“In 1985 Katie Eastburn and two of her daughters were brutally murdered while her husband was away. It would take over 20 years and three trials before their killer would be brought to justice.” –Crime Junkie Podcast
Listen to “Murdered: The Eastburn Family” on Crime Junkie Podcast here.
The latest: Major Martin became a “person of interest” to law enforcement officials in the Fort Campbell area after several bodies were discovered Nov. 19 at two different locations not far from his Pembroke, Ky., home. One of the bodies was that of Calvin Lee Phillips, 59, a man who lived across the street from the major and was set to testify during the aforementioned military trial. Following an emergency hearing Nov. 24, a military judge ordered the trial, set to begin Dec. 1, delayed indefinitely. -Bob McCarty (Nov. 30, 2015)
Screenshot of Christian Martin’s interview with News 4 Tennessee about the Pembroke murders (April 28, 2016). Click here for raw video.
Nov. 18, 2015: Calvin Phillips was found fatally shot in his home & the bodies of his wife Pamela Phillips & neighbor, Edward Dansereau, were found in Pam Phillips’ burned out car on Rosetown Road in Pembroke, Kentucky
April 28, 2016: Christian Martin interviewed with the local media about the Pembroke murders. He denied any involvement and was confident that he would not be accused of the crimes. He wanted to set the record straight.
May 13, 2016: Christian Martin was found guilty of two counts of mishandling of classified material & two counts of assault of a child; Martin was found not guilty on two charges of rape of a child & communicating a threat; Sentenced to three months in jail & discharged from the Army
July 11, 2018: Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear faces scrutiny for past campaign contributions; Beshear’s top deputy was accused of taking kick-backs and bribes for political donations; Republicans accused team Beshear of being corrupt; although it had been two years at the time of print, the money still had not been spent but Beshear vowed to donate any tainted contributions to Common Cause, a government watchdog group
May 10, 2019: Martin was indicted on three counts of murder; one count of arson; one count of attempted arson, burglary in the 1st degree & three counts of tampering with physical evidence; Authorities have not given a motive or said what led them to believe Martin was responsible
May 21, 2019: Attorney General Andy Beshear wins the Democratic primary for Kentucky governor
May 22, 2019: At arraignment, Christian Martin pleads not guilty; the State of Kentucky AG is holding him in jail with no bond and threatening the death penalty
“The Christian County Sherriff’s Department tells FOX 17 that both Major Martin and [Joan] Harmon are persons of interest in the triple murder that happened in Pembroke back in November. The department says it has interviewed Harmon twice about the murders and what she knows. However, the department refuses to say she’s a suspect.” –Fox 17 Nashville (May 11, 2016)
The Murder Of A Federal Witness : A News4 Special -WSMV (June 30, 2019)
In May when the Kentucky Attorney General arrested Christian “Kit” Martin for the murders of three people in Pembroke, Kentucky, he offered no clues on what new evidence led to the arrest. -Fox Nashville (July 26, 2019)
A love triangle and financial ruin: Who had the motive to murder in Pembroke? Part 2 -Fox Nashville (July 26, 2019)
Christian Richard Martin is facing several charges, in Christian County, Ky., including murder and arson. Martin moved from Kentucky to North Carolina after the murders, the Attorney General’s Office said. -WFMY News 2 (May 11, 2019)
Kentucky vs. Christian ‘Kit’ Martin | Pilot Triple Murder (Court TV):
“A former commercial pilot and US Army major is accused in the deaths of three neighbors in a sordid web of allegations including infidelity, murder and political opportunism. Christian “Kit” Martin is accused of murdering Edward Dansereau and married couple Calvin and Pamela Phillips on November 18, 2015. The charred remains of Pamela Phillips and Dansereau were found in a burnt car in a field in Pembroke. The car was traced to the Phillips’ home, where investigators found another crime scene – Calvin Phillips dead from multiple gunshot wounds.” -COURT TV
Please click here for the Court TV YouTube playlist for Kentucky vs. Christian Martin (2021) or click here for the entire trial on COURT TV ON DEMAND.
