From Love to Murder: 2 High-Profile Valentine’s Day Killings


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For most of us, Valentine’s Day is a time of romantic gestures, flowers and those heart-shaped candies that taste like chalk. Unfortunately, though, this lovey-dovey atmosphere has the opposite effect on some. So, instead of a romantic candlelight dinner, psychopathic disgruntled lovers release their inner demon and take things to the extreme level. And by that, I mean – murder.

Here are two high-profile killings that occurred on a day dedicated to love.

Dr. John Hamilton – Wife Killer

Susan Hamilton had a seemingly perfect life in her beautiful Oklahoma City home. Married to John Hamilton, a well-respected surgeon, Susan was showered with expensive gifts and whisked away on vacations to exotic locales.

Starting with a brand-new Porsche on their wedding day, Dr. Hamilton never relented in showing his adoration for his wife of 14 years. And everyone who knew the couple described them as a loving, affectionate and well-adjusted pair.

But, that façade of a fairytale marriage, all came crashing down in 2001 on Valentine’s Day.  Dr. Hamilton arranged for an expensive bouquet of orchids to be delivered to Susan. Unfortunately, though, Susan never had the opportunity to enjoy her new flowers. And that’s because, she was violently murdered.

According to Dr. Hamilton, he had forgotten his appointment book at their house that day. So, he came home in between scheduled surgeries to retrieve his agenda. Upon his arrival, Dr. Hamilton discovered his wife lying dead in a pool of blood on their bathroom floor. Strangled with two of Dr. Hamilton’s neckties, and bleeding from the head from a massive wound that exposed part of her brain, Susan’s death was a brutal display of evil.

During the murder investigation, detectives had discovered a few enemies of the Hamilton’s, most notably a militant anti-abortion group known as the Army of God. They had received threats from that group in the past. Even though the Hamiltons had received credible, menacing threats from this group, investigators quickly came to realize that Dr. Hamilton was the primary suspect.

Even though their marriage was seemingly perfect, it was revealed that a few weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, Susan had discovered her husband was having an affair with a stripper. And that she threatened to divorce Dr. Hamilton. So, in a fit of rage on the morning of Valentine’s Day, Susan’s husband beat her to death.

At trial, the defense argued that – yes, Susan’s blood was all over her husband, but that’s because, he tried to save her life by using CPR. And, despite no hard evidence definitively pointing to Dr. Hamilton to the murder, the prosecution knew he was the killer. Surprisingly, Dr. Hamilton’s guilt was confirmed by the crime scene expert hired by the defense. That’s right – Dr. Hamilton’s own expert put the nail in the coffin.

During his forensic blood spatter analysis of the crime, the defense expert discovered blood spatter on Dr. Hamilton’s shirt that was not reflective of a person administering CPR, but rather, of a person who attacked another.

So, while on the stand, the defense’s expert – under oath – was forced to reveal this finding. Within two hours, the jury convicted Dr. Hamilton of first-degree murder. He is currently serving a life sentence.


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Stacy Schoeck – Husband Killer

Some true-life stories are sometimes too despicable to believe. Yet, the facts and circumstances are all too true. And all too disturbing. One such instance is the story behind the murder of Atlanta resident Richard Shoeck.

Friends and colleagues describe Richard as a kind man, who loved his wife Stacy and her three children (whom he legally adopted). Yet, despite this man’s virtuous nature, his sinister wife had him murdered by an amateur hitman – on Valentine’s Day in 2010.

Richard was Stacy’s fifth husband. Yeah, that’s right. This 38-year old woman had already been married four times prior to meeting Richard. She came into the marriage with three children from prior relationships. Knowing all of this, Richard fell in love and married Stacy. Then, in an act of true love, he adopted her three children so that they would know what it was like to have a stable family life.

With no regard for Richard’s well-being, Stacy quickly had an affair and decided that Richard needed to go. But, not a divorce this time. No. Stacy wanted Richard dead.

Stacy discussed her macabre plans with a co-worker, Lynitra Ross, who referred Stacy to Reginald Coleman, a personal trainer. The referral did involve squats and push-ups, but rather, it involved hiring amateur hitman Reginald to kill Richard.

Stacy lured Richard to a romantic wooded area on Valentine’s Day under the guise of exchanging gifts. Lying in wait, the killer ambushed the couple while they were giving one another sweet Valentine’s cards.  Reginald immediately opened fire and shot Richard dead.

The investigation didn’t take long. Stacy was an immediate suspect, and one of her claims was that Richard was sexually molesting her children. An assertion later to be found completely untrue. The real motive? Richard’s $500,000 life insurance policy.

All three were arrested and sentenced to life in prison. Stacy avoided Georgia’s death penalty by testifying against her murderous co-conspirators.


Valentine’s Day can certainly ignite passion, but as you can see, this desire is not always the virtuous kind. Do you know of any creepy high-profile Valentine’s Day murders that belong on the same page as these killings?



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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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