Myers' victims were on hit list

Friends of last casualty say man intended to kill 7 people, not just 4

Kenneth Myers set out to kill seven people Saturday but was stopped before he got to the last three, a relative said Monday.

 

Dinah Baldwin, of North Augusta, a sister-in-law of Esther Baldwin -- Myers' former girlfriend and his fourth and final victim -- said police told the family that Myers had a written "hit list."

"One of the policemen told us down there (at Esther Baldwin's house) about it. The people who were killed and Chris (Myers' son) and two more were on it," Dinah Baldwin said.

She didn't know the last two names but "we were told it was two drug dealers that had sold Angela (Myers' wife) meth," she said.

On Monday, two days after Esther Baldwin was killed, Dinah Baldwin and other relatives wondered aloud why police didn't go to her house as soon as they knew Myers was a suspect in a triple homicide.

"Why didn't they check on her?" Dinah Baldwin said. "They'd been called to that house before. They knew that there had been problems there. When we confronted the SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) officers, they didn't even know anything about her."

Baldwin, 47, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the neck about 1 a.m. Sunday inside her home near Wagener just hours after Ken Myers apparently killed his wife, Angela M. Myers, 25; her twin sister, Tabitha T. Brown; and their mother, Vicki May Hook Brown, 50.

Police later spotted Myers in Baldwin's stolen truck and chased him to his wife's house on Daytona Road, where he shot himself.

All five were killed with 20-gauge shotgun slugs, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.

Relatives say Esther Baldwin was terrified of her ex-boyfriend.

The relationship of 7 1/2 years was good in the beginning but soon became controlling. Myers made Esther quit her job, Dinah Baldwin said. He wouldn't let her out of the house. He wouldn't let her cut her hair or wear makeup. He threatened her life and once held a gun to the head of her daughter, Adreann.

A year and a half ago, Myers left Esther for Angela, who became his wife, but he continued to make harassing phone calls to Esther. He stole her truck for the first time in November. After that Baldwin slept on the tile floor near her front doorway, hoping and praying he wouldn't come back.

"It really scared her. It scared her more than anything," said Adreann Attaway, Esther's daughter. "She had a chain and a lock at the end of her drive. He had to cut the chain to get the truck out of there. After that she tried everything she could do to get the bills paid off so she could move."

Esther called the police several times, Attaway said, but Myers was never charged.

Dinah Baldwin was watching the 11 p.m. news Saturday when she heard of a triple murder in Wagener.

"I just raised my eyes and there he was, a picture of him," Dinah Baldwin said. "I called Esther; she didn't answer and that wasn't like her."

Dinah Baldwin woke her husband. They called Attaway and another sister and drove to Esther's home. The family also made several phone calls to the police, but said that when they arrived at her house, there was no sign that anyone had checked on her.

"Her TV was on. One light was on and her truck was gone," Dinah Baldwin said. "We sat there a few minutes, because we thought Aiken County was coming and they never showed up."

The family went into Wagener and found SLED agents, who went to the house and found Esther's body.

The family doesn't know why Myers might have killed the four victims, but the history of disturbing behavior was long.

"Ken, I think, was involved in drugs pretty bad," Dinah Baldwin said. "Esther was financing everything. Everything they bought was in her name because his credit was really bad."

Esther, the baby in a close family of seven siblings, was a bubbly, happy person who had begun to love life again after being free of Myers, Dinah Baldwin said. She hoped to pay off all her debts soon and move away from him.

"We tried to get her to move to North Augusta," Dinah Baldwin said. "We just didn't get her here quick enough."

There were still no answers Monday from law enforcement about what might have touched off Myers' killing spree.

Wagener police officer Michael Rushton -- who was among the officers trying to capture Myers on Saturday -- told The Aiken Standard for Sunday's edition that he had known Myers for eight years and that he appeared to be a loving father to two grown children. He said Myers had told him that the bad economy had cut into his auto glass repair business and that he had been having relationship troubles with his wife.

"At one point in time, whenever he tried to evade us, I saw his face for a brief second, and you could tell he was a different person," Rushton said. "He had gotten to the point where he thought he had nothing else to lose. He figured he was done for, I'm assuming, and I really hate that he had done what he had done."

Motive in Wagener slayings unknown
Aiken County police seek triple homicide suspect
Autopsy results released

Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton released preliminary results of autopsies to the five people who died in Saturday night's shootings in Wagener on Monday.

Aiken County sheriff's Capt. Charles Barranco said Kenneth Myers, 47, shot to death his wife, Angela M. Myers, 25; her twin sister, Tabitha T. Brown; and Vicki May Hook Brown, 50, their mother, at Angela Myers' home on Daytona Road. Their bodies were discovered at 6 p.m. Saturday.

About 1 a.m. Sunday, while deputies were conducing well-being checks on people Kenneth Myers knew, they found the body of his ex-girlfriend, Esther Baldwin, 47, at her home in the 600 block of Big Branch Road. Sometime later, deputies and Wagener police saw Myers, and a chase ensued. Barranco said police and deputies shot at Myers after he tried to ram their vehicles with the one he was driving, which reportedly belonged to Baldwin. Barranco said Myers apparently killed himself at the Daytona Road address, where the chase ended.

Preliminary results of autopsies, performed today in Newberry, S.C., show:

  • Angela Myers and Tabitah Brown each died of a single gunshot wound to the head
  • Vicki Brown was shot three times, in the upper leg and chest, with a fatal wound to the head
  • Esther Baldwin died of single gunshot wound to the neck
  • Ken Myers died of a self-inflicted single gunshot wound to the head

Carlton added that 20-gauge slugs were the ammunition used in the shootings.

Toxicology is pending, the coroner said.