On May 5, 2009 at 5.43am, Christopher Coleman left his comfortable suburban house in Waterloo, Illinois to go to the gym.
After his workout he said he called home and was worried when no-one answered, so he rang a neighbor, police officer Justin Barlow, to check on his family.
At trial, Officer Jason Donjon, who entered the house with Mr Barlow, testified that they found the house was covered in threatening messages daubed in red paint.
The graffiti read: ‘I am watching’, ‘punished’ and ‘u have paid’.
Then they discovered the bodies of Mrs Coleman and her two sons, killed in separate bedrooms.
Mrs Coleman was left naked in bed, strangled with a ligature. Her eldest son, Garett, was curled up in bed with spray paint on his sheets.
Finally the youngest, Gavin, was seen lying face down with his limbs dangling either side of the bed and swear words daubed on his covers.
According to police computer experts, Coleman’s own laptop, accessed by his own password, was the source of anonymous profane threats against his family that Coleman had reported to police as early as November 2008.
Coroners took the temperature of Sheri Coleman’s liver at 11 a.m. and recorded 90.4 degrees. Then it was taken again at the funeral home at 1:17 p.m. and was recorded as 87.4 degrees.
Defense attorney Jim Stern said that was a rate of 1.5 degrees an hour, which he calculated put Sheri Coleman’s time of death after 5:30 a.m., while her husband was at the gym.
Dr Michael Baden said Stern got it wrong, because the body does not start losing heat for three to four hours after death.
Coleman was convicted of the murders in 2011.
News report on trial, April 27, 2011
However it is now believed that the murders were the work of serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards.
It’s probably the last murder committed by Edwards, in fact it was after his family tipped off the police in March 2009, and just weeks before his DNA was taken for testing in June 2009, prior to his arrest on 30 July 2009.
See the timeline here for the context of the murder :https://ededwardsserialkiller.wordpress.com/timeline/#2000
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September, 2015: John Cameron has written a 65-page PDF document that explains the coded messages Edward Wayne Edwards left in red paint on the walls.