Unsolved Mysterious Killings of The Darden Family

2020-11-20 12:05:02 Written by Zoya mashkoor

Unsolved Mysterious Killings of The Darden Family


Ps...this is a vicious one


The Darden family met a really disturbing end in their small town of Ina, Illinois in 1987. More than a decade later, a serial killer sitting on death row in Texas would contend he perpetrated the crimes, along with more than 70 other slayings. Yet the reality of the Darden's’ final times remains as uncertain today as it was on the evening of November 18, 1987, when police first found out their brutalized bodies.

The police visited the trailer because Russell Keith Darden, then 29 years old, hadn’t appeared for his job as a water treatment plant operator at the close Rend Lake Water Conservancy District. Reportedly, Keith—he liked to go by his middle name—was an incredibly sensible worker; when he neither occurred for work nor called in to report his absence, his supervisor placed calls to both of Keith’s parents, who told that they hadn’t seen him. By evening, the police went to the Darden family home to examine, where they greeted Don Darden, Keith’s father, who had brought keys to the trailer.


What they discovered inside was a crime spectacle so brutal and gruesome that it would trouble everyone involved for years to come. Elaine Darden and her three-year-old son Peter had been crushed to death with a baseball bat that had been a birthday gift to Peter from his father earlier that year.


To make matters worse, Elaine had been expecting with the couples’ second child, a daughter, and the beating resulted in her to go into labour. The murderer or murderers had shown no sympathy, nonetheless, and the newborn child ( who was born whilst she was being crushed to death by the way) was crushed to death as well. Elaine was bound with duct tape and gagged, and all three were folded into bed together. The area had even been cleaned up, reflecting that the murderer or murderers had been in no rush to abandon the crime scene. There was no early sign of Keith.

The early feelings that Keith Darden had brutally massacred his own family were shortly laid to rest when his body was discovered the following day, lying in a nearby meadow. He had been shot three times, and his penis was cut off. Police discovered Keith’s car stationed outside the police station in the nearby town of Benton, some 11 miles from the Darden home. Blood on the inner reflected that it was the apt site of Keith Dardeen’s killing.


Such a vicious crime would have been sufficient to alarm a rural community, but the reality was that the Darden's were not the first casualties in the area. Over the past two years, Jefferson County had been home to 15 murders, including one especially tragic case in which a youngster living in Mount Vernon murdered his parents and three siblings.


While the spate of killings looked like irrelevant, it was sufficient to drive locals into a serious state of fear. During the days and weeks following the discovery of the Darden family killings, locals took to openly carrying shotguns and the coroner in nearby Franklin County was noted as saying that locals were so scared to let foreigners into their homes that if he ran out of gas on a country road, he wouldn’t even worry knocking on the door and would rather simply walk to the highway and hitch a ride.


Despite an enormous inquiry involving 30 detectives devoting full-time work to the case and surveying more than 100 people, the police were not able to deduce an intention for the killings, let alone discover a likely suspect.


As time passed and the case grew colder and colder, Joeann Darden, Keith’s mother, proceeded to pressure administrations to try to unravel the killings of her son and his family. She collected more than 3,000 signatures in a try to get The Oprah Winfrey Show to do a segment on the killings, which were considered too graphic for daytime television. Similarly, America’s Most Wanted also initially passed on the case, though they later did a segment in 1998 that generated no new leads.


It wasn’t until the year 2000 that new light was hurled upon the vicious carnage of the Darden family. That year, a serial killer named Tommy Lynn Sells, who had been caught after cutting the throats of two girls near Del Rio, Texas, started admitting to other murders that he contended he had perpetrated over the years while riding the rails and working at wandering carnivals. One of the murders that Sells contended responsibility for was the massacre of the Darden family.


According to Sells, he met Keith at a truck stop, or perhaps a pool hall, and Keith asked him home to dinner, where Keith then propositioned Sells to engage in a threesome with him and Elaine. Or maybe not. Maybe Sells just saw the “For Sale” sign on the Darden's’ trailer and, with it, a chance. Part of the difficulty with the admission of Tommy Lynn Sells is that he didn’t always stick to his own story, let alone the facts of the case.


When Sells first admitted in 2000, Joeann Darden was convinced of his guilt. As the years went by, nonetheless, her conviction waned, and by the time Sells was enforced in 2014, her suspicions were substantial. “Tommy deserved to die for what he did, but I wished him to stay alive until I know [sic] fully he didn’t do it,” she told the Associated Press soon after his execution.


Though Sells admitted to more than 70 killings, at the time of his execution, authorities were only sure of his guilt in 22 of his nominal killings. Unfortunately, the vicious massacre of the Darden family wasn’t one of them, and to this day the chilling Illinois killing case officially stays unsolved. He was known to confess to many Murders he had nobody to do with to make himself look like more notorious than he ever was.