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Sam wheeler

Sammy Wheeler

Real Name: Samuel Edward Wheeler
Nicknames: Sammy, Sam
Location: George Washington National Forest, Virginia
Date: June 7, 1992

Case[]

Details: On June 7, 1992, the George Washington National Forest in Virginia was visited by murder. At around 10am that morning, the body of thirty-five-year-old delivery driver Sammy Wheeler was found in a sleeping bag in the back seat of his bullet-ridden vehicle, a Navy Blue 1988 Isuzu Trooper SUV. He had been shot six times in the head and upper torso. Both the local sheriff’s department and the FBI investigated. They quickly determined that the killer had gone to great lengths to clean the crime scene. All shell casings and fingerprints had been removed, and an amateurish attempt had been made to destroy the evidence.
The killer had tried to ignite the SUV; some paper and tissue was stuffed in the gas tank. The gas cap was open, and a cigarette was laid there lit in an effort to try and start the fire. There was some burning around it, but the paper did not ignite, and a fire did not start. When investigators discovered that Sammy’s wallet was missing, the case took on all the earmarks of a random act of violence. But before long, it would be revealed that at least three people in his life might have wanted him dead: his twin brother, Danny; Sammy’s girlfriend, Pat Snead; and Pat’s estranged husband, Bob Bean.
What had begun as a routine investigation quickly became a classic drama of love, lies, and murder. In the months following Sammy’s death, Danny, Pat, and Bob took turns accusing each other of the crime. In this bizarre and convoluted case, the principals agree on only one thing: it all started when Sammy began dating Pat.
In Fall 1991, Pat moved into a rental unit owned by Danny in Staunton, Virginia. The property had been divided into separate apartments. She and her two sons lived in one apartment with Sammy. Danny lived in one of the others. The arrangement suited everyone, except Bob. He felt that the situation was not what was in the best interest for his and Pat’s sons. He had approached her and asked her to stop the living arrangement. She did not agree to it; he claimed that he felt forced into going to court so that he could “provide some kind of moral environment for [his] children.”
In February 1992, a court order was issued that prohibited Sammy from being with Pat in the presence of her sons. To comply, he moved into Danny’s apartment. Bob remained suspicious. He hired a private investigator to ensure that the court order was being obeyed. The investigator later testified that Sammy had violated the court order. It is not known if the judge believed the investigator. However, according to Danny, Sammy did not violate the court order. But to be safe and to appease Bob, he stayed away from the apartment and began living in his SUV.
Bob claimed that he never harbored any ill will towards Sammy. He said that he was not in love with Pat anymore and was fine with her being with someone else. After getting to know Sammy, he began to feel somewhat sorry for him. He wanted to “sit him down and prepare him for what he was getting [into].” However, Danny claims that Bob hated Sammy. He also believes that Bob is a pathological liar. According to Pat, Sammy told her that he felt that Bob was capable of “pretty much anything.” He did not trust Bob.
On June 3, four days before he was murdered, Sammy left Danny’s apartment at 5:30am and chanced upon an unexpected visitor: Bob’s teenage son from a previous marriage. He was taking pictures of Sammy leaving the apartment. Sammy confronted him and told him to tell Bob that he was staying in Danny’s apartment and was not with Pat and the children. Bob’s son claimed that he was “only taking pictures.” Danny thought it was very strange that he was taking Sammy’s picture that early in the morning. Danny did not like that at all.
That Saturday, June 6, at around 9:15pm, Sammy set off for Elkhorn Lake, approximately forty miles from his house. He planned to spend the night in his SUV and begin fishing early the next day. Twelve hours later, he was dead. Danny believes that Bob had a motive to kill Sammy. Pat’s divorce to Bob was going to be final on Tuesday. She and Sammy were going to be married on Thursday. He was killed the previous Sunday. Danny does not believe that it was a coincidence.
Bob, however, claims that he was not upset that Pat was leaving. Therefore, according to him, there is no motive for him to kill Sammy. On the face of it, Bob was the perfect suspect. However, he also had what appeared to be the perfect alibi. When Sammy was murdered, he was on maneuvers with his Army National Guard unit. According to him, he was on duty until 11pm that night. The death certificate indicated that the time of death was 1am. The camp that Bob was at was 150 miles away. According to him, there was no way that he could physically get from the camp to the murder scene in that amount of time to kill Sammy.
One of the investigators on the case was actually in the same unit as Bob and remembers seeing him there. Police felt that his alibi “checked out.” Danny, however, believes that Bob was still involved in the murder. He believes that Bob gave the pictures that his son took of Sammy to a professional hit man. Bob, however, claims that he did not have the money to pay a hit man. The FBI investigated his finances and seemed to confirm this. Investigators claimed that there was nothing to support the theory of Bob hiring someone to commit the murder.
In the end, Bob was cleared as a suspect. But the question remained: who murdered Sammy? According to Bob, Pat did not have an alibi for the time of the murder. He first began to suspect her a week after the murder, when their sons, aged three and four, began talking about the crime scene in surprising detail. They first started talking about the murder, mentioning that Sammy was found in his SUV. Then, they said that they went up to the mountain. He asked when they did that, and they said, “when Sam got shot.”
At first, Bob did not think much of the statements. But later on, they started getting more specific, and offering a little bit more details. Then, during some visits, he noticed that his sons were showing some behavior which suggested to him that they were scared. Bob was so convinced that he even videotaped his sons and then presented the tape to the police. During the tape, they stated that “Mommy” was there when Sammy died.
Danny believes that Bob coached his sons into making the statements. He believes that Bob is a “very sick man” for doing that to them. In the end, the police dismissed their testimony as unreliable. Investigators also believe that Pat had an airtight alibi. According to her, on the night of the murder, she was home alone with her sons. She said that she had absolutely no motive to kill Sammy. She felt that he and her children were her whole life.
Pat was eliminated as a suspect. Perhaps not surprisingly, Bob soon raised yet another possibility: that Danny may have killed Sammy over Pat. According to her, immediately after the murder, the only person she had in mind that she thought did it was Bob. Since then, she has spent a lot of time thinking about who else might have had a motive. She theorized that Danny may have wanted Sammy “out of the way.” She was told that Danny was in love with her.
Pat says that shortly after Sammy’s death, Danny made a surprising confession to one of her friends. He allegedly told the friend that he was in love with Pat, that he had been in love with her for a long time, that he thought about her every night, and that he wanted to “hold her in his arms every night.” He claims that there is no truth to the allegations. According to him, since she was going to be marrying Sammy, she was going to be like family to him. He says that he was never physically attractive to her, even before she and Sammy started dating.
On the morning that Sammy’s body was discovered, his father and Sergeant J. Kent Hyte broke the news to Danny and Pat. Danny became angry and said that Bob was the killer. He pulled out a gun and said that he was going to go get Bob. His father was able to calm him down. Pat believes that Danny’s hysterical reaction was a clever ploy to hide the fact that he was the killer. She believes that he was putting on a “show” to law enforcement to make them think he was not the killer. He says that she is lying and wonders why she is doing that. He also wonders if she is hiding something, possibly that she is the real killer.
As for Danny, the police confirmed that he also has an alibi. On the night of Sammy’s murder, he was seen bar hopping until the early morning hours. According to the FBI, Pat, Bob, and Danny are not considered suspects. All three provided alibis that the FBI was able to corroborate. They have also taken polygraphs which showed no deception.
Who killed Sammy? Despite all of the accusations and denials, the FBI has concluded that he was the victim of random violence. The local authorities, however, believe that he may have known his killer.

