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Old 12-04-2002, 04:48 PM   #1
dynoguy88
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Default More info: Murders of the Tennessee ATV riders

Most UM fans here can all agree that the murder of the three ATV riders that took place in Tennessee in 1988 was one of the scariest featured stories ever.

http://www.jou.ufl.edu/people/facult...wart/photo.htm

Did you guys know that an online petition was set up for people that believe Frank Casteel (the suspect) who think he was wrongfully convicted in the first place?

http://www.petitiononline.com/injust/petition-sign.html

Wow! For those that didn't already know, Frank Casteel was granted another trial, which actually started just a few weeks ago on November 12, 2002. Here's an article from April 5, 2001 that explains the retrial being set up....

http://www.newschannel9.com/vnews/in...ons/986528232/

Here is some info I copied and pasted from an article involving this case....

****On July 9, 1988 three men, Richard Mason, Kenneth Griffith and Earl Smock go riding on their ATV's in the back woods on Signal Mountain near Chattanooga Tennessee.

Earlier that year, Frank Casteel decides he wants to buy a piece of property located on Signal Mountain. This piece of property had a place that many local people loved to go, the blue hole.

The people came to this area to go swimming and go camping. But most of the people did not respect the land and it's owner, they would use the ground as a garbage can. When Frank Casteel started going up to the property,with the permission of Carter Patten the man he was buying the property from, he saw a lot of trash, and he knew he had a lot of cleaning up to do. He also saw that he had a lot of people coming and going on the property. These people wanted to use the blue hole to go swimming, so Frank Casteel decided to make a trade, for the use of the blue hole, they could pick up some trash, to help clean the place up.

To help keep track of the people who came and went, with the advise of a police officer, Frank Casteel started writing the names of people who came on his property, he kept it in a book what is now known as the "logbook".

On July 9, 1988, Frank Casteel and his wife decides to go camping on their property, to celebrate their anniversary. Frank's brother in law and his wife was thinking of joining them, because they were married in a double wedding years before. The second couple never came in that night. When Frank and his wife arrived at the campsite, located on the edge of the powerlines. They started setting up camp. Frank's wife walks on down to the blue hole. While Frank Casteel was setting up camp, two boys came in , he told them they couldn't use the blue hole that day, and he talked with them for a while, and after they left he walked down and joined his wife at the blue hole.

The next day, the family of the three men who had left to go riding the night before, had never came home. The family said they looked for them awhile, then decided to call the police to report them missing.

That night the story hit the news, they reported that the three wheelers that the three men left on the night before had been found in a trash dump off the side of the mountain on Roberts Mill Road.

By the next day, Monday, the story was all over the newspapers. It was said by the police, they feared something bad had happened, because of the blood found on the ATV'S. People had been coming forward to help in the search, and give information to the police.

The police were led to a place called the gate, where one man had said he had heard shots from the gate or 300 yards north of the gate. The police said they found blood at this location.

Monday night Frank Casteel was shown on the news, and they reported he was a suspect, and from this day on this made Frank Casteel guilty! On July 27, 1988, the people on the mountain put together a petition to get the Casteel's off the mountain. This was signed by 50 or so people on the mountain.

The bodies were found a few days later in the next county, in a garbage dump. It was then that the police knew the three were shot with a shotgun.*****

Here are a couple more links to anyone interested in reading about the case...

