Delayed Justice: The Camm Family Murders
At approximately 9 p.m. on September 28th, 2000, David Camm returned to his Georgetown, Indiana home after playing basketball with friends. Upon his arrival, he found his wife Kim lying on the floor of the garage beside the family vehicle. She was clearly deceased. Panicked, David looked in the vehicle for his children, nine-year-old Brad and five-year-old Jill. He first noticed Jill slumped over and clearly deceased. He reached over his daughter to reach his son, who he thought may still be alive. Brad was not alive. David’s entire family was dead.
David Camm was a former Indiana State Police officer who left the force a few months prior to pursue a career in his family’s basement waterproofing business. Relying on his training as a former officer, David Camm called the police station and demanded that authorities respond. His call was hysterical and panicked. Authorities arrived quickly and found the three Camm family members deceased from gunshot wounds.
The small town was shocked at the deaths of Kim, age thirty-five, and young Brad and Jill Camm. A motive was not immediately evident, but there was some forensic evidence at the scene. First, Kim’s shoes were found neatly placed on top of the vehicle. There was DNA evidence found under Kim’s fingernails and a palm print on the vehicle. Additionally, a prison issued sweatshirt was found in the back seat underneath Brad that contained DNA evidence.
Police soon focused the investigation on David Camm. While looking into his background, they uncovered several women with whom David Camm had affairs. They believed that his infidelity was motive to murder his wife and children. The police hired a blood stain analyst to examine eight microscopic drops of blood on David Camm’s shirt, which were determined to belong to Jill Camm. The analyst claimed that the blood splatter pattern could have only been caused by someone firing a gun at close range to the victim. With this, David Camm was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
David Camm was playing basketball from 7 pm – 9:00 pm on the night of the murders, and this was substantiated by more eleven witnesses. The time of death was determined to be approximately 8 pm, although the probable cause affidavit listed the time of death as 9:30 pm. Phone records determined that David Camm had a rock-solid alibi, but the prosecution moved forward to trial. The DNA on the prison issued sweatshirt and under Kim’s nails did not match David Camm. The palm print on the car also did not match David. Investigators claimed they sent the DNA to the FBI but did not get any matches through CODIS.
The case went to trial in 2002. The blood spatter analysis was the primary physical evidence presented. The prosecution’s expert claimed that those eight tiny spots could only have been caused by the person who fired the gun at close range. Women who had affairs with David Camm testified to substantiate the state’s theory of the crime. The prosecution claimed that the eleven witnesses verifying David’s alibi were lying or he must have snuck out to kill his family.
The defense countered that the tiny blood spots on David’s shirt were from Jill’s hair when he reached over her to get to his son. Additionally, the defense presented their own expert that said it would be highly unlikely if not impossible for someone to shoot a person at close range and only have eight microscopic blood stains on their shirt. They also presented evidence that the DNA did not match David Camm and neither did the palm print. Additionally, they argued that none of David Camm’s prior affairs were ongoing at the time of the murder.
On March 17th, 2002, David Camm was convicted of all three counts of first degree-murder. He was sentenced to one hundred and ninety-five years in prison. He quickly filed an appeal in this case, citing an unfair trial due to the admission of evidence of his affairs as they were not pertinent to the murder. In August of 2004, the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with David Camm and overturned his conviction.
Prosecutor Keith Henderson was determined to recharge David Camm with the murders and seek justice for the Camm family. Before the second trial, however, new evidence would come to light that would change everything. In early 2005, the defense lawyers learned that the DNA evidence on the sweatshirt had never been sent to the FBI to be run through CODIS. After obtaining a court order to compel the prosecution, the DNA was finally processed through the system. They found a match.
The DNA matched convicted felon Charles Boney. Charles Boney had recently been released from prison and admitted the sweatshirt under Brad was his. However, he claimed he had donated the sweatshirt to the Salvation Army and had no clue how it came to be at a murder scene. Charles Boney was out on parole at the time of the murders after being convicted of several armed attacks on women. In these attacks, Boney demonstrated a focus on shoes and admitted a shoe fetish. He had abducted three women at gunpoint, stalked women, and harassed women. Boney was given a polygraph examination and found to be deceptive. After the palm print on the vehicle was found to be a match to Charles Boney, he was arrested.
At this point, the defense learned that during David Camm’s first trial, the prosecutor in was also representing Charles Boney in other cases. Boney admitted he discussed the case with the prosecutor prior to becoming a suspect. The prosecutor was questioned about his failure to identify Boney and the conflict of interest in the case. Prosecutor Stan Faith said “I regret it. I deeply regret it, but the myth that’s growing out of this is false” (Wikipedia).
