Daily Archives: November 27, 2008

Double Murder in Lee County – Truth is Really Stranger Than Fiction

Gateway Murders…..

Nancy Grace has been on the Anthony missing child case now for what seems like months.  They have had riots in the streets, a strange bounty hunter or bondsman from Texas making an appearance, and Equa Search using the time and good-heartedness of hundreds of volunteers to look for Kaylee.  I don’t know how much longer she can produce an hour show each and every night on this story.  The child’s mother has done nothing but lie, and now I am beginning to believe there is something suspicious about the grandparents as well.

I’m not sure how they choose which story they will feature, but here’s one not too far in distance from the Anthony case, near Fort Myers at Bonita Springs, that is beyond wow in mystery and circumstances.  I would suggest Nancy Grace and Greta, too, get on this one.  But I am sure the authorities and the court are glad they are not featured on tv every night.

I saw a portion of this trial on Trutv this week.  I don’t know if they had aired it previously or not, but the trial actually took place during the first part of October, 2008.

michellesteve Michelle and Steve, victims

In a nut shell, a couple named Steve and Michelle were murdered in their home in an up-scale neighborhood the night after Christmas of 2005, a home still decked out for Christmas with a Christmas tree and three stockings still hung.  The couple had a small child who survived and it seems he somehow called 911 — or was it him or the killer because nobody spoke during the call.  He was about two years old at the time.

Steve had been killed by one shot in the head, and Michelle was beaten, strangled, and posed half-naked on the bedroom floor.

Second couple, Fred Cooper and Kellie Ballew, long-time boyfriend/girlfriend, who had a child between them, were having trouble in their relationship and Kellie was breaking up with Fred.  Why?  Because she was having an affair with Steve.  Well, here’s where it gets interesting.

Michelle had called Fred and they had met previously and Michelle had told him that she was sure that her husband, Steve, and Fred’s girlfriend were having an affair.  This all happened not too long before Christmas, the two couples had ended up sitting at the same table at a work Christmas party a little before Christmas.  Steve and Kellie worked at the same place.

On the 26th of December, with Steve’s parents in town from Minnesota at a motel, Steve met Kellie sometime that night at work, and they had sex.

Fred’s story is that he and Michelle had been talking about their problems and they, too, had met on the night of December 26th and had sex.  I think he said in the driveway of Steve and Michelle’s house, which sounds incredible, but maybe this was during the time Steve was with Kellie at their work place.

Fred is arrested for the murder.   Murder weapon was never found.  There’s some DNA evidence.

The October trial ended in a Mis-Trial.

Taking into consideration the facts of this case, my first thought was Steve killed Michelle and then shot himself in the head.  Apparently they ruled that scenario out, probably because there was no weapon found at the scene.  Still it seems that Michelle was the one who was the target instead of Steve.

Did Fred do it?  Will the case be retried?

See more of the story and some pictures @ http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/sep/27/gateway-double-murder-case-set-trial-accused-faces/

Update: Second trial moved to Pinellas County set for February 17, 2009.  http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/nov/25/cooper-re-trial-date-moved-february/

Kellie Bellew – the other woman  https://bellalu0.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/kellie-ballew-the-other-woman-testifies/

Posted:  11.27.08

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