Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ward Weaver: Like Father, Like Son

The Bite

Map with Oroville, CA Locator
Map with Oroville, CA Locator

According to public record legal documents out of Kern County Superior Court, Weaver dropped off his freight in San Francisco and then drove toward his home in Oroville, California. Barbara Levoy was still with him during this time, and it seemed somewhat peculiar that she had not attempted to escape from the cab while he was offloading his cargo or, at the very least, had tried to get someone's attention so that she could alert them that something was very wrong and that she needed help. But none of that had happened, at least as far as the police had been able to determine.

Much of what they did learn came from Weaver's own mouth later, during tape-recorded interrogation, after the police had learned that he was already in prison on convictions from an unrelated case while they were working feverishly trying to solve Robert and Barbara's murders, and through his courtroom testimony at his trial.

While en route to Oroville, Weaver stopped the truck at an isolated and out-of-the-way location, before reaching the town, and told Barbara to get out of the cab. He proceeded to bind her hands and feet with electrical tape. When it came time to place a gag inside Barbara's mouth, she struggled and bit him hard on the thumb. Whether or not he had planned to kill Barbara at that location at that time, or whether he had flown into a rage because of the bite, is not known to anyone but Weaver. At any rate, he made the choice to strangle her to death.

Prior to driving into Oroville to meet his wife at the restaurant where she worked the night shift, Weaver dug a grave and buried Barbara's body. A few hours later, he took his wife's car to the remote location, dug up Barbara's body and placed it in the trunk. He then drove home, only to find that his three children were still awake. Using the wound on his thumb to frighten the children, Weaver lied to them when he told them that he had been involved in a fight with a man who might come looking for him. Frightening them further, he warned them to stay inside the house where it would be safe.

Confident that the children would remain inside the house, Weaver quickly removed Barbara's body from the car's trunk and placed it in a shallow grave in his backyard. He had previously dug several trenches in preparation for a sewer line that he was planning to install, and he used one of them to bury Barbara's body again — temporarily. A few weeks later, Weaver dug up Barbara's body again and moved it to a deeper grave in his backyard. Knowing that his wife didn't like to stand in the wet grass while hanging the laundry out to dry, Weaver built her a wooden platform to stand on and placed it on top of Barbara's grave.

 

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