Charles Boney was clearly at the scene as the evidence demonstrated. He told the police numerous theories and was found lying several times. Finally, he settled on the story that he went to David Camm’s home to sell David a gun. He claimed that David took the gun and killed his family while Boney was in the house. He then threatened Boney not to talk. No phone records could confirm Boney and Camm had ever communicated, which would corroborate Boney’s story. Boney claimed it was a chance meeting. He also explained that he tripped over Kim’s shoes while fleeing from David, so he stopped to place the shoes on top the vehicle.
Charles Boney’s girlfriend, whose DNA was also found on the sweatshirt belonging to Boney, was interviewed. She claimed that Boney came home the night of the crime breathing heavy. He showed her a gun and was bleeding from a scraped knee. She stated that Boney was very interested in the news coverage of the murders.
Charles Boney and David Camm were both charged with the murders this time as co-conspirators. Boney went to trial first and was found guilty of three counts of murder and sentenced to two-hundred-twenty-five years in prison. He testified against David Camm at his trial in January of 2006.
This time, the evidence of the affairs would be inadmissible at trial. The prosecution had another theory, however. The medical examiner claimed that there was edema consistent with sexual assault to five-year-old Jill Camm’s genitals. The prosecution now asserted that David Camm conspired with Charles Boney to murder his family to prevent Jill from revealing sexual abuse that the prosecution claimed David Camm inflicted on his young daughter.
A medical examiner testified at trial that Jill’s hymen was intact and that the injury to her genitals was one of many blunt force trauma injuries she sustained during the attack. The defense also argued that not only could the prosecution not prove Jill had been molested, but there was also no evidence to tie David Camm to the alleged molestation either. The defense was barred from introducing Charles Boney’s history of sexual crimes as evidence. The defense pointed the blame at Boney, claiming that he alone attacked and killed the Camm family.
On March 6th, 2006, the jury found David Camm guilty of first degree murder a second time. He was sentenced to life in prison this time. Again, Camm appealed his conviction. This time, he asked for the conviction to be overturned on grounds that the trial was unfair because no credible evidence tied David Camm to the alleged molestation of his daughter, therefore there was no motive for the crime. The appellate court agreed, and once again overturned David Camm’s conviction.
To the shock of many including David Camm’s family, prosecutor Keith Henderson opted to try David Camm a third time. This time, however, the defense learned that Keith Henderson was under contract with a publisher to write a book about the David Camm case. He has significant financial interest in David Camm’s conviction as it affected his book deal. For this reason, a special prosecutor was assigned to the case. Keith Henderson lost his contract with the publisher soon after.
During the third trial, it was revealed that the blood stain analysis expert for the prosecution was a crime scene photographer with no significant experience in blood stain analysis. The photographer himself testified for the defense this time and admitted to lying during the first two trials. Additionally, more DNA evidence was made available and showed Charles Boney’s DNA was present under the clothing of both Kim and Jill and under Kim’s fingernails. The state could not accuse David Camm of molestation this time as there was no evidence. To counter this, the state presented yet another theory of motive. They claimed that David Camm killed his family to collect $750,000 in life insurance.
On October 24th, 2013, David Camm was acquitted on all charges. Southern Indiana residents had mixed feelings about his acquittal, some believing he was innocent, and others convinced of his guilt. After the case, allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct involving errors in evidence collection, the investigation of Charles Boney, evidence tampering, and witness tampering were made. One of these allegations stemmed from a relative of Charles Boney who worked in law enforcement and signed out Kim Camm’s cellphone from the evidence locker with no apparent purpose. Additionally, several lawsuits were filed including David Camm suing Floyd County and the State of Indiana as well as Kim’s parents suing David Camm for her life insurance and 401K funds.
The evidence clearly suggests that Charles Boney is guilty of attacking and murdering Kim, Brad, and Jill Camm. The jury found that the evidence did not support a guilty verdict for David Camm. David Camm spent thirteen years fighting for his freedom instead of grieving the loss of his wife and children. This case clearly demonstrates the importance of thorough investigations and integrity throughout law enforcement. The lack of investigating in this case almost allowed a killer to walk free while an innocent man paid the price for his crime. This is a case of delayed justice.
The National Registry of Exonerations (2021) David Camm; Retrieved at: David Camm - National Registry of Exonerations (umich.edu)
Camm vs. State of Indiana (2009) David R. Camm V. State of Indiana; Appeal from the Warrick Superior Court, No. 87D02-0506-MR-54
Camm Vs. State of Indiana (2011) David R. Camm V. State of Indiana; Appeal from the Warrick Superior Court, No. 87D02-0506-MR-54
Investigating Innocence (2013) David Camm- October 24, 2013 Verdict: Not Guilty!; Retrieved at: Investigating Innocence
Wikipedia (Accessed 2021) David Camm; Retrieved at: David Camm - Wikipedia