Suspects: Sammy's girlfriend, Pat Snead, her ex-husband, Bob Bean, and Sammy's twin brother, Danny, have all been considered suspects, each of them placing the blame on the other.
Bob was upset with Sammy and Pat's living arrangement because Bob and Pat's sons lived with her. He later got a court order to prevent Sammy from living with her. He also hired a private investigator to make sure that the order was being obeyed. He claimed that he and Sammy were cordial to one another, but Danny claimed that Bob hated Sammy. Pat claimed that Sammy said he did not trust Bob.
Shortly before the murder, Sammy caught Bob's son taking pictures of him outside his apartment. Danny believes that Bob hired a hitman to kill Sammy and gave the pictures to the hitman. He claims that Bob had Sammy killed because his divorce was about to be final, and Sammy and Pat were going to marry.
Bob, however, claimed that he was not upset about Pat moving on. He also claimed to have a solid alibi: he was on maneuvers with his Army National Guard on the night of the murder. According to him, it would be impossible for him to commit the murder. He also claimed to not have the money for a hitman. Police later cleared him of any involvement.
Bob suggested that Pat may have been the killer; according to him, she did not have an alibi for that night. He also claimed that their sons told him that they had been at the forest with Sammy and Pat when he was killed. Authorities, however, dismissed their testimony as unreliable. They believed that she had an airtight alibi for the night: she was home with her and Bob's children. She was eliminated as a suspect.
Bob also suggested that Danny may have been the killer. He believed that Danny was in love with Pat. One of her friends claimed that Danny said that he was in love with Pat. However, he denied this. She also felt that the way he reacted to finding out about Sammy's murder was an "act." However, authorities were able to confirm that he also had an alibi for the night of Sammy's murder. Several witnesses saw him barhopping into the early morning hours of June 7, 1992.
Based on the evidence, the FBI have ruled out Bob, Pat, and Danny in the case; however, the three still believe that the others should be considered a suspect. Also, the local authorities suspect that Sammy may have known his killer.
Extra Notes:

