Video: Susan Hendricks Charged in Quadruple Murder
Susan Hendricks was arrested late Monday night and charged with four counts of murder in a case officials say was motivated by life insurance policies.
The Pickens County Sheriff's Department has made an arrest in four fatal shootings in Liberty from earlier this month.
Susan Hendricks, 48, of 236 Pindale Road, Liberty, was charged with four counts of murder and four counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to warrants issued for her arrest. The deaths were originally believed to be a possible murder/suicide.
"On October 14 on Pinedale Road in Liberty, the serenity of this peaceful county was broken by a horrendous act of evil with the killing of four innocent people, perpetuated by the mother of two of the victims," Pickens County Sheriff C. David Stone said during a press conference Tuesday morning at the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center.
The Pickens County Sheriff's Department, along with 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, held a press conference on Tuesday morning to announce Hendricks' arrest and answer questions about the investigation.
Stone said Hendricks was arrested at a hotel in Easley at approximately 7 p.m. on Monday without incident. Asst. Pickens County Sheriff Tim Morgan said Hendricks posed no threat to the community while she was staying at the hotel because police were monitoring her activities.
Wilkins said the killings were motivated by life insurance policies that had been taken out for each of the four victims. He said Hendricks stood to gain a "significant amount of money" from the claims from the policies, but would not specify the exact amount. Wilkins also would not say who initiated the policies.
Officials said the gun that was used in the four killings was owned by Susan Hendricks. Wilkins would not specify whether it was the same gun found on the night table next to the bed where police found her son, Matthew Hendricks.
Wilkins said that Hendricks was charged because of three main pieces of evidence: the insurance motive, she owned the weapon and inconsistencies in her story to police.
"Her statements were inconsistent with scientific and forensic evidence," Wilkins said.
Officials said they were not prepared to release details of that evidence because the case was still under investigation.
Early on the morning of Oct. 14, the Pickens County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call about a possible suicide at a home on Pinedale Drive in a rural part of Liberty. What deputies found when they arrived went far beyond a single suicide.
According to police reports, Susan Hendricks called her sister, Evelyn Burns, early that morning and told her there had been an emergency at the home. After Burns arrived, she called police to report the incident.
When police arrived at 236 Pinedale Drive, Burns told them that her "whole family was dead." Police reports also said Burns later showed concern for two other family members at a home next door.
Hendricks' two sons — Marshall Wayne Hendricks, 20, Matthew Wayne Hendricks, 23 — ex-husband Mark Wayne Hendricks, 52, and step-mother Linda Ann Burns, 64, were all pronounced dead at the scene according to a statement issued by Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley.
The Pickens County Sheriff's Department discovered the bodies of Hendricks' family members in two mobile homes located at 236 and 304 Pinedale Drive in Liberty after responding to a 911 call.
This wasn't the first time the Sheriff's Department was dispatched for a shooting to the Hendricks' property. Morgan said Susan Hendricks had been investigated for killing an intruder at the Pinedale Drive home in 2006, but she was never charged. Morgan said that the 2006 case has not been closed and if authorities discover any new evidence they will reinvestigate the incident.
Wilkins said officials do not expect any further arrests to be made at this time.
When Hendricks appeared before the judge for her arraignment hearing, family members wept.
"We're all just happy to have some closure," Stephanie Hopkins said.
Hendricks' bond was not set during her noon arraignment and she does not have a lawyer at this point.