- Politics and Social Issues»
- Crime & Law Enforcement
Does A Cheater A Killer Make? State Trooper David Camm and The Murder of His Wife and Children
Most women love a man in uniform, which no doubt explains why policeman, fireman, and soldiers are the top professions in statistics for adultery.
No, not all of the men in these professions cheat but too many of them can’t resist the flirtations of the women to whom the uniform and wedding ring is the ultimate turn-on.
Everyday in America, men who have sworn to protect and serve find themselves in a sea of aggressive gals who make them forget their wedding vows. While many men begin their profession with good intentions of making the world a safer place, others apply for the jobs with the easy seduction of women being the job’s biggest benefit.
When the wife and/or children of one of these uniformed men end up brutally murdered, however, suddenly those indiscretions become motive for murder. Such is the case of Indiana State Trooper David Ray Camm.
The Beginning of the End
When Kimberly Star Renn married David Camm in May 1989, she believed she was marrying the man of her dreams, the man she would grow old with.
And he was. Until the summer of 1992.
It was early in 1992 when David met Stephanie McCarty, a young woman who worked at the Fitness Zone health club where he was a member. The relationship remained platonic, even through the birth of Kim and David’s son, Bradley, in 1993, until the summer of 1994.
After Stephanie broke up with her boyfriend, David wasted no time making his move. David never attempted to hide his affair with Stephanie, taking her out to dinner and nightclubs, even to NASCAR races, while Kim was home taking care of their infant son, believing her husband was working.
When Kim announced she was pregnant again, Stephanie told David the relationship was over but it didn’t last, and soon the lovebirds were back to sneaking around.
This go ’round, however, Kim suspected her husband was being unfaithful and questioned him about it. David, who had decided he wanted out of the marriage, confessed his sins and told his five-months pregnant wife he wanted a divorce because he was in love with his mistress.
Kim was, understandably, devastated. That same night she packed up her and baby Bradley’s things and went to her parents home. By the next morning, however, anger had set in and she returned to their Edwardsville, Indiana, home and told David to get out.
If only Kim had never gone back.
Forgiving and Forgetting
When David Camm learned his mother wouldn’t allow him to move into her home during the divorce, he went berserk and began destroying the kitchen in the Camm home. His own mother, hearing the insanity over through the telephone, called for help from his fellow troopers who kept David’s “incident” under wraps.
The marriage was over, and David and Kim each got their own apartments. Although Stephanie was officially a renter on a lease with a friend, she was, for all intents and purposes, living with David.
David’s family was disgusted with him while remaining supportive of Kim. When Kim gave birth to David’s daughter, Jill Camm, on February 28, 1995, her parents and her in-laws were there but David was not.
The affair between David and Stephanie would come to an end in March after Stephanie agreed to meet with her ex-boyfriend to discuss how they could continue to work together at the gym, despite her affair with David. David, who was obviously watching Stephanie’s every move, was outraged when the meeting went longer than he believed it should and called Stephanie to come home. When she arrived, David pulled his 9mm service revolver from his jacket and threatened to kill himself. After Stephanie talked him “off the ledge,” she told him it was over, gathered up her things, and left the apartment.
Within just a few hours, David called Kim and said he wanted to talk about a reconciliation. Being that Kim still loved David and was now the mother to two of David’s children, it didn’t take much for David to talk his way back into Kim’s heart. Both her family and David’s was surprised Kim had so readily taken David back, but vowed to support her in her decision.
Unfortunately, as Kim and David would start anew, even building their dream home, David’s desire for “greener pastures” would rear its ugly head once again.
History Repeats Itself
When David and Kim moved into their new home at 7534 Lockhart Road in Georgetown, Indiana, it felt like a new beginning. Kim was very proud of her new home, but she was more pleased with David and how he had really seemed to change. He was spending so much more time with Brad and Jill; that is, when his work hours permitted it.
If anyone took a closer look, however, they’d find David, while presenting himself as a devoted husband to his wife, had returned to lying about his work hours and was chasing anything in a skirt.
In June 1997, David was seeing an old friend, Michelle Voyles. It wasn’t so much dating as it was meeting for "hook-ups" in the back of David’s cruiser. That relationship ended when Michelle learned her "friend with benefits" was married but by then David was pursuing Lisa Korfhage, whom was friends with the Camms, as was her fireman fiance.
That relationship petered itself out, too after Lisa married Peter Carter, but it did little to slow David down nor did a couple of women who rejected him. David got angry, threw a temper tantrum when they declined to have sex with him, but he kept right on moving to the next one.
In the meantime, David’s career was on a downwards slope following several complaints about the trooper and his involvement in a high-profile lawsuit wherein a nineteen-year-old claimed he was assaulted by David and two other troopers during an arrest. The state investigation into the allegations had cleared David of wrongdoing, but his superiors told him he was being assigned to casino duty. David fought against being assigned to Caesar’s Riverboat Casino, which he saw as a demotion.
