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Published:May 9th, 2014 11:48 EST
Who Would Do Harm to Successful Retirees, Russell and Shirley Dermond?

Who Would Do Harm to Successful Retirees, Russell and Shirley Dermond?

By John G. Kays


What to make of the weird case of an elderly retired couple (wealthy Georgians), Russell and Shirley Dermond? It`s known that Russell was murdered, since his decapitated torso was found lying on his garage floor; the whereabouts of his head, however, are unknown. Equally deepening the mystery, is the question, what happened to his wife Shirley? 


A good theory, bandied about by Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, the initial investigator in this case (who`s not use to much crime in this community), would have Shirley Dermond most certainly abducted. Strengthening the likelihood of this scenario, is the fact that her pocketbook, cell phone, and vehicle are still in tact at this exclusive lakeside mansion. (CNN)


From my considerable experience, whenever wealthy people are the targets of vicious crimes (such as murder and/or kidnapping), the media will pounce on the crime scene like white on rice. This new case of the Dermonds is no different; it took up a hefty portion of my time this morning, reading over several of the best print news stories, as well as taking a close look at a slew of television news reports, that intimated just how riveted with shock some of the locals were, if not everybody living in Georgia. 


From my vantage point, after having a proper vacation in Atlanta (as well as Savannah) last June, I too realized just how big this story is, or likely will become shortly! The news footage alone, with aerial shots of the beautiful, unreal Dermond mansion, helped me to grasp the significance of this rather quickly. Rumors, fear, and innuendo are wafting forth from the once secluded (but not anymore) community!


Well, one of the first not so pleasant thoughts (or questions) to cross my mind goes something like this: was this a random serial killer-like situation? Or rather, would this fall under the auspices of what we usually refer to as an Inside Job! IE, Is family behind it? How about old business partners? Or how about former employees who felt as if they got the short-end-of-the-stick?


I surmise, Sheriff Sills falls inside the latter camp; well, he has stated that whoever did this, must have planned it out meticulously, since this is a well guarded community and has been characterized by the press as crime-free. One clue that sticks out like a sore thumb, and was referenced by Sheriff Sills in his news conference, is that no material items were stolen or even disturbed in the house. Actually, he said the mansion was spotlessly clean, perhaps clean to excess! This to me and to everyone is most odd.


I would tend to conclude, from the way this looks, it was specifically a crime of violence targeting the opulent, elderly couple. With that in mind, someone likely has somehow acquired a festering beef or a growing grudge against this couple, who look as if they`ve finally made it: now they are the spitting image of Success in America! 


I feel certain that most people who are currently enthralled with this (Southern) case, infatuated with what it might be whispering to us (the backstory, if there ever was a backstory), swiftly recognize the idea that this has a social-economic component to it, hidden just beneath the surface, so it`s hard to detect. Having said that, detectives and a curious press alike, will have to engage in quite a lot of digging and investigating, or the tedium of sifting through towering piles of business and financial records.


I assume this sizable undertaking is already underway; well, proof of it is an article posted by MSGR.com (Eatonton Messenger), Dermond family members involved in restaurant franchises, real estate, by Karen Bridgeman. It`s my understanding, the Dermonds made it from a chain of fast food restaurants they owned, most of which were Wendys, although I heard one was a Chick-fil-A. Karen`s piece tells us more about the business doings of two of their sons, who I believe were named Keith and Brad, although initially she calls them Keith and David. 


The sons had sold 20 Wendy`s restaurants back in 2009; I wonder if this huge sale was completely spotless (that word crops up once again)? Moreover, what bearing does this sale have on the bad things that ultimately happened to their parents? How did the parents` proceedings go? That is, how and when did they sell their money-making franchise chain? Better yet, we`ll need to know, did someone get burned along the Yellow Brick Road that leads to Living the American Dream?


http://www.msgr.com/news/crime/article_4301bba8-d6dc-11e3-9a0f-0019bb2963f4.html