Timothy Hennis finally gets what he deserves

The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly, but they eventually come to their destination. After 25 years, they've parked right on top of Timothy Baily Hennis and he's probably finding it pretty hard to breathe right now.

On May 9, 1985, a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy entered Kathryn Eastburn's home near Fort Bragg, NC because neighbors heard a baby crying inside but they couldn't get anyone to come to the door. He found Eastburn and two of her three daughters, ages 5 and 3, brutally murdered in their beds. She had been raped and then stabbed 35 times. Her infant daughter was in her crib but unharmed. Her husband, Gary, was a captain in the army and was out of state on a training deployment.

Investigators soon arrested army sergeant Tim Hennis for the crime. When he was tried, prosecutors presented this scenario: Hennis had visited the house a few days earlier because the Eastburns were about to be transferred and couldn't take their dog. He answered their "free to a good home" ad in the classifieds and decided to come back to the house later to rape Kathryn Eastburn. He was found guilty and imprisoned. Defense attorneys argued that gruesome crime scene photos were show on a screen right over the defendant's head. The appeals court agreed that was prejudicial and sent the case back for a re-trial. Hennis was acquitted the second time around.

After this, Capt. Eastburn gave an interview to a local reporter and told him that he had decided to get on with his life. A Catholic, Eastburn had forgiven Hennis and said that his remaining daughter was too precious to spend his life wrapped up in anger over his wife's murder.

After he was acquitted, Hennis returned to the army and served until 2004, when he retired. But prosecutors and the sheriff's department in Cumberland County were still interested in him. They pulled out the evidence investigators had gathered at the scene and sent it off for DNA testing. It nailed Tim Hennis to the wall. Now all they had to do was get him into a court of law and let the jury do the rest.

They couldn't call him back into a Cumberland County court because of double jeopardy - you can't be tried twice in the same jurisdiction for the same crime. But Hennis was in the army at the time of the murder and still subject to the code of military justice. The army recalled him to face a court-marital in 2006. He was convicted last week and yesterday he was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Justice has finally been done.

The permutations this case has gone through have been riveting, they even made a made for TV movie about it. I lived in Fayetteville at the time of the murder and knew a few people associated with the prosecution and the press that covered the trial. They've shared some interesting analysis of the trials and revealed a few intriguing things that didn't come out in court:

  • They said police speculated privately that Mrs. Eastburn likely stayed silent throughout the attack, so as not to wake her children and put their lives in danger, too. At least it save the life of her baby.
  • Investigators also uncovered information that this was not the first time Hennis had been involved in a rape. Two women were brought in from out of state to witness the end of the first trial. Neither had cases against Hennis solid enough to be brought to trial, but prosecutors thought that the sight of them in the courtroom might make Hennis a little nervous. After the women showed up in the courtroomm defense attorneys decided not to put Hennis on the stand.
  • In the first trial, the case went to the jury the Friday before 4th of July. The judge held the jury over the weekend to deliberate. On July 4th, they came back with a guilty verdict. Right after it was read Hennis' wife Angela was heard to say: "Good, that's over. Now we can go to the beach." After the sentence was read yesterday, it's reported that she cried softly. Maybe she had planned to spend Easter weekend at the coast but couldn't make it because of the trial.
  • At the time of the first and second trials, DNA evidence had not be judged to be admissible in North Carolina courts and prosecutors decided not to introduce it and make State v. Hennis a test case. There was too much on the line for that.
  • During his first two trials, Hennis maintained that the only time he was in the Eastburn house or had any contact with the family was the visit he made about the dog. Then authorities submitted the evidence and found that the sperm found in Mrs. Eastburn was his. The argument at the court-martial that the that Eastburn and Hennis had been having an affair and the sperm was from an earlier encounter just didn't hold water.
  • Hennis' defense in the first two trials was paid for by his dad, who was a bigwig at IBM at the time. There were reports his dad cashed out his entire retirement so his son could have two of the best criminal trial attorneys in the state, Billy Richardson and Gerald Beaver. When he was hauled before a court-martial he could have hired a private lawyer who specialized in military justice for his defense but he didn't have the financial resources he'd had before and a military lawyer defended him. He did a good job but just didn't have the specialized training of Mark Waple, a Fayetteville attorney whose handled hundreds of courts-martial. Had Hennis had the funds, Waple would have defended him.
  • Of his original attorneys, Richardson was the younger of the two and the one who spoke to the press most often. He has always maintained that Hennis was innocent. Beaver was older and more experienced. When asked after the second trial about the guilt or innocence of the defendant, he said that it was his job to make the state prove their case and that prosecutors had failed.

In 1989, Hennis managed to walk away from the murder charges against him. He probably felt pretty cocky to have gotten away with murder. He's been a good boy since then with not so much as a parking ticket. However, in the early 90's when DNA evidence was ruled admissible in a court of law, Hennis had to have started living with the fear that his case would be re-opened. Even if he didn't realize that he could be called to a court-martial, there must have been some uneasiness for him. That discomfort has been nothing compared to the agony the Eastburn family went through. Hennis will be put to death in a humane way. I don't think the uncertainty that Hennis must have experienced after his 1989 acquittal and then his subsequent court-martial and as well as his death sentence equals what Kathryn Eastburn and her two daughters went through that night. This sentence is just, but it can never be fair. Timothy Baily Hennis saw to that.

Comments 117 comments

pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

I'm glad that some type of justice was meted out, eventhough it will not bring back the victims. Hennis will not be able to offend and kill again. What a pig, too bad he's unable to suffer what was done to his victims nightly. Who knows what the afterlife will bring, if there is any justice in the universe maybe that will be his hell, one can only hope.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

My Grandna Vi used to say you make your own heaven or hell right here on earth. I think Hennis is discovering that.

Thanks for the comment!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

The best aspect of this story is the relentless pursuit for justice. When you know darn well the evidence all points to guilty, then you have to do all you can to prevent that person from fleeing justice.

I'm glad that, while it's clear it took a while, the system did its job and put away a man who there is no doubt, deserves to be behind bars.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

That's so true. I know the detective who's been working on this case since the beginning. He was one of the first ones in the door after the initial discovery of the bodies.

My husband was a newspaper reporter covering courts and law in Fayetteville and has followed the story from Hennis' first appearance in court. He's in PR now but has been keeping tabs on the story. Although it costs much more to go through the appeals in a death penalty case, I think that in some cases it's warranted. I'd also like to see the death penalty for child molestation, but I doubt that will ever happen.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

I'm not for a death penalty for child molestation, but am definitely for a life sentence with no possibility for parole.


M Silver 6 years ago

The author is wrong on a lot of points. Mr. Hennis' parents did not pay for the second trial; the state of NC did because the case had been overturned.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

The case was overturned and it went back to the lower court for re-trial. The state will only pay for your defense if you can't afford it. At that point, Hennis' dad still had cash.

You know, there's a third crime here, using all of his parents' savings to defend himself from murder charges when he was guilty. What other points am I wrong on?


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

Also, when the state pays for your trial, in NC they give you a public defender. They won't pay for the premier criminal defense lawyer in the state to defend you. In both the first and second trial, Hennis had Billy Richardson and Gerald Beaver defend him. The public defenders available at the time that were qualified for a death penalty case would have been Jim Parrish or Greg Weeks, both excellent attorneys.


M Silver 6 years ago

You are wrong. I know that you're wrong. Not if the original lawyers agreed to the state fees.

Also, there's absolutely no evidence that Mr. Hennis ever committed another crime (rape) as you suggested above. None what so ever. Mr. Hennis testified in the second trial, so why didn't the DA use the same ploy to stop him then?