http://www.oakridger.com/stories/051...517020066.html

http://www.onlineathens.com/1998/051...tenntrial.html

http://www.oakridger.com/stories/051198/aps_trail.html

Last edited by dynoguy88; 12-04-2002 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:21 AM   #2
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Watched this case. This honestly is one of the worst, just totally uncalled for. Did Frank Casteel do it? I guess it cant be said for certain he did it, but he probably did. Casteel's family has a website up. But my question is are all those people that told their stories about Casteel lying? There were many people who said that Casteel was very angry about people trespassing on his land and that he had intimidated people with a shotgun that had tried to come on his land or had trespassed on his land before. I remember reading an account from two gentleman who had been met at the gate to Casteel's property just days before the murders Kenneth Griffith, Richard Mason and Earl Smock. They said Casteel met them at the gate with a shotgun that he threatened to kill them and that he even pointed the shotgun at them and laughed and that only after talking to them to a while did he agree to let them go. This was just totally uncalled for regardless of who the killer was. It was probably Casteel. It seems the three men must have been met at the gate by Casteel. Whether there was any conversation between the men and Casteel is unknown. As they said Griffith and Mason were probably killed instantly by their wounds. It appears Smock was the furthest back of the ATV riders and was the last one shot. Apperantly he was shot once and attempted to run away but Casteel caught up to him and shot him again killing him. So unless all those witnesses at the trial were lying then Casteel probably did it. His wife threatened his mistress saying that Casteel was the ATV killer but then his wife now says that she was just trying to scare the mistress and that Casteel wasnt really the ATV killer. Casteel's son also swears his dad is innocent. Yet some have mentioned that Casteel's son was actually probably the one that helped his dad load up and get rid of the ATV's and the bodies. Casteel would have needed the help of at least one person for that he couldnt have done it by himself.
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:08 PM   #3
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I think he is guilty. Yes, the case is mainly circumstantial evidence. Each piece alone, from the wife threatening the mistress, to the logbook, to Casteel threatening the two men w/ the shotgun, etc, aren't much. However, when you put them all together, you have a compelling case for murder. These men did not have enemies that had a motive to kill. Casteel did. People have a right to their opinions, though.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:11 PM   #4
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His son's website is garbage. Maybe it's just me, but when I see a website that has the rantings of a lunatic littered with spelling and grammatical errors, it makes the person being defended look even more guilty.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:14 PM   #5
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Was watching this case just now and I was interested in finding out the locations of the crime scenes on Google Earth. It turns out a very creative someone out there has created a tour de Casteel and Signal Mountain where it shows where all the crime scenes were. Very interesting to see how far apart they were from one another.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdb4884
Was watching this case just now and I was interested in finding out the locations of the crime scenes on Google Earth. It turns out a very creative someone out there has created a tour de Casteel and Signal Mountain where it shows where all the crime scenes were. Very interesting to see how far apart they were from one another.
That's pretty neat. It's extremely easy to get lost out there and very difficult to discern property lines (as in most of rural East Tennessee). The police were dead-on on the murderer being a local resident; no one else on the face of this earth would've been able to navigate those roads!
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:34 PM   #7
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Tour de Casteel, has a sense of humour the bloke who did that
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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I found it odd that when UM updated the segment about Casteel being arrested they said he was a suspect all along, but on the original broadcast of the segment he was never even mentioned at all.

If some guy owns property and has been threatening people on his property with a shotgun previous to these murders, and the murders take place on a part of his property, guess who's guilty?
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:06 AM   #9
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Was Casteel ever convicted?
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCars1986
I found it odd that when UM updated the segment about Casteel being arrested they said he was a suspect all along, but on the original broadcast of the segment he was never even mentioned at all.

If some guy owns property and has been threatening people on his property with a shotgun previous to these murders, and the murders take place on a part of his property, guess who's guilty?
I see your point. I seem to recall during the segment, some local citizens had an idea who it was, but didn't mention a name for fear of what might happen to them.

Also, in some segments on UM, there were suspects, but they were not named. The Mikki Jo West case comes to mind.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:10 AM   #11
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Was Casteel ever convicted?
Yep. He's at South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, TN and is eligible for parole in 2028.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:30 AM   #12
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Yeah UM didn't elaborate on any details when they said something about locals knowing who it was, but not speaking out for fear of retaliation. And they didn't even mention that fact in the actual segment, it was only as a before-commercial attention grabber which didn't make sense to me. I found the information about locals saying that Casteel chased them/threatened them with a shotgun while they were on his property on the website that's set up as a way to exonerate Frank Casteel...but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:25 PM   #13
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That was a scary episode, for the fact an innocent ride lead to be shot to pieces. :\nkfgdn.k
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:27 PM   #14
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any updates in this case? where does it stand at the moment?
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:00 PM   #15
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He was convicted for a second time an is currently in prison in Tennesse on a life sentence. He is guilty and deserves to be where he is.
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