the facts I outlined in my original post still have me wondering what went on with the case from the beginning. 

If you haven't read Scott Whisnant's excellent book on the case Innocent Victims(at least the case from the murders to and including Tim Hennis' second trial in 1989, in which he was acquitted of the same murders he was convicted of in 1986 and sentenced to death for), I encourage you to find a copy.  It's very well written and the case is quite a puzzler. 

I do wonder if Mr. Whisnant plans to update his book once the case does finally continue forward. 


I will continue to run updates on this case as I hear of them. 

To order Innocent Victims from Amazon (who is stating they are currently out of stock) go here.   To order from Barnes & Noble (also stating they are currently out of stock) go here.   Both sites also advertise used copies. 

EDITED TO ADD:  Thanks to a link from an anonymous poster, it looks like a pretrial hearing has been scheduled for December 16, 2009 after the judge denied Hennis' request that DNA samples be taken from items found in the Eastburn home at the time of the murders.   Hennis' lawyers claim he is innocent and DNA testing of the items in question may reveal the DNA of the actual killer or killers.  Prosecutors objected, stating they have DNA from a vaginal swab taken from Kathryn Eastburn's body - - but concede they have no other physical evidence from the three rooms where the murders took place. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been interested in this case since I first read the book Innocent Victims, then watched the mini series years ago. I swallowed Hennis' innocence hook, line & sinker...until DNA testing found his sperm was inside Katie Eastburn's body. It's too late for him to claim consentual sex, so there's only one way it could be on that swab...Hennis raped her and then killed her and the two oldest children(who would have been able to identify him as the man who took their dog). I feel such anger and outrage against this animal now. I can't help it. He's been free all these years while Katie and her daughters rot in the ground. I hope they are abble to gain a conviction this time and give him the death penalty he deserves.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh goodness. Tragic.

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

It's so frightening what happens out in the real world. I love urban fantasy but it's this stuff that really creeps me out!

Anonymous said...

Doesnt anyone wander how Tim Hennis's blood type was'nt even the same at the blood type of the semen in Katie Eastburn's vaginal sample, yet all of the sudden some 20 yrs. later the DNA is a perfect match???? I want answer's, I want the real murder/murder's caught for this crime as well as the Hendrick's murder's "Illinois" & the MacDonald murder's as well! All these case's have just to much in common & yet their so easily solved, yet all commited by different indivual's (Yeah OK)

MW said...

I am here in Fayetteville, and have been intrigued by this case since the mid 1990's. I believe this is one of those cases that pushed me into the legal field.
The DNA supposedly matching Mr. Hennis has no chain of custody. There has got to be definite contamination. What about the size 9 bloody shoe prints found at the crime scene? Timothy Hennis' shoe size was a 13. No size 13's found at the crime scene. What about the condom wrapper found under the dresser in the bedroom? What rapist puts on a condom. How can a heinous crime have been committed in that home and the only DNA that matches the alleged murderer only turn up as a possible contaminated semen sample 20 yrs later? The crime scene was compromised! What about the babysitter and the fact that she was a drug informant? What about Raupach who so closely resembled Hennis? What about the DAMN BLUE VAN? How many neighbors and newspaper delivery people tell them about the BLUE VAN, and no one does anything about it? The Fayetteville cops screwed that crime scene up, and there is no going back now. The damn manager at the Winn Dixie had a blue van! What about the threatening phone calls received by Katie and Julie Czerniak? Then the newspaper lady received them after she saw that blue van while delivering papers that morning! ssshheesshh..come on already, even if it was him, they screwed that crime scene up so badly that all the evidence was contaminated!
Thanks for the ear.
MW

Anonymous said...

I think that they should take a few minutes and investigate the baby sitter. She was obsessed with a murderer, she wears a size nine in tennis shoes or any shoe - she has had a drug problem ever since she was in her teens. Julie has been arrested several times for slicing up clothes and things. She is off her rocker. Drugs and reading about murders were her number one thing that she liked to do. Come on- Why are they not investigating those facts? Why did they not look more closely at the connects - What do they need - She first tells them that she has been reading up and Murders that are just like the one that has just happened, she says that her brothers fit the description. Blue van is her bosses car. Give a little tail and men will do anything for you!!! Take a long hard look at all the facts. She is still on drugs and is in trouble. What has changed!!!