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Episode 81

Who Killed Peter Becci?

March 15, 2021   Tags: ,
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In the season three premiere of Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad, Billy and Paul are joined by a detective seeking help on an unsolved murder. In February 1987, Peter Becci was killed while his wife and kids were out to dinner in Lima, Ohio, with a male friend of Joyce's. The possible mysterious motive of his murder range from the animal testing taking place at his lab or to his struggling marriage.

Before Peter Becci's Murder:
In 1985, Peter and Joyce Becci moved to Lima, Ohio, with their two children. Peter had gotten a new job with Springborn Institute of Biological Research. Joyce Becci decided to try to go back to school at Kent State.

Peter hired babysitters to take care of the children while Joyce spent time in Kent. While in Kent, Joyce did not enroll in school. Instead she rented a room in a house owned by 22-year-old college student Eugene Shumar and worked at the Limited. The kids visited periodically in Kent and Joyce visited in Lima.

In January 1987, Joyce Becci visited her father in Florida. After the visit, she seemed to move back to the family home. Joyce had introduced her children and Peter to Eugene Shumar. The children referred to him as "Uncle Eugene" and Peter had planned to potentially go into real estate business with Eugene. But on February 6th all of those plans ceased.


The Night of Peter Becci's Murder:
Joyce told Peter she was taking the children out to buy him a Valentine's Day present. They left the family home located at 750 Kiowa Trail around 7 PM. But they didn't go to pick out a present.

Instead she took her two children to meet up with "Uncle Eugene." They ate dinner at the Chinagate restaurant. And "Uncle Eugene" brought the children a puppy he had rescued.

After dinner the group, went to the mall and had ice cream. Eugene left the Becci's and headed on the three hour drive back to Kent. Joyce and the children went home. 

Joyce left the children in the car and went into the house first. She called out for Peter and received no response. When she got to the stairs that led down to the basement, she saw why there was no response. Peter was at the top of the stairs, lying in a pool of blood.

There was a blood trail up the stairs from the basement that pooled where Peter was found. In the basement were free weights Peter was using. And also present were shell casings from a .45. The autopsy would show Peter was shot four times. 

One shot went into his right collar bone and went through his chest exiting the left side of his collar bone. The second went through the back of his left shoulder and exited the front of the shoulder. Another went into the left side of his face and exited his right nostril. The final, incapacitating shot, was to the back of the right of his head and exited near his right eyebrow. 


The Investigation:
Police began their search for who would want to harm Peter Becci. Co-workers were interviewed. Peter wasn’t painted in a kind light. He was hard on those who worked for him. The company Peter worked for certainly had a set of enemies. They tested products on animals to discern if they were harmful to people. It seemed a plausible lead. But due to money and no strong leads, it wasn't the trail investigators were able to throughly follow at the time.

So police turned their investigation to the personal life of Peter Becci. Based on interviews, Peter wasn’t having an affair, he didn’t have gambling issues or a drug problem...it left them with one stone to look under--Joyce.

Their relationship was definitely unconventional with Joyce mainly living in Kent. But beyond just this, there is the issue of Peter’s life insurance policy. The policy totaled $500,000. The breakdown of the policy was to be divided into thirds roughly--$155 to Joyce, $145 for each child. However, in January Peter had talked it over  with Joyce and decided to make her the sole beneficiary. There was just one hitch--the new terms didn’t come into effect until March 1st, 1987. It’s unclear whether Joyce would have known this date though.

Joyce left Lima, Ohio, after just a few days with her children. After leaving town, authorities say she became uncooperative. The case soon became cold.

That was until a former Lima, Ohio detective came out of retirement to join the Shawnee Township Police in 2012. Detective Don Marik remembered the murder of Peter Becci. He’d just made detective in Lima at the time. When he arrived in Shawnee, he looked the case up and discovered it was still unsolved. 

Detective Marik began to investigate--with the help of Detective Jack Miller. The men talked to everyone they could find in the files. They created a rapport with Peter Becci’s brother Mike and Peter’s son. The goal was to find answers for the family.

But even after contacting Joyce, Detective Marik was unable to gain her cooperation. He decided to try unconventional methods in hopes of finding the killer of Peter Becci, and contacted The Murder Squad.

ASSIGNMENT:
The murder of Peter Becci remains unsolved. Eugene Shumar and Joyce Becci are persons of interest in the case, but ultimately the killer is unknown. If you were in the Lima area in 1987 and heard or know anything about the case, please contact us or Detective Marik at marik.d@shawneetownship.com. Share the information on the case wherever you are. Detective Marik believes whoever is responsible is not from the Lima area but lived there or passed through there in 1987.

CODE OF CONDUCT: 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.

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