Trailer: When a dancer is murdered in her Virginia home, investigators are hopeful they can crack the case. But after interviewing a series of suspects, detectives realize the case is much more complicated than previously thought. Could an unexpected tip lead them to an unlikely person? -Dateline NBC (S27,E32)
On April 10, 2008, Navy sailor Chris Shortt discovered his step-daughter Meghan Landowski stabbed to death in their Portsmouth, Virginia home. Meghan was 16 years old and from the looks of the crime scene, there was a struggle; Meghan fought back. Investigators learned the killer used a knife from the family’s kitchen. They found it in a gutter down the street. The police didn’t know who committed the murder but they believed it was personal and Meghan knew her attacker. Chris and Angie Shortt believed Robert Hickey killed Meghan and they called NCIS at Naval Station Norfolk to let them know what happened. NCIS questioned Hickey. Robert Hickey was a military officer who was on his way to the rank of Captain when he was accused of sexual assault by Meghan. Robert was a close friend of the family and NCIS believe he groomed Meghan for a sexual relationship. Meghan said Rob began touching her when she was 14 and by age 15, Meghan was having a sexual relationship with a 30-year-old man.
The family supported Meghan as she pressed charges against Robert but they learned from civilian investigators that Hickey’s crimes amounted to a misdemeanor in Virginia; he would spend 12 months maximum in prison. But Robert Hickey was a Navy sailor and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The Navy was investigating and planning to prosecute the case. When NCIS questioned Robert Hickey about Meghan’s murder, he invoked his right to silence. NCIS considered Hickey a person of interest because he had a lot to gain if Meghan died. Meghan feared Hickey because he had a lot to lose. But Hickey’s DNA didn’t match the DNA collected at the crime scene and NCIS had no proof that Hickey committed the crime. Nonetheless, Hickey was given an other than honorable discharge from Navy. The police also suspected Meghan’s high school friend Donald because they dated in the past but the DNA didn’t match him either. At least 80 people volunteered DNA. Investigators sent the DNA for further testing to determine the geographic ancestry identity and learned the DNA belonged to an African American.
This changed the direction of the investigation and detectives began looking for African Americans in Meghan’s life. One person who became a person of interest was a counselor at Norfolk Naval Station but this individual wouldn’t cooperate with the investigation. Five months after Meghan’s murder, every lead dried up and fear was building in the community. Then a community member planned a memorial walk to help generate new leads. It was at this point someone came forward with Robert Barnes’ name. Investigators learned Meghan and Barnes were on the same bus and both participated in an exclusive arts program at school. Robert played the violin and was on his way to becoming a success story. Robert was described as a nice guy who blended in; he was fully committed to his violin music. A friend suspected Robert liked Meghan and when she asked him, he admitted it. Detectives went to the school to speak to Robert Lee Barnes and asked for a DNA sample. Eventually he acquiesced and gave investigators a used piece of gum.
The DNA was tested and the crime scene investigators reported the DNA submitted by Robert Barnes actually belonged to a girl; the police needed to talk to Robert again. In this interview, Robert Barnes admitted he was in Meghan’s house on the day of the murder. He said he went to Meghan’s house and climbed through the window after no one answered the door. He said he walked into a crime in progress; the perpetrator was wearing a mask and holding Meghan at gun point. Robert said the masked man asked him to have sex with Meghan, asked him to stab Meghan, and cut him to leave his DNA at the scene. The police believed that Robert Barnes was making this all up and arrested him. Robert’s DNA matched the DNA at the crime scene. Given the mountain of evidence against him, Robert’s defense attorney asked for a plea deal. Robert Lee Barnes pleaded guilty to first degree murder, attempted rape, aggravated sexual battery, abduction, and statutory burglary. In return, Barnes will be eligible for early release from prison in 42 years. Meghan’s parents were relieved there would be no trial.