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 @

Update: Second trial moved to Pinellas County set for February 17, 2009.

Kellie Bellew – the other woman

Posted:  11.27.08


Filed under Courts, crime, Human Interest, law and order, life, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Double Murder in Lee County – Truth is Really Stranger Than Fiction

  1. Ginger

    Bella, I had been following the Anthony case for quite a while, but have not kept up in the last couple of weeks. It has been very long, drawn-out, and complicated, hasn’t it? I just heard a little bit of some kind of questioning regarding whether Caycee’s father had really had a stroke recently? I may be missing something here, but it seemed there was some suspicion surrounding him now, and the mother has always acted strange throughout.

    The case of the two couples you mentioned is very interesting and I’ll read more on it. I had not heard of it. Yes, it would be a very interesting case for Greta or Nancy to follow.

    Have you read much or heard much about the Anne Pressley case in Little Rock? She was the beautiful newscaster that was murdered on Oct. 25th. It seems she was murdered “randomly”, but that is really hard to fathom. I was talking to my dad and stepmother on Thanksgiving (they live in Arkansas and really loved watching Anne on the news, and said she was very good also)…anyway, my stepmother’s grandson realized when he saw him on the news that the guy they had arrested was the same guy he had worked at previously at a Sonic one summer. He was very surprised to see this guy on national tv, to say the least.

    My dad said that Anne had two dogs inside the house and as far as anyone knows, they didn’t make any noise. The man beat her with a baseball bat is my understanding. It has been reported that she obviously fought for her life considering the nature of her wounds and those on the guy.

    I have always been fascinated with mystery and true crime and how these crimes are solved.


  2. bellalu0

    Ginger, I had not heard of this Cooper case myself until I saw parts of it on Courtv the first part of this week. I always want to figure out what happened and since the guy has not confessed, it remains a mystery to me. Anything can happen in a scenario such as they were involved in, but my question is why did he beat up the woman, Michelle, so badly? It should have been Steve he was after. He said Michelle and he had been friends, commiserating together about the affair of his girlfriend and her husband. The DNA sounded a little questionable to me, mixture of some sort. Didn’t pay that close attention to that part — missed part of the testimony. But I can certainly understand why the jury could not reach a verdict. That tells you right there it is not a slam dunk. I believe that juries usually do make the right decision, but they can only go on what they hear and that may not be the whole story at times.

    Cooper did take the stand and that is unusual.

    Anyway, the truth does’t always make sense when it comes out. I remember hearing about a case where a husband argued with his wife, left home to get something to eat, came back and she was dead. He was convicted of the crime and spent some number of years in jail, only to find out that somebody came in while he was gone and committed the crime.

    Anyway, I do hope they have this trial on tv in January when it is retried. I will be watching for sure.

    Did you read the post about the girlfriend, Kellie?


  3. Ginger

    Bella, yes, “The Other Woman” post.. right?…Do you think she could be the one who did it? ..very strange about her myspace info. Keep me posted if it does come up on TrueTV (I can’t get used to calling it True Tv!)


    • wowza

      She sure moved on quickly and with a vengence! Curious to why I can’t find anything about Fred’s testimony! I know this happened awhile ago but the mistress works in our office. Always the victim!


  4. Pingback: Fred Cooper’s second trial to begin Feb. 17th in St. Pete « Can I Just Finish My Waffle?

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