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Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Colin Abbott Murder Case

     Upon his retirement in 2010 as a New Jersey pharmaceutical company executive, 65-year-old Kenneth Abbott and his second wife Celeste bought a 25-acre estate in Brady Township not far from the town of Slippery Rock, the home of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in the western part of the state. Kenneth and his 55-year-old second wife were married in 2007.

     On July 13, 2011, Melissa Elich, Celeste Abbott's daughter, contacted the New Jersey State Police and asked for information about the car accident death of her mother and stepfather. Kenneth Abbott's son Colin had told Elich that Kenneth and Celeste had died in a traffic accident on June 8, 2011. According to Colin, the traffic fatality had taken place in Plant City, New Jersey. When Elich couldn't find Plant City on a map, she called Colin to confirm the location. This time he told her it had happened in Atlantic City. According to the 42-year-old New Jersey resident, his father and Elich's mother had been burned beyond recognition in the crash.

     After the New Jersey State Police officer informed Melissa Elich that the state had no record of such an incident, the officer called the Pennsylvania State Police in Butler County and requested a welfare check of the Abbotts.

     On the day of Melissa Elich's New Jersey State Police inquiry regarding the traffic accident, Corporal Daniel Herr and another Pennsylvania State Trooper drove out to the West Liberty Road estate. The officers searched the unoccupied house and several out-buildings. Near one of the two ponds on the property, the troopers discovered a pair of metal barrels that had been used to burn something. In the vicinity of the barrels, about 200 yards from the house, the officers came across charred human body parts.

     Later on the day of the gruesome discovery on the Abbott estate, Dr. Dennis Dirkmart, a forensic anthropologist with Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, arrived at the scene with his team of graduate students. Dr. Dirkmart and his forensic crew identified a skull containing the upper teeth along with a lower jaw containing additional dentition. The death scene investigators also recovered a female pelvic bone and several larger bones that were male. (The remains were later identified as those of Kenneth and Celeste Abbott.) Further analysis of the dismembered and burned bodies by a forensic pathologist revealed that the couple had been shot. (The police found a spent bullet near one of the ponds.)

     On July 13, 2011, officers with the New Jersey State Police searched Colin Abbott's home in Randolph, New Jersey, a town of 25,000 in the northern section of the state. The search produced incriminating evidence that linked Abbott to the double murder in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

     From Colin Abbott's house, the New Jersey investigators recovered Celeste Abbott's red-leather wallet that contained her driver's license and several credit cards. The officers also found a .380-caliber pistol later identified as the murder weapon. In the murder suspect's bank safety deposit box, detectives found Kenneth Abbott's will that designated his son the sole beneficiary of the $5 million estate. The will had been changed to that effect in 2010. Investigators believed the suspect had murdered his father and stepmother in order to inherit their wealth.

     In Pennsylvania, State Trooper Chris Birckichler questioned Adam Tower, Celeste Abbott's son. Mr. Tower revealed that in speaking to the suspect on July 12, 2011, Colin ordered him not to contact his father's life insurance company. The suspect made it clear that he would be handling the disposition of the estate.

     On July 14, 2011, the day detectives interrogated Colin Abbott in Randolph, New Jersey, murder charges were being filed against him in Pennsylvania. Officers in New Jersey arrested Colin Abbott that day on the Pennsylvania homicide charges, and a couple of weeks later, the suspect was incarcerated in the Butler County Jail awaiting his trial.

     On the day before the trial was to begin, February 26, 2013, the defendant pleaded no contest to two counts of third-degree murder. As part of the plea deal, Abbott avoided the penalties of death and life in prison without the possibility of parole. Butler County Judge William Shaffer sentenced Kenneth Abbott to 35 to 80 years in prison. If he served the minimum sentence, Abbott would regain his freedom when he was 77-years-old. The cold-blooded killer stood before Judge Shaffer and wept.

     Less than a month after his sentencing, on March 6, 2013, Colin Abbott filed a 5-page handwritten request asking Judge Shaffer to allow him to withdraw his plea in the case. At the plea withdrawal hearing on March 28, 2013, the Butler County prosecutor played recordings of jailhouse phone conversations between the prisoner and Deborah Buchanan, his 64-year-old mother.

