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Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - To collect insurance money
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: April 13, 2006 / October 14, 2011
Date of arrest: October 23, 2011
Date of birth: 1963
Victims profile: Doyle O’Brien “Brian” Teague, 39 / Her two sons, Matthew, 23, and Marshall Hendricks, 20, ex-husband Mark Wayne Hendricks, 52, and stepmother Linda Ann Burns, 64
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Liberty, Pickens County, South Carolina, USA
Status: In prison awaiting trial
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Prosecutors: Woman Killed Family For Insurance

Susan Hendricks Faces 4 Counts Of Murder

December 13, 2011

The Upstate woman accused of killing four members of her own family in order to collect insurance money was in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

Susan Hendricks was arrested and charged in October with the death of her two sons, Marshall and Matt Hendricks, their father, Mark Hendricks and her stepmother, Linda Burns.

The state believes Hendricks staged the deaths as a murder-suicide for the purpose of collecting insurance money.

In a hearing on Monday, a judge decided there was enough evidence to send this case to the grand jury.

13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said in court on Monday, he has not determined if he will seek the death penalty in this case.

Prosecutors said investigators found nine insurance policies worth an estimated $700,000, all naming Hendricks as the beneficiary.

Prosecutors also said that tests showed Hendricks had substantial amount of gunshot residue on her clothing after the shootings.

Investigators said when the bodies were found, Matthew Hendricks was lying on a bed and the gun was on the nightstand next to him. Susan Hendricks told investigators that Matthew had killed himself. Prosecutors said that tests showed that Matthew Hendricks had no gunshot residue on him.

Investigators said that all four victims were killed by the same gun. They say Susan Hendricks tried to frame Matthew, saying he killed the others and then himself. A suicide note with Matthew's signature was found in the home.

On Monday, Hendricks' defense attorney John Mauldin said that his client found the gun beside her son and moved it to the nightstand. Mauldin said that Hendricks embraced her son to try to revive him.

Hendricks' attorney says she suffers from mental problems and possible brain damage and takes five different medications for mental illness.

Hendricks did not speak in court on Monday.


Sheriff: Life insurance policies apparent motive in Liberty quadruple murder

By Jason Evans -

November 15, 2011

PICKENS COUNTY - An arrest has been made in a Liberty quadruple homicide case.

Pickens County Sheriff C. David Stone announced this morning that Susan Diane Hendricks has been charged with four counts or murder and four counts of possession of a weapon during a the commission of a violent crime.

Hendricks is accused of killing her sons, her ex-husband and her stepmother. She was arrested at the Quality Inn in Easley Monday.

Warrants allege that Hendricks killed her family members “with a handgun owned by the defendant, which she kept in her nightstand.”

The bodies of Marshall Wayne Hendricks, 20, Mark Wayne Hendricks, 52, Matthew Wayne Hendricks, 23, and Linda Ann Burns, 64, were found Friday October 14 in two residences on Pinedale Drive in Liberty.

Mark Wayne Hendricks was the father of Marshall and Matthew. Burns was the step-grandmother of Matthew and Mark, and stepmother of Susan Hendricks, according to Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a possible suicide around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning. Medic 3 and Liberty Fire and Rescue were on the scene checking on the victims when deputies arrived.

Upon arrival at 236 Pinedale Road, officers were met by the 911 caller, Evelyn Burns, who told police that her entire family was dead. Burns is Hendricks’ sister.

Officers observed “a significant trail of blood” after entering the home, according to a Pickens County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

Deputies then observed the body of Matthew Hendricks in a right, rear bedroom of the home. He had an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

A handgun was found on a bedside table near Matthew Hendricks, the report said.

Linda Burns was found in the right, front bedroom of the home. EMS told police she had been shot in the torso.

According to the report, the large amount of blood that trailed through the living room originated in the bedroom where Burns was found.

Shell casings were found in a closet of that same room, the report said.

Evelyn Burns then told officers she had family in a nearby home, 304 Pinedale Road.

She said all the commotion should have awakened them and that she was worried about their well-being.

The bodies of Marshall and Mark Hendricks were then discovered in the 304 Pinedale Road residence. Father and son were both dead of gunshot wounds.

“From the beginning, suspicion had pointed in one direction, but there were other areas of investigation that had to be pursued,” Stone said.

Forensic tests conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division were needed, and such tests took time, he said.

“Leaping to conclusions … can easily result in the wrong person being charged with a crime,” Stone said. “We want to ensure that this never happens in Pickens County.”

