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  • Mark Rein

Resident Evil in Omaha

What choice did he have but to lash out at the people who continued to heap tragedy and embarrassment on his life? As Shakespeare wrote, if you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?


Welcome to Crime Raven; true crimes, real-life stories from law enforcement and issues crime fighters face. This blog highlights crimes researched by retired Detective Sergeant Mark Rein, using publicly available information, court records and personal recollections. Content may be graphic, disturbing, or violent. Reader discretion is advised. Suspects are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law.


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Nemesis had a list. It contained the names of the enemy's arrayed against him. A triumvirate cabal. Number one was a woman old enough to be his mother. At first, nemesis had hoped she would be like his mother and that she would nurture and protect him. Instead, betrayal. She had, in fact, become his chief inquisitor, torturing him. Piling on humiliations until he cried out for mercy.

The bitch's overseers were no better than she was. Mercy was not in their vernacular. They closed ranks, rejected his entreaties. They were demons, ravaging Nemesis with their poison quills, reveling in his supplication. Instead of succor, they threw him to the dogs. After their judgment, Nemesis held them all equally accountable. He thought of them as a three-headed hydra.

What choice did he have but to lash out at the people who continued to heap tragedy and embarrassment on his life? As Shakespeare wrote, if you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

Nemesis needed a win. He considered the ways of bringing them to their knees. To show them he would not just take the abuse and retreat. What does a knight do when slapped in the face with injustice? This was his quest. He would strike the vipers in their nest.

Nemesis picked Hunter because he couldn't get to the hag. Hunter was a good first substitute. Hunter was the one who could have called off the madness. Instead, he was no help. He'd willingly, no, eagerly joined the bitch's mission to destroy him.

But what Hunter didn't know is that he himself was a soft target, he and his perfect wife. Perfect family. Living in the perfect neighborhood. Pompous asshole even had servants to do his bidding.

Nemesis had done some investigating. He had watched until he was comfortable with the situation. Then he made his decision. It was mid-afternoon on a bright sunshine day. No one was on the streets. No one was on the immaculate manicured yards. He circled around the neighborhood, passed his target, and parked down the street. He grabbed his bag of tools and walked the rest of the way.

During the stroll, Nemesis compared his surroundings to his current place. These were rich people's houses. The neighborhood filled with assholes, just like Hunter and his brood.

He felt that familiar pang of jealousy. This is what they were stealing from him, but it was okay. Anger was turning out to be a high-octane fuel.

Nemesis walked casually, confidently, up to Hunter's place. He had the nap sack slung, hoping to avoid using the tools it contained. He tried the front door without knocking and finding it unlocked, he quietly cracked it open, peering inside, scanning the small entryway before he committed and seeing no one, nemesis slipped through and pressed his back against the door until he felt it latch behind him.

Standing motionless just inside the doorway, he willed his ears to hear past his rapid breathing. To the left, a long, open living room. He couldn't see the far end, but he didn't think anybody was in there. In front of him lay the central hallway with a stairwell down to the basement. To the right was a dining room, and further on the kitchen. It was there that he would find the first mission objective.

There was no sign of where anyone was yet. So nemesis crept through the dining room and into the kitchen. The knife block was just where he imagined it would be, waiting at the end of one of the counters.

As he examined a blade, Nemesis heard movement from somewhere in the back of the house. He quickly retreated back toward the main hall, intending to circle around via the dark central hallway. As he made the turn out of the dining room nemesis, collided with the boy who had just come up the basement stairs. The boy, a skinny white kid with brown hair and glasses, maybe 10 or 11, looked up, surprise flashing on his face, almost searching for recognition and finding none. The boy's eyes dropped to Nemesis' hand as the blade came up.

The boy moved suddenly. His reflexes overrode conscious action. But Nemesis was ready. This was what he had come for. He grabbed the boy simultaneously, driving him down to the ground as he drove the knife into his neck. The boy let out a stifled, guttural cry as they fell to the floor. The blade penetrated his throat, ripping through tissues, severing vessels entering and withdrawing repeatedly.

Nemesis quietly unleashed his rage on the child, whose shocked body put up no meaningful resistance.

Nemesis had seen death before. He was comfortable with it. He recognized the boy was dead long before he stopped stabbing.

He could only spare a few seconds to enjoy the revenge. After that, his survival instinct rang an alarm. There was still at least one person in the back of the house. Driving the blade one last time, he let it protrude from the boy's neck as a message.

Nemesis jumped up and sprinted back to the knife block, pulling a second blade. He burst through the passage into the rear of the house. The servant was there, an old woman carrying a bucket and cleaning supplies. The woman's eyes met his, and he saw her fear. She dropped everything and turned to flee.

Her old reflexes were no match for nemesis, who took three quick strides, catching her before she could reach the back door. Tackling her flat on the floor, he plunged the knife into the side of her throat repeatedly. Like the boy, she put up no resistance.

When she was clearly dead, nemesis got up. He searched the house and found no one else. He went back to look at the bodies and he was satisfied. He figured the piglet grows up to be like its swine father, so it made sense to strike the bloodline. A bonus killing the child would mame the man.


Omaha, Nebraska, a Midwest city of 450,000 residents on the banks of the Missouri River. It is the home of the college Baseball World Series and billionaire businessman, philanthropist, Warren Buffett.