  • This case first aired on the October 28, 1994 episode.
  • It is one of the most well-known cases from the series.
  • It was submitted to the show by Sergeant Hyte.
  • Some sources state that Pat was Sammy's fiancée, and that Sammy was thirty-six when he died.
Guy price1

Guy Price

Results: Solved. With the investigation stalled, in March 1998, Danny contacted private investigator Alan Cates and pleaded for him to look into Sammy's case. Soon after, Cates began interviewing witnesses to the case. When he interviewed Bob, Bob suggested for him to look into Kirk Thomas Bell. On July 8, Bell confessed to Cates that he was present when Sammy was killed.
Bell said that on the night of the murder, he was with an old high school friend, then-twenty-two-year-old Guy Jackson Price of Troutville, Virginia. At the time, Price was on leave from the Army. Bell said that he and Price were out driving in Bell's car and drinking beer when they decided to go to Elkhorn Lake to go spotlight hunting. When they pulled into the parking lot where Sammy was parked, Price got out and shot into Sammy's SUV with his father's 30-30 rifle.
According to Bell, after Price killed Sammy, he picked up the shell casings and returned to the car. While driving later that night, they noticed a truck tailgating them. When they let the truck pass, Price shot at it, barely missing the driver's husband. He also shot and killed a cow in a nearby field.
At some point later, Price forced Bell to drive him back to the crime scene in Price's car. Price shot Sammy again, this time with a .22 caliber pistol, to make sure he was dead. Price and Bell then tried unsuccessfully to set the car on fire to cover up the crime. Bell said that he had not come forward sooner because he was afraid of Price and was afraid that he would be charged for his involvement in the murder. Armed with Bell's confession, Cates contacted the Augusta County Sheriff's Department.
On July 24, 1998, Price was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Sammy's case. He was also charged with firing into an occupied vehicle and use of a firearm in a felony. As the FBI originally suspected, the murder was indeed a random act of violence. Other witnesses also came forward and reported seeing Price's car near Sammy's SUV on the morning of the murder. Investigators located the guns believed to have been used in the murder at Price's parents' home. A shell casing found in the field where the cow was killed also matched one of the guns.
On May 20, 1999, Price went on trial for Sammy's murder. A friend of Bell's testified that, while watching the broadcast, Bell had drunkenly confessed that he was there "when an Army buddy shot Sammy." Another witness testified that he saw a car matching Price's near Sammy's SUV on the night of the murder. This corroborated Bell's statement that they had returned to the scene in Price's car.
Price's defense claimed that Bell was not a reliable witness, as he had changed his story several times. Price testified that he was at the scene, but Bell was the actual shooter. However, he claimed that they did not return to the scene in Price's car, which did not match the witness's account. On May 22, Price was convicted of murder and was sentenced to life in prison. He became eligible for parole in 2012, but his request was denied. He was also denied parole in 2017 and 2019. However, in March 2020, Price, then fifty-one, was granted regular parole during the COVID-19 pandemic. His current whereabouts are not known.
In July 1999, Bell was arrested and charged with trying to set fire to Sammy's vehicle. It is not known if he was convicted on those charges.
Sadly, Sammy's parents, Joseph and Colleen, have since passed away.
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