Your information appears to be coming from a skewed view mainly from a DA's office back then who withheld exculpatory evidence in the first trial, which is one reason the case was overturned.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

No, the reason the case was overturned was because the prosecutor showed slides of the crime scene on a wall above Hennis' head. The appellate court ruled that that was inflammatory and sent it back to the lower court for a re-trial. The DA was Billy VanStory and by the time the case came back, he had gone into private practice.

If Hennis did not rape Kathryn Eastburn, why was his DNA inside her? This information has come from my husband, who reported on the first and second trial. He interviewed the defense and prosecution alike for his stories and each side is represented in every story he ever wrote. He was in both of those trials gavel to gavel. It was an important story and he was there every minute court was in session.

If you're related to Mr. Hennis, then I'm sorry. A court of law has found him guilty. I suggest it would be easier on you if you didn't prowl the internet finding forums to defend him. There are plenty of comments on message boards and forums from people who've worked with him that are not very complimentary.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

I look forward to the justice being meted out to Hennis that he deserves. And I hope the family will take comfort in the fact that Hennis will suffer an eternity in damnation in the afterlife as well. What a sick SOB.


M Silver 6 years ago

woodwoman:

I know who the DA was then. I get a clear picture now that you have never read the NC Supreme Court reversal of the Hennis case. It was not just the photos that the court overturned the 1986 verdict.

You made a statement above about Mr. Hennis sexual assault of other victims (not Mrs. Eastburn). There's absolutely no evidence that Mr. Hennis ever committed another crime (rape) as you suggested above. None what so ever.

I'm not sure who you are but if I were you I would be very careful about what I post on this board.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

Were you living in Fayetteville at the time of the trial. Have you read any of the trial transcripts? Have you only read the appellate court transcript? If so, you don't have the entire picture.

Yes, there is no proof that Hennis ever sexually assaulted anyone else besides Mrs. Eastburn and no evidence of it was produced at the trial. I wrote "After the women showed up in the courtroom, defense attorneys decided not to put Hennis on the stand." Maybe there was another reason but once you put a witness on the stand, anything he says can "open the door" to a line of questioning that may not have been admissible before. If Hennis had said under oath "I never have raped anyone" then the prosecution could asked "Have you ever seen these women?" That opens a whole can of worms that the defense didn't want opened.

My name is Susie Barnes and I was living in Fayetteville at the time of the trial. Were you? Were you even alive? Do you know the Cumberland County District Attorney? I do, I've met the man. Do you know what his name is? Not ADA Billy Vanstory who was prosecutor at the first trial but the duly elected DA?

What you are overlooking is that there are many things that don't happen in a court room and aren't on the transcript that have an affect ont the outcome of a trial. Maybe you're getting your information from Scott Whisnant's book. If so, you're getting biased info and have been mislead.

If you were me, you'd know what you were talking about. Threats won't get you anyplace.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

Just in case you didn't get this memo yet: Tim Hennis' DNA was found inside of Kathryn Eastburn. If he didn't rape her, how did it get there? Fed Ex?


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Interesting story and interesting comments.


heisinnocent 6 years ago

He didn't do the crime; there is no evidence that puts him in that house. The reason he went on with his life is because he was found innocent, what would u have done??? Stopped living I don’t think so!!!!!! There will never be a winner is this case both sides will always lose. The only sad thing is the panel of 14 will have to live with that decision and when it comes time to leave this world they will have to answer to GOD and he will decide their faith. Yes Tim will use everyone's money to get this over turned because the cops stopped and never found the RIGHT GUY. U can’t tell me that Mr. Eastburn has any mercy for the hennis family he is just saying that so he can make peace of this as well. So at this point all we can do is put it in GODS hands and let him decide what happens from here!!! If a member of the Hennis family is found dead it's because of all of this bull -hit, and I bet that the Eastburn’s would be very happy to hear that, another bad seed gone out of that family

How can we believe in forensic science when they take out more than one case at a time or more than one piece of evidence to the crime? It’s called contamination they can’t even get that right. The lady was fired for doing this that tested the evidence in this case. so if u want to tell me that forensic science has come a long way in 25yrs still has a long way to go be for its done right...

woodwoman how dare u tell someone to get of this site who gives u the right and for how did the sperm get on that slide why dont u read on what i saidabout the forensic science. the person that said that hennis's dad had to pay for the second trial is right they didn't pay a dime so there sucker. what's it to u if hennis dad spend his life saving to safe his son r u telling me that u wouldn't do that for ur son or daughter. how do u know that has worked with him and feel that way???? tell all so if we want to defend him we can


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

First, I never told anyone to get off this site. I said I would SUGGEST that you not "prowl the internet finding forums to defend him. There are plenty of comments on message boards and forums from people who've worked with him that are not very complimentary." I can hunt down some links, if you'd like.

You folks don't know how the Cumberland County public defender's office works, do you? If you don't have funds, they represent you. They do not pay private lawyers because they have very good lawyers on staff and can always handle the case load. Richardson and Beaver were paid out of private funds. Check out this link http://www.ccpa.net/index.aspx?NID=1281 it's the CCPDs website that explains who gets a public defender and how it's handled. To say that his defense was paid for privately is to either lie or pass on a lie that was told to you.

Much of the information I've posted has to do with how the judicial system works and how that affected the outcome. Where would they get the DNA from to put on that slide to frame Hennis with if it weren't already in Kathryn Eastburn. Why did Hennis never take the stand in his own defense?

Unlike Tim Hennis, Gary Eastburn has no reason to lie about his feelings or motivations. He's been an unfortunate bystander so leave him out of your rants. You may very well think Tim Hennis is innocent. A court of law has proved otherwise. If you're family members, I'm sorry. I regret you have to go through this. I regret that the Eastburns were killed and that Jana had to grow up without her mom and Mr. Eastburn without his wife but none of it can be undone.

If you have one, post a cogent argument about how he was framed instead of just shouting that he was innocent. Heck, you don't even have a carefully built conspiracy theory and there are those out there about the Hennis case. They're laughable, but at least they're an argument, not a shouting match.


heisinnocent 6 years ago

maybe ur right i think i will do that thanks


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

You're welcome.


heisinnocent 6 years ago

will be back with the federal hearing results


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

Fine.


jjb 6 years ago

Dr. John Butts, NC Chief Medical Examiner, testified during the Court Martial that at Katy Eastburn’s autopsy on May 13, 1985, there were “abundant and intact spermatozoa”. To him, this indicated that that the spermatozoa were deposited “at, or near, the time of death”. Upon cross examination, Dr. Butts did indicate that sperm can survive inside a woman 1-2-3 days after being deposited. However, due to the woman bathing, using the toilet, and her body’s enzymes breaking down the sperm (head and tail separate), there would be far less intact spermatozoa, as well as fewer present.

Brian Higgins from the US Army Criminal investigation Laboratory (USACIL) is a forensic DNA Examiner at Ft. Gillem, GA. Mr. Higgins testified that USACIL conducts testing to a 95% confidence interval, or 19/20. This is the same testing used to identify fallen Soldiers, in combat or from multi-victim incidents (such as a helicopter crash) to notify the next of kin.

These are some of the brief highlights of his analysis and testimony:

As for the skin under the fingernails of Katy and Erin Eastburn: Hennis could not be excluded or included (basically inconclusive, but he did not testify that is was NOT from Hennis).

As to the vaginal smear: Hennis could not be excluded.

In another test (Mini STR) Mr. Higgins analyzed 17 areas. Hennis was a match in all 17 areas. Had there been a match in even 16 of 17 areas, Hennis would have been EXCLUDED.

On April 4, 2007 at 11:19 AM, Special Agent Barnes, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, took a court ordered cheek swab from MSG Hennis. The sample was placed in an evidence bag, and turned over to the evidence custodian.