Timeline of Events
September 28, 2000
Kim, Bradley, and Jill are murdered
March 17, 2002
David is convicted of 3 counts of murder and sentenced to 195 years
August 10, 2004
David's conviction reversed
February 23, 2006
Charles Boney convicted on Camm murders and sentenced to 225 years
March 3, 2006
David is convicted of murder for the 2nd time and conspiracy
June 29, 2009
David's 2nd conviction overturned
Court orders removal of Floyd County prosecutor Keith Henderson from the Camm trial
October 24, 2013
David Camm is acquitted at 3rd trial
His career in decline, David threw caution to the wind and in September 1999, he bedded the wife of a friend and former state trooper in the backseat of a car being driven by one of David’s fellow troopers.
Next, David tried to strike up a relationship with twenty-nine-year old Tammy Rogers, who was in the process of divorcing her husband. The two talked for several weeks but then Tammy decided she no longer desired a relationship with David and left him a message instructing him to never call her again.
Realizing he was probably going to be forced into the working the Riverboat permanently, David decided to go to work for his uncle full time in a sales position. He turned in his notice with the Indiana State Police, but had approximately three months to the end of his employment contract.
During one of his last shifts as a trooper, David came to the rescue of Emily Shepherd, a beautiful exotic dancer at PT’s Show Club in Louisville, Kentucky. She was parked on the side of the interstate because her car hood kept coming open and blocking her view. David fixed the problem for the dancer then invited her back to his patrol car and soon began trying to seduce her. Although they kissed and did some heavy petting above the waist, that was as far as Emily was willing to go after David made the odd comment, “I feel like I’m doing this with my daughter.”
With his career as a cop behind him, David’s days at United Dynamics, Inc., seemed to curb his extramarital activities.
It had been six years since David had left Kim for one of his mistresses and everything seemed to be going okay. David had a better paying job, the Camms had a beautiful new home, and Kim was making good money as a corporate accountant.
Yes, indeed, everything on the surface seemed fine. Perfect, as David would later describe it.
A Horrific Discovery
There was trouble brewing in the Camm home. Big, big trouble.
Recently Jill had been complaining of pain in her private areas. Jill had talked to Kim about the pain, a couple of mothers in Jill’s dance class had witnessed Jill’s crying and complaints, and Jill had confided her issues to her maternal grandmother.
In the last conversation Kim would have with her lifelong friend Marcy McLeod, Kim told her friend, “History is repeating itself,” but was never in a position to explain further. Marcy had invited her friend to come visit her in Florida. Kim said she thought that was a great idea and said she would explain everything then. Marcy later said she found it odd Kim was willing to take the kids out of school for a week to come to Florida and she felt things must be pretty bad between Kim and David for her to agree to such.
Unfortunately, Kim would never have the chance to elaborate on her troubles with her friend.
On the night of September 28, 2000, Kim picked up her children from their activities and headed home. Upon arrival, at approximately 7:35 p.m., according to the testimony of a neighbor, Kim pulled her car into the garage but before she could enter the house, she was shot and killed instantly. The killer then turned to Brad who, having witnessed the attack on his mother, had unbuckled his seatbelt and was trying to escape into the rear storage area of the SUV when he was shot. And, Jill, now having been witness to the both attacks, remained strapped in her seat but was covering her little eyes in an effort to, as only a young mind can do, black out the horrific images and did not see the bullet that would claim her life.
Around 9:45 p.m., after playing basketball with friends and family at the Georgetown Community Church, David Camm returned home to find his slaughtered family in the garage of their home. Soon after frantically calling 911 for help, David's former co-workers and other emergency personnel rushed to the scene where they found a distraught David standing in the driveway.
Was the man standing in the driveway – the man who had cheated so frequently and so brazenly on his wife, the man who was a former state trooper sworn to protect and serve – a victim of a violent crime? Or was he a perpetrator with superb acting skills?
Piecing Together the Puzzle
The first thing detectives realized was this was no robbery gone wrong. There were no attempts to enter the house. The shots fired had been concise and very much intended for their targets; in other words, the shots weren’t frenzied. Whoever the killer was, it was his (or her) intent for Kim, Brad, and Jill to die.
An autopsy performed the next day confirmed what investigators already expected: all three of the victims had been killed by gunfire; but what they hadn’t expected the autopsy to reveal was Jill had recently been forcibly held down and sexually abused within 24 hours of her death.
Two days later, David called former co-worker and friend Shelly Romero threatening to commit suicide. It was ironic this day was also the day David’s former mistress Stephanie was getting married. David had called Stephanie to congratulate her on her upcoming nuptials when he’d learned she was engaged but she would later say he was very formal and didn’t sound sincere; not necessarily insincere either, just cold.
Detectives were well aware of David’s numerous affairs, the stories of his skirt-chasing was a common topic among officers within the jurisdiction. Now these indiscretions were a matter of the investigation as evidence for motive.
There was also the recent substantial increases in the couples’ life insurance policies. Kim was aware of the increases, had even signed for them. Considering the ink was hardly dry before the murders, however, this too was something to be taken into consideration during the investigation.
