The story played out like a scene from a movie. A storybook romance, a double murder, and a secret that would be the motive to murder. This is the Murder in Effingham County, GA.
Philip and Linda Heidt had three sons, Chris, Craig, and Carey. Carey went into the real estate development with his father after graduating from high school. He had married his high school sweetheart, Robin, and they would have three children of their own: Philip, Mackenzie, and Alaina.
In 2008, Carey began to focus more on his career than his personal life, and this caused Robin to find companionship with someone very familiar to her, her brother-in-law, Craig. The affair began in April, and by May Robin confessed to her husband. However, Carey didn’t want to end their relationship, he wanted to work things out with Robin. Eventually their entire family found out about the affair, and it led to tensions within the family.
This did not stop Robin and Craig from seeing each other.
When Philip Heidt learned of the affair, the family had a falling out. Craig was the self-proclaimed black sheep of the family and he had become very irate due to his father’s reaction.
In the early hours of August 25, 2008, someone entered the Heidt house and found Philip, Linda, and Carey in the home. Carey was there due to an argument with Robin, and he had stayed the night in his parents’ home. Robin had called Craig to tell him of this.
Firing a single bullet in the face of all three, Philip and Carey died immediately, Linda had turned her head at the last moment and was injured, but she was able to call authorities. Hearing Linda call 9-1-1, the intruder who had doused the home with gasoline, fled before lighting it on fire.
Arriving at the home, the crime scene had been staged to look like a robbery. Windows were smashed, clothes thrown, but nothing was missing. And police even found a key in the door.
The community was shocked, the Heidt’s were a nice family with a successful business, who could have done this? The police asked Philip’s business partners first, but nothing was found there. Then the sheriff remembered a conversation he had with Carey about a month prior.
He remembered that Carey had stated he knew his wife was having an affair but didn’t say who she was seeing. The sheriff had been surprised by this, as the Heidt’s looked like the perfect family. When police spoke with Robin, she admitted the affair was with Craig, her brother-in-law.
‘I’m definitely a woman in the center of a storm. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but it’s a mistake that anyone could make.’Robin Heidt
Nothing placed Craig at the crime scene. He had no alibi, and had lied to police, and denied his relationship, but they could not find anything to place him at the scene. Until police asked Craig to show them his arms. They were looking for the bruises caused by impact of shooting the shotgun. Craig’s arms bore the marks.
In December, the community was shocked again, when Craig had moved in with Robin and her three children.
‘He is livin’ in his dead brother’s house, sleepin’ in his dead brother’s bed next to his dead brother’s wife. He is taking his dead brother’s children to school and he’s drivin’ his dead brother’s truck. He has become, for all practical purposes, Carey Heidt. He wanted the big house. He wanted the kids that adored him. He wanted to drive around in the nice truck and the life of leisure of a southern gentleman so to speak.’Michael Muldrew – District Attorney
Eventually police learned that Craig was more involved that he originally stated. He had insisted that one of his shotguns, boots, and gas cans were missing. But police had found shells in Craig’s truck that matched those used in the murders. He was then arrested in Mary, 2009. His trial lasted only two weeks, and Robin testified against her former lover who she now says could have done the crime. The motive prosecutors said was a man desperate to steal his brother’s life.
But his mother Linda, who still bears facial scarring from the attack, has stood by her son. She doesn’t think her son could have done this. She’s not the only one, many people believe that Robin is responsible for the murders. But she has never been tried for them.
Craig was found guilty of 11 counts in connection to the case including the two homicides, burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, attempted arson, and three counts of possession of a firearm in a felony. He was sentenced to two life terms and an added 85 years.
Robin currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina.
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