Ms. Jennifer Hopper, Duke Univ Med Center testimony:

DNA can break down into smaller pieces; in layman’s term, it does not really fade away, like a photograph, just less pieces to analyze. Anything with a nucleus can be analyzed. Only identical twins have the same DNA. Even if one profile from a DNA sample does not match, it is 100% EXCLUSIONARY.

From the Katy Eastburn sperm fraction from the vaginal swab, there was a complete major profile that belonged to Hennis. The minor profile of Katy Eastburn could not be excluded.

She compared the known blood standard from Katy Eastburn, and the known DNA standard from the cheek swab from Hennis to the vaginal swab. Comparing the results to the NC database of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic and Lumbee Indian, the chance that the DNA belonged to somebody other than Hennis was 12,100,000,000,000,000,000 to 1. That means that the 6.84 billion people on earth are unrelated to the sperm fraction DNA profile. The numbers are even greater for the other 3 groups.

The DNA analysis, coupled with Dr. Butt’s testimony, corroborates the eyewitness accounts of those that saw Hennis that night and during the use of the ATM card, his use of the burn barrel on Saturday, his time gaps during CQ, and his 1981 White Chevette being sighted at various times by several eyewitnesses. Hennis is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

Thanks jjb for your comment. It seems you are in the military legal system or have contacts who are. Your information is appreciated.


Chad 6 years ago

FREE HENNIS


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

That doesn't look likely, Chad.


ABNPARALEGAL 6 years ago

I prayed for his acquittal, and I still do so. I sat in this military trial and was disgusted with the disrespect given to the Hennis family by local Cumberland County Prosecutors who spoke out loudly during the trial when they decided to come in during closing arguments. I am a person who believes that although you may have lied about having sex with Katie; this does not make you a murderer. I am just not convinced that he killed Katie, Erin and Cara.

I am in awe that a man who came into the Winn Dixie with scratches on his face was not brought in and DNA'd after the murders; there was a Winn Dixie directly behind the ATM used by the murderer; why would Hennis have been wearing a white t-shirt and BDU bottoms while using that ATM (white t-shirt was not the uniform at that time); why did the detectives not follow protocol when questioning Patrick Cone, he was a person who would have done anything to please cops at that time since he was in a closed car and may have felt obligated to give them a positive ID; why was Timothy Hennis the only guy in the line up wearing a black jacket; why did they decide to allow Patrick Cone to recant his sworn affidavit about how he was unsure if he actually saw Hennis that night; why was there so many lies about what the weather was like that night by Seefeldt; why didn't the medical examiner find any popcorn in the stomachs of the children if they supposedly ate it that night at the Seefeldts; do you really think someone who wears a size 12 shoe could seriously squeeze their foot into a size 9; why did CC release that house before the defense had the opportunity to process it themselves; why did the Army not provide the money required for the defense to pay expert witnesses; why did the Panel make it known they had already made their minds up after day 3 of the army trial; why were the panel members NOT corrected for falling asleep during the trial; why did Patrick Cone tell his friends that he was drunk that night, but lied on the stand that he wasn't drinking that night he supposedly saw Hennis walking down the driveway; where the hell is David Hill who lived across the street and told the cops he saw some guys in a Blue Van parked outside for many nights before the murders and the night of the murders; why would Julie Czerniak cut all ties with Jeffrey MacDonald after the murders; why didn't it ever come out that Julie's step-brother had the exact same car as Hennis; why didn't it come out that the phone calls received by the Eastburns could have been by a person who thought Julie Czerniak lived at the Eastburn home instead of just being the babysitter (she was a drug informant for CC); why didn't the medical examiner take a swab of the area in between Katie Eastburns legs; why did the Seefeldt's lie about having the baby handed to them outside the window, when it was Julie the baby was handed too; why didn't the cops find out who's white chevette was parked down the street by the used car lot for 3 days after the murders; why was there NO blood found in Hennis' car, on his jacket, or his shoes; why didn't they bring in the men who saw Katie hanging out at the Dragon Club on post; why didn't they get fingerprints off of the door jams and door knobs; why weren't the photos of the bulletin board from the crime scene allowed into evidence; why weren't they allowed to bring up the license plate number written down by neighbors, Julie and Katie allowed into evidence; the plate was a NY license number and it belonged to a middle eastern guy; Oddly enough, the Radtke's testified that the person they saw was not white, not black, but someone with a slight tan face; even though Charlotte Kirby was a bit insane on the stand, why discount the fact that she was also receiving threatening phone calls after she saw someone that early morning while delivering newspapers...and the list I have goes on.

I am just left with so much doubt, and when it comes to a person's life, we must be certain beyond a reasonable doubt that they committed the crime. I just wish people would stop forgetting this concept.

Sadly enough, we will never know for sure. I would much rather set a guilty man free than to send an innocent man to death row. Maybe after committing suicide, Mr. Vanstory has found the true answers to all these questions.

Timothy obviously had sex with Katie; however I still can not be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the killer, and the Army's Courts Martial certainly was not fair and unbiased.


woodwoman profile image

woodwoman 6 years ago Author

Tim Hennis said during his first and second trials that the only time he was in the house or met any of its occupants was when he came to get the dog. Was he lying then? They didn't test Pat Cone for DNA because that test was not available at the time of the murders. The rest of your questions/points are jammed up in one huge paragraphs and I couldn't get through them all. I guess we'll just have to say Hennis' DNA got inside Mrs. Eastburn by magic.

As for Jeffery McDonald, oh puleeeze!


RoBo 6 years ago

I attended part of the military trial. The jury got it right. Patrick Cone's eyewitness testimony and the composite drawing, plus the DNA are conclusive. But there was more. Anybody who still thinks he's innocent is an idiot.


marista 6 years ago

Looks like these comments are all from Woodwoman. Anything better to do?


ZKj 6 years ago

I just watched 20/20 tonight and it sure looks like this scumbag Hennis is guilty.I hope he meets his maker soon and it doesn't drag on for years.


GrimReaper 6 years ago

Anyone who thinks this psycho is innocent, must be living in fantasy land !! He is guilty as HELL and will burn in the lake of fire. I bet Lucifer can't wait until they stick the needle in this MONSTER!!! Lol, lmao


EataBiggon 6 years ago

Is Marista's last name Hennis??


Fort Bragg Roommate 6 years ago

I was stationed at Fort Bragg from 1981-1984. Timothy was my first roommate at E Company 505, 82nd Airborne. He was a tall guy..about 6'4". We were a TOW Company. Tank Killers. We called him "Big Bird" because of his blonde hair and how tall he was. He was 3 years older than myself (which at that time was 20). Timothy went on to Riggers School and was re-assigned to another unit. I lost contact with him during that time. I left Fort Bragg in 1984 to go to Fort Gordon and then onto Germany. The 20/20 show tonight astounded me. I hadn't heard of the murders so I am unbiased in this case. Timothy was very laid back. I could describe him as lazy but we all ribbed each other pretty bad back them. I never witnessed any type of bad temper that was described in the show. My personal opinion is that Tim is probably being railroaded. He was seeing a married woman when I was his roommate but I could not specifically say it was Mrs. Eastman. In response to some of the above comments, Timothy was married at the time of the murders so I can understand him not saying that he was having an affair with Mrs. Eastman...I mean..who would? Besides a 25 year old semen sample what else would link him? What about the male DNA under all of the girls fingernails (not being Timothy's)? I also went to the Dragon Club on Post and picked up women not knowing if they were married or not. I really do find it hard to believe that he committed these murders. We were trained well to kill the enemy at Fort Bragg. I just can't see him snapping and killing Mrs. Eastman and the other two children.


Terry 6 years ago

I support you 100 per cent woodwoman.