Stone said it appears that Hendricks’ motive was life insurance policies that had been placed on her family members.

The investigation revealed that the murder weapon was owned by Hendricks and also the existence of the life insurance polices naming Hendricks as beneficiary.

Solicitor Walt Wilkins said statements from Hendricks after the discovery of the bodies were “inconsistent with scientific and forensic evidence.”

“This led us to the conclusion that Susan Hendricks did in fact murder her two sons, her ex-husband and her stepfather,” Wilkins said.

Hendricks stood to receive “a significant amount of money” from the life insurance policies, Wilkins said.

“Greed can be a powerful motive,” Wilkins said. “We see greed involved in the majority of cases that we prosecute through the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. However, I don’t think we’ve seen greed rise to the level of a quadruple homicide in quite some time.”

Wilkins said the case “certainly qualifies as a Death Penalty case.”

“My lawyers as well as the Sheriff’s Office and SLED will continue to review the evidence,” he said. “We’ll meet and discuss that possibility and make an ultimate decision at the appropriate time.”

Hendricks initially told officers that Matthew Hendricks had killed himself, Assistant Sheriff Tim Morgan said.

Kelley said that all four family members were victims of homicide.

Morgan said that earlier case involving Hendricks has never been closed, referring to a 2006 homicide at the 236 Pinedale Drive residence.

In 2006, The 236 Pinedale Road residence was the site of a 2006 homicide.

Hendricks told investigators she shot Doyle O’Brine “Brian” Teague, 39, of 133 Pinedale Drive, on April 13, 2006 after he repeated entered the residence uninvited and threatened her, according to Sheriff’s Office incident report and a report from Kelley.

No charges were filed against Hendricks at the time.

Morgan said evidence from the 2006 shooting “never rose to the level of probable cause.”

“It’s never been closed, and certainly if anything new comes up, we can take a look at it,” he said.

Stone thanked the many investigators from different agencies “who worked tirelessly to see justice done for the victims.”

Morgan agreed, thanking investigators for “working round the clock” on the case.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends,” Stone said. “It is our hope that you can begin the long healing process."


'Horrendous act of evil'

Mother charged with killing 4 family members; brother says she was under psychiatric care

By Paul Alongi, Anna Simon and Eric Connor -

October 27, 2011

Susan Diane Hendricks is accused of plotting the deaths of her two sons, their father and her stepmother in a scheme to collect insurance money and then gunning them down at two mobile homes in a wooded spot near a sawmill south of Liberty where they all lived.

The 48-year-old woman, who stared impassively as she was led in an orange jumpsuit to an arraignment after her arrest, was described by Pickens County Sheriff David Stone as having committed “a horrendous act of evil.”

The site on Pinedale Road where the four died in a series of gunshots on Oct. 14 was the same spot where in 2006 Hendricks shot and killed a man she said was an intruder, authorities said.

No charges were filed in that death and investigators said they have no plans to reopen the investigation into what happened at that tidy mobile home, where the porch displays a sign, “God bless this home and all who enter.”

James Robert Burns Jr., Susan Hendricks’ brother, told that his sister has a bipolar disorder and was under the care of a private psychology practice in Greenville.

Tracy LaPointe, spokeswoman for the state Department of Mental Health, said the department couldn’t say whether Hendricks had been under state care at any time. She said the agency can’t comment on any individuals because of federal privacy laws.

The motive was money and a lot of it, said Stone and 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins. She had taken out multiple life insurance policies on her two sons, her ex-husband, and her stepmother, Wilkins said.

Wilkins declined to say how much money was involved, except that it was a “significant” amount. All the policies named Susan Hendricks as the beneficiary, Wilkins said.

Circumstances observed at the scene and information from family members led investigators to believe a life insurance payout was the motive, Stone said.

Wilkins said he couldn’t comment on Hendricks’ mental health, citing federal privacy laws. He said the issue of her mental health wasn’t a factor in charging her. “This was based purely on the evidence presented before us,” he said.

Early suspicion

For more than a week, the mystery hung suspended as the forensics investigators did what they do to unravel the chemistry and the trajectory of bullets to try to find answers. Deputies said they monitored her while that work was carried out.

“From the beginning, suspicion has pointed in one direction,” Stone said. “But there were other areas of investigation that had to be pursued.”

Deputies and a State Law Enforcement Division agent arrested her at a Quality Inn on U.S. 123, Stone said. She was alone, and her brother showed up shortly after the arrest, Assistant Sheriff Tim Morgan said.

