Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kevin Neal, Convicted of Murder by Forensic Entomology

Neal's Criminal Past

Kevin Neal in 1997
Kevin Neal in 1997

The weightiest piece of circumstantial evidence was Neal's criminal past. He had a 1983 rape conviction and he was scheduled to go to trial in Indianapolis on July 28, 1997, in connection with an incident where police said he tied up a female neighbor, held her a gun point and threatened to rape her. Although most sex offenders have set victim preferences, and Neal's preferred victims were adult women, these two incidents clearly showed that Kevin Neal was a violent predator.

Then there was the problem with Neal's time line. He told investigators that he had started calling for the children at about 1:15 p.m., before calling 911 at 1:52 p.m. However, two farmhands working nearby both told police that they had been outside during that same time for 30 to 40 minutes and had not seen Neal looking for the children or heard him calling.

Furthermore, when sheriff's deputies arrived at the house, there were no toys in the yard or any other indications that children had been outside playing, as he had claimed. That, combined with neighbors' statements that they had not seen or heard the children playing all morning, made Kevin Neal a prime suspect. Deskins also learned through interviews that Neal was so strict with the children that they wouldn't leave the porch of the house without permission.


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