Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Howard Appledorf

Tainted Love

When Everson returned to Appledorf's residence, Appledorf was moved onto the couch. A terrified Appledorf begged, "Don't do this. I'll give you anything you want." Appledorf was gagged and blindfolded. Everson put the sheet over Appledorf's head and knotted it. Then Bown placed the bag over the sheet. While Bown smoked a cigarette, Everson sat on Appledorf's chest and bounced against it.

The Gainesville Police Report states that Kennedy got sick at about this time and went into one of the bedrooms and that he returned to see Everson still sitting and pushing on Appledorf's chest. However, DeCarlis maintained that Kennedy was already outside of the home and never went back into it while the assault was underway.

DeCarlis believes that Bown and Everson did not intend to kill Appledorf. "They tied him up, and started jumping on him," DeCarlis said. "The way they had him tied up, they killed him without meaning to."

The cellmate witness recalled Bown and Everson as saying Tainted Love was playing in the background and Everson saying he was "bouncing up and down on [Appledorf's] chest till the air went out of him."

Using the same pan Everson had earlier used to disable Appledorf, Bown repeatedly struck Appledorf's head until the handle broke off.

The Gainesville Police report relates that Kennedy put a cigarette out on Appledorf's belly. Officer Davis in his deposition said that Everson recalled that Kennedy had wielded the cigarette but that "there was no response to the cigarette touching the skin," leading Everson to conclude that Appledorf was dead. DeCarlis rejects this account, maintaining Kennedy was not in the house while Appledorf was being killed.

When it became clear that Appledorf was dead, Everson said to Bown, "We just killed somebody."

Bown later told police that he suggested the ritualistic staging because he wanted to make the crime appear "crazy." He wrote the note placed in the empty plate beside Appledorf. Depending on the account, either all three or just Bown and Everson wrote on the walls. Everson said the phrase "slez sisters" came from the movie Times Square that the group had recently seen while the word "redrum" was, as authorities had surmised, inspired by The Shining. Everson wrote the note on the pad.

Again depending on the account, either the three exited the condominium or Bown and Everson joined a sick and frightened Kennedy outside. In any case, all three piled into Appledorf's blue Pontiac Firebird and headed for New York.

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