     Abbott, pursuant to a discussion of his attempt to take back his plea, said this to his mother: "It's a publicity start in the right direction for you; possibly for a book, possibly for other things, you know?" Abbott's mother, a resident of Rockway, New Jersey, owned Deadly Ink Press, a small publisher of murder mystery books. Buchanan had made it known that she was writing a book about her son's case.

     To an Associated Press reporter following this story, Deborah Buchanan said, "I am talking to people about a book deal. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I am a writer. That's not why he [her son] wants to change his plea. He was under a lot of pressure." (Committing murder can do that to a person.)

     On April 12, 2013, Judge Shaffer denied Abbott's motion to withdraw his no contest plea.

     

26 comments:

  1. Wow.. You speak of him like you know him, when in fact all you know about him is what they (the law) want you to hear. Have you ever sat down and spoke with him, did you grow up with him, where you there when this crime took place? Oh that's right "no you were not". I spoke with a reporter who was in the courtroom every day and this person told me that they wouldn't allow her in the courtroom if she published anything positive about Colin. You don't know anything about this case because it never went to trial; you know nothing of all the nonsense that went on behind the scenes.

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    1. His fellow inmates can get to know he very well for years to come. This scumbag deserves what he gets.

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    2. Do you have something positive to share about him? Keep your "comments" to yourself is the best advice anyone will give you. No legal punishment fit his crime. Why do you think this never went to trial??

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    3. It never went to trial because he took a plea deal. The end.

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    4. Let me state this, I was with Mrs Abbotts' son, I was his fiancé at the time. I spoke to this monster on the phone when he was trying to keep the children from contacting the insurance company regarding the mother's life insurance. I am a paralegal and I know the laws. He had no way of handling the insurance as it is a completely separate entity from the will and the estate of Mr.& Mrs. Abbott. We had spoken to the insurance company and this man lied to us saying he already had their checks in the mail, that he had handled it. At that moment we had our proof, that he was up to something, we just had no idea as to how horrible the truth of the events that were about to be revealed. That is what really informed us there was something very very wrong and the police needed to do a welfare check. He murdered them, in a ruthless cold blooded manner. The fatal car crash he had claimed happened, there was no news of any such, if you watch the news, they will always show when a car, alone is on fire. So, to say they burned up beyond recognition, and died, and we couldn't find any information on them, was just ridiculous. He was strung out on steroids and other illegal drugs. He knows what he has done and he is paying for it. He thought he could get away with it but he was not as smart as he thought. I pray to God that he cannot profit from this and that the families can move on, because in the end, the families left behind, they do not need to be reminded of what is already a horrible thing....they never got to share their lives, marriages, grandchildren with their parents or anymore Holiday's. It is a very sad story for the families. Pray for them, and for Colin, he will need it. The justice system did it's job. The monster is where he should be.

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    5. I WAS THERE....ALL THE WAY FROM VIRGINIA....HE IS A MONSTER WHO DESERVES ALL HE GOT...WISH HE WOULD HAVE TOLD THE TRUTH...BUT NARCISSIST NEVER DO....I WAS WITH THIS MONSTER BEFORE WE FIGURED OUT HE MURDERED THEM, HE WOULD NOT LET US NEAR MOST OF THE PROPERTY....HIS STEP BROTHER'S AND SISTERS WERE TOLD THEY WERE NOT WELCOME AT THEIR MOMS OWN HOME..HE WAS NERVOUS AND ANXIOUS...REFUSED TO GO OVER THE WILL STATING IT WAS BACK IN A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX IN JERSEY...MORE LIES!!! HE WAS SO FREAKED OUT WE WERE ALL THERE, THAT IS BECAUSE THE BODIES WERE STILL ON THE PROPERTY...BUT HE IS 6'5 AND I AM 5'2 SO WE GOT SOME PHOTOS FOR OUR MEMORIAL AND WENT TO SLEEP IN THE NEXT ROOM FROM HIM AND HIS GIRLFRIEND RAYNA AT THE TIME....SHE HAD NO IDEA SHE WAS WITH SOMEONE WHO COULD KILL...AT LEAST I PRAY SHE DIDN'T KNOW.
      THIS MAN DID THIS AND HE WILL ANSWER HERE, AND ON THE OTHER SIDE....UNREAL...DEFENDING THIS MONSTER....HE ONLY NEEDS PRAYER, NOT DEFENSE, HE HAD THAT AND LOST. GOD BLESSED US BY GETTING HIM OFF THE STREETS

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  2. I tried to email you, but it was undeliverable. Could you please post a valid email address? Thank you.