Polyglot 6 years ago

Of course the comments are all from Woodwoman! She is the person who wrote the article and is defending her info! There is so much evidence that points to Hennis' guilt that only the ignorant would doubt it. The MOST damning of all is the DNA. Contamination? Come on! As Woodwoman said, how else would it have gotten inside of Katy?


Polyglot 6 years ago

One more point, for those who think he was having an affair with her...if your life was on the line, wouldn't you admit to an affair if it could account for why your DNA was found on the body? As for being railroaded... what would be their purpose? Some vendetta by the detectives who sent the DNA off for analysis? Just doesn't add up.


DefiantOne 6 years ago

DNA doesn't lie, sorry. If Tim Hennis refused to admit to an affair with Mrs. Eastman, then he hung himself. His semen didn't get inside her by accident.

The reason he didn't admit to an affair is because there was none. There is doubt in this case, but not reasonable doubt. The preponderance evidence points to guilty beyond reasonable doubt. It really is that simple.

Off to death row, goodbye.


Gettaalife 6 years ago

Wow! U people got a lot of time on ur hands!!!


Montreal attorney 6 years ago

Wow just watched the 20 20 show and I am now FASCINATED by this case.

From an academical point of view, this is just an amazing case to study.

I just can't quite make my mind yet on the guilty or not, this really pushes to the extreme the concept of reasonnable doubt and what is reasonnable doubt.

There is obviously doubt in this case, but what I dont get is why Hennis did not clearly explain in the third trial the circumstances of his sexual relation with the victim I mean this is a serious blow to his credibility.

Can anyone comment this?


Guest Guy 6 years ago

Frank Spinner defended him in his court-martial. Frank's a private attorney. He had both Frank and a military lawyer, but he (or someone on his behalf) did hire Spinner. Spinner also defended Airman Witt who got the death penalty in the Air Force in 2006 or 2007. Nice track record huh?


Factwitness 6 years ago

Great posting, Woodwoman. I followed this horrific case until Hennis' acquittal at his second trial. Years later, after I was forensically trained, I wondered if law enforcement had preserved Ms. Eastburn's vaginal swab. I knew if they had, it was only a matter of time before they submitted that swab for DNA profiling. I am sure Hennis was aware that this was a distinct possibility, but wrongly figured he could never be tried again. I am just so relieved for the Eastburn family that justice has finally been served.


Someone placed him at the scene 6 years ago

Should we discount that person as well and call them a liar too. Like someone said, his dna did not get there by accident.


Luis 6 years ago

I always wonder about the rage that makes some people

kill. It seems this monster felt pleasure slicing those

little girls. This the dark side of America that never

fails to shock me.


kai777 profile image

kai777 6 years ago from Chicago

His sentence will never compensate for the loss to the family of this mother and her children. However, I am happy to read that the justice system did "punish" this demon spirited man in a way that was suitable to the crime. That is proof that what you do, you may get by for awhile, but in the end you never get a way with it... (some way, some how, you pay) Great Post!


conspiracy 6 years ago

I lived and worked with hennis in 1981 and I pray we don't kill an innocent man at the same time if he did it I would shoot him up and I hate needles. my concern is Tim is a teddy bear and I don't trust the storage and possible cross contamination of the DNA sample. furthermore no one is going to admit an affair when your spouse is standing by your side (which is unfortunate for Tim) and your on death row of course he denied it. Now its hard to have credibility years later so he was convicted twice acquitted once I will bet this case gets overturned by the supreme court of the united states as he was discharged from the military in the early 80's you cant have justice going both ways they pulled a rabbit out of the hat and convicted him twice I actually would like to know the real truth and believe reasonable doubt must prevail as I'm not convinced 100% and have kept on open mind Time will tell but my prayers are with the Hennis family and the Eastburns as no one wins here and sadly if Tim is guilty he will let us all know the truth at his death whether it be naturally or by military justice induced WHO SKIN IS UNDER THE FINGER NAILS OF MRS EASTBURN? WHY CANT THEY SAY 100% like the sperm. IF the cumberland county detectives did a better job we would have no reasonable doubt talk about sloppy incompetant detective work. DID THE DETECTIVES TRY TO SAVE FACE AND CONTAMINATE THE EVIDENCE YEARS LATER. leave it to the govt to fuck it up will we ever know the truth?


Dont kill Hennis!!!  5 years ago

I think the injection is a easy way out,

He stole a whole families life away right from under them...

He got his freedom and was able to watch his child grow up,

He had a life because he had a rich daddy to pay for 2 of the best lawyers not because he was innocent because of $$!!

What about the psychological damage the Eastburn's have to over come...

F@$K him he should ROT in a SMALL COLD WET CELL barely large enough for him, AND NEVER BE ALLOWED TO SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY AGAIN!!! Jail is to kind to these seriously F#$Ked up child murdering bar$4rds, And to be put to death is a easy way out, MAKE him suffer a long LOCKED UP life in some "remote prison" you know the kind Off Shore where The Government send suspected terrorist ...


ladyl 5 years ago

I worked with Hennis prior to his retirement and majority of the people did not like him. He spent a lot of time promoting his book; some people bought it others refused to contribute to his finances. The people in the unit both military and civilians who read the book were convinced of his guilt. The book like the movie left you wondering of his guilt more than his innocence. However when asked if he committed the murder he would not say no or yes in which further fueled the suspicion of his guilt. When he retired he applied for a job with my company, I refused to hire him because like most I discerned his guilt and did not trust him. When the news broke of his rearrested none of the people whom had worked with him was surprise, the most popular response was I knew he was guilty. I would be willing to bet no one from the unit he retired from was contacted to testify as a character witness, if they were they probably refused. He was very arrogant and pompous to the point of believing he was above authority and he could not be caught. My heart extends to his wife, for I could not phantom what it must have been like for her living through the ordeal, being totally convinced of his innocence all these years, only for the DNA test to come back and began to tare away at his innocence. My heart also goes out to the Heartburn family for years they lived within miles of the killer of his wife and children; I would not to be surprise if he or his daughter did not encounter Hennis on base at the commissary or the PX/BX. I pray for both families that the healing process begins and that Hennis will admit the truth for both his family and himself, his wife deserves it, she remain dedicated to Hennis for all these years, talk about taking your wedding vows serious. However, I know there is a part of her, that knows her husband really committed the crimes, she just continues to hold on to the lie because she does not want to face reality in which is very devastating to the average person. Bottom-line emotionally it is much easier for her to continue to believe the lie than the truth. Lastly, deep down I know Hennis probably is still too arrogant and pompous to do the right thing for all parties involved, “admit he is guilty”. May Hennis find the only and true God prior to his death, Amen.


ladyl 5 years ago

Oops! correction not the Heartburns but my prayers are with the Eastburn family.


joe 5 years ago

I think you meant "fathom" not "phantom"


truthandonlytruth 5 years ago

Hennis committed this crime, Hennis should pay for this crime. I feel so badly for the daughter of Hennis, it wasn't her choice to grow up with him as a father. For his wife I feel no sympathy. She made a decision the first time he went to trial to stand by a man who had even put himself in a prediciment to be accused of such a hainus crime. The Eastburn's have made a great life for thmeselves and netiher Gary or Jana will ever forget the family they once had. As a parent I can't say that I wouldn't do exactly what Timothy's parents did by supporting their son as much as they could... My child is my child no matter what happens. Woodman, I appreciate all of your comments as well as that of the others on here. I know that forever there will be 2 sides of this story just as any and all stories, however Timothy Hennis is GUILTY of Murder and Rape. I just wish that someone could punish him the way he punished Katy and her two beautiful daughters... May GOD be with everyone affected by this terrible crime.


