Greed is one of the oldest motives in history for all crimes including murder. Two heinous murders motived by greed rocked two small Illinois communities in 2009 and 2010. When two women tried to help friends, they paid the ultimate price. Another generous soul lost her life when her generosity was perceived as weakness. These are the stories of murders motivated by greed.
Terri Seibeck and Kandis Majors
Terri Seibeck (left) was born in Marion, Illinois in 1977. She grew up to be an artist, painting for a living. She met Kandis Majors, a Mount Carmel native born in 1981, and the two began to see each other. Kandis had been a participant in several beauty pageants, a cheerleader, and a pompon squad member. She struggled a bit in her adult life with drug abuse but turned her life around and was going back to school. She and Terri moved into a house in West Frankfort, Illinois. (Kandis, right)
Michael Schallert, a twenty-nine-year-old man from the pacific northwest, met Afton Ferris, a nineteen-year-old woman. On Investigation Discovery’s Shattered, Michael’s sister Shauna described an uneasy feeling and dislike of Afton almost immediately (Shattered, 2019). Afton was very needy and demanded Michael’s time and attention constantly. The two struggled to find their way and stand on their own two feet. When they found themselves without a home, they went to stay with friends in West Frankfort, Illinois.
Those friends, Terri and Kandis, opened their home to Michael and Afton. The arrangement did not come without turmoil. Terri and Kandis starting missing things from their home including some CDs. When Terri and Kandis discovered their houseguests were stealing from them, they had to make a tough decision. In October of 2009, after only a few weeks of living together, Terri and Kandis asked Michael and Afton to leave their home. The couple was once again homeless.
On October 19th, 2009, Terri’s co-workers became concerned when she failed to show up to work. Kandis had also failed to attend her classes. Terri’s aunt, not being able to reach her, decided to stop by the house and check on them. “As she approached the door, she saw blood on the storm door and immediately called the police” (Vanapalli, 2021). The police arrived and found Terri and Kandis deceased in the house.
Terri and Kandis had both sustained multiple gunshot wounds. One of the couple’s vehicles was missing along with their credit cards. The credit cards made it easy to track the perpetrators. Video footage from a local gas station showed Michael Schallert and Afton Ferris using the credit cards to fill the stolen vehicle with gasoline. The couple were tracked to Fort Collins, Colorado. The two were arrested without incident.
Once in custody, Afton and Michael confessed quickly to the murders of Kandis and Terri. Afton told police that when Terri and Kandis kicked them out, they were left with very few options and formulated a plan. “The plan was to act like we were sorry, were going to apologize, and then shoot them, take the car, and go down south in Texas or something” she told police (Malkovich, 2011). She said Michael stole a gun, a Ruger .22-caliber pistol, and they waited for the couple to return home. (Afton, Right)
Afton told authorities that the women accused them of stealing, upsetting Michael. Michael then shot Terri, then Kandis, and then shot Terri once more. At this point, the gun jammed and Kandis attempted to call for help. “I drug her back, and Michael shot her again” Afton explained (Malkovich, 2011). She went on to say “Terri was moaning and groaning. I said, ‘Give me the gun’ and I shot her again” (Malkovich, 2011). The couple then stole credit cards, cigarettes, money, and a weed box before leaving in Terri’s car.
When the couple were taken into custody, Afton had a poem with her titled “Bullets & Weed: Ode to Our Life” (Malkovich, 2011). The poem referred to the murder and said, “these two-faced bitches” and “too much fucking greed” (Malkovich, 2011). Kandis and Terri’s credit cards and identification were found along interstate 70 in Kansas.
At first, Franklin County State’s Attorney Tom Dinn considered pursuing the death penalty against Michael Schallert and Afton Ferris. Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation in March 2011 which abolished the death penalty in Illinois, releasing the possibility of capital punishment for Afton and Michael. The couple now faced life in prison.
Afton went on trial in July 2011 after entering a plea of not guilty. Expert testimony linked bloody footprints to Afton and Michael’s shoes (Norris, 2011). Crime scene investigators and pathologists testified to the grisly crime scene and injuries sustained by Kandis and Terri. A firearms expert confirmed the weapon used to kill the women was the same as the one found in Michael and Afton’s possession upon their arrest (Norris, 2011). Clothing Afton wore had blood belonging to the victims on it, although one of three DNA tests were considered contaminated (Norris, 2011). Her confession was also shown on video tape to the jury.
The defense claimed that Afton lied in her confession to protect the real murderer, Michael Schallert. “She was willing to take the blame for Michael Schallert. She didn’t want him to get in trouble. She had no family, no support. He was her first and true everlasting love. She was so smitten by this man that she adopted his actions as her own” her defense claimed (Malkovich, 2011).
In July of 2011, Afton Ferris was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. She was just twenty-one at the time of her conviction. She was also found guilty of armed robbery and home invasion. She received a sentence of life in prison without the possibly of parole for the murders and sentences of fifty-years each for the other counts, all to be served consecutively. Afton will spend the rest of her life behind bars.
Following Afton’s conviction, Michael Schallert changed his plea to guilty in August of 2011. He agreed to a plea of guilty for two counts of murder and in exchange the theft of a firearm, burglary, and home invasion charges were dismissed. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He too will spend the rest of his days in prison.
Kandis and Terri died at the hands of the very people they tried to help. Their generosity was taken advantage of when Michael and Afton stole from them. Their greed led them to commit the heinous and senseless murders of two women whose families will forever have a hole in their hearts. Their motive, pure greed, ruined all the lives involved including their own.
