April 1995 – East Wenatchee, WA, USA. A young woman discovered the bodies of her mother and sister. She had become concerned when she couldn’t get an answer from their telephone. She decided to go to her mother’s residence to check on them. She discovered her mother and her sister dead in the home. Both victims had been murdered and sexually mutilated. Her screams alerted neighbors who called the police. (I pixellated the images of the daughter because of her age -Herman).
Officers responded to 911 calls from neighbors and entered the residence. They secured the crime scene and requested detectives to respond. The reporting witness, who was the mother’s older married daughter, stated that she last had contact with her family about 10 p.m. the prior evening. She stated that the front door was locked. She entered the house through the unlocked rear sliding door, which she knew to be unlocked. She first went to her mother’s bedroom and discovered the mutilated body of her sister. She had thought that the body was her mother. (It was actually her sister, Amanda.) She then ran hysterically from the bedroom to the front door into the family room passing the mutilated body of her mother as she ran out the door.
The Chief Criminal Deputy requested the medical examiner to conduct a preliminary review of the condition of the bodies at the scene and then allow the bodies to remain in the scene while crime scene investigators processed them for microscopic evidence. The crime scene team processed the scene and the bodies over the next two and half days, recovering hairs and fibers, which were eventually matched to the suspect. These microscopic traces may have been lost had the bodies been transported.
The mother, Rita, was a 48-year-old divorcee who worked as a sales representative. She resided in a single-family home in a rural area with her 15-year-old daughter, Amanda, who was a high school student and played on the school softball team. Unbeknownst to the family, the offender had stalked them for months with the intent of sexually mutilating and killing them. Teenager Amanda was the intended focus of his lust. The crime scene was within a rural area in East Wenatchee, WA. The residence was located in a quiet neighborhood and the surrounding area consisted of several single-family homes.
Both victims were murdered and mutilated inside their residence. It was believed that the killer entered the residence using the same unlocked rear sliding door that the reporting witness used to enter the house. Amanda’s body was on the master bed in the north bedroom. Rita’s body was on the couch in the family room in the south end of the residence. The mother’s breasts were removed and transported by the offender from the family room to the north bedroom and placed near the daughter’s body. It was determined that the mutilations were done postmortem.
Amanda suffered severe blunt trauma to the left side of her head. Her body was in the mother’s bed in a supine position. She was nude and there was evidence that the killer had undressed her. She had been eviscerated from near the vaginal area to her chest. The skin surrounding the vaginal area had been excised from her body and placed on the right side of her face. In addition, there were numerous stab wounds in the anterior portion of her neck. Her legs had been spread and her arms were near her side. A baseball bat had been jammed into her vaginal cavity. The mother’s breasts had been placed on a dresser and headboard beside the daughter’s body.
Rita suffered numerous defense-type wounds to her forearms and wrists. She also suffered several stab wounds in the upper portion of her body. She was found lying in a supine position on a couch in the family room. She was naked except for a nightgown, which the killer pulled back to expose the body and there was evidence that the killer had undressed her as well. The offender had also removed her panties and a tampon. Rita had been eviscerated from the vaginal area to midchest, which exposed some internal organs. Both of the victim’s breasts had been excised from her chest and taken into the bedroom. Rita’s vaginal area, including the pubis, had been excised from the body and placed into her mouth. The killer had posed the body on the couch with her legs spread and her arms by her side.
Rita had received 31 stab wounds to the chest, arms, left leg, neck, and back consistent with a knife attack. Cause of death was multiple stab wounds causing massive internal and external bleeding. The autopsy revealed postmortem excisions of the breasts and excision of the skin and underlying tissue of the right pubis, vulva, and perineum; incision of the abdomen and peritoneal area; evisceration.
Amanda suffered massive left cerebral contusions causing immediate death as well as 16 penetrating stab wounds of the anterior neck. Cause of death was massive cranial and cerebral trauma secondary to blunt impact to the left side of the head. Also found were postmortem excision of the skin and underlying tissue of the pubis and upper half of external genitalia; a baseball bat jammed up through the vaginal vault; abdomen and peritoneal sac incised; evisceration.
The Chief Deputy was advised that a patrol officer had stopped a person named Jack Owen Spillman, III, at 2 a.m. on suspicion of burglary. Spillman was driving a dark-colored Chevy pickup truck with large tires and a roll bar. He had parked near a trash receptacle in the parking lot of a VFW Hall, which was closed for the night. This VFW Hall was in the vicinity of the crime scene. When the officer had approached Spillman, the suspect raised his hands in a position of surrender. The officer thought that the suspect, who was dressed in black, was a burglar. Finding no sign of a break-in, Spillman was properly identified and released. Investigators were dispatched to the VFW hall where the patrol officer had confronted Spillman. The detectives subsequently located what was eventually determined to be one of the murder weapons lodged in the bottom of a trashcan near where Spillman had been parked.
Investigators also located another witness who stated that he had seen a dark-colored Chevy pickup truck with large tires and a roll bar parked in an elementary school parking lot about 250 feet from the rear of the murder site at about 11:30 p.m. The truck was backed in off the street with a clear view of the rear sliding door of the family’s house. Spillman was immediately put under surveillance while other detectives obtained further information and gathered evidence from the scene. The suspect had an extensive record for burglary, rape, and indecent exposure. He also was a suspect in a rape attempt involving another mother and daughter living alone in the same area as the murders. The surveillance team reported that they saw Spillman throw something into the dumpster outside his apartment. Inside the dumpster was a bloody ski mask, which was matched to the suspect. Subsequently, investigators learned that Spillman drank Amanda’s blood and had gotten the blood on his mask.
Spillman was arrested two weeks after the murders. Authorities executed a search warrant on his person and premises as well as his truck. The authorities learned that Spillman had placed the bloody gloves and clothes he had worn during the attack on the front seat of his truck when he left the crime scene. The blood on the recovered knife was matched through DNA to the victims. The hairs and fibers found at the crime scene were matched to Spillman. It was also learned that Spillman had worn hospital gowns and gloves with tape during his sexual assaults to prevent trace evidence from being discovered during the crime scene process. The fibers found at the crime scene matched these surgical gowns. He received life without the possibility of parole plus 116 years.