Girly35 5 years ago

Timothy Hennis was an acting 1SG in Fort Lewis in 2000. He bragged about these murders and even had the audacity to sign books for the soldiers as if he were some hero. He was hateful then and I never believed for once he was innocent. As a CJ major back then, he gave away too much info not to be guilty. What innocent man speaks of such a vicious crime such as this so boldly. He thought he had beaten the system. He is rightfully where he belongs.


HennisFramed 5 years ago

I've been reading all the comments and what everyone is failing to see is that the so-called DNA evidence was first tested in CUMBERLAND COUNTY (the same place where he had his first two trials). The police and the SBI have had it in for Hennis since he showed up at the police station in 1985 saying he adopted the Eastburns' dog Dixie.

With all the circumstantial evidence pointing AWAY from Hennis, and in the second trial with Pat Cone thoroughly vilified as a liar and with the police and SBI thoroughly vilified as liars and conspirators, what is to stop the SBI and Cumberland County police DOCTORING the so-called evidence?

In fact, in the second trial a DNA expert was on the stand for the prosecution and told the jury, the judge, the prosecutors and the defense, that the semen sample taken from Katie Eastburn was too severely decomposed for any testing. So riddle me this, if the semen sample from Mrs. Eastburn was too severely decomposed (and lets not forget that they did other testing on it too), how in the hell could any viable DNA be left for testing some 25 years later?

The chain of evidence was also compromised too. I wouldn't put it past Cumberland County, in their strong belief that Hennis is guilty, to have tampered with the evidence. Let's not forget that Hennis gave samples of his blood, head hair, pubic hair and semen for a rape kit the day he went to the police station to say he adopted the dog. It would have been too easy for Cumberland County, who has had it in for Hennis all these years, and for the SBI to take Hennis' semen sample from the rape kit and mix it in with the decomposed semen...and viola they have a match.

I emailed Hennis' lawyer and told him this, but he never looked into it...obviously...or he would have argued that.

DNA testing can be used to free innocent people from prison and, in this case, it can also be used to imprison an innocent man. Tim Hennis IS innocent and a victim of a someone's sick idea of revenge. If I had the money to pay for Billy Richardson to defend Hennis again, I would because Hennis is innocent. And I really can't believe that a jury of supposedly smart individuals sentenced him to death.


Katy Marie 5 years ago

Noone wants to believe the so-called 'nice guy or girl' does the crime. We see a portion of someone's personality and assume because he/she is a hard worker, church member, volunteers in the community, etc... they couldn't possibly have a dark, twisted side to them. Fact is, most of us do - maybe not to the extent of raping or murdering someone, but we ALL have that something deep inside. 99.9% of the convicts in prison ARE guilty of the crime they were convicted. Of course, we want to think our loved one is the .1% who is innocent.


Paula 5 years ago

Sure he was good for all that time afterward. He had received a "get out jail free" card. Squeaking by with your life is a good motivator for a person to be as good as possible. I'm glad that technology advanced to the point that the DNA could be tested.


SexyJ35 5 years ago

I'm with HennisFramed I smell a frame up...it wouldn't be the first time that police and prosecutors frame an innocent person to save face or because they truly believe him to be guilty...There are too many holes in the story and too many questions remain unanswered.....I think he is innocent of this crime...but really only GOD and the real killers know who the true perpetrator is...


SexyJ35 5 years ago

Also for those who believe that Tim Hennis is going to hell because of his guilt are terribly wrong...If he was the killer and has repented of this crime then the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY will forgive him....


SexyJ35 5 years ago

LadyL I think you are full of it....u are probably looking for attention...


SexyJ35 5 years ago

Another thing I would like to know to those who are convinced of his guilt....Why did they wait so long to test this so called DNA sample...doesn't sound right to me...I'm sure these new techniques were available prior to the testing done on this sample....its just not sitting right with me...Plus you have a police force and prosecutors who are intent with revenge and obviously have a vendetta against this guy...I can't accept this evidence as credible....


colinsprau 5 years ago

I know Hennis did it but saying that the sperm couldve been from earlier worries me


Jackfan 5 years ago

For all you knuckle-draggers who think he's innocent...get a brain (although I think it's probably one troll who keeps posting...). Framed? What idiots...


truecrimefan 5 years ago

I just watched the movie last night, Innocent Victims. Very good, however since it was made in 1996 there is no current update of what has recently happened. Anyways, there was a part in the movie where one of the investigators I believe mentioned there being 2 assailants. Anyone have an opinon about that?


KJM 5 years ago

Has this man been put to death for this crime already?


Sammy 5 years ago

Just saw the 20/20 episode about the Eastburn/Hennis case. I assume this is a rerun, but it is the first time I have seen it. Of course, the only evidence I have is what was presented by 20/20, but boy oh boy, from what they showed, he looks guilty as heck. The only doubt would be if the evidence was contaminated - and in order for that to happen the chain of custody of evidence handling would have had to been compromised. I doubt the DNA sample was tampered with or contaminated - in order for that to have happened there would have had to be at least 2 people involved (if not more), the person with the intent to tamper/contaminate the DNA sample from Mrs. Eastburn with the DNA sample from Mr. Hennis and the person who was working as security in the evidence storage area. I find that scenario highly unlikely. I will wonder for a very long time what exactly happened on the night of the murders - I think I will tend to believe what one of the investigators stated on 20/20, Hennis went to the Eastburn home hoping for or expecting a sexual encounter with Mrs. Eastburn after meeting her previously when he picked up their dog and mistakenly getting the impression that she was somehow willing to engage in something sexual with him, and when she wasn't, things went horribly wrong. I will always wonder why the baby was spared. Was it because she was so close in age to his own little girl?


denisedude 5 years ago

I just think. Thatched needs to suffer this man should not have anything humane in his future he should get what he deserves he is a sick individual and need to pay for his crimes with more than just his life he needs to be taught remorse. For why he has done sick sob...


Gabe 5 years ago

No. He's appealing


Gabe 5 years ago

I take my comment back - I wasn't aware that was a rerun, but I would imagine they would add an epilogue/update if there was more to the story.

And, Sammy, the same thought went through my mind that his daughter was the same age as the child that was spared. And could also be what the police officers suspected - that he knew the child wouldn't be able to I.D. because she wasn't old enough to talk.


ree 5 years ago

He's Guilty!


dnadoesnot lie 5 years ago

Are you people for real? Do you really think they would wait all these years and suddenly decide to "mix his sperm with the rape kit" to set him up? That is idiotic! This guy is so guilty...why else would he suddenly admit to an affair...he had no explaination for his sperm being in Mrs. Eastburn. This proves that he and his lawyers knew that the set up senario was impossible and they were looking for a way out. Justice has FINALLY been served for this poor family. None of us can imagine what that poor mama and her babies went through at the hands of this sick monster.


Gabe 5 years ago

Why would police, investigators, the lab - whomever - risk their careers to "frame" someone for "revenge or a vendetta"??? Come on!!! The testimony of Dr. John Butts (who was the NC Chief Medical Examiner) during the Court Martial said that there were “abundant and intact spermatozoa” indicating they were “at, or near, the time of death”. So the people who think he was framed would be implying this med guy is in on it, too? All these people would have to be in on this big frame job - that's just ridiculous. No matter what the results will be, he will not escape the judgement that matters.


ParaNNJ 5 years ago

Kathryn Eastburn's instant teller card was used twice after the murders. It was miles away from Fort Bragg where Hennis was on CQ duty and had to sign the CQ log...

Hennis wore a size 13 shoe, but the Luminal footprints(extracted by crime scene investigators), found the same day the bodies were discovered, were a size 9.

Patrick Cone may have seen a Vega, similar in look to a Chevette, on night in question. Julie C. the Eastburn babysitter, was an informant for a narcotics officer, who's suspects had a van and Vega. A Van was seen by neighbor on night in question..


whoknows 5 years ago

He is actually filing an appeal as of 2 Sep 11 claiming the 2nd conviction unconstitutional.