Investigators had taken David’s clothing on the night of the murders and now they asked if he would be willing to submit DNA for a suspect kit so he could be eliminated as the killer. At the request, David became very irate but did later agree to submit only after declaring, “If that expert puts me in jail, I’m going to come back and kill you two!”
“That expert," meaning the head of the forensics unit, would note a mop bucket with a strong odor of bleach at the crime scene. However, the expert would later have to admit he was mistaken about dried white spots on the garage when he had declared them to be bleach.
A set of unidentified fingerprints were found on the exterior of Kim’s Ford Bronco but since she parked in a public parking area each day at work, investigators dismissed them.
When investigators arrived at the scene, Kim’s shoes were on top of the Ford Bronco. Detectives wondered why a killer, even a hired hitman, would take time to remove Kim’s shoes. They concluded either Kim had driven home with her shoes off and had exited the vehicle and placed them on the roof or this was a very personal act in the course of murder.
And then there was David’s clothing. A fine mist, so fine it was invisible to the naked eye, of Jill’s blood was found on her father’s sweatshirt. The recovery of a shirt bearing the name “backbone” was also recovered, but David denied any knowledge of how the shirt came to be in his home.
A few things aside, David was looking very much like he was the murderer of his family, but what about those eleven witnesses who claimed David was playing basketball with them on the evening of and at the time of the murders?
State vs. David Camm: Round 1
Three days after he had discovered the murders of his wife and children, David Camm was arrested.
All of the foregoing evidence was what the prosecutor was relying on for a conviction. David’s defense team, however, felt strong about an acquittal with their client’s eleven alibis.
Prosecutors, however, were prepared to argue David had slipped out of the basketball game unnoticed, returned to his home, made a phone call, then killed his wife and children – Verizon phone records would prove such. Yet when the defense was able to prove that Verizon’s records were an hour ahead of the actual time the call was made, it would seem the case, for the most part, against David was crumbling.
Regardless, the prosecution pressed forward, believing they had the right man. After nine weeks of testimony and twenty nine hours of grueling deliberations, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all three counts of murder just after midnight on Monday, March 18, 2002. The following month David was sentenced to a total of 195 years in prison.
If anyone thought that the was the last they’d heard of David Camm, they were sadly mistaken.
State vs. David Camm: Round 2
On Tuesday, August 10, 2004, the Indiana Court of Appeal reversed David’s convictions on the grounds his extramarital affairs should not have been allowed as evidence.
Before an official date could be set for David’s second trial, a man named Charles D. Boney was arrested after DNA from the “backbone” sweatshirt resulted in a hit from the national DNA database which is made up of samples from, among others, prison inmates.
At first, Boney denied any knowledge about the murders of Kim Camm and her children but after a few hours of interrogation, he finally admitted he had met David during a basketball game in June 2000. After they had gotten to know each other and David became aware of his criminal past, he said David asked Boney if he could get him a “clean gun.”
Boney went on to say he was inside the Camm home on the night of the murders. When David went into the garage and shot his wife and children, Boney said he rushed outside which is how his fingerprints were left on Kim’s SUV. He was also responsible, he said, for taking Kim’s shoes off and placing them on top of the vehicle.
It was then, with a little research, investigators learned Boney had been arrested in 1989 for attacking several young women for the sole purpose of stealing their shoes. During questioning about the Camm murders, Boney would claim these were just fraternity pranks and nothing more.
David Camm and his family thought Boney’s arrest would finally be the exoneration they had been seeking. With Boney’s history, how could investigators believe his story about David being involved?
Unfortunately for David, they did. After Boney’s arrest, prosecutors dropped the charges of murder against David and refiled them with an additional charge for conspiracy.
In 2006, Boney was convicted on three counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 225 years in prison.
Later that year, following a second trial (first on the new charges), David was again found guilty of the murders of his wife and children and of conspiracy as well. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
State vs. Camm: The Final Round
On June 26, 2009, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned David’s conviction saying prosecutors should not have allowed testimony David molested his daughter without evidence to back up the claims. Additionally, the justices said the testimony of one of Kim’s friends who said Kim was expecting David home between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. was hearsay and should not have been permitted in testimony either.
In November 2011, the Indiana Court of Appeal ordered prosecutor Keith Henderson to remove himself for David’s third trial which is expected to begin in August 2013.
An inability to use David's extramarital affairs or testimony about the suspected identity of Jill's abuser made a conviction seem impossible. Nonetheless, prosecutor's moved forward with a new trial. This time they would claim David's motive was life insurance proceeds.
Although the Camms life insurance policies' increases were most certainly suspect, in the end it wasn't enough to convince a jury the former Indiana State Trooper had murdered his wife and two children.
Charles Boney remains behind bars to serve his 225 year sentence.
Since his 2013 acquittal, David Camm has been trying to rebuild his life. Today he works as a case coordinator for Investigating Innocence, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending American inmates who they feel have been wrongfully convicted.
In 2016, David agreed to settle with Floyd County officials for $450,000 as a result of a civil suit he filed for wrongful prosecution, which he filed following his acquittal. He continues to reside in Indiana.