Carol Andrews (left) was a hometown girl, born and raised in Roodhouse, Illinois. She began working at the IGA grocery store in high school and remained a loyal employee until the store closed. She then went to work as a manager at a local convenience store and retired in 2000 at age sixty-two. Carol lived in a modest home in Roodhouse that was previously her parents’ home. She was a kind and generous soul who was well liked in the community.
On March 19th, 2010, an out-of-town relative called police requesting a welfare check on seventy-two-year-old Carol. Upon arrival Carol was found deceased in her home with duct tape over her mouth and nose. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation (Journal Gazette, 2010). The community of Roodhouse was stunned. Carol was a generous and caring person. She frequently donated her books to the local library and helped people however she could. Carol was elderly and had trouble with her vision and diabetes (State Journal Register, 2010). A motive for the crime seemed unclear.
Soon, the first lead in the case would also help to determine the motive. Carol’s credit cards were being used. Her ATM card was used the night before the body was found in Roodhouse (State Journal Register, 2010). More transactions occurred and Greene County pressed charges against the woman they determined was using the cards. Myra Osborne was charged with unlawful use of a credit card and one count of receiving the debit card of another person (State Journal Register, 2010). She was, at this point, considered a person of interest in the case.
Myra and her husband Ricky Osborne were former residents of Roodhouse who were, at the time of the murder, residing in Vandalia, Missouri. Myra had previously worked at the convenience store where she met Carol Andrews. The extent of their relationship is not well known, but Carol was known for helping people however she could. Ricky had an outstanding warrant for writing a bad check in Roodhouse (State Journal Register, 2010). Both Myra and Ricky turned themselves in March 25th, 2010.
Murder charges against Myra were filed by March 30th, 2010. She was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and the State’s Attorney originally announced it would seek the death penalty. Confusing to many, Ricky Osborne was released, and no murder charges were filed against him. All forensic evidence seemed to suggest that Myra acted alone in the robbery and murder of Carol Andrews.
Myra (right) was just fifty-one years old and facing the death penalty. However, the death penalty was abolished in 2011. Myra’s attorney was able to negotiate a plea deal and in March of 2011, less than one year after the murder, Myra Osborne plead guilty to first degree murder. She admitted to robbing Carol Andrews and placing duct tape over her mouth and nose to suffocate her. She was sentenced to thirty years in prison. Less than a month later, Myra began her appeals process and filed a motion to withdraw her plea.
According to her petitions, Myra saw a forensic psychiatrist in 2010 that found her fit to stand trial but stated concern about “chronic emotional detachment from chronic domestic violence” (People V. Osborne, 2017). Dr. Terry Killian went on to say the “only issue that might significantly interfere in her willingness to assist more completely is her marked emotional dependence on her husband and her resultant desire to protect” (People V. Osborne, 2017).
Although Myra stated in court that she was not coerced into taking per plea and understood her plea, she later claimed that domestic violence made her unable to appropriately assist in her own defense. She now said that she had suffered from years of domestic violence including physical abuse and emotional abuse. She claims she was coerced by her husband to take the blame for the murder (People V. Osborne, 2017).
The new version of her story is that her husband threatened her with physical harm if she did not commit the robbery and murder. He also allegedly threatened harm or even death if she did not take full responsibility, absolving him of all guilt in the crime. She claimed she only plead guilty to avoid retribution from her husband. She now says he planned the entire crime. However, the court found this was not sufficient evidence that her plea was coerced and should be withdrawn, and her petition was denied.
The extent of Ricky Osborne’s involvement will likely never be known with any degree of certainty. Was Myra an abused woman carrying out the evil deeds of an abusive husband or a greedy woman taking advantage of a generous former co-worker? Regardless of who planned this murder, the motive is very clearly plain old greed. Myra remains incarcerated at Logan Correctional Center and will not be eligible for parole until 2040.
Vanapalli, V. (2021) Kandis Majors and Terri Seibeck Murders: Where are Afton Ferris and Michael Schallert now?
Fasol-Chambers, T. (2009) Suspects could face death penalty; Southern Illinoisan
Southern Illinoisan (2009) Obituaries: Terri Seibeck, Kandis Majors; Southern Illinoisan
Southern Illinoisan (2010) Schallert defense to argue against death penalty; Southern Illinoisan
Norris, D.W. (2011) CSIs testify in Ferris trial; Southern Illinoisan
Malkovich, B. (2011) Deliberations in Ferris trial cut short by heat; Southern Illinoisan
Malkovich, B. (2011) Jury hears Ferris describe murders in taped interview; Southern Illinoisan
Malkovich, B. (2011) Ferris found guilty; Southern Illinoisan
Shattered (2019) Shattered: No Good Deed; Investigation Discovery
Journal Gazette (2010) Authorities investigate 72-year-old’s death; Journal Gazette
State Journal Register (2010) Roodhouse victim remembered; couple in custody; The State Journal Register
Garrison, C (2010) Duct-Tape Killer: Myra Osborne accused of suffocating elderly woman with – you guessed it; Riverfront Times
People V. Osborne (2017) Appellate Court of Illinois Fourth District; NO.4-17-0291
IDOC (2021) Osborne, Myra; Ferris, Afton; Schallert, Michael; Accessed at: Individuals in Custody (illinois.gov)
RRStar (201) Prosecutors to seek death penalty in Roodhouse killing; RRStar; Retrieved at: Prosecutors to seek death penalty in Roodhouse killing - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL (rrstar.com)
Murderpedia (2021) Myra L. Osborne; Retrieved at: Myra Osborne | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers