Timothy Hennis, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Murders of Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Two of her Three Children (1985)

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Timothy Hennis, US Army

In 1985, a young military officer’s wife and two of her three little girls were viciously murdered in their home. Kathryn Eastburn was also raped. The crime occurred six miles from the location of where Jeffrey MacDonald was accused of killing his wife and two children on the base at Fort Bragg. US Army sergeant Timothy Hennis became a suspect from the beginning. In a background check, they found that he had 3 convictions for writing bad checks. Eventually he was tried and found guilty of the murders of Katie, Cara, and Erin Eastburn and sentenced to death by the civilian authorities in North Carolina. But he appealed and was found not guilty. After his acquittal, he joined the US Army again for two more tours, worked his way up to E-8, and retired as a MSgt from Fort Lewis, Washington. DNA evidence eventually linked Hennis to the crime of Air Force officer Gary Eastburn’s wife in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Civilian prosecutors could not charge Hennis due to double jeopardy; but the US military could. As a result, he was ordered back into service due to his retirement status. Hennis tried to claim consensual sex which contradicted original testimony. Seventeen years later, the military found him guilty of three counts of murder and he was sentenced to death. Hennis sits on death row at Leavenworth with five other service members: Ronald Gray, Dwight Loving, Andrew WittHasan Akbar, and Nidal Hasan.

Learn more: Nidal Hasan, and the 5 other men on the military’s death row

Related Links:
Death sentence sought
Jury in Hennis trial visits area where murder victims lived
Hennis Receives Death Sentence
Triple murder retrial to start
Witness firm on identification of murder suspect
Witness shaky on identifying Hennis
Expert links soldier to 1985 killings
Army holds hearing for soldier charged in 1985 murders
Ex-soldier faces trial in decades-old deaths
Federal judge: Hennis court-martial can proceed
Twenty-five years later, third trial begins in triple slaying
Hennis Trial Underway
Soldier sentenced to die for 1985 triple murder
For 2nd Time, Man Sentenced to Death for Murders
Prosecutor Emphasizes DNA in Hennis Closing
At 3rd Trial, Sergeant Guilty of 1985 Triple Murder
Military Jury Finds Hennis Guilty of Murder
Hennis found guilty of decades-old murders
Soldier’s family pleads for jury to spare his life
Hennis sentenced to death for 1985 Eastburn murders
Hennis sentenced to death for 1985 triple murder
Ex-Soldier Convicted Twice of Eastburn Triple Murder Appeals Again
25 years later, widower recalls slain family
Father, daughter tell of pain 1985 triple murder caused
Three Trials for Murder: In the name of justice, did the military sidestep double jeopardy?
‘Unusual Suspects’: Military Man Convicted & Sentenced To Death Twice, Acquitted Once 
Fort Bragg commander approves Timothy Hennis conviction, death sentence
An Execution Draws Closer
Triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty
Timothy Hennis seeks relief in federal court; former Fort Bragg soldier questions Army’s jurisdiction in court-martial
Timothy Hennis case: Federal judge dismisses latest appeal
Eastburn Murders Expose a Loophole in the Law
The Eastburn Family Murders and The Three Trials of Staff Sergeant Tim Hennis
TIMOTHY B. HENNIS, Petitioner, v. ERICA NELSON, Commandant, USDB-Ft. Leavenworth, Respondent
Unusual Suspects: Mother’s Day Murders (Amazon Prime Video)
Unusual Suspects: Mother’s Day Murders (Investigation Discovery)


In 1985, a young military wife and two of her three little girls are viciously murdered in their home. In a twisted case filled with unusual suspects, the man who gets convicted goes free. But nothing is what it seems. -Discovery ID

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