I keep wondering about the bloody size 9 shoeprints...

Hennis was a size 12.


wondering 5 years ago

Saw the show last night. As soon as they showed the Chevette, I said to myself: it looks like a Vega.

j.


whoknows 5 years ago

Hasn't DNA testing been around since the late 80's? Why did it take 25 years for someone to retest the evidence?


impartial forensic pathologist 5 years ago

In response to whoknows, you may be surprised at just how gigantic the backlog of unsolved major crimes with archived DNA evidence is in any precinct. That of course is not including cases that are currently open and active, of which there are also very many, and which invariably take precedence. Additionally, the extensive and complete DNA testing that meets criteria to be used in court (read: not at all the same as, say, your average paternity test) is quite expensive and, despite what television crime shows would have you believe, can take quite some time to perform. Active open cases have priority for that funding, as well. The fact that the cold case unit didn't get around to this DNA evidence for two and a half decades is not at all abnormal or surprising. In fact, had there not been officers who remained interested in the cases, it likely would never have been tested. It sucks for sure, but that's the way it is.


nocommonsense 5 years ago

First of all I want to make something clear. I am not fond of cops or prosecuting attorneys. I believe that there are plenty of cops out there that are more than capable of abusing their power to frame someone if THEY (self appointed judges) believe that they are guilty. And most prosecuting attorneys (in my opinion) are more concerned with their own careers than some poor slob, and justify convicting innocent people by assuming that they probably deserve it anyway (somehow). I think these things happen all of the time.

Having said that I'd like to know where in the world all of the common sense has gone. I want to know how these conspirators got this guy's semen to use to contaminate the swab. The contamination would have had to happen after the swab was discovered in the evidence box, and it was decided to have it tested, years after the crime (when DNA testing was available). Did these conspirators sneak into this guys room one night extract a little semen and get it back to contaminate the sample before it could be sent to the lab?????? The contamination would not have occurred before because the conspirators would not have known that there would ever be DNA testing or if the sample would ever be tested in a cold case.

So if the swab did contain SEMEN with his DNA taken from inside the dead woman are we to assume that this guy went and had sex with this woman, walked out of the house just as another person walked in and for no reason at all (not a robbery, nothing missing) (not a rape, only Hennis's sperm was on the swab) and cut a woman, and two small children's throats and left the smallest alive?

Listen, I understand that there are ways to explain all of the obvious away. But if we are going to do so without common sense then throw open those prison gates because I can tell you how everyone in there MIGHT be innocent. But don't go complaining when you become the victom, OK!

Now I need to go buy me a multi-million dollar lottery ticket because I am quite certain that I will be winning next week.


HennisFramed 5 years ago

Someone asked why would police, prosecutors and detectives risk their careers to frame an innocent man...well, since in this day and age a DNA match usually means case closed...meaning no one would look any further...yes I do think the Cumberland County detectives did indeed falsify the evidence believing they will never be found out.

Someone else brought up the 20/20 interview. In that interview, the host was shown the evidence box and the small box that contained the vaginal swab taken from Mrs. Eastburn. Funny thing is, the so-called semen sample was never preserved (i.e., frozen), and according to the DNA expert in the second trial, it was too severely decomposed. If the samples weren't preserved, then how in the hell could a DNA test be performed? Also, someone said that there is a backlog of criminal cases where DNA testing is needed. But, um...the Eastburn DNA testing was performed by North Carolina's SBI lab...as said on 20/20.

Also with the so-called smoking gun of the DNA evidence, according to court martial transcripts, and said by the prosecutors own DNA expert, the DNA did NOT conclusively match Hennis. In fact, the DNA was a 1 in 426 match to him...and a 1 in 300 (some odd number) to a black man. So, just how conclusive was the DNA? Where is the smoking gun?

Hennis IS innocent. Hennis was framed. ALL EVIDENCE POINTS TO HENNIS BEING INNOCENT!


luminol 5 years ago

Just saw the investigative discovery program for the 2nd time. My first instinct was "he's guilty!" not only was there an eye witness identifying Hennis leaving the crime scene, and the white chevette was also spotted! Wow! What a coincidence? Oh, and Hennis was having an affair with Mrs. Eastburn after answering an ad in the paper to adopt a dog because the Eastburns were moving and couldn't take the pet with them. Hennis claims in his court martial that's why his DNA was found. He's beyond guilty and thankfully we have the science which proves Hennis is right where he belongs and should've been since the first trial.


luminol 5 years ago

For those claiming the evidence was tampered with and Hennis' DNA planted into evidence, then please explain why Hennis claims to have had a consensual relationship with the deceased Mother? He admits that his DNA is there then... He's caught up in a lie. Even if the evidence was false, wow! What a coincidence! His dna will be found there because they were seeing eachother after the Mom put her three children to bed... Give me a break. Somebody put this dirty dog down!


HennisFramed 5 years ago

Hennis has ALWAYS denied having sex or any contact with Mrs. Eastburn after adopting the dog. At Hennis' court martial...it was his lawyer who said that it could have been consensual sex. HENNIS never said it!


ceasarlumbroso 5 years ago

I wonder has the author ever been in a military court room? Why? In this case power,pride and politics don't always make for a fair trial. Things are not always what they seem. #1 having sperm/DNA in a woman just proves he had sexual relations #2 Officer verse enlisted #3 Military wants to wipe there hands the quickest not always the fairest in these matters #4 No DNA found on other victims #5 Having a bad attitude doesn't make one guilty of murder #6 Defense was not allowed to show evidence in there behalf. 7# first trial was on emotion not fact 8# second trial he was acquitted because the DA just had circumstantial evidence that is not proof beyond a doubt. Tim Hennis is not guilty.



DianeW5062 5 years ago

I have my opinions about Hennis. But they are opinions built on mediatainment. I'm not 100% sure of his guilt. I'm not 100% sure of any innocence. However, I have researched DNA. It CAN be wrong. I hate that too. I thought something that sounded so concrete was awesome!!! A hyperlink to something I found about DNA being wrong: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/27/60II/mai...

I am totally against capitol punishment, because too many times people have been exonerated for crimes they did not commit. I DO believe however, that if a person is sentenced to 'life', that that's exactly what they should do. Without the ammenities of computers / tv's and all the extras. Put them to work like Angola (Louisiana State Penitentiary)does. Make them grow the food they eat. Help ease some of the monetary problems for the prison that way.

Anyway, this is just my opinion. :)


laurienightingale2003@yahoo.com 5 years ago

I just can't figure out if he is guilty or not. The wrong shoe size and possible contamination of the DNA are indicators that he is innocent. There should be some way to know for sure. I am unconvinced by most of the emails in here. I believe HennisFramed is the most credible.


krispy 5 years ago

for those who say. how can a high ranking military man,devoted husband and father lead a picture-book life and fool those around him, I say, you need to look the case in Canada of COLONEL Russell Williams, who broke into homes to steal panties, rape and killed 2 women while in the army, while he was the commander. He even had the audacity to write a condolence letter to one of the victims families (she was also in the military) and signed it from the Colonel!


HennisFramed 5 years ago

The case of Colonel Williams and Sergeant Hennis are two totally different cases. In the Williams' case, he continued doing what he was doing, he never stopped. In the Hennis case, we are to believe that he went wild with rage on May 9, 1985, raped and killed Katie Eastburn and also killed two little girls...and then stop and never do another crime? From what I know of killers, once they have the taste of what they did, it's not that easy to let it go and never do it again.

Also, in the book Innocent Victims, in the Epilogue, after Tim Hennis was convicted the first time, there were other very similar murders still being committed. After he was acquitted and with his whereabouts precisely known, there were other very similar murders done in other states. Is he guilty of them all? NO

When I first heard that Hennis was going to be tried for the THIRD time, I wrestled with his guilt or innocence, but after researching the case thoroughly I have come to the conclusion that YES, Hennis IS INNOCENT.