The city has its share of problems, but there are areas where crime, particularly violence, is virtually unheard of. One of these areas is the Dundee neighborhood, an affluent sector just west of downtown and Creighton University. Nevertheless, in the early evening of March 13th, 2008, police 9 1 1 dispatch received an urgent call from a Dundee residence. A man was reporting two victims dead in his house.

Dr. Bill Hunter was a pathologist who left his office on the campus of Creighton Medical Center at 5:00 PM. 10 minutes later, he arrived at his house, which was just a few blocks from where Warren Buffett lives.

Dr. Hunter parked as usual, entered through the rear doors, and encountered the almost unbelievable sight of his 57-year-old housekeeper, dead of stab wounds, lying on the floor. He immediately recognized that she was beyond help. The doctor urgently moved past the body only to discover his 11-year-old son Tom in the hallway. His boy was also dead, with severe trauma to his throat and a knife protruding from his neck.

The police arrived to clear and secure the house. The crime scene team went to work with its processes. The two detectives assigned as primary investigators noted several things about the victims at the scene. There were several knives lying around, and one was left embedded in Tom's neck.

The knives were all apparently from a block on the kitchen counter. The wounds themselves were unusual. Someone had similarly attacked each victim, targeting the right side of their throats. Shirlee Sherman suffered 17 blade penetrations, including one that went completely through her neck.

The scene showed that normal life was in progress before the killer interrupted it. The investigators believed that Tom died first, his body lying near the stairs to the basement. Downstairs, Tom's Xbox account was still logged in. Partially consumed after-school snacks flanked the chair he'd been using.

Close to the back door, it appeared that Shirlee had been interrupted in her cleaning. A bucket and supplies lay close to the body dropped during the attack.

Investigators found evidence at the scene woefully lacking. There was no clear sign of motive. It didn't look like a robbery. In a house full of valuable items, nothing was missing. Shirlee was carrying several hundred dollars on her when she died. Processing had turned up little trace evidence and no identifiable suspect DNA was found at the scene.

The neighborhood canvas didn't turn up much either. No one had anything bad to say about the hunters. Only one neighbor reported something unusual. She saw a silver Honda SUV with out-of-state plates driving slowly through the area. The car had parked on the street and a man got out carrying a bag. He walked up the street and out of her sight. She rationalized that the man must be a door-to-door salesman and went on about her business.

The investigators focused for a time on victimology. Surveying the family, the parents were both medical doctors. They had four kids, so six plus the housekeeper were the insiders. Aside from the victims, all had solid alibis at the time of the murders.

Tom's mother, Dr. Claire Hunter, had been attending a medical conference in Hawaii. Once notified, she immediately flew home in shock. Detectives could not determine whether either Tom or Shirlee were the intended target of the attack.

In Tom's case, there was no sign of problems at school. The bus camera showed him riding that afternoon with no sign that he was living his last minutes. Every indication was that Tom was a good kid, a smart kid who did well in school. He loved science and math. His last minutes were his routine Xbox, Dr. Pepper, potato chips in the basement. The examination of Tom's internet and gaming contacts didn't turn up anything suspicious.

Could Shirlee have been the target? The detectives didn't think so. She was a hardworking grandmother of five. She didn't appear to have any problems or enemies. Her adult children described her as dependable. Indispensable and rock-solid. She was the beloved center of the family.

The detectives turned from Shirlee and Tom to look at Claire and Bill Hunter. Neither seemed to have coworkers or patients who would want to do them harm. No disgruntled employees came to mind. Bill had been involved in human resource actions, including terminations, but all left quietly without ongoing problems.

As days turned into weeks with no solid suspects, investigators feared the attacks might have been completely random.

Five years later, on Mother's Day morning, May 12th, 2013, Dr. Chandra and Under Bewtra took two elderly friends to a holiday brunch. As they were finishing breakfast, they received a phone call that their home's intruder alarm had been activated.

They were delayed in checking on their house while they finished breakfast and dropped off their slow-moving guests. When they finally arrived at their house. Nothing appeared to be out of place, but the back door was open.

Dr. Roger Brumback's house was just a few miles away from the Bewtra residence. On that Mother's Day of 2013, Roger and his wife Mary were working on their house, preparing for his retirement. They were planning to sell and leave Omaha.

As Roger was painting the entryway, someone knocked on the front door. Roger answered, and the shooting started.

Two days later, a moving crew arrived at the Brumback house to pick up their piano. The workers received no answer at the door. One of the crew looked through a window and spotted a pistol magazine lying on the floor in the entryway. They called the police.

When officers arrived, they found Roger's body behind the door and Mary just a little further into the house. Roger had been shot, and both had suffered several stab wounds to the right side of their necks. The on-call homicide detectives were the same team that took the case at the Hunter home five years prior. The two detectives walked in and were immediately struck by the similarities in the two murder cases.

Two victims, each stabbed multiple times in the same area of the throat. Mary, presumably the second attack victim, had defensive lacerations on her arm. The crime scene and the victim's background would only solidify their growing unease that the two murder scenes were related.

Same as the Hunter house, there was very little left at the scene. Police collected a broken pistol magazine from the entryway floor.

There were no witnesses and no direct sign of motive. Nothing valuable was taken. There was no sexual assault. There was overkill, but no postmortem mutilation. Also, similar to the Hunter House, the suspect used knives from the scene.

As far as the victimology went, people who knew Mary Brumback said that she could not have had a single person who disliked her. It was Roger Brumback's background that focused the investigation. He was a pathologist at Creighton. Roger Brumback was the chairman of the program, and Bill Hunter, the father of the murdered boy, supervised residents at Creighton.