Why she was at the hotel remains unknown, he said. Her brother said she was staying at the motel where a victim’s advocate with Greenville County had placed her.

Susan Hendricks faces four counts of murder and four of possession of a weapon in the deaths of her sons Matthew Wayne Hendricks, 23, and Marshall Wayne Hendricks, 20, ex-husband Mark Wayne Hendricks, 52, and her 64-year-old stepmother, Linda Burns, according to arrest warrants.

She had told investigators that her older son, Matthew, shot himself, a statement that wasn’t consistent with scientific testing and a medical examiner’s findings, authorities said.

Susan Hendricks, who spoke little during the arraignment, asked to have an attorney appointed for her, Public Defender Teal Johnson said. She was being held without bond at the Pickens County Detention Center.

Wilkins said he will review the evidence with law enforcement officers to decide whether to pursue the death penalty, if she is convicted. The case could qualify because multiple people were killed, he said.

Susan Hendricks told investigators that she was home at the time of the killings and didn’t hear gunshots, Morgan said.

Matthew Hendricks was found lying in bed with a gunshot wound to the side of the head and a .380-caliber handgun on a nearby table, authorities said.

Susan Hendricks told a deputy that she had last spoken to her son about 2 a.m. and that “he was continuously telling her that she was a good mother,” a deputy wrote in an incident report.

Susan Hendricks owned the gun used in the killings and kept it in her nightstand, investigators allege in the warrants. Wilkins declined to comment on forensic and scientific evidence, citing the open investigation.

A call for help

A woman who identified herself as Evelyn Burns called 911 shortly before 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 14 and said she had received a call from her sister, Susan Hendricks, according to a recording of the call.

“She told me that my nephew has shot himself,” Evelyn Burns said.

Her voice began to quiver as she described the location of the double-wide mobile home.

“I’m on my way down there,” she said.

The deputy who responded to 236 Pinedale wrote that he found Matthew Hendricks with a gunshot wound in one bedroom and emergency medical workers attending to his step-grandmother, Linda Burns, on a bed in a different bedroom.

Another deputy wrote that he arrived on the scene later and was told by a firefighter that he ought to check 304 Pinedale.

The deputy wrote that he saw a blue blanket on the front porch with a person’s foot protruding from it. Inside the home, another body was on the couch, the deputy wrote.

The body on the porch was later identified as Marshall Hendricks, while the body on the couch was identified as Mark Hendricks, said Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley said.

“The serenity of this peaceful county was broken by a horrendous act of evil with the killing of four innocent people,” Stone said Thursday.

Suspect spoke little

Susan Hendricks had no expression on her face as a deputy led her into a courtroom packed with family members, some wiping tears from their eyes.

She stood quietly with her wrists cuffed to waist chains as Magistrate Charles J. Wolfe Sr. explained her rights. The only words she spoke were “yes, sir” to confirm her identity and “no, sir” when Wolfe asked if she had any questions.

After she was moved out of the courtroom, family members poured into the parking lot, where they tearfully remembered slain loved ones.

Mark and Matthew Hendricks moved to the Pinedale Road homes about two months ago, while Marshall Hendricks moved in a day or two before his death, family members said.

Susan Hendricks lived at 236 Pinedale with Matthew Hendricks and Linda Burns, while Mark Hendricks and Marshall Hendricks lived next door at 304 Pinedale, authorities said.

Diane Hendricks, who said that she is no relation to Susan Hendricks, said she was married to Mark Hendricks for seven years and that they lived together off and on as “best friends” after their divorce.

Diane Hendricks said that Mark Hendricks moved out of her home about two months before his death to be close to his sons, renting a mobile home from Susan Hendricks.

“Matt was his life, and Marshall was his life,” Diane Hendricks said. “That’s all he had.”

Matthew Hendricks moved into the home “because he wanted to help take care of his daddy,” said Suzy Chappell, sister of Mark Hendricks. Marshall Hendricks moved to Pinedale Road because he loved his father, said Stephanie Hopkins, Mark Hendricks’ niece.

Susan Hendricks took care of Linda Burns, who had cancer and had been married to Susan Hendricks’ late father, said Linda Burns’ brother-in-law, Gordon Finely.


Mother accused of killing 4 family members

By Casey Vaughn -

October 26, 2011

LIBERTY, SC (FOX Carolina) - Susan Hendricks, 48, was charged with the murder of her two sons, Matthew and Marshall Hendricks, ex-husband Mark Hendricks and stepmother Linda Burns.

