Double Murder



Russell (88) and Shirley (87) Dermond are enjoying retirement in a beautiful secluded home on the peaceful Lake Oconee in Georgia. Russ loves reading and taking long walks along the water’s edge. Shirley enjoys her daily crossword puzzles at the breakfast table and playing bridge with her neighbors. So why was Shirley abducted, murdered, and thrown into Lake Oconee, weighted down with 60 pounds of cement blocks? And why was Russ found lying in his garage, decapitated, with his head missing? Who would want this quiet, unassuming couple dead? What is the motive for murder in the area’s most bizarre murder mystery

The reward for information that leads to the killer or killers is $45,000. If you have any information to share with the investigators, contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at tips@putnamcountysheriff.org, or call 706-485-8557, or leave a tip at unsolved.com/tips.

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11 Comments

  1. pat

    I would like to share an alternative theory on what actually could have happened. I don’t believe the Dermonds’ children were involved, because if they were, then the last thing they would do is conceal Shirley’s body.
    I believe the neighbors who were in Asia at the time provided legitimate access to friends or family members. I believe something or someone in the neighbor’s home attracted Shirley’s attention. Was it in the number of cars on the driveway? The loud music? People coming in and out of the neighbour’s home? Idk, but I believe Shirley went to confront them, and they killed her there and then. All it would take is a punch in the face. The perps must have concluded that someone else knows that she would drop by, so they go to Dermonds and kill Russel. Why would someone who doesn’t live within close proximity care about blood seeping out of the garage? I believe the perps were wealthier than the Dermonds, which would explain why nothing obviously precious (Rolex) was stolen. I believe they were 2 or 3 perps, males 20-26 years old. I’m thinking frats enjoying the first few days of summer recess. I don’t think a helper or gardener did this because they are less likely to have access to a boat. LE should seriously look into individuals who have legitimate access to the home of the absent owners. I don’t believe money, hatred or revenge were the motives. I just think they overreacted out of fear and excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs. Why would you use more than one weapon to kill two octogenarians? I believe Shirley was killed impulsively and the perps went to the Dermonds’ home without knowing the number of occupants residing in the abode. The dude with the gun intended on killing everyone who would have been present at the Dermond home, because they are convinced Shirley talked to them about the irregularities occurring next door. It’s imperative that LE LOOK INTO THOSE WHO HAD LEGITIMATE ACCESS TO THE NEIGHBOR’S HOME.

    Reply

  2. Tyler

    As strange as this sounds, I wonder if it was teenagers in the neighborhood. The crime itself makes no sense. It seems like the perpetrators tried every part of a brutal crime (almost like a murder bucket list) but were, as a result, highly disorganized. I would seriously look at odd behavior in teens in the area at the time. Feels like they went after a weak couple in order to “succeed” but had no motive otherwise. Access wouldn’t be an issue because they, too, lived in the gated community (or had boats and lived nearby).

    Reply

  3. Bill Blaski

    I don’t understand the decapitation (did they mention finding the head)? I also don’t understand the motive with no jewelry or cash stolen. This seems like a crime of extreme hate. I don’t believe the mafia theory, or the son’s drug escapades. Any more info on the couple from the last 20yrs related to church or the community? Even the sheriff said it why the “overkill”. I’ll certainly be keeping updated on this case. God bless the family

    Reply

    • Matt Boyer

      Good comments. I think their inference on the decapitation was that the bullet lodged in the head and that was the easiest way to recover it and not leave that evidence.

      Reply

      • Bill Blaski

        Your right I remember the sheriff stating that about the bullet. It’s hard to believe in a gated community that doorbell cameras, or security cameras didn’t pickup vehicles, kids, boats etc. seems like the theory is the perpetrator came from the water way, my understanding is these gated communities have cameras everywhere. What about red light cameras close to the scene. They also have the ability to check cell phone tower data from the night of the crime. Analyzing this data is cumbersome and time consuming. God Bless the family!

        Reply

  4. Charlie

    This is very similar to a double murder in Reno, NV in 2006. Still unsolved. It was in a private and secured community.

    Reply

    • Matt Boyer

      Interesting.

      It seems eerily similar to serial killer Israel Keyes victims, the Curriers. Keyes was arrested and committed suicide before killing but my point I guess is that it’s possible it’s entirely a random act. Keyes inflicted incredible cruelty to the Curriers, picked them at random.

      I’ll look up the Reno case.

      Reply

    • Doug

      One big difference is the fact that the Dermonds were separated in what appears to be a failed extortion (threaten to kill Mrs. Dermond if Mr. Dermond doesn’t buy and deliver gold coins or something of value) while the Musalo’s were both murdered together. Also the Musalo’s murderer didn’t care about ballistic forensics, unlike the Dermonds killer.

      Reply

  5. Alison

    I’d be looking extra hard at the security team in the community! They would be able to walk around undetected/without sticking out to anyone, they would know what houses were more secluded and couldn’t be easily seen by others, they might have had keys to all the houses which would explain no forced entry, they might have been able to turn the cameras off.. I’m not sure just my theory! But makes sense! RIP to this couple and prayers to their family!

    Reply

    • pat

      I’d be looking extra hard at the neighbors who were in Asia. Who had legitimate access to their home during their absence?
      I have a theory that could explain what happened: Shirley notices an irregularity at said house and decides to pay a fateful
      neighborly visit. She confronts them and one of the perps snaps and kills her instantly. Shirley might have mentioned her
      husband was the one who spotted them doing something, so after killing her, they decide to kill everyone in the Dermonds’
      home, not knowing that Russell was the sole other occupant. If this crime was premeditated, then why would the perps
      use two different weapons to kill octogenarians? It wasn’t, they had no idea if someone was staying with Shirley& Russel.
      Decapitationwas formed to hide ballistic evidence and they left him at his abode because the house didn’t have a dock/pier,
      but the neighbors did.
      You can see why Shirley was dumped and Russel not. Why would a perp who doesn’t live in close proximity be worried about
      blood seeping from the garage floor?

      Reply

      • Doug

        Interesting theory, first I’ve heard of Asian neighbors being gone, who do have a boat dock. I wonder if their house was disturbed in any way, perp just don’t break in and do nothing, they have a purpose and something should have been missing, even if it’s documents.

        Reply

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