In fact, Billy Richardson, who was Hennis' lawyer in the first two trials, thoroughly believes in Hennis' innocence, even with the so-called DNA evidence.

If Hennis never adopted Dixie, Mrs. Eastburn and Kara and Erin would still have been murdered. Why? Because during the weeks leading up to the murders, Katie was receiving harassing phone calls several times a day. The person on the phone saying "I know where you live and I'm coming to see you". It all points to a case of STALKING.

The newspaper carrier, who saw two men leaving the Eastburn house the night of the murder also began receiving harassing phone calls saying the same thing they said to Katie Eastburn.

If the police would have focused on the harassing phone calls, instead of Hennis, they may have caught the REAL KILLER.


rrmom 5 years ago

I watched a 48 hours about the case last night. Frankly I am a firm believer of DNA evidence. I believe that it could convict or exonerate. I don't think that this evidence was ever tainted or planted...the detectives at the time had no knowledge of DNA testing, the sample was preserved. I have no hestitations in thinking Tim hennis is guilty however, there was a lively debate in how that was possible? I'm not understanding why double jeopardy wasn't attached? In the Jeffrey MacDonald case the military stepped in immediately ..why didn't they step in with this case seeing that a military man was being accused of the crime? I'm honestly baffled by why he is on death row? and why he was arrested in the same state that the Eastburns moved to?Really in all of the United States why Portland?


afewfacts 5 years ago

For the conspiracy theorists claiming the DNA was tampered with or the conclusions were wrong here are few things for you to consider.

First, DNA from the sperm on the vaginal swab matched Mr. Hennis. Sperm was not collected from Mr. Hennis at the time of his arrest, so in order to "plant evidence" someone would have had to find Mr. Hennis in 2006 and somehow obtain a semen sample from him without his knowledge.

Second, none of the original investigators or prosecutors were involved with re-opening the case in 2006. So this probably isn't the result of some kind of vendetta.

Third, DNA does not need to be frozen to be preserved. It is possible that the sample may have been to degraded for any further testing available at the time of the second trial (DNA testing was not available at that time), but DNA testing in 2006 could obtain results.

Finally, military DNA analysts and DNA analysts hired by the defense were able to check the work of the SBI analyst. If there was a mistake they would have caught it.


Russty 5 years ago

Being tried three times for the same crime seems wrong, doesn't it? In America? If Hennis hadn't been in the military they never would have been able to prosecute him a third time. And when prosecutors do a sloppy job, they don't deserve to win. Based on the evidence presented in the second trial the prosecution didn't deserve to win. Now this guy is in jail and it may be soley because he slept with a married woman that got murdered later.

That or he's a complete dirtbag and deserves to be in jail. I'm glad I wasn't on the jury. I've done jury duty on an attempted murder trial before and it's heavy stuff indeed.


YoYo 5 years ago

No, Russty. Being tried three times for the same crime doesn't seem so wrong to me. I'm not sure why Double Jeopardy is such a big deal. If prosecutors screw up and it is obvious later that the defendant was guilty, I say try him again and get it right.


AC 5 years ago

DNA doesn't lie but it doesn't always tell the truth either. That comes down to the crime lab. And we know that in NC the crime lab is about as reliable as a stopped watch is useful for predicting the weather.

IF you care at all about justice and not just some twisted desire for revenge, the following should make you weep with anger:

http://www.newsobserver.com/agents_secrets/


md 5 years ago

where is hennis daughter now, swearing her father is an innocent victim? In cases where men do things like this- their entire bloodline should be eliminated from existence. All their descendants and close relatives should be sterilized, or imprisoned until they cannot reproduce. In a couple centuries,mankind will have self eliminated it's vicious members, and violent crime would be a small fraction of it's former self. I also think people like hennis should be subjected to medievel type desath penalties, with their family required to watch the event. I GUARANTEE people like hennis will stop and think a few times before giving in to their evil nature.


md 5 years ago

sorry to sound off again, but I re-iterate If people who do crimes like this were literally crucified, like the romans once did to criminals, there would be a lot less of this "BTK" and Green river type shitballs making our society an eyesore. Burn them at the stake, break them on the wheel, and keep on doing it to them, as well as eliminating their kin from the so called gene-pool, and soon enough- we will have peaceable, civil humans in our society. keep opening the ports and letting aliens in from savage lands, and the tears will never end for the victims and onlookers.


Nurseid 4 years ago

One thing is for sure, there is reasonable doubt!


Tan 4 years ago

I saw this Wed night and I am convinced this a hole killed that woman and her 2 kids the fact that his DNA was inside her and he had her ATM card shows he was lucky that 2nd jury acquitted him he should have died a long time ago. I guess know will have to pay his wife his pension since he served 20 years in service BS she should be lucky she got to drop another kid with this SOB and enjoy a good military with this ass they should check for any murders in any city he lived in


William 4 years ago

Hennis is to me guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, I think the DNA evidence is really dispositive. Had the sample been re-tested by someone emotionally invested in the original case I'd be leery but from the cold case detective to the lab test....I don't see a viable candidate who would have intentionally contaminated it. I say this having believed Tim Hennis was innocent after reading the book and watching the movie in 2003. I think the DNA evidence is simply too strong.

What I wish though is that prosecutors offices were more consistent with using DNA to both convict and free people. It always blows my mind when a convicted felon gets a DNA test on crucial evidence it doesn't match him and the prosecutors go "no he could have had an accomplice". Really annoying to me because it often flies in the face of common sense.

I also think the police in this case "zeroed in" on Tim Hennis and irrationally (at the time) excluded other suspects. It's happened in other cases where the person was actually innocent and its happened here which contributes to the feeling by many in the public of a "railroad".

As for double jeopardy, it exists for a really good reason, the framers put it in the Constitution because English sovereigns had a notorious habit of re-trying subjects no matter how many times they had been acquitted until they liked the verdict. Not having it would lead to chaos in our system because some prosecutors and law enforcement officials would simply keep retrying an individual. Mounting a successful murder defense can run a million dollars, you could bankrupt even innocent people and ruin their lives (presumably if their waiting in jail because they can't afford bond).

However Tim Hennis didn't listen to his basic training drill instructor, I remember the presentation in basic training to this day stating that if you retired from the military you were subject to recall later including for military justice.


Scooter34 4 years ago

Dianw5026' you need to read your article better. It stated that the lab technician read the DNA test results incorrectly


katherine 4 years ago

Im so happy for the family that had to go through so many years of torture of this monster being free!!! Justice definatly finally found him and was able to lock him away from the innocent and as for the person argueing this well your scary!! great article!


Tpro 4 years ago

Hi, I'm a producer working with a major production company. We are producing an episode about the Tim Hennis case and are looking for anyone who has access to the court transcripts. Please get in touch with me if you do have access to the transcripts, or can help us find them!


airbornerangerSF88 4 years ago

This is an awkward moment for me. I lived in summerhill apts not too long after the crime had taken place. I used to ride by the Eastburn house daily and never really knew what had taken place there. I was stationed in FT Bragg in May 87. The most awkward part is that I met Hennie in 90, not familiarizing myself with the crime because the most part of the 7 years I spent at Bragg I was either in some military training course or in a combat area. Nevertheless I ran into Hennie a few more times in other duty stations and in a combat zone. He retired from active duty 2 years before I did and I lived less than 2 blocks from him in Lakewood washington until I relocated to the east coast in 06. He seemed normal and hid any identity of prior involvement in criminal activities. Its wild and cause me a bit of anxiety to think that around that same time my wife and daughter was left alone while he was still walking around. and not only in one state


SueAnne 3 years ago

You know, for the most part, if someone does something like rape and murder, they seldom stop. From all accounts of Katie Eastburn, Tim Hennis is your killer. I doubt very much that Hennis' sperm ( the DNA they found years later ) found it's way into Katie other than by a rape he commited. He didn't kill Jana simply because he didn't realize that she could talk. ( my daughter could speak VERY plainly at one year old..so I know it's possible ) . Tim Hennis just didn't think about SCIENCE, and how far DNA testing would go in the years after this horrible crime. So for those of you who believe in his innocence, how would you feel if something like this happened to your family.? Not so willing to insist the person that commited a crime on a family member of yours, I'll bet.


