Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Wichita Horror

Catching the Carrs

Wichita TV stations filled with stories of the grisly quadruple homicide. One of those news reports led to the first break in the case. On the morning after the slayings, Christian Taylor watched a broadcast on which he heard a description of Jason Befort's truck. Taylor believed a truck he had seen parked at his apartment complex could be Befort's and went to a police substation to report his suspicion. Police rushed to the apartment complex where they identified the truck in question as Befort's.

Another resident of that same apartment complex, Riwa Obel Nsangalufu, flagged down some police officers to tell them he had helped a man carry a large screen TV to an apartment. He pointed them to that second story apartment.

Police swooped down on that apartment, then knocked on the door. The tall black man inside it went onto the porch and put a leg up on the railing as if to jump from it. However, he saw that it was surrounded by law enforcement and returned back inside. Stephanie Donley, his pretty, white, dark-haired girlfriend, opened the door. Police entered, clapped the handcuffs on the suspect's wrists and read him his rights.

He was Reginald Carr, 22, from Dodge City. Accompanied by his younger brother Jonathan, 20, he had recently arrived in Wichita. The elder Carr had an extensive arrest record while the younger had a less serious one. Both had only worked intermittently at legitimate jobs.

Reginald Carr
Reginald Carr

News of Reginald's arrest was broadcast on TV that afternoon. To one of those watching, Andrew Schreiber, that face was sickeningly familiar. Schreiber phoned police to say he thought Reginald was one of the men who had robbed him.

Authorities believed Reginald was the man described by H.G. as the taller and heavier of the two attackers.

Then police got their second big break.

Jonathan Carr
Jonathan Carr

Toni Green is the mother of Tronda Adams, a young woman Jonathan Carr had been courting for about a week. That morning had not started out well for Greene. At her job as a home health care professional, she felt queasy and left. When she got home, she recovered enough to do a bit of housekeeping. Soon she had an eerie sense about the man sleeping on her couch. The news description of a suspect in a mass murder sounded awfully like him. She picked up Jonathan's leather jacket and found a little jewelry box with a diamond ring in it. Greene knew it could not be for her daughter whom Jonathan had just met. News reports said the robbers at the multiple homicide had stolen a diamond ring. Green also remembered that authorities were looking for a Plymouth that figured in the crimes. Her daughter's new boyfriend had parked a white Plymouth in front of her home.

It had to be the same man, Green decided. She whispered these fears to her daughter and told her to grab the niece who was staying with them and get out of the house. Since snow was on the ground, Adams wanted to get her shoes first.

"You can leave without your shoes," a frantic Greene urged. "Let's go!"

As they crossed the street, Greene called 911 on her cell phone. "The guy you're looking for is at my house," she told the operator.

The three females ran to the home of Dawnyieka Buggs across the street. When Greene, Adams, and the niece got there, they turned around to see Jonathan Carr standing on Greene's porch in jeans and a t-shirt.

He ran.

Police were on the scene almost immediately and gave chase. They caught up with him two blocks from Green's home, hiding between a house's storm door and front door. The arresting officers found over $1,000 in cash on him. He had lost a shoe while running.

At the time of the Carrs' arrest, Ann Walenta was still alive in the hospital. Police showed her a photographic line-up that included the Carr brothers. The dying woman picked out Reginald as the man who shot her. She pointed to another man who rang a bell of familiarity. He was not Jonathan but a man in prison at the time.

With the Carr brothers in custody, authorities secured a search warrant for DNA testing. A nurse took samples of hair, blood, and saliva.

As Jonathan Carr awaited the sampling, he spoke to homicide detective Kelly Otis. Jonathan apparently remembered the Dec. 7, 2000 case of another Wichita quadruple murder in which four teenagers were shot and two men arrested for those crimes. Both victims and suspects were black.

"What happened to those boys who shot those kids?" Jonathan asked.

"They've been charged with capital murder," Otis replied.

"What's capital murder?"

"Well, anyone convicted of capital murder," Otis explained, "can get the death penalty."

"How's that done?" Jonathan queried.

"Lethal injection," the detective said.

There was a long pause. Then Jonathan asked, "Do you feel anything [from that]?"

"We've never been able to ask anyone," Otis replied.



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