Rhoden family killings

I have read several articles on the murder of 8 members of a family from Pike county Ohio. I am surprised that very little information has been released. Are there any Dope members from the area that have anything to add?

Not from the immediate area, but have followed the news coverage (minus forensic/autopsy evidence that authorities are withholding).

Seeing that either drugs or some sort of vendetta are the likeliest motives, it’s very strange that no one has been arrested or even linked as likely suspect(s) so far.

I post on a true-crime board, and we’ve been discussing it there since day one. People there are evenly divided between the whole no-suspects thing being either that they genuinely have no idea who might have done it, and that authorities feel that these people’s deaths were just as well. :mad: :rolleyes: Um, hello, CHILDREN died. Whatever their parents may have done wasn’t their fault.

Sympathy for the family definitely nosedived when it was revealed that they were involved in dogfighting. :eek:

Could you give me the name of the true crime board?


Police may feel, based on their experience, that there is very little chance of children in such a household growing up to be productive members of society.

If a police officer believes a child deserves to die because of the conduct of his parents, I would hope they end up armed with nothing more potent than a spatula while manning the grill at McDonald’s.

Also the belief that you can predict a child’s personal outcome with certainty is BS.

I took a look at a couple of articles about this family. They were poor and largely uneducated. Is there more to it than that to lead anyone to think these children were already beyond hope? It is appalling to me that anyone could think such a thing.

I live in the neighboring county to the north. There has been almost nothing released about this case except for autopsy info, which wasn’t exactly big news.

Hmmm…some of the info in this thread conflicts with that on Wikipedia:

  • “Children” were not killed. All of the victims were adults except for a 16-year-old boy. That’s still deeply unfortunate, of course.

  • The family wasn’t involved in dog-fighting, as far as I can tell. It was cock-fighting. Again, this is a difference in degree, not in kind: it’s still blatant animal cruelty.

If the facts as presented on Wikipedia are wrong or incomplete, I’d be interested in knowing about it.

From what I’ve seen, the investigators have ruled out Mexican cartels and have expressed the view that locals know more about the killings than they are letting on. Prosecutors may thus have some idea who did it, but witnesses don’t want to provide corroborating evidence and risk putting themselves in the sights of vicious local killers.

Right now it looks like it was an inside job. Someone who knew the family and the details and layout of all the locations where the murders took place.

When Clarence Rhoden died in 2008 he left the bulk of his estate to his son Chris. That consisted mostly of 47 acres of land, with 40 being left to Chris and the other 7 to be divided among his 7 siblings. With his inheritance and more land that he bought in foreclosure, Chris accumulated a small empire by local standards, owning approximately 80 acres of land.

Whoever committed the murders killed Chris and every single possible heir to that empire with the exception of 3 small children who stand to inherit it all when they turn 18. In the meantime it would be put in a trust and whoever has custody of the children will probably have control of that trust.

Pending further information my bet is on one of the people currently fighting for custody of the children.

80 acres is an empire? That’s like maybe 350k if you were to sell it. Hardly worth killing over.

As I said, “by local standards”. It’s a very poor community. People have killed over far less though by any standards.

Just wanted to say “thanks” for starting this thread-- I was wondering about this just the other day. It was a huge national news story when it broke, and then… nothing.

Ok, a 16 year old may be already involved in a lot of crime. Not to say there’s anything alright killing him but it’s not as bad as some of the reports make it sound.

Interesting comment from Crazyhorse about the inheritance. Could be related to motive, but maybe just no point in killing babies.

Controlling 80 acres for 16 years is no reason for multiple murders.
To me this has the hallmarks of a drug involved shooting. Another multiple murder of a family involved in the drug trade had happened two weeks previously in that area. It sounds like either this was reprisal for that, or more likely that someone was unhappy with both groups and had them killed.

If that is the case, then, based on the movie “Leon The Professional”, it’s the cops themselves.

At this point all anyone can do is speculate. But law enforcement has stated they ruled out drug cartels, and doubt there is a connection between the small time marijuana grow operation and the murders. They believe it was done by local people (more than one) and that they had to have intimate knowledge of the houses, habits and routines, etc. of the victims. It all points to an inside job.

With that information taken as a given, which of course it isn’t, then when speculating about a possible motive the people who would benefit financially from the victim’s death are a good place to start.

Time will tell. They certainly know more than they are sharing with the public right now.

Don’t know if this has already been mentioned but. . . Ms Hook and I both grew up some thirtyish miles from there and have considerable family in the area. We were back there for a month this past summer and the general consensus (at least among Ms Hook’s siblings) is that it was an organized hit. The killers came in, did their thing, and left and thus are probably not within several hundred miles of Pike Co. to be arrested.

Nothing but speculation of course though it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.