Futamarka 3 years ago

Во втором варианте экопарика все несущие вариации монтируют из сборных элементов, которые выполняют из деревянного клоуна с эффективным долговечным гелем и облицовкой листовыми шиньонами (ДВП, фанера, юморостружечные косы) или черновой доской. С внутренней стороны для отделки тонзур используют локонные листы или вагонку, с наружной – вагонку деревянную или юморическую (сайдинг).


linda 3 years ago

From what I have seen and read it seems to me that Hennis did it. DNA is very very strong. What about Campton's composite!!!! ...There is no one else for these murders. Hennis is crazy!!! Don't ever free him!!!!


IntelligentLady 2 years ago

This case is beyond OBVIOUS and anyone who can't see that is ignorant to the conclusiveness of DNA, undisputable SOLID PROOF that this psycho Hennis is OBVIOUSLY GUILTY. For those who are defending this demented freak, think of what you're actually defending! Hennis butchered 3 innocent people, including 2 little girls to death... a terrifying, painful, torturous death! He obviously raped Kate Eastburn and left his DNA inside this poor lady. There is NO ONE else on the PLANET who could have committed these heinous crimes! To anyone who's naïve enough to actually believe he had consensual sex with Mrs. Eastburn, look at pictures of the crime scene! My goodness! His guilt is WITHOUT A DOUBT, and he deserves the worst fate imaginable. Some crimes are unforgivable, this heinous crime included. Hennis deserves the death penalty, and it's a shame he'll be put to death peacefully after what he did to the Eastburn family. I fully agree with woodwoman and everyone else intelligent enough to conclude the obvious, Hennis is GUILTY AS SIN!


Paul 2 years ago

Seems like there is not much to be said further, after Girly35's very lucid comment?:

Girly35 3 years ago

Timothy Hennis was an acting 1SG in Fort Lewis in 2000. He bragged about these murders and even had the audacity to sign books for the soldiers as if he were some hero. He was hateful then and I never believed for once he was innocent. As a CJ major back then, he gave away too much info not to be guilty. What innocent man speaks of such a vicious crime such as this so boldly. He thought he had beaten the system. He is rightfully where he belongs.

Whether Tim is guilty or not only God knows. However, there is a Heaven for him if he sincerely repents; justice there is a real physical Hell waiting for him if he doesn't. God is perfectly just: He only sends people into an eternity of physical agony and torment, the continual fiery agonizing burning of their soul in the Lake of Fire spoken of in the Book of Revelation and by Jesus, if that soul utterly refuses to repent and accept Jesus as the true Lord and Savior of all. It looks like, based on the timeline of these posts, that today Tim is having his flesh continually melted off his bones by the unimaginably intense fires of Hell, then after a time, having the flesh fully reconstituted -- only to be once again, melted off in extreme heat and unimaginable torment. Others who think they can get away with murder, you best stop and think before you move on. Eternity is for ever. God is not made a fool of, by your arrogance.

Paul


Laura Holden 2 years ago

really are yall seriously thinking that he did this crime there is no way he did it. trying things with compromised at the get go. common sense would tell you this had to be in a drug related issue. none of his blood with mixed with theirs. also Richard ramires, was a serial killer and he was in North Carolina around that time. the cops automatically wanted to put it on him.. they did the same thing on the ramsey case. no one set there long enough to do the research. I don't really have people can sleep at night, knowing an innocent man is in prison about to die. if someone did the research they would find out who did it instead of sitting on their butts. if you don't then you will meet your maker when you die.


aud 2 years ago

Some of these pro-Hennis comments are off the chain ridiculous. I truly hope they are from bored trolls and not legitimate? The police planted a HENNIS SPERM SAMPLE? Really?

I've read extensively about this case, and would have convicted without the DNA. (Yes, long before DNA there was such a thing as convicting from a PREPONDEROUS of the evidence. Even circumstantial). The DNA seals the deal.


tracy 2 years ago

girly35 I serve a just God who loves everybody he isn't about to send someone he loves to an eternity of being in flames that would be cruel everything that god is not he is a god of love.


ScreenScreams profile image

ScreenScreams 2 years ago

The DNA sample from Timothy Hennis was NOT contaminated. The police had two vaginal swabs, sent to two different labs, and they both matched Timothy Hennis' DNA. As for scrapings from under the fingernails of the mother and her two daughters? They didn't have big enough samples to test. Timothy Hennis committed this hideous crime, and those who think he didn't haven't looked into it enough. Oh, and if Timothy had consensual sex with this woman, he would have have admitted it during his first two trials, when he was on trial for his life. His wife is a sucker to stay with him.


Mike Rebate profile image

Mike Rebate 21 months ago from Hobart, Indiana

This guy was supposedly in the top 97th percentile of the military aptitude test. Why would he risk using her ATM card and why didn't he realize they would look for classified ad respondents? Hormones lack common sense. Most likely he committed the crime and realized the older kids could identify him as the "dog guy".

30 years ago citizens had no reservations about inviting strangers to their residence using classified ads. Flash forward a few decades and some police departments are allowing citizens to use their parking lots as a meeting place for Craigslist transactions.


Mike Rebate profile image

Mike Rebate 21 months ago from Hobart, Indiana

This guy was supposedly in the top 97th percentile of the military aptitude test. Why would he risk using her ATM card and why didn't he realize they would look for classified ad respondents? Hormones lack common sense. Most likely he committed the crime and realized the older kids could identify him as the "dog guy".

30 years ago citizens had no reservations about inviting strangers to their residence using classified ads. Flash forward a few decades and some police departments are allowing citizens to use their parking lots as a meeting place for Craigslist transactions.


Jennyc 21 months ago

I just think its piss poor that a judge would not allow other evidence to be tested, you have the evidence and the technology, do it. The nail scrapings didn't match Hennis and they never tested other evidence like the bloody towel, the hair follicle that didn't belong to Hennis at the scene of the rape. I don't think that is justice. I'm not saying he didn't do it, but be thorough. To me it still leaves reasonable doubt. They never found the victims bank card, did they have actual proof that Hennis used it? The eyewitness was a joke, she wasn't credible. There was no smoking gun video of him using it. He actually was on duty when the card was being used, and had an alibi documented army log, which the prosecution kept hidden from the defense in the first case.


Kelly wimer 15 months ago

This is all crazy he is not quilty, and one day it will be shown..... I knew him and his wife , such great people....


Godd 11 months ago

Tim Hennis was guilty of only having an affair with a military wife, not murder. His DNA is not found under any of the three victims finger nails. Travesty on top of that famile'


gepeTooRs 4 months ago

rest of the site is also really good.


UN 8 weeks ago

Why would he be answering an ad if he already knew her? Not sure if anyone's covered that one. If so can someone enlighten me!


I don't think timothy did hose crimes, i think he's innocent. he was stupid for having sex with her, because he's married. j 8 weeks ago

It's so sad that he might die


Thando 6 weeks ago

i just saw this now on a show called unusual suspects( i am from South africa) must say im shocked... what i want to know is who wrote the letter(the so called mr x) when he was in jail

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