Pickens County Sheriff David Stone announced the charges Tuesday along with Solicitor Walt Wilkins and SLED Chief Mark Keel that Susan Hendricks was arrested Monday at 7 p.m. at a Easley hotel.

"On Oct. 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," said Stone.

Susan Hendricks was also charged with four counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime. She appeared before a Pickens County Magistrate Tuesday at noon.

The magistrate said Hendricks would have to go before a Circuit Court judge to receive a bond. He could not assign her one because state law does not permit magistrates to issue bond for murder charges.

The magistrate said Hendricks has the right to a trial by jury on each charge and a right to an attorney. Wilkins said the case will be continued to be looked at in preparation for a potential trial.

"Due to the gravity of this incident, investigators have been working along with the 13th Circuit Solicitors Office to ensure potential areas of doubt were resolved early in this process," said Stone. "From the beginning, suspicion has pointed in one direction, but there were other areas of investigation that had to be pursued."

At the press conference, officials said the investigation was ongoing, but that Hendricks statements did not match up with the forensics. Wilkins said that the .380 caliber gun used to kill all four victims was owned by Susan Hendricks and that she had taken out several life insurance policies on each victim.

Investigators discuss motive

As far as motive was concerned, Wilkins said that Hendricks would have received a significant amount of money from the policies.

"Greed can be a powerful motive," said Wilkins. "We see greed involved in the majority of cases that we prosecute through the 13th Circuit Solicitors Office. I don't think we've seen green rise to the level of a quadruple homicide in quite some time, at least not in my experience."

Officials said that it could qualify as a capital case because of its magnitude.

"We'll meet and discuss that possibility and make an appropriate decision at that time," said Wilkins. "We want to have all the evidence available to us before we make such a serious decision."

Wilkins said the three key pieces of evidence that led to the charges against Hendricks were the fact that the gun belonged to her, the life insurance policies, and the fact that her statements were inconsistent with scientific and forensic evidence.

"This led us to a conclusion that Susan Hendricks did in fact kill, murder her two sons, her ex-husband and her step-mother," said Wilkins.

Investigators, community react to Hendricks' arrest

Mark Hendricks, 54, his two sons, 20-year-old Marshall Hendricks and 23-year-old Matthew Hendricks and their grandmother, 64-year-old Linda Burns, were found shot to death on Friday Oct. 14 at two homes on Pinedale Road in Liberty.

Hendricks was arrested at the Quality Inn in Easley.

In reference to the 2006 shooting at Hendricks home, Assistant Pickens County Sheriff Tim Morgan said that the case was never closed and it did not rise to the level of probable cause, but if something new comes up deputies would investigate it.

Morgan said that Hendricks' original statement to officers was that her son Matthew had killed himself, but she did not say he killed the other victims. She told officers that she was at the house but did not hear any gunshots.

Wilkins said there was a note left on the kitchen table, but he would not go into specifics about its content. Wilkins said they did not believe she wrote the not but were waiting on confirmation of that.

Last week, deputies released the incident reports from when deputies originally arrived on scene.

Deputies said they were called and met by Evelyn Burns at the scene, who said her entire family was dead. Deputies also found Susan Hendricks at the scene, who lives at the home.

A prayer vigil was also held last week in memory of all four victims at Old Liberty High School stadium.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends," said Stone. "It is our hope that you can begin the long healing process."

The shooting is still under investigation by the coroner, SLED and the Pickens County Sheriff's Department.


Mother 'shoots dead two sons, stepmother AND her ex-husband - then tries to frame it as murder-suicide to get life insurance'

October 25, 2011

A mother shot and killed her two sons, her ex-husband and her stepmother - then tried to make it look like her son was the killer, police said.

Susan Hendricks, 48, of Pickens County, South Carolina, allegedly wanted to collect life insurance policies on all of the victims.

She was in one of two homes where the shootings took place and told police her youngest son had been using drugs and was suicidal.

Officers found a gun by his body, and Hendricks said he left her a note on the kitchen table. But investigators said on Tuesday it was all staged.

Matthew Hendricks, 23, was found dead in bed. Her stepmother Linda Ann Burns, 64, was found dead inside another bedroom in her home.

Next door authorities found her ex-husband Mark Hendricks, 52, and her other son, Marshall Wayne Hendricks, 20. Both were shot in the chest.

