Crime Traveler: Did George Revelle kill his wife?

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Did George Revelle Kill his Wife? Crime Traveler

The Murder

George Revelle’s 911 call.

Revelle told police, intruders wearing dark clothing with one wearing a backward ball cap shot his wife in the head. He explained they left the residence through the garage door on the west side of the home. These intruders were never found.

Former Christian County Sheriff Steve Whitney’s statement to KOLR 10. He would continue that the perpetrator referred to George as “Banker George”, which led police to believe this might have been an attempt at bank extortion. The FBI was called in to look into Revelle’s finances.

For the next month, police searched Revelle’s home for a .45 caliber pistol. They didn’t find it but did find a letter. It was from Lisa to George stating, “I can’t continue living this way. I’m afraid of you, afraid of your anger, and your silence.”

On March 31st, 1995, the FBI’s investigation into Revelle’s finances revealed he had been embezzling more than $54,000 from Ozark Bank, where he was vice-president. A federal grand jury hands down 18 indictments against Revelle.

Four days later, the Christian County grand jury indicts Revelle on first-degree murder charges. Prosecutors believed Revelle killed his wife to collect a half a million-dollar life insurance policy. He pleads guilty to federal embezzlement and money laundering charges.

On September 7, 1995, the day he was to be sentenced on the federal conviction, an anonymous letter arrived in the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. The letter said the murder weapon could be found in a pond and specific directions were given toward Warren County. The letter also stated Revelle was innocent and that Lisa’s death was a botched extortion attempt that was planned by George’s half-brother, who had been killed in a car accident two weeks prior to the murder.

The police were able to find the gun that was used to shoot Lisa Revelle with the anonymous letter. The gun was wrapped in duct tape and was located on George’s half-brother’s rented land. The letter would later be analyzed for any DNA evidence. No connection to Revelle was found.

He began his 27-month prison sentence on the embezzlement plea in October 1995.

The Trial

While serving that sentence, in the spring of 1996, George went on trial for Lisa’s murder. The prosecution said it would show that George murdered his wife to free himself from debt. In the opening statement, prosecutors revealed that George purchased a life insurance policy on Lisa making himself the sole beneficiary.

George Revelle takes the stand.

According to the case files, Revelle spoke to co-workers about a .45 caliber gun and had inconsistencies in the story regarding the intruders. The prosecution used the letter written by Lisa Revelle to George to show Lisa’s dissatisfaction with the state of their marriage. It was written six months prior to Lisa’s death.

Among other witnesses, an alarm company technician testified that Revelle’s account of how his alarm went off the night of the killing wasn’t possible. Revelle said he woke up at the sound of the alarm. The technician testified only one alarm went off and was triggered by a gunshot.

“Cannot be counted on to tell the truth.”

– Prosecutor Kenny Hulshof, in his closing argument, counting Revelle

The Verdict

George Revelle is convicted of murder in the first degree. The jury declined to impose the death penalty and Revelle was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Appeal

In November 1997, the Missouri Court of Appeals vacated the conviction, ruling that the letter written by Lisa Revelle six months prior to the murder was inadmissible hearsay and should not have been admitted into evidence.

Attorney Shawn Askinosie, who handled Revelle’s appeal after his trial lawyer retired, took over Revelle’s defense at his second trial.

The retrial began in December 1998.

Askinosie discovered that two of the photographs taken at the autopsy were missing. He located the negatives and saw that the photographs showed a detective with his hand over the victim’s nude breast. He further attacked the sheriff’s department’s belief Revelle hid the murder weapon despite failing to find the gun in the home with investigators spending more than 1,000 hours in the home looking for clues.

He asked a finance expert to testify that Revelle was not hopelessly in debt, but rather his situation would have been resolved with the bonuses and other payments he expected to receive later in the year.

Askinosie had an alarm expert use a replica of Revelle’s system to show how an intruder could have gotten into the home and the display would still function as the police originally found it the morning of the murder. The alarm expert said Revelle’s alarm was poorly programmed and untrustworthy as evidence.

The jury acquitted Revelle. The one million dollar insurance policy was paid to Revelle’s children.

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