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  3. Perhaps you should do some independent research before forming and disseminating your opinion on this case. Where are you getting your "facts"? From newspaper stories? Certainly not from the evidence.

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    1. This scum of the earth tried to cover up the evidence by burning the bodies. This guy was notorious.

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  4. Mr. Fisher,

    Do you know Abbott's mother? Do you have any idea what his mother and family have been through? Any idea what his Mom has spent to help her son? Any idea how many times she drove to Butler from her home in NJ (a 6 hour trip) to attend court hearings and visit him?

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    1. Really 6 long hours. So what, who cares. How about the relatives that have to drive hours and hours to visit his father and stepmoms grave?

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  5. Anonymous,
    Are you as clueless as you sound? This fruitcake is a moron and should have been sentenced to death. His story was fabricated from the start and quickly unraveled throughout the whole process. Maybe you shouldn't post garbage on here unless you actually know anything about the person.

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  6. Who gives a s#*t about who he or his mother is? Who cares about how much his mother has spent on him or on her trips to his court hearings? The facts are that he committed the crime of murdering his father and stepmother. He should have thought about the consequences before committing the crime!! And all for what? For monetary gain? Money that he didn't do a damn thing to earn!! Money that he can not even spend or do anything with. He would not be a happy camper if someone took his useless life for monetary gain!!
    Plain and simple, he's a murderer and should be sentenced to death!!

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  7. How could a person murder his father and step mother for money he is a sick wack job and I'm glad they didn't waist tax payers money on a trial if it was 100 years ago plain and simple he would have been hung in the court yard till he was dead to bad times have changed

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  8. 1000% scumbag loser. This animal was always causing trouble. Now we can cause all the trouble behind bars.

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  9. Yes, I can tell you from knowing him in the past, he had aggressive tendencies that I witnessed first hand. I would descried him as angry and volatile and unpredictable. Everyone has a shadow side, and unfortunately, Colin's was not under control. That is too bad because so many people have suffered the consequences of his dark side. I guess now he will have plenty of time in prison to think about how he had his shadow in control of his life. May compassion and forgiveness be with the family members who lost their loved ones in this case. He obviously had no love or compassion for himself and that is why he had none for the parents he killed. This is truly a tough thing all the way around. May light prevail all darkness. Shalom.

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  10. How could a person murder his father and step mother for money he is a sick wack job and I'm glad they didn't waist tax payers money on a trial if it was 100 years ago plain and simple he would have been hung in the court yard till he was dead to bad times have changed

    I would descried him

    First of all,these two previous postings show that our school system is failng. People should learn the English language and proofread thier writing before posting. Secondly, this case shows just how rediculous the legal system is in this country. Why should a person receive a lighter sentence just because he or she admits to committing a crime. Plea deals allow people to basically get a timeout instead of the punishment they deserve.

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    1. this is the problem - people who spell "their" as "thier" and "ridiculous" as "rediculous" ....but yet still comment that "people should learn the English language" Wow.

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    2. I think the two spelling errors that the poster cited were from the previous two comments. They just weren't labelled as such. The Word Police didn't designate a crime scene! Too many "anonymouses" here! Maybe we could use numbers?

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  11. Celeste is his 3rd wife, not second. He had two prior to her, Deborah and Marie. You should fact check first.

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    1. No, Celeste was the 4th wife: Deborah, Cindy, Marie, Celeste.

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    2. Well does this really matter???? Those women should be thankful they were out of the way of this horrible man.

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  12. scumbag scumbag scumbag whos the one in jail now

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  13. Absolute scumbag, anybody that defending him for even a second is either trying to get somebody's blood pressure up or they are a friend of this disgusting human being which makes them garbage as well

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  14. Lakeview Marina - or should I say Steve Halperin? Weren't you convicted of the possession, distribution, manufacturing and dispensing of a controlled dangerous substance? And now you give waterskiing lessons to kids!

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  15. I went to school in jefferson with this pos. He was always a lake hopatcong scum bag loser.

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