Pike County murders: Movie’s use of gun silencer mirrors that of slain family, evidence shows

Published: Monday, February 04, 2019 @ 8:06 AM

There's a gag order in place which means no one involved with the case can talk about it. That means we have to relay on taking a deeper dive into court documents for new details in a case where six members of one family are accused of murdering or trying to cover up the murders of eight members of another family. News Center 7's John Bedell reports.

A clip from the popular 1999 movie, “The Boondock Saints,” is being used as evidence in the Pike County murders where eight members of the Rhoden Family were murdered in their homes in 2016, according to court documents.

RELATED: Death penalty possible for 4 of 6 arrested in Rhoden killings

In the Rhoden family killings, George “Billy” Wagner III, his wife, Angela Wagner, and their sons, George Wagner IV and Jake Wagner are charged with eight counts of aggravated murder, plus gun and death penalty specifications on each; one count conspiracy; four counts aggravated burglary; one count unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance; three counts evidence tampering, and one count each of forgery, unauthorized use of property, interception of wire, oral or electronic communication, obstructing justice and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Content Continues Below

The film is about two brothers in Boston who take on a deadly form of vigilante justice by murdering mobsters and other criminals. The killers in the movie use silencers on their guns, the same killing style that members of the Wagner family are accused of using to execute the Rhodens. 

Investigators combed through 1,100 tips, but the final piece of evidence that led to the indictments of the Wagner family and their arrests on Halloween were due to the finding of the gun silencer, according to then-Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. 

New facts show that the homemade gun silencer that prosecutors found was at the bottom of a well on property the Wagner’s used to own, according to court documents.

“They may have had a certain interest in it. But it seemed to have resonated with them in terms of what to do -- how to solve their problem”, said Marc Clauson, Cedarville University Law Professor.

RELATED: Court docs reveal custody battle at heart of killings 

A custody battle is an apparent motive in the killings, officials said. Jake Wagner has a two-year old daughter with one of the victims. 

Wagner grandmothers, Fredericka Wagner, Billy’s mother, and Rita Newcomb, Angela’s mother, are charged with obstructing justice and perjury in the case.