On July 29, 1978, Speedway resident Julia Scyphers, 65, answered a knock at her door. A man she didn’t know was standing on her stoop asking about items she’d recently tried to sell at a yard sale. She let him into the garage to look at the items and he shot her in the head.
Mrs. Scypher’s husband, Fred, 68, heard the bang and came out in time to see a car pulling out of the driveway. He would later tell police he’d gotten a glimpse of the man who’d come to the door.
When police began looking for a motive in the Scyphers slaying, they found there’d been a recent family clash. Julia Scyphers’ daughter, Sandra Barton, had become involved with a man who seemed to Mrs. Scyphers to be inordinately close to one of Barton’s young daughters. Mrs. Scyphers told friends she was so concerned that she’d arranged for both of her granddaughters to come live with her. Whether or not Mrs. Scyphers’ fears were correct (no charges were ever filed to that effect), this incident led investigators to start looking at Brett C. Kimberlin.
This is Brett Kimberlin. He was convicted of several bombings in Speedway, Indiana which police believe were a botched attempt to throw them off Brett’s trail. For a while, it looked like an associate of Kimberlin would be convicted in the shooting. The only witness was Fred Scypher, and he died of cancer before a trial could be held.
Brett Kimberlin did time for the bombings, for distributing marijuana and for various other offences.
Most of the bombs went off without injuring anyone. One was planted at a high school football game. Carl Delong lost his leg in that blast and his wife was seriously hurt. Carl Delong committed suicide in 1993. A civil court later held Kimberlin responsible for DeLong’s death. Brett Kimberlin sued his widow to avoid paying a judgement. You read that right. He sued a woman who he injured in a bombing, and whose husband suffered in pain for years before finally killing himself.
Amazingly, he is not behind bars. He was released on parole once in 1994, went back inside and then was released in 2001.
His story is told by Mark Singer in Citizen K. The link takes you to Amazon. You can buy it for about a cent plus shipping.