I had a different posting in mind to write this morning, but switched gears when I saw the ticker headline ‘killer still at large in Indiana’ stream by assertively on my TV. Yesterday I suggested the probability that the Napiers’ death had been an internal spat that led to an apparent murder/suicide type of scenario, but boy was I completely wrong! The crime scene in rural southeastern Indiana more accurately resembles an execution type of hit.
The cause of death of these five people was revealed by the Franklin County Coroner Wanda Lee at a Tuesday night news conference in Brookville, Ind. Four members of the Napier family died of gunshot wounds to the head. Angela Napier, 47, also sustained blunt force trauma to the head. Roy Napier, 50, and their adult children, Melissa Napier, 23, and Jacob L. Napier, 18, were amongst the victims who died from a gunshot to the head.
It wasn’t mentioned if it was a single gunshot, but I suspect it was. Henry Smith’s aunt, Evelyn Renfro, heard some gunshots around noon on Sunday, but I wonder how many shots she thought she actually heard? As far as the manner of death for Henry Smith, it looks like he was shot in the chest and may have suffered blows to the head as well. But why was his body in a shed across the street? Was he killed there, or just moved there afterwards.
If he was killed at the shed, why was Henry at that location? And if he was killed at the shed, doesn’t this imply two hitmen? Then again, if he was killed at the mobile home, then moved, it could be just one killer. But what sense is there in moving the body over to the shed? This isn’t likely, is it? Another implication is the killer or killers were familiar with this setup.
How would the perpetrator(s) know about this dilapidated tiny shed on Stipps Hill Road (that was a makeshift appendage to the Napiers’ trailer home), if they hadn’t been there before? And was Henry Smith an unintended victim, at the wrong place and in the wrong time. This is what happened to poor Steve Parent during the Tate slaughter back in August of 1969. Tex catches Parent backing his Rambler out of the drive-way and it’s all over with!
That may have not have been how it happened with Henry Smith, since I’ve made the wrong call at every juncture so far in this case. But why was Henry Smith over at Napiers on a Sunday afternoon? We know so little, and as far as myself goes, even less. But suspicions of the hits being drug related have to be solid as granite. If it’s not a family dispute, then how could it be anything else but drugs?
Fear of a killer(s) on the loose is not such an easy feeling to overcome. I felt it myself this morning when barely getting in a few sips of strong black coffee. Images of the shooter doing his dire deed enter your loosely functioning mind, when vulnerability is your best shot at feeling anything at all. Here’s a passing thought that may contain a kernel of wisdom.
Did the Napiers possibly know too much about some larger operation they were involved in? Did they conceivably owe some higher ups a good deal of money, that they couldn’t hope to pay back? With this in mind, was it a contract killing? It sure looks this way. Scary thought indeed. A higher up calls in some boys from out of town to do a job. Henry Smith himself may have been overly privy to an shady operation of sorts. Uh Oh, gettin’ stuck in the mud again!