WJHL.com - 2 unsolved murders committed by the same person, detectives say

Update: double murder suspect could be linked to 1997 homicide

Posted: Updated:

Update on 3/5 at 10:43 p.m.

One day after Sullivan County and Kingsport Detectives confirmed that they think the same person killed two people in still unsolved murder cases, detectives said they now suspect the same killer may have murdered a teenager in 1997.

Monday, detectives said they're confident the same man killed Betty Sue Short in 2011 and Gary Jones in 2010.   While the victims didn't know each other, detectives say their suspect - a man whose name they know - did know Short and Jones.  In both murders, detectives think robbery was a motive.   More disturbing, they say both victims were "overkilled" - a term used to describe the intense violence that led to their deaths.

Investigators say the still unnamed suspect is male, likely a drug addict, and a resident of Sullivan County who, they believe, is still in the area.

Tuesday, investigators went further.   They now say the suspect in the Short and Jones murders may be the same man who killed James Hutson at his Sullivan County home in 1997.

Hutson was just 17 years old.

"This same individual also, at that time, lived in this same area where the Hutson murder happened, and also was possibly an acquaintance with that family as well," said Lt. Bobby Russell, Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

Russell said evidence from the Hutson case will be resent to the TBI for re-testing.

Investigators hope someone will come forward with information leading to an arrest in the Hutson case as well as the Short and Jones murders.

Here's the earlier report :



The murders of two people in Sullivan County - separated by eleven months and only a few miles - were committed by the same person.

That was the startling announcement from Kingsport Police and the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Monday afternoon in an interview with News Channel 11.

For the first time, investigators with both departments now will confirm that they believe the same person killed Gary Jones, 54, in Sullivan County in November 2010 and Betty Sue Short, 65, in October 2011.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office found the body of Gary Jones in the living room of his home on Lone Oak Drive on November 28, 2010.   He'd been repeatedly stabbed.   Investigators said he likely knew his killer.

Less than a year later on October 16, 2011, Kingsport Police found the body of Betty Sue Short in her apartment on Barnett Drive in Kingsport.   She'd been beaten to death.   

Police said they decided to go public with their suspicion of a single killer in the two cases in hopes that someone will come forward with evidence that will lead to an arrest.

If you know who killed these people, call the Kingsport Police at or the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

The information you share can remain anonymous.

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