After killing her husband, Linda Couch had kids, father-in-law, and neighbors dig up a grave and bury him even without their knowledge.
After enduring an abusive marriage for years, Linda Couch finally shot her husband and had her children bury him in their vegetable garden. Linda claims that the memory of her husband laughing as he allowed his friend rape to her was one of the darkest phases in her life. Currently, she is serving a sentence for committing her husband's premeditated murder in October 1984. Although, Linda still maintains her innocence and says that she actually shot him in the back of his head accidentally, according to The Daily Mail. Now, her story is being examined by Crime+Investigation's I Am A Killer.
Linda was a mere 16-year-old when she first met her partner, Walter Couch, at a wedding reception. She "couldn't believe" that this man was actually interested in dating her. Flattered and smitten by Walter they began to date. Within months, marriage was on the cards. Linda got married to him when she was just 16. "I was still a teen and I thought I was in love. Now, I wish I'd never met him. He was so different when we were just dating. But once he had that ring on my finger, he changed into a monster," Linda told Crime+Investigation.
Recalling those days, Linda explained how everything took a sinister turn after she got pregnant. "He pushed me down the stairs while I was pregnant with Roxanne and when I brought her home he made it clear that all the parenting was down to me. He would get angry every time she cried and the slightest thing she would do, he would beat her," she alleged. Even Roxanne, who lives in Ghana, recalls the scary violent streak in her dad. "My father had a temper than would go from zero to 80 in a split second. When I was a kid, I looked just like my mum and that wasn't what my father wanted. I wasn't pretty enough, my grades weren't good enough, I was never enough for him," said Roxanne remembering those days.
"I would be beaten every day. I got used to it, I just had to deal with it. He portrayed being such a loving father but that was just for show. It was an illusion that he created for everyone else. He would hit her and sometimes he would throw her up against the wall," she added. One fateful night, a drunk Walter returned home with his friends and awoke Linda. "He said they wanted a part of me. I was raped by all his friends and Walt just watched and laughed. I felt trapped. Any time his friends came over, that would happen. Slowly but surely he was bringing me to a breakdown," remembers Linda who went on to have two more kids with him.
Attempting to escape the sickening clutches of her husband, Linda enrolled in college. "It was going to be my escape because I would have been there and away from him. It angered him and he wanted me to quit the program and stay at home with him. That was the first time in my marriage that I said no to my husband." The argument turned into a physical fight and Walter went to fetch his gun. Linda says she was able to disarm him by kicking his groins. Then she claims to have tripped and fallen to the ground, at which point the gun accidentally went off killing Walter.
Instead of alerting the authorities, Linda rolled up Walter in a carpet and later dug up a grave with the help of her kids, father-in-law, and neighbors, and had him buried. She had them dig up this grave by lying about soil erosion and wanting a garden. When asked about their father's whereabouts, Linda told her children that he had gone away. She managed to fool everyone except her father-in-law, who suspiciously went back with a shovel and dug up the grave only to find his son's cold, lifeless body. "Think how brutally cold it is to involve your children in burying of their father, the husband's father, the neighbors," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.
During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Linda had applied for credit cards and had taken out bank loans with the intention of fleeing the country following the murder. In addition to the court and the jury, her daughter Roxanne too doesn't believe that her father was killed by accident. "I was her confidant and her best friend because she had no one else to speak to. Then all the loans all came due and the bank kept insisting that my father come in. She knew she had to prevent him from ever finding out what she had been doing. I don't know what he would have done but it wouldn't have been good for any of us," she said.
BREAKING NEWS: 41 yr old Shelby A Couch of Thayer has been charged with 2nd Degree Murder in the death of Walter Earls of Thayer. Couch was arrested in Seymour, MO. He’s in Oregon Co Jail on 1 mil bond.— KKountry95 (@KKountry95) February 24, 2018
In the due course of the investigation, it was brought to light that Linda had forged changes in the property deeds to make herself the sole owner of the estate. It was also revealed that Linda and not Walter who had purchased the gun. Roxanne believes that her mother's actions completely destroyed their family. "I didn't kill him but I felt horrible inside. She had me bury my father in the cold ground. That night's actions destroyed an entire family." Roxanne alleges that her mother might have spun a story about her being raped to escape punishment. "She tells stories and she likes to get sympathy. She could tell you a lie and you would believe it's the gospel truth because she believes her own lies." Linda was refused parole 7 times in total and her next parole hearing is expected to happen in 2020.