Real Name: Kay Esther Hall
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Merry Point, Virginia
Date: September 30, 1987
Details: On the night of September 30, 1987, a pickup truck was discovered on the side of a Virginia back road. Its engine was running, the keys were in the ignition, and the transmission was in park. When the passersby got out of their vehicles, they discovered a woman under one of the tires. She was its owner, forty-five-year-old Kay Hall; she had been crushed to death. Authorities believe that her killer backed up over her body with the rear left tire. When the killer tried to stop the truck, it skidded, causing the front left tire to push her body into the awkward position that it was found in.
After their preliminary investigation, authorities suspected that Kay's husband, Bob, had murdered her. They believe he had a motive for wanting her dead; he stood to collect part of $50,000 that she had inherited the same day she died. Also, he had no alibi for the time that she was killed. However, he insists that he is innocent and that the investigation has only focused on him. He agreed to be interviewed for the broadcast in the hopes that his innocence could be established.
Kay and Bob lived and worked on the Corrotoman River near the Chesapeake Bay. She was a successful insurance executive who left her career when they started an oyster farming business. They were married in July 1985; however, they had known each other for twelve years. They had become closer when Bob was arrested for drug charges. She wrote to him while he was in jail and they began dating after he was released in January 1982.
Six months after Kay and Bob started their oyster business, it began to run into some financial difficulties. This contributed to tensions within the marriage. Both began to drink heavily as a result. Kay had told her mother, Esther, that they were not happy together. According to friends, they often had fights over minor problems. One time, she told her friend, Barbara, that she was being physically abused by Bob. She had also been seen with black eyes and bruises.
Kay and Bob planned to go to marriage counseling. However, their luck seemed to turn for the better when Kay received her $50,000 inheritance on the same day she was killed. That day, she went to the post office and mailed papers that transferred half of the money into her bank account. That evening, she and Bob went to a party at the local country club. Many of her friends were there, and by all accounts, she was the life of the party. As the evening progressed, however, she and Bob began to drink heavily. She became upset when he gave the bartender a large tip; she decided to leave without him. She drove herself home in the pickup truck that would later kill her. Just a few minutes later, he was driven the fourteen miles home by some friends.
At approximately 9:55pm, Kay was discovered by the passersby; one of the members checked for a pulse but could not find one. She was warm, however, so they believed that whatever happened to her had happened recently. Paramedics arrived within minutes, but it was too late. A little over two hours after leaving the party, she was pronounced dead. Authorities discovered that there was evidence of a scuffle inside her truck, suggesting that her killer fought with her to gain control of it.
There appeared to be no evidence that this was a random act of violence. Kay's purse was found in the truck, with nothing stolen from it. Also, there was no evidence of sexual assault. An autopsy determined that she was highly intoxicated at the time of her death. This evidence, along with the financial and marital problems, led to Bob becoming the prime suspect in her death. He has no alibi for the approximate one hour period between the time he was dropped off at home at 8:45pm and the time that he placed a phone call from there at 9:47pm. During this time, Kay was killed; if he killed her, he only had a narrow window of time to do it.
Shortly after 8pm, Kay left the country club. At 8:45pm, Bob was dropped off at home almost fifteen miles away. Just over an hour later at approximately 9:55pm, Kay was discovered two miles away in the opposite direction of their home. Bob had just about an hour to drive more than fourteen miles to the site where she was found, locate her in the darkness, kill her, and then drive back to make that phone call.
An investigator tried to drive the route that Bob would have driven that night; it took him just seventeen minutes at a normal pace and twenty-four minutes at a leisurely pace. If Bob left home at 8:45pm, he would have arrived at the murder scene at 9:05pm. In order to make his 9:47pm phone call, he would have had to leave the murder scene no later than 9:30pm. This would have given him no more than twenty-five minutes to track down and murder Kay.
This tight timeline has prevented authorities from arresting Bob in Kay's murder.
Suspects: Bob has been under constant suspicion; however, he has yet to be charged in the case.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the October 11, 1989 episode.
Results: Solved. New information from viewers led authorities to arrest and indict Bob for Kay's murder in January 1990. One of the most damning pieces of evidence involved his friend, William Carter. Carter had shot his wife at their home and immediately drove to another house that they owned and made a phone call to establish an alibi. His wife survived, however, and he was convicted of attempted murder. Authorities believe that Bob got the idea to kill Kay and return home and make the phone call from Carter's actions; the attempted murder took place just two months prior to her death.
It was determined that Bob had approximately twenty minutes to find and kill Kay. It was believed that it would not have been too difficult for him to find her, as she was found on a dead-end road not far from the country club, in the opposite direction from which they would normally drive home. He had also previously lived in the area and was familiar with it.
Shortly after Kay's death, Bob was told that she had died in an accident. However, he was not told how she died. About an hour later, an investigator came to his home. He told the investigator that she had died after being run over by a truck; at that time, he should not have known this information. He had also made incriminating statements to investigators, virtually confessing to "accidentally" killing her. He also said that he wanted to burn down his house for insurance money and "make it look like an accident, just like this accident" (referring to her death). Just a week before her death, she had also told a friend that he had read a mystery book and told her that he was going to create "the perfect murder".
Evidence in Kay's truck showed that a struggle had taken place there. Bruises were also found on her body which were determined to have been caused by human hands. Her injuries were also not consistent with ones that would be expected if she had fallen and been run over accidentally. An engineer also testified that the truck's brakes were applied as she was being run over. Skid marks on the road and her body indicated that she had been run over at a high rate of speed.
In July 1990, Bob was convicted of Kay's murder and sentenced to twenty years in prison. In early 1992, he appealed his conviction and was given a second trial. A judge shortened his sentence to time served in exchange for his guilty plea to second-degree murder; he was given fifteen years probation and was released.
- 'Unsolved Mysteries' Murder Case Results In Husband's Arrest
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- Witness causes sensation
- Jury finds Hall guilty
- Freed husband maintains innocence
- 1992 Appeal by Robert Hall
- SitcomsOnline Discussion of Kay Hall
- Kay Hall on Find A Grave