The homes are about five miles outside Liberty, in an area of mixed farms and suburban residences in the state's west.

‘Her statements were inconsistent with the scientific and forensic evidence,’ Greenville County Solicitor Walt Wilkins said.

Prosecutors would not say how much insurance she had on the victims, but it was a large amount. This isn't the first deadly shooting at her home.

Doyle ‘Brian’ Teague, 36, was shot to death in April 2006 after entering the house uninvited and threatening someone inside, the coroner's office said.

Investigators ruled at the time she acted in self-defence.

Pickens County Sheriff David Stone defended his decision to only arrest Hendricks nine days after the killings.

'In a case of this magnitude, but where there appears to be no significant risk to the public and the suspect can be readily monitored, prudence dictates that sufficient forensic tests be done prior to an arrest being made,' he said.

She was arrested on Monday night and charged with four counts of murder. It wasn't immediately clear if she had an attorney.


Deputies reveal new details in Liberty shooting

By Casey Vaughn -

October 18, 2011

LIBERTY, SC (FOX Carolina) - The Pickens County Sheriff's Office released the incident reports Tuesday that give a detailed description of what deputies witnessed when they arrived on the scene Friday.

According to the first report, deputies arrived at 236 Pinedale Road at 6:42 a.m. in reference to a possible suicide.

Deputies said they were called and met by Evelyn Burns at the scene, who said her entire family was dead. Deputies also found Susan Hendricks at the scene, who lives at the home.

According to the report, deputies found Matthew Hendricks in one bedroom with an unknown caliber handgun lying on the table next to him. Deputies then found Linda Burns in another bedroom being treated by EMS.

The report said Susan Hendricks told deputies that she had last talked to Matthew Hendricks at 2 a.m., and he kept saying she was a good mother. Hendricks said she found a note from her son on the kitchen counter. She said he had been suicidal in the past and had a problem with controlled substances.

According to the report, Susan Hendricks said she had been in the home all night and did not hear gunshots. She also said that she left the front door unlocked.

Evelyn Burns told deputies that Susan had called her and told her to come over because it was an emergency, according to the report. Evelyn Burns said she called 911 as soon as she arrived and saw Matthew.

Burns told deputies that she was worried about her family that lived next door, according to the report. Additional deputies were called in to access the scene at 304 Pinedale Road where two more victims were found.

The Pickens County Coroner released the autopsy results of the four victims on Sunday. The deaths of 52-year-old Mark Hendricks, 20-year-old Marshall Hendricks and 64-year-old Linda Burns were ruled homicides.

Mathew Hendricks' cause of death is still pending. Mathew was 23.

The shooting happened at 304 and 236 Pinedale Road, two neighboring mobile homes.

Investigators said Mark Hendricks is the father of Marshall and Matthew Hendricks, and that Burns was their step-grandmother.

Susan Hendricks is the mother of Marshall and Matthew, and the ex-wife of Mark.

She released a statement Tuesday saying:

"On behalf of my family and I, we would like to thank the community for their prayers and concern for the four lives lost on Friday morning. However, due to the magnitude and overwhelming grief we are experiencing, we ask that our privacy be respected. We are trying our best to process what has happened, make necessary arrangements, and deal with our tremendous loss. We pray for understanding and peace during our difficult time. Thank you."


Victims of quadruple homicide identified; autopsy released

By Casey Vaughn and Aaron Barker -

October 14, 2011

LIBERTY, SC (FOX Carolina) - The Pickens County Coroner has released the autopsy results of four people who were killed in a shooting at two homes in Liberty on Friday.

The deaths of 52-year-old Mark Hendricks, 20-year-old Marshall Hendricks and 64-year-old Linda Burns have been ruled homicides.

Mathew Hendricks' cause of death is still pending. Mathew was 23.

The shooting happened about 6 a.m. at 304 and 236 Pinedale Road, two neighboring mobile homes.

Morgan said investigators have talked to several people who would have information pertinent to the case, but no arrests have been made. He said the investigation was ongoing.

Investigators said Mark Hendricks is the father of Marshall and Matthew Hendricks, and that Burns was their step-grandmother.

The Coroner's Office said autopsies on the victims, who were all pronounced dead at the scene, will be performed Sunday.

In 2006, there was a shooting at 236 Pinedale Road.

According to a news release about the 2006 shooting from the Pickens County Coroner's Office, Doyle O'Brine Teague, 39, was fatally shot after entering the home uninvited